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Evidence for Atheism

DoubtingDave
Posts: 380
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5/2/2013 6:23:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hey all,

My article "Evidence for Atheism" is now online at http://www.infidels.org...

My bio: http://www.infidels.org...

This is my first publication on the secular web and hope to have more soon. What are your thoughts on the article?
The Great Wall of Fail

"I have doubts that anti-semitism even exists" -GeoLaureate8

"Evolutionists think that people evolved from rocks" -Scotty

"And whats so bad about a Holy war? By Holy war, I mean a war which would aim to subdue others under Islam." -Ahmed.M

"The free market didn't create the massive wealth in the country, WW2 did." -malcomxy

"Independant federal regulators make our capitalist society possible." -Erik_Erikson
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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5/2/2013 7:39:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
What is atheism?

I think the title is misguided. Atheists are constantly cannon firing that atheism is a lack of belief and not a positive statement of anything. Saying that there is evidence for a lack of belief is nonsensical. I'm sure you mean that it is evidence for disbelief. In that case, the title may need adjusting so that it doesn't portray atheism in the sense that you disagree with. Or are you the type of atheist that believes atheism is the disbelief?

For your article, I would recommend reading wikipedia. The quality of most of wikipedia's articles are top notch and one can learn a lot from them. To start, in an article, you are trying to convince someone from a third person position. If you write an informative article in first person, your audience sees you as arguing and sees you as arguing against them, thus jumping to the defensive. You should never have to say anything in first person if the purposes of your article is informed argument. If you want personal argument, you should re-title your article as 'Arguments for atheism,' not 'evidence for atheism.'

Elsewise, I would really like to debate you on this issue, sometime in the future after the religious debate tournament is complete.
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Pwner
Posts: 92
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5/2/2013 7:52:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hey Dave, congrats on getting published! Here's some hopefully constructive criticism:

First, I don't think that 'Theism' should be defined in terms of any single or select deities because it results in absurdities. Theism and Atheism are the negations of each other. Thus, if Theism is defined as something like belief in God, then suddenly Atheism becomes the belief that God doesn't exist. But, I'm not an atheist simply because I reject the existence of God. On the contrary, I'm a polytheist who just happens to disbelieve in God.

To avoid problems like this, I think we should hold to the following:

Theism is the belief that a god exists, atheism the belief that no gods exist, monotheism the belief that only one god exists and polytheism the belief that more than one god exists.

Second, you state that "The world is indeed full of unnecessary suffering and evil" in Part 1.1. This begs the question unless you can provide evidence that it's true. But, you don't seem to. Rather, you list examples of suffering and evil. However, this does not constitute showing that these examples are unnecessary.

Third, in Part 3 you give an invalid argument. In order to be a valid modus tollens, your second premise needs to say that an agreement on a definition of God cannot be reached. But, such an adjustment would make that premise false, because such a definition can--theoretically--be reached. Indeed, in the philosophy of religion, God is standardly understood to be a metaphysically necessary, omnipotent, omniscient, morally perfect individual. Furthermore, the burden to clearly define God does not fall to those who don't even believe he exists, like most polytheists.

Interestingly, right after arguing that there is no standard definition of God, you go on in Part 4 to identify such a standard and argue that it's incoherent.

However, as you'd previously explained in Part 3, those contradictory properties are not uniformly ascribed to God. Thus, even if you were correct that this particular definition of God was contradictory, it wouldn't follow that all or even most definitions of God were as well. Also, incoherence refers to the unintelligibility of a statement, not its necessary falsehood. Indeed, falsehood is a property only intelligible propositions can have.

Finally, in your conclusion you allege that "the" problem of evil (there are dozens of versions) is proof that God doesn't exist. But, you said it was only "strong evidence" in Part 1. Because you didn't assess the prior probabilities of theism or atheism, to infer that God doesn't exist from the "strong evidence" of evil is to commit the Prosecutor's fallacy:

"[I]f the truth of a hypothesis would make some phenomenon extremely unlikely to be observed, then the observation of that phenomenon makes the hypothesis correspondingly unlikely to be true. This inference is known as the Prosecutor"s Fallacy."

Colin Howson (2011-07-27). Objecting to God (p. 68). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition. http://en.wikipedia.org...
DoubtingDave
Posts: 380
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5/2/2013 8:02:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 7:39:03 AM, Smithereens wrote:
What is atheism?

I think the title is misguided. Atheists are constantly cannon firing that atheism is a lack of belief and not a positive statement of anything. Saying that there is evidence for a lack of belief is nonsensical. I'm sure you mean that it is evidence for disbelief. In that case, the title may need adjusting so that it doesn't portray atheism in the sense that you disagree with. Or are you the type of atheist that believes atheism is the disbelief?

For your article, I would recommend reading wikipedia. The quality of most of wikipedia's articles are top notch and one can learn a lot from them. To start, in an article, you are trying to convince someone from a third person position. If you write an informative article in first person, your audience sees you as arguing and sees you as arguing against them, thus jumping to the defensive. You should never have to say anything in first person if the purposes of your article is informed argument. If you want personal argument, you should re-title your article as 'Arguments for atheism,' not 'evidence for atheism.'

Elsewise, I would really like to debate you on this issue, sometime in the future after the religious debate tournament is complete.

Thanks for your feedback! Likewise, I would love to debate you as well. College and work is getting me overloaded so I'm going to take a break from debating until summer.
The Great Wall of Fail

"I have doubts that anti-semitism even exists" -GeoLaureate8

"Evolutionists think that people evolved from rocks" -Scotty

"And whats so bad about a Holy war? By Holy war, I mean a war which would aim to subdue others under Islam." -Ahmed.M

"The free market didn't create the massive wealth in the country, WW2 did." -malcomxy

"Independant federal regulators make our capitalist society possible." -Erik_Erikson
v3nesl
Posts: 4,494
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5/2/2013 8:27:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 6:23:53 AM, DoubtingDave wrote:
Hey all,

My article "Evidence for Atheism" is now online at http://www.infidels.org...

My bio: http://www.infidels.org...

This is my first publication on the secular web and hope to have more soon. What are your thoughts on the article?

It's well written. I have a couple of disagreements, but they are with atheism in general, not your article:
- First, I think you make the rookie mistake that bites every new engineer or researcher sooner or later: You proceed with an uncalibrated instrument. You assume you are capable of logic, without considering the monumental implications of the human mind being capable of logic. I don't think the uncreated brain would correlate to objective truth. The evolved brain would be selected to survive and reproduce, not to know truth. Giving a reading that corresponds to an objective standard (e.g. truth) can only be a feature of a calibrated instrument.
- But if we assume logic, I think the logical answer to the 'problem of evil' is that evil is somehow the inevitable consequence of free will. Of course, free will is itself supernatural and incomprehensible in the context of deterministic physics, so I think the PoE is a problem of limited perspective, like the distortions you get when projecting our 3D planet onto a 2D map.
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medv4380
Posts: 200
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5/2/2013 9:26:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 8:27:39 AM, v3nesl wrote:
- The evolved brain would be selected to survive and reproduce, not to know truth.

You're assuming that logic wouldn't improve survival or reproduction potential. You're also assuming that we haven't evolved to believe an irrational, but if believing the irrational improves the odds of survival that would also be selected for as well. I think more people would agree that many people are ruled by Irrational, and Rational thoughts.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,494
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5/2/2013 9:37:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 9:26:30 AM, medv4380 wrote:
At 5/2/2013 8:27:39 AM, v3nesl wrote:
- The evolved brain would be selected to survive and reproduce, not to know truth.

You're assuming that logic wouldn't improve survival or reproduction potential.

With good reason, since the vast majority of organisms don't seem to need it. The cockroach will likely outlast the human race.

But I'm not arguing that the evolved brain would be irrational, just that we can't assume we ARE rational. Maybe it's just the emotion of feeling rational that's a benefit, for instance. The paradox of evolution is that if man evolved, he can never know it.

To follow my analogy, an uncalibrated instrument, like a watch that hasn't been set, may be exactly correct, or it may be off by a little or a lot. We don't need to claim it's incorrect in order to see that such watch is useless for telling time. In the same way, the [purely] evolved brain is useless for determining truth.
This space for rent.
medv4380
Posts: 200
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5/2/2013 10:34:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 9:37:23 AM, v3nesl wrote:
With good reason, since the vast majority of organisms don't seem to need it. The cockroach will likely outlast the human race.

I'd counter that even the cockroach appears to need logic. Some species care for their young, and this is a logical step. Caring for your young improves the chance for survival of your genes for future generations.
http://science.howstuffworks.com...

You might extend your argument to language, but then I'd counter using Bees.

Many of our basic logic skills can be shown to be selected for. Even altruism can be shown to be logically selected for.

What is difficult to demonstrate is what pushed the basic skills into the high concentration that you find in humans.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,494
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5/2/2013 1:32:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 10:34:24 AM, medv4380 wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:37:23 AM, v3nesl wrote:
With good reason, since the vast majority of organisms don't seem to need it. The cockroach will likely outlast the human race.

I'd counter that even the cockroach appears to need logic. Some species care for their young, and this is a logical step. Caring for your young improves the chance for survival of your genes for future generations.
http://science.howstuffworks.com...


Yes, any successful system, living or otherwise, needs to be logical. But the cockroach presumably doesn't do logic, doesn't know boolean from pheromone. We see the logic of the cockroach's behavior, he does not.
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Radar
Posts: 424
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5/2/2013 2:00:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 6:23:53 AM, DoubtingDave wrote:
Hey all,

My article "Evidence for Atheism" is now online at http://www.infidels.org...

My bio: http://www.infidels.org...

This is my first publication on the secular web and hope to have more soon. What are your thoughts on the article?

Nonsense.
Apeiron
Posts: 2,446
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5/2/2013 2:22:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 2:00:26 PM, Radar wrote:
At 5/2/2013 6:23:53 AM, DoubtingDave wrote:
Hey all,

My article "Evidence for Atheism" is now online at http://www.infidels.org...

My bio: http://www.infidels.org...

This is my first publication on the secular web and hope to have more soon. What are your thoughts on the article?

Nonsense.
Fruitytree
Posts: 2,176
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5/4/2013 7:23:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
There can be nor proof that God does not exist. but maybe that a specific God with specific definition.
Dann
Posts: 11
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5/4/2013 8:12:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Why is there the assumption that evil cannot exist if there is a god?

What atheists are saying is that unless everything is perfect, god can't exist. But how so?

The bible is a prescription for living in accord with god. If there is a need for a prescription at all in the first place then that presumes an illness. Like Jesus said " it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick". The whole angle of religion and Christianity is to have people turn from their wicked ways and to become good, pure and honest in their dealings. This presupposes and acknowledges that there is evil, temptation and suffering in the world.

So the apparent logical argument against the mainstream version of god is guilty itself of being illogical. Or of ignorance.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/4/2013 8:41:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 2:00:26 PM, Radar wrote:
At 5/2/2013 6:23:53 AM, DoubtingDave wrote:
Hey all,

My article "Evidence for Atheism" is now online at http://www.infidels.org...

My bio: http://www.infidels.org...

This is my first publication on the secular web and hope to have more soon. What are your thoughts on the article?

Nonsense.

Why do you rarely have anything of content to contribute?
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/4/2013 8:46:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 8:12:40 AM, Dann wrote:
Why is there the assumption that evil cannot exist if there is a god?

What atheists are saying is that unless everything is perfect, god can't exist. But how so?

Persons are a reflection of their choices. If everything is not close to perfect (as perfection cannot duplicate), then how can its creator be?


The bible is a prescription for living in accord with god. If there is a need for a prescription at all in the first place then that presumes an illness. Like Jesus said " it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick". The whole angle of religion and Christianity is to have people turn from their wicked ways

Why did God wire us to do wicked things in the first place? Don't you think that creating a problem and then saying only you are the answer, is similar to a scam artists who creates a problem and asks people to hire him to fix it?

and to become good, pure and honest in their dealings. This presupposes and acknowledges that there is evil, temptation and suffering in the world.

Does not need to be though, God could have created a different reality where creatures were wired differently. I guess God likes evil and suffering.


So the apparent logical argument against the mainstream version of god is guilty itself of being illogical. Or of ignorance.

That descriptions fits your critique of the PoE better.
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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5/4/2013 2:03:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
That really doesn't make any sense. Atheism, is by definition a lack of belief, which makes it entirely incoherent to produce evidence for atheism. The appropriate title should be something along the lines of "Evidence for a lack of God."
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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5/4/2013 2:06:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Also, any argument that invokes evil fails because if god doesn't exist, then any attempt to classify something as objectively evil cannot be proven. If god does exist, then to classify something as evil would imply that an individual sees god's desires, which would be impossible.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
emospongebob527
Posts: 790
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5/4/2013 2:13:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 2:03:56 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
That really doesn't make any sense. Atheism, is by definition a lack of belief, which makes it entirely incoherent to produce evidence for atheism. The appropriate title should be something along the lines of "Evidence for a lack of God."

Thank you, this is what I always say to condescending atheists and mistaken theists!
"not to toot my own horn (it aint need no tooin if u know what im saying), but my writings on "viciousness: the one true viture (fancy spelling for virtue)" and my poem "A poem I wrote about DDO" put me in a class of my damn own. im just an UNRECONGIZED geniuse" -bananafana
Dann
Posts: 11
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5/4/2013 5:57:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 8:46:09 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 8:12:40 AM, Dann wrote:
Why is there the assumption that evil cannot exist if there is a god?

What atheists are saying is that unless everything is perfect, god can't exist. But how so?

Persons are a reflection of their choices. If everything is not close to perfect (as perfection cannot duplicate), then how can its creator be?



The bible is a prescription for living in accord with god. If there is a need for a prescription at all in the first place then that presumes an illness. Like Jesus said " it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick". The whole angle of religion and Christianity is to have people turn from their wicked ways

Why did God wire us to do wicked things in the first place? Don't you think that creating a problem and then saying only you are the answer, is similar to a scam artists who creates a problem and asks people to hire him to fix it?

As I understand it, eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Prior to that - blissful ignorance. No judgementality. Nothing was good nor bad, but everything simply is as it is. Perfect.

and to become good, pure and honest in their dealings. This presupposes and acknowledges that there is evil, temptation and suffering in the world.

Does not need to be though, God could have created a different reality where creatures were wired differently. I guess God likes evil and suffering.

See above

So the apparent logical argument against the mainstream version of god is guilty itself of being illogical. Or of ignorance.

That descriptions fits your critique of the PoE better.

Aha
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/4/2013 11:26:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 5:57:45 PM, Dann wrote:
At 5/4/2013 8:46:09 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 8:12:40 AM, Dann wrote:
Why is there the assumption that evil cannot exist if there is a god?

What atheists are saying is that unless everything is perfect, god can't exist. But how so?

Persons are a reflection of their choices. If everything is not close to perfect (as perfection cannot duplicate), then how can its creator be?



The bible is a prescription for living in accord with god. If there is a need for a prescription at all in the first place then that presumes an illness. Like Jesus said " it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick". The whole angle of religion and Christianity is to have people turn from their wicked ways

Why did God wire us to do wicked things in the first place? Don't you think that creating a problem and then saying only you are the answer, is similar to a scam artists who creates a problem and asks people to hire him to fix it?

As I understand it, eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

I did not though. Why should I burden their suffer? Also, all humans coming from Adam and Even would be impossible, the amount of inbreeding would have wiped out the species.

Prior to that - blissful ignorance. No judgementality. Nothing was good nor bad, but everything simply is as it is. Perfect.

If perfect means not good, but you believe in a perfect/ good God. Then your God cannot exist by definition.


and to become good, pure and honest in their dealings. This presupposes and acknowledges that there is evil, temptation and suffering in the world.

Does not need to be though, God could have created a different reality where creatures were wired differently. I guess God likes evil and suffering.

See above

I saw. Unfortunately, there was not much too enlightening.


So the apparent logical argument against the mainstream version of god is guilty itself of being illogical. Or of ignorance.

Too bad you have failed at showing how.


That descriptions fits your critique of the PoE better.

Aha
DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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5/4/2013 11:34:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 8:41:48 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/2/2013 2:00:26 PM, Radar wrote:
At 5/2/2013 6:23:53 AM, DoubtingDave wrote:
Hey all,

My article "Evidence for Atheism" is now online at http://www.infidels.org...

My bio: http://www.infidels.org...

This is my first publication on the secular web and hope to have more soon. What are your thoughts on the article?

Nonsense.

Why do you rarely have anything of content to contribute?

You imply he ever does; I'd like to see such an instance.