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Moving on the God debate(s)


tomgwyther
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I see from Kaplunk's post "I used to see the good in education, where learning wasn't just to earn the grade - but to open our mind and elevate our brains to new heights. My love for learning has been stripped down, and now I see what truly goes on. "

that religion has robbed him of the understanding of the good of education.

 

That seems to me to be an adequate reason to ditch religion.

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A God doesn't have to be a human. A God doesn't have to be human in form, it can also be something virtual.

 

For example the electron and the photon could be two Gods. The electron for example spans so many academic fields like electrical engineering, condensed matter physics, chemistry, nanoelectronics and so on so the electron could very well be considered a God. So does the photon. Theoretical/mathematical physicists would probably regard mathematics and superstrings to be their God.

 

I believe there is some sort of higher force or a higher principle to the world but that is not quite the same as a God.

Edited by Uri
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A God doesn't have to be a human. A God doesn't have to be human in form, it can also be something virtual.

 

For example the electron and the photon could be two Gods. The electron for example spans so many academic fields like electrical engineering, condensed matter physics, chemistry, nanoelectronics and so on so the electron could very well be considered a God. So does the photon. Theoretical/mathematical physicists would probably regard mathematics and superstrings to be their God.

 

I believe there is some sort of higher force or a higher principle to the world but that is not quite the same as a God.

 

 

This, to me, is the biggest problem for theists that arises when debating them on the existence of "God". In the presence of good arguments, they consistently change the goalposts with regard to their definition of "God" so much, that a coherent understanding of even the minimal qualities necessary to make something "God" is impossible. All too often I have seen a theist define "God" simply as "that which caused the universe" (usually when attempting to present the cosmological argument), and then not 10 seconds later "God" is back to being a benevolent, personal, intrusive, conscious, supernatural being, with absolutely zero logical justification behind the switch.

 

You can't have it both ways, theists, especially not when trying to construct rational arguments for your belief in debate. And, with that being said, isn't it funny that the more robust an argument for "God", the more limited in scope and abstractly defined "God" is? And even these arguments contain logical hiccups or faulty assumptions. I would be tickled pink to see a theist go so far as define "God" as protons and electrons, or even fundamental particles and natural laws. It's something they seem to be coming ever asymptotically closer to, and if they do ever make that leap, I, and many others, I'm sure, will not hesitate to take that for what it is: An admission of defeat to a materialistic worldview.

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You can't have it both ways, theists

 

Why not? If I am arguing about the illogicality of atheism, why can I not pick and choose my definition of god? After all, the atheist position is to deny the existence of any god. If they don't define the god they are denying, then surely I am free to choose? So, I will refute their position in the easiest way I can by using the most easily defended definition of "god" for my argument. This definition may not be the definition of my own God, but (when I take this approach) we are discussing your belief, not mine.

 

In fact, this is one of the biggest problems when discussing with atheists. They move the goalpost about what god they are or are not allowed to include. One moment they are denying the existence of a god who created a flat Earth in 6 days with no mention of the dinosaurs, and then use that argument to claim the non-existence of any definition of god, including those with no testable consequences. You can't have it both ways, atheists.

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Why not? If I am arguing about the illogicality of atheism, why can I not pick and choose my definition of god? After all, the atheist position is to deny the existence of any god. If they don't define the god they are denying, then surely I am free to choose?

Quite so, but I'm not sure this really applies to the post you quoted. Unless I read it incorrectly, he was just asking that you be consistent with the god-definition in use or at least announce when a change is made. If that is what he is saying, then that is a totally reasonable request; any discussion on the merits of the 'floofloogan hypothesis' is going to be fruitless unless the two parties can come to an agreement on what 'floofloogan' is taken to mean. If that's not what he meant, then I withdraw my comment.

 

So, I will refute their position in the easiest way I can by using the most easily defended definition of "god" for my argument. This definition may not be the definition of my own God, but (when I take this approach) we are discussing your belief, not mine.
You don't necessarily need to debate for the deity in whose existence you believe, but you should keep it consistent. It's somewhat intellectually dishonest to switch it up in the middle of the discussion. If you do feel the compulsion to change deities, this needs to be known as the discussion will need to backtrack some.

 

In fact, this is one of the biggest problems when discussing with atheists. They move the goalpost about what god they are or are not allowed to include. One moment they are denying the existence of a god who created a flat Earth in 6 days with no mention of the dinosaurs, and then use that argument to claim the non-existence of any definition of god, including those with no testable consequences. You can't have it both ways, atheists.

If they switch it up in the middle of the discussion unannounced, then they're in the wrong as well.

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Why not? If I am arguing about the illogicality of atheism, why can I not pick and choose my definition of god? After all, the atheist position is to deny the existence of any god.

 

I would say that this is (subtly) not true. The atheist position is to lack belief in any god (for reasonable definitions of god).

 

If they don't define the god they are denying, then surely I am free to choose? So, I will refute their position in the easiest way I can by using the most easily defended definition of "god" for my argument. This definition may not be the definition of my own God, but (when I take this approach) we are discussing your belief, not mine.

 

You could certainly take this route, but I fail to see how it helps your position. If you believe in the Christian god but define "god" as the lamp sitting at your bedside (a definition of god who's existence would be supremely easy to defend), what good does it do you? Even though I am an atheist if you choose to call your lamp a god I would not argue against its existence!

 

In fact, this is one of the biggest problems when discussing with atheists. They move the goalpost about what god they are or are not allowed to include. One moment they are denying the existence of a god who created a flat Earth in 6 days with no mention of the dinosaurs, and then use that argument to claim the non-existence of any definition of god, including those with no testable consequences. You can't have it both ways, atheists.

 

I think you will find that the frequency of atheists who use such a dishonest tactic in debate is far lower than that of theists, but if you have encountered atheists who do this, they are wrong. It's true that many of the logical and empirical arguments used by atheists are broad-sweeping; they have to be with so many definitions of god in use by theists. But each is still weighed for applicability before use against a specific definition of god.

Edited by jcarlson
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