The Presumptuousness of Atheism

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PostThu May 03, 2012 12:23 am » by Truthdefender


Atheist Antony Flew has said that the "onus of proof must lie upon the theist."1 Unless compelling reasons for God’s existence can be given, there is the "presumption of atheism." Another atheist, Michael Scriven, considers the lack of evidence for God’s existence and the lack of evidence for Santa Claus on the same level.2 However, the presumption of atheism actually turns out to be presumptuousness.

The Christian must remember that the atheist also shares the burden of proof, which I will attempt to demonstrate below.

First, even if the theist could not muster good arguments for God’s existence, atheism still would not be shown to be true.3 The outspoken atheist Kai Nielsen recognizes this: "To show that an argument is invalid or unsound is not to show that the conclusion of the argument is false....All the proofs of God’s existence may fail, but it still may be the case that God exists."4

Second, the "presumption of atheism" demonstrates a rigging of the rules of philosophical debate in order to play into the hands of the atheist, who himself makes a truth claim. Alvin Plantinga correctly argues that the atheist does not treat the statements "God exists" and "God does not exist" in the same manner.5 The atheist assumes that if one has no evidence for God’s existence, then one is obligated to believe that God does not exist — whether or not one has evidence against God’s existence. What the atheist fails to see is that atheism is just as much a claim to know something ("God does not exist") as theism ("God exists"). Therefore, the atheist’s denial of God’s existence needs just as much substantiation as does the theist’s claim; the atheist must give plausible reasons for rejecting God’s existence.

Third, in the absence of evidence for God’s existence, agnosticism, not atheism, is the logical presumption. Even if arguments for God’s existence do not persuade, atheism should not be presumed because atheism is not neutral; pure agnosticism is. Atheism is justified only if there is sufficient evidence against God’s existence.

Fourth, to place belief in Santa Claus or mermaids and belief in God on the same level is mistaken. The issue is not that we have no good evidence for these mythical entities; rather, we have strong evidence that they do not exist. Absence of evidence is not at all the same as evidence of absence, which some atheists fail to see.

Moreover, the theist can muster credible reasons for belief in God. For example, one can argue that the contingency of the universe — in light of Big Bang cosmology, the expanding universe, and the second law of thermodynamics (which implies that the universe has been "wound up" and will eventually die a heat death) — demonstrates that the cosmos has not always been here. It could not have popped into existence uncaused, out of absolutely nothing, because we know that whatever begins to exist has a cause. A powerful First Cause like the God of theism plausibly answers the question of the universe’s origin. Also, the fine-tunedness of the universe — with complexly balanced conditions that seem tailored for life — points to the existence of an intelligent Designer.

The existence of objective morality provides further evidence for belief in God. If widow-burning or genocide is really wrong and not just cultural, then it is difficult to account for this universally binding morality, with its sense of "oughtness," on strictly naturalistic terms. (Most people can be convinced that the difference between Adolf Hitler and Mother Teresa is not simply cultural.) These and other reasons demonstrate that the believer is being quite rational — not presumptuous — in embracing belief in God.


Paul Copan is a Ph. D. candidate in philosophy at Marquette University and editor of the forthcoming Who Was Jesus? A Jewish-Christian Discussion (Word, 1997).
http://www.rzim.org/usa/usfv/tabid/436/ ... fault.aspx


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PostThu May 03, 2012 12:32 am » by Iamthatiam


Do you really think 'God' gives a fuk about who believes or not that 'IT' exists? Only your kind gives a fuk about whatever threatens the Presumptuous hegemony of your beliefs!!! Stop projecting your human feelings on 'God', and maybe you get a little closer to IT! :flop:
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PostThu May 03, 2012 12:36 am » by Rydher


Iamthatiam wrote:Do you really think 'God' gives a fuk about who believes or not


Yes.

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PostThu May 03, 2012 12:45 am » by Daemonfoe


I was surprised to see agnosticism mentioned at all, and I agree that Atheism is presumptuous, but, believers in creationism are just as presumptuous. Sure, something cannot be created from nothing, but I find it just as impossible for something exist infinitely, to have always existed.

You can say, "how else was anything created?", but that question doesn't take into account, *the creator*. As long as it can be explained by a creator, one still must ask, how did the creator come into existence? Not when, not where, but how?

This brings one such as myself to conclude that what we experience as life is a major paradox, an inversion of a false existence. A double negative. Something beyond ever being explainable, even to gods who transcend all known dimensions.

I think people would be a lot happier if they could just accept that they will never know these answers during life, and just go with it, and try to live a good, enjoyable life.
The two choices we have are something starting from nothing, or something existing infinitely. These are both paradoxes. The existence of everything is therefore a paradox. -daemonfoe

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PostThu May 03, 2012 12:49 am » by Rydher


Daemonfoe wrote:I think people would be a lot happier if they could just accept that they will never know these answers during life


I think you're wrong. I know how I was before I really believed and I know how am I after. I'm much happier now. While I don't know all the answers and can't explain everything. I don't need to in order to accept the existence of God.

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PostThu May 03, 2012 1:01 am » by Daemonfoe


Way back in 05, something happened to me that changed my life. I had a slight interest in programming, and I had spent periods of time on it previously, but I had never had a good grasp on how I should be doing it, and how things generally work. I never thought that I could really *get it*, so I didn't. But in 05, I said to myself, one simple thing: "I am going to do this no matter what." I decided to be determined to learn and teach myself how to program. And at that point everything changed. That simple decision was a life changing experience. Over the next year or so I spent every day researching and learning how to write code. It became my life and I felt better about myself then I had ever felt before. And I still write code today, even working from home, making a living off it.

The point of the story is that maybe people who decide to, or are convinced to accept Jesus, not only change that single aspect, but they also feel the need to act in a more moral manner, to think more morally, to generally put themselves in better situations by empathizing more, and helping others, thus feeling better about themselves, and having a generally better life. Don't give god all the credit. You did it yourself.
The two choices we have are something starting from nothing, or something existing infinitely. These are both paradoxes. The existence of everything is therefore a paradox. -daemonfoe

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PostThu May 03, 2012 1:11 am » by Rydher


Believe it or not, I agree with most of what you say. I would not only like to know how God was created, but when and where as well. I've just accepted the fact that it's beyond my understanding based on my knowledge of how things work. Like you said, it's impossible. As far as humanity understands things.

I also agree that you don't need to give God all the credit for every good thing that happens in your life. Being a good, decent, and moral person is not easy. That's awful to say but it's usually easier to lie, cheat, and steal. And you making that decision to not do those bad things is all you. Free will and all that jazz. But I don't have a single doubt that because of those decisions I made, I have been blessed.

I used to write things off as coincidence because it's easy to do and explains the blessings in a much more understandable way. There just comes a point in time where things happen and the light switch goes from OFF to ON and I can't really explain it properly to someone that hasn't experienced that moment.

Anyway, back to the topic. Sorry TD.

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PostThu May 03, 2012 1:13 am » by Iamthatiam


Boy, here we go...Again...*Facepalmeing*

It is not about giving or not Credit to God, or whatever you believe to be the case, assuming God to be a separated entity, which is not, therefore there is not a single way that every single bit of events happening at every single dimensional state of this whole Multiverse, to be happening 'without' God's presence, whether liking or not...The quality of the presence, tho, depends on the consciousness state where 'IT' is manifesting through; remember, God is a Manifold Entity!

Put something inside youre heads: GOD IS NOT A PERSON!!!! :flop:

EDIT: BTW, I see you'v found 'jesus', ryndher... :mrgreen:
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PostThu May 03, 2012 1:20 am » by Daemonfoe


Just for reference. My idea of what God would be is the combination of everything that exists. If I were to believe in God, that would be my God. Not a single entity, but all entities.

But the point of the post is that it's presumptuous to assume that lack of evidence is proof that God doesn't exist. This coin has two sides which are the same. The lack of evidence that God doesn't exist is also not proof that God does exist.
The two choices we have are something starting from nothing, or something existing infinitely. These are both paradoxes. The existence of everything is therefore a paradox. -daemonfoe

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PostThu May 03, 2012 1:32 am » by Icarus1


when our sun expands we will burn , thats as much as we aspire to , mankinds existence is pointless , there will be no gods to save us from the fire that approaches,
In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.


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