Author Topic: Why many philosophers aren't convinced by typical arguments for God's existence  (Read 638 times)

Harvey

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I don't like saying things like that, because I like you Harvey, and I don't want to offend you, but that's what I see as the truth. The exceptions to this are people who have deep-seated emotional attachment to the belief in God that basically blinds them from seeing the truth.

I like you too Stoic, but we do have a totally different worldview. Not just theist versus atheist, platonist versus nominalist, libertarian versus determinist-incompatibilist, etc., but I completely disagree with you on the state of atheism. For me, many atheists are messed up people. There are a few bright spots (e.g., people like Belorg, Fred, etc.), but I find way too many people who cannot see their own frailties and who just discount everyone who isn't them. Fortunately those people are in the minority. Let's hope no one like that gets to run the country. Oops.

Anyway, I'm sorry if I don't respect what you are saying here. I just don't. I'm not offended by it, I just think it's erroneous. And the great thing is that I can.

But, if someone wants to have a discussion where we can go over the reasons for holding a belief rather than listen to a long tirade of hearing someone spike their football in an empty stadium of no fans, then I'm your guy. : )
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 10:20:16 PM by Harvey »

Harvey

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You are from here on overly annoying to me, and my immediate dislike for your posting style the first time I saw you post turned out to be indicative of your general posting style; a style not to be desired or tolerated. I don't see the point here in people continuing to engage with a poster who posts like this. I don't really care a lot to engage with someone who thinks they're uber intelligent, rational and more informed than I when their posts betray that they are less than sophomoric.  So I'm reporting you. . .

I wish you'd reconsider this Heart. Stoic is just expressing a belief that he really, really believes. I don't think his intention is to be mean, or rude, or offensive. Rather, he wants to provide perhaps his key reason for being an atheist. And, it's not just him. Many atheists hold the same belief. Perhaps this is why theist arguments aren't working. First the individual needs to come to see their own frailties before the existence of God could even make sense to them.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 10:29:43 PM by Harvey »

GRWelsh

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Hi Learner, and welcome to the forum.  I don't want to speculate on why professional philosophers aren't convinced by theological arguments, as I think they probably best speak for themselves in their own literature.  I suspect many of them disagree with you about the theological arguments all being sound, for various reasons (i.e., not accepting certain premises for their stated reasons). But I just wanted to focus on one part of your OP:

I'm wondering if the reason many atheist philosophy professors or just other intelligent atheists don't find the cosmological or other arguments for God's existence convincing...isn't due to the unsoundness of those arguments...but that their personal belief and ultimate commitment to metaphysical naturalism (not believing in the immaterial) is what keeps them from finding those arguments convincing.

I often see the phrase "commitment to metaphysical naturalism" uttered by theists, in this and similar contexts, and I just want to point out how strange it is from the atheist point of view.  I don't think metaphysical naturalists make a "commitment" to metaphysical naturalism analogous to how Christians make a commitment to Christ.  It isn't as if I felt metaphysical naturalism knocking on the door of my heart, and I made the choice to let it in.  Or that I'm a born again metaphysical naturalist, or got baptized in it, or had catechism for it.  It is more like a conclusion that one arrives at in lieu of any good evidence or arguments for anything that might be defined supernatural.  I'm not committed to the idea that the natural is all there is... I'm just not convinced there is anything supernatural. 

« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 01:21:29 PM by GRWelsh »
The morning sun rose and burned off the ghosts; it seems they were nothing but shapes in the fog.

GRWelsh

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I think the simplest answer is sin.  A person's block in coming to Christ is never intellectual, but always moral.  They may attempt to frame their denial in intellectual terms, but at the end of the day, it always comes down to whether a person thinks they need forgiveness or not.

I hear this "sound bite" so often, and I have to say, as an atheist, it just doesn't make any sense.  There are so many reasons why.  First of all, I can still be a theist and love to sin.  I know plenty of theists who sin on Saturday night and go to confession on Sunday morning, and live with the guilt -- no need to become an atheist, there.  Second, even as an atheist I can't live guilt free.  You may think my not believing in God "frees me up" to do whatever id-driven impulse comes into my brain, but that just isn't the case.  I still have most or all of the inhibitions that theists do.  Finally, if I were going to let emotion dictate my beliefs, I'd rather be a theist or some form of supernaturalist, because I'd rather have the comfort of believing in an afterlife than not.  Atheism is not for the emotionally weak.
The morning sun rose and burned off the ghosts; it seems they were nothing but shapes in the fog.

OrdinaryClay

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Atheism is not for the emotionally weak.
The belief that people are emotionally strong is a fantasy akin to the little boy who fantasizes about being a power ranger.
"Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.(Luk 13:24)
So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?(Gal 4:16)

GRWelsh

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Atheism is not for the emotionally weak.
The belief that people are emotionally strong is a fantasy akin to the little boy who fantasizes about being a power ranger.

Well, you can't have it both ways -- you can't claim atheism is bleak and also claim that atheism is the easier emotional path. 

Atheism isn't 'comforting' -- it's kind of scary.  I mean, living with all of the unknowns, and accepting them as unknowns, and not believing there is any higher power to appeal to when the chips are down, and when health is failing and when your body is dying -- that's pretty bleak, at least from the theistic point of view.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 03:28:45 PM by GRWelsh »
The morning sun rose and burned off the ghosts; it seems they were nothing but shapes in the fog.

OrdinaryClay

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Atheism is not for the emotionally weak.
The belief that people are emotionally strong is a fantasy akin to the little boy who fantasizes about being a power ranger.

Well, you can't have it both ways -- you can't claim atheism is bleak and also claim that atheism is the easier emotional path. 

Atheism isn't 'comforting' -- it's kind of scary.  I mean, living with all of the unknowns, and accepting them as unknowns, and not believing there is any higher power to appeal to when the chips are down, and when health is failing and when your body is dying -- that's pretty bleak, at least from the theistic point of view.
Yes, it's scary, and meaningless, and empty from the standpoint of an empty and immense universe.
"Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.(Luk 13:24)
So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?(Gal 4:16)

 

anything