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The God Delusion

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Amorphis
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

I accept the null hypothesis, IE: that there are no gods (atheism). Without reason, I will not move from that position. Reason, and not special pleading! Such pleading seems to be the heart of every attempt at a proof for the existence of any god.

I believe in non-superstitious, non-dogmatic, non-other-wordly, spirituality. I do not need to believe that all is crafted by an benevolent intelligence to feel mind-stopping awe at a beautiful sunrise. I do not need the neurotic clutter of guilt, sin, and penance to feel just. I do not need the promise of another life to make this one worth living: indeed, such a promise would cheapen this life.

Religion is a putrid corpse, but nihilism is a cadaver of the soul. This is also Dawkins' position, and if one can see past their faith's hurt feelings, they can see he is quite reasonable in The God Delusion.

You will not prove with science that science is false, IE: with the "proofs" against evolution you can see in this very thread. They are so thoroughly refuted (see http://talkorigins.org/ for an exact, complete, well-sourced answer to absolutely any common claim). A public forum is not the place for a debate about hard science, but thankfully - your questions have already been completely answered by others on a public website.

You will not prove your faith with science. You removed the burden of your reason from your shoulders when you took a great leap into the abyss. You will not find where you have landed with your mind. You have forsaken it, and it has forsaken you.




Last edited by Amorphis on Sat 19 Sep, 2009; edited 1 time in total
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EllyEve
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

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I realize that this isn't an entirely satisfying answer for some people. To just say that God is some infinite entity outside of the rules and logic of the known universe... well, yeah, that seems like a nice cover-all excuse, but I don't feel that it's that strange of a concept, either.

Not to that logic puzzle, I grant you... but, then, by that isolated context... what about what else is God? We've stuck God in the placeholder of a logical paradox where only God fits by the transcendental nature of God, yes, but it does not follow that Cause1=God and God=Cause1 all equal: love, patriarchy, canonical text, specific codes of morality, grace, fate, free will, Sunday bests, nuns and nurses in the slums of Calcutta, tiffs in Northern Ireland, Christmas pageants, crusades, Inquisitors, indulgences... any more than the aspects of the universe that would certainly not characterize Aquinas' God.

We might as well say that causeless Cause must be Shiva, or some cosmic Platonian spaghetti.


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Tomothy
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

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You will not prove with science that science is false

If you mean that you can't disprove scientific theories using science then you're wrong. That's what science is all about.

If you mean that you can't disprove the larger concept of science as a way of viewing the world then you might be wrong there too. We know that science works through observation and the very act of observing a phenomena affects it. Science is not a flawless doctrine. I think it may even have been quantum physics that showed this (that would mean science was used to discredit the scientific method).

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You will not prove your faith with science.

While there are some who try to do this I wouldn't say it's the majority. I am open to hearing reasons not to believe in God, or to change my beliefs about God, but so far I haven't encountered any particularly good ones - The God Delusion not withstanding.

Furthermore, I see your position as an atheist as a matter of faith. It is essentially unscientific to be an atheist is it not? You cannot disprove the existence of God so your belief in God's non-existence is essentially a matter of faith. And so I say to you, "You will not prove your faith with science." But I invite you to try, or perhaps convert to agnosticism.

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This is also Dawkins' position, and if one can see past their faith's hurt feelings, they can see he is quite reasonable in The God Delusion.

Would you mind quoting and paraphrasing some of these 'reasonable' arguments for those who haven't read the book recently, or at all. I think this thread would benefit from focusing more closely on what Dawkins has written.


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Freecube
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Including quotes from our previous posts, I am 2,571 words into my refutation of your posts, Bombax. I was not able to finish it, as my roommate needed the light to go out and I cannot read from any of my sources. I hope to finish my post by tomorrow night, but as I have not much spare time from a full load of college courses in my senior year, I estimate that it will not be done entirely until Friday night or even perhaps Saturday. Thanks for your patience, I do appreciate it.

Edit: After seeing this post I am about to quote, I decided I need to do a relatively quick refutation tonight, before this poster stops checking this thread.

Amorphis wrote:
I accept the null hypothesis, IE: that there are no gods (atheism). Without reason, I will not move from that position. Reason, and not special pleading! Such pleading is the heart of every laughable attempt at a proof for the existence of some god.


Atheism affirms that there is no God. Yet atheists cannot hold this position dogmatically, for to make the type of statement with authority, we would have to know the universe in its entirety and to possess all knowledge. If anyone had these credentials, then by definition he would be God. Thus, we can see that, unless the atheist is all-knowing, he cannot make a dogmatic statement on God's existence. Therefore, he can only either logically state that he is uncertain whether or not there is a God--and this view is agnosticism--or he can accept the principles of atheism on faith--the very faith that atheism supposedly despises in religion.

Logically, then, the choice of pure reason is agnosticism. Agnosticism, by definition does not know whether a God exists. Therefore, in the search for truth, all agnostics should make an effort to know whether or not there is a God. Logically, then, agnosticism is not grounds for rejecting any religion outright, but rather for examining it.

Credit for this argument more or less goes to Josh McDowell and Don Stewart in their book, "Answers"


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P90X
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

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2. The evolution of sex - assuming we came from single celled organisms, at one point we would have had to come from budding (splitting into two identical organisms) to our sexual reproduction. Are you going to tell me that a male and a female evolved at the same time.
Do you really mean to tell us that you don't think hundreds of scientific papers published in scientific journals have been written on this very subject


Just because some brainy intellectual says it doesn't mean it's true, you said that yourself.

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Science cannot per definition provide an explanation for everything - there are still mountains and mountains of unanswered questions (for example, in physics, why there is more matter than anti-matter in the universe). In addition, old theorems are constantly corrected to more accurately predict reality, and thus science is forever changing. Thus, we still do not know if there is evidence "for the existence of the universe", but neither does science have to provide one to remain valid, which it is.


You could use the same logic for intelligent design, we do not have to provide evidence for every little thing the argument to remain valid.
Also because the laws of science are continualy changing, that means that scientific laws and theroys don't match the real world, and probaly never will, if you don't know that half the stuff they have is correct know how do you know what is currently correct and what is wrong?
I'll take an example from men in black:
Long time ago people knew, that earth revolved around the sun, while back people knew that earth was flat and right now we know that the big bang happened.
See what i mean, just about every generation has seen the world in a way that has been proved wrong, hor do we know that our current scientific belief are right or wrong?

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Now theres a though, argue back. This whole topic started because you said we should read some book, we read the book, and find out it's a piece of dung, we tell you it's a peice of dung and tell us our arguments against the book are illogical
That is not how the topic started.

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No, I am just kidding, I am agnostic. I recommend that christians and non-christians alike should read The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins

Yeah i think it is.

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We look at the book again and see the book is illogical.
Provide evidence for why it is illogical, and I will listen.

We did, look at the first page of posts, and if you find no evidence in that, look at the actual book and see his arguments, and if you fail to see his lack of logic,(something that you have been saying we have none of) then take my advice and again deflate your giant ego, it must be bulging up and covering your eyes.
Yes i know, theres some faild logic in that sentece, but it's true. You are the proof with your giant ego staring us all in the face! Ask anyone in this topic but you, your side or ours.

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Sorry for the insulting posts mods, but the guy was driving me crazy and i just had to get my message through, this won't be a habit and i'll only pull it off once in a blue moon, and you know how rare those are
Appeal to flattery. Yes, that is a logical fallacy; by flattering others you try to gain support for your arguments, even though the content of the argument may be completely incorrect.)


I did not do this to appeal to flattery, i wrote that because, i'm a nice guy and didn't want to get in trouble with genuinly nice people for pointing out your flaws.
At the time i only wrote it so i would not get in trouble.

Now i sit back and watch as you tear up my argument and still fail to provid a compelling argument.


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Tomothy
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Quote:
That is not how the topic started. Regardless, you (meaning "you" as a group) have thus failed to provide valid, logical evidence why the book "is a piece of dung" - I have "argued back" by explaining why these arguments are invalid, and thus do not form a valid opinion.

I totally posted a criticism of his proof against the existence of God on the first page. A proof you didn't respond to...


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underscore
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

EllyEve wrote:
Quote:
I realize that this isn't an entirely satisfying answer for some people. To just say that God is some infinite entity outside of the rules and logic of the known universe... well, yeah, that seems like a nice cover-all excuse, but I don't feel that it's that strange of a concept, either.

Not to that logic puzzle, I grant you... but, then, by that isolated context... what about what else is God? We've stuck God in the placeholder of a logical paradox where only God fits by the transcendental nature of God, yes, but it does not follow that Cause1=God and God=Cause1 all equal: love, patriarchy, canonical text, specific codes of morality, grace, fate, free will, Sunday bests, nuns and nurses in the slums of Calcutta, tiffs in Northern Ireland, Christmas pageants, crusades, Inquisitors, indulgences... any more than the aspects of the universe that would certainly not characterize Aquinas' God.

We might as well say that causeless Cause must be Shiva, or some cosmic Platonian spaghetti.

Absolutely! Aquinas's proof doesn't really necessitate a Christian God in any sesne (though doubtless it was the existence of the Christian God that he was eventually trying to get to). He developed proofs for that too, but I can't think of them right now (nor do I have the time, as I've got to get to class), but it seemed to me like the main debate was over whether or not it was logical to assume that there must have been a Creator. (Also, points for the Flying Spaghetti Monster reference!)


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aco6000
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Smeester wrote:
If you don't believe in God, then for your sake i hope your right.


That's exactly why I don't believe in God.


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Amorphis
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Freecube wrote:
Atheism affirms that there is no God. Yet atheists cannot hold this position dogmatically ...

I cannot say with absolute certainty that my teacup is empty, that gravity will hold true tomorrow, or that I am not currently dreaming. Nor does science know anything for certain in this "purely rational" and ridiculous way you describe. Still, we make statements to the effect when we are sure, and we are right to do so.

I - like Dawkins describes for himself in the second chapter of his book - am not the character of pure unreasoning that you picture. I cannot say that this vague concept of god does not exist in a way that is logically absolute and infallible: but nor can you say the same about leprechauns, faeries, invisible flying teapots, unicorns, or literally anything else I could dream up out of whole cloth.

We are not agnostic about everything. We, like scientists, consider the evidence and accept the best explanation. That best explanation in the case of these imagined deities is that they do not exist, and if they do: they do not affect our lives and are possibly unknowable, so stop worrying and enjoy your life.

Freecube wrote:

Logically, then, the choice of pure reason is agnosticism. Agnosticism, by definition does not know whether a God exists. Therefore, in the search for truth, all agnostics should make an effort to know whether or not there is a God. Logically, then, agnosticism is not grounds for rejecting any religion outright, but rather for examining it.


All evidence for these creatures is laughable and all too human. The same is true of imps, goblins, and other mythical creatures. I will not sit on the fence about everything there is to possibly consider in the universe. When my reason drives me to fall from that fence, I will not clutch it in a desperate attempt to appear "logically pure". It is no more irrational to be an atheist than it is to cross the street after looking both ways, I will not take this ridiculous label of "Agnostic" on such topics.

Be agnostic about say, life in the universe. Do not be agnostic about Yahweh, Shiva, Bhagwan, Rama, Ek Onkar, Allah, Shen, Ahura Mazda, Thor, Zeus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We have something to say about these things.




Last edited by Amorphis on Sat 19 Sep, 2009; edited 2 times in total
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Bombax
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

I simply don't have enough time to address all of your arguments, so I will select only a few:

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This seems easily reversible to me.
You are not allowed to "reverse" it as stated if you are arguing by the laws of logic. That is why there is a burden of proof. It is not my responsibility to disprove anyone else's argument of existence, it is for them to prove it. Take the teapot scenario as an exemplum absurdum. Of course we do not wish to have knowledge on this form. That is why logic has a burden of proof.

And now Aquinas' argument:
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the order of efficient causes cannot proceed to infinity, for in any such order the first is cause of the middle (whether one or many) and the middle of the last
Non sequitur - it does not follow from "for in any such..." that "the order of efficient causes cannot proceed to infinity". In addition, we do no yet have any evidence that causes can proceed to infinity. (However, the Big Bang "theory", does not even take this into account, but rather denotes the start of time, space, matter and energy).
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Thus it is necessary to posit some first efficient cause, which everyone calls 'God.'
Sentimental fallacy and non sequitur. It would perhaps be "pleasant" if God was the "first efficient cause", but that does not mean it is true. Neither does it follow that if there is a first efficient cause, it's denotion would prove God's existence (non sequitur). Therefore, Aquina's argument is invalid.
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ive noticed alot of oppssition... oooh ur a catholic and im an athiest so ur my enemy
Give an example where someone said that, or you have made an invalid generalization.
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I don't think that it's hard to imagine an uncaused cause
It does not matter if you can imagine it or not. I can imagine God, but that does not mean that he exists. You have to provide evidence that an uncaused cause exists, AND that it is God. The Big Bang has such evidence (for example, the movement of galaxies). There is none for God.
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I think of it in terms of a video game programmer
Prove that this analogy explains the existence of God.
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I am 2,571 words into my refutation of your posts, Bombax
Argumentum ad baculum and argumentum verbosium - you are trying to intimidate me by writing this instead of actually presenting the arguments. In addition, a verbose and overly complex argument (verbosium) does not mean that it is correct.
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Just because some brainy intellectual says it doesn't mean it's true, you said that yourself.
This is getting on my nerves, but I will not turn this into an emotional debate. The "brainy intellectual" has provided evidence in his scientific paper for his claims - otherwise, it would not even get through peer review. These persons you have quoted have so far not provided any evidence at all.
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You could use the same logic for intelligent design, we do not have to provide evidence for every little thing the argument to remain valid.
Base rate fallacy, and false analogy. No, you cannot use the argument to support intelligent design, because intelligent design does not have any substantial evidence in favour for it, while evolution does. (And that's not a small portion.)
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Also because the laws of science are continualy changing, that means that scientific laws and theroys don't match the real world, and probaly never will, if you don't know that half the stuff they have is correct know how do you know what is currently correct and what is wrong?
Because science doesn't predict nature to infintisimal accuracy, it is an approximation of reality. Today, the approximation for most theories is excellent but of course not perfect per definition. However, the lack of a perfect truth does not mean we cannot use something that is close enough, and that actually counts as a logical fallacy: the Nirvana fallacy.
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Yeah i think it is.
Contextonomy - quoting out of context. You failed to quote that the initial post had a mod split message, meaning it in fact started as a post in a different thread. Regardless, it is irrelevant.
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We did
You did, but I subsequently proved that the evidence was faulty, and thus invalid.
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You are the proof with your giant ego staring us all in the face
Argumentum ad hominem.
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I did not do this to appeal to flattery, i wrote that because, i'm a nice guy and didn't want to get in trouble with genuinly nice people for pointing out your flaws.
No, if you wanted to do that in an efficient way, you would have sent a personal message to the moderators. By posting in the topic, you were signaling to others that your argument may be valid through the Appeal to flattery fallacy, which of course is invalid in logic.
Quote:
I totally posted a criticism of his proof against the existence of God on the first page.
Evidence is not opinion. Evidence can support opinion.


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Tomothy
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Okay I give up, this is not a dialogue, good luck everyone.

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Wond3rland
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

See, this is how I feel. I am one that never gets caught up in "Which religion to follow" In my mind, each has a certain puzzle piece to offer unto the entire big-picture. Whether it's the Christian Father, Jewish Yaweh, Muslim Allah, or some indigenous tribes Clit-Clack. Atheism is all I cannot fathom. I know honestly, in peoples hearts of hearts they cannot seriously believe intelligence ceases with them, the human. Maybe not a "God" per say, but a higher power. A cosmic consciousness that organized, for lack of a better term, this universe. We are his/hers experiment. Pronouns serve no use when discussing intelligence.

I'd have to say the worst part it, atheist lack purpose. Before someone generalizes that, and becomes upset it's true. You may be an atheist who helps people, spreading generosity being your purpose. There are many other good deeds one can do. With God however, every living inhabitant of Earth has a unifying purpose. We have been placed here to suffer a life of joy, pain, and consequence in order to be granted a state of Euphoric Godliness. God is the oldest known concept to man. Before fire, before the wheel... and waaaaay before Plasma Televisions & Cell phones. Out dated theory, maybe, possibly. Does that make it false, no. Does the old way of thinking and viewing the heavens needs to be updated. Yes, if for no other purpose than relevance to todays society.

It seems repetition is the only way to learn.

"The Big Bang is correct, God pulled the trigger."
-Trip

"God/Philosophy/Theology answers the Whys with Science answering the Hows. Two necessary parts of the the same whole... The innate Human desire to question."
-Trip

"I use to think God was a gardener, I've come to find He's the garden as well."
- A. Einstein

"God does not play dice." An argument of Professor A. Einstein against the Scientific community of Quantum Physicists.

We have a creator. This is not up for debate. Now how you want to interpret/perceive this intelligence is open for discussion. Believers don't have it ALL right. But our foundation is strong, and belief system is sturdy. Our actions, need perfecting.


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Smeester
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Quote:
intelligent design does not have any substantial evidence in favour for it, while evolution does.

Im not saying your wrong here, but could you please provide some of this evidence?

Say that everything that exists is a painting.
One side says that this painting painted itself, and the other side says that some artist came poof out of nowhere and painted it.
Both explanations seem impossible to me.


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Wond3rland
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Funny thing is, if you claim not to believe in God... you've already acknowledged the possibility of truth. Funny how everybody is fighting over God. No ones arguing over the possibility that the color purple can cook a pizza.

I say that to say this. If you have dismissed God, the fact he was/is in your thoughts at all is a testimony to his existence. People have been following the idea of a creator since the beginning of documentation.

If you believe in science you believe in God. One in the same, compliments of each other. God is the intelligence and design behind our universe, science has a purpose to uncover and explain the intelligence and construct of our universe. Same thing people.

And I leave with this...

It's not that we need to quit arguing. It's the fact there is no argument... Science and Religion are not on opposing sides. Kind of like heads/tails... which sides the quarter.


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Smeester
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

The question is why do you try to disprove the ones that believe in a god? Do you really gain anything through it? Anyone who believes in a god, however, would feel as though they are gaining something. They would be saving your soul, which they believe is an achievement. From this examine the following:

If there is no god:
And an atheist converts a believer to atheism, they both die.
And an atheist fails to convert a believer, they both die.

If there is a god:
And a believer converts an atheist, they both live for eternity.
If not, the atheist burns in hell for all eternity.

The last point there may sit on a believerís conscience. There is still no reason for an atheist to care.
So once again I ask: why do the ones who donít believe in a god want to convince ones that donít, that there isnít a god?

If someone is delusional, and believe that they can fly, do you try to prove them wrong?
If someone believes the world will blow up tomorrow, do you try to prove them wrong?
If someone has imaginary friends, do you try to convince them they donít exist?

Most likely you donít, or at least donít try as hard as you do against the religious. This suggests that there must be a difference in the two. Perhaps with those examples you are 100% sure they are wrong, but with religion you arenít. Perhaps you argue because you really donít know that you are right.

Or perhaps you argue because God is truly present in your life, and you donít want it to be, so you hide behind your theories, thus convincing yourself that there is no god.

With this argument, i have only fortified my faith. Have you?
Logically correct, or not; I know i have one this argument.
you can go ahead and refute all this with your fancy words that you use to make yourself look smart, but i wont care because i still know that i have won.(actually it would support my argument )

*no hard feelings to anyone smile


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