Thursday, February 23, 2006

Opposite Day!

I was thinking it might be fun to have an opposite day, where the atheists do their best to argue that theism is correct and the theists do their best to argue that atheism is correct. Perhaps some Jews can argue that Christianity is correct and vice versa. The point is to get you to put yourself in someone else's shoes and see what the logic looks like from that side.

It'll only work if you really try, though. You must resist mocking or parodying the position you're supposed to be fighting for.

15 comments:

B. Spinoza said...

sounds like fun. Just one question, am I a theist or an atheist? I'm not really sure what either means. But for the sake of argument, I will assume to be an atheist.

ok, here goes. Atheists claim that there is no higher power. But this is clearly false because nature and the universe are clearly higher than man. therefore atheism is false. unless of course, we say that atheists really believe in a higher power, but that the higher power must be distinct from nature or the universe. in this case atheism is not necessarily false.

Orthoprax said...

Atheism's fallback explanations for the existence of the universe is that it must have always existed in some form or that it somehow popped into existence by itself.

However, the Big Bang and associated evidence indicates that our current universe has not existed for all time. And ideas offered about the Multiverse or an inexplicable conception of "time" is pure speculation and no better than many traditional religious ideas.

The idea that our universe, which is as ordered and capable of making intelligent beings like ourselves, was just an accident is an absurd conclusion and is literally incredible. It is based on nothing else but the atheist's stubborn protection of his ideology which is to drive meaninglessness and hedonism far above traditional values and virtues.

While there may be many things which we humans do not fully understand about the Cause of our universe, it is the height of presumptuousness to assume there is none merely because we cannot prove that there must be one. The most sublime and abstract thing in existence is extremely difficult to prove given our limited mental abilities. Rational people don't reject Quantum Physics just because they don't understand it, kal v'chomer God, who must be many orders of magnitude more difficult to grasp, should not be so rejected.

Jewish Atheist said...

Well I can't argue with you guys. Where are the heretics??

B. Spinoza said...

the heretics are an evil and cowardly lot. They fear the truth

B. Spinoza said...

rational thought is predicated on the fact that there is cause and effect. This means that reason dictates that the universe has a cause. This cause is what we religious people refer to as God. Atheists deny God. Therefore atheists are not rational. Q.E.D

BaconEating AtheistJew said...

I can't do this without parody. Sorry.

Jewish Atheist said...

I had to turn my opposite day posting into a post of its own.

Moshe said...

You are following the fine tradition of Stephen Covey.

Sadie Lou said...

my hubby had the laptop yesterday...

Jewish Atheist said...

Sadie Lou:

Well, lucky for you, the "Day" has continued today! :) See the next post.

M. Takhallus. said...

I'll give it a try.

For all of human history humans have sought God. Not all humans, no, but the overwhelming majority, have evidenced a strong attraction to, a hunger for, the idea of the divine. Humans have sensed the existence of a power greater than themselves. For all but a tiny minority of humans this is a powerfully felt need.

This by itself does not prove that a God exists, but it is highly suggestive. It reminds one of other human needs: hunger, thirst, sleep, love, security. We can explain some of those other needs in concrete terms -- we know that hunger leads us to seek food, and that food is a positive need, necessary to life. Likewise thirst or the general search for security.

But what are we to make of the need for sleep? Even now scientists cannot explain it. We don't know why animals sleep. And what of the craving for affection, tenderness, love? Now we're getting into even shadier territory.

Here's what we know: that all, or virtually all humans, across all societies, throughout history, have evidenced certain consistent needs: food, water, security, sleep, love, the divine . . . and the utility of some of these felt needs are obvious, and the utility of others is more obscure.

So given this, would it not be logical to believe that the lack of proof for the existence of an object for our God-hunger, is simply a temporary gap in our knowledge? That in fact all our consistent felt needs are probably as "real" as hunger or thirst? That the presence of the need for God in the human animal is compelling if not conclusive evidence of the existence of God? We hunger, and there is food. We thirst, and there is water. We desire security, and there are caves. We are weary, and there is sleep. We crave love, and there is a mate. We long for the divine . . . is there no God?

Take it from the evolutionary point of view. The sensation of hunger is a clear evolutionary advantage. No hunger, no search for food: starvation and death follow. If we did not need food, we logically would not have developed the sensation of hunger. Why would homo sapiens develop a powerful need for something that does not exist? So, if in fact men hunger after God, and do so consistently, across the entire species, what possible explanation could there be for the evolution of this felt need, if God does not exist?

Proof? Not beyond a reasonable doubt. But circumstantial, compelling, and enough to reasonably justify a personal belief.

r10b said...

I believe humans to express the observed order of nature created religion. God is a label for an idea. The understanding of those ideas varies among cultures (and over time) but the purpose is to codify a set of rules that will aid in survival of that culture. The Christian system of belief presented some valuable ideas especially regarding the care of the poor and oppressed. Unfortunately those who considered themselves oppressed and powerless originated or subsequently co-opted those ideas to serve their own ends. What is called a faith is merely a social tool modified to make god a puppet on a string. In the end they only serve themselves with their imagined god. I serve myself without the pretense of religion serving to cover my motives.

Juggling Mother said...

I've had a go - although I've done it in a slightly different way:-)

My post .

r10b said...

Michael,

Understanding it's opposite day (week) and all, but are you (opposite you) saying that our desire for God that evolved via a mechanistic, undirected process counts as an evidence for the existence of God?

Mark said...

Here's my opposite day post, against Liberty.