Talk to atheists on their own terms

While this article claims to offer a proof of god that the author thinks persuasive, I hate to be the one to show it fails at what it aims at proving.

The argument here is

A being is said to be possible if we can conceive no contradiction in the idea of it, and impossible if we can conceive a contradiction (as we do in the idea of a square triangle, for example).

but this cannot be said to be true for

 an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good God

for this contains contradictions.



Quotable quotes

From the word god, the theist derived no argument in his favour; it teaches nothing, defines nothing, demonstrates nothing, explains nothing.

Bradlaugh Charles in Plea for atheism

Here we go again: Morality

On the stone god’s blog, I ask

Ark, could you ask your Christians whether a thing is good because God commands it or god commands it because it is good?
Could they give an example of an objective moral and with supporting justification.

and then I get

What is the nature of God. God is good. God is love. Love and goodness are the very essence of God.

God is certainly not arbitrary in His moral actions, nor is God subject to some external standard of morality that governs His decisions…God isn’t arbitrarily deciding what is good and what is evil on a whim. Rather, it is God’s nature to do good, and God never acts contrary to His nature.
…the ground of morality is God’s nature and not some external standard to which God must adhere. God’s sovereignty is preserved as well as an objective standard for morality, i.e., God’s nature.

The Scriptures, God’s self-revelation to humanity, illustrates this quite nicely. A sampling of passages that demonstrate that goodness is grounded in God’s nature:

God commands certain actions as good and therefore to be done and forbids certain other actions as evil and therefore not to be done. What is good is not good simply because God commands it. It is good because it is reflective of His divine nature.

My first question is, did he understand my question? My question is about the nature of good. Are things good independent of god or do they get their goodness from god? And if all that is is the handiwork of god, how can anything be bad? IS it conceivable that a good god has through omission let bad exist? Is this fellow willfully ignorant or do we blame it on his upbringing?

The claim god is good is asserted without proof. The author has not demonstrated that god is and that it is good. It is not enough to claim god is good. God’s existence has not been demonstrated. It is quite evident the author of the above comment is ignorant of theologians who have argued god’s nature is unknowable. I propose they settle this small matter first then get back to us.

By saying god doesn’t act contrary to its nature, we must assume the author implies all a god does is good. That must include, in the case of the god of the bible, drowning all that lives, save a few, is good. Cursing the earth is good. Turning out A & E for a minor infraction is good. A further question is how does this fellow know all this about god? And the value judgement of god? Can he tell us what to god is evil? IS it the same with what he considers evil or are they different?

I have deleted the bible references because they are useless in this discussion. So far as I can tell, the theologian has not demonstrated the bible to be the word of a god, any god. On the contrary, most of the bible passages look like the ramblings of a deranged mind. Or maybe, god is deranged and we have been thinking the bible as is, could not come from a god. I think we have been holding god to a high standard without justification.

The god of the bible gave Joshua express orders to kill the Canaanites. The god of the bible is recorded to have drowned the Egyptian army, to have sent bears to kill children. The list of the moral things this god is said to have done have been listed before by others with much patience than yours truly.

It is tiring dealing with people who will not read.

God save us

But from whom and what exactly?

The author of this post after reminding us that what god is has not been coherently defined, explores the question of the goodness of god. He notes many theists are quick to say that god is by definition good and they have used this to defend atrocities such as those in Numbers. They claim the killing of the innocent Egyptians was good because god commanded it.

Their greatest sarcasm is to say Jesus os god, whatever your persuasions, came to save us. One must ask why we should be saved? And from whom? A good god? 

The same religious people tell us god has its standard of good and as such we cannot use our standard to question the goodness of god. I want any of you, readers, to tell me what and how these fellows came to know of the standard of good used by the gods and why we should give a fuck about it if it is not relevant to our lives?

In the movie, god on trial, one of the judges says their god is not good. It was only on their side. If the god of the bible were real, that comment, would in my view be correct. 

What is it we would be saved from? Our natures? That which we are not the author? Our desires? What exactly? 


Defining god

In this post by the stone god, Ark, in a response to Nan, Becky tells us

Nan, if God doesn’t exist, then He doesn’t exist anywhere. You can’t pick and choose about existence. A thing (or a person) either exists or it doesn’t exist. You say God doesn’t exist, so that means nowhere in all of known and unknown existence, there is no God. Sorry. That’s beyond the scope of anyone’s ability, unless they are omniscient. At best an honest person who doesn’t believe in God would have to be agnostic. The atheist position is simply untenable.

Of course I believe the evidence I’ve studied. It would be silly to study it, say it is true, then not believe it. But that’s no different than any other person. Some choose not to study. Some think they’ve studied when they haven’t even scratched the surface. But at some point we all have to say we believe whatever evidence we think is most convincing. It’s all a matter of choice.

I agree with her that a thing either is or isn’t. It would be fallacious to claim a thing both is and isn’t at the same time. That seems to be how far our agreement goes. She then claims that because Nan isn’t omniscient she can’t know if god isn’t hiding somewhere beyond Pluto. But this argument is weak. The claims about gods have been made here on earth. The religious people claim there god does things around us daily. The atheist only need ask for demonstration or proof that these claims are true here to declare the claims true or false. Asking us if we have visited unknown worlds or better every crook and cranny sounds clever but is really a silly ploy.

Agnosticism, as Bob will tell you if you can’t read for yourself, is not about belief. It is a knowledge claim. The agnostic lives their life as an atheist. All they claim for themselves is that whether god exists or not and its nature is not knowable. I would suggest, in all this, the position that is most tenable is ignosticim/ igtheism.

It is only proper that a person believes as they are convicted/ convinced. Nobody begrudges her for believing what she has read. My only comment that maybe your study material is limited to those that support your belief. And I know so many people who haven’t studied but believe the bible is true. It’s hardly a matter of choice. I agree, however, that most people once they are convinced they have attained truth, seek no longer.