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Atheism discussion


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#221 Jrod_Writer13

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 05:52 AM

As much as I wholeheartedly want this debate to end, I couldn't resist replying.... :)

I agree with what both of you are saying, especially you LIS. I think that there is not realy any proof for evolution or the existance of God. Well, there is evidence from my viewpoint, but for this arguement i will say there is none for fear of being ripped up and down(again). Although I see where you are coming from Octopuppy, I think we are on a different page here, not just in beliefs, but in the understanding of what religion is. Religion is a set of conducts resulted from tenets (or a belief system) about the ultimate power. God doesnt want us Christians being religous, as much as he wants us to simply obey his word and preach the Gospel. So as far as religion goes...well that's about as far as it goes. Religion can also lead to downfall. Religion as stated above is simply a set of conducts, by which some religions worship other/multiple gods. It really is far too ignorant to speak of it as the absence of reason, as you stated above. Who is to say that religion and reason are unrelated? Do you not have to use reason to choose what you believe in? I have used reason(and quite frankly some knowledgable reason) in my decision that evolution is false, ergo God does exist. You are treating reason as if it is some doctrine by which to base on a set of conducts, aka a religion. Reason is not something to believe, but something to use.


"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." -C. S. Lewis

Edited by Jrod_Writer13, 10 December 2008 - 05:54 AM.

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#222 ADParker

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 05:52 AM

(I especially like the Miracle healings where the cured person dies of what they were cured of, don't you? )

(Even if any of that rubbish was real; at best it would be evidence that these people somehow have the power to heal, not that their claim that GodDidIt)


First of all.....back to the quotes you used from the Bible, picking out random quotes that have nothing to do with the topic at hand, is pointless and stupid, especially since you are intending to use them as being derrogatory(spelling?).

"Derogatory" Use a spell check program.

Those quotes were not to or about you. They were on the topic of "Lying for Jesus" (as the concept is colloquially termed, even though it counts for God, Allah, YHWH etc, just as well.) And it was precisely on the topic that we (not you) were discussing at that point. What was so derogatory about it? I mentioned that some people lie for Jesus (they do, seen it myself) and People (like Martin Luther) have even asserted that it is justified - even though in their magic book God himself says it is wicked.

And I just love how after everything I say you use the words....."Rubbish", "Bullocks", "Childish".....Have you not read the quote in my signature? Yet, you still think you are a judge of truth and knowledge.... -_-

Yes I have read your signature, what about it?
I pointed out all that rubbish because that is what it was. Am I a judge of truth and knowledge? No more than everybody else is, and should be. We all have a responsibility in that area. It is a bit like the quote:
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attributed to him, but doubtful.)
The same is true for irrational memes and poor/sloppy reasoning. All one need to do to allow for their spread is to say nothing.

I just happen to have studied a fair bit of Formal Logic, so can spot errors in reasoning pretty well. If you can't back up your assertions, defend your claims against rational criticism; don't moan about it, it adds nothing to the discussion.
If I say something is "bollocks" (and why) then why don't you explain how it isn't, rather than just complaining? That just sounds like the Hurt feelings card.

I have pointed out that, and how, most of your assertions are flawed, you have defended practically none of them, and none of them adequately.

Second, to the quote above, Just because you dont believe that people have been healed doesnt make it false.

Well no it doesn't. Never said it did. Never just said I don't believe it either, I gave a brief explanation that the evidence for any of these claims (which I once again asked for you to provide; you didn't even try) are non-existent.

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.
You made the claims, where is the evidence? (And no; personal testimony does not cut it.)

Just because you don't believe that I have a Dragon in my Garage, doesn't make it false either :P
Still no reason to believe it though, is there?

Remember, back to some of the first posts, by not believing it still makes the object real, you just dont believe in it.

You do realise that that is gibberish don't you?

Also, I have seen more examples of God's presence....Last year I sprained my ankle just before a basketball game. I prayed to God and asked him to heal it....and he did.

Really? Any evidence of that one either? No? No evidence that it really was sprained? I used to be an army medic, so I assure you I will understand the data that I am sure will be forthcoming.

He did? How do you know it was God that healed it? Could have been Satan for all you know, or Santa, or the Easter bunny.Could have been dumb luck. More likely the power of mind over matter; the placebo effect. Yes it even works with imaginary magic men. The mind is an incredibly powerful tool, I know of one fellow medic who administered IM saline (water and 0.9% sodium chloride [salt] injected into the muscle, which does squat) to a patient who was in pain after having the max dose of Morphine, and explained how it was a more powerful drug, and the effects that it would have (all rubbish of course, it was just slightly salty water!) and due to the power of the mind, the placebo effect, it worked!

Did you watch the videos? Does your story sound just like the miraculous cures (none of which worked) Benny Hinn preformed? It does to me.

How do you explain something that hurts so bad you can barely walk one minute, and then pain free the next. Am I just going crazy? Highly doubt it.

Yes the truly insane (met a few of those as well) always "highly doubt it." :rolleyes:
But in your case; I can't really say can I? All I have to go on is your all too brief assertion above. No details at all, not a shred of evidence. Personal experience alone is scientificially and rationally worthless.

Third, I am only 16....so I will admit that I dont have near the knowledge to go into depth with you in this arguement(although I am in ap calculus as a sophomore :P )

Good for you. I am a darn site older, and have two university degrees to my name, one in Science the other in philosophy. Doesn't really mean a thing though.

...But if you dont believe that God is real....and deep down you really want to know the absolute truth....why not just except him into your heart?

Oh not this old canard as well! :rolleyes:
Are you seriously suggesting that I accept someone I have no reason at all to believe exists into my heart?! Why that is certainly irrational.

What does "accept X into your heart" really mean anyway?! Sounds like:
"Just believe it is true, no don't think about it or apply any reasoning to it, just believe Believe BELIEVE!"
That isn't the way to find truth. Certainly is not the way to have any assurance at all that what you believe is the truth. It's just assuming that what you assert (without a shred of rationale in support) is true. What if it isn't! :blink: With your method there is no way to know, you just assume it is for no reason at all. That is not how you find the truth; it's how you convince yourself to assume that what you believe is the truth.

So all I get from your suggestion is: "If you want the truth, just believe without question that what I tell you is that truth." (Or do you have some way to explain it that doesn't sound absolutely inane and irrational?!)

And why do you assume that I have always been an atheist? I wasn't you know, I was a christian up until about your age (15ish actually) then my "Age of Reason" genes must have kicked in (there's a whole story there but I will leave it for now) and I realised that my beliefs were all based on irrational foundations - I had built a castle on the sand, to use a Christian metaphor. In short; I grew up.

May I ask how you come to the bizarre notion that the way to search for absolute truth is in accepting some evidence free entity, not into your mind (the seat of reason from whence evidence and truth can be derived) but instead; your heart (not the blood pumping muscle I assume, but the seat of emotion.)?! Makes no sense to me at all.
I will stick with reason thanks. It has a far better track record of improving human knowledge and understanding than appeals to emotion ever has.

You are barely at the age of reason my lad. Why not try embracing that for a spell (check out some books on logic and philosophical thinking and thought experiments for a start) you might actually learn something.
And if your religious beliefs do happen to be rationally founded they will be all the stronger as a result. Because I am suggesting Reason, not atheism.

Oh, and do come back to us is that happens, I would love to see some real rational arguments for theism. Hey; there could always be a first time, and I keep an open mind. I don't believe in gods because I have seen no Reason to, provide me with said reason and I will reassess my position based on that new reasoning and/or evidence, not before.

Because you're afraid to be proven wrong....

Don't presume to tell me what I think.
I did that, I was proven wrong, but not in the direction your presume.
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#223 Izzy

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 05:58 AM

Jrod, there is plenty of proof the evolution happened. Google them. ;)
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#224 ADParker

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 06:23 AM

Lol....yeah my efforts have proven kind of fruitless. There is no way in hel (pun intended) that any of you will change your mind, as goes for me. No matter what a theist says, even if he provides evidence, an atheist is going to turn him down, and call his beliefs "rubbish". I understand that.[/qu Just remember....

Not for me. I am by nature a Reasonist (a lover of Reason), my atheism only comes along as a result of that - give me the reason and the atheism dissipates, easy - really it is. I have no vested interest in not believing in gods, I couldn't care less which is true. I just chose to only believe what is rationally supported, because I really care what is really true and reasonable to accept as true, whatever it might happen to be. No theist has, as of yet, ever succeeded in my presence to present even a halfway decent argument, and invariably fall into all kinds of logical Fallacies in the attempt. It's sad really.

"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." Psalm 14:1

You do realise that this too is a logical fallacy don't you? (Incredible how many I have spotted in the various verses theists have given me.)
This one says if you don't believe in God then you are a fool. There is a famous analogy to this isn't there?
Can you guess what it is?
A famous fairy tale.
Hans Christian Anderson.
Got it yet? No?

The Emperor's New Clothes. : If you don't believe the Emperor has clothes (despite the lack of evidence...) then you are a fool, because only fools cannot see that he has splended new clothes.

It's an Ad hominem abusive Logical Fallacy.

Just so that is perfectly clear to you:

Your magic book:
"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God."

The example in the link:
"You can't believe Jack when he says there is a God because he doesn't even have a job."

Connecting the two:
"You can't believe an atheist when he says there is no God because he is a fool."

What this amounts to is telling people to ignore anybody, and any argument, that even suggests there is no God - just assume they are fools and dismiss them as wrong without question or any rational assessment of their arguments at all. <_<

Oh well done Jrod_Writer13, I always enjoy more examples of the Holy Bible making such fundamental errors of reasoning. How embarrassing eh? :lol:

Reminds me of this as well: The Courtier's Reply
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#225 ADParker

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 07:55 AM

As much as I wholeheartedly want this debate to end, I couldn't resist replying.... :)

I agree with what both of you are saying, especially you LIS. I think that there is not realy any proof for evolution or the existance of God.

Whoah; hold on there a minute Bucky!
There are mountains of evidence for evolution. It is a scientific Fact, and it has a powerful theory; the Theory of evolution, which is really now beyond all reasonable doubt. The only questions that remain (which still amounts to a great deal) are on how exactly it occurred to get the various organisms and features we see, and how is first started of course.

I thought it might have been on this forum, but no; it was not on this forum which I was invited to join from RichardDawkins.net, but the forum I was invited to from this one: The Revival. A thread on Evolution: evolution

And if you really want to get a serious dose try RichardDawkins.net.
I warn you however that forum caters for adults, and we take it seriously (we have fun as well of course ;) )
I would link you to some stuff from the "Debunking Creationism" area of the forum. As that seems to be where the most appropriate explanations of how robust the theory of evolution is aimed at your level are. But you have to be a registered member to view that section.

How about a link to some Evolution Resources instead:
Evolution Resources (Updated 16th October 2008 )

You are also correct as far as I can tell, that there is no proof for the evidence of gods (any of them.) No credible evidence either. That is why the only rational response to this is, as Calilasseia from RD.net put it:

"If an entity X is postulated to exist, and no substantive evidence capable of withstanding intense critical scrutiny is present to support the postulated existence of entity X, then the default position is to regard entity X as not existing until said substantive supporting evidence for the postulated existence of entity X becomes present."

Well, there is evidence from my viewpoint, but for this arguement i will say there is none for fear of being ripped up and down(again).

You should never fear having your arguments (not you) "ripped up and down"; you should welcome it, relish it, actively seek it out even. That is how ones beliefs, ideas, notions and assumptions improve - removing the fallacious and only keeping the rational, and improving upon them. You do want your fallacious assumptions removed don't you? You do want to only believe what is true, or at least rational to believe, do you not? Or do you choose to hold onto all of your beliefs, even if some of them are untrue?!

Religion as stated above is simply a set of conducts, by which some religions worship other/multiple gods.

From my investigations I have come to the conclusion that all religions are belief systems borne out of emotion and imagination driven stories. The products of emotional and imaginative explanations for why things are as they are (I could go on.) These were superceeded by what became known as Philosophy and then Science. The difference these methodologies of determining truth, or deriving explanations from what we observe, is that they employed an extra third mental activity: Reason; the only one of the three that offers any form of reliable assurance of validity to the stories (hypotheses and theories they are called when Reason is at their base.)
No; Religion need not be completely reason free, but it is not founded/based on reason. Once again the Castles on the sand analogy springs to mind.

It really is far too ignorant to speak of it as the absence of reason, as you stated above.

That's not exactly what he was saying. But for my part I have to say that the Absence of Reason part comes in with Faith; pure and simple: Faith is belief without the use of reason. When looked at as an active action (Active Faith you could say) the definition in my signature comes to the fore:
Faith: Belief through the wilful abandonment of Reason.

Who is to say that religion and reason are unrelated? Do you not have to use reason to choose what you believe in?

Unfortunately no you don't. You can rely solely on Faith or Emotion for instance. As many an appeal to emotion ("believe or burn", "believe if you want to survive your own death") attest. Which brings us to the fact that even if one uses reason they can use faulty reasoning, the worst cases of this are known as Logical Fallacies, of which there are many. And unfortunately, due it appears to Religions being based on imagination and emotion, not reason; religious belief seems especially prone to them. AS they are pseudo-reasoning tools to con the listener into thinking that they are choosing something rational when they are not. :(

I have used reason(and quite frankly some knowledgable reason) in my decision that evolution is false, ergo God does exist.

I would say that I am most impressed that a 16 year old boy has been able to conclude that evolution is false, when for the past ~150 years the world's greatest minds dedicating their professional careers to the question and the sciences involved have failed to do so despite innumerable attempts. That being how science works of course; testing theories by trying to falsify them. And even overcoming the 18,000+ papers the were published in peer-review science journals (in 2007 alone) all concluding, complete with carefully tested evidence, that evolution is true! At least I would if I believed a word of it.

Well your first mistake is assuming that falsifying Evolution adds anything to the God hypothesis whatsoever. It doesn't. Evolution is a threat to Creationism, because if it is true (and it is) creationism flounders, and fails miserably. But that does not mean that If Evolution is false then Creationism is true.

I could wait for a response to this before explaining, but this is Formal Logic, a passion of mine, so I will explain it now:

This above can be formalised like so:

Premise 1: If Evolution is true then Creationism is False
Premise 2: Evolution is False
Therefore
Conclusion: Creationism is True.

That the argument? It is the one I imagined from what you have said.

The first step (for clarity if you need it) is to turn this into a mathematical logic formula, replacing specifics with variables:
But first a bit of tidying - makes the answer easier to see in the end. Lets name the variables (may seem odd, but its the tidying process):

Let P = Evolution is true (therefore Evolution is false = Not-P)
and Q = Creationism if false (therefore Creationism is true = Not-Q)


Premise 1: If P then Q
Premise 2: Not-P
Therefore
Conclusion: Not-Q


This argument format is INVALID.
It is known as Denying the Antecedent (See? :D )

The easiest way to show that it is fallacious is to plug in an example. If it fails then that means that the structure is flawed. Okay ( there is one in the link, I will give another):

P1: If it is a Shark then it is a fish (True. Formal way to say "All sharks are fish")
P2.: This guppy is not a shark (True; It's a little guppy)
Therefore (and the conclusion must be true if the premises are, if it is to be a VALID argument)
Conclusion: This guppy is not a Fish (False; oh dear - FAIL - INAVALID argument.)

A bit of Formal Logic for ya. Isn't that fun?

You are treating reason as if it is some doctrine by which to base on a set of conducts, aka a religion. Reason is not something to believe, but something to use.

Of course it is (nice to here a religious apologist say that for a change.)
But remember; all tools can be used properly or improperly. Committing logical Fallacies is like nailing a plank with a spanner. It might work if you are lucky (might not) but it is an inappropriate abuse and misuse of the spanner. <_<

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." -C. S. Lewis [/color]

What a putz he was eh? I like those analogies though:
Like Bill O'Reilly saying "Sun go up, Sun go down" :lol:

I recall mentioning this a few days ago elsewher so I will just quote that:
"*& the sun doesn't really "rise and set" does it? No, the Earth is the one doing the moving, and it spins/rotates "under" the sun, giving the illusion of the sun rising and setting.
- That's reason and science over Faith for ya ;) "
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#226 octopuppy

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 08:04 AM

EDIT: By the time I posted this ADParker had replied to it as well, sorry if we're saying a lot of the same things!

As much as I wholeheartedly want this debate to end, I couldn't resist replying.... :)

I agree with what both of you are saying, especially you LIS. I think that there is not realy any proof for evolution or the existance of God. Well, there is evidence from my viewpoint, but for this arguement i will say there is none for fear of being ripped up and down(again).

I agree, there is no proof of either. The difference between those two propositions is in the plausibility and logical consistency of what is proposed, the reasons for thinking them true in the first place, the extent of evidence which supports them and their verifiability (through further discovery, or making predictions which can be tested, for example). More on that later, I was a bit pushed for time...

Although I see where you are coming from Octopuppy, I think we are on a different page here, not just in beliefs, but in the understanding of what religion is. Religion is a set of conducts resulted from tenets (or a belief system) about the ultimate power. God doesnt want us Christians being religous, as much as he wants us to simply obey his word and preach the Gospel. So as far as religion goes...well that's about as far as it goes.

I see religion as a complex and compelling form of superstition, which has come about through, firstly, a natural tendency in humans to have supernatural beliefs (our thought processes are far from perfect), and secondly, a long and effective process of memetic selection. In brief, religions exist in their present form because the ideas and behaviours which make up the religion are self-replicating and compelling. Naturally I don't expect you to agree on any of that, but it illustrates that, yes, we are not on the same page! :D

It really is far too ignorant to speak of it as the absence of reason, as you stated above.

I didn't say that. What I did say is that religion is incompatible with reason, and I should add that despite this many religious people use reason extensively and successfully, to some extent. But I contend that they do not apply it rigorously to their own beliefs. Where religion and reason coexist, something has to give. Either the religion is overturned by reason, or the reason is compromised by the religion.

Who is to say that religion and reason are unrelated? Do you not have to use reason to choose what you believe in? I have used reason(and quite frankly some knowledgable reason) in my decision that evolution is false, ergo God does exist.

You have, but as we have already discussed, your reasoning is based on misinformation (propagated by religions) and is applied faultily. Bad reasoning is less use than no reasoning at all.

You are treating reason as if it is some doctrine by which to base on a set of conducts, aka a religion. Reason is not something to believe, but something to use.

Yes, except that the "doctrine" in this case is self-evident and based purely on logic. So is it really a doctrine? Reason is something to use and something to believe. My "belief" in this sense is in the value of being rigorous in our application of reason.

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." -C. S. Lewis

That's a revealing quote, and quite apt. Religion affects the way everything is perceived and understood, which is precisely why I have a problem with it! :D
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#227 Lost in space

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:11 AM

Oct, I think you have already made many good points and above too on theism/non-theism.
What about the possibility that theists have already reasoned that there must be a God?

I for one do not know which has more evidence or reason, for me it's not actually important. I know we will as humans be swayed to believe by science or reason that something is proved to be good for us (wine up until the time we were told it is not). I am a great believer in nature balancing out the physical things that humans want to develop a switch for all the time - but that's probably another topic. I think that is our social development that is causing the issues as a human race. We cloud things with reasoning as to why we are here, which would be nice to have a final answer on. I the end we 'seem' to need science to understand rather than believe; if it be placebo or a spiritual need. science is now involved. Again belief is 'where did we come from/where are we going to (death)? Some people can't accept death and others are curious about the beginning, which I guess is natural.
Go mother nature - Go!
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#228 octopuppy

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:43 PM

Oct, I think you have already made many good points and above too on theism/non-theism.
What about the possibility that theists have already reasoned that there must be a God?

It's possible, though I can't help but wonder why they keep that line of reasoning such a big secret, while at the same time feeding us a load of fallacious twaddle to put us off the scent. That's just cruel. Come on theists! Stop teasing us!

I for one do not know which has more evidence or reason, for me it's not actually important. I know we will as humans be swayed to believe by science or reason that something is proved to be good for us (wine up until the time we were told it is not). I am a great believer in nature balancing out the physical things that humans want to develop a switch for all the time - but that's probably another topic. I think that is our social development that is causing the issues as a human race. We cloud things with reasoning as to why we are here, which would be nice to have a final answer on. I the end we 'seem' to need science to understand rather than believe; if it be placebo or a spiritual need. science is now involved. Again belief is 'where did we come from/where are we going to (death)? Some people can't accept death and others are curious about the beginning, which I guess is natural.

We need science to understand rather than believe - exactly!
Religion gives an answer to everything, but it's a hollow answer, transparently based on fiction. People want answers to questions like "why are we here?" and that's one of the reasons why religion proliferates, partly because it seems to provide an answer, and partly because it has influenced our thinking to the extent that we should ask the question in the first place, without recognising the hidden assumption within it. The assumption is that we are here for a reason, a purpose. Whose purpose could that possibly be? Only God. So the question implicitly assumes the existence of a "higher intelligence" that has a purpose for us. I was recently asking for examples of how religion has influenced our culture and language so as to create such hidden assumptions, and that's a very good one.
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#229 andromeda

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 02:18 PM

I was reading trough these pages... well not all of it ADParker writes really long posts, I lose interest half way through.

Try making a point in fewer sentences cause I like your reasoning ;)

This is my problem with religion - if God does exist why every religion has a different interpretation of God?

Why is Christianity itself so divers? If there would have been God... wouldn't he somehow "shown" to humanity what is the and only way of believing in him?

OK this will be trivial but, if one person is celebrating Christmas on 25th of December (Catholics) and the other on 7th of January (Orthodox Christians) and the third person doesn't go to school on Fridays (I can't remember what branch of the Christianity tree does that) because their religion is forbidding them... how can that come from the same God, can't he just make up his mind??

I know, I know, people decided - this is how we will interpret things "We are right and you others are wrong" and they are all Christians... where's the sense in that. That's where the lack of credibility lays... so many interpretations! :huh:

Edited by andromeda, 10 December 2008 - 02:19 PM.

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#230 octopuppy

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:15 PM

I said I'd say more about whether evolution is proven, but felt it best to launch a new topic.

Here it is!
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