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Thread: There is no God

  1. #241
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I dont recognise any of the descriptive generalisations about religion that I hear atheists perpetuate, to describe religion as a cult I believe actually attributes greater vitality to it than it actually possesses at this time, I do believe that it has been unable to transmit itself across the generational divide but the same can be said for many other things of importance too.

    I do not believe that the money or energy invested in religion has proven a drain upon humanity, human resources or resourcefulness, if anything I believe the opposite and comparison of suicide rates between modern, secular, materialistic societies and others would probably bare that out.

    The more I think about it the more it is my consideration that the question is not one of whether or not God exists but what is God's nature or relationship to mankind. If God has abadoned mankind, it is only because mankind has abandoned God and for a long time before now.

  2. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I used to be an atheist before reading this thread. Then I read some of the conversation between the believers and @reason, and now I'm a super-atheist. That was beautiful.
    I was never arguing against theism. I was arguing against tolerating nonsense. One could interpret my arguments as being against theism, but one could also interpret them as an attempt to a establish a non-absurd concept of God. Certainly, I did not refute the existence of God, but merely pointed out that if God exists, then His existence cannot amount to a logical absurdity.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  3. #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I used to be an atheist before reading this thread. Then I read some of the conversation between the believers and @reason, and now I'm a super-atheist. That was beautiful.

  4. #244
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    I was never arguing against theism. I was arguing against tolerating nonsense. One could interpret my arguments as being against theism, but one could also interpret them as an attempt to a establish a non-absurd concept of God. Certainly, I did not refute the existence of God, but merely pointed out that if God exists, then His existence cannot amount to a logical absurdity.
    Well, you refuted a lot of arguments I've been hearing for years from classmates, teachers, and family members, and it's nice to hear. Sure, some other God could exist, I guess.

  5. #245
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    I was never arguing against theism. I was arguing against tolerating nonsense. One could interpret my arguments as being against theism, but one could also interpret them as an attempt to a establish a non-absurd concept of God. Certainly, I did not refute the existence of God, but merely pointed out that if God exists, then His existence cannot amount to a logical absurdity.
    This hits the nail on the head. Concepts of God so often seem to reflect the worst of our own humanity, perhaps an inevitable result of our tendency to anthropomorphize. If there is a god, shouldn't he be "above" all that?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This hits the nail on the head. Concepts of God so often seem to reflect the worst of our own humanity, perhaps an inevitable result of our tendency to anthropomorphize. If there is a god, shouldn't he be "above" all that?
    Not necessarily. In fact, more anthropomorphic concepts of God tend to be more coherent, since it precisely the attempt to rise God above all human flaws and limitations that lead to inexorable contradictions. If God exists, then He is a living being of some kind, and, as such, must share fundamental similarities with all other living beings. God must have means and ends, frustrations and failures, hopes and concerns, i.e. He must be a living being with which one can have a meaningful relationship. God may have incredible power and knowledge, but to be a thinking and feeling being He must be bound by fundamental constraints.

    In addition, anthropomorphic concepts of God are also methodologically preferable, normally. They tend to be more exposed to critical evaluation e.g. we can literally search the top of Mount Olympus for the gods (btw, they're not there). Deism, on the other hand, is formulated in such a way that it doesn't risk making any testable claims--if it's wrong, then we should have fewer ways of finding out. You see, all else being equal, we should prefer hypotheses that are more likely to be wrong, i.e. are more vulnerable to challenge by argument, evidence, or whatever. A hypothesis is only more likely to be wrong, in this sense, by virtue of saying something more substantive and informative about out universe.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  7. #247
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    God, I think, can be defined in so many different way that I can simultaneously be an atheist and a theist depending on what is meant by "God".

    More than anything, I think, I'm a hopeful relativist.

  8. #248
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd Girl View Post
    His ways are not your ways. His thoughts are not your thoughts. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than your ways, and His thoughts than your thoughts.
    Undoubtedly, but if God's ways are ways and if His thoughts are thoughts, then His ways and thoughts must fundamentally resemble my ways and my thoughts, for otherwise they would not be ways and thoughts at all.

    Hand waving isn't a substitute for an argument. I wouldn't expect to understand God's ways and thoughts entirely, but I do expect His ways and thoughts to not make nonsense.

    Vacuous rhetoric about God transcending all understanding is ultimately self-defeating. If God is so above us that nothing about him can be comprehended, his ways and thoughts an impenetrable mystery, then God's love is also inexplicable. God doesn't just love us 'more than we can imagine', we cannot comprehend what God's love is: nobody has any idea what it even means for the statement 'God loves everyone' to be true. If we take your comments literally, then, by your own standards, you don't know what you're talking about; all your sentences are just meaningless strings of letters written with a nice fuzzy feeling inside.

    Don't mistake accepting brazen nonsense for humility before God.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  9. #249
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    Tragedy and Farce

    According to Julian Jaynes in, "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind", in our bicameral mind we literally heard the voice of God. And so God was as close to us as our own breath.

    However when our bicameral mind broke down, we could no longer hear the voice of God, and we were bereft. And we had to explain why God had left us. Was it because we had offended Him? And perhaps if we made sacrifice of our best, including our children and animals, perhaps He would forgive us and return.

    But after fruitless sacrifice after fruitless sacrifice, including the sacrifice of His Son on the Cross, God did not return.

    And so with heavy heart in the 19th century Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche concluded that God is dead.

    And just as history repeats itself as farce, Sigmund Freud in the 20th century told us that God is is dad.

  10. #250
    Member dadapolka's Avatar
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    Don't know if this has already been discussed (I haven't read all 25 pages of this xD)

    If mankind has free-will, which is intrinsic to Christian teaching, god cannot be either all-knowing or ever present.. If god was all-knowing, then mankind's future would be predetermined or at least already and there would be no scope for free-will and moral decision making. The only way to avoid this issue is to suggest that god exists outside of time, in which case he would not be able to interact with humanity in the way in which is described in the Bible. (I realise that God is anthropomorphised in Genesis for people to partially understand the presence of god, but the way in which it is described suggests that god has interacted with humanity within time)

    The Christian argument against this is that God is like a watchful father etc, who knows what a child will do by how well he knows the child, even if he has no direct influence on the child. The issue with this is that the father is not omniscient/all-knowing; he is making assumptions based on the consistency of his/her behaviour. If the father was all-knowing in a godly sense, he would know how the child would act 100% and all of his future actions as well. If god knows the future actions of humanity, it suggests that they are linear, and therefore predetermined in some sense.

    There is also the problem of evil and Mackie's inconsistent triad.

    If you don't believe in the anthropomorphic god that is described in the Bible, but believe in a more intangible, Platonic/mathematical concept of god, that's fair enough. But that isn't the god that is described by doctrine and Christian teaching; it is something else entirely.


    These may not be very good arguments; I come from a relatively atheist country already and so haven't had a huge opportunity to debate with Christians except in class.

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