I was just wondering. I mean I have definitely heard a lot of BAD arguments that try to prove god exists, the bible is true, etc etc.
We've all heard the many faulty arguments containing fallacies and nonsense before.
But I can't think of any argument which makes logical sense that does support the existence of god, accuracy of the bible, or the justification of a religion before.
Please bring up one, I am interested to hear a good argument from a theist standpoint.
Post-Hume I think serious apologists have been leaving the path to provide proofs of God. Deductively you can't prove the proposition "God exists" because you can't escape circular reasoning. That is you cannot escape starting off with first principles, axioms, that already presuppose the existence of God, be it obvious or more subtle.
In dreaming up inductive confabulations you can either choose to define "God" as entirely transcendent to this world, so that He is principally unknowable to us (except through revelation of course, which you have to validate only by proving that God exists in order to reveal to us that God exists) and not accessible with rational reasoning. But we leave the sphere of theism entirely in doing so and there is no win here either for Deists, because such a God does not interact at all with our world. If it affects our world it is empirically probable and if it is empirically probable it is accessible to rational reasoning. If you choose to shield your God this way from venomous tongues of atheist critics, you have killed Him in doing so.
So if you are a sincere apologist, then you would opt for an attempt to prove your God inductively from empirical data attained with a scientifically sound methodology by demonstrating that a theory in which the basic assumption that God exists explains it better than one who does not.
That was what was being done by the Templeton funded intercessory prayer study. Now if for example they would have found statistically significant evidence that prayer helps, this would make the existence of a God more likely. Then you could go on to investigate whether Catholic prayer helps more than Protestant praying or maybe Islamic prayer helps more than either of these two, but less than Mormon praying and so on. That would further increase the likelihood the existence of God and gives us a clue what kind of God is more likely to be true and so on. But I seriously suspect even Templeton wouldn't want to waste much dough on that route.
So these days sophisticated apologists concentrate on defending the position with ever more clever sophistry that you can be a believer and believe that the proposition "God exists" without offering any kind of justification and still be entirely rational. Some choose to separate religion and science into two separate domains that nowhere overlap, so that truth claims derived from either of these domains cannot come into conflict, others choose for a continuum where science is at end of the spectrum and religion at the other end living on each side in perfect harmony except for a small transitory boundary somewhere in the middle where we should engage in constructive dialog to see how we can merge. And others think science and religion are opposites and necessarily in conflict.
I think there is no escaping the conclusion that the last one is true.
Very well written post, I like it.
Since science and religion are opposites and have to be in conflict, people should just stop choosing sides. You have to pick one. And some religious people try to justify their religion with science and reasoning. This, however, does not work. So either you devote your life to science and logic or you live a completely devoted life to your religion, dismissing every single scientific fact we have discovered to this day, and go back to following ancient fictitious texts word for word.
This is what angers me about religious people. They just pick and choose ways to live their lives.
I agree with Albert here. I think that science and rationality are in contradiction to religion and I cant see this ever ending.
I also think that there is no good argument for the existence of god or gods because the route to the answer is never scientific (or at least not a good scientific explanation) nor rational and also ends up with some variant of "It just is" or "It's just what i believe".
And more than that, anyone who could give a strong enough argument for the existence of God that he or she can't answer has a bit of a problem defending being an atheist.
Otoh if you don't have such an argument it would be dishonest to present it to someone else. At least I would feel as if I gave someone a broken watch.
I dont see any value in religion. As for the arguement that religion gives a sense of community then I would say that to them that the rotary club offers the same thing.
atleast where i live, violence, crime, mutual respect and community are statistically better in religious areas.
still doesn't make god real though...
Among the Hareidy (ultra orthodox) Jewish community, that is certainly true- they see it as a sin to extradite criminals to the secular authorities, and prefer to keep things inside the community.
leading hareidi rabbis have called out that whoever brings a case to the secular authorities (IE supreme court) will certainly go to hell. recently there have been three such cases: the first was a hareidy father who shook his baby to death. the second was an insane hareidy mother who starved and tortured her child to so she could treat him, and the third was a religious hareidy school which illegally enforced racist segregation between students who's grandparents were originally jewish immigrants from Europe and those who's grandparents were originally jewish immigrants from Arab countries and Africa. in all cases it was clear to all that the defendants were guilty- but massive violent demonstrations were held by hareidi Jews over their claim that the state, as a secular entity, had no right to judge them.
So yes- they do tend to sweep things under the rug in order to uphold their desired impression.
But they are not the only religious society in Israel, and others are much more open. in general though, there is much more violence in Israeli secular schools, towards students and teachers. Religious jewish teenagers do tend to be statistically more polite, respectful towards others, naïve, innocent, and socially active. It is a common saying here that the best and most moral atheists are the ex-religious. Believe it or not, there are even some atheists, who choose to live in religious surroundings so that their kids will grow up in a healthier moral atmosphere.
I'm talking about less violence, drugs, pornography and alcohol, and more community, mutual respect, consideration and innocence. Of course you can find evils everywhere, but for me it comes down to statistics. As someone who plans on having kids in the next few years, it pains me as an atheist to admit these things, but it also worries me when I see the state of the secular education system here- so filled with violence, stupidity, underachievement, cruelty, inadequate teachers, teen sex, and drugs.
And once again I want to stress that I by no means think this has anything to do with "god". I am convinced that the reason the Israeli secular education system is so bad isn't because of lack of religion, but rather the utter lack of a moral and social curriculum to take the place previously filled by religion.