General Question

Grisaille's avatar

Let's switch roles. Join me in this little experiment, why don't you?

Asked by Grisaille (12018points) August 8th, 2009

No, not like that. Get your mind outta the gutter.

Atheists and Theists. To participate, you must let go of your beliefs.

I want you to present a counter argument for the opposite side of what you believe. That is, Theists, make a case for why a god cannot exist. Atheists; try to prove that a god is real.

I continuously see the religious debate spin out of control. Hopefully, this might shed light on the opposite side of what we believe.

No trolling. No snark remarks. Respond to each other, and try to disprove them. Let’s do this.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

137 Answers

Supacase's avatar

I am agnostic so don’t have a side to argue, but this should be an interesting thread.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Grisaille You freakin’ rule! :) I’m agnostic too, so yeah…

PerryDolia's avatar

Something this beautiful and this complex, which is well beyond the comprehension of man, could only have been created by God.

atrpops's avatar

Admittedly, there’s going to be some pretty weak arguments here but here goes:

More and more evidence is showing up that what’s in the Bible is true. In the same way that evolution is a “theory” that is progressively proven for evolution believers, this proves that the Bible is correct as far as we know. Therefore, Jesus Christ was God and God exists.

Ivan's avatar


Grisaille's avatar

For those that say “I’m agnostic”, just choose a side!

If you find yourself to not believe in a god most of the time, fight for the other. And vice versa.

@DrasticDreamer Thanks love :]

gggritso's avatar

It is better to exist than not to exist. By that logic for a perfect being to be truly perfect it has to exist, and therefore a perfect being exists, this perfect being is called God.

Grisaille's avatar

Also, everyone gets lurve for participating seriously. Or if you make me laugh.

@Ivan Hush, now. You terminology freak, you.

chelseababyy's avatar

God is our father, our savior, our reason for being. He is the one. The one who created everything. He created us, our parents, our grandparents, our friends, sisters, brothers and beyond. He is the supreme being that we all worship. He is our reason for prayer, our reason for living. He is our breath, our voice, our soul. God is the one who decides our fate. If we chose not to believe, our sins will be punished. But why chose sin? We can live a life of the Lord, of true belief. He is what fulfills our lives, what keeps us going. He is our soul reason for being. He is God, and he is the only God. Without him we are nothing. We are mere beings living a worthless life, lives meaning nothing.

Grisaille's avatar

Great. @chelseababyy has brought up an excellent point.

Everyone that is a Theist, but is fighting as an Atheist, attempt to prove her wrong.

You see where I’m trying to go with this thread?

Ivan's avatar

It’s not just terminology. People use agnosticism as a way to absolve themselves of an uncomfortable admission, be it to themselves or to others.

Grisaille's avatar

@Ivan That is true.

But that’s not what I want this thread to be about. I want people put outside of their comfort zones and placed in the opponent’s shoes. I want them to scrape for details, looking for arguments.

I get what you’re saying, and as I said above, just choose a side that is most not like your current view on theism.

samanthabarnum's avatar

I sat here in my head trying to think of a way to bat for religion for a while, trying to formulate a reason for why there would be a god. I honestly couldn’t come up with anything that didn’t sound completely phony or ridiculous to my own ears. I tried, and I just don’t have that kind of creativity and willingness to believe.

Ivan's avatar

I will stop hijacking your thread now.

Grisaille's avatar

@samanthabarnum You better get your imagination gears runnin’, then.

Just try. Let others respond to you, and then feed off of that. Keep it rollin’.

@Ivan Participate, you jerk!

shrubbery's avatar

Well, I guess you could say I’m agnostic so I’m going to fight for and against both sides.

Belief at its best

-Coming to a position of faith that can be logically reasoned through obersvation of counter-argument.
-Satisfaction, hope and comfort
-Provision of unity/community – provides structure and regulates society
-Framework for morality, promotes charity, outlines a moral conscience, humanity
-Fuels knowledge – scientific research, curiosity
-Does not take all scripture literally
-“A loving God is accompanying us in the lonely chamber of decisions. Some of us stand tallest when we submit and surrencder to death and darkness with dignity and in love with a religious sensibility” – Frank Brennan
-“A meaningful, satisfactory, significant way to live” – Rick Warren
-Provides meaning to one’s life, gives one a good goal to aim for, eliminates fear of death.
-“Belief in God provides an explanatory framework, which enables you to appreciate and value the sciences while also seeing beyond the beatury and glory of the world to something enriching and enobling” – Alistair McGrath
-The more we learn about God, the more we understand how magnificent the universe is.
-“All of the great movements forward in Western civilization were believers. It was pastors who lead the abolition of slavery. It was pastors who led the civil rights movement, not atheists” – Warren
-“There is a spark of God put in you that says, ‘There’s got to be more to life than just make money and die’. I think that spark did not come from evolution” – Warren
-The dependency cosmological argument says that the world depends on God now rather than God just creating the world. This argument also says that everything must have a cause or reason for its existence and this must mean there is ultimately an uncaused cause – God.
-encourages ‘goodness’
-morality is intertwined with religion and clear moral codes are found in religions;
-creates social cohesion;
-belief causes reflection;
-allows better understanding and use of values;
-most charity groups are founded on a religious basis;
-“altruism comes from knowing that there is more to life” – Rick Warren
-Religion advanced science
-Seeking to understand and appreciate creation;
-Brought about the medical and technological inventiosn and benefits
-Gives meaning and purpose to life.

Non-Belief at its best

-Opens up new pathways and does not hold back scientific discovery.
-No outdated rules or rituals to follow
-“You become even more motivated to help people when you realize that there is no good reason, certainly no supernatural reason, for the fact that I have so much and my neighbour has so little.” – Harris
-evolution allows for ther not to be an intelligent designer;
-there is rational evidence to say how we got so complicated without the need for a God;
-there are rational explanations for goodness;
-the apparence of a spiritual dimension to life is a product of society;
-morality is not made by religions;
-there is more time for good if you are not preoccupied by religion
-reason and science have proven that something can come from nothing
-leads to more practical solutions to evil and suffering
-non-believers take responsibility for their actions as there is no judgment;
-keeps humanity reasonable;
-religion has run out of answers.

Belief at its worst

-fanatics, extremists and fundamentals – witch hunts, wars, honour killings, execution, sacrifice, suicide bombers etc;
-Disregarding all voices which oppose your own without giving then thought;
-Not engaging in counter arguments, writing off all atheists as evil
-“God of the Gaps”
-Intolerance of other religions, excludes and divides others;
-Closing scientific reasoning
-Using religion to justify actions
-Taking scriptures out of context, overly literally
-“violent, irrational allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free iquiry, contemptuous of women and coervice toward children” – Hitchens
-Life denying “fatally fixated on death”
-Fundamentalists who used their simplistic religious belief to buttress their commitment to violent or undemocratic action” – Frank Brennan
-only attacking non-belief at its worst
-Believing that atheism necessarily entails moral relativism – Harris.
-faith fosters fanaticism;
-invented ethnocide;
-Church supported the atomic bomb and some blamed Hurrican Katrina on a lesbian comedian!
-Literal interpretation of sacred texts discourages rational thought (e.g God answers prayers)
-Honour killings, martyrs.
-Irrational (not accepting Big Bang and evolution)
-Fallacy of composition etc

Non-Belief at its worst

-a superiority complex believing they know better and that those who believe are stupid and blind and cannot/will not ‘see the truth’, believing they are the only intelligent ones.
-“Believing that religious people are narcissistic individuals who want to be loved and feel special” – Tamas Pataki
-Only attacking belief at its worst;
-A lot of time they are aggressive
-Dump lots of intellectually challenging information on you all at once – Wilson (on Dawkins)
-Caricature religion
-Unself critical and absolutist
-Unable to explain why and unable to provide a ‘guiding moral vision’.
-“I’ve yet to meet an atheism who wasn’t angry.” – Warren
-If life is just a random chance then nothing really does matter and there is no morality – it’s survival of the fittest. If survival of the fittest means me killing you then so be it.”
-Beauty, unselfishness, the complexity of nature, to question where we have come from and why we are here – couldn’t be a product of the selfish gene
-No meaning or purpose;
-Why are the fundamental constants so precise.
-Caricature religion as the reason behind conflict – Rick Warren
-Science ignores fundamental realities that human experience and longing exists – Alistair Mc Grath
-Science unable to provide a guiding moral vision. – Bishop Bruce Wilson

compiled from my Religion and Philosophy class last year :)
sorry for massive answer…

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Ivan Not true. I couldn’t care less what the hell people think of me or what I believe and I have absolutely no problem saying loudly, if necessary, what I believe. Agnostic is agnostic. You can have leanings toward or away from something, yes – but it is also entirely possible for someone to say they don’t know either way and not lean one way or another. Whether or not you refuse to believe it, that doesn’t change the fact.

Done now hijacking. Will actually answer in a second.

Ame_Evil's avatar

God exists because the Bible says so.

Ivan's avatar

I’ll start hijacking your thread again now.


“it is also entirely possible for someone to say they don’t know either way”

No one’s asking you what you know, theism and atheism deal with belief. Theism is a belief in a god; atheism is the lack of that belief, it is a lack of belief in a god. You either have that belief, or you don’t. It sounds to me like you are an atheist.

Grisaille's avatar

@Ivan GTFO

Actually, don’t. Because you’re quite intelligent and I would like you to participate. Por favor.

Ivan's avatar

If I’m going to participate, I have to know the rules. Do these arguments have to be arguments that I think are legitimate? Or can they be arguments that I have rebuttals for?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Ivan Atheists strictly adhere to the belief that there is absolutely no way that god or gods could exist. I do not believe that. Nor do I believe in god. Now what? Bah, fuck it. Out of respect for Grisaille, PM me if you’d like to continue trying to change my mind.

Grisaille's avatar

Yes, anything. I want the thing to get started.

So when you throw down a point, someone else can attempt to prove you wrong. You can then choose to counter with your own point, and so on. Capice?

It doesn’t have to be something you believe, just something that you think is strong enough to survive in the open forum without being shrugged off. It isn’t about right and wrong, you see? It’s about placing yourself in the opponent’s shoes, and trying to dismantle your own belief system.

SuperMouse's avatar

I am Bahá’í and I believe without a single doubt that God does exist.

In the spirit of this thread I will say the most compelling argument for not believing is the one I heard made by Christopher Hitchens. Paraphrased of course, Hitchens wonders why a Creator would make people so incredibly fallible yet give them such a strict, nearly impossible set of rules to follow. Then there is Bertram Russell’s Flying Teapot Theory.

I feel compelled to say again that I am a believer. I have had the reality of God confirmed for me so many times throughout my life that I believe for an absolute certainty that He exists.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

-I can’t see God or measure Him, so He isn’t there.
-Bad things happen to good people. A benevolent God would not allow pain or suffering.

nikipedia's avatar

To argue for the existence of god, I would combine:

1. The law of conservation of mass: ”...the mass of a closed system will remain constant over time, regardless of the processes acting inside the system. A similar statement is that mass cannot be created/destroyed, although it may be rearranged in space, and changed into different types of particles.”


2. Occam’s razor: “Of several acceptable explanations for a phenomenon, the simplest is preferable, provided that it takes all circumstances into account.”

What I mean by this is that it’s hard to explain the existence of matter and energy without relying on supernatural phenomena, and indeed a supernatural explanation may very well be the simplest, and by virtue of being simplest, the best.

atrpops's avatar

(I have no idea how to do that @ thing so I’ll just use text)

@NaturalMineralWater Many things that can’t be measured or observed exist. Do we not exist because some fish can’t see us and never do?
And it’s part of his plan… A sacrifice for the greater good.

Ivan's avatar

Something must have ultimately created the universe, and that thing must have been uncreated. We might as well call such a being “God”.

benjaminlevi's avatar

I believe in no gods, would I have to argue that ALL gods exist? (thor, posiedon, alllah, zeus, invisible pink unicorn, the christian god, the jewish god, exc…)

Ivan's avatar

benjamin wins

samanthabarnum's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater But I feel god in my heart, in my soul, and I see him everywhere and in everything—how is that not measuring god when I feel him so strongly?

Saying that gave me a bad taste in my mouth, ewww. Damn you, @Grisaille!

ragingloli's avatar

well let’s see…
i can’t really think of anything that would support anything but a faint “maybe”
I could say that life is complex and that a being outside this universe might have steered it a little.
I could say that the universe might have been created by such a being.
I could say that millions of people had “supernatural” experiences.

gggritso's avatar

@DrasticDreamer That’s not true. I’m Atheist, I believe that there is no God. I live my life as if there is no God, and when I’m dying I will not stutter a quickie confession. However, I’m not so stuck up to believe that I cannot be wrong. I’m open-minded.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Evelyn is real because she appears to me at many inopportune times, and if that isn’t what a god does, I don’t know what I am talking about. She has shown up when I was in the bathroom, moving my bowels, (trying to NOT be extremely descriptive here) as well as when I was enjoying a little solitary lovin’ during a one-handed typing session. Both times were extremely embarrassing to me, and she seemed to take delight in my discomfort.

Gods put their followers through trials and tribulations, and Evelyn does that to me in spades. She also has a tendency to say one thing and then to contradict herself, and when you point it out to her, she gets adamant and asks who the god is here and who is not. When you try to explain logic to her, she throws out a straw man argument, and then changes the subject.

Her explanations of how the universe began defies description, including her description of the Even Older Old Ones, which were the gods that created the Old Ones, that in turn, created her.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

This is more hilarious than constructive. XD

Grisaille's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater We need you “Atheists” to start to break down the arguments! GET AT IT

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@gggritso Why choose to believe in something if you think there’s a chance you’ll be wrong? That’s exactly why I call myself – and am – agnostic. My belief is that it is impossible to know for sure either way and to proclaim anything else is just… well… stupid. I have leanings toward certain beliefs, but I will never proclaim something to be truth or fact, as many Christians and atheists do.

A true Christian could never say “I believe in God” but think there’s a possibility that they’re wrong. That isn’t actually believing.

samanthabarnum's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Respond to my counter argument! It couldn’t have been a waste!

Cupcake's avatar

If I were going to pretend that I didn’t believe in the Baha’i Faith, or in God, I would pose the following questions:

- Why have I been forced to face such suffering?
– Why has death ever been preferable to life?
– Why are people so cruel, hurtful and selfish?
– Why are only some people considered “good” or “worthy”?
– Why doesn’t science fully support religion?
– How can I believe in a “heaven” above the clouds?
– Why are “religious” people sometimes the most contradictory and judgemental people?
– Why do we need to segregate ourselves into groups based on belief?
– Why limit my freedom?
– Why follow a set of prescribed rules?
– Isn’t it enough to be a “good” person?

AstroChuck's avatar

Well, let’s see. There must be a god if there is reincarnation, right? And I’m certain I’ve had other lives. I have clues. For one, I’m exhausted.

ragingloli's avatar

inspired by evelyn’s latest post, let my try this:

At least one of the following propositions is true:
(1) The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero;
(2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero;
(3) The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.

If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity.
If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so.
If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in a simulation.

The probabilities are shifted towards (3), because:
– A scenario in which the majority of civilisations go extinct before a certain point without any known factors that would cause this, is much less likely than temporally more evenly dispersed points of termination
– To reach a posthuman stage, it requires curiosity as a drive, which would likely also include the curiosity to research history.
– Our civilisation, though in a more primitive state, already runs a large number of simulations, largely for recreational purposes. Thus, it seems certain that other civilisations will too have the motivation to run simulations.

From the 3 possibilities, (3), that we almost certainly live in a computer simulation, as the number of simulated realites is by magnitudes bigger than the number of physical realities, is the most likely one to be true.

gggritso's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Other than the fundamental laws of physics pretty much everything can be wrong, but I believe it anyway because I make conclusions based on the proof I see.mReligion is no different. By your logic I shouldn’t believe anything, so how would I live my life? I’m not going to pursue this argument any further because it isn’t relevant to the topic at hand. Your point is valid.

atrpops's avatar


- Why have I been forced to face such suffering?
To test your faith

– Why has death ever been preferable to life?
Because there’s an afterlife (usually, depending on the religion)

– Why are people so cruel, hurtful and selfish?
Because we’re sinners in some way or another naturally (Eg, Adam and Eve got kicked out of Eden)

– Why are only some people considered “good” or “worthy”?
Because God said so. (Don’t look at me like that, you’d be surprised how many times I got that response from Christians)

– Why doesn’t science fully support religion?
Science is an imprecise and incomplete art, whereas religion has covered everything. Of course there’s going to be parts where science is struggling to keep up.

– How can I believe in a “heaven” above the clouds?
“Heaven” depends on your definition of it, it’s just in another place (or plane of existence) for most people (I think?)

– Why are “religious” people sometimes the most contradictory and judgemental people?
Same reason some atheists are. They’re only human.

– Why do we need to segregate ourselves into groups based on belief?
Because beliefs are a fundamental part of who we are.

– Why limit my freedom?
Why limit your eternal freedom if you don’t?

– Why follow a set of prescribed rules?
See above.

– Isn’t it enough to be a “good” person?
I think it is for Buddhists? But apart from that, it’s because God said so.

AstroChuck's avatar

Doesn’t the Babel fish make this entire “experiment” thread moot?

Grisaille's avatar

And don’t forget – the purpose of this thread is to respond to others.

It isn’t just about placing an argument for the opposing side. Try to actively debate.

I’m going to just observe, now.

@AstroChuck SHH

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Grisaille, a little something from the Evelynism series of stories:

…Z: Yeah, I know that story, you related it to me once before and I wrote it all down. And by the way, I love it when you speak in italics.
E: Why, thank you, Zee. That is a lovely compliment. So if you know this story, why are you trying to start an argument with me?
Z: I don’t know, I guess I am just trying to keep you entertained.
E: No you aren’t, you are just being a little asshole.
Z: You got me, I am being an asshole. Does that surprise you?
E: Not really, in fact I kind of like your belligerent attitude. Beats all that bowing and scraping I get from my other followers.
Z: Really?
E: No, not really, I am being an asshole right back at you.
Z: Well I like a god who can beat me at my own game. So, where did the Old Ones come from?
E: No one knows, but I have a theory, if you’d like to hear it.
Z: Sure, why not.
E: Well I think that the Old Ones were created as toys for the race that came before them. This older race, which I call the Even Older Ones, were similar in appearance to eight legged unicorns, with wine bottle shaped horns not only on their heads but also at the end of each limb. They probably clanked like a wine cellar in a tornado when they walked around…
Z: Ah hahahahahahahahaha! What a load of rubbish. Why that is even more ludicrous than the whole Judaism myth and the Christian’s Jewish zombie story!
E: Well I said it was only a theory, it obviously needs some work.
Z: I’ll say, and finding evidence for that will take more than scanning Mount Ararat for a boatful of dinosaur poop.
E: Hey, I don’t see you trying to figure this stuff out, all you can do is sit around and ask stupid questions of your betters.
Z: Fine, I’ll stop asking questions.
E: Then how will you learn anything?
Z: I mean I’ll stop asking you questions.
E: No you won’t, you are just saying that.
Z: That’s true, I won’t, but only because there are so many things about you that I want to know.
E: Like what?
Z: You say that your followers, after they die, get to spend eternity on your bosom. Is that true?
E: Well of course it is, if it weren’t true then I wouldn’t say it.
Z: So where are they?
E: Where are who?
Z: Your deceased followers, where are they? I am looking at your chest and I don’t see anything on your bosom but your tits.
E: My bosom is my tits, silly boy. My followers are there, trust me.

Not part of the discussion you started, but I would hope it might make you laugh. =)

benjaminlevi's avatar

@atrpops “Why have I been forced to face such suffering?
To test your faith”

..why do we need our faith tested?

atrpops's avatar

@benjaminlevi So God can determine who should enter heaven (or whatever your afterlife equivalent may be in your religion) and who’s… well, not.

ragingloli's avatar

but doesn’t he know that already?

atrpops's avatar

@ragingloli Doesn’t mean that you don’t have a part in it too, though. He may know the outcome, but you’re the one creating that outcome.

ragingloli's avatar

which he pokes me to do.
doesn’t feel nice, being a marionette.

atrpops's avatar

@ragingloli True, but then again hell doesn’t feel much nicer I’d imagine.

ragingloli's avatar

and then again, that is where one would be destined to go from birth.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@atrpops So if we don’t have enough faith we are unworthy to go to heaven, even if we were otherwise decent people?

Do we have free will? If god alrady knows what will happen does that me the future is unchangeable? It doesnt make sense that we should be punished for lack of faith if god has already written the future and we cant change that.

atrpops's avatar

@ragingloli Unless you follow God’s guidelines on how to act under those trials, sure. Same reasoning goes for exams. Although you’re poked to respond in a certain way to exam questions, if you don’t respond like they want to, you’d fail class yeah?

@benjaminlevi Um. I’m not enough of a firm believer to say that’s a GOOD deal but that sounds about right, yeah.
Sure, you have free will. It’s just that you will choose that path – God simply knows that you’re going to do it, that’s all. That is, lack of faith is your own choice. God’s punishing you for that choice after you make it, even though he prodded you to not do that.

ragingloli's avatar

whether or how I act on the guidelines would be equally predetermined. that is what follows from God knowing how I will act

benjaminlevi's avatar

@ragingloli Then why does a benevolent god make people just to send them to hell?

ragingloli's avatar

several options:
A. He is not omniscient and doesn’t know who goes where.
B. He is not omnipotent and is unable to change fate.
C. He is not benevolent.

atrpops's avatar

@ragingloli Not necessarily. For example, imagine a sentient ball that can control its own direction. If I throw it upwards, gravity would act to pull it down. If it chooses to follow gravity, I’d know that at some stage during the fall.
If the ball decides to go upwards, I would know it’s going to reach the atmosphere at some point.
In both cases, I know the outcome but I can’t control it even though I gave the original stimulus. Humans are sentient and able to make their own decisions in the same way that ball can, but God already knows what’s going to happen since he’s omnipotent omniscient.

Jesus is benevolent, God in the old testament probably isn’t so much (Isn’t there somewhere that says “I am a jealous God”?)

Edit: Wrong word, whoops!

ragingloli's avatar

not quite.
you also made the ball, you defined it’s behavioural algorithms, how it reacts to outside influences. You also made the environment, and defined the position, spin and direction of every quantum in the environment and the ball. You also created the rules which govern how the particles interact.
You not only created everything, but by creating it in that certain way, you defined and predetermined it’s entire following existence, including the decisions it makes.

atrpops's avatar

@ragingloli I also gave it sentience. Even though I may have created the environment for it to move around in, and how it interacts with the environment, what actions it chooses to take within those bounds are decided entirely by itself.
Allowing humans to eat the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden, for example, does not necessarily mean that God wanted them to do so. That was entirely their decision.

ragingloli's avatar

“what actions it chooses to take within those bounds are decided entirely by itself.”
No. The decisions are bound by particle interactions. They are the end results of a chain reaction. A chain at which beginning you stand.

filmfann's avatar

The Six Day Creation is absurd. Dinosaurs weren’t around when men were.

atrpops's avatar

@ragingloli So the decision by the sentient ball to move up or down was my decision? How so (even assuming I made all the air particles, quantum particles, etc)?
Yes, there are bounds within which we can perform actions. Doesn’t mean those bounds necessarily dictate every action we make within them.

@filmfann Why not?

Edit: Free will is also part of the things I gave it. In this case, “free will” means the ability to do whatever the heck it wants as long as it’s possible within the environment I created.

filmfann's avatar

Light from distant stars are measured in millions of years. If light is a constant speed, stars couldn’t be more than 7000 light years away.

atrpops's avatar

@filmfann Based on current theories of light’s speed, sure. Given that we don’t even know how light works yet (Waves without matter? What’s the wave energy actually WAVING then?), can you conclusively say that you’re right and the Bible’s wrong?

filmfann's avatar

Since I am reversing roles here, I would never do that.
In truth, I believe one of God’s days are infinitly long, and unfathomable to us.
The Bible speaking of Days of Creation was not talking about man days on earth.

ragingloli's avatar

Cause and effect.
Every action we take, every decision we make, has a cause.
In the case of the Ball, assuming it is a computer system, decisions it makes are electrical, and therefore physical processes. These processes are based on factors, which are:
1. the hardware of the ball
2. the software of the ball
3. stimuli from outside the ball.
4. rules that govern how to process these stimuli.
All of these factors have been predetermined by you.
Being omniscient, you knew in advance which specific initial setups lead to which specific decisions. By deciding on one specific initial setup you consciously chose the resulting decisions that would follow from that point on.
So in essence, yes, the ball moving up, was your decision.

atrpops's avatar

@ragingloli And if it isn’t electrical? If it’s something that we don’t know yet, or that science can’t observe yet? If it’s something beyond mere material stimuli and which states “Do whatever the heck you want, I’m just giving you free reign”?
I’m not sure if you’re aware of AI research, but there are robots designed and programmed by humans who react to stimuli in ways completely unexpected by their creators once you give them the ability to learn and adapt. Who says God can’t do that in a much greater sense?

@filmfann I’m actually an atheist (bordering on agnostic) but that doesn’t mean I can’t bat for the other team :P
Try other arguments? I’d love to see how a theist argues for atheist arguments.

ragingloli's avatar

The point was not the electrical system, that was just an example. The point was cause and effect.
If God wanted such a “Do whatever the heck you want, I’m just giving you free reign” system operating in the otherwise physical environment he created, it could not be based and could not adhere to, cause and effect.
If it does not adhere to cause and effect, then it is chaotic, inherently unpredictable, and more importantly, inherently uninfluenceable. It follows that if Humans were such a system, our behaviour could not be predicted at all. But it can be predicted to a certain degree of accuracy. Therefore the human mind is not such a chaotic entitiy and thus adheres to cause and effect.

“but there are robots designed and programmed by humans who react to stimuli in ways completely unexpected by their creators once you give them the ability to learn and adapt.”

That is because humans are, unlike God, not omniscient. We do not have a full knowledge of every particle interaction in the robot and the environment, let alone the universe, that would be required to predict behaviour 100%.

“Who says God can’t do that in a much greater sense?”

He can not do that because he is omniscient.

atrpops's avatar

@ragingloli Human behaviour is not predictable to our minds since we are not omniscient (Boy I sure do love big words). On the other hand, assuming God is omniscient (which we seem to agree on), God would know what we planned even if, like the robots, we did those actions of our own volition within a chaotic system. The word “chaotic” would mean nothing to an omniscient God, I’m pretty sure of that.

I used that robot example because I wanted to show that it’s possible for creations to be programmed to do their own thing. Yes we can create the environment around it but if the robot decides to learn how to, for example, open a door into the real world and get hit by a car then it’s perfectly free to do so under the design that was programmed into it.

ragingloli's avatar

oh damn
i had such a long post and then it didn’t post.
now all is lost

atrpops's avatar

It’s okay I was going to let you have it after this one anyway, I gotta go :P

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Your precious God must not have liked what you had to say.

Beyond attacking any one religion, Theism in general is absurd because after thousands of years they can’t even come to an agreement as to what a God actually is. They claim (in general) that God is supposedly unwaivering, yet Theists consistently reinvent their Gods to such a degree that it must by definition be an incomplete concept.

No valid truth can stand upon such a shaky foundation.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies damn, you sound like a pretty good atheist. Maybe you are playing for the wrong team. =)

atrpops's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies It’s the same reason philosophy has evolved into science and further into physics, biology and so forth. Our understanding and perception changes as culture and technology enable us to see things in a different light.

For example, we now know that there isn’t a giant chariot driven by the sun-god to take the sun across the sky. So obviously that has to be revised. This, however, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a God, just more that our knowledge of Him/Her/It is incomplete. Expecting perfect knowledge of the creator of the universe isn’t exactly a fair standard :P

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Don’t be ridiculous. There is no religious text that claims science can assist in improving our understanding of God. Every one of them concludes a full understanding from the ancient texts alone and does not permit science to cloud the issue unless bits and pieces of it can be selectively mined to serve a specific agenda. Why? Because that would require a complete dismantling of sacred text. Enough blood has been spilled already because of discrepancies among religions and even denominations. Do you honestly think that religion would sit idly by and wait for science to dismantle thousands of years of dogmatic heritage just so we could learn more about something they think they already have a complete knowledge of?

Doctors are killed and abortion clinics bombed for less offenses than that.

And why shouldn’t I expect “perfect knowledge” of God? He wrote the books! Right? Jesus Christ just “give it up”! Say what you have to say without millions upon millions of murdered children heaped on the pile of divinity. What’s the matter God, cat got your tongue?

Your “religion” will never accept the ultimate scientific understanding of ANYTHING having to do with this supposed GAAWWWD because even if “IT” came down and slapped you in the face they could NEVER give up the joy of passing around the tithing bucket.

rocko's avatar

God exists because I exist.

atrpops's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Uh… Dude, are you a christian or not? Cos that’s one helluva response from a christian =o
I’m an atheist, I’m just assuming the position of someone debating from the opposite side. But… Wow.

Anyway, in reply – No, the sacred texts do not indicate science is going to show everything progressively. But the fact of the matter is that our understanding of religion has changed as science improves and less people believe in old religions due to science explaining the phenomena we thought were attributed to that particular religion.

Case in point, the sun-god and his chariot in ancient egyptian culture. When people figured out the sun DIDN’T travel across the sky in a chariot, they stopped believing in him and thus he was replaced by other gods. These gods are ultimately our understanding of the whatever up there, and as our understanding grows then social acceptance of a religion alters to fit that understanding. It doesn’t mean that thing doesn’t exist, just that our understanding is off.

And God doesn’t have to explain himself to anybody, it’s a favour that he even wrote the Bible. It’s up to us to interpret it the correct way so that we can believe in God, no?

Say what you will about money, there’s equal demand for money from science AND religion as far as I know. At least religion (well, mostly except for a few greedy ones) doesn’t set up companies singularly devoted to “funding research and development” – RAND Corporation, anyone?

ShanEnri's avatar

The only ‘proof’ we have that there is a God is a book and the words of men who appear to be insane.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

nice q, @Grisaille
@Ivan just because this is how YOU view things in terms of theists/atheists doesn’t mean it’s true…you, yet again, seem to think that people don’t apply the label atheist just do avoid problems with people…this, however, simply can not be true for ALL people labeling themselves agnostic…why would I, like @DrasticDreamer means, someone who is a gender non-conformist, queer feminist NOT say I am an atheist…why…because sometimes just sometimes I hope that there better be something bigger than us out there…and smarter than us, as well…I suppose you’d say I am an atheist and invalidate my ideas, but you should know you limit people

Fyrius's avatar

As a meme, god undeniably does exist. He’s a pervasive part of our minds.
And just as people only need to feel love for love to really exist, so too does our awareness of god suffice to consider him to be real, in that sense.

Now I should get out of here, because I’m already seeing holes in the above reasoning.

ragingloli's avatar

“As a meme, god undeniably does exist.”
Correction: A forced meme

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


In reality, I am a strong Theist (so to speak). I don’t even like using that term because of all the baggage it foists upon an intelligent conversation on the subject. There is no religion that teaches what I believe. There is no traditional understanding of God that conforms to my Theism.

I do NOT believe in the supernatural. If there is a God, then it is perfectly natural for that God to exist. Most religions would reject my “God” on that statement alone. After studying many world religions for decades, a few underlying truths have presented themselves.

1.) Religion does not equal God.
Many Atheist arguments against God are actually arguments against a particular religion. Many Theist arguments for God are actually arguments for a particular religion. God is often debated without ever really being part of the conversation.

2.) Personification of God is futile.
This acts as a barricade (to both Atheist and Theist) for ever truly comprehending such an entity. If God is limitless, then why does religion place limits upon IT through personification? This error rejects any God that does not “act” the way IT is supposed to. Atheists use personification to judge God. Theists use personification to make God support their desires.

3.) Religion is a medium, not a message.
Hinduism, Judaism, Mormonism, Christianity, Islam, and even some philosophies like Taoism and Buddhism… They are like different languages that all express the same basic message. The phrase “Summer was pleasant this year” means the same thing whether spoken in French, German, Chinese or Pig-Latin. The structure of the medium may vary greatly, but the meaning is always exactly the same.

Unfortunate that religion insists upon rejecting other religions specifically because a different medium is used to express the message. Confusing the medium AS the message is pure evil.

I think “religion” is the only thing more evil than the central banking system. So it’s difficult for Atheists and Theists alike to discuss the subject without unwittingly boxing me in to a particular category that they feel comfortable with.

My Theism is based mostly upon Linguistics. But heavily dependent upon Science, Information Theory, Philosophy and personal experience. If I find further support from ancient religious texts, that does not make me religious. My studies of those texts speaks against religious teachings more often than not.

What solidifies my Theism for me, and rejects my Theism for others, is my willingness to actually define what a God is.

God = Truth = Information = Purity = Quintessence

Satan = Deception = Information Entropy = Noise = Contamination

I do not dare attempt to personify such entities. Yet I find a unified support for this principle among all original religious texts as well as the secular sciences listed above.

Am I a Christian? I prefer to claim myself as a:
“Child of Truth”

Fyrius's avatar

“Case in point, the sun-god and his chariot in ancient egyptian culture.”
Actually that’s ancient Greek mythology, the Egyptians had a giant scarab if I’m informed correctly.

I think you would be very much helped if you would discard words like “religious” and “god” and adopt (home-made, if need be) terminology that does not give rise to the associations that cloud any discussion you participate in. Your usage of those words is different enough from their mainstream definitions for that.

“The phrase “Summer was pleasant this year” means the same thing whether spoken in French, German, Chinese or Pig-Latin. The structure of the medium may vary greatly, but the meaning is always exactly the same.”
roughly the same. Translations are rarely if ever 100% accurate.
Nitpicking, I know. But religions too convey often drastically different messages. For example, do the dead go to a place of joy or pain based on some entity’s self-righteous judgement of how they chose to live their lives, or do they come back in a new body with their memories wiped clean?
…Let’s get back on-topic.

Perhaps. Or perhaps the god meme came into existence in the way we would consider proper, by 4chan standards or otherwise. We might never know.
Either way, currently it’s a well established meme, which suffices for my point.

Moreover, god is not just any meme. It’s a fundamental part of the way the human mind works, and is probably innately so.
Civilisations have started believing in god around the world, all independently, separated by insurmountable distances in both time and space. Every single one of them, each of their own accord. Now why would they do that?

It has been pointed out that the only thing that could prove that mankind was created by an intelligent agent would be a “creator’s stamp”, a property that an intelligent creator would build into us, that would not be there if we had come about by natural means.

I think we have found this creator’s stamp.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


As I cross dress into my Atheist costume…

The “Creators Stamp” does not equal God. That “Creator” of yours could just as easily be an Extraterrestrial Alien. It could even be evolutionary Natural Selection acting upon the Mars microbes that found their way to earth. I could easily hypothesis that humanity is a closed loop protocol, with no real supernatural intervention. We will likely move into some form of time travel within the next few hundred years. Basic math equations have confirmed this possibility but the power source to bend the necessary gravity is not within reach as of yet. One day it very well may be, and so I suggest that humanity may actually have planted ourselves.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


BTW… I bow to your reasoning to defend your pretend Theism. Good for you to rely upon science and reason rather than start hurling scriptures. I have no argument to defend my pretend Atheism against your logic.

Fyrius's avatar


As I cross dress into my Creationist costume…

That’s ludicrous.
Why on earth (haha) would an alien race want the people they create all to believe they were created by someone else? Why would natural selection favour individuals that hold a certain belief about the origins of their species and the universe? And even more questionably, why would our descendants travelling back in time want our ancestors to believe their origins were supernatural?
Our first speculations were about divine origins, not extraterrestial ones, not future human ones. Whoever created us wanted us to believe we were created by god. Considering Ockham’s Razor, it would be far more probable that god was the artist and he signed his canvas than that any other entity did the job and gave the credit to a non-existent being.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


You seem to know a great deal about what an omnipotent being would want. Do you have a God phone direct line like Commissioner Gordon does with Batman? How can your puny human mind ever begin to associate with what such advanced beings might “want”? Your God has given humans free will and reason to discover the universe. Why would you suppose that my Aliens and Time Travelers would do no less? The Prime Directive has a much stronger foundation than the Golden Rule ever will. “Do unto others” is entirely subjective. Is your God subjective? The Prime Directive is completely objective. If your God is subjective then I can bend it to fit my will. What kind of spineless God is that?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Fyrius said:
“But religions too convey often drastically different messages.”

Well sure. That’s the dogma. That’s why I reject religion.

The underlying message is the same for all of them, that being, to accept objective Truth for what it is and discern it from our subjective Deceptions.

cyn's avatar

Everything in the bible should be taking literally, because the bible is written by God…
I hate myself for saying that!

Fyrius's avatar

Quite possibly you’re right, and I can’t hope to understand god. This conversation would suggest so. You’re presumably much less complicated than god, and I still find myself unable to understand even you. :/

Why would I need to understand what god wants? What does free will have to do with anything? What relevance do the Prime Directive or the Golden Rule have to the matter at hand?
All I’m saying is that an unambiguous signature on a piece of craftsmanship is usually the name of the one who made it, not of someone else. Again, Ockham’s Razor would steer our assumptions in that direction.
And it is an unambiguous signature, because as I pointed out, our minds are pre-programmed to believe in god, not in aliens, not in time travellers.

(takes off Creationist costume)

As for your later post, I think you’re being a bit arbitrary as to what parts of a religion are “the underlying message” and what parts are not. I’m sure many religious people would consider their view on afterlives (to stick with that example) a fundamental and indispensable part of their religion.
Is there any consistent, concrete criterion that makes your distinction between focus and trifle?

Fyrius's avatar

It’s kind of disturbing how easy it is to play devil’s advocate. I just hope that at some point, a religious person is going to don the atheist uniform and point me to any one of many excellent scientific explanations why we would have this proclivity to believe in gods.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Earlier @Fyrius said:
“…roughly the same. Translations are rarely if ever 100% accurate.”

I said: but the meaning is always exactly the same.

Meaning is different than translation, though I completely agree with your comments about translation. Meaning is objective and based upon intentions. Translation is subjective and based upon interpretation.

Fyrius's avatar

A good point.
Though the post-modernists would probably like a word with you about the objectivity of meaning.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Yes, “religious” people would consider many things indispensable as part of their religion. That’s why I reject religion, as the “indispensable” is dogma, debatable amongst themselves and most often noise on the line preventing the intended signal from achieving clear reception.

@Fyrius asked:
“Is there any consistent, concrete criterion that makes your distinction between focus and trifle?”

Two actually, one Linguistic, the other Philosophical.

Linguistically, I’ll prefer the scribe methodology. As any ancient teacher gives his lessons to a room full of scribes solely for the purpose of redundancy protection for error correction. Upon examination, the individual discrepancies are rejected and the global similarities are accepted. The interpretation may not be perfect, but it surely relates the purest translation to the original intended meaning.

Such it is with ancient religious texts. The similarities between them are accepted as valid. The discrepancies are rejected as dogma.

Philosophically, Kant’s Categorical Imperative generally supports the similarities as that which could be made into law and benefit humanity as a whole. The discrepancies between religions are not unified enough to pass through that gate.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Fyrius said:
“I think you would be very much helped if you would discard words like “religious” and “god” and adopt (home-made, if need be) terminology that does not give rise to the associations that cloud any discussion you participate in. Your usage of those words is different enough from their mainstream definitions for that.”

Well put, and completely acceptable. Any suggestions as to how I could go about that would be much appreciated. I’ve tried in the past, but it only serves to give Theists and Atheists more cause to think I’m crazier than they already do.

As well, the temptation to use language to describe my God of language is rife with paradox. Not so much a label as it is a relational way of being. Difficult to tag that without butchering the essence of meaning. I’m not convinced it can be named.

Bhartrihari is most relevant.

Hindu philosophy that’s very supportive of Judeo/Christian principles of the Word and Buddhist principles of the Way.

Fyrius's avatar

We’re going off-topic… I’ll mark my half of this tangent with small letters.

Scribes copy their writings from one original. Do you believe, then, that there has been one original set of correct beliefs at the origin of all religions?
How would that work? It’s conceivable, though quite questionable without archaeological evidence, that all religions evolved from one proto-religion, but how could it be that these beliefs were actually right? Where did that knowledge come from? How did the people of the stone age know about things the people of the twenty-first century can only guess at?
I would personally be more inclined to believe even the original, if there was any, was just speculation and wishful thinking.

As for your choice of words, I don’t think I know enough about your beliefs to be qualified to suggest words for you to use… but I think the synonyms for “god” and “Satan” you mentioned earlier might serve your purpose well. Perhaps quintessence and contamination are most suitable, for being the least concrete and thus most versatile in meaning.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


I only use the scribe methodology to illustrate different religious texts as different mediums to describe the same message. Take out the discrepancies and retain the similarities. Validate the method with Kant.

However, I do have a vague proto-religion hypothesis that accounts for Christ disappearing for 13 years from the bible. Christianity was originally called the “Way”. It is conceivable that he traveled to the Sheng Dynasty to either learn or teach. Buddhism promoted The Way about 100 years later. For some reason, Christ also warned the disciples to stay clear of Asia as it was not their time yet.

Buddhism is a stepchild of Hinduism, considered one of the oldest religions in history.

Nothing solid, but worth pondering.

Fyrius's avatar

But still, where does the message come from? Isn’t the origin just our ancestor’s fallible heads?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Standing alone, yes. But when comparing religions based upon an underlying Word or Way principle, one must consider Information Sciences of modernity. Leading to the debate of sentient authorship beyond human capacity.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@cyndihugs and we know that the bible is the true word of god because it says so in the bible!

cbloom8's avatar

It is highly unlikely that we live in this world and are who we are by random. The odds are seriously against our existence being random. There must be something pulling the strings.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Well I’ve gone this far, so I may as well lay the rest on you. Although you may not believe it, as a Linguistics Grad, you of all people should be able to associate with the premise. I’m not saying that I believe it either…

I’m just sayin’

The whole thing ties together nicely when all of these religions are looked at as one continuing story of man wrestling with his relationship to God rather than competing stories illustrating different gods.

In that light, Christ’s final message pronouncing his second coming is worthy of comparison to end of days prophecies and the evolution of information sciences.

This Wired Magazine article explains the Age of the Petabyte and its importance to the Information Cloud. In summary, it argues for the “End of Theory”, replaced by the necessity to embrace 600 Terabyte or more of information in an entirely different way from current methodology. A methodology bereft of judgment. A methodology based purely upon acceptance.

When related to Christ…
“BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him , even those who pierced Him ; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him” – Revelation 1:7

”...they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds.” Mark 13:26

“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18

“But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 26:64

Welcome to the Petabyte age of the Information Cloud.

Very soon, it will be impossible to lie to one another. Any statement will be verifiable immediately. Deception will be conquered, marking the reign of Truth.

But wait! It gets even CRAZIER when considering the 12/21/12 prophesies of Hopi, Mayan, I-Ching, Moore’s Law and Novelty Theory all surrounding this one date.

Even the Hebrew must consider this new Tower of Babel built upon the www/666 of the internet where 122112 is codified to ABBAAB. Read backwards in Hebrew it translates to BA ABBA (Holy Father Returns).

My only fear is that @Ivan will get a hold of this principle and start his own religion after his conversion.

wundayatta's avatar

God exists, and you can prove it to yourself. Can you think of the idea of God? There you go! God exists. God is inside all of us—in our consciousnesses. S/He might start as an idea you are told by someone else, but eventually, you take this idea inside, and make it your own, and when you do that, you have brought God to life.

Some people live with a God they don’t call God. Some people live with a God a religion invented. But every God is made into your own personalized God in the end.

This is more than sophistry. This is about consciousness and the role of consciousness in creating the world. We all create our own worlds, and we are, in a sense, Creators, as a result. But that’s not us all being a God. God is in the world you project out in the universe. God is both inside you and outside you. God isn’t just all that exists, either. God is the central consciousness of your life. S/He is the interaction between you and your perceptions—a Thing that only you can perceive and understand. God is yours and no one elses. Use Him/Her well.

erniefernandez's avatar

I’m neither an atheist nor a theist, so I can’t participate.

chelseababyy's avatar

@erniefernandez I’m not either, but I did.

Ivan's avatar

I neither own a toaster, nor not own a toaster!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ivan sucks to be you. god is not a toaster. in that it doesn’t have to be something you must set on your counter next to the electric tea kettle.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

That’s where I keep Shiva. Buddha and Christ guard the coffee machine.

Athena stays in the “bay-yed drooom”

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

This question is exactly why I became an atheist – a friend once asked me to write a paper showing the existence of God as plausible, and I failed. Upon close inspection in researching for the paper, I found several reasons for why there cannot be a God.

For the sake of the question though, the best argument for a deity that I know of is the ‘uncaused cause’. We still have no real explanation of the ‘why’ in science, only the ‘how’. The question of why time began is still unanswered, and possibly unanswerable. But then it may just be a human idea that the universe in fact needs a ‘reason’ for events.

Jenniehowell's avatar

Whew! That’s a tuff one – to be honest science will support each view – a person could site all sorts of science that proves prayer/positive thought/meditation etc. Work to the point of having tangible effects on the world & individuals – that same science could be used to say God doesn’t exist because if He did he would be omnicient like everyone claims & then if that were the case there would be no need for a mere human to have such individual or collective control over global or individual aspects. Science proves both & the side you argue depends on what makes you feel better or whatever your beliefs are which are skewed by your individual experiences & perceptions. So whatever side someone argues is based On their truth & not necessarily THE TRUTH in the end we all have to admit that our perception isn’t proven in a complete unarguable manner & so we are left with faith in our end belief. I personally choose to believe in a God who would never choose one of his children to be worshipped over & above His other children in any sort of a trinity cop out that gives people excuses not to act respectfully toward one another simply because it is our human nature to be sinners. It’s difficult for me to consider giving a valid argument to the opposing view for fear I would influence or enable others to come up with a view that justifies them not exploring their own reality. I can’t help but to stay neutral on this one.

Mozart's avatar

How could you question God? How dare you all, I hope you know you could all go to Hell for being such a lousy bunch of sinners. Your only hope is to repent for your sins! How do you think the Bible came to be, if not written by God himself?!?! Do you think it just appeared, like your so called Big Bang? Evolution? You don’t have the proof. You never did.
And don’t even talk to me about so called ‘fossils’ or ‘dinosaur bones’ because everyone knows THE DEVIL PUT THEM THERE TO LEAD US FROM GODS PATH

cyn's avatar

@benjaminlevi I don’t know what to write/type…

AstroChuck's avatar

@Mozart- Oh, that wacky devil.

mattbrowne's avatar

‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.’ – Karl Marx

‘Thus God is nothing else than man: he is, so to speak, the outward projection of man’s inward nature.’ – Ludwig Feuerbach

‘God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.’ – Friedrich Nietzsche

‘Why does God allow war?’ – Jean-Paul Sartre

‘A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism’ – Donald Morgan

‘I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.’ – Richard Dawkins

‘In some awful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners.’ – Jonathon Miller

‘The probability for God is 49.9%’ – Anonymous mathematician

Fyrius's avatar

Excuse the delay. I was distracted by something shiny.
I’m back now.

I’m not sure I entirely understand your world view, but with all due respect, I’d rather get back on topic than pursue the matter further, if you don’t mind.

Your reason to become an atheist is irrelevant. The fact that you find yourself unable to see the overwhelming evidence for FSM’s existence does not make any of it any less real.

Hey, no fair! That’s cheating! You’re using other people’s arguments!

As for their content: Marx’, Feuerbach’s, Nietzsche’s, Morgan’s, Miller’s and Anonymous’ quotes don’t actually contain any argument at all, they only voice a belief. Bringing them up at all constitutes either an argument from authority or an argument from assertion.
Only Sartre and Dawkins actually give substantial criticism.

Why does god allow war? There are so many conceivable reasons.
Maybe he likes war.
Maybe he’s not omniscient and he just isn’t aware of what we’ve been up to down here.
Maybe he’s not omniscient and war is his way to test our merit.
Maybe he allows war because nothing else motivates us so much to develop, an arms race in the literal as well as a more broad metaphorical sense.
Maybe he’s not omnipotent and we really do have free will that he won’t interfere with.
Maybe he just doesn’t give a crap about us.
Will that suffice?

As for religion encouraging us to be content not understanding the world, this criticism is simply not justified. A religious world view makes the world much easier to understand than any scientific one ever will. We understand everything. It’s the scientists that time and time again undermine and topple our understanding of the world. It’s the scientists that insist on not understanding the world.

maccmann's avatar

This is coming from a Freemason, and we are required to believe in a Deity in order to BE freemasons.

Richard Dawkins:

“What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”

Carl Sagan

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

Also arguments like “God is real because the Bible says he is” or ”[insert random act of God or miracle here] happened because it’s in the Bible” aren’t valid statements, nonetheless arguments. Any of these types of statements are simply circular reasoning. It’s like saying “I have a Porshce 911 Turbo because I say I do.” then never even producing evidence that I actually own one, but expecting you to believe me because I say so, and maybe even because I have written it down and had it published, and what’s more other people have also heard me say it or have read my published work stating this, and profess it to be true. It doesn’t work that way!!! Sorry!

and I’m not even from Missouri

maccmann's avatar

And ladies and gentlemen, I believe at this point we have achieved Total Topic Failure.

Fyrius's avatar

What evidence could be more extraordinary than the fact that we are alive and the world exists?
Do not ever mistake what is common for what is ordinary. It is an insult to FSM’s creation to belittle the magnificence and sublimity of this grand work of art.

As for your ranting against the bible quoters, I’m pretty sure the people who use this kind of argument aren’t serious about it anyway.

Not that I’m more than just slightly more serious about my own well-intended sophistries.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@FyriusYour reason to become an atheist is irrelevant. The fact that you find yourself unable to see the overwhelming evidence for FSM’s existence does not make any of it any less real.

I realise that my reason for becoming an atheist is irrelevant, I was simply noting the result of last time I tried to show that there was a God. I realise your comment was somewhat tongue in cheek, but I will take it seriously at the risk of appearing humourless. Following that tangent for a moment though, the fact that I remain unable to see the overwhelming evidence does in fact make the FSM less real, because a lack of evidence makes a theory superfluous. Aether is no longer thought to exist, although it may, because there is no evidence for it. Of course it could be an anomaly of flawed human perception, but we only have the ability to work within our own conceptual limitations. The whole FSM idea is designed to show this precise point.

But of course the evidence for God is boundless – you just need to look at it the right way.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Fyrius – I see no problem quoting famous philosophers offering atheist viewpoints. My argument if I were an atheist? I believe God doesn’t exist, because I find the concept of an uncreated creator confusing.

maccmann's avatar

@Fyrius: I exist?

Prove it!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


If you don’t, then who shall we say we are speaking with?

ragingloli's avatar

a figment of your imagination.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

OK then how do YOU “know” that I have an imagination?

ragingloli's avatar

i don’t
you might not be real.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You don’t? Who is the who in you that I can refer to for him to know he is speaking with me saying to you who types “i don’t”?

Fyrius's avatar

It’s a logical necessity that you exist. For the following reason.

1. By challenging me to prove you exist, you take the stance that you do not exist, which I need to overturn.
2. If you would in fact not exist, you would be right about this.
3. Something that does not exist is, by definition, nothing. It cannot be something while not existing.
4. Right is something.
5. Therefore, you cannot be right about not existing while not existing.
6. Therefore, maccmann exists.

There’s no problem with quoting philosophers asserting all sorts of things without quoting their argumentations too, but it doesn’t contribute anything to your point.

Zuma's avatar

It says in the Bible (or Martin Luther) that Faith Alone is required for Salvation; so in order to avoid everlasting torment, I believe in a supernatural God. Of course, Salvation wouldn’t have any value if you could come by it easily; so you have to believe in things that are, well, unbelievable—the more irrational and contrary to the evidence the better. So I believe in a whole lot of things that are clearly impossible, like the Bible being personally dictated by God to Man, and therefore literally true in every respect. I believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old, that the Grand Canyon was carved out by the Great Flood, and that Noah didn’t have room for the dinosaurs on the ark.

I believe that rationality is a cruel elitist joke that atheists play on us believers in order to make us feel inferior and marginalized. I also believe that there is no way to really know anything for sure. Evidence is no help because for every website you find that shows evidence for evolution, you can find another website that says that it just ain’t so. Science is all just opinion and belief, and everybody lies to support their side. So, anything that atheists or scientists say is all just opinion and lies.

I believe in irrational things in order to prove my love for God. And if you are not with me in this matter, you are a wicked, God-hating atheist and an enemy of God. And this is the Absolute Truth because I believe it absolutely. The world is about to end any day now, so I must purge any doubt so that I am unwavering in my belief when the final Day of Judgment comes. I believe that in order to hasten the Final Days, believers may have to purify the earth of nonbelievers. So I am stocking up on guns and dried food in preparation for that final battle between Good and Evil, as foretold by prophecy.

choreplay's avatar

Free will and predestination cannot be reconciled. Natural force drives and defines everthing, the shape of the desert, the reaching up of a tree and the running of water down a hill. It all creates and recreates itself.

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