Atheist vs Theist

Discussion in 'Debates & Contests' started by DennisTate, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    Missing the point. Children accept [note spelling] what adults tell them at face value, including about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, which atheists typically equate with God. But children come into the world with a knowledge base of zero, neither believing nor disbelieving in anything, whether it be chairs, God, or Santa Claus. To suggest that humans are naturally atheist because children don't know anything doesn't hold up to scrutiny. I could argue with equal plausibility that humans are naturally Christian because when stone age tribes learn about Christianity, they typically embrace it wholeheartedly.

    You seem to have missed the statement that I'm an atheist; I no longer ascribe unexplainable phenomena like miracles to God. What I am doing is pointing out your error in logic in demanding that God be testable like some natural phenomenon. If God was a natural phenomenon, he wouldn't be God.

    Fail. What have I said that isn't factual?
     
  2. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    So, let's take the hypothetical child and instead of telling him at five, wait until he is an adult and never been exposed to the idea. Do you think the outcome with be the same?

    So I am curious, do you think people are naturally theists or or naturally atheists? And as for stone age tribes typically embracing Christianity wholeheartedly, I would love to see some proof because from what I have seen of Christian missionaries, they are like locust descending on these tribes and destroying their culture and society.



    A god that no one can detect with any of their senses or any device designed to enhance their senses, and leaves no evidence, is no different than a god that doesn't exist.

    As I said, it is a feeling, but let me ask you this, how did you become an atheist? What happened that made you doubt the existence of a god?
     
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  3. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'd be tempted to say yes, but since I'm atheist now and I'm not out raping and murdering people, I have to say no. But if I were not raised in a Christian household and a Christian society, would that still be true? If I had been raised as a Muslim in the UK, I might be out raping and murdering people because my alleged supernatural being demands it. But you still haven't answered my question... on what basis do you claim your morality is better than or even as good as the morality derived from a God-given stone tablet?

    "Kids with religious parents are better behaved and adjusted than other children, according to a new study that is the first to look at the effects of religion on young child development."
    https://www.livescience.com/1465-study-religion-good-kids.html
     
  4. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    I don't say mine is better than just that I don't need the threat of a supernatural being to get me to adhere to it.
     
  5. yasureoktoo

    yasureoktoo Well-Known Member

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    Shouldn't the question be, what happened to make you think their were magic gods making all this stuff.
     
  6. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the adult. Many Hindus, Buddhists, and Shintos adopt Christianity upon spending time in the West. The Norse adopted Christianity almost universally when it was introduced to them. As previously noted, many stone age tribes adopt Christianity as soon as they learn of it.

    Not sure. Theism is the most common condition worldwide, with only 2% of the American population atheist, so it's easy to say theism. But since monotheism is relatively new to the human condition, it's fair to believe that people are taught to believe in god(s). Most people don't have the IQ to ever question the religion/irreligion they were raised in, so most people die in the same religion they were raised in. Something I find interesting is that high IQ people typically switch religions, even if they were raised atheist. Mary Baker Eddy's son became a Christian preacher. Are high IQ people naturally contrarian?

    Many missionaries are decent people who just want to help people get to heaven. "Destroying" their culture and society is a byproduct of abandoning the stone-age religions and fig leaf clothing they'd been used to. To my mind, there's little lost in those cases. It's not cute or quaint, it's sad to leave them in their primitive state.

    So what do you say to those who have had a "personal experience" with God? That they saw, heard, and/or felt the presence of a supreme being, angel, etc.?

    A feeling, eh? Good to know you always rely on logic and science to come to your conclusions. One of my suspicions is that most modern day atheists are not disbelievers in God, they are angry at God about something. I'm sure God (at least as we think of God in the West) does not exist because I managed to prove to myself logically that he could not exist. I started off to prove the existence of God logically, but my starting point was, "I exist." Then I realized that I can't be sure of that, so I had to back it up a step and say, "Either I exist or some being that could imagine me exists or existed in the past." So, for example, if I am merely the character in a novel, some being must have written the novel. I came up with quite a bit that must be true about the universe and about this being simply because I exist, or think I do. And as I wrote, I realized that what I was writing about this being that imagined me was a description of God, but it was so different from the Biblical God as to be practically unrecognizable. The God I was describing was limited in scope, limited in power, limited in awareness, imperfect, changeable, and must have a physical form. But that was what I arrived at logically, so it must be true or else there is no God at all. And since I wouldn't describe that being as God, then it must be true that God (at least as we think of God in the West) must not exist. Those who have read my proof always point to my section on free will as the point where they think it breaks down, but I disagree. I don't think free will causes imperfection, I think free will reveals imperfection.
     
  7. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    A childhood desire to be loved and accepted just as I am, imperfections and all. And since God knows (ha!) I didn't get that at home, getting it from a sky father was a decent substitute at the time. And it wasn't much of a stretch for me considering my childhood to believe in Satan and evil and hell to go along with it. I was sad to give it up, actually, because it means Hitler isn't burning in hell for all eternity.
     
  8. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    No proof of any god though, just that Christianity is very appealing.

    I would like to see a study showing that people with high IQ switch from atheism to theism more than the general population.





    It's not cute or quaint to destroy someone's culture because it's not like yours. It's actually kind of an ******* move.



    If someone claims that they have had a personal experience with God, great! However, don't expect me to accept that as evidence.

    I do listen to my feelings, as many times it is my subconscious trying to bring something to my attention that my conscious mind missed, however my feelings have been wrong and so I merely use them as a jumping off point for more investigation.

    I am really surprised that someone who claims to be an atheist knows so little about them. I for one, am not in any way angry at God. When I started doubting the existence of gods, I was actually in a really good place in my life, but after studying religion and science in college I came to the conclusion that the God of the Bible could not exist. I was a non-Christian theist for a while before becoming an agnostic theist, an apathetic agnostic and finally an agnostic atheist. See, I actually can't say if there is a god or not, but I live my life as if there are no gods. In truth, I would love nothing more than for someone to prove to me that an all powerful being is watching over me, granting wishes and promising that I will live forever. Sadly, it has not happened.

    One more thing, free will does not exist.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  9. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    No wonder that this debate ended...damn good post.
     
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  10. Incorporeal

    Incorporeal Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed that in your responses you have used the terms "prove" and "proof". Well, it is understood that in order to "prove" something, one is required to produce certain elements in order to substantiate the assertion as a "proof". Proof is defined as "evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true or real." Therefore, it would center around what you (in your search for "proof") would consider to be valid and compelling "evidence" or valid and compelling "argument". So, what would be your soup-de-jour in regards to 'proof'?

    BTW: Did someone force you to write your last response above?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  11. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    Nothing major, just proof that stands up to the scientific method.

    No one had to force me. Due to the influences of my upbringing, education and genetic makeup, I had no choice, but make that response (and this one too).
     
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  12. Incorporeal

    Incorporeal Well-Known Member

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    The Scientific Method also prescribes the use of personal "experience". You stating that you "had no choice" would indicate that some outside force was acting upon you and caused you to write what you wrote. Yet your opening statement was "No one had to force me." Then you go on to attribute your writing to "influences of my upbringing, education and genetic makeup" Those claims are very interesting and potentially revealing. So which one (specifically) was the culprit that deprived you of your ability to think autonomously and with original thought?
     
  13. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    Is does prescribe the use of personal experience, backed by other evidence. Just stating that you saw/heard/touched/smelled/tasted something, by itself does not make it true.

    When the word "one" is used the context that you used it, it usually means an individual, and no individual make me write that comment. It, of course, doesn't mean that their were not other influences, which I stated.

    I can see by your last remark that your upbringing, education and genetic makeup has made you believe that you have free will and that's ok. I was just reading an article that is better for the public to believe they have free will, than not.
     
  14. Incorporeal

    Incorporeal Well-Known Member

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    So, if a person saw/heard/touched/smelled/tasted something that was not normally present and that same person could not replicate the personal experience then you would be proned to calling that person a liar? Because something does not accord itself as being 'true' from your perspective does not necessarily make it false. No one suggested that there were not "other influences", I merely inquired about which one was the culprit specifically. Seemingly you are not able to ascertain which one had the greater 'influence' over your decision to write what you wrote. Other than other comments on this forum which I have previously written, you actually have little to no information about my upbringing, education and specifically regarding my genetic makeup that would qualify you to make such a comment. But that is your choice and your right to make opinions and express them. What makes the article you read to be so striking that you would even publish a comment seemingly in favor of the opinion in that article? You admit that the article speaks in reference to what the public "believes" and that what the public believes (in the opinion of that author) is the better thing for the public to do. Is the author of that article the person that in your judgment would be most qualified to speak for all of humanity that resides in the 'public'?
     
  15. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    Let's say I met someone who said he was abducted by aliens. He has no proof that it happened, but swears it was real. Would I think him a liar? Actually, I would have no idea if he was a liar. He could be telling the truth, he could have been hallucinating, he could have misunderstood what was happening, was pranked, or he could have lied, but without evidence, I am not suddenly going to start believing in aliens or go around trying to convince people that aliens exist.

    Our decisions are influenced by all of our experience, education and genetics. No one thing influences, everything does. A butterfly's wings does not generate enough wind to push a sail boat, but a billion of them does. The reason I was able to presume what influenced your decision, is that it is the same things that influence everyone's decisions.

    Now the author of the article I read, was not the one saying that people should be lied to about free will, it was a scientist that the author was interviewing. I am not qualified to make the decision about whether the scientist is qualified to speak for humanity. If you want to read the article yourself however, here it is: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/theres-no-such-thing-as-free-will/480750/
     
  16. Incorporeal

    Incorporeal Well-Known Member

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    As I see the situation, the whole of the problem is that you declare the use of presumption. Two key definitions taken in context to our discussion is this: "To take for granted as being true in the absence of proof to the contrary:", and ". To take for granted that something is true or factual; make a supposition." This is proven in your example of the "billion" butterflies being capable of moving a small boat. Have you ever conducted such an experiment to substantiate such a claim? As for the scenario of the alien abduction... no-one has suggested that you start believing in aliens, but rather what you would do in relation to his claim. Would you call him a liar? You responded in a manner that would rule out the labeling him as a liar so what would you do in the stead of calling him a liar?
     
  17. Gorgeous George

    Gorgeous George Well-Known Member

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    This thread is better than ambien :sleeping:
     

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