Arguments against "gods hand"
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24-09-2011, 08:30 AM
Arguments against "gods hand"
Fictional conversation, based on several non fictional conversations I have had in the past. Used only to demonstrate the concept.

A: How can you deny science in lieu of prayer? It came up with insulin! You know, the stuff keeping you alive.
T: How do you know it wasn't the hand of God (capitalized for them) guiding Dr Banting in this noble pursuit to help his creations.

How do you successfully and succinctly argue the hand of god premise. My original reaction is usually scorn and ridicule for the person saying it but it has occurred to me that a more rational approach might be more successful. Unfortunately I have not been able to come up with that rational approach.

Any help would be appreciated.

Keep living your life. It's the only one you have.
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24-09-2011, 08:45 AM
 
RE: Arguments against "gods hand"
(24-09-2011 08:30 AM)coyoteran Wrote:  How do you successfully and succinctly argue the hand of god premise.

You say: "the hand of who?"

They count on you not to question the clarity of their definition of the word.

Insist on it.

Insist on the definition not being circular, based on actual, repeatable, reliable observation (and not on moldy old books of questionable origin and purpose), including details of the observed phenomenon.

If they can't do it (and they can't) -- end the discussion right there.

Don't get sucked into arguing the 15th decimal point of an undefined concept.

Tell them: "If you can't define the words you are using, you don't know what you are talking about",

Works like a charm for me.

Smile
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24-09-2011, 08:55 AM
RE: Arguments against "gods hand"
(24-09-2011 08:30 AM)coyoteran Wrote:  A: How can you deny science in lieu of prayer? It came up with insulin! You know, the stuff keeping you alive.
T: How do you know it wasn't the hand of God (capitalized for them) guiding Dr Banting in this noble pursuit to help his creations.

A: I don't. But i have to wonder about the benevolence of a God who creates diabetes with one hand and waits 30,000 years to guide a doctor's hand toward an ameliorating treatment (not cure!) with the other.
I have to wonder whether i could trust such a god with my prayers.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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24-09-2011, 08:59 AM
 
RE: Arguments against "gods hand"
I can't help myself...

god's invisible hand guiding you is like the invisible hand of the marketplace -- leads you to ruin.

...but that's another myth...

Big Grin
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24-09-2011, 10:39 AM
RE: Arguments against "gods hand"
(24-09-2011 08:55 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  A: I don't. But i have to wonder about the benevolence of a God who creates diabetes with one hand and waits 30,000 years to guide a doctor's hand toward an ameliorating treatment (not cure!) with the other.
I have to wonder whether i could trust such a god with my prayers.

This. Whenever a theist tries to talk about some good coming out of evil (medical cures, survivors in a disaster, etc...) remind them that their god must have created or allowed the evil in the first place. And by ameliorating it, he's still at a net evil deficit.
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24-09-2011, 10:40 AM
RE: Arguments against "gods hand"
How do we know it wan't invisible little fairies who guided Dr. Banting? Maybe it was Allah, and we all better convert to Islam or risk going to Muslim hell. Just remember what Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." It's the theists who are making the extraordinary claims, therefore they are the ones who should backup those claims.
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24-09-2011, 10:58 AM
RE: Arguments against "gods hand"
Every religious debate ends the same way. The atheist uses facts and reason, until finally the theists is backed into a seemingly inescapable corner. And just when you think you got them, they just whip out the old tried and true "MAGIC" card.

And it doesn't even matter who the debaters are, because logic cannot be used to disprove illogical arguments.
Thus it is pointless to argue with said people.
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24-09-2011, 04:07 PM
RE: Arguments against "gods hand"
Thanks all. Working these into the thought processes for when it comes up again. And it will come up again.

Trevor

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24-09-2011, 04:26 PM
RE: Arguments against "gods hand"
You asked about a specific exchange, for which there is a specific framing of issues, a point of reference, a finite number of possible directions. Find the right direction for yourself, in your situation, and don't let them steer you from that course. Mine is something like, "If your god is omniscient, he ought to know better. If your god is omnipotent, he's responsible for the problem. If your god were good, he would fix the messes he made, instead of blaming someone weak and powerless."

In the general sense, for the avoidance of walking into a morass, many of us have standard formulas: mine is "Which god?"
(I was livid with the script of Contact, when Jodi Foster is told, "95% of humanity believes in a supreme being. How can you represent humanity if you don't believe?"
The obvious thing for her to answer would have been: "Which belief would you like me to represent?")

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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25-09-2011, 01:25 PM
RE: Arguments against "gods hand"
I just thought of a good comeback....

So, God must have inspired Hitler as well.


If nothing else it should shock him for a bit...which is about as much of a win as you can expect.
Chances are he/she will respond, 1/3 ways.

Hitler was an atheist, which you can disprove with logic. (Also completely irrelevant, but they dont fight fair).

And the other two will be something to the tune of,
The devil did it.
Its all part of gods plan.

And you are back to square one.
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