Why I'm a Theist
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09-08-2015, 02:11 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(09-08-2015 02:09 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  Those are forms of theism in my opinion, I don't know if there is a single God or not.

Fair enough. But from a practical perspective the difference between "God is everywhere." and "God is nowhere." is purely semantic. Atheism and pantheism are the same for all intents and purpose.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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09-08-2015, 02:22 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(09-08-2015 01:38 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  The theism atheism debate is about two propositions; we owe the existence of the universe and sentient life to natural forces that didn’t intend to cause a universe or life to exist or we owe our existence to a Creator that intentionally caused the universe and life to exist. Either claim is extraordinary

No, the god claim is extraordinary and requires extraordinary evidence. Naturalistic claims are as yet unproven but, given the vast amount of information we have for natural processes, it is not in the same category as the god claim.

Quote:but the existence of the universe and sentient life is an extraordinary event.

I think you may be equivocating on the use of extraordinary.

Quote:I cited 5 facts (also known as evidence) in support of my opinion and I will add a 6th.

Facts that support multiple conjectures aren't evidence for any of them in particular, they just aren't evidence against ant of them either. None of your 5 facts is even unlikely given the idea of natural processes being responsible.

Also, adding a new premise in your closing argument seems to be a bit disingenuous.

Quote:6. The fact that sentient beings (humans) create virtual universes.

As it turns out, we've been over that repeatedly anyway. The fact that intelligence CAN create something doesn't say anything about whether it is REQUIRED.

Quote:As a result atheism becomes nothing more than a criticism of theism while admitting they have no competing model or better explanation of how mindless forces could have accomplished what we observe. It amounts to little more than saying ‘we don’t know how or if the universe came about by natural means but we’re skeptical of any theistic means’. That position is fine when having a debate on an atheist board I don’t think it will lose any atheists but before a group of impartial folks judging the merits of our respective arguments it’s a non-starter.

Only to individuals who aren't willing to be intellectually honest. For somebody who insists that they need to have an answer NOW they can jump at whatever they "feel" makes the most sense but that means nothing. It may give them an excuse to stop asking questions but doesn't actually answer any of the questions.

Quote:No one here has mounted much of a defense of atheism because most here want to define it as a lack of belief.

Perhaps because that's all it is. The common base stance for atheists is that theists have not met the burden of proof for the claim that a god exists. Period.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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09-08-2015, 02:28 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
Free,

Quote:But that will not happen. No one in history has ever been able to demonstrate with evidence that any kind of supernatural god or creator even has any evidence at all to support the smallest possibility that they actually exist.

Obviously I beg to differ. I've offered evidence in favor of my conviction and produced a model that demonstrates the plausibility of theism as an explanation for why a universe with sentient beings exists. Just because it doesn't convince a dyed-in the-wool atheist doesn't mean its not evidence and has no merit. I said in the first post that atheists often do a bait and switch, they ask for evidence of a claim which to them means proof and if I fail to provide irrefutable proof of my claim they will say I failed to provide evidence.

What evidence do you have that mindless forces always existed, or caused themselves to exist and without plan, intent or an engineers degree caused a universe and something unlike itself to exist, life and sentience? Or do you lack belief in that claim also? Are folks born with a lack of belief we owe our existence to naturalistic causes? If so are we born 'a-naturalists'?
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09-08-2015, 03:23 PM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2015 03:29 PM by Free.)
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(09-08-2015 02:28 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  I've offered evidence in favor of my conviction and produced a model that demonstrates the plausibility of theism as an explanation for why a universe with sentient beings exists.

Excuse me? Evidence? You have not produced a shred of evidence.

What you have given us is an untested hypothesis. And even if we were to test the hypothesis, it by no means indicates the existence of any supernatural Creator/God of any kind.

Quote: Just because it doesn't convince a dyed-in the-wool atheist doesn't mean its not evidence and has no merit.

It isn't a question of atheism, but rather a question of credulity. Atheism has nothing to do with the lack of credulity your position holds, and the only way your position can produce credulity is by producing hard evidence to support it.

You have produced no evidence.

Quote:II said in the first post that atheists often do a bait and switch, they ask for evidence of a claim which to them means proof and if I fail to provide irrefutable proof of my claim they will say I failed to provide evidence.

It's not a bait and switch tactic to expect evidence of a positive claim. Using your reasoning here, anyone could claim that anything exists without ever providing any evidence to support it.

Could you imagine what kind of society we would have if people could claim that certain things exist when they actually don't? Could you imagine someone claiming that a murder happened, and points the finger at an innocent man, and he goes to jail when no murder ever actually happened?

Evidence is absolutely required to validate events and existence of things. It is the intellectually honest thing to do, and making claims without evidence is akin to a lie.

That's the difference between we atheists and you theists. We have respect for the truth, whereas you simply do not respect neither the truth, nor the required process to obtain it.

Quote:What evidence do you have that mindless forces always existed, or caused themselves to exist and without plan, intent or an engineers degree caused a universe and something unlike itself to exist, life and sentience? Or do you lack belief in that claim also? Are folks born with a lack of belief we owe our existence to naturalistic causes? If so are we born 'a-naturalists'?

We are not obligated to provide evidence that anything is mindless. We are examining the claim that you made in your OP, and after much discussion, we have reached a verdict that because you have not provided any evidence, and because you are not being honest about it, then neither you nor your hypothesis has any merit whatsoever.

If you are incapable of being intellectually honest, then everything you represent as a theist is doing nothing more than adding fodder to the fire of atheism for the simple fact that your dishonesty is embarrassingly obvious.

And since atheism has nothing to do with your dishonesty, you only have 1 other cause.

Consider

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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09-08-2015, 04:48 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
drewpaul,

Would it be fair to say that you are agnostic about the existence of god, but if you had to guess, you would guess that god does exist? Or do you claim to be certain of god's existence?
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09-08-2015, 05:40 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(09-08-2015 02:28 PM)drewpaul Wrote:  Free,

Quote:But that will not happen. No one in history has ever been able to demonstrate with evidence that any kind of supernatural god or creator even has any evidence at all to support the smallest possibility that they actually exist.

Obviously I beg to differ. I've offered evidence in favor of my conviction and produced a model that demonstrates the plausibility of theism as an explanation for why a universe with sentient beings exists. Just because it doesn't convince a dyed-in the-wool atheist doesn't mean its not evidence and has no merit. I said in the first post that atheists often do a bait and switch, they ask for evidence of a claim which to them means proof and if I fail to provide irrefutable proof of my claim they will say I failed to provide evidence.

What evidence do you have that mindless forces always existed, or caused themselves to exist and without plan, intent or an engineers degree caused a universe and something unlike itself to exist, life and sentience? Or do you lack belief in that claim also? Are folks born with a lack of belief we owe our existence to naturalistic causes? If so are we born 'a-naturalists'?




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09-08-2015, 06:10 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
Great video!

Back in 2007, I wrote a letter to my mother-in-law, after she had sent me a teleological argument book (that is, a universe "fine-tuned" to the parameters that allow life, and therefore created) called The Language of God that was in defense of believing in evolution yet remaining a Christian (and which was excellent in describing why evolution is unquestionably true, before it lapsed into the teleological Big Bang discussion), and Dr.Carroll's replies are almost exactly the arguments I sent back to her for why I didn't convert to Christianity after reading it! Laugh out load

He said it all a lot better than I did, of course, but they're all there.

"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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09-08-2015, 07:51 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
After 60 pages, I'm still waiting for a rational response for why someone is a theist.

All I've heard so far are irrational ramblings

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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09-08-2015, 08:02 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(09-08-2015 06:38 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(08-08-2015 08:42 PM)Chas Wrote:  No, I said the absence of evidence that should be present is evidence of absence.

What evidence should be present? I don't think we have reason to be 100% certain that there is no intention. Don't get me wrong, I think the idea of intention is a pretty wild and crazy idea, and I don't think it is something that should be considered at all until evidence is brought forth. Science is just not in the business of going around and disproving everything that someone claims might be possible. It's not productive, and there's just no need. Any rational person will dismiss things that don't have evidence anyways. We don't need to put forth effort in disproving things that don't have evidence for existence.

Evidence that should be present would be like the unexplained difference in precession of the orbit of Mercury that was evidence of Relativity.

Quote:
(08-08-2015 08:42 PM)Chas Wrote:  One can hypothesize the existence of an unknown species. If there is no evidence of it, then it is not reasonable to believe it exists.

We are in 100% agreement on this.

(08-08-2015 08:42 PM)Chas Wrote:  When there is any reason to suppose that there is intention, I will include it in my working hypothesis. Until then, intention and pixies stay out.

I would hope that your hypothesis doesn't include anything that has no evidence whether it's intention, god, pixies, or whatever, but I think it would be a huge mistake to think that we won't discover more things about the universe that are contradictory to what was previously thought. Scientific discovery has surprised, baffled, and shocked us many times in the past, and I expect this trend to continue. I think it's a good idea to make the distinction between "dismissal" and "claiming impossibility".

I have dismissed nothing except from my working hypotheses. This is the assumption of naturalism on which science is based.
This has not yet steered us wrong.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-08-2015, 08:04 PM
RE: Why I'm a Theist
(09-08-2015 08:33 AM)Free Wrote:  But directly to the point, nothing exists to us until we have discovered it. It is irrelevant whether or not it exists outside of our knowledge.

That seems too strong a statement. It partly depends on what you mean by "outside our knowledge".

We can infer the existence of things by their effects. Does that make them known to us?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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