My argument against atheism
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20-08-2013, 08:03 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
Does your argument also apply to non-golfers or people who don't collect stamps ?

I would love to read an argument against all forms of non-stamp collecting.

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20-08-2013, 08:06 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
(20-08-2013 08:00 PM)fullerm Wrote:  I did not misrepresent evolutionary explanations as "magically arising out of nowhere". Atheism actually does require mental states to magically arise out of nothing.

Que?

Mental states are the products of electrochemical reactions in the brain. The brain is a biological computer and what you perceive to be consciousness is a fantastic emulation of reality.

Energy and matter...not nothing.

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20-08-2013, 08:08 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
So, is this the scheduled monthly troll?

Quote:Positive atheism is a wholly irrational faith-based belief because it is not possible to prove or even provide evidence that every concept of God does not exist.

Sure you can't prove a negative when the subject isn't even defined in meaningful terms, but we can't provide evidence? There's a shit-ton of evidence against every god I've heard of, and you'd see it if you didn't drop out of elementary school.

And anyway, "every concept of god"? You have to define your god. Saying "god" isn't good enough. It's evasive; an attempt to move the goalposts when your claim becomes indefensible. I could debunk every god and you'd just refer to your God as "an intelligence".

Quote:Agnosticism is the position that the existence of a deity is unknown or unknowable. In other words, there is no evidence to support or deny the existence of a deity or that such a notion is untestable (unfalsifiable). Presumably negative atheists don’t believe God exists because there is no evidence of God’s existence or any way to obtain evidence.

Not so much. Agnosticism is believing it is impossible to know something with certainty. It doesn't mean you believe there is no evidence one way or the other, or a way to obtain evidence. Being agnostic is when you won't say you know the answer, only that you believe something to be so. I see a million things pointing toward there not being a god, and zero things pointing to them. But I won't say I know there is no god.

Quote:It’s important to understand though what the term “definition” implies. A definition is not what a small determined group wants a term to mean. A definition denotes how the majority use the term. In the beginning atheism referred to the belief that there was no God. Atheism is a French word that comes from the Greek word “atheos”.[2] “A” mean no and “theos” means God. The original French definition of the term atheism means a belief that there is no God. So the “no God” definition is the original definition and is the definition still used by the majority of people today. Atheists presumably realized how irrational their position was so they are in the process of attempting to subtly change the original definition towards that of negative atheism.

A definition is not singular; words can come to mean more than one thing. There is the original meaning and the popular meaning, as well as past popular meanings. The word gay is an example. It used to mean merry. More recently it came to mean homosexual. More recently than that; effeminate. And more recently than even that it became an expression of dislike. Every one of those definitions is a definition of gay.

It is the same with atheism. Atheism by the original definition (and the origin of the word: a-theism) means without belief in god(s). More recent definitions include the rejection of belief in gods and belief that gods do not exist. Each one is valid.

How people use a word does not change its meaning; it only changes the popular meaning, and the number of uses of the word. Atheists can't change what atheism means, they can only use it a different way. And then what the word meant before is irrelevant. What matters is what they mean to convey through the word.

Quote:...to show that negative atheism is also false, all that must be done is to show that some form of god exists. If the Universe were a sentient thinking entity that would count. Since the Universe is the totality of all existence, a sentient thinking Universe would be omnipresent and omniscient.

Called it!

Quote:Many people seem to believe that thought magically arose out of nowhere at a certain point in the evolutionary process and at a certain point in human development. There is however absolutely no evidence that anything at any time can magically arise out of nowhere.[3] We do know that complex things like people are made of simpler things like cells, which are made of simpler things like atoms and so on. We know that complex matter does not magically arise out of nowhere. Complex matter is simply created over time by arranging simpler forms of matter. Why shouldn’t we assume then that the capacity for complex thought is similarly composed of simpler thinking components. I mean we do acknowledge that our own complex thoughts are made of many smaller thoughts.

Who is claiming that? Thought didn't magically appear from nowhere. There's a thing called evolution; slight changes in an organism over generations.

And no, thought is a physical thing; it is electrical signals being transmitted between neurons. We can't yet recreate consciousness, but scientists are well aware of how it works. Thoughts do not exist outside of the brain and there is no reason to think they do.

Quote:Try thinking in terms of a growing human embryo. At the early stages the embryo has no nose. At a certain point the embryo develops a nose. The nose doesn’t magically appear out of nowhere. We can see the progression. The nose is created by the process of simple physical systems arranging to create a more complex system. With mental states we can’t see the progression yet but we should assume it happens the same way: systems with simple mental capabilities combine to form complex systems with complex mental capabilities. If there isn’t this progression, mental faculties have to magically arise out of nowhere at some point which is impossible.

Luckily there is progression.

Quote:Since an atheist does not believe any type of God exists, including the pantheistic conscious Universe, the atheist must believe that thoughts magically arise out of nowhere.

*cough* evolution and neuroscience *cough*

Quote:The only way for thought to not magically arise out of nothing is if thought is a fundamental property of the building blocks of matter. If thought is a fundamental property of the building blocks of matter then this proves the God of pantheism is a fact. Since the pantheistic God is a fact this proves that negative atheism is also a false irrational belief.

Or you're wrong about what thought is.

Quote:The great majority use atheism to denote the belief that there is no God. Yes definitions can change over time but it hasn’t fully happened yet with atheism. Though the process is started and may eventually succeed. Rejection of belief is the same thing as not knowing. We already have a word for not knowing God exists, agnosticism. This suggests that the less used meaning of disbelief in God is a contemporary bastardization used by those atheists that seek to hide their true irrational position.

Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive, and your understanding of definitions is very poor.

Quote:Like all religions, atheism is meant to distract people away from the truth

So, not believing in gods is a religion now? I don't play golf, so is my not-golfing a religion too?

And anyway, thanks for telling me that my not believing in something is an attempt to keep the truth from coming out. Wow. What a revelation.

Quote: In doubting the existence of God, the atheist requires holding the entirely absurd notion of mental states arising out of nowhere.

Arising out of nowhere? That's God's job!

Quote:So the atheist horse is dead but faulty faith-based thinking will keep atheists fervently beating that horse to the ends of all irrationality.

Yeah, it sure takes a lot of faith to not believe in something when you have every reason to not believe in it. I mean, how irrational is that?

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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20-08-2013, 08:11 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
(20-08-2013 08:00 PM)fullerm Wrote:  I did not misrepresent evolutionary explanations as "magically arising out of nowhere".

Okay. And just one person who made that claim would be... ?

I mean, you do realize I could run a find-and-replace with "life" for "thought" or "humans" for "thought" or "Earth" for "thought" and it'd be on the level of your typical creationist screed, right? This is just "where did X come from? I don't know. Therefore God."

(20-08-2013 08:00 PM)fullerm Wrote:  Atheism actually does require mental states to magically arise out of nothing. Pantheism requires the building blocks of matter to have mental states and thus requires no magical origin.

Pantheism is a form of god. Atheism does not distinguish between any concepts of god. Atheists simply state either that all forms of god don't exist or don't believe any exist. If I prove pantheism is a fact I disprove all atheism.

Here's the article link:
http://skeptopathy.com/?p=71

Yeah. That's... the same article I just read.

You haven't defined God. You haven't defined pantheism. You said it was "a thinking conscious universe". Your 'proof' is that... conscious thought occurs within the universe? That emergent complexity exists? That is a circular non sequitor.

If you define God as "the totality of existence" then of course existence exists. That's not a useful conclusion.

In what way might this inform our actions? In what way would this explain the past or predict the future? In no useful or meaningful way, so far as I can tell.

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20-08-2013, 08:14 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
(20-08-2013 08:00 PM)fullerm Wrote:  
(20-08-2013 06:38 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Several thoughts occur.

It's... kind of a mish-mash. You distinguish between positive and negative atheism but then sometimes ignore that distinction. You facetiously misrepresent evolutionary explanations as "magically arising out of nowhere" (notwithstanding that pantheism does not account for cosmogeny regardless).

And critically: a rant about a/theism and definitions, and yet nowhere do you define God (because no, merely saying 'but pantheism' is insufficient).

I did not misrepresent evolutionary explanations as "magically arising out of nowhere". Atheism actually does require mental states to magically arise out of nothing. Pantheism requires the building blocks of matter to have mental states and thus requires no magical origin.

Pantheism is a form of god. Atheism does not distinguish between any concepts of god. Atheists simply state either that all forms of god don't exist or don't believe any exist. If I prove pantheism is a fact I disprove all atheism.

Here's the article link:
http://skeptopathy.com/?p=71

Hold the bus, Jack. Where did your building blocks come from? How did they come by mental states? What do you mean by mental states?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-08-2013, 08:16 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
(20-08-2013 08:06 PM)ridethespiral Wrote:  Que?

Mental states are the products of electrochemical reactions in the brain. The brain is a biological computer and what you perceive to be consciousness is a fantastic emulation of reality.

Energy and matter...not nothing.

So mental states magically arise out of nowhere due to electro-chemical signalling between neurons? That idea is a pronouncement with absolutely no evidence to support it. At the atomic level there is no biology. Explain mental states in terms of atoms. I can.
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20-08-2013, 08:25 PM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2013 08:01 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: My argument against atheism
Unfortunately I see, having read the tripe you wrote, that you don't qualify to sit in the group you set as a requirement, in the OP. "I ONLY debate with *highly intelligent* bla bla bla". Snort. What are you, like 13 ? The thing is arrogant, patronizing, snobbish, and ignorant. I see you have never studied Neuro-science or Cognitive Psych, or Neuro-biology. What gives you the credentials to determine what is or is not "pathological" ? Neuro-science knows a lot about how the brain works, and nothing "just suddenly" anything, nor has anyone proposed that that's the way anything happened, in Evolution.

A-theism is the the absence of theism. Just like "a-symptomatic" is the absence of symptoms. It implies NOTHING further. Nothing more. You anal retentives NEED to get everything in it's neat little box, all tied up with a neat pretty red bow, or you get all constipated. No one is "redefining" anything. There are countless other categories that you don't seem to be aware of, including Apatheitc Igtheist, which is what many of us are, as no one can define coherently what (the lingustic *string*) "god" even means. The infantile nonsense of "you can't prove there is no god" we jettisoned in 4th Grade. It's an argument for the 1600's.
No one can even define the word meaningfully, (and certainly you haven't), nor have you offered even ONE new argument, so why even waste time discussing it.

This is essentially a rehash of "god of the gaps". You don't understand enough about how human brains work, so you NEED to posit *something* else, to explain it. As usual, that *something* just happens to be a god. (There could be a googleplex of other causes, but out of force of habit, you just happen to light on that cause.). There is no mystery about "thoughts". Many animals have them. Does the fact that apes (or dolphins) "think" make you think there is a god ? The mechanism(s) of memory and consciousness are becoming more evident every day. Sensory input, referenced to memory, (which is laid down in molecular and epigenetic physical patterns) produces "thoughts". There is no mystery there. Go study it.

The second problem with this nonsense is that it presumes that what appears to the human brain, in it's limited range of experience of reality, can actually determine the nature of a larger reality. We know that is very unlikely, (Relativity and Uncertainty, and some math), are "non-intuitive". It's very dangerous to draw conclusions with no evidence based on what appears to be "logical".

And I thought you said in the OP you were going to be "deconstructing The Atheist Myth" ? What "myth" ? There is not a shred of anything like that in the article, much less an "outline".


Yawn.

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20-08-2013, 08:31 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
(20-08-2013 08:16 PM)fullerm Wrote:  
(20-08-2013 08:06 PM)ridethespiral Wrote:  Que?

Mental states are the products of electrochemical reactions in the brain. The brain is a biological computer and what you perceive to be consciousness is a fantastic emulation of reality.

Energy and matter...not nothing.

So mental states magically arise out of nowhere due to electro-chemical signalling between neurons? That idea is a pronouncement with absolutely no evidence to support it. At the atomic level there is no biology. Explain mental states in terms of atoms. I can.

You claim that one can't compute in the physical world and yet microprocessors and vacuum tube computers and abacuses?

The brain is astoundingly complex and powerful but it is not paranormal.

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20-08-2013, 08:49 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
Obviously you're one of those people who believe 9-11 is a giant conspiracy too..

Ya...got it...

Figures in your little article you'd get facts wrong -- like conflating abiogensis with evolution.

Shoo fly!


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20-08-2013, 09:29 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
Quote:Atheism is a French word that comes from the Greek word “atheos”.[2] “A” mean no and “theos” means God.

Cherry picking definitions for your argument are we? I needed not read further after this statement of yours, but sadly... I did WeepingWeepingWeeping

Quote:Atheism requires that no god exists or that there is no belief that a god exits. It doesn’t limit the concept of god in any way. Atheism doesn’t deal only with the Christian concept of god or even merely a personal god. Therefore, to show that negative atheism is also false, all that must be done is to show that some form of god exists. If the Universe were a sentient thinking entity that would count. Since the Universe is the totality of all existence, a sentient thinking Universe would be omnipresent and omniscient.

1) Your grammar makes me want to vomit last week's sushi.

2) Who told you what Atheism requires? Did you speak to the god of Atheism? Is there an Atheist's bible that I'm unaware of? FSM and Pink Unicorn aside...

3) The Universe is the totality of all existence??? Oh really?
[Image: o-rly.gif]

Please, provide some evidence for this since you speak of it as fact.

4) Omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence all lead to logical paradoxes. You shouldn't use them in any type of intelligible debates.

Quote:Many people seem to believe that thought magically arose out of nowhere at a certain point in the evolutionary process and at a certain point in human development.

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Quote:Complex matter is simply created over time by arranging simpler forms of matter. Why shouldn’t we assume then that the capacity for complex thought is similarly composed of simpler thinking components.

Why should you? Go far enough and you'll have to explain how the simplest of matter got there. Unless of course it's just infinite regression, but that's not likely. Besides, correlation isn't causation kids.

Quote:I mean we do acknowledge that our own complex thoughts are made of many smaller thoughts.

How are you defining complex thoughts here? Oh, what do you know. I just thought of a dinosaur puking poop. Sounds complex enough doesn't it? But nope. I just randomly thought that beauty up in a Jiffy pop with butter second.

Not bothering with the rest of your article since you just reiterate your fallacious stance on magical unicorn thoughts untheism.

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