Argument from Desire

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mickron88's picture


nice one bro.. you should put this on the debate forum..
lets see what will they say to this thread..

go on..give it a shot..

know why they don't have any evidence?
cause there aren't any....

sorry edited

Sheldon's picture
"It would be nice to see a

"It would be nice to see a point of view that involves actual evidence."

Ahem, we're of one mind on that. It would be refreshing if we met a theist who knew what objective evidence is. Though I suspect we're asking them to be other than they are.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Haha, Thank you for sharing

Haha, Thank you for sharing the link! The evidence is overwhelming, I'm a believer!!!!!! Yay!

CyberLN's picture
JoC, when I was a little girl

JoC, when I was a little girl, I would stare out of the window every evening waiting for the first star to appear. I would recite: “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.”

I did the same thing night after night for years. I wished for the same thing every time. It was the strongest desire I’ve ever had. It was a stronger desire, perhaps, than you’ve ever had.

But they didn’t stop.

You posit that a desire for a god means a god exists. What did my desire mean? What existed?

Kataclismic's picture
Perhaps the desire is

Perhaps the desire is immortality. An immortal person does not exist, but that's what makes it desirable. If we lived forever we wouldn't desire an afterlife to make us believe we live forever. Nobody desires a God, just the eternal life inferred by Him.

Desire comes from the lack of something. You desire food because you have an empty stomach, not because you know something exists to fill it. Lacking in knowledge of death creates a desire for (and creation of) an afterlife.

David Killens's picture
@JoC "Then people desire

@JoC "Then people desire God."

Not immediately. We have delved into desires, and when you dig down to the root cause, people desire answers and comfort. Some get it by alcohol or tarot cards, some get it by Wiki, the point is that there are multiple methods in achieving personal desires.

And in that desire to achieve peace of mind and get answers, religion religion rears it's ugly head.

Religion was invented to provide comfort and give answers, even if they are false.

But JoC, your argument is constructed on VERY failed logic.

Sapporo's picture
I have no desire for a "god":

I have no desire for a "god": if this universe had a god, it would be worse than the same universe without a god, because it would mean god exists and doesn't give a shit about suffering.

Kataclismic's picture
The author writes, "This

The author writes, "This argument in my opinion isn’t the stongest one" which begs the question, "Why aren't you presenting the strongest one?"

You can't push your argument when you admit it's flawed. Salesmanship is about having complete faith in your product.

jonthecatholic's picture
Well, it might come as a

Well, it might come as a shock to you but converting atheists isn't my main goal on this site. I must admit, however, this was not always the case. Also, I am interested in truth. The reason I brought up the argument from desire was to see what atheists would attribute the desire for God to. So far exactly one person has answered the question at the end of the OP.

chimp3's picture
The rest of us were not

The rest of us were not following your lead. Instead we responded to the three lines above your last question. Things don't always go your way.

David Killens's picture
Umm, you do know we do not

Umm, you do know we do not believe in a god. So asking us if there is any desire linked to a god is like asking if Chewbacca wears nail polish.

Kataclismic's picture
So you have a desire for a

So you have a desire for a specific answer to your irrational question which makes it a useless (oh and did I say irrational?) question. Nevermind, we'll let that one go.

You have a desire none of us have so it's impossible to answer such a question without possessing the subject matter (this desire you seem to have for a slave-master). There are a variety of brothels that cater to that sort of thing if you're really interested.

Sapporo's picture
I desire to be hungry,

I desire to be hungry, therefore I am not hungry.

I desire to be god, therefore I am god.

I desire proof of god, therefore I come up with a lousy argument.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Sapporo Ba'boom tish.

@ Sapporo
Ba'boom tish.

Sapporo's picture
I actually meant to say "I

I actually meant to say "I desire to not be hungry", but I think my error may possible work even better than what I actually intended to say. ("Honor thy error as a hidden intention", as Brian Eno might say).

Nyarlathotep's picture
JoC - I started this thread a

JoC - I started this thread a while back and I believe my purpose was to introduce the idea that empirical evidence is NOT the only tool we need to prove that anything exists.

Empirical evidence can not be used to prove anything.

Cognostic's picture
What am I missing?

What am I missing? "Empirical evidence can not be used to prove anything." ???

What else do you have? I understand there are logical proofs, like, "the sum total of energy in the universe is zero." It does not make them "FACT" without empirical evidence. We have not yet measured the universe and have no idea how big it is or what anomalies we may find in it. So, while this is a good hypothesis backed by our physics, math, and current understanding it is still only a hypothesis.

If we are taking the approach that nothing at all can be "proved" to the nth degree, I guess we are in agreement. However, to call anything at all "proved" there must be empirical evidence supporting it or the proof is as useless as powdered water.

Nyarlathotep's picture
The scientific method

The scientific method produces theories, observations, facts, data, etc; but it never produces proofs. Proofs are a different game, played on a different field.

Dave Matson's picture


"Proof" is the word that applies to mathematics or other systems of pure logic (such as chess) that are defined by a set of given postulates. A theorem is proven when the tools of deductive reasoning can derive it from the postulates and/or other proven theorems. Any logical loophole is fatal to such a proof.

In the world of atoms and energy (and anything that can affect that world) we use inductive reasoning to arrive at new discoveries. (Deductive reasoning has the important role of testing what we think is right.) Inductive reasoning begins with the accepted evidence (those "facts" that we are highly confident of) and hopefully ends up with a cause that is heads and shoulders above any other conclusion. The acid test is for that explanation to make non-trivial predictions that can be checked out. The "checking" might involve a laboratory experiment or a geological trip. If an idea leads to numerous good predictions and deep insights, generating a whole fruitful area of exploration, and fits in with other conclusions that have earned their stripes, being a good explanation for a wide range of related observations, then it becomes a scientific "theory." (Scientific theories are not half-baked! That's the vulgar, common definition of "theory.") Think of "atomic theory."

Since an infinite number of explanations can be attached to any set of facts, there will always be loopholes. Thus, certainty seems to be impossible in the world of atoms and energy. (If you have consciousness, that might be the only thing you can be 100% certain of.) "Proof," then, is not the criteria for the world of atoms and energy. The currency is credibility. Every time an idea predicts something unexpected or survives a rigorous test it becomes more credible. When our confidence in an idea becomes so strong that we consider it perverse to seriously debate it as though it might be wrong, then we might call it a "fact." The fact of biological evolution and the fact that the sun will rise tomorrow are examples. However, even these facts are not written in stone since we must allow the logical possibility that some startling new evidence might change everything. (Ever watch the "Matrix"?) We accept them but we don't write them in stone. Thus, a good scientist will often tell you that certainty is not what science is about, but that doesn't make one idea as good as another. We are very confident in some ideas while considering others far-fetched.

So, evidence is vital for defining the degree of confidence we have in an idea. Every scientific theory rests on a mountain of evidence. If an hypothesis is strongly confirmed we sometimes loosely say that it has been "proven," but that is really a word for deductive systems of logic. In that sense evidence doesn't prove anything, but it does add degrees of credibility to a claim, sometimes leading all the way to successful theories. Or, it may shoot a claim down!

Cognostic's picture
Yes. Nothing is ever proved

Yes. Nothing is ever proved in science. (Point Taken.)

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