Is being an atheist irrational?

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Kurieuo
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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Kurieuo » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:58 pm

Justhuman wrote:Let me write it this way:
IF there is someone that can make a square circle, it's God! ;)

(I tried to make the ;) larger, but that doesn't work. :esad: )


I noticed the "if", but nonetheless it is routinely used as some sort of argument against the existence of any "all-powerful" being like God would be.

Try another question, like whether God can create a rock so big that even God couldn't lift? Basically, re-interpreted, it is being asked whether God can defeat himself? Such a question is of the same nonsensical category.

What Byblos I believe was getting at, in his response without explaining... the question of whether God can lie, while it might not be readily apparent how such is of the same nonsensical category, it is when God's nature is properly thought through.

Take that we perceive goodness in our world. Where does "goodness" come from? If God exists, then the source of such goodness ultimately stops with God. We merely glimpse the "rays" of such goodness in our world, so-far-as God allows His goodness to penetrate and govern our world.

Yet then, if goodness is rooted in God's nature, does it make sense to ask whether God could choose to be not good? No, this again is like asking God to go against Himself, be anti-God, which again just amounts to nonsensical talk.
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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Justhuman » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:02 am

Isn't that denying God having his own free will?
Something he gave us humans, but is incapable of himself?

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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Kurieuo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:18 am

Justhuman wrote:Isn't that denying God having his own free will?
Something he gave us humans, but is incapable of himself?

Not if God's will perfectly aligns with His own nature, the two are ultimately one and same. So God is free to express Himself, it's just that His expression aligns 1:1 with who He is.

I think it's hard to argue that the two must be separate. Indeed, if God's will and nature are separate, then we're not talking about the Christian God, and even dare I say "God". Perhaps "a god" or supernatural being who is contingent, but not God who by definition isn't contingent upon anything else for His own existence and "nature".

It's complex to explain the logic, but a lot of justification for God's self-existent nature, being the "first cause", possessing aseity, just the concept of "God", logically goes out window if any "part" of God's nature we might identify is actually contingent.
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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Justhuman » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:44 am

But that's like a 'self fulfilling prophecy'.
Like... we (humans) define the conditions which can have only one possible outcome, for any other outcome is not (cannot be) possible.
Or... the outcome is defined, so we define the according conditions.

I do not want to humanize or even de-throne God, but I cannot believe in a 'bound' God. I can understand the need for a God that cannot lie, because that gives a firm and solid base in life. But a more down-to-Earth God doesn't need to be less God.

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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Kurieuo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:00 am

I'm not sure how such makes God is "bound" since God is freely expressing Himself.

Ultimately, what you are saying unless God is capricious rather than consistent then....? I'm not sure.

But, I suppose, welcome to the world of reasoning about God. You'd be perhaps surprised, that some ideas of God just don't add up logically, and can even be discarded. All ideas of God aren't equal. While we might be able to say (make up) absolutely anything, such that "God" is this and that, certain ideas often fall to the sword of reason -- some more clearly than others.

A small book that articulates the nature of God amongst other things, which I'd recommend to you is: Making Divine Simplicity Simple: Rediscovering Who and What God Is
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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Justhuman » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:40 am

I mean this:
Not if God's will perfectly aligns with His own nature, the two are ultimately one and same. So God is free to express Himself, it's just that His expression aligns 1:1 with who He is.


There is a contradiction in 'free to express Himself' and 'cannot lie'. Can God create us (lying) humans without the possibility to lie himself? Why is it so hard for you (Christians in general) to say/accept that God can/could lie? It's too easy for me to just state it is not in His nature. Does it make Him a lesser God? The abillity to lie is inherrent to intelligence(?). And lying (or not telling the whole truth, which is not lying) is not neccessarilly allways a bad thing.

As for me as a still firm materialistic believer, I'm trying to 'reason' to God from that materialistic viewpoint (strange as that might sound?). As such I see Him as 'just' some allpowerfull being. Maybe experimenting with us on a trial-and-error basis. For who knows, He might have in every galaxy one planet with some intelligent form of life, letting them go-with-the-flow, and see what ultimately gives the best result.

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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Byblos » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:50 am

Justhuman wrote:I mean this:
Not if God's will perfectly aligns with His own nature, the two are ultimately one and same. So God is free to express Himself, it's just that His expression aligns 1:1 with who He is.


There is a contradiction in 'free to express Himself' and 'cannot lie'. Can God create us (lying) humans without the possibility to lie himself? Why is it so hard for you (Christians in general) to say/accept that God can/could lie? It's too easy for me to just state it is not in His nature. Does it make Him a lesser God? The abillity to lie is inherrent to intelligence(?). And lying (or not telling the whole truth, which is not lying) is not neccessarilly allways a bad thing.

As for me as a still firm materialistic believer, I'm trying to 'reason' to God from that materialistic viewpoint (strange as that might sound?). As such I see Him as 'just' some allpowerfull being. Maybe experimenting with us on a trial-and-error basis. For who knows, He might have in every galaxy one planet with some intelligent form of life, letting them go-with-the-flow, and see what ultimately gives the best result.


You are all over the place, you think you've thought this through but you haven't. You need to step back a bit and think about what you're saying. Let me ask you these two questions: Can total darkness illuminate? Can a bachelor be married?
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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Justhuman » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:21 am

Byblos wrote:...
You are all over the place, you think you've thought this through but you haven't. You need to step back a bit and think about what you're saying. Let me ask you these two questions: Can total darkness illuminate? Can a bachelor be married?


I don't know why you think I'm all over the place, can you elaborate on that?

"... thought this through but you haven't"? No, still not... does anyone have though this truly through?

Why don't you answer my question then! Can God lie or can he not lie? It's a simple question with a yes or no answer.

This is a discussion platform, which can lead to any kind of questions-answers-questions kind of things. Maybe you should try and discern my overall way of thinking in these posts. Or is that so... unfathomable?

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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Byblos » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:03 am

Justhuman wrote:
Byblos wrote:...
You are all over the place, you think you've thought this through but you haven't. You need to step back a bit and think about what you're saying. Let me ask you these two questions: Can total darkness illuminate? Can a bachelor be married?


I don't know why you think I'm all over the place, can you elaborate on that?

"... thought this through but you haven't"? No, still not... does anyone have though this truly through?

Why don't you answer my question then! Can God lie or can he not lie? It's a simple question with a yes or no answer.

This is a discussion platform, which can lead to any kind of questions-answers-questions kind of things. Maybe you should try and discern my overall way of thinking in these posts. Or is that so... unfathomable?


I really am trying to help, not criticize (although I admit, it may have sounded as such). To answer your question, the answer is an emphatic no, God cannot lie. And if you think that's somehow a deficiency you would be absolutely wrong. Now please answer my questions.
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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Justhuman » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:48 am

Ok, you did write a bit too impulsive... It is forgiven :)

To answer your questions:
Can total darkness illuminate? Can a bachelor be married?

The way you mean it: no and no.

However, are (the contexts of) your questions equivalent to the question whether God can lie or not lie? And an empathic answer might indicate a biased answer.

Your questions are a paradox in itself though. Like: does 1 equal 0? The answer is a known fact, because we 'physically' know 1 and 0. God we do not know physically, or personal. The closest I've heard is that one feels the presence of God, or is touched by God. But that's not knowing Him (at least, in my opinion). And if one doesn't know someone, how can one judge about what he can or cannot.
Blind trust is an option, but that rules out reasoning.

You need to step back a bit and think about what you're saying.

Why do I need to step back and think about what I'm saying?

I've had a Christian upbringing, went to 'Sunday school', learned about God and Jesus, talked/discussed with people about religion, God, etc... The answers I didn't get were the reason I started questioning 'things'. And the sometimes vague explanations like "Gods ways are incomprehensible". Then I learned more about astronomy and the history of Earth, and the answers therein made more logical sense.
I do tend to think about what I'm saying. Mostly, at least.

I think my questions are legitimate, as are yours.

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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:11 pm

Justhuman, can you give us your definition of God or at least which/what God you are talking about?

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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Justhuman » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:59 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:Justhuman, can you give us your definition of God or at least which/what God you are talking about?


A God that would come close to a materialistic God? That would be an oxymoron. It would 'just' be a highly advanced being/species, with powers beyond current imagination or understanding. No God there.

On this forum we are talking about the Biblical God. An omnipotent omniscient being, creator of the universe, of Earth, and life. Watchful and caring over us humans, always listening to our prayers, mostly leaving us to our free will, occasionally intervening on individual level.

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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Kurieuo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:06 pm

Justhuman wrote:I mean this:
Not if God's will perfectly aligns with His own nature, the two are ultimately one and same. So God is free to express Himself, it's just that His expression aligns 1:1 with who He is.


There is a contradiction in 'free to express Himself' and 'cannot lie'. Can God create us (lying) humans without the possibility to lie himself? Why is it so hard for you (Christians in general) to say/accept that God can/could lie? It's too easy for me to just state it is not in His nature. Does it make Him a lesser God? The abillity to lie is inherrent to intelligence(?). And lying (or not telling the whole truth, which is not lying) is not neccessarilly allways a bad thing.

As for me as a still firm materialistic believer, I'm trying to 'reason' to God from that materialistic viewpoint (strange as that might sound?). As such I see Him as 'just' some allpowerfull being. Maybe experimenting with us on a trial-and-error basis. For who knows, He might have in every galaxy one planet with some intelligent form of life, letting them go-with-the-flow, and see what ultimately gives the best result.

I beg to differ for reasons previously explained, which you didn't seem to understand. There is no contradiction, perhaps you can state your argument in syllogistic form, and I'll show it unsound.

In any case what you believe is up to you. It doesn't mean much to me to bother changing your mind, especially when you take so much upon faith in your materialistic beliefs. Seems to me you like to pick and choose your beliefs like icecream, rather than what follows logically. It seems to me you're like, I'll have free will thanks, and while it can't explain, throw in materialism, add in a real sense of self, goodness, concepts of fairness, but please no God.

What makes you think I care if you choose irrationality? Or that you're still firmly materialistic? Maybe I should as a Christian, but I really don't. People are responsible for their own foolishness, you do believe in responsibly I assume? Though good luck supporting the idea that mere molecules have responsibilities. :P

PS. On another note, did you watch the video of that Atheist I posted in the testimonies area. I think perhaps it could be an eye opener to the irrationality of Atheism: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=41848
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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby patrick » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:25 am

Justhuman, I wonder if perhaps you're not putting the cart before the horse with your lying example. While it's very easy to posit some ultimate being that *does* lie and does "whatever He wants**," such seems to raise more questions than it answers. I think a lot of atheists assume that God is this really elaborate, anthropormophic blight to Occam's Razor, but when you set aside special revelation (i.e. the Bible) it's actually a very conservative explanation for the order we find in the universe.

FWIW, if I were to take God and peel away until I reached the attributes of Him I felt most sure of, He would essentially just be the fundamental law of order -- to me, whether or not God is a person or an impersonal force is quite secondary. Perhaps this is best understood by its converse. A universe without God (in any form) would mean our notions of rationality are things we simply impose onto the universe, with endeavours like science being limited to pockets of rationality; IOW, all are local heuristics; no theory of everything possible. Order easily arises incidentally and locally from chaos, but globally not so much.

So in that sense, God creating square circles strikes me as precisely the kind of thing I'd expect to find where chaos or nothingness reigned supreme. Such an obvious logical contradiction between our mind and reality would suggest we really are imposing notions of rationality onto an a-rational universe. Similarly, God as a liar, while possible, seems to be moving towards a view of God closer to chaos than that of order.

(**As an aside, this discussion hints at why I don't much care for the free will vs determinism debate. People often seem to feel like their will is limited if they can't act outside of their nature, when to me, the whole point of "free will" is being able to act out of one's own nature, unencumbered by external forces. I think people understimate just how much freedom there is in not having to do certain things.)

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Re: Is being an atheist irrational?

Postby Justhuman » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:43 am

It's not about caring for another one's opinion or choices, it's about understanding. That's what this forum is about(?). Though this forum is also meant for theists, and not for an atheist. So here I'm way 'underreasoned', and maybe on the wrong forum, though it's mostly good to broaden one's personal view by other viewpoints and believes.

I watched the video's pointed out, agree with the contents up to several or a certain point(s), but cannot follow their deeper conclusions and/or reasonings, where fundamental issues are sometimes brought down to one simple comparison.

Maybe it should not be the point whether it's God or a mere materialistic universe, but whether the arguments given are sound and logical. That requires thinking outside one's boundaries and believes, which is really hard to do. As for me, I often find my thoughts are 'blocked' to take such a step, but given time things become more clear.

Unfortunately I can't express or explain my reasoning well enough in the written word, nor grasp the way of thinking handed to me here. Maybe it's my shortcomming, maybe a mutual non-understanding. I don't know.


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