Hi folks,

 

I should say at the start that I am a christian, but don't hold it against me!  I am always interested in what other people think, and enjoing reading the posts on this website.  So i'd like to throw some questions out to get more insight into atheism.  Your help is appreciated.

 

Qn:  If there were two universes, one with a God, and the other without, which one would you want to live in and why?

 

Qn:  If scientific theory began to support theism (more than atheism) would you change your position

       (like Antony Flew)?

       Try really hard to avoid answers like: 'that would never happen.. etc.'

 

Qn:  Would you describe your position as "There definitely is no God"  or "Naturalism does not need a divine being and so God is improbable" or something else?

 

All respectful discussion welcome!

     

 

 

Tags: Belief, God, in

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1) (maybe there is ... we'll just never know!). Without. I dislike the idea of something so superior to - well - everything else existing. Regardless whether that being (or beings) is or is not perfect , seeing that something else has so much control over everything would make my existence feel rather constrained.

 

2) A beginning wouldn't be enough to change my beliefs in the slightest. If there were a full on theory, proven beyond the doubts of others and accepted by (almost) all, then I would probably still be wondering what it is that was missed. We're humans. We miss things. We make mistakes. It's just what we do.

 

3) My position is that if there is a god (or gods) she/he/they hasn't/haven't made him/herself/themselves known, and given the limited knowledge of the human race we've yet to be able to prove that such a being (or beings) exist (on the other hand, it's nigh impossible to prove nonexistence). Therefore such a being (or beings) must not want to be known, and the questions surrounding it must be merely academic, so I mostly don't care. Places to be, things to do!

I would love to believe in a God, but one that gave the explanation for intense suffering as it is out of his control, but that would make him not omnipotent, and thus, his street cred would be lost.

If Christianity, as I had believed in it, were true, I would be extremely happy about it.  For one, if I was really in need I could pray and get some help. Hateful Christians, like the one's who protest funerals, wouldn't prosper and so they would learn, eventually, that their way of doing things wasn't what Jesus would want.  I would feel bad about people who rejected Jesus, under those circumstances, but I would have a great ally in proving to them that he was real - perhaps I would be granted something as simple as an ability to detect sutble shifts in their emotions so that I could convince them the supernatural actually did exist and could be experienced through Jesus.  Yahweh and El would still kinda scare the hell out of me though.

I don't actually need science to support the supernatural - all I need is evidence of anything supernatural in order to think its even possible.  The whole 'supernatural' concept, however, seems to be nothing more than an invention of conmen who like to take money from dreamers.

My position is that I've never encountered evidence of anything supernatural.  The word 'god' hardly has any meaning to me anymore, since it's more of a general concept to refer to that which cannot be defined but which is hoped to be true.  If one god concept seems even remotely plausible to me, it migth be the god of Spinoza

Hi Heather

 

You seem quite reasonable and open.  Can I recommend a book to you before you close the door completely to God.  Its called, I don't have enough faith to be an athiest by Frank Turek.  I am sure you have read a lot of books on athiesm, this one would be a good counter balance.

 

I also had a post on this thread somewhere as to why I am a christian and my worldview.  You might find that interesting too.

 

Thanks for the helpful contribution.

 

Trevor

Unfortunately, for theists, "books" are all the physical evidence that's been presented, ever, and there are untold millions of books, ranging from that nefarious volume, your operator's manual, better known as the bible at the top of the pile, down to volumes of prayer books, holy-roller stories, instructions on proper and "correct" prayer methodology and tracts of every form, fashion and modes of bullshit imaginable.

If there was actually any, or ever been in the entire history of mankind even a sub-atomic smidgeon of physical, objectively supportable evidence that the supernatural and gods were anything more than mental fabrications by minds infected with the belief virus, the "faith" word, and especially the concept thereof would have disappeared immediately upon its emergence or discovery.

The number of books on atheism is far outpaced by theistic based books, but we have actual evidence of science, physics, and related material and proof of concept.

You loose!

Hi Ken

 

I like to think in terms of truth discovery than pitting athiests against theists and point scoring to get to a 'you lose' scenario.  Were all on the same rock hurtling through space, its good to discover what reality consists of - and we can help each other with that.

 

i wasn't sure about what you said above.  Books contain information and therefore a good source of knowledge, depending on their content.  The book I recommended has a great deal about science in it, if thats what you mean.  You would be quite mistaken to think that all Christians come up with are prayer books.  I would suggest you look up William Lane Craig on youtube and watch one of his many debtates with prominent and world famous athiests.  Another athiest website commented, for example that Craig spanked Hitches on the evidence for God.  I'm not into pejorative stuff, im just saying that you are comforting yourself with false notions. 

 

Thats why Richard Dawkins has turned down a debate with WLC tomorrow night, even though he is welcome to attend.  His own athiest Oxford professor colleague has called him a coward and that he is avoiding the strongest arguments.  Which he is (avoiding).  The sterotyping of athiests being scientific and christians being superstitious is long over due for removal. WLC uses cosmology, biology, physics, natural law, philosophy of science and religion, logic and reason.  Whilst the athiests he debates offer no positive evidence of athiesm and usually just resort to, 'God is evil, so is the bible and christians."  Not impressive or useful.

 

My point is that such stereotypes, while making you feel good, do not help on the globale scene in furthering the discussion.

Actually I haven't read a single book in Atheism - I lost my faith long before any such book would have been allowed on store shelves.  I know the talking points of most of them though.

 

As I said, I can imagine the god-concept from the perspective of Spinoza, but the idea of personal gods is a no go to me until I get something tangible.  The only selling point of Christianity is not being burned alive in imaginary flames; it's a sick and twisted cult.

 

If you want to intrigue me, offer me one plausible reason why an omnipotent being would want to hide all traces of its existence, plant all sorts of evidence refuting its existence, and then create a cult devoted to scaring the hell out of children by threatening them with immolation if they don't believe, unquestioningly and without a shred of evidence, that there is an all powerful being that loves them.

Qn:  If there were two universes, one with a God, and the other without, which one would you want to live in and why?

What do you mean by with a god? Do you mean a universe in which some sentient species wrongly(like in ours :P) believes in god, or an universe with an actual god?

In the first case, i.e one universe with just a belief in god & another without any, I'd obviously want to be in one without the flawed belief.

In the second case, and rationalizing this as something like an artificial universe, created virtually, controlled by sentient being(s) acting as god, I'd again choose the godless universe as I don't want my life to be affected by the whims of some skydaddy.

 

Qn:  If scientific theory began to support theism (more than atheism) would you change your position

       (like Antony Flew)?

       Try really hard to avoid answers like: 'that would never happen.. etc.'

That is a little tricky. What do you mean by began to support? Something like maybe a theory that shows millions of years ago there was a massive case of global warming & the polar ice caps melted & a lot of coastal areas were flooded & the christians trumping it as scientific proof that great flood happened or something similar?

For me to start believing in any religion, I must be a 100% sure that a 100% of that religion is scientifically valid & correct. Even if there is one theory shows support for one belief or aspect of a particular religion, while the other aspects remain scientifically invalid, it can be chalked down as coincidence.

Qn:  Would you describe your position as "There definitely is no God"  or "Naturalism does not need a divine being and so God is improbable" or something else?

That depends on how you define god. The way I define god(s) is a conscious being or a set of conscious beings that created this universe - baseline definition. Then you can tack on the part of them running the universe, watching over us, wanting us to live a certain way, believe in them, pray to them, having the ability to break the laws of physics and all that. That is the way religions see god, I'd definitely say no, there is no god. The additions to the baseline make it even more absurd IMO.

I think I like the idea of no god, regardless of the specific definition of the deity in question (since there was no outline in the OP). 

 

If we're discussing a creator god that doesn't affect daily life, well, a difference that makes no difference is no difference. Might as well not be there at all. 

 

If it's Biblegod, keep me far away. 

 

If it's a magic skydaddy that actually does answer prayer, I still wouldn't take it. I prefer a life in which I have responsibility for my own outcomes, not one in which life is predetermined by a deity. 

Hi Trevor,

"Qn:  If there were two universes, one with a God, and the other without, which one would you want to live in and why?"

What kind of a god? There and tens of thousands of gods that humanity has invented and some are more desirable than others. A deistic god would be essentially indistinguishable from a non-existent god, so it would not matter. The Abrahamic god (which I'm fairly certain is the one you meant) would be a tyrant so a universe where he existed would be far less preferable than one that was godless. Most pantheons (Norse, Greek, Mayan, etc) would result in a universe where humanity would essentially be subject to the whim of immature, powerful beings and so the godless universe wins again. If there were a deity that was truly benevolent without any of the negative attributes that characterize humanity's various deities, perhaps that universe might be preferable, but even then the helplessness inherent in such a setting is offsetting.

"Qn:  If scientific theory began to support theism (more than atheism) would you change your position"

Sure, but it would require actual evidence and not logical fallacies. Anthony Flew fell victim to the argument from incredularity, rather than being convinced by evidence.

"Qn:  Would you describe your position as "There definitely is no God"  or "Naturalism does not need a divine being and so God is improbable" or something else?"

My position is that there is no compelling evidence for a deity of any type and the evidence that we do have as to the nature of the universe is such that the likelihood of a deity existing is so small that it can be discounted until additional evidence to support the claim is discovered. There is certainly no need for a deity, deistic or otherwise, in what we have discovered, and many god claims have been conclusively disproven, which means that for those specific definitions of god we can say that they do not exist.

As an example, a god that caused a global flood that submerged the entire world 4000 years ago we know to be non-existent, as we have plenty of evidence that shows that such a global flood did not happen. So, any definition of god that includes that criteria as a requirement can be said to have been disproven.

Qn:  If there were two universes, one with a God, and the other without, which one would you want to live in and why?

 

Well it would depend on the god.  If it were the deist one I would see no difference between this universe and that so it would make little difference to me which universe it was.  A version of the Abrahamic God I'd definitely choose the one without, though would depend on which specific version I guess.  It's too broad a question to simply answer without defining what god or God you mean.  A universe with the Olympian gods?  Sure. 

 

Qn:  If scientific theory began to support theism (more than atheism) would you change your position

       (like Antony Flew)?

       Try really hard to avoid answers like: 'that would never happen.. etc.'

 Well for a start Flew was a deist not a theist and from what I understand his choice was not realy based on actual evidence more as a way of being able to answer the question of origins or universe/ life.  But if the evidence was there, I would.  Of course it is important to understand that rpesenting that evidence directly to me would be pointless.  I, like most people, would not be qualified to understand it beyond a laymans level- which is why we have to go with the current concensus of experts.  You need to convince the scientific community not me.  But if they are on board then sure. 

 

Qn:  Would you describe your position as "There definitely is no God"  or "Naturalism does not need a divine being and so God is improbable" or something else?

 

Naturalism does not require a divine being.

1. Depends, if everything else is the same what sort of god what it be? Not one that deserves worshipping for sure.

2. Of course. It wouldn't happen straight away, humans are stubborn, but eventually i would realise that god does exist.

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