Help refuting a christian argument
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12-12-2011, 07:10 AM
Help refuting a christian argument
I have created this thread for two reasons:
1. I require assistance refuting an argument that I have been debating with a christian friend of mine.

2. I have a suggestion for the subforum "Atheism and Theism" i.e. I believe there should be a thread denoted as "important" and called something along the lines of "argument help" because there are a lot of threads called "I need help with xyz" so this could help remove some of the clutter in the forum.

In any case, here is the problem I ran into. My christian friend seems to believe that atheism is a religion where one worships oneself. I told him that sounds more like hedonism, but he is positive he is right. He argues that everything an atheist does is to better himself in some way and that somehow that makes us gods because we "worship" ourselves. He also mentioned something about having to have faith that there isn't a god just the same as believing in a god.

Any help would be appreciated. If someone could expand my idea about the forum into something that is less vague, that would be great also.
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12-12-2011, 07:28 AM
RE: Help refuting a christian argument
(12-12-2011 07:10 AM)Kaos MD Wrote:  He argues that everything an atheist does is to better himself in some way and that somehow that makes us gods because we "worship" ourselves.
How is that even different from "working for the big reward at the end"?


Quote:He also mentioned something about having to have faith that there isn't a god just the same as believing in a god.
I never said I assume there isn’t a God. I'm just still waiting on good arguments that there is. Your friend claims he does. It’s up to him to make the claim. Oh, and while he's at it. please make him define that God as well. Watch him squirm to make that definition fit the bible or, if he's a deist, watch him shape-shift to make it worship worthy.

About your suggestion. There are whole sites dedicated to every argument ever opened about religion
iron chariots is one.

Let's face it. Religious folks might think they've just invented the one argument, but rest assured: The last 2000 years as good as everything has already been said.

About Atheism being a religion: Click on the link In my sig.

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Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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12-12-2011, 07:40 AM
RE: Help refuting a christian argument
Observer... that link in your sig. I've seen a few people comment after reading it. That's good stuff right there Smile
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12-12-2011, 07:41 AM
RE: Help refuting a christian argument
I don't have tons of info on this, I have recently had the same debate with my younger brother. I can't remember everything I said but I did state these things to help him understand:

- Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.
- Atheism is a religion like not smoking could be called a habit.
- Atheism is a religion like calling bald a hair color.
- Atheism is a religion like calling "off" a channel on your TV.

You could go on with the comparisons. Hope some of this helps to spark ideas.

I just like this and figured I'd share Smile
Carl Sagan said, "I don't want to believe, I want to know."

Idiot: : a foolish or stupid person
— idiot adjective
See Republican Candidates.

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12-12-2011, 07:48 AM
RE: Help refuting a christian argument
(12-12-2011 07:10 AM)Kaos MD Wrote:  He argues that everything an atheist does is to better himself in some way and that somehow that makes us gods because we "worship" ourselves.

Yes, I like to better myself, to make myself into what I think of as a better person. What, does he not want to better himself? To improve his mind? He must be careful, maybe he will make himself more than God!? To make oneself better-off at the expense of others is maybe on some atheists to-do lists, but also a hell of a lot of Christians too.
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12-12-2011, 11:36 AM
RE: Help refuting a christian argument
I tend to use a very simple definition of the term atheism: "A lack of belief in (a) god(s)"

I think the distinction between that and the typical definition "Belief there is no god" is quite important.

It tends to stop the "You have faith too, because you believe there is no god." argument.

Its hard to see how someone can call themselves atheist and believe that they are, in some way, a god. The two seem mutually incompatible.
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12-12-2011, 12:24 PM
RE: Help refuting a christian argument
(12-12-2011 07:10 AM)Kaos MD Wrote:  In any case, here is the problem I ran into. My christian friend seems to believe that atheism is a religion where one worships oneself. I told him that sounds more like hedonism, but he is positive he is right. He argues that everything an atheist does is to better himself in some way and that somehow that makes us gods because we "worship" ourselves. He also mentioned something about having to have faith that there isn't a god just the same as believing in a god.

The fallacy in his argument is called equivocation. It has already been pointed out that atheism is not in the strictest sense "a religion" (although it is in the legal sense - it's regarded as religion by US law and other countries' laws). But I would also point out that the word "worship" is misused even worse. Hedonism may be ego-centric, but due to the nature of worship, even Hedonism can't lead to worshipping oneself - except in definition #3, which is different than the religious sense - definition #1.

I had an argument once with a Catholic who argued to me that not only did atheists "worship themselves", but so did protestants. I had to explain what worship meant and also why he was objectively wrong about the object of protestant worship, and I just couldn't get through to him. So it's great that you know how to respond, but I find that private arguments usually accomplish little. If it's a public debate, at least you may persuade those who are listening in (the point of Matt Dillahunty's Oklahoma Freethought presentation).

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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12-12-2011, 12:36 PM
RE: Help refuting a christian argument
(12-12-2011 12:24 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(12-12-2011 07:10 AM)Kaos MD Wrote:  In any case, here is the problem I ran into. My christian friend seems to believe that atheism is a religion where one worships oneself. I told him that sounds more like hedonism, but he is positive he is right. He argues that everything an atheist does is to better himself in some way and that somehow that makes us gods because we "worship" ourselves. He also mentioned something about having to have faith that there isn't a god just the same as believing in a god.

The fallacy in his argument is called equivocation. It has already been pointed out that atheism is not in the strictest sense "a religion" (although it is in the legal sense - it's regarded as religion by US law and other countries' laws). But I would also point out that the word "worship" is misused even worse. Hedonism may be ego-centric, but due to the nature of worship, even Hedonism can't lead to worshipping oneself - except in definition #3, which is different than the religious sense - definition #1.

I had an argument once with a Catholic who argued to me that not only did atheists "worship themselves", but so did protestants. I had to explain what worship meant and also why he was objectively wrong about the object of protestant worship, and I just couldn't get through to him. So it's great that you know how to respond, but I find that private arguments usually accomplish little. If it's a public debate, at least you may persuade those who are listening in (the point of Matt Dillahunty's Oklahoma Freethought presentation).

Now, I'm interested in the details about Protestant self worship. What rituals/actions did he cite?

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12-12-2011, 01:00 PM
RE: Help refuting a christian argument
(12-12-2011 12:36 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Now, I'm interested in the details about Protestant self worship. What rituals/actions did he cite?

He didn't point out any ritual or actions, or cite a source. I'm obsessive about citing my sources, but not everyone is like me. It was just a silly belief, but for him to admit that it was wrong was to admit that he was wrong. Admitting to personal weakness is not a normal human trait, and that's why I go on to say that these private arguments are a waste of time.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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12-12-2011, 01:04 PM
RE: Help refuting a christian argument
(12-12-2011 01:00 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(12-12-2011 12:36 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Now, I'm interested in the details about Protestant self worship. What rituals/actions did he cite?

He didn't point out any ritual or actions, or cite a source. I'm obsessive about citing my sources, but not everyone is like me. It was just a silly belief, but for him to admit that it was wrong was to admit that he was wrong. Admitting to personal weakness is not a normal human trait, and that's why I go on to say that these private arguments are a waste of time.

Yeah, I'm the same way about citing or giving examples. If I say something, I want to be able to back it up with something. And, for the life of me, I can't think of anything he is talking about. Protestants are pretty adamant about only glorifying Christ.

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