My argument against atheism
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21-08-2013, 09:36 AM
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

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21-08-2013, 11:32 AM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2013 11:41 AM by TheBeardedDude.)
RE: My argument against atheism
Whew, I'll try to plow on now.


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

You are not starting to talk to your audience as if they are complete morons, insulting your audience certainly won't endear you to them. Set a target audience (adult) and write for that audience. Make assumptions about things they should know (like what a definition means and implies).

"A definition is not what a small determined group wants a term to mean."


That's exactly what a definition means. It may not be a commonly accepted definition. And if it is a definition that is refuted by the majority of people then it is a definition that is pointless in discussion.

"A definition denotes how the majority use the term."


Terms have multiple definitions commonly. So trying to say the above, negates multiple definitions. But yes, the idea is that if I say "god" living in the US, the assumption will be made that it is the Christian god. If I mean something else, it is on me to make that clear. Which probably means using a different word or a qualifier (like, Islamic God or God of the Pagans, etc)

"In the beginning atheism referred to the belief that there was no God."

I assume you mean, originally it meant this. And it still does.

"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."

No. There are multiple definitions of any given word and can vary depending on usage or even culture. In any event, I've already given my piece on how what you call "positive" and "negative" atheism are the same thing.

"Atheism requires that no god exists or that there is no belief that a god exits."

2 things.

First, you are beating your own dead horse. Another paragraph dealing with the same thing yet again.

Secondly, I say you are beating your own dead horse because I am not sure who you are trying to direct this towards anymore. I think you have some idea that this is an issue among atheists.

"It doesn’t limit the concept of god in any way."


That's because atheism is in response to concepts of god, not about defining concepts of god.

"Atheism doesn’t deal only with the Christian concept of god or even merely a personal god."


Specifically, it refers to each god separately. So yes, it does not deal solely with Christianity and I don't anyone claiming it does. Once again, I don't know who your target audience is anymore. It clearly isn't an atheist and likely not an agnostic. Who are you writing to? You need to have a better picture of that.

"Therefore, to show that negative atheism is also false, all that must be done is to show that some form of god exists."

Yes. Go on.

"If the Universe were a sentient thinking entity that would count."

I guess? If you define god as a self-aware and thinking universe, this would seem to be a god of sorts, I guess...

The issue now becomes how specific you intend to be. Considering that any individual human is necessarily part of the universe, and is sentient, and capable of thought, that this would qualify each human as part of your universe-god.

But this too is quite a useless concept. Each person is sentient and capable of thought, but collectively do not comprise the whole of the universe and have no collective sentience or thought.

At least we are getting to what you actually mean by god now.

"Since the Universe is the totality of all existence, a sentient thinking Universe would be omnipresent and omniscient."

Omnipresent? Sure, as that would imply that if the universe is all that exists, then it exists everywhere it exists.

Omniscient? If the universe is finite and knowledge is finite, then based on our understanding of limit theory, knowledge of all things would appear to be impossible to achieve. Let alone if the universe is infinite as this would imply knowledge is infinite.

Therefore, you are making a claim that has no support in regard to omniscience.

"The notion of a thinking conscious Universe is referred to as pantheism or panpsychism. Now, what is thought? Thought is simply awareness of ideas. Thought also involves combining simple ideas to create more complex ideas. We use thought to get things done and when things get done other thoughts are generated. Consciousness is awareness of your self or body."

Thought is awareness of ideas, fair enough. This necessarily means thought is a product of a brain and/or neural network.

Consciousness is self-awareness, yes.

"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."

No. Thought is a product of a brain and/or neural network. You seem to be implying that thought is only possible in humans and that thought came about at one instance in time. I don't know anyone that thinks this.

"There is however absolutely no evidence that anything at any time can magically arise out of nowhere."

I still don't know why you think this is what scientists say. Thought and the capacity for thought would have arisen in the same way that limbs and organs did. No different.

"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."

Yes, go on.

"We know that complex matter does not magically arise out of nowhere."


What is "complex matter"? Is a star "complex matter"? Is anything that is made out of simpler components "complex matter"? How does "complex matter" differ from matter?

I am even more confused now as to who your target audience is. You spend time defining what definitions are, but throw around unqualified and undefined terms like "complex matter" as if I should know what you mean.

"Complex matter is simply created over time by arranging simpler forms of matter."

Define it, before you use it.

So, an atom is then "complex matter"?

A neutron is "complex matter"?

And you are already making some assumptions by interjecting your opinions into your writing by saying "by arranging", which implies conscious thought. You have to give the support for that first, before making the claim that matter has been arranged into "complex matter."


"Why shouldn’t we assume then that the capacity for complex thought is similarly composed of simpler thinking components."

There is only thought. What you call "complex thought" is a result of not so much comprising simpler thought, but increasing capacity. My computer is capable of processing, but a computer with more RAM and a better processor can process more complex programs. It's not addition of new parts or even more parts, just expansion of existing parts. As in, how thought has evolved through time from neural network to brain to bigger brain. All are capable of thought, but capacity increases.

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

I have no idea what that means. What is the difference between a thought, and a "complex thought"?

"This is a very difficult topic for certain people to grasp."

If poorly defined, any concept is.

"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."

And thoughts didn't magically appear out of nowhere along the evolutionary lineage of life. I don't know where you are going anymore. You're now mixing in examples involving embryonics. You are jumping all over the place.

"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."

You are comparing how thought evolved to how limbs develop, but are arguing that there isn't a progression in the evolutionary lineage of life where thought developed?

I am so lost now. At what point in the development of the embryo's nose, do you call it a nose? At what point in the history of life, would you call responding to external stimuli "thought"?

You are now trying to turn gradual development into a black and white system with 2 end-members. Thought, and no thought. I can't even tell if your argument is self-refuting because I can't follow the logic you are using.

"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."

I'm even more lost now. You are now acting like you have proven that a conscious universe exists, and then propose a non sequitor that denial of that conscious universe must necessarily mean denial of the evolution of thought.

Your non sequitor is mind-boggling and demonstrably wrong/bad.

"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. "


You're back to trying to beat this dead horse in your conclusion, except I haven't figured out what you are trying to say in the preceding paragraphs. You don't have a salient point to conclude yet.

"Rejection of belief is the same thing as not knowing."

No, it just isn't. Rejection of belief would necessarily mean knowing that belief exists, not knowing means you are unaware of the belief in the first place.

I am likely unaware of several belief systems that have exited throughout human history. I can't reject what I do not know to reject.

"We already have a word for not knowing God exists, agnosticism."

Repetition in a short essay is not a good style.

"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."


You never qualified this assertion.

"Like all religions, atheism is meant to distract people away from the truth."


Non sequitor and a strawman. It does not follow that atheism is a religion and trying to argue that it is, is a strawman. This is the first time you have tried to introduce your opinion that atheism is a religion. Once again, who is the target audience here?

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

That non sequitor again.

"In essence, atheism predicts an impossibility which actually falsifies it."

Atheism doesn't make a prediction, it refutes a prediction.

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

I've addressed the ideas behind this already, but I'll make note again here that atheism is not a faith-based position. It is the denial and/or absence of a position/belief deemed to be irrational as it is not based on evidence.

“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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21-08-2013, 11:36 AM
RE: My argument against atheism
(20-08-2013 04:59 PM)fullerm Wrote:  Hello, first off I'm against all religion and the concept of a personal god. However, I've developed an argument against all forms of atheism. I am interested in discussing it here (or privately) to find any holes. I'm only interested in purely rational discussion with extremely intelligent people. Those who must support their arguments with logical fallacies do not have arguments worth defending.

To see my argument you can Google "The No God Delusion: Deconstructing The Atheist Myth" to read the article that outlines it.

You want our help and can't even link the article here?
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21-08-2013, 11:45 AM
RE: My argument against atheism
(21-08-2013 11:36 AM)gall Wrote:  
(20-08-2013 04:59 PM)fullerm Wrote:  Hello, first off I'm against all religion and the concept of a personal god. However, I've developed an argument against all forms of atheism. I am interested in discussing it here (or privately) to find any holes. I'm only interested in purely rational discussion with extremely intelligent people. Those who must support their arguments with logical fallacies do not have arguments worth defending.

To see my argument you can Google "The No God Delusion: Deconstructing The Atheist Myth" to read the article that outlines it.

You want our help and can't even link the article here?

to be fair, newly registered members aren't allowed to come in and post links.

whoever approved the thread may have deleted it/removed it or told the OP to take it out.

“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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21-08-2013, 12:54 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
So often it seems like these theists come in here spouting nonsense like an Amish worker at an electrical power plant.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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21-08-2013, 01:02 PM
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 it common for you to put dirty words into other people's mouths? "Belief", "magical"
A typical troll behaviour is to do this. To misrepresent people and to try to get them to defend strawman positions. Please show that you are not trolling.
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21-08-2013, 03:26 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
"I'm only interested in purely rational discussion with extremely intelligent people.'

Tell you what, dude! Why not start at the bottom! With people like me! I have a high school education and haven't bothered to read the bible! Started it! Bored the shit out of me!

Think about it! You'd kick my ass man! You've studied! Worked hard to craft your ideas! And I've lived such a lazy lifestyle! Wouldn't go to church! Couldn't get through the bible! Put it down after I discovered that god created man twice.

You could save one soul!
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21-08-2013, 03:44 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
(21-08-2013 01:02 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(21-08-2013 07:58 AM)fullerm Wrote:  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 it common for you to put dirty words into other people's mouths? "Belief", "magical"
A typical troll behaviour is to do this. To misrepresent people and to try to get them to defend strawman positions. Please show that you are not trolling.

I know you can put some things in other peoples mouths, but I don't think you can put words there, unless you embedded some kind of small speaker in a tooth or something.

If you have to ask someone to show you that they aren't trolling, be prepared to get trolled for simply asking that.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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21-08-2013, 03:53 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
Ok wait, nvm. Can we get back to the part where you have an argument against not believing bullshit.

Did we ever establish what that was ?
If it's that damn TLDR post, then I know why I missed it

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21-08-2013, 04:11 PM
RE: My argument against atheism
(20-08-2013 04:59 PM)fullerm Wrote:  I'm only interested in purely rational discussion with extremely intelligent people.

Whelp, I guess I better leave. You know, having a speck-sized nerve ganglia and all. So...*slouches over and walks away with shame*

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