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Old 02-05-2014, 02:54 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,364 posts, read 2,980,420 times
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Creationist argument: We need a higher authority such as government, religion, or god to gain our morality from.

Counter argument: There is no reason why an exterior source would necessarily be better at determining what is right and wrong than you or I.

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Creationist argument: My god (one of the more complex gods with numerous unlikely characteristics) is likely to exist.

Counter argument: Neither of us believe in pink elephants. Why is a being with (list all of the god's presumed characteristics) more likely to exist than pink elephants? (Note that this may not work with some of the simpler views of gods that may be more likely to exist than pink elephants).

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Creationist argument: Pascal's Wager.

Counter argument (This doesn't work as well if you consider god's existence to be above a certain level of likelihood): Think about another dangerous event you consider equally likely to occur as hell for nonbelief. If it is outrageous enough of a possibility, you can explain that logically, you must prepare for both equally. The other party will tend to be better at relating to the unlikelihood of the possibility you have named than the unlikelihood of the existence of a hell for nonbelievers.

Additionally, if you consider hell for nonbelievers significantly unlikely, it will begin to approach the level of likelihood of random imaginings you think up off the top of your head, such as pink elephants raining from the sky. At this level, Pascal's Wager is entirely countered, because no one could possibly prepare for all random, outrageous possibilities they think up off the top of their head. (like pink elephants raining from the sky, or an attack by Godzilla).

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Creationist argument: Atheists must prove god does not exist.

Counter argument: We cannot prove a god does not exist because (See Woodrow Li's thread on why we cannot prove that giant, 12-legged, purple, man-eating aardvarks have not invaded the U.S.) http://www.city-data.com/forum/29340372-post1.html

We can only refute reasons why a god might be more likely to exist.

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Creationist argument: there is a 50/50 chance of the universe having been created by intelligence, or not having been created by intelligence.

Counter argument: (I stole this from Mordant) If the universe was not created by intelligence, we only have to explain how the universe was created. If the universe was created by intelligence, we must explain both how the universe was created, and how the intelligence was created. Therefore, if we have very little information about the way the universe works it is more likely that the universe was created without the assistance of intelligence, than with the assistance of intelligence.

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Creationist argument: There are three possibilities for how all that is came to be:
1. It popped up from nothing (This seems impossible according to current logic).
2. It has always existed in some form (This seems impossible according to current logic).
3. God did it/a force existing outside the rules of our reality did it

Counter argument: There are three possibilities for how all that is came to be:
1. It popped up from nothing (This seems impossible according to our current logic).
2. It has always existed in some form (This seems impossible according to our current logic).
3. We don't know.

#1. and #2. don't make sense, and #3. is not an answer. Therefore, we must open our minds wider than usual and assume things that don't seem sensible might be sensible, or none of the possibilities seem rational.

#

Add your own if you want.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,034 posts, read 18,583,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post

Creationist argument: Pascal's Wager.

Counter argument (This doesn't work as well if you consider god's existence to be above a certain level of likelihood): Think about another dangerous event you consider equally likely to occur as hell for nonbelief. If it is outrageous enough of a possibility, you can explain that logically, you must prepare for both equally. The other party will tend to be better at relating to the unlikelihood of the possibility you have named than the unlikelihood of the existence of a hell for nonbelievers.

Additionally, if you consider hell for nonbelievers significantly unlikely, it will begin to approach the level of likelihood of random imaginings you think up off the top of your head, such as pink elephants raining from the sky. At this level, Pascal's Wager is entirely countered, because no one could possibly prepare for all random, outrageous possibilities they think up off the top of their head. (like pink elephants raining from the sky, or an attack by Godzilla).
.
Pascal's Wager is not a worthwhile argument because it is based on a false premise, that there is nothing to lose by believing even if the belief turns out to be false. It is a premise which assumes that nothing is lost in life by falsely devoting yourself to a mythological explanation. In fact, in such circumstances, you will have wasted whatever time you invested in that belief and altered your behavior accordingly when it was not necessary. Consider the case of a monk, someone who rejects a worldly existence in favor of dedication to a belief in a god. If there is no god, then the monk has thrown away his one shot at existence hiding away and denying himself the pleasures life offers.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,089,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Pascal's Wager is not a worthwhile argument because it is based on a false premise, that there is nothing to lose by believing even if the belief turns out to be false. It is a premise which assumes that nothing is lost in life by falsely devoting yourself to a mythological explanation. In fact, in such circumstances, you will have wasted whatever time you invested in that belief and altered your behavior accordingly when it was not necessary. Consider the case of a monk, someone who rejects a worldly existence in favor of dedication to a belief in a god. If there is no god, then the monk has thrown away his one shot at existence hiding away and denying himself the pleasures life offers.
How much one would loose by being a monk is subjective and varies by individual. If you are introverted and contemplative, maybe being a monk is a boon for you, regardless of why you do it.

The root problem with Pascal's Wager is that it is a false choice ... it is not a choice between Christianity and unbelief, but between a zillion different god-concepts and unbelief. What would you be hedging against? And how can you choose to believe anything without sufficient evidence?
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,034 posts, read 18,583,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
How much one would loose by being a monk is subjective and varies by individual. If you are introverted and contemplative, maybe being a monk is a boon for you, regardless of why you do it.
Monk was an example, it could be martyrs, it could be someone who terrifies his or her family with severe fundamentalism, it could a Jim Jones or David Koresch style disaster.

The point was that religious belief does not come free of negative consequences, thus Pascal was offering a false choice....nothing to lose by believing.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,089,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Monk was an example, it could be martyrs, it could be someone who terrifies his or her family with severe fundamentalism, it could a Jim Jones or David Koresh-style disaster.

The point was that religious belief does not come free of negative consequences, thus Pascal was offering a false choice....nothing to lose by believing.
Yes, his wager is full of faulty assumptions: that belief would be Christian, that Christian belief is always beneficial, that belief asks nothing of you but mental assent, etc.
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
857 posts, read 1,260,590 times
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How to argue with a creationist: "Never argue with an idiot, they will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience" - George Carlin
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:32 PM
 
Location: New England
673 posts, read 857,460 times
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I think the only answer that makes sense is "None of this is provable either way. Believe what you want to."
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,398 posts, read 9,894,376 times
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I only shoot criminals who trespass. If they come into my yard, they better be prepared to face my loaded mouth. lol

Otherwise, let them have their fantasy, it might as well be channeled amongst others who can keep an eye out. If groups of them want to meet in a building and chant crap it's their right.
If it infringes my rights, then laying down and taking it just isn't my style.

I've never seen one of our group on cd lose a debate yet. We have some well educated people in our party.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:45 AM
 
39,163 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amontillado View Post
I think the only answer that makes sense is "None of this is provable either way. Believe what you want to."
This simply plays into the hands of Believers who want to scrape a draw. I am still astonished at how persistently Theist apologists sideline the weight of evidence and pretend that it is just a question of what one chooses to believe.

Yes, one can chose what to believe, but to pretend that evidence doesn't count for anything (especially when so much rubbish presented as 'evidence' is slung at us by the apologists) is simply wrong.

Validated evidence, assessed logically correctly, is the only valid basis for coming to conclusions about what is likely. If one sidelines that and prefers to believe whatever they want, that is their choice, but they have effectively relinquished their claim to credibility and their beliefs are based on Faith alone, without any credible evidential support and very often (in my experience) is spite of the weight of the evidence.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Here
1,694 posts, read 1,495,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Pascal's Wager is not a worthwhile argument because it is based on a false premise, that there is nothing to lose by believing even if the belief turns out to be false. It is a premise which assumes that nothing is lost in life by falsely devoting yourself to a mythological explanation. In fact, in such circumstances, you will have wasted whatever time you invested in that belief and altered your behavior accordingly when it was not necessary. Consider the case of a monk, someone who rejects a worldly existence in favor of dedication to a belief in a god. If there is no god, then the monk has thrown away his one shot at existence hiding away and denying himself the pleasures life offers.
There is also the fact that an atheist cannot just dismiss his logical thoughts and simply believe. A person cannot just throw a switch and change opinions for the sake of convenience. Without a sales pitch, additional evidence, etc., the best that could be done is the appearance of a changed opinion.
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