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Old 16th February 2019, 10:44 PM   #161
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
God has one essential attribute which separates Him from alien geeks creating simulations, He is supernatural. Which is bad news for God, because the Supernatural, by definition, does not exist. For ordinary things that wouldn't be a problem, since something that doesn't exist now could still possibly exist in the future or have existed in the past. But if God exists then He is not supernatural - and therefore not God - whereas if He is supernatural then He does not exist. Therefore God cannot exist. If a thing cannot exist then it is not possible.
Not really, no. Gods being supernatural is a relatively new notion. For the ancients who came up with gods, they were actually very much a part of the natural order of things. Even for early Xians, the divine Logos (which is unfortunately translated as "word", but it's more like "reason" and in fact the root word for "logic") is what kept the universe running like intended. When you read Aquinas's "unmoved mover" arguments and the like, that's no longer explicitly containing the Logos, but it's a continuation of the same line of thinking.

So it seems to me like a geek alien whose logic (code) keeps the planets going as intended would not just qualify as a god, but really as THE kind of god that platonism gradually evolved towards.

But even if you stick to "supernatural", the question would be basically: it's "super" to WHAT "natural"? In OUR universe, sure, but I think by now nobody argues that God is living somewhere on a mountain on a planet in our universe any more.

As an example: The programmers of World Of Warcraft are very much supernatural in the world of Azeroth, and can do all sorts of things that break the rules of that universe, for example. Hell, they even rearranged the bloody world in one patch. But they can do that because they're not IN that universe, and thus not subject to its rules. In fact the other way around, the rules of the universe are whatever Blizzard wants them to be.

Some gnomish scholar sitting around postulating that the great game designer in the sky would be supernatural, and thus can't exist, would just be stupid, rather than proving the impossibility.
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Old 17th February 2019, 12:44 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
God doesn’t exist for me and other atheists, everything isn’t permitted for us, the world isn’t meaningless for us, we give our own meanings to our lives, we don’t commit suicide any more than theists.

Skeptical doesn’t mean atheist, there are many theists on this forum.
My Christian, let's call him Dostoevsky, would say something like that:

"You can endure life because you live in a continuous act of inauthenticity. You can change your rules voluntarily at any time and make good be evil and conversely. Deprived of God's permanent gaze, you can steal from the blind, deceive your love or kill your children when no one can see you.

Furthermore, you should live in a continuous fear of eternal death that would haunt your days and nights, if you were athentically rational.

If not, it is because you prefer to live in bad faith: creating an objective good that does not exist and forgetting that your days are numbered.

That is why true happiness is to believe in the immortality of the soul".

(Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky).
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Old 17th February 2019, 12:59 AM   #163
Aridas
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
My Christian, let's call him Dostoevsky, would say something like that:

"You can endure life because you live in a continuous act of inauthenticity. You can change your rules voluntarily at any time and make good be evil and conversely. Deprived of God's permanent gaze, you can steal from the blind, deceive your love or kill your children when no one can see you.

Furthermore, you should live in a continuous fear of eternal death that would haunt your days and nights, if you were athentically rational.

If not, it is because you prefer to live in bad faith: creating an objective good that does not exist and forgetting that your days are numbered.

That is why true happiness is to believe in the immortality of the soul".

(Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky).
Gotta love it when people assume nonsense. Not going to dissect it, though, unless you're seriously forwarding it as if it were your position, devil's advocate. Are you?
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Old 17th February 2019, 02:02 AM   #164
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
My Christian, let's call him Dostoevsky, would say something like that:

"You can endure life because you live in a continuous act of inauthenticity. You can change your rules voluntarily at any time and make good be evil and conversely. Deprived of God's permanent gaze, you can steal from the blind, deceive your love or kill your children when no one can see you.

Furthermore, you should live in a continuous fear of eternal death that would haunt your days and nights, if you were athentically rational.

If not, it is because you prefer to live in bad faith: creating an objective good that does not exist and forgetting that your days are numbered.

That is why true happiness is to believe in the immortality of the soul".

(Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky).
Well, I suppose that settles it then: you CAN be a famous writer and still have no clue what you're talking about
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Old 17th February 2019, 03:02 AM   #165
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Dr Jordan Peterson's answer to "Do you believe that God exists?":
https://www.reddit.com/r/Maps_of_Mea...if_god_exists/

He answers that it is difficult to answer, since each person asking the question almost certainly has different concepts of God, so responding "yes" or "no" becomes a kind of "have you stopped beating your wife" question (my own very brief interpretation of his answer.) His response is "I act as if God exists."
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Old 17th February 2019, 03:20 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Dr Jordan Peterson's answer to "Do you believe that God exists?":
https://www.reddit.com/r/Maps_of_Mea...if_god_exists/

He answers that it is difficult to answer, since each person asking the question almost certainly has different concepts of God, so responding "yes" or "no" becomes a kind of "have you stopped beating your wife" question (my own very brief interpretation of his answer.) His response is "I act as if God exists."
Which of course i(f you have summarised his argument correctly) means his statement is in fact meaningless since he is saying god could be anything. Also why would you use a label such as "god" rather than saying what you actually do believe in?
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Old 17th February 2019, 04:46 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which of course i(f you have summarised his argument correctly) means his statement is in fact meaningless since he is saying god could be anything. Also why would you use a label such as "god" rather than saying what you actually do believe in?
I think he'd prefer not to use the word "God" at all without ensuring that the questioner and himself have the same understanding of what the term means. That's the problem with a lot of discussions about God (I am a theist myself): the failure to start from the same place.

I usually say that I agree with the atheist that the God that the atheist believes doesn't exist does not in fact exist. I think the atheist who asks a theist to prove that God exists often has in the back of their mind "prove to me that the God I disbelieve in exists".
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Old 17th February 2019, 05:03 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I think he'd prefer not to use the word "God" at all without ensuring that the questioner and himself have the same understanding of what the term means. That's the problem with a lot of discussions about God (I am a theist myself): the failure to start from the same place.

I usually say that I agree with the atheist that the God that the atheist believes doesn't exist does not in fact exist. I think the atheist who asks a theist to prove that God exists often has in the back of their mind "prove to me that the God I disbelieve in exists".
The question "Which one?" remains just as pertinent even then, though, much as it sounds like your description would be more apt when describing, say, a Muslim challenging a Christian or vice versa. When it comes to atheists, the issue will likely more properly be "prove to me that any god exists in the first place or at least that it's even reasonable to accept such, then demonstrate that it's the one that you think it is."
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Old 17th February 2019, 05:50 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
When it comes to atheists, the issue will likely more properly be "prove to me that any god exists in the first place or at least that it's even reasonable to accept such, then demonstrate that it's the one that you think it is."
Sure, that is how the question should be framed and argued, but discussion rarely proceeds along those lines. The questions of Hell, the Bible, afterlife, etc, which technically has nothing to do with the existence of any god, gets inserted. It becomes more like a Rorschach test for what God the atheist disbelieves in, rather than the God a theist is pushing.
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Old 17th February 2019, 06:07 AM   #170
HansMustermann
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I would say it does have to do with the last half, though: "then demonstrate that it's the one that you think it is."

Because it's kinda that part that is always glossed over. And the theists seem to be perfectly happy to skip that part and claim victory anyway. Even when one at least pretends to give some reason for A god, then they pretend they've proven it's THEIR god.

I mean, take Kalam. The claim tends to go basically, someone must have created the universe, therefore don't eat pork. Well, not in those exact words, but you get the idea. A whole lot of extra attributes needed to turn that generic creator into specifically THEIR god, just get handwaved through customs, and everybody hopes you just weren't looking.

Or take the ontological argument, since it was mentioned right in this thread. Even if I managed to bang my head hard enough to buy the "you can imagine the greatest possible being, so it must exist" argument, it still doesn't follow that what I imagine as the greatest would be even vaguely resembling the Xian god. Or to keep generic, even vaguely resembling what the guy making that argument is imagining.

So, yes, I would like to see someone support their WHOLE god claim, not just do 1% of the job and pretend they met the goal.
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Old 17th February 2019, 06:41 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Sure, that is how the question should be framed and argued, but discussion rarely proceeds along those lines. The questions of Hell, the Bible, afterlife, etc, which technically has nothing to do with the existence of any god, gets inserted. It becomes more like a Rorschach test for what God the atheist disbelieves in, rather than the God a theist is pushing.
Ehh... that's a hard defense to validly defend. I was willing to let your prior statement barely pass because, indeed, atheists do not accept any gods, or they wouldn't be an atheist, so it is indeed a case where the atheist is asking for the theist to offer proof for something that the atheist doesn't believe in. It's a triviality in that case, of course. This line of reasoning, on the other hand.... Your described action was an atheist asking a theist to prove that God exists. The first thing to note, there, is that most atheists (and most theists) reject the implicit Christian conflation of the topic of gods in general and the Christian God, though many are willing to play along for ease's sake. So we're starting off from a position where what's actually in discussion is questionable from the start, and the Christian will frequently entirely skip over the former consideration of evidence that any gods exist (in part because they're so used to just accepting that gods/the supernatural exists) and go directly to the latter consideration of whether their preferred god exists. Going by the flow of things, the atheist will then generally be playing along and seeking to address what the theist is addressing, which ends up being directly about Christianity and some of the rather notable problems with it.

So... in short, I really don't see much merit to your argument here. You're mentioning a problem that's pretty much going to be naturally and inevitably caused directly because of Christian naming tradition and culture a bunch of the time.
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Old 17th February 2019, 08:19 AM   #172
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Many point out a lack of god (thus divine law) means the non believers are free to do whatever.

Civil law still exists and the individual still carries his own moral laws.

People have accused me of being Fundy Christian as my moral code runs parallel somewhat. But stripped of the god stuff they chose to respect.
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Old 17th February 2019, 11:05 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I would say it does have to do with the last half, though: "then demonstrate that it's the one that you think it is."

Because it's kinda that part that is always glossed over. And the theists seem to be perfectly happy to skip that part and claim victory anyway. Even when one at least pretends to give some reason for A god, then they pretend they've proven it's THEIR god.

I mean, take Kalam. The claim tends to go basically, someone must have created the universe, therefore don't eat pork. Well, not in those exact words, but you get the idea. A whole lot of extra attributes needed to turn that generic creator into specifically THEIR god, just get handwaved through customs, and everybody hopes you just weren't looking.

Or take the ontological argument, since it was mentioned right in this thread. Even if I managed to bang my head hard enough to buy the "you can imagine the greatest possible being, so it must exist" argument, it still doesn't follow that what I imagine as the greatest would be even vaguely resembling the Xian god. Or to keep generic, even vaguely resembling what the guy making that argument is imagining.

So, yes, I would like to see someone support their WHOLE god claim, not just do 1% of the job and pretend they met the goal.
And we do know that many of the gods people have stated they believe in over many millennia simply don't exist because their description allows us to test their existence and they fail to turn up!

The reason I think many theists have retreated to claims of a supernatural god of the gaps is that they know their god as described can't exist. For example the god in the RC doctrine doesn't exist as described in that doctrine, that god interacted with people on a huge number of occasions, his interventions were verifiable by those who didn't already believe in him, he changed the world around us time and time again in ways we could objectively measure and so on. He was not a hidden god, or a shy god.
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Old 17th February 2019, 11:32 AM   #174
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Well, yeah. As I was saying before, it's like watching the sad life cycle of a god:

approx 4000 BCE: autistic teenage nerd god. Creates a world just because he can. Has strong opinions about just about everything. It's his way or you can go to hell. Flies off the handle at the slightest sign that things don't go like he told you to.

approx 30 CE: mid-life crisis god. Reinvents himself, dumps all his old BFFs, finds himself a much younger chick, has a kid, mellows out.

present day: alzheimer god. Can't really do much more than stamp his face in other people's food. Presumably then the nurse comes, straightens him back up in his wheelchair and gives him his medication

Seems a bit sad, really
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Old 17th February 2019, 12:00 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
Many point out a lack of god (thus divine law) means the non believers are free to do whatever.
Out of all the arguments people on the pro-God side make, the one that you need God to have a moral code is one of the most baffling to me.

Watching Dillahunty's greatest hits bothered me slightly because there was such a mismatch in intellect between people calling in and Dillahunty. It allowed him to go for some pretty low-hanging fruit that almost made me sorry for the Christians (always Christians) calling in.

A caller cited the number of a verse in Matthew and asked Dillahunty if he knew what it said. He knew exactly what the verse said which disarmed the caller to some extent. It was about "lusting in your heart" and the caller said basically if not for Christianity people would be raping whoever they felt like raping. Dillahunty made an argument that said he arrived at "do not rape" by reasoning and declared victory, but I was interested in where the conversation would go it he'd kept it open-ended. Does this mean the Christian calling in believed that if not for the Bible, he'd be out raping people? I was curious what the guy would say if asked that but instead Dillahunty got annoyed and basically hung up on the guy.

But maybe I have more patience for this stuff because I never believed it.
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Old 17th February 2019, 12:04 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I mean, take Kalam. The claim tends to go basically, someone must have created the universe, therefore don't eat pork. Well, not in those exact words, but you get the idea. A whole lot of extra attributes needed to turn that generic creator into specifically THEIR god, just get handwaved through customs, and everybody hopes you just weren't looking.
Yes, that's quite a leap of "logic."
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Old 17th February 2019, 12:37 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Out of all the arguments people on the pro-God side make, the one that you need God to have a moral code is one of the most baffling to me.

Watching Dillahunty's greatest hits bothered me slightly because there was such a mismatch in intellect between people calling in and Dillahunty. It allowed him to go for some pretty low-hanging fruit that almost made me sorry for the Christians (always Christians) calling in.

A caller cited the number of a verse in Matthew and asked Dillahunty if he knew what it said. He knew exactly what the verse said which disarmed the caller to some extent. It was about "lusting in your heart" and the caller said basically if not for Christianity people would be raping whoever they felt like raping. Dillahunty made an argument that said he arrived at "do not rape" by reasoning and declared victory, but I was interested in where the conversation would go it he'd kept it open-ended. Does this mean the Christian calling in believed that if not for the Bible, he'd be out raping people? I was curious what the guy would say if asked that but instead Dillahunty got annoyed and basically hung up on the guy.

But maybe I have more patience for this stuff because I never believed it.
You can watch Matt on the call in show live in a couple of hours -

If you think Matt is too aggressive you might prefer to watch the Tracie Harris vids. She's lovely and more patient than Matt, but she's also a very competent and intelligent critical thinker/skeptic.
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Old 17th February 2019, 01:17 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You can watch Matt on the call in show live in a couple of hours -

If you think Matt is too aggressive you might prefer to watch the Tracie Harris vids. She's lovely and more patient than Matt, but she's also a very competent and intelligent critical thinker/skeptic.
There's a theory in improv comedy that you keep a sketch alive by going along in the moment with whatever farfetched scenario has been proposed. It's not that I'm a huge fan of improv but within the genre there are "rules" and saying "No, you're wrong" pretty much shuts down the sketch. You also don't respond, "yes, but ...," instead you go with "yes and ..." Not sure where I'm going with this , it's certainly not my style ... I'm more like, "You're full of **** and let me tell you why."

I understand why some atheists say that belief is toxic and must be eradicated. I find it more interesting to explore people's beliefs; maybe that makes me an apologist. A lot of conversations I find on YouTube rely on finding some really obnoxious Christian who nobody likes, including other Christians:

Atheists and Christians debate truth and belief
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Old 17th February 2019, 01:21 PM   #179
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I may be mistaken but it seems to be that even as a very young child - like, 4 or 5 - I head the song, "Jesus loves me this I know, 'cause the Bible tells me so" and thought, that's it? That's supposed to be proof?
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Old 17th February 2019, 01:43 PM   #180
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
There's a theory in improv comedy that you keep a sketch alive by going along in the moment with whatever farfetched scenario has been proposed. It's not that I'm a huge fan of improv but within the genre there are "rules" and saying "No, you're wrong" pretty much shuts down the sketch. You also don't respond, "yes, but ...," instead you go with "yes and ..." Not sure where I'm going with this , it's certainly not my style ... I'm more like, "You're full of **** and let me tell you why."
Well, I'm not a professional comedian, but I'd say that comedy is hardly a recipe for logical debate, not the least because it's very hard to be funny if everything you say just makes perfect sense. In fact, I find that some of the funniest stuff I ever came up with, judging by other people's reaction at least, was in fact stonking stupid. That's why it was funny, in fact.

While there are ways to, for example, illustrate an incongruity in the what the interlocutor is proposing, to make it funny, it's rather limiting your options if you only want to ever argue that way. I'd say it's more productive to keep your options open. Go for the joke if one can be made, but be prepared to support your points in the old non-funny way anyway.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I understand why some atheists say that belief is toxic and must be eradicated.
That would be more like the domain of anti-theism than generally atheism, and even then I think you'll find most of us are saying it's detrimental because it's stupid, rather than toxic. Going for "toxic" isn't even very productive, because everyone rationalizes that yeah, but theirs totally isn't -- either because they don't, say, outright beat up gays, so that totally doesn't make it toxic, or because in fact it would be toxic not to -- so that somehow makes the whole point invalid. Whereas "stupid", even if they don't acknowledge it as such, they'll amply illustrate it if you poke enough. E.g., by backing up their arguing for God being real, into yeah, but how useful it would be if you believed that. Which is magical thinking at its finest, as arguments for why X is true go.
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Old 17th February 2019, 02:41 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
There's a theory in improv comedy that you keep a sketch alive by going along in the moment with whatever farfetched scenario has been proposed. It's not that I'm a huge fan of improv but within the genre there are "rules" and saying "No, you're wrong" pretty much shuts down the sketch. You also don't respond, "yes, but ...," instead you go with "yes and ..." Not sure where I'm going with this , it's certainly not my style ... I'm more like, "You're full of **** and let me tell you why."

I understand why some atheists say that belief is toxic and must be eradicated. I find it more interesting to explore people's beliefs; maybe that makes me an apologist. A lot of conversations I find on YouTube rely on finding some really obnoxious Christian who nobody likes, including other Christians:

Atheists and Christians debate truth and belief
Don't think anyone including atheists is against beliefs per se. Some atheists are against religious beliefs and some aren't, regardless that they don't have those beliefs them self. "Atheist" doesn't mean "against beliefs and/or theists". I think most atheists aren't so much against the religious beliefs, but are more against the "bad stuff" that comes from having those beliefs.
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Old 17th February 2019, 03:54 PM   #182
Aridas
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
The reason I think many theists have retreated to claims of a supernatural god of the gaps is that they know their god as described can't exist. For example the god in the RC doctrine doesn't exist as described in that doctrine, that god interacted with people on a huge number of occasions, his interventions were verifiable by those who didn't already believe in him, he changed the world around us time and time again in ways we could objectively measure and so on. He was not a hidden god, or a shy god.
Correction: Can't be disproved. That said god chose to do so like that then does not mean that it would necessarily do things that way now, though it supposedly could if it wanted to.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Does this mean the Christian calling in believed that if not for the Bible, he'd be out raping people?
Quite possibly, at least on an intellectual level. Again, doctrine for much of Christianity is that humans are innately vile and sinful. It's a position that holds a fair bit of persuasiveness because it very much has a grain of truth to it, incidentally.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I may be mistaken but it seems to be that even as a very young child - like, 4 or 5 - I head the song, "Jesus loves me this I know, 'cause the Bible tells me so" and thought, that's it? That's supposed to be proof?
That's more critical thinking than many exhibit, I think, at that point.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Don't think anyone including atheists is against beliefs per se. Some atheists are against religious beliefs and some aren't, regardless that they don't have those beliefs them self. "Atheist" doesn't mean "against beliefs and/or theists". I think most atheists aren't so much against the religious beliefs, but are more against the "bad stuff" that comes from having those beliefs.
In practice, mostly. There are those who are against the beliefs part, too, but there's usually fairly clear underlying motivation.
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Old 17th February 2019, 04:12 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
So I watched a couple of videos, of Matt Dillahunty and Seth Andrews. I wasn't familiar with them. I notice both say they used to be fundamentalist Christians. They have reasons not to believe, but I didn't really hear them giving reasons for why they did believe. Andrews said something like, he wasn't given a choice - he was just raised that way. I escaped all that. I never had the disillusionment of realizing that I had been lied to all my life.

My mother didn't believe in cramming religion down our throats (like it had been crammed down hers) and her church did not practice infant baptism. By the time I was old enough to be baptized, I wasn't interested. So I got the courtesy of "choosing" for myself, even though I'm not sure we actually choose. ynot, I think there are reasons to believe, but you might not think they're good reasons. Did you really feel when you started the thread that someone might come up with something you haven't thought of?
Both Matt and Seth were raised in belief. Matt was training to be a pastor when he woke up.
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Old 17th February 2019, 04:31 PM   #184
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Jesus probably did exist, so you'd better behave.

Josephus mentions him.
Pontius Pilate was a real person.
How else would Christianity begin other than by some miracle? Every effort to stamp out the new religion by the heathen Romans had ultimately failed.

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Old 17th February 2019, 04:59 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Don't think anyone including atheists is against beliefs per se. Some atheists are against religious beliefs and some aren't, regardless that they don't have those beliefs them self. "Atheist" doesn't mean "against beliefs and/or theists". I think most atheists aren't so much against the religious beliefs, but are more against the "bad stuff" that comes from having those beliefs.

The "bad stuff" that so many non religious folk are either not aware of or just don't care about. They talk of their warm acceptance of people of all religious conviction, and somehow feel the need to accept the religion itself as somehow benign, regardless of the obvious damage caused.

It's easy to be so accepting if you are not directly effected, by the religion fuelled damage caused. If you don't happen to be gay, a woman in need of an abortion, a person with spinal injury wanting progress made on stem cell research, or a person in the wrong place when some self exploding martyr does his thing.

The plight of those effected is hand waved off, while these all embracing kind folk, talk of their warm acceptance of all the religious and religions. The martyrs are dismissed as radicals, not truely representative of "the religion of peace" they spawn from.
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Old 17th February 2019, 06:13 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The "bad stuff" that so many non religious folk are either not aware of or just don't care about. They talk of their warm acceptance of people of all religious conviction, and somehow feel the need to accept the religion itself as somehow benign, regardless of the obvious damage caused.

It's easy to be so accepting if you are not directly effected, by the religion fuelled damage caused. If you don't happen to be gay, a woman in need of an abortion, a person with spinal injury wanting progress made on stem cell research, or a person in the wrong place when some self exploding martyr does his thing.

The plight of those effected is hand waved off, while these all embracing kind folk, talk of their warm acceptance of all the religious and religions. The martyrs are dismissed as radicals, not truely representative of "the religion of peace" they spawn from.
I particularly dislike and object to the religious "bad stuff" (or any religious stuff) that's surreptitiously imposed on countries and communities by political and social decision makers.
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Old 17th February 2019, 09:40 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Jesus probably did exist, so you'd better behave.

Josephus mentions him.
Pontius Pilate was a real person.
How else would Christianity begin other than by some miracle? Every effort to stamp out the new religion by the heathen Romans had ultimately failed.

Does the intellectual dishonesty invoked there actually need to be demonstrated yet again?
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Old 17th February 2019, 09:56 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Does the intellectual dishonesty invoked there actually need to be demonstrated yet again?
I don't think the poster was endorsing that intellectual dishonesty, but I'm not really a veteran of these discussions.

I'd kind of like to believe in the warm fuzzy version of religion - God is love, the fruits of the spirit will reliably guide us - but I know very well that idea does not hold up to scrutiny.
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Old 17th February 2019, 09:59 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Both Matt and Seth were raised in belief. Matt was training to be a pastor when he woke up.
I'm interested in their stories, and may end up exploring further.
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Old 17th February 2019, 10:31 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Jesus probably did exist, so you'd better behave.

Josephus mentions him.
Pontius Pilate was a real person.
How else would Christianity begin other than by some miracle? Every effort to stamp out the new religion by the heathen Romans had ultimately failed.

You forget:

- there were gazillions of hostile witnesses, so the gospel writers couldn't make stuff up (even though the same witnesses apparently had no objection to the hours long eclipse or the zombie invasion in Matthew)

- Luke is a great historian, because he says so himself

- the story mentions real places like Jerusalem, so it has to be real (in the same way, I guess, as Hell's Kitchen is a real neighbourhood, therefore Daredevil and The Punisher must be real)

- if Jesus were invented, they'd invent a total super-superman-style Mary Sue, not some guy who got crucified, so it has to be real

- people didn't lie about this kind of stuff back then (except for the Jews, disciples of the even more miraculous Apollonius of Tyana, etc, obviously)

- the all time special: the appeal to appeal to authority. Here's this theologian who says that some other theologian(s) are an authority you can't disagree with

- there were hundreds of witnesses to the resurrection, because Paul says so, so that settles it

- people wouldn't have died for their belief unless it was real

- an angel once helped me pump gas at the gas station (actual call in to one of Matt's shows; you can't make that kind of stuff up, really)

Etc.

Yeah, I've been reading that kinda threads for too long
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Old 17th February 2019, 11:48 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Gotta love it when people assume nonsense. Not going to dissect it, though, unless you're seriously forwarding it as if it were your position, devil's advocate. Are you?
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, I suppose that settles it then: you CAN be a famous writer and still have no clue what you're talking about
What does it matter if I agree with Dostoevsky or not? I didn't quite understand why a question adressed to theists was posed in a sceptical forum. It doesn't seem like the right place. But I know Dostoewsky's writings quite well and it is a perfect example of an answer to the question posed here. I thought it might liven up the debate. I am a little surprised by your answer. You're trying to kill the messenger. Why are you avoiding Dostoewsky's statement? Do you have an answer for him?
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Old 17th February 2019, 11:50 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What does it matter if I agree with Dostoevsky or not? I didn't quite understand why a question adressed to theists was posed in a sceptical forum. It doesn't seem like the right place. But I know Dostoewsky's writings quite well and it is a perfect example of an answer to the question posed here. I thought it might liven up the debate. I am a little surprised by your answer. You're trying to kill the messenger. Why are you avoiding Dostoewsky's statement? Do you have an answer for him?
Hmm? Unless you are a famous writer and I missed that, then why would you even assume that my quip was about the messenger? I thought it would be obvious that point was that Dostoevsky was talking out the ass.
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Old 17th February 2019, 11:58 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I think he'd prefer not to use the word "God" at all without ensuring that the questioner and himself have the same understanding of what the term means. That's the problem with a lot of discussions about God (I am a theist myself): the failure to start from the same place.

I usually say that I agree with the atheist that the God that the atheist believes doesn't exist does not in fact exist. I think the atheist who asks a theist to prove that God exists often has in the back of their mind "prove to me that the God I disbelieve in exists".
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Sure, that is how the question should be framed and argued, but discussion rarely proceeds along those lines. The questions of Hell, the Bible, afterlife, etc, which technically has nothing to do with the existence of any god, gets inserted. It becomes more like a Rorschach test for what God the atheist disbelieves in, rather than the God a theist is pushing.
Perfect. Let us aside all the Bible, miracles, etc. What do you means when you said "God"?
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Old 18th February 2019, 12:01 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Hmm? Unless you are a famous writer and I missed that, then why would you even assume that my quip was about the messenger? I thought it would be obvious that point was that Dostoevsky was talking out the ass.
"Was talking out the ass"?

Is this a reason? Some problem with the constipation this morning?
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Old 18th February 2019, 12:16 AM   #195
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Well, that kinda brings us to Aridas' point, then. Are you just the messenger, or are you intending to defend Dostoevsky's assumptions? Choose one. I'm ok with either, really, but choose one.
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Old 18th February 2019, 12:40 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, that kinda brings us to Aridas' point, then. Are you just the messenger, or are you intending to defend Dostoevsky's assumptions? Choose one. I'm ok with either, really, but choose one.
I am the messenger because I believe that Dostoewsky's statement is an intelligent way of defending a usual reason to believe among religious people. I would like to know what others think before I give my own answer.
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Old 18th February 2019, 01:03 AM   #197
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Well, I just told you what I think: that that argument is a case of talking out the ass. If it's not your own argument or reflecting on you actually believe -- which, really, would have been my first guess for a quote anyway -- then I see no reason why you'd be bothered by my calling it "talking out the ass", nor why you'd assume that it's about the messenger, namely you. And if the purpose was to learn what the others think, then I just told you: whoever made that argument was talking out the ass. You just learned what I think. Mission accomplished.

That said, I'd be more interested in where that quote comes from. It sounds like something that might come from the Brothers Karamazov, and more specifically like what someone would object to Ivan's views. But I must confess that I haven't memorized the whole text, so that's just a very wild guess.

The reason I mention that is that for any good -- or really anywhere above "not horrible" -- novelist, the views of any particular character tend to be not exactly their own. Even when they have an author-insert character to say what the author thinks, the rest of the characters are typically not.

And especially in the Brothers Karamazov, IF that's where that comes from, most of the other characters' critique of Ivan's supposed views are half-baked over-simplifications, and based on half-baked over-simplified second-hand versions of those views. Which is just to say that Dostoevsky is a good writer, really. His characters don't have perfect knowledge.

So, basically, even more reason I don't see the problem if I say that that particular reasoning is a case of talking out the ass. If it's from one of Dostoevsky's characters, those are talking out the ass most of the time anyway, and it seems certain it's intentionally that way. So why would you have a problem with it?
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Old 18th February 2019, 03:48 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, I just told you what I think: that that argument is a case of talking out the ass. If it's not your own argument or reflecting on you actually believe -- which, really, would have been my first guess for a quote anyway -- then I see no reason why you'd be bothered by my calling it "talking out the ass", nor why you'd assume that it's about the messenger, namely you. And if the purpose was to learn what the others think, then I just told you: whoever made that argument was talking out the ass. You just learned what I think. Mission accomplished.

That said, I'd be more interested in where that quote comes from. It sounds like something that might come from the Brothers Karamazov, and more specifically like what someone would object to Ivan's views. But I must confess that I haven't memorized the whole text, so that's just a very wild guess.

The reason I mention that is that for any good -- or really anywhere above "not horrible" -- novelist, the views of any particular character tend to be not exactly their own. Even when they have an author-insert character to say what the author thinks, the rest of the characters are typically not.

And especially in the Brothers Karamazov, IF that's where that comes from, most of the other characters' critique of Ivan's supposed views are half-baked over-simplifications, and based on half-baked over-simplified second-hand versions of those views. Which is just to say that Dostoevsky is a good writer, really. His characters don't have perfect knowledge.

So, basically, even more reason I don't see the problem if I say that that particular reasoning is a case of talking out the ass. If it's from one of Dostoevsky's characters, those are talking out the ass most of the time anyway, and it seems certain it's intentionally that way. So why would you have a problem with it?
Let's put aside your obsession with the ass.

The idea that without belief in the immortality of the soul morality would be impossible is not just from some characters in Dostoewsky's novels. It is said by Dostoewsky himself in A Writer's Diary. I translate from my Spanish version (p. 383):
I declare that love for humanity is totally inconceivable, incomprehensible and impossible in every way without faith in the immortality of the human soul. (December 1876)
In my previous comment I have dramatized this idea. It was a summary of the pp. 382-4 in my Spanish edition (Barcelona, 2007).

You assumed it was a speech by Ivan Karamazov. It was not. Even if it was, I don't know why we shouldn't take it seriously. We're discussing ideas, not men, aren't we?

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Old 18th February 2019, 04:08 AM   #199
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Let's put aside your obsession with the ass.
Let's put aside that you've wasted everyone's time for a few messages at this point with just your not understanding a common english expression. Your lack of comprehension doesn't make it an obsession or anything else on someone else's part. Learn english, or don't, but either way the limits of your knowledge are your problem not mine.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The idea that without belief in the immortality of the soul morality would be impossible is not just from some characters in Dostoewsky's novels.
All right, looks like I was right the first time around: It WAS Doestoevsky talking out the ass.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It is said by Dostoewsky himself in A Writer's Diary. I translate from my Spanish version (p. 383):
I declare that love for humanity is totally inconceivable, incomprehensible and impossible in every way without faith in the immortality of the human soul. (December 1876)
In my previous comment I have dramatized this idea. It was a summary of the pp. 382-4 in my Spanish edition (Barcelona, 2007).

You assumed it was a speech by Ivan Karamazov. It was not. Even if it was, I don't know why we shouldn't take it seriously. We're discussing ideas, not men, aren't we?
Actually, by one of Ivan's critics, but that doesn't matter. All I was saying is that if you're just the MESSENGER, you have no reason to object to my calling the whole argument a case of talking out the ass. Especially so if that were just a fictive character, since it seems kinda silly to try to protect the feelings of a fictive character.

But anyway, methinks you should still pick one:
1. Either you're just the messenger. OR
2. You actually want to argue that position.
Not both.

"Just the messenger" is the postman who stuffs the local newspaper in my post box. There's no point in debating with HIM what the mayor wants to do to local taxes, since he never expressed any opinion either way about that. Well, not to me and not in any media. But if someone moves the discussion to, basically, I have to explain to him why I'm dismissing the mayor's tax plan, and he takes it personally if I say the mayor's argument sucks ass, that's no longer being the messenger.

So are you, or are you not "just the messenger?" One or the other, not both. Because it seems to me like you want to both have your cake and eat it.
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Old 18th February 2019, 04:54 AM   #200
Aridas
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Hmm? Unless you are a famous writer and I missed that, then why would you even assume that my quip was about the messenger? I thought it would be obvious that point was that Dostoevsky was talking out the ass.
Indeed. I was saying Dostoevsky was assuming nonsense, too. I did address the messenger, though, when I asked if the messenger was advancing it as if it were their own.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What does it matter if I agree with Dostoevsky or not? I didn't quite understand why a question adressed to theists was posed in a sceptical forum. It doesn't seem like the right place. But I know Dostoewsky's writings quite well and it is a perfect example of an answer to the question posed here. I thought it might liven up the debate. I am a little surprised by your answer. You're trying to kill the messenger. Why are you avoiding Dostoewsky's statement? Do you have an answer for him?
Avoiding? Ha. It's dumb enough that it really doesn't even remotely require a serious response.

With that said, though, I do agree that posting the question in a place more filled with theists would likely draw more responses from theists. As it stands, much of what I've done in this thread is poke at some of the bad arguments seriously advanced in this thread.

Now...

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I am the messenger because I believe that Dostoewsky's statement is an intelligent way of defending a usual reason to believe among religious people. I would like to know what others think before I give my own answer.
You seem intent upon it. Oh, well. It's honestly not an intelligent way to defend a belief, unless you consider asserting a string of blatant falsehoods repeatedly to be "intelligent."

So sure, why not?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
"You can endure life because you live in a continuous act of inauthenticity.
Starting off with an vague and insulting statement. Not an auspicious start, but at this point in an argument, it's still reasonable to give the arguer a chance to back it up before dismissing it out of hand.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You can change your rules voluntarily at any time and make good be evil and conversely.
That's a popular falsehood in many Christian circles, as they badmouth subjective morality without actually understanding it. Going further, the morality that we actually consistently see in evidence is primarily a societal/cultural construct with a foundation on biological tendencies. This construct can, in fact, be influenced by individuals, but it's hardly the whimsical thing that they try to represent subjective morality as. There's much more that could be said, but that's plenty to demonstrate that this claim doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Deprived of God's permanent gaze, you can steal from the blind, deceive your love or kill your children when no one can see you.
The thing that makes this common bit of Christian propaganda particularly moronic for a Christian to say is that nothing about the form of objective morality that their religion puts forth stops them from doing all those things and so much worse and getting away completely unpunished with them. All that's actually needed is a death bed repentance and, say, Hitler would go to Heaven and get to point and laugh as Gandhi burns in Hell (to poke at some of the written fantasies of early Christian leaders).

More directly, though, subjective morality isn't even remotely equatable with being a sociopath or a psychopath.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Furthermore, you should live in a continuous fear of eternal death that would haunt your days and nights, if you were athentically rational.
This claim deserves nothing more than ridicule, given that it assumes that eternal life is actually even remotely desirable in the first place after serious consideration, before getting to the rest of the problems, direct and indirect. For example, the actual described nature of that eternal existence in the Bible. It's not farfetched to call that an eternity of slavery and servitude, all to appease what could easily described as the pettiest and cruelest of tyrants, were the standards that people are judged by actually being applied to it.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
If not, it is because you prefer to live in bad faith: creating an objective good that does not exist and forgetting that your days are numbered.
Again, the premises that are being worked from here are laughable and largely ignore reality and reason. Having eternal life in no way substitutes for the things that actually make living a happy or worthwhile thing. Not having eternal life in no way removes the things that make living desirable.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
That is why true happiness is to believe in the immortality of the soul".
Everything in this is pretty much comically false, so the conclusion can be laughed out the door. Oh, and the first chunk invoking subjective vs objective morality has nothing to do with the immortality of the soul anyways, leaving us with nothing more than the ridiculous assertion present in the latter argument.

Happier with that response, David Mo?
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