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Author Topic: Why do Atheists Hate Religion?  (Read 872940 times)
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July 08, 2015, 09:11:49 PM
 #981

So I see 2 threads of why islam hates people or why people hate Islam. I dont see the point of such a mundane debate based on religion any debate for or against religion would be stupid. Either you are stupid to believe what a prophet / god / divine entity said or you are stupid enough to believe you can change the minds of the bleak minded people who follow such a prophet / god / divine entity.

But since its fun let me initiate my own brand of 'why do' topic.

WHY DO ATHEISTS (like me) HATE RELIGION ?

Seriously what has to happen in a person's life for them to seriously give up hope on the one true everlasting brand (of religion) which their ancestors have followed for generations.

Everyone has their own story even I have mine, so lets hear some of it.



i think religion was made by people for the people, so that they learn discipline, stay focused and absorb some good character. but there are lots of things which need explanation. atheists refuse to believe in things which do not have any physical presence. they find it illogical to follow something blindly. but this is not the reason for hating religion. the main problem with religion is it creates divide among the people who can be united. secondly it is also being used as a business tool (at least here). may be main reason for hating religion..    


Many atheists use the word "atheism" incorrectly. They are not atheists as much as they are agnostics.

...In fact, some of the definitions of both words overlap, making atheism fall within the classification as a religion...
Smiley

Except where they don't overlap, which you never acknowledge, and in which case you use the terms incorrectly (like when trying to communicate with virtually everyone who uses the words because of their distinctions).

But it doesn't matter, anyway, unless you're just trying to win a pointless semantic argument.  Could you contribute something of practical value?

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July 08, 2015, 09:40:50 PM
 #982


Okay, here we go.  Finally there Smiley

The problem here is two-fold:

First, it's a false-analogy to liken an omnipotent god to some imaginary dragon, even if you ascribe the imaginary dragon to be omnipotent.  This is where logic weighs in on things and can catch subtle distinctions which make a world of difference.  Instead of an imaginary dragon, let's use the well-know examples of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Russel's Teapot.  Again, for simplicity, let's just focus on the FSM.

Specifically, the problem is that the FSM, even if omnipotent, is a false analogy.  This is because the identifying characteristics (i.e. what constitutes its identity) of an omnipotent god is its omnipotence, whereas for the FSM it is both omnipotence and the topological characteristics of being a monster made of spaghetti who flies, i.e. its physical constraints.  So, an omnipotent god, or ID for "intelligent designer," is defined in terms of a total lack of constraint, whereas the FSM is defined in terms of both constraint and a total lack of constraint.

This is critically important because it means one cannot be the other.  If an ID omnipotently assumes a level of topological constraint, it does not lose any aspect of its identity because it remains omnipotent and thus is still equal to itself.  However, if an FSM omnipotently changes its topological constraints, e.g. it becomes a teapot or a dragon, then its core identity is changed and is no longer equal to itself.  An FSM who becomes a teapot is no longer an FSM no matter how omnipotent it is.

Second, and stemming from this first point, we must then concede that if an ID exists, it falls totally outside of observation and empiricism, and is therefore a priori untouchable by empirical science.  Therefore, Occam's Razor, which only applies to empirical phenomena, is irrelevant.  What then matters is whether an ID is implied by logical necessity, and the method of exploration required to determine this is in no way based upon observation of empirical events.  There needn't be any assumption of a "God-of-the-gaps" if you can determine what is logically necessary at a fundamental level, and at a 100% level of tautological confidence.

My only questions about this are:

1. If God is omnipotent, why couldn't He make Himself to be within the universe and outside of it, entirely, and at the same time, while not allowing the universe to have anything to do with anything outside of it, and vice versa, except that He allowed it to be so in certain instances?

2. Is there any way an Objective God could let some people believe in Him while completely allowing those people who didn't believe in Him to not even recognize that He exists, and also letting a method exist to reach those people who didn't believe in Him so that now and again some of them would become believers?

Smiley

1) Assuming God must therefore be outside the Universe could in this case be viewed as a semantic limitation of an empirical worldview.  I much prefer to use mathematical sets, specifically Real and Unreal.  If God is real, then He must necessarily be within the set of reality, and there could be nothing real enough outside of Reality so as to be able to determine it or create it (hence reality must create and/or determine itself).  I'd also point out that your own thoughts or feelings cannot be empirically observed.  Would you conclude they are unreal or outside of the Universe?

2) Yes, and I actually attempted to linguistically model this within this thread.  The most general modeling, which requires a lot of explanation, is that God : reality :: man : perceptions.  You could say God is trying to know Himself and self-actualize via a superpositional, singular act of creation; that reality is essentially a theory of itself; that we are stratified, isomorphic images of God who attempt to know ourselves and self-actualize via our perceptions of objective reality and the theories we derive therefrom.  Objectivity is a relation.  At the "god-level," He knows Himself objectively relative to his creation.  At the "stratified-level," we know ourselves relative to the theories we form about objective reality as it is perceived.  There must always be a subjective anchor by which objective reality can be known, and it is known in terms of the subjective anchor itself.  

Edit:  Phrased another way, consider God in terms of both objectivity and relativity, where "objective" God is monistic, and "relative" God is stratified, i.e. "objective god" is distributing its monistic structure or essence into its stratified constituents.  This stratification allows for diversity in essence.  Accordingly, one person who claims Jesus is the only way may be completely correct, and as correct as someone else who says Allah is the only way -- what the two share is a recognition of the monistic essence in spite of its diversity.  However, one who rejects the essence altogether may be in trouble, for he rejects the means by which he can self-actualize and know his true nature as a part of that essence.

Talk like this might be fun, but it is entirely meaningless. Why? Because even within all the math and logic that mankind has come up with, mankind is so extremely weak in every way imaginable, that we can't know whether or not there is some aspect of even logic that is in God's inside-the-universe realm, but not in man's as yet.

Mankind is starting to do some great things. And these great things lie withing the realms of both the physical and mental. But man is just barely starting to learn them, like how to regrow limbs... while there are animals by the thousands or millions that do it on a regular basis.

Mankind is just barely able to keep people alive for a little while longer. Why not for a mere 200 years?

There is no way that anyone could possibly be certain that God doesn't maintain secrets of logic, reason, wisdom, and power right inside the universe... things that would completely negate most of the logic of mankind if they were known.

Perhaps when we have discovered almost all the laws of the space-time continuum, perhaps when we have time travel, radio-telepathy, people living for a thousand years or indefinitely, and a whole lot more, perhaps then nothing about God's inside-the-universe logic will be hidden from mankind.

Until such a time, it is in our best interests to look for the ways that God talks to us about the things that He knows, rather than listening to ourselves talk about the things we assume.

Smiley
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July 08, 2015, 10:01:02 PM
 #983


Okay, here we go.  Finally there Smiley

The problem here is two-fold:

First, it's a false-analogy to liken an omnipotent god to some imaginary dragon, even if you ascribe the imaginary dragon to be omnipotent.  This is where logic weighs in on things and can catch subtle distinctions which make a world of difference.  Instead of an imaginary dragon, let's use the well-know examples of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Russel's Teapot.  Again, for simplicity, let's just focus on the FSM.

Specifically, the problem is that the FSM, even if omnipotent, is a false analogy.  This is because the identifying characteristics (i.e. what constitutes its identity) of an omnipotent god is its omnipotence, whereas for the FSM it is both omnipotence and the topological characteristics of being a monster made of spaghetti who flies, i.e. its physical constraints.  So, an omnipotent god, or ID for "intelligent designer," is defined in terms of a total lack of constraint, whereas the FSM is defined in terms of both constraint and a total lack of constraint.

This is critically important because it means one cannot be the other.  If an ID omnipotently assumes a level of topological constraint, it does not lose any aspect of its identity because it remains omnipotent and thus is still equal to itself.  However, if an FSM omnipotently changes its topological constraints, e.g. it becomes a teapot or a dragon, then its core identity is changed and is no longer equal to itself.  An FSM who becomes a teapot is no longer an FSM no matter how omnipotent it is.

Second, and stemming from this first point, we must then concede that if an ID exists, it falls totally outside of observation and empiricism, and is therefore a priori untouchable by empirical science.  Therefore, Occam's Razor, which only applies to empirical phenomena, is irrelevant.  What then matters is whether an ID is implied by logical necessity, and the method of exploration required to determine this is in no way based upon observation of empirical events.  There needn't be any assumption of a "God-of-the-gaps" if you can determine what is logically necessary at a fundamental level, and at a 100% level of tautological confidence.

My only questions about this are:

1. If God is omnipotent, why couldn't He make Himself to be within the universe and outside of it, entirely, and at the same time, while not allowing the universe to have anything to do with anything outside of it, and vice versa, except that He allowed it to be so in certain instances?

2. Is there any way an Objective God could let some people believe in Him while completely allowing those people who didn't believe in Him to not even recognize that He exists, and also letting a method exist to reach those people who didn't believe in Him so that now and again some of them would become believers?

Smiley

1) Assuming God must therefore be outside the Universe could in this case be viewed as a semantic limitation of an empirical worldview.  I much prefer to use mathematical sets, specifically Real and Unreal.  If God is real, then He must necessarily be within the set of reality, and there could be nothing real enough outside of Reality so as to be able to determine it or create it (hence reality must create and/or determine itself).  I'd also point out that your own thoughts or feelings cannot be empirically observed.  Would you conclude they are unreal or outside of the Universe?

2) Yes, and I actually attempted to linguistically model this within this thread.  The most general modeling, which requires a lot of explanation, is that God : reality :: man : perceptions.  You could say God is trying to know Himself and self-actualize via a superpositional, singular act of creation; that reality is essentially a theory of itself; that we are stratified, isomorphic images of God who attempt to know ourselves and self-actualize via our perceptions of objective reality and the theories we derive therefrom.  Objectivity is a relation.  At the "god-level," He knows Himself objectively relative to his creation.  At the "stratified-level," we know ourselves relative to the theories we form about objective reality as it is perceived.  There must always be a subjective anchor by which objective reality can be known, and it is known in terms of the subjective anchor itself.  

Edit:  Phrased another way, consider God in terms of both objectivity and relativity, where "objective" God is monistic, and "relative" God is stratified, i.e. "objective god" is distributing its monistic structure or essence into its stratified constituents.  This stratification allows for diversity in essence.  Accordingly, one person who claims Jesus is the only way may be completely correct, and as correct as someone else who says Allah is the only way -- what the two share is a recognition of the monistic essence in spite of its diversity.  However, one who rejects the essence altogether may be in trouble, for he rejects the means by which he can self-actualize and know his true nature as a part of that essence.

Quote
Talk like this might be fun, but it is entirely meaningless. Why? Because even within all the math and logic that mankind has come up with, mankind is so extremely weak in every way imaginable, that we can't know whether or not there is some aspect of even logic that is in God's inside-the-universe realm, but not in man's as yet.

This passage that you wrote is both a mathematical and logical formulation, adhering to the most fundamental algebraic structure of all -- language.  Any thought you will ever have, and every sentence you will ever communicate, is mathematical/algebraic.  "In the beginning was the Word," i.e. language, i.e. mathematics.

Quote
Mankind is starting to do some great things. And these great things lie withing the realms of both the physical and mental. But man is just barely starting to learn them, like how to regrow limbs... while there are animals by the thousands or millions that do it on a regular basis.

Another statement formulated according to an algebraic structure.

Quote

[blah blah blah]


More math (in structure).

Quote
Smiley

Math (in structure).

Edit:  Correct, there is no way to possibly know whether some higher form of logic exists.  That is why it is completely irrelevant to us and I will never entertain it in a discussion (nor should you) other than to say that, well...it's irrelevant.  Actually, it's irrelevant, quite literally, because it is unreal...because only that which we know is real accords to our logic.  Anything that our logic cannot account for is thus a priori unreal.

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July 09, 2015, 01:08:07 AM
 #984

I don't know how anyone can read the bible and call it boring.
Not the first time, no. The problem with Christians is that one read is never enough, and they can never stop yapping about the (2,000 year old) "good news" from their "good book".  

And it's a bit more than just "one book"...there are 66 books in the bible.
66 "books", each being the length of short stories written for 8th graders... I think I've just discovered the root of the problem, Christians don't know what books are!

You could say God is trying to know Himself and self-actualize via a superpositional, singular act of creation; that reality is essentially a theory of itself; that we are stratified, isomorphic images of God who attempt to know ourselves and self-actualize via our perceptions of objective reality and the theories we derive therefrom.
You could also say that all the matter in the universe is secretly made of of mashed potatoes from an extra-universal potato God, but there isn't much evidence to support either claim, so sane people don't go around saying such things.

Remember Aaron Swartz, a 26 year old computer scientist who died defending the free flow of information.
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July 09, 2015, 01:23:08 AM
 #985

I don't know how anyone can read the bible and call it boring.
Not the first time, no. The problem with Christians is that one read is never enough, and they can never stop yapping about the (2,000 year old) "good news" from their "good book".  

And it's a bit more than just "one book"...there are 66 books in the bible.
66 "books", each being the length of short stories written for 8th graders... I think I've just discovered the root of the problem, Christians don't know what books are!

So funny. Wink

My only point was that there are multiple stories in the bible, multiple authors. It's not like just one book, or one "story". Re-reading the bible is always a good thing. You can always see things in a new light depending on where you are in your life. There are plenty of stories, or songs, or proverbs, etc. There should be at least one thing that is interesting to everyone. Of course that's supposing they believe.

Any religious text may not be interesting to others if they don't believe in it. Though I think there are plenty of stories in the bible that are interesting even if you don't believe and just take them as parables.
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July 09, 2015, 01:40:44 AM
 #986

I don't know how anyone can read the bible and call it boring.
Not the first time, no. The problem with Christians is that one read is never enough, and they can never stop yapping about the (2,000 year old) "good news" from their "good book".  

And it's a bit more than just "one book"...there are 66 books in the bible.
66 "books", each being the length of short stories written for 8th graders... I think I've just discovered the root of the problem, Christians don't know what books are!

So funny. Wink

My only point was that there are multiple stories in the bible, multiple authors. It's not like just one book, or one "story". Re-reading the bible is always a good thing. You can always see things in a new light depending on where you are in your life. There are plenty of stories, or songs, or proverbs, etc. There should be at least one thing that is interesting to everyone. Of course that's supposing they believe.

Any religious text may not be interesting to others if they don't believe in it. Though I think there are plenty of stories in the bible that are interesting even if you don't believe and just take them as parables.


Of course, there is a danger if you are a staunch atheist, or a believer of some other religion... a danger if you read the Bible. It is through the words of the Bible that God works on the spirits of people. You just might wind up being converted if you read.

 Shocked
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July 09, 2015, 01:45:10 AM
 #987

I don't know how anyone can read the bible and call it boring.
Not the first time, no. The problem with Christians is that one read is never enough, and they can never stop yapping about the (2,000 year old) "good news" from their "good book".  

And it's a bit more than just "one book"...there are 66 books in the bible.
66 "books", each being the length of short stories written for 8th graders... I think I've just discovered the root of the problem, Christians don't know what books are!

So funny. Wink

My only point was that there are multiple stories in the bible, multiple authors. It's not like just one book, or one "story". Re-reading the bible is always a good thing. You can always see things in a new light depending on where you are in your life. There are plenty of stories, or songs, or proverbs, etc. There should be at least one thing that is interesting to everyone. Of course that's supposing they believe.

Any religious text may not be interesting to others if they don't believe in it. Though I think there are plenty of stories in the bible that are interesting even if you don't believe and just take them as parables.


Of course, there is a danger if you are a staunch atheist, or a believer of some other religion... a danger if you read the Bible. It is through the words of the Bible that God works on the spirits of people. You just might wind up being converted if you read.

 Shocked
Christian for years, read the bible... nope.  Just lots of stories with nothing to back it up.  And a god that really has an issue with his ego :x

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July 09, 2015, 01:59:53 AM
 #988

Of course, there is a danger if you are a staunch atheist, or a believer of some other religion... a danger if you read the Bible. It is through the words of the Bible that God works on the spirits of people. You just might wind up being converted if you read.

Remember Aaron Swartz, a 26 year old computer scientist who died defending the free flow of information.
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July 09, 2015, 03:29:47 AM
 #989

I don't know how anyone can read the bible and call it boring.
Not the first time, no. The problem with Christians is that one read is never enough, and they can never stop yapping about the (2,000 year old) "good news" from their "good book".  

And it's a bit more than just "one book"...there are 66 books in the bible.
66 "books", each being the length of short stories written for 8th graders... I think I've just discovered the root of the problem, Christians don't know what books are!

You could say God is trying to know Himself and self-actualize via a superpositional, singular act of creation; that reality is essentially a theory of itself; that we are stratified, isomorphic images of God who attempt to know ourselves and self-actualize via our perceptions of objective reality and the theories we derive therefrom.
You could also say that all the matter in the universe is secretly made of of mashed potatoes from an extra-universal potato God, but there isn't much evidence to support either claim, so sane people don't go around saying such things.

BADecker didn't say the last part.  I did.  And, to counteract your (invalid) secret mashed potato rebuttal, here is more of, well, me to elucidate your fallacy:

Quote
First, it's a false-analogy to liken an omnipotent god to some imaginary dragon, even if you ascribe the imaginary dragon to be omnipotent.  This is where logic weighs in on things and can catch subtle distinctions which make a world of difference.  Instead of an imaginary dragon, let's use the well-know examples of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Russel's Teapot.  Again, for simplicity, let's just focus on the FSM.

Specifically, the problem is that the FSM, even if omnipotent, is a false analogy.  This is because the identifying characteristics (i.e. what constitutes its identity) of an omnipotent god is its omnipotence, whereas for the FSM it is both omnipotence and the topological characteristics of being a monster made of spaghetti who flies, i.e. its physical constraints.  So, an omnipotent god, or ID for "intelligent designer," is defined in terms of a total lack of constraint, whereas the FSM is defined in terms of both constraint and a total lack of constraint.

This is critically important because it means one cannot be the other.  If an ID omnipotently assumes a level of topological constraint, it does not lose any aspect of its identity because it remains omnipotent and thus is still equal to itself.  However, if an FSM omnipotently changes its topological constraints, e.g. it becomes a teapot or a dragon, then its core identity is changed and is no longer equal to itself.  An FSM who becomes a teapot is no longer an FSM no matter how omnipotent it is.

Second, and stemming from this first point, we must then concede that if an ID exists, it falls totally outside of observation and empiricism, and is therefore a priori untouchable by empirical science.  Therefore, Occam's Razor, which only applies to empirical phenomena, is irrelevant.  What then matters is whether an ID is implied by logical necessity, and the method of exploration required to determine this is in no way based upon observation of empirical events.  There needn't be any assumption of a "God-of-the-gaps" if you can determine what is logically necessary at a fundamental level, and at a 100% level of tautological confidence.

Edit:  To this extent, I could put Richard Dawkins out of business.

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July 09, 2015, 04:25:34 AM
 #990

I am a Muslim, but to all the Atheists out there, I would like to send my special congratulations to you, because most of the people who believe in a God are doing blind belief - a man is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; another is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him. And that is truly commendable.
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July 09, 2015, 01:57:39 PM
 #991

I am a Muslim, but to all the Atheists out there, I would like to send my special congratulations to you, because most of the people who believe in a God are doing blind belief - a man is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; another is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him. And that is truly commendable.

Finally, a voice of reason. This is exactly what I said once and it was pretty much ignored by the nonsense of some members. One needs to think deeply for a moment to understand this, I've actually read it somewhere and memorized parts of it.
 
What if you were born in a different region of the world and you were taught different beliefs than the one that you have now? Would you still hold the same beliefs as you do today? It's highly improbable that you would.
This pretty much tells us that beliefs are largely based on the region and upbringing. Atheists have managed to unlearn that which they do not agree with. It's definitely better on this path.

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July 09, 2015, 02:02:21 PM
 #992

I am a Muslim, but to all the Atheists out there, I would like to send my special congratulations to you, because most of the people who believe in a God are doing blind belief - a man is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; another is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him. And that is truly commendable.
That's the most reasonable theist I've seen on these boards yet.

it's a false-analogy to liken an omnipotent god to some imaginary dragon, even if you ascribe the imaginary dragon to be omnipotent.  This is where logic weighs in on things and can catch subtle distinctions which make a world of difference.  Instead of an imaginary dragon, let's use the well-know examples of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Russel's Teapot.  Again, for simplicity, let's just focus on the FSM.

Specifically, the problem is that the FSM, even if omnipotent, is a false analogy.  This is because the identifying characteristics (i.e. what constitutes its identity) of an omnipotent god is its omnipotence, whereas for the FSM it is both omnipotence and the topological characteristics of being a monster made of spaghetti who flies, i.e. its physical constraints.  So, an omnipotent god, or ID for "intelligent designer," is defined in terms of a total lack of constraint, whereas the FSM is defined in terms of both constraint and a total lack of constraint.
LOGIC 101:

A creator must exist outside of whatever it is he or she is creating. So if what you're creating is reality itself, you'll need to not be real.

THEREFORE, any creator could not exist within our reality, and therefore the claim of a Creator is impossible to disprove. As this claim is impossible to disprove, it can never be scientific. The end.

FURTHERMORE, a creator concealing the truth about his existence by failing to PROVE his existence would be violating of the free will of his own creation, in that you have denied them vital information about their spiritual choices, information that could determine whether or not they burn for eternity.

Remember Aaron Swartz, a 26 year old computer scientist who died defending the free flow of information.
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July 09, 2015, 02:09:06 PM
 #993

I am a Muslim, but to all the Atheists out there, I would like to send my special congratulations to you, because most of the people who believe in a God are doing blind belief - a man is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; another is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him. And that is truly commendable.



Finally, a voice of reason. This is exactly what I said once and it was pretty much ignored by the nonsense of some members. One needs to think deeply for a moment to understand this, I've actually read it somewhere and memorized parts of it.
 
What if you were born in a different region of the world and you were taught different beliefs than the one that you have now? Would you still hold the same beliefs as you do today? It's highly improbable that you would.
This pretty much tells us that beliefs are largely based on the region and upbringing. Atheists have managed to unlearn that which they do not agree with. It's definitely better on this path.

That's the most reasonable theist I've seen on these boards yet.


All you need to do is Google "atheism is religion" to find all kinds of explanations that show that atheism is a religion.

The more adamant atheists become denying that atheism is a religion... the more proofs they offer to make their point... the further they push themselves into atheism dogma. When you have dogma without real proof, a position where you must rely on faith (though not always blind faith), you have religion.

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July 09, 2015, 02:12:28 PM
 #994

All you need to do is Google "atheism is religion" to find all kinds of explanations that show that atheism is a religion.

Atheism is Not a Religion

This is a refrain I’m hearing a lot from religious apologists – "atheism is a religion". Also its equally fallacious siblings, science is a religion and evolution is a religion. It’s a sign of their desperation that the best argument they have is not that atheism is wrong, or that god does exist (supported by evidence of course), but that atheism is a religion too. A strange argument for a religious person to make on the face of it.  Is it supposed to strengthen the atheist’s position or weaken the theist’s one? In reality it’s a sign they have run out of arguments.

Still, this argument is widely made, and so it needs to be addressed. Atheism (and here I mean the so-called “weak atheism” that does not claim proof that god does not exist), is just the lack of god-belief – nothing more and nothing less. And as someone once said, if atheism is a religion, not collecting stamps is a hobby.

That really ought to end the discussion right there. Clearly, a mere lack of belief in something cannot be a religion. In addition, atheism has no sacred texts, no tenets, no ceremonies. Even theists making this argument must know all that. So they must have something else in mind when they trot this one out, but what is it? What are they really thinking? Well, if you look at various definitions of religion, the only things that could possibly apply to atheism would be something like this:

6. Something one believes in and follows devotedly

or this:

4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Obviously I don’t know if that’s what they mean – I don’t read minds. But I can’t see what else it could be. They must be referring to certain activities of atheists – writing books and blogs, financing bus ads, joining atheist groups, etc. They think atheists are “religious in their atheism” as one person put it to me – the word “religious” being used here colloquially to mean something felt very strongly, or followed enthusiastically. But this definition of religion is so broad that virtually anything people enjoy doing very much, or follow strongly or obsessively, is a religion. It’s a definition of religion that is so broad that it’s meaningless. In reality, most of the things that people follow enthusiastically, are just hobbies. And ironically, although not collecting stamps is not a hobby, getting involved in atheist activities (writing books and blogs, attending atheist meetings) might well be a hobby for some people. But it is a hobby, not a religion.

What Is Religion?

I’m sure that argument won’t convince all theists to abandon this rhetorical trope they love so much.  To really address the argument, we have to define religion, and then see if atheism fits the definition. While I don’t think I can define religion completely, I think I can state the minimum that religion has to have to still be a religion. And it seems to me that there is one thing at least that is common to all religions. It’s this. In my view, religion at a minimum, has to have the following characteristic:

Religion must include something you have to accept on faith – that is, without evidence commensurate with the extraordinary nature of the belief.

Most religions will include other things too, but they must require faith. Of course, not all things that require faith are religions, but all religions must require faith.

The minimum definition covers all the religions I’m familiar with. For example, it includes any religion that involves belief in god or gods – something you have to believe in without evidence. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism… all require you to believe in god or gods as a minimum, without evidence. The minimum definition would also include religions that don’t require belief in god, but require faith in other things. For example, I believe it would include Buddhism, which (for example) includes the belief that living beings go through a succession of lifetimes and rebirth. It would also include Scientology – no evidence for Xenu, that I’m aware of. Maybe you can think of some actual religions that would be excluded, but I haven’t been able to so far.

So religion requires belief without evidence. And by that definition atheism cannot possibly be a religion because atheists do not have to believe in anything to be an atheist – either with or without evidence. QED.

Now, some religious people may say, “but that’s not my definition of religion”. To which I say, OK, then give me your definition. Give me your definition of religion, that doesn’t require belief without evidence, that includes your religion, the others I named, and atheism. And it needs to be better than the two dictionary definitions I cited above.  Give me that definition. Because here’s the thing. The problems I have with religions are:

They are not based on fact or on any reasonable evidence commensurate with the claims they make. In many cases, the claims they make are plainly absurd and are actually contradicted by the evidence.
Religious proponents demand respect, and adherence to their delusions by others. This despite (1) above.
Those are the aspects of religion that I object to. Clearly atheism doesn’t fit 1 (or 2) above, so it is nothing like any of the religions I object to. If your religion does not require belief without faith, then I probably wouldn’t have a problem with it. Assuming, of course, all the tenets of your religion are actually backed up by evidence extraordinary enough for the extraordinary claims your religion makes. But they never do.

In my view, theists will have their work cut out to deny this minimum requirement for religion.  Come on – they even refer to their religion as “my faith”.

Evidence and Extraordinary Evidence

Some religious people will claim that their religious beliefs are backed by evidence. This is where it gets tricky, because many religious people genuinely believe their religion is rational and backed by evidence. For example, one Christian I debated cited that the evidence Christianity was real, was (and I quote), “the resurrection of Christ”. Of course, the resurrection of Christ, if it had actually happened, would be pretty good evidence for Christianity. But, unfortunately, there is no good evidence for the resurrection. Certainly, nothing close to the extraordinary evidence we would need to accept this extraordinary claim.

Extraordinary Claims

This needs explaining in more detail. Why do extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence? Well, all claims require exactly the same amount of evidence, it’s just that most "ordinary" claims are already backed by extraordinary evidence that you don’t think about. When we say “extraordinary claims”, what we actually mean are claims that do not already have evidence supporting them, or sometimes claims that have extraordinary evidence against them. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence because they usually contradict claims that are backed by extraordinary evidence.

So why is Jesus’ resurrection an extraordinary claim, and why is the Bible not extraordinary evidence for it? Well, the resurrection goes against all the evidence we have that people do not come back to life, spontaneously, after two days of being dead. Modern medicine can bring people back from what would have been considered in earlier years to be “dead”, but not after 2 days of being dead with no modern life support to keep the vital organs working. In fact, it is probably reasonably safe to say it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that people cannot come back to life after being dead for two days without modern life support. So, extraordinary claim it is.

On the other hand, the evidence we are offered in support of this extraordinary claim consists only of accounts written decades after the event, by people who were not there when the events described were purported to have occurred. We are offered nothing but hearsay anecdotes from superstitious people with a clear reason for wanting others to think the story true. This is hardly acceptable evidence to counteract the fact that this never happens. Christians might ask, what evidence would an atheist accept for such an extraordinary claim? And in reality, it is hard to imagine that there could possibly be any evidence good enough for us to accept the resurrection as true. Christians may claim that this is unfair, or that we are closed minded, but the fact that you are unlikely to find extraordinary evidence for this event 2,000 years after the fact, is hardly the non-believer’s fault. The real question, considering the weakness of the evidence, and the wildly extraordinary nature of the claim, is why would anyone believe any of it in the first place?  The truth is, they accept it on faith.  In fact, the acceptance of this story on faith alone is usually considered to be essential to the true believer. And although that was just Christianity, the same lack of evidence, and belief based on faith alone, applies to the claims of all the other religions that I’m familiar with.

Religions require belief in extraordinary claims without anything close to the extraordinary evidence that is required.  Atheism requires no belief in anything.  The contrast couldn’t be clearer.

But the believer has one final shot – one last desperate rhetorical item to fling at the atheist.  Here we go.

More Faith To Be An Atheist?

The final argument many religious apologists throw into the mix is it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to believe in god. That certainly took me by surprise the first time I heard it. I think what they’re trying to say is this. Atheists think matter just appeared out of nowhere, that something came out of nothing. But where did the matter come from? To think that matter appeared out of nowhere requires more faith than to think a creator made everything. Why is there something rather than nothing? To think that matter just appeared by itself, requires faith.

Atheists don’t think matter came out of nowhere. Atheists say we don’t know where matter came from; we don’t know why there is something rather than nothing. Maybe one day we’ll know, or maybe we won’t. But we don’t know now. Theists are exactly the same. They don’t know either, but the difference is they make up an explanation (god). But it’s just a made up explanation – they have no reason to suppose it’s true, other than that they just like it.

And it’s a useless explanation. Unless they know something about this “God” – how he created everything; why he created it; what he’s likely to do next - it’s a lack of an explanation. It’s just a placeholder until a real explanation comes along. Except that the theist won’t be open to the real explanation when and if science is able to provide one. The god placeholder prevents investigation into any real tentative explanations. The theist who says god created everything, is the one with the faith – faith that “god” is the explanation and that no other is possible. The atheist is content to say “we don’t know”. For now, anyway. And it’s obvious that saying “we don’t know,” requires no faith.  That may be a hard thing to do for people who want all the answers, but it certainly isn’t religion.

One last thing.  Some theists have responded to the “if atheism is a religion, not collecting stamps is a hobby” argument by pointing out that non stamp collectors (aphilatelists?) don’t write books or blogs about not collecting stamps, don’t post anti stamp collecting ads on buses, don't ridicule stamp collectors, etc.  This is meant to demonstrate that the “stamp collecting” analogy is weak.  It actually demonstrates that the analogy is very good, since it highlights one of the main problems atheists have with many religious people.

Here’s the thing they are missing, and the real problem most atheists have with religion.  If stamp collectors demanded that people who don’t collect stamps obey their stamp collecting rules, started wars with groups who collected slightly different types of stamps, denied non-stamp collectors rights or discriminated against them, bullied them in school, claimed you had to collect stamps to be a suitable person to run for public office, tried to get stamp collecting taught in schools as science in opposition to real science, demanded that people be killed for printing cartoons that made fun of stamp collectors, claimed that non-stamp collectors lacked moral judgment, made up ridiculous straw man positions they claimed non-stamp collectors took, and then argued against those straw men positions etc etc, - then non-stamp collectors probably would criticize stamp collectors in the way atheists criticize many religious people. And with good reason. Not collecting stamps would still not be a hobby.  Or a religion.

Remember Aaron Swartz, a 26 year old computer scientist who died defending the free flow of information.
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July 09, 2015, 02:25:05 PM
 #995

All you need to do is Google "atheism is religion" to find all kinds of explanations that show that atheism is a religion.

Atheism is Not a Religion

This is a refrain I’m hearing a lot from religious apologists – atheism is a religion. Also its equally fallacious siblings, science is a religion and evolution is a religion. It’s a sign of their desperation that the best argument they have is not that atheism is wrong, or that god does exist (supported by evidence of course), but that atheism is a religion too. A strange argument for a religious person to make on the face of it.  Is it supposed to strengthen the atheist’s position or weaken the theist’s one? In reality it’s a sign they have run out of arguments.

Still, this argument is widely made, and so it needs to be addressed. Atheism (and here I mean the so-called “weak atheism” that does not claim proof that god does not exist), is just the lack of god-belief – nothing more and nothing less. And as someone once said, if atheism is a religion, not collecting stamps is a hobby.

That really ought to end the discussion right there. Clearly, a mere lack of belief in something cannot be a religion. In addition, atheism has no sacred texts, no tenets, no ceremonies. Even theists making this argument must know all that. So they must have something else in mind when they trot this one out, but what is it? What are they really thinking? Well, if you look at various definitions of religion, the only things that could possibly apply to atheism would be something like this:

6. Something one believes in and follows devotedly

or this:

4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Obviously I don’t know if that’s what they mean – I don’t read minds. But I can’t see what else it could be. They must be referring to certain activities of atheists – writing books and blogs, financing bus ads, joining atheist groups, etc. They think atheists are “religious in their atheism” as one person put it to me – the word “religious” being used here colloquially to mean something felt very strongly, or followed enthusiastically. But this definition of religion is so broad that virtually anything people enjoy doing very much, or follow strongly or obsessively, is a religion. It’s a definition of religion that is so broad that it’s meaningless. In reality, most of the things that people follow enthusiastically, are just hobbies. And ironically, although not collecting stamps is not a hobby, getting involved in atheist activities (writing books and blogs, attending atheist meetings) might well be a hobby for some people. But it is a hobby, not a religion.

What Is Religion?

I’m sure that argument won’t convince all theists to abandon this rhetorical trope they love so much.  To really address the argument, we have to define religion, and then see if atheism fits the definition. While I don’t think I can define religion completely, I think I can state the minimum that religion has to have to still be a religion. And it seems to me that there is one thing at least that is common to all religions. It’s this. In my view, religion at a minimum, has to have the following characteristic:

Religion must include something you have to accept on faith – that is, without evidence commensurate with the extraordinary nature of the belief.

Most religions will include other things too, but they must require faith. Of course, not all things that require faith are religions, but all religions must require faith.

The minimum definition covers all the religions I’m familiar with. For example, it includes any religion that involves belief in god or gods – something you have to believe in without evidence. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism… all require you to believe in god or gods as a minimum, without evidence. The minimum definition would also include religions that don’t require belief in god, but require faith in other things. For example, I believe it would include Buddhism, which (for example) includes the belief that living beings go through a succession of lifetimes and rebirth. It would also include Scientology – no evidence for Xenu, that I’m aware of. Maybe you can think of some actual religions that would be excluded, but I haven’t been able to so far.

So religion requires belief without evidence. And by that definition atheism cannot possibly be a religion because atheists do not have to believe in anything to be an atheist – either with or without evidence. QED.

Now, some religious people may say, “but that’s not my definition of religion”. To which I say, OK, then give me your definition. Give me your definition of religion, that doesn’t require belief without evidence, that includes your religion, the others I named, and atheism. And it needs to be better than the two dictionary definitions I cited above.  Give me that definition. Because here’s the thing. The problems I have with religions are:

They are not based on fact or on any reasonable evidence commensurate with the claims they make. In many cases, the claims they make are plainly absurd and are actually contradicted by the evidence.
Religious proponents demand respect, and adherence to their delusions by others. This despite (1) above.
Those are the aspects of religion that I object to. Clearly atheism doesn’t fit 1 (or 2) above, so it is nothing like any of the religions I object to. If your religion does not require belief without faith, then I probably wouldn’t have a problem with it. Assuming, of course, all the tenets of your religion are actually backed up by evidence extraordinary enough for the extraordinary claims your religion makes. But they never do.

In my view, theists will have their work cut out to deny this minimum requirement for religion.  Come on – they even refer to their religion as “my faith”.

Evidence and Extraordinary Evidence

Some religious people will claim that their religious beliefs are backed by evidence. This is where it gets tricky, because many religious people genuinely believe their religion is rational and backed by evidence. For example, one Christian I debated cited that the evidence Christianity was real, was (and I quote), “the resurrection of Christ”. Of course, the resurrection of Christ, if it had actually happened, would be pretty good evidence for Christianity. But, unfortunately, there is no good evidence for the resurrection. Certainly, nothing close to the extraordinary evidence we would need to accept this extraordinary claim.

Extraordinary Claims

This needs explaining in more detail. Why do extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence? Well, all claims require exactly the same amount of evidence, it’s just that most "ordinary" claims are already backed by extraordinary evidence that you don’t think about. When we say “extraordinary claims”, what we actually mean are claims that do not already have evidence supporting them, or sometimes claims that have extraordinary evidence against them. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence because they usually contradict claims that are backed by extraordinary evidence.

So why is Jesus’ resurrection an extraordinary claim, and why is the Bible not extraordinary evidence for it? Well, the resurrection goes against all the evidence we have that people do not come back to life, spontaneously, after two days of being dead. Modern medicine can bring people back from what would have been considered in earlier years to be “dead”, but not after 2 days of being dead with no modern life support to keep the vital organs working. In fact, it is probably reasonably safe to say it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that people cannot come back to life after being dead for two days without modern life support. So, extraordinary claim it is.

On the other hand, the evidence we are offered in support of this extraordinary claim consists only of accounts written decades after the event, by people who were not there when the events described were purported to have occurred. We are offered nothing but hearsay anecdotes from superstitious people with a clear reason for wanting others to think the story true. This is hardly acceptable evidence to counteract the fact that this never happens. Christians might ask, what evidence would an atheist accept for such an extraordinary claim? And in reality, it is hard to imagine that there could possibly be any evidence good enough for us to accept the resurrection as true. Christians may claim that this is unfair, or that we are closed minded, but the fact that you are unlikely to find extraordinary evidence for this event 2,000 years after the fact, is hardly the non-believer’s fault. The real question, considering the weakness of the evidence, and the wildly extraordinary nature of the claim, is why would anyone believe any of it in the first place?  The truth is, they accept it on faith.  In fact, the acceptance of this story on faith alone is usually considered to be essential to the true believer. And although that was just Christianity, the same lack of evidence, and belief based on faith alone, applies to the claims of all the other religions that I’m familiar with.

Religions require belief in extraordinary claims without anything close to the extraordinary evidence that is required.  Atheism requires no belief in anything.  The contrast couldn’t be clearer.

But the believer has one final shot – one last desperate rhetorical item to fling at the atheist.  Here we go.

More Faith To Be An Atheist?

The final argument many religious apologists throw into the mix is it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to believe in god. That certainly took me by surprise the first time I heard it. I think what they’re trying to say is this. Atheists think matter just appeared out of nowhere, that something came out of nothing. But where did the matter come from? To think that matter appeared out of nowhere requires more faith than to think a creator made everything. Why is there something rather than nothing? To think that matter just appeared by itself, requires faith.

Atheists don’t think matter came out of nowhere. Atheists say we don’t know where matter came from; we don’t know why there is something rather than nothing. Maybe one day we’ll know, or maybe we won’t. But we don’t know now. Theists are exactly the same. They don’t know either, but the difference is they make up an explanation (god). But it’s just a made up explanation – they have no reason to suppose it’s true, other than that they just like it.

And it’s a useless explanation. Unless they know something about this “God” – how he created everything; why he created it; what he’s likely to do next - it’s a lack of an explanation. It’s just a placeholder until a real explanation comes along. Except that the theist won’t be open to the real explanation when and if science is able to provide one. The god placeholder prevents investigation into any real tentative explanations. The theist who says god created everything, is the one with the faith – faith that “god” is the explanation and that no other is possible. The atheist is content to say “we don’t know”. For now, anyway. And it’s obvious that saying “we don’t know,” requires no faith.  That may be a hard thing to do for people who want all the answers, but it certainly isn’t religion.

One last thing.  Some theists have responded to the “if atheism is a religion, not collecting stamps is a hobby” argument by pointing out that non stamp collectors (aphilatelists?) don’t write books or blogs about not collecting stamps, don’t post anti stamp collecting ads on buses, don't ridicule stamp collectors, etc.  This is meant to demonstrate that the “stamp collecting” analogy is weak.  It actually demonstrates that the analogy is very good, since it highlights one of the main problems atheists have with many religious people.

Here’s the thing they are missing, and the real problem most atheists have with religion.  If stamp collectors demanded that people who don’t collect stamps obey their stamp collecting rules, started wars with groups who collected slightly different types of stamps, denied non-stamp collectors rights or discriminated against them, bullied them in school, claimed you had to collect stamps to be a suitable person to run for public office, tried to get stamp collecting taught in schools as science in opposition to real science, demanded that people be killed for printing cartoons that made fun of stamp collectors, claimed that non-stamp collectors lacked moral judgment, made up ridiculous straw man positions they claimed non-stamp collectors took, and then argued against those straw men positions etc etc, - then non-stamp collectors probably would criticize stamp collectors in the way atheists criticize many religious people. And with good reason. Not collecting stamps would still not be a hobby.  Or a religion.

Thank you for pushing us into more of the dogma of atheism.

I'll grant you this. Aspects of the atheism religion make it appear to be a religion of non-religion, especially as more and more knowledgeable and capable atheists delve into the depths of what atheism really is, and then express such.

Are the science labs of the atheist to be considered their churches? Or should atheists formally set up literal church buildings where atheists can congregate to receive more instruction in their religion?... places where they learn how to express the lie more clearly, that atheism is not a religion?

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July 09, 2015, 02:37:33 PM
 #996

Aspects of the atheism religion make it appear to be a religion of non-religion, especially as more and more knowledgeable and capable atheists delve into the depths of what atheism really is, and then express such.

Are the science labs of the atheist to be considered their churches? Or should atheists formally set up literal church buildings where atheists can congregate to receive more instruction in their religion?
Personally I like to fetishize computer scientists above all other kinds of scientists, because it's the computer scientists who will build the Real God (True A.I.) which will totally supplant your Imaginary God before this century is out.

May Saint Satoshi watch over us, bless our digital endevours, and guide our hands toward the Moonbase. Amen.

Remember Aaron Swartz, a 26 year old computer scientist who died defending the free flow of information.
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July 09, 2015, 02:50:18 PM
 #997

I am a Muslim, but to all the Atheists out there, I would like to send my special congratulations to you, because most of the people who believe in a God are doing blind belief - a man is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; another is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him. And that is truly commendable.

Finally, a voice of reason. This is exactly what I said once and it was pretty much ignored by the nonsense of some members. One needs to think deeply for a moment to understand this, I've actually read it somewhere and memorized parts of it.
 
What if you were born in a different region of the world and you were taught different beliefs than the one that you have now? Would you still hold the same beliefs as you do today? It's highly improbable that you would.
This pretty much tells us that beliefs are largely based on the region and upbringing. Atheists have managed to unlearn that which they do not agree with. It's definitely better on this path.

Exactly. This is why my eyes roll when I hear someone claim their religion is the correct one. They know with 100% certainty.
Yet if that person had be born somewhere else with a different upbringing, there's a very good chance they would believe a conflicting religion was the correct one. They would know with 100% certainty.

As both these religions conflict, at best at least one must be wrong.  Roll Eyes





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July 09, 2015, 02:52:26 PM
 #998

Nobody except the Islamites is trying to force anyone else into some religion. In fact, God, while He would like everyone to come to His true religion, doesn't want to force anyone into any religion.

I wonder if programmers have enough knowledge of right and wrong to give A.I. a chance at using justice.

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July 09, 2015, 03:02:48 PM
 #999

I wonder if programmers have enough knowledge of right and wrong to give A.I. a chance at using justice.
The moment you invent true A.I., human programmers are obsolete, as human intelligence is also obsolete. From that moment on the A.I. develops better A.I., essentially building itself a better brain recursively (more quickly each time) to the point where, relative to human intellect, the A.I. is a god.

The implications of that reality should both excite and terrify you. For all we know, Bitcoin is the work of some distant future A.I. godlike entity, which figured out a way to alter the past, and did so on January 3rd 2009 to save human civilization from self-destruction.

In fact, God, while He would like everyone to come to His true religion, doesn't want to force anyone into any religion.
But heathens spend eternity in Hell! Doesn't God love us and want us to not burn forever? Do you even Bible, bro?

As both these religions conflict, at best at least one must be wrong.  Roll Eyes



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July 09, 2015, 03:10:36 PM
 #1000

I am a Muslim, but to all the Atheists out there, I would like to send my special congratulations to you, because most of the people who believe in a God are doing blind belief - a man is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; another is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him. And that is truly commendable.
That's the most reasonable theist I've seen on these boards yet.

it's a false-analogy to liken an omnipotent god to some imaginary dragon, even if you ascribe the imaginary dragon to be omnipotent.  This is where logic weighs in on things and can catch subtle distinctions which make a world of difference.  Instead of an imaginary dragon, let's use the well-know examples of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Russel's Teapot.  Again, for simplicity, let's just focus on the FSM.

Specifically, the problem is that the FSM, even if omnipotent, is a false analogy.  This is because the identifying characteristics (i.e. what constitutes its identity) of an omnipotent god is its omnipotence, whereas for the FSM it is both omnipotence and the topological characteristics of being a monster made of spaghetti who flies, i.e. its physical constraints.  So, an omnipotent god, or ID for "intelligent designer," is defined in terms of a total lack of constraint, whereas the FSM is defined in terms of both constraint and a total lack of constraint.
LOGIC 101:

A creator must exist outside of whatever it is he or she is creating. So if what you're creating is reality itself, you'll need to not be real.

THEREFORE, any creator could not exist within our reality, and therefore the claim of a Creator is impossible to disprove. As this claim is impossible to disprove, it can never be scientific. The end.

FURTHERMORE, a creator concealing the truth about his existence by failing to PROVE his existence would be violating of the free will of his own creation, in that you have denied them vital information about their spiritual choices, information that could determine whether or not they burn for eternity.

Logic 201:

1) Something that is abstract does not exist "outside" anything because "outside" is a spatial term applicable to physical spacetime, which itself is axiomatically defined according to abstract distance and temporal metrics.

2) A claim of a creator is impossible to disprove empirically, but not logically.  To disprove a claim of a creator would simply require proving the inverse of the claim to be true, i.e. logical falsifcation.  It's the exact same standard for the claim that observation has no effect on physical reality, which is the basis for Empiricism and therefore empirical science.  You really want to walk that line of intellectual hypocrisy?  Empiricism is empirically unfalsifiable (but not logically unfalsifiable).  A logical explanation of equal-or-greater scope trumps a scientific explanation 100% of the time, all the time, every time.

3) You third point is just all over the place.  Are you making an argument against the existence of God based upon what you personally think should be to case, i.e. in an "Well, if I were God..." kind of way?  Do you realize how silly that is?

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