Monday, January 28, 2013

How To Make An Atheist Really Mad

Tell him/her to logically defend his/her comments.

For example, when an Atheist calls a believers fools and informs you that "there is no evidence for God", tell the atheist to show proof that there is no evidence.

If an Atheist makes a statement like the one I just posted, the  Atheist  should be ready to present data supporting the argument.

A truly ignorant person will holler back you: "You can't prove a negative!" Ask that person how they know for sure that no evidence exists.

What I find to be a common thread among anti-theistic antagonists is that they think they have all the answers and they're not compelled to support them with facts.

Or, in some cases, they'll just throw links to websites like evilbible or jesusneverexisted.

I have found that most Atheists on the internet want to lecture. They seldom want to discuss. When you press them to logically support their opinions, and you point out their illogic, they get nasty and eventually go ballistic.

Remember, these guys are supposed to be the adults in the room.

 Remind them to act like adults.

27 comments:

Thesauros said...

Atheist say, "You can't prove a negative," (that God doesn't exist) and they're right - but they certainly believe this negative that can't be proven.

Good post.
God Bless.
See you There!

Stoogie said...

Thesauros:

The best part is, you can prove a negative under certain conditions. It's easy in math, where such a thing is usually a contradiction. Also, anything in logic that violates the Rule of Self Identity or Rule of Non-Contradiction could be proof of a negative.

The point is, trying to lead an atheist horse to the Stream of Intellectual Honesty, and then get him to drink from it is an awesome task.

Logic Lad said...

Stoogie

You make an interesting point, I suspect that most of the times this line is used there is a unstated assumption that the words 'Currently available' is tacked on the end of the sentence.

I think you would agree that deferring belief in something until evidence for its existence has been provided is reasonable. Unless you are going to argue in favour of Bertrand's Teapot.

Surely a better rebuttal to this line would be to actually provide evidence of gods existence, such evidence could then be considered and debated and it would pretty much end the discussion if no legitimate reason to put it aside could be found, providing all parties are acting rationally and in good faith of course.

Logic Lad said...

Stoogie

On the subject of proving a negative. In order to do so you need a very good definition of the thing being disproved, so logical contradictions can be found. This is relatively easy in maths where definitions can be very precise, would you like to provide a detailed and precise definition of god?

Stoogie said...

Logic Lad:

I get what you're saying about negatives, but the simple point I'm trying to make is that Atheists love to slap you in the face with absolutist statements and then hide behind the "you can't prove a negative" excuse.

If an Atheists are going to run around saying God doesn't exist, they have a responsibility to prove their absolute statement is true.

Stoogie said...

Logic Lad:

As evidence I offer the complexity yet orderliness of the Universe, and the high improbability of life emerging without help.

As evidence, I offer the truthful eyewitness testimony of the authors of the Bible.

I also have personal revelation of God, which cannot be logically argued away.

This is what I get slammed for all the time.

Logic Lad said...

Stoogie
I agree that absolute statements require evidence, hence why I suggested the unspoken addition to the claim. That addition firmly shifts the burden of proof back on to the person making the claim that god exists. However would you grant the point that reserving belief until existence is proven is a valid position?
So you evidence
Quote 'As evidence I offer the complexity yet orderliness of the Universe, and the high improbability of life emerging without help'
The universe is indeed an ordered and complex thing, however it is built from many smaller things. All of these things obey the simple laws of physics to come together to create bigger and more complex objects, think of it like a gear, this is about as simple a machine as you can get, but many together can make highly complex systems to achieve far more than an individual gear can.
As to the likeness of the emergence of life, we have no idea as to how improbable it is, we have only a single data point to consider, the emergence of life on earth, this is insufficient for any extrapolation. All it tells us is that life can start.
Quote 'As evidence, I offer the truthful eyewitness testimony of the authors of the Bible'
I am sorry, and I honestly do not mean to offend, but as a non believer all the bible is to me is a collection of myths, written, translated, and edited by men (not all of good character and intention). more to the point even if the authors where completely honest is everything they wrote they could still be wrong about what they saw and / or how they interpreted it.
As an aside, as far as i am aware none of the writers of the gospels where eye witnesses as the first gospel was written at least 70 years after the death of Jesus and the last one around 200 years after, if you have good evidence for otherwise i would be interested in seeing it.
Quote 'I also have personal revelation of God, which cannot be logically argued away.'
I agree that it cannot be logically argues away, however it also can't be proven. It is in practice a baseless assertion and as such has no real place in a reasoned debate (that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence)

Stoogie said...

Logic Lad:

A gear is a specialized thing that bears evidence of design, even if made up of simpler components.

My personal experinces are not baseless assumptions to me.

And I will repeat that "God doesn't exist" is an absolute statement, and in itself isn't logically true even if no one were to produce any evidnce to God 's existence. Lack of the postivie doesn't prove the negative.

It's the only point I'm trying to get across.

Logic Lad said...

Stoogie
‘A gear is a specialized thing that bears evidence of design, even if made up of simpler components’
I don’t understand the relevance of your response on this point. I was using a gear as an analogy for complexity from simplicity, you seem to be using it as one for intelligent design.
If using a mechanical analogy is clouding the issue think instead of water forming snowflakes, here is an example of incredible complexity and order originating from purely physical laws, no need for intelligence to be involved at all.
‘My personal experinces are not baseless assumptions to me’
I am not arguing that point. You are the one that said
‘The point is, trying to lead an atheist horse to the Stream of Intellectual Honesty, and then get him to drink from it is an awesome task’
Yet here you assert that I accept an unsupported assertion as a formal premise, that lacks intellectual honesty on your part. You are keen to say that an atheist needs to produce evidence for the statement that ‘ there is no god’ and yet you don’t feel the need to present evidence that ‘ you know god exists through personal revelation’
‘And I will repeat that "God doesn't exist" is an absolute statement, and in itself isn't logically true even if no one were to produce any evidnce to God 's existence. Lack of the postivie doesn't prove the negative.’
Ok, I will take this one head on, as I have said before reservation of belief in the absence on evidence is the only reasonable position to take. God not existing is the null hypothesis, it is the job of the proposer to establish that there is a reason to move away from this position. So the statement ‘god does not exist’ is perfectly valid as we have not been provided with evidence to move to a different position. I will bring you back to my first post and the subject of Bertrand’s teapot. Please explain why, based on your assertion that lack of evidence is not a valid reason for lack of belief, you do not believe that there is a china teapot in orbit around the celestial body of your choice. From there please explain your lack of belief in fairies, unicorns, Zeus or Thor.

Stoogie said...

Logic Lad:

Yes, the Universe is a complex orderly thing made from simpler things... all in the exact proportions to make its existence possible and governed by the exact physical laws needed to make it work... another example of the evidence for design. So many things have to be just right that the probability of all this being in place at the instance the Universe flashed into existence is mathematically absurd.

"Unsupported assertion" describes the statement "God doesn't exist".

Evidence for God exists. You just don't accept it. The best you can honestly say is "I haven't seen compelling evidence for the existence of God." Otherwise, "God doesn't exist" is an opinion and not a provable statement as you haven't proven your point.

That's what I mean about intellectual honesty.

And to a previous point you made, John was an eyewitness to Jesus, and Mark's Gospel was dictated by Peter. The latest fragment of Mark's Gospel recently discovered has been dated to AD 50.

If these writers of the New Testament were wrong, why was there such an effort to preserve and circulate their writings?

Logic Lad said...

Stoogie
How do you know how improbable the universe is? How many universes have you compared to come to the conclusion that this one is so remarkable? Just as for the origin of life, the fine tuning of the universe is impossible to discern as we have insufficient data points for comparison. It could be that this particular configuration of fundamental forces is the only one you can get, or there could have been billions of failed universes and this is the only one that managed to produce beings capable of pondering these questions.
As an aside, your argument from complexity is actually an argument against the existence of god, if you maintain that complexity can only come from design, then it stands that the designer must be more complex than the product, this means that god must be more complex than the entire universe and that then requires you to answer where this highly complex god came from? You have wandered straight into an infinite regression problem.
You still have not presented any evidence for god that cannot be explained from a purely material stand point (aside from personal revelation which is not acceptable as it is untestable and unverifiable). So as I explained, assuming that ‘there is no god’ is the null hypothesis, which is the only reasonable position to take, you have failed to justify a move away from that position. So your statement that ‘god exists’ is the failed hypothesis. This is a rigorous application of logical debate; I fail to see how it can be more intellectually honest.
Please provide references for the gospel dates you quote, I am always interested in the latest research in this area
The writings of the New Testament where circulated to promote the new religion that they promote, there accuracy is impossible to assert from their popularity, that is an argument ad populum. Would you say that the Koran or Dianetics are accurate simply because there has been considerable effort to circulate and maintain them?
This brings me back to a previous question, why do you not believe in fairies or Zeus?
One last thought, even if you are completely right in your argument that the universe required a creator, how do you get from that to the Abrahamic god of the Bible?

Stoogie said...

Logic lad:

Multiverses will never be more than pure speculation.

You're the one with the infinite regression problem. I believe my God us eternal and uncaused.

Start with F.F. Bruce's "The New Testament Documents" for a basic understanding of the early dating of the New Testament writings.

The Koran has been found self contradictory and historically inaccurate. L. Ron Hubbard's writings are proven gobbledygook which is taken seriously only by the ignorant.

Zeus and fairies never revealed themselves to me.

I'm convinced Jehovah is the image of God. That's just the way it is.

Logic Lad said...

Stoogie

The multiverse is just as speculative as the divinity theory; they have as equal amount of evidence and explanatory power. If you can accept the existence of a god from the evidence you have, why not multiverses? The two are not mutually exclusive.
Why does god get to be eternal and uncaused? From you use of this I assume that this means you believe that nothing else falls into this category. This sounds a lot like a case of special pleading. You will need to justify why god and only god gets to be outside of the usual chain of causality. I am quite happy in in the fact that we don’t know how the universe started; indeed it is possible we will never be able to know due to the fact that things like time and space have to exist before we can make sense of causal events.
I will look at FF Bruces work but even if the dates have been moved forward, and I strongly suspect I could find legitimate scholarship to argue that they are later than you suggest, it doesn’t change the fact that even if they are very early, the writers could still be misinterpreting or misrepresenting the events. Not to mention these books have all been translated revised and edited in the time since they were written.
The Bible is chock full of inaccuracies and contradictions (unless you believe that insects have only 4 legs?) and contains its own selection of gobbledygook, Revelations is hardly the province of the rational mind. There is a wealth of websites that will detail all the factual and historical inaccuracies in the Bible, so I assume this means that you are now going to discount the Bible as an infallible source?
But Zeus and fairies have revealed themselves to other people, the same as Mohammed and Vishnu, why should your personal revelation carry more weight than theirs? I understand it will with you, but you are trying to use it to sway other people so you need to be fairly convincing.
You are fully entitled to the belief that Jehovah is the image of god; however you want to make a bunch of claims, based on this belief, about the nature of reality and testable facts. You need to bring more than ‘I believe’ to the table to begin to do this.
Also you ask for intellectual honesty, would you accept personal revelation from another person (who isn’t in your particular version of Christianity) as evidence? If not, how are you being honest in expecting other people to do so?

Metacrock said...

"Surely a better rebuttal to this line would be to actually provide evidence of gods existence, such evidence could then be considered and debated and it would pretty much end the discussion if no legitimate reason to put it aside could be found, providing all parties are acting rationally and in good faith of course."

the problem is when I give of God's existence they go "that's not evidence, that's an argument." Anything counts for God they automatically discredit even when you know nothing about it.

Thesauros said...

A better rebuttal would be to show that there is evidence that this is a material universe - that the world-view of atheism is warranted.

A logical stance to take for someone who says s/he doesn't believe anything that hasn't been scientifically proven would be:
. I don't believe that material things can begin to exist without an external cause because this has never been observed, tested or verified

. I don't believe that everything material can come from literally nothing material without a cause
because this has never been observed, tested or verified

. I don't believe that an infinite regress of cause is tenable because this has been scientifically refuted

. I don't believe that the material infinite is tenable because this has been scientifically refuted

BUT give me one example of these things occurring and I'll start believing that this is a material universe only I.e. I'll start being an atheist.

Until then, I must believe that a Creator God is the most logical explanation of why there is something rather than nothing. In fact until then I'll believe that the existence of a mathematically precise, life supporting, moral universe is best explained by the existence of an immaterial Creator on the order of a Supernatural Mind.

Logic Lad said...

Metacrock
Fair enough, please post the best piece of evidence you believe you have for the existence of good and I will attempt to rebut it, or explain it in a no divine manner.
Stoogie
I have a post that is still awaiting moderation, any chance of it being posted?

Logic Lad said...

Post split due to length

Thesauros
A general response to your comment is that it appears to be an argument from ignorance, ie science can’t explain everything therefore God. That is clearly a false line of thinking, inserting God into the gaps of science has been done for centuries and as the gaps get smaller then so does the space for God to fit. Additionally you are attempting to shift the burden of proof, which is unjustified, you are the one making a positive claim, I am supporting the null hypothesis hence it is for you to provide evidence supporting your claim. Unless you can provide some actual evidence for the existence of a god then I am under no obligation to except your arguments.

Specific rebuttals

“A logical stance to take for someone who says s/he doesn't believe anything that hasn't been scientifically proven would be:
. I don't believe that material things can begin to exist without an external cause because this has never been observed, tested or verified”

We have no idea how the matter that comprises the universe came into existence, indeed it is entirely possible that we will never know as by definition before the universe there was no time and hence the could be no causality. It could be that in the process of creating the universe the circumstances that allowed it where totally destroyed and can never be repeated, like I said we just don’t know. The fact that we cannot recreate the circumstances of the creation of the universe is to a large degree irrelevant, we know it must have started because it is here now. Hence we can observe that material things exist and that it can be assumed that they came from somewhere. Did the start of the universe require an external cause, again I have no idea, but you have only asserted that it did, you need to present evidence to that effect before the rest of your argument needs to be considered.

“I don't believe that everything material can come from literally nothing material without a cause
because this has never been observed, tested or verified”

Much of this I have covered in the above response. However I will repeat that you need to establish that before the universe there was nothing, and you need to define nothing in order to do that. As an aside particles have been observed to appear and disappear, a negative and a positive charge that divides and then recombines ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_foam )

Logic Lad said...

“. I don't believe that an infinite regress of cause is tenable because this has been scientifically refuted”

As I mentioned above the concept of cause requires there to be an arrow of time, as time came into existence at the same moment as the material in the universe then it is meaningless to talk about a cause as there is no time for it to happen in. The fact that we don’t have good language for discussing this concept indicates how alien this topic is to our temporal brains.

Please define the material infinite, so I can respond to this statement.

Final comments

Your conclusion is a complete non sequitur, just because there are a number of things that you don’t believe it says nothing about what is true.

“In fact until then I'll believe that the existence of a mathematically precise, life supporting, moral universe is best explained by the existence of an immaterial Creator on the order of a Supernatural Mind.

The universe is mathematically precise, but that is a function of the fact it is built on fundamental laws. The fact it supports life is an emergent property of those laws, there is nothing inherently moral about the universe, morals are a social construct that allows social animals to live together in large groups, they are evolutionary out growths of our pack instincts.

Please consider the following questions.

How does an immaterial being interact with a material world, and if it can could you not test that interaction.

Where does a mind that can create something as complex as the universe come from? Surely it can’t just puff out of nothing? If it can then why can’t the universe?

Finally, are you a Christian? If so how do you go from this line of thinking to believing in the Abrahamic god?

Metacrock said...

I'll put up my best arguments if you agree to debate me 1x1. I have a 1x1 debate board on my boards. you are also welcome to post on my boards and discuss. free speech welcome, the only rules are be nice and be interesting.

JBsptfn said...

Logic Lad says: " Surely it can’t just puff out of nothing? If it can then why can’t the universe?"

The divine mind (a.k.a. God) didn't puff out of nothing. And, to say that it is eternal and uncaused isn't special pleading, but a fact. Being has to be, and there has to be an eternal, necessary being.

Also, you say that the Bible is chock full of inaccuracies and contradictions. Well, for one, have you read it? And, two, it wasn't written as one book, but a collection of writings that were written at different times and brought together later.

As for the Gospels, stories in them were told orally almost from day one, and they were more of a community project. The stuff that was in them was written down fairly early on:

http://www.doxa.ws/Bible/Community.html

Metacrock said...

I'm waiting. why don't you answer? this means you logic lad.

Logic Lad said...

@Metacrock

Sorry about the delay but sometimes real life gets in the way of these online activities, I would be happy to debate you on your boards, please send me the details.

@JPsptfn
Of course this is special pleading, you have defined an entity with all of the requirements needed to fulfil your argument and then called it God, you have presented no evidence that this being exists and no reason why if one thing can be eternal and timeless why other things can’t be. Just as a note stating something is a fact does not make it one.

There are two different accounts of the creation in Genesis, and if you Google biblical errors there are multiple sites where you can find them, chapter and verse. While I accept that it is a collection of books by different authors, I thought that it was all inspired by the same deity. If this is the case either this being is telling different things to different people or the human authors wrote it down wrong, in either case how do we tell what to trust and what is false?

Oral tradition is not famous for its ability to accurately report facts, each teller feels the need to embellish the stories and this is compounded by miss-remembering, there is a reason why we write down the important stuff we need to make sure is recorded accurately. Your definition of early on is interesting as well, we are talking at least 40 to 50 years after the fact for the earliest possible dates for the gospels, most scholars place them later, this is a long time for stories to change.

JBsptfn said...

Logic Lad, Metacrock has gone on vacation:

http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2013/07/going-on-vacation.html

He should be back in about three weeks.

Oral tradition was a tightly controlled process for these Jews. And, the material in the gospels had been circulating for years before the actual gospels were written:

http://www.doxa.ws/Bible/Gospel_behind.html

Also, what are you talking about in reference to Genesis? The only thing I can think of as far as two different creation events are concerned have to do with two different times that man is created.

On the sixth "day", man was created, and on the eighth "day", a special man through which Christ would come called Adam was created (actually, that is Eth-ha-had-ham).

Also, the creation part in Genesis may have been written in somewhat of a mythological style:

http://www.doxa.ws/Bible/Models_rev.html

JBsptfn said...

Logic Lad,

1. You need to register on his forums:

http://www.doxa.ws/forum/

2. Here is the format (message from Joe):

I want to be affirmative, I'll present my God arguments. I'll go 2.

He(Logic Lad) will be negative. My format is copied after National Forensic League and National debate tournament which is both high school and college debate.

Each side gets four speeches, two constructive and two rebuttal. In real life rebuttals are shorter but we have no time limit so the real difference is in how constrictive you can make new arguments but not in rebuttals. We could impose a word limit but I'd rather not. It is too much trouble.

Here are the order of speeches. 1AC means first affirmative constructive. 1NC means first negative constructive.

1AC
1NC
2AC
2NC
rebuttles
1NR
1AR
2NR
2AR

Affirmative has advantage of speaking first and lat. but negative gets a block of two speeches back to back.

Logic Lad said...

@JBsptfn

please pass on to metacrock

I will register on the site shortly, i have just moved so have limited access to the internet at the moment

I am happy with the format, I have never taken part in a formal debate so it does seem a little overly involved. I would question the need for two opening arguments as we are not time limited in this case but happy to go with what ever.

I have one query, we need to define the debate question :
are we arguing the existence of some form of supernatual power that could create a universe?
are we debating the existence of an interventionist supernatural power that can cause actual effects in the real world?
Are we debating the existence of the Abrahmic god as depicted in both the old and new testements?
or some other version of 'god'?

JBsptfn said...

Message from Metacrock:

The resolution that I would like to defend: Resolved that belief in God is rationally warranted. This does not mandate that I prove God exists but only that there is rational warrant to believe in God (ie good reason).

Logic Lad said...

Metacrock

So you intend to argue that belief in God ( i assume the abrahamic god of the bible) is rational, without demonstrating that the object of this belief exists, i am afraid my counter argument will be quite short and involve the words 'proove that god exists' as this would be the rational reason to believe.

If the mere fact of existence is not important the rationality of belief then why do we not argue the existence of Zeus or unicorns?