Sorry for the delay- I've been working my butt off lately AND I just bought a new truck (A Raptor, it's the best purchase I've ever made). This is the first chance I've had to sit down and relax at home in a while!
Atheists do not hold any kind of consistent worldview! How could we POSSIBLY when we are only able to base our morality off of what is culturally acceptable and on the way we were raised? It's not like WE have ten commandments or seven deadly sins.
Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf
And no, Atheists do not have a "belief" system... we are non-believers. I don't believe in any God but I am always open to learning about things and have by no means closed myself off to the possible existence of a creator. I will say that I am reasonably sure that none of the modern religions are right about this as they have all been contradicted by observations.
I don't care what that book says. Please stop trying to tell me what I believe or what Atheists believe just because it makes your point easier to prove. You're just going to have to trust that I have a better idea of what it means to be Atheist, just as I trust that you have a better idea of what it's like to be Christian.
This is actually a bit of a misconception, a person can prove “non-existence claims” by proving the truth of a different claim that negates the possibility of the first claim, for example, “God says He is the only god that exists, God cannot lie, and therefore no other gods exist.” I know you don’t agree with my example, but that’s just an example of how someone can prove non-existence. Now with regards to the non-existence of God, you are right nobody can prove that because you’d have to have revelation from an all-knowing source in order to do so. That doesn’t change the fact that atheism has always been defined as positive belief in the non-existence of God, I never said it was a defensible position, but that’s how it’s defined.
“Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.” - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1998
Ok, allow me to elaborate. Science requires induction in order to be possible; so if induction were not possible then science would not be possible. Induction would not be possible in a purely natural world because there is no reason to believe that the future will resemble the past.
This is the first untrue statement. The existence of an orderly universe is the only logical result... I would say that your cause would be helped more if the laws of the universe were less consistent and therefore you could argue that the variance is caused by God.
This is much easier to explain with the physics of gravity... and if you want to be technical, the ball would fall to the earth at slightly different speeds depending on your elevation, barometric pressure, etc. This is a purely natural world... and things may seem calm and orderly but they are in fact completely chaotic. If they were orderly, however, that still would not provide any evidence in favor of or against the existence of god.
If I drop a ball and it falls to the earth, as a Christian I have confidence that if I do that same test under the same conditions tomorrow the ball will fall to the earth again because God has promise to uphold His creation in a uniform manner (Genesis 8). Now if I lived in a purely natural world, I have zero confidence that the ball will do the same thing tomorrow as it did today because I have no way of proving there is any uniformity in nature without invoking a circular argument.
You continue making the same logical fallacy in asserting that x would not be possible without God, therefore he must exist. The first part of your assertion is incorrect.
Unless you can prove that without God, the laws of physics wouldn't exist?
You'll have to start over then, because I haven't seen you lay out anything in this format where there wasn't some kind of assumption that isn't a proven fact thrown in there.
I think you are missing my point, that argument does establish the existence of God, namely the Christian God. If only the Christian God’s existence can make knowledge possible, and knowledge is possible then the Christian God has to exist. Its proof through the impossibility of the contrary, If “B” requires “A” in order to be true, and we can establish that “B” is true, then “A” also has to be true.
This isn't true. If you mean that most people will immediately "guess" at the validity of something subconsciously prior to evaluating a claim then I will agree with that. However, this is not all people and I know that I did not automatically doubt the validity of scripture the first time I read it. In fact, I actually (truly) believed it up until the age of about 15 or 16.
I was using scripture in order to prove that you were not starting at a neutral place because you were starting with the position that scripture was false. It is impossible to start at a neutral position when it comes to the validity of scripture, you either assume it is false a priori or you assume it is true a priori.
I still reject your claim that nobody can start on neutral ground... this is almost in the same category as asserting that atheists hold a positive disbelief in the existence of God. Sorry, you can keep trying to take the "logical high ground" and you're going to keep failing to do so.
Well of course YOU don't think it's "brainwashing," but I'm sure that if someone taught their child Darwinism and ONLY Darwinism while actively keeping them from hearing dissenting opinions, you would view that differently.
Well if by indoctrination you mean “brainwashing” then I disagree that the majority of Christians have been indoctrinated. I think what we are seeing is that Christian teachings are just far more persuasive than Darwinian teachings. Is it really concerning that parents teach their children what’s true from an early age? I really don’t see a problem with that at all. I was never taught that 2+2 may or may not equal 4, that 8 may or may not be a larger number than 7, so I don’t see why parents have to teach their children that God may or may not exist.
Yes, in my opinion it is WRONG to teach your kid that the Bible is right and that science is evil or a tool of the devil (as many do). However, as an American I respect people's right to screw up their kids in any way that they see fit, as long as it isn't abusive. Where I draw the line is when people push to have ID taught in public school classrooms. I do not know how I will decide to raise my kids but this topic is certainly something that needs to be discussed with your partner at length before deciding to have a kid.
First- I don't only donate to atheist scientists, I was simply remarking upon the fact that most biologists are atheist.
Why only donate to atheistic scientists? If your goal is to cure the disease I wouldn’t think you’d care who cured the disease. Be that as it may, how is anything I said incorrect? How is a child experiencing cancer not an animal experiencing a selective pressure? I think I accurately portrayed the naturalistic teachings on such matters, and they are rather terrible if you ask me.
Second- NO. Just because I acknowledge that Humans can be classified as primates such doesn't mean that it is any less tragic when a person, especially a child gets cancer. And cancer is not a form of natural selection for the same reasons I laid out previously- it is often caused by environmental or recessive genetic factors.
Third- I'll take this a step further- shouldn't Christians celebrate when a child gets cancer because it means that they could die and get a chance to meet God?
No- If a person were to make a determination of which genes should be passed on and which shouldn't, it would no longer be "natural" selection by definition. And my determination of this doesn't mean "we can save the children" as I have no power in that field.
What people teach that? The Bible doesn’t teach that, so if someone teaches that then they are abusing scripture which doesn’t prove anything. If evolution were true, wouldn’t saving those children actually hamper the progression of the species because you are saving and allowing an “unfit” individual to pass on their genes? I think you are being inconsistent on this one, I am glad you are being inconsistent because it means we can save children, but still inconsistent.
Back to my belief that YOLO- we have to savor every minute and we have to fight hard to prolong and save every life.'
None of this is relevant because no Atheist would ever argue that death is "a good thing" unless you're talking about the death of a very evil person such as Bin Laden.
It's pointless because, as I've said before, any Bible verse can be interpreted to mean different things. The same verse can be interpreted in completely different directions by a single person. The post with a few hundred of these examples was just to show this point.
Well that’s a bit of “elephant hurling” on your part, how about you pick the best three alleged contradictions in the Bible and I will show you how they actually do not fit the definition of a logical contradiction? Fair enough?
I would argue that a truly infallible scripture would have been written clearly enough that there is no room for these people to misinterpret it. Otherwise, what's the point of writing infallible scripture?
Fallible humans disagreeing on what an infallible source means doesn’t surprise me in the least, it does not prove that the Bible is fallible though.
I don't claim to know exactly how everything happened, nobody does. I just say that given the extensive record of fossils and the fact that we do have a good idea of how many families and genuses evolved, it is likely that most or all of the species on Earth evolved from common ancestors. The certainty increases as you start looking at more specific evolutionary chains such as our evolution from apes.
Well there’s actually only a little bit more than a hundred listed in that article, most of which I have seen disputed. If all life on earth came from one single ancestor there’d have to be billions of intermediate species (estimates suggest over 50,000 just to get from a land mammal to whale), so you have maybe a few hundred examples and you are trying to use that to justify your belief that billions of these things existed? Isn’t that a bit of a leap of faith? How do you know that a few thousand different kinds of animals were not created and then natural selection took it from there to explain the diversity we see within each kind of animal? I think that is far more consistent with the number of intermediate forms we find today.
Maybe a few thousand species were created and we evolved from them, maybe one single species was created that we evolved from. I have no way to know for sure- but I do know that evolution is a scientific fact. I also know that there are no competing theories that are even close in terms of evidence.
I suppose would have to ask what methodology one would use to change the definition of reality before knowing what I'm answering.
Trap? : ) Not really, I am just trying to get a better grasp on your epistemology, that’s all. So if we defined reality differently would that change reality?