My argument against atheism
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20-08-2013, 09:39 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
(20-08-2013 08:14 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(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. 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?

Texas. That state is totally mental.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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20-08-2013, 10:21 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
Lets take the following situation

A man is outside in the pouring rain. He mentally makes a connection between tears falling and rain drops falling.
He then begins to believe that a Massive invisible floating giant is crying and this is where the rain is originating from.
He has no justification to believe this. No evidence, but he believes it none the less.

He relays his belief to another person the next day.

This new person doesn't believe what the man is saying is true. He is skeptical of the story and decides to wait for evidence before believing.

The first man is a theist
The second man is an atheist.

How does your argument work given the following story ?

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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20-08-2013, 11:31 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
Pantheists I'm fairly cool with... because they are a fairly benign, hippie-like bunch, and I'm a bit of a hippie myself. I sometime's struggle to get exactly what it is they believe, and whether it even constitutes a "god", or just an expression of wonder at the magnificence of the universe and nature.

Is it simply poetically or artistically imagining a human face on nature? Because I like to do that... I think it's just a sign of a healthy imagination. But I don't believe it to be actual fact... just daydreaming.

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20-08-2013, 11:42 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
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.
Until someone comes up with a coherent and falsifiable explanation of conscious thought, I am going with the understanding that my mind is merely in interpretation of the physical state of my brain, the atoms, energy and chemicals going on in there. In terms of making decisions, free will is merely an illusion. My brain's state changes because the laws of existence dictate it must, my consciousness conceptually represents those changes and often makes me think that it was my consciousness that made the choice.

Quote: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.
Complex configurations can emerge naturally from simpler configurations if there is a source of input into a system, such as the suns energy into our Earth.

Quote: 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.
No, thoughts are only conceptual. Underlying them is the physical state of the brain. Thoughts are merely an interpretation of that physical state.
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21-08-2013, 07:54 AM
RE: My argument against atheism
(20-08-2013 08:25 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  ... anal retentives ... constipated.

Now that's a turn of phrase.

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21-08-2013, 07:58 AM
RE: My argument against atheism
(20-08-2013 11:42 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Until someone comes up with a coherent and falsifiable explanation of conscious thought, I am going with the understanding that my mind is merely in interpretation of the physical state of my brain, the atoms, energy and chemicals going on in there. In terms of making decisions, free will is merely an illusion. My brain's state changes because the laws of existence dictate it must, my consciousness conceptually represents those changes and often makes me think that it was my consciousness that made the choice.
Is your belief that thought magically arises from the interactions of atoms and energy coherent and falsifiable? Where does the interpretation and awareness of the physical state come from?
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21-08-2013, 08:06 AM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2013 08:44 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: My argument against atheism
It is.
People with physical brain injuries are mentally disabled.
Clearly you have no clue about how brains work.
Thought does not "magically arise". The manner in which it DOES arise is known, (obviously not to you, however).
I repeat .. YOU do not meet your own requirement. " I'm only interested in purely rational discussion with extremely intelligent people."
How is it you never studied Neuroscience ?
If you had no sensory input, or you were deeply anesthetized, or under the influence of either powerful legal or illegal drugs, your mentation IS affected.
If what you are proposing were true, THAT would not be true. You cannot think at all without a functioning brain, and you cannot think properly, without a properly functioning brain. There is proof of that in every medical and neurological journal in the world. You obviously have a huge gaping hole in your science education.
(BTW, your use of the strawman fallacy is very nice. Very nice indeed).




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21-08-2013, 08:07 AM
RE: My argument against atheism
(21-08-2013 07:58 AM)fullerm Wrote:  
(20-08-2013 11:42 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Until someone comes up with a coherent and falsifiable explanation of conscious thought, I am going with the understanding that my mind is merely in interpretation of the physical state of my brain, the atoms, energy and chemicals going on in there. In terms of making decisions, free will is merely an illusion. My brain's state changes because the laws of existence dictate it must, my consciousness conceptually represents those changes and often makes me think that it was my consciousness that made the choice.
Is your belief that thought magically arises from the interactions of atoms and energy coherent and falsifiable? Where does the interpretation and awareness of the physical state come from?

Is atomic physics arising from subatomic physics magical?

Is molecular chemistry arising from atomic physics magical?

Is biochemistry arising from molecular chemistry magical?

At what point is a thought sufficiently complex so as to emerge magically? Does an insect's thought count as magically emergent? A fish's? A bird's? An ape's? The amount of thought, so far as it may be compared, tracks with increasing neurological complexity. That does not seem particularly magical. Can you even define thought?

All you are saying is a tired old nonsense. "How do things work? I don't know. Therefore God."

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21-08-2013, 08:08 AM
RE: My argument against atheism
(21-08-2013 07:58 AM)fullerm Wrote:  
(20-08-2013 11:42 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Until someone comes up with a coherent and falsifiable explanation of conscious thought, I am going with the understanding that my mind is merely in interpretation of the physical state of my brain, the atoms, energy and chemicals going on in there. In terms of making decisions, free will is merely an illusion. My brain's state changes because the laws of existence dictate it must, my consciousness conceptually represents those changes and often makes me think that it was my consciousness that made the choice.
Is your belief that thought magically arises from the interactions of atoms and energy coherent and falsifiable? Where does the interpretation and awareness of the physical state come from?

No, not magically. Neuroscientists are, in fact, correlating brain states with mental states using imaging techniques. Science, not magic.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-08-2013, 08:15 AM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2013 10:30 AM by TheBeardedDude.)
RE: My argument against atheism
"I suppose that’s fitting since atheism involves either an entirely unfounded belief that God does not exist or a false belief that there is no evidence that God exists. The former type of atheism is called positive atheism while the latter is negative atheism."


This is where you have already begun to lose me.

For starters, saying that a belief in the nonexistence of something is unfounded, implies that nonexistence can be proven. It can't. The belief in the nonexistence of something would therefore be the default position until sufficient evidence is presented to falsify that belief. One would not be wise to claim that big foot exists without a specimen, nor a god.

Next is that I don't see a difference between a belief in the nonexistence of something and the absence of a belief in something. They are not mutually exclusive positions and are different wordings of the same thing. So, I don't know why people feel the need to split them up into 2 different categories, but if you must, then I am both.

"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."

Is it irrational to believe that Big Foot does not exist until proven otherwise? Faith implies that you believe something because of a lack of evidence. Belief in the nonexistence of god is because the lack of evidence is what should be expected for the nonexistence of anything that does not exist.

"The negative atheists are not as irrational since they simply don’t believe that God exists."

You believe there are levels of irrationality? It's a scale? If something is irrational, it is equally as irrational as a belief in anything else that is irrational. There wouldn't be levels of it. If you are looking for feedback, then I'd just tell you to commit to your point and not try to hedge your definitions.

"Negative atheists are however indistinguishable from agnostics. Agnosticism is the position that the existence of a deity is unknown or unknowable."


One deals with belief, the other with knowledge. Even what you call a positive atheist would likely tell you that they do not know god does not exist.

"In other words, there is no evidence to support or deny the existence of a deity or that such a notion is untestable (unfalsifiable)."

The bit here that is incorrect is that there is no support to deny the existence of something. Lack of evidence is the support needed to deny it. And it is untrue that a god is not testable, but many definitions of a god would be unfalsifiable and those that change with each test would be too.

If a god exists as proposed by most major religions, then it interacts with our universe and the Earth in particular. Physical and energetic interaction, would be detectable, therefore testable, therefore those definitions could be falsified. To date, such tests of supernatural and/or paranormal claims have led to the conclusion that nature exists and supernature does not. Those definitions of god as proposed by religion, are demonstrably false.

"Presumably negative atheists don’t believe God exists because there is no evidence of God’s existence or any way to obtain evidence. "

The problem now seems to be that you have not committed to a definition of what god is. If you mean the biblical god, that god doesn't exist and can be demonstrably shown so. The Islamic god? Same thing. If you are using some other definition of god that is unfalsifiable and untestable, then sure. But that god would necessarily be indistinguishable from one that did not exist. It is therefore, a pointless definition.

"Therefore, to both the negative atheist and the agnostic, the existence of God is unknowable. To say negative atheism is somehow fundamentally different than agnosticism is to split infinitely fine hairs."

Yet you seem to try and do so with atheism. Your post is only 2 paragraphs long and already lacks direction. Commit to a topic and go. And don't spend your time on definitions. If you have to make posts giving your definitions of things in order to begin, no one is going to read it because you are going to appear to be manipulating definitions to serve your own purpose and make your arguments for you.

"It’s important to understand though what the term “definition” implies."

I can't get through any more of your post right now. I've heard too much of this kind of hemming and hawwing back and forth before. I'll try again later.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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