Another Religion Argument.

This one has some good philosophical bits in it though.  It’s an in-line response to one of his comments.  The bits in quotes are the guy I’m responding to, the bits without quotes are me, and the occasional bits in brackets are left-over quotes from me he was responding to.

“I
think you are the unbeliever in this discussion, so does it seam
meaningful for you to define my belief or is it reasonable that I who
hold the belief should be the one to define it? I understand that that
is how you as an atheist views faith, however that is your atheistic
view of faith, but that is not how I define faith.”

Faith is belief without evidence though.  To quote bertrand russel, “We may define faith as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence.  Where there is evidence, no one speaks of ‘faith’.  We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.”

No.
I think you are missing the point of the conversation above, if that is
what you are referring to. He claims that my holding to the existence
of God is an illusion of my own mind, and charged him of diluting
himself from the reality of God, whom he knows exist.”

Actually no, he claims that all gods are an illusion of peoples’ minds.  Not just yours.  Whereas you believe everyone who believes something different from you, whatever it is, is deluded.  Your belief is about you, his belief is an attempt to be objective.  And atheists really don’t secretly know that yahweh is real and “deny” him.  This is ethnocentric nonsense that many religions espouse.

“I would point out
to you that your claim to evidentialism is self-referentially absurd,
for evidentialism is not able to prove evidentialism.”

Evidence (either physical or logical) is a valid way to prove something.  I don’t see any other valid or reliable way to distinguish between reality and non-reality.  And as I said you are a hypocrite because you do not apply your logic equally and reject all the thousands of deities and mythological beings that your logic is invoked to justify belief in.  Are you saying this isn’t hypocritical?  You don’t even believe in your own argument, you just pretend to when it’s pointed at your deity. 

If I wanted to I could convince myself that allah “MUST!!!1” be real because of all the things I don’t understand.  This would be illogical and I would know that my not understanding something like the origins of the universe would no more support the claim that mohammad was the prophet of allah than it would that jesus was the son of yahweh or the baghavad gita is of divine origin or any of a few thousand stories about a creator that have circulated for thousands of years.

[“You
can’t just point at something you don’t understand and say “see, god had
to have made that”, unless you want to either a) be a hypocrite and
deny every other belief that uses that logic without a second (or first)
thought, or b) be consistent and accept that logic in support of
countless other mystical beings.  Only you can’t do that because they
all contradict and negate each other.]



“Maybe you think
that is what I was saying, but I was not saying that. What I was saying
was that he, as an atheist, claims that everything came about by
impersonal, mindless, and lifeless matter in motion. He did not prove
his view. He takes that by blind unprovable atheistic faith. That was my
point.”

You’re dodging my argument against what you believe by putting words in the mouth of an atheist who isn’t in this conversation.



[Either way the observed existence of life proves
that life exists, and the observed existence of the universe proves
that the universe exists.]



”Hum… I don’t know what you
are trying to get at. I guess what you are saying is that  you do
observe life?”

You would know what I was getting at if you didn’t chop my short comment into 20 pieces and read and respond to only one sentence at a time, therefore making sure not to ever get what I’m talking about.  What I was saying is that we know for a fact the universe exists and life exists, that is our starting point.  We do not know by observation or evidence that a deity exists.  The fact that we don’t understand some phenomenon in biology or quantum mechanics does not point to a deity any more than us not understanding lightning points to zeus.  But even if it did it would no more point to your god than any of the thousands of other gods of other religions.  

“But it does not seam meaningful to then claim that that
“proves” there is life.”

What are you talking about?  Are you suggesting life does not exist?

“The fact that we do observe life, we both may
agree,”

May agree?

“but for the atheist to claim that all of life came from non-life,
that stands to be proven by the atheist.”

That is not the position of atheism.  An atheist may take that position, but only as an atheist might do or believe almost anything.  Atheism is non-belief or disbelief in the existence of deities, that is all. 

“Will you try to prove that
claim? Did someone prove that claim to you? If not, then do you hold to
that life came from nonlife, thought from non-thought, personhood from
impersonal stuff of matter?”

If you know anything about physics you know that all matter is “non-life” and all matter is impersonal.  “Life” describes one sort of pattern matter can take, not the matter itself, just as “car” describes one pattern we make matter into, not the atoms the car is made of.  The atoms in your body are no different than the atoms in a car or a table or anything else.  The atoms in a car are not special “car” atoms, the atoms in you are not special “you” atoms etc.  And the matter in your body is constantly replaced as you eat, urinate, defecate and shed skin.  Life is not some magical property that requires an incantation. 

I guess this is just one of those frequent
errors where the atheist try to force the Christian prove his beliefs
according to the atheist’s standards of acceptability; but this is just a
fallacious error.”

I would appreciate it if you’d talk to me like I am not from another planet and deal with my arguments without labeling them as inferior “atheist” arguments as if you will get dirty if you are touched by one of them.

“Not everything is observable my physical means. Take
love, or desires, or rational thought, or ideas in another person’s
mind, or that the other person even has a mind. Non of those are proved
physically.”

This is asinine.  You are saying there is no evidence that love, desire, thought, ideas and other people exist.  That is completely insane.

“Why should the atheist expect the Christian to prove to him
that God, who is Spirit, is to be proved physically? How is this kind of
“requirement” not a false expectation?

”

I’ve said nothing about proving anything physically.  Logical evidence will do too.  It just has to actually make sense and track logically, not be a “insert any deity at the end of this sentence”-type argument.

“

That would be the atheist
understanding of religion.”

There you go again.  I do not use “christian” as a jab or a label, I actually just deal with your arguments as arguments.  I’d appreciate the same treatment.

“Let me say it again, that claim that God is
only an illusion of the human mind is the atheist’s explanation for
peoples belief in God.”

So you think all the gods of all the other religions are real?  When hindus say they have a personal relationship with vishnu you believe them?  You don’t think vishnu is an illusion?

Christians believe 99.9999% of deities are false and manmade, illusions of the mind, etc.  Atheists believe the same thing, we just, as the expression goes, “go one god further”.

“The atheist must believe that, for the atheist
cannot permit the reality of God. The atheist must force God out of
existence, objectively speaking, and so would claim that God is only an
illusion of the mind. However, maybe the atheist is trying to force God
out of existence because the atheist wants to hold on to his faith in
atheism. For if there is a God, the gig is up, and he can’t run any
longer. So, the constant running from the God whom they know is there.
Why? What indicates this? Well, to what do they run to?”

You’re projecting onto atheists.  We honestly don’t think this way.  In fact atheism is usually marked by the exact opposite mind set of absolutely never trying to believe anything, and just believing whatever seems to be real.  Not using beliefs like drugs to get off on. 

Take any mundane thing like believing the earth is round.  Imagine if there were thousands of organizations across the country where people got together to sing songs about how the earth is round, talk about how great the roundness of the earth is, and work hard to reinforce belief that the earth is round.  And that if they went a week or a month without this kind of effort, they might stop believing the earth is round.

This is not how it works though.  I don’t give much thought to the shape of the earth, and I am in no danger of believing it’s square or rectangular.  I believe, and will always believe, with absolutely no effort, that it is round.  And the reason it takes no effort is that it’s an honest opinion arrived at by honest inquiry into the subject which reveals plentiful evidence to support that position.  Now if the earth were flat or triangular or something it would take tremendous amounts of energy and time and effort to believe that it was round.  But I would not be interested in believing the earth were round if there were reason to suppose it wasn’t.  And if some new discovery were made tomorrow and it was discovered that the earth was actually some other shape, I would effortlessly accept that, and I would not be afraid to accept it or feel “lost” because I’ve abandoned my previous belief.  These are attachments people get to beliefs that they use to make themselves feel good or allow them social acceptance or any number of things.

“They abandon
rationality into irrational, impersonal, and lifeless matter.”

Life exists on a chemical level, not a subatomic level.  What would “lifeful” matter look like exactly?  As opposed to just regular matter.  And matter is impersonal, all the forces of nature are constant, which is by definition impersonal.  Arsenic is poisonous whether you’re drinking it or not, gravity pulls everything with the same exact force and speed regardless of whether it’s pulling a game-winning ball into a basketball hoop or pulling a baby plummeting off a skyscraper.  Are you supposing that that is a personal force?

“Yet, the
atheist are not entirely irrational, impersonal, and lifeless matter.”

Nope, we’re just made of the stuff.  My preferred philosophical definition of beauty is when something has more value than the sum of it’s parts.  Like a person is more meaningful than a barrel of the chemicals that make up their body and a car is more useful than a lump of iron and carbon.

“If
that is what they are, how can mindless matter reject God or imagine a
God?”

Atheists do not “reject” god any more than you snub the tooth fairy.  You act as if we don’t believe in yahweh out of spite or rebellion.  And granted there are rebellious teenagers who throw hissy fits and reject their parents’ beliefs in a knee-jerk way like that, but overwhelmingly atheists do not think this way.

  And to insist we do is kind of insulting.

“Maybe the reality is that humans do think, and atheism is
false.”

There is no logic to this statement.  Nothing about people thinking logically follows to atheism being false.  You are implying an argument but not stating it because it has already been refuted.

“They really are, as the Bible teach that they are created by God
as thinking people and yet some of these thinking people are living in
rebellion and have conjured this false and unproven/unprovable
materialism so as to run from the God whom they know exist and that they
will have to give account to Him one day. The goodnews is that Jesus
had died for sinners. Those who are willing to stop their rebellion
against God, trust in the finished work of Jesus, are able to have
confidence that he will be accepted by God. However, those who refuse
this invitation will suffer for their life of sin, with out the Savior.”

You are prejudiced against non-believers.  The term prejudice comes from the words “pre-judge”.  You pretend to know the deep inner-workings of an atheist’s mind before even meeting them.  This is no less prejudice than pretending to know everything about a man you’ve never met because he is black.

Yes, the bible does say that non-believers don’t believe in god out of rebellion.  It also says that god magically makes us not believe in him so he can punish us for not believing:

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 thess 2:11-12)

It also say all non-believers are fools, filthy, evil and incapable of doing any good and that jews teach lies for the sake of filthy money.

If it said that all chinese men were rapists or that all mexicans hated children, would you believe that too?  Stereotypes are only believable if you’ve never actually gotten to know the people they describe.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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19 Responses to Another Religion Argument.

  1. TheBillion says:

    whoa, awesome rebuttal. “My preferred philosophical definition of beauty is when something has more value than the sum of it’s parts.”^^ i really love that definition. is it your own idea? 

  2. agnophilo says:

    @TheBillion – The concept of “greater than the sum of it’s parts” isn’t mine of course, but as far as I know no one else has defined beauty that way.  I don’t know the origin or history of the concept though.

  3. TheBillion says:

    @agnophilo – It’s a very elegant idea 🙂

  4. TheSaltMine says:

    After the first four or five exchanges, it became clear that this person was not educated enough to respond meaningfully to your statements. 

  5. agnophilo says:

    @TheBillion – I thought so : )As a kid I read the basics of socratic philosophy, including “the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms”.  It’s true that until we meaningfully define our terms we are just speaking gibberish.I try to explain this to people, but in debates they usually just google the dictionary definition and say “see, this is what it means”.  Missing the point entirely.  You can’t find a good definition of beauty, honor, morality, justice, love etc in a dictionary.@TheSaltMine – Actually this is my in-line response to one comment of his.  This isn’t a conversation.  I commented on his blog briefly, he replied, and this is my response back to him.

  6. TheSaltMine says:

    @agnophilo – Oh, I missed that somehow reading the first time. I will rephrase: it is pretty clear that this guy is poorly educated. 

  7. mommachatter says:

    I personally liked your comparison of God to the Tooth Fairy.  You believe it or not, there are plenty of Irish that will swear there is shide, they have seen them, perhaps they saw them after 4-5 pints of Guiness but you will never, ever be able to convince them that they don’t exist.  But I do thank you for convincing me that once I state my position, there no advantage to arguing the point.  If the non believer wants more information he will ask.  Now I have turkey and ham, dressing, gravy, yams, peas waiting on me. Have a great weekend.

  8. agnophilo says:

    @mommachatter – “I personally liked your comparison of God to the Tooth Fairy.”  Often people take offense at this, as if I am comparing god to the tooth fairy, elves, whatever in every respect.  But the only point is to use an example of something I can be pretty sure the other person does not believe exists, or to use something that has no evidence supporting it’s existence.”You believe it or not, there are plenty of Irish that will swear there is shide, they have seen them, perhaps they saw them after 4-5 pints of Guiness but you will never, ever be able to convince them that they don’t exist.”  I was debating with at least one christian who, when I pointed out that the king james bible mentions unicorns 9 times, began arguing that unicorns were real and sending me links to websites claiming to have (photoshopped) proof.”But I do thank you for convincing me that once I state my position, there no advantage to arguing the point.” How did I do that?  Is this a jab?”If the non believer wants more information he will ask.  Now I have turkey and ham, dressing, gravy, yams, peas waiting on me. Have a great weekend.”Hope you enjoyed turkey day.  We did thanksgiving a few days ago.

  9. YouToMe says:

    I may be of Christian faith and you know my views, but this was a killer argument nonetheless. Awesome job, friend.

  10. agnophilo says:

    @YouTOme – Thanks : )  It’s really not even an argument against christian beliefs, so much as a series of arguments against random strawmen of science and atheism.

  11. YouToMe says:

    @agnophilo - yes, agree. Unrelated, just wrote ya email. Who being postponed, sadly. But appreciated the precursor stuff for the vs. LOL

  12. YouToMe says:

    @agnophilo - welcsville. I hate those batman logic typy conclusions ( of which I have been guilty, I realize) ” that shark WAS pulling my leg!”Lolz

  13. agnophilo says:

    @YouTOme – Sucks, she should watch them one after another, lol.  You gotta get her to watch at least the first two in one sitting.@YouTOme – Haha.  And it was swimming in the sea.  C as in cat woman!

  14. neotame says:

    Uh-oh, I might not be educated enough to discuss religion like this. What if I’m educated differently, instead of reading socrates I will read the autobiography of a yogi and other important books?”If you know anything about physics you know that all matter is “non-life” and all matter is impersonal.  “You’re talking about modern science. Religion is the science of ETERNITY!tl;dr

  15. agnophilo says:

    @neotame – “Uh-oh, I might not be educated enough to discuss religion like this. What if I’m educated differently, instead of reading socrates I will read the autobiography of a yogi and other important books?”I was exposed to a little socrates as a kid but by and large have no real academic philosophy education.  Philosophy is great, but only if it makes you think and form your own philosophy.”You’re talking about modern science.” You don’t need science to figure out that life is made of non-life.”Religion is the science of ETERNITY!”Science is that which we can prove.  Religion is that which is claimed without any demonstrable basis in fact.  Religion isn’t the science of anything, science is the process of testing claims for accuracy.

  16. liquor90 says:

    @agnophilo – Is Kriya Yoga a religion? Because it’s very scientific. According to the autobiography of a yogi. According to your definition, it’s pretty scientific… Can you prove that you’re teaching a disciple body control? Sure. Anyway THEY claim it’s a science. Ooops alternate account. DAMN

  17. agnophilo says:

    @liquor90 – I’m not familiar with it so I can’t say.

  18. elbazcar says:

    Thank You For This Post, was added to my bookmarks.ELBAZCAR

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