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Featured Legitimate reasons not to believe in God

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Trailblazer, Nov 12, 2022.

  1. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    That's what I remember very clearly. Of course my memory is defective these days.

    It doesn't matter now anyway. I don't believe that artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence some day, except in limited settings where it already surpasses us, like in chess. Of course that's just a opinion formed by a belief in the soul.
     
  2. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    Like I said to another like you, I've never seen an atheist convince atheist either of the non-existence of God. The reason for this not working either way is that debate hardens the others position because of ego.
     
  3. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    I haven't and presumably you haven't, but how do you know no one has? It can't be known either way.
     
  4. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    I'm not arguing with you. It does no good.
     
  5. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    Jihad primarily refers to an inner struggle, though it sometimes refers to war.
     
  6. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    And everyone has a personal opinion and personal choice about what is evidence.
     
  7. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    I see it more as opening a door to a relationship that can grow and develop. We have to have a starting point if we are to move towards God. So rather than let some institution, or group of practitioners (however well intentioned) of an established faith impose their concept of God on us, we are each free to ask ourselves, If there is a God, how might He or She appear to me, and how might He or She manifest in my life? From such tentative beginnings, a loving relationship can grow.
     
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  8. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane My own religion

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    Now I am going to do something which is false and illogical. I am going to deny truth and logical and state that both are in practice not universal, absolute or immutable. But because that is false and illogical for the true and logical real reality, you are not reading this because I can't do, I am not doing it and it is not happening
    So you are reading something which is so unreal, that you are not reading it. And I didn't cause this to take place as you now observe it.

    That is called a reductio ad absurdum and remember it is not really real.
     
  9. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    I saw a ghost when I was 16 or 17. I woke up in my room and a woman with her hair in a bun was crouching near my bed, and I as I looked she slowly faded away.
     
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  10. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    Optimistic for you, not for everyone, @Trailblazer.
     
    #130 Truthseeker, Nov 14, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2022
  11. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    Yes, but consider this:

    2. O SON OF SPIRIT!
    The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.
    (Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

    If you endevour to see things with the eyes of justice, you have a better chance of finding the truth of the matter.
     
    #131 Truthseeker, Nov 14, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2022
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  12. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    Fine for you, but not for me. My religion doesn't impose on me a concept of God, I investigated and confirmed it.
     
  13. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    In a way suffering is a good thing, it means we are not dead. :D

    I believe the reason for suffering is that people wanted to know evil. That is why we were expelled to this first death, where we can experience also suffering. But luckily this is only a short lesson, and those who become righteous, can have eternal life with God, without any suffering.

    Suffering may be painful, but as the Bible tells,

    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
    Matt. 10:28

    He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, don't be anxious for your life, what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they don't sow, they don't reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds! Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height? If then you aren't able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? Don't seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious. For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek God's Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you.
    Luke 12:22-31

    I think the suffering becomes a problem, when person is too fixated to this material moment. In Biblical point of view, this is only a temporary phase, Matrix like virtual reality and the real life is beyond this. So, if we evaluate is God good, I think it is important to understand the whole situation.
     
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  14. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Veteran Member

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    Not just no "proof". There's also no evidence.

    I don't consider that a valid reason. Maybe god likes suffering.

    There is only one parameter that serves as justification to believe in X, and that is evidence of X.
    But for evidence to even be able to exist, one requires a model that makes testable predictions.

    Data fitting those predictions would be evidence for the proposition.
    Data contradicting those predictions would be evidence against the proposition.

    Without testable predictions, data is just data and not evidence for OR against.

    Since there is no testable model for any gods, evidence by definition can't exist.
    For me, it really is that simple.


    I'll also add that the proposition is backwards.
    I don't require "reasons" to NOT believe something.
    Instead, I require "reasons" to believe something.

    My default position about anything is a state of disbelief.
    I require reasons to move from disbelief to belief.

    My default stance is not to believe whatever "until proven otherwise".
    That's not how it works in rational land.
     
    #134 TagliatelliMonster, Nov 14, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2022
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  15. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Veteran Member

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    In that case, it is meaningless to say you believe in a god. Since at that point you don't even know what it is that you are believing in.

    You might as well say you believe in "gooblydockoboeloe".
     
  16. AppieB

    AppieB Active Member

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    They are actually both bad reasons.
    1. There is no proof that God exists: You don't know that. I don't know that. There might me 'proof' that God exists and one is ignorant about it. It's a claim that can not be demonstrated. One can not proof a negative.
    2. There is too much suffering in the world for God to exist: There could be a god that is evil, or indifferent regarding the suffering of humans and animals.

    I don't believe in a god, because I don't have sufficient reason to believe. That's it!
     
  17. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Veteran Member

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    Then believing in gooblydockoboeloe isn't contrary to the evidence either.
    neither is believing in extra-dimensional undetectable dragons living in my garage.
     
  18. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Another possibility is that the ability to suffer offers an adaptive advantage that nature can generate and exploit.

    But why follow a deist deity even if you believe one exists or existed (that the kind of deity that might have died giving birth to our universe, and nobody would know)? That deity is the one apatheism is all about - the idea that it doesn't matter whether it exists (or existed) or not. Literally nothing changes with the answer to that question.

    The deist deity is the deity of the end of the Enlightenment, when scientists like Newton, Bernoulli, and Volta had shown that the universe is like a clockwork that operates without oversight. At this point, deism, which was well-established by the time of the American founders, became respectable. The next wave of scientists like Darwin and the 20th century cosmologists showed how the universe could assemble itself without oversight, at which time atheism became a tenable and intellectually defensible position.

    I've been there. Tunneling out of faith was a major effort for me. I remember that year well, praying to a god I no longer believed in to show me a sign if I was mistaken. It was as difficult as quitting cigarettes. I liken it to a newborn chick using its egg tooth to poke through an eggshell and tunneling out. Fortunately, I was able to do that. I had never lost my ability to think critically, although I had agreed to suspend disbelief while test-driving this religion. Eventually, the evidence against the god and religion forced me to reject it, but as I said, it was a difficult journey for about a year. The reward has been inestimable. The abandonment of faith was growth.

    Agree. The infatuation phase is one of the instincts that leads to new families budding off. Another is lust, or sexual desire (I don't use the term lust judgmentally here like the religions). Another is teenagers fighting with their parents, which is an incentive to leave home rather than remain there. Another is the nesting instinct in girls and women, who want to start a home. And another is the desire to have children.

    That infatuation phase of a relationship only lasts so long. A couple has that much time to begin loving one another, which I would define as you have. If that doesn't happen, which is too frequently the case in egocentric cultures, where couples are in a transactional relationship rather than a loving one, they'll either fall apart or have a relatively loveless marriage.

    You probably meant convince a theist. That would be because it is not possible for an empiricist to convince a faith-based thinker of anything (and vice versa). All he has is evidence that requires another to consider it impartially according to the rules of critical analysis. A faith-based thinker doesn't process information like that, which is also why there is no burden of proof when dealing with somebody unwilling or unable to follow an evidenced argument.

    That means that you aren't arguing using compelling evidenced argument. That always works if made to somebody willing and able to evaluate it for soundness and be convinced by a compelling argument. Absolutely nothing else works. What the faith-based thinker seems incapable of considering is that he might be wrong, and that that is why he can't convince critical thinkers. They're trained to identify fallacious arguments and unsound conclusions, which have no persuasive power absent faith.
     
  19. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Why do you think that matters? Every empiricist knows that, and yet still believes that could have happened and probably did.

    That's an incredulity fallacy and a Texas sharpshooter fallacy. The latter is placing excessive emphasis on a few select data, the former thinking that what one finds believable defines what is true. As has already been pointed out, it can be argued that there is too much unnecessary and useless suffering in the world to believe a good god oversees our lives. Consider all of the data, and your claim weakens.

    That's not a good thing for people of faith. If you've got one crackpot calling an idea incoherent, you can safely dismiss him. When you have a community of intelligent, educated critical thinkers in agreement that an idea is incoherent, and you accept it anyway, that's not so good.

    I just finished reviewing the idea of restricted choice to Trailblazer (bottom of Legitimate reasons not to believe in God). It discusses all of the ways that this deity imitates its own nonexistence. This is another. In a universe with a god, there might be clear evidence of the suspension of the laws of nature, but in a godless universe, that doesn't happen.

    And here's another. Of course this is hyperbole. As best we can tell, this god intervenes in NO unpleasant situations. In a universe with a god, that might not be the case, but in a godless universe, of course no god is intervening. Did you read the part of the argument referring to the coin flip? We've got about eighty tails in a row now. Isn't it time to start to wonder if the coin is loaded (the universe is godless)?

    [This theme is continued in the next post with Trailblazer]
     
  20. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Eighty-one (see post above for context).

    Eighty-two.

    Critical thinkers are unanimous. Evidence for anything is that which makes that option more likely. Evidence for a god is evidence that intelligence was involved in the creation of the universe. Nothing else makes the existence of a god more likely short of the deity presenting itself. If that's not how you evaluate evidence, you can't come to sound conclusions looking at it.

    No, it is not. I correct you on this every time I see it. There is a method for knowing things with the assurance that sound conclusions and empirical testing provides. If you aren't aware of this, all opinions are equal because they are all arrived at the same way - by faith, or belief with insufficient evidentiary support. We saw this clearly with the anti-vaxx crowd, who appeared to not have any concept of expertise. To them, Tucker Carlson and Dr. Fauci were only people with different opinions.

    When I first learned of the Dunning-Kruger syndrome, I thought that it described people with an overinflated sense of their own intelligence - one that falsely elevated themselves to the lofty ranks of the best thinkers. Now I see that what it actually is is people being unaware that there *IS* a higher standard for thought.

    No. It is a fact. There is no observation that requires a god hypothesis to account for. There is nothing in nature that cannot be accounted for naturalistically at this time. That's a fact. That doesn't mean that naturalism is correct - just that there is no evidence that it is not, which refutes your claim that holding such a belief is no more than a personal opinion. If it weren't a fact, you could refute it with the falsifying find - the evidence that demonstrates that supernaturalism is the correct position.

    Eight-two consecutive coin flips coming up tails is evidence against an interventionalist god existing.

    Eighty-three. Make that eighty-three ways this deity imitates its own nonexistence.
     
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