Author Topic: The Case for Theism  (Read 13324 times)

Offline DrewM (OP)

The Case for Theism
« on: June 27, 2014, 11:53:22 PM »

First I will make an opening statement. As I stated in my introduction my belief in theism is a belief, an opinion, what I think is true. I don’t claim it’s a fact it’s true that God exists, I admit I could be wrong. Therefore I don’t need to ‘prove’ God exists, I only need to provide a reasonable case from facts in favor of my opinion. I will provide several lines of evidence (facts) that support my contention and are the reason I believe in theism as opposed to atheism (real atheism by the way the belief (opinion) God doesn’t exist not the disingenuous lack of belief in God some promote).

The answer God is to the most basic philosophical questions that have been asked through the ages. Why is there a universe? Why is there something rather than nothing? How did our existence come about? And perhaps the most puzzling question is our existence the result of planning and design or was it the result of happenstance? There are two primary reasons I am a theist. First because there are facts (evidence) that supports that belief, secondly if I were to reject the belief that God created the universe and humans I would have to be persuaded that mindless lifeless forces somehow coughed a universe into existence and without plan or intent caused the right conditions for sentient life to exist. I'd have to believe that life and mind without plan or intent emerged from something totally unlike itself, mindless lifeless forces. I know most atheists prefer we just reject God first and then take it on faith that that our existence was caused by naturalistic forces that didn't intend our existence and that the universe also just came into existence for no particular reason. We should just assume that natural forces did it somehow. I'll leave it to atheists to persuade me such did happen or such could happen. After all we're not supposed to just take things on faith.

One of the chief objections to theism cited by atheists is they claim there is no evidence in favor of theism. I am often re-assured that they are very open minded and would be happy to evaluate any such evidence if only there was any. I agree that if indeed there is no evidence in favor of a claim that is a valid reason to reject such a claim (although it by no means disproves such a claim). There is often confusion about what evidence is and what proof is. Evidence is facts or objects that support a conclusion. For example, a knife in the back of the deceased is evidence that supports the conclusion the deceased was murdered. Typically the knife and pictures of the knife in the back of the deceased would be entered into evidence. A lot of evidence is circumstantial evidence.

From Wikipedia

Circumstantial evidence is evidence in which an inference is required to connect it to a conclusion of fact, like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need for any additional evidence or the intervening inference.

On its own, it is the nature of circumstantial evidence for more than one explanation to still be possible. Inference from one piece of circumstantial evidence may not guarantee accuracy. Circumstantial evidence usually accumulates into a collection, so that the pieces then become corroborating evidence. Together, they may more strongly support one particular inference over another. An explanation involving circumstantial evidence becomes more valid as proof of a fact when the alternative explanations have been ruled out.

Circumstantial evidence allows a trier of fact to deduce a fact exists.[1] In criminal law, the inference is made by the trier of facts in order to support the truth of assertion (of guilt or absence of guilt).


From free dictionary.com

One important benchmark of admissibility is relevance. Federal Rule of Evidence 402 states, in part, "All relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided." The goal of this rule is to allow parties to present all of the evidence that bears on the issue to be decided, and to keep out all evidence that is immaterial or that lacks Probative value. Evidence that is offered to help prove something that is not at issue is immaterial. For example, the fact that a defendant attends church every week is immaterial, and thus irrelevant, to a charge of running a red light. Probative value is a tendency to make the existence of any material fact more or less probable. For instance, evidence that a murder defendant ate spaghetti on the day of the murder would normally be irrelevant because people who eat spaghetti are not more or less likely to commit murder, as compared with other people. However, if spaghetti sauce were found at the murder scene, the fact that the defendant ate spaghetti that day would have probative value and thus would be relevant evidence.

I will present several lines of evidence that support the belief in theism. They don't prove theism is true, they merely provide good reason to think it's true. I'm not going to be making any 'God of the gaps' arguments nor am I going to offer any hypothetical scenarios or cite the mere possibility of something being true as evidence theism is true.

Before I present my first line of evidence let me state what is not evidence. Theories (whether scientific or not) are not facts and so are not evidence. The only theory allowed in this discussion is the theory we’re attempting to offer evidence in favor of, in my case the theory of theism that a personal agent commonly referred to as God was responsible for the existence of the universe and sentient life. I won’t bother refuting theories offered in support of the theory God doesn’t exist.

1. The fact the universe exists

that might seem like a paltry fact in support of theism. Suppose I was trying a case for murder, the first line of evidence I would produce is a dead body. After all, I couldn't accuse anyone of murder if there was no one deceased. If the universe didn't exist there would be no reason to invoke the existence of God. Moreover if a universe didn't exist there would be as atheists often claim no evidence God exists. In order for anyone to even think God exists a place for humans to exist must exist. There are certain facts that must be true for anyone to opine God exists. For humans to have any reason to think God might exist, we must have a place that allows us to live. There are several facts and conditions that must be true in order for there to be any reason to think the existence of a Creator is true. No facts need to be true for atheism to be true. Atheism doesn't require the existence of a universe to believe atheism is true. If the universe didn't exist atheism might still be false (God might exist but not have created the universe) but there would be no evidentiary reason to raise the existence of God. Additional lines of evidence soon to follow...

 

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2014, 12:10:46 AM »
Long story short, you've got nothing. Next.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2014, 12:11:59 AM »
The existence of the universe does not "support" theism. The universe exists whether or not a god exists. You have to prove that
(A) there is a god and
(B) said god created the universe.

Sean Carrol, Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss, all highly regarded Particle physicists, have devised mathematical models that show the universe could come into existence without a creator. Try again.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 12:15:04 AM by stromboli »

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2014, 12:26:17 AM »
I should probably expand on my previous post. Not that I expect you to listen, I don't, but just so I can say I made the effort.

So your argument and evidence essentially comes down to we exist therefore god. Its an oldie but a goodie that's been trotted out by a long line of theists before you. It goes without saying that your 'evidence' is not evidence but again, I don't for a moment expect you to listen.

Furthermore you state that athiests are wrong because in your mind its just simply impossible that the universe and everything in it came into existence just by random chance. And to that I say, you should take a math class. In fact, you should take quite a few math classes. Because you clearly do not have any gasp of the numbers involved in what you're claiming nor how odds work in relation to very large numbers. Again I know you're not going to listen but if writing this gets just one theist to sit down and try to actually understand the magnitude of the numbers involved, then my writing was not in vain.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful

Offline DunkleSeele

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2014, 01:55:19 AM »
Blah, blah, weak-ass version of the Kalaam cosmological argument, blah, yadda, bullshit

*yawn*

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2014, 02:31:05 AM »
When I read the title, I expected a very brief OP.  I am disappoint.

Online Mr.Obvious

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2014, 02:33:12 AM »
circumstantial evidence...
I'm getting a flashback.
E = Mc²

In the end, we are all standing in the dark,
trying to figure out why we are here.
But let us not choose one direction
without proof of where it is headed.

Check your pocket for matches
so we can observe and learn together
as fast friends and relative idiots.

Offline PickelledEggs

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2014, 02:40:28 AM »
Is it coincidence that as I opened this thread, I felt a raging bout of diarrhea in my stomach? Off to the bathroom... Be back in a bit.
"Tell Pilate to release the files!!!" - Bill Hicks
"I have an open mind, but not so open that my brains will fall out" -James Randi
"One who truly hates himself cannot love, he cannot place his trust in another." - NGE

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2014, 02:49:04 AM »
Right. another long winded asshole talking down to us 'cause he has to 'splain shit to us po dumb atheists. I declare chew toy. Go after this fucker.

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2014, 03:09:56 AM »
After some analysis comparing the various gods of mythology to omnipotent characters in fiction, you will find there are no differences between the two.

I know that gods don't exist. It's surprisingly simple to sum up: Any being claiming to fit the human concept of a god can offer no proof that cannot equally be offered by this guy:


An advanced alien, like Q here, would be able to claim it is a god,
even your god, and offer any proof you demanded of him.
You would never be able to prove that he is anything other than what he claims.

It sounds like overly simplistic logic, but this is only because the nature of mythological gods itself speaks to how simplistic human imagination tends to be. Even the broadest interpretation of a god separate from the universe, that of deism, only exists to say, "The universe exists, therefore no matter how complex it is God surely must be able to make it," which is really just expanding an already made-up term to encompass new discoveries, rather than just admit that the concept was flawed to begin with.

Then you have the pantheistic and panentheistic definitions, respectively stating that god is the universe and the universe is within god; both of which pretty much mean the same thing after any deep analysis, and both of which beg the question, "If God and the universe are indistinguishable, then why separate the terms at all?" Like deism, the answer is obvious: it's expanding an older term to fit new discoveries, rather than admitting that the concept was flawed from the get-go.

The human concept of a god gets even more ridiculous once you introduce the concept of higher dimensions. Rob Bryanton's Imagining the Tenth Dimension, while by no means describing a currently accepted scientific theory, nevertheless illustrates just how ridiculously huge our universe is should any concept of higher dimensions prove to be accurate (especially given the size of the observable universe we are already well aware of). As the universe gets bigger and bigger, any concept of gods must expand accordingly, to ludicrous levels as this concept should demonstrate.

Even if the observable universe is all there is, if it is really designed then it seems to act like what we would expect of a simulator; and any being capable of designing it should more accurately be referred to as a programmer than a god. "Why can't we just call the programmer God?" you ask. For the same reason we wouldn't call it a leprechaun: fictional though it may be, it already exists as a concept and, for the sake of not invoking confusion and/or emotional validation for irrational beliefs, the term should not be continually expanded to include any and every version of the universe's hypothetical creator. If it is more like a programmer than a god, then that is what we should call it, and how we should regard it. Given all of this, I cannot think of any explanation abiding by Occam's Razor that would lead me to believe that a being conforming to the mythical concept of a god exists.

tl;dr version: There is no way anything we would regard as a god could ever prove that it is what it claims to a skeptical individual. Because the universe less resembles a mythical god's realm than it does a simulator, any designer we did find should be called a programmer, not a god. Therefore, we can reasonably conclude that there is no god.

Offline SGOS

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2014, 07:12:18 AM »
This OP sounds very familiar like it might be a cut and paste.  I think I've read it a month ago.

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2014, 08:01:02 AM »
Therefore I don’t need to ‘prove’ God exists, I only need to provide a reasonable case from facts in favor of my opinion.

That's proving god exists, you berk.


Why are you people always so fucking stupid? That is a better question. I'm sick of you assholes coming in her and shitting on our carpet.

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2014, 08:25:55 AM »
The answer God is to the most basic philosophical questions that have been asked through the ages. Why is there a universe?

What's a god?

Offline josephpalazzo

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2014, 09:31:03 AM »

1. The fact the universe exists.

You would have to show that the existence of a universe (U) necessarily implies the existence of God (G), that is

U IFF G.


Since no one has done such feat in the history of mankind, you lose.


Next.

Offline Green Bottle

Re: The Case for Theism
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2014, 09:33:22 AM »
All i can see are a couple of paragraphs of the same old bullshite that proves nothing,  the universe exists therefore god exists, Get A Fuckin Grip...
God doesnt exist, but if he did id tell him to ''Fuck Off''