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  1. #21
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soren View Post
    Anybody notice something?
    I don't think he's familiar with certain works. He's only addressing a particularly narrow category of Christian belief, and not explaining why counter-arguments or counter-examples fail.

    I don't claim to know why he became an atheist, or what the content of his atheist belief is (other than non-belief in God).


    If he had said, "You haven't read Sam Harris's work," I wouldn't have thought that he was presuming to know why I became a Christian. Do you get why talking about what works someone is familiar with is different than talking about why they have come to hold particular positions?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  2. #22
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I don't think he's familiar with certain works.
    That is true, but that is true of everyone who ever lived and will live.

    He's only addressing a particularly narrow category of Christian belief, and not explaining why counter-arguments or counter-examples fail.
    Who said anything about Christian beliefs in this thread? Surely it wasn't me. I am arguing against God in general. That's like the third time I have had to say that in this thread. I don't need to know the intricate details of Christian beliefs, all I need to know for this thread is the basic concept of God. As to why I am not answering certain counter-arguments, long story short, I am smoking a lot of weed during this month. It's the first vacation I have had in a long time so I decided to have some fun. So I am high most of the time and my explanations would just sound like gibberish so I don't bother responding to certain arguments.

    I don't claim to know why he became an atheist, or what the content of his atheist belief is (other than non-belief in God).
    I was born an atheist. When I got older I heard about religion from people and thought wow, this is a joke right? Turns out they weren't joking... As for the content of my belief, it's simple, God is a fictional character, like a fairy.

    If he had said, "You haven't read Sam Harris's work," I wouldn't have thought that he was presuming to know why I became a Christian. Do you get why talking about what works someone is familiar with is different than talking about why they have come to hold particular positions?
    I see why that is different, but I also see why they are related.
    abc

  3. #23
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Read some Kierkegaard, Kant, Barth, and Niebuhr. Don't attack Christian reasoning until you've actually familiarized yourself with it.
    There really isn't much to it.

    It's eloquently written. It's intelligent. It holds together with a crude logic. But where it breaks down is that it makes base assumptions that are simply not true. It gives a free pass to god and does little to actually challenge Christian dogma. It's penned by people who began with the premise, "I want to justify Christianity, but how do I do it?" rather than "Is Christianity true?". And yes. There are plenty of learned people who are Christians. Doctors, lawyers, scientists, Ph.D.'s, etc. But that has more to do with their upbringing than any intellectual thought. Remember that we're only a couple hundred years away from an era where claiming Christianity was false was grounds for persecution, imprisonment, or even death.

    Intellectually, there really isn't much difference between Christianity and Scientology. Christianity is a work of historical fiction where Scientology is a work of science fiction. Christianity has been established long enough that it doesn't need to use the cult tactics that Scientology now enjoys. But falsehood is not tiered. The false claims of Scientology are no more or less false than Christianity's false claims.

    It's a simple fact that people believe nonsense that they're raised with. Look at Mormonism and Scientology. They're socialized and indoctrinated into their faith. Most can't be reasoned out of it because they were never reasoned into it. The beauty of religion is that most religious people think they were reasoned into their religion. Christianity is REALLY good at making it's people think that.

  4. #24
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    There really isn't much to it.

    It's eloquently written. It's intelligent. It holds together with a crude logic. But where it breaks down is that it makes base assumptions that are simply not true. It gives a free pass to god and does little to actually challenge Christian dogma. It's penned by people who began with the premise, "I want to justify Christianity, but how do I do it?" rather than "Is Christianity true?". And yes. There are plenty of learned people who are Christians. Doctors, lawyers, scientists, Ph.D.'s, etc. But that has more to do with their upbringing than any intellectual thought. Remember that we're only a couple hundred years away from an era where claiming Christianity was false was grounds for persecution, imprisonment, or even death.

    Intellectually, there really isn't much difference between Christianity and Scientology. Christianity is a work of historical fiction where Scientology is a work of science fiction. Christianity has been established long enough that it doesn't need to use the cult tactics that Scientology now enjoys. But falsehood is not tiered. The false claims of Scientology are no more or less false than Christianity's false claims.

    It's a simple fact that people believe nonsense that they're raised with. Look at Mormonism and Scientology. They're socialized and indoctrinated into their faith. Most can't be reasoned out of it because they were never reasoned into it. The beauty of religion is that most religious people think they were reasoned into their religion. Christianity is REALLY good at making it's people think that.
    There isn't much to Kierkegaard? Alienation, the construction of meaning, what it means to have authentic existence as an individual...not much to that? I don't think you've actually read Kierkegaard. It's like saying there isn't much to Sartre, because I don't like the fact that he's atheist.

    Kierkegaard talked about the role of faith. True, he did not apply a socio-historical critique of Christianity to test its claims for scientific verity. He was not a textual critic. Kierkegaard was more about the religious impulse, or perhaps the nature and purpose of faith.

    You're also clearly unfamiliar with Kierkegaard's religious beliefs if you think that he had some sort of conventional religious belief. He raged against the religious institutions of his day.

    And you're clearly unfamiliar with the work of Christian analytic philosophers if you think that there aren't Christian thinkers who write intelligently about whether Christianity is rational or reasonable.




    I get that you think Christianity is false. What I don't understand--and what you ironically fail to analyze or support, but merely presuppose--is why anyone who thinks differently is some sort of intellectual zombie. Do you really think that every Christian is intellectually uncurious, philosophically unanalytical, and so forth?


    Serious questions: Have you read Kierkegaard? Actually read his works? Have you read Kant? What Christian works have you actually personally read?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  5. #25
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhavric
    There really isn't much to it.

    It's eloquently written. It's intelligent. It holds together with a crude logic. But where it breaks down is that it makes base assumptions that are simply not true.
    Pretty much sums up Sagan's video, the basis of this entire thread.

  6. #26
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    There isn't much to Kierkegaard? Alienation, the construction of meaning, what it means to have authentic existence as an individual...not much to that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    It's eloquently written. It's intelligent.
    Alienation and the construction of meaning are intelligent. But there's little in Kierkegaard that gives us a sense that Christianity is in any way true... not unless we accept the faulty logic that all Christians accept.

    I get that you think Christianity is false. What I don't understand--and what you ironically fail to analyze or support, but merely presuppose--is why anyone who thinks differently is some sort of intellectual zombie. Do you really think that every Christian is intellectually uncurious, philosophically unanalytical, and so forth?
    What I don't understand, Clive, is how you and I can have debated for this long and you still offer this same tired straw man attack on my stance. I don't think you're an intellectual zombie. I do, however, think you're either skimming or making things up if you think "There are plenty of learned people who are Christians. Doctors, lawyers, scientists, Ph.D.'s, etc. " is compatible with "Christians are intellectual zombies". It's not compatible. As I pointed out, the simple fact that you cannot ignore is intelligent people who are raised to believe nonsense will grow up believing nonsense. The beauty of Christianity is how it convinces it's followers that what they're believing isn't nonsense. You're not an intellectual zombie and we both know I've never said that. What you are is an intelligent person who's been taken in by a very old, and very convincing scam. That doesn't make you a zombie. It just means that you have a bad set of logical rules that you invoke where your religion is concerned.

    ---------- Post added at 11:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:36 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Pretty much sums up Sagan's video, the basis of this entire thread.
    Luckily for us you didn't bother to explain or support your assertion. What assumptions aren't true?

    Care to expand or can we just disregard your less-than-clever spam post?

  7. #27
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhavric
    Luckily for us you didn't bother to explain or support your assertion. What assumptions aren't true?

    Care to expand or can we just disregard your less-than-clever spam post?
    Given that I have basically restated this 2 or 3 times now, and no atheist has bothered to address my previous posts, I must assume that you chose not to read or try and understand those posts either.

    Let me reiterate one more time.

    Sagan's argument: man is a mere speck, how could the universe be made for him, this is arrogance, man alone holds the meaning of life, atheism is true because it is humble.

    1) a) Its a strawman. None of the worlds major religions assert the Universe was made for man. If you take Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (the vast majority) then the assertion is that not just the universe, but man himself was created for God's glory, for God's purposes. The Universe is not about man, its about God. So Sagan's assertion that the universe was created for man is a misrepresentation of the theistic position, a strawman.

    b) It naturally follows that if religion asserts that everything is about God, not man, that this is a humbling position. It takes the focus off of ourselves (which is arrogance) and makes us a small part of something greater (humility).

    2) Sagan is a hypocrite. While accusing religion of being arrogant based on a strawman argument, he then asserts that man is the guardian of the meaning of life. In so doing, he endows mankind with a power equal, if not surpassing the arrogance of the claim that the universe is made for man. In contrast, the theist asserts that God holds the meaning of life, a humbling position, that takes such power away from man.

    These are essentially the entirety of the arguments given by Sagan in the video clip, a clip that really makes no scientific claims, only grossly false philosophical and theological ones.

  8. #28
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    1) a) Its a strawman. None of the worlds major religions assert the Universe was made for man.
    But we both know that most religions imply that the Earth was made by god for men. Sagan's point isn't to imply religions say the universe is for men. It's to illustrate how petty it is to say that the Earth is for men. He uses universe just to show how much larger things are.

    And just so we're on the same page here:

    Gen 1:26: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

    2) Sagan is a hypocrite. While accusing religion of being arrogant based on a strawman argument, he then asserts that man is the guardian of the meaning of life. In so doing, he endows mankind with a power equal, if not surpassing the arrogance of the claim that the universe is made for man.
    He does no such thing and you know it. He simply stating that if we abandon religion, then life's meaning is what we make of it. Which is true. You're life could be about helping the homeless. Or winning at HALO. It's up to you. The point is that there isn't a cosmic scorekeeper that decided what the meaning is. No are you going to try to tell me that you really didn't get that? Really? If you want to disagree with what he says, fine. But don't twist meaning. Not when the meaning is so simple. It comes off as a highly disingenuous argument.

  9. #29
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhavric
    But we both know that most religions imply that the Earth was made by god for men. Sagan's point isn't to imply religions say the universe is for men. It's to illustrate how petty it is to say that the Earth is for men. He uses universe just to show how much larger things are.

    And just so we're on the same page here:
    Gen 1:26: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
    Equivocation.

    Just because God gave man dominion does not equal God creating Earth for man. You profoundly misunderstand Christian theology.

    You work in business. You are probably somebodies underling or have an underling under you. Does the fact that your boss gave you dominion over other employees mean that entire business was made for you?

    Of course not. Having dominion does not = being made for. On the contrary, when one is given dominion over another's possessions, then that implies that they are to manage them to the benefit of the actual owner.

    You walk into any Church and ask them what it means to have dominion over the Earth and they will speak of being a good steward, meaning that we do not possess it, but are managing it for someone else. This is to God's glory, not mans. And you should understand the theistic position before you pretend to speak upon it.

    He does no such thing and you know it. He simply stating that if we abandon religion, then life's meaning is what we make of it. Which is true. You're life could be about helping the homeless. Or winning at HALO. It's up to you. The point is that there isn't a cosmic scorekeeper that decided what the meaning is. No are you going to try to tell me that you really didn't get that? Really? If you want to disagree with what he says, fine. But don't twist meaning. Not when the meaning is so simple. It comes off as a highly disingenuous argument.
    And making your life about you want it to be (HALO? seriously) is not arrogance? In so saying, you are asserting that each man is his own King, who can assert his own existence, his own interpretation of life. This is the very definition of arrogance, that you, as an individual, are the highest power. It doesn't get anymore arrogant than that. The theist surrenders all of this and asserts that God is the highest power. The atheist is free to say "screw homeless, my time, my life, should be spent on HALO." The Christian has no such option, because it is made explicit that the homeless is to be a concern of my life, as are all in need. Not because, I as king of my life decide it should be, but because I as a SERVANT of God am commanded to do so.

  10. #30
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    And making your life about you want it to be (HALO? seriously) is not arrogance? In so saying, you are asserting that each man is his own King, who can assert his own existence, his own interpretation of life. This is the very definition of arrogance,
    Wow, you basically just said that being a free person is arrogant... I seriously doubt that that is the definition of arrogance.

    that you, as an individual, are the highest power.
    Who said anything about highest power? I am not above the law. I am not above moral law, which is implanted in my very genetic structure. Putting yourself below a fictional character that man invented is just making yourself a servant of man and not God.
    abc

  11. #31
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by My Xenocide
    Wow, you basically just said that being a free person is arrogant... I seriously doubt that that is the definition of arrogance.
    I didn't say that, I said holding your own judgment as the arbiter of the meaning of life is arrogance.
    Who said anything about highest power? I am not above the law. I am not above moral law, which is implanted in my very genetic structure. Putting yourself below a fictional character that man invented is just making yourself a servant of man and not God.
    Whose talking about the law? We are talking about the meaning of life. If you assert that you alone can determine the meaning of your life, then you have already assumed that there is no power higher than you in this matter. That is arrogance.

    Let assume that God is an invention of man. Is it still not more humble to make yourself a servant of man, than to assert yourself as King? So even if it what you say is true, atheism is still more arrogant than theism.

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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    I didn't say that, I said holding your own judgment as the arbiter of the meaning of life is arrogance.
    The meaning of your own life, no that is not arrogant. The meaning of life in general (for everything alive), yes that is arrogant. But no one in this thread has made such a claim.
    abc

  13. #33
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by My Xenocide
    The meaning of your own life, no that is not arrogant. The meaning of life in general (for everything alive), yes that is arrogant. But no one in this thread has made such a claim.
    But your life is not your own. No man is an Island. What you decide in your own life affects everyone. If you decide to spend your life smoking pot and playing Halo than not only are you giving fuel to the drug cartels, who use that money to kill thousands, but you are also taking time that could be used to better your fellow man. No decision is isolated and has an effect on all.

  14. #34
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    But your life is not your own. No man is an Island. What you decide in your own life affects everyone. If you decide to spend your life smoking pot and playing Halo than not only are you giving fuel to the drug cartels, who use that money to kill thousands, but you are also taking time that could be used to better your fellow man. No decision is isolated and has an effect on all.
    Yes, and I of course take such things into account as often and as thoroughly as I can. However, a person who doesn't do that is not arrogant, they are selfish or maybe just to stupid to be able to think ahead and realize what consequences their actions could have.
    abc

  15. #35
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide
    Yes, and I of course take such things into account as often and as thoroughly as I can. However, a person who doesn't do that is not arrogant, they are selfish or maybe just to stupid to be able to think ahead and realize what consequences their actions could have.
    You are not thinking deeply enough. Selfishness stems from arrogance and arrogance from selfishness. These are two intimately entwined traits. An arrogant person will consider their own needs to be of greater importance and thus selfish. A selfish person places their own needs first, which is arrogance.

    Sure if you want to call it selfishness, then by all means, do so. But honestly, being selfish is no better than being arrogant so I'm baffled as to why you think this is a good argument.

  16. #36
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    All that is "obvious," from threads like these, is that many atheists have a tendency towards extreme arrogance. I'm a moderately "learned" person; I have a Bachelors degree and half of the credits towards a Masters. I believe in God. And there are many people with PhDs who believe in God. Why is this so difficult for atheists to accept?

    I have never, ever seen a Christian, or any other believer in God, question how an educated person can be an atheist. We simply don't tend to have that mindset that those who believe differently about God or about their general world view are "ignorant."

    Learn and reflect on this phrase: "Reasonable minds may differ."

  17. #37
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    All that is "obvious," from threads like these, is that many atheists have a tendency towards extreme arrogance. I'm a moderately "learned" person; I have a Bachelors degree and half of the credits towards a Masters. I believe in God. And there are many people with PhDs who believe in God. Why is this so difficult for atheists to accept?

    I have never, ever seen a Christian, or any other believer in God, question how an educated person can be an atheist. We simply don't tend to have that mindset that those who believe differently about God or about their general world view are "ignorant."

    Learn and reflect on this phrase: "Reasonable minds may differ."
    The obvious atheist rejoinder would be, "Of course you don't question why an educated person could be an atheist. It's obvious why they would."

    But the thing is, the Christian doesn't wonder how an educated person could be Buddhist, or Jewish, or Muslim, either. The inability to see why any reasonable person could disagree with you is a hallmark of intellectual hubris.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  18. #38
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    All that is "obvious," from threads like these, is that many atheists have a tendency towards extreme arrogance. I'm a moderately "learned" person; I have a Bachelors degree and half of the credits towards a Masters. I believe in God. And there are many people with PhDs who believe in God. Why is this so difficult for atheists to accept?

    I have never, ever seen a Christian, or any other believer in God, question how an educated person can be an atheist. We simply don't tend to have that mindset that those who believe differently about God or about their general world view are "ignorant."

    Learn and reflect on this phrase: "Reasonable minds may differ."
    TBH...arguments like those are only found from uneducated atheists in my experience. Typically those still in high school. The reason for this (which is obvious) is because a) they haven't learned that such an attack is fallacious (where educated atheists have) and b) that there are reasons why people believe as they do, and so the need to address those reasons arises (vs merely personal attacks). Both a & b, are acknowledged by educated atheists for the most part. I'd wager when the more uneducated atheists who make such silly arguments both educate themselves and mature (mentally, psychology), they'll join the realm of their educated atheists and realize their previous erroneous thinking.
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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    Learn and reflect on this phrase: "Reasonable minds may differ."
    I am well aware of that and I agree with it. Reasonable minds differ in regards to reasonable ideas/theories. However, reasonable minds are in agreement when it comes to the unreasonable. Reasonable minds agree that unreasonable ideas/theories are... well... unreasonable. Since there is no reason in the idea of God (I am talking about the idea of God in general and not any specific religion), it is unreasonable and thus all reasonable minds should agree on this topic.

    ---------- Post added at 03:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:49 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    But the thing is, the Christian doesn't wonder how an educated person could be Buddhist, or Jewish, or Muslim, either. The inability to see why any reasonable person could disagree with you is a hallmark of intellectual hubris.
    Why should they? All those beliefs are essentially the same. They agree that there is a God, which by the way is the only aspect of religion I disagree with.
    abc

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    Re: Isn't It Obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    Since there is no reason in the idea of God (I am talking about the idea of God in general and not any specific religion), it is unreasonable and thus all reasonable minds should agree on this topic.
    I don't see what's so unreasonable about entertaining the possibility than an intelligence made the universe.

    ---------- Post added at 06:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:17 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    But your life is not your own. No man is an Island. What you decide in your own life affects everyone. If you decide to spend your life smoking pot and playing Halo than not only are you giving fuel to the drug cartels, who use that money to kill thousands
    What if the guy grows his own pot or buys from sources other than cartels (like a local grower or a medicinal marijuana dispensary)?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    but you are also taking time that could be used to better your fellow man. No decision is isolated and has an effect on all.
    Wasting one's own time is not arrogance. An argument can be made that it's selfish, but often people who shut themself off from others are people with low self-esteem and therefore the opposite of arrogant (arrogance being defined as "having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance".)

 

 
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