The Illogicality of Jehovah's Witnesses

Dr_Faustus

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Most atheists reject religious claims because those claims have not met their burdens of proof. Atheism is not a positive claim, and it isn't a "belief."

I don't believe in magical pixies that live in my computer case and cause every typo I seemingly make, and the reason why is because there's no evidence for the existence of those pixies. I have a feeling you also don't believe those pixies exist, and I have a feeling that it's also because there's no evidence demonstrating the existence of those pixies. Believing in the pixies and not believing in the pixies are not comparable positions: One is rational, and the other is not.

Atheism is the same way.
Except that is fundamentally wrong, and your example is also wrong as well. We all know what makes up inside of a computer, (if you don't that's your choice not to but the information is freely anywhere on the net and you can take one apart yourself to figure out the details.) But there is a big difference between belief in abstraction and nigh-tangible and what is tangible. I can take apart a computer and show you how it works, there are those out there even greater than I which can show you how the basis of how electricity flows through a circuit board and how the flipping of bits creates mathematical processes. Its all right there in front of you. You or I cannot explain the fundamentals for our reality however, the basis of it or how it came to be. Yes the big bang is a tangible theory but it also does not answer how that happened prior to its existence or how it all came to be to create us in the here and now. Whether you believe in the traditional sense of God or a general Creator theory the fact is either way you look at it, there is no truth to be better explained when the truth has not been proven yet.

In short, if you cannot for a matter of a fact prove your position to be true on fact alone, then it is a belief stated only in theory, which makes atheism no different, or better than any other traditional religion out there. When there is no factual answer for the big questions in life and insist your theories are correct, you are doing no different than any other overly religious person would do and push your beliefs onto others because you are right in your belief. When there is no proven fact one way or another, it is a belief, a theory, whatever you want to call it. Its not substantial enough to separate you from them as it still falls on the structure of belief. You believe its rational, just as those believing in God are rational to themselves.

Atheism is a religion just the same.
 

Lacius

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Except that is fundamentally wrong, and your example is also wrong as well. We all know what makes up inside of a computer, (if you don't that's your choice not to but the information is freely anywhere on the net and you can take one apart yourself to figure out the details.) But there is a big difference between belief in abstraction and nigh-tangible and what is tangible. I can take apart a computer and show you how it works, there are those out there even greater than I which can show you how the basis of how electricity flows through a circuit board and how the flipping of bits creates mathematical processes. Its all right there in front of you.
When the claim is they're invisible, magical pixies, then the claim becomes unfalsifiable, and it becomes the same as a god claim. It hasn't met its burden of proof, and it should not be believed.

You or I cannot explain the fundamentals for our reality however, the basis of it or how it came to be. Yes the big bang is a tangible theory but it also does not answer how that happened prior to its existence or how it all came to be to create us in the here and now. Whether you believe in the traditional sense of God or a general Creator theory the fact is either way you look at it, there is no truth to be better explained when the truth has not been proven yet.
Absence of an explanation for something is never a reason to believe a claim that hasn't met its burden of proof. If you and I find a dead body in the woods, and no amount of science and investigation can determine a cause of death, that doesn't mean we're rationally justified in believing the claim that the man was killed by malicious forest pixies. It means we don't know how he died, and that's it.

In short, if you cannot for a matter of a fact prove your position to be true on fact alone, then it is a belief stated only in theory, which makes atheism no different, or better than any other traditional religion out there.
My position is that the god claim has not met its burden of proof, and therefore it should be rejected until such a time it has met its burden of proof. That isn't the same thing as claiming that a god certainly doesn't exist; it's the rejection of the claim that a god does exist. My position isn't one that requires evidence, since I'm not making a positive claim.

You don't believe the claim that the man was killed by malicious forest pixies, and it's because the claim hasn't met its burden of proof. That doesn't mean you are making the positive claim that he certainly wasn't killed by malicious forest pixies. It's important for you to understand the difference between these two things, or you're going to continue to commit a shifting of the burden of proof logical fallacy. Claims have a burden of proof, and it's only reasonable to reject the ones that haven't met their burdens of proof.

Religious claims haven't met their burdens of proof, so they should be rejected. Anything else is irrational.

When there is no factual answer for the big questions in life and insist your theories are correct, you are doing no different than any other overly religious person would do and push your beliefs onto others because you are right in your belief.
The only beliefs I hold are supported by evidence, so they're wholly different from religious beliefs.

When there is no proven fact one way or another, it is a belief, a theory, whatever you want to call it.
No.
  • A "belief" is the acceptance of a claim as true or likely true. People can have beliefs for good reason (having scientific evidence, for example), and they can have beliefs for bad reasons (religious claims, for example). A belief that is supported by evidence is rational and sound, but a belief that is not supported by evidence is irrational and unsound.
  • In science, a "theory" is a hypothesis that has been well-tested and demonstrated to be true or likely true. In other words, it's a hypothesis that has graduated. In colloquial English, some use "theory" to mean a guess or hypothesis.
Its not substantial enough to separate you from them as it still falls on the structure of belief. You believe its rational, just as those believing in God are rational to themselves.
"Rational" is not a subjective term. Something either is or isn't logically sound, objectively. Since religious claims have not met their burdens of proof, they are objectively irrational. By definition, they must meet their burdens of proof in order to be considered rational.

Atheism is a religion just the same.
If a person were to say "There are definitely no gods whatsoever," that may be considered a positive claim that is unsubstantiated and comparable to a religious claim. However, atheism that is merely the rejection of god claims because they haven't met their burdens of proof is not even close to a religious claim. It is the rejection of a foolish claim due to lack of evidence.

Atheism is not a religion. It has no tenants and no dogma. It doesn't even include any positive claims about anything. Failure to believe a claim is not the same thing as accepting a claim. If you flip a coin and hide the result, I would reject the claim that it's tails. That doesn't mean I accept the claim that it's heads.

With respect, it sounds like you haven't given these issues a lot of thought. Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
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tabzer

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I didn't make this claim.
Religion as a system, is logical, even if the outcome is evaluated as negative. Religion as a personal belief system is individually subjective and not wholly accountable on your part. The conclusion that something is illogical is based on a lack of information. The claim that you "did not make" is a necessary prerequisite for your conclusion about "religions" to be true.

For someone who suggests that they aren't the one making a claim, you are the one visiting a thread about religion espousing your "non-evidence". That's baggage. Self-righteous zealots come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
 
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Lacius

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The conclusion that something is illogical is based on a lack of information.
I've reached the conclusion that religious claims are irrational because of a lack of information, yes. I am unaware of any evidence that these religious claims are true. If you're going to argue that religious beliefs are reasonable, please provide evidence for religious claims.

The claim that you "did not make" is a necessary prerequisite for your conclusion about "religions" to be true.
I haven't made any positive claims. I've only acknowledged that religious claims haven't met their burdens of proof.
 
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tabzer

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If you're going to argue that religious beliefs are reasonable, please provide evidence for religious claims.

People are actively rationalizing their beliefs ie. the pursuit of rationale, so it isn't a terminated process on which to draw a conclusion. If you have rejected such a pursuit, then you have opted yourself out of the process and are not in an a position to be objective about it.

I haven't made any positive claims. I've only acknowledged that religious claims haven't met their burdens of proof.

You are making claims. I am too. My claim is that it isn't possible to conclude that religions are irrational, and your claim is that it is. Your argument is established on making a strawman of non-contained, unquantified, social phenomena and saying there is no good reason for it to exist.
 

Lacius

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People are actively rationalizing their beliefs ie. the pursuit of rationale, so it isn't a terminated process on which to draw a conclusion. If you have rejected such a pursuit, then you have opted yourself out of the process and are not in an a position to be objective about it.
You can't start with a belief and then try to rationalize it later. That isn't how the pursuit of truth works. You can start with a claim and try to rationalize belief in it, but the time to believe a claim is after you have found evidence for it, and not a moment sooner.

You are making claims. I am too. My claim is that it isn't possible to conclude that religions are irrational, and your claim is that it is. Your argument is established on making a strawman of non-contained, unquantified, social phenomena and saying there is no good reason for it to exist.
If a claim hasn't met its burden of proof, it's irrational by definition. That's not my opinion; it's a fact. If your argument is that religious claims have met their burdens of proof, please provide the evidence for those claims. Anything else is a waste of time.

Edit: There isn't anything you've said in this thread that couldn't also be applied to the claim that malevolent forest pixies exist. Claims require evidence in order to have a rational basis for accepting those claims as true. Put up or shut up.
 
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tabzer

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You can't start with a belief and then try to rationalize it later. That isn't how the pursuit of truth works.

While people definitely do that, regardless of being religious or not, that is not the argument I made. I can't substantiate why people believe what they believe. The act of continually revisiting why someone believes what they believe is not a claim that the initial adoption of a belief was rational or irrational. I would also argue that it would be impossible for someone to grow up and live life without experiencing false concepts. If this a philosophical discussion on why someone believes in things, then I'm curious how you'd start.

If a claim hasn't met its burden of proof, it's irrational by definition. That's not my opinion; it's a fact. If your argument is that religious claims have met their burdens of proof, please provide the evidence for those claims. Anything else is a waste of time.

I don't think anybody came here asking anybody to believe in any religion. I know that didn't happen to me, and I'm pretty sure I didn't ask that of anyone. There is no burden of proof, unless you are trying to make me accept a claim that religions are irrational. I don't have reason to think irrational things actually exist. I think you have unresolved issues and are taking them to the wrong place.
 

Lacius

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While people definitely do that, regardless of being religious or not, that is not the argument I made. I can't substantiate why people believe what they believe. The act of continually revisiting why someone believes what they believe is not a claim that the initial adoption of a belief was rational or irrational. I would also argue that it would be impossible for someone to grow up and live life without experiencing false concepts. If this a philosophical discussion on why someone believes in things, then I'm curious how you'd start.
I don't really care why someone initially believed something or why people believe things in general; I care if a particular claim is supported by evidence. If it isn't, it's irrational.

I don't think anybody came here asking anybody to believe in any religion. I know that didn't happen to me, and I'm pretty sure I didn't ask that of anyone. There is no burden of proof, unless you are trying to make me accept a claim that religions are irrational. I don't have reason to think irrational things actually exist. I think you have unresolved issues and are taking them to the wrong place.
No, but this is a thread with the topic of how JW as a religion irrational, and I responded by acknowledging that all major religions are irrational since they don't meet their burdens of proof. Some people didn't like that and responded to me claiming religious beliefs were in fact rational, but they failed at demonstrating this, and then you chimed in.

I understand if you are wishing to check out of the conversation because you can't or won't demonstrate the truthfulness of religious claims, but shamelessly trying to gaslight people into thinking my posts are somehow off-topic isn't the way to do it. You can just stop posting.
 
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Marc_78065

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I tried talking to my sister about how it brainwashes them, but she can't take any criticism especially about her religion.

That being said, she has cancer and they're doing everything possible so that she makes it thru. The side effects make her seem like a completely different person (hostile, rude, jealous), but she was already a bit like that, those drugs "unlocked" that part.

The important part is, don't let a person get to your nerves. It's not worth it.
 

Dr_Faustus

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"Rational" is not a subjective term. Something either is or isn't logically sound, objectively. Since religious claims have not met their burdens of proof, they are objectively irrational. By definition, they must meet their burdens of proof in order to be considered rational.


If a person were to say "There are definitely no gods whatsoever," that may be considered a positive claim that is unsubstantiated and comparable to a religious claim. However, atheism that is merely the rejection of god claims because they haven't met their burdens of proof is not even close to a religious claim. It is the rejection of a foolish claim due to lack of evidence.

Atheism is not a religion. It has no tenants and no dogma. It doesn't even include any positive claims about anything. Failure to believe a claim is not the same thing as accepting a claim. If you flip a coin and hide the result, I would reject the claim that it's tails. That doesn't mean I accept the claim that it's heads.

With respect, it sounds like you haven't given these issues a lot of thought. Please let me know if you have any questions.
For one, being rational is a subjective nature in people trying to defend themselves or their beliefs to a higher standard, regardless if its true in any nature or not. Whether it would be someone taking a life in the name of god or someone bitching about a public christmas display on public property, in the minds of those people they are rational in their ways. Does this make them right? Not at all, but to them its a form of being rational. Religion and belief structures all have these traits.

And again, when it comes to Atheism its a structure of belief, a belief of an absence of God is still a belief all the same. You speak about the burden of proof when it comes to other religions when it comes to their beliefs and of God/Gods but the same can ultimately be said about Atheism as well being a burden of proof because an absence of God is not a proof of God not existing. I mean hell, if a kid grew up with only one parent for all their life and never met their other biological parent does that mean they simply do not exist? Perhaps in some religions there's some talk as to how that can be done but in real life the absence of something does not mean it does not exist without proof dictating absolute fact of the matter.

The rejection of one belief is a belief for another. Its no different no matter how you look at it. This is coming from someone who is more or less Agnostic. Atheists make me laugh because they think they are superior than other religious people because they have all the answers and think their belief is the right one because of facts and logic, but when the core of their belief has not been proven right or wrong its still a core that is a structure of belief, until such time as it is without any doubt that God does or does not exist then the Atheist mindset is no different in being absolute in their truth than any other religion out there.

At least with Agnosticism the concept of the truth being far larger than anything we could ever know for sure and as a result is unknowable, I can live life happy without being burdened with having to prove anything. Because as far as I see it, everyone has their own interpretation and as long as it does not harm others or mess with others lives then live your best life believing whatever the hell you want. Just do not get into other people's faces about it or make a cult out of it.
 

september796

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Are really men both physical and spiritual beings as the religions claim? The former is kinda obvious but the latter, can be even proven? I think we are but how can you explain a spiritual experience? I'm completely lost in this regard. You can't measure it or anything, let alone prove it to others. Religion say it is a mystery, that is, it doesn't have explanation... and that's it.
I've read the discussion here and I see a dead end because you're trying to rationalize the spiritual or even god with a human mind and these are not the same category. Just thinking of someone who is immaterial and exist before time is an overwhelming thought. What is rationalism next to God with such characteristics, that is beyond these rules? I think it's logical to be a believer rather than an atheist/agnostic for other reasons though.
 

Lacius

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For one, being rational is a subjective nature in people trying to defend themselves or their beliefs to a higher standard, regardless if its true in any nature or not. Whether it would be someone taking a life in the name of god or someone bitching about a public christmas display on public property, in the minds of those people they are rational in their ways. Does this make them right? Not at all, but to them its a form of being rational. Religion and belief structures all have these traits.

And again, when it comes to Atheism its a structure of belief, a belief of an absence of God is still a belief all the same. You speak about the burden of proof when it comes to other religions when it comes to their beliefs and of God/Gods but the same can ultimately be said about Atheism as well being a burden of proof because an absence of God is not a proof of God not existing. I mean hell, if a kid grew up with only one parent for all their life and never met their other biological parent does that mean they simply do not exist? Perhaps in some religions there's some talk as to how that can be done but in real life the absence of something does not mean it does not exist without proof dictating absolute fact of the matter.

The rejection of one belief is a belief for another. Its no different no matter how you look at it. This is coming from someone who is more or less Agnostic. Atheists make me laugh because they think they are superior than other religious people because they have all the answers and think their belief is the right one because of facts and logic, but when the core of their belief has not been proven right or wrong its still a core that is a structure of belief, until such time as it is without any doubt that God does or does not exist then the Atheist mindset is no different in being absolute in their truth than any other religion out there.

At least with Agnosticism the concept of the truth being far larger than anything we could ever know for sure and as a result is unknowable, I can live life happy without being burdened with having to prove anything. Because as far as I see it, everyone has their own interpretation and as long as it does not harm others or mess with others lives then live your best life believing whatever the hell you want. Just do not get into other people's faces about it or make a cult out of it.
The rejection of a claim is not the acceptance of another claim, and the rejection of a claim does not have a burden of proof.

If you flip a coin and hide the result from me, I'm going to reject the claim that the coin is heads. That doesn't mean I accept the claim that it's tails; I also reject the claim that it's tails.

Religious claims are unsupported by evidence, which is what it means for something to be unsound, illogical, unreasonable, irrational, or whatever colloquial word you want to use. Whether or not a claim is supported by evidence is objective, not subjective. Atheism, on the other hand, is merely the rejection of a claim because it has not met its burden of proof. If you run into an atheist who says "Not only do I reject the claim that a god exists, but I also actively believe that a god does not exist," then that atheist would have a burden of proof.

We believe claims when there's evidence to support those claims. If there's a claim that has neither been supported by evidence nor disproven, that doesn't mean it's rational to believe the claim is true. Whether or not a claim has been disproven is not justification for belief in the claim. If the criteria for belief is it just hasn't been disproven, then you would have to believe me when I made the claim that malevolent forest pixies exist, since they haven't been disproven. You would have to believe me when I say the coin landed on heads despite not looking at it, since it hasn't been disproven. If you care if your beliefs are true, you require evidence for those beliefs. That's it.

Agnosticism is a separate issue from atheism. The former deals with knowledge, and the latter deals with belief. They are not mutually exclusive concepts. If someone believed in a god, and they claim to know it, they're a gnostic theist. If someone believed in a god, but didn't know for sure, that's an agnostic theist. If someone doesn't believe in a god but claims to know it, that's a gnostic atheist. If someone doesn't believe in a god but doesn't know for sure, that's an agnostic atheist. If you ask someone if they believe in a god, and they say they're an agnostic, that doesn't actually answer the question that's being asked. One either accepts the claim is true or they don't. There is no third option.

Are really men both physical and spiritual beings as the religions claim? The former is kinda obvious but the latter, can be even proven? I think we are but how can you explain a spiritual experience? I'm completely lost in this regard. You can't measure it or anything, let alone prove it to others. Religion say it is a mystery, that is, it doesn't have explanation... and that's it.
I've read the discussion here and I see a dead end because you're trying to rationalize the spiritual or even god with a human mind and these are not the same category. Just thinking of someone who is immaterial and exist before time is an overwhelming thought. What is rationalism next to God with such characteristics, that is beyond these rules? I think it's logical to be a believer rather than an atheist/agnostic for other reasons though.
All beliefs require evidence, if we care about being rational and if our beliefs are true. It isn't an atheist's fault if a god is unverifiable. Making a claim that something exists and defining it as "beyond our understanding" with the inability to be supported by evidence means you've made a claim about something that you have no rational basis to believe exists.

Despite the lousy points being made in this thread, I'm glad they're being made because it is allowing for people to realize that they have beliefs for bad reasons.
 

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Religion as a system, is logical, even if the outcome is evaluated as negative. Religion as a personal belief system is individually subjective and not wholly accountable on your part. The conclusion that something is illogical is based on a lack of information. The claim that you "did not make" is a necessary prerequisite for your conclusion about "religions" to be true.

For someone who suggests that they aren't the one making a claim, you are the one visiting a thread about religion espousing your "non-evidence". That's baggage. Self-righteous zealots come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
This is the most important decision you will ever make. If you're wrong, you lose out for eternity. (Mom hugs.) jw.org/en/library/magazines/g201503/is-there-a-god-exist/
 

tabzer

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I don't really care why someone initially believed something or why people believe things in general; I care if a particular claim is supported by evidence. If it isn't, it's irrational.


No, but this is a thread with the topic of how JW as a religion irrational, and I responded by acknowledging that all major religions are irrational since they don't meet their burdens of proof. Some people didn't like that and responded to me claiming religious beliefs were in fact rational, but they failed at demonstrating this, and then you chimed in.

I understand if you are wishing to check out of the conversation because you can't or won't demonstrate the truthfulness of religious claims, but shamelessly trying to gaslight people into thinking my posts are somehow off-topic isn't the way to do it. You can just stop posting.
You came to me with a claim. You want to pretend that religions irrationally exist independently of people and are at fault for people behave badly.
 

september796

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All beliefs require evidence, if we care about being rational and if our beliefs are true. It isn't an atheist's fault if a god is unverifiable. Making a claim that something exists and defining it as "beyond our understanding" with the inability to be supported by evidence means you've made a claim about something that you have no rational basis to believe exists.

Despite the lousy points being made in this thread, I'm glad they're being made because it is allowing for people to realize that they have beliefs for bad reasons.
What I say is that you won't find a satisfactory answer by expecting what is not material to be proven through a scientific method (that is not perfect btw). This has more to do with metaphysics and I suspect an answer from a philosophical perspective would not satisfy you either. To begin with, it's impossible to demonstrate that there is no god, however you can use logic to at least demonstrate that it's a possibility that there is one. That would be a rational basis, just not a tangible evidence, which is what you're actually looking for, I think. Besides, the word irrational is a bit imprecise here, we're all giving some thoughts. I understand it as of 'lack of reasoning' rather than 'bad reasoning' (which I assume is the colloquial meaning) and it has little to do with being right or wrong, specially on a complex subject like this. I would consider a very very drunk person to be temporarily irrational, for instance.
 

Lacius

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You came to me with a claim. You want to pretend that religions irrationally exist independently of people and are at fault for people behave badly.
I never said religions exist independently of people. I said religious claims haven't met their burdens of proof. If you want to argue there's evidence that demonstrates the truthfulness of religious claims, please provide it. If you can't, then I will take that as a concession that religious claims are unsupported by evidence and shouldn't be believed by any rational person.

Religion is the reason some people do some bad things, yes. More importantly, believing religious beliefs for bad reasons means one can believe all sorts of bad things for bad reasons.

This is the most important decision you will ever make. If you're wrong, you lose out for eternity. (Mom hugs.)
This argument is called Psacal's Wager. Unfortunately for anyone making the argument, it doesn't actually demonstrate the truthfulness of the claim, and it suggests that a god can be easily fooled. In addition, believing something because there are potentially negative consequences for not believing means you have to believe all sorts of irrational and contradictory claims. If a person cares if their beliefs are true, they can't believe something just because someone said they would be punished if they didn't. Not only is it irrational, but it would make the one doing the punishing (God, in this case) immoral. It's a wholly unconvincing argument.

What I say is that you won't find a satisfactory answer by expecting what is not material to be proven through a scientific method (that is not perfect btw). This has more to do with metaphysics and I suspect an answer from a philosophical perspective would not satisfy you either. To begin with, it's impossible to demonstrate that there is no god, however you can use logic to at least demonstrate that it's a possibility that there is one. That would be a rational basis, just not a tangible evidence, which is what you're actually looking for, I think. Besides, the word irrational is a bit imprecise here, we're all giving some thoughts. I understand it as of 'lack of reasoning' rather than 'bad reasoning' (which I assume is the colloquial meaning) and it has little to do with being right or wrong, specially on a complex subject like this. I would consider a very very drunk person to be temporarily irrational, for instance.
It's possible to demonstrate that some specific definitions of "god" don't exist, but that's not what I'm talking about. Even if a god claim has not been disproven and is unfalsifiable, that isn't a reasonable justification for believing the claim. You can't demonstrate that forest pixies definitely don't exist, but that doesn't mean we should believe in them.

I'm not explicitly asking for physical evidence; any evidence that demonstrates the truthfulness of a claim is good enough. When I talk about science, I'm talking about the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the formal sciences. The formal sciences include logic and mathematics. Unfortunately for theists, no evidence has been presented that supports the claim that a god exists, physical or otherwise.

There is a philosophical possibility that a god exists, just like there's the philosophical possibility that forest pixies exist. I'm not refuting that. However, that doesn't mean we have any reason to think a god actually exists, and it doesn't mean we've demonstrated that there's an actual physical possibility that a god exists. There's a difference between the two. We don't actually know if a god's existence is possible, and it hasn't been demonstrated that a god is actually possible.
 
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Damn I thought this post was going to have some good insights, thread is just cringe-low-iq edgelords who cant make a rational argument against religion.
(You cant attack what you dont understand)
My brother is JW, and full of inconsistencies. Ill be the first to attack JW, but I would never use any of the 'points' made by some of you. Yikes.
 

Lacius

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Damn I thought this post was going to have some good insights, thread is just cringe-low-iq edgelords who cant make a rational argument against religion.
(You cant attack what you dont understand)
My brother is JW, and full of inconsistencies. Ill be the first to attack JW, but I would never use any of the 'points' made by some of you. Yikes.
The only argument that matters is that religious claims have not met their burden of proof. A person who cares if their beliefs are true requires evidence for their beliefs.
 

smf

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Honestly I find atheism to exist on the same coin as most religions. Absence of proof of God or the afterlife is still a belief that you want to preach and argue about.
If you said there was am invisible elephant in the room and I said you had no evidence of that, then we'd both be arguing and only one of us would be correct.
 
Last edited by smf,
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