Arguments Against Theism
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19-09-2011, 12:20 PM
RE: Arguments Against Theism
(19-09-2011 11:06 AM)theophilus Wrote:  
(18-09-2011 04:45 AM)Call-Me-Joe Wrote:  Imagine a glass box. A huge glass box. As big as a decent suburb house. It's filled with nothing but air. And it is completely closed. Inpenetrable, so nothing can get in or out. Nothing at all. You cover it up with a non-see-through sheet. So you can't see it. Keep the sheet on the box for 100 years. After 100 years, you remove the sheet and you find an apple in the box. Now, you have the big problem of how the apple came into the box. It would be logical to just assume it popped out of nowhere until you find a better reason. But just assuming that in the box had always been an invisible apple tree is just plain stupid, isn't it? (Even if this is considerable as a valid theory, it would be plain stupid to think this is the answer)

If there is no natural explanation for the existence of the apple there must be a supernatural one. If this actually took place it would be evidence for the existence of God.

Theo,

Actually, no it would be proof of no such thing. It would tell us that there is something we don't know or that we made a mistake. I would disagree with Joe as well when he says the most logical assumption would be that the apple popped out of nowhere, since we don't see apples doing that. The most logical assumption would be that someone tampered with the system, and only if we could reproduce the experiment multiple times with different people could we come to that conclusion.

Whenever a scientist encounters a result that appears to contradict natural laws they almost always find that they made a mistake. For example, we might have been incorrect that the box was inpenetrable, it might have a hidden door we are not aware of or perhaps we were incorrect in our initial observation that the box was empty.

Let's say we did repeat the experiment and got the same result many times, would that prove of the supernatural? No, it might be a previously undiscovered property of apples that they pop into existence, perhaps the apple molecules are floating in the air to gather into apples given enough time. That is a fantastic idea, but far more likely than the supernatural.

Theo, you just revealed the inherent weakness of a mind high on religion. You immediately commited an argument from ignorance by jumping straight to "god diddit" without justification. Anyone trully interested in finding the truth would eliminate all other possibilities first before leaping to the supernatural.

Furthermore, even if we could be justified in leaping to the supernatural, you have no way at all to tell if ghosts, a god, demons, or blue pixies were responsible. There is absolute no logical way to eliminate the infinite other possibilities opened by the supernatural to arrive at god. That is the most obvious weakness in accepting the supernatural because once you do, you lose all ability to differentiate claims from each other. Bob says it was Zeus, you say it was Jehovah, how do you prove Bob wrong? You can't. The supernatural is NOT an explanation, you cannot solve a mystery with a mystery.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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19-09-2011, 12:49 PM
RE: Arguments Against Theism
(15-09-2011 11:44 AM)sgilbs Wrote:  Also watch out for ultra dogmatic atheists.

Whats one of these Mr Woof? sounds like an oxymoron to me?

It isn't, at all, and they're people that I loathe more so than some of the most dogmatic theists. The bitter hatred a lot of these people have for theists is more caustic than any religion.

A person who militantly rejects theism and is hostile towards theists is not thinking rationally. Their opinion is based on negativity, not the positivity of rationalism and reason. You will NEVER be able to rationally reach someone when all you're doing is spitting invective and snide remarks towards them.

If you are unwilling to reach out to a theist with love, reason, and kindness, then you are as much a problem as someone from the Jonesboro Baptist Church.

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19-09-2011, 02:15 PM (This post was last modified: 19-09-2011 02:39 PM by sgilbs.)
RE: Arguments Against Theism
(19-09-2011 12:49 PM)17thknight Wrote:  
(15-09-2011 11:44 AM)sgilbs Wrote:  Also watch out for ultra dogmatic atheists.

Whats one of these Mr Woof? sounds like an oxymoron to me?

It isn't, at all, and they're people that I loathe more so than some of the most dogmatic theists. The bitter hatred a lot of these people have for theists is more caustic than any religion.

A person who militantly rejects theism and is hostile towards theists is not thinking rationally. Their opinion is based on negativity, not the positivity of rationalism and reason. You will NEVER be able to rationally reach someone when all you're doing is spitting invective and snide remarks towards them.

If you are unwilling to reach out to a theist with love, reason, and kindness, then you are as much a problem as someone from the Jonesboro Baptist Church.


(19-09-2011 02:15 PM)sgilbs Wrote:  
(19-09-2011 12:49 PM)17thknight Wrote:  
(15-09-2011 11:44 AM)sgilbs Wrote:  Also watch out for ultra dogmatic atheists.

Whats one of these Mr Woof? sounds like an oxymoron to me?

It isn't, at all, and they're people that I loathe more so than some of the most dogmatic theists. The bitter hatred a lot of these people have for theists is more caustic than any religion.

A person who militantly rejects theism and is hostile towards theists is not thinking rationally. Their opinion is based on negativity, not the positivity of rationalism and reason. You will NEVER be able to rationally reach someone when all you're doing is spitting invective and snide remarks towards them.

If you are unwilling to reach out to a theist with love, reason, and kindness, then you are as much a problem as someone from the Jonesboro Baptist Church.

(19-09-2011 12:49 PM)17thknight Wrote:  
(15-09-2011 11:44 AM)sgilbs Wrote:  Also watch out for ultra dogmatic atheists.

Whats one of these Mr Woof? sounds like an oxymoron to me?

It isn't, at all, and they're people that I loathe more so than some of the most dogmatic theists. The bitter hatred a lot
of these people have for theists is more caustic than any religion.

A person who militantly rejects theism and is hostile towards theists is not thinking rationally. Their opinion is based on negativity, not the positivity of rationalism and reason. You will NEVER be able to rationally reach someone when all you're doing is spitting invective and snide remarks towards them.

If you are unwilling to reach out to a theist with love, reason, and kindness, then you are as much a problem as someone from the Jonesboro Baptist Church.

An atheist is simply someone who has examined the claims of theists and rejected them, what is dogmatic about that?
you are talking about militant atheists, a term I suggest given to outspoken atheists who call theists out on their BS, a wonderful irony when you consider the violence done by "ultra" dogmatic theists because of their religion.

The below is a quote from PZ Myers blog:

"I want to chop off my daughter's clitoris," says the Islamist. "Oooh, that's not nice," says the 'progressive', "and your deep, rich cultural traditions make me hesitate to object."

Meanwhile, the New Atheist says "NO. There is no ambiguity here: your children are individuals, you have NO RIGHT to butcher them. And being an ignorant barbarian is no excuse."

"I demand that the public schools respect my mythology and teach everyone that the earth is 6000 years old," says the Christian Dominionist, "and also, you can't ever say a word to my children that contradicts Scripture." The 'progressive' replies, "Well, we wouldn't want to offend anyone, so maybe we can find a curriculum that doesn't use the "e" word and doesn't stir up any conflicts between science and religion. Let's compromise."

The New Atheist says, "You're wrong. You're worse than wrong, you're stupid. We're going to educate your children whether you like it or not, because they have a right to grow up without your self-inflicted brain injury."

Maybe this approach isn't everyone's cup of tea and I personally don't wish to be a dick when challenging theists and their presumption of immunity from criticism but it's certainly not irrational
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19-09-2011, 11:14 PM
RE: Arguments Against Theism
(19-09-2011 02:15 PM)sgilbs Wrote:  Maybe this approach isn't everyone's cup of tea and I personally don't wish to be a dick when challenging theists and their presumption of immunity from criticism but it's certainly not irrational
Any thought process based solely on hatred is irrational.

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20-09-2011, 07:34 PM
RE: Arguments Against Theism
(18-09-2011 03:21 AM)hotrodmike Wrote:  Off Topic, but I can't resist; Mr Woof- Ultra dogmatic atheists? What the fuck is that? Atheist = don't believe in God. Are there levels of disbelief? As in; "I don't believe in God, but not as much as that asshole over there, he NEVER believes in God." And how do I become an Ultra Dogmatic Atheist? Do I have to never believe in God in ALL-CAPS? Do I get to wear a superhero costume with a big 'UDA' on the front of it? I'm thoroughly confused as to how one atheist can be "more" atheist than another.

As per the thread topic; at 15, you're off to a good start, and asking some good questions. To expand and bolster your positions, watch videos featuring Sam Harris and Matt Dillahunty (The Atheist Experience), for starters. And enjoy reading God Is Not Great; I certainly did.
Mike , to me the militant/ dogmatic atheist is one who wants to destroy all aspects of all religions by attacking their worst features.
As an atheist I can say I don't believe in god, but I cannot categorically deny the possibility of god.
Science is a very strong secular tool that deals with varying degrees of probabilities, not certainties. You might like to check out David Hume and Karl Popper.
An offshoot of science;scientism, in some instance, may be trying to establish a secular god and thus negate issues such as emotion, awe, wonderment etc that do not fit well within the way science operates. I am not knocking science, however I don't think it deseves 100% committment.
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17-01-2012, 10:53 PM
RE: Arguments Against Theism
Sorry guys, I completely forgot about this site for a while, and I just recently started looking at the posts again. I remembered this post, so I wanted to look at what replies there are, and I'm glad that several people did reply. I appreciate it Big Grin. I'll try to visit this forum more often and ask some of the many questions I have. Here's one about destiny.

From a completely scientific viewpoint, is destiny true? To start my position (well, it's not a position, but something that I'd like to get an answer about), we can calculate motion. Now, I know there are incredibly many particles in the universe. Assuming the universe is not infinite, and that we have a machine that is capable of storing the position, velocity, and whatever else is necessary about EVERY particle in the universe, could that machine calculate, any any time, the location of everythign in the universe? Or, are there truly random things that occur? If said particles are on a fixed path, couldn't you calculate the motion of every single one, and have what you call destiny? A crystal ball of sorts? If we can calculate the postition of each one at any time, along with every collision, of everything that has occured since whenever you wish, is this what you would call destiny? Is there only one fixed path to everything? You could replicate the motion, and the results should be the same. That is my argument (well, more like question) of destiny. What do you think?

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned" - Anonymous
I am glad to live where there is no God, for I am moral, and mortal; I do not wish to worship He who crafts an immoral immortality.
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17-01-2012, 11:34 PM
RE: Arguments Against Theism
(17-01-2012 10:53 PM)nsguy1350 Wrote:  Assuming the universe is not infinite, and that we have a machine that is capable of storing the position, velocity, and whatever else is necessary about EVERY particle in the universe, could that machine calculate, any any time, the location of everythign in the universe? Or, are there truly random things that occur? If said particles are on a fixed path, couldn't you calculate the motion of every single one, and have what you call destiny? A crystal ball of sorts? If we can calculate the postition of each one at any time, along with every collision, of everything that has occured since whenever you wish, is this what you would call destiny? Is there only one fixed path to everything? You could replicate the motion, and the results should be the same. That is my argument (well, more like question) of destiny. What do you think?

Laplace was the original geezer with the vision of the mechanical clockwork universe which was essentially pre-determined from the word Go (what God originally said Tongue ). This was based on Newtonian mechanics...

Quantum Mechanics talks in terms of probabilities of events occurring - so every event has a probability. If you start two identical QM universes (fully formed, for argument's sake) then just gut feeling wise, I would intuitively expect them to diverge almost immediately.

But... QM and Newton and all our mathematical theories - all we know is that they work for predicting things. We don't *know* that the actual real universe thinks in terms of probabilities. It acts like it does...

So my answer is: we don't know, but based on current knowledge a predetermined fate looks unlikely...

Of course you could look to the far future - I believe current research says that the universe should keep expanding forever... and die an eventual heat death via the laws of thermodynamics... so in theory we have an ultimate destiny Smile
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18-01-2012, 12:23 AM
RE: Arguments Against Theism
Thanks for clearing that up. I'll try to add more questions later.

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned" - Anonymous
I am glad to live where there is no God, for I am moral, and mortal; I do not wish to worship He who crafts an immoral immortality.
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18-01-2012, 06:38 AM
RE: Arguments Against Theism
In my opinion the strongest argument against most religions is the problem of evil. Simply put, if god is omnipotent and loving, why is there suffering?

It's short, simple and unanswerable.

Obviously this doesn't do any good against a religion who doesn't believe their god is omnipotent or loving, but in that case why would want to worship such a being?
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19-01-2012, 01:53 AM
RE: Arguments Against Theism
(17-01-2012 10:53 PM)nsguy1350 Wrote:  From a completely scientific viewpoint, is destiny true?

No.

Philosophically it is wheels within wheels; there are only so many identifiers and known life paths. A sentence used today as "destiny" because five years later "it looked like it happened that way" is witchcraft. Since I don't like term, it is predetermined that I die in a violent confrontation initiated by the love of my Gwynnies; and more witchcraft. Wink

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