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Featured What are the best arguments in favor of theism and against atheism?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Lorgar-Aurelian, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Lorgar-Aurelian

    Lorgar-Aurelian Active Member

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    What arguments do you believe point to there being a God or gods and why do you think this makes more sense than the idea that there are no gods? I am personally a non-believer but I would greatly like to hear arguments against this position and possibly find a religion that at least makes sense.

    I would like to hear actual arguments though. Lets keep off saying "ATheism is just dumb!" and the reverse. People come to their own beliefs for a large variety of reasons and you shouldn't just call them dumb for having said beliefs. Even if you think the beliefs themselves are pretty dumb.

    Last thing, if you favor monotheism or polytheism or pantheism or non theism please be sure to include specifics of why you favor one version over another.
     
  2. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    I'd say the cosmological argument is the best argument for a (first) cause that is not a cause within the system. Given that energy is neither created nor destroyed within a closed system, the origin is energy (or of the quantum vacuum) would seem to be a mystery, easily solved by a cause outside of the system.

    But whether or not that is an argument for "theism," per se, I'm not willing to say. It obviously isn't an argument for a God who throws down lightning bolts to punish people, or Jesus dying for my sins.
     
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  3. Cobol

    Cobol Code Jockey

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  4. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    Agent causation. It's no different than my and your ability to choose to order red wine rather than white wine.

    It's due to the vacuum energy.
     
  5. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    There is no argument. Atheists absolutely know in their mind that there is no god. Theists absolutely know in their mind that there is a god. Neither side wants to hear from the other side and nothing will change their minds.
     
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  6. Lorgar-Aurelian

    Lorgar-Aurelian Active Member

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    I think one of the bigger issues I've encountered with arguments for God are normally deistic rather than theistic. It is useful to try and establish the idea of a Deistic God so you can at least start from the point "there is a god" before you try to make too many leaps.
     
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  7. Lorgar-Aurelian

    Lorgar-Aurelian Active Member

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    That doesn't mean there are not arguments for or against something. I am unsure if you misunderstood what I meant.
     
  8. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Far as I can tell, pretty much the only significant argument for theism is that it arises spontaneously in many people (not very many, but some).

    Still, that is/should be hardly a factor in choosing a religion or a religious stance. Religions that "demand" or even strongly expect theism are simply misguided, IMO.
     
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  9. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    An argument is only an argument if it has the power to change people's minds. Nothing can change people's minds about the existence of God therefore there are no arguments.
     
  10. Lorgar-Aurelian

    Lorgar-Aurelian Active Member

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    My mind could be changed, and I know various people that could change their minds.
     
  11. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    If I may, @Lorgar-Aurelian , how important is the matter of belief to you?

    Is there any chance that I might convince you of the merits of apatheism and/or ignosticism?
     
  12. Cobol

    Cobol Code Jockey

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    This makes no sense.

    You said : "It's due to the vacuum energy".
    This is wrong

    Virtual particles contain a very small amount of energy and exist for a very small amount of time.

    Scientists have long known that minuscule particles, called virtual particles, come into existence from nothing all the time.

    Various quantum fields spread out through all space and just exist.
     
    #12 Cobol, Mar 17, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  13. Lorgar-Aurelian

    Lorgar-Aurelian Active Member

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    Why certainly. I am open to any idea if it benefits myself or makes sense to me. Even if some people seem to outright refuse even touching the subject for some reason. I would greatly desire to have you share your case. If you would like you can do it here or perhaps we could start a conversation ( I think that is what the little private talks are called on this site right?) and I would be more than willing to hear what you have to say.
     
  14. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    The arguments for theism over atheism are that it makes people feel good/safe, it helps to assuage their fears about not existing/dying, and it can give more simple people a framework for making sense of the world.

    These aren't arguments for why theism is correct, only why it makes sense to so many people.
     
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  15. Lorgar-Aurelian

    Lorgar-Aurelian Active Member

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    You could use that as an argument to use theism to make the lives of the masses better.
     
  16. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    1. The evidence from the paranormal showing the reality of super-physical existence and the teachings of those that best understand the super-physical who describe a pantheistic universe. Atheist-materialism fails to describe the universe as well as the pantheistic understandings that include super-physical (paranormal) phenomena as part and parcel of an expanded reality.

    2. The argument from complexity...DNA, etc..


    I know atheists accept no arguments for any type of theism but the question was asking what are the best arguments I believe point to God.
     
  17. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    You are right, it is called a conversation. But it seems to fit this thread's subject well enough, so allow me:

    The way I see it, deciding whether there is any "real" deity is just not something to get too worked up about. It is not a big deal either way, even conceivably.

    The one reason for agreeing with anyone on that matter is not a constructive reason: so that people can speak on each other's behalf despite not really having a good understanding and appreciation of each other's stances and values. When such understanding exists, there is no need whatsoever for bothering with a conception of god as an intermediary. And, almost certainly, there is no convenience in making the attempt, either.

    So it seems clear to me that we should let matters of conception, use and belief in god-concepts for the individual to decide as he or she sees fit, and deal with the true subject of religion with more effective concepts that have clearer meanings when used between individuals.

    There are those who believe that it is important to accept or pursue the "correct" God. I find that entirely puerile and unconvincing, among other reasons because the implication is that God is severely flawed. No one should waste any time with such pointless considerations, IMO.
     
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  18. Labourwave

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    I think the pragmatic argument to be a theist is the only one that makes sense, IE: Pascals wager.
    It is entirely based on western religion and is heavily fallacious but honestly it's one of the few things to be presented to me that made me think.

    But where did that cause come from?
    If something cannot be created from nothing then nothing can exist as far as I see it.
    I always found the claims from Christians that god has always existed or exists outside of time as a weird concept.

    Maybe it's just me but I didn't get a single sentence of meaning out of that other than that you think Pantheism makes more sense than materialism. Could you explain what the other Jargon means or direct me to a source that explains it?
     
  19. Diak (Jack) Anosh

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    Well, for beginners, I think it would be dumb for a mere mortal to claim the accomplishments God claims for Himself.

    My best example is from Isaiah, who prophesied over two-hundred years before the fact, that at some future time, the Israelite nation will be in captivity, but will be released by a foreign power to return to Israel to rebuild the temple, and the city walls of Jerusalem.

    Israel was not in captivity at the time, and had no idea what Isaiah was talking about.

    Then, Isaiah continued his prophetic statement by naming the king of the future, who would do this amazing thing. And gave as the reason for naming him, "So he will know that I am Jehovah, God of Israel."

    So Isaiah is not making a claim for himself, but on behalf of one who claims powers way beyond what is normal for Men.

    Over two-hundred years later, Cyrus, king of Persia, released Israel from captivity, and sent them back to the land of promise to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed, and to rebuild the walls of the city, Jerusalem. And Cyrus, upon hearing of this two-hundred year-old prophesy, concluded, "Now I know there is a God in Israel."

    And Cyrus was named in the prophecy before even his great, great, great, etc grandparents lived, so there was no "Family name" to account for this very significant event.

    THAT was one of the first reasons I searched more to find out about this one who claimed to be God of Israel, and to see if it is reasonable to believe His claims. In my search and studies, I determined I do not have enough faith to be an Atheist, for to believe there is no God requires much more faith than to accept the God of Hebrew scripture.

    The reason many do not believe is because their first acquaintance with "God"-ness, is through religious circles of men who make claims contrary to scripture, and it becomes almost impossible to believe when one studies it for himself.

    For just one Example;
    The doctrine of "original sin" that claims we inherited the sin of Adam, and are totally depraved because of that event, claiming we are born lost in sin.

    The problem I have with the whole scenario is, it is contrary to scripture. It is based upon some concept about a "Sin nature" that contradicts what scripture tells us about sin and nature and Men.

    The same doctrine attempts to convict all men of evil, not able to do anything good, and filthy in the eyes of a long-suffering God.

    God tells it differently.
    Gen 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

    Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

    How could Enoch possibly "please God" if he was born in sin and whose only natural inclination was only to sin?

    Then, there is this account, found in the pages of Holy Writ, that is totally contrary to any idea of a "Sin Nature;"

    Ezek 14:14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD. 15 If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: 16 Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate. 17 Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it: 18 Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. 19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast: 20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

    And what did the law of Moses say about Man's doctrine of original sin?
    "But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin."(2 Kings 14:6)


    Then God requires Men to think instead of blindly accepting what they are told by other Men - Ezek 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? 24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?

    26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

    29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? 30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.


    Then there is Paul's reminder in the book of Romans -

    Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

    Monotheism is taught in the scriptures, by use of two Greek words that supply the basis for the word "Monotheism" and those two words are found in verse of scripture that describe Jehovah God.

    John 16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet
    [GREEK ouk eimi monos] (I am not alone), because the Father is with me.




    Isaiah 37:16 O Jehovah of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou [GREEK monos] (alone), of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.




    Do you see it? Isaiah said Jehovah of hosts is God "monos" (alone), therefore, Jesus is not with him, for if they were together, they would be [GREEK "ouk eimi monos"] (not alone).

    Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens [Greek "monos"](alone); that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; [If Jesus is creating with the Father, he would be creating [GREEK OUK EIMI MONOS] (not alone).

    When you use the two words together, "monos" and "Theos" (It does not matter which is first in the Greek) Mono-Theism is taught by virtue of the choice of words used by God in His communication through His prophets.

    Any questions?
     
  20. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    That may not have been one of my better wording jobs. Basically, I am trying to say atheism and materialism most often go together and theism and the supernatural (paranormal) most often go together. It is hard to find an atheist that believes in spirits or ghosts for example. My belief in paranormal phenomena after consideration of the evidence left atheistic-materialism outside of my beliefs.

    I also tried to go on and say that those who I have found the most advanced in their understanding of the paranormal and the spiritual overwhelming describe a pantheistic worldview.

    The original question I was addressing is what arguments convinced ME of some form of theism.
     
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