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.

  1. I do not believe in God
  2. Therefore, God is not real

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).

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Adam,

 

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?

‘The question then follows why do you desire this objective purpose? And why should we care to have it? And given that god has not proven at al, what you call objective is really subjective.’
All is said only God can us objective purpose, sure we can create our own purpose. Just because if God was to exist we would have objective purpose, does not mean that God does exist.
‘You're giving yourself a purpose and that purpose is to worship an angry, childish, capricious, vindictive imaginary being.’
This is a straw man.
‘1) Prove the universe had to have a cause and the it couldn't have formed through quantum physics uncaused.’
No one serious person denies that the universe had a cause. Currently it all comes down to if one believes the cause for the universe was quantum fluctuations or if it was a being, which people call God.
‘Prove that it was your god’
My God? Perhaps my definition of God is wrong, but it doesn’t make it ‘my God’
‘A child does not have the mind to be adamant on knowledge of god's existence therefore it doesn't believe in god which makes it an atheist.’
A child does not have the mind not to believe in God either, therefore lets say a baby doesn’t have any beliefs; it is neutral.
‘So Adam, your unconditionally loving god allows bad things to happen to good people AND bad people? Thousands die in an earthquake or tsunami, many of whom are avid believers, praying to the end and that is unconditional love?’
Lets look at the logic here. The tectonic plates collide with one another releasing a huge amount of geologic energy, which sparks a huge tsunami. Should a rational person blame God (who had nothing to do with the process) or nature (because it had everything to do with the process)?
‘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 take back what I said about ‘committing intellectual suicide’ there have been some very intelligent atheists.
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.

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:

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/09/atheism-is-simply-...

 

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.

'Then, like all religionists, they suddenly changed their intellectual standards and used any jesuitical trick they needed to make their delusion seem rational.'

 

Are you serious?

(I will look at your blog later)

 

'Here's my summary of what I am seeing here: We are trying to argue logic, science and to use reason in an argument with someone who is using a subjective logic, selected bits of poorly understood popular science, and his own internal philosophy based on a mix of subjective reasoning and religious dogma. In other words, he is defending faith while we are defending science and objective observation. There is no arguing against faith'

 

Are you serious? Because you are not objective enough to see were I am coming from you are going to throw me in with all the other Christians?

"

'Then, like all religionists, they suddenly changed their intellectual standards and used any jesuitical trick they needed to make their delusion seem rational.'

 

Are you serious?"

 

Completely.  The use of "reason" to support a foregone conclusion is not honest and therefore not really in the realm of reason.  It inevitably leads to twisted logic and outright dishonesty resulting the appearance of supporting false conclusions.

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