A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
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18-01-2011, 02:10 AM (This post was last modified: 18-01-2011 02:16 AM by No J..)
RE: A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
Why am I sure that no god exists?
1. No verifiable evidence to support a god.
2. Verifiable evidence to disprove all known claims about god's existance, with the exception of not being able to prove a universal negative.
3. Verifiable evidence to disprove events written i holy books.
4. Verifiable evidence to prove that many religious leaders are liars.
5. Verifiable evidence to prove that most religious people do not follow their holy book's instructions.
6. The person who created the Flying Spagetti Monster was not struck dead.
7. Churches and other holy building are destroyed by "acts of god."
8. Disasters happen on holy days such as christmas and easter.
9. Parasites, diseases, poisonous creatures, clinical depression to name a few are part of our world.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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18-01-2011, 06:29 AM
RE: A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
This is valid in atheism only if one takes the position of strong gnostic atheism. I am basically a strong atheist, although I stop short of asserting gnosis, so here's my shot at it.

***

I believe there is no God.

I define "God" as an intelligent mover who purposefully and necessarily caused the universe to come into existence from the void.

There is no logical way for anything to exist in a void, let alone an intelligence since the void is by definition completely empty and non-existent.

Reason tells me that such a being is logically impossible.

If such a being were possible, it would be impossible to imagine a universe which could exist and in which that being was not necessary, yet I can easily imagine such a universe.

Therefore god is neither possible nor necessary.

Conclusion, no god exists.

***

I would challenge anyone, theist or atheist or agnostic to poke a hole in that. Incidentally, the wording here is mine, but the ideas are not unique nor original to me. It's a centuries old challenge to Aquinas. Why do people think he was such a great thinker anyway?
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18-01-2011, 07:03 AM
 
RE: A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
Why do I not believe in God?

Because it is not our [atheists] job to disprove something that does not exist?

How are you certain that he does not exist?

Why WOULD you be certain he does exist???

(not I have reversed the challenge to the theists to try and prove themselves)
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18-01-2011, 07:47 AM
RE: A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
(16-01-2011 03:13 PM)SecularStudent Wrote:  Okay, I have a challenge for all theists, atheists, and agnostics on this site. I want you to start by asking yourself why you believe or don't believe what you do. Then, keep asking yourself why you gave the answer that you gave, until you cannot come up with another question or answer.

It amazes me how people who consider themselves devout Christians can have read the bible, really read the bible, and not come away at least agnostic if not atheist.

As literature goes, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is a better story. You can literally watch God evolve in the bible from a jealous, wrathful God to a loving, caring God. The "fact" that Christians purport, that God is perfect, all knowing, and unchangeable, simply proves that God is a creation of his/her believers - and they adapt God to fit their time. Moreover, if the bible is the literal word of God, just about every Christian alive today is at best a "Cafeteria Christian" - otherwise they should be out killing infidels unwilling to convert.

Even the gospels of the new testament are completely designed to appeal to Jews following the Roman destruction of the temple in 70 AD. The central message of the gospels is that you no longer need a place of worship to commune with god.

Can't remember where I read it, but the question: How do you make a child an atheist? Give him a bible...

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18-01-2011, 01:00 PM
 
RE: A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
Why don't I believe in god ?
because he told me it was all a scam last 4th of July while we were swillin beer out on the boat.

truth be told.. its nobodies business what i or others believe , its when your beliefs spill over and start effecting me and my family that i then get upset. expecting me to pray along with the bouncing ball at the start of a nascar race or ball game that i paid to attend is pushing their pile-o-shite way too close to me.
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19-01-2011, 11:52 AM (This post was last modified: 19-01-2011 12:08 PM by theophilus.)
RE: A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
I believe in God because that is the only way to explain the existence of all that we see around us. All of the natural processes we observe show tend to move from order to disorder. For example, buildings which aren't maintained will eventually fall apart and change back into the raw materials from which they were built. The reverse process only occurs when people intervene in this natural process and use the raw materials that exist in nature to construct buildings. Living organisms are much more complex that nonliving objects so live could not have come about by chance but must have been formed by some intelligent being.

Another evidence is that there are standards of right and wrong that are shared by everyone. There are minor differences between the ethical and moral standards of different cultures and religions but they usually agree. Where did these standards come from if there is no God?

God has revealed his will through the Bible. One reason for believing the Bible is that it contains prophecies that are being fulfilled now. I have discussed this here:

http://thethinkingatheist.com/forum/show...8#pid16178

Another reason I believe the Bible is that I have tested it by putting it into practice. The Bible reveals what God is like and how he wants us to live. We have all fallen short of his standards and are separated from him because of our sins. But is also reveals that Jesus died to pay for our sins and if we acknowledge our sinfulness and put our faith in Jesus we can be forgiven and we will then enter into a new relationship with God. I have done this and I can see the change it has made in my life.

This last proof is something that I can't demonstrate to you in an objective way and can only be fully understood by experience. But it explains why there are so many people who say they were once Christians but aren't any longer. There are many people who have an intellectual belief that Christianity is true but have never really repented of their sins and personally put their faith in Christ.
(18-01-2011 06:29 AM)gamutman Wrote:  This is valid in atheism only if one takes the position of strong gnostic atheism. I am basically a strong atheist, although I stop short of asserting gnosis, so here's my shot at it.

***

I believe there is no God.

I define "God" as an intelligent mover who purposefully and necessarily caused the universe to come into existence from the void.
What do you mean by the expression "from the void"? Aside from this phrase I agree with this statement.

Quote:There is no logical way for anything to exist in a void, let alone an intelligence since the void is by definition completely empty and non-existent.
But what does that have to do with the exestence of God? Why couldn't he exist outside of the void?

Quote:Reason tells me that such a being is logically impossible.
This is true only if your second premise is true.

Quote:If such a being were possible, it would be impossible to imagine a universe which could exist and in which that being was not necessary, yet I can easily imagine such a universe.
How do you know what would be possible or impossible under these circumstances?

Quote:Therefore god is neither possible nor necessary.

Conclusion, no god exists.
Unless you can prove that all the statements you have made are true you can't be sure that any conclusion based on them is correct. It is possible to use logic to prove or disprove anything by asserting the right premises.

Quote:I would challenge anyone, theist or atheist or agnostic to poke a hole in that. Incidentally, the wording here is mine, but the ideas are not unique nor original to me. It's a centuries old challenge to Aquinas. Why do people think he was such a great thinker anyway?
Do you know how Aquinas responded to the challenge?

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
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19-01-2011, 12:19 PM
 
RE: A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
the bible is a man-made concoction of contradicting stories designed to control those that the writers thought of as "less intelligent" then themselves. plain and simple its a fictional book.
secondly do not presume you know that jesus died for "our sins" , really? sins none of us have ever committed, because you don't... you might think you do... but the fact is you do not...
as far as this bit.. "There are many people who have an intellectual belief that Christianity is true" .... its our intellectual skills that bring us to the realization that religion is a scam and as for my need to "repent" pleeeeas... for exactly what??? is every newborn brought onto this planet guilty of sin?? you see nothing wrong with this concept??
if you find yourself so baffled by the BS in the bible .. please do not drive on the streets of new york city... it will really screw you up....
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19-01-2011, 01:13 PM
RE: A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
(19-01-2011 11:52 AM)theophilus Wrote:  I believe in God because that is the only way to explain the existence of all that we see around us.

No, it isn't.

Quote:All of the natural processes we observe show tend to move from order to disorder.

Correction: all natural processes we observe within a closed system move from order to disorder.

There are very few truly closed systems in the universe. In an open system, things are free to move from disorder to order as new energy is added.

Quote:The reverse process only occurs when people intervene in this natural process and use the raw materials that exist in nature to construct buildings.

No. It occurs in many systems simply by adding energy. Please go take a basic thermodynamics course and come back when you understand what you're talking about.

Quote:Living organisms are much more complex that nonliving objects so live could not have come about by chance but must have been formed by some intelligent being.

Your conclusion is based on faulty premises. Thus, it can be discarded.

Quote:Another evidence is that there are standards of right and wrong that are shared by everyone.

No, there aren't. There are moral gray areas everywhere. The shared areas of morality are easily explained through evolutionary pressure towards behavior which benefits a group rather than a single individual.

Your argument rests on faulty premises and proposes more entities than are necessary. It is fallacious, and it violates Occam's razor.

Try again.

Quote:God has revealed his will through the Bible.

Bare assertion fallacy.

Quote:One reason for believing the Bible is that it contains prophecies that are being fulfilled now. I have discussed this here

And you apparently haven't listened to the responses given to you. If you had, you would understand why we think your argument is complete and utter horse crap.

Quote:Another reason I believe the Bible is that I have tested it by putting it into practice.

So you treated leprosy using a two birds, a slab of cedar wood, and hyssop?

Quote:This last proof is something that I can't demonstrate to you in an objective way and can only be fully understood by experience. But it explains why there are so many people who say they were once Christians but aren't any longer. There are many people who have an intellectual belief that Christianity is true but have never really repented of their sins and personally put their faith in Christ.

So you know this isn't actually a proof? Why are you presenting it, then?

Quote:Do you know how Aquinas responded to the challenge?

Yes. By being wrong, as he usually was.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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19-01-2011, 01:59 PM
 
RE: A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
Why don't I believe in God?

The same reason I don't believe in the Easter bunny, Ra, Zeus, Loki, Santa Claus, Leprechauns, Unicorns or the Pittsburgh Pirates having a winning season Tongue . All are fairy tales with a simple idea to give you a false sense of being, outside of the Pirates.
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20-01-2011, 11:37 PM (This post was last modified: 20-01-2011 11:47 PM by gamutman.)
RE: A Challenge to Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics
(19-01-2011 11:52 AM)theophilus Wrote:  
(18-01-2011 06:29 AM)gamutman Wrote:  This is valid in atheism only if one takes the position of strong gnostic atheism. I am basically a strong atheist, although I stop short of asserting gnosis, so here's my shot at it.

***

I believe there is no God.

I define "God" as an intelligent mover who purposefully and necessarily caused the universe to come into existence from the void.
What do you mean by the expression "from the void"? Aside from this phrase I agree with this statement.

Quote:There is no logical way for anything to exist in a void, let alone an intelligence since the void is by definition completely empty and non-existent.
But what does that have to do with the exestence of God? Why couldn't he exist outside of the void?

Quote:Reason tells me that such a being is logically impossible.
This is true only if your second premise is true.

Quote:If such a being were possible, it would be impossible to imagine a universe which could exist and in which that being was not necessary, yet I can easily imagine such a universe.
How do you know what would be possible or impossible under these circumstances?

Quote:Therefore god is neither possible nor necessary.

Conclusion, no god exists.
Unless you can prove that all the statements you have made are true you can't be sure that any conclusion based on them is correct. It is possible to use logic to prove or disprove anything by asserting the right premises.

Quote:I would challenge anyone, theist or atheist or agnostic to poke a hole in that. Incidentally, the wording here is mine, but the ideas are not unique nor original to me. It's a centuries old challenge to Aquinas. Why do people think he was such a great thinker anyway?
Do you know how Aquinas responded to the challenge?

Your only argument against my premise seems to be that you take issue with my using the term void to describe the conditions which existed prior to the universe. I use this term because it's the term which has traditionally been used in philosophy, theology and science to describe the condition of non-existence which is represented by the nothingness which would exist prior to "creation". According to big bang cosmology, we do not know the conditions which spawned the big bang, but we do know that both time and space as we experience them came into existence at that moment. There are several hypothetical descriptions of what that condition may have been, and if there is a god, he necessarily existed separate from our universe as part of one of those descriptions or some other as yet unimagined alternative.

If the void is in fact nothingness, then god is impossible since nothingness compels non-existence. If there is a place where god exists, that place is separate from our entire plane of existence. Yet, if god can move between the two planes, then it is nonsensical to say that our universe had a beginning. This represents an unbreechable logic paradox.

At any rate, whether there is a god in the "void" or not, I can imagine a universe which does not require a god. Ergo, god is not necessary. To be more specific, god is not necessarily necessary and Aquinas' third proof is wrong.

Moreover, I can imagine a first mover which is not god. I can also imagine a god greater than the first mover and one greater still than that. This refutes Aquinas' first and second proofs. I can also imagine a math based necessity causing everything which would be unworthy of worship and would be therefore neither intelligent nor god. So not only was Aquinas wrong, but so was Anselm.

Aquinas was taking Aristotle's work (which was not based in monotheism) and giving it a monotheistic slant. His third proof which states that god is necessary is similar to the Islamic Kalam argument of the first cause. And I agree that if there is a god, he is the first mover, and the universe could not exist otherwise, so god must be necessary or there is no god.

The problem is that when we are talking about the big bang, we are talking about expansion from singularity. Nothing in that premise argues that the singularity must have a cause. It may have, but there is no implicit necessity, therefore there is no necessary causer, and if the causer is unnecessary, there can be no god. Furthermore, if the causer is in fact necessary it is not necessarily god. Either way, god is unnecessary and therefore cannot exist.

As to your final question, I may have once heard Aquinas' answer, but I have long since forgotten it if I did.
Now theophilus, I have some questions for you. Do you believe in the premise of creation ex nihilo? If so, then why do you challenge my use of the word "void?" If not, then by what standard is god a first mover? In other words, if god did not create the universe from nothing, he must have created it from something. (I do not think this is a false dichotomy. If it is, I'm going to need a feasible explanation of why it is a false dichotomy.) If god created the universe from something, then he did not cause it to come into existence; he simply molded it from preexisting materials.
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