The Strom Trumper is back. My third exchange
I suppose people can go through an entire lifetime without questioning God and a religion that they were born into (out of no choice of their own), especially if it doesn't have much of a say in their lives. If you live in France or Britain, there may never be a need to renounce God actively or come out as an atheist.
But when the state sends a "Hezbollah" (the generic term for Islamist) to your school to ensure that you don't mix with your friends who are boys, stops you from swimming, forces you to be veiled, deems males and females separate and unequal, prescribes different books for you and your girlfriends from those read by boys, denies certain fields of study to you because you are female, and starts killing indiscriminately, then you have no choice but to question, discredit and confront it - all of it. And that is what I did.
The main reason I don't believe in God is the missing evidence. There could logically be no evidence that he doesn't exist, so I can only go by the fact that, so far, I've discovered no evidence that he does: I have had no personal experience of being spoken to by God and I see nothing in the world around me, wherever I look in history or science or art or anywhere else, to persuade me that it was the work of God rather thanOf course this guy hasn't looked at my list of 42 God arguments has he? When people say this is usually turns out they have never really evaluated a God closely they just go by the surface "feel" of their attitudes. When they do actually go toe to toe I can take you though point for point and show you why they don't win. The next day of course they out there saying "there's no evidence." I have been through month long knock-down-drag-out debates and wound up with atheists virtually admitting there has to be "something there" yet the next day saying the same mistaken stuff I disproved the day before. In my Internet argument career I found several atheists, maybe six, who actually admitted they would no longer be atheists any more because of my arguments.Of course the much more common result is that they usually wind up saying things like "O well logic doesn't really mean anything, arguments aren't proof, proof is not proof."
I am an atheist because I see no need for God. Without God, it is said, we cannot explain the creation of the cosmos, anchor our moral values or infuse our lives with meaning and purpose. I disagree.This is a classic sort of answer based upon classic misconceptions. Belief in God is not predicated upon the need to explain things (with the one exception of sense of the numinous and other co-determinate related sensations). The areas he mentions: explain cosmos, anchor morality, give meaning, I have never seen atheists pass my challenge to produce their own systems that offer even one or all of these three things. I have yet to see an atheist advance a moral system that can get past my cirteria for a valid grounding of moral axioms. When atheists talk about meaning in life their whole its an exercise in cross purposes before form the get go they can't mean real actual universal meaning; their concepts of meaning are relative, private and discordable.
Invoking God at best highlights what we cannot yet explain about the physical universe, and at worst exploits that ignorance to mystify. Moral values do not come prepackaged from God, but have to be worked out by human beings through a combination of empathy, reasoning and dialogue.
This is true of believers, too: they, after all, have to decide for themselves which values in their holy books they accept and which ones they reject.
And it is not God that gives meaning to our lives, but our relationships with fellow human beings and the goals and obligations that derive from them. God is at best redundant, at worst an obstruction. Why do I need him?
And it is not God that gives meaning to our lives, but our relationships with fellow human beings and the goals and obligations that derive from them. God is at best redundant, at worst an obstruction. Why do I need him?Yes it is precisely God who does that. I have not seen an atheist ever provide me with a basis for such meaning that isn't either the privatized relativist meaning that just amounts to giving yourself an award, (it means something to me, of course my life is meaningless against the backdrop of eternity but it's ok it's my little meaning--which I get form silver age DC comics). He's just begging the question with this statment then redudantly echoing "why do we need him?" Because you can't make your own meaning. That's the special Olympics startegy of meaning "You all won a gold medal just for being you." Not to put down the special Olympics. that's fine for self esteem but it's not a basis for real meaning in life.
What reason for belief could I possibly have? To explain suffering? He doesn't. Unless, that is, you buy in to his giving us free will, which conflicts with all we know about human decision-making.O brilliant! Free will is disproved by what we supposedly know yet I choose not to believe in God. Of course if we have no free will (human decision making is where she puts the emphasis for determinism) then what means does she use to refuse to believe in God? It's obviously not something she figured by her own intelligence because it's determined. It's cut and dried, no free will remember? We know it, it's a fact beyond dispute. you are not smart for being an atheist and you didn't choose to be one. That means also means atheists are stupid for mocking and ridiculing religious people because no one chooses remember?
"The studies of neuronal timing by Libet has demonstrated that conscious will exerts a veto effect on action sequences initiated at an unconscious level [Journal Consciousness Studies:1.1.130; CS:TSC:342f]. In other words, an unconscious process may get a muscle ready to move, but when that readiness becomes 'visible' to the conscious mind, that conscious mind can let the action continue, or shut it down! Elsewhere [CS:TSOC:113], Libet explains the implications of this veto-power, over against those who would ASSUME that even the veto was "upwardly caused":This is why I avoid harangues about free will vs determinism. Determinism is self defeating because if they are right there's no sense in arguing about positions you are determined by genes or whatever to defend even though without those influences you would be free to reject a position that had you not been influenced by those influences that control you would be wrong anyway. It's not as though you can convince the other side, they are determined to be against you.
"It has been argued that the appearance of the conscious veto would itself require a prior period of unconscious neural development, just as for conscious intention; in such a case even this conscious control event would have an unconscious initiating process. However, conscious control of an event appears here after awareness of the impending voluntary action has developed. Conscious control is not a new awareness; it serves to impose a change on the volitional process and it may not be subject to the requirement of a preceding unconscious cerebral process found for awareness. In such a view, a potential role for free will would remain viable in the conscious control, though not in the initiation, of a voluntary act. These findings taken together have a fundamental bearing on the issues of voluntary action, free will and individual responsibility for conscious urges and actions."
In case you didn't get that--the veto cannot have antecedent unconscious processes (before it becomes aware) , since it only appears in as the initiated action has ALREADY become aware--it controls with a go/no-go decision THEN.
I don't believe in leprechauns, pixies, werewolves, jujus, Thor, Poseidon, Yahweh, Allah or the Trinity. For the same reason in every case: there is not the tiniest shred of evidence for any of them, and the burden of proof rests with those who wish to believe.So, why don't you believe in God? This is so obviously just an attempt to slander belief by classing it among ideas we all know are false and which are discredited long ago; but then it's a just a pretense, and a stupid one, to assume that belief in God is like belief in these contingent myths that have nothing to do with God. They all fit the atheist straw man propaganda about "superantuarl." Of of cousre they have nothing to do with the Christian concept of Supernatural. For this reason I find it hard to take Dawkins seriously. This is not a serious reason to disbelieve. "I disbelieve in God because I don't believe these things that are totally different from God."
Even given no evidence for specific gods, could we make a case for some unspecified "intelligent designer" or "prime mover" or begetter of "something rather than nothing"? By far the most appealing version of this argument is the biological one - living things do present a powerful illusion of design. But that is the very version that Darwin destroyed. Any theist who appeals to "design" of living creatures simply betrays his ignorance of biology. Go away and read a book. And any theist who appeals to biblical evidence betrays his ignorance of modern scholarship. Go away and read another book.
And any theist who appeals to biblical evidence betrays his ignorance of modern scholarship. Go away and read another book.
No homunculus problem, however, is posed by the structure of our conscious experience itself. The efforts of Dennett and others to claim that there is such a problem, and to use that to ridicule any residue of dualism, rely upon the deeply flawed metaphor of the Cartesian theater a place where mental contents get displayed and I pop in separately to view them. Descartes himself, James, Searl and others all have this right: conscious experience comes to us whole and undivided, with the qualitative feels, phenomenological content, unity, and subjective point of view all built in, intrinsic features. I and my experience cannot be separated in this way. 
Classical theories of sensory processing view the brain as a passive, stimulus-driven device. By contrast, more recent approaches emphasize the constructive nature of perception, viewing it as an active and highly selective process. Indeed, there is ample evidence that the processing of stimuli is controlled by top-down influences that strongly shape the intrinsic dynamics of thalamocortical networks and constantly create predictions about forthcoming sensory events. We discuss recent experiments indicating that such predictions might be embodied in the temporal structure of both stimulus-evoked and ongoing activity, and that synchronous oscillations are particularly important in this process. Coherence among subthreshold membrane potential fluctuations could be exploited to express selective functional relationships during states of expectancy or attention, and these dynamic patterns could allow the grouping and selection of distributed neuronal responses for further processing.