The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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Philip
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#181

Post by Philip » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:05 pm

Ken: "How many times must I say I don’t have an answer? I was not trying to come up with something more logical than God did it, I was coming up with an alternative to God did it."

And THAT, my friend, will forever be your insurmountable problem, as EVERY alternative is, by the very nature of what happened in the beginning, both METAphysical and entirely unobserved by science in any other parameter or system. Meaning, you can hope or entertain all day that what occurred lines up with some unproven, wild theory without any data to support it, because you'll be right back to realize that something miraculous, inexplicable, that always existed, has unfathomable intelligence and power, and that NECESSARILY is UNCAUSED and has always existed, is the ultimate Reason behind all we can observe. I call that Entity God. But, it makes no sense to me how so many think that the attributes necessary for what exists preceded all physical things and had the ability to create on such a magnificent scale, but yet they insist that no externally existing, all-powerful sentient Being could have such abilities. But that's totally inconsistent thinking! Rick is correct!

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#182

Post by Kenny » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:37 pm

RickD wrote:Kenny,
Of course it's irrational for you to dismiss the claim that "God did it", because you have no proof that God didn't do it.

Ken wrote:
Really??? If that’s the game you wanna play, I have no proof Bugs Bunny, Easter Bunny, or Marvin the Martian didn’t do it either! Is that irrational?
RickD wrote:
Unless you want to hold to blind faith that God didn't do it.

Ken wrote:
Am I holding on to blind faith that Bugs bunny, Santa Clause, and Easter Bunny didn’t do it?
RickD wrote:kenny,

My point is that usually when someone dismisses a claim, in this case, the claim that God created the universe, one needs to show a reason why they dismiss the claim. And you've shown no reason. That's why you'd be better of saying that you don't know how the universe began, instead of dismissing a possibility that you have no way of logically dismissing.
I may not know all the right answers, but I can sometimes recognize a wrong answer when presented with one. Your idea of God sounds like a wrong answer to me.
ken wrote:
How many times must I say I don’t have an answer? I was not trying to come up with something more logical than God did it, I was coming up with an alternative to God did it.
RickD wrote:Well, if you were trying to avoid logic, I'd say you succeeded!

This actually tells me a lot about your motives Kenny. You have no logical reason to dismiss the claim that God created the universe. So instead of coming up with a logical alternative idea about how the universe came into existence, you just come up with an illogical idea, just to avoid "God did it".

Why is that Kenny?
My reasons for dismissing the God as described in the Bible as an explanation for the existence of the Universe has to do with the fact that I am convinced he doesn't exist. My reasons for believing he doesn't exist has nothing to do with the Universe, but because of what is in the Bible, and what people say about him; I see more evidence to the fact that he does not exist than the amount of evidence to the fact that he does. Obviously I would have to be convinced he exists before I can be convinced he is responsible for creation of the Universe.

Ken
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#183

Post by Kenny » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:47 pm

Philip wrote:Ken: "How many times must I say I don’t have an answer? I was not trying to come up with something more logical than God did it, I was coming up with an alternative to God did it."

And THAT, my friend, will forever be your insurmountable problem, as EVERY alternative is, by the very nature of what happened in the beginning, both METAphysical and entirely unobserved by science in any other parameter or system. Meaning, you can hope or entertain all day that what occurred lines up with some unproven, wild theory without any data to support it, because you'll be right back to realize that something miraculous, inexplicable, that always existed, has unfathomable intelligence and power, and that NECESSARILY is UNCAUSED and has always existed, is the ultimate Reason behind all we can observe. I call that Entity God. But, it makes no sense to me how so many think that the attributes necessary for what exists preceded all physical things and had the ability to create on such a magnificent scale, but yet they insist that no externally existing, all-powerful sentient Being could have such abilities. But that's totally inconsistent thinking! Rick is correct!
Believe it or not, I do not have a belief on the the origin of the Universe. I don’t find it necessary to pretend I know. I don’t know how it all became as it is, and I am not going to obsess over trying to unlock mysteries science has yet to unlock. If you want to believe God did it, that's fine; but don't call me unreasonable because I am not convinced.

Ken
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#184

Post by edwardmurphy » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:15 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Actually using some of your own logic, Theists don't have beliefs about gods, but about God.
In the past, during the times of Rome, Christians were once called Atheists.

If you define an Atheist as a person who does not accept Theism (which is really not accepting that a personal God exists).
Then Christians are Apolytheists who do not accept Polytheism (that gods exists).
When I use the word "theist" I'm speaking very generally. I just mean people who believe in the existence of one or more gods. If I'm referring to members of a specific religion I use the name of that religion. I'm not an atheist with respect to the Christian god, I'm an atheist, period.

Sorry that was unclear.
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#185

Post by edwardmurphy » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:29 pm

Philip wrote:Meaning, you can hope or entertain all day that what occurred lines up with some unproven, wild theory without any data to support it, because you'll be right back to realize that something miraculous, inexplicable, that always existed, has unfathomable intelligence and power, and that NECESSARILY is UNCAUSED and has always existed, is the ultimate Reason behind all we can observe.
Not really. The fact that we can't explain what happened before the Big Bang just indicates that we don't currently have the means to explain what happened before the Big Bang. Maybe someday we will. It wouldn't be the first time that a phenomenon widely seen as unfathomable got fathomed. But until then all we have is a big question mark, and ascribing characteristics to a big question mark makes no sense at all.
"Leadership: Whatever happens, you're responsible. If it doesn't happen, you're responsible."

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#186

Post by Philip » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:13 pm

Kenny: My reasons for believing he doesn't exist has nothing to do with the Universe,
Good, because I think you know something metaphysical and miraculous HAS to be behind it! Something so incredible that 1) it seems impossible to have occurred without a Planner and Designer; 2) That science has NO answers for; 3) That means prior to the beginning, NOTHING physically existed. WE see no sophistication coming out of pure, uncaused randomness, much less unfathomable design across the universe.

Kenny: ... but because of what is in the Bible

Ah, but now we're getting somewhere!

OK, what specific aspects of the Bible cause you to doubt such a God could exist?
Kenny: ... and what people say about him
And what things do people say about God that cause you to reject even the possibility of His existence?
Kenny: Obviously I would have to be convinced he exists before I can be convinced he is responsible for creation of the Universe.'
I think once you realize He exists, you'll need little convincing of the latter. But "if" He exists, you and I don't get to vote upon His attributes or character - He is as He exists and has always existed. We just can't do truth of God's existence by popularity poll!

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#187

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:35 pm

edwardmurphy wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Actually using some of your own logic, Theists don't have beliefs about gods, but about God.
In the past, during the times of Rome, Christians were once called Atheists.

If you define an Atheist as a person who does not accept Theism (which is really not accepting that a personal God exists).
Then Christians are Apolytheists who do not accept Polytheism (that gods exists).
When I use the word "theist" I'm speaking very generally. I just mean people who believe in the existence of one or more gods. If I'm referring to members of a specific religion I use the name of that religion. I'm not an atheist with respect to the Christian god, I'm an atheist, period.

Sorry that was unclear.
Hi Ed,

No, you were clear and I understand you were generalising.
I was more making a point. One I think is a fair point to make.

I do not believe it is fair to bundle Christians (Monotheists) with Polytheism.
Christians were called Atheists by the Romans because they did not believe in and refused to worship gods.
Christians were seen as causing unnecessary trouble for Rome because they would not just "play the game" if you will.

Like you feel it's a rhetorical trick for us for define Atheism a certain way.
I equally think it is a rhetorical trick to bundle Monotheists with Polytheists.

To bundle all beliefs together, you're saying something more than a mere absence of belief can provide.
In particular, you're saying those who believe in gods are the same as those who believe in God (likely due to some hidden beliefs/premises).
Such broad-stroking and generalising I think is evidently fallacious.

What does this mean?
Well, I think it means for "Atheism" to truly have merit as the absence of belief in God/gods,
that it needs to be define itself without any reference whatsoever to God/gods but in such a way that God/gods are ruled out.

That then too, would pass the formal logical argument I presented previously.
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#188

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:39 am

Philip wrote:
Kenny: My reasons for believing he doesn't exist has nothing to do with the Universe,
Good, because I think you know something metaphysical and miraculous HAS to be behind it!
I'm sure they used to think that about lightning and thunder as well.
Philip wrote: Something so incredible that 1) it seems impossible to have occurred without a Planner and Designer; 2) That science has NO answers for; 3) That means prior to the beginning, NOTHING physically existed.
What do you base this on? Your extremely limited knowledge of the Universe?
Philip wrote: WE see no sophistication coming out of pure, uncaused randomness, much less unfathomable design across the universe.
And because you don't see it, it doesn't exist; right?
Philip wrote: Kenny: ... but because of what is in the Bible

Ah, but now we're getting somewhere!

OK, what specific aspects of the Bible cause you to doubt such a God could exist?
And what things do people say about God that cause you to reject even the possibility of His existence?
To get into that would probably change the subject of this forum and I don't wanna get in trouble with the moderators again for doing that. perhaps you an start another thread based upon those questions and I would be happy to answer them.

Ken
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#189

Post by FlawedIntellect » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:54 am

Kenny wrote:
Philip wrote:
Kenny: My reasons for believing he doesn't exist has nothing to do with the Universe,
Good, because I think you know something metaphysical and miraculous HAS to be behind it!
I'm sure they used to think that about lightning and thunder as well.
And your point is what, exactly?
Kenny wrote:
Philip wrote: Something so incredible that 1) it seems impossible to have occurred without a Planner and Designer; 2) That science has NO answers for; 3) That means prior to the beginning, NOTHING physically existed.
What do you base this on? Your extremely limited knowledge of the Universe?
I can't speak for Philip, but in speaking for myself, but this is based on the present knowledge of the universe having rather clear-cut and precise laws governing its operations, as well as the highly specified information found in DNA.
Regarding Evolution: I disagree with it. The base principles are sound, but the extent of the changes that are ascribed to Evolution sound incredibly far-fetched.

However, setting my bias aside, one thing is clear regarding Evolution: DNA must /already/ exist as a prerequisite for Evolution to be a functioning system. DNA has to already be a macro-molecule of highly specified information for a living and functional organism, and already has to have enzymes and the like to interact with in order to carry out the necessary processes of DNA self-replication as well as read-build processes for restoring the cells and creating duplicate cells. The bottomline is that at some point, there is highly specified complexity in information that can only be produced by a living rational mind.
DNA in function is often analogized to computer code, and that's primarily due to the similarities in terms of function and role. Although the operations are different, the functions are very similar. DNA is a physical storage medium of information in much the same way as a computer hard drive is. Its /operations/, the details of /how/ it works, are different. But the role, the function, the /what it's for/, is similar. DNA, like a hard drive (or like a solid state drive), stores information that can then be read through and processed in order to carry out specific tasks that are contained within the information.
Kenny wrote:
Philip wrote: WE see no sophistication coming out of pure, uncaused randomness, much less unfathomable design across the universe.
And because you don't see it, it doesn't exist; right?
Not quite. The point is that pure randomness cannot produce anything other than pure randomness. In a typical JRPG, there are often random number generators at play behind the scenes, which determine whether or not your attack hits or misses, how much damage it does if it hits, and so on. No matter how good your strategy is, you can lose just because the random number generator gives you a bunch of bad dice rolls that are invisible to you. Your wins or losses are not determined by your ability to plan ahead, but are rather determined by randomness. Meaning the difference between your entire party getting completely obliterated, and being successful, is largely outside of your control.

Randomness is blind and arbitrary. What can randomness really produce, other than more randomness?

In real life, there are intelligent people capable of discerning how reality operates. Reality is not purely random, but rather is built on predictable, reliable physical principles. Through understanding these principles, it has multiple applications. There is so much clear, specified order in how reality operates that it seems to suggest an even higher order that set these rules and principles into motion.
Kenny wrote:
Philip wrote: Kenny: ... but because of what is in the Bible

Ah, but now we're getting somewhere!

OK, what specific aspects of the Bible cause you to doubt such a God could exist?
And what things do people say about God that cause you to reject even the possibility of His existence?
To get into that would probably change the subject of this forum and I don't wanna get in trouble with the moderators again for doing that. perhaps you an start another thread based upon those questions and I would be happy to answer them.

Ken
Well, Kenny, what's stopping you from starting your own thread on discussing the matter? Feel free to do so, given that this /is/ a discussion forum, after all.

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#190

Post by edwardmurphy » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:10 am

Kurieuo wrote:Hi Ed,Like you feel it's a rhetorical trick for us for define Atheism a certain way.
I equally think it is a rhetorical trick to bundle Monotheists with Polytheists.

To bundle all beliefs together, you're saying something more than a mere absence of belief can provide.
In particular, you're saying those who believe in gods are the same as those who believe in God (likely due to some hidden beliefs/premises).
Such broad-stroking and generalising I think is evidently fallacious.
I'm saying that those who believe in gods are the same as those who believe in god in the sense they they all believe in supernatural beings, which they do. They may be vastly different in all other ways, but they all have that one aspect in common, and its that one aspect that causes me to reject them all.
Kurieuo wrote:What does this mean?
Well, I think it means for "Atheism" to truly have merit as the absence of belief in God/gods,
that it needs to be define itself without any reference whatsoever to God/gods but in such a way that God/gods are ruled out.

That then too, would pass the formal logical argument I presented previously.
It seems to me that regarding atheism as the rejection of a claim made by theists meets your criteria.
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#191

Post by Philip » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:58 am

Philip wrote: WE see no sophistication coming out of pure, uncaused randomness, much less unfathomable design across the universe.
Ken: And because you don't see it, it doesn't exist; right?
Uh, isn't that what you assert about God? You're willing to entertain the thought (and even DEPEND upon, IF there is no God) that some incredible "something" pre-existed, eternally - that eventually all physical things sprang from and organized beyond our understandings and on a scale we can't truly fathom - but yet you are very certain there is no God behind what exists. That is using very selective and inconsistent logic. y#-o
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#192

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:18 pm

He made the claim that I believe the existence of the Universe is the result of something metaphysical and miraculous (though I suspect he is using the term metaphysical out of context). My point was just because we don’t have answers doesn’t mean it’s something outside the laws of nature.
Kenny wrote:
Philip wrote: Something so incredible that 1) it seems impossible to have occurred without a Planner and Designer; 2) That science has NO answers for; 3) That means prior to the beginning, NOTHING physically existed.
What do you base this on? Your extremely limited knowledge of the Universe?
FlawedIntellect wrote:I can't speak for Philip, but in speaking for myself, but this is based on the present knowledge of the universe having rather clear-cut and precise laws governing its operations, as well as the highly specified information found in DNA.
Like I said; an extremely limited knowledge of the Universe.
Kenny wrote:
Philip wrote: WE see no sophistication coming out of pure, uncaused randomness, much less unfathomable design across the universe.
And because you don't see it, it doesn't exist; right?
FlawedIntellect wrote:Not quite. The point is that pure randomness cannot produce anything other than pure randomness.

Sometimes randomness can have the appearance of design. Ever see a coral reef?


Ken
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#193

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:26 pm

Philip wrote: Uh, isn't that what you assert about God?
No
Philip wrote:You're willing to entertain the thought (and even DEPEND upon, IF there is no God) that some incredible "something" pre-existed, eternally - that eventually all physical things sprang from and organized beyond our understandings and on a scale we can't truly fathom -
I never said anything like that. Perhaps you are confusing me with someone else.
Philip wrote:but yet you are very certain there is no God behind what exists.
I said I am certain that YOUR concept of God is not behind what exists.

Ken
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#194

Post by Byblos » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:33 pm

Kenny wrote: I said I am certain that YOUR concept of God is not behind what exists.
What concept of God would you be certain of kenny?

(I can't believe I'm even entertaining the idea of a discussion but hey, it's the weekend, I only have a dozen or so things to do).
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#195

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:44 pm

Byblos wrote:
Kenny wrote: I said I am certain that YOUR concept of God is not behind what exists.
What concept of God would you be certain of kenny?

(I can't believe I'm even entertaining the idea of a discussion but hey, it's the weekend, I only have a dozen or so things to do).
None that I've heard of thus far....but then I haven't heard of them all either

K
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