Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Postby dashgalaxy86 » 05 Mar 2011, 00:01

First of all, I recently discovered this section of Forumosa, and I posted comments in a few threads sharing my opinions and beliefs, but felt that given the topic it wasn't the right time or place for that. It's been a while since I've been stimulated on this subject, so I'd like to invite fellow Forumosans on either side of the fence to participate in this discussion, though it cannot be called a debate because online forums never really have endings for threads like these.

I'd like to keep it civil and as straightforward, as possible. I apologize if I took a bitter tone in the other threads I posted in on this subject. That won't happen in this one (unless someone else takes a tone first).

I will state my position to avoid confusion:
Atheist/Agnostic. I lean toward atheist, but you'd have to be a total idiot to close that door 100%.
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Re: Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Postby jimipresley » 05 Mar 2011, 00:03

dashgalaxy86 wrote:Atheist/Agnostic. I lean toward atheist, but you'd have to be a total idiot to close that door 100%.

Pascal's Wager, eh? :D
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Re: Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Postby dashgalaxy86 » 05 Mar 2011, 00:14

jimipresley wrote:
dashgalaxy86 wrote:Atheist/Agnostic. I lean toward atheist, but you'd have to be a total idiot to close that door 100%.

Pascal's Wager, eh? :D

Not quite, Mr. Presley. Pascal's Wager claims that while evidence God exists is not enough to merit one's belief, the lack of absolute proof to the contrary suggests that the best bet is to "believe" JUST IN CASE God exists. By doing so you can spare your soul the eternal flames of hell. The logic would be sound, if not for the fact that then one would have to decide WHICH God you'd pretend to believe in. If you pretended to believe in more than one, there's a good chance that the correct God would call you out on that, and you'd burn anyway, having wasted your life.

My position is that, if there IS indeed a God, it is perfect, not petty, not jealous, and not demanding of praise and worship. This God would reward those who did they best they could with the lives they had. If I believe in any God, it is in this God. A God who understands that sometimes, due to our circumstances, it's hard to believe. It's hard to be good. In the case of a bad genetic break, sometimes it's even hard to not be evil. This God is beyond all name, beyond any form, any written word, and is perfect to the point where its existence would seem impossible, considering the utter imperfection of the world said God has created. Although, all of this is assuming this God is in fact a creator. We know that the Christian God is NOT the creator of the world, according to recent retranslations, so anything is possible.

But, I do NOT believe in this God. If I did think there was a God worthy of our praise, that would be it; one that didn't want it, in fact, one that rejected it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religio ... demic.html
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Re: Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Postby Chris » 05 Mar 2011, 00:17

Given the definition of an atheist as "one who lacks belief in a god or gods", then I am an atheist.

The reasons I lack belief in deities are the same reasons that I lack belief in, say, genies or fairies. Though it may be possible that genies or fairies do indeed exist, I have yet to encounter sound evidence or reasoning supporting their existence.

If someone is able to prove, objectively and soundly, that a god exists, then I will accept its existence. Of course, then this person would have to go on to demonstrate that the god they just proved exists is their god (be it Yahweh, Vishnu, Zeus, Quetzalcoatl, or whatever), as well as all the truth of all the trappings that accompany their religion.
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Re: Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Postby dashgalaxy86 » 05 Mar 2011, 00:24

Chris wrote:Given the definition of an atheist as "one who lacks belief in a god or gods", then I am an atheist.

The reasons I lack belief in deities are the same reasons that I lack belief in, say, genies or fairies. Though it may be possible that genies or fairies do indeed exist, I have yet to encounter sound evidence or reasoning supporting their existence.

If someone is able to prove, objectively and soundly, that a god exists, then I will accept its existence. Of course, then this person would have to go on to demonstrate that the god they just proved exists is [i]their[/] god (be it Yahweh, Vishnu, Zeus, Quetzalcoatl, or whatever), as well as all the truth of all the trappings that accompany their religion.

Right, it's just like genies or fairies, or perhaps the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

Have you heard of Russell's teapot? It demonstrates that the burden of proof should fall squarely on the shoulders of the person making the claim that something requiring evidence to be believable. If we say that there is an invisible teapot out in outer space, too small and too distant for telescopes to detect, of course we know immediately this is probably nonsense. Or at least not important. To believe this, we would need the person who claims this to show us some kind of evidence. Without the evidence, any further statement from the person on the topic is immediately subject to doubt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot
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Re: Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Postby Got To Be Kidding » 05 Mar 2011, 00:27

dashgalaxy86 wrote: ...but felt that given the topic it wasn't the write time or place for that.


Hey, it's ALWAYS the write time.

I actually believe that your position is the most intellectually honest position to take. No one can prove that there ISN'T a God. And yes, no one can really prove that there IS one.

Usually, Atheism is a reaction to 'theism'. It's not logic. It's emotion.
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Re: Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Postby jimipresley » 05 Mar 2011, 00:30

Got To Be Kidding wrote:
Usually, Atheism is a reaction to 'theism'. It's not logic. It's emotion.

Heh. Where's that "can 'o worms" smiley when you need it? :popcorn:
You can live here and have a great life and not be the least bit into living the local life. Clowns will try to diss you for it saying you gotta get down with the program, but fuck em, treat this place like a buffet and yous be on a diet. Take what you want and nothing extra, slam those oysters, but leave the bread sticks and dinner rolls behind. - Deuce Dropper

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Re: Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Postby Dragonbones » 05 Mar 2011, 00:30

dashgalaxy86 wrote:Atheist/Agnostic. I lean toward atheist, but you'd have to be a total idiot to close that door 100%.


And right there, the civility of the discussion has ended. Nice job. :wink:
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Re: Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Postby Chris » 05 Mar 2011, 00:35

Yup, I've heard of Russell's Teapot.

As for Pascal's Wager, some of its weaknesses are:

1. Which god to wager on? All of them?
2. An omniscient god would know that you're just wagering rather than truly believing.
3. What if there is a god, but he rewards skeptics and punishes believers?
4. You can indeed lose a lot by wasting time, effort and money in devotion to a god who doesn't exist.
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Re: Theism vs. Atheism: Civil Discussion

Postby zyzzx » 05 Mar 2011, 00:38

We've had a few of these threads before, I predict that this will not end well.
:popcorn:
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