God is "dead"

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Saint, Dec 3, 2013.

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  1. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Where does the OP specify a personal god?

    Are you saying that the OP is not about the nonexistence of a god, but merely about the nonexistence of a personal god? The OP seems to be a claim of the nonexistence of a god in general, and only assumes that if a god can do something (such as show itself) that it necessarily will (which would mean that this god would have not free will itself, which is contrary to the common attributes of a god).

    I did not say it was, only that lack of evidence is not proof, which you seem to agree with.

    If you are a sane adult, believing in your chair is not a real choice. And just by definition, being compelled (forced) is antithetical to freedom.

    The OP author is obviously not a believer, although I do agree that any god can be detected by the senses, as any believer "sees" god in the world around them with the same senses you possess.

    I never said "guarantee", but certainly a lack of compelling (forcing) evidence allows for a freedom of choice.

    Again, as an atheist, you are definitively the least qualified to make claims of what a "religion is about". Even within one religion and its scripture, there is a gradient of understanding, from what is taught to children to what a theologian learns in seminary, or the like. You consistently argue from the perspective of a child, so I assume the books you read had pretty pictures.

    Who said anything about a "right to not believe in the existence of a chair"? Seems you keep evading the question. Can a sane person deny the existence of a chair? It is a simple question that really should not vex you so. If something is proven to be real, there is no rational choice.

    So no one had free will until we had "clear knowledge of what is real and what isn't"? Since science is always advancing, do you then assume that no one has free will?

    So you insist that a god must be personal and that you must be a slave. Sounds like you have some pretty definite beliefs about a god.
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  3. Balerion Banned Banned

    This is a claim, not supporting argument.

    Let's narrow it down: Why is my take on Christian themes irrelevant? What makes it so. Remember, I already know what you think; now I need to know why you think it.

    I see the distinction. He's creating a hierarchy of gods. He's saying he's not alone up there, which is the whole point.

    Wait, so now the qualifications are merit-based? I thought you said it was solely because I lacked belief.

    Man, you're in love with using the word "trivially."

    But okay, at least I know what you meant now. My question is then why believe in the grandest claim of all--God was here--if you're not going to trust the men to report other significant details correctly? Such an interpretation of the Bible doesn't seem to lead to belief.

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  5. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    It comes down to the definition of the term "God" that one works with.

    Given some definitions of the term "God," God is making an "unmistakeable public appearance" 24/7 already anyway.

    Take, for example, "Maintainer of the living beings in the universe." It is evident 24/7 that the living beings in the universe are maintained 24/7, as it is evident that they cannot maintain themselves since for their living they need numerous requisites that they themselves cannot provide for themselves.

    Here are two lists of names and titles of God that can be used as definitions of the term "God" (definitions as actually used by actual theists) - a Hindu list and an Islamic list.

    Some may sound a bit odd, some not so much.

    Consider this one, for example:

    Janardana -- One Who Bestows Boons On One And All
    So, as far as definitions go, if you have ever received a boon, or know someone who has (and you probably have and do), then, as fas as definitions go, those boons were bestowed by God.

    Or another one:

    Al-Muṣawwir -- The Fashioner, The Shaper, The Designer
    So, as far as definitions go, if you have ever seen anything fashioned, shaped or designed, (and you probably have), then, as fas as definitions go, those fashions, shapes and designs were done by God.

    Meaning that, according to those definitions, God is making an "unmistakeable public appearance" 24/7 already anyway.

    Again, it comes down to the definition of the term "God" that one works with. Most disputes between atheists and theists essentially come down to atheists refusing to use theistic definitions.
    Which is like using a word from a foreign language and refusing to use it with the meaning of it in said language, but insisting on creating one's own and claiming that that's the right one.

    I think the choice isn't in whether we believe in God or not, but which definitions of the term "God" we choose to work with and how.
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  7. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    The faculties necessary to validate the existence of a chair would not be adequate to validate the existence of a supreme being. Any being able to operate beyond the limits of our knowledge and perception could appear to be God and be nowhere near the real thing. There could be an endless string of entities able to successfully masquerade as God in our eyes, just as we could to lesser beings ourselves. As mere lords of the primates we are in no position to judge these matters, so there’s no point in pretending to be.
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    You can afford to be tolerant of religionists. You don't live in a country that experienced the Religious Redneck Retard Revival in the 1980s.
    • We now have a Creation "Science" Museum in the state of Kentucky.
    • The legislature of the state of Kansas enacted legislation requiring creation "science" to be taught in its public schools. (Fortunately this was eventually overturned by the courts.)
    • Members of the Westboro Baptist Church heckle the funerals of members of our armed forces because their deaths are God's punishment for the USA's growing tolerance of homosexuality.
    • Several states with Religious Redneck Retard majorities have imposed rules on abortion clinics so extreme that most of them will have to close down, effectively making abortion unavailable to all but the rich.
    • The "freedom of religion" rule in the U.S. Constitution is interpreted to allow churches to pay no taxes, even on their lucrative profit-making enterprises. This amounts to $100,000,000,000 in tax-free income per year.
    Religion is such a strong force in the USA that it affects nearly everything we say and do. And the amusing thing about that is that it only applies to the two leading religions: Christianity and Judaism. Christian holidays are enshrined in our legal system and everyone gets the day off. Many school districts also shut down on Jewish holidays, but even the others allow Jewish children to take the day off without providing a written excuse. But the children of Muslim, Hindu, etc. families are left out in the cold. When they complain, the bureaucrats reply, "We have to draw the line somewhere or we'll end up with only four days of school every week.

    Be grateful that you live in one of the many progressive countries in which Christianity is withering away. And pity us in America, which in many ways is a theocracy.

    We have to fight them, every moment of every day.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I sympathise, of course.

    I know. That would be high on my list of "must see" places if I ever went to Kentucky. It's a pity that you have to give money to creationists to get in, but it's a small price to pay for some fun, I think. I think that they must get half of their income from "evolutionists" who just have to enjoy the sheer brainlessness of it all, along with the amazing kitchness of the religiosity of the place.

    Yeah, and Kansas isn't the only state that has done that. I'm aware this is an ongoing battle. The Dover, Pennsylvania court case was a nice nail in the coffin of "intelligent design", though.

    The British documentary maker Louis Theroux did 2 docos on the family at the centre of the Westboro Baptists Church. That family seems to suffer far more from the hatred they bring on themselves than the people they target do from their offensive picket lines. Interestingly, several members of the family have completely disassociated themselves from the church and the rest of the family (and, sadly, have been disowned by their parents as a result).

    Yes. There's still a long way to go on the right of women to control their own bodies. Bigoted men still hold sway in many places.

    The situation in Australia is similar. Churches here pay no taxes either.

    Yes, I know. Although how much of those effects you feel varies a lot from state to state.

    The US is an extreme outlier among developed nations in that it retains a high religiosity.

    In Australia, about 80% of the population still self-identifies as religious. But our religious sensibility is quite a bit different from yours. Religion is mostly considered a private matter, so to make a big deal about one's religious beliefs in public is considered somewhat uncouth here. That's not to say that religious organisations don't influence politicians and other powerful people.
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    The OP refers to God with the personal pronoun he. It ascribes to him the logic of an intelligent and will-driven person who can reveal himself to humans. It even says God is teachable. These are all attributes of personhood.

    No it doesn't assume a loss of freewill by God. It simply asks why God doesn't reveal himself, assuming he is capable of reasonable actions and seeing religious theists place so much importance on believing he exists.

    Lack of evidence isn't proof. It's lack of proof. So why should anyone choose to believe in God when there is lack of evidence/proof for his existence?

    What freedom is lost in knowing a chair exists? Does freedom entail some right to choose what exists and what doesn't exist? And if that is the case, what distinguishes that state from a dreaming solipsist who chooses what is reality based on his own whims?

    Theists can "see" God? What do they say he looks like? Where was he sighted? How big was he? Etc..

    Lack of evidence for a real object allows for choosing what? Choosing to believe the object is unreal? The choice to be deluded and ignorant of the reality of that object? You have a very strange notion of what freedom is.

    I was a fervent religious theist for 22 years of my life. So that makes me preeminently qualified to make claims about what religion is about. I studied Christianity in diverse manifestations from a literalist interpretation of the scriptures to the heady theological versions of C.S. Lewis, Soren Kierkegaard, G.K. Chesterton, and George MacDonald. By 25 I had rejected it all as delusional thinking. There is little in life I am so sure about than this.

    You are. You are saying freewill demands we be able to not believe the chair, and by extention God, exists. That's nonsense. Noone has the freedom to be deluded. Delusion is the absence of freewill fostered by a situation of ignorance.

    Only an insane person, a person with no choice, would deny the existence of a chair. The chair itself proves it's own existence thru our senses, giving us the knowledge to be able to make free and informed choices. We can now sit in the chair, or paint it, or move it to the attic, etc. Knowledge ENABLES freewill. Delusion takes it away. God showing us he exists, which I assume a God could most ingeniously accomplish, enables us the freewill to either choose him or reject him.

    Not as much freewill. There was time when we had less freewill because we were ignorant of what is real and what isn't. Science continues to liberate us from this state with the manifestation of reality and the exposure of delusion. Knowledge is infinitely accumulative, therefore freewill is infinitely accumulative as well.

    I insist God is personal and must be served unconditionally along with 99% of the religious theists on this planet. This is just standard religious doctrine. Your ignorance of this fact appalls me. Do you know anyone who believes in God in any other way?
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    But why should that be a problem?

    Why is there a need to validate the existence of a supreme being - especially the existence of the most supreme being?

    Can you explain?
  13. eyegodit Registered Member

    Hello, here I am!
    It´s just a role-playing-game, is everybody in?
    I´m just the one & my best friend mu´, so don´t call me fool...
    I believe in the "big ONE" and the all together.
    Religiion isn´t stupid after all, we ALL might laugh FOREVER, inside a future-virtual-reality...
  14. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member


    Fraggle Rocker, open up, vent, hold nothing back and let us know how YOU really feel.

    Again, you use the word "we" - only this time you seem to indicate that the "we" encompasses more than just the Mods/Admins of SciForums and you delude yourself that you are speaking for a nation of people.

    Fraggle Rocker, should you not be honest, and show enough spine to use the word "I" when spewing your bigoted elitist diatribes.

    Your misuse of the word "we" has been pointed out by at least one other member of this Forum. :

    Fraggle Rocker, would you care to supply any details of exactly how YOU, Fraggle Rocker, "fight them, every moment of every day."?

    Fraggle Rocker, I realize that you believe yourself to be Superior to myself and many others in a myriad of ways - but do YOU realize that at the center of the word "believe", protected on both sides, is the word "lie"?

    Fraggle Rocker, YOUR use of the word "we" is, regardless of YOUR own puerile delusion, nothing less than a lie!

    Fraggle Rocker, I am, still, SO LOOKING FORWARD to your response to my Post #8!!! Since You claim/boast of having to "fight...every moment of every day", I would have expected one before now.

    Meh!! Maybe YOU are just the same as too many other "Superior Manly Men"...
  15. Mazulu Banned Banned

    I'm not the first person to say that You and I are part of God and that God is part of us. I've even committed physics blasphemy to suggest a way it might really be true. But I think that when we observe injustice in the world, we are moved to action by the part of us that is God.
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    The what?

    We have this thing called 'free speech'. I think that that's a good thing. Countless people say all kinds of things, and probably nobody agrees with all of it. (They would be idiots if they did.) Atheists are free to create a museum of atheism if they like. Maybe they have, I'm not interested enough to search for one.

    The University of Kansas has one of the United States' (and the world's) best doctoral research programs in evolutionary biology.

    And they are complete and total assholes. Having said that, I don't think that it's intelligent to dismiss all of religion and all of religiosity because some religious people are assholes. After all, the political left and labor unions are notorious for disrupting other people' gatherings and political events, and that presumably doesn't entirely discredit labor and the left.

    There is a real difference of opinion about abortion. I support it, but many people are deeply opposed to it. They consider it murder. The question here is whether, in a democracy, it's right for elite minorities to force majorities to fund activities that the majority feels are morally abhorrent. I'm inclined to think that it's important to continue to support the democratic principle, even if the majority doesn't always agree with me.

    In the United States the courts have defined the Constitution's 'free exercise' and 'establishment' clauses quite strongly, as a 'separation of church and state'. I think that's a good thing. It keeps religious instruction out of the public school curricula. The United Kingdom has a state church (actually different ones in England and Scotland) and religion is part of the British state school curriculum. (It's generally pretty lightweight, well-intentioned and innocuous, but it's there.) That's not true in the United States. The United States doesn't have the church-related political parties that one sees in a number of countries. American public universities don't feature Christian divinity schools and theological seminaries.

    It's easy enough to live your life as if religion doesn't exist, if that's what you want to do. Just pass by the local church without going in.

    People like holidays, even atheists. Christmas is celebrated all over the world, not just in the United States. I remember being surprised to observe that Christmas is a legal holiday in Singapore, where only a relatively small fraction of the population is Christian.

    So are you complaining because holidays are observed, or because they aren't? I believe that most school districts will excuse members of smaller religious minorities to go observe their holidays, even if they aren't closing the schools for everyone else on those days.

    Creating militants, fighters, unwavering evangelists for their own religious (un)belief. (Please don't strap bombs to your body.)

    I'm an American and I haven't observed anything even remotely like what you describe. In my experience the vast majority of the people around me don't care the least bit what my religion is or isn't. I rarely discuss religion with anyone, outside a few specialized contexts like this board. I feel completely free to pursue whatever religious path I choose, or no path at all. The US is actually pretty successful at dealing with a large and religiously diverse population, while preserving everyone's freedom to believe and practice as they choose, as long as it's consistent with public safety and order. Inevitably, that means that some people will choose to believe things that I don't believe and might even embrace political views different than mine.

    It's the nature of the beast.
  17. arauca Banned Banned

    Yazata . I love you even you are an atheist ( Platonic love )
  18. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    !?!? Which is it, Mazulu? If you were "part of God", then "God" would not just be a "part of" you - would "God" not be ALL OF YOU?

    Mazulu, your Foot or your Hand, in their entirety, are a "part of" you. You, Mazulu, in your entirety, are not a "part of" your Hand or your Foot.

    Mazulu, YOUR powers of observation are Legendary (as you observe them!!)! Those powers allow you to observe most anything as "injustice".

    Mazulu, why do YOUR/those Powers fail to observe reality...or even possibly...sarcasm?

    Anyway Mazulu, wasn't it you who Posted the following hours ago? ;

  19. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    @Yazata - Post #73

    Yazata, great Post!! I hope you don't mind if I say that I am in full concurrence.
  20. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Where have I asserted the premise that it must be a personal and active god? I have explicitly stated the opposite.

    A personal god is a deity who can be related to as a person instead of as an "impersonal force", such as the Absolute, "the All", or the "Ground of Being". - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_god

    While a very wide definition of a personal god could be one that is simply attributed human characteristics, we already have a word for that...anthropomorphism. Humans anthropomorphize all kinds of things, including pets, cars, ships, etc.. That does not make them personalities.

    And you are the one insisting that some sort of active intent to "hide" exists, which is ridiculous coming from an atheist. How can you seriously insist on characteristics of a god you do not espouse?

    A narrower interpretation of a personal god is a deity who takes a personal interest in the world in general and worshipers in particular. This view is intended to challenge a deistic outlook.

    A still narrower definition would be a god whose personal interest in worshipers is so great that the deity communicates directly with them and actively intervenes in their lives through miracles.
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_god#Deism

    If you were not so busy trying to promote your belief of a god, you would realize that this is the definition I am using, as I specifically said not personal or active.

    The preference for free will could just as likely have been factored into the laws that govern our universe, the clockwork of the natural world being "wound-up" and left to unfold on its own. Neither currently active nor personal. People anthropomorphize things all the time without that act of attributing human characteristics changing the thing itself in any way.

    They just draw different conclusions from the same quandaries even science has no answers for.

    Uh, I asked you a question. Am I to assume you do not wish to support the accusation of fallacy? Irrational belief? That is a non sequitur, as we are discussing your strawman that a god is purposefully hiding. I also gave you an example of such strawman arguments:

    You have insisted on a "hiding" god and then insisted that I defend that claim as if it were my own.

    But in this case, where available information is scant, at best, the only criteria for "not mak[ing] sense" is wholly subjective. So either this is a trivially non sequitur argument, or you did intend to relate insufficient evidence to irrational choices in some concrete way. I will just assume the former, which warrants no further address.

    Hence not "unmistakable". Do you seriously not see the ridiculous contradiction of claiming the unmistakable can be mistaken?! Did you misplace your helmet?

    You must not know what the Dunning-Kruger effect is. The physics of both are very much subject to individual understanding, unless you simply appeal to authority.

    No, according to simple definition. The "unmistakable" cannot be mistaken. If you cannot be mistaken, how can you have any doubt?

    Or should I take this foolish argument as an indication that you are willfully ignorant? Considering the discussion here, I would definitely agree that you are willfully ignorant of belief in a god. But since that trait is definitive of atheism, it would seem that the only barrier to you understanding is your own willful disregard.
  21. arauca Banned Banned

    How old are you. An angel is a messenger , did your mother told you that ?
  22. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    There's hardly a shortage of answers for that in both Biblical accounts and apologetics. So it's instead a matter of those reasons confronting the cynic's disparaging of them as too convenient.

    But still: "Just because that's your excuse for being absent doesn't mean that you aren't sick with the flu."
    (Joseph Heller [Yossarian]; Not!)

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  23. Balerion Banned Banned

    Anthropomorphism is the practice of attributing human characteristics to (especially) gods, so it certainly doesn't stand in contrast to the term "personal god." In fact, "anthropomorphic god" is a synonym of "personal god." You even referred to it as "him!"

    I'm not insisting on anything. I'm simply describing the image based on the outline you provided.

    You specifically say many things you later contradict, to which anyone who has interacted with you can attest, so I'm not really all that concerned with your preamble. What I'm "promoting" is what God must be given your description.

    Again, an anthropomorphic god is a personal God. Your insistence that you only mean "personal" in the narrowest sense does not mean that your description of god must therefore equate to "impersonal." That's not how the language works, homie. What you describe is a personal god, just in a broader sense than the convenient parameters you set for yourself.

    That's a weak strawman. We're not talking about objective characteristics of god, we're talking about your description of it.

    Such as?

    What, exactly, was unclear about my assertion? Are you looking for a specific name for the logical fallacy? I can't help you with that.

    Uh, I asked you a question. Am I to assume you do not wish to support the claim that one cannot make assertions about beliefs they do not themselves hold?

    Talk about strawmen. No one is making any claims about God except you, who made the claim that God left its existence impossible to prove so as to preserve free will. Not only does your argument that such a thing is necessary to maintain free will, but you haven't even addressed where you got such an idea.

    It is your claim:

    In the immortal words of lightgigantic....:shrug:

    What do you mean "in this case?" We were discussing the ability of a person to disbelieve in the existence of God if God were to make a public showing of himself, since your claim that he can never do such a thing without removing free will hinges on it. It was you who argued that in such a case the information available would be so overwhelming that insanity would be required to reach a different conclusion.

    This is apparently one of those cases where you forgot to take your Centrum Silver, and forgot what the hell you were talking about.

    You realize that nothing is actually unmistakable, right?

    Of course, but that doesn't explain intelligent people who know the physics and yet still believe the myth.

    Because "unmistakable" isn't really unmistakable.

    Uh, I asked you a question.
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