We (atheists & agnostics) spend much of our time refuting religion. We sometimes become defensive in our stance that reason and logic should prevail above all else (and rightly so). But has there ever been a time when someone actually made sense in his or her argument for religion that made you think "that's a good point". Or is their anything about life that does point to something greater than science? I am not trying to foster support for religion in any way, but we are not like "them", in the sense that if we're presented with a valid argument, we can at least acknowledge that it was a good assertion.

 

 

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For the validity of religion, no, not really.

For the positive aspects of religion, sure, there are arguments in support of that. We can say that religion is "unhealthy" for society, but for the individual, religion has positive aspects, especially in current times, when most believers are moderate. For them, the religion they belong to is not the whole religion, but only what they like about it, like community, hope for an afterlife, or union with a god/the metaphysical universe.

I do think we have a natural desire to live on after our death's, but I think nowadays we have good secular ways of thinking of our own metaphorically living on - through the children we raise, difference we make in the world, people who's lives we touched, other people's memories, etc.

 

I think we do strive for answers as to "why" the world is the way it is, but that science answers these questions much better than religion ever has or will, and we understand weather, diseases, how humans came into existence, etc. pretty well now and they all are more satisfying answers than religion.

 

I think Pascal's Wager is convincing at first, until you realize that believing just for the sake of believing, as a get-out-of-hell-free card, is ridiculous - you can't pretend to believe if in reality you doubt, since this god is truly able to read your mind. And the only type of god worth believing in would value you being a good person regardless of beliefs over you believing in him. And also when you realize how many different gods/religions it is possible to believe in - Pascal's Wager certainly falls apart.

 

I think the idea that we believe in love but we can't see it, or believe the air/wind is there despite not being able to see it are both some of the best arguments for faith that I've heard, but when you think about them more they are easily refuted, and many atheists find the wind/air one particularly laughable. Still, they're trying to use logic and it might trip you up a bit!

 

The argument that atheists have morals because we're in a culture where religious morals prevail, and it's still religion who gave us our morals... and/or the argument that atheists have morals because god just gave them to us naturally because even if we don't believe in him he still loves us anyway... those are both really hard to refute, because they're unfalsifiable, and in that sense they're pretty good arguments. Still, I don't accept them as true, and they frustrate me and feel like circular logic. I feel falsifiability is important or else their argument really doesn't have any merit.

 

So... no, not really, I haven't encountered any good valid argument for religion.

 

Nope, not one, not any!

has there ever been a time when someone actually made sense in his or her argument for religion that made you think "that's a good point"

No.

 

 

Or is their anything about life that does point to something greater than science?

The only way I can make sense of your question is simply to quote Neil Tyson.

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson - Called by the Universe (begins around 18:53)

Transcript

Tyson:

The goal here is not to make everybody a scientist. That’s not the goal. What a boring world that would be. You want artists, you want musicians, you want novelists, poets, comedians, actors. You want the rest of this. What matters is whether they’re scientifically literate and maintain that literacy and that curiosity throughout their lives no matter what becomes their profession.

 


 


There are some psychological benefits and in early civilization it was our only way of dealing with things we didn't understand but, obviously, this is no longer the case.  Even if it does have some benefits it has, at the very least, outlived its usefulness.
I have yet to hear a good argument for any particular religion. The best argument for a god, in my opinion, is the fine-tuned argument. However, this argument is very unconvincing and doesn't lead to any certain conclusions or proof of a god.

I listened to Dennett the other day on "Big Ideas" making some good points about that.

When our government (I'm talking about Holland) once in a while thinks it must make a public display of it's decisiveness and kick refugees, including little kids out on the street, no food, no shelter, no nothing, then, when they no longer exist and are not a problem anymore, only Churches still have their doors open to them.

This is not really an argument for religion, since we always have Christian Democrats in power, even regardless of how many votes they get, win or lose. But the fact remains to our everlasting shame, that's the Churches that save us from all out barbarity in this respect.

One of the arguments for religion I always battle to refute is the position that the uneducated, below-the-breadline masses need something to keep them in check.

Also, the comment, "People will always find something to war about so there's no point blaming religion for wars or injustices."

 

Religious art: music, painting, architecture, etc. One does not have to be a believer to appreciate the works.
even I would love to see the Sistine Chapel or St. Peter's cathedral. A tour of the vatican would be very cool too (if I get really lucky I might be able to kick some papal ass lol )

Loss of identity in countries that were former colonies makes people ask themselves what it means to be Australian, American, Nigerian or South African. Religion gives them structure, a reason to get together, gives them tradition and makes them a part of civilized world. But this happened only because us (atheist) didn't get to them first. If we did they would find identity in science, writing, building and so on. But now, most of this countries sing songs, wear fancy dresses and so on.

But with this newfound identity comes ideology which can be, and usually is, not right. Sometimes it gives people reason to think white supremacy is righteous or it gives people reason to believe that there are zionist Jews out there to get them.

There is another reason why religion is (let's say) right for some people. In my country which was christian from 7th century and in wars ever since, religion played important part in consolation of grieving mothers who lost their sons in war or have sons in battle but don't know if they are all right, so priest as the only male (sometimes) in villages took care of this old women and gave them consolidation in a form of prayers and stories about good and evil making sure that they believe what their sons are doings is right.

Because we can not change history I must agree that this was right. But only if I forget that many of this wars had religious background.

Interpret this as you will.

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