Answers to Theistic
Some things retrieved
from the religion and philosophy forum at FaceTheJury.com
Pink is the theistic side, white is the non-theistic explanation.
Some theists might say,
"Even if there isn't a God, why not believe
in him anyway? Think about it... if there isn't one, then when you die, what does it matter? But if there is one, you took
a good gamble. It's a win-win situation!"
In response, there is a little thing called
Pascal's Wager. Pascal's Wager shows the reasons why taking the gamble and just believing in God anyway aren't
1. Belief of that sort is not subject to choice. If I gave you $25,000 to believe that I was sitting
on a purple unicorn, it would certainly be in your best interest to do so. But, while you could CLAIM that you believed it,
you would be lying. You can't force yourself to believe something simply because it might be advantageous to do so.
Why would God save someone who was just believing in him out of convenience? "Well God, I believed in you because I thought
it was a win-win proposition for me. Pretty smart, huh?"
3. You could make the same argument for believing in
Allah. How do you choose between theistic alternatives?
"I have heard many stories,
but when I saw something with my own eyes, it was different. When someone I have known most of my life, who has only been
going to church for less than a year of their 40 some years on earth goes up front for prayer (i was on stage playing bass
in the worship team), the man prays for her, she falls down and gets up no longer having the neck pains she had been having
for such a long time (and she is a nurse) and they haven't come back....I kind of have to believe it was real. My eyes saw
it. She described how it felt (I talked to her about right after service). Then some will tell me that not only does that
stuff not happen, but that it can't happen. But I saw it with my own eyes....am I supposed to believe that it didn't happen
because it is impossible or because God can't exist?"
"It's possible. I don't
think it's unreasonable to be skeptical. If we assume the person is honest and not engaged in some sort of scam, then we take
a look at exactly what is being claimed. Now, pain is a very real feeling but it does not always come from a physical malady.
It would be possible, for instance, for someone to be healed of pain by prayer or meditation without any sort of divine intervention.
The pain could have had a psychological cause that was removed. Now, how does one "feel" God's hand in this? Well, I imagine
that would be a difficult thing to describe. And an easy thing to mistake. One could be feeling suddenly better for perfectly
mundane reasons and--because one is religious--WANT to ascribe the healing to God. And they believe it is so. But that doesn't
MAKE it so. "
Theism vs Non-theism
This deals mainly with Christianity and atheism/agnosticism
on the subject of science.
(Most arguments were retreived (edited by me) from the religion and philosophy forum of
For the arguments below, pink represents the side of Christianity, white is the side of non-theism.
These begin in the middle of the actual
arguments to get the main points across.
Argument # 1
we are humans, we are great and all...we don't know much...compared to God, the one who wrote and inspired writings in the
Holy Bible, we are IDIOTS.if we weren't, there wouldn't be a God.
There's a difference between faith and empirical
I didn't ask you to prove god or justify your faith. That's immensely personal, and I can't touch that.
the contrary, you interjected your thoughts on evolutionary theory. You did so in full ignorance of what evolutionary theory
entails. You put yourself on other people's turf, and then make lame appeals to faith and spirituality.
If you're going
to attack empirical science, don't whine when you're rebutted and we ask you to offer competing theories. if you can't stand
the heat, stick to your faith and personal spirituality. people here won't proactively attack that.
What you fail to understand is that our FAITH
and SPIRITUALITY is our "empirical scientific evidence".its just not in a form that you wish to accept. I dont have polariods
of God doing what he did, no special digital pics of time through God knows how many years... no physical evidence, I, have
to show.. I have none. PHYSICAL evidence. But the evidence that I do have does not lie in a bone, not in some gene, not in
anything else that is physical. The evidence that I have, lies within myself.
But we <the evolutionists> DO have the
We have museums FULL of evidence.
You have a "gut feeling".
Which one would hold up in court?
And I think you have a category error here.
Empirical science calls upon observation and
the scientific method to infer worldmodels. If you do not rely on such observation and data, and do not employ the scientific
method, what you are doing is not science at all. It is introspection and assertion of religious dogma.
That's the point. Science operates within a certain
framework. creationism operates outside of that framework. Therefore, it is NOT science.
An imperfect system created by imperfect beings.
While highly effective, imperfect. So while imperfect, it is still viable to the comparison to our argument.
And it is not just an introspective and assertion.to
those with the FAITH, it is a universal certainty.
You can COMPARE creationism to evolutionary
theory, but if you are offering up creationism as a SCIENTIFIC THEORY, then it is not unreasonable to expect scientific scrutiny
to accompany that theory. Hence, again, the thread I created specifically so you and your friends could do so.
No responses? Perhaps...you have No way
to justify your original assertion that creationism was a competing SCIENTIFIC theory with evolution?
According to all
of YOUR rules (the scientific community) it has no way of comparision. Who is to say your rules are right...?
These are the established guidelines
of science. Are you trying to redefine science to include 'whatever i think is true based on the bible?' it's simply not the
definition of science nor how science proceeds.
But who is to say that the established
guidelines of science is right? For all we know, we got it all wrong....of course, this may seem HIGHLY IMPROBABLE...in our
small minds and eyes...it cant be ruled out...just as creationism cant be ruled out.
Unless you're saying
we live in the Matrix,
Red is red
You can't breath under water
These are all things that
we are sure of because of observational fact.
And you're right, 'nobody knows anything for sure.'
If i murdered your parents
before your eyes, and you wanted a court of law to convict me, how would you respond if i said the following?
'He can't absolutely prove I
was there. It's his word against mine. Physical evidence doesn't count, because it's based on the scientific method, which
men invented and is imperfect. Only god can judge me, and since he isn't here, it's obvious that i'm innocent.'
You're ignoring any semblance
of common sense which dictates that we all operate on certain assumptions, including that 'things make sense and my sensory
perception probably relates to reality.'
Any question you bring up
against science can easily be twisted around and used against the Bible.
Is it possible that the
people that wrote the Bible weren't "inspired" by God but were "inspired" by weed? See, your logic is fun
Its just as probable as your scientists
being influenced by narcodics and the like when writing official findings and reports. You didnt watch the dude find the evidence,
write the report, publish it. But you still believe it.
Except, I can reproduce the results
in the labratory.
Do you believe that creationism is impossible?
No, I do not believe it is impossible.
However, I believe there are much better theories at explaining known observational evidence. Evolutionary theory, modern
cosmology, and abiogenesis portray a much, much better picture of 'how' we got here than the bible. Exponentially so, in my
Physicists/statsticians have long ago established
that impossible is not a funcitonally useful word in science. However science does author itself in degrees of improbability...and
the Tenants of Creationism are highly x6483836429214932421649324632 improbable.
Why is it so improbable...? Because of all the
evidence that has been found? How do we know that all this evidence in the large scheme of things, years upon years from now,
will do nothing but point to creationism? We dont know that do we....so it still cant, and cant ever be ruled out.we will
never know for sure of anything...ever.
You are also displaying classical 'god of the
look throughout human history and how gods have
been used as a means of explanation for all manner of things.
For example, the bible at times implies that
disease derives from 'evil spirits' or demonic forces. ancient people thought different gods were responsible for the functions
of the sun, moon, stars etc.
Do you believe disease is caused by evil spirits?
do you believe we need a god to explain the sun?
People have put god into the gaps of our understanding
over and over ad nauseum throughout history. Insofar as we are able to ascertain via empirical methods, not one of these claims
have panned out. Intriguingly, you will probably concur UP until it concerns 'your god' and injecting him into those spots
you feel are still mysterious.
Notice a pattern of behavior here?
Can you prove or disprove the existance of evil
You're still missing the point.
The point is not establishing the IMPOSSIBILITY OF
WHATEVER IDEA YOU CAN THINK OF. Can you disprove that i'm the king of an alien race? Can you disprove that my dog can fly? I
could do this forever...it's pointless.
Do YOU believe evil spirits are the primary cause of disease, or do you buy into
the 'scientific theory' that disease is largely the product of microbes and the body's response to said microbes? If
you get the flu, do you go to a doctor or a faith healer? Why do you accept the 'wisdom of men' for an understanding of disease,
but do not do so for an understanding of human history?
It makes me smile that
all of you are so adiment on attempting to reason with me.it shows that even if ever so small...in your minds you know that
there is just as an equal chance of me being right as you.
It makes me laugh that you take yourself
seriously. If you have anything compelling to offer other than your own anecdotal spiritual experience, perhaps you shouldn't
have tried to enter the domain of science, try to back out of it, or perhaps now try to redefine it?
Anyone reading this
thread can watch you grasp for straws and slide down the slippery slope of the molehill of your pseudo-logic.
Yes yes thats nice. Reason me this, reason
me that...how bout this....
Reason how a thought is formed in the human brain...show me the cause of our existence on this
planet, show me the effect of one man on an entire planet....
Who's fraid a tha big black bat?
Are you purposely trying to be this dense? Why
bother responding if you aren't even going to address my comments? I've asked you several questions and you've pretty much
side stepped all of them.
I'd much rather you just ignore me than respond w/o an answer.
The bible is a text older than any scientific
theorm or idea, and is solid both historically and goeographically (regarding to locations, people, races, etc) why would
some things be true and others not? God doesnt write lies dude.
Older doesn't mean more accurate, and God didn't
write anything, "dude."
Realize that it's going to take more than "the
Bible says so" for your argument to be taken seriously.
"A man without faith is a man with little else..."
"A man who doesn't question
anything is a sheep"
I hope you are content being another sheep to
your shepard. I broke free from the flock a long time ago. I really wish you would argue with LOGIC and REASON.
And that's the end of that.
Which side do you agree with? Decide for yourself.
fallible is the Christian Bible? The Bible was written in a time where little was known about the scientific world. Many things
were written that are now known to be incorrect, because science can now prove these things wrong. This portrays the ignorance
of the writers of the Bible. This should give you reason to question whether much of the "historic fact" is indeed fact, or
the work of fallible humans.
The source of the following includes the actual Bible passages from which the information came from, insuring it's accuracy
regarding the Bible. I merely plucked out what I thought was the most questionable and fallible of information found in the
Bible. Mainly because the writer of the information from the source makes some great (yet obvious) points, while at the same
time some really crappy ones that really have no significance whatsoever. I don't just slap down any crap that opposes the
Bible/God, I make sure it makes sense and has good (and usually obvious) backing behind it.
Whether these nonsensical ideas from the Bible are meant to be interpreted literally or not, I will assume them to be literal,
as many (not all) Christians do.
God creates light
and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn't make the light producing objects (the
sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). And how could there be "the evening and the morning" on the
first day if there was no sun to mark them? 1:3-5
Plants are made on the third
day before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (1:14-19). 1:11
Christel's Response: Back then man did not know about
photosynthesis of plants, so it blows the whole theory.
God makes two lights: "the
greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night." But the moon is not a light,
but only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to "rule the night", does it spend half of its time moving
through the daytime sky? 1:16
"And God set them in the
firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth." Really? Then why are only a tiny fraction of stars visible from earth?
Under the best conditions, no more than five thousand stars are visible from earth with the unaided eye, yet there are hundreds
of billions of stars in our galaxy and a hundred billion or so galaxies. Yet this verse says that God put the stars in the
firmament "to give light" to the earth. 1:17
Response: Of course, since man wrote the Bible, he only sees what is possible to see from Earth, and knows no more.
God gave humans dominion
over every other living thing on earth. This couldn't be true, of course, since millions of other species existed for millions
of years before humans existed. But this verse is used by fundamentalist Christians to justify their mistreatment of other
species and disregard for the environment. After all, they believe that God created the other species just for them, so they
can do whatever they please with them. 1:26
All animals were originally
herbivores. Tapeworms, vampire bats, mosquitoes, and barracudas -- all were strict vegetarians, as they were created by God.
But, of course, we now know that there were carnivorous animals millions of years before humans existed. 1:30
Christel's Response: Again, displaying the ignorance of man when
the Bible was written.
Noah is told to make an
ark that is 450 feet long. The largest wooden ships ever built were just over 300 feet, and they required diagonal iron strapping
for support. Even so, they leaked so badly that they had to be pumped constantly. Are we to believe that Noah, with no shipbuilding
knowledge and no shipbuilding tradition to rely upon, was able to construct a wooden ship that was longer than any that has
been built since? But not only was the ark too big to be seaworthy, it was far too small to be able to contain the earth's
millions of plant and animals species. 6:14-15
Whether by twos or by sevens,
Noah takes male and female representatives from each species of "every thing that creepeth upon the earth." Now this must
have taken some time, along with expert knowledge of taxonomy, genetics, biogeography, and anatomy. How did Noah manage to
collect the endemic species from the New World, Australia, Polynesia, and other remote regions entirely unknown to him? How,
once he found them, did he transport them back to his Near Eastern home? How could he tell the male and female beetles (there
are more than 500,000 species) apart? How did he know how to care for these new and unfamiliar animals? How did he find the
space on the ark? How did he manage to find and care for the hundreds of thousands of parasitic species? How did Noah obtain
and care for the hundreds of thousands of species of plants? (Plants are ignored in the Genesis account, but the animals wouldn't
last long after if the plants died in the flood.) No, wait, don't tell me. A miracle happened. Millions of them. 7:8
Christel's Response: Obviously the person who created this story
new nothing of the unimaginable amount of species that existed on this earth. Yet another example of man's ignorance of the
God is rightly filled with
remorse for having killed his creatures. He even puts the rainbow in the sky to remind himself of his promise to the animals
not to do it again. But rainbows are caused by the nature of light, the refractive index of water, and the shape of raindrops.
There were rainbows billions of years before humans existed. 9:13
"The whole earth was of
one language." But this could not be true, since by this time (around 2400 BCE) there were already many languages, each unintelligible
to the others. 11:1, 6
Jacob displays his (and
God's) knowledge of biology by having goats copulate while looking at streaked rods. The result is streaked baby goats. 30:37-39
Bats are birds to the biblical
God. 11:13, 19
Christel's Response: Any ignorant man, unknowledgable to the catagorization of species, would
think of bats as birds because of their appearance. Another biblical "fact" to be proven false due to scientific discovery.
Be sure to watch out for
those "other flying creeping things which have four feet." (I wish God wouldn't get so technical!) I guess he must mean four-legged
insects. You'd think that since God made the insects, and so many of them (at least several million species), that he would
know how many legs they have! 11:23
In this verse we are told
that the earth is stable and does not move. If so, then it must not spin on its axis or travel about the sun. 16:30
Christel's Response: The Bible makes numerous references to the
earth being fixated in one place, and that sun revolves around it.
King David collects ten
thousand drams (or darics) for the construction of the temple in Jerusalem. This is especially interesting since darics were
coins named after King Darius I who lived some five hundred years after David. 29:7
"Haman thought in his heart."
Most people think with their heads, but biblical folks think with their hearts. 6:6
Christel's Response: I know what you're thinking, I thought the same. It's just a saying, thinking
in your heart, feeling in your heart, etc. That passage seems like it wasn't at all meant to be taken literally. But in fact,
in those times people were ignorant of the brain and its functions. They basically thought that human thought processes occured
in the heart, instead of the brain. That is actually where the saying originated from.
God has snow and hail all
stored up to use later "in time of trouble." 38:22
Response: Of course meteorology explains the scientific reasoning behind the occurance of snow and hail.
The earth shakes whenever
God really gets mad. 18:7
Christel's Response: Obviously
with this example and others previously mentioned, people simply made up uneducated reasons for earth's natural occurances.
In this case, earthquakes
Here is an essay (found on the essays page) that I wrote a while back. I'm sure many things are repeated from what I wrote
above answering, "Why am I an Agnostic?" While below is just an essay explaining religion's history and possible
fate. Hey, it fit with the subject.
You may have heard me say, "I cannot prove God does not exist, just as I cannot
prove that tiny purple elephants do not exist. Why believe?" Many peoples' responses to this statement could be, "But tiny
purple elephants have no history behind them... millions of people do not believe in them. On the other hand, millions of
people DO believe in God, and apparently there is a great and long history behind it all." This is true, so I've come up with
another statement to replace my elephant one. "I cannot prove God does not exist, just as I cannot prove that Zeus and Athena
do not exist."
At one time, millions of people did believe in the Greek gods.
But... why not anymore? They've apperently realized that the Gods were made up and mythical. Even so, there are still people
today who believe in these Gods, and believe them to be real. Not many, but they are out there. Sound familiar?
Perhaps Christianity is just like this. Right now millions have faith in it... but perhaps in a few hundred or thousand years
from now, it will all be regarded as myth. Adam and Eve, the Virgin Mary, Jesus rising from the dead.
Imagin if most humans were to parish... and a new society had to begin from the few humans who were left. Imagin that they
had no religion. After a while, they would start to think of things like, "Hmm... how did we get here? How did everything
come about? How should we live our lives?" And guess what? They would begin answering those questions. How? Take a guess.
The only way, to make things up. Perhaps someone had a dream of how everything was created... so he wrote it down. Other people
started making things up and having dreams, too. Soon, they all made books.
am trying to say is this: that is probably how it happened. We needed explanations on how we came to be... so they were provided.
We had no science back then, people were ignorant. We needed ideas on how to live our lives.. what could be good and what
could be bad. It was all provided to us. By who, though? People, who else?
cultures came up with their own unique ideas. Some have faded due to common sense and modern knowledge or science, possibly
proving it all wrong, and some have hung on, due to being raised in it, and having nothing else to believe but what they were
Fundamentalists seem to think that somehow, they just happened to be born
in the one and only correct religion. There are hundreds of religions out there, what are the odds? They don't even want to
know about other religions and what they are all about... they don't care. This is extreme close-mindedness. It makes me sad.
Where I live, Georgia, you can count on there being hundreds of fundamentalist Christians. As a matter of fact, I am pretty
sure most people around here are. They refuse to listen to other beliefs and think that they know the truth... only because
it was told to them. Complete brainwashing.
I don't mind Christians, not at all.
But I do mind fundamentalists, of ANY kind, of ANY religion. Atheists included. An exception would be Agnostics, because there's
no such thing as a fundie Agnostic. In fact, that is the definition on an Agnostic. Knowing that there is not enough evidence
for either side, and there is no way to know whether or not there is a God. Agnostics could lean in any direction. Some think
there might be a God, some don't. But they do not insist that they know whether there is one or not. They do not insist on
having infinite knowledge, like many ignorant people of today's society do.
without religion. How would that be? Perhaps a lot less violence. Religion is one of the leading causes of wars. But what
would be a downfall in no religion? Well, people would have no easy way out anymore... they wouldn't just be able to say,
"Oh, okay, this is why we are here. Oh, okay, I should live like this." They would not have anyone to pray to anymore... they
would be lonely. At least thinking someone is listening to you makes you feel better.
A note to the fundies: Realize that you cannot know everything. Realize that you do not have infinite knowledge, and don't
be so gullible as to think that you do. Open your mind to other religions out there. You do not have to follow them, just
listen to them, consider them. Accept them. Accept Atheists, accept Muslims, accept Pagans, accept Wiccans. There is nothing
wrong with what people believe, with some exceptions, of course. Then again, something can only be evil to whoever thinks
Open your mind. Don't be caught up in the ignorance, even if ignorance is bliss.
This following short essay (also on the essays page) expresses my secular humanism in a way, and it somewhat fits with the
whole subject so here it is for your reading pleasure.
Moral Absolutes; Nonexistent
people might argue that without religion, morals would not exist. God is who/what determines what is right and wrong. This
is not true. Humans create what is right and wrong. Society creates what is right and wrong for the benefit of itself, society,
not because some existant or non-existant god tells us too.
Imagin this scenerio:
Hitler wins WWII. He's got the entire world following him. Currently, we all think Hitler was wrong and horrible for what
he did. If he did win, though, then much of society would agree with him and make what he did the RIGHT thing, and all his
other actions would be right. He'd be an honorable leader.
As you can see, right and
wrong is what society makes it and has made it for thousands of years. Morals are a man-made concept, created for our own
good and are always changing. There are small societies in this world that have never heard of such a concept as God, but
they still have morals. There are no moral absolutes, the only reason they are there is because someone recognizes them to
Nothing is good and nothing is bad... when you are talking about absolutes.
Isn't killing a person bad, though? In many societies and to the masses, yes. Each individual might think differently. In
other words, good is what is on your side and your beliefs and bad is anything against your beliefs. That is why there are
no moral absolutes, and morals only exist because someone is here to recognize their existence.
Short essay, yes, but to the point. I just want to inform you all that man is intelligent enough to create his own morals.
Moral absolutes don't exist, but morals do exist only within the individual.
The intentions of
this webpage are not to offend
anyone of any religion.
I do not dislike Christianity,
Christians, or any
other theistic religions or their
followers. I respect
people regardless of their beliefs,
and I don't
try to force mine onto them, and all I ask
is that you can
do the same.
The only thing I dislike is when people try
to force their beliefs onto others. Please, be respectful of others beliefs.
If you have any
questions regarding anything on this page, please feel free to write me! I'm open to pretty much anything :)