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God, Theism, Religion and Objectivism

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*** Mod's note: Merged thread. - sN ***

I figured you'd have fun with these, if not for an exercise. I've seen all these reasons proposed by Christians before as well, chances are you will encounter them.

10. You vigorously deny the existence of God, yet you frequently blame Him for all the "evils" in the world, all the natural disasters, and everything else under the sun that is wrong in modern society.

9. You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when creationists say that people were created in the image and likeness of God, but you have no problem with the evolutionist claim that we all evolved from slime by a cosmic accident.

8. You criticize fundamental Christians who believe the Bible, and say that it can't possibly be true because it's just a book written by mere men, yet you never question any of Darwin's writings or Richard Dawkins' books.

7. You can't seem to understand the primary differences between fundamental Muslims and fundamental Christians (hint: strap-on TNT. Plus - Muhammad says, "kill innocent people and yourself if you love me." Jesus Christ said, "I'll die for you because I love you").

6. You say the Bible is full of fairytales and fables, yet you believe all life forms including plants, trees, insects, birds, fish, reptiles and mammals evolved from one species into another - As if evolution isn't the biggest fairytale of them all.

5. You laugh at the Supernatural, even though scientists have calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes to be estimated less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,ooo power - But you find nothing wrong with believing that billions of years full of random mutations would result in the impossible.

4. You accuse fundamental Christians of being intolerant, judgmental and hateful, while you foam at the mouth calling them freaking lunatics, ignorant, weak-minded, stupid fundies, and hateful bigots.

3. You ignore scientific concepts like cause and effect, and you don't realize that a closed system can be defined however the observer wants, so you throw out technological phrases to try to ignore the implications of thermodynamics by saying the laws of physics are not set in stone.

2. While all evidence, logic and reasoning point to a Creator and absolute truth, you prefer to hide behind relativism and a theory of evolution which does not, in fact, describe the creation of the universe at all, or why concepts of good and evil or morality exist.

1. *Atheism fails to adequately explain the existence of eternal, unchanging truths, for it rejects the existence of an eternal unchanging mind. Atheism cannot offer man any eternal significance whatsoever. Temporary meaning in life is insufficient, for our accomplishments die with the death of the universe -- there is no ultimate purpose in a universe void of God.

Edited by softwareNerd
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I figured you'd have fun with these, if not for an exercise. I've seen all these reasons proposed by Christians before as well, chances are you will encounter them.

The only source I could find was "originally posted by Danielle Kekoa on the DBC Women's Fellowship", who appears to be the Danielle Kekoa who runs these blogs: http://www.bureaucraticdaycare.blogspot.com/, http://worstgenerationseed.blogspot.com/

Edited by brian0918

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They're pretty bad, especially:

2. While all evidence, logic and reasoning point to a Creator and absolute truth, you prefer to hide behind relativism and a theory of evolution which does not, in fact, describe the creation of the universe at all, or why concepts of good and evil or morality exist.

What evidence?

Why would a theory of the origins of life need to take into account, much less describe, the origins of the rest of the Universe?

Why would science qua science concern itself with morality? A majority of the subjects studied by science, such as biology, are amoral to begin with.

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Ridiculous, particularly I think that last one listed, number one. Im personally quite glad that atheism "fails" to provide some nonsensical higher purposes to the universe where there can be none!

Actually, this one is pretty bad too:

3. You ignore scientific concepts like cause and effect, and you don't realize that a closed system can be defined however the observer wants, so you throw out technological phrases to try to ignore the implications of thermodynamics by saying the laws of physics are not set in stone.

I thought science was based on the theory of cause and effect and not arbitrarily defining a "closed system". I fail to see how thermodynamics implies the laws of physics are not set in stone, they must be by definition!

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I'm about half asleep, but I'll bite anyways.

10. You vigorously deny the existence of God, yet you frequently blame Him for all the "evils" in the world, all the natural disasters, and everything else under the sun that is wrong in modern society.

Fallacy of the sweeping generalization and ambiguous. Stuffing ALL atheists into one box, and plus who actually said that religion was the cause of ALL problems?

For what evil religion has caused, it's the concept of the deities that are being blamed.

9. You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when creationists say that people were created in the image and likeness of God, but you have no problem with the evolutionist claim that we all evolved from slime by a cosmic accident.

With how God is depicted in the Bible, I'd rather not be related to him. And keeping cause-and-effect in mind, we were not created by "accident." Also, what is this "slime"?

8. You criticize fundamental Christians who believe the Bible, and say that it can't possibly be true because it's just a book written by mere men, yet you never question any of Darwin's writings or Richard Dawkins' books.

Who said that? I think the difficulties people have with the Bible is that it has been written and edited by multiple people, and isn't even consistent, nor uses any evidence that would suppose a deity (this wording being important, because I'm not denying the evidence that has been found in favor of the Bible's description of certain "mortal" people).

Darwin and Dawkins, on the other hand, have been the only ones working on their writings and at least bothered to use objective evidence.

7. You can't seem to understand the primary differences between fundamental Muslims and fundamental Christians (hint: strap-on TNT. Plus - Muhammad says, "kill innocent people and yourself if you love me." Jesus Christ said, "I'll die for you because I love you").

Don't forget God commands "kill innocent people because I said so."

There's a thread somewhere on this forum where someone pointed out that Islam is neither a violent religion nor a peaceful because the Koran cannot be practiced consistently, as one part advocates peace while the other violence. Same thing with the Bible, to the tune of not being able to be practiced consistently.

6. You say the Bible is full of fairytales and fables, yet you believe all life forms including plants, trees, insects, birds, fish, reptiles and mammals evolved from one species into another - As if evolution isn't the biggest fairytale of them all.

The claim of evolution being a fairytale is arbitrary so long as it isn't supported.

5. You laugh at the Supernatural, even though scientists have calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes to be estimated less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,ooo power - But you find nothing wrong with believing that billions of years full of random mutations would result in the impossible.

Why are the odds like this, and is it being said that extreme mathematical odds automatically means false? It's one-and-a-million odds for being struck by lightning, but people still get hit.

And again, everything has a cause, so no randomness. Also, it is arbitrary to say this process is impossible.

4. You accuse fundamental Christians of being intolerant, judgmental and hateful, while you foam at the mouth calling them freaking lunatics, ignorant, weak-minded, stupid fundies, and hateful bigots.

I would agree in the case of militant atheists, but the fallacy of the sweeping generalization keeps from doing so.

3. You ignore scientific concepts like cause and effect, and you don't realize that a closed system can be defined however the observer wants, so you throw out technological phrases to try to ignore the implications of thermodynamics by saying the laws of physics are not set in stone.

Nothing but arbitrary.

Atheists don't like science and are all subjectivists?!

2. While all evidence, logic and reasoning point to a Creator and absolute truth, you prefer to hide behind relativism and a theory of evolution which does not, in fact, describe the creation of the universe at all, or why concepts of good and evil or morality exist.

And where is this evidence you speak of?

Also, religion in itself doesn't provide ethical guides; the ethics branch in philosophy does.

1. *Atheism fails to adequately explain the existence of eternal, unchanging truths, for it rejects the existence of an eternal unchanging mind. Atheism cannot offer man any eternal significance whatsoever. Temporary meaning in life is insufficient, for our accomplishments die with the death of the universe -- there is no ultimate purpose in a universe void of God.

What eternal, unchanging truths? And why are is eternity a worry?

-----

Since most of these are ad hominem, they aren't even ten reasons.

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5. You laugh at the Supernatural, even though scientists have calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes to be estimated less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,ooo power - But you find nothing wrong with believing that billions of years full of random mutations would result in the impossible.

I have three things to say about this:

1. I am willing to bet that number is made up.

2. This number is clearly false since life exists on this planet through natural means.

3. 1 in 10^40,000 does not equal impossible. It only equals so unlikely to occur as to not be worth consideration.

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The Top 10 List is a nice summary of the mystical non-thinking of religionists. The best response is to challenge at the outset their use of any evidence or logical argument, since their epistemological method -- faith -- denies both. They can't have it both ways: use bits of reason and evidence to support their unreal conclusions, all the while reserving unto themselves the ability to deny reason and invoke faith when it suits them.

Because of the end-justifies-the-means nature of their epistemological method (i.e., "reason is the handmaiden of faith"), at the root their entire argument is dishonest. Moreover, given that they subordinate reason to faith, I would also not trust any factual assertion they make. For example, it is a big mistake to accept at face value their ludicrous assertion that the odds of life emerging are 1 to 10 to the 40,000th power. There is no way they can know this. It is entirely arbitrary and should be dismissed as such.

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I have three things to say about this:

1. I am willing to bet that number is made up.

2. This number is clearly false since life exists on this planet through natural means.

3. 1 in 10^40,000 does not equal impossible. It only equals so unlikely to occur as to not be worth consideration.

It's a typical creationist chestnut that's been disproved many times. The basic problems with the creationists' calculation are (1) they are based on assuming certain building blocks of modern life must arise randomly, whereas the modern biochemistry would have evolved from a much simpler starting point, and (2) when creationists go on and estimate the amount of time necessary for such life to evolve, they implicitly assume sequential random trials, but in reality you'd have a vast number of simultaneous trials going on each second. There are other serious problems, of course, but those give you a good idea of the (quite typical) evasive non-seriousness of the figures. There's a good discussion of such arguments here.

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3. 1 in 10^40,000 does not equal impossible. It only equals so unlikely to occur as to not be worth consideration.

That's not a very scientific way of looking at things. Given sufficient years in sufficient planets in sufficient universes, any possibility becomes a probability.

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10. You vigorously deny the existence of God, yet you frequently blame Him for all the "evils" in the world, all the natural disasters, and everything else under the sun that is wrong in modern society.

I am not sure how this one even makes any sense. Anyone who denies the existence of God is not likely to turn around and blame Him for anything, good or bad. The truth is, it is Christians that have the most difficulty in this area. They give credit to God for all good things that happen and give Him a pass when something goes wrong. Somehow, man is to blame for 'all the evils of the world,' and not the supposed creator of all things, good and bad.

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That's not a very scientific way of looking at things. Given sufficient years in sufficient planets in sufficient universes, any possibility becomes a probability.

Yes, if given sufficient universes with similar laws of physics. However, we do not know that we are given any such things. Sure, quantum mechanics says there is a probability of you being able to walk through the wall, but its some miniscule fraction, the inverse of which is greater than the number of particles in the universe. It is scientific to accept that probability as impossible and move on to more interesting problems. It just doesn't make for good science fiction.

Edited by brian0918

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1. I am willing to bet that number is made up.

Probably. In any case, it's meaningless. We know only eight or nine planets, and we know life arose on one of them. That's the sum total of our knowledge. We'd have to find other planets and see whteher life ever arose on them in order to get a clearer notion of the odds. We also don't know for certain how life arose, or even how many times it did.

2. This number is clearly false since life exists on this planet through natural means.

Earth is probably one planet among hundreds of billions in this galaxy alone. We don't know if there are many others like it, or even any others like it. Given the discoveries of planets around other stars that seem very different from our Solar system, we can't even guess how typical or atypical we are to begin with. Statistics and probability work better with large sampels. Ours is so small so far it's useless.

3. 1 in 10^40,000 does not equal impossible. It only equals so unlikely to occur as to not be worth consideration.

If I recall correctly, there are about 300,000,000,000 stars in the milky way (that's 3 x 10 to the 11th power). Meaning if the odds are accurate, we're the only inhabited world in several galaxies, or even in the entire Universe. That's the point of making up such large numbers.

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I am not sure how this one even makes any sense. Anyone who denies the existence of God is not likely to turn around and blame Him for anything, good or bad. The truth is, it is Christians that have the most difficulty in this area. They give credit to God for all good things that happen and give Him a pass when something goes wrong. Somehow, man is to blame for 'all the evils of the world,' and not the supposed creator of all things, good and bad.

I think it comes from the fact the people "blame God" when bad things happen to test the faithful. Like saying "If God is so good, how come he let that Hurricane blow everyone's house away, or why did he let that suicide bomber blow up that cafe?" (I think I'm about to write a poem! :P )

It's not a matter of believing in him, but saying, "If you believe, how do you let God get away with these things?"

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Interesting that so many of the attacks against atheism would be based on evolution vs. creationism. I would have suspected a lot of other, more significant issues. In fact, I know a number of very religious people who believe in evolution...

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I have been reading Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I enjoy the ideas that go into them and the philosophy. However, I am christain. Can a person be objective while still believing that there is a God?

My basic understanding on objectivism is that man owns his on time, property, and mind.

So, I understand and agree with all basic outlined parts of objectivism except the whole no God thing.

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I have been reading Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I enjoy the ideas that go into them and the philosophy. However, I am christain. Can a person be objective while still believing that there is a God?

My basic understanding on objectivism is that man owns his on time, property, and mind.

So, I understand and agree with all basic outlined parts of objectivism except the whole no God thing.

A post you made post in another thread:

I think that it is your choice to give money or not. Neither choice is imoral or moral.

My choice, I earn my money and wouldn't give it to anyone.

You do know this is in contradiction to pretty much the whole Bible, right?

Edited by eriatarka

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Can a person be objective while still believing that there is a God?

No. Objectivism holds that reason is your only tool to understand reality and acquire knowledge. By default, a belief in God requires the abdication of reason and the acceptance of faith. Therefore, a person cannot be an Objectivist theist.

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So, I understand and agree with all basic outlined parts of objectivism except the whole no God thing.

"[T]he whole no God thing", is pretty important, because existence exists and only existence exists. The universe is eternal, and therefore uncaused. And some type of disembodied "consciousness" is metaphysically impossible, along with the fact that a "consciousness" with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. The main point is belief in any type of gods or the supernatural is a primacy of consciousness NOT a primacy of existence philosophy like Objectivism. So while one could believe in a god and be rational or objective at times, the fact that one holds an irrational "belief" means one could never be fully rational and objective.

Why do you think that you need to believe in God? I don't care about your feelings either, just the thought behind them; what do you get out of "believing" in God? Also, can you define God? Why or why not?

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By default, a belief in God requires the abdication of reason and the acceptance of faith. Therefore, a person cannot be an Objectivist theist.

Unless you can find a rational reason for believing in God.

If you can find a rational reason for believing in God, you can stay an Objectivist and a Christian. All that you have to do is remember that the Bible (New Test.) was written 70 years after the events described in it happened (i.e., the life and death of an obscure and mysterious religious teacher), by people who had only heard stories 3rd or 4th hand. So it is VERY doubtful that any of what was written was actually said.

So it comes down to weather or not you believe in God for a rational reason. Then, do you believe in Christ/Mohammed's Encounter/Etc.?

If yes to any, then remember that no religion's Bible is a concrete text written by God himself. They are all fluxual, interpretable documents with very, very little reliability and is not a tool to reach God or live life. That requires your own mind.

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Unless you can find a rational reason for believing in God.

Are you trying to be ironic or funny?

Belief in God requires faith, which is diametrically opposed to reason. There is no such thing as a rational reason to believe in God. God as defined in the Bible and by most Christians is a disembodied consciousness, omnipotent, and omniscient; these traits are impossible to have (individually and collectively).

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I have been reading Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I enjoy the ideas that go into them and the philosophy. However, I am christain. Can a person be objective while still believing that there is a God?

My basic understanding on objectivism is that man owns his on time, property, and mind.

So, I understand and agree with all basic outlined parts of objectivism except the whole no God thing.

You haven't taken the "God thing" seriously and so don't yet see the contradiction.

According to the "God thing", your time, property, and mind all come from God and will be taken by God because they belong to God. Everything that exists is a part of God.

Good premises to you in your search for the truth.

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Are you trying to be ironic or funny?

Belief in God requires faith, which is diametrically opposed to reason. There is no such thing as a rational reason to believe in God. God as defined in the Bible and by most Christians is a disembodied consciousness, omnipotent, and omniscient; these traits are impossible to have (individually and collectively).

I'm not saying that a rational reason for the existence of god is possible. I'm saying that if you had one, you could be a Christian Objectivist.

Its like saying "The hunger crisis can be solved sooner if you can make it so that not eating is more nutritious then eating." As far as I know, It's not possible, I'm just using an "if you could..."

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Unless you can find a rational reason for believing in God.

If you can find a rational reason for believing in God, you can stay an Objectivist and a Christian. All that you have to do is remember that the Bible (New Test.) was written 70 years after the events described in it happened (i.e., the life and death of an obscure and mysterious religious teacher), by people who had only heard stories 3rd or 4th hand. So it is VERY doubtful that any of what was written was actually said.

So it comes down to weather or not you believe in God for a rational reason. Then, do you believe in Christ/Mohammed's Encounter/Etc.?

If yes to any, then remember that no religion's Bible is a concrete text written by God himself. They are all fluxual, interpretable documents with very, very little reliability and is not a tool to reach God or live life. That requires your own mind.

This is absolutely not a position congruent with the philosophy of Objectivism. Because there is no proof in reality of the existence of God, there is no possible way for finding a "rational" reason for believing in God. To say that there could be is an evasion of the facts of reality.

PS; Proofs of existence do not include any imagees of any of the holy trinity (or Mary) on a piece of toast, tortilla, or other foodstuffs

Edited by athena glaukopis

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