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« What’s Really in the Planned Parenthood Videos? | Main | What’s the Difference Between Bad Theology and Heresy? »

September 19, 2015

Comments

There might be a bit more to it than this: the atheist could appeal to the same reasoning that the Arminian appeals to. God is defined as all loving. And just as the Arminians says that an all loving God, by definition, wouldn't damn people to hell that he could save (w/o violating their free will) so likewise an all loving God, by definition, wouldn't hide himself from people so that they were unsure of his existence.

You point to an article where it's suggested that such revelation wouldn't necessarily make the atheist love God. But I'm not sure that's correct given our theology of the beatific vision (and even Arminians hold to this doctrine: that the saints are perfected by a revelation of the glory and beauty of God).

Personally I think that the problem with this line of reasoning is that we are allowing Scripture to define God (e.g., God is love) but not allowing Scripture to define love (e.g., does love necessarily entail salvific longing?). We rest on our own moral intuitions for that latter thing.

so likewise an all loving God, by definition, wouldn't hide himself from people so that they were unsure of his existence

But that comes down to the same thing: that's his preferred theology of what a loving God would do. Like I said, I can think of reasons why He wouldn't (and the Bible actually touches on this, as well). What the atheist thinks love should do, in his limited knowledge and preference, doesn't prove either way the existence of an actual God. At most, he might conclude God isn't loving or that he doesn't like the only possible God that might exist, but just because there's no God that matches his theological preferences about God's love, that doesn't prove there is no God.

I had a friend post this recently too. Here was my reply: (I'm only posting this because I think there's more to this argument than just theological preference.)

"There’s an argument to be made here that the atheist’s answer is staring him right in the face. He says that God has not revealed Himself but, well, why does 2+2=4? Why is it that we can do math? What exactly are logic and reason in the first place and where do they come from? People disagree about religion because they have the free will to do so, but where does free will come from? Since these are immaterial things, they can’t have a natural cause. They must have a supernatural cause and that’s one argument for the existence of what theists call ‘God’. But we still get to choose what we believe and how we behave – even after the truth is revealed to us - which is exactly what the atheist is doing here.

Also, if everyone's beliefs are just a product of their environment, why is that not true of the atheist's beliefs? He says he's worried that choosing to believe in God would just be fulfilling a desire, but why can't his atheism be doing the same thing? He's not applying the same tests to his own beliefs that he's applying to everyone else's."

But like you pointed out Amy, when it boils down to it, the subjective things are just complaints. And complaints aren't arguments for truth.

The only thing the dark matter vid really brings home is: this life is a multiple questions test. I came to faith while reading the Tao te Ching, teachings of Buddha, and autobiography of a yogi, and the latter book misquoted the gospel of john so I went to the scriptures to check his footnote, I'm glad I did, not only did I find that yogananda horribly misquoted the scriptures to make his point, I understood that he was lying to make his point, Leading me right to the feet of Jesus.

Ben.
I was also first taken by the genetic fallacy. The idea that he points out that all these people simply believe what they believe because of where they are born is a pedantic and simplistic point of view. Firstly, how come his atheist beliefs aren't subject to the same "rigour"? If he were born India would he be an atheist?
I have had many people make this charge to me. I live in Canada. I point out that secularism in Canada is rather popular, so don't I, in fact, have a much stronger case that atheism is the belief of default here and I would have had a far greater chance of being a follower of Christ had I been born in Africa or most certainly South Korea.

Josiah, what a cool story ! and a great example of, "but God meant it for good"

Amy,

I think that's a good point. I guess I was trying to make a distinction between beliefs about God that don't have much basis (e.g., if God created people he would have given us wings) and beliefs about God that can be given some rational support (e.g., God must transcend time, be perfectly good, *loving*, and powerful). In the latter case we can give an answer to the question "Why should we believe that?" And it's problematic if you cash out exactly what these terms look like (love, goodness) by your own lights--which I guess is the same point you're making.

It seems a bit silly to say, that Christian belief is just a product of culture, when across all sorts of cultures and places, millions and millions of people over the last 30 years have become Christians in all sorts of cultures and settings. If we think in those terms, then we have to ask why so many are rejecting their culture and finding Christianity to be true.

@Michelle: <> no, because you become an atheist only by thinking. don't confuse atheist with just god-less. you could be born basically anywhere and when you question everything, analyse everything, including your cultural background, you might change your point of view, a thing that theists never do (apart form those who convert to other religions, most of them are truthful to the one they were raised with) and they're just repeating the same texts, one weirdier than the other, instead of just be humans not robots.

@Amy <> so basically what you're sayin is that right now GOD means something different for each one of us living on this planet. that could be ok but, as the ateists suggested, instead of just enjoy peaceful life, happy in harmony together (this is not a theological argument) the theists couldn't agree of whos god is the best and they're keep on fighting one another. being an atheist has nothing to do with how an atheists thinks god could/should be or not be, being an atheist means that there is NO god, he believes there's no such thing as god at all, that life is governed by other forces than such entity.

for me, being an atheist means that i simply don't believe in worshipping other things than goodness and doing nice things in life, for myself and for some others. if i had the chance to save the world, i am sure i'd be jesus but i don't think it works this way, everybody is on his own on the path of freeing the consciousness and religion stands in the way of everything that is related to freedom.

Your Theological Preferences Don’t Prove Anything...Even if You’re an Atheist

If somebody is an atheist that's not becouse he wants to PROVE something. and there's no such thing as "atheistic theological preferences" atheism is not a cult, it's based on reason/logic, science/proofs and discovering the truth in the world we are living. so you are ok with the fact that you theists are all wrong but when somebody comes and says to you that, you miss the whole point and come up with a new abstract concept of god, so misterious than nobody knows what could be? but for sure there is something up there, you just stick to that, and why? simply because you were told by others since you were a child. being a imaginary character it's impossible for anybody to prove that it doesn't exist, but that doesn't mean that god exists, it's in any way a proof.

Stefan, why the generalization of belief? How do you know everyone's back story?
Have you realized that historical methodology of Jesus' resurrection is a testable hypothesis? What are the logic and proof you're asserted to believe that knocks down theism?

Lets say it one more time. ,,,,,
EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS REQUIRE EXTRAORDINARY PROOF. Just claiming that the "historical methodology of Jesus' resurrection is a testable hypothesis",doesn't make it worthy of respect. let alone make it true.

Byron,
Can you prove that claim you just made?

Stefan,

You've made a lot of assertions about what you think of the psychology of religious people and you've made a lot of assertions about what you think of the psychology of atheists. Basically, it boils down to atheists are smart and reason-driven and theists are dumb and never change their point of view.

You seem to be very concerned to preserve a very specific characterization of atheists versus theists and I don't think your picture of theists (or atheists) is grounded in reality. But the more important thing here is not to focus on the people (theists vs. atheists) but on the actual issue itself (theism vs. atheism).

So at one point you seem to misunderstand what Amy is saying. You said:

so basically what you're sayin is that right now GOD means something different for each one of us living on this planet

I don't think Amy said this. Amy admitted that there was religious disagreement. But she never said that God means something different to everyone. I think that her main point was this:

Arguments for theism or atheism that rest upon subjective ideas of what God should be like or should do are bad arguments.

So when the atheist says "If God exists he would reveal himself directly and clearly to everyone" this is a bad argument because the claim that God would/should do this is a subjective theological preference.

Can we agree that that's a bad argument?

Byron,

Lets say it one more time. ,,,,, EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS REQUIRE EXTRAORDINARY PROOF. Just claiming that the "historical methodology of Jesus' resurrection is a testable hypothesis",doesn't make it worthy of respect. let alone make it true.

First, the claim that "historical methodology of Jesus' resurrection is a testable hypothesis" does not seem like an extraordinary claim to me. Maybe you're confusing the claim that Jesus rose from the dead with the claim that the claim that Jesus rose from the dead is a testable hypothesis. I can see why an atheist would think the former is extraordinary, but I don't see any reason to think the latter claim is extraordinary or needing extraordinary proof.

Second, whether a claim is "extraordinary" will depend upon a lot of a person's background beliefs and experiences. Personally, I find the claim of atheism to be extraordinary. So according to your maxim you'll need to produce some extraordinary evidence if you want to prove atheism.

Third, I think this maxim ultimately boils down to this: we may have many reasons for thinking some events are implausible. The more reasons we have the more implausible the event is. Some number of those reasons must be addressed before the event can be more plausible than implausible. So ultimately what the atheist needs to do is spell out the various reasons or facts that make the resurrection implausible and then the theist can try to address these reasons to show that they are either bad reasons (for thinking the event implausible) or that they can be satisfied by the evidence we have for the resurrection.

First thing to say before moving forward, I enjoyed the video, with its thoughtfulness and insight, with snatches of wit and brilliance (loved the line about putting down the aircraft). While I disagree with the premise presented, it is clearly presented, and the posts that responded to it have been fine examples of sharing opinion and viewpoints. But it must be noted that it is an expression of various views of faith, including the atheistic faith of the main character. And this plays off an array of controversial doctrines from each theist. But to declare the atheist as the only true "human" and that the rest regain their humanness once they renounce their individual faiths is extremely unprovable. Humanity is naturally religious, and the atheist merely sees self as the ultimate. The theist ponders the reality of the "greater" (deism) and the essentials of understanding Him (theism).

Honestly, this same scenario could be created on political grounds, where a fascist, democrat, libertarian (social and economical), socialist, totalitarian, monarchist, and whomever else gather together to trade barbs and criticisms, only to be upbraided by a political nihilist. It all depends on whom you wish to hold down the hero with the "right thinking."

I am intrigued with the use of the term "human" and the humanist tenets that support humanity as the highest good. This is regarded as the foundations of a proper religious view, according to the video. This is an unproved assumption. There really are two kinds of humanists in regards to "religion." There is the humanist who, on spotting an altar, takes a hammer to it, saturate it with pig's blood, and spews vomit on it. This would be the overt humanist. Then there is the humanist who would use the altar as a writing surface on which he places paper and pencil to contrive ideas for religion that he prefers as "better," more "humane," or matching the ideals that promote advancement. This would be the covert humanist, who rejects religion but holds to morality, and better, an individualized list of mores.

Thus, for the cast of this video to become "human," their faith must be recast or reinvented to meet the standards of what would be suitable faith.

The flaw with this all is the perception of religion as a human construct, without acknowledging religion could be divinely derived. Thus many of the characters in the video display a faith that interprets the human condition as perceived by the practitioner. The whole Old Testament seems to be a battle of the teachings of God's Word versus some human concoction promoted to benefit the self. the golden calf. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram conspiring to remove Moses and Aaron from their positions. Jeroboam I inventing his politicized religion to prevent loyalties to the Jerusalem Temple worship and political union with the southern kingdom.

I would propose that such a true, divine instituted religion would be immensely unpopular. This, perhaps, would explain the immediate acceptance of the tenets of Darwin, even among the more liberal churchmen of England. For many, it was more popular to be perceived as modern and scientific rather than question the views of an esteemed scientist.

But what of the importance of such a faith, of such a religion? Any religion that proposes the reality of hell (along with its solution) would have something to it over against the religion that, merely for popular (and maybe even humanistic) sympathy and support would deny such a place. That even involves grace, God's mercy extended to helpless man.

Some may say, what a tedious, most unhumanistic, viewpoint!

I would say, thank you, perhaps we are on to something real here.

Moral intuitions, if the Non-Theist is correct, sum to the molding forces of nature and history and culture, etc. rather than objective reality -- and thus in principle are revisable. It isn’t clear how far that gets us in any sort of contour towards that which the Non-Theist is here demanding of God – the peculiar affairs of ceaseless reciprocity within the immutable love of the Absolute, within an immutable love of Necessary. If the Non-Theist is correct about the moral absolute – that God ought be love - then it seems that we may come to a point at which our common sense cannot precede our metaphysics:

That is not to say that intuitions in the sense in question have no place at all in philosophy, but their role should be at most heuristic, a pointer to something objective, which alone can serve as a legitimate premise in a philosophical argument and after the discovery of which the “intuitions” can be put to one side.

“But as an A-T philosopher, don’t you think metaphysics and ethics should be in harmony with common sense?” Yes I do, but that does not mean that saying “It just seems commonsensical to me” is how an A-T philosopher thinks metaphysical or ethical claims should be defended. That gets the significance of common sense and intuition all wrong. The A-T philosopher doesn’t say “Such-and-such metaphysical and ethical claims seem intuitive and commonsensical; therefore they must be correct.” Rather, he says: “Such-and-such metaphysical and ethical claims are correct, and can be shown to be so on entirely objective rational grounds; and it is because they are correct that nature has made us in such a way that we tend to regard them as intuitive and commonsensical.”

So, in metaphysics, common sense regards skepticism about the external world as absurd, and the A-T philosopher agrees with common sense. But it is not that its commonsense status shows that realism about the external world is true; rather, the fact that realism about the external world is true is what accounts for its commonsense status. In ethics, common sense regards the direct, intentional killing of an innocent human being as gravely immoral, and the A-T philosopher agrees with common sense. But it is not that its commonsense status shows that such killing is immoral; rather, the fact that it is gravely immoral accounts for our intuitive sense that it is. And so forth. Nature has formed our feelings and intuitions so that they provide us with a rough and ready practical guide to what is true and good. But their intuitive status is a consequence of their being true and good, not the ground of their being true and good.

In fact, it only “makes common sense” that our metaphysical statement must precede our intuitive statement. Perhaps such leads us to, not the rejection of our moral intuitions but rather to their rigorous defense vis-à-vis a more un-intuititve metaphysics:

Precisely because they are so fundamental and widely shared, the contemporary metaphysician thinks these “intuitions” well worth investigating, and something which can yield powerful premises for philosophical argument. But because they are also widely taken to be contingent -- perhaps reflecting only the molding forces of evolution, history, culture, etc. rather than objective reality -- and thus in principle revisable, critics of contemporary metaphysics understandably question the significance of conceptual analysis. They judge that any metaphysics worthy of our attention can only be that which is implicit in natural science.

Now this bifurcation between conceptual analysis and natural science is essentially a riff on Hume’s Fork, which divides respectable propositions into “relations of ideas” and “matters of fact.” And the two bifurcations face similar problems. Hume’s Fork itself is neither true by virtue of the relations of the ideas expressed in it, nor by virtue of the empirically ascertainable facts. Hence it presupposes precisely the sort of third perspective it purportedly rules out. And the same thing is true of the distinction between conceptual analysis and natural science. This bifurcation is not itself something arrived at via conceptual analysis, nor (unless we frontload some question-begging premises) is it something confirmed by any findings of natural science. Hence the very attempt to maintain that philosophy can only be either a kind of natural science or an exercise in conceptual analysis itself presupposes that there is a third kind of thing for it to be.

This third kind of enterprise is what A-T philosophers and other traditional metaphysicians take metaphysics to be.

There is here a sort of generalized feeling serving as an almost unconscious backdrop behind the existential needs being filled by all of these assumptions.

For all of us there may be a kind of feeling that if some kind of Universalism or if some kind of Pantheism could just be true then we’d end up with something more akin to our hopes and our feelings for all of us and thus more akin to reality in general.

We sort of assume all of that based on what are our valid feelings for humanity and sort of unconsciously forgo our existential experience of the loveless, which is a peculiar neglect given that God truly is love, is truly in the ceaseless present willing the good of all. For those who are existentially swayed thusly, I offer to you that Universalism or Pantheism (or Atheism) may or may not be philosophically valid approaches to interpreting reality, and, the answers to that and to our own body of feelings and moral intuitions all merit our genuine attention and need to be explored. Whatever answers you find are not the point of this comment, rather, the key in all of that is simply to avoid the mistake of neglect and to avoid the mistake of not asking the right questions.


The Christian finds this: Ultimate Reality – the Absolute – the Highest Ethic – on point of objective fact – is love. Where and how and in what manner Universalism, or Pantheism (all is God) or Pantheism's twin, Occasionalism (all that happens is both caused and willed by God), or Atheism ultimately succeed or fail in such means and in such ends is, really, the question at hand. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting those thoughts, those philosophical questions.


As for the Philosophical Naturalist straining towards love’s Ends, well, he will find no intellectually coherent A nor B nor C….nor Z at this table outside of his own (insolvent) philosophy’s categorical constitutions – at every level – of love’s antithesis: indifference. Avoiding the mistake of neglect just can’t help the Naturalist.


But for the rest of us, the key here is for all of us to avoid the mistake of neglect. And yes, our philosophical naturalist friends are of course welcome to join, only, they will find themselves confronting a remarkable lack of means.


As for the Christian, he will tell you that when it comes to God and Man, volitional love’s ceaseless reciprocity amid all that is Being’s constitutional vertices of Self/Other/Us necessarily obtain within the Triune God as He instantiates that very footprint across Man’s entire reality, Man’s entire potentiality. All of the Christian’s Firsts begin there. All his Lasts end there. And such carries him out of those contours of Pantheism in which everything is God and out of Pantheism’s close twin of Occasionalism in which everything that happens is both caused and willed by God, and, also, such carries him out of those contours of Universalism (not the possibility of such, but the coercion of such) and into immutable love’s inescapable topography. From the start in Eden Knowledge is not the end of the regression – of the reduction – and the particular Judge with Whom we have to do affirms such a peculiarity as He tells us (on the one hand) those who know more and less will find more and less asked of them at the end of things, and, He tells us (on the other hand) that from atop His Bench we hear these words regarding those who “know-not” – “Forgive them for they know not” as, indeed, His Sufficiency truly is "enough". None of that needs to be a theological statement – lest my Christian family panic – but the Atheist cannot neglect the injection of such contours into their philosophical exploration as to where coherence with reality is actually found – on moral intuition. Christ alone coherently grants that the moral intuitions in-play there are both preceded and superseded by the proper “metaphysics”.


Regarding our own avoidance of neglect, whether we look at Pantheism, or Pantheism's twin, Occasionalism, or Universalism, (or Atheism), or instead – as the Christian does – upon those claims upon reality found in the epicenter of the Triune God Who is love, or what have you, David Bentley Hart reminds us that it is not totality (Pantheism and Occasionalism), nor is it chaos (Atheism), but rather it is the compositions of love’s inescapably triune landscape where being’s constitutional vertices converge. His book, “The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth” in part explores such contours – a brief excerpt:


“Within Christian theology there is a thought – a story – of the infinite that is also the thought – the story – of beauty; for pagan philosophy and culture, such a confluence of themes was ultimately unthinkable. Even Plotinian Neoplatonism, which brought the Platonic project to its most delightful completion by imagining infinity as an attribute of the One, was nonetheless compelled to imagine the beauty of form as finally subordinate to a formless and abstract simplicity, devoid of internal relation, diminished by reduction to particularity, polluted by contact with matter’s “absolute evil”; nor could later Neoplatonism very comfortably allow that the One was also infinite being, but typically placed being only in the second moment of emanation, not only because the One, if it were also Being, would constitute a bifid form, but because being is always in some sense contaminated by or open to becoming, to movement, and thus is, even in the very splendor of its overflow, also a kind of original contagion, beginning as an almost organic ferment in the noetic realm and ending in the death of matter. Christian thought – whose infinite is triune, whose God became incarnate, and whose account of salvation promises not liberation from, but glorification of, material creation – can never separate the formal particularity of beauty from the infinite it announces, and so tells the tale of being in a way that will forever be a scandal to the Greeks. For their parts, classical “metaphysics” [rather than rigorous metaphysics] and postmodernism belong to the same story; each, implying or repeating the other, conceives being as a plain upon which forces of meaning and meaninglessness converge in endless war; according to either, being is known in its oppositions, and oppositions must be overcome or affirmed, but in either case as violence: amid the strife of images and the flow of simulacra, shining form appears always only as an abeyance of death, fragile before fore the convulsions of chaos, and engulfed in fate. There is a specular infinity in mutually defining opposites: Parmenides and Heracleitos gaze into one another’s eyes, and the story of being springs up between them; just as two mirrors set before one another their depths indefinitely, repeating an opposition that recedes forever along an illusory corridor without end, seeming to span all horizons and contain all things, the dialectic of Apollo and Dionysus oscillates without resolution between endless repetitions of the same emptiness, the same play of reflection and inversion. But the true infinite lies outside and all about this enclosed universe of strife and shadows; it shows itself as beauty and as light: not totality, nor again chaos, but the music of a triune God. Nietzsche prophesied correctly: what now always lies ahead is a choice between Dionysus (who is also Apollo) and the Crucified: between, that is, the tragic splendor of totality and the inexhaustible beauty of an infinite love.”

To be sure, the testimony of a witness is valid evidence. However, we know that testimony is strengthened by objective corroboration. In many theistic systems, this is some sort of written documentation. The atheist is illogical to dismiss the veracity of all on the basis that there is a lack of unity between all of them given that some truth may be discernible.

Rather, if one's presupposition is that there may be truth among the ancient written witness, then one will be open to investigating the evidence more objectively. Fortunately, one body of scripture stands out remarkably from the rest, so it's not a difficult proposition.

So, I say we still need a subjective testimony, but there also needs to be an understanding of the objective nature of the revelation of God so that it can be presented, and so that a presupposition to consider it can be entertained.

God hasn't revealed himself to me and even if He did, how could I trust it as not being a delusion or my desires or emotions

That fails on a couple fronts:

1. you are already saying that you need God to reveal Himself, yet aren't prepared to even accept your own standard [that God would need to reveal Himself in order for you to believe]

2. You haven't applied the same reasoning to your skepticism. How is it your skepticism isn't a delusion or your desires?

Finally, as Amy pointed out, this is a very subjective critique of theism in that the atheist is using what THEY think God ought to do to determine whether He does or doesn't exist.

EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS REQUIRE EXTRAORDINARY PROOF.

Says who? (OK, the notion was popularized by Carl Sagan, but still...) Proof is proof. Why does it need to be "extraordinary?" Why won't ordinary proof do?

there's no such thing as "atheistic theological preferences" atheism is not a cult, it's based on reason/logic, science/proofs and discovering the truth in the world we are living

Stefan, go back and read what I wrote in the post. The atheist has indeed made a theological statement—that is, a statement about what he thinks God would be like if He existed. That's a theological statement about God, and his argument against God is based on that.

religion stands in the way of everything that is related to freedom.

Have you ever wondered why the countries built on atheism have had the least amount of freedom and the highest rate of massacring citizens (U.S.S.R., China, Cuba, etc.)? It's because their view of the human person is one without intrinsic value, dignity, or rights. They're expendable. There can only be rights existing above human governments (that the governments must submit to) if something exists above human governments. This is why even atheists commenting on this blog have denied the existence of unalienable rights. Freedom can only flourish in a country where the citizens acknowledge God-given rights.

so basically what you're sayin is that right now GOD means something different for each one of us living on this planet.

No, that's not what I was saying. What I was saying is that the theological assertions the theists make in this video aren't compelling reasons to the atheist to believe their religions are true. Maybe one of them is right, maybe no one is, but assertions and subjective reasons aren't persuasive. In the same way, the atheist's theological assertion about what a real God would be like isn't a compelling reason for the theists to accept the atheist's understanding of reality.

There are two fundamental truths of enlightenment:

  1. There is a God.
  2. I am not He.
These claims are believed by most smart people everywhere. They are believed for a wide variety of reasons that I won't get into here.

These claims are, most likely, not held with quite as much unanimity as some mathematical claims like "2 + 2 = 4". On the other hand, I'd be willing to bet that there are plenty of incontrovertible mathematical truths that are held with less unanimity than #1 and #2 above.

The atheist in the cartoon was noting differences of opinion, not about whether God is, not about #1 and #2 above, but about who God is. The fact that such difference of opinion exists does not undercut the claim that God exists is the first place.

Here's an analogy from Batman comics. In Gotham City, I daresay that everyone and his uncle had a different view about who the caped crusader is. There's only one right answer: Bruce Wayne. But I can easily imagine that someone might have thought it was James Gordon, or Judson Caspian or even Alfred Pennyworth or something.

But it would take a special kind of idiot to live in Gotham City and say that there is no caped crusader at all.

This is what I find strange about religions, certainly you'd think that an all powerful God, who seems to want people to know he exists so he can 'save' them, you'd think proving he exists to everyone would be something easy for him to do. OK granted we do not know what a 'God' would or would not want to do, so whats left for this God to do to get the whole world to acknowledge people he exist? Whats left is for people to go around convincing others he exists. Unfortunately this is were religions fall flat, its all about faith, that you have to believe first and then when you die God will reward you. So no evidence upfront, you'll get your reward when you die....

This unfortunately is no different to a con artist, that says he will make you fabulously rich, all you have to do is give him all your money and have faith that he will deliver. He doesn't have to provide evidence upfront he will show his results once the money has been handed over. This is were religions fail, evidence for a God. Its always you must believe in a 'book' as evidence, and the only evidence this book requires to prove it is true is itself.

Extraordinary claims do require extraordinary evidence, not just taking peoples word for it, otherwise Alien abductions, Bigfoot, Santa and the Loch Ness monster is as real as any God people want to believe in.

Lonewolf,

As if a man's awareness of Christ is either sufficient or necessary to "save" him. A man in the OT walks, and is seen no more - taken up.

"So much for Christ"?

Hardly.

As if Time or Physicality can define or circumscribe the Necessary.

But your metaphysics cannot coherently retain any of that.

The reason for such is that your metaphysics retain neither logic (ultimately) nor love (ultimately) as such are finally - at some ontological seam somewhere – eliminated, and, but for the eyes of logic and love, Man does not see.

Some happily race to sacrifice - in all their metaphysics - said eyes.


Lonewulf57,

"Lonewolf" in the prior post was supposed to be addressed to you ~~~

LW57-

I recommend that you study up. On the question that the atheist disagrees with the theists about, theists do not generally say that you have to read their Scriptures first.

Every major world-religion that is theistic endorses arguments for the existence of God that make no reference to a Sacred Text.

So your claim about the point of disagreement between atheists and theists is just an error.

Sorry scbrowmlhrm, I couldn't work out what you were talking about.

So how exactly to religious people back up their claim that their God exists? Any time I have discussed the issue of Gods existance theists always run to their religious text, which has always been were religions get virtually all their evidence for Gods existance.

So I ask you wisdomlover, what is the evidence that you were given that convinced you that there is a God? You say that every major world religion endorses argument for Gods existence without religious text, please explain this argument to me because all I've ever heard as evidence for the existence of God is some religious text.

LW57-

When trying to engage a view that billions of people throughout history have held, look beyond your own experience of conversations with a dozen or so people. Don't be a lone wolf...look at what others have argued.

In classical Christian literature, you might start with the Five Ways from St. Thomas' Summa Theologica. Or St. Anselm's Prologion.

As for contemporary sources, there are good sources available on this very web site.

I'll bet that Amy has published a favorite reading list at some point.

WL,

I think the question LW57 is asking is why does he have to ask anyone at all? Why isn't the existence of God manifestly obvious to everyone.
Furthermore, to your point about billions of theists.
That is true.
But billions of people are and have been monotheists. And billions of people who have been theists have had beliefs that are mutually exclusive from other theists. And even within Christianity (or any other religion), same story.
For a God who is all powerful, getting everybody on the same page would seem like an easy step one.
You are also making an argument by [kinda, at best] consensus.

Thats exactly what I'm saying Moose, you've argued the same points I wanted to. Why do I have to take peoples word for it. Maybe I find it hard to trust people but a belief in an all powerful God and an afterlife reward is a massive claim and I need more than testimony from witnesses, even first hand witnesses from 2000 years ago. I just can't fathom while an all powerful God always has to 'reveal' his wisdom to one person, and from now on we have to take his word for it. As I mentioned before it is no different to someone claiming they were abducted by aliens.

And numbers of people convinced of doesn't equate to evidence. People can be easily influenced, the best example is of Nazi Germany, who blindly followed Hitler.

I'm not surprised billions follow a certain religion, however there are so many different types and religions and denominations, and it seems were you are born determines what religion you are. Do you think it could be possible that so many people believe in religions because they were brought up and taught in that religion? I know for me personally I was 'indoctrinated' in the Catholic religion from birth, thats why I believed in a God during my school years.

Moose-

We're only talking about where atheists and theists differ. Right?

So it's entirely beside the point that theists may differ amongst themselves on downstream issues. Isn't it? I daresay that every theist has some belief downstream from the belief in God that is incompatible with the belief of some other theists. Perhaps for every pair of theists, there is a disagreement that they and they alone have about God.

But so what?

The question is whether there is a God? And almost everyone throughout history has said "Yes."

Now, they might all be wrong, but that's not how I'd bet.

As for whether theism should be manifestly obvious to all, I think what I've been suggesting is that it is. That's why almost everyone is a theist you see.

Oh sure, there are some people that don't accept theism...just like there are some people who don't believe in the external world.

Were you claiming that if the proposition "God exists" were true, there wouldn't be any atheists?

There are plenty of incontrovertible truths that do not enjoy universal acceptance, including basic truths of arithmetic. In fact, I doubt that there is any truth that enjoys universal acceptance.

Maybe you are saying that God should exercise His power to quash God-denying and mandate God-believing?

How would that go? How would the state that our theists are in after God has compelled their minds count as belief?

LW57-

See my comments to Moose above, but with respect to this additional point:

Why do I have to take peoples word for it?
Who said you did?

There have been plenty of arguments for the existence of God. I've alluded to a number of them. The STR site, I'm sure, has lots of resources in this area. Why not check some of them out? Maybe you'll find one or more decisive.

Are you assuming that if there were a decisive argument for the existence of God, then everyone would be a theist?

I think this thread identifies precisely why that isn't so. Decisive or not, not everyone will even consider the arguments long enough to be convinced by them. Right?

WisdomLover

"The question is whether there is a God? And almost everyone throughout history has said "Yes."

Now, they might all be wrong, but that's not how I'd bet."

But as we've said, numbers does not equate to proof of anything. People have been duped into believing many things that have later on been proven to be wrong. As for people throughout history always believing in a God, in almost all cases that is because ancient people had no explanations for such things as eclipses, disasters etc. Without scientific knowledge the easiest answer was to assume some God was punishing them for something they did wrong. Once science understood weather and natural phenomena, do we still believe that God causes drought, earthquakes or hurricanes? of course not they can be explained through science not religion.

"As for whether theism should be manifestly obvious to all, I think what I've been suggesting is that it is. That's why almost everyone is a theist you see."

Almost everyone is a theist? well as I mentioned before could that be because people are brought up in religious countries, and therefor taught from birth to believe in the religion? Again why is it that belief in a type of religion is always based were the person was born? Why couldn't an all powerful God atleast get one message across, instead of hundreds of different of types of beliefs? Is it possible that religions just be an invention by different cultures?

We then go back to evidence for God, and again we are back to zero evidence for God, other than ancient books and peoples faith. Unfortunately for atheists need more than that.

But as we've said, numbers does not equate to proof of anything.
Then why do you keep insisting that if God exists it would be manifestly obvious to everyone?

It can't be both. Either broad acceptance of a view is important or it isn't. Decide which you think it is.

(And, BTW, it's actually true that if you disagree with almost everyone about something, you'd be wise to at least consider the likelihood that you are the one that is mistaken.)

as I mentioned before could that be because people are brought up in religious countries, and therefor taught from birth to believe in the religion?
Which country do you think it is that is atheistic?
Why couldn't an all powerful God at least get one message across, instead of hundreds of different of types of beliefs?
Didn't He? "God exists" seems to be a pretty broadly accepted message.

Lonewulf57, Moose,


You're making some mistakes in how you define both God and the experience of God.


If you can re-calibrate your notion of "God" and of "the experience of God" to a far wider, more robust metaphysical canopy it will become apparent to you just how small your notions of *god* actually are compared the Great Theistic Traditions (all those billions and billions of folks who affirm "God-Is").

It’s unclear whether or not your metaphysics will ultimately eliminate logic, will ultimately eliminate love – but if so then it is immediately apparent why you assert an inability to see, not the *god* who makes thunder but rather what David Bentley Hart terms the infinite wellspring of being, consciousness, and bliss that is the source, order, and end of all reality – Who is evident everywhere – everywhere inescapably present to us.


Irrational disbelief there emerges – on many fronts. Less obvious to you perhaps given your ignorance of the actual Great Theistic Traditions but nonetheless irrational. Though, there are more overt forms of irrational disbelief:


"Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, and Peter Boghossian have said they would not consider it conclusive evidence for God if the stars all realigned themselves to say in everyone's own language, "I am God, believe in me." Boghossian says, "It could be a delusion." Dawkins and Boghossian have also said the same thing about the return of Christ, if it happened: not enough evidence." (Gilson)


That element does exist in the real world – in real people – and hence is what we are on occasion dealing with.


You’ll have to decide what to do with the only eyes Man in fact has to perceive reality. And what, exactly, are Man’s only modes of sight? Well that is obvious – such are logic and love – full stop. If your chosen metaphysics cannot coherently retain – at the end of the line – neither logic nor love – if your metaphysics choose to annihilate – at some ontological seam somewhere – logic and love then you’ve chosen an irrational disbelief – you’ve volitionally refused an express transposition of the Divine and have chosen instead all the affairs of full and final unintelligibility.


Your notion of *god* is telling. That you expect to be able to measure a kind of material ripple atop the water should God dip His toe into the pond that is the natural (created) order reveals your gross lack of understanding where Christianity is concerned. The contours of the supernatural in fact do no “violence” against the “laws of nature” but instead leave you encountering Him everywhere – and hence right in the middle of the same experience as those billions and billions who have gone before us who – encountering Him everywhere – found exactly what you find – the inescapable experience of logic’s hunger for lucidity and of love’s thirst for reciprocity pouring in along ontological seams everywhere and they (though not you) offered the common and proper response of desire’s hope to therein merge – even traverse – to enter in and to know – to partake of a location “…where here again, and as nowhere else, we are dealing with an irreducibly primordial datum….”


The God of the Savage makes the same mistake as you as they too mistook the supernatural for the un-natural and assumed that should God dip his toe into the pond that is the natural order then surely they (you) would see a ripple atop the water.


They made that mistake do to their ignorance of Science, while you make that mistake do to your ignorance of Theism’s actual truth claims on reality.


That the constitutional shape of reality – God – is both Truth and Love instantiates within the mind of man along an uncountable array of vectors and yet you assert a fallacy by insinuating that the human experience is fundamentally different in the last 100 years than it has been for eons and yet the object of your appeal – Man – remains comprised of the same constitutional properties. Any Anthropology 101 class easily, and demonstrably, silences your fallacious premise.


You and they and we are encountering the same brutally repeatable experience “Man” has always known and the materialist of late has come to a Y in the road – those conduits of logic and love – and he there trades away all that sums to sight – and chooses instead that which sums instead to chaos – unintelligibility – indifference.

Whereas, the Christian finds that to surrender logic’s lucidity short of the bitter ends, to surrender love’s contours short of the bitter ends – leaves the totality of mankind’s truth predicates finally unintelligible. It is inescapable – the eyes of logic and love are that by which and through which we in fact see.


In fact, without eyes you need not even bother looking for God – your own a priori of chemistry and culture (if you are a naturalist) can only grant you an absurdity which is herself unable to comprehend reality’s constitutional datum into which both logic and love manifestly carry us. Surrender logic or love at any point – and the naturalist must surrender both at some ontological seam somewhere – and all your truth claims upon reality will painfully – themselves – collapse for one must proceed with reality’s eyes wide open in the real world – if one seeks God. And the Christian has it that it is logic on the one hand and love on the other hand which sum to sight.


In fact, all the great metaphysical traditions of all those billions and billions who affirmed the experience of God manifestly affirm that to encounter God is to encounter that which every contingent being tastes such that there is no coherent path to deny God but by denying that which we cannot avoid, that which is He Who is nowhere absent, He Who is “…..the infinite wellspring of being, consciousness, and bliss that is the source, order, and end of all reality.”


This is why the issue here is neither belief nor unbelief – “…at least not in any intellectually important sense…” – but rather the issue is an a priori rejection of traveling with reality’s eyes wide open in the real world – over and above your demand for your own intact a priori of surrendering said eyes in the fumes of what painfully sums to what just does qualify as the metaphysics of this or that flavor of eliminative materialism.


You claim you want to see God and then at once refuse both Final Logic (the metaphysics thereof) and Final Love (the metaphysics thereof).


Hence you are either confused or dishonest.


It is not particle which transposes reality’s constitutional datum, but rather it is the eyes reading said datum which transpose necessity’s beautiful terrain. Volition makes her presence felt amid irrational disbelief as all the stars may align and still it will not be enough for those such as yourself who are eager to sacrifice the contours of reality’s elementary datum which logic’s relentless demand for lucidity joined with love’s final felicity necessarily divulge within consciousness as one spies the God of the Great Traditions. It is unavoidable – given that volition is involved one simply cannot ask for evidence for what one simply cannot see without eyes – as one simply cannot spy God given such intentional motion towards aborting – at some ontological seam somewhere – the only eyes by which to see – those of logic and love.


Whereas, the great metaphysical theistic traditions find logic’s obstinate demands for lucidity tirelessly extricating a total rationalism:


“I suggested above that, in many classical metaphysical traditions, the concept of being is one of power: the power of actuality, the capacity to affect or to be affected. To be is to act. This definition already implies that, in its fullness, being must also be consciousness, because the highest power to act — and hence the most unconditioned and unconstrained reality of being — is rational mind. Absolute being, therefore, must be absolute mind. Or, in simpler terms, the greater the degree of something’s actuality, the greater the degree of its consciousness, and so infinite actuality is necessarily infinite consciousness. That, at least, is one way of trying to describe another essential logical intuition that recurs in various forms throughout the great theistic metaphysical systems. It is the conviction that in God lies at once the deepest truth of mind and the most universal truth of existence, and that for this reason the world can truly be known by us. Whatever else one might call this vision of things, it is most certainly, in a very real sense, a kind of “total rationalism.”” (David Bentley Hart)


Should we press you to circumscribe your entire experience of being you will find yourself affirming the very God you deny as Being’s three constitutional vertices affirm not only logic’s perceptual convergence but also love’s ceaseless reciprocity amid all that comprises the uncannily triune singularity of Self/Other/Us. It is there where all experience sums – that is to say – it will be that or else you must deny the express reality of and the experience of the Self from the bottom up – must in fact assert that your own existence is non-entity. We’ve seen the Skeptic go there before – his comical “I don’t exist!”. Irrational disbelief. That is an unfortunate move which the modern man makes because he, in his inability to make even the simplest of distinctions – mistakes his methodology in the physical sciences for a kind of metaphysics – and though the intellectual poverty one must be burdened with to make that mistake is staggering – such has been the fall out of science and into scientism.


What will one do with logic, with love?


Annihilate them in the fumes of one’s hoped for eliminative materialism?


If so then one at once refuses to see God.


As the Christian will tell you, when it comes to God and Man, volitional love’s ceaseless reciprocity amid all that is Being’s constitutional vertices of Self/Other/Us necessarily obtain within the Triune God as He instantiates that very footprint across Man’s entire reality, Man’s entire potentiality.


Your Three Errors:


You will, we all will, leave this world having tasted of those very contours. Missing that fact is one error you have made. God is everywhere experienced, tasted, known.


A second error you have made is that, as alluded to earlier in the thread, you assume an awareness of Christ is somehow necessary or sufficient to “save” a Man and yet Scripture finds both Time and Physicality violated by that same All Sufficiency of Christ - Christ's reach (The Necessary) out-distancing the stuff of Time, of Physicality.


A third error you make is you always seem to think Knowledge is the be all and end all despite the fact that the Judge with Whom we have to do has expressly stated from high atop His Bench regarding those who “know not” His Sinless Decree: “Forgive them for they know not”.


Three staggering misreads of both Theism and Reality – on your end.


In short: Your entire notion of *god* and of "the experience of God" is far too narrow - far too incomplete - far too small - far too metaphysically inaccurate.


And all secondary to Materialism’s incoherence:


“We may be tempted to imagine that a materialist approach to reality is the soundest default position we have, because supposedly it can be grounded in empirical experience: of the material order, after all, we assume we have an immediate knowledge, while of any more transcendental reality we can form only conjectures or fantasies; and what is nature except matter in motion? But this is wrong, both in fact and in principle. For one thing, we do not actually have an immediate knowledge of the material order in itself but know only its phenomenal aspects, by which our minds organize our sensory experiences. Even “matter” is only a general concept and must be imposed upon the data of the senses in order for us to interpret them as experiences of any particular kind of reality (that is, material rather than, say, mental). More to the point, any logical connection we might imagine to exist between empirical experiences of the material order and the ideology of scientific naturalism is entirely illusory. Between our sensory impressions and the abstract concept of a causally closed and autonomous order called “nature” there is no necessary correlation whatsoever. Such a concept may determine how we think about our sensory impressions, but those impressions cannot in turn provide any evidence in favor of that concept. Neither can anything else. We have no immediate experience of pure nature as such, nor any coherent notion of what such a thing might be. The object has never appeared. No such phenomenon has ever been observed or experienced or cogently imagined. Once again: we cannot encounter the world without encountering at the same time the being of the world, which is a mystery that can never be dispelled by any physical explanation of reality, inasmuch as it is a mystery logically prior to and in excess of the physical order. We cannot encounter the world, furthermore, except in the luminous medium of intentional and unified consciousness, which defies every reduction to purely physiological causes, but which also clearly corresponds to an essential intelligibility in being itself. We cannot encounter the world, finally, except through our conscious and intentional orientation toward the absolute, in pursuit of a final bliss that beckons to us from within those transcendental desires that constitute the very structure of rational thought, and that open all of reality to us precisely by bearing us on toward ends that lie beyond the totality of physical things. The whole of nature is something prepared for us, composed for us, given to us, delivered into our care by a “supernatural” dispensation. All this being so one might plausibly say that God – the infinite wellspring of being, consciousness, and bliss that is the source, order, and end of all reality – is evident everywhere, inescapably present to us, while autonomous “nature” is something that has never, even for a moment, come into view.”



Lonewulf57, Moose,


A few clarifications:


1) That last quote was by David Bentley Hart, from his book, The Experience of God.

2) Knowing: logic and love carry us into that primordial datum constituted of some contour of the infinite divine – that wellspring of being, consciousness, and bliss that is the source, order, and end of all reality – Who is evident everywhere – everywhere inescapably present to us. “God Is” and “I am not He” emerges – as WL noted. It seems the way to deny such is that Man finds a way to annihilate not only love, not only logic, but also his own experience of being – the very Self – such that we find the desperation of, “I do not exist” (eliminativism, etc.)

3) “Forgive them for they know not.

4) #2 and #3 are not contradictions. Man simply does not know the whole show. There is that which Man knows and that which Man does not know – and it seems that should what we do not know find an avenue into some arena of import, well then, the all sufficiency of the Necessary – of Christ – poured into Contingency’s (Man’s) insufficiency will suffice. It is enough. He is enough. Our moral intuitions on that front are affirmed by Christ – as alluded to earlier in the thread. "Saving" does not sum to a knowledge test - hence that straw man is metaphysically ludicrous.

#5) In fact #2 carries us, almost compels us - and the lie is that stasis is possible for the Man. If you want compulsion - you have it. The choice is ever between Self and Other - love's instantiation pressing in. It seems Man is, at least in this world, always in motion relative to logic, relative to love, to his experience of being - either away from, and out of, or, towards, and into. The former cannot be achieved but by irrational disbelief. The latter is the experience of nearly everyone who has ever lived.


6) Again #2 compels us. Rational disbelief is found in the later - motioning towards, and into - one's experience of logic and of love - and as we noted, "stasis" is impossible. To see love and declare "not enough evidence" one may have motioned into the irrational. One may not have - but it is more probable - for one who knows enough semantics to be talking of "rational disbelief" - that one has chosen the annihilation of The Good - has refused God.

7) Love does not enslave - coerce - program - rape.

8) God is love.

Very long response scbrownlhrm from what I will try to understand what you said, your saying that billions of people believe in a God, so how can they all be wrong? and that we can only use our senses, but are our senses enough to detect the presence of a God? And that to find this God you must believe first? Correct me if I have misunderstood your response.

While I do not deny that there are many people have personal experiences were they claim they talk to God, how again is that evidence? How is that different to people experiencing alien abductions or psychotic experiences? Some people have claimed they have spoken to God and then go on to claim that they are the next Jesus Christ. Dangerous Cults have sprung up with people who claim to have personal experiences of God. I ask you then, do you believe cult leaders assumptions that they have spoken to God? Thats why I remain skeptical of personal experience, who knows what a person experiences in their own mind.....

At the end of the day we're back to square one, no evidence for a god existing, religious people claiming he exists outside our world and experience, and only seems to intervene with the world when it suits him, some 3000 years ago. He for some reason has decided not to intervene in the worlds affairs in recent history, preferring for people to preach about his almighty power and rewards or punishments after death. Its not hard to understand why people like me remain unconvinced of the claims.

Lonewulf57,


You haven't told us what you're going to do with that which you cannot fail to taste within the contours of Logic, within the contours of Love.

Lonewulf57,

"Its not hard to understand why people like me remain unconvinced of the claims."

The reason why people like me remain unconvinced about the atheistic worldview and its claims is because it collapses on itself.

LW57,

In other words, as noted several times already, you claim you want to see God, or cannot see God, and then at once seem to refuse, and deny, an undeniable experience of the divine for you refuse, and deny, both Final Logic (the metaphysical necessities thereof) and Final Love (the metaphysical necessities thereof).

In the same way, you seem to refuse another contour of the divine as you've not told us what you are going to do with your own undeniable experience of Being’s constitutional vertices within Perception's/Love's triune singularity of Self/Other/Us.

Hence you are again either confused or dishonest.

If you are confused, this may help:

Logic and Love are the eyes through which you are conveyed into an irreducibly primordial datum which sums to that which only the semantics of all the Great Theistic / Metaphysical traditions can coherently give to you. Whereas, the self-refuting chaos of an eliminative materialism leaves you choosing, not logic's lucidity but unintelligibility, and, not the categorical and paradigmatic actuality of love's ceaseless reciprocity but indifference - thereby denying the undeniable as one's very Self is declared non-entity - ad infinitum.

Your avoidance (or your refusal) of logic's demands for lucidity and of love's paradigmatic landscape of ceaseless reciprocity is telling.


LW57-

It's already been pointed out a number of times that plenty of arguments for the existence of God have been advanced by virtually every major religion. Many of the arguments are common to every major religion.

So your repeated claim that all theists have is claims of personal experience is simply false to the facts.

BTW - what exactly is a personal experience. How is it different from an experience? You seem to be OK with experience as evidence, but not personal experience.

God is love.

scbrownlhrm that is your assertion, In fact everything you said (from 1-8) is an assertion as you assume a God exists. People do not require a God to love, love is something we inherently do because we are a social animals, love even exists in the animal world. As for reading the book you suggested The Experience of God, Sure I could, just as you could read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins or God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Citing a book does not further your argument for a God as I can bring up just as many books to counter them.

Again you fail to answer my question about how people claim to experience God, and what do you say about people claiming they've received a new message from God and even gone on to become cults etc This is why people are skeptical of what people claim to 'experience' on their own. And WL by personal experience I mean something only the person experiences with no other witnesses. Thats why I called it 'personal' experience.

Your avoidance (or your refusal) of logic's demands for lucidity and of love's paradigmatic landscape of ceaseless reciprocity is telling.

Logics demands? well if I was to use logic (according to Wikipedia it is the branch of philosophy concerned with the use and study of valid reasoning) My belief is there is God, which a conclusion I have come to a conclusion as there is no evidence for one. The only evidence which has been given to me has been 'believe in him first and then you'll experience God' or 'God does not have to reveal himself to be true'. Those are cop outs to me and still goes back to zero evidence for a God. I think I have easily met logic's demands that a God does not exist.

The reason why people like me remain unconvinced about the atheistic worldview and its claims is because it collapses on itself.

Explain how the theist world view collapses? if anything Science has collapsed religious beliefs. Even the Catholic church has accepted evolution as there is clear evidence for it, and there is zero evidence for a supernatural creator. Religion has gone from explaining how the world worked, to now trying to remain relevant in todays world which advances through science and thats why atheism is on the rise.

Heres an article about atheism on the rise: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/heres-church-heres-steeple-open-door-wheres-people/

You don't have to agree with the article even if the statistics clearly show religion is on the decline in America as it is in many western countries. The article does list many of the reasons why people have fallen away from religion. Here are some of the reasons the article claims for the decline of religion (I have copied verbatim)

- Americans are tired of the sanctimonious dictates
- (religions) forced morality and herd mentality
- Advances in science, globalization and exposure to people of different faiths
- growing distrust in religious institutions, as well — caused, for example, by clergy abuse scandals
- backlash against the Religious Right and its steadfast opposition to gay rights, women’s rights, reproductive freedom, secularism in school, scientific progress, environmentalism and even the Separation of Church and State
- younger generations are increasingly turned off by religion’s role in vitriolic politics, world conflicts and domestic acts of terror.

So what is happening here? why is religion loosing ground now? could it be that more information has got religious people to start questioning what they have been taught to believe? thats what I believe and thats what happened to me. Were is God now that non belief is on the rise? Last time God was unhappy with his people he sent a global flood, should we expect one soon as lack of belief in God increases. I'm just going by what the Bible says of course....

LW57,

As you have obviously (knowingly) choosen to metaphysically eliminate both Logic and Love, it's clear that you have knowingly chosen the irrational side of disbelief.

It wasn't clear at first if such was your position, but now at least we finally know *why* you have chosen to (irrationally) disbelieve.


LW57,

"Explain how the theist worldview collapses?" ~I'm assuming you meant to say the atheist worldview? Among the reasons I could discuss, this worldview makes the claim that God does not exist yet fails to explain why there is something rather than nothing. I have yet to see any good arguments for the atheistic worldview. However, I have seen very good reasons to believe that theism is true, and more specifically that Christianity is true.

"if anything Science has collapsed religious beliefs. Even the Catholic church has accepted evolution as there is clear evidence for it" ~Please explain what you mean by this claim. I don't see how stating that because A accepts B, therefore science has collapsed religious beliefs. Furthermore, what kind of evolution are you talking about? And does the "Catholic church" refer to every single Catholic?

"...and there is zero evidence for a supernatural creator." ~How did you come to conclude that there is zero evidence for a supernatural creator?

"Religion has gone from explaining how the world worked, to now trying to remain relevant in today's world which advances through science and that's why atheism is on the rise" ~Can you describe what you mean by religion? I applaud the scientific advances which have taken place. Have you considered that Christianity is also on the rise? Whatever belief system is or is not on the rise, I'd encourage you to look at the arguments.

Again, I'd say that there are good reasons to believe in Christian theism and that there are no good reasons to believe in the religion of a-theism. Please consider becoming more skeptical of your skepticism, LW57

LW57-

Interesting stats, but not particularly germane to the question at hand. One can stop attending church or performing other religious observances and still affirm the proposition "God exists".

On the point of disagreement between atheists and theists, atheists remain a thin minority. The overwhelming majority of people now and throughout history are theists, though some aren't. Just like the overwhelming majority of people who look up into the sky declare it blue, though some don't.

Given that agreement, might God not exist? Sure.

Might the sky not be blue? Sure.

It wasn't clear at first if such was your position, but now at least we finally know *why* you have chosen to (irrationally) disbelieve.

That is your assumption that I have irrationally disbelieve. From my point of view I believe it is irrational for people to believe in a God with no evidence. Believing with no evidence is the easiest way to get conned into believing anything.

I have yet to see any good arguments for the atheistic worldview. However, I have seen very good reasons to believe that theism is true, and more specifically that Christianity is true.

Evolution? The Big Bang Theory? all point to a universe that did not require a 'Creator'. Sure the theories aren't perfect but they explain things better than anything else available. What Christian world view has convinced you theism is true?

Please explain what you mean by this claim. I don't see how stating that because A accepts B, therefore science has collapsed religious beliefs. Furthermore, what kind of evolution are you talking about? And does the "Catholic church" refer to every single Catholic?

Well by religious beliefs I mean Christians used to believe in Adam and Eve and God created the world in 7 days. Also religions believed in a flat earth and an earth centric universe. All these have been proven wrong with science, a trend that continues today. As for which evolution, there is only one: Evolution is change in the heritable traits of biological populations over successive generations.[1] Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including the levels of species, individual organisms, and molecules.[2] Sure all Catholics don't have to believe in Evolution, but the Catholic church recognises it so what does that say about what Catholics should believe?

How did you come to conclude that there is zero evidence for a supernatural creator?

Umm I'm (an many millions of atheists) still waiting for that smoking gun evidence to prove God exists, or are we going back to God wants to remain elusive and hope people like me will just believe what religious people like you say about him? Again still at zero evidence, but please feel free to share it if you have some.

Have you considered that Christianity is also on the rise? Whatever belief system is or is not on the rise, I'd encourage you to look at the arguments.

I would consider that, if it was, but its not it is in decline every where. Australia (were I live) will have a census soon and there are predictions atheism has risen considerably since the last census. Europe which was once fiercely Christian is becoming more secular as the years go by, so no Christianity is not on the rise. Feel free to Google about the rise of Atheism, its happening wether you like it or not. I have looked at the arguements, I went to a Catholic school and my family is all Catholic. Once I left school I began to question my religion until I finally lost faith in it. Been there done that and I will never go back to it. God will have to tap me on the shoulder and tell me I was wrong before I change my mind.

Again, I'd say that there are good reasons to believe in Christian theism and that there are no good reasons to believe in the religion of a-theism. Please consider becoming more skeptical of your skepticism, LW57

Thats your opinion, there are many good reasons not to believe in Christian (or any other) theism. As for the religion of 'atheism', atheism is not a religion, the definition of religion is: an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Atheism is: in a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. So as an atheist all I do is not believe in a Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever God. Theres nothing else to it, theres no holy atheist book, no tenants to follow all you need to do is to not believe in any Gods. I am highly skeptical thats why I gave up religion, maybe you should start to question your religion, look at it from the outside and see how the other side thinks.

Interesting stats, but not particularly germane to the question at hand. One can stop attending church or performing other religious observances and still affirm the proposition "God exists".

On the other side of the coin, there could be people who follow a religion because of social pressure but they themselves do not believe in the religion or a God. Fact still remains people are moving away from religion.

On the point of disagreement between atheists and theists, atheists remain a thin minority. The overwhelming majority of people now and throughout history are theists, though some aren't. Just like the overwhelming majority of people who look up into the sky declare it blue, though some don't.

Yes history, Christianity has hardly been Christ-like throughout history, forced conversions, non-believers being killed. Being not-religious hundreds of years ago could have resulted in you being called a witch and burned at the stake. Now that religion does not have the power people are now free to leave their religions without fear of persecution. Atheism is on the rise, you can disagree but the statistics clearly show it is happening.

Given that agreement, might God not exist? Sure.

Might the sky not be blue? Sure.

Thats a poor argument. May God not exist? of course because there is no evidence for it. May God exist? maybe but again no evidence for it.

Might the sky be blue? of course its easy to test this, it is because Blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air in Earth's atmosphere. You can do experiments in the laboratory to replicate this so that explains why the sky is blue. Wheres the evidence for God?


LW57,

The irrational and unintelligible arrive necessarily, and that is simply because you have affirmed that both Logic and Love are ontologically vacuous IOU's which are both metaphysically eliminated.

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