Author Topic: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"  (Read 5644 times)

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Offline siehjin

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looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« on: October 26, 2010, 11:47:50 PM »
hullo everyone,  :)

i stumbled upon this article today: http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/687-the-folly-of-atheism.

to make myself clear,
1. i may not agree with everything this writer says.
2. i am not an expert in cosmology, abiogenesis, or evolution (which are all disputed by this guy).
3. i do not plan to argue for or defend what this writer says.

i'm just curious to see how atheists would respond to the 6 points that he makes in his article, and i've noticed that there are many impressively intelligent and knowledgable atheists on this forum, so i thought i'd pick your brains.

for your convenience, i copy and paste his 6 points here:

==============================
1. In defiance of one of the most elementary principles of logic, the atheist suggests that “something” (e.g., the Universe) came from “nothing;” that zero plus zero equals something greater than zero.

Victor Stenger, an atheistic professor at the University of Hawaii, admits that “everyday experience and common sense” supports the concept that something cannot come from nothing. Nevertheless, he suggests that “common sense is often wrong, and our normal experiences are but a tiny fraction of reality” (26-27). If you want to be an atheist, you must put your “common sense” on the shelf!

2. Atheists contend that the entire Universe, estimated to be 20 billion light years across (the distance light could travel in 20 billion years at the rate of 186,000 miles per second) accidentally derived from a submicroscopic particle of matter. As one writer expresses it: “Astonishingly, scientists now calculate that everything in this vast universe grew out of a region many billions of times smaller than a single proton, one of the atom’s basic particles” (Gore, 705). This is totally nonsensical.

3. Atheism contends that the marvelously ordered Universe, designated as “Cosmos” by the Greeks because of its intricate design, is merely the result of an ancient explosion (the Big Bang). Does a contractor pile lumber, brick, wire, pipe, etc., on a building site, blast it with dynamite, and expect a fine dwelling to result? Is that the way atheists build their houses? To so argue is to reveal a truly “senseless heart” (cf. Rom. 1:21).

4. In spite of millions of examples in nature, which suggest that biological life can only derive from a living source, atheists believe that billions of years ago, life was accidentally generated from inorganic materials. Common sense and experimentation argue otherwise, but skeptics are willing to abandon logic and opt for the myth of “spontaneous generation,” because the only other alternative is “special creation.” To atheists that simply is not a possibility. Why? Because the fool, for emotional reasons, has already decided: “There is no God.”

5. Atheists believe that blind, unintelligent forces of nature, via genetic mutations and the process of natural selection, produced the myriads of delightful creatures that inhabit Earth’s environment. The skeptic can see that a simple pair of pliers, with only four components, must have been designed by an intelligent being, yet he argues that the human body, with its 100 trillion constituent elements (cells), organized into ten magnificent systems, is merely the result of a marriage between Mother Nature and Father Time. How very stupid such ideology is!

6. Atheists believe that from a tiny speck of inorganic, self-created matter, human consciousness and moral sensitivity evolved. That is utterly ludicrous; can a rock decide to “think”? Can a proton “feel” guilt? The notion that morality has developed merely as a survival factor (cf. Hayes, 174), is asinine in the extreme. Plants have survived; do they possess a moral code? And what if one decides that he doesn’t care about the “survival” principle? Can he do any “wrong”?
==============================

thank you in advance for your responses and your input.  :D
1. if God does not exist: we are a meaningless cosmic accident.
2. if God exists, but is Evil: we are screwed.
3. but if God exists, and is Good: we have meaning, purpose, and hope.

Offline subtleinspiration

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2010, 01:12:37 AM »
Quote
1. In defiance of one of the most elementary principles of logic, the atheist suggests that “something” (e.g., the Universe) came from “nothing;” that zero plus zero equals something greater than zero.

No, we make no such suggestion. We say that the universe can form as we see it without the need for a supernatural being. That is all. Besides, what created god if something cannot come from nothing? Another god? Then what created that? And so on and so forth. Why is it that god can exist without a beginning but the matter and energy that makes up the universe cannot?

Quote
2. Atheists contend that the entire Universe, estimated to be 20 billion light years across (the distance light could travel in 20 billion years at the rate of 186,000 miles per second) accidentally derived from a submicroscopic particle of matter.

Accidentally? It can be extrapolated back to the thousandths of a second right after the Big Bang, yet we make no statement as to what things were like right before that instant. This is a lie to say that atheists "contend" this.

Quote
3. Atheism contends that the marvelously ordered Universe, designated as “Cosmos” by the Greeks because of its intricate design, is merely the result of an ancient explosion (the Big Bang). Does a contractor pile lumber, brick, wire, pipe, etc., on a building site, blast it with dynamite, and expect a fine dwelling to result? Is that the way atheists build their houses?

A marvelously ordered Universe? The Universe is in a constant state of chaos and is 99.999999999999999% instantly fatal to human life. How is this "marvelously ordered"? And why must the Universe, life, ect. be compared to a house? Do houses come into being though swirling clouds of matter as celestial objects do? Do houses mate and procreate like biological life? The comparison is, frankly, stupid.

Quote
4. In spite of millions of examples in nature, which suggest that biological life can only derive from a living source, atheists believe that billions of years ago, life was accidentally generated from inorganic materials. Common sense and experimentation argue otherwise, but skeptics are willing to abandon logic and opt for the myth of “spontaneous generation,” because the only other alternative is “special creation.” To atheists that simply is not a possibility. Why? Because the fool, for emotional reasons, has already decided: “There is no God.”

A fool says in his heart, "There MUST be a god!" Why is he a fool? Because that doesn't have to be the case. We've already created the building blocks for organic organisms in lab environments that duplicate the ideas that we have about what the Earth's atmosphere must have been like at that time. And why is "spontaneous generation" brought up? This is a very old "urban legend" type idea that has no basis in science whatsoever. Besides, god as is defined is not technically a "living source" considering it is a supernatural entity with recognizable personality traits. Why is this sort of concept required to initiate life?

Quote
5. Atheists believe that blind, unintelligent forces of nature, via genetic mutations and the process of natural selection, produced the myriads of delightful creatures that inhabit Earth’s environment. The skeptic can see that a simple pair of pliers, with only four components, must have been designed by an intelligent being, yet he argues that the human body, with its 100 trillion constituent elements (cells), organized into ten magnificent systems, is merely the result of a marriage between Mother Nature and Father Time. How very stupid such ideology is!

Again, comparing a man-made tool that does not have sex to the biological workings of the process of evolution is what's stupid here. "Irreducible complexity" has been proven false time and time again.

Quote
6. Atheists believe that from a tiny speck of inorganic, self-created matter, human consciousness and moral sensitivity evolved. That is utterly ludicrous; can a rock decide to “think”? Can a proton “feel” guilt? The notion that morality has developed merely as a survival factor (cf. Hayes, 174), is asinine in the extreme. Plants have survived; do they possess a moral code? And what if one decides that he doesn’t care about the “survival” principle? Can he do any “wrong”?

Really? This passes for "intelligent" thought? A rock is now the same as a man? A proton? Right and wrong exist because cooperation aids in survival, and the idea of morality has evolved as society has. Anyone who tries to claim otherwise is an idiot, which aptly describes the person who wasted their time writing this load of shit.
"As a God fearing Christian,  you should never ever date an Atheist. One night alone with an atheist is enough for you to lose your faith and to be converted into one of the spiritually dead."

Offline Aaron123

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2010, 01:16:53 AM »
We've all heard of those things before.  Some of this is just misinformation, but mostly, it's the same old argument from ignorant/incredulously coupled with the god of the gaps.  These guys need to pick up a science book, and judging from the arguements they present, they haven't done that since third grade.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Jeff7

Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2010, 01:23:06 AM »
I'm no expert on any of these matters myself, and I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place myself of where I stand (skeptic theist, for the moment), I think I can begin applying what I've learned and answer at least some of these. I'm certain someone else will be able to come along to better flesh out some of these points! (As they've done so while I've been writing this post, yes.  ;) )

1.) Why not apply this same principle to God, then? Certainly, as one of the most complex (eg perfect) beings in existence, it'd only make sense for Him to have a maker as well, no? No? Then why not apply the same logic to the Universe? That is, why does God not need a creator, but the Universe does? (Also, uh, I don't think that's what that quote means, and even if so, making assumptions much based on a quote from some professor somewhere?)

2.) What is nonsensical? Again, the same problem as the first question: I dunno, God seems kinda nonsensical to me, too. (Admittedly, yes, I'm going off the Christian God, being the one I 'know.') Some of the stuff seems absolutely baffling. Worldwide flood? Condoning of Genocide? Zombies/resurrection? Apocalypse? (Not to mention some of the stuff that didn't even make it into the canon!)

3.) This seems to be the same thing as 2, calling the idea of anything but design to be nonsensical. The universe is rather hostile and messy, I don't know how intricate it can be argued! And, I may be a bit out of date (and by all means, I hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong) but even though things are a little shaky, it still remains one of the more well accepted theories behind the whole idea of the universe beginning. Hey, who knows, in 50-100 years (or maybe even tomorrow!) we'll find new evidence disproving the Big Bang or find a new model that works better - that's the great thing about science, after all. But, at least to my understanding, it is our current best educated guess on what we know.

4.) For one, spontaneous generation is rather silly, and isn't what's 'believed' at all. Second, we don't know for certain, work on abiogenisis is, I believe, still a rather new science. However, if I recall right, progress has been made in the labs at doing just that, work with amino acids, etc. etc. But we also get on the whole 'nonsensical' aspect once again: either something sparked off the whole thing, leading to the loooong process of evolution, or that just about every one of the many things were created "out of the ground?" (Also, I'd challenge back that it's only the fool who has blind faith and locks away his mind under the tyranny of fear.)

5.) I was, admittedly, expecting the whole 'but-but-but evolution is chance!' argument here, so credit where credit is due, I guess! For one, however, the human body does actually have a handful of things 'wrong' with it, but it's 1 AM and no real examples are coming to mind at the moment, so I'm hoping someone will come in to help out here. I've heard Dawkins' does a good job of arguing this point in his The Blind Watchmaker though I admittedly haven't read it myself. (Also, once again... slow, mostly steady evolution over millions and millions of years through natural selection/adaption to environments, or man created out of dust and woman out of man's rib?)

6.) True, that is, we don't know, I believe. Human consciousness remains (along with the creation of the universe and the beginning of life) one of the remaining great mysteries, so to say. But, no, I don't think it's too hard to agree with survival/morality both in individuals and society.

The three biggest problems I have with these six points (beyond them being incorrect/misinformation) is thus:
a.) These points only go so far as to argue some sort of deistic theology. That is, even if correct, none of them prove the existence of any particular God or even Gods. Yahweh? Allah? Quetzalcoatl?
b.) Sure, we don't know a good deal of this stuff for SURE, however, we continue to make progress, eliminating the God of the Gaps and making it harder and harder for Him to survive.
c.) Let's count the attacks against atheism/skeptics, shall we?

"putting common sense on the shelf" "senseless heart" 'the house building analogy' "'The fool says there is no God'" "how stupid such ideology is" "asinine"

None of these help further an argument, and such statements as these only help make an argument look silly and needlessly aggressive/insulting, c'mon now. :P

Offline Alzael

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2010, 01:37:56 AM »
It's late where I am and I'm tired so this probably won't be my best stuff.But basically....

1) This is not what atheists suggest. This is what christians who want to make strawmen arguments think that atheists suggest. Nor is that one of the 'elementary principles of logic'. Even if you grant this assumption of his it has been observed by scientists that sometimes certain types of particles do come from seemingly nowhere. While our minds sometimes have a problem with the concept of something coming from nothing, it remains a distinct possibility. More likely however, is that there is simply no such thing as 'nothing'. What we call the Big Bang wasn't an act that spontaneously created the universe, just the universe in it's current form. Matter is constantly changing and rearranging throughout our entire universe. It is unlikely that there ever was a true 'nothing' just a different form of 'something'.

2)As for this one, the hard science isn't really my forte, but the argument is that the scientific answer is non-sensical. However he doesn't provide any counter-evidence, he doesn't cite the scientists evidence and try to refute it. He doesn't even demonstrate that he has any knowledge of the subject or evidence that he's talking about. There's no substance to anything that he says in this so-called point. Basically all he says is "Me no understand science stuff. Stupid Atheists!" Hardly insightful and informed writing.

3)This is just the old and thoroughly outdated Teleological argument. The argument that since there is order in the universe it must have been planned. This is an example of very bad logic. The main problem is that things like watches and houses are obviously man-made creations. We recognize this fact because there is nothing else in our world that they resemble that occurs naturally. If you were to find a watch lying on the ground, and watches were a naturally occurring product of natue,you would have a hard time telling if it had been real or man-made. The flaw in his logic is that you cannot say that ordered things cannot arise naturally in our universe, because you have no point of reference, no other universes to compare it to. The fact that it happens in our universe does mean that it is possible. Again, like the previous one this is a statement with absolutely nothing to back it up and is simply an argument from ignorance. He gives no evidence of why such a thing cannot occur naturally, he merely states that it can't happen. And even if you grant him this point, it does nothing to prove that the designer is a god, much less his god.

4)The fourth is really the same as before. There's really nothing to comment on here. Blind meaningless assertions made with no substance or evidence offered. It's not even a very coherently phrased argument. While there are several theories of the origins of life still being worked on, he simply writes them off with no explanation or evidence presented. He doesn't even bother to address any of the actual theories directly in anyway. He also provides a fallacy of false dichotomy when he mentions the only alternatives being either "spontaneous" or "special" creation.

Two things I should point out as an aside about these arguments. First off none of these arguments that he makes in anyway support the religious position. All he is doing is trying to throw stones at the ideas of others but can't back his own up. Secondly all of his points are really just him saying 'this makes no sense to me, therefore clearly god did it is the only sensible answer'. This is why if you notice in almost each argument he refers to it as 'nonsensical' or the people who believe them as 'fools'. Because he has to make the ideas of many-learned scientists formed over decades of constant testing and experimentation and gathering of evidence sound dumber than his position.

5)See number four. The problem is that there's really nothing here to argue against, it's just vapid. This point not only misrepresents evolution but is fallacious and really is just a rehash of his third point but stated slightly better. And again he ends it off with insulting the intelligence of others to make his own dumb idea seem smarter.

6)Again, it's really not much different than points 5 and 3. It's vapid and doesn't really say anything. He asks 'can a rock decide to think' as if rocks and humans are somehow the same thing and so we should expect them to have similiar properties and abilities? "The notion that morality has developed merely as a survival factor (cf. Hayes, 174), is asinine in the extreme," why? Prove it? Make an actual point.

This probably isn't what you were expecting, but really, this is just immeasurably stupid and irrelevant. His points are bullshit, he provides no reasonable conclusions or evidence. He misrepresents the basic ideas that he's arguing against, and nothing he says proves anything other than his own status as someone who knows absolutely nothing but actually thinks that they're capable of being clever.
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Offline OnePerson

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2010, 03:34:14 AM »
Most of that is just "Screw evidence, make up your own laws of nature."

Offline relativetruth

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2010, 06:18:39 AM »
All the arguments are strawmen.

The clue is with phrases like 'atheists' contend' or 'atheists believe'

When the scientific community embraced the concept of the 'Big Bang' theist communities around the world started saying
'see I told you the Universe had a beginning and so must of been created!'.

Although many atheists may be scientists atheism dose not rely on the latest thinking regarding string theory, super symmetry, branes etc.
Just lack of evidence for the theist point of view is sufficient.

edit - small sematic change (atheism believes - to atheists believe)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 06:21:33 AM by relativetruth »
God(s) exist and are imaginary

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2010, 08:15:41 AM »
Am I wrong, or does every point essentially boil down to:

"there is no way this thing could just have come into existence on its own, so god must have done it - but please don't apply the same questions to god."
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2010, 08:20:30 AM »
Quote
hullo everyone,  :)

i stumbled upon this article today: http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/687-the-folly-of-atheism.

to make myself clear,
1. i may not agree with everything this writer says.
2. i am not an expert in cosmology, abiogenesis, or evolution (which are all disputed by this guy).
3. i do not plan to argue for or defend what this writer says.

i'm just curious to see how atheists would respond to the 6 points that he makes in his article, and i've noticed that there are many impressively intelligent and knowledgable atheists on this forum, so i thought i'd pick your brains.

Hullo ?  :shrug

Why do you care what we think ? Have you no intellectual honesty of your own ? Has your faculty of reason gone missing ? You wouldn't dare say that you can't disbelieve on your own would you ?

You and Wayne Jackson need to head to the nearest book store or library and start to read and think for yourselves.

Yes, yes, I know you said that you don't agree with all he says, but obviously you feel he has something relevant to say or you wouldn't have made the decision to post his blog here.

Others have very patiently and kindly tried to accommodate your request, but I can't be bothered with this one. His arguments are so old and have failed so miserably in the past that it's just not worth the attention that you want. I'm quite tired of chicken-shitted theists who have the nerve to bring other peoples drivel here and who are either too lazy or haven't got the brain power to make their own points on a topic.

Your flattery is meaningless dishonest and uncalled for. Go pick your own brain Skippy  ;)

"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Online Fiji

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2010, 08:43:18 AM »
5.) I was, admittedly, expecting the whole 'but-but-but evolution is chance!' argument here, so credit where credit is due, I guess! For one, however, the human body does actually have a handful of things 'wrong' with it, but it's 1 AM and no real examples are coming to mind at the moment, so I'm hoping someone will come in to help out here. I've heard Dawkins' does a good job of arguing this point in his The Blind Watchmaker though I admittedly haven't read it myself. (Also, once again... slow, mostly steady evolution over millions and millions of years through natural selection/adaption to environments, or man created out of dust and woman out of man's rib?)

1) our intestine are attached to our spine ... which makes perfect sense if our spine had been horizontal, but we tend to walk upright
2) our lower backs are outwardly curved, which is a piss poor way of making a vertical spine, causing back pain in many humans
3) The appendix ... does nothing and causes problems
4) the light-sensitive cells in our retina are back-to-front, causing the blind spot
5) we need nimble wrists to adequatly use our tool making ability ... but this means our writst are quite fragile (as many a skateboarder can tell you)
6) air intake and food intake through the same opening??? WTF???
7) sexual organs are also used for waste disposal??? WTF???
8 ) We have huge brains, which is good, as it's our means of survival, but why is the pelvis of the female of the species so narrow that a special (and quite dangerous) system is needed to allow babies with their huge heads to pass
9) Laryngeal Nerve ... goes from the brain down into the chest and back up to the larynx ... why?
10) and to make it a nice and round 10 ... the tailbone ... why?

Now, evolution can perfectly explain all of these ...
1) our (distant) ancestors had horizontalspines, allowing the intestine to hang down, which makes sense, but since Evolution can't goback to the drawingboard, we're stuck with jumbled intestine
2) same as above, the spine was well adapted to horizontal life, not to vertical
3) since the appendix doesn't cause problems THAT often, not having it is only a tiny adventage and evolution can't act on it enough to produces hordes of appendix-less people.
4) When light-sensitivity first developed in our distant ancestors, having these cells right-way-round (with the nerve BEHIND the cell) wasn't an adventage. Only millions of years later did the issue of the blind spot pop up. Again, evolution can't go back to the drawingboard.
5) some kind of ball bearing would be excelent as a wrist ... only there are no intermediate steps between a straight bone and a ball bearing "bone" ... so evolution can't produce this.
6) Wasn't en issue in our (distant) ancestors, so we're stuck with it
7) same as 6
8 ) The pelvis is already a piss poor design, tinkering with that presumably made things, well, detrimental.
9) same as 6
10) same as 3

Funny thing is, NONE of these can be explained by theists, unless you asume the creator-god is malevolent ... but then ... why worship him?
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

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Offline Petey

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2010, 10:09:29 AM »
Atheism doesn't contend any of those "arguments".  The only thing that atheism contends is a lack of belief in god(s).  Some or most scientists may support some or all of those positions, and the evidence for those positions may be used in support of the atheistic position, but none of them is required by or defines atheism.  An atheist is free to accept, reject, or completely ignore any of those arguments, while still remaining 100% atheist.
He never pays attention, he always knows the answer, and he can never tell you how he knows. We can't keep thrashing him. He is a bad example to the other pupils. There's no educating a smart boy.
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Offline CutePuppy

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2010, 10:17:38 AM »
Fiji

Ah, a fellow fan of Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne. A great book indeed!

Offline Historicity

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2010, 10:45:22 AM »
6. Atheists believe that from a tiny speck of inorganic, self-created matter, human consciousness and moral sensitivity evolved. That is utterly ludicrous; can a rock decide to “think”? Can a proton “feel” guilt? The notion that morality has developed merely as a survival factor (cf. Hayes, 174), is asinine in the extreme. Plants have survived; do they possess a moral code?

Thanks, Siehjin, you are a gentleman.

In On Aggression (1963) Konrad Lorenz gave examples of territorial confrontations by many species of animal who don't always take to violence.  One side backs down from the threat.  He gave a number of species who mate for life.  In those cases the husband & wife would confront another pair.  He noted a recurring pattern:  The male paired off against the male and the female paired off against the female.  This has even been observed in reef fish.

Moral of the story:  A boy who hits a girl is a punk.  Girls who hit boys cannot be regarded as ladies.

Oh, and about the rocks and plants?  They don't have latitude for moral action.  They can't do anything right or wrong because they can't do anything.

Offline Positiveaob

Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2010, 11:25:07 AM »
I think the writer of this article has put on a clinic in strawmen and logical fallacies, mixed in with alot of just plain incorrect and, quite frankly, asinine statements.  To use his own words.  

1. Atheists do NOT suggest that something came from nothing.  That is what theists do, they just add the words "god said" first.  Atheists say "I dont know, I just dont believe an invisible guy in the sky did it, or at least certainly none of the ones described thusfar."  How do you know "something" hasnt always existed?  Eternity might not be something we can conceptualize, doesnt mean that´s not the way it is.  

And he´s completely distorting what Victor Stenger said (I have no idea who that is, by the way.  Is that name supposed to impress me or speak for me somehow?)

So the score so far: 2 strawman, 1 argument from incredulity.

2. Argument from incredulity.  Nothing more than that.  Next.

3. Dont really care what the ancient greeks thought, they also thought the sun was a guy in a golden chariot.  It´s also a complete misrepresentation of the process of evolution.  I dont have the time to educate you on the subject, but natural selection is not random.  Argument from ignorance.  And the last part is argument ad hominem.  And I dont give a shit what Romans1:21 says.

4. Where are these "millions of examples in nature which suggest biological life can only derive from a living organism"?  Where?  Just pointing to a mother giving birth to a child does nothing to indicate that inorganic molecules cannot in the appropriate conditions become organic molecules.  And, again, using the word "accident" tells me you know nothing about natural selection.  

And where is the experimentation?

So we have more strawmen, more arguments from ignorance/incredulity, some more ad hominems mixed in, and just flat out dishonesty (unless you can show me the experiments/examples).  This guy should teach a basic un-philosophy course.

And "emotional reasons"?  that´s too pathetic to be an ad hominem.  "WHAAAAAH (sobbing with thumb in mouth), you just dont want to beweef in god, whaaah".


6. Bit of a strawman on the first part, but basically on the right track.  I certainly wouldnt say it´s "a" speck of matter, and I wouldnt say "self-created¨(see point 1 above), but this is the closest he´s come to remotely representing an rational thinking person´s viewpoint would be.

Then he goes off the deep end.  A rock or proton doesnt "decide" anything.  That´s quite a logical leap he´s making.  Who claimed such nonsense?  I dont even know if I can call this a strawman it´s so out there.

And the last part is pure ignorance.  Plants are not social beings, they have no form of communication...I dont even know where to go with this.  This guy´s knowledge of evolution is pretty much nothing.  I would advise this guy to basic course in biology and evolutionary science, as well as some basic courses in logic, then we´ll talk.  
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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2010, 11:35:34 AM »
I gotta disagree with everyone (except Petey) on 1. Atheists don't say **** (don't mind the expression) about the universe. Atheism is the lack of religion. It doesn't say ANYTHING about science
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2010, 01:32:16 PM »
Yeah. The answers here are good and solid in defending science, but the site's supposedly attacking atheism. If this were a televised debate I would consider it a mistake to do anything but point out that "that's not atheism".
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2010, 06:49:43 PM »
something created god ....he had brothers
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Offline xphobe

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2010, 08:46:54 PM »
Siehjin, for simplicity I'm going to reply as if you were the one making the statements, although I know you say it was actually someone else.

1. In defiance of one of the most elementary principles of logic, the atheist suggests that “something” (e.g., the Universe) came from “nothing;” that zero plus zero equals something greater than zero.

It is a false dichotomy to argue that the only two possibilities are that "something" came either from "Something" or from "nothing".  "something" could simply always exist.  As others have observed, Yahweh is said to have this attribute, why not the Universe (or whatever matrix gave rise to our Big Bang)?

Quote
Victor Stenger, an atheistic professor at the University of Hawaii, admits that “everyday experience and common sense” supports the concept that something cannot come from nothing. Nevertheless, he suggests that “common sense is often wrong, and our normal experiences are but a tiny fraction of reality” (26-27). If you want to be an atheist, you must put your “common sense” on the shelf!

Stenger is referring to the fact that the Universe behaves in ways often contradictory to what we would expect.  For example, although we and cars and houses appear to be solid, they are actually mostly empty space.  Another example: as we go faster, time slows down.  Or this: despite what we perceive to be a flat surface, the earth is actually spherical.  All these misperceptions are due to the fact that our "common sense" evolved to deal with an environment where we and our things are middle-sized and not very fast.  The flat earth misperception was one of the first to be dealt with as the required tools became available hundreds of years ago.

Perhaps at a very tiny level that our "common sense" can't see, something does indeed come from nothing.  We can hardly be blamed for not knowing about this phenomenon if over the last million years of our human existence we have had only our "common sense" to rely on.  We couldn't sense individual atoms until very recently, and then only with sophisticated tools.  Stenger is not saying we should abandon common sense, merely that we should keep an open mind.  Science has a proven track record of showing us ways our common sense fails us.  Religion does not.


Quote
2. Atheists contend that the entire Universe, estimated to be 20 billion light years across (the distance light could travel in 20 billion years at the rate of 186,000 miles per second) accidentally derived from a submicroscopic particle of matter. As one writer expresses it: “Astonishingly, scientists now calculate that everything in this vast universe grew out of a region many billions of times smaller than a single proton, one of the atom’s basic particles” (Gore, 705). This is totally nonsensical.

Who thinks the Universe is "20 billion light years across"?  Please give me a link for that because it's wrong.  We can't look "across" it.  We can only look "back" in time, to about 13.75 billion years.  "across" implies that there is a center and a boundary edge, with something outside of the boundary.  None of that is true.

Anyway, atheists don't contend anything about the age of the universe.  Atheists contend only that there are no gods.  Physicists (some of whom are religious) contend things about the physical world.

I find it amusing when believers in Magic try to school me on what's "nonsensical".

Quote
3. Atheism contends that the marvelously ordered Universe, designated as “Cosmos” by the Greeks because of its intricate design, is merely the result of an ancient explosion (the Big Bang). Does a contractor pile lumber, brick, wire, pipe, etc., on a building site, blast it with dynamite, and expect a fine dwelling to result? Is that the way atheists build their houses? To so argue is to reveal a truly “senseless heart” (cf. Rom. 1:21).

The whole analogy fails on many levels, but I'll play along.  Ever go fishing with dynamite?  Of course not, because it's illegal.  But I've heard that when you throw a stick of dynamite into a lake, the explosion kills all the fish swimming at random depths in random places around the lake, and all the fish float to the top in a highly ordered layer exactly one fish carcass thick, waiting for the unethical fisherman to skim off as much as he can fillet and stuff into his freezer.

But again, you mistake what Atheists contend for what physicists contend.  Atheists contend only that there are no gods, remember?

Quote
4. In spite of millions of examples in nature, which suggest that biological life can only derive from a living source, atheists believe that billions of years ago, life was accidentally generated from inorganic materials. Common sense and experimentation argue otherwise, but skeptics are willing to abandon logic and opt for the myth of “spontaneous generation,” because the only other alternative is “special creation.” To atheists that simply is not a possibility. Why? Because the fool, for emotional reasons, has already decided: “There is no God.”

Again with the false dichotomies.  There are other alternatives.  God could have set up all the physical laws of the universe in such a way that life does appear spontaneously from non-living chemicals.  Or God could have diddled the primordial soup, pushing the first replicators together, and then stayed hands-off ever since.  Or God intervenes occasionally, tweaking a gene here or there.  There are plenty of gaps for the believer to stash God in, other than "special creation".

And again you mistake what Atheists believe with what Biologists believe.  Atheists believe only that there are no gods, remember?


Quote
5. Atheists believe that blind, unintelligent forces of nature, via genetic mutations and the process of natural selection, produced the myriads of delightful creatures that inhabit Earth’s environment. The skeptic can see that a simple pair of pliers, with only four components, must have been designed by an intelligent being, yet he argues that the human body, with its 100 trillion constituent elements (cells), organized into ten magnificent systems, is merely the result of a marriage between Mother Nature and Father Time. How very stupid such ideology is!

At least you didn't make the common mistake of saying these blind unintelligent forces are also random - which of course they are not.   If highly ordered structures are the work of Supreme Intelligence, what about highly un-ordered structures, such as cosmic gas clouds?  Were they designed by a Supreme Idiot?

Quote
6. Atheists believe that from a tiny speck of inorganic, self-created matter, human consciousness and moral sensitivity evolved. That is utterly ludicrous; can a rock decide to “think”? Can a proton “feel” guilt?

My view is that consciousness is an emergent property of complex systems such as brains, and the line dividing conscious from unconscious is a fuzzy one.  Rocks can't think, but neither can a virus or a bacteria.  Slime molds and plants can't think, but a worm or an insect can, sort of.  Lizards can think pretty darn well.  Dogs and cats and birds seem to experience happiness, anger, sadness...  Chimpanzees can lie and feel guilt, and can experience empathy and altruism.  We're not so special.

Quote
The notion that morality has developed merely as a survival factor (cf. Hayes, 174), is asinine in the extreme. Plants have survived; do they possess a moral code? And what if one decides that he doesn’t care about the “survival” principle? Can he do any “wrong”?
Just because one survival strategy turns out to be effective for some, doesn't mean that all living species must follow that same strategy.  We don't live like bees or cats.  Our moral code is what makes us distinctly human.

Hope this helps. :)
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Offline velkyn

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2010, 12:54:47 PM »
what utter crap.  The usual misinformation and lies adn I don't believe for a moment all of siehjin's protestations of innocence.  It's just more thowing shit at the wall and seeing if it sticks while trying to avoid responsiblity for it. 
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Offline shnozzola

Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2010, 06:07:58 PM »
Quote
1.“If you want to be an atheist, you must put your common sense on the shelf.”
           -   Of course the same should be said for theists, needing to put common sense on the shelf.  The argument will continue in circles.  Some theists believe in a god causing the big bang.  I agree that science has a long way to go to explain the densities involved – but finding and IMO proving expansion of matter in the universe has been the realm of science, not theology – common sense points to a type of starting point.  Do you think the universe is expanding, siejin?

Quote
2. “… scientists now calculate that everything in this vast universe grew out of a region many billions of times smaller than a single proton.”
            -  Again, the densities and time involved – doesn’t prove a god exists .  May prove an huge number of universes exist, like bubbles forming and exploding into universes from the “other side” of black holes.  We do not know.

Quote
3. “… marvelously ordered universe.”
            - Seeing the universe from quarks to elements to organisms to planets to solar systems to galaxies  - basic spheres effected by gravity, electrical charge, and matter.  To some of us, it all looks like a natural occurrence.

Quote
4.“… life was accidentally generated from inorganic materials.”
             - One of the best minds here, Kcrady,  put it like this - 
“ It doesn't even take a full-blown modern cell to start, just a kludge of chemicals inside a lipid bubble (like what you see if you try to mix oil with water) in an environment where the chemicals can start an autocatalytic reaction.  As soon as you've got something surviving and reproducing, the non-random ratchet of natural selection kicks in, and evolution is off to the races.”

IMO, this interpretation of the beginning of life based on electrical charges repelling and attracting is not that difficult to imagine – people underestimate the HUGE amounts of time involved to go from each tiny expansion of electrical charges, heat, moisture etc.,  leading to the next step.

Quote
5.“…. marriage between Mother Nature and Father Time.”
            - Yep.   Underappreciated by theists.

Quote
6.“.... do they possess a moral code?”
            - For humans, only chemical processes and survival instincts leading to group behavior. 


Look around, siejin.  Watch the news. The important thing is not whether there is a god or not, but what humanity will do next to each other based on our many different beliefs.
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Offline William

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2010, 06:27:46 PM »
Quote
1. In defiance of one of the most elementary principles of logic, the atheist suggests that “something” (e.g., the Universe) came from “nothing;” that zero plus zero equals something greater than zero.

YESS!!!!! What an ace!  Clever atheists are complete nongs  &)   Zero plus zero actually equals God - He popped into existence perfect and in one shot ... and able to create everything else that makes us all feel stupid.
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Offline xphobe

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2010, 06:35:44 PM »
what utter crap.  The usual misinformation and lies adn I don't believe for a moment all of siehjin's protestations of innocence.  It's just more thowing s**t at the wall and seeing if it sticks while trying to avoid responsiblity for it. 

I know, right?  I raised two kids... Sometimes you just have to be patient, keep cleaning the shit off the walls, and explaining to them that it's not appropriate...  Eventually hopefully it sinks in. :)
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2010, 06:58:56 PM »
why would an ommni- everything being not see how his creation would ask questioins about him(god)? why would anger enter in this puzzle enough for him to kill all but the ark of Noah?
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2010, 07:20:53 PM »
@ fiji


Thank you, thank you. As someone with very unintelligently designed feet, a tumor-filled uterus, 8 teeth too many and 100 year old knees,  I thank you. :-*


[modbreak]Pointless reposting removed[/modbreak]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2010, 09:40:34 AM by Moderator 11 »
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Historicity

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2010, 07:51:05 PM »
6) air intake and food intake through the same opening??? WTF???

Not quite.  The first step for the mammals evolved from the reptiles was a birth defect of a subdivided chamber in the mouth.  Since it doesn't show in the earliest theriodont skulls it was flesh or cartilage at first.  A reptile has to gulp its food and it has a poor digestion because of it.  Its teeth are alike, just puncture the food and pull it back to the throat.  A reptile has a 3 hinged jaw so it can open wide.

The problem is a reptile really only has one opening.  It has to hold its breath while eating.

The theriodont reptiles had chewing teeth at the back.  They could chew for minutes.  The front bone of the jaw became longer and the 2 back bones became vestigial until they were exapted as the ear bones which give mammals such good hearing.  The mammal doesn't have old food in its olefactory system.  Smell becomes a different sense from taste.

Because mammals chewed up their food they got more energy from it.  Because they never had to stop breathing they could depend on more oxygen.  Warm bloodedness could follow. 


Offline velkyn

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2010, 09:02:26 AM »
I know, right?  I raised two kids... Sometimes you just have to be patient, keep cleaning the shit off the walls, and explaining to them that it's not appropriate...  Eventually hopefully it sinks in. :)

rather sad to think of it that way, but I guess it's what I signed up for ;D

EDIT:
5) some kind of ball bearing would be excelent as a wrist ... only there are no intermediate steps between a straight bone and a ball bearing "bone" ... so evolution can't produce this.

I actually think this could be possible.  One of the wrist bones slowly moving and smoothing, but heck what do I know  ;D
« Last Edit: October 29, 2010, 09:05:28 AM by velkyn »
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Offline kindred

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2010, 09:43:17 AM »
I think everyone is giving the author of that article too much respect. You are picking apart his lack of arguments not his wrong arguments. Why? Because there are no arguments. It basically goes, Atheist believe (put something that is true beyond reasonable doubt) therefore they are EVIL because what they believe in makes me uncomfortable(implied).

You can't reason with a guy that doesn't have any.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2010, 09:46:52 AM »
something created god ....he had brothers
answer this question Why did god have brothers?
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Offline Don_Quixote

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Re: looking for atheist responses to "the folly of atheism"
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2010, 10:10:06 AM »
something created god ....he had brothers
answer this question Why did god have brothers?

How come a brother of god cannot wipe him out? cause he can't? 2 gods cannot exist if both are omnipotent.  :P