Questions for all the intelligent atheists (aka all the atheists) here

epicdean10
Posts: 10
Joined: 2010-01-27
User is offlineOffline
Questions for all the intelligent atheists (aka all the atheists) here

Hello, since I'm interested in learning new things as well as other people's views I was wanting to ask well informed atheists a few general questions. It's mostly a list of favorite and or most convinceing type questions. I'm doing this to better inform myself and to better solidify myself as a agnostic. Anyway here are the questions...

 

What are your favorite and or most convinceing arguements and evidences for....

 

atheism

 

naturalism

 

evolution

 

favorite and or most convinceing arguements and evidences against...

 

theism

 

christian theism

 

and top responses to arguements such as

 

the cosmological

 

ontological

 

moral

 

design

 

fine tunning

 

transcendental

 

resurrection of christ

 

 

Also what are your favorite books and resources?

 

Thank you for your time and for your replys, I hope to check back tomorrow. Thanks again.


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
epicdean10 wrote:Hello,

epicdean10 wrote:

Hello, since I'm interested in learning new things as well as other people's views I was wanting to ask well informed atheists a few general questions. It's mostly a list of favorite and or most convinceing type questions. I'm doing this to better inform myself and to better solidify myself as a agnostic. Anyway here are the questions...

Too many questions to give detailed answers. Maybe try one or two in a single post next time. Here are brief responses...

 

atheism

No good reasons to believe. No evidence of any gods.

 

naturalism

Existence exists. (Duh.) 'Things' seem to exist within existence. (Universe.) These things appear to have their own natures, rather than being completely random. (Nature.) No good reasons to believe that anything exists 'outside' of Nature. No evidence of the supernatural.

 

evolution

Human chromosome #2.

Endogenous retro-viruses (ERVs).

Long-term E. Coli experiment showing evolution of completely new ability to eat citrate.

Obvious similarity of humans and other apes.

All life made of cells.

Zero evidence for any other origin story.

 

theism

No good reasons to believe. No evidence of any gods.

 

christian theism

No good reasons to believe. No evidence of Christian god.

No difference between Yahweh and Santa, except Santa is nicer.

Obvious mythological nature of stories in Bible.

Catholic church.

Dark Ages.

Crusades.

Witches.

Inquisitions.

Galileo.

No good evidence for historical Jesus.

 

the cosmological

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: What caused god?

Special pleading

Occam's Razor

Big Bang

Quantum Mechanics

Unnecessary vastness and age of universe (Church of Last Thursday makes as much sense)

 

ontological

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: It's easy to be the greatest when you exist. Now, for a god to be the greatest when he *doesn't* exist? *That's* much more impressive; certainly greater than a god who takes the easy path of being the greatest while existing. Therefore, god doesn't exist.

Absurd: I can't conceive of a greater BJ than one that's happening to me right now. Therefore I must be getting the *greatest ever* BJ right now.

 

moral

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: What is the explanation for god's morals?

Special pleading

Evolution

Game Theory

 

design

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: What designed god?

Special pleading

Evolution

The list goes on and on

 

fine tunning

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: What tuned god's characteristics?

Special pleading


transcendental

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Circular

Self-refuting: Presupposes logic. Then goes on to abuse it like a Catholic priest. Invalidates the logic it supposedly defends; if it can be used to prove the Bible, it can be used to prove anything. Therefore God is illogical, and so is the logic of TAG.

The history of the human development of logic is well-known. TAG is constructed with human logic, not God's logic. (And poorly constructed, at that.)

Transcendental Argument for the Non-existence of God

 

resurrection of christ

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Obvious myth

Biology/medicine

No contemporary evidence

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


epicdean10
Posts: 10
Joined: 2010-01-27
User is offlineOffline
Thank you for your response

Please keep the responses comming. Thanks again.


DormantDragon
DormantDragon's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
A few of my faves...

Hi, Epicdean,

 

I agree you've given quite a lot to cover in one post, so I'm going to be selective in order to go into a bit of depth - I'll try and pick the things that I have found most convincing in my transition from Catholic to atheist.

 

Theism and Atheism

The argument that I've found most convincing both for atheism and against theism is simply the fact that there is no unequivocal evidence for the existence of any gods. Theists may argue - and do argue - that you have to be willing to believe in order to see the evidence, but that is the same as saying you have to be truly intelligent to see the emperor's clothes! For almost every aspect of the world that theists invoke the hand of their god, there is a simpler, more elegant, naturalistic explanation. This being the case, the resort to god-of-the-gaps reasoning has become increasingly invalid. Why should we not suppose that things like the origins of the universe, and the nature of consciousness - two things theists love to claim as the work of their god - will one day yield to rigorous empirical investigation?

For the last few hundred years, scientific understanding of our world and what lies beyond it have pushed the idea of a god further and further onto the fringes of knowledge. At the same time humans have found that there are explanations for natural phenomena that don't require god's intervention, we have also failed to find any actual evidence - observable, testable evidence - for the presence of a divine being. If, indeed, there is a god of sorts hiding away in some undiscovered corner of the universe, is this really the kind of being to which we would consider paying homage?

What made me realise that I am indeed an atheist and not an agnostic is the fact that the existence or nonexistence of any gods has become utterly irrelevant to the way I lead my life - apart from the fact that I enjoy arguing the case for atheism! My morality is my own, my life is my own, my loyalties are to my friends and family (including our dogs and cats) and the purpose of my life is whatever I decide it to be - hopefully something that results in happiness for me and mine.

 

The Cosmological Argument and Fine Tuning

This one, I believe, rests on the notion that the universe had to have a cause, if it had a beginning, and that cause must necessarily have been a transcendent, timeless, intelligent being, aka: the Judeo-Christian god (or so the assumption usually goes).

I have seen several people attempt intricate philosophical gymnastics in the endeavour to explain why this argument is sound, but none of these attempts has ever been convincing. Even if the universe had to have a cause, as such, there is no reason the cause had to have been a disembodied mind. I believe the current concept favoured by astrophysicists is the idea of the quantum vacuum, but I don't understand that one well enough to explain it. What I do know is that a pre-existing chaotic collection of particles that gave rise to matter as we know it constitutes a much simpler explanation than the pre-existence of a creative intelligence. Theists can't legitimately claim, in the same argument no less, that everything that exists had to have a cause, except their god.

As for the argument from fine tuning, that one is just completely arse-backwards. It starts with the assumption that humans constitute an end in ourselves, that the universe was somehow made to accommodate us, rather than the fact that blind processes gave rise to life, which then evolved into various forms to fit the environment - it was never a case of the environment being somehow built or shaped to suit us. I love how theists who resort to this argument can then turn around and claim that atheists are arrogant...

 

The Resurrection of Christ

I am often amazed at the lack of historiographical awareness of the people who make this argument. The fact of the matter is that there are actually no surviving eye-witness accounts of the life, death or resurrection of Jesus. There is no clear-cut, convincing evidence that Jesus even existed as an actual historical person, rather than a legendary figure of the nature of King Arthur. There are also so many similarities between the Jesus myth and the prevailing mythologies within the Roman Empire in the first couple of centuries CE that it's hard to claim any originality for the stories attached to Jesus. Furthermore, the sources often claimed as corroborating evidence for the existence of Jesus as an actual person in fact contain nothing other than vague mentions of a person who may or may not have been the Jesus of the Gospels.

 

The Argument from Morality

This is definitely one of my favourites. Theists love to claim that atheists have no possible anchor for morality, and that in the absence of a god, anything and everything is permissible.

One of the best counterarguments to this is the fact that the majority of theists don't actually cite their god or their holy book as the source of their morality. If we take the example of Christians, how many of them seriously follow all the moral precepts laid out in the Bible? They don't - they pick and choose which moral teachings they think are sound, based on their own knowledge and experience. That's just what the rest of us do - only without reference to the Bible. 

Furthermore, there is ample evidence to suggest that morality is essentially a function of our nature as social animals. Other social animals, such as wolves and great apes, clearly have social mores - mutually understood modes of behaviour that contribute to the survival and harmonious functioning of the group. We humans might like to think that there is something special about our notion of morality, but it still has its basis in a shared understanding of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behaviour towards our own kind.

 

Some Sources

There are several books I have found enlightening in my journey from belief to unbelief. I believe it was indeed The God Delusion that helped me realise I was an atheist, not merely agnostic. However, probably the best atheist book I have so far found is Atheism Explained: from folly to philosophy, by David Ramsay Steele. I believe it's available on Amazon. Unlike the works of Dawkins and Hitchens, it's not a polemic, but a polite, well-reasoned demolition of the arguments for the existence of the Judeo-Christian god.

"The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool." - Epicurus


epicdean10
Posts: 10
Joined: 2010-01-27
User is offlineOffline
Thank you for your response

Very good response, thanks again.


v4ultingbassist
Science Freak
v4ultingbassist's picture
Posts: 601
Joined: 2009-12-04
User is offlineOffline
Just wanted to pick some of

Just wanted to pick some of my favorites:

 

Christian God:  Specifically the trinity.  If, as the doctrine states, they are NOT three separate entities, then Xtians believe that Jesus constantly prayed to one of his 'personalities.'  Also, one of his 'personalities' let him die.  All this does it make it seem like Christianity should be polytheistic (which it should in order to make sense) but that gets xtian's panties in a bunch.

 

Ontological argument for God:  I never trust a purely logical argument.  People seem to forget that logic, the study of reason, a mental development from evolution, should not be considered infallible.  If it were then there wouldn't be so much controversy within the field itself.  Alternatively, external and physical truths should be used to validate the internal truths discovered by logic.  The idea that logic alone can lead one to conclude that existence has to have some quality is so arrogant I consider it a delusion of grandeur.  People aren't important, and neither are the things we can think up.


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Ontological argument for God:  I never trust a purely logical argument.  People seem to forget that logic, the study of reason, a mental development from evolution, should not be considered infallible.  If it were then there wouldn't be so much controversy within the field itself.  Alternatively, external and physical truths should be used to validate the internal truths discovered by logic.  The idea that logic alone can lead one to conclude that existence has to have some quality is so arrogant I consider it a delusion of grandeur.  People aren't important, and neither are the things we can think up.

I just thought of a couple other arguments against TAG.

Goedel's argument for the imperfection of God: According to Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem, logic is either incomplete or inconsistent. If logic is part of God's nature, and we are charitable in assuming that God is not inconsistent, then God is incomplete, and hence imperfect.

Turing's argument for the lack of omniscience of God: According to Turing's proof of the undecidability of the Halting Problem, it is impossible to follow a logical algorithm to know whether any given program will halt or not. If logic is part of God's nature, then there are true facts that even God cannot know, hence he cannot be omniscient.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Gauche
atheist
Gauche's picture
Posts: 1565
Joined: 2007-01-18
User is offlineOffline
I once heard the argument

I once heard the argument that if Christianity is true then Christians should kill themselves. The argument goes like this:

 

P1:Since Christians love maximally God (Mark 12:28-30), their most intense desire is to be as close to God as possible.

P2:In the present existence, Christians are not as close to God as possible.

P3:But if they die and go to heaven, then they will be as close to God as possible.

P4:Every person wants to satisfy his/hers most intense desire as soon as possible.

C1:Therefore, Christians should desire to die as soon as possible.

P5:Christians will die as soon as possible if they commit suicide as soon as possible.

P6:There is nothing inconsistent between being a Christian and committing suicide.

C2:Thus, Christians should commit suicide as soon as possible.

 

Most Christians will object to P6 but there's really no explicit interdiction of suicide in Christianity and I think the counter-arguments are rather weak.

If that doesn't work then hit them with this:

 

 

 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 15843
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
My favorite argument is not

My favorite argument is not for atheism is as much it is for good use of logic.

A position on ANY ISSUE is, to me, worth holding when it has been tested and independantly verified.

I am an atheist at this current time because all claims of deities past and present, polytheist or monotheist, depend on the beleiver defending the claim of a thinking brain with no body or brain. I find the concept absurd and see no good evidence to hold such a position.

But if we are talking about specific religions, Christianity per sey.

1. Dismbodied magical super brian with no brain floating in the cosmos, everywhere and nowhere at the same time..........

2.A baby being born WITHOUT two sets of DNA contributing to the zygote........

3. Human flesh magically surviving rigor mortis after 3 days

But even before you get to the magical birth and death of Jesus, they still, like all other fans of all other deities still havent established independently verified data proving the existence of their magical invisable disembodied brain.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3948
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
epicdean10 wrote: What are

epicdean10 wrote:

 

What are your favorite and or most convinceing arguements and evidences for....

 

atheism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o

 

epicdean10 wrote:

naturalism

Reliability of the results.

 

epicdean10 wrote:

evolution 

 

epicdean10 wrote:

favorite and or most convinceing arguements and evidences against...

 

Zero evidence for any of them.

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


epicdean10
Posts: 10
Joined: 2010-01-27
User is offlineOffline
Thanks for your feedback...

This stuff is excellent. Thanks again.


epicdean10
Posts: 10
Joined: 2010-01-27
User is offlineOffline
Say, do I have any more

Say, do I have any more takers? This has been some GREAT stuff thus far. Thanks again.


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3948
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
epicdean10 wrote:Say, do I

epicdean10 wrote:

Say, do I have any more takers? This has been some GREAT stuff thus far. Thanks again.

OK. what is your arguments for or against these things? One more for evolution:

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


DormantDragon
DormantDragon's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
Oh, and another thing...

It occurs to me that the strongest argument many Christians often make is that if you are open to belief in their god, you'll see the evidence all around you. That is their strongest argument. Think about that for a second.

This is what Christopher Hitchens refers to as wish-thinking. Those who want to see the work of a god in the natural world or in coincidental occurrences will see it, or will claim it - they won't see evidence of evolution, geological movement, weather patterns, neurological processes - they'll see evidence of god.

These same people will deny the evidence of history or of science, if it tells against their belief. They'll accuse nonbelievers of the same kind of wish-thinking in which they themselves engage. But the use of empirical investigation, in both the natural and the social sciences, works to counteract any kind of wish-thinking. Conclusions are based on evidence, or withheld in the face of a lack of evidence.

The empirical approach to gaining knowledge and understanding is qualitatively very different to the religious approach. Most religions claim a monopoly on "the truth", but observation, experiment and reason - the tools of empirical investigation - are much better at approaching any truths that matter.

"The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool." - Epicurus


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
epicdean10 wrote:Say, do I

epicdean10 wrote:

Say, do I have any more takers? This has been some GREAT stuff thus far. Thanks again.

Give and take, epicdean. What's your take on these questions?

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Adventfred
atheist
Adventfred's picture
Posts: 298
Joined: 2009-09-12
User is offlineOffline
natural wrote:epicdean10


natural wrote:

epicdean10 wrote:

Hello, since I'm interested in learning new things as well as other people's views I was wanting to ask well informed atheists a few general questions. It's mostly a list of favorite and or most convinceing type questions. I'm doing this to better inform myself and to better solidify myself as a agnostic. Anyway here are the questions...

Too many questions to give detailed answers. Maybe try one or two in a single post next time. Here are brief responses...

 

atheism

No good reasons to believe. No evidence of any gods.

 

naturalism

Existence exists. (Duh.) 'Things' seem to exist within existence. (Universe.) These things appear to have their own natures, rather than being completely random. (Nature.) No good reasons to believe that anything exists 'outside' of Nature. No evidence of the supernatural.

 

evolution

Human chromosome #2.

Endogenous retro-viruses (ERVs).

Long-term E. Coli experiment showing evolution of completely new ability to eat citrate.

Obvious similarity of humans and other apes.

All life made of cells.

Zero evidence for any other origin story.

 

theism

No good reasons to believe. No evidence of any gods.

 

christian theism

No good reasons to believe. No evidence of Christian god.

No difference between Yahweh and Santa, except Santa is nicer.

Obvious mythological nature of stories in Bible.

Catholic church.

Dark Ages.

Crusades.

Witches.

Inquisitions.

Galileo.

No good evidence for historical Jesus.

 

the cosmological

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: What caused god?

Special pleading

Occam's Razor

Big Bang

Quantum Mechanics

Unnecessary vastness and age of universe (Church of Last Thursday makes as much sense)

 

ontological

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: It's easy to be the greatest when you exist. Now, for a god to be the greatest when he *doesn't* exist? *That's* much more impressive; certainly greater than a god who takes the easy path of being the greatest while existing. Therefore, god doesn't exist.

Absurd: I can't conceive of a greater BJ than one that's happening to me right now. Therefore I must be getting the *greatest ever* BJ right now.

 

moral

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: What is the explanation for god's morals?

Special pleading

Evolution

Game Theory

 

design

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: What designed god?

Special pleading

Evolution

The list goes on and on

 

fine tunning

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: What tuned god's characteristics?

Special pleading


 

transcendental

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Circular

Self-refuting: Presupposes logic. Then goes on to abuse it like a Catholic priest. Invalidates the logic it supposedly defends; if it can be used to prove the Bible, it can be used to prove anything. Therefore God is illogical, and so is the logic of TAG.

The history of the human development of logic is well-known. TAG is constructed with human logic, not God's logic. (And poorly constructed, at that.)

Transcendental Argument for the Non-existence of God

 

resurrection of christ

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Obvious myth

Biology/medicine

No contemporary evidence

 

This pretty much


epicdean10
Posts: 10
Joined: 2010-01-27
User is offlineOffline
Let's see, I would probably

Let's see, I would probably give the same or similiar answers that you gave. That would be my take. If run into something even better I'll let you know.


DormantDragon
DormantDragon's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
The argument for theism that really annoys me...

..is the one where theists claim - usually after asserting that belief is necessary to morality - that atheism naturally and logically leads to evil and atrocity. Their evidence for this? Hitler and Stalin.

The most obvious retort is that totalitarian regimes were just as irrational as religion, perhaps moreso. The leader of the state is set up as an object of worship, and it is the omnipresent eyes of the law, rather than a god, that pry into everyone's private life.

I have been reading God Is Not Great, by Christopher Hitchens, and in one chapter he makes a very good case for the similarity between religion and totalitarianism - indeed the fact that they probably spring from the same innate, irrational human impulses. Not to mention the fact that the Catholic church, in particular, went hand-in-glove with fascist regimes (it is with no sense of hyperbole that I refer to the current Pope as a fascist), and acquiesced - in the case of Pius XII, with great enthusiasm - to the Nazis. It's an eye-opening argument. 

"The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool." - Epicurus


Majesty
Posts: 16
Joined: 2010-02-08
User is offlineOffline
natural

natural wrote:

 naturalism

Existence exists. (Duh.) 'Things' seem to exist within existence. (Universe.) These things appear to have their own natures, rather than being completely random. (Nature.) No good reasons to believe that anything exists 'outside' of Nature. No evidence of the supernatural. 

This  argument  defeats  itself.  No  good  reasons  to  believe  that  anything  exists  "outside"  of  nature?  Well,  there  are  ALSO  no  good  reasons  to  believe  that  nature  is  all  there  is.  So  naturalism  does  not  simply  win  by  default.

 

natural wrote:

evolution

Human chromosome #2.

Endogenous retro-viruses (ERVs).

Long-term E. Coli experiment showing evolution of completely new ability to eat citrate.

Obvious similarity of humans and other apes.

All life made of cells.

Zero evidence for any other origin story.

If  God  exist,  God  could  of  used  evolution  as  a  foundation  for  the  origin  of  life.

 

natural wrote:
 

theism

No good reasons to believe. No evidence of any gods.

Well,  i  disagree.  There  are  many  different  reasons  to  believe  in  a  Deity.  Two  of  my  favorites  are  the  kalam  argument,  and  the  argument  from  morality.

 

natural wrote:
 

christian theism

No good reasons to believe. No evidence of Christian god.

No difference between Yahweh and Santa, except Santa is nicer.

Obvious mythological nature of stories in Bible.

The  difference  between  Yahweh  and  Santa  Claus  is  that  no  one  is  willing  to  die  for  the  existence  of  Santa  Claus.  But  many  people  were/are  willing  to  give  there  life  for  Yahweh.  People  dont  believe  in  Santa Claus  not  because  there  isn't  any  evidence  for  him,  but  because  there  is  overwhelming  evidence  AGAINST  his  existence.  There  is  no  man  flying  around  on  a  sleigh  guided  by  reindeers,  one  in  which  has  a  red  glowing  nose.  That  is  why  we  dont  believe  in  Santa.  Children  stop  believing  in  Santa  once  they  are  of  age.  But  with  Christianity,  for  most  people,  there  love  for  Yahwah  increases  with  age.  So  there  is  a  big  difference  between  Santa  and  Jesus/Yahwah.

 

natural wrote:
 

the cosmological

Argument from Ignorance

Non Sequitur

Self-refuting: What caused god?

Special pleading

Occam's Razor

Big Bang

Quantum Mechanics

Unnecessary vastness and age of universe (Church of Last Thursday makes as much sense)

This  is  my  favorite.  I  believe  the  cosmological  argument  is  the  most  fasinating  argument  in  favor  of  theism.  I  disagree  that  it  is  committing  the  fallacy  of  argument  from  ignorance  because  those  that  accept  this  argument  is  not  stating  that  the  argument  is  true  until  it  can  be  falsified.  What  we  are  saying,  is  that  based  on  the  current  evidence  that  we  have  available,  both  philosophical  and  scientific,  that  this  argument  is  very  sound.  This  argument  is  also  not  a  Non Sequitur,  because  based  on  the  argument....

1. Everything  that  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause

2. The  universe  began  to  exist

3. Therefore,  the universe  has  a  cause

If  you  look  at  the  argument,  this  is  a  deductive  argument,  because  both  of  the  premises  have  been  PROVEN to  be  true,  so  the  conclusion  in  #3  logically  follows.

 

The  question  that  you  asked  "What  caused  God"  means  that  you  fail  to  understand  the  argument.  In  #1,  it  is  "Everything  that  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause".  God  never  began  to  exist,  so  God  doesn't  have  a  cause.  This  is  no  "special  pleading"  for  God,  because  atheist  has  always  said  that  the  universe  was  eternal  and  never  had  a  beginning.  Plus,  we  have  EVIDENCE  that  the  universe  had  a  beginning,  and  based  on  everyday  observation,  things  dont  just  pop  into  being  uncaused  out  of  nothing.  Quantum Mechanics/Quantum Physics  does  not  refute  premise  #1,  because  there  are  many  different  interpretations  of  Quantum Physics,  i  can  give you  at  LEAST  10  interpretations,  and  noone  knows  which  of  these  interpretations  are  correct.  And  not  all  physicists  even  agree  with  the  Copehangen interpreation  of  Quantum Physics,  one  which  i  assume  you  are  referring  too.  I  dont  understand  what  you  mean  by  Occkams Razor  in  this  context,  because  science  isn't  able  to  tell  us  what  spawned  the  singularity,  so  are  not  able  to  decipher  what  is  a  reasonable  explanation  from  a  scientific  standpoint.  So  Occkhams  Razor  is  not  a  factor  at  all.  The  great  physicist  Stephen  Hawkings  already  stated  the  majority  of  every  cosmologist  agree  that  the  Big Bang  model  is  the  best  explanation  of  the  origin  of  the  universe.  As  for  the  uneccesarry  vastness  and  age  of  the  universe,  i  will  simply  say  that  we  are  in  no  position  to  judge  God  on  how  much  of  the  universe  he  created  or  how long  it  took  him  to  make  it.  God  is  a  being  with  unlimited  time and  unlimited  resources.  We  are  just  created  finite  beings  with  a  very  small  perspective.

 

I  will  just  stop  right  there. 

 

 


Atheistextremist
atheist
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5134
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Nice posts DormantDragon

DormantDragon wrote:

It occurs to me that the strongest argument many Christians often make is that if you are open to belief in their god, you'll see the evidence all around you. That is their strongest argument. Think about that for a second.

This is what Christopher Hitchens refers to as wish-thinking. Those who want to see the work of a god in the natural world or in coincidental occurrences will see it, or will claim it - they won't see evidence of evolution, geological movement, weather patterns, neurological processes - they'll see evidence of god.

These same people will deny the evidence of history or of science, if it tells against their belief. They'll accuse nonbelievers of the same kind of wish-thinking in which they themselves engage. But the use of empirical investigation, in both the natural and the social sciences, works to counteract any kind of wish-thinking. Conclusions are based on evidence, or withheld in the face of a lack of evidence.

The empirical approach to gaining knowledge and understanding is qualitatively very different to the religious approach. Most religions claim a monopoly on "the truth", but observation, experiment and reason - the tools of empirical investigation - are much better at approaching any truths that matter.

 

I've enjoyed reading them both. Thanks for taking the time.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Atheistextremist
atheist
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5134
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
How can you be so sure given your lack of proof?

Majesty wrote:

I  will  simply  say  that  we  are  in  no  position  to  judge  God  on  how  much  of  the  universe  he  created  or  how long  it  took  him  to  make  it.  God  is  a  being  with  unlimited  time and  unlimited  resources.  We  are  just  created  finite  beings  with  a  very  small  perspective.

 

You imply that even with our very small perspective, a perspective that does not allow us to know about god, we can nevertheless be sure it's possible have a relationship with a universe creating prime mover. But this surety is based on no proof at all.

Yes, the universe had a cause, the big bang. What was going on before the big bang? We don't know. You are positing a deity when the only proof you have is that we don't know. From this deity you can't prove beyond waving your hand in the general direction of absolutely no evidence, you then manufacture a personal saviour who sent his son to die on the cross to save us from our feelings of guilt and our fear of death. I don't care what you believe personally, but talking about the cosmological argument like it's a sure thing is indefensible. 

Your argument from morality is no doubt painted with the same brush. There's right and wrong - it must have come from somewhere. It came from an invisible god who exists outside the universe in some sort of colossal fantasyland that's apparently so boring he devotes all his time to ant farming in a galaxy far, far away.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


RatDog
atheist
Posts: 573
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
Majesty wrote:1.

Majesty wrote:

1. Everything  that  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause

How do you know this?


v4ultingbassist
Science Freak
v4ultingbassist's picture
Posts: 601
Joined: 2009-12-04
User is offlineOffline
Majesty wrote:Well, 

Majesty wrote:

Well,  there  are  ALSO  no  good  reasons  to  believe  that  nature  is  all  there  is.

 

Except that the study of nature has made discoveries that are useful to EVERYONE, and, as such, are hard to argue against.  Spirituality may work for some, but for as long as it has been around, it hasn't had the impact that modern science and technology have had on society.

 

Quote:

This  is  my  favorite.  I  believe  the  cosmological  argument  is  the  most  fasinating  argument  in  favor  of  theism.  I  disagree  that  it  is  committing  the  fallacy  of  argument  from  ignorance  because  those  that  accept  this  argument  is  not  stating  that  the  argument  is  true  until  it  can  be  falsified.  What  we  are  saying,  is  that  based  on  the  current  evidence  that  we  have  available,  both  philosophical  and  scientific,  that  this  argument  is  very  sound.  This  argument  is  also  not  a  Non Sequitur,  because  based  on  the  argument....

1. Everything  that  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause

2. The  universe  began  to  exist

3. Therefore,  the universe  has  a  cause

If  you  look  at  the  argument,  this  is  a  deductive  argument,  because  both  of  the  premises  have  been  PROVEN to  be  true,  so  the  conclusion  in  #3  logically  follows.

 

The  question  that  you  asked  "What  caused  God"  means  that  you  fail  to  understand  the  argument.  In  #1,  it  is  "Everything  that  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause".  God  never  began  to  exist,  so  God  doesn't  have  a  cause.  This  is  no  "special  pleading"  for  God,  because  atheist  has  always  said  that  the  universe  was  eternal  and  never  had  a  beginning.  Plus,  we  have  EVIDENCE  that  the  universe  had  a  beginning,  and  based  on  everyday  observation,  things  dont  just  pop  into  being  uncaused  out  of  nothing.  Quantum Mechanics/Quantum Physics  does  not  refute  premise  #1,  because  there  are  many  different  interpretations  of  Quantum Physics,  i  can  give you  at  LEAST  10  interpretations,  and  noone  knows  which  of  these  interpretations  are  correct.  And  not  all  physicists  even  agree  with  the  Copehangen interpreation  of  Quantum Physics,  one  which  i  assume  you  are  referring  too.  I  dont  understand  what  you  mean  by  Occkams Razor  in  this  context,  because  science  isn't  able  to  tell  us  what  spawned  the  singularity,  so  are  not  able  to  decipher  what  is  a  reasonable  explanation  from  a  scientific  standpoint.  So  Occkhams  Razor  is  not  a  factor  at  all.  The  great  physicist  Stephen  Hawkings  already  stated  the  majority  of  every  cosmologist  agree  that  the  Big Bang  model  is  the  best  explanation  of  the  origin  of  the  universe.  As  for  the  uneccesarry  vastness  and  age  of  the  universe,  i  will  simply  say  that  we  are  in  no  position  to  judge  God  on  how  much  of  the  universe  he  created  or  how long  it  took  him  to  make  it.  God  is  a  being  with  unlimited  time and  unlimited  resources.  We  are  just  created  finite  beings  with  a  very  small  perspective.

Your argument only says that the universe had something cause its existence.  You provide no relevant information whatsoever that provides reason why the causal chain of existence starts with the Big Bang.  That the universe began with the BB is true, however the same argument does not apply to existence itself.  It is therefore just as reasonable to say existence did not start at the BB.  So in order to apply your argument to existence, you need to establish why existence (aka reality) has a beginning.

 

Also, it would be simpler to conclude that energy did not have a beginning, so you need to provide evidence that it has a beginning, instead of making god the cause.  (and remember, the energy of our universe could have come about due to a physical process in pre-BB existence.  Since there is NO information regarding pre-BB conditions, either conclusion could be right.)

 

 

 

 

 


Majesty
Posts: 16
Joined: 2010-02-08
User is offlineOffline
Atheistextremist wrote: You

Atheistextremist wrote:

 You imply that even with our very small perspective, a perspective that does not allow us to know about god, we can nevertheless be sure it's possible have a relationship with a universe creating prime mover. But this surety is based on no proof at all.

Well,  what  I  am  saying  is  we  can't  pretend  to  know  every  single  detail  or  get  inside  the  mind  of  God  and  determine  why  he  did  this  or  why  he  did  that.  I  said  that  because  the  person  whom  I  was  responding  to  was  making  an  argument  that  goes  something  like  this  "A  Deity  wouldn't  have  created  a  universe  with  so much  uneccesarry  space".  And  my  point  was,  we  don't  know  why  God  would  have  created  the  universe  with  so  much  empty  space.  He  may  have  his  reasons.  That  was  my  point

 

Atheistextremist wrote:
Yes, the universe had a cause, the big bang. What was going on before the big bang? We don't know. You are positing a deity when the only proof you have is that we don't know. From this deity you can't prove beyond waving your hand in the general direction of absolutely no evidence, you then manufacture a personal saviour who sent his son to die on the cross to save us from our feelings of guilt and our fear of death. I don't care what you believe personally, but talking about the cosmological argument like it's a sure thing is indefensible.

 Well,  according  to  Big Bang  cosmology,  space,  matter, time,  and  energy  came  into  being  with  the  initial  Big Bang singularity  (all  nature  came  into  being).  So  before  the  big  bang,  there  was  no  space,  time, matter,  or  energy.  So  it  logically  follows  that  if  the  Big Bang  was  the  cause  of  nature,  then  whatever  caused  the  Big Bang  had  to  transcend  (or  exist  beyond)  space,  matter,  time,  and  energy.  The  problem  is,  instead  of  postulating  the  supernatural,  most  close minded  people  don't  want  to  even ENTERTAIN  the  thought  of  the  supernatural.  I  find  this  very  absurd.

 

 

Atheistextremist wrote:
Your argument from morality is no doubt painted with the same brush. There's right and wrong - it must have come from somewhere. It came from an invisible god who exists outside the universe in some sort of colossal fantasyland that's apparently so boring he devotes all his time to ant farming in a galaxy far, far away.

Well,  my  argument  from morality  is  not  based  on  just  morality.  It  is  based  on  OBJECTIVE  morality.  The  argument  is  not  that  you  can't  leave  a morally  good  life  without  God.  The  argument  is  without  God,  morality  can't  be  objective.  Everything  becomes  subjective.  You  think  stealing  is  wrong.  But  the  next  man  may  think  stealing  is  right.  You  may  have  a  million  reasons  why  you  think  stealing  is  wrong.  But  the  next man  may  have  a  million  different  reasons  why  stealing  is  right.  So  who  are  you  to  tell  a  man  that  stealing  is  wrong,  if  he  thinks  it  is  right?  For  objective  morality,  we  need  a  foundation  that  is  beyond  our  own  morality.  And  that  is  God

 

 

 

 

 

 


Majesty
Posts: 16
Joined: 2010-02-08
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:Majesty

RatDog wrote:

Majesty wrote:

1. Everything  that  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause

How do you know this?

 

I  challenge  anyone  on  here  to  give  me  an  example  of  something  that  can  begin  to  exist  without  having  a  preexisting  cause.  I  will  be  waiting.  This  first  premise  is  based  on  everyday  observation  and  if  anyone  disagree  with  this  first  premise,  then  provide  the  evidence.


Majesty
Posts: 16
Joined: 2010-02-08
User is offlineOffline
v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Well,  there  are  ALSO  no  good  reasons  to  believe  that  nature  is  all  there  is.

 

Except that the study of nature has made discoveries that are useful to EVERYONE, and, as such, are hard to argue against.  Spirituality may work for some, but for as long as it has been around, it hasn't had the impact that modern science and technology have had on society.

Well,  science  can  only  study  the  natural.  It  cannot  study  the  supernatural.  You  cant  put  the  supernatural  in  a  test  tube.  Science  is  in  no  position  to  study  the  supernatural.  Science  has  no  choice  but  to  stop  at  the  Big Bang.  That  is  the  furthest  that  science  can  go  back.  It  can't  go  back  any  further  than  that  because  the  cause  of  the  Big  Bang  is  not  natural,  nor  can  it  be  natural.

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Your argument only says that the universe had something cause its existence.  You provide no relevant information whatsoever that provides reason why the causal chain of existence starts with the Big Bang. 

 

Actually,  i  can  provide  relevant  information.  You  mention  the  "causal  chain".  There  are  only  three  different  types  of  causations.

1. An uncaused cause (God)

2. A "caused by others" cause (Leonardo Da Vinci was the cause of the painting of the Mona Lisa"

3. A "self cause" (a  person  causes himself to be born)

Those  are  the  only  causes  that  we  are  familiar  with.  We  can  quickly  cancel  out  #3,  because  it  is  absurd.  Nothing  can  be  the  cause  of  itself.  Out  of  nothing,  nothing  comes.  #3  can  be  quickly  disregarded  because  it  is  absurd.  What  about  #2,  we  are  very  aware  of  this  cause.  When  builders  build  a  house,  they  are  the  cause  of  the  house.  You  were  the  cause  of  your  parents  reproducing.  No  one  will  argue  with  the  possibility  of  #2.  Now  here  is  where  philosophy  comes  in.  There  CANNOT  be  an  actual  infinite  amount  of  causes.  This  is  because  an  actual  infinity  can  not  exist  in  reality.  I  will  ask  you  to  do  some  research  on  the  concept  of  "infinity".  It  is  a lot  of  ground  to  cover.  But  to  wrap  it  up,  we  know  that  since  there  cannot  be  an  infinite  amount  of  "caused  by  other"  causes,  that  there  had  to  be  at  least  one  uncaused  cause,  which  is  #1.

 

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:

Also, it would be simpler to conclude that energy did not have a beginning, so you need to provide evidence that it has a beginning, instead of making god the cause.  (and remember, the energy of our universe could have come about due to a physical process in pre-BB existence.  Since there is NO information regarding pre-BB conditions, either conclusion could be right.)

 Not  so.  According  to  Big Bang cosmology,  energy  itself  did  not  exist  prior  to  the  Big Bang.  The  Big  Bang  was  the  cause  of  everything  that  is  considered  natural.  That  is,  all  space,  matter,  time,  and  energy.  Before  the  BB,  none  of  that  stuff  existed.  There  was  literally  NOTHING.  And  out  of nothing, nothing  comes. 

 

v4ultingbassist wrote:

 That the universe began with the BB is true, however the same argument does not apply to existence itself.  It is therefore just as reasonable to say existence did not start at the BB.  So in order to apply your argument to existence, you need to establish why existence (aka reality) has a beginning.

 Well,  from  a  natural  perspective,  time  itself  had  a  beginning.  So  if  time  had  a  beginning,  then  it  logically  follows  that  existence  has  a  beginning,  since  everything  natural  exists  in  time.  Remember,  the  universe  is  everything  that  physically  exist,  and  everything  that  physically  exist  came  into  being  with  the  BB,  that  is  all  space,  time,  matter,  and  energy.  The  only  question  is,  what  gave  it  that  beginning.

 


KSMB
Scientist
KSMB's picture
Posts: 702
Joined: 2006-08-03
User is offlineOffline
Majesty wrote:Well, 

Majesty wrote:
Well,  science  can  only  study  the  natural.  It  cannot  study  the  supernatural.  You  cant  put  the  supernatural  in  a  test  tube.  Science  is  in  no  position  to  study  the  supernatural.

I think I found the root of your problems. You think that "supernatural" is a valid concept. It's not. I direct you to:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/039supernatural039_and_039immaterial039_are_broken_concepts


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3945
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Majesty wrote:This 

Majesty wrote:
This  argument  defeats  itself.  No  good  reasons  to  believe  that  anything  exists  "outside"  of  nature?  Well,  there  are  ALSO  no  good  reasons  to  believe  that  nature  is  all  there  is.  So  naturalism  does  not  simply  win  by  default.

Lol.

Scientific naturalism wins by default. Philosophical naturalism does not. Google it or something.

Scientific naturalism does not presuppose that nature is all there is. By definition, natural things are the only things that can be reliably observed and tested, so these are the only things worth discussing. It doesn't arbitrarily exclude any category from existence because, by definition, as long as you can reliably observe something, then that thing is natural. However, it does exclude these things from the realm of logic and science, but simply based on the premise that they cannot be described by logic and science, by definition.

Majesty wrote:
The  difference  between  Yahweh  and  Santa  Claus  is  that  no  one  is  willing  to  die  for  the  existence  of  Santa  Claus.  But  many  people  were/are  willing  to  give  there  life  for  Yahweh.  People  dont  believe  in  Santa Claus  not  because  there  isn't  any  evidence  for  him,  but  because  there  is  overwhelming  evidence  AGAINST  his  existence.  There  is  no  man  flying  around  on  a  sleigh  guided  by  reindeers,  one  in  which  has  a  red  glowing  nose.  That  is  why  we  dont  believe  in  Santa.  Children  stop  believing  in  Santa  once  they  are  of  age.  But  with  Christianity,  for  most  people,  there  love  for  Yahwah  increases  with  age.  So  there  is  a  big  difference  between  Santa  and  Jesus/Yahwah.

Psh.

Anyone can die for their belief system as long as they have a strong enough conviction. Muslims fly planes into building for their God. Buddhist monks set themselves on fire.

Of course, people aren't willing to die for Santa Claus, but I think this is because virtually no one actually believes Santa Claus exists except children. If people did believe that Santa Claus existed, I have no doubt that crazy things would be done in his name.   

Majesty wrote:
1. Everything  that  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause

2. The  universe  began  to  exist

3. Therefore,  the universe  has  a  cause

Well, don't stop there. Keep going with the syllogistic reasoning. How do you know the cause is an immaterial intelligence?

Majesty wrote:
The  question  that  you  asked  "What  caused  God"  means  that  you  fail  to  understand  the  argument.  In  #1,  it  is  "Everything  that  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause".  God  never  began  to  exist,  so  God  doesn't  have  a  cause.

Okay, then, how do you know God never began to exist?

Majesty wrote:
Plus,  we  have  EVIDENCE  that  the  universe  had  a  beginning,  and  based  on  everyday  observation,  things  dont  just  pop  into  being  uncaused  out  of  nothing.

Jesus, why this straman? Always. What is so appealing about this strawman?

If you talk to virtually any atheist, the answer you'll get the most is that we don't know what caused the universe. Nobody actually believes that the universe spontaneously popped out of the theistic conception of nothingness. 

Majesty wrote:
Quantum Mechanics/Quantum Physics  does  not  refute  premise  #1,  because  there  are  many  different  interpretations  of  Quantum Physics,

You clearly do not understand quantum mechanics. Don't profess to understand something that you do not understand.

Majesty wrote:
I  dont  understand  what  you  mean  by  Occkams Razor  in  this  context,

Occam's razor or Ockham's razor. Not "Occkams razor."

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


Marquis
atheist
Marquis's picture
Posts: 776
Joined: 2009-12-23
User is offlineOffline
For me, atheism isn't as

For me, atheism isn't as much an intellectual as it is an emotional thing.

I look at the "believers" and I see a bunch of excited, primitive apes jumping up and down and making threats.

This is not my species. These are the living dead. They are dangerous.

I don't need to make any arguments. I keep clear of Christians the same way I keep clear of crocodiles.

They are dangerous and they can't be reasoned with. That's all.

 

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

http://www.kinkspace.com


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3945
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Majesty wrote:Well, 

Majesty wrote:
Well,  science  can  only  study  the  natural.  It  cannot  study  the  supernatural.  You  cant  put  the  supernatural  in  a  test  tube.  Science  is  in  no  position  to  study  the  supernatural.  Science  has  no  choice  but  to  stop  at  the  Big Bang.  That  is  the  furthest  that  science  can  go  back.

Heck, nothing can study the supernatural. You can't put it into any kind of tube, and nothing is in a position to study the supernatural.  

Majesty wrote:
It  can't  go  back  any  further  than  that  because  the  cause  of  the  Big  Bang  is  not  natural,  nor  can  it  be  natural.

Why not? 

Majesty wrote:
Actually,  i  can  provide  relevant  information.  You  mention  the  "causal  chain".  There  are  only  three  different  types  of  causations.

1. An uncaused cause (God)

2. A "caused by others" cause (Leonardo Da Vinci was the cause of the painting of the Mona Lisa"

3. A "self cause" (a  person  causes himself to be born)

I pick number 2 then, unless you're assuming that it must be another intelligence, in which case, I invoke number 4.

4. Caused by a determined, unintelligent, impartial natural process.

Majesty wrote:
But  to  wrap  it  up,  we  know  that  since  there  cannot  be  an  infinite  amount  of  "caused  by  other"  causes,  that  there  had  to  be  at  least  one  uncaused  cause,  which  is  #1.

Well, I'm guilty of this too, as we all are, but once you're talking about what happened "before the Big Bang," most of the intuitive concepts that we take for granted breaks down. What's to say that terms like causality, time, etc. can even be coherently applied? It's very possible that they are merely characteristics of our current universe and are meaningless in any other context.

Majesty wrote:
Not  so.  According  to  Big Bang cosmology,  energy  itself  did  not  exist  prior  to  the  Big Bang.  The  Big  Bang  was  the  cause  of  everything  that  is  considered  natural.  That  is,  all  space,  matter,  time,  and  energy.  Before  the  BB,  none  of  that  stuff  existed.  There  was  literally  NOTHING.  And  out  of nothing, nothing  comes.

I disagree, so I'm going to challenge that accuracy of that statement. 

I don't think Big Bang cosmology claims that energy did not exit prior to the Big Bang. Do you have a source? Reference? Citation?

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


v4ultingbassist
Science Freak
v4ultingbassist's picture
Posts: 601
Joined: 2009-12-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Well,  science 

Quote:

Well,  science  can  only  study  the  natural.  It  cannot  study  the  supernatural.  You  cant  put  the  supernatural  in  a  test  tube.  Science  is  in  no  position  to  study  the  supernatural.  Science  has  no  choice  but  to  stop  at  the  Big Bang.  That  is  the  furthest  that  science  can  go  back.  It  can't  go  back  any  further  than  that  because  the  cause  of  the  Big  Bang  is  not  natural,  nor  can  it  be  natural.

 

Naked assertion.  You fail to understand that it is possible for the BB to have been natural.  Look up M-theory + Big Bang.  You should find an interesting theory that is based on current string theory.  I will not yet assert it as true (I'm not sure whether we'll even be able to find out if it is...)  The point here is that you are using a lack of evidence to say that something is necessarily <enter conclusion>.  This is why religion is based on faith, because it is based on subjective evidence and natural non-evidence.  

 

I agree that 'supernatural,' as a concept, is broken and actually hurts your arguments.  I fail to see why theists can't just say that everything that exists is natural, even the things you call supernatural now.  I suppose I shouldn't give you the advice though...

 

Quote:

Actually,  i  can  provide  relevant  information.  You  mention  the  "causal  chain".  There  are  only  three  different  types  of  causations.

1. An uncaused cause (God)

2. A "caused by others" cause (Leonardo Da Vinci was the cause of the painting of the Mona Lisa"

3. A "self cause" (a  person  causes himself to be born)

Those  are  the  only  causes  that  we  are  familiar  with.  We  can  quickly  cancel  out  #3,  because  it  is  absurd.  Nothing  can  be  the  cause  of  itself.  Out  of  nothing,  nothing  comes.  #3  can  be  quickly  disregarded  because  it  is  absurd.  What  about  #2,  we  are  very  aware  of  this  cause.  When  builders  build  a  house,  they  are  the  cause  of  the  house.  You  were  the  cause  of  your  parents  reproducing.  No  one  will  argue  with  the  possibility  of  #2.  Now  here  is  where  philosophy  comes  in.  There  CANNOT  be  an  actual  infinite  amount  of  causes.  This  is  because  an  actual  infinity  can  not  exist  in  reality.  I  will  ask  you  to  do  some  research  on  the  concept  of  "infinity".  It  is  a lot  of  ground  to  cover.  But  to  wrap  it  up,  we  know  that  since  there  cannot  be  an  infinite  amount  of  "caused  by  other"  causes,  that  there  had  to  be  at  least  one  uncaused  cause,  which  is  #1.

 

First, I would argue that there is always an option that is 'something we don't know.'  Humans are known to be wrong from time to time, and it is safer to always add the option of something unforeseeable.  Second, a truly random process would constitute 'an uncaused cause,' as I have already said you need to establish the relevant information as to why god is that uncaused caused (to which I add that it may even be impossible to do... see below).

 

"This  is  because  an  actual  infinity  can  not  exist  in  reality."

 

Assertion.  You can't comprehend that as possible having lived in a temporally miniscule amount of existence.  I argue that there is no reason why this is impossible.  It is a rather important concept in mathematics, and mathematics seem to be the purest way to understand the nature we are a part of.

 

Quote:

Not  so.  According  to  Big Bang cosmology,  energy  itself  did  not  exist  prior  to  the  Big Bang.  The  Big  Bang  was  the  cause  of  everything  that  is  considered  natural.  That  is,  all  space,  matter,  time,  and  energy.  Before  the  BB,  none  of  that  stuff  existed.  There  was  literally  NOTHING.  And  out  of nothing, nothing  comes.

 

As others have pointed out, you are wrong here.  It is clear that your knowledge regarding the BB is insufficient.  Like evolution lays no claim to the beginning of life, the BB does not address 'time 0.'  It explains the events leading up to it (going backwards in time), but says nothing about it or what was there before it.  I disregard any comment about pre-BB conditions, because it may end up being impossible to gather any information, scientifically, about those conditions.  It is certainly impossible to do so now.

 

Quote:

 Well,  from  a  natural  perspective,  time  itself  had  a  beginning.  So  if  time  had  a  beginning,  then  it  logically  follows  that  existence  has  a  beginning,  since  everything  natural  exists  in  time.  Remember,  the  universe  is  everything  that  physically  exist,  and  everything  that  physically  exist  came  into  being  with  the  BB,  that  is  all  space,  time,  matter,  and  energy.  The  only  question  is,  what  gave  it  that  beginning.

 

I will again have to disagree.  The running concept in physics is now space-time, because the two are intrinsically linked.  Also, I fail to see how it logically follows that if time had a beginning, so did existence.  You are here assuming that something has to be contained within time to have the property of existence.  I think this even goes against theistic views.  If god exists, then, using your logic, it would follow that he is contained in time, and therefore not eternal.  You are wrong in saying that the universe is all that physically exists.  You fail to understand that we only claim that within the limits of our knowledge.  In other words, the universe is all that physically exists, so far as we know.  We make no claims regarding existence external to the universe, so your claim that the universe is all that exists is flawed.

 

All in all, it seems you are extrapolating scientific knowledge into metaphysical claims.  You take what we know and assume that it applies to everything that could be.  We don't do that.  Science is NOT absolutist.  Science starts from zero knowledge and builds toward a cohesive understanding.  From what I've seen, theists tend to think in absolute terms, and do the same when they learn something scientific.  Another thing I see happening a lot is using a lack of evidence as evidence.  As I've already said, saying that there are x options, where "unknown" is not contained in the set is no longer scientific, and personally, no longer rational.  Given how many times humans have been wrong about what we know, you would think we'd come to expect this unexpected term.  My metaphysical position would thus be one where the unknown is as important as the known, in that an integral part of understanding is accepting that you simply may not know.

 

/rant