Why do some atheists so insistent, especially the militant ones, on promoting their own atheism when it's clear that no one can conclusively prove that God does not exist? As a former atheist, I now found that God gives my life meaning, makes me happy to go through life, makes me resilient when bad things happen and allows me to forgive more and be freed from anger and resentment. I know a lot of people who found God in just the same way. Why then should militant atheists bother about our religious beliefs when God is a living person who gives our lives meaning, and when they cannot after all ultimately prove that our beliefs are just illusions?
P.S. I'd like to thank Charles Taliafero for his contributions here and to philosophy of religion in general. I can't forget your answer to a question posed by a depressed atheist here (April 14, 2011) in which you said "in all honesty, i would like to welcome you back." I can really feel your words personally resonating with me, now that I once again become a...
I believe that God is the greatest conceivable being, and I also came to believe again, having been a former agnostic, that He really exists. My question is regarding the responses of some atheists to some traditional arguments for God's existence, most especially to the design argument, that for these designs in nature, we should not remove the possibility of a finite god, an evil god, or many gods who designed our universe. I think all those opinions are false because being the greatest conceivable being God cannot be finite or evil and there cannot be two greatest conceivable beings. But I just wonder why should God be the greatest conceivable being. Is it not possible for there to be a God or gods who are finite and/or evil and leave it at that?
In the context of "The Problem of Evil" can you help point me to the literature on this sub-category?
Lacking this I have dubbed this sub-problem the "God for a day paradox":
“If I had only some of the powers of God, I would cure cancer”
Am I therefore more merciful than God? Supposedly the most merciful possible Being… Therefore is God’s omni-benevolence (not even that much is needed) itself a contradiction?
How can a lesser being even think of a more merciful action (take curing cancer down to a single child; even to just answering a prayer for such a child) than God Himself?
It is almost certainly possible to write a computer simulation that would, discover the “cancer mercy” action / rule on its own given an appropriate set of rules guiding “advance being behavior” This outcome would probably be another notch in favor of the Bostrom's “The Universe is a Simulation” argument.
Thanks in advance,
The reason that Pascal's Wager doesn't seem convincing to me is that to me it seems that you can't assign a probability to something that doesn't have any empirical evidence. So all gods seems equally improbable. And so I would be equally likely to suffer eternal torture if I chose Islam, Mormonism or nothing. Although on further thought, I don't feel so sure any more, largely because of the same reasoning that lead me to the question I'm about to ask.
But, after I read the thought experiment "Roko's Basilisk," it seems to me that you could also make a Pascal's Wager-style proposition without metaphysical claims, one that would involve probabilities. Something along the lines of this:
Biologists know a lot about the human body.
Those that know a lot about the human body are more likely to have the capabilities to torture me for eternity.
Those that are more likely to have the capabilities to torture me for eternity are more likely to torture me for eternity.
If I go spend time near biologists it is...
Okay, so I'm currently taking a philosophy of religions course at a community college. Anyway my teacher had asked where morals come from and I responded with a social-evolutionary type of theory and his response was:
Teacher: "Your faith in reason is matched only by the most devote religious believers."
Me: Let's examine that word 'faith'.
Faith by definition can mean two different things, one definition of faith is confidence. For example, I have faith in my abilities to win at a sport competition or something like that.
The second is belief in something without any proof at all, like for example God.
It is important that we note where this difference in usage, because depending on context - they mean two different things and using them interchangeably in the same way is equivocation.
If one were to say - well you have faith in science, just like I have faith in god - this is an example of equivocation.
Teacher: For the record, dictionary definitions are great for learning general senses of a...
Isn't evil prove that God exist ?
1. Evil exists.
2. Evil is a departure from the way things ought to be.
3. If there is a departure from the way things ought to be, then there is a way things ought to be.
4. Therefore, there is a way things ought to be.
5. If there is a way things ought to be, then there is a design plan for things.
6. If there is a design plan for things, then there must be a Designer.
7. Therefore, there must be a Designer.
If the universe is the product of chance as opposed to intelligence, then there is no design or purpose built into the universe. Since one can rationally apply a standard of goodness to an object only if that object was designed with the purpose of meeting that standard, isn't evil which itself is a deviation from that standard of goodness prove that God exist?
Hello there. Some contemporary philosophers say that Aquinas' arguments for the existence of God are good arguments (eg John Haldane), whilst others think they are no good. Lots and lots of philosophers and philosophy books seem to not understand the arguments properly (I can remember being taught the arguments in the philosophy department of one of the most prominent universities in my country where, looking back, with hindsight I am pretty sure the teacher did not understand the arguments well at all). So who to believe?? Any suggestions would be interesting! Thank you in advance.
I have a question about atheism and semantics, although I'm not sure I can phrase it properly, as it also includes the concept of "belief" separate from "doctrine."
Here goes: atheists claim that they do not believe in "God" while they do believe in ethics, morality, a concept of right and wrong. It seems to me that anyone who says they believe in right and wrong also implicitly believes that there is something more important than one's own personal ego gratification (in other words, everyone "should" curtail their own gratification to the extent that such gratification harms other people).
To me, that seems semantically equivalent to a belief in God, except that the concept of "God" also includes an association in most people's minds with a particular doctrine. It sounds to me that atheists are merely rejecting all the doctrinal beliefs that accompany organized religion, while at the very root or core of the situation, do accept that they need to defer their own gratification to something greater or...