Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
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19-06-2014, 12:46 AM
Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
Has anyone heard the following argument before? It doesn't sound like original thinking on the theist's part and I'm thinking he got it out of a book or something.

Of course the second paragraph can be immediately dismissed as an ad hominem attack.

Quote:You claim: There is no God. But unless you are God and have infinite knowledge of all things, then your philosophy is self-defeating because it presupposes such knowledge -- that you -- a finite and fallible human being -- have in fact searched the entire universe for Him and have infinitely exhausted all means of finding him. Stated differently: Unless you are something much more than human and are God and have this kind of infinite knowledge, you cannot possibly know God doesn't exist. But on the other hand, if you insist that you personally have such knowledge, then your claim presupposes you possess infinite knowledge of all things in the universe, which would implicitly make YOU the very thing that you deny exists -- in which case your philosophy is self-defeating in nature because it is inherently contradictory! And this, sir, makes it a lie because you, implicitly being God, cannot exist and not exist at the same time, in the same place and in the same sense!.

Atheism, above all other philosophies, is the most absurd of all human philosophies. Since you are unable to conclusively prove the negative statement, your only other avenue of hope would be to prove [positively] that you have infinite knowledge of all things in the universe. Then, and only then, would anyone with a half a brain begin to take your philosophy seriously.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

-- Robert Frost
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19-06-2014, 02:04 AM
RE: Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
(19-06-2014 12:46 AM)f stop Wrote:  Has anyone heard the following argument before? It doesn't sound like original thinking on the theist's part and I'm thinking he got it out of a book or something.

Of course the second paragraph can be immediately dismissed as an ad hominem attack.

Quote:You claim: There is no God. But unless you are God and have infinite knowledge of all things, then your philosophy is self-defeating because it presupposes such knowledge -- that you -- a finite and fallible human being -- have in fact searched the entire universe for Him and have infinitely exhausted all means of finding him. Stated differently: Unless you are something much more than human and are God and have this kind of infinite knowledge, you cannot possibly know God doesn't exist. But on the other hand, if you insist that you personally have such knowledge, then your claim presupposes you possess infinite knowledge of all things in the universe, which would implicitly make YOU the very thing that you deny exists -- in which case your philosophy is self-defeating in nature because it is inherently contradictory! And this, sir, makes it a lie because you, implicitly being God, cannot exist and not exist at the same time, in the same place and in the same sense!.

Atheism, above all other philosophies, is the most absurd of all human philosophies. Since you are unable to conclusively prove the negative statement, your only other avenue of hope would be to prove [positively] that you have infinite knowledge of all things in the universe. Then, and only then, would anyone with a half a brain begin to take your philosophy seriously.


So, basically Russel's Tea-pot then?

I can't know there isn't a tea-pot orbiting the sun, there for god....

It's not that people haven't "Searched the universe"...it's that our tiny, infinitesimal. not important speck of a dot of dirt is so far removed from seeming any where else as to NOT be special coupled with the LACK of EVIDENCE for any said gods.


Much cheers to all.
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19-06-2014, 09:05 AM
RE: Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
(19-06-2014 12:46 AM)f stop Wrote:  Has anyone heard the following argument before? It doesn't sound like original thinking on the theist's part and I'm thinking he got it out of a book or something.

Of course the second paragraph can be immediately dismissed as an ad hominem attack.

Quote:You claim: There is no God. But unless you are God and have infinite knowledge of all things, then your philosophy is self-defeating because it presupposes such knowledge -- that you -- a finite and fallible human being -- have in fact searched the entire universe for Him and have infinitely exhausted all means of finding him. Stated differently: Unless you are something much more than human and are God and have this kind of infinite knowledge, you cannot possibly know God doesn't exist. But on the other hand, if you insist that you personally have such knowledge, then your claim presupposes you possess infinite knowledge of all things in the universe, which would implicitly make YOU the very thing that you deny exists -- in which case your philosophy is self-defeating in nature because it is inherently contradictory! And this, sir, makes it a lie because you, implicitly being God, cannot exist and not exist at the same time, in the same place and in the same sense!.

Atheism, above all other philosophies, is the most absurd of all human philosophies. Since you are unable to conclusively prove the negative statement, your only other avenue of hope would be to prove [positively] that you have infinite knowledge of all things in the universe. Then, and only then, would anyone with a half a brain begin to take your philosophy seriously.

If there is no way to show a claim to be false then it is unfalsifiable and that makes it an arbitrary claim which need not be considered. Period. Besides we can know that there is no god. The concept of a supernatural being that can create, control and maintain existence is a direct violation of the principle of the metaphysical primacy of existence, a principle which is directly observable and empirically verifiable. A contradiction can not exist in reality. The only place they can exist is in the imagination but there is a fundamental difference between what is imagined and what exists.

On the contrary, any philosophy which starts from an unfalsifiable, arbitrary claim that violates known laws of nature and basic self evident axioms of existence is the absurd philosophy.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.
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19-06-2014, 09:24 AM
RE: Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
His/her tone seems to me to have a whiff of desperation about it and, yes, it is very ad hom in nature.

And as Peebothuhul points out, it's basically just a version of Russell's tea-pot.

He likes to conflate belief with knowledge. I don't believe in God because I have no evidence for his existence. But is it possible that God exists? Yes. In other words, I do not possess the knowledge that God does not exist, I just rate it as very, very unlikely. The same applies for unicorns and leprechauns. I don't believe in their existence but if someone could produce one...

I know people get their knickers in a twist about words like "atheist" and "agnostic". I consider myself to be an atheist and have done so for 50 years. Was it Dawkins who proposed a 10-point scale with 1 being "I know god exists" and 10 being "I know god does not exist"? Then I'd place myself at 9.99 on that scale.
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19-06-2014, 09:44 AM (This post was last modified: 19-06-2014 09:50 AM by kim.)
RE: Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
(19-06-2014 12:46 AM)f stop Wrote:  Has anyone heard the following argument before? It doesn't sound like original thinking on the theist's part and I'm thinking he got it out of a book or something.

Of course the second paragraph can be immediately dismissed as an ad hominem attack.

Quote:You claim: There is no God. But unless you are God and have infinite knowledge of all things, then your philosophy is self-defeating because it presupposes such knowledge -- that you -- a finite and fallible human being -- have in fact searched the entire universe for Him and have infinitely exhausted all means of finding him. Stated differently: Unless you are something much more than human and are God and have this kind of infinite knowledge, you cannot possibly know God doesn't exist. But on the other hand, if you insist that you personally have such knowledge, then your claim presupposes you possess infinite knowledge of all things in the universe, which would implicitly make YOU the very thing that you deny exists -- in which case your philosophy is self-defeating in nature because it is inherently contradictory! And this, sir, makes it a lie because you, implicitly being God, cannot exist and not exist at the same time, in the same place and in the same sense!.

Atheism, above all other philosophies, is the most absurd of all human philosophies. Since you are unable to conclusively prove the negative statement, your only other avenue of hope would be to prove [positively] that you have infinite knowledge of all things in the universe. Then, and only then, would anyone with a half a brain begin to take your philosophy seriously.

Well, I think the guy just made up the argument on the fly ... and in doing so, pretty much upholds the atheist/agnostic position that there is no such thing as a god.

Quote:And this, sir, makes it a lie because you, implicitly being God, cannot exist and not exist at the same time, in the same place and in the same sense!.

For me... existence and nonexistence pretty much cancel each other out so then, it's a matter of establishing particular evidence (uh, 0). At a certain point the subjective and objective become embroiled ... the disputes of logic and reason become muddled and confused. It all hardly seems worth arguing about... especially without alcohol. Drinking Beverage

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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19-06-2014, 09:58 AM
RE: Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
Take the word "god" and replace with any possible crazy thing you can imagine, and turn the question back on him.

He's basically stating that if you can't absolutely prove a god does not exist, you should believe in him.
In that case, tell him that nothing can be absolutely proven to not exist, therefore he must believe in everything. Literally.

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19-06-2014, 12:13 PM
RE: Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
Quote:You claim: There is no God.


See, I never say that. I say "there is no evidence for your god....or any of the thousands of others that humans have invented over the millennia."

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19-06-2014, 03:14 PM
RE: Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
Whoever wrote that doesn't understand atheism. Only a very few claim to know that there is no god.

This is more typical:

1. Is there a god?
2. I don't know so let's see what we can find.
3. Searching for evidence...
4. Still searching... and searching... and searching...
5. Specific gods have been disproved.
6. Haven't found any evidence yet for other gods.
7. No reason yet to believe there is any god.
8. Still searching...

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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19-06-2014, 08:07 PM
RE: Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
It is a typical theist misconception that atheists are all making that claim.
Some atheists do make that claim but most do not.

Most theists seem to believe that pounding away at this false representation, absolves them of proving their own claims.

HAHA you can't prove there is no god therefore my claim is true.
As someone said above, insert any crazy assed idea for <god> and once they can't disprove it, it must be true.

my favorite:
I went back in time after a big meal of beans and farted out the universe as we know it.
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19-06-2014, 08:32 PM
RE: Another "How do you refute this argument?" question.
The only evidence for god is the evidence of absence.
If god is gaps and gaps are nothing then god is nothing but nothing.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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