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  1. #1
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    Post Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    There is a popular misconception on ODN being perpetuated by several prominent theists that atheism holds the stance "something can come from nothing". Ironically, it is theists who hold this stance. As I will demonstrate, atheists hold no such position.

    I. Understanding the theistic stance.

    First, it's important to know who's alleging what. Let us define X as an alternative scientific hypothesis: "A tri-omni being known as god created the universe."

    Theists: X = True.
    Atheists: X = False.
    Agnostics: X = Unknown.

    Of these three assertion, only one has made a positive claim regarding the origin of the universe: theists. Agnostics and atheists do not inherently have a default position on the origin of the universe beyond what's noted above.

    Thus, stating atheists have taken any position on the origin of the universe beyond "not god" is false.

    Unless an atheists specifically states, "I believe something can come from nothing" it's nonsensical to attribute this stance to all atheists. Why would anyone attribute a positive stance to a position which specifically denies a set of claims?

    "You don't believe in Bigfoot? Well then you must believe all the sightings are part of some grand decades old Bigfoot conspiracy!"

    Let's look at the god hypothesis slightly reworded to remove god: "Nothing created the universe."

    Without evidence for god being possible*, we have no choice but swap out god and replace him with 'nothing'. God is simply the excuse theists use to cover over their illogical stance of something coming from nothing.

    To see just how silly and dishonest theists are, take any impossibility, state that it happened and use something unevidenced for justification. When your unevidenced phenomenon is called into question, create a special pleading for it. Theists will undoubtedly object to it... unless your impossibility is something from nothing and your special-pleading-supported phenomenon is god. Feel free to post examples to the thread.

    II.Why do theists have it wrong?

    When theists attempt to examine the atheist worldview, it's tempting for them to take their own claims, subtract god and use that straw man as the supposed stance of atheists.

    "First there was nothing. Then nothing said 'let there be light'. And there was. And it was good. Then nothing did this, that and the other. etc."
    It's easy to see how theists would think atheists believe something comes from nothing and easier still to see how they're wrong.

    III.What do atheists believe?

    It varies from atheist to atheist. The fundamental difference is the jury is still out while science investigates. For theists, the jury has already delivered a verdict: "Goddidit, your honor" leaving them stuck with the something from nothing stance.

    Atheists follow where the evidence leads. There are many scientific hypotheses for how the universe came to be. We know scientific inquiry must be supported with valid evidence. We know that scientists will continue to refine their theories and that any individual (given the proper equiptment and training) could repeat verbatim any experiment or observation.

    So, it is Christians and theists who hold "something comes from nothing". Atheists do not make this assertion because atheism has no set stance beyond it not being god. Remember that figuring out the origin of the universe is detective work. In detective work the ultimate answer isn't necessary to discard a flawed hypothesis.





    *Once we had evidence he's possible, we'd need evidence he's real... but one thing at a time.

  2. #2
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Every time an artist creates a piece of artwork, he's creating something from nothing. You need look no deeper than that. God is the ultimate and consumate artist.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop View Post
    Every time an artist creates a piece of artwork, he's creating something from nothing. You need look no deeper than that. God is the ultimate and consumate artist.
    Of course everything came from something - it came from God!
    Last edited by Snoop; May 10th, 2007 at 11:21 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  3. #3
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Let's look at the god hypothesis slightly reworded to remove god: "Nothing created the universe."

    Without evidence for god being possible*, we have no choice but swap out god and replace him with 'nothing'. God is simply the excuse theists use to cover over their illogical stance of something coming from nothing.
    Actually, the logical position would be to swap out "God" with "something". Since we generally believe, scientifically, that something doesn't come from nothing and we know the universe to be something, we would probably believe that the universe came from something, not nothing.

    So, the statement becomes "something created the universe," to which theists replace "something" with "God."
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  4. #4
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop View Post
    Every time an artist creates a piece of artwork, he's creating something from nothing. You need look no deeper than that. God is the ultimate and consumate artist.
    what I find incredibly hypocritical about your argument is this.

    God is the painter. Yet a painter has a mother.

    This 'creation must have a creator' ramble you pull off seems to break down with god, because him being eternal defies your own reasoning.

    Not to mention that the universe may expand forever, and be eternal in it's own right.
    "What's so wrong about mentioning how attractive she is? That said, i don't think "Begin East Euro Fap" is an appropriate way to say shes attractive."

  5. #5
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    Actually, the logical position would be to swap out "God" with "something".
    Theists allege the universe came from nothing. Not something. They attempt to justify this belief by using god and an armful of fallacies (notably the special pleading).

    The word "something" is the province of non-theists who are searching for the answer and looking to evidence.

  6. #6
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    First, it's important to know who's alleging what. Let us define X as an alternative scientific hypothesis: "A tri-omni being known as god created the universe."
    That is what is alleged by one particular religion. Theism encompasses everyone who believes that the universe came to be through some kind of intelligence.

    THAT is what needs to be proved by theist, proven to be a fallacy by atheists, and agnostics will admit they don't know.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Unless an atheists specifically states, "I believe something can come from nothing" it's nonsensical to attribute this stance to all atheists. Why would anyone attribute a positive stance to a position which specifically denies a set of claims?
    And the same goes for theists. Again, it's Christian doctrine that says that something came from nothing, but one can be a theist and reject that notion.

    How about the material of the universe always existed and the being we call God is the one who actively formed it into what we now know to be the universe? That IS a theistic statement and therefore must also be disproven before one can claim that all theism is false.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    The fundamental difference is the jury is still out while science investigates. For theists, the jury has already delivered a verdict: "Goddidit, your honor" leaving them stuck with the something from nothing stance.

    Atheists follow where the evidence leads. There are many scientific hypotheses for how the universe came to be. We know scientific inquiry must be supported with valid evidence. We know that scientists will continue to refine their theories and that any individual (given the proper equiptment and training) could repeat verbatim any experiment or observation.
    And yet you somehow know that the creation of the universe could not have happened by means of some kind of intelligence?

    Maybe one day scientists will discover an intelligence behind it all. Or maybe one day scientists will discover that there's no way that there can be an intelligence behind it all. Until that day comes, the only logical thing one can do is be skeptical of EITHER claim.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    So, it is Christians and theists who hold "something comes from nothing". Atheists do not make this assertion because atheism has no set stance beyond it not being god. Remember that figuring out the origin of the universe is detective work. In detective work the ultimate answer isn't necessary to discard a flawed hypothesis.
    No, you can discard hypothesis that are proven to be impossible.

    And as far as the hypothesis that there is an intelligence behind it all, there is only ONE alternative hypothesis to that which is that there is NO intelligence behind it all. And that likewise suffers from similar flaws that the other hypothesis has.

  7. #7
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by pikatore View Post
    what I find incredibly hypocritical about your argument is this.

    God is the painter. Yet a painter has a mother.
    I never said anything close to that. Stop calling my statements hypocritical. Just state your opinion without attacking alleged statements which don't exist.





    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    The word "something" is the province of non-theists who are searching for the answer and looking to evidence.
    Non-theists don't have a monopoly on the word/concept of "something". God is "something" to theists - you choose to ignore that.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    The only way this debate can proceed with me is to use semantics. This is why I hate debates about religion.
    Last edited by Snoop; May 10th, 2007 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  8. #8
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    [OFFTOPIC]

    How about the material of the universe always existed and the being we call God is the one who actively formed it into what we now know to be the universe? That IS a theistic statement and therefore must also be disproven before one can claim that all theism is false.
    No, Mican, it doesn't. If the material of the universe always existed, why posit an even more complex thing to solve a problem? Your assertions is like stating, "What if airplane blueprints always existed and the Wright Brothers found blueprints of a Boeing 747 and used it as a model for theor first powered glider? This must be disproven..."

    No. It doesn't need to be disproven. It needs to be proven. It, like god, contradicts too many proven claims and has no support. Don't forget what we've proven in the basic logic thread.

    [/OFFTOPIC]

    Now get back on-topic.

  9. #9
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    There is a popular misconception on ODN being perpetuated by several prominent theists that atheism holds the stance "something can come from nothing". Ironically, it is theists who hold this stance. As I will demonstrate, atheists hold no such position.

    I. Understanding the theistic stance.

    First, it's important to know who's alleging what. Let us define X as an alternative scientific hypothesis: "A tri-omni being known as god created the universe."
    Theists: X = True.
    Atheists: X = False.
    Agnostics: X = Unknown.
    Of these three assertion, only one has made a positive claim regarding the origin of the universe: theists. Agnostics and atheists do not inherently have a default position on the origin of the universe beyond what's noted above.

    Thus, stating atheists have taken any position on the origin of the universe beyond "not god" is false.
    Hey cool! You respected our stance, way to go, Zhav!

    Agreed, of course, by the way. The theist bears the burden of proof.

    What I find amusing is that every time the atheist postulates a scientific theory about the creation of the universe, even tentatively, the theist asks "Why?" and "How?" and "Where's your evidence for that?" without turning back and asking the same questions of his belief in God.
    [CENTER]-=] Starcreator [=-

  10. #10
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator View Post
    Hey cool! You respected our stance, way to go, Zhav!
    Your stance isn't tenable, but that's another thread.

    Agreed, of course, by the way. The theist bears the burden of proof.

    What I find amusing is that every time the atheist postulates a scientific theory about the creation of the universe, even tentatively, the theist asks "Why?" and "How?" and "Where's your evidence for that?" without turning back and asking the same questions of his belief in God.
    Yes. This goes back to the special pleading I mentioned earlier.

  11. #11
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Theists allege the universe came from nothing. Not something. They attempt to justify this belief by using god and an armful of fallacies (notably the special pleading).

    The word "something" is the province of non-theists who are searching for the answer and looking to evidence.
    Zhavric, the age old question we're discussing here is, "What created the universe?" The question itself assumes that there was something that caused the effect, but specifies no guidelines pertaining to the nature of that something.

    To theists, God is that something. To atheists a series of phenomenon are that something.

    Not all theists claim God created the universe out of nothing. Again, in your haste to assault anyone of religious background you make illogical and incorrect assumptions about their beliefs.

    God is an answer to a question, it's just not an answer you like.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Only beings or objects with a beginning need to be created.

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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    [OFFTOPIC]No, Mican, it doesn't. If the material of the universe always existed, why posit an even more complex thing to solve a problem? Your assertions is like stating, "What if airplane blueprints always existed and the Wright Brothers found blueprints of a Boeing 747 and used it as a model for theor first powered glider? This must be disproven..."

    No. It doesn't need to be disproven. It needs to be proven. It, like god, contradicts too many proven claims and has no support. Don't forget what we've proven in the basic logic thread.

    [/OFFTOPIC]

    Now get back on-topic.
    I am on-topic and your response did not address the argument I was making.

    The very name of this thread says that theism means believing that something came from nothing and that's not true.

    As I said, a theist can hold the position that the universe's matter always existed and "God" formed the universe from already-existing matter, thus creating the universe but not creating it from nothing.

    You can present plenty of arguments against theism but attacking a position not held by all theists is a straw-man argument (just like claiming that all atheists believe the universe came from nothing).

  14. #14
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    Zhavric, the age old question we're discussing here is, "What created the universe?" The question itself assumes that there was something that caused the effect, but specifies no guidelines pertaining to the nature of that something.
    Nope. We're not.

    This is just the age old theist tactic: evasion.

    We're discussing whether theists or atheists hold the stance "something can come from nothing".

    To theists, God is that something. To atheists a series of phenomenon are that something.
    Once again, you're off-topic.

    Christians don't allege "there was a lot of stuff that god refined into the universe". They allege "god created the stuff that became the universe". i.e. Nothing was there, then the universe was there. That's the theist stance. "goddidit" is the justification.

    Please stay on-topic.

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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    We're discussing whether theists or atheists hold the stance "something can come from nothing".
    And the ANSWER IS:

    That stance is not held by 100% of either group as the belief that "something came from nothing" is not part-and-parcel of either theistic or atheistic belief.

    And therefore attacking that "something came from nothing" is a straw-man argument in trying to disprove both theism or atheism.

  16. #16
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    Only beings or objects with a beginning need to be created.
    This is a cop-out. It's hardly worth the time to address save for the fact hundreds of thousands of people actually believe this to be true.

    The above is what I refer to as "Superman logic". It's a type of special pleading (a fallacy) where invalid & unsupported reasoning is used to justify a claim. Inquire beyond the surface and the whole thing falls apart.

    Your statement is on equal intellectual footing with "Only beings not from krypton need machines to fly." (implying Krytonians can fly). As soon as we ask, "Why don't Kryptonians need machines to fly?" we're greeted with a tremendous cop out or other nonsencial claim.

    Same thing with god. As soon as we ask "Why doesn't god have a beginning?" your entire argument (if you can call it that) falls apart.

  17. #17
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Christians don't allege "there was a lot of stuff that god refined into the universe". They allege "god created the stuff that became the universe". i.e. Nothing was there, then the universe was there. That's the theist stance. "goddidit" is the justification.

    Please stay on-topic.
    "God created the heavens and the earth". Where does that say that he started with nothing?
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  18. #18
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    As I said, a theist can hold the position that the universe's matter always existed and "God" formed the universe from already-existing matter, thus creating the universe but not creating it from nothing.
    Theists don't usually invent ridiculous what-if's when backed into a logical corner. That is the province of agnostics who haven't fully thought things through.

    Mican: "Nevermind that it's completely unsupported by your holy scriptures, just say there was stuff around before god to get out of Zhavric's logic mumbo jumbo."


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop View Post
    "God created the heavens and the earth". Where does that say that he started with nothing?
    It doesn't say there wasn't a burger king, Snoop. Should we assume there was a burger king before the heavens and earth?... or should we start examining things honestly?
    Last edited by Zhavric; May 10th, 2007 at 12:27 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  19. #19
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Your statement is on equal intellectual footing with "Only beings not from krypton need machines to fly." (implying Krytonians can fly). As soon as we ask, "Why don't Kryptonians need machines to fly?" we're greeted with a tremendous cop out or other nonsencial claim.
    Bad analogy.

    Same thing with god. As soon as we ask "Why doesn't god have a beginning?" your entire argument (if you can call it that) falls apart.
    Because He is eternal, it's His nature.

  20. #20
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    Re: Something from nothing: the THEIST stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Theists don't usually invent ridiculous what-if's when backed into a logical corner. That is the province of agnostics who haven't fully thought things through.


    Actually it's the province of Zhavric to resort to insults when backed into a logical corner.

    I'm not stating a what-if, just the FACT that it's not necessary to believe that something came from nothing in order believe that an intelligence is responsible for the creation of the universe.

    Now are you prepared to argue that it IS necessary to believe in matter-from-nothing in order to believe that an intelligence formed the universe.

    And if not, are you prepared to drop that assertion?

    And if not, are you going to throw more put-downs at me?

    (I get the sinking feeling the last option is the one you'll take)


    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Mican: "Nevermind that it's completely unsupported by your holy scriptures, just say there was stuff around before god to get out of Zhavric's logic mumbo jumbo."
    Are you SERIOUSLY forwarding that only those who subscribe to a religion can be theists?

    It's impossible to believe in God without buying into one religion or another?

    Seriously?

 

 
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