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Is Atheism Irrational? NYTimes Opinion Piece


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You don't think people believe in God because they want that to be true? Is that different?

I think it's different.

As a matter of human psychology, we vastly overestimate the extent to which our beliefs are based on evidence. Many of our beliefs, unbeknownst to us, are based on peer pressure or similar factors.

In most contexts, there is much greater peer pressure to believe in God than there is to not believe in God. Some people on both sides of the theism-atheism issue may hold their beliefs for predominantly non-rational reasons, but I do not suspect that the proportion on each side is similar. The number of people who disbelieve in God because they don't want there to be a God is probably exceedingly small. (And I've never known Thomas Nagel to say anything remotely so stupid, so it would have been nice if Platinga had given a cite.) The proportion of theists who believe in God in part because they want to believe that their relationship with their spouse has been blessed, or in part because they want to be reunited with their parents in Heaven, etc., is probably much greater than the proportion of atheists who disbelieve in God because they want to look at porn away from the prying eyes of an omnipresent judge.

Maybe that was true 50 years ago but it certainly is no longer the case today in western societies. If someone dares to openly espouse religiosity on the dominant forms of social media, especially Christianity, they are generally savagely mocked and called to question for events to which there is no discernible link or occurred before their lifetime. The hostility is continuous and unmatched by its spiritual counterparts.

No, the dominant social pressure these days, particularly for the young, is aggressive, reactionary secularism.

"Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion... perhaps around their necks? And maybe -- dare I dream it? -- maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively." -- Jon Stewart

I never said Christianity was verboten. I said that the dominant social pressure in western societies these days is aggressive secularism with its unmatched bitter invective. Whether it is any number of puerile antics on the Daily Show, the latest crime show depicting Christians as maniacal, blood thirsty zealots, renowned astrophysicists childishly trolling the faithful on Twitter, or just your sundry internet forum moderator throwing jabs to score points with the resident progressives, there is no corresponding level of continuous negative attention from religious communities.

Thanks for helping to prove my point.

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You keep telling us we don't know what we don't know.

None of us would argue that.

None of us have any idea what that has to do with anything.

I didn't tell you anything. I asked if that's what he was saying because that's what it sounds like. I don't find it particularly compelling either. :shrug:

When one says probability is on their side that there isn't a God, yet we know so little about the universe, I like to understand how that works in their mind.

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You keep telling us we don't know what we don't know.

None of us would argue that.

None of us have any idea what that has to do with anything.

I didn't tell you anything. I asked if that's what he was saying because that's what it sounds like. I don't find it particularly compelling either. :shrug:

When one says probability is on their side that there isn't a God, yet we know so little about the universe, I like to understand how that works in their mind.

You are misconstruing or just flat missing on what they said.. But I imagine you know that.

It wasn't as difficult as you are hoping to make it.

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You keep telling us we don't know what we don't know.

None of us would argue that.

None of us have any idea what that has to do with anything.

I didn't tell you anything. I asked if that's what he was saying because that's what it sounds like. I don't find it particularly compelling either. :shrug:

When one says probability is on their side that there isn't a God, yet we know so little about the universe, I like to understand how that works in their mind.

You are misconstruing or just flat missing on what they said.. But I imagine you know that.

It wasn't as difficult as you are hoping to make it.

This is why I asked the question rather than make the statement and assume that's what he was saying. I am certainly open to clarification. I think it's important to further the discussion. From a mathematical position it doesn't make sense. He appears to be saying "Since I don't see God through scientific means in the 10% of the universe I do know, I'm probably not going to find him in the other 90%" If that's not what he's saying then apologies. There's no attempt to misconstrue anything.

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What % of the universe do we "know" via science? For the sake of this argument, can we agree on 10%? I personally think that's very generous...I believe it's down around the 2-5% range, but let's go with 10%. Can you explain your comments regarding probability when we don't "know" 90% of our universe via science.

Is this the latest edition from creationists?

ETA: everything that happened in the bible/Quran/Torah took place within a few hundred square miles..a tiny portion of our tiny planet in a vast universe.

I don't know if creationists use it or not. I found it while reading work by Einstein. The dude doesn't get enough love for his philosophical side. Regardless, there are plenty of scientists out there more than willing to admit that while we've learned a lot about our universe, we haven't really even scratched the surface.

I was specifically discussing Christianity and the other currently practiced religions. Einstein and I are in agreement on that:

Einstein expressed his skepticism regarding an anthropomorphic deity, often describing it as "naïve" and "childlike". He stated, "It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem—the most important of all human problems."

On the question of an afterlife Einstein stated to a Baptist pastor, "I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it." This sentiment was also expressed in Einstein's The World as I See It, stating: "I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvellous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavour to comprehend a portion, be it never so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.

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Commish, in these percentages that you keep throwing out there, what exactly is in the denominator?

100?

Screw it...doesn't matter. These threads are SSDD. I see no genuine discussion is desired. If a common starting point can't be agreed upon, there's no point in attempting the discussion. Me asking questions to try and determine that point and being met with non-answers tells me all I need to know. If someone would like to actually take a shot at answering the questions or clarifying position, I'm interested, but I can't see that happening.

This isn't directed specifically to you joffer...just the thread in general.

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Commish, in these percentages that you keep throwing out there, what exactly is in the denominator?

100?

Screw it...doesn't matter. These threads are SSDD. I see no genuine discussion is desired. If a common starting point can't be agreed upon, there's no point in attempting the discussion. Me asking questions to try and determine that point and being met with non-answers tells me all I need to know. If someone would like to actually take a shot at answering the questions or clarifying position, I'm interested, but I can't see that happening.

Which question? What % of the universe do we understand? You know that's not answerable. Maybe it's 0.000001%. Maybe it's 75%.

If your belief in a God is in some way driven by the fact that we don't know everything, is that belief affected at all when we discover something new?

If we reconcile gravity with quantum mechanics tomorrow in a grand unified theory, would that change anything?

If we reproduce abiogenesis in a lab the next day, any effect?

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Tony made a fairly simple and straight forward post.

Our friend comes in and confounds it with some nonsense about what we don't know (in percentages no less) and Einstein, and is now shutting it down with accusations that we are not interested in clarifying what he confounded.

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Tony made a fairly simple and straight forward post.

Our friend comes in and confounds it with some nonsense about what we don't know (in percentages no less) and Einstein, and is now shutting it down with accusations that we are not interested in clarifying what he confounded.

What we do and do not know is central to the argument of faith. If we knew how the universe worked, was created, will transform with certainty faith or belief in alternatives would fade considerably.

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Tony made a fairly simple and straight forward post.

Our friend comes in and confounds it with some nonsense about what we don't know (in percentages no less) and Einstein, and is now shutting it down with accusations that we are not interested in clarifying what he confounded.

What we do and do not know is central to the argument of faith. If we knew how the universe worked, was created, will transform with certainty faith or belief in alternatives would fade considerably.

Go science!

But, that wasn't what the discussion was about. The discussion was about the probability that the God of the Abrahamic religions is real. Religious people like Commish have a hard time switching from no god to their god.

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Tony made a fairly simple and straight forward post.

Our friend comes in and confounds it with some nonsense about what we don't know (in percentages no less) and Einstein, and is now shutting it down with accusations that we are not interested in clarifying what he confounded.

What we do and do not know is central to the argument of faith. If we knew how the universe worked, was created, will transform with certainty faith or belief in alternatives would fade considerably.

classic god of the gaps, so i'll ask again. does your faith waiver when something new and fundamental is discovered?

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Commish, in these percentages that you keep throwing out there, what exactly is in the denominator?

100?

Screw it...doesn't matter. These threads are SSDD. I see no genuine discussion is desired. If a common starting point can't be agreed upon, there's no point in attempting the discussion. Me asking questions to try and determine that point and being met with non-answers tells me all I need to know. If someone would like to actually take a shot at answering the questions or clarifying position, I'm interested, but I can't see that happening.

Which question? What % of the universe do we understand? You know that's not answerable. Maybe it's 0.000001%. Maybe it's 75%.

If your belief in a God is in some way driven by the fact that we don't know everything, is that belief affected at all when we discover something new?

If we reconcile gravity with quantum mechanics tomorrow in a grand unified theory, would that change anything?

If we reproduce abiogenesis in a lab the next day, any effect?

I was asking for clarification of this comment:

Not sure of a better way to say it. As someone who cannot definitively prove there is no God and is open to any evidence to the contrary by definition I have to be agnostic. But the label agnostic plops you right down in the middle at best. When it comes to Christianity or any of the current religions whose beliefs can be observed and studied against science; the probability of their God being true is so low you might as well label me an atheist.

He's talking about some sort of "probability" here. His word, not mine. Then the dance began. I THINK he's saying "since I see no scientific evidence of God in the little sliver I know, it's highly likely I won't find it in the huge slice left to explore either". So I was stupid enough to ask if that's what he meant. A simple yes or no would suffice, yet I got what you have above. It didn't even get to the point of theology, which is new...pretty funny.

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He's talking about some sort of "probability" here. His word, not mine. Then the dance began. I THINK he's saying "since I see no scientific evidence of God in the little sliver I know, it's highly likely I won't find it in the huge slice left to explore either". So I was stupid enough to ask if that's what he meant. A simple yes or no would suffice, yet I got what you have above. It didn't even get to the point of theology, which is new...pretty funny.

The answer was no, see below. Not a simple "no", but, pretty simple none the less.

Probability percentage is calculated from the known. I was talking about what you bolded, something we know a lot about, not the entire universe. That probability doesn't change by saying the universe is really really big.

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Tony made a fairly simple and straight forward post.

Our friend comes in and confounds it with some nonsense about what we don't know (in percentages no less) and Einstein, and is now shutting it down with accusations that we are not interested in clarifying what he confounded.

What we do and do not know is central to the argument of faith. If we knew how the universe worked, was created, will transform with certainty faith or belief in alternatives would fade considerably.

classic god of the gaps, so i'll ask again. does your faith waiver when something new and fundamental is discovered?

Like what?

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Tony made a fairly simple and straight forward post.

Our friend comes in and confounds it with some nonsense about what we don't know (in percentages no less) and Einstein, and is now shutting it down with accusations that we are not interested in clarifying what he confounded.

What we do and do not know is central to the argument of faith. If we knew how the universe worked, was created, will transform with certainty faith or belief in alternatives would fade considerably.

classic god of the gaps, so i'll ask again. does your faith waiver when something new and fundamental is discovered?

Like what?

If your belief in a God is in some way driven by the fact that we don't know everything, is that belief affected at all when we discover something new?

If we reconcile gravity with quantum mechanics tomorrow in a grand unified theory, would that change anything?

If we reproduce abiogenesis in a lab the next day, any effect?

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He's talking about some sort of "probability" here. His word, not mine. Then the dance began. I THINK he's saying "since I see no scientific evidence of God in the little sliver I know, it's highly likely I won't find it in the huge slice left to explore either". So I was stupid enough to ask if that's what he meant. A simple yes or no would suffice, yet I got what you have above. It didn't even get to the point of theology, which is new...pretty funny.

The answer was no, see below. Not a simple "no", but, pretty simple none the less.

Probability percentage is calculated from the known. I was talking about what you bolded, something we know a lot about, not the entire universe. That probability doesn't change by saying the universe is really really big.

So what I bolded was this:

When it comes to Christianity or any of the current religions whose beliefs can be observed and studied against science; the probability of their God being true is so low you might as well label me an atheist.

What beliefs are you referring to here? Did you mean opinions instead? That'd make a ton more sense, because beliefs are positions people form beyond what science requires. If it's provable/unprovable it's not a belief. It's either true or false.

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He's talking about some sort of "probability" here. His word, not mine. Then the dance began. I THINK he's saying "since I see no scientific evidence of God in the little sliver I know, it's highly likely I won't find it in the huge slice left to explore either". So I was stupid enough to ask if that's what he meant. A simple yes or no would suffice, yet I got what you have above. It didn't even get to the point of theology, which is new...pretty funny.

The answer was no, see below. Not a simple "no", but, pretty simple none the less.

Probability percentage is calculated from the known. I was talking about what you bolded, something we know a lot about, not the entire universe. That probability doesn't change by saying the universe is really really big.

So what I bolded was this:

When it comes to Christianity or any of the current religions whose beliefs can be observed and studied against science; the probability of their God being true is so low you might as well label me an atheist.

What beliefs are you referring to here? Did you mean opinions instead? That'd make a ton more sense, because beliefs are positions people form beyond what science requires. If it's provable/unprovable it's not a belief. It's either true or false.
I disagree with the bolded completely. We're talking past each other.
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What beliefs are you referring to here? Did you mean opinions instead? That'd make a ton more sense, because beliefs are positions people form beyond what science requires. If it's provable/unprovable it's not a belief. It's either true or false.

Go back to the last time you asked me that question. It's like Groundhog Day in here.

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Tony made a fairly simple and straight forward post.

Our friend comes in and confounds it with some nonsense about what we don't know (in percentages no less) and Einstein, and is now shutting it down with accusations that we are not interested in clarifying what he confounded.

What we do and do not know is central to the argument of faith. If we knew how the universe worked, was created, will transform with certainty faith or belief in alternatives would fade considerably.

classic god of the gaps, so i'll ask again. does your faith waiver when something new and fundamental is discovered?
Like what?

If your belief in a God is in some way driven by the fact that we don't know everything, is that belief affected at all when we discover something new?

If we reconcile gravity with quantum mechanics tomorrow in a grand unified theory, would that change anything?

If we reproduce abiogenesis in a lab the next day, any effect?

Seems like an odd question. Obviously it would depend on how it's reconciled and how that reconciliation relates to the universe.

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It's strange how religious people insist on assigning the same level of 100% certainty of belief to atheists as their own religious belief (i.e., Jayrod and Ken Ham's belief that nothing could change their mind about the existence of God), while simultaneously criticizing atheists for this degree of positive belief. It is demonstrative of the deep disconnect between religious thinking and scientific thinking.

I neither assign certainty to their beliefs nor criticize them for their beliefs. I know full well that no one else has lived with identical experiences to mine so I know full well they may believe differently than I do.

In the scientific secular rational mind, there is nothing that is 100% certain or beyond change in the face of new evidence. The fact that an atheist cannot be 100% certain about the nature of our existence does not undermine the rationality of his position, nor does it make him an agnostic; rather, it is simply consistent with traditional scientific inquiry in which conclusions/theories are developed based on the realm of existing evidence and are continually open to change based on newly-discovered evidence. This is not a weakness of a position, but rather a strength of the person holding the position.

Perhaps one idea that I prescribe to that the average atheist does not is the concept of the spirit and spiritual things. I do not believe simply because I have rationally thought out a position with my mind and logic. To be completely honest I find the complete reliance on one's mind to determine truth about unknowable things as pointless as trying to hear a song with your tongue. Certainly a tongue can neither confirm nor deny the presence of music. It can maybe feel vibrations of sound waves, but a lot of things can make vibrations that aren't music and there is nothing in music to taste so it can never know.

To expect our physical abilities and rational thoughts to be able to detect and confirm or deny the existence of something that is beyond physicality and human thought is a pointless endeavor. Not to get all mystical on you all, but you have to look beyond the world into your spirit and soul to find out about God. Is there something more to this life than just the random collision of molecules? Is there a God out there? Does he/she/it care about us and why are we here? Has he/she/it tried to communicate to us in some fashion? These are all questions I have asked and answered in my spirit and soul, henceforth my steadfast belief in their truth.

Like love and beauty, faith in God is something you just know when you see it and there is no explanation that will ever satisfy a scientific experiment.

If we humans can't use our physical abilities to detect the existence of god, then how was the bible written? And, if those shepherds had something special that allowed them to tap into what you say is now a pointless endeavor, when, how, and why did the rules change?

Not to be a jerk here, but did you even finish reading the last few sentences I wrote?

The spirit and soul. It is beyond the physical. And also I said "expect" them to. A lucky few have had more tangible evidence shown them of God like the shepherds seeing a host of angels, Moses seeing the burning bush, or the lucky few that witnessed Jesus and his miracles firsthand...but we shouldn't all be sitting around waiting for the exception to happen to us. Like Jesus told Thomas, "blessed are those who have not seen and believed". Some see, but most don't.

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

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I'm trying to get you to dig deeper and seek out the truth of whether there really is a god or not and not just be satisfied with your personal definitions and understanding. God wants you to know he is there and to look past just what your senses can touch and your mind can comprehend. As a follower of God I want you to know him as I do and to believe. Not for myself, but for you because God loves you and therefore I do.

Yeah, I've believed all that stuff before. It felt good, and I'm sincerely jealous, in many ways, of people who can still believe it. If I ever end up believing it again, however, it will not be because of unsound intellectual arguments like Platinga's. It will probably be because of a strong emotional response to the loving bonds of a community of believers who trust and support each other and sing songs about how wonderful God is. Or something like that. The point is that faith is not won by logic -- especially not by bad logic, which is pretty much the only kind that can support it. (If it were supported by good logic, it wouldn't be faith.) Faith, to the contrary, is won by emotion.

That's not a bad thing. I'm not anti-faith, and I'm not anti-religion. (I am anti some religions, or some aspects of religions.) On the whole, I think most religious communities do a lot of good for a lot of people. They have a lot of really wacky beliefs, some of which are harmful (e.g., the anti-gay stuff). But they also motivate people to love and to forgive and to be charitable. If I were trying to convert people to Christianity, that's what I would emphasize. A single good deed, done in the name of your religion, is worth more than a thousand flawed syllogisms, IMO.

Attempts to justify Christian beliefs by using reason and evidence might make sense to people who are already Christians. Such people might be sufficiently biased in favor of such arguments to find them persuasive. But to a non-believer, such justifications will always fail, and anyway seem to miss the point. Nobody has ever kneeled and prayed and asked Jesus into their heart based on a careful weighing of the evidence. They've done so by letting go of such limiting trifles as mere evidence. It follows that doing apologetics a la Platinga is nearly always futile -- although at least Platinga gets paid for it.

Beautiful post and I agree with 99% of it.

I hope you find God again and will try to stick to the advice I've bolded above.

Agree, it was a beautiful post.

Jayrod, I hope you someday find you can stick to the advice you bolded without a god in your life.

Why does it matter? As an atheist, honestly, why do you care why?

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

:rolleyes: Finding an atheist that did bad things doesn't translate to Atheism is bad. I mean c'mon pedophile priests? See how easy that was.

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

:rolleyes: Finding an atheist that did bad things doesn't translate to Atheism is bad. I mean c'mon pedophile priests? See how easy that was.

Thanks for reminding me that there's a reason I have you on ignore.

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I'm trying to get you to dig deeper and seek out the truth of whether there really is a god or not and not just be satisfied with your personal definitions and understanding. God wants you to know he is there and to look past just what your senses can touch and your mind can comprehend. As a follower of God I want you to know him as I do and to believe. Not for myself, but for you because God loves you and therefore I do.

Yeah, I've believed all that stuff before. It felt good, and I'm sincerely jealous, in many ways, of people who can still believe it. If I ever end up believing it again, however, it will not be because of unsound intellectual arguments like Platinga's. It will probably be because of a strong emotional response to the loving bonds of a community of believers who trust and support each other and sing songs about how wonderful God is. Or something like that. The point is that faith is not won by logic -- especially not by bad logic, which is pretty much the only kind that can support it. (If it were supported by good logic, it wouldn't be faith.) Faith, to the contrary, is won by emotion.

That's not a bad thing. I'm not anti-faith, and I'm not anti-religion. (I am anti some religions, or some aspects of religions.) On the whole, I think most religious communities do a lot of good for a lot of people. They have a lot of really wacky beliefs, some of which are harmful (e.g., the anti-gay stuff). But they also motivate people to love and to forgive and to be charitable. If I were trying to convert people to Christianity, that's what I would emphasize. A single good deed, done in the name of your religion, is worth more than a thousand flawed syllogisms, IMO.

Attempts to justify Christian beliefs by using reason and evidence might make sense to people who are already Christians. Such people might be sufficiently biased in favor of such arguments to find them persuasive. But to a non-believer, such justifications will always fail, and anyway seem to miss the point. Nobody has ever kneeled and prayed and asked Jesus into their heart based on a careful weighing of the evidence. They've done so by letting go of such limiting trifles as mere evidence. It follows that doing apologetics a la Platinga is nearly always futile -- although at least Platinga gets paid for it.

Beautiful post and I agree with 99% of it.

I hope you find God again and will try to stick to the advice I've bolded above.

Agree, it was a beautiful post.

Jayrod, I hope you someday find you can stick to the advice you bolded without a god in your life.

Why does it matter? As an atheist, honestly, why do you care why?

Why do you care whether or not Maurile finds God again?

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I'm trying to get you to dig deeper and seek out the truth of whether there really is a god or not and not just be satisfied with your personal definitions and understanding. God wants you to know he is there and to look past just what your senses can touch and your mind can comprehend. As a follower of God I want you to know him as I do and to believe. Not for myself, but for you because God loves you and therefore I do.

Yeah, I've believed all that stuff before. It felt good, and I'm sincerely jealous, in many ways, of people who can still believe it. If I ever end up believing it again, however, it will not be because of unsound intellectual arguments like Platinga's. It will probably be because of a strong emotional response to the loving bonds of a community of believers who trust and support each other and sing songs about how wonderful God is. Or something like that. The point is that faith is not won by logic -- especially not by bad logic, which is pretty much the only kind that can support it. (If it were supported by good logic, it wouldn't be faith.) Faith, to the contrary, is won by emotion.

That's not a bad thing. I'm not anti-faith, and I'm not anti-religion. (I am anti some religions, or some aspects of religions.) On the whole, I think most religious communities do a lot of good for a lot of people. They have a lot of really wacky beliefs, some of which are harmful (e.g., the anti-gay stuff). But they also motivate people to love and to forgive and to be charitable. If I were trying to convert people to Christianity, that's what I would emphasize. A single good deed, done in the name of your religion, is worth more than a thousand flawed syllogisms, IMO.

Attempts to justify Christian beliefs by using reason and evidence might make sense to people who are already Christians. Such people might be sufficiently biased in favor of such arguments to find them persuasive. But to a non-believer, such justifications will always fail, and anyway seem to miss the point. Nobody has ever kneeled and prayed and asked Jesus into their heart based on a careful weighing of the evidence. They've done so by letting go of such limiting trifles as mere evidence. It follows that doing apologetics a la Platinga is nearly always futile -- although at least Platinga gets paid for it.

Beautiful post and I agree with 99% of it.

I hope you find God again and will try to stick to the advice I've bolded above.

Agree, it was a beautiful post.

Jayrod, I hope you someday find you can stick to the advice you bolded without a god in your life.

Why does it matter? As an atheist, honestly, why do you care why?

Why do you care whether or not Maurile finds God again?

Because I believe in God and the Bible and I desire that all people know God for who he is. Basically because I care about him as a fellow human being and especially since I have had interaction with him on the forum so I kind of "know" him and I'd rather meet him in heaven someday than not.

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

:rolleyes: Finding an atheist that did bad things doesn't translate to Atheism is bad. I mean c'mon pedophile priests? See how easy that was.

Thanks for reminding me that there's a reason I have you on ignore.

Well obviously you couldn't resist that temptation, good thing you have God in you life, who knows what you're capable of. ;)

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

Of course he did that in the name of atheism.

Probably not, but his actions are associated with atheism as equally as the actions of the Muslims in Paris are with Islam.

Being something in name is not the same thing as being that thing. A "Muslim" who kills a cartoonist, a "Christian" who kills an abortion doctor and an atheist dictator who kills millions are all alike in that it is their sick minds causing the problem, not their religion (or lack thereof).

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

Of course he did that in the name of atheism.

Probably not, but his actions are associated with atheism as equally as the actions of the Muslims in Paris are with Islam.

Being something in name is not the same thing as being that thing. A "Muslim" who kills a cartoonist, a "Christian" who kills an abortion doctor and an atheist dictator who kills millions are all alike in that it is their sick minds causing the problem, not their religion (or lack thereof).

1. Oh bull####.

2. Doesn't matter. Without their irrational belief in the supernatural would they still have committed this act(s)?

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He's talking about some sort of "probability" here. His word, not mine. Then the dance began. I THINK he's saying "since I see no scientific evidence of God in the little sliver I know, it's highly likely I won't find it in the huge slice left to explore either". So I was stupid enough to ask if that's what he meant. A simple yes or no would suffice, yet I got what you have above. It didn't even get to the point of theology, which is new...pretty funny.

The answer was no, see below. Not a simple "no", but, pretty simple none the less.

Probability percentage is calculated from the known. I was talking about what you bolded, something we know a lot about, not the entire universe. That probability doesn't change by saying the universe is really really big.

So what I bolded was this:

When it comes to Christianity or any of the current religions whose beliefs can be observed and studied against science; the probability of their God being true is so low you might as well label me an atheist.

What beliefs are you referring to here? Did you mean opinions instead? That'd make a ton more sense, because beliefs are positions people form beyond what science requires. If it's provable/unprovable it's not a belief. It's either true or false.
I disagree with the bolded completely. We're talking past each other.

I guess we are. Belief to me is and has always been:

confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof:
confidence; faith; trust:
a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith:

So when I say belief that's what I'm using as frame of reference. There are some dictionaries that tie "opinion" to belief. Perhaps that's what you are doing? For conversation like this it's easier if opinion is opinion and belief is belief....especially if one is really interested in understanding the theological side. Belief in the Bible is not analogous with opinion. It's always used in the context I outline here.

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

Of course he did that in the name of atheism.

Probably not, but his actions are associated with atheism as equally as the actions of the Muslims in Paris are with Islam.

Being something in name is not the same thing as being that thing. A "Muslim" who kills a cartoonist, a "Christian" who kills an abortion doctor and an atheist dictator who kills millions are all alike in that it is their sick minds causing the problem, not their religion (or lack thereof).

1. Oh bull####.

2. Doesn't matter. Without their irrational belief in the supernatural would they still have committed this act(s)?

1. Great point here.

2. This particular act? No way. Something else associated with warring with the West? Likely.

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

Of course he did that in the name of atheism.

Probably not, but his actions are associated with atheism as equally as the actions of the Muslims in Paris are with Islam.

Swing and miss.

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

Of course he did that in the name of atheism.

Probably not, but his actions are associated with atheism as equally as the actions of the Muslims in Paris are with Islam.

Swing and miss.

Man, the rational arguments in here are just astounding.

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

Of course he did that in the name of atheism.

Probably not, but his actions are associated with atheism as equally as the actions of the Muslims in Paris are with Islam.

Swing and miss.

It's a little bit better than the post he deleted tho.

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What beliefs are you referring to here? Did you mean opinions instead? That'd make a ton more sense, because beliefs are positions people form beyond what science requires. If it's provable/unprovable it's not a belief. It's either true or false.

Go back to the last time you asked me that question. It's like Groundhog Day in here.

I did...there was no answer there either. You're right...like Groundhog Day. No answer here either. Interesting

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

Of course he did that in the name of atheism.

Probably not, but his actions are associated with atheism as equally as the actions of the Muslims in Paris are with Islam.

Swing and miss.

Man, the rational arguments in here are just astounding.

What tenants of atheism were the foundation for the actions of murder?

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

Of course he did that in the name of atheism.

Probably not, but his actions are associated with atheism as equally as the actions of the Muslims in Paris are with Islam.

Swing and miss.

Man, the rational arguments in here are just astounding.

This is shtick, right?

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

Of course he did that in the name of atheism.

Probably not, but his actions are associated with atheism as equally as the actions of the Muslims in Paris are with Islam.

Swing and miss.

Man, the rational arguments in here are just astounding.

What tenants of atheism were the foundation for the actions of murder?

Kind of the point.

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

Of course he did that in the name of atheism.

Probably not, but his actions are associated with atheism as equally as the actions of the Muslims in Paris are with Islam.

Swing and miss.

Man, the rational arguments in here are just astounding.

What tenants of atheism were the foundation for the actions of murder?

Kind of the point.

So which ones??

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Atheism is looking pretty darned rational today.

But not when Pol-Pot was killing people by the millions.

I have seen the hitler and stalin arguments.. a silly effort themselves.

This one seems an even further reach.

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