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Interfaith Dialogue
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Diagoras
 
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bullet Posted: 18 November 2007 at 8:27pm
I concur with everything you said. However, I'm afraid that established philosophical arguments take precedence over offense.

However, I am not a jerk (I hope). I can switch to another burden of evidence argument. Would you prefer Russel's Teapot?
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AhmadJoyia
 
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bullet Posted: 18 November 2007 at 8:33pm

Hi Diagoras,

I guess it is futile to ask for the proof of the existense/non-existense of God. This is simply because both are based upon faith. If I can't provide the proof of existense, the same goes for proving non-esistense. Isn't it? So, I call the aethiests also as the people of faith. There is no science in it. So no aethiests should consider themselves as the sole 'champions' of science. Rather, if I am not wrong, most of the scientists in the present world are not athiest. Kindly correct me if you have any statistics against this claim. Anyhow,beside this numerology, what point I am trying to highlight is about the good/bad points of having one faith better over the other.

For me, the faith in God is much superior concept than the faith in no God, both morally as well as ethically.

 People having faith in God have some moral principles (good or bad is not the issue here though they are debtable within various religions) on which they base their whole life. These are the principles on which societies come in existence and humans are differentiated from the animal kingdom. Without such a concept of God, I have real difficulty in defining what is morally 'right' and what is 'wrong', the very basic building blocks of any society.

In the same way, existence of God enable humans to work selfless service to fellow human beings (for the reward in the hereafter) whereas on the contrary, the non-existence of God doesn't provide impetus for such a service.

Hopefully, this line of reasoning in this discussion shall find greater interest.

Peace.

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Diagoras
 
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bullet Posted: 18 November 2007 at 9:20pm
AhmadJoyia you are in bold.

I guess it is futile to ask for the proof of the existense/non-existense of God. This is simply because both are based upon faith. If I can't provide the proof of existense, the same goes for proving non-esistense. Isn't it? So, I call the aethiests also as the people of faith.

Russel's Teapot


If I postulated a teapot floating out somewhere between Earth and the Andromeda Galaxy, and then asked you to prove it was not there you could not. If I then tried to claim that since you could not prove it didn't exist it existed, I would be incorrect. The burden of proof is on the presenter of a claim.

There is no science in it. So no aethiests should consider themselves as the sole 'champions' of science. Rather, if I am not wrong, most of the scientists in the present world are not athiest. Kindly correct me if you have any statistics against this claim.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html
70% of scientist lack belief in God. Keep in mind that atheist are 5% of the American public and thus this is proportionally huge.

People having faith in God have some moral principles (good or bad is not the issue here though they are debtable within various religions) on which they base their whole life. These are the principles on which societies come in existence and humans are differentiated from the animal kingdom. Without such a concept of God, I have real difficulty in defining what is morally 'right' and what is 'wrong', the very basic building blocks of any society.

http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm
Atheist make up a minority of the prison population.

Personally, I think morality both arises from some basic genetic impulses (ie. Don't kill other humans unless you are threatened) and are social constructs. A common challenge to the idea that God is required to dictate morality is the following scenario: If God commanded you to kill a baby, saying that it was moral, would you? I hope the answer is no. Yet, if God defines morality then if he said killing babies was good it would be good. Hence, I conclude that we draw our morality from something within ourselves.

In the same way, existence of God enable humans to work selfless service to fellow human beings (for the reward in the hereafter) whereas on the contrary, the non-existence of God doesn't provide impetus for such a service.

No, but natural human altruism does compel us too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reciprocal_altruism
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Israfil
 
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bullet Posted: 19 November 2007 at 1:04am

Diagoras I personally do not care for Wikipedia as it is not a scholarly source. Anyone can create terms and create "scientific" definitions for them but that does not necessitate validity.

An atheist-agnostic acknowledges the possibility of a God's existence, but does not believe in one. Everyone is inherently atheist-agnostic to all claims

This is the result of someone with no knowledge of what they are creating definitions for confused people. Atheist I've come across are athesit for the exact same reasons: things which can be measured, exist, and things that cannot be measured do not exist. there are atheist who acknowledge "possibility" in the sense, but do not believe that such possibilities do not [in essence of argument] postulate the existence of super-natural things. What this means is that it is not logical for God to exist and thus is a fabrication of man's mind. A prime is example is your continuance of using Flying Sphegetti monsters. It is obvious that you hold the belief in God to be logical so you use delusional imagry to describe how something so extravegant cannot exist.

The Muslim argument here is that God is not in the same category as flying sphegetti monsters because God is necessary whereas these images are not [of course this is another argument].

I used phrenology to show that I have the same opinion towards the God Hypothesis (ie. a god exists) that I do towards phrenology, it might be true, but I see no evidence for it.

The only way you know phrenology is not true is because it has been shown to not be true. You did not devise this thought on your own or else you would be in the field of neuropsychology with me. So the fact that you find phrenology to be moot is because you were taught that it has been disporven whereas God has not been disproven. the only reason phrenology has been disproven is because the skull is too solid to show protrusion of an enlarged brain [which Gall believed was an indication of how intelligent one was]. In comparison to the cranimum skiull, the brain is too soft to create indentations in the skull thus, phrenology was disproved.

You probably hold the same view towards many things. I am pretty sure that you would describe yourself as a a-leprechaunist. Sure, leprechauns could exist, but you have seen no evidence for it and thus do not believe in them. Same with me and any postulated deity.

The leprechaun argument is quite ridiculous really. Your interpretation that leprechauns are in the same category as God is ridiculous, you still have the burden of proving why God are in these categories.

I quote from the article, "Outside a legal context, "burden of proof" means that someone suggesting a new theory or stating a claim must provide evidence to support it: it is not sufficient to say "you can't disprove this." Specifically, when anyone is making a bold claim, it is not someone else's responsibility to disprove the claim, but is rather the responsibility of the person who is making the bold claim to prove it. In short, X is not proven simply because "not X" cannot be proven

I know about negative proof but you are isunderstanding the context of what I was previously saying. YOU are the one that created the thread of "ask an atheist" not "ask an agnostic -atheist" so YOU are the one that initated the claims not us. Therefore, YOU must initiate why you disbelieve. Don't simply say "explain why God exist in A or B" you must provide why you don't believe and allow us to respond in defense. In most forums where organize debate occurs one must not proceed in asking evidence if a thesis of some sort has not been adequately presented. YOU are in Muslim territory and asking us to provide evidence for you is down right ignorance. It would be ignorant of me as a philosopher to initiate a claim on an atheist website without initiating a thesis on why I believe in God. That is like me saying: God exist, prove me wrong.

Those claims are arbitrary because they explain nothing of why we do not believe in them. The leprechaun thing is a nice try but it explains absolutely nothing about disbelieving in God. All your telling me is that you put the two in the same categories which does nothing to defend your claim.

On the subjectivity point, if I go "nothing travels faster than the speed of light" I am making an objective claim, based on observation of the empirical universe and confirmation of that observation

Another foolish statement. That is a scientific claim [very different from an average claim] but of course from empirical study, claims of that sort have been exmained and studied by physicist. But of course no scientist has never said "nothing travels faster than light." That is ridiculous because you are leaving out possibility. There could be some super-intelligent being who has devised a way to travel faster than light. all scientist leave some sort of possibility and some margin of error. All perceptions of some kind even universally agreed are subjective claims. Now, claims that go from subjective to objective are those claims that have been verified systematically and proven universally. But even then, those claims are not universally accepted.

Also, if none can make a subjective claim then morality as we know it is meaningless. All "do not murder" is is a claim.

What did I say in my last post? Just because something is subjective does not make it NOT true. Murder becomes wrong when [in the sociological definition] violates societal law. Murder, if not done in defense, becomes a violation of societal law when it is not done in defense and done for "other reasons."





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Diagoras
 
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bullet Posted: 19 November 2007 at 10:23am

You are in bold.

This is the result of someone with no knowledge of what they are creating definitions for confused people. Atheist I've come across are athesit for the exact same reasons: things which can be measured, exist, and things that cannot be measured do not exist.

Please don't stereotype us, we are a diverse group. However, the common atheist claim is that there is a lack of evidence. There are also logical attempted disproofs of particular concepts of God, however, the burden of proof argument is not one of them.

A prime is example is your continuance of using Flying Sphegetti monsters.

Let's drop the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it's not getting us anywhere. Let's use Russel's Teapot.

The only way you know phrenology is not true is because it has been shown to not be true. You did not devise this thought on your own or else you would be in the field of neuropsychology with me.

I was trying to make a point about burden of proof, namely that I do not need to prove the nonexistence of X, X must be proved to be true.

The leprechaun argument is quite ridiculous really. Your interpretation that leprechauns are in the same category as God is ridiculous, you still have the burden of proving why God are in these categories.

Replace leprechauns with anything. The point is, you are an atheist to leprechauns for the same reason that I am atheist to God. Lack of evidence. Now, if someone captured a leprechaun and showed him to you you might change your mind.

I'm trying to talk about where the burden of proof lies.

know about negative proof but you are isunderstanding the context of what I was previously saying. YOU are the one that created the thread of "ask an atheist" not "ask an agnostic -atheist" so YOU are the one that initated the claims not us.

In my opening post I specified that I was a weak atheist and defined the term.

Therefore, YOU must initiate why you disbelieve. Don't simply say "explain why God exist in A or B" you must provide why you don't believe and allow us to respond in defense. In most forums where organize debate occurs one must not proceed in asking evidence if a thesis of some sort has not been adequately presented. YOU are in Muslim territory and asking us to provide evidence for you is down right ignorance.

I was actually interested in continuing my conversation about life, the Universe, and everything I was having via PM. However, I was sucked into an Internet debate. I'm not asking for evidence, certain individuals wished to discuss the existence of a God with me. I'm the skeptic, asking "prove it."

It would be ignorant of me as a philosopher to initiate a claim on an atheist website without initiating a thesis on why I believe in God. That is like me saying: God exist, prove me wrong.

God exists is a positive claim, I don't believe in God is not a negative claim.

Those claims are arbitrary because they explain nothing of why we do not believe in them. The leprechaun thing is a nice try but it explains absolutely nothing about disbelieving in God. All your telling me is that you put the two in the same categories which does nothing to defend your claim.

Let me state it clearly: I do not believe in God because I fail to observe evidence of its existence. This is the default position towards any given idea. Until an idea possess evidence for it, we don't believe in it.

Another foolish statement.

Nice talking to you as well.

That is a scientific claim [very different from an average claim] but of course from empirical study, claims of that sort have been exmained and studied by physicist. But of course no scientist has never said "nothing travels faster than light." That is ridiculous because you are leaving out possibility. There could be some super-intelligent being who has devised a way to travel faster than light. all scientist leave some sort of possibility and some margin of error. All perceptions of some kind even universally agreed are subjective claims. Now, claims that go from subjective to objective are those claims that have been verified systematically and proven universally. But even then, those claims are not universally accepted.


Burden of proof again. Yes, it they could have done that, and we could all be brains in vats, but it is up to you to prove the current theory false.

What did I say in my last post? Just because something is subjective does not make it NOT true. Murder becomes wrong when [in the sociological definition] violates societal law. Murder, if not done in defense, becomes a violation of societal law when it is not done in defense and done for "other reasons."

So does that mean that if a society stated that murder was alright, it would be?

--Repectfully yours, Diagoras
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The board's friendly neighborhood atheist.
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Israfil
 
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bullet Posted: 19 November 2007 at 10:25pm

Diagoras you said in bold:

Please don't stereotype us, we are a diverse group

Agnostic-Atheist is a new concept for me. Personal convictions are one of those concepts where it is written in black and white. Perhaps the burden is on you to identify yourself clearly. If you notice, the title "Ask an Atheist" is quite misleading considering the systematic approach you took to help clarify your personal convictions.

There are also logical attempted disproofs of particular concepts of God, however, the burden of proof argument is not one of them

I disagree. The burden of proof is definitely one of the main themes atheist use to debate theist on the existence of God. The atheist believe that, in order for disbelief to occur, a thing conceptually [whether proved to exist or not] must exist. In other words in order for an atheist to disbelieve in God a concept of some sort is to exist and with this in mind, many atheist believe that since, theist have made postulating claims over the ages and if atheism is the result, then it is up to theist to prove their claims.

Let's drop the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it's not getting us anywhere. Let's use Russel's Teapot.

Ok.

Replace leprechauns with anything. The point is, you are an atheist to leprechauns for the same reason that I am atheist to God. Lack of evidence. Now, if someone captured a leprechaun and showed him to you you might change your mind.

INo you just don't replace leprachauns with anything, you need to explain their [and and leprachauns] association. God to me, is of a different category of being that is why it is hard forme to comprehend your idea on why there is a correlation between leprachauns and God, the Creator.

I was trying to make a point about burden of proof, namely that I do not need to prove the nonexistence of X, X must be proved to be true.

Ok...

In my opening post I specified that I was a weak atheist and defined the term.

For a weak atheist you have made some interesting claims about God...

 I was actually interested in continuing my conversation about life, the Universe, and everything I was having via PM. However, I was sucked into an Internet debate. I'm not asking for evidence, certain individuals wished to discuss the existence of a God with me. I'm the skeptic, asking "prove it."

Ok....

God exists is a positive claim, I don't believe in God is not a negative claim

Your point here was?

Let me state it clearly: I do not believe in God because I fail to observe evidence of its existence. This is the default position towards any given idea. Until an idea possess evidence for it, we don't believe in it.

That is a perfectly valid claim, but that is not an atheistic claim. But it is clear nonetheless.

So does that mean that if a society stated that murder was alright, it would be?

Society does have such laws. If someone murders someone in the context of defense their behavior is permissible in a court of law. Defending oneself is a necessary, and natural trait humans have to survive. We all have the biochemical reactions to certain threatneing situations which your brain interepretates as an event that may bring about one's own extinction. Societal laws basically builds around this biological concept to control behavior. Acts that are excessive and go beyond the norm of defense are seen as immoral whereas acts of defense are seen as justifiable and moral because it is a natural reaction to a threatening situation. Societal laws support this very much.

If someone was going to slice your head off, would you simply allow them to? Or would you fight to maintain your life?







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Diagoras
 
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bullet Posted: 20 November 2007 at 5:16am
That is a perfectly valid claim, but that is not an atheistic claim. But it is clear nonetheless.

Here we go! That is the weak atheist position. I see no evidence of God, therefore, I do not believe in it.

Atheist-agnostic position if you want.
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Israfil
 
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bullet Posted: 20 November 2007 at 7:45am

Ok let's get beyond the semantics of things.

What exactly do you want to discuss?

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