New Atheists Don’t Want to Believe

Lawrence Krauss, who was unexplainably radicalized to become a New Atheist, gave an interview about his most recent book to a Christian radio show. You can listen to the podcast here, but I simply want to draw your attention to two rather stunning admissions.

The first one comes at 54:50. Krauss says:

First BTW, and I don’t call myself an atheist, I call myself an antitheist. I can’t say for certain there is no God, but I can certainly say I wouldn’t want to live in a universe with one, some cosmic Saddam Hussein who set things up.

Krauss admits that he doesn’t want to live in a universe where there is a God.

Then at 58:00, he adds some more:

You talk about this god of love and everything else. But somehow if you don’t believe in him, you don’t get any of the benefits, so you have to believe. And then if y’does anything wrong, you’re going to be judged for it. I don’t want to be judged by God, that’s the bottom line.

There y’go. He doesn’t want to live in a universe with a God and the bottom line is that he does not want to be judged by God. The whole idea of God clearly causes him some sort of psychological/emotional distress, so his atheist arguments can be viewed as elaborate rationalizations to justify the reality he wants to live in. It’s not that there is no evidence. It’s that Krauss doesn’t want to be judged by a God.

One has to wonder just how common this is among the New Atheists. For this would explain the widespread intellectual inconsistency we see among the New Atheists. The New Atheists don’t seem interested in developing a coherent worldview and then practicing what they preach. Instead, they seem more interested in using any and all possible arguments and talking points against God and religion, even if those arguments and talking points contradict each other and expose New Atheists as hypocrites. It’s as if the core principle among New Atheists is a very strong emotion – I don’t want to live in a universe with God and I don’t want to be judged by God – and the “arguments” are all post hoc rationalizations that serve as a thick smokescreen to deceive them, and us, into thinking this is all about “reason and evidence.”

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57 Responses to New Atheists Don’t Want to Believe

  1. You do recognize that we are not talking about a GOOD God here? We are talking about the genocidal maniac invented by the Jews and Christians. So, no, I do not want to be judged by an almighty Hitler who already killed (almost) all people on earth once because he didn’t liked how they were – after creating them that way. Get a good god and we can talk again.

  2. Bilbo says:

    Hi Atomic,
    So would you want to live in a universe created by a GOOD God?

  3. ChazIng says:

    Dear Atomic Mutant, what exactly in your opinion constitutes a “good god”? And in what way would you have fixed the violent/unjust state of the world at the time of Noah?

  4. ubi dubium says:

    Bilbo,
    Can you give what the characteristics of such a good god might be? Because neither the god that’s portrayed in the bible nor the god that’s described by most christian sects would qualify.

    As for me, I don’t want to believe or not believe. What I want is to have the correct answer. I think the question “is there a god?” does have a correct answer (depending, of course, on what your definition of “god” is). I think that the answer does not depend on what I may believe, or what I or anybody else wishes were true. If there’s no god, no amount of belief or wishing by anybody will change that. At this time, I see insufficient evidence for the existence of any god, so I have no present belief in gods. I think the answer to “is there a god?” is probably “no”.

  5. Ignostic Atheist says:

    He’s pretty clearly referring specifically to the Abrahamic god, who has on his record some pretty despicable things. So, he wouldn’t want to live in a universe where this being, who he has no reason to think even exists, is the dominant force. Moreover, he doesn’t think this being, who he has no reason to think even exists, would have any moral ground to judge him.

    So, assuming your god exists, sure, Krauss is biased against him, and with good reason. But, since he doesn’t think he exists, what he’s pointing out is that people who think he does exist are in love with a pretty abusive guy.

  6. ChazIng says:

    “some pretty despicable things” by what laws and definitions?

    Moreover, he doesn’t think this being, who he has no reason to think even exists, would have any moral ground to judge him.

    Non-sequitur, if said God exists and created Krauss, there is nothing that bars said God from judging his own creation regardless of what Krauss (or anyone else) WANTS. On atheism, there is no absolute moral standard, only personal morality grounded in fallible and limited human logic. Thus on Krauss’ own view, his desires and wants as per the morality (or lack thereof) of the Christian God, is ONLY applicable to Krauss as he is the sole source of his own moral standard. No Christian needs to be bothered about the personal moral opinion of an anti-theist fighting vehemently against his own Jewish theology.

  7. Kevin says:

    Is it a failure of the educational system that so many atheists don’t realize that Christian, Bible, and God (referring specifically to the deity as described in the Bible) should be capitalized? Never ceases to amaze me. I guess if we refuse to capitalize the names of things we don’t like, I will start referring to richard dawkins, sam harris, pz myers…

    It’s interesting that atheists will use the Bible to criticize the destruction of certain nations by God or his command, but they never stop to think about the characteristics of those societies being destroyed.

    Also, I’ve noticed that atheists tout reason and scientific evidence as the basis of forming beliefs, but when it comes to morality, they go by personal preference and popular opinion, with pretty much zero scientific evidence that they are correct. And yet they feel justified in criticizing the actions of others.

  8. ubi dubium says:

    “It’s interesting that atheists will use the Bible to criticize the destruction of certain nations by God or his command, but they never stop to think about the characteristics of those societies being destroyed.”

    It’s interesting that you are OK with those stories of destruction, even though there would have been many innocent bystanders also destroyed. I don’t recall seeing any mention of the god in your book ordering the evacuation of infants and small children before a town was leveled, even though that would have been no problem for an omnipotent deity.

    I’m certainly well aware of what you think the capitalization rules are, I just don’t agree with them. The word bible means “book” and “god” and “christ” are really job descriptions. You’re just used to thinking of them as actual names, so it’s disconcerting for you when other people don’t follow that.

  9. Ignostic Atheist says:

    On atheism, there is no absolute moral standard, only personal morality grounded in fallible and limited human logic.

    On the other hand, there is the fallible and limited human intuition which informs your god belief, with a morality grounded in secular reasoning, e.g. this part of the bible is only a metaphor, but this part over here should be interpreted literally. At least secular morality strives toward perfection. Religious morality acts as though it has all answers, and the makes up excuses when it’s forced to change.

    So which is your view: your god created morality, he is morality, or he knows of morality?

  10. I wouldn’t mind. On the other hand, I also don’t mind living in a universe not created by any god at all. Probably because I accept that reality is not a democracy and will not change because of what I want (except if I do something about it).

  11. Anyway, I wouldn’t create everyone with a free will and then kill them for exercising it – including all the innocent children and unborn babies (your god never seemed to have a problem with abortion, btw.).

    And not being a genocidal maniac would be a good start for being “good”. I am not even talking about the fact that the world is not “good”. I am talking about the things your god did personally – or commanded – according to your holy book. Even an indifferent god would be better than that.

  12. Feel free to capitalize whatever you want. Or not. Honestly, if you want, you can also write is GoD or GOD or GOd for all I care. It’s really not important.

    Wow, yes, I am sure these societies were COMPLETELY evil. Even the little babies were not born, but they cut their way out of their wombs with weapons forged inside. Have you ever listened to yourself when you claim that these societies had it coming?

    And science can help us for moral truths (for example, it can help us see when people are happy, what makes people happy, etc.) but in the end, science is a tool and not an idol, which you seem to think we believe it to be.

  13. Crude says:

    You do recognize that we are not talking about a GOOD God here? We are talking about the genocidal maniac invented by the Jews and Christians

    Oh good. Jews and Christians don’t believe in a genocidal maniac, nor was he ‘invented’. So clearly you’re not talking about our God.

    He’s pretty clearly referring specifically to the Abrahamic god, who has on his record some pretty despicable things.

    Again: Where is the evidence Krauss means specifically the Abrahamic God? Especially considering this portion:

    You talk about this god of love and everything else. But somehow if you don’t believe in him, you don’t get any of the benefits, so you have to believe. And then if y’does anything wrong, you’re going to be judged for it. I don’t want to be judged by God, that’s the bottom line.

    And let’s emphasize this portion:

    I don’t want to be judged by God, that’s the bottom line.

    Krauss doesn’t want to be judged by God. Not ‘I don’t want to be judged by this particular God/god(s)’, but, he doesn’t want to be judged by God at all.

    So, right away, this brings a common Cult of Gnu talking point back around and against the Gnus. All that talk of “You only believe what you do because you want to!”? It’s just as valid for Krauss – and frankly, most Gnus. It turns out that atheists are not, lo and behold, bravely facing a truth they dislike. They just so happen to be embracing a truth they really, really like – often, with little evidence. What a surprise.

    I’m certainly well aware of what you think the capitalization rules are, I just don’t agree with them.

    Fantastic. So long as we’re being that petty – henceforth, your name is Ubi Dumbium.

    And science can help us for moral truths (for example, it can help us see when people are happy, what makes people happy, etc.)

    And now happiness is a ‘moral truth’? So I suppose if the israelites were happy to wipe out their enemies, why, that was some scientifically compatible morality there?

    You guys are wrapped up in a cult mentality. You should, for your own sakes, leave it. Note that that doesn’t mean ‘becoming a theist’ or ‘believing in God’. It means turning your back on the hate-cult that is the Cult of Gnu, relaxing, and admitting that you have an emotional problem with God and/or religion, and this is something you have to learn how to cope with and get over. Not cling to desperately.

  14. ChazIng says:

    @ ubi dubium

    I don’t recall seeing any mention of the god in your book ordering the evacuation of infants and small children before a town was leveled, even though that would have been no problem for an omnipotent deity.

    That’s a misunderstanding of omnipotence and pragmatism. How would you propose these “infants and small children” fend for themselves in the ANE?

    @ Ignostic Atheist

    Religious morality acts as though it has all answers, and the makes up excuses when it’s forced to change.

    Personification and category error. Morality is not based on religion but derived from the knowledge of God. What religious people do (excuses or changed morality) does not affect the existence of God.

    My view on morality is the standard view found in the bible. You know what that is, right?

  15. ChazIng says:

    @ Atomic Mutant

    Anyway, I wouldn’t create everyone with a free will and then kill them for exercising it …

    Strawman and personal opinion. God brought early justice to certain people groups who repeatedly harmed his chosen people under Old Testament dispensation. In other words, their sins were so great that God intervened. This is what would be expected in tribal ANE cultures. Note that God also killed Hebrews when their sins were grievous (Gen 38) but allowed other Hebrews to sin (Gen 34) and receive delayed judgment (Gen 49). Also note that God judged Egypt after 430 years of slavery so it’s not that he did not show severe restraint.

    … – including all the innocent children and unborn babies (your god never seemed to have a problem with abortion, btw.).

    Category error. Abortion is planned destruction of that which is in the image and likeness of God without God’s permission. God can do what he pleases with his creation and is not answerable to your opinion or individualized morality.

    And not being a genocidal maniac would be a good start for being “good”. I am not even talking about the fact that the world is not “good”. I am talking about the things your god did personally – or commanded – according to your holy book. Even an indifferent god would be better than that.

    Circumlocution and personal opinion. The base problem is that even if your arguments were right (and it seems clear to me that you have yet to engage with any freely available apologetic work on this subject), it would only be applicable to you and no one else. If you want to make sweeping moral pronouncements on what you don’t believe exists, then you (1.) should not borrow a moral platform from theism and (2.) should question your sanity and logic.

  16. TimL says:

    So Thomas Nagel wasn’t so far off the mark when he said:

    “In speaking of the fear of religion, I don’t mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions and religious institutions, in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeper–namely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers.

    I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”

  17. ChazIng says:

    @ Atomic Mutant

    And science can help us for moral truths …

    Non sequitur. Neither morals or truth are options in an atheistic worldview. Purposeless accumulation of atoms do not care about morals, truth, happiness or the existence of God or gods. What you may achieve is some self-perception of truth or perhaps, a mass (atheistic) delusion of truth. Additionally, science is not about morality nor can it aid in finding or defining morality. For instance, the science of eugenics made many Americans and Germans happy. Surely you would not want to propagate eugenics because it makes some folks ‘happy’.

  18. Michael says:

    Thanks to Atomic Mutant and Ignostic Atheist for confirming the primary point of my blog entry. Whether God is The Big Meanie is really a matter of perception. What matters is that Krauss acknowledges he does not want God to exist and does not want to be judged by God. That kind of admission is a game-changer (like Dawkins admitting nothing could count as evidence for God) for the reasons I mentioned and strips away the illusion of it all being about “the evidence.” It further illustrates just how deeply subjective atheism is.

    Ironically, ubi dubium shows up and attempts to return us to old, familiar talking points:

    At this time, I see insufficient evidence for the existence of any god, so I have no present belief in gods.

    Yet for Dawkins, nothing can count as evidence for the existence of God, and for Krauss, such judgments are colored by his desire for God not to exist. I’m not sure whether these dynamics are in play for ubi, but I doubt they are unique to these atheist leaders. All we can say for sure about the talking point is that we have no idea would count as sufficient evidence for God, rendering it meaningless.

  19. The original Mr. X says:

    ubi dubium:

    “I’m certainly well aware of what you think the capitalization rules are, I just don’t agree with them. The word bible means “book” and “god” and “christ” are really job descriptions. You’re just used to thinking of them as actual names, so it’s disconcerting for you when other people don’t follow that.”

    Wow. Mature.

    (Also, genetic fallacy. The fact that “Bible”, “God” and “Christ” were originally common nouns — or, more accurately, are etymologically descended from common nouns in other languages — doesn’t mean that they’re common nouns now. You might as well call John Smith “John smith” because, hey, “smith” is just a job description, right?)

    Atomic Mutant:

    “Anyway, I wouldn’t create everyone with a free will and then kill them for exercising it”

    Ah yes, the old “If I were God, I’d do X” objection. Funny, for all that theists get it in the neck about claiming to know what God wants, atheists seem pretty eager to tell us all what an omniscient, eternal, etc. being would do.

  20. Ignostic Atheist says:

    Fantastic. So long as we’re being that petty – henceforth, your name is Ubi Dumbium.

    Here is a great example of confusing an attack on a belief with a personal attack, and then making an insult.

    Krauss doesn’t want to be judged by God. Not ‘I don’t want to be judged by this particular God/god(s)’, but, he doesn’t want to be judged by God at all.

    And you’re going around saying that your god may do what he pleases with his creation, burn it all, skin it and stick it in a stew. That doesn’t strike you as the psychotic dictator described by Krauss?

    Personification and category error. Morality is not based on religion but derived from the knowledge of God. What religious people do (excuses or changed morality) does not affect the existence of God.

    My view on morality is the standard view found in the bible. You know what that is, right?

    Fine, let me restate that in the way that it was clearly intended: Those who follow biblical or spirit derived morality act as though it has all the answers, being that it is absolute and arrives via their infallible god, and then make up excuses when they are forced to reassess it.

    Seeing as those views on morality I mentioned have been debated over to find the best fit solution (the one which makes the fewest logical errors), I doubt there is a biblical standard. But if you would tell me rather than waffling, that would be great. Judging by your various responses, I’m guessing you’re of the opinion that your god creates morality – it is what he says it is, divine command theory. Am I right?

    Neither morals or truth are options in an atheistic worldview. Purposeless accumulation of atoms do not care about morals, truth, happiness or the existence of God or gods.

    And that is your wishful thinking. The idea that someday you’ll die scares you, and so you’ve subscribed to a belief provided by the society you were lucky enough to be born into that, if you follow these rules, you’ll live forever serving your purpose of never-ending god-praise. I’m not scared of dying, I’m scared that I’ll die before I have a chance to make the world a better place. Now, seeing as you are instructed to plan not for the future of this world, but only the next, we can be sure that my purpose is not derived from your divine overlord. And it is a clear purpose, so your drivel about atoms is a load of hooey. All you can do is put your fingers in your ears and hope the rapture comes soon so you can prove us all wrong, and watch gleefully while we suffer.

  21. ChazIng says:

    @ Ignostic Atheist

    And that is your wishful thinking. The idea that someday you’ll die scares you, and so you’ve subscribed to a belief provided by the society you were lucky enough to be born into that, if you follow these rules, you’ll live forever serving your purpose of never-ending god-praise.

    Genetic fallacy. Or if you want, CS Lewis calls it bulverism.

    Purposeless accumulation of atoms do not care about morals, truth, happiness or the existence of God or gods.

    Please explain scientifically and/or philosophically how the above statement is drivel.

  22. Crude says:

    Ignostic,

    Here is a great example of confusing an attack on a belief with a personal attack, and then making an insult.

    An attack on belief is an attack on a person’s beliefs, and Ubi Dumbium’s is particularly petty – and what’s more, the Cult of Gnu is expressly in favor of personal attacks. (See: “Make them the butt of contempt.”) So yes, when Ubi decides he’s going to be petty, I have little problem responding just as pettily. And you have to admit, Ubi Dumbium is a great bit of creative misspelling.

    And you’re going around saying that your god may do what he pleases with his creation, burn it all, skin it and stick it in a stew. That doesn’t strike you as the psychotic dictator described by Krauss?

    Utter dishonesty, since I never said any of this – that’s a figment of your imagination. I said, to the person who considered ‘happiness’ to be ‘morality’, that wiping out one’s enemies thousands of years ago likely made quite a lot of happiness for the victorious party, so apparently it was moral.

    No, I don’t believe that ‘God may do what He pleases’. Indeed, I think God has various limits due to His nature – no logical contradictions, etc. The idea of a cackling dictator who just loves to torture people for no reason other than personal pleasure is a fever-dream of the theistically terrified Krauss and company.

    Meanwhile, you’re telling me that the only thing that makes ‘doing as you please with creation, burning it all, skinning it and sticking it in a stew’ isn’t really immoral after all. So, contra you and Krauss, it looks like the only thing you get on a materialist atheism is a multiplicity of psychotic dictators who can do as they wish.

    Likewise: there is plenty of evidence of God. Theists provide it regularly – from analogy and empirical inference to logical argument to metaphysical argument to testimony to otherwise. Atheism? Atheists cannot run away from burdens of proof fast enough. When you ask Richard Dawkins to provide evidence for atheism – not argue ineffectively against evidence for theism, but provide evidence for atheism – he heads for the hills.

  23. eveysolara says:

    are you guys really ok with God saying that if you beat your slave and he doesnt die, youve done nothing wrong?

  24. ChazIng says:

    @eveysolara

    are you guys really ok with God saying that if you beat your slave and he doesnt die, youve done nothing wrong?

    Non-sequitur. Ex 21 outlines punishment for behavior in ancient Israel and was required for civil order. Nowhere does God say that beating your slave was ideal but this was God’s permissive will for hard-of-hearing Hebrews. It was not applicable to non-Hebrews and is also not applicable today. You are reading the text outside of the proper socio-cultural and temporal context.

  25. ubi dubium says:

    “How would you propose these “infants and small children” fend for themselves in the ANE?”

    If an actual god was looking out for them, it would not be a problem. He could have poofed them into childless families somewhere else in the world where they would be welcome. Or he could have planted the idea in the mind of one of the city elders that it would be a good idea to evacuate the kids, since there was a big scary army of Hebrews headed their way. (If he could harden the heart of Pharaoh, why not soften a heart to save innocent lives?)

    Or how about this? “I, the Lord your god, have given you this land and these cities, for you and your children forever. And I have prepared it for you, by making every inhabitant decide last month that they wanted to leave this land and move to Damascus. So the towns and fields are empty and waiting for you, and you may move in without breaking my commandment against killing.”
    This kind of thing happened in the bible exactly never.

  26. Ignostic Atheist says:

    Please explain scientifically and/or philosophically how the above statement is drivel.

    Fallacy of composition. The fact that atoms are without purpose does not mean that things made up of atoms are without purpose.

    Also, it’s very likely that you define purpose to mean god-given, thereby ruling out all other possibilities. Much like how morality is defined by the religious as god-given.

    An attack on belief is an attack on a person’s beliefs

    A person is not his beliefs. Just because you think they ought to be proper nouns doesn’t mean you get to insult him when he disagrees.

    Utter dishonesty, since I never said any of this – that’s a figment of your imagination.

    Admittedly true. Must’ve been reading sideways.

    Meanwhile, you’re telling me that the only thing that makes ‘doing as you please with creation, burning it all, skinning it and sticking it in a stew’ isn’t really immoral after all.

    What?

    Likewise: there is plenty of evidence of God. Theists provide it regularly – from analogy and empirical inference to logical argument to metaphysical argument to testimony to otherwise.

    And yet I’ve not seen anything even a little bit convincing. How about you hit me with your best one.

    Atheists cannot run away from burdens of proof fast enough. When you ask Richard Dawkins to provide evidence for atheism – not argue ineffectively against evidence for theism, but provide evidence for atheism – he heads for the hills.

    Evidence for atheism? Atheism is about not having evidence. You are an atheist specifically because you don’t have any reason to believe in the existence of a god. Anti-theists make the positive assertion that there is no god, go find one of them.

  27. ubi dubium says:

    “Fantastic. So long as we’re being that petty – henceforth, your name is Ubi Dumbium.”

    Ah – insults. If you insult everyone who disagrees with you about grammar, I’ll be sure to avoid engaging with you about commas or semicolons. And since you seem to think it’s OK to impose grammar rules from your religion on those who do not follow it, I suggest that henceforward you should always be sure to capitalize the word Cow, since Cows are sacred to over a billion Hindus.

    ” It was not applicable to non-Hebrews and is also not applicable today.”

    I would also suggest that this is true for all the rest of your book. And if only some if it is no longer applicable, how do you reliably tell which parts are and which aren’t? Because no two sects of christianity seem to be able to agree on that point.

  28. ChazIng says:

    He could have poofed them into childless families somewhere else in the world where they would be welcome.

    This is not the God of the bible. You are arbitrarily creating a god of your own imagination, a sugar-daddy strawman.

    And I have prepared it for you, by making every inhabitant decide last month that they wanted to leave this land and move to Damascus.

    This is again not the God of the bible, he does not supercede human free will.

    So the towns and fields are empty and waiting for you, and you may move in without breaking my commandment against killing.

    There is no commandment against killing but against murder.

    This kind of thing happened in the bible exactly never.

    Because the God of the bible is not your illogical caricature.

  29. Ignostic Atheist says:

    This is again not the God of the bible, he does not supercede human free will.

    2 Thessalonians 2:
    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
    13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

    There is no commandment against killing but against murder.

    Unnecessary killing is murder.

  30. ubi dubium says:

    “This is not the God of the bible. You are arbitrarily creating a god of your own imagination, a sugar-daddy strawman.”

    Correct, this is not the god of the bible. But there was a question above as to what a GOOD god would look like, one that unbelievers might wish existed, or actually want to believe in. Thus my suggestion.

    “This is again not the God of the bible, he does not supercede human free will.”

    The god of the bible most certainly does supersede free will, according to your book. Ask Pharaoh how often he was willing to release the Hebrews, but god “hardened his heart.” Where was Pharaoh’s free will then?

    “There is no commandment against killing but against murder.”

    So how is killing small children not murder? If killing children because a god commands it is OK, then why do we now condemn people like Andrea Yates, who drowned her children because she was convinced that’s what god wanted? And if you think what she did is OK, I sincerely hope you don’t have children of your own, and I’m going to keep my children well clear of you. If a god told me to kill children, I’d tell him to p!ss off.

    “Because the God of the bible is not your illogical caricature.”

    A shame really. Your god supposedly creates imperfect people, then punishes them with eternal torment for being exactly the way he made them. Instead of communicating clearly and directly with people, he uses confusing ancient books and self-appointed human spokesmen. And somehow it’s our fault if we don’t believe exactly the right version of the right message, even though we’re the ones with the fallible brains and he’s supposed to be omnipotent. If your god exists, he already knows exactly what evidence it would take to persuade me that he exists. Yet no such evidence has shown up. So either he isn’t able to send it, or doesn’t care whether I think he exists, or (what is most likely) doesn’t actually exist at all.

  31. Michael says:

    Ubi dubium: If your god exists, he already knows exactly what evidence it would take to persuade me that he exists. Yet no such evidence has shown up.

    So what data would you count as evidence for God?

  32. Crude says:

    Fallacy of composition. The fact that atoms are without purpose does not mean that things made up of atoms are without purpose.

    Also, it’s very likely that you define purpose to mean god-given, thereby ruling out all other possibilities. Much like how morality is defined by the religious as god-given.

    No, it looks like people are talking about purpose in an objective sense. Morality is not ‘defined by the religious as God-given’. It’s defined, often, as objectively grounded, with their arguing that God (and sometimes, several other but less likely) possibilities is the most reasonable source of objective morality on balance.

    Meanwhile materialist atheists talk about the objective meaningless and purposelessness of the universe, but try to get around it by imagining ‘purpose’ and ‘meaning’ in some local sense that falls apart upon inspection. So, they strive to discourage inspecting it.

    A person is not his beliefs. Just because you think they ought to be proper nouns doesn’t mean you get to insult him when he disagrees.

    I don’t? According to who and what standard – yet another imaginary one you pulled out of nowhere? He’s abusing language to be petty and spite religious people and belief both. If he wants to be petty, I feel little desire to treat him with respect. And ‘Ubi Dumbium’, again, is a pretty fun reply.

    And yet I’ve not seen anything even a little bit convincing. How about you hit me with your best one.

    How about you hit me with your best argument for atheism? Oh wait a second – you, as I already noted Cult of Gnu atheists and their leadership tend, are fleeing from the responsibility immediately. You somehow have convinced yourself that you can make as many claims as you like without evidence, and it’s everyone else’s burden to convince you you’re wrong.

    Better still – why in the world should I find your personal testimony to matter at all on this subject? I know of various creationists who say they have yet to see any evidence for evolution. Exactly how seriously should I take them?

    Evidence for atheism? Atheism is about not having evidence.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. 😉

    You are an atheist specifically because you don’t have any reason to believe in the existence of a god. Anti-theists make the positive assertion that there is no god, go find one of them.

    Baloney. Mere lack of belief in God is not atheism – it is, at best, agnosticism. Atheism is the claim that there is no God.

    Also? Saying that it’s very unlikely that God exists is also a claim that comes with a burden. Let me guess: you’re agnostic about the likelihood of God’s existence as well, eh? Let’s see how much ground you’re willing to give to avoid your burden of proof, because believe me, you have to give up more than you think to be consistent.

  33. Michael says:

    Ignostic Atheist: And yet I’ve not seen anything even a little bit convincing. How about you hit me with your best one.

    What would be convincing? BTW, is there any evidence that you can process these questions in a fair- and open-minded manner? We now know, for example, when Dawkins makes such claims, he is unwilling to acknowledge anything could be evidence for God. As for Krauss, he doesn’t want there to be any such evidence, so disconfirmation bias will be on hyper-drive. So it would really help if you had some evidence that you did not approach this topic as they do.

  34. Crude says:

    Ubi Dumbium,

    Ah – insults. If you insult everyone who disagrees with you about grammar, I’ll be sure to avoid engaging with you about commas or semicolons. And since you seem to think it’s OK to impose grammar rules from your religion on those who do not follow it,

    These are not ‘grammar rules from my religion’. They are grammar rules, period. And yes, if you told me that you considered commas and semicolons to be things you could arbitrarily change out of spite and still regard yourself as anything but a petty person, I’d say much the same thing.

    I suggest that henceforward you should always be sure to capitalize the word Cow, since Cows are sacred to over a billion Hindus.

    You don’t even know what status cows have in hinduism, and again, this is not ‘the grammar rules of their religion’ but grammar rules, period. And for the record? I don’t make ‘Allah’ lower-case out of spite, despite not being a muslim. And I’m more than happy to call Brahman God, complete with a capital G, since that seems to be the most grammatically correct way to type the word.

    Because I am not nearly as petty as you are, except when I deal with petty people.

    I would also suggest that this is true for all the rest of your book. And if only some if it is no longer applicable, how do you reliably tell which parts are and which aren’t? Because no two sects of christianity seem to be able to agree on that point.

    Oh really? No two sects of Christianity are able to agree on anything? Lutherans and Catholics don’t agree on whether Christ was resurrected, or God made flesh? Do you even know anything about the religions you criticize?

    You seem to confuse the mere existence of disagreement with a demonstration that there is no reasonable interpretation available.

  35. ChazIng says:

    Fallacy of composition. The fact that atoms are without purpose does not mean that things made up of atoms are without purpose.

    Er, yes it does in this context because ON ATHEISM, everything material is ONLY the result of purposeless combination of atoms. Thus, regardless of the specifics of the atomic arrangement, everything is purposeless nonetheless as per your theology. Tell me if I am caricaturing your theology.

    Also, it’s very likely that you define purpose to mean god-given, thereby ruling out all other possibilities.

    No, I would define purpose as a pre-determined (external) intent for one’s existence. What you would posit is an internal intent which is self-referential. Purpose presupposes at least two entities, one of which is the purposed object. Since humans and lesser complex material combinations cannot impart purpose to a human, and since man is a physical entity capable of using metaphysical entities (words, language, logic), theists find purpose in a metaphysical mind called God. If you want to derive purpose from a metaphysically capable physical entity (yourself), then your purpose is not absolute but unstably dependent on your own self-concept, feelings and mental capabilities.

  36. ChazIng says:

    @ ubi dubium

    And if only some if it is no longer applicable, how do you reliably tell which parts are and which aren’t?

    Good question, here’s my method:
    1. The OT is applicable to Hebrews and Christians.
    2. OT law is applicable to any present day Hebrew unless they become part of the church. Then NT rules apply.
    3. The NT is applicable only to Christians including Hebrew Christians.
    4. Christians dismiss OT mandates which are not mentioned as part of early church practice.

    Because no two sects of christianity seem to be able to agree on that point.

    That’s because no two persons will ever agree fully on anything even if it’s written. Someone will always have some interpretation which is different and run off on tangents. Normal human activity.

  37. ubi dubium says:

    @Michael
    “What would be convincing?”
    I actually wrote a blog post on this a few months ago, so rather than quoting the whole thing here, I’ll provide a link:
    http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/extraordinary-event-extraordinary-evidence/
    Generally, the evidence I will accept has to be on a scale as extraordinary as the claim being made. Arguments are not evidence, nor is a “feeling in your heart”, and nor are the claims made in ancient books.

    @Crude
    On Grammar rules – I notice that you did not capitalize “Muslim”, was that deliberate? You are very used to having people acknowledge your religious dictates regarding grammar, perhaps you should be prepared to honor everybody’s, or realize that capitalization is actually pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of the universe. I don’t actually care what you capitalize, you are the one that brought it up.

    “No two sects of Christianity are able to agree on anything?”
    No, it’s that no two sects are able to agree on everything. They can’t agree on which parts of the bible are allegorical, which are no longer applicable, and which must be believed literally and obeyed to the letter. They can’t agree on salvation by works (James) or salvation by faith (Paul), or whether the intercession of saints is required, or effective, or is even a thing, on whether specific rituals by clergy are necessary and which ones, and whether you even need clergy, whether baptism is by sprinkling or dunking and at what age, whether the bible is the only source of divine knowledge (protestants) or whether the apostolic tradition is also needed (catholics) or even which books belong in the bible (see the apocrypha of the catholic bible, and check out the differences in the Ethiopian version!) And on and on and on. (In general, atheists know a whole lot about religion, it’s often one of the reasons that we’re atheists.)

    “You seem to confuse the mere existence of disagreement with a demonstration that there is no reasonable interpretation available.”
    Meaning the interpretation that you think is reasonable, but that is not accepted as reasonable by thousands of other sects. No matter what sect you are, this will be the case. If there were one true god, and one true interpretation of all this stuff, your god could certainly do a better job of communicating it.

  38. ChazIng says:

    And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    This is saying that God will allow them to have their way, the same as Pharaoh’s heart hardening due to the removal of the Holy Spirit’s influence. This does not mean that God will actively deceive people. One must understand how Christians interpret the text before one tries to nitpick.

    From v.12, they take pleasure in unrighteousness i.e. they have given themselves over to the searing of their minds in iniquity. You also leave out another exegetical key in v.10 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” They refused to believe anyway so why would God actively help them do what they did for themselves? Perhaps the CEV states it best: “So God will make sure that they are fooled into believing a lie.” as in he will ensure that they get what they want and do this by allowing them to fool themselves in strong delusion by simply giving up on them.

    Unnecessary killing is murder.

    Who dictates what is unnecessary? On what basis can you make such an absolute moral pronouncement?

  39. ubi dubium says:

    “Mere lack of belief in God is not atheism – it is, at best, agnosticism. Atheism is the claim that there is no God.”

    Incorrect. “Agnosticism” is a statement about knowledge. An agnostic does not claim to know whether there is or is not a god. “Theism” and “atheism” are about belief. A theist believes in one or more gods, an atheist does not. Most atheists I know self-describe as “agnostic atheists” in that they cannot prove for certain there is no god, they simply have no belief there is one. I won’t dictate to you what you mean when you say you are a “Christian”, likewise, you don’t get to define what I mean when I say I’m an atheist.

  40. Crude says:

    Ubi Dumbium,

    On Grammar rules – I notice that you did not capitalize “Muslim”, was that deliberate? You are very used to having people acknowledge your religious dictates regarding grammar, perhaps you should be prepared to honor everybody’s, or realize that capitalization is actually pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of the universe. I don’t actually care what you capitalize, you are the one that brought it up.

    No, YOU are the one who decided to take some kind of petty moral stand on spitefully, intentionally not following the rules of grammar. What I made was a grammatical mistake – properly, they are Muslims, so Muslims they shall be called.

    See, that, Ubi? I’m more than happy to follow grammar rules because I am not some pointlessly petty person, trying to stick my thumb in the eye of people who disagree with me whichever way I can. You could learn a thing or two from this attitude – but alas, you wouldn’t like the lessons, so you’ll see fit to ignore them.

    Also, you’re an atheist. There is no ‘grand scheme of the universe’. So I suppose my calling you Ubi Dumbium is excused even on your own ‘beliefs’, grammar aside.

    No, it’s that no two sects are able to agree on everything. They can’t agree on which parts of the bible are allegorical, which are no longer applicable, and which must be believed literally and obeyed to the letter.

    Why in the world is ‘agreement on everything’ even a standard worth talking about? People of various political convictions don’t ‘agree on everything’ typically. Hell, scientists often don’t ‘agree on everything’ with their peers, and atheist leaders have tremendous trouble even agreeing what ‘atheism’ means, or what counts as evidence for God. Once again, you’ve made the inane mistake of thinking that the mere existence of disagreement suffices to show that no reasonable conclusion is in the running.

    (In general, atheists know a whole lot about religion, it’s often one of the reasons that we’re atheists.)

    I’ve seen no evidence of this. I have, however, seen tremendously rotten reasoning on the part of the Cult of Gnu, which you’re further putting on display in this very conversation. What they tend to ‘know about religion’ typically comes from frantic googling for atheist websites – it ain’t impressive.

    Meaning the interpretation that you think is reasonable, but that is not accepted as reasonable by thousands of other sects.

    Once again: so what? You’re still insisting that the existence of people who disagree about a topic is somehow indicative of something about the topic. Likewise, any claim that ‘God could have made it all clearer!’ ignores an important aspect of communication: it is a two-agent system. Often the disagreements are petty and of little importance. Still other times those disagreements aren’t borne of reason, but other motivations.

    Sometimes, Ubi Dumbium, when a person comes to a wrong conclusion, it’s not because the person who spoke to them wasn’t clear enough. It’s because they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain of thinking and reasoning honestly.

  41. Crude says:

    Ubi,

    Incorrect. “Agnosticism” is a statement about knowledge. An agnostic does not claim to know whether there is or is not a god. “Theism” and “atheism” are about belief. A theist believes in one or more gods, an atheist does not.

    No, an atheist believes there is no God or gods, and a theist believes that there is one or more Gods. Atheism is not ‘mere lack of belief’.

    Most atheists I know self-describe as “agnostic atheists” in that they cannot prove for certain there is no god, they simply have no belief there is one.

    Oh really? So they have no belief / make no claims about the existence of God – including the likelihood of God existing or non-existing? Like I said to the other cultist – walk that road if you like. You’re not going to like where it leads.

    I won’t dictate to you what you mean when you say you are a “Christian”, likewise, you don’t get to define what I mean when I say I’m an atheist.

    No, I get to point out what ‘atheist’ means and has meant for a long, long time, and how people are playing word games when they say ‘I’m an atheist! But wait, I make no claims. Unless I think I can get away with it and you won’t point out my burden of proof.’ Atheism is not mere lack of god-belief – that is an inane and recently development. It’s the belief that there is no God or gods.

    And again I ask you – are you going to tell me that you have no beliefs about God? That you don’t claim God’s or gods’ existence(s) is/are very unlikely? Because keep in mind… such a claim would also come with a burden of proof. As would, say, saying that materialism is true, or naturalism is true.

  42. ChazIng says:

    They can’t agree on salvation by works (James) or salvation by faith (Paul)…

    Sigh, you are being too literalist. It’s not an either/or. Salvation is of faith alone but will show subsequent works. If the works aren’t there, then salvation probably isn’t there. There will always be bickering about texts, can every Shakespeare scholar agree on what he meant? To require this of the bible and Christianity is silly.

    In general, atheists know a whole lot about religion, it’s often one of the reasons that we’re atheists.

    That’s the problem. You academically know ABOUT religion but you don’t seem to INTIMATELY know the mechanics. You nitpick on irrelevant verses and keep asking questions that have been answered and freely available on the Internet.

    If there were one true god, and one true interpretation of all this stuff, your god could certainly do a better job of communicating it.

    That is a presumptuous one-dimensional axiom. There are multiple interpretations to any text. IMO, there should be at least 2 interpretations (literal and metaphorical). Think of the bible as epigenetics. A certain life event would render your understanding of the text different even though the text remains the same. There is no one true interpretation, there are multiple true interpretations mediated by time, educational level, axioms, culture, exegesis method and spiritual maturity (among other issues).

  43. Ignostic Atheist says:

    Meanwhile materialist atheists talk about the objective meaningless and purposelessness of the universe, but try to get around it by imagining ‘purpose’ and ‘meaning’ in some local sense that falls apart upon inspection. So, they strive to discourage inspecting it.

    I find that my purpose is adequate. Tell me how it is inspected such that it falls apart, without appealing to a god-given purpose.

    How about you hit me with your best argument for atheism? Oh wait a second – you, as I already noted Cult of Gnu atheists and their leadership tend, are fleeing from the responsibility immediately. You somehow have convinced yourself that you can make as many claims as you like without evidence, and it’s everyone else’s burden to convince you you’re wrong.

    Why is it so hard for you to understand being without a reason to believe whatever crap your peddling? Tell me how I would craft an argument for not believing, without using an argument for there being no god (an exhaustive process I’m not interested in pursuing), and without having that argument being a rejection of an argument for the existence of a god (because that’s not good enough for you). I am an atheist, I don’t have a belief in a god. If you don’t want to believe me, or if you want to tell me what I believe, you can take your self righteous attitude and shove it right up your ass. People like you are the reason atheists are afraid to come out; you badger them with what you think (wish) they believe.

    Alright, here, I’ll make it easy for you:
    “a-” = without
    “theos” = god
    “-ism” = belief

    Baloney. Mere lack of belief in God is not atheism – it is, at best, agnosticism. Atheism is the claim that there is no God.

    “anti-” = opposite or opposing
    “theos” = god
    “-ism” = belief

    Agnosticism is a belief concerning subjective knowledge, used colloquially to refer to knowledge concerning god. It is not a statement about god belief. Quit using it like one.

    Also? Saying that it’s very unlikely that God exists is also a claim that comes with a burden. Let me guess: you’re agnostic about the likelihood of God’s existence as well, eh? Let’s see how much ground you’re willing to give to avoid your burden of proof, because believe me, you have to give up more than you think to be consistent.

    It’s unlikely that your god exists because there is no reason to think that he does. Even, or especially, if you are to pull out the cosmological argument, the existence of a complicated god being begs more questions. If, in fact, a universe from nothing (Krauss’s schtick) is mathematically sound, then it presents a much more compelling option than a jealous god, with love, anger, morality, infinite creative powers, all-pervasive knowledge, and a love for collections of atoms that are us, who willed the universe into being, but can’t seem to get the news out that he’s da’ man.

  44. Michael says:

    In reply to my question, Ubi dubium wrote:

    So when the stars start arranging themselves into a different dot-to-dot bible verse every day, and everybody who prays for mountains to move gets results, and all the amputees grow their limbs back overnight, and it’s all on the evening news, I’ll take the claims of theists more seriously.

    I see. So you need Gaps – things that cannot possibly explained by natural laws. So you are one of those atheists who thinks the God-of-the-Gaps argument is a valid way of determining truth about the world. I’m not surprised.
    You say you’ll take theistic claims “more seriously” if only such Tremendous Gaps could be shown. But that’s just you. Dawkins, Myers, and Bopghossian, for example, would not consider any of that evidence for God. Hmmm. So what would prevent you from jumping down their escape hatch if you witnessed such Tremendous Gaps? You say you’ll “take the claims of theists more seriously,” but do you have any evidence that you would? Or do you expect me to buy into your posturing on blind faith?

    Generally, the evidence I will accept has to be on a scale as extraordinary as the claim being made. Arguments are not evidence, nor is a “feeling in your heart”, and nor are the claims made in ancient books.

    Why are you trying to disguise your own subjective needs as objective reality? You assert that “arguments are not evidence, nor is a “feeling in your heart”, and nor are the claims made in ancient books” as if this was true for all. But that is true for you. Others view it differently.

  45. Ignostic Atheist says:

    Er, yes it does in this context because ON ATHEISM, everything material is ONLY the result of purposeless combination of atoms. Thus, regardless of the specifics of the atomic arrangement, everything is purposeless nonetheless as per your theology. Tell me if I am caricaturing your theology.

    DNA and RNA have a purpose, and that is to survive and replicate. Everything from there on has purpose.

    Keep in mind, I’m not saying that we retain the same, identical purpose as genetic material, but that is the origin. We, of course, have much more in terms of purpose than simply staying alive and reproducing. There is culture, science, family, big purposes, small purposes, medium purposes.

    If you want to derive purpose from a metaphysically capable physical entity (yourself), then your purpose is not absolute but unstably dependent on your own self-concept, feelings and mental capabilities.

    Yeah, and when I die it’ll be all over too. So what? You pretty much denied that purpose is necessarily god-given, defined purpose as from a higher being, and then said that I can make my own purpose, but it’s not as good as the one from your higher being (face it, you only mean god).

  46. ChazIng says:

    The god of the bible most certainly does supersede free will, according to your book. Ask Pharaoh how often he was willing to release the Hebrews, but god “hardened his heart.” Where was Pharaoh’s free will then?

    This has already been explained and is freely available on the Internet.

    So how is killing small children not murder? … If a god told me to kill children, I’d tell him to p!ss off.

    All these outrage arguments and the slaughter of ancient peoples by the Hebrews have been dealt with multiple times and once again, is freely available on the Internet. Let’s deal with the plank in your own eye first. Atheists (among others) are known for advocating, participating and encouraging ritualized murder of the unborn. Have you told your atheistic logic to p!ss off? How did that event go?

    Your god supposedly creates imperfect people, then punishes them with eternal torment for being exactly the way he made them…

    Theological caricature (Rev 20:12).

    If your god exists, he already knows exactly what evidence it would take to persuade me that he exists…

    The bible has already stated that you know God exists and you suppress that knowledge because you love sin (Rom 1:19-32).

  47. Crude says:

    IA,

    I find that my purpose is adequate. Tell me how it is inspected such that it falls apart, without appealing to a god-given purpose.

    There being a lack of purpose or meaning in life is not countered by a subjective feeling of adequacy in your delusion/redefining of ‘purpose’ to ‘feeling okay about existing right now.’

    Tell me how I would craft an argument for not believing, without using an argument for there being no god (an exhaustive process I’m not interested in pursuing), and without having that argument being a rejection of an argument for the existence of a god (because that’s not good enough for you).

    A) Your not being interested in pursuing an argument doesn’t relieve you of the burden of making one if you make a claim. Nor, for that matter, is the perceived or even actual difficulty of making a persuasive argument given the nature of the claim. If anything, that’s a good reason to sacrifice your claim.

    B) Argue for a metaphysical view that excludes the existence of God or gods. Offer up arguments or evidence for various atheistic claims, ie, ‘This is what we should expect if the universe was not created as opposed to created’, etc. And here’s the important point: if you find yourself lacking any arguments or evidence for the non-existence of God/gods, or the likely non-existence of God/gods, then – at least if you believe burdens of proof are intellectually necessary to meet in order to have a justified belief – then those are positions which you should sacrifice.

    I am an atheist, I don’t have a belief in a god. If you don’t want to believe me, or if you want to tell me what I believe, you can take your self righteous attitude and shove it right up your ass. People like you are the reason atheists are afraid to come out; you badger them with what you think (wish) they believe.

    No, I point out that if they wish to make the claim ‘There is no God/gods’ or ‘It is very likely there is no God/gods’, then they are making a claim and therefore have a burden of proof. If they wish to try and sidestep this by saying ‘I simply lack God belief’, then I point out the beliefs they have to reject and the claims they cannot make: they cannot claim there is no God/gods. They cannot claim that God’s/gods’ existence is unlikely. They just have to sit there, lacking belief and making no claims. The moment they make a claim, up comes the burden.

    If this is why people are ‘afraid of coming out as atheists’ – if they have beliefs that are intellectually unjustified, if they accept claims that they cannot argue for or support – then their being afraid to come out isn’t an incident of oppression. It’s a fear of intellectual consequences that they themselves are aware of.

    Alright, here, I’ll make it easy for you:
    “a-” = without
    “theos” = god
    “-ism” = belief

    You may want to check what that ‘ism’ means, IA.

    -ism is a suffix in many English words, originally derived from Ancient Greek; reaching the English language through Latin, by medium of the French. It is commonly used in philosophy and politics, pertaining to an ideology of some sort. A

    In other words, it’s not simply ‘lacking God belief’ but ‘belief that there is no God’. An ideology.

    It’s unlikely that your god exists because there is no reason to think that he does.

    See, that’s an example of claim that comes with a burden. You say that it’s unlikely God exists? Fantastic: time to marshal arguments and evidence. A mere lack of evidence for God’s existence – and there is, in fact, quite a lot of evidence (Remember that atheist philosopher who regarded rejecting even testimony as evidence to be inane?) – would not itself be evidence God didn’t exist. It would leave the question out there without evidence in either direction.

    If I lack evidence for and against some claim X, the reasonable attitude is to neither believe nor disbelieve X.

    Even, or especially, if you are to pull out the cosmological argument, the existence of a complicated god being begs more questions.

    No, it doesn’t – as you’d understand if you actually tried to follow the arguments. The alternative to classical theism is a multitude of inexplicable brute facts – which, by the way, is present even in Krauss’ intellectually sub-par book.

    If, in fact, a universe from nothing (Krauss’s schtick) is mathematically sound,

    Newsflash: Krauss’ book does nothing to answer the cosmological arguments he implies they target, and you don’t need to be a theist to recognize as much. It was a massive swing and a miss on Krauss’ part, and if I recall, even Krauss eventually hedged and said that his book wasn’t even supposed to answer (and certainly not in terms of physics) the philosophical/theological arguments in question.

    a much more compelling option than a jealous god, with love, anger, morality, infinite creative powers, all-pervasive knowledge, and a love for collections of atoms that are us,

    Another newsflash: the cosmological arguments in question aren’t meant to establish the existence of a God with all those various supposed traits. Merely the existence of a God, a simple and creative personal force. All the other attributes in question, if they come at all, come from other arguments and evidence.

    You can’t even properly represent the arguments and evidence you disagree with, and you’re unwilling and/or unable to provide evidence for your own claims, when you’re not denying you HAVE any claims to begin with. You are quite the piece of work.

  48. ChazIng says:

    DNA and RNA have a purpose, and that is to survive and replicate. Everything from there on has purpose.

    And you know this how? What experiments did you perform to come to this conclusion? And is this not the compositional fallacy that you accused me of previously?

    We, of course, have much more in terms of purpose than simply staying alive and reproducing. There is culture, science, family, big purposes, small purposes, medium purposes.

    Culture, science and family are at best human derived (internal) so-called purposes.

    Yeah, and when I die it’ll be all over too. So what?

    How do you know it will be ALL over when you die? Have you died and resurrected before? Please relate said experience in detail.

    You pretty much denied that purpose is necessarily god-given,

    I did?

    … and then said that I can make my own purpose,

    Your own faulty so-called purpose but not an absolute purpose.

    but it’s not as good as the one from your higher being (face it, you only mean god).

    Yes but God as in an independent purposing external entity. You believe the same since you give yourself purpose and place yourself in the category of a ‘god’ or final arbiter of morality.

  49. Sam says:

    The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines ‘atheism’ as the belief that there is no God, that theism is false. This has also been the historical meaning of the term.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/

    Ergo, that’s what I go by. Not the irredeemably flaky “lack of belief” definition peddled by Dawkins and a bunch of ignorant keyboard warriors. When it comes to choosing them or an encyclopedia of philosophy, I choose the encyclopedia, as any sane person would.

  50. AgnosticLurker says:

    “And that is your wishful thinking. The idea that someday you’ll die scares you, and so you’ve subscribed to a belief provided by the society you were lucky enough to be born into that, if you follow these rules, you’ll live forever serving your purpose of never-ending god-praise. I’m not scared of dying, I’m scared that I’ll die before I have a chance to make the world a better place.”

    Do you have any evidence he is scared of dying? Couldn’t one just as easily claim you are afraid of the thought of living for eternity, so you’ve subscribed to a belief that when you die that’s it?

    What does “making the world a better place” even mean? How do you scientifically prove that x actions have “made the world a better place”? And for whom is the world becoming a better place? There are some people who believe the world would be a “better place” if someone killed massive amounts of humans to reduce the population. Is that a valid way to make the world “a better place”? If someone were to kill a human and dump the body in a dumpster, did they make the “world a better place” if they believed they did? The rats who will feast on his corpse who otherwise might starve certainly might feel a little bit happier.

    Since there is no way to even scientifically evaluate which actions bring about a “better world,” or what a better world would even be, it is clear that any belief that you are making the world “better” are mere opinions or delusions in your head. It’s a nonsensical statement to make, just like when people state one organism is “more evolved” or “evolved better” than another.

  51. The original Mr. X says:

    Ignostic:

    ““a-” = without
    “theos” = god
    “-ism” = belief”

    First of all, genetic fallacy. Secondly, your argument is false even on its own merits. The Greek prefix “a-” doesn’t just mean without, it can also reverse the meaning of the word it’s attached to. E.g., “timazo” in Ancient Greek means “to honour”, but “atimazo” means “to dishonour”, rather than simply “to not honour”.

  52. Kevin says:

    While I will admit that the idea of there being insufficient reason to believe in the Christian deity is understandable, most atheists I know don’t stop there. (Disclaimer, most atheists I know are antitheistic ideologues, so that’s not fair to reasonable atheists.) They are convinced that there are no gods, period, and gleefully follow their ringmaster richard dawkins in mocking people who do believe. They are even intolerant of deism. More than once, I’ve seen this: “You already don’t believe in a god who interacts with the universe, why not take the next logical step and just admit there is no god?”

    This is where these atheists fall flat. They can attack Christianity all they want, and it won’t make me become an atheist. You actually have to provide evidence for atheism, which is actually completely different than attempting to disprove any particular deity. Atheism of the popularly understood variety (not counting religions that have no deities) requires philosophical naturalism. If atheism is true, then philosophical naturalism is true, and vice a versa. So to make an atheist out of me or any thinking person, evidence has to be shown that philosophical naturalism is the best explanation for existence and the features thereof. krauss’ universe from nothing doesn’t even scratch the surface. That’s like saying the spaghetti I cooked came from nothing, even though it actually is just rearranged matter and energy, just like quantum fluctuations. The complexity of the universe at a macro and micro level, history, the moral failings of mankind and the path we seem to be on as a collective, my own experience and what I learn and gain from reading the Bible, all of these support Christianity and explain reality far better than the “just because” explanation of philosphical naturalism and its twin, atheism.

    To actually think that krauss’ ideas are sufficient to not believe in God, I’m pretty certain there is a required emotional appeal. Otherwise, it’s very easy to dismiss. But we already know the New Atheist movement is driven by emotion and not reason, so this is not surprising.

  53. ubi dubium says:

    “The bible has already stated that you know God exists and you suppress that knowledge because you love sin (Rom 1:19-32).”

    Then there’s no further point in talking to you. You have assumed that you already know what we think and what we believe and what we value because your magic book and your dictionary have told you so. Therefore, you are not listening when we try to tell you what we actually think and what we actually believe and what we really value, and that it’s not the same as your assumptions. (One of you even assumed the gender of who you were talking to and got it wrong.)

    If I were a young person in your church today, having issues with these problems in your belief and in your book, and if I had come to you to talk about it, and been treated the way you have treated the non-believers here, I’d walk away from your religion and never look back. (I actually did walk away from religion, but that was 30 years ago.) And this is happening more frequently now – today in the U.S. one in five people now claim no religious affiliation. Among young people the number is now up to one in THREE. Our simple message of “you don’t have to believe what you are told” is getting through, and throwing apologetics and insults at non-believers isn’t going to change that.

  54. ChazIng says:

    There will always be those who offend even in a church setting. Sometimes the pastor is the one doing the offending. If life was about running from offense, I would leave society and planet earth. However, the issue for me (and it would seem for you as well) is truth. It is good that you walked away from religion. It is bad that you walked into another. My advice to you would be to forget people, blogs and churches. Ask the creator for evidence and genuinely mean it. Wait and see what happens. Then move forward accordingly.

  55. Michael says:

    Therefore, you are not listening when we try to tell you what we actually think and what we actually believe and what we really value, and that it’s not the same as your assumptions.

    Are you expecting people to accept such claims on faith? Yes, you say that you will take theists “more seriously” if only you could witness multiple Mighty Miracles. I pointed out that this means your atheism is built on God-of-the-Gaps logic. You ignored me. I asked what would prevent you from following Dawkins’ lead in denying such Might Miracles as evidence if you did come to witness such things. You ignored me. So it looks like you became upset because others didn’t do as you want and accept your claims on faith.

    The news about Krauss and his deep motivations have clearly struck a raw nerve, as several atheists tried to kick of some major dust here. But now that the dust has settled, it should be clear the points in my blog entry stand unscathed. The bottom line is we are left with Krauss admitting he does not want to live in a universe with God nor does he want to be judged by God. So it’s not simply about “reason and the evidence,” now is it?

  56. Firefly says:

    So true. I’ve had many atheist friends my whole life, and I can honestly say that for most of them, they’ll go on about how they’d believe, if only there were good enough evidence, and then turn down opportunities to see said evidence, get annoyed with you and accuse you of shoving it down their throats if you counter their statement with your own evidence, etc. They also restrict what they consider “evidence” to a very narrow subset of experience that really only captures materialistic interpretations of scientific evidence to begin with. It’s very frustrating.

  57. Pingback: There’s No Deception Like Self-Deception « Art of the Christian Ninja

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