Prof's View of Atheism
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
27-01-2011, 10:56 AM
RE: Prof's View of Atheism
(27-01-2011 10:48 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  one could still not believe based on the sheer number of atrocities and contradictions in holy books.

Which is interesting - basically there's an emotional reason not to believe. If you find the holy books and the gods represented in them repugnant, you may simply not want to believe such beings exist, and basically choose not to believe. Now, those reasons are not rational, but the reason I say it's interesting is because most theists (at least the ones I know) believe for almost purely emotional reasons. Every sermon I've listened to is full of emotional pleas. Yet, if you were to give a mostly emotional reason not to believe (Yahweh is an evil being, I wouldn't want to believe in a god like that, I'd hope such a being does not exist, etc.) then most Christians would chastise you for "just not liking God" or "being angry at God." And basically write off your reasons as "not their problem" - or the "that's between you and God" routine.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-01-2011, 11:08 AM
RE: Prof's View of Atheism
Sixthglass, while I personally am atheist for more rational reasons, I think it's acceptable to be an atheist for emotional reasons as well. Since no god ever described can overcome the problem of evil, then it becomes impossible to believe in a loving god. If one cannot believe in a god who is not loving, and one cannot reconcile the problem of evil, then one cannot believe in any concept of god due to cognitive dissonance.

Now, if a non-believer was to use the terms you quoted, I think a believer would actually be justified in writing them off as you just showed they might. A better phrasing which maintains the appeal to emotion and avoids that problem might be. "You, Mr theist, believe in a loving and just god, but there is suffering in the world. I do not believe a loving and just god would allow suffering. Therefore I cannot believe in a loving and just god. However, I also cannot believe that there could be any god who was not loving and just. Ergo..."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-01-2011, 11:34 AM
RE: Prof's View of Atheism
Oh I agree, and yes your hypothetical phrasing is much better. Though you still may be falling back to a more rational approach than emotional...

But that doesn't really matter. We are emotional creatures, and to pretend that emotions have no influence on our thinking is, of course, silly. And I find that since theists so often rely on the emotional arguments, using emotional arguments against them often works - or at least has an effect, I should say. Try asking a theist with small children if he/she thinks they deserve to burn in hell for being born as unsaved sinners and watch the short-circuit...

I just find it rather humorous that theists will use emotions and strictly emotional arguments for the existence of god and the reason for their belief, yet if you flip those and use purely emotional reasons for disbelief, you're somehow dismissed. How can one be more valid than the other (from the theist's POV)?

Of course, you just illustrated how the disbelieving view can be more valid, but again, I think the validation comes from using reason and logic as a backing to the emotion.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-01-2011, 01:31 PM
RE: Prof's View of Atheism
(27-01-2011 11:08 AM)gamutman Wrote:  Since no god ever described can overcome the problem of evil, then it becomes impossible to believe in a loving god.

Actually, most gods in mankind's religions have been complete and utter dicks.

Just sayin'.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-01-2011, 01:36 PM
RE: Prof's View of Atheism
(27-01-2011 01:31 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(27-01-2011 11:08 AM)gamutman Wrote:  Since no god ever described can overcome the problem of evil, then it becomes impossible to believe in a loving god.

Actually, most gods in mankind's religions have been complete and utter dicks.

Just sayin'.

True, but an obviously dickish god like Odin or even the Jewish Yahweh does not confront the problem of evil. The problem of evil only arises when you claim that god is all good or all loving.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-01-2011, 03:08 PM
RE: Prof's View of Atheism
(27-01-2011 01:36 PM)gamutman Wrote:  
(27-01-2011 01:31 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(27-01-2011 11:08 AM)gamutman Wrote:  Since no god ever described can overcome the problem of evil, then it becomes impossible to believe in a loving god.

Actually, most gods in mankind's religions have been complete and utter dicks.

Just sayin'.

True, but an obviously dickish god like Odin or even the Jewish Yahweh does not confront the problem of evil. The problem of evil only arises when you claim that god is all good or all loving.
Good word use "claim". I still haven't heard a good christian argument on how their "eternal" god has changed several times. One of the definitional qualities of eternal is normally LACK of change.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-01-2011, 03:56 PM
RE: Prof's View of Atheism
(27-01-2011 03:08 PM)cfhmagnet Wrote:  Good word use "claim". I still haven't heard a good christian argument on how their "eternal" god has changed several times. One of the definitional qualities of eternal is normally LACK of change.

The best part is that they do claim this supposed lack of change! I think it's Elijah or Isaiah which states that "God (Yahweh) is unchanging." I've heard it time and time again from Christian mouths - God doesn't change. *cough* BULLSHIT *cough* It's right there in the damn book!

Ahem, any way, sorry if I derailed the thread here. Your professor obviously has his terms mixed up, or something.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-01-2011, 04:14 PM
RE: Prof's View of Atheism
(27-01-2011 03:56 PM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  
(27-01-2011 03:08 PM)cfhmagnet Wrote:  Good word use "claim". I still haven't heard a good christian argument on how their "eternal" god has changed several times. One of the definitional qualities of eternal is normally LACK of change.

The best part is that they do claim this supposed lack of change! I think it's Elijah or Isaiah which states that "God (Yahweh) is unchanging." I've heard it time and time again from Christian mouths - God doesn't change. *cough* BULLSHIT *cough* It's right there in the damn book!
It's not just in the damn book, as you call it, it's in christian philosophy as far back as St. Augustine, the man known as the father of christian philosophy. It goes back older than christianity even, because many of the greeks used unchanging in their definitions of eternal to describe their varied theories of necessary beings, gods, and even Aristotle's theoretical impersonal god known as "the unmoved mover".
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-01-2011, 12:37 AM
RE: Prof's View of Atheism
I wonder if an unchanging god is a product of the human fear of growing older, losing one's youthful attributes and dying.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: