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Featured A challenge for atheist (From Youtube)

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by leroy, Jan 11, 2022.

  1. leroy

    leroy Well-Known Member

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    There is a challenge for atheist that has been circulating on youtube, this chalenge has basically two parts

    Part 1

    Define what type of atheist are you

    1 God is like Santacluase, a character that is obviously fictional , we know that he doesn’t excist

    2 God is like Aliens, he may or may not exist, “we don’t know” there is no conclusive evidence on either side, so atheism is simply the default answer

    Which one of these 2 options is closer to your view? (or do you suggest a third option?)

    Part2

    The second part of the challenge is to accept the implication of your selection

    1 If you go for option “1” you do have a burden proof, you are expected to provide an alternative explanation for the origin of the universe, fine tuning, morality, free will miracle claims and all the stuff comonly attributed to God, in the same way I can provide an alternative explanation for presents in the Christmas tree

    2 if you go for option 2, you have to give miracle claims a fair shake, you can’t dismiss them by default.
    You have to consider seriously the possibility of miracles. Or “god did it” answers.

    For example if we ever find the ruins of an ancient city on an other planet, you will naturally conclude that Aliens build that city (because “Aliens are not so unlikely)…...... but the benefit is that you have no burden proof if you pick option 2, the theist has to provide his arguments. and only then you can ether accept them or reject them
    ---------------
    so how woudl you answer this challenge?

    The problem is that many atheist compare God with Santa clause, but they don’t what to have a burden proof, the point of the challenge is to show that you have to choose ether one or the other
     
    #1 leroy, Jan 11, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
  2. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Veteran Member
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    Which god are we taking about?
     
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  3. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

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    Choose God? You mean I can pick the god of my own choosing and with the same morals as me?
    Where do I sign?
     
    #3 lukethethird, Jan 11, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
  4. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

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    Excuse me, but I heard it said that faith does not require proof, blessed are those that believe without seeing, and besides, once I choose and formulate a religious belief, nothing will shake my faith and it will be you that will have to prove me wrong.
     
    #4 lukethethird, Jan 11, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
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  5. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    I'd go with #2... though I'm not quite sure what you mean by you have to give miracle claims a fair share (I assume you meant to write shake). I'm always willing to seriously consider any claim, be it a miracle claim or a 'god did it' claim or any other claim. However, if the claim is made but there is no verifiable evidence to back it up, I conclude that it doesn't warrant my belief.
     
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  6. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Part 1, what kind of atheist am I?
    One who believes knowledge about God cannot be based on claims alone. A belief in something requires supporting physical evidence. I guess that puts me at the 2nd option.

    Part 2, a miracle could not have any other possible physical explanation. All other possible physical explanations would first have to be ruled out before it can be accepted as a miracle.

    I suppose if you get to this point, sure. A miracle then is the only explanation left standing.

    So in your example of aliens, ok some aliens exist. What kind of aliens. what are their attributes. What is their purpose. What did they look like. Confirming the existence of aliens does little to confirm anything else.

    Confirming the existence of miracles is the first step in a thousand mile journey.
    We haven't even made the first step yet.

    I've no problem with the existence of an intelligent creator of the universe. I just can't see the justification of any claims made about this creator when we haven't even made this first step.
     
    #6 Nakosis, Jan 11, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022 at 10:26 AM
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  7. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Which God? Some are obviously fictional and others could potentially exist. For example, some people identify God with the universe. That version of God clearly exists, but has no obvious bearing on morality, etc. Thor, on the other hand, is clearly fictional. But then, the existence of Thor doesn't help with anything in part 2.

    As for part 2: you seem to assume that all of those things have a common origin. That seems very unlikely. You also assume that the existence of a God provides an explanation of all of those: this carries a burden of proof: provide the explanation using *only* the assumption that there is a God.

    And what, precisely, does it mean to give miracles a fair shake? All a miracle is is something that science *cannot* explain. It seems that the best way to be fair is to attempt to explain the 'miracle' and see if there is one. So, do science and try to explain it--formulate hypotheses and see if they work. After ALL possibilities have been tried, then miracles would established.

    Are we anywhere close to that for any proposed miracle?
     
  8. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    The big bang.

    Chance. Or perhaps it couldn't actually be any other way.

    Evolution.

    Doesn't exist.

    Depends on the specific claim.

    Anything else?
     
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  9. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    I'd go with option #2 -- but I'm not clear on the miracles requirement.
    A Miracle is an appeal to magic. A miracle is a suspension of the laws and constants of physics, with magical, presumably alien, manipulation.
     
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  10. John53

    John53 Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe in the existence of any god, in my opinion they are more than likely an attempt to explain natural phenomenon that grow over time. So probably option 1.

    As for the 2nd part of the challenge, I don't feel I have any burden of proof because I am not trying convince anyone to agree with my beliefs.
     
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  11. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    Well neither are good examples. Gods are a unique category of characters, they tend to have human or animal forms but also supernatural powers. The issue of supernatural powers is a serious problem since there is no evidence it is a real phenomenon. Arguably aliens could exist and are natural beings. They are plausible with what we know of how nature works. Fictional characters are likely the best fit for the God category since that is the most likely.

    It wasn't a good test. This looks to be a bait and switch trap to make atheists look mistaken. But as I noted neither category is very good or fitting.

    Let's note that atheists typically are responding to theists and what they claim is true. So it is the specifics of claims that can be debated and argued. There are so many Gods that trying to shoehorn them into one category is pretty difficult. Compare Zeus and Ganesha, totally different.

    Another point is that Hindu gods often represent real phenomenon, or experiences, or things, so they are treated as symbols unlike the Western religions that treat their ideas of God as a type of real superhuman.
     
    #11 F1fan, Jan 11, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
  12. Yazata

    Yazata Active Member

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    My answer depends on how we conceive of 'God'

    One way of picturing 'God' is as one of the highly personified deities that the various religious traditions claim communicates with humanity and has revealed 'him'-self uniquely to them. Yahweh, Allah, Krishna or whatever it happens to be.

    I believe that none of these deities literally exists, at least as described in the 'scriptures' of the various theistic religions. So I would be a strong-atheist with regards to all of them.

    Another way of conceiving of 'God' makes God the universe's first cause, its ground of being, whatever accounts for the order that the universe appears to display, and ultimately the reason why existence exists in the first place, why there is something rather than nothing.

    So on this account, 'God' is whatever the answer is to the deepest metaphysical questions. This is a very abstract sort of deity, basically whatever fulfills a set of metaphysical functions. It may not be personal (probably isnt) and may not be any more suitable for human devotion and worship than the big-bang.

    If we are talking about this kind of divinity, then I'm very much an agnostic. I don't have a clue what the answers are to these most fundamental of questions. What's more, I don't believe that any human being does.


    I address that with my view of #2 above. I'm an agnostic regarding the ultimate questions. I don't have the answers.

    Regarding burden of proof, that burden lies with whoever is trying to convince somebody else of something. If they don't already agree with you, you need to give them some reason why they might want to change their minds.

    As for me, I'm not trying to convince theists of anything. I'm simply saying that I personally believe that their deities don't exist. Why don't I believe that the Bible or the Quran or the Gita contain the answers? I just can't believe that the ultimate metaphysical answers for the whole universe would be anything like the deities they describe. I'm not trying to convince theists that they are wrong, I'm just explaining why I'm not joining them.

    I don't totally dismiss the possibility of what I call 'anomalies'. By that I mean events that don't conform to my (or anyone else's) current worldview. I'm very much a Fortean in that regard. I'm actually rather confident that such anomalies do occur, though I can't prove that either.

    I agree that many atheists appear to me to be intellectually dishonest. They try to have things both ways, ridiculing religious belief as belief in non-existent entitites, but then stoutly insisting that they don't deny the existence of God at all.

    I try to dodge that particular bullet by distinguishing between my two definitions of the word 'God'. I am a strong-atheist regarding the first and very much an agnostic regarding the second. Others may not be convinced by my distinctions but they work for me.
     
  13. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Technically I'm an igtheist, not an atheist but I am indeed a non-believer. So I provide the following third option:

    3. There is no coherent concept of a god with objective existence, hence no definition that would serve, if we found a real candidate, to determine whether it was God or not.

    This is consistent with the observation that God never appears, never says, never does, and is only known to exist as a concept / thing imagined in an individual brain.
    Not applicable.

    Of course, anyone can refute my position by giving ─

    a. a satisfactory definition in terms of my point 3 above (one that, for instance, doesn't rely on imaginary qualities like 'omnipotence', 'omniscience', 'eternal', 'perfect' &c) and

    b. a satisfactory demonstration of this being in reality.

    As for my burden of proof, note that ─

    ─ no one, as far as I'm aware, has provided this definition and demonstration already;

    ─ the multiplicity of gods and supernatural beings ─ I'd guess millions ─ over time and around the world and its many cultures, shows that supernatural belief does not suggest anything with objective existence is observed;

    ─ the world behaves just as you'd expect if gods existed only as conceptual / imaginary entities;

    ─ we have not even one authenticated instance of magic (the alteration of reality independently of the rules of reality).

    (And of course there's more, but that's a start.)
     
    #13 blü 2, Jan 11, 2022
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  14. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I am like Koldo, a thorough atheist. I will reject miracle claims out-right. I do not know what Koldo means by specificity.
     
  15. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    Why can't I dismiss miracles outright? Some unnamed author of unknown credibility citing unknown sources (if at all) in a book about events that occurred in the past, sometimes centuries in the past, about otherwise impossible and unique phenomenon shouldn't be taken seriously. It's the equivalent of spreading rumors and tall tale. By the rule of reasonable skeptical inquiry, you must dismiss implausible or even impossible (in the case of miracles; these are events that are normally completely rigorously impossible) events that aren't supported by any verifiable and credible evidences. It would be so easy to exaggerate an improbable event into a miraculous one and it happens often without malice in daily human interaction. We are notoriously bad at telling stories from memory as they actually happened in detail. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to be considered seriously.
     
  16. Kfox

    Kfox Active Member

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    Neither option applies to me. I recognize some concepts of God do exist, others do not. First you need to describe whatever it is that you call God and I will tell you if I believe it exist or not. If it does exist, because I don’t call it God, (I may call it something else) I am atheist towards that version of God as well; and if I say it doesn’t exist, I will explain why



    Wrong. Just because I don't know the answer does not mean I am obligated to accept yours. To admit to not knowing is a perfectly acceptable response to any question you don't have an answer to.

    No you don't! You don't have to give empty claims a fair shake just because you don't have proof that they are wrong. If they can't support their claims, they should be rejected.
     
    #16 Kfox, Jan 11, 2022
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  17. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    The funny thing about this list is that science is the alternative. The fine tuning idea is a religious explanation. The origin of the universe has a natural explanation, and numerous theoretical models, all based on plausible processes. Morality is explained as an evolutionary and cultural phenomenon. Free will is not really a thing as the cognitive sciences have revealed. And miracles, well, they typically have more plausible explanations.
     
  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    You say that Santa Claus is obviously fictional? Sounds like you have a burden of proof. ;)

    Care to make your case for why you think Santa isn't real?
     
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  19. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Evidence, please.
     
  20. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    As a strong skeptic, I will end on. You and I believe differently.
     
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