Why should a deity exist?
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19-01-2017, 04:21 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(19-01-2017 11:51 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  When observing what appears to be the equivalent of mount Rushmore on another planet, you see pareidolia. When another sees a swimming pool, you see a large puddle. Where someone perceives a moral direction, moral obligations and duties, a purpose he is to pursue, you see tics and quirks. Where someone sees meaningful order, you see meaningless noise. When someone hears a song, you hear sound and fury signifying nothing.
You are mischaracterizing me as some sort of nihilist. Songs have meaning to me personally, and I possess a moral compass that others tell me is excellent. There is a big difference between not seeing inherent, given and/or bestowed meaning and purpose, and having / seeing NO meaning or purpose. Meaning and purpose are self-determined based on what the perceiver considers relevant and important. There is a big difference between not seeing morality as inherent, given and/or bestowed and/or backed by some kind of enforcing authority, and not having an effective morality to which one is very much committed.

That I recognize that human perception, intuition and mentation are imperfect is also a long way from saying I regard them as useless or "random noise". They are useful for many purposes, just not all the ones people put them to without sufficient critical / self awareness.

As for Mount Rushmore on this or any other planet, or a found iPhone, your comparison of these things to evolved organisms is no more apropos than the old analogy of making a plane in a junkyard with a tornado. You weren't made by a tornado passing through a meat locker or a morgue, but by natural processes acting under certain conditions. When we find a human or lower animal or plant we know the processes that make them. When we encounter a giant sculpture or a smart phone we know the processes that make them. One does not argue for the other to be made in the same way, or for us to suppose that they are.
(19-01-2017 11:51 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  What I would say, is that when it comes to people such as yourself, your atheism, dictates you perception here, where as for theist such as myself, the perception dictates our theism. I.E because God does not exist, it’s all meaningless noise, puddles, and quirks, rather than because it’s all meaningless noise God does not exist. Where as for theists such as myself, it’s because a meaningful order exists, that God exists.
What dictates one's interpretation of what one perceives is a function of their evidentiary and epistemological standards. Meaning exists only because you assign meaning to it. If you are in the habit of assigning meaning un-skeptically with a low bar for what you require to have a high degree of confidence in your assignment, then you are going to misconstrue where your meaning is coming from and percieve agency in the perceived source.
(19-01-2017 11:51 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  A particular tell, is revealed in the way many atheists tend to dictate their perceptions here, by indicating that we must start with the question of whether God exists, before inferring meaning, or design, or purpose. That the later can’t be done, without the former, which to me suggests the underly psychology here.
If you want to do it bass ackwards that is your choice. Meaning comes from yourself whether you want to admit it or not. Beliefs about god are relevant only to the extent those beliefs are correct. It makes sense to establish that a god exists before you claim to see his handiwork, given how easily we humans are known to engage in confirmation bias.
(19-01-2017 11:51 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I used to imagine that atheists were individuals who believed God did not exist, as some of the older dictionary definitions would define it. But in the actual encounters and interactions, atheists who believe God does not exist, are kind of like unicorns. What you find instead are those who prefer to define their position as a “lack of belief that God does not exist”. Whose basic appeal is to uncertainty, rather than certainty one way or the other.
That is just knowledge vs belief positions. Theists constantly complain that it's arrogant and presumptuous beyond belief to claim to know that god doesn't exist. Yet if we clarify that this is a semantic shortcut and not a literal knowledge claim, then the complaint is that we "aren't real atheists". Since invisible gods are not falsifiable, neither of us can legitimately make a knowledge claim about him. We can only speak to the preponderance of evidence and the probability of his existence. There being no reason to believe in any invisible deity's existence, and significant reason to doubt it, I have a strong disbelief in any deities with a nonzero but vanishingly small possibility that I'm mistaken. The practical result is no different than a firm formal knowledge claim that god doesn't exist; I would conduct myself the same either way.

This is the stance the vast majority of atheists would take, certainly most here, at least if you pressed them in argument. The only ones I've ever met who insist on making a knowledge claim are just exasperated with the lack of nuance in people, the high level of confusion concerning these technical distinctions, and just are throwing up their hands in disgust. "Fuck it, there is no god. That's the simple way to put it". And they have a point. Theists by and large are so married to their "arrogant atheist" stereotype that they either insist we conform to it or, like you, whine that we don't.
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20-01-2017, 12:15 AM (This post was last modified: 21-01-2017 09:13 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(19-01-2017 04:21 PM)mordant Wrote:  You are mischaracterizing ......

Exactly. That's his schtick. He makes generalizations about, and insults atheists. Then when called on his behavior, Self Righteous Church Lady denies it.
He really can't help himself. He thinks this is the way to share the Good News. Facepalm

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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20-01-2017, 07:45 AM (This post was last modified: 20-01-2017 07:49 AM by mordant.)
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(20-01-2017 12:15 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(19-01-2017 04:21 PM)mordant Wrote:  You are mischaracterizing ......

Exactly. That's his schtick. He makes generalizations about, and insults about atheists. Then when called on his behavior, Self Righteous Church Lady denies it. He really can't help himself. He thinks this is the way to share the Good News. Facepalm
There is a lot of intellectual dishonesty going on here. He is coming from a somewhat different set of unsupported assumptions than many theists, but he is just as married to the "arrogant blind atheist" stereotype as more typical Christians, just for somewhat different reasons. Your typical apologist is going to attack a strawman who claims to have been everywhere and everywhen and confidently pronounces the universe devoid of that particular apologist's deity. Tomasia is at least intelligent enough to understand that this is a strawman, but then decries that we are not that "unicorn" strawman, and therefore "not real atheists". I don't know what this is supposed to make us, probably the other atheist stereotype, who "secretly" believes because he is "angry" or "rebellious" or is "going through a phase" or "simply misunderstands" and whose addlepated confusion about reality can be cleared up with some patient explanation. ANYTHING but us having NO GOOD REASON to believe and LOTS OF GOOD REASON to withhold belief to something that is not worthy of it.

Either way it would be easier for all of them if we were simply asshats making knowledge claims about something inherently unfalsifiable. But alas and alack ... we are not. In point of fact, it is THEY who tend to make knowledge claims about the unfalsifiable. Tomasia may not be one of those, but most theists I have debated with make a knowledge claim that they CAN and DO know and relate and have give and take in fact, with this invisible friend of theirs. Tomasia seems to simply stake out a belief claim that he deems reasonable based on him making various false equivalencies, notably, history = god's will. Because he see's god's droppings (or as another Christian mystic type on another forum likes to call it, "the spiritual fossil record") he infers god. But we have a perfectly good label for history, and that is "history". There is no reason to adopt the self-ratifying nonsense that because history happened, it reveals the will of an invisible being.
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20-01-2017, 08:00 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(20-01-2017 07:45 AM)mordant Wrote:  There is a lot of intellectual dishonesty going on here. He is coming from a somewhat different set of unsupported assumptions than many theists, but he is just as married to the "arrogant blind atheist" stereotype as more typical Christians, just for somewhat different reasons.

There's quite a bit of basic dishonesty as well. Multiple posters, including myself, have stated clearly that we do not believe in his god. The "lack of belief" angle amounts to a strawman and a deliberate misunderstanding in order to shift the burden of proof.

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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21-01-2017, 09:13 AM (This post was last modified: 21-01-2017 09:24 AM by SYZ.)
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(19-01-2017 12:00 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(19-01-2017 08:11 AM)mordant Wrote:  If a person is naive, gullible or credulous, what DOES that say about the person? [...]

Well according to you since God doesn't exist, every person in history whose ever hoped, trust or had faith in him is gullible, naive, and credulous, every religious abolitionist, folks like Rev. King, Nelson Mandela, Bonhoeffervetc... all naive, credulous and gullible folks, as result of having faith in God.

Nope, that's not what atheists say at all. Of course we acknowledge that people well versed in the sciences and philosophy etc can—and do—have faith that God and/or gods exist. (Although having said that, it needs to be also said that "faith" is defined as belief without evidence.) As per physicist and chemist Michael Faraday, who invented the electric motor, and who said: "And therefore, brethren, we ought to value the privilege of knowing God's truth far beyond anything we can have in this world. The more we see the perfection of God's law fulfilled in Christ, the more we ought to thank God for His unspeakable gift."

We're more talking about people who have little or no true knowledge of the sciences when we use terms like naive or gullible with reference to purely abstract "beliefs" such as religious faith, and who—additionally and importantly—claim that much of science is misguided or misinterpreted or simply in error.

Christian scientists such as Michael Faraday et al in no way regarded science as any of these things. Their conviction of the legitimacy of science was absolute, and existed as such despite the (possible) cognitive dissonance of scientific fact and religious belief.


——I also note Tom that you failed to address my earlier direct question: Can you prove to us that leprechauns do not exist? And if not, then can we make the reasonable proposition that they may in fact actually exist? This is what Christians often propose for their god—and often go further by asking theists to prove that gods do not exist, with the implication that if we cannot prove their non-existence, then they may exist.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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21-01-2017, 09:28 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(19-01-2017 12:00 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Well according to you since God doesn't exist, every person in history whose ever hoped, trust or had faith in hims is gullible, naive, and credulous, every religious abolitionist, folks like Rev. King, Nelson Mandela, Bonhoeffervetc... all naive, credulous and gullible folks, as result of having faith in God, lol.

KUDOS!!!! You've expanded your repertoire!!!

That's the logical fallacy of composition/division. It's a refreshing change from your usual strawman.

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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21-01-2017, 09:40 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(10-01-2017 02:33 PM)Cypher44 Wrote:  So.. after my last posts, and the users on this site making it clear, I'm just repeating stuff. I got a good question from a couple of users on this site.

Why does there need to be an deity??
Good question.
The answer :

He may not exist at all but His apparent existence is a sort of comfort for believers
on points such as suffering, the idea of reward for it, the deity also provides a convenient and easy explanation for those hard to explain things i.e.

"Why do I suffer"
It's God, man he's testing you

Like the above, its human nature to try and find answers even if there aren't any.

So in short, there needs to be a deity because His existence helps the vast majority of people just cope with day to day life (I guess) and some people can't accept that the world may JUST HAVE EXISTED, they need a cause and for them, that cause is God..

Be nice in the comments Wink
One reason would be an object of gratitude. Existence as we know it wouldn't exist without gravity, and its behavior according to the laws of physics that appear to describe it.

It would then follow that the rational mind is a product of gravity. Every evolutionary mechanism, inter-planetary interaction, etc. of the operation of existence, as it currently operates, has lead to existence as we now know it, and of which rational minds are a part.

But to what do we point our gratitude for existence? The "incredible dumb and blind luck", which has resulted in this existence. If so, what else might we be thankful to "incredible dumb and blind luck"? That the order of society seems to be thriving within justice, peace and charity? As opposed to other properties or characteristics? Are we grateful to "incredible dumb and blind luck" for these?

So we then discover that "incredible dumb and blind luck" is too hard to type, so we simply shorten that title to "god".
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21-01-2017, 10:18 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(21-01-2017 09:40 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  
(10-01-2017 02:33 PM)Cypher44 Wrote:  So.. after my last posts, and the users on this site making it clear, I'm just repeating stuff. I got a good question from a couple of users on this site.

Why does there need to be an deity??
Good question.
The answer :

He may not exist at all but His apparent existence is a sort of comfort for believers
on points such as suffering, the idea of reward for it, the deity also provides a convenient and easy explanation for those hard to explain things i.e.

"Why do I suffer"
It's God, man he's testing you

Like the above, its human nature to try and find answers even if there aren't any.

So in short, there needs to be a deity because His existence helps the vast majority of people just cope with day to day life (I guess) and some people can't accept that the world may JUST HAVE EXISTED, they need a cause and for them, that cause is God..

Be nice in the comments Wink
One reason would be an object of gratitude. Existence as we know it wouldn't exist without gravity, and its behavior according to the laws of physics that appear to describe it.

It would then follow that the rational mind is a product of gravity.

That is a gross oversimplification. Gravity is just one factor of many.

Quote:Every evolutionary mechanism, inter-planetary interaction, etc. of the operation of existence, as it currently operates, has lead to existence as we now know it, and of which rational minds are a part.

Yes.

Quote:But to what do we point our gratitude for existence?

That question doesn't actually make any sense. Consider

Quote:The "incredible dumb and blind luck", which has resulted in this existence. If so, what else might we be thankful to "incredible dumb and blind luck"? That the order of society seems to be thriving within justice, peace and charity? As opposed to other properties or characteristics? Are we grateful to "incredible dumb and blind luck" for these?

You just reversed the good sense you appeared to have in the preceding paragraph. You, in fact, contradicted yourself.

Quote:So we then discover that "incredible dumb and blind luck" is too hard to type, so we simply shorten that title to "god".

No, we don't. And we don't use that phrase.

We are a product of the universe as it was and is - there is no luck involved.
To say that there is pre-supposes that we are meant to be, that we are special.
We're not. Get over it.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-01-2017, 01:07 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(21-01-2017 09:40 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  One reason would be an object of gratitude.

I feel gratitude towards people that intentionally do something nice for me. If something random happens I may be glad but I feel no need to have anything specific to thank.

Quote:Existence as we know it wouldn't exist without gravity, and its behavior according to the laws of physics that appear to describe it.

I think you have that backwards as well. Existence is not dependent on gravity, gravity is a property of the universe that we are in.

Quote:It would then follow that the rational mind is a product of gravity.

The evidence we have leads to the conclusion that minds evolved naturally. If gravity was missing or different then things would have evolved differently so, in that sense, it played a part but it is a gigantic stretch to say that minds are a product of gravity.

Quote: Every evolutionary mechanism, inter-planetary interaction, etc. of the operation of existence, as it currently operates, has lead to existence as we now know it, and of which rational minds are a part.

No, existence as we know it has led to those things. You have the cart squarely before the horse.

Quote:But to what do we point our gratitude for existence?

There's no good evidence that there is anything intentionally responsible so there's nothing to thank. I don't understand why you think there must be.

Quote:The "incredible dumb and blind luck", which has resulted in this existence. If so, what else might we be thankful to "incredible dumb and blind luck"?

We can be happy that things happened the way they did but if there is nothing to thank then there is nothing to thank. It's really not more complicated than that.

Quote: That the order of society seems to be thriving within justice, peace and charity?

When and were there is justice, peace, and charity I thank the people that made those things true. I see no reason to believe it was imposed from outside, especially considering that so often there is injustice, war, and selfishness.

Quote: As opposed to other properties or characteristics? Are we grateful to "incredible dumb and blind luck" for these?

No, we are grateful for the people that are wise enough to see what kinds of behavior lead to a better society.

Quote:So we then discover that "incredible dumb and blind luck" is too hard to type, so we simply shorten that title to "god".

Speak for yourself. The word "god" carries a lot of connotations about agency and applying it to things that do not have that is disingenuous.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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21-01-2017, 01:21 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(21-01-2017 09:40 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  One reason would be an object of gratitude. Existence as we know it wouldn't exist without gravity, and its behavior according to the laws of physics that appear to describe it.

It would then follow that the rational mind is a product of gravity. Every evolutionary mechanism, inter-planetary interaction, etc. of the operation of existence, as it currently operates, has lead to existence as we now know it, and of which rational minds are a part.

But to what do we point our gratitude for existence? The "incredible dumb and blind luck", which has resulted in this existence. If so, what else might we be thankful to "incredible dumb and blind luck"? That the order of society seems to be thriving within justice, peace and charity? As opposed to other properties or characteristics? Are we grateful to "incredible dumb and blind luck" for these?

So we then discover that "incredible dumb and blind luck" is too hard to type, so we simply shorten that title to "god".

JHaysPE, are you operating under the assumption that you are required to feel correct in your understanding of the way that the universe came into being? Do you perceive that there would be any consequences if you were to fall below a certain threshold of ontological uncertainty?

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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