Where are the non-retarded arguments for religion?

Theists often accuse atheists of attacking only the weak positions of religion, young earth creationism, biblical literalism, etc., while ignoring the more sophisticated arguments.

They never actually get around to presenting these more sophisticated arguments however.

In the last 5 years or so of looking into the arguments of theists, I have found that not only do all the arguments for the deity of their choice/religion of their choice anywhere and everywhere offered by any theist whatsoever fail to be good arguments, these arguments are blatantly, epically, rabidly, in-your-face retarded. ALL of them. Every last one, without exception. There is not, to my knowledge EVEN ONE SINGLE argument among those mustered by theists which is not completely idiotic. The arguments for theism do not just fail to be good, they fail to be non-idiotic.

Where are the non-idiotic arguments?

Here are some examples of utterly retarded arguments Alvin Plantinga, (well respected among Christian theologians, it would seem) seems to think are not retarded:
Alvin Plantinga being a pretentious idiot. Those are examples of the kind of blatant idiocy I’m talking about. You guys really don’t see what’s wrong with those? You’re that stupid? Really? Sigh. How depressing.

I suggest that, given how much a non-idiotic argument would be valued by theists, and the amount of time they’ve had to come up with one, and given the pseudo intellectual trappings with which they dress what few idiotic arguments they have managed to come up with, it seems to me very likely that such non-idiotic arguments simply do not exist.

~ by scaryreasoner on July 6, 2008.

19 Responses to “Where are the non-retarded arguments for religion?”

  1. Hmmm, I’m feeling that you tend to enjoy brimming with unfettered hate. Why are there no deep arguments on the existence of God, or god, gods, or some other primordial intelligence? Because it’s hardly a position that needs to be defended, not to mention that there are countless strong arguments for the existence of an intelligent designer; closing your mind doesn’t disprove them.

  2. Hate? No. I just think there are no non-idiotic arguments.

    You have a non-idiotic argument?

    You claim “countless strong arguments”.

    Name one. ONE.

  3. The story is told of an atheist Scientist, a friend of Sir Isaac Newton, who came to visit shortly after Newton had just finished making his solar system machine(one of the machines like the one in science museum where you crank the handle and the planets and moon move around).
    The atheist saw the machine and said “How wonderful” going over to it he started cranking the handle and the planets went around, as he was doing this, he asked, who made this?
    Sir Isaac Newton stopped writing and said, “Nobody” then he carried on writing. The man said, “You didn’t hear me, who made this machine?” Newton replied, “I told you, nobody did”, He stopped cranking and turned to Newton, “Now listen Issac, this marvelous machine must have been made by somebody, do not keep saying that nobody made it.”
    At which this point Newton stopped writing and got up, he look at him and said “Now isn’t that amazing, I tell you that nobody made a simple toy like that and you don’t believe me yet you gaze out into the solar system; the intricate marvelous machine that is around you and you dare say to me that no one made it. I don’t believe it.
    As far as the record goes the atheist went away and he was no longer an atheist. Taken from “The Truth; God or Evolution?”

    The “strong” argument; simple logic.

    • Oh really? Why is it that Eagles have sharper eyesight than us and why does turtle have greater lifetime than us? Your argument is retarded beyond compare.

      • Edit: Started to reply to this, then realized wordpress really doesn’t do a good job of presenting context for comments to ancient posts (the above is a reply to an *8 year old* reply to an *8 year old* post.) Carry on.

  4. First cause argument? You think I haven’t heard that one? Did you not read my post? I’ve been looking into this for five years. You think I didn’t encounter the first cause argument on the first DAY?

    Here’s what I think of the first cause argument:

    https://scaryreasoner.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/retarded-arguments-against-atheism-2/

    Or, is it the argument from design, eh?

    Well, Newton’s orrery had one thing we don’t generally find in nature: that is, gears. At the molecular level, we do find rotating structures (e.g. flagellum) but at the macro level, no wheels.

    And such a strange “design” for a universe it is, in which very very nearly every, EVERY SINGLE spot in all of the avallable space will kill you instantly — KILL YOU INSTANTLY — except for a very very very few special spots. Quite a nice design there, eh?

    Your argument assumes what it wishes to prove, and attempts to prove by an innapropriate analogy. Are you really so dumb as to think your argument is a good one? Really?

  5. Tahnks for posting

  6. The argument featuring Newton is just a less-complete version of Paley’s Watch (Which has been thoroughly debunked)
    Commits the fallacy of composition: To say that a property of the whole has the properties of it’s part.

    My hair is Red
    TF I am Red

    Is not true.

    A piece of the Universe is designed.
    TF the Universe is designed.

    See the problem?

    If you’re just talking about Judeo-Christian religions, Pascal’s Wager and the Argument from Evil are both fairly decent arguments for and againt God. But that’s only if you assume those religions to be the only choice – a non-benevolent God/non-predictable God destroys those, too.

    There aren’t really any good arguments for theism, but there also aren’t really any good arguments for atheism.

    Agnosticism is the only choice that actually works. Agnosticism towards lots of things: Unicorns, Dragons, God, etc.

  7. “There aren’t really any good arguments for theism, but there also aren’t really any good arguments for atheism.

    Agnosticism is the only choice that actually works. Agnosticism towards lots of things: Unicorns, Dragons, God, etc.”

    Uh, wrong.

    (A(theism is about what is (not) believed.

    (a)gnosticism is about what is (not) known.

    agnosticism and atheism are orthogonal, it’s not a line with theism on one end, agnosticism in the middle and atheism on the other.

    It is not only possible to be an agnostic atheist, but the vast majority of atheists are agnostic atheists. That is, they are quite aware they cannot prove theism is false, but they also do not believe that any gods exist for the simple reason there is no evidence for any, just as I do not know there are no teapots orbiting saturn (I’m agnostic) yet at the same time I do not believe there are any teapots orbiting saturn.

  8. Definitions are characterized by usage, but generally..

    Atheism is the belief that there is no God.
    Agnosticism is a lack of belief in the subject, period.

    But there are many definitions, and that’s an argument on semantics rather than substance.

    My point was to say that it’s not possible to prove a God doesn’t exist (Just like it isn’t possible to prove Unicorns and Faeries don’t exist), and we thus far haven’t proved one does exist.

    Keep in mind that I’m not just speaking of a Judeo-Christian God. The Argument from Evil does a pretty good job of making an all-PKG God very unlikely, but it says nothing for say, Zeus.

  9. Ah, then I think we are mostly in agreement, apart from perhaps our usages of the words “agnostic” and “atheism,” which is not really worth arguing about.

    Lots of people use the words as you do, and lots of people use them as I do. I prefer my usage as it permits the vast majority of people who actually refer to themselves as atheists be correct in so refering to themselves, and I think it maps more precisely to how most atheists think, and admitts the possibilites of agnostic or gnostic atheists and theists, instances of all of which, apart from gnostic atheists perhaps, are easy to find.

    The alternative is to attempt to convince 95% or so of the atheists you encounter that they should really be calling themselves agnostics, lumping themselves in with those people who “don’t know if any gods exist or not” — this, even though their agnosticism about gods extends only as far as their agnosticism about fairies at the bottom of the garden, as Richard Dawkins put it. Incidentally Dawkins use of the word atheism in the God Delusion falls somewhere between your usage and mine, it would seem. George Smith, in the 1979 book “Atheism: the Case Against God” uses atheism as I do (I expect this may be where I picked up my usage of the word, directly, or indirectly.)

  10. Where are the non-retarded arguments for religion? Look up ‘Alvin Platingas’ ‘Belief in God as a natural belief’ argument. Faith is rational, yet does not require justification. You believe in your senses, yet don’t require evidence that proves the existence, and truth, of your senses, as your senses presuppose your thinking process; the same goes for your belief in the fact that other minds exist outside your own. You believe in a lot of things that are almost ‘intuitive’ in a sense, yet don’t require justification, yet you cannot believe in a God which is just such an intuitive justification for ‘him’.

    • Come on. Faith? Faith is blatantly, in-your-face idiotic. The concept of celebrates idiocy. It is the cultivation of idiocy, the promotion of idiocy. Faith is the single most idiotic concept ever invented by humanity. And Plantinga? Barf.

  11. You have faith in a lot of things, including your logical faculty. There’s faith in reason and reason in faith.

    Believe me, I haven’t adhered to any specific religion, and neither should anyone; all I’m saying is that no matter how much you try, even your use of logic is a circular argument, with its only foundation with the self. You can never escape the Skeptical brain-in-a-vat argument, and neither can you escape the ‘One Substance’, Spinoza, God.

  12. You have faith in a lot of things, including your logical faculty. There’s faith in reason and reason in faith.

    Believe me, I haven’t adhered to any specific religion, and neither should anyone; all I’m saying is that no matter how much you try, even your use of logic is a circular argument, with its only foundation with the self. You can never escape the Skeptical brain-in-a-vat argument, and neither can you escape the ‘One Substance’, Spinoza, God.

    Your defense of faith is made of failure.

    According to the best definition which I’ve been able to come up with on observing the proponents of faith, faith is deliberately attempting to think that something is true to a degree of certainty which exceeds what is warranted by the available evidence.

    I do not think that I deliberately attempt to think that reason works as a means of acquiring knowledge to a degree of certainty which exceeds what is warranted by the available evidence.

    I do not consider my senses and memory and thoughts to be *reliable*, but they are *authoritative*, in that they are *all that I have.*

    The evidence that reason works as a means of acquiring knowledge is overwhelming, in that virtually everything that is known by mankind was acquired by application of reason. Everything we know which enabled the computer on which you’re reading this to be built was arrived at by a process of reason applied to empirically acquired sense data. None of it was prayed into existence.

    The evidence that faith does not work as a means of acquiring knowledge is also overwhelming, in that of those people who profess to know things by means of faith, (all of the religious people of the world, pretty much) most of them claim to know things which are mutually exclusive of the claims made by and even larger number of other faith users. That is, in the *best case scenario* for faith as a means of knowledge acquisition, faith fails miserably, getting a demonstrably wrong answer most of the time. The claims of the faithful are demonstrably wrong most of the time in that for pretty much any given claim X (for example, “Jesus is God”) made based on faith by N people there is another group of M people claiming to know by faith that “not X but Y”, such that M > N, and where Y is not the same thing for all M people.

    Faith demonstrably does not work as a means of knowing things.

    Reason demonstrably does work as a means of knowing things.

    I think this is true to a degree of certainty which I think is warranted by the evidence, and not to a greater degree of certainty than this — thus, no faith is employed.

    You make a “tu quoque” argument as well. You accuse me of using faith to be excessively certain that reason works. Even if this
    accusation were accurate, it does not absolve you of your use of faith, nor make the assertion that faith is not idiotic defensible.

    Your accusation also shows that you know that there’s something wrong with faith, that you know that faith doesn’t work. After all, you’re accusing me of using faith to arrive at a conclusion with which you presumably disagree — so, you accuse me of using faith to arrive at an incorrect conclusion. In so doing, you have accused faith of not working, of being an invalid means of acquiring knowledge. You border are arguing that knowledge is impossible. Maybe your idea of what knowledge is is completely fucked up, in that you imagine that 100% certainty is a possibility?

    You bring up the “brain in a vat” concept. Of course nobody can “know” that they aren’t a brain in a vat. (You think I haven’t thought of this?) I don’t think the word knowledge is even particularly apt to such concepts. There are things we can know. We can know that 1 + 1 = 2 (decimal). We can know the difference between what it is like to experience seeing green compared to what it is like to experience seeing red.

    Your equating of the concept of Spinoza’s God to the “brain in the vat”, is a bit odd. You seem to be saying that the *possibility* of Spinoza’s god is inescapable (though that is not actually what you say, what you say is far less defensible, I only infer that you mean the possibility rather than the existence from your equation). That it is possible that some god is hiding in the bushes does not make it any more likely than the existence of unicorns.

    You’re going to have to do better than this. It seems I’ve chased your god down to a point where he’s indistinguishable from the invisible dragon in Carl Sagan’s garage or Russell’s teapot.

    That fact that some things are unknowable, even in principle, is not a license to believe random crap about those things.

    So far, you haven’t said anything to me which I haven’t heard 1000 times before.

  13. Scaryreasoner,

    With the statement above you have admitted your ineptitude to understand the whole ‘Plantinga’ concept. I do not believe in any specific religious description of ‘God’; I don’t need to as a belief in God is one that is totally subjective and all is required is your own individual faculties.
    I ask you again: How do you know that the sky is Blue? Or that other minds around you exist, and aren’t just some ploy by some ‘evil demon’ that makes you think they exist. No, you have faith in logic and the world around you because you would say that the Skeptical Paradox warrants it; it doesn’t matter whether or not the world around you exists, because this is all there is, right? The same can be said for the Human belief of a ‘one substance’. We can’t be sure exactly what it is, but we can be sure that it exists, and is inescapable.

    You make the mistake of believing that I’m trying to defend any specific religious description of the one substance. No, I’m not.
    Anything that can still exist under the doubt of our existence, such as “I think, therefore I am”, truly exists; and so does the ‘one substance’ belief system: It doesn’t matter how much you doubt anythings existence, you can be sure of a one substance that precedes and ‘groups’ everything that proceeds. I attack both your, and the religious belief in ‘true knowledge’, in that both are equally right in their delusions; that is why I can say that your arguments are wrong, and I don’t even need faith in this belief as even not having faith allows for my belief to exist.

    Your above argument has demonstrated quite excellently your use of a circular logical argument to ‘show’ that your beliefs are true; whereby in the future it will most probably be revealed that a Sky God does exist, or not, or maybe you’ll be ‘unplugged’ from the Matrix machine that has deluded you for so long.

    I would love to see your in-depth argument against Plantinga’s claims. Please, do so, as I won’t have to continue to show you what he is, or is not saying.

  14. And so, my belief is one that Agnosticism is the best stance; you might show just such an Agnostic position, but then why the attack on religion? If you are, indeed, an Atheist, then my description above about your delusions still stands; but even if you are an Agnostic, the fact that you have posted posts against, or show the absurdity of religion, shows that your beliefs still remain deluded. You have to accept that in the bigger scheme of things, you justifications can never be shown to be true.

    We are left with nothing.

  15. Here’s what I sent to person quite a while back, in defense of your similar take on religion, and about Plantinga’s claims:

    “Belief in God is only rational in that the Human will to describe what happens to us after we die is a rational endeavor. The end explanation of what happens to us after we die, the meaning of life.etc. is highly irrational as far as we can prove with logical reasoning, and the fallacies found therein. We shouldn’t hold onto a belief just because there isn’t a better and more comfortable explanation, other than the “nothing happens” one. No truth, or closes thing to truth, would have been reached if we held onto previous beliefs even though they had been proved wrong.”

    But, here’s the thing, my take on his principal of the ‘one substance’ god was totally wrong, and I believe you are falling into the same pitfall.

  16. You seem to be under the misapprehension that agnosticism is midway between atheism and theism.

    Agnosticism is orthogonal to atheism and theism.

    Agnosticism has to do with whether or not one thinks it is possible to know whether there are any gods.

    Atheism has to do with whether or not one holds a belief that any gods exist.

    It is possible (and very common) to be an agnostic atheist — one who thinks it is not possible to know whether any gods exist and to lack any belief in deities.

    As for why an agnostic atheist like myself would rail against religion, it’s because I do not find religion to be harmless, and I think it’s incorrect. If you really can’t figure out why someone would argue against religion and dislike it even being agnostic, I suggest you have not thought about the question for more than about 15 seconds.

    As for Plantinga, I presume you’re talking about his reformed epistemology, and his attempt to argue that belief in god is “properly basic,” and thus needs no evidence to be rationally believed. His argument depends on the very dubious claim of the existence of the “sensus divinatus,” a sense for which there is no evidence. Basically it’s handwaving to avoid having to justify his belief, with an attack of classical foundationalism thrown in on the side.

    It is essentially an argument of extreme skepticism which he then attempts to hijack into a license to believe whatever the hell he already believes.

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