Why I'm a Theist
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27-07-2015, 02:08 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
Knowthesilence,

Quote:“There are certain facts that must be true for anyone to think God does not exist. For humans to have any reason to think God might not exist, we must have a place that allows us to live. There are in fact several facts and conditions that must be true in order for there to be any reason to think the existence of a natural cause is true. None of those facts needs to be true for theism to be true. Theism doesn't require the existence of a universe to believe theism is true. If the universe didn't exist theism might still be false (a natural cause might exist but not have created the universe) but there would be no evidential reason to raise the non-existence of God.”

Not quite...

Of course its trivially true that in order for human type sentient beings to have this discussion they would have to exist. This argument is a hypothetical if we could somehow have this discussion in lieu of a universe existing, there would be no basis to argue the belief God caused the universe (and subsequently sentient life) to exist sans a universe. Just as there would be no murder trial minus any evidence a murder has occurred. To claim God caused a universe to exist, a universe must exist. Its not necessary for the universe to exist to claim God doesn't exist (assuming we could some how have this conversation minus a universe to live in). Theism if defined as the dictionary defines it couldn't be true minus the existence of the universe.

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


Most atheists swear by the credo there is no evidence in favor of theism. I pointed out if there was no universe then that credo would actually be true.

If you want to redefine atheism as the belief that natural forces minus any plan or intent caused the universe and subsequently life to exist...then you could list the existence of the universe and life as evidence of your claim. This is actually what most atheists believe they just don't want to put themselves on the hook to support such a claim.
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27-07-2015, 02:53 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(27-07-2015 11:42 AM)drewpaul Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 08:48 PM)Dom Wrote:  You do know that a factor in the hostility displayed against you here is that you are not speaking to us, only about us. Right?

"Atheists have...." "they don't deny..." You willy nilly present atheists with descriptions of who they are. The truth is that we are a mixed bag of characters, all ages, genders, cultures, races, locations and whatnot. We don't think alike at all. There is only one small thing we agree on - that we have a lack of belief in the existence of any gods. I suggest you read this thread to begin to understand what atheists have in common and what they don't. http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...sion-story

That said - I see your point there. Having a lack of belief in the existence of any gods does not actually preclude the existence of any gods.

In my long experience atheists are always hostile when there beliefs are challenged...

I have taken a great deal of time responding to specific posts.

I see. Atheists are always hostile when their beliefs are challenged. (What beliefs? No one challenges my beliefs, as I don't really have any, I have some assumptions though.) I must not be an atheist then. I hardly ever get pissed off enough to get hostile at all, and then it has nothing to do with beliefs.

I suppose with "all atheists" you mean some of the atheists you have met online and who are willing to talk to you?

You respond to specific posts. You do not address the people. Why is that? Would meeting some likeable atheists topple your world view?

[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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27-07-2015, 02:59 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(27-07-2015 11:42 AM)drewpaul Wrote:  In my long experience atheists are always hostile when there beliefs are challenged...

I have taken a great deal of time responding to specific posts.

You're a liar.

No one or no group can ever "always" or "never".

Stop using absolutes, you sound foolish.

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27-07-2015, 03:26 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(27-07-2015 02:53 PM)Dom Wrote:  I see. Atheists are always hostile when their beliefs are challenged. (What beliefs? No one challenges my beliefs, as I don't really have any, I have some assumptions though.)

I think your position is perhaps a bit common, but why is it that you prefer seeing yourself as a "person who lacks beliefs"? Many atheists do hold beliefs, in regards to a worldview, like ontological naturalism, physicalism, moral nihilism, etc... To say you lack a belief, seems to suggest that you don't really side with any of these particular positions?

For me it appears as some limbo like state, neither convinced of theism, or the various worldviews often expressed by other atheists.

I'm sure this works for you, but I can't say that I particularly understand why.
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27-07-2015, 03:28 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(27-07-2015 02:08 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  This argument is a hypothetical if we could somehow have this discussion in lieu of a universe existing, there would be no basis to argue the belief God caused the universe (and subsequently sentient life) to exist sans a universe. Just as there would be no murder trial minus any evidence a murder has occurred. To claim God caused a universe to exist, a universe must exist. Its not necessary for the universe to exist to claim God doesn't exist (assuming we could some how have this conversation minus a universe to live in). Theism if defined as the dictionary defines it couldn't be true minus the existence of the universe.

You appear to have made a bit of a shift in your claims. You've gone from murder requiring a body to murder requiring evidence of murder so that's a step forward. You've also shifted from the universe being evidence for a creator god to the universe being needed to claim that a god created it. That's also a step forward, if a small one. I don't agree that without a universe there'd be no reason to posit a god in your hypothetical though.

Do we agree we are looking at these 4 options?
a. universe does exist, creator god exists (but is not obviously apparent to all)
b. universe does exist, came about from unknown natural cause
c. universe doesn't exist, no intelligent agent does either
d. universe doesn't exist, god (some intelligent agent) does
(I think we can ignore a possible e: universe exists, intelligent agent did not create it - just watched the natural processes)

Options a and b both look like the situation we are actually in; we have a universe but whether it was an unknown natural cause or an obscured creator god there is no known direct evidence within the universe. In these cases it might make sense to consider a creator god but unless we can actually find it or rule it out there is no definitive answer.

Option c has no evidence at all for any god (no universe, no agent) so even if we could somehow recognize the situation there'd be no reason to posit a god.

Option d does have evidence for a god; it has the god. A hypothetical observer could potentially have reason to believe in that scenario.

Since we have a universe though, options c and d are purely speculative and don't impact the differentiation between a and b. Option a speculates that a god exists while option b speculates that natural processes account for it all. The question is how to prove one or the other. If that were known we wouldn't be having this discussion and, unfortunately, logic alone can't provide an answer.

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27-07-2015, 03:43 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
2. The fact life exists

Again this might seem like a trivial fact but I don't think anyone disputes life exists. If life didn't exist, we wouldn't be here to debate whether we owe our existence to a Creator, its the fact life exists that raises the question whether we owe our existence to mindless forces that didn't intend to cause life or cause the existence of a universe that allows life in the first place. There is no condition that needs to true for atheism to possibly be true. There are conditions that need to occur in order for us to have a debate about whether a Creator of the universe exists. Two of those conditions are a suitable place for us to live and for life to exist. No one would postulate God doesn't exist therefore I expect a universe with life to exist. The existence of the universe and life are red flags that lead folks to question the narrative that we owe our existence to mindless forces that didn't plan, design or intend either the universe or life, yet inspite of neither the desire, the intent or the plan to create life, without knowledge of how to do it according to the atheist counter claim (that nearly none of them defends) mindless forces stumbled blindly upon the formula to create life and cause a universe that allows life. Moreover if we are to believe the atheist narrative, lifeless mindless forces created something totally unlike itself...life. Yet the only way we have observed life coming about is through life. We have yet to observe life coming from non-life. The theory is that's how it came about but evidently we haven't been able to figure out using intelligence how to cause life that mindless forces are alleged to have produced without trying or knowing how.


Quote:Here again, with some sort of antecedent reason to think that a God exists and what desires/abilities it has, this doesn’t amount to much. Just as “no one would postulate God doesn’t exist, therefore I expect a universe with life to exist,” no one would postulate that an uncaused intelligent being of some kind exists, therefore a physical universe with life exists, unless they already have some reason for thinking that that being wants to create life and has the ability to make it happen.

In light of the fact a universe with the conditions necessary for life is what leads to the postulation, minus those facts (known as evidence to the chagrin of atheists) no one would postulate such if we could some how could have this discussion.

Quote:In some general sense I would grant that simply given the fact that life of some sort makes (some varieties of) theism more likely, but when we look at the specific facts of this universe and the manner in which life exists, a purely naturalistic explanation seems more likely. Everything we know about life is explained in terms of natural forces and causes, not design. Even the bits we don’t know have plausible natural hypotheses that are being tested, and the track record of natural explanations replacing supernatural ones makes it reasonable to infer that the same will happen as we try to discover how life arose from non-life.

This is one of the better atheist arguments. I should say argument in favor of naturalism (which in my opinion is the unstated, undefended claim of atheism). The premise of the argument is:

1. Its a fact natural forces exist
2. As we explore phenomena, particularly phenomena previously attributed to gods or Gods we discover 'naturalistic causes'
3. We have yet to discover a non-naturalistic cause for any phenomena within the universe
The argument from those facts is that its natural causes all the way down.

Feel free to rephrase the premise but I think that's it in a nutshell.

I have two rebuttals against the premise. First the position we have a track record of naturalistic causes assumes the truth of the proposition its natural causes all the way down. If its not in fact natural causes all the way down then the track record doesn't amount to a hill of beans. The premise only means something if in fact its natural causes all the way down. What we mean by natural is phenomena minus any involvement of a sentient being. For us to declare planets are formed by natural causes without the aid of a sentient being, we'd have to know that no sentient being was involved 'all the way down'.

Secondly and I think this is the most damning if the premise were true that things which can be explained naturalistically we're created by non-sentient means then it shouldn't work the same with things known to have been caused or created by sentient beings. We can explain the function of a car, how it works, what makes it move, how it steers, how the engine works in unison, how the pistons go up and down and produce power naturalistically without appealing to a sentient Creator. If the premise was correct we should conclude the car was created by naturalistic forces.

Quote:And I think that what we know of biology and chemistry can help overcome the understandable incredulity as to how mindless processes created something unlike itself. As it turns out, on more basic levels life is very much like non-life. It’s made of the same stuff, but arranged in special ways that, based on the evidence we have, appear to have arisen gradually over long periods of time. We see this kind of thing elsewhere in nature, where simple things mindlessly work together to create more complex things.

Its actually the opposite, the more I know of the universe, the laws of physics and chemistry, the less I'm convinced we owe our existence to mindless forces that never intended themselves to exist, the universe to exist, the laws of physics to exist and certainly not life to exist and even less so sentient life. If knowledge from those science disciplines produced evidence in favor of atheism (or naturalism) folks on this board would be pounding me over the head with such info. I am aware of the theory of how life came from non-life but the fact is using intelligence scientists as yet have been unable to duplicate the conditions in which life is alleged to have arisen. My opponents have cried foul that nature has had millions of years for it to cause life to exist as if mindless forces wanted life to exist and it just took time.

The fact is a myriad of conditions have to obtain before we get to the point abiogensis or evolution could occur if it did occur.

Quote:And really, if the idea of life coming from non-life gives you pause because it’s something we’ve never observed, then the idea of a mind existing without a physical body or the idea of a something purely mental causing something physical to come into existence should be just as troubling, if not more.

It should give atheists pause because one of their reasons for rejecting the existence of God is because we haven't observed God. It is a observable repeatable fact that incredibly complex contrivances can originate from mind. Its assumed by naturalists that could occur from mindless forces without them intending such to happen.
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27-07-2015, 03:49 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(27-07-2015 02:53 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(27-07-2015 11:42 AM)drewpaul Wrote:  In my long experience atheists are always hostile when there beliefs are challenged...

I have taken a great deal of time responding to specific posts.

I see. Atheists are always hostile when their beliefs are challenged. (What beliefs? No one challenges my beliefs, as I don't really have any, I have some assumptions though.) I must not be an atheist then. I hardly ever get pissed off enough to get hostile at all, and then it has nothing to do with beliefs.

I suppose with "all atheists" you mean some of the atheists you have met online and who are willing to talk to you?

You respond to specific posts. You do not address the people. Why is that? Would meeting some likeable atheists topple your world view?

My older brother is an atheist and we have breakfast and discuss things all the time. I did misspeak though. Not all atheists (each and every one of them become hostile) but all atheists boards I have been on (including my own board Called Challenging Atheism) some atheists have become hostile. I was even banned from one board. There have been many atheists I respected even if we disagreed.
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27-07-2015, 03:52 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(27-07-2015 03:43 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  [i]2. The fact life exists

Again this might seem like a trivial fact but I don't think anyone disputes life exists.

Perhaps, but, as per your usual muddle-headed thinking, you never addressed what life is. Life is nothing but chemical reactions. The fact there are chemical reactions leads to nothing. Granted they may be seen to be complex reactions, but pathways by which they could have come about and perpetuated themselves have been proposed and YOU have never addressed what is wrong with ANY of the models.

So "life" is a red herring in this bullshit thread. The real question concerns why atoms interact with each other. An the answer is
obvious.

There is no absolute boundary between life and non-life. Most scientists do not consider viruses as "alive".

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27-07-2015, 03:52 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(27-07-2015 03:26 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-07-2015 02:53 PM)Dom Wrote:  I see. Atheists are always hostile when their beliefs are challenged. (What beliefs? No one challenges my beliefs, as I don't really have any, I have some assumptions though.)

I think your position is perhaps a bit common, but why is it that you prefer seeing yourself as a "person who lacks beliefs"? Many atheists do hold beliefs, in regards to a worldview, like ontological naturalism, physicalism, moral nihilism, etc... To say you lack a belief, seems to suggest that you don't really side with any of these particular positions?

For me it appears as some limbo like state, neither convinced of theism, or the various worldviews often expressed by other atheists.

I'm sure this works for you, but I can't say that I particularly understand why.

I suppose "belief" to me implies some unwavering quality, something intransigent. Perhaps one could have applied the word to me when I was younger, a teen (I knew everything then Smile ), a young adult, even up to middle age perhaps.

Now, that I am older, I think everything is subject to change. I much prefer the word "assume". It leaves room for change. I have certainly changed my views of many things over the years. I may side with one or another view now, that does not mean I won't learn something tomorrow that changes my position.

[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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27-07-2015, 04:04 PM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2015 04:14 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(27-07-2015 03:49 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  
(27-07-2015 02:53 PM)Dom Wrote:  I see. Atheists are always hostile when their beliefs are challenged. (What beliefs? No one challenges my beliefs, as I don't really have any, I have some assumptions though.) I must not be an atheist then. I hardly ever get pissed off enough to get hostile at all, and then it has nothing to do with beliefs.

I suppose with "all atheists" you mean some of the atheists you have met online and who are willing to talk to you?

You respond to specific posts. You do not address the people. Why is that? Would meeting some likeable atheists topple your world view?

My older brother is an atheist and we have breakfast and discuss things all the time. I did misspeak though. Not all atheists (each and every one of them become hostile) but all atheists boards I have been on (including my own board Called Challenging Atheism) some atheists have become hostile. I was even banned from one board. There have been many atheists I respected even if we disagreed.

Don't mistake impatience with stupidity and dishonesty as hostility. Nothing here merits the energy hostility takes. The fact is, this thread BEGAN with the blatant (but very normal) patronizing hostility of the OP in stating "atheists this" and "atheists" that, with no supporting evidence.

Take the plank out of your own eye before you point out the speck in other's eyes.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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