I will be the first to admit, I know very little about many scietific theories, research, etc. But it seems that the stigma attached to an atheist is either a science nerd or some kind of satanist type. I am neither one, but it has always struck me as odd that people view us that way. I don't need science to tell me that there is no god, but religious people seem to need religion to tell them that there is. I am perpetually awe struck by videoes of scientist on this site. they are super smart, and describe their field in spectacular ways. I find there research facsinating, although sometimes it goes a little over my head. So, the question is, do you need science to confirm that there is no god, or do you just know there isn't?
I completely agree, and while I would consider myself technically an agnostic atheist, but I really hate how the term "agnostic" gets abused. So many people try to excuse their atheism because they are ashamed of it or something by saying they're agnostic, but not atheists (but not religious either).
Precisely the reason I don't like the use of "agnostic". It does come across as an apology (IMO), whether from shame or an embarrassment of rejecting another's sacred cow or complete, technical honesty. I would find the label "atheist" silly, too, if we didn't live in such a culture dominated by theistic beliefs. That culture gives "atheism" it's importance as a label, IMO. We don't believe in fairies either, but don't go around qualifying that statement by admitting that we can't know for certain. And if we did live in a world where the culture was dominated by people who believed in fairies, I would be equally against us a-fairy-ists (or whatever) qualifying our unbelief simply because it is not 100 percent certain.
I can see the irritation with the term "agnostic" being used to sugarcoat a lack of belief. However, I use it in the sense that it is fundamentally illogical to have knowledge of anything supernatural solely based upon observations of the natural world. We are bound to the natural world by the limits of our senses, and anything that may or may not lie beyond is unknowable.
I know that this is a well-worn definition of agnosticism, and says nothing about belief. The entire point of faith is an assertion of beliefs in the absence of knowledge; adopting the label "agnostic" says nothing about the status of belief. Everyone is agnostic, regardless of a belief or lack of belief in god, and it is rather redundant to adopt the term.
However, as the term "agnostic" is widely misused, so too is the term "atheist" misused. My understanding is that "atheism" is simply a rejection of theism and does not make any independent claim. However, the general public conceives of atheism as asserting that there is no god. I am honestly tired of arguing with stupid people because they never succeed in grasping this point.
Am I technically accurate in labeling myself as an agnostic? No, the term is empty in meaning as it universally describes the human condition. However, the adoption of the label "atheist," while accurate, yields nothing but ignorant spite from people around me who misunderstand the term. Sometimes the cultural definition holds more weight than the technical definition. I may be guilty of perpetuating the misconception of agnosticism and failing to promote the correct definition of atheism, but I am honestly sick of arguing with idiots. Perhaps I will regain my patience in time and adopt the proper title. For now, I have too many things on my plate to be constantly combating moronic arguments and prejudice from religious people. "Agnostic" makes my life easier right now.
But wait...I may have to change my stance on belief after all. I haven't read this thread until today, but I wrote something a week ago about fairyism and afairyism at almost the same time that you were, Reggie. Coincidence? I think not; it must be the work of divine inspiration from the fairies!
We share a telepathic link bonded by fairy dust! After all, we can't know that we do not!
If calling yourself an agnostic makes your life easier and makes you happy, then I fully support that tactic for you. And if I didn't, well then, tough cookies for me. My disgruntlement over the use of "agnosticism being used in tandem with atheism does not extend to individuals and their personal choice. Although , sometimes, I can be heard griping when individuals do use it.
And yeah, not many people seem to understand what atheism is and what it is not. It drives me crazy, too.
I don't think it takes science to be an atheist - I became one when I was between the ages of 7 and 9. But I definitely think most people who are highly scientific tend to be atheists since the majority of arguments against god stem from science (evolution, etc). Science can also help push people over the edge towards atheism.
I'm an atheist because my mom accidentally sent me to a crazy bible belt Jesus camp when I was little where people would "heal" each other, tell you you were going ot hell if you didn't accept Jesus into your heart, had this huge "accepting Jesus into your heart" ceremony where everyone cried and some spoke in tongues. I was really put off by the whole thing, but I tried to go along with it anyway, and when after "accepting jesus into my heart" for the third time there, and feeling nothing, I gave up. That was enough for me to realize religion was complete BS. It took a while for me to come to terms with my atheism (or to even realize I was one - I didn't even know others existed until high school), because I was so young and didn't really know what else to turn to, but as an adult now science has certainly filled that gap for me (by gap I mean the desire to know how/why things happen) and made me much more comfortable and vocal about my atheism.
My scientific knowledge actually worked AGAINST me for a long time. Knowing how God could exist and function in theory was a stone around my neck. It kept me locked in a position of not being able to logically argue against God when I knew that so many atheist arguments were flawed from a standpoint of theoretical physics. For example, the atheist idea that God couldn't have simply "always existed" and that he MUST have had a beginning. Technically, not true at all, since "beginning" is a reference for a point in time and time itself had a beginning at the Big Bang. Whatever "exploded" to cause the Big Bang also did not have a beginning, because time didn't exist yet and there was no such thing as "beginning." The concepts of "time" and "beginning" are things we experience through a very limited ability to perceive the temporal dimension of space-time. It's a difficult concept to grasp, but it's just one example, so don't strain your brain too much :)
Where as a deity could in theory exist, the one that's claimed by religion couldn't. Too many paradoxes and failures, by their own creation.
The idea of a multiverse, eternally expanding game of numbers could actually have room for a god here and there, however by definition, they'd be bound to their own rules, so infallible. The very evolution of god(s) is a perfect reflection of the awareness of man, though.
Petty and greedy>forgiving>perfect.
It would have to start out perfect and maintain the omnipotent infallibility, or the detached creator without interference.
In theory, all universes except ones that have harbored the invention of space travel, telescopes or photography could have a drifting palm tree hidden behind a correctly positioned moon. Unless you've proved otherwise, it 'can' exist.
Which brings us back to the gods of our time/earth.
None of these gods can exist by their own definition because there is evidence otherwise. A possible third, non defined deity could of course still exist, but if no presence has been named, what's the point? This unnamed deity has as much pull on my life as the theoretical palm tree.
So to summarise your view is that gods as defined by man in any currently known religion can not exist because the logic behind their definition is flawed with paradoxes? I.e. It can be demonstrated from the relevant scriptures that they are internally inconsistent to the point of obvious failure?
Can you provide examples or point me to a resource with these arguments laid out, they sound like killer ammunition?
That said this does not prove the non existence of one or more beings with 'God-Like' powers that may or may not impinge on our reality. It simply proves that man’s interpretation of god and the recording of this interpretation are flawed.
Of course the holy text thumping literalist will fall at the first fence, and any believer who’s blind faith can be tempered with just a smidgeon of logic would have to create a fallback position.
I encountered just such a position when arguing with a Bishop of the Anglican Church in my younger days. Tooled up with a range of logical inconsistencies in the Good News Bible I proposed that is was the work of man, not of god.
After some enjoyable sparring he side stepped my attack by stating that ‘While the bible was written by men, god guided their hands and deliberately allowed the introduction of these flaws to fulfil his purpose of allowing free choice and the evolution of belief’.
My counter argument that this means the more you study it and the more knowledge you have the more likely you are to reject the text so God’s ‘text’ book is biased against the intelligent, was met by the eternally irritation enigmatic smile and ‘god moves in mysterious ways’ brush off.
If I had been faster on my brain back then I would have followed that up by something like ‘Ah yes of course god hates the intelligent and those with knowledge, wasn’t that man’s first sin eating of from the tree of knowledge?’
Sadly I had to add that to the every growing list of things I wish I had said at the time.
But basically be into knowing and science (taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge) – become an atheist or agnostic – go to hell.
Well, actually not EVERY god falls to the 'paradox of its own making rule.' (but for all intents and purposes, the big three of Abrahamic do)
There are a few that believe that god is just some advanced form of alien life
(much more plausible, I say) but those arguments fall to 'god isn't a god, just an advanced form of life, and all technology advanced enough seems like a miracle' (which most religions will be immediately offended at.)
And of course, there are religions without gods. Some forms of Buddhism get on my nerves less than others. Most do have angels, demons, ghosts and other things, though, which then pops them back into the first or second rule.
Really, when you think about it, it's the newer cults that are a bit more slippery.
However, to answer your question:
No. I cannot point you anywhere else that these theories are laid out, because as far as I know, I just made it up. Seriously. And my paradoxes will be pretty rough, cus I just woke up, and they are entirely on the fly. These will refer to the Abrahamic god, just since I've never been accosted by anyone else.
My paradox work on the principal that a god must be omnipotent/flawless to be a god. Obviously, that point can be argued.
1) The Hell/Heaven vs. Loving God paradox.
If god is all loving and all forgiving, how can he sentence one of his children to hell for a minor infraction. Bearing in mind that hell lasts an eternity..it isn't a fair punishment for a temporary crime. Likewise, how can loved ones of a damned soul sit all comfy in heaven, on their cloud of perfect bliss if they know someone they care for is suffering eternal suffering? Either a person is stripped of their sense of self in heaven, or heaven isn't perfect. You can't have it both ways. Either god is not omnipotent and heaven/hell/judgment is outside his control, (in which case the being that controls them is really more god than god.) or god is unfair and thus flawed.
2)Denominations vs. Loving God paradox.
Everything you said up there about the scriptures being divinely imperfect, but with one addition. Obviously god DOESN'T want you to come to him if he's willing to pervert his own word to the point that an otherwise good, god seeking person can become confused and muddled. Confused and muddled leads to Hell for all eternity. Why exactly is heaven turning out to be such an exclusive club? That mean god is either sadistic and specifically wants otherwise good people to roast in hell, or god is imperfect, because he created and maintains an imperfect system. Either god is imperfectly flawed, or imperfectly sadistic.
3)Creation vs. Fall of Man.
Um.. seems to me like god dropped the ball on that one. He put two trees in a garden where his perfectly innocent creations were to be frolicking. Obviously he had resources such as fiery swords and stuff.. cus he uses them at the time of expulsion. Obviously the earth could house life elsewhere, cus that's where humanity was booted out into...so why not put the trees somewhere less attainable, and somewhere guarded? Either this is an oversight by god (thus rendering him imperfect) or the fall of man wasn't really the fall of man at all. It was a set up. That means that this original sin we are born into isn't really sin at all. That means that this trial of life to get back into gods good graces is unnecessary. Either god is imperfectly stupid, or imperfectly sadistic/narcissistic.
Excellent paradoxes, and sterling work for having just woken up. I enjoyed reading you post.
I am tempted to test their strength by arguing against them but my arguments would be based not on any Christian viewpoint, simply on the ‘mysterious ways’ position, i.e. its all part of the greater plan of education and God will in fact send no one to hell.
But I have no desire to promote an alternative religion. I have in the past patched as many of the holes as I could find in the Abrahamic religions, added a large dose of robustness and tolerance and then went around promoting Christianity 2.0 for fun and mischief, but I am slightly more mature now.
I may pop back if time permits to analyse these further but wanted to post my admiration right away.