Sunday, March 28, 2010

6 ULTIMATE reasons to not be an atheist!

I found a YouTube video that claims to "systematically show that atheism is a world view that cannot stand up to philosophical scrutiny".  Oh no!  Not philosophical scrutiny!  Anything but that!  Please, have mercy!

It's called '6 Ultimate Reasons not to be an atheist'.  Not just 6 reasons, but 6 ULTIMATE reasons.  This should be good.  I'll link to the video, but I warn you that the kids are annoying and the music accompanying the video is aggravating.  You have been warned.  Here.

The first thing that strikes me is that they claim right at the beginning that the video is not arguing for the existence of gods.  But if their argument is that atheism is wrong, then it is necessarily arguing for the existence of gods.  A little bit more thought tells me what they're really getting at.  These are not reasons that atheism is wrong.  They're reasons to not be an atheist, regardless of whether or not there are gods.  They'd just like people to be believers anyway.  This point will be important later.

Now, I did watch the entire video, but I'm just going to demolish the first two points.  The rest is more of the same.  Their first 2 ULTIMATE reasons to not be an atheist are:

1.  Atheists cannot believe that there is purpose and meaning to life.

What these punks really mean is that we cannot believe that there is an objective, absolute meaning to life handed to us by a supernatural being.  I won't dignify their suggestion that we have no meaning to our lives, with a response.....  other than to say that I'm glad my purpose in life isn't to worship a being that hides from me and allows so much bad shit to happen in the world.

Well, I agree!  It's true!  Atheists cannot believe that there is an objective, absolute meaning to life handed to us by a supernatural being.  Glad we are in agreement!  But wait, you said the atheist worldview could not stand up to philosophical scrutiny (*shudder*).  So I guess you have a proof that there is such a thing as an objective, absolute purpose to life handed to us by a supernatural being?  That would sure cause atheism some problems.  I'm waiting.....  No?  You just want to move on to point #2 without offering such a proof?  Shock!  OK, move on.  Losers!

2.  Atheists cannot believe that there is an objective moral law.

Didn't we just cover this kind of reasoning in the first point?  Are all of your points going to be like this?  Yes, I agree!  Atheists cannot believe that there is an objective, absolute moral law handed to us by a supernatural being.  I don't suppose you have a proof that there is such an objective, absolute moral law handed to us by a supernatural being?  No?  How very disappointing.

It's clear that these kids can't 'finish off' atheism by providing any proof that objective purpose or moral law exist.  What they're merely saying is that they don't like the atheist worldview, and so they'd prefer to live in the religious la-la-land, even if it isn't true.  Sorry kiddies, but that kind of self-medication won't fly with us atheists.  I'd prefer to believe the truth, and can handle life perfectly well without creating a fantasy for myself.

I've posted about this kind of thing before.  The first comment on that post linked me to an article by well-known Christian apologist, and philosopher (*laugh*), William Lane Craig.  This guy is supposed to be a pro.  So let's see how he did.  I read the entire thing, to save you from doing it.  Here is my analysis, as lifted from my own comments in the older post.

 
An article by William Lane Craig? Oh yeah, that's a source I'd trust. Anyway, some quotes from the article: 

"...but that in the absence of God, that is, if God does not exist, then morality is just a human convention, that is to say, morality is wholly subjective and non-binding. We might act in precisely the same ways that we do in fact act, but in the absence of God, such actions would no longer count as good (or evil), since if God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist." 

Yes.  

"If God does not exist, then it is difficult to see any reason to think that human beings are special or that their morality is objectively true." 

Yes.  

"Moreover, on the atheistic view there is no divine lawgiver." 

Yes.  

"If there is no God, then any ground for regarding the herd morality evolved by homo sapiens as objectively true seems to have been removed." 

Yes.  

"After all, what is so special about human beings?" 

Nothing.  

"They are just accidental by-products of nature which have evolved relatively recently on an infinitesimal speck of dust lost somewhere in a hostile and mindless universe and which are doomed to perish individually and collectively in a relatively short time." 

Yes.  

"Some action, say, incest, may not be biologically or socially advantageous and so in the course of human evolution has become taboo; but there is on the atheistic view nothing really wrong about committing incest." 

Perhaps. But also remember that your god created incest by only making 2 people to begin with. They were forced to have incestuous sex in order to obey the order to multiply. (Big point scored for me!)  

"But if man has no immaterial aspect to his being (call it soul or mind or what have you), then he is not qualitatively different from other animal species." 

Yes.  

"That means that an atrocity like the Holocaust was really morally indifferent. You may think that it was wrong, but your opinion has no more validity than that of the Nazi war criminal who thought it was good." 

Yes. Does that bother you, Bill?


OK, now surely he is setting up atheism for the big fall!  This guy is a pro, and he no doubt has some proof that objective morality is real.  If he can do it, then he wins.  Here it is, his big proof of objective morality!!!!!  

"And could anything be more obvious than that objective moral values do exist? ... There is no more reason to deny the objective reality of moral values than the objective reality of the physical world. ... Thus, the existence of objective moral values serves to demonstrate the existence of God." 

That's it?!  That's the best you've got?!  Could anything be more obvious?!  Sorry Bill, that won't do at all!

I'm stopping here. It is clear that Craig is not making any kind of evidence-backed argument to support objective morality. He is merely saying how terrible he thinks it would be if there wasn't, and asking us how we could stand to live in a society like that. This is pure philosophical trash, with no evidence at all presented. 

And right here, he uses what I believe is the most shameful tactic and most serious failure that religious people can use, by making this supreme being his Christian god, and no other.

"It follows that moral obligations and right and wrong necessitate God's existence."

So much for 'philosophical scrutiny'!

26 comments:

Magnamune said...

HA HA HA! I basically agreed with them on every point, and thought that it was a great video on why one should be an atheist (if you don't count the fact that there are no gods).

Hehe. Wait, that why not to be an atheist? Those stupid fools. Trying to enter the philosophical debate, with arguments that only make sense to them... Man, I'd love for someone to force them to concede the point, through the use of proof.

Also, first response! YAY!

Jim said...

It continues to amaze me how they think we atheists don't know all their arguments already.

It amazes me even further that they think humans are so special, but need a god to tell them that killing, raping, and stealing things are bad business for civilization.

Magnamune said...

They'll never learn, because every time a creationist reads an old and disproven argument, they only see the pro-creation side. As such, they don't see the fallacies inherent within the argument. And they always think it new. Well, usually.

Magnamune said...

Also, I can't seem to send my deconversion story. Something about data not being accepted. Anyone know what the problem might be?

Jim said...

That video was horrible. You can tell those two morons did not come up with their flawed line of reasoning themselves.

If you don't mind, I'm now going to run my head into a wall to forget it.

Feki said...

My six ULTIMATE reasons not to be a theist

1)Theists believe that the purpose and meaning to life is to reach a mythical paradise and/or face a series of reincarnations. Your destiny is dictated by something you can’t see or hear and no pictures, reviews or actual testimonies are provided, so you need to take for granted that you will like it. In the event that you don’t qualify for heaven/”improved next life”, you will suffer horrific pain and/or reincarnation into a lesser being. This delusion governs your real/only life to the point of preventing you from harmless activities (like eating pork) or engage in dangerous ones (like blowing up yourself) just to ensure you will keep a winning score.
2)Theists believe that there is an objective moral law dictated by some supernatural entity no one can see or hear, and which has not provided any self-evident proof of its existence. Moreover, there are countless different interpretations of this(these) supernatural being(s), so asserting that objective moral law #1 is better than #2 completely ablates the case for “objectivity”, as both should be equally valid (eg: all exist) or none is (people are delusional). Given that there is no objective/uniquely defined supernatural entity(ies), theists basically pick between moral laws according to what’s most convenient for their particular set of delusions.
3)Theists believe they have free will. Yet, the vast majority of religions also assert that their imaginary deities have omnipresence, omniscience and last, but not least, omnipotence. Therefore, they intrinsically accept their whole lives are staged and that they are simpletons at the mercy of a sadistic almighty puppeteer. Thus, they consider themselves “free” to act in a cosmic theatrical play about humans.
4)To be a theist you cannot believe that you can trust your reasoning. This one is self-explanatory: theists can’t trust that human reasoning can provide logical, evidence-backed explanations for understanding our universe without the need to include magic. In spite of any scientific argument, theists will believe in storms, earthquakes, floods as signs from their deity(ies), not as naturally occurring phenomena.
5)Theists cannot believe in absolute laws of logic, simply because logic is easily bypassed with magic and/or supernatural intervention. Moving on.
6)Theists cannot account for absolute truth, without the existence of deity(ies). Theists believe there is an absolute truth and that learning it is the most important thing for humanity over ending war or poverty, just to justify their delusion. Theists are set on assigning this truth to an invisible force beyond the laws of physics. They will also try to impose the absoluteness of this truth upon everybody else, even those who have no interest/need to learn it.

Daniel said...

Feki, I like your points.
Magnamune, I like your points, name and picture:P

ANTZILLA said...

Creationist:

To answer your "ULTIMATE reasons not to be a theist" hot list,

>>Theists believe that the purpose and meaning to life is to reach a mythical paradise and/or face a series of reincarnations.

1) False. The purpose and meaning to life is to find out what the purpose and meaning of life is. God answers that quite simply. Can Atheists? (I am keeping record of all the questions that you have refused to answer thus far.)

>>Theists believe that there is an objective moral law dictated by some supernatural entity no one can see or hear, and which has not provided any self-evident proof of its existence.

2) Wrong. Do you have a conscience? Well then you have an objective moral law dictated by a guiding entity by said conscience and you cannot see or hear it. I pose that God gave us that conscience, do you postulate that it evolved over billions of years? If so, is there any "real" evidence of that?

>>Theists believe they have free will.

3) Wrong again. You are, as stated in the bible, a slave to sin. (Read Romans 6) We all serve a master.

>>To be a theist you cannot believe that you can trust your reasoning.

4) Wrong. It is through God's collective natural and special revelation that I know for certain my senses are reliable and can account for absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason.

>>Theists cannot believe in absolute laws of logic, simply because logic is easily bypassed with magic and/or supernatural intervention.

5) Wrong. It is through God's collective natural and special revelation that I know for certain my senses are reliable and can account for absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason. Tell me how do you, an Atheist, account for the laws of logic? (Again, keeping record)

>>Theists cannot account for absolute truth, without the existence of deity.

6) True. Otherwise, how do you account for absolute truth, or laws of logic, within your worldview. Did absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason exist before man?

ANTZILLA said...

I'm still working on a responce myself.

So far
1)Theists believe that the purpose and meaning to life is to reach a mythical paradise and/or face a series of reincarnations._ Other Theists believe the purpose and meaning to life is to find out what the purpose and meaning of life is, some of them believe God is the meaning of life.

1a) The meaning of life is up to the individual life form at any givin time. First meaning of life is to servive then procreate.

2)workin on anwser

3)So basicly didn't read past firt sentence.

4) working on anwer

5) working on answer

6) >>Did absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason exist before man?<<

Yes, universal laws of logic and reason is called "cause and effect"
so yes there was cause and effect before homo sapians

Magnamune said...

Thanks Daniel. It is seriously hard to come up to rebuttals of something you agree with, if in a different way. I've more then once had to point out why my opponents reasoning is wrong, whilst still agreeing with their conclusion... You lose credibility, but it's the only way to go in such situations.

Feki said...

Dear Antzilla, kindly provide that moron with some of this:

1) False. The purpose and meaning to life is to find out what the purpose and meaning of life is. God answers that quite simply. Can Atheists? (I am keeping record of all the questions that you have refused to answer thus far.)
-----> Why must there be a meaning and purpose to life? I do not really need other meaning/purpose than to responsibly support the development and improvement of my species and my surroundings by using the best evolutionary trait mankind possesses: the brain. That’s acting in the best interest of all life, not only for me to “be saved”. Ultimately, it is up to every single individual to decide what to do with his/her life, but we are obliged to use our cognitive advantages for the best, not for imagining gods or thinking we will get to a better place afterwards. Besides, you fail to acknowledge the spiritual aspirations of other religions (reincarnations), which is sad because you all have so much in common: strong delusion and a need to be treated like children.

2) Wrong. Do you have a conscience? Well then you have an objective moral law dictated by a guiding entity by said conscience and you cannot see or hear it. I pose that God gave us that conscience, do you postulate that it evolved over billions of years? If so, is there any "real" evidence of that?
-----> Yes, “conscience” and “moral” are successful evolutionary traits that were developed over millennia when our hominid ancestors passed desirable social behavior/temper over to the next generations. Eventually structured behavior became what we call “moral code”, we developed a conscience for better interpretation of complex social order and that helped us succeed as a species.
I will give an example: dolphins and whales interact in the best interest of their group. They seem to have a strong sense of protecting and being good to one another. You can call that a desirable social behavior or a moral code that works out well for their niche in a marine environment. We also see that behavior can be inherited: dogs were selectively bred to serve and provide company to humans, eliminating most undesirable behavioral aspects of wolves. And this happened within the last 10,000 years, not billions, since humans did not exist then.

3) Wrong again. You are, as stated in the bible, a slave to sin. (Read Romans 6) We all serve a master.
-----> No sir, you are a slave of your beliefs and your self-imposed master. I have free will because a) there is no being that knows everything, so my life is not staged, I am not a pawn in some bizarre master plan, b) I am free to commit good or bad acts, and live to the consequences imposed by our society.

4) Wrong. It is through God's collective natural and special revelation that I know for certain my senses are reliable and can account for absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason.
-----> You didn’t read past the first sentence and thus, you have actually confirmed my point: you need god’s magic to explain the universe to yourself. As for myself, I need no “special revelation” to trust my senses or my reason. I am humble and accept that I will not understand every scientific discovery but I am not looking for cheesy god-love-us explanations either. Men will eventually be able to decipher all that exists in the universe. That is trusting OUR reasoning.

Feki said...

[continued]

5) Wrong. It is through God's collective natural and special revelation that I know for certain my senses are reliable and can account for absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason. Tell me how do you, an Atheist, account for the laws of logic? (Again, keeping record)
-----> I invite you to read my point again, you have repeated your previous mistake. We know you cannot conceive logic without magic. As for me, I am confident that the cognitive abilities we evolved were crucial in our success as a species. Our capacity to understand and solve logical problems allowed us to hunt larger prey, build tools, discover written language and yes, invent gods for everything we couldn’t find explanation for. When civilizations arose, specialized fields of knowledge were created such as mathematics and philosophy. Since then, science has explained most things in a coherent way, much in spite of religion. If you want to keep fearing thunder it is entirely up to you.

6) True. Otherwise, how do you account for absolute truth, or laws of logic, within your worldview. Did absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason exist before man?
-----> Why must there be an absolute truth, why does it have to be supernatural and above all, why does it have to be “your truth”? I don’t want to waste my time searching for an absolute truth, even less if it involves moronic rituals and a blind belief in something that just doesn’t seem to exist. Besides, way before “your truth” appeared there were thousands of “other absolute truths”, and many more have been “discovered” since as well. As before, I leave “universalism” to my fellow scientific researchers. If they ever conclude that the explanation for the universe resides in a cosmic jewish zombie, an elephant-headed man with six arms, a cornucopia of dysfunctional greek characters or any other supernatural causes then I will accept it.

ANTZILLA said...

Feki,
Message inserted waiting on responce.

Jim said...

Again, I am baffled by theists who insist there must be a meaning to life. And I am still amazed that they think humans cannot govern themselves, but instead need a god to tell them what is right and what is wrong.

ANTZILLA said...

Feki,
CREATIONIST REPONSE:

>>Why must there be a meaning and purpose to life?

Sad

>> Besides, you fail to acknowledge the spiritual aspirations of other religions

If there is truly a God, then other religions will be false. Why follow false religions? Reincarnation is a very unfair scenario. If someone was a horrible person then they reincarnate into you, for example. What did you do to deserve the hell that you live in? Let's say you were born in Kenya and starved to death at the age of 12. Just an unfair religion concept.

>>Yes, “conscience” and “moral” are successful evolutionary traits that were developed over millennia when our hominid ancestors passed desirable social behavior/temper over to the next generations.

Such bare assertions that you have faith in. Whatever. How about showing some evidence of that bare assertion.

>>dogs were selectively bred to serve and provide company to humans, eliminating most undesirable behavioral aspects of wolves. And this happened within the last 10,000 years, not billions, since humans did not exist then.

What a nice story. I am getting sleepy.

>>so my life is not staged, I am not a pawn in some bizarre master plan.

Wrong. Deny it all you wish. So why get an education? Why strive for good grades? They are meaningless according to your worldview.

From my post: "In the Atheistic worldview someone could rape and murder you with no fear of anything bad happening to them if they are not caught by people. Objective morality just doesn't exist in the atheists worldview. If someone rejects Christianity they will end up, if they're honest and consistent, at the bottom with radical skepticism. All bets are off and all up for grabs. Completely arbitrary moral system; it's going to be pick and choose. People don't live like that though, we go to school and turn in papers on time so you can get the grade. With the Atheistic worldview, school doesn't matter; grades don't matter; education doesn't matter; nothing matters with that worldview."

We all know that just is not the truth though.

>>As for myself, I need no “special revelation” to trust my senses or my reason.

I thought you tried to explain things scientifically. "I don't know" is not an explanation. The proof of God’s existence, is that without Him you couldn’t prove anything. Proof requires logic. One must be able to account for the laws of logic, or the proof ends in an infinite regress of ‘and how do you know that?’ You have not accounted for the laws of logic, and are therefore unable to prove anything.

End of discussion.

>>That is trusting OUR reasoning.

Yes, we all know, all too well, that you place your faith in mankind.

So for the record:

1) You cannot find out what the purpose and meaning of life is or it's a current "I don't know"
2) Your objective moral law came from trial and error? Yea that makes sense?
3) You have free will and choose to follow society as your master. Sure you do.
4) You cannot explain the universe to yourself and you place your faith in mankind.
5) You cannot conceive logic. As an Atheist, you cannot account for the laws of logic.
6) You cannot answer if absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason exist before man.

Your worldview does not make sense of the real world that we live in. It is merely a bunch of I don't knows and you am waiting (faithfully) for mankind to tell you. Radical skepticism is your dominate position yet you do not live that way.

Whatever. Good luck with that

Magnamune said...

Wow. That's retarded.

For the first question, you didn't even answer. Just

saying it's sad is an opinion, and explains nothing.

An appropriate answer is there is no meaning to

life. There is no evidence to suggest the is one.

And as for the "false religions", as you call them, if

there truly is a god, whose to say it's YOUR god?

Whose to say he sticks to just one set of rules?

What if he decided to have people reincarnate until

they were worthy of him?

Second, you completely ignore Feki's example,

and instead suggest he show some evidence. I

have doubts about what you'd accept as evidence.

If we managed to travel back in time and observe

the evolution of morals, you'd probably start

pointing out the flaws of time travel, or even history.

Third, Getting an education is how we do better in

SOCIETY. Must sound strange, but other PEOPLE

want us to know things, and be useful. And,

although it's kind of obvious, Atheism is merely the

lack of belief in a god, not a worldview.

Fourth, nothing is perfect. A human being cannot

know everything. In order for us to advance as a

species, as a society, we must trust others to

learn what we cannot comprehend. By trusting

others, we not only accept the strengths of others,

but our personal flaws.

Fifth, A more appropriate response is I don't know

yet". Read Feki's post again, maybe you'll

understand it this time.

And finally, Who says there are universal laws of

Logic and Reason? We have learnt a way to

understand the world, that makes sense to us with

our abilities. As far as I know there are no other

intelligent species to determine if the laws of logic

and reason are universal.

Also, Creationists say that God's wisdom is so

profound, we cannot comprehend it. If the laws of

logic and reason were truly universal, God's

wisdom would be based on the same logic as us.

Fui fides tantum in testimonium.

Magnamune said...

Also, Feki, sorry I butted in, but I couldn't stay silent.

Jim said...

ANTZILLA, you're doing great things. Feki, awesome as always. But I couldn't resist replying.

1. There is no ultimate defining meaning of life. Period. Your life means whatever you want it to mean.

2. It is not trial and error, it is natural selection. We would not have a coherent society if we all just did whatever we wanted to.

3. We have free will, but know that if we don't follow the laws that keep us safe and alive, there will be no society in which to live and thrive.

4. We cannot explain the universe YET. We are working on this. It's called science.

5. The laws of logic govern all of math and science. And using pure logic, I can disprove your god or any god.

6. The absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason did exist before man, because, and pay attention, the laws of logic force them to have existed before man. 1+1=2 was true before anyone was born, and it will be true after we all die. That is a mathematical law, which is determined by logic.

Also, my friend, you are right on one thing. We do not know everything. But, we also never claimed to.

Here's the rub though. If you want to assert that there is a god and that he determines all the logic and moral laws, and everything else you are arguing for, then you have to first prove that your god exists. This has been said a lot, but it needs repeating:

The burden of proof lies with the person making the claim.

You claim there is a god, so YOU have to prove it. Philosophical debate is fine, but it is not concrete proof.

Feki said...

Wow ANTZILLA, how can you put up with these fundies? Much respect for your patience.
Magnamune, well said: retarded.
Jim, it means a lot coming from you, thanks.

So, how about we use the FSM technique?

Let's acknowledge all their stuff is correct except for the fact that it was all made by an almighty bowl of pasta and meatballs, instead of god.

For example: through Its Noodly Appendages we were granted conscience and learned that the true meaning and purpose in life is to become pirates, as stated in the cannellonical Gospel of the Flying Spaguetti Monster.

His Noodliness also bestowed us with "enough logic" to understand how he is real and tasty, but also invisible and flavorless at the same time.

I know, I know... it's just that objective argumentation is futile with christ-tards. Their only response is "god", so we might as well put forward an imaginary friend, don't you think?

Jim said...

I know George Carlin has been quoted on this site before, but I like his idea of god more than the Christian one.

"I've begun worshipping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It's there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There's no mystery, no one asks for money, I don't have to dress up, and there's no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate."

Now, while this is all meant as a joke, no one here can deny that what he claims is untrue. I have received more from the sun than any one god can claim.

Feki said...

Oh no Jim, you made me imagine a sun-worshipping cult with wacky commandments like "thou shall not go to tanning salons" hehehe

Off-the-topic:

Is everybody ready for the religious film marathons on tv? not that I watch much tv anyway, but there'll be nothing else on for the next four days.

Jim said...

The Ten Commandments is actually good. Chuck Heston rocks it. Although it helped me question religion, which is ironic. Didn't get the parting of the Red Sea, why God would let the Jews be enslaved for so long, why God would murder all the first-born children, why God would make the people he just saved wander the desert for 40 years, or why he would appear as a burning bush to only one man with no witnesses.

Other than that nonsense, it's a good movie.

Oh, plus chocolate bunnies are awesome.

Feki said...

Well, personally I liked Heston better in Soylent Green and The Omega Man, one of which will be aired because networks think it is much more important to watch gore fests like The Passion.

I too feel revolted at the tales about infanticide, first in Egypt and then in Bethlehem. It is very disturbing to think people actually want god to exist. It should be yet another reason not to believe in such a psychopath!


p.s. - Why spend 40 years wandering in a desert you can cross in two weeks? Easy. Moses happened to have one leg shorter than the other...

Jim said...

It blows my mind when people talk about the Christian god being all great and kind, and how he loves everyone and is all about forgiveness, but completely ignore that he has (In the Bible, mind) killed millions of people, as well as innocent first-born infants. These children literally did nothing wrong, and their god murdered them in straight cold-blood.

There's a god you want.

Daniel said...

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2007/04/05/godvsatan.jpg
This^
Also it doesn't include Sodom and Gomorrah being razed, or the flood.
And the people Satan killed were Job's family, who God LET him kill as part of a BET, who he later replaced with different people after destroying the man's life.

Jim said...

The religious types are like Nazi sympathizers. They know about the atrocities committed by their god, but cover it up, or push it away, saying everything is for the greater good.