No idea what to believe. Give me reason to believe in atheism

heel13
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No idea what to believe. Give me reason to believe in atheism

I don't want to ride the fence on what my beliefs are anymore. I'm a super-opinionated university guy who does not believe in grey areas in any manners of interest I have, whether it be politics, ethics, reason, etc.

 

Unfortunately, I can't make such a claim on theistic/atheistic beliefs. I've heard arguments supporting both but this seems like a virtual melting pot of intellectual atheists, so I want to see what it is you can say. I'd like to point out I'm a very logical person, so, if you don't mind me asking, show me logically why atheism makes sense. This is not a demand, it's a plea. Convince me that atheism is the way to go. I would just up and believe it but I can't consciously accept something until I have logical proof of it.

 


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What do you think Atheist

What do you think Atheist means?


If you are confused this might help http://www.rationalresponders.com/am_i_agnostic_or_atheist

 

Sounds made up...
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heel13
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 I don't know, that's what

Atheist: No belief in God

Theist: Belief in a God

 

I don't know what I am right now. I want to decide. 


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What evidence do you have to

What evidence do you have to support a belief in a deity?

Sounds made up...
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:3

 You can also write a book and create another religion. It would have the same validity as Christianity or Scientology.

 

You don't have to believe in an idea someone else created. You can make one of your own. 

 

Or you can choose not to believe in something someone else told you and look at the world from a skeptic's viewpoint. In that case, anyone making an extraordinary claim needs extraordinary evidence.

 

To put it bluntly, there is no logical way to prove a negative. You can't prove ANYTHING "doesn't exist". However, when people make fantastical claims you can either take their word for it being true, or ask them to prove it.

 

The burden of proof is always on the person making the claim. This leaves people to prove their god(s) exist, which of course all of their gods are invisible, and are "not to be tested". If I made a claim about something that was invisible and didn't want to prove itself because it doesn't have to, I would expect people to call "bullshit". Yet, again and again religions are created by this very thing. Look at how fast Scientology has grown.

 

So as far as I can tell, the popular religion dictating what gods are worshipped by people in your area is simply what it is. The popular religion. It has changed again and again through history. It differs on where you are in the world as well, and probably always has. Nearly every culture has a dominant religion that worships some kind of being(s) or other invisible spirit(s) that were in all likelihood created to give a sense of control to people over things they did not understand.  

 

 

 


 

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heel13 wrote:Atheist: No

heel13 wrote:

Atheist: No belief in God

Theist: Belief in a God

 

I don't know what I am right now. I want to decide. 

 

If you have a belief in a god, you're theist.  Are you currently in what you would've called a gray area without a solid belief in a god?  If so, than you are without a positive belief in a god, and are an atheist.  If non-believer sounds better to you because of the stigma you associate with the word atheist, go ahead non-believer.

If you were to believe in a god what god to you most closely lean towards belief in? 

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Sapient wrote:heel13

Sapient wrote:

heel13 wrote:

Atheist: No belief in God

Theist: Belief in a God

 

I don't know what I am right now. I want to decide. 

 

If you have a belief in a god, you're theist.  Are you currently in what you would've called a gray area without a solid belief in a god?  If so, than you are without a positive belief in a god, and are an atheist.  If non-believer sounds better to you because of the stigma you associate with the word atheist, go ahead non-believer.

If you were to believe in a god what god to you most closely lean towards belief in? 

 

My opinions are based on logic. But for the purpose of my question, I suppose I'm looking for contradiction to/or support of an omnipotent god who has sovereign jurisdiction over the world and is responsible for the creation of the world. 

 

I'm glad your responded Brian, I recently watched the televised debate with you and Kelly vs. Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. At first I threw the position Ray and Kirk supported to the wind because of their lack of direction into what they were actually attempting to accomplish. Then I learned that both Ray and Kirk are known, especially in Judeo-Christian circles, as less than reputable apologists. Evangelists? Sure, whatever, but woefully inept at defending their faith.

 

I will say I do believe it is scientifically impossible to prove the existence of a god, because my notion of a god, were he/she to exist, is a being who operates outside of the laws and rules operating on the earth. So scientifically disproving god does nothing for me, because I've read many reputable Christians/Islams/Jews etc who will agree that scientifically god can not be proven.

 

That's why I'm looking more for a logical reason as to why god does not exist.


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There are literally an

There are literally an infinite number of 'possibilities' once you allow for things that don't have to fit in with the fundamentals of what we currently know about the Universe. There is literally no way to know which, if any of such purely speculative entities does exist, and what their attributes of motives might be.

So all you are saying is you/we don't know everything about reality. D'uh!

Belief in any specific such entity could NOT possibly be based on logic - logic can only tell you what conclusions are or are not consistent with some proposition. Since we have by definition no knowledge of what such a being can or cannot do, we can logically make no conclusion one way or another about it. The only proviso is that possible beings could not have mutually contradictory attributes. 'Infinite' attributes would already stretch the possibilities to breaking point.

Logically, a creator-of-everything is highly problematic if it is anything more than some minimum-energy quantum twitch because you have then to explain the origin/cause of the 'creator'. The only origin scenarios which are coherent involve small 'causes' leading to bigger 'effects', otherwise we have an monstrous endless infinite-regress problem. The infinite sequence of lesser causes leading to greater events allow the whole sequence to be finite in space and time.

Any rationally-based belief would have to be based on evidence of some kind, which could only be interpreted based on currently established 'laws' of science.

The only logical stance is "We don't know" the ultimate origin of the Universe. 'God-creators' raise more questions than they answer, so are fundamentally illogical in the absence of very specific positive evidence.

 

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BobSpence1 wrote:There are

BobSpence1 wrote:

There are literally an infinite number of 'possibilities' once you allow for things that don't have to fit in with the fundamentals of what we currently know about the Universe. There is literally no way to know which, if any of such purely speculative entities does exist, and what their attributes of motives might be.

So all you are saying is you/we don't know everything about reality. D'uh!

Belief in any specific such entity could NOT possibly be based on logic - logic can only tell you what conclusions are or are not consistent with some proposition. Since we have by definition no knowledge of what such a being can or cannot do, we can logically make no conclusion one way or another about it. The only proviso is that possible beings could not have mutually contradictory attributes. 'Infinite' attributes would already stretch the possibilities to breaking point.

Logically, a creator-of-everything is highly problematic if it is anything more than some minimum-energy quantum twitch because you have then to explain the origin/cause of the 'creator'. The only origin scenarios which are coherent involve small 'causes' leading to bigger 'effects', otherwise we have an monstrous endless infinite-regress problem. The infinite sequence of lesser causes leading to greater events allow the whole sequence to be finite in space and time.

Any rationally-based belief would have to be based on evidence of some kind, which could only be interpreted based on currently established 'laws' of science.

The only logical stance is "We don't know" the ultimate origin of the Universe. 'God-creators' raise more questions than they answer, so are fundamentally illogical in the absence of very specific positive evidence.

 

 

Based on what I understand from that debate I watched, Brian was seemingly indicating the Universe had no origin, rather, it has always been. He invoked the third law of thermodynamics, saying that matter can not be created nor destroyed, so the matter must have always existed.


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heel13 wrote:BobSpence1

heel13 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

There are literally an infinite number of 'possibilities' once you allow for things that don't have to fit in with the fundamentals of what we currently know about the Universe. There is literally no way to know which, if any of such purely speculative entities does exist, and what their attributes of motives might be.

So all you are saying is you/we don't know everything about reality. D'uh!

Belief in any specific such entity could NOT possibly be based on logic - logic can only tell you what conclusions are or are not consistent with some proposition. Since we have by definition no knowledge of what such a being can or cannot do, we can logically make no conclusion one way or another about it. The only proviso is that possible beings could not have mutually contradictory attributes. 'Infinite' attributes would already stretch the possibilities to breaking point.

Logically, a creator-of-everything is highly problematic if it is anything more than some minimum-energy quantum twitch because you have then to explain the origin/cause of the 'creator'. The only origin scenarios which are coherent involve small 'causes' leading to bigger 'effects', otherwise we have an monstrous endless infinite-regress problem. The infinite sequence of lesser causes leading to greater events allow the whole sequence to be finite in space and time.

Any rationally-based belief would have to be based on evidence of some kind, which could only be interpreted based on currently established 'laws' of science.

The only logical stance is "We don't know" the ultimate origin of the Universe. 'God-creators' raise more questions than they answer, so are fundamentally illogical in the absence of very specific positive evidence.

 

 

Based on what I understand from that debate I watched, Brian was seemingly indicating the Universe had no origin, rather, it has always been. He invoked the third law of thermodynamics, saying that matter can not be created nor destroyed, so the matter must have always existed.

Actually it is not quite that simple - the totality of matter+energy in a closed system cannot change. Gravitational potential energy is effectively negative, decreasing in magnitude as mutually attracting objects are pulled apart, toward a value of zero at arbitrarlily large distances. Which would be infinity in a flat space-time, large but finite in a positively curved space-time, which is what we seem to inhabit.

This allows the possibility that the notional Big-Bang singularity had zero net mass-energy, but split into a large positive mass+(non-gravitational)energy plus a matching negative value of gravitational energy.

Of course this says nothing about the background from which the BB spawned, and there is much speculation about that...

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heel13 wrote:Based on what I

heel13 wrote:

Based on what I understand from that debate I watched, Brian was seemingly indicating the Universe had no origin, rather, it has always been. He invoked the third law of thermodynamics, saying that matter can not be created nor destroyed, so the matter must have always existed.

I was merely providing one more plausible option than God.  The important thing to take away from the mix is that God is not needed in scientific scenarios for our Universe to have formed. 

 

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I will say I do believe it is scientifically impossible to prove the existence of a god, because my notion of a god, were he/she to exist, is a being who operates outside of the laws and rules operating on the earth.

Ask yourself what sort of proof do you have then for believing that god exists or operates outside of the laws and rules operating on Earth.  Obviously there is none, right?  It's just a guess, eh? 

Other than god belief how many things do you accept as true without evidence for them?

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Nihilism is default.

Nihilism is default. Past that requires positive evidence. Burden of proof is on the claimant.

 

Are you a nihilist? If not, why?

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heel13 wrote:I don't want to

heel13 wrote:

I don't want to ride the fence on what my beliefs are anymore. I'm a super-opinionated university guy who does not believe in grey areas in any manners of interest I have, whether it be politics, ethics, reason, etc.

 

Unfortunately, I can't make such a claim on theistic/atheistic beliefs. I've heard arguments supporting both but this seems like a virtual melting pot of intellectual atheists, so I want to see what it is you can say. I'd like to point out I'm a very logical person, so, if you don't mind me asking, show me logically why atheism makes sense. This is not a demand, it's a plea. Convince me that atheism is the way to go. I would just up and believe it but I can't consciously accept something until I have logical proof of it.

 

 

 I do not think that you "believe in atheism" as that is a misnomer. One does not "prove" atheism, rather, one shows that there is no rational grounds for belief in a god so one rejects such beliefs, which results in the atheism. This of course is explicit atheism, rather than implicit atheism which the "Am I Agnostic pr Atheist?" post gets at. I prefer to use "ignosticism" to differentiate between agnostics those who have no idea what to think about a god because a god concept has never been defined, or even more so, such a person has never even heard of the concept before. 

 

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it seems to me that you

it seems to me that you believed before , but your curious about what atheist have to offer, or have you been unsure about several areas in chrisitanity and are currently looking for what is the truth ? i am a christian , i believe in jesus christ and i search for ways to prove he is real. so others may be able to look for themselves and come to their own conclusions.


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Ok, great responses so far!

Ok, great responses so far! Thanks guys!

 

pm9347 wrote:

it seems to me that you believed before , but your curious about what atheist have to offer, or have you been unsure about several areas in chrisitanity and are currently looking for what is the truth ? i am a christian , i believe in jesus christ and i search for ways to prove he is real. so others may be able to look for themselves and come to their own conclusions.

It depends on your definition of "belief." I've wondered for many years about the existence of a god, because I've heard on this god's alleged impact on history, on the development and evolution of the modern church, on the possibility of this Jesus, and many other things. Heck, I'm taking an Introduction to Western Civ course in college, and it's full of the development of the church and it's impact on society throughout history (for better and most definitely for worse)

 

Sapient wrote:

I was merely providing one more plausible option than God.  The important thing to take away from the mix is that God is not needed in scientific scenarios for our Universe to have formed.

Here's a problem I've always had with that third law you invoked, and I understand it's an accepted scientific law so I'm sure there's a good answer for this query, but how can that law actually be tested? Are there ways for one to test creating or destroying matter? I understand it has never been observed, but I don't see that necessarily being counted as science. Just because something has not happened doesn't mean it's impossible, right?

 

Sapient wrote:

Ask yourself what sort of proof do you have then for believing that god exists or operates outside of the laws and rules operating on Earth.  Obviously there is none, right?  It's just a guess, eh? 

Other than god belief how many things do you accept as true without evidence for them? 

Well, that depends on what you count as evidence. The laboratory? If a god truly does exist outside the laws and rules operating the earth, then a practice dedicated to proving objects based on laws and rules operating the earth surely wouldn't prove god

 

Sapient wrote:

Other than god belief how many things do you accept as true without evidence for them? 

Once again it depends on what you can define as evidence. I believe in expectations, I believe in a sense of purpose, I believe in dedication, I believe in justice, I believe in honor, I believe in respect, I believe in responsibility.

None of those can be laboratory-tested and approved. Yes, I understand chemical processes create the emotions and sensations felt with such principles, but that's just scientifically proving the "symptoms" of the principles.

If everything on this earth but god could be proven scientifically, then I would have no qualms about becoming a full-fledged atheist, because if the Judeo-Christian god and Bible are both true, then, as I understand, men were created in this divine being's "image." I don't remember the Scripture passage but I do remember hearing that. If we truly were created in this divine being's image, then even if we committed some fatal error separating us from perfection, we would be left with some remnant of something outside the laws of science. However, that's still not enough evidence to propel me into theism.

 

I understand the atheistic POV on this subject is that principles such as expectations, justice, honor, etc. are merely results of the cultivation of society on humans. Fine, but when did we, as an evolving species, cross that threshold to where we can cultivate these unprovable principles in others of our species. Also, these cultivations have given rise to some very malevolent tendencies in our species. What other species murders, steals, and rapes without purpose? Yes I understand black widows eat their mates, hippos can get too roughhouse with a baby and kill it, and certain animals can get demolished in mating rituals. But those are with distinct purposes, and science supposedly proves those rely on instincts.


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 It seems to me that you

 It seems to me that you are making two fundamental errors in critical thinking, which is roughly described as consistent use of valid logic applied to consistent, reliable evidence.

First, you are turning the Burden of Proof on its head.  When we propose that a thing exists, we do so for only a couple of reasons:

1. There is a phenomenon which we have quantified (or at least identified as genuine) for which there is no causal explanation.

2. There is a prediction which follows from previously established evidence suggesting the existence of a thing.

For the God hypothesis, there's a real problem -- it doesn't match either of these criteria.  The universe does not imply an intelligent creator, so that's out.  There are no phenomena I'm aware of that give validity to the claim that things exist which do not follow the laws of nature.  (How could there be?)  There is no evidence that believers in one deity have quantifiably different experiences than believers in any other deity, or for that matter, non-believers, suggesting that there is no evidence of a god's interaction with the universe in tangible ways regarding humans.  Etc, etc, etc.  I could go on, but everything for which God is suggested as a possible solution, there is not really a problem to be solved.  God literally doesn't fit anywhere in a legitimate scientific hypothesis.

You've alluded to this by saying that God cannot be proven or disproven by science, but you're saying that as if it gives some validity to the claim.  In fact, it makes the claim completely nonsensical.  It is the same as saying science can neither prove nor disprove glarbofarks.  Of course science can't prove or disprove them, since it has absolutely nothing to start proving or disproving!

Please read this article to understand how you're misplacing the burden of proof:

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/science-vs-religion/

 

Your second mistake is that you are apparently succumbing to the appeal to popularity.  I know you probably don't think you are, but this is a very subtle machination.  Here's how it works.  Humans are instinctively predisposed to believe repetition.  This is not a hunch -- it's very solid, quantifiable, repeatable science.  The more times you tell a person something, the more likely they are to believe it.  The more people tell a person something repeatedly, the more likely they are to believe it.   The claim itself doesn't even have to be particularly believable.

How this applies to the god hypothesis is simple:  Lots and lots and lots of people believe in God, and more importantly, they believe the god hypothesis addresses a real question.

As I've tried to show you, the God hypothesis doesn't actually address a real question.  God is not a solution to any legitimate problem faced by science, nor is it a solution to any problem faced by man, such as moral ambiguity, meaning and purpose in life, or anything else commonly claimed as being solved by God.

It has not always been so, of course.  Before the discovery of the scientific method and the philosophy of science, God was on relatively equal footing with many other hypotheses because it failed the falsifiability test just as abysmally as every other proposed solution.   Man didn't have the language or understanding to render God as a useless and meaningless concept until very recently in our history.

"God" is really a very clever way of saying "I don't know."  If you take any question whatsoever in which God is supposed to be a reasonable answer, you can substitute the words "I don't know" and it works just fine.  In fact, it works a hell of a lot better, because it illustrates that all this mumbo-jumbo about supernatural, outside the laws of nature, beyond our reality, etc, etc, is just a way of putting fancy language onto a slate completely devoid of actual content.

Yet... you, and many other people, think that the God hypothesis is more plausible than it actually is, or more precisely, that it is different in kind from saying that magic pixie dust fairies secretly rig every lottery in the world so that only trailer trash rednecks win.

The only reasonable explanation I can find is that it's such a popular theory that it gains credibility.  It's been repeated so many times, you want to believe it much more than you want to believe in the celestial teapot, unicorns, or the healing power of colloidal silver.  It's human nature predisposing you favorably towards a hypothesis that is (on paper) as devoid of merit as any other non-scientific one that you reject out of hand.  Yet, it's been asserted as true so often... there has to be something to it... right?

 

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Hambydammit wrote: It seems

Hambydammit wrote:

 It seems to me that you are making two fundamental errors in critical thinking, which is roughly described as consistent use of valid logic applied to consistent, reliable evidence.

First, you are turning the Burden of Proof on its head.  When we propose that a thing exists, we do so for only a couple of reasons:

1. There is a phenomenon which we have quantified (or at least identified as genuine) for which there is no causal explanation.

2. There is a prediction which follows from previously established evidence suggesting the existence of a thing.

For the God hypothesis, there's a real problem -- it doesn't match either of these criteria.  The universe does not imply an intelligent creator, so that's out.  There are no phenomena I'm aware of that give validity to the claim that things exist which do not follow the laws of nature.  (How could there be?)  There is no evidence that believers in one deity have quantifiably different experiences than believers in any other deity, or for that matter, non-believers, suggesting that there is no evidence of a god's interaction with the universe in tangible ways regarding humans.  Etc, etc, etc.  I could go on, but everything for which God is suggested as a possible solution, there is not really a problem to be solved.  God literally doesn't fit anywhere in a legitimate scientific hypothesis.

You've alluded to this by saying that God cannot be proven or disproven by science, but you're saying that as if it gives some validity to the claim.  In fact, it makes the claim completely nonsensical.  It is the same as saying science can neither prove nor disprove glarbofarks.  Of course science can't prove or disprove them, since it has absolutely nothing to start proving or disproving!

Please read this article to understand how you're misplacing the burden of proof:

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/science-vs-religion/

 

Your second mistake is that you are apparently succumbing to the appeal to popularity.  I know you probably don't think you are, but this is a very subtle machination.  Here's how it works.  Humans are instinctively predisposed to believe repetition.  This is not a hunch -- it's very solid, quantifiable, repeatable science.  The more times you tell a person something, the more likely they are to believe it.  The more people tell a person something repeatedly, the more likely they are to believe it.   The claim itself doesn't even have to be particularly believable.

How this applies to the god hypothesis is simple:  Lots and lots and lots of people believe in God, and more importantly, they believe the god hypothesis addresses a real question.

As I've tried to show you, the God hypothesis doesn't actually address a real question.  God is not a solution to any legitimate problem faced by science, nor is it a solution to any problem faced by man, such as moral ambiguity, meaning and purpose in life, or anything else commonly claimed as being solved by God.

It has not always been so, of course.  Before the discovery of the scientific method and the philosophy of science, God was on relatively equal footing with many other hypotheses because it failed the falsifiability test just as abysmally as every other proposed solution.   Man didn't have the language or understanding to render God as a useless and meaningless concept until very recently in our history.

"God" is really a very clever way of saying "I don't know."  If you take any question whatsoever in which God is supposed to be a reasonable answer, you can substitute the words "I don't know" and it works just fine.  In fact, it works a hell of a lot better, because it illustrates that all this mumbo-jumbo about supernatural, outside the laws of nature, beyond our reality, etc, etc, is just a way of putting fancy language onto a slate completely devoid of actual content.

Yet... you, and many other people, think that the God hypothesis is more plausible than it actually is, or more precisely, that it is different in kind from saying that magic pixie dust fairies secretly rig every lottery in the world so that only trailer trash rednecks win.

The only reasonable explanation I can find is that it's such a popular theory that it gains credibility.  It's been repeated so many times, you want to believe it much more than you want to believe in the celestial teapot, unicorns, or the healing power of colloidal silver.  It's human nature predisposing you favorably towards a hypothesis that is (on paper) as devoid of merit as any other non-scientific one that you reject out of hand.  Yet, it's been asserted as true so often... there has to be something to it... right?

 

 

Perhaps you're right. But at the same time you're asserting people throughout the years believe in a god because so many people before them believe in a god. You're suggesting that the only reason thousands of these great minds who acknowledge the existence of a god were duped into false logic merely because it's popular at the time to do so? Francis Collins, Henry Schaefer, and William Phillips believe in a god because it's "hip" to do so? 

 

And at the same time, you say "1. There is a phenomenon which we have quantified (or at least identified as genuine) for which there is no causal explanation." I take it this is your response to how can we know respect, determination, etc exist even though they can't be brought into a lab. If you believe this then seemingly you acknowledge that there are things existing outside of what can be scientifically proven, so then the onus is taken off a god to prove himself scientifically, or the onus is taken off these "god-followers" to prove this god scientifically. If atheists already accept that certain things exist without a casual explanation, then why must theists provide casual explanations for the existence of a god.

 

Finally, like I initially asserted, if a god does exist, I would think the god would be the one I enumerated on, one who operates outside of scientific laws and thus might not abide by them, so I'm not looking for it to be disproved scientifically, I'm well aware any such god could be "debunked" scientifically. I'm looking for rational/logical reasons as to why a god doesn't exist.


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heel13 wrote:What other

heel13 wrote:
What other species murders, steals, and rapes without purpose?

I don't know of any human that has ever murdered, stolen or raped without purpose. Illogical and asinine purposes perhaps, but I'm pretty sure they all had a purpose.

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


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  Murder, theft and rape

  Murder, theft and rape ?  Have you been reading the Old Testament again ?


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heel13 wrote:You're

heel13 wrote:

You're suggesting that the only reason thousands of these great minds who acknowledge the existence of a god were duped into false logic merely because it's popular at the time to do so?

Obviously, it's not the only reason. And, obviously, it's not everybody nor does it necessarily include the people you mentioned. But, it is a significant reason for many people. Time and time again, history and statistics has shown us that people tend to pick up the beliefs of their parents and community. It's easy to make an impression on children, and people follow trends, even unconsciously.

heel13 wrote:
And at the same time, you say "1. There is a phenomenon which we have quantified (or at least identified as genuine) for which there is no causal explanation." I take it this is your response to how can we know respect, determination, etc exist even though they can't be brought into a lab. If you believe this then seemingly you acknowledge that there are things existing outside of what can be scientifically proven, so then the onus is taken off a god to prove himself scientifically, or the onus is taken off these "god-followers" to prove this god scientifically. If atheists already accept that certain things exist without a casual explanation, then why must theists provide casual explanations for the existence of a god.

That's a whopper of a misunderstanding.

Hamby's statement was laying out one of the sufficient criteria for claiming an entity's existence. God does not meet this criteria.

And, "for which there is no causal explanation" just means that we don't currently have a causal explanation. Of course, the entity would need some causal explanation. We just wouldn't know what the cause is yet.

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


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butterbattle wrote:heel13

butterbattle wrote:

heel13 wrote:

You're suggesting that the only reason thousands of these great minds who acknowledge the existence of a god were duped into false logic merely because it's popular at the time to do so?

Obviously, it's not the only reason. And, obviously, it's not everybody nor does it necessarily include the people you mentioned. But, it is a significant reason for many people. Time and time again, history and statistics has shown us that people tend to pick up the beliefs of their parents and community. It's easy to make an impression on children, and people follow trends, even unconsciously.

heel13 wrote:
And at the same time, you say "1. There is a phenomenon which we have quantified (or at least identified as genuine) for which there is no causal explanation." I take it this is your response to how can we know respect, determination, etc exist even though they can't be brought into a lab. If you believe this then seemingly you acknowledge that there are things existing outside of what can be scientifically proven, so then the onus is taken off a god to prove himself scientifically, or the onus is taken off these "god-followers" to prove this god scientifically. If atheists already accept that certain things exist without a casual explanation, then why must theists provide casual explanations for the existence of a god.

That's a whopper of a misunderstanding.

Hamby's statement was laying out one of the sufficient criteria for claiming an entity's existence. God does not meet this criteria.

And, "for which there is no causal explanation" just means that we don't currently have a causal explanation. Of course, the entity would need some causal explanation. We just wouldn't know what the cause is yet.

 

Can you give me an example of one of these things we identify as existing without causal explanation?

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

  Murder, theft and rape ?  Have you been reading the Old Testament again ?

 

This argument never does much for me. There have been many horrors committed by theists in the pasts, including many by Christians, but atheism has its fair share of criminals too.


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heel13 wrote:This argument

heel13 wrote:
This argument never does much for me. There have been many horrors committed by theists in the pasts, including many by Christians, but atheism has its fair share of criminals too.

Can you name one who committed his crimes solely in the name of atheism? Or under its banner to cloak other reasons?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote:heel13

jcgadfly wrote:

heel13 wrote:
This argument never does much for me. There have been many horrors committed by theists in the pasts, including many by Christians, but atheism has its fair share of criminals too.

Can you name one who committed his crimes solely in the name of atheism? Or under its banner to cloak other reasons?

 

Can I name someone who has committed a crime because of an absence of a belief? I don't even think that's entirely a logical question. A lack of a belief in something won't propel a person to do anything, they'll have to find their motivation from somewhere else. That being said atheists have committed terrible acts, but you can't point to their lack of belief because of it. 

 

In the same vein though, people who use this argument inherently suggest that theism supports these crimes. Yes, theism was partly responsible for the Crusades, for the Inquisition, and the various other tragedies that have befallen mankind because of religion. But I'm not aware of any Christians who agree with the decisions of the Catholic church in either of those cases, and while I'm sure there are a scattered few, the consensus is what they do was hypocritical and immoral. From what I understand about Christianity, it teaches that humans should strive to reach perfection, but understand that no one can ever climb that plateau. 

 

And I don't understand the second part of your question. I assume you're introverting the question because you can name crimes that have been committed solely under the band of theism, and under theism's banner to cloak other reasons. But if theism were a mere banner to cloak other reasons, then theism wouldn't exactly be the problem there.


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 Ah sorry, I really didn't

 Ah sorry, I really didn't mean it as an argument.  It was offered as humorous irony. 

  ( ps, many lines of inquiry in this forum are unfortunately quite repetitive and I get bored easily....pardon the interruption. )

 

 

 

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote: Ah

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 Ah sorry, I really didn't mean it as an argument.  It was offered as humorous irony. 

  ( ps, many lines of inquiry in this forum are unfortunately quite repetitive and I get bored easily....pardon the interruption. )

 

 

 

 

Oh, haha, no problem!


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heel13 wrote:jcgadfly

heel13 wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

heel13 wrote:
This argument never does much for me. There have been many horrors committed by theists in the pasts, including many by Christians, but atheism has its fair share of criminals too.

Can you name one who committed his crimes solely in the name of atheism? Or under its banner to cloak other reasons?

 

Can I name someone who has committed a crime because of an absence of a belief? I don't even think that's entirely a logical question. A lack of a belief in something won't propel a person to do anything, they'll have to find their motivation from somewhere else. That being said atheists have committed terrible acts, but you can't point to their lack of belief because of it. 

 

In the same vein though, people who use this argument inherently suggest that theism supports these crimes. Yes, theism was partly responsible for the Crusades, for the Inquisition, and the various other tragedies that have befallen mankind because of religion. But I'm not aware of any Christians who agree with the decisions of the Catholic church in either of those cases, and while I'm sure there are a scattered few, the consensus is what they do was hypocritical and immoral. From what I understand about Christianity, it teaches that humans should strive to reach perfection, but understand that no one can ever climb that plateau. 

 

And I don't understand the second part of your question. I assume you're introverting the question because you can name crimes that have been committed solely under the band of theism, and under theism's banner to cloak other reasons. But if theism were a mere banner to cloak other reasons, then theism wouldn't exactly be the problem there.

Exactly - that is why making the claim of "atheists have their criminals also" makes no sense when you compare it against the Christians, Muslims, Jews, et al. that commit atrocities in the name of their gods.

The ones that get pulled out (Stalin, Pol Pot) were atheists but atheism was not the sole motivator behind their crimes. It was not even a shield for them.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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heel13 wrote:Can you give me

heel13 wrote:
Can you give me an example of one of these things we identify as existing without causal explanation?

Huh? 

Maybe you still didn't understand me. The original statement is hypothetical. It just establishes a criteria for claiming the existence of an entity. We're just saying that, usually, when making a positive claim, we need some direct observation that the claim is true or some evidence that suggests that the claim true. Maybe the part about causality was somewhat superfluous?

Uuuhh, I guess, right now, we don't have an explanation for the origin of the universe. Origin of life, maybe? Um, why we can't determine the velocity and location of an electron at the same time? Um, why radioactive isotopes decay? I don't understand why this is necessary. 

 

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


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jcgadfly wrote:heel13

jcgadfly wrote:

heel13 wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

heel13 wrote:
This argument never does much for me. There have been many horrors committed by theists in the pasts, including many by Christians, but atheism has its fair share of criminals too.

Can you name one who committed his crimes solely in the name of atheism? Or under its banner to cloak other reasons?

 

Can I name someone who has committed a crime because of an absence of a belief? I don't even think that's entirely a logical question. A lack of a belief in something won't propel a person to do anything, they'll have to find their motivation from somewhere else. That being said atheists have committed terrible acts, but you can't point to their lack of belief because of it. 

 

In the same vein though, people who use this argument inherently suggest that theism supports these crimes. Yes, theism was partly responsible for the Crusades, for the Inquisition, and the various other tragedies that have befallen mankind because of religion. But I'm not aware of any Christians who agree with the decisions of the Catholic church in either of those cases, and while I'm sure there are a scattered few, the consensus is what they do was hypocritical and immoral. From what I understand about Christianity, it teaches that humans should strive to reach perfection, but understand that no one can ever climb that plateau. 

 

And I don't understand the second part of your question. I assume you're introverting the question because you can name crimes that have been committed solely under the band of theism, and under theism's banner to cloak other reasons. But if theism were a mere banner to cloak other reasons, then theism wouldn't exactly be the problem there.

Exactly - that is why making the claim of "atheists have their criminals also" makes no sense when you compare it against the Christians, Muslims, Jews, et al. that commit atrocities in the name of their gods.

The ones that get pulled out (Stalin, Pol Pot) were atheists but atheism was not the sole motivator behind their crimes. It was not even a shield for them.

 

I don't think there was ever a question as to "Did Mao's lack of a belief in a god propel him to massacre hundreds of thousands?" A lack of a force can never propel an object.

But, like I said, let's focus on the Judeo-Christian god. I'm well aware that the Bible even enumerates on the slaughter of Sodom and Gomorrah, on Jericho, and on many kingdoms where the god-supported kingdom destroyed the un-god-supporting kingdom. But by answering the way you did, you're suggesting that theistic doctrines are the reason behind Christianity's sore spots. I think those classify more as under the category of "veiled under a banner for something else." Yes, the Crusades were a "Holy" war but it's no secret that the popes of that time were corrupt even by humanistic standards, but by saying god wants them to, they could rally support for anything. But that's not god, in actuality, did want them to, rather it's a malevolent human using the veil of god to support a war.

Same as the Inquisition. Yes, the Church at the time was both staunch and fundamentalist, but the Inquisition was just as much about the church's consolidation of power as it was about stamping out heresy. One could argue in either case that the Bible did not support either the Inquisition or the Crusades, in fact it's a very easy argument to make. It's a common tactic I've seen. You point to the past of an organization when the organization went wayward of the very values it preaches. But the blame can't be shifted to the values, but rather to those in control of the organizations.


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butterbattle wrote:heel13

butterbattle wrote:

heel13 wrote:
Can you give me an example of one of these things we identify as existing without causal explanation?

Huh? 

Maybe you still didn't understand me. The original statement is hypothetical. It just establishes a criteria for claiming the existence of an entity. We're just saying that, usually, when making a positive claim, we need some direct observation that the claim is true or some evidence that suggests that the claim true. Maybe the part about causality was somewhat superfluous?

Uuuhh, I guess, right now, we don't have an explanation for the origin of the universe. Origin of life, maybe? Um, why we can't determine the velocity and location of an electron at the same time? Um, why radioactive isotopes decay? I don't understand why this is necessary. 

 

If my questions are unnecessary to you then feel free not to answer, I don't want to feel like I'm wasting someone's time. 
So, basically, are you saying that while we can not prove how the origin of the universe happened, the universe is here so that's proof the process did happen. We can't explain the origin of life, but life is certainly here so we can ascertain that there was an origin. We know radioactive isotopes decay, because we can see that, we just can't explain it.

That sounds a lot like what Judeo-Christians say about how we can know god exists because it's manifest in the uniqueness of a human, or in the potential perfectness of the world, the rare earth theory etc. The major difference between the two is you're saying that, absolutely objectively, no one can deny that radioactive isotopes decay, and absolutely objectively no one can deny that life originated, whereas Christian "experiences" or certain things point to a creator are, at best, subjective?


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heel13 wrote:If my questions

heel13 wrote:

If my questions are unnecessary to you then feel free not to answer, I don't want to feel like I'm wasting someone's time. So, basically, are you saying that while we can not prove how the origin of the universe happened, the universe is here so that's proof the process did happen.

The origin of the universe? Well, I don't what the process is, but I assume that the universe has an origin.

The universe is here, so that's proof that the universe is here.

heel13 wrote:
We can't explain the origin of life, but life is certainly here so we can ascertain that there was an origin. We know radioactive isotopes decay, because we can see that, we just can't explain it.

Not yet anyways....I think.

I can see that life exists. Therefore, life exists. Carbon 14 decays into nitrogen 14 because we can observe it happening. Therefore, it happens.

heel13 wrote:
That sounds a lot like what Judeo-Christians say about how we can know god exists because it's manifest in the uniqueness of a human, or in the potential perfectness of the world, the rare earth theory etc.

I don't know any good arguments for the existence of God.

I know life exists because I can look in the mirror. How do they know "God" exists? 

heel13 wrote:
The major difference between the two is you're saying that, absolutely objectively, no one can deny that radioactive isotopes decay, and absolutely objectively no one can deny that life originated,

Well, yeah. I'm pretty sure that the universe exists and life exists and radioactive isotopes decay. Do you doubt those things?

Edit: I'm not saying I can't be wrong. I can be wrong about anything and everything. We could all be in living the Matrix or whatever. But, these things are simply what we have observed and deduced to be true. When's the last time you observed God?  

The difference would be that I know the universe and life exists because the evidence is overwhelming. For God, not so overwhelming i.e. there's pretty much zero evidence. I don't think the term has even been coherently defined yet.

heel13 wrote:
whereas Christian "experiences" or certain things point to a creator are, at best, subjective?

A fact is a fact is a fact.

If P and Q contradict, then it follows that P and Q cannot both be correct. 

When they say their belief in God is subjective, all that means is that they don't have any objective evidence. It's ludicrous how people argue that everyone's beliefs are equally valid; therefore, just live and let live. Belief in a God is not just an aesthetic choice; it's not like deciding on a favorite movie or food. It is not merely a matter of personal taste. It's not like "believing in love" (whatever the heck that means) or "believing in change" (whatever the heck that means). When you say you believe in God, you are, first and foremost, taking the position that this God exists. This is a positive claim that is subject to philosophical debate and scientific scrutiny. 

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


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butterbattle wrote: It's

butterbattle wrote:
 

It's not like "believing in love" (whatever the heck that means) or "believing in change" (whatever the heck that means). When you say you believe in God, you are, first and foremost, taking the position that this God exists. This is a positive claim that is subject to philosophical debate and scientific scrutiny. 

 

Why not though? When someone says they believe in love, they are, first and foremost, taking the position that love exists, which is a positive claim subject to philosophical debate and scientific scrutiny. So how can someone say that love exists? Because we can observe love manifest in terms of human actions and emotions? What's the difference between believing in a god science can't prove, and believing in a principle science can't prove? I doubt the existence of god, I don't doubt the existence of prejudice, or of respect, etc. but I have trouble answering why it is I do that. What "proof" is there that love exists?


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:o

heel13 wrote:

I'm looking for rational/logical reasons as to why a god doesn't exist.

 

I'm looking for a rational/logical reason as to why an invisible pink monkey doesn't exist.

 

 

Again, you can't prove a negative. You can say anything exists, but the burden of proof is on the person making the claim every time.

 

 

 

Saying otherwise is like saying "You can't DISPROVE that an invisible pink monkey doesn't exist!" somehow assuming that in any way makes it real.

 

 

 

Basically, why are you under the notion that anyone has any obligion to disprove whatever idea of a god you may or may not have, or any other imaginary beings for that matter?

 

 

 

You can claim you believe in anything you want. It doesn't make it true, and if you say no one else can look and everyone just has to trust you...sorry that isn't going to cut it. 

 

 

Unless you are starting a religion. But that is just capitalizing on other people's emotions and fears, usually fear of death.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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heel13 wrote:Why not though?

heel13 wrote:

Why not though? When someone says they believe in love, they are, first and foremost, taking the position that love exists, which is a positive claim subject to philosophical debate and scientific scrutiny. So how can someone say that love exists? Because we can observe love manifest in terms of human actions and emotions? What's the difference between believing in a god science can't prove, and believing in a principle science can't prove? I doubt the existence of god, I don't doubt the existence of prejudice, or of respect, etc. but I have trouble answering why it is I do that. What "proof" is there that love exists?

Oh crap, I'm sorry.  

*sigh* 

I do think that love and change exist. When I said, "believe in love," and "believe in change," I was referring to the ambiguous, meaningless way that these phrases are commonly used. I guess it just caused more confusion. 

We're obviously coming from very different directions. For me, if love is defined as a strong affection, then love clearly exists, because people have strong affection for each other. I also tend to think of 'love' as an abstraction of complex feelings that humans have for each other. In order to use the scientific method to resolve questions, we have to first pin down exactly what it is we're trying to ask. What is God? What is love? What does it even mean for these things to 'exist?' If we can't even get that far, then we obviously can't prove the existence of it.

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


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ClockCat wrote:heel13

ClockCat wrote:

heel13 wrote:

I'm looking for rational/logical reasons as to why a god doesn't exist.

 

I'm looking for a rational/logical reason as to why an invisible pink monkey doesn't exist.

 

 

Again, you can't prove a negative. You can say anything exists, but the burden of proof is on the person making the claim every time.

 

 

 

Saying otherwise is like saying "You can't DISPROVE that an invisible pink monkey doesn't exist!" somehow assuming that in any way makes it real.

 

 

 

Basically, why are you under the notion that anyone has any obligion to disprove whatever idea of a god you may or may not have, or any other imaginary beings for that matter?

 

 

 

You can claim you believe in anything you want. It doesn't make it true, and if you say no one else can look and everyone just has to trust you...sorry that isn't going to cut it. 

 

 

Unless you are starting a religion. But that is just capitalizing on other people's emotions and fears, usually fear of death.

 

Part of this came into play when I watched that Brian Sapient debate against Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. Kelly said near the end something to the effect of "You accuse us of needing faith to believe our side, but then you use faith also." That's the point though. As far as I can tell from what you've told me, both theism and atheism have to accept there are things they just don't know. Atheists assume the universe and life both have beginnings because they can tangibly interact with both. Yet at the same time they say matter doesn't have a beginning or an end. We can prove matter is there, but the third law of thermodynamics says it has no beginning nor end, it just always exists. Also, isn't it dangerous to assume the origin of the universe or the origin of life are scientific? If you don't know how the processes happened, how can you militantly argue against any of the proposed hypotheses? At this point, the god hypothesis has just as much possibility as a scientific one because it hasn't been proven otherwise.

 

In terms of what we know of the universe, both theists and atheists, creationists and evolutions, everyone is pretty much on the same page. We know the universe exists because we can see the universe. We know life exists because we can see life. The differences come from what humans don't know. Theists have an answer, as unscientific as it might be. But there's no science on the atheistic side of it either.


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butterbattle wrote:Oh crap,

butterbattle wrote:

Oh crap, I'm sorry.  

*sigh* 

I do think that love and change exist. When I said, "believe in love," and "believe in change," I was referring to the ambiguous, meaningless way that these phrases are commonly used. I guess it just caused more confusion. 

We're obviously coming from very different directions. For me, if love is defined as a strong affection, then love clearly exists, because people have strong affection for each other. I also tend to think of 'love' as an abstraction of complex feelings that humans have for each other. In order to use the scientific method to resolve questions, we have to first pin down exactly what it is we're trying to ask. What is God? What is love? What does it even mean for these things to 'exist?' If we can't even get that far, then we obviously can't prove the existence of it.

 

How can you prove this strong affection though? You can personally feel it yourself. Others may claim to feel it, but there's no way to know whether they are lying or not, the only proof you have for these kinds of feelings are your own experiences. You can't scientifically prove love. I have never been in love, I hope to be some day, but just because I've never had a personal experience with love doesn't mean I can reject the idea of love.

Isn't that what theists, or at least Christians propose? A major point of their theology stating they know a god exists because they can have intimate and personal experiences with the god? I've never had one, but my lack of an experience isn't proof that it doesn't exist.


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heel13 wrote: Part of this

heel13 wrote:

 

Part of this came into play when I watched that Brian Sapient debate against Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. Kelly said near the end something to the effect of "You accuse us of needing faith to believe our side, but then you use faith also." That's the point though. As far as I can tell from what you've told me, both theism and atheism have to accept there are things they just don't know. Atheists assume the universe and life both have beginnings because they can tangibly interact with both. Yet at the same time they say matter doesn't have a beginning or an end. We can prove matter is there, but the third law of thermodynamics says it has no beginning nor end, it just always exists. Also, isn't it dangerous to assume the origin of the universe or the origin of life are scientific? If you don't know how the processes happened, how can you militantly argue against any of the proposed hypotheses? At this point, the god hypothesis has just as much possibility as a scientific one because it hasn't been proven otherwise.

 

In terms of what we know of the universe, both theists and atheists, creationists and evolutions, everyone is pretty much on the same page. We know the universe exists because we can see the universe. We know life exists because we can see life. The differences come from what humans don't know. Theists have an answer, as unscientific as it might be. But there's no science on the atheistic side of it either.

The issue you take is term faith, where many atheists believe there is no god, it doesn't require faith, even if we cannot prove how the universe started, it does mean that we have faith in atheism or in science. Not in the same technical sense that theists have faith in their god, which is basically believing in something without any evidence whatsoever. As much as there is a god hypothesis....and I use this in the looses of terms, there is nothing really to prove it, and there is nothing to back up the so call hypothesis, which is why the god hypothesis is not and cannot be used to prove how the world began.

More so what god are you referring to? If it is the christian god, then once we show that some claim of this god is false, the hypothesis goes out the door. The whole adam and eve part, the creation of the universe as per genesis, all that part has been shown false, and therefore that hypothesis is not out. Is there another definition of god you would like to use, a more coherent one?

Creationist, don't have much to stand on because they cannot produce the evidence to back it up. The most honest answer is I don't know, not god did it. As well evolution doesn't say anything on how the universe came to be at all. Evolution however does have a lot of evidence on how humans evolved, which is far more than what creationists have, which is basically god did it....and they have no evidence to back it up.


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latincanuck wrote:The issue

latincanuck wrote:

The issue you take is term faith, where many atheists believe there is no god, it doesn't require faith, even if we cannot prove how the universe started, it does mean that we have faith in atheism or in science. Not in the same technical sense that theists have faith in their god, which is basically believing in something without any evidence whatsoever. As much as there is a god hypothesis....and I use this in the looses of terms, there is nothing really to prove it, and there is nothing to back up the so call hypothesis, which is why the god hypothesis is not and cannot be used to prove how the world began.

It most certainly does mean faith (although we can substitute a word in for faith because it gives off a religious connotation.) You have no proof that science caused the origin of the Universe, just as creationists have no proof that a god caused the origin of the universe. I beginning to think that many atheists believe that science answers most other questions so it has to be the answer to this one as well. 

latincanuck wrote:

More so what god are you referring to? If it is the christian god, then once we show that some claim of this god is false, the hypothesis goes out the door. The whole adam and eve part, the creation of the universe as per genesis, all that part has been shown false, and therefore that hypothesis is not out. Is there another definition of god you would like to use, a more coherent one?

This paragraph makes no sense, but I take it you meant that the hypothesis IS out. Now, what has been shown false, that Adam and Eve ever existed? Or that the creation of the universe per genesis has been proven false? Because I thought I've been told by people on this thread already that the notion of the intelligent design of the universe can't be either proven or disproven.

latincanuck wrote:

Creationist, don't have much to stand on because they cannot produce the evidence to back it up. The most honest answer is I don't know, not god did it. As well evolution doesn't say anything on how the universe came to be at all. Evolution however does have a lot of evidence on how humans evolved, which is far more than what creationists have, which is basically god did it....and they have no evidence to back it up.

 

First off, as of right now, it seems the answer most scientific atheists would say regarding the origin of the Universe is "I don't know, science did it."So you can't condemn theists for having an answer equivalent of saying "They don't know." I don't think it's particularly a secret that Christians don't know how the Universe was created, but they've been seemingly unabashed in admitting it. Atheists don't know how the Universe was created either.

Some creationists believe life was given by an intelligent designer and left to evolve.

However, that brought up another question I had from watching Sapient's debate. In it, he said two important things regarding evolution. Number 1 "We are all transitional forms" and number 2 "It takes small steps to walk a mile." Evolution asserts that one species eventually evolves into the next. I don't know what their chronological order of evolution is, but, for the sake of my question, let's just assume that a duck evolves directly into a platypus (I'm not saying evolution says ducks evolve into platypuses, I'm just using it as an example.) Ok so the duck is taking those many small steps and it has almost reached a mile, eventually it's got to cross a threshold where it morphs from duck to platypus. Either two ducks have to mate and produce a platypus, or a duck is born and morphs into a platypus throughout the course of it's life. Where is this threshold crossed? At birth? Or during life?


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heel13 wrote:jcgadfly

heel13 wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

heel13 wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

heel13 wrote:
This argument never does much for me. There have been many horrors committed by theists in the pasts, including many by Christians, but atheism has its fair share of criminals too.

Can you name one who committed his crimes solely in the name of atheism? Or under its banner to cloak other reasons?

 

Can I name someone who has committed a crime because of an absence of a belief? I don't even think that's entirely a logical question. A lack of a belief in something won't propel a person to do anything, they'll have to find their motivation from somewhere else. That being said atheists have committed terrible acts, but you can't point to their lack of belief because of it. 

 

In the same vein though, people who use this argument inherently suggest that theism supports these crimes. Yes, theism was partly responsible for the Crusades, for the Inquisition, and the various other tragedies that have befallen mankind because of religion. But I'm not aware of any Christians who agree with the decisions of the Catholic church in either of those cases, and while I'm sure there are a scattered few, the consensus is what they do was hypocritical and immoral. From what I understand about Christianity, it teaches that humans should strive to reach perfection, but understand that no one can ever climb that plateau. 

 

And I don't understand the second part of your question. I assume you're introverting the question because you can name crimes that have been committed solely under the band of theism, and under theism's banner to cloak other reasons. But if theism were a mere banner to cloak other reasons, then theism wouldn't exactly be the problem there.

Exactly - that is why making the claim of "atheists have their criminals also" makes no sense when you compare it against the Christians, Muslims, Jews, et al. that commit atrocities in the name of their gods.

The ones that get pulled out (Stalin, Pol Pot) were atheists but atheism was not the sole motivator behind their crimes. It was not even a shield for them.

 

I don't think there was ever a question as to "Did Mao's lack of a belief in a god propel him to massacre hundreds of thousands?" A lack of a force can never propel an object.

But, like I said, let's focus on the Judeo-Christian god. I'm well aware that the Bible even enumerates on the slaughter of Sodom and Gomorrah, on Jericho, and on many kingdoms where the god-supported kingdom destroyed the un-god-supporting kingdom. But by answering the way you did, you're suggesting that theistic doctrines are the reason behind Christianity's sore spots. I think those classify more as under the category of "veiled under a banner for something else." Yes, the Crusades were a "Holy" war but it's no secret that the popes of that time were corrupt even by humanistic standards, but by saying god wants them to, they could rally support for anything. But that's not god, in actuality, did want them to, rather it's a malevolent human using the veil of god to support a war.

Same as the Inquisition. Yes, the Church at the time was both staunch and fundamentalist, but the Inquisition was just as much about the church's consolidation of power as it was about stamping out heresy. One could argue in either case that the Bible did not support either the Inquisition or the Crusades, in fact it's a very easy argument to make. It's a common tactic I've seen. You point to the past of an organization when the organization went wayward of the very values it preaches. But the blame can't be shifted to the values, but rather to those in control of the organizations.

Ah, the "few bad apples" argument that Rumsfeld used to cover his and his bosses' failures at Abu Ghraib.

If you've read the bible and your posts indicate you have, then you should be seeing the problems with your idea. Sodom and Gomorrah and the flood (if you believe the stories) were not just a few bad people doing things. It was Yahweh himself committing those atrocities. Then, after he gives commands to his worshipers to not do the things he does so well, he continues and commands them to commit his crimes also.

It is appropriate that one of the Christian symbols is a fish because it stinks from the head down.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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heel13 wrote:It most

heel13 wrote:

It most certainly does mean faith (although we can substitute a word in for faith because it gives off a religious connotation.) You have no proof that science caused the origin of the Universe, just as creationists have no proof that a god caused the origin of the universe. I beginning to think that many atheists believe that science answers most other questions so it has to be the answer to this one as well. 

No, if I say I don't know what the answer is, it is simply that, however due to our evidence so far, the explanation most likely will be a natural explanation without such said deity required as there is currently no evidence of such said deity. As well most explanation for such said deity have been shown to be false, incorrect or a metaphorical explanation.

Quote:


This paragraph makes no sense, but I take it you meant that the hypothesis IS out. Now, what has been shown false, that Adam and Eve ever existed? Or that the creation of the universe per genesis has been proven false? Because I thought I've been told by people on this thread already that the notion of the intelligent design of the universe can't be either proven or disproven.

However we can look at the claims of such said deity, and prove if those statement are true or not, adam and eve for example. Adam from dirt, eve from her rib (and many that believe this myth also believe man has one less rib than a woman), from genetic and fossile evidence we know that is not true, this claim is false. The claim from genesis as well that the earth was created then, the sun and the order of how things were created, we know from the scientific findings that this is also false, and the time line is way off, not seven days, but more like 10.4 billion years from the start of the universe till our planet gets formed and a another 500 million  years till the first life form is believed to have formed on this planet.

Quote:

First off, as of right now, it seems the answer most scientific atheists would say regarding the origin of the Universe is "I don't know, science did it."So you can't condemn theists for having an answer equivalent of saying "They don't know." I don't think it's particularly a secret that Christians don't know how the Universe was created, but they've been seemingly unabashed in admitting it. Atheists don't know how the Universe was created either.

Some creationists believe life was given by an intelligent designer and left to evolve.

I don't know a single atheists that would say science did it, science is merely a tool to understanding how our universe operates and to gain knowledge regarding our universe and everything in it. Why would any atheist say science did it? Science doesn't do anything, I take you mean that there would be a better scientific explanation maybe, but science doesn't create the universe. More over those using science for explanation (like scientists, physicists, cosmologists, geologists, etc, etc, etc) tend to have more evidence to back up their statement that god did it, or a merely think this is how it happened. No scientist can tell you exactly where all the energy and material from that big bang came from, however they are looking at all logical and reasonable possibilities first and foremost. Which is far better than saying oh god did it, and all I have to back my statement is a bible that is incorrect in time line, the explanation on the formation of the universe, how man and woman came to be and so many other parts regarding explanation of this planet and the universe.

Quote:

However, that brought up another question I had from watching Sapient's debate. In it, he said two important things regarding evolution. Number 1 "We are all transitional forms" and number 2 "It takes small steps to walk a mile." Evolution asserts that one species eventually evolves into the next. I don't know what their chronological order of evolution is, but, for the sake of my question, let's just assume that a duck evolves directly into a platypus (I'm not saying evolution says ducks evolve into platypuses, I'm just using it as an example.) Ok so the duck is taking those many small steps and it has almost reached a mile, eventually it's got to cross a threshold where it morphs from duck to platypus. Either two ducks have to mate and produce a platypus, or a duck is born and morphs into a platypus throughout the course of it's life. Where is this threshold crossed? At birth? Or during life?

Nope that's incorrect, you almost had it, but 2 ducks won't have a platypus. Your example, each generation of ducks would have something changed slightly, ever so little, but have a few 100,000 or millions of generations later you would have a platypus, the change is gradual, each offspring would look like the parent, but something small might have changed, the height, thickness of the legs, slight change in the head formation, but each offspring would look very much like the parent, but after all these generations, all the changes it would look like a platypus. It's a gradual process, not 2 ducks and then a playtpus.


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Quote:vPerhaps you're right.

Quote:
vPerhaps you're right. But at the same time you're asserting people throughout the years believe in a god because so many people before them believe in a god.

Not at all.  I hope you don't take this personally, because I mean it to be helpful, but I think a couple of basic classes or books on critical thinking and/or reading comprehension would be a good idea for you.  I suspect that part of your problem understanding things right now comes from you hearing or reading something quite different from what the writer or speaker said.

Go back and re-read what I wrote, please.  I said that throughout history, people didn't have the philosophical or scientific means to render the god hypothesis useless.  I said that NOW, you and a lot of other people give it more credence than you ought, and that I suspect it's because of the popularity and historical significance of the idea, not because of any inherent merit contained in the hypothesis.

Quote:
You're suggesting that the only reason thousands of these great minds who acknowledge the existence of a god were duped into false logic merely because it's popular at the time to do so? Francis Collins, Henry Schaefer, and William Phillips believe in a god because it's "hip" to do so?

A common error in critical thinking is called "All or Nothing Thinking."  It can work in a few ways.  The way you're employing it now is in assuming (for no apparent reason) that by pointing out one reason to believe in god, or want to believe in god, I am demanding that all belief in god rests solely on that foundation.  That's absurd.

I would suggest that a more probable explanation is that many very intelligent people succumb to god belief for a variety of reasons including but not limited to the popular appeal and historical ubiquity of the idea.

Quote:
I take it this is your response to how can we know respect, determination, etc exist even though they can't be brought into a lab.

Wow, dude.  You're going off the deep end with pretty much everything I've said.  I'm guessing you didn't read that article I linked.  Please read it. 

I'm afraid that if you think science is restricted to a laboratory, you're sadly and grossly misinformed about the nature of science -- which is one way I know you haven't read (or comprehended) my article on science.  Determination is a description of a set of emotions.  Emotions are descriptions of psychological states.  Psychological states are descriptions of neurological states.  Neurological states are descriptions of electrochemical states.  Etc, etc.  If you're not in the field of "brain science," I'm afraid you're probably not well versed in the methods for quantifying and describing things like emotions and behaviors, but such methods do exist, and they're consistent with the scientific method.

Quote:
If you believe this then seemingly you acknowledge that there are things existing outside of what can be scientifically proven

Not at all.  I have no difficulty demonstrating the existence of determination.  This post ought to be proof enough.

Quote:
so then the onus is taken off a god to prove himself scientifically, or the onus is taken off these "god-followers" to prove this god scientifically. If atheists already accept that certain things exist without a casual explanation, then why must theists provide casual explanations for the existence of a god.

Well, there's where you're just dead wrong.  Sorry.  First, you need to get off the "atheist" kick.  I, and many (most?) other science-minded atheists are naturalists first, and the atheism is something of a side-effect, not a foundation.

Second, naturalists most certainly do NOT accept that certain things exist without causal explanations.  (Please don't invoke QM here.)  I really don't know how else to explain this.  You seem to believe you're onto something here, and I suppose you're not going to take my word that you're wrong, but you're wrong.  I really wish you'd read that article on science.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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heel13 wrote:I don't want to

heel13 wrote:

I don't want to ride the fence on what my beliefs are anymore. I'm a super-opinionated university guy who does not believe in grey areas in any manners of interest I have, whether it be politics, ethics, reason, etc. 

Most people just go with whatever makes them feel better and then try to justify their beliefs and actions after the fact.

So if being a theist make you feel better, you'll try to force yourself to believe and try to logically justify it. Same with politics, most people go with what feels right, then try to justify being a liberal or conservative. People decide what feels like the right thing to do, then try to justify their ethics.

So perhaps we're only atheists because we don't a warm tingly feeling when we consider Jesus dieing for us. If we did get these feelings, we could all justify our theist beliefs.

So, I think the real question is do you go with feelings, social pressure, etc.. or not?

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Modern physics says the

Modern physics says the universe can come about ex nihilo (out of nothing). We know from quantum mechanics particles pop in and out of existence out of nothing. They borrow energy from the void of space and then give it back when the particle annihilates with its anti-particle. Each particle is associated with some sort of field (photon with electromagnetic, etc.)

Inflation theory holds that a quantum fluctuation of the Inflaton and Higgs field(s), which created our universe. This fluctuation caused a rapid expansion of the universe. The excess energy from both fields led to the particles we see today (via e=mc^2)

The Cyclic Model of the universe holds that we live on a 3-dimensional brane in a higher, five-dimensional universe (4-spatial plus 1-time). Our brane is in an infinite series of 'bangs' and 'crunches' with another brane that happens every trillion years or so.


A singularity is where our physics breaks down and our equations spit out infinities. Singularities are a consequence of Einstein's theory of relativity. To understand these more thoroughly, we need a theory of quantum gravity, due to the fact that the densities are high, and the size is small.


Source(s):
"The Inflationary Universe" by Alan Guth
"Endless Universe" by Paul Steinhardt & Neil Turok


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heel13 wrote:BobSpence1

heel13 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

There are literally an infinite number of 'possibilities' once you allow for things that don't have to fit in with the fundamentals of what we currently know about the Universe. There is literally no way to know which, if any of such purely speculative entities does exist, and what their attributes of motives might be.

So all you are saying is you/we don't know everything about reality. D'uh!

Belief in any specific such entity could NOT possibly be based on logic - logic can only tell you what conclusions are or are not consistent with some proposition. Since we have by definition no knowledge of what such a being can or cannot do, we can logically make no conclusion one way or another about it. The only proviso is that possible beings could not have mutually contradictory attributes. 'Infinite' attributes would already stretch the possibilities to breaking point.

Logically, a creator-of-everything is highly problematic if it is anything more than some minimum-energy quantum twitch because you have then to explain the origin/cause of the 'creator'. The only origin scenarios which are coherent involve small 'causes' leading to bigger 'effects', otherwise we have an monstrous endless infinite-regress problem. The infinite sequence of lesser causes leading to greater events allow the whole sequence to be finite in space and time.

Any rationally-based belief would have to be based on evidence of some kind, which could only be interpreted based on currently established 'laws' of science.

The only logical stance is "We don't know" the ultimate origin of the Universe. 'God-creators' raise more questions than they answer, so are fundamentally illogical in the absence of very specific positive evidence.

 

 

Based on what I understand from that debate I watched, Brian was seemingly indicating the Universe had no origin, rather, it has always been. He invoked the third law of thermodynamics, saying that matter can not be created nor destroyed, so the matter must have always existed.

Modern physics says the universe can come about ex nihilo (out of nothing). We know from quantum mechanics particles pop in and out of existence out of nothing. They borrow energy from the void of space and then give it back when the particle annihilates with its anti-particle. Each particle is associated with some sort of field (photon with electromagnetic, etc.)

Inflation theory holds that a quantum fluctuation of the Inflaton and Higgs field(s), which created our universe. This fluctuation caused a rapid expansion of the universe. The excess energy from both fields led to the particles we see today (via e=mc^2)

The Cyclic Model of the universe holds that we live on a 3-dimensional brane in a higher, five-dimensional universe (4-spatial plus 1-time). Our brane is in an infinite series of 'bangs' and 'crunches' with another brane that happens every trillion years or so.


A singularity is where our physics breaks down and our equations spit out infinities. Singularities are a consequence of Einstein's theory of relativity. To understand these more thoroughly, we need a theory of quantum gravity, due to the fact that the densities are high, and the size is small.


Source(s):
"The Inflationary Universe" by Alan Guth
"Endless Universe" by Paul Steinhardt & Neil Turok

 


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heel13 wrote:

ClockCat wrote:

heel13 wrote:

I'm looking for rational/logical reasons as to why a god doesn't exist.

 

I'm looking for a rational/logical reason as to why an invisible pink monkey doesn't exist.

 

 

Again, you can't prove a negative. You can say anything exists, but the burden of proof is on the person making the claim every time.

 

 

 

Saying otherwise is like saying "You can't DISPROVE that an invisible pink monkey doesn't exist!" somehow assuming that in any way makes it real.

 

 

 

Basically, why are you under the notion that anyone has any obligion to disprove whatever idea of a god you may or may not have, or any other imaginary beings for that matter?

 

 

 

You can claim you believe in anything you want. It doesn't make it true, and if you say no one else can look and everyone just has to trust you...sorry that isn't going to cut it. 

 

 

Unless you are starting a religion. But that is just capitalizing on other people's emotions and fears, usually fear of death.

 

Part of this came into play when I watched that Brian Sapient debate against Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. Kelly said near the end something to the effect of "You accuse us of needing faith to believe our side, but then you use faith also." That's the point though. As far as I can tell from what you've told me, both theism and atheism have to accept there are things they just don't know. Atheists assume the universe and life both have beginnings because they can tangibly interact with both. Yet at the same time they say matter doesn't have a beginning or an end. We can prove matter is there, but the third law of thermodynamics says it has no beginning nor end, it just always exists. Also, isn't it dangerous to assume the origin of the universe or the origin of life are scientific? If you don't know how the processes happened, how can you militantly argue against any of the proposed hypotheses? At this point, the god hypothesis has just as much possibility as a scientific one because it hasn't been proven otherwise.

 

In terms of what we know of the universe, both theists and atheists, creationists and evolutions, everyone is pretty much on the same page. We know the universe exists because we can see the universe. We know life exists because we can see life. The differences come from what humans don't know. Theists have an answer, as unscientific as it might be. But there's no science on the atheistic side of it either.

 

I don't know about you, but I don't "militantly argue against any of the proposed hypotheses". I LIKE it when new hypotheses are proposed. It helps us better understand the world when breakthroughs are discovered.

 

However, if people are just making things up with no evidence, then it isn't really beneficial to anyone now is it? If someone said "Here is tangible evidence this is how our universe was created" I would look at the evidence, and if it was compelling I would nod and think, "Great! One step closer to understanding how things work." while other people studying this look over it and agree, then it becomes a new basis for scientific studies allowing deeper understanding of our surroundings.

 

Basically, science looks to understand the world around us through discovery. Religion looks to make excuses and explanations, without discovery.

 

 

If you want to provide an alternative theory, feel free. But keep in mind there needs to be support for that theory in the first place. Not "someone told me so."

 

 

 

Time after time through history things given credit to a god or spirits have been proven natural by science. The supernatural world continues to shrink the more we understand.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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i though it might be helpful

i though it might be helpful to list a few of the best of both worlds , a combination of scientist and theist that formed ideas about the universe, using science guided by religious principals to prove their theories . sir isaac newton ,  had great ideas that were based  in science , i feel that niether side could fail if we use science and religion to search for the truth . another science based person who had interesting ideas was st. thomas aquinas .he created the 5 motions that show god can be proved logically , as well as godels theroies . all sceintific  research them it could be helpful to you .


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Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is not on us atheists to disprove god's existence; it is on those who believe he DOES exist. Atheism is a lack of belief in a god. It CAN mean denial of a god, but not necessarily. Either you believe or you don't. Period. It's that simple. If you don't believe there is a god, then you are an atheist already. And to me, it seems you don't.


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pm9347 wrote:i though it

pm9347 wrote:
i though it might be helpful to list a few of the best of both worlds , a combination of scientist and theist that formed ideas about the universe, using science guided by religious principals to prove their theories . sir isaac newton ,  had great ideas that were based  in science , i feel that niether side could fail if we use science and religion to search for the truth .

Why do you look at Newton's scientific work to draw conclusions about what he thought about religion? The man wrote lots of stuff, most of which was on theology. Have you read any of it? If not, you might want to do that before you start assuming things from his scientific contributions.

pm9347 wrote:
another science based person who had interesting ideas was st. thomas aquinas .he created the 5 motions that show god can be proved logically , as well as godels theroies . all sceintific  research them it could be helpful to you .

Sorry, this is just plain false. Aquinas was as based on science as your comments are based on proper punctuation and sentence structure. He could have been a decent philosopher if he wasn't so busy dogmatically defending incoherent nonsense with mental gymnastics, disconnected from observations.


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I've been absent from the

I've been absent from the forums for a long time, and now probably isn't the time to jump back in. I have too much on my plate already. But, what the heck? You only live once, right?

What strikes me about this forum topic is that the OP asks for a logical reason to believe in atheism. 46 posts later, no one has offered one. Is that because there is no logical reason to believe in atheism? Is that because atheism is an emotional response disguised as an intellectual one?

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei


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Cory T wrote:

I've been absent from the forums for a long time, and now probably isn't the time to jump back in. I have too much on my plate already. But, what the heck? You only live once, right?

What strikes me about this forum topic is that the OP asks for a logical reason to believe in atheism. 46 posts later, no one has offered one. Is that because there is no logical reason to believe in atheism? Is that because atheism is an emotional response disguised as an intellectual one?

 

Can you tell me how you "believe in atheism"? 

 

Please, inform me. Because I'm an atheist, and don't know how to "believe in atheism". 

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Cory T wrote:I've been

Cory T wrote:

I've been absent from the forums for a long time, and now probably isn't the time to jump back in. I have too much on my plate already. But, what the heck? You only live once, right?

What strikes me about this forum topic is that the OP asks for a logical reason to believe in atheism. 46 posts later, no one has offered one. Is that because there is no logical reason to believe in atheism? Is that because atheism is an emotional response disguised as an intellectual one?

Because 'believe in Atheism' doesn't make sense.

'Prove there is no God' would be a better way to phrase the sort of demand which is meant.

But that is not a valid request, even without using the 'burden of proof' argument, because the concept of God typically includes supposed attributes which would allow the Theist to argue away any supposed anomaly we might point out as 'proof' of the non-existence of God.

The proposition that God exists also has things in common with the 'cosmic teapot' described by Bertrand Russell - it is proposing the existence of something currently beyond our power to disprove. 

There are literally an infinite number of entities one might imagine that could similarly be beyond our ability to empirically 'disprove' - it would be utterly absurd to insist that we must assume that everything that we cannot prove does not exist, may actually exist.

So until someone can produce some very strong evidence for the existence of such an entity with something close to the attributes that the various faiths assume it possesses, the only logically coherent position is to assume it probably does not exist.

The emotional belief is Theism - it has no really rational or logical justification. If such a being actually existed there is no way one could know anything with certainty about its nature or motives, so even if a God being exists, there would still be no way to justify any specific religious doctrine.

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

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BobSpence1 wrote:Cory T

BobSpence1 wrote:

Cory T wrote:

I've been absent from the forums for a long time, and now probably isn't the time to jump back in. I have too much on my plate already. But, what the heck? You only live once, right?

What strikes me about this forum topic is that the OP asks for a logical reason to believe in atheism. 46 posts later, no one has offered one. Is that because there is no logical reason to believe in atheism? Is that because atheism is an emotional response disguised as an intellectual one?

Because 'believe in Atheism' doesn't make sense.

'Prove there is no God' would be a better way to phrase the sort of demand which is meant.

But that is not a valid request, even without using the 'burden of proof' argument, because the concept of God typically includes supposed attributes which would allow the Theist to argue away any supposed anomaly we might point out as 'proof' of the non-existence of God.

The proposition that God exists also has things in common with the 'cosmic teapot' described by Bertrand Russell - it is proposing the existence of something currently beyond our power to disprove. 

There are literally an infinite number of entities one might imagine that could similarly be beyond our ability to empirically 'disprove' - it would be utterly absurd to insist that we must assume that everything that we cannot prove does not exist, may actually exist.

So until someone can produce some very strong evidence for the existence of such an entity with something close to the attributes that the various faiths assume it possesses, the only logically coherent position is to assume it probably does not exist.

The emotional belief is Theism - it has no really rational or logical justification. If such a being actually existed there is no way one could know anything with certainty about its nature or motives, so even if a God being exists, there would still be no way to justify any specific religious doctrine.

 

No, logically coherent position would to be to take an impartial approach to any hypothesis involved. When it comes to the origin of the Universe, you, nor any other naturalist have any clue as to where it came from. For all we know the origin of the Universe might be something unscientific, it may not be theological, but for all we know it could've just randomly exploded into chance, or maybe matter actually defied the conservation law and created itself. We don't think that's probable because we've never witnessed matter nor energy created or destroyed, but we have no way of proving that it never happened, because there's no way to test that law.

The only way to truly form a logically coherent position is to look at the world today. Since we're talking the Judeo-Christian God lets take a look at the one thing in the world that the Bible says was made in God's image, humans. If there were no chance that some sort of entity or "realm" outside of science existed, and thus there was no chance of a God, then everything in a human's power could be defined scientifically. Now here comes the part where many atheists and theists disagree, when it comes to what truly is within a human's power. So let's take a subject upon which both sides can agree. For instance, humans innately know murder w/out rightful cause is wrong. If there's a new employee in my company who does shoddy work, slows his branch of the company down, pisses off employees, makes inappropriate remarks, I can't kill him. Why? It's immoral, I know that, atheists know that, theists know that.

 

But if species that we supposedly evolved from have taught us one thing, it's that they live in an environment where the strong kill the weak. Why? Because the weak slow down and possibly endanger the whole. So why are we the first step on the evolutionary scale that has this different idea of murder? Would not eliminating prisoners and disabled persons in mental health hospitals save the federal governments millions of money? Of course it would, but we don't do that because we all, you, me, and the guy down the street know it's wrong. But why are we the only species that truly has this concept of morality in place? Because it could be argued, from a purely evolutionary spectrum, that this impedes our overall "progress" as a race. But no ones about to change it because we all know it's the right thing to do.