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Is Atheism More Likely To Be True Than Deism?

 
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2013 09:27 pm
In this debate (irrespective of whether or not it is meaningful) atheists have a considerable, albeit worthless, advantage: "Deists" have all sorts of inane positions not only expressed with great fanfare but codified, which can be picked apart by a 7th Grade, while atheists have "There is no God."

This is not at all to say that there aren't fools and idiots among atheists (One only has to listen to the argument that if a God actually existed he would not allow humans to suffer, to understand this is the case), but they are far less public with their idiocy.

As has been expressed by others in this thread, proof that God exists or does not is far beyond our capabilities. With all due respect, the question of whether one position or the other is slightly more credible is ridiculous for a number of reasons I will be happy to detail if politely asked to do so.

This is a currently irreconcilable debate. There is no clear wrong or clear right and therefore unless one wants to prove oneself an idiot by arguing against the notions of idiots, there is no reason for these threads.
medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 02:46 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
"Deists" have all sorts of inane positions not only expressed with great fanfare but codified, which can be picked apart by a 7th Grade


Not sure if you're confusing deists with theists here. I understand deism to be a dressed-down theism, in which the principle tenet seems to be that god initiated the universe. I don't know how many more inane positions can be attributed to deists, perhaps you (or someone else) can point them out?

Quote:
This is not at all to say that there aren't fools and idiots among atheists (One only has to listen to the argument that if a God actually existed he would not allow humans to suffer, to understand this is the case), but they are far less public with their idiocy.


It depends on the context in which that objection is raised. In talking to theists, especially those of a creationist bent, I have found it useful to make that criticism of the benevolent designer hypothesis. To my bafflement these creationists frequently cite the devil as the cause of suffering. From bone cancer to genocidal war, the baddest guy is held as responsible for the bad stuff -how simplistic and childish does an opinion have to be before it can be dismissed outright? I think we're close to an answer in the above, and deism is a closer cousin of this line of thinking than some here are prepared to admit.

Quote:
As has been expressed by others in this thread, proof that God exists or does not is far beyond our capabilities.


Yes and yet this fact does not mean that atheism and deism are equivalently logical positions to hold. As some famous atheists have pointed out, fairies are no more falsifiable than god. Does this mean belief and non-belief in fairies are equivalently logical positions? I'm not actually being consciously facetious.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 03:01 am
@georgeob1,
Well, as one can see from posts above, people continue to attempt to suggest that all atheists think alike. That's my "beef," if i could be said to have one here. So, for example, in my personal experience, most atheists are agnostic atheists. They don't profess to know if there is a god, but they don't believe it, and they don't really care. Once again, i know that that is anecdotal evidence, but the problems associated with announcing that one is an atheist (very real problems) make it very difficult to know how many atheists there are, let alone what all of them think.

I agree that science does not have all the answers, and any genuine scientist will readily acknowledge this. The problems between religion and science arise because there are some fanatical religious types who do believe that their religion provides all tha answers, as well as fanatical "atheists" who claim that science has all the answers. My opinion is that neither group even knows what all the questions are, let alone having any insight on how to find all the answers. I am as contemptuous of the "there is no god" crowd among atheists (in my experience, a distinct and small minority) as i am of the more fanatical theists.

A propos ot that, there was an interesting interview with the Vatican astronomer (another one of those godless Jesuits!) on the CBC radio's weekly science program,Quirks and Quarks. You can read about it by clicking here.

Frankly, i think comparing deism to atheism is an exercise in exploring a false dichotomy. An aversion to deism is not the cause of anyone becoming an atheist in my experience. Most commonly, the atheists i have met either did not come from a strongly religious background, or they were reacting to the religious experience they were exposed to when young.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 05:05 am
setanta's post is a perfect example of atheists not necessarily on the same page. Contrast his post immediately above this one with my contention that all concepts of gods are exercises in anthropomorphism, nothing more complex. I do agree that science does not know everything, and further believe the ones paying their checks keep scientists from knowing more, in some fields.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 11:21 am
@Setanta,
I generally agree with you about all of this. These discussions almost always involve implied definitions of both athiesm and belief that are often vague and inconsistent. There are variations on the themes on both sides, and human motivations are as variable as individuals, changing over time as well.

Edgar (above) is also undeniably right that most human views of god involve anthromorphic factors that very likely reflect the limits of human imagination, among other things. The conclusions one draws from that observation depend entirely on his/her views of the basic question. Thus Edgar sees it as confirmation that god is a human imagining. Others recognize it as the reflection of an observable and widespread human spiritual need. Neither proves or disproves the underlying issue.

I have attempted mostly to describe why I believe there is a god and, to answer the question posed in this thread, concerning why I believe theism is more likely true than denial. Beyond that I have only tried to outline the very real limitations of materialistic counter explanations and several fallacies, based on a misunderstanting of science, that are frequently invoked in this area.

This thread itself is demonstration that there are no intellectual proofs that are reliably convincing to those on either side of this divide. Indeed many of the same arguments used in support of "no god" also work for "god" . As I write this I'm listening to the (very agreeable) Canadian radio program in your link, and the remarks of Dr. Barret of Oxford converning the observable "agency detection" inclination of humans and those of the evolutionist (Wilson) who follows him. Both scientific observations are in fact neutral on the basic question, in that observable inclinations to, or evolutionary rewards for, belief can as easily be regarded as validations of belief as they can as indications that it is merely a useful form of improving survival, and therefore (and here is where the non sequitor enters) necessarily incorrect.

As I listen, I also just learned in the program that the Jesuit Astronomer (Cosmolango) aho follows was a graduate of a Jesuit High School in Detroit which I also attended. and at nearly the same time. (We moved back and forth between Washington and Detroit as I grew up and, while I graduated from Gonzaga in Washington, I attended the Univ. of Detroit H.S. for the first two years.). Anyway, as I listen. I hear a very familiar way of looking at things and seeing beyond the twists and turns in understanding that many see as barriers. Thanks for the link !

I'm frequently struck by the breath and content of your interests and knowledge Setanta, and I'm glad I've had this chance to get to know a few things about you. We don't lways agree, but that's not very important.





0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 11:30 am
No, agreement, especially on abstruse and ultimately "unknowable" questions such as this, is not important. What is important is remaining intellectually agile. Pointing out to you all of your intellectual flaws and lacunae over the years has provided me a great deal of intellectual exercise, when otherwise i might have gotten flabby.

I'm glad you enjoyed the program. Bob McDonald has a real flair for making complex scientific information understandable, and seems to know just who to go to to get those understandable explanations.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 11:42 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I'm glad you enjoyed the program. Bob McDonald has a real flair for making complex scientific information understandable, and seems to know just who to go to to get those understandable explanations.

Yes and he's very Canadian. There's something about the manner of speech of Canadians that makes them instantly recognizable, even though, apart from the occasional 'aboot', it's hard to identify anything specifically different in their speech. There's also that Canadian niceness - a good quality, which I do like.

Setanta wrote:
Pointing out to you all of your intellectual flaws and lacunae over the years has provided me a great deal of intellectual exercise, when otherwise i might have gotten flabby.
Go **** yourself.

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 11:52 am
@georgeob1,
Why George, you old charm school drop-out.

When Peter Jennings first started in American television news (NBC, i think), he was doing a story, and it included the word schedule . . . which he mispronounced. I knew right away he was a Canajun then. They also say ash-phalt. It doesn't do any good to point out that there's only one "h" in the word, they are incorrigible.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 11:55 am
Two other telltales, which may only be in Ontario, and are most noticeable in middle-aged or older Canajuns. They say I-run, rather than iron, and words ending "-own" are pronounced as two syllables. So, one ad ran "Our little girl, all grow-en up." An unidentified perpetrator will be described by the news reader as "unknow-en."
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 12:43 pm
@Setanta,
It was just an acknowledgment of a good hit.

A long time ago when I was serving as XO on Eisenhower, Jennings, along with a producer and a small production crew spent several days aboard while we were in the Eastern Mediterranean. They were on the way back home from the Mideast and were getting an interview with the Fleet Commander and some stock film footage of flight ops. Jennings had some time on his hands and we spent some of it together. A very likeable, knowledgable guy who spent a good deal of time all over the Mid east ... open, unpretentious, he got on well with everyone.

While they were aboard we lost a small transport aircraft in bad weather, and, after a day's search, found the wreckage impaled on a mountain in Crete. The normal procedure in such cases is to immediately notify the families of those aboard of the missing aircraft and, when the result is confirmed, their deaths. When all involved have been directly informed (in person) by Navy Reps back home, we send out a press release, but not before that. (Don't want any wives finding out their husbands are dead on the TV news.)

It turns out that the discovery of the wreckage occurred early on the morning of the scheduled departure of Jennings and the ABC crew. Just before the ABC folks were to board their aircraft for the launch & flight to Naples, I let them know about the story, and asked how we could reach them ashore in Naples to inform them when they could release the story about the aircraft crash. I immediately got an indignant lecture about freedom of the press from the very self-important producer, and despite my explanation, could not budge him. Concerned, I called the captain, who said he would take care of it, and then invited them all up to the bridge to say farewell.

As they were exchanging pleasantries with the Captain (sitting on his elevated chair) on the bridge, he turned, looked down on the flight deck, where the aircraft (including the transport for the ABC folks) were assembling behind the catapults, picked up the phone to the Air Boss in the Tower and asked if that was an hudraulic leak he saw on the transport. After a few moments we heard the Caprain say, "OK, that's what I thought. Wrap it up and take it to the hangar deck." He then turned to the group and said "I guess you folks aren't going anywhere today." Everyone understood. Jennings smiled, but the producer was pissed.

We all had a very good meal that night in the Captain's mess.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 01:52 pm
He always did seem like a nice guy. I think he was just about the only successor to the Walter Cronkite era who had the same presence and authority.
medium-density
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 02:39 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Pointing out to you all of your intellectual flaws and lacunae over the years has provided me a great deal of intellectual exercise, when otherwise i might have gotten flabby.


Good god.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Apr, 2013 02:42 pm
How do you know god is good? How do you know that god is?
Foofie
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 4 Apr, 2013 11:32 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

How do you know god is good?


It's alliteration of the words. And, "good" comes from god, I thought.
medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Apr, 2013 12:30 pm
@Foofie,
And evil comes from the devil?
0 Replies
 
XXSpadeMasterXX
 
  0  
Reply Fri 31 May, 2013 02:19 am
@medium-density,
How could it possibly be?

If atheism is actually a belief...atheism can not be proven just like a God in theism's can not...

If it is not a belief, but a rejection...Then it does not have anything to do with what "atheism" itself is or stands for...but the very things atheists, and atheism attempts to prove...Which are the notions themselves that atheists are actually believing or rejecting...upon demonstrating its validity, or rejecting these notions are valid...

If they reject any Gods exist...then unless they can demonstrate this with evidence itself...then they reject any Gods exist, and you can not reject anything more than already rejecting something...because the belief is not there...and there is nothing left to reject...

They may claim to be skeptics, but there does not seem to be anything that they reject more than any potential Gods...In fact, when it comes to other skeptical claims...they seem to act very quickly to try to explain why they believe the skeptical notion at hand is either valid or not...with evidence that they ask theists for about God(s)...
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 31 May, 2013 04:07 am
@XXSpadeMasterXX,
Atheism is not a belief. Nor is it a rejection. That's just your idiot word game. You really think you're clever, don't you?
XXSpadeMasterXX
 
  0  
Reply Fri 31 May, 2013 04:23 am
@Setanta,
Nope...since I am no atheist...I just go by what I hear others claim about themselves...you may say it is not a large enough sample size...but I personally do not need to hear what every atheist says, in order to respond according to what I have already heard, and then amend it as I hear new notions presented from many different atheists...If something I have said does not apply to one atheist, in a particular way...then it simply is not meant for them...but if they feel compelled to try to argue this point knowing it is not directed at them personally...then I happen to feel they may have a guilty conscience....

In fact, I am quite sure when I have debated how atheism seems to be a belief, many times before...I am quite sure that you have personally claimed it is a rejection and not a belief in return...at least once...to me personally...
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 31 May, 2013 04:46 am
No, that's not true at all. In the first place, you have an insignificant sample. The people you talk to here do not represent even a tiny fraction of a percent of all the atheists in the United States, let alone the world.

I've never accepted the term rejection. That's another typical case of you framing things in your terms, rather than the terms used by the persons to whom you are talking. I can't reject anything unless it's being forced on me. Is that how you see your role in the world, to attempt to force your beliefs on others? Atheism is the lack of a belief, it shouldn't even be described as an "ism.." Sure, there are some idiots who state categorically that there is no god. They do not represent the majority of atheists, and in my experience, don't even represent a significant fraction of atheists. This is just like that time you puked up that bullshit about atheists being willing to believe if they had a sign from god. You never came up with the evidence for that bullshit. I strongly suspect that one or two people had demanded evidence, and you translated that in your fevered imagination into a call for a sign from god. It's stupid on the face of it. Why would someone who doesn't believe that there are any gods ask for a sign from what they consider an imaginary figure.

Same thing with this rejection bullshit of yours. You restate what others say in your own terms and then rant about that. You don't know enough atheists to be able to make confident statements about them. Not that you let a little ting like ignorance stand in your way.
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Fri 31 May, 2013 05:13 am
@XXSpadeMasterXX,
This atheist see no reason at all to grant any of the current major religion belief systems any more credit then the tooth fairy.

A personal god that give a **** over humans seems a very very unlikely concept to say the least.

Next a non-personal god as in Deism who is the designer/builder of the universe just removed the problem/question of first cause a step backward with no gain at all that I can see.

Yes no one can proved that a god does not exist anymore then that the tooth fairy does no exist however there seems zero reason to give credit to such silliness.



 

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