This discussion may surprise some of you, people usually put logic and atheism in the same sentence, some people even claim that to be completely rational one has to be an atheist. Today I hope to show you the absurdity of Atheism, not weak atheism, but strong, militant atheism. After reading the ‘God Delusion’ I thought Dawkins had thrown religion and my beliefs into a garbage bin; I had lost my faith and became what they call a ‘skeptic’. However, instead of committing intellectual suicide and becoming an atheist, I was an Agnostic Deist for quite some time; I couldn’t rule out God as I had no reason too or empirical evidence to do so.
I somehow or other got my faith back (or more so destroyed my skeptical self and instead of saying, ‘I doubt it.’ Saying, ‘perhaps.’) and then it struck me, atheism is some what irrational. There are always reasons why one does or does not believe in something. For example I don’t believe in Santa because there is no man on the North pole and it is a fact that Santa was created by Coca Cola. I have reasons not to believe in pokemon, flying tea pots or even a flying spaghetti monster. When I ask an atheist why they do not believe in God, they have no rational reasons to deny His existence none, zero, nada. This is rather odd, many atheists are famous scientists who are used to using empirical evidence and observation their whole lives and yet make the illogical conclusion that God does not exist. Dawkins thought that evolution proved that God was not in existence but was by humans (which is a big assumption). Dawkins has not ‘disproven’ God, he has dismissed a God some fundamentalists believe in.
A reason for a belief or lack of belief is a necessity for something to hold any weight.
Premise 2 needs to be backed up by something. Think about it for a second, any non belief you have is backed up by reason; you do not believe not believe n Zeus because you do not believe in him, you have some concrete reasons not to believe he exists. Perhaps even the Judeo-Christian God, you have reasons to dismiss. But you can not logically dismiss God. A being who created the universe may exist.
Some people will then try to bring in the flying tea pot argument, 'We can never dismiss that a flying tea pot does not exist, should we believe in it?' When rational people are talking about God they do not give Him any form (They may imagine He has a brown beard and appears somewhat Jewish) but we have no idea the form of God. God and the flying tea pot are not on the same page, one would have to use scientific evidence and observation to see if a flying tea pot exists. One can not see God, therefore we enter the realm of meta-physics. So what are your guys views? I will take back what I said about atheism being irrational if I am proven wrong (note: I am talking about strong atheism, not weak).
However, instead of committing intellectual suicide and becoming an atheist, I was an Agnostic Deist for quite some time; I couldn’t rule out God as I had no reason too or empirical evidence to do so.
I think that you have established a false dichotomy: either rule out God's existence entirely or necessarily accept a belief in his existence. It is entirely possible to reject all belief in God's existence yet refrain from ruling out his existence entirely. The latter relates to proving a negative, which is generally consider an epistemological impossibility. Or, at the very least, an unsound foundation for a further conclusion.
However, if a statement cannot be disproven, we are not then automatically required to accept its validity. This is where I think that you have drawn a false dichotomy.
I have reasons not to believe in pokemon, flying tea pots or even a flying spaghetti monster. When I ask an atheist why they do not believe in God, they have no rational reasons to deny His existence none, zero, nada.
What are your reasons not to believe in Pokemon, flying tea pots, or the Celestial Prince of Pasta? [Sorry, couldn't resist.:) ] I speculate that your reasons would probably be that these things violate known laws of physics/biology/chemistry, deviate entirely from your known experience of reality, and are utterly lacking any demonstrable existence beyond the realm of imagination. These are roughly the same reasons by which many people arrive at a rejection in the belief in God.
Think about it for a second, any non belief you have is backed up by reason; you do not believe not believe n Zeus because you do not believe in him, you have some concrete reasons not to believe he exists. Perhaps even the Judeo-Christian God, you have reasons to dismiss. But you can not logically dismiss God. A being who created the universe may exist.
What is your definition of God? It sounds like you recognize the reasons by which people have rejected belief in the gods of various mythologies and religions. For this debate to continue any further, you must clarify your operating definition of "God." A mutual understanding of all terms is necessary for rational discourse.
Adam I apologise if I my last comment was a bit dismissive. Rather than having these all encompassing conversations that can be misinterpreted and not do justice to you would it be possible for you just to write a few bullet points – say 5 or 6 statements of WHAT you actually believe about god and a brief description as to WHY you believe each of them.
Just a few simple lines for each will suffice. Lets left the metaphsics out of it. I am not asking for any proof so it should be easy. I would like to give careful consideration to what your beliefs are. Thanks in advance.
Some of you are so painfully patient. I don't know how you do it.
I believe there is no god. Not in the chance that there could be a god, especially not the inevitable “what if” there is a God. I simply do not believe in any god or gods. People are irrationally bound to the idea that god must exist therefore I must believe in him. Despite the fact that they will spend their existence never having been shown proof.
I believe so it must be so.
Children believe in Santa. Why? Because their parents lie to them and tell them he is real. Children see pictures of him, watch movies about him, and read about him. To me that is absolutely no different then, the followers, god, and the church. The churches are the parents telling the follower to believe in Santa (god), although I picture him with camels instead of reindeer. Probably a tad more cynical and jealous too. Not so much jolly as in wrath.
Believing in god makes him no more real then me imagining Felix the Cat real. In my imagination I can make both as real as I want and make them say and do whatever I wish. Only thing I can’t do is have them tell me anything I do not already know.
God doesn’t live in the sky, in a cloud castle, or under a rock. He’s not standing watch over everyone, rattling chains, or having tea with the right religion group every Sunday in secrecy. God lives in the imagination, built on a fantasy created by man. A fantasy does not cease to be a fantasy simply because many people describe similar fantasies. A fantasy does not cease to be a fantasy just because it makes people feel good, gives them hope or makes their life feel worthwhile.
Santa Clause, Peter from the Family Guy, Pokeman, James Bond, Darth Vader and Superman have been thought up and now have some kind of existence, but they are not real. They exist only in the imaginations of people. For me the same rules apply to God, I see various versions of God, Jesus, Mary and other imaginary characters in the same light as I see Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.
Sure. I heard it from a friend awhile back and it stuck with me too.
There is no proof or evidence that god exists, then I don't believe in him. I just can't believe in something with no proof!
You have to prove that he does! Aren't you the one who believes? Then you need the proof not us!
You are the one who believes in something that has no proof! None, zero, nada.
And talking about the big bang, you say if it's a decimal bigger or smaller there won't be life or us. Ok you're right, but what about the thought/theory that other big bangs happened in other universes? Do you think they would all be the same size as our universe's big bang? (Personally I don't think so)
Then there are other universes with no life, because the bang was bigger or smaller! And luckily ours was the size that can have life.
You also asked, "who created aliens" in your reply.
Aliens are not ET with super tech spaceships! Any life outside earth is alien, and because it's life then they-if they do exist- evolved in their own life-supporting planet.
God is love? Where is the love in hurricanes? Deseases? Tsunamis? Earthquakes? Fire? Letting massacres happen? Letting children and babies die? Allowing wars? Punishing in hell? And all other evil and tragic things that happen in the world?
It seems to me that you are starting off with a flawed understanding of Atheism. If Atheism was the statement that there 100% is no god, then I would agree that it is illogical. However, this is not what Atheism is. Rather it is a simple lack or a belief in a god or gods. You have the positive belief that there is a god. We simply state that we do not accept your claim.
My guess is that you are trying to paint Agnosticism as the logical standpoint, even though it actually addresses a separate claim from Atheism. Theism/Atheism addresses what we believe. Gnostic/Agnostic addresses what we know/can know. For example, I do not believe that there is a god but also admit that I do not know everything and thus remain open minded. This makes me an Agnostic Atheist.
You also stated that there is proof that Zeus is false... Please do share, because the 100% proving of non-existence is logically impossible. Why do people no longer believe in Zeus though? Because there is no evidence for him and the facts we do have makes him very unlikely. Ironically these same points are why I disbelieve the Christian god and all others.
I think you read Dawkins wrong if you thing he said that evolution disproves God. Evolution does disprove part of the God story in the Bible however.
Well, I guess I am a strong atheist after reading all the posts. So I guess I am irrational.
I don't claim the intellect of a scholar, philosopher or scientist. I don't believe in any kind of creator of any sort. In my own, irrational layperson way, I have read a lot of world mythology, world religion, history, science, Hawking, Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris and have concluded that, as far as I am concerned, there is no God or gods or first cause of a supernatural sort.
And I don't feel inclined to support my personal beliefs and feelings with any evidence whatsoever. Nor do I care to read convincing arguements that their might be some sort of god thing.
That may make me as irrational as any religious person in some quarters, but at least the basis of my personal conclusions is based on science and rationality.
If people feel that they need to keep their options open about a possiblity of god because its non-existance cannot be proven any more than its existence, I don't have a problem with that. It's just not what I believe in my own irrational, unsophisticated, emotional way.
I don’t believe in Santa because there is no man on the North pole
How did you come to this conclusion? Have you traveled the North Pole? Have you been there at different times of the year and scoured the entire area? Maybe he moves South after Christmas? Do you have evidence that he doesn't exist? You've made a statement, sans evidence, to support your case for doing so as illogical. That's pretty good.
I have no reason to believe in God. I don't reject the possibility of a god, but certainly Yaweh has made spurious claims if the Bible were true. Jonah? Koalas got to the Ark even though virtually all of their diet is Eucalyptus Trees? Where do you propose this tree was grown on the Ark and how did he get the seeds from Australia?
Besides the claims, it would require that I shut the eye of morality to follow Jesus or the God of the Bible. Murder was God's weapon. Jesus says be poor in this life and you'll see my father's mansion and I'll come back to kill anyone else. Oh, and if you aren't ethnically a Jew I'll refer to you as a dog. When you grovel at my insults I'll say that you have some faith and grant you the scraps of my people. Really? This is spirituality? Matthew 15:22-28
God's existence is irrelevant as any god that I would follow has not presented themself to me. My only logical conclusion is that either god doesn't want me to grovel or that I'd rather not go and see his "mansion". John 14:2 I'll accept any consequences for being a better person. You decide if those consequences are just.
For all intents and purposes, the Universe is STILL a singularity.
‘We believe it will rain when we see the dark clouds heading our way. We have no doubt when we get wet. It is called evidence and proof. I have reason not to believe in the existence of a god. It is called lack of evidence, not even a scrap of it, never mind actual proof.’
Where I live dark clouds do not mean it is going to rain. I was going to head off to the beach to catch up with some mates, but that was cancelled due to dark clouds which did not rain. Lack of evidence is not a reason, there has to be a reasoning. So far you have provided zero reasoning for your lack of belief.
‘Please explain how you “somehow or other got your faith back”.’
Well I never got my faith back, its a different faith, a mature faith. I never dismissed God, I wanted too, but I couldn’t so I was never an atheist. I was an Agnostic Deist, me becoming a theist took a lot of thought and discussions with other people, it was quite complicated, if you are interested I can write a blog about how I became a theist again without committing intellectual suicide.
‘Prove the universe had a beginning. If so, prove that it was God. (I cannot prove it did or did not actually begin, but even if I could show that it did and that it was begun by God how does that bring us any closer to a deity that is in any way relevant?)’
I can not prove my own existence let alone how the universe came into being. I have arguments for my theism, not concrete absolute proofs.
‘How is love absolute perfection?’
How is it not?
‘there is no reason to believe a god does exist.
no empirical evidence whatsoever, Adam. Believing in a god is A CHOICE, not a factually based decision.’
Well yes and no. We do not have any empirical evidence and a belief in a God is a choice but I have philosophical reasons to continue to believe in a God, I personally find them very convincing, so much that an influential atheist philosopher concluded that there is a God (Antony Flew)
‘When i tried to use the reasons/subjective evidence that other theists taught me about, it did not work. I did not get any divine response, i had to interpret this god all by myself, mostly just guessing what 'He' was "telling me" when my kids were sick, when my mother died when i was young, i did not get a reply. at all.’
Neither did I. But this does not mean there is not a God, this means we may not understand how God works or our definition of God is correct.
‘I have no reason TO believe in a god. What do we need a god for, anyway?’
Objective meaning a purpose.
‘A theistic God has many attributes. Omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent and omni-sexually-repressed. He's a personal God who answers prayers, performs miracles, punishes sinners and tempts the faithful (so he can punish them too). Theistic Gods demand worship. They crave recognition. They may be omni-everything but they have a soft spot for grovelers.’
I believe in a theistic God, I do find it some what irrational that God would want to have a relationship with me, but He does want too, I just have to accept it. Science and philosophy can only do so much.
‘However, if a statement cannot be disproven, we are not then automatically required to accept its validity. This is where I think that you have drawn a false dichotomy.’
No my issues is that everything should be backed up reasoning. Atheism does not have any reasoning therefore is irrational.
‘What are your reasons not to believe in Pokemon, flying tea pots, or the Celestial Prince of Pasta? [Sorry, couldn't resist.:) ] I speculate that your reasons would probably be that these things violate known laws of physics/biology/chemistry, deviate entirely from your known experience of reality, and are utterly lacking any demonstrable existence beyond the realm of imagination. These are roughly the same reasons by which many people arrive at a rejection in the belief in God.’
I would like to address this in another discussion.
‘What is your definition of God? It sounds like you recognize the reasons by which people have rejected belief in the gods of various mythologies and religions. For this debate to continue any further, you must clarify your operating definition of "God." A mutual understanding of all terms is necessary for rational discourse.’
My definition of God, how I see it, is a being who created the universe, who is perfect in all ways and wants to have a relationship with each person. Thats how I see God.
‘Just a few simple lines for each will suffice. Lets left the metaphsics out of it. I am not asking for any proof so it should be easy. I would like to give careful consideration to what your beliefs are. Thanks in advance.’
1. God created the universe
2. God is love
3. God wants to have a relationship with me
4. God wants to re-new this universe and for it to be perfect
5. God wants humans to have free will and not be robots
6. God wants us to live good lives
1. I believe God created the universe because I do not believe any alternative theory or idea can dismiss the first cause argument. I also believe statistically that God created the universe and look at the incredible vastness and beauty of space and say there is a God.
2. Back in my Agnostic/Deist days I did not see why a theistic God made any sense. However I was reading an incredible book by Robert J Spitzer who claimed that if God was perfect, than God would be love, because love is perfect. This may seem like a big assumption for some people but think of any ‘perfect’ person (hypothetical of course) and they love, they unselfish love. Imagine a good king, a perfect king. He loves his people dearly and cares for them. Absolute perfection and love go hand in hand.
3. This is my most irrational belief. Why would God want to have a relationship with me? It all comes back down to point 2; God is love. Does that mean God will give me a mansion and a million dollars, as some deluded Christians believe? No. It means that God wants to have a relationship with me, an immaterial relationship.
4. Many humans have a longing for a perfect world, while some people dismiss this as wishful thinking. People truly long for another world. If we had been created for this world, why would we long for another place?
5. Free will is needed if God wants us to exhibit love for one another. God could of created us like robots and be completely loving, but its not the act which makes it love, its the intention. God allows us to choose our own path; with Him or without Him.
6. If God is good and wants to have a relationship with us, why would God not want us to be good ourselves? Living a good life is important, it reflects the kind of person who you are.
‘Children believe in Santa’
The funny thing about Santa is that children get over Santa; even though he gives them toys and loves them very much. Why dont children get over God then?
‘You have to prove that he does’ Indeed, but you need to have reasons to dismiss God.
‘Then there are other universes with no life’
How do you know that?
‘God is love? Where is the love in hurricanes? Deseases? Tsunamis? Earthquakes? Fire? Letting massacres happen? Letting children and babies die? Allowing wars? Punishing in hell? And all other evil and tragic things that happen in the world?’
We can discuss the problem of evil in another discussion...
‘You also stated that there is proof that Zeus is false... Please do share, because the 100% proving of non-existence is logically impossible. Why do people no longer believe in Zeus though? Because there is no evidence for him and the facts we do have makes him very unlikely. Ironically these same points are why I disbelieve the Christian god and all others.’
You can not prove anything 100%, not even evolution, you can prove that its existence is near impossible.
‘I think you read Dawkins wrong if you thing he said that evolution disproves God. Evolution does disprove part of the God story in the Bible however.’
He never said it in his book, I have watched a lot of his debates and evolution sent him on the road to atheism.
‘How did you come to this conclusion?’ Google Earth! But seriously I can not debunk Santa 100%, just like no one can actually debunk young earth creation, it may of happened; God may of made the world so that it appears that evolution shaped the world we know today.
‘When you grovel at my insults I'll say that you have some faith and grant you the scraps of my people. Really? This is spirituality’
No. Read some credible commentaries and they may help you with your interpretation of the Bible.