zharth's avatar
Wow, you are one of a kind - I'll give you that. I don't think you're really hearing what I'm saying though. The first rule of logic is that a valid argument isn't necessarily true. Surely you've taken some classes, to be using the language you're using. Haven't you ever learned that? Anyway, in response to the classical arguments you name-dropped, I don't keep these things at my fingertips (because I don't need to), but a very quick Google search led me to some very excellent resources (here's a start). The arguments you've listed do not constitute "evidence" of anything. They're not proofs, either. They're merely claims - assertions. And ones that are amply refuted by logic. Read this front to back. If you can't be troubled to, then you have no business using the original arguments as fuel for your position. I'm intimately acquainted with religion and religious people - I live in a religious culture and am surrounded by religion. If you want to competently defend religion, you must spend more time actually getting to know people who are not religious, what they're like and the arguments they use. You make a lot of simplistic assumptions that are frankly insulting (and I apologize for my own behavior, but the way theists tend to think makes it very frustrating to try to argue with them), and do not condone further debate. Don't tell me how an atheist thinks. Ask me instead.

"However, you must understand how theists feel when they are attacked ruthlessly by atheists, doesn't our suffering matter just as much?"

You're saying that, in this culture, theists and atheists are equal. They are not. Theists are in a position of advantage. Atheists are in a position of discrimination. If 9 wolves and a sheep all toss insults around at each other, it might be true that what the sheep says is hurtful to the wolves, but it's not fair to have equal sympathy for the wolves, who have greater numbers, and are in a position of power (not to mention a history of devouring sheep). Their attacks come from a place of domination, and privilege. The sheep is merely defending itself.

"you must have missed my point in the last post about how not all Christians believe in those Old Testament passages, so I must say your last point is not quite right."

I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall here. Are you a bot? Unless the religion officially rejects the OT, it is part of their doctrine of faith. And modern, "progressive" Christians might claim that they don't follow it, but what I've given you is an example of them still behaving that way!

"Surely philosophical arguments, with premises supported by empirical evidence, count!  You did minor in philosophy, so don't you think that philosophy is important, and that philosophical arguments can lead to truth?"

Try to understand this. I've said it already, but I guess you didn't get it. Philosophy is negatively stereotyped as "navel-gazing" - a pointless pursuit. I don't fully agree with that view - obviously, I've studied philosophy because I enjoy philosophy. But there is some truth to that stereotype. Sitting in a room and thinking will never lead you to empirical facts about the world. The only thing philosophy can do is help you understand ideas. And this is important, because we are conceptual creatures. But there is no such thing as "empirical evidence" for a philosophical argument. Philosophy deals with ideas, not things. Not a single one of those arguments you listed has anything whatsoever to do with the material world, or involves things that can be scientifically studied. They're just more and less clever ways of arguing in circles to disguise the fact that you're simply asserting the statement you're trying to prove, without providing any actual proof for it.

"But it's not totally fair for you to outsource rebuttals to my arguments either!  Perhaps you should rebut them yourself!"

Seriously? So, you outsource your arguments, but I have to rebut them myself? If I wanted to rebut somebody else's argument, I'd have that conversation with them, not with you. If you want me to rebut your arguments, you have to actually state them first.

"The Cosmological argument goes like this:"

The Cosmological rebuttal goes like this:

1) You have no proof or reason to believe that everything must have a cause. This is an unsubstantiated assertion.
2) You don't know that the universe has a beginning. You're assuming knowledge you cannot possibly have.
3) (Most importantly) Even if the universe does have a "cause", you have not argued why that cause should be anything resembling a "God".

"As far as the Teleological argument, it goes like this:"

As far as the Teleological rebuttal, it goes like this:

1) How do you know the so-called "fine-tuning" of the universe can't be due to something other than physical necessity, chance, or design?
2) How do you know it is not due to physical necessity or chance? You cannot just assert claims and assume they are true.
3) Logic 101: A "valid" argument is not necessarily true, if its premises are not true.

"The moral argument goes like this:"

The moral rebuttal goes like this:

1) You have no reason to believe that God is the arbiter of objective morals. None at all.
2) Nor do you have any reason to believe that objective morals do indeed exist.
3) Your entire argument is pointless because you're arguing from premises that are pure fantasy.

"And the Contingency argument goes like this:"

And the Contingency rebuttal goes like this:

1) You do not have the authority to claim that everything that exists has "an explanation" (which is just another word for cause, so this is a duplicate of the Cosmological argument).
2) This is the most asinine premise in all of your arguments. Nothing requires that if the universe has "an explanation", then that explanation must be God. Every single one of these arguments is presupposing its conclusion (that God exists), and then trying to argue from that as a premise. That's not how logic works.

"Don't you think that philosophy is a valid way to truth, after all you did minor in philosophy.  How are these philosophical arguments invalid?"

And I have to doubt your claim that you've studied logic, because you're not demonstrating its usage. The first rule of logic is to learn the difference between truth and validity. Here's an argument for you that is 100% perfectly valid:

1) All birds have wings.
2) Dogs are birds.
Therefore,
3) Dogs have wings.

It's also 100% completely useless for describing the world, because the premises are utterly false!

"you probably believe that loving others and caring for the elderly are good things, but you can't demonstrate that they are good things using only science."

Why do you jump to conclusions? Have you studied this? Or were you just told this? Have you even studied science? If you think science is inadequate in the first place, you're not going to give it the consideration it deserves. We are a social species. These so-called "moral" behaviors have evolutionary benefits. There's your scientific explanation.

"I hear what you are saying, but you have to remember that theists believe in ultimate justice!  These nasty and atrocious people will not get away with their evil!  On atheism, many of these people will not receive ultimate justice at all, which is almost unthinkable."

Your "ultimate justice" is a fantasy. "Evil" people will get the same thing regardless of what you believe. And that's whatever punishment we give them in this life. It's not immoral to disbelieve in a Hell. In fact, eternal punishment for what we do in our temporal lives is one of the nastiest and most atrocious ideas ever conceived. Leave it to theists to think of something so horrible. After all, their God is a ferocious, war-mongering, jealous God. As their holy books say.

Really, please, if you do one thing, read those links I posted at the top of this comment - especially the second one that gives much more in depth rebuttals to your arguments. I know your arguments. I've studied them before. Do you know their rebuttals? If the answer to that question is already yes, then there's nothing I can say that will change your mind.
Sketchian's avatar
I will be sure to look at the links you have posted.  Thank you!  And I will try to better understand atheists in the future, I really will.  You're right that the conclusion only follows if the premises are true, that's why "dogs have wings" isn't a valid conclusion, like you said, since the premises are false.  I guess we will just agree to disagree on some issues, but this has been a thrilling discussion!  Thank you for your time zharth! :) 
zharth's avatar
"You're right that the conclusion only follows if the premises are true, that's why "dogs have wings" isn't a valid conclusion, like you said, since the premises are false."

Be careful now. You're still conflating "valid" with "true". These are two separate concepts. Truth concerns accurate descriptions of reality. Validity is a form of logic. An argument is considered valid if its conclusion follows logically from its premises, regardless of the truth value of any of its statements. That's where the logic comes in - that if you presuppose this and that premise, it implies a particular conclusion. You can only presume that a conclusion is true if both its premises are true, and the argument is valid - meaning, that it is consistent with the rules of logic. (And that's a longer lesson).

Anyway, I very much appreciate your patience and willingness to learn.