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  1. #1
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    Eyes of an Atheist

    Imagine the Earth in which the vast majority of people seriously believe in Santa, or some slight variation of him, and live their lives accordingly.

    In this society a person cannot be elected as the leader of a country unless he believes in Santa.

    This society has fought wars over which variation of Santa is the 'correct' one.

    What would you think of this world? Of these people?

    If you have imagined what it would be like to literally live in such a society, then you have just seen the world through the eyes of an Atheist.
    abc

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    If you have imagined what it would be like to literally live in such a society, then you have just seen the world through the eyes of an Atheist.
    Since there is a very significant difference between Santa Claus and God as well as holding a belief in either, the analogy does not hold up.

  3. #3
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Since there is a very significant difference between Santa Claus and God as well as holding a belief in either, the analogy does not hold up.
    There is no such difference from the perspective of an atheist. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, it is true for atheists and therefore affects their world view.
    abc

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    There is no such difference from the perspective of an atheist.
    A belief in Santa Claus is significantly less rational than a belief in God so the believers of each are not the same, even from the perspective of those who don't accept the existence of Santa Claus or God.

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    A belief in Santa Claus is significantly less rational than a belief in God
    That is debatable. Atheists would take the side of 'a belief in God is equally as rational as a belief in Santa'. But this is beside the point. Please stick to the debate presented in the OP.
    abc

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    That is debatable. Atheists would take the side of 'a belief in God is equally as rational as a belief in Santa'. But this is beside the point. Please stick to the debate presented in the OP.
    I think if you keep comparing God to the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy people will always be inclined to challenge whether or not the comparison is valid. If you want to make your point better then you need to at least pick another entity like Vishnu or something. You'll get nowhere by starting off with mockery. And why should you, really?

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I think if you keep comparing God to the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy people will always be inclined to challenge whether or not the comparison is valid. If you want to make your point better then you need to at least pick another entity like Vishnu or something. You'll get nowhere by starting off with mockery. And why should you, really?
    I never said that Atheists are correct in their position that God is equal to Santa. What I am asking people to do in this debate is to imagine the world from an Atheist's perspective (which is that God is equal to Santa) and then state what conclusions they would draw about the world and society.

    So for the purposes of this debate assume that it is true that 'God is equivalent to Santa'. I do not think this is to much to ask. I have seen a lot of debates where people are asked to assume something is true for the sake of debate regardless of it's actual truth.

    Assuming that my intention with this thread, is to mock or insult, is not my fault. You can perceive this thread as an insult or as an interesting exercise in imagination. It is really up to you, not me.
    abc

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    I never said that Atheists are correct in their position that God is equal to Santa.
    I don't care what you didn't say. I'm pointing out what you did say, and what you did say implied that God is just like Santa. As long as you keep doing stupid **** like that, no one will take you seriously. I'm trying to give you useful advice here so that you'll stop looking like an idiot every time you start a thread. Take it or leave it.

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I don't care what you didn't say. I'm pointing out what you did say, and what you did say implied that God is just like Santa. As long as you keep doing stupid **** like that, no one will take you seriously. I'm trying to give you useful advice here so that you'll stop looking like an idiot every time you start a thread. Take it or leave it.
    Do you understand what I said in the OP? Or are you just pointing out what everyone will think I said even though I said nothing remotely like it?

    P.S. I generally leave hostile advice.
    abc

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    What I am asking people to do in this debate is to imagine the world from an Atheist's perspective (which is that God is equal to Santa)
    Well, perhaps it would look like something similar to this:


    or this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0cG1...feature=relmfu
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I think if you keep comparing God to the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy people will always be inclined to challenge whether or not the comparison is valid. If you want to make your point better then you need to at least pick another entity like Vishnu or something. You'll get nowhere by starting off with mockery. And why should you, really?
    I think it is because that is one of the only type of arguments that Xeno has against theism (and it's been responded to in every one of his threads which are similar).

    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...n-In-My-Garage
    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...ef-in-Unicorns
    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...eving-In-Magic
    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...sm-Irrational?
    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...ic-of-Religion

    Mican: A belief in Santa Claus is significantly less rational than a belief in God
    Xeno: That is debatable. Atheists would take the side of 'a belief in God is equally as rational as a belief in Santa'. But this is beside the point. Please stick to the debate presented in the OP.

    It isn't beside the point. You are saying that it is the same and are asking everyone (including theists) to view the world through YOUR eyes (which btw, do not represent atheism and I don't think most atheists share your radicalized views, and I know that academics/philosophers do not). In order to view the world this way, we must accept that the belief in God is equitable to the belief in the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa, etc... If the belief were equitable, then you'd have a point...but since they are not (and you have not demonstrated them to be), then your argument...as everyone else has explained, fails as it is a false analogy.

    That is, you are claiming that the beliefs are the same but not actually supporting that they are...and as such, there is no reason to believe that they are. This is a repeated claim that you make in all your threads of this sort and has been refuted in every instance.

    ---------- Post added at 07:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:15 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    ...and I pointed out that for the sake of this debate the 'validity of the comparison' is irrelevant. It is assumed to be true for the sake of this debate.
    How is this not like:

    "Let's assume for the sake of the argument that atheists are child molesting, cat raping, baby eating black people who listen to nothing other than Liberace, think that Fred is the most brilliant entertainer in the history of mankind, expert seal clubbers and want nothing more than to electrocute all human beings with the last name ending in -berg or -stein."

    Now...there are, for the sake of a hypothetical argument or thinking exercise, good reasons to assume certain propositions (without necessarily accepting them to be true). But when we make a comparison with an actual entity or concept (such as in this case, "atheism" instead of something we have made up for the sake of the argument) the assumption can easily fall flat and thus rejected, since the subject of comparison which is actual, is not or cannot be remotely compared to what is our hypothetical. In other words, it's a meaningless exercise. What it does however, as in both your argument and in my hypothetical setup re: required assumption, is merely attempt to throw a particular belief system or group of people into a negative light through fallacious reasoning. In other words, the only thing it does is attempt to stir up trouble and/or insult a particular group...nothing else. There is no meaningful, true, or valid hypothetical that exists that can come from my required assumption about atheists above...any more than such a thing can come from yours. It is an absurd requirement (the hypothetical assumption) and just all around bad reasoning that wouldn't make it out of a 1st yr philosophy class discussion window. There is no atheist or theist who should accept my insistent "hypothetical" as a meaningful and sound comparison and likewise, none that should accept yours.

    Now, I realize you may not necessarily agree that it is meaningless. In the instance that the argument maker thinks there is a sound comparison, there must be a reason for that comparison to be sound. So, if you sincerely do believe there is a reason for the comparison to be sound, what is it? If you do not think it is sound, then you have agreed with us. And if the comparison is not sound, it cannot be applicable. And if the comparison is not applicable, then the argument which is contingent upon it being applicable is fallacious. And if the argument is fallacious...well, then it need not be considered...why? Because it's fallacious.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; July 30th, 2012 at 09:11 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    just all around bad reasoning that wouldn't make it out of a 1st yr philosophy class discussion window.
    Strange, I got an A+ in my first year philosophy class.

    Now, I realize you may not necessarily agree that it is meaningless. In the instance that the argument make thinks there is a sound comparison, there must be a reason for that comparison to be sound. So, if you sincerely do believe there is a reason for the comparison to be sound, what is it? If you do not think it is sound, then you have agreed with us. And if the comparison is not sound, it cannot be applicable. And if the comparison is not applicable, then the argument which is contingent upon it being applicable is fallacious. And if the argument is fallacious...well, then it need not be considered...why? Because it's fallacious.
    Are you sure you made it out of your 1st year philosophy class? Cause if you did you should know the difference between a valid argument and a sound argument.

    ---------- Post added at 11:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    It's precisely for this reason (among others) that I have stopped debating with you and don't really even bother to read your posts or arguments anymore. Quite frankly, even if they weren't usually openly insulting in their assumption that we're either crazy, deluded, ignorant or stupid, your arguments are also faulty, full of holes, and generally of sufficiently low quality to make me feel like debating you about theism is a waste of my time.
    LOL... and yet here you are reading my post and responding to it.
    abc

  13. #13
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide
    Strange, I got an A+ in my first year philosophy class.
    I'm not sure how, unless your philosophy's standards for handing out A+ are low enough to render their opinion meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    LOL... and yet here you are reading my post and responding to it.
    A mistake I won't be making again, I assure you. If you are this incapable of taking well-reasoned, very detailed and (from others, at least) constructive criticism and examining your arguments' strength objectively, I have no further interest in engaging you at all.
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    Strange, I got an A+ in my first year philosophy class.
    I didn't say you didn't or couldn't get an A (which btw, is fairly simple to do in a 1st yr philo course). I said that this very argument would not pass muster in such a class. Did you not have time set to discuss the topics/issues with either your peers and/or the prof?

    Are you sure you made it out of your 1st year philosophy class? Cause if you did you should know the difference between a valid argument and a sound argument.
    Yup. Honors. Teacher's assistant. Philosophy is my minor. And I do know the difference between a valid and sound argument...which is why I used the term "sound" instead of "valid" there. But form isn't something that is typically taught in most first year philo courses. Argument form is usually taught in crit thinking or logic courses. Why?

    Regardless, can we assume that by your lack of actually addressing the issue, you have conceded the argument? If not, then I challenge Challenge to support a claim.you to support it (see my post for details).

    ---------- Post added at 09:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:10 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    I'm not sure how, unless your philosophy's standards for handing out A+ are low enough to render their opinion meaningless.
    His response is a red herring fallacy. His argument not passing muster in discussions w/i the class has no bearing on his grade, the two issues are separate.

    A mistake I won't be making again, I assure you. If you are this incapable of taking well-reasoned, very detailed and (from others, at least) constructive criticism and examining your arguments' strength objectively, I have no further interest in engaging you at all.
    Probably a good idea (with at least this discussion) as this type of thread is nothing but a "troll" thread unfortunately. There is no rationality behind the argument.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    Strange, I got an A+ in my first year philosophy class.

    Congratulations, Xeno, for getting through your first year of college philosophy. Perhaps you will soon join those who understand the meaning of life. Assuming you're still in college, would you say your OP on this thread lines up with this analysis?


    Critical thinking skills boost philosophy students after graduation, researchers say

    Philosophy develops good habits of thought that help to reconcile the facts behind reason, said John Devlin, a philosophy lecturer and ASU professor. Being able to reconcile evidence and reason becomes necessary when working with people and dealing with problems, he said.

    “You learn the difference between having thoughts and having reasons. You learn the difference between whether and argument is any good and whether the conclusion is even true,” Devlin said.

    Philosophers develop a familiarity with resolving issues that others may lack, said Margaret Walker, Lincoln Professor of Ethics in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, who has continuously worked toward theories that resolved the aftermath of political violence in South Africa.

    “You have to be willing to inform yourself and be aware of the concrete factual dimensions of any issue before you target the problem,” Walker said.

    Philosophy, unlike many fields of study, teaches how to analyze an issue and reason with a clarified interpretation, she said.

    “You learn different things in different academic concentrations, but being able to read, reason and defend views is something you need in every aspect of life,” Walk said.

    Terrence Hill, a philosophy junior, said he realizes the importance of a philosophical background and studying the liberal arts and sciences develops universal discipline.

    “With philosophy, I don’t have to follow one path like certain other majors,” Hill said. “I have learned to think abstractly. Prior to being a philosophy major, in a lot of my other classes, you can only configure something one way. With philosophy, you are more flexible in problem solving.”

    Philosophy requires a demand for clarity and develops the ability to honestly acknowledge objections against one’s own conclusions, Devlin said.

    Adam Brody, a philosophy junior, emphasizes that first conclusions may not be the most developed.

    “Philosophy makes you consider alternative explanations. You have to consider alternative solutions before you make concrete solutions. It makes you more open minded,” Brody said. “After I finish my undergraduate work, I plan to go to graduate school and get my Ph.D. in philosophy in order to continue my studies.”

    Hill said he plans to continue his interest in philosophy in an alternative way.

    “I plan to go to law school and take an interest in securities law. Philosophy will help me become more contextually involved with cases. I will be able to argue for or against anything by taking what I learned in philosophy and applying it to any situation,” he said.

    Holistically, philosophy creates the ability to decipher and develop concrete arguments, said Devlin.

    “We train people not to be too content with their first answers. We try to clarify our views and parts so it’s easy for others to see our mistakes. It’s easy for us to spot them, but it’s easy for others to spot them too,” Devlin said.

    This humbling idea can create the necessary skills to be more authentic in any situation that requires critical reasoning and helps to promote communication, he said.

    “You learn a conversation between two people isn’t about who wins but rather coming to a spot where no one started. You learn how to make distinctions and why distinctions matter,” Devlin said. “Philosophy creates a willingness to be curious, relentlessly curious.”

    Ref.
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    That is debatable. Atheists would take the side of 'a belief in God is equally as rational as a belief in Santa'. But this is beside the point. Please stick to the debate presented in the OP.
    I am sticking to it. You said that a world where the majority believes in Santa Claus is how the atheist views a world where the majority believes in God. But if the belief in Santa Claus is less rational than a belief in God, then it's a crazier world than the one the theist experiences and therefore it is not the same.

    You said I should imagine a world where the majority believes in Santa Claus. Alright I will. Santa, by definition, delivers toys to the children of the world every Christmas Eve. Now, I know that Santa doesn't do that. I've never received a gift from Santa. Neither have my children. And every person that I know has the same experience. So I have incontrovertible evidence that Santa does not exist and so does everyone else. So they have clear, incontrovertible evidence that Santa does not exist. And yet they do believe in Santa! They actually believe something that anyone who observes simple reality will know does not exist. That is crazy!

    So that's what atheists experience? No, it's not what they experience. There is no incontrovertible evidence that God doesn't exist and therefore those who believe in God are not holding a belief that contradicts what can clearly be observed and therefore while they may be incorrect, they are not crazy.

  17. #17
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    This seems about as useful as "Eyes of a terrorist" or "Eyes of an asshole". Sure, from their own perspective, their own attitudes/beliefs/values/whatever make sense. So what?
    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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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    Imagine the Earth in which the vast majority of people seriously believe in Santa, or some slight variation of him, and live their lives accordingly.

    In this society a person cannot be elected as the leader of a country unless he believes in Santa.

    This society has fought wars over which variation of Santa is the 'correct' one.

    What would you think of this world? Of these people?

    If you have imagined what it would be like to literally live in such a society, then you have just seen the world through the eyes of an Atheist.
    I would imagine these people have a pretty serious history with Santa. That, at the very least, Santa has been active or perceived to've been active in their lives. That they care quite a bit about him. It'd be worth exploring what all the hubbub about Santa is. How is seeing the world that way something special or unique to Atheists?
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    The so what comes from the expansion on your above statement. Try it, you'll see. Just imagine what I have asked you to in the OP.
    Alright, done. Now what?
    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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  20. #20
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    You said I should imagine a world where the majority believes in Santa Claus. Alright I will. Santa, by definition, delivers toys to the children of the world every Christmas Eve. Now, I know that Santa doesn't do that. I've never received a gift from Santa. Neither have my children.
    You don't know with absolute certainty that you or your children have never received a gift from Santa. It's possible that your belief that you or your children have never received such a gift is a false belief.

    For instance, maybe it's the case that Santa gave you only the gifts you REALLY wanted and needed the most when you believed in Him and you never realized that Santa was the being giving you those gifts.


    And every person that I know has the same experience.
    Weak. If you'd lived 500 years ago in a village in the middle of Africa there is every reason to think that you and all the people you knew would believe that the sun traversed the earth's sky each day while the earth remained stationary. Just because everyone you personally know believes what you believe doesn't make your belief true.

    So I have incontrovertible evidence that Santa does not exist and so does everyone else. So they have clear, incontrovertible evidence that Santa does not exist.
    "Incontrovertible"? No. Most adults have very good reasons, not "incontrovertible" evidence, to disbelieve that Santa exists.

    Those, BTW, are essentially the same reasons they have to disbelieve that the Christian God exists: A) Absolutely no evidence of the alleged being's physical existence and B) evidence that the legend of the alleged being's existence is myth-based.

    And yet they do believe in Santa! They actually believe something that anyone who observes simple reality will know does not exist. That is crazy!
    And yet some people believe the Christian God (all three of Him!) exists! They actually believe something that anyone who observes simple reality will know probably doesn't exist. That is crazy!

 

 
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