Why I'm a Theist
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26-07-2015, 05:23 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(26-07-2015 05:14 PM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 05:05 PM)pablo Wrote:  I thought you were arguing for the existence of god. Now I'm confused, which seems to be my natural state. Blink

Nope. I'm arguing that there is some (weak) evidence for the existence of God, but that that evidence is outweighed by other evidence to the contrary. Saying that there is no evidence for God's existence is pretty typical coming from atheists, so I can kinda see where the confusion could come from (in my defense, I'm not the only one who thinks like this; Jeffrey Lowder would be a big-name atheist who thinks the same way).

I would say there is a weak argument for the existence of god, but not weak evidence.
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26-07-2015, 06:03 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
RocketSurgeon76

Don't waste my time with the liar game Rocket, if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen. Two can play the lying game. I can call you a liar for saying the following...

Quote:You have yet to present any facts. Let me say it again: You have yet to present any facts. You have repeatedly presented conclusions about facts, but that does not make them into a new set of facts.

That's false and repeating it and putting it on bold doesn't make it true. It also shows your predisposition towards theism. As I wrote earlier...

First I want to debunk one of the most popular myths of atheism. The belief accepted as fact that there is no evidence in favor of theism. This belief is sacrosanct to atheists because if atheists were to admit there is evidence (facts) that comport with theism that would elevate theism to an intellectual belief and most atheists will have none of that. Atheist seek to marginalize theism as a faith proposition only without any basis in fact. Therefore no matter what lines of evidence I present atheists will dispute that any evidence has been submitted. So be it.

This is what atheists do, they poison the well, call the messenger a liar if not worse and most atheists will deny I presented evidence no matter how much I present. If they had evidence, facts and data or models they could use to make their case they would and they wouldn't be lack of belief atheists they'd be disbelief atheists.

Quote:2. You LYING FUCK. No one said science disproves God. No one said that science is trying to do what you claim. It is as dishonest as I can even imagine to state such a strawman argument. What is wrong with you!?

Okay I'm an exaggerating fuck and I over stated...but you have continuously implied as most atheists do that science backs atheism. You appeal to science to justify your position as if science has determined God doesn't exist.
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26-07-2015, 06:14 PM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2015 06:23 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(26-07-2015 06:03 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  RocketSurgeon76

Don't waste my time with the liar game Rocket, if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen. Two can play the lying game. I can call you a liar for saying the following...

Quote:You have yet to present any facts. Let me say it again: You have yet to present any facts. You have repeatedly presented conclusions about facts, but that does not make them into a new set of facts.

That's false and repeating it and putting it on bold doesn't make it true. It also shows your predisposition towards theism. As I wrote earlier...

First I want to debunk one of the most popular myths of atheism. The belief accepted as fact that there is no evidence in favor of theism. This belief is sacrosanct to atheists because if atheists were to admit there is evidence (facts) that comport with theism that would elevate theism to an intellectual belief and most atheists will have none of that. Atheist seek to marginalize theism as a faith proposition only without any basis in fact. Therefore no matter what lines of evidence I present atheists will dispute that any evidence has been submitted. So be it.

This is what atheists do, they poison the well, call the messenger a liar if not worse and most atheists will deny I presented evidence no matter how much I present. If they had evidence, facts and data or models they could use to make their case they would and they wouldn't be lack of belief atheists they'd be disbelief atheists.

Quote:2. You LYING FUCK. No one said science disproves God. No one said that science is trying to do what you claim. It is as dishonest as I can even imagine to state such a strawman argument. What is wrong with you!?

Okay I'm an exaggerating fuck and I over stated...but you have continuously implied as most atheists do that science backs atheism. You appeal to science to justify your position as if science has determined God doesn't exist.

You really are a stupid dumb shit, and a paranoid fool. NO one says "science backs atheism", you idiot. You have poll results to show us for yet another lying claim about what atheists think ? Of course you don't. You posted nothing that supports theism. All you did was post biased interpretations of things you CLAIM support you "opinions".

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-07-2015, 06:16 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(26-07-2015 06:03 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  .....Therefore no matter what lines of evidence I present atheists will dispute that any evidence has been submitted.....


Hello? Sorry, I really must have missed your posting of your evidence. Might you put up a link or some such?

Thank'e. Smile

(26-07-2015 06:03 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  ....... and most atheists will deny I presented evidence no matter how much I present.

I am definitely not denying it... I just can't seem to find it. Sad
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26-07-2015, 06:21 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(26-07-2015 05:23 PM)pablo Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 05:14 PM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  Nope. I'm arguing that there is some (weak) evidence for the existence of God, but that that evidence is outweighed by other evidence to the contrary. Saying that there is no evidence for God's existence is pretty typical coming from atheists, so I can kinda see where the confusion could come from (in my defense, I'm not the only one who thinks like this; Jeffrey Lowder would be a big-name atheist who thinks the same way).

I would say there is a weak argument for the existence of god, but not weak evidence.

Again, it probably boils down to us using different definitions of "evidence." The one I gave earlier was pretty broad, but also pretty standard.

I'm just thinking out loud.
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26-07-2015, 06:26 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(26-07-2015 06:03 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  Two can play the lying game.




#sigh
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26-07-2015, 06:29 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
The first liar doesn't stand a chance.
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26-07-2015, 06:37 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(26-07-2015 06:03 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  First I want to debunk one of the most popular myths of atheism. The belief accepted as fact that there is no evidence in favor of theism. This belief is sacrosanct to atheists because if atheists were to admit there is evidence (facts) that comport with theism that would elevate theism to an intellectual belief and most atheists will have none of that. Atheist seek to marginalize theism as a faith proposition only without any basis in fact. Therefore no matter what lines of evidence I present atheists will dispute that any evidence has been submitted. So be it.

I still haven't seen any facts? No god talked to me, no god answers my friend's prayers, no god saves children or adults for that matter from horrible fates, no god showed himself to me. So, where is he? Does he not give a shit? Is he enjoying watching what goes on in this world?

Nothing is sacrosanct to me. Everything is changing all the time - the world around us and what we know about it. For something to be sacrosanct it would have to be static.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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26-07-2015, 06:54 PM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2015 07:53 PM by drewpaul.)
RE: Why I'm a Theist
Hello Knowthesilence,

Quote:First, I have to say that I agree with you that there actually is evidence for God's existence, at least for certain concepts of God. It actually irks me a bit when I hear other atheists say that there is no evidence for God's existence, which as actually a pretty strong claim (which makes it even more odd coming from people who identify as "weak" or "agnostic" atheists precisely to avoid making strong claims that they don't feel they can support). I think it mostly comes down to them using a different definition of the word "evidence."

I think the word evidence is often conflated with proof. The end goal of evidence is to provide a level of proof whether that level is a scientific level, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, or a mere preponderance as in a civil case. Establishing a scientific level of evidence is the most daunting because it involves testing by other independent bodies. Neither side as yet can establish a scientific level of evidence. I don't believe either side can establish there point of view beyond a reasonable doubt. That leaves us with a mere preponderance more evidence for or against a point of view. Secondly evidence doesn't always tell the truth. There was lots of evidence against convicted people who were ultimately set free. It wasn't unreasonable at one time for people to think the earth was flat, the available evidence suggested it was. One last thing, I don't deny there is evidence (facts) that support atheism. Obviously when all considered I think the evidence in favor of theism outweighs evidence in favor of atheism.

Quote:When I say I'm an atheist, I mean to say that I believe that God doesn't exist. And by God, I'm generally referring to one of two things: the God of classical theism (the "maximally great" being, ie one that is all-knowing, all-powerful, morally perfect, uncreated, etc.), and the specific, named, personal (G)od(s) worshiped in various religions (which may or may not be held as identical to the God of classical theism). Since those are both very specific things, I can bring very specific arguments against them, but obviously the more vague we get, the less effectively I can argue (arguments against the "God of the Bible" don't work against the generic God of classical theism, arguments like the problem of evil or divine hiddenness don't work against a God that isn't considered morally perfect, omnipotent, etc.), so obviously I'm less confident in my belief that there is no God as we move away from specified concepts. This is relevant since you seem to be arguing for something less than a "maximally" great being (I did see one post where you said you were avoiding theology and attempts to figure out exactly what attributes this God of yours has).

Like most atheists I'm skeptical of revealed religions. Unlike atheists I believe we owe our existence and the existence of the universe to a Creator. I do think such a belief has philosophical implications. I believe it gives us (or at least me) a reason to believe humans are special because the universe was created for us. It gives us a basis for believing we're born equal. In the case of the US it gives us reason to believe we are born with certain unalienable rights as listed in the bill of rights. There is no church of theism, theism is a philosophical belief not a religious one though it is shared by many religions.

Quote:I think the main problem that people run into when they propose a God that is not the God of classical theism but that is still the "first cause" is trying to account for why such a thing exists in the first place. With classical theism, you can attempt to tie God's omni-attributes together with some sort of necessary existence in the form of an ontological argument, but without that, you're kind of left grasping for straws if you try to give an account as to why this particular less-than-maximally-great being can be the thing that exists without a cause. Naturalists run into a similar problem when they try to propose some fundamental non-mental thing as the first cause (if they take the first cause route at all), but at this point they're pretty much on the same level as the supernaturalist/theist.

In this argument I'm making, I'm attempting to get away from that sort of reasoning. This is why I like the way lawyers argue in a courtroom. During the evidence phase of a trial they can only submit evidence (facts) which support their theory of what happened. They can't make ontological arguments of first cause arguments or present theories of how something might have happened. If its not a fact it doesn't exist and can't be considered. Before they even get to the evidence phase they have to tell the court what there going to present as fact and a (hopefully) impartial judge rules whats admissible or not. They also have to share with their counter part what they plan to present so they can rebut it if possible.

A lawyer meets with a client and says I have some good news and I have some bad news. The client says give me the bad news first. His attorney says the bad news is they found your blood at the murder crime scene. The client says well whats the good news then? The lawyer responds the good news is your cholesterol is low.

If we applied those rules to debates in here they wouldn't go on for 50 pages. Both sides have the same evidence available. If we could we'd put yellow tape around the whole universe and declare it a crime scene and the only things that can be considered are facts, things known to be true neither side would have as much to go on.

Quote:I think the main problem that people run into when they propose a God that is not the God of classical theism but that is still the "first cause" is trying to account for why such a thing exists in the first place. With classical theism, you can attempt to tie God's omni-attributes together with some sort of necessary existence in the form of an ontological argument, but without that, you're kind of left grasping for straws if you try to give an account as to why this particular less-than-maximally-great being can be the thing that exists without a cause. Naturalists run into a similar problem when they try to propose some fundamental non-mental thing as the first cause (if they take the first cause route at all), but at this point they're pretty much on the same level as the supernaturalist/theist.

I'm not sure what you mean by classical theism but I mean by theism is the dictionary definition of theism.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theism

: belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world

Since that is the definition of theism, atheism is simply not or without such a God just as asexual means reproduction sans sex. Atheists however have redefined atheism to mean a lack of belief in the existence of God not a denial of God's existence which kind of makes the debate about the existence of God a moot point since they don't deny God exists.

Quote:First, every example of something mental we have come across is based in something physical. Even if you hold to some form of dualism, the fact remains that minds and brains are somehow linked, so if you propose that something mental exists completely absent of any sort of physical underpinning, you're talking about something completely outside of our background knowledge, which lowers the prior probability. I'd go a step further and say that a completely unembodied mind is actually incoherent, kind of like saying that fire can exist without any fuel or combustible gases, but I'm not fully prepared to defend that.

If you were to list this as a fact in favor of atheism you'd say.

1. The only sentient beings we know of have physical brains.

You could then argue from that fact that God would have to have a physical brain. In rebuttal I would say I'm making no claim about how a transcendent God exists or thinks. I wouldn't expect there to be any parallel between sentient human beings living in time space to a transcendent being who caused time space to exist.

Quote:Next, if you're insisting the first cause is something mental that existed prior to anything physical, you run into the issue of "from nothing, nothing comes" that theists usually like to foist on atheists. If you accept it as true that something cannot come from nothing (and we're talking about philosophical, absolute nothingness here, not the Lawrence Krauss-style "something that is only colloquially nothing" nothingness), then how can the physical universe have come into existence? Classical theists will usually use this point to argue for omnipotence, saying that the first cause was powerful enough to cause creation ex nihilo, but that doesn't fix it for me. It still seems like a violation of the initial problem, and it merely subverts the issue to say that "something is powerful enough to do the impossible." I came across a comment recently that said that this was like saying that you could throw up a missed lunch with a powerful enough dry heave.

This is purely a philosophical argument the kind of which you couldn't offer in a courtroom, perhaps in closing argument but a lawyer would object that your offering facts not in evidence. I'll rebut anyway. I believe the problems you bring up damn the naturalistic hypothesis more than the 'supernatural' hypothesis. I put supernatural in quotes because I don't believe there is a definition that delineates natural from supernatural. It turns into something like the supernatural is what can't happen unless it turns out it can happen in which case it was natural after all. That just means what ever we observe that happens (no matter what it is) is natural. The God of theism is transcendent, not subject to time and space limitations but the Creator of such. This is not without precedent, scientists are invoking a singularity as a potential cause of the universe even though it can't be explained by laws of physics as we know them. The singularity appears to be transcendent as well.


Quote:Next, I think that mental things are complex, and I think that a first cause would have to be something simple. We're pretty deep into the land of simple intuition here, so if you don't agree with either of those things, there may not be much I can do. If you say that God is simple, I'll point you to Matthew Ferguson's great post on that subject here. But I still think that the first cause would be something simple. Again, that's just what our experience points to: simple things coming together to form complex things. I think it would be a leap to propose that the first thing, the thing that exists without cause or explanation, is the most complex thing in existence.

The following is what I think nothing more. I believe the universe is not any less or more complex than when it started. The complexity (or information content) the universe has exhibited over time is due to the laws of physics, they borrow the complexity already existing and the net result is no gain in over all complexity. Mail me my philosophy degree...

Again it seems your making a theological argument that God would have to be the most complex thing. I stated earlier that if we owe our existence to a scientist from a universe in another dimension theism would be far more correct than atheism. Of course that would only push the envelope back one step as we ask who or what caused that scientist to exist natural forces or another Creator?
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26-07-2015, 06:56 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
I really would like to know the reason for coming onto an atheist forum to declare your theism.

What is the reason? What do you hope to accomplish? Why not pick an audience you share beliefs with?

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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