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What are the top 5 reasons you believe atheism is true?
Posted: 15 November 2006 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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You’ve stated above that the law against killing is traced back to the bible. That is completely untrue. Ask any professor of anthropology and they will tell you about many societeies that existsed long before the bible (and even some that were around after its creation) that NEVER HEARD of the old testament, but have the concept that killing is bad.

Morality does not come from the bible. There are moral lessons in the bible, but morality does not originate there.

Also, you mention the universe and the house analogy. This is similar to the Watchmaker Theory, which says that a watch has design and thus must have a designer. What this idea neglects is the concept that the universe is NOT designed. There is no order to our world. It is fairly random and without the structure of a house. Indeed, our universe is more complex, but that isn’t to say it is more structured. Does a house tear itself down and rebuild itself constantly? Our earth does…Volcanoes and earthquakes, floods, etc.

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Posted: 15 November 2006 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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[quote author=“Jaik”]You’ve stated above that the law against killing is traced back to the bible. That is completely untrue.
I didn’t say that it can be traced back to the bible but that the bible has had influnce on some of our laws.

Ask any professor of anthropology and they will tell you about many societeies that existsed long before the bible (and even some that were around after its creation) that NEVER HEARD of the old testament, but have the concept that killing is bad.

Morality does not come from the bible. There are moral lessons in the bible, but morality does not originate there.
  I agree in a sense. However, if i’m right about this God of the bible existing, then it would be true to say that morality comes from Him. If there is no god, then i don’t see how we can ever say that there is such a thing as universal-objective morality that applies to everyone.

Also, you mention the universe and the house analogy. This is similar to the Watchmaker Theory, which says that a watch has design and thus must have a designer. What this idea neglects is the concept that the universe is NOT designed. There is no order to our world.

Are you aware that science operates on the principle of uniformity i.e. that the how things were in the past are like they are today? Or that the laws of nature are the same throughout the universe? If this was not believed by science to be true, science would be impossible.

It is fairly random and without the structure of a house.

If the universal laws of nature are random, how could science be done? Science must assume that these laws are constant and predictable otherwise much science could not get done. Even the theory of evolution relies on this.

Indeed, our universe is more complex, but that isn’t to say it is more structured. Does a house tear itself down and rebuild itself constantly?

No, but it is “torn down” by forces that are not random but predictable forces. The second law of thermodynamics is one such law that is believed to be consistent throughout the universe and this law is at work on everything in the universe.

Our earth does…Volcanoes and earthquakes, floods, etc.


  Is it not true that even these things work by the regular and predictable laws of nature?

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Posted: 15 November 2006 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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[quote author=“forthetruth”]
  Is it not true though some of the laws in the Bible have been adopted by us for our good? Take thou shall not murder, thou shall not lie for example. These laws can be traced back to the Bible and would you not agree that they are good for society?

Yes you DID say that. And even if morality was define by God, many societies didn’t get your “moral lessons” (the Bible) until long after they were estabished. But they weren’t killing and sodomizing each other. You see, for society to work, normal rules of morality must be established. These rules vary from culture to culture, but the practices and general concepts are the same: you shouldn’t kill, steal, etc.

I’m afraid you’re taking my “random” word to an extreme. I admit that there are patterns in nature, but that does not mean there are granted by design.

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Posted: 15 November 2006 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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[quote author=“Jaik”][quote author=“forthetruth”]
  Is it not true though some of the laws in the Bible have been adopted by us for our good? Take thou shall not murder, thou shall not lie for example. These laws can be traced back to the Bible and would you not agree that they are good for society?

Yes you DID say that.

  you are correct. sorry about that.

And even if morality was define by God, many societies didn’t get your “moral lessons” (the Bible) until long after they were estabished.

I believe that some of these “moral laws” are “programed” into every man. For example, there is no such soeciety where cowardice is a virture. Murder is wrong in every culture.

But they weren’t killing and sodomizing each other. You see, for society to work, normal rules of morality must be established. These rules vary from culture to culture, but the practices and general concepts are the same you shouldn’t kill, steal, etc.

I’m afraid you’re taking my “random” word to an extreme. I admit that there are patterns in nature, but that does not mean there are granted by design.

  These are not just patterns in nature but laws of nature. It is on these laws that the universe works.
The question we have to face is where did these “laws” come from? what best explains them? How could something that is unintelligent be the cause of these precise fine tuned laws?

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Posted: 15 November 2006 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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[quote author=“forthetruth”] I believe that some of these “moral laws” are “programed” into every man. For example, there is no such soeciety where cowardice is a virture. Murder is wrong in every culture.

Precisely. They come from evolutionary pressure, and altruism comes from living in small bands where reciprocality was important. We see similar sorts of altruism in non-human animals, which shows that this is not a merely human trait.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]  But they weren’t killing and sodomizing each other.

Actually, they were. Read the Old Testament. Look at any early or ‘primitive’ society. And anyway what is wrong with non-standard sexuality? I thought we were talking about altruism. What does sodomy have to do with that?

[quote author=“forthetruth”]  These are not just patterns in nature but laws of nature. It is on these laws that the universe works.
The question we have to face is: where did these “laws” come from? what best explains them? How could something that is unintelligent be the cause of these precise fine tuned laws?

How could something intelligent be an explanation of these laws? First of all, how can a mind create a law of physics?

Secondly, since we know that minds depend on physical substrates for their existence, minds depend on physical laws to exist. So the mind comes after the laws, not before.

Thirdly, minds are complex devices. They come after a long period of evolutionary pressure. They themselves need explanation. If you are going to propose that a mind created these laws, how do you explain the existence of the mind?

Fourthly, physical laws need no further explanation. They are what they are. There may well be other universes with different physical laws, and in that case may be simple random luck what the laws turned out to be. However, this is a matter for cosmology and physics to figure out, not theology.

I note that I have raised many of these points with you before and you have yet to respond to any of them.  I also note that you still haven’t learned how to format your responses properly. I really do wonder whether you’re actually reading any of our messages.

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Posted: 15 November 2006 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Actually, I said that the tribes weren’t killing and sodomizing each other. While some WERE actually doing that, my point was that whenever an anthropologist made contact with a tribe that had no contact with the western world (and thus the bible) they weren’t acting with complete choatic activity. They formed a society based on their own moral standards, which may not have mirrored our own, but they had principles that weren’t unlike our own.

As far as the sodomizing goes, I don’t find anything wrong with it, but i know the bible is very much against it. I just wanted to point out that no matter WHAT culture you go to, homosexuality is there, in one form or another. Even in western culture, where the bible is supposed to rule. Looks like we can make a civilization without it.

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Posted: 16 November 2006 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Sorry Jaik ... should have been reading more carefully.

[quote author=“Jaik”]Actually, I said that the tribes weren’t killing and sodomizing each other. While some WERE actually doing that, my point was that whenever an anthropologist made contact with a tribe that had no contact with the western world (and thus the bible) they weren’t acting with complete choatic activity. They formed a society based on their own moral standards, which may not have mirrored our own, but they had principles that weren’t unlike our own.

Right, exactly. They were certainly no more chaotic and bloody than the tribes depicted in the Old Testament.

[quote author=“Jaik”]Looks like we can make a civilization without it.

I assume you mean “can’t”?

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Posted: 17 November 2006 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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[quote author=“Jaik”]You have to realize that most questions have more than one possible choice, and generally there is a “right” choice, but sometimes you can’t see that answer because one answer seems so convenient.  But life isn’t convenient; in fact, life is quite difficult and complex. Simple answers won’t always work. Atheism doesn’t try to provide answers. If life’s questions were multiple choice, Christianity might be (A) while Islam might be (B), but atheism is not a (C)“atheism is more along the lines of None of the Above.

Religion says, “I’m right, don’t doubt me.”
Atheism say, “I dunno, let’s think about it.”

I have a feeling that this will make you ask where atheists get their answers. That’s a tough one to ask, since atheists don’t have to agree on all philosophy to BE atheists. Generally speaking though, we rely on the knowledge (not myth) of humans to help us answer the questions. We turn to astronomy and geology to find out how old the earth is, not Genesis. We turn to philosophy and culture to define our morals, not Exodus and Leviticus. But most importantly, we aren’t afraid to leave some questions unanswered. Most atheists will admit that there are some things we just CAN’T know.

I couldn’t have put it better, Jaik!  You rock!

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Posted: 17 November 2006 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Re: What are the top 5 reasons you believe atheism is true?

Going back to the original question:

[quote author=“forthetruth”]What makes you think atheism is true? What evidence-reason do you have for it?

Perhaps it has already been stated, but my answer is that “atheism” cannot be said to be true.  It is simply non-belief in a supernatural being or power that controls or influences nature.

That does not mean, of course, that atheism is “false”.  We don’t need evidence.  We do use reason, of course.  The non-existence of evidence for the existence of a supernatural being is the reason I don’t believe. 

The (religious) theory that the universe was created by a supernatural being is an incomplete theory.  It does not explain all the available evidence.

If religion can come up with a complete theory that explains all collected and observed scientific data, then I will consider the existence of God as a possibility.

But then I will be asking: who created God?

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Posted: 18 November 2006 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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forethetruth, the fact that you are on this site may indicate a “rodent of uncertainty” gnawing away at your own belief system. 

Here is what is at stake for you:

Stay Christian and continue to limit your thought boundries.

Become a Freethinker and expand your thought boundries beyond your wildest dreams.

Try this exercise:  Pretend you are an ancient ruler over a vast population of people.  You have two primary goals:

1.  Gain Wealth
2.  Control the population

If you need assistance in this exercise please refer to your Bible.

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Posted: 20 November 2006 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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[quote author=“forthetruth”] HAVE YOU STUDIED THESE RELIGIONS AT DEPTH? I’M MOST FAMILAR WITH CHRISTIANITY AND NOT AS MUCH WITH THE OTHERS. I ACTUALLY FIND THE IDEA THAT THERE IS SOME KIND OF INTELLIGENCE BEHIND THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE AND MADE ALL THINGS TO WORK AS THEY DO THAN ANY NATURALISTIC EXPLANIATION. FOR EXAMPLE THE WAY THIS WORLD IS MADE IN WHICH OUR DISTANCE FROM THE SUN, THE RIGHT KIND OF ATOMSPHERE FOR LIFE, WATER HAVING THE PROPERTIES IT DOES THAT MAKES LIFE POSSIBLE, THE ABUNDANCE OF FOOD FOR LIVING THINGS AND COUNTLESS OTHER THINGS THAT WORK TOGETHER MAKES BEST SENSE TO ME OF SOME KIND OF INTELLIGENT GOD BEHIND IT ALL.
NOW I ASK YOU. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN HOW ALL THESE THINGS I MENTIONED ABOVE JUST HAPPEN TO BE “JUST RIGHT” BY NON-INTELLIGENT FORCES?

I do not mean this as an insult but you clearly have not studied what science teaches regarding these issues. At least I can say I have studied the Bible, as I was previously a minister and have read the Bible multiple times.

You mention ‘THE RIGHT KIND OF ATOMSPHERE FOR LIFE’. Do you know that the earth’s atmosphere was much different when life began? The air before plants became so ubiquitous would have been poisonous to humans. Yet, despite the drastically different atmosphere, life was already flourishing! Do you know how the atmosphere got the way it is now? Our air is only breathable for us because of hundreds of millions of years of bacteria ‘filtering’ the air. Yet we should not make the mistake of thinking that the air was prepared for our arrival. Our way of breathing developed because of the influence of the environment on past generations of organisms. It is not the environment that was made to fit the inhabitants—it is the gene pool of the inhabitants that changed to fit the environment.

If you saw a balloon filled with water, would you marvel that the balloon is just the right shape for the water? That would be silly, as the water just fills out the balloon however it can, and the balloon also changes it shape due to the pressure of the water.

You mention the ‘abundance of food’—what about the species that have gone extinct due to drought? Where is the great balance when all the plants wither up due to lack of rain? Who would design an earth with genocidal tsunamis? Doesn’t that make it clear that the environment lacks good design? Or when there are mass extinctions, as there have been at multiple times? Where is the great design when people get cancer and their own cells attack them, or when others are born with birth defects?

If there were a designer, we would have to say it is either limited in its ability to design things well, or it has a twisted sense of humor.

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Posted: 20 November 2006 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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[quote author=“forthetruth”]
I AGREE. MANY OF US WANT ANSWERS TO SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS OF LIFE. WE WANT ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS LIKE; WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DIE? DOES LIFE HAVE MEANING? HOW SHOULD I LIVE MY LIFE ARE ALL QUESTIONS WE ALL FACE AND ONES THAT RELGIONS HELP TO ANSWER.

Do you want answers that match reality, or answers that just make you feel good?

[quote author=“forthetruth”]
MY QUESTION FOR YOU IS: HOW DOES ATHESISM ANSWER THESE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS? 

We use science and reason to answer these questions, not atheism.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]
  Turning to Genesis for the answer to “who or what” created the universe is a good place to start. If all you rely on is science and rule out from the start the possibly of a supernatural creator, then you may never know. It seems on this issue, either the universe came into existence by non-intellugent forces or intelligent forces. I can’t think of a third alternative. Maybe there is one.

There is no good reason to use Genesis! I can write a book tomorrow with an untestable account of where the earth came from and claim that it should be considered a possible alternative to scientific explanations, but the book would still remain fiction.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]I like to think of the universe like a house. House are complex structures that require intelligence and power to build. No house has ever been observed coming into existence by unguided-unintellgent forces. We know that is impossible. What we do know is that houses do come into existence by intelligence. If this is true of houses, it must be true of the universe itself which is far more complex than a house.

I haven’t looked in a Bible in a year, but isn’t this Heb 3:4?

There is a simple answer to this. No one here claims that houses appear out of nowhere! No scientist claims to have models explaining how the Empire State Building rose out of the earth. Scientists DO have models for the formation of the solar system and our planet. You are making a bad analogy.
[quote author=“forthetruth”]  Is it not true though some of the laws in the Bible have been adopted by us for our good? Take thou shall not murder, thou shall not lie for example. These laws can be traced back to the Bible and would you not agree that they are good for society?

Do you think our laws and morality come from the Bible? Do you think genocide is good or evil?

What does the Bible say?

Deuteronomy 12:16 You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.  (NIV)

Deuteronomy 13:15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. (NIV)

The Bible commands genocide. God himself commanded genocide, according to the Old Testament. We know it is wrong now. Modern liberal religion interprets away the obvious warts of the Bible’s ethics because our more advanced ethical knowledge tells them that what is written can’t be literally correct, so their must be some different interpretation.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]true. However, it may at times be the right answer though.

1) The Bible claims to be inerrant. If it gives the wrong answer on even 1 thing, than it is making false claims and is unreliable.

2) What standards to you suggest to follow for us to know whether religion is giving the right or wrong answer?

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Posted: 07 September 2013 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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dmoreau - 20 November 2006 05:28 PM

[quote author=“forthetruth”]
I AGREE. MANY OF US WANT ANSWERS TO SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS OF LIFE. WE WANT ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS LIKE; WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DIE? DOES LIFE HAVE MEANING? HOW SHOULD I LIVE MY LIFE ARE ALL QUESTIONS WE ALL FACE AND ONES THAT RELGIONS HELP TO ANSWER.

Do you want answers that match reality, or answers that just make you feel good?

[quote author=“forthetruth”]
MY QUESTION FOR YOU IS: HOW DOES ATHESISM ANSWER THESE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS? 

We use science and reason to answer these questions, not atheism.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]
  Turning to Genesis for the answer to “who or what” created the universe is a good place to start. If all you rely on is science and rule out from the start the possibly of a supernatural creator, then you may never know. It seems on this issue, either the universe came into existence by non-intellugent forces or intelligent forces. I can’t think of a third alternative. Maybe there is one.

 

 

 

 

 

 


There is no good reason to use Genesis! I can write a book tomorrow with an untestable account of where the earth came from and claim that it should be considered a possible alternative to scientific explanations, but the book would still remain fiction.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]I like to think of the universe like a house. House are complex structures that require intelligence and power to build. No house has ever been observed coming into existence by unguided-unintellgent forces. We know that is impossible. What we do know is that houses do come into existence by intelligence. If this is true of houses, it must be true of the universe itself which is far more complex than a house.

I haven’t looked in a Bible in a year, but isn’t this Heb 3:4?

There is a simple answer to this. No one here claims that houses appear out of nowhere! No scientist claims to have models explaining how the Empire State Building rose out of the earth. Scientists DO have models for the formation of the solar system and our planet. You are making a bad analogy.
[quote author=“forthetruth”]  Is it not true though some of the laws in the Bible have been adopted by us for our good? Take thou shall not murder, thou shall not lie for example. These laws can be traced back to the Bible and would you not agree that they are good for society?

Do you think our laws and morality come from the Bible? Do you think genocide is good or evil?

What does the Bible say?

Deuteronomy 12:16 You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.  (NIV)

Deuteronomy 13:15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. (NIV)

The Bible commands genocide. God himself commanded genocide, according to the Old Testament. We know it is wrong now. Modern liberal religion interprets away the obvious warts of the Bible’s ethics because our more advanced ethical knowledge tells them that what is written can’t be literally correct, so their must be some different interpretation.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]true. However, it may at times be the right answer though.

1) The Bible claims to be inerrant. If it gives the wrong answer on even 1 thing, than it is making false claims and is unreliable.

2) What standards to you suggest to follow for us to know whether religion is giving the right or wrong answer?

 


@dmoreau - your favorite book is The End of Faith?

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Posted: 07 September 2013 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Before you start responding, you should notice that this is a seven year old thread that new member Hennypenny dredged up.  Most of the people who posted aren’t even here anymore.  Only Doug and George are.  Hennypenny, I suggest you start with your own up to date question or comment, then we can take it from there.

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Posted: 07 September 2013 11:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Occam. - 07 September 2013 10:50 PM

Most of the people who posted aren’t even here anymore.  Only Doug and George are.

That is not fair to advocatus… He seems alive and kicking. smile

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