-3 votes

Logical perspective on religion...

I have been reading all sorts of religious topics on Daily Paul and decided it was important to give an atheist's perspective on things.

It is imperative to understand the flip side perspective before believing something. Here is an atheist's perspective on things and it is important that you understand both sides of the argument before choosing sides. As a Ron Paul supporter I would think you agree.

Leave your thoughts in a response... only logical rebuttals please. :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAuFJKQh83Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs3RKZjSzYg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJxCFa8YmbQ

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Joη's picture

you already posted this

keep the discussion there.
http://www.dailypaul.com/242262/logical-perspective-on-religion

"You underestimate the character of man." | "So be off now, and set about it." | Up for a game?

The logical perspective on

The logical perspective on religion is that it's all a bunch of bullshit they just made up.

Just as one example, they haven't yet found a reasonable scientific justification for beating and mutilating women.

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." -The Ultimate Hitchslap

SteveMT's picture

Many want to believe in something...a book, a person, a belief.

That is all fine. If someone is going to make moral, financial, and ethical decisions on some religion, should they be continuously putting that religion to the test of logic to make sure that it is correct for them to pursue these beliefs? Will they like what they see after the test has been performed? The fact is that there are many magical events involved with the world's major religions that do not lend themselves to strictly logic.

The central questions all comes down to only one: Did all of this just happen by chance or not? If the answer is 'all by chance,' then stop. You are an atheist. If your answer is 'not by chance,' then these questions follow one after another.

Is God logical, good, and merciful just sometimes or all of the time?
Has God ever communicated with mankind?
Would He communicate in words since he would know that words can be misinterpreted when spoken or translated and that meanings change over time?
Would God tell one person something to tell another or would He communicate directly with that person?
Would God tell a person or a nation to kill over and over again and without mercy, OR would He do this killing himself if it was necessary?
Would God want us to question everything that we know and believe with the beautiful minds that He gave us?

Religious people are insane.

Religious people are insane.

the cathars?

the cathars?

lawrence

Great topic.

I'm so glad someone likes to have these discussions. It has always been one of my favorite pursuits. Because I, a Philosophy major in college, am also a Christian. And to me, there is no problem whatsoever. However, I am inclined to disagree with many of the posts even from Christians, as I come at things a little differently.

To me, there is no problem with saying that experience is the determining factor and the basis for belief in God. There is no doubt it is. In fact, it is the basis for everything. You cannot talk about anything outside of your experience. If it's outside of your experience (sensible, spiritual, rational...) then you will have no idea of it. It won't exist. In order for something to exist, it has to be perceived.

So, if someone comes to the place where he/she believes in God, it can only be by their experience. In the same way, your experience has for some reason impelled you to announce that you are an "atheist." I have my logic (which shies away from nothing) and you have yours. But let me ask you this: is it logical to say there is no God? If there were no evidence for God, surely no one would believe in Him.

John F

I would have to say it is

I would have to say it is logical to debate whether god exists or not, just as it is logical to debate any aspect of life. Debate is how ideas are spread and how ideas are forged. I would like to know how you can come to believe something without any physical proof to back it up, just as you are interested on how I can disbelieve a god exists. I can honestly tell you that I disbelieve a god/gods exist because lack of evidence and lack of measurability.

Here is a comment I posted earlier to another person illustrating how I can disbelieve based on lack of evidence or measurability:

"EXAMPLE: If I were to say I believe a unicorn on the moon that shoots candy out of its butt exists (not being spiteful just illustrating the unrealistic existence of it) would you believe me if I said this? What question would you fall to?

"where is your proof?..."
"how did you come about believing this?"
these are viable questions I would expect one to ask.

If you could not prove what I was saying was wrong, would what I was saying be true?? No, because lack of evidence is evidence enough not to believe something. Obviously we can probably prove that there is no unicorn on the moon by going there and examining the planet, but what about something we can not exam? The belief in god is one of those. Religion is based on appeals to emotion and desire to believe something rather than the realistic reality of it. You can not physically show that this invisible non examinable or measurable entity does not exist. Therefore you must understand that lack of evidence is sufficient.
This brings to mind the Salim witch trials... and started the whole aspect of thinking "innocent until proven guilty" rather than "guilty until proven innocent"."

These are viable comments/questions that I would like to submit to you, and would like to know your perspective on such matters to start.

I understand

your points. But its quite different to say there is this unicorn on the moon than to say God exists and has created the world and everything in it. One is quite improbable and inconsequential, and the other makes good sense to many people and answers a lot of questions. Implicit in the idea of God is the Creator. Also implied is self-Being. These are both huge mysteries if God isn't the answer. His existence solves a lot of problems very easily. Also there is immediately more reason to believe in the one over the other. It is easy to dismiss the unicorn because it doesn't matter if its true or not. The question of God is obviously much more pertinent. I think the discussion we are having now (which includes many people) is very good evidence for His existence. That is, the conviction/concern of a large number of "normal" people.

As far as physical proof, I'd say physics is really inadequate to deal with it. It stops short of the metaphysical. If you assume with Kant that we shouldn't venture there ourselves, I would answer both of you this way: aren't the notions of soul, spirit, God, and eternity far weightier than ideas of physical things? Which is more important to ponder? But if you insist on physical evidence, I would say there is sufficient historical evidence for the Deluge and the resurrection of Christ.

Dealing with the present, sensible world, we could still argue for God in this way: no sensible thing exists apart from a mind (as it must be perceived). If we grant the sensible world an existence apart from our own minds, we acknowledge that it exists in another, higher Mind which sustains it. Most people don't believe that everything they experience is just a dream, so they (willingly or not) seem to acknowledge the higher Mind. They grant "objectivity" to the universe but how can an idea have objectivity in it? There is nothing in the concept of "universe" that suggests self-maintenance to me. It seems likely that a mind has more substance than the idea which is in it.

But to come back to my original thesis, I agree with you that God cannot be examined in that sense. If He is, then He is hiding Himself. He is examining. The only way to be certain of Him is by his own self-revelation.

John F

I'm going to break down your

I'm going to break down your reply and show the principle fallacies in your thinking.

Paragraph 1:
How is the unicorn reference any different than god?

"One is quite improbable and inconsequential, and the other makes good sense to many people..."

I can make up a religion right now based on the unicorn that relates to many people. Star wars can be argued to relate to many people and answer questions to them as well but does not make that real either.

"Also implied is self-Being. These are both huge mysteries if God isn't the answer."

This is refutable because self-being is an emotion and nothing more than something illusioned in your mind chemically.

"His existence solves a lot of problems very easily. Also there is immediately more reason to believe in the one over the other."

Just because it solves a problem very easily doesn't make it correct. I can just as easily say the magical unicorns powers can answer everything. Lastly, how can one be more significant? The only difference is the name and the emotional connection you have with one over the other.

"I think the discussion we are having now (which includes many people) is very good evidence for His existence.That is, the conviction/concern of a large number of "normal" people."

It was thought that the world was flat by a large number of "normal" people about a hundred years ago. A large group of people believing something doesn't make it true, it makes it a theory.

Paragraph 2(carpal tunnel is kicking in):

"aren't the notions of soul, spirit, God, and eternity far weightier than ideas of physical things?"

One has to do with the environment we live in and the other has to do with how we perceive that environment.

"I would say there is sufficient historical evidence for the Deluge and the resurrection of Christ."

Even if these things did occur, they could be explained with science because they are physical and can be measured... Also, the proof you speak of is actually NOT PROVEN.

Here is something interesting to think about. Would your god exist if you have never heard about him? Also, I found that if people learned the true nature of their religion and found out how un-nice it really is, people stop believing because they aren't emotionally attached. Here is a slap of reality on your religion, what happens when babies die in the womb? Do they die for eternity in hell? This must be true because, by your religion, if you were not baptized you would. Also, I don't know what book your reading but I understand the bible to be a very bloody and horrific peace of work. People that say they don't listen to certain parts of the bible or "that part of the book doesn't apply" are essentially disregarding the whole thing because if one part is wrong, that puts the rest of it in question especially if "god wrote it".

What is the point of this thread?

You don't have the gift of faith, fine. But this penchant of the smug atheist to "instruct" the stupid irrational religious person is nauseating and just as obnoxious as any pushy evangelist Bible thumping creationist. Why not MYOB and realize that there are some things that you just don't know and can't know? Some things are beyond the human intellect; God surely is. The materialist perspective cannot explain the spiritual, it is a waste of time.
This I know: "Ask and ye shall receive" refers to the gift of faith. If you ask Him to He will enter your life. But then all your atheist friends will simply pronounce you crazy and irrational, so better not do that.

looked at the second one--

there's enough heartache in the world without this--

I don't see the point of arguing; I think it's sad that people can't just leave others alone--

whether they believe or not--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

as an open-minded Christian who doesn't like . . .

to see anyone's belief system bashed (including those who choose not to believe)--

I find a small problem with this discussion--

logic doesn't cover everything--

it doesn't cover the way you feel when you hold your newborn in your arms; it doesn't cover how you feel when you see a sunset; there are many things logic doesn't cover--

that's all--

I am looking at what you linked--

I believe that the right to believe what a person wants to believe is sacred--

I am watching the first youtube--
I would never tell anyone that he/she was going to hell; religion is a very personal thing--

I think defensiveness is not what the bible means, and I would be as suspicious of someone proselyting against religion as for religion--

to be honest I am suspicious of any proselyting--

I used to be a proselyting person, and I don't any more--

Honestly, I can't sympathize with any of these; I feel that the atheists are trying to proselyte as much as the religionist--

sorry--

I don't think anyone should put anyone on the defensive--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Mixed feelings

Rational discussion is fine, but is it possible? And is this a proper venue? Religion is the Great Divider. We must work for our common goal, which is neither advocacy for religion nor for emancipation from it.

"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no gods. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia

Ĵīɣȩ Ɖåđşŏń

"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

What if both

groups are partly correct? Maybe, the answer is not either or but something that we had never considered, just a thought.

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

Im partly fine with that

;)

Totally

I totally agree with that, up to a point.

Ĵīɣȩ Ɖåđşŏń

"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

A comment on logic - it isn't how you are using it

Logic is not reason.

Aristotelian logic requires by it's nature premises. It is not objective. You can have two sets of people both being completely logical and disagreeing - because that is the exact nature of Aristotelian logic.

I remember the other day that I had some youngster tell me I was being illogical or irrational (another wrongly used term btw). I just grimaced at being trolled into another sophomoric debate - sophormoric debate here being that you can win any argument by defining the terms first to whatever you want them to be. Youngster being defined as someone given to sophomoric debates.

That isn't reason. That isn't objective. That cetainly isn't a search for truth.

It is exactly what Francis Bacon critized in his The New Organon, as opposed to Aristotle's old Organon. It isn't scientific. What you want is not logic, it is objectivity, premises you do not just make up wholesale.
http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/f_bacon.html

Aristotelian logic has been counted as causing endlessl wars about things that are "logical" on their own terms, but not real in real life.

But it gets worse than premises instead of objective reality. The idea that everything (or every premise - Aristotle tended to merge ontological and epistemological definitions - see logician cited below), is either t/f does not simply invite possible fallacies of the excluded middle, but itself is such.

There can be more than two values for a logic system, and in fact, it works better in many instances for the real world. See:
Jan Łukasiewicz and multivalued sytems
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-valued_logic

Which brings us to fuzzy systems, which don't put things in crisp sets. Ideally practical, seems more like the real world, and again is not Aristolean.

You worry that this might not be rational? Rationality is a Pythagorean idea that everything is a number or ratio of everything else. In essense, everything has a scale to everything else. It isn't true, there are irrational numbers in the real world. And likewise, it is entirely possible to argue something with a completely different scale and set of premises then you have, and they don't relate. They are irrational.

However, irrational doesn't mean real as in really existing, any more than logical means really existing. They aren't OBJECTIVE.

The terms you want to use is not its logical, or its rational. The term you want to use is it is objective and real.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

I prefer Plato.

Agreeing with much of what you are saying. I was a Philosophy major but not typical at all. I found myself disagreeing with most of my professors most of the time.

I disagree with you on the ratio thing, I think. I don't believe there really are irrational numbers, only irrational ways of trying to represent ratios. Pi, for example, is a repeating decimal to infinity only if you try to calculate it out in an imperfect way (using a formula catering to tens and tenths...). However, if it is simply represented geometrically, or as 22:7, its perfectly rational. There is no need for all of this insane repeating. It's perfectly rational.

I think I sort of agree with your point about objectivity, but how would you define that? What makes something objective?

John F

"However, irrational doesn't

"However, irrational doesn't mean real as in really existing, any more than logical means really existing. They aren't OBJECTIVE."

That should read, However, irrational doesn't mean NOT real as in really existing, any more than logical means really existing. (Neither) terms are OBJECTIVE." (Objectice terms in themselves).

You need to define these terms right, and know what they mean, and how they are frequently mis-used if you want to know anything.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

I find we are on similar

I find we are on similar grounds on this matter. I would like to add also that absolute certainty or absolute reasoning is pointless. You can never be absolutely sure of anything but you can live on the higher probability based on the knowledge (to us) that we have at that particular time. EXAMPLE: someone in the past that thought the world was flat that had no other means to determine otherwise would not be considered irrational or illogical because the knowledge of their time did not have the resources or progress to determine otherwise... The reason I wish to address this is when the knowledge and understanding does become available (or at least other theories are presented) it is important to understand those theories to better change and adjust the knowledge you understand to be true. You can either accept this new knowledge or reject it. The day that someone becomes completely contempt with their answers though and stops looking, is the day you become irrational and illogical because you are not willing to improve or throw out your perception of is and what isn't. That's why it irritates me when religious people (not just religious people, but religion does encourage it)they give up on adjusting their reasoning based on their own personal convenience or personal desire.

I am a religious person, it

I am a religious person, it just happens I am also a philosophical minded one, and have just finished an extensive review of the above type of topic. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts is all I have to say.

But with that out of the way - a comment from the below thread to carry out this thread on another day - I won't devote anymore time to it today.

It is quite possible for two people to have different sets of facts. And both being both objective and within reason. In fact, most Christians claim a personal relationship with God, which is a claim of objective experience. Interestingly enough, they (we) don't claim everyone has objective experience with God, but in fact that you need to come clean or repent and be saved to have a personal relationship with God.

I'm sure this can be argued both logically and spiritually at the same time, but I'll leave that for a different day. I don't intend to argue it logically, but only use the framework, while seeking real repentance and a saving knowledge of God. God speed.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

For another day then. :D

For another day then. :D

Look up the following authors, people

Francis Bacon
Jan Łukasiewicz
Lotfi Zadeh
Hippasus

Look up the following people and study them carefully if you have not. You will thank me if you do, and they all relate to each other and the subject of what is real.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

I am an avid observer of religion,

but am not a believer. I have my many reasons, but would rather not debate about this subject. This will inevitably start an infuriating circular argument. Seeing as any religious practice is an incredibly personal experience, it is pointless to argue. I am happy to leave people to their own search for answers, and I greatly respect everyone's beliefs regarding religion, no matter how contradictory to my own beliefs they are.

In that case...

....would you be willing to review and provide an unemotional, objective assessment of Pascal's Wager?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_wager

The Op seems either unwilling or unable to do so in a completely dispassionate way. Since it mentions something religious, he immediately descends into a passionate, emotional response.

I am asking for an assessment of the pure LOGIC of it, not the content.

Throw something tougher than

Throw something tougher than that :)

Pascal's Wager would then have you believe in every single God and every single religion because who knows which one is the 'right' one since all are faith based.

In fact, by the reasoning of this wager, if I stand up and ask you to believe I am God or you will go to hell, you might as well believe that too. :D

I'll see your Pascals wager

I'll see your Pascals wager and raise you one Ockhams Razor. Pascals wager is no good because his argument can be used for any god ever created.

I concur that it is a very

I concur that it is a very personal experience to people but no more than the emotion that created one to believe it. I however disagree that it is pointless to argue because questioning something is always good. :D

I really do like that we can debate our differences and understand why people have different perspectives. This is how ideas are spread.

I think it is healthy to

I think it is healthy to question yourself on your own beliefs, but can intrusive to question others about theirs. I think it is completely appropriate to question others about what their religion is about and why they subscribe to that idea, but to refute their beliefs by inserting your own is rather confrontational. I personally love to discuss this subject, but unfortunately I have found that it commonly leads to a circular argument where both sides become more divided and frustrated with each other.

Not always brother

I have Athiest friends, homosexaul friends and people I differ with politically. We can dialog and disagree (not all of them mind you). I understand were they are coming from and they know where I am coming from. I give them the freedom to express who they are and I reserve the right to do the same; those are the ground rules. So when I do what I am mandated to do by the Lord-to share the Gospel; They don't get offended and I do that in a way that they get a better understanding of what Christians believe. In short we are being adults and communicating. I know that God will draw to Himself who he wills, I don't worry about converting, that His game. I am just suppose to love my neighbor and share the Gospel. I am a big boy and can take the unbelief. Happy trails

"There are only two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by sword, the other is by debt." - John Adams