A response to @AnonSunamun

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Avatar for PrudenceLouise1
7 months ago
Topics: Philosophy, Religion, God

@AnonSunamun has pinged me and written an article in a response to my article about the evidence for God existing.

Generally I don’t “debate” the popular atheist arguments because to be as blunt as AnonSunamun – the standard of discussion is atrociously low and hardly worth a serious response.

The popular atheist rhetoric primarily consists of people who haven’t bothered to study the subject matter, but nevertheless feel justified in claiming they hold the intellectual high ground. They love to tell everyone they are on the side of reason, but are persistently oblivious to their basic logical errors.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying it’s impossible to make a reasonable and logical case for atheism. The history of philosophy provides us with many examples of people doing exactly that. But modern atheism is a different case, which is why it’s earned the moniker “new” atheism. New atheism is as superficial as it is confident, a recipe for dogmatism and intolerance.

Unlike AnonSunamun I don’t judge people or treat them differently based on their religious beliefs or lack thereof. He says he would “love an open and respectful discussion/debate on any religion-related topic”.

Since his article is a stereotypical example of the popular atheist commentary, I’ll oblige him with a response. I’ll point out a few obvious defects in his arguments that are also common to most of the new atheist propaganda.

I'll start with a broad point. His article says it’s a response to mine, but then he doesn’t make any mention of the extensive and robust rational case for theism. He makes no reference to the various points I made in my article outlining the arguments for theism.

Instead, he spends all his time talking about religion. This is a common atheist tactic, they cherry pick the lowest hanging fruit of fundamentalist religion and then expect us to agree the existence of religious idiocy means God doesn’t exist.

But this is a logical fallacy, a non-sequitur (it does not follow). Even if the claims of every religion in the entire history of humanity were wrong, it doesn’t follow logically from the falsity of religious doctrine that the metaphysical claim God exists is false.

AnonSunamun says his “summarized position” on the existence of God comes from our current ability to “explain the universe around us from a billionth of a second after the big bang until the last black hole fades away billions and billions of years from now”.

Despite the fact this is hyperbole and science can do no such thing, that is beside the point. Also beside the point is that billionth of a second gap is actually far more significant that his rhetoric makes it sound.

But let’s stop tilting at windmills and focus on the actual substance of the rational case for a/theism.

The most egregious mistake he makes is thinking the cosmological argument for God is competing with scientific cosmology theories and that science can answer the question of cosmic origins. This is an embarrassingly common mistake from atheists. I give a more detailed explanation for why it’s wrong in this article, Universes from Nothing?

AnonSunamun argues that “ it is not the truth, revelation, or experience that determines 90% of the religious people's religious beliefs but the geographical location and the religion one's parents adhere to.”

Leaving aside the fact this 90% figure has been pulled from some unknown nether region and is totally unsupported by any evidence, this line of argument consists of another non-sequitur. Even if it’s true that 90% of religious people form their beliefs on non-rational grounds, it doesn’t follow logically from the non-rational practices of lots of people that the metaphysical claim God exists is false.

AnonSunamun claims that my article “lacks a clear definition of "God". What is God? Or what it often comes down to is the question "Which" God?”

But right at the start of my article I linked to another article with a detailed explanation of what the word God means, how it differs from god/s and why it’s an elementary mistake to ask, “Which God?”.

AnonSunamun claims that all religions “claim to be the one true religion with the one true truth.” But this is just factually incorrect as any research into the worlds religions would reveal. Religious pluralism is alive and well.

He also claims that it’s safe to assume I am “a follower of one of the Christian flavors of religions” but he is also factually incorrect about that. But this is just another red herring in a whole school of them because as he says - “that would be superfluous to answering the original article's question.”

AnonSunamun ends his article with an emotionally charged diatribe on the evils of religious people and how we should have an open discussion about excluding them from positions in government, the armed forces and the financial system because.... the inquisition happened.

That really doesn't qualify for a serious response, I'll only point out the dark irony involved in his suggestion we discriminate against people on the basis of their religious beliefs while complaining that atheists are discriminated against and lack freedom of speech to criticise religion. And please for the love of rationality go and read a history book and research Galileo instead of parroting these nonsense myths about how the Church oppressed scientific progress.

Somewhere in that tirade he makes a reference to the extraordinary claims mantra which I've exposed as a linguistic trick in this article

After listening to most of the new atheist arguments, you are only left wondering if atheists have even bothered to investigate what it is they don’t believe in. AnonSunamun certainly hasn't bothered to address any of the points I made in the article he claims to respond to.

Anyone who wants a serious discussion about the evidence for theism, the essential requirement is to first be aware of the topic of conversation. Religion isn't theism. Atheism and theism are philosophical claims, not scientific ones. The rational case for a/theism is the topic of study in the discipline called philosophy of religion. Google it instead of listening to low grade atheist apologetics.

Then get to work on the hard intellectual labour required to hold rational beliefs. If you don't want to do that, intellectual honesty demands you stop lecturing religious people about their rational obligations if you aren't willing to practice what you preach.

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Avatar for PrudenceLouise1
7 months ago
Topics: Philosophy, Religion, God


Well, I love the part "I don’t judge people or treat them differently based on their religious beliefs or lack thereof". Thank u for a good read, -as always!

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