The Worst Arguments
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Oh lawd, Cog! Don't get me started on the filthy doctrine of original sin! I hate it more than the resurrection story! Have you noticed how many Christians try to claim original sin no longer applies because Jesus/new covenant? Funny that.
The Catholics have hedged their bets about unbaptised babies for a long time- they consigned them to Limbo instead of Hell, but it was never part of the catechism. The RCC catechism trusted unbaptised infants to the mercy of god, instead. Catholicism does like its get out of hell loopholes.
Total Agreement: My favorite baptism video. http://deturl.com/play.asp?v=2it-e2H2sx8
There is just so much to actually hate about religions.
I think that the whole idea of a human-like, super being, pumped to huge dimensions so that he rules over the entire universe, is the ultimate abandonment of reason. In reality, thinking beings are tiny entities on the surface of a planet lost in a galaxy of a trillion stars, a galaxy among a trillion galaxies in the known universe. This speck of presumptuous carbon and water, living on a speck of dust orbiting a star then projects its own qualities (that only make sense at that tiny scale) to a great Daddy in the sky. This is such an obvious, huge flight of fantasy that you have to pinch yourself to realize that most of humanity believes in such utter nonsense!
Worst argument for theism: God exists because I don't understand evolution.
Worst argument for atheism: you should abandon religion because of bad religious people. Religion is naturally domesticated by secular nations over time.
Okay, Superman, Batman and the Silver Surfer are out but how do you feel about real superheros like Jesus?
At least some of the Gospels view Jesus as number 2. I mean, would a god really pray to himself? Somewhere I remember a verse where Jesus says that only the Father knows the date of the end time. So, I'll leave my chips on the Big Cajuna.
The ontological argument, it's risible nonsense from start to finish.
Those ontological arguments are pretty amazing. You pull on your boot lace and lift yourself right off of the ground!
Ooh, how about the attempt to rationalize theism by falsely equating atheism with religion?
I think the worst argument is the "Divine Command Theory."
Simply stated, this means that ANY command given by God is good regardless of its actual moral implications.
A good example is when God would tell the Hebrews that the people of this city must be put to death, including ALL men, ALL women, ALL children, ALL animals, ALL et cetera. And only the treasure (gold and silver) is to be kept for God himself.
To me, Divine Command Theory is the worst of all arguments.
(The Argument from Crack) I talked to god personally one night while I was smoking crack!
In some ways that is in the class of what I consider the best arguments for god: personal experience/revelation (although maybe not the crack part!). They might be embellished, misguided, delusional, etc; but typically they are not self contradictory.
Of course it would help make it more credible if the people who tell these stories reported the same supernatural entity.
And if certain personal experiences weren't mutually exclusive of each other, like kids going to heaven can't also be true when some girl claims she was reincarnated from a Taiwanese rice farmer. It would also help credibility if the people experiencing them weren't already prone to believe in it. Ever notice that there's never been a demon-possessed atheist?
Here is one I heard from a nurse in the hospital when she asked what religious preference I have. My response, "None. I am an atheist." She replied, "Oh, the religion of no religion." I did not say another word.
I actually work with several Christians in my office. I have completely convinced them that they do not have a leg to stand on when it comes to proving an non-falsifiable claim. I have told them not to cite any of the standard apologetics ---- They did not know what apologetics were and had never heard of William Lane Craig or the Banana man."
I explained that people have been trying to prove God since and before the Bible.
Anyway, I have convinced everyone that the only argument they have is the argument from Personal Experience. Keep it all internal. "I believe because it feels right to me and that is all." I keep telling them not to give me facts or evidence that can be empirically debunked. The only argument a Christian has is "The argument from Personal Experience." And if they want to believe in a God because it feels right to them.... Well I am not going to argue that it does not feel right to them, But that is never a reason for me to believe.
I think it is the only stand a Christian can take.
"I think it is the only stand a Christian can take"
I concur Cog, most christians don't know enough about their faith to have a reasonable debate. They have no idea of its origins so the "it feels right, I believe" are a basis for them, but for no one else, and if they come up with that (which is like my dog rolling over and asking for a tummy rub when I have scolded her) fair enough, fangs retracted, treats given.
The proselytisers I will go for the jugular, rip it out (metaphorically) and leave them them bleeding apologetics all over the floor.
I barely knew what apologetics were when I first came to this site. But being called an apologist a billion times changed that.
In my experience then, atheists know more about apologetics and apologists than Christians. The only Christians that know about it are probably those who, like me and now your coworkers, had to interact with an atheist.
You'd really never heard of Ken Ham or Ray Comfort before coming here? I find that surprising, considering that I knew who both those men were before I really even had a grasp on what it was to have religious opinions. But perhaps it just comes with the territory, because I live in the Bible Belt. I've been in Texas and Arkansas since I was nine, so the religious pageantry has been fairly conspicuous. I feel, though, that 'apologists' are more common in Protestant circles. Catholics are generally up to date on modern sentiment in the last few decades, so not too many Catholics feel as much of a need for apologetics. It's the Protestants that seem to be the obstructionists, which is funny considering their name. They protest science, progress, equal rights, education, and critical thinking. Catholicism is less concerned with such things, and therefore garner a greater respect from me. I guess they had to do something right.
WOW! @ Breezy, You actually said something short, to the point, and intelligent. I didn't actually think you had it in you. I'm impressed! Even if you wrote that and did not agree, it is concise and to the point. Good Job!
@John Re: "The only Christians that know about it are probably those who, like me and now your coworkers, had to interact with an atheist."
Yeah, those damn atheists are a horrible influence on folks. How dare they open the eyes of some poor believer by exposing him/her to the teachings of some of their more influential and outspoken Christian leaders. Bad atheists! Bad, bad atheists!
It's ironic to call them influential and outspoken leaders, given what I just said.
@John Re: "It's ironic to call them influential and outspoken leaders, given what I just said."
Well, okay, in all fairness, I confess I never really heard of most of those guys either until joining this site. So, like I said, atheists are a bad influence. Bad atheists! LOL
Don't feel bad y'all. I did not know about "apologetics" and all those "apologists" until I started watching YouTube videos about five years ago by doing a simple enough search: "atheism." Just searching "atheism" at YouTube led me to Christopher Hitchens, Richard (my namesake) Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Neil DeGrasse Tyson (although heard of him much longer ago), AC Grayling, to list only a few. Unfortunately, YouTube videos also taught me about Ken Ham, William Lane Craig, Kent and Eric Hovind, et. al.
However, I have also been watching some of the greatest (my opinion) atheist channels: Godless Cranium, Paulogia, Aron Ra, Thunderf00t, Viced Rhino, Genetically Modified Skeptic, Nightmare Fuel, just to list a small portion of the some 37 or so channels I subscribe to.
In my opinion, Godless Cranium and Paulogia are tied in first place. Thunderf00t and Aron Ra are in second.
Of course, I watch some Flat Earther and other such channels. Got to have a good laugh occasionally.
John 61X Breezy,
Then there's Gleason Archer's big book of Bible apologetics, and Norman Geisler and Howe's big book of Bible apologetics, and a whole library of other apologetic works defending various doctrines of Christianity. Visit a Christian bookstore sometime! You'd be amazed at how much stuff there is!
Can’t say this is the worst but it is a very ad hoc counter argument atheists give against the fine tuning argument for God’s existence:
Theist: there are all these different physical laws and constants and so forth which have to right for life to exist. They likelyhood of that happening by chance is extremely low without God.
Atheist: well, you see, what if there are many or infinitely many universes or time is eternal? Gotcha
The multiverse theory is ad hoc because while it may be theoretically possible, there isn’t actually any evidence for it. We haven’t spotted another universe in the microscope. They only put forth that theory to explain away current evidence which points to the absurdity of life coming about by chance. The same goes for the universe being eternal. Hence atheists should concede that the fine tuning argument has weight to it, even if it’s not definitive. Interestingly enough, the multiverse theory is unfalsifiable by empirical means, which atheists tend to hate in general. How ironic.
Btw the fine tuning argument isn’t my favorite and if there is actual evidence for a multiverse let me know.
There is no definitive answer to how our universe came to be. We have no way of knowing exactly what caused the Big Bang, so don’t pretend to. Remember, there is no evidence to support the idea that someone magicked our universe into existence either. In fact, this universe just seems too big, complex, and- let’s be honest- imperfect to have been “intelligently designed” by some supernatural entity.
In your argument, I noticed that you used the false dilemma fallacy numerous times (A must be untrue, therefore B!!!)
“In your argument, I noticed that you used the false dilemma fallacy numerous times (A must be untrue, therefore B!!!)”
No I didn’t make that fallacy. Quote the sentence or passage where I do that. Furthermore, I say A is purely speculation and therefore for such and such a reason B is probable.
The veracity of B is entirely independent of A, unless A is correct and they are mutually exclusive. For example, if I say I think Aliens built the pyramids, but it's solely conjecture, that doesn't mean it's more likely that dogs did it. There are more than two options in this scenario, and many of them could be more or less likely than those stated.
However, if you say heaven is real, but I say reincarnation is real, and heaven is proven, I am obviously wrong. The two don't coexist. But if you're wrong, I may not be right. We could both be wrong. Perhaps the real answer is not even acknowledged by a mainstream religion on Earth. Perhaps nothing happens at all after death. Perhaps you're immortalized in poetry by skalds, signing their edda from now until the battle at Ragnarok.
You mean other than the bold part? Too funny.
The multiverse idea wasn't invented to defend atheism. It is an interesting speculation based on scientific principles. Thus, it's not really ad hoc. Nobel laureates have advanced these ideas, so they should be viewed at least as plausible speculation. An argument that bets everything on the idea that multiverses are impossible, given that we know so little here, doesn't really have that much credibility. The whole idea is to have a compelling case beyond a reasonable doubt. You don't want to be saying "Well, maybe this plausible speculation is wrong, and maybe future studies will shore up our position in this unknown area, therefore you have these long odds which we interpret to mean that God exists." That dog doesn't hunt!