All the Theist Arguments
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07-02-2015, 06:24 PM
All the Theist Arguments
I was watching a theism debate on YouTube, and atheist Gordon Stein listed what he considered to be the only eleven arguments that theists use in an effort to prove that God exists. So far, I've added three more to the list, but now I think it's good enough that I want to spread it around a little and put it up to peer review. Especially if there are any theists around here, I'd like to hear whether you think there are any items that are missing or inaccurately represented. I'm not interested in knocking down straw men; I truly believe these to be accurate representations of the theist arguments, so if they're not, I want to know.

I have my own refutations for each of these, but instead of posting them, I thought it would be more fun for other people to offer their own opinions about how best to dismantle each of these specious arguments.



1. The Cosmological Argument / Argument from First Cause: Everything must have a cause, therefore the universe has a cause, and that cause is God.

2. The Teleological Argument / Argument from Design: The universe exhibits evidence of design or order, therefore it must have been designed (by God).

3. Argument from Life: Life cannot originate from the random movement of atoms, yet life exists, therefore the existence of a God is necessary to create life.

4. The Argument from Revealed Theology: The Bible says that God exists and the Bible is the inspired Word of God, therefore, what it says must be true.

5. The Argument from Miracles: The existence of miracles requires the existence of a supernatural force or God; miracles do occur, therefore there is a supernatural force or God.

6. The Ontological Argument: God is, by definition, a perfect being, and something existing is more perfect than something which doesn’t exist, therefore God must exist to be a truly perfect being.

7. The Moral Argument: All people have morals, which cannot be explained unless they were implanted in people by God.

8. The Wish Argument: Without the existence of God, people would have no reason to live or be good.

9. The Argument from Faith: The existence of God cannot be proven by the use of reason, but only by the use of faith.

10. The Argument from Religious Experience: Many people have claimed to have had a personal experience with God, therefore he must exist.

11. Pascal’s Wager: If you don’t believe in God and you’re wrong, then you burn in hell; if you do believe in God and you’re wrong, then you lose nothing, so believing in God is the safer bet.

12. The Transcendental Argument: One apologist stated it as, “without the existence of God, it’s impossible to prove anything.” The idea is that, even if you use logic and reason to prove something, the only way there can be objective laws of logic (or objective standards for anything at all) is if there is a deity above humanity providing that objective standard.

13. The “Transformed Life” Argument: When people become Christians, the way their lives change for the better can only be explained by divine guidance and intervention in their lives.

14. Argument from Ignorance / Appeal to Ignorance: As applied to theistic argument, this is basically just saying, “you can’t prove God doesn’t exist” (or in the case of origins argumentation, “you can’t prove evolution is true”).

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07-02-2015, 07:03 PM
RE: All the Theist Arguments
(07-02-2015 06:24 PM)rookiebatman Wrote:  I was watching a theism debate on YouTube, and atheist Gordon Stein listed what he considered to be the only eleven arguments that theists use in an effort to prove that God exists. So far, I've added three more to the list, but now I think it's good enough that I want to spread it around a little and put it up to peer review. Especially if there are any theists around here, I'd like to hear whether you think there are any items that are missing or inaccurately represented. I'm not interested in knocking down straw men; I truly believe these to be accurate representations of the theist arguments, so if they're not, I want to know.

I have my own refutations for each of these, but instead of posting them, I thought it would be more fun for other people to offer their own opinions about how best to dismantle each of these specious arguments.



1. The Cosmological Argument / Argument from First Cause: Everything must have a cause, therefore the universe has a cause, and that cause is God.

2. The Teleological Argument / Argument from Design: The universe exhibits evidence of design or order, therefore it must have been designed (by God).

3. Argument from Life: Life cannot originate from the random movement of atoms, yet life exists, therefore the existence of a God is necessary to create life.

4. The Argument from Revealed Theology: The Bible says that God exists and the Bible is the inspired Word of God, therefore, what it says must be true.

5. The Argument from Miracles: The existence of miracles requires the existence of a supernatural force or God; miracles do occur, therefore there is a supernatural force or God.

6. The Ontological Argument: God is, by definition, a perfect being, and something existing is more perfect than something which doesn’t exist, therefore God must exist to be a truly perfect being.

7. The Moral Argument: All people have morals, which cannot be explained unless they were implanted in people by God.

8. The Wish Argument: Without the existence of God, people would have no reason to live or be good.

9. The Argument from Faith: The existence of God cannot be proven by the use of reason, but only by the use of faith.

10. The Argument from Religious Experience: Many people have claimed to have had a personal experience with God, therefore he must exist.

11. Pascal’s Wager: If you don’t believe in God and you’re wrong, then you burn in hell; if you do believe in God and you’re wrong, then you lose nothing, so believing in God is the safer bet.

12. The Transcendental Argument: One apologist stated it as, “without the existence of God, it’s impossible to prove anything.” The idea is that, even if you use logic and reason to prove something, the only way there can be objective laws of logic (or objective standards for anything at all) is if there is a deity above humanity providing that objective standard.

13. The “Transformed Life” Argument: When people become Christians, the way their lives change for the better can only be explained by divine guidance and intervention in their lives.

14. Argument from Ignorance / Appeal to Ignorance: As applied to theistic argument, this is basically just saying, “you can’t prove God doesn’t exist” (or in the case of origins argumentation, “you can’t prove evolution is true”).

Welcome to the TTA Forum.

At some point we have discussed these ad naseum but I’m sure we would welcome your personal refutations. Thumbsup

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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07-02-2015, 08:31 PM
RE: All the Theist Arguments
Here's three more from your list:

15) Reality and facts about reality cannot sustain themselves, but must be sustained by being cataloged or known in a mind that is beyond reality. That mind is God. (I've also heard this called the Ontological argument. IIRC, "Ontological" is a broad category of argument, and there are many different ontological arguments for God.)



16) Everyone actually, instinctively knows that God exists, and anyone who says otherwise is just lying. (Call this the presuppositionalist presupposition if you're feeling respectful, or Sye-Ten Bullshitcate if you're not.)



17) The broad plurality of religion and faith, the fact that most of the world believes in SOME god or another, points to an underlying truth about the universe (the existence of God) to which all people are drawn. (Let's call this CS Lewis's argument from plurality, but it's probably got some formal name I don't know.)
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07-02-2015, 08:34 PM
RE: All the Theist Arguments
Hello! Big Grin

One the one hand I hope a theist does come along and engage with yourself. On the other hand I sincerely hope the few theist Trolls we currently have wandering about don't wander by.

Much cheers to all.
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07-02-2015, 08:39 PM
RE: All the Theist Arguments
(07-02-2015 06:24 PM)rookiebatman Wrote:  I was watching a theism debate on YouTube, and atheist Gordon Stein listed what he considered to be the only eleven arguments that theists use in an effort to prove that God exists. So far, I've added three more to the list, but now I think it's good enough that I want to spread it around a little and put it up to peer review. Especially if there are any theists around here, I'd like to hear whether you think there are any items that are missing or inaccurately represented. I'm not interested in knocking down straw men; I truly believe these to be accurate representations of the theist arguments, so if they're not, I want to know.

I have my own refutations for each of these, but instead of posting them, I thought it would be more fun for other people to offer their own opinions about how best to dismantle each of these specious arguments.



1. The Cosmological Argument / Argument from First Cause: Everything must have a cause, therefore the universe has a cause, and that cause is God.

2. The Teleological Argument / Argument from Design: The universe exhibits evidence of design or order, therefore it must have been designed (by God).

3. Argument from Life: Life cannot originate from the random movement of atoms, yet life exists, therefore the existence of a God is necessary to create life.

4. The Argument from Revealed Theology: The Bible says that God exists and the Bible is the inspired Word of God, therefore, what it says must be true.

5. The Argument from Miracles: The existence of miracles requires the existence of a supernatural force or God; miracles do occur, therefore there is a supernatural force or God.

6. The Ontological Argument: God is, by definition, a perfect being, and something existing is more perfect than something which doesn’t exist, therefore God must exist to be a truly perfect being.

7. The Moral Argument: All people have morals, which cannot be explained unless they were implanted in people by God.

8. The Wish Argument: Without the existence of God, people would have no reason to live or be good.

9. The Argument from Faith: The existence of God cannot be proven by the use of reason, but only by the use of faith.

10. The Argument from Religious Experience: Many people have claimed to have had a personal experience with God, therefore he must exist.

11. Pascal’s Wager: If you don’t believe in God and you’re wrong, then you burn in hell; if you do believe in God and you’re wrong, then you lose nothing, so believing in God is the safer bet.

12. The Transcendental Argument: One apologist stated it as, “without the existence of God, it’s impossible to prove anything.” The idea is that, even if you use logic and reason to prove something, the only way there can be objective laws of logic (or objective standards for anything at all) is if there is a deity above humanity providing that objective standard.

13. The “Transformed Life” Argument: When people become Christians, the way their lives change for the better can only be explained by divine guidance and intervention in their lives.

14. Argument from Ignorance / Appeal to Ignorance: As applied to theistic argument, this is basically just saying, “you can’t prove God doesn’t exist” (or in the case of origins argumentation, “you can’t prove evolution is true”).

Not a single one of those would lead them to conclude that THEIR god is the one that exists.Laughat

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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08-02-2015, 12:48 AM
RE: All the Theist Arguments
18) The Argument from Evidence --- the argument goes something like this:
Using reason, logic and evidence based on the following irrefutable, scientifically proven facts...

Hang on, that's the doorbell... back in a minute.

Ohmy

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08-02-2015, 02:25 AM
RE: All the Theist Arguments
I like this catalogue.

I recognize why it for the moment does not list refutations, but once the main list is more or less complete, each "argument" can have the standard refutations appended. Then any future trolls showing up can simply be directed to this catalogue, saving whole boxcar loads of redundant rail and rant.

Of course, for some in here riding the rails is, like the travel ads say, half the fun, but having a compact destination to direct errant travelers to will be a relief.

Nice start.
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08-02-2015, 02:26 AM
RE: All the Theist Arguments
(08-02-2015 12:48 AM)DLJ Wrote:  18) The Argument from Evidence --- the argument goes something like this:
Using reason, logic and evidence based on the following irrefutable, scientifically proven facts...

Hang on, that's the doorbell... back in a minute.

Ohmy

And, of course, it's the local Baptists. The timing was so suspicious as to make one believe in predetermination.
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08-02-2015, 07:26 AM
RE: All the Theist Arguments
It would also help if you'd disseminate this list to the Baptists, Jehovah's Withnesses and the Mormons.

Then - they could show up on your doorstep and simply use the argument number to save time....

Imagine the conversation --

JW "Number 8"
You "Nope"
JW "Number 13"
You "Bullshit"
Jw "Number 4"
You "Not buying it"..
JW "Ok thanks for your time"
You "Keep shoveling it dude".

It'd make the world a nicer, more efficient place.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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08-02-2015, 07:57 AM
RE: All the Theist Arguments
(07-02-2015 08:31 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Here's three more from your list:

15) Reality and facts about reality cannot sustain themselves, but must be sustained by being cataloged or known in a mind that is beyond reality. That mind is God. (I've also heard this called the Ontological argument. IIRC, "Ontological" is a broad category of argument, and there are many different ontological arguments for God.)

I would consider this to be inclusive with #12, the Transcendental Argument. I don't know that I did a great job of explaining #12, but this is more or less how I understand it. Essentially, knowledge and understanding cannot exist with God.

(07-02-2015 08:31 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  16) Everyone actually, instinctively knows that God exists, and anyone who says otherwise is just lying. (Call this the presuppositionalist presupposition if you're feeling respectful, or Sye-Ten Bullshitcate if you're not.)

I've not yet seen any of Bruggencate's debates. Does he, dare I ask, try to back this up with evidence, or just claim it as fact with no support?

(07-02-2015 08:31 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  17) The broad plurality of religion and faith, the fact that most of the world believes in SOME god or another, points to an underlying truth about the universe (the existence of God) to which all people are drawn. (Let's call this CS Lewis's argument from plurality, but it's probably got some formal name I don't know.)

This seems like a strange argument to me. I feel like the plurality of religions makes it a lot less likely that any one of them is true. Has this one been used a lot, or just a couple times?

Check out my podcast, I Think You're Wrong!
(Looking for theist co-hosts.)
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