Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
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17-09-2015, 07:36 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(01-04-2015 06:11 PM)claudius Wrote:  
(16-05-2012 05:42 AM)Zephony Wrote:  Recently, I was re-watching QualiaSoup's The burden of proof video when at one point several common arguments for god appeared on the screen and I realized I didn't know a single one off the top of my head. In order to better educate myself and others who may not know them as well, I'll try to explain some of the common debate arguments and how each is countered. Please add any arguments you feel us under-informed people should know about.
Good job, but I think you left one out: Pascal's wager. In the crudest form, this says that if you believe in God and there isn't one, no problem (i.e., no loss of heaven or pains of hell). But if you don't believe in one and there is one, BIG PROBLEM!

If there was a god and he was like the god of the bible, do you suppose that he would equate your act of hedging your bets as an act of sincere faith? I think not. If there was a hell, you would end up there as well for that one. But wait, there's more! Say he isn't like the god of the bible, he's worse and has an even scarier version of hell, you have been pissing him off for years by worshiping the biblical version of god and he is going to take great pleasure in handing you your infernal accomidations. It doesn't pay to gamble . . .

(22-08-2015 07:30 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  It is by will alone I set my brows in motion it is by the conditioner of avocado that the brows acquire volume the skin acquires spots the spots become a warning. It is by will alone I set my brows in motion.
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15-01-2016, 09:01 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
It is the apparently endless list of arguments FOR God that led me to the 'equation' I came up with. Why bother to answer a thousand different rationalizations for the impossible, when it's far more efficient and effective to simply show that what they are desperately trying to will into existence has irreconcilable parameters built into their own definition of it?

Else you end up in discussions about banana strings lol
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17-01-2016, 11:57 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
Thank you for posting all of these arguments in one place. Some of them make me smile, because I've been fortunate enough to know some decent Christian debaters. I think the most annoying argument is "consciousness". Christians really think this is a miracle and that it could not exist without a soul. But as you mentioned, even if a soul did exist, it's not a basis for the argument that God exists. And if consciousness meant a soul, then that would mean every living thing with a brain had a soul. That would make a lot of ghosts in the afterlife! :0 Hahaha
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19-01-2016, 05:24 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
The argument:
1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
2. The universe has a beginning of its existence;
3. The universe has a cause of its existence.
fails at (2), because it's a completely unsupported statement, so (3) fails as well.
(additionally, why would we just accept (1)?)
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01-09-2016, 04:47 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
I was hoping to get an actually good argument on why atheism makes sense. You have listed THE GOOD argument, namely the Cosmological Argument and rather than demolish it... you said:
"This is by far one of the more difficult arguments to counter. I guess the best response would be that we currently don't have the answer..."
Hunh? You don't have an answer? In other words you just take atheism on faith. That sounds a lot like the very thing you criticise.

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-


.... but believing in imaginary things is the very thing atheism does.

Atheism says that when we die there is no afterlife. We simply go into nonexistence. But no one has ever experienced nonexistence. Nonexistence doesn't exist. It's imaginary. Like Santa Claus. Having faith in an imaginary thing that doesn't exist is the most faith driven expression in the world. At least theists have some basis in their faith such as near death experiences recounted by millions.
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01-09-2016, 05:56 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(01-09-2016 04:47 AM)xear Wrote:  I was hoping to get an actually good argument on why atheism makes sense. You have listed THE GOOD argument, namely the Cosmological Argument and rather than demolish it... you said:
"This is by far one of the more difficult arguments to counter. I guess the best response would be that we currently don't have the answer..."
Hunh? You don't have an answer? In other words you just take atheism on faith. That sounds a lot like the very thing you criticise.

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-


.... but believing in imaginary things is the very thing atheism does.

Atheism says that when we die there is no afterlife. We simply go into nonexistence. But no one has ever experienced nonexistence. Nonexistence doesn't exist. It's imaginary. Like Santa Claus. Having faith in an imaginary thing that doesn't exist is the most faith driven expression in the world. At least theists have some basis in their faith such as near death experiences recounted by millions.

1. You don't have an answer where the universe came from, you're just pretending you have an answer with zero evidence.

2. Non existence is not something that has to be proved, asserting that an afterlife is real and controlled by an imaginary deity is quite a claim requiring solid evidence. You have none. Drinking Beverage

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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01-09-2016, 06:22 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
Thanks for your reply. I think that [faith] is what it comes down to. I have no proof existence continues after death. You have no proof existence discontinues.

Neither of us could possibly provide such proof. So we both have faith. I have faith in science, rationality, and logic.

You seem to have faith in irrational, nonsensical imagination such as a nonexistence, [which logically, rationally doesn't exist and can't happen].
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01-09-2016, 06:24 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(01-09-2016 04:47 AM)xear Wrote:  .... but believing in imaginary things is the very thing atheism does.

Atheism is not accepting any claims of a god existing. Skepticism is not accepting claims for which there is insufficient evidence. Neither requires believing in anything imaginary.

Quote:Atheism says that when we die there is no afterlife.

No, atheism says that there is no good reason to believe god claims. It is possible to be an atheist and believe that there is an afterlife. Atheists can be just as deluded or irrational as theists, just not on the claims of gods.

Quote:We simply go into nonexistence. But no one has ever experienced nonexistence. Nonexistence doesn't exist. It's imaginary. Like Santa Claus. Having faith in an imaginary thing that doesn't exist is the most faith driven expression in the world.

An individual's consciousness begins to exist sometime during gestation. Before the brain develops there is no "I" and all the evidence points to it dissipating when the brain dies. It requires no faith or belief in something imaginary to look at the evidence we have and see that there is no mechanism for preserving the memories and the mind after death.

You are right that nobody ever experienced their own nonexistence because that's a paradox. We do observe that people who used to exist no longer exist in the same way that we observe that when buildings are torn down they no longer exist. The organization of parts that defined the building is destroyed just like the pattern of thoughts that define the individual is destroyed.

When you can show any mechanism by which the mind is preserved after death, or even any evidence that the mind is somehow preserved by an unknown mechanism, I may start to believe it is possible. Failing that, the only reasonable conclusion based on the available evidence is that there is no afterlife.

Quote:At least theists have some basis in their faith such as near death experiences recounted by millions.

NDEs are not evidence of an afterlife. They are evidence that dying and recovering brains create strange dreams that are usually based on the individual's beliefs and expectations and the influence of their culture and surroundings. Using NDEs to support belief in an afterlife is, when the evidence is looked at objectively, just wishful thinking.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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01-09-2016, 06:40 AM (This post was last modified: 01-09-2016 06:45 AM by unfogged.)
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(01-09-2016 06:22 AM)xear Wrote:  I think that [faith] is what it comes down to.

Faith is not a path to truth because you can use faith to believe literally anything.

Quote: I have no proof existence continues after death. You have no proof existence discontinues.

That's not license to just believe a claim. The issue is not proof, the issue is what evidence supports the claim that the mind continues to exist after death.

Quote:Neither of us could possibly provide such proof.

How do you know what could possible proof could be found? You seem to approach it as "we don't know, therefore I can believe whatever I like" where the skeptic approaches it as "we don't know, therefore I will refrain from believing something that isn't demonstrated to be likely".

Quote:So we both have faith. I have faith in science, rationality, and logic.

I do not have faith in science, rationality, or logic. I trust them based on years of experience seeing how they tend to arrive at reliable conclusions. I also understand that they are only as good as the quality of the evidence that goes into them.

Quote:You seem to have faith in irrational, nonsensical imagination such as a nonexistence, [which logically, rationally doesn't exist and can't happen].

You have that exactly backwards. You have faith in an imaginary afterlife for which no rational support can be provided. You also confuse personal experience of non-existence (which is not possible) with the observation of other things ceasing to exist and the understanding that all the evidence we have leads to the conclusion that at some point in time I will have ceased to exist as an individual.

I also find it somewhat amusing when believers use the "you're no better than I am, nana nana boo boo" defense by trying to claim that atheists use faith to not accept unsupported claims. If you have evidence of an afterlife please present it. If not, I will continue to dismiss that claim as not rationally based and therefore not believable.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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01-09-2016, 06:43 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(01-09-2016 06:22 AM)xear Wrote:  Thanks for your reply. I think that [faith] is what it comes down to. I have no proof existence continues after death. You have no proof existence discontinues.

Neither of us could possibly provide such proof. So we both have faith. I have faith in science, rationality, and logic.

You seem to have faith in irrational, nonsensical imagination such as a nonexistence, [which logically, rationally doesn't exist and can't happen].

I have no faith in non-existence, that's a nonsensical phrase. If you assert that consciousness exists beyond the confines of a brain, then it's up to you to provide evidence of such an assertion. Though you would be going against the actual evidence of neurological science.

Also, I have not seen or read of a single person that was conscious without a brain. If you have, show this alleged evidence.

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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