Frustrated with the God debate
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29-04-2012, 06:09 AM (This post was last modified: 29-04-2012 06:19 AM by free2011.)
Frustrated with the God debate
Often when I listen to debates I am frustrated when the non-theist resorts to asking, "Well if there is a God then why . . . " Fill in with anything from why do innocent people suffer to why doesn't your god reveal himself in modern times. The theist will always have an answer to these questions so we end up in this endless circle of "oh yea, then why . . .?"

Shouldn't our focus simply be on "Prove it"? When I have these discussions I generally cut to the chase by saying without referring to an ancient text written thousands of years ago and edited ever since where is your proof? I have modern testable scientific evidence for evolution and the big bang so where is your proof of creation without your ancient book written by the same people that thought epileptics were possessed and the earth was flat? If you need surgery would you choose the same methods they used 2,000 years ago or a doctor with knowledge gathered since then about how the body works? Of course you would choose the modern methods that have been scientifically proven to work even though the people that wrote about your God thought bloodletting was a great idea.

Shouldn't this put an end to any debate?

One of the best advocates for atheism is Neil deGrasse Tyson. While he doesn't technically debate he often gets into discussions with theists and with scientific information shuts them right down. I don't think I have ever heard anyone come back with their own evidence against an idea he puts forth. Rather they simply shut up and change the subject.

In short, let's debate scientific evidence not ancient writings.
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29-04-2012, 06:13 AM
RE: Frustrated with the God debate
MY best option to this is simple....
Your God is great??? Prayer is the answer? Oh really ... then why doesn't your God answer the prayers of amputiees?
That there is usually the killer end phrase.. I often find theists struck like a deer in headlights..

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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29-04-2012, 06:23 AM
RE: Frustrated with the God debate
(29-04-2012 06:13 AM)ddrew Wrote:  MY best option to this is simple....
Your God is great??? Prayer is the answer? Oh really ... then why doesn't your God answer the prayers of amputiees?
That there is usually the killer end phrase.. I often find theists struck like a deer in headlights..

I respectfully disagree. Again that is an argument they can easily answer with, "We don't know Gods plan". I still say let them make a statement and then ask them "where is your evidence for that claim".

Statement - "God performs miracles!"
Question - "Where is your evidence?"

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29-04-2012, 06:35 AM (This post was last modified: 29-04-2012 06:41 AM by ddrew.)
RE: Frustrated with the God debate
Actually that still is a killer stumper.. .. if they answer with "we dont' know God's plan" ... we can still answer with .... so based on what you just said is... if there there is a plan, amputee's no matter how much they love and pray to God, ... will never be attended to by God by way of miracles or otherwise... because it's in Gog's plan to just let the amputee beg for healing and never get a response .... ever... while crack addicts, cancer, and other ill gotten faithful servants get blessings.. but amputees don't.... wow.. what a just and fair God he must be... *spits*

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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29-04-2012, 06:43 AM
RE: Frustrated with the God debate
ddrew,
... but obviously, amputees are sinners. It's their own fault. They may pretend to be begging for healing (how selfish is that?) but they should be begging for forgiveness to receive salvation. They ALL are just not true believers.

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29-04-2012, 07:01 AM
RE: Frustrated with the God debate
(29-04-2012 06:43 AM)DLJ Wrote:  ddrew,
... but obviously, amputees are sinners. It's their own fault. They may pretend to be begging for healing (how selfish is that?) but they should be begging for forgiveness to receive salvation. They ALL are just not true believers.
well heck.. what was I thinking .. that amputee that was sitting in the passenger seat of a car while riding to church on a sunday got wrecked by some drunk driver... losing their leg that got pinched off between them and the engine block..what a shame... ..... it was God's plan tho.. .... he is divine and all.. that faithful follower needed to be tested by the loss of his leg.. because God... knowing all things needed to check to see if what he already knew about that faithful follower was really true or not.... *dumbass God*

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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29-04-2012, 07:06 AM
RE: Frustrated with the God debate
(29-04-2012 06:09 AM)free2011 Wrote:  Shouldn't our focus simply be on "Prove it"?

It becomes rather difficult to explain or "prove" a being that is omnieverything and exists outside of time and space (i.e. if that is the definition of "god" provided). Something with the previous definition cannot be explained by science because it quantified in any way at this point. In a way, the argument must take a turn to prove things that a god did not do such as creating the earth and all life on it, flooding the earth, etc. Eventually, the argument must go the "Why does god do this/not do this" because the scientific evidence has already been shown, but does not disprove a god, it only makes the existence of one improbable.

Quote:Shouldn't this put an end to any debate?

It should, but that is assuming everyone is willing to accept scientific fact as reality. I have debated a number of theists before and many of them pick and choose which scientific facts to believe in based on how they contradict their faith. The following quote is a brief synopsis of why I think scientific fact alone cannot break the shield of faith.

"As I have shared with my professors years ago in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the word of God indicates. Here I must stand" - Kurt Wise

I understand that debating can sometimes result in beating around the bush and I would prefer to debate on more palpable information, but to quell faith's intangibility requires more than the facts: It requires reason.
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29-04-2012, 07:11 AM
RE: Frustrated with the God debate
As I generally stay away from debates, I normally have a different approach with things such as:

I have a question for you, it involves genesis. Don't worry! I'm not talking about how it seems like more than one person wrote it, the two stories of creation, that some say are just variations or the creation given two places on earth, nor am I going to ask about where all the people came from as I'll assume adam/eve were like bunnies, nor will I ask where cain/able's wives came from or anything about them as many believe that adam/eve's offspring founded the other towns--after all if they didn't then god punished people that had nothing to do with the fall, nor were offspring of adam/eve for their sings and that would seem pretty wrong by any standards...anyway... Was eden more like a county with multiple towns within, or a town? Because if eden was a town, I'd like to know why god punished all adam and eve's children by banishing them from eden to form other towns before the fall (after all, they'd have a big walk just to get food!). And if it was more like a county, then why would adam/eve even hang around where the forbidden fruit was (and not be close to their offspring). Or, if eden was the entire planet, why would god destroy all of eden but a small part just to put angels to block the entrance (even though he could've just destroyed it all?) And another question, when did man learn to farm? Because after the fall, they'd have to grow their own food--did god just implant that knowledge in their head, or was that a product of the tree, and if it was, did the knowledge magically enter all offspring too? Or did the fall happen before any children existed, and then they screwed like bunnies knowing all their descendants would be dammed? Like I said, just wondering, I've always wondered that and no one seems to have an answer....


Or something like that. Actually I phrased a variant of it to a person. Their response was "good question (with a pause like "I have never thought of that) I have to ask my minister" The minister's response? God works in mysterious ways. Uh... that's like asking "what dessert do you want?" and getting a reply of "water is blue".
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29-04-2012, 10:44 AM (This post was last modified: 29-04-2012 10:52 AM by ahoy.)
RE: Frustrated with the God debate
(29-04-2012 06:09 AM)free2011 Wrote:  Shouldn't our focus simply be on "Prove it"?

I think it is the common mistake by Atheist and Apologetics alike:

“The burden of proof belongs to the person asserting a claim”

That will be only applicable to a claim that cannot prove itself… thus, other people needs to prove it.

Thus, I think people should not take pains to prove their celestial teapots or spaghetti monsters.

(29-04-2012 06:09 AM)free2011 Wrote:  In short, let's debate scientific evidence not ancient writings.

Before science use its method to look into the supernatural: it has to question first: does supernatural possibly exists?
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29-04-2012, 01:31 PM (This post was last modified: 29-04-2012 01:43 PM by Logisch.)
RE: Frustrated with the God debate
The reason I became an atheist is not because I figured it was my responsibility to prove a god does not exist but because I find insufficient proof in general that a god or gods exist.

The burden of proof falls on the believer of something to prove that it exists. Shifting the burden of proof makes a debate ridiculously annoying.

Example:

Believer - "I have an invisible unicorn in the next room drinking tea with the ghost of abraham lincoln."

Obviously... that's a wild claim. Your immediate reaction would be, "You're full of shit."

Non-believer - "Oh yeah? Well.. I don't believe you, but you know what I'm going to PROVE your unicorn doesn't exist."

Now we immediately put ourselves in an awkward position. If we are only able to see things from the observable room that we're in, if we are to assume that this magical unicorn that exists in an imaginary realm beyond space and time having tea with the ghost of someone who is no longer alive... and we now just assumed the responsibility as the believer to prove that it exists, well, we aren't really going to get anywhere.

Instead... we should use logic and reason to assert something reasonable.

First off, we need to work with what we know. Have we ever seen magical unicorns before? History and myths have told us that they are mythological and fantasy and fairy tale. On top of that we've never actually seen one, so who is to say the stories and depictions of them are accurate, so how do they know that their unicorn is the correct definition of a unicorn and how do they prove that? Aside from that, we also haven't seen any tangible proof of ghosts aside from reality tv shows with poor camera effects and fake sounds, as well as personal experience stories which are neither credible nor provable. Therefore, it's safe to assume this person is probably full of crap. We have no scientific evidence that suggests anything about magical unicorns or ghosts thus far, and the stuff presented has been pseudoscience which isn't reputable.

Non-believer - "I don't believe you. Prove it."

We have not just given the burden of proof to the BELIEVER. They truly believe there is a unicorn having tea in the next room with the ghost of abraham lincoln. Now they must prove it. If their counter to this is "How can't you!? Are you crazy? Haven't you heard of the time that I had an experience with one!?" or "Everything around us is magical unicorn and abraham lincoln!" then they also need to prove that as well. We have ways of explaining our environment already.

If they cannot present any evidence, but can only provide personal experience or perhaps they have a book of unicorn that uses sources and cites references to hearsay experiences of anonymous authors, then it's up to us to make a decision based off the evidence or lack of evidence whether or not there is a unicorn having tea in the next room with the ghosts of abraham lincoln.

The thing is that if we are trying to PROVE a god doesn't exist, we have to define WHAT a god even is!? How frustrating is that? Some say he's a being in the sky, others say he's outside of time and space, some say you don't even know he's there and that you just experience him. Well... I'm not sure if you've ever had your wisdom teeth out, but that gas they give you makes you see, feel and think and say some wild stuff too, so who is to say someone didn't think up the definition while on something? How do we know?

The better question, rather than trying to prove a god doesn't exist is to ask them what they think a god is? How do they know? How can they demonstrate it? Through what credible source do they have a reputable definition?

There are tens of thousands of denominations of christianity, many of which define it differently, see it differently, experience it differently and have various ideas. So how does a person know which is the right model, right definition and how their idea of what a god is could be any better than a separate denomination?

If they cannot see why this seems a bit silly, or perhaps why we are skeptical of their position, well, not all debates and conversations end up with a side changing their mind.
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