Why I'm a Theist
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25-07-2015, 10:09 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(24-07-2015 12:44 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  It has occurred to me, drewpaul might be confused as to the purpose of this forum section.

Real life debates with theists is place for Atheists to discuss debates they've had in REAL LIFE (meaning face to face) with someone who randomly comes to their door or engage on a street corner or even a believing family member.

This section isn't for theists to come and try to debate atheists online. We have other areas geared for that.

With that in mind, I'm going to move this thread to the more generic Atheism/Theism section.

If drewpaul wishes to engage one on one with someone, we have the Boxing Ring or if he wishes to debate separately a group we have Melee.

Thanks it wasn't my intent to post in the wrong forum...
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25-07-2015, 10:33 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(25-07-2015 10:09 AM)drewpaul Wrote:  
(24-07-2015 12:44 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  It has occurred to me, drewpaul might be confused as to the purpose of this forum section.

Real life debates with theists is place for Atheists to discuss debates they've had in REAL LIFE (meaning face to face) with someone who randomly comes to their door or engage on a street corner or even a believing family member.

This section isn't for theists to come and try to debate atheists online. We have other areas geared for that.

With that in mind, I'm going to move this thread to the more generic Atheism/Theism section.

If drewpaul wishes to engage one on one with someone, we have the Boxing Ring or if he wishes to debate separately a group we have Melee.

Thanks it wasn't my intent to post in the wrong forum...
Just to post wrong information. Drinking Beverage

When valour preys on reason, it eats the sword it fights with.
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25-07-2015, 10:53 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
To Unfogged,

Quote:You didn't use the word magic but you are posting that there is a diety who made it all happen. It is a distinction without a difference.

My opinion of course but the belief we are the intended result of a creator-designer is less magical than mindless forces somehow bootstrapping themselves into existence and subsequently causing life and mind to exist, something totally unlike the source it is alleged to have risen from minus any plan or intent to do so or an engineering degree.

Quote:The case you are making is completely god of the gaps. You admit that we have natural explanations for much of what we see but harp on the fact that we can't say what is at the beginning of the chain of events. I say that if every step we've figured out has a natural solution then it makes sense to continue searching for natural solutions to what we do not yet understand. You point to what we do not yet understand and insert a god. That is classic god of the gaps.

You're mistaken. A classic 'god in the gaps' argument is pointing to something we don't currently have a naturalistic answer for and inserting God into the gaps of that lack of knowledge. The case I am making as I stated from the beginning is a circumstantial case where from the facts I stated an inference is made. Neither side of this argument has direct or irrefutable evidence for our respective claims.

Quote:That isn't what anybody has been saying at all. We frequently state that "I don't know" is the most honest answer. If you have evidence to support a supernatural causation please present it, otherwise your leap to a god is irrational.

We are in the same boat. The only evidence either side has is what we observe in the universe and we both infer from what we observe our respective beliefs. My leap to Goddidit is no more of a leap than your claim mindless forces without plan or intent to do so did it. I know atheists will say well at least we know mindless forces exist. I still haven't figured out how mindless forces did or could cause their own existence...have you?

Quote:Which is what I've been saying about the universe except that the universe, especially at the start, is a much simpler thing than a conscious deity so the options of it having always existed or having been created out of nothing are much less improbable than an intelligent disembodied mind.

Wait a moment...haven't you been criticizing my belief as being magic? Is there any event more magical than something popping into existence uncaused out of nothing? Isn't that exactly what a magician would lead us to believe that he can cause a rabbit to magically appear uncaused out of nothing (although ironically in that case its still allegedly caused by the magician an intelligent being). In this case you want us to believe a rabbit can magically appear without the benefit of a magician. If some form of nature always existed then we are the result of an endless recession of events. If time always existed we'd never get to the time we're now in.

Quote:I moved that out of place because it highlights what I see as a dishonest tactic used by many theists. The argument proposes a god because of all the difficulties and unknowns around creating a universe. The solution, however, suffers from all the same problems and yet theists dismiss it as a mystery or out of scope or whatever. We agree that we do not understand how the universe as we know it came to be. The difference is that I'm not willing to plug in a magical solution that just pushes the questions back a level and then stop thinking about it.

A supernatural cause or transcendent cause of the universe doesn't suffer the same difficulties of proposing a magical naturalistic cause of the universe. This is why a supernatural cause is inferred. And your counter explanation doesn't avoid what appears to us as magic.
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25-07-2015, 11:15 AM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2015 11:27 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(25-07-2015 10:53 AM)drewpaul Wrote:  To Unfogged,

Quote:You didn't use the word magic but you are posting that there is a diety who made it all happen. It is a distinction without a difference.

My opinion of course but the belief we are the intended result of a creator-designer is less magical than mindless forces somehow bootstrapping themselves into existence and subsequently causing life and mind to exist, something totally unlike the source it is alleged to have risen from minus any plan or intent to do so or an engineering degree.

Quote:The case you are making is completely god of the gaps. You admit that we have natural explanations for much of what we see but harp on the fact that we can't say what is at the beginning of the chain of events. I say that if every step we've figured out has a natural solution then it makes sense to continue searching for natural solutions to what we do not yet understand. You point to what we do not yet understand and insert a god. That is classic god of the gaps.

You're mistaken. A classic 'god in the gaps' argument is pointing to something we don't currently have a naturalistic answer for and inserting God into the gaps of that lack of knowledge. The case I am making as I stated from the beginning is a circumstantial case where from the facts I stated an inference is made. Neither side of this argument has direct or irrefutable evidence for our respective claims.

Quote:That isn't what anybody has been saying at all. We frequently state that "I don't know" is the most honest answer. If you have evidence to support a supernatural causation please present it, otherwise your leap to a god is irrational.

We are in the same boat. The only evidence either side has is what we observe in the universe and we both infer from what we observe our respective beliefs. My leap to Goddidit is no more of a leap than your claim mindless forces without plan or intent to do so did it. I know atheists will say well at least we know mindless forces exist. I still haven't figured out how mindless forces did or could cause their own existence...have you?

Quote:Which is what I've been saying about the universe except that the universe, especially at the start, is a much simpler thing than a conscious deity so the options of it having always existed or having been created out of nothing are much less improbable than an intelligent disembodied mind.

Wait a moment...haven't you been criticizing my belief as being magic? Is there any event more magical than something popping into existence uncaused out of nothing? Isn't that exactly what a magician would lead us to believe that he can cause a rabbit to magically appear uncaused out of nothing (although ironically in that case its still allegedly caused by the magician an intelligent being). In this case you want us to believe a rabbit can magically appear without the benefit of a magician. If some form of nature always existed then we are the result of an endless recession of events. If time always existed we'd never get to the time we're now in.

Quote:I moved that out of place because it highlights what I see as a dishonest tactic used by many theists. The argument proposes a god because of all the difficulties and unknowns around creating a universe. The solution, however, suffers from all the same problems and yet theists dismiss it as a mystery or out of scope or whatever. We agree that we do not understand how the universe as we know it came to be. The difference is that I'm not willing to plug in a magical solution that just pushes the questions back a level and then stop thinking about it.

A supernatural cause or transcendent cause of the universe doesn't suffer the same difficulties of proposing a magical naturalistic cause of the universe. This is why a supernatural cause is inferred. And your counter explanation doesn't avoid what appears to us as magic.

Sorry I missed all the fun, rough and busy week. I have 2 lengthy midterms today I have not studied for, 2 papers, and a couple of discussions to post in college today...so I dont have time to read everything up to this point, so I will just respond to last post by OP, and if this has already been beaten to death, my apologies.

"Is there any event more magical than something popping into existence uncaused out of nothing? Isn't that exactly what a magician would lead us to believe that he can cause a rabbit to magically appear uncaused out of nothing (although ironically in that case its still allegedly caused by the magician an intelligent being). In this case you want us to believe a rabbit can magically appear without the benefit of a magician. "

popping into existence....now that would be the story behind theism. Unfortunately, close examination of the world around us suggests otherwise. Lets compare "magic stories"...

What are the odds that "life just happened?"..Well apparently at the minimum at least 1 in 400 +billion....as that is how many planetary objects the hubble telescope can see.....those are pretty good odds, after 400+ billion different mixtures of gases, temperatures, and conditions, one would surmise it isn't a big reach to concede that it would be right for life at least once...what IS a big reach is the made up story of a super genie universe creator who made all of this with a wiggle of his 5th appendage. Sadly there exists not one shred of proof for this super genie, and a pragmatic analysis of the universe as we can see it thus far does not suggest intelligent design...what it does suggest is math.....chance and circumstance....eventually the numbers line up....life.

You see if life *baaam* popped into existence due to the efforts of a "god" then there would be physical evidence of such, like in the fossil record......if we *baaam* popped into existence as the humans we are....we wouldnt have the recessive turned off genes in our DNA that reflect all of the traits that have been shut off through time, we wouldn't have vestigial organs and bone formations that are a huge flag to our evolution from different forms through time. Why aren't we still evolving? We are, it is a slow process....and the engine to change is necessity. Once we figured out agriculture, and were able to craft conditions to keep us safe....weapons, villages, food....our bodies no longer needed to evolve rapidly to survive. But anyway, I am getting off track.

There are a plethora of creation stories....all equally ridiculous...and then one has to ponder....how do we know these stories? Who was there perched on "god's" shoulder writing down the story?...I know.....man, because man created god, all gods, in their own image, and if you apply a little intelligence, understanding of psychology, and logic you can figure out all of the context clues are right there in front of you...

Our planet is 4.5 billion years old...modern humans have been here about 200,000 years, and fossils of our ancestral crawl go back a couple million...which is a grain of sand in comparison to 4.5 billion years. Change takes time, and all evidence points to that.

OR

We can buy into a man made up BS "wouldn't it be cool if.." philosophical musings of a creator....again, all of which are ridiculous, but lets just go with the most popular fairy tale...the anthropocentric theory of the christian god.

SO after creating at least 400+ billion planetary objects until god got at least one juuuuuust right, then he grabbed a handful of dirt and blew into it creating man!.....and yet people purport to believe that nonsense....come now...surely you are more intelligent than that. Not knowing the answers to the big questions of life and everything in the universe doesn't mean we have to make up bullshit theories like god, to fill in the gap where our knowledge gapes. It truly is ok to say...we dont know yet....and it is also ok to philosophize cool ideas about what if.....but when those cool ideas still have ZERO supporting evidence thousands of years later, then we must dismiss it as the hog wash it is and move onto something else.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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25-07-2015, 11:25 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(25-07-2015 10:08 AM)drewpaul Wrote:  
(24-07-2015 12:33 PM)pablo Wrote:  You're kidding right?
Theists do this even when proof has been presented and thoroughly explained to them. Happens all the time.

Proof that atheism is true? I'd like to hear that.

Well since it's not a "thing", but the absence of a thing (theism), that would be impossible, idiot. When you get old enough, and mommy lets you out of the basement to go to school, you may take a Logic course, and learn that a negative cannot be proven.

Theism is the positive claim, which must be supported. The absence of a positive claim needs no support, as if it did, every ridiculous notion ever cooked up, would need to be proven.

I'm still trying to figure out why I'm an atheist.
It has something to do with theism and a lisp.
I'm still trying work that out. Tongue

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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25-07-2015, 11:31 AM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2015 11:37 AM by epronovost.)
RE: Why I'm a Theist
@drewpaul
I have read your arguments and «evidences» about the existence of a creator God and I found it very lacking. There is too much room to doubt to declare it most probably true. I think we should keep doubting the existence of any deity or supernatural phenomenon. Furthermore, since there is no clear boundary to the natural world at the moment, many «supernatural phenomenon» might actually be natural phenomenon still misunderstood. Here are a few questions I would like you to address.

1) What about the multiverse hypothesis? Is possible that there is a multiverse that is eternal, that can create itself thanks to space and time paradox and the application of relatively simple natural laws?

2) How does theism solves the problem of hard solipsism?

3) If there is a creator using magical powers to create the universe, why couldn't a non-sentient ephemeral magical force kick-start the universe?

4) (Linked to the precedent one) how can we determine that one magical means is more probable than another?

5) Why would there be only one creator God?

6) Why would that God still be «alive»?

7) Why is life especially significant in the cosmos?

8) Why is sentient life even more significant than simple life?

9) Is it possible to have a dysfunctional universe?

10) (Linked to the precedent question) how do we determine that the natural laws can be different?

I don't think any theist can answer to all those questions without any reasonable doubt. Thus the theistic hypothesis on the nature of the universe, must be rejected for lack of proofs. Because of that, an Atheist and Agnostic point of view on that subject must be maintained. Considering the problem of hard solipsism, a naturalistic method of analysis of the cosmos must be maintained since it's the only method that has yielded positive result in a rather systematic fashion.
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25-07-2015, 11:39 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
Hello Tonechaser,

Quote:As far as I can tell all of these hypotheses fall within the same category. You are claiming that they all, more logically, point to a designer. These "logical answers" "list of evidences" -- whatever you would like to call them -- are merely assertions brought on by your opinion that complexity implies design just because you want it to be that way. You can smuggle in the statement that it makes the most sense but that boils down to you wanting it to be that way since it makes the most sense to you. There is, of course, no evidence of design beyond what some people perceive there to be. In addition, given that we have evolved with an innate ability to recognize patterns, it is expected that we will find design all around us, but nothing suggests that anything about it was designed in any way. This is one giant argument from incredulity.

It always makes me laugh when atheists play the incredulity card. Here is one dictionaries definition of incredulity.

http://www.yourdictionary.com/incredulity

The definition of incredulity is the state of not believing. An example of incredulity is the mindset of an atheist.


How can you act as if there is something wrong with being incredulous about claims when it is precisely the mindset of the atheist regarding theism?

Do you deny that intelligence is a known repeatable method of creating complexity? The example you cite of complexity arising from non-complexity is our universe and our own existence but that only comes from assuming your thesis is correct.

Quote:One of the previous posters asked a pertinent question: how can you tell if something is designed or not? Given that you are already looking for design, you will find design everywhere. But how can someone who is not looking for design recognize this same design? That is to say, How can we know something was designed or not, without relying on personal opinions or vague assertions? The answer is that we can't. Recognizing design apparently depends on whether or not you want it to be designed.

There are several branches of sciences that seek to distinguish design from what is called naturally occurring events. Archeology for example looks for things believed to have been created by sentient beings long ago and making a distinction between that and 'naturally occurring events'. The group known as SETI looks for noises from the universe caused by sentient beings and distinguishable from back ground random 'noise'. The belief among both groups is that intelligent phenomena can be distinguished from non-intelligently created phenomena. And what they look for is a certain degree of complexity which excludes the possibility of a naturally occurring event. If scientists report that they have received a transmission from outer space that they identify as being from an intelligent source or you going to say wait there just reading design into that transmission and they just want it to be from an intelligent source?

Quote:Furthermore, an argument from design makes the assumption that organisms are perfectly formed by some sort of creator. (Why would it create something imperfect on purpose?) Unfortunately for the argument, and for living creatures, this just isn’t so. Our bodies have many design flaws that no engineer would have allowed.

That's a theological argument. Scientists and engineers have created many things by design that ended up not working as intended...does that mean they didn't design it? I believe we owe our existence to a Creator, I make no claims about whether the Creator is perfect and would thus only create perfect organisms.

Quote:To assume that design is the best explanation is simply not looking at the picture with intellectual honesty. There are other more plausible explanations for the diversity of life i.e. evolution.

Unlike my opponents, I don't say there is no evidence in favor of the atheist view. There are facts from which one can infer our existence and that of the universe was caused by mindless mechanistic forces that never intended to create a universe or sentient beings. Only intellectually disingenuous (a nice euphemism for dishonest) folks can claim there is no evidence in favor of theism...
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25-07-2015, 11:43 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
I still can't get over that this Theist has the balls to say they were banned because atheists censor their opponents. The people on that forum were QUITE clear about the reasons for the banning, after numerous warnings. Again, I recommend everyone go to the link I provided and see the discourse for themselves before engaging Drew in any kind of discussion, so you can see the dishonest tactics he is willing to employ.

While I think anyone who is reasonable and honest and really trying to have a meaningful discussion should be debated freely, and that's indeed one of my favorite pastimes, this individual theist is only here to use smarmy "lawyer-tactics" and ignore everything that shows the argument is illogical or ill-founded, if it would fool a layperson because the counter-rhetoric required to debunk it is too complex. I'm not saying don't engage it, but please, please familiarize yourself with his tactics before engaging.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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25-07-2015, 11:44 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
Hello commonsense,

Quote:How did you determiner it being only one deity? You refer to this god in singular a lot.

I haven't made such a determination just a habit to refer to God in the singular. I'm sure atheists are just as doubtful of gods having caused the universe and life as God.

Quote:What deity have you leaned more to? (If american im guessing the Yahweh.) Or did you create your own? One that carries traits of other gods? One that us discovered threw personal experiences?

I refer to myself as a secular or philosophical theist. I believe we owe our existence to intelligent beings or being...I could infer things from what has been created but that would be theological in nature.
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25-07-2015, 11:58 AM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
@drewpaul

Thank you for the clarification about one vs many gods. Yes we are doubtful of the two because they simply add an extra level of assumption. Can you now reply to the important and juicy questions?
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