My biggest question about atheism
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23-01-2014, 10:34 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
@GuitarNut and RobbyPants, you can't just say "God of the Gaps" and call that a response. And, the argument certainly isn't "Nobody knows, therefore a god". That is definitely a straw man fallacy.

I wrote this response on another thread, maybe it will help explain my issue here, too:

As I understand it, science involves scientific facts (ie. objects fall at a certain speed and acceleration), scientific theories that constitute the widely accepted best explanation based on the scientific facts (ie. the theory of gravity) and hypotheses (theories that do no have sufficient support to be elevated to the stature of scientific theories). In this context, God would be classified as a hypothesis. The hypothesis of a creator God is based on the collection of scientific facts that exist in the universe (the existence of a universe, the evidence of the big bang, our observations of the cosmos, etc). It is a theory that explains the existence of anything at all.

A scientific hypothesis ought to be elevated to a theory if it: 1. explains the facts better than any other theory, 2. is internally consistent, and 3. is not disproven by the finding of inconsistent evidence (feel free to correct me if you think I have missed a consideration here).

I'm sure you will disagree, but I classify God as an explanation that is internally consistent and explains the facts better than any other theory. The only reason why I say it needs to be disproven is because it seems to satisfy #1 and #2, not because of emotion or the passage of time. Alternatively, if a theory is provided that better explains the facts or if you can demonstrate an internal inconsistency with the hypothesis then feel free to attack the God theory/hypothesis in that way.

What I don't understand is why so many atheists treat the God theory/hypothesis any differently than any other scientific theory/hypothesis. My grade 9 science teacher told me at the start of the year that most of what he would teach us is wrong or would eventually be proven to be wrong. Think of all the theories that preceded atomic theory. The important part, he said, was to learn the method. 1000 years from now they may have found better theories to explain what makes up matter or the transfer of energy, and they may have disproven the theories we have now by finding evidence that contradicts our current models. But, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't accept those theories as long as they remain the best theories available.

The cosmological argument is an argument that takes the scientific facts that we know about the universe (however basic those scientific facts may seem, such as the fact that we exist) and uses logic to show a creator God as being an internally consistent explanation for those facts. In fact, it also establishes a creator-God (of some type, not necessarily the Christian God or any other) to be the only internally consistent explanation for the facts. To classify it as an appeal to the unknown is to ignore the actual issue and to reject a hypothesis without actually attacking the logic thereof or any of the premises (or scientific facts) on which it is based.

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As for WLC saying that the specific god of the Christian bible exists, I have only listened to the one lecture from him. Whatever his other work may say, his work on the cosmological argument is sound, and doesn't actually relate to Jesus, dying for sins, etc. Don't ignore good argument because you don't agree with other things he says (see: ad hominem fallacy).
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23-01-2014, 10:44 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
My point was, is that we don't have any evidence that aliens exists. We have zero physical evidence, yet people believe aliens exist. It doesn't matter the complexity of the life.

We based this on the fact that we are here and the universe is indeed big. Its a logical conclusion rooted in an observation. I can't prove or disprove the existence of aliens. There may not be any at all or their may be many, perhaps we are the first of many life forms through the universe. We don't know.

We also do not know the origins of the universe. We don't know if an eternal being did it or if the universe in of itself is eternal. We don't know. Even if "God" came here and performed every miracle you wanted and answered every question it wouldn't be proof that he was "God", because you could just as easily say "I think you're just a powerful alien who is using technology I don't understand."

I observe the complexity cells. I observe life, which in of itself is a contradiction. What desire would "dead" rocks *(or whatever) have to form themselves in to an "organism" which consumes the "Dead" in order to remain "alive" and then wonder about itself and its purpose, believe in God, and study its dead nature to find out about its "life" nature only for said organism to die. Its a completely illogical process. Therefore I assume and believe in an eternal God who has a purpose for the creation.

We can agree or disagree with the existence of Aliens or God but to remove the possibility of God from the equation is illogical.
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23-01-2014, 10:49 AM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2014 11:36 AM by Vosur.)
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  @GuitarNut and RobbyPants, you can't just say "God of the Gaps" and call that a response. And, the argument certainly isn't "Nobody knows, therefore a god". That is definitely a straw man fallacy.

I wrote this response on another thread, maybe it will help explain my issue here, too:

As I understand it, science involves scientific facts (ie. objects fall at a certain speed and acceleration), scientific theories that constitute the widely accepted best explanation based on the scientific facts (ie. the theory of gravity) and hypotheses (theories that do no have sufficient support to be elevated to the stature of scientific theories). In this context, God would be classified as a hypothesis. The hypothesis of a creator God is based on the collection of scientific facts that exist in the universe (the existence of a universe, the evidence of the big bang, our observations of the cosmos, etc). It is a theory that explains the existence of anything at all.

A scientific hypothesis ought to be elevated to a theory if it: 1. explains the facts better than any other theory, 2. is internally consistent, and 3. is not disproven by the finding of inconsistent evidence (feel free to correct me if you think I have missed a consideration here).

I'm sure you will disagree, but I classify God as an explanation that is internally consistent and explains the facts better than any other theory. The only reason why I say it needs to be disproven is because it seems to satisfy #1 and #2, not because of emotion or the passage of time. Alternatively, if a theory is provided that better explains the facts or if you can demonstrate an internal inconsistency with the hypothesis then feel free to attack the God theory/hypothesis in that way.

What I don't understand is why so many atheists treat the God theory/hypothesis any differently than any other scientific theory/hypothesis. My grade 9 science teacher told me at the start of the year that most of what he would teach us is wrong or would eventually be proven to be wrong. Think of all the theories that preceded atomic theory. The important part, he said, was to learn the method. 1000 years from now they may have found better theories to explain what makes up matter or the transfer of energy, and they may have disproven the theories we have now by finding evidence that contradicts our current models. But, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't accept those theories as long as they remain the best theories available.

The cosmological argument is an argument that takes the scientific facts that we know about the universe (however basic those scientific facts may seem, such as the fact that we exist) and uses logic to show a creator God as being an internally consistent explanation for those facts. In fact, it also establishes a creator-God (of some type, not necessarily the Christian God or any other) to be the only internally consistent explanation for the facts. To classify it as an appeal to the unknown is to ignore the actual issue and to reject a hypothesis without actually attacking the logic thereof or any of the premises (or scientific facts) on which it is based.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for WLC saying that the specific god of the Christian bible exists, I have only listened to the one lecture from him. Whatever his other work may say, his work on the cosmological argument is sound, and doesn't actually relate to Jesus, dying for sins, etc. Don't ignore good argument because you don't agree with other things he says (see: ad hominem fallacy).
Edit: All of this has already been addressed by cjlr in said thread.

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23-01-2014, 10:59 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
The argument above and as presented elsewhere in this thread was first offered to me by a drunk outside the bar in the back while we were smoking. If I may his argument was that existence demands a creator, such as lookingforanswers proposes.

Existence is that existence. Acceptance of the fact of existence is the heart of my philosophy. I exist which is in many ways unexplainable, except for the obvious, that my parents fucked.

Trying to explain the fact of humanity and in general life is a fools game. It means nothing in relation to what is the observable universe. The need for some form of the flying spaghetti monster is a human failing. A failing that is often used for evil purpose.
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23-01-2014, 11:02 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
Not to mention, if we took the fundamentalist account of creation and treated it as a hypothesis, the world was created in 7 days, science has already disproved this beyond any shadow of a doubt. This leaves only the deist position, a prime mover who created everything and then leaves the universe to it. This holds no water on the basis that, to explain everything God is inserted because we don't know but the intellectually honest question that immediately follows would be who/what created God? I can't see how the deist or theist position can be considered a scientific hypothesis.

A man blames his bad childhood on leprechauns. He claims they don't exist, but yet still says without a doubt that they stole all his money and then killed his parents. That's why he became Leprechaun-Man

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23-01-2014, 11:02 AM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2014 11:07 AM by Vosur.)
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 10:44 AM)anidominus Wrote:  My point was, is that we don't have any evidence that aliens exists. We have zero physical evidence, yet people believe aliens exist. It doesn't matter the complexity of the life.

We based this on the fact that we are here and the universe is indeed big. Its a logical conclusion rooted in an observation. I can't prove or disprove the existence of aliens. There may not be any at all or their may be many, perhaps we are the first of many life forms through the universe. We don't know.

We also do not know the origins of the universe. We don't know if an eternal being did it or if the universe in of itself is eternal. We don't know. Even if "God" came here and performed every miracle you wanted and answered every question it wouldn't be proof that he was "God", because you could just as easily say "I think you're just a powerful alien who is using technology I don't understand."
Correct.

(23-01-2014 10:44 AM)anidominus Wrote:  I observe the complexity cells. I observe life, which in of itself is a contradiction.
How is that "in of itself" a contradiction?

(23-01-2014 10:44 AM)anidominus Wrote:  What desire would "dead" rocks *(or whatever) have to form themselves in to an "organism" which consumes the "Dead" in order to remain "alive" and then wonder about itself and its purpose, believe in God, and study its dead nature to find out about its "life" nature only for said organism to die. Its a completely illogical process. Therefore I assume and believe in an eternal God who has a purpose for the creation.
This is a textbook example of the argument from ignorance and the argument from personal incredulity.

"I don't know/understand/can't imagine that/how X happened, therefore Y is true."

(23-01-2014 10:44 AM)anidominus Wrote:  We can agree or disagree with the existence of Aliens or God but to remove the possibility of God from the equation is illogical.
It's certainly possible that one or several deities exist; we simply have no good reason to believe that they do.

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23-01-2014, 11:17 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 10:44 AM)anidominus Wrote:  My point was, is that we don't have any evidence that aliens exists. We have zero physical evidence, yet people believe aliens exist. It doesn't matter the complexity of the life.

We based this on the fact that we are here and the universe is indeed big. Its a logical conclusion rooted in an observation. I can't prove or disprove the existence of aliens. There may not be any at all or their may be many, perhaps we are the first of many life forms through the universe. We don't know.

We also do not know the origins of the universe. We don't know if an eternal being did it or if the universe in of itself is eternal. We don't know. Even if "God" came here and performed every miracle you wanted and answered every question it wouldn't be proof that he was "God", because you could just as easily say "I think you're just a powerful alien who is using technology I don't understand."

I observe the complexity cells. I observe life, which in of itself is a contradiction. What desire would "dead" rocks *(or whatever) have to form themselves in to an "organism" which consumes the "Dead" in order to remain "alive" and then wonder about itself and its purpose, believe in God, and study its dead nature to find out about its "life" nature only for said organism to die. Its a completely illogical process. Therefore I assume and believe in an eternal God who has a purpose for the creation.

We can agree or disagree with the existence of Aliens or God but to remove the possibility of God from the equation is illogical.
There is a big difference between "I believe aliens exist" and "it's highly likely aliens exist". I think you're confusing those. The second one can be inferred from evidence and probability - the evidence being us and all the various life forms on this one planet combined with the knowledge that similar conditions exist on many other planets in an extremely vast universe.

But what about god? The ONLY thing people have there is the existence of everything without the ultimate complete explanation for how it all exists. That, however, is not evidence for any god. It's only an unknown. If you can't see that, then consider this. I could posit some unknown phenomenon unlike anything that we currently know about that isn't god, is completely scientific in nature, but brought everything into existence culminating in the big bang. The existence of the universe is as much evidence for that unknown phenomenon (or countless other guesses at an origin) as it is for any god - which is to say, it's no evidence at all.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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23-01-2014, 11:37 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  @GuitarNut and RobbyPants, you can't just say "God of the Gaps" and call that a response. And, the argument certainly isn't "Nobody knows, therefore a god". That is definitely a straw man fallacy.

The argument is absolutely that. Nobody knows the origin of the universe. God is a conclusion from ignorance. There is no evidence for a god. Now, if you want to abstract the word god to simply mean "a force that initiated the existence of the universe", that's fine, but stop using the word god.

(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  As I understand it, science involves scientific facts (ie. objects fall at a certain speed and acceleration), scientific theories that constitute the widely accepted best explanation based on the scientific facts (ie. the theory of gravity) and hypotheses (theories that do no have sufficient support to be elevated to the stature of scientific theories). In this context, God would be classified as a hypothesis. The hypothesis of a creator God is based on the collection of scientific facts that exist in the universe (the existence of a universe, the evidence of the big bang, our observations of the cosmos, etc). It is a theory that explains the existence of anything at all.

Why a god? Why can the universe not simply pop into existence from nothing? Both are equally unbelievable. I don't understand why "We don't know" cannot be accepted as an answer.

(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I'm sure you will disagree, but I classify God as an explanation that is internally consistent and explains the facts better than any other theory. The only reason why I say it needs to be disproven is because it seems to satisfy #1 and #2, not because of emotion or the passage of time. Alternatively, if a theory is provided that better explains the facts or if you can demonstrate an internal inconsistency with the hypothesis then feel free to attack the God theory/hypothesis in that way.

God itself cannot be explained. Explain to me something that has always existed, needs no creator, and is exempt from the science and logic we apply to everything else. Special pleading.

(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  What I don't understand is why so many atheists treat the God theory/hypothesis any differently than any other scientific theory/hypothesis. My grade 9 science teacher told me at the start of the year that most of what he would teach us is wrong or would eventually be proven to be wrong.

Because god is not science. God is an abstract and easy answer to something we know nothing about.

(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  The cosmological argument is an argument that takes the scientific facts that we know about the universe (however basic those scientific facts may seem, such as the fact that we exist) and uses logic to show a creator God as being an internally consistent explanation for those facts. In fact, it also establishes a creator-God (of some type, not necessarily the Christian God or any other) to be the only internally consistent explanation for the facts. To classify it as an appeal to the unknown is to ignore the actual issue and to reject a hypothesis without actually attacking the logic thereof or any of the premises (or scientific facts) on which it is based.

Here are just a few problems with the cosmological argument makes assumptions.

1. It assumes there cannot be multiple first causes. Why only one first cause?
2. It assumes god did not have to have a first cause, but everything else does.
3. It ignores our rather recent scientific observations of particles coming into existence from nothing.

(23-01-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  As for WLC saying that the specific god of the Christian bible exists, I have only listened to the one lecture from him. Whatever his other work may say, his work on the cosmological argument is sound, and doesn't actually relate to Jesus, dying for sins, etc. Don't ignore good argument because you don't agree with other things he says (see: ad hominem fallacy).

You've watched one lecture and from that you have determined his argument is sound. That's kinda lazy, theist or atheist aside. I've seen about six that comment on Jesus, the missing body in the tomb, etc. I've seen him use math to prove the probability of Jesus (it was a complete circus trick), and there are some great arguments against the cosmological argument that he simply ignores in his debate. I'd do a little more research before you form your conclusions.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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23-01-2014, 11:53 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
(23-01-2014 11:17 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(23-01-2014 10:44 AM)anidominus Wrote:  My point was, is that we don't have any evidence that aliens exists. We have zero physical evidence, yet people believe aliens exist. It doesn't matter the complexity of the life.

We based this on the fact that we are here and the universe is indeed big. Its a logical conclusion rooted in an observation. I can't prove or disprove the existence of aliens. There may not be any at all or their may be many, perhaps we are the first of many life forms through the universe. We don't know.

We also do not know the origins of the universe. We don't know if an eternal being did it or if the universe in of itself is eternal. We don't know. Even if "God" came here and performed every miracle you wanted and answered every question it wouldn't be proof that he was "God", because you could just as easily say "I think you're just a powerful alien who is using technology I don't understand."

I observe the complexity cells. I observe life, which in of itself is a contradiction. What desire would "dead" rocks *(or whatever) have to form themselves in to an "organism" which consumes the "Dead" in order to remain "alive" and then wonder about itself and its purpose, believe in God, and study its dead nature to find out about its "life" nature only for said organism to die. Its a completely illogical process. Therefore I assume and believe in an eternal God who has a purpose for the creation.

We can agree or disagree with the existence of Aliens or God but to remove the possibility of God from the equation is illogical.
There is a big difference between "I believe aliens exist" and "it's highly likely aliens exist". I think you're confusing those. The second one can be inferred from evidence and probability - the evidence being us and all the various life forms on this one planet combined with the knowledge that similar conditions exist on many other planets in an extremely vast universe.

But what about god? The ONLY thing people have there is the existence of everything without the ultimate complete explanation for how it all exists. That, however, is not evidence for any god. It's only an unknown. If you can't see that, then consider this. I could posit some unknown phenomenon unlike anything that we currently know about that isn't god, is completely scientific in nature, but brought everything into existence culminating in the big bang. The existence of the universe is as much evidence for that unknown phenomenon (or countless other guesses at an origin) as it is for any god - which is to say, it's no evidence at all.

so, you observe life on this planet and then you create the "probability" out of thin air that life is on other planets based on information you don't have because you have never detected a planet anywhere near like earth. You're assuming based on mathematics and observation, but that is... you have zero evidence or proof.

Which is why I said "I assume.... I believe...." and what I did is look at life here on this planet and look at the complexity of the cell and believe that even in 4.5 billion years (assuming that number true) this amount of complexity could not have occurred from natural selection. There is no evidence that you can create life from none life.
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23-01-2014, 11:58 AM
RE: My biggest question about atheism
If a unicorn pharted the universe then where did the unicorn come from? Either the unicorn is eternal or the unicorn came from somewhere.

Therefore,

Either "A God" of some kind exist and he is eternal, no "God" exists and the universe itself is eternal, or cause and effect happen infinitely. The latter being the most illogical of the three to me.
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