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How would you convince me to be an atheist?

Benshapiro
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11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?
bulproof
Posts: 25,171
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11/24/2014 11:26:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

Is this god omnipotent?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
jodybirdy
Posts: 2,089
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11/25/2014 12:29:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

I wouldn't want to change anyone's beliefs that they hold dear. But because you ask:

I will tell you why I am atheist, but I won't tell you that you have to agree. It is very personal. I feel deeply and I observe. I realize how precious life is and that if it is a gift that is not to be taken lightly. Here is why, the universe is unbelievable. It is difficult to even fathom about its vast beauty. The farthest we can see into the known observable universe is 13.8 billion light years. In one year light travels about 5.88 trillion miles. Our tiny planet is just one of billions, maybe trillions. Who even knows if the perfect conditions that has enabled life to thrive here has happened anywhere else? LIFE IS RARE AND PRECIOUS. How lucky am I to exist and to be so developed that I can express my thoughts and ideas here?

Now, being atheist does not deny a higher cause. Being atheist is simply accepting that we do not know for sure and that our natural universe is all that we can measure. Being atheist is appreciating a gift and using it for its purpose. Life is a precious opportunity and there is no guarantee of an afterlife. None.

Look at it this way... what if you gave a very wonderful gift to someone. The ultimate gift. And instead of using that gift for the purpose that it was meant for, they threw it aside and worshiped your feet. The gift you gave wasn't even taken out of the box. It withered and died. They were sure there would something even better after that gift deteriorated and as long as they worshiped you they would have an even better gift, but that was the ultimate gift and nothing was left to give. It was the best and only gift you could give.

I don't know that there is an afterlife. I only know that this life is rare and precious. That all living things are rare. And that the universe is beautiful. I appreciate every day and I love every chance I get. I don't need to worship a creator to appreciate the gift. If by some miracle there is a God, I know in my heart that I have used this gift for purpose it was given and I won't be judged.

So, I am an atheist. I love my kids. I care for animals and help needy people. I appreciate nature and I stand in awe at the night sky. I love life and I use it to its fullest. I don't ask for anything more. That's what being an atheist is to me.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,205
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11/25/2014 12:38:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

Were you an entity like that described in the Bible...

is this REALLY how you would do it/would have done it?

Wouldn't it make sense that an infallible entity, such as that described in the Bible would create an infallible system?

Wouldn't it stand to reason that if God had the abilities ascribed to Him, His action or inaction would create a paradoxical existance? (free will vs destiny, PoE, PoAccident etc)
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
http://www.debate.org...
dee-em
Posts: 6,444
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11/25/2014 1:15:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
You should rape a baby for fun thereby violating god's objective morailty. If no punishment was immediately forthcoming, you would know that there was no god and become an atheist. Plus you would have a new hobby popular with your fellow atheists (alongside eating babies).

Bwa ha ha ha.

(Aarrgghh).
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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11/25/2014 4:38:03 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

1. Make you actually define your concept of God. The actual concept of God you believe in, and not the concept of God you defend in debates.
2. Show how that concept of God is meaningless (theological non-cognitivism), contradictory (incoherency), or unknowable (believability)
3. Then show your concept of God to be a significantly worse explanation of the world than naturalism (naturalism vs supernaturalism).
4. Fail to change your mind, because forum and debate exchanges suck for this purpose.

Portion 1 of this blog post address theological noncognitivism

http://www.theaunicornist.com...
POPOO5560
Posts: 2,481
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11/25/2014 8:06:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 1:15:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
You should rape a baby for fun thereby violating god's objective morailty. If no punishment was immediately forthcoming, you would know that there was no god and become an atheist. Plus you would have a new hobby popular with your fellow atheists (alongside eating babies).

Bwa ha ha ha.

(Aarrgghh).

OH SH1T!
Never fart near dog
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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11/25/2014 1:19:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 12:29:37 AM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

I wouldn't want to change anyone's beliefs that they hold dear. But because you ask:

I will tell you why I am atheist, but I won't tell you that you have to agree. It is very personal. I feel deeply and I observe. I realize how precious life is and that if it is a gift that is not to be taken lightly. Here is why, the universe is unbelievable. It is difficult to even fathom about its vast beauty. The farthest we can see into the known observable universe is 13.8 billion light years. In one year light travels about 5.88 trillion miles. Our tiny planet is just one of billions, maybe trillions. Who even knows if the perfect conditions that has enabled life to thrive here has happened anywhere else? LIFE IS RARE AND PRECIOUS. How lucky am I to exist and to be so developed that I can express my thoughts and ideas here?

Now, being atheist does not deny a higher cause. Being atheist is simply accepting that we do not know for sure and that our natural universe is all that we can measure. Being atheist is appreciating a gift and using it for its purpose. Life is a precious opportunity and there is no guarantee of an afterlife. None.

Look at it this way... what if you gave a very wonderful gift to someone. The ultimate gift. And instead of using that gift for the purpose that it was meant for, they threw it aside and worshiped your feet. The gift you gave wasn't even taken out of the box. It withered and died. They were sure there would something even better after that gift deteriorated and as long as they worshiped you they would have an even better gift, but that was the ultimate gift and nothing was left to give. It was the best and only gift you could give.

I don't know that there is an afterlife. I only know that this life is rare and precious. That all living things are rare. And that the universe is beautiful. I appreciate every day and I love every chance I get. I don't need to worship a creator to appreciate the gift. If by some miracle there is a God, I know in my heart that I have used this gift for purpose it was given and I won't be judged.

So, I am an atheist. I love my kids. I care for animals and help needy people. I appreciate nature and I stand in awe at the night sky. I love life and I use it to its fullest. I don't ask for anything more. That's what being an atheist is to me.

And God loves you very much my friend, even though you don't have any evidence to know that. He understands very well why He used this first age to teach us who we are. Now that we know this is all a dream that isn't real at all, we can rest from all our fears of not knowing why we exist.

I have several atheist friends believing this is all a dream. It's much easier for them to accept this as a dream that believing Christians have any authority to send them to a place called hell if they don't believe their lies.
Cryo
Posts: 202
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11/25/2014 2:22:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

Most atheists are materialists but they're two different positions. I would begin by countering the arguments specifically made for a God who designed the universe.

I went through a similar thought process when I was going from a Christian to an atheist. I thought the complexity and order I saw was evidence of some intelligent designer. Perhaps not specifically the Christian god, but more of a Deist god. The first thing that you have to accept however, is that the appearance of design in the universe is not in any way evidence of design. The teleological argument really boils down to two things:

1. It asserts that the universe was designed.
2. It asserts that the designer had to be God.

There is absolutely zero evidence for either of these propositions. How did you determine that it was designed? How did you determine that the designer was God? Proponents for the argument from design are merely making faith-based assertions. They're looking at what seems a highly unlikely event and shoehorning God in as the explanation. There's no actual, positive evidence for an intelligently designed universe.

The more common form of the argument from design is the basic, "What's more likely, that this all happened by chance or that there was a designer behind it all?" I'm guilty of using this one back when I was trying to justify my belief in God.

What I later realized is that it's kind of an empty statement. In order to determine that one outcome is more likely than the other, you need to first determine the probabilities of those two outcomes so you can compare them. I was saying a universe created by God was more likely than a universe that came about purely through natural means, but I couldn't even prove that God was real, much less the odds that He created the universe. The natural world and natural laws, however, we can prove are real. What sense is there in taking the natural explanations that we can verify, and then asserting that the unverifiable supernatural explanations are more likely?

As for the larger question of how I would convince you or anyone else to be an atheist? I would ask you to think about how you determine what is true and/or believable. Is there any other area in your life when you use faith as a justification for a belief? I'm not talking about faith in the colloquial sense, where you could easily substitute "trust" or "confidence", I'm talking about religious faith, blind faith.

Even religious people look for evidence and reasons to believe things, except when it comes to their special, treasured beliefs about God or an afterlife. When it comes to God, blind faith is good enough for them even though they would never accept anything else on blind faith, like what the used car salesman tells them about the car they're considering purchasing, or whether or not a new diet works. In every other instance, they want evidence for claims being made, but they suspend that standard of evidence for God. Is that intellectually honest? No, and it's actually hypocritical. Faith is not a sound justification for any belief, and internally we all know that. It's the indoctrination we went through as children or the biases we hold onto today that allow people to maintain their faith in things they have no evidence for.
jodybirdy
Posts: 2,089
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11/25/2014 2:25:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 1:19:23 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 11/25/2014 12:29:37 AM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

I wouldn't want to change anyone's beliefs that they hold dear. But because you ask:

I will tell you why I am atheist, but I won't tell you that you have to agree. It is very personal. I feel deeply and I observe. I realize how precious life is and that if it is a gift that is not to be taken lightly. Here is why, the universe is unbelievable. It is difficult to even fathom about its vast beauty. The farthest we can see into the known observable universe is 13.8 billion light years. In one year light travels about 5.88 trillion miles. Our tiny planet is just one of billions, maybe trillions. Who even knows if the perfect conditions that has enabled life to thrive here has happened anywhere else? LIFE IS RARE AND PRECIOUS. How lucky am I to exist and to be so developed that I can express my thoughts and ideas here?

Now, being atheist does not deny a higher cause. Being atheist is simply accepting that we do not know for sure and that our natural universe is all that we can measure. Being atheist is appreciating a gift and using it for its purpose. Life is a precious opportunity and there is no guarantee of an afterlife. None.

Look at it this way... what if you gave a very wonderful gift to someone. The ultimate gift. And instead of using that gift for the purpose that it was meant for, they threw it aside and worshiped your feet. The gift you gave wasn't even taken out of the box. It withered and died. They were sure there would something even better after that gift deteriorated and as long as they worshiped you they would have an even better gift, but that was the ultimate gift and nothing was left to give. It was the best and only gift you could give.

I don't know that there is an afterlife. I only know that this life is rare and precious. That all living things are rare. And that the universe is beautiful. I appreciate every day and I love every chance I get. I don't need to worship a creator to appreciate the gift. If by some miracle there is a God, I know in my heart that I have used this gift for purpose it was given and I won't be judged.

So, I am an atheist. I love my kids. I care for animals and help needy people. I appreciate nature and I stand in awe at the night sky. I love life and I use it to its fullest. I don't ask for anything more. That's what being an atheist is to me.

And God loves you very much my friend, even though you don't have any evidence to know that. He understands very well why He used this first age to teach us who we are. Now that we know this is all a dream that isn't real at all, we can rest from all our fears of not knowing why we exist.

I have several atheist friends believing this is all a dream. It's much easier for them to accept this as a dream that believing Christians have any authority to send them to a place called hell if they don't believe their lies.

Philosophy and religion often intersect. And what you propose is a philosophical solution to all of life's woes. I prefer to enjoy the "illusion" if that is what it is. And not over think it and take life and death as it comes. Simple yet efficient. :)
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
LostintheEcho1498
Posts: 234
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11/25/2014 2:37:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 12:38:35 AM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?


Were you an entity like that described in the Bible...

is this REALLY how you would do it/would have done it?

Wouldn't it make sense that an infallible entity, such as that described in the Bible would create an infallible system?

Wouldn't it stand to reason that if God had the abilities ascribed to Him, His action or inaction would create a paradoxical existance? (free will vs destiny, PoE, PoAccident etc)

"Wouldn't it make sense that an infallible entity, such as that described in the Bible would create an infallible system? "

If you have read any of Genesis then you know why we don't have an infallible system. We chose not too. There was Jesus' plan and Satan's plan. We chose Jesus.

"Wouldn't it stand to reason that if God had the abilities ascribed to Him, His action or inaction would create a paradoxical existance? (free will vs destiny, PoE, PoAccident etc)"

Not really. The lack of action or action on his part does not influence free will. The Israelites wandered around in the desert, fed and led by God and still created a gold statue to praise. God revealing himself or one of his angels does nothing to convert or change our free agency. In the Mormon Church, three witnesses saw the angel Moroni and the gold plates. At some point, all three fell away from the church. They never denied their experience but they did fall away. The use of God's abilities is to help us along but if we do not want help, our free will allows us to refuse it. The only difference is when God interferes with those who are wholly wicked. Then, and only then, does His intervention take away agency.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,928
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11/25/2014 7:41:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 12:29:37 AM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

I wouldn't want to change anyone's beliefs that they hold dear. But because you ask:

I will tell you why I am atheist, but I won't tell you that you have to agree. It is very personal. I feel deeply and I observe. I realize how precious life is and that if it is a gift that is not to be taken lightly. Here is why, the universe is unbelievable. It is difficult to even fathom about its vast beauty. The farthest we can see into the known observable universe is 13.8 billion light years. In one year light travels about 5.88 trillion miles. Our tiny planet is just one of billions, maybe trillions. Who even knows if the perfect conditions that has enabled life to thrive here has happened anywhere else? LIFE IS RARE AND PRECIOUS. How lucky am I to exist and to be so developed that I can express my thoughts and ideas here?

Now, being atheist does not deny a higher cause. Being atheist is simply accepting that we do not know for sure and that our natural universe is all that we can measure. Being atheist is appreciating a gift and using it for its purpose. Life is a precious opportunity and there is no guarantee of an afterlife. None.

Look at it this way... what if you gave a very wonderful gift to someone. The ultimate gift. And instead of using that gift for the purpose that it was meant for, they threw it aside and worshiped your feet. The gift you gave wasn't even taken out of the box. It withered and died. They were sure there would something even better after that gift deteriorated and as long as they worshiped you they would have an even better gift, but that was the ultimate gift and nothing was left to give. It was the best and only gift you could give.

I don't know that there is an afterlife. I only know that this life is rare and precious. That all living things are rare. And that the universe is beautiful. I appreciate every day and I love every chance I get. I don't need to worship a creator to appreciate the gift. If by some miracle there is a God, I know in my heart that I have used this gift for purpose it was given and I won't be judged.

So, I am an atheist. I love my kids. I care for animals and help needy people. I appreciate nature and I stand in awe at the night sky. I love life and I use it to its fullest. I don't ask for anything more. That's what being an atheist is to me.

Well said. I can see how focusing on an afterlife would lessen our sense of appreciation for the universe around us. Life, love, and nature is beautiful and a gift we should never take for granted.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,928
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11/25/2014 7:46:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 12:38:35 AM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?


Were you an entity like that described in the Bible...

is this REALLY how you would do it/would have done it?

Wouldn't it make sense that an infallible entity, such as that described in the Bible would create an infallible system?

Wouldn't it stand to reason that if God had the abilities ascribed to Him, His action or inaction would create a paradoxical existance? (free will vs destiny, PoE, PoAccident etc)

Yes it does seem that way. I don't understand why evil or any unintended consequence for that matter could exist if God is both omnibenevolent and omniscient. Omniscience also brings into question the problem of free will. If God has already foreknown everything we would ever do, from beginning to end, and actualizes our life, how do we have free will to do anything other than what God has foreknown? I've been looking for an answer to this question to see if there is one. I remember Ragnar (an atheist) said there wasn't a problem with this but I never got the chance to ask him why.
dee-em
Posts: 6,444
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11/25/2014 7:54:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 12:29:37 AM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

I wouldn't want to change anyone's beliefs that they hold dear. But because you ask:

I will tell you why I am atheist, but I won't tell you that you have to agree. It is very personal. I feel deeply and I observe. I realize how precious life is and that if it is a gift that is not to be taken lightly. Here is why, the universe is unbelievable. It is difficult to even fathom about its vast beauty. The farthest we can see into the known observable universe is 13.8 billion light years. In one year light travels about 5.88 trillion miles. Our tiny planet is just one of billions, maybe trillions. Who even knows if the perfect conditions that has enabled life to thrive here has happened anywhere else? LIFE IS RARE AND PRECIOUS. How lucky am I to exist and to be so developed that I can express my thoughts and ideas here?

Now, being atheist does not deny a higher cause. Being atheist is simply accepting that we do not know for sure and that our natural universe is all that we can measure. Being atheist is appreciating a gift and using it for its purpose. Life is a precious opportunity and there is no guarantee of an afterlife. None.

Look at it this way... what if you gave a very wonderful gift to someone. The ultimate gift. And instead of using that gift for the purpose that it was meant for, they threw it aside and worshiped your feet. The gift you gave wasn't even taken out of the box. It withered and died. They were sure there would something even better after that gift deteriorated and as long as they worshiped you they would have an even better gift, but that was the ultimate gift and nothing was left to give. It was the best and only gift you could give.

I don't know that there is an afterlife. I only know that this life is rare and precious. That all living things are rare. And that the universe is beautiful. I appreciate every day and I love every chance I get. I don't need to worship a creator to appreciate the gift. If by some miracle there is a God, I know in my heart that I have used this gift for purpose it was given and I won't be judged.

So, I am an atheist. I love my kids. I care for animals and help needy people. I appreciate nature and I stand in awe at the night sky. I love life and I use it to its fullest. I don't ask for anything more. That's what being an atheist is to me.

Beautiful, heart-felt post. I hope everyone here has a chance to read it. If I had to give a serious answer to the question, it would be something like this, but nowhere near as eloquent.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,928
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11/25/2014 8:19:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 4:38:03 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

1. Make you actually define your concept of God. The actual concept of God you believe in, and not the concept of God you defend in debates.
2. Show how that concept of God is meaningless (theological non-cognitivism), contradictory (incoherency), or unknowable (believability)
3. Then show your concept of God to be a significantly worse explanation of the world than naturalism (naturalism vs supernaturalism).
4. Fail to change your mind, because forum and debate exchanges suck for this purpose.

Portion 1 of this blog post address theological noncognitivism

http://www.theaunicornist.com...

I can understand point one to an extent. "God" is a very loosely defined concept. If nobody is putting forth a coherent concept to defend, that concept must first be defined in a coherent way before it can be defended. In a broad sense, God could be defined as the intelligent designer of the universe. This concept of God is defined to a point of coherency in my opinion.

Point two depends on a few factors. If an intelligent designer is a coherent concept, if there are no contradictory characteristics of such an intelligent designer, and if there is evidence in the natural universe indicative of an intelligent designer I don't see how this point would still hold.

Point three depends on what arguments have been presented.

Point four: well honestly it is very difficult for anybody to change their mind on issues like this for anyone that has seriously thought about it. It's not like snapping a chain link to change somebody's mind but more like an assault on a castle fortress. I'm willing to be an atheist but there's much discussion to be had.
carriead20
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11/25/2014 8:26:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 12:29:37 AM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

I wouldn't want to change anyone's beliefs that they hold dear. But because you ask:

I will tell you why I am atheist, but I won't tell you that you have to agree. It is very personal. I feel deeply and I observe. I realize how precious life is and that if it is a gift that is not to be taken lightly. Here is why, the universe is unbelievable. It is difficult to even fathom about its vast beauty. The farthest we can see into the known observable universe is 13.8 billion light years. In one year light travels about 5.88 trillion miles. Our tiny planet is just one of billions, maybe trillions. Who even knows if the perfect conditions that has enabled life to thrive here has happened anywhere else? LIFE IS RARE AND PRECIOUS. How lucky am I to exist and to be so developed that I can express my thoughts and ideas here?

Now, being atheist does not deny a higher cause. Being atheist is simply accepting that we do not know for sure and that our natural universe is all that we can measure. Being atheist is appreciating a gift and using it for its purpose. Life is a precious opportunity and there is no guarantee of an afterlife. None.

Look at it this way... what if you gave a very wonderful gift to someone. The ultimate gift. And instead of using that gift for the purpose that it was meant for, they threw it aside and worshiped your feet. The gift you gave wasn't even taken out of the box. It withered and died. They were sure there would something even better after that gift deteriorated and as long as they worshiped you they would have an even better gift, but that was the ultimate gift and nothing was left to give. It was the best and only gift you could give.

I don't know that there is an afterlife. I only know that this life is rare and precious. That all living things are rare. And that the universe is beautiful. I appreciate every day and I love every chance I get. I don't need to worship a creator to appreciate the gift. If by some miracle there is a God, I know in my heart that I have used this gift for purpose it was given and I won't be judged.

So, I am an atheist. I love my kids. I care for animals and help needy people. I appreciate nature and I stand in awe at the night sky. I love life and I use it to its fullest. I don't ask for anything more. That's what being an atheist is to me.

^^ What she said.
To all the people fighting a hard battle out there - life's giving you a pretty hard beating. There's no sugarcoating that, but there's no shadow that's free of light. When life sneers at you and asks, "Ready to go again?" - Raise your hand. Reach out to victory. Don't give in.

---Help Bsh and YYW see each other---
http://www.gofundme.com...
Envisage
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11/25/2014 8:37:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 8:19:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/25/2014 4:38:03 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

1. Make you actually define your concept of God. The actual concept of God you believe in, and not the concept of God you defend in debates.
2. Show how that concept of God is meaningless (theological non-cognitivism), contradictory (incoherency), or unknowable (believability)
3. Then show your concept of God to be a significantly worse explanation of the world than naturalism (naturalism vs supernaturalism).
4. Fail to change your mind, because forum and debate exchanges suck for this purpose.

Portion 1 of this blog post address theological noncognitivism

http://www.theaunicornist.com...

I can understand point one to an extent. "God" is a very loosely defined concept. If nobody is putting forth a coherent concept to defend, that concept must first be defined in a coherent way before it can be defended. In a broad sense, God could be defined as the intelligent designer of the universe. This concept of God is defined to a point of coherency in my opinion.

1.

That is not the God you believe in though. YOUR God involves morality. Everything about God must be a part of the definition if God plays a role.

Does YOUR God make any claims about humans (consciousness, a soul)
Does YOUR God make any claims about interactions with nature
Etc.

Then you need to consider what God *is*, and what sets him apart from something that is meaningless. Does God have power, or knowledge attributes. Is God omnipresent. Does God exist within spacetime, outside it, is it pantheistic.

What is God's primary nature, is God a separate ontological substance, is God conscious, is God intellgent in that god can think, has a mind and personality.

These are not trivial drivel. If you believe in God, and make claims that God is or does things with reality, then it all needs to be considered to have a meaningful coherent definition.


Point two depends on a few factors. If an intelligent designer is a coherent concept, if there are no contradictory characteristics of such an intelligent designer, and if there is evidence in the natural universe indicative of an intelligent designer I don't see how this point would still hold.


2,
Coherency.

Consider, is omnipotence coherent (self-referential paradoxes)
Omniscience coherent (self-referential paratoxes, Godel's incompletness theorums)
Omniscience + Free Will Paradoxes
Wtf is a necessary being. It's literally defined with existence.

If God has no primary nature, and only possesses secondary attributes (omnipotence, etc), then the concept remains meaningless (non cognitive). Each attribute may be incoherent on its own, or may be incoherent once combined with another. God needs to pass all of these before we even consider God possibly existing.
Point three depends on what arguments have been presented.

Point four: well honestly it is very difficult for anybody to change their mind on issues like this for anyone that has seriously thought about it. It's not like snapping a chain link to change somebody's mind but more like an assault on a castle fortress. I'm willing to be an atheist but there's much discussion to be had.

3.
This will be a waste of time if we cannot even get past 1 and 2.

You have defined God as some sort of designer. Does that mean we can predict what we would expect if God does not exist. Can we compare a model of the universe we would expect if God did not exist, to one in which God does exist. How would they differ.

If God is to be a Good explanation of something, then we need to be able to find things which would be more supportive of God than other hypotheses. For example:

I have 2 Jars of Jelly beans,

1 Jar has 995 Red beans, and 5 Yellow Beans
1 Jay had 995 Yellow beans, and 5 Red Beans

Here, if I am given a random Jar. Me picking out a red bean will be evidence that I possess the first jar. Can we do this with God vs. a Non-God hypothesis. Does God hold up. If we cannot do this with God, then it is literally impossible to make evidential based claims of God's existence.

Notice I am not actually arguing against God here. I am laying out the steps in which a belief in God would be assessed for two people.
Benshapiro
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11/25/2014 9:07:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 2:22:36 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

Most atheists are materialists but they're two different positions. I would begin by countering the arguments specifically made for a God who designed the universe.

I went through a similar thought process when I was going from a Christian to an atheist. I thought the complexity and order I saw was evidence of some intelligent designer. Perhaps not specifically the Christian god, but more of a Deist god. The first thing that you have to accept however, is that the appearance of design in the universe is not in any way evidence of design. The teleological argument really boils down to two things:

1. It asserts that the universe was designed.
2. It asserts that the designer had to be God.

There is absolutely zero evidence for either of these propositions. How did you determine that it was designed? How did you determine that the designer was God? Proponents for the argument from design are merely making faith-based assertions. They're looking at what seems a highly unlikely event and shoehorning God in as the explanation. There's no actual, positive evidence for an intelligently designed universe.

The more common form of the argument from design is the basic, "What's more likely, that this all happened by chance or that there was a designer behind it all?" I'm guilty of using this one back when I was trying to justify my belief in God.

What I later realized is that it's kind of an empty statement. In order to determine that one outcome is more likely than the other, you need to first determine the probabilities of those two outcomes so you can compare them. I was saying a universe created by God was more likely than a universe that came about purely through natural means, but I couldn't even prove that God was real, much less the odds that He created the universe. The natural world and natural laws, however, we can prove are real. What sense is there in taking the natural explanations that we can verify, and then asserting that the unverifiable supernatural explanations are more likely?

I can see your point. Mainly, (1) we have no evidence of any non-natural thing, and (2) we can't assign probabilities to the existence of God or an intelligently designed universe if we have no evidence or method for determining these odds.

For the first point I would say that we have no evidence of any non-mental thing. If reality itself is mental rather than physical, materialism could not be true. If mind is the prime reality, reality must have had an origin from mind.

To the second I would ask why is there an *appreciable* amount of inherent complexity and order in the universe if it is truly just the product of random processes? Why do we have this sense of appreciation of natural beauty, like in a sunset or starry night sky for example, if it was never meant to be seen by us? If natural selection has no source of intelligent origin, did this mindless, unembodied process accidentally create the most marvelous feat of engineering the world has ever known by resulting in the human body/brain?

As for the larger question of how I would convince you or anyone else to be an atheist? I would ask you to think about how you determine what is true and/or believable. Is there any other area in your life when you use faith as a justification for a belief? I'm not talking about faith in the colloquial sense, where you could easily substitute "trust" or "confidence", I'm talking about religious faith, blind faith.

I don't believe that anything should be accepted on blind faith. I think that using logic and rationality is the best way to interpret whatever evidence there is. I see many logical arguments in favor of God. That being said, there isn't any objective evidence for God. If I were to become an atheist I would want to marry the idea of God being illogical along with having no objective evidence.

Even religious people look for evidence and reasons to believe things, except when it comes to their special, treasured beliefs about God or an afterlife. When it comes to God, blind faith is good enough for them even though they would never accept anything else on blind faith, like what the used car salesman tells them about the car they're considering purchasing, or whether or not a new diet works. In every other instance, they want evidence for claims being made, but they suspend that standard of evidence for God. Is that intellectually honest? No, and it's actually hypocritical. Faith is not a sound justification for any belief, and internally we all know that. It's the indoctrination we went through as children or the biases we hold onto today that allow people to maintain their faith in things they have no evidence for.
Beastt
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11/25/2014 9:15:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind.
Uhm... yeah, that would explain why you continually disregard all of the refutations you've been provided?

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence?

Once again; the fine-tuning argument is based on the subjective suggestion that because the universe allows us to exist, it must have been selected specifically for us. Firstly, it ignores the fact that organisms form within the standards of the environment, rather than the environment being manipulated to meet the needs of the organism. Beyond that, it's the claim that this one is 10^121 possible universes is somehow more special, and less likely, than any of the other 10^121 possible universes.

It's akin to saying that it's more special and less likely to draw an Ace of spades at random from a deck of cards, than to select any other specific card. The fine-tuning argument is pure bunk, based in special pleading.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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11/25/2014 10:26:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 2:25:16 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/25/2014 1:19:23 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 11/25/2014 12:29:37 AM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

I wouldn't want to change anyone's beliefs that they hold dear. But because you ask:

I will tell you why I am atheist, but I won't tell you that you have to agree. It is very personal. I feel deeply and I observe. I realize how precious life is and that if it is a gift that is not to be taken lightly. Here is why, the universe is unbelievable. It is difficult to even fathom about its vast beauty. The farthest we can see into the known observable universe is 13.8 billion light years. In one year light travels about 5.88 trillion miles. Our tiny planet is just one of billions, maybe trillions. Who even knows if the perfect conditions that has enabled life to thrive here has happened anywhere else? LIFE IS RARE AND PRECIOUS. How lucky am I to exist and to be so developed that I can express my thoughts and ideas here?

Now, being atheist does not deny a higher cause. Being atheist is simply accepting that we do not know for sure and that our natural universe is all that we can measure. Being atheist is appreciating a gift and using it for its purpose. Life is a precious opportunity and there is no guarantee of an afterlife. None.

Look at it this way... what if you gave a very wonderful gift to someone. The ultimate gift. And instead of using that gift for the purpose that it was meant for, they threw it aside and worshiped your feet. The gift you gave wasn't even taken out of the box. It withered and died. They were sure there would something even better after that gift deteriorated and as long as they worshiped you they would have an even better gift, but that was the ultimate gift and nothing was left to give. It was the best and only gift you could give.

I don't know that there is an afterlife. I only know that this life is rare and precious. That all living things are rare. And that the universe is beautiful. I appreciate every day and I love every chance I get. I don't need to worship a creator to appreciate the gift. If by some miracle there is a God, I know in my heart that I have used this gift for purpose it was given and I won't be judged.

So, I am an atheist. I love my kids. I care for animals and help needy people. I appreciate nature and I stand in awe at the night sky. I love life and I use it to its fullest. I don't ask for anything more. That's what being an atheist is to me.

And God loves you very much my friend, even though you don't have any evidence to know that. He understands very well why He used this first age to teach us who we are. Now that we know this is all a dream that isn't real at all, we can rest from all our fears of not knowing why we exist.

I have several atheist friends believing this is all a dream. It's much easier for them to accept this as a dream that believing Christians have any authority to send them to a place called hell if they don't believe their lies.

Philosophy and religion often intersect. And what you propose is a philosophical solution to all of life's woes. I prefer to enjoy the "illusion" if that is what it is. And not over think it and take life and death as it comes. Simple yet efficient. :)

That's the best way to view life my friend. One moment at a time is all we get so enjoy it.
Benshapiro
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11/26/2014 12:46:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 9:15:11 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind.
Uhm... yeah, that would explain why you continually disregard all of the refutations you've been provided?

I've said why I reject those reasons and I'll explain why again.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence?

Once again; the fine-tuning argument is based on the subjective suggestion that because the universe allows us to exist, it must have been selected specifically for us. Firstly, it ignores the fact that organisms form within the standards of the environment, rather than the environment being manipulated to meet the needs of the organism. Beyond that, it's the claim that this one is 10^121 possible universes is somehow more special, and less likely, than any of the other 10^121 possible universes.

It's akin to saying that it's more special and less likely to draw an Ace of spades at random from a deck of cards, than to select any other specific card. The fine-tuning argument is pure bunk, based in special pleading.

Your rebuttal basically says "well why not this" to any odds imaginable. If there is only *one* possible scenario out of 10^121 possible universes that would allow conditions for life, the only possible chance of life existing whatsoever, the odds obviously don't play favorably to chance. We only have evidence of one universe. Right? It's akin to saying that if you drop these 52 cards in a specific order 3,000 consecutive times, only then will a specific effect (conditions for life) will occur. The cards were dropped 52 times in this specific order 3,000 times and this specific effect occurred. It's not as if the odds for this effect are just as likely as any other odds.
Cryo
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11/26/2014 3:27:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/25/2014 9:07:32 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/25/2014 2:22:36 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

Most atheists are materialists but they're two different positions. I would begin by countering the arguments specifically made for a God who designed the universe.

I went through a similar thought process when I was going from a Christian to an atheist. I thought the complexity and order I saw was evidence of some intelligent designer. Perhaps not specifically the Christian god, but more of a Deist god. The first thing that you have to accept however, is that the appearance of design in the universe is not in any way evidence of design. The teleological argument really boils down to two things:

1. It asserts that the universe was designed.
2. It asserts that the designer had to be God.

There is absolutely zero evidence for either of these propositions. How did you determine that it was designed? How did you determine that the designer was God? Proponents for the argument from design are merely making faith-based assertions. They're looking at what seems a highly unlikely event and shoehorning God in as the explanation. There's no actual, positive evidence for an intelligently designed universe.

The more common form of the argument from design is the basic, "What's more likely, that this all happened by chance or that there was a designer behind it all?" I'm guilty of using this one back when I was trying to justify my belief in God.

What I later realized is that it's kind of an empty statement. In order to determine that one outcome is more likely than the other, you need to first determine the probabilities of those two outcomes so you can compare them. I was saying a universe created by God was more likely than a universe that came about purely through natural means, but I couldn't even prove that God was real, much less the odds that He created the universe. The natural world and natural laws, however, we can prove are real. What sense is there in taking the natural explanations that we can verify, and then asserting that the unverifiable supernatural explanations are more likely?

I can see your point. Mainly, (1) we have no evidence of any non-natural thing, and (2) we can't assign probabilities to the existence of God or an intelligently designed universe if we have no evidence or method for determining these odds.

For the first point I would say that we have no evidence of any non-mental thing. If reality itself is mental rather than physical, materialism could not be true. If mind is the prime reality, reality must have had an origin from mind.

Sure, and this is why I felt the need to make the distinction between materialism and atheism, because even if there was something immaterial out there, it still would be its own discussion. The existence of something non-physical could be seen by some as evidence in favor of a God, indeed it might give weight to the possibility, but God would still need his own evidence. Evidence of something immaterial in and of itself doesn't prove that God must necessarily exist.


To the second I would ask why is there an *appreciable* amount of inherent complexity and order in the universe if it is truly just the product of random processes? Why do we have this sense of appreciation of natural beauty, like in a sunset or starry night sky for example, if it was never meant to be seen by us? If natural selection has no source of intelligent origin, did this mindless, unembodied process accidentally create the most marvelous feat of engineering the world has ever known by resulting in the human body/brain?

I don't see any reason to think why the "*appreciable* amount of inherent complexity and order" couldn't be the product of random processes; and we need to be careful how we use the word "random" because the laws of physics are anything but random. The fact that we have this "sense of appreciation of natural beauty" simply means that we can appreciate something we perceive to be beautiful, and nothing more. We have evolved minds that can ponder and appreciate the beauty and complexity around us, but that doesn't mean someone put it here just for us.

And when you say that the "human body/brain is the most marvelous feat of engineering the world has ever known", I think that's just our human bias talking. Of course we see ourselves as the "most marvelous", but by what standard, our own? How reliable is that? There are creatures stronger, faster and more durable than us. There are creatures with much better hearing, sense of sight, smell, etc. We build cities and run the planet in a lot of ways of course, but we're also killed by the millions by microscopic organisms and natural disasters just like most everything else. So who's to say how one would determine which creature is the "most marvelous"?

You could say it was an accident that we're here in the sense that no intelligence intended for us to be here in this state, but there's no reason to think that this all couldn't have happened naturally, and that's exactly what all the evidence we have tells us. We, the earth and the universe look exactly as you would expect them to look if they occurred naturally and without any supernatural intervention. It's not just that there's no evidence for God, it's that all the evidence we do have points to a universe without a God.


As for the larger question of how I would convince you or anyone else to be an atheist? I would ask you to think about how you determine what is true and/or believable. Is there any other area in your life when you use faith as a justification for a belief? I'm not talking about faith in the colloquial sense, where you could easily substitute "trust" or "confidence", I'm talking about religious faith, blind faith.

I don't believe that anything should be accepted on blind faith. I think that using logic and rationality is the best way to interpret whatever evidence there is. I see many logical arguments in favor of God. That being said, there isn't any objective evidence for God. If I were to become an atheist I would want to marry the idea of God being illogical along with having no objective evidence.

I think if a logical argument is going to hold weight then there needs to be evidence to support its conclusion, otherwise it's just ink on paper (or in this case, words on a screen). The lack of evidence is itself a strike against these logical arguments. If the conclusions of these various arguments for God were true, then we'd see that truth reflected in reality, but we don't.

One can either believe in God or not, but if one only holds back because of some logical arguments that merely assert God must exist, without any objective evidence, then that person is accepting that position purely on faith. Accepting the possibility of a God existing is one thing, but actually believing that said God exists is illogical.
DanneJeRusse
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11/26/2014 7:19:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

I applaud your efforts for keeping an open mind. First of all, you may want to consider revisiting those alleged logical arguments you believe support God's existence. You'll probably find some flaws making the arguments no longer logical.


So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence?

There's an argument for fine-tuning? And, it unequivocally proves God's existence? Let's hear the argument?

I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

There are two flaws in your question. There is no sign of intelligence in nature and it is not produce of complete randomness. You may want to reword your questions so they can answered properly.

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

Why materialism? Why not just talk about reality, instead?
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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11/26/2014 7:43:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

To refute an argument from design, all one needs to do is ask and get a specific answer to the following question: How do we recognize when something is designed?

Once this question is answered, the argument collapses.
Beastt
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11/26/2014 8:47:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/26/2014 12:46:01 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/25/2014 9:15:11 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind.
Uhm... yeah, that would explain why you continually disregard all of the refutations you've been provided?

I've said why I reject those reasons and I'll explain why again.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence?

Once again; the fine-tuning argument is based on the subjective suggestion that because the universe allows us to exist, it must have been selected specifically for us. Firstly, it ignores the fact that organisms form within the standards of the environment, rather than the environment being manipulated to meet the needs of the organism. Beyond that, it's the claim that this one is 10^121 possible universes is somehow more special, and less likely, than any of the other 10^121 possible universes.

It's akin to saying that it's more special and less likely to draw an Ace of spades at random from a deck of cards, than to select any other specific card. The fine-tuning argument is pure bunk, based in special pleading.

Your rebuttal basically says "well why not this" to any odds imaginable. If there is only *one* possible scenario out of 10^121 possible universes that would allow conditions for life, the only possible chance of life existing whatsoever, the odds obviously don't play favorably to chance. We only have evidence of one universe. Right? It's akin to saying that if you drop these 52 cards in a specific order 3,000 consecutive times, only then will a specific effect (conditions for life) will occur. The cards were dropped 52 times in this specific order 3,000 times and this specific effect occurred. It's not as if the odds for this effect are just as likely as any other odds.

This is nothing but you professing to being baffled by large numbers. Some have suggested that the number of different possibilities for the universe is in the area of 10^121. Yes, it's a very, very big number. So we're all sufficiently impressed that it's a big number. But it doesn't matter if you multiplied that number by a trillion; the bottom line remains the same, no particular set of parameters is any more, or less, likely than any other. And once again; to try to put this into the range of numbers theists seem to be able to grasp, if you have a deck of 52 cards and you try to select a specific one at random, the odds are 52 to 1. BUT... the odds that you will pick A CARD, is always 1 to 1. And that's all we're dealing with here. There are just far more cards. But some form of universe does exist, and must therefore have some set of parameters. And no set of parameters is less likely than any other.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
Skepticalone
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11/26/2014 8:51:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I see many logical arguments supporting God's existence but I want to keep an open mind. Ultimately I'm interested in finding the truth wherever or whatever that truth might be. I will become an atheist if there are sufficiently good reasons.

So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

If you were to convince anybody to become an atheist would you begin with arguments supporting materialism?

Have you read the Bible with a critical mindset.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
bulproof
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11/26/2014 9:37:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/26/2014 7:43:31 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

To refute an argument from design, all one needs to do is ask and get a specific answer to the following question: How do we recognize when something is designed?

Once this question is answered, the argument collapses.

Precisely.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Benshapiro
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11/26/2014 9:56:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/26/2014 7:43:31 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

To refute an argument from design, all one needs to do is ask and get a specific answer to the following question: How do we recognize when something is designed?

Once this question is answered, the argument collapses.

See this diagram
http://www.astronomynotes.com...
Double_R
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11/27/2014 9:00:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/26/2014 9:56:37 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/26/2014 7:43:31 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

To refute an argument from design, all one needs to do is ask and get a specific answer to the following question: How do we recognize when something is designed?

Once this question is answered, the argument collapses.

See this diagram
http://www.astronomynotes.com...

The diagram is just plain wrong.

Contingency is one of those silly words that presupposes the conclusion. The point of an argument is demonstrate your conclusion. Contingency cannot be demonstrated, only assumed.

Complexity has nothing to do with how we recognize design.

Specification again presupposes the conclusion. If something is specified then there is an intelligence behind it. That's because that is how we define specification.

Complexity is where the debate is, but before we get to that do you at least agree that contingency and specification are useless terms to talk about when trying to determine if our universe was actually designed?
neutral
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11/27/2014 9:38:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/26/2014 7:43:31 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 11/24/2014 11:24:15 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
So first of all, how would you rebut the teological and fine-tuning argument for God's existence? I see an appreciable amount of beauty and intelligibility in nature and in all living things. How could it be that the laws and constants of nature have a seemingly intelligent self-sustaining system in place while being the product of complete randomness?

To refute an argument from design, all one needs to do is ask and get a specific answer to the following question: How do we recognize when something is designed?

Once this question is answered, the argument collapses.

If you recognize design ... and see it in the universe ... it actually substantiates the argument.

The fallacy you use here is called begging the question. Unfortunately, the basic lack of logic in the presupposed answer is a massive fail when the question IS actually answered.

These elements include:

Feasibility - obviously ... the universe is feasible

Conceptualization - obviously ... the universe (of which the basic counter is the multiverse or infinite conceptualization is a given).

Design Requirements - An infinite amount of pure energy and something to ignite it?

Preliminary Design - We can assume as much ...

Detailed Design - like how to ensure the right amount of gravity is created rater than too much or too little and, as its critical, ensuring its the FIRST thing ... agh created in the overall design.

Production planning - bring it all together.

Production - BOOM!

Somehow ... the design argument has been defeated ... if we answer the question? And when you arrogantly beg the question and the answer is obvious? Logic is not a strong suit among atheists is it?