Refute this former atheist...
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01-09-2011, 11:04 AM
 
Refute this former atheist...
So I've been debating a bunch of creationists, when one of them posted this link: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html

It's not too long, so hopefully a detailed refutation of this article won't be a problem for the smart people here. Thanks in advance! Big Grin
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01-09-2011, 11:20 AM
RE: Refute this former atheist...
I don't know why you want someone else to do your work for you but hey...?

So my first problem arises with this statement: "But first consider this. If a person opposes even the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence can be rationalized or explained away. It is like if someone refuses to believe that people have walked on the moon, then no amount of information is going to change their thinking. Photographs of astronauts walking on the moon, interviews with the astronauts, moon rocks...all the evidence would be worthless, because the person has already concluded that people cannot go to the moon."

Reason being is it is the exact thing it is complaining about. Because this person states this in the beginning he is using it to prevent any kind of facts questioning. He is saying that if I for instance were to disagree with his argument it is wholly because I am choosing to be willfully ignorant, which might I add is how faith works. I also wish to add that this is not the reason I disagree with virtually everything said on the linked page. I disagree because there is not a single fact presented. Not one. It is the argument of "well shit is complicated and instead of asking how or why I'll just say god did it." I can comfortably copy the last sentence of the quote and use it on the writer.

Another issue I have with this person is the claim of previous atheistic tendencies. I call bullshit. If this person were in fact n aware atheist they would not fall prey so easily to the circular logic presented throughout the page. The whole concept behind atheism is the lack of belief in a deity and the skeptic way of thinking. I would say this person was in fact an atheist at some point it their life, as we all were from birth, but certainly not a conscious one I.E. one who chooses the title after seeing the evidence. I think it is juts used to make any body hanging on the fence feel more at ease and comfortable, the same way that slime Kirk Cameron uses it. I hate that guy.

Yeah so, I can't actually refute this person, as there were no facts presented whatsoever. No argument was actually made. It was just a bunch of typical the eye is too complex because I don't understand how evolution works gibber jabber.

Oh and so you don't think the quoted text applies to me in reality let me explain that I do not consider myself to be an outright atheist, I am a little teapot short and stout. I just doubt god, I don't deny it.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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01-09-2011, 11:32 AM
RE: Refute this former atheist...
" If a person opposes even the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence can be rationalized or explained away."
The author is already admitting that whatever they are about to talk about is subjective and the analogy with the moon landing is laughably erroneous. Chemically the rocks on the moon are different from those on Earth and telescopes on Earth are strong enough to view other lines of evidence that we have been to the moon, so the evidence points undeniably to the fact that we have been there. Conspiracy theorists may say otherwise but they are the ones lacking evidence.

"1. Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today."
How does one jump to that conclusion from an observation that something is complex? Granitic rocks are a complex collection of minerals that have a complex arrangement but they were formed via natural processes and were most definitely not designed.

"If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury."
Mercury most likely had an early atmosphere but it no longer exists because of its distance to the sun and solar winds, not its size.

"The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents."
Currents generated in the oceans via temperature differences (aka the Atlantic Conveyor Belt) keep the oceans from stagnating. And stagnation of the global oceans is a potential cause for mass extinction in the Earth's past, so it has happened before and could happen again.

"Water...colorless, odorless and without taste, and yet no living thing can survive without it."
Colorless? No. Why are the oceans blue then? And lakes? And the sky? Water reflects blue wavelengths of light so it is not colorless (in large quantities). Water being churned up by turbulent rivers or rain also creates a distinctive smell. This is mostly ozone that we smell but once again there is an associated smell with natural bodies of water. And taste is certainly a characteristic of natural water. The taste is the result of minerals dissolved in the water.

It has been proposed as well that ammonia could serve the same purpose as water for organisms that evolved with it readily available instead of water.

The brain. But only the human brain. The fact that other simple organisms are able to reproduce, survive and thrive with little to no brain is not important...apparently.

"Yet evolution alone does not fully explain the initial source of the eye or the brain -- the start of living organisms from nonliving matter."
They have obviously never read anything explaining the eye in evolutionary terms. Photosensitive cells leads to a simple light processing system that becomes capable of distinguish shape, and eventually color. Location on the head can create 3D images in some organisms. And the persistent example of the imperfections of the human eye and how the squid's eye is much better.

"2. Does God exist? The universe had a start - what caused it?" and "The universe has not always existed. It had a start...what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter."
The fact that everything has a beginning does not mean that there has to be a God. The fact that scientists cannot explain what caused it does not mean God. Can creationists explain how God existed before the beginning of all matter, energy and time? No? Then by the authors reasoning we can justify that God must not exist.

"3. Does God exist? The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?"
We are getting silly now. I would love to see a creationist explain and prove how the universe would behave with and without a god.

"Natural, biological causes are completely lacking as an explanation when programmed information is involved. You cannot find instruction, precise information like this, without someone intentionally constructing it."
DNA is not perfect. Large portions of human DNA is the result of inclusions of virus DNA. What part of the DNA is considered "information?" The fact that DNA shows how closely related we all are and how far apart we all are is apparently considered irrelevant. And when DNA is replicated there are very common errors that occur. These errors and imperfections are the result of a perfect being? Or a natural process that these actually act as an advantage for evolution.

"5. Does God exist? We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him."
Wait? What? How the hell do you prove this?

"6. Does God exist? Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us."
Once again, what? There are a lot of other stories that involve gods so why is this one the best? What characteristics make it superior to the other stories and how is it the most clear? That is pure opinion.

General useless ramble.

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01-09-2011, 03:18 PM
RE: Refute this former atheist...
^ yeah, I don't have much to add, I feel like you got most of the stupidity nailed down, but I will add this vid on more eye stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP3AY0iHEUA

"Ford! There's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out."
~Arthur Dent, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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01-09-2011, 05:24 PM
RE: Refute this former atheist...
1. Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.

The earth.
Argument from ignorance.

Water
Argument from ignorance??? It's almost like he is trying to imply that it is divine because it has no odor, color, or taste.

The human brain

The Eye


Both, again arguments from ignorance.

2.Does God exist? The universe had a start - what caused it?
3.Does God exist? The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?
4. Does God exist? The DNA code informs, programs a cell's behavior.

All yet again arguments from ignorance. I stopped reading.

I will not waste time explaining how these work or linking references to them. It is not my way of debating. The person who wrote this has said pretty much "I don't know how this works, so my god, the christian god, did it."

Link me his next paper if he explains how his god did it, and evidence for it, and the reason his is a theist and not a deist. All that he has stated is merely in favor of deism, not theism.

tl;dr arguments of ignorance, attempts to argue in favor of deism but is a theist, waste of time.

"We Humans are capable of greatness." -Carl Sagan
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01-09-2011, 05:35 PM (This post was last modified: 01-09-2011 05:40 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Refute this former atheist...
Junk like that doesn't deserve to be refuted. If you get into a nit-picking contest, they've already won, simply by wasting your time. You will never convince them of anything, because they have no ears.
You know where your information comes from, so have a pretty good idea of its reliability.
You never have to flip quickly past certain parts of the biology text, or blame translation, or re-interpret, in order for it to come out right.

They ignore most of those sources and garble the little bits of information they've picked out to use as examples.
I used to get missionaries at my door sometimes, and every one of them had a bible with verses underlined. That's all they knew, the underlined bits - and skipped over all the other verses that say the opposite, or other things that are embarrassing.

Paraphrasing Sherlock Holmes: When you have eliminated the improbable, whatever is left might be worth considering.
Don't start with Can God exist? Start with: Is this book an acceptable authority on anything?

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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05-09-2011, 08:57 PM
RE: Refute this former atheist...
One of the reasons describes the coding of DNA. But it is now possible to code our own DNA from SCRATCH, meaning we have the tools necessary to produce the materials, then form our own DNA (Not Human DNA yet, but DNA). So does that make us a semi-god?
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06-09-2011, 07:13 AM
RE: Refute this former atheist...
I prefer to think of myself as a Demi-God.

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08-09-2011, 07:32 PM
RE: Refute this former atheist...
I'd find it very difficult to converse with someone who makes so many silly statements! This one for example:

"None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. Surprisingly, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others."

Well, there have been many nut case prophets who've made statements such as that throughout history and plenty of silly people have followed them. I'd go around telling people I was god if they provided my food, drink and accommodation so I didn't have to have a proper job!

What an easy life! Just persuade the suckers that you can perform miracles and they'll jump through hoops for you.

"To think of what the world has suffered from superstition, from religion, from the worship of beast and stone and god, is
almost enough to make one insane."

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08-09-2011, 07:42 PM
RE: Refute this former atheist...
I have been an atheist now for about 25 years and am continually amazed that I haven't heard a new argument in more than 20 of them.

Arguments from ignorance and the old CS Lewis lunatic, liar, lord argument are the best she could come up with? Wow!

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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