Explain What You Believe And Defend Why You Do

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EllieHarris's picture
Explain What You Believe And Defend Why You Do

Whether you believe in a hands off deity, a pantheon of immaterial conscious forces, the Christ resurrected, or the merciful that gave Muhammad his teachings, you do claim to hold the god claim as truths of how all of reality is and our species' place in that reality. If that is what you believe then pick a facet of an argument for that belief, explain it, and rationally, honestly defend your position and belief to those that lack belief in your closely held belief.
This group is not a practice arena for your next debate, a survey pool to get fodder for tea talk at the masjid, people that pose no belief in the god claim are here to have a dialog with you and your positions on your belief. Dialogs that can, if done honestly and with a basic understanding that each one is interacting with another human being, be enlightening for all of us.
In this rare instance I'm directing my comments at believers here due to the amount of vague clutter I'm seeing (and might be removing) in the queue from some believers (by no means all of you).

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Nordic Fox's picture
Well, as a non-believer I'll

Well, as a non-believer I'll keep my input short (just to contribute).

I believe in nothing supernatural, no god(s) in the sky or in the Earth, and no ghosts, spirits or souls.

I can describe easily why for the believers out there (in whatever theology they believe): The scientific method describes things only after an idea is proposed, researched, scrutinized and tested by peers of the discoverer/scientist/inventor who came up with the idea. Many ideas are found to be faulty, rejected, corrected, amended, or accepted with enough conclusive evidence.

Religion, on the other hand never changes. It never advances, it never amends errors and it is never honestly reviewed by peers (nobody would say they were jeezus' equals and reviewed 'his word'... 'blasphemy' is the watch word there), and it never compromises. People believe in it out of desperation, fear, ignorance, want, or emotional need for solidarity. For this very reason, I cannot subscribe to something that views itself as absolutely beyond editing.

If scientists found that we were wrong about the Sun: that it burns on some gas we haven't discovered yet.... We would change that information, record that it was changed, and test it to allow the new idea to face scrutiny. That is why I only believe what we have discovered through such methods.

It is astounding to me that so many in the world still reject reason in favor of something illogical, irrational and often times hypocritical. But that's my two cents! I also believe that humanity can do great things, and has a bright future.... If only it can shake prehistoric notions of the divine.

ThePragmatic's picture
All Quiet on the Theist Front

All Quiet on the Theist Front...

john konnor's picture
...just a reminder...new

...just a reminder...new debate thread facebook...Theism vs Atheism: Only the Best arguments...deals mainly in philosophical arguments...opines backed up by evidence also allowed... https://www.facebook.com/groups/919660671425624/

Ilovequestions's picture
Well, as you know, I'm a

Well, as you know, I'm a Christian :)

I don't know if I'm understanding your challenge correctly, but I'm taking it to mean "theists use God to explain reality and our place in it. Choose something about this claim and defend it."

If I have that right, here's where I can start:

Reality contains laws of nature, laws of logic, and laws of morality. (I'll leave laws of morality out because that's the trickiest one to debate over)

It's crystal clear that the world functions by non-material laws. They are not just "descriptions of what happens in the universe" (like saying "if you slap my face, it'll get really red"), but actual laws that the physical world cannot break in any way, shape, or form. They are laws also because we can predict the future using them. They are consistent and always applicable.

These real, actual laws are not physical, therefore NO natural/physical processes could create them (the big bang, etc).

The big bang can't create the law of non-contradiction, or the second law of thermodynamics, etc. These things have to be in place BEFORE anything physical can happen... how were they created? What created them?

Hopefully I got the challenge correct ("choose some facet of reality and defend it using theism"). If not, ignore my post haha :)

Alembé's picture
Hi I Love Questions,

Hi I Love Questions,

Even though you do not state it, I think you are implying that God created the laws of math and physics thus allowing the Big Bang to happen. To which I ask, "Who/What created God?" If you reply that "God is eternal," I counter with, "the laws of physics are eternal."

You are also using the "God of the gaps" argument: "I don't understand X, therefore God must have done it."

The laws of math and physics, e.g. p = ma, force = mass x acceleration, have a beauty and simplicity to them that is unexplainable. They describe the nature of the universe we inhabit. However, one does not need to invoke a God who created them to justify their existence.

Ilovequestions's picture


Thanks for the response!

I am not using a "God of the Gaps" argument, it's just that you can't have laws without a lawgiver.The universe has laws... which must mean there is a lawgiver :)

This also is my response to your first paragraph. By definition, the laws of physics MUST have a lawgiver. That's how laws work... or we should use a different word instead of the one all scientists use ("laws").

You see, why does the physical universe operate by non-physical laws? The universe is bound by the law of gravity and Boyle's law, etc etc. Why? Why isn't everything a chaotic goo that has no shape or form... something that would be consistent with a lawless universe? Instead we find a well-ordered, predictable, law-abiding universe (except for human behavior, that is. But that's another subject). The physical world is so structured and adheres to so many different laws... why? Why isn't everything a random mess?

The theist easily answers and says there is a Lawgiver. The atheist looks at the amazingly organized, predictable universe and cannot explain that other than saying "It just happened."

Nyarlathotep's picture
Ilovequestions - "you can't

Ilovequestions - "you can't have laws without a lawgiver"

That is your opinion, you will not be able to establish that.
Ilovequestions - "we find a well-ordered [universe]", predictable, law-abiding universe

Also opinion
Ilovequestions - "we find a ... predictable [universe]"

Another opinion
Ilovequestions - "the amazingly organized, predictable universe"

previous opinion restarted

Ilovequestions's picture


Thanks for the response :)

1) "That is your opinion, you will not be able to establish that."

I mean... laws have to have lawgivers... why do we use that word? Laws are laws and they someone needs to create them. That's not an opinion. It's just the way things are. You cannot have a law without a lawgiver.

If you disagree, we should use a different word. Look up the various definitions for "law". Someone creates them and someone enforces them. Laws have to have a lawgiver, otherwise they wouldn't exist.

2) "Also opinion"

"Also opinion"

No, my statement that the universe is well organized and predictable is backed up the existence of the field of science itself. If the world didn't adhere to laws and wasn't organized/structured/predictable, science wouldn't be possible because no one would know what was going to happen ever. It would be chaos.

Science is possible because my "opinion" that the world is organized and structured and adheres to laws are accepted by all scientists everywhere.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Lets look at that piece by

Lets look at that piece by piece:

Ilovequestions - "laws have to have lawgivers"
Therefore A's have to have Agivers.
When A = Agivers, then:
Agivers have to have Agiversgivers
Using that principle: lawgivers have to have lawgivergivers, and lawgivergivers have to have lawgivergivergivers and so on.

"Laws are laws"
A tautology

Ilovequestions - "[laws need s̲o̲m̲e̲o̲n̲e̲] to create them"
Notice the slight of hand here, you went from lawgiver(s) to a personification.

Ilovequestions - "You cannot have a law without a lawgiver."
Again, using the logic from above, you can't have a lawgiver without a lawgivergiver, and so on.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Mintaka - "The cosmos is a

Mintaka - "The cosmos is a creative and technologically sophisticated system"

Maybe in your opinion, to me it looks like rampaging nuclear chaos.

CyberLN's picture
If one defines "belief" as

If one defines "belief" as the acceptance of something to be true without physical or consistent observational evidence that it is likely to be true, then I believe in nothing.

If, however, one defines "belief" as the acceptance of something to be true because there IS evidence that is likely to be true, then I believe in many things and could back up each one with that actual evidence.

Alembé's picture
Hi Mintaka,

Hi Mintaka,

It is your understanding of the nature of God that I am trying to elicit from you. Since I am an atheist, I have no presuppositions of a non-existent entity. However, you are slowly revealing to us your understanding.

You state, “God is preexisting and eternal, wholly uncreated…. He is without beginning or end. The same cannot be said of matter or energy or the laws of physics.”

Since, by your definition, God is not matter, energy or the laws of physics, how can he interact with us mere mortals who are? What are the actual mechanisms that God uses?

Additionally, since God is not these things, what is he?

I am beginning to feel like that fictitious detective (? Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot) who said something like, “When you have eliminated all the other possibilities, then the one remaining, however improbable, is the answer.”

Since you, Mintaka have eliminated matter, energy and the laws of physics from the nature of God, I conclude that he is nothing more than the product of the human imagination.

Austin Hodge's picture
People say, a lot of times,

People say, a lot of times, that I have no faith because I'm an atheist. I have no RELIGIOUS faith. However, I do have faith in humanity's ability to thrive. Sure, we may be doing a crappy job at it right now, but with the right amount of educated people in high places, I'm sure we'll get to that point of thriving eventually. We've gotten men on the moon and a robot on an asteroid. Who knows what else we could do? We just need to let go of this religious fantasy and grasp onto the science of reality. I believe in humanity's ability to succeed, because we've got the tools to do so. We just need to learn how to use them.

CyberLN's picture
Austin, do you have faith in

Austin, do you have faith in humanity's ability to thrive or do you have evidence that it is likely? I suspect it's the latter.

ThePragmatic's picture
The words "Faith" and "Belief

The words "Faith" and "Belief" can be tricky.
Both can mean "belief that is not based on evidence" but also "belief based on evidence".

I have always thought of the word "Faith" as more connected to unsubstantiated superstitious beliefs, and the word "belief" as more connected to "belief based on evidence". But it's always best to clarify, especially when dealing with those who like to redefine terms when debating.

jimmyslns@yahoo.com's picture
And what evidence, pray tell,

And what evidence, pray tell, is there of dark matter or dark energy? Absent that, it would require faith, as you have defined it, to believe in such a thing. But, atheists bemoan and mock faith, don't they?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Dark matter and dark energy

Dark matter and dark energy are phrases which describe a situation where a force has been measured whose source can not be accounted for. If you rolled a ball down a dark hallway and found that the ball transverses the hallway faster than it should have (given the velocity you gave it at the start) you might describe this as a "dark hallway force" in the same manner. The effect is real, the cause is a bit of a mystery to you; although you might have some good guesses as to the source of the cause. Perhaps the hallway is not level, and the ball is therefore rolling downhill, or maybe there is a cat in the hallway that takes a swipe at the ball as it passes. But until you figure that out you can use your phrase "dark hallway force" to describe the situation.

Austin Hodge's picture
It would be the latter. Sorry

It would be the latter. Sorry, I must not have been that clear. My bad!

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