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10/18/11 11:57 AM
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Benedictus
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If God is just make believe similar to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, why all the effort and anger to try and "disprove" God? Also, how did you come to believe there is no God? As a group who calls themselves rational and scientific, what scientific prrofs do you have there is no God? Phone Post
10/18/11 1:20 PM
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Joe Ray
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The real question is why do Christians put such effort and anger into denying all other Gods?

The Romans where more than happy to accomodate Jesus into their pantheon and give him recognition but that was nowhere good enough for the angry Christian zealots.



10/18/11 1:30 PM
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gord96
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Edited: 10/18/11 1:30 PM
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Benedictus - If God is just make believe similar to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, why all the effort and anger to try and "disprove" God? Also, how did you come to believe there is no God? As a group who calls themselves rational and scientific, what scientific prrofs do you have there is no God? Phone Post


They don't need scientific proofs there is no God. They don't need ANY proof and there is no way you can prove that God exists to them. The very idea of worshiping God, to an atheist, is incomprehensible. Their hearts are hardened.
10/18/11 1:40 PM
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Benedictus
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Joe Ray, nice attempt at side stepping the question. If you can't answer, your best off not posting because you look unscientific and uneducated. Phone Post
10/18/11 3:33 PM
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Joe Ray
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1. You cannot seek to prove a negative ie. proving conclusively that something does not exist. Even the most ardent atheists like Richard Dawkins state that they cannot do this.

The onus is on theists such as yourself to prove that your chosen God exists.

Atheists are adamant that this cannot be done, because all such possible evidence to suggest that a deity exists is lacking.

2. Ask yourself why you deny that Zeus, Dionysus, Athena and Poseidon do not exist.

What reasons and justifications do you have for such deities not existing?
10/18/11 4:26 PM
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Benedictus
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Christians believe in one God by FAITH. The evidence that God exists is through faith.

Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen."

Hebrews 11:3 continues "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of the things which are visible."
Joe Ray, like so many of todays atheists, simply accept what Richard Dawkins says by faith. The Christian has proof and has experienced in a very real way the risen Jesus Christ through faith. For it is written, "the just shall walk by faith".

The atheists choose by faith to believe there is no God. Many, such as JoeRay, simply regurgitate Dawkins, Hitchens, and others to "prove" their unbelief. The bible says it is the fool who has said in his heart there is no God.

Again, JoeRay, where is your "proof" that causes you to say there is no God. Phone Post
10/18/11 4:30 PM
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Benedictus
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Also, the proof for me that there is a God is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Poseidon, Zues, etc may all be deities, but ones that are demonic, powerless, and shown to be so through the resurrection of Christ. Phone Post
10/18/11 5:03 PM
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prof
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Benedictus - If God is just make believe similar to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, why all the effort and anger to try and "disprove" God?


Obviously people who don't believe in God aren't perturbed by God...as they don't believe one exists.

However: people who BELIEVE in God certainly exist.

And BELIEFS inform people's actions. Many atheists have become sick of having to pretend to be deferential to the unwarranted, unsubstantiated beliefs of our fellow citizens, especially as the belief in God can have some pernicious aspects for both the believer and people who have to live with God-believers.

If much of the world believed in Santa, and wanted public policy to reflect Santa's "existence" and commands, and proselytized about Santa, and claimed Santa was the only source of morality, and voted on their association with Santaism, and tried to influence school policies to infiltrate Santa Belief, and allowed their children to be raised scientifically ignorant due to Santa belief (the list goes on)...basically if all the things associated with God belief were associated with Santa Belief, THEN you'd see us criticizing Santa belief as well.


Benedictus -
Also, how did you come to believe there is no God?


The same reason I come to believe the claims of homeopathy or astrology are baseless: no good evidence or theory support them. Same for any God claim.

Prof.
10/18/11 5:27 PM
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Benedictus
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Thank you for answering the question, Prof. Now, i would like to ask you, what proof or evidence of God would you accept? Phone Post
10/18/11 5:33 PM
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Benedictus
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Also, prof, what evidence out there exists to deny God? Phone Post
10/18/11 6:25 PM
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prof
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Edited: 10/18/11 7:12 PM
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You're quite welcome Benedictus. :-)

1. The can of diet coke on my desk seems to have no problem convincing me it exists. Nor does my wife have any trouble showing me and others that she exists.

An Almighty God should be able to rise to at least that level of manifestation to me and to others.

2. Evidence to deny God: That all depends on the type of argument we are looking at. I can say there has been no good POSITIVE argument or evidence provided to me that would justify a belief in God, and that's why I'm an atheist.

In that respect I don't have to "prove" no God exists anymore than I have to "prove" no other dimensions containing pickle-eating aliens exist. I can just point out there is no good reason to BELIEVE they exist.

But one can also make a positive case against the existence of certain Gods - that is not merely to say "I don't see any reason to believe they exist" but rather to assert: There are reasons to think such a God DOES NOT EXIST.

One type of argument is essentially an argument from evil/suffering. Insofar as a theist posits the existence of a Loving God, there is plenty of evidence against that proposition, in the form of suffering one should not see if such a Being existed. (Which can be expressed logically in a modus tollens form).

Cheers,

Prof.

10/20/11 12:07 AM
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Benedictus
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Prof, since you are the only atheist out of all the ones who have viewed the thread, i would be interested in your thoughts on Descartes' argument for God. Phone Post
10/20/11 12:10 AM
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Benedictus
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Regarding God showing Himself to you, the bible says it is your sin that separates you from God. I also would be interested if you have ever sought for God Himself? Phone Post
10/20/11 2:17 PM
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prof
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Yo Benedictus,

Not surprisingly I have not been impressed by any ontological argument for God, including Descartes. His version, so far as I can see, suffers from similar issues as the others: it is part of the arguments to appeal to the idea of God embodying "perfection." However, there is an inherent fudge factor with the notion of "perfection." What exactly would "perfection" entail and would we agree on it? Not from what I've seen in discussions between theists and atheists. And a logical argument can not really be of much worth if one of it's premises rely on an inherently fuzzy, controversial proposition.

Further, the notion of "perfection" encounters a Euthyphro-type dilemma. By what would a perfect God be judged "perfect?" It would seem this God would have to meet some outside standard of perfection in which to do so. But then it seems God is not supreme...God must meet an external standard.

Some Christian thinkers have tried to get around this issue in the ontological argument by saying "Don't worry, we can solve this: we can say it would be Greater to BE the standard than to be judged by the standard. Hence a God would BE the standard of perfection/greatness.

However, the consequences of taking this route are severe: it removes all ability to rationally identify any candidate to be this God. Why? Because you have removed any standard by which to evaluate any claim to Godliness! Let's say I claim to be God. On what basis could you possibly dispute this? You could never say "You are not a God because you don't meet the criteria of X, Y or Z." Because I can just remind you "Sorry, have your forgotten? I, being God, am the standard by which I am a God. Thus ANYTHING I do is indicative of Godliness. You can not judge me from an outside standard."

So the theist puts himself into an epistemological quandary by accepting God-is-the-standard type "solutions" with the ontological arguments.

Those are just some objections.

Benedictus - Regarding God showing Himself to you, the bible says it is your sin that separates you from God. I also would be interested if you have ever sought for God Himself? <img src="/images/phone/droid.png" alt="Phone Post" border="0" style="vertical-align:middle;"/>


It is hardly unexpected that, if there were claims perpetuated about a God that did not exist, it would come armed with excuses for why the skeptic finds no evidence for that God. Standard issue, really, and not terribly interesting.

After all, I can claim to you a council of magic elves meets every Saturday night in my garden. Naturally you'll be skeptical of this claim. When you point out that it's Saturday Night, we are standing in the garden, and you see no elves whatsoever, I would retort: Well did you forget? I said they were MAGIC elves. They also happen to be quite shy, and they don't show themselves to people of a skeptical mindset. That's why you don't see any elves!

Surely this would be a very unimpressive retort to your skepticism, for obvious reasons. And for those same reasons, claims that a God exists that come with excuses for why a skeptic finds no evidence for this claim are similarly unimpressive.

Cheers,

Prof.

10/21/11 12:55 AM
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Benedictus
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So we've clarified atheists use faith there is no God since there is zero scientific evidence disproving His Being. Phone Post
10/21/11 9:17 AM
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Ali
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We've clarified that the burden of proof issue is not clear to some people, that's for sure. And there's been one logical argument made -- does that count as "scientific"?
10/21/11 11:08 AM
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Benedictus
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@Ali, nice way to deflect the original question. Phone Post
10/21/11 11:16 AM
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Ali
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Benedictus - @Ali, nice way to deflect the original question. Phone Post


Why so smug, Benedictus? There's no deflecting of the original question. Perhaps I should have quoted your post immediately prior to mine. That was what I was addressing.
10/21/11 12:04 PM
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prof
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Benedictus - So we've clarified atheists use faith there is no God since there is zero scientific evidence disproving His Being.



Awww...Benedictus. You've disappointed me. For a moment there I thought your questions were genuine and we were having a real conversation. Sigh...

First: As Ali pointed out, you don't seem to understand the burden of proof for a claim. If I claim I have a flying saucer in my garage it's up to me to provide the evidence for that claim. If I don't provide you with good evidence, you are quite entitled to say "I have no reason to believe your claim."

Same with you and the God you (and others) believe in. So long as you don't provide good evidence for your claim, I get to say "You've given me no good reason to believe in your God."

This is not "faith." It's called "reason." If that weren't so, I could claim you owe me $50,000 for work I did for you.
If in fact there is no evidence whatsoever I did any work for you, it's not by "faith" you conclude you don't owe me money...it's a plain, everyday use of REASON and LOGIC.

And instead of relying on faith or dogma, I actually gave you some REASONS, logical arguments, for why I do not believe the claims about God.

You have a seriously distorted concept of "faith" insofar as you a mixing that up with conclusions drawn from experience, reason and logic.

Further: There are indeed scientific reasons to reject belief in God. Science is method of inquiry, based on more fundamental epistemological concerns...concerns which pertain to ANY claims of "knowledge."

Science puts in place methods to try to get around the obvious problem of human bias and our tendency to want to fool ourselves. Insofar as religions have made claims with empirically testable consequences, they have been falsified by scientific knowledge (e.g. lots of the Biblical description of the origin of man and earth). Insofar as a religion makes non-falsifiable claims, it is being scientific to reject such claims as showing no promise to deciding if the claim is warranted or not.

So, yeah, there are in fact scientific reasons to reject religious claims, God included.

There are also philosophical reasons.

But given your last post I'm not feeling optimistic you will take any of these points on board.

Prof.



10/21/11 12:41 PM
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Joe Ray
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Benedictus - So we've clarified atheists use faith there is no God since there is zero scientific evidence disproving His Being. <img src="/images/phone/droid.png" alt="Phone Post" border="0" style="vertical-align:middle;"/>


LOL.

like arguing with children....
10/21/11 5:41 PM
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colubrid1
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For (AJ)the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who (AK)suppress the truth [l]in unrighteousness, 19 because (AL)that which is known about God is evident [m]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For (AM)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (AN)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [n]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became (AO)futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 (AP)Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and (AQ)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [o]crawling creatures.
24 Therefore (AR)God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be (AS)dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [p]a (AT)lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, (AU)who is blessed [q]forever. Amen.

26 For this reason (AV)God gave them over to (AW)degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [r]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, (AX)men with men committing [s]indecent acts and receiving in [t]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit [u]to acknowledge God any longer, (AY)God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are (AZ)gossips, 30 slanderers, [v](BA)haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, (BB)disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, (BC)unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of (BD)death, they not only do the same, but also (BE)give hearty approval to those who practice them.
10/21/11 6:17 PM
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prof
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Do you like
green eggs and ham

I do not like them,
Sam-I-am.
I do not like
green eggs and ham.

Would you like them
Here or there?

I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them
anywhere.
I do not like
green eggs and ham.
I do not like them,
Sam-I-am

Would you like them
in a house?
Would you like them
with a mouse?

I do not like them
in a house.
I do not like them
with a mouse.
I do not like them
here or there.
I do not like them
anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

(Etc)

Prof.

10/22/11 12:16 PM
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JesusTapped
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gord96 -
Benedictus - If God is just make believe similar to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, why all the effort and anger to try and "disprove" God? Also, how did you come to believe there is no God? As a group who calls themselves rational and scientific, what scientific prrofs do you have there is no God? Phone Post


They don't need scientific proofs there is no God. They don't need ANY proof and there is no way you can prove that God exists to them. The very idea of worshiping God, to an atheist, is incomprehensible. Their hearts are hardened.
Wrong.

I'm a loving husband and father, so I take issue with your judgement that my heart is hard. Clearly, you aren't a Christian because they rebuke judgement, lest they themselves be judged.

I do not engage in any form of deity worship, period. It has nothing to do with a hardened heart, just an open mind. All religious believers are deity worshippers who argue over which floating man in the sky we should be talking to.

But that's fine for them. I won't seek to change them. Let them worship.

And stop judging me for choosing not to. BTW, since we've ruled out Christianity what is the OPs faith? Phone Post
10/23/11 11:24 PM
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Ridgeback
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 Of course not all atheists are alike.  Some atheists are truly atheist not because they have some kind of emotional bent towards religion, but because they simply can't believe the claims of the major world religions are true.  It is a true "lack of belief" in a deity.  Of course other atheists not only have a lack of belief, but they also have many positive beliefs that lead them to essentially think that religion is a threat to progress (whatever that means) and so they have the right to attack it at every turn, treating it as if it is all one monolithic thing.  We can call these people "anti-religionists" and usually that will mean they are also atheist.  

Now many anti-religious atheists claim that they only attack religion because they are defending themselves from irrational laws and proscriptions and hindrances and violence.  It is a tad difficult to take this as genuine since, of course, lots of religious people are also battling irrationality and violence and unfair laws on a regular basis as well.  An anti-religionist atheist would have to acknowledge that many people who are religious are the "good guys" while many atheists are actually of no help at all and often a cause of violence and irrationality as well.  After all, the lack of belief in God doesn't make a person "safe" to rule a country or even to run a household.  Even some recent polls seem to point to the idea that as people become less religious they become more supersititious.  There are also studies that seem to show that highly intelligent and educated people are more prone to making irrational and emotional decisions.  In other words, the line between rationality and irrationality, sanity and insanity, a love for evidence and the truth, does not split down religious/irreligious lines.  

Many atheists simply won't admit this and assume that they alone have transcended the "corruption" of religion.  Some of the bigger idiots in their group have even suggested calling themselves by labels denoting their obvious superiority to the majority of humans, who have been religious since history began (I personally believe no human ceases to be religious, he just takes on new narratives and then assigns religious devotion to them).

If you find yourself in no camp, alternating between agreement and disagreement with both religious types and atheists alike, I think that may be a sign that you love the truth, so far as you understand it, above the comfort of a team or club or sect or church.  
10/24/11 6:12 PM
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CDarwin
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