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).
The problem starts with expecting things to be "proven" to you deductively, rather than by going upon the inductive probabilities we actually base our lives upon. What exactly do you mean by "exist"? Most atheists believe that you can't "disprove" God deductively, so perhaps that God of the Abstract Realm of Deductive Proofs could "exist" (like the number 4 "exists"). Fine, you can have Him. And I'm sure that abstract god loves you every bit as much as the number 4 does. Let's see if he ever comes out of the world of human representations and into the *real* world. In the real world, when we say someone exists, we usually mean something along the lines that we have seen them, spoken with them, actually audibly heard their voice. I'm so tired of theists claiming they have "met" Jesus- that they "know" Him and/or that He has "spoken" to them. Disingenuous rhetorical propaganda tactics that lead to people like you with metaphysical entitlement issues, asking these types of poorly conceived questions. Sorry to be so harsh, but please step back and remember the real world *first*.
‘And why can't you give yourself purpose?’
I can I never said I needed God to have a purpose. One needs God for objective purpose. What you described below was subjective purpose.
‘That doesn't seem like an argument to me’.
They were not arguments, I was asked about my beliefs on God, so I gave a few.
‘In other words. Because no one can yet disprove your theory, you're going to believe it anyway. Even if you theory has no empirical evidence to back it up. Typical.’
No I believe it makes more sense; there had to be a cause and that cause was God.
‘Anyone who has loved knows that love is NOT perfect.’
When I say ‘love’ I mean Agape love or unconditional love. The love a mother should/does have for a child, does not compare to God’s love.
‘Because according to your christian beliefs, god is all-powerful. One cannot be all-powerful and not be in control of everything which is why so many believers try to create a justification for every terrible thing that occurs. I cannot imagine god having me die of some painful disease that turns my insides to mush and doing so in the name of love. Maybe a twisted wive-beater husband love perhaps. Which is also disproves your idea of free will. How can god be omnipotent if people and the devil have the will to disobey him?’
I don’t believe that a devil exists. God can still be in control of everything and ‘allow’ bad things to happen. Shit happens if you are a Christian, Jew or a Jedi. It does not mean that there is no God or that God is not in control of everything.
‘I knew what you meant about Santa. That same way you feel about Santa is how I feel about God.’
I dont disagree with that. I am calling people ‘irrational’ who say:
I dont see evidence for God
Therefore God does not exist
This is illogical as God could exist
‘He doesn't show up on Google Earth either.’
Why would He? When Google makes Google Heaven I am sure you will see God sitting on His throne.
‘You have asserted that you need a theologian to understand the very basic tenants of the Bible.’
I never said that. I said to understand the Bible fully you should either get a PhD in theology and learn Greek and Hebrew (and perhaps Aramaic) or read commentaries which CREDIBLE people have written. People see the Bible is simple and easy to understand, it isnt. Not everyone can understand the Bible.
Martin Luther rose against the corruption in the church.
‘No evidence = No god’
How so? No evidence according to you = No God in your opinion. You don’t know if there is or isn’t a God, no one does.
‘The problem is that humans are born more or less atheist.’
‘I'm so tired of theists claiming they have "met" Jesus- that they "know" Him and/or that He has "spoken" to them.’
Same. I am not a theist who claims to have had a conversation with Jesus or met Him before.
On the subject of gnostic atheism (the claim that there absolutely are no god/gods/deities), I'll agree with you. Being able to claim that as fact would require either vastly more knowledge than humanity possess or evidence that demonstrates that the existence of a deity is impossible. Individual deities can (and have been) shown to be internally inconsistent, created by man, etc. We know that human cultures create gods to worship. We have literally thousands of gods in our history, and have seen the rise of new ones within the past century.
However, there is a huge leap between 'not impossible' and 'therefore I have reason to believe one exists'. It is not impossible that intelligent aliens are living in the Rigel star system, but that does not mean that I believe that they exist and are there. Without actual evidence supporting the existence of something, there is no rational reason to accord it belief.
I'd say that believing in a deity without evidence to support that belief would be the 'intellectual suicide' you attribute to atheism. So, what rational evidence do you have for believing in your god? Or are you being as irrational as you accuse atheists of being?
I do have reasons for my belief in a God, they are philosophical arguments, not based on empirical evidence, they are based off empirical evidence.
Hi Adam. So you have no evidence – only philosophical arguments. You believe through your faith.
When someone tells me that they “believe in god” they are only telling me something subjective – their perception. It can only become objective when it is assessed by Reason. It must be capable of “surviving” the critical reasoning and examination of others. Atheism is the use of reason. If someone makes demand on my time – to discuss their belief – but cannot justify it I am left with no option but to consider their belief unreasonable., especially if they also have no evidence.
Why would a purpose imposed on us by a god be objective?
Also, on the subject on tsunamis - how hard would it be for an all knowing god to warn people ahead of time? I'll let the idea that god has nothing to do with a system he created slide for now.
There's another factor that has not been mentioned so far that I think is important in the context of your charges Adam, and that is the so-called "irrationality" of atheism. This came up a lot in the early days of the Rational Response Squad site (because of the name). There is, admittedly, a sense that Christianity is "rational," but it is mostly in the sense that Taner Edis used it (see old Point of Inquiry episodes w/ him), as in rational choice theory- that is to say that Christianity is mostly rational in the sense that it is chosen as a pleasing consumer product in the marketplace of comforting ideas. It is considered "rational" to go with majority opinions. If you are merely saying strong atheism is irrational for making a positive statement about god, that's one thing, but to say so-called weak-atheism is irrational, considering the lack of evidence, your "rationality" is clearly only in the vein of a mere consumer choice IMO (you may say that the moral principles give the decision weight as well, but that is easy enough to refute).
First it is not "I do not believe in God". Its "I don't believe there is a God."
Only a liar, a fool, or a madman thinks he knows how the universe began. Which one are you?
Seriously, we don't even know what all the possible explanations are, much less which one is correct. One thing we can be reasonably certain of: There is no logic behind thinking that it was an invisible magical being who did it. THAT theory has always been wrong! And is just plain stupid to anyone not living in a hut in the dark ages.
'Here is the reason the universe did not need a cause and please do not include real physicists when you say "no serious person denies that the universe has a cause" because many do think the universe did not have cause or even a starting point.'
To my knowledge most physicists either believe the universe's cause was God or quantum fluctuations?
'Atheism is the use of reason.'
No it isnt. Rene Descartes, Soren Kierkegaard, Immanuel Kant all believed in God and they used reason and they have greatly shaped how we think and reason.
'There's another factor that has not been mentioned so far that I think is important in the context of your charges Adam, and that is the so-called "irrationality" of atheism. This came up a lot in the early days of the Rational Response Squad site (because of the name). There is, admittedly, a sense that Christianity is "rational," but it is mostly in the sense that Taner Edis used it (see old Point of Inquiry episodes w/ him), as in rational choice theory- that is to say that Christianity is mostly rational in the sense that it is chosen as a pleasing consumer product in the marketplace of comforting ideas. It is considered "rational" to go with majority opinions. If you are merely saying strong atheism is irrational for making a positive statement about god, that's one thing, but to say so-called weak-atheism is irrational, considering the lack of evidence, your "rationality" is clearly only in the vein of a mere consumer choice IMO (you may say that the moral principles give the decision weight as well, but that is easy enough to refute).'
Christianity can be rational, however, you do have to change your world view ie. believe in a theistic God.
'Only a liar, a fool, or a madman thinks he knows how the universe began. Which one are you?'
I am not a liar, I am not a madman, so I guess that means I am a fool?
Descartes, Kierkegaard, and Kant used reason only as long as the issue wasn't their religion. Then, like all religionists, they suddenly changed their intellectual standards and used any jesuitical trick they needed to make their delusion seem rational.
Here, in a nutshell, is why god belief is not logical:
I know. I suspect most of us know this. Having once believed these myths myself and having witnessed the extent to which they make the world an evil and miserable place, I cannot help but throw in a few thoughts in hopes that one of them will take root and lead yet another person out of the dark ages.