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Full Version: Common (And Not So Common) Arguments Against Atheism (Please Collate)
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As far as the title above indicates, please do collate arguments pro and anti Atheism.

I really need it right now, and I hope this thread will be useful for the others.
Arguments pro atheism? Well, I might start: why suffering?
There are no arguments "pro" atheism unless one makes some seriously dubious epistemological leaps. One simply cannot prove that God does not exist. The best one can do is show that theistic arguments are flawed.

The only deductive form of the argument on the problem of suffering that I've seen is very easily defeated, and it only demonstrates that "God" is either not all loving or all powerful (either He doesn't want to stop suffering or He can't). Even though St. Thomas lists the problem of suffering as one possible proof against God's existence, God's non-existence doesn't logically follow even given Aquinas's formulation (otherwise he wouldn't be able to answer it in the way that he does). And the second argument against God's existence that Aquinas gives in the Summa, speaking about naturalism having complete explanatory scope, leaves us with agnosticism strictly, not atheism.

A weak agnosticism is the most we poor humans can ever hope to settle with. Dr. William Lane Craig demonstrates the same in various places, and I'm pretty convinced by his argumentation on that specific point.

Even the more sophisticated atheists that I follow are all Neo-Freudian and follow that basic line of argument: God is a projection. But they all admit, in various ways and places, that this isn't a strict argument for atheism but a limit on human knowing (usually they follow a Kantian line of thought that places God in the unknowable realm of the noumenal).
If God is not all loving or all good then its not God.
Firstly, all-good should be obvious since Good is a transcendental, so if there is some shadow in God (say, if evil is necessary), then there is no God. Vatican I says we can know by reason that God is lord, and if He is Good and is Lord, then He is all loving—not only we must give Him love, as we confess in the act of contrition (that God is ”summum bonum, ac dignum qui super omnia diligaris”) but that He is loving towards His subjects (He is merciful). And if God is not all-loving, He is not God.

But I'd agree that any other route towards atheism is simply impossible. In fact I'd say agnosticism is not even possible if one is open enough to reason. Still, N.'s idea seems neat, to collect in a thread the responses to atheism.

Some might argue that atheism and conventional philosophical theism are two sides of the same onto-theological coin.
(08-02-2015, 01:21 AM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: [ -> ]Some might argue that atheism and conventional philosophical theism are two sides of the same onto-theological coin.

Can you elaborate?
The argument from reason, mentioned first by C.S. Lewis in ,,Miracles" and developed by Victor Reppert in ,,Lewis's dangerous idea" ( I would suggest to buy the book because it is short but nonetheless very good and convincing ). The argument is that an atheist who believes that the fundamental structure of our reality is irrational, dominated by chance and following no teleology has no reason to believe in the credibilty of reason. Reason is just the product of chance and necessity as any other event or existence in the world. There is symply no reason to trust your reason. Even the argument that reason may be helpful to survive is not convincing because nobody knows if this really is the case.
The atheist also does not believe in non-physical causation because that would destroy his believe in naturalism. So proposition A is not able to cause propostion B. But how should it be possible to construct a simple syllogism?
A Socrates is a human being.
B Every human being is mortal.
C So, Socrates is mortal.
The atheist has to say that the state of the brain in A causes the state of the brain in B and that causes the state of brain in C because that is the fundamental structure of reality and our believe in non-mental causation is only secondary. But it is completely impossible and absolute senseless to say that a state of the brain is true or false. It is just physical causation. The believe of the atheist that he is conviced by reasonable arguments is accordingly false. His believe is the epiphenomenon of irrational forces.
You could also argue that the human mind is able to discover universals although there are simply no universals in the material world. But agere sequitur esse. So, the human mind transcends the material world.
Even the atheist is compelled to accept first principles as the distinction of act and potency to explain the reality of being and becoming, or the principle of causality ( without the principle of causality the operation of science would be utterly impossible, he also has to accept epistemological realism ) and these principles lead directly to the existence of an actus purus, a first cause ( and the cause has to be greater than the effect because nemo dat qoud non habet ).
(08-01-2015, 11:59 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]Arguments pro atheism? Well, I might start: why suffering?
I think it is possible to reply to the objection in a sufficient way. I suggest Stewart Goetz ,,The argument from evil" in ,,The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology". The whole book is in my opinion not so good but Goetz`s article is very useful.
This video is also helpful :
It also recommend de Maistres ,,Les soirées de St.Petersbourgh" ( I think there is a translation into english ).

Nonetheless it  becomes harder to refute the argument from suffering if you try to explain the suffering of children and animals.
A purely anecdotal argument against. Years ago a conservative (I assume protestant) newspaper columnist, James J. Kilpatrick, challenged any atheist to come to his farm home in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the spring, look at his garden, and deny the existence of God.
Here's how I rationally show that there must be a God:

There are four main explanations for how the Universe came into existence all trying to resolve the philosophical problem of how something can come from nothing.

1) God did it.  Pretty self-explanatory.
2) The universe has always existed (Geocentrists and 6000year Earthers are going to have some trouble with the counter for this).
3) The universe is a continuing, possibly infinite, cycle of collapsing and expanding universes.
4) There are an infinite number of universes.  Ours is merely one of many.

I'll start with 4 and work my way back.

I watched a documentary about the multiverse theory and how it was formulated.  It was thought up by scientists who saw how incredibly, statistically, impossible it was for our universe to exist in the way that it does, purely by chance, if this was the only universe.  So they hypothesized that there must be an infinite number of other universes, most of which never have anything come from them other than a hot mess of matter, where the laws of physics may be different, the laws of time may be different, etc., etc.  The problem with this hypothesis is that there is no evidence to suggest that other universes exist.  The obvious conclusion if one surmises that it is statistically impossible for our universe to exist as it does by chance is that it does not exist by chance.  That implies a deity of some sort, or at least, a deity relative to us.  So the multiverse theory is borne from nothing other than a bias against the possibility of a creating deity, with no evidence to support it.  Cross that off the list.

The most common belief among scientists today is that we are in a line of expanding and collapsing universes.  This is another hypothesis that we have no evidence for.  There are no clumps of matter that survived from the previous universe that we can investigate.  We know the universe is expanding from an initial explosion; we have no idea that the universe will actually collapse.  According to scientists, it is entirely possible that the laws of physics that hold our universe together are unique to our universe.  Matter may not have behaved in the same way in any previous universes.  Energy may not have behaved the same.  Time may not have behaved the same.  Our universe, though, is made up of space-time; they're both aspects of the same thing.  This means that we can only be certain of time functioning in a linear fashion in this universe.  In order for there to be a line of collapsing and expanding universes, it would mean an aspect intrinsic to our universe would have to exist outside of our universe, at a time when our universe did not exist.  Logically, the very first moment of the big bang, there was no such thing as "before."  If our universe collapses, at the very last moment, logically, there will be no such thing as "after."  Cross that off the list.

The universe existing forever was common in the ancient world.  In order for the universe to exist forever, it must be temporally infinite.  Since we now know that space and time are parts of the same thing, it would have to be physically infinite as well, if it were temporally infinite.  We know the universe is currently expanding, so that means, at the very least, if the universe is infinite at this very moment, it must necessarily have been finite at every other point before it in the past 13.7billion years.  Chances are, if the universe was finite in its entire existence before this very moment, it's still finite now.  Cross that off the list.

That leaves God did it.  Atheists will like to point out that if God can exist infinitely without a source, why can't the universe?  That's a good point.  There's not a logical reason why it couldn't.  The answer is, we know that it didn't exist forever, so it must have a source.  Perhaps that source is not God as we have always imagined, but again, relative to us, it is a God.  So, once you have eliminated all the other possible explanations, the remaining one, however unlikely, must be true.  God did it.
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