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Irreligious 07-04-2008 08:17 AM

Even if a good portion of the world purportedly believes in "some sort of God," none can objectively produce such a thing. "Some sort of a God" is awfully vague, by the way. That could be a magical man in the sky, an all-encompassing nothingness embracing the universe or any number of poorly thought-out concepts. It could literally be anything that the human imagination can conceive, and it doesn't even have to make logical sense.

Lily 07-04-2008 08:20 AM

Quote:

Mog wrote (Post 503935)
I don't know what you said, but I'll take you off my ignore list if you promise to keep your nitpicking tendencies to yourself.

As far as I'm concerned, this is along the lines of your accusing Irreligious of being a racist, when she only accused you of being liberal-intolerant.

Put me back on ignore. Anyone who doesn't know, nearly two years after he joined, that Irreligious is a man can't be taken seriously. He? She?

I know it is nit-picking but I pick nits. It is what nit-pickers do. Assuming that nits are factual statements and pickers are people who think we need to get our facts straight before drawing conclusions.

Lily 07-04-2008 08:34 AM

Quote:

Irreligious wrote (Post 503937)
Even if a good portion of the world purportedly believes in "some sort of God," none can objectively produce such a thing. "Some sort of a God" is awfully vague, by the way. That could be a magical man in the sky, an all-encompassing nothingness embracing the universe or any number of poorly thought-out concepts. It could literally be anything that the human imagination can conceive, and it doesn't even have to make logical sense.

Yes, it does have to make logical sense. I know that you are not one much for logic and philosophy, but, as I have told you and as have philosophers, historians and all serious thinkers, the supernatural is an inference and not an a priori assumption. It can be inferred by various lines of argument.

If the universe had a beginning, it had to have been caused. I can hear the usual "so what caused God?" This is a faulty line of reasoning since there must have been some uncaused cause, as an infinite regress of causes is impossible or nothing would exist. We know that the universe itself was not uncaused, since it had a beginning. Only something with no beginning can be uncaused. Traditionally the uncaused cause is God. Now that is light years from Christianity but let's start with baby steps, first.

Now Choobus tells me that big bang does not mean the universe had a beginning. If it didn't, then cosmological arguments may not be as persuasive as they are now (in my opinion). But they are not the only game in town.

Irreligious 07-04-2008 08:42 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote (Post 503927)
Defining a flaw as a benefit is not only irrational but, assuredly, detrimental to the one who believes such a thing.

A flaw is subjective, Ms. Subterfuge.

Humans do tend to believe in things that are not in evidence when they think it benefits them. Arguably, sometimes it does benefit them and, possibly others.

If your beliefs in the alleged supernatural are all that is keeping you from mowing down a few innocents on the street, then it at least has that benefit. But, that still doesn't make it any less of a delusion if your beliefs lack any grounding in concrete reality.

I know you hate this analogy, but very young children believe in Santa Claus, which they see as beneficial because it nets them gifts. It's a benign belief when properly contained, much like the belief in an amorphous "god who cares." However, the more specific and passionate one becomes about one's beliefs in things that cannot be objectively demonstrated, the more problematic it becomes: Crusades, witch burnings and honor killings are at the extreme end of such irrationality. At that point, it's no longer a benefit to anyone except, perhaps, the perpetrators of these oppressions. The flaw then becomes a great deal more obvious.

Irreligious 07-04-2008 08:51 AM

Lily, I really don't want to argue with you about things that neither of us is in a position to know. Neither you, nor I, nor any of the hundreds of philosophers or Biblical scholars you can point me to knows with any certainty anything about the alleged origins of the universe. That much is fact. All you're in a position to do is to give me conjecture. And your guess about such things is as good as mine.

Missionary 07-04-2008 08:53 AM

Quote:

Mog wrote (Post 503926)
Is it? If the mental illness is beneficial to people, theres no reason not for it to spread. It seems that religion does create a sense of unity among people that have the same type, something us atheists don't really share. It inspires a false sense of purpose, which can rally people into action. There are benefits that society has from religious people, even though religion is most likely a delusion. The fact is that as strange as it seems, some flaws in human nature are beneficial to our kind as a whole. So delusion may not be rational, but its not always detrimental and is sometimes even beneficial.

By your logic then, atheists are the weak link in the gene pool. haha.

Lily 07-04-2008 08:54 AM

Quote:

Irreligious wrote (Post 503941)
A flaw is subjective, Ms. Subterfuge.

Uh, no, it isn't.

Quote:

I know you hate this analogy, but very young children believe in Santa Claus, which they see as beneficial because it nets them gifts. It's a benign belief when properly contained, much like the belief in an amorphous "god who cares." ...
No, I don't hate it. I hold it in contempt. It is not worthy of a thinking human being.

Philboid Studge 07-04-2008 08:59 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote (Post 503940)
If the universe had a beginning, it had to have been caused. I can hear the usual "so what caused God?" This is a faulty line of reasoning since there must have been some uncaused cause, as an infinite regress of causes is impossible or nothing would exist. We know that the universe itself was not uncaused, since it had a beginning. Only something with no beginning can be uncaused. Traditionally the uncaused cause is God. Now that is light years from Christianity but let's start with baby steps, first.

By this line of reasoning, God is unique among causes in that It does not require a cause. Why is It exempt? Can you explain it without the blatant question-buggering, bolded above? (NB: I'm not asking, "so what caused God?") It might be possible to avoid special pleading here, but you haven't done so.

That's only part of the problem with this argument. There are other flaws in it as well.

Sorry to kill the baby before it could take its first steps, but that's what atheists do.

Irreligious 07-04-2008 09:00 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote (Post 503945)
Uh, no, it isn't.

Um, yes it is in the context that Mog was using the term.



Quote:

Lily wrote
No, I don't hate it. I hold it in contempt. It is not worthy of a thinking human being.

Of course, you do. But, so what?

Single Serving Jack 07-04-2008 09:03 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote (Post 503940)
We know that the universe itself was not uncaused, since it had a beginning. Only something with no beginning can be uncaused. Traditionally the uncaused cause is God. Now that is light years from Christianity but let's start with baby steps, first.

Now Choobus tells me that big bang does not mean the universe had a beginning. If it didn't, then cosmological arguments may not be as persuasive as they are now (in my opinion). But they are not the only game in town.

AFAIK we certainly don't know the universe was not uncaused. The Big Bang timeline only goes back so far, beyond that we simply don't know. If it did have a cause, it certainly doesn't follow that God caused it - it may have been the result of a collapse of a previous universe, just one in an infinite series of Big Crunches & Bangs, or the result of multi-dimensional branes colliding, or one of who knows how many other theories. I believe there are all sorts of strange theories attempting to explain how something could indeed come from nothing, not that I could tell you anything about them. Or it may be something we'll never figure out.

The point is we don't know. What I do know is if God can be uncaused, so could the universe.

Irreligious 07-04-2008 09:09 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote (Post 503939)
... Anyone who doesn't know, nearly two years after he joined, that Irreligious is a man can't be taken seriously. He? She?

:lol:

Aww, cut him some slack, Lily. I'll forgive Mog for thinking I was female. I've been here nearly two years, myself, and I can't claim to know the genders of all the posters here, either.

Mog 07-04-2008 09:12 AM

Quote:

Missionary wrote (Post 503944)
By your logic then, atheists are the weak link in the gene pool. haha.

I can't argue with that, actually, but I would say that with globalization, religion no longer has the advantage it did, and I would have to say that with the increasing knowledge of science among the world's population, the non-religious are making strong gains. (I know you don't want to consider science the providence of the non-religious, but the fact remains that scientists as a whole are more likely to be less religious than the general population.)

Our society is changing, you know. What was beneficial in one instance may be merely neutral or even detrimental in others. Its often occurs in evolution that positive traits often cause their own obsolescence. In this case, religion has created something of a global society and this makes the conflicts between different religions more of a problem.

Mog 07-04-2008 09:15 AM

Quote:

Irreligious wrote (Post 503952)
:lol:

Aww, cut him some slack, Lily. I'll forgive Mog for thinking I was female. I've been here nearly two years, myself, and I can't claim to know the genders of all the posters here, either.

Come to think of it, I often referred to you as a he.. Lets face it, with a gender neutral name, you can't really tell. If we can adapt the gender neutral "e" or such, maybe we'd be safe but for now....

Missionary 07-04-2008 09:16 AM

Quote:

Irreligious wrote (Post 503937)
Even if a good portion of the world purportedly believes in "some sort of God," none can objectively produce such a thing. "Some sort of a God" is awfully vague, by the way. That could be a magical man in the sky, an all-encompassing nothingness embracing the universe or any number of poorly thought-out concepts. It could literally be anything that the human imagination can conceive, and it doesn't even have to make logical sense.

It's evidence of a phenomenon that science can't explain away with evidence and secular social sciences can only guess at.

Mog 07-04-2008 09:17 AM

Quote:

Single Serving Jack wrote (Post 503948)
AFAIK we certainly don't know the universe was not uncaused. The Big Bang timeline only goes back so far, beyond that we simply don't know. If it did have a cause, it certainly doesn't follow that God caused it - it may have been the result of a collapse of a previous universe, just one in an infinite series of Big Crunches & Bangs, or the result of multi-dimensional branes colliding, or one of who knows how many other theories. I believe there are all sorts of strange theories attempting to explain how something could indeed come from nothing, not that I could tell you anything about them. Or it may be something we'll never figure out.

The point is we don't know. What I do know is if God can be uncaused, so could the universe.

What the hell? Didn't Lily already do this same argument a week ago? Did only the people who she had on her ignore list answer this or something?


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