August 12, 2011

I Was An Atheist

In a discussion with Pvblivs on his blog I ranted about being an Atheist. Here is what I said in a couple of the comments:

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1: 18-20)

“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

This is why, no matter if you believe it or not, repentance comes BEFORE knowledge of truth, not after: 2 Timothy 2:24-26,  John 3:12,  Jeremiah 33:3,  2 Corinthians 3:15-16.

I can personally attest to that. I repented before knowing God. As a 21 year old, just out of the military Atheist, I was handed this tract by a wonderful couple that I met while being a life guard. They left such a positive impression on me that I remember thinking that she is the kind of woman that I would want to marry someday. After reading that tract, I sincerely said to Christ "If you are real, please show me." "If all this is true, then I am in real trouble, and I am sorry. Help me" and the like.

---

I am not an Atheist, but I played one in life
I was an Atheist because I believed my Dad and his whole worldview. I had friends that were Atheists also. I remember teasing Christians in the military that would not go drinking with us. "OK, stay here and read your Bible then" They were too uptight for my liking. I really believed we came from ape ancestry from the teachings of [public] school. I was raised in an Atheist's home.

I was an Atheist.

I will grant you the possibility there may have been a predestination for me to become a Christian, in spite of my surroundings, upbringing, and core worldview beliefs. In reflection that is a huge possibility. Much like Christians in Muslim countries. I remember thinking at a young age that my Dad must be wrong about lying for gain is the right and "business" way. But I lived, breathed, and fought as an Atheist.

At that age, 21-23, I did get reflective I will admit. I was questioning many life/death things at that point towards the end of my Atheism. That couple sure made a large impression on me. Life changing impression. I remember yelling at some teenagers to get out of my office as I was trying to life guard. I cussed at them, like a Sailor. After that, not thinking anything of it, I caught the man's eyes and the look of disappointment, and concern, in his eyes shook my soul for some reason. It steadied my reasoning to be more receptive to possibilities of Jesus maybe. I am not clear exactly.

All I know is that night after "speaking" to Jesus (after receiving the tract from that couple at the end of the summer), I went out and got high with my brother. I didn't think anything of it and I moved on with my life. Then some very strange things, that I wish not to detail about right now, happened that made me question everything. That is when I picked up the Bible, for the first time in my life, to read about evil. I remember getting all frustrated that I could not find the "section" on it and decided to read it, once and for all, cover to cover. It took me three weeks. I was out of a job at the time. I was 23, and I was never the same again. I ran to the closest church, Church of Christ, to get baptized. I waited until the service was over, pulled the pastor to the side and asked what I needed to do to be baptized? They stayed after and set it all up for me, with just a few people still there. I thought, or was thinking, that was what it took to be saved. Then it took 10 more years to finally, truly, be saved. I cannot lie about it. I cannot fake it. Its the truth.

You might be right that I was never an Atheist. I was just raised as one. I was groomed as one. I associated with ONLY Atheists. I believed everything Atheists believe. I thought I was an Atheist.

All I can say with certainty is, I will never be one again.

bit.ly/wasanAtheist  

67 comments:

  1. Wow. I grew up around and was raised by people who were Christians, who believed in God and the Bible, believed that the Bible was the infallible word of God. Maybe I was a "true" Christian, maybe not, but I grew up believing that the Bible was true and that the God of the Bible was real, I "presupposed" those things. Then I began to actually read the Bible, and think about it. I read it some more. Then I read about the Bible, and then I thought some more. I'll never be a Christian, or any kind of religious believer again.

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    1. Rufus, the "family" I was raised in was atheistic, and though "law abiding" people, their values suck. They can take their blasphemy and cram it.

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  2. Touché Rufus, Sad but touché.

    Enlightenment, such a icky thing for Atheists.

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  3. Same here, Rufus. I was a raised in a catholic family, but they weren't very religious. For my parents believing in god was already enough.

    But not for me. I've always questioned religions and gods and then one I day I became an atheist. It was one of the best things that happened to me in this life.

    I'll never ever be a christian or have any kind of religious belief ever again.

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  4. We all might be on to something here. This may be just another predestination post.

    In the end we CHOOSE where we are going. Its all ours to make such a choice. Whew, I was so glad to be raised in an Atheistic worldview home. Thanks Dad!

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  5. May all your children be enlightened to the truth!

    I saw a real hypocrisy in my Dad, and that led to me questioning him. Maybe it was the same for many Atheists here. It is sad to think that was the case. I hope I can show God's love, instead of my own hypocrisies, to my own kids.

    See? More enlightenment.

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  6. I don't think atheist is the word you should be using. For example, you said

    "As a 21 year old, just out of the military Atheist, I was handed this tract by a wonderful couple that I met while being a life guard. ... After reading that tract, I sincerely said to Christ "If you are real, please show me." "If all this is true, then I am in real trouble, and I am sorry. Help me" and the like."

    And

    "That is when I picked up the Bible, for the first time in my life, to read about evil. ... I was 23, and I was never the same again."

    If you weren't aware of the basics precepts of the majority religion of the nation you grew up in at 21, and you hadn't even read the main holy book of said religion at 23 then it sounds like you didn't take an active role in you religious beliefs. I believe "apatheist" would be the more appropriate word.

    Just as Christmmas Catholics aren't really considered Catholic by the church, the non-religious should not be considered atheists. Both may appear to have a theological belief, but neither has gone through the reflection necessary to affirm their belief.

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  7. At least in my case my decision to be an atheist had nothing to do with my parents or even with the rest of my family. It had to do with me and my questionings which led me to lack belief in gods and the decision of not following any religion. I've always had the tendency to question everything. It wasn't different with religions and the concept of gods.

    When I was a child my mother asked if I wanted to go to sunday school in church and have my first communion and I declined. As far as I know I'm the only person in my entire family who didn't have the first communion, who doesn't have a religion and who's an atheist.

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  8. I think Tantalus Prime has the point here. Also, if you ever prayed anything like "Christ, if you're real, show me", etc. you're not a true atheist I'd say, but perhaps an agnostic or at least someone who hadn't yet made up his mind.

    That's not to say that an atheist wouldn't change his or her mind given enough evidence, but Dan sounds like he was a lot more "on the fence" than the average atheist.

    Then of course, if "predestination" is true, then why bother preaching in the first place? Isn't it god's fault that those who he chooses to go to hell go to hell then?

    Good grief. I've just read that Bahnsen quote off to the side here. What an idiot that guy was!

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  9. Actually, I could be a Christian, or some other kind of believer again. I could come across actual evidence that made me change my mind. I could also lose all capacity for rational thought.

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    1. Atheists eventually blurt out this nonsense about how their conclusion for atheism is "reason-based" and a conclusion for theism is "void of rational thought".

      This is a defensive posture intended to bully nay-sayers and shut down reasoned debate. Atheists do not wish to have exposed their own intensely religious (blind) faith that is their atheism by having to field questions such as "Cite the evidences that led to your atheistic worldview".

      Everyone has a religion, a faith. Atheists falsely equate religion with "mindlessness" in order to non-empirically "elevate" their own deeply held religious views from the same scrutiny they subject everyone else's to.

      Very intellectually dishonest.

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  10. >> Just as Christmmas Catholics aren't really considered Catholic by the church, the non-religious should not be considered atheists.

    Tantalus is right. Religion and the belief in god(s)are not mutually exclusive. Not having a religion doesn't make someone automatically an atheist.

    Nowadays even being a pastor working in a church doesn't automatically makes him a god believer. The Reverend Klaas Hendrikse is the perfect example of that: text

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  11. Rufus,

    One of the reasons I don't want to be a religious person never again is because I don't want to lose my capacity for rational thought and questioning.

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  12. Rufus said: "Actually, I could be a Christian, or some other kind of believer again. I could come across actual evidence that made me change my mind."

    Exactly. I arrived at atheism because given what we know the concept of god is both unnecessary and unproven. But evidence to the contrary would change my mind. When DAN says:

    "All I can say with certainty is, I will never be [an atheist] again."

    It suggests that he has closed off his mind to any contrarian viewpoint. Which makes it dogma. As long as he is honest about it, more power to him. But he shouldn't expect a reasonable person to be persuaded by his certitude.

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    1. Hilarious--it is "dogma" when a theist has foregone any other conclusions, but not when an atheist does the same.

      Do you continue looking for something AFTER you find it? No. You are CLOSED-MINDED--and rightfully so--to finding it elsewhere.

      This dishonest usage of "closed-minded" is one of the hallmarks of the anti-intellectual nature of atheism: it is an attempt to avoid empirical scrutiny by redefining terms to "mean" one thing when applied to atheists and something completely different when applied to theists.

      Sgain, very intellectually dishonest.

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  13. Dan...I regularly read your blog, but never comment. I just want to say thanks for telling your story. It's a reminder to me, even though you didn't emphasize this point, that the lifestyle of that woman/couple is one of the things that led you in the right direction. A lot of Christians get so caught up in forcing beliefs that they don't realize how effective it can be to just let your light shine. The Gospel is a strong and powerful message but to actually live it for yourself and apply it to your life is the best way to show others Jesus.

    Also...I deeply respect what you have to deal with on this blog. I have atheist "friends" on my Facebook..and it's a daily burden having to put up with them. : )

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    1. Sarah, I totally agree with everything you have said in this comment. I have the same burden of dealing with atheist "friends" on facebook and trying to let my light shine without resorting to just getting downright ugly with them when they are being ugly about my "godly" posts. I too think that Dan is doing well with this blog.

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  14.      Well, I don't believe that Dan was ever an atheist. His story doesn't fit. But, then, stheism is so foreign to Dan that he has no idea what it means to be an atheist. Apparently, he has this image of shooting up drugs all day.
         My personal guess is that he was raised in one of the "softer" denominations of christianity. There are enough christians that have no problem with going out for a beer that it is plausible that he would tease someone of a more puritanical bent. An atheist, especially in the military, wouldn't dare. There would be no one to back him up. But there is no doubt in my mind. He was raised christian. He is trying to adjust his story to what he thinks atheism is.

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  15. Dan, why do you care so much about "debunking" atheists? There are far, far more non-Christian religious believers in the world. Shouldn't you be debunking them?

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  16. Pvb,

    Shooting up drugs all day?????!!!!!

    Dude, I have never, ever, done that in my life! Now I see how highly, no pun, you think of me now. *pshaw

    When I say "getting high" I meant smoking pot, but I guess I should of rethought that comment in consideration of my audience. One that is so bent on making me look bad because of their bias. Yes, I smoked pot with my brother, he has cerebral palsy and claims the pot calms his spasms and muscle contractions. I abused the "nurse" roll that is for sure.

    Also, I could care less what you believe but my Dad is certainly is a Jewish Atheist. His family may have been religious, but mine CERTAINLY was not. In fact my Dad left his wife and two kids to have an adulterous affair with my Mom that he wound up marrying in Vegas. So, get a clue you dork. You're a complete jerk, and way, way, off basis. Perfectly understandable though. You fit your atheistic worldview, that is for sure.

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  17. Dan:

         "Dude, I have never, ever, done that in my life!"
         And I never said you did. I think that you added details to your story based on what you think an "atheist" is.
         "...my Dad is certainly is a Jewish Atheist."
         That's a little like being a married bachelor. If he is jewish, then he believes in roughly the same god you do. He might be less devout than most. But he is no atheist.
         "You're a complete jerk."
         Oh, I could never hope to meet the bar you've set in that field.
         "You fit your atheistic worldview, that is for sure."
         Speaking of getting a clue, I am not an atheist. Even if I was, there is no standard "atheist worldview" to which you can make a meaningful reference. An atheist is simply someone who believes there are no gods. And I hold no specific belief one way or the other. But that's my point. You have no idea what an atheist is. You seem to imagine that it is a cookie-cutter belief system much like your own. This leads me to believe that you have never really been exposed to anything other than dogmatic belief systems.

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  18. Pvblivs,

    >> That's a little like being a married bachelor. If he is jewish, then he believes in roughly the same god you do. He might be less devout than most. But he is no atheist.

    Not really, Pvblivs. I’ve already seen some comments of jewish people who are atheists and they said that being a jew has more to do with being part of a community/it’s more about cultural value/it’s more about identity than believing in god.

    Here are some posts about it:

    1 - text
    2 - text
    3 - text

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    1. Bellecherie, get a clue. Being Jewish doesn't necessarily mean you believe in the Hebrew God Jehovah. Which is the SAME God Christians believe in. It simply means your family comes from the line of Judah, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Atheism is the belief that there is no God. Anyone can belong to that category no matter who their parents are and no matter how they were raised. Essentially it all boils down to the fact that "The fool has said in his heart that there is no God."

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  19. Sarah, I'd invite you to read some of Dan's blog posts...he insults atheists quite a lot. Our reactions to him are just that, re-actions.

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    1. It's kind of difficult to address atheism with a biblical mindset and not be taken as intentionally insulting, especially since a lot of atheists feign insult as an excuse to comment on comment threads where they really have no business commenting. The Bible states that anyone who says there is no God is a fool. I doubt seriously that any outspoken atheist would choose not to be insulted upon hearing that and yet, that is the biblical view of atheism. Moreover, the Bible basically insinuates that people who claim to be atheists are complete liars because God's glory can be seen throughout nature and "they are therefore without excuse".

      Romans 1:
      "19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

      20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

      21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."

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  20. Tantalus Prime,

    >>It suggests that he has closed off his mind to any contrarian viewpoint.

    You JUST SAID "But evidence to the contrary would change my mind."

    Wouldn't that make YOU closed off to any contrarian viewpoint once given said evidence? I have been shown a plethora of evidence. The claim is that God has revealed Himself to EVERYONE, and that this is exposed with every truth claim, every knowledge claim, and even every rational thought you have.

    But here is the real rub...

    "In fact, that cannot be evidence for God if he is a naturalist, or an atheist. Because according to him its not possible to have evidence for God. If he is in fact an atheist in terms of his views on reality, then all of these things must be reinterpreted so they are regimented, or will conform to, will comport with that man's naturalism, or atheism." ~goo.gl/eXHT1

    It is YOUR DOGMA that is PREVENTING you from acknowledgment of said evidence.

    Your very ability to reason about evidence is evidence of God. Now, assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for God, is question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that God does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of God.

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  21. Sarah,

    >>It's a reminder to me, even though you didn't emphasize this point, that the lifestyle of that woman/couple is one of the things that led you in the right direction.

    Thanks for highlighting that point. I cannot deny it was the spark that led me to quiet down and listen. She was an amazing woman, He was a very strong amazing man. They never ever once "witnessed" to me throughout the summer, but we did become very good friends. They were a modest, wholesome, family that left a very large impression on me as a single man. She was literally the kindest woman I ever met, up until that time.

    So, they were great people and we had some laughs and friendship. I got to know a lot of them real well. They came to the pool daily. Some of the mothers were gossipy, flirty to me, in their little clicks and such, but never this couple. They stayed to themselves. THEN, at the end of the summer, my eyes are tearing a bit thinking about them, they surprised me with a grocery bag full of food. On that last day, the other people brought cake and ice cream to celebrate and thank me for keeping all their kids safe for that summer. It was a great pool party. They were all very warm and kind to me. Houston was like that. We all had a fun summer. I knew I would miss that one couple though. I gave them all a great big hug and the summer ended. I never saw them again.

    When I got home I found the card. It had an obscene amount of cash in it, for a single guy like me. The note was simple. "Thank you Dan for the summer, Please understand we are concern for you" Or something to that effect.

    I had absolutely no clue what they were talking about. Then, as I was counting the cash, in it was the little booklet. It was a simple tract explaining the Gospel to me. It really was the very first tract I ever received from anyone. Here that Christians!

    They were both the exact thing I needed to focus my attention to God. Of course, God gets all that glory for His orchestrating it all, but I cannot wait to see them again. And I will. What a great day that will be.

    Blessings Sarah.

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  22. D.A.N,

    >> Wouldn't that make YOU closed off to any contrarian viewpoint once given said evidence?

    D.A.N, what Tantalus meant to say was that he would change his mind about your god’s existence once evidence about it was given to him. There’s no evidence of your god’s existence (or any other gods for that matter) therefore there’s no reason to believe your god or any other gods exist.

    Now, if you claim there’s evidence for your god’s existence because a plethora of evidence had been shown to you, care to show to us what are those evidences? But as I said before it has to be verifiable and tangible evidences. Meaning: no quoting the bible, no religious preaching and no testimonies of your personal experiences (I wasn’t there with you when this supposed evidence of god’s existence was supposedly shown to you, so I don’t have to believe you) or the personal experiences of someone else.

    If your god revealed himself to everyone as you claim he did a pretty lousy job, since there are millions of people around the world who believe in other gods and millions of people who don’t believe in god (s) at all.


    D.A.N to Tantalus Prime: “Your very ability to reason about evidence is evidence of God. Now, assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for God, is question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that God does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of God.”

    Vicious circular reasoning again???

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  23. Pvblivs,

    >> That's a little like being a married bachelor. If he is jewish, then he believes in roughly the same god you do. He might be less devout than most. But he is no atheist.

    Not really, Pvblivs. I’ve already seen some comments of jewish people who are atheists and they said that being a jew has more to do with being part of a community/it’s more about cultural value/it’s more about identity than believing in god.

    Here are some posts about it:

    1 - text
    2 - text
    3 - text

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  24. Sarah:

         Dan's style, saying things like "you're a complete jerk" and "you dork," tells quite a lot about the nature of his faith. There are subtler things too. For example: He pretended that I accused him of shooting up drugs to that he could put on a show of "righteous offense," when he knew full well that I only accused him of making up elements of his story to fit what he thinks an "atheist" is. It seems to be a strategy of "when someone catches you in an actual misdeed, twist their word to say they accused you of something truly horrifying that you never did; the rightful accusation will get lost in the confusion and no one will ever listen to the man who caught you again." Now, maybe that's what you respect. But I do not.

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  25. Geez, Dan is being stupid again:

    Your very ability to reason about evidence is evidence of God.
    Care to explain just how the hell that's the case? Other than just saying "It's the way it is, therefore I win" bullshit?

    Now, assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for God, is question begging though,...
    No, it's a working knowledge imperfect as it is, of how the brain works, as well as seeing limited versions of thinking in the animal kingdom. It's evolution and natural selection that enabled us to develop our brains to the extent that we have. Real question begging is your assuming that your god exists, without giving any evidence (or claiming as you do, that pretty much everything is evidence for your god, which is really the same thing since that's ambiguous as hell)

    ...as you start with the presupposition that God does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of God.
    Actually, many atheists used to believe that your god existed. Evidence though changed their mind. And it's biology and neuroscience that tells us how we got the ability to reason. It isn't an excuse to toss away your god.

    And yet your presupposition is NOT question begging?

    Good grief.

    Also, as Mhich said:
    If your god revealed himself to everyone as you claim he did a pretty lousy job, since there are millions of people around the world who believe in other gods and millions of people who don’t believe in god (s) at all.

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  26. DAN said:

    “Tantalus Prime, >>It suggests that he has closed off his mind to any contrarian viewpoint. You JUST SAID "But evidence to the contrary would change my mind." Wouldn't that make YOU closed off to any contrarian viewpoint once given said evidence? “

    No. In fact I don’t see how any rational person would conclude that.

    Once I am given convincing evidence I will change my mind. If I am given convincing evidence that the previous evidence was erroneous, I will switch it back again. I try to keep my mind open to the fact that I could be wrong because I am never sure with 100% accuracy that I am not wrong, no matter how strongly the evidence points me in that direction.

    “I have been shown a plethora of evidence. The claim is that God has revealed Himself to EVERYONE, and that this is exposed with every truth claim, every knowledge claim, and even every rational thought you have.”

    I’m glad you have found a level of evidence that has convinced you of the existence of a god. I find that level of evidence unacceptable, but go and believe as much as you want. However, if there is no evidence that would convince you that you are wrong (not actual evidence just potential evidence) then you can have no expectation that a reasonable person would be convinced by your unwavering assertion that you are right.

    “But here is the real rub... "In fact, that cannot be evidence for God if he is a naturalist, or an atheist. Because according to him its not possible to have evidence for God. If he is in fact an atheist in terms of his views on reality, then all of these things must be reinterpreted so they are regimented, or will conform to, will comport with that man's naturalism, or atheism."

    Yes, the difficulty is that if we can measure a supernatural phenomenon then it ceases to be supernatural. But I would take natural evidence. If the words “I did it!” were written on the far side of the moon in mile high letters, something which prior to 1959 would have been hidden to humans, I would find that very curious to say the least. I would also take personal revelation as evidence, assuming I could rule out hallucination as a cause. But even with such revelation I would not expect a reasonable person to find it persuasive evidence that I had actually talked to a supernatural being.

    “It is YOUR DOGMA that is PREVENTING you from acknowledgment of said evidence. Your very ability to reason about evidence is evidence of God. Now, assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for God, is question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that God does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of God.”

    Ooo, can I play this game too! The ability of the sky to reflect blue light is evidence of pink lemonade fairies. If you say it isn’t evidence, well you’ve presupposed the fairies don’t exist in order to conclude the blue sky is not evidence of fairies.

    If you are referring to Plantinga’s EAAN, let me just say that I find his argument less than convincing in no small part because belief in a god fairs no better using the structure of his argument.

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  27. Ackk...broken link. I brought my "B" game.

    http://tantalusprime.blogspot.com/2011/07/supernaturalism-defeated.html

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  28. If you are ready for the complete argument and truth then read on: Atheists Epistemological Lacking

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  29. DAN:

    I'm a bit curious as to why you think I haven't read the complete argument. I hope it is not solely because I disagree with it. Please In what way I have made an error in applying Plantinga's argument to his own belief system?

    I've read Plantinga's papers, the original writers he borrowed the arguments from, and critics of both. You are not giving me any new information; you are just asking me to read the same information over again.

    Furthermore, there is little point in discussing the veracity of an argument if Premiise 1 is likely to be false, namely that our rational faculties are unreliable if they are the product of evolution. I could argue that a walk from Dover to Paris is logically possible since it just means putting one foot in front of the other many times. And for most of the trip that would be right.

    But that first footstep off the white cliffs is going to be a doozy.

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  30. Tantalus Prime,

    >>You JUST SAID "But evidence to the contrary would change my mind."

    Wouldn't that make YOU closed off to any contrarian viewpoint once given said evidence? “


    >>No. In fact I don’t see how any rational person would conclude that.

    Well after rereading with "my glasses" I see your point. It was a huge mistake as to what I read, or read into, what you actually said. My mistake.

    I see I wrote that at August 14, 2011 5:26 AM I remember I was up all night. In the future I will refrain from doing that again. Moving on

    >>I'm a bit curious as to why you think I haven't read the complete argument.

    No, I was merely pointing to the argument, in its entirety, with additions of James Anderson.

    You said, "If you are referring to Plantinga’s EAAN, let me just say that I find his argument less than convincing in no small part because belief in a god fairs no better using the structure of his argument. "

    In fact I don’t see how any rational person would conclude that. :7p

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  31. It doesn't matter whether or not you claim you were an atheist. It does not make you particularly insightful, especially considering the poor arguments you make on a regular basis about atheism. If you were an atheist, you never knew what it was at the time, what it means, or even how people come to be that way.

    Emotional arguments do not serve as a basis for deciding fact, or determining reality. Every Christian who claims to have been a nonbeliever first makes the mistake of thinking that their emotional experience which led them to Christianity is enough to justify it. That is intellectual hedonism. Conclusions must be justified with evidence, reason, and logic. Some Christians are wise enough to say that they came to their religion through logic. They pretend that that is the case, but no religion can be justified through logic or evidence, so they are lying.

    If you were once an atheist, it is a pity that you discarded all understanding that you once had of it, and went for a campaign of self-denial.

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  32. Unknown (appropriate name),

    >> If you were an atheist, you never knew what it was at the time, what it means, or even how people come to be that way.

    I just new someone was going to come at me with a no true Scotsman fallacy. Thanks for that smile.

    >>Emotional arguments do not serve as a basis for deciding fact, or determining reality.

    Irrelevant thesis and a bare assertion. Wow!

    >>Every Christian who claims to have been a nonbeliever first makes the mistake of thinking that their emotional experience which led them to Christianity is enough to justify it.

    A Strawman and another Irrelevant thesis. You're on a roll. While Christ, the Word, is my ultimate authority, it is not the only means by which God has revealed Himself to us. It is through God's collective natural and special revelation that I know for certain my senses are reliable and can account for truths that are absolute, immaterial, universals like the laws of nature, logic, and reason.

    How do you know that your reasoning about this or ANYTHING is valid?

    >>Conclusions must be justified with evidence, reason, and logic.

    This is a perfect example of a knowledge claim for us to examine. You speak as if you are certain that conclusions must be justified with evidence, reason, and logic. Are you?

    >>but no religion can be justified through logic or evidence

    There's another knowledge claim. Are you certain that no religion can be justified through logic or evidence? If so, how? If not, you have no argument.

    How do you account for ANY absolutes in your worldview? How can you know ANYTHING to be absolutely true?

    >>If you were once an atheist, it is a pity that you discarded all understanding that you once had of it, and went for a campaign of self-denial.

    How are you certain that atheism is the chosen religion? How are you absolutely certain that YOU are not in self denial? Because, as a Christian, its my position that God has revealed Himself to all mankind so that we can know for certain who He is. Those who deny His existence are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness to avoid accountability to God. It is the ultimate act of rebellion against Him and reveals the professing Atheist's contempt toward God.

    ReplyDelete
  33. >>Unknown (appropriate name),

    Glitch in the system.

    >>I just new someone was going to come at me with a no true Scotsman fallacy. Thanks for that smile.

    Actually not. I never said "you were never a real atheist." I said that you apparently never knew what atheism means.

    >>Irrelevant thesis and a bare assertion. Wow!

    It is relevant because you alluded to important events in your life which lead you to your religion.

    Facts do not behave this way. It doesn't take a major crisis in life, or a seeming miracle, for you to accept that the Earth revolves around the sun.

    >>A Strawman and another Irrelevant thesis. You're on a roll.

    Same as the above.

    >>While Christ, the Word, is my ultimate authority,

    Conclusions before evidence guarantees that you'll never arrive at any conclusion other than the one which was chosen for you despite "looking at the evidence."

    >>It is through God's collective natural and special revelation

    Emotion is not a judge of fact. It does not matter how convincing you think it is, using your intuition and emotions in lieu of reasoning just makes you vulnerable to terribly wrong conclusions.

    >>that I know for certain my senses are reliable and can account for truths that are absolute, immaterial, universals like the laws of nature, logic, and reason

    The fact that we must all face at one point is that our senses are decidedly unreliable, which is why we work together to try and determine reality outside of our narrow senses.

    >>How do you know that your reasoning about this or ANYTHING is valid?

    I reason using external facts and methods which greatly diminish error, like reaching consensus with others and their reasoning, consulting expert knowledge, testing my reasoning with others who wish to defeat it.

    >>This is a perfect example of a knowledge claim for us to examine. You speak as if you are certain that conclusions must be justified with evidence, reason, and logic. Are you?

    Are you not?

    >>There's another knowledge claim. Are you certain that no religion can be justified through logic or evidence? If so, how? If not, you have no argument.

    Religions are philosophies which incorporate supernatural elements. Supernatural elements, by their defined natures (above natural processes, not bound by the laws of the universe), may not be examined through logical, evidence-based, or naturalistic methodology. In other words, they are defined as being unreasonable.

    >>How do you account for ANY absolutes in your worldview? How can you know ANYTHING to be absolutely true?

    Absolutes are self-existing. That is why they are absolute. In epistemology, logic is used to prove absolutes as true or false. It is the one tool which can determine an absolute truth.

    >>How are you certain that atheism is the chosen religion?

    It helps if you know that atheism is not a religion.

    >>How are you absolutely certain that YOU are not in self denial?

    I do not have ideological baggage which demands that I believe it.

    >>Because, as a Christian, its my position that God has revealed Himself to all mankind so that we can know for certain who He is.

    Such as this. This is baggage, it serves no purpose other than to identify you to others as a member of a religion. I do not have to rely on it, and experience the daily pressures of having my baggage questioned by others, and especially my common reasoning abilities which tell me what nonsense it is. I do not have to suppress that reasoning every day and pretend that I believe what cannot be known.

    ReplyDelete
  34. transgene,

    >>Actually not. I never said "you were never a real atheist." I said that you apparently never knew what atheism means.

    So I was a professing Atheist, just not a real one. As a real one would know what atheism means. Got it. NTS

    >It is relevant because you alluded to important events in your life which lead you to your religion.

    Like the realization that God did not exist for you, that lead you to your religion of Atheism. Touché

    >>Conclusions before evidence guarantees that you'll never arrive at any conclusion other than the one which was chosen for you despite "looking at the evidence."

    Like, assuming that the Bible is not evidence for God, because you do not believe God exists, is question begging. I agree then.

    >>It does not matter how convincing you think it is, using your intuition and emotions in lieu of reasoning just makes you vulnerable to terribly wrong conclusions.

    Speaking of reasoning...do you concede that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

    >>The fact that we must all face at one point is that our senses are decidedly unreliable, which is why we work together to try and determine reality outside of our narrow senses.

    You are committing the fallacy of a “hasty generalization.” To claim that senses can never be reliable because they sometimes are not reliable is a logical fallacy. In fact to claim that senses are sometimes unreliable presupposes that they are sometimes reliable or you could not make the claim.

    How do you know that your reasoning about this or ANYTHING is valid?

    >>I reason using external facts and methods which greatly diminish error, like reaching consensus with others and their reasoning, consulting expert knowledge, testing my reasoning with others who wish to defeat it.

    Diminish but not eliminate. So you're NEVER absolutely certain of anything. Got it. New information could someday, at sometime, change you perceived knowledge. So you do not actually know anything. That is informative.

    [to be cont'd]

    ReplyDelete
  35. [cont'd]

    You speak as if you are certain that conclusions must be justified with evidence, reason, and logic. Are you?

    >>Are you not?

    Erm, 'evidence' also presupposes ‘logic, knowledge, and truth” care to tell me how you account for them according to YOUR worldview?

    We both trust our senses and reasoning, but of the two of us, I can justify doing so in a non-viciously circular fashion, you cannot.

    >>Religions are philosophies which incorporate supernatural elements.

    Knowledge fail. Buddhism is an atheistic religion. No supernatural element required.

    >>Supernatural elements, by their defined natures (above natural processes, not bound by the laws of the universe), may not be examined through logical, evidence-based, or naturalistic methodology. In other words, they are defined as being unreasonable.

    Again HOW do you KNOW this? Its barely asserted, but not evidenced. You're assuming that methodological naturalism is the ONLY rational explanation, but how are you absolutely certain of that? More on this later.

    >>In epistemology, logic is used to prove absolutes as true or false. It is the one tool which can determine an absolute truth.

    Hardly. The laws of logic are universal, how can an atheist know anything to be universally true? The laws of logic are invariant, how do unchanging entities make sense in a constantly changing universe? The laws of logic are not made of matter, how do things which are not made of matter make sense in ANY atheistic worldview? The entire atheistic worldview is necessarily based upon a relativistic worldview, and due to that, they must necessarily deny the existence of absolutes.

    >>It helps if you know that atheism is not a religion.

    Oh but the evidence disagrees with you because it certainly is. Even our courts say it is. Look up, Kaufman v. McCaughtry and Torcaso v. Watkins. I will predict you will try to move the goal posts, instead of concede though.

    >>I do not have ideological baggage which demands that I believe it.

    Your denial of truth, and evidence, is indeed "ideological baggage". The claim is that God has revealed Himself to EVERYONE, and that this is exposed with every truth claim, every knowledge claim, and even every rational thought you have.

    I don't expect you to like what I write. Your very ability to reason about evidence is evidence of God. Now, assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for God, is question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that God does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of God.

    >>I do not have to suppress that reasoning every day and pretend that I believe what cannot be known.

    How do you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, and on what basis you proceeds with the assumption that they WILL hold?

    ReplyDelete
  36. >>So I was a professing Atheist, just not a real one. As a real one would know what atheism means. Got it. NTS

    So now you're giving us an example of a No True Scotsman fallacy. By the way, isn't it a breach of the 9th commandment to lie about what someone else has said?

    >>Like the realization that God did not exist for you, that lead you to your religion of Atheism. Touché

    Again, atheism is not a religion. Wasn't it pithily said, "If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth?"

    Your kind are repeating that lie in hope that it becomes accepted as fact.

    Anyway, the answer is "no." Atheism isn't a dogma, so it comes from falling out of a dogma you were indoctrinated into, or from educating yourself about the way the world works. Both cases do not require emotional appeals, but cause cognitive dissonance.

    >>Like, assuming that the Bible is not evidence for God, because you do not believe God exists, is question begging. I agree then.

    The bible is not evidence for god because a supernatural agent cannot be evidenced by the natural world. These are non-overlapping domains.

    Scientists, philosophers, naturalists, and skeptics are free to examine evidence because they have no conclusion about how the universe must be. It is for this reason that they are able to incorporate all evidence, rather than deny entire blocks of it, like evolution and cosmology, and form a natural explanation of the universe. You cannot. Your conclusion is that the biblical god created the universe as described in the bible. Anything that contradicts this is defined by you as false, so that you can maintain your conclusion.

    >>Speaking of reasoning...do you concede that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

    If you abrogate physical laws, then you cannot use scientific methodology to develop theory which frames the basis for the phenomenon. In other words, you could not be "certain of them" because you would lack the scientific means to attain certainty.

    Also, this side topic is a dead end anyway, because the bible offers no such predictive power. Vague prophesy read into by hindsight is the basis for fortune telling, and has been for thousands of years. It's the same method behind Nostradamus. The bible code uses algorithms and our hindsight to generate the same effect, and is not unique to the bible.

    >>You are committing the fallacy of a “hasty generalization.” To claim that senses can never be reliable because they sometimes are not reliable is a logical fallacy.

    Good thing I never said "Our senses are never reliable."

    >>In fact to claim that senses are sometimes unreliable presupposes that they are sometimes reliable or you could not make the claim.

    Right. So how did you come to the conclusion then that I said our senses were NEVER reliable?

    >>Diminish but not eliminate. So you're NEVER absolutely certain of anything.

    There are varying degrees of certainty. Almost nothing falls into "absolutely certain" or "absolutely uncertain" but most everything falls between these absolutes in a gradient. Except, of course, logic. Logic can be in the absolute certainty bracket, but inductive reasoning can never.

    >>New information could someday, at sometime, change you perceived knowledge. So you do not actually know anything. That is informative.

    It's actually the definition of open-mindedness, except that you got the part wrong about knowledge. Knowledge does not depend on absolutes, see the above on gradients.

    ReplyDelete
  37. >>Erm, 'evidence' also presupposes ‘logic, knowledge, and truth” care to tell me how you account for them according to YOUR worldview?

    Scientific, academic, mathematical, and philosophical methodologies. Like anything else.

    Humans have devised thousands of years' worth of techniques for obtaining knowledge that work, no need for "it's true because god said so" (which never worked anyway).

    >>We both trust our senses and reasoning, but of the two of us, I can justify doing so in a non-viciously circular fashion, you cannot.

    I don't think you know what circular reasoning means. Saying that you have special knowledge because of the bible, and that the bible is true because it is god's word, and that god is trustworthy because the bible says he is, is a textbook case of circular reasoning. It boils down to "the bible is true because it says it is."

    My reasoning is axiomatic. Certain logical principles it is based upon cannot be reduced further, and are assumed as valid because they work.

    >>Knowledge fail. Buddhism is an atheistic religion. No supernatural element required.

    Do you know anything about it? It has supernatural elements like the Samsara, and Nirvana. Gods aren't the sole basis for supernatural elements.

    >>Again HOW do you KNOW this? Its barely asserted, but not evidenced. You're assuming that methodological naturalism is the ONLY rational explanation, but how are you absolutely certain of that? More on this later.

    It is a matter of basic definitions. If you are supernatural, you transcend natural processes, which means you are not required to follow the laws of the universe, which may even include basic logic. Naturalism relies entirely on these things being consistent and true, so it cannot measure something which does not conform to them.

    It's like asking me how I can know that logic cannot be used to evaluate non-logic.

    >>Hardly. The laws of logic are universal, how can an atheist know anything to be universally true?

    I just said so, and you repeated it: logic. Logic is self-existing and applies universally. Or, are you asking how it is that we know that logic and natural laws apply universally? If that is your question, it is because we know that our universe has symmetry, which means that its laws apply equally across time and space.

    >>The laws of logic are invariant, how do unchanging entities make sense in a constantly changing universe?

    Self-existing things do not depend on the universe.

    >>The laws of logic are not made of matter, how do things which are not made of matter make sense in ANY atheistic worldview?

    They make sense because we know that our universe is complex, and can accommodate matter, energy, vacuums, a fabric of space and time, self-existing principles, laws imposed by the breaking of supersymmetry, etc.

    In other words, we have a very big universe which is strange and often incomprehensible, and by taking it for what it is, rather than imposing an anthropomorphic order upon it which doesn't fit (a god "made" a self-existing basis for reasoning? that doesn't even make sense on its face, and says nothing about it anyway), we arrive at interesting conclusions which explain many of our questions, and tell us what we have yet to figure out.

    >>The entire atheistic worldview is necessarily based upon a relativistic worldview, and due to that, they must necessarily deny the existence of absolutes.

    You are simply asserting this. You have no basis for making this claim.

    ReplyDelete
  38. >>Oh but the evidence disagrees with you because it certainly is.

    Atheism is a lack of belief in god. Religion is dogma that is believed in, and accompanying rituals or beliefs based on supernatural ideas. Atheism is none of this, so it cannot be a religion. That is the long and short of it. Your "evidence" is a big, giant example of "Humans can moo, cows can moo, therefore humans are cows."

    To put it VERY simply, things which are categorically different can share traits, but it is the definitions that matter here, not auxiliary traits. This is basic logic, by the way. If you don't know this, then your life will be full of moments where you draw conclusions like:

    Some Atheists hate America
    Some Muslims hate America
    Therefore some Atheists are Muslims

    Humans have hair
    Cows have hair
    Therefore Humans are Cows

    Etc.

    Do you need this further explained? I thought this stuff was obvious.

    >>Your denial of truth, and evidence, is indeed "ideological baggage".

    You are projecting. I do not believe in gods or magic, so I do not need to deny anything. Denial accompanies some form of belief, or in another definition, it accompanies the lack of belief in established fact. Since god is not an established fact, and I do not believe in it, I cannot be in denial.

    >>The claim is that God has revealed Himself to EVERYONE, and that this is exposed with every truth claim, every knowledge claim, and even every rational thought you have.

    Which is an example of YOUR religious baggage, not mine. You have to believe in that claim as part of dogma. I do not. I am free of that kind of nonsense. Don't you ever wonder what it would be like to be free of making yourself believe in silly things which are obviously untrue, but required badges of religious membership?

    >>Your very ability to reason about evidence is evidence of God.

    This is simply a bare assertion. It's like if I said that rainfall proves god doesn't exist. Actually, since you seem to like bare assertions, I'll try that:

    Your ability to think is proof that there is no god and religion is a lie. Enjoy.

    >>Now, assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for God, is question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that God does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of God.

    I could rewrite your statement so that it is "potato people" instead of god, but that wouldn't make potato people exist, or prove that they do. You're just using dogma as evidence of your religion.

    >>How do you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, and on what basis you proceeds with the assumption that they WILL hold?

    I've said it before: logic is self-existing. It doesn't take magic to do this.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Transgene,

    >>Humans have devised thousands of years' worth of techniques for obtaining knowledge that work, no need for "it's true because god said so" (which never worked anyway).

    Do you use your reasoning when you reason about the past 'success' of your reasoning? Obviously you do, which makes your position viciously circular. Also, assuming that you have nothing else to go on, begs the question AND commits the fallacy of argument from ignorance.

    >>I don't think you know what circular reasoning means.

    More like you don't understand the position.

    Greg Bahnsen writes: ”In the Christian worldview, however, the Christian is not engaged in viciously circular argument, a circular argument on the same plane. We appeal above and beyond the temporal realm. God’s self-revelation in nature and in Scripture informs us of the two-level universe. God is not a fact like other facts in the world. He is the Creator and Establisher of all else. His existence alone makes the universe, and reason, and human experience possible… … The “circularity” of a transcendental argument is not at all the same as the fallacious ‘circularity’ of an argument in which the conclusion is a restatement (in one form or another) of one of its premises.” ~ (Pushing the Antithesis pg.) 124.

    >>My reasoning is axiomatic. Certain logical principles it is based upon cannot be reduced further, and are assumed as valid because they work.

    God being necessary for logic is my axiom. The point is that the necessary elements of logic (i.e. universality, immateriality, and invariance) comport with my worldview, and not with yours.

    The entire atheistic worldview is necessarily based upon a relativistic worldview, and due to that, they must necessarily deny the existence of absolutes.

    >>You are simply asserting this. You have no basis for making this claim.

    But obviously that's not absolutely true is it Transgene? See when you reject absolute truth, which your worldview does and must, not only do you refute yourself, all you are left with is arbitrary opinion, and sorry, but for the purposes of this discussion, I really don't care about your opinion.

    Could you perhaps tell me one thing that you know and how you are able to know it?

    >>You have to believe in that claim as part of dogma. I do not.

    That is called denial. See? Evidenced. QED :7p

    >>I am free of that kind of nonsense.

    That reminds me of a cartoon. Denial is a powerful weapon of the Atheists.

    >>Don't you ever wonder what it would be like to be free of making yourself believe in silly things which are obviously untrue, but required badges of religious membership?

    >.< The irony meter just exploded.

    >>I've said it before: logic is self-existing. It doesn't take magic to do this.

    So "no account at all" is noted. Get my point yet? You cannot account for universal constants within that atheistic worldview of yours. One thing, if there are no universal constants, could you perhaps tell me one thing that you know and how you are able to know it?

    ReplyDelete
  40. >>Do you use your reasoning when you reason about the past 'success' of your reasoning? Obviously you do, which makes your position viciously circular.

    You apparently do not know the basis of reasoning. Reasoning is a broad term for many different techniques, which fall under categories of observation, logic, definition, etc.

    You also miss the clear distinction that reasoning is circular only when an argument's conclusion justifies itself. Reasoning itself is the framework that can be made into tautologies or valid arguments, it cannot itself be circular.

    Put simply, arguments are circular, not reasoning, which is what makes arguments possible.

    >>Also, assuming that you have nothing else to go on, begs the question AND commits the fallacy of argument from ignorance.

    "God says so" does not work as a reasonable argument.

    It's simple to figure out why, "god says so" is really a man claiming the authority of god to justify his argument. A man's authority does not make him correct. All your biblical arguments are based solely on what a man said was right or wrong.

    >>More like you don't understand the position.

    Circular arguments are often made very complicated so you cannot see the tautology. You are in error, not I.

    >>Greg Bahnsen writes: ”In the Christian worldview, however, the Christian is not engaged in viciously circular argument, a circular argument on the same plane. We appeal above and beyond the temporal realm. God’s self-revelation in nature and in Scripture informs us of the two-level universe. God is not a fact like other facts in the world. He is the Creator and Establisher of all else. His existence alone makes the universe, and reason, and human experience possible… … The “circularity” of a transcendental argument is not at all the same as the fallacious ‘circularity’ of an argument in which the conclusion is a restatement (in one form or another) of one of its premises.”

    Which is a tautology made really complicated through a long chain of arguments.

    >>We appeal above and beyond the temporal realm.

    >>God’s self-revelation in nature

    >>and in Scripture informs us of the two-level universe.

    >>God is not a fact like other facts in the world.

    >>He is the Creator and Establisher of all else.

    >>His existence alone makes the universe

    These are all long-winded ways of saying "The bible says so" along with "I say so, and it must be true, because it vaguely agrees with biblical theology."

    Which all goes back to: The Bible is true because it is God's word, and we know it is God's word because it says so, and we know God exists because it says so, and because of [auxiliary reasons that come back to the Bible], and we know God is trustworthy because the Bible says so.

    Which simplifies to: The Bible is true because the Bible says it is true.

    You believe in a tautology. A tautology is your religion and god.

    >>God being necessary for logic is my axiom.

    ReplyDelete
  41. >>God being necessary for logic is my axiom.

    An axiom is not the same as an assertion. An axiom is a statement that cannot be reduced further, and is assumed as true, usually because the results leading from it are useful or work as expected.

    You simply assert that logic requires god. It serves no purpose to do so. Assertions should have a purpose, otherwise you are violating the parsimonious nature of theory-building.

    I could assert that Cats are the basis of logic. I could also assert that without Cats, logic would cease to exist and up would be down, left would be right, etc. It serves no purpose to make this assertion though (purpose as in, what logically derives from the statement? How can it fit with what we know?).

    >>The point is that the necessary elements of logic (i.e. universality, immateriality, and invariance) comport with my worldview, and not with yours.

    All you did was take a secular tool, logic, and shoehorn god into it. You did not argue that the tool is disharmonious with atheism, instead you did the mathematical equivalent of adding a polynomial to an already simplified equation.

    >>But obviously that's not absolutely true is it Transgene? See when you reject absolute truth, which your worldview does and must

    It does not matter how many times you assert it, or even if your "rebuttal" is just a rephrase of the assertion, you lack a coherent basis for why atheism requires relativity in everything.

    Assertions are not arguments.

    >>but for the purposes of this discussion, I really don't care about your opinion.

    It's interesting how your religion retards even the most basic faculties of the human brain.

    >>Could you perhaps tell me one thing that you know and how you are able to know it?

    I've already been over this. I use the standard tools of reasoning to evaluate arguments and propositions. I know, for example, that we live on a planet that orbits a star because those tools show that the facts are harmonious with this proposition.

    Asserting that god is in everything does not undermine my position. It just forces you to take yet another burden of argument whereby you must convince others of your absurd proposition.

    >>That is called denial. See? Evidenced. QED :7p

    It is not defined as denial. It is actually a rebuttal. Know your language.

    >>That reminds me of a cartoon. Denial is a powerful weapon of the Atheists.

    If you don't know the definition of denial, then don't use that word. You look like a fool when you misuse language, and persist in the wrong usage even after being corrected.

    "Since god is not an established fact, and I do not believe in it, I cannot be in denial."

    >>>.< The irony meter just exploded.

    I don't think you know what Irony means.

    For the uninformed, my statement would be ironic, if and only if, I declared previously a silly belief. I did not.

    >>So "no account at all" is noted.

    A self-existing thing has no origin to account for. If you don't understand the language, it is better to ask questions than assert things which make you look foolish because of their inappropriateness.

    >>You cannot account for universal constants within that atheistic worldview of yours.

    You keep repeating that assertion as if excessive verbiage will make it real. Since logic is self-existing, amongst other things, and I do not need to shoehorn deities into the simplest cogs of our universe, I get along fine with absolutes in our universe. It is you who has created a point of dogma that shoehorns god into logic, no one else believes or accepts this, and so we are not encumbered by it.

    >>One thing, if there are no universal constants, could you perhaps tell me one thing that you know and how you are able to know it?

    It is YOUR BELIEF that god is logic, not a fact of reality. I do not believe as you do, so I am not bound by your dogma to defend a strawman of your own making.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Transgene,

    >>A man's authority does not make him correct.

    Said the man who claims the Bible "is not evidence for god because a supernatural agent cannot be evidenced by the natural world." *snicker

    "In fact, that cannot be evidence for God if he is a naturalist, or an atheist. Because according to him its not possible to have evidence for God. If he is in fact an atheist in terms of his views on reality, then all of these things must be reinterpreted so they are regimented, or will conform to, will comport with that man's naturalism, or atheism." ~http://goo.gl/eXHT1

    >> All your biblical arguments are based solely on what a man said was right or wrong.

    And yours is based on Swiss cheese. Got it.

    >>These are all long-winded ways of saying "The bible says so" along with "I say so, and it must be true, because it vaguely agrees with biblical theology."

    It is also the claim of the Christian that God reveals the truth of His Word to us directly such that we can be certain of it. Do you deny that is possible?

    >>Which simplifies to: The Bible is true because the Bible says it is true.

    You're missing the details a bit. The Bible is true because God's Word says it is true. Jesus Christ is God's Word. Read John 1:1,14

    >>You believe in a tautology. A tautology is your religion and god.

    Even if were to reject God's revelation of the truth of the Bible and by mere logic syllogism or propositional form we come to the same conclusion.

    * (1) The writings in question are true on all specific points we can verify. (With arguments in each case.)
    * (2, from 1) Hence, we have good reason to assume that they are completely truthful throughout.
    * (3) The writings describe many events that demonstrate the existence of God.
    * (4, from 2 and 3) Hence, these descriptions must be truthful, so God must exist. (It actually suffices for just one of them to be truthful.)
    * (5) If the writings had been authored by man, they would not have been true on all of these points. (With arguments in each of these cases.)
    * (6, from 1 and 5) Hence, they must have been authored by someone other than man.
    * (7, from 2 and 5) Hence, we have good reason to assume the existence of someone who, unlike man, is completely truthful, and who authored these writings.
    * (8, from 7) This someone is God.

    Also, what we see here is not an instance of circular reasoning, but two different arguments, only partly deductive, for the existence of an all-knowing higher being who wrote the writings in question.

    Even so it (begging the question) is formally logical, and in fact logically valid – that is, the conclusion does follow from the premise – they are tautological. (A compound propositional form all of whose instances are true)

    >>You simply assert that logic requires god. It serves no purpose to do so.

    You said "logic is self-existing" as an account. bwahahahha

    [to be cont'd]

    ReplyDelete
  43. [cont'd]

    >>All you did was take a secular tool, logic, and shoehorn god into it.

    Secular tool? Do you wake up in the morning and assume that logic has changed? Of course not, so what is your basis is for assuming that logic has not changed? How would you know if logic changed if it had? Was logic used in understanding the observations which were used in the formulation of logical laws?

    Besides that, what observation has led you to believe that “A” CANNOT BE both “A” and “not A” at the same time and in the same way? We MUST admit that the relation is not dependent upon thought, but belongs to the independent world which thought apprehends but DOES NOT CREATE. Just the definition of that law implies prescriptiveness – (CANNOT BE, not ISN’T). How can you account for prescriptiveness? In a Christian worldview we have a foundation for unchangeable, repeatable, universal reason because it flows directly from the nature of God. Is not your worldview randomness, matter and motion? Can account for any laws whatsoever?

    ReplyDelete
  44. >>Said the man who claims the Bible

    What didn't you understand about the statement? Authority is not what determines truth or fact. What I said was not a statement of authority determining fact, it was itself a fact about domains of knowledge.

    >>"In fact, that cannot be evidence for God if he is a naturalist, or an atheist. Because according to him its not possible to have evidence for God.

    You are misconstruing what I said into a matter of opinion. It isn't a matter of opinion that natural evidence cannot apply to the supernatural, it is a fact based on the definitions of what constitutes supernatural objects. To be supernatural is to not be restrained by natural law, which means that nature itself, which is the product of natural law, cannot support a supernatural claim.

    >>It is also the claim of the Christian that God reveals the truth of His Word to us directly such that we can be certain of it. Do you deny that is possible?

    This is a biblical claim, which is still circular because you are using a claim made in the bible to assert something about nature such that it confirms the bible.

    Supernatural phenomenon are defined in such a way that they cannot be evidenced through natural processes or products, since we are products of nature, we cannot be evidence of the supernatural. That is why you follow a faith, in the most fundamental sense. You believe in something which has no proof, no evidence, and quite plainly in the face of what we know about the universe.

    >>You're missing the details a bit. The Bible is true because God's Word says it is true. Jesus Christ is God's Word. Read John 1:1,14

    Which are all biblical concepts and sources, meaning its "truth" is a tautology.

    >>by mere logic syllogism or propositional form we come to the same conclusion.

    Only if you make unnecessary assumptions about reality which violate the parsimonious nature of logic.

    "(2, from 1) Hence, we have good reason to assume that they are completely truthful throughout."

    This is known as sloppy reasoning.

    ReplyDelete
  45. In the Lord of the Rings, Frodo is a hobbit, which is an actual fact of nature. There are ents, which are sentient trees. We know that plants sense disturbances and have a very basic nervous-system-like structure. They mention Castles, swords, armors, which are all real in this world.

    Therefore we have good basis to judge that the Lord of the Rings is a reliable testament of history.

    "(3) The writings describe many events that demonstrate the existence of God.
    (4, from 2 and 3) Hence, these descriptions must be truthful, so God must exist. (It actually suffices for just one of them to be truthful.)"

    Reasoning does not work that way. You are determining fact from authority, and are not evaluating the truth of the claims themselves.

    "(5) If the writings had been authored by man, they would not have been true on all of these points."

    See Lord of the Rings.

    >>Also, what we see here is not an instance of circular reasoning, but two different arguments, only partly deductive, for the existence of an all-knowing higher being who wrote the writings in question.

    It still amounts to "The Bible is true because the Bible says it is true." You changed nothing about this, you only derived it in a more plodding manner.

    You cannot have anything but a circular argument for your religion because it itself is the only source you consider authoritative. You do not evaluate the evidence of the world or universe, but start and end your "quest" at the bible, and so it proves itself to itself.

    >>Even so it (begging the question) is formally logical, and in fact logically valid

    Tautological reasoning is not capable of establishing facts or deducing new information.

    >>You said "logic is self-existing" as an account.

    A self-existing thing has no origin, no beginning. It always is, unconditionally. If you don't understand this concept, then ask about it.

    >>Secular tool? Do you wake up in the morning and assume that logic has changed?

    What did I say logic is? Self-existing, which means unconditional. Your line of reasoning is pointless.

    >>Of course not, so what is your basis is for assuming that logic has not changed? How would you know if logic changed if it had?

    See the above.

    >>Was logic used in understanding the observations which were used in the formulation of logical laws?

    Yes. We used logic to expand upon itself.

    >>How can you account for prescriptiveness?

    Depending on scope it is intrinsic to the foundation of our universe (behavior of the laws of physics) or it is self-existing as part of logic (the inability to contradict).

    >>In a Christian worldview we have a foundation for unchangeable, repeatable, universal reason because it flows directly from the nature of God.

    That is not a foundation. It is an assertion which replaces a question with more questions "What is god? How does it make prescriptiveness? Logic? How can an unchangeable thing do anything (hint: it cannot, that is a logical contradiction)?" Etc.

    >>Is not your worldview randomness, matter and motion? Can account for any laws whatsoever?

    I base my worldview on knowledge and the ability to expand it. I know that the universe is complicated, and not capable of being boiled down to randomness, or necessary order, or absolutes, or relativism. It is all of these things, in specific ways, all of which would take years to explain to anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Transgene,

    >>Supernatural phenomenon are defined in such a way that they cannot be evidenced through natural processes or products, since we are products of nature, we cannot be evidence of the supernatural.

    Non sequitur. First, how are you certain we are "products of nature"? The claim is that we are made in His image. Unlike ANY OTHER species in nature. Second, the universe and Jesus are "natural" events. ANY supernatural event is indeed evidence of the supernatural. Water to wine, not natural, i.e. supernatural. Walking on surface of water, though natural for some species, not natural for man. Enter supernatural.QED

    Your claim is unsubstantiated. Which brings us right back to your assertion "its not possible to have evidence for God" and that has been falsified. QED

    >>This is a biblical claim, which is still circular because you are using a claim made in the bible to assert something about nature such that it confirms the bible.

    Wrong. Irrelevant thesis. No one is mentioning Bibles now. Do you concede that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

    >>That is why you follow a faith, in the most fundamental sense. You believe in something which has no proof, no evidence, and quite plainly in the face of what we know about the universe.

    This fallacious equivocation needs to be fleshed out.

    Webster says:
    Faith
    noun \ˈfāth\

    1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
    2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
    3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs.

    Faith, in a sense, is synonymous with loyalty and TRUST. In fact the synonyms are: confidence, trust, reliance, conviction, belief, assurance, devotion, loyalty, faithfulness, commitment, fidelity, constancy, fealty, dedication, allegiance

    So you COMPLETELY misrepresented what faith is, and we expect the apology or acknowledgment before we continue here. Unless you wish to give evidence for Proverbs 18:2 with an affirmative.

    >>Which are all biblical concepts and sources, meaning its "truth" is a tautology.

    Irrelevant thesis. It was a counter to your claim that the Bible was God's word, which is not true as evidenced.

    >>Only if you make unnecessary assumptions about reality which violate the parsimonious nature of logic.

    This was very rich coming form someone claiming things, like logic, "just is". My worldview can account for truths that are absolute, immaterial, and universals like the laws of nature, logic, and reason. Oh and God.

    In contrast, you are stuck in an absurd worldview where you claim to sense the validity of your senses and reason the validity of your reasoning and are certain that we can't know things for certain. And you talk about unnecessary assumptions about reality which violate the parsimonious nature of logic? *pshaw

    [to be cont'd]

    ReplyDelete
  47. [cont'd]

    >>You cannot have anything but a circular argument for your religion because it itself is the only source you consider authoritative. You do not evaluate the evidence of the world or universe, but start and end your "quest" at the bible, and so it proves itself to itself.

    First, I never said it wasn’t circular, just that it is not viciously circular, as your view is. Intellectual honesty would force you to admit that God could reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain. You, on the other hand, have no avenue to certainty.

    Second, false because the Bible is not God's only REVELATION as I pointed out before. If it were, you MIGHT have a leg up in this battle. As it stands, not so much.

    >>Tautological reasoning is not capable of establishing facts or deducing new information.

    Said the person who reasons that their reasoning is valid. Irony meter smoking again.

    >>What did I say logic is? Self-existing, which means unconditional. Your line of reasoning is pointless.

    How do you KNOW your reasoning that logic being "Self-existing, thus unconditional" is valid? This is the core of my question here. How?

    >>I know that the universe is complicated, and not capable of being boiled down to randomness, or necessary order, or absolutes, or relativism.

    This is a perfect example of a knowledge claim for us to examine. You speak as if you are certain that "the universe is complicated". Are you?

    >>It is all of these things, in specific ways, all of which would take years to explain to anyone.

    Suppressed correlative. Got it. Speaking of violating the parsimonious nature of logic... :7)

    ReplyDelete
  48. >>First, how are you certain we are "products of nature"?

    I present you with an option: You can deny that we evolved by evolution through natural selection, but that means you would have to go into your abortion thread and apologize for using DNA evidence as an example of technology that gives us absolute certainty of guilt for death sentences. The other option is that you can keep that abortion thread death penalty argument, but then you must accept that we evolved with natural selection.

    This is because we know with "ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY" as you say, that we evolved from lower primates. We know this because of... DNA EVIDENCE!

    >>The claim is that we are made in His image. Unlike ANY OTHER species in nature.

    Do you know why we are placed on a taxonomic branch with the apes, monkeys and higher primates? It is because there is no physical characteristic that sets us apart from the primates. We are apes with less hair, which must mean your god is in the image of a Gorilla.

    >>ANY supernatural event is indeed evidence of the supernatural.

    Except that our understanding of the universe, and our ability to derive knowledge of the universe, are both based on natural laws. We are able to understand it because we can take it apart, repeat the phenomenon, etc. A supernatural even is inscrutable. Because it defies natural law, it cannot be taken apart by it, it cannot be repeated and tested. It is not a part of natural law so it cannot fit with natural law, which is our basis of knowledge.

    >>Water to wine, not natural, i.e. supernatural.

    These things would be inscrutable, and thus unable to be evidence for anything. They would be instances that do not fit within our universe, and simply keep us stupid at their workings.

    They would be like a real world version of this:
    http://www.newopticalillusions.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/triangle%20optical%20illusions.jpg

    >>Do you concede that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

    An inscrutable thing can have no certainty.

    >>Faith, in a sense, is synonymous with loyalty and TRUST.... So you COMPLETELY misrepresented what faith is, and we expect the apology or acknowledgment before we continue here.

    2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
    3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs.

    >>someone claiming things, like logic, "just is"

    This is a minimal assumption about logic. It is the most parsimonious statement one can make about it.

    Besides making insults, what criticism do you have for logic being self-existing? Do you even have one? Or were you just expecting a long-winded answer like "God struck his mighty hammer and an egg popped out, which hatched into a raven that fed on nectar of the gods, until one day it died and its feathers became the logical axioms?"

    You see, the problem is that logic seems to apply universally, and quite probably beyond our universe. The laws seem to the only correct way that they can function, meaning permutations of logic where numbers add up differently seems to be out of the question. Logic is eternal, it will never end, and logic exists apart from us and matter and energy. So how could something like this exist? It would have to be self-existing, because in order for something to made, it must have a form. Because logic is absolute, unconditional, it could not be made and it could not emerge because both are conditions.

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  49. >>My worldview can account for truths that are absolute, immaterial, and universals like the laws of nature, logic, and reason. Oh and God.

    All you do is replace the quest for the answers to the big questions with "god did it."

    You have no clue how said god did anything you claim it did, which puts you right back at square one.

    >>First, I never said it wasn’t circular, just that it is not viciously circular, as your view is.

    There is a problem where a complex field can be made to appear circular if you simplify it down to the point of idiocy. I believe that is what you have done.

    >>God could reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain

    Except it doesn't. I'll give you an example:

    How did we get here?
    You: God.
    Myself: Evolution through natural selection.

    What does god tell us? Nothing. You have no clue by what process we came to be, or what that process says out our future. You just know magic was involved.

    What does evolution tell us? It says that we are related to the lower primates, so already we know a pattern that the primates will have a hereditary line of stereoscopic color vision. Not to mention that their physiology will be very similar to ours.

    >>Said the person who reasons that their reasoning is valid.

    Reason is a process, not a single source of facts.

    >>Suppressed correlative. Got it.

    The universe encompasses everything we know of reality. It cannot possibly be entirely one attribute. It is several of them, for different systems, and conditions. Only a fool would try to define a complex system by a single adjective.

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  50. Transgene,

    >>I present you with an option:...

    False dilemma fallacy now? Wow, you're on a roll. I kind of understand why you cannot KNOW your reasoning about this or anything is valid.

    >>We know this because of... DNA EVIDENCE!

    Wrong. DNA says anything but that. Your paradigm of evolution is before the evidence again. Same mistake of Darwin. Is it possible interpretation of evidence is false? The answer to that question will reveal your accuracy of your so called "knowledge".

    >>It is because there is no physical characteristic that sets us apart from the primates.

    So we DO have a common Designer. Great! You see we have the same data, you just interpret it differently. If evidence can indeed be interpreted in different manners, how do you KNOW that your reasoning is valid though?

    >>We are apes with less hair, which must mean your god is in the image of a Gorilla.

    You're right, that was not a bare assertion. It must be true.

    >>We are able to understand it because we can take it apart, repeat the phenomenon, etc.

    You mean like Multiverses in string theory? *snicker Or is string theory simply science fiction, you know, according to your criteria? After all it is not testable, repeatable, and verifiable, thus not science. QED

    >>These things would be inscrutable, and thus unable to be evidence for anything.

    All things start as inscrutable, until known. This is even why the CHRISTIANS started the scientific method in the first place.

    >>They would be instances that do not fit within our universe, and simply keep us stupid at their workings.

    So your goal is omniscience? Hmm, well I know a way to get there...He wants to reveal all that to us as 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 says which, if I understand it properly, that we may indeed have omniscience when we are with God. I certainly am very excited about that. I will trust Him, and Him alone, until that wonderful day.

    >>An inscrutable thing can have no certainty.

    Are you certain that an inscrutable thing can have no certainty? If so how are you certain? If not, it follows that you must concede the possibility. And round round we go.

    >>Besides making insults, what criticism do you have for logic being self-existing?

    Well this is in the face of the fact you just got done complaining about inscrutable things that "simply keep us stupid at their workings." Seems a bit contradictory and hypocritical. But, like I said, in a Christian worldview we have a foundation for unchangeable, repeatable, universal reason and logic, because it flows directly from the nature of God. You do not.

    Look, I have been having fun with you but let me nail it down. If I wrote the number 2 on a chalk board and asked you what it was. You might say it was "the number 2" but it isn't, if I erased it you could still use 2. Its a written representation of the number but the number 2 is universal and immaterial. The nonbeliever cannot account for universal, immaterial concepts without presupposing God. You are presupposing your reasoning is valid. How do you account for immaterial concepts in a material universe?

    [to be cont'd]

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  51. [cont'd]

    >> It would have to be self-existing, because in order for something to made, it must have a form. Because logic is absolute, unconditional, it could not be made and it could not emerge because both are conditions.

    Since logic is a reflection of the way God thinks, and since God is absolute, the absolute laws of logic have always existed.

    >>How did we get here?
    You: God.
    Myself: Evolution through natural selection.

    Erm...first, evolution is the same as abiogenesis? I would hope you would understand that most Atheists say that evolution and abiogenesis are not the same thing. That evolution does not explain abiogenesis at all. Otherwise you would be forced to admit that you are a relative of pond scum, trees, carrots, etc. So the first thing I would say is that you're beating to a different drum then science, and more of a Creationism argument. Erm...cool.

    >>What does god tell us? Nothing.

    Actually plenty.

    “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2: 14)

    "For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1: 18-20)

    >>It is not a part of natural law so it cannot fit with natural law, which is our basis of knowledge.

    You do mean science, not knowledge, right? Knowledge can stand outside of natural laws.e.g. God's existence, ethical, and esthetic things. How do you account for such things?

    Laws, or rules, denotes a prescription not description, BTW. How do you get an 'ought' from an 'is' from said natural law?

    As far as science goes, science is dependent on the uniformity of nature, or no scientific prediction could be made. Problem is, no atheistic worldview can account for the uniformity of nature, the very foundation of science.

    >>Reason is a process, not a single source of facts.

    OK, so what do you do, besides reason, to know your reasoning is valid?

    >>The universe encompasses everything we know of reality.

    How?? How do you KNOW this? Are you omniscient?

    >> It cannot possibly be entirely one attribute.

    Logically it does. In cause and effect, eventually and ultimately there MUST be an original cause. Something had to stand outside of space/time to create such a universe. The postulation of "God" certainly, logically, explains such causation of the universe. Regressing through all the 'effects' you keep asking "and what caused that?" until you get to the singularity. God, logically, is that singularity. The universe is not an adequate description of causation because even the most secular scientists believe in the beginnings of the universe "big bang." What caused that?

    >>Only a fool would try to define a complex system by a single adjective.

    Foolish Occam's razor.

    ReplyDelete
  52. >>False dilemma fallacy now? Wow, you're on a roll.

    No, those two positions are connected by a related technology. It's the same as saying you hate technology, but wish to use a computer to post your Luddite rantings on the internet.

    >>Wrong. DNA says anything but that.

    Sigh. Read and be enlightened:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/96/18/10254.full

    >>So we DO have a common Designer. Great!

    Why do people say stupid things like this? Now I remember why I hate debating evolution. The opponent may appear normally intelligent on any other topic, but when he enters the topic of biology his IQ drops by 40 points.

    A designer is not bound by the principles of inheritance. A "common designer" is bound by a hallmark, a signature trait. Like a stamp, or a shape in the mold, or a technique. We are biological organisms, we are not made in factories. We have sex, and give birth, which means that common traits between species can ONLY mean common ancestry. Your statement is as dumb as saying that some children and their parents were obviously made in the same factory because they look alike.

    >>You mean like Multiverses in string theory?

    Multiverse is a hypothetical, metaphysical idea which may only be supported by mathematical predictions in a certain derivation of quantum mechanics. It is not a cornerstone of physics, but an exciting thought if the math bears out by making predictions which we can test in this universe.

    >>All things start as inscrutable, until known.

    Something inscrutable cannot be known. Otherwise it is scrutable.

    >>This is even why the CHRISTIANS started the scientific method in the first place.

    No, the proto-Christians started by sacking high civilization and replacing it with sectarian war, the Catholic church, theocracy and rule by divinely appointed absolute monarchs. Then the Christians defended this tradition with inquisitions, witch burnings, and deep suppression of heresy.

    It was sheer luck that a counter-movement started, and succeeded, in culminating into modern science. You can tell what Christians think of science by the way they seek to destroy it and return to theocracy (creationism, the Discovery Institute, Christian Reconstructionism, Dominionism, etc).

    >>If so how are you certain?

    Categorical definition. A circle cannot have sides. An inscrutable thing cannot be known, and thus cannot have certainty.

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  53. >>Its a written representation of the number but the number 2 is universal and immaterial

    Okay, I'll use simple deductive logic to show you how logic can be self-existing.

    All material requires creation
    X is material
    X requires creation

    Y is not material
    Therefore Y Not(X), in other words, Y does not require creation.

    All non-created things are eternal
    Y is not created
    Y is eternal

    All eternal things are self-existing
    Y is eternal
    Y is self-existing

    This is an example of how logic can be self-existing. You gave the criteria in your speech: it is immaterial, external to us, and universal. Therefore it must be self-existing as per the above.

    >>The nonbeliever cannot account for universal, immaterial concepts without presupposing God.

    For the last time: YOU and YOU alone presuppose god as a non-answer to immaterial concepts. That is YOUR item of dogma. I do not adhere to it, so I am not bound by it. I -can- account for immaterial concepts without invoking god.

    >>Since logic is a reflection of the way God thinks, and since God is absolute

    More baseless assertions used in lieu of knowledge. How many angels can occupy the head of a pin?

    >>Erm...first, evolution is the same as abiogenesis?

    I'm not going to debate evolution if I do not have to. It's annoying because creationists say really dumb things.

    >>Actually plenty.

    What you quoted were deepities.

    >>Knowledge can stand outside of natural laws.e.g. God's existence, ethical, and esthetic things. How do you account for such things?

    We use natural law to KNOW things, otherwise it is opinion, sentiment, preference, etc.

    For example, "God's existence, and esthetic things."

    >>Problem is, no atheistic worldview can account for the uniformity of nature, the very foundation of science.

    More baseless assertions. If you take the most rudimentary physics course, symmetry of nature is explained. It is how we have the laws of conservation.

    >>OK, so what do you do, besides reason, to know your reasoning is valid?

    You use evidence, you test your reasoning in the world and measure the results. This is how you know it isn't just a well-thought-out opinion.

    >>How?? How do you KNOW this? Are you omniscient?

    Definition of universe.

    >>In cause and effect, eventually and ultimately there MUST be an original cause.

    You are using an assumption based on your understanding of the present universe. Our universe evolved in stages.

    >>Something had to stand outside of space/time to create such a universe.

    There is no "outside" of space and time. Our universe encompasses everything. To say "outside the universe (space and time)" is to say nonsense, quite literally. It's like saying, "One is a flavor of green."

    >>The universe is not an adequate description of causation because even the most secular scientists believe in the beginnings of the universe "big bang."

    The big bang is the formation of the universe from a singularity state. It does not describe the "beginning" of the universe as a cause.

    >>What caused that?

    The universe encompasses time, so there could not be a "before the universe" as time would not exist. There could not be a cause to the universe because there would not be "cause" or "effect" or even a "before" the universe.

    >>Foolish Occam's razor.

    Occam's razor does not work that way. Goodnight.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQg8JKo_3ZQ

    ReplyDelete
  54. D.A.N.,

    >> So I was a professing Atheist, just not a real one. As a real one would know what atheism means.

    That’s the thing, you silly. You don’t have a clue what atheism is. The fact you call it atheism a religion is more than enough proof you know jack about atheism and that you were never an atheist to begin with.

    I know religious people from different creeds who were atheists before and they know better atheism is not and never was a religion.

    Again, DAN: a religion revolves around the belief in deities. It revolves around the unconditional faith the believers have towards these deities; it revolves around the commitment those believers are willing to make to the deities they believe and follow through rituals and ceremonies. Guess what? Atheism doesn’t have the only thing that makes a religion what it is: the unconditional belief/faith and commitment to deities.

    And – please – don’t come up with that thing again we worship a god and it’s called self” because this is something you pulled out of your ass in order to justify the erroneous idea you have of atheism.

    >> Like, assuming that the Bible is not evidence for God, because you do not believe God exists, is question begging.

    Assuming the bible is evidence for god because you believe in god is also question begging.

    >> Speaking of reasoning...do you concede that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

    No. There’s no evidence that an omniscient, omnipotent being reveals things to us.
    If there is, he’s not doing a very good job considering there are a lot of people in the world who don’t believe in your god.

    >> Buddhism is an atheistic religion. No supernatural element required.

    Buddhism is considered an atheist religion, but atheism itself is not a religion.

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    Replies
    1. >>You don’t have a clue what atheism is. The fact you call it atheism a religion is more than enough proof you know jack about atheism and that you were never an atheist to begin with.

      The fact that you made this statement is proof that you don't have a clue what religion means. Let me GIVE you a clue:

      religion  
      Use Religion in a sentence

      re·li·gion [ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
      noun
      1.
      a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
      2.
      a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
      3.
      the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
      4.
      the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
      5.
      the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

      I call your attention to definitions 1 and 5. I realize that definition number 1 includes the semi-qualifying phrase, "especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies", but that phrase does not exclude, "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe" that is not considered as the creation of [or by] a superhuman agency or agencies. Your "atheism" is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, even if those beliefs are simply that there is no superhuman creator or agency.

      In definition 5, the practice of such beliefs by the ritual observance of faith is also defined as religion. Even if the "ritual" is the simple rebuttal of any Christian statements of faith, it is still a ritual, and as for faith, faith is the belief in something you have no proof of. Most definitions include a spiritual aspect, but not all do. Since there is absolutely no way to prove that God doesn't exist, you have to believe that He doesn't exist (if you choose to believe that), WITHOUT proof, which makes said belief an exercise in faith.

      Delete
  55. >>Buddhism is considered an atheist religion, but atheism itself is not a religion.

    Equivocation noted.

    Semantics dodge or ploy noted. Thanks for admitting atheists can have a religion and STILL deny God.

    I was once part of that kool-aid drinking religion. I was fortunately just saved from it. Thank God!!!

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  56. Michelle deux,

    >>Assuming the bible is evidence for god because you believe in god is also question begging.

    We have been through this already Michelle. You are dependent on the premise that is the same as the conclusion to come to your conclusion.

    I am not in that same boat. God revealed to us that Scripture is truth. Its circular but not Viciously circular as your position is.

    ”In the Christian worldview, however, the Christian is not engaged in viciously circular argument, a circular argument on the same plane. We appeal above and beyond the temporal realm. God’s self-revelation in nature and in Scripture informs us of the two-level universe. God is not a fact like other facts in the world. He is the Creator and Establisher of all else. His existence alone makes the universe, and reason, and human experience possible… … The “circularity” of a transcendental argument is not at all the same as the fallacious ‘circularity’ of an argument in which the conclusion is a restatement (in one form or another) of one of its premises.” ~ (Pushing the Antithesis pg.) 124.

    We understand that you KEEP DENYING this evidence presented though. It is, after all, your M.O.

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  57. Dan,

    You were never an atheist, your misunderstanding about what atheism already proves that. Thank goodness you never were an atheist because I would feel deeply ashamed of having you as someone who shared the same worldview as me.

    For me to deny gods I have to believe in them in the first place, which – news flash – I lack belief in gods.

    Sarcasm mode On Obviously, you don’t believe in Tupã so – deep down – you’re denying him by not believing he exists, right? Sarcasm mode off

    You are the one who assumes bible itself is the evidence of god because you believe in him. You try to – without success – to shift this failed argument on us by claiming that “saying the bible is not evidence for god because you don’t believe in god is question begging.” This argument of yours works on both ways; you claiming the scriptures are evidence for god because you believe in him is question begging; it doesn’t matter if you don’t like it/don’t accept it.

    >> We understand that you KEEP DENYING this evidence presented though. It is, after all, your M.O

    You never presented me any reliable and verifiable evidence. I don’t have to believe in your personal experiences about the alleged revelations you had because you didn’t show me any evidence that proves with 100% certainty they really happened.

    Natural events are explained by natural phenomena; no supernatural explanation needed to explain the natural and supernatural belong to different/opposing fields (the first one is based on reliable/verifiable evidence; the second based on faith only)

    It’s like the O’Reilly argument “tide comes in, tide comes out…never a miscommunication” therefore god exists.

    Tide comes in…tide comes out…never a miscommunication, therefore the gravitational forces exerted by the Sun, the rotation of Earth and the Moon exists.

    The apparent movement of the sun in the sky doesn’t happen because the god Helios is taking a ride in the sky in his chariot of fire; it happens because Earth rotates around its own axis.

    History is not proof of god either since history is a report of man made historical events.

    You come up with some new, reliable and verifiable evidence about your god’s existence this time or shut up because repeating the same old “arguments” such as these mentioned above or quoting passages from the gibible and religious preaching don’t cut it.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Mhich,

    In a sense, every Christian in the world was once an implicit atheist, since everyone began life with no concept of deities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin,
      Read my reply to Reynold's comment made on August 13th. Romans Chapter 1 states that all men know God exists whether they properly acknowledge Him or not.

      Delete
  59. Dan,
    I think that following your blog is going to make me go back on my decision to not argue with fools. LOL!

    ReplyDelete

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