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Thread: Common Christian/Muslim argument: I have an answer and you don't!

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    What is being taught in schools that you think shouldn't be?
    Kitzmiller v. Dover comes swiftly to mind...
    Intelligent design isn't taught in schools.
    Ideally, but it has to be fought time after time after new set of morons think they've figured out a way to sneak it in after time.

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    Veteran Member braces_for_impact's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    There are a lot of Christian and Muslim arguments that boil down to "I have an answer and you don't, therefore my answer is correct."

    So let me explain what is wrong with this category of arguments by making another argument of this type. I'll address this one to Christians because I'm too lazy to type out "and Muslims" over and over, but you can consider these same arguments as applying to both.
    Dear Christians,

    God was farted out of the butt of a giant space goat.

    There. I have an answer for why God exists, but you Christians do not have an answer for why God exists, therefore, the space goat is real. The space goat is proved by the fact that you have no answer to the question "Why does god exist?"

    Do you feel that I have proved the existence of the space goat?

    What?

    You don't?

    But I have an explanation for why God exists and you don't, therefore my explanation is true and your understanding of things must be false! You don't have an answer to the question "Why does God exist?" and I do. You have to acknowledge that this proves my explanation is true and your explanation isn't! You're just afraid to acknowledge the truth of my statement because I have an answer to the biggest question and you don't!

    You just deny the space goat because you hate him!

    Now let's discuss what's wrong with the above argument.

    First of all, having answers doesn't matter. What matters is not having answers, but having answers that are independently verifiable. The fact that I have an explanation for God doesn't prove the space goat. If I want to claim that the space goat created God, I have to provide evidence for the space goat, then provide evidence for the space goat creating God. The fact that I have an explanation for God is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the space goat exists and is irrelevant to the claim that the space goat created God.

    Sometimes, the only honest answer is "I don't know."

    A lot of Christian apologetics seem to be built around this basic argument: "I have an answer, and you don't!"

    This reveals something odd about the theist mind.

    I've always thought that theists are theists because they want the satisfaction of having answers without having to do any of the work in finding out if any of those answers are true. Nothing reveals that more than the frequent use of the above argument and variations on the above argument.

    I think you're projecting a lot of nonsense onto Christians and Muslims.

    The goat thing sounds as crazy as anything a deranged fundamentalist would say.

    If you think they have the "I have an answer and you don't" attitude, invite them to explain it to you. Make them say it out loud and see if they are still so sure.
    In my personal experience as an atheist since 2000, this is quite common. Almost as common as the attitude that atheists are picking from the low hanging fruit when there's so much more sophisticated apologetics to be had. From what I've seen, many people, and especially religious people are not comfortable with "I don't know." They often think that any answer is better than no answer, even though such an outlook has no more validity in being correct.

  3. Top | #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    There are a lot of Christian and Muslim arguments that boil down to "I have an answer and you don't, therefore my answer is correct."

    So let me explain what is wrong with this category of arguments by making another argument of this type. I'll address this one to Christians because I'm too lazy to type out "and Muslims" over and over, but you can consider these same arguments as applying to both.
    You could put "JEWS" whch is only four letters ... and er .... would you?


    ok never mind
    Last edited by Learner; 06-07-2018 at 06:06 AM.

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    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    There are a lot of Christian and Muslim arguments that boil down to "I have an answer and you don't, therefore my answer is correct."

    So let me explain what is wrong with this category of arguments by making another argument of this type. I'll address this one to Christians because I'm too lazy to type out "and Muslims" over and over, but you can consider these same arguments as applying to both.

    Dear Christians,

    God was farted out of the butt of a giant space goat.

    There. I have an answer for why God exists, but you Christians do not have an answer for why God exists, therefore, the space goat is real. The space goat is proved by the fact that you have no answer to the question "Why does god exist?"

    Do you feel that I have proved the existence of the space goat?

    What?

    You don't?

    But I have an explanation for why God exists and you don't, therefore my explanation is true and your understanding of things must be false! You don't have an answer to the question "Why does God exist?" and I do. You have to acknowledge that this proves my explanation is true and your explanation isn't! You're just afraid to acknowledge the truth of my statement because I have an answer to the biggest question and you don't!

    You just deny the space goat because you hate him!

    Now let's discuss what's wrong with the above argument.

    First of all, having answers doesn't matter. What matters is not having answers, but having answers that are independently verifiable. The fact that I have an explanation for God doesn't prove the space goat. If I want to claim that the space goat created God, I have to provide evidence for the space goat, then provide evidence for the space goat creating God. The fact that I have an explanation for God is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the space goat exists and is irrelevant to the claim that the space goat created God.

    Sometimes, the only honest answer is "I don't know."

    A lot of Christian apologetics seem to be built around this basic argument: "I have an answer, and you don't!"

    This reveals something odd about the theist mind.

    I've always thought that theists are theists because they want the satisfaction of having answers without having to do any of the work in finding out if any of those answers are true. Nothing reveals that more than the frequent use of the above argument and variations on the above argument.

    I think you're projecting a lot of nonsense onto Christians and Muslims.

    The goat thing sounds as crazy as anything a deranged fundamentalist would say.

    If you think they have the "I have an answer and you don't" attitude, invite them to explain it to you. Make them say it out loud and see if they are still so sure.
    Many arguments build around this basic premise.

    If you've spent any time talking to theists, you've heard arguments much like this.

    "Why is there something rather than nothing?" they'll say with a knowing smile, thinking they had the gotcha question that proves god, and therefore debunks atheism. "I have an answer to that question, and you don't!" they'll declare triumphantly.

    They honestly think that having answers is all that matters. It doesn't matter if the answers they have are in any way verifiable, what matters is that they have answers and someone else doesn't.

    If you think a magical invisible being "speaking" a universe into existence is any less absurd than a giant space goat farting a god into existence, then I don't think you've been paying much attention.

  5. Top | #15
    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    If you think they have the "I have an answer and you don't" attitude, invite them to explain it to you. Make them say it out loud and see if they are still so sure.
    They say it explicitly.
    It's very clear in creationist arguments when they demand that evolutionary theory explain everything from the Big Bang to male pattern baldness, else it's 'just a theory,' and every response of 'don't know' is tagged as a sign of the weakness of science, the failure of science, or the gullibility/blind faith of the evolutionist.
    They insist that their 'side' of the argument, 'Goddidit,' is superior and thus, not merely a theory.

    I don't doubt that some of them say something like this. If there explanation is "Goddidit" then they aren't very bright. Why bother with them?
    Because they are making policy on a national level, such as the decision to invade Iraq, which resulted in tens of thousands tortured and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dead civilians.

    And let's not forget the African evangelicals who are killing children for "witchcraft." An estimated thousand children have been killed so far. That number is a few years old, so the estimate could easily be higher by now. Most of the children killed are killed either with fire or acid. If you have a stomach made of cast iron, you can search the Internet for videos of some of the executions, including one in which an adult kicks a burning child back into a fire.

    And that's just two examples. There is a long, long list of horrors even if we restrict ourselves to things that are happening in the modern world.

    These bad arguments for bad truth claims have real consequences in the real world. It would be nice to pretend that they don't, but they do.

    Those people in Africa who are setting children on fire aren't bad people trying to bring evil into this world. They genuinely believe they are making the world a better place by protecting us all from witchcraft. The unwillingness of people like you to challenge these bad truth claims allows monumental stupidity to flourish, and sometimes that stupidity results in profound atrocities because anyone willing to accept arguments this bad are going to have difficulty telling true from false or right from wrong.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    There are a lot of Christian and Muslim arguments that boil down to "I have an answer and you don't, therefore my answer is correct."

    So let me explain what is wrong with this category of arguments by making another argument of this type. I'll address this one to Christians because I'm too lazy to type out "and Muslims" over and over, but you can consider these same arguments as applying to both.
    You could put "JEWS" whch is only four letters ... and er .... would you?


    ok never mind
    I haven't heard this particular argument from Jews, but I'll admit that most of my Jewish friends are either "non-practicing Jews" (i.e. atheists who consider themselves to be of Jewish ethnicity) or Reform Jews. I suppose it's possible that some orthodox denomination out there uses arguments like this, but I haven't heard any Jews doing so.

    I wouldn't doubt that Hindus use arguments like this, especially the radical nationalist ones, but I simply haven't had much opportunity to get into apologetics debates with Hindus.

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    No probs ...as you may have guessed I was also jesting and no doubt using "Christians" in the argument would also apply to the Judaic religion anyway i.e. God.

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    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    There are a lot of Christian and Muslim arguments that boil down to "I have an answer and you don't, therefore my answer is correct."
    My position - even if I wasn't certain - would be that a weak hypothesis is better than no hypothesis. But if you're OK with ignorance, suit yourself.

    There's not one bible verse which says "evangelise by providing proof to the standard demanded by uber-skeptics" And nowhere does God say you will be punished for not persuading or convincing atheists. So if the biblical theist won't be believed....
    #dust/sandles

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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post


    I don't doubt that some of them say something like this. If there explanation is "Goddidit" then they aren't very bright. Why bother with them?
    Because they are making policy on a national level, such as the decision to invade Iraq, which resulted in tens of thousands tortured and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dead civilians.

    And let's not forget the African evangelicals who are killing children for "witchcraft." An estimated thousand children have been killed so far. That number is a few years old, so the estimate could easily be higher by now. Most of the children killed are killed either with fire or acid. If you have a stomach made of cast iron, you can search the Internet for videos of some of the executions, including one in which an adult kicks a burning child back into a fire.

    And that's just two examples. There is a long, long list of horrors even if we restrict ourselves to things that are happening in the modern world.

    These bad arguments for bad truth claims have real consequences in the real world. It would be nice to pretend that they don't, but they do.

    Those people in Africa who are setting children on fire aren't bad people trying to bring evil into this world. They genuinely believe they are making the world a better place by protecting us all from witchcraft. The unwillingness of people like you to challenge these bad truth claims allows monumental stupidity to flourish, and sometimes that stupidity results in profound atrocities because anyone willing to accept arguments this bad are going to have difficulty telling true from false or right from wrong.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    There are a lot of Christian and Muslim arguments that boil down to "I have an answer and you don't, therefore my answer is correct."

    So let me explain what is wrong with this category of arguments by making another argument of this type. I'll address this one to Christians because I'm too lazy to type out "and Muslims" over and over, but you can consider these same arguments as applying to both.
    You could put "JEWS" whch is only four letters ... and er .... would you?


    ok never mind
    I haven't heard this particular argument from Jews, but I'll admit that most of my Jewish friends are either "non-practicing Jews" (i.e. atheists who consider themselves to be of Jewish ethnicity) or Reform Jews. I suppose it's possible that some orthodox denomination out there uses arguments like this, but I haven't heard any Jews doing so.

    I wouldn't doubt that Hindus use arguments like this, especially the radical nationalist ones, but I simply haven't had much opportunity to get into apologetics debates with Hindus.


    Absence of a religious doctrine doesn't protect people from being murdered by their own government.

    Humans are murderous regardless.

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    Zen Hedonist Jobar's Avatar
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    In a similar vein, back in 2006 I addressed this to Rev. Timothy Muse, who some here might remember.

    So, Tim, you claim human personality requires a personal god to bring it about. So tell us, just how did God's personality come about? SuperGod? (And SuperGod sprang from HyperGod, who came from MetaGod, who arose from GigaGod... do you think it was gods all the way down?)

  10. Top | #20
    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    There are a lot of Christian and Muslim arguments that boil down to "I have an answer and you don't, therefore my answer is correct."
    My position - even if I wasn't certain - would be that a weak hypothesis is better than no hypothesis. But if you're OK with ignorance, suit yourself.
    My position, as a scientist, is that you've just illustrated how people make bad (really, terrible) conclusions. By being willing to take a weak hypothesis instead of looking harder for strength. Once you've defined your little darling, it's hard to let it go.

    #dust/sandles
    So few Christians cleave to this command. They just keep bothering and bothering and bothering with nonsense and hate all the live long day. It's as if the god didn't even say it.

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