Defeating Varieties of Atheistic Arguments

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by lightgigantic, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    To begin with, this is primarily a thread for theists – that said I am sure to attract the attention of atheists ….

    This has two parts.
    The first is a brief overview of the philosophy of applying logic to theology and the second is a short analysis of the two most common logical fallacies one is likely to encounter from atheists


    PART ONE – The limits of applying logic to theology

    As far as coming to the point of understanding God, that will never happen by logic alone – but – if logical misconceptions are cleared about God it may enable a person to hear about the subject clearly, and that can awaken curiosity, or scientific enquiry. We have no responsibility to prove something to a person who refuses to participate in scientific enquiry (although we may give them a prasadam sweet ball). Logic is useful when dealing with a person who has a scientific mind and is willing to investigate and participate. To use logic with a person who is fundamentally irrational is useless.

    There is so much testimony from great philosophers and scientists about a category (God) that explains all other categories, and if a person is not interested it seems to indicate that a person is non-philosophical – in other words if the category gets too big that it makes me small – well- that’s enough philosophy, that’s enough science, that’s enough investigation – they lose their nerve – their philosophical enquiry gets blunted by envy.

    It’s just like buying a car – if you refuse to go for a test drive yet insist that the salesman logically prove to you that the car runs nicely he will say “Sorry we don’t do business that way”.

    In other words, can a person expect to stand outside the process of knowing God and perceive God?
    No.

    PART TWO – Defeating varieties of atheistic arguments

    To begin with you first have to uncover an argument. This can sometimes be quite a laborious process because people tend to use language cheaply (eg – “God is illogical” …er .. why?). To get the premises (hence referred to as P1, P2) for a conclusion (C) you may have to wade through pages of opinions and even insults .
    Basically atheistic arguments come in two varieties
    - Logic that isn’t true
    - Truth that isn’t logical
    (and in cases of mammoth foolishness, arguments that are both untruthful and illogical)

    TESTING THE TRUTH OF AN ARGUMENT

    (P1) All turtles have wings
    (P2) All horses are turtles
    (C) All horses have wings

    The sad fact is that this is a logical argument. Of course it is not true but it contains no logical fallacies. Defeating this type of argument requires an analysis of the premises. For example here is the common “Religion causes war” argument.

    (P1) War is regrettable
    (P2) Religion causes war
    (C) Therefore religion is regrettable

    One can defeat this argument by examining the premise of P2 and establishing that violence is in fact caused by many things, the most likely being human nature.

    TESTING THE LOGIC OF AN ARGUMENT

    (P1) Today is Tuesday
    (P2) The grass is green
    (C) I’m tired

    These statements are all true but the arguments are totally illogical – what is not true, however , is that the premises establish the conclusion. Often you encounter this in the form of arguments that are merely tentative suggestions ( in other words the plausibility can often be easily swung to prove the opposite).

    (P1) Scientists examine matter
    (P2) Study of matter has not revealed god
    (C) Scientists have no interest in religion

    One can defeat this by showing evidence of scientists that have been interested in god

    So the general technique is
    1- assist the atheist to form a coherent argument
    2 – examine the truth of the premises
    3 – examine the logic of the conclusion

    From here I guess the thread is open for additions, corrections or clarifications, and –lol – I guess insults …..
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    None of this is limited to arguing with atheists, of course.

    A brief search for "logical fallacies" will turn up millions of web pages. Some of them are even written by atheists.

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  5. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    I am aware of that, and I wish atheists would read them

    As far as this thread is concerned, however, it is an opportunity to examine the application of logic by atheists
     
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  7. fahrenheit 451 fiction Registered Senior Member

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    then it is up to the theist to do this, an impossiblity at best.
    only if it is sound reasoning.
    more likely, puzzlement, there can be no curiosity in something beyond reason.
    religion/god and science are mutually exclusive, what possible science inquiry, could there be.
    exactly hence why it's so hard to discuss anything with theist's.
    science is objective, it's the pursuit of Knowledge, especially that gained through experience. sciences are activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena. it cannot be subjective, philosophy is pure subjective supposition, however as a tool used in science you can make educated guesses, which later can be proved or disproved with the evidence available, how can this be done with god/religion, when all it's based on, is purely subjective.
    the person would need to be hallucinating, completely fantasising, dreaming, or imagining to even concieve of a god, for there is no other way to know one, the concept is purely subjective.
    but you would first have to compare that human nature between humans who have never ever had any kind of religion, and those who have, would'nt you.
    rather stupid (C), as it is subjective and would not be used in logical arguement, and certainly not as a (C).
    none of this is logical arguement, the (C) doesnt follow the (P)s
    are you being at all serious, again rather stupid (C), and again subjective, the (C) doesnt follow the (P)s. there is no logic in any of them, if this is what you believe logical arguement is, then no wonder your theist.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2006
  8. Gordon Registered Senior Member

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    I fear this is a totally untrue statement. To take an example outside of religion, the human race has spent centuries being curious about what makes a man and woman fall in love with each other and there is certainly nothing that can be 'reasoned' in that particular endeavour!

    In truth there are many things that excite curiousity which we are unable to reason fully or indeed at all.

    Even in science there is great curiosity concerning black holes, but no amout of reason will ever prove exactly what they are.

    Often it is the inability to reason and explain that makes us humans even more curious! You have only to look at all the books and other media concerning UFO's and (supposedly) supernatural events etc.

    regards,


    Gordon.
     
  9. sony Registered Senior Member

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    I may be wrong, but I think what he meant was that curiousity should be governed by reason, not that we shouldn't be curoius about something that we don't know.
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I would say that curiosity is driven, in part, by what appears unreasonable. The "that shouldn't have happened! I wonder what's going on..." type of curiosity.


    Anyhoo - Lightgigantic - a very good place for you to visit is:

    www.fallacyfiles.org
     
  11. geeser Atheism:is non-prophet making Valued Senior Member

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    believe in a god is unreasonable, ( I'm not saying there is'nt one) it's basic atheism.
    in that aspect fahrenheit is absolutely right. "
    it's quite easy to understand when read as a whole.
     
  12. sony Registered Senior Member

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    Well, in part, you may be right. My definition of "unreasonable" seems to differ from yours. I see it as the opposite of curiosity. The "that shouldn't have happened! I wonder what's going on..." is based on reasonable curiosity. The "that shouldn't have happened! It must be the forces of Oode Hadede..." is based on unreasonable curiosity. One bases his conclusion on a mystery, and the other one defines it in false belief...
     
  13. AAF Registered Senior Member

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    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    It does not look attractive to my attention!
    Does this mean I'm a 'theist'?

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2006
  14. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

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    Clearly, AAF, you are a liar. It attracted at least enough attention to elicit a reply.
     
  15. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

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    What does basic logic theory have to do with atheism vs. theism?

    Theists are not constrained by the strictures of logic, they appeal to faith. They make claims for which there is no proof (and frankly, if they are good theists, they should revel in this).

    Atheists don't have to make any claims about theism at all. None of their arguments need to follow the structure of a Syllogism. They don't even need to know what a Syllogism is. All atheists say is that they are unwilling to accept the presence of a higher being without some sort of evidence or proof.

    The onus would be on Theists to make their case to the rest of the world, but since they use faith as their epistemological framework, we surely can't expect them to explain, prove, or describe god using Syllogisms.

    So again, what in the world is this thread all about? If I was a theist, I wouldn't ever bring up Syllogisms because they are poison to people of faith. The only thing they can do for theism is harm it in the hands of an atheist who decides to test the dogmas of a religion.

    For instance:

    The Gospels disagree on what Jesus' last words were.
    If two accounts vary, they can not both be correct.
    Therefore, the Bible contains errors.

    If you are a theist (Christian in this example), you can wave your hand and dismiss this. Your system is faith, not logic.

    If you are an atheist, you are just pointing out that the Bible contains mistakes, you are not impacting your lack of faith, or the errors of the theists'.

    The problem with discussions between these two groups is that the theists want proof. They want vindication. Most theists are horribly weak with their faith, and ashamed of it in a world that celebrates reason, science and knowledge. So they try really hard to have it both ways. They want their religion, but they want it based on sound thinking. I just don't see how this is possible, or even a noble goal.

    You really need to decide if you are going to live a life of irrational spiritualism, or a life of logic. And you can mix the two by being irrational once a week for several hours if you want. But what I see here is an attempt to have it both ways at once, and that is a path towards misery and shame.
     
  16. AAF Registered Senior Member

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  17. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

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    That's the best way to keep an attacking robot at bay. If you tell them this sentence is false, they will have to follow the logic out to its conclusion (because they're robots) and they will never escape the infinite loop of paradox. Maybe they'll make like a Dell laptop and spontaneously catch fire.

    As humans, however, we have a word for bullshit.

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  18. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Everyone knows the superior way is telling the Enterprise to calculate to the last digit of Pi.
     
  19. cato less hate, more science Registered Senior Member

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    not if they have paradox absorbing crumple zones

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  20. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Where the hell did my post go?
     
  21. Satyr Banned Banned

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    Something I wrote a long time ago.

    CHRISTIAN DEBATE TACTICS AND MOTIVATIONS (an analysis)

    1] Turning the Tables

    Christians are inclined to mutate the debate from one demanding proof from the one proposing a “truth” to one demanding an equal burden from the one not being convinced of the proof given.
    They enact a sort of diversion trying to prove a hypothesis by demanding the other to prove a negative.

    Their “Reverse Reasoning” scheme is a result of their need to show that all forms of belief, even unbelief, require faith and therefore the choice should be decided on the grounds of which side is promising the most; a very selfish stance given their supposed selflessness.

    In this way they accomplish two things:
    1] They avoid the burden of presenting arguments for their proposition {for which there are none that can be taken seriously by a thinking man}, by subtly admitting they cannot, and then challenging the other to present an argument against their proposition, that they obviously cannot, and in this way equating the two.

    2] They attempt to show that all positions are founded on faith and blind hypothesis making them all quasi-religious {Here they are partially correct but avoid the fact that atheism is the product of skepticism and doubt and theirs has neither inclination within it} and so again they equate the theistic and atheistic positions by describing them as resting on the same bedrock of human ignorance as their own.

    This clever strategy completely avoids the fact that there are no absolutes but only superior and inferior positions judged by the quality and quantity of their supportive arguments based on empiricism and logic created through experiential mechanisms.
    Here a religious mind shows the quality of its reasoning by not being able to perceive gradations of “truth” but only absolutes {God Itself is an absolute notion} and by perceiving the universe as a “this” or “that” construct, a black or white, a good or evil reality with no coloration or shading of any kind in between.

    There’s a saying that goes like this:
    “Don’t argue with a fool because he’ll pull you down to his level and then beat you with his experience there.”

    Unfortunately, for them, the burden of proof rests squarely upon their shoulders and no amount of verbal acrobatics can unburden them of it.
    The one claiming a “truth”, in this case an absolute “truth” at that, is the one that must offer arguments and evidence, equal to the proposition offered, and in support of this “truth” and not the one denying or resisting the arguments themselves.
    If the other, in this case atheists, remains unconvinced or can explain away said arguments and evidence using rational and logical counter-arguments or can offer alternative explanations for supposed supporting phenomena, then it is not up to the denier to prove the opposite of the proposition proposed but only to cast doubt upon it if he can.
    An absolute statement of truth would demand absolute undeniable arguments. Any hint of imperfection would constitute such a statement as hypothetical and theoretical, at best.

    Here I must mention that there are Atheists that hold on to their own opinions in absolute dogmatic ways and are just as guilty of absolutism as any religious fanatic is. The only honest atheistic position is that of one not believing in things it is unconvinced of or has not witnessed adequate proof of.
    If I have doubt, I have reason to remain skeptical.

    I have no proof that there’s a Gargoyle in my closet so I am an unbeliever in Gargoyles but retain the possibility that there might be merely based on the fact that I cannot search all the closets in the world and cannot discount the fact that these creatures may exist in realms and dimensions out of my perceptive abilities. {Agnosticism}

    2] Using Human Psychology

    Christians, like many religious minds, inevitably rely on human psychological weakness, existential anxiety and instinctual survival drives and egotism to support their absolutist, dogmatic fundamentalism, masking as Theistic philosophy.

    The methods of offering threats and promises to entice and beguile the unsuspecting victim with their ‘Siren’ song are well known to me.
    It is of no surprise that religion and, more specifically, Christianity flourish and thrive in the soils of suffering, tragedy and human hopelessness.
    It was during the Dark-Ages that Christianity reached the peak of its power and, the relative, well-being of most in today’s western world shows why it is currently in decline, while in less fortunate geographical areas, full of poverty and war, religion still holds power over the populace [Islam for instance].

    Suffering has always been a fertile ground for religion.
    It has spread during times of social and cultural strife and it still finds followers in those that have lived through a tragic personal circumstance or undergo a period of psychological stress and existential discontentment.
    They promise much in the afterlife but conveniently they are proven right or wrong after consciousness has ceased and one is already dead.
    They threaten often, by evoking images of ‘hell’ and ‘demons’, playing upon primeval and instinctual fears and creating notions of sin and shame.
    The whole premise of Pascal’s wager is fraught with similar religious promise and threat and neglects to mention that there IS! a loss in believing in a God that may not exist at all. It is the loss of living life completely and fully, open-minded and unhindered by fear or expectation.
    If we take into account the laws and rules of religious ethos and see life as an opportunity for exploration then there is a price in believing in gods that may not be there and in disciplining one’s self to an authority that is absent.
    Living in ignorance is the most terrible price of all.
    Adam made his choice what's yours?
    Dedicating yourself to a single source and an only goal is full of unnecessary and, in my view, intolerable consequences. It sacrifices all other possibilities and all other sources and goals on the demanding alter of a single one hypothesis.
    In the case of Christianity, the hypothesis is of such childishness and hypocrisy as to become ridiculous and obscene to whoever studies its premises with an open and courageous spirit.

    3] Hiding behind Theism

    The defensive stance of running behind a legitimate philosophical proposition to disguise our dogmatic fanaticism as an equal philosophical position is also another Christian method.
    Recently Christians have fought to include religion in schools and are presenting their ideas of Creationism as just another “scientific theory” that may lack any scientific respectability, due to an absence of empirical evidence but that nevertheless is the equal of Evolution Theory or any other scientific hypothesis because of Biblical accounts and third party attestations.

    Modern-day Christians and Christian apologists prefer to approach the “God” subject from a purely Theistic perspective in order to gain credibility and respect and when the initial gain has been made and they sit at the same table as other philosophical theories they unleash the tirade of mythological prejudices and fairy-tale constructs to then “prove” the superiority of their specific religion as opposed to that of others.

    But Christians, as other religious fundamentalists, wish to go beyond the premises of a theistic philosophical approach. They not only wish to prove the existence of God, a prejudiced starting point to begin with, but need also to paint him with humanistic and positive colorations as to make Him more palatable and commercial and desirable.

    It isn’t enough, for them, that there is an ultimate creator but It must also exhibit the conscious intelligence, emotional predispositions and transcending concerns they want It to, as well: “God is Love”, “God is good”, “God is compassionate”, “God is omnipotent”, and so on.

    Yet, they can no more offer convincing arguments as to why He is so than they can offer convincing argument that He IS at all.
    Then they ask us to risk our entire intellectual integrity and future investigative prospects by surrendering to their primitive dictums completely so as to not endanger our theoretical after-life fate at the hands of an otherwise compassionate, forgiving and loving deity.

    Perhaps they, due to some life tragedy or internal weakness, can accept certain characteristics as being self-evident in a being they want to believe exists as they want it to exist even though its actions show it to be the reverse of what they claim it is.

    How can “evil” exist in a creation constructed by absolute “good”?

    How can omnipotence be unable to defeat “evil” and if it tolerates it, as necessary, then is it absolute “good”?

    What is “evil” and “good”? Christians fail in giving definitions on this matter.

    If evil is allowed as a necessary environment for free-will, then why is then free-will asked to be constrained and surrendered to “good”?

    If I am created to be ‘free’ and I choose a path other than the one desired by a deity then why is it sinful to act according to the properties of my nature?

    If God is concerned for our free-will then why is there no choice in when and if we wish to exist, in the first place?

    It appears that, according to Christianity, I no more have the option of dying on my own terms, since suicide is a ‘sin’, than I do living on my own terms, since I have no choice as to whether I wish to live at all and once alive I have no choice but to choose the one and only path or suffer eternally for my insolence.

    In the case of “first cause”, let us avoid the inherent human prejudices of cause/effect for now, and go straight to the ‘Why does God not require a cause but the universe does?’ question.
    If there are other ways of acquiring knowledge, other than experiential and reasoning, then what are they and how is it then that not everything can be deemed possible based on intuitive arguments that cannot be substantiated or analyzed?
    The Gargoyle in my closet is there after all.

    If the constructs and the motives of a “God” are incomprehensible to us, as mortal beings, then how are we to assume to know His emotions, His morality and His wants and desires?

    If “God” is incomprehensible then why can it not be that the absence of “God” be, likewise, incomprehensible?

    Why do we deserve eternal life?

    If “God” could have created a universe of His liking then why create one at all?

    Is it a test of some sorts?
    If it is a test, as Christians are inclined to believe, and God is omnipotent, then does He not already know the outcome of His own test?
    If He does then why go through it at all and expose His creations to so much pain and suffering to come to conclusions He already knows?
    Is he a sadist?

    The idea of life being a testing ground and an entrance exam for Heaven implies ignorance on the part of the tester, since by giving free-will the creator loses control over the creation.
    Therefore omniscience is absent.
    But if free-will was given [the debate continues on that one] then why not use it to become autonomous and superior to the creator Himself. A father wants his children to surpass him and a child naturally wants to be more than his father.

    What kind of sick, self-centered bastard gives birth or creates in order to hold dominion over that for eternity?
    What does that say about Him from a psychological perspective?
    What kind of Father/King wants his child to be forever a prince at his right hand side and does not want him to sit on the throne himself?

    4] Running to the Bible

    This is a favorite practice for Christian minds. They appear to be convinced that a simple Biblical quotation or an assertion supposedly supported by Biblical scripture is enough to make a good point and a sufficient counterargument to be respected and answered.

    Scanning through this Forum and from personal experience in other debate Forums, I can attest to the frustrating practice of conversing with Christians that speak through the Bible and in continuous quotation while mistakenly believing they have landed a good blow on their ‘holier than thou’ behalf.

    The capacity of interpreting Biblical writings literally where interpretations could be incessantly debated over - many dedicate their entire lives to Biblical studies that resembles Nostradamean interpretations - boggles the mind and places into question the quality of mind that can take a piece of metaphorical literature, resembling Homers Iliad and the Odyssey, and then live on the grounds of its symbolism.

    But beyond the Christian inability to think ‘outside the box’ let us reason why and how a single book written by human hands holds dominion over all human thought.
    Granted it is full of age-old wisdom and interesting historical accounts, but how is it “Holy” and the first and final word on all human interests? The proof…once again….conspicuously absent.

    Why the Bible and not the Koran or “The Lord of the Rings” for that matter?

    I believe here the full effects of religiosity can be witnessed. The results of being dependant and guided by a single thought and want and the consequences of feeling, rather than thinking your way through life and basing your faith only on instinct and fear can be seen in how inflexible and intolerable these individuals are.
    In their every argument and opinions the full extent of their enslavement and capitulation can be observed.
    This is the ultimate price of Pascal’s wager he neglected to tell us about, a mind devoid of all possibility and insight and only being able to mouth the thoughts and dogmas of another mind’s efforts; a mind totally ensnared in social/cultural frameworks and incapable of perceiving the wonder and terror of existence in its totality; a mind with no potential and condemned to live out life in servitude and ignorance, full of hate for his own beastly desires and shame for his animalistic motivations, full of rules and laws restricting his actions and thoughts and utterly dedicated to a single source of wisdom and a single method of living.

    Finally.
    It has been in my experience quit a frustrating endeavor to try to reason with religious minds or to participate in any respectable conversation with them that will lead to mutual advancement.
    Their thoughts are completely clouded by the dogma that infects their minds like a virus. Their self-asserted open-mindedness and intellectual exploration is limited to questioning side issues of interpretations and metaphysical details while the ‘a priori’ main premises remain untouched and indubitable. Their intent is rarely an honest exploration of possibilities but an attempt to indoctrinate and to spread the virus that has within it an imbedded program of procreation through infection.

    Their favorite victims?
    Those that exhibit some sort of anxiety, uncertainty and need for final answers.

    The Christian, sensing blood, swoops down at any sign of weakness and uncertainty. They pounce upon the victim trying to insert their metaphysical fangs of fear and anxiety and spread the disease of Christian morality that leads to a degradation of the human spirit and a surrendering to fear and ineptness.
    It is not coincidental that religion is more thoroughly subscribed to by women and older individuals nearing the twilight of their lives and is more apt to take hold over persons with some physical or spiritual ailment seeking hope and meaning for their pains and sufferings.

    What healthy man or woman would surrender their honor and nobility to invisible hypothetical entities that require of them the dismemberment of their nature and the decapitation of their humanity?
    What young man would sublimate his pride in servitude and subservience to a being of questionable existence and characteristics that promises everything and demands all?
    What human being, of sound mind and body, would kneel to a “god” that demands his castration and dehumanization, like a simpleton slave, begging for mercy and preying for leniency in the face of an indifferent universe?

    If we are men, if we are human beings then let us stand in the face of reality and spit into the face of that that threatens us.
    Let us live in dignity as thinking beings and in pride as beings that accept both the terrors and wonders of consciousness, washed in the full glorious light of our entire possibility and potential and then let us die as men with majesty.



    Christian Burdens
    -----------------------



    In order to facilitate Christian responses I propose to offer my advice concerning their options in any future debate in order for them to remain respectable and relevant in any philosophical discourse.

    To prove their ”truths” these questions must be dealt with in detail:

    1] They are proposing an absolute "truth", therefore the existence of such a mythical construct must be argued for and then their ability to perceive and absorb such a construct must be proven.

    2] They are proposing an answer to the problem of existence; therefore they must prove that we actually do exist, beyond a reasonable doubt.
    The Descartes “I think therefore I am” is itself a prejudiced proposition since it begins from a starting position of an “I” which remains undefined and unproven.
    Define “I” and you have my attention.

    3] They must prove free-will.
    Their entire premise of a Christian God rests on the free-will concept and without it they have nothing but a nice feel-good tale of heroes and monsters.
    The free-will question has plagued mankind for centuries and so any elucidation on the matter by Christians will greatly benefit me and many others on this Forum.
    I suspect that they can adequately prove free-will, how else could they be proposing an absolute "truth" if they haven’t?

    4] They propose knowledge of “truth” so I guess they have dealt with the epistemological problems, related to it, with ease.
    In order to prove knowledge of a “truth” not only the existence of truth is necessary but the existence of knowledge, its form, nature and reliability as well.

    I nor anyone else but the foolhardy are proposing any absolute “truths” but only offer our perspectives and opinions and so we do not have to live up to the standards you impose upon yourselves with your positions.
    Furthermore, from my perspective, I neither care nor am motivated to impose my opinions on others but only offer my views in comparison for purely selfish reasons.
    If I manage to influence or inspire through the process of expressing my positions, on which I remain forever skeptical, then so be it. I do not ask for followers or converts, I am proposing no “truth” but only my perspective as being superior to another’s and wanting to test it in debate.
    So the turning the tables on me so as to avoid my challenge will not work.
    But you are welcome to try.

    But beyond these philosophical problems being a necessary aspect for any proposal claiming absolute certainty and “truth” some added more basic questions plague Christian faith holders.

    1] Why do religious doctrines adhere to geographical and cultural borders?
    I would suspect that “truth” has no restrictions and should pop-up in equal frequency all over the world.
    It is suspicious that every religious “truth” requires a pre-existing ideology to have infected the mind that adopts it in full.
    Religious spread adheres to cultural borderlines which is interesting when one claims to hold a transcending “truth” that should be prevalent throughout the universe.

    2] Why your God and not another’s?
    The most remarkable thing about religious fanatics is that they not only believe in a Creator, as an abstract concept, but they believe in a specific Creator with name, character and moral identity, who’s opinions, needs, and thoughts have miraculously been transmitted to them and their kind through scripture, icons and so forth.

    3] Why is their faith reliant on taking hostages from an early age so that they may be indoctrinated and mind-molded into believers?
    I would think that true believers in an irrefutable fact would allow the power of the truth itself to dominate the minds of man and would not have to infect infants or savages so that they may spread their opinions.

    In posting this challenge to Christians I am not holding my breath in the hopes that they will answer at all. I understand the inherit problems with defending an indefensible position on the grounds that we feel good by believing in it.

    But by coming to this Forum I can only surmise that their motivations can be chosen from these options:

    1] They want to debate their positions in the hopes that they may fill in any gaps in reason and to assess the quality and form of any opposition.

    2] They want to spread the “word” and do their Christina duty by finding stray lambs to lead back into the dogmatic fold.

    3] They are deluded enough to think that they actually believe they have a chance in making headway against individuals with the analytical prowess and intellectual fortitude, as can be found in Forums like this.

    4] They actually believe that they know something or have considered this subject in far greater depth and breadth than anyone else and they come here to enlighten all us closed-minded infidels.


    Finally
    ------------


    Let me describe, in closing, the process of becoming a “born again” Christian.

    During the early childhood years one is exposed to a strict religious teaching and a consistent Christian existence that becomes stifling and is resented by the child.
    Later on, and powered by the physical health of adolescence and the feelings of indestructibility it entails, the individual rebels against his family’s upbringing, often unleashing pent up instinctual desires and constricted sexual energies.
    But as is often the case, reality inevitably slaps us all in the face and humbles us in the face of a universe we can neither comprehend nor control.
    It is during this stressful period of life when we come to terms with our own mortality and our limitations, usually in the late twenties or thirties, that one is ‘born again’ and rediscovers the “truths” of his own culture’s historic ‘wisdom’.

    This rebirth is often brought on by some accident, illness and/or personal loss or it can be the consequence of a distressful life experience that lead to social disillusionment, hopelessness, humility and feelings of vulnerability.
    What follows is the total and complete acceptance of earlier teachings as profound and superior since they also concur with the predominate social norm and a looking back on the ‘rebellious’ period as a time of questioning and doubting that inevitably lead back to the indubitable “truths” of the past.

    As there are different degrees of physical strength there are different degrees of mental and psychological strength which would explain why some people need religion in order to survive while others resist the temptation of succumbing to the social and instinctual pressures that faith assuages.
    For the weak faith is a matter of survival not just a theory and exegesis or it is an existential hypothesis that can be replaced when found to be inadequate. They need to believe they will be taken care of, that all is for the best, that all has meaning and purpose especially their own pain and suffering, that death is the great equalizer and final dispenser of justice and that they, after death, will be honored and compensated for their life’s sufferings and their discipline to the laws of the eternal.

    This beating down of an individual from a rebellious non-conformist to a subjugated socially acceptable entity, is in fact, how all institutions exact their pressures and controls on all individuals and force a uniformity of thought and action in a social system, in which religion participates as a compelling power.

    In other words, these Christians are a kind of moral thought police that unknowingly function as a pressuring mechanism of peers that keep the uniformity, conformity and peace in any social system.
    This controlling mechanism can be more clearly seen in more extreme cases such as paramilitary forces, made up of the most fanatical and indoctrinated individuals that enforce the rule of the silent laws of morality and normality or in cases such as the “morality” police that beat women in the streets of Afghanistan and imposed their ethical standards by nipping the bud of any divergence and rebelliousness.
     
  22. Satyr Banned Banned

    Messages:
    1,896
    Top 10 reasons why I no longer engage Christians seriously but only to mock them

    1 – Wasted effort.

    2- You can no more turn a dog into a wolf than you can turn an ape into a human being.

    3- Why would I want to awaken the sleeping when their slumber saves me a lot of effort and misery?

    4- Civilization needs sheeple. Without them society would become chaotic.

    5- Most people need threats and promises to exhibit some form of self-restraint and integrity. Religion provides both.

    6- Most people need myths and hopes to tolerate existence and to not go mad. Religion offers such comforting words.

    7- I gain more from the existence of a hypothetical guardian than I lose from it.

    8- Why bother?

    9- Stupidity is its own worse punishment.

    10- Believing in it doesn’t make it so. Let them never know the depths of their weakness.
     
  23. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Messages:
    16,330
    swivel

    So in otherwords when astronomy relies on the uniformity of time and space as a foundation of al their observations this is not an act of faith? Or even to backtrack to the wider contxt of scientific enquiry - isn't the idea that the universe has order (a very primary step for scientific observation to even begin) an act of faith?

    So if I am a highschool drop out and I say that I don't believe in electrons because I have never seen one does that make me intelligent?


    So if I one person says fire can be recognised by heat and another says fire can be recognised by smoke (I'm not sure what your conclusion is - both of them are wrong, one of them are wrong, or at the least it indicates something seriously wrong with their observations)

    The problem is that they don't apply the relevant epistemology
     

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