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Atheism & theism

Usually there isn't a real dialogue between this two , we have the chance now to have one. Whatever you think try to share your arguments as objective as is possible because this conversation I wanna be about arguments .
Why the atheism is a better way of explaining what is supposed to be explained by theism ?
What are the arguments for atheism and what are the arguments for theism (at least shortly I would like to be shared ) ?
What role have science in this dialogue between atheism and theism ? (and as a contingent idea do you thing that the science have moral value?).
What role have the subjective feelings in this discussion , have they one?

(P S : you will be ctitisized , try to keep your point ).

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    Jun 17 2011: Eduard, i think discussions about atheism and theism are not so important in terms of making our world an equitable and earth-sustainable global home. I think that atheists and theists have more ideas in common and beyond this is usually beyond the usefulness of our debates (http://bit.ly/PowerCommon). Since the discussions usually touch on the word "God", let me give you an example:

    Many people feel uncomfortable when others say that we abandon "God" because we don't realize that the transcendence of God also means our humanism - caring concern for our fellow humans. Many people are also worried that our belief in God will cause us to blindly follow God and oppress other people which is a contradiction, although sadly, it can happen in some places - but this situations are extremism, the trajectory that we should and can avoid in all kinds of beliefs and convictions.
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      Jun 17 2011: Perhaps you are right , but this conversation isn't about making our world an equitable place , it's about arguments in a formal way (I hope to be so).
      Ok with your example but this conversation isn't about what you said there, what I wanna discuss is why for example do you think that the transcendence of God means our humanism (as you defined somehow it) ? ...........some arguments in a formal way , to see why some people are theists or atheists. (I would like to find out an answer from you).
      Do you think that atheism is a reaction to the extremist part of theism ?
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        Jun 17 2011: Eduard, my mission and my goal today and I believe a lot of othe people too is to make our planet right with the power that we now have and can control - the power of our hearts and our minds.

        I wish that all people see, and that you and I see that our core ideas are essentially the same or have a common identity that can unite us and move us on to make things right.

        I agree with you that Atheism or non-theism is sometimes a common reaction to the extremist part of theism and even most theists themselves know this. When people look into the core essence of their beliefs or religion, extremism is a bad idea and contrary to this essence.

        Many people are also disillusioned that after hearing so many pontifications about the good idea that we should all be good people, which by our nature we all know in our hearts and minds, the will of many people to actually do what is right can sometimes fail. This is where we see the dynamics of our free will, failures, recovery and greater courage and insight that in itself is an evolutionary idea that should propel us to ultimately achieve in bringing more joy and peace in our lives. Our humanistic nature is also what God wants to magnify in all people and we are free to believe whether God actually is saying this or not, to me it doesn't seem to matter.

        As to formal arguments, maybe we can look at the wikipedia which I think is hotly debated itself. My challenge to you is to study and summarize, from our discussions and from the web, and see how we can unite more people to achieve our ultimate goal for all people to be truly happy and inspired.
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          Jun 17 2011: Joe, I don't wanna be impolite but I really don't seek to unite people by this conversation ,I'm not interesting in that at all (neither in the social life), I've put you some questions , all what I'm interesting in is the reason which back every afirmations .......that's it.
  • Jun 20 2011: Why does it need to be an argument? Why does it need to be either/or, right/wrong? Why can't the 2 beliefs exist side by side? Only then can there be a true dialogue. And maybe something larger than both has a chance to come to light.
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      Jun 21 2011: It's simple , this two are very opposite and both claim to be true which is absurd.
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    Jun 17 2011: forgive me, what exactly is theism? God is an idea,it cannot be anything absolute. ideas are infinite and polymorphic,so is God. What are we without ideas? what are we without God? God is a comforring idea when things are beyond your mortal control.
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      Jun 17 2011: This nominalism is interesting , why do you say that God is an idea ? (theism=a belief that at least one diety exist ; that is usuall understand by theism) , or you just say so ? I would like to see some reasons............
      And Preyen look what you said :"it cannot be anything absolute" , "ideas are infinite" , do you suggest that the infinite isn't absolute as long as anything can't be absolute ? It's incorrect conceptual .
      " ideas are infinite and polymorphic,so is God" "God is an idea" , may you be more clear and logic a bit ? What is God an idea ,or is like a sum of all ideas (it's a very big difference) ? ;if "so is God" therefore God is infinite, your words, but you also say that God is an idea , is an idea infinite ? but how? because you also said that nothing is absolute thus infinite ........and so on with your ideas going nowhere..................... Sorry your logic at this moment doesn't make too much sense , if you can be more clear perhaps .....Idk..........
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    Jun 29 2011: Does it have to be an either or question. For the most part I am an Atheist, in that I see most deities as outgrowths of their culture. Just as literature, art, architecture, whatever is nourish and influence by a cultural consciousness so to are the god, and goddess of the world. Growing up in a scientific era it is hard to retrofit any deity into my world view. This I suspect is why fundamentalism is on the rise, or at least seems to be. As the divine becomes understood through rational and science a select few opt out of changing with the times and instead chooses to regress to a child like understanding of what the world is, which is often fundamentalist in nature.

    But then there are problems with atheism, mainly how the universe was created. If energy and matter cannot be created where did it all come from. From a rational point of view there should only be the void. The idea from the void came my consciousness is a bit much for my mind to take. The idea that the laws of nature were not present at the time of the formation of nature also messes with my mind. By its own logic something outside of nature has to create nature. Whether this something is still around, can be called god, or would even know about the universe's being is another. question. And then where did this force come from.

    Either label you place yourself in these questions go unanswered, so I suspect neither one is correct. At it's core atheism tries to understand the world from a rational point of view. That is our cultural bias. Other culture's who lacked the Hubble telescope but endowed with centuries of oral stories came had different bias and formed different mythologies.
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      Jun 30 2011: Do you think that the divine can be understand through reason and science ? from your first paragraph seems to me that you think science and the idea of god somehow are in contradiction ; you know what I've saw here , all people who share their thoughts here have a view on religion which is obsoleted , they don't understand that religion is evolving too, seems to me that you are also from this category"nstead chooses to regress to a child like understanding of what the world is, which is often fundamentalist in nature." this happen , of course , but it isn't a necessity being religious to have an child like understanding of the world.(the all guys until now have talk for atheism somehow , I always keep the contrary point to can have a talk).
      Do you think it's needed to know the origin point ? why?
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        Jun 30 2011: Well I don't believe that the idea of god and science are in contradiction anymore than my computer is contradicting the idea of having a typewriter, record player, file cabinet and ham radio. Its just a different version of doing pretty much the same stuff. There are ups and downs with both ways. I would not say being religious is a childish way of looking at the world, (except for fundamentalist). If you deem objective truth as high priority I would recommend science. That said if you wish to be part of a rich tradition and have a reverence for the past perhaps a religion such as Hinduism, or Judaism will be better for you. This does not have to be a black white divide, as long as one has an open mind. Other people who have a desire to explore their spirituality, but are less bound by tradition may seek out Shamanism or Wicca. For me Atheism works, but there is no reason for anyone else to think like me.

        As for the origin point. Yes its a big deal. Aside from messing with my brain when I think about it, it means the tools we have for understanding the universe are not complete., no one has any monopoly on truth yet.
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          Jul 1 2011: yes , good.......
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    Jun 25 2011: Just a note...................Is there a difference between fact and belief ?
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      Jun 25 2011: It's to relative to say , you know, it is depending on too many............ , a belief can be a fact so can be no difference between between fact and belief bu also a belief can't be a fact (van be a myth for example but here is another problem if we think at myths being imaginary facts)..........Idk.What do you mean by fact , what do you mean by belief ............it's all too relative.
      What do you think?
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        Jun 25 2011: Eduard..................Fact......can be empirically proven
        Belief.................Subjective..cannot be empirically proven
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          Jun 26 2011: You didn't define the fact or the belief but it's good that you said what you mean partially by fact and belief, you just talk about some characteristics of facts and beliefs , and here is the problem a belief can be empirically proven (e.g. the existence of North Korea ) , I never was there but I can prove my belief that that country exist; on the other hand are many other facts (we all agree they are facts) which aren't until now empirically proven (e.g. many parts of human intellect ...but we know that the intellect as a whole is a fact , the a priori knowledge are also facts and they aren't and have no need to be proven empirically)............in other words I don't think that characteristics are what define the best what means a fact or a belief , it's something else , what do you think it is? and what is the importance of talking about fact and belief regarding what this conversation is about?
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        Jun 26 2011: Eduard......Right, I guess I should have said truth instead of fact.
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        Jun 27 2011: Helen,
        Jim explained good enough in my opinion all what I would say more is that also the fact and the beliefs can overlap .
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    Jun 24 2011: Atheism has a concrete rationale for explaining why things are the way they are as oppose to theism because.... I will give you an example, the ancient Egyptians had a belief that each night Ra, the sun god, would meet up with Osirris, the god of the under world , and fight Apep, the serpentine god.The defeat of Apep and the meeting with Osirris ensured the Egyptians that as night falls, they will be promised with the rising of the sun, Ra, the next morning. This was how the ancients Egyptians made sense of the succession of night and day. Today we know that it has to do the the earth's rotation around the sun that creates this cycle. We understand this through tangible evidence and not myths. These stories were made up because it was the only way they could explain things with the limited data they had. With today's scientific community we are evolving beyond that phase of rationale.
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      Jun 25 2011: That's right some ancient belief was myths , I would like to know about the actual moment which we live in , do you think that now theism is relying on that kind of myths ? and why do you think that atheism is more rational than theism now , I mean don't you think we should make a difference between science and (theism/)atheism?
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        Jun 25 2011: Like I said before the reason theism exist is because people can't explain or grasp what is happening. I know some people who belief that the reason that a person is sick is because of karma. this reason is very famous int he Buddhist religion. If you do a bad deed then you will be inflicted with bad consequences. But for those that happen to dodge the "laws" of karma, they just get pushed aside. This is what happens with theism and with people that belief in it. IF the results are in their favor then Hurray! if not then they just push it aside. This goes the same with prayer. In the law if probability half the time you get what you ask for and have the time you don't. So theism is very inconstant and atheism can explain those inconsistencies through science. So for your last question can you elaborate on that more? As of right now I can take the question many ways.
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          Jun 25 2011: The last my question :do you put the equal sign between science and atheism ?
          Yes that's a way of thinking in religion , I asked about theism but what you said could be applied to theism , a childish way in my opinion by the way .
          Do you think that theism by what it is can't use science for offering explanations as well as atheism? if yes , why? I mean there is that childish way of 'reasoning' in theism but it doesn't excludes the science , does it?what do you think?
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          Jun 27 2011: I've just put a question Jim but I agree with you , and I've heard of such experiments about prayers.
          At your question my answer is very simple : any sorts of ways , the whole science , you just said that theism and science are about different things, so a theist can use the science for offering explanations, why not? ; any mean as long as it's useful worth to be tried .
          What do you think from this perspective that science and theism are about different realms that is more rational theism or atheism ? which you would agree with? and why? (of course the arguments should be more of a philosophical nature).
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        Jun 27 2011: "Yes that's a way of thinking in religion , I asked about theism but what you said could be applied to theism , a childish way in my opinion by the way." A wise man once said that if you can't explain a concept or idea so that a little child can understand it then its not that great of an idea or you just don't get it. SO thanks, I'll take that as a compliment.I think there is confusion here. When I think of theism I think of a supernatural immortal being like a god or many other gods. "Do you think that theism by what it is can't use science for offering explanations as well as atheism?" Science is what disproves theism and it is also what shaken the foundation of theism. so no theism can't use science to offer explanations. That question is a contradiction in itself. "I mean there is that childish way of 'reasoning' in theism but it doesn't excludes the science , does it?" Yes in some way that is true to an extent. Both science and religion use one's intuition and imagination to get an idea or concept going. BUT science has something call experiments to prove its ideas or concepts. This is done over and over again until its ideas are considered facts. "do you put the equal sign between science and atheism?" Science is a tool. And those proven such as newtons laws and Einstein E= mc (squared) are concrete concepts. Atheism is just a terminology that identifies where you stand on a belief ( atheism or theism? ) so the answer is no, but I can say that their existence intertwines with each other. Science, which involves thinking rationally, came about because of one's skepticism for theism , the irrational. And without one's recognition of atheism, science would not have a stronghold in society.
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          Jun 27 2011: I don't make compliments , I just say something . You said yourself that when you think at theism you think at supernatural immortal beings like a god , and I agree, all what is build on it is religion , now you also said :"Science is what disproves theism and it is also what shaken the foundation of theism" I would like to know how science disprove the idea of a supernatural being=theism(not religion) because until now I never heard something like ........... At my the last question you talk about religion , I don't talk about religion but about theism .
          ".........but I can say that their existence intertwines with each other"..this send you back to my ask about how theism disprove science .............I would like to know........
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    Jun 22 2011: Eduard, I find it increasingly difficult to understand your English, but I will try to address what I think to have understood correctly:

    - I define Reason as the ability to exercise rationality. The validity of rational reasoning isn't dependent on personal attributes; that would be an ad hominem fallacy. So there is no need to differ between the reason of different sexes, races, hair colors or even species. There is no "Black Reason" or "Male Reason" or "Human Reason", only Reason.

    - If I invent a deity, the deity itself doesn't come into existence, only the image of it exists in my mind. At least we have no reason to think otherwise. Therefore, we necessarily talk only about the images of deities. I normally don't make that distinction, but when it comes to religion, people bring the worest arguments. And one (shockingly common!) bad argument reads "If you can think about God, he must exist!". So I talk about images of deities now, because the possible retort "If you can think about an image, the image must exist!" is a statement that I can actually agree on.

    - The claim "the non-theism is worse than anti-theism , it excludes the existence of theism" makes no sense with my vocabulary. My first association is an argument similar to the one above though. Is that what you were intending to say? If not, can you phrase that statement differently?
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      Jun 22 2011: Yes , you know I like when someone correct me about my English ;), do it hard if you want and feel well to do it.
      In my conception we can't have the image of a deity in mind , a diety is more something abstract , it's more correct to say:""If you can think about god, the idea of god must exist!" , this is about ideas , we don't have images, we have ideas (which are abstract) (, I can use the expresion ' image of God' for example but only as a metaphor) therefore it's not a necessity to talk about images, I think it's more correct to talk about dieties like about the numbers or any abstract idea.
      "I define Reason as the ability to exercise rationality" it would seems that without reason we can exercise the rationality if the reason is just 'the ability', the reason is more than an ability is a function/capacity of human mind ; the reason is something what cause the rationality ..................in rest I agree with it .
      The atheism is something what excludes the existence of theism , I think you agree with that ; the anti-theism is something against theism but do not excludes the existence of theism ; in this terms the non-theism=atheism is worse than anti-theism (because the non-theism excludes the existence of theism), how is my English now? I hope is better.............Idk.
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        Jun 22 2011: Oh, I don't want to be impolite :) But if you want to be corrected, I'll try to keep an eye on it. Yes, your English is much better now, thanks!

        Maybe I translated that too directly from German, where the term "Gottesbild" can either mean a concrete image or a collection of thoughts and feelings. I think it's important though to include the feelings and not only focus on the thoughts. If your definition of "idea" can include the feelings as well, then that is what I mean.

        Yes, I think that reason is the ability, and rationality is the exercise. And since the only proof for an ability is action, I try to avoid talking about the ability altogether. In contrast to abilities, actions can be observed and evaluated.

        What do you mean by "excluding the existence of theism"? I define theism as the "active belief in one or more specific personal deities." And I have never met a single person who had claimed that theists wouldn't exist. Also, anti-theism is a subgroup of non-theism, so it can't be better. And finally, by what criteria would you judge the goodness?
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          Jun 23 2011: I wanna be corrected ;) thank you.
          non-theism = negation of theism (if theism say 'exist' , non-theism would say 'non-exist'=inexistent, it doesn't accept theism) while anti-theism is only a contrary 'idea' to theism ,it accept theism to can be contrary to it, what do you think it's worse: something which accept theism and offer a contrary position or something which from the beginning excludes theism ? (the criteria after I judge the goodness of these from above is a 'theistic one' but if I would judge in terms of atheism it would be an atheistic one). This two atheism and theism excludes each other , they are like two numbers +1(theism , it is positive) -1 (atheism, non-theism , -theism), or maybe better is to say +infinite and -infinite.
          I didn't give a definition of idea , I've just said that we have the idea of god, would be good to know why? and that it's more proper to think at deities as like ideas (abstract ideas) but yes ,even though I don't like it at all , 'the idea(=deity)' can include feelings as well .
          Why do you think the reason is an ability ? In my opinion it is a function ,it is a capacity of human beings not an ability; the ability to exercise the rationality , the ability to think rational eventually, is created by the reason , isn't it ? I mean, how could we have this ability if we don't have the reason first ? , otherwise said , an ability is something which must have a support (for example the support at boxers is their body , the ability is to spar, to box) I think rather the reason is this support related to which we can think rationally, we can exercise the rationality.
          How do you think now if we agree with what I said about about the reason an rationality and about the theism and atheism as being two which excludes each other , if not I would like to know why, about the theism and atheism related to rationality, in other words what means to be rational theist or a rational atheist?
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    Jun 20 2011: Most stick with it, but theism tends to be something that many find error in and become atheists.

    Atheism isn't usually a phase.

    There are so many arguments that nullify theisms, it's ridiculous.

    My question for theists is this; Religion began as an irrational method of explaining the world. If we had never irrationally attempted to explain the world, would theism still exist as strongly as it does today?


    Theism has gradually changed over time to adapt to the new world where people can actually disprove it through modern science, it's become a sad effort to justify something that many are emotionally attached to and refuse to let go of.
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      Jun 21 2011: Hey bring some arguments for atheism to can have a talk , that is this conversation about.
      Your question rest upon an unproven affirmation , prove it first time and after it put the question because I disagree with you for example.
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        Jun 23 2011: So, then my question is: Why did people turn to theism? Is there any correlation between this choice and the lack of information available to early civilization?
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          Jun 23 2011: ok , but lack of information in what ? scientific lack of information? or lack of information in the field of theism? I think you talk about the first, then why do you think the science is against theism ? because it isn't in my opinion only because it can't be .
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        Jun 24 2011: Answer my question. It should be known that there was a serious lack of information during the early days of man, when theism was created.

        Science is against atheism because science is truth, literally science can explain everything. If it can't be explained now, it will be in the future.
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          Jun 25 2011: That's right there was a serious lack of scientific information when theism was 'created' , but my question was somehow an answer , it could be corelations between the lack of scientific informations and theism at that time, it could not be, but it is not important because theism was about and is about what science can't explain (I think you heard of methaphisics which is only speculations but is the only one branch of 'science' (it isn't science) which try to give rational answers about this kind of things....) , literally the science can't explain neither now nor in the future everything on the contrary (the above example is only one) , why do you think that it could ?
          Why do you think that science is against atheism being truth ?
  • Jun 20 2011: atheism in past:
    http://www.al-islam.org/mufaddal/

    "While I was absorbed in such thoughts, there arrived Ibn Abi Al Auja, an atheistic pagan and took his seat within my hearing distance. A comrade of his followed him and sat attentive to him."
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      Jun 20 2011: what do you try to say with that?
      • Jun 21 2011: there is some proofs for existing God.
        also that book is not a usual book.
        that book is a message from God about atheism.
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          Jun 21 2011: share that proofs if you want to
      • Jun 22 2011: it say many facts exist in nature that shows Indeed there is an intelligence behind the nature.
        those facts can not be explained by evolution or such theories.
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          Jun 22 2011: (the facts) such like............?
      • Jun 24 2011: it is not so long.
        better to have a look.
        many facts in nature like cheats of animals and birds in fights.
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      Jun 18 2011: I understand and my hope is here to be a logical, rational conversations regardless of my beliefs (I said it and downwards ) and more than that I didn't open this conversation for changing someone ok?(as you suggested), I'm not interesting in that , all what I'm interesting in are the arguments and how they support or not one of this two.But for having a conversation if you will argue for theism for example, I'll argue for atheism and the reverse , it's all about arguments , if you wanna continue to talk here you are welcome.
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        Jun 18 2011: Where did I state that you opened this conversation for changing someone? You will find that the only person here accusing you of that is - you. And I won't take any responsibility for that :)

        I will neither argue for atheism nor for theism, only for rationality. So if you want to hear arguments for rational theism, I can help. And if you want to hear arguments for rational atheism, I can help, too. They are both exactly the same anyway except for the subjective decision whether to believe in a specific deity or not. In fact, every theist is an atheist regarding most deities that have ever been thought of, so the similarities between those two outweigh their differences by far.

        And this is a perspective that puts the meaning of the questions you asked to the test. For example, your first question asks "Why the atheism is a better way of explaining what is supposed to be explained by theism?" This is a strange question to me since neither theism nor atheism have to provide any explanations at all. And if they do, these are not bound to theism or atheism. You can be a theist an be perfectly able to cope with evolution, and you can be an atheist and totally cling to esotericism.

        As I pointed out before: The defining characteristic for me is not theism/atheism, but rationality/irrationality.
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          Jun 18 2011: Sorry about 'changing someone" , I've had this impression.
          Now , when I say an argument for atheism/theism I say something rational , by it's 'nature' the argument is rational , you don't have to argue about rationality (the rationality have no need of arguments) here because arguing is something rational , you can argue about theism or atheism or both of them .
          Why do you think that the theism and atheism are the same except for the subjective decision whether to believe in a specific deity or not?
          If the theism and atheism have not to provide any explanations , what are they about then ? and if they don't provide explanations , how can exist 'rational theism' , I mean in what stays the rationality of this two if not in their proposed explanations ?
          Ok , let's see what is more rational : theism or atheism .
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        Jun 18 2011: No prob :) I think we differ strongly on the definition of "rationality". If someone says "Blacks are inferior because my Dad said so", then to me this is not a rational argument, no matter how strongly the racist believes in its validity. Even *if* Blacks should be inferior, this wouldn't save the argument. It would stay an argumentum ad verecundiam, an appeal to authority - and that is a logical fallacy.

        Now fallacies can serve emotional interests quite well, and some people would call them therefore "rational", because to them, "rational" means "the optimal way to achieve a goal". However, to me rationality is the exercise of reason, and this includes not committing fallacies. According to this definitions, arguing is by no means necessarily rational. Every appliance of a logical fallacy is a striking example of irrationality, and even one such step alone inevitably renders the complete reasoning irrational.

        *Rational* Atheism and *Rational* Theism are the same except for the subjective decision whether to believe in a specific deity or not. Irrational versions of them are not.

        Let me put it this way: There are people with blond hair and those with brown hair. But there are neither "blond explanations" nor "brunette explanations". Of course these persons can provide explanations, but not in their function as bearers of a specific hair color. And while there can be certainly be "rational blondes", there is no "blond rationality". Except for in the weird mind of a "hairist", of course. But that would be an irrational ideology again, just as if a racist proposed "Black Rationality" and "White Rationality", or a sexist talking about "Male Rationality" and "Female Rationality".

        Of course there is a difference in the sense that those are mostly biological traits that you hardly choose, while the other is an opinion. But from a rational viewpoint, the difference is irrelevant. A religiously motivated fallacy is no better than a political or pseudo-scientifical one.
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          Jun 18 2011: In my opinion rational = according to human reason , the products of reason., what I said (to be more clear) is that an argument can't be irrational , it would stop to be and argument in that moment , I don't recognize that as an argument . Logical fallacies and anything like as long as they aren't rational they aren't arguments ; I said it for this conversation to make sense , ok?
          I see what you mean but I disagree with it , look why : theism and atheism aren't like the black/blond hair ,how you put that is totally inadequete , theism and atheism are by their nature ideas (and maybe more than that but is not important it now). Our minds works with the ideas , the explanations are the products of mind , the products of the process of reasoning therefore the explanations are the ideas after the process of reasoning having place (if you don't agree with my summary sayings, I wait your arguments ). Now let's look at the concequences : the theism/atheism are ideas , different ideas , after the process of thinking /reasoning it's logic to get different explanations , so we get 'theist' and 'atheist' explanations................. that's so simple.
          What means 'are the same' (excepting that of course) ? Define a bit theism and atheism if you want to.
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        Jun 18 2011: Dammit! I deleted my original post *facepalm* Sorry for messing up the thread sequence, here it is again. It comes before Eduard Ghiurs' "I understand...":



        I don't believe in such dialogues. Let me illustrate this point by taking a political ideology as an example instead of a religious one. And I deliberately choose a widely disregarded ideology: Racism.

        Now let's say someone comes up to me and makes racist claims. My first reaction won't be to refute him, to insult him or even to sue him. Instead, I will ask myself "What drives this person?" If I see any indications that he may be open for a worldview without racism, I might engage in a discussion. However, if he appears to be a fanatic who will probably stick with his opinions regardless of any facts and arguments, what's the use of anything but ignoring him? It can be fun to annoy him or to train one's rhetorical abilities, but in regards to content the debate is already resolved.

        So only when I see an acceptable chance that the other person, or at least a listener, may not be a die-hard racist, I will see any point in a dialogue. But it won't be a dialogue between an racist and an non-racist. It will be a dialogue between a Rationalist and an Irrationalist.

        If the other person actually values Truth over Happiness when it comes to the crunch, then I will be able to illuminate some logical fallacies to him. And he will be prepared to disregard *any* fallacious ideology, be it religious or political or pseudo-scientifical. On the other side, if he *wants* to stay an Irrationalist, if he begins with the emotional satisfying conclusion and then only looks for facts that confirm his prejudice, then what *could* I do or say to change him? Thinking scientifically consistently is demanding, you need a high strength of character and clarity of thought. So if someone doesn't meet these criteria, why try to make him something that he cannot and/or does not want to be?

        *That* would be deluded, wouldn't it?
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        Jun 18 2011: An argument is a statement that is used to justify or refute a claim. This statement can be fallacious, and in fact it most often is. But that's semantics; if you know what I mean, it's fine.

        It is irrelevant that they are ideas, just as it is irrelevant that the hair color is a biological trait. The inadequacy does not lie in the comparison, but in the assumption that these specific ideas were more relevant than the hair color - from a rational point of view. From an irrational point of view like "Hairism", one can of course assume that the validity of an argument depends on the speaker's hair color. But it is not logical to get to different explanations because of irrelevant aspects, provided one feels bound to Rationalism. That automatically prohibits depending on irrelevant aspects, since any reasoning from that would be a Non Sequitur, a fallacy.

        I think you are mixing up rational conclusions on the one side and irrational atheist and/or irrational theist conclusions on the other side. Of course irrational atheist and irrational theist conclusions can be different, but they are both equally invalid in the end. And that is what matters to me as a Rationalist. Hence I repeatedly point out that one must accept this primacy of Rationality. Because from an irrational view, it may be of cosmical importance *which* irrational ideology you follow. One may even incite a bloody civil war over minor aspects like the question whether a sacred device was created in nine days or ten days. But from a rational viewpoint, this is ridiculously irrelevant. You cannot even determine who is "wronger", so even in relative terms it doesn't make a meaningful difference which false ideology one adheres.

        Rationalists agree on the valid arguments regarding atheism and theism, except possibly which subjective decision they make for themselves. So a rational theist and atheist will basically bring forth the same point; they'll just differ in the decision the make for themselves.
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          Jun 19 2011: About arguments :we will agree only with the rational ones , and that's the most important(if an argument is used to justify or to refute a claim , can it be irrational?).
          Let's see if I understand correct : you said that - is inadequate to make a difference between ideas ("......in the assumption that these specific ideas were more relevant than the hair color ")
          - "irrational atheist and irrational theist conclusions can be different, but they are both equally invalid in the end. " and this 'differences'/different conclusions are irrelevant ("..........because of irrelevant aspects'')
          - theist and atheist rationalists will agree on the valid(rational) arguments therefore they will bring the same point forth ;the differences between them are only subjectives. Have I understand correct? If not correct me , if yes I will resume it in one phrase : There is no difference between arguments as long as they are rational , that is to say all rational arguments are the same , of that I asked you do define what you understand by 'the same'.
          Look what I understand for ideas (of this we are talking now) :two ideas are the same if they both have the same content and the same meaning . So what you said it's reduced to : all rational ideas are the same only because they are rational, why's that? because the fact that two ideas are rational don't give me any support for saying that they are the same=they have the same content and the same meaning . The rationality of something doesn't lie in his content or meaning but rather in his continuity, consistency between the content and the meaning ..........What you said doesn't make too much sense (if that is what you meant to say) .
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        Jun 19 2011: Imagine it as a mathematical equation: Of course not all equations are identical, but that's not the point. If *one* specific equation is solved according to math as we know it, *every* person will get the same result, no matter of his taste, hair color etc. So the solutions of all rational persons for *this* equation will be the same. And the solutions for other equations, too. But that doesn't mean that all the equations themselves must be same.

        Now of course the matter is a bit more complex in reality, because we have to gather data before coming to conclusions, and one can differ on this data. But assuming one shares the same data, one has no choice in the conclusions to take under rationality. So there are basically three points to debate:
        - Whether one agrees on the data
        - Whether both person's conclusions are rational
        - Which subjective decision to make

        For example, say we both examine the question whether we should have the death penalty. First we have to gather and agree on the relevant data: frequency of cases, errors of justice, costs of trials etc. Then we have to interpret the data: Are there effects of deterrence? Is it cheaper than life long imprisonment? What is the supposed percentage of executed innocents? But even if we agree on all of this, we may still come to the opposite decisions: Do I believe that the financial costs should play a decisive role? Do you believe that collateral damage are acceptable for the greater good?

        This is the subjective decision. No amount of data can tell us which choice to make. And these decisions can be neither rationally right nor rationally wrong since they are not empirical-logical in nature. They can at best be looked at in relation to other subjective decisions to see whether there are contradictions to them, but that doesn't change the fact that the whole of the decisions stay subjective.
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          Jun 19 2011: Of course not the all equations are the same , not that I wanted to say but that the datas seems at you to be the same and in the atheism and in theism , this don't happen ; maybe this two have a common ground but also this two have a lot of different ideas (let's take them as two separate sets of ideas), and of course the rational results are sometimes different , that was about my question:" Why the atheism is a better way of explaining what is supposed to be explained by theism ?", the different datas/ideas are important in this conversation.
          And for the accuracy of arguments I agree we should eliminate the subjective 'datas'.
          If you have now arguments for atheism or theism ................
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        Jun 20 2011: No, the data is not necessarily different, and even the conclusions aren't - unless one applies erroneous reasoning like in the Münchhausen Trilemma: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnchhausen_Trilemma . Sure, if the racist puts the conclusion at the beginning (like "Blacks are inferior"), then he will come to quite different "explanations" of social, political and economic differences between black individuals, groups, societies and different-colored ones than an open-minded scientist without racist prejudices. But since the racist started with a dogma, his whole reasoning is irrational anyway.

        If you eliminate the subjectivity from the discussion (quite a big thing!), then rational atheism is the way, because in contrast to rational theism it doesn't require an act: While you have to actively believe in something, this disbelief is passive. You never had to decide to not believe in Quetzalcoatl, instead you were necessarily a disbeliever long before you even encountered his name for the first time. Similarly, you have always been an atheist regarding all the gods from which you have never heard at this point in your life.

        But I better repeat what I said earlier, just to put this in the right context: Note that there are others forms of disbelief too, as some people hold the active belief that there are no gods. And even if one is a passive disbeliever regarding gods, that doesn't mean that one is so for rational reasons or that one applies rationality in other fields - remember the atheist esoteric. So the mere information whether one is an atheist doesn't say anything about the rationality of that person. And eliminating the subjectivity works only for an intellectual reflection on that matter. In reality, it is this subjectivity that is most important when it comes to personal convictions - not the non-subjective answer.

        The non-subjective answer is important in science, but science can by necessity not relieve one of making the subjective decisions.
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          Jun 20 2011: Ok , I understand what you said but I don't see the link between datas/ informations and thinking rationally , you seem to think that only because two persons , one atheist and one theist think rationally , they both will use the same datas/informations , why ? I doesn't happen (look only the main different ideas :God exist =theism , God doesn't exist =atheism , a theist for example will never accept "God doesn't exist'' in his set of ideas believed , even though the theist can use it in arguments as a presumption , the principle of contradiction) , that the Münchhausen Trilemma it's about the process of reasoning not about the informations/datas but about how they are used ; you don't prove by that that the information/datas are the same only because that trilemma isn't about that (prove the contrary........).
          What you said me about the racist is that he confuse the arguments with the conclusion and so his process of reasoning is messed up but it doesn't say at all that the datas/informations used by him are the same with the datas/informations used by a non-racist for example.
          So why do you think that specific to us now , between atheism and theism is no difference in terms of ideas?
          You say that because of the passivity of atheism , it doesn't require an act of making the decision of believing, the atheism is more rational then theism (this is your argument , correct me if I'm wrong , English isn't my native language) , my simple question is : What lays the rationality of something in : in the process of thinking or in the passivity of mind ?
          How the idea that 'I was' an atheist regarding the all gods from which I've never heard makes the atheism more rational ?
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        Jun 20 2011: "a theist for example will never accept "God doesn't exist'' in his set of ideas believed"

        An atheist won't either - as long as he is rational. Only irrational atheists claim that gods don't exist. Hence my extreme emphasis on the difference between rationalists to irrationalists and atheists to theists. Rationalists actually do agree on the same things, as long as it doesn't come to the subjective decisions. If they don't, then the reason lies in different knowledge about the data they use. That's the kind of discussions you have in hard science. But once the data is clear, they *must* come to the same conclusions. Just as in math. Otherwise, they would apply to fallacies.

        It doesn't matter how much the racist is right. If he has just one fallacy in his reasoning, you can nevertheless scrap the whole of it. Just tell him to return when he has overcome the fallacy. If that is possible, search for the next fallacy. If it is not possible, he is refuted. (Of course you should limit his number of tries in advance so that he won't waste your time forever by coming up with new fallacies every time.)

        Once again: I talk about rational atheism and rational theism. Irrational atheism and irrational theism can be different to each other and within themselves, but since they are all equally irrational (=wrong), I don't view these differences as relevant. Being wrong in a different way doesn't make any of them better or worse. Except perhaps on a subjective level if one has varying sympathies for particular fallacies ;)
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          Jun 20 2011: I should ask you from the beginning , what do you mean by irrational atheist and irrational theist? (it's a problem of semantics here and I don't wanna talk for nothing and neither you I think), it's senseless to argue without knowing it.
          Look what I understand by rational theist : a man who believe that God exist and see 'rationally'(/think) that his belief is according to human reason.An atheist is the person who believe that God doesn't exist and see 'rationally'(/think) that his belief is according to human reason.
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        Jun 20 2011: Semantics are always the core of the matter, since they reflect the underlying concepts, premises and arguments. So it is perfectly valid and important to ask for definitions. I'll provide very lenient ones:

        Theist: A person who actively believes in one or more specific personal deities.
        Atheist: A person who actively or passively disbelieves in one or more specific personal deities.

        These definitions have very far-reaching implications:
        1.) The necessary attributes for deities are not defined. History shows that deities don't have to be omniscient, omnipotent, immortal and so on. The only common ground is that deities are personal entities with superhuman powers of some sort. Pantheists question even this criterion, but if we give it up the terms "god" and "theism" lose any meaning.
        2.) Before talking about deities, one has to define which deities. Everyone is an atheist towards over 99% of deities ever thought of. Assuming that a Christian or Abrahamitic version is the only one worthy to be spoken of anyway is a massively prejudiced position.
        3.) A person can believe in the existence of a deity without drawing any consequences from it. Just as one can believe in the existence of Plato, Kim Jong-Il or Aliens without letting that having any effect on the own life. (Penn Jillette in contrast uses a much stricter term. He considers all persons who wouldn't kill their children for their god if they think it commands it to be atheists. He defines "believe" not as "thinking it exists", but as "being loyal to it".)
        4.) An atheist doesn't have to be an anti-theist. Passive disbelief is sufficient, it doesn't have to be the active (and irrational) belief in nonexistence.
        5.) Finally, and this is the catch: "Believe" does not equal "Believe in the existence". One can hold a belief without claiming it to be an objective fact. This is extremely rare, just as true Rationalists are extremely rare, but such people exist, and they are perfectly right in making this distinction.
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          Jun 21 2011: Hey , man what are you trying to do here? I asked you to answer at a simple question about what you put forward , what link is there between that definitions and what I asked you ? I asked you to answer at what means in your opinion a rational atheist and what you are doing is just to start to tell me what is an atheist ( very interesting what to say?) and "The necessary attributes for deities are not defined. History shows........." what's that ? if there is one link why should I care of it ? if you wanna have a rational talk here don't start with an idea and talk about another , keep your point until the end, ok? (maybe in your mind you have consictency in what you think , Idk , but here it's a mess in your talks) I refuse to try to connect the dots , if you wanna continue talk here be more rational in presenting your ideas.
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        Jun 21 2011: What I am trying to do here is to explain Rationality. I say it is a specific method to achieve consistent, falsifiable knowledge. You on the other side define it as the conviction that the own beliefs are perfectly reasonable. So when serial killer Herbert Mullin hung up the intestines of Mary Guilfoyle on a tree in 1972 in his endeavor to protect California from earthquakes, this was absolutely rational according to you, since he firmly believed that his actions were reasonable! Eduard, the mental mess lies withing your own definitions. And when you use *your* definitions on *my* arguments, they become a mess, too. As I said: One irrational element is enough to render the entire reasoning irrational.

        The five points I mentioned refer to statements of yours. You talk about "God", which is the (quite presumptuous) name of the various Christian god images. When exactly did we agree that this were the only deity worthy to talk about? You say atheists are people who claim that there were no "God". Why do you equate atheism with anti-theism? You state theists claim the existence of "God". Where did you provide evidence that this were necessary for belief?

        As long as you hold the viewpoint that the mere faith in the reasonability of the own beliefs were the essence of Rationality - instead of just a fallacious (!) Appeal to Emotion - my very concept of Rationality is completely inaccessible to you.
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          Jun 22 2011: Sorry you misinterpret me, you didn't understand what I said , I quote me again "a man who believe that God exist and see 'rationally'(/think) that his belief is according to human reason" , be carefull "I said according to human reason and this don't mean according with the subject's reason (e.g.Herbert Mullin) but with the human reason as whole.
          I didn't give than two definitions and I asked you to define what you understand by rational atheist but you didn't done it, share that what I said is irrational , you are free to talk but talk on the subject.
          I didn't applied my definitions on anything I just try to see what you mean but I can't do anything else than to guess because you don't answer at my questions.
          God , under the name of God I understand one or more dieties even though the noun is at singular it is an abstract conception in my opinion and I wanna treat it so; for the accuracy of talk I think is better to use only at singular this noun , we talk here about theism (which start with only one God) and atheism.
          'No God'; as much as I know English this 'no' means in this context from no one to no many if there is no one how could be more then? , and yes I equate atheism with anti-theism for the simple reason that the atheism claim the negation of theism but when I asked you to say how passively disbelief is rational again you didn't answer.
          "You state theists claim the existence of "God"" Yes I did and I do because that means theism , it's not need to provide evidence for the necessity of belief because right/even it is theism applied to a person.
          About your last paragraph I said that you misinterpret me , you should know it from other my paragraphs !!!!!!
          ".........Rationality. I say it is a specific method to achieve consistent, falsifiable knowledge." It isn't a method man , it is a part of our intellect . It isn't a method because the methods can be rational or irrational the rationality can be only 'rational' and
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          Jun 22 2011: and more than that the rationality is the reason applied according to me , the reason can be a method , it don't have patterns , the reason creates 'the rational methods'........
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        Jun 22 2011: There is no "human reason". Rationality is the same for every rational being. That's it's very point! It isn't dependent of majorities or even species. Even if a whole group, organization or society is irrational, this superiority numbers means nothing. A large bunch of university professors applying fallacies are inferior to a single little child with sound reasoning. It could even be an intelligent animal or extraterrestrial life form, it wouldn't change a thing. Or a Theist and an Atheist, for that matter.

        Ignoring that there are millions of images of deities does not serve accuracy, on the contrary. So this can't be the true reason why you insist on talking only about the Christian god. From my experience I know that monotheists usually have a problem with even acknowledging the existence of other god images since that alone already questions the supposed uniqueness of their own. Therefore I don't make compromises when it comes to this. After all, I have no reason to go easy on fallacies, on the contrary: I aim at finding them as fast as possible. And when I've found one, why should I oversee it in order to search for another? As I said before: One fallacy renders the entire reasoning irrational.

        The negation of something is not necessarily the exact opposite of it, no. The negation of A is only Non-A, not Z. So it might be Z, but it can also be B, C, D etc. This is exactly the mistake that monotheists make when they refuse to acknowledge other god images. It would expose their false dilemma.

        Eduard, I have answered all your questions, but you will never understand these answers as long as you don't apply my own definitions, which are very different from yours. Convictions like "All atheists claim that there are no gods!" already rule out what I call Rational Atheism, since that claim is irrational. So you need to give up definitions which exclude rational positions if you want to understand rational positions.
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          Jun 22 2011: What rational position : there is no human reason (human reason=the reason that people can have, this is about 'human') ? I don't accept only because you say so , why do you say so? , and let me say you without no claim of Idk what, the rationality (the rationality according to my understanding depends on the researched subject which is made according to human reason I mean it is in relation with the object studied rationally ) isn't the same with the reason , the reason perhaps is the same at the all people (the same in regard of it's nature).
          And again Ray , sorry but again you misinterpret me (perhaps it is and my fault , I should be more clear, and I also recommend you to be so , you don't know what I know and how I understand some things and I also don't know anything from those about you) 'human reason'' as I said is the same at the all people , when something is according with the human reason , it is according not necessarily with the majority , it's not about numbers , is about a objective state of reason (as it is by it's nature) .
          Look now :"Ignoring that there are millions of images of deities does not serve accuracy, on the contrary." I didn't talk about images of dieties but about dieties , and it serves for accuracy in this context (to be a theist it's only need to believe in one God) why to not start with what's more simple? this doesn't offer accuracy?
          Go hard on fallacies , go as hard as you can , but be careful to be fallacies .
          Yes you are somehow right about it "The negation of something is not necessarily the exact opposite of it, no......." only that the non-A can't be Z, B, C ......anything because that are also positives (they aren't non-Z......) ; the non-A is worse than Z B C , it excludes the A , it is an extreme , and it is over Z, B ,C ; letting it for a moment out and coming to theism /atheism , the non-theism is worse than anti-theism , it excludes the existence of theism..............I've said all these because of this
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          Jun 22 2011: of this:"An atheist doesn't have to be an anti-theist." are your sayings , he is worse , and at the extremes is the problem of rationality .
          "All atheists claim that there are no gods!" why is it irrational ? passively disbelief ? I didn't get that..............
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    Jun 17 2011: Theism attributes to observable phenomena causation that can not be tested, verified or even observed. As such, it is off limits to criticism from a logical, intellectual perspective. Once stated as truth, it is regarded as irrefutable, even if shown to be factually inaccurate. Atheism posits that there is no advantage to such an attribution and that even in the absence of empirical information, we are more capable of explaining natural phenomena and ultimately, preparing in advance and predicting what will happen to us. The concept of "some things being beyond science" is the last bastion of superstition of theism.

    What science can not measure is the unmeasurable, such as "Why am I here?" or "What is the meaning of life?", However, from a universal perspective (e.g. "objective"), even those questions actually do have answers that can be stated in scientific, non-theistic terms. Those questions are much like the chicken versus the egg; the egg, of course, which existed in as the means of incubating embronyic life in insects, for example, hundreds of millions of years before birds (including chickens).

    Theism is humanity's product to resolve our inherent penchant to see patterns and create symbols and analogies. It is the best we have been able to come up with to solve problems that we did not have sufficient tools to solve. Deities were the cause of vulcanism, famine, eclipses, death, floods, plagues, what-have-you. Today, theism dwells in the shadows and persists only in those areas where science has not penetrated common lay-knowledge.

    All the arguments for theism rest on the basic premise that nature could not alone be responsible for the complexity and diversity of life and natural phenomena as we experience it. It's the argument from ignorance. I have never once heard a compelling argument that a god (or gods), with intention, desire, and will (an entity with powers of agency) has to exist. Only romantic notions support such a concept.
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      Jun 18 2011: Hi Brian :
      Please explain more detailed what you wanted to say : "even if shown to be factually inaccurate" what do you mean by inaccurate , illogical? but also you said that "Theism attributes to observable phenomena causation that can not be tested, verified or even observed." , how can they be inaccurate then ? (of course if inaccurate means something illogical).
      Brian what you said in the second paragraph is impossible logically , look : "What science can not measure is the unmeasurable, such as "Why am I here?" or "What is the meaning of life?", However, from a universal perspective (e.g. "objective"), even those questions actually do have answers that can be stated in scientific, non-theistic terms" first of all what science can not measure is the unmeasurable for us , we here talk about theism/atheism , ok? that universal perspective you talk about is made up scientifically I guess but if the science can't measure the unmeasurable as you said you can't say without to contradict yourself that that universal perspective which goes back eventually to science can be stated in scientific.
      And by the way, the egg , how it appeared?
      You seems to think that science is against theism , why ? and also you suppose that the atheism is scientifically backed , why ?
      Without any ............... you didn't hear to many arguments (about your last paragraph).
      Thank you for your post and it is still opened.
  • Jun 17 2011: Well, in my understanding the theist is the one making a positive claim - that god exists - so therefore the burden of proof rests upon the theist to provide evidence for the existence of god. Different religions have different definitions for what god means, and the number of deities in a religion also differ, but nonetheless the onus is on the theist to prove, or at least provide some form of positive evidence, which would lead one to believe that god is real.

    As an atheist, I have looked at the world objectively and have concluded that if a person uses purely scientific reasoning then the need for a god, or anything supernatural for that matter, to explain the events of the world is nonexistent. The vast majority of everyday occurrences have some form of scientific explanation, and even when there is no clear explanation available that is not a good reason to revert to the "god hypothesis".
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      Jun 17 2011: Good, I agree with it : the theist have to provide evidence for the existence of God . It's sure that the theist can't prove rationally the existence of God but nor the atheists can prove the reverse (even though the burden of proof rest upon theists).............somehow it's a circle (in arguments) here.
      But I'm curious what kind of evidence do you think the theists should use ?Do you think if someone will prove rationally that God exist we will accept the idea of God rationally ?
      Again I also agree that it's not need to appeal to God in order to explain the everyday occurrences and everything else, but the origins (of life , of the universe ....... ) , without a God how do we explain it (this is exatcly at what the science is mute)? why? what do you think?
      Do you think the evidences are compulsorily to be known by us for accepting the idea of God, I mean do you think that when we talk about God we should have the same expectations like we have for a tea pot to be on the Mars, scientifically speaking ? in other words do you think that a tea pot with God is the same in terms of finding evidence of their existence ? (I put this question because everyone seems to think so) , if yes why?





      (you made some very good points here in my opinion.................. if you would be a theist I'll argue for the atheism ).