I had this discussion with, well, you know…
“As I understand it, Atheists say God does not exist because we cannot prove He does. Nice try, but you cannot prove he doesn’t (logical strike 1).”
In case you didn’t know, the vast majority of atheists do not claim to know there is no god, just that there is no good reason to suppose there is one. I don’t believe in god the same way I don’t believe in unicorns. I don’t claim to have proven their non-existence, I just have no good reason to suppose they ever existed. What you are attacking is positive atheism, a position almost no atheists hold. So it is not a strike against atheists or me, it is a strawman.
“Atheists claim they base their beliefs in “fact” and not faith, but – as I just pointed out – not being able to ‘prove’ God does not exist means you have to assume he doesn’t ON FAITH. That is true by definition (Logical strike 2).”
Again, a position I do not take, nor do basically any atheists I have ever met. This would be like me saying that christianity is false because genetic testing proves native americans are not a lost tribe of israel as one branch of christianity (mormonism) maintains. While this certainly discredits the book of mormon this belief is hardly universal among christians and for me to portray it as such in an attempt to claim to have disproved all of christianity would be either ignorant or dishonest.
I’m going to hope for ignorant, but I’ve seen plenty of dishonest in my time, so your response will reveal which it is.
“Atheists say that they base their FAITH in materialism: a belief in what is and not what cannot be seen or proven (they like to call this the supernatural). Here’s where the Atheist actually proves he does not understand the foundation of his argument.”
The materialist position is that matter/energy is either a) all that exists or b) all that matters since it is all that can empirically be known. A materialist doesn’t deny the possibility that non-material things may exist, just their importance. Nowhere does faith enter into it.
“–Once upon a time, many things were considered ‘super natural,’ such as comets, shooting stars, etc. But, as we grew in our understanding of things, we came to understand what these phenomenon are and how they function – thus removing them from the realm of ‘super natural.’ In other words, they were natural occurrences all along, man just did not understand it at that time.”
I agree completely. Isn’t it possible that what you call supernatural is also the parts of nature you simply do not understand? If god really does say cure sick people in the hospital for instance, isn’t that assumed because doctors don’t understand how they got better? Isn’t it very likely we are just doing the same thing our ancestors did? Bear in mind also that many of those natural things are considered supernatural in scripture, even the star of bethlehem may have been a comet. Eclipses, “blood moons”, morning stars, illness, clouds, lightning, thunder, earth quakes, drought, floods and many other things are given a mystical basis in scripture. All are natural phenomenon we now understand.
“Well, we now know that this universe has at least 8 and possibly 9 dimensions (physicists have established this as a necessity). As beings confined to the 4 dimensions we can perceive and manipulate (length, width, height and time), it is impossible for us to conceive of our work with these other dimensions in anything but the abstract (at least, at this time this is true). Still, we have established that these other dimensions must exist.”
I don’t believe scientists have “proven” that these extra dimensions exist, and dimensions themselves are abstract human concepts, a way to describe the world mathematically. They don’t actually exist any more than inches or miles do, they are imaginary.
“Now, does this mean that they are ‘supernatural,’ or just that we do not understand them fully as of this time in human history? What if the dimensions we live in are just a part of our true nature – a part of what we call a life? What if, when we die here, we continue in these other dimensions? IF this is the case, then this ‘poo-pooing’ of life-after-death is nothing more than a denial of what is asserted in the same manner as a priest who seeks to pervert faith so he can manipulate the people through religion. The same goes for the notion of Heaven and Hell: they could be real dimensions.”
“If” is the basis of all fiction. Anything would be true “if” it were true. Yes, that would all be fascinating if it were real. If there were another dimension where peter pan lived in never-never land that would be equally fascinating. I am not hostile to what you are saying or closed-minded to it. I don’t not want there to be an afterlife any more than I don’t want there to be a never-never land. I just honestly have no reason to think there is one.
“How about ghosts? They are dismissed by most Atheists, yet we have recordings of their existence from the beginning of known time.”
Everyone I know knows someone who claims to have seen, heard or otherwise experienced a ghost, sightings are about as common as fender benders. The reason I doubt the validity of these claims and think they’re far more likely to be just peoples’ minds playing tricks on them, hallucinations, delusions, optical illusions etc (all of which we know for a fact are real) is because in all those hundreds of millions of ghost sightings, not one has ever been caught on a camera phone or a security camera. Search youtube for “fender bender” or “car crash” and you will find thousands of crystal clear, high definition videos of them. Search for “ghost” and you’ll find a bunch of out of focus lens flair nonsense or anonymous fakes. If ghost sightings happened as commonly as people claim every convenience store in america should have them on tape, ghosts should occasionally wander onto the field during sporting events or walk behind the president during his speeches etc. There are numerous videos of people being attacked by sharks, though this only happens a few dozen times a year worldwide.
“This would suggest there is a real phenomenon in play here, and the additional dimensions we now know exist can easily account for this.”
About as “easily” as we can account for peter pan.
“The same goes for Biblical recordings of the sun disappearing or stopping in the sky. If there is a 4th spacial dimension, and some entity knows how to manipulate it so it can interface with the dimensions we perceive, this would be a simple matter to stop or ‘disappear’ the sun. And ALL of this would be as natural as gravity – we just don’t understand it.”
If the sun disappeared the earth would go flying into space, and the sun appearing to stop would mean the earth’s spin actually suddenly stopped, which would mean the spin of the earth went from over a thousand miles per hour to nothing. That would be the equivalent of everyone and everything on the earth being in a 1,100 mile an hour car crash. So no, that never happened. If it had there would be no one left to report it.
“And then there’s that: gravity. For all the things Atheists like to claim science has ‘proven,’ it has – in FACT – proven very little. We can’t even explain gravity, only describe how we ‘think’ it works. Then there’s light: how is it that it can be both energy and matter at the same time? Science misses out there, too.”
This is another strawman, who is claiming science has all the answers? Science is an ongoing process. You’re just attacking foolish ideas no one (least of all me) are actually putting forth. And what does any of this have to do with my blog?
“And the same applies to evolution. The THEORY of evolution is just that: a THEORY – and a flawed one at that. yet many have convinced themselves it is real.”
The theory of evolution attempts to explain the fact of evolution. How and why life evolves is always up for revision, but that it evolves is no less speculative than that gravity pulls things toward the earth.
“Well, with respect to Dawkins, he has NOT ‘defended the THEORY of evolution,” he has begged the question by using the objection of irreducibility in explaining his thoughts on how life began. That is a logical fallacy. One cannot do that and claim credibility.”
I have no idea what you’re talking about, and even if I did what does it have to do with anything in this blog?
“So on the assertion that the Atheist deals with “what is,” that is logical strike three – and the fatal strike. It is too easily shown that what we ASSUME “is” may – in FACT – not be ALL there is, only what we THINK we understand.”
Again, not something most atheists claim to know. Evangelists often portray atheists as thinking this way though. It may benefit you to get to know atheists rather than learning about them (as I assume you have) via evangelical materials which misrepresent them.
“Now, for the affirmative argument. Why NOT God?”
Why not vishnu? I’m trying to find truth here, not justify a particular religion to myself.
“Because you can’t see or prove Him? HA! Then how could faith exist?”
Why should it exist? It’s been made into a virtue but by that logic isn’t it virtuous to believe in Allah? There’s just as little evidence for his existence. Or valhalla or unicorns or a million other things which must be take on faith. What would be the point?
I want to understand reality as it is, believing in things for which there is no evidence seems impractical and counter-productive to say the least.
“One does not have faith in something one KNOWS to exist. So, if God made the world so his existence was undeniable, what faith could there be, and then how could we truly love Him? We couldn’t.”
So you have to not know something exists in order to love it? So the apostles didn’t love jesus? And you can’t love your family, spouse, children etc? By that logic I can love an elf more than I can love a beautiful woman. I just simply reject that claim.
“Second, where did this world come from if there is no Creator?”
Don’t know. Where did lightning come from if not zeus?
The logic of “we don’t know how the universe began therefore we know how the universe began” is problematic to say the least.
“I have read Hawking’s attempts to explain this and he – as well as his contemporaries – have built their explanations on fallacious arguments. In Hawking’s case, he uses imaginary math to achieve his notion of a self-generating universe. And even at that, he pre-supposes an existing energy field.”
Um, didn’t you just use imaginary math to justify the existence of extra dimensions, heaven, hell and ghosts? Me thinks thou dost protest too much.
“The flaws here are A – when you put REAL numbers back in his equations, you come back to the “Big bang” and the necessity for a creator”
Not understanding something does not logically necessitate a creator. And even if it did it wouldn’t necessitate that it be the god of the bible or any other doctrine.
“and B – Hawkings doesn’t seem to understand that TRUE nature of NOTHING! That means NO ENERGY FIELD! Which brings us back to “How does one get something from Nothing?”
I don’t know. How do you get a creator from nothing?
“Then we have SCIENCE: that’s right, SCIENCE says this universe is too perfectly balanced to have just happened.”
So evolution is bullshit and science doesn’t know everything… unless a scientist says there must be a god, in which case we’ve got it all figured out? You can’t shit on science one minute and invoke it as an all-knowing authority the next. Both, are of course, invalid.
“The statistical possibility of 0 is 1*10 to the 50th power.”
One, probability*. And 2, it is impossible to evaluate the probability of something occurring unless you understand well the dynamics of it’s occurrence, which we don’t. So any claim about the statistical odds of the universe turning out a certain way is by definition hogwash.
“There are some 322 known universal constants that must be perfectly balanced for life to exist as we know it.”
Two problems with this – one is that there are 26 perceived constants in nature, not 322. The second is that there’s no reason for life as we know it to exist unless the universe exists as we know it. If there had been more anti-matter in the universe than matter then all of the matter would’ve been destroyed there would probably be life made of anti-matter instead. It’s like arguing that life as we know it couldn’t exist without an oxygen rich environment. If there hadn’t been an oxygen rich environment there would simply be other forms of life (and there were, oxygen arose as a byproduct of early life). Life adapts to the environment, there is no magical conditions needed for “life” since there is no one kind of life. The conditions one form of life needs will kill another form of life. And just as life began in the ocean and adapted to land, then adapted to colder climates etc and became more specialized and dependent on those environments as it went, the same thing could happen in a universe with another configuration. A universe that was fundamentally different wouldn’t have mammals but this doesn’t matter any more than the fact that a planet without an ocean wouldn’t have sharks.
“The statistical chances of this are 1*10 to the 322nd power.”
A few problems with this – one, why would the odds of 322 things being true be 1 in 10 to the 322nd power? That sounds like lazy/bad math. Second, mathematical impossibility does not mean actual impossibility. The odds of every grain of sand being exactly where it is in the universe at this moment exceeds the figure you just gave by a staggering amount. Does that mean it’s not true? Mathematically unlikely things happen all the time. Move every grain of sand and you’ve just made another mathematically “impossible” thing happen. Walking across a beach can be considered an “impossible” act from a mathematical perspective. Thus the expression that there are three kinds of lies. Lies, damn lies and statistics. The statistic is irrelevant, the logic behind the statistic is what is valid or invalid. And third, in order to evaluate the odds of 10 things being true we would need to know what the odds of each of them being true is – we don’t know the odds of the various perceived “constants” being the way they are, so this is baloney.
“Want to do the math and tell me how many times GREATER than statistical 0 that is? Then we can talk about the implications of DNA (or the Encyclopedia Britannica in a molecule).”
Or walking across a beach. Anything complex is improbable, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. The reason walking across a beach and displacing each grain of sand and each atom in precisely a particular way (while mind-staggeringly unlikely) does not indicate that it didn’t happen is because no matter what happens it will be equally unlikely. Buy a lottery ticket – the odds of you getting the exact right sequence of numbers and winning the big jackpot are something like one in 170 million. But the odds of you getting the exact sequence of numbers on any losing ticket are identical. You win the lottery and beat the odds every time, no matter what numbers you get. This is also true of existence. Even if the odds of the universe being as it is were as unlikely as you claim, it would be true in any universe.
“Finally, I hear Atheists tell me there is no proof of the Super Natural in history. Oh, but there is! You need to look up Thallus, Tertullian and Phlegon. They were the scientists and historians of their time and they all record a great, GLOBAL phenomenon in the 4th year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e. 33 AD) at the 6th hour. They record that the sky went black, the stars came out and the earth shook violently. These men were spread out across the Mediterranean basin and they ALL said this phenomenon happened GLOBALLY (i.e. throughout the known world). Guess what? This substantiates the Biblical account of what happened when Christ died on the cross TO A “T!” So there IS evidence that the Bible is real and God exists, but the Atheist chooses to reject it.”
It sounds like an ordinary eclipse. And none of them were alive when it supposedly happened. This you consider proof? But you reject evolution? Your standards of evidence for one kind of claim are extremely low and your standards of evidence for another are extremely high. There’s no other word for this than bias.
“THIS is why I say Atheists have more faith than those who believe in God: because they must have it to reject everything we know that supports Him and still believe He doesn’t exist.”
So you know god exists? By your own logic this defeats the purpose of his existence and makes it impossible for you to love him? You can’t have it both ways.
“This is why I get such a chuckle from Atheists: they simply do not understand the “reason” they cite as support for their belief system.”
You’ve given nothing but strawman statements, none of which I would ever state or have ever stated on any blog (you can google search my site if you like).