Is Atheism True? Debate, 2nd Post

First round, Second post with Response.

The original post by the atheist was in standard paragraph form. I have numbered the atheist's paragraphs and adopted an outline format to allow ease of response. The atheist's posts appear in black text. My responses follow each paragraph and are in green.

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  1. You are correct, I didnt specifically define the term atheist as I am using it until the end of the third post. Despite the strong beliefs held by some there is no physical evidence to support the idea that god or gods exist. Theism is the belief that god or gods exist; atheism is the opposite of that. Atheism simply means without theism, without a belief in the existence of god or gods. [emphasis original]
    I am also glad to note that we both agree belief itself is not evidence for the existence of god or gods.
    1. I do not think you are being consistent when you say that atheism is the opposite of theism and then also say that it is "Without belief in the existence of god or gods." The opposite of theism, which is belief that god(s) do exist, would be belief that god(s) do not exist. Yet you say you are without belief in the existence of god or gods. Is this "without belief" another way of saying that you "lack belief"? If so, I have I have already addressed the "lack of belief" issue and shown its weaknesses. But, I will recap a little here for clarity.

      I am without belief in many things. To believe is an action. To disbelieve is an action. To be without belief is not an action and can be applied only to things of which you are not aware since you do not take action against that of which you are unaware. For example, I am without belief in green nunublasts, as are you. I know this for a fact because I just made up the word and it has no conceptual reality. Therefore, we both are "without belief" in nunublasts. But, if I defined a nunublast as the egg of a blue screaming ant from Neptune, you are no longer "without belief." You believe they exist, or you categorize it as a ridiculous example, or you believe they do not exist, etc.. But you do something with it because you can't help yourself. You are not "without belief" if you mean that you have no intellectual action taken towards it. But when you are made aware of the meaning, you do something with it categorically. Hopefully, you actually believe that they do not exist. Therefore, you cannot "be without belief" any longer and to apply the "without belief" idea to God is invalid. You either believe in God, believe He does not exist, or are not sure. But each is an action.
    2. Also, I noticed that you did not correctly restate what I said. You said that "we both agree belief itself is not evidence for the existence of god of gods." I did not say that. I said "though I have not thought your opening statement through completely, I would agree that mere belief in God does not prove that He exists." (emphasis added) Note the difference. I did not say that belief is not an evidence. I said that "mere belief in God does not prove that He exists." There is a difference. I have not thoroughly examined the logic of belief being an evidence of God's existence, but, so far, I would conclude that it is not proof He exists, but I may be wrong. So, to borrow your phrase, perhaps I should say that I am "without belief" that belief can or cannot prove God's existence. And since I am "without belief" about it, I will also say that I "lack belief" in belief as a proof or non proof for God's existence. The game of words would continue if we let it. So, let's not go there. Let's work with the facts.
  2. Proving a negative is not required for the above. If a believer cannot show evidence for the existence of the object of belief; if their entire argument is that said object of belief exists based solely on the idea that belief in that object is evidence, then they have made a false and baseless argument. Belief in something is not evidence for its existence. Simply claiming I believe in X, so it must be true does not make that claim true. The believer is making a false claim.
    In this type of argument evidence can be divided into two categories, subjective and objective. Subjective evidence is defined as evidence that is not physical in nature. The earlier example of the IPU is right on point for this. Belief in the IPU is not based on physical or objective evidence; it is based on subjective evidence. You can use reason, and eliminate the physical evidence for the IPU. Yet, this will not change the persons belief in its existence because that belief is not based on physical (objective) evidence but instead on subjective evidence.
    To reiterate what was stated earlier, belief in something is not evidence for its existence. The evidence that the belief is based on is the true basis for the reality of the objects existence or non-existence.
    1. Part of the whole debate on atheism verses theism is the issue of evidence for God's existence. I have presented various kinds of evidence to atheists before and it is summarily explained away and/or ignored. You see, the problem, as I have said before, is with presuppositions. As an atheist you say there is no God so all evidences for God's existence must be explained away for you to remain in your position. Quite frankly, your bias will not allow you to objectively examine the evidence. Earlier you raised the issue of objective evidence, but I brought out that evidence is simply evidence. Objectivity rests in the individual.

      The inconsistency with the atheists I have seen, and I believe you are guilty of this as well, is that they claim to "lack belief" or be "without belief," but when discussing God and evidence is presented to them supporting God, they behave as though they absolutely believe there is no God since they repeatedly try and destroy any theistic evidences. In other words, their bias is showing. You would think that the agnostic type phrase, "I lack belief" would belie an attitude of objective examination. However, I've yet to hear an objective "Let's try and objectively look at the evidence" from an atheist. Rather, it is, "Let me tell you why all of your evidence is false."

      So, can a believer, myself for example, present evidence for God's existence to an atheist? Yes, I can. Will an atheist be able to accept it objectively? No, I do not believe so. Why? Because you presuppose atheism in the argument against theistic evidence. You appear to have your mind made up--since you are defending atheism and trying to negate theistic evidences.

      Actually, it would much better if you actually did "lack belief in God" so that when you saw the evidences, you'd be objective about it. I do not believe it is a matter of merely presenting evidences. I believe that you would find a way to refuse them no matter what I presented. But, of course, this is just my opinion.
    2. Regarding "Is belief in God evidence for His existence?" I do not know for sure. It may be upon much deeper analysis. However, I suspect that it wouldn't be proof that God exists, but it may be evidence that He does. Since I have not thought it through sufficiently, I will "lack belief" one way or the other.

      Nevertheless, since it is a subjective experience to believe in God and since this subjectivity cannot be quantified, it may certainly be that the believer's belief is evidence, but not necessarily proof. After all, we all go through life without proof of many things and assume certain outcomes based on faith. In many cases, faith is an evidence of an actuality or the possibility of an actuality based upon evidence, i.e., having faith that you'll make it to the store alive tomorrow because you've done it before. Belief can be an evidence and I do not believe that it should be simply dismissed as non evidence without further examination. But, to reiterate, I would not assert that mere belief is proof that God exists. Remember, you are talking about evidence here, not proof.
  3. No Response to Point 3 Since we agree
  4. In my responses to points 1 and 2 I further outlined what I mean by objective evidence. The conclusion you drew from your assumption of how I am using those terms is incorrect. I was going to follow up in more detail on the ideas and questions you presented in this response, but since they are based on a false assumption and will be covered in follow-ups to your other points Ill leave them till later.
    1. Saying that my assumptions are false does not mean they are. In a debate, if you want to say they are, then demonstrate how they are or make no comment. I will look for your proof that my assumptions are incorrect in your later posts.

 

 

 

 
 
CARM ison