the new cutting edge atheist arguments.

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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the new cutting edge atheist arguments.

Post by Metacrock » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:54 pm

these from some guy I'm arguing with on another board.

Quote:I offer the following as 5 major reasons to reject belief in gods. They are in order of ascending importance, in my opinion. My goal is not to present a logical proof that gods don't exist, but to give some positive reasons from practical experience why people ought to reject belief. Also, I intend these as applying to all gods, not just the Christian god.

1) Divine silence

If gods were imaginary, then one would expect them not to come around at all. Gods do not intervene in human lives in any objectively detectable way. Usually, the topic of "divine silence" is associated with the Problem of Evil, the issue being why God does not intervene to thwart evil behavior. But no god even drops by to say "hello" in public places. They almost always appear only to private audiences, making their appearances look like private delusions. The point is that gods behave as if they didn't exist. They can only be detected through indirect personal experience, which is how humans communicate with all imaginary beings.

2) God of Gaps

Gods have always been used to explain natural phenomena, but scientific advances have literally stolen their thunder. We now have good non-theistic explanations for natural phenomena such as thunder. Religion often fights tooth and nail to preserve incorrect religious explanations that science has debunked. God always retreats in the face of advancing knowledge. Yet all religions still use gods to explain some phenomena that science has yet to provide answers for, e.g. what reality was like before the "Big Bang". The bad track record that religion has for explaining things should be taken as evidence that religion is unlikely to have any correct explanations.

3) Bad god detection record (failure of revelation)

Humans make phenomenally bad god detectors. They have dreamed up thousands and thousands of gods in their history, and religion exists in all human societies. The problem is that it is not the same religion. Clearly, people are prone to making up false gods and attributing miraculous behavior to them. Moreover, all religions spread from a single geographical location and spread from there to neighboring territories. If there were some objective collection of true gods, or a single true god, then one would expect the same revelations to crop up simultaneously in more than one place. The distribution of religions suggests that they are largely based on human contact and human traditions. Most believers simply believe in the gods that their parents taught them to believe in. If gods truly existed and people were able to detect them, then one would expect that there would be more uniformity of belief in the world. Even within monotheistic religions such as Christianity, there are myriads of competing ideas about what God is like.

4) Argument from Evolution

This is primarily an argument that undermines belief in creator gods such as the Christian god. Until evolution theory was developed by Darwin and others, the apparent design of things in nature seemed one of the best arguments for the existence of gods--as intelligent agencies that designed things in nature. The theory of evolution destroyed that argument, since it was now clear how natural "designs" could have arisen by unintelligent natural selection.

5) Brainless minds

Gods are usually immaterial beings that do not have physical brains. Science has discovered that every mental function that goes into making up the mind is directly linked to physical events in brains. If minds are fully dependent on brains, then it is unlikely that they can survive the death of the brain. Most religions assume that minds are immaterial things that can exist independently of bodies, but we would expect thought not to be so dependent on physical activity in a brain if that were true. Moreover, the evolutionary purpose of brains seems to be primarily as a guidance system for bodies--to help bodies avoid danger. So it is unlikely that minds would even exist but for the existence of bodies and brains. Gods, as spiritual unembodied minds, are therefore unlikely to exist.


I know these are not cutting edge. I know there are better atheist arguments. I hope, thank lack of a God right? I think these are rather idiotic.

I'm not putting these up to mock atheists. I know we have better than this (especially on my boards). But I just try to prompt general discussion. I think these are pretty stupid. bu tthey may stimulate better ones.
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If I correctly recall, your use of inflamatory terms

Post by GarrettQ » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:39 pm

such as 'idiotic' is primarily a tool for getting anyone to actually respond(I try to keep things strictly high caliper and to my dissatisfaction get almost entirely ignored while doing the much needed community service of curing the modern disease of insomnia. So every one or two years I return for a couple of weeks to relearn the lesson that boards are a waste of time for serious thinkers [at least you've saved your best arguments and could put them in a book someday so your time has not been 100% wasted, hopefully some others here will do the same.]).

Seriously, an objective third party must be able to see at least some valid points in some of these arguments as far as inductive arguments go. And we should give this person a little credit for recognizing what category of arguments these belong to.

1 and 3, seem the most relevant to fundamentalist fanatics of all religions. We could have the extreme view that those in other camps are all or mostly lairs, but here again the most fair minded view is that: It's very easy for fully honest people to be agnostic and also that quite many theists and atheist alike in equal significant percentages are fully honest people and even in the process of approaching being a personification of love and purely ethical will. The entire personal background for each of us shapes what would be honest for us to believe, and if for the sake of argument God exist, then if the fundamentalist were right that God was really concerned with what people believe instead of solely the direction of their hearts then for those reasons of background described or reasons similar to those 'hinted' at in 1 and 3 the universe would amount to some sick game of dice rolls over the salvation or damnation of sentient beings used as toys.

2 and 4, are really both about the problem of explanation and 'God of the gaps'. Using the concept of multi-verse to illustrate: There is no logically necessary limit on the size of our multi-verse, We don't know where the stopping point is. So we can't even point to the Big bang and say ah ha there's God's moment of creation, since that may be yet another natural phenomena in an even wider scheme. Thus when we point to any part of our world as proof that God exist then we have committed a G of the g's fallacy. To avoid this some turn to the cosmological infinite causal regress deductive arguments. I don't believe for a minute that an infinite causal regress is possible, but none the less the cosmological arguments are unsound and constantly regurgitated no matter how much time I've wasted reminding people that the universe as a whole is not even a finite causal regress; Throughout time there are constantly new chains of cause and effect being ignited by nondeterministic events potentially serving as final causes, And even the why of our universe having the constants indeed even the laws of causality and kinds of indeterminism that it has might originate from these.
For a grand Unified Theory of Everything to turnout to be compelling self-evident as to 'raise itself to life' it would have to be a non-arbitrary necessity. Science does not strictly give us anything other than logically contingent empirical truths, none the less it might lead us to such a theory which then by purely rational means we will know to be necessarily true. Thus in theory we could have just reasoned it out without science, but in reality this may have been beyond our intelligence to directly discover without helpful hints from science. To use a metaphor often people might not be good enough at math to solve an equation for x, but easily when given the value of x can plug it back into the equation and prove that the answer is correct.
In sum, when we have a logically consistent cosmology where nondeterminism lets all logically possible reality states be actually possible then that will be a self-compelling ultimate explanation of everything. Like theoretical physicists, philosophers of this field must merge with cutting edge mathematicians often using computers to work this puzzle out. Opinions are nice, but I would love to live long enough to see that puzzle solved.


5, again was only offered for plausibility not deductive proof. My rusty two cents: I am a dualist. In humans all cognitive attributes of our consciousness can be studied in the neural activity of our brains. Our minds need brains, but brains come in infinite varieties, and some might even be composed of networks of causality. As to theories of mind, ones that simply avoid the real world aren't worth our bother in believing.
Sometimes I think for a moment that it would be nice if that horrible wrong I've done was really ultimately a deterministic event given society or genetics or whatever, but the thing is I know better that I am responsible for at least some of those actions and I actually could have made some other choice.
Granted maybe my self is a continuing process and that is how the same 'me' persist throughout my life even though every bit of matter composing my brain gets replaced many times, but its not just that many versions of Garrett could have been me, but I could have been born with completely different genetics -born as any other conscious being a cat or even a rat in a lab or conscious AI possessing simply the same irreducibly unique first person perspective that ultimately I am. Ultimately all consciousness is equally in the same boat and there can only be one kind; the kind that is an irreducibly unique first person perspective. This leaves no room for other kinds generics nor privileged varieties. So either we have all always been alive or all consciousness has a first time of being alive. This does not rule out God but it does require moving to a conception of God other than a consciousness possessing the exclusive necessity of having always been alive.

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Re: the new cutting edge atheist arguments.

Post by ZAROVE » Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:20 pm

My comments on suchlike...


1) Divine silence

If gods were imaginary, then one would expect them not to come around at all. Gods do not intervene in human lives in any objectively detectable way. Usually, the topic of "divine silence" is associated with the Problem of Evil, the issue being why God does not intervene to thwart evil behavior. But no god even drops by to say "hello" in public places. They almost always appear only to private audiences, making their appearances look like private delusions. The point is that gods behave as if they didn't exist. They can only be detected through indirect personal experience, which is how humans communicate with all imaginary beings.



This isn't true.

Actually pretty obvious Public appearances have been known to occure, such as at Fatima, or Our Lady of Guadelupe. In those two instances, the Apparition was manifest in Public places.

Other examples, thugh less well known, have been very public.

Also, his last point doens't flow from the first. He goes from "Private Audiences" to "Indirect personal expeurnces". Actually most people who expeirnce God or soem other beingdo not detect God via an indirect personal expeirnce, btu a direct one. Said Atheist may want to claim this is Dlusion if it is expeirnced by a single person, but its stll not indirect.




2) God of Gaps

Gods have always been used to explain natural phenomena, but scientific advances have literally stolen their thunder. We now have good non-theistic explanations for natural phenomena such as thunder. Religion often fights tooth and nail to preserve incorrect religious explanations that science has debunked. God always retreats in the face of advancing knowledge. Yet all religions still use gods to explain some phenomena that science has yet to provide answers for, e.g. what reality was like before the "Big Bang". The bad track record that religion has for explaining things should be taken as evidence that religion is unlikely to have any correct explanations.



This isn't true either. In fact, Christianity was rather adament that the Natural order of the orld was established with fixed laws that Govern Natural Phoenomenon.

If yuou rrad Augustine, or THomas Aquinas, you od not see Thunder beign attributed directly to an act of God, but to natural causes, albeit yet to be understood.

The concept f Natural law, and everythign beign goerned by those laws, was a staple portion fo Christendom long before the moern Sicnetiifc age. In fact, it created the Scientific age we are in, by sayign that there are fixed laws that can be undertsood.



The argument tyhat God is sued to expalin what we don't have an explanaiton for is simply false.


3) Bad god detection record (failure of revelation)

Humans make phenomenally bad god detectors. They have dreamed up thousands and thousands of gods in their history, and religion exists in all human societies. The problem is that it is not the same religion. Clearly, people are prone to making up false gods and attributing miraculous behavior to them. Moreover, all religions spread from a single geographical location and spread from there to neighboring territories. If there were some objective collection of true gods, or a single true god, then one would expect the same revelations to crop up simultaneously in more than one place. The distribution of religions suggests that they are largely based on human contact and human traditions. Most believers simply believe in the gods that their parents taught them to believe in. If gods truly existed and people were able to detect them, then one would expect that there would be more uniformity of belief in the world. Even within monotheistic religions such as Christianity, there are myriads of competing ideas about what God is like.




his is a red Herringargument that overlooks the actual similarities foudn in all Majorworldreligions,focusing only on theDisagreements wthin them. It also overlooks the obvious problem withthe Ahtistic claims. the vast majority of the owlrd spopulation past and preasent have held to soem sort of God. We all know what we're tlakign about hwen we refer to God.

Cultural differences, as well as Individual intepretation fo past revelaiton or changing conditions, will crop up in any society over time, and will be even mroe evident in cultures that develop indpendantly.

Simply because there are other intepretatiosn fo what God is suppose to be like, oand other religions, doens't rpove God doesn't exist. It proves only that Human socity is compelxe, and it can also be used as an argumetn in favour f Gods eixxtstance.






4) Argument from Evolution

This is primarily an argument that undermines belief in creator gods such as the Christian god. Until evolution theory was developed by Darwin and others, the apparent design of things in nature seemed one of the best arguments for the existence of gods--as intelligent agencies that designed things in nature. The theory of evolution destroyed that argument, since it was now clear how natural "designs" could have arisen by unintelligent natural selection.




Assuming of coruse Evolution is...

1: True.

2: Unguided.

Unfortunatlry, even many Christians hold to Evolutionary theory nowadays, simply saying God guided Evolution. Evolution si also compatale ith Hinduism, and other world religions. ( An excellent essay by an Islamic Scholar on Islam and Evolution I read not too logn ago, though is name and its authors name I have forgotten.)

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist.


5) Brainless minds

Gods are usually immaterial beings that do not have physical brains. Science has discovered that every mental function that goes into making up the mind is directly linked to physical events in brains. If minds are fully dependent on brains, then it is unlikely that they can survive the death of the brain. Most religions assume that minds are immaterial things that can exist independently of bodies, but we would expect thought not to be so dependent on physical activity in a brain if that were true. Moreover, the evolutionary purpose of brains seems to be primarily as a guidance system for bodies--to help bodies avoid danger. So it is unlikely that minds would even exist but for the existence of bodies and brains. Gods, as spiritual unembodied minds, are therefore unlikely to exist.



Well, actualy many gods in Hisotry are Material beings. Look at the Olympians. Of couse this poster is relaly just attakcign Christianity, and attemotign to sound as if hes attakcign all "god beeloif" in general, but its still grating to see such an obviosu Gaffe.

hat said, simply showing a correlation between brain activity and thoguth is not equel to showing concrete proof that our minds are wholly dependant upon our brains. There is no Scinetific evidence that proves that Minds are wholly dependant upon Brains.


hat said, the argument is also not valid sicne he is tryign to contrast a Non-human intety with a Human one.

Why shoudl God's nature be the same as mans?

Also, his claim that Evolutionary forces shaped the brian to help the body avoud danger is speculative, and not proven, and also asusmesthat Evolution is a Blind forceandprovenfact.

Couldn't God have designed Evolution?

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Re: If I correctly recall, your use of inflamatory terms

Post by Metacrock » Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:26 pm

GarrettQ wrote:such as 'idiotic' is primarily a tool for getting anyone to actually respond(I try to keep things strictly high caliper and to my dissatisfaction get almost entirely ignored while doing the much needed community service of curing the modern disease of insomnia. So every one or two years I return for a couple of weeks to relearn the lesson that boards are a waste of time for serious thinkers [at least you've saved your best arguments and could put them in a book someday so your time has not been 100% wasted, hopefully some others here will do the same.]).

thanks Garrett. you need to read my blog. that's where my serious arguments are. I think you might enjoy it. you can find it here:


http://metacrock.blogspot.com/
Seriously, an objective third party must be able to see at least some valid points in some of these arguments as far as inductive arguments go. And we should give this person a little credit for recognizing what category of arguments these belong to.
well I can see potential in them. If I were still an atheist I could do something with a couple of them. But he's so obnoxious. I've bombarded him with pages of data and he says "you haven't given any facts."

1 and 3, seem the most relevant to fundamentalist fanatics of all religions. We could have the extreme view that those in other camps are all or mostly lairs, but here again the most fair minded view is that: It's very easy for fully honest people to be agnostic and also that quite many theists and atheist alike in equal significant percentages are fully honest people and even in the process of approaching being a personification of love and purely ethical will. The entire personal background for each of us shapes what would be honest for us to believe, and if for the sake of argument God exist, then if the fundamentalist were right that God was really concerned with what people believe instead of solely the direction of their hearts then for those reasons of background described or reasons similar to those 'hinted' at in 1 and 3 the universe would amount to some sick game of dice rolls over the salvation or damnation of sentient beings used as toys.

Yes I can see how that would be valid point if it wasn't for the fact that God does get through to most people. I mean the majority 90% believe, and have reasons to believe of some kind at least. This whole idea that God has to make it obvious or he's not there i can't help but feel that's doge. Its' just looking for a gimmick so they want to make it easy for themselves.





2
and 4, are really both about the problem of explanation and 'God of the gaps'. Using the concept of multi-verse to illustrate: There is no logically necessary limit on the size of our multi-verse, We don't know where the stopping point is. So we can't even point to the Big bang and say ah ha there's God's moment of creation, since that may be yet another natural phenomena in an even wider scheme. Thus when we point to any part of our world as proof that God exist then we have committed a G of the g's fallacy. To avoid this some turn to the cosmological infinite causal regress deductive arguments. I don't believe for a minute that an infinite causal regress is possible, but none the less the cosmological arguments are unsound and constantly regurgitated no matter how much time I've wasted reminding people that the universe as a whole is not even a finite causal regress; Throughout time there are constantly new chains of cause and effect being ignited by nondeterministic events potentially serving as final causes, And even the why of our universe having the constants indeed even the laws of causality and kinds of indeterminism that it has might originate from these.

I think g of g is a straw man. my fiath is not based upon gaps. I said that to this guy he said "prove it."

For a grand Unified Theory of Everything to turnout to be compelling self-evident as to 'raise itself to life' it would have to be a non-arbitrary necessity. Science does not strictly give us anything other than logically contingent empirical truths, none the less it might lead us to such a theory which then by purely rational means we will know to be necessarily true. Thus in theory we could have just reasoned it out without science, but in reality this may have been beyond our intelligence to directly discover without helpful hints from science. To use a metaphor often people might not be good enough at math to solve an equation for x, but easily when given the value of x can plug it back into the equation and prove that the answer is correct.
I've had a devil of a time trying to get those yahoos to see that naturalistic phenomena is obviously contingent phenomena.

In sum, when we have a logically consistent cosmology where nondeterminism lets all logically possible reality states be actually possible then that will be a self-compelling ultimate explanation of everything. Like theoretical physicists, philosophers of this field must merge with cutting edge mathematicians often using computers to work this puzzle out. Opinions are nice, but I would love to live long enough to see that puzzle solved.

I am rapidly approaching a mood to chuck the attempt at talking to people about this stuff except for philosophers.

5, again was only offered for plausibility not deductive proof. My rusty two cents: I am a dualist. In humans all cognitive attributes of our consciousness can be studied in the neural activity of our brains. Our minds need brains, but brains come in infinite varieties, and some might even be composed of networks of causality. As to theories of mind, ones that simply avoid the real world aren't worth our bother in believing.

but that just applies to biological organisms. how could it apply to something that is the foundation of reality?

Sometimes I think for a moment that it would be nice if that horrible wrong I've done was really ultimately a deterministic event given society or genetics or whatever, but the thing is I know better that I am responsible for at least some of those actions and I actually could have made some other choice.


Granted maybe my self is a continuing process and that is how the same 'me' persist throughout my life even though every bit of matter composing my brain gets replaced many times, but its not just that many versions of Garrett could have been me, but I could have been born with completely different genetics -born as any other conscious being a cat or even a rat in a lab or conscious AI possessing simply the same irreducibly unique first person perspective that ultimately I am. Ultimately all consciousness is equally in the same boat and there can only be one kind; the kind that is an irreducibly unique first person perspective. This leaves no room for other kinds generics nor privileged varieties. So either we have all always been alive or all consciousness has a first time of being alive. This does not rule out God but it does require moving to a conception of God other than a consciousness possessing the exclusive necessity of having always been alive.

thanks for your thoughts.
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Re: the new cutting edge atheist arguments.

Post by Metacrock » Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:28 pm

good responses Zor. I wish I had thought to bring up Whitehead and Boyle and all the people who thought that Christianity was necessary to development of modern science, on that G ofG thing.
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Re: the new cutting edge atheist arguments.

Post by ZAROVE » Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:11 am

Its not like these arguments are new. They also aren't well researched, and simly rely upon old Sterotypes and cliches not found to be accurate presentations of beleif in God as held Historically or contemporanmiously.

History and basic logic dispell these arguments.

I've heard much better.

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Re: the new cutting edge atheist arguments.

Post by ChumpChange » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:02 pm

Metacrock wrote:

1) Divine silence

If gods were imaginary, then one would expect them not to come around at all. Gods do not intervene in human lives in any objectively detectable way. Usually, the topic of "divine silence" is associated with the Problem of Evil, the issue being why God does not intervene to thwart evil behavior. But no god even drops by to say "hello" in public places. They almost always appear only to private audiences, making their appearances look like private delusions. The point is that gods behave as if they didn't exist. They can only be detected through indirect personal experience, which is how humans communicate with all imaginary beings.
Has it ever occurred to anyone that maybe God doesnt want to be proven to exist? Maybe its his will that we question our faith. Logically, how can faith exist if God makes public appearances? "Gods do not intervene in human lives in any objectively detectable way."
Oh really, what about the existence of Jesus? What about the Flood? What about the divinity of the Bible
Metacrock wrote: 2) God of Gaps

Gods have always been used to explain natural phenomena, but scientific advances have literally stolen their thunder. We now have good non-theistic explanations for natural phenomena such as thunder. Religion often fights tooth and nail to preserve incorrect religious explanations that science has debunked. God always retreats in the face of advancing knowledge. Yet all religions still use gods to explain some phenomena that science has yet to provide answers for, e.g. what reality was like before the "Big Bang". The bad track record that religion has for explaining things should be taken as evidence that religion is unlikely to have any correct explanations.
So basically you are saying that theistic arguments from thousands of years ago are no longer relevant today? Agreed. Hundreds of years ago science thought the earth was flat, so does that mean that all atheist arguments are silly too? What about the science of the gaps? We have natural explanations for thunder but the ultimate source of all things natural is God so your argument doesnt hold water...literally.

Metacrock wrote:
3) Bad god detection record (failure of revelation)

Humans make phenomenally bad god detectors. They have dreamed up thousands and thousands of gods in their history, and religion exists in all human societies. The problem is that it is not the same religion. Clearly, people are prone to making up false gods and attributing miraculous behavior to them. Moreover, all religions spread from a single geographical location and spread from there to neighboring territories. If there were some objective collection of true gods, or a single true god, then one would expect the same revelations to crop up simultaneously in more than one place. The distribution of religions suggests that they are largely based on human contact and human traditions. Most believers simply believe in the gods that their parents taught them to believe in. If gods truly existed and people were able to detect them, then one would expect that there would be more uniformity of belief in the world. Even within monotheistic religions such as Christianity, there are myriads of competing ideas about what God is like.
True. There have always been many religions besides the one true christian religion, that doesnt mean that God doesnt exist."If gods truly existed and people were able to detect them, then one would expect that there would be more uniformity of belief in the world." Why is that? Given human nature to copy and build upon things what makes you think that anything in this world would have a single uniform belief by humans?
Metacrock wrote:
4) Argument from Evolution

This is primarily an argument that undermines belief in creator gods such as the Christian god. Until evolution theory was developed by Darwin and others, the apparent design of things in nature seemed one of the best arguments for the existence of gods--as intelligent agencies that designed things in nature. The theory of evolution destroyed that argument, since it was now clear how natural "designs" could have arisen by unintelligent natural selection.
Too vague. First of all evolution doesnt prove the non-existence of God. Maybe God created evolution to throw us off. Who created the process natural selection? In order to claim that evolution destroys the ID argument you must first prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that humans evolved from another species. Where is the definitive proof? If this proof did exist then we wouldnt be having this conversation would we?
Metacrock wrote:

1) Divine silence

If gods were imaginary, then one would expect them not to come around at all. Gods do not intervene in human lives in any objectively detectable way. Usually, the topic of "divine silence" is associated with the Problem of Evil, the issue being why God does not intervene to thwart evil behavior. But no god even drops by to say "hello" in public places. They almost always appear only to private audiences, making their appearances look like private delusions. The point is that gods behave as if they didn't exist. They can only be detected through indirect personal experience, which is how humans communicate with all imaginary beings.
Has it ever occurred to anyone that maybe God doesnt want to be proven to exist? Maybe its his will that we question our faith. Logically, how can faith exist if God makes public appearances? "Gods do not intervene in human lives in any objectively detectable way."
Oh really, what about the existence of Jesus? What about the Flood? What about the divinity of the Bible
Metacrock wrote: 2) God of Gaps

Gods have always been used to explain natural phenomena, but scientific advances have literally stolen their thunder. We now have good non-theistic explanations for natural phenomena such as thunder. Religion often fights tooth and nail to preserve incorrect religious explanations that science has debunked. God always retreats in the face of advancing knowledge. Yet all religions still use gods to explain some phenomena that science has yet to provide answers for, e.g. what reality was like before the "Big Bang". The bad track record that religion has for explaining things should be taken as evidence that religion is unlikely to have any correct explanations.
So basically you are saying that theistic arguments from thousands of years ago are no longer relevant today? Agreed. Hundreds of years ago science thought the earth was flat, so does that mean that all atheist arguments are silly too? What about the science of the gaps? We have natural explanations for thunder but the ultimate source of all things natural is God so your argument doesnt hold water...literally.

Metacrock wrote:
3) Bad god detection record (failure of revelation)

Humans make phenomenally bad god detectors. They have dreamed up thousands and thousands of gods in their history, and religion exists in all human societies. The problem is that it is not the same religion. Clearly, people are prone to making up false gods and attributing miraculous behavior to them. Moreover, all religions spread from a single geographical location and spread from there to neighboring territories. If there were some objective collection of true gods, or a single true god, then one would expect the same revelations to crop up simultaneously in more than one place. The distribution of religions suggests that they are largely based on human contact and human traditions. Most believers simply believe in the gods that their parents taught them to believe in. If gods truly existed and people were able to detect them, then one would expect that there would be more uniformity of belief in the world. Even within monotheistic religions such as Christianity, there are myriads of competing ideas about what God is like.
True. There have always been many religions besides the one true christian religion, that doesnt mean that God doesnt exist."If gods truly existed and people were able to detect them, then one would expect that there would be more uniformity of belief in the world." Why is that? Given human nature to copy and build upon things what makes you think that anything in this world would have a single uniform belief by humans?
Metacrock wrote:
5) Brainless minds

Gods are usually immaterial beings that do not have physical brains. Science has discovered that every mental function that goes into making up the mind is directly linked to physical events in brains. If minds are fully dependent on brains, then it is unlikely that they can survive the death of the brain. Most religions assume that minds are immaterial things that can exist independently of bodies, but we would expect thought not to be so dependent on physical activity in a brain if that were true. Moreover, the evolutionary purpose of brains seems to be primarily as a guidance system for bodies--to help bodies avoid danger. So it is unlikely that minds would even exist but for the existence of bodies and brains. Gods, as spiritual unembodied minds, are therefore unlikely to exist.
I suggest you take a look at the Near Death Experience phenomenon. Millions of people have claimed to have NDE after their brain waves and/or heart have stopped. According to all of these people the human consciousness continues even after the physical death of the brain. Now of course you could say that NDE are tricks of the brain but that doesnt explain why people who were once brain dead come back to life with stories of the after life. Why do all these people have similar experiences? I have physicians in my family and every single one of them has dealt with a patient who has died, been brought back and came back with stories of the other side. I know this isnt the best answer ever but then again this is a weak question. Why would you expect God to be just like humans?
"Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."

-Ecclesiastes 7:29

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Re: the new cutting edge atheist arguments.

Post by ZAROVE » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:05 pm

Has it ever occurred to anyone that maybe God doesnt want to be proven to exist? Maybe its his will that we question our faith. Logically, how can faith exist if God makes public appearances?

I have todisagreeon thispoint.

Faith can Logiclly exist of GodmakesPublicAppeaances,an in fact woudl be assured.

Its an oldtrick the Athists use, and its a pitythat many Christians have accepted it. They redefine Faith tomean "Beleif without evidence".

You seemto concure iwht this definition with the above, and act as if God makign Public appearances woudl make Faith impossible. You also fall itot he trap of elevating Faith to a virtue afte so defining it, thus the Ahteust can claim that they prefer reason and evidence, whereas the Christian ( as all are held tot he beleifs of a few) prefer ot beleive blidnly in what they are told.


But, Faith is not "Beleif without evidnce". Faith is simply Confidence in something, or loyalty to it, or trst in it.

One can have confidence in God, and still have God make Public appearances. In fact, Confidence in at leats gis eistance wudl increase. Likewise, so woudl Lyalty or trust.

One can eaisly have Faith in God if God made routine appearances in Public.In the Old Testament alone God made more than a few Obvious Public appearances. Even in our modern world, we see God making the occassional, and very open, Public appearance. Even when the Israelites, or those in modern times, see God interact in the world, hwoever, and even when they so accept it as Gods action, they do not always remain faithful.



The truth is, Faith isn't a virtue if it is defined as "Beleif without evidence" and even the Bibel tells us to test all things,a nd to seek reason and truth.



"Gods do not intervene in human lives in any objectively detectable way."
Oh really, what about the existence of Jesus? What about the Flood? What about the divinity of the Bible

You discredit the above disocurse abotu Faith not logiclaly ecisting with God if he made Public appearances with this.


If Giod did those things int he past and expcted Faith, then Faith can logixllay exist even with obviosu proof, and in fact be strengthened by proof.

That said, you have overlooked smething. To an Atheist , the narratives in the Bible woudl not nessisairly be seen as true events.The Bible woudl not be seen as Divine. The Flood woudl be seen as a Myth. Jesus woudl be seen as an Itenerate Rabbi who went about teahcing and managed to get himself a following and hten crucified.

None of tgat would nessisarily be obvious tt those we speak abut now as evidence to thwart their claims.

So basically you are saying that theistic arguments from thousands of years ago are no longer relevant today? Agreed.

Disagreed.

You again presume the Atheist is right,and the theists of old attributed to God every action in natrue, which is not true.

If you read the Jewish Writtings, and later the Christian ones, it is evident tha they did not attribute thundr to God beign angry, or Earthquakes to Gods action, exclusivley an donly. They did understand that the world had natural principles that governed it, and that those forces, though established by God, where fixed in Charecter and independant.



Hundreds of years ago science thought the earth was flat,
Atheists often blame religion on that, and the Irony is tht we knew the world was roudn since before CHristendom in the throngs of Pagan Rome.

CHristaisn never relaly altered that view.

Augustine was actulaly critisised for the view that the earth was flat and most hristain thinkers held it to be roudn beore and afte rhim even in the Middel Ages.

They held to Ptolomey, who also held to a globe not a flat earth.


so does that mean that all atheist arguments are silly too? What about the science of the gaps?
On this I'd liek to say, you are again lettign the Ahtiests define themselves as the ones hwo use Science, and act as if Science and Atheism are linked.

DIscrediting a Scintific idea doesn't discredit Atiesm. Nor does validating Scientific theories prove Ahtiesm.

Atheism did not emerbe from Science, you know. As much as they like nowadays to link themselves to it, Science is not the same hting as Atheism, nor is theire any real link betwen the two.


We have natural explanations for thunder but the ultimate source of all things natural is God so your argument doesnt hold water...literally.

But they'd argue that God doesn't exist, and your assertion is not goign to make any headway.

Too vague.



Not relaly too vauge as insignifigant.


First of all evolution doesnt prove the non-existence of God.
This is true. God could have been the source of it.

Maybe God created evolution to throw us off.

Why woudl God want to throw us off?

Who created the process natural selection?
Well, the Ahtiest woudl simply say that Natural Selection wans't created, it emerged from natural Phoenomenon independanltyhy.

That's sort of the point with Ahtiesm, really.

In order to claim that evolution destroys the ID argument you must first prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that humans evolved from another species.



True. But even then you can't destroy the basic Intellegent Design argument since Theistic Evolution can be seen, in a broad sence,as allowign an Intellegent Designer.

Where is the definitive proof? If this proof did exist then we wouldnt be having this conversation would we?

They'd then throw at you the fact that it is a Sicnetific COnsensus and use the Fossil Record and DNA. THey'd overlook the fact that all fo this is still proximate and not final, definite, absolute proof.

Just liek there is evidence fr Gdos eixstance, but tis not final, absolute, and definite.

I touche don this earlier, in how they approach things as incnsostant.

But I'd remidn you that it snot all Ahtiests, and I'd advise you not to let them define things liek Faith.

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ChumpChange
Posts: 38
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Re: the new cutting edge atheist arguments.

Post by ChumpChange » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:58 pm

ZAROVE wrote:
Has it ever occurred to anyone that maybe God doesnt want to be proven to exist? Maybe its his will that we question our faith. Logically, how can faith exist if God makes public appearances?
I have todisagreeon thispoint.

Faith can Logiclly exist of GodmakesPublicAppeaances,an in fact woudl be assured.

Its an oldtrick the Athists use, and its a pitythat many Christians have accepted it. They redefine Faith tomean "Beleif without evidence".

You seemto concure iwht this definition with the above, and act as if God makign Public appearances woudl make Faith impossible. You also fall itot he trap of elevating Faith to a virtue afte so defining it, thus the Ahteust can claim that they prefer reason and evidence, whereas the Christian ( as all are held tot he beleifs of a few) prefer ot beleive blidnly in what they are told.

But, Faith is not "Beleif without evidnce". Faith is simply Confidence in something, or loyalty to it, or trst in it.

One can have confidence in God, and still have God make Public appearances. In fact, Confidence in at leats gis eistance wudl increase. Likewise, so woudl Lyalty or trust.

One can eaisly have Faith in God if God made routine appearances in Public.In the Old Testament alone God made more than a few Obvious Public appearances. Even in our modern world, we see God making the occassional, and very open, Public appearance. Even when the Israelites, or those in modern times, see God interact in the world, hwoever, and even when they so accept it as Gods action, they do not always remain faithful.

The truth is, Faith isn't a virtue if it is defined as "Beleif without evidence" and even the Bibel tells us to test all things,a nd to seek reason and truth.

Okay good points. But the issue with faith is that the word is clearly defined in the dictionary as: To commit oneself to act based on self experience to warrant belief, but without absolute proof.

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


ZAROVE wrote:
"Gods do not intervene in human lives in any objectively detectable way."
Oh really, what about the existence of Jesus? What about the Flood? What about the divinity of the Bible
You discredit the above disocurse abotu Faith not logiclaly ecisting with God if he made Public appearances with this.

If Giod did those things int he past and expcted Faith, then Faith can logixllay exist even with obviosu proof, and in fact be strengthened by proof.

That said, you have overlooked smething. To an Atheist , the narratives in the Bible woudl not nessisairly be seen as true events.The Bible woudl not be seen as Divine. The Flood woudl be seen as a Myth. Jesus woudl be seen as an Itenerate Rabbi who went about teahcing and managed to get himself a following and hten crucified.

None of tgat would nessisarily be obvious tt those we speak abut now as evidence to thwart their claims.

I see how you could think this but I must disagree. God does intervene with humanity in a detectable way but he doesnt make public appearances. He leaves traces of his presence but doesnt present himself physically. To believe that Jesus was the son of God requires trust in him. God used to make public appearences in the bible but not to the whole world. I dont believe its God will for the entire human population to witness Him at once or it wouldve happened by now and we wouldnt be having this discussion. All 3 things I mentioned in the list above require faith to believe but if God appeared in the sky for the whole planet to see then we wouldnt need faith to believe in Gods existence anymore because it would be an undeniable fact that everyone knows. For example you can see the clouds so you dont need faith that the clouds are there because you can see them.
ZAROVE wrote:
So basically you are saying that theistic arguments from thousands of years ago are no longer relevant today? Agreed.
Disagreed.

You again presume the Atheist is right,and the theists of old attributed to God every action in natrue, which is not true.

If you read the Jewish Writtings, and later the Christian ones, it is evident tha they did not attribute thundr to God beign angry, or Earthquakes to Gods action, exclusivley an donly. They did understand that the world had natural principles that governed it, and that those forces, though established by God, where fixed in Charecter and independant.

Agreed. You make a very good point. The reason I agreed with the other guys posting is because I know that Zeus in ancient Greece was attributed with being the god of thunder.
ZAROVE wrote:
Hundreds of years ago science thought the earth was flat,
Atheists often blame religion on that, and the Irony is tht we knew the world was roudn since before CHristendom in the throngs of Pagan Rome.

CHristaisn never relaly altered that view.

Augustine was actulaly critisised for the view that the earth was flat and most hristain thinkers held it to be roudn beore and afte rhim even in the Middel Ages.

They held to Ptolomey, who also held to a globe not a flat earth.


No the argument was weather or not christians have an explanation for forces of nature besides God. I say yes we do but when it all comes down to it God created nature so he is the ultimate source.

ZAROVE wrote:
Maybe God created evolution to throw us off.
Why woudl God want to throw us off?
Who knows. God works in mysterious ways. Maybe to deepen our faith. Maybe to force us to use our minds rather than just saying that the answer to everything is Gods will. You could also ask the question why would God not want to throw us off.

ZAROVE wrote:
Where is the definitive proof? If this proof did exist then we wouldnt be having this conversation would we?
They'd then throw at you the fact that it is a Sicnetific COnsensus and use the Fossil Record and DNA. THey'd overlook the fact that all fo this is still proximate and not final, definite, absolute proof.

Just liek there is evidence fr Gdos eixstance, but tis not final, absolute, and definite.

I touche don this earlier, in how they approach things as incnsostant.

But I'd remidn you that it snot all Ahtiests, and I'd advise you not to let them define things liek Faith.
Good advice. Point taken.
"Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."

-Ecclesiastes 7:29

ZAROVE
Posts: 412
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: the new cutting edge atheist arguments.

Post by ZAROVE » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:55 pm

I never use Wikipedia, as Ive learend the hard way that its a biased and innacurate soruce.

My Dicitonary doens't define Faith the same way, but a s"COnfidence, Loyalty, or trust."

The truth, though, si that the word, as with many others, acutlaly has many definitiosn debpendign on th spacific context. The toruble wiht the Athiest arguments abotu Faith VS Reason is that they assume Faith is beleif withotu evidence in all contexts, and you seem to find peopel willign to go alogn with this.

But if you read the actual writtings of the actual Christaisn who spoke of their faith for the last two millinia, they didn't use the word Faith to mean "Beleif withotu evidence" in most of their writtings.


I also think that Gods invovlelemt int he world today is the same as its always been, and that he does make his preasence known in obvious, and soemtiem spublic, ways.


I simply htink tis rare.

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