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Posted: 06 February 2009 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]
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What do you think of the following argument

“The atheists are only atheists because they want to follow their hedonistic wishes and not do what god tells them to, so there is no reason why we should even listen to their claims”

from a logical point of view? Is there logic in this argument?

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Posted: 06 February 2009 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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No.  Your premis is untenable.

Occam

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Posted: 06 February 2009 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Occam - 06 February 2009 06:49 PM

No.  Your premis is untenable.

Occam

I asked about logic, not about soundness.

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Posted: 06 February 2009 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Short answer: no, there is no “logic” to this claim. That is, it is an invalid argument. So far as I can tell you have one premise and a conclusion. Namely:

(1) The atheists are only atheists because they want to follow their hedonistic wishes and not do what god tells them to.

———————————————-

(Conclusion) There is no reason why we should even listen to their claims.

The conclusion does not even begin to follow from the premise. And the premise is false. So this is a complete non-starter.

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Posted: 06 February 2009 07:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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dougsmith - 06 February 2009 07:35 PM

Short answer: no, there is no “logic” to this claim. That is, it is an invalid argument. So far as I can tell you have one premise and a conclusion. Namely:

(1) The atheists are only atheists because they want to follow their hedonistic wishes and not do what god tells them to.

———————————————-

(Conclusion) There is no reason why we should even listen to their claims.

The conclusion does not even begin to follow from the premise. And the premise is false. So this is a complete non-starter.

Do you agree that if a person is personally biased in favor of something, there is less chance that he will produce an objective, unbiased argument in favor of it?

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Posted: 06 February 2009 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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There’s no valid logic if it’s not sound.  Example (and I’m being facetious, not attacking):  All posters on this forum whose screen names begin with W are morons so there is no need to read their posts.

OK, we recognize that the premis (the first half of the sentence) is wrong.  So, the conclusion has no basis on which to stand.  That’s not logic and it’s not sound.  It’s silly to bother even discussing what I postulated, and the same goes for your proposal.  If you want to try to give some evidence that your initial statement has some basis in fact, we can take it from there.

A more obvious example:  All dogs have seventeen feet, so they trip over themselves as they walk.  Why on earth would anyone find this insane statement worth discussing?

Occam

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Posted: 06 February 2009 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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wandering - 06 February 2009 07:39 PM

Do you agree that if a person is personally biased in favor of something, there is less chance that he will produce an objective, unbiased argument in favor of it?

It depends on the person, the subject and the sort of bias. It’s very difficult to give a general answer to this sort of vague question.

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Posted: 06 February 2009 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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dougsmith - 06 February 2009 08:26 PM
wandering - 06 February 2009 07:39 PM

Do you agree that if a person is personally biased in favor of something, there is less chance that he will produce an objective, unbiased argument in favor of it?

It depends on the person, the subject and the sort of bias. It’s very difficult to give a general answer to this sort of vague question.

I think that the answer is generally yes.

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Posted: 06 February 2009 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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wandering - 06 February 2009 08:31 PM

I think that the answer is generally yes.

And so ...?

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Posted: 06 February 2009 08:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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dougsmith - 06 February 2009 08:35 PM
wandering - 06 February 2009 08:31 PM

I think that the answer is generally yes.

And so ...?

And so, if it is true that the atheists are biased against the existence of god, it is likely that their arguments are biased and invalid, and the logic of the argument is good.

[ Edited: 06 February 2009 09:20 PM by wandering ]
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Posted: 06 February 2009 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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wandering - 06 February 2009 08:56 PM
dougsmith - 06 February 2009 08:35 PM
wandering - 06 February 2009 08:31 PM

I think that the answer is generally yes.

And so ...?

And so, if it is true that the atheists are biased against the existence of god, it is likely that their arguments are biased and invalid.

Lets say s/he does have a bias against the existence of a god? What does that have to do with any other parts of his/her knowledge base? Example: Lets say the world’s greatest Neurosurgeons are atheist. Lets say you are in need of one of the world’s greatest neurosurgeons because your dearly beloved little girl has an abnormality deep in the recesses of her brain, and they are the only ones in the world who have had any success in saving children like yours. First of all, what exactly is hedonistic about neurosurgery? Would you deprive your daughter of the only chance she has of living because the only cure will be wielded by an atheist? Do you just ‘pray to god’ for a miracle cure which will not occur and allow her to suffer?

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Posted: 06 February 2009 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Your initial hypothesis:

“The atheists are only atheists because they want to follow their hedonistic wishes and not do what god tells them to, so there is no reason why we should even listen to their claims”

is formulated in such a vague manner as to be impossible to rigorously assess. First, it makes the basic mistake of assuming somebody else’s thought processes. Assuming other people’s thought processes seldom works, especially if you don’t even inquire into those thought processes. If you ask me why I am an atheist, my answer is that my honesty leads me to that conclusion. So I constitute an exception to the initial premise of your hypothesis. Do you have any evidence that there is any atheist who satisfies your premise?

The second clause (‘and not what god wants them to’) assumes the existence of god, which seems to assume your conclusion. After all, if you already believe in a god, why would you listen to atheists?

The conclusion (‘there is no reason why should even listen to their claims’) seems a non-sequitur to me. I’m willing to listen to the claims of theists, although I find them greatly illogical. If you don’t want to listen to somebody, you don’t have to. I’ll be happy to explain why I believe that I’m a better and more ethical person because of my atheism, if you care to know. It’s up to you.

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Posted: 06 February 2009 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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wandering - 06 February 2009 06:47 PM

What do you think of the following argument

“The atheists are only atheists because they want to follow their hedonistic wishes and not do what god tells them to, so there is no reason why we should even listen to their claims”

from a logical point of view? Is there logic in this argument?

1. The truth value of a claim is not determined by the agenda or character of the person making the claim. (ad hominem)

Example: When a company is advertising a product their agenda is to sell the product; does that mean that all their claims are false? Apparently diet soda doesn’t have 0 calories that is just a lie made up by soda companies to sell soda.

2. Your premise implies atheists actually believe in god but deny god’s existence for hedonism, that is contradictory one cannot both believe and not believe something simultaneously. (reductio ad absurdum)

Example: Let’s invert that logic, does that mean all theists are actually atheists who believe in god for comfort.

The premise is false but if it was true it still would not imply the conclusion.

I think my feelings can be best summarized by a quote from Billy Madison:

Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

LOL

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Posted: 06 February 2009 11:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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danlhinz - 06 February 2009 10:11 PM

1. The truth value of a claim is not determined by the agenda or character of the person making the claim. (ad hominem)

Example: When a company is advertising a product their agenda is to sell the product; does that mean that all their claims are false? Apparently diet soda doesn’t have 0 calories that is just a lie made up by soda companies to sell soda.

But wouldn’t you agree that when a company advertises a product, its claims should be treated more suspiciously than the claims of an objective party?

Even with the coca cola example.

[ Edited: 06 February 2009 11:34 PM by wandering ]
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Posted: 07 February 2009 12:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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wandering - 06 February 2009 11:11 PM
danlhinz - 06 February 2009 10:11 PM

1. The truth value of a claim is not determined by the agenda or character of the person making the claim. (ad hominem)

Example: When a company is advertising a product their agenda is to sell the product; does that mean that all their claims are false? Apparently diet soda doesn’t have 0 calories that is just a lie made up by soda companies to sell soda.

But wouldn’t you agree that when a company advertises a product, its claims should be treated more suspiciously than the claims of an objective party?

Even with the coca cola example.

Sure but in logic we are discussing absolutes and the fact that coca cola is putting out the information doesn’t automatically make that information false.

Let me make a more ridiculous example: Evolutionary biologist can’t be trusted to prove evolution because they are operating a conspiracy to destroy religion. Thus to learn the real facts about evolution we must ask someone who is not an evolutionary biologist.

Read about ad hominem it is a rule of logic you can’t break your argument broke it.

[ Edited: 07 February 2009 12:30 AM by Some Guy ]
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Posted: 07 February 2009 12:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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danlhinz - 07 February 2009 12:27 AM
wandering - 06 February 2009 11:11 PM
danlhinz - 06 February 2009 10:11 PM

1. The truth value of a claim is not determined by the agenda or character of the person making the claim. (ad hominem)

Example: When a company is advertising a product their agenda is to sell the product; does that mean that all their claims are false? Apparently diet soda doesn’t have 0 calories that is just a lie made up by soda companies to sell soda.

But wouldn’t you agree that when a company advertises a product, its claims should be treated more suspiciously than the claims of an objective party?

Even with the coca cola example.

Sure but in logic we are discussing absolutes and the fact that coca cola is putting out the information doesn’t automatically make that information false.

Let me make a more ridiculous example: Evolutionary biologist can’t be trusted to prove evolution because they are operating a conspiracy to destroy religion. Thus to learn the real facts about evolution we must ask someone who is not an evolutionary biologist.

1. It is just not true that evolutionary biologists are operating a conspiracy to destroy religion. But HAD it been true, perhaps the argument would have some merit?

2. I do realize that there is something ridiculous about my claim. But there is also something true about the fact that the more biased a person is the less he should be trusted.

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