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Author Topic: What atheists do not believe  (Read 3185 times) Average Rating: 0
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Seraphim Rose
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« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2011, 08:43:36 AM »

What about the underlying dread of "being wrong" and life unraveling, the looming waves of guilt, the dreams from which one wakes in utter fear and knowledge, sickness at oneself and one's ways, boredom and disappointment that can follow self-indulgence in pleasure -- if you have experienced these, what do you do with them?

Because I have experienced all of these, and seek the antidote in Holy Orthodoxy, do you look at me as a psychological cripple grasping for a crutch?

The problem with Atheism is it takes the strongest and most personal proofs of man's need for divine healing, and turns it into either an excuse to strike a heroic pose, or as a merely psychological event to be written off as a chemical misfire or wrong response to stimulus.

To me, heroic atheism is like a crippled leper's smeared and rag-wound crutch.

At least you have Hobbies with which to cork the whirling gap.
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« Reply #46 on: September 28, 2011, 09:40:28 AM »


Quote
I'm not saying that believing in an objective reality enhances enjoyment. I am saying that by focusing on living for a fictitious god and living with a view to a fictitious future life, a Christian (by practicing the obedience and self-denial inherent to practicing Christianity) is missing out on various opportunities to enjoy life in this lifetime.

So that would be a bad thing, then, to miss out on opportunities for enjoyment?

Yes, if those opportunities do not harm other people.[

Why is that? I mean, why is it a bad thing to miss opportunities for enjoyment?
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« Reply #47 on: September 28, 2011, 09:59:04 AM »

You may want an eternal judge to exist and punish people's sins, or you may want there to be an afterlife, but that doesn't make it true. On the bright side, it is possible to reward and punish people now on Earth.

Actually, if I get the idea right, the Orthodox believe that it is I who punishes me. The Last Judgment means being exposed to the "river of fire" of God's love. If I am able to respond to this love by love, I experience a bliss that cannot be even described in our earthly terms. If, however, my heart is so badly changed by my sins, of which I haven't repented, that I cannot respond to God's love by love - I experience a torment.
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« Reply #48 on: September 28, 2011, 10:12:11 AM »

Having been an atheist most of my life I can attest that the ethics and philosophies involved are pretty diverse and complex.

Heorhij's son in law is certainly one example of a way atheists formulate ethics (it can be traced to Epicurus). If you consider a range of atheist thinkers (such as Epicurus, Karl Marx, HP Lovecraft, Mikhail Bakunin, or Percy Bysshe Shelley) it's pretty clear that if someone's an atheist that in itself won't tell you much about what they believe, and the various zinger arguments employed against atheism are not so effective.

Add in the complications from not-exactly-atheist thinkers and it gets tough.

That said a lot of the more vocal atheists today seem to come from the really boorish and simple-minded mold of Dawkins et al.
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« Reply #49 on: September 28, 2011, 10:23:29 AM »

and the various zinger arguments employed against atheism are not so effective.

Thank you. This thread, never very exciting to begin with, has been overwhelmed by uninspiring zingers, IMO.
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« Reply #50 on: September 28, 2011, 11:06:33 AM »

religious people believe in this omnipotent, omniscient sky goblin who will punish them if they refuse to obey his exceedingly many commands and prohibitions.

"Religious people" - maybe, but that's not how our Orthodox faith views God. Our many wonderful, deep-thinking theologians have long time ago come to the conclusion that God can, and should, be approached "apophatically," i.e. we can only say what God is NOT, and usually cannot say what God is. Among the things God is NOT, are those things that are "anthropomorphisms:" molding God in our own image. If we experience anger and want revenge, we think that so does God (but He is NOT us humans, He is NOT His creation, so that actually cannot apply to Him "beyond reasonable doubt"). Or, we, humans, live in a society that lives by obeing certain "laws," certain "justice," and we think God "has to" obey some kind of "law of fairness" (the wicked will be punished and the righteous saved, how else?). But, again, God is beyond any set of "rules" and any human idea about "justice." So the notion that the "sky goblin" HAS to punish for this or that, or WANTS to punish because that would be "just" - does not really hold water.

The only exception from this apophatic approach is that we believe that God IS love. Everything about Him is love. And love is something that evades precise definitions, but, rather, can be experienced in a relationship. Our idea of God is very much the idea that we always have Him to be in relationship with. And the meaning of our entire life is to remain and GROW in this relationship of love. Only then we change in such a way that we become less injurious to our own selves and to other people, and to the whole world.
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« Reply #51 on: September 28, 2011, 11:37:28 AM »

religious people believe in this omnipotent, omniscient sky goblin who will punish them if they refuse to obey his exceedingly many commands and prohibitions.

"Religious people" - maybe, but that's not how our Orthodox faith views God. Our many wonderful, deep-thinking theologians have long time ago come to the conclusion that God can, and should, be approached "apophatically," i.e. we can only say what God is NOT, and usually cannot say what God is. Among the things God is NOT, are those things that are "anthropomorphisms:" molding God in our own image. If we experience anger and want revenge, we think that so does God (but He is NOT us humans, He is NOT His creation, so that actually cannot apply to Him "beyond reasonable doubt"). Or, we, humans, live in a society that lives by obeing certain "laws," certain "justice," and we think God "has to" obey some kind of "law of fairness" (the wicked will be punished and the righteous saved, how else?). But, again, God is beyond any set of "rules" and any human idea about "justice." So the notion that the "sky goblin" HAS to punish for this or that, or WANTS to punish because that would be "just" - does not really hold water.

The only exception from this apophatic approach is that we believe that God IS love. Everything about Him is love. And love is something that evades precise definitions, but, rather, can be experienced in a relationship. Our idea of God is very much the idea that we always have Him to be in relationship with. And the meaning of our entire life is to remain and GROW in this relationship of love. Only then we change in such a way that we become less injurious to our own selves and to other people, and to the whole world.



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« Reply #52 on: September 28, 2011, 02:00:14 PM »

Oh please. The teleological argument? Can you do no better than that? Really. All these "philosophical" arguments for God's existence are arguments from ignorance. How do you know that the elements that make up the universe have not always been moving? The laws of physics say that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. And if there were a "prime mover", how do you know it is an intelligent spirit and not a physical process?
 
Well, before you jump up and take that condescending attitude, perhaps you should have some idea of what you are talking about. First, no I am not referring to the teleological argument. Aristotle's proof is based on change, not final causality.
Second, I agree with you. By reason alone we cannot know that the elements of the universe have not always been moving. In fact, Aquinas agrees with you. However, it is this very premise, that universe has always existed and has always been moving, that the pagan philosopher Aristotle uses as a premise for his proof that there must be a God.
Third, you don't even know what prime mover natural philosophy demonstrates. In fact, from reason alone, it is imposable to know if the prime mover is first in time. Rather, the proofs demonstrate that the Prime Mover is first in the order of causality.
Fourth, the attributes of the prime mover, such as his infinity, personality, etc. are logically derived from its nature as a prime mover. Most people who make the argument that "just because there is a prime mover doesn't mean that it is God" have no experience whatsoever with scholastic philosophy, because if they did, they would know that the scholastic philosophers logically derive all of the attributes of God from the prime mover as prime mover.
Unfortunately, your response so far has only demonstrated your ignorance of philosophy.
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« Reply #53 on: September 29, 2011, 01:14:17 AM »

What about the underlying dread of "being wrong" and life unraveling, the looming waves of guilt, the dreams from which one wakes in utter fear and knowledge, sickness at oneself and one's ways, boredom and disappointment that can follow self-indulgence in pleasure -- if you have experienced these, what do you do with them?

Because I have experienced all of these, and seek the antidote in Holy Orthodoxy, do you look at me as a psychological cripple grasping for a crutch?

The problem with Atheism is it takes the strongest and most personal proofs of man's need for divine healing, and turns it into either an excuse to strike a heroic pose, or as a merely psychological event to be written off as a chemical misfire or wrong response to stimulus.

To me, heroic atheism is like a crippled leper's smeared and rag-wound crutch.

At least you have Hobbies with which to cork the whirling gap.


Well said my friend.


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« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2011, 01:56:45 AM »

Thank you, my friend.
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« Reply #55 on: September 29, 2011, 10:25:59 AM »

Western atheism is so un-imaginative. They throw the baby (non-material realms) out with the bath-water (an omnipotent, omniscient, anthropomorphic Divine Person).
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« Reply #56 on: September 29, 2011, 11:07:35 AM »

If you believe you are living a fulfilled life as an Orthodox Christian, well, good for you. But that's not the experience of many other practicing Christians. Religion teaches that all sorts of things are commanded/forbidden (examples: you have to fast, at times strictly, for over half the year. You have to go to church every Sunday and religious holiday if possible. You have to love God. You must not have premarital sex or even masturbate. You must not practice homosexuality. You must forgive people who hurt you...and so on and so forth). If you willfully refuse to do this and many other things, you are damned. Sorry, but this is what the church teaches and there are people who take this seriously and practice it. On the other hand, an atheist, who doesn't believe there is a sky goblin who can punish you for these so-called sins can do what he wants, as long as they don't hurt other people.

I agree that all these requirements and restrictions (or prohibitions) may annoy any rational human being, but only if they are taken out of their context. The "context" is, however, that all of us are "naturally" inclined to think that we are "good." Yet, also, if we are honest with ourselves, we see, pretty much all the time, that there are some seemingly simple things that we all find to be right, proper, decent and important to do - but we don't quite do them! C.S. Lewis writes very well about this in his book, "Mere Christianity." He says that we all agree with some sort of "universal law," parts of which are, for example, "I gave you half of my orange, so I expect you to give me half of your apple," or "this is my seat, because I came here earlier than you," or (more generally) "we must be fair in our relationships with each other." Indeed, writes Lewis, if we all agreed that these parts of the universal law are nonsense and should be simply ignored, we would turn into a bunch of fighting animals. But then, why is there so much misery and suffering around? Why, "knowing" that we all ought to be "fair," we are in fact so unfair that we engage in gossip, lies, violence, abuse, wars? Why over 3 billion people on this planet starve? Why GULAG, Auschwitz, Abu Graib? Why children are raped every day and hour?

The Orthodox Church answers to these questions, pointing out that we aren't "naturally" good. Our hearts are burdened with what the Church calls "passions" - unnatural, perverse use of all those mysterious "energies" that sustain our lives. We are born with a very natural inclination to enjoy delicious food and wine - and we become passionate gluttons and drunkards. We are born with a perfectly natural inclination to enjoy our partners in marriage - and we become passionate lust-bearers and adulterers. We are born with a great, glorious, wonderful natural inclination to dislike evil - and we become haters of the imagined "evil" in our brother. I am deliberately talking about extremes, realizing, of course, that not all of us do really reach such a condition when we eat 70,000 Calories a day, drink ourselves to death, cheat on our spouses, and murder our neighbor. But we have something in our heart, in our inner self, that might turn us into full-blown alcoholics, drug addicts, pathologically obese gluttons, adulterers and murderers, if this "something" is unchecked, if we do not struggle with it every day.

The Church teaches that the "passions," which are the real "engine" behind our transformation into horrible monsters, cannot be "cured" merely by education, or by economical improvements, or by changes in the social order, or by "liberation" from taboos, or by any other man-made, "natural" measures. And it is hard to disagree with Her: indeed, we see passions going amuck in all societies, in all economic strata, in groups whose education varies from zero to Ph.D., etc.

The Church also teaches that it is possible to become masters over our passions, but not by ourselves; we can conquer the passions by being joined with the Source of these mysterious "energies" that are meant to sustain our lives and that we "naturally" misuse. This "joining" occurs when we gather as a community, a body of people, and become united with each other by the mystery of mysteries, which is called the Holy Mystery of Eucharist (Thanksgiving). When that happens, this Source of every possible energy, activity, life actually lives WITHIN us and helps us, guides us, purifies us, makes us into something that is like Himself (and, again, our theology teaches us that the only thing we can say about what He IS is that He is Love).

Now, prayer, fasting, chastity (in the life of singles as well as in marriage), forgiveness, charity (almsgiving) - yes, all this is important, but ONLY in the context of living within the divine Body (the Church) and living WITH the Source (or, as we say, King of All) in us, for the purpose of becoming masters over our passions instead of gradually degrading and turning into the passions' prey. If we do all of the above as some sort of "magic," i.e. expecting that we will get some kind of "payment" from God merely for ritualistic doing of all that, we always get sorely disappointed: our passions only increase their dominion over us.

We are never perfect. We stumble and fall all the time. But sometimes we do notice that as we continue our journey within the Church, something changes in us. We should not be overly enthusiastic about this, boasting, trumpeting our virtues. And yet, we have examples of great saints, of people who lived truly righteous lives, literally radiating light, love, kindness, humility, holiness.
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« Reply #57 on: September 29, 2011, 12:01:28 PM »

I didnt read the whole thread, but is there a "Christian vs. Atheist" section in the forum?

The reason I ask, is because I wouldnt want to block this guy, unless he is blatantly offensive (in which case anyone would be blocked).  If we block atheist every time they come around here, it makes us look weak and like we are just running from the discussion.  Bottom line is, no one is going to be able to change anyones mind.  People dont convert to (or back to) Christianity because they lost an argument.  However, i would think it would be appropriate to have a place there we can come have intelligent, respectful discussion from both sides.  Just my two cents...

But to comment on something mentioned earlier, Ive never understood how people say that Christians dont live a full free life. 
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« Reply #58 on: September 29, 2011, 12:11:23 PM »

Ive never understood how people say that Christians dont live a full free life. 

Well, I think I do understand why people say it - because, indeed, many Christians live very bad lives, lives full of prejudice, hatred, envy, lust, deception, etc.

We all are fallen creatures, Christians and non-Christians alike.
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« Reply #59 on: September 29, 2011, 12:21:19 PM »

Western atheism is so un-imaginative. They throw the baby (non-material realms) out with the bath-water (an omnipotent, omniscient, anthropomorphic Divine Person).

Even if both are rejected, that doesn't mean the former is thrown out just because of a rejection of the latter. Nice try though. Thanks for playing.
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« Reply #60 on: October 02, 2011, 05:19:27 AM »

Ive never understood how people say that Christians dont live a full free life.  

Well, I think I do understand why people say it - because, indeed, many Christians live very bad lives, lives full of prejudice, hatred, envy, lust, deception, etc.

We all are fallen creatures, Christians and non-Christians alike.


I agree. That's why I've never put too much stock in arguments such as "people 'x' are happier, and so their worldview must have more validity." I imagine if you asked a person who was experiencing the euphoria of a heroin induced high if he was happy, he would say yes.

That being said, I don't altogether discount the premise of such an argument. But it must pointed out that the Orthodox understanding of "fulfillment" is much different from the worldy view. In fact, I personally think that's what's wrong with much of Protestant Christianity. Evangelicals keep trying to prove their faith by demonstrating that they can be as happy as the world, according to the world's definition of happiness. They say, "Look, I am financially successful, I have a great family, my wife and I have wonderful sex, and it's all because of my relationship with Jesus!"

But the truth is that truly following Our Lord - in and through His Church - may result in the loss of financial and job security, the dissolution of family, psychological, physical, and emotional distress, and perhaps even death. Not a great evangelical sales pitch, but the truth nonetheless.



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« Reply #61 on: October 02, 2011, 08:12:32 AM »

True. Not many of the televangelist types seem to prepare people for any of the hardships of life. If just one of them preached about what happened to St. Lawrence or someone like that, my eyes would pop.
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« Reply #62 on: October 02, 2011, 12:13:47 PM »

Western atheism is so un-imaginative. They throw the baby (non-material realms) out with the bath-water (an omnipotent, omniscient, anthropomorphic Divine Person).
Even if both are rejected, that doesn't mean the former is thrown out just because of a rejection of the latter. Nice try though. Thanks for playing.
True, but are there any well-known, self-confessed "atheists" (of a Western philosophical tradition) who accept the former while rejecting the latter? I'm sure there must be some, but I can't think of any.
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« Reply #63 on: October 02, 2011, 06:17:57 PM »

Western atheism is so un-imaginative. They throw the baby (non-material realms) out with the bath-water (an omnipotent, omniscient, anthropomorphic Divine Person).
Even if both are rejected, that doesn't mean the former is thrown out just because of a rejection of the latter. Nice try though. Thanks for playing.
True, but are there any well-known, self-confessed "atheists" (of a Western philosophical tradition) who accept the former while rejecting the latter? I'm sure there must be some, but I can't think of any.

In my experience non-materialist atheists tend to be artists and such who tend not to be terribly invested in self-describing as atheists.
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« Reply #64 on: October 02, 2011, 07:51:08 PM »

Western atheism is so un-imaginative. They throw the baby (non-material realms) out with the bath-water (an omnipotent, omniscient, anthropomorphic Divine Person).
Even if both are rejected, that doesn't mean the former is thrown out just because of a rejection of the latter. Nice try though. Thanks for playing.
True, but are there any well-known, self-confessed "atheists" (of a Western philosophical tradition) who accept the former while rejecting the latter? I'm sure there must be some, but I can't think of any.

In my experience non-materialist atheists tend to be artists and such who tend not to be terribly invested in self-describing as atheists.
I agree that there are many believers in the supenatural in the West who nonetheless reject a personal Creator Deity, but they also seem to reject the "atheist" label as well.
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« Reply #65 on: October 02, 2011, 08:24:02 PM »

Western atheism is so un-imaginative. They throw the baby (non-material realms) out with the bath-water (an omnipotent, omniscient, anthropomorphic Divine Person).
Even if both are rejected, that doesn't mean the former is thrown out just because of a rejection of the latter. Nice try though. Thanks for playing.
True, but are there any well-known, self-confessed "atheists" (of a Western philosophical tradition) who accept the former while rejecting the latter? I'm sure there must be some, but I can't think of any.

In my experience non-materialist atheists tend to be artists and such who tend not to be terribly invested in self-describing as atheists.
I agree that there are many believers in the supenatural in the West who nonetheless reject a personal Creator Deity, but they also seem to reject the "atheist" label as well.

I think someone who is able to recognize supernatural realities is also willing to accept an idea of "God" even if that "God" is an impersonal or abstract force.
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« Reply #66 on: October 03, 2011, 03:58:07 AM »

The reason I ask, is because I wouldnt want to block this guy, unless he is blatantly offensive (in which case anyone would be blocked).  If we block atheist every time they come around here, it makes us look weak and like we are just running from the discussion.

The problem is that he was the very same atheist. It was his 5th account.
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« Reply #67 on: October 03, 2011, 04:26:29 AM »

The reason I ask, is because I wouldnt want to block this guy, unless he is blatantly offensive (in which case anyone would be blocked).  If we block atheist every time they come around here, it makes us look weak and like we are just running from the discussion.

The problem is that he was the very same atheist. It was his 5th account.
To piggyback on this, duplicate accounts are forbidden on this forum and will be banned. The first account this particular atheist opened got banned for egregious rules violations, which made his next four accounts attempts to circumvent the ban on his first account. On this forum, BANNED means BANNED.
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« Reply #68 on: October 03, 2011, 10:34:09 AM »

In all that you are writing, you are not providing any evidence that God exists.

No, and I don't intend to. I don't accept your implied claim that you are competent to establish a system of evaluation and then to pass judgement. Indeed, your response is evidence that you are not, for nothing I said has anything to do with my "reasons for wanting him to exist." What I said was that I reject your claims to objectivity, and indeed I deny the possibility of that objectivity.

Then, why should I believe that you are anything but a deluded person prone to wishful thinking who believes in God because it serves some psychological purpose in their life? Btw. I believed in Santa Claus almost until the age of 10, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, because I liked the whole story and it would have been so unfortunate if Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was not real. But finally, I had to face facts. If your god is so real, if you are so convinced that he exists, then where are the facts to support that he does?

Well, the reason why you should not hold to your first belief is because you have no evidence for it. You have not met me; you know very little about how I think. And in any case the hypothesis that I believe only because "it serves some psychological purpose" is manifestly a rationalization, if for no other reason than psychology is not so well-developed that one should take such theses seriously.

Besides, here is where that lack of objectivity comes into play. I don't know that I ever "found out" about Santa. One year, there was Santa, and the next year there wasn't, and I do not recall and moment of revelation about the matter; there was no crisis of "facing facts". Consequently the analogy between your experience and mine does not hold. That is part of the failure of objectivity here.
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« Reply #69 on: October 03, 2011, 12:24:23 PM »

Very well-said, Heorhij.
Oh please. The teleological argument? Can you do no better than that? Really. All these "philosophical" arguments for God's existence are arguments from ignorance. How do you know that the elements that make up the universe have not always been moving? The laws of physics say that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. And if there were a "prime mover", how do you know it is an intelligent spirit and not a physical process?
 
Well, before you jump up and take that condescending attitude, perhaps you should have some idea of what you are talking about. First, no I am not referring to the teleological argument. Aristotle's proof is based on change, not final causality.
Second, I agree with you. By reason alone we cannot know that the elements of the universe have not always been moving. In fact, Aquinas agrees with you. However, it is this very premise, that universe has always existed and has always been moving, that the pagan philosopher Aristotle uses as a premise for his proof that there must be a God.
Third, you don't even know what prime mover natural philosophy demonstrates. In fact, from reason alone, it is imposable to know if the prime mover is first in time. Rather, the proofs demonstrate that the Prime Mover is first in the order of causality.
Fourth, the attributes of the prime mover, such as his infinity, personality, etc. are logically derived from its nature as a prime mover. Most people who make the argument that "just because there is a prime mover doesn't mean that it is God" have no experience whatsoever with scholastic philosophy, because if they did, they would know that the scholastic philosophers logically derive all of the attributes of God from the prime mover as prime mover.
Unfortunately, your response so far has only demonstrated your ignorance of philosophy.
I have seen similar claims from someone who has airly extensive education in Thomism, or who is at least very good at feigning credentials online. Perhaps he found the arguments following from the original flawed. Could you direct me to a resource that explains how the characteristics of the Prime Mover are proven to be those of the Christian God? Ideally, it'd be brief, as while I'd like read through the Summa in its entirety some day, I don't think I'll have the time or the mental capacity for a while.
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« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2011, 01:15:10 PM »

Western atheism is so un-imaginative. They throw the baby (non-material realms) out with the bath-water (an omnipotent, omniscient, anthropomorphic Divine Person).
Even if both are rejected, that doesn't mean the former is thrown out just because of a rejection of the latter. Nice try though. Thanks for playing.
True, but are there any well-known, self-confessed "atheists" (of a Western philosophical tradition) who accept the former while rejecting the latter? I'm sure there must be some, but I can't think of any.

Yeah, you know what, I think you're right here. The idea doesn't strike me as odd, yet when I try to think of someone like that who identifies as an atheist, I can't come up with anyone. So I guess I take it back. Also, you are now entitled to slap me twice (rather than just once) for being snippy.
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« Reply #71 on: October 03, 2011, 01:15:11 PM »

The problem is that he was the very same atheist. It was his 5th account.

To piggyback on this, duplicate accounts are forbidden on this forum and will be banned. The first account this particular atheist opened got banned for egregious rules violations, which made his next four accounts attempts to circumvent the ban on his first account. On this forum, BANNED means BANNED.

If this is the case, why hasn't the OP been muted and/or banned?
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« Reply #72 on: October 03, 2011, 05:49:49 PM »


I have seen similar claims from someone who has airly extensive education in Thomism, or who is at least very good at feigning credentials online. Perhaps he found the arguments following from the original flawed. Could you direct me to a resource that explains how the characteristics of the Prime Mover are proven to be those of the Christian God? Ideally, it'd be brief, as while I'd like read through the Summa in its entirety some day, I don't think I'll have the time or the mental capacity for a while.

Well, there are at least two basic issues. The first and more basic weakness is that the ontological arguments are based upon scientific postulates about the universe that need not be true. Indeed, in quantum mechanics, some of them aren't true. Causeless events (e.g. background creation of particle-antiparticle pairs) are a feature of the theory. The second problem is that really these argument don't tell one much about the nature of God.
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« Reply #73 on: October 03, 2011, 06:09:54 PM »

The problem is that he was the very same atheist. It was his 5th account.

To piggyback on this, duplicate accounts are forbidden on this forum and will be banned. The first account this particular atheist opened got banned for egregious rules violations, which made his next four accounts attempts to circumvent the ban on his first account. On this forum, BANNED means BANNED.

If this is the case, why hasn't the OP been muted and/or banned?
Open his user profile and you will see that he has. A long-running technical issue with the banning system just hasn't applied that information to his avatar.
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« Reply #74 on: October 03, 2011, 06:26:47 PM »

The problem is that he was the very same atheist. It was his 5th account.

To piggyback on this, duplicate accounts are forbidden on this forum and will be banned. The first account this particular atheist opened got banned for egregious rules violations, which made his next four accounts attempts to circumvent the ban on his first account. On this forum, BANNED means BANNED.

If this is the case, why hasn't the OP been muted and/or banned?
Open his user profile and you will see that he has. A long-running technical issue with the banning system just hasn't applied that information to his avatar.

I just checked his profile, and it does not show that he has been banned. Apparently, only mods can see such information.
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« Reply #75 on: October 03, 2011, 10:06:12 PM »

˙uoıʇɐɯɹoɟuı ɥɔns ǝǝs uɐɔ spoɯ ʎluo `ʎlʇuǝɹɐddɐ ˙pǝuuɐq uǝǝq sɐɥ ǝɥ ʇɐɥʇ ʍoɥs ʇou sǝop ʇı puɐ `ǝlıɟoɹd sıɥ pǝʞɔǝɥɔ ʇsnɾ ı
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