Welcome to Atheist Discussion, a new community created by former members of The Thinking Atheist forum.

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
#1

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
Roused from sleep at 3:00 this morning and unable to fall back asleep, here're a few questions that have left me wondering how the religious sleep at night:


1.  Can your god be challenged by accomplishment of some objective?  Something is challenging when the executor is uncertain about obtaining the desired outcome.

2.  Can your god learn anything?  Learning is the acquisition and understanding of something formerly unknown.

3.  In your dialogues with your god:

     A.  How do you distinguish between your god speaking and your ordinary inner voice?

     B.  What would you tell your god that it doesn't already know?

     C.  Why hasn't your god ever given you advice that would, if followed, give you genuinely world changing influence or power?

     D.  Why hasn't your god ever given you advice that would, if followed, make you change your life to exactly what you envision it should be?

4.  If your god cannot be either challenged or learn anything, what motivates it to get out of bed every morning looking forward to the new day?

5.  What was your god's intent when it created Joseph Merrick (and others afflicted with crippling lifetime disfigurements)?

6.  Why does your god treat you with special favor but does not do the same for huge portions of the world population?
The following 2 users Like airportkid's post:
  • Vorpal, Mathilda
Reply
#2

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
.
airportkid,

The majority of your questions in your initial post are moot because the pseudo-christian does NOT have their alleged "free will' like they think they have, because their serial killer Jesus as god states that he controls their entire lives from the beginning to the end as explicitly shown in the passages below:

1. “The lot is cast into the lap, but it's every decision is from the LORD” (Proverbs 16:33).  

2. "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand (Proverbs 19:21).

3.  "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).

4.  JESUS SAID: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).


.
The following 1 user Likes Iconoclast's post:
  • Gwaithmir
Reply
#3

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
Omg so many quotes to keep track of. 

1. I don't know. 

2. Uh... I don't know. Likely not.

3. My deity doesn't talk to me. That's weird.

4. If my deity cannot learn or be challenged.... what does that have to do with me? I can most certainly be challenged and I love learning.

5. I don't know who Joseph Merrick is, but life is the result of our choices. Genes mutate, errors occur in the womb, and accidents happen. The onus is on us to fix these problems. It's our world and it is the sum of our choices.

6. G-d treats everyone the same, according to their own merits. There's no special Jew heaven. (Okay, actually there is and it's crammed with bagels and lox. Suck it, y'all).
The following 2 users Like Aliza's post:
  • Camaro Dude, Paleophyte
Reply
#4

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
Egg Everything bagels? Are there any knishes?
The following 1 user Likes no one's post:
  • Aliza
Reply
#5

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God

  1. Can your god distinguish two indistinguishable objects.
  2. If so, can that god pass that information to a human?
  3. If so, when should we update the statistics/probability: when god tells you he knows the difference or when god actually tells you the difference?
  4. Is there a non-zero probability that god will lie about this (send bogus info)?
Reply
#6

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(02-13-2023, 11:10 AM)airportkid Wrote: Roused from sleep at 3:00 this morning and unable to fall back asleep, here're a few questions that have left me wondering how the religious sleep at night:


1.  Can your god be challenged by accomplishment of some objective?  Something is challenging when the executor is uncertain about obtaining the desired outcome.

2.  Can your god learn anything?  Learning is the acquisition and understanding of something formerly unknown.

3.  In your dialogues with your god:

     A.  How do you distinguish between your god speaking and your ordinary inner voice?

     B.  What would you tell your god that it doesn't already know?

     C.  Why hasn't your god ever given you advice that would, if followed, give you genuinely world changing influence or power?

     D.  Why hasn't your god ever given you advice that would, if followed, make you change your life to exactly what you envision it should be?

4.  If your god cannot be either challenged or learn anything, what motivates it to get out of bed every morning looking forward to the new day?

5.  What was your god's intent when it created Joseph Merrick (and others afflicted with crippling lifetime disfigurements)?

6.  Why does your god treat you with special favor but does not do the same for huge portions of the world population?
1. No.

2. No. There is a verse in scripture where God reaffirms He is the only God, thus knows all. However the verse ends with the statement concerning the idea of another God "I know not one". That could be taken as there being a possibility in spite of it being absolutely unlikely. And if in case of the unlikely occurrence of another God showing up, it would be a new learning experience.

3.

A. I think one way to try and describe it would be intuition. I'm not saying intuition is from God (although I think it can be), but if you ever had an intuitive thought that you acted upon, that turned out to be right, something internal as opposed to external caused you to respond. This is also in contrast to some people's idea that Christian's hear voices in their head.

B. There's nothing we could tell that He doesn't already know. Does this question pertain to the need for prayer?

C. People have different talents, and from a Christian perspective, different callings. Success in God's eyes would be quite a bit different than our human perspective of success. Seeking power however is not something God encourages.

D. I think God does. Whether we follow it or not is another story.

4. For one, God doesn't sleep. And I don't see knowing all as being a hindrance as far as any kind of motivation concerning His focus on His creation.

5. Joseph Merrick was made in God's image, and loved equally by God as anyone else. I don't know why he was born that way, other than what Aliza pointed out. But to my understanding, he was a Christian. Maybe he wouldn't have been if he had not been deformed. That can be taken as him understanding his weakness and need for God, or just simply needing to believe as a crutch. I personally think it's the former.

6. I think there's a number of scriptures that contradict this idea of favoritism.
The following 1 user Likes Camaro Dude's post:
  • Aliza
Reply
#7

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
Ah.... this one, perhaps?

Quote: Numbers 21:2–3

yAnd Israel vowed a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will indeed give this people into my hand, then I will devote their cities to destruction.”1 And the Lord heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called zHormah.2



Nice fucking god you have there.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
Reply
#8

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(02-14-2023, 10:49 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Ah.... this one, perhaps?

Quote: Numbers 21:2–3

yAnd Israel vowed a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will indeed give this people into my hand, then I will devote their cities to destruction.”1 And the Lord heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called zHormah.2



Nice fucking god you have there.

It's almost like a case of religion being used as a justification for atrocities that would be excused as "god's will", or something. Or fantasization about committing atrocities.
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” -Carl Sagan.
The following 1 user Likes GenesisNemesis's post:
  • Minimalist
Reply
#9

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
Just a thanks, CD, for giving the questions serious consideration.  95% of the theists who spend time in this forum never do when I've proffered questions along these lines, or regard them as impertinent.  So thanks.

Later I may take on some of your answers, hopefully giving them the same degree of serious consideration that you gave to your answers.  Thanks again.
The following 4 users Like airportkid's post:
  • Aliza, Dom, Camaro Dude, mordant
Reply
#10

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(02-15-2023, 12:55 AM)airportkid Wrote: Just a thanks, CD, for giving the questions serious consideration.  95% of the theists who spend time in this forum never do when I've proffered questions along these lines, or regard them as impertinent.  So thanks.

Later I may take on some of your answers, hopefully giving them the same degree of serious consideration that you gave to your answers.  Thanks again.
I appreciate your questions! Very thought provoking.
Reply
#11

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(02-13-2023, 06:21 PM)Aliza Wrote: 5. I don't know who Joseph Merrick is, but life is the result of our choices. Genes mutate, errors occur in the womb, and accidents happen. The onus is on us to fix these problems. It's our world and it is the sum of our choices.

The Elephant Man

[Image: 1*H7vnvf_KhUi1Xn6-eoTATQ.png]
“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. 
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte
Reply
#12

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(02-16-2023, 02:14 AM)Chas Wrote:
(02-13-2023, 06:21 PM)Aliza Wrote: 5. I don't know who Joseph Merrick is, but life is the result of our choices. Genes mutate, errors occur in the womb, and accidents happen. The onus is on us to fix these problems. It's our world and it is the sum of our choices.

The Elephant Man

[Image: 1*H7vnvf_KhUi1Xn6-eoTATQ.png]

Terrible. We should do something about that. I'm educating the next generation to carry the torch and build on existing knowledge. What are you doing?
Reply
#13

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(02-13-2023, 11:10 AM)airportkid Wrote: Roused from sleep at 3:00 this morning and unable to fall back asleep, here're a few questions that have left me wondering how the religious sleep at night:

I sleep just fine, thanks. It's refreshing to see someone actually asking theists questions. I'm a classical theist / Catholic. I'll do my best to answer.

1.  Can your god be challenged by accomplishment of some objective?  Something is challenging when the executor is uncertain about obtaining the desired outcome.

No. He's certain because He's all-powerful and also outside of time. If He wills something, it inevitably comes to pass, just by virtue of an all-powerful being willing it. There's no mystery. Challenges come from not knowing the outcomes of things (i.e., not having all knowledge and being in time).

2.  Can your god learn anything?  Learning is the acquisition and understanding of something formerly unknown.

He cannot, being omniscient.

3.  In your dialogues with your god:

     A.  How do you distinguish between your god speaking and your ordinary inner voice?

He rarely speaks to me in this fashion, so I wouldn't know. But other Christians have this experience. Many in my own family do.

     B.  What would you tell your god that it doesn't already know?

[Variation of #2 above]

     C.  Why hasn't your god ever given you advice that would, if followed, give you genuinely world changing influence or power?

He has given me the vocation of apologist, and so whatever little influence I have is through my writing and the power of persuasion and passing along the message of Christianity and specifically Catholic Christianity. Twelve disciples turned the world upside down, so maybe one Christian today can have some impact. 

     D.  Why hasn't your god ever given you advice that would, if followed, make you change your life to exactly what you envision it should be?

He has, in calling me to become an apologist. That changed my life, and it's a very fulfilling life. I love my work and am very happy and filled with peace.

4.  If your god cannot be either challenged or learn anything, what motivates it to get out of bed every morning looking forward to the new day?

We have no experience of what it is like to have all the qualities that God has, so we can't comprehend things like this. Of course my answers apply to God the Father. Jesus, Whom we believe is also God, can have all these experiences in His human nature. I think this is a major reason why there was an incarnation, so God could experience most of what we experience. And we suffer, and He is right there with us, having been hated, misunderstood, lied about, falsely portrayed, betrayed, and murdered in one of the most horrific ways imaginable. 

5.  What was your god's intent when it created Joseph Merrick (and others afflicted with crippling lifetime disfigurements)?

He didn't create Joseph Merrick. He created matter, including what would become human beings. The nature of the physical world is such that some suffering will occur as a result. Science presupposes-- for the most part -- an unvarying set of laws that govern the universe. We also have free will, and with that comes most of the suffering in the world, that we inflict in each other. A truly free being must be free also to reject God and His morality. Here is how I look at what is called "natural evil":

1. Rocks are hard.

2. Gravity exists.

3. Human faces, after a significant fall due to gravity, do not mix very well with rocks (assuming they happen to sit at the bottom of the fall).

4. The “natural evil” of a crushed skull or broken nose and severe scrapes may, therefore, occur.

Logical conclusion(s):

A. #1-3 are all natural laws (physics, chemistry, and biochemistry).

B. Natural laws are such (by their very nature, and given physical objects) that “injuries” and “annihilations” will inevitably occur.

C. Therefore, “natural evil” (insofar as the term makes any sense at all – it simply reduces to “unfortunate natural events”) is a necessary result of natural laws.

D. Therefore, to eliminate so-called “natural evil” is tantamount to the elimination of natural laws of matter, energy, etc. themselves.

E. Ergo: since elimination of natural laws would produce a chaotic, utterly unpredictable and formless world, this cannot be a possibility in the natural world as we know it; therefore the entire objection utterly fails.

Unfortunately, natural laws as we know them involve decay and death. Everyone dies; we all get a “disease” in that sense. To have no disease and illness would mean being immortal and never having to age, decay or die. But cells, unfortunately, degenerate. Galaxies, stars, and universes all eventually “die.” So does biological life (much more quickly). That’s just how it is. The universe is winding down, and so is every one of us.

It is said that God could and should have performed many more miracles than Christians say He performs, to alleviate “unnecessary” suffering. But this is precisely what a natural world with laws and a uniformitarian principle precludes from the outset. How is it that the atheist can (in their hypothetical theories and arguments against Christianity) imagine all sorts of miracles and supernatural events that God should have done when it comes to the prevention of suffering? “God should do this,” “He should have done that,” “I could have done much better than God did,” . . .

Atheist resist any supernatural intervention into biological processes or any miracle till their dying breath. Yet when we switch the conversation over to the problem of evil all of a sudden atheists — almost in spite of themselves – think God is supposed to eliminate all disease, even though they are inevitable (even “normative”) according to the laws of biology as we know them. God is supposed to transform the entire structure of the laws of physics, so no one will ever get a scratch on their face. He is supposed to suspend a bullet in mid-air so it won’t kill its intended target, or make a knife turn to liquid before it rips into the flesh of yet another murder victim.

In the world these atheist critics demand of God, if He is to be a “good” God, or to exist at all, according to their exalted criteria, no one should ever have to get a corn on their toe, or a pimple, or have to blow their nose, or have chapped lips. God should turn rocks into Jello every time a child is to fall on one. Cars should turn into silly putty or steam or cellophane when they are about to crash. 

In effect, then, if we follow their reasoning, the entire universe becomes an Alice in Wonderland fantasy-land where man is at the center. Atheists in effect demand from God the very things they claim to loathe when they are arguing against theism on other grounds. Man must be at the center of the universe and suffer no harm, in order for theism to be true. Miracles must take place here, there, and everywhere, if theism is to be accepted as a plausible or superior alternative to atheism.

By definition, the natural world entails suffering. One doesn’t eliminate that “difficulty” simply by resorting to a hypothetical fantasy-world where God eliminates every suffering by recourse to miracle and suspension of the natural laws He put into place.

The natural world can’t modify itself every time someone stubs their toe or gets a sunburn. That would require infinitely more miracles than any Christian claims have occurred, and science would become impossible. With a natural world and natural laws, any number of diseases are bound to occur. One could stay out in the cold too long and get pneumonia. Oh, so atheists want God – if He exists – to immediately cure every disease that comes about?

Again, the miraculous, by definition, is not the normative. It is the extraordinary, rare event. I might stay underwater too long, swallow water, and damage my lungs. I could fall while ice skating, bump my head severely and damage my brain. I might eat a poisonous mushroom, or get stung by a poisonous snake, etc., etc. That’s how the world works. It is not God’s fault; it is the nature of things, and the things of nature.

In an orderly, uniformitarian, largely predictable natural world which makes any sense at all, there will be diseases, torn ligaments, colds, and so forth. The question then becomes: “how much is too much suffering?” or “how many miracles is God required to perform to be a good and just God?” At that point the atheist can, of course, give no substantive, non-arbitrary answer, and his outlook is reduced to wishful thinking and pipe dreams.


6.  Why does your god treat you with special favor but does not do the same for huge portions of the world population?

God loves everyone. Most suffering stems from human beings treating each other brutally. It's too simplistic to blame God for what we human beings have largely done to each other. I just explained, I think, why natural evil exists. Most of the rest of suffering comes from inter-human relationships, which are our fault and our abuse of the free will that God gave us. God will come to anyone who seeks Him. But many factors exist in the world that work against people seeking Him in the first place, including the falsehoods of atheism.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
Reply
#14

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(01-01-2024, 04:04 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: ...including the falsehoods of atheism...
Can you explicitly list the falsehoods of atheism for me? As I am unaware there were tenets to even be false!
The following 1 user Likes rocinantexyz's post:
  • Chas
Reply
#15

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(01-01-2024, 07:27 AM)rocinantexyz Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 04:04 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: ...including the falsehoods of atheism...
Can you explicitly list the falsehoods of atheism for me? As I am unaware there were tenets to even be false!

1. Denial of God (atheism and making oneself one's god),

2. No ultimate hope or meaning to life or to the universe (nihilism),

3. Denial of the existence of miracles and spirits and souls (materialism),

4. In the final analysis, atheism cannot uphold absolute system of morals that apply to everyone (relativism / subjectivism).

5. Denial of the inherent and infinite worth of all human beings (abortion).
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
Reply
#16

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
To Dave Armstrong" pid='413757' dateline='1704081886']

I'll ignore most of your faith-based claims about godly perfection since I don't believe any deity actually exists. But you did discuss atheists and I will reply to that.

"Atheist resist any supernatural intervention into biological processes or any miracle till their dying breath. Yet when we switch the conversation over to the problem of evil all of a sudden atheists — almost in spite of themselves – think God is supposed to eliminate all disease..."

Yes, we see no evidence of the existence of a deity. No, we don't think a deity is supposed to eliminate all disease, as there is no deity.

"In the world these atheist critics demand of God, if He is to be a “good” God, or to exist at all, according to their exalted criteria, no one should ever have to get a corn on their toe, or a pimple, or have to blow their nose, or have chapped lips. God should turn rocks into Jello every time a child is to fall on one. Cars should turn into silly putty or steam or cellophane when they are about to crash. "

That was astonishingly stupid. Atheists do not blame a non-existent deity for anything. You seem to think we atheists actually secretly believe there is a deity and just won't admit it. Demanding something of a non-existant being is just not part of atheism.

"In effect, then, if we follow their reasoning, the entire universe becomes an Alice in Wonderland fantasy-land where man is at the center. Atheists in effect demand from God the very things they claim to loathe when they are arguing against theism on other grounds. Man must be at the center of the universe and suffer no harm, in order for theism to be true. Miracles must take place here, there, and everywhere, if theism is to be accepted as a plausible or superior alternative to atheism"

Man (meaning humans) may or may not be the only sentient life-form in the universe. I suspect that is not the case, but until I see evidence of other sentient life elsewhere (or even pond scum somewhere, I will have to think there is just "us". But that gets into a whole different discussion.

"By definition, the natural world entails suffering. One doesn’t eliminate that “difficulty” simply by resorting to a hypothetical fantasy-world where God eliminates every suffering by recourse to miracle and suspension of the natural laws He put into place"

I agree the natural world entails suffering. Most animals exist only until eaten by others. Some live to die of age or natural causes. Most humans die of disease or accidents. Life doesn't actually have a point. It is a complex and gradual accumulation of cooperative microbes. Sometimes, I think that sentience is just an accident of evolutionary biology. Evolution has no intent or goal. It just happens by advantageous mutations.

"The natural world can’t modify itself every time someone stubs their toe or gets a sunburn. That would require infinitely more miracles than any Christian claims have occurred, and science would become impossible. With a natural world and natural laws, any number of diseases are bound to occur. One could stay out in the cold too long and get pneumonia. Oh, so atheists want God – if He exists – to immediately cure every disease that comes about"

You misunderstand natral selection and evolution SO badly. I don't expect a non-existent deity to do ANYTHING.

"Again, the miraculous, by definition, is not the normative. It is the extraordinary, rare event. I might stay underwater too long, swallow water, and damage my lungs. I could fall while ice skating, bump my head severely and damage my brain. I might eat a poisonous mushroom, or get stung by a poisonous snake, etc., etc. That’s how the world works. It is not God’s fault; it is the nature of things, and the things of nature"

I do not blame a non-existent deity for anything.

"In an orderly, uniformitarian, largely predictable natural world which makes any sense at all, there will be diseases, torn ligaments, colds, and so forth. The question then becomes: “how much is too much suffering?” or “how many miracles is God required to perform to be a good and just God?” At that point the atheist can, of course, give no substantive, non-arbitrary answer, and his outlook is reduced to wishful thinking and pipe dreams"

The world is not "orderly, uniformitarian, largely predictable". Things happen to individuals. With an occasional mass extinction event.

"God loves everyone. Most suffering stems from human beings treating each other brutally. It's too simplistic to blame God for what we human beings have largely done to each other. I just explained, I think, why natural evil exists. Most of the rest of suffering comes from inter-human relationships, which are our fault and our abuse of the free will that God gave us. God will come to anyone who seeks Him. But many factors exist in the world that work against people seeking Him in the first place, including the falsehoods of atheism"

I wonder what you think "the falsehoods of atheism are"? Atheism has no actual beliefs. so what "falsehoods" can there be in it? Atheism is a "belief" like "bald is a hair color". It is the absence of belief. Theists can really only think in terms of faith and belief, so they really don't comprehend the absence of either. Atheists have neither.

To me, it is like you are arguing for existence of unicorns. Until there is some evidence to support that claim, I just go on with life ignoring the idea.
Never try to catch a dropped knife!
Reply
#17

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(01-01-2024, 08:04 AM)Cavebear Wrote: To Dave Armstrong" pid='413757' dateline='1704081886']

I'll ignore most of your faith-based claims about godly perfection since I don't believe any deity actually exists.  But you did discuss atheists and I will reply to that.

"Atheist resist any supernatural intervention into biological processes or any miracle till their dying breath. Yet when we switch the conversation over to the problem of evil all of a sudden atheists — almost in spite of themselves – think God is supposed to eliminate all disease..."

Yes, we see no evidence of the existence of a deity.  No, we don't think a deity is supposed to eliminate all disease, as there is no deity.

"In the world these atheist critics demand of God, if He is to be a “good” God, or to exist at all, according to their exalted criteria, no one should ever have to get a corn on their toe, or a pimple, or have to blow their nose, or have chapped lips. God should turn rocks into Jello every time a child is to fall on one. Cars should turn into silly putty or steam or cellophane when they are about to crash. "

That was astonishingly stupid.  Atheists do not blame a non-existent deity for anything.  You seem to think we atheists actually secretly believe there is a deity and just won't admit it.  Demanding something of a non-existant being is just not part of atheism.  

"In effect, then, if we follow their reasoning, the entire universe becomes an Alice in Wonderland fantasy-land where man is at the center. Atheists in effect demand from God the very things they claim to loathe when they are arguing against theism on other grounds. Man must be at the center of the universe and suffer no harm, in order for theism to be true. Miracles must take place here, there, and everywhere, if theism is to be accepted as a plausible or superior alternative to atheism"

Man (meaning humans) may or may not be the only sentient life-form in the universe.  I suspect that is not the case, but until I see evidence of other sentient life elsewhere (or even pond scum somewhere, I will have to think there is just "us".  But that gets into a whole different discussion.

"By definition, the natural world entails suffering. One doesn’t eliminate that “difficulty” simply by resorting to a hypothetical fantasy-world where God eliminates every suffering by recourse to miracle and suspension of the natural laws He put into place"

I agree the natural world entails suffering.  Most animals exist only until eaten by others.  Some live to die of age or natural causes.  Most humans die of disease or accidents.  Life doesn't actually have a point.  It is a complex and gradual accumulation of cooperative microbes.  Sometimes, I think that sentience is just an accident of evolutionary biology.  Evolution has no intent or goal.  It just happens by advantageous mutations.

"The natural world can’t modify itself every time someone stubs their toe or gets a sunburn. That would require infinitely more miracles than any Christian claims have occurred, and science would become impossible. With a natural world and natural laws, any number of diseases are bound to occur. One could stay out in the cold too long and get pneumonia. Oh, so atheists want God – if He exists – to immediately cure every disease that comes about"

You misunderstand natral selection and evolution SO badly.  I don't expect a non-existent deity to do ANYTHING.

"Again, the miraculous, by definition, is not the normative. It is the extraordinary, rare event. I might stay underwater too long, swallow water, and damage my lungs. I could fall while ice skating, bump my head severely and damage my brain. I might eat a poisonous mushroom, or get stung by a poisonous snake, etc., etc. That’s how the world works. It is not God’s fault; it is the nature of things, and the things of nature"

I do not blame a non-existent deity for anything.

"In an orderly, uniformitarian, largely predictable natural world which makes any sense at all, there will be diseases, torn ligaments, colds, and so forth. The question then becomes: “how much is too much suffering?” or “how many miracles is God required to perform to be a good and just God?” At that point the atheist can, of course, give no substantive, non-arbitrary answer, and his outlook is reduced to wishful thinking and pipe dreams"

The world is not "orderly, uniformitarian, largely predictable".  Things happen to individuals.  With an occasional mass extinction event.  

"God loves everyone. Most suffering stems from human beings treating each other brutally. It's too simplistic to blame God for what we human beings have largely done to each other. I just explained, I think, why natural evil exists. Most of the rest of suffering comes from inter-human relationships, which are our fault and our abuse of the free will that God gave us. God will come to anyone who seeks Him. But many factors exist in the world that work against people seeking Him in the first place, including the falsehoods of atheism"

I wonder what you think "the falsehoods of atheism are"?  Atheism has no actual beliefs. so what "falsehoods" can there be in it?  Atheism is a "belief" like "bald is a hair color".  It is the absence of belief.  Theists can really only think in terms of faith and belief, so they really don't comprehend the absence of either.  Atheists have neither.  

To me, it is like you are arguing for existence of unicorns.  Until there is some evidence to support that claim, I just go on with life ignoring the idea.

You clearly repeatedly misunderstood the nature of my argument. I find this to be very common among atheists when they are critiqued. They're so unused to a vigorous and substantive critique from someone familiar with atheist argumentation, that they almost always don't grasp what is being argued.

And don't ask me to explain further. There is no need to. You simply need to read it again, trying to think objectively and not in knee-jerk terms.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
Reply
#18

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(01-01-2024, 07:27 AM)rocinantexyz Wrote: Can you explicitly list the falsehoods of atheism for me? As I am unaware there were tenets to even be false!

(01-01-2024, 07:56 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: 1. No God,

It would be more accurate to say that this has an indeterminate truth value.  If there isn't satisfactory evidence for a god, it's reasonable for an agnostic atheist to say "I'm not convinced."  Gnostic atheism, the minority position, might claim "There is no god" but then has the burden of proof.

(01-01-2024, 07:56 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: 2. No ultimate hope or meaning to life or to the universe,

How could this be true or false?  Hope and meaning are in the eye of the beholder.  Even if a god were to say outright "This is the meaning of your life," someone can still feel that the alleged meaning just doesn't satisfy them.

(01-01-2024, 07:56 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: 3. No miracles or spirit (materialism),

Refer to point #1.  If someone isn't convinced, and you don't have sufficient evidence to convince them, their perspective of non-belief in spiritual things is quite reasonable.

(01-01-2024, 07:56 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: 4. No absolute system of morals that apply to everyone (relativism / subjectivism).

Religion does not guarantee objective morality.  Is it wrong for me to drown someone?  Then it's wrong for the god of the Bible to do it; yet, the Flood is portrayed as a justified cleansing to rid the world of evil (and, apparently, surplus bunnies and kittens and puppies and all manner of creatures that couldn't possibly have had any conception of "evil").

Successful societies are built not on objective morality but on sensible intersubjective morality, a codifying of the Golden Rule (or better yet, the Platinum Rule:  "Do unto others as they would want to be done to them).  People prefer to live in situations where their neighbours have their backs.

ETA: I see that you've added a fifth point about abortion. For the record, I believe that the right to bodily autonomy must take precedence over all other considerations, including the life of a fetus. This is not a religious issue; it is a human rights issue. Because a woman's body is permanently changed by childbirth and because it is potentially lethal to her, I unconditionally support abortion - preferably as early as possible in the pregnancy to minimize the effects on the woman's body.
The following 8 users Like Astreja's post:
  • Szuchow, airportkid, rocinantexyz, 1Sam15, Cavebear, mordant, brewerb, pattylt
Reply
#19

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
[quote="Dave Armstrong" pid='413767' dateline='1704096682']
[quote="Cavebear" pid='413766' dateline='1704096273']
To Dave Armstrong" pid='413757' dateline='1704081886']

"You clearly repeatedly misunderstood the nature of my argument. I find this to be very common among atheists when they are critiqued. They're so unused to a vigorous and substantive critique from someone familiar with atheist argumentation, that they almost always don't grasp what is being argued.

And don't ask me to explain further. There is no need to. You simply need to read it again, trying to think objectively and not in knee-jerk terms."


I read your post in detail.  I thought about what you said.  I disagree almost completely with what you said.  I do not make knee-jerk replies.

Let me put this another way.  I hate eating fish.  The taste of fish oil offends my taste buds.  Everyone who loves fish says "well try this".  They don't get it.  I hate the taste of fish oil regardless of how it is presented.  And don't get me started on that horrible macaroni and cheese!  If I have tried something enough times and still dislike it, I'm not going to change.

Theism is like that to me.  I won't agree to it because it offends my sense of logic and evidence.  That is simply not going to change.  Your beliefs matter neither a jot nor twiddle to me.  You can't produce any evidence of your belief.

Saying I "simply need to read it again" is just annoying.  I read your post carefully the 1st time.  I rejected your arguments and explained why.  I have found that theists tend to think that, if they just keep repeating themselves enough, somehow (miraculously?) others will come to agree.  Logic and reality says that you are wrong.  I'll go with that.

I'm not trying to convince you to become an atheist.  Stop trying to convince me/us to become a stupid superstitious theist!
Never try to catch a dropped knife!
The following 1 user Likes Cavebear's post:
  • pattylt
Reply
#20

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(01-01-2024, 07:56 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: 1. Denial of God (atheism and making oneself one's god),

Atheism is absence of belief even if there are atheists claiming that they know that there is no god. It's perfectly justified absence as there is not even a shred of evidence for existence of something called god. Also you're simply ridiculous with you statement about making oneself one god but that's norm for the christians who apparently can't abide the thought that people can live without heavenly tyrant watching whether they jack off or not.

Quote:2. No ultimate hope or meaning to life or to the universe (nihilism),

Atheism is not nihilism. I guess I should be glad that you're not conflating it with marxism at least.

Quote:3. Denial of the existence of miracles and spirits and souls (materialism),

Wrong again but it's par of the course for christians. Atheism is absence of belief in god(s). It's skepticism that you're referring here and again it is perfectly justified as there is no single, credible evidence for crap you spout.

Quote:4. In the final analysis, atheism cannot uphold absolute system of morals that apply to everyone (relativism / subjectivism).

Atheism is not an ideology, thought system or anything that should provide one with morals. Having said that atheism providing no guidance at all when it comes to morals beats christianity effortlessly when christians don't see a problem with worshipping genocidal deity. Christianity is merely obedience to space fuhrer for fear of consequences.

Quote:5. Denial of the inherent and infinite worth of all human beings (abortion).

Atheism says nothing about abortion but I wouldn't expect christian to understand it. Nor I am surprised that christians in general (though percentages vary) deny women right to life by opposing abortion - legally induced abortion is far safer for woman than childbirth. Christians [opposing right to abortion] labeling themselves pro life are just lying scumbags but again that's par of the course for christians.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
The following 4 users Like Szuchow's post:
  • airportkid, 1Sam15, pattylt, Astreja
Reply
#21

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(01-01-2024, 08:19 AM)Astreja Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 07:56 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: 2. No ultimate hope or meaning to life or to the universe,

How could this be true or false?
Exactly. When they tell me my atheism is false; all I can assume they mean is that I'm lying about not believing in god. Well if they are going to call me a liar, that is the end of the discussion. If they aren't trying to say that; well I can't understand what they are saying (which is also more or less the end of the conversation).
The following 3 users Like rocinantexyz's post:
  • Cavebear, mordant, Astreja
Reply
#22

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(01-01-2024, 10:01 AM)rocinantexyz Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 08:19 AM)Astreja Wrote: How could this be true or false?
Exactly. When they tell me my atheism is false; all I can assume they mean is that I'm lying about not believing in god. Well if they are going to call me a liar, that is the end of the discussion. If they aren't trying to say that; well I can't understand what they are saying (which is also more or less the end of the conversation).

Big Grin

Humans are not the creation of a deity. We are the gradual accumulation of various microbes and evolved physical structures that fit into an environment. There are more microbes inside us than there are specifically "human" cells. Our sentience is a mere accident of Natural Selection. Nothing "directed" us to become sentient. Sentience is just a successful response to some specific environmental challenges among some apes.

The differences between us and other apes is really very slight. But in one small group of apes, various things like social grooming, better red vision (for riper fruits), etc combined to reward some apes to become more successful. One change led to others as Natural Selection rewarded some apes with more offspring.

Many hominid species failed. But those who had some survival benefits in their particular terrain increased in numbers and adjusted to new ones. Experimentation and other aspects (bipedilism, socialization, understanding the mindset of others, etc).

I'm not disagreeing with you. This just seemed the right opportunity to add all this.
Never try to catch a dropped knife!
Reply
#23

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(01-01-2024, 04:04 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: (God) has given me the vocation of apologist
Says you. All an observer could truthfully say is that you chose how you earn a living just like anyone else.

You are an author on a particular topic.
Reply
#24

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
List of falsehoods for theism

1. The belief in an invisible deity (making oneself important by thinking that this deity finds him somehow special and puts his wellbeing above others.)

2. Thinking his only worth in life is to grovel to and praise this imaginary deity (sad).

3. The belief that his deity somehow interferes with the physical world to grant him special treatment over other people and that the deity's chosen people are somehow superior to other animals.

4. Believes that he has such a weak character that it is the deity alone that stops him from doing bad things to other people.

5. Believes it's okay to force women (who ARE human beings also) to act as brood mares and be forced to carry babies to term, even if that woman can't provide for that child and it will be born into a bad situation or one of extreme poverty, belying all logic and common sense.
Formerly WiCharlie Sun
The following 1 user Likes Charladele's post:
  • Szuchow
Reply
#25

Theists: Some Questions About the Nature of Your God
(01-01-2024, 07:56 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 07:27 AM)rocinantexyz Wrote: Can you explicitly list the falsehoods of atheism for me? As I am unaware there were tenets to even be false!

1. Denial of God (atheism and making oneself one's god),

2. No ultimate hope or meaning to life or to the universe (nihilism),

3. Denial of the existence of miracles and spirits and souls (materialism),

4. In the final analysis, atheism cannot uphold absolute system of morals that apply to everyone (relativism / subjectivism).

5. Denial of the inherent and infinite worth of all human beings (abortion).

Presumably, these are things that a religion provides which atheism does not. But which religion? None of the religions are self evidently true, so there will always be room for doubt and an erasure of the promise of such things. Unless of course, said religion imposes itself universally through force. Is that what you see as desirable?
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
The following 1 user Likes Dānu's post:
  • Cavebear
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)