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Strong and Weak Arguments
#11
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
(29th December 2016, 16:08)RoadRunner79 Wrote: I do think that the problem of evil carries a heavy emotional appeal, and is difficult to explain from that perspective.

Yeah, I forgot about that (duh!). And yet I personally don't see theodicy as a reason, in itself, as a strong reason for disbelief. I see it more as a puzzle, like divine hidenness. One could resolve the problem in either direction. But that is, as I say, a personal assessment.

(29th December 2016, 16:08)RoadRunner79 Wrote: Note: On Pascals wager.  I think this is only a weak argument when it is misunderstood as to it's purpose (which I do see theists misusing it).    It's not meant to give reason in support for God or Christianity.


Agreed. He was using it as an example to say something about statistical mathematics. But it does put the lie to those who claim that intelligent people cannot be religious. Pascal is a good counterexample to such nonsense.


(29th December 2016, 16:48)Whateverist Wrote: If I think of anything more in the spirit of your request I'll return to post it.  But really any argument for or against god must seem ridiculous so long as "god" is regarded as meaning god only knows what.

It's okay to jut pick one particular apologetic that at least makes you stop and ponder. And likewise are there skeptical responses that make you cringe?

The point of the thread is to encourage self-reflection. In the heat of debate people often represent themselves as more confident in their stance then perhaps they truly are. We also tend to give a pass to the really bad arguments of people with whom we would otherwise agree.
Natural science has consistently confirmed Man's capacity to successfully discover laws of Nature by use of reason. If the world is intelligible and human reason effective, as demonstrated by the success of natural science, then the conclusions of Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways follow with inexorable logic. Therefore, natural science unequivocally supports the proposition that God exists.
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#12
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
Of course intelligent people can be religious.

I would simply say that someone consistently applying scepticism would not be a theist. Everyone fails to apply scepticism properly at some points, it's just a matter of how much, how often and whether such problems are addressed.

Simply put, theistic/religious beliefs are rooted in emotion, in my opinion. And I think people can have an emotional belief which contradicts their logical belief, on the same subject. The emotional one can very easily win out. The emotion can hold logic hostage, and even use it to rationalize the belief to one's self. I've experienced this many times regarding different subjects.

In my opinion, the emotional beliefs are less likely to be accurate regarding facts about reality than the logical ones. Of course, emotion is crucial in guiding moral decisions where pure logic can never suffice.
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#13
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
(29th December 2016, 17:00)robvalue Wrote: Of course intelligent people can be religious.

I would simply say that someone consistently applying scepticism would not be a theist. Everyone fails to apply scepticism properly at some points, it's just a matter of how much, how often and whether such problems are addressed.

Simply put, theistic/religious beliefs are rooted in emotion, in my opinion.

What about the question - why would people abandon peaceful religions, which bring positivity, even if its forced? My guess is that, even peaceful religions, demand from people to simply fear all their life Gods wrath, which would be a main driving force behind their attempts to please God. So, skepticism is used not because Gods ideas are silly or unproven, but maybe because Gods ideas are brutal underneath all that msg of love and unity, which bought people in to religion in the first place.
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#14
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
What peaceful religions? A religion is what people make of it, and very few indeed haven't been used for violence. Most, if not all, contain divisive literature.

Scepticism is about assessing the truth of the claims, it's nothing to do with the strength of God's character. If the particular version of God being described is assessed to be no more real than Batman, then the religion crumbles. And this is indeed the case, for every religion. Considering there's no logical reason to even believe in a generic faceless creator, there's certainly no logical case to believe in a specific one.

If you're rejecting a religion because of God's character or whatever, that's a moral reason. I wish people would use this more. The truth values then don't even matter.

(Edit: To qualify the above, they could reject part of the religion at least. A part that is hateful, and create their own nicer version. People tend to do this anyway to some extent.)
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Index of useful threads and discussions
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#15
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
Strongest argument for atheism: Variance of belief as a cultural norm.

Weakest argument for atheism: Biblical contradictions.

Strongest argument for theism: A Prime Mover.

Weakest argument for theism: Preponderance of belief.

Boru
'There are people who long for immortality in the afterlife who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.' - Isaac Asimov
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#16
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
(29th December 2016, 17:21)robvalue Wrote: What peaceful religions? A religion is what people make of it, and very few indeed haven't been used for violence. Most, if not all, contain divisive literature.

There are thousands of strands of religion. And there are really good ones. Yahwe witnesses, for example, went as far as removed hell altogether. They have a very cute formula of "serve to selflessness or "free eternal sleep from God might be coming your way"". Which is one of the cutest things I heard.
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#17
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
probably not a good argument per se, but someone advancing a pro Christian deity position in my view needs to eschew scripture cherry picking, their efforts in advancing 'the cause' are done in service to (their) Lord, so they need to be pious and faithful stewards of the Word. Failing to evidence the arguments offered to have convinced even themselves will evaporate the merit of any line of argument they might put forward.


Would that be one of them ad hominem things I've heard tell of ?


Not that I really care . . .
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#18
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
(29th December 2016, 17:00)robvalue Wrote: Of course intelligent people can be religious.

I would simply say that someone consistently applying scepticism would not be a theist. Everyone fails to apply scepticism properly at some points, it's just a matter of how much, how often and whether such problems are addressed.

Simply put, theistic/religious beliefs are rooted in emotion, in my opinion. And I think people can have an emotional belief which contradicts their logical belief, on the same subject. The emotional one can very easily win out. The emotion can hold logic hostage, and even use it to rationalize the belief to one's self. I've experienced this many times regarding different subjects.

In my opinion, the emotional beliefs are less likely to be accurate regarding facts about reality than the logical ones. Of course, emotion is crucial in guiding moral decisions where pure logic can never suffice.

Are you able to give a similar analysis of at least some aspects of atheistic positions? Ya know, see some of the downsides of atheism in the same way you would expect Christians to acknowledge its own tender underbelly?
Natural science has consistently confirmed Man's capacity to successfully discover laws of Nature by use of reason. If the world is intelligible and human reason effective, as demonstrated by the success of natural science, then the conclusions of Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways follow with inexorable logic. Therefore, natural science unequivocally supports the proposition that God exists.
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#19
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
There is no such thing as a "strong argument" against skepticism.  What you are asking for here would be a strong argument that we should be skeptical of skepticism......which, in addition to being ludicrous, is just more skepticism.........

I get it, I get it, you wanted to find a term that you thought could square some positive claim on someone, too bad. Once a person goes about giving arguments "against god" they are no longer being skeptical. Skepticism is simply a principle of incredulity. Of not accepting any old bullshit someone decides to mouth off. Even a believer can be a skeptic, and most are.

Having dispensed with the nonsense, I think that the strongest argument for and against peoples gods is the argument from personal experience. For those that have them, they seem to be quite compelling, and from listening to them as an outsider, it becomes clear that we are a very, very gullible species.

....as to the above...... what's the tender underbelly to your not believing in Thor?
 “I can’t even go to a goddamn potluck without having to thank some space fairy for the broccoli casserole!” -Trae Crowder


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#20
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
(29th December 2016, 18:46)Rhythm Wrote: What you are asking for here would be a strong argument that we should be skeptical of skepticism......which, in addition to being ludicrous, is just more skepticism.....I get it, I get it, you wanted to find a term that you thought could square some positive claim on someone, too bad.

From your point of view, I understand your skepticism (!) about my motives. I'm asking people to take a moment to open up to each other in a somewhat kumbia kind of way that is rather unusual for the forums. It's about sharing our vulnerabilities. As a believer, I think with a little reflection I could rank most of the apologetic argument in terms of my opinion of their strength with Aquinas's 5 ways at the top and Pascal's Wager and Paley's Watch near the bottom.

I think you took my request the wrong way. If three skeptics say they do not accept belief proposition P1 based on objections O1, O2, and O3 respectively, I do not think each skeptic would believe all the objections have the same strength. One might see his own objection O1 pretty damning to P1 whereas he might think O2 and O3 are lame.

Personally, I find comparing God to unicorns, etc. is the lamest of lame objections. It's such an obvious category error. The second lamest is the "Who created God?" response. I mean, c'mon guys. You have to admit these are just not at the same level as Kant or Hume.
Natural science has consistently confirmed Man's capacity to successfully discover laws of Nature by use of reason. If the world is intelligible and human reason effective, as demonstrated by the success of natural science, then the conclusions of Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways follow with inexorable logic. Therefore, natural science unequivocally supports the proposition that God exists.
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