The best arguments for strong atheism

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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#81  Postby Teuton » Dec 26, 2011 6:02 pm

The only argument for positive atheism I discern in this thread is the following one:

1. There is no evidence for the existence of God. [premise]
2. If there is no evidence for the existence of something, then it (probably) doesn't exist. [premise]
3. If there is no evidence for the existence of God, then God (probably) doesn't exist. [instance of 2]
4. Therefore, God (probably) doesn't exist. [modus ponens from 1+3]


Note: Arguments for positive atheism always end with the conclusion "Therefore, God (probably) doesn't exist/gods (probably) don't exist."
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#82  Postby chairman bill » Dec 26, 2011 6:07 pm

If you care to closely define 'God', then I'm sure we can come up with some more arguments for its non-existence, but as general 'god' stuff, what else is there?
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#83  Postby Teuton » Dec 26, 2011 6:17 pm

chairman bill wrote:If you care to closely define 'God'…


I'm sure you know what "God" is traditionally taken to refer to: the unique transcendent, eternal, maximally intelligent and powerful personal spirit who is the creator, sustainer and controller of everything (distinct from himself).
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#84  Postby chairman bill » Dec 26, 2011 6:21 pm

Yeah, but then once that guy is debunked, someone will throw up some other quality not accounted for, and off we go again.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#85  Postby Mick » Dec 26, 2011 6:24 pm

Ihavenofingerprints wrote:Religions were entirely made up by humans. People who lived thousands of years ago couldn't explain many aspects of reality. Everything from the night sky to existence itself needed to be explained (because humans are curious), and the best/easiest answers were probably supernatural ones.

Just look at how many religions there are. Each one stemming from a different tribe/community that needed answers, and settled for bullshit ones. Also, one might say "gravity is just a concept created by humans" - Yes, but natural philosophers/scientists came to the conclusion that gravity exists through a logical and reasonable process, following the evidence where it takes them. We can repeat their experiments today and confirm their findings.

The people that came up with (today's main) religious myths lived thousands of years ago and probably didn't know much about the world. It's extremely unlikely that they came to their conclusions through a logical and reasonable process IMO.

Anyway, thats my 5 minute rant. Feel free to take it apart.


So, exactly what is the reason for thinking that strong atheism is true here?
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#86  Postby Mick » Dec 26, 2011 6:27 pm

Ironclad wrote:The collapse of Natural Theology & the strength of the Scientific Method?
Atheism has its uses, in freeing the mind of unimportant & purposeless activities for one. Time is better served striving for liberating technology or advanced medicine, than it is for chasing ghosts that cannot be shown to exist (or refuse to participate).



I don't understand this. Natural theology aims to show that there is a God based upon reasoning and the like. The failure of these arguments does nothing to show that the contrary is true. "The" scientific method (there is no one scientific method) is neutral on this matter, and so its strength shouldn't have any impact on this issue.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#87  Postby Mick » Dec 26, 2011 6:38 pm

Teuton wrote:The only argument for positive atheism I discern in this thread is the following one:

1. There is no evidence for the existence of God. [premise]
2. If there is no evidence for the existence of something, then it (probably) doesn't exist. [premise]
3. If there is no evidence for the existence of God, then God (probably) doesn't exist. [instance of 2]
4. Therefore, God (probably) doesn't exist. [modus ponens from 1+3]


Note: Arguments for positive atheism always end with the conclusion "Therefore, God (probably) doesn't exist/gods (probably) don't exist."



Yeah, basically. Either that or they are confused as to what the OP is asking them. However, 2 is a bit strong. They could get by with specifying it to a deity. Perhaps there's something about the existence of a deity sich that they'd expect to see evidence of it if it were to exist. They could also get by with a weaker version of the evidence premises. It's suffient to allow for some evidence for God, but just no sufficient evidence.

Weaker premises are always best.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#88  Postby Teuton » Dec 26, 2011 7:08 pm

Mick wrote:
Weaker premises are always best.


The weaker the premises, the weaker the argument.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#89  Postby Jireh » Dec 26, 2011 7:32 pm

UnderConstruction wrote:
Jireh wrote:
blindfaith wrote:

how do you know the universe started with the big bang, and hasnt been big banging for eternity?


do you know actually what eternity means ?


Do you?


Sure, i think so.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#90  Postby Jireh » Dec 26, 2011 7:35 pm

blindfaith wrote:jireh your avoiding the question, i do know what eternity means, now pls answer mine, thanks


as Craig explains :

A collection formed by successive addition cannot be actually infinite (or eternal ).

The temporal series of past events is a collection formed by successive addition.

Therefore, the temporal series of past events cannot be actually infinite.

subsequently, our universe had a beginning, and cannot be eternal.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#91  Postby chairman bill » Dec 26, 2011 7:37 pm

Yes, but what about fucking pixies?!
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#92  Postby Made of Stars » Dec 26, 2011 7:46 pm

Jireh wrote:
blindfaith wrote:jireh your avoiding the question, i do know what eternity means, now pls answer mine, thanks


as Craig explains :

A collection formed by successive addition cannot be actually infinite (or eternal ).

The temporal series of past events is a collection formed by successive addition.

Therefore, the temporal series of past events cannot be actually infinite.

subsequently, our universe had a beginning, and cannot be eternal.

You mean 'as Craig asserts'.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#93  Postby Paul » Dec 26, 2011 7:50 pm

Teuton wrote:
Mick wrote:
Weaker premises are always best.


The weaker the premises, the weaker the argument.


Well that about wraps it up for theism then.
Therefore atheism.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#94  Postby Made of Stars » Dec 26, 2011 8:03 pm

Teuton wrote:The only argument for positive atheism I discern in this thread is the following one:

1. There is no evidence for the existence of God. [premise]
2. If there is no evidence for the existence of something, then it (probably) doesn't exist. [premise]
3. If there is no evidence for the existence of God, then God (probably) doesn't exist. [instance of 2]
4. Therefore, God (probably) doesn't exist. [modus ponens from 1+3]


Note: Arguments for positive atheism always end with the conclusion "Therefore, God (probably) doesn't exist/gods (probably) don't exist."

Indeed. The get out of jail card for theists here is that the theist can just elide by saying 'that's just methodological naturalism', not a positive argument for atheism, as if the one cannot support the other.

Restated, the physical universe is sufficient to explain reality (given enough resources to investigate any particular question).
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The best arguments for strong atheism

#95  Postby Ironclad » Dec 26, 2011 8:10 pm

For Mick:
Natural Theology fails to tell me anything about the nature of the divine creature, it's arguments (to me) offer meandering nothingness beyond wishful thinking; Physico-theology does not have a leg to stand on - It's Arguments From Design fail in the face of (the/any I'm aware of) scientific method.
To steal a passage from H J Blackman ( Humanism, 1968) - ~ the onus used to be on the unbeliever (to have his beliefs taken seriously) when it was assumed that natural theology proved the primary truths of religion which explained and justified the world. ~ [thanks to Darwin, other researchers and scientists creating peer-available paperwork] ~ the collapse of natural theology means the obligation to justify his/her position has shifted from the unbeliever to the believer and cannot bounce back. The onus is inescapably on the theist. THAT is the justification of agnosticism.

I prefer the 'strong atheist' stance, being as the challenge (above) repeatedly fails, is effectively dead, and will most likely continue to embarrass itself over and again. Natural theology is a dead parrot, physico-theology is the cement shoes it wears.

The failure of these arguments does nothing to show that the contrary is true.

I guess that could well be true, but the failure of these arguments leads us to turn to other areas for explanations of phenomena - the mountain of evidence for other 'real & natural' answers points quite firmly in the opposite direction from heavenly beings. Remember, the OP asks for reasons behind strong atheism. Each of the theologians failures allows me a step away, even from agnosticism.
"The" scientific method (there is no one scientific method) is neutral on this matter, and so its strength shouldn't have any impact on this issue.

It does to me, the two POVs make poor bed-fellows. I think the impact is ground-shaking.

Excuse the fragmented passages, micro-typing on a phone is poor, but I hope I've cleared up the query a little. :thumbup:
Last edited by Ironclad on Dec 26, 2011 8:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#96  Postby Moonwatcher » Dec 26, 2011 8:11 pm

jaygray wrote:...and I guess you've all noticed that there is no clarification from Jireh at all about what his idea of what strong atheism is. That particular maneouvre allows his to place the goalposts where he likes.


I suspect he means the active assertion that there is no deity as opposed to simply saying there is currently no evidence but if genuine evidence were ever produced... Or, at least, that's what Wikipedia defines as Strong Atheism. I would say I am a strong atheist about particular religions, in fact, all religions that define a god because I don't think any of them stand up to reality. Whether there is such an entity in any way that has never been defined and doesn't fit any mythical beliefs? Well, that's the classic sucker bet. There is no way to know.

But as someone on another thread wrote just yesterday, some things seem obviously idiotic by defining too many details. Other things can have the illusion of being more likely when they really are not simply by providing no details.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#97  Postby Mick » Dec 26, 2011 8:16 pm

Teuton wrote:
Mick wrote:
Weaker premises are always best.


The weaker the premises, the weaker the argument.

That's ridiculous. Weaker premises are just those that stick your head out less, not those which are more flimsy.
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#98  Postby RPizzle » Dec 26, 2011 8:40 pm

A Jireh thread, for my birthday? How did you know? :lol:
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#99  Postby Ironclad » Dec 26, 2011 8:44 pm

Happy Burfdayz RPizzle. :)
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Re: The best arguments for strong atheism

#100  Postby Mick » Dec 26, 2011 9:25 pm

Ironclad wrote:For Mick:
Natural Theology fails to tell me anything about the nature of the divine creature, it's arguments (to me) offer meandering nothingness beyond wishful thinking; Physico-theology does not have a leg to stand on - It's Arguments From Design fail in the face of (the/any I'm aware of) scientific method.
Which says no more than natural theology is a failure. It does not suggest that God does not exist.


To steal a passage from H J Blackman ( Humanism, 1968) - ~ the onus used to be on the unbeliever (to have his beliefs taken seriously) when it was assumed that natural theology proved the primary truths of religion which explained and justified the world. ~ [thanks to Darwin, other researchers and scientists creating peer-available paperwork] ~ the collapse of natural theology means the obligation to justify his/her position has shifted from the unbeliever to the believer and cannot bounce back. The onus is inescapably on the theist. THAT is the justification of agnosticism.
OK, the justification of agnosticism, got it.

I prefer the 'strong atheist' stance, being as the challenge (above) repeatedly fails, is effectively dead, and will most likely continue to embarrass itself over and again. Natural theology is a dead parrot, physico-theology is the cement shoes it wears.



This says no more than natural theology is a failure and will continue to be so. Ok, so what? This doesnt suggest that theism is false. Heck, there are theists who will agree with you that natural theology is a failure, though that's not what they base their theism on.


I guess that could well be true, but the failure of these arguments leads us to turn to other areas for explanations of phenomena - the mountain of evidence for other 'real & natural' answers points quite firmly in the opposite direction from heavenly beings.
OK, so now here is your real reasons, though you havent mentioned any.

Remember, the OP asks for reasons behind strong atheism. Each of the theologians failures allows me a step away, even from agnosticism.
Why would it allow you to do this?



It does to me, the two POVs make poor bed-fellows. I think the impact is ground-shaking.


lol. why's that?
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