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A Few Questions For The Atheists


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#261 Ron

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 05:04 AM

Which brings us back to:

1- From where did we come (what are our Origins) according to any facts provided by an atheistic worldview?

2- What are the factual atheistic foundations to support the atheistic worldview and philosophy of our origins?

Further - If these questions cannot be answered with “facts” (and not merely more supposition and equivocal meanderings), does atheism have anything but “faith statements” as their foundation? And, what can one make of the philosophy of atheism (i.e. conclusion)?




Before you answer these questions, read the OP in post#1 Page one of this thread.

#262 Tkubok

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:54 AM

Can I ask what sort of "faith statements" atheists make?

#263 falcone

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:41 AM

Can I ask what sort of "faith statements" atheists make?

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Hi Tkubok

If we say, 'God does not exist', 'the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old', 'humans and chimps share a common ancestor', or 'atmospheric conditions on Venus were not always as they are now' many members of this forum will argue there is no evidence to back up such a claim and we are therefore we are making a faith statement

#264 Ron

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:41 AM

Can I ask what sort of "faith statements" atheists make?

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Did you read the OP?

#265 MamaElephant

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 01:34 PM

Anything that is not backed up by empirical evidence is considered a faith statement.

#266 Tkubok

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 01:57 PM

Thanks for that, falcone.

And yes, i did read the OP. I was just making sure that i could answer the question. So far, i can. So here is my reply.

1. I will assume you are talking about the origins to EVERYTHING, including the universe and such, in which case, i would have to be honest and say i dont know on the basis that there is insufficient evidence. I know what youre going to say, that i cannot claim that God does not exist/There is no God, but I wouldnt make that claim in the first place, so yeah.

Since i answered the first, i dont think i can answer the second with any meaningful information. However, i can answer the "Further" questions.


I am an atheist. But my belief isnt a claim that God does not exist, it is a disbelief in the claim that a God does exist. Such a disbelief, or any disbelief, cannot be based on faith.

I know of some atheists(Personally), who claim that there is no God, but i understand their position to be this. We would, in the colloquial sense, say that we believe no lepricons exist, and not many people would have a problem with this statement, despite the fact that it is faith-based. And in that sense, those athiests would claim that God does not exist.

Im not sure if there are any other claims that are necessarily exclusive to atheism and its philosophy beyond that, though. Are there?

#267 scott

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 04:01 PM

I am an atheist. But my belief isnt a claim that God does not exist, it is a disbelief in the claim that a God does exist. Such a disbelief, or any disbelief, cannot be based on faith.

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We know that Leprechauns don't exist... At least we are sure they don't exist, we put our faith in the scientific community/studies/experiments/history that they don't exist.

You see it doesn't matter how small your amount of faith is... it is still faith, just replace the word Leprechaun with God. Now, I don't go around all day pondering if Leprechauns exist or not, because I believe there is sufficient evidence to believe that they don't exist, but I must admit that I'm making a short faith statement by saying they don't exist... because truly I don't exactly know.

If you tell me that you don't know if something exists, and then you proceed to tell me that you don't believe it exist anyways... then you are in fact having faith that it doesn't exist.

You may not be saing: God does not exist!

But you are saying: I don't believe God exist.

Both are faith based because neither statement has sufficient evidence to make the choice without being partnered with faith.

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 05:06 PM

Hi Tkubok

If we say, 'God does not exist'

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This is a faith statement. There is evidence for all other examples you gave as I'm sure you know. One could argue there is a lack of evidence for the existence of God, but in the words of the great Gin Rummy, "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence."

#269 AFJ

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:36 PM

This is a faith statement.  There is evidence for all other examples you gave as I'm sure you know.  One could argue there is a lack of evidence for the existence of God, but in the words of the great Gin Rummy, "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence."

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Would you say a miracle is evidence of God? When I say miracle--I don't mean the "miracle" of birth, or a statue of Mother Mary (which is an idol--no offense Catholics) crying. I mean a scripturally patterned miracle. Namely, instantaeous healing, total disappearance of cancer, a cripple walking, or blinded eyes seeing.

What about signs? These could be signs of the times, or personal signs--things that happen to someone that greatly impress them they are being led by God.

Answers to prayer. Some of these can be explained as coincidence. Others are very persuasive. My sister is a Christian, and likes to sing publicly. She is kind of popular in local country and gospel circles in Illinois. One time, we had gone to watch her, and I was with a pastor who believed in the power of prayer. My sister was to sing outside "People Need the Lord." We were excited that this would be an oppurtunity of "seed sowing," as not everone there (it was like a small town fair) was a believer. Just minutes before she was to come on stage, there was this huge front of very dark clouds that just came up--straight toward us. It was obvious that we were going to have to seek shelter. The pastor, myself, and a group of friends decided to pray that this front would go arouund us, so that my sister could sing this gospel song to unbelievers.

I am not kidding--this huge front actually took a perpendicular path, went a little off to the side and continued in the direction it had been going. Now, if this were the only thing I had ever seen in response to prayer, one could say it was coincidence. But I have served the Lord for 28 years. I have seen some really amazing answers to prayer---not just mine--more often other people. That's why we are to testify.

Jesus said, All things are possible to those who believe. The difference between true faith and a superstition is that faith has power. It produces things. I have seen people's cancer disappear after corporate (church group) prayer. WHen they to the doctor, there is NO sign of cancer--not remission--it was there and now the doctor is just befungled--it's gone.

When I was in Africa, people die alot, because there is alot of infectious disease, and most people can't afford medicine or vaccines. When you say you are sick, you are saying I might die.

We (the congregation) would pray in agreement for the sick in people's famillies who were not even at church, a sick relative of someone in the congregation. They would come back the next week and say they got well. It happened a number of times. As I said, we are not talking colds--more like yellow fever, malaria, rheumatic fever, hepatitus, cholera, and dysentary. These are things you don't get over without medicine. Most of these people wer poor--that's why they asked for prayer.

#270 Tkubok

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 02:38 AM

We know that Leprechauns don't exist... At least we are sure they don't exist, we put our faith in the scientific community/studies/experiments/history that they don't exist.

You see it doesn't matter how small your amount of faith is... it is still faith, just replace the word Leprechaun with God.  Now, I don't go around all day pondering if Leprechauns exist or not, because I believe there is sufficient evidence to believe that they don't exist, but I must admit that I'm making a short faith statement by saying they don't exist... because truly I don't exactly know.

If you tell me that you don't know if something exists, and then you proceed to tell me that you don't believe it exist anyways... then you are in fact having faith that it doesn't exist.

You may not be saing: God does not exist!

But you are saying: I don't believe God exist.

Both are faith based because neither statement has sufficient evidence to make the choice without being partnered with faith.

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Nice response, and although i agree with most of what you said, there are some things that id like to open further.

The problem that i notice, is the issue of whether you can ever have "Evidence" for the non-existance of something, especially if the attribute of that thing, is supernatural. If Lepricauns are supernatural, which if I believe the claim of the Irish, they are, then no amount of their evidence of "absence" could be enough, and one could argue that you would need exhaustive knowledge in order to justify a non-existance of something.

Also, im not really saying that I believe God does not exist. You can in fact be non-commital on the stance of belief, and reject both claims, which i have done. I reject the belief that there is no God, and i also reject the belief that there is a God.


This is a faith statement.  There is evidence for all other examples you gave as I'm sure you know.  One could argue there is a lack of evidence for the existence of God, but in the words of the great Gin Rummy, "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence."

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I'd agree, but then the problem is as stated above, you couldn't claim that there is a lack of evidence for the existance of anything.

Would you say a miracle is evidence of God?  When I say miracle--I don't mean the "miracle" of birth, or  a statue of Mother Mary (which is an idol--no offense Catholics) crying.  I mean a scripturally patterned miracle.  Namely, instantaeous healing, total disappearance of cancer, a cripple walking, or blinded eyes seeing. 

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But then, how do you explain the instances where Muslims, for example, prayed, and got better?

#271 Bex

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 03:35 AM

But then, how do you explain the instances where Muslims, for example, prayed, and got better?


God does not close His ears or despise the prayers of the humble and seeking, if they are sincere. Despite the fact they may not have the full truth in Jesus Christ or believe that He is the manifestation of God Himself (the"person" of God).
They do believe in God (The Father) as far as I know.

Can you give an example of such a healing of a muslim? I am always interested in hearing about miracles.

Also, im not really saying that I believe God does not exist. You can in fact be non-commital on the stance of belief, and reject both claims, which i have done. I reject the belief that there is no God, and i also reject the belief that there is a God.


Being open to the possibility, but not fully committing yourself is being "non commital". Rejection is a contradiction of non commital.

#272 ikester7579

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 05:46 AM

Can I ask what sort of "faith statements" atheists make?

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Here is an an example:

Out of the 100's of processes claimed, can you name just 5 that meet the criteria of being empirical?

Empirical:
1) Something that can be tested and retested in a lab with the same repeatable results.
2) Something that can be observed.
3) Something that can be experienced by the individual.

If you can name 5, you would be the first to do so.

What makes this an atheist faith state is because of these comments made by so many atheists:

1) Evolution has been proven.
2) Evolution has mountains of empirical evidence.
3) Evolution is a true proven fact.

Without being able to make the claimed 100s of processes meet the criteria of being empirical, those statements above are faith statements. Because those statements make evolution sound more like a biological law instead of a theory. Which shows that Atheists "want" evolution to be true instead of it "actually" being true. Want makes a person make faith statements.

This page I did on the Creation Wiki might help you: http://creationwiki....i..._religion?)

#273 Ron

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 06:03 AM

And yes, i did read the OP. I was just making sure that i could answer the question. So far, i can. So here is my reply.

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Okay…

I will assume you are talking about the origins to EVERYTHING, including the universe and such, in which case, i would have to be honest and say i dont know on the basis that there is insufficient evidence.

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“I don’t know” is an agnostic claim, not an atheistic claim (we’ll discuss that further down). But, either way, it is a still faith statement for which you are betting your eternity.

I know what youre going to say, that i cannot claim that God does not exist/There is no God, but I wouldnt make that claim in the first place, so yeah.

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That would be incorrect. You can “claim anything you like. The question is, can you support your claim with evidences/facts.

Since i answered the first, i dont think i can answer the second with any meaningful information. However, i can answer the "Further" questions.

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Ah, but you didn’t answer the first question.

1- From where did we come (what are our Origins) according to any facts provided by an atheistic worldview?

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It clearly asked for facts (which you didn’t provide) you only provided opinion and supposition.

I am an atheist. But my belief isnt a claim that God does not exist, it is a disbelief in the claim that a God does exist. Such a disbelief, or any disbelief, cannot be based on faith.

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Which is basically a “conversion by definition” (or shifting of the burden) red herring. You really need to read:

http://www.evolution...topic=3059&st=0

The bottom line is, if you make an assertion, you either need to back it up with supporting facts, or admit that it is nothing more than faith/opinion.

I know of some atheists(Personally), who claim that there is no God, but i understand their position to be this.  We would, in the colloquial sense, say that we believe no lepricons exist, and not many people would have a problem with this statement, despite the fact that it is faith-based. And in that sense, those athiests would claim that God does not exist.

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The “leprechaun”, “unicorn”, “spotted geese on Pluto” (etcetera…) red herring/non sequitur will not work Tkubok. Mainly because you have to provide witnesses/evidence to support your claim (see my pervious “making an assertion” statement). And, it is no more a “faith statement” than the one you are using.

Also, you have totally failed to address:

2- What are the factual atheistic foundations to support the atheistic worldview and philosophy of our origins?

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But that’s okay. We can further discuss it when you are ready.

Im not sure if there are any other claims that are necessarily exclusive to atheism and its philosophy beyond that, though. Are there?

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We haven’t gotten beyond the first two yet…

#274 Ron

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 06:59 AM


Can I ask what sort of "faith statements" atheists make?

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Did you read the OP?

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And yes, i did read the OP. I was just making sure that i could answer the question.

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Good, then let’s look at Merriam-Webster

Atheism
Main Entry: athe•ism
Pronunciation: \ˈā-thē-ˌi-zəm\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French athéisme, from athée atheist, from Greek atheos godless, from a- + theos god
Date: 1546
1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity

We can further look at Psychology Wiki

Atheism is the state of disbelief or non-belief in the existence of a deity or deities. It is commonly defined as the positive denial of theism (i.e., the assertion that deities do not exist), or the deliberate rejection of theism (i.e., the refusal to believe in the existence of deities). However, others—including most atheistic philosophers and groups—define atheism as the simple absence of belief in deities (cf. nontheism), thereby designating many agnostics, and people who have never heard of gods, such as the unchurched or newborn children, as atheists as well. In recent years, some atheists have adopted the terms strong and weak atheism to clarify whether they consider their stance one of positive belief that no gods exist (strong atheism), or of mere absense of belief that gods exist (weak atheism).


Now, we can go further, but the gist of this is that ALL atheists believe there is NO God; regardless of how they claim to come to the decision. But, the problem is NO atheists can disprove the evidences FOR God. They can merely speculate and opine against said evidences. Further NO atheists can provide positive evidences for atheism, or the foundations thereof (For example; the questions of this OP).

Atheists make nothing but faith statements about the origins of the universe, the origins of this Earth, the origins of life, the origins of evolution, the origins of atheism itself.

Again, I can continue on and on, but the bottom line is: Atheism itself is one big faith statement, with absolutely no evidence to support itself.

#275 falcone

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:42 AM

but the bottom line is: Atheism itself is one big faith statement, with absolutely no evidence to support itself.

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Most atheists will tell you that their atheism is based on there being no evidence to support the existence of God. This point has been explained time and time again on this forum, and has consistently been misrepresented by theists.

Scott demonstrated the failure to understand our position quite nicely when he said (my bold):

We know that Leprechauns don't exist... At least we are sure they don't exist, we put our faith in the scientific community/studies/experiments/history that they don't exist.

That is exactly the point. There are no scientific community/studies/experiments/history that leprechauns don't exist. Leprichauns have never been disproven. Nonetheless, it is reasonable to conclude that they don't exist and that we are all atheists with respect to leprichauns. Now, some of us just take this line of reasoning and apply it to God.

Ron, what you're asking for is evidence that there no evidence. It doesn't make sense. If leprichauns don't exist, then show some evidence to demonstrate this. Otherwise, athei-leprichaunism is one big faith statement.

One could argue there is a lack of evidence for the existence of God, but in the words of the great Gin Rummy, "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence"

Of course. But that doesn't make it reasonable to say that leprichauns might be real.

#276 Ron

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 09:12 AM

Most atheists will tell you that their atheism is based on there being no evidence to support the existence of God.

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That is a negative (in more ways than one) ghost rider. There has not yet been an atheists who has refuted the evidence FOR God. And simply saying there is “no evidence to support the existence of God” is a cop out (saying it's so doesn't make it so). But that is neither an answer or rebuttal to the statement of mine that you quoted is it Falcone.

That statement was:

but the bottom line is: Atheism itself is one big faith statement, with absolutely no evidence to support itself.

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So your statement is a non sequitur, and therefore moot. But this has what is come to be expected. Drag a “red herring” across the stage to divert from what was actually said. And, as I stated before, it is just another prime example of a failure of atheistic rebuttal as pointed out here:

http://www.evolution...topic=3059&st=0

This point has been explained time and time again on this forum, and has consistently been misrepresented by theists.

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It has been side stepped, equivocated upon and basically avoided by atheists. As proven by your post totally disregarding what I said, and pretending to answer it with a non-related diatribe.

Again, “Atheism itself is one big faith statement, with absolutely no evidence to support itself.”

#277 Tkubok

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 10:14 AM

“I don’t know” is an agnostic claim, not an atheistic claim (we’ll discuss that further down). But, either way, it is a still faith statement for which you are betting your eternity.

Youre question wasnt "Do you believe that a God exists?", your question was "What do you believe our origins are?" I dont think agnosticism or even atheism, plays into this, because this is utterly discounting the possibility that, for example, the universe came into existance through some unknown natural means, AND a God exists, but didnt create the universe. Im not saying that this possibility is more, or less likely than any other possibility, but i cannot discount it either. And in such a case, the origins of the universe and everything in it, would be what we would categorize as "Atheistic", yet, there would still be a God.




That would be incorrect. You can “claim anything you like. The question is, can you support your claim with evidences/facts.

I didnt make a claim, so i don't know why i am incorrect. But i suppose we will be discussing this in detail, further down.

Ah, but you didn’t answer the first question.


I thought i did, atleast, my answer was "I dont know", wasnt it?

It clearly asked for facts (which you didn’t provide) you only provided opinion and supposition.


We have no facts beyond "The universe exists", though.

But im having a hard time believing that "I dont know" is a supposition. Being non-commital, isnt really a claim in the first place, so i dont think you could "assume" anything by saying "i dont know". Seriously, what can you assume with saying that you dont know what the answer could be?

Which is basically a “conversion by definition” (or shifting of the burden) red herring. You really need to read:

http://www.evolution...topic=3059&st=0

No no, i didnt shift the burden of proof, because i never made a claim in the first place. As i said before, my stance is not "There is no God". But this takes me back to the above, again. I have no idea how you could support your position of "I dont know" with facts. What sort of facts could you provide that would support such a position, for ANY belief?



The “leprechaun”, “unicorn”, “spotted geese on Pluto” (etcetera…) red herring/non sequitur will not work Tkubok. Mainly because you have to provide witnesses/evidence to support your claim (see my pervious “making an assertion” statement). And, it is no more a “faith statement” than the one you are using.


I only presented an argument that i know some atheists make, only to help explain what i know some atheists have said regarding Falcone's example of "There is no God" being one of the statements of faith regarding atheism. I never meant to present it as an argument that i would use or specifically stand by.

#278 Tkubok

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 10:27 AM

Now, we can go further, but the gist of this is that ALL atheists believe there is NO God; regardless of how they claim to come to the decision. But, the problem is NO atheists can disprove the evidences FOR God. They can merely speculate and opine against said evidences. Further NO atheists can provide positive evidences for atheism, or the foundations thereof (For example; the questions of this OP).

Atheists make nothing but faith statements about the origins of the universe, the origins of this Earth, the origins of life, the origins of evolution, the origins of atheism itself.

Again, I can continue on and on, but the bottom line is: Atheism itself is one big faith statement, with absolutely no evidence to support itself.

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Okay, heres my basic understanding of Atheism.

There are two claims regarding the existance of a God. One, is "God exists", the other is "God does not exist". They are mutually exclusive, if we ignore the "Sometimes he exists sometimes he doesnt".

A belief necessarily addresses one claim. You can believe, or disbelieve the claim of "God does exist", and the same goes for "God does not exist". And each claim has to be substantiated by evidence in order to be valid.

But this is where it gets tough. What if BOTH claims have insufficient evidence to support them? Then we are ineligable to accept EITHER claim as a belief. And this is basically my stance. Therefore, i dont see why ALL atheists MUST necessarily accept the belief of "There is no God".

Based on that, i wouldnt call my atheism to be based on faith.


Were inevitably going to get to this, so i might as well nip this in the bud right now. Agnosticism/Gnosticism, and Atheism/theism are not mutually exclusive, because Agnosticism/gnosticism has to do with knowledge, and Atheism/theism has to do with belief. Its why we have, for example, Agnostic Theists, who claim that they believe that God exists, but cannot claim to know for certain that he exists because they must be humble, or because they acknowledge that they may be wrong. And then, we have Gnostic theists like Kirk Cameron who would say that they know, for certain, that a God exists, because he has a personal relationship with him.

#279 scott

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 10:43 AM

We know that Leprechauns don't exist... At least we are sure they don't exist, we put our faith in the scientific community/studies/experiments/history that they don't exist. You see it doesn't matter how small your amount of faith is... it is still faith, just replace the word Leprechaun with God.

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Falcone, the point is that your still placing faith in your disbelief. Sorry, but you can't escape the faith of Atheism. Of course your right, it isn't a good or correct analogy simply because there is plenty of evidence that God exists. History shows us that God is real, and through the power of prayer I know that God exists.

Atheist like to paint themselves as being better than everyone else, or being higher up on the food chain because they claim to have no faith. This is simply false, because if you do not have faith, then you are all knowing... which you are not.

#280 Ron

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:04 PM

Youre question wasnt "Do you believe that a God exists?", your question was "What do you believe our origins are?"

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No, actually my questions were:

Questions: From where did we come (what are our Origins)? What are the atheistic foundations to support the atheistic worldview and philosophy of our origins?

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You brought the existence of God, into the conversation in post # 266. But, in all fairness, it was instigated by Falcone’s “God does not exist” statement in post# 263.
Also, I asked if you read the OP. Because the questions (and the caveats) are clearly stated there!

I dont think agnosticism or even atheism, plays into this, because this is utterly discounting the possibility that, for example, the universe came into existance through some unknown natural means, AND a God exists, but didnt create the universe. Im not saying that this possibility is more, or less likely than any other possibility, but i cannot discount it either. And in such a case, the origins of the universe and everything in it, would be what we would categorize as "Atheistic", yet, there would still be a God.
I didnt make a claim, so i don't know why i am incorrect. But i suppose we will be discussing this in detail, further down.

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Both atheism and agnosticism play into it. But, only because you claim atheism as your worldview but are giving an agnostic answer (i.e. lack of knowledge, which is the definition of agnosticism).
Now, as to the universe coming into existence via a “natural” means, please provide the empirical evidence for it, or simply admit it as a faith statement (keep in mind, the OP). Because, according to the OP, you are failing at your task whenever you utter words like “possibility” or “less likely” (etcetera…)
And, you indeed made a claim:

I will assume you are talking about the origins to EVERYTHING, including the universe and such, in which case, i would have to be honest and say i dont know on the basis that there is insufficient evidence.

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to which I responded “I don’t know is an agnostic claim, not an atheistic claim”.


I thought i did, atleast, my answer was "I dont know", wasnt it?

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Yes, and that is the definition for agnosticism. And this OP is questioning “atheisms” foundations.

We have no facts beyond "The universe exists", though.

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So, do you wish to make more faith statements about the universe?




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