Author Topic: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge  (Read 19280 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SevenPatch

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 704
  • Darwins +108/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • A source will help me understand.
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #667 on: March 12, 2014, 04:34:06 PM »
Regarding this absurd notion that atheism is a belief.  Atheism is just a word.  Skeptic initially tries to play some kind of word game which is irrelevant.

The real issue is views on what other people already believe.

If my next door neighbor comes to me and says to me that he bought a yacht, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt even though I’m not sure he can afford it.  So I say congrats and all that, and ask him questions about it like what it looks like and where it’s at to which he responds that it is right in front of his house.  I look, and say “where?”  My neighbor responds “right there, don’t you see it?“  I answer “No I don’t, what do you mean by yacht?”  He responds, “a yacht.”  I ask, “you mean like a big boat right?”  He responds “yeah, kind of, it is huge though like 60 feet.”  So I look again and there is nothing in front of his house except an empty front yard and the street with no cars on it so I say “I’m sorry, but I’m just not seeing it, I don’t believe you own a yacht.” My neighbor gets a little angry and says “What do you mean you don’t believe, do you believe my yacht doesn’t exist?”.  I don’t want any trouble so I calmly reply “Well, I think it Is great that you got a yacht, I’m going to go inside my house now, see ya.”

The point of that little conversation with my neighbor is that I don’t need to believe his yacht doesn’t exist.  The yacht simply doesn’t exist, so I have no belief that it exists.

This analogy might not even be that good either since we know yachts exist, we’ve seen them at docks, in pictures, on TV and the internet.  “God” is even more vague and ambiguous than a non-existent yacht.

_______________________________

Believing something doesn’t exist implies that the something does in fact exist and that in order for it to not exist I need to actively believe it doesn’t. 

For example, let’s say I get a tattoo, but there is a slight screw-up in the artwork, I could ignore it and actively believe the screw-up wasn’t there.  This might be hard for some people to do, but if I’m not much of an art critic and the screw-up didn’t bother me I could believe that there is no screw-up, yet other people would notice it and ask me about it.  This is active belief that something doesn’t exist when it clearly does. 

Now, I think it is this tattoo example that Skeptic seems to be implying what we are doing.  Unfortunately, the tattoo example was about a slight screw-up, which is something reasonable to actively believe doesn’t exist.   We’re not talking about a slight error in artwork though are we, we’re talking about “God”.

If “God” clearly exists, how does one actively believe “God” does not exist.  This seems unimaginable to me, it would be like actively believing my house doesn’t exist as I’m standing in front of it or sleeping in my bed on the second floor of said house.  If “God” exists, is “God” not as obvious as my house?  Why not?  Why is “God” even less obvious than a slight screw-up in a tattoo? 

The problem is, “God” is about as obvious as a non-existent yacht in front of my neighbors house.  I don’t need to actively believe “God” doesn’t exist anymore than I need to actively believe there is no yacht in front of my neighbors house.  I simply lack belief that there is a yacht in front of my neighbors house in the same way I lack belief that there is a “God”.

_____________________________

I would guess that skeptic or some other theist would respond to this by saying that I am assuming “God” doesn’t exist.

My response to that line of thinking would be no, I don’t need to assume “God” doesn’t exist.  I’m simply waiting for those who assume “God” does exist to show me “God”.  Just like the non-existent yacht, I don’t need to assume the yacht doesn’t exist.  I can simply check.  I’m actually more inclined to believe my neighbor about the yacht since he is so adamant about the yacht.  In fact both he, his wife and their kids all are adamant about the yacht.   And I’d probably go see the doctor to check my eyes except my neighbor, his wife and their kids all describe the yacht differently which is odd.  Even odder still, I can walk right through where the yacht supposedly is, I can drive my car through where the yacht is which makes my neighbor very angry apparently.

Now the question is, should I care if the yacht doesn’t exist if it makes my neighbor happy and inspires him to help others?  Probably not, it’s not affecting me and it is good that my neighbor is helping others.  What if my neighbor starts bothering me to watch out for his yacht, files for tax relief because of his non-existent yacht and starts pressuring government representation to make laws regarding his non-existent yacht?  Well now we got a problem.


EDIT: Grammar
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 04:42:18 PM by SevenPatch »
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6681
  • Darwins +888/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #668 on: March 12, 2014, 04:46:44 PM »
Good points!

If there was a god who wanted us all to know about it, we would all know. Case closed. There would be no need to discuss "beliefs" about god, anymore than there need to be  serious discussions about whether or not there is a sun.[1]

If there was a god and it was powerful enough to create life, the universe, and everything, and it was not trying to hide from us, then it would be obvious, and there would be no atheists.

Since there are atheists, and since everyone who says there are gods describes different things, we can conclude that god's presence is not exactly self-evident to everyone... either there is no god, or there is a god who wants there to be this kind of confusion.
 1.  In some obscure philosophical circles or in a group of college students around a bong, maybe "does the sun really exist?" seems like a worthwhile debate, but not in real life.
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.

Online wheels5894

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2506
  • Darwins +110/-1
  • Gender: Male
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #669 on: March 12, 2014, 05:04:13 PM »
Wait, though, we are soon to hear the "god needs people to have faith in him so can't show himself to people as that would exclude the need to faith" argument. it is quite fallacious, of course as it is an arbitrary characteristic of 'faith' used by the early Christians to sort of explain why there was never any sign of god even though there was stories of Jesus being god and having lived in Palestine a few generations before.

This argument will be along soon - just wait...
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Jesuis

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 992
  • Darwins +10/-160
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #670 on: March 12, 2014, 05:19:01 PM »
Regarding this absurd notion that atheism is a belief.  Atheism is just a word. 
All words have a beginning and a meaning for its use. Originally it was used to identify and group everyone else who believed in a god of some sort but was not Christian who believed in the one true God.
The problem that we have with this word is that it is evolving to mean all sorts of things.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline SevenPatch

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 704
  • Darwins +108/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • A source will help me understand.
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #671 on: March 12, 2014, 05:23:51 PM »
Wait, though, we are soon to hear the "god needs people to have faith in him so can't show himself to people as that would exclude the need to faith" argument. it is quite fallacious, of course as it is an arbitrary characteristic of 'faith' used by the early Christians to sort of explain why there was never any sign of god even though there was stories of Jesus being god and having lived in Palestine a few generations before.

This argument will be along soon - just wait...

God ..... Faith not included.

Yeah, I don't get why faith is required just to believe "God" exists.  It comes back to why would a god make it look like there is no god or gods only to ask of its most special creation to have faith that it exists.

Now, if it were obvious that "God" exists, then it might be reasonable to say faith is needed to accept "God's" plan or some such logic, but I'd have to think about that to be sure if even that would be reasonable.

Like I have faith that the loan officer at a bank isn't going to steal my idenity after getting a lot of viable information about me.  I know the loan officer exists. 

I don't need to have faith that the loan officer exists.  It would be like if someone at the front door of the bank said, go inside the office, the loan officer is waiting for you.  I go in, no one is there.  I wait for 20 minutes or so, and go back out to the front of the bank to ask where the loan officer is.  The guy at the front of the bank says to me, you have to have faith that the loan officer exists.  I ask "why?"  The guy responds "It is all part of the loan officer's plan".  I reply "What plan?  To make me think he or she doesn't exist?"  The guy at the front of the bank says "It is a test".   I respond "A test?!?!?!  The loan officer exists or doesn't, how does sitting in a room for the rest of my life having faith that the loan officer exists make any difference?"
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6681
  • Darwins +888/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #672 on: March 12, 2014, 05:25:53 PM »
What about all the people in the bible who saw god, interacted with god, witnessed miracles and so forth? They did not need faith.
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 Jesuis

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 992
  • Darwins +10/-160
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #673 on: March 12, 2014, 05:31:20 PM »
Since there are atheists, and since everyone who says there are gods describes different things, we can conclude that god's presence is not exactly self-evident to everyone... either there is no god, or there is a god who wants there to be this kind of confusion.
The problem sir is not the word. It is our modern interpretation of it. Back in the old days atheists meant lots and lots of tribal people who had various God beliefs. It was a derogatory word to label other people so that they either conformed to the Christian way of life or remain uncivilized. I know a lot about this nature of the church -- in our country where slaves have been brought and prevented from practicing their religions -- had to go to the church of the white man in order to be accepted as civilized. We atheists never conformed to that. Why have you adopted it and turned its meaning, and who instigated the change? The confusion is one of your own making. 

I think we should do some more digging on the word and its evolution.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline Jesuis

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 992
  • Darwins +10/-160
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #674 on: March 12, 2014, 05:39:16 PM »
Wait, though, we are soon to hear the "god needs people to have faith in him so can't show himself to people as that would exclude the need to faith" argument. it is quite fallacious, of course as it is an arbitrary characteristic of 'faith' used by the early Christians to sort of explain why there was never any sign of god even though there was stories of Jesus being god and having lived in Palestine a few generations before.

This argument will be along soon - just wait...
Faith is a human problem but not in a bad sense.
Like belief faith is somewhat assured or strengthened with time. We tend to over emphasize its use relative to God but it is quite common in every human being. So much so as to say it is part of our nature. 
From that perspective we can have belief and faith in just about anything.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline SevenPatch

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 704
  • Darwins +108/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • A source will help me understand.
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #675 on: March 12, 2014, 05:47:16 PM »
Regarding this absurd notion that atheism is a belief.  Atheism is just a word. 
All words have a beginning and a meaning for its use. Originally it was used to identify and group everyone else who believed in a god of some sort but was not Christian who believed in the one true God.
The problem that we have with this word is that it is evolving to mean all sorts of things.

I really don't care about the words.  I'm not here to debate the meaning of words.

I read up on the definition of atheism which as far as I can tell is "a lack of belief in a god or gods".  I also read up on the definition of theism which again as far as I can tell is "a belief in a god or gods".  These definitions are useful for describing my position and non-position.

Jesuis, your definitions of these words are not useful to me.  They are only useful to you and what you believe. 

You don't get to redefine the words I use so you can change my position.  It doesn't work that way.  My position is the same, if you want to persuade me to change my position then you are going to have to do a lot more than redefine words and make mere illogical assertions.

The way you Jesuis define theism and atheism makes me neither a theist or atheist.  Your definitions make me a ajesuisdefinitionist.  An "ajesuisdefinitionist" is a person who doesn't believe any definitions as they are according to jesuis (a forum member on the Why Won't God Heal Amputees forum) are of any use. 

So, since I am an ajesuisdefinitionist, I will continue to use the word theism with the useful definition of "a belief in a god or gods" and the word atheism with the useful definition of "a lack of belief in a god or gods".
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 05:50:40 PM by SevenPatch »
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline Seppuku

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3855
  • Darwins +125/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • I am gay for Fred Phelps
    • Seppuku Arts
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #676 on: March 12, 2014, 05:49:40 PM »
If this can't be done, then atheism is a belief.

A lot of atheists falsely think that atheism just means "without belief" but it actually means, "No God." Atheism is a positive claim that God does not exist. Agnosticism is the view where they don't have an opinion either way.

Sure, some atheists like to say, "Atheism just means that we lack belief in God" but this is an attempt by modern atheists to redefine the word. The word NEVER meant that. The word always meant "No God."

I even heard some of them say, "Atheism means that we don't think there is enough evidence for God." But, this backfires too because there ARE theists out there who agree with this statement, but believe in God anyway. So, this definition gets thrown out the window too.

The proper meaning of "lacking belief in God" means that you believe God is there, but you don't believe in Him. Sort of like having a friend who betrays your trust and you lose your faith in him. The friend still exists, but you lose your belief in your friend. So, this is why "lacking belief" backfires and actually means you DO think God is real, you just lost faith in Him.

So, that leaves atheism as meaning "No God" which is a positive claim. So, any atheists out there want to defend their positive claim of "No God?"

This is simply incorrect.

Yes, a = without and theism = god. Also, gnostic = knowledge. But neither terms are all that descriptive when translated. I am without god, for instance, but I am also without knowledge of whether god is real or not. Therefore I would argue that I am an agnostic atheist.

The problem with purely defining a word by their Latin or Greek names is that they can change with language and use and words can be bastardized, not saying it is in the case of atheism, but this is the flaw in your standpoint. For instance: homo = same, sex = gender, so a homosexual is somebody who likes people of the same gender, but phobia = fear, so does this mean homophobia is a fear of anything that's the same? That is not how we define the word using English, though members of an ancient society may look at us a bit strangely for our wordplay.

Allow me to educate you on stances surrounding the god argument.

agnostic atheism = I lack belief in deities and claim no knowledge of their non-existence.
gnostic atheism = I lack belief in deities and claim knowledge of their non-existence.
Agnostic (in context of deities)= In the argument of gods, I don't know what I believe (belief is binary, you can't be in the middle, but you may not know or have thought deeply enough about your belief, hence 'agnostic' is used)
agnostic theism = I have belief in at least 1 deity and claim no knowledge of their existence
gnostic theism = I have belief in at least 1 deity and claim knowledge of their existence

Quote
The proper meaning of "lacking belief in God" means that you believe God is there, but you don't believe in Him. Sort of like having a friend who betrays your trust and you lose your faith in him. The friend still exists, but you lose your belief in your friend. So, this is why "lacking belief" backfires and actually means you DO think God is real, you just lost faith in Him.

I lack the belief in the existence of God, just as you lack belief in the existence of Vishnu. I simply believe in the existence of one less deity than you. You believe in the existence of 1 and I believe in the existence of 0, yet in religion there are a massive number of gods out there many, many of whom you've probably never heard of and heck many of whom I've probably never heard of.

With your logic, I could argue that you think Vishnu is real but you've lost your faith in him.

It's not a difficult concept to grasp, your God to me is like Ishtar to you...that is, assuming you're an agnostic theist and not the kind who claims that there is without a doubt a one true God and that God is the God of the bible. In which case, maybe it's harder to grasp. Either way, as a member of a monotheistic religion you lack the belief in the existence of many gods, just as I do as an atheist.


Really and truly, I am in no position to prove the non-existence of God, suggesting that because I am an atheist that I believe he isn't real is a strawman argument, because it isn't accurate of what I believe or don't believe.

If you wish to still expect me to provide evidence that God isn't real, then I ask you to prove to me that Marduk doesn't exist.
“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet” - Miyamoto Musashi
Warning: I occassionally forget to proofread my posts to spot typos or to spot poor editing.

Offline SevenPatch

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 704
  • Darwins +108/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • A source will help me understand.
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #677 on: March 12, 2014, 06:01:11 PM »
Either way, as a member of a monotheistic religion you lack the belief in the existence of many gods, just as I do as an atheist.

QFT

Why do I feel like this has been explained thoroughly so many times yet some theists either don't get it or ignore it.
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline Jesuis

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 992
  • Darwins +10/-160
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #678 on: March 12, 2014, 06:31:32 PM »
You don't get to redefine the words I use so you can change my position.  It doesn't work that way.  My position is the same, if you want to persuade me to change my position then you are going to have to do a lot more than redefine words and make mere illogical assertions.
Who does -- evidently someone keeps changing the meanings.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline Jesuis

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 992
  • Darwins +10/-160
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #679 on: March 12, 2014, 06:41:00 PM »
Either way, as a member of a monotheistic religion you lack the belief in the existence of many gods, just as I do as an atheist.

QFT

Why do I feel like this has been explained thoroughly so many times yet some theists either don't get it or ignore it.
Maybe they disagree and are more flexible and well you are more rigid because that's your nature.
As I said if you do not know atheists were really people who did not believe in the one true God of the Christians. That is a fact. That was their title. Who gets to change the meanings one asks. Its as if these people never existed and have been wiped from history in a sweep by simply changing the definition. Who did that? Who has that power to rewrite history and ignore what they have done?
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline Angus and Alexis

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1487
  • Darwins +71/-24
  • Gender: Male
  • Residential Tulpamancer.
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #680 on: March 12, 2014, 07:04:12 PM »
All words have a beginning and a meaning for its use. Originally it was used to identify and group everyone else who believed in a god of some sort but was not Christian who believed in the one true God.
The problem that we have with this word is that it is evolving to mean all sorts of things.

Look, its not that complicated...
Ever since the beginning of theism, the opposite, A-theism (NOTE THE EFFING *A* IN THE BEGINNING OF THE WORD) has existed by default.

Theism: Belief in god.
Atheism: Lack of that belief.

That is is, no more, no less.

But atheists believe in things which have no evidence:

Materialism
Naturalism
Reality existing independently of all minds
Other minds exist

Atheists by default do not believe in said things, those beliefs come from elsewhere.
Rule 1: No pooftas. Rule 2: No maltreating the theists, IF, anyone is watching. Rule 3: No pooftas. Rule 4: I do not want to see anyone NOT drinking after light out. Rule 5: No pooftas. Rule 6: There is NO...rule 6.

Offline ParkingPlaces

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6461
  • Darwins +768/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Hide and Seek World Champion since 1958!
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #681 on: March 12, 2014, 07:11:41 PM »
Since there are atheists, and since everyone who says there are gods describes different things, we can conclude that god's presence is not exactly self-evident to everyone... either there is no god, or there is a god who wants there to be this kind of confusion.
The problem sir is not the word. It is our modern interpretation of it. Back in the old days atheists meant lots and lots of tribal people who had various God beliefs. It was a derogatory word to label other people so that they either conformed to the Christian way of life or remain uncivilized. I know a lot about this nature of the church -- in our country where slaves have been brought and prevented from practicing their religions -- had to go to the church of the white man in order to be accepted as civilized. We atheists never conformed to that. Why have you adopted it and turned its meaning, and who instigated the change? The confusion is one of your own making. 

I think we should do some more digging on the word and its evolution.

You do understand that words meanings change over time. "Nice" used to mean foolish, "husband" used to have nothing to do with marriage, it merely meant house owner, "garble" used to mean straighten stuff up, "fantastic" didn't start meaning "wonderful" until the mid 20th century. Before that it meant "existing in the imagination". So prior to the change, I, for one, would have said religion is fantastic.

"Bully" meant "darling", "awful" meant wonderful; the list goes on and on. English is especially prone to changing meanings. Get used to it.

The current meaning of atheist is the only one relevant. Insisting that any historical meaning should take precedence over the common one used today means you haven't meditated on this one very much, or you've meditated too much, or whatever it is that you do that makes you think you have it all figured out.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline SevenPatch

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 704
  • Darwins +108/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • A source will help me understand.
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #682 on: March 12, 2014, 07:23:14 PM »
You don't get to redefine the words I use so you can change my position.  It doesn't work that way.  My position is the same, if you want to persuade me to change my position then you are going to have to do a lot more than redefine words and make mere illogical assertions.
Who does -- evidently someone keeps changing the meanings.

LOL, why did you bold half of my sentence?  Are you trying to quote mine me?

No the sentence was “You don’t get to redefine the words I use so you can change my position.”

Are you trying to ask “Who gets to redefine the words I use so they can change my position”?  No one gets to redefine the words I use so they can change my position.

Are you trying to ask “Who redefines words”?  Generally it is the entire population that speaks the language that redefines the words, no one person or small group actually get to redefine words, rather it is everyone.  Words are defined in dictionaries and the writers of those dictionaries have to use definitions which are most commonly agreed upon by the population that speaks the language.  If the writers of those dictionaries don’t use definitions which are commonly agreed upon by the definition then people don’t pay attention to what would be considered uncommon definitions and the dictionary becomes unpopular and goes out of business.

Definitions change because language changes.  Language evolves for a number of factors.


Either way, as a member of a monotheistic religion you lack the belief in the existence of many gods, just as I do as an atheist.

QFT

Why do I feel like this has been explained thoroughly so many times yet some theists either don't get it or ignore it.
Maybe they disagree and are more flexible and well you are more rigid because that's your nature.

So, let us see here, you responded by not even addressing the point and instead chose to assert that theists are more flexible and I’m more rigid.

So they are more flexible to be able to not understand things or ignore them while I am more rigid because I try to understand things and don’t ignore them.



As I said if you do not know atheists were really people who did not believe in the one true God of the Christians.

Why does it matter that in the past Christians considered everyone who wasn’t a Christian to be an atheist? 

Why are we forced to believe what people in the past believed?  Should we believe the Earth is flat and at the center of the solar system as well?  Perhaps we should start ritually sacrificing humans again?


That is a fact.

Is it? What a surprise, another assertion.

That was their title.

Was it?  Again, I’m totally surprised that you  made another assertion.  What relevance does the title of people in the past have with today?  Who gave those people the title?

Who gets to change the meanings one asks.

All the human beings who speak the language do together, the meanings change to better describe current usage which is based on common agreement for purposes of useful communication.  This is the purpose of language, to communicate, without agreed upon useful definitions of words, communication is difficult.

Its as if these people never existed and have been wiped from history in a sweep by simply changing the definition.

No, they still exist.  Changing definitions doesn’t wipe people from history any more than it changes my position.

Who did that? Who has that power to rewrite history and ignore what they have done?

No one.  However that is not what happens if a word is redefined.  This is why we have linguistic experts.  Linguistics is the scientific study of language and the history of language which means they study what words used to mean in the past and what people were given the title of atheist in the past.

The problem is, whichever way you think people were defined as atheists in the past does not match today.   You complaining about it not matching isn’t going to change anything.  You just have to deal with it and adapt.  Or are you too rigid?
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 07:26:37 PM by SevenPatch »
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline Jesuis

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 992
  • Darwins +10/-160
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #683 on: March 12, 2014, 07:32:33 PM »
The problem sir is not the word. It is our modern interpretation of it. Back in the old days atheists meant lots and lots of tribal people who had various God beliefs. It was a derogatory word to label other people so that they either conformed to the Christian way of life or remain uncivilized. I know a lot about this nature of the church -- in our country where slaves have been brought and prevented from practicing their religions -- had to go to the church of the white man in order to be accepted as civilized. We atheists never conformed to that. Why have you adopted it and turned its meaning, and who instigated the change? The confusion is one of your own making. 

I think we should do some more digging on the word and its evolution.

You do understand that words meanings change over time. "Nice" used to mean foolish, "husband" used to have nothing to do with marriage, it merely meant house owner, "garble" used to mean straighten stuff up, "fantastic" didn't start meaning "wonderful" until the mid 20th century. Before that it meant "existing in the imagination". So prior to the change, I, for one, would have said religion is fantastic.

"Bully" meant "darling", "awful" meant wonderful; the list goes on and on. English is especially prone to changing meanings. Get used to it.

The current meaning of atheist is the only one relevant. Insisting that any historical meaning should take precedence over the common one used today means you haven't meditated on this one very much, or you've meditated too much, or whatever it is that you do that makes you think you have it all figured out.

But that is my point -- if it is "I" or the people using the words are the ones that changes the meaning over time. Then it is by my logic that they all agree with it over time. Consider it that it is being changed now but will become common knowledge in the future.

According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline SevenPatch

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 704
  • Darwins +108/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • A source will help me understand.
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #684 on: March 12, 2014, 07:43:52 PM »
But that is my point -- if it is "I" or the people using the words are the ones that changes the meaning over time. Then it is by my logic that they all agree with it over time. Consider it that it is being changed now but will become common knowledge in the future.

I don't think your current method is going to work.  I don't know enough about linguistics to really understand why the definitions of words change over time.  I would imagine it is very complicated.  Simply redefining a word and attempting to use the redefinition over and over probably isn't going to make a dent in the evolution of language.

It would be like throwing a grain of sand at a dump truck going 100 mp/h to try to stop it.

About the only way you might be successful is if your redefinition was useful and everyone agreed it was useful, and even that might be a slim chance.
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline ParkingPlaces

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6461
  • Darwins +768/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Hide and Seek World Champion since 1958!
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #685 on: March 12, 2014, 07:50:50 PM »
The problem sir is not the word. It is our modern interpretation of it. Back in the old days atheists meant lots and lots of tribal people who had various God beliefs. It was a derogatory word to label other people so that they either conformed to the Christian way of life or remain uncivilized. I know a lot about this nature of the church -- in our country where slaves have been brought and prevented from practicing their religions -- had to go to the church of the white man in order to be accepted as civilized. We atheists never conformed to that. Why have you adopted it and turned its meaning, and who instigated the change? The confusion is one of your own making. 

I think we should do some more digging on the word and its evolution.

You do understand that words meanings change over time. "Nice" used to mean foolish, "husband" used to have nothing to do with marriage, it merely meant house owner, "garble" used to mean straighten stuff up, "fantastic" didn't start meaning "wonderful" until the mid 20th century. Before that it meant "existing in the imagination". So prior to the change, I, for one, would have said religion is fantastic.

"Bully" meant "darling", "awful" meant wonderful; the list goes on and on. English is especially prone to changing meanings. Get used to it.

The current meaning of atheist is the only one relevant. Insisting that any historical meaning should take precedence over the common one used today means you haven't meditated on this one very much, or you've meditated too much, or whatever it is that you do that makes you think you have it all figured out.

But that is my point -- if it is "I" or the people using the words are the ones that changes the meaning over time. Then it is by my logic that they all agree with it over time. Consider it that it is being changed now but will become common knowledge in the future.

The modern meaning of atheism is pretty well set already. It may evolve into something else, but that isn't up to us. I've never heard anyone refer to an atheists as someone who has a different god, using the word to mean that they are atheistic in relation to some preferred god. It may well have been the case 200 years ago or something, but today, it means that the person does not accept the belief in a god as real. Some dictionaries discuss the history of a word, but it is the current meaning that is relevant.

In other words, it has already changed.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline jaimehlers

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4933
  • Darwins +563/-17
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #686 on: March 12, 2014, 08:04:55 PM »
The problem sir is not the word. It is our modern interpretation of it. Back in the old days atheists meant lots and lots of tribal people who had various God beliefs. It was a derogatory word to label other people so that they either conformed to the Christian way of life or remain uncivilized. I know a lot about this nature of the church -- in our country where slaves have been brought and prevented from practicing their religions -- had to go to the church of the white man in order to be accepted as civilized. We atheists never conformed to that. Why have you adopted it and turned its meaning, and who instigated the change? The confusion is one of your own making. 

I think we should do some more digging on the word and its evolution.
You definitely need to, Jesuis, because you've got it badly wrong.  The words used for people who had various non-Christian god-beliefs were pagans or heathens.  For example, those who held to the ancient Greek pantheistic religion were pagans (because they lived in civilization), while those who held to the Germanic tribal religions were considered heathens (because they lived in the 'wilderness' outside 'proper' civilization).  Both words refer to those who were (and are) not members of Abrahamic religions but believe in other gods.  Atheist, on the other hand, has always meant something along the lines of "without a god".  It can mean either those who don't worship any god or those who don't believe in gods at all, although the former meaning has fallen out of use.

If you believe in some other god besides YHWH, then you are properly referred to as a pagan or a heathen.

Offline ParkingPlaces

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6461
  • Darwins +768/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Hide and Seek World Champion since 1958!
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #687 on: March 12, 2014, 08:22:30 PM »

lol deep down inside, you know that's not proof that God does not exist.

Where did God say that he will bow to your whims?

God didn't say a word. And don't tell me what I know deep down inside.

Of course there is no proof. Given that theists can only provide a slippery definition of what a god is, and being that they excuse its lack of obvious existence based on the need for faith (something all religions, yours or otherwise, seem to agree on, given the lack of an obvious deity), there is no way to disprove a god, because all you have to do is redefine him to negate whatever proof is put forward. And nobody can argue, because a non-entity can be anything you want it to be, and once you have loosely defined it, you also get to proclaim how impossible it is to disprove your conjectures/guesses/whims/pretenses.

But if I leave your standards behind (oops, not standards, but instead, semi-structured fictions purported to be truthful in some philosophically deep way that believers can't explain), then I can prove, to my own satisfaction that there is not a god. First, I look at religious claims, and see how well the match reality. That normally takes ten or twelve seconds, because I like to triple-check my work. Then I look at the world and see if I can see anything that makes it appear to be created by an intelligent being. Another ten or twelve seconds down the drain, but I'm a careful guy. Lastly, I check to see if alternative explanations can account for the universe and its contents, and then my ten or twelve seconds turns in years of reading and study and stuff, because it is interesting. And science matches reality. And it doesn't demand my piety. Nor does it threaten. Or belittle. Or tell me I'm th scum of the earth. Or condemn me.

All of which is consistent with reality. And that really helps.

I live in a world that is messy, so if there actually is a god, he's not very good at it. The messes (geologic, biologic, social, atmospheric, etc.) consistently serve to remind me that the universe is haphazard in its accomplishments, and that the good, the bad, and the ugly are dished out in different proportions, based on everything from chance to theft. But if I am more moral than your god (which I am, even if he is real), if I am wiser than your god (a given) and I am far less prone to throwing hissy-fits than he, then your god is highly unlikely because I beat him in those categories even though I am nowhere near perfect.

But nothing else is either. Some things are pretty nice (my snazzy new iPhone, the view of the mountains out my window, that really nice divorcée who moved in down the road), but even that doesn't mean that they are perfect. In an average world, something are going to be better than that, while others worse, just to keep things even. But a god who can't keep the earthquakes down, terrorists at bay, Internet service cheap or get the University of Oregon football team back into a national championship game is most likely non-existent. Either that, or I am also more competent than him.

Because if I that power, and I loved 7 billion people, it would be apparent. My omnipotence would extend to my common sense, and all people would benefit from my existence rather than kill each other arguing over various unacceptable variations.

Right now, religious claims are about as unapparent as something can get. And that is better than proof to me.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Add Homonym

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2720
  • Darwins +221/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • I can haz jeezusburger™
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #688 on: March 12, 2014, 08:58:31 PM »
lol deep down inside, you know that's not proof that God does not exist.

Deep inside this forum, you will notice that hardly any of us say we have proof that there is no universal god of some kind. Refer to the "Are there any Atheists here" thread.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26482.0.html

What we do say, is that teh Christian God is easily disprovable. Your thread lacks precision in the title. It should have been "Prove There Is No Christian God - A Challenge" That would be easy, because Christian God created the sun on the 4th day, and did nonexistent floods, and seems to have no adherents. By your own admission, you are practically the only true Christian. We just have to keep whittling, from there.

One thing I find peculiar is that you let someone talk about Buddhism and Eck, without commenting.

I think you suffer from Theism, like racism and sexism. You tolerate people who say they believe in a God, no matter which one, but you make baseless attacks on people who are unsure. You are a theist bigot, which proves that you are not a Christian, and therefore there are no adherents of Christianity.

Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Philosopher_at_large

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 681
  • Darwins +18/-2
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #689 on: March 12, 2014, 11:48:47 PM »
If this can't be done, then atheism is a belief.

A lot of atheists falsely think that atheism just means "without belief" but it actually means, "No God." Atheism is a positive claim that God does not exist. Agnosticism is the view where they don't have an opinion either way.

Sure, some atheists like to say, "Atheism just means that we lack belief in God" but this is an attempt by modern atheists to redefine the word. The word NEVER meant that. The word always meant "No God."

I even heard some of them say, "Atheism means that we don't think there is enough evidence for God." But, this backfires too because there ARE theists out there who agree with this statement, but believe in God anyway. So, this definition gets thrown out the window too.

The proper meaning of "lacking belief in God" means that you believe God is there, but you don't believe in Him. Sort of like having a friend who betrays your trust and you lose your faith in him. The friend still exists, but you lose your belief in your friend. So, this is why "lacking belief" backfires and actually means you DO think God is real, you just lost faith in Him.

So, that leaves atheism as meaning "No God" which is a positive claim. So, any atheists out there want to defend their positive claim of "No God?"

No no no no no no no no....

Fellow believer here, but I have to be the bearer of bad news, Non-belief in God does not mean acceptance and then rejection of God.

It means that the person in question has considered and rejected the arguments for God. We may think they're wrong, but we can't say that they're denying something that they know to be true. They aren't. They're denying a posit that WE are making, just as we deny every other God that we are presented with.

We do not win by default.

"A moral philosophy that is fact based should be based upon the facts about human nature and nothing else." - Mortimer J. Adler

Offline natlegend

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1658
  • Darwins +66/-0
  • Polyatheist
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #690 on: March 13, 2014, 12:08:28 AM »
For One Above All and all those others that have asked me for a link to the (rather lengthy) article I posted on page 20 (or therabouts), here:

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/09/i_was_a_fundamentalist_until_science_changed_my_mind_partner/

Sorry it took so long. Having trouble with my lappy which I am about to throw out a window...

So, Skep, Jes, any thoughts on wha this guy has said about how he lost his faith? Oh no, wait, stupid me, I should know better. This guy was obviously NoTrueChristianTM
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 12:28:03 AM by natlegend »
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Online skeptic54768

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2636
  • Darwins +52/-433
  • Gender: Male
  • Christianity is the most beautiful religion.
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #691 on: March 13, 2014, 12:19:25 AM »
lol deep down inside, you know that's not proof that God does not exist.

Deep inside this forum, you will notice that hardly any of us say we have proof that there is no universal god of some kind. Refer to the "Are there any Atheists here" thread.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26482.0.html

What we do say, is that teh Christian God is easily disprovable. Your thread lacks precision in the title. It should have been "Prove There Is No Christian God - A Challenge" That would be easy, because Christian God created the sun on the 4th day, and did nonexistent floods, and seems to have no adherents. By your own admission, you are practically the only true Christian. We just have to keep whittling, from there.

One thing I find peculiar is that you let someone talk about Buddhism and Eck, without commenting.

I think you suffer from Theism, like racism and sexism. You tolerate people who say they believe in a God, no matter which one, but you make baseless attacks on people who are unsure. You are a theist bigot, which proves that you are not a Christian, and therefore there are no adherents of Christianity.

Of course plants were created before the Sun. God already created light on the 1st day. This light was used to make plants grow.

Did you seriously miss this? I hope you don't take offense to this, but this is very basic reading comprehension, about 2nd grade level.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Online skeptic54768

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2636
  • Darwins +52/-433
  • Gender: Male
  • Christianity is the most beautiful religion.
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #692 on: March 13, 2014, 12:20:54 AM »
Regarding this absurd notion that atheism is a belief.  Atheism is just a word.  Skeptic initially tries to play some kind of word game which is irrelevant.

The real issue is views on what other people already believe.

If my next door neighbor comes to me and says to me that he bought a yacht, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt even though I’m not sure he can afford it.  So I say congrats and all that, and ask him questions about it like what it looks like and where it’s at to which he responds that it is right in front of his house.  I look, and say “where?”  My neighbor responds “right there, don’t you see it?“  I answer “No I don’t, what do you mean by yacht?”  He responds, “a yacht.”  I ask, “you mean like a big boat right?”  He responds “yeah, kind of, it is huge though like 60 feet.”  So I look again and there is nothing in front of his house except an empty front yard and the street with no cars on it so I say “I’m sorry, but I’m just not seeing it, I don’t believe you own a yacht.” My neighbor gets a little angry and says “What do you mean you don’t believe, do you believe my yacht doesn’t exist?”.  I don’t want any trouble so I calmly reply “Well, I think it Is great that you got a yacht, I’m going to go inside my house now, see ya.”

The point of that little conversation with my neighbor is that I don’t need to believe his yacht doesn’t exist.  The yacht simply doesn’t exist, so I have no belief that it exists.

This analogy might not even be that good either since we know yachts exist, we’ve seen them at docks, in pictures, on TV and the internet.  “God” is even more vague and ambiguous than a non-existent yacht.

_______________________________

Believing something doesn’t exist implies that the something does in fact exist and that in order for it to not exist I need to actively believe it doesn’t. 

For example, let’s say I get a tattoo, but there is a slight screw-up in the artwork, I could ignore it and actively believe the screw-up wasn’t there.  This might be hard for some people to do, but if I’m not much of an art critic and the screw-up didn’t bother me I could believe that there is no screw-up, yet other people would notice it and ask me about it.  This is active belief that something doesn’t exist when it clearly does. 

Now, I think it is this tattoo example that Skeptic seems to be implying what we are doing.  Unfortunately, the tattoo example was about a slight screw-up, which is something reasonable to actively believe doesn’t exist.   We’re not talking about a slight error in artwork though are we, we’re talking about “God”.

If “God” clearly exists, how does one actively believe “God” does not exist.  This seems unimaginable to me, it would be like actively believing my house doesn’t exist as I’m standing in front of it or sleeping in my bed on the second floor of said house.  If “God” exists, is “God” not as obvious as my house?  Why not?  Why is “God” even less obvious than a slight screw-up in a tattoo? 

The problem is, “God” is about as obvious as a non-existent yacht in front of my neighbors house.  I don’t need to actively believe “God” doesn’t exist anymore than I need to actively believe there is no yacht in front of my neighbors house.  I simply lack belief that there is a yacht in front of my neighbors house in the same way I lack belief that there is a “God”.

_____________________________

I would guess that skeptic or some other theist would respond to this by saying that I am assuming “God” doesn’t exist.

My response to that line of thinking would be no, I don’t need to assume “God” doesn’t exist.  I’m simply waiting for those who assume “God” does exist to show me “God”.  Just like the non-existent yacht, I don’t need to assume the yacht doesn’t exist.  I can simply check.  I’m actually more inclined to believe my neighbor about the yacht since he is so adamant about the yacht.  In fact both he, his wife and their kids all are adamant about the yacht.   And I’d probably go see the doctor to check my eyes except my neighbor, his wife and their kids all describe the yacht differently which is odd.  Even odder still, I can walk right through where the yacht supposedly is, I can drive my car through where the yacht is which makes my neighbor very angry apparently.

Now the question is, should I care if the yacht doesn’t exist if it makes my neighbor happy and inspires him to help others?  Probably not, it’s not affecting me and it is good that my neighbor is helping others.  What if my neighbor starts bothering me to watch out for his yacht, files for tax relief because of his non-existent yacht and starts pressuring government representation to make laws regarding his non-existent yacht?  Well now we got a problem.


EDIT: Grammar

False analogy because yachts, by definition, are visible.
God by definition, is invisible.

Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Online skeptic54768

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2636
  • Darwins +52/-433
  • Gender: Male
  • Christianity is the most beautiful religion.
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #693 on: March 13, 2014, 12:24:44 AM »

Jesus warned us of people like that.

Jesus warned us of people like you!

You may not curse here but almost every word that leaves your brain is an insult to atheist and Jesus.

JB


I can assure you that Jesus was most certainly NOT talking about people like me. If my posts come off as insults to the atheists and I'm not even trying to sound insulting, then that just means their position doesn't stand up to skeptical criticism.

I wish you well in your search for Jesus.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Online skeptic54768

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2636
  • Darwins +52/-433
  • Gender: Male
  • Christianity is the most beautiful religion.
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #694 on: March 13, 2014, 12:27:27 AM »
For One Above All and all those others that have asked me for a link to the (rather lengthy) article I posted on page 20 (or therabouts), here:

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/09/i_was_a_fundamentalist_until_science_changed_my_mind_partner/

Sorry it took so long. Having trouble with my lappy which I am about to throw out a window...

So, kep, Jes, any thoughts on wha this guy has said about how he lost his faith? Oh no, wait, stupid me, I should know better. This guy was obviously NoTrueChristianTM

I try not to use conversion stories. This guy abandoning Christianity doesn't convince me to join atheism any more than an atheist becoming a God-fearing, Bible-carrying Fundamentalist would convince you guys to join Christianity.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Online skeptic54768

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2636
  • Darwins +52/-433
  • Gender: Male
  • Christianity is the most beautiful religion.
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: Prove There Is No God - A Challenge
« Reply #695 on: March 13, 2014, 12:29:31 AM »
skeptic

you keep posting outrageous claims without any sort of support whatsoever. 
examples:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26445.msg605453.html#msg605453
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26445.msg605550.html#msg605550
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26445.msg605560.html#msg605560
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26445.msg605564.html#msg605564

These are all professions of faith and are no replacement for evidence.  I tried to help you in another thread by posing specific questions.  I even made it a fill-in-the-balnk.  You blew me off.

You seem to miss the entire point of this site is to provide evidence.  I really, really, really need you to start supporting these claims of yours.  If you do not, your posting privileges here will have to be curtailed.   


Please show me something in those links that has no evidence. I don't see it.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)