Atheists...what is the best argument for the existence of God? (1 Viewer)

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Brennan77

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If you use the term atheist to describe yourself, I invite you to answer this question. Even though you disagree, what do you find the most compelling argument in favor of the existence of God?
 

V Chip

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I don't think I'd call this "compelling" but the best argument in favor of the existing of some higher being(s) is that they could exist completely outside of our comprehension. That would mean the Christian God is impossible (Christians believe in a personal relationship with God, which would be impossible if we as humans could not comprehend such a being), but not that a higher being isn't possible, just that we would never know it in any way.
 

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I believe we could have some sort of maker, or creator, but its not some deity that wants us to worship it and it's none of the "religions" man created. More of a clock-maker god, similar to what the founders believed.

The complexity of life and how life can organize from the chaos in the universe makes me believe its not all "accident" but I dont think anyone is listening to or answering any "prayers."
 
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Brennan77

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I believe we could have some sort of maker, or creator, but its not some deity that wants us to worship it and it's none of the "religions" man created. More of a clock-maker god, similar to what the founders believed.

The complexity of life and how life can organize from the chaos in the universe makes me believe its not all "accident" but I dont think anyone is listening to or answering any "prayers."
That would most closely align with deism rather than atheism.

But for the sake of discussion and the point of the thread, it sounds like you find the complexity and intelligibility of the universe to be the most compelling argument for the existence of God.
 

SystemShock

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I think a definition of "god" needs to be presented first, then an argument made for that god's existence.

If we are referring to an intelligent being outside the physical realm who created everything ever, I don't find any argument for such a being compelling.
 
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Brennan77

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I think a definition of "god" needs to be presented first, then an argument made for that god's existence.

If we are referring to an intelligent being outside the physical realm who created everything ever, I don't find any argument for such a being compelling.
Ok. Which of the common arguments for theism do you find to be least bad?
 

JimEverett

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First off, I am not sure I consider myself an athiest. But I also don't like the term agnostic, and I am not willing to say I am a theist. Maybe I am just really confused?

I consider myself an empiricist. Therefore the best argument for the existence of God is the large number of people who have experienced/encountered God.
 

SystemShock

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Ok. Which of the common arguments for theism do you find to be least bad?
You'd still need to define what "god" is, but I guess the least bad would be, asking about the possibility of the existence of a god; is it possible, however infinitesimally, that a god exists somewhere in the unknown universe/another dimension?
 
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Brennan77

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You'd still need to define what "god" is, but I guess the least bad would be, asking about the possibility of the existence of a god; is it possible, however infinitesimally, that a god exists somewhere in the unknown universe/another dimension?
Right, so I'm talking about classic, typically philosophical arguments for the monotheistic God, which most people understand logically excludes whatever you mean by "a god" existing within some physical realm or universe. We aren't talking about Zeus or an alien being in another dimension, of which I am unaware of any natural arguments to consider in the first place.

Part of the reason I pose the question in the original post is to explore what we know of the arguments against our stated positions. So rather than detail many definitions and arguments, I am asking you, the atheist, presumably having already considered the major arguments for theism, which one you find most reasonable or compelling, or in this case which one you find least bad. You may not be familiar with these arguments or be able to retrieve them out of memory which is okay to share as well.
 

SystemShock

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Right, so I'm talking about classic, typically philosophical arguments for the monotheistic God, which most people understand logically excludes whatever you mean by "a god" existing within some physical realm or universe. We aren't talking about Zeus or an alien being in another dimension, of which I am unaware of any natural arguments to consider in the first place.
So, instead, why you just don't go ahead and ask about the Christian God?

My original replies come from knowing that other religions Hinduism, Sikhim, Taosim, etc
they all have their creators, and for discussing those creators with them.

Part of the reason I pose the question in the original post is to explore what we know of the arguments against our stated positions. So rather than detail many definitions and arguments, I am asking you, the atheist, presumably having already considered the major arguments for theism, which one you find most reasonable or compelling, or in this case which one you find least bad. You may not be familiar with these arguments or be able to retrieve them out of memory which is okay to share as well.
Specific to Yahweh|Jesus|Holy Ghost, well, I can't tell you which one is worse or not as bad. And frankly, the question of the possibility of a god is the least bad, regardless of which god is being discussed.
 
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Brennan77

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So, instead, why you just don't go ahead and ask about the Christian God?

My original replies come from knowing that other religions Hinduism, Sikhim, Taosim, etc
they all have their creators, and for discussing those creators with them.
I have to say that your first question doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Your comments would suggest that you are conflating all beliefs in anything supernatural with a philosophical consideration of theism. If you aren't willing to grant substantial and qualitative differences there won't be much to discuss, but that seems to me obtuse.

Inasmuch as one is considering monotheism, you're considering the same Being, logically speaking. Of course traditions quickly deviate from one another when adding belief in divine revelation, but that's not the aim of this thread. For example, the Kalam cosmological argument stems from medieval Islamic thinking. But the same argument functions identically when a Christian uses it. Aquinas borrowed heavily from Aristotle and so forth. I'm not specifically familiar with your other examples other than to know that some variant of Hinduism can be monotheistic, Taoism doesn't believe in the being of God as we are speaking here, etc. And inasmuch as they are, you're able to reason in the same way about God, regardless of particular beliefs in divine revelation.

Without getting into listing common arguments for the existence of God or specific divine attributes, which I am deliberately avoiding so as to allow space for people to share their thoughts, I guess I'd just ask you the question again. Which argument for God's existence do you find most compelling (or least bad)? If your answer is truly that you think they are all equally bad, we'll just leave it at that I suppose.
 

SystemShock

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I have to say that your first question doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Your comments would suggest that you are conflating all beliefs in anything supernatural with a philosophical consideration of theism. If you aren't willing to grant substantial and qualitative differences there won't be much to discuss, but that seems to me obtuse.
Of course it does.

From my point of view, at their most basic, all gods from all religions from the beginning of time are the exact same thing: a supernatural explanation of something that can't/couldn't be explained.

However, depending on the religion, arguments vary. Have you ever discussed religion with a devout Muslim? Their arguments for their version of Yahweh, their one and only creator god, are the worst.

Christians, on the other hand, are more creative and better articulated, and normally they don't try to stab you :hihi:

But I am generalizing...

Inasmuch as one is considering monotheism, you're considering the same Being, logically speaking.
One, two, three, twenty... being the 3-in-one Yahweh, the Aesir, Ik Onkar... it doesn't matter to me. Again, to me, they all are ancient supernatural explanations of things that can't/couldn't be explained.

Without getting into listing common arguments for the existence of God or specific divine attributes, which I am deliberately avoiding so as to allow space for people to share their thoughts, I guess I'd just ask you the question again. Which argument for God's existence do you find most compelling (or least bad)? If your answer is truly that you think they are all equally bad, we'll just leave it at that I suppose.
For the 3rd time, in my opinion, the question of the possibility of a god is the least bad, regardless of which god is being discussed.
 
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Brennan77

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First off, I am not sure I consider myself an athiest. But I also don't like the term agnostic, and I am not willing to say I am a theist. Maybe I am just really confused?

I consider myself an empiricist. Therefore the best argument for the existence of God is the large number of people who have experienced/encountered God.
Thanks for sharing. It's an interesting thought from the perspective of empiricism.
 

JimEverett

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Thanks for sharing. It's an interesting thought from the perspective of empiricism.
As I have gotten older I have moved past the sort of philosophical arguments for the existence of God in favor of a more experiential view.
There seems to be a gulf between the priestly/academic caste pontificating about God's existence and the bulk of people actually experiencing God.
 

SystemShock

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I consider myself an empiricist. Therefore the best argument for the existence of God is the large number of people who have experienced/encountered God.
How do you know they actually have experienced/encountered any god?
 

SystemShock

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How do you know anyone sees what they claim to see, or tastes what they say they taste . . . ?
I can test either proposition.

Coincidentally, on "the mother site", there is a discussion about cilantro, and why it tastes differently to different people, and it turns out, it's genetic.
 
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Brennan77

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As I have gotten older I have moved past the sort of philosophical arguments for the existence of God in favor of a more experiential view.
There seems to be a gulf between the priestly/academic caste pontificating about God's existence and the bulk of people actually experiencing God.
That's a subject worth exploring. I don't deny that that disconnect exists in practice. But I also don't think it exists necessarily. The Catholic tradition for example insists that faith and reason go together. That said, as much as I personally find the intellectual element compelling, and I always have, it's not the whole story at all.

Do you find the perceived gulf to be necessary in principle?

Fwiw, Thomas Aquinas was a man committed to prayer every bit as much as he was committed to intellectual pursuit. He ceased writing after experiencing a heavenly vision while saying mass. "Such things have been revealed to me that all that I have written seems to me as so much straw. Now I await the end of my life."
 

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