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Atheists shouldn't want atheism to be true

Benshapiro
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2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
For a host of reasons.

God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends. Without God, humanity doesn't have intrinsic ends. This has numerous implications.

Again, without God, humanity (along with every natural structure or process) doesn't have intrinsic ends.

(Note: I'm using the word "value" in the sense of preference.) Since all belief systems require having preferred truth over non-truth (since a belief means accepting that something is true), truth must be valued more than non-truth in order to hold any beliefs. Truth can only be arbitrarily preferred over non-truth if "truth" has no objective value (which it doesn't if nothing has intrinsic ends). If truth doesn't have objective value, it's arbitrary preferred. This means that atheism, as a belief, is based on an arbitrary preference (as well as all other beliefs.)

Moral truths don't exist.

Characteristics of ntelligence, virtuousity, power, etc is objectively equal to ignorance, iniquitousness, and weakness.

Everything just exists inexplicably.

We can't trust that our perceptions of reality are accurate since mental perceptions are fundamentally incompatible with anything non-mental. If God doesn't exist, reality is fundamentally non-mental.

The first cause was either a logical absurdity (an infinite regression that allows progressive states or an eternally existent thing with a quantitative beginning) or something unattainable through logical reasoning.

Every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end. Our heart is equally for circulating oxygenated blood throughout the body as it is for functioning as our digestive system.

We intuit a higher power by observing nature (the teleological argument) for no apparent reason.

Our universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life to the order of 1 in 10^120 for no apparent reason.

Near death experiences typically include traveling through a tunnel, seeing a loving being of light, meeting with dead relatives, etc. all for no apparent reason.

DNA contains specified and complex sequences of A,T,C, and G that are information-bearing and function exactly like digital code, for no apparent reason.

Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.
bulproof
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2/27/2016 12:57:29 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.
And there should be a meaning just because you want one, you are the most special of all that exists in the universe.
Hubris much?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Benshapiro
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2/27/2016 1:19:47 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 1:05:18 AM, dee-em wrote:
Appeal to consequences fallacy. What we should or shouldn't want has no bearing on reality.

I disagree.

Assuming an atheistic worldview is correct, why should we comport our wants with reality?
Stronn
Posts: 316
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2/27/2016 1:52:37 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

Everything just exists inexplicably.


Invoking God does not get you past this fundamental conundrum. You next have to ask why God exists, and what is God's purpose.
Benshapiro
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2/27/2016 1:57:52 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 1:52:37 AM, Stronn wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

Everything just exists inexplicably.


Invoking God does not get you past this fundamental conundrum. You next have to ask why God exists, and what is God's purpose.

There's a difference though between things that necessarily exist and things that contingently exist. Things that necessarily exist don't require an explanation as to why they exist. Everything in our universe exists contingently. Why do contingent things exist rather than not? It seems if God did not exist, nothing would exist.
bulproof
Posts: 25,203
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2/27/2016 2:17:17 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 1:57:52 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:52:37 AM, Stronn wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

Everything just exists inexplicably.


Invoking God does not get you past this fundamental conundrum. You next have to ask why God exists, and what is God's purpose.

There's a difference though between things that necessarily exist and things that contingently exist. Things that necessarily exist don't require an explanation as to why they exist. Everything in our universe exists contingently. Why do contingent things exist rather than not? It seems if God did not exist, nothing would exist.
So goes the claim of man, now get a god to support that claim and you may have an argument.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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2/27/2016 2:33:40 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
Ben all you have is a bunch of baseless assertions that amount to if God does not exist it must the the case..........(insert negative connotation here).
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
AWSM0055
Posts: 751
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2/27/2016 2:45:30 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
For a host of reasons.

God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends. Without God, humanity doesn't have intrinsic ends. This has numerous implications.

What does "intrinsic ends" mean? Intrinsic value?

Again, without God, humanity (along with every natural structure or process) doesn't have intrinsic ends.

Assuming intrinsic ends means intrinsic value, I would disagree, but anyway.

(Note: I'm using the word "value" in the sense of preference.) Since all belief systems require having preferred truth over non-truth (since a belief means accepting that something is true), truth must be valued more than non-truth in order to hold any beliefs. Truth can only be arbitrarily preferred over non-truth if "truth" has no objective value (which it doesn't if nothing has intrinsic ends). If truth doesn't have objective value, it's arbitrary preferred. This means that atheism, as a belief, is based on an arbitrary preference (as well as all other beliefs.)

TL;DR. Sorry.

Moral truths don't exist.

No one has proven they do.

Characteristics of ntelligence, virtuousity, power, etc is objectively equal to ignorance, iniquitousness, and weakness.

I guess so.

Everything just exists inexplicably.

Not really.

We can't trust that our perceptions of reality are accurate since mental perceptions are fundamentally incompatible with anything non-mental. If God doesn't exist, reality is fundamentally non-mental.

True.

The first cause was either a logical absurdity (an infinite regression that allows progressive states or an eternally existent thing with a quantitative beginning) or something unattainable through logical reasoning.

Maybe true.

Every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end. Our heart is equally for circulating oxygenated blood throughout the body as it is for functioning as our digestive system.

True.

We intuit a higher power by observing nature (the teleological argument) for no apparent reason.

I think that's false.

Our universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life to the order of 1 in 10^120 for no apparent reason.

I think that's false.

Near death experiences typically include traveling through a tunnel, seeing a loving being of light, meeting with dead relatives, etc. all for no apparent reason.

No, they happened because the person hallucinates because the brain is starved of oxygen near death. The reason that the same hallucination occur with different individuals is because they all expect the same thing.

DNA contains specified and complex sequences of A,T,C, and G that are information-bearing and function exactly like digital code, for no apparent reason.

No, it's because of evolution and abiogenesis.

Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.

True.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.

Lifes a bitch and then you die.
"Evolution proves necessity is the mother of invention" - David Henson

"Calling my atheism a religion, is like calling my non-stamp-collecting a hobby" - MagicAintReal 2016

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Stronn
Posts: 316
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2/27/2016 3:29:01 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 1:57:52 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:52:37 AM, Stronn wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

Everything just exists inexplicably.


Invoking God does not get you past this fundamental conundrum. You next have to ask why God exists, and what is God's purpose.

There's a difference though between things that necessarily exist and things that contingently exist. Things that necessarily exist don't require an explanation as to why they exist. Everything in our universe exists contingently. Why do contingent things exist rather than not? It seems if God did not exist, nothing would exist.

Calling God necessary is just circular reasoning. It is answering the question, "Why does God exist?" with "Because God could not fail to exist". Why not simply label the universe as necessary, which has the same explanatory power?
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/27/2016 3:33:13 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends.
No, god-imposed ends are extrinsic: external to humanity.

truth must be valued more than non-truth in order to hold any beliefs.
Actually, studies of changes to religious dogma show that beliefs are preferred over truth until the cost of ignorance and error get too high.

Moral truths don't exist.
If morality is concern about what benefits and harms the function and interests of the individual, groups and the species, then moral knowledge can be obtained empirically. Moral imperatives though -- that's another matter.

Everything just exists inexplicably.
Except that without religion, science has explained a great deal of how things work, including things that theology couldn't explain, other than incorrectly.

We can't trust that our perceptions of reality are accurate
Nevertheless, you trust engineers' perceptions of reality to put you in a heavier-than-aircraft, and project you half a world to lands you've never seen. So you're happy to trust that inaccurate perceptions are nevertheless good enough to work with. Which invites the question: if you're happy to trust them, so what if they're inaccurate?

The first cause
Can you define first cause except circularly or vacuously?

Every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end.
All natural processes tend to increase entropy, so if you want a desired end, consider maximal entropy to be it.

Unfortunately that's not a pleasing end, is it? You want one that somehow validates your sense of importance.

We intuit a higher power by observing nature (the teleological argument) for no apparent reason.
No, we revisit childhood dependence from ignorant observations and unchallenged biases -- that's the character of superstition. As our observations get smarter, and we challenge our biases with better methods, we stop thinking like scared children.

Our universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life to the order of 1 in 10^120 for no apparent reason.
Please list the processes by which universal constants are tuned in the inception of a universe. If not, then you are claiming processes you can't substantiate, that may never have been guided, and may never have existed.

Near death experiences typically include traveling through a tunnel, seeing a loving being of light, meeting with dead relatives, etc. all for no apparent reason.
...never predicting anything significant and verifiable, and explained by neurochemistry anyway.

DNA contains specified and complex sequences of A,T,C, and G that are information-bearing and function exactly like digital code, for no apparent reason.
And humans can project faces into clouds and grilled cheese sandwiches. Which says not much about the information inherent in nature, but a great deal about human psychology.

Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.
Which in turn increases your responsibility and compassion as a human being, if you let it.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.
(1) petulant infantile narcissism (2) that won't abandon dependence issues.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,949
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2/27/2016 3:35:01 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 3:29:01 AM, Stronn wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:57:52 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:52:37 AM, Stronn wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

Everything just exists inexplicably.


Invoking God does not get you past this fundamental conundrum. You next have to ask why God exists, and what is God's purpose.

There's a difference though between things that necessarily exist and things that contingently exist. Things that necessarily exist don't require an explanation as to why they exist. Everything in our universe exists contingently. Why do contingent things exist rather than not? It seems if God did not exist, nothing would exist.

Calling God necessary is just circular reasoning. It is answering the question, "Why does God exist?" with "Because God could not fail to exist". Why not simply label the universe as necessary, which has the same explanatory power?

Why does something that necessarily exist necessarily exist? It's like pointing at the law of non-contradiction and saying "why is the law of non-contradiction the law of non-contradiction?" It's self-sufficient in itself. The universe can't have the "necessary" label because it doesn't exist by necessity. It exists contingently. Any uncaused first cause exists necessarily.
Benshapiro
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2/27/2016 4:26:08 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 3:33:13 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends.
No, god-imposed ends are extrinsic: external to humanity.

Not if humanity is God's creation.

truth must be valued more than non-truth in order to hold any beliefs.
Actually, studies of changes to religious dogma show that beliefs are preferred over truth until the cost of ignorance and error get too high.

"Belief", by definition, means to accept that something is true. There's no dichotomy between "belief" and "truth" in the minds of believers. "Cost of ignorance and error" can only be "costs" insofar as they aren't useful in achieving a certain end. If atheism is true, there are no true ends.

I'm not sure you've seen what my point was in this post. My point was basically that all beliefs presume that "truth" has higher intrinsic value than non-truth (otherwise we wouldn't hold any beliefs.) But if atheism is true, then the implication is that truth has no intrinsic value and hence, preferring truth over non-truth is arbitrary (which makes our preference for truth and our beliefs arbitrarily preferred as well - including the belief that there is no God.)


Moral truths don't exist.
If morality is concern about what benefits and harms the function and interests of the individual, groups and the species, then moral knowledge can be obtained empirically. Moral imperatives though -- that's another matter.

"If X is to be achieved, then you must Y" is not a moral framework.

A moral framework is "you should X to achieve Y."


Everything just exists inexplicably.
Except that without religion, science has explained a great deal of how things work, including things that theology couldn't explain, other than incorrectly.

How something works is not an explanation of its existence. Consider the existence of a giant supercomputer. If you could tell me exactly how each component of the giant supercomputer works, does this explain why there's a giant supercomputer?

We can't trust that our perceptions of reality are accurate
Nevertheless, you trust engineers' perceptions of reality to put you in a heavier-than-aircraft, and project you half a world to lands you've never seen. So you're happy to trust that inaccurate perceptions are nevertheless good enough to work with. Which invites the question: if you're happy to trust them, so what if they're inaccurate?

All the more reason to discard the Godless hypothesis. It's atheism, not theism, that necessarily entails reality being fundamentally non-mental. I think the way reality comports with our perceptions is great evidence against a fundamentally non-mental reality.

The first cause
Can you define first cause except circularly or vacuously?

The first cause is something that exists non-contingently. The law of non-contradiction, for example, is not contingent.

Every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end.
All natural processes tend to increase entropy, so if you want a desired end, consider maximal entropy to be it.

Do you agree that the heart is not a means towards any end? How about the eye? Your brain? If every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end, your heart is for helping you see just as much as your eyes are. Don't you find that to be irrational?

Unfortunately that's not a pleasing end, is it? You want one that somehow validates your sense of importance.

The second law seems to contradict million of years spent evolving on an upwardly-complex energy gradient.

We intuit a higher power by observing nature (the teleological argument) for no apparent reason.
No, we revisit childhood dependence from ignorant observations and unchallenged biases -- that's the character of superstition. As our observations get smarter, and we challenge our biases with better methods, we stop thinking like scared children.

Teleology in nature is probably one of (if not) the oldest and most widely known arguments in favor of God's existence. We can't attribute our apprehension of telos to bias because it's a properly basic intuition. The head of the human genome project changed his beliefs on God after coming to terms with the fact that the sheer amount of beauty, order, and complexity in nature leads an inference of design.

Our universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life to the order of 1 in 10^120 for no apparent reason.
Please list the processes by which universal constants are tuned in the inception of a universe. If not, then you are claiming processes you can't substantiate, that may never have been guided, and may never have existed.

"Fine-tuned" just means that the values and constants that govern the universe fall into a vary narrow window that allows the existence of intelligent life.

Near death experiences typically include traveling through a tunnel, seeing a loving being of light, meeting with dead relatives, etc. all for no apparent reason.
...never predicting anything significant and verifiable, and explained by neurochemistry anyway.

How do you define "significant" in this sense? We can't always verify that the testament of others is true, but the commonalities in these experiences is too overwhelming to consider them imagined. Experts disagree on whether it's explained by neurochemistry or not. Even if it was all explicable in terms of neurochemistry, why all of these hyper-vivid experiences of an afterlife? How does that mesh with the atheist hypothesis?

DNA contains specified and complex sequences of A,T,C, and G that are information-bearing and function exactly like digital code, for no apparent reason.
And humans can project faces into clouds and grilled cheese sandwiches. Which says not much about the information inherent in nature, but a great deal about human psychology.

It's not that it merely appears to be so. DNA is an information-bearing language.

Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.
Which in turn increases your responsibility and compassion as a human being, if you let it.

Both responsibility and compassion are absolutely and objectively as good or useful as disresponsibility and cruelty if atheism is the correct worldview.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.
(1) petulant infantile narcissism (2) that won't abandon dependence issues.

The lack of explanations (in terms of natural structures and processes) just follows logically. Atheism is not, in any way, a belief that has positive implications for humanity.
bulproof
Posts: 25,203
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2/27/2016 4:45:07 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 3:35:01 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 3:29:01 AM, Stronn wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:57:52 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:52:37 AM, Stronn wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

Everything just exists inexplicably.


Invoking God does not get you past this fundamental conundrum. You next have to ask why God exists, and what is God's purpose.

There's a difference though between things that necessarily exist and things that contingently exist. Things that necessarily exist don't require an explanation as to why they exist. Everything in our universe exists contingently. Why do contingent things exist rather than not? It seems if God did not exist, nothing would exist.

Calling God necessary is just circular reasoning. It is answering the question, "Why does God exist?" with "Because God could not fail to exist". Why not simply label the universe as necessary, which has the same explanatory power?

Why does something that necessarily exist necessarily exist? It's like pointing at the law of non-contradiction and saying "why is the law of non-contradiction the law of non-contradiction?" It's self-sufficient in itself. The universe can't have the "necessary" label because it doesn't exist by necessity. It exists contingently. Any uncaused first cause exists necessarily.
The universe necessarily exists for you to ask the question.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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2/27/2016 4:50:20 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends. Without God, humanity doesn't have intrinsic ends. This has numerous implications.

For the sake of argument let's just accept your assertion as stated. So without God there would be no intrinsic ends for humanity.

Question: How do we go about identifying what these intrinsic ends are, and how do we tell the difference between a humanity with intrinsic ends vs a humanity without them?

And if you are unable to identify a difference that would have any impact on our lives, why should anyone care?
Benshapiro
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2/27/2016 5:07:08 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 4:50:20 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends. Without God, humanity doesn't have intrinsic ends. This has numerous implications.

For the sake of argument let's just accept your assertion as stated. So without God there would be no intrinsic ends for humanity.

Question: How do we go about identifying what these intrinsic ends are, and how do we tell the difference between a humanity with intrinsic ends vs a humanity without them?

We explore what rational justification there is for the notion that humanity has intrinsic ends. You can do this by:

(1) showing that there exists objective moral truths
(2) showing that ideals aren't necessarily subjective or meaningless.
(3) showing that truth and human life has intrinsic value.

Among others, probably.

We compare the hypothesis "humanity has inherent ends" with "humanity does not have inherent ends" and make an inference to the best explanation based on what the evidence shows. It just so happens that the evidence falls in line with (1), (2), and (3) supporting the hypothesis that "humanity has inherent ends" and none of the evidence falls in line with the hypothesis that "humanity does not have inherent ends."

And if you are unable to identify a difference that would have any impact on our lives, why should anyone care?

It would certainly have an impact. I can think of one right off the bat. Abortion immediately becomes justifiable if humanity has no inherent ends or intrinsic value.
RuvDraba
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2/27/2016 5:35:11 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 4:26:08 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 3:33:13 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends.
No, god-imposed ends are extrinsic: external to humanity.
Not if humanity is God's creation.
If ends are intrinsic, why would anyone need scripture?

truth must be valued more than non-truth in order to hold any beliefs.
Actually, studies of changes to religious dogma show that beliefs are preferred over truth until the cost of ignorance and error get too high.
"Belief", by definition, means to accept that something is true.
No; it means to hold something true whether or not it is valid or true. Hence religions with geocentric view of the universe.

Religion has a history of resisting evidence until it's too expensive to resist any more.

I'm not sure you've seen what my point was in this post. My point was basically that all beliefs presume that "truth" has higher intrinsic value than non-truth
Yes, I understood that premise. But with respect to religious beliefs, your premise is clearly false. You should challenge your thought before you attack with it.

Moral truths don't exist.
If morality is concern about what benefits and harms the function and interests of the individual, groups and the species, then moral knowledge can be obtained empirically. Moral imperatives though -- that's another matter.
"If X is to be achieved, then you must Y" is not a moral framework.
Perhaps you're going to define morality such that it's prescriptive and absolute, or it's not morality at all?

Again, look to the weaknesses in your position before you attack from it.

Everything just exists inexplicably.
Except that without religion, science has explained a great deal of how things work, including things that theology couldn't explain, other than incorrectly.
How something works is not an explanation of its existence.
Actually, explaining properties as consequence of causation are perfectly acceptable, unless infantile dependence demands intention too.

We can't trust that our perceptions of reality are accurate
Nevertheless, you trust engineers' perceptions of reality to put you in a heavier-than-aircraft, and project you half a world to lands you've never seen. So you're happy to trust that inaccurate perceptions are nevertheless good enough to work with. Which invites the question: if you're happy to trust them, so what if they're inaccurate?
All the more reason to discard the Godless hypothesis. It's atheism, not theism, that necessarily entails reality being fundamentally non-mental.
You've never managed to even define what 'non-mental' means well enough to pursue this line. When pressed, you retreated into circularity.

The first cause
Can you define first cause except circularly or vacuously?
The first cause is something that exists non-contingently.
How can it be recognised independently when a matter is contingent or non-contingent?

Think hard and you'll realise it comes down to choice of language, which makes it subjective: i.e. both vacuous and circular.

Every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end.
All natural processes tend to increase entropy, so if you want a desired end, consider maximal entropy to be it.
Do you agree that the heart is not a means towards any end?
Define end so that it can be recognised independently of observer.

The second law seems to contradict million of years spent evolving on an upwardly-complex energy gradient.
No; more adapted life exploits thermodynamics by grabbing more downward energy gradient than other species can.

We intuit a higher power by observing nature (the teleological argument) for no apparent reason.
No, we revisit childhood dependence from ignorant observations and unchallenged biases -- that's the character of superstition. As our observations get smarter, and we challenge our biases with better methods, we stop thinking like scared children.
Teleology in nature is probably one of (if not) the oldest and most widely known arguments in favor of God's existence.
Yes: oldest and most prevalent because of the age and prevalence of infantile, dependent thought. But not because of its sophistication or predictive ability.

Our universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life to the order of 1 in 10^120 for no apparent reason.
Please list the processes by which universal constants are tuned in the inception of a universe. If not, then you are claiming processes you can't substantiate, that may never have been guided, and may never have existed.
"Fine-tuned" just means that the values and constants that govern the universe fall into a vary narrow window that allows the existence of intelligent life.
No; that's simply an observation that the universe correlates for occasional life -- a banal observation, since we already know life exists sparsely. "Tuning" connotes the ability to set variables: an additional claim supportable only by showing the processes by which variables may be set.

Near death experiences typically include traveling through a tunnel, seeing a loving being of light, meeting with dead relatives, etc. all for no apparent reason.
...never predicting anything significant and verifiable, and explained by neurochemistry anyway.
How do you define "significant" in this sense?
A prediction is significant if can be used to falsify otherwise viable hypotheses. What viable hypothesis is falsified by an abundance of chaotic brain activity on death?

DNA contains specified and complex sequences of A,T,C, and G that are information-bearing and function exactly like digital code, for no apparent reason.
And humans can project faces into clouds and grilled cheese sandwiches. Which says not much about the information inherent in nature, but a great deal about human psychology.
It's not that it merely appears to be so. DNA is an information-bearing language.
Information is covered under CE Shannon's landmark 1948 paper "A mathematical theory of communication." [http://worrydream.com...]. Information emerges statistically from order and does not require semantics. Constellations of stars contain information, which you are free to map to symbols too if you want. However, such symbols have no intrinsic semantics. There is no reason to presume that the replication of organic molecules contains semantics either.

Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.
Which in turn increases your responsibility and compassion as a human being, if you let it.
Both responsibility and compassion are absolutely and objectively as good or useful as disresponsibility and cruelty if atheism is the correct worldview.
Meaning: if you're not rewarded or compelled toward compassion and responsibility, you'd abrogate it?

This is part of why theology is so morally and intellectually stunting.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.
(1) petulant infantile narcissism (2) that won't abandon dependence issues.
The lack of explanations (in terms of natural structures and processes) just follows logically. Atheism is not, in any way, a belief that has positive implications for humanity.
Atheism is not in itself a belief; it's a rejection of unjustified theological authority. What you do with your mind thereafter is up to you, but one thing you may do is to explore morality and the value of human existence secularly -- which is to say, evidentially, accountably and humbly, rather than fancifully, arrogantly and evasively.
Double_R
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2/27/2016 5:35:11 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 5:07:08 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 4:50:20 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends. Without God, humanity doesn't have intrinsic ends. This has numerous implications.

For the sake of argument let's just accept your assertion as stated. So without God there would be no intrinsic ends for humanity.

Question: How do we go about identifying what these intrinsic ends are, and how do we tell the difference between a humanity with intrinsic ends vs a humanity without them?

We explore what rational justification there is for the notion that humanity has intrinsic ends. You can do this by:

(1) showing that there exists objective moral truths
(2) showing that ideals aren't necessarily subjective or meaningless.
(3) showing that truth and human life has intrinsic value.

Among others, probably.

We compare the hypothesis "humanity has inherent ends" with "humanity does not have inherent ends" and make an inference to the best explanation based on what the evidence shows. It just so happens that the evidence falls in line with (1), (2), and (3) supporting the hypothesis that "humanity has inherent ends" and none of the evidence falls in line with the hypothesis that "humanity does not have inherent ends."

You did not address the question.

Again, very simply, how do we know what these ends are?

Asserting that we must have intrinsic ends is a meaningless statement if you cannot identify them. It's like saying that "I have a purpose in life, but I don't know what that is". The person who says that is indistinguishable from the person who has no purpose at all.
Double_R
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2/27/2016 5:39:25 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 5:07:08 AM, Benshapiro wrote:

And BTW...

We explore what rational justification there is for the notion that humanity has intrinsic ends. You can do this by:

(1) showing that there exists objective moral truths

There doesn't

(2) showing that ideals aren't necessarily subjective or meaningless.

A meaningless ideal is a self contradictory proposition

(3) showing that truth and human life has intrinsic value.

We can show that they have value by the simple fact that we value them. Intrinsic value is a whole different story, one you cannot demonstrate or even coherently define.
Stronn
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2/27/2016 5:55:00 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 3:35:01 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 3:29:01 AM, Stronn wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:57:52 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:52:37 AM, Stronn wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

Everything just exists inexplicably.


Invoking God does not get you past this fundamental conundrum. You next have to ask why God exists, and what is God's purpose.

There's a difference though between things that necessarily exist and things that contingently exist. Things that necessarily exist don't require an explanation as to why they exist. Everything in our universe exists contingently. Why do contingent things exist rather than not? It seems if God did not exist, nothing would exist.

Calling God necessary is just circular reasoning. It is answering the question, "Why does God exist?" with "Because God could not fail to exist". Why not simply label the universe as necessary, which has the same explanatory power?

Why does something that necessarily exist necessarily exist? It's like pointing at the law of non-contradiction and saying "why is the law of non-contradiction the law of non-contradiction?" It's self-sufficient in itself. The universe can't have the "necessary" label because it doesn't exist by necessity. It exists contingently. Any uncaused first cause exists necessarily.

And around and around we go. God must exist because logically God could not fail to exist. The argument from contingency compares apples to oranges when it puts the necessity of God on the same level as the necessity of abstract principles of logic. If you think it logically impossible for there to be nothing at all, which you apparently do, then the universe being necessary is as plausible as God being necessary.
dee-em
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2/27/2016 5:56:53 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 1:19:47 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:05:18 AM, dee-em wrote:
Appeal to consequences fallacy. What we should or shouldn't want has no bearing on reality.

I disagree.

Assuming an atheistic worldview is correct, why should we comport our wants with reality?

If you have half the brains I think you do, you would be more than capable of answering this question for yourself. Seriously?
DanMGTOW
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2/27/2016 5:57:12 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
For a host of reasons.

God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends. Without God, humanity doesn't have intrinsic ends. This has numerous implications.

Again, without God, humanity (along with every natural structure or process) doesn't have intrinsic ends.

(Note: I'm using the word "value" in the sense of preference.) Since all belief systems require having preferred truth over non-truth (since a belief means accepting that something is true), truth must be valued more than non-truth in order to hold any beliefs. Truth can only be arbitrarily preferred over non-truth if "truth" has no objective value (which it doesn't if nothing has intrinsic ends). If truth doesn't have objective value, it's arbitrary preferred. This means that atheism, as a belief, is based on an arbitrary preference (as well as all other beliefs.)

Moral truths don't exist.

Characteristics of ntelligence, virtuousity, power, etc is objectively equal to ignorance, iniquitousness, and weakness.

Everything just exists inexplicably.

We can't trust that our perceptions of reality are accurate since mental perceptions are fundamentally incompatible with anything non-mental. If God doesn't exist, reality is fundamentally non-mental.

The first cause was either a logical absurdity (an infinite regression that allows progressive states or an eternally existent thing with a quantitative beginning) or something unattainable through logical reasoning.

Every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end. Our heart is equally for circulating oxygenated blood throughout the body as it is for functioning as our digestive system.

We intuit a higher power by observing nature (the teleological argument) for no apparent reason.

Our universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life to the order of 1 in 10^120 for no apparent reason.

Near death experiences typically include traveling through a tunnel, seeing a loving being of light, meeting with dead relatives, etc. all for no apparent reason.

DNA contains specified and complex sequences of A,T,C, and G that are information-bearing and function exactly like digital code, for no apparent reason.

Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.

so if you realize your god doesn't exist, would you throw away your morals?
or would you have to come up with reasons to have them?
for instance: i don't go around raping and killing people, because i don't want people to rape and kill me or my family.
however if your god told you to kill children, would you kill children because your god told you to?
by the way how did you determine that your god's morals were superior to yours?
bulproof
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2/27/2016 6:17:22 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
It's not a matter of what we want to be true we just deal with what is true.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
TBR
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2/27/2016 6:22:40 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
For a host of reasons.

God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends. Without God, humanity doesn't have intrinsic ends. This has numerous implications.

Again, without God, humanity (along with every natural structure or process) doesn't have intrinsic ends.

(Note: I'm using the word "value" in the sense of preference.) Since all belief systems require having preferred truth over non-truth (since a belief means accepting that something is true), truth must be valued more than non-truth in order to hold any beliefs. Truth can only be arbitrarily preferred over non-truth if "truth" has no objective value (which it doesn't if nothing has intrinsic ends). If truth doesn't have objective value, it's arbitrary preferred. This means that atheism, as a belief, is based on an arbitrary preference (as well as all other beliefs.)

Moral truths don't exist.

Characteristics of ntelligence, virtuousity, power, etc is objectively equal to ignorance, iniquitousness, and weakness.

Everything just exists inexplicably.

We can't trust that our perceptions of reality are accurate since mental perceptions are fundamentally incompatible with anything non-mental. If God doesn't exist, reality is fundamentally non-mental.

The first cause was either a logical absurdity (an infinite regression that allows progressive states or an eternally existent thing with a quantitative beginning) or something unattainable through logical reasoning.

Every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end. Our heart is equally for circulating oxygenated blood throughout the body as it is for functioning as our digestive system.

We intuit a higher power by observing nature (the teleological argument) for no apparent reason.

Our universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life to the order of 1 in 10^120 for no apparent reason.

Near death experiences typically include traveling through a tunnel, seeing a loving being of light, meeting with dead relatives, etc. all for no apparent reason.

DNA contains specified and complex sequences of A,T,C, and G that are information-bearing and function exactly like digital code, for no apparent reason.

Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.

What the... This is the dumbest thing I have seem from a NOT stupid person in the religion forum. What does "want" have to do with anything?
Benshapiro
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2/27/2016 6:25:17 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 5:35:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/27/2016 4:26:08 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 3:33:13 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends.
No, god-imposed ends are extrinsic: external to humanity.
Not if humanity is God's creation.
If ends are intrinsic, why would anyone need scripture?

I don't think anyone does to be aware of intrinsic ends. There's also a difference between us knowing whether we have intrinsic ends and whether we actually have intrinsic ends.

"Belief", by definition, means to accept that something is true.
No; it means to hold something true whether or not it is valid or true. Hence religions with geocentric view of the universe.

Belief: "an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists."

Religion has a history of resisting evidence until it's too expensive to resist any more.

Yes, I understood that premise. But with respect to religious beliefs, your premise is clearly false. You should challenge your thought before you attack with it.

My point is that if atheism is true, "truth" can't have objective value. Humanity must have intrinsic ends if truth has objective value. I am also not religious nor condone religion.

"If X is to be achieved, then you must Y" is not a moral framework.
Perhaps you're going to define morality such that it's prescriptive and absolute, or it's not morality at all?

Again, look to the weaknesses in your position before you attack from it.

Yes, morality must be prescriptive. I don't see how it couldn't be.

Everything just exists inexplicably.
How something works is not an explanation of its existence.
Actually, explaining properties as consequence of causation are perfectly acceptable, unless infantile dependence demands intention too.

That's how it works, not an explanation for its being.

All the more reason to discard the Godless hypothesis. It's atheism, not theism, that necessarily entails reality being fundamentally non-mental.
You've never managed to even define what 'non-mental' means well enough to pursue this line. When pressed, you retreated into circularity.

Non-mental is exactly as it sounds. Non- a negating prefix meaning "not" and "mental" meaning "of the mind." Non-mental means not of the mind. Every perceivable or conceivable thing is mental. it's not possible to use our mind to interact with a non-mental reality.

The first cause
Can you define first cause except circularly or vacuously?
The first cause is something that exists non-contingently.
How can it be recognised independently when a matter is contingent or non-contingent?

When it couldn't have otherwise been different. The law of non-contradiction couldn't have otherwise been different.

Think hard and you'll realise it comes down to choice of language, which makes it subjective: i.e. both vacuous and circular.

Do you agree that the heart is not a means towards any end?
Define end so that it can be recognised independently of observer.

I'll begin with the definition: "means to an end refers to any action (the means) carried out for the sole purpose of achieving something else."

I can't tell if you want me to define "end" in a way that all observers recognize it as an end or if you want me to define "end" in a way that it can be recognized as an end in absence of all sentient observation.

The second law seems to contradict million of years spent evolving on an upwardly-complex energy gradient.
No; more adapted life exploits thermodynamics by grabbing more downward energy gradient than other species can.

How does amoeba to human being result from exploiting a "downward" energy gradient?

Yes: oldest and most prevalent because of the age and prevalence of infantile, dependent thought. But not because of its sophistication or predictive ability.

Again, I would say it's a properly basic intuition that arises independent of individual beliefs or thought processes.

"Fine-tuned" just means that the values and constants that govern the universe fall into a vary narrow window that allows the existence of intelligent life.
No; that's simply an observation that the universe correlates for occasional life -- a banal observation, since we already know life exists sparsely. "Tuning" connotes the ability to set variables: an additional claim supportable only by showing the processes by which variables may be set.

"Fine-tuning" may carry that connotation but it's not what it means in this sense. "A number of scientists have noted that if some of the fundamental physical constants were to vary slightly, the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life, as we know it would not have happened"
https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

How do you define "significant" in this sense?
A prediction is significant if can be used to falsify otherwise viable hypotheses. What viable hypothesis is falsified by an abundance of chaotic brain activity on death?

The other viable hypothesis is that there is no afterlife.

It's not that it merely appears to be so. DNA is an information-bearing language.
Information is covered under CE Shannon's landmark 1948 paper "A mathematical theory of communication." [http://worrydream.com...]. Information emerges statistically from order and does not require semantics. Constellations of stars contain information, which you are free to map to symbols too if you want. However, such symbols have no intrinsic semantics. There is no reason to presume that the replication of organic molecules contains semantics either.

I'm glad you brought that up. Shannon information theory holds that "AMI RVX LPU FGB" carries as much information as "THE CAT WAS RED". The information contained within DNA is not merely *complex* but *specified* as well. That's an example of the latter statement rather than the former.

Both responsibility and compassion are absolutely and objectively as good or useful as disresponsibility and cruelty if atheism is the correct worldview.
Meaning: if you're not rewarded or compelled toward compassion and responsibility, you'd abrogate it?

This is part of why theology is so morally and intellectually stunting.

No, it's just the fact of the matter. Unless you can show how humanity has intrinsic ends under an atheistic worldview, the objective goodness or objective usefulness of moral characteristics is non-existent. It's one of many abysmal implications of atheism. We're currently living in a reality with objective moral truths, so the implications are at odds with what you know to be true.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.
(1) petulant infantile narcissism (2) that won't abandon dependence issues.
The lack of explanations (in terms of natural structures and processes) just follows logically. Atheism is not, in any way, a belief that has positive implications for humanity.
Atheism is not in itself a belief; it's a rejection of unjustified theological authority. What you do with your mind thereafter is up to you, but one thing you may do is to explore morality and the value of human existence secularly -- which is to sa

I disagree, because it can be. "God does not exist" is a belief that falls under the umbrella of atheism. If you don't have beliefs regarding the ontology of God's existence, that is neither a favorable nor unfavorable position towards the proposition "God exists."

The morality and value of human existence can't philosophically exist secularly.
Benshapiro
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2/27/2016 6:41:18 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 6:22:40 AM, TBR wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
For a host of reasons.

God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends. Without God, humanity doesn't have intrinsic ends. This has numerous implications.

Again, without God, humanity (along with every natural structure or process) doesn't have intrinsic ends.

(Note: I'm using the word "value" in the sense of preference.) Since all belief systems require having preferred truth over non-truth (since a belief means accepting that something is true), truth must be valued more than non-truth in order to hold any beliefs. Truth can only be arbitrarily preferred over non-truth if "truth" has no objective value (which it doesn't if nothing has intrinsic ends). If truth doesn't have objective value, it's arbitrary preferred. This means that atheism, as a belief, is based on an arbitrary preference (as well as all other beliefs.)

Moral truths don't exist.

Characteristics of ntelligence, virtuousity, power, etc is objectively equal to ignorance, iniquitousness, and weakness.

Everything just exists inexplicably.

We can't trust that our perceptions of reality are accurate since mental perceptions are fundamentally incompatible with anything non-mental. If God doesn't exist, reality is fundamentally non-mental.

The first cause was either a logical absurdity (an infinite regression that allows progressive states or an eternally existent thing with a quantitative beginning) or something unattainable through logical reasoning.

Every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end. Our heart is equally for circulating oxygenated blood throughout the body as it is for functioning as our digestive system.

We intuit a higher power by observing nature (the teleological argument) for no apparent reason.

Our universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life to the order of 1 in 10^120 for no apparent reason.

Near death experiences typically include traveling through a tunnel, seeing a loving being of light, meeting with dead relatives, etc. all for no apparent reason.

DNA contains specified and complex sequences of A,T,C, and G that are information-bearing and function exactly like digital code, for no apparent reason.

Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.

What the... This is the dumbest thing I have seem from a NOT stupid person in the religion forum. What does "want" have to do with anything?

If atheism is true, everything, actually. Ultimately our preferences are a product of our wants, and no preference is objectively better or worse than any other preference. Including to prefer to live in a grand delusion rather than abiding by truth.
bulproof
Posts: 25,203
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2/27/2016 6:47:00 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 6:41:18 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 6:22:40 AM, TBR wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
For a host of reasons.

God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends. Without God, humanity doesn't have intrinsic ends. This has numerous implications.

Again, without God, humanity (along with every natural structure or process) doesn't have intrinsic ends.

(Note: I'm using the word "value" in the sense of preference.) Since all belief systems require having preferred truth over non-truth (since a belief means accepting that something is true), truth must be valued more than non-truth in order to hold any beliefs. Truth can only be arbitrarily preferred over non-truth if "truth" has no objective value (which it doesn't if nothing has intrinsic ends). If truth doesn't have objective value, it's arbitrary preferred. This means that atheism, as a belief, is based on an arbitrary preference (as well as all other beliefs.)

Moral truths don't exist.

Characteristics of ntelligence, virtuousity, power, etc is objectively equal to ignorance, iniquitousness, and weakness.

Everything just exists inexplicably.

We can't trust that our perceptions of reality are accurate since mental perceptions are fundamentally incompatible with anything non-mental. If God doesn't exist, reality is fundamentally non-mental.

The first cause was either a logical absurdity (an infinite regression that allows progressive states or an eternally existent thing with a quantitative beginning) or something unattainable through logical reasoning.

Every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end. Our heart is equally for circulating oxygenated blood throughout the body as it is for functioning as our digestive system.

We intuit a higher power by observing nature (the teleological argument) for no apparent reason.

Our universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life to the order of 1 in 10^120 for no apparent reason.

Near death experiences typically include traveling through a tunnel, seeing a loving being of light, meeting with dead relatives, etc. all for no apparent reason.

DNA contains specified and complex sequences of A,T,C, and G that are information-bearing and function exactly like digital code, for no apparent reason.

Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.

What the... This is the dumbest thing I have seem from a NOT stupid person in the religion forum. What does "want" have to do with anything?

If atheism is true, everything, actually. Ultimately our preferences are a product of our wants, and no preference is objectively better or worse than any other preference. Including to prefer to live in a grand delusion rather than abiding by truth.
That's why I'm atheist, delusions are for the religious and the believers.
When you look at the world do you see god? If so which one do you see?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Benshapiro
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2/27/2016 6:49:43 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 5:56:53 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:19:47 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 1:05:18 AM, dee-em wrote:
Appeal to consequences fallacy. What we should or shouldn't want has no bearing on reality.

I disagree.

Assuming an atheistic worldview is correct, why should we comport our wants with reality?

If you have half the brains I think you do, you would be more than capable of answering this question for yourself. Seriously?

Yeah, I'm serious. Why should we comport our wants with reality? If it gives us greater personal utility to live in a delusion then why should we defer our preferences to a reality that gives us less satisfaction? If atheism is true then humanity is inherently not a means towards any end. It seems perfectly rational in fact to just do whatever gives us the greatest personal satisfaction.
TBR
Posts: 9,991
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2/27/2016 6:51:59 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 6:41:18 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 2/27/2016 6:22:40 AM, TBR wrote:
At 2/26/2016 11:02:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
For a host of reasons.

God's existence is required in order for humanity to have intrinsic ends. Without God, humanity doesn't have intrinsic ends. This has numerous implications.

Again, without God, humanity (along with every natural structure or process) doesn't have intrinsic ends.

(Note: I'm using the word "value" in the sense of preference.) Since all belief systems require having preferred truth over non-truth (since a belief means accepting that something is true), truth must be valued more than non-truth in order to hold any beliefs. Truth can only be arbitrarily preferred over non-truth if "truth" has no objective value (which it doesn't if nothing has intrinsic ends). If truth doesn't have objective value, it's arbitrary preferred. This means that atheism, as a belief, is based on an arbitrary preference (as well as all other beliefs.)

Moral truths don't exist.

Characteristics of ntelligence, virtuousity, power, etc is objectively equal to ignorance, iniquitousness, and weakness.

Everything just exists inexplicably.

We can't trust that our perceptions of reality are accurate since mental perceptions are fundamentally incompatible with anything non-mental. If God doesn't exist, reality is fundamentally non-mental.

The first cause was either a logical absurdity (an infinite regression that allows progressive states or an eternally existent thing with a quantitative beginning) or something unattainable through logical reasoning.

Every natural process or structure is inherently not a means towards any end. Our heart is equally for circulating oxygenated blood throughout the body as it is for functioning as our digestive system.

We intuit a higher power by observing nature (the teleological argument) for no apparent reason.

Our universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life to the order of 1 in 10^120 for no apparent reason.

Near death experiences typically include traveling through a tunnel, seeing a loving being of light, meeting with dead relatives, etc. all for no apparent reason.

DNA contains specified and complex sequences of A,T,C, and G that are information-bearing and function exactly like digital code, for no apparent reason.

Everything is ultimately meaningless and relegated to an eternal demise during the inevitable heat death of the universe.

(1) lack of explanations for the observed data (2) depressing if true.

What the... This is the dumbest thing I have seem from a NOT stupid person in the religion forum. What does "want" have to do with anything?

If atheism is true, everything, actually.
Not shown

Ultimately our preferences are a product of our wants,
OK Fine

and no preference is objectively better or worse than any other preference.
Getting close to meaningless.

Including to prefer to live in a grand delusion rather than abiding by truth.
Right. Grand delusion. YOU may want or "should" to live in this state, why do you insist I do?

Seriously. This is just about the worse line of thinking I have ever come across. I have read a number of your posts, and I would not generally call them idiotic, but this is about... no it is. It is right up there with the worse of the worse.

You MAY have some point, I just don't see any. Work harder.