Talk:50 reasons to believe in God

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Initial discussion

To be honest, so much of this is simply gibberish, it's going to take a while to sort out proper responses. And we thought Gish galloping was dead! Nullifidian 14:01, 18 June 2008 (CDT)

Many of them can all be lumped together or the responses can be repeated. For instance, 15-20 may probably all be dismissed with Douglas Adams' "sentient puddle" analogy. Is there another name for that besides the fine tuning argument? --Kazim 15:37, 18 June 2008 (CDT)
As far as fallacies go, these could be a combination of unaccepted enthymemes, the existential fallacy, tautology, and/or denying the antecedent, and, of course, a priorism. -- Nullifidian 19:48, 18 June 2008 (CDT)
Thanks for translating my makeshift "puddle fallacy" responses to the more correct "anthropic principle" -- knew I was missing a better way to say that.fishbulb 22:29, 18 June 2008 (CDT)

I understand the need to remain entirely objective, but I'm having trouble coming to an answer that isn't a giant "you're an idiot" with response to "26. If man has evolved from an animal, why doesn't he behave like an animal? Yet man is civilised." War, famine, corruption, oppression, slavery, hatred, racism, homocide, infantacide, genocide. That's what runs through my head, and I don't think argument ad ignoratiam alone covers it. Anyway, I'd be interested in how to elegantly, neutrally and directly explaining this one. --Zurahn 18:41, 18 June 2008 (CDT)

+1 for the "you're an idiot" response to most of these. Is that allowed, or do we have to play by the rules even when they refuse to/are unable? Nullifidian 19:31, 18 June 2008 (CDT)

Anyone know why the history page lists all the edits that have been made today, which is actually June 18 unless I've stepped into some time warp, as occurring on June 6? (Wait: Goddidit?) fishbulb 20:28, 18 June 2008 (CDT)

It's most likely that the system date of the server and separate offset in MediaWiki are conspiring to provide conflicting dates. It may be prudent to check the date on the server, and any date manipulation being done by MediaWiki. -- Nullifidian 20:43, 18 June 2008 (CDT)

And we now have an answer for every claim. 50 arguments, thoroughly demolished in less than 10 hours. Applause all around.

My next thought: how do we get this in front of the people who need to see it? I know, even if everyone who received the original email read these answers, we'd likely gain very few converts, but often just getting people to stop thinking on the level of this nonsense and considering their faith in logical terms can be the seed that sprouts into freethought, to appropriate their metaphor. I wouldn't want to start mass spamming people, but I certainly think anyone who forwards the original is fair game for a rational response, having opened the debate. What other methods can we use to make sure this effort (not that it took much, honestly) doesn't amount to us talking amongst ourselves? fishbulb 22:27, 18 June 2008 (CDT)

I dunno... google the wording of the original post periodically, find copies of it on the web, and publicly reply to them with this link? (i.e., post it on blogs) --Kazim 01:04, 19 June 2008 (CDT) it. I've tried to fix the Comment Box for #7, but for some reason it just won't show up.

I couldn't identify the cause of the problem but I essentially just retyped it and it works now. fishbulb 20:14, 19 June 2008 (CDT)

Most of these "arguments", I've noticed, aren't even "arguments for the existence of God" at all; about half are just stupid straw man assertions like "Atheists should get a life" or "Einstein said that religion and science should mingle". Of the half that aren't just ad hominem qualifiers, the list is still chock full of the false dichotomy between natural selection and creationism by a specific god. Even when I was a Christian, I don't think that I would actually take any of this seriously. walkertheatheist

Split into sections?

Does anyone have a strong objection to splitting the contents of this page into 50 sections? For example:

 == Reason 1 ==
 == Reason 2 ==

Now that all the "reasons" have rebuttals (and the page has grown to 31K), I think this would make future editing much easier, since much of it will probably be minor tweaking or expansion of individual responses. - dcljr 03:37, 20 June 2008 (CDT)

Sure, I'll do it. --Kazim 11:22, 20 June 2008 (CDT)
It Is Finished. --Kazim 11:52, 20 June 2008 (CDT)

Integrate the responses into existing articles

Some of the responses are now very long -- which is nice, but also doesn't quite match what I had in mind originally. I was hoping that any material which requires a lengthy response or multiple responses would be integrated into existing articles, so that it can improve the state of the articles as a whole. For example, "Reason 29" is about the use of the "BC/AD" system as proof that Jesus lived. It has three separate comment boxes on it. I would hope that this text could be folded into some article, such as Anno Domini or a new apologetic argument focused article with a header such as "The Western calendar proves that Jesus was real." Also, any comment box that has external links would likely be better off pointing to an article which includes those links in the "external links" section. What do you think? --Kazim 12:23, 20 June 2008 (CDT)

Snappy comebacks?

I hate to say this, I really do, because TheTrueScotsman has clearly put a lot of work into it. But I am just not sold on the idea that "Snappy comebacks" belong here. I love Mad Magazine, but this isn't a site for practicing comedy; it's for sincere counter-apologetics.

To the extent that the "snappy comebacks" make legitimate points, I think they should be worked into the counter-apologetics sections of each of the various argument pages. If they're just there to repeat things that were already said in the arguments, I feel like we can do without them.

Can I get some discussion please? I wouldn't feel comfortable just wiping out everything that TheTrueScotsman has done by fiat. --Kazim 07:27, 24 June 2008 (CDT)

Agreed in full. fishbulb 19:46, 24 June 2008 (CDT)
All right then... I'll give Scotsman another day to suggest what we should do with his responses before I just take them out. --Kazim 20:55, 24 June 2008 (CDT)
A few days ago, I added a "snappy comeback", as it were, to one of the comments, because, well, it seemed so necessary. Having two or three sarcastic retorts (worked into the main comments) seems to me to be entirely appropriate, but not on the majority of the responses. - dcljr 22:11, 24 June 2008 (CDT)

Chaps, I've just seen that my "Snappy Comebacks" have been removed. Obviously I'm sorry if my tone was not in keeping with the objectives of the Wiki (you can tell it is my first idea at editing, having read the invitation from The Atheist Experience), I just thought that sometimes detailed comebacks are not always necessary. I though the answers given - whilst completely accurate - seemed to be a little formal. In any debate a well aimed barb can often disarm an opponent better than a detailed retort. I shall, of course, bear the comments in mind for any future editing. Regards. TheTrueScotsman

Hi Scots. I really hope that you don't take this change in your writing as an implication that you are not welcome to post on Iron Chariots. I want to encourage you and others to feel free to make improvements and corrections, and even contribute new articles when necessary. What you have to understand, however, is that a wiki is a group effort, and sometimes your changes will be overridden. In this case, you made very sweeping changes to the style of the page across the board. I think it might have been a good idea to take your ideas to the discussion page first and see if you could drum up a consensus about this. Again, this is not a universal description of policy, but when you have something that constitutes a drastic change, it's a courtesy issue.
As far as well-aimed barbs go: I appreciate humor as a rhetorical weapon also, but sometimes it can be overdone. Most comedians know that jokes lose their impact if you repeat them too many times. You could respond to a serious argument by saying "I know you are, but what am I?" This might even get you a laugh because of the unseriousness of the response. But if you do this fifty times, first of all it gets old, and second of all it doesn't help to make your case. Do you see what I mean? --Kazim 16:20, 27 June 2008 (CDT)


DNA argument, if addressed at all, need somebody knowledgeable to review it. RNA is perfect example of decoder(understander) , which supposedly according to this article is required for ID argument. RNA-DNA interactions are very tricky subject it should not be treated lightly as it seems to be in this article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cheburashka1326 (talkcontribs), 9 September 2009

Stephen hawking quote - Doesn't answer 'why'

In the 45th reason, the stephen hawking quote one, the response is that religion or the bible does not answer the 'why' the universe began to exist, or why God made it. But there is a problem with that. If god made the universe, then he had a want or need to do so. Since a perfect being does not have any wants or needs then god is not perfect, and subsequently not a god. If god were to want to become a god, or more god-like then he would have a reason to create the universe (ignoring him wanting to create it for people, its just arrogant). Since he would never be more perfect than a being who was always perfect, he could never be a god, but he could become more god-like, hence his reason to create the universe (getting rid of a want or need to become more like a god). This is actually my argument I made, maybe missing a bit of reasoning but easy to understand i think.. feel free to respond with what you think of it. --Daemonowner 07:26 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I believe what you are referring to is the no-reason argument? I think it makes some sense, although I don't really think that the idea of a "perfect" being is even clear enough that I personally would base any argument off it. I thought we had a clear explanation of the that argument somewhere on this site, but I can't find anything but that stub. --quantheory 03:30, 16 July 2010 (CDT)

Yeah, I made the argument but I don't think I was the first to do so. Daemonowner

Reason 44

regarding the response to reason 44, isn't it true that nothing in the scientific sense gave rise to everything? unless i misunderstood lawrence krauss' speech which is very plausible. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Daemonowner (talkcontribs), 15 October 2010

Maximum entropy?

At the end of the response to Reason 4, it says: "If the Laws of Thermodynamics apply to the whole universe/multiverse, this would mean that all of the closed systems within the universe/multiverse (and thus the universe/multiverse itself) tend to lose usable energy and that this energy is never recovered or used again. If the matter in our universe was eternal, it would have already reached its point of maximum entropy, which clearly has not happened yet." This would appear to be faulty reasoning: the universe can continuously increase in entropy (including "infinitely far" back in time) without actually ever reaching its maximum entropy, in the same way that the function t/sqrt(t2+1) increases (as t increases) for all real numbers t [i.e., in the interval (−∞,∞)], but never reaches a maximum value. - dcljr 14:36, 22 October 2010 (CDT)

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