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Strong and Weak Arguments
#1
Strong and Weak Arguments
I would like to hear what AF members think are the weakest arguments supporting their position and strongest arguments against it. Believers are invited to admit the skeptical objections they find most reasonable (even if they do not sway you) and critique the worst apologetics. Skeptics are invited to admit which apologetic seems most reasonable (even if they do not sway you) and critique the least valid objections. So I’ll start…

IMO the weakest apologetic is Pascal’s wager since it relies entirely on a specific cultural context.

IMO the most reasonable objection comes from Kant. He proposes that ‘being’ is not a proper predicate and therefore the saying that God’s essence is the same as His existence is problematic.
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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#2
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
Pascal's Wager is not just weak, it is an argument for the dark side. It demonstrates how low the chances are of picking the "right religion"; not to mention the right denomination. As well as implying that a "God" would be impressed by the pretense of belief/worship.

The best argument is.... well, the one that made me think longer than any other was the fine tuning one I guess. But that turned out to be almost as bad for the argument maker as PW. It describes a God who only just manages to avoid utterly fouling up his creation, due to his arbitrary pre-tuning design decisions making things really hard for himself.

I'd pick a strong one if I could, but they are mostly just semantic games and special pleading. And often arguments are confused with evidence.

The easiest argument for "atheism" is simply to ask for a falsifiable/testable definition for God (or a created reality). If one can't be provided, game over. And it very rarely is.
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#3
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
(29th December 2016, 15:32)robvalue Wrote: Pascal's Wager is not just weak, it is an argument for the dark side. It demonstrates how low the chances are of picking the "right religion"; not to mention the right denomination. As well as implying that a "God" would be impressed by the pretense of belief/worship.

The best argument is.... well, the one that made me think longer than any other was the fine tuning one I guess. But that turned out to be almost as bad for the argument maker as PW. It describes a God who only just manages to avoid utterly fouling up his creation, due to his arbitrary pre-tuning design making things really hard for himself.

What would you consider to be the worst objection commonly presented by skeptics as a reason to reject belief?
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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#4
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
I don't know about the worse reason but the worst answer for when religious people don't know what else to say they stick with God works in mysterious ways. That drives me insane.

I think the best... hmmm... I reckon that people can interpret religion in their own way. I still think it is a load of shit but it at least allows for people to have their own opinion.
“What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of what it's supposed to be.”

Also if your signature makes my scrolling mess up "you're tacky and I hate you."
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#5
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
(29th December 2016, 14:18)Neo-Scholastic Wrote: I would like to hear what AF members think are the weakest arguments supporting their position and strongest arguments against it. Believers are invited to admit the skeptical objections they find most reasonable (even if they do not sway you) and critique the worst apologetics. Skeptics are invited to admit which apologetic seems most reasonable (even if they do not sway you) and critique the least valid objections. So I’ll start…

IMO the weakest apologetic is Pascal’s wager since it relies entirely on a specific cultural context.

IMO the most reasonable objection comes from Kant. He proposes that ‘being’ is not a proper predicate and therefore the saying that God’s essence is the same as His existence is problematic.

I don't know that I focus much on weak arguments (they kind of just pass through from both sides) and yes, I would agree, that there are bad arguments from theists; and in either case, I believe these normally come from a lack of thought and effort on the part of the claimant.

One that does stick out to me, which is a little off topic, was about mind dualism.  A podcaster who I normally enjoy listening too, was claiming that color was only in the mind, and giving an example of imagining your mother and then asking what color her blouse was, saying that this color couldn't be found in the brain.   I think that there is a way to clarify what he meant, but at the time I was arguing with the radio, and still think that it could be presented better.

I do think that the problem of evil carries a heavy emotional appeal, and is difficult to explain from that perspective.

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.  It is a risk vs rewards analysis comparing two worldviews and the consequences.   The ideas behind it are very successful, and wise council in matter's of investment or health.  I even remember in a poker book I had read, how it isn't a good practice to bluff all in, to win a small pot (the risks far out weigh the reward). Pascals wager is using the same principles.  I don't see where it relies on cultural context.  I wouldn't criticize it in principle, but think it has difficulty in it's application.
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#6
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
(29th December 2016, 14:18)Neo-Scholastic Wrote: I would like to hear what AF members think are the weakest arguments supporting their position and strongest arguments against it. Believers are invited to admit the skeptical objections they find most reasonable (even if they do not sway you) and critique the worst apologetics. Skeptics are invited to admit which apologetic seems most reasonable (even if they do not sway you) and critique the least valid objections. So I’ll start…

IMO the weakest apologetic is Pascal’s wager since it relies entirely on a specific cultural context.

IMO the most reasonable objection comes from Kant. He proposes that ‘being’ is not a proper predicate and therefore the saying that God’s essence is the same as His existence is problematic.



Neo-Scholastic,

First thing, you forgot to use the term ATHEIST instead of “skeptic.”

There are no weak positions supporting Atheism, and there’re no strong arguments against it.  Haven’t you read the foundation of pseudo-christianity, the bible?  Get it?

Regarding Pascal’s Wager, and the inept mind that masturbates itself into following this insidious proposition, one must therefore think that if the Yahweh god of Christianity does exist, then what does this god think of the person that only takes this position to cover their bets of a glorious afterlife!    Laughable.

The easiest argument for Atheism is for one to actually read ALL of the primitive Bronze and Iron Age bible, whereas in the 21st century, one sees a pagan god that is greedy, jealous, selfish, self-centered, petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, serial killer of innocents, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capricious, and malevolent!

Christianity and the bible DO NOT belong in the 21st century, but should have been left behind where they belong, in the Bronze and Iron Age of mythical god concepts and primitive thinking.

When the top three religious factions today understand why you dismiss all of the other possible gods, 
you will then understand why I dismiss the serial killing gods of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam!



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#7
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
(29th December 2016, 15:35)Neo-Scholastic Wrote:
(29th December 2016, 15:32)robvalue Wrote: Pascal's Wager is not just weak, it is an argument for the dark side. It demonstrates how low the chances are of picking the "right religion"; not to mention the right denomination. As well as implying that a "God" would be impressed by the pretense of belief/worship.

The best argument is.... well, the one that made me think longer than any other was the fine tuning one I guess. But that turned out to be almost as bad for the argument maker as PW. It describes a God who only just manages to avoid utterly fouling up his creation, due to his arbitrary pre-tuning design making things really hard for himself.

What would you consider to be the worst objection commonly presented by skeptics as a reason to reject belief?

Not sure... most common objections are pretty good in my estimation. I guess anything that appeals to emotions or value judgements rather than facts, such as God being immoral and such. That in itself isn't a reason for disbelief in a generic God.
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Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

Index of useful threads and discussions
Index of my best videos
Quickstart guide to the forum
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#8
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
Sorry for the off topic.

The common popular theme in main strands of religion, is so bleak and depressing, that you can easily mistake it for slavery. People go as far as they wish to be dead when this life ends, which is a bit unnatural, them being live beings, as we naturally wish to live as long as possible, usually. All around the world, religions draw such unimaginably brutal pictures of afterlife, that people see death as something valuable.

From my point of view, which is a bit unusual, I think, God probably exists. But, I think it still doesn't change anything for me regarding my life, I have enough things to do without some Magical Master offering to serve him, because he likes everything to be perfect.
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#9
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
(29th December 2016, 16:13)21stCenturyIconoclast Wrote: First thing, you forgot to use the term ATHEIST instead of “skeptic.”
My choice of words was intentional. I wanted to avoid the whole "atheism is just lack of belief" debate. In this context "skeptic" targets a person who is actively taking exception to religious beliefs.
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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#10
RE: Strong and Weak Arguments
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.
Belief .. is the insistence that the truth is what one would .. wish it to be. The believer will open his mind to the truth on the condition that it fits in with his preconceived ideas and wishes. 


Faith, on the other hand, is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be.  


- Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity
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