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Thread: Common theist argument: "You know, I used to be an atheist myself..."

  1. Top | #271
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Just out of curiosity, where in the Bible does it say that God "exists"? Are the Scriptures in line with the Neoplatonic view (of Godhead as ineffable and beyond the dualities entirely) or the strictly materialist view that atheists here seem to favor?
    Explicitly?
    Exodus 3:14

    But entity is implied throughout the bible wherever we see subject-verb-object.
    Politesse doesn't need to say "I exist". This is a properly basic belief we have when reading posts by Politesse.

    I'm astonished that so many atheists here have a problem with the notion of non-existence. (The universe perpetually exists. There's no such thing as nothingness. etc) Surely atheists who say God doesn't exist can get their heads around the categories - To Be or Not To Be.

  2. Top | #272
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    I don't see how "I am that is" or however you prefer to translate יהוה‬ is any more consistent with a materialist view than an apophatic one; it is actually pretty vague. Whether God is a concept or an object, he is what he is. That is still true if God is an idea, or for that matter if God is nothing at all. Similarly, I could say, "I am what I am" (as Politesse) and that would be equally true whether there is a real human being who coextensively posts under the name Politesse, both halves of a cute gay couple borrowing the same account interchangeably using the name Politesse, an AI computer creating the persona of Politesse through Turing trickery, a subaetheric daemonic being calling the posts of Politesse into existence ex nihilo, or a mass hallucination on the part of the other posters on TF, the sentence would still be true. No matter which of those descriptions is truest, "Politesse" is on some level a fiction, whose connection to a material truth is always or should always be in doubt to some extent or another.

  3. Top | #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    It seems weird to have these religionists claim that the “universe” did a thing they call “began.” Are y’all saying that prior to the big bang nothing existed?

    I thought it was well known that there was a something prior to the local visible products of the big bang. Some call it a singularity, but at anyrate everyone agrees it wasn’t nothing.
    My take on it is that the theists here would dearly love to think of the Big Bang as having a supernatural cause. The idea that it might have a natural cause makes it harder to justify belief in supernaturalism, although it doesn't absolutely preclude it. Of course, even if there were a spiritual plane of reality that was separate from physical reality and interacted with physical reality, they would still have a long way to go before their version of God could even remotely be justified by that fact alone. Our species has managed to come up with a huge number of competing theistic cosmologies. Nevertheless, that would get them a foot in the door.
    Even if it did, they theologians (I'm trying to be generous here) still have to explain what any of this cosmology has to with any of the number of "holy" books that were certainly written by human beings.

    By talking about the possibility of a (any) god(s)ess(es) existing, they are simply changing the subject to something they know we don't currently have a really strong scientific handle on (compared to lots of other science like evolution ) and holing no one notices their god becomes closer and closer to the deistic definition the closer one looks.

    Turtles all the way down....

  4. Top | #274
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post

    Lets not forget quantum entanglement - spooky action at a distance. The universe seems to exist on both a classical and quantum basis. One day we'll figure it out and it won't be G-O-D. If two particles separated by billions of light years of universe can still act in unison, instantaneously, we still have a lot to learn.
    Very true. One of the biggest mysteries in physics today is why we see reality the way we see it, and not the way it actually is. Everything in the universe is actually energy fields that QM quantifies as wave functions that somehow appear to collapse into particles when we look at them. One direct interpretation in QM is the many-worlds hypothesis, that our universe branches every time a quantum decision is made, but most physicists don't seem that interested in the idea.

  5. Top | #275
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    @atrib
    That's Bilby saying that nothing else exists apart from the universe - not me.
    Nope. You said:

    I explicitly define God as the creator of your universe.
    That was in response to me defining 'the universe' as 'everything that exists'.

    So you define God as "the creator of 'everything that exists'". But that implies that God is not a part of 'everything that exists' - because a God that existed would not be available to do any creating until something exists - at which point he is superfluous.

    You should try joined up thinking sometime. It's much more effective than your attempts to isolate each argument, as though its conclusions need not apply to the next argument you encounter.
    Pay very close attention;
    1. Creationists (like me) think God created the universe.
    2. Creationists do not think the universe is the only 'thing' that exists.
    3. Creationists do not think that the word God is synonymous with the word universe.

  6. Top | #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post

    I'm astonished that so many atheists here have a problem with the notion of non-existence. (The universe perpetually exists. There's no such thing as nothingness. etc) Surely atheists who say God doesn't exist can get their heads around the categories - To Be or Not To Be.
    To be fair, most atheists believe in the concept of non-existence, in that they will pass from a state of existence to a state of non-existence when they die. The matter and energy that make up their bodies will continue to exist in other forms, but the person will be dead. Also, I am an atheist, and my position is not that the God of the Bible doesn't exist, but that the odds of its existence are so vanishingly small that it can safely be ignored from any and all considerations.

  7. Top | #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    Nope. You said:



    That was in response to me defining 'the universe' as 'everything that exists'.

    So you define God as "the creator of 'everything that exists'". But that implies that God is not a part of 'everything that exists' - because a God that existed would not be available to do any creating until something exists - at which point he is superfluous.

    You should try joined up thinking sometime. It's much more effective than your attempts to isolate each argument, as though its conclusions need not apply to the next argument you encounter.
    Pay very close attention;
    1. Creationists (like me) think God created the universe.
    2. Creationists do not think the universe is the only 'thing' that exists.
    3. Creationists do not think that the word God is synonymous with the word universe.
    See, now you are trying to make up your own definition for the word universe, when a perfectly good definition already exists.

    But it doesn't help your cause to be arguing semantics. If you propose your god to be a model that explains the existence of the universe, i..e everything else that exists apart from your god (see, I am allowing for your definition), then you have to

    1. define your model and provide properties for this god and the domain in which it exists
    2. derive and demonstrate the mechanics by which this god creates everything else and interacts with its creation
    3. explain how an unbiased reviewer might go about verifying the model you proposed. For example, can your model make predictions and what experiments could the reviewer use to verify said predictions?

    Of course, you are not really providing us with any such model of reality. Your assertion that the god of the Bible exists is based on divine revelation, as recorded by an anonymous scribe in the deserts of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Your model does not make any predictions that can be verified and is not falsifiable. Not to mention that the god described by this scribe closely resembles a sadistic, psychopathic, homicidal, genocidal, homophobic, woman-hating warlord, quite a few of which were around in that part of the world at that time. Therefore, my skepticism is not completely without basis.

    TLDR; If you want to make a case for your god, do the fucking work and actually make a case for your god.

  8. Top | #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post

    See, now you are trying to make up your own definition for the word universe, when a perfectly good definition already exists.
    I don't think that's the case. He's basically proposing a type of multiverse argument where God et al exist in their own place and our universe is a different place which he created separate from that. That seems like a perfectly fine definition of a universe.

    It doesn't really answer the question of a first cause argument, since it just pushes the question back one level and leaves it unanswered, but it's not a particularly non-standard usage of the word "universe".

  9. Top | #279
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post

    See, now you are trying to make up your own definition for the word universe, when a perfectly good definition already exists.
    I don't think that's the case. He's basically proposing a type of multiverse argument where God et al exist in their own place and our universe is a different place which he created separate from that. That seems like a perfectly fine definition of a universe.

    It doesn't really answer the question of a first cause argument, since it just pushes the question back one level and leaves it unanswered, but it's not a particularly non-standard usage of the word "universe".
    Sure. But to use that definition in the context of a discussion in which his correspondent has explicitly defined the word as meaning 'everything that exists', without explicitly providing his own definition, is an equivocation fallacy.

    I am talking about 'everything that exists'; He wants to talk about a subset of that, and pretend that his argument is responsive to mine.

    As I am talking explicitly about everything that exists, including any Gods that exist, and arguing that nothing that exists can be the cause of everything that exists, it is fucking stupid to then say 'but what if something exists in a separate category from the universe?' - it's impossible for that to be the case using my definition of 'universe'; and it's not addressing my argument at all if he is using a different definition of 'universe'.

    In either case, it's not a rebuttal; Just some babbling that he hopes might sound like a rebuttal as long as he doesn't have to think too hard about it.

  10. Top | #280
    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I don't see how "I am that is" or however you prefer to translate יהוה‬ is any more consistent with a materialist view than an apophatic one; it is actually pretty vague. Whether God is a concept or an object, he is what he is. That is still true if God is an idea, or for that matter if God is nothing at all. Similarly, I could say, "I am what I am" (as Politesse) and that would be equally true whether there is a real human being who coextensively posts under the name Politesse, both halves of a cute gay couple borrowing the same account interchangeably using the name Politesse, an AI computer creating the persona of Politesse through Turing trickery, a subaetheric daemonic being calling the posts of Politesse into existence ex nihilo, or a mass hallucination on the part of the other posters on TF, the sentence would still be true. No matter which of those descriptions is truest, "Politesse" is on some level a fiction, whose connection to a material truth is always or should always be in doubt to some extent or another.
    Exodus 33
    21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
    22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
    23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

    Exodus 24

    9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
    10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
    Cheerful Charlie

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