"God is self-existent"
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31-01-2015, 07:49 AM
"God is self-existent"
What is the best way to respond to the theist response to the atheist argument "Who created God?", when the theist says, "Well, nobody created God because God is self-existent!" (As with most, if not all theist arguments, the level of their arguments and responses seems too simplistic and childish and assuming to me, but I want to know the best way to respond to their lame arguments.)
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31-01-2015, 07:52 AM (This post was last modified: 31-01-2015 10:40 AM by gofish!.)
RE: "God is self-existent"
(31-01-2015 07:49 AM)Learner Wrote:  What is the best way to respond to the theist response to the atheist argument "Who created God?", when the theist says, "Well, nobody created God because God is self-existent!" (As with most, if not all theist arguments, the level of their arguments and responses seems too simplistic and childish and assuming to me, but I want to know the best way to respond to their lame arguments.)

God is the epitome of the strawman/argument from authority. I don't engage in discussions about God unless it (a) entertains me or (b) someone has evidence.

But to respond to this claim, I'd say "show me the evidence".

EDIT: Better...."Well that'll be your little secret then".

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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31-01-2015, 08:00 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(31-01-2015 07:49 AM)Learner Wrote:  What is the best way to respond to the theist response to the atheist argument "Who created God?", when the theist says, "Well, nobody created God because God is self-existent!" (As with most, if not all theist arguments, the level of their arguments and responses seems too simplistic and childish and assuming to me, but I want to know the best way to respond to their lame arguments.)


Here's what I say: How can I reliably distinguish what you are calling "God" from something you are merely imagining?

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.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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31-01-2015, 08:21 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
Theist claims:
- Everything needs a beginning
- The universe needs a beginning
- Therefore god created the universe
- God is self-existent because he doesn't need a creation, he is infinite, timeless, all-powerful

Fallacy - The theist says everything needs a beginning to prove god needs to exist, otherwise there is no known cause to the universe; however what fails here is that when saying everything needs a cause the theist makes an exception for god - Therefore either - (1) Not everything needs a cause, including god (2) Or everything really needs a cause, and in that case we include god, therefore we need to know who created god. This is just some old fashioned logic to annoy the theist's mind

However, if the argument is simply "God is self-existent" then you can simply say that if god can be self-existent the universe can be as well, therefore god is not necessary.

Is this enough?

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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31-01-2015, 08:32 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
The argument that they're trying make is that the universe must be caused by something self-existent rather than it coming from absolutely nothing or resorting to some sort of infinite regress. I actually tend to agree with that idea (I don't actually think that either infinite regress or something coming from nothing are actually impossible, but I think something self-existent is more likely), which tends to make them think they've won the debate at that point because they aren't thinking about it hard enough. They tend to play the "God, by definition" card then, saying that the uncreated thing that caused the universe is the very definition of what a God is. Then they'll attempt to smuggle in the other attributes of personhood, omnipotence, etc. Don't let them do this.

The only things we can say about the uncaused cause of the unverse is that a) it exists by its own nature, and b) it has a high probability of bringing the universe we see into existence. If they want bring in the other attributes they assume God has into the conversation, they must argue for them individually, and best of luck to them. Meanwhile, you can argue that the universe look exactly like how we'd expect if it was being guided by mindless natural forces and not how we'd expect if it was intentionally created by a perfect being.

I'm just thinking out loud.
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31-01-2015, 08:33 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
Occam's Razor handles this nicely.

If the "created universe" relies upon a god that always existed ----

it is simpler for the universe to simply have always existed (in whatever form before the big bang) - and eliminate the middle man - this supposed "god" person.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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31-01-2015, 08:34 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(31-01-2015 08:21 AM)Blackout Wrote:  Theist claims:
- Everything needs a beginning
- The universe needs a beginning
- Therefore god created the universe
- God is self-existent because he doesn't need a creation, he is infinite, timeless, all-powerful

Fallacy - The theist says everything needs a beginning to prove god needs to exist, otherwise there is no known cause to the universe; however what fails here is that when saying everything needs a cause the theist makes an exception for god - Therefore either - (1) Not everything needs a cause, including god (2) Or everything really needs a cause, and in that case we include god, therefore we need to know who created god. This is just some old fashioned logic to annoy the theist's mind

However, if the argument is simply "God is self-existent" then you can simply say that if god can be self-existent the universe can be as well, therefore god is not necessary.

Is this enough?

damn... beat me to it..

Smile

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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31-01-2015, 08:57 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
It might be interesting to postulate this to a theist-

What if a god did create the universe but it ceased to exist immediately after the big bang, it left a series of governing principles or "laws" that allowed the universe to continue operating with no input from this deity after it ceased to exist.

How would this be different from what we observer in this universe through scientific 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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31-01-2015, 08:58 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(31-01-2015 07:49 AM)Learner Wrote:  What is the best way to respond to the theist response to the atheist argument "Who created God?", when the theist says, "Well, nobody created God because God is self-existent!" (As with most, if not all theist arguments, the level of their arguments and responses seems too simplistic and childish and assuming to me, but I want to know the best way to respond to their lame arguments.)

The question should perhaps not be "Who created God?", but "Why not save a step?"




If they believe that God's existence needs no explanation, why not save a step and conclude that the universe's existence needs no explanation? If they believe that God is self-existent, why not save a step and conclude that the universe is self-existent?

The logical fallacy here is "special pleading"[1]. The expectation that the universe needs something to be true or needs something to be explained when God does not need that thing to be true or does not need to be explained. To make the argument valid the theist would need to explain why the explanation is needed for one but not the other in a valid way. Thus, "why not save a step?" directly addresses the fallacy.

[1] https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/special-pleading

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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31-01-2015, 09:08 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
The problem here is we are rational, thus our arguments are plain, simple and logical. When dealing with irrational people, these arguments fall on deaf ears. They make it complicated and illogical to justify their irrational faith. It's why I don't like to argue one-on-one with theists anymore, because if they are willing to argue then generally they have their minds made up and there is no changing them. But if there's an audience, then my arguments may be heard by those on the fence.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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