Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Consequences

Beliefs have consequences...

The following quotes are taken from a couple atheist friends that try to convince us that atheism need not have consequences.

Dale said

"I hope you are not rying to say that you have free will because you believe in a supernatural power but I do not because I don't believe in supernatural powers? Hmmmmmmm?"

I am saying that if your philosophy of "no God" is true then you can accept the consequences. I f I am wrong about a consequence then show me why. (I am talking to everyone) Don't fob off problems as "just philosophy" because our very world views are philosophical)

G.E. said:

"There are many ways towards atheism. You do not need to subscribe to a given and described philosophy to be an atheist. All you need is to doubt that there is any gods. Clear so far?"

I am afraid that it is unclear Mr G.E.
What you are trying to sell us is thinking such as "I don't believe in cars" and nothing can affect me because of it.

1. A car could run you over.
2. Sore feet could develop from walking everywhere...unless you believe in wearing shoes.

Etc. Etc.

We cannot believe what we want to believe and forget about all the conequences of what we believe.
Another angle is that beliefs collide with other's beliefs. For example Israel to Palestine is Palestine's and Israel to Israel is Israel's.
Can they just agree to disagree? I don't think so. Who will win? The person with the biggest stick :) The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will!

The most reasonable answer should win, the one that is nearer to truth. At least Dawkins has the guts to admit that his atheism is a dark world (Dawkins Lennox debate) with no absolute morals and no purpose except for what you make it... the list of consequences go on and on.

Don't turn a blind eye but face up to reality.

Relativism does not work. Atheism is not "just" atheism.

10 comments:

  1. Da Bomb,

    Are you purposely missing the point?

    I am afraid that it is unclear Mr G.E.
    What you are trying to sell us is thinking such as "I don't believe in cars" and nothing can affect me because of it.


    Nope, I am not trying to sell you anything. Let alone invisible cars that you cannot ride, nor use in any other way than imagining that they exist by the mere mention of them existing.

    1. A car could run you over.

    Yup, but an invisible, non-ridable, non material one that looks pretty much imaginary cannot run me over, can it?

    2. Sore feet could develop from walking everywhere...unless you believe in wearing shoes.

    Yep, but imaginary shoes would not help me. No matter how much you think those imaginary shoes would work marvels to my tired feet.

    Etc. Etc.

    Etc. Etc.

    We cannot believe what we want to believe and forget about all the conequences of what we believe.

    Consequences? What consequences can I foresee because you think your imaginary being does exist? If it looks imaginary, behaves as imaginary ... do you really need a reason not to believe it?

    Another angle is that beliefs collide with other's beliefs. For example Israel to Palestine is Palestine's and Israel to Israel is Israel's.
    Can they just agree to disagree? I don't think so. Who will win? The person with the biggest stick :) The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will!


    So, ne imaginary being will win over another imaginary being? I truly hope you are quite wrong on this one (in the physical meaning), and that both nations win by reaching a peaceful existence. I know I ask too much. But hopefully.

    The most reasonable answer should win, the one that is nearer to truth.

    Well, again I hope you are wrong and that the nations find a peaceful solution. None is closest to any truth. Both are wrong. Their enmity is only exacerbated by their imaginary friends. If they knew that does not exist they might be able to find things in common and find peace.

    At least Dawkins has the guts to admit that his atheism is a dark world (Dawkins Lennox debate) with no absolute morals and no purpose except for what you make it... the list of consequences go on and on.

    Consequences again? Look, not liking the idea does not make your god true. This is actually called the fallacy of unwanted consequences. I doubt Dawkins used the "dark world" wording. I doubt he even hinted at such meaning.

    Don't turn a blind eye but face up to reality.

    I do. All the time. I face reality. I know there is no reason to believe in conveniently invisible, unhearable, look-so-imaginary beings. Not being able to see how imaginary your god looks is more akin to "not facing reality" than to simply think such look-so-imaginary being is actually imaginary ...

    Relativism does not work. Atheism is not "just" atheism.

    Which relativism? When did I talk about relativism? All I said was that atheists does not need to disprove gods. All you do is doubt there is any. Which is easy given the circumstances, and any experience you had playing "make-believe" when you were a little kid. I would continue. I think it is "safe" given that you seem to be unable to listen. Would you want to hear a bit more?

    Basic atheism is simple. Atheists can be that simple, or quite the knowledgeable. Take Stan for an example of the latter.

    G.E.

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  2. I wonder what you're driving at (car pun intended)... Atheism is merely the lack of belief in any god(s) -- anything beyond that is a new subject, and a likely point of contention among professing atheists.

    I don't think there is a god. Apart from that, I tentatively accept Big Bang cosmology, and the Theory of Evolution. On other philosophical matters I generally regard myself as a cautious skeptic, though I am rather fond of ontological naturalism. I expect that while limits may exist, it is theoretically possible to describe anything via natural laws.

    Now, there are consequences to all of these positions, true, but none of these positions necessarily follow from the others, and the only consequence to Atheism, evidently, is to be realized upon death.

    What, then, of Christianity? Are there consequences of that system?

    Of course. Since Christianity involves a god, its attributes, and its espoused doctrines, everything must remain logically consistent else the whole thing fails. With that in mind, let me ask a series of questions:

    1. Is god omniscient?
    2. Is god omnipotent?
    3. Is god maximally good (omnibenevolent)?
    4. Is god the "first cause"?
    5. Is there evil?
    6. Is there a populated hell?
    7. Does god prefer that there be a populated hell?
    8. Does god prefer that there be evil?

    Answering "yes" to each of these generates an implicit contradiction, for a maximally good being would clearly not prefer either a populated hell or evil. Answering "no" to the final two generates an explicit contradiction, for it follows from (1) and (4) that no aspect of reality can be unpredicted, and thus all realized aspects of reality are necessarily preferred.

    Since Christians generally affirm the first five with relative unanimity, the contradiction in (8) cannot be avoided. Sure, some deny the doctrine of hell, escaping (6) and (7), but unless one denies the existence of evil, one cannot escape (8). This is Epicurus, and it is devastating to any Theism which affirms the first five items above.

    Let's go another route... For how long would you say god existed prior to his first creative act? If you say "infinitely," then clearly god was content without the existence of any lesser beings to worship him, nor any reality whatsoever apart from his lonely existence, and since this lonely contentedness must be infinite in duration, the question of why such a god would create -- again considering items 1-5 above -- cannot be answered while preserving each of the five assertions. Clearly, such a being could just as easily have remained infinitely lonely, if for no other reason, to prevent the eventuality of a populated hell or the existence of evil.

    That it did not is irrefutable evidence that such a god does not exist (so say I). Certainly, other types of god may exist, but not one which satisfies items 1-5 above. I, as Epicurus and countless thinkers before me, challenge any to refute this.

    --
    Stan

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  3. By the way:

    The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will!

    Well, that is the god of the Palestines, right? Oh! It seems like the Hebrews think their god is also that god! Woops, so which one is it? Are both one and the same?

    G.E.

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  4. Hey G.E.,

    Way to miss the point. I hope that was not willfully intended?

    Every worldview has a consequence.
    E.G.
    Atheism = no absolute morality. No one can say they someone else is wrong or right.

    Your statement of atheism is "just atheism" lead me to relativism. Why?
    Because this is relativism. I believe what I like and I'll decide the consequences of what I believe. "I have my truth and you have your truth".

    Am I clear?
    Nothing to do with "invisible" or "visible" cars...it is to do with consequences of belief. That is why I brought up natural determinism in a previous post.

    About Dawkins, "dark" or "grim" I cannot remember which but he did say something like that. Listen to it yourself if you like. Under debates in the links part of the blog.

    "Well, that is the god of the Palestines, right? Oh! It seems like the Hebrews think their god is also that god! Woops, so which one is it? Are both one and the same?"

    I don't see Allah as being Jacob's God. Allah is not god and is not Jacob's god. Nor is Allah Isaac's god. Allah came through Ishmael (Abraham's son) unless I am mistaken.]

    DB

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  5. Stan,

    I have already answered you in the previous thread but for what it is worth I'll share with you what my understanding of what the Bible says.

    "1. Is god omniscient?
    2. Is god omnipotent?
    3. Is god maximally good (omnibenevolent)?
    4. Is god the "first cause"?
    5. Is there evil?
    6. Is there a populated hell?"

    1.= yes although He forgets our sins :)
    2. = Yes although He cannot lie, as well as other things. He is good.
    3.yes
    4.yes
    5.yes, but you may have a misunderstanding of evil. It is not a force that God has created but evil is simply "actions" against God's will BY US. He has made us free spirits yet in some ways subject to Him.
    6.Yes, by the will of the people to go there. God did not predestine them there. They chose to go there.

    7. and 8. are not Biblical except for maybe 8.
    God does not prefer there to be evil but He prefers to have loyalty with the opportunity to be disloyal. Which is logical.

    DB

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  6. 6.Yes, by the will of the people to go there. God did not predestine them there. They chose to go there. 

    That's preposterous. No one would make a conscious decision to endure eternal torment, thus there is no way an informed decision of this kind could possibly be made.

    Of course, you miss the obvious, which is that whether you like it or not, an omniscient "first cause" necessarily predestines everything. He prefers there to be evil (even your odd definition of it), and he prefers there to be a populated hell. His will is inescapable -- everything which transpires is a direct result of his will.

    Anyway, I'll check the other thread to see if your response is better...

    --
    Stan

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  7. DB,

    You keep missing the point.

    I did never say I or an atheist decided "to believe whatever they want." I double dare you to find such thing in anything I wrote. I said there is no need to offer reasons why an invisible, etc, etc, being would not exist.

    I said, and Stan said too, that all you need to be an atheist is to think such things (gods) do not exist.

    Now, I did not decide "to believe there is no God." It was a basic conclusion from many many sources. There is no reason to believe some magical thing that you will never see in your life exists.

    Here is what I am trying to tell you: If you think such invisible being exists, it is up to you to prove, not my duty to prove it doesn't. Otherwise we would have to offer "reason" why all make-believe imaginary beings do not exist.

    You would have to be able to offer reasons not to believe in any mythological gods, any gods worshiped today, or worshiped throughout history. Not just that, reasons for not believing fairies, and unicorns, and dragons, and little green aliens playing with your brain. All kinds of ridiculous things that you commonly would discard as imaginary. Well, that is exactly what an atheist feels about your God. Imaginary unless YOU can prove it.

    Whether there not being a God has consequences or not is another story we can handle once you get my point. Atheists do not need to offer a reason why there is no God. Atheism only entails a disbelief (not a belief, a disbelief) that your God is any more real that other fantasy beings.

    ---

    You seem to be quite confident that Allah is not the same God as Abraham's. Yet, from where I stand, they, if existing, could not but be the very same. Whether people interpret its teachings differently, would be another story.

    G.E.

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  8. DB,

    Maybe I could try and translate what Stan is saying:

    If some god is omniscient, it can foresee what will happen if it creates us. If it can do that, then, by deciding to go ahead and create us regardless, it (this god) is deciding to have a heavily populated Hell. No way around it. Full foreknowledge. It means that, of all ways he could have created, it decided this one. Unless you think your God is not omnipotent, and it had no option.

    G.E.

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  10. I have answered you guys in the newer post.

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