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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edwardmurphy
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#211

Post by edwardmurphy » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:08 am

RickD wrote:
edwardmurphy wrote:
edwardmurphy wrote:
RickD wrote:An atheist may believe God doesn't exist because of a lack of knowledge on his part. Or just because he refuses to want to be accountable to someone besides himself.
Do you seriously believe that being accountable to no one but myself is easier than being accountable to a just and loving god who will forgive my mistakes?
BTW, you never answered my question, Rick.
Sorry EM,

Your question got lost on me. I apologize.
No worries. The text moves pretty rapidly around here. I probably should have made another thread.
RickD wrote:Easier? In the short term, absolutely. Feeling like one is only responsible to oneself is certainly easier than being responsible to others, including God. When one feels like he's responsible to nobody but himself, he can live only to please himself.


What makes you think I'm not responsible to others? I have a wife, a daughter, and another on the way. (Another daughter, not another wife, just so we're clear.) I also have parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, not to mention friends and neighbors. Beyond that, I'm part of a neighborhood, which is part of a community, which is part of a state, which is part of a nation, which is part of a planet. I'm accountable to everyone and everything on that list. When I'm changing diapers at 2:00 am, helping push a neighbor out of a snowbank, waiting my turn at a 4-way stop, picking up a piece of trash on the sidewalk downtown, staying informed about local, state, and national issues, limiting my carbon footprint, reporting my income honestly, or whatever else, it's because I recognize that I'm a small part of something larger than myself and that I'm accountable to people other than myself.
RickD wrote:There's no motivation to think of others before himself. It can be difficult to put others first.
When conservative Christians say thing like this I worry about them. Your position seems to imply that god is the only thing keeping you from being a hedonistic, self-centered monster. if I could somehow prove that god wasn't real would you immediately abandon your family, start robbing banks, and change your focus to keeping yourself neck deep in hookers and blow until the cops finally shot you?
"Leadership: Whatever happens, you're responsible. If it doesn't happen, you're responsible."

~ Donald J. Trump, back when Obama was President

"I don't take responsibility at all."

~ Donald J. Trump, now that he's the President

Convinced yet?

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#212

Post by Kenny » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:34 am

Byblos wrote: All you've convinced yourself of is your ignorance. :shakehead:

Every single one of your objections is answerable and from reason alone. But I have zero faith you're willing to honestly engage in a reasonable discussion.
He asked a question, I gave an answer. I never promised it would be the answer you wanted.....
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"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#213

Post by RickD » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:41 am

edwardmurphy wrote:
RickD wrote:
edwardmurphy wrote:
edwardmurphy wrote:
RickD wrote:An atheist may believe God doesn't exist because of a lack of knowledge on his part. Or just because he refuses to want to be accountable to someone besides himself.
Do you seriously believe that being accountable to no one but myself is easier than being accountable to a just and loving god who will forgive my mistakes?
BTW, you never answered my question, Rick.
Sorry EM,

Your question got lost on me. I apologize.
No worries. The text moves pretty rapidly around here. I probably should have made another thread.
RickD wrote:Easier? In the short term, absolutely. Feeling like one is only responsible to oneself is certainly easier than being responsible to others, including God. When one feels like he's responsible to nobody but himself, he can live only to please himself.


What makes you think I'm not responsible to others? I have a wife, a daughter, and another on the way. (Another daughter, not another wife, just so we're clear.) I also have parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, not to mention friends and neighbors. Beyond that, I'm part of a neighborhood, which is part of a community, which is part of a state, which is part of a nation, which is part of a planet. I'm accountable to everyone and everything on that list. When I'm changing diapers at 2:00 am, helping push a neighbor out of a snowbank, waiting my turn at a 4-way stop, picking up a piece of trash on the sidewalk downtown, staying informed about local, state, and national issues, limiting my carbon footprint, reporting my income honestly, or whatever else, it's because I recognize that I'm a small part of something larger than myself and that I'm accountable to people other than myself.
RickD wrote:There's no motivation to think of others before himself. It can be difficult to put others first.
When conservative Christians say thing like this I worry about them. Your position seems to imply that god is the only thing keeping you from being a hedonistic, self-centered monster. if I could somehow prove that god wasn't real would you immediately abandon your family, start robbing banks, and change your focus to keeping yourself neck deep in hookers and blow until the cops finally shot you?
EM,

I apologize again, because you misread what I said. It seems I should've been clearer, if you got that from what I said.
I said:
RickD wrote:
An atheist may believe God doesn't exist because of a lack of knowledge on his part. Or just because he refuses to want to be accountable to someone besides himself.
I was just listing possibilities of why an atheist believes God doesn't exist. It was in response to a question.
I was no way saying that all atheists aren't responsible to anyone besides themselves.
And then I answered your question:

Do you seriously believe that being accountable to no one but myself is easier than being accountable to a just and loving god who will forgive my mistakes?
And my response was specifically towards your question. Again, it wasn't an answer suggesting that you personally aren't responsible to others, nor was it a blanket statement that all atheists are selfish and out only for themselves.
So,
While maybe I could've been clearer, you also need to look at the context of my answers. :D
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#214

Post by Byblos » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:11 am

Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote: All you've convinced yourself of is your ignorance. :shakehead:

Every single one of your objections is answerable and from reason alone. But I have zero faith you're willing to honestly engage in a reasonable discussion.
He asked a question, I gave an answer. I never promised it would be the answer you wanted.....

Gotcha, that's your standard answer to pretty much everything I ask these days. I'm a little disappointed but not surprised in the least. Thank you for saving me the time and effort of yet another fruitless discussion with you.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#215

Post by Kenny » Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:26 pm

Byblos wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote: All you've convinced yourself of is your ignorance. :shakehead:

Every single one of your objections is answerable and from reason alone. But I have zero faith you're willing to honestly engage in a reasonable discussion.
He asked a question, I gave an answer. I never promised it would be the answer you wanted.....

Gotcha, that's your standard answer to pretty much everything I ask these days. I'm a little disappointed but not surprised in the least. Thank you for saving me the time and effort of yet another fruitless discussion with you.
First of all I was talking to somebody else, and I made it very clear to that somebody else my reluctance to give such an answer for fear that it would derail the topic.

The last thing I need right now is for everybody and their mother to jump on board asking questions and discussing this issue which is completely off topic, then the moderators jump in and somehow blame it all on me, accusing me of running the thread into the ground and telling me go away and not respond anymore.

So I thank-you for avoiding this discussion.

Ken
RickD wrote
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#216

Post by RickD » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:10 pm

Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote: All you've convinced yourself of is your ignorance. :shakehead:

Every single one of your objections is answerable and from reason alone. But I have zero faith you're willing to honestly engage in a reasonable discussion.
He asked a question, I gave an answer. I never promised it would be the answer you wanted.....

Gotcha, that's your standard answer to pretty much everything I ask these days. I'm a little disappointed but not surprised in the least. Thank you for saving me the time and effort of yet another fruitless discussion with you.
First of all I was talking to somebody else, and I made it very clear to that somebody else my reluctance to give such an answer for fear that it would derail the topic.

The last thing I need right now is for everybody and their mother to jump on board asking questions and discussing this issue which is completely off topic, then the moderators jump in and somehow blame it all on me, accusing me of running the thread into the ground and telling me go away and not respond anymore.

So I thank-you for avoiding this discussion.

Ken
Kenny,
You can feel safe answering the question. I've been following this thread, and I'm not going to blame you for taking this off topic, if you're just responding to a question.
So please, answer the question. I know how frustrating it can be if we really want to respond, but feel like we can't. So go ahead, respond to your little heart's content. :D
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#217

Post by Kenny » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:29 pm

RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote: All you've convinced yourself of is your ignorance. :shakehead:

Every single one of your objections is answerable and from reason alone. But I have zero faith you're willing to honestly engage in a reasonable discussion.
He asked a question, I gave an answer. I never promised it would be the answer you wanted.....

Gotcha, that's your standard answer to pretty much everything I ask these days. I'm a little disappointed but not surprised in the least. Thank you for saving me the time and effort of yet another fruitless discussion with you.
First of all I was talking to somebody else, and I made it very clear to that somebody else my reluctance to give such an answer for fear that it would derail the topic.

The last thing I need right now is for everybody and their mother to jump on board asking questions and discussing this issue which is completely off topic, then the moderators jump in and somehow blame it all on me, accusing me of running the thread into the ground and telling me go away and not respond anymore.

So I thank-you for avoiding this discussion.

Ken
Kenny,
You can feel safe answering the question. I've been following this thread, and I'm not going to blame you for taking this off topic, if you're just responding to a question.
So please, answer the question. I know how frustrating it can be if we really want to respond, but feel like we can't. So go ahead, respond to your little heart's content. :D
Thank-you

Ken
RickD wrote
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#218

Post by edwardmurphy » Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:32 pm

RickD wrote:I was just listing possibilities of why an atheist believes God doesn't exist. It was in response to a question.
I was no way saying that all atheists aren't responsible to anyone besides themselves.
Gotcha.
"Leadership: Whatever happens, you're responsible. If it doesn't happen, you're responsible."

~ Donald J. Trump, back when Obama was President

"I don't take responsibility at all."

~ Donald J. Trump, now that he's the President

Convinced yet?

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#219

Post by abelcainsbrother » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:37 pm

edwardmurphy wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote:But what if you're wrong? You have time now to find out who the true God is or not because when you die? That's it and if you were wrong you will face the choices you made.There is no reason to reject God and then realize how wrong you were to believe them atheist talking points while believing their talking points even when you think you are exempt from having evidence to be an atheist.
Ack, Pascal's Wager again. This argument comes up so often that there's even a wikiHow article on how to refute it. I skimmed it and it seems adequate, so I'll leave you to it.
abelcainsbrother wrote:And you will not have an excuse for rejecting the true God when you were ignoring logic,reason and reality and used imagination instead that defies reality in order to reject God.If you want proof Jesus is real? Then honestly seek him by honesty faith and ask him to save you and he will like he has for millions of people.When Jesus saves you? You will know it and you will have all of the proof you need.
I don't see it that way. Logic and reason don't require any supernatural input, and neither does reality. Over the last few hundred years we've managed to explain nearly all of the "unexplainable" phenomenon that were once laid at god's feet. God is running out of gaps to fill. I can only think of two, actually - what happened before the Big Bang and what happens when you die. In both cases I think "We don't know" is a better answer than anything that religion can provide.
abelcainsbrother wrote:Don't assume Christianity is like all other religions because it is nothing like the other religions.And our God is nothing like all of them other god's people believe in and if you ever put your faith in Jesus and he saves you? You will be totally changed on the inside to serve God and you will suddenly know the truth,it is a miracle that you won't find in other religions where they change their self, no Jesus will change you and you will know it.
How could you possibly know that? Have you given every other religion a sincere try? What would you say to a Hindu who feels totally transformed after a pilgrimage to the Ganges, or to a Native American fresh out of the sweat lodge? What would you say to an atheist who feels awed when he looks at the stars, precisely because he has vastly more knowledge than his ancient ancestors and knows what he's looking at and how it came to be? It seems like you're speaking with complete confidence from a position of almost complete ignorance.

Pascal's wager,has never been refuted by atheists as no matter how you ignore it and explain it away or bring up other religions because you don't understand the difference between Christianity and religion,it does not matter because if you are wrong you will pay for it because of choosing to take your chances for whatever reasons,especially when Jesus made salvation so easy,you would be stupid to reject Jesus who paid for your salvation in full and offers to you right now,yet you choose to reject it for whatever reason,you will have no excuse.

You are wrong logic,reason and reality does require supernatural input because a person must reject logic,reason and reality in order to reject God even if they don't realize it,they are.You see it is a fact of logic,reason and reality that all things have a cause and all things that have a cause are caused by something else and all things are willed into existence,this is a fact,but if you are rejecting God?

You are automatically defying this fact of logic,reason and reality in order to deny God.
You see you must step outside logic,reason and reality and live by pure imagination that all things do not have a cause,and all things that did not have a cause are not caused by something else and all things are not willed into existence,you believe this if you are rejecting God but this defies and is a rebellious attitude you must live by that defies logic,reason and reality in order to deny a super natural cause.

You see God is all powerful and can create universes easy and this is before we even get into evidence,since you are already using imagination to live by,evidence will not persuade you because your already in LA LA land living your life by imagination.

If you disagree then name one thing in our world that did not have a cause,was not caused by something else and was not willed into existence,go ahead and try and you cannot because this is a fact that of reality but based on 100% pure imagination with no proof,or evidence or reason to believe it, you deny this fact and are dooming your fate after you die,especially when Jesus made salvation so easy and you are choosing to reject him as a Creator in order to live by imagination that defies logic,reason and reality.
The whole bible,every miracle and story is a whole lot easier to believe than what you must believe in order to reject God.

Atheists should not bring up other religions because they really do not understand religion,they lump them all together and don't know the difference yet try to bring them up to divert attention from their problem and that is Jesus already paid for your salvation in full,no other god has and so in all other religions they are taught to do works for salvation,they change their self by following laws and rules because they do not have a Savior like Jesus,but you do and if you reject the salvation he offers for free and are wrong? You will stand before him and have to answer for how you defied logic,reason and reality and lived by 100% pure imagination in order to reject him,and if you reject him? He will reject you,and he will be crying his eyes out because you denied him,as angels cast you into hell for eternity.
Pascal's wager is still on the table and a person would have to be living by imagination,defying logic,reason and reality in order to reject the salvation he offers.And yes,if you are wrong? You will be in hell forever,think about it.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#220

Post by edwardmurphy » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:27 pm

First off, please allow me to provide some constructive criticism. You wrote about 7 paragraphs and all of them said basically the same thing. You're unnecessarily increasing your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
abelcainsbrother wrote:Pascal's wager,has never been refuted by atheists as no matter how you ignore it and explain it away or bring up other religions because you don't understand the difference between Christianity and religion,it does not matter because if you are wrong you will pay for it because of choosing to take your chances for whatever reasons,especially when Jesus made salvation so easy,you would be stupid to reject Jesus who paid for your salvation in full and offers to you right now,yet you choose to reject it for whatever reason,you will have no excuse.
I suppose that whether or not Pascal's Wager has been successfully refuted is a matter of opinion. I think it has, and your assertion that it hasn't because Christianity is somehow different from all other religions did not convince me.

Regarding the stupidity of rejecting Jesus, I disagree. I think I would be stupid to waste endless hours studying the Bible, going to church, and allowing other people to tell me how to think, what to believe, and how to behave.

Next, I'm unimpressed by Jesus' sacrifice. First off, the entire Garden of Eden story is dumb. Anybody with a toddler can tell you that god set Adam and Eve up to fail. Consequently, original sin is god's own fault and he should have just given humanity a pass. All that nonsense about sacrificing his son was completely unnecessary. Beyond that, it's not even much of a sacrifice. Sure, crucifixion sucks, but a guaranteed eternity in paradise ought to take the edge off. After all, tens of millions of other people have died horribly throughout history, and not many of them had a reserved seat waiting in Heaven.

And finally, if an all-knowing god made me then he did it knowing full well that there was no way I'd accept his existence without solid evidence, so he set me up to fail, too. If he's going to go to the trouble of making me a skeptic, then hiding his existence from me, then burning my soul for all eternity just for being who he made me, then I guess that's what will happen.

For the record, I'm not the least bit concerned about it.
"Leadership: Whatever happens, you're responsible. If it doesn't happen, you're responsible."

~ Donald J. Trump, back when Obama was President

"I don't take responsibility at all."

~ Donald J. Trump, now that he's the President

Convinced yet?

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#221

Post by abelcainsbrother » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:37 pm

edwardmurphy wrote:First off, please allow me to provide some constructive criticism. You wrote about 7 paragraphs and all of them said basically the same thing. You're unnecessarily increasing your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
abelcainsbrother wrote:Pascal's wager,has never been refuted by atheists as no matter how you ignore it and explain it away or bring up other religions because you don't understand the difference between Christianity and religion,it does not matter because if you are wrong you will pay for it because of choosing to take your chances for whatever reasons,especially when Jesus made salvation so easy,you would be stupid to reject Jesus who paid for your salvation in full and offers to you right now,yet you choose to reject it for whatever reason,you will have no excuse.
I suppose that whether or not Pascal's Wager has been successfully refuted is a matter of opinion. I think it has, and your assertion that it hasn't because Christianity is somehow different from all other religions did not convince me.

Regarding the stupidity of rejecting Jesus, I disagree. I think I would be stupid to waste endless hours studying the Bible, going to church, and allowing other people to tell me how to think, what to believe, and how to behave.

Next, I'm unimpressed by Jesus' sacrifice. First off, the entire Garden of Eden story is dumb. Anybody with a toddler can tell you that god set Adam and Eve up to fail. Consequently, original sin is god's own fault and he should have just given humanity a pass. All that nonsense about sacrificing his son was completely unnecessary. Beyond that, it's not even much of a sacrifice. Sure, crucifixion sucks, but a guaranteed eternity in paradise ought to take the edge off. After all, tens of millions of other people have died horribly throughout history, and not many of them had a reserved seat waiting in Heaven.

And finally, if an all-knowing god made me then he did it knowing full well that there was no way I'd accept his existence without solid evidence, so he set me up to fail, too. If he's going to go to the trouble of making me a skeptic, then hiding his existence from me, then burning my soul for all eternity just for being who he made me, then I guess that's what will happen.

For the record, I'm not the least bit concerned about it.
I know,because you are living by pure imagination.God gave you freedom and you are choosing to live by imagination,you put your faith in your imagination defying reality and so no evidence would convince you.And nobody is supposed to prove God exists,reality already does.The reason why you deny God is you have not been saved by Jesus.If you were saved? You would have all of the proof you need,you would be changed on the inside to serve God,your whole attitude and the way you think would be changed,suddenly you would know the truth,this happens when Jesus saves somebody,nobody changes their self to be a Christian,Jesus changes us on the inside,unlike any other religion or god out there,they change their-self.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#222

Post by FlawedIntellect » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:53 pm

To be fair, Abel, I generally don't think of Pascal's Wager as a rather persuasive argument either.
Granted, I grew up with Christianity so I accepted Christ at a young age, though the way I look at Pascal's Wager is not that it's a sound argument for most circumstances so much as an apologetics tool. Pascal's Wager is meant specifically for use with Agnostics, whom generally believe that it is impossible to know whether or not there is a God or gods [If I'm remembering the meaning of "agnosticism" correctly]. The point of Pascal's Wager is that it doesn't matter if it's impossible to know: That's simply irrelevant. For an agnostic, Pascal is presenting a cost-benefit analysis, in which there is little cost and much benefit for the agnostic to step outside Agnosticism and into Christianity, while the alternative has greater cost and no benefit.
It's a tool for dealing with the "it's impossible to know of the divines" crowd, not for dealing with atheists. Of course an atheist isn't going to be convinced! He's already convinced that there isn't a God, and so Pascal's Wager comes across to an atheist as an exercise in wishful thinking! Which, admittedly the argument does come across that way, but the thing is that Pascal's Wager isn't even the strongest argument that Christianity has to offer.

Granted, when someone's made up his or her mind, there's nothing that really can be done to change it, since the only one that can change one's mind is one's self.

Given that Pascal's Wager is meant as a counter-argument to agnosticism (in which case the argument works quite well and holds up), it's not so useful outside of that context.

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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#223

Post by abelcainsbrother » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:02 pm

FlawedIntellect wrote:To be fair, Abel, I generally don't think of Pascal's Wager as a rather persuasive argument either.
Granted, I grew up with Christianity so I accepted Christ at a young age, though the way I look at Pascal's Wager is not that it's a sound argument for most circumstances so much as an apologetics tool. Pascal's Wager is meant specifically for use with Agnostics, whom generally believe that it is impossible to know whether or not there is a God or gods [If I'm remembering the meaning of "agnosticism" correctly]. The point of Pascal's Wager is that it doesn't matter if it's impossible to know: That's simply irrelevant. For an agnostic, Pascal is presenting a cost-benefit analysis, in which there is little cost and much benefit for the agnostic to step outside Agnosticism and into Christianity, while the alternative has greater cost and no benefit.
It's a tool for dealing with the "it's impossible to know of the divines" crowd, not for dealing with atheists. Of course an atheist isn't going to be convinced! He's already convinced that there isn't a God, and so Pascal's Wager comes across to an atheist as an exercise in wishful thinking! Which, admittedly the argument does come across that way, but the thing is that Pascal's Wager isn't even the strongest argument that Christianity has to offer.

Granted, when someone's made up his or her mind, there's nothing that really can be done to change it, since the only one that can change one's mind is one's self.

Given that Pascal's Wager is meant as a counter-argument to agnosticism (in which case the argument works quite well and holds up), it's not so useful outside of that context.
I understand and I've already heard all of the atheist talking points against it,however I do not think it has been refuted like some think.Pascal was a gambling man and knew about odds,and if you deny God? You will be punished for it for eternity but if you don't? You won't.

I think people do not realize or think about what an eternity in hell would be like,but if one can imagine being in hell for eternity and all because they rejected salvation from Jesus that was paid for in full,and yet reject it,willing to take their chances I think it still is a very good argument to be saved,but I used a little of pascal's wager,philosophy and the gospel as an argument for why it is not wise to reject the gift of salvation God offers man through Jesus.
Last edited by abelcainsbrother on Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Kurieuo
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#224

Post by Kurieuo » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:12 pm

edwardmurphy wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Anyway, I don't really want to press the issue.
It seems clear to me however that Atheism as a positive denial of God or gods is at least internally sound and meaningful.
Not pressing the issue too hard is probably for the best, because I am most definitely not schooled in philosophy of religion or formal logic. I'm much more instinctive about this stuff.

My thoughts basically go like this -

I've never met a god. I've never even seen one from a distance. Everything that I know about God and gods I learned from human beings.
I want to cut you short here, for still embedded, purposefully I'm sure, is that God and gods are essentially the same.
You say both are supernatural, but even if we're talking "supernatural"...

(which by the way, to provide some side commentary on "supernatural" -- this term really needs unpacking. While "supernatural" is employed as a conventional term useful in conversation, when really put under the magnifying glass I believe the term is superfluous. Why?
Because "supernatural" is usually understood in contrast against what is "natural". So?
Well, for the moment assume the "spiritual" world, or (as often gets discussed in contemporary philosophy) that "mental properties" really are distinct from and different to "physical properties" (i.e., consciousness is qualitatively different from matter). If true, then it seems to me that the "natural world" should perhaps then be defined to include such things for this is what the fabric of the real natural world consists of. Understand?
If you do understand me, then it seems what how we define "supernatural"just excludes knowledge that we either don't understand, or perhaps parts of reality or nature that we can't easily get at yet. That is why I say the term "supernatural" is actually superfluous.)

To get back to the main topic, even if we're talking "supernatural", the "supernatural" God is still very different from supernatural "gods".
You say that all ideas of God come from humanity. Besides the point any idea we have (including scientific ones) come from humanity, I flatly disagree with the underlying thought that such means we just make God up.

Your bundling God with gods in the same sentence also clouds the truth of this.
Since many readily identify "gods", especially in Greek mythology, as being quite anthropomorphised (human likeness, clearly representing human passions and the like). So bundling "God and gods" has great rhetorical effect of making God out to be much the same.
Even more-so because they share much of the same letters, so they must be similar right? And this makes it even more persuasive to use "god and gods" in front of a new listener. I find it disrespectful personally, but admit it is quite a neat rhetorical trick whoever initially got it started.
SO just because they share the same letters besides an 's' and the capital 'G' (that is, unless you're Atheist-leaning and want to belittle belief in God by using a lowercase 'g' to call God "god"), such does not mean they're actually much the same.

I do not believe "God" and "gods" is like apples and apples and I see logical reasoning for saying they're very different.
I don't even believe "God" and "gods" is like apples and oranges. It's more like apples and our entire universe.

Indeed, I think you are justified in applying your reasons to "gods" since they appear contingent.
So there is no logical necessity for such, unless one has good evidence reason to believe they exist.
This would even include angelic beings the pinnacle of which is Satan.

BUT then, why not God?
edwardmurphy wrote:With that in mind, I truly don't see any difference between a god the god. I see how the ideas are completely different, but ideas aren't gods.
It is clear to me that you don't see any difference between "a god" and "God".
Although, I explained some differences in my previous post I will elaborate further.

(As a side, there is a little irony in those who cry foul of some Christians defining Atheism a certain way that they do not like, and yet they will belittle, ridicule and display disrespect for the beliefs of Christians who do seriously think God is the most important person and deserves a capital 'G'. Don't worry though, I understand you truly don't see the difference, and at a board like this neither side wants to give any ground on the matter, so while I think it is a little disrespectful, I'm not really bothered by it -- it's just a part of the fun and game. ;))

In any case, why is God not just invented by humanity akin say to the gods of Greek mythology?

There is basic problem when we explore life's larger question: Where do we come from?
This is a great question to explore, because if we know where we come from, then we might be able to deduce some purpose.
And if we discover purpose, we discover our true meaning in life. Then, perhaps many people wouldn't feel so hopeless in the world.
In fact, I dare say any lasting objective meaning to be found in our lives hinges upon answering this most base question:
Where do we come from?

So we start with ourselves. We can see that we came from our parents, and our parents theirs and so on and so forth.
This general principle we observe is that this comes from that, comes from this, comes from that.
If you accept evolutionary science that we naturally evolved from a common ancestor, as I suspect you do, then need I say more?

So what we see is that we are contingent upon our parents who were contingent upon theirs and perhaps go back far enough we have a common ancestor with chimps and even all life.
Where does the buck stop though? Surely, there must be something that has always been which was non-contingent.
All I am pointing out here, is that it seems logically obvious that something non-contingent must have always exist from which everything else came.

Ok, now someone like Kenny might ask why can't it be the physical world that has always existed.
Yes! Great. The argument of contingency has been at least understood in a sequential understanding.
Which is some thing foundational must have always existed.

But, to be truly non-contingent, it must also not be dependent upon anything hierarchically below it.
What do I mean by this?

Well, let's say that the universe has always existed in some form or another.
The fact that the universe can be in this or that form, actually reveals the universe is contingent.
It is contingent upon a set of laws which allow it to behave in this or that way. These laws could be otherwise. Maybe we can find out how to tweak them. So they're contingent too.

Think of it another way. Without the physical laws of the universe, then E = mc2 could not exist.
The very working of energy, mass, time and the like is based upon their being a set of laws that continually apply in a stable and predictable manner.
So if energy has always existed along side these greater physical laws, then energy itself is contingent upon those laws.
These may/may not be good examples, but I present them purely for illustrative purposes.

SO, to conclude, we see that just because something has always existed, such does not mean it is necessarily non-contingent.
To be non-contingent something must both 1) have always existed, and 2) be dependant upon nothing beneath it.

All I'm identifying here is an argument from contingency.
Given that logically something must not be contingent upon anything else.
This is what us Theists often ascribe to God as Aseity.

In any case, there are two candidates before us for Aseity:

1) Intelligent force.
2) Unintelligent force.

And you know what?
We're not in a position where we can physically see, or use science, to determine which is true. At least as I see matters we're not.
There is more that could be said for why I opt for (1) but I dare say I've already said enough for now.

What I want to come back on though is now your thought that "God" and "gods" are much the same.

Is it therefore irrational that one believes God to be the necessary non-contingency? No, I don't believe so.
Is believing in "God" therefore the same as believing in what have to be contingent "gods"?
I hope it has at least become a little more clear why such to me is like comparing apples with the universe.

All the best Ed!
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Re: The Faith of Atheists and Agnostics

#225

Post by 1over137 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:57 pm

edwardmurphy wrote:
Regarding the stupidity of rejecting Jesus, I disagree. I think I would be stupid to waste endless hours studying the Bible
There is so much wisdom in it.
edwardmurphy wrote: , going to church,
where people serve each other, help each other
edwardmurphy wrote: and allowing other people to tell me how to think, what to believe, and how to behave.
They would (or rather should) not tell you more than what is in the Bible
edwardmurphy wrote: Next, I'm unimpressed by Jesus' sacrifice. First off, the entire Garden of Eden story is dumb. Anybody with a toddler can tell you that god set Adam and Eve up to fail. Consequently, original sin is god's own fault and he should have just given humanity a pass. All that nonsense about sacrificing his son was completely unnecessary.
How should he do the setup while still giving us free will (even to reject him)?
edwardmurphy wrote: Beyond that, it's not even much of a sacrifice. Sure, crucifixion sucks, but a guaranteed eternity in paradise ought to take the edge off. After all, tens of millions of other people have died horribly throughout history, and not many of them had a reserved seat waiting in Heaven.
So, you do not value what Jesus did for us? God could separate himself from this world and leave us and let us live in our corrupted way. But he did not do it. Why?

What Jesus' crucifixion also showed was depravity of people.
edwardmurphy wrote: And finally, if an all-knowing god made me then he did it knowing full well that there was no way I'd accept his existence without solid evidence, so he set me up to fail, too. If he's going to go to the trouble of making me a skeptic, then hiding his existence from me, then burning my soul for all eternity just for being who he made me, then I guess that's what will happen.
Are you how he made you? (Not talking only about being sceptic right now.)

Also, you will not be prone to believe every spirit. You thus may be better protected from false prophets.
edwardmurphy wrote: For the record, I'm not the least bit concerned about it.
Perhaps, one day, you will.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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