Atheist Delusions


I love a good theological or political debate.  Arguably (or should I say debatably) that’s what this blog and my whole purpose for writing is all about. 

Now I’m no theologian, politician or even economist and I can accept when I may not have all the answers.  That’s why I love the process of debate, when done well everyone learns something and we all come away better informed, even if we can’t agree.

That being said, I can’t stand atheists.  Not because I think they are wrong but because, for the most part they suck at debating.

In my experience atheists fall back to one intractable position, that of “prove it and I will believe” or “I will believe nothing without empirical evidence”.  And to be honest that is an unassailable position so long as you can prove your own position using the same set of criteria. But atheists can’t do that, instead they will invariably respond with something along the line of “I can’t prove God doesn’t exist because I can’t prove a negative,” which is essentially saying that you can’t prove your own position and for the purposes of that kind of debate an admission of defeat. 

Now of course, I’m going to get comments on this, lots of them saying that I can’t prove my position either and that’s true so really the Atheist versus Theist debate from a scientific point of view at least is dead in the water.   

And that’s why I can’t stand atheists – they turn the debate into something it isn’t. 

You see the debate isn’t about provable science, it never has been.  Indeed most of what we call “science” today would never have developed had it not been for the work of many devout theists.   No the debate is about philosophy and “science” or what we can prove physically has absolutely nothing to do with philosophy.   

Unless and until atheists recognize that their position is actually a philosophy and not a provable scientific fact then the debate is a non-starter and I’m not interested.

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24 thoughts on “Atheist Delusions

  1. “Unless and until atheists recognize that their position is actually a philosophy and not a provable scientific fact then the debate is a non-starter and I’m not interested.”

    My position is that theists haven’t met their burden of proof. Not sure how that is a philosophy.

    Which is not to say I don’t have a philosophy. I do. But ‘atheism’ isn’t it.

    • Proof? Everything that exists requires a cause, thats the only proof I can offer. But you’re confusing science with philosophy and drawing me into an unwinnable circular argument. I believe that’s what a rational person would call a stalemate.

      • “I believe that’s what a rational person would call a stalemate.”

        Um…no.

        If you make a claim, then you have the burden of proof to show evidence for that claim. Assuming you desire anyone else to believe it, of course.

        Those who make the particular claim of theism have yet to meet that burden of proof by showing any good evidence.

      • I claim the world and everything in it exists and therefore requires a cause. Anyone who asks for proof of their own existance is just talking nonsense.

      • “I claim the world and everything in it exists and therefore requires a cause”

        That’s fine. I have no problem saying that things that exist require causes.

        Is that all you’re claiming? Because if it is, then this conversation has nothing to do with atheism or theism, as you haven’t brought a god of any kind into the conversation.

      • Perhaps not, but to me the Atheist vs Theist debates is about cause and effect. In my experience Atheists believe that the universe need not have been “caused”, Theists do.

        The details of the nature of that cause, what Theists choose to call “god” are a different discussion altogether and not one I am prepared to debate with anyone until they at least agree that the universe requires a cause.

      • Atheists believe that the universe need not have been “caused”,”

        Not really. It might have been caused, it might have always existed in one form or another. I”m fine going with either, given the limited evidence we have.

        The thing is even if the universe was caused, we don’t believe that there was a supernatural cause, due to the lack of evidence.

      • Not all Theists beleive that the cause was supernatural either. Just that is was superintellegent and superhuman.

        Nice debating with you, I’m glad to have met…

  2. The problem of course is that atheists / materialists cannot support their own belief that this is a material only universe. That’s why they say, “I’m an atheist because I don’t believe what you believe,” rather than, “I’m an atheist because . . .” and then present the evidence.

    When an atheist brings h/her presupposition (no God – material universe only) to the evidence, it doesn’t fit. The evidence says:
    . Matter cannot create itself
    . Matter cannot preexist itself
    . Matter cannot be eternal nor infinite
    The evidence does not support a material only universe.

    When I bring my presupposition (a Creator of the universe exists outside of time, space and matter) to the evidence, it does fit. The evidence says:
    . Everything material that begins to exist has come into existence because of an external cause.
    . Matter is not eternal
    . An infinite regress of cause does not exist
    . Matter requires an eternal immaterial Creator
    Observation, testing and verification support this evidence.

  3. “Not all Theists beleive that the cause was supernatural either.”

    Then they’re using a different definition of the word ‘supernatural’ than I’m familiar with.

  4. What NotAScientist says is a pertinent point, and something you miss quite wildly in your post: as a theist you claim a God exists. You have not demonstrated that to be true. I don’t believe you. That is atheism.
    Atheism is not the contrary claim “God does not exist”. It is simply the position one hold when a claim doesn’t meet its burden of proof.
    Within atheism, there are no claims. There’s nothing with a burden of proof. There’s nothing to present evidence for. So your complaint that atheists don’t present evidence, while simultaneously demanding evidence from you is not hypocrisy. It is an adherence to the philosophical principle of the burden of proof.

    It’s also worth creating a clearer divide between the atheist and the theist on the question of the origins of the universe: theists believe that God is the cause. Atheists are free to believe the universe is caused by always-existing other universes (whether it be bubble-foam or oscillating), or by retro-causal (and paradoxical) quantum phenomena, or than the universe is uncaused or entirely refrain from all believe and claims on the issue. To summarise: theists believe God did it, atheists don’t.

    (And I go on) Given any definition of a God, there are philosophical claims an atheist can make, and many do. Not all of them are limited to a scientific understanding, so you’ve been unfortunate in not meeting them. Here are a few:

    Paradox of Omnipotence: can God create a boulder so heavy not even He can lift it?
    If you want to limit “omnipotence” to “omnipotence within logical limits”, that’s fine. But that certainly is less-than-omnipotent (and therefore is my point and not yours). But, where did logic come from, in order to limit the omnipotence? I’m not going to speak for you on this one, but a lot of theists claim logic came from God. So God is omnipotent, except for the limits He put on Himself?

    The Problem of Suffering: how can there be suffering in a world micro-managed by a benevolent and omnipotent God?
    Many theists say that suffering is caused by freewill, that God must allow us to harm each other else He’d have limited our freewill. But God could have bestowed us with more empathy (be gave us some, why not a little more?). But that doesn’t account for why God would allow natural suffering: famines and droughts and earthquakes etc.
    Many theists assert that this suffering is morally necessary on the grounds that it is the only way to more peace later. But this imperfect solution is not a sign of omnipotence; it is a sign of an imperfect Being negotiating with the state of the world.

    The Paradox of Omnipotence and Omniscience: if I know the future, how can I be free to change it?
    If I know what you will have for breakfast, and it is impossible for me to be wrong, then you must have for breakfast whatever it is I know you’re going to have. And if I am omniscient, I do know what you’re going to have for breakfast tomorrow; you have no freewill.
    I also know what I am going to have for breakfast tomorrow, therefore I cannot eat something else for breakfast. There is something I cannot do, therefore I am not omnipotent.
    Or, I am omnipotent, therefore I am free to have anything for breakfast tomorrow, therefore I don’t really know what it is. There’s something I don’t know, therefore I am not omniscient.

    The Incompatibility of Mercy and Justice.
    Justice is an exact response to an action. Mercy is anything that is lenient on the exacting of justice to the favour of a party involved. If one is a negation of the other both cannot be realised at once.

    The Hidden God: if He wants this loving relationship so much, where is He?
    Assuming the definition of a personal God includes the description of wanting a loving relationship with me, there is one step He needs to take. This step isn’t going to infringe on my freewill. This step is to demonstrate that He exists. God needs to demonstrate Himself. Given the levels of atheism, God has clearly not demonstrated Himself (unless you believe that an omnipotent demonstration of His own existence would fail). In fact, God seems to be at pains to hide Himself behind a very convincing facade of reality being explicable by natural means. Not only has He not demonstrated Himself, He is hiding. That is not the behaviour of a consciousness that wants to have a loving relationship

    (I’m not asking you to rebut these, although I’m sure they would make for interesting debate–one at a time. In fact, if you would like to debate these one at a time I’d be happy to be a part of that. My point was to demonstrate that atheism is not limited to scientific discussions.)

    • Okay – so Atheism is not limited to scientific discussion I get that. But I will not enter a theological debate with someone who will not accept even the posibility of an outside deity. That’s like debating artistic colour choice with a colour blind man.

      Therefore your Paradox of Omnipotence etc, all pointless until you accept the premise that they’re based on, that there is a God at all. And quite frankly even if you said you wanted to have that debate now I wouldn’t, you’ve already tipped your hand, I know you don’t accept the premis and would therefore be debating in bad faith.

      As for your point about the origins of the universe, that’s were I really get up set with Athiests,

      We live in a universe that is governed by the laws of cause and effect and therefore terms like “always-existing” or “uncaused” are completely nonsensical and beyond reason. For Athiests to say they are free to “entirely refrain from all belief and claims on the issue.” is not a defensiable position – it’s a cop out.

      Maybe I haven’t met any kind of burden of proof. I think I have. The universe exists and existance by it’s very nature requires a cause. I choose to call that cause God but any further debate on the nature of God is pointless until you accept that existance requires a cause.

      You say you don’t believe me, that’s your choice, lots of people refuse to believe things that are obvious to others. That doesn’t make you right any more than it makes me wrong, it just ends the debate before it even starts.

      And that in a nutshell is why I don’t debate with Athiests….

      • I accept your claim that the universe is governed by cause and effect. I do not accept your claim that you can extend the way the universe is governed to things outside the universe, and therefore I don’t see that you have demonstrated that the universe needs a cause.

        I don’t even know that causality makes sense in a pre-Universe condition. Firstly, I don’t know that a pre-Universe condition makes sense; what can come ‘before’ the Universe if the Universe is also where time came from?
        Also, in a pre-time condition, how can causality work?

        I can go one further, again. The universe is governed by naturalistic causality. So, if you do want to extend the causality that governs the universe to the actual cause of the universe as well…

        “existance [sic] by it’s very nature requires a cause” and God exists? Umm…

        Saying “I don’t know” for the beginning of the universe is not a cop-out, it’s honesty.

        Lastly, it sounds to me like you don’t debate atheists because you have nothing to present. You’re going into the debate hoping that atheists will accept your presupposition of a God. You are shutting people out who have the position “God is impossible”. But, as the arguments I gave you show, it is an interesting position.

        I consider myself an agnostic atheist. But it’s on other people to present a definition of a God that isn’t rife with logical paradoxes and inconsistency (and then evidence in favour of it).

      • (Also, nothing about the philosophical arguments I used assumed a God exists first. I just took the commonplace definitions of a God and beat them against themselves. They don’t hold up. Come up with a new definition that isn’t internally contradictory. Refusing to debate with someone one the grounds that they think your position is wrong is refusing to debate.)

    • Okay – I’ll bite.

      Since by what you’ve said here I don’t consider you to be a true Atheist, you’re what you yourself described as an Athiest-Agnostic maybe we can have a good discussion. (Even though I consider the term Athiest-Agnostic to be an oxymoron)

      Let me consider your Philosophical questions for a few days and get back to you…

  5. A big part of why I am an atheist is that I looked at my belief in god and realized I had no good reason to believe. I grew up being told that God was real and I believed it, but when I got older and really examined those beliefs there doesn’t seem to be anything behind them.

    Beyond just a lack of evidence, there are things that really don’t make sense from the Christian perspective. The problem of evil was a big problem for me as a Christian, and I still have never really heard a good answer to it. And free will is not a good answer.

    Before I hit submit, I went back and looked at your responses to some of the other comments here. You say:

    “I will not enter a theological debate with someone who will not accept even the posibility of an outside deity.”

    Fair enough, you don’t think it’s worth talking to someone who refuses to even consider your side of things. That’s and understandable, and describes some atheists, though not all. But then you follow it up with this

    “Therefore your Paradox of Omnipotence etc, all pointless until you accept the premise that they’re based on, that there is a God at all”

    Aren’t you doing exactly the same thing? You are refusing to debate atheists until they accept that God exists. You know that being an atheists means I don’t believe in God right? So what, you want to debate atheists but only if they are not atheists? I think something might have gotten lost in translation here.

    Anyway, how are we supposed to give arguments against God if we aren’t allowed to reference him because we don’t believe in him?

    • What I said was I don’t debate theology with athiests. Theology is the study of the nature of God so by definition in order to enter the debate you have to at least accept the premis it is based on. Otherwise you are debating in bad faith and as I said, it’s like talking about paint colours with a colour blind man.

      There are lots of people out there who are more qualifiet then me to debate the existance of a god, that’s not what I’m interested in so I differ to them. I’m more interested in theological discussions that have the potential of going somewhere.

      PS – I find it interesting that on Saturday I posted an article the essentially accussed a brilliant chemist of murder and didn’t get a single response. Then on Monday I post a comment about Athiesm and end up with the longest comment stream I’ve had on this space in over a year. Me thinks thou dost protest too much…

      • Why does a theological discussion with an atheist automatically mean it is going nowhere? The chances of one of us converting the other is quite low, I agree, but if we can simply understand each other better I think it is worth having the conversation. By only wanting to have the conversation with people who already agree with you, you are intentionally putting yourself in a bubble

      • If what you are saying is that there is a possibility that I might be able to change your mind then you aren’t what I would consider a true atheist, more of an agnostic with strong atheist leanings but that’s splitting hairs. I still don’t feel qualified to have that debate, there are a lot of smarter people that me that make it their mission to rebut atheism.

        If you truly are interested in the debate might I suggest you pick up a copy of “The Rage Against God” by Peter Hitchens, that’s Christopher Hitchens brother writing a rebuttal to the latter’s famous “God is Not Great”. Get back to me after you’ve read that and let me know what you think.

      • “If what you are saying is that there is a possibility that I might be able to change your mind then you aren’t what I would consider a true atheist”

        No, I’m definitely an atheist because I don’t believe that a God exists. If your definition for atheist is that they think with 100% certainty that God doesn’t exist, then you aren’t going to find many people who fit that description. I’m not going to dismiss the possibility completely, it’s always possible that I’m wrong, it’s always possible that there is something I have never heard or never considered that will change my mind. But I think it is incredibly unlikely, I’ve talked to a lot of Christians and a lot of apologists and asked why they believe and why they think I should believe. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard all of the standard arguments and haven’t found anything that I found the slightest bit convincing. It’s possible that there is an argument I’ve never heard, it’s possible that God is real and he will reveal himself to me or do something that will convince me of his existence, but I doubt it.

  6. Heh. Lauren I tried to respond to this before but my reply got eaten. Sigh. Try number two.

    A couple of points.

    First off. Empirical evidence is not proof of anything. Athiests do not require empirical evidence since that does not prove anything. Your point that the universe require a cause and therefore is empirical evidence of a creator is actually not proof of anything.

    Sailing around the world does not prove the world is round. Math proves the world is round.

    Additionally, your point that we live in a cause and effect universe is not true as well. Newtonian physics only work at certain scales. At the very large and very small Newton goes and cries in the corner. We’ve already proven that quantum effects can run in both directions in time with cause following effect.

    Presuming that the universe must obey Newtonian physics hasn’t been true for nearly a century.

    • Quantum Mechanics is an unproven theory too. Even Stephen Hocking admits it doesn’t completely negate the idea of linear time. (i.e. cause and effect)

      Just because scientists have refuted Newton’s understanding of cause and effect doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Consider a speck on the surface of a football, while the football is spiraling it is also moving directionally, time could be like that.

      But regardless of how you explain the nuance of it, linear time is still the best way to explain existance and nothing in Quantum Theory can coherently explain it away. We still need a final cause and anyone who claims otherwise doesn’t understand Quantum Mechanics any more than they understand basic cause and effect.

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