Atheist vs Theist

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

  1. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    You're trying to shift the burden of evidence once again, this time by flipping my example. Once again, if you wish to show that God does not exist, it's not enough to say there's no evidence, you must demonstrate that God does not exist. As I wrote, believers have plenty of what they call evidence. That their evidence doesn't convince you is irrelevant to their belief. If you wish to convince them, you must show contrary evidence. Of which you have none. It's as if you were the defense attorney in a criminal case folding your arms and saying, "There's no evidence." If that's your case, you lose.

    Here's a good explication of why both sides have a burden of proof in the God/no God debate:

    https://strangenotions.com/who-has-the-burden-of-proof-when-discussing-god/
     
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  2. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    I am a former believer, now atheist, who still believes in the social value of Christianity, so I will be arguing against both sides in this post.

    Psychopaths don't have this. Is that evidence that God does not exist?

    Actually, morality varies considerably from place to place and over time. Cannibalism, child sacrifice, pedophilia, homosexuality, and public nudity have all been justified and condemned in the name of religion. About the only immorality that was never condemned by any religion is one we have stamped out in the name of Christianity, namely slavery. Is that evidence that God does not exist?

    But for most of human history, the gods were dark, malevolent beings who dealt death at a whim, who caused earthquakes and floods, killing the innocent without regard. The spiritual dimension originated with the urge to explain natural phenomena, to explain death. To a large extent, the remnants of Christianity today are still the urge to explain death, to explain what happens after death. The creation of a single, all-powerful, and benevolent deity first occurred with the Jews about 6,000 years ago, while humanity has been around for something like 300,000-500,000 years.

    Cultural programming. Chinese people raised in Confucianism don't cry out to Confucius for assistance when they are in mortal peril, much less God.

    A true conception of the vastness of the universe would impress upon your mind that you are smaller than a microbe in the ocean compared to the size of the universe, and yet you expect the creator of this reality to take a personal interest in your life. Now that's far-fetched.

    Various studies have shown that exactly this happens when you tell them God does not exist and/or that free will is an illusion. Without a fear of the consequences, or without a belief that people are in control of their consequences, people act much less morally than otherwise.

    Can be, yes, necessarily are, no. But I have a follow up question for you: on what basis do you determine what is moral and ethical if there is no supreme lawgiver (and therefore no supreme law) by which to judge? Isn't it the case that if God does not exist, there are no moral and ethical absolutes? There are only local opinions on what is or is not moral, and no one can say for certain that Christians are right and Muslims are wrong or vice versa. Is that not so? How can you condemn slavery, pedophilia, and the repression of women in Muslim society if you have no greater claim to morality than your own opinion?

    Without knowing what your moral beliefs are, it's impossible to answer this question, but just going by your atheism, I'm guessing that condemnation of homosexuality would be a good possibility. Condemnation of abortion is another.

    Ummm, the Bible? He made an appearance 2000 years ago and multiple people testified to that fact. That is a documented and recorded visit by God to our planet. He made multiple proofs of his divinity for all to see.

    Awww, I like my boring blatherings.

    You seem to be unaware of the reality on the ground. While Christianity is in retreat, a much darker, more repressive, and uncompromising theology is on the march. Islam is growing by leaps and bounds and threatens freedom and science everywhere it exists. God, Christianity, Western Civilization, and white people may be endangered species, but the god of Islam is alive and well and spreading rapidly.
     
  3. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    You are making the erroneous assumption that I was only referring to a single religion. I referred to the single deity worshiped by 3 different religions. When that deity is gone that accounts for more than half of all humanity.
     
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  4. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    Allah is not the same god as the God of the Jews and Christians. But regardless, Allah isn't disappearing.

    "Muslims will grow more than twice as fast as the overall world population between 2015 and 2060 and, in the second half of this century, will likely surpass Christians as the world’s largest religious group.

    While the world’s population is projected to grow 32% in the coming decades, the number of Muslims is expected to increase by 70% – from 1.8 billion in 2015 to nearly 3 billion in 2060. In 2015, Muslims made up 24.1% of the global population. Forty-five years later, they are expected to make up more than three-in-ten of the world’s people (31.1%).

    The main reasons for Islam’s growth ultimately involve simple demographics. To begin with, Muslims have more children than members of the seven other major religious groups analyzed in the study. Muslim women have an average of 2.9 children, significantly above the next-highest group (Christians at 2.6) and the average of all non-Muslims (2.2). In all major regions where there is a sizable Muslim population, Muslim fertility exceeds non-Muslim fertility.

    The growth of the Muslim population also is helped by the fact that Muslims have the youngest median age (24 in 2015) of all major religious groups, more than seven years younger than the median age of non-Muslims (32)."
    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tan...e-the-worlds-fastest-growing-religious-group/
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  5. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    Islam is not anti-science!

    “Seeking knowledge is compulsory on every Muslim.”

    “wisdom is the lost property of the believer.”

    “whoever follows a path seeking knowledge, Allah will make his path to paradise easy.”
     
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  6. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    We do so as a civil society and yes morality and ethics vary regionally and historically. Slavery was once moral and ethical.
     
  7. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    I am talking scientific evidence, not hearsay, God in the gap fallacies, and ancient books of dubious origins. If theist were to try and prove that God exists in a court of law, they would fail. In fact, I don't think you understand how courts of law work. If I was a defense attorney, I would not even have to say "There's no evidence" as being the defense, it would be up to the prosecution to provide the evidence. But I digress.

    The reason the burden of proof falls on the theist is that when we are born, we have no concept of a god. The concept of a god is taught to us. For most of us, it is taught at such an early age that we don't even realize that we were born without it. However, if someone was never taught the concept of a god, why would they have to disprove something that they were never even exposed to?

    I have never tried to convince any theist there is no God. I have merely asked for proof that their god exists when they have tried to tell me I am going to burn forever for not believing in their god, when they try to force their god on me through our laws, or try to force their god into science.

    Finally, don't expect me to take an article about the burden of proof seriously if it is from a theistic website, as I will immediately believe there is bias.
     
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  8. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    You obviously know less than nothing about Islam. Everything Mohammed said is considered to be "gospel" truth, and Mohammed said the earth was flat and the sun sets in a mud puddle. Denying this makes you an infidel worthy of death.

    From a long list of depressing statistics on the Muslim world and higher education, there's this: "No major invention or discovery has emerged from the Muslim world for well over seven centuries now.
    . . .
    No Muslim leader has publicly called for separating science from religion."
    https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statistics_-_Science


    So you admit that there's zero reason to value your morality over that of the Muslims, the Aztecs, or the Canaanites in the absence of the Christian God.

    Your argument is specious because when you are born, you have no concept of anything. You wouldn't know what a chair is unless someone taught it to you. As for scientific evidence, your (and others') claim is that God only exists in the gaps of scientific knowledge. If you could prove God scientifically, he would cease to be an independent actor with a will and become just a predictable part of nature. The only way to prove God's existence is with things that are unexplainable, and if it's unexplainable, then it's unprovable, too. If you could duplicate the experiment, it would become predictable and explainable. You're asking for the existence of a logical impossibility, like a round square or an index of all indices that do not include themselves. A scientifically provable God is not within the realm of possibility.

    I was a lawyer, I know very well how courts work. The theists have presented a case for the existence of God but you present no case for the nonexistence of God, so again, you lose. This is very simple stuff, I don't know why you don't get it.

    I suggest you read something before deciding there is bias, or else you're just showing your bias. I know Vox articles are going to be far left trash, but I still read them just to see if they have any good points to make. I don't let my bias determine what I read.
     
  9. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    Not at all. Are you admitting that were it not for some alleged supernatural being threatening you you'd be out raping and murdering people?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
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  10. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    So let's take this theoretical child and never show them or tell him/her about a chair until the child is about 5 years old and then tell them that there is a piece of furniture called a chair. Now at that point, the child can decide to believe or not in chairs. But if you couldn't supply any evidence that chairs exist, would the burden of proof fall on the child?

    Just because something is unexplainable, does not mean that it is the work of a god, it just means that we just can't explain it yet. This is called the argument from ignorance fallacy and saying that I should except what is a logically impossibility as possible is... well, illogical.

    I'm getting this feeling that much that you say is not always, completely, factual.

    Oh well, I'm not here to win anything, I'm just educating.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  11. 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?
     
  12. 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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  13. 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
     
  14. 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.
     
  15. 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.
     
  16. 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.
     
  17. 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.
     
  18. 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
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