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God- discussion of any Godly/religous issues.


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EDIT:

As this topic had become more about God than the articles posted here in the first place, I decided to change the thread's focus.

 

 

[hide=Original topic]I just read this article (consisting of 3 parts) and would love to see what the TIF boarders have to say about it.

 

Please try to keep an open mind, if God really exists, what a human-being has to say shouldn't matter to you.

 

Links-

http://www.atheist.net/article/article_352.html

http://www.atheist.net/article/article_358.html

http://www.atheist.net/article/article_372.html

 

[hide=The three parts combined for those who wouldn't click the links...]

God Doesn't Exist, Part I - Proofs of the Existence of a God

By Morten Monrad Pedersen

Jan 27, 2007, 23:59

 

 

 

I've never really believed in any gods, and the more I've learned about the world and religion, the more I've moved from strong doubts to outright disbelief. So today I can say that I can come to no other rational conclusion than: No gods exist.

 

In this essay I'll explain my reasons for this, and thereby answer the question I'm often asked: "Why are you an atheist?" I'll deal with some of the typical arguments for the existence of gods, argue why I think they fail, and I'll discuss some of the many logical problems in today's religions (though my focus will be on Christianity). Furthermore I'll argue that religious thinking is dangerous and that many religions are immoral in my opinion.

 

Before I get started, it should be noted that my choice of words might offend some people, and for that I'm sorry. However if I can argue that a claim is absurd, then I think it's entirely fair to call it just that, instead of wrapping my point in so many layers of political correctness, that the result becomes vague and meaningless.

 

Furthermore I'm quite aware that I can't know anything about the real world with certainty, but I feel as convinced that no gods exist as I do that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist, and no one would think it unreasonable for me to say that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist.

 

Proofs of the Existence of a God

 

Many theists (a theist is someone who believes in one or more gods) have over the years tried to prove the existence of a god. I have seen quite a few attempts, but none have been able to survive critical scrutiny.

 

It will of course be beyond the scope of this essay to go through each and every proof, so we'll have to make do with a few short examples.

 

The Anthropic Argument

 

Proponents of the anthropic argument points out that the universe is extremely well suited for life forms like humans. Had just a single physical constant been different, then the existence of humans would be impossible. This, they argue, tells us that someone made the universe to accommodate mankind.

 

Though this argument might sound persuasive, it's actually getting it all backwards.

 

Consider someone who sees a small pool of water in a hole and marvels at the fact the hole is formed in exactly the right way to accommodate a pool of that particular shape. This is of course silly, because it's not the hole that has taken on a form just right for the water's shape. Instead it's the water that has adapted itself to the form of the hole.

 

Similarly the universe isn't fitted to make life as we know it possible; instead life has adapted itself to the universe.

 

Imagine that when the universe began (assuming that it hasn't always existed) each of its attributes were set randomly. It seems reasonable to assume that only a few of the possible random universes could support humanlike life. It might however be that the other possible universes could support other kinds of life.

 

If the universe hadn't been structured to allow for human existence, then we wouldn't be here to wonder about it, and instead it might very well have been some other life form, wondering about the same thing. So a creature marvelling at the fact, that the universe just happened to be structured in a way, so that its race could evolve and survive, is silly in the same way that the example with the pool of water is silly.

 

Apart from this it should also be considered that there might actually be or have been a huge number of universes (which is an idea being considered seriously by physicists). If this is the case, then the existence of a universe supporting humankind is a lot more probable.

 

The Argument from Design

 

One of the most common arguments for the existence of a god is the argument from design. This argument states that the complexity and interdependencies of nature can only be explained, if someone intelligent (i.e. a god) designed it all.

 

This kind of argument is what atheists call a "god of the gaps"-argument. That is, God resides in the gaps of our current knowledge. When people couldn't explain lightning, it was a god who made it, and when that gap in our knowledge disappeared, the god had to retreat from it.

 

This has been a continuing theme throughout history: Gods have retreated from one gap after another as the light of science has illuminated them one by one.

 

The argument from design places gods in the shrinking gaps of the well supported theory of evolution (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/), which explains the development of the species without the need of an intelligent designer.

 

One very common version of the argument from design is the claim that the odds of the eye being created by chance are so huge that the possibility can be discounted.

 

This argument however misunderstands what evolution is. Evolution isn't just randomness. It's randomness with selection, and evolution doesn't create things like the eye in one go. It's nearly 150 years since Darwin explained in "The Origin of Species", how the eye might have evolved. It could for example have started with a single cell that were sensitive to light, which generation after generation increased in numbers and complexity. In this connection it's worth noting that all our skin cells are sensitive to light. When we feel the Sun burning on our skin, then it's simply light of a frequency not visible to our eyes, which we feel. Furthermore we have today observed creatures in nature with eyes of different complexity.

 

As an analogy, consider a lottery where you have to pick 7 numbers out of 40. You would have to be extremely lucky to win such a lottery, but now assume that you were allowed to accumulate correctly chosen numbers from one game to all the following ones. Perhaps you will get one correct number in the first game, then nothing in the next three, then two in the fourth game. Now you have 3 correct ones, and you would get all 7 in a reasonable number of games.

 

This is the way evolution works. It accumulates advantageous mutations, just like winning numbers were accumulated in the lottery example. Thereby evolution climbs Mount Improbable step by step instead of making an impossible all-in-one leap to the top.

 

Even if we, for the sake of the argument, accept the existence of a designer, we can still point some annoying facts out to the theist:

 

1.

 

The designer can't have been very intelligent. Just take a look at a giraffe: Why does it have a nerve between the brain and the larynx going all the way down the neck and then up again, instead of just going the very short and direct route? And why does a giraffe have 7 neck bones and a humming bird 14, when the opposite would have been more suitable?

2.

 

The vast majority of the species, which have existed, have gone extinct, which goes to show that the designer has a lousy track record.

3.

 

Who other than a sadist would design organisms that eat others from the inside, while they are still alive (such as some wasp larva does with spiders) or design diseases like Ebola and the plague?

4.

 

If complexity implies design, then the immense complexity of the designer must imply that someone else designed him. The designer of the designer would then also require a designer, and we would end up with an infinite chain of designers.

 

The First Cause Argument

 

The first cause argument is very popular among theists. It is based on the assumption that everything has a cause, and from this assumption it is argued that the universe must have had a cause, and that this cause is a god.

 

However, if everything has a cause, then the god must also have a cause, and that cause must have a cause and so on infinitely. This is a conclusion that I think isn't palatable for any theist. If the theists, to counter this, claims that his god is uncaused, then he has contradicted the assumption on which the argument is based and has therefore invalidated it.

 

Furthermore even if the argument were correct, all it would tell us would be that there is a first cause. Calling this first cause "God", doesn't give it any of the properties, which are normally ascribed to gods, it could be some perfectly natural occurrence. I might as well say "I call the chair, I'm sitting on, 'God', therefore God exists".

 

The Argument from Religious Experiences

 

It's often argued that since so many people today and throughout history have had religious experiences there must be something to it.

 

To answer this argument one should consider that earlier in human history more or less everyone experienced the Earth as being flat. Today science can explain why they saw it this way, even though it isn't true. Similarly scientists today are starting to explain why people have religious experiences and even trigger them without involving a god.

 

So when someone is trying to make a case for the existence of a god based on the many religious experiences, they could make an equally (un)compelling argument that the earth is flat.

 

It should also be considered that religious experiences are dependent on the religion of the person having the experience, which indicates that it's only a subjective experience generated by the persons own brain. This aspect will also often make the experiences mutually contradictory, which shows that they can't all be true, and even if we accept them, then it will be very hard to argue why we shouldn't also accept the very similar experiences of alien abductions, succubus visits etc.

 

The Argument from Uncertainty

 

Everything we know about the world is uncertain to some extent, and we have all seen how some scientific "knowledge" turned out to be wrong.

 

Based on this some theists argue that since our scientific knowledge is never 100% certain, it's quite alright for example to believe that the universe was created by God 6000 years ago, because the science, which shows that this isn't so, might be wrong.

 

Well, science might be wrong in this case, but it's so unlikely that it's silly to base anything on it being wrong, and no one in their right mind acts on such possibilities in any other connection. Your bed might have turned into peanut butter while you read this, but I'm pretty sure that you don't deem it worth your time to go look if this has happened. So why should the equally implausible ideas of religion be treated any different?

 

The Argument from Authority

 

The world we inhabit is so complex that none of us can check everything out for ourselves, therefore we in many cases have to rely on authorities, who have specialized knowledge. Most people for example believe in the existence of electrons even though they haven't really seen any themselves.

 

Some theists argue that it's no different to accept the existence of a god based on the authority of a holy book or someone with great knowledge of a religion.

 

In my opinion such an argument cuts no grass, because a scientist claiming that electrons exist can back up his claim with a lot of solid evidence. The computer I'm writing this on wouldn't have worked if there were no such thing as electrons and neither would any other electronic device. Similarly the scientist will be able to teach you the theories backing up his claim, and at each step in your learning, you will be able to perform experiments that verify the theories. Religious authorities can do no such thing.

 

This example shows that it's rational to believe in the claims of science, because it has delivered overwhelming quantities of testable evidence, while religion has nothing to show for all its effort.

 

The Ontological Argument

 

Another famous proof of the existence of a god is the so-called ontological argument, which basically goes like this:

 

1.

 

A god is a being greater than which nothing can be imagined.

2.

 

Since nothing greater can be imagined, a god must be perfect.

3.

 

One of the qualities of perfection is existence.

4.

 

Therefore a god exists.

 

There are several things wrong with this argument. First of all I would tend to be pretty suspicious of its foundation. Can a human really conceive of perfection? I don't think so, and the claim definitely is in need of proof, which brings the ontological argument to a grinding halt before it even gets started.

 

Even worse, the argument confuses the concept of something with the thing itself. Just because we can imagine something, it doesn't follow that it in any way relates to the real world. This might be made easier to understand by seeing that one could as well argue that a perfect unicorn exists using exactly the same logic as the ontological argument.

 

 

God Doesn’t Exist, Part II - Arguments against the Existence of Gods

By Morten Monrad Pedersen

Feb 3, 2007, 23:59

 

As stated above, none of the arguments I have seen so far for the existence of a god, have withstood close scrutiny. But it gets worse: Some of the attributes, ascribed to various gods, leads us to conclude that those gods logically cannot exist, while others make them seem very implausible.

 

Most of my arguments in this part of the essay will only cover some gods, and for each of them a lot of theists will be able to say, that the argument doesn't cover their particular god. This however is unavoidable given the sheer number of different conceptions of gods.

 

An Omnipotent God is a Logical Impossibility

 

A lot of religious people claim that their god is omnipotent (all-powerful), this however leads to a lot of problems, which have been pointed out by numerous people. One of these problems is the consequences of the simple but a bit naןve question: “Can God create a rock that he can’t lift?” If God can’t do this, then he isn’t omnipotent, and if he can, then he still isn’t omnipotent, because then there is something, that he can’t do – i.e. lift the rock.

 

This means that omnipotence is a logical impossibility, and therefore omnipotent gods are also logically impossible.

 

Omniscience is Incompatible with Free Will

 

Some Gods are also supposed to be omniscient (all-knowing), and humans supposedly have a free will. But how can humans have a free will, if a god in advance knows what is going to happen? There can be no choice in any meaningful sense of the word, if there is only one possible outcome to each and every situation (that is the outcome that the god has foreseen).

 

This leads us to conclude that free will combined with omniscience is impossible, and if we want to keep omniscience and thereby have to kill off free will, what does that do to the concept of sin?

 

Contradictions

 

Being a logical impossibility isn’t the only problem facing gods and the holy scriptures of the religions. One should for example think that an all-powerful god would be able to make sure that his holy scriptures were relatively error free.

 

However upon examination one finds that this isn’t the case. Internal contradictions run rampant, and descriptions of the universe tend to be downright silly. A good example of this is the Bible:

 

*

 

In Exodus there are two very different versions of the Ten Commandments, and God is claiming that they are exactly the same (Exo 20:1-17 vs. Exo 34:1,12-26).

*

 

According to Gen 2:18-19 God created man before the animals, but Gen 1:25-26 tells us that it was the other way around.

*

 

The Earth is claimed to be flat (see http://www.answering-christianity.com/earth_flat.htm).

*

 

Jesus is said to be born while Herod the Great was alive (Mat 2:1-2), and while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luk 2:1-7). Unfortunately Qurinius became governor ten years after Herod died.

 

This list could be continued for a long time, and it makes it seem quite implausible that the Bible is the word of God or even divinely inspired.

 

Such problems aren’t confined to the Bible. The Quran for example states that Heaven was created before Earth, and that Earth was created before Heaven (http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/contra/first.html) and Hindu scripture apparently claim that the bottom of the universe is filled with water (http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/planetarium/index.htm).

 

The Absurdity of Religion

 

Why is it that if I claim that the keyboard, I’m typing this on, regularly turns into green cheese from the planet Krypton, then everyone will call me insane, but if someone claims that the bread they are eating and the wine they are drinking are turning into the flesh and blood of a guy born of a virgin, who is his own father, and who rose from the dead 2000 years ago, then he’s called a Catholic and should be respected for his faith?

 

When an absurd belief is labelled religious, then it suddenly isn’t considered absurd any more. This seems pretty weird to me, and let’s face it, most religions are based on beliefs that really are silly. A typical example of this is the story of the Ten Commandments.

 

In this story God calls Moses to Mount Sinai to give him the divine will about human conduct. God then lets Moses walk up the mountain, down again and up once more, before giving him the Ten Commandments. Afterwards the tablets with the commandments are broken, and Moses must ascend the mountain yet again, to get a new copy. Now imagine yourself in Moses’ place. You have climbed three times to the top a tall mountain enshrouded in clouds and lightning to receive the divine guidance of the almighty God, and then it turns out that he can’t remember his own commandments and therefore makes up some completely new ones, while claiming that they are exactly the same. And to make matters worse the tenth commandment is “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk” (Exo 23:19). That is the guidance that God in his infinite wisdom wants to give us? We can’t cook a goat in the milk of its mother?

 

Can anyone really look me in the eyes and with a straight face say that this story wouldn’t be considered plain silly, if it wasn’t a religious story? In my opinion it could have been taken straight out of a Monty Python sketch.

 

Of course being silly or absurd doesn't rule out existence, but it doesn't seem to be likely attributes of a being with infinite wisdom.

 

Occam’s Razor

 

I have argued above that gods tends to be logically impossible, and the stories about them are absurd and contradict themselves and well known facts. This in my opinion should be enough to dismiss them – at least until someone present some very solid facts.

 

There are however one more reason to do this, and it’s the principle known as Occam’s Razor. This principle, which is widely used in science simply states, that when trying to explain something, one shouldn’t add unnecessary elements to the explanation – or stated in another way, which is more useful in this context: If something can be explained with reference only to things we know to be true, then one shouldn’t invent and add new things.

 

This principle, while only a rule of thumb, ensures that our explanations are more likely to be true, and applied to the concept of god; it tells us to cut him away, because we don’t seem to need him as an explanation of anything.

 

Why Haven't We Seen Any Gods?

 

If any gods really exist why haven't we seen any of them? If they really want us to worship them, why should they want to hide from us? I know that this is no definite proof against the existence of gods, but it should give anyone pause that religions have existed for thousands of years and a huge number of people have done their best to discover gods or prove their existence, and as far as I have been able to find out, we still have no real evidence.

 

If it were anything other than religion we were talking about, wouldn't you have given up if such a search had failed to find any evidence? I know I would, and I don't see any reason to make religion a special case.

 

 

God Doesn’t Exist Part III - Freedom, Morality and the Dangers of Religion

By Morten Monrad Pedersen

Feb 27, 2007, 23:34

 

 

 

I have now argued that the proofs of the existence of gods are wrong and that the ideas of gods contain all manner of contradictions and absurdities. Now I will turn to other issues, such as morality and the dangers that religious thinking contains.

 

Are the Gods Worthy of Worship?

 

Even if the god of the Bible one day proves his existence to me, I wouldn’t worship him (though I would of course believe in him), because if you try to take a look at the Bible and see how it describes God’s behaviour, then you’ll quickly see, that he commits one despicable act after another.

 

He kills all the first-born of Egypt, mainly for something that he himself makes a pharaoh do (Exo 7:13 and Exo 13:15). He seems to endorse slavery (Lev 25:44-46), rape (2 Sam 12:11), murder (Lev 20:9) and the slaughtering of those who aren’t a part of his chosen people (Deu 2:21). He makes bears rip apart 42 children, simply because they mocked a prophet (2 Kin 2:24). One could go on for a very long time just listing the atrocities that the god of the Bible has committed or endorsed, and it boggles the mind that anyone would want to worship him.

 

Not only is God apparently committing acts that are abhorrent to most humans, he is also the reason that I was born with the personality I have, and with his omniscience he must have known that I would be an atheist. He would have to know that I value proof above blind faith. Therefore it follows that when he created everything, he knew that I and countless others, were destined to burn in the Hell he created.

 

Furthermore let’s say, for the sake of argument, that before I die, I convert and become a Christian and end up in Heaven. However some of the people I love might not be there, since they aren’t baptised, they could be tormented in Hell instead (1 Pet 3:21). How am I to live in eternal happiness while knowing this? Even if we for the sake of the argument assume that God can change me to be able to live that way, then that's not the kind of person I want to be.

 

Some may argue that most of the atrocities that God has committed belong to an earlier age – the one described in the Old Testament – and that with the coming of Jesus and the founding of Christianity the main message is now about love. I don’t take much notice of such an argument however, because of the following words of Jesus: "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Mat 5:18) – as far as I know the Heaven and the Earth haven't passed yet. Furthermore Jesus with all his messages of love also had this message: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (See http://ffrf.org/nontracts/jesus.php for a look a critical look at Jesus’ teachings.)

 

This section has only dealt with the Christian god, but many of the other gods that I've heard about is no better than the Christian god - Allah, for example, brings a painful doom to anyone who doesn’t believe his every word (2:7 and 4:150-151). There are of course also gods who are less violent, but considering all the violence and evil they allow in the world, I also have a hard time finding them worthy of worship.

 

The Dangers of Religion

 

Not only do religious people waste their time in devotion to cruel and non-existing gods, they also represent a dangerous system of thought.

 

The dangers come from the fact that religion can make people absolutely certain that they are in possession of divine and infallible truth, and that this allows them to do whatever they like to anyone who doesn’t do what their interpretation of the religion demands. As Voltaire succinctly put it: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

 

History has shown us one example after another of the atrocities of religion. The Christian crusades led to numerous wars and the massacre of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. The witch trials exemplify how badly the juridical system can be perverted by religion, and tens of thousands of people were executed without any possibility of defending themselves against the baseless accusations, and many were tortured during their trials.

 

Today we see how religious fanatics blow themselves and innocent children up, and fill their pockets with nails, so that the explosions can maim even more people.

 

Furthermore religion have time and again been used to oppress people and force them to abide by dehumanizing rules, and it stops free thought dead in its tracks, which makes it even easier to prevent people from improving their lot and question their dictators.

 

All of these things make me so angry, that I struggle to put it into words. How dare such people presume to make themselves lords of their neighbours, based on a book filled with blessings of violence, rape and war written by primitive people millennia ago?

 

Religion can also be physically dangerous to the believers. Blood transfusions, for example, are not allowed by some religions and some, such as the members of the Christian sect called Christian Science, turn to prayer instead of doctors and medicine.

 

Furthermore religion can also give people reasons for not helping others. The Karmic Law for instance basically leads to the conclusion, that if you have an illness or is born with a defect, then it’s your own fault – and is caused by something you did in this or another life. This is, in my opinion, a detestable point of view.

 

Morality

 

Atheists are often told by theists that since they aren't religious, they can’t behave morally. However I think it says quite a bit about the morality of those saying such things. Who is really the more moral person, he who behaves well by his own volition, or he who only behaves well because he’s threatened with the eternal torment of hell?

 

Furthermore even Christians tend to put their own moral standards above those given by their god, this can be seen from the way they pick and choose among the numerous commandments of the Bible. They don't accept them all, they only select those that are consistent with their own internal moral compass, and this undermines arguments based on a superior god given morality.

 

I also don’t find it the moral thing to do, to worship a being who has numerous atrocities on his conscience, and I find it quite ironic that the Bible is called “The Good Book”.

 

The fact that people seem let the opinions of priests carry greater weight in matters of ethics and morality baffles me. As I see it, it's as if people accept arguments like the following:

 

'I have this invisible friend – I can't show you that he exists, but trust me, he does. He's childish, cruel and vindictive and his morals belong to a society that is completely different from ours. I want to carry out his will together with my sexist organization who have time and again shown that when it gets sufficient power it will oppress, kill or torture those who don't agree with it. Therefore I should have a greater say in matters of ethics and morality.'

 

This argument would of course be a laughing stock – that is until someone calls his invisible friend God, then it's suddenly deemed to be reasonable.

 

The Advantages of Atheism

 

Some see a disadvantage in the lack of “magic” in the world of the atheist – I don’t. I think that the real world is awe inspiring without the filter of religion. As the author Douglas Adams puts it: “Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

 

Religion limits people by imposing nonsensical rules created by humans in a totally different society. Atheism on the other hand sets us free. It breaks down the barriers that exist between persons, who each have their own version of the “one true belief”, and atheists don’t have to feel guilty for enjoying beer, pork or sex.

 

Should Religion be Exempt from Critique and Satire?

 

There seems to be a wide spread acceptance of the idea that it’s wrong to criticize other people’s religious ideas, and while political satire is completely acceptable, religious satire isn’t. I must admit that the reasoning behind this eludes me.

 

If someone believes that the best way to combat unemployment is to chop off everybody’s hands, then no one would demand that we respect this point of view and think it beyond critique or satire. Why then is it that such demands are made regarding the dangerous and absurd claims of religion?

 

I won’t respect a point of view that is arguably silly and morally abhorrent to me, and I will reserve the right to criticize it with or without the use of satire. On the other hand I accept the right of others to hold such points of view.

 

By putting religion beyond critique, we risk being stuck in a quagmire of religious ignorance, oppression and violence.

 

On the other hand we shouldn’t mock religion, but there’s a difference between mocking and satire. Mocking is simply putting other people down, while satire is a useful tool for making a point clearer through the use of humour and exaggeration.

 

Conclusion

 

Though I have spent a considerable amount of time reading, thinking and arguing about religion, I of course haven’t investigated each and every imaginable god and each and every argument. I can’t definitely prove that a god can’t possibly exist. I have, however, looked into several religions, and can argue that their gods are implausible or simply impossible.

 

This leads me to the point that has finally made me conclude that no god exists, and I would like to end this essay with a small parable that illustrates it.

 

Once upon a time a hermit lived in a cave near the top of a tall mountain. The entrance of the cave was next to a plateau, which had a sharp edge leading to a long and steep fall.

 

People often came to the plateau and many stopped by the cave and talked to the hermit. Each and every one of these people fervently believed that if they jumped off the edge while flapping their arms vigorously and chanting a magic word, then they would be able to fly.

 

Each and every one of them were convinced that the magic word they were using were the right one, and each and every one of them crashed into the cliffs below the edge.

 

After years of this happening the hermit got tired of listening to the visitors’ rambling stories about how fantastic their particular magic word was, and he finally put up a sign outside his cave. It read:

 

No, your magic word won’t work, and if you are sure that it will anyway, then please don’t come and tell me about it, until it really has made you fly.

[/hide]

 

 

Feel free to disprove any of the Author's theories. I'd love to see someone disprove them all.

 

 

Oh, and feel free to disprove any of the other TIFers' dirprovements aswell ;).

 

 

Lastly, please do not post until you've read it all, or atleast the first 2 parts (the most important ones).[/hide]

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Read about 1/3 of it + the conclusion and its pretty standard really.

 

Its impossible to prove or disprove the existence of being(s) which are by there definition magical and impossible to prove/disprove.

 

To argue either way based on your opinion will just lead to people either following you or hating you.

 

IMO the guy who wrote that article was a fool for even trying to prove or disprove it.

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Read about 1/3 of it + the conclusion and its pretty standard really.

 

Its impossible to prove or disprove the existence of being(s) which are by there definition magical and impossible to prove/disprove.

 

To argue either way based on your opinion will just lead to people either following you or hating you.

 

IMO the guy who wrote that article was a fool for even trying to prove or disprove it.

 

He did say God isn't more believeable than fairies and gave a logical explenation to it. Is why I said you should read it all.

 

 

 

Also, reading the first part and then the conclusion would make the conclusion seem rather dumb.

 

 

Guys, please read it all before posting :).

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I tried to read it, I really did, then I realized this the debate has been done over and over and over and over and over and over again his arguements can probably be easily countered by something somebody has stated years ago. So I stopped reading it.

 

Short version: TL;DR

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Yippy for you not understanding Christian/Jewish God is not the only definition of (a) God(s).

This guy argues for a fair bit on the Christian/Jewish God the bible mentions, but not other religions perceptions. I know there are tons of errors in the bible(s) (s for new and old) so why dwell on it.

 

I've read each argument on there as well as glancing at his answers. I've seen numerous people/organizations try to answer the questions for and against and its always the same.

I'm a big believer in region is a fraud, but I'm still undecided on the general concept of God(s) (I'm pretty much against the idea, but no-one has ever managed to swing me left or right).

I've read 20+ similar articles and they all focus the same points.

 

Romy do actually you have the FSM bible by any chance?

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Read it all.. he makes several points typical of athiests.

 

A quick point: He asks why God hasn't revealed himself to us? He has...in Jesus. Oh, but that's right, the bible is a complete lie. But I'm sure all the other historical documents he referenced are accurate. Looks like thiests aren't the only ones picking and choosing.

 

Free will: God doesn't control us. I'm sure someone's going to quote this post and argue with me, but that doesn't oblige him to do it. People who claim to tell the future, maybe they can, but they don't control it.

 

Lets look as well at his theory of "design by chance". A common analogy used by athiests and beleivers in design by chance is that if you put monkeys to keyboards they would eventually write a shakesperean sonnet. Makes sense, right? Well, not quite.

 

You see, a very famous athiest tested this theory. He trained 6 monkeys to type on keyboards. After 6 months of typing they had not written a single English word..inluding " a ". One single word, as a percentage of a shakespearean sonnet, would have taken millions of years for them to write. A rough calucation based on the number of "random chances" needed to create us basically told him that the universe hasn't existed long enough for those random chances to all have occured. And Ps. This athiest is now Catholic.

 

I'll try to find a link explaining this, it's probably pretty confusing and I don't remember it too well.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem - Here's the wiki, can't find who actuall did the experiment though.

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A quick point: He asks why God hasn't revealed himself to us? He has...in Jesus. Oh, but that's right, the bible is a complete lie. But I'm sure all the other historical documents he referenced are accurate. Looks like thiests aren't the only ones picking and choosing.

Hate to sound a tool. But Jesus was not the only person claiming to be the son of God and Messiah's at that period in time. In fact his some followers participate in stoning (can't remember if it was to death) another son of god/Messiah not long after Jesus has died according to the bible.

The only reason people relate to Jesus is he was slightly more popular at the time and the "resurrection" (highly debated as it isn't actually mentioned in the earlier bibles found and is thought by many to have been added later as almost a 1up).

 

I'm sorry, but Jesus wasn't that special he was just one of many Messiah's (doctor and alternative thinker) at the time who got rose tinted glasses in the history book.

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I've taken the liberty of summarizing the essay for those of you who don't have half an hour to spend reading it :smile:

 

[hide=]Zebras are black and white, therefore god CAN NOT exist.[/hide]

 

It really is just the same arguments that have been made over and over and over again. You didn't prove or disprove anything... Yeah, I read the whole thing.

 

i r red SA bout god n farE r not reel so god r fari n god fari no rel so fary no rel so god r fery n god no rl cuz fery no rel n god r fery 2

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Before anyone goes about debating on anything concerning God, they must understand what they can't do.

 

 

Atheist's can't go to every inch of the universe and document it and say "look - no god here either".

Theist's can't go and take God and put him on a platter and say "look - God's right here!".

 

What I am basically saying is that nobody can prove anything about God. We can only attempt to show beyond a reasonable doubt. You can't prove, but you can show what is the most reasonable argument. You can show that you have more reasonable doubts about what your opponent believes than they have against your belief.

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A quick point: He asks why God hasn't revealed himself to us? He has...in Jesus. Oh, but that's right, the bible is a complete lie. But I'm sure all the other historical documents he referenced are accurate. Looks like thiests aren't the only ones picking and choosing.

Hate to sound a tool. But Jesus was not the only person claiming to be the son of God and Messiah's at that period in time. In fact his some followers participate in stoning (can't remember if it was to death) another son of god/Messiah not long after Jesus has died according to the bible.

The only reason people relate to Jesus is he was slightly more popular at the time and the "resurrection" (highly debated as it isn't actually mentioned in the earlier bibles found and is thought by many to have been added later as almost a 1up).

 

I'm sorry, but Jesus wasn't that special he was just one of many Messiah's (doctor and alternative thinker) at the time who got rose tinted glasses in the history book.

Why did he get rose tinted glasses? Surely he had to have a significant following in order to merit that? If there were so many at the time, why was he the only one who prevailed? Was it because there was something special about him?

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A quick point: He asks why God hasn't revealed himself to us? He has...in Jesus. Oh, but that's right, the bible is a complete lie. But I'm sure all the other historical documents he referenced are accurate. Looks like thiests aren't the only ones picking and choosing.

Hate to sound a tool. But Jesus was not the only person claiming to be the son of God and Messiah's at that period in time. In fact his some followers participate in stoning (can't remember if it was to death) another son of god/Messiah not long after Jesus has died according to the bible.

The only reason people relate to Jesus is he was slightly more popular at the time and the "resurrection" (highly debated as it isn't actually mentioned in the earlier bibles found and is thought by many to have been added later as almost a 1up).

 

I'm sorry, but Jesus wasn't that special he was just one of many Messiah's (doctor and alternative thinker) at the time who got rose tinted glasses in the history book.

Why did he get rose tinted glasses? Surely he had to have a significant following in order to merit that? If there were so many at the time, why was he the only one who prevailed? Was it because there was something special about him?

Winners get remembered, embellished, exaggerated, etc. 99% of historical figures got into there situation purely by luck.

Ever heard of the dead sea scrolls?

The pre-New Testament bibles contained a lot more information as well as humanified Jesus.

This information was removed, details added, passages which contradicted removed, etc when the first version of New Testament was created. Of course it gets slightly more re-written and tweaked as time goes on.

 

Its like asking 20 people to watch The Matrix, they tell 10 people each those 10 tell 10 people each. Every time the film gets more warped from the truth.

 

G2G but I'll reply more later

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There's no need to disproove something which presented no proof to begin with.

 

Yes there is. If you manage to disprove something, then we needn't have this endless debate and the problem would be solved. Then, we could discuss the consequences, which are far more interesting than the existence of something beyond our comprehension.

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I thought we'd see a more serious discussion by now.

 

 

I'm not accusing anyone by that, only saying that posts like "yeah, that's nothing new" are semi-off topic.

 

 

Instead, try to actualy discuss either God in general, or God according to the article. I'd really like to see some of the TIF brains arguing one of the most popular phenomenons around us.

 

 

 

@JoeDaStudd- I had and gave it away. Why do you ask?

Oh, and he did mention other Gods as well as talking about (a) God(s) in general.

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Even if we, for the sake of the argument, accept the existence of a designer, we can still point some annoying facts out to the theist:

 

1.

 

The designer can't have been very intelligent. Just take a look at a giraffe: Why does it have a nerve between the brain and the larynx going all the way down the neck and then up again, instead of just going the very short and direct route? And why does a giraffe have 7 neck bones and a humming bird 14, when the opposite would have been more suitable?

2.

 

The vast majority of the species, which have existed, have gone extinct, which goes to show that the designer has a lousy track record.

3.

 

Who other than a sadist would design organisms that eat others from the inside, while they are still alive (such as some wasp larva does with spiders) or design diseases like Ebola and the plague?

4.

 

If complexity implies design, then the immense complexity of the designer must imply that someone else designed him. The designer of the designer would then also require a designer, and we would end up with an infinite chain of designers.

 

Heh, talk about annoying.

 

1. The author is assuming what god's purpose was. Maybe he wanted to throw us off. Maybe he wanted this debate to occur. Maybe there is a use behind their anatomies that is not apparent to us. Maybe god just thought it didn't really matter.

2. What part of intelligent design suggests that god had the intentions of keeping every last specie alive? Again, there is an assumption about god's character being made.

3. So god's a sadist? What does that have to do with existence? And I wouldn't exactly call the circle of life sadistic. Same with sex. Is it perverted of god to make us have sex with each other in order to procreate? I see them as beauties.

4. This is just a twist of words. Reminds me of when people say to be more tolerant of their intolerance towards gays and stuff like that.

 

I'm not trying to defend the intelligent design argument. I'm just pointing out the flaws in his criticisms. And yeah, after those points I got the gist of what the author is doing and it's not very convincing. The only argument on an atheist's side for disbelieving would be that there is no proof of his existence. Other than that, there is no evidence that suggests that he does not exist, so why he would go as far as claiming that he can prove it is well beyond me.

 

Instead, try to actualy discuss either God in general, or God according to the article. I'd really like to see some of the TIF brains arguing one of the most popular phenomenons around us.

 

Sorry, but judging by everyone else's responses, I think us TIFers are still tired from the last 300-some pages of theistic debating.

 

You see, a very famous athiest tested this theory. He trained 6 monkeys to type on keyboards. After 6 months of typing they had not written a single English word..inluding " a ". One single word, as a percentage of a shakespearean sonnet, would have taken millions of years for them to write. A rough calucation based on the number of "random chances" needed to create us basically told him that the universe hasn't existed long enough for those random chances to all have occured. And Ps. This athiest is now Catholic.

 

Yeah, it's funny how many extraordinary claims some atheists make, in the hopes of logically disproving others' extraordinary claims.

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Even if we, for the sake of the argument, accept the existence of a designer, we can still point some annoying facts out to the theist:

 

1.

 

The designer can't have been very intelligent. Just take a look at a giraffe: Why does it have a nerve between the brain and the larynx going all the way down the neck and then up again, instead of just going the very short and direct route? And why does a giraffe have 7 neck bones and a humming bird 14, when the opposite would have been more suitable?

2.

 

The vast majority of the species, which have existed, have gone extinct, which goes to show that the designer has a lousy track record.

3.

 

Who other than a sadist would design organisms that eat others from the inside, while they are still alive (such as some wasp larva does with spiders) or design diseases like Ebola and the plague?

4.

 

If complexity implies design, then the immense complexity of the designer must imply that someone else designed him. The designer of the designer would then also require a designer, and we would end up with an infinite chain of designers.

 

Heh, talk about annoying.

 

1. The author is assuming what god's purpose was. Maybe he wanted to throw us off. Maybe he wanted this debate to occur. Maybe there is a use behind their anatomies that is not apparent to us. Maybe god just thought it didn't really matter.

2. What part of intelligent design suggests that god had the intentions of keeping every last specie alive? Again, there is an assumption about god's character being made.

3. So god's a sadist? What does that have to do with existence? And I wouldn't exactly call the circle of life sadistic. Same with sex. Is it perverted of god to make us have sex with each other in order to procreate? I see them as beauties.

4. This is just a twist of words. Reminds me of when people say to be more tolerant of their intolerance towards gays and stuff like that.

 

I'm not trying to defend the intelligent design argument. I'm just pointing out the flaws in his criticisms.

 

Yeah, after those points I got the gist of what the author is doing and it's not very convincing. The only argument on an atheist's side for disbelieving would be that there is no proof of his existence. Other than that, there is no evidence that suggests that he does not exist, so why he would go as far as claiming that he can prove it is well beyond me.

 

Instead, try to actualy discuss either God in general, or God according to the article. I'd really like to see some of the TIF brains arguing one of the most popular phenomenons around us.

 

Sorry, but judging by everyone else's responses, I think us TIFers are still tired from the last 300-some pages of theistic debating.

 

Yeah, I very much disliked that part of the article. Seemd dumb, immature, and petty. The rest was interesting though.

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The things outlined in part 3 are why I don't buy into any of it. I don't understand why people accept supposedly 'holy' books and commandments given to PEOPLE by PEOPLE. There's (until it shows itself to me) no god, just people. He doesn't pay tuition (like Beneatha says in A Raisin in the Sun :P) so what's he got to do with anything? Personally, I'm astounded by the number of intelligent people who buy into any version of it and don't realize that any achievement of theirs is theirs alone; if you didn't pray you still would have won that game, by your own will and factors (how good you are, etc) that may or may not be directly controlled by you; if they're not controlled by you (poverty, strength of other player), it's controlled by another human (your family/yourself - you can get a better job if you really want to, opponent)

 

I do, however, need to read the bible... but definitely buy myself the FSM bible.

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1. I am Jewish

2. I don't believe in deity's

3. There is a God

4. The bible and any other holy texts are just the thoughts of wise and very ancient people

5. Religion is a way of passing tradition and culture. I see it as a guide on how to raise your children. As the Bible puts it "we are all God's children".

6. All religions are varying interpretations of the same basic qualities.

Quote

 

Quote

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Anyone who likes logic is incapable of tacos.

 

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Sounds like every other kid who's read a couple online articles and espoused the exact same words. People make better "arguments" on here."

Lenticular is quite right. Seems like the standard stuff.

 

And as the person above me stated the bible are thoughts of the ancients, misconceptions of the scriptures being any part of God are incorrect. They do not contradict their. If you and a friend saw the same thing, and you two wrote individual stories about what happened, I took your stories and stapled them together, that doesn't mean the document is contradicting. It's two different perspectives.

 

Furthermore, omniscience does not equal predestination. God knows, knew, and will know what we do, he sees time from a different perspective as us. He may know what we do, but it doesn't mean he decided that's what we'll do, we picked it, he saw it..

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I read it all and I thought his style of writing was kind of annoying and his reasoning was rather humorous. I am by no means a religious person, but I did attend a private (Catholic) school from grades 1-12, and come from a "strong" Catholic family, and all I have to say in regards to his novel is that he doesn't understand the concept of faith.

 

As for my views on religion in general, I see it as something that was started by good hearted men in some rough times. If you compare a person's financial standing with how religious a person is you'd probably find that the more wealthy a person is the less religious they are - this doesn't prove or disprove anything, just saying I see religion almost as a crutch/comfort for those who need it.

 

Lastly, if a Catholic raised child were to one day tell their parents "I think I'm going to start being Muslim from now on", the parents would most likely flip [cabbage] and think their child is crazy. Likewise if a Muslim raised child were to tell their parents "I think I'm gonna convert to Catholocism", they wouldn't be all that happy either....and I view this as a problem.

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The way he disproved the omnipotence is ridiculous, God doesn't need to prove himself. Also, he disproved creationism, which even I as a christian find stupid. Why wouldn't God be the first cause? God doesn't need a designer himself, He has just always been there and will always be there, and well, we don't really need to know where He Himself came from. The way he reasoned was kinda ridiculous, personally, I believe in Darwin's evolution theory, but I also believe God has had a hand in making evolution possible.

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