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Is There A God (part 1)


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#41 ikester7579

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 07:19 PM

... had a long post here, accidentally deleted it. Darn. Will respond later.

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Yeah I hate that too. But if you have mozilla, lots of times you hit the back button and you post comes back because mozilla browser saves what you type.

Also, the forum is limited to 10 quote per post. It's not an option we can change, and no one wants to search hours of code to correct it. So if your post has more that 10 quotes, you have 2 options.

1) You can split the post into two.
2) You can use code boxes in place of quote boxes for all quotes over 10.

We mods and admins have to do this as well, so it's forum wide.

Added: That post of yours I counted 11 quote boxes. I change one quote box into a code box and it all worked.

#42 Ventus

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 09:43 AM

Yeah I hate that too. But if you have mozilla, lots of times you hit the back button and you post comes back because mozilla browser saves what you type.

Also, the forum is limited to 10 quote per post. It's not an option we can change, and no one wants to search hours of code to correct it. So if your post has more that 10 quotes, you have 2 options.

1) You can split the post into two.
2) You can use code boxes in place of quote boxes for all quotes over 10.

We mods and admins have to do this as well, so it's forum wide.

Added: That post of yours I counted 11 quote boxes. I change one quote box into a code box and it all worked.

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Thanks! That was driving me nuts trying to figure out what the problem was! I'll remember that in the future.


In relation to your other post, I suppose I do want a certain amount of conformity. But on certain subjects conformity is beneficial. For example the vast majority of people conform on questions like child abuse, the equality of minorities and the benefits of literacy.

There has not always been consensus on these issues, but over time people have generally conformed to agree that child abuse is bad, minorities should be equal in the law and literacy is good. They have different reasons and just because they conform on these subjects doesn't mean they conform on everything. That's the kind of conformity I'm looking for - broad consensus.

Also, in relation to your concerns with Socialized Medicine: I've lived my entire life in a country with a single-payer, government controlled system. As far as I know there has never been a single instance of the 'powers that be' deciding that someone's life 'isn't worth the money'. There simply isn't a process in the system for those kinds of decisions to be made.

I understand why you're concerned about it, but I really think that after you get to experience a socialized system for a while you'll recognize the benefits thereof.

#43 Ron

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 08:38 PM

God is improbable because of His necessary complexity. The universe is a staggeringly complex place, SO complex in fact that it is frequently said that it requires a designer.

An omnipotent, omniscient God who is capable of creating such a universe is himself vastly MORE complex than anything he has created. The existence of such a staggeringly complex entity is just so astonishingly unlikely and, due to its complexity fails to answer the very proofs that it is set out to solve, such as the Teleological (if the Universe is so complex that it requires a designer, then God - being MORE complex than the universe - must ALSO require a designer).
I could just wiki the criticisms of those proofs, but you'd accuse me of cutting and pasting, which I don't want to do. Suffice it to say that I disagree that those proofs are sound and I am far from alone in that. If you'd like, I'd be happy to open new threads for each of these proofs where we can argue for an against them.
What I meant by a semantics problem is the notion that "atheism" is self-contradictory because it requires a belief a "theism". If you prefer, you can call me a 'materialist' - I believe that everything has a material cause and do not accept the notion that a supernatural being exists.

Also, you keep saying the Atheist 'has no answers', yet I provided in my initial post what my answers are. You disagree with them, that's fine. You think there are flaws with them - that's okay too. But it's inaccurate to say that atheists have no answers. We have answers that we think work perfectly well that you disagree with. That's a distinction that I think is important to make.
Logic and Mathematics: These are both languages. They are not fundamental principles. Languages are physical things consisting of units (words or numbers) which are combined according to rules (grammar) in order to express or explain physical reality. They do not, and cannot exist outside of or independently of the physical world. Logic only functions because of the already existing physical properties of the universe - and indeed only really works at the levels humans have evolved to operate in. Logic is very bad at explaining quantum physics, for example. Mathematics works there, but it's a more elegant language than logic is. Logic struggles mightily with something like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle or Shroedinger's Cat, yet mathematics can express these quite well.

Love and Thought: These have been fairly conclusively demonstrated to be the result of physical biochemical processes. You have evolved to find certain pheromones and physical attributes desirable. Therefore when you encounter those attributes your body undergoes measurable physiological changes which you interpret as 'love'. Likewise, thoughts are clearly dependent on the biochemical processes of our brains. This is easily demonstrated by the efficacy of psychoactive  narcotics. Anyone who's ever taken an anti-depressant or anti-psychotic or illegal hallucinogen or even caffeine can speak to the thought-altering power of chemicals.
Essentially what I'm trying to do is keep the thread more generally about atheism and not get bogged down in debating specific points of evidence for and against. I figured that was the purpose of the other forums and threads, but if you want a piece of evidence for macro-evolution, here you go:

All haplorhine primates share a mutation on the GULO gene which makes us unable to synthesize Vitamin C. Most other mammals and the strepsyrhine primates do not have this mutation and as such don't get scurvy. This indicates, to me, that the haplorhine primates all share a common ancestor. Now, if you want to claim that the haplorhine group consists of a separate baramin, or kind and that the changes within that group are simply adaptations within kind, I suppose that's fair. But it does call into question the special creation of humans.
To make the claim that 'we don't know how Abiogenesis happened therefore it must have been God' is, as I'm sure you're aware an argument from ignorance - which is what the God of the gaps is. Now, claiming that it's illogical and unscientific is another thing. I would disagree. Evidence indicates that all life shares a common ancestor, the evidence being that we all use DNA as the method for information storage in our genes. This leads me to suspect that life only arose once, which would mean that it's difficult, that we shouldn't expect the process to be simple or easy to synthesize. But I disagree that the idea of simple chemical processes leading to more complicated chemical processes (which is basically all life really is) is illogical.
I don't see how stating that morals are essential for the functioning of society leads to them being relative. In fact, the similarities between the moral structures of societies which never contacted each other speaks to the constancy or morals, not their relativity.
I don't see how I make my god myself. I don't worship myself, or ascribe special status to myself, or claim that I should be worshipped before any others. In fact, the very first of my 'new' commandments is the opposite, others should be considered first. 
Doesn't God very clearly describe things which are 'of man' that he is opposed to, that he considers 'abominations' in his revealed scripture? The omission of slavery in those is the same thing as condoning it.

Also, I make no claim to being the moral authority of the universe, therefore my not actively trying to stop slavery is different from God's as he DOES claim to be the moral authority of all creation.

Once again, did God do this, or did man?

It was the actions of a man who is held up in the scripture of God as being a good and noble example of how a person should live. This is inconsistent with those scriptures being a worthwhile basis for morality.
And I will respond in kind, as I don't see your arguments as being without flaws. I also would like to say that, while I'm sure you've seen many of my points before, I'm not actually copying and pasting them and I hope I'm not giving that impression. I'm actually taking the time to think about what I believe and where I think the flaws in your arguments in support of the existence of God are.

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I'm on the road for a few days, so I won't have the time to dismantle your arguments right away. I'll get to itas soon as I can. :P

#44 Ron

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 12:48 PM

It doesn’t matter if you don’t find them convincing, unless you have convincing refutations for them. And yes there are many other threads dedicated to these evidences; then again, you are the one asserting t God as being “improbable” without giving ANY convincing reasoning why He is “improbable”. As I maintain across this forum: If you are going to make assertions, it is incumbent upon YOU to provide the evidences to support your assertions. Otherwise you are merely making “faith statements”.

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God is improbable because of His necessary complexity. The universe is a staggeringly complex place, SO complex in fact that it is frequently said that it requires a designer.

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Let’s see, you’re saying that God is improbable because He would have to be more complex than His creation? And you don't even realize the fallaciousness of your statement?

The universe displays staggeringly great complexity; therefore the Creator of the universe must be of necessarily vastly greater complexity. That much makes sense!



You seem to be having a problem dealing with logic Ventus, because it actually “logically follows” that the creator “IS” more complex than the creation, therefore your argument fails on many levels. But, we’ll look into it a little more below:


An omnipotent, omniscient God who is capable of creating such a universe is himself vastly MORE complex than anything he has created.

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Indeed, that logically follows. But as we see below, you “vastly” overstep your conclusion, and it doesn’t follow from your premises. In fact, if you wrote it up in a syllogistic form, you’d see your flaw (non sequitur).


The existence of such a staggeringly complex entity is just so astonishingly unlikely and, due to its complexity fails to answer the very proofs that it is set out to solve, such as the Teleological (if the Universe is so complex that it requires a designer, then God - being MORE complex than the universe - must ALSO require a designer).

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Your conclusion should actually be “therefore the Creator of the Universe is more complex than the creation”. But you assume ‘a priori’ (i.e. with absolutely NO evidence) that the universe is so complex, that God cannot possibly be complex enough to have designed and created it. But you further make the mistake of not providing support for your conclusion; you simply provide your “unsupported” presupposition as a fact (as you have with ALL your other posts)…. Remember, “Saying it’s so, doesn’t make it so”. Further – If you make a “factual” assertion, it is YOUR responsibility to provide said “facts” (not mere opinion). And, to make matters worse, you totally failed to meet the OP… Remember I said:

What evidence, or evidences do you have to prove this conclusion?

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And, as usual, your above response failed.

ALL of the arguments I presented are logically, rationally, (and yes) even sometimes scientifically sound. The atheists, skeptics, agnostics (or atheists who claim to be agnostic) can do no more than ignore that soundness, or sink to quibbling, prevaricating, equivocating (etc…) to get out of the tight reasoning. If you think you can provide these “flaws” you speak of, I’m sure you’ll find many takers. But, as I said (again), saying it’s so doesn’t make it so.

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I could just wiki the criticisms of those proofs, but you'd accuse me of cutting and pasting, which I don't want to do. Suffice it to say that I disagree that those proofs are sound and I am far from alone in that. If you'd like, I'd be happy to open new threads for each of these proofs where we can argue for an against them.

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And why would that be? Because it is not only dishonest, but it shows that you cannot intelligibly converse on the subjects, AND it is against the forum rules (on many levels).

Further – It matters not that you (or others?) don’t agree. What matters is:

Can you intelligibly converse on the subjects yourself?

Can you provide your own (in your own words, with your own thoughts from real evidence) refutation of the points? (And not simply copy and paste the same tired and fallacious arguments from other atheist forums)

And to continue, you didn’t even try to refute my post, you just complained about not being able to get away with dishonest tactics. Provide the “flaws” you are claiming, or admit that you didn’t have a real argument to begin with. I hate to be this blunt, but you’re running from the light shining on the fallacious aspects of your argumentation and assertions WILL be exposed whenever you try to bring them here.

And the atheist has no answers; therefore they live a life of faith that there is no God/Cosmic Initiator/Initial Causer (etc…) continually begging the questions: Where did the universe come from? Where did the Laws that govern the Universe come from? Where did Life Come From? (etc…) And to simply say “It just is”, or “it’s a semantics problem”, is simply living by faith.

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What I meant by a semantics problem is the notion that "atheism" is self-contradictory because it requires a belief a "theism". If you prefer, you can call me a 'materialist' - I believe that everything has a material cause and do not accept the notion that a supernatural being exists.
Also, you keep saying the Atheist 'has no answers', yet I provided in my initial post what my answers are. You disagree with them, that's fine. You think there are flaws with them - that's okay too. But it's inaccurate to say that atheists have no answers. We have answers that we think work perfectly well that you disagree with. That's a distinction that I think is important to make.

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Then provide the answers! What are the answers to “Materialistic Origins” (the universe, life, Laws of Logic etc…), “Atheistic Foundations”? A good place to better understand where I’m coming from can be found here: http://www.evolution...topic=3001&st=0

And remember, the OP asked for FACTS/EVIDENCE not mere opinion. Another thing to remember, If you don’t have empirical facts, you are living on FAITH!

#45 Ron

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 12:49 PM

You “don’t see how logic, love, mathematics and thought are metaphysical phenomenon.”? Show me one! You cannot! You can show me the effects of these metaphysical phenomena on physical phenomea, but you cannot capture one and paint it green, or photograph it, or physically measure it (like any other physical phenomena) because they are “metaphysical” in nature! Go ahead, disprove my statement (if you dare).

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Logic and Mathematics: These are both languages.

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Wrong… They are Laws! The above answer totally renders the rest of your conversation on the subject MOOT! You may want to do a little more research before you attempt to pass those blatantly fallacious assertions off here. In fact, if you continue along those lines, you probably won’t be here long, as they are dishonest practices. Further, I will personally use them as objects lessons for other theists (i.e. what to look for in fallacious atheistic/relativistic argumentation… In fact, I might do it anyway).


Love and Thought: These have been fairly conclusively demonstrated to be the result of physical biochemical processes. You have evolved to find certain pheromones and physical attributes desirable. Therefore when you encounter those attributes your body undergoes measurable physiological changes which you interpret as 'love'. Likewise, thoughts are clearly dependent on the biochemical processes of our brains. This is easily demonstrated by the efficacy of psychoactive narcotics. Anyone who's ever taken an anti-depressant or anti-psychotic or illegal hallucinogen or even caffeine can speak to the thought-altering power of chemicals.

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Once again, you have provided nothing more than opinion and absolutely NO factual/empirical evidence (please see the OP). Your above assertions are easily refuted (i.e. So you are saying that ancient man used psychoactive narcotics and coffee to evolve love and thought?). Further, there is absolutely NO evidence that we (the human kind) have not always “Thought” and “Loved”. These facts alone destroy your “fact less” assertions.
But, if you can actually provide facts and evidences (as per the OP) and not mere opinion, by all means, please do!





Again, you are doing nothing more than making a faith-based statement. I think the better reason you’ll accept it, is because you can provide absolutely NO empirical evidence to support “macro’ or ‘abiogenesis’.

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Essentially what I'm trying to do is keep the thread more generally about atheism and not get bogged down in debating specific points of evidence for and against. I figured that was the purpose of the other forums and threads, but if you want a piece of evidence for macro-evolution, here you go:

All haplorhine primates share a mutation on the GULO gene which makes us unable to synthesize Vitamin C. Most other mammals and the strepsyrhine primates do not have this mutation and as such don't get scurvy. This indicates, to me, that the haplorhine primates all share a common ancestor. Now, if you want to claim that the haplorhine group consists of a separate baramin, or kind and that the changes within that group are simply adaptations within kind, I suppose that's fair. But it does call into question the special creation of humans.

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The same evidence can be claimed to support common design, although it is pretty flimsy for either argument. Although you do seem to be attempting to draw correlations between man and ape, should we not discuss the vast differences as well? These vast differences that cause a great gulf which pulls at the very fabric of the model of evolution?


Abiogenesis is not a “god of the gaps” argument. Its an illogical and unscientific proposal that lacks evidence, and credibility.

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To make the claim that 'we don't know how Abiogenesis happened therefore it must have been God' is, as I'm sure you're aware an argument from ignorance - which is what the God of the gaps is.

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To argue “for” abiogenesis is an argument from ignorance. But, if you can prove something coming from nothing, life coming from non-life, intelligence coming from non-intelligence (etc…), please, by all means, be my guest.

As I said, read the OP, and provide the evidences, not opinions.



Now, claiming that it's illogical and unscientific is another thing. I would disagree.

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If you disagree, provide the evidence….


Evidence indicates that all life shares a common ancestor, the evidence being that we all use DNA as the method for , information storage in our genes. This leads me to suspect that life only arose once, which would mean that it's difficult, that we shouldn't expect the process to be simple or easy to synthesize. But I disagree that the idea of simple chemical processes leading to more complicated chemical processes (which is basically all life really is) is illogical.

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“Indicates”, “suspect”? These are not the things that scientific “fact” proceeds from; it is what opinions foster. Scientific fact proceeds from validation. Further - DNA contains massive amounts of information; materialistic evolution cannot even begin to deal with problems like these, because it begs the question “from where did these massive amounts of information come from”. Even more problematic for materialistic evolution, is the evolutionist’s misuse of words like “synthesize” and “simple chemical processes” and such without realizing the ramifications of said implications.

#46 Ron

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 12:51 PM

So, morals are relative then?

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I don't see how stating that morals are essential for the functioning of society leads to them being relative. In fact, the similarities between the moral structures of societies which never contacted each other speaks to the constancy or morals, not their relativity.

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Simply because what makes one society “happy” isn’t necessarily what makes another society happy. Example: I’m sure Poland didn’t find much happiness from what made Nazi Germany happy; hence the relativistic nature of your premise. Which of course begs the questions:

Who decides these morals, and enforces the happiness quotient?
What if a stronger society thinks your societies “morals” are immoral (that doesn’t sound too happifying)?

The flaws in your hypothesis are glaring.

Yes, but since your god is yourself, you are already observing commandments one through five. So, you didn’t improve on them at all, you simply shifted them to yourself.  ... . Therefore, you didn’t improve it at all, you simply personalized it.

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I don't see how I make my god myself. I don't worship myself, or ascribe special status to myself, or claim that I should be worshipped before any others. In fact, the very first of my 'new' commandments is the opposite, others should be considered first.

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Have you gone to other countries and fed, clothed and attended to them?

Do you volunteer at the local soup kitchens, or go hungry so that another wont?

Do you give major portions of your income (not including taxes) to assist the less fortunate?

Would you give your own life that another could live in your stead?


If you don’t do these things, you worship yourself more than you do others. Further, these are the things the Bible tells Christians to do. Therefore your analogy fails at its inception. Not because you may or may not do these things, but because your attempted correction of the scriptures, were already spelled out in the scriptures. But, once again, you cherry-pick only that which you want to use, and not that which contradicts and refutes your attempts.

That’s because slavery is of man (due to the fall of man), this in no way proves God approves or condones of slavery so you failed to provide evidence for your assertion once again This is like my asserting that since you haven’t personally physically gone to places in the world today and stopped the slave trade that you yourself condone and approve of slavery today! Now, do I believe you condone slavery? No… But then again, I may be wrong, but I haven’t accused you unjustly either!

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Doesn't God very clearly describe things which are 'of man' that he is opposed to, that he considers 'abominations' in his revealed scripture? The omission of slavery in those is the same thing as condoning it.

Also, I make no claim to being the moral authority of the universe, therefore my not actively trying to stop slavery is different from God's as he DOES claim to be the moral authority of all creation.

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Ah come on, wouldn’t it make you happy to end slavery? Remember, you’re the one who claims that morality is what makes people happy. But, there again, based upon your logic, if you don’t specifically “condemn the practice of slavery”, then you obviously condone it.

Once again, did God do this, or did man?

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It was the actions of a man who is held up in the scripture of God as being a good and noble example of how a person should live. This is inconsistent with those scriptures being a worthwhile basis for morality.

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It points out the flaws of man… Further, where does God say Lot was a “good and noble example of how a person should live”. Once again, you attempt to cherry-pick the scriptures in an attempt to discredit them, but once again, your twisting and Clear cases of misrepresentation, quoting out of context, basically show a less than honorable tactic of debate.

#47 Ventus

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 08:28 PM

Ron,

I have to admit something right off the top. I can't prove Atheism. Your OP is an impossible question to answer. You can't prove a negative and obviously I have a certain degree of faith in my Atheism. Any argument or evidence I put forth, I already know you don't accept based on the presupposition you have already made that God exists. I'm not trying to convince you, I know that's a fool's errand.

I'm not deliberately using 'dishonest tactics'. I honestly believe everything I've said, and I believe that I can support what I've said. However, this process of point-by-point refutations I find isn't conducive to either you understanding why I accept a piece of evidence, or my understanding of why you reject it.

i'd rather not get banned having only just joined this forum, which I what I suspect will happen if we continue in this vein. If you'd like to narrow the scope of our current discussion to one or two points, such as whether math and logic are laws or languages, or whether scripture can be improved, or the improbability of the existence of God I would be more than happy to engage in that conversation.

#48 Spectre

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 12:54 AM

Ventus, if there is an issue we would typically let you know before dropping the ban hammer. We like to try to work things out before resorting to such things, so far you haven't really done anything wrong.

#49 Ron

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 07:37 PM

Ron,
I have to admit something right off the top. I can't prove Atheism. Your OP is an impossible question to answer. You can't prove a negative and obviously I have a certain degree of faith in my Atheism.

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1- The OP is only impossable because atheism has no foundation, and is completely faith based (as you are admitting, and I am reaffirming). But, I do appreciate your honest admission in the first sentance (and I mean that).

2- You can indeed prove a negative. (Would you like a simplistic example?)

3- Attempting to disprove God, is not attempting to prove a negative, as there are mutiple lines of evidence FOR God. The "attempting to prove a negative" fallacy is a canard atheists have been attempting to ge away with for many years, and which only lends to my previous assertion of "copy and paste" argumentation.

PS I am not intionally being rude by not addressig your entire post. I am on the road, and have limited time.I will fully address it s I can.

#50 Ron

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:37 AM

Okay, I am back. But, I am on a vacation of sorts, so I am limiting my interaction here...

I'm not deliberately using 'dishonest tactics'. I honestly believe everything I've said, and I believe that I can support what I've said.

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"Honest Beliefs" are not "Facts", and "Believing" you can support what you've said is not "in fact" supporting wat you've said.

There is one of three things happening here… Either you ARE being intellectually dishonest, or you are basing your entire worldview on faith based propositions (which, when dogmatically defended, is akin to a religion), or what you are asserting are all empirical facts, and you can provide other than mere opinion to support them.

As to proposition three: You have failed to provide any empirical facts to support your assertions; therefore this is ruled out.

As to proposition one: You stated that you are “not deliberately using dishonest tactics” and that you “honestly believe everything” you’ve said, and further that you can “support” what you’ve said (which you have not done anywhere yet; which falls flatly into proposition three). So, I have to take your first two points of proposition one as your word, and leave your third point to proposition three (where it obviously belongs).

Which leaves us back at my original assertion (based on all the facts thus far, and as you have admitted as well), that you are proceeding via an “atheistic faith”. And, at least you will admit this to a degree. But, you fail to really see your nearly full emersion into that “faith style”. You believe you are being totally honest in those beliefs, yet you are defending those beliefs dogmatically by saying you have facts to support your assertions. And yet, you have thus far totally failed to support your assertions with anything other than mere opinion and faith statements.


However, this process of point-by-point refutations I find isn't conducive to either you understanding why I accept a piece of evidence, or my understanding of why you reject it.

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It is quite conducive on many levels:

1- It totally exposes line for line (point-by-point), the irrational thought processes used by the atheist argumentation tactics.

2- This exposure provides insight to others at this forum, as how to understand these fallacies, and how to deal with these fallacies themselves.

3- It also provides the Christian theist the opportunity to see the flaws in his/her arguments (whether their own argument has built-in mistakes and/or fallacious points/tendencies), and to correct them prior to moving on.

4- It further gives the atheists (in this instance) the opportunity to see and admit his/her shortcomings, correct them, and gain a better understanding.

Conclusion: Therefore, your objection fails. But, I can fully understand, from your viewpoint, why you object.




i'd rather not get banned having only just joined this forum, which I what I suspect will happen if we continue in this vein.

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You will never be banned as long as you follow the rules of the forum. So, to continually complain about not wanting to be banned is an exposure of kinds as well. Again, as I previously stated, “this isn’t my first rodeo” (literally or figuratively), we have seen this tactic on too many occasions here as well.

If you'd like to narrow the scope of our current discussion to one or two points, such as whether math and logic are laws or languages, or whether scripture can be improved, or the improbability of the existence of God I would be more than happy to engage in that conversation.

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No, I will continue to point out the flaws in your argumentation as we go (for the reasons I pointed out above), and hopefully you’ll see those flaws as well and learn something from them (as I know others here will).

Further, I hope you fully understand that this is nothing personal, but it is my job here.

#51 Ron

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 10:11 AM

Ventus, if there is an issue we would typically let you know before dropping the ban hammer. We like to try to work things out before resorting to such things, so far you haven't really done anything wrong.

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Unfortunately, I don’t think he can help himself. He has made many-many unsubstantiated assertions, and blatant fallacious accusations concerning items that he knows are violations of the forum rules (you know, the rules he agreed to abide by prior to being accepted here), and the out-and -out denial of “established Laws” and such (based upon his word alone) here and elsewhere on the forum. Then, as he did in the post you are replying to, is seemingly attempting to feign “oh, I don’t want to get banned” for allegations he made, and was called on.

Further, as he was given opportunity (repeatedly) to provide facts and/or evidence for his fallacious posts, he always replies with more presuppositions and mere opinion.

#52 bigbee

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 01:51 AM

Am a new poster here and this topic just got my attention enough for me to register and post. After reading the entire topic, I will like to begin by saying that argument between theists and atheist cannot get anywhere same for between Christianity and Islam and between any other religion. I know for sure that a person is ready to defend his belief system with every thing they have both rational and irrational, and attacking a person's belief system is taken as an act of war - figuratively and sometimes physically.

Since we are talking about a particular God here which is the God of the bible I believe that such a God does not exists because he is a human construct. All Gods that humans worship and have worshiped in the past to me are man made and as such no God can be shown to exist on its own independent of human writings, stories, human inputs, human definitions, cultural acceptance and what ever humans chose to ascribe to what ever concept of God that they have constructed or imagine. I believe that the God of the bible does not exist as believers say he does because

1. People just self project themselves as God and tell others what they want them to believe from their own personal conception of what they believe God is or what they want him to be. The division and many sects in Christianity that differ irreconcilably is my evidence for this assertion. The fact that there is no universally acceptable Christian definition of God or doctrine says that the entire thing is man made just like any other man made conception. Young earth creationist, old earth creationist, those that believe in hell as a permanent place of torture, those that don't, etc all read the same bible and appeal to the same holy spirit of the same God for interpretation yet they can not agree on the same thing. Many sincerely disagree with each other over simple things. If such a God truly exist and wants people to truly know him and what he says then there wouldn't be such disagreements amongst believers unless if it is a man made thing which is very normal.

2. Believers talk about a God that loves people and care for them, yet when I look around I see things happening randomly with so unnecessary suffering around the world, this suffering affects both believers and non believers alike, there is absolutely no evidence I have ever come across that has ever suggested to me that believers in the Christian God suffer less harm or evil than non believers, even though they claim to be in a loving relationship with their God. A God that is in a loving relationship with those that believe in him, will protect them better, provide for them better or guide them better but when I look around I see no such thing.

3. The fact that greatly differing religious affiliations and beliefs depend more on geography and cultural heritage than content. People mostly believe because of indoctrination by other humans not because any God has personally appeared to them and told them who or what he is. The fact that humans are the ones doing everything for God (E.g Talking to others on his behalf, when we are told that he has a voice and can speak for himself). All the religions I know of all claim that their God at one time appeared to some people and spoke to them at some point in time. A God that wants people to know him will appear to every body and speak to them all at once. The fact that we have people today still telling us that God appears to them and tells them conflicting things also point to the fact that it is also a man made conception. People just make all these things up for various and obvious reasons.

4. The endless contradictions in the bible and the contradiction in the basic nature of the God of the bible. Example a God that is all good can not do evil in my view, yet in the bible we have God doing evil and apologizing for the evil he did.

5. The existence of other religions and other Gods all point to the fact that all Gods are man made in my view and exist mostly in the minds of those that subscribe to those beliefs. There are billions of Buddhists and Muslims do not lose any sleep at all when they are told that they will go to hell for failing to accept Jesus, same with Christians. Geography, culture and location determines a person's belief in what ever version of God his society accepts more than anything else. This again tells me that the entire things is man made conception like any other conception I know.

6. The fact that I have studied the efficacy of prayers and have found out that it does not have any credible evidence to back it up. I have not seen any personal evidence that shows me that those who pray to the Christian God fare better(live longer lives, are happier, are richer, recover faster from disease or get their wishes granted faster or quicker) than those that do not pray to the Christian God, even though I know a lot of people that pray to the Christian God for these things all the time, the evidence to show that their prayers are answered more than those that do not pray to The Christian God is just not there when I look around.

7. Finally the evolution of the God of the bible and the evolution of the moral concepts of the bible when I read it shows me that the God concept kept changing as the people change. When you read the bible from the old testament to the new testament you see a God that keeps changing. The OT God started as the God of the Jews alone who chose them over all the others. A God whose is sometimes against them mixing up with others. In the bible you see God condoning and accepting things like human sacrifice, slavery, advocating wars against others and issuing out laws that many Christains would consider to be completely unacceptable. As the morality of the people evolved so did that of their God. At the begging things like incest were acceptable (Abraham married his half sister) to later being condemned. It was OK for people to sell their daughters into slaver at a time and God himself we were told was giving out injunction on how to go about it. Very harsh punishments for trivial things were being mete on people, example stoning to death for picking sticks on the sabbath etc. The evolution of God and the moral principles of the bible also shows that it is also a man made thing to me.

#53 Salsa

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 04:07 AM

Hi bigbee,

When I read you post, what immediately strikes me is that you present YOUR views and opinions as if they were fact. You say "I look around", "I see things", "I have studied", and so on... and then tell us what you consider to be the truth that Christians have somehow, very clumsily, overlooked. Even to me, as someone who converted to Christianty from a similar viewpoint, this comes over as incredibly arrogant. Do you think that you are the only one here that has "looked around", "seen things" and "studied"?

There is absolutely nothing in your post that suggest that there might be the slightest consideration that there could be something in this world concerning God that cannot be detected by looking around, seeing, and studying. Despite this there is explicit evidence in the Bible that this is exactly what mankind should expect when he tries to find God through his own efforts. It's in the Bible... although I get the feeling that you might have missed it...

#54 Ron

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:57 AM

What do we find when we look at the below response by bigbee to the OP? First, we need to look at that the OP asked for:

These questions are directed ONLY at those of the perspective of the questions. There are questions for those of the opposite perspective at: http://www.evolution...?showtopic=3892

The Questions:

Do you believe there is “absolutely” NO God?

What evidence, or evidences do you have to prove this conclusion?

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The OP specifically asked for the “evidence or evidences” the atheist has to “prove” their conclusions”.

So, we must ask ourselves; did bigbee provide “evidence(s)” or did he “opinion(s)”?

Am a new poster here and this topic just got my attention enough for me to register and post. After reading the entire topic, I will like to begin by saying that argument between theists and atheist cannot get anywhere same for between Christianity and Islam and between any other religion. I know for sure that a person is ready to defend his belief system with every thing they have both rational and irrational, and attacking a person's belief system is taken as an act of war - figuratively and sometimes physically.

View Post

Are there any actual “evidence(s)” posted above, or is it more of an autobiographical opinion driven dialogue? Does it, in anyway, meet the standard set by the OP? Or, to be more succinct, does it use any evidence(s) to prove the conclusions?

No…

Since we are talking about a particular God here which is the God of the bible I believe that such a God does not exists because he is a human construct.

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Okay, we have a conclusion “God does not exist”, but the statement “he is a human construct” is opinion based, and not evidence driven. Why, because there is absolutely no “evidence” that God is a “human construct”, nor has any evidence been adduced on the part of bigbee.


All Gods that humans worship and have worshiped in the past to me are man made and as such no God can be shown to exist on its own independent of human writings, stories, human inputs, human definitions, cultural acceptance and what ever humans chose to ascribe to what ever concept of God that they have constructed or imagine.

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Once again, bigbee makes factually unfounded assertions from his own opinion. This does not meet the standard of the OP, but it does give us insight into his worldview and philosophy.



I believe that the God of the bible does not exist as believers say he does because
1. People just self project themselves as God and tell others what they want them to believe from their own personal conception of what they believe God is or what they want him to be. The division and many sects in Christianity that differ irreconcilably is my evidence for this assertion. The fact that there is no universally acceptable Christian definition of God or doctrine says that the entire thing is man made just like any other man made conception. Young earth creationist, old earth creationist, those that believe in hell as a permanent place of torture, those that don't, etc all read the same bible and appeal to the same holy spirit of the same God for interpretation yet they can not agree on the same thing. Many sincerely disagree with each other over simple things.  If such a God truly exist and wants people to truly know him and what he says then there wouldn't be such disagreements amongst believers unless if it is a man made thing which is very normal.

View Post

As we look at the above, we see big bee using personal opinion statements like “self projection”, and “personal conception”. But, what he is claiming is going on in the minds of others, is actually what he is doing. He is projecting his opinions by superimposing his personal conception of their actions. Is this merely more opinion, or does this meet the OP standards?
Yes and no respectively.

He then attempts to use “divisions” between Christian sects as his evidence for his assertion. Therefore he is using someone’s “opinions” as his “evidence”. It doesn’t take the critical thinker long to see the difficulties bigbee is having with his logic. He is actually using someone’s “opinion” to drive his own “opinion”. Is this merely more opinion, or does this meet the OP standards?
Yes and no respectively.

#55 Ron

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 06:01 AM

2. Believers talk about a God that loves people and care for them, yet when I look around I see things happening randomly with so unnecessary suffering around the world, this suffering affects both believers and non believers alike, there is absolutely no evidence I have ever come across that has ever suggested to me that believers in the Christian God suffer less harm or evil than non believers, even though they claim to be in a loving relationship with their God. A God that is in a loving relationship with those that believe in him, will protect them better, provide for them better or guide them better but when I look around I see no such thing.

View Post


Once again, bigbee attempts to assert an opinion as facts and evidences. In this case he attempts to use the illogical “random actions of nature” as juxtaposition against God’s ambivalence (via the argument of evil) as an argument against God. He then further attempts the simply egregious argument that he knows God’s thinking, and he can pass judgment against God, because he (bigbee) is far wiser than God. My question then becomes (since bigbee has more wisdom than God): Explain, using “empirical facts” the following using only natural means:

1. The Origin of the universe.
2. How life came from non-life.
3. How intelligence came from non-intelligence.

The problem he’ll run into is the lack of actual “empirical evidence” for the above. But bigbee claims to know more than God (or at least as much as God) because he claims to know for a fact (remember the standards of the OP) that God cannot exist due to His (God’s) inability to protect Christians.

Once again, is this merely more of bigbees opinion, or does this meet the OP standards?
Yes and no respectively.

As an aside bigbee; if you want to argue the problem of evil, you can address the many threads concerning it in this forum…

3. The fact that  greatly differing religious affiliations and beliefs depend more on geography and cultural heritage than content. People mostly believe because of indoctrination by other humans not because any God has personally appeared to them and told them who or what he is. The fact that humans are the ones doing everything for God (E.g Talking to others on his behalf, when we are told that he has a voice and can speak for himself). All the religions I know of all claim that their God at one time appeared to some people and spoke to them at some point in time. A  God that wants people to know him will appear to every body and speak to them all at once. The fact that we have people today still telling us that God appears to them and tells them conflicting things also point to the fact that it is also a man made conception. People just make all these things up for various and obvious reasons.

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A number of major problems here for big bee:

First and foremost; his proposition fails simply due to the fact that I use to be a hedonistic atheist. I came to Christianity mainly because I studied the historical evidences of the New Testament (mainly to prove it wrong, as I thought it was all mythology), but I found out that I was wrong. I had no “indoctrination” from human means, geography played no role other than accessibility to some of the historical documentation. My parent wasn’t Christian or atheist, she was indifferent. Therefore his argument fails.

Secondly, bigbee is once again projecting his opinion upon what he thinks about other people’s actions, and his further opinion on why they do what they do.

Thirdly, bigbee once again claims to know the “thinking of God” because he claims that if “God wants people to know Him, He will appear to every body and speak to them all at once”. Once again, is this factual evidence, or opinion? Does it meet the OP standard?

No and No!

Lastly, ALL of bigbees point 3 is opinion based, and in no way meets the OP standard, and thusly renders itself moot.

#56 Ron

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 06:02 AM

4. The endless contradictions in the bible and the contradiction in the basic nature of the God of the bible. Example a God that is all good can not do evil in my view, yet in the bible we have God doing evil and apologizing for the evil he did.

View Post

Once again, we find bigbee asserting opinion, and failing totally to provide any evidence. Further, if you are going to make assertions, it is incumbent upon you to provide the evidences to support those assertions. In other words “saying its so, doesn’t make it so”. Therefore, if you are going to claim “endless Biblical contradictions”, it is your obligation to provide these “endless Biblical contradictions”.

Further, if you are going to claim contradictions “in the basic nature of the God”, you are running into numerous problems, not the least of which is the fact that you must know “the basic nature of the God” to make such a claim. AND you still have to provide the evidences to back up your assertions, not more mere opinions.

And lastly, if you want to argue the problem of evil, you can address the many threads concerning it in this forum…

Conclusion; bigbee is simply submitting more opinion, and not adhering to the OP standards.

5. The existence of other religions and other Gods all point to the fact that all Gods are man made in my view and exist mostly in the minds of those that subscribe to those beliefs.  There are billions of Buddhists and Muslims do not lose any sleep at all when they are told that they will go to hell for failing to accept Jesus, same with Christians. Geography, culture and location determines a person's belief in what ever version of God his society accepts more than anything else. This again tells me that the entire things is man made conception like any other conception I know.

View Post


Once again, bigbee is using opinion as evidence. But at least this time he makes it obvious when he states “in my view”. That in-and-of itself speaks volumes.

Bigbee… Stick to the OP


Conclusion: Bigbee has chosen to continually assert his opinion as evidence (one needs only to look up the definition of each to see his error). Therefore all bigbee has asserted here are "faith statements"... What does this tell us? Quite a bit! So my advice to Bigbee is this; if you want to have any meaningful conversations and discourse, and continue posting in this OP, adhere to the OP standards. Any more opinion you post as evidence will only be removed.

As an aside bigbee; I chose not to respond to the rest of your opinions here for obvious reasons, and because I didn’t want to waste any more of my time, or the time of the readers.

#57 bigbee

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:01 AM

Hi bigbee,

When I read you post, what immediately strikes me is that you present YOUR views and opinions as if they were fact. You say "I look around", "I see things", "I have studied", and so on... and then tell us what you consider to be the truth that Christians have somehow, very clumsily, overlooked. Even to me, as someone who converted to Christianty from a similar viewpoint, this comes over as incredibly arrogant. Do you think that you are the only one here that has "looked around", "seen things" and "studied"?


Am sorry if my post comes off as if am arrogant, am not.

There is absolutely nothing in your post that suggest that there might be the slightest consideration that there could be something in this world concerning God that cannot be detected by looking around, seeing, and studying. Despite this there is explicit evidence in the Bible that this is exactly what mankind should expect when he tries to find God through his own efforts. It's in the Bible... although I get the feeling that you might have missed it...

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How then does one find God? Am lost here, but are you saying that one can or should only find God through other peoples effort?

#58 Ron

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:59 AM

How then does one find God?  Am lost here, but are you saying that one can or should only find God through other peoples effort?

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Is this, as per the OP, your evidence that there is no God then?

#59 Master Buffalax

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:29 PM

Reading through this thread, I was struck by one of Ventus's arguments:

If there is a God, and particularly if God has revealed himself through Scripture, then ... Scripture should be better than it is.

It looks like Ventus's presence in this thread has tapered off, which is a shame because I was really curious to hear a solid response from Ron. So let's set aside Ventus's numerous other points for a minute, and focus on the particular issue of whether we can easily improve the Bible.

If God is an omnipotent, benevolent being who has chosen to reveal Himself through the Word of the Bible, we should expect the Bible to be essentially perfect. Admittedly, the translation from Hebrew could have introduced a few errors, but on the whole, a book written by God should be good enough that no human could improve it significantly. Therefore, if I can think of ways to substantially improve the Bible, that is evidence against the existence of the God of the Bible.

(This argument doesn't work if we think of the Bible as just a book by people about God rather than God's Word made manifest. Based on Ron's earlier distinction between God and god(s), though, I get the impression that this thread is about the God who wrote the Bible, so the argument applies. If my impression was mistaken, I apologize.)

So, how can I improve the Bible? Ventus listed three ways; I'm ignoring the Commandments one, since I think the other two are much cleaner examples and are by themselves sufficient to make my point.

1. Condemn slavery. First off, Ron said earlier that slavery is a post-fall thing, and just because man engaged in it doesn't mean God condoned it. In fact, the Bible does explicitly condone slavery in, for instance, Leviticus 25:44 :

Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.

That's from the King James version; Merriam-Webster defines "bondmen/maids" as people bound to service without wages (ie. slaves), and newer translations just use the term "slaves" explicitly. In other words, it's ok to have slaves as long as they're heathens. Support of slavery can also be found in the New Testament (eg. Ephesians 6:5).

Even without that explicit condoning, though, what does it mean to not have an anti-slavery passage in the Bible? Ron is right that the Bible can't be expected to condemn every immoral act by name, but Leviticus makes a good effort to do so; it's mostly just a big list of God's rules for mankind. Chapter 11 is all about what you are and aren't allowed to eat, with several helpful examples. Chapter 18 is just a big index of S@xual taboos, and chapter 20 is another index of the same taboos but with the death penalty attached to most of them. In all of this laying-down-the-law, how is it that God neglected to condemn the appalling human rights violation that is slavery, but remembered to note that we can't eat rabbits because they "chew the cud"?

2. Get rid of Genesis 19:8, or at least modify it heavily. Again, Ron's response is that Lot offering his daughters to the rapists was an act of man, not an act of God. But Genesis 19 is not just a record of what happened one day in Sodom way back when. It's meant to teach a lesson; the Sodomites are punished because they've strayed too far from the righteous path, Lot is saved because he puts his trust in God, and Lot's wife is punished for even looking back to the cesspool of sin from which she was fleeing. Lot is clearly the protagonist in this story; his hospitality saves the travelers from the mob, and his faith saves him when the rest of the city burns. Why is it never discussed that by offering his daughters to the rapists, he is committing the second most immoral act in the chapter (right after the rapists themselves)? If the angles who saved him were really messengers of a good God, they would have at some point explained to him that his actions were despicable. And since Genesis 19 is a story about morality, this explanation should have made its way into the final draft.

In a nutshell, the Bible would be a better book if it condemned slavery instead of endorsing (or even ignoring) it. And it would be a better book if it didn't gloss over Lot's heinous act. This argument can really be responded to in one of two ways:
-Tell me why the changes I suggest aren't clearly improvements, or
-Maintain that the Christian God is real, but accept this as evidence the Bible probably wasn't written entirely by Him and probably doesn't describe Him perfectly.

#60 Salsa

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 12:07 AM

How then does one find God? 

View Post


God is not missing.

He is easily and very clearly seen by those to whom he chooses to reveal himself.

And who are these?

The people who study the supernatural?

No.

The people who try to figure him out philosiphically and logically?

No.

Surely the good people whose lives are dominated by good deeds?

No, not even these.

No one who goes looking for God can expect to find him. He comes looking for you, and whether or not you receive him in is up to you. But more importantly, how you choose to recieve him is vitally important, since, as Jesus put it "anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

And:

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

If then, it is God's expressed will and intention that only the mild, meek, poor in spirit and merciful will inherit his kingdom then what kind of wisdom do you expect to find in the Bible? The widsom of this world? The wisdom that attracts the wise? The wisdom that makes sense to shrewd people who scan the scriptures looking for excuses not to believe in him? Or would it be a wisdom understandable only to those who come to him with a broken spirit and who are willing to admit that they are wrong?

I think you will find the answer in 1 Corinthians:

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,

23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are,

29 so that no one may boast before him.




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