Author Topic: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists  (Read 11607 times)

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Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2015, 03:59:13 pm »
Such as?

Well, I already mentioned the fact that humans seem to have belief in a higher power encoded in their brains and DNA.  Another argument is the fact that science now accepts that the universe was created out of nothing.  Many scientists, such as Gerald Schroeder, say that the "force of nature" that most mainstream scientists agree created the universe is actually God, because it predates the universe, is not physical, acts on the physical, and can create the physical out of nothing.

is there any way to reduce ironchew's sentence? a week off is maybe a bit hardcore, perhaps just a stern reprimand would've been better?

It's nice that you're concerned about him, but he needs to learn his lesson.  Maybe this will finally penetrate his thick skull.

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2015, 04:02:40 pm »
Quote
Well, I already mentioned the fact that humans seem to have belief in a higher power encoded in their brains and DNA.

If that were true, atheists wouldn't exist.

Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2015, 04:07:25 pm »
Quote
Well, I already mentioned the fact that humans seem to have belief in a higher power encoded in their brains and DNA.

If that were true, atheists wouldn't exist.

You misunderstand what I mean by "higher power."  It need not necessarily be divine, it can be some higher principle, or some abstract idea.

Offline The_Queen

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2015, 04:08:34 pm »
Quote
Well, I already mentioned the fact that humans seem to have belief in a higher power encoded in their brains and DNA.

If that were true, atheists wouldn't exist.

Not to mention your "scientific argument" is the fact that a scientist believes--on FAITH--that god drives the laws of our universe. I would like to point you to my previous point about Ben Carson and smart people being susceptible to irrational beliefs.

This also sounds like an argument from that abortion of a movie "God is not Dead." The reasoning sucked then, and it sucks now.

I would also like to reiterate that Paragon has danced around the formal logic issue and burden of proof since I came into this thread. I now invoke the direct question rule: do you acknowledge that because it is easier to prove a positive (the existence of X) than a negative (the absence of X) that the burden of proof in this debate on the existence of god falls on you, Paragon? Follow-up, if not, then why?
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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2015, 04:12:53 pm »
So... the fact that people very commonly have principles and ideals... proves that the Christian God is an entity that exists?

I'm getting echoes from that one guy on FSTDT who claimed that objective morality proves the existence of God somehow.

Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2015, 04:18:47 pm »
So... the fact that people very commonly have principles and ideals... proves that the Christian God is an entity that exists?

I'm getting echoes from that one guy on FSTDT who claimed that objective morality proves the existence of God somehow.

I'm not talking about objective morality, I'm talking about grand, unifying ideas.

Offline ironbite

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2015, 04:47:36 pm »
*continues munching on popcorn*

What a fascinating argument UP has gone for here.  Let's see if he can bypass the Earth's core and hit Istanbul.

Ironbite-*sips soda*

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2015, 05:07:54 pm »
The existence of unifying ideas doesn't prove that a creator entity exists. It proves only that human beings have the capacity to communicate, share ideas with one another and form worldviews based on their own ideas and those of others.

Offline Canadian Mojo

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2015, 06:13:19 pm »
So... the fact that people very commonly have principles and ideals... proves that the Christian God is an entity that exists?

I'm getting echoes from that one guy on FSTDT who claimed that objective morality proves the existence of God somehow.

I'm not talking about objective morality, I'm talking about grand, unifying ideas.

And the alternate hypothesis is that it is an evolutionary adaptation to cope with an animal in possession of a highly intelligent and creative brain capable of abstract thought and a need for them to work in fairly large cohesive hierarchical groups in order to survive.

Having said that, I wonder if whales have gods?

Offline ironbite

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2015, 06:14:01 pm »
So... the fact that people very commonly have principles and ideals... proves that the Christian God is an entity that exists?

I'm getting echoes from that one guy on FSTDT who claimed that objective morality proves the existence of God somehow.

I'm not talking about objective morality, I'm talking about grand, unifying ideas.

And the alternate hypothesis is that it is an evolutionary adaptation to cope with an animal in possession of a highly intelligent and creative brain capable of abstract thought and a need for them to work in fairly large cohesive hierarchical groups in order to survive.

Having said that, I wonder if whales have gods?

They do but good luck trying to pronounce the names.

Offline Cerim Treascair

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2015, 08:02:13 pm »
So... the fact that people very commonly have principles and ideals... proves that the Christian God is an entity that exists?

I'm getting echoes from that one guy on FSTDT who claimed that objective morality proves the existence of God somehow.

I'm not talking about objective morality, I'm talking about grand, unifying ideas.

And the alternate hypothesis is that it is an evolutionary adaptation to cope with an animal in possession of a highly intelligent and creative brain capable of abstract thought and a need for them to work in fairly large cohesive hierarchical groups in order to survive.

Having said that, I wonder if whales have gods?

They do but good luck trying to pronounce the names.

I dunno, if you hit FPS on Reddit and you're a fan of Caterham, it probably sounds like "Cooooooonnnndiiiiiiishuuuuuuuuns~"
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Offline Art Vandelay

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2015, 09:13:47 pm »
You've got it backwards, Art.  See, you're the one who started the argument in favor of God's nonexistence, therefore, you're taking the affirmative side. 

Wrong. What you're getting into is reframing the issue in an attempt to shift the burden of proof. However, in formal logic, the burden of proof most often lies on the one that can most easily satisfy it. For example, if I say "all ravens are black" and you say "not all ravens are black," then the burden of proof lies on the claim that can be most easily proven. However, I can rephrase the statements to be "there are no ravens that are white," and you would retort "there are ravens that are white." For all intents and purposes, the two examples I just gave you are the exact same, one is just stated in the positive and the other in the negative (all ravens are black vs. there are no white ravens). However, for both of these examples, the burden of proof lies on the second person since that person is asserting the existence of ravens that are not black.

And the point of all of this is that it is easier for the second person to present the world one raven that is white than it is for the first to gather all ravens, across the entire world, across all time, to confirm that they are all black. Since you are asserting the presence of god in the universe, all you need to do is come up with some proof for its existence. The burden of proof is not on Art to prove that god does not exist, is not hiding, has not abandoned humanity, has not died, etc. It is far easier for you to prove one of these (god exists, god is hiding, god abandoned humanity, god died, etc) than it is for Art to disprove all of these, not to mention any other excuse that the mind could conjure up. This isn't rocket science: it's something you'd learn in philosophy 101 at just about any university.

And for clarity, I use black and white ravens as the only two possibilities. While there could theoretically be a red raven (or some other in between) this is a metaphor for the existence of God--God cannot half-exist.

EDIT: I know Ironchew is inflammatory, but Guizonode did take a potshot at him first. I think it's unfair that someone can call Ironchew out with zero repercussion, and then Ironchew gets a week ban for crossing a line with his retort.

EDIT 2: And until Paragon meets this burden of proof, then it is irrational to believe in the existence of God. And before Paragon jumps off the deep end crying intolerance or persecution, my stance on this issue is no different than devout Christians Soren Kierkegaard or Immanuel Kant. And further to clarify, cause Paragon will inevitably jump off the deep end, smart people can believe irrational things, and unintelligent people can believe rational things. Ben Carson is a decent example: he's a neurosurgeon and it is intuitive that that class of people will be smarter than most. He's also a homophobic asshat that believes homosexuality is a choice. Smart man, has stupid beliefs. See how the irrational belief can be separated from those people who believe them.

EDIT 3: And here we go,

Quote from: Paragon on Occam's Razor
It's completely useless in theology.  If anything, it's a shot in the foot.  "God did it" is a far simpler explanation for the creation of the universe than just about anything else.

Occam's razor is not purely about the simplest answer winning out, it is about the one that requires the least amount of outside complications. For example, let's say you're walking through a forest and you come across a charred tree stump in the middle of a field, and there was a thunderstorm recently. You could say, simply "god did it." Three words, can be applied to everything. However, the problem is that this simple answer has the most outside complications: you have to create the existence of a god in the universe, that acts upon our world, that destroys trees, wanted to destroy this tree, and did so. The far simpler answer is not to bring in this complication of the existence of god, but to simply observe what we know about the world and how that could create the condition we found. As such, the notion that the tree got struck by lightning is far simpler than the idea that god did it, because it does not require the creation of supernatural entities with pyromanical tendencies, but a deferral to what we already know true about the world. In essence, the fatal flaw in your reasoning is that you conflate short answers with simple answers.
I'd just like to point out that you've yet to actually address anything here that isn't related to Ironchew, Mr Paragon. Is Ironchew really that much more interesting to you, or are you just too embarrassed to admit that you clearly have absolutely no idea how basic logic works?
As for the Bible's historical accuracy, you have to consider the culture of the Ancient Near East.  Some details of the battles, for instance, can be explained by the fact that exaggeration, dramatization, and outright fabrication were routine in those days.  Even Herodotus, The Father of History, preferred an element of show to pure analysis.  And yet he's generally considered a reliable source by modern scholars, thanks to archeological discoveries showing strong evidence for his claims.  Moreover, huge chunks of Genesis are considered to be metaphorical by many, and have been since at least the Fourth Century CE.
Ah, so inaccuracies, dramatisations, exaggerations and outright fabrications do indeed explain much of the Bible's content. Except for the bits about there being a magical sky fairy who performs magic and then sacrificed himself to himself to save us all from himself. That bit, in a source that you just admitted should otherwise never be taken at face value, we should totally take literally. Why exactly is that? Because the Bible, that book you said often outright makes shit up, says that this magical sky fairy wants us to have blind faith in its existence for the sake of having blind faith in its existence?

Well, I don't know about you lot, but I'm totally convinced. That's it, guys, thread's over. Theism has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be every bit as rational as atheism. Totally. Yup. Mmhmm.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 10:08:13 pm by Art Vandelay »

Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2015, 10:25:13 pm »
I was merely trying to provide some historical context.  More to the point, the Bible is less inaccurate than it was once claimed to be.  Skeptics used to scoff at many of its claims, but archaeology ultimately proved a lot of them right.

And "magical sky fairy?"  Appeal to ridicule will not help you here.  All it does is make you sound like a manchild.

Moreover, you're beating up a strawman.  Not all theists believe due to faith and/or tradition.  Some believe because of reason or science.  For example, Antony Flew used to be a staunch proponent of Atheism.  Then he wrote a book called There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.  Why the change of heart?  Because of his commitment to following the evidence.

Offline mellenORL

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2015, 10:32:36 pm »
Aw, that's nice, yes.
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Offline Art Vandelay

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2015, 10:40:03 pm »
Still ignoring the part about Occam's Razor, are you? You may want to get on that at some point, especially since Queenie invoked the direct question rule.