A basic argument challenged [Kill Em With Kindness]

gottheflu
Theist
Posts: 44
Joined: 2007-02-10
User is offlineOffline
A basic argument challenged [Kill Em With Kindness]

I'd like to begin a discussion by challenging a fundamental idea behind this site:  that belief in God is
irrational (or perhaps "non-rational," if there's a difference?)  For sake of disclosure, I'll mention that
I'm a Christian.  I'm starting things off arguing for belief in God (not necessarily the Christian God) as being properly basic; a person is within his epistemic rights to believe in God.  Such talk does not necessarily prove that any God exists, nor does it prove that God has any particular attribute (besides his existence, if that's actually an "attribute?&quotEye-wink.  Nevertheless, it goes too far to say that theistic belief, properly understood, is irrational, therefore the Rational Resonse Squad should give it all up and play backgammon instead.  Anybody want to jump in here?


HeyZeusCreaseToe
Superfan
HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture
Posts: 675
Joined: 2008-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Nigel, well said, I think

Nigel, well said, I think you have just reiterated what Will, and DG, and myself have said in different words. Words matter. Definitions matter.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:That's

HisWillness wrote:

That's what I meant to say! "Socially expedient" was the exact phrase I was searching for. It was driving me sane.

No! Don't go sane. Whatever you do, don't go sane.

It's highly overrated.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


ronin-dog
Scientist
ronin-dog's picture
Posts: 419
Joined: 2007-10-18
User is offlineOffline
gottheflu wrote:I'd like to

gottheflu wrote:

I'd like to begin a discussion by challenging a fundamental idea behind this site:  that belief in God is
irrational (or perhaps "non-rational," if there's a difference?)  For sake of disclosure, I'll mention that
I'm a Christian.  I'm starting things off arguing for belief in God (not necessarily the Christian God) as being properly basic; a person is within his epistemic rights to believe in God.  Such talk does not necessarily prove that any God exists, nor does it prove that God has any particular attribute (besides his existence, if that's actually an "attribute?&quotEye-wink.  Nevertheless, it goes too far to say that theistic belief, properly understood, is irrational, therefore the Rational Resonse Squad should give it all up and play backgammon instead.  Anybody want to jump in here?

Belief wtihout evidence is irrational. Therefore belief in God is irrational. That is the simplest way to put it.

Of course you are perfectly within your rights to believe in God, but that doesn't mean that it is rational.

I am perfectly within my rights to believe that the cute girl, who I didn't even see look my way, at the bus stop is in love with me. But it would still be irrational to do so.

Zen-atheist wielding Occam's katana.

Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51


Weston
Weston's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: 2008-06-12
User is offlineOffline
gottheflu wrote:Hey

gottheflu wrote:

Hey Zeus,

Thanks for the reply.

You're riding the horse right past my argument at hand, so slow down a minute.  Actually, I think believing in Zeus, fairies, and unicorns should be deemed rational in certain times and places (just not our own particular times and places, unless you just teleported yourself from ancient Greece or something.)  Those beliefs, at times and places, have been rational; it's just that I don't think that it's true that those things ever existed.

In our own time and place, we rightly lock people away when they claim to believe in unicorns.  However, if, in our own time and place, we began somehow to build a large and growing depository of claims and (circumstantial?) evidences that people had prayed to unicorns and that the unicorns somehow answered their prayers, and if more and more people today claimed to have an innate sense of "unicorn-ness" in their hearts when they prayed or walked in the wilderness, or if a large growing populace of diseased and hurting began to pray to unicorns and they then experienced some form of healing . . . if this were to happen . . . one would be rationally justified to start believing in the existence of unicorns (even though, of course, whether they really existed is another question.)

Well, for our own place and time (and other places and times), such an endless depository of claims pertains practically nil to unicorns, but pertains greatly to God.  And honestly, it applies today to God of the non-Zeus variety.

Therefore, it really is crazy to believe in unicorns in western society today.  Not so about God.  Theistic belief is quite rational, although possibly untrue.  So any analogy between unicorns and God actually is NOT analogous and is therefore unconvincing.

 

 

So, Premise 1 for your argument is that rationality is dependent on what we 'know' about the world and our surroundings.

Premise 2: If that is the case then rationality is fluid. What can be considered rational is constantly changing as we learn more.

Premise 3: If what is considered to be rational can change as 'knowledge' increases, then things previously considered to be rational can become irrational.

This is how it can be argued that theistic belief is irrational. Human knowledge has increased exponentially over the thousands of years that theistic belief has been proliferated. As knowledge has increased the relevance of theism and deity-based meta-narratives has decreased as we no longer need such things to explain aspects of the world to us.

Your argument itself leads to the conclusion that theism is irrational...


HeyZeusCreaseToe
Superfan
HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture
Posts: 675
Joined: 2008-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Weston

Weston wrote:

 

 

So, Premise 1 for your argument is that rationality is dependent on what we 'know' about the world and our surroundings.

Premise 2: If that is the case then rationality is fluid. What can be considered rational is constantly changing as we learn more.

Premise 3: If what is considered to be rational can change as 'knowledge' increases, then things previously considered to be rational can become irrational.

This is how it can be argued that theistic belief is irrational. Human knowledge has increased exponentially over the thousands of years that theistic belief has been proliferated. As knowledge has increased the relevance of theism and deity-based meta-narratives has decreased as we no longer need such things to explain aspects of the world to us.

Your argument itself leads to the conclusion that theism is irrational...

Excellent argument...unfortunately I think Gottheflu fled the scene when everyone's rationality overwhelmed his irrational beliefs and his arguments ran out of steam.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


General-Forrest
General-Forrest's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: 2008-05-29
User is offlineOffline
belief is what it is

to believe in a being that created all things. and all things created for the beings glory.

the question then arises why did this being create sin? and again if the being created all things for the being glory why send a son being the being to save all if he created all things?

to me this being sounds like invention to explain life from generation to generation and hijacked by religion to control people that don't agree with them.

but why does this being send evil spirits to torment people if he created all things for his glory?

also if this being is not made up?

why is it so hard to follow basic commandments out of the bible he used through ages like help the poor and weak along with love one another and accept one another and care for one another?

yet you rarely see those qualities but i bet almost anyone can name how many times this beings book has been used as fear to force someone to believe. and why do a lot of christians also judge when the bible says not to judge lest ye be judge the same way?

 

General

 


BrainFromArous
BrainFromArous's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: 2008-04-24
User is offlineOffline
Not Irrational? Prove It.

gottheflu wrote:

Nevertheless, it goes too far to say that theistic belief, properly understood, is irrational, therefore the Rational Resonse Squad should give it all up and play backgammon instead.  Anybody want to jump in here?

Ya know what? I agree. Sort of.

Believing in God(s) is not "irrational" if you have valid grounds for the belief.

So what are your grounds?

I have yet to see anyone, anywhere producing communally-perceptible evidence whatsoever for "God(s)."

Which leaves private, inner experiences - mysticism, "God spoke to me" and so forth.

Is that the basis for your theism?

If so, then fine. You may well be right. Atheists may well be wrong.

But here's the thing... unless you can provide the aforementioned evidence, atheists have every right to dismiss your claims.

Consider this for a second: To anyone who does not share this "gnosis" of yours, how exactly are you different from some guy in a straight-jacket claiming to be Napoleon?

You've heard the old joke, right? "It's not paranoia if they really ARE out to get you."

Let's treat theism the same way, here. It's not irrational if there are good reasons to believe in it; sincerely proclaiming it is not a good enough reason absent any scrap of confirming evidence. Napoleon over there might very well believe in his authenticity just as devoutly as theists believe in their God(s). So what?

The ball's in your court.

Boards don't hit back. (Bruce Lee)


daedalus
daedalus's picture
Posts: 260
Joined: 2007-05-22
User is offlineOffline
gottheflu wrote:Thanks for

gottheflu wrote:

Thanks for helping us get things started with the string, Will.

Since I'm arguing that theistic belief is properly basic, it therefore does not require the secondary evidence you demand. Your thoughts here lend to this.  Fossils proving the (one time?) existence of God are lying right between some that prove the existence of beauty . . . and others that prove that I'm am presently cold.

My above (sarcastic) examples are incorrigible, unprovable, and yet extremely real, and I'm afraid I'll have to continue to believe in them.

No, there are countless immeasurable things that are rational to believe in.  For example, I could convince my wife of my love for her by saying that I have ten megatons of love for here.  But that would be ridiculous.  She tends to prefer that I just say that my love for her is immeasurable.  She knows what I mean, appreciates it, and thinks it quite rational.

 

 

 

 

So, can I just declare things as properly basic too?  Just assert them without evidence?

 

Moonbeams cause cancer!

Angelina Jolie is my secret lover!

Pixies (as luck would have it) love pixie sticks!

 

These are all properly basic.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
So many of these kinds of

So many of these kinds of threads annoy me because the definition of G-O-D is so broad and vague. Unless a definition of a  "g-o-d"  (etc)  is first presented these debates are nearly meaningless ramble.

I AM an atheist and I absolutely believe in the devil , hell, heaven, jesus, the good word, being saved, gawed .... by my definitions as shared by many ....

   We could then get to the roots, by debating the nature of consciousness, a meaning of life, first cause arguments, etc.

    Why are we all in "awe" ?! Hey "god done it", of course ! Yes , that's a no brainer.  Ask HOW , not WHY .....

Is something not god? If your answer is yes, I am done with the debate  ......  I do enjoy science fiction tho .... However when it is turned into dogma, that such person has nothing to debate, and is in need of mental help.

My worry is that "debating" the delusional is to often appeasing them ..... We need a medical guide to treating those under the spell of religious dogma ....   

              

 


Boon Docks
Posts: 415
Joined: 2007-03-04
User is offlineOffline
Opinion don't count

gottheflu wrote:

existence of God ....existence of beauty . . . and others that prove that I'm am presently cold.

My above (sarcastic) examples are incorrigible, unprovable, and yet extremely real, and I'm afraid I'll have to continue to believe in them.

 

 

 

 

I think these examples given are more of an opinion and that cannot even be considered fact.  Opinions don't count.


daedalus
daedalus's picture
Posts: 260
Joined: 2007-05-22
User is offlineOffline
I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:So

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

So many of these kinds of threads annoy me because the definition of G O D is so broad and vague. Unless a definition of a  "g-o-d"  (etc)  is first presented these debates are nearly meaningless ramble.

I AM an atheist and I absolutely believe in the devil , hell, heaven, jesus, the good word, being saved, gawed .... by my definitions as shared by many ....

   We could then get to the roots, by debating the nature of consciousness, a meaning of life, first cause arguments, etc.

    Why are we all in "awe" ?! Hey "god done it", of course ! Yes , that's a no brainer.  Ask HOW , not WHY .....

Is something not god? If your answer is yes, I am done with the debate  ......  I do enjoy science fiction tho .... However when it is turned into dogma, that such person has nothing to debate, and is in need of mental help.

My worry is that "debating" the delusional is to often appeasing them ..... We need a medical guide to treating those under the spell of religious dogma ....   

              

 

 

This is why, and rather late in my personal development to be honest, I have been increasingly insisting that we talk about the metaphysical properties of something.

 

For example, inevitably some argument comes down to some inane ramblings about the definition of "atheist", I try to say, "Fine, define it how you want but I lack a belief in God, so call it what ever you will: Poontang, Atheist, or Dickhead, but metaphysically that is the position I hold."

 

That is, I try to define my terms and attempt to be accurate. (I don't always succeed and am rather appologetic when I realize I have been equivicating or vague! - I hope.)

 

However, I realize that accuracy is the worst thing for Religionists and many Theists.  For example, one branch of theism (Xinanaity) will all gladly call themselves Xian, but then argue of the rather important point of whether a Resurrection is Physical or Spiritual.  This basic argument is core to their beliefs but you wouldn't know it from the average Xian who is unaware of the vaguries of the religious language.

 

Myth is vague. Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, Roland Barthes, et al, realized this.  It is the power of myth.  To take a scalpel to it, is to kill it.  Apologetics kill Xian myth.  Religion kills myth.  It's not about Faith, its about mythology - which are two distinct definitions.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
daedalus , good points. To

daedalus , good points. To briefly summarize my method of debating the religious, I don't deny god (g'awe'd) , but I refuse all dogma. This is more of an eastern atheist style.

   From this perspective I then try to re-work the religious words etc of Christianity. This approach seems more effective to defeating xain superstitious dogma while acknowledging  the "awe" we all feel. I say the entire Jesus message is dirt simple of "one with the whole, zero separation" .... Heck, it's basic science today!  Damn bible Paul etc sure messed that up.

   I love that saying, "Love the enemy", (understand the enemy, inner and outer) , and in doing so, caring story Jesus even called Peter Satan , made a scene at the temple/church, and called the religious dogmists blind hypocrites !

   Story Jesus (a buddha) basically said "I am god as you" !

This is why I think a better atheist approach is to not beat up on Jesus and his god concept, but instead, to make clear the rejection of Paul and all dogmatic god concepts. 

I suppose in this sense, in religious jargon, I am resurrecting "spiritually" the atheist jewish buddha called Jesus ! The "saving , good word" !  

Go science, go communication, go atheism .... evolve that simple word G-O-D !  I am an Atheist for Jesus,  I AM 100% GOD .....    What else could we be? .... Sure I wish Santa Claus and loving Sky Daddys were real .... oh well , we are condemned to be god .... obviously ....

Christianity, Islam, God of Abe, is dogmatic terrorism.  

   

 


Burning space beam
Posts: 3
Joined: 2008-08-03
User is offlineOffline
HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:You

HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:

You are an atheist with respect to every other God there has been other than the Christian God, when you see the reasons why you don't find belief in Zeus, Apollo, Thor, and Wotan realistically compelling, you will see why we don't find belief in your God rational, and your own atheism will be complete.

This is actually wrong.  Christians believe those 'gods' exist, they're just minions of satan.  So we are not atheist in respect to every other god out there.

Quote:

when you see the reasons why you don't find belief in Zeus, Apollo, Thor, and Wotan realistically compelling, you will see why we don't find belief in your God rational, and your own atheism will be complete.

Like I said before, we believe Zeus, apollo, thor etc. to be minions of satan and thus are the reasons we don't find them compelling.  Are those your reasons? because according to your phrase it is.


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2036
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
rephrase that please

Your version or sect of christianity believes that, not every christian sect believes that, many believe other gods as myth and nothing else, some believe they are devils, others demons others just other gods but they are not the supreme one god, every sect is different in their views.....which is why there isn't ONE version of christianity, but MANY MANY versions of chrisitanity...including the catholics.


Burning space beam
Posts: 3
Joined: 2008-08-03
User is offlineOffline
latincanuck wrote:Your

latincanuck wrote:

Your version or sect of christianity believes that, not every christian sect believes that, many believe other gods as myth and nothing else, some believe they are devils, others demons others just other gods but they are not the supreme one god, every sect is different in their views.....which is why there isn't ONE version of christianity, but MANY MANY versions of chrisitanity...including the catholics.

Sure, just like some atheists believe in X and some atheists believe in Y, basically an atheist using the 'one less god than you do' phrase to describe a christian is like me using the 'all atheists are marxists' phrase to describe atheists.  It usually equates to a logical fallacy of comparison.

 


Vermilion
Vermilion's picture
Posts: 66
Joined: 2007-05-22
User is offlineOffline
gottheflu wrote:I'd like to

gottheflu wrote:

I'd like to begin a discussion by challenging a fundamental idea behind this site:  that belief in God is
irrational (or perhaps "non-rational," if there's a difference?)  For sake of disclosure, I'll mention that
I'm a Christian.  I'm starting things off arguing for belief in God (not necessarily the Christian God) as being properly basic; a person is within his epistemic rights to believe in God.  Such talk does not necessarily prove that any God exists, nor does it prove that God has any particular attribute (besides his existence, if that's actually an "attribute?&quotEye-wink.  Nevertheless, it goes too far to say that theistic belief, properly understood, is irrational, therefore the Rational Resonse Squad should give it all up and play backgammon instead.  Anybody want to jump in here?

I can honestly say that believing in a plain old general 'God' doesn't bother me, doesn't seem too irrational, and I would rather play backgammon than argue about it.

However, this type of carefree 'God' belief doesn't get us anywhere. It's about as important or interesting as wondering if aliens exist. Maybe they do, maybe they don't? "Who Cares!?" comes to mind in such a general case. So I guess what I'm saying is that the type of 'God' belief you are referring to is not the type of god belief the RRS is fighting to cure, nor the type that causes problems.

Of course it never seems to be that simple.


nikimoto
nikimoto's picture
Posts: 235
Joined: 2008-07-21
User is offlineOffline
Burning space beam

Burning space beam wrote:

just like some atheists believe in X and some atheists believe in Y, basically an atheist using the 'one less god than you do' phrase to describe a christian is like me using the 'all atheists are marxists' phrase to describe atheists.  It usually equates to a logical fallacy of comparison.

 

Huh? The paragraph above might itself be a pretty good example of a weak analogy but, otherwise, you lost me...

 

A Christian is a monotheist who has selected one of many available Gods to believe in. An Atheist has selected zero of the available Gods to believe in. An Atheist believes in one less God than a Christian! This is not a fallacious comparison. It is simple math. 1 - 1 = 0. We aren't comparing Gods, we are only comparing the quantity of Gods that we believe in.

How is this similar to saying that "all Atheists are Marxists"?

 

Are you saying that there is only one God, Allah (praise be his name!), available to choose from?

 

 

 

 


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
There are definitely many

There are definitely many God concepts that were well-established in their time, had many followers, who believed in them for at least some of the same reasons that Christians believe in their God, that Christians certainly do not believe in. Therefore it is entirely reasonable to say that for every Christian, (or Moslem, or believing Jew, etc) there are Gods that they reject.

Whereas if 'Atheist' means anything, an Atheist would reject ALL God concepts. So Dawkins assertion that atheist reject at least one more God than a Theist, of any description, is absolutely correct.

To assert that there is any problem with this position is massively irrational, illogical, etc.

Like nikimoto said...

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
What is described as the

What is described as the experience or feeling of God is a primal emotion, or state of mind, but it is pure presumption to assert that it actually is a feeling arising from some sort of interaction or perception of an actual supernatural entity. We know from experiments that this feeling can be triggered by certain psych-active chemicals, or by stimulating electrically certain parts of the brain.

The experience of this particular mental state is almost certainly responsible for God beliefs. IOW the raw feeling, like the feeling of being cold, is the primal thing - attributing such experiences to an actual external entity is one common reaction to that feeling, especially when people are primed by the culture with this concept. But it is not the only plausible interpretation of the experience. Understanding that any particular combination of intense feelings can arise from a variety of causes, from drugs or meditation or other reactions to a particular sequence of thoughts and the associations they stimulate. There is absolutely no way we can 'prove' any supernatural connection, that is just an assumption.

It has also been found that some people are geneticaly pre-disposed to attribute such feelings to the influence of a external being, rather than just another feeling generated within their mind.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Cali_Athiest2
Cali_Athiest2's picture
Posts: 440
Joined: 2008-02-07
User is offlineOffline
gottheflu wrote:Hey

gottheflu wrote:

Hey Zeus,

Thanks for the reply.

You're riding the horse right past my argument at hand, so slow down a minute.  Actually, I think believing in Zeus, fairies, and unicorns should be deemed rational in certain times and places (just not our own particular times and places, unless you just teleported yourself from ancient Greece or something.)  Those beliefs, at times and places, have been rational; it's just that I don't think that it's true that those things ever existed.

In our own time and place, we rightly lock people away when they claim to believe in unicorns.  However, if, in our own time and place, we began somehow to build a large and growing depository of claims and (circumstantial?) evidences that people had prayed to unicorns and that the unicorns somehow answered their prayers, and if more and more people today claimed to have an innate sense of "unicorn-ness" in their hearts when they prayed or walked in the wilderness, or if a large growing populace of diseased and hurting began to pray to unicorns and they then experienced some form of healing . . . if this were to happen . . . one would be rationally justified to start believing in the existence of unicorns (even though, of course, whether they really existed is another question.)

Well, for our own place and time (and other places and times), such an endless depository of claims pertains practically nil to unicorns, but pertains greatly to God.  And honestly, it applies today to God of the non-Zeus variety.

Therefore, it really is crazy to believe in unicorns in western society today.  Not so about God.  Theistic belief is quite rational, although possibly untrue.  So any analogy between unicorns and God actually is NOT analogous and is therefore unconvincing.

 

Unicorns are mentioned in the bible so at one point they must have existed...... right?

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Funny that prayer should be

Funny that prayer should be mentioned, since every study that has been at all carefully done reveals zero or negative response from this hypothetical God thing. The negatives seem to result when people suffering serious disease know they are being prayed for, then get further depressed when there seems to be no improvement in their condition ("I must be unworthy in the eyes of God" ), which further impedes their recovery.

So 'prayer' counts against the reasonableness of the belief.

Theistic belief may be 'rational' for someone seriously un-educated and mis-informed about the modern world and the current understanding of the nature of "life, the universe, and everything" - they are not aware of all the history and events and discoveries which seriously undermine the historical justification for belief. But they are much less 'rational' if they cling to it despite a half-way decent education.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Sure glad the buddha Bob

Sure glad the buddha Bob Spence is back here posting.

If g-o-d can't be defined then how would one worship, pray and why invent dogma?    Religion is like one sucking their thumb.

   The only prayer of mine is "How", so I might better live this life we are. The way to pray for me is science, because I am god, and not omni .....

omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence

 ME GOD , as YOU ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God

   Will we ever stop being god silly .... Sheezzz. Isn't dogma (all religion) just B.S. of what  g-o-d  isn't, where as science is the study of what god is?

Communicating is a major bitch of mine .... how to fix them words !  , me god !

   

   

 

  

 

 

 


theotherguy
theotherguy's picture
Posts: 294
Joined: 2007-01-07
User is offlineOffline
gottheflu wrote:Hey

gottheflu wrote:

Hey Zeus,

Thanks for the reply.

You're riding the horse right past my argument at hand, so slow down a minute.  Actually, I think believing in Zeus, fairies, and unicorns should be deemed rational in certain times and places (just not our own particular times and places, unless you just teleported yourself from ancient Greece or something.)  Those beliefs, at times and places, have been rational; it's just that I don't think that it's true that those things ever existed.

In our own time and place, we rightly lock people away when they claim to believe in unicorns.  However, if, in our own time and place, we began somehow to build a large and growing depository of claims and (circumstantial?) evidences that people had prayed to unicorns and that the unicorns somehow answered their prayers, and if more and more people today claimed to have an innate sense of "unicorn-ness" in their hearts when they prayed or walked in the wilderness, or if a large growing populace of diseased and hurting began to pray to unicorns and they then experienced some form of healing . . . if this were to happen . . . one would be rationally justified to start believing in the existence of unicorns (even though, of course, whether they really existed is another question.)

Well, for our own place and time (and other places and times), such an endless depository of claims pertains practically nil to unicorns, but pertains greatly to God.  And honestly, it applies today to God of the non-Zeus variety.

Therefore, it really is crazy to believe in unicorns in western society today.  Not so about God.  Theistic belief is quite rational, although possibly untrue.  So any analogy between unicorns and God actually is NOT analogous and is therefore unconvincing.

 

So, argument ad populum and argument from "newness" all rolled into one?

Because many people believed in Zeus in ancient Greece, it was rational to believe in Zeus? Because many people believe in God today, it is rational to believe in God today?

I am sorry, but no matter what time you live in, or what anyone else thinks or believes, it is still irrational for you to believe in Zeus, God, or unicorns.

The analogy between God and Zeus should be more convincing to you than the analogy between God and unicorns. You admit yourself that it was rational at one time to believe in Zeus, but no longer rational now. Your basis for this argument is a fallacy ad populum, mixed with argument from newness and special pleading. The distinction between  ancient Greece then, and modern USA now is entirely arbitrary and holds no weight for the rationality of believing  in either deity.


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
NO MASTER has been found,

NO MASTER has been found, only re invented ....


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
I think it is arguable that

I think it is arguable that it is rational to believe that a God exists if you are unaware of the counter-arguments and the knowledge of the Universe and history that we would point to as reasons why it is not a reasonable/rational belief, AND if you have been told by people you know and trust that God does exist and it is very important for you to believe he does, AND if what you have been told about God does not make immediately obvious the inherent inconsistencies or other problematic attributes of virtually all God concepts, like the omni-stuff.

Some of these conditions would naturally apply to believers in very Theistic societies, or in earlier times when there was less understanding of the nature of the Universe.

If you still cling to the belief after you become aware of the various problematic aspects of the God concept, either thru your own thinking and research, or have them clearly presented to you by non-believers, then it becomes legitimate to accuse you of being irrational, IMHO.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
I wish that g-o-d word would

I wish that g-o-d word would go away, but it won't, so I work to change what is means in the world view, to the goal of slaying the dragon of dogma.  


MCsChallenge
Posts: 6
Joined: 2008-10-21
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:I think it

BobSpence1 wrote:

I think it is arguable that it is rational to believe that a God exists if you are unaware of the counter-arguments and the knowledge of the Universe and history that we would point to as reasons why it is not a reasonable/rational belief, AND if you have been told by people you know and trust that God does exist and it is very important for you to believe he does, AND if what you have been told about God does not make immediately obvious the inherent inconsistencies or other problematic attributes of virtually all God concepts, like the omni-stuff.

Some of these conditions would naturally apply to believers in very Theistic societies, or in earlier times when there was less understanding of the nature of the Universe.

If you still cling to the belief after you become aware of the various problematic aspects of the God concept, either thru your own thinking and research, or have them clearly presented to you by non-believers, then it becomes legitimate to accuse you of being irrational, IMHO.

Then I must be ignorant. What are the problematic aspects of the God concept?


 


KSMB
Scientist
KSMB's picture
Posts: 702
Joined: 2006-08-03
User is offlineOffline
MCsChallenge wrote:Then I

MCsChallenge wrote:
Then I must be ignorant. What are the problematic aspects of the God concept?

What is this "god" of which you speak? What's its ontology? What properties does it have? Most importantly, how do you know those things? What scientific evidence do you have of its existence?


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
MCsChallenge

MCsChallenge wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

I think it is arguable that it is rational to believe that a God exists if you are unaware of the counter-arguments and the knowledge of the Universe and history that we would point to as reasons why it is not a reasonable/rational belief, AND if you have been told by people you know and trust that God does exist and it is very important for you to believe he does, AND if what you have been told about God does not make immediately obvious the inherent inconsistencies or other problematic attributes of virtually all God concepts, like the omni-stuff.

Some of these conditions would naturally apply to believers in very Theistic societies, or in earlier times when there was less understanding of the nature of the Universe.

If you still cling to the belief after you become aware of the various problematic aspects of the God concept, either thru your own thinking and research, or have them clearly presented to you by non-believers, then it becomes legitimate to accuse you of being irrational, IMHO.

Then I must be ignorant. What are the problematic aspects of the God concept?

Its supernatural aspects for a start, so clear evidence supporting the existence of God being pretty much non-existent, which is why we see such a variety in the claimed specific attributes of this invisible, intangible being, from culture to culture, religion to religion, and even between factions within each religion. This includes NO proofs which actually stand up.

Total logical fallacy when put up as a necessary creator of the complexity of the universe and conscious life such as ourselves, since if consciousness and complexity required a conscious creator, you have totally failed to explain it.

Obviously believers will dispute all of this, but there are absolutely no grounds for claiming any aspects of God can be demonstrated beyond significant valid question, which is of course the reason why 'faith' is required.

And of course for the Christian God, exhibit one are the inconsistency and inaccuracies of the Bible.

Just a quick summary of the main problems as I see it.

 EDIT: I see you only just joined, so I presumably are not aware that the problematic aspects of Theistic belief are pretty much the core topic on this site, so browse around if you want more  info on this topic...

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Linguistic communication

Linguistic communication failure again and again.

I am anti theist regarding a god definition of separatism, as I say no to a master creator thingy something ... I am an an atheist where god is defined as all reality of no beginning, a no creator thingy, as all is connected as ONE and eternal, as thermodynamics defines god.

  Pick your g-awe-d , A or T, then prove it.

To just say there's "no god", can be interpreted as a submission to the theist "separatist" god definition, and is to say almost nothing to explain our shared "awe"  .... so I say instead,  "I AM GOD as all is GOD as No Master deity exists in any form .... as science best explains our awe.

  When I think about the kids, I believe it's better to re-define g-o-d. From Zeus, to Yahweh to now "Thermodynamics". Make silly the god of the theists.

The early "atheistic" buddha jesus "intuition hypothesis" of thermodynamic "oneness", was turned into theistic idol worship, perverting the simple message of gnosis, rejecting the bulk of gnostic ideas.

  


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3689
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Burning space beam

Burning space beam wrote:
Sure, just like some atheists believe in X and some atheists believe in Y.

No, wrong!!!

Atheism is: lack of belief in a supernatural god or gods. 

That's it. Nothing else. 

Burning space beam wrote:
basically an atheist using the 'one less god than you do' phrase to describe a christian is like me using the 'all atheists are marxists' phrase to describe atheists.
 

No, it's not, you moron.

-Christians believes in one God. Are you following me so far?

-Atheists don't believe in any Gods.

Okay, 1-0=1. One minus zero equals one. 

You believe in one more God than I do. I don't believe in any Gods. You don't believe in any Gods except the Heavenly Father.

Comprende?

Now, let's examine the phrase "all atheists are marxists."...............huh?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


A_Nony_Mouse
A_Nony_Mouse's picture
Posts: 2880
Joined: 2008-04-23
User is offlineOffline
Define rational

Let me define rational. First it refers to thought as in rational thought. It means doing things for a reason based upon facts. "I did it because my Pappy would have done it" or "told me to" is imitation or obedience not thought.


Rational is a superset of logical. Women may not be particularly logical but they are fully rational simply their criteria are different. Men have the same thing in a situation where they are cautious, if it feels wrong GET OUT!


There are many ways to be rational but the bottom line is the actions based upon rational thought are based upon real facts, evidence, reality in an abstract sense.


Doing something because The Bible Tells Me So, interpreted by some preacher of course, is not a fact based upon reality but a fact that some book says it and some preacher tortured it into confessing it meant what the preacher wanted it to mean.


Let me get to your disclaimer not necessarily the Christian god and see what it means. Why god singular? Why a god who gives a damn? Why a god who created anything or is capable of creating things? Just to ask the question means you are assuming a lot about this god which you are not saying beyond that it is not necessarily the Christian god. (Note your god is an IT. What use does it have for a sex?)


Rational requires a basis in observed fact not in what you were told by people who told you because they were told the same thing back to some unknown nerfbrain in the past who invented it. Arguments are worthless unless based upon observed fact. And only if the argument can be tested is it worth making.


Why are there only four gospels? That was lucidly answered some 1600 years ago. The arguments were eloquent. They are also bullshit unless you believe there is a connection between four directions, four winds, four corners of the earth and four gospels. Arguments in context of current thought are nonsense. Arguments can only be based upon physical evidence and then have to be tested and pass the tests before being taken seriously. Therefore I ask you what the hell this is supposed to mean.


a person is within his epistemic rights to believe in God


Rights? You have the right to believe up is down, sideways is straight ahead and wrong is right. You have an absolute right to believe you can fly. Your right to believe will not mitigate the consequences of your impact on the sidewalk.


You may also believe you have the right to impose your beliefs upon others via the law or the torch and pitchfork if you are traditionally minded. The law is force and that is a lawful venue to impose your beliefs. That is the practical problem US atheists face. Almost every Christian and Jewish congregation in the US at some level feels it imperative to intrude church into the affairs of state.


Read online newspapers from outside the US. The only place a war against Islam has any traction is in the US. The conquests of Afghanistan and Iraq were sold with the subtext of another Crusade.


You can read speech transcripts by the Repubs and find all kinds of early 19th c. Chataqua tent Zion and Shining City on the Hill references to the US. It is real Old Testament crap.


What does a right to believe have to do with seeing the body politic swayed by such nonsense?

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


daedalus
daedalus's picture
Posts: 260
Joined: 2007-05-22
User is offlineOffline
gottheflu wrote:Yes, that's

gottheflu wrote:

Yes, that's the idea, Zeus....to invert the words.  The point is that if there were an equal amount of testimony today for unicorn belief as there is for theistic belief, unicorn belief would actually be justifiable, significantly less crazy to adopt, and yet (probably) inconclusive.  The whole idea to ponder, Zeus, is the "rationality," not the "ontological truth value" of theistic belief.  Do you buy this or not?

 

oops, you just supported your argument with the Argumentum ad Populum fallacy.

 

However, the wall you are speeding into at a very high speed is that you can no longer consider your belief in your god as properly basic just because some people choose to believe it.  You must use a valid logical argument as your starting point, and that has not happened.

 

The issue is not whether something is popular. The issue is whether it holds up to logical scrutiny.  Based on all current philosophy and science available, the god belief is not supported (or disproved).

 

You are doing what most theists do: assume "god" means something and then simply assert that it is properly basic.

 

You don't get to announce things are properly basic and ignore whether they are or not.

 

Please:

1. Define "god"

2. Explain why your definition is properly basic (and not another definition that is almost identical, but different.)

 

 

edit: just realized this was another hit and run theist.  It's a shame.  When they start using real philosophical terms I get giddy.

 

Anyho9w, he seems to be trying to argue a properly basic belief on epistemological grounds, and worse, the existence of god - which is not only poorly defined but certainly not epistemologically sound.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


Zaq
atheist
Zaq's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: 2008-12-24
User is offlineOffline
gottheflu wrote:I'd like to

gottheflu wrote:

I'd like to begin a discussion by challenging a fundamental idea behind this site:  that belief in God is
irrational (or perhaps "non-rational," if there's a difference?)  For sake of disclosure, I'll mention that
I'm a Christian.  I'm starting things off arguing for belief in God (not necessarily the Christian God) as being properly basic; a person is within his epistemic rights to believe in God.  Such talk does not necessarily prove that any God exists, nor does it prove that God has any particular attribute (besides his existence, if that's actually an "attribute?&quotEye-wink.  Nevertheless, it goes too far to say that theistic belief, properly understood, is irrational, therefore the Rational Resonse Squad should give it all up and play backgammon instead.  Anybody want to jump in here?

 

There is a very big difference between "I have a right to believe X" and "believing in X is rational."

There is significant evidence AGAINST the belief in god, especially the christian god.  There is little to no evidence FOR the belief in god, especially the christian god.  This is why the belief is irrational, it goes against the evidence.  This has nothing to do with your claims that the blief is basic, or that you have a right to it.  Ingrained or not, natural or not, human right or not, the belief goes against the evidence and is therefore irrational.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


Cali_Athiest2
Cali_Athiest2's picture
Posts: 440
Joined: 2008-02-07
User is offlineOffline
Sure the belief in god may

Sure the belief in god may not be viewed as irrational. That works both ways in that not believing in god is not irrational as well. When someone starts giving certain attributes to god then irrationality starts to rear it's ugly head. You'll find most atheists are of the agnostic variety and do not deny the existence of god. Personally, I have no problem with the existence of god/gods.

What I don't buy is noah's flood, or talking snakes/donkeys. The belief in such is irrational as last time I knew no one has produced enough credible evidence for me to believe in such non-sense. As for playing backgammon instead the RRS has every right to discredit the existence of allah/yahweh/zeus (insert god name here).

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


jayshrewsbury
Posts: 2
Joined: 2009-03-31
User is offlineOffline
an endless question

well, lets look at this from an evoltionist viewpoint.

all things evolve from the same chemical reaction, then why are there so many different life forms? oh, adaptations, survival, evolution, heck, ok, then instead of just one type of bird, many have evolved do to their location and needs, but how did they get to be in different places? they all evolved form the same original blob of life.

ok, that is enough on that, lets go a little deeper, life forms are made of molecules (so is everything else) and molecules are made of atoms, we will stay out of the quantum level for now.

all atoms are 2 dimensional, so how is it we are all 3 dimensenial? most trained minds will say it is simply an elusion, ok.

paralell universes, Hawkins paradox, well, i find it hard to swallow someone would BELIEVE in this, but not any type of god???

newtonian physics? well why don't you turn to old albert, gravity? heck he laughs at it!!!

now if we even begin to slightly dabble in quantum mechanics we will see newton only knew what he BELEIVED to be true based on his experience, truth is not based on all facts simply on the facts within ones own experience, hawkins, albert and hawkins would be duking it out if there was only one correct way or one truth.

trying to understand God is simpley a huge waste of time, you have not been with god, you do not know god, you have not had gods experiences, nor do you know anyone who has.

you do not know your great, great grandfather, you may feel you know things about him, but you cannot know his ideas and reasons, unless he wrote it down in your native language, and once again, God has never written anything, except maybe the commandments, so you will not ever know why and how God thinks or does what god does.

 

Jay


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
You sure claim to know a lot

You sure claim to know a lot about a being you claim we can't know or can't know much about.

You also seem to have not even the most elementary understanding of evolution or chemistry/particle physics.

That's about all I can say.  You offer little in the form of agurmentation.  You simply appear ignorant.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Di66en6ion
Di66en6ion's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: 2009-01-03
User is offlineOffline
 Of course nothing could

 Of course nothing could ever falsify god's existence but here's some more info for him to chew on.

 

Decent article I found from Science & Spirit:

http://www.science-spirit.org/article_detail.php?article_id=740

 

It's an older article about how prayer and meditation activate the brain in different people of various religions. What they found is that they activate the exact same areas of there brain (with exception of whichever sense they were using whether it be a visual object or a word). Feeling god's presence is just another monk's daily meditation with the universe. Same mental state but almost completely different context. It also goes further to explain why people have a feeling of "oneness"; because the regions of your brain responsible for spacial feedback that your body uses to navigate it's surroundings are shut down.

 

The speaking in tongues part is rather comical imo. People who claimed to speak in tongues had greatly lowered activity in there area responsible for speech while doing so. Pretty clear indicator why it's incomprehensible yet this garbage is passed off as something 'divine' in some churches.