Sorry. I'm new here, but I'm already confused.
Why are people arguing the existence/non-existence of God? Honestly is anyone aware of an online conversion being made? In either direction? Has anyone EVER said, "Oh wow, I guess you're right. So there really is/isn't a God."?
To me it makes more sense debating the existence of Santa Clause - which is supported by a great deal more physical evidence. At least I've SEEN Santa Clause.
It seems that engaging in such arguments actually adds strength to theist perspectives because a logical argument should assume a reasonable basis on both sides. Whoever has the best case or makes the best argument wins.
Are there any sound logical arguments in support of God? I assume not. Why then do we argue with people who are not swayed by certainty?
More broadly, why are we here (at TA).
I completely agree with Nelson.
I've also seen conversions of atheists to religion and from one religious system to another.
I know! I my parents are still theists (although I'm cautiously working on that), and my dad keeps reminding me that their pastor was atheist when he was younger but then turned to religion. Anyway I managed to meet him and as I'm quite 'loud & proud' about my non-belief I asked him what he meant by being atheist.
Well I wasn't surprised to find that he meant the atheism of, say the UK youth, which boils down to a lack of a concerted effort to attend church or reading of scriptures. I asked him if he went to a seminar to get his qualification, and whether they dealt with issues such as the historicity of Jesus and the problems of Theodicy...he knew not of what I spoke, his seminary was something more akin to the alpha course.
So the bottom line is he had not dealt with any of the major or minor philosophical questions of the existence of God from any atheistic view, nor did he ever really reject the notion of a God, or do any kind of critical analysis about the errancy of the bible or the historicity of Jesus....nothing. I had to inform my parents that he was as atheist in his earlier life as my mums shitzu. I think that kind of thing happens a lot.
I agree with you. Not only that... but anyone's head who is soft and mushy enough to convert over words by strangers on the internet is equally likely to revert back to religion via other strangers' words. They're more than mushy mushy non-believers!
Also, atheist numbers haven't really changed that much. Some studies are about daily importance of religion, some studies about religious affiliation, some studies about belief in gawd, they are usually non comparable.
I myself would not waste a second "working" on someone else's belief beyond a one-line statement.