Debate:Atheism vs. Deism

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Why Atheism is ridiculous

Stick with me, this can get confusing for those who aren't highly verbal and good with spatial concepts. "God" is another word for "everything." God equals everything. Everything is God. To deny that "God" exists is silly because the universe and everything in it exists. Thus, atheism is prepostorous if God is everything.

The only question (and it is a valid question) is whether Everything when taken as a whole is sentient or not.

In other words, does God (or "everything" if you prefer) think? Does God have a plan? Or is Everything (i.e. God) just ... here?

Some people prefer to believe that Everything is just randomness with no plan. "Everything" is just does its thing with no guiding force, no rules, no anything. Everything, of course in an ever changing but non-planned form, has always been here. Everything will always been here. Everything is nicely organized into protons and electrons and stars and galaxies. Lives come and go with no meaning whatsoever. All of this and more is "Everything".

Some people have come to realize that Everything seems to have a design and a plan, and that the Grand Architect planned everything. Some people (Einstien included) believe that time is an illusion and that the infinitely complex organizational structure of Everything implies one undeniable conclusion: Everything (or God) is sentient. God has a plan. That plan is far more complicated than we can possibly imagine or understand. Everwill 11:19, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

That's not the God I know. Philip J. Rayment 11:43, 24 April 2007 (EDT)
As a godless, atheistic, morally-bankrupt existentialist, I have to say I disagree with this "assessment." If I am to take what you say at face value I come to the immediate conclusion that atheism is still correct. If "god" is a synonym for "everything" then I am moved to think of the everything as all the mass in the universe. I am typing on some god, sitting on some god and had a delicious bowl of god for breakfast this morning. But I don't think that's what you meant....
I think of the universe this way: I don't know how it came to be, but I assume it was a chemical and physical event, not supernatural. I know that this "stuff" doesn't have to have a plan in order to exist. There need not be a man in the sky to protect me from everything. I don't need to pray to something that I will succeed in life because there is no one listening. But, I'm not sad about this, I don't feel alone or unloved by the big ol' scary universe. Rather, I feel emboldened to take moral actions when I can.
Camus is my hero. His basic equation boils down to this: once a person realizes that there is no god they have two choices--suicide or a "faith flight." That is, if one accepts the religious view of things. If Camus is correct, and existence does indeed precede essence, then there is a third choice, the philosophy of moral action. Simply put, one must make meaning of their own life and not wait for a god, or religion to do it for them.
Now, since I don't believe everything has a plan, and that I have a moral obligation to help my fellow man (and woman), I have an obligation to come to sites like this and try to fix them. Not by including so-called "liberal bias." Rather, the point is to make sure truth trumps propaganda. Wether I like it or not, I have a duty to help fix this garbage. I liken it to watching a child roll their tricycle toward the street. You, the adult, are standing there and you can see a truck bearing down on the child. Do you try and help her, or do you pray? I must take action and this website affords me a chance to help everybody. Flippin 11:54, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

You have mistaken my meaning, despite repeating exactly what I said:

If "god" is a synonym for "everything" then I am moved to think of the everything as all the mass in the universe. I am typing on some god, sitting on some god and had a delicious bowl of god for breakfast this morning. But I don't think that's what you meant....

This is indeed exactly what I meant. So in fact, there is a god. The question is God sentient or not. Does God have thoughts, plans, etc. Or is the universe a jumble of meaningless matter that is and always was. A tangental thought to ponder: auantum mechancics seem to suggest that reality can change depending on the observer.

For those who say "this is not the God I know". Indeed, it is the God you. Here's the line of logic:

1. God = Everything
2. Therefore God exists. (And the corrollary, atheism is ridiculous.)
3. Now there is a choice: one can choose to believe that God is sentient; or one can deny the sentience of God despite overwhelming of evidence to the contrary.
4. Then, if God is sentient then what can we mortals know of God? Where will we find His truths? We might find them in science. We find them in religion. We each find out own personal truth in different ways.

If you make it to step 4, the argument becomes which religion is best. Which truth makes the most sense to you. Christians, Buddhists, Islamist, they all have their own personal arguments. I won't waste time debating religion when atheists are in the room. It's pointless, because they haven't made the logical step to 3.

If your mind doesn't make the leap to step 3, there is no point in discussing morals. In fact, it's ridiculous to postulate morals or philosophy because the universe is meaningless. For those who are at this point in personal growth: thine only commandment is do what thou wilt. It is pointless to do anything other than that which makes you happy if you get to step 2 but don't make the jump to step 3. However, if you can comprehend step two but don't believe in 3 then all this poppycock about morals and goodness is ridiculous. Furthermore, when an atheist discusses morals and philosophy it only only serves to prove there is a God. This is because the atheist's spirit (which he doesn't believe believe exists) nags and naws at him like the quite voices of angels.

If you make it to step one but can't make it to step 2, then you are a) either incapable of higher thought; or b) intellectually dishonest because you fear where this argument leads. Everwill 17:34, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

Okay, what you are trying to do, in logic, is referred to as an enthymeme. However, your argument does not work. First, you must show HOW god equals everything. Otherwise you can say anything. Thus:
  1. god = toast
  2. therefore toast exists
  3. a = b, thus b = c
But you tried to do something else. You tried to insert statements as if they are quantifiable terms. Sort of like saying, "E = mc2" Well what do those letters mean? "Elephants equal mustard and cows times themselves." You've defined nothing except a lack of basic logical principles.

Being intellectually dishonest would be if I said, well, "god likes strawberries more than cherries." When you ask why I'll say "because they taste better." Asserting your opinion as fact is what makes it less than true. Flippin 17:45, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

Flippin, why do you care if a child rides into traffic on a tricycle? What do you gain if she is saved? What do you lose if she dies? It sounds a lot like your a theist to me. You obviously think the universe has some meaning or some order. If the universe has order and meaning then it only follows that you believe the universe is God. The next step to make is to find out where God best reveals his truth. You think that his truth is best revealed in the philosophical musings of your hero Camus. Camus wrote your Bible. Everwill 17:34, 24 April 2007 (EDT)
It might be difficult to understand but I did not say that god=toast. I agree that God is not toast. Is "Everything" that is to say the universe as a whole sentient or not? Simple question. Everwill 17:50, 24 April 2007 (EDT)
Furthermore, by your example:
  1. god = toast
  2. therefore toast exists
  3. a = b, thus b = c

By your definition, then it would be possible to know the true nature of toast. We pretty well already know how to make toast. It's a silly diversion from the question you are afraid to ask yourself. Everwill 17:53, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

No it isn't. I have already asked myself—for years—if there is a god. I have come to the conclusion ther very likely isn't. I am not an atheist (they are 100% sure) but I sit at about 99.9% sure. I have diverted nothing—being intellectually honest with myself meant I had to realize there was no god. Flippin 17:58, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

As the one who said, "this is not the God I know", I reject the first point in the line of logic, that God equals everything. I am a monotheist, not a pantheist. God made the universe, He isn't the universe.
Flippin, your counter-logic is wrong. Everwill's logic skipped a step. His logic was:
1. God = Everything
1A. We know that everything exists.
2. Therefore God exists.
So in order to match Everwill's argument from logic, your counter logic should have been:
1. god = toast
1A. we know that toast exists
2. therefore god exists.
But you got point 2 back to front.
Philip J. Rayment 21:04, 24 April 2007 (EDT)


So as I understand it you think God is outside of the universe? God is apart from the universe. God is not everywhere at all times, rather he is somewhere else. Where is that somewhere else and what reason have you to believe (other than blind faith) that somewhere else exists? Everwill 08:53, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

God is a spiritual being. He is "outside" the universe—a physical place—in the sense that He is not part of it. But being an omnipresent spiritual being He is not confined to a physical place, so He is not outside in a geographical sense. He is everywhere at once, but not synonymous with the universe. Philip J. Rayment 09:39, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

I agree that God is not "confined" to anything. But I'm not sure there's any value to arguing the fine differences between "everything", the universe and God. We're not philosophers, and others have explored this better than we can. I think there is some value to helping atheists understand why the question is not whether God exist or not. The real question is whether God is an omnipresent sentience or not. Everwill 10:09, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Everwill, your argument that god = everything is preposterous. Firstly, i do not agree with the first statement you make, that god is everything. I would like some hard proof, or at least a convincing argument that god equals everything before the first premise of your argument.

If, for arguments sake, we assume that your first premise is correct, then the only question is, as you say, whether everything (or god) is sentient? Again, you can say so, however i want proof. I have yet to see a plan in the universe or everything. According to the current predictions by astronomers and physcists, the universe is set to expand for an idefinete period and that eventually all the stars will run out of hydrogen and go out, and that everything will spread further and further apart at faster and faster speeds until the universe tears itself apart. Can you explain the plan in this? It displays all the theories about gravity, dark matter, quantum theory and strong and weak nuclear forces. There is nothing to show an added level of intelligence in this everything.

Please do not assume that your first premise is correct until you show some evidence for this, otherwise your argument is entirely invalid.

Bolly Ottihw 21:06, 26 April 2007

You must have made things pretty difficult for your alegbra teacher. The teacher presents the following:
x + 1 = 2
X is unknown.
Solve for X.
To which you reply, "Prove that X is unknown and a mathematical value. X is a letter and has no value, thus algebra is entirely invalid."
Hopefully you see how silly your reply is, but I'll grant you that I may have given you too much credit above. Perhaps the concept is a little too complicated for you to understand as I presented above. I'll try harder.
If the word "God" is synomous with "everything" then I assume you believe God exists. If the word "God" means "magical bogeyman who meddles in the affairs of mankind" then I assume we agree that God does not exist. In the framework of the argument above, God means everything.
Now I'll put that aside and try to explain the concept without using words that offend your sensibilities. The universe shows organization and complexity beyond any single human's comprehension at every level. The components of a cell, atomic structures, galactic structures, geological structures, biologal structures. It's vastly intricate, interconnected and complicated. The universe functions like an immense machine and so far as we can tell, it will continue to function for quite some time and it functioned long ago.
With this knowledge one has to make a leap of faith, and science has taught us that the simple solution is usually the right solution. The simple solution is that the universe is organization implies design, design implies designer. The only other plausible choice is that the everything that every happens, happened or will happened is the result of something that makes a lottery ticket or a lightning strike look like a easy money and a daily occurence. Now, I respect your right to belive that, but I think it's sort of naive.
So you think the universe is randomness. I think the universe has order. Now to work back into the definitions presented above. I think God has order. You think God is randomness. Whether we call it God, the universe or everything, it makes no difference. I'm not trying to take away your right to believe what you want. I'm not trying to tell you to go to church. I'm just trying to find a common ground on which we can agree. Everwill 08:23, 26 April 2007 (EDT)
Everwill, you raise an interesting point regarding the odds of complex life in the universe, but I'm afraid I must refute it. You are partially correct in saying that it "makes a lottery ticket or lightning strike look like easy money and a daily occurrence". However two things must be taken into account:
1) The universe is vast.
Certainly, the odds of you winning the lottery are unlikely, as are the odds of you dying in a lightning strike. The chances of either these events happening to someone in your family aren't great either, but are slightly better. If we widen the scope to someone in your town, state or nation, those events become much more probable, until we can say with some confidence that 'every day, someone on Earth wins the lottery and someone else dies in a lightning strike'. The universe is so incredibly, mind-numbingly vast that the chances of intelligent life forming independently somewhere is actually a mathematical near-certainty. According to Carl Sagan there should theoretically be thousands of civilizations stranded across the cosmos, far beyond each other's reach... but I'm getting a bit misty-eyed with that.
2) The universe is complex. That's all we can say right now.
The universe is neither completely random nor perfectly predictable. Obviously the tangible properties of the universe seem to follow various laws of interaction, but quantum mechanics have revealed that at a sub-molecular level, particles seem to defy pretty much every natural law there is. So the situation is so thoroughly complicated that the universe itself can't seem to figure out how it works. It might be a little premature for us to try and identify abstract gods in it.
Underscoreb 21:58, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Alright, now i understand the point you were making. I do not agree with it, however i see now where you are coming from.

The reason that the whole of the universe is so incomprehensible to us, is because we evolved on a scale where the only distances that mattered were a couple of hundred kilometres to about a centimetre. That was all that was needed to survive as homo erectus in a hostile world. It was not necessary for us to be able to understand a cell or an atom or a star. The complex machinery that is our brain is not built for such things as the universe or quantum theory. This is why it is so hard to comprehend.

The simple solution is the right solution in the majority of cases, however the simple solution in this case is not one of design. Darwin has already shown that while animals and plants may look designed they are in fact the end result of a massive series of gene mutations and adaptations. In this case, there is no designer and thus your point that organization implies design implies designer is proved wrong in the case of natural life. Simply because there is no such explanation for how the universe has come to be in such a way does not mean that there is no explanation that does not need to attribute it to a designer. Just think that 300 years ago, noone thought that something complex could come from something less complex as it balked common sense. However our common sense only applies to simple, mundane everyday things, not the huge distances and complexities of space or an atom.

Bolly Ottihw 16:56, 27 April 2007

Why That Argument Was Ridiculous

Everwill, I can see what you're saying about everything in the universe being part of God - popularly known as pantheism - but it presumes the existence of a God in the first place. What you're saying is, 'if God created it, the universe is part of God. The universe obviously exists, therefore so does God.' Even if we are willing to accept the existence of a prime mover (and plenty of agnostics do), it's still a pretty big leap from there to an interventionist God, which would be the only point at which religion or morals could come into play as anything more than an abstraction.

Perhaps I should explain a little more about the atheist worldview:

1) It's not a faith/belief, it's an absence of belief. I believe Bertrand Russell said it best that "calling atheism a religion is like considering 'not collecting stamps' a hobby". Basically, and forgive me if this sounds frivolous, we tend to treat reality as something which must be subject to either empirical evidence or logical inference. For this reason we see no more reason to believe in an interventionist God than the Loch Ness monster.

2) We don't hate you guys, honest. We might find your beliefs about the universe to be highly implausible, but we don't want to destroy you or poison the minds of your children. When we do clash with believers over education, healthcare or civil rights, it's usually because we see faith as something that should be practiced by individuals, not enforced by a system. And the whole evolution thing? It's not anti-Christian. We paint a fascinating picture of what we are and where we seem to have come from, based on what we've found. We don't explicitly tell your kids that the universe is a cold, godless void in which all things are destined for oblivion, because we respect freedom of religion. But we also respect freedom from religion, and it means a lot to us that classrooms and churches maintain healthy but separate spheres of influence. NB- I should also add that when I debate Philip Rayment et al. here on Conservapedia, it's not because I hate you or your beliefs or even that I'm trying to convert you. I simply enjoy debate, and sometimes I feel frustrated when theologists attempt to join a debate without actually employing reason to the best of their ability.

3) Most atheists try to keep an open mind. While a fringe element of radicals insist on disparaging religion with an ironically religious fervor, most atheists would be open to the possibility of God's existence should new evidence suggest itself. This is why atheists and agnostics find science so damned exciting - new discoveries are being made in mathematics and physics every year that yield fascinating new revelations, such as the fundamental oddness of prime numbers or pi that seem to indicate some kind of cosmic signature. Conversely, the work done by Kurt Godel on incompleteness theorem seems to indicate that there is no Unified Theory of Everything, which would have huge repercussions if anyone could figure out what this actually means.

Hope this helps. I look forward to the responses. Underscoreb 21:22, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Questions and Answers

Plato showed how in a debate one asks questions so that the debaters can pursue the truth together rather than being adversaries. So what I can't understand is why would you do anything ever which does not serve your immediate self-interests? Would you feel guilty about murdering a child to get what you wanted, if no one would punish you? Is "good" just an animal instinct that we humans share? Or do you have a spirit which can discern right from wrong?

To be more specific you say Because I feel an obligation to help her. What obligates you? Do you have a contract of some kind? Will she pay you? What is the gain for you? What binds you to this vague notion of obligation? Why do you feel anything about her?Everwill 17:42, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

So here are my questions:

"Why would you do anything ever which does not serve your immediate self-interests?"
  • Atheist says: I might ask you the same thing. I have no short-term interest in this child's death. I have a long-term stake in her survival (she may grow up and cure cancer).
  • Theist replies, because there is something, perhaps a spirit or a god, that imparts to ever soul the knowledge of good from evil and right from wrong. Doing evil moves you further from god and thus it does not feel good to do evil (even when it feels good to do evil!) This is a shorthand way of saying that when you commit acts which are pleasurable but evil, you feel shallow and empty inside. On the other hand, when one commit acts of kindness without any payback of any kind, one feels good inside. This is something most humans learn as they progress into maturity. Everwill 09:05, 25 April 2007 (EDT)
"Would you feel guilty about murdering a child to get what you wanted, if no one would punish you?"
  • Atheist says: Two parts there: I wouldn't murder a child--as I said--so what is there to feel guilty about? If no one would punish me presupposes I have done this act, so the question is invalidated by the former.
  • Theist replies, I should hope you wouldn't murder a child, but your reply ducks the obvious answer. Of course I wouldn't murder a child to get what I wanted, but if I did murder a child to get what I wanted I would feel guilty. What causes that feeling of guilty? Is that not proof of a spiritual aspect of life?
"Is "good" just an animal instinct that we humans share?"
  • Atheist say: It certainly could be. "Or do you have a spirit which can discern right from wrong?" Reason allows me to discern right from wrong, as I said above. I am compelled to act according to this obligation to help others and not let them have their choice made by another.
  • Theist says, what is this "reason" you are talking about in an athistic universe. Without God or morality, what is the difference between good and evil or right and wrong? From an atheistic (i.e. Satanic) POV right and wrong are silly concepts. "Good" is just an excuse to chump the strong from their rightful place at the top of the food chain. Don't you agree?

"What obligates you? Do you have a contract of some kind? Will she pay you? What is the gain for you? What binds you to this vague notion of obligation? Why do you feel anything about her?"

  • Atheist says: Okay, now you're getting to the meat of the matter. I am obligated by this sense of everyone's right to exist. I have no more right to take you're life than I do to steal your bike. Not that those two are equal, but the line of demarcation is the same. It is only selfish in the sense that I gain when this child is allowed to grow up and make her own choices. If, in the process, I am killed, then I have served my principles. If she dies, then I took moral action and can feel good about my effort. However, if I let her die I am as guilty as any of those Nazi guards at Aushwitz who said "I was only following orders."
  • Theist replies: your answer implies the existence of God even if you can't see the forest for all the trees. Why does everyone have a right to exist? Because you said so? That makes no sense in your concept of reality. What if my country elects a leader, for the purposes of illustration let's call him Adolf Hitler. Our leader through legal government manuevers manages to establish a process to eliminate what he sees as a cancer on our nation. By your reasoning that leader has a moral imperative to kill Jews BECAUSE he thinks it's best for the nation. From the theist stand-point, we believe that all life is precious, most especially human life. Therefore it doesn't matter what logic, rationale or legal manuevers Hitler makes, killing is wrong.

Atheist summary: As long as you have a choice, to defer your morality to a god, or priest or whatever you ask for figiveness is to shirk your duty to society—that being to think for yourself. Flippin 17:56, 24 April 2007 (EDT)

Theist summary: No one ever defers any choices to anyone ever. Each individual is always responsible for his own actions and choices. To clear up your confusion: a theist defers his choices to a priest about as much as a judge in a court room defers his choices to his first year law professor. Religion is a tool to help us understand God. Religion and religious leaders do not speak for God. An "atheist" who follows a moral code is just a theist who doesn't know much about his God because he's too afraid to trust others. Everwill 09:16, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

In point of fact here, I have said I am not an atheist, I am more properly called an agnostic. An atheist, by definition, holds that they have the answer--that there is no god. As an agnostic I am open to the idea that a god exists, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Please don't refer to me as an atheist--it is a different thing altogether. Also, in addition to agnosticism, I am an existentialist--so you could also use that term if you like.
Finally, I don't have a god-belief so I don't do things because something tells me a god wants them done. I do things that I reason are beneficial to society, e.g. actions that foster growth, development and change. I abhor stifling debate and that seems to be the purpose of religion as it is used most of the time. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I'm comfortable with my approach to all questions. Flippin 09:53, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

You claim that "I don't do things because something tells me a god wants them done". You do things because a little voice inside your head tells you to do things? Who is that little voice?Everwill 10:05, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

I don't have a "little voice." That is superstition. I use reason. Flippin 10:54, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

It's easy to dodge the obvious with semantics. There is absolutely no question you (and all human beings) have a "little voice", that's not a superstition, that's a fact. The argument is about what is the driving force behind that little voice.

You claim that you simply rationalize everything out through the use of reason, and you are perhaps superior to moral codes found in religion. For example, you won't kill the little child because as you say you "have a long-term stake in her survival (she may grow up and cure cancer)." But if killing the little child would give you a billion dollars, you would kill the child because of the risk versus reward principle found in rationalization. The odds of that little girl inventing a cure for cancer are pretty remote. Furthermore, you might not ever contract cancer. But with a billion dollars you could finance a health care system that would further benefit you and those you deem worthy. That's "reason" at work and to you way of thinking that's much better than silly and archaic notions like "good" or "evil". Everwill 12:08, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

I think you have more of a stake in believing that a "non-believer" would like to kill a child for some kind of gain. I don't see it that way. I don't think there is anything that would make me kill a child. That's silly.
Also, I don't have a "little voice" in my head. People who do I deem to be psychotic or lying. Simple as that. Flippin 12:11, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

A hypothetical argument takes a certain statement as an assumption and attempts to analyze it. You seem to be (perhaps intentionally) misunderstanding the hypothetical in the form in which it is presented. But, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and pretend like you really don't understand because of inability to communicate.

Let's change the hypothetical slightly, you state there there is nothing that would make you kill a child. Why would you never kill a child? I understand that you base this decision on reason, but I don't understand the basis of your reason. Is your reason based upon moral codes? Aren't "moral codes" just superstition to help suppress the will of the strong? Is your "reason" based upon what most helps society or is your reason based upon what most helps you? Why would you ever do anything to help society which ran counter to your own purposes?

As the wise philosopher Camus/Flippin says, Simply put, one must make meaning of their own life and not wait for a god, or religion to do it for them. This is all well and good if one is perfect reasonable. But what about people who are unreasonable and who devise a meaning of life exemplified by people like Hitler, Jim Jones, Jeffery Dahmer, Stalin, and Charles Manson? By what right can we impose our value-system upon them?

By the same token, should each individual have the right, nay the duty, to devise his own code of laws and not wait for some legistlature or society to impose those laws upon them? Everwill 15:21, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Everwill 15:15, 25 April 2007 (EDT) .

Trying to parse some of this

Since I consider myself a good communicator I will try and communicate with you.
Okay, you said: "Why would you ever do anything to help society which ran counter to your own purposes?" How could one do anything that helped society that didn't help oneself? Maybe I should try and explain that by asking is there really anything that one can do that helps society, yet hurts the self? If one takes an action that helps society, like picking up garbage alongside the road, does not that act help society? And if we agree that it does, how is one harmed by it?
A reasonable person might say that the individual could get a sunburn. The individual could be hit by a truck. These are true statements, but the probability of these things happening is low (for the truck) and not that dangerous (for a sunburn). But what is the value of picking up debris left by less reasonable citizenry? Do we not gain as a society by having less trash by the roadside?
A reasonable person might also say, yes, but must I pick up all the debris along the roadside? My answer would be no. The responsibility for cleaning up roadsides is spread equally between us all. We have a shared responsibility to do this because it helps the individual and the society.
Now, you also mention examples like Hitler who reasoned that murdering Jews would benefit him. But is Hitler an example of a reasonable man? Honestly? Hitler was more likely sociopathic, which is a disorder that affects one's ability to reason. If we rely on reason to tell us that what is of the greatest benefit for society is of the greatest benefit for the individual, then opposing someone like Hitler, or another damaged person, is reasonable. Thus, we not only have a right to oppose them, we have an obligation to oppose them. Just as we have an obligation to oppose trash on the roadways.
I would not kill a child because doing so can only harm society. What in that describes to you a failure to communicate? Must one have a "god-figure" to stop them from killing children? If there were no god, would you kill children? Is a strong faith then a barrier to crime? And if so, why would a god allow that in a world/universe they control?
Finally, why do you feel the need to paint me as something less than moral? I have explained this repeatedly yet you do not understand. Is the failure to communicate really mine then? Flippin 16:13, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

I'm not trying to paint you as immoral. I've said repeatedly I think you are moral. But I'm trying to work within your framework to understand the truth (according to you) and I'm trying to understand the source of your morality. Where (according to you) does moral authority flow from?

I thought you said that morals comes from "reason". But as you describe it is seems that morals don't come from "reason", but from your rationalizations. I don't understand why you think your rationlizations are any more valid than the rationalizations of any other person? Of course, millions of Germans agreed with Hitler's rationalization. They were not all sociopaths. I assume that we agree their rationalization was flawed, but why is it flawed? This seems to indicate that there is some higher moral authority than rationalization. Is there some absolute code of moral authority, or were the Germans simply wrong because they lost the war? What does it matter if they were morally wrong anyway? That was in the past. There is no spiritual world and there is no God. Today is a new day. This is a new minute.

I think you're trying to claim that certain rationalizations is more valid than other rationalizations. If some rationalization is more valid than others, then why don't we as humans attempt to find the true source of the best rationalization possible and then follow that reasoning? If that is not a religion, what is that?

Secondly, I suppose I find it difficult to believe that anyone does anything simply because of "reasoning" alone. In my experince people do good things because it makes them feel good, not because they rationalized and reasoned away the degree of goodness vs. the effort required. Like every other human being, you sometimes do some bad things. After the commission of these acts of badness, why do you feel guilty? If the ends justify the means there should be no such thing as guilt.

Thirdly, what is the point of morality? Who cares? Why not take from the system whatever you can whenever you can. Your actions will not stop the world from spinning. You will not stop the stupid morons who worship the flying spaghetti monster, so why not exploit them? Then you can better use their resources, since you have a higher level of rationalization? Everwill 16:51, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

  1. Rationalization seems to make the unreasonable, reasonable. That is what religion is for.
  2. Reason, as I have stated serves as a guide. It then becomes automatic.
  3. What you describe are the acts of a person that is unreasonable. I have addressed that. Flippin 17:11, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

What you haven't address is this: who defines what is reasonable? The guy with the biggest gun? Everwill 17:16, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

The Theist answers

Here are my answers to your questions:

The theistic-denier states:

I would not kill a child because doing so can only harm society. What in that describes to you a failure to communicate? Must one have a "god-figure" to stop them from killing children? If there were no god, would you kill children?

I can think of many incidents of killing children which would benefit society. Our society could harvest children from poverty-stricken regions where resources are depleted and food-shortages are chronic. This is good for the environment and greatly reduces the chance that their children will suffer from famine. Then we could use those children to research cancer, AIDs and other diseases. Rather than working on cadavers, young doctors could practice their trade on these children. Then we could pulverize the remains and feed them to hogs. This would provide more food for other people. If you are opposed to killing (because of some fear of the mythic god) you could just enslave the children instead. We have plenty of jobs they can do which will help society more than some miserable existence in a barren wasteland.

Working strictly from a framework of reason and rationalization, why not kill children to better serve society? Furthermore, of course, this rational begs the question: why is the society of any importance at all? Why is "society" any bigger than the individual?

Please, as one human being to another, it is much easier if you call me an agnostic--which is what I am. I don't call you a gods-worshipper, or whatever. (Jesusfreak I know is a popular perjorative that I don't use either. I am trying to be respectful.) I don't fear god--that isn't the reason to do/not do anything. I don't want anyone to kill me, so I don't kill others. Religion gives those who don't know why they do things a reason to say why they did. Flippin 17:18, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Additionally, the "agnostic" asks:

Is a strong faith then a barrier to crime? And if so, why would a god allow that in a world/universe they control?

Please understand that at this point, I'm not trying to prove to you my point of view. I'm trying to understand your point of view. So, while I believe that faith is the strongest barrier to crime that I know of, I won't bother to explain why I think this to you because you are clearly more enlightened than I. You've advance beyond the need for some silly god-figure.

What I would like to know is; what is your barrier to crime in the atheistic framework? It appears (based on my example above) that it is something other than reasoning, because I've proven how killing children can be good for society.

I'd be more than happy to answer why God allows suffering in the universe, but the answer to that question is pointless if we don't agree that God exists. Let's not waste time. Hypothetically, I'm agreeing with your argument that the fact that there is suffering in the universe is evidence that there is no god. Let's proceed along your path and see where it leads. Everwill 17:14, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Religious faith is no more a barrier to crime than atheistic, or agnostic, moral reasoning. In Toronto sometime in the 70's the police went on strike. It took two hours for the first bank to be robbed, and at then end of the strike $3 million worth of damage had been done to shops and almost every bank in the city had been robbed. The vast majority of people who were arrested as a result of the crimes were religious. I'm not suggesting that therefore religion encourages crime, it just shows that it isn't such a barrier to crime as you would think. There is also anecdotal evidence that there are very few atheists and agnostics in prison compared to christians.
The agnostic and atheistic framework is different from what you seem to think. The value of life is the most important part of my beliefs. This is not because of god or the bible, this is simply because those were the morals that i was brought up with and because they make the most logical sense. If life was not valued, then mass murders would be common and unnoticed as greedy people killed and stole to take what they wanted. This would lead to the breakdown of society as a whole. That is why enslaving and killing third world children is wrong, as they have exactly the same right to life that i do.
This moral framework is far more effective as a crime barrier because people who use it have thought about why they think things are right and wrong from their own POV. Your framework comes from a book that was writtn 2000 years ago, and therefore not all its morals are up to date with the changing zeitgeist. Bolly Ottihw 14:13, 26 April 2007

You don't advance the argument by pointing to facts that don't answer my questions. This is what I call the magician's argument. The magician's argument goes as follows: there is nothing in the hat therefore the rabbit from the hat must be magic. I don't care about your claims about religion of criminals. I'd like to have answers to my questions. As best as I can see your answer to my hypotheical question is to deny the framework of my hypothetical question. I can only assume that you refuse to answer this line of question undermines your belief set and that's why you won't answer.
BTW, the reason I am pursuing this line of questions is not because I don't understand the atheistic point of view. I understand the false premises of atheism quite well. This is because for many years, I was an atheist. As I matured I came to realized just how much I didn't know. I still don't know what I don't know, but as the arrogance of youth recedes I begin to know how much I don't know. Thus, I realized atheism was naive and foolish, so I became an agnostic. Since that time, I learned more and came to believe that I am probably a deist but my search for truth continues. I may yet get more specific in my religious beliefs as I further mature. I will point out to you that it is a universal truth that as we get older we get wiser. It is not a coincidence that churches are full of old people. Everwill 07:52, 26 April 2007 (EDT)
I don't see what your point is here. Could you state, in just a sentence or two, what your hypothetical that we are ignoring is? Also, we may need to archive some of this (which I don't know how to do yet.) Flippin 10:08, 26 April 2007 (EDT)
The hypothetical (previously stated in a wildly exaggerated example) is: if in truth "reason" is your only guide and if in fact there is no soul, no spiritual world and no God, why do you do good things that don't follow reason? Why don't you do "bad" things that have perfectly good rationale? Your answer to the second question was: devise a better hypothetical because my reasoning is arbitrary and supports whatever rational I choose to follow. Everwill 10:51, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

A place for a few more answers

From the Bible of the Good and Moral Atheist:

"We have evolved the ability to empathize, to share the motivations and feelings of those around us. From this, we have gained the ability to sympathize with the plight of others, to understand what may be causing them distress or pain, and to wish, for their sake, that their suffering would stop. Armed with this sympathy, we act in a moral way to prevent the distress and suffering of others. Our opinions on what constitutes a moral course of action may differ, but the underlying sympathy is the same."

"With sympathy for others and recognition of the similarities between people, we each build an internal code of the morality of our actions. We seek to protect innocent children, for we were once children ourselves and needed protection. We seek a society that does not foster immoral actions, in order to protect the members of society like ourselves. We feel and internalize various plights and pains of others in this process, and develop a true morality. American revolutionary and President Thomas Jefferson put it well when he wrote in an 1814 letter, “Nature [has] implanted in our breasts a love of others, a sense of duty to them, a moral instinct, in short, which prompts us irresistibly to feel and to succor their distresses.”

Though I am sure this will mean little to a "deist" it is useful to those who at one time tried to find god but realized that the effort was too intellectually dishonest for them to ultimately accept. I think, Everwill, if you are really interested in learning about this and not just baiting the less conservative folk here, you might do well to read some of this material.

This is exactly my point, but I don't want to jam it down the throats of our resident atheists. Although they don't yet realize it, if you are a moral atheist, you are not an atheist at all, but rather you are a deist. The slippery slope is: once you realize you are a deist, you begin the search through religions to find a deeper meaning of life and learn more about the true nature of God. Everwill 10:53, 26 April 2007 (EDT)
But that's just it--I am not a deist because I do not accept there is a god that needs to exist. If that means you are going to call me an atheist, fine, whatever, but otherwise there is no reason to be condescending about "poor little atheists." It just isn't necessary. We feel, if I may be so bold, that you are the one who is lost. Flippin 11:14, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

Flippin this statement so far as I can tell doesn't seem to based upon reason but rather upon faith. As Thomas Jefferson (a deist) said, “Nature [has] implanted in our breasts a love of others, a sense of duty to them, a moral instinct, in short, which prompts us irresistibly to feel and to succor their distresses.” In your "Nature" means "good luck" or at the very difference "luck". I don't see any difference between "good luck" and God. You think these are unrelated concepts, but I'm not sure why. Everwill 11:36, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

If I sound condescending it is because you are no different from a fundamentalist Muslim. That is you refuse to critically examine your belief set objectively. To answer hypothetical questions will lead you in a direction you refuse to go. You demand that others prove the unprovable as evidence that there is a God. Understand this: we agree that God is neither a flying spaghetti monster, nor a bearded old man laying on a cloud. Relax, I understand your position completely, because I've been where you are. It's okay. Each finds his own path in due time.Everwill 11:36, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

Maybe there is a reason it is "unprovable." Truth be told, I think what passes for "good luck" is also random. Just as the rest of universe, this computer I'm typing on and the bowl of Cheerios I had for breakfast. It occurred through chance that this came about—not by a bearded man in the sky waving a wand. If you are looking for fantasy, watch Harry Potter or read the bible. I live in a world of facts and evidence and am content to do so until my lamp is extinguished. Flippin 11:45, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

I really have no idea what Harry Potter or the Bible has to do with the central question. After all this talking I have discerned (with much difficulty) that you attribute all that we see to "good luck". I call it "God" but I agree completely that whether it's just good luck or whether it is God this realization does not change reality. Other than that we are in complete agreement. Everwill 11:48, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

Good, we agree that god is a delusion based on random chance and superstition in the ill-informed mind. Glad to hear that, too. Flippin 11:51, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

No. We agree that your misinformed characterization of the word "God" is the based on your perceptions about what you think God is. Since we agree that the universe is the product of luck, henceforth I will refer to the guiding force behind the universe as Luck so as to not offend your belief-set.Everwill 11:55, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

Don't you love how the Truth flows like water? No matter where you damn it up, it will still find the way. This is the miracle of Luck to me. Everwill 12:05, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

good lord this is boring.... Flippin 12:11, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

How 'bout I say "you win" and you evangelize someone else? Flippin 12:12, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

That's "reasoning" for you ... heh ... Everwill 13:09, 26 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, you win by attrition. Congrats. Now, I'll go back to not going to churc and telling school children there is no god. Flippin 13:16, 26 April 2007 (EDT)
See below regarding your concept of "Luck" (master of all the universe) if you seek further truth. If you choose ignorance, remain blissful and enjoy your life. Everwill 13:39, 26 April 2007 (EDT)
Funny, you took the words right out of my mouth. ;-) Flippin 13:40, 26 April 2007 (EDT)
So, in fact this is not attrition or victory (I was never trying to win). Rather the discussion is at an end because you have refused to expand the boundaries of your perceptions. You came here believing that god was a myth and you continue to believe that god is a myth. You refuse to examine the implications of this possibility: myths are myths, but God is something else entirely. The thing you call Luck, I call God. That's called finding common ground. Your current problem is your very fearful of where that common ground might take you. It might shatter your arrogantly held belief-set.
See below regarding your concept of "Luck" (master of all the universe) if you seek further truth. If you choose ignorance, remain blissful and enjoy your life. Everwill 13:39, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

Good Luck

Since all of the universe occurred out of good luck (according to Flippin), can we humans influence Luck? Should we attempt to commune with Luck? Do you think that hundreds of thousands of years ago, men (equally smart) pondered these same questions (since they didn't have a TV to occupied their evenings). Do you think luck, or perhaps Luck, resulted in the strange coincidence that after many generations the consensus view in every culture and society has always been that we can affect our luck by a combination of worshipping Luck and doing good things? Everwill 11:55, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

No no no no no no no. The universe came to be the way it is due to the laws of physics etc, that so far have been proven to be as true as anything can be and apply to the universe exceedingly well. Add to this the theory of evolution, and yes there are one or two holes there, but soon we will have filled them all. The process of life is an attempt to discover things. You may say that we believe that we came here due to luck however i do not believe this to be true. We came here because of a reason that i do not know. However i have faith that i will not remain ignorant forever, and that soon we will know and we need not invoke luck or god to describe how we got here.
I sympathise with you because of your above description of how you came to be a deist, however there are a few things that you might need to consider again. Firstly that just because we dont know something does not mean that we will always not know it. Look at the progress science has made over the past 500 years. We have gone from believing that the earth is at the centre of the universe and that the world is only 6000 years old, to the earth being just one planet revolving around an unremarkable star and is over 4 billion years old. Consider what we may discover in the next 500 years as our technology continues to progress and we begin to explore space outside the playground of the solar system. I would not be surprised if within my lifetime, we have an explanation for how life started and a reason for the big bang that does not rely on some higher being.
As an aside i think that to say that as you grow older you grow wiser is slightly misguided. Yes a some people do because they have more experience and they have the foresight to use that to plan there future. However a large part of the human population does not use this experience at all, and simply assumes that they know best because they are older not because they are wiser. Bolly Ottihw 17:27, 27 April 2007

What's the difference between what you just said and what I just said? You wrote, "The universe came to be the way it is due to the laws of physics etc, that so far have been proven to be as true as anything can be and apply to the universe exceedingly well." Okay. we agree. So the universe is ordered. It has laws. How did the "laws" come about? Did the protons and electrons elect a neutron who decided what laws everyone should follow? I guess these laws are and always have been. I guess we were just lucky to have the Laws of Physics.

As an aside I find this assertion amusing, "As an aside i think that to say that as you grow older you grow wiser is slightly misguided." I'm not so much surprised that someone who believes there is more wisdom in youth than in age doubts the foundations of the philosophies that provided his every waking and sleeping daily need. I wish I were that naive again. Everwill 08:21, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

We, as in humanity, do not know why the laws of physics happen to be the way they are. Maybe there was no choice, and for the universe to have come into existence these laws must have been the way they are. Or maybe there are other explanations. We simply do not know, however again, this admission of lack of knowledge does not mean that I decide that therefore God must be the answer. I simply accept that I do not know everything and then I attempt to find out why such things are the way they are. I do not think that we were lucky to have the laws of physics, I am confident that there is a solid scientific reason that does not allow any greater sentience to have a hand in things and that this reason will become evident in the not to distant future.
I do not think there is more wisdom in youth than in age. That is the reason I said 'slightly misguided'. Not totally misguided and not completely idiotic. Just that there are old people who are not wise just as there are young people who are. I do not claim to be one of those young people, I am not wise in any sense, although I do hope to learn from my experiences and others and thus become wise. However many people do not use experience in this way and so do not become wise, just as some people pick up on things quickly and are. I do not doubt the foundations of the philosophies that provide me with such. I doubt the philsophies of Thomas Aquinas, St Anselm and any that have agreed with these two charlatans parading themselves as philosophers.Bolly Ottihw 16:52, 28 April 2007
Bolly, please learn the conventions of colons to seperate text. (I'm tired of adding your colons.) I put instructions on your discussion page some days ago.

The Imaginary Catalyst

There's a part of the concept you're having a very difficult time wrapping your head around. You wrote:

We simply do not know, however again, this admission of lack of knowledge does not mean that I decide that therefore God must be the answer.

You don't know it but your making an argument of semantics not an argument of logic. It doesn't matter whether you call it Luck, God, or some as yet unknown catalyst, in the end all rational humans agree that SOMETHING is the answer. Once we agree that there answer then we can begin to examine by deduction the properties of that something. People tend to get hung up on words because it connects them to some childhood they are rebelling against or a childhood that they are attempting to validate.

Whether we call it God, Luck, Fate, No-alternative, the concept descriptor doesn't change the concept. In other to explain to others, I prefer to find use words which make sense to them, rather than fighting them about things that don't matter. Here's another way to look at it:

Do you remember the concept of i, the imaginary number from mathematics? Conservapedia doesn't have an article about i yet, but you can read one from Wikipedia here. The idea behind i is that some concepts are not fully understood but still can be examined in an objective manner. According to some Wikipedia editor,

"Many other mathematicians were slow to believe in imaginary numbers at first, including Descartes who wrote about them in his La Géométrie, where the term was meant to be derogatory."

Thus, I can understand why you are resistant to this concept. But if mathematicians can do it, so can you.

Forget about "God", the word touches a fear deep in your psyche. The previous debater wanted to call it Luck. How about for your benefit we call it g, an as-yet unknown causation of the laws of physics and the origins of the universe as God. I agree we might one day learn all the properties of g but right now we don't know the properties of g.

The atheistic proposition is we haven't discovered the imaginary catalyst yet, and therefore g doesn't exist. The deistic proposition is that it's silly to think that g doesn't exist just because we can't understand or define g. Everwill 09:45, 28 April 2007 (EDT)

I agree with you over all your points there except your final one. As you say, the catalyst can be called g as i feel that leaves out any unnecessary baggage that comes with the terms god or luck. My point is not that g does not exist, of course it does. There must have been a catalyst. My view is that g is not some sentient thing, rather it is some process that is automatic and with no thought, such as a boulder rolling down a hill. The boulder has no choice in the matter of rolling, nor does it have any way of experiencing its rolling, as it has no nerves or centre of intelligence with which to experience outside influences such as gravity. This is how i see g. It is (was) a process that happened with no alternative or even any way of knowing there could be an alternative.
Apologies for not using colons, I did not realise this was common courtesy on this site. Thankyou for pointing that out to me. Bolly Ottihw 18:03, 29 April 2007

And this is why I say it's ridiculous to say that you're an atheist. You might be arreligious, but it's ridiculous to be atheistic.

This is because you and I can have a reasonable argument about the nature of g or we can argue about the properties of g, but it's silly to say that g doesn't exist. Now that we finally agree on terminology, it might make sense to argue the properties of g.

I understand why you might think g is not sentient. Afterall, like a boulder rolling down a hill, g would appear to have no nervous system, nueral net or anything else which might sustain thought as we detect it in most brains. If g is sentient then the level of intelligence is so far superior to our own that it would be almost incomprehensible. All of the things you see as normal, I see as miraculous. But there is no sense wasting time arguing about it. I respect your right to analyze and postulate on true nature of g. Please respect the conclusion that I have drawn.

I have concluded that g is somehow part of a Unified Theory which still eludes our smartest minds. The Unified Theory ties together light, energy, mass, time and g. I think that if we had a greater understanding of g we could easily manipulate the other elements described above.

I believe this because I believe both the scientists and the philosophers. They both are experts in their fields. Neither party is dishonest. Additionally, I have limited and anecdotal and experiential evidence that this it is possible to affect g and to commune with g on some level. I rely upon the scientific method. Everwill 09:30, 29 April 2007 (EDT)

Yes, we do agree on those points. I would just like to add that i do not see most things as normal, i do see them as miraculous, the difference being that you attribute them to a sentient g while I attribute it simply to the way things have happened.
Your idea that if we understood g we would be able to manipulate those elements is intruiging. I cannot wait to see if scientists do manage to understand g in some way and are then able to do those things, although of course, the results could be potentially catastrophic.
Finally, just as a matter of definition, I am not strictly an atheist. I refer to myself as such, as the majority of religious believers understand my position in relation to theirs easier then if I say "I'm an agnostic, verging on atheistic but still open to solid evidence for the existence of god." For them, that is an atheist. Bolly Ottihw 19:17, 30 April 2007

Let Me Paint a Picture

(NB also posted on Atheism vs. Pastafarianism, but that had a title so obscure that I thought no-one would read it there!)

Just suppose there was a universe in a multiverse far far away....

... and in that universe, which came from nothing, and had no organisation, no structure, by some remote chance of fate that only happens once in every 10 to the squillion years, that matter self organised into a self-reproducing molecule. To begin with, that structure was crude, basic and lacked any real semblance of we might call life, but it had one single feature, that it was able to self-replicate (albeit somewhat haphazardly) and reproduce. Reproduce it did, and over time there were many copies of this thing. I say 'thing'; I actually mean things, because from this simple rudimentary molecule, came others, better equipped to reproduce, and so began the process of reproduction, change, survival and adaptation.

A squillion years passed and that self-reproducing molecule had became so sophisticated that it was no longer a molecule, but had packaged itself with a coating of material for protection; that material had its own molecules which told it how to reproduce and survive, how to accrete and modify naturally occurring minerals in the surrounding context, and how to use the natural energy of starlight to produce different molecules.

Time passed, and these packages of molecules began to take on a myriad forms; some remained stationary, making complex molecules from the atmosphere and starlight; others roamed about using the stationary packages as raw materials to create their own package coverings. The diversity was amazing. The single molecule had by now invaded every part of the planet; every ecological niche was filled by a different type of package, and everything worked. Many of the moving packages began to use other packages for their material needed to grow and survive; some got rather good at it. Some even began to be able to structure rudimentary plans of how to do it better, and these were passed on to other packages of the same type. These packages became so good at adapting to their environment that they began to shape their environment for themselves; at first, simply finding cosy spots to rest, then hollowing out spaces or using material to construct things.

One day, one of these packages, used the complex set of molecules within its package not to plan a nice cosy spot to rest, or to work out even better ways of accreting more material to itself, but to ask the question 'Why am I here?' That unanswered question inevitably led to other questions, such as 'What is space?' 'What is time?', and 'Why is so much of my life spent looking for nice cosy spots to rest and better ways of accreting material to myself?'.

A squillion years later and the descendants of these packages were still asking themselves the same questions. Long ago they had enlisted the help of most of the universe in their quest to find the answers. They had harnessed the power of the very small: atomic nuclei and quantum fluctuations to power and drive their auxiliary questioning devices; they had reached out on the very large scale to the furthest depths of their universe, and all were connected. The question was still unanswered until one day, the huge, all-encomassing packeage managed to make the final connection which pieced everything in the universe together. Then it all fell into place. All at once the package could see - not only where everything is, but how everything was, and where it will be. The package knew all the answers, and knew that it could change them.

For a time, the package wallowed in smugness and self-satisfaction. It had answered all of the questions that could usefully be asked, and many that were useless. There followed a period of boredom followed by a long peiod of emptiness. Most of all, it was lonely. Desperately and unutterably lonely. How lonely you cannot possibly imagine. Destined to be for the whole of time without any other being for comfort or companionship. It craved attention. For a while it went mad. Then out of that madness came a brilliant idea. As it could change time and space, why not look back over its long multisquillion year history and change things?

The universal package didn't really approve of its humble beginnings so it decided that a tweak here or there wouldn't go amiss. The first package to ask the question 'Why am I here?' didn't really seem right. Wouldn't it be better if the first question recognised the importance of where that primitive package was heading? Why not change that question to 'Who put me here?' or 'What am I destined for?', or more importantly 'Is this everything, or is there something else?'. Best of all, putting the idea 'Who put me here?' meant that primitive packages would come to a realisation (but not understand the significance) of a universal package, and would begin to talk to it.

Its first attempts to do this were crude and clumsy. They missed the mark by miles. Packages attributed 'universal package status' to stars, minerals, and other packages, but not the one universal package itself. Then it hit upon the solution, almost by accident - to put into the mind of one lowly package the idea that this lowly package was the naturally occurring descendant of the one universal package. That idea was so powerful that it reverberated down through the whole of time like an avalanche down a mountain slope. All at once, all the packages wanted to talk to the universal package, and it was happy. It was no longer alone, and it was loved.

Some packages believed in the one universal package; other packages believed that they had arisen from the mud of the planet in a multi squillion year history. Did it matter to the universal package? Not a jot. They were both right - and both wrong. It amused the universal package to watch the antics of these primitve packages arguing with each other in such a pointless manner. This was entertainment, and it was certainly much better than being bored, lonely or going mad.

--CatWatcher 02:35, 29 April 2007 (EDT)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That was great. It is the most stupid yet intelligent thing i have heard for ages. You should copyright that story then sell it as a new religion. As well as this it also makes a weird sort of sense. God is just some random who discovered the question and answer to the ultimate question of the life, the universe and everything and was driven to madness, lonliness and complete power. He then used that power to make people pray to him so he could feel loved!! Ahh...the irony. God, who loves everyone, only wants to be loved in return. So I suppose that now, as an atheist, I'm a cruel sadistic bastard who denies a lonely superbeing some loving care. Bolly Ottihw 21:54, 29 April 2007
What is the point of this story? Is the point is that it's fun to mock a potential creation motive for God? What does this parable prove or disprove? Everwill 09:52, 29 April 2007 (EDT)
This is like asking what is the point of 'The Mona Lisa' or 'Under Milk Wood'. Essentially it has no intrinsic value whatsoever, unless it speaks to you. Clearly it doesn't, so give up, and view it as a worthless piece of junk. If, however, it has some meaning for you, ponder on it, and it may allow you to look at the world in a slighly different way. I wrote it, but I do not believe it. It is however, a possible world, and is not inconceivable that something like this will happen/has happened. Retaining an open mind is all important; such thoughts will ultimately allow our decendants and successors to achieve great things. --CatWatcher 16:21, 29 April 2007 (EDT)
It's fine as far as fairy tales go. Keep working on it and I'm sure it will evolve into something even better. But why on Earth would someone walk into a debate about Atheism and Deism, raise their hand and then hold up a picture of the Mona Lisa. Is that supposed to make sense because the subject of your fairy tale is tangentally related? Everwill 19:13, 29 April 2007 (EDT)

I sometimes feel that I am on another planet. The Fairy tale was supposed to be a cautionary exercise to demonstrate that this question (Atheism v. Deism) is ultimately futile. Both sides can be right, and both sides can be wrong. The question is a false dichotomy.--CatWatcher 19:43, 29 April 2007 (EDT)

I often find that saying what you mean before and after you offer an illustration makes what you are trying to illustrate all the more plain. Both sides can be right and wrong at the same time, if both sides have different definitions for the terms about which they are arguing. Everwill 08:34, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Musing about the Motives of God

It is arrogance to presume to understand the motives of g. But I think this statement completely inaccurate:

So I suppose that now, as an atheist, I'm a cruel sadistic bastard who denies a lonely superbeing some loving care.

I think this would be a more accurate and fair statement:

So I suppose that now, as an arreligious who thinks he's atheistic, I'm a pitiable masochistic bastard who denies himself a full connection to the power and glory of the superbeing who cares not a whit whether I love g or not.

You can't deprive g of anything. But it is possible to deprive yourself of something because life has not yet fully humbled you. I understand. I was arrogant myself. Everwill 09:46, 29 April 2007 (EDT)

Well of course I was just playing along to the story. I do not presume to understand the motives of g simply because I do not believe that g has motives. And I find that I can connect with something wonderful when I examine the underworld of my lawn with a magnifying glass, or when i gaze upon the stars from my small telescope. This something is nature and I find it is more satisfying to connect with this then to connect with a sentient g, although this is of course, my personal view. Bolly Ottihw 19:21, 30 April 2007

Note to Almonday

Please learn how to add content to debates as far as the formatting. I reverted your edits, but you can reinsert them using the correct formatting.

By the way, part of your edit used these two logical fallacies: genetic fallacy and appeal to novelty fallacy. I am referring to this statement of yours: "Where we find ourselves confused and perhaps a bit disheartened is when we rely too heavily upon ancient religious dogma made up by people who still believed the world was flat and that God spoke through thunder."

Please endeavor to be more logical in your debate material. Conservative 02:30, 1 December 2014 (EST)