Why I'm a Theist
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25-07-2015, 04:42 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(25-07-2015 04:37 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(25-07-2015 04:25 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  The problem in a forum like this atheists masquerade as impartial objective reviewers of fact and qualified to render a fair verdict by pretending they only 'lack belief'. But they always let the cat out of the bag because eventually they start arguing what they really believe that God doesn't exist, that such belief is akin to belief in fairies and magic and so forth and that all phenomena can be explained naturalistically. I think even you would agree once someone starts making a case for their preferred explanation, they're no longer passive skeptics of a claim true?

WHEEEEEEEET! Penalty on the play...

[Image: argument_ergo_decido_zpsmocvtr2r.jpg]

... Fifteen Yards, repeat First Down.

Its a shame RocketSurgeon that an obviously intelligent person such as yourself after making some good points then resorts to pasting pictures...
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25-07-2015, 04:44 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
Court case is different standard of evidence to scientific truth. Court case often facts are not in dispute (e.g. that person X killed person Y) but e.g. motives are important in regard to what laws are applicable and sentencing (murder, self defence etc). But even if facts *are* disputed there are things like suspect has only to prove plausible deniability - that it is possible e.g. that an eye-witness was mistaken as to his identity, or that he may well have been elsewhere at the time of the crime. Because of principle of innocent until proven guilty. A court case does not conclusively mean that e.g. the person who goes free is *not* guilty, or conversely that the person who is convicted *is* guilty. That's why appeals system.

Scientific facts are different. You can only proceed from the known. There's no court, no jury of people who have to be convinced. You make experiments, report results, suggest hypotheses, make theories, but these are subject to modification. All knowledge is questionable *but* you can't just willy nilly make up shit without a reason. It's not reasonable to postulate an invisible magic person without good reason. What experimental results does such a thing *explain*? And by explain I mean, how does it help me with my predictions? And how can I confirm that it's true or false?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-07-2015, 04:46 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(25-07-2015 04:25 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  That's not a problem, that is what is done in a court case or in a debate. Both pleaders lay out facts (that are deemed relevant and probative) then argue (offer opinion and interpretations) from those facts. Its up to the triers of fact to determine who makes the better case. The problem in a forum like this atheists masquerade as impartial objective reviewers of fact and qualified to render a fair verdict by pretending they only 'lack belief'. But they always let the cat out of the bag because eventually they start arguing what they really believe that God doesn't exist, that such belief is akin to belief in fairies and magic and so forth and that all phenomena can be explained naturalistically. I think even you would agree once someone starts making a case for their preferred explanation, they're no longer passive skeptics of a claim true?

Wrong again RuePaul.
All we've asked is that you provide some evidence and define what you mean by a god. You can't/won't define what a god is, and you provide no evidence. Now you're playing the victim card. Dismissing crap explanations and dismissing crap (non-evidence) is not "making a case for a "preferred explanation" you dishonest lying son-of-a-bitch.

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, 04:49 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
Also please justify exactly which part of hypothesize, make experiment, observe result you dispute? What problem do you have with the scientific method? Other than that it doesn't lead to the result that you want? You theists can't convince anyone of any of this shit because your response when asked for evidence is to cry that the game isn't fair. OK. Which bit of the game isn't fair?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-07-2015, 04:50 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
I was not "resorting" to posting pictures. That's what I always do when someone commits a major logical fallacy, here, even one of the atheists on the board.

You committed an "Ergo decido" fallacy. I pointed it out using humor rather than text.

"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, 04:54 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(25-07-2015 04:50 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I was not "resorting" to posting pictures. That's what I always do when someone commits a major logical fallacy, here, even one of the atheists on the board.

You committed an "Ergo decido" fallacy. I pointed it out using humor rather than text.

Yeah but if he didn't pretend that you'd "stooped so low" then he'd have to answer the charge Rolleyes Can't have that.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-07-2015, 05:08 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
Rocket,

Quote:The problem with it was that jackasses kept using the term as a pejorative. So we stopped using it, just to stop having to have the same insult-wars with morons.

Please note the jackasses you speak of didn't come up with the concept of weak atheism or coin the phrase. We can pin that tail on atheists...

Quote:Drewpaul - Yes, if you were able to produce several facts (5 might be enough, depending on the strength of those facts as evidence, the connection you are able to draw between the facts and the conclusions you're promoting, and of course whether other facts countermand the ones you're presenting or otherwise provide a more reasonable explanation than the conclusion you proposed), then I would accept your proposal to the exact degree of confidence I felt the facts supported, and no more.

That would only demonstrate that you are far from being an impartial passive reviewer of facts. If you're aware of other facts countermanding the ones I present it suggests you have more than a casual interest.

With you this is a moot issue I think you have a fairly strong opinion (like most of the atheists in here) that the notion of God is just a silly outdated belief whose time has come. Come on guys and gals come out of the closet, quit hiding behind the 'I just lack belief in the existence of God gambit' man or woman up as the case maybe admit what everyone knows anyway you don't believe God exists, you don't believe the universe was created by a Creator and that everything can or will have a naturalistic explanation. Why do you folks seem so afraid to say that? I know at one time it may have seemed a great debating tactic but it has long lost its usefulness.
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25-07-2015, 05:15 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(25-07-2015 05:08 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  Rocket,

Quote:The problem with it was that jackasses kept using the term as a pejorative. So we stopped using it, just to stop having to have the same insult-wars with morons.

Please note the jackasses you speak of didn't come up with the concept of weak atheism or coin the phrase. We can pin that tail on atheists...

Quote:Drewpaul - Yes, if you were able to produce several facts (5 might be enough, depending on the strength of those facts as evidence, the connection you are able to draw between the facts and the conclusions you're promoting, and of course whether other facts countermand the ones you're presenting or otherwise provide a more reasonable explanation than the conclusion you proposed), then I would accept your proposal to the exact degree of confidence I felt the facts supported, and no more.

That would only demonstrate that you are far from being an impartial passive reviewer of facts. If you're aware of other facts countermanding the ones I present it suggests you have more than a casual interest.

With you this is a moot issue I think you have a fairly strong opinion (like most of the atheists in here) that the notion of God is just a silly outdated belief whose time has come. Come on guys and gals come out of the closet, quit hiding behind the 'I just lack belief in the existence of God gambit' man or woman up as the case maybe admit what everyone knows anyway you don't believe God exists, you don't believe the universe was created by a Creator and that everything can or will have a naturalistic explanation. Why do you folks seem so afraid to say that? I know at one time it may have seemed a great debating tactic but it has long lost its usefulness.

I am convinced in my own mind that Christian God as described in the Bible doesn't exist. But sure, if he does exist all he has to do is show himself *and I will change my mind* (that he exists anyway, fucked if I'll worship a shithead like that). Not send shitty preachers. Preachers as a way of communicating God's will are the single suckiest channel ever, because if God really is up there using them as his puppets, it looks fucking *identical* to them acting out of their own self-interest. For example, *tele-fucking-phones*, a human invention, beat the living shit out of preachers for communication. Your deity can't do better than a fucking tin-can on a string? what kind of useless God is he?

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-07-2015, 05:28 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(25-07-2015 10:53 AM)drewpaul Wrote:  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.

I already responded to that. If you are just going to repeat your claims we won't get very far. The problems you ascribe to "mindless forces" also apply to your creator god so the argument is baseless. It also is a contiuation of you arguing against your strawman version if atheism. If you could prove to me that no natural process that we know of could be responsible for the universe, abiogenesis, sentience, or any other topic it wouldn't begin to be evidence for a supernatural use. You actually have to provide evidence FOR that conclusion, not just eliminate other options. Known processes vs god is not a dichotomy.

Quote: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.

You are taking something that we don't have a naturalistic answer for and saying that god is a reasonable possible answer. That is the classic god of the gaps. You may be dressing it up with elaborate language but you are using god to plug a hole in our knowledge.

Quote: 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?

First, there's that strawman again. I am not claiming to know that mindless forces did it. I have said repeatedly that the best answer is "I don't know". What I do see, however, is that those mindless forces have been shown over and over to explain a great many things that used to require a god so if I had to bet on it I'd suspect they will be shown to be sufficient to explain much more. If that is leaping to a conclusion (even though I am not concluding anything, just wagering), it is a much shorter leap than one to a supernatural cause that has never been demonstrated to exist or shown to be needed. Besides, all that is above and beyond atheism which is solely the position that no god has been shown to exist.

Quote: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.

Which leads us right back to the dishonest special pleading that theists use for their god solution. It suffers all the same potential holes, plus it has NEVER been shown to be the right answer to any problem. I keep saying that I don't pretend to have the answers and you keep ignoring that.

Quote: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.

A naturalistic cause would, by definition, not be magical. The fact that you (or I) do not understand how something could have happened naturally doesn't mean that magic was involved. That said, I have no way to distinguish a supernatural cause from a transcendent cause form a magical cause. If you think there is a difference I look forward to hearing what specifically differentiates between them. As far as I can see, it is just a kind of special pleading.

(25-07-2015 12:28 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  Given all the facts I've cited...

The problem isn't the facts like "the universe exists", the problem is going on to say that the best explanation appears to be a supernatural one when we have nothing to compare that to.

Quote:I'm not sure how hostile the universe is as a whole to life. Some scientists believe the universe is teeming with life, others think we are alone.

The vast majority of space is a near vacuum sprinkled with balls of nuclear fusion, black holes, and inert balls of rock and ice that are too hot or too cold for life as we know it. I consider that being hostile to life.

Quote:But its not up to me to make my case for theism and your counter case for atheism...that's your job.

No, you have claimed that a supernatural god is a reasonable explanation for everything so you have the burden of proof. My position as an atheist is that I don't see evidence that justifies that claim so I will wait until such evidence is presented. Using the common court analogy, the defense attorney CAN attempt to prove his client is innocent but his job is only to show that the prosecutor hasn't made a sufficent case for guilt.

Quote:Its atheists who assume life might take other forms and that is definitely a 'naturalism in the gaps' argument. I'm making no assumptions about other life forms because we know of no other life forms. You should remember the atheist credo if there's no evidence of something it doesn't exist. My assumption didn't cause sentient humans to exist, my assumptions didn't cause the universe to exist with a myriad of conditions obtaining that not only allows and maintains life but appears to have caused it as well.

Atheists are people and have the same curiousities as theists. We may speculate on other forms of life but we don't claim anything about them. The point is that the fine tuning argument tacitly assumes life like we do know it and that is an unwarranted assumption given the rest of the argument. Theists argue "if we change this constant then life can't exist" and all the atheist is saying is prove that our kind of life is the only kind.

The credo "if there's no evidence of something it doesn't exist" is another strawman version of atheism. You'd be closer to the mark to say "if there's no evidence of something it doesn't make sense to claim that it exists". Speculation is fine, belief is not.

Quote:This is the classic atheist bait and switch, ask for evidence of a conclusion but accept nothing less than incontrovertible proof and then complain I haven't offered any evidence. My 'burden' in this case is to offer facts that support my belief. Since most atheists no longer deny God exists why would I need to do more?

There is no bait and switch. You offered facts but your evidence consists of those facts embellished with your opinions of why a supernatural cause is the best explanation. Those opinions simply used your desired conclusion as the supposed evidence and that's not getting us anywhere. You need to do more because not positively denying the possible existence of a god is a far cry from accepting the proposition that one actually exists or even that one is likely. I don't know how to make that any clearer.


(25-07-2015 12:51 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  Fine, is a dictionary a valid source to define a word?

Dictionaries are a good start, but they report usage and are not themselves arbiters. They are also often behind the times.

Quote:Definition of ATHEISM
1
archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
2
a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
b : the doctrine that there is no deity

While I've seen far worse quoted, I'd change 2a to "the lack of belief in any deity". I think they are trying to say something like that but 'disbelief in the existence' is too easy to read as 'belief in the non-existence'. I also wish they'd change to something like "position that the claims for the existence of a deity have not been proven".

You have said that you are a theist and are promoting theism which is often defined as a belief in a personal god. If I held you to that then the deistic god that you seem to be arguing for would be off the mark. Words can have multiple meanings and in any discussion it is most important to be using the same definitions. If you only want to talk with somebody who will make the positive assertion that no god exists then you are wasting your time with most of the people I know at TTA. If you want to try to make a case for theism (or deism) without needing your interlocutor to have a specific stance please do so.

Quote:Irregardless of how you define atheism the upshot is if atheism is true we owe the existence of the universe and life to mindless forces that didn't intend life or the universe to exist. Or do you lack belief in that claim as well? We can compare that to whether the universe and life was caused intentionally by a personal intelligent agent commonly referred to as God.

How many times do I have to say "I don't know". The beginning of the universe is pretty irrelevant to my atheism. If I don't know how it came to be then assuming a supernatural god doesn't actually give me knowledge, it just gives me a reason to stop trying to find out because I can fool myself into thinking I know. If it turns out that we can actually determine that it was a supernatural god then I'll believe. Until I see that evidence I refrain from belief.

Quote:Some theists do for sure. I'm not making any claims about the nature of God, that's for theologians to do.

Sorry, you can't object to proposals of natural causes because they have logistical difficulties and accept a proposal of supernatural causes with all the same difficulties and just hand-wave it away as not your problem. You've added special pleading to the god of the gaps and made a nice little package out of it that you refuse to look into.

Quote:The only known repeatable observable source of life and sentience is life and sentience. Its alleged by atheists that life and sentience arose from non-life and non-sentience.

No, atheists don't claim to know the answers, just that evidence for the god hypothesis is sorely lacking.

Quote:The fact of our existence and the existence of the universe is an extraordinary event it shouldn't be surprising an extraordinary explanation is in order.

The universe is entirely ordinary, as are we. We don't know how it came to be as we see it so we can say nothing about whether the cause is ordinary or extraordinary.

Quote: From our frame of reference a transcendent being would be considered magical just as I mentioned our technology of today would appear magical to folks from 200 years ago. But you don't consider today's technology to be magical correct?

Our technology would "appear" magical to somebody from the past but the key word is "appear". Given time we could explain exactly how it works. Any supernatural activity would remain magical unless it can actually be shown to be an extension of the natural universe that we know but that would make it natural. If it is actually supernatural then it remains magic as far as we can ever tell.

Quote:Again the notion a Creator caused our universe to exist is only supernatural from our frame of reference. I don't reject the notion its natural mechanistic causes all the way down, I see it as the second best explanation.

What I fail to see is why a supernatural explanation is the best explanation when it is one that we have never found to be the cause. I don't find it irrational to think there may be something "outside" our universe (although that terminology is troubling) but whether it is some kind of multiverse, or a god, or some alien running an experiment in a lab is impossible to say. Speculation is fun, and I enjoy science fiction, but thinking it is reasonable to actually believe any of the myriad options is true makes no sense. We simply do not know.

Quote:I'm appealing to facts we do know. Of the 5 facts I cited in favor of theism not one atheist has denied they are facts. If new facts come to life shouldn't that be reason for me to re-evaluate my claim?

As has been said by me and others, the facts aren't so much in dispute as your interpretation of them. To go back to your analogy, you are showing me a body and saying "there was probably a murder" and I'm saying "I see a body, what evidence is there for murder?".

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25-07-2015, 05:59 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(25-07-2015 04:42 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  
(25-07-2015 04:37 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  WHEEEEEEEET! Penalty on the play...

[Image: argument_ergo_decido_zpsmocvtr2r.jpg]

... Fifteen Yards, repeat First Down.

Its a shame RocketSurgeon that an obviously intelligent person such as yourself after making some good points then resorts to pasting pictures...

Those pictures are funny.

I can't see how anyone can have a serious, intelligent discussion about magic men in the sky in the 21st Century anyway.
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