Religious discussion

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If I CALL my OPPONENTS smug I'm automatically RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

Here in Rational wiki, people ask questions about Christianity and the Bible in an arrogant belief that there is no possible answer... In the talk page I will try to answer as many of them as possible... 1 at a time pls— Unsigned, by: Kingdamian1 / talk / contribs

It isn't smug[edit]

To think that if a question was first raised 100s of years ago and there's been no answer in all that time that there isn't a satisfactory answer. Christopher (talk) 21:40, 9 May 2017 (UTC)


Ask your questions here Kingdamian1 (talk) 21:45, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm going to keep our current conversation on Essay talk:Militant Non-Earthism if you don't mind. Christopher (talk) 21:47, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

I DO MIND... that wasn't the purpose of that essay... ask your stupid questions hereKingdamian1 (talk) 22:08, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

I like the basic idea — strawmen are as common as they are tiresome. And, yes — it takes tremendous skill to even be able to avoid accidental use of strawmen in one's own arguments (and that goes for people on all sides; we're all homo sapiens).
On the other hand, crying wolf "strawman!" at the drop of a pin is just as common, and no less tiresome. When kneejerking the "strawman!" defense, one mustn't forget that one outright denies even the possibility that someone else may — in fact — have understood one's own argument better than oneself has!
So as much as I like your basic idea here (admittedly, as understood with the principle of charityWikipedia's W.svg hard at work!) — isn't it true that framing the questions you yourself specifically request as "smug" and "stupid" is confusing at best and duplicitous at worst?
I mean, do you want intentionally stupid questions (e.g. "How is babby formed??"), or did you mean to signal that you plan to simply dismiss out of hand any questions which raise even the possibility that someone else has atleast some angle that you hadn't yet thought of as being "smug" or "stupid" questions, a priori?
And speaking of "stupid" or "smug" questions — what steps are you taking to safeguard against giving answers gifted with those same two qualities yourself? What's good for the goose is surely good for the gander, wouldn't you say? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:25, 9 May 2017 (UTC)


I noticed that here in rational wiki... every article I create ends up with theological and biblical questions... So here is a talk page to DIRECTLY answer those "unanswerable" questions which you people ask... in an arrogant belief that there is no possible answer--Kingdamian1 (talk) 00:00, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

But doesn't it come across as rather arrogant in- and of itself to frame the arguments of others as being arrogant per definition?
What am I supposed to give you when you specifically request that I make arrogant arguments?
In other words — to turn the tables momentarily — if I were to hypothetically ask you for your "stupid arguments", which arguments would you provide? Your stupid ones, or the ones you somehow think aren't stupid? How could I even tell which were which?
...See what I mean about arrogance here?
Now, you really are above this sort of thing, Damian — and I think you will agree. Though, perhaps not until your initial sense of provocation (which spawned your "smug questions"-essay to begin with) has been allowed to settle. Understandable if so, considering we're all human. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:53, 10 May 2017 (UTC)


I AM NOT REFERRING TO QUESTION THEMSELVES... I am referring to the tone... E.g If a child with genuine curiosity asks you the question: if we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys... I presume you wouldn't make fun... But if a creationist asked the exact same question you would make fun...

IT's NOT THE QUESTION... ITS THE TONE... here, at rational wiki people ask questions, NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE INTERESTED what Bible says... but because of the arrogant belief that their questions can't be answered... The point is... instead of spamming my other pages with UNRELATED QUESTIONS... ask them HERE!--Kingdamian1 (talk) 01:15, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

That's a strawman of our position. Nowhere do we say we came from monkeys. The reason we ridcule you for asking if we came from monkeys is because your question isn't even wrong. At some point, humanity and primates had a common ancestor. Vive Liberté! 01:35, 10 May 2017 (UTC)


I KNOW THAT.... IT WAS AN ANALOGY... !--Kingdamian1 (talk) 01:44, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Can we avoid the inevitable? I'm struggling to see why you would use a broken analogy to make a serious point. Vive Liberté! 01:54, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

If you have questions about the so called "controversies" in the Bible or Christianity... please, do ask!--Kingdamian1 (talk) 02:10, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Ohhhh fun you've made the distinction of it being the Christian God. Ok ok follow my logic here:
P1) at all times past, present, and future, God must be equally moral
P2) in order to be God, God must be maximally moral. That is, there is nothing more moral than he.
P3) God's morality is not contingent on current human understanding of morality.
P4) God condones slavery.
See which premise presents a problem? A perfectly moral God condoning slavery? Check here and here for lots of verses concerning slavery in the Bible. Vive Liberté! 02:24, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Bring a SPECIFIC verse here... I can't go and chase some atheist strawmen... BRING A SPECIFIC example HERE!!!! AND also provide moral standard against which this is wrong... As in... What do you base your moral on... when you say God is not moral?--Kingdamian1 (talk) 02:57, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Do your own research. Just kidding. See Leviticus 25:44-46, Exodus 21:1-6, Exodus 21:7-11, Exodus 21:20-21, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-2, Luke 12:47-48, Genesis 17:12, Exodus 12:43, Exodus 21:20, Exodus 21:32, Leviticus 22:10, Luke 7:2, Colossians 3:22, and Titus 2:9. If God doesn't say it's wrong, he's implicitly condoning it. As for a moral standard, until I have some time to think through it all (I'm currently busy with school but I'm graduating high school on the 26th!), I'm currently using secular deontology in the form of Kant's Categorical Imperative. That's what I base my morals on. My premises never claim that God isn't moral; on the contrary, the whole argument rests on the fact that he is moral. Vive Liberté! 03:07, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

In other words you are stupid... but let's leave that... different verses adress the subject differently... can you bring a SPECIFIC QUOTE and elaborate as to why your feeble mind has problems understanding it.--Kingdamian1 (talk) 06:58, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

An ad hominem to start the day off right. Now, maybe it's just me, but God telling you how to beat your slaves sounds an awful lot like an him implicitly condoning it, no?
Here's the quote for you since you seem unable to even crack open your own Bible (see I can use ad hominem too!):
"20 When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money."
So now we know that if we beat him within an inch of his life, it's fine. Good to know, good to know. Good thing God doesn't condone this even though he gave these instructions, though. Vive Liberté! 10:44, 10 May 2017 (UTC)


No... It establishes limits... People in those times went into slaver for 2 reasons... They were bankrupt or they were booty from the war... in which case they should have been grateful they weren't killed... Only in the latter case did beating happen...--Kingdamian1 (talk) 19:02, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Ohhhhh I get it. We're saving them! How could I have been so blind?! Well.. um.. well I probably shouldn't mention this but.. No, I'm not going to. I really won't. I promise. Have another quote:
"If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)"
I guess this means that if we take the family hostage we can force him into become a slave for life? Good rule to have on hand. It ensures endless free labour too.
Ok I broke. I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna mention it. Exodus 21:7.
"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again."
You see why I have problems with the Bible? Let me paraphrase that for you. "When a man sells his daughter as a sex slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as men are because she's a woman and women are second class citizens and have no rights. If she doesn't please the man who bought her, her dad can buy her back, but no matter what you do you can't buy back her innocence because hey, you sold her as a sex slave. Sound like something that should be in the Bible? Sound like something a perfectly just and moral God would say? Nah, I don't think so either. Vive Liberté! 12:53, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Is this smug?[edit]

  • A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. (Pr 14:15)
  • It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. (Pr 19:2)
  • Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. (Jn 10:37)
  • Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)
  • Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Thes 5:21)
  • Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 Jn 4:1)

Speaking of John 10:37, I find it deplorable to see you (Damian) reduced to employing outright terms of abuse against an innocent high schooler who, no less, has followed your every instruction. For shame. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:56, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Yus Rebwend look he's hurwting me Q.Q Vive Liberté! 11:44, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

REsPoNsE[edit]

YoU CaLl RaTiONal WikI uSeRs, sMug, StUPiD, ARroGanT eTc- aND YoU uSe MOare CApiTalS tHan iS rEaSoNaBlE, WhILe cOnStANtlY CoMPlaiNiNg thaT PeOPle DoN't AutOMatiCaLLy ABanDon RW aNd aDoPT (yOUr VErsIoN oF) ChRiStIaNitY.

YOu aRe a TaD ArRogAnT iN yOuR aTTiTudE - aNd tHeRe iS nO eVidENce oF YOuR tHiNkInG 'dEveLOpinG tHroUGh DiScuSSioN' (aS MaNy RW-iAnS wIlL iN fAcT dO) - oR aCCepTinG tHaT ouR VieWs mAy be aS ValId to uS as YouRS aRe tO yOu.

(Apologies to other readers for any difficulty in reading - it was equally difficult to write).

In the Bible Jesus says 'In my Father's house are many mansions' - which could be accepted as meaning various views etc are accepted by God - and if God is not willing to accept people 'who lived reasonable lives, and who overall tried to do more good than harm (and keep the latter to the minimum in type and quantity), whatever their belief system' then what is the point of God? 86.146.100.116 (talk) 13:08, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Well, to accept that interpretation of the 'many mansions' verse, you'd have to conveniently ignore John 14:6. Christianity makes no claims that members of other religions will be accepted into heaven. Karma isn't a thing in Christianity. 'Saved by faith, not by works, so that no man may boast.' Not that it matters really. Vive Liberté! 13:22, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
'By their deeds shall you know them' ('Talk is cheap.')
We are, according to the Bible, made in God's image.
'Only faith matters' not the good or evil that you do seems profoundly unfair/wrong.
Therefore God takes what we do into account. 82.44.143.26 (talk) 16:19, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
'This seems profoundly unfair, therefore this' isn't really right. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Christians will argue that good works, like your reference there, come after salvation as a result of salvation. Good works by themselves don't save a person. Vive Liberté! 16:28, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
I am not a Christian - but I try and do good/make the world a better place: and there are many others of the billions of humans past and present who could make the same statement - many of them following belief systems which promote 'being and doing good.' Therefore your claim of 'unfairness' is wrong. 82.44.143.26 (talk) 16:48, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Neither am I a Christian. I find it supremely offensive that a man like Hitler or Stalin could find grace on their deathbeds. Well Hitler killed himself, but you know what I mean. But even in light of this, I prefer to have the facts straight on all sides. Vive Liberté! 16:59, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Most people in Europe are familiar with at least some quotations from the Bible - which is a complex composite text - and will use these to phrase their views in such discussions.
Whatever one's belief/ethical system - surely the intent should be to lead a 'good' life and improve the sum of human happiness/knowledge/other positive aspects - and the key point, perhaps, is that we "choose to do so" (rather than a passive not doing bad things). But this is getting onto a different and possibly more constructive thread than the article title. 82.44.143.26 (talk) 17:36, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Since neither of you have ANY objective definition of morality... I DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN by descent or good!!!! It was IMMORAL in nazi Germany to shelter a jew and counted as treason... Would you consider those people who reported Jews as moral???????--Kingdamian1 (talk) 19:06, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Do you mean 'decent' or 'descent' - and you have just lost the argument. 86.146.100.116 (talk) 21:31, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

I'll Bite, Why Not?[edit]

If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then why does evil exist? More importantly, why do bad things happen to good people, such as Rachel Scott from Columbine High School?RoninMacbeth (talk) 17:13, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

I dont know--Kingdamian1 (talk) 19:06, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Come on! Surely you can do better than that? Christopher (talk) 19:10, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
You're assuming death is a bad thing for Christians, but we actually look forward to it. Rachel Scott probably died instantly, and at the perfect age because it was just before the stress of adulthood would have struck her. Newsflash: we all die eventually, but some just have to deal with more BS here on Earth first. What happened to her was a blessing. I be an IFB (talk) 19:19, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Thou shalt not kill? Christopher (talk) 19:21, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Don't insult my intelligence, or my moral compass, IFB. Speaking as a teenager, what you just called Rachel's death, "a blessing," is not merely wrong, it is vile. Fuck off until you learn the difference between right and wrong. RoninMacbeth (talk) 19:51, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
When you ask a controversial question, you should not be surprised by a controversial answer. There's no doubt about the slaying of Miss Scott being a sin, but yhe point is that death is not as terrible to a true Christian as it is to a humanistic atheist. It must suck knowing you will die some day, and thinking that is the end. Her death is not pretty to think about, but chances are your death will be even less pleasant. I work in a hospital, and I see the pain every day. I be an IFB (talk) 04:37, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Fair point. Perhaps I got a little hotheaded for my own good. So basically, your response to the Problem of Evil...Is that death for Christians is...Less evil? Isn't that kind of a "not as bad as" argument? If God is omnibenevolent and omnipotent, then he should not be striving for a lesser evil, but instead a greater good, as he both is able to do so and knows that doing so is correct? Tell me, do you own a defensive implement (e.g., a gun)? If so, and if you are not afraid of death or even consider it positive, then why do you need to defend yourself? RoninMacbeth (talk) 05:20, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

I can show why the existence of evil DOES NOT disprove the existence of God... However, I cannot ultimately know why a certain event takes place!--Kingdamian1 (talk) 19:43, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

I can't wait to hear this. It'd better be good because you've really got my hopes up now. Christopher (talk) 19:45, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree with KD1. The problem of evil does not disprove the Divine. However, if he is arguing for the existence of the Christian God, who is supposedly omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then the problem of evil dispels one or all of the notions we have of God's existence or his traits. RoninMacbeth (talk) 19:56, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
When talking with a Christian I use God to mean the Christian God and I think Kingdamian also thinks "god" automatically means his god, I agree that the POE certainly doesn't disprove Cthulhu (PBUH) for instance.
The existence of a Demiurge is, I believe, an adequate answer to the problem of evil. That is, two equally powerful and knowledgeable beings operating against each other, one omnibenevolent and the other omnimalevolent, could explain why a benevolent God cannot solve evil. But of course, most Christians reject the notion of Demiurge. RoninMacbeth (talk) 20:08, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Ah yes, Christianity is completely monotheistic! Only the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all of which are collectively described as the "God of gods". Completely monotheistic. Christopher (talk) 20:14, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
The biggest problem is perverted doctrines promoted by charismatic preachers. God allows free will because He chose to do things that way, but that doesn't mean it's okay to do whatever. May I ask, if humans are naturally good (as many humanists believe), why do humans do evil things? If the Bible is a fairy-tale, and humans are destroying the planet, why is murder, starvation, and disease so bad? I be an IFB (talk) 04:37, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
They'll describe the trinity as three persons in one being, however that works. I personally love RW's own logical arguments against the trinity. @IFB, Rachel Scott was a tragedy. And regardless of whether or not death is considered 'evil', you still haven't answered why innocent children can suffer because of Sarin attacks or why beautiful landscapes can be destroyed by floods or why God would let his own people be killed in a mass genocide. @KD1, if you bring the usual blend of the FWD and the C-O theodicy I'll be disappointed. Vive Liberté! 12:41, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
As a humanist, I don't think humans are inherently good, I also don't think they're inherently "evil". Humans just tend to make choices that benefit themselves, and sometimes as a result harm other people. That's not evil, it's just basic instinct. When people realize that we all might benefit a little more from working together and not always exclusively for our own immediate benefit is when successful societies rise. Also, just for accuracy's sake, you may want to provide a more objective definition "evil".megalodon (talk) 14:35, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

I Like This, I'LL HAVE ANOTHER![edit]

Is something right because God told us it was right, or vice versa? This should be easy for you. RoninMacbeth (talk) 21:31, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Ronin... Earlier you mentioned that I should "Fuck off" till I learn the difference between right and wrong... So what do you base that on? Why is fornication, for example, wrong in your view?--Kingdamian1 (talk) 22:38, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

@KD1: Oh. I'm sorry. That "fuck off" was directed at User:I be an IFB, not at you. Unless you're the same person. Which I doubt. Anyways, sorry.
But the area of fornication is a little weird for me, if we were to continue discussing your example. Personally, I don't approve of it, but that extends only to myself. I might tell someone that I don't think they should have intercourse until they are mature, ready, and/or stable, but I won't do much more than that. My friends' affairs are not my concern, unless they involve me. RoninMacbeth (talk) 01:00, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Exactly... you illustrate my point... You for example... would deem it immoral to have sex with a married woman. Now imagine you have a friend who thinks it's ok to have sex with a married woman as long as you don't get caught by the husband... Both of you are atheists... Who gets to say who's right or who's wrong??? His understanding of right clashes with yours... But there is no reason as to why your sense of morality is more supreme than his...

Let me bring a more graphic example... Current state of North Korea has had 3 leaders... AT LEAST 1 of them was doing what they thought was RIGHT in their eyes... Richard Dawkins, for example, is an anti-totalitarian, who would says that they are wrong...

So Richard Dawkin's view of right vs Kim Jong Un view of right... WHO GETS TO DECIDE WHAT IS RIGHT in this case... both of them are right in their own eyes...

A nazi German citizen going to report a hiding Jew would have been represented as a MORAL, law-abiding citizen... Whereas someone sheltering Jews would be executed for treason...

The guy who reported Jews also was doing what was RIGHT IN HIS OWN WAY... WHO GETS TO ULTIMATELY SAY what was right? WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES???

What consequences will the Chicago tylenol murderer pay... He poisoned Tylenol bottles with cyanide... People chocked INSIDE-OUT and he wasn't caught... I WANT TO KNOW, in your worldview... WHAT CONSEQUENCES AWAIT THIS MAN?????????????--Kingdamian1 (talk) 03:50, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm a contractarian. Societies determine what is right, because rational people know that a world where the strong are free to prey on the weak is not optimal, putting it lightly.
In the case of the Tylenol murderer, in my worldview he would be sentenced to prison or executed if he was caught. For the sake of argument, let's say he never will be. Then no consequences await him. Does it suck? Yeah, it's pretty bad. Is it just? Hell no. But the world sometimes isn't just. Sometimes it's a terrible place, full of people who deserve nothing more than prison or the electric chair. Would it be a better world if God did exist, and the good were rewarded and the evil were punished? I would probably say yes. But argument from adverse consequences is no more valid a proof for the existence of a god than the problem of evil is a disproof of a god.
::Which brings me back to my original question: Is it right because God said it, or did God say it because it was right? If the latter, where did this notion of morality come from? If the former, are we essentially a race of slaves operating at the behest of what, by almost all accounts, is a creature of Lovecraftian proportions?
But...we're good on the whole "fuck off" misunderstanding, right? RoninMacbeth (talk) 05:01, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

It seems like you have faulty imaginations about me... you'd be surprised at my young age... so there is no need for extra apologies...Kingdamian1 (talk) 05:43, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Right and wrong are related to US...since God is good himself... those things only matter to us... so it is right because it is God's nature and he tells us about his nature so we can be more like himKingdamian1 (talk) 05:46, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

I apologize quite often in real life, so it's a habit. I'd really rather tackle the philosophical implications of God than his existence, so I'm signing off. Nice job. Have a good day! RoninMacbeth (talk) 13:41, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Omniscience and free will[edit]

Does God's omniscience include being able to see into the future? If so, is it because:

  • There is no free will
  • There is free will, but since God is omniscient, He knows what choices everyone will make at every moment throughout all time. This includes the exact moment everyone will have sex, and which sperm will fertilize which egg, with which combination of genes, since in the year 2,538 B.C. (to pick at random) God would have known George W. Bush would become president of the United States in the year 2001 (a fact which requires that a) George W. Bush would exist as he did, b) everyone who voted and didn't vote in the election existed and voted/didn't vote as they did, and c) the people who counted ballots, programmed the ballot-reading computers, invented said computers, etc., would've existed as they did. Note that while the amount of information required to know this is tremendous, it's still finite: the universe had a beginning and will have an end (the Second Coming, when everyone who's saved is saved, and vise-versa)) and space (even if the universe is spacially-infinite, the parts of it that can affect Earth within the finite time of the universe is finite because speed-of-light restrictions). For example, even knowing everything about every particle in the known universe (a causality-bubble across about 14 billion years in a spacial bubble at least 100 billion light-years in radius) is no more than 10100 bits of information (there are around 1080 particles in the observable universe, and giving each particle 1020 bits to track is way over-estimating), which is a long ways away from infinite.

If there is no free will, what is the point of creating a universe where tens or hundreds of billions of humans live mostly-shitty lives, only to have most of them be cast into Hell (or annihilated) for not having the free will to follow God's law?

If there is free will, what is the point of creating a universe where tens or hundreds of billions of humans live mostly-shitty lives when you could just not, create all the would-have-been-saved humans in heaven, then spend an insignificant fraction of eternity explaining why He just did away with evil right at the start, going through step-by-step all 10100 bits of information across all of time to get His creation to understand why He was destined to 'win'? Onychoprion (talk) 22:23, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

I don't know! How does this make a case for atheism?--Kingdamian1 (talk) 22:36, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Ok after that post, you are not allowed in hell. You can at least try. 2d4chanfag (talk) 04:05, 11 May 2017 (UTC)


Look... I CANT GIVE YOU a detailed explanation of why certain aspects happen the way they do... no... I can't tell you why YOU WERE born instead of someone else... I can't tell you how God operatesKingdamian1 (talk) 05:44, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Wait, these questions were supposed to be making a case for atheism? I thought we were just supposed to ask smug difficult theological questions. Unfortunately I don't have a question that makes a case for atheism beyond "What does God do in the physical universe that can't be explained by natural processes?" Rainbows, lightning, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, etc., all used to be proof for God, or various lower-case gods, and we now know that there's nothing supernatural about any of them.
I commend you for your "I don't know." I've not heard many theists say those words. I would like clarification if that "I don't know" was about God being able to see the future, though.
And on that note, I can give an argument for why, if God can see the future, He doesn't deserve to be worshiped in any way, shape, or form.
  • P1 - God's morality aligns with our own
Matthew 7:9-11 (NASB) "Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" Jesus doesn't say "You know how sometimes when your kid asks for a fish you give him a snake instead because, from your kid's point of view, you work in 'mysterious ways'?" No, Jesus clearly states that God's goodness aligns with what we humans would call good, because even though we're evil, we can recognize good.
  • P2 - God can see the future, and the future is knowable
See my pain argument above. Whether or not free will exists, if God can see the future, then there is a deterministic aspect to the universe, and either God set it all in motion, or is constantly crafting it (choosing which sperm to bind with which egg, etc.) to conform to His target future.
  • P3 - God created the universe, and everything in it.
Kinda the whole point, and far too many Bible verses to support this. And 'Everything in the universe' includes Satan, and evil. Since the future is knowable, and God knows it, then when He created Satan he either knew Satan would rebel and cause sin, or He created Satan to rebel and cause sin.
  • P4 - Not all humans will be saved
Matthew 7:13, 14 (NASB) "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."
  • Q1 - God has the temperament of a petulant child.
So, God creates a problem - sin - and an entire species to have that problem - humans - and sets Himself up as the only way to avoid it. But He also ensures a majority of that species won't take the rescue, so He can torture them forever (or annihilate them), even though they had no chance to ever be saved (He already knows who's going to be saved and who's not)
If we, as evil creatures who can recognize good, can recognize how unjust and not-good that is, how can God claim to be worthy of worship? Onychoprion (talk) 16:04, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps #the whole point# is that we have the choice - to 'be as good as we can/choose to do the right thing' or 'to do wrong' (and most of us are 'not bad' at least partially because we are never presented with the option).
And probably many of us can 'see the point' of something like Purgatory - as we all do naughty things/choose to go for the easy rather than the right thing etc. 31.51.114.83 (talk) 09:33, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
How much choice is there if God already knows what choice you're going to make? Again, either God created me at the exact time, and ensured I've gone through all my experiences that lead me to atheism, even to writing this, for the sake of some master plan that'll land me in hell for all eternity (or annihilated), OR God created a universe where all of that is an inevitability. Either way, from the moment God created the universe, I and the majority of humanity were going and will have always gone to hell.
Though I can see you're willing to go extra-biblical with your beliefs, which renders the whole point moot since you can invent your own god that doesn't have these problems. But that god is decidedly not YHWH Onychoprion (talk) 16:34, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
There is a logical paradox - God created us in his image - but denies us free will.
Or is the situation more complex than that? 31.51.114.83 (talk) 22:36, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Can someone answer the BoN's question? 82.44.143.26 (talk)

Tone argument[edit]

Calling your opponent smug in a debate is a tone argument and ad hominem. That is all. Christopher (talk) 16:13, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

I didn't mean it as offense... Kingdamian1 (talk) 06:11, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Ad hominems don't have to be offensive to be ad hominems (and not all offensive things are ad hominems). Christopher (talk) 14:12, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
To what extent are 'I didn't mean it as offensive' (and similar) and 'Just asking questions' versions of the same intent? 82.44.143.26 (talk) 14:46, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

I question how often the "tone argument" or "tone policing" is actually a valid fallacy. I mean, if someone actually says "Your uncivil tone is evidence that your factual claims are incorrect"–then read as a deduction, that is an invalid argument; if read as an induction, it is arguably rather weak (although it is plausible there may actually be some correlation between one's civility and how many of one's beliefs are true, so while it is undoubtedly weak it may not be the weakest). However, most of the time people don't actually say anything that precise, so the judgement that they are committing such a fallacy must rely on reading what they actually say as constituting such an argument, and that reading may well be questionable. I frequently see discussions of roughly this form:

  1. A: [some factual or value claim which B rejects]
  2. B: [some angry/abusive/impolite/uncivil response, which may or may not contain a cogent objection to what A said]
  3. A: You should be more civil/polite/etc.
  4. B: That's tone policing! [Or, "you've just committed the tone argument fallacy", or something similar.]

Now, is (3) actually meant to be read as "Your uncivil tone is evidence that your factual claims are incorrect"? Here is another interpretation of it: we all have limited time to engage in debate, so we always have to decide when to continue a debate or when to just give up as a waste of our time. Many people believe that dealing with uncivil or impolite interlocutors is a waste of their time. I think that is a completely reasonable judgement to hold. The fact is, that uncivil/impolite/abusive interlocutors very often don't present as clear or cogent or well-thought-out arguments as civil/polite interlocutors do. And, it is more emotionally/mentally draining dealing with them, so that changes the cost-benefit tradeoff of abandoning vs. continuing the debate. Furthermore, many people value civility/politeness as a social norm, so refusing to engage in debate with those who violate this norm actually works to reinforce that norm, whereas continuing to engage them in debate tends to undermine it. So, there are lots of valid pragmatic reasons to refuse to continue a debate when one's interlocutor adopts an uncivil tone–and these pragmatic reasons cannot be viewed as a "fallacy", labelling it as such is simply a category mistake. Only arguments can be possibly fallacious, but a refusal to continue debate, or imposing conditions on one's willingness to do so, is not an argument, so it cannot be fallacious. Rationality says we should refrain from making fallacious arguments; it never says we cannot choose which debates to engage in and which to withdraw from, and nor does it say our reasons for engaging in or withdrawing from a debate must be limited to those of theoretical rationality. And, I think labelling (3) as a fallacy actually reveals a poor understanding of speech act theory – it is trying to interpret every statement in a debate as indicative in intent, when some statements don't function indicatively, rather they function pragmatically as expressions of willingness to continue or discontinue the argument, or as imposing conditions on its continuation (making an offer which may be accepted or rejected). It may be that the claim that there is such a thing as a "tone argument fallacy" is actually the real fallacy. (((Zack Martin))) 05:25, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

[view] [edit]

Argument for the existence of limited god

This discussion was moved here from Talk:Arguments against the existence of God.
I have an argument which I believe proves God exists.
First I need to define "God". I define "God" as "an immortal person who knows all there is to know, who is perfectly good, and who loves with perfect love every other person who ever exists". Note I have intentionally ommitted the idea of omnipotence and God as creator – by the definition I have given, God has only limited power, and did not create the universe, but perfectly loves it and knows it without creating it or having any great ability to change it. I make these restrictions in order to wholly avoid the problem of evil. (If the problem of evil could somehow be solved, then we could remove these restrictions and my argument might work for the traditional idea of God – but, truly solving the problem of evil is a very difficult ask, maybe even an impossible one, and I don't want my argument to depend on it.)
Given that definition, here is my main argument:
(1) If we are morally obliged to believe that P, and if P is inherently unfalsifiable, then P is true
(2) We have a moral obligation to believe that "God exists"
(3) "God exists" is inherently unfalsifiable
(4) Hence, "God exists" is true.
(5) Hence, God exists.
This is a valid argument, in that if its premises are true its conclusion must follow. I expect you will probably agree with premise (3) but deny premises (1) and (2). I think subsidiary arguments can be used to justify premises (1) and (2).
To justify premise (1):
(5) If we have a (rational or moral) obligation O to believe that P, yet P is false, then the obligation O must be conditional
(6) But, conversely, if we have an obligation O to believe that P, and O is non-conditional, it follows that P must be true
(7) If proposition P is inherently unfalsifiable, then an obligation O to believe that P cannot be conditional, since being inherently unfalsifiable there is no possible falsifying evidence that could defease the obligation
(8) Hence, if we have an obligation O to believe that P, and P is inherently unfalsifiable, it follows that P is true
To justify premise (5), observe that we can sometimes be obliged to believe falsehoods – consider a trial where there is very compelling evidence produced by the prosecution, and the defence has been silent – in such a case, we rationally ought to believe the defendant's guilt, even if, by some unlikely confluence of events, the defendant is actually innocent. So we can be rationally obliged to believe falsehoods. However, whenever we are rationally obliged to believe a falsehood, there will be some further evidence which if we had it would justify us in believing the truth instead, so our obligation to believe the falsehood is conditional upon our not having that further evidence. Try to conceive of an unconditional obligation to believe a falsehood, I do not think anyone can; indeed, the idea has the whiff of contradiction about it. So, if there are no unconditional obligations to believe a falsehood, then any obligation to believe a falsehood must be conditional; thus, if there is an unconditional obligation to believe a proposition, the proposition must be true.
Premise (2) you will probably find very doubtful. Some of that doubt may be due to doubts about the very idea of being morally obliged to believe something. If you reject that idea, then I think there are plenty of arguments to be made that some beliefs are in fact immoral – e.g. beliefs in racial supremacy, irrational beliefs that lead to actions which harm other people, etc. Once you've accepted the idea that we might be morally obliged to believe certain things, then we can ask – what criteria determine whether a belief is morally obligatory or not? Once we have determined those criteria, we can evaluate "God exists" against them.
Anyway, I doubt that this will convince you, but it convinces me. (((Zack Martin))) 20:50, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Argument against the definition[edit]

You are absolutely correct. You have not convinced me.
Secondly I note that you have very carefully defined one particular version of a God which I am not sure that anyone has ever believed in. Given that you are creating a bespoke version of god I think you have made life unnecessarily difficult for yourself.
It is quite easy to define god in such a way that it is trivial to demonstrate its existence. "God is this coffee cup I see before me. It has no powers or attributes which are in any way different from any other coffee cup of the same type except that this one happens to be god. Does this coffee cup exist? Yes. Therefore God exists."
But clearly nobody believes in my "coffee cup" as god and I doubt you will get many takers for "an immortal person who knows all there is to know, who is perfectly good, and who loves with perfect love every other person who ever exists" as god either. But my coffee cup is a lot easier to demonstrate.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 21:07, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, to quote that great sage Humpty Dumpty, "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." So, if you want to define the word "God" to mean your coffee cup, no one can stop you.
However, not all idiosyncratic definitions of words are equally respectable. We can distinguish redefinitions which still have some substantial common elements with the traditional definition, from redefinitions with little or nothing in common with the traditional definition. We can also distinguish redefinitions which have some decent motivation to justify the change in definition, from those where the change is done purely on the basis of whim or fancy or trivial reasons.
A good example is the change in the definition of marriage. The traditional definition in historically Christian countries is "a legally-recognised relationship between a man and a woman". The modern definition in an increasing number of countries is "a legally-recognised relationship between two adults of the same or opposite sex". Now, is this a respectable redefinition? I think it is, because it meets the two criteria of (1) having something substantial in common with the traditional definition (legal recognition of a sexual/romantic relationship between adults), and (2) having good reasons to justify its differences from the traditional definition (such as trying to remedy the long and shameful history of discrimination against LGBT people)
Similarly, I think my definition of God as "an immortal person who knows all there is to know, who is perfectly good, and who loves with perfect love every other person who ever exists" is a respectable redefinition, since it (1) has something substantial in common with the traditional definition (e.g. God as a person, God as omniscient, God as immortal, God as perfectly-loving) and (2) its differences from the traditional definition (dropping God-as-creator and omnipotence) have a serious reason to motivate them (avoiding the problem of evil).
By contrast, your "God is my coffee cup" redefinition has little or nothing in common with the traditional definition, and you haven't given a decent reason for redefining the term in this way. So your redefinition of "God" is far more Humpty-Dumpty than mine.
I am also not so sure that nobody has ever accepted my definition of God. Certainly a number of process theologians have denied the traditional idea that God is omnipotent. I have gone a bit further than that and suggested God is not the creator either – my motivation for doing that is to fully avoid the problem of evil, because I don't think denying omnipotence alone is enough – but maybe I am going too far and denying omnipotence is all that is needed. The idea that God did not create the universe is not completely unheard of – many ancient pagan religions held to the idea that matter is uncreated and that all God(s) did was rearrange pre-existing matter rather than creating it out of nothing, there is some evidence that the earliest historical stages of Judaism held the same belief, and Mormons believe it today. Whether or not anyone else has ever accepted my exact definition of God, certainly other people before me have proposed similarly limited definitions. (I actually want to believe that God is the omnipotent creator, but I am trying to limit myself to what I feel confident I can prove.) (((Zack Martin))) 23:10, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
But by reducing your definition this way you are trying to "prove" the existence of a "God" you yourself do not believe in.
So let's look again at your definition: "an immortal person who knows all there is to know, who is perfectly good, and who loves with perfect love every other person who ever exists"
You confirm there is no mention of omnipotence or creation. Furthermore in your definition there is no mention of a requirement that people should believe in or worship the individual. There is certainly no suggestion of moral judgement, no morality given, no heaven no hell.
Finally there is no mention of any influence on, or even desire to interfere in the working of the world in any way.
So even if such an all-loving, non-interfering, morally-irrelevant, non- reward/punishment entity were to exist – so what? Why would anyone care about the god you have invented? It’s an irrelevance.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:06, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I wouldn't say exactly that I'm trying to prove the existence of a God I don't believe in.
It is more that I admit that the problem of evil is a very hard problem, which I think maybe I have solved, but I am not totally confident in my solution.
It is possible I haven't solved it. It is possible I can't solve it. It is possible it can't be solved.
So, suppose it is unsolvable – do I abandon theism entirely? Or fall back on some more limited form of theism that avoids the problem of evil? I will admit to vacillation between the options of "my solution to the problem of evil works, I'll be something like a classical theist" and "the problem of evil can't be solved, I'll be a limited theist instead"
I agree my definition doesn't say we must worship God as defined. But I don't think it excludes the possibility of worshipping such a being. Suppose you knew there was a being who perfectly loved you and in the same way perfectly loved everybody, but the being didn't create you and has limited power over your life – do you think we shouldn't worship such a being? Maybe, if it loves us so perfectly, we ought to love it back? Or at least, that might be a legitimate choice for a person to make? And if we love it back, isn't that worship? So, my definition contains the idea of "worship", not explicitly, but implicitly.
You say "There is certainly no suggestion of moral judgement, no morality given", but my definition includes "perfectly good", so the definition presumes some morality. And, my argument has as one of its premises that we are morally obliged to believe that God exists, so both the argument and the definition presume some morality. But, I am intentionally quite vague about what that morality involves, yes. Everyone has their own views about morality, and I'm largely not trying to change them, beyond trying to convince people that they are morally obliged to believe that God exists. I would hope that my morals better reflect God's than those of other people, but I cannot be sure about that; maybe, actually, your own morals are closer to those of God than mine. How do we know what God's morals are? Well, how do we know what is moral? If we could know for certain that X is moral, then we would know God's moral position on X.
My definition is silent on an afterlife. Maybe I should add that to the definition. I don't think an afterlife, a moral afterlife (in which the good are rewarded and the wicked get their just deserts), triggers the problem of evil, so I have no good reason to exclude it. (BTW, I believe in hell, but a non-everlasting one; I think even Hitler goes to heaven eventually, although Hitler probably stays in hell for a very long but finite time. But, that's just my personal view, it is not central to my argument, and a person could have a different view on the afterlife and still accept my argument.)
"Finally there is no mention of any influence on, or even desire to interfere in the working of the world in any way." Well, I think God probably has some influence on the world, and my definition doesn't exclude that possibilty – it fails to include omnipotence, but it doesn't require divine impotence. We can say that God's power in the world is greater than zero, but not enough to validate the problem of evil.
"Why would anyone care about the god you have invented?". Well, if someone feels unloved, but they believe there is a being which loves them perfectly – might that offer them some consolation? Belief in the God I've described may provide psychological comfort for some people. Maybe, if a person believes that they are perfectly loved by a being which perfectly loves everyone, that belief might inspire them to try to be more loving themselves? To love more people, and to love the people they love more perfectly?
Theism may make some people more moral. Of course, you will likely object that there are plenty of moral atheists. I don't deny that. But, maybe, theism is more helpful to some people than others? Maybe the people who find theism most helpful to improving their own emotions or morals are most likely to be theists, whereas the people least likely to experience those benefits from theism are more likely to be atheists instead. This would explain the facts that (1) many theists believe they get emotional/moral benefits from theism and (2) many atheists believe they can be emotionally happy and moral without needing theism – by saying that both beliefs are true. (((Zack Martin))) 12:50, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Zack. You've lost it.
You say: "I wouldn't say exactly that I'm trying to prove the existence of a God I don't believe in." But that is exactly what you are doing. You really feel that the "god" you believe in has more attributes that this - you admit this elsewhere on the page - but you know that adding them would put you in an even more difficult position. You explicitly state that you have reduced the attributes of your proposed god to avoid these difficulties.
You say: "I agree my definition doesn't say we must worship God as defined. But I don't think it excludes the possibility of worshipping such a being. Suppose you knew there was a being who perfectly loved you and in the same way perfectly loved everybody, but the being didn't create you and has limited power over your life – do you think we shouldn't worship such a being? Maybe, if it loves us so perfectly, we ought to love it back? Or at least, that might be a legitimate choice for a person to make? And if we love it back, isn't that worship? So, my definition contains the idea of "worship", not explicitly, but implicitly.." But my dog loves me unconditionally and didn't create me. As far as I can tell it - like your limited god - loves everyone unconditionally. (well I think it does. I was never sure about the cat.) I guess I love it - but that doesn't mean I worship it.
You say: "You say "There is certainly no suggestion of moral judgement, no morality given", but my definition includes "perfectly good", so the definition presumes some morality. And, my argument has as one of its premises that we are morally obliged to believe that God exists, so both the argument and the definition presume some morality." and there is so much wrong with this. Yes, your definition says "perfectly good" but without defining what this means it's pretty useless. And, yes, your argument, bizarrely says, "we are morally obliged to believe that God exists". But given that your definition of god makes no mention of morality I had and have no idea why - based on your definition- you would include that in your argument.
You repeatedly state that although your definition doesn't mention X quality this is not a reason to suppose that your very closely and carefully crafted god doesn't have this additional incredible quality. But this is absurd. You have gone out of your way to create the most limited god possible, but when challenged on these limitations - morality, afterlife or whatever - we are suddenly expected to assume that were meant to be included, or to simply to give you the latitude to just keep adding attributes in order to meet objections.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:37, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Go back to my definition of God: an immortal person who knows all there is to know, who is perfectly good, and who loves with perfect love every other person who ever exists. Would a Christian (which I'm not calling myself) say this definition of God is wrong? I think they would say that they agree with every element of it, but it is incomplete, there are more elements needed to create a full definition of God. I can say the same thing. Suppose you have an argument which proves that a being with some of the distinctive attributes of God exists, but not all of them–is that a useless argument? Well, if you can prove the existence of a being with half the attributes of the traditional concept of God, we are halfway to proving the traditional concept of God, and we can always turn to other arguments to close the gap. Alternatively, if the gap can't be closed, we can ask, can we found some sort of meaningful religious belief or practice on this limited concept of God, and I think we can. I admitted to vacillating in my own beliefs, so saying at one point I believed something, and then at another point suggesting that I don't, is actually a perfect valid thing for a self-confessed vacillator to do.
As to But my dog loves me unconditionally and didn't create me. As far as I can tell it - like your limited god - loves everyone unconditionally. (well I think it does. I was never sure about the cat.) I guess I love it - but that doesn't mean I worship it. You raise a good point. I think we have to unpack exactly what "worship" means, and how "worshipping" a "god" is different from loving a dog. I don't think it is necessary that a being created you for you to worship it, since in many ancient pagan religions, people worshipped non-creator deities–you can worship a pagan deity even if the deity's myths say it didn't create you, some other deity did that. Actually, I am not even sure you cannot worship your dog. Apparently, Hindus in Nepal worship dogs on Kukur Tihar, which is the second day of the annual Tihar festival. So if Nepalese Hindus can worship dogs, why can't you? (Hindus in Deshnoke, Rajasthan, India, worship rats – Hindus worship some odd things – I visited Rajasthan some years back, really wanted to see the rats being worshipped, but from Jaipur where we were to Deshnoke is about five hours by car, and we didn't have time – maybe one of these days.)
The word "worship" actually comes from Old English "weorþscipe", which means the state of being honourable or worthy – "weorþscipe" is not an explicitly religious term, although it was sometimes used in religious contexts, but also saw use in secular ones. I think, as the English language evolved, and "weorþscipe" turned into "worship", those secular uses declined and the religious ones came to predominate–the secular usages were transferred to new words like "honourable" and "worthiness". But, the secular ones were never entirely forgotten–it is traditional in England and her former colonies to call mayors and magistrates "Your Worship", although certainly here in Australia that usage has died, and I'm not sure how alive it is in England either. But this isn't calling the magistrate or mayor divine, it is simply recalling the original meaning of "weorþscipe" as worthiness or honourableness. So, what then does it mean to "worship" someone or something? May I simply suggest it is to accord it love or respect, to declare it to be worthy. Now, to love God and to love your dog are both "love", but they are different in some ways, and their difference reflects the differences of their objects. You think highly of your dog, who loves you, and so you should; but, should you not think even more highly of a being who perfectly loves you and everyone who ever is, for your dog's love for you might not be perfect, and it certainly doesn't love everyone who ever is? So, then, maybe one definition of "worship", in a monotheistic religious sense, is "to think of a being so highly that you could not possibly think of any other being more highly". It seems God, as I have described her, would be a fitting target for "worship" under that definition, but your dog would not.
Next, Yes, your definition says "perfectly good" but without defining what this means it's pretty useless. And, yes, your argument, bizarrely says, "we are morally obliged to believe that God exists". But given that your definition of god makes no mention of morality I had and have no idea why - based on your definition- you would include that in your argument – you seem to think that one of the purposes of God is to give us a morality. I agree that is traditionally seen as a purpose of God and religion. But, I'm sure you would also agree, that you don't need to get your morality from God, you can get it from other sources – an atheist can have a morality. I think for most people, they have some morality they accept and try to judge themselves and others against and which they believe is in some sense binding–but they couldn't really explain where it comes from, it just is. So, my definition and my argument are not trying to define "good" or "moral", they just assume those concepts as a given. Interpret "good" and "moral" in my definition and my argument as referring to your current personal understanding of morality. Someone offering an argument or definition cannot define every possible word, so for undefined words just use your current understanding of them, in the hope that it is the same–or at least similar enough–to that of the person offering the argument to allow the conversation to meaningfully move forward–and, if in fact your understanding of some word is so radically different that the conversation can't move forward, hopefully we will work that out and we can explore that difference in understanding in detail.
And, of course, by your current personal understanding of morality, my claim we are morally obliged to believe God exists is no doubt "bizarre"–but I will try to convince you your moral ideas are lacking, in that specific area. But I'm not interested in trying to overthrow your morality as a whole, just change it in that one specific area. (Which is normally how moral debates proceed anyway – someone might try to convince you that eating meat is wrong, but they are not trying to change your whole morality, just change it in one area.) And, in my response to Anim/Randír, I gave some reasons why we should conclude that we are morally obliged to believe that God exists.
You have gone out of your way to create the most limited god possible, but when challenged on these limitations - morality, afterlife or whatever - we are suddenly expected to assume that were meant to be included, or to simply to give you the latitude to just keep adding attributes in order to meet objections – in my defence, let me just say that I am "field testing" my argument, trying it out on this website to find any weaknesses and deficiencies and to try to improve them. And thank you, you have made some valid points I need to address. I would be happy to amend my definition henceforth, to define "God" as "an immortal person who knows all there is to know, who is perfectly good, and who loves with perfect love every other person who ever exists, who is worthy of being loved and worshipped by us, and who provides us with an afterlife in which the victims of immorality receive recompense for their sufferings in this life, and the perpetrators of immorality are required to make atonement for their wrongdoing". If we rewound to the beginning of this discussion, and I offered that new definition in place of the old one, I think it would answer some (but not all) of your current definitional complaints. I think my argument works for the new definition as well, and it still avoids the problem of evil, because while it means God has extensive power over the afterlife, he is not claimed to have any power over what happens in this life. (((Zack Martin))) 22:44, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Argument against the logic[edit]

Mmk. Premise (1) rests (in my opinion) on shaky ground as, though P is inherently unfalsifiable, that doesn't mean it is by necessity true. Just because I can't disprove the existence of a teapot floating in the asteroid belt doesn't mean there's one there.
Premise (2) I don't think we have a moral obligation to believe that God exists. I simply don't. We haven't any reason to believe that it is our moral duty to believe in the existence of God.
Premise (3) is the property of - err - I can't remember the name but I'll spell out the formal logic because that's all I can currently remember lol. I'll name the existence of God premise E. It's a solid use of logic.
∀ P, E ∈ X : (P ⊆ E ∧ E ⊆ P) P=E
Now, (4) rests on (1) and (2) and (5) is a conclusion from (4). Given that (1) and (2) may not be true, I'm hesitant to accept (4), and, by proxy, (5).
On to the other argument. You got your numbering wrong (as (5) was already taken in the previous argument so in the second argument (5) should read (6)).
Ok. (6). Solid, but it rests on a pretty big 'if'.
(7). Solid; rests on (6).
(8). Correct; rests on (7).
(9). Also correct; rests on (8).
Now, I was thinking about this earlier, and I don't think that we can say P = E. First, we haven't even defined P, so it's like saying P = 1 even if we don't know what P is. Second, we don't even know that P and E are both members of set X. If we say that set X is the set of existing, then P and E must both be the condition of God existing in order to be subsets of each other, which makes your argument cyclic. Cyclic arguments are logically fallacious. And another thing: if we knock down that 'if' in premise (6) then the rest of argument two falls. Anyway, this is just opinion. Best wishes, Anim (Carfa) 22:41, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out my duplication of point (5). I added the earlier point (5) at the last minute so didn't realise I had done that. I don't need it, it is just restating point (4), so I regret adding it now. I have struck it out.
I don't see "Russell's Teapot" as being relevant to my argument. My argument is about the "inherently unfalsifiable" as opposed to the merely "practically unfalsifiable". What is practically unfalsifiable today may become practically falsifiable in a few years/decades/centuries/millennia, whereas what is inherently unfalsifiable today will still be inherently unfalsifiable in a million or billion or trillion years. "Russell's Teapot" is only practically unfalsifiable, not inherently so. Furthermore, my (1) is not "If P is inherently unfalsifiable, then P is true"; it is "If P is inherently unfalsifiable AND we morally obliged to believe P, then P is true". Who could possibly claim a moral obligation to believe in the existence of "Russell's Teapot"? Of course, you reject my claim that there is a moral obligation to believe God exists–but, however implausible you may think an obligation to believe in God's existence is, surely a moral obligation to believe in the existence of Russell's Teapot is even more implausible, far more implausible.
As to (2), I understand that you don't feel any moral obligation to believe that God exists. Let me ask you this question though – is it that you don't think we have any moral obligations to believe or disbelieve anything at all? Or, do you think we can have a moral obligation to believe or disbelieve certain propositions, but not the proposition that "God exists"? In which case, what is different about those propositions from the proposition "God exists" which makes the former the subject of our moral duties but the latter not?
I'm slightly struggling to follow the rest of your comments. I take it you have some doubt about (3), that "God exists" is inherently unfalsifiable, but I don't quite follow what that is. You end by suggesting my argument is circular, but I can't quite follow your reasons for thinking that. (((Zack Martin))) 23:37, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
I missed the 'and we are morally obliged' part. My apologies. This being the case, yes, Russell's Teapot has no bearing on (1). As for (2), I don't think we are morally obliged to believe in the existence of God. It does nothing for us. I don't have any obligation at all to believe in the existence of God as I am no more moral for doing so and no less moral for abstaining. Please, don't think that I am saying that humanity has no moral obligations; on the contrary, I do believe that we are morally obliged to believe in propositions like "Murder is wrong". My issues with (3) come from the fact that proposition P from (1) and the existence of God must be equal in order to be interchangeable.
∀ P, E ∈ X : (P ⊆ E ∧ E ⊆ P) P=E
The problem with (3) is that you substitute P for E and keep going (remember that I defined proposition E as the proposition that God exists). The problem is that I don't think we can say P and E are equal as we haven't defined P.
(1) If we are morally obliged to believe P, and if P is inherently unfalsifiable, then P is true
(2) We have a moral obligation to believe that "God exists"
(3) "God exists" is inherently unfalsifiable
(4) Hence, "God exists" is true.
Gott verdammt, I called it a cyclic argument. Perhaps I should proofread before I post (and maybe not post while tired). A hinge of this argument is that we can't say P and E are equal because we haven't defined P (sorry for the incoherent cyclic part). If we can establish that proposition P is equal to E, then sure, this is a fine argument. Well, we also have to prove that we hold a moral obligation to believe E. Also, that's a pretty convenient definition of God to hold. Anim (Carfa) 01:17, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Okay, so you say we can have moral duties to believe certain things and not to believe others, and you cite "Murder is wrong" as something we are morally obliged to agree. Great, we agree on that. But you can't see why we would be morally obliged to believe that "God exists". Let me sketch out some reasons.
One reason is, if people believe in God (or at least some versions of God), it may make them better people and the world a better place. If believing something has positive moral benefits overall, and we lack any strong rational reasons to disbelieve it, and that lack of reasons to disbelieve it is likely to be permanent rather than temporary, how can we morally justify not believing it? Of course, some will respond, that belief in God makes some people fly planes into buildings. No denying that. But that is not pure belief in God–pure philosophical theism–but belief in God combined with a whole host of other beliefs–e.g. that a certain someone is God's prophet, and some text they authored is divinely inspired and inerrant, and then you have some extreme interpretation of that prophet and text, and then yes someone may try to fly a plane into a building, or blow themselves up on a bus, or drive a car into a crowd, etc. But the pure philosphical theism isn't to blame for them doing that, it is the other beliefs they have layered on top of it. Some might claim that accepting pure philosophical theism might make people more likely to accept these other claims on top–while that could be true, I personally doubt it is a very great likelihood. Even if it is true, we have to weigh up the inherent moral benefits of belief in pure philosophical theism, against the moral costs or hazards of other beliefs being layered on top. Maybe there is a way to effectively vaccinate people against these other beliefs without rejecting philosophical theism. (And even though, in recent times, most terrorism has been religiously based, it is not true that there have never been atheist terrorists, because of course there have been, I will cite the Red Army Faction as just one example–some will say that there has never been atheist terrorism, because no one has ever committed terrorism in the name of atheism alone, but only ever due to some other ideology, e.g. communism, combined with atheism–of course, that is true, but if we go by that standard, there has never been any theist terrorism either, since no one has ever committed terrorism due to theism alone, but always due to some other belief combined with theism, e.g. a radical interpretation of Islam–anyway, if there have been both atheist terrorists and theist terrorists, is the terrorism caused by theism, or by some other factor?)
Here's another line of thought. I hear about something really horrible – oh, like some teenage rape victim being stoned to death by Islamists. I think, that's gravely immoral. I think to myself, not only do I believe that it is gravely immoral, I feel morally obliged to believe that it is gravely immoral. I believe its immorality is objective rather than subjective, and I feel morally obliged to believe that its immorality is objective rather than subjective. I actually feel that I owe her peronally the moral duties of believing these things, even though I have never known her personally, and even though she quite possibly will never know whether or not I am meeting these moral duties to her. (Well, maybe, if there is some kind of afterlife, she might know, or come to know eventually, whether I am meeting these obligations to her or not.) But I actually feel like my owing her these obligations is not dependent on whether she will ever know whether I am meeting them or not. Now, one of the moral obligations I feel I have to her is to believe that the immorality of what happened to her is objective rather than subjective. But, I actually think objectivity is not purely a yes-no matter, it is in some sense a matter of degree. Consider some moral obligation not to do X. Consider two different realities, R1 and R2. Now, in both R1 and R2, it is objectively true that everyone is morally obliged not to do X. However, in R1, no one ever does X, whereas in R2, people do X all the time. Even though it is objectively true in both R1 and R2 that X is objectively immoral, there is some sense in which its immorality is more objective in R1 than R2. In R1, objective reality shows greater respect to the immorality of X than it does in R2. We can make other comparisons. In R3 and R4, X happens, but in R3 its incidence approaches zero as time approaches infinity, while in R4 its incidence never converges to zero. Again, the objectivity of the immorality of X is greater in R3 than in R4, in that R3 shows more respect to the immorality of X than R4 does. So, now consider R5 and R6. In R5, there is God (or a God-like entity), that always knows X is wrong, that always respects the wrongness of X, that perfectly knows all the victims of X, that perfectly loves all the victims of X, that maybe even provides some sort of afterlife in which the victims of X are compensated for their sufferings, and receive vindication, in which those who violated X are clearly declared in a way in which no one can deny to be wrongdoers and maybe even receive some sort of punishment. By contrast in R6 there is no such God-like entity, although X is still objectively immoral, maybe in some sort of Platonic sense. Now, if I am morally obliged to believe that the immorality of X is objective, it seems I must also be morally obliged to believe that its immorality is as objective as possible. Now, "as objective as possible" does not mean I must believe that we are in reality R1, in which X never happens–that would actually be wronging her rather than fulfilling my duties to her, and it would be believing against the evidence which is that X actually happens, which is irrational. But, "as objective as possible" means that I must believe that reality is more like R3 than R4, more like R5 than R6. Since there is zero evidence which convincingly disproves the claim that reality is more like R3 than R4 and more like R5 than R6, I am morally obliged to believe it. Now, I think it is reasonable for me to want to avoid holding beliefs that might be disproven in the future–and any belief which is not inherently unfalsifiable might be disproven in the future–so if R3 or R5 is inherently falsifiable (even if practically unfalsifiable–practicalities can change, and what is impractical today may be practical tomorrow), that gives me a morally valid excuse for not believing R3 or R5. But, if R3 or R5 are inherently unfalsifiable, such that I could never have convincing evidence for their falsehood, I have no moral excuse for not believing them. Since R5 is equivalent to "(some version of) God exists", I am morally obliged to believe that God exists.
Also, I think you are maybe misreading (1). "P" in (1) is not a reference to any specific proposition. P is a variable. You can read it as a statement of second order logic, like this "For all propositions P, if P is inherently unfalsifiable, and if belief in P is morally obligatory, then P is true". So this question of whether E ("God exists") is P or not doesn't really come up, because of course E is a proposition, so the "For all propositions P" part in (1) applies to E. The only questions are whether (a) "P is inherently unfalsifiable" is true when P=E, (b) whether "belief in P is morally obligatory" is true when P=E, and of course (c) whether (1) is actually a true proposition or not.
To avoid certain logical paradoxes, we may need to restrict (1) so it actually reads "For all first-order propositions P", with (1) itself being a second-order proposition – this assumes E is first-order, which may well be true. Or else, if E is higher order, which maybe it needs to be to account for omniscience–e.g. "X is omniscient if for all first order propositions P, if P is true then X believes that P"–then we still avoid paradoxes so long as (1) is formulated as "For all propositions P of order less than or equal to n", where n is the order of E, and then (1) would have the order n+1. Another option would be to use paraconsistent logic, in which case we may be able to just ignore any paradoxical applications of (1). (Which is actually my preference, since I think it is simpler.) But, however we solve this, I think this is just a technical point, not essential to the correctness of the argument.
Finally, no denying this is a "pretty convenient definition of God". I actually prefer a more expansive definition, closer to the traditional one. But, that brings the problem of evil into play, which is a hard problem to solve. I actually think I can solve it. However, even if I can solve it, it would complicate the presentation of my argument – I'd be simultaneously defending my positive argument that God exists, and my proposed solution to the problem of evil – which is likely to overload my readers. So, I asked myself, if I cut all the bits out of the definition of God which make the problem of evil possible, is it still a definition of God worth believing in to me? For me the answer is yes. Of course, I'd rather believe in a "bigger God", and I believe I can justify belief in a "bigger God", but if a "smaller God" is easier to defend, and is still worth believing in, I will stick to arguing for that for now. If there exists a being who is perfectly good, and who perfectly loves me, and who perfectly knows me, and who indeed perfectly loves and knows everyone–even if that being didn't create me and has only rather limited power over me–is that being worthy of being "worshipped" by me? What is "worship"? To love that being back, to think of highly of it, to desire to emulate it as well as I can, to turn my thoughts to it on a regular basis–well, I think such a being, if it exists, would be worthy of such a treatment, and my giving it that treatment may benefit me–it may have psychological and moral benefits for me. (((Zack Martin))) 09:32, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Not convinced[edit]

(1)[edit]

The first problem here is what is and isn't a 'moral obligation.' See the discussion for (2).

Second of all, this premise makes an equivocation between 'morally obliged to believe P is true' and 'P is true.' As you presented in your own example;

...observe that we can sometimes be obliged to believe falsehoods – consider a trial where there is very compelling evidence produced by the prosecution, and the defence has been silent – in such a case, we rationally ought to believe the defendant's guilt, even if, by some unlikely confluence of events, the defendant is actually innocent. So we can be rationally obliged to believe falsehoods.

So we agree that humans can believe something - and indeed, be morally obliged to believe something - which is not true. The point here is that if we agreed that there is a moral imperative to believe in X, it certainly does not mean X is true or false, since what is socially and personally convenient for humans (refer to your reasons, which I quoted under (2)) has no bearing on actual truth value. You may critique this by pointing to (3), and arguing that "inherent falsiability" somehow excludes the entity from normal logic because it transcends normal objects. I would say this is just irrelevant hand waving to allow an argument from desire; if things could be made real/true - not made ought to be real/true, but made real/true - simply by human desire, we would be living in a very different world right now.

On a side note, I would like to address your dismissal of Russel's Teapot by the distinction between "practical unfalsifiability" and "inherent unfalsifiability," which you define as follows:

What is practically unfalsifiable today may become practically falsifiable in a few years/decades/centuries/millennia, whereas what is inherently unfalsifiable today will still be inherently unfalsifiable in a million or billion or trillion years.

So what you're saying is that using Russel's Teapot to critique unfalisability as an attribute for God is a category error, since God and the teapot are not the same type of 'unfalisiable' entities. But I think your distinction doesn't really hold. Let's imagine a teapot which currently exists in close orbit around the Sun. Right now, it's practically unfalsiable, but soon it will collide with the Sun and be no more, at which point it will be impossible to ever disprove it was once there. Does it now become inherently unfalisable? Let's say that in a billion years, humans have such mastery of the universe that they achieve Laplace's demon, and are able to deduce the events of all time, at which point they are able to prove or disprove the teapot's existence. If the entity you define as God is anywhere relevant to this universe - and indeed, you have specified a much less potent and transcendent entity - surely it, too, could be discovered or disproved at this point. And even if we went with the classical idea of an omnipotent being, could even it hide from such knowledge? Can an omnipotent entity hide from an omniscient entity if it wants to?

(2)[edit]

You'll have to elucidate more on why you think believing in the existence of the entity you've defined (it doesn't met my, Abrahamic influenced, conception of 'God' so I won't label it as such). So far, the examples you've presented are things like;

Well, if someone feels unloved, but they believe there is a being which loves them perfectly – might that offer them some consolation? Belief in the God I've described may provide psychological comfort for some people. Maybe, if a person believes that they are perfectly loved by a being which perfectly loves everyone, that belief might inspire them to try to be more loving themselves? To love more people, and to love the people they love more perfectly? [...] if people believe in God (or at least some versions of God), it may make them better people and the world a better place. If believing something has positive moral benefits overall, and we lack any strong rational reasons to disbelieve it, and that lack of reasons to disbelieve it is likely to be permanent rather than temporary, how can we morally justify not believing it? [...] it may have psychological and moral benefits for me.

I'll admit, this is very emotionally loaded language and makes me scream "appeal to consequences," "appeal to emotion," "argument from desire," etc right away. I am not well versed in moral philosophy and I recognize that within the realm of moral philosophy we are dealing with emotional concepts and 'ideals' and hence the fallacies I mentioned may not apply. I won't reject your reasons because of that, but what I will say is that you need to ask whether anyone besides you would accept them. For example, what premises of morality are you relying on? You seem to have - from my quick reading - a Utilitarian like view whereby a belief could be obligatory if it would provide positive effects. How would you justify belief in god as a 'moral obligation' if you were dealing with a moral philosophy which, for example, viewed empiricism itself, rather than consequentialism, as the key to the moral value of any given belief?

(3)[edit]

Refer to what I said regarding Russel's Teapot under 'Premise One.' I don't think we are currently equipped to say what can and cannot be known about the universe from our current perspective, and thus your distinction between "inherently" and "practically" unfalsiabile is void. So, not only does Russel's Teapot and its implications still apply here, but the very idea that God's existence is in any way unfalsiable is in question.

Conclusion[edit]

Ultimately, this is just another proof by logic, another cousin of the silly ontological argument and its lessons for any who would make arguments from desire. The funny thing is that, in my opinion, if such a fantastic and distanced argument were ever to be solid, it would not support its intended conclusion at all; rather it would only provide hard evidence of the dangers of hyper-abstraction, and a proof for the necessity of the kind of cold empiricism which the argument itself must by definition reject.

The key issue in this specific example is that this argument is a gloried appeal to consequences, a trumped up form of the popular(ist) idea that without religion, humans would have no reason to behave morally. Its unique trait is merely the assumption of a human-centric consequentialist moral system - a rather arrogant position, if you ask me, especially when used to assert for things which would affect the entire universe, most of which is still beyond human knowledge much less human presence. Very arrogant indeed.

But now that we're very clear about what this is, let's address the core issue. Zach, it seems you want to believe in God. But you also want a way to intellectually justify that belief, a means to let you sleep at night with your decision. My advice to you is go ahead and believe whatever makes you happy - whatever gives you those " psychological and moral benefits" you spoke of. But don't ever think that you can conjure beliefs from human imagination to reality through logical abstraction, or equivocate ought ("want" is more accurate) to be with is.

But the good thing is, you don't have to. Not all beliefs, especially emotional, personal things, have to be justified. That would be impossible, after all. You may have been hinting at this earlier, it may have even been one of your unstated premises, and I would caution you from mixing these things with any attempt at logic or "proof." It's dishonest, in a way, because it would allow you to fool yourself - and others - into believing that something ultimately born of mere imagination was actually real in any sense beyond the person who thought of it. It's a trickery which isn't fair to anyone involved. These realms truly are non-overlapping magesteria.

To illustrate, I'll share my personal views with you. Here is a slightly longer explanation but the summary is that I chose to believe in a form of pantheism regarding an 'Absolute.' The simplest way to describe it is by a question. Assuming the universe is deterministic, is the 'order' of the universe naturalistic - in our understanding of the concept (such as, say, the speed of light, a constant that simply is) - or, somehow, sentient. Directed. Not by any foreign or distinct entity, but in itself. Of course, my own acknowledgement of the nature of human knowledge demands that I hold an empiricist view, and assume a negative to such questions, but sometimes I like to believe it anyway. It can be comforting, reassuring. It's nice. You could say I have no right to, and I know this. I'm comfortable with it. The difference between me and you is that I don't feel the need to try and prove to others - as a proxy, of course, of proving to myself - that my belief is "true." I'm aware that I can't in anyway justify my view, especially in my own framework. As a result, my belief never affects my views on politics, society, or any other issue which involves other entities. It doesn't affect my interactions with reality outside of my psychologically. And that's all fine.

It's just for me :)

Zach Martin, my first interaction with you was when I posted a very in depth ontological argument in the Saloon, asking for someone to help refute it. You were the only one who did so satisfactorily, and ever since then I've respected you for your intelligence. I'll admit, I was surprised when I saw this whole thread. My sincere advice to you is figure out what you most want to believe - without any other consideration - and go with that, while acknowledging its restricted application to your life and worldview. I fully understand feeling the need to justify every position you hold, and its an honorable attitude, but this isn't the place. Some things don't need to be true. All that matters is if they're true for you. :)

Best of luck friend. Lord Aeonian (talk) 09:57, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Lord Aeonian, I think you are right that my argument depends on a certain conception of morality. And, I intentionally keep my conception somewhat vague, in part because I didn't want to pull too many details into my argument, and in part because my own personal views on morality are somewhat vague. I am convinced that ethics is objective rather than subjective. I find attempts to provide a naturalist/physicalist grounding to the objectivity of ethics unconvincing, so I think it must somehow be grounded in a non-naturalist way. Possibly, a statement like "killing human beings for no reason other than pleasure in killing is objectively always immoral" is a sort of brute fact, a fundamental truth, which doesn't require any other fact as a ground or justification or explanation – just as a materialist/naturalist/physicalist might claim that "The physical universe exists" is a brute fact and fundamental truth which doesn't require any other fact as ground or justification. We find it intellectually useful to reduce (or explain or justify or ground or...) some categories of truth in terms of other categories; but unless we opt for circularity or infinite regress, we must always arrive at some categories of truths which cannot be further reduced (or explained or justified or grounded or ...) Both subjectivist/emotivist and naturalistic approaches deny ethical statements the status of irreducible truth, even as they admit that status of other categories; I think they are wrong about that. (I am not using the phrase "reduced" in a strictly reductionist way – emergentism insists it is not reductionism, but it still maintains a hierarchical view of reality, in which some truths are in a sense more fundamental than others, whether "reduction" or "emergence" are better descriptions of the relations between the levels.)
I wouldn't go so far as saying I necessarily presume a utilitarian or consequentialist ethics. The difference, as I understand it, between consequentialism and non-consequentialism, is both agree that consequences are ethically relevant, but consequentialists claim that consequences are the only thing that is ethically relevant, whereas non-consequentialists argue there are ethically relevant considerations which cannot be described as consequences and which ought in some cases outweigh the consequences in our ethical judgements. So, it may be I am making an ethical argument based on consequences, but one does not necessarily have to be a consequentialist to accept such an argument. I don't think I am completely a consequentialist, because I have some ethical views which are difficult to justify in a consequentialist framework. For example, I think I have special moral obligations to my own children. Consequentialists can try to explain this, in terms of the good consequences of parents feeling that they have such obligations – but the explanation rings hollow for me, because for me my special moral obligation to my children is more important than whatever positive consequences might follow for society as a whole in my belief (or that of parents generally) that I have such a special obligation. Even if you could prove that the belief in such a special obligation was actually bad for society, I would still hold that moral belief, because it is in my view it is in itself more important than consequences.
You ask "How would you justify belief in god as a 'moral obligation' if you were dealing with a moral philosophy which, for example, viewed empiricism itself, rather than consequentialism, as the key to the moral value of any given belief?" Possibly, given such a morality, my argument would not work. However, I think there are some problems with adopting the sort of morality you propose. I would begin by asking what is belief? I would argue that belief is a disposition to act – it is a disposition to engage in the act of privately thinking that the proposition is true, it is a disposition to engage in communicative acts (speech, writing, etc) which seek to communicate that proposition to others. It also is a disposition to act in various other ways which go beyond thought and communication – for example, if you believe a proposition is true, you may be disposed to wager that it is true. If you believe that cyanide is poisonous, you will refrain from drinking cyanide (unless you want to commit suicide.)
Whether consequentialism is ultimately the right framework for ethics or not, it is quite general purpose – it is in principle applicable to acts of any kind, or dispositions to act of any kind. (You might say consequentialism only directly addresses acts not dispositions – but insofar as we have a limited but real power to consciously attempt to alter our dispositions by acts – e.g. a person with a disposition to anger might choose to go see a therapist to try to alter that disposition – I think it follows that consequentialism governs dispositions too.) A consequentialist approach to the ethics of belief doesn't have to subject belief to a special ethical regime which is different from that applied to non-doxastic acts and dispositions. By contrast, an empircist approach to the ethics of belief must by its nature be specific to belief – the principle "we are ethically obliged to form our beliefs according to empircism" cannot by its very nature answer non-doxastic moral questions (such as the morality of war, rape, murder, torture, cannibalism, killing non-human animals for food, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, homosexuality, polygamy, incest, bestiality, etc, etc etc – it might lead us to believing certain factual premises which are relevant to deciding these moral questions, but it cannot by its nature directly decide them). So, whereas consequentialism possibly might work as an all-purpose ethical framework, empricism cannot. So empricism as a basis of ethics must be supplemented with some non-empiricist ethical principles. And now we have the problem, if we have non-empricist general ethical principles, why shouldn't we apply those principles to questions of belief as well? So, an empiricst approach to the ethics of beliefs needs to accept non-empiricst general ethical principles, but propose to exempt the ethics of belief from them. And then it needs to provide some justification of why such an exemption should be made, and I doubt any convincing justification can be given. But if you don't engage in such an exemption, then there is always the risk that those broader non-empiricist ethical principles you've adopted might end up overriding your empiricism in some case and obliging you to believe something which contradicts empiricism.
To respond to the terms "appeal to consequences," "appeal to emotion," "argument from desire" – these are often labelled fallacies, and I am sure that in some cases they are indeed fallacious. However, simply labelling something a fallacy does not make it so. And, with all three, I would distinguish two positions – a strong position "arguments of type X are always fallacious" from a weak position "arguments of type X are sometimes/often/in most cases fallacious, but not necessarily always so". I reject the strong position, but accept the weak one. I think appeals to emotion may be fallacious in some cases but not in others. I think emotions are a genuine source of knowledge about morality, but not a perfect source. If something gives you a negative emotional reaction – that doesn't necessarily mean it is wrong, but it could indicate that, it might even be said to make a prima facie case for it. To give a more concrete example, I read a story about a teenage rape victim being stoned to death by Islamists, I have a strong negative emotional reaction and a belief that what was done to her was gravely objectively immoral–I believe my negative emotions actually constitute good evidence for that moral claim. But, on the other hand, some people have a negative emotional reaction to same-sex relationships, and conclude on that basis that such relationships are immoral, but I share neither their emotions nor their conclusion. I think the solution is that emotions can be evidence of morality, but only prima facie evidence, so if a person has a negative emotional reaction to same-sex relationships, they could nonetheless rationally conclude that same-sex relations are moral, if they can identify good reasons why those particular emotions should be disregarded. Some human emotional reactions are more universal than others, and the more universal a reaction, the more likely it points to moral truth, the more idiosyncratic, the less likely – while negative emotional reactions to homosexuality are widespread, they are far from universal; whereas, far more people have a negative emotional reaction to executing rape victims, so the later emotion is likely a more accurate guide to moral truth than the former. Anyway, while I think emotions are a decent (albeit imperfect) guide to moral truth, they are a much poorer guide to truth in other fields such as mathematics or physics.
You also question the distinction between "inherent" and "practical" unfalsifiability, and suggest that there may be no unfalsifiable propositions, or at least no propositions which can be known to be unfalsifiable with any degree of certainty. I think there are some propositions which we can know with certainty to be unfalsifiable. To give an example, consider the proposition "At least one mind ever exists". It is impossible to falsify that proposition, since the very concept of falsification presumes a mind considering evidence to determine what propositions it may or may not falsify. To give an example closer to God, consider the proposition "An afterlife exists". How could you possibly ever falsify that proposition? Most people who reject a life after death say things like "There is no evidence one exists" or "It is physically impossible" but that doesn't falsify the idea of an afterlife which transcends this physical universe. This is a proposition which no one can explain how it could ever possibly be falsified, so how can claims that it is or might be falsifiable any more than empty assertions? So, I think the distinction between "inherent" and "practical" unfalsifiability is valid. I admit there are some edge cases which are difficult to classify as one or the other, but edge cases don't prove a distinction invalid.
In any event, even if some version of Russell's Teapot is inherently unfalsifiable – my argument would only demonstrate the existence of an inherently unfalsifiable version of Russell's Teapot if we were morally obliged to believe that Russell's Teapot existed – and I can't see how such a moral obligation could exist. In a consequentialist way, such a moral obligation could exist if the belief had sufficient positive consequences and no negative consequences (or if the positive consequences significantly outweighed the negative consequences) – but I can't see how belief in Russell's Teapot could have positive consequences. Equally, I can't see how a non-consequentialist approach to ethics (e.g. Kant's categorical imperative, natural law theory or virtue ethics) could ever produce a moral obligation to believe in Russell's Teapot either.
You are right that I am trying to justify my beliefs, principally to myself – I don't expect to actually convince others, I am just checking to see if they have any good responses which might motivate me to modify my beliefs or the arguments I use to justify them. Why do I want to justify my beliefs? I don't just want to believe things – I want to believe the truth. I don't think it is fair to describe my argument as an "argument from desire", since it doesn't rely on the concept of human desire, instead it relies on ethics, and the question of what is the relationship between the ethics of belief and the truth of those beliefs – unless you think ethics is reducible to human desire, a position I myself reject.
I think you should question more your commitment to "empiricism". It is an awfully broad term, it means a lot of things to different people. If by empiricism you simply mean that experience is one of the resources we should use in our quest for the truth, then that is a triviality with which nobody should disagree. But, what most empricists mean, is to advocate for a restricted list of valid sources of knowledge – at the most extreme, that experience is the only source of knowledge. That view tends to struggle in dealing with mathematical truth, so usually gets weakened a bit to allow non-empirical methods in mathematics, but not in anything else. I don't know why I should subscribe to something so limiting. As I mentioned above, I believe in objective and irreducible moral truth, which is something that empiricism doesn't have any room for. You can ask what justification I have for believing in such a thing, and I can ask what justification you have for believing in empiricism.
Empiricists often point to the undeniable practical success of the natural sciences as justification for empiricism. However, that justification doesn't work. The methods of the natural sciences are undeniably good at answering the sorts of questions that the natural sciences ask, but it doesn't logically follow that we should therefore reject the use of completely different methods in answering completely different questions. They also often ridicule various "other ways of knowing" such as astrology or palmistry or so on – I am not inclined to accept those things myself, but it is a bit of a leap from "astrology is nonsense" to "irreducible objective ethics is nonsense". They reason from "some non-empiricial epistemic methods are fallacious" to "all non-empirical epistemic methods are fallacious", but that is an invalid deduction – and I don't think it is even a good induction.
Why do I believe that ethics is objective? Well, why do you believe that the natural sciences or logic or mathematics are objective? I think a belief that something is objective is possibly something which one just has to accept or reject, and one cannot necessarily give reasons for doing so. However, I can make two arguments: (1) most would agree that rationality is objective, but when we observe the many parallels between rationality and morality, I think the conclusion is that it is special pleading to ascribe objectivity to one but not the other, in the absence of a good reason for doing so, and I don't think any good reason for doing so can be adduced. (2) If something is gravely wrong, I am morally obliged to believe it is gravely wrong. Go back to the case of the teenage rape victim stoned to death for the crime of being a victim of rape – considering that case, I have the moral intuition that what was done to her was gravely wrong, and that I am morally obliged to believe that, and furthermore that I am morally obliged to believe that it is gravely wrong in an objective way, which transcends questions of culture and individual taste/preference/etc. I think the moral obligation to believe that X is objectively wrong is just a specification of the moral obligation to believe that X is wrong simplicter. Obviously one can make a consequentialist argument for such an obligation, but as well as that I feel a certain non-consequentialist commitment to it – I feel like I owe it to the victim of this atrocity to believe that what happened to her was gravely wrong, and objectively so.
Why do I believe that ethics is irreducible? Well, why can't it be irreducible? All the attempts to reduce it to something non-ethical seem to me to be unsatisfactory. Furthermore, reducible ethics is (in some sense) less objective than irreducible ethics, so if we are morally obliged to believe that ethics is objective, believing that it is irreducible may better fulfil that obligation than believing it to be reducible to something non-ethical; indeed, if an obligation to believe that X is immoral leads to an obligation to believe that its immorality is objective, it might equally lead to an obligation to believe that its immorality is irreducible. (((Zack Martin))) 09:18, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
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A theocratic movement in the U.S. is gaining power

How a Christian movement is growing rapidly in the midst of religious decline. Well, the world is fucked.Ru1138 (talk) 22:51, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

i hope it's the "love" part of christianity that resonates with people. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:34, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
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The problem of Biblical scholarship

After losing my religion in my late teens I have somewhat lost interest in the topic. One thing that still hugely interests me is the historicity of Jesus. Christians would have it that the Gospels are a historical account of Jesus life. I'm highly in favour of Jesus being a mythical character in its entirety, or maybe a mystified historical character which barely resembles the New Testament. Not being an expert on the topic, I must resort to the scientific consensus (which I often do when confronted with topics I barely understand). The scientific consensus seems to be that Jesus is a largely historical character, though his supernatural abilities and deeds would have to be invented later. I accept this, however there's one big problem with following the scientific consensus on the historicity of Jesus: Biblical Scholarship is dominated largely by Christians and former Christians, potentially skewing the scientific consensus. How would the scientific consensus on the historicity of Jesus look like in a world where Christianity was a thing of the distant past? -Strangelove (talk) 19:29, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

I think the scientific consensus would be that historians wouldn't care as much anymore to the degree that there wouldn't be that much effort in uncovering the history of the man, just like almost nobody gives a fuck nowadays if Hercules was a historical character. Because the main reason scientists today even pay attention to this issue at all is just to finally unearth all the historical evidence and prove that he was simply a nondescript Middle-Eastern man who dabbled in the politics of his day and died for it because his flesh was weak like anyone else's, and not the magician many people believe he was. NameThatNobodyTakes () 20:12, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
If you have the time and the energy for it, I whole-heartedly recommend the following presentation on the topic by Dr. Richard Carrier. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:17, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
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An ontological argument

The proof[edit]

In ontology, one is working from the ground-floor up in order to both establish properly basic ideas and in the process define them. The most basic threads possible are being tied together. If you aren't very familiar with ontology, see here for an excellent introduction.

Now, it's time to light up a pipe, start the record player, and get to work:

My argument has three stages. The first stage establishes the principles of reasoning behind the rest of the argument. The second stage simply defines God by necessary inference from the principles. The third stage summarizes the argument in eight statements, which make explicitly clear the logic behind the whole argument.

A) Being is. That is, something exists. This is the principle of existence. It is undeniable since the one who denies it must exist in order to deny it. Hence, while the source of first principles is a basic intuition about being, the test for their truth is undeniability. That is, they cannot be denied without affirming them (either directly or indirectly) in the very denial itself.

B) Being is being. This is the principle of identity. Being is identical to being. A thing is identical to itself. Again, this is literally undeniable since it cannot be denied unless it is implied, for one must assume things to be identical to themselves even to deny that they are.

C) Being is not non-being. This is the principle of non-contradiction. Opposites cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. This too is undeniable since the claim that opposites can both be true assumes that the opposite of this claim 'C' cannot be true.

D) Either being or non-being. This is the principle of excluded middle. There is nothing between being and non-being. Hence, something must either be or not be. It can't both be and not be. This too is undeniable since the denial of it is a contradiction.

E) Non-being cannot produce being. This is the principle of causality. Nothing cannot cause anything since nothing does not exist, and what does not exist cannot not cause anything. Only something can produce something. Deniable of this principle also entails a contradiction.

F) Being causes being similar to itself. This is the principle of analogy. An effect resembles it's efficient cause. Like produces like. Being shares being, for this is all that it has to share. Being cannot give what it has not got. But what it gives (i.e., being) it must have had to give.

From these six principles:

A) A being can be either necessary or contingent but not both. This is based on the principle of excluded middle.

B) A necessary being cannot produce another necessary being. The opposite of this is reducible to a contradiction because (a) a necessary being by it's nature cannot come or cease to be, and (b) the being that is caused by a necessary being comes to be.

C) A contingent being cannot cause another contingent being. This is because a contingent being is one that could possibly not be, and if it caused another being, then non-being would be producing being.

D) A necessary being is a being of pure actuality, with no potentiality. This is so since a necessary being has no potentiality to not exist. If a necessary being exists, then it must exist necessarily, with no possibility not to exist.

E) A being of pure actuality cannot produce another being with pure actuality. The being that is produced by a being of pure actuality must have both actuality and potentiality, for this created being has the potentiality not to be, which pure actuality does not have.

F) Every being caused by a being of pure actuality must be both like and unlike its cause. It must be like its cause in its actuality, and it must be unlike its cause in potentiality. And what is both like and unlike its cause is similar (or analogous) to it.

G) I am a contingent being. This is so because I undeniably exist, and I am neither a necessary being nor an impossible being. I am not an impossible being since I do exist. And I am not a necessary being because I change or come to be, which a necessary being cannot do. Hence, I am a contingent being. But only a necessary being can cause a contingent being.

H) Therefore, a necessary being exists that causes me to exist.

I) This necessary being is a being of pure actuality and has certain necessary attributes:

  • It cannot change (i.e., immutable) since it has no potential for change.
  • It cannot be temporal (i.e., eternal) since that involves change.
  • It cannot be material (i.e., immaterial) since that involves change.
  • It cannot be finite (i.e., infinite) since it has no potentiality to limit it.
  • It cannot be divisible (i.e., simple) since it has no potential to be divided.
  • It must be an uncaused being since it is a necessary being, and a necessary being cannot be caused to come to be. So, it can't be caused. Nor can it be self-caused, since that would entail a contradiction.
  • It must only be one being since there can't be two or more infinite beings or two or more beings of pure actuality; there is no way they could differ in their being, for they are both the same kind of being. And beings cannot differ in the very respect in which they are the same.
  • It must be infinitely knowing (i.e., omniscient) since I am a knowing being that it caused to exist, and a cause cannot give what it does not have to give.
  • It must be all-powerful (i.e., omnipotent) since it is infinite, and it has the power to cause a finite being to exist.

Now, to summarize the whole argument in eight statements:

  1. Some things undeniably exist.
  2. But my nonexistence is possible, for I am not a necessary being but one that changes or comes to be.
  3. Whatever has the possibility not to exist is currently caused to exist by another.
  4. There cannot be an infinite regress of current causes of existence.
  5. Therefore, a first uncaused cause of my current existence exists.
  6. This uncaused cause must be infinite, unchanging, all-powerful, and all-knowing.
  7. This infinitely all-powerful, all-knowing being is what is meant by a theistic God.
  8. Therefore, a theistic God exists.

Propianotuner (talk) 14:17, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

The discussion[edit]

This reminds me of Gödel's ontological proofWikipedia's W.svg, what with what appears to be modal logic (I've only skimmed your text). It would appear your reasoning ultimately falls back on axioms? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:27, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
It's a rework of Kalaam that tries to break an infinite regress problem. There's three arguments by assertion right off the bat (1, 4, 7) that makes the assumption it's your chosen deity. It works a shitload better to replace any reference to a deity with universe because it's the one thing where the cause isn't known but it undeniably exists. It's always interesting to see people have a conclusion and try to warp reality to fit it. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:28, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
That's also the problem of most axiom systems generally; that some or most axioms are ultimately reducible to being regular dime-a-dozen stated premises, which were defensively marked as "read-only" by the argument maker. Hardly compelling. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:31, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Having read the argument slightly closer, only halfway through, it's producing several bluescreens of death. It is also a typical case of confounding philosophical logic with symbolic logic. Producing an argument of symbolic logic - i.e. pertaining to the internal ruleset of manipulating symbols as they relate to each other - has no bearing on philosophical logic, i.e. the description of the outside world. So conflating in things like what type of being you yourself are appears to be highly unprincipled. Also, it seems apparent that wildly discrepant ideas have been formalized here in an attempt to produce a desired result. For example, "A)" appears to be a version of the cogito, while "B)" to "D)" are variants on Leibniz' laws. These concepts are not inherently relatable. And so on. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:40, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Man, this would be a great proof is if I didn't have serious objections to almost every premise and deduction. #7, #1, and #2 are the only ones that makes any sense. Infinite, unchanging, all-powerful, and all-knowing is a good definition of a theistic god. It's just completely an unnecessary requirement as stipulated by #6, and causes can be complex and indirect. There's no reason to suggest that infinite regress isn't possible as suggested by #4 and #5, it's out of nowhere. #3 is poorly substantiated. That life can emerge from non-life in simple chemical processes is strongly suggested by current science. In some ways you're making a very creationist argument, and we have piles of things debunking that ideology here. It's all really flaky. this was supposed to say user:ikanreed 14:51, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Ahem... The last eight statements are not the tl;dr version of the argument. Arguments this tightly structured can hardly be skimmed over and appraised with statements like "it's always interested to see people have a conclusion and try to warp reality to fit it". Now, as for this seemingly a priori dismissal out of hand, purporting that the argument is based on axioms: it demonstrates either ignorance or "ignoreance" of the distinction between first principles and axioms. A first principle is predicated on an observation that is considered properly basic, while an axiom is merely a logical operator term which sets the universe of discourse and allows for corollaries, postulates, and theorems to be structured on top of it. Ontology is not algebra or geometry, i.e. it is not the study of logical operator terms and their use. Before you conflate the two again, I highly suggest you take the pleasure of reading the Stanford article I referenced at the beginning. As for Mr. "really flaky" here, you too appear to be confusing metaphysics and physics for the actual subject: ontology. Propianotuner (talk) 14:55, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

All I'm hearing in that condescending mess is "I want you to use a lot more a priori ideas that are kinda bullshit" ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:02, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
What's really flaky is trying to prove something you a priori state exists before anything else. You can make anything come out as true if you state it's true on the first point. Like:
  1. Some things undeniably exist.
  2. The Earth is hot inside.
  3. Large cave networks have been found.
  4. Dragons breathe fire and live in caves.
  5. Dragons exist and live underground to power Earths central engine.
-EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:08, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
(I hope you don't mind me adjusting your formatting), yeah, that. I agree: my own approach is that the fewest a priori assumptions it takes to start taking a postiori inferences seriously the better your reasoning is. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:44, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Nope, no worries :-) I just wonder how it's a proof when the proof starts that some things exist and that thing is god. Okay, that's an assertion not a proof. It works for everything if you replace theistic god with any fictional character like pixie, a giant invisible dog, a goat, or Stevie Nicks and it will work. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:03, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Nah, the one bone I'll toss them is that they actually bothered to define "god" in a way that kinda closely matches the cultural center of that term in western societies. It's just they arbitrarily demand omnipotence, omniscience, whatever else as a precondition to there being a being. Which is really really silly. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:46, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

"Necessary"[edit]

A necessary being is a being of pure actuality, with no potentiality. This is so since a necessary being has no potentiality to not exist. If a necessary being exists, then it must exist necessarily, with no possibility not to exist.

Great, sure. Later, you try to make this actually matter:

I am a contingent being. This is so because I undeniably exist, and I am neither a necessary being nor an impossible being. I am not an impossible being since I do exist. And I am not a necessary being because I change or come to be, which a necessary being cannot do. Hence, I am a contingent being. But only a necessary being can cause a contingent being.

And:

  1. It cannot change (i.e., immutable) since it has no potential for change.
  2. It cannot be temporal (i.e., eternal) since that involves change.
  3. It cannot be material (i.e., immaterial) since that involves change.
  4. It cannot be finite (i.e., infinite) since it has no potentiality to limit it.
  5. It cannot be divisible (i.e., simple) since it has no potential to be divided.
  6. It must be an uncaused being since it is a necessary being, and a necessary being cannot be caused to come to be. So, it can't be caused. Nor can it be self-caused, since that would entail a contradiction.
  7. It must only be one being since there can't be two or more infinite beings or two or more beings of pure actuality; there is no way they could differ in their being, for they are both the same kind of being. And beings cannot differ in the very respect in which they are the same.
  8. It must be infinitely knowing (i.e., omniscient) since I am a knowing being that it caused to exist, and a cause cannot give what it does not have to give.
  9. It must be all-powerful (i.e., omnipotent) since it is infinite, and it has the power to cause a finite being to exist.

Literally none of these are proven to be necessary for a necessary being.

1-3 assert that a necessary being cannot change. First, this is unsupported, and falls. Second, this is hilariously inconsistent -- for how can you claim that something does an action (and apparently with omnipotent power) without changing? How can any entity being do anything without changing? To claim this is to claim something that has never been observed.

4 is odd. First, what the hell does "infinite" mean here? Does a necessary being exist in space, or time, or abstract numbers? Otherwise, how can you claim that it takes up "all" of it? Second, you state that a finite/divisible has potentiality, yet there is no given reason why this is true. Let's say that Sid the Necessary Rock is a necessary being. In every possible universe, Sid is there. Why must Sid not take up space or time or "number", in order to be necessary?

6 and 7 are fine.

8 and 9 have the same problems as 4. First, this is unsupported, and fails. Second, why must a necessary being even have knowledge or power? Let's say that Sid the Necessary Rock is (still) a necessary being. In every possible universe, Sid is there. Why must Sid have the ability to know things, in order to be necessary? Why must Sid have the ability to act, in order to be necessary?

In short, this section tacks on qualities to "necessary", without support. As is usual for these proofs, they will prove a necessary being (by assuming other flawed things) and then assume that the specific God of the religion is what results.

In fact, if you stripped away every one of these flawed propositions away, you would arrive at a necessary being which very closely parallels the Universe, or at least the cause of the universe.

Mʀ. Wʜɪsᴋᴇʀs, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 16:00, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Contingent producing contingent[edit]

Again, an unsupported idea.

A contingent being cannot cause another contingent being. This is because a contingent being is one that could possibly not be, and if it caused another being, then non-being would be producing being.

Why? Merely because the contingent being "is one that could possibly not be", does not mean that it actually is not being at the time of the creation of the other contingent being. If the contingent being is in the state of "being" (rather than non-being), then NO, it is not non-being, and thus it is not non-being producing being. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 15:59, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Seriously - nobody will believe in Gods because of this.[edit]

Nobody really believes in the existence of Gods because of "proofs" like this. They are just used by people who have already decided Gods exist in an attempt to persuade themselves they were right all along.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:50, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Reads to me like "If you can't beat 'em with science, baffle 'em with bullshit" Pippa (talk) 16:53, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
@Bob: I don't think that's necessarily true, but is probably true in 99% of cases. Very few converts are won with logical syllogisms. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 17:09, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
OK, who knows, there may be a small number. But in that case do you feel that such people would become atheists when the argument is shown to be false? I kind of doubt it - but again, who knows how these hypothetical people might hypothetically react?--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:18, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
@FCP You mean, that's true for 99% of people even in cases that would involve a coherent proof. This case does not, and as such, the percentile lies closer to 100%, considering the paradoxes and equivocative and vague conceptual definitions contained in it - never mind, again, the complete lack of evidence for God in the natural world. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:39, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Solipsistic drivel[edit]

It's worth nothing that the very attempt to construct a "proof" for an unobservable, unfalsifiable, unverifiable entity is done entirely because no evidence can be found in support of its existence in the natural world, and indeed, even with the construction of such proof (which has failed miserably above, and in all other cases) it gives us no new explanatory power of the natural world, which is still one where prayers are not answered, children die needlessly and the dying sun will in time consume this entire planet. "Proofs of God" are to logic and theology what perpetual motion machines are to physics and engineering. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:24, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

That's always part of the problem. If there was real evidence people wouldn't need to resort to pretzel logic and word salads. It's not like Jonas Salk figured out penicillin's power and asked people if they were good to use rhetorical tricks to prove himself right. He provided evidence. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 18:06, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Salk? Fleming! But your point stands. People are only doing this because their pet invisible wizard has left no physical evidence of his work or even his existence, so logic games are the only route left. Flannan Isle (talk) 20:38, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
And, I mean, it's one thing to admit to be amateurishly toying with logic. It's another to literally pretend to have any type of coherent - let alone authoritative - "proof" of the existence of Santa God. Wow, much nonsense, such illogical. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 21:09, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Heh, whoops...well this brings a very good point, though unintentional, as well. I am a relatively well educated professional with the worlds archives at my fingertips electronically and I made a mistake with two well known researchers. The Bible was written after Jesus's life by people who never met him that in relation to this time would be woefully uneducated for a 10 year old, recopied, and manipulated over 1,700 years since the stories were collected that's so un-fricken-fallable to some people they look to distort reality with logic games to justify their faith. An "infallible" document that if anyone was actually faithful enough to follow to the letter would likely make them a monster in the eyes of everyone as well as earn them a place on death row. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:28, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, but divine inspiration is real because I'm a being. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:55, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
It's not the inspiration that I have a problem with, it's the divine fact checking and divine version control I question. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 20:11, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

And I thought the forums were dead?[edit]

Great to see you guys still tearing apart apologetics. Any chance of making an article for this latest argument? Lord Aeonian (talk) 23:42, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Rightfully are the simple so called. We should make an article on this embarassing mess of an argument, though I tremble for the length of the article it would produce (considering the many, many caveats). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:16, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps we could simply expand our existing article on the ontological argument? I think this should be somewhere on mainspace, since many theists no doubt find things like this impressive. Lord Aeonian (talk) 00:35, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
"many theists no doubt find things like this impressive." I hate to repeat myself, but I again quote the Hitch; Rightfully are the simple so called. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:02, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
@Aeonian, this isn't really an ontological argument. It's just a rather standard Thomist version of the cosmological argument. Recently I've been reading Edward Feser's Aquinas, and so I can clearly see the Thomistic elements in this argument, such as the act-potency doctrine, the notion of pure act (actus purus), the principle of proportionate causality, etc. It's obvious that Propianotuner has been reading some Thomistic philosphy (maybe even Feser), but the fact that they've mislabelled a cosmological argument as an ontological one is a sign they haven't quite got it. (((Zack Martin))) 08:08, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
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Santa Clausism

First of all, this text is gonna sound somewhat gnostic atheist in that I implicitly postulate that religion is entirely manmade. That's not entirely my point of view, since I'd rather describe myself as an agnostic atheist, so just consider it an unproved (but reasonable!) hypothesis.

I hope that I'm not about to write something that's written somewhere else on RW, although it's rather close to RW's mission, so if there already is a page about it, please let me know.

While there are certainly other aspects, like trying to make sense of the universe without scientific knowledge (creation), coping with death (soul, afterlife) and a tool for political legitimacy (most kingdoms in documented history, your favorite "muslim" terrorist group), I'd like to focus on the significance of religion for the upbringing of children.

Reason for this is that I sometimes found parents slightly surprised by the fact that their children had respect on the border to outright fear to your average christmas market Santa Claus (probably roughly equivalent to the shopping mall Santa in the US), although they actually should know that he's a nice old man giving away presents and stuff like that. I see a whole lot of similarities between Santa Claus and powers attributed to God/gods (I'll focus on the Christian one, I know him better than the others):

  • He's supposed to know if any given child has been naughty or nice - while not real omniscience, this is probably close enough for children.
  • He will judge you based on a certain moral system, so better heed to the set of virtues your parents taught you.
  • Good behaviour will be rewarded, bad behaviour will be punished (I'm not sure if the punishment part is common, but I was told that naughty children would run the risk to "get the birch" from Santa's helper. The last part is similar to the God-Satan dichotomy in Christianity - in order to keep God's/Santa's slate clean, another figure with negative connotation has to be invented who's in charge of the dirty work)

This leads me to the hypothesis that religion-like characteristics can evolve from the simple need of parents having trouble to cope with the upbringing of their children and tend invent a more powerful entity which coincidentally has the same moral system as the parents do. The rewards/punishment has changed to adapt to the times - parents arguably have become more restrained in psychologically abusing their children by threatening eternal damnation, and are prosperous enough to buy a heap of presents once or twice a year, so the nebulous evaluation of one's life at its end has been replaced by a more tangible annual evaluation.

With this in mind, I imagine the formation of a monotheistic religion in the late bronze or early iron age to have happened roughly like this: At one day, in some tribe, parents used threatened eternal damnation to a child who stole the neighbor's child's toy doll, and promised salvation if it admitted its failure and gave the doll back. The parents of the child the doll was stolen from were impressed by the honesty of the child, asked its parents how they did it, and also adopted the eternal damnation idea. The next generation, these children used the same strategy on their children - over the course of generations, more and more parents adopted it, and over time, they actually believed in the eternal damnation thing, because that's what their parents and their parent's parents said. Some day, a child asked how the world came to be. The parents, unwilling to admit that they had no idea, made an actual intelligence of some sort out of whatever force decides if they deserved eternal damnation or not, and attributed the creation of the world to it.

It could very well have happened the other way around - first inventing (a) god(s) who created the world, and then refitting him into the eternal judge. I think it's more likely to create polytheism that way, because nature is diverse. However, as we have seen in the case of Judaism, a monolatrism (which is a special form of polytheism) can evolve into a monotheism, and in this context it doesn't matter that much anyway.

So, what do you think about this? --87.145.134.96 (talk) 16:06, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

If you are really interested in the question, I suggest actually reading up on the history of religion, instead of wanking idly speculating.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:38, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
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Do you think God made everything happen on Earth?

Do you think God made everything happen on Earth for a reason? For example, do you think God sent supposed "aliens" to create the pyramids, or he sent "aliens" to teach Asian people how to speak Chinese or Japanese, or even do you think he created war and death himself? Is there really a purpose to why God sent "aliens", or could there be another story? OR, do you think aliens aren't real, God gave humans the "gifts" to accomplish amazing things such as, the Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, write literature, or even invent something that changed the world?Uncle Larry (talk) 22:41, 3 February 2016 (UTC)Uncle Larry

I'm sorry - what are the point of these questions? Everyone is going to answer differently because of subjective belief and so consensus will never be reached. --Castaigne2 (talk) 22:57, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
The ancient Egyptians (who worshiped their own gods) had sufficient technology and geometry to work out how to do Pyramids (and what else do you do with the peasants in the flood season?); several groups of ancient people going in different directions and seeing different things/the group poets going for different word-plays etc will find their languages diverging.

God must be #very, very# busy looking after all the sentients and other lifeforms on all the (probably) many billions of life-bearing planets across the universe/multiverse... or do the gods each take a selection of planets and see what can be developed (think of allotments and village fruit and veg competitions)? Besides - why shouldn't God/the Gods wish to see how things 'develop of their own accord'? 31.51.113.216 (talk) 23:51, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

I have no problem with religion like I have mentioned on other discussions but I do not think aliens/God/the Gods built the pyramids. Could everything in the universe happen for a reason? Maybe or maybe not, it is something we cannot prove or disprove.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 00:04, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I doubt that anything happened for a reason...otherwise, fate/Zeus/the Force/God/whatever would be pretty prone to changing its mind. Consider all the empires fallen, lifetime achievements destroyed, and ideas fallen into oblivion, just in the very short time of documented history. In my opinion, this "greater plan" is just a way of people to cope with things that contradict or confirms their personal set of beliefs and superstitions, or to make them feel somehow significant. --87.145.133.43 (talk) 01:34, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I do. I believe in meticulous providence – absolutely everything that happens does so because God willed it to so happen. God wills good as an end-in-itself, and evil as a means-to-an-end. Humans do not have the freedom to disobey divine decrees, but rather are perfectly obedient to them. Whatever choices you make, whether they be wise or foolish, saintly or wicked, those choices are God's will for your life. (((Zack Martin))) 02:59, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Replying to the previous IP - the Delphic Oracle's universal prediction 'This too will pass.'
So, God isn't omnibenevolent? If "e were, then he'd be logically incapable of willing evil to happen.Petey Plane (talk) 15:56, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't see the incompatibility between omnibenevolence and willing evil, provided that every evil God wills somehow serves the greater good. If certain goods require evil for their existence, a universe containing a mix of good and evil may contain more good overall than a universe containing good alone. Thus, if God's aim is to create the universe with the most good, creating a mixed universe (with both good and evil) may better meet that aim than creating a purely good one. And I don't see that aim as incompatible with omnibenevolence. (((Zack Martin))) 21:24, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

As a possibility for those so inclined - something like a paint by numbers/colouring in book (whether or not promoting mindfulness) - the basic structure is provided, it is up to the individual how the colouring/finish goes and how much is done. (A decorative version of the different magesteria (sp?) argument.) 31.51.113.71 (talk) 13:51, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

I like how the title gives no clue that Uncle Larry is going to throw aliens at us. 94.1.161.161 (talk) 17:31, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Do you think God made everything happen on Earth for a reason? No, but I think humanity created Gods for a reason.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:35, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

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Exagerated Religion

So, to clarify before you read, I am a Christian (Oh Noes!), but I have always kept an open mind. I'm not some kind of person who thinks that because I believe something, the opposite is true. (example- I think evolution is a perfectly good explanation for humans coming to be. I'm not going to be blinded by my religion. Gay is Okay. Pro-choice. etc.) But, I've always been critical of my religion. So I ask you guys: do you think the events of the Bible were real in the sense that someone sees a natural flood, therefore God flooded them for their sins? Then they saw the animals after the flood, so they thought "Some guy built a boat for them". Do you think this is a logical explanation of religion from thousands upon thousands of years ago? I mean, they didn't really have the technology to explain these things, and some guy who was alone in the desert for a month came to you and said a God spoke to him, you would probably believe him. OrangeMint (talk) 19:04, 1 February 2016 (UTC)OrangeMint

There are whole libraries of Catholic theology and doctrine regarding symbolism or literal events in the Bible that can answer your question.
Personally, I have no opinion. --Castaigne2 (talk) 19:08, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
I know a lot of people beat up on religion, but I think it can be a serious account of past events if you look past the hyperbole. What if there really was a great flood, but it just wasn't some world consuming flood - just their community. They don't like pigs because Jesus thought they tasted bad. We really aren't sure about it, but I think it is a possible ending. OrangeMint (talk) 19:15, 1 February 2016 (UTC)OrangeMint
There are ways by finding either corroborating evidence around the areas mentioned or histories from other contemporaries. With all of the interpretation, exaggeration, and nonsense there are better ways to figure out what actually happened...and if there is a mention in the Bible...so what?
It's like talking to a crazy person on your commute. Sometimes they say real, sane, normal things (it's nice outside) and other times they say batshit crazy things (moles have invaded my brain banana). It would be more constructive to go to sources with a higher record of being accurate than trying to decode what's real or not from their ramblings. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:27, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

"They don't like pigs because Jesus thought they tasted bad." I think you need to start by working out the basic chronology of your subject. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 19:32, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting that some ancient people may have seen something happening and then invented a God to explain these natural events. Is so - well, what? Where does that take you?--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:47, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
I know why they don't allow pigs. It's from Leviticus. But I am suggesting that maybe Jesus made some of these things up based on his personal preferences. Now, I'm not trying to suggest the Bible as a reliable form of history, but rather trying to explain the messages in the Bible and why they might have said these things. OrangeMint (talk) 12:39, 2 February 2016 (UTC)OrangeMint
Leviticus is in the old testiment, a number of centruies before the new testiment and Jesus being born. In relation, about the number of centuries between now and Columbus finding the Americas is about the time between the old testiment being written down and Jesus being born (only cause that's when it first could be written down). Honestly, you need a bit more grounding in the Bible. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:05, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Oh no. I made a joke. Here comes the fact police. Hide me. OrangeMint (talk) 18:34, 2 February 2016 (UTC)OrangeMint
But, OrangeMint, I still don't see what you are getting at. Of course some parts of the bible will be based on things that happened. If I watch a James Bond movie some of the elements will be true but there is obviously a lot of fiction too. So what if some bits of the Bible may have once been vaguely based on something that might have happened? Where does that get you?
I never said that I was looking for some ultimate answer here. I wanted to ask the opinions of the other users on here and see what they thought about this. I'm not here saying "If we agree that these could've happened, then the Bible is true." The only question I proposed is that if this explanation would be possible for some, if not all, of the events of the Bible. OrangeMint (talk) 17:07, 2 February 2016 (UTC)OrangeMint
I am sure that we can agree that some things in the Bible are factually true. Pontius Pilate was a real person for example. But one element being true does not stop other parts being arrant nonsense. What possible real-world event could have been interpreted as Jonah travelling in the stomach of a whale? And even if you could imagine such a possible event it would remain in the world of the highly speculative. Or what about all the dead saints getting resurrected and the end of the Jesus story?
Which then leads us to - if we are justified in rejecting some parts of the bible as obvious myth and invention - how can we trust any of it?--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:20, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
"If I don't like something a politician says, should I like them at all?" Just because something isn't true doesn't mean any of it is false. I'm not here suggesting that we use the Bible as some kind of history book, and I think everyone here isn't reading the question right. I asked what you guys think about some things in the Bible being based on facts, not that it's all true and should not be questioned. OrangeMint (talk) 12:35, 3 February 2016 (UTC)OrangeMint
If literally everyone is not understanding your questions, the more likely conclusion is that what you didn't do a great job in posing the question in the first place. It's not a terrible thing, but instead try to pose it or clarify it in a way so people do understand instead of getting frustrated when people aren't mind readers. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:52, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I literally asked if you guys think that some of the things in the Bible are based off of facts. To quote myself : "So I ask you guys: do you think the events of the Bible were real in the sense that someone sees a natural flood, therefore God flooded them for their sins?" This is the question that I asked, not "should we use the Bible as a 100% accurate historical text?" I don't understand why you guys can't comprehend this. I never said "If this is true then that means the Bible is always correct guys look at this I'm right." Only a few people ACTUALLY answered the question like it was supposed to be answered. I never wanted "But but but OrangeMint look at this the Bible said something weird that means nothing it ever said is accurate." I wanted "You might be right about that, because back then people believed outrageous things caused natural occurrences" or "That's not right, because we have evidence that says this." I was looking for an open discussion on whether or not the Bible could have some historical accuracy, not a discussion about a chronologically incorrect joke I told about Jesus and pigs. OrangeMint (talk) 15:27, 3 February 2016 (UTC)OrangeMint
Maybe that's part of the problem, you asked a question and expected a certain answer instead of really listening to what people have to say. People aren't programs where an input results in an expected output. People think for themselves and often their experiences shape that.
Do what you want though. You can help people understand with compassion, and promote a meaningful dialog where everyone engages in learning, or get frustrated and imply people are stupid like above which just results in anger and frustration on everyone's part. Your choice buddy. Personally, I am done dealing with someone who doesn't listen and just reacts to misunderstanding with anger. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:36, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not saying that I am expecting an answer that fits the above situation. I am saying that I wanted an answer to the question. Period. Not a criticism of the chronology of a bacon joke. I am saying you guys aren't getting the right idea. You guys are thinking I'm asking the question "If this part of the Bible is right, does that mean it all is right?" I asked if some of the events could be historically accurate. You guys thought I was saying that all of the questionable things in the Bible were correct if a few things were right. To quote Bob "Which then leads us to - if we are justified in rejecting some parts of the bible as obvious myth and invention - how can we trust any of it?" I didn't say that it was all accurate. I asked if some of it could be believed. You aren't getting the picture.
In the end, I'm not trying to figure out if the Bible can be considered an ultimate tool of historical accuracy, I just asked if you guys think something could be accurate. It was never meant to be a huge question, just a small thought for a small discussion, not some a question that would lead us humans on a path of historical discovery OrangeMint (talk) 15:52, 3 February 2016 (UTC)OrangeMint
I personally think that many of these supernatural events can be explained by science in a way. I also think that the events in the Bible could be exaggerated to a certain point. If there was a "great flood" then could the oceans be the remains of the "great flood"? When Earth was first created by the "Big Bang Theory", Earth was an unlivable place with fire, asteroids constantly hitting the surface, and it was a very hot place. In the Bible, it says that God summoned the oceans, summoned the sun, and summoned everything else. To be honest, I like both sides of the story, but many of these supernatural events explained in the Bible are irrational in a way. Many believe the Bible is 100 percent true, others think that science is the answer. Believe what you want, but I think some of these events could be explained or even the ancient texts could be decoded to prove a reasonable explanation for these supernatural events.Uncle Larry (talk) 17:31, 3 February 2016 (UTC)Uncle Larry
At no time have I doubted that some things in the bible may be based on fact. I even gave the example of Pontius Pilate being a real person. Nobody is going to argue that every single thing in the bible is false. Now my question for you is - so what?--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:29, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
There isn't a "so what" factor about it. You guys are missing the point of my question. I wanted to ask about how much you guys think the Bible is based off of factual events. I wanted to see how much stuff in the Bible you guys thought could have been based on fact. I wasn't looking for some ultimate answer. Not trying to answer some bigger idea here. Just asking a little question I thought could start an interesting discussion. Not looking for any deeper meaning. So what if something that the Bible is based off of fact? That's just something interesting to discuss. OrangeMint (talk) 18:36, 3 February 2016 (UTC)OrangeMint
OK. So how could you tell how much might be based on fact?--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:39, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
There isn't a way to tell. But this was made to discuss that. OrangeMint (talk) 00:06, 5 February 2016 (UTC)OrangeMint

The flood myth[edit]

The story of there having been a global flood with a single or very few survivors was quite common in the Ancient Middle East. Among others it pops up in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was one of the most written works of literature for several centuries (apparently it was used to train scribes or some such). This may or may not have had some basis in reality. Other stories in the Old Testament are very blatantly legends of the type "And that's why X is called what it's called" or "And that's why you do Y and not Z" Pizzameister (talk) 21:11, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

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Religion and Worldview

I know we have all read articles and or books on evidences for and against divine beings and I know we have die hard religious folk and we have atheists; my question- Would you say religious belief and evidences for/against it are purely perception of the world or how we perceive the world? I ask because we have those with religious belief who support creationism while there are those with religious beliefs who support evolution; is it that creationists and those who support evolution see the geological and fossil record different?--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 04:05, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

I think that the vast majority of religious believers don't consider the evidence much one way or the other. They are given a belief by their parents and then confirmation bias makes them believe that their beliefs are true. To be fair, this description fits the majority of the population on the plant - not just religious folks.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:40, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
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HOW does this happen?- Atheist becoming religious?

Hello their, new man here.- you can call me 'SP-MK.1' or "Mark" for now.

Anyway, I think of myself as a usually rational fellow (I'm autistic though, but that another story), but there seems to be plenty of things that don't make any sense in this world, So at last, I came here to ask those questions and rant about other things.

Today question, why are there are some Atheist becoming Christian? While I'm saying there not a epidemic, their are otherwise reasonable people that, for no reason I can see, disregard all of science and bow down to this demiurge called 'god'.

An example includes C.S.lewis. Lets us begin during his non-believer phase and what he had to say about god.

Had God designed the world, it would not be A world so frail and faulty as we see.

Compare to his "born again Christian" phase.

You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.

How the cthulhu does the english H.P Lovecraft (C.S.Lewis did look and thought like H.P before this tragedy and form what I know, both read Lord Dunsay work) become the english G. K. Chesterton? Really, wtf?

Then there Charles Templeton, who somehow became a christian again thanks to Billy Graham.

Really, is their any rational reason for this? Is there A reason period?

Last time I try to answer this, I just got a lot of woo woo saying things like "Because they saw the light of the lord!"- which I call bullshit.

Remember, this may be important someday seeing the war on common sense and science.--50.83.254.243 (talk) 23:17, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

People change their minds about a variety of things for a variety of reasons. Social pressures to conform to community standards are a particularly strong influence on human beliefs in a variety of venues, not just religion. We aren't a perfect species, and as much as atheism is a rational conclusion given the evidence available, that doesn't lock anyone into it.
Those who decide on irreligion for themselves are far less likely to convert later than those raised without religion. It's just life man. Shit happens, you react to it, it changes you. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:15, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
)*sigh*, I guess your right, but I wish there was a better answers out there other then *Shit-Happens* and *God-Did-It*(the latter I highly doubt)-Mark--50.83.254.243 (talk) 23:17, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
The reason I can't give you that is that people are individuals and life choices aren't simple. People do them for reasons that make sense to them. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:19, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Shit does happen, some things have no rhyme or reason--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 21:35, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Come on guys, is it really that hard to understand that some people prefer something more in their lives beyond bland naturalism and moral relativism? 141.134.75.236 (talk) 22:08, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
I know I prefer my naturalism with a relatively heaping dash of herbs and spices. --Ymir (talk) 00:59, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
I'd say the following: there's a lot more than moral relativism on the moral side: humanism, utilitarianism, objectivism(ugh, for some definition of "moral" anyways. On the mechanistic side: you've got an uphill battle if you want to show that materialistic naturalism is insufficient to describe the world. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:29, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
But how can you have moral absolutism without a supreme God to set the absolute moral rules? When you remove that God from the picture, when you show that foundation for the imaginary thing it was, what do people's views and moral codes have left to stand on? How could any conception of morality beyond that point not be a mere subjective human invention? And who said anything about views being sufficient or insufficient for describing the world? It's not about looking at the world and applying Occam's Razor to hypotheses here, it's about people determining from which metaphysical perspective and through which ideological/historical narrative they mentally prefer to look at world. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 14:07, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

I didn't say there could not be a God(s), I am saying shit happens with out rhyme or reason.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 00:57, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

For example....Why, hello there. (talk) 00:58, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

For the person who turned Christian, it is his or her life to live. Why worry about some other person's life and how they choose to live it? If someone wants be be atheist, Jewish, Christian, Pagan or wants to worship a turkey sandwhich- let them. You can laugh at the stupidest of beliefs, I laugh at Scientology and some of these whacked out religions. But if you really worry about how someone chooses to live then there is something wrong.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 01:21, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Why are you bringing this up? I was not involved until you said shit happens without rhyme or reason. Now you're making positive claims- not me. Why, hello there. (talk) 02:22, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

We have a misunderstanding here, I was talking about the original post in general.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 13:13, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

People aren't purely rational beings, even atheistic people. They can become religious or irreligious for irrational reasons. I wouldn't assume that a person values rational thinking merely because they're an atheist. I would say that in your example, C.S. Lewis was reacting emotionally when confronted with the ills of the world, not rationally examining the concept of God. If his beliefs were based on emotion, then his beliefs would change based on emotion. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 20:36, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Walk back into the forum* Sorry about that, I was taking a walk-a-bout

@Rationalzombie94: about the later part of what you said, It not that there's anything wrong with how one lives there life, but it could still be problematic with the rest of us. The thing is I'm a little worry about myself and other atheist if, say, there could be a subconscious part of the brain that makes one to believe in god or some-shit against there will, which would be a slightly creepy thought (I know it not rational and illogical, but that doesn't stop me form worrying. Humans as Frederick noted, are not 100% rational and not bounded to reality or what 'should' happen.) (also, my IP must of changed... I should probly sign up soon before procrationation happens again.) --69.42.249.185 (talk) 01:00, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

CS Lewis has explained the exact reasoning that led him to become Christian, in several places. Mere Christianity would be a good place to start, unless you're seriously worried about being converted.KrytenKoro (talk) 15:46, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
I look at it this way, as long as a person does not shove their beliefs down other people's throats and they do not use their beliefs to harm others then I do not see a problem. Yes people are not 100% rational but atheists can be irrational too, no I am not saying being an atheist is bad so do not think I am. Then again humans are naturally violent no matter if they have religion or not.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 20:01, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
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Adam as Intersexed

I read somewhere a few months ago that the Book of Genesis can be interpreted as Adam being Intersexed or otherwise without sexual organs completely until Eve is created and so necessitating God to give him genitals (if Eve treated as not being initially planned, would Adam lack testicles?). Does anyone know if this is one of those old, minority Jewish beliefs that died off with the Second Temple or just the ramblings of a marriage equality group looking for biblical justification?-- Forerunner (talk) 15:12, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Update: I brought up marriage equality because the concept of "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" would be more complicated if a woman married an Intersexed person who identifies as male after a reassignment surgery.-- Forerunner (talk) 15:19, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
It's easy to rewrite stories for the sake of whatever political or personal message you feel like endorsing, especially if you're willing to add to the narrative instead of just interpret. I feel like that's pretty much the entire history of theology in a bottle, there. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:05, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Disclaimer: I'm not a religious expert.
From a quick cursory search on the subject, I think it's a highly minority view. The Jewish midrash (lit. "interpretation/exposition", a collection of early Jewish commentaries on the Tanakh) has a line that suggests that Adam was originally created intersex, as the Hebrew is ambiguous in gender up until Eve is created, when the language turns explicitly male and female (source). Some suggest that it may be a way of trying to reconcile issues of grammar in the original texts (source). It's been largely taken up as a banner by trans* and intersex groups nowadays, but considering the bizarre, hyperbolic, and contradictory nature of the midrash (source), as it was created by a lot of different Rabbis with different goals, I kind of doubt its significance. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 16:23, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm not for or against the interpretation. I think it's a pretty interesting exercise that given any number of people in a room...the "right" idea about what the passages say is what the most people in the room seem to agree with. One would think an omniscient sky daddy would know how to word passages so everyone isn't guessing what it means for thousands of years. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:30, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
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Homophobia and Religion

We all have heard at one point or another that "gays will burn in hell" or similar bullshit but I have a question- How do Christian homophobes figure gays will burn in hell? Maybe once we die we find out that the actual God(s) are Odin, Zeus, Izanagi, Lilith or once we die we just get reincarnated at the end of each life in a never ending cycle? Figured I should bring that up.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 00:08, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Ugh, so many non-sequiturs. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:44, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

I will rephrase what I am saying then, I mean is religious people claim being gay is evil and they will burn in hell. How do they know what their God thinks, they assume that know what their God thinks. So my question would be- How do they know what is truly good or bad? How do they figure they will go to heaven? How do they not know which God is on the other side, it maybe the Greek Gods, Norse Gods, Japanese Gods or maybe we get reincarnated in an infinite cycle at the end of each life. The point is- they do not know what their God thinks and using those assumptions does not work. --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 01:59, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

The answer is simple: They have faith. How do they know that their faith is correct? They don't, that's why it's faith rather than knowledge. "But that doesn't make any sense, you can have faith in anything!" you say, which is the (one of the many) problem with religion. 132.68.18.2 (talk) 11:22, 10 June 2015 (UTC)


Never mind about my argument then, I messed up. Not one of my proudest moments.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 13:15, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

It sucks but we've all been there. Hating gays is also cherry picking the bible. Leviticus itself has many bans on things people gloss over daily, along with more in the bible itself, so why can't this be another story from a nomadic tribe 3,000 years ago and not the word of god as other silly things are commonly dismissed? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 13:47, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Because the bible says so and apparently, for whatever reason, they don't feel like chucking this part out of the window like e.g. the dietary laws and stuff. Cherry popping picking.--Kugelschreiber (talk) 17:29, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
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Pagan Seminary

I read on the internet from a few Pagan sites complaining about how Pagans are going to Christian seminaries to build their ministry skills. They say that those seminaries are unfit for the needs of Paganism, however if the pagan community wants accredited seminaries of their own it is not like they have much choice. I looked through the academic accreditation requirements and all of them require people with relevant degrees. If we in the Pagan community want academically recognized and accredited seminaries then all I can say is suck it up and deal with it. --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 22:06, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

This is a new one on me. Got examples? - David Gerard (talk) 14:04, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Well here is a link-

I will try to find other examples, I know there is a few sites that advocate against the idea. I just have to look into it.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 15:04, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

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Scientology is probably the most insane "religion" (cult) ever

I do not know if there any others more insane but Scientology is way up there. When I saw the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet", I did not think that Scientologists actually believe the stuff they mentioned. Well not until I looked into it to find out they actually do believe that non-sense. So if anyone knows of anything more insane, let me know.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 16:58, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

The thing is, most Scientologists don't know about Xenu. By the time they get that far most Scientologists will have "remembered" past lives on other planets (or similarly implausible recollections) and been convinced they were real, so Xenu is only a short hop from there. Plus there is the sunk cost bias.--SpecialFFrog (talk) 17:06, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Christianity seems pretty fucking insane to me208.29.163.248 (talk) 00:09, 3 June 2015 (UTC)


I do not see the problem with having faith in a higher power but Scientologists are just insane. Again quoting the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet", Scientology is a scam on a global level.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 16:32, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Scientology is mostly insane in the extent they control their members' lives and harrass ex-members. Yes, the Xenu thing is pretty "out there" too, of course, but most members aren't particularly knowledgable about that part of their "religion". 141.134.75.236 (talk) 16:44, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Plus you have to go through this insane process of living your past traumas again before you enter.DevMac10 (talk) 21:51, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

In a nutshell- Scientology is a coercive cult who plan is to scam people out of money.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 22:21, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Ok.--Miekal 22:54, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

The thing that makes it really crazy IMO is that most religious texts such as the Bible and Quran were written thousands of years ago and are of unknown (probably multiple) authorship so it's easy to transplant your beliefs into it or think that they are sacred if you're a religious person. Scientology was basically written less than a hundred years ago by Ron Hubbard and we know nearly everything about his life, which includes him not being a prophet or speaking with aliens. ClothCoat (talk) 06:18, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

I really don't see how Scientology is anymore insane than any other organized religion. I may be painting with a broad brush, but there are things in the Bible and Quran that are equally or more ridiculous than what Scientology teaches. I think Muhammad and L.Ron have a lot in common. They both founded religions for power and money (pretty much the same thing), they both changed their religion to suite their goals at that particular moment, and they were both probably certifiable. The main difference is, Muhammad founded his cult in the bronze age when such BS was not such a hard sell and it has had a lot more time to gain followers. I try not to judge individual Scientologists too harshly for falling into an exploitative cult, because lets face it, many more people do the same with the more established world religions. People just tend to give them a pass because their craziness is older so it is more accepted. I would say Scientology is a little more dangerous to a person's mental health than mainstream Christianity-Lite, but that is just personal opinion. Also, keep in mind, the modern term for "prophet" is mentally ill. L.Ron was very much a "prophet". B4Xiphos (talk) 05:54, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

I think you should look into Maum Meditation, it is still not wide-spreaded like Scientology, but have a more subtle approach. I think cults, meditation centers, and similiar crap should have a disclaimer similiar to cigars that should be forced to be visible on entrance in their centers.. "Warning, if you join this excercise you could end up givin all your money to perfect strangers and radically change any believing you could had". The funny bit about stuff like Scientology is that doing anything against them could be illegal or considered like censorship.. Syllabus (talk) 09:17, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Polytheists have the most batshit insane theologies. Seriously. What was up with all the greek animal rape? Scientology is fairly a fairly tame (and unoriginal) sci-fi by comparison.81.145.153.190 (talk) 10:29, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
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Atheism and suicide

Ok, I wonder if I am makinga thread, I am not forum whatever this is considered savvy. At any rate, just a question. What is your answer to this:

If God doesn't exist, and we (humans) feel pain, are struggling with depression, or basically are living a "bad" life (whatever that is considered nowadays) wouldn't suicide be very simple? Why doesn't everyone just simply...die? Why do they keep on living? What keeps them living? Honestly, if I didn't know Jesus Christ ( I received him when I was 5) I would wonder why we are alive.... People search for "the meaning of life". Well, without God, I reason there is no reason to life. Is it all survival? are humans made to survive? Well, we die anyway, nobody is immortal. So, atheist, tell me, since you don't believe in God, why don't you make life simple and go to death. Scientifically, death is not showing all 8 characteristics of life. Is that all death is? . Scientifically, humans should rejoice, since that's just one less threat to survival, right? So, yay death right? Why do we strive to survive?? I think it's because your searching for irrefutable evidence that God exists (as if the fact that Christianity still exists isn't enough, or the fact that you are reading this...) also, you want PEACE. But, you can't have peace...But you WANT peace, so you try to disprove God, maybe that will give you peace. But it doesn't.... Life isn't peaceful, or happy, or full of contedness witout God. I call drug use, sex out of marriage, and lieing, and stealing, sin. Because it's rebellion against a Holy God. People do those things because they want PEACE. PEACE only comes through God. Why are not the nations united? SIN. LACK OF GOD. — Unsigned, by: Pitzy / talk / contribs

Why don't people kill themselves? Because they think there's some meaning to life. Most atheists accept some moral code, and most moral codes value life, and so most atheists value life. The same, in fact, holds true for religious believers -- they think there's some value to life, because of their morality, and they think they got their morality from a god.
My question to you: How does the existence of a supernatural thing add value to your life? oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ (talk/stalk) 02:33, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

You must have misunderstood a 10K year old religion (waiting for someone to correct my date) I though God was personal? Not a (italicized) thing. But that's not the point...You ask how does God add value to my life? Well, let me think... My life revolves around worshipping God. That's it. Everything I do is worship to God, that is why humans were created. Worship. I do it on Sunday when I sing, I do it on Monday when I share the gospel, I do it in my prayer, I do it as I read my bible. I worship God continually, and lift the incense to him. It adds value, you know, knowing your loved by an omnipotent (caustic italicized thing) user: Pitzy (talk) 02:41, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Maybe 3k, tops.
So if you find value in doing something (worship) why couldn't others find value in doing something else (science, reading, etc.)? Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato (talk/stalk) 02:47, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

But, reading doesn't hold eternal value, if eternity doesn't exists, if there is no God. So you read in this life. YOu get a grammy in this life. To people that are alive, that holds value. But as soon as the grammy award winner stops breathing, it doesn't matter anymore. That person doesn't matter anymore, if they have no soul, if there is no God. Worshiping God has eternal value. I would argue that nothing in life matters, except that God gave us reading, and animals, for us to revel in him and his creation. If that wasn't so, why live? Who cares you won a Grammy? Soon as you stop breathing *poof*. Who cares I worshipped God? When I come face to face with God I can proudly say I lived a life worthy of, well, being face to face with him. 3 tildes is completely legal btw. Pitzy (talk)

So why does an eternal existence have value? If nothing matters, then an infinity of nothing is still nothing. Why does heaven matter? FuzzyCatPotato™ (talk/stalk) 02:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Why does heaven matter? Because God's plan of salvation has been fulfilled, and we are saved with God, praising him, forever. I will spend an eternity discovering the nature of God, that's what matters, only, GOD. My Creator is all that I care about (or should, I still sin and commit idolatry). In heaven, at least he is all that I will care about. He is EVERYTHING. Through him I find life valuable, for it is a chance to bring him even more praise. However, you think God doesn't exist, so why don't you go die? Just tell me, you personally FuzzyCatPotato, why are you breathing right now? Pitzy (talk) 03:04, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Why does God's plan matter? Why does salvation matter? Why does praise matter? Why does any of it matter? Right now, all of your justifications go back to "I could do X forever" (which has already been discussed as meaningless) or to "I could do it for God" (which is, in fact, the conclusion you're arguing).
Why am I breathing? It promotes utility, which promotes the ability to act, which is essential should any morality every be proven beyond a doubt.
And use 4 -- it datestamps your statement. FrizzyCatPotato (talk/stalk) 03:15, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
It would seem that Pitzy is of the "If it doesn't have some transcendental meaning it doesn't have any meaning"-school of religion. As if the ability to care only for people while you're alive would somehow rob you of the ability to care for others or value your life, or even your post-mortal reputation.
It's a similar style of argument to the one that posits that only a divinely mandated "objective" (a more fitting adjective would actually be "exogenous") moral code can have any meaning and that if you don't believe in such a code you must be a total moral relativist (this is where Godwin's Law typically kicks in when Hitler and his moral code is brought into the picture).
It's essentially a false dilemma which insist that for something to be meaningful it must be divinely ordained/eternal while all alternatives are entirely meaningless.
And btw, Christianity is "only" about 2000 years old. You can't start appropriating the history of Judaism too if you're a Christian (well, actually you can, it just wouldn't be very historically honest or accurate). ScepticWombat (talk) 05:05, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Oh look, another Pitzy post where he doesn't indent his posts and makes idiotic statements about religion. Well my question is how fast can this thing HELLTHREAD?! Space Turbo (talk) 14:10, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Scientifically why do we see Hitler as being a monster? Pitzy (talk) 17:45, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
There is no morality inherent to science, but there's a variety of potential moral codes to choose from besides 'the' Christian one, most of which condemn murder, especially when implemented on such vast a scale as Hitler implemented it. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 17:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Why are Moral codes in place? What is the origin of moral codes? Also, do you have to check if your a robot every time you make a post :/ Pitzy (talk) 18:00, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Specific moral codes exist because they were articulated and popularized by philosophers and religious figures (who will of course say they were inspired by God). As to the origin of morality, it developed in social groups of animals due to being beneficial to those groups' survival.Wikipedia's W.svg As to robots, wut? 141.134.75.236 (talk) 18:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, you must be a robot because you can come up with easy, logical statements that easily debunk ideas that would get laughed out of theology 101. Quite frankly, if Jesus and Christianity were the basis of moral and right behavior then the US (the most Christian of the developed nations) should have some of the lowest crime rates. Instead we see largely non-religious countries that dominate the list of safest countries, like Sweden or Japan, whose most violent areas resemble the safest areas in the US. You also wouldn't have religious leaders trying to diddle kiddies if more religious means more moral. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 18:56, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
No, you know how you have to do the thing in order to post? Type in this or that, or complete a riddle? To make sure you don't spam robot. Pitzy (talk)
Ah, yup, I have to enter a CAPTCHAWikipedia's W.svg code every edit. It doesn't bother me, though. Some of the phrases are pretty funny. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 19:12, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
You could resolve that, 141, by making a goddamn account. Fer chrissakes, man. FuzzyCatTomato (talk/stalk) 19:13, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
 :P 141.134.75.236 (talk) 19:14, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Ah, well fair enough on the robot part. Some are pretty funny. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:23, 1 June 2015 (UTC)


You need to learn what a "bare assertion" is[edit]

It's where you make a statement, and just intend it to be accepted as true. Statements such as "Peace only comes through god." There's no basis for us to believe that, and yet your whole argument is predicated on that notion.

And FYI, you should re-read your bible. According to Genesis, the reason the nations of man aren't united is because God cursed us all with different languages. (This is flagrantly untrue, but you seem to be a literalist) ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:26, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

:) Yeah, technology DOES NOT allow nations to communicate. In fact, it is IMPOSSIBLE for different ethnic races to converse, espically if they don't speak the same language. The world could, in THEORY, but they can't achieve Peace because the world is morally corrupt. Pitzy (talk)

This isn't "religion vs technology". This is "according to your holy book, your god literally caused all conflict humanity has ever faced, and yet you still call him good". FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 17:44, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Potato- The nations were uniting AGAINST GOD, which explains the separation of languages Pitzy (talk) 17:47, 1 June 2015 (UTC).

Uniting against god? The passage doesn't mention god untill the part where he comes down and notices them building it. The tower's purpose was to keep the people united. Also, if god is omniscient, why did he create the situation where humanity does something to anger him and cause him to punish them?Super Dude,What does mine say? Sweet! 18:30, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Also way to focus on the FYI part instead of the thing that would help you clean up your rhetoric. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:44, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
what is a rhetoric? Pitzy (talk)
In this instance, it refers to your way of arguing. Ikanreed was pointing out that you're mostly arguing by assertion, which is a fallacious way of arguing. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 20:39, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Rhetoric is the framing, language, and tone used to execute an argument advancing a position. Typically the term refers to the things other than the strict logic that comprises the core assertions. In this specific case, I just meant that you should be more careful in how you construct the arguments you advance, which is technically speaking isn't rhetoric. Just keep an eye on each sentence you type and ask yourself the follow question "Why would my target audience believe this statement to be true?" and doing that should be enough to keep you from making bare assertions.
To be entirely clear, bare assertions can be entirely okay when everyone involved in a discussion is likely to agree to them. "Water is wet" doesn't need to be supported unless someone is likely to take issue with it. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:47, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Wow, that was extremely helpful, sincerely! Thank you. Pitzy (talk) 20:50, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

If God exists why not die quickly?[edit]

If God and heaven exist then wouldn't people do whatever they can to get there quickly? This vale of tears is only a fraction of eternity so why suffer it? Get dead as soon as you can and get to heaven!--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:12, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

1. Salvation is the only means of getting to heaven
2. You receive salvation by repenting, asking for forgiveness, and having faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross for ALL of your sins.
3. Once you receive salvation, you don't commit suicide. Why? Because if you believe in Jesus Christ when he tells you to go and make disciples of all nations, that is what you will do. It is God's will for the gospel to be spread and for his name to be praised. you wouldn't commit suicide because you would want to tell OTHER people about the gospel. Pitzy (talk)

Sounds like the morals Anders Behring Breivik. Kill dozens of people, mostly children, in the name of the lord and hope the police shoot you so you can go to heaven for believing so fiercely. He certainly believed salvation was the only way into heaven, repented for the sins he committed (his idea of them), and hasn't committed suicide. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:22, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
How does that sound like Anders Behring Breivik? Enlighten me. If he TRULY loved God he would have not committed 77 murders. Although, if he actually did sincerely repent, I will be shaking his hand in heaven. Pitzy (talk)
Oh, he believed in his version of god just as you believe in yours. There is no war as fierce as a holy war. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 19:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
People have been killing others in the name of Jesus for centuries. He is part of a long line of rampaging murderers like the crusades, the KKK, the Lord's Resistance Army, Hutaree, or anti-abortion violence. That it doesn't match what you think Christianity should be shows the problem with salvation by grace alone, and the flexible morality that is fine with any horrendous act as long as it's justified by belief. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:50, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree with you. Christianity has been an excuse for wars and death for centuries. But you don't actually believe CHRISTIANS did that, do you? If so, you need to check history again. Perhaps they claimed Christ, but you know, killing people isn't very loving. It's like if I went up to a nation and waged war on it, in the name os Islam. I am Christian, I'm just using Islam as an excuse. Jesus doesn't use the sword ( until judgement day) Pitzy (talk) 20:39, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Pit, read our No True Scotsman article. If they weren't Christian, what ere they? ʇυzzγɔɒтqoтɒтo (talk/stalk) 20:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
If they weren't Christian what ere they? They ere be non-believers, what else? Don't be deceived by Satan. Pitzy (talk) 20:48, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Pitzy, have you ever read the Old Testament? Did you know it has commandments in it that requires Jews as part of the Law of Moses to "destroy the seven Canaanite nations" and to "wipe out the descendants of Amalek"? 141.134.75.236 (talk) 20:50, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
(Don't forget "happy is you who dashes their babies against rocks" always a favorite) ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:59, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
That's exactly why it's wrong, you can't take credit for the people loudly claiming their faith in both god and Jesus as Christians, while frequently pointing to biblical arguments for their actions and beliefs, because it would make you wrong. So you blame Satan in some non-specific way. Tell me, in what particular way did Satan fool pope Urban II when he said "I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ's heralds to publish this everywhere and to pers­ue all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends. I say this to those who are present, it is meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it."? That's a fairly specific exhortation from a famously Christian person in the name of Christ. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:59, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. John 16:2 This shows that people can THINK they are doing God's will ,but in actuality are not, and instead are being deceived. Pitzy (talk) 21:25, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

But in terms of Christianity and many other religions life gets better after you are dead. So death is far more attractive to theists than atheists.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 08:13, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Reason For Sin[edit]

Satan doesn't make you do anything, and neither does God. He wants us to emulate him, not just mechanically worship him. That's why the choice of good and evil was kept for Adam and eve, and why he didn't stop Satan from tempting Adam.

After the fall I bet God appreciated his creation much more every time it chose good over evil.

He COULD have stopped the tower of babel from ever happening., but he didn't. Why? I don't know. I'm not God, I just trust the Bible is inerrant and that he is perfect. Everyone has had the chance to choose God over Satan # Atheists, you don't believe in God, but you still are on Satan's side. Anyone not for God is against God. # Hell exists # Heaven exists #judgement day is coming # have faith # I know you are all muderers (in your heat) adulterers, schemers, blasphemers (every time you use "logic" to disprove God) hypocrites, gluttons... Then again, so am I. BUT I'M FORGIVEN! Pitzy (talk)

I don't need to be forgiven. Life ain't worth a damn until you can sing I am what I am. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 19:44, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I wish more Christians would act like Jesus instead of like Fred Phelps. If you are an example of those who populate heaven I would desire hell. I thought pride was a sin, as well as making gods judgments for him, covertness at gods favor, and wraith against non-believers according to your book. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:59, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Depending on which gospel and which part of it, acting like Jesus might be a mixed blessing (cue: the "cleansing" of the temple or the cursing of the fig tree). ScepticWombat (talk) 20:13, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
True, crazy is but a bit better then the repelling behavior Pitzy has demonstrated. I can actually feel myself repelled from following Jesus. Does that mean Pitzy is a Satanist then since he seems to be just driving people from god by being a real jackass? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 20:26, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Just pointing out some random sins. Turns out you do them. Turns out you are defending yourself by attacking me, which means that you feel shame for doing those sins? Which means...what exactly. Tell me, scientifically show me a theoretical Darwin theory evolution space time continuem, to explain why you think being RUDE is not GOOD. Pitzy (talk) 20:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
"I wish more Christians would act like Jesus instead of like Fred Phelps."
Don't know who fred phelps is.
"If you are an example of those who populate heaven I would desire hell."
God will remember you said that....Ignorant pagan.
I thought pride was a sin, pauls says that he boasts in the lord. I am boasting in Jesus Christ. THat is no sin to Paul or me.
as well as making gods judgments for him,Am I making God's Judgement? You yourself claim UNBELIEF. you yourself CONDEMN YOURSELF.
covertness at gods favor, DOn't know what that word means
and wraith against non-believers according to your book. Pointing out sins is wraith. *nods head* Sorry I don't know how to format this stuff.Pitzy (talk) 20:47, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, a slightly less clunky and error prone prose style and a basic grasp of indenting would be a (very small) first step in the right direction...
But yeah, I really doubt that Pitzy-style sermons are going to convert anyone. It kind of remind me of the whole fundie-line of blaming the unbeliever so beloved by the likes of William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, Norman Geisler and the rest of the U.S. Evangelical wingnut brigade.
They all seem to take their departure from the motto that anyone not sharing their fundie views is "without excuse" (it's from Romans 1:20, btw) and screw any alternatives, e.g. that anyone sincerely could find the bible rather underwhelming and unconvincing, or that any objections are in good faith - no, it's all because everyone not of their fundie Evangelism are just angry/disingenuous/sinful/debauched/biased/bigoted/hedonistic/decadent/continue-with-your-favourite-abuse infidels/heretics/unbelievers who are just disagreeing with them out of spite, because their version of Christianity is self-evidently true.
My guess is that you either have to have grown up in such an environment, be thrown into it through some existential crisis, or drift into it from a very similar religious environment to actually find this kind of verbal bullying either attractive or convincing. It's the epitome of preaching to the choir. ScepticWombat (talk) 20:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
It's actually kind of funny to be accused of sins by someone who doesn't even know my first name. Certainly seems to violate the fourth commandment that one should not bear false witness. 8-D Can't make up comedy like this! -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:05, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I am more amused the figure mixes atheist and pagan. One has a different believe in god(s) than the other. The figure is comedy, with bonus points for the "your either with us or against us" attitude. --Aile Dhoo (talk) 21:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

My dad is a pastor....Yes, go ahead and rain down fire on me. I feel I'm doing pretty good for being a young teenager, surrounded by ( I was going to say ignorant, but you are not ignorant) highly intellectuals. Seriously, you are all extremely smart. Perhaps too smart? You make the bible and you make God seem..complicated. It really isn't ( I think). Why? Well, we were created areound 10,000 years ago. Of course, you scientists use your limited, very very VERY limited use of knowledge to say "nope, billions of years ago" because you were there, billions of years ago. *nods head*. At any rate, then the fall, then the law, (OT) then the word, (JESUS) then the death,(Cross), then the tomb, (resurrection) then the spreading of the word, (that's now!) then soon the end...I am rambling on, don't know what this has to do with anything. I just want you to know how I see life. Every night I feel my heart pump blood. I realize how mortal I am. I realize how quickly I could pass away. I hear my heart pump. I realize how extremely complex my body is. I realize God is real. Nothing else, NOTHING could have created life. The only way us humans can make life is by the normal means. Of course, you probably have 'debunked' how creation points to an intelligent creator. I realize something else. We can't prove God, we can't disprove God. God will reveal himself to those he choses. It all comes down to faith. I have faith he exists, you don't. Because I have faith he exists my life is changed. Because you don't faith he exists, you try to find a way to make sure he doesn't exist. So, you spend your life on forums, laughing at God behind your computer screen, sounding extremely well educated behind your computer screen, mocking God, profaning God, trying to disprove God, blaspheming GOD. I suspect you stopped reading this a while ago. but, if you DIDN'T...Just, think. IF there is a possibility that God exists..That doesn't mean he does, but it mean's he might. Which means the Bible MIGHT be true, and Hell MIGHT be real, and Jesus MIGHT be alive..And you MIGHT be wrong. I am not wrong, however, because once you take the first step of faith...BAM. your life is in God's hands, and you realize, by the way you have received the Holy Spirit that God really is the only way..way too peace. Jesus... An ETERNITY of singing songs. You don't understand how I want to sout Jesus name everywhere I go... I want to sing all the time, and to pray, and to spread the news that he is alive. one way to do that is to go on a forum, and solidify my conviction that God is real. Because, I don't have any evidence he isn't. You haven't disproved him for me yet. GIve me everything you have, I still believe God exists. How can I not? Holy Spirit lies within me. — Unsigned, by: Pitzy / talk / contribs

Not all of us are professed atheists, you know. Also, even if there is a God, that doesn't keep the Bible from most likely being just a bunch of fancy tales. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 21:27, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness..Pitzy (talk)
God must have a foul taste in his mouth then, from all the bullshit he apparently breathes out of it. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 21:40, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, there is a term for those who think they are doing great when they are not. Someone who knows a lot about belief, or non-belief, wouldn't confuse Atheists and Pagans. It's like confusing cars with potatoes. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:40, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
paganism has also been understood to include any non-Abrahamic, folk, or ethnic religion...141. I could get ticked at you, for calling the bible bull...Is that a very scholarly thing to do? I thought you needed evidence and logic to prove it is bull. Which you don't have any of. You were not at any of the places in the bible, so don't call it false. You have no idea how true it is. Instead, I might pray for you. For your salvation. Pitzy (talk) 21:45, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Have you actually read the Bible? All of it? Including the genocidal parts of the Torah and the part in the New Testament where Jesus compares non-Jews to dogs? You should know what you're defending before asserting that it's not bull. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 21:51, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Pagan equates non-Abrahamic? That makes the term useless. A atheist and a new age pagan polytheist have different believes when it comes to the god(s). Furthermore defining something as "not this" can become problematic in terms of considerations. What does your definition place Jainism which rejects the idea of a creator deity? Also bringing up "scholarly" and "you need logic" is quite bizare considering the... nature of your arguments, especially in the usage of the term pagan. --Aile Dhoo (talk) 21:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Paganism is a broad group of religions, including modern pagan religions, indigenous religions and historical polytheistic religions. It is often taken to exclude monotheism, and to express a worldview that is pantheistic, polytheistic, or animistic. In a wider sense, paganism has also been understood to include any non-Abrahamic, folk, or ethnic religion. :::that was bing, not me. Pitzy (talk) 22:09, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Okay folks, virtual hands in the air, how many Pagans in this thread? Given Pitzy's exceedingly vague, broad and slightly confusing use of the term, I guess even Buddhists might be included, so don't be shy... ScepticWombat (talk) 22:44, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
What of agnostics? Technically they may as well be classed as Swiss or are they pagan for not ticking Pitzy's preference? --Aile Dhoo (talk) 22:47, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
In Pitzy World, agnostics probably go into the big black Pagan box. ScepticWombat (talk) 23:05, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Guys, let's not go on this tangent. In some Christian circles it's common to use "pagan", "heathen", "non-believer" as synonyms. We don't need to be pedantic about the meaning of "pagan" just because Pitzy isn't accustomed to its more specific and more widely accepted usage. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 23:13, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Anywho, if we set aside the agnostics for a second (seeing how Pitzy might be in the process of being enlightened on the meaning of the term below), how many in this thread would go into the Big Black Pagan Box in Pitzy World? Atheists and agnostics please move to the other queue for the moment. ScepticWombat (talk) 23:25, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Romans 1 24:25[edit]

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

Amen indeed. — Unsigned, by: Pitzy / talk / contribs
Please don't tell me you really believe all non-Christians are sex maniacs. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 21:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
The main thing I was getting at is this...You have hardened your hearts, all of you, I can honestly the only time you will confess Christ is in the end, when Christ comes. But I need to tell you about God anyway. Pitzy (talk) 21:46, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Pitzy, do you believe that the Loch Ness monster is real? Why or why not? (not entirely off topic, it has a point) -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe the Loch Ness Monster is real. Why? It hasn't started a religion that has lasted 2 thousand years, or consumed 2 billion lives. Pitzy (talk) 22:07, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Lots of people believe it's real. You can always make it say elves or fairies or Zeus. Belief in them is over 2 thousand years old.
  1. Have you ever been to Loch Ness? (...or to locations where elves are said to be)
  2. Do you have any proof that any of those are not real?
  3. Have you hardened your heart to the possibility it (or they) might be real?
-EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 22:14, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Emerald City Wanderer isn't Just Asking Questions AT ALL. The link to that article is below. Pitzy (talk) 22:29, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

It's the Socratic Method and a pretty basic exercise to refine your answers (If you would ever give a complete answer). Each of those questions you asked non-believers about their lack of belief in Jesus...which if you turn to any other mythical creature or other god are easy to answer as to why you don't believe in them. Non-believers just don't exempt Jesus from critical thinking used on elves, fairies or Zeus. Since you are leaving anyways it's a moot point...but this is theology 101. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 22:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Number one I want a link to a verifiable website with proof that belief in elves and fairies has been around for 2k years. Second of all So, God is not confined by time or the universe, in contrast to fairies, or elves, and Santa Claus - all of which are dependent upon the existence of the universe. Your would be/implied analogy between God and these mythical creatures is shown to be incongruent, so your argument is false. Pitzy (talk) 02:06, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Hey, I've got a question for you. Who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman? Also, what's so special about 2k years? what, when it was 1999 years, the belief was false? If a belief were correct, it wouldn't matter how much time people have held that belief, the reverse is also true.Super Dude,Where's my car? 17:43, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Just a question[edit]

I wish we could all be in an easier place to talk. Like a chat room or something, because it is time consuming to do this forum stuff, anyone have a site? Pitzy (talk) 21:48, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Also, do you view Christians with distaste? Or pity? How do you view religion in general? Pitzy (talk) 21:51, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Just asking questions? --Aile Dhoo (talk) 22:01, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

"Just asking questions" takes over when the answers are already well known, where the question embodies a point refuted a thousand times, or where the questioner exhibits willful ignorance. I am serious. I want to know how you view Christianity. Pitzy (talk) 22:06, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Seriously the framing of the question is itself a hunt of a particular answer set out by that page I link to. You have generalised all non-Abrahamic figures with misuse of the term pagan, up to including mixing the believes in god(s) polytheists have with the disbelieve set by atheists. You have taken a "your either with us or against us" position on this page; regardless whether you are theist, atheist, polytheist, agnostic or whatever my concern is that you are setting out lines like the ill intent who desire conflict. --Aile Dhoo (talk) 22:14, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
It's biblical you know, if your not with God your in the hands of Satan. There is no middle ground. You probably find that distasteful, but, since Christianity is false (I'm still waiting for you to show me good evidence it is false) you shouldn't care. Pitzy (talk) 22:17, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
You do realist that the goatherds are not clones? By that I speak that along with atheists there are theists and (in my case) agnostics. My concern is the "with us or against us" position, which is not only a diplomatically poor positioning (good look making a enemy of the Swiss) but also such a positioning justify a hostility for hostility sake. Sweeping atheist, Jainist, Buddhist, pagan... placing all under category of "other..." is quite questionable in motive. --Aile Dhoo (talk) 22:25, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Jesus wasn't considered nice by worldy standards. He was rude. He condemned people to hell. My stance is that if you don't have salvation you are going to hell. Like most Christians. Why are we still stuck on this? I don't care about have a good diplomatic position, lol. Pitzy (talk) 22:36, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Last Words-[edit]

If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet. Proverbs 29:9 Pitzy (talk) 22:26, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Dunning-Kruger effect in action? --Aile Dhoo (talk) 22:29, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Seeing as that verse is in the BIBLE...The wise man isn't wise in the world, but wise in things of God. (me). On the other hand, the fool is the one that rejects God. (you.) Pitzy (talk) 22:33, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Pitzy: Both you AND ratwiki users have made word-noise. So who's the fool? Everyone? αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 22:36, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
A agnostic rejects god? Are you telling me Pitzy that the Swiss are joining a faction of a binary by declaring neutrality? Cause it is too kind to call one a fool if they take the strategy of making opposition of the neutral. As for wisdom: to quote Socrates: “The ancient oracle said that I was the wisest of all the Greeks. It is because I alone, of all the Greeks, know that I know nothing.” Wisdom does not care for your religious (or non-religious) convictions and it is unwise to force a neutral party to 'pick a side' so to speak. --Aile Dhoo (talk) 22:43, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Giving up already? Pity, I was just about to write up a big section about how even if you're right and the Bible is inerrantly correct, the morality provided by the biblical God is not absolute nor comforting, but alarmingly arbitrary and vindictive. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 22:36, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Well, I am a kid, and mom called me to dinner. but I can stay on longer. Please show me how God is arbitrary and vindictive, if only to make yourself feel better. Potato, you seem like your struggling. Look up a commentary on that verse or something I don't know. Pitzy (talk) 22:39, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Well, feel free to go have dinner. Writing it all up will take me a while. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 22:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. But before you do, isn't illogical and hypocritical to appeal to morality as you attack scripture? Also, I hardly think you could find a reason to call a omniscient God arbitrary, as (news flash) you are a small, small, SMALL human (LIKE ME!). Also, remember that we are all worthy of death, and that God is just. Pitzy (talk) 22:46, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
One can critique scripture for moral reasons. The immoral practice of slavery is justified by Leviticus 25:44-46 and Exodus 21:7-11 but Christians nowadays reject slavery. Morality is founded in critique.--Aile Dhoo (talk) 22:54, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
It's not, actually! I very much doubt the validity of scripture, but I consider myself very moral! This is actually why I feel the need to make you consider the possibility that these words written by mere men are NOT the Word of God; so you may consider a different moral code more grounded in reality! 141.134.75.236 (talk) 22:55, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Note- my school laptop (this one) will be taken away tomorrow. So, this is last time you will see me.
I don't know how educated you are in the Bible, but..read this. :Covenant Theology-rules apply unless done away with in the next covenant. In other words, each covenant is seen as part of a greater covenant that now has modifications where the rules are still in effect unless abrogated or modified ultimately by the New Testament by God.::Dispensational Theology is when the previous rules tend to be done away with in the New Covenant unless reiterated in that covenant. In other words, the New Dispensation generally does away with previous Mosaic rules because those rules were given to a specific group of people, and new rules need to be stated.
When the new covenant, Jesus Christ came, laws became no longer in effect. You see this happening when the curtain in the temple tore as Jesus was crucified. Pitzy (talk) 00:03, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
It's funny you bring this up, because this is one of the things that's so troubling. If God's ordained moral code is absolute but he can also change it at his whim, what horrible world would we be living in?!? You can be a good person worthy of heaven one moment and a sinner that'll burn in hell for eternity the next! Didn't get the last update from God about his new moral code? Tough luck! Also, it should be noted in the Old Jewish Covenant there are commandments that explicitly forbid reducing, adding to or abrogating the Law of Moses in any way. So all Jews are stuck in the Old Covenant. Turns out God screwed them over with a set of destined-to-become-outdated moral rules that he expressly forbade them from ever changing! You gotta hand it to him, God is one massive troll. But if you read the story of Job you of course already knew this. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 14:03, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
But the vast majority of humanity is destined for eternal damnation by this ever loving and caring god. You can only obtain salvation through god's forgiveness but.... what about all those who never got the chance. In Nineteenth century Britain infant mortality was at 15%. That's a one-in-seven chance of eternal damnation through no fault but being born in the wrong time. Or all those Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims - off to the fiery pit with the lot of them. God so loved the world that he condemns a vast proportion to the fire. What a guy! Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 14:18, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I want to simplify my life[edit]

via suicide, obviously, but there always seems to be one more stupid talk page or forum edit I have to make first. So basically that's my answer. Fonzie (talk) 23:51, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Galatians 5:12-26[edit]

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, ... Pitzy (talk) 00:06, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

And you quote this why exactly? 141.134.75.236 (talk) 00:14, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Take a gander Spock Pitzy (talk) 01:52, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Atheism is a belief system[edit]

You believe that God doesn't exist right? Then that means you have faith he doesn't exist, or you might be flat out ignoring his existence, because it is a stance that someone takes. "I believe in God, I have faith he exists. The proof is in the bible, and my life." "I believe in logic and science. I have faith the Bible is false, although it says it is true, and that God does not exist. I have no proof he does not exist."
I found this funny. I laughed when I thought of it. I think it is true.. Pitzy (talk) 00:12, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
"although it says it is true" Please don't tell me you're that naïve/gullible to believe any person claiming they're telling the truth is telling the truth. And no, people don't "have faith" that the Bible is false. They're convinced that it's false because reality indicates that it's false. Which are you gonna believe, some story written down thousands of years ago (though it hasn't gone unaltered) or the reality we live in today? 141.134.75.236 (talk) 00:18, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Also, I find the notion that your prime reason for believing in God is a book with some fanciful tales as quite offensive to God. Surely devotion to such a grand entity should be more substantively founded. It's like being a fan of Elvis because you read in some magazine that's he's a cool guy. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 01:09, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Josephus certainly didn't think Jesus was fake. Pitzy (talk) 01:53, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Ah, Josephus. We have a nice article on him. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 02:06, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand why Christians would infiltrate his works. Pitzy (talk) 02:31, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
For similar reasons as why Catholic scribes snuck references to "the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost" into the Bible, probably. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 02:51, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Listen to this.[edit]

YOu don't think God exists. You think Humans created God. Well...If humans created God, why would he be such a God of judgement? Why does hell exist? Why does Satan exist? Why do you have to abstain from sex before marriage and not do drugs? If Humans were the creator of God, those would be the types of things you would expect to see. But the Christian God, since he is not created, is an extremely, extremely hard God to follow, to believe in. Do you agree? Pitzy (talk) 02:03, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Why would he be a god of judgement? Why a hell? Why sexual rules? Why drug rules? So that the creators of the god could control their fellow humans, and because humans constantly feel judged.
Why Satan? To explain evil.
Is the Christian god hard to follow? Not harder than the myriad of rules of other religions.
"since he is not created" is begging the question again FrizzyCatPotato (talk/stalk) 02:53, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Pitzy mentions drug use as being a 'hard to follow' rule from God. Just to follow through on the logic, with some quick checks, I see an estimate for 25% of Americans having used illegal drugs. With some more quick checks, I see that 75% or more of Americans regularly ignore speed limits. Speed limits are clearly MUCH harder to follow than restrictions on drug use. If humans were the creator of speed limits, surely you would see speed limits that are easy to follow. Because speed limits are so hard to follow, they must have been created by God. Cat Not Included (talk) 23:44, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
I would say that a lot of the strictures of Islam are a lot tougher than Christianity. If Pitzy's logic works then he should become a Muslim. This would give him the added advantage of having a much more explicitly exciting afterlife in the Muslim paradise.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 12:31, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

PRATT check list[edit]

Pitzy's brand of Christianity, while both blockheaded and rather naive, is at least refreshingly honest in the sense that it lacks the convoluted sophistry that comes with the more well-versed apologists and instead goes for a no-nonsense argument by assertion, though that (sadly) may change in time.

Still, I can already see a pattern of several well-known PRATTs which I list in no particular order, but numbered for easy reference:

  1. Appeal to Josephus as a piece of evidence for the historical existence of Jesus Christ.
  2. Appeal to biblical literalism (see biblical contradictions and biblical scientific errors as well as the general Bible article).
  3. Claiming that objective morality is only possible when you believe in God, incl. the obligatory appeal to Hitler (as if it takes belief in a god to reject a(n im)moral code that led to the Holocaust).
  4. Atheism is a belief system.
  5. You're going to hell (well, not really refuted, just exceedingly unlikely and unfalsifiable).
  6. Conflation of skepticism, atheism and science.
  7. Conflation of Darwinian evolution with cosmology.
  8. Select reading of the New Testament in general, incl. the claim that Christians are not bound by such Jewish laws as kosher (and presumably circumcision too), despite at least the Gospel of Matthew claiming that Jesus insisted that he didn't want to change "one jot or one tittle" of it (Matthew 5:18, see 5:17-20 for context).

Other editors should feel free to add further examples to the bottom of the list, btw.
I don't necessarily present this list this list as a ridicule of Pitzy, but as both a score card and a reference list for Pitzy and others to check to see why the level of flippancy and snark can get quite high in some of the answers in this thread; that's simply because most of us have heard these points countless times before. ScepticWombat (talk) 07:42, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Looks pretty good. I would also ask that Pitzy watch The Atheist Experience on YouTube. They are easy to find, pretty amusing, and go through each one of these points pretty often and why they are wrong in clear concise ways. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:35, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Hellthread is complete. My work here is done! Space Turbo (talk) 01:27, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
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Liberty University

The first time I saw the name "Liberty University", at first I thought is was like a research college like University of Michigan or Yale. Boy was I wrong, I first saw the name on a search engine and it didn't mention anything religious until I clicked the link. After really reading about them that is when I realized how bat shit insane they were. I know a religious college is sometimes a good school (Such as Baylor and Pepperdine Universities) but LU is just nuts. I do not know if anyone else thought at first that it was a research college but I bet others mistook LU as one. --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 16:58, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, I think that's the point. Jerry Falwell and all the other people who started that organization have the sole purpose of trying to make it seem like a legitimate college in order to try and get people to go there. By giving a name like Liberty University, they can convince people that it's a legitimate college, just like any others that you mention in casual, everyday conversation. The irony is that Liberty University is exactly not. There's a curfew, you can't drink alcohol, your hair has to be a certain length, you can't have a beard, and you have to wear certain clothes. They also have mandatory Bible study, and things like that. It is essentially a scam. I originally thought that it was a legitimate University too, until I looked into it. 50.155.88.106 (talk) 00:27, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

I think I actually first heard of it here or perhaps on a Bill Maher video. Needless to say then I new it was bullshit from the beginning. Samstr (talk) 02:30, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Safe to say they have Rational wiki blocked on their computer systems as well as most of the internet (I would not be shocked at all).--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 15:55, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

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How is it that someone could have a graduate biology degree yet believe in YEC?

I really wonder how someone could go to a great school (such as Harvard or University of Michigan) and still believe that the bible is a literal history of the Earth. Now I am not saying there cannot be a God but there is too much evidence of Evolution and an old Earth. Any thoughts? --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 18:37, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

The scientific evidence has very little to do with being a creationist. The end. That explains most of it. YEC is a social practice and a mandatory meme for some social groups. Some people will accept any idea or ideology to fit in with their group. Particularly if it's something they've been told since birth is true anyways. No piece of paper inures you to those effects. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:56, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Kurt Wise and Todd C. Wood are excellent examples - very intelligent, know and can do the science, but they have this single fixed point of belief that creationism must be true, therefore baraminology. Todd Wood is an excellent and slightly horrifying example of a mind divided against itself - David Gerard (talk) 11:35, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm a staff scientist at Caltech (I work in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, but my PhD is in Physics, but no biology), and have worked at and with people at Cornell, Stanford, UC Berkeley, LBNL, PNNL, ANL, INL, LANL, LNL, etc, etc, etc. I've heard people say that most scientists are atheists, (I am an agnostic) but I know many scientists with religious belief, including deists, Christians, Muslims, Unitarians, etc. Not all of these scientists where born into their religion, I know Caltech and Cornell PhD grads who have recently taken up religion. To be honest, I have never worked with anyone who has stated they were atheist or agnostic, but I would guess they're here. It's not often a topic of debate, but the most common belief I hear from those with faith is that the Creation explanation in texts like the Christian Bible are purely figurative. That doesn't explain why some believe in YEC though, but I know there is a wide spectrum of religious believers in science. --TheJackolope (talk) 22:42, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Figured I would ask, considering there is a ton of proof for evolution. Having faith in something is one thing but the way creation "scientists" have faith is quite extreme. --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 15:23, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Ah, but don't you see? Once you get hooked on using God as an explanatory tool, all that proof becomes invalid. You see, if you believe in God, the perceived uniformity of natural laws across time and space is merely an illusion that exists only because God allows it to. Inductive reasoning? Throw it out the window.Wikipedia's W.svg That's how you can be a scientist and still believe in YEC; the concept of God is compatible with every observable configuration of reality because inherent to the idea is that God would be able to adjust reality at their whim. These scientists don't study reality to discover fundamental laws, but to take a closer look at what God has painted onto the canvas of existence (and perhaps wonder about what they might paint next).
And as for creation 'science' specifically; it's founded on a belief in biblical inerrancy, so the level of devotion of its proponents shouldn't really come as a surprise. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 16:36, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
try explaining Andy Schlafly and Jason Lisle. Hamster (talk) 18:52, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Religious fanatics bent on ignoring reality? Not sure why you bring up Andy, though, since he's by no imaginable stretch of the word's definition a scientist. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 18:59, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
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Madokaism

Madoka is our Lord and Saviour!
Homura is her prophet and consort!
They both will save you from the clutches of the Kyubey!--Arisboch (talk) 21:12, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Never watched that cartoon. Is it any good? - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:25, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I would avoid using anime and cartoon interchangeably when discussing either online. As for the question - if you like magical girl transformation anime and/or subversion and deconstruction of said genre, sure! --Miekal 03:33, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
MADOHOMU IS LIFE - no seriously, though, it is pretty great. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 03:42, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
(Cartoons (anime)). AAR, this might be interesting. Is it airing anywhere on US television? - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 14:56, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
No--Miekal 15:49, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
It's on Netflix, though. You could also buy the BDs, but the US distributor charges an arm and an leg. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg I'm a survivor, keep on survivin' 16:09, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
You could also get illegal copies off the net.--Arisboch (talk) 16:13, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm already a Spiegelist. I follow Spike and his holy manime teachings. - Radical Zap
SPIKE LIVES!!!--Arisboch (talk) 17:08, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
"MADOHOMU IS LIFE" - Wehpudicabok, 2015
"MADOHOMU IS LOVE" - Me, now
What? Said show was on ABC3 for a while, but nobody ever saw it. LlamaPastor31 Boredom is a time for contemplative thought 00:46, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
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So I have a theory regarding the vastly different behavior of God in the new testament and old testament...

First, let me make it clear that I am not at all religious. The ideas I put forth here are based upon the events described in the Bible being fiction, albeit perhaps with the occasional grain of truth (i.e., there was probably something that led to the story of the great flood, but it was not global, and was not God's doing). As any work of fiction is open to interpretation to some degree, I have my own interpretation of why God behaves differently in the old vs. new testaments.

My theory (I use this term loosely) is that, contrary to what we are told in the bible and what is generally believed (a vague statement, I know), Lucifer was not what most would consider evil. further, when he led his rebellion against God, Lucifer actually won, and has since ruled heaven in God's place. Now, let me present my reasoning behind this:


  • the terrible things that God has done are simply too numerous to list, but suffice to say the the God of the Old Testament was a ruthless, merciless, murderous bastard who clearly regarded His creations as nothing more than playthings for his own amusement. in fact, given the evidence, it would be more likely that the earth and its inhabitants came to be in the manner currently accepted by science; God simply discovered us, and claimed to be our creator.


  • Lucifer tolerated God's actions for some time, but eventually he decided enough was enough, gathered an army of like-minded angels, and removed God from power (I leave it to your own interpretation what became of God afterwards). The rebellion itself likely took place between the old and new testaments, as this is when "God's" behavior suddenly changed.


  • in addition to the very long list of God's grievances against His creations, Lucifer did not agree with the near constant intervention of God in worldly affairs, which would explain the less active role He (now referring to Lucifer) has taken since coming into power. Whether He thinks we still need him is unknown, and Lucifer's policy of non-intervention is what has prevented him from correcting those humans that still direct their prayers to God, or believe that is to whom they pray. Lucifer's belief is that, whether we were created by a madman or evolved naturally, we are quite capable of deciding for ourselves what we believe.


  • Jesus had already been prophecised when Lucifer came into power, so he decided to just go with it in order to keep up appearances. this would explain why Jesus was less 'fire and brimstone', and more 'healing the sick and helping the poor'. Indeed, had God still been in power, Jesus would probably have been more akin to how we now envision the antichrist. Jesus' claim that he would one day return, but without actually specifying when, was a nice out for Lucifer to avoid any further intervention after Jesus' departure.


  • As for the matter of Satan: put simply, he never existed. I've always heard Satan referred to as the great deciever, among other things. the general belief is that Lucifer became Satan after being cast down to hell. Instead, Lucifer created, or allowed to be created, the story (and general deception) of his defeat and transformation into basically the embodiment of all the world's evils, Angra Mainyu Satan. There is some amount of irony in this.


anyway, that's what I've got so far. thoughts?

Personally[edit]

I love all biblical fantasy not written by any sort of Christians. It's just great fun, like rethinkings of Hercules or Thor can be.

The image of a legion of angels battling a horde of devils is an extremely epic one, that is only ruined by people taking it seriously. Ikanreed (talk) 20:51, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

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What would you say to God?

Just a fun discussion, and to make this interesting, let's say this God is nothing like they say he is in scripture. Completely not the Abrahamic God, among others. What would you say to him if you met him? As for me, I would say... "Can you help with climate change?" Serocco (talk) 11:22, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Timely question given Steven Fry on RTE. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 12:41, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Nothing, I don't talk to fairy tale characters. Scream!! (talk) 12:46, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
What would I say to ... some unspecified thing or person? This might surprise you, but I don't know. Fonzie (talk) 14:48, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I think some variation on "You had better have a fucking good excuse" is the only apposite comment anyone could make. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:55, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Way to be the stereotypical atheist angry at god or whatever. Anyways, I'd wish for more wishes. Gods and genies are pretty similar. Ikanreed (talk) 14:58, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Given the real world, there really would be no other ethical way to approach dialogue with a god-like being. I mean, maybe there is a very good excuse. Maybe this hypothetical god wasn't up to the task and did the best they could in the circumstances. I would hope that a hypothetical god in such circumstances would welcome any help in fixing things, however small a contribution. But the more powerful this hypothetical god is, the bigger a fuck-up they become morally, to have the world the way it is. I'm not going to ignore godly cruelty and moral bankruptcy just to avoid hurting the feelings of the liberally religious. If you wouldn't be angry with god, atheist or no, you've not been paying attention. Queexchthonic murmurings 15:08, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
It could just be very powerful and very dumb. Let's conjecture a solution to the problem of evil where god is an honest-to-god moron. Then you have an ethical mandate to educate or trick it. Ikanreed (talk) 15:22, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I should clarify that I meant 'power' above not just as in power to change the world, but the passel of superpowers that are generally comorbid with omnipotence. So a powerful but dumb god would halfway up that power scale or something. A 'how did this get here I am not good with creation' explanation would explain so much. Given how much of a better job humanity has done (by and large) in the morality stakes than any flavour of divine being, whatever excuse there was would have to account for not learning on the job. Queexchthonic murmurings 15:29, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

I would see no reason to not attempt to recite the Babel Fish speech as close as I could get to it. Trick (talk) 15:00, 2 February 2015 (UTC) Even though I don´t believe in God, he is, in my opinion, a very fascinating creauture. I mean he created everything, killed almost everyone after he noticed that the whole thing was a big mistake, let us reproduce again with the outcome that nothing has changed and today he just lets us live on, because he knows that it`s pointless to kill us again. Ridiculous. I should ask him for his powers. I would be a mercyless God, that would kill anybody who tries to violate my laws. I would also write a book that would make my position clear. Not three books with different content. "ayy lmao" --Ymir (talk) 05:29, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

If you're talking about a designer god, I'd strongly advise him to stop slacking. I mean, how come your pinnacle of creation still contains single critical function equipments, like our main computer, and most with single power supply, and/or single points of failure? Even by our lowly human design standards, like the FAA certification rules, noone should ever end handicapped or dead from a stroke. Then, I would offer my engineering and certification auditing services, for the low price of immortality and another couple godlike powers. Once working with him, I'd try to help him redesign the world so that global immortality and minimum suffering can become realistic.--dx (talk) 09:43, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

I'd ask for superpowers, so I can do the stuff God's too lazy/disinterested to bother with. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 10:38, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

I'd be content with the standard three wishes. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 18:21, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
But the third wish is always to put right the wrongs done by wishes one and two. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 18:32, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
To paraphrase a quote by Julianne Moore about this very question: "Well, I guess I was wrong, because you do exist." KevinR1990 (talk) 01:53, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

I would ask, "So I have been joking about something-are bacteria more important to you than humans? If the world was designed to serve a specific sort of life form, bacteria seemed more likely than humans. Not that I saw any reason for you to care about life" Arachne1988 (talk) 02:26, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

But... humans are bacteria, no? (In the sense that they're composed of cells and all cells evolved from bacteria when you get down to it.) 141.134.75.236 (talk) 03:37, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
True, when I joke about god favoring bacteria it is more to mock the very egocentrism and arrogance that underlies that a god would be anthropocentric. Often the idea of an anthropocentric god seems to hinge on how all the things we regard as special and wonderful about ourselves, and not about how significant we are in the universe or the planet. Why should a deity focus on a species that takes up such a small portion of space-time? Homo sapiens have lived what 100,000 years (?) on a single planet and with how destructive we are I doubt we will double that number-not that I think humans will die off soon. Such an unstable state as life is already questionable and a rather arbitrary selection-if there is a god I would sooner bet on a deistic or pantheistic one than a theistic one.
The specifics of the joke about bacteria being god’s favorite focus on how the domain bacteria’s adaptations are far more impressive. It works similarly to how a sentient puddle might regard the hole it is in as designed for it. Many (if not most) other life forms are dependent on bacteria, directly or indirectly. Human attempts to kill some of them off have only served to strengthen them. Some can live without oxygen. Others can survive extreme heat. The pressures of the deep seas are home to others. Yet others can survive space with ease. Nuclear radiation is a non-issue to some others. They are some of the oldest life forms and will no doubt continue on after us.
Admittedly, I study psychology, not biology. I am more focused on the anthropocentrism issue with the joke and do not have a very deep understanding of bacteria. Arachne1988 (talk) 16:23, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Not really. Yes, we're all descended from a prokaryotic common ancestor, but saying "we are all bacteria" is just redefining the term "bacteria" to mean "life". It's "Why are there still monkeys?" thinking. Species, and groupings of species, are human classifications that we create for the purpose of distinguishing between different organisms. --Ymir (talk) 22:54, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

What is wrong with you? You're a sick sadistic psychopath, wars, disease, viruses, starvation, politics, child molestation, slavery, you have too much time on your hands and a twisted mind, get a new job. You put me on this lunatic asylum which is simply a rock travelling through space and time with no way to get off and away from all the lies. Where is the customer relations department so I can make a complaint? --XOxJonDoexOx 12:19, 4 October 2015 (GMT)

What would I say to a being who was nothing like God but who claimed he was God? I think I'd suggest he drank something else.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:33, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
If I met anyone who claimed to be god, I'd ask what drugs he was on.--Palaeonictis (talk) 19:45, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
you'd be better off asking them to up the dosage because their medication isnt working AMassiveGay (talk) 20:47, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

Trolling God[edit]

"Got your nose!"
"No you haven't."
"Yes I have. Look, here."
"That's not My nose!"
"Yes it is. You just don't want to see your nose in my hand, because you're closed-minded."
"Look, I still have My nose-"
"Who are you going to believe? Your lying senses or divine revelation?"
"What divine revelation? You just said that, that's no divine revelation."
"It was too divine revelation."
"Was not."
"Was too."
"Look, if anyone know divine revelation, it's Me, right, so-"
"I can prove it was divine revelation."
"How?!"
"I said it was. I said what I said before was divine revelation, so it must me. Who are you to deny divine revelation?"
"Now look, pal, I'm the Creator around these parts, and I don't take too kindly to-"
"If you deny that what I said was divine revelation, then you are undermining the very concept of logic itself."
"... What? How? I don't even-"
"You're just arrogant. Any fool can see that my words prove that my words are true. How presumptuous of you to assume your own flawed senses and flawed intellect are more reliable than my say-so!"
"I can't believe how silly you have been."
"Yeah, well that makes two of us, pal."
*middle finger*
Scene. Queexchthonic murmurings 16:34, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

I would say:[edit]

Why the fuck is there evil in the world?! Why the fuck are people in pain?! Why the fuck did they cancel Firefly?! Why isn't Mashal, Nasrallah, al-Bagdadi, Shekau or Hideki Anno not dead yet?!--Kugelschreiber (talk) 17:15, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

While you've got his attention, ask him to upgrade RW's software. 94.1.161.161 (talk) 21:41, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
if hes all fire and brimstone, i might be a bit more respectful. And soo many excuses for all the sodomyAMassiveGay (talk) 06:35, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Hi God! I know it's a bit pushy, but can have a pet Megalodon? Tfaddict (talk) 14:54, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Feck off, God! Flannan Isle (talk) 13:55, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

I'd say, "Why be so compassionate? I'd send a whole bunch of sinners to hell before they died, while their still alive." nobsLewinsky 2020 14:25, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
but they'd have no chance of repenting, like ted bundy AMassiveGay (talk) 15:34, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Thank you baby Jesus for[edit]

Women : Apart from the fact they will outlive men (admittedly only by at most 5 or 6 years on average) they are objectively more attractive than men (I have done dual blind studies with this). I as a heterosexual male am not being homophobic about this, given the choice of watching George Clooney and Brad Pitt getting it on I'd rather watch Anne Widdecombe and Ann Coulter. If I was doing a fair experiment I would obviously have a mix and match with them all. I would also do a control experiment with me and George.

My reply[edit]

You have to explain a lot of things, to begin with why the world is this way even leaving aside all that have been caused by humans alone. --Panzerfaust (talk) 21:59, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

Eli lema sabachthani[edit]

"Eli lema sabachthani?"

Unfortunately I don't know how to turn that from "me" to "us", since it's clear that if God exists, it's long since abandoned doing direct interventions.

After that I'd mostly ask about the universe and stuff. What was it like directly after the Big Bang? What happens near or at a singularity, if they even exist? What is dark energy, and dark matter. Is Earth the only planet with Eukaryotic life? Is there life that's not carbon-based, and if so what is it, and how frequent.

Why, after leaving the universe alone for nearly 14 billion years, was it choosing to intervene now by talking with me? If talking is okay, what about other things? Can it give us the wherewithal to overcome climate change, and prevent the early transformation of Earth into a hothouse? Or the ability to escape Earth and start building habitats in space?

How does consciousness work? Does the teleporter kill and make clones, or does perfect quantum-state transference move the proverbial "ghost" along with the machine? Is transhumanism and/or functional immortality even achievable?

Is the Multiverse real? Is this universe just one in an infinite string stretching forward and back in both directions indefinitely?

As I asked, and assuming it'd answer, I'd probably come up with a whole bunch more questions along those veins. I'd probably not get angry about the whole suffering and evil thing, because a) it probably has a good excuse slash answer to my first question, and b) knowing the answer won't retroactively prevent said suffering. I'd rather get answers to questions that might prevent or alleviate future suffering. Onychoprion (talk) 22:52, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

I'd ask[edit]

"Why?". Also, "You're not really batshit crazy are you?" megalodon (talk) 01:19, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Surprised no one asked this[edit]

Can you create an object so big you can't lift it? --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 02:06, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

What Zack would say[edit]

"God, you must already know all that I believe about you, so tell me, am I right? And if I am wrong, surely your divine power extends so far that you can refute my errors with such an eloquence that I would be utterly convinced that they are errors and would utterly regret having made them – if so, please so do." (((Zack Martin))) 04:31, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

[view] [edit]

Arguments Against God

I didn't do very good in the arguments FOR God, so logically I wouldn't do very well in disproving the arguments against God. Of course, I apparently have a distorted sense of logic. So you never know..Pitzy (talk) 19:50, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I'll just leave this here: Negative proof. You opened this page with your comment indented by two colons (this symbol :). It seems you are just putting an arbitrary number at the beginning of your posts. Here is a good set of guidelines for posting on wikis [1]. Marlow (talk) 20:29, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

The ignostic perspective[edit]

Let's start here. There's no point in arguing this question without a definition of what's being tested verified. I guess you could say this is the idea that comes closest to mirroring my own.

By example, if I argue that dragons are real, people are right to be incredulous of my claim, but when they respond say dragons don't exist, I can waffle about it and say "Oh I mean WP:Komodo dragons." Unless what you mean is clear, arguing about whether you're right is a fruitless exercise.

As a less fantastical comparison, consider people arguing about whether tomatoes are fruit or vegetables. I can say they're fruit, and point to the fact they are watery and have seeds. And someone else can point out that they have the nutritional and culinary properties of vegetables. This debate is fruitless(ha) because the very idea of what a fruit is isn't established. If, however, myself, and whoever I'm having this hypothetical argument with, decide on a definition of fruit and vegetable ahead of time, we can actually cut through all the ambiguity and answer the question quite freely. Not just for tomatoes, and beets, and rhubarb.

So to the ignostic, the answer for "Is there a god" can only be answered in the context of a well-defined god(and then for most of those that are commonly raised, the ignositic has to promote the discussion to being agnostic or atheistic).

When we argue against "god" as you're asking us to, keep in mind that not only do we have to consider Yehwah, but also Vishnu, Thor, Allah, or Khorne as possibilities for what the question means. Heck, some people define "god" as the universe itself, and the natural response to that definition is "So what? we already know the universe exists."(Philosophical mincing about this notion aside). Ikanreed (talk) 20:36, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

So, questions to you, from this perspective[edit]

What is a fruit? How do you know if something is a fruit? Understanding and answering this question seems natural to anyone familiar with fruit(though we may disagree).

What is god? How do you know if something is god? Understanding and answering this question may help you in ways I couldn't say.

The determinist's perspective(against an intercessionalist god)[edit]

Two quick predicates to this discussion

  1. This one requires some light education in philosophy to follow. Read up on the wikipedia article on WP:Determinism to understand the meaning of the term when I use it.
  2. This one also assumes as a predicate that determinism is true. It's a premise to the rejection, and can, itself, be rejected if you don't think it's valid. But you should think about why.

Determinism is the idea that one "state" of the universe flows to the next, without variation. You can think of it as coming from newton's laws. An object at rest remains at rest until acted upon by another force. An object in motion remains in motion until acted upon by another force. And then all the forces that get exerted on objects comes from other objects. And since the motion of those objects is predictable, it can appear that the resulting state of the universe always flows from the current one.

Now the actual modern laws of physics are a lot more complicated. They deal with a quantum world and a relativistic one. And concern themselves with fields and particles and waves and fundamental forces. But the big thing for this notion hasn't: matter reacts as a result of force being exerted. And after countless observations and experiments, the only forces that affect matter come down to just 4: electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, and gravity. And no experiments have shown things change for causes other than those.

Where then, can an intercessionalist god(like many claim such as yourself the Christian god is) interfere with the world? Why does matter we carefully look at always bend to the apparent mechanics of the universe and not some portion of it simply obey god's direct will? Omnipotence suggests the power to change things, intercessionalism suggests that god does so. Those changes, no matter their nuance, would leave traces. Those traces simply don't appear to exist. Ikanreed (talk) 21:07, 27 January 2015 (UTC)


Blah blah blah, acknowledging the flaws in the argument and tacit replies[edit]

  1. Okay, quantum strangeness is a thing, but every crazy idea ever uses it as an excuse, why should we consider your idea special in that regards?
  2. "But what if god just set everything on the path it is now and everything is just fated to come out to his will?" Well, that's not the god we're discussing right now. See the ignostic argument.
  3. "God could purposefully hide from us." Then why leave a book explicitly stating both his presence and how he works? Odd choice.
[view] [edit]

The Five Arguments for God

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-new-atheism-and-five-arguments-for-god

Enjoy... Here is a very detailed page that counters some arguments from non-believers. I would enjoy if you can prove those premises and conclusions false. Pitzy 19:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

If, after multiple explicit and simple instructions, you still haven't worked out how to sign comments - then it's not entirely clear why we should be convinced by your profound beliefs about the origins of the universe.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 22:31, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Oh, dang, human error reason God didn't make universe. Nice. Pitzy 20:31, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Anyone who doesn't want to waste their time can look up:

So, Pitzy could easily have found rebuttals to this list of Craig's in existing RW articles instead of posting on the forum. Whether Pitzy was just lazy, can't find the articles, did a tl;dr, or was simply trolling, I'll leave the reader to ponder. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:58, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Why 1st argument is false:[edit]

Enjoy Pitzy 19:40, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Objections to premises[edit]

"Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause." —Premise 1

Let's start with the assumptions here, and the first premise is a good place to go for that. This one is wrong even if it's not the core wrongness of the piece(see discussion of premise 2, AKA "how much nonsense are we going to accept for the sake of argument?"). I contest it on a simple phrasing basis. By example, if a train derails, it doesn't have an external cause. It derails because it was moving quickly, and the rails were misaligned. That's two distinct undeniable factors, and that's just the simple direct necessity. To a human looking for cause we'd be concerned with what safety measures were overlooked, what damaged the rails, what design features are meant to overcome derailments and didn't. To say something has an explanation is to view things far to simplistically to operate in the real world. As a universal assumption, it's a flimsy one.

If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God —Premise 2

The mere fact that we're having this argument tells you this one isn't agreed upon. This is begging the question. If we give you god as a premise, then why would you need to prove it.

The amount of outright strawman nonsense heaped upon atheists in the explanation for this premise deserves an Extra (Censored for our friend's software) Award.

A. If atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of its existence. —Atheists, according to this article

I've never heard any atheists ever make any sort of construction remotely resembling this. To you, is it okay to lie about what those you disagree with say? Do you find this to be an ethical and just practice? Look all over this atheist infested wiki. You'll see nothing remotely like this, not even on talk pages, essays, or forums. I urge you to ponder the honesty of William Lane Craig and why you trust him. Ikanreed (talk) 20:37, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, Charles Darwin wrote that in his book...He is pretty well known, I think?Pitzy 19:23, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Which book, exactly? The Origin of Species? Because he certainly didn't there. you can read the whole thing Ikanreed (talk) 19:27, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, I should remind you that this was a secondary point about craig's honesty and not the main deconstruction. Ikanreed (talk) 19:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't feel like attacking his credibility is a wise choice. All of you probably have made assumptions and written subjectively, jumping to conclusions and then writing down those conclusions. Just because you write a small lie doesn't mean this guy did. Plus, you know, CHRISTIANITY is about upholding morals, and since he is a Christian he probably upheld his morals and didn't lie.Pitzy 19:37, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
So your answer to the fact that origin of the species doesn't even remotely contain the text you imagine it does is to call me a liar? [Expletive deleted] you. [Expletive deleted] off. I don't care if you can't read this page anymore. Ikanreed (talk) 19:40, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm inclined to give him some more rope.--ZooGuard (talk) 20:22, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Objections to deduction[edit]

Nah, that's fine. To my logic skills the deduction is good, given the assumptions. We can't give you those assumptions. Ikanreed (talk) 20:37, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Why 2nd argument is false[edit]

Enjoy. Pitzy 19:40, 23 January 2015 (UTC)


Objections to premises[edit]

First and foremost read our article on the cosmological argument. That's this one to a T.

Everything that begins to exist has a cause. —premise 1

An interesting supposition here. It's very fluid with the idea of "cause". As per my objections to proof #1, a cause is perhaps reductionist. And the word "cause" is pretty ambiguous. Causality, to physics(for example) isn't an ironclad law of intuition, but a description of the flow of information at the speed of light. Relying on it relies on the existence of time and space. But hold it: those are characteristics of the universe. So that can't be the kind of cause we mean, since we're trying to go to before the universe. There are other kinds of definitions for "cause" and each raises it's own concerns. This premise mostly fails on it's own ambiguity. A more clear version could be written, but seemingly never is.

how about?
"Everything that exists has a purpose?" I feel that clears some of the non-specificness of it. Think about it, everything has a purpose, if you think of something that DIDN'T have a purpose you could disprove this premise, but that won't happen.
So your saying, the premise is true if reworded? Pitzy 19:26, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
A random rock on the moon. Please clearly state it's purpose. The transmission of AIDS to newborn infants. Purpose is a very different thing. Are you sure you can defend that? Ikanreed (talk) 20:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The universe began to exist. —premise 2

This isn't an objection per se, but a question that is unanswered in the phrasing of the proof.

Time, as revealed through relativity, is a dimension of the universe. A simple variable that a lot of mechanisms of the universe interact with. Velocity is a relationship of time and position. Acceleration is a relationship of time and velocity. Time started, for all intents and purposes, with the universe. We have no evidence to substantiate that it's existence is separate from space, and some pretty good reasons to believe it's existence is attached to space(this is suggested through some rather complex math demonstrating the relationship of velocity and energy and it's similarity to the topology of a hypersphere). Anyways, the question that this premise raises is: what does it mean to "begin to exist" before time?

"Begin" is a word tied to our deeply human perception of time. A time T a thing exists, at T-1 it didn't, so the thing starts to exist at T. But when you don't have T? That idea is meaningless? What does begin mean?

Do you think that time began when the universe began? I don't. I think time has always BEEN, just like God said he always WAS...I believe time is something humans created. So when he says begin, to come into existence, the universe and everything in it CAME to be, it started to exist, the moment of conception. Are we dependent on time? But, that really isn't an objection, your right. So lets roll with it. Pitzy 19:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Time is not something humans created. Are you kidding me? Do you honestly think the earth wouldn't spin without people on it? Ikanreed (talk) 19:38, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Time is something humans created. Ha, you think the earth revolving around the sun is "Time"?? Think again. The earth would still spin, but nobody would keep track of its revolutions and rotation. That's all. Pitzy (talk) 19:44, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Objections to deduction(this is the big problem)[edit]

Let's grant those premises. There are problems in the deduction.

The problems aren't with the deduction arriving at the conclusion, but the undiscussed further implications thereof. It appears to raise a contradiction thus invalidating the premises. That contradiction comes from taking a further implication. All causes must exist, and thus begin to exist. Your proof suddenly requires causes for causes for causes, with no end, and no evidence for any of them. It's a very suspect implication, and should raise doubts on the premises. For which there are plenty.

And further, even if you accept the premises, and accept the deduction, ignore the further implications, the unstated further conclusion that all causes must be something you deem "God" is an insane non-sequitur. Why would that be true? Completely not established. At all.

Again, see the cosmological argument, our article has a great breakdown of everything wrong here. Better than mine. Ikanreed (talk) 21:03, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Why 3rd argument is false:[edit]

EnjoyPitzy 19:41, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Objections to the premises[edit]

If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist. —premise 1

I call this premise the "irredeemable asshole argument". It's the one that baldly asserts that you're a bad person for not agreeing with the conclusion. If you make this argument you're an awful person who deserves no respect. Ever. It's untrue, because one can imagine a godless universe where people follow an absolutist moral code. It's not hard. A universe where no one kills, lies, or fights, but no one has heard of god. All in your imagination, but it's easy to see how these concepts are not related.

He brings up the Eurypthro Dilemma, but refuses to consider the "god(s) contradicts himself in revelations" problem that undermines his kinda classless begging the question response. — Unsigned, by: ikanreed / talk / contribs

if I make the moral argument I am an awful person who deserves no respect?....?....?........? I think you hate this argument because it is so true..You know in your heart you have morals. Where did you get those morals? Can someone tel me where you got morals? Morals defined as understanding wrong and right. Why is it wrong? Why is it right? Pitzy 19:46, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

The iterated prisoners dilemma has an optimal solution of "do unto others as they do unto you" but be slightly nice about it. Hmmm... doesn't that sound like the basis of practically every moral code? So, you don't need god, you need games theory. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 19:52, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you're an asshole for making this argument. If you say that people who don't believe in god cannot be moral, you're awful. End of story. It's condemnation for something that hurts no one. It's prejudicial. It's wrong. Making this argument makes you a bad person. Ikanreed (talk) 19:56, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Whoah whoah whoah whoah.... First of all, EVERYONE has morals. That's my point. That proves God exists, because everyone has morals... You must be confused, because, even if you don't believe in God you know killing someone is wrong..Pitzy (talk) 20:36, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Objective moral values and duties do exist. —Premise 2

Completely unsubstantiated. People still argue over what is right and wrong, and have forever. People who claim to follow identical instructions from identical holy books wildly disagree about what is right. Subjectivity reigns. Clearly and unequivocally. There might be an objective reality, but I see no reason to give him it as a premise.


Neither premise stands up to any scrutiny. Ikanreed (talk) 21:15, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps we argue weather abortion is right and wrong, but surely we all agree murder is wrong? I wouldn't say any interpretation of the bible would "wildy" disagree with somebody else's unless the person was purposefully using it in the wrong context. How can you take the 10 commandments as anything but the 10 commandments? He said they do exist, not that everything is ONLY objective, no doubt Subjectivity does reign, but surely it doesn't rein all the time? Pitzy 19:46, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Setting aside things like there almost always being someone arguing any given murder is justified if it makes the news, here's a question for you. If we can all agree on something, does that necessarily make it objective? If (almost) everyone agrees that the Mono Lisa is beautiful, is it objectively beautiful, or just popular? What's the difference between objective and subjective? How does that figure into your assertions about objective morality? Ikanreed (talk) 20:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Is it objective that stealing, killing, rape, telling lies, and dissecting humans is wrong? Pitzy (talk) 19:29, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

why 4th argument is false:[edit]

Enjoy..Pitzy 19:41, 23 January 2015 (UTC)


Objections to premises[edit]

The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design. —premise 1

A simple false dilemma. Why should those three be the only options?

Apparent fine tuning can also derive from:

  1. Localized convergence of variables
    As an example, consider earth's orbit. It's perfect for life. Liquid water at most levels. But that's just earth. Venus and mars are both outside that band. Why would a designer fail to tune those planets? Pretty unexplained, right? You could call that chance, but in a thousand solar systems with a dozen planets each, it's inevitable
  2. Evolution by natural selection
    Life is a beautiful display of how things can arrive at tuned solutions through somewhat chaotic processes that aren't chance. Giraffes have long necks that are perfectly suited to what they eat because their ancestors that didn't died. There's no absolute law of the universe that says they must. Nor did a small creature just randomly mutate straight into a giraffe one day.
  3. More I haven't thought of, much like Craig didn't think of(or refused to acknowledge) those two.
It is not due to physical necessity or chance. —premise 2

Improbable things happen and Anthropic principle both undermine this "point".

Further objections to consider[edit]

First:

What really meaningful evidence is there that the universe is finely tuned? Life as it exists in this universe is going to be suited to this universe, because otherwise it wouldn't be alive. But maybe there are universes hypothetical even more conducive to life.

  • Maybe if the gravitational constant were an iota stronger, stable solar systems would have formed earlier, and stars exploded less often.
  • Maybe if the speed of light were faster, interstellar travel would be easier(wouldn't that be a fun universe)
  • Maybe there are possible universes where there isn't malaria, aids, and cancer

Why is this the best possible universe?

Second: Wouldn't the ability to intuit that something is designed rely on contrast with something that isn't designed? Ikanreed (talk) 22:15, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Are rocks not designed?

Well yes. But fine tuning does exist - though not in the form the argument suggests. Evolution has "finely tuned" life to exist on the planet in which it exists. However this is hardly surprising, as we would not be around to consider the fact if evolution did not try to fit life to the environment in which it finds itself.
Secondly the universe as a whole is actually outstandingly inimical to (our kind) of life. Biological life as we know it would not be able to survive in 99.9999999999999 plese continue this number% of the universe. In any event the universe is certainly outstandingly hostile to human beings. For that matter, humans could not survive on most of the surface of the Earth for long - what with it being largely covered with water.
Suggesting that the universe has been created for our convenience is either absurd or implies the existence of a pretty incompetent creator.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 22:10, 23 January 2015 (UTC

) Assuming a God exists, this was the best possible universe for us. Pitzy (talk) 19:26, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Finally why 5th argument is false:[edit]

Enjoy...Pitzy 19:42, 23 January 2015 (UTC)


Rather than premise by premise...

It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

—Oh really?

It is possible I have a maximally great house.

If it's possible that I have a maximally great house, then I have a maximally great house in some possible world

If I have a maximally great house in some possible world, then I have one in every possible world.

If I have a maximally great house on every world, then I have one in this world.

Wait... where the heck is my perfect mansion? Ikanreed (talk) 22:15, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

That actually makes a lot of sense, I would say you countered this argument perfectly. Now that I look at it, it is a bit wonky. Pitzy (talk) 20:41, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

These are old arguments[edit]

The first three fall into one basic premise:

1) Most of it is a great example of special pleading. Everything exists therefore God did it since rhetoric. Based on no evidence it was god (not Thor, or a galatic dog fart) and never answers the question that if everything that exists has a creator...what created god? This is an old argument by apologetics that has been debunked since it was proposed, but it still seems to get repeated to the laughter of anyone with a brain.

Four and five are almost nonsense.

2) Objective morality, especially of the bible, doesn't exist.

3) The possibility of a "maximal being" to exist is nonsense. Just because someone can think something could exist doesn't mean it does. Human beings have imagined dragons, space squid, and sea monsters that can exist as well and they don't.


This can be debunked by elementary school theology. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:59, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Indeed. Although WLK wants to imply that there is something new in these arguments that's not the case. It's the same old ideas re-presented (sometimes) with slightly newer words.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 21:51, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I just get sick of it. Some of these things have been debunked for centuries, and these points are well debunked in many locations now (including RW and by Matt Dillahunty). How many times do they need to be debunked before people stop believing in them?
It's not like electricity gets debunked 30 times but people still believe it exists. People found the evidence that showed it was real and what the properties were. People believe in this god character and keep looking for evidence that it is real. The opposite of how rational thinking goes. Since no matter how many times the evidence is found to be incorrect the belief doesn't change in some people.
Just my opinion, but if people were really strong in their faith they wouldn't need all of this evidence to be accepted by the people around them either. Other people can believe in what they think is true without affecting another persons faith when it is strong. When it is weak they look to convert the people around them because any questioning causes all sorts of cognitive dissonance. Same when people are not very strong in thinking they made the right decision...they often look for affermation of those around them. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 22:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
In point of fact I think nobody (or very very few people) believe in religion/god/gods because of these arguments anyway. The vast majority of people hold to a particular religion/belief system because that's what their parent's told them was true.
These arguments are not really made up to convince non-believers - they were invented in order to give believers some kind of confirmation that things they have already been trained to believe are, in fact, justifiable in some way. Showing them to be false won't usually change the mind of a believer as believers don't really rely on them anyway.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 23:04, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough. Though it's just as odd to me. I love and respect my parents a lot, but I also understand they are human. They can be right or wrong about things...so accepting what they said unconditionally for the rest of my life would be insane. A 4 year old accepts fantasies about Santa, or cartoons, or Blues Clues till they are older and they question. Somehow, jesus seems to be exempt from questioning when they grow up. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 23:27, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
HA you think I'm a Christian because of the people around me? They introduced me to God, and then I took him as my own. Pitzy (talk) 19:48, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

And finally[edit]

More arguments isn't better arguments.

Logic necessitates that once something is established as true, it's true. Proving it twice doesn't do any good. It does however waste incredible amounts of time for people debunking your nonsense. You have a responsibility to decide which of these is the one that convinces you and defend that. Having more proofs actually makes your logical point weaker by suggesting that you're using rhetorical tactics rather than trying to genuinely make a specific meaningful assertion. Ikanreed (talk) 21:38, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

5 arguments isn't a lot.. The moral argument convinces me the most. Pitzy (talk) 19:25, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Does anyone take William Lane Craig seriously anymore? I've seen his ass get handed to him every time he tries to talk about science or cosmology with anyone who knows what they're talking about. At least in my mind he hardly seems better than your run of the mill creationist who clings to dead arguments after hundreds of refutations. Samstr (talk) 19:30, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Cool...I don't take Darwinism seriously. Or Oprah. Pitzy (talk) 19:47, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Explain to me[edit]

The need to "prove" the existence of God.

If you have faith, you have faith. And that should be enough; it takes no faith to believe in something that has been empirically proven, like gravity, the sun coming up every morning, evolution, the quadratic formula, etc. etc. I don't have faith (in the religious sense of the term) in those things, I know them to be true because the proof is irrefutable.

On the other hand, what makes faith faith is the risk involved. We don't know that God is real, so belief in God implies a certain risk, a willingness to commit to something for no other reason than a strongly-held belief. Arguably, if you have that bent, that willingness to commit to something in the total absence of proof what makes faith beautiful (and if you don't have that bent, that's what makes it foolish....). By looking for empirical proof, you are shifting the divine to the realm of the mundane -- and it's not divine anymore, so why bother with it? AgingHippie (talk) 20:37, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Honestly, their is never going to be a billboard that says "God is real" or an equation of idea that proves God is real. On the other hand, I don't think there is one that says he is not real. Because, that would take the Faith out of Christianity. Of course, God is still showing that he is real.Your alive, as one example.

And he reaizes that the people blind enough not to admit life had a creator...Will not die happily. Their we go. But, I still insist on bringing these up just so that in the future when I talk to real life athiests I can make a case. Pitzy (talk) 20:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

You might make your case better by learning how to use common words like "their," and "your." I would offer you a more substantive reply, but what you wrote here makes no sense whatsoever. AgingHippie (talk) 20:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry America's school system isn't properly educating teenagers. Pitzy (talk) 19:23, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
(Edit conflict)
As long as there are christians, there's going to be billboards saying god is real .
And I guess as long as there are atheists there are going to be billboards saying he isn't.
And, of course, there's no direct evidence dragons aren't real either. Or leprechauns. Or invisible pink unicorns. Because non-existence doesn't leave evidence. It leaves nothing. Ikanreed (talk) 20:55, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
(EC) The default position is disbelief till there is proof. Unless you believe anything that is presented as true until evidence is presented that shows it is not true. Your choice I guess. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 20:57, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I so want to muddy the waters here, and discuss a priori versus a postiori knowledge and special pleading and all the other things you already know about, but I know it won't make the debate better. Ikanreed (talk) 21:09, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
"Of course, God is still showing that he is real.Your alive, as one example." - Pitzy, you need to pace yourself if you want to carry on being the wiki's happenin', new wannabe fly-in-the-ointment. When you started out, I just assumed you had never bothered to read into any arguments against your position. Barely literate nonsense like the quoted statement now makes me think you've never bothered to read at all. Grumblejaws (talk) 11:44, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I am sorry, I didn't know that life happened by chance Pitzy (talk) 19:24, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

We call that a Straw man 'round these parts, good sir. Also, indent your friggin' posts, boy! Space Turbo (talk) 03:43, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

tl;dr[edit]

Here's my take on the arguments (admittedly I only glossed over them):

  • Argument 1 & 2: Cosmological arguments are pretty much the same in that they all argue that the universe had a cause (which doesn't seem too unreasonable) but then out of nowhere they assume that this cause must be the same thing as some creator deity described in old manuscripts of dubitable authenticity.
  • Objective morality argument: Humans are physically incapable of perceiving reality objectively, morality is no exception to this. Even if we go by the assumption that there is such a thing as objective morality, similarly as with cosmological arguments, there is no obvious reason why the "source" of objective morality would happen to be the particular deity you happen to worship. In fact, there are several very good reasons why a great deal of worshipped deities wouldn't be applicable as sources of objective morality.
  • Fine-tuning argument: It might be pretty presumptive to posit that a kind of sentient life could impossibly form except in the kind of universe we're familiar with. But let's go with the idea that a universe permitting the existence of life is a very unlikely feature; we only need to posit the existence of universes besides our own and the occurrence of life-permitting universes quickly changes from highly unlikely to almost inevitable. Some may claim that the existence of a creator deity is a simpler explanation than the existence of a great many universes besides our own; but the notion that a timeless/eternal deity would only create 1 universe is in fact logically preposterous.
  • Ontological argument: Just because you can imagine an ideal entity with the property of existing in every reality doesn't mean that that entity is suddenly gonna start existing. This is evidenced by our reality not being overrun with people's idealized fantasies.

141.134.75.236 (talk) 22:46, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Relevance of the arguments[edit]

Most of the arguments, whatever their validity, strike me as irrelevant. The question isn't so much whether a generic deity exists; the real question is whether a deity similar to the one worshipped by human religions exists; and if so which one.

The proofs, if they prove anything, prove the necessary existence of an entity that matches one attribute of the deities of historical religion. That isn't enough. Why would you expect the uncaused first cause to listen to your prayers? Why would you expect a greatest possible being to pay any attention to you? - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 16:08, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I understand that you're coming from a (rationalist) Christian perspective, and trying to help Pits Brazil along on that path, but establishing the existence of a generic deity would be a logically necessary prerequisite for demonstrating a specific one. These proofs fail at that task. Ikanreed (talk) 16:12, 27 January 2015 (UTC)f

I agree. Honestly, I realize all of these arguments don't prove God's existence, except for perhaps the moral argument. Yuu have me covered on all the bases, and I don't honestly know how someone would be convinced God exists due to your dissecting these arguments. Got to give your props, you have me a knifepoint... I guess the only thing I can tell you now is too read the Bible. It is the living word of God, and I feel like all of you would benefit from buying a Bible and reading, once at least. Doesn't cost much. A dollar or two. Perhaps their is no way to prove God with words, maybe the only way is too have Faith. To believe what you can't see... Perhaps you should try to say a prayer, to open your eyes, if you don't I will :) Anyway, that's all. You win. Of course, you haven't proven he DOESN'T exist, you just have prevented some premises from being true. Pitzy (talk) 19:20, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Big question then, why would you conclude with the existence of a deity (a Christian one, even) despite the shakiness of the evidence of one? Would it not be more reasonable to conclude that one may not exist? Space Turbo (talk) 03:21, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
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On Islamophobia

In the wake of recent history, I can't help but wonder if maybe we (as in Western Society) are driving Muslims to extremism out of just how shitty we treat them. Far too often have I come across people in real life casually mentioning their disdain for "barbaric" Muslims and how backwards they are compared to us ignoring a great deal of history. However, what bothers me most is how little people know about Islam, which I figure shapes peoples' (mis)understanding of Muslims and Islam in general. Here's a quick list of things I had to explain about Islam/Muslims:

  • Islam was one of the world's youngest religions, younger even than Christianity
  • Muslims worship the SAME GOD as Christians, Jews and Ba'hai and that the scriptures of the newer religions recognizes characters from the older ones despite the insistence of my opponent, who was a semi-devout Christian, that they worshiped a "moon God" (ugh)
  • The difference between the Koran and Hadith literature, that there are various interpretations on these works, how Muslims don't necessarily believe in those 72 virgins and how most Muslims view extremists the way Christians view the WBC or how secularists view r/atheists
  • How Dar al Islam was culturally and technologically superior to the West for centuries, how we borrowed many things from them, how they preserved the works of the Greeks and how a lot of these breakthroughs were made when the West was in a "dark age"
  • I had to explain what Sharia law and Fiqh are, but that was a rather tame discussion about legal traditions in different parts of the world; I did have to highlight that there are different interpretations and practices of these, however

I can't help but feel a lot of this derives from casual racism, of confusing Muslims with Arabs with South Asians like Indians, that these ideas are somehow rooted in a persistent desire from someone or something to alienate the other based on superficial traits like garb, language/accents or skin colour. I've also noticed a frightening amount of compartmentalization regarding people's attitudes to Muslims; for instance, I've seen ardent misogynists decry Islam's barbarism based on how poorly they treat their women. However, the thing I find most astounding is that I am neither religious nor a religious scholar - I studied economics and business in Uni and am staunchly secular! Has anyone else here had to go to bat for Islam (or any other controversial entity that may not necessarily be rational) because of massive amounts of misinformation coming from your opponent? Somehow, Monsanto is coming to mind here... Space Turbo (talk) 16:55, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

The sort of ignorance you're talking is certainly a major cause of prejudice against Muslims and ethnoreligious groups generally. The question of what is leading a small proportion of Muslims to religious extremism is multifaceted and certainly more complex than "just how shitty we treat them", a statement which, in its essentialism of Muslims and their cultural experience, does a disservice to the rest of what you said. Grumblejaws (talk) 17:28, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
How so? What then causes extremism in ethnoreligious groups? Space Turbo (talk) 17:35, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, when I say that the causes are multifaceted, I really mean that. What turns someone to Islamic extremism in, for example, France, might be entirely different to why it occurs in Yemen. If I was pushed to give a catch-all explanation, it would be "religious fanaticism" - to illustrate what I mean, here's a couple of examples of violence perpetrated by extremists where your Global West vs Muslims narrative doesn't really fit. 1) Politically opportunist power grabs on the part of religious fantatics, eg Post-Independence War Algeria, where the power struggle-ridden shambles that was the secular FLN allowed the rise of violent revivalist groups. 2) Instances of native, deep-seated sectarianism, eg the Shia insurgency in Yemen, the bombings that have occurred in Pakistan over the past fifteen or so years. I'd also suggest that the socioeconomic marginalisation that might contribute to fomentation of Islamic extremism in areas where Muslims are a minority doesn't itself necessarily have an Islamophobic subtext. Grumblejaws (talk) 21:29, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Whoops! Totally missed your exposition here while dealing with that... stuff below. Anyway, the things both you and I have described sound very situational. So much so that I would argue that right now, the thing driving Muslims to the ranks of extremist groups is the West's continued ignorance of and hostility towards them. It's really the best recruiting tool groups like IS could request - "see? They'll never respect you for who you are!"
I am however a bit conflicted on your suggestion of economic marginalization of these peoples as a thing that drives them towards extremism. On the one hand, it makes intuitive sense but on the other, there are too many educated, well-to-do Muslims that have been terrorists.Space Turbo (talk) 15:03, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
"I've seen ardent misogynists decry Islam's barbarism based on how poorly they treat their women". Just curious, who exactly?TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 18:20, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
An acquaintance IRL. Yeah yeah, it's an anecdote. Space Turbo (talk) 05:58, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Far-right politicians/activists regularly condemn Islam for its purported treatment of women. That doesn't mean they can't support "traditional gender roles" *cough* Western-style misogyny *cough*, though. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 18:05, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
That's like saying people who feel uncomfortable around black people can't criticize Hitler. I don't think supporting traditional gender roles is quite the same as forcing women to cover up and cutting off their genitals.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 03:13, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
And there you go associating African cultural practices and West-Asian/North-African dress norms with Muslims in general. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 13:34, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
You're avoiding the point. I could list a million other examples. Lots of people, even former Muslims, have already. Advocating beating your wife, for example. And Islam is very deeply ingrained in Arab culture, so it's not all purely cultural in origin.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 22:02, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Do you really think Muhammad invented these sorts of clothing or something? It's not like the Quran says exactly how much is supposed to be covered either way. Different cultures have different ideas as to what the required 'modesty' entails. I'm not saying you can't criticize practices from foreign cultures/religions if you're on the far-right, but you'd obviously be very biased about the matter. And when far-right politicians talk about questionable practices associated with Islam, it's typically to vilify/denigrate Muslim immigrants in their country, the vast majority of whom don't participate in these questionable practices at all. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 22:00, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Well it wasn't Jesus who told fundamentalist Christians to do all of the stupid things they do. And the Koran states to beat disobedient wives, so yes, the religion is misogynistic. Also, quit imagining insidious undertones in what people you disagree with say. I think people on the far-right are just as, if not more, concerned with places like Iran, as well as foreign terrorists (we all should be, really), than immigrants.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 02:04, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Right, right, when a prominent Belgian far-right politician that constantly complains about headscarfs says that the problem of the Belgian population isn't that it's 'graying' (i.e. the percentage of old people is getting higher) but that it's 'browning' (take a guess), he's obviously doing it out of concern for Moroccans, Syrians, Iranians etc. Seriously, who are you kidding here? 141.134.75.236 (talk) 05:53, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
"I think people on the far-right are just as, if not more, concerned with places like Iran, as well as foreign terrorists" Nowhere in there did I say no one was afraid of Muslim immigrants. So providing one obscure example doesn't really do much in the way of proving me wrong.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 17:07, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
I tend to have a different view. For starters while I am not an anti-theist I would consider an anti-theist who takes that view to be a hypocrite. Nevertheless to say that Islamic fundamentalists kill people because we were mean to them sound similar to me as saying that the peasants who lynched Jews (my people) during the middle ages did so because the aristocracy and/or the Jewish moneylenders were mean to them. There is the urge among those associated with the social justice movement to attribute non-western religious fanaticism to the fact that the west was mean to non-westerners. For certain imperialism helps fuel the popularity of Islamic fundamentalism but the root cause of all religious fundamentalism is always the religion itself regardless of whether or not the religious texts particular to any given religion promote violence. Many anti-theists see this fact as being grounds to reject religion itself and most such as the late Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, and Richard Dawkins are infuriated when other leftists denounce them for criticizing Islam as a whole despite the absence of such criticism when they criticize Christianity as a whole. While I am not an anti-theist I consider their right to criticize all religions, as legitimate, even though I disagree with their critique, and as such I tend to view the apparent double standard to which they are judged, unfavorably, period. I cannot and will not use or accept social justice as an excuse to pardon Religious fundamentalism, and I have seen people do that. I remember reading one author who justified Sayyid Qutb's occidentalist (to say the least) worldview to be excusable on the basis of the "power imbalance between the West and Egypt", as I am familiar with one of Sayyid Qutb's works (a short book called Milestones, which is his Magnum Opus) I find that idea naive at best and illiberal and idiotic at worst, and I feel that most people on this website would agree. Alsto003 (talk) 02:33, 21 January 2015 (UTC) Alex
It would be disingenious to say that the West is solely to blame for Islamic fundamentalists, but it would be ludicrous to deny that the West has played a significant role. To name a few examples; they empowered mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan, inadvertently helping Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to become major movements, and replaced Iran's largely secular democracy with the Shah's autocratic rule, leading to the Iranian Revolution and the establishment of a theocracy. An additional interesting factoid, in the same year as the Iranian Revolution, the Grand Mosque in Mecca was seized by an obscure group of Islamic fighters. In response to Western accusations, Sean-Connery-lookalike Ruhollah Khomeini spread the conspiracy theory that the West was behind the seizure. Eventually the Saudis had to call in help from French special forces to retake the Grand Mosque from the insurgents. The whole affair further increased anti-Western sentiment in the Middle-East. And what have we done in response? Acted like we never did anything wrong and being consistently discriminative, even outright hostile, towards Muslims. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 06:08, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
No, the West is only responsible in the sense that by using so much oil, they provided the Saudis with all the money to fund the Salafi madrassas, which is the main source of Islamic extremism. We were just as shitty to Black Africans, Chinese and Indians, to say nothing of the Aboriginees and Native Americans, yet they don't have extremist groups demanding the complete eradication of Western Civilization.CorruptUser (talk) 04:07, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Pits' non-sequitur[edit]

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. God (the 2nd person of the Godhead - Jesus actually) gave the "Gospel" to Adam and Eve.. As the Hebrews (and Jews) only received half of it, Jesus had to come to set the record straight and explain the Gospel so we can understand it properly, which the Jews failed so to do. This was, and is the same gospel we have in the Bible today. This gospel was expanded upon down through the ages by means of God's Patriarchs, Prophets, Judges, Kings, and Jesus ( God's Son ) , and is the same gospel taught and believed by Seventh-day Adventist Christians today I believe this gospel to be the ORIGINAL religion from God and ALL other religions are a variation of, or are in lieu of God's original Gospel for the salvation of mankind.

I don't in any way think that Islam is the first religion, definitely no the current religion of Islam. Remember, Mohammed came hundreds of years after the Gospel was shared? Pitzy 18:44, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
I wish the wisdom of the Almighty would reveal itself to you and tell you how to sign your fucking posts properly. Who the hell are you even talking to? Go dump your text walls somewhere else if you've nothing relevant to say. Grumblejaws (talk) 23:05, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Who gives a fucking shit about your view of the bible, Pits? What does that have to do with what I was talking about in any sense? You have much to answer for in my goddamn thread. Space Turbo (talk) 05:58, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
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I have an idea out of curiosity and only you can help me- Operation Hastur

--Teslashark (talk) 07:15, 18 June 2014 (UTC) Yeaterday I was reading the Truth for Children comic Hairy Polarity and saw a scene in somewhere around the middle: The little cultists/book fans are trying to levitate a pair of pink glasses, and an invisible hellspawn did the lifting. Then I read the Bumblebee argument.

What if hellspawns controlled gravity in the real world, and only that we can't see them?

Fellow rationals, comrades, sisters and brothers:

Let's try to convince some people that the Wrights are sorcerers and they sold their souls to Hastur, prince of Hell, as an effort to enter Heaven without the help of Jesus. Heavier-that-air flight is physically impossible. Every aircraft manufacturer from Glenn Martin to Burt Rutan is a Satanist that made stuff fly with the help of summoned unholies lifting them in the air. When the dirty communist Gagarin went to space, he really went to hell and signed a new contract and founded the Secret Knighthood of Astronauts, to cheat the common people with so-called science. It's open season!

Please recount your efforts here. You will be thanked seven hundred thirty and seven thousand times.

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Bi-location forum irrational discussion

Yesterday, I added a link on the Rational Wiki page for 'bilocation' to a discussion paper on the most notorious case of bilocation in history, the case of Maria de Agreda, who bilocated over 500 times between Spain and the US in the 17th century. This discussion paper assesses the evidence by reference to the rules of court and rule of evidence used in civil courts in the UK. It concludes that they actually happened. At the same time I posted in this forum an announcement of the the added link.

http://www.peerage.org/genealogy/pedigree_senior.htm#maria

Both the link in the Rational Wiki article AND the post to the forum were removed almost immediately. A comment on the article by the person responsible says that there is nothing in the discussion paper to justify inclusion - this from a person who is clearly neither an expert in bilocation or the law. This is clear censorship by Rational Wiki.

Evidently they are afraid of rational discussion. We'll see how long this post survives... — Unsigned, by: 5.81.227.40 / talk / contribs 14:15, 13 May 2014

Why do you think "legal" evidence is sufficient? Whether bilocation is possible is a question for science to answer (and answer it has), and science cares not one iota for legalities. - Grant (talk) 14:18, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
This isn't censorship, it's the dumbest thing I have read this week. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 14:20, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
What did I just read? SophieWilderModerator 14:21, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Drink! Zero (talk) 14:23, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
What the shit was this fuck? --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Why do all these homosexuals keep sucking my cock? 18:40, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
[2] SophieWilderModerator 18:44, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
[3] --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Has not clipped his nail in nearly a year 18:54, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Ha Haa Haaa! Ha Haa Haaa! Ha Haa Haaa! Ha Haa Haaa! Ha Haa Haaa! Ha Haa Haaa!
....
Ha Haa Haaa! Ha Haa Haaa! Ha Haa Haaa! Ha Haa Haaa! Ha Haa Haaa! Ha Haa Haaa! Scream!! (talk) 19:08, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Just for the record, the forum thread was removed because the proper place for discussing an article is its talk page. In this case, this is Talk:Bilocation and the person who deleted your forum thread moved its contents there.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:11, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
So why is this still here? WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:25, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I moved it to the relevant talk page yesterday. Numb-nuts created another forum page in its place. TeenageWasteland (talk) 20:35, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Not even bothering to add the template we're all thinking of, I'll just stop by and say that the trolls are getting lamer and lamer in the shit that they think we're afraid of rationally discussing. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 20:50, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that "troll" is the appropriate label. "Crank", maybe, but not a troll.
And yes, "this" is still here because I should have written "the forum thread that you had started". It was at Forum:Bilocation.--ZooGuard (talk) 21:22, 13 May 2014 (UTC)


I lol'ed ROPChain (talk) 06:19, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Try this, rational people. Hahahahaha! I do hope science catches up with religion soon. I am getting bored of your childish idiocy. I have added it to my web page. Pathetic.

'Star Trek-style "beaming up" of people through space could become a reality in the far future, the leader of a landmark teleportation experiment has said. Nothing in the laws of physics fundamentally forbids the teleportation of large objects, including humans, Ronald Hanson pointed out. "What we are teleporting is the state of a particle," said Professor Hanson, of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. "If you believe we are nothing more than a collection of atoms strung together in a particular way; then in principle it should be possible to teleport ourselves from one place to another. In practice it's extremely unlikely, but to say it can never work is very dangerous." Professor Hanson's team showed for the first time that it was possible to teleport information encoded into sub-atomic particles between two points three metres apart with 100 per cent reliability. Teleportation exploits the way "entangled" particles acquire a merged identity, with the state of one instantly influencing the other no matter how far apart they are. Albert Einstein dismissed entanglement, calling it "spooky action at a distance", but scientists have repeatedly demonstrated that it is a real phenomenon. The research is published in the latest online edition of the journal Science*. A more ambitious experiment, involving the teleportafion of information between buildings on the university campus 1,300 metres apart, is planned in July.' ('Beaming up people could be possible', The Times, 30 May 2014)

  • W. Pfaff, B. Hensen, H. Bernien, S. B. van Dam, M. S. Blok, T. H. Taminiau, M. J. Tiggelman, R. N. Schouten, M. Markham, D. J. Twitchen, R. Hanson, 'Unconditional quantum teleportation between distant solid-state quantum bits', Science, 29 May 2014.— Unsigned, by: 86.158.233.46 / talk / contribs
So I read you link and as far as I can tell some apparently unidentified person on the internet believes that a hypothetical court would accept that a 17th century nun was capable of biolocation. Is that the essence of the argument?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 21:17, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I am sure most of these 'I thought this was supposed to be rationalwiki...' People are just socks to give you piss heads an excuse to drink. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:05, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Are these people just shills for Big Booze? News at 11. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature of moral choice. 04:08, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Please say "yes"! And then tell me how I may become one of them 208.29.163.248 (talk) 05:51, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Entanglement doesn't mean what you think it means, and neither does quantum teleportation (referring to the BoN of course). While it's exciting that yet another experiment has shown how awesome entanglement is, it should be noted that quantum teleportation still doesn't violate relativity. Even if someone were to find away to transfer all of the information in a person (which I'm not sure is even possible given that quantum mechanical particles are indistinguishable) there would still need to be a classical transfer of information along with it. - Grant (talk) 22:46, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I like that notion about "science catching up with religion" though. :) That was amusing. I don't think that cultists have managed to come up with a unique idea in literally 10,000 years, every cultist still spews and believes the same lunacy that cultists over the past 10,000 years has spewed and believed, nothing new has come out of religious beliefs. "Catching up" as if reality was some kind of foot race. :) Damotclese (talk) 00:48, 28 July 2014 (UTC)