To prove God not existing, atheists conflate God with invisible unicorns.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Pachomius, Nov 8, 2014.

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  1. river


    It would be good to give a post # to your response towards anyone , most do , if you have not noticed
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It is certainly intended to end discussion if all a person has to support the tenet of his belief is his belief in it, and then shifts the burden of proof to the one disbelieving. It highlights, through absurdity, why the burden of proof should be on the one making the claim rather than the one being asked to disprove it.
    If you think it is intended for anything more then I would suggest you either read too much in to it, misunderstood its use within the argument, are too defensive and looking for an excuse to cry foul, or simply the other person has not been aware of what the teapot et al is designed to counter and/or explain.
    Sure. They believe for a whole plethora of reasons.
    Um. Yes it does. By definition.
    Not really. He always espoused the idea of following the evidence as one interpreted it. He was an agnostic atheist - certainly not one who claimed god did not exist - but he didn't believe God existed until quite late in his life, when he eventually concluded that God existed, due to his interpretation of the evidence gathered during his life - albeit a deistic god rather than Abrahamic or the ilk. Others in his position might not have interpreted the evidence as he had done and remained atheist. But he did not. And throughout his life he argued that one should never presuppose the existence of god until the evidence led there. To claim he believed God existed throughout his campaign seems erroneous.
    No one disputes that belief is actual. But the belief is different from what is being believed: just because someone believes X does not mean X is real, which is what you seem to be saying here.
    he did not aim to ridicule! or reduce it to children's fairytales (feel free to point out such a tale about a celestial teapot, though, as it is some time since I was a child). He used an analogy, albeit an absurdity, not to ridicule but to highlight the issue of where burden of proof should lie.
    If you feel it ridicules then perhaps it is because you feel you fall foul of it too often?
    In response to the first: why does one need positive reasons to believe in something for which they have no evidence? You presumably do not believe in the existence of the celestial teapot?
    To the second: cyclical argument - why should one accept the word of scriptures when there is no evidence to do so? Believe in the scriptures and you will undoubtedly believe in God, but it is a cycle of believing to believe.
    Strictly, either God exists or God does not exist. There is therefore, strictly, a correct position with regard to that. It may simply be impossible to find out which it is. Being truthful to oneself does not make a position any more or less right than it is.
    If someone is "truthful to themself" in thinking 2+2=5, does that make them right?
    God not being in mind is not the same as acting as though God does not exist, unless you are of the belief that one only believes something if they are actively thinking it... which is an odd position to take... or one thinks that belief in God should be accompanied by permanent lifelong devotion in all works and deeds, and that to not have God in mind is heretical. Do either of these apply to you? Or are there alternative explanations I have missed?
    Ah, the straw man (of gross generalisation) is put to the sword. Well done, that man!
    And some theists will never, ever, not believe in God, because they are incapable of arriving at, and being satisfied with, a conclusion of "I don't know".
    Pink unicorns, celestial teapots, do not ensure anything. They merely remind people of the way they already think. Forgetting the examples will not change that way of thinking. Perhaps you see the examples as being the argument?
    One man's conversion from agnostic atheism to deism is what you're hanging your coat on these days?
    He was a philosopher, and placed more stock in the complexity of life than perhaps he would have done had he been a biologist or mathematician: from what I have read of his he basically succumbed to the fallacy of complexity in this regard.
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    In post #37 of Nov 10, I wrote:

    That's a short summary of my thinking on the matter.

    I don't spend a whole lot of time trying to invent concepts of 'God'. I don't believe in the existence of God, so why would I? I am interested in religious studies and the philosophy of religion though, so I take some interest in how theists use the word 'God'. I generally leave it to them to supply the word with whatever meaning and connotations it might have.

    A serious problem that arises with trying to define the essence of 'God' is that theists often use the word 'God' in many different ways, ways that sometimes don't even appear to be consistent with one another. Many theists imagine God as a person, others as impersonal. For some God is knowable, for others God transcends all human concepts and categories. For some God is an abstract cosmological principle such as first-cause, for others God is the object of intense personal devotion and love. Concepts of God typically (but not always) have ethical dimensions, but the ethics can vary from universal love to stoning blasphemers. Some believe that God has made special revelations and imagine God as the being that supposedly revealed himself to their tradition's founders. But believers in special revelation rarely accept the full truth and authority of revelations from traditions other than their own.
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Actually, that's all you have to do to be a theist. By definition.
  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    Why is it necessary to support the tenet of ones belief?

    The comparison it makes, is absurd. It’s designed to block the flow of philosophical discussion. It is childish.

    Nope. It is simply a block.

    From your perspective, maybe.
    But you’re not a theist, so how would you know?

    Your evaluation of a theist, is no different to a young persons evaluation of what it’s like to be an old person. It may appear, or even have the outward information more or less correct, but it completely lacks the experience, which is the essential component to any form of knowledge.

    Unless they humble themselves and enquire from one with experience with a view to understanding, how can they ever know, or hope to know, the whole of something.

  9. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    His explanation for why he (seemingly) suddenly upped and believed in God, was/is for the consumption of the militant atheist. Theists already know what’ going on because they also believe in God. It’s like someone who experiences true love for the first time, would be understood better, by someone who has also had that experience, over someone who hasn’t but acts as though they have.

    There is no evidence that can make a person believe in God. The person has to accept God regardless of physical appearances. Flew looked for evidence the whole of his life, but realised that the evidence was, and is, right under his nose, and had the intelligence to give up his stubbornness before he passed away. But it was due to his lack of intelligence, and stubborness, that made him accept atheism. By ''intelligence'', I mean his basic human intelligence, not academic.

    Everything is evidence. If God exists, it must be. This understanding is difference between an atheist and a theist. Simply taking one thing out of the entire creation, and using that as a reason to believe in God, or that God exists, does not amount to theism.

    If you understand what theism is, not simply the definition of the word, you would understand that you don’t simply believe in God because of scientific evidence. The evidence may lead to you accepting that God, or something like God, exists, but it doesn’t mean you believe in that thing.

    I believe psychopathic murderers exist, but I don’t believe in them. I believe my children exist and I believe in them. You do the math.


  10. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    That’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m merely explaining what actual belief is.

    Most militants would know this if they didn’t try to make belief two things (something they do and something theists do). Belief is one thing, and faith is one thing.

    Everything we genuinely believe in, has it’s basis in some form of experience, so what’s at question here is the experience, not the belief. Atheist’s (despite titles) believe God does not exist, and the reason they believe this is personal to each and every one of them. Of course most of you have been conditioned to cry ''no evidence'', but no evidence cannot yield any experience to back up your claims. You simply have no choice but to stick to ''I can't see God with my eyes, therefore God does not exist''. That is ALL you have to bring to the table. And the FSM, and Celestial Teapot, only serve highlight that.

    They say there is no evidence for God, then they do everything within their power to deny God and scripture, completely oblivious to the transparency they create by their actions.

    Unicorns, silly monsters, and talking teapots, adorn kiddy tv. One film in which a talking teapot appeared was Disney’s Beauty And The Beast. A ‘’celestial teapot’’ is no less childish.

    You’re not listening. Are you?
    I don’t feel it ridicules belief in God, because he doesn’t understand what ‘belief in God’ is.
    If I started call you a stupid little girl, in this thread (despite knowing from your own words that your not), would you feel ridiculed?

    His intention, however, is to ridicule God, theism, and religion. To make it less credible in the hope that people will be inclined to stay away from them because they do not want to be associated with something that is shunned in public. No different from not wanting to be associated with fashion that has been publicly ridiculed.


    You would have to take that up with Yazata, as I was responding to him.
  11. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    Why did you bring up the ‘’celestial teapot’’?

    One would accept something if one wished to understand that thing. For example, I have to accept the plot in a movie or book in order to know what's really going on. Otherwise I end up making stuff up. Atheists refusal to comprehend scriptures is a good indication as to why their belief that God does not exist, exists. I would go as far as to say, ignorance is the most important requirement of atheism.

    In this world, God can not exist, and can exist. It is a world of duality. If you bothered to comprehend scripture you would realize this. This is why it is important. The scriptures aren't ambiguous. They don’t debate whether or not God exists. God exists, period. All we have to do is apply basic human intelligence in a bid to discriminate what is real and what is illusory.
    So in this world, if we don’t want God to exist, then it done.
    God does not exist for that person.

    Being true to oneself is the beginning of liberating oneself from illusion. So if one truly does not believe in God, then one must know why, and not leave it to some vague, fashion statement like, there is no evidence. That is just an obvious wall one hides behind. Statements like Russell’s only serve to increase ignorance. Like I said, it is a clever tactic.

    Being true to oneself has nothing to do with the objects of this world, not even one own body. If I am true to myself, and I think that 2+2=5, that does not make me any less true to myself. I will accept the correct answer, upon revelation, because I’m being true to myself. But if for some reason the correct answer is never revealed to me, then my error will not impede my personal development, as it is inconsequential.

  12. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    If you want me to explain what I meant, you would need to start another thread.

    You’ve missed loads, because you are predisposed to not believe in God. In all our discussions you have sought to deny every explanation.

    Here is a great example of current social conditioning.

    Why don’t you show the straw man, instead of just announcing it? As if your announcement makes it so.

    How do you know they are incapable of this?
    What is you evidence?

    So what you’re saying is that God is no different to Pink Unicorns and Celestial Teapots. One simply chooses to believe in God as opposed to Pink Unicorns?

    Agnostic atheism, and other such titles are ball park descriptions of where one is at. The detailed reality is obviously different to the title.
    Flew did a lot of damage in his fashionable atheist days, and he knew it. He knew his fan base, and he knew exactly how they thought, as he was one of the architects of their minds. Upon deciding to stop playing childish games, he had to put things right before he passed. So he carefully came up with an explanation that would be both acceptable and informative for the godless hive he helped create.

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  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Stone age people had philosophy, and science. Also religion. Especially religion - religion is an invention of stone age people.

    They didn't necessarily have gods, of course.

    Yes, it does. You may not like the typical gods people hold to exist, especially the very common types logically equivalent to invisible unicorns, but they are a large part of what we have to deal with.

    Nonsense it may be, but it's what Abrahamic theists typically believe. And they are my neighbors - it's not safe to overlook their beliefs.

    Ot vice versa. Usually, it's not a choice but an echo.

    Uh - books and movies, like Scripture, are made up. I agree that suspension of disbelief is critical to the reading of novels; it is also critical to the proper understanding of Scriptures - anyone's.

    It's temporary, in adults

    As already noted, that's not a concept but a couple of criteria the concept has to meet.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    In discussion, if one can not support one's position, there is no need to take that position seriously.
    It only blocks the path it is intended to block, and in a succinct way that clearly (usually) explains why there is no point going down that path. Discussion can find another path if there is anything else the other person has to offer. If the person wishes to focus on what they perceive as a blocking tactic then that is them refusing to move the discussion on.
    And so you keep saying, yet you seem to have no counter for it, no way to pass it, no willingness to move around it. Instead you keep harping on about it as if it is some illegal manoeuvre, when rather it is utterly relevant but merely something that the other can not get past.
    And you're not a dog, so why do you call them that?
    Nice strawman.

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    No one, through use of the label, is claiming to understand everything about what they label, other than that the label is applicable.
    All theists believe in at least one god. They may well have other similarities, consistencies applicable to the majority, but the one thing that the label is correct about each and every one of them is that they believe in at least one god.
    You may well wish to attribute much more to the label than is actually the case, but that is your personal choice to embellish the label, it does not alter what the label actually means to the rest of us.
  15. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member


    How would I know the definition of theism? I studied both English and philosophy at the college level. I know what words mean.
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    So you say that there is no evidence, and then say that the evidence was right under his nose.
    Wow. Way to contradict yourself in the space of a few lines.
    "Everything is evidence" results from circular reasoning: God created everything therefore everything is evidence of his creation, therefore God exists.

    Reasons to start believing are different to what you may then believe, so this is another fallacy on your part.
    Flew returned to theism because of the weight of evidence he saw and as he interpreted it. But once he believed again, he undoubtedly saw the evidence everywhere. But there was evidence that tipped his scales, so to speak.
    Further, your elitist and patronising tone is noted but unwarranted.
    I am aware that it is not because of scientific evidence that one believes in God: there is no scientific evidence, yet people believe. Conclusion: it can not be because of scientific evidence that people believe. It's not rocket science to establish that conclusion, even for us poor atheists.
    "Believing in God" is a subset of "belief in the existence of God". It is a subset of theism, not theism itself.
    Many have the view that the two are necessarily the same... In that, unlike other areas, one can not believe in the existence of God without necessarily believing in God. But this is a distinction between essentialism and existentialism.
    Theism is merely belief in the existence of... As it covers those who may believe in the existence of God but not believe in God, such as those who adhere to a deist philosophy etc.
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Strawman, again. Who has mentioned anything about faith, and how it might differ to belief?
    Not the experience, no, but in the interpretation of that experience. Two people can have the same experience yet interpret it very differently.
    Some do, but the majority (at least that I know) merely do not have belief in the existence of god. They do not go as far as saying god does not exist. They/we simply do not know. I am not sure how many times you have been told this, but you don't listen.
    If any atheist did come to the table with that, and reach the conclusion that "therefore God does not exist" then even I would call them out on it for being fallacious in their reasoning.
    You are simply being disingenuous, jan, and I think you know you are, given the number of times this point has been made to you, by myself included. Most atheists here are agnostic, and do not conclude as you claim they do.
    Yet your only evidence stems from the cyclical argument of believing in the scriptures. You are on the cycle of believing in order to believe.
    Yes, and soldiers appear in Toy Story, so clearly soldiers are childish as well!

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    so you claim it doesn't ridicule, but now saying it does? Whether it is for one thing or another is moot. You feel it ridicules. If you can answer the argument it raises through analogy then do so. It is only because you (or whoever it may be) struggles with it that they feel ridiculed. But the intention is not to ridicule but to raise a pertinent argument through absurdity. Deal with it!
    Yet I am replying to your comment, not to anything he has said.
    Why won't you answer the question?
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  18. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Scientific evidence has to be reproducible. However, when it comes to data of the human mind and human psyche, there are unique data, that exist, that are not reproducible.

    If you had a dream and you could remember all the details, this data is real data generated internally by your brain. Although real data, you can never prove the details, nor can this dream be reproduced in the lab. It is real data in the sense that others have had similar dream experiences. But your specific dream is unique data, and can't be reproduced.

    Since people have such dreams all the time, they accept this first person direct evidence, they witnessed, over a science legal technicality that says this is not scientifically proven. Faith is often not just blind faith, but it often has unique data support, that is technically not valid science, by being unique data. But the witness of the data knows what they saw or felt.

    The bible says this generation looks for a sign, which is something the herd can see, so it fits in with the scientific method. No sign will be given because the spirit is within, generating unique data.

    In psychology, such unique data is par for the course. This is why it is called soft science. Rather than be stuck, due to a legal technicality, this data is analyzed in the context of the individual, and not some general law of science. This data is more for the laws of the individual. Certain patterns appear, with divine data occurrences part of larger patterns.

    The Catholic Church also does not deny unique data occurrences, since there are many such unique data points. It does however, not attribute all divine data experiences to God. However, they also recognize there is a subset of this unique data, that can be attributed, due to its prophetic or helping properties. This acceptance that may take a generation or longer, for the experimental prediction to run and the results to appear.
  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It is the analogy already being discussed.
    One doesn't accept the plot, it is the plot. You either understand it or you don't. There may be contrivances one has to accept, but that would be a suspension of disbelief, as you know it is not reality, and you know you don't believe it is real.
    This is very different from accepting on a practical level where your belief or otherwise in what you accept is ultimately irrelevant.
    The irony is not lost on me that you speak of understanding yet can not understand what it is to be an atheist, yet claim to.
    And if you consider it ignorance not to accept that which you can not provide, then consider me guilty.
    Its a struggle to keep up with your fallacies, contradictions and attempts (conscious or not) to play with words:
    You say God can exist and not exist, and then say "God exists, period." - contradiction.
    You then argue "God does not exist for that person" as if this is categorically the same as "God does not exist". - fallacy (of equivocation?).
    Do you concur that there is an objective position: God either exists or God does not exist, irrespective of whether there is anybody to hear him?
    Scriptures assume this from the outset: it is an a priori assumption that, in believing in the scriptures, you already believe in the existence of God. As you say, they don't debate the matter: God exists according to the scriptures, the same way that The Hobbit does not debate the existence of Bilbo Baggins.
    The subjective position one has on God, whether God exists for a person or not, is irrespective of whether God actually exists objectively or not. As such the subjective position, while possibly informed by the objective position is no guidance whatsoever on the objective position.
    If both paths X and Y lead to A, standing at point A is no guide as to which path you took.
    You espouse the need to understand and yet you come up with such drivel about the atheist position.
    The irony drips ever thicker.

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    You're like someone trying to invite people to a feast, unable to offer them anything to prove you even have a table on which to put your food, and then complaining when they say they're actually satisfied with the food they have in front of them, and with Game of Thrones about to start.
    Whether you truly have the most sumptuous feast of your own or not, there is no apparent need, no evidence, nothing to outweigh the balance of what they already have.
    You see "no evidence" as the be all and end all. But it isn't. It isn't a wall to the theist unless the theist gets stuck behind it, unable to pass it. It is merely one part of the thought process, the balancing and judgements that go up to make our decisions and guide our actions.
    Simples, really.
    Strawman, as the issue was one of being right or not, not of being merely true to oneself (while still being wrong). But thanks for playing.
  20. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I agree, God is only in your head.
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Of course, feel free not to explain/clarify your comments and leave us to guess.

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    Care to share any of those explanations I have missed, given that there are "loads"?
    And in what way have I denied explanations? That the experience has happened to me: yes, I have denied that many times. That the interpretation of the explanation makes sense to me: yes, I have denied that on numerous occasions. That the evidence put forth is sufficient for me to believe: yes, that too I have denied.
    What else?
    I would have thought mentioning (in parenthesis) that you were arguing against a gross generalisation would have highlighted the issue to you. No? Okay: you are arguing against a gross generalisation - atheists can bear the scriptures, and do not think it is something they have to live by or "burn in hell forever". Many consider the scriptures very useful, but since they are atheist they no more think they'll burn in hell than think they'll go to a heaven if they follow them.
    So, as said, your argument is a strawman. I actually find it surprising you need to have this pointed out to you, but maybe your understanding of what atheism is really is as atrocious as you are willing to reveal.
    Wow, so you see this issue in what I stated, but you didn't bother to think about it when you posted your comment, to which mine was a rhetorical mirroring - to highlight the issue with yours?
    Why should I need to explain this rhetorical device to you?
    That's what I'm saying if you choose to ignore what I am actually saying and go with what you want to make up, yes.
    So let me be clearer: God is no different to Pink Unicorns and Celestial Teapots to some atheists in, and only in, the fact that the atheist sees no evidence for any of them.
    And since many atheists, at least those who deem themselves agnostic atheists, find they can not believe in the existence of something without evidence, they can not believe in God any more than they can believe in Pink Unicorns or Celestial Teapots.

    I'm sure you will continue to misunderstand and argue against this position as though it is used as an argument that proves the non-existence of God.

    Oh, get off your patronising, arrogant, elitist high-chair, Jan.
    You don't even understand atheism let alone what an agnostic is - yet you have the audacity to claim that the label of agnostic atheism is merely a "ball park description"? So tell me: how is the detailed reality different?
    Please tell me how the label does not fit my position, or that of anyone else who is an agnostic atheist? How am I not an agnostic atheist?
    Believe what you will, Jan. You do anyway, so one more thing isn't going to make a difference. Just try not to claim it as fact without support - which I'm sure you won't have the decency to provide whenever asked.
  22. Pachomius Registered Senior Member

    Thanks everyone for your posts; even though I don't react to your posts, take credit for the information you are supplying readers here with your terrific massive learning.

    Now, I asked you all to put at the top of your post your concept of God or your information of the concept of God with the adherents of the Abrahamic faiths, see Annex 1 below.

    You see, if you don't put your information of the concept of God, then I don't read your posts, because I will be wasting my time and labor, since you are not connected with me on the issue at hand, the existence of God in concept the creator and operator of the universe and everything with a beginning.

    Okay, only one post, No. 73, exhibits the concept of God, namely:

    My concept of God is that God is a spirit that resides in those that believe.

    For me, there is no difference between God, The FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster), the Easter Bunny, Santa, Bigfoot (Squatch!), Ghosts, Vampires, Devils, The Great Pumpkin. They are all imaginary, and nobody has ever seen one.​

    Now, the quality of this concept of God or the attitude of the author is not deserving of any reaction from me in terms of serious intelligent exchange of ideas.

    He can carry on with his attitude and I wish him well in his intellectual life.

    Since no one else has put at the top of their respective post their concept of God, so that my post today will not be a waste of time and labor from my part, I will just give an annotation to my own concept of God, namely (see Annex 1, my argument for God existing. text in bold below):

    Discussion phase

    Step 1 -- For the sake of argument theists and atheists concur that God in concept is the creator and operator of the universe and everything with a beginning.

    Atheists right away will complain that my concept of God is already a premise to circular reasoning.

    And that is where atheists are woefully ignorant of what is a genuine argument on the existence of something, namely, first the parties involved must concur on the concept of the thing to be proven to exist in reality or not.

    This phase is not the meat of the argument yet, but an indispensable preliminary requirement in order that parties pro and contra will not be talking past each other’s heads arguing over different things.

    Do you get my message, dear readers, namely, that unless parties pro and contra first concur on the concept of the being or thing they are debating on in regard to the existence in reality of the being or thing concerned, they will be wasting their time and labor disputing on different things, which is an insane undertaking for both parties, unless their purpose is to exhibit their terrific massive learning but of n relevance to the issue at hand.

    Well, that is my critical annotation on my Step 1 of my system of argument for the existence of God, which system can be used also for a template by atheists to argue that God does not exist, of course in concept creator and operator of the universe and everything with a beginning.

    See you guys again tomorrow, and to atheist, don’t forgo presenting your information of the concept of God Whose existence we are going to look for in the expedition phase of our debate, see Annex 1 for the reproduction of my proposed argument.

    To atheists, if you want to talk about circular reasoning, you are welcome, but don't forget to put your information datum on the concept of God in the Abrahamic faiths at the top of your post.

    Annex 1

  23. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    What are you babbling on about?

    Believing that something exists, does not mean you believe in that thing. I already gave an adequate example. Rebut that if you can.


    Then you say ‘’it may be’’?

    Then you go on about personal squabbles with your neighbours?

    What are you talking about?


    Suspension of one’s belief or disbelief is voluntary, albeit necessary, and is therefore an acceptance. One can, and must accept Scriptures, and God, if one is to gain understanding of them.

    Acceptance does not mean one believes what one accepts. Atheists cannot even bring themselves to acceptance, therefore their comprehension, and understand of God and scriptures is based on ignorance. FSM, Celestial Teapot, and all other similar evasion tactics, are prime examples of unwillingness to accept God and scriptures as anything to be taken seriously, comprehended, or understood.

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
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