Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
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29-12-2016, 08:21 PM
RE: Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
(29-12-2016 05:33 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(29-12-2016 09:10 AM)adey67 Wrote:  Drive by theist me thinks, you would have thought by now they would realise that the same old hackneyed arguments don't work, I mean wtf surely they're not that dumb.

I really don't understand drive by theists. Do they think we're all suddenly going to convert with one lousy god-believing post? I don't get it. I wonder if they at least stop and read the replies. Mmmmm, probably not. Drinking Beverage

Maybe they read a few replies and get afraid they'll be deconverted, they don't have the answers, they're overwhelmed that we actually answered their questions and they run off all scared they may have to do some research in to scientific theories. Gasp

Yeah it just feels right, I wish we could've scared Borg away, he's stuck around far too long.

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29-12-2016, 10:05 PM (This post was last modified: 29-12-2016 10:12 PM by Kernel Sohcahtoa.)
RE: Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
Hello, Yadayadayada. First off, I want to welcome you to TTA sir; it is nice to have you with us.

With that said, I appreciate your curiosity; however, I do not conform to the viewpoint that was attributed to the majority of atheists in your post.

Yadayadayada Wrote:Most atheists will claim that the facts show the concept of a God to be so utterly unlikely as to be considered impossible

More specifically, I’m more curious about the following observation: why do some people think that making sense of reality ultimately comes down to science and theism? Is it possible that science and theism are just some of many different, fascinating ways to make sense of reality? Or put another way, perhaps they are just very tiny subsets of all the possible sets of ways to make sense of reality; perhaps we haven’t even uncovered the particular subset to which we belong? Furthermore, why should reality conform to the sense-making processes of the humanistic mindset? Given the complexity, beauty, mystery, and wonder of reality, is it somewhat premature to conclude that it can only be explained via science and theism?

Thank you for your time and attention, sir. I hope you enjoy your experience here. Live long and prosper.

"I'm fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason." Klaatu, from The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
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30-12-2016, 04:37 AM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2016 07:47 AM by adey67.)
RE: Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
(29-12-2016 10:05 PM)Kernel Sohcahtoa Wrote:  Hello, Yadayadayada. First off, I want to welcome you to TTA sir; it is nice to have you with us.

With that said, I appreciate your curiosity; however, I do not conform to the viewpoint that was attributed to the majority of atheists in your post.

Yadayadayada Wrote:Most atheists will claim that the facts show the concept of a God to be so utterly unlikely as to be considered impossible

More specifically, I’m more curious about the following observation: why do some people think that making sense of reality ultimately comes down to science and theism? Is it possible that science and theism are just some of many different, fascinating ways to make sense of reality? Or put another way, perhaps they are just very tiny subsets of all the possible sets of ways to make sense of reality; perhaps we haven’t even uncovered the particular subset to which we belong? Furthermore, why should reality conform to the sense-making processes of the humanistic mindset? Given the complexity, beauty, mystery, and wonder of reality, is it somewhat premature to conclude that it can only be explained via science and theism?

Thank you for your time and attention, sir. I hope you enjoy your experience here. Live long and prosper.
No Astrologer ever found a new planet, Astronomers (Science) did.

No Homeopath ever discovered Antibiotics, Alexander Fleming did, (biologist, pharmacologist and botanist all Science)

No psychic has ever solved a single crime but Forensic pathologists have (Science)
No Reiki Master/Naturpath/Alt Med Practitioner has ever cured a single disease but Edward Jenner a physician (Science) has, known as "the father of immunology", his work has "saved more lives than the work of any other human in the entire history of the human race."

The point is that there is a reason why it is scientists that find these things, develop them and then use them to further the human race. Because they have the scientific method.

No man who went on an acid trip in Ibiza, who then claimed to receive messages from Aliens/Angels etc has ever detected DNA, or decoded the human genome, but after being started in 1990 just 13 years later the Human Genome Project did just that, opening up the world of medicine and science to a whole new way to understand the human body, evolution, medicine and so on. This was done by scientists working together around the world!

I can go on and on and on. All of these great discoveries were made by scientists who dedicated their lives to what they were researching, first a hypothesis is developed, then a working theory is put into place.

I couldn't become an Astrophysicist tomorrow, but I could become an Astrologer.
I couldn't become a Heart/Brain Surgeon tomorrow, but I could become a Reiki Healer, Spiritual Healer faith healer.
I couldn't become a Pharmacist tomorrow, but I could become a Homeopath
I couldn't become a Dietitian tomorrow, but I could become a Nutritionist
I couldn't become a Forensic Anthropologist tomorrow, but I could become a psychic
I couldn't become a Grief Councillor tomorrow, but I could become a medium.

Notice the difference between all of those things, one requires genuine training, a true understanding of what you are doing, years and years of serious credible study. The others require nothing at all and this includes theism

So yes there are things in this world that we don't know, and that's the great thing about science, it has no problem with saying "we don't know"

When someone comes along and says an ancient collection of books holds the key to life the universe and everything Science says, ok please show us your theory and the science behind your claim. No science is put forward, they just say you have to believe and have faith.

That is why I trust in science, because it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Edit: I forgot to give credits regarding this post, significant portions are the work of Jon Donnis host of the website bad psychics, I adapted and added to the post to make it more relevant to TTA.
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30-12-2016, 05:06 AM
RE: Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
Here we go with the eye thing... Rolleyes

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30-12-2016, 07:48 AM
RE: Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
(29-12-2016 09:10 AM)adey67 Wrote:  Drive by theist me thinks, you would have thought by now they would realise that the same old hackneyed arguments don't work, I mean wtf surely they're not that dumb.

Oh yes they are! After all, they believe in supernatural gods, 600-year-old humans, global flooding, talking animals, and a planet only 6,500 years old LOL.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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30-12-2016, 08:21 AM
RE: Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
(30-12-2016 07:48 AM)SYZ Wrote:  
(29-12-2016 09:10 AM)adey67 Wrote:  Drive by theist me thinks, you would have thought by now they would realise that the same old hackneyed arguments don't work, I mean wtf surely they're not that dumb.

Oh yes they are! After all, they believe in supernatural gods, 600-year-old humans, global flooding, talking animals, and a planet only 6,500 years old LOL.

Good point Big Grin
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30-12-2016, 08:26 AM
RE: Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
(28-12-2016 04:19 PM)Yadayadayada Wrote:  Hello, I am hoping someone can explain the atheist viewpoint to me on the validity and probability of God's existence.

Most atheists will claim that the facts show the concept of a God to be so utterly unlikely as to be considered impossible.

But, this is not what the facts show at all.

The theory of Evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life, nor can it explain the existence of life from the first organic cell onward.

How does natural selection explain the eye, for example? How can atheists claim that complex organs like the eye could have evolved, when everything we know about the eye says that it is useless unless all the components are in place at the same time.

As for reptile-mammal transition evidence, where is it in "evidence"?

What are the actual mechanics that achieve it? Not speculation, actual. Not variation in a genus [which evolutionists cling to as being evolution]. Biological changes where a living entity can be observed to be changing into something different, breaching the barriers of its DNA.

For reptiles to become mammals, that breach must have happened. So, someone please show where reptiles are in a state of doing so today - where that transition is taking place.

The facts show that what is overwhelmingly in evidence is what the Bible itself says, that like begets like, and we all rely on that to occur in all facets of life, from growing/eating fruit and vegetables through to human/animal procreation.

It seems that the evidence supports the concept of God, rather than the atheistic claim that "God probably doesn't exist".

Something I wrote elsewhere that I think applies well here:

I am a fan of clarity, preferably in a concise manner but I suspect that this write-up won’t be particularly so. These three common terms (Possible, Plausible, and Probable) are sometimes used interchangeably and in the context of religious discussions, they are used with intention of arguing for or against a god. This makes it imperative that these terms be used appropriately and clearly, as well as their antonyms (Impossible, Implausible, and Improbable).

I’ll use as an example, William Lane Craig’s premise that “The very possibility of God’s existence implies that God exists.” (I took this quote from this essay here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/popular-a...od-exist). What is meant by possible in this context? He goes on to say “In order to understand this argument, you need to understand what philosophers mean by ‘possible worlds’. A possible world is just a way the world might have been. It is a description of a possible reality. So a possible world is not a planet or a universe or any kind of concrete object, it is a world-description. The actual world is the description that is true. Other possible worlds are descriptions that are not in fact true but which might have been true. To say that something exists in some possible world is to say that there is some consistent description of reality which includes that entity. To say that something exists in every possible world means that no matter which description is true, that entity will be included in the description. For example, unicorns do not in fact exist, but there are some possible worlds in which unicorns exist. On the other hand, many mathematicians think that numbers exist in every possible world.”

But is that what the word “possible” really means? Well, yes and no. Possible is a word that is intended to mean that something may or may not exist (or may or may not have occurred) based on our understanding of how things work. The critical part of this is that there must be some sort of evidence to point to in order to say that something/someone/some event, is possible. WLC even gets close to this in his unicorn example. We know, based on the study of evolution and biology, that Unicorns are not possible beings in our universe because no evidence exists to show their possible existence and evidence does exist to show how the lineage of horses includes no characteristics that would produce the anatomical features of a unicorn. So WLC correctly asserts that unicorns are not possible in this universe, but is it true that they are possible in other universes? No, it isn’t. For a couple of reasons: 1) we don’t have any evidence to show that other universes exist and 2) even if other universes do exist, we don’t know anything about them, we can only hypothesize what they could be like. In short, we don’t know anything about their actual possibilities or the actual possibilities of things existing/occurring within them. I realize that the math associated with quantum mechanics and the multiverse hypothesis assert some interesting things that might be true, but these are not evidence that these things that might be true are realistic or possible. For instance, they may be telling us more about human imagination than external realities.

Okay, so the take home point for the word “possible” is that in order to assert that something is possible to exist or have occurred, you need some piece of evidence that it exists in order to point to it and say it is a possible explanation. An example would be bolide impact killing off the dinosaurs. Is that possible? We find craters on Earth showing that we have been hit by large bolides before, making it entirely possible that a large one could strike the Earth. Secondly, we know what the effects of an impact would be and what the consequences of large amounts of particulate matter are. We can look at the craters and calculate how large the objects were and how much ejecta they produced and calculate the atmospheric effects using observations of similar events (like large volcanic eruptions). So, is it possible that a large bolide impact could have resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs? Yes, because the Earth can and has been hit before and the consequences of a large enough impact would result in widespread “nuclear” winter-like conditions that would generate the ecosystem stress to drive extinctions.

Let’s use an alternative explanation; is it possible that sentient aliens intentionally killed off the dinosaurs? We have no evidence that advanced alien civilizations exist or have visited Earth. So no, it is not possible that aliens killed the dinosaurs.

Why go through all of this? It’s because of the other two words I highlight: Plausible and Probable. Plausibility is intended to say whether or not a possible thing or scenario is or isn’t likely to have existed or occurred. It isn’t a calculation of the odds, it is a qualitative evaluation of what the possible thing/event’s effects would be and whether or not the evidence substantiates it as a likely candidate. So, let’s ask another question of the dinosaur extinction: is it plausible that competition from mammals drove them to extinction? This is a possibility given that 1) mammals were around at the time, 2) competition can drive extinction, and 3) the mammals radiated after the dinosaurs were gone. So we know that this is possible, but does the evidence logically conclude this? No, because this explanation does not sufficiently explain the extinction of marine organisms at the same time, it also does not provide an explanation for the evidence of the bolide impact. Therefore the plausibility of this scenario is considered very low or effectively implausible.

The last term is probability, which is now a calculation of the odds associated with plausible things (events or existence of things). Probability means you actually have a method for calculating the odds of something happening or something having existed. But this can get tricky.

For instance, what is the probability of winning the lottery? Those odds can be calculated based on the frequency at which winners are drawn, how many people play, and how many numbers you have to select in order to win. But once you play, you either win (probability of 1, or 100%, means you win) or you lose (0 or 0%). So calculating the probabilities before hand does not predict what will actually happen, it can’t tell me the truth because it can only tell me what the odds are of a plausible scenario are. So, could we calculate the probability of a unicorn existing? No, because we can’t conclude that one is plausible because we can’t conclude that they are possible.


And this is the big take home point. You can’t accurately or reliably assess the probability of something that can’t be shown to be plausible and you can’t assess the plausibility or probability of something if you can’t demonstrate it is first possible. And in order to show something is possible, you need evidence to corroborate its existence in some way. You need to show that it occurs in nature. You need to show that it is present in some way in the universe.




So, when people assert the probability of a god existing, they are starting off with the assumption that a god is possible, but that is not a corroborated claim. That makes any attempt at calculating the odds or the plausibility, pointless and useless.

This is also why Intelligent Design/Creationism are not taken seriously outside of religion. It is because the possibility of an intelligent designer has never been shown. That makes all of the “evidence” of intelligent design moot because it cannot be shown to logically connect to the intelligent designer because no evidence of an intelligent designer exists. This results in circular arguments where the “evidence” of intelligent design is then used as evidence of the designer, but that can’t be logically concluded because you can’t conclude it is evidence of intelligent design without showing that the intelligent designer is real.

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30-12-2016, 08:36 AM
RE: Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
(30-12-2016 05:06 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Here we go with the eye thing...

It's a funny thing ain't it? Theist invariably raise the (erroneous) fact that the human eye is (allegedly) evidence of irreducible complexity—and hence intelligent design.

People opposed to the evolutionary processes are understandably fond of quoting this passage from Darwin's On the Origin of Species:

"To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree."

They conveniently ignore the later part where Darwin says that he has no problem believing that such a structure could have evolved:

"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case."



[Image: Stages_in_the_evolution_of_the_eye.png?w=407]

Evolution of the Eye

As has been addressed numerous times (understood by all atheists, and refuted by all theists/IDers) this design has major faults.

"Of all of our features, none is more often cited by creationists in their attempts to refute natural selection than the human eye. In their opinion, so complex and perfect an organ could only have been created by design. Yet while it's true that our eyes serve us well, we would see even better if they weren't flawed by some bad design.

Like other cells in our bodies, the retina's photoreceptor cells are linked to a network of blood vessels and nerves. However, the vessels and nerves aren't located behind the photo-receptors, where any sensible engineer would have placed them, but out in front of them, where they screen some of the incoming light.

A camera designer who committed such a blunder would be fired immediately. By contrast, the eyes of the lowly squid, with the nerves artfully hidden behind the photoreceptors, are an example of design perfection. If the Creator had indeed lavished his best design on the creature he shaped in his own image, creationists would surely have to conclude that God is really a squid
".

—Jared M Diamond, "Voyage of the Overloaded Ark", Discover magazine.

Tongue

(Apologies if this has already been addressed here—which I'm sure it has.)

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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30-12-2016, 08:56 AM
RE: Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
(28-12-2016 07:12 PM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  Reading OP made me feel dumb.

That is why I only skim these posts, looking from an angle. I still get a sensation similar to the morning after a big binge. Many dead and dying cells crying out.
I should try some polarized lenses.
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30-12-2016, 09:00 AM
RE: Why do atheists claim that the concept of God is so unlikely
(30-12-2016 08:36 AM)SYZ Wrote:  
(30-12-2016 05:06 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Here we go with the eye thing...

It's a funny thing ain't it? Theist invariably raise the (erroneous) fact that the human eye is (allegedly) evidence of irreducible complexity—and hence intelligent design.

People opposed to the evolutionary processes are understandably fond of quoting this passage from Darwin's On the Origin of Species:

"To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree."

They conveniently ignore the later part where Darwin says that he has no problem believing that such a structure could have evolved:

"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case."



[Image: Stages_in_the_evolution_of_the_eye.png?w=407]

Evolution of the Eye

As has been addressed numerous times (understood by all atheists, and refuted by all theists/IDers) this design has major faults.

"Of all of our features, none is more often cited by creationists in their attempts to refute natural selection than the human eye. In their opinion, so complex and perfect an organ could only have been created by design. Yet while it's true that our eyes serve us well, we would see even better if they weren't flawed by some bad design.

Like other cells in our bodies, the retina's photoreceptor cells are linked to a network of blood vessels and nerves. However, the vessels and nerves aren't located behind the photo-receptors, where any sensible engineer would have placed them, but out in front of them, where they screen some of the incoming light.

A camera designer who committed such a blunder would be fired immediately. By contrast, the eyes of the lowly squid, with the nerves artfully hidden behind the photoreceptors, are an example of design perfection. If the Creator had indeed lavished his best design on the creature he shaped in his own image, creationists would surely have to conclude that God is really a squid
".

—Jared M Diamond, "Voyage of the Overloaded Ark", Discover magazine.

Tongue

(Apologies if this has already been addressed here—which I'm sure it has.)
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I cannot think of a trait that would not move forward, be selected for positively at every possible chance more than the one of sight.
I counter the thought of irreducible complexity with the thought of absolute survival improvement.
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