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6 Reasons Why Rational Thinkers Choose to Believe in God

These five-minute Prager University videos just might change your life.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

April 22, 2013 - 3:45 pm

2. If God Does Not Exist Then There Is No Objective Definition of Good and Evil. Everyone’s Subjective Feelings Of Good and Evil All Have the Same Level of Authority.

Why is it evil to murder infants? Why is Peter Singer wrong? I find no fault with Singer’s logic.

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Top Rated Comments   
You've got to be kidding. Why should anybody be impressed by the umpteenth recycling of the same old tired lines, most of which come down to "God must exist because we'd be sad if he doesn't?"

I don't doubt that this rhetoric is convincing if you already are a believer; but then if you already believe, you hardly need arguments. For grown ups, even grown ups who are serious theists, this stuff is just childish.

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, points 2, 3, 5, and 6 are fundamentals of modern so-called liberalism.

There is no absolute good and evil - one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Human life is not sacred, and can be destroyed for the convenience of the state or somebody's sexual freedom.

Life is meaningless, and therefore "Just do it." Acquire power, wealth, and pleasure for purely egocentric reasons. If my life is meaningless, certainly yours is.

And freedom is indeed an illusion: you belong to the state.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (175)
All Comments   (175)
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Speaking as a former evangelical, what does believing or not believing in 'God' have to do with one's eligibility and moral capacity to uphold the secular mechanics of Free Market, Constitutionalism, Individual Liberty and a functioning Representative Republic? Why is this even a forum on PJTV?

Why this surreptitious agenda of mixing religion with politics?

I'm amazed you can even say 'rational thinkers choose to believe in God'. Was the murder of Hypatia and destruction of the Library at Alexandria by theists (both Jewish and Christians) rational?

From the Greeks, we inherited the rationalism of Socrates. From the Romans, the idea of Individual Liberty, Citizenship and Republicanism. Even Apostle Paul, threatened by theists over a religious matter, relied on his secular rights as a Roman citizen when he stood before Festus. Because as with anything with theists, the concept of checks and balance does not exist. Total faith, total obedience not only gets you to heaven, it confers upon you a divine authority over your fellow man.

We should be grateful that men of enlightenment like Jefferson and Madison came up with Article VI cl.3 to guard against the conceit and ambitions of future Oliver Cromwell types.

50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
1. It is said that God "is, was and always will be". If this can be so, then perhaps the same can be said of the universe and existence. Something, God or existence, seems to have arisen from nothing....or, perhaps there never was "nothing".

2. To presume that there can be no objective definition of good and evil without God is to reject man's faculty of reason. Of course, man can define such terms based on the primary value he ascribes to human life.

3. Yes, man IS just a part of nature. However, man's ability to reason, to choose and to survive much of the rest of nature earns him a higher place in nature's scheme. A rational person without God does not devalue human or other life.

4. If God is, as portrayed, all knowing and all powerful, it is contradictory and terribly presumptive to suggest that "There is nothing that God could do to prove his existence conclusively". To accept the unknowable on faith is to deny man's mind. If there is a God, He provided man with such a mind and to deny that mind would be an affront to the God who is presumed to have created it. Faith and Rationality are contradictory terms. Further, a truly rational man need not "worship" anything.

5. Life is not meaningless, with or without God. There are such things as family, community, honor and self-respect. Those things are of great value to a rational being, with or without God in his life. To suggest that man is incapable of an honorable existence without God is a gross denial of reality. And, like it, or not, most men and their works will eventually be forgotten. As for man's consciousness, he will not know the end or the future of it until death....and then, only if it continues to exist as he hopes it will. To "know" it will continue to exist is faith. To wonder about it is rational.

6. To describe man, without God, as a robot is to deny the gift of the rational mind. To suggest that freedom cannot exist without God is to assume that man cannot make choices and to further assume that man cannot act to realize his choices. Such assumptions are baseless.

As an atheist, I understand that our world might be a far more hostile place without religion. Faith in God, seen as a necessity to the existence of a civil world has also been, and continues to be, responsible for much of the brutality and killing that has always plagued our planet.

I have chosen to live an honorable life and to respect the lives, property and beliefs of others. As an atheist, I am not anti-religion or anti-God. I simply choose not to accept, on faith, that which I cannot rationally justify without evidence. Based on the arguments put forth in "6 Reasons", I do not and cannot exist. I beg to differ.

The arguments made in "6 Reasons" are extremely weak and do no good service to "Rational Thinkers". Just as I cannot prove the existence of God, I cannot prove that there is no God. I will continue to listen to all arguments but I have yet to hear more than "faith" as the bottom line.

The tone of "6 Reasons" and other similar pieces is just another way of saying that those who choose another path are lesser men...are somehow evil or ignorant and undeserving of the respect of those who have chosen faith. That tone does little to advance the argument at hand.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
What did it for me was a teacher who taught the Bible in a way that put all the controversy to one side and enabled me to consider what God says through the prophets in the OT and what the Christ of God (Jesus of Nazareth) says in the NT. The New Testament of God in Christ rips every concept of mere religion to shreds. There is only one historical character in all of the world's literature who ever dreamed of saying and then actually did SAY, "I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. No man comes to the Father [God] except through me. Call no man on the earth your father because your Father is one who is in heaven, even God."

Those are absolute, conclusive statements and whether to believe them or not is where the leap of faith begins.

Jesus also said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."

If you, as a human creature on planet Earth, have the least inkling of there being more to life than what the world of men puts on offer each day, you are indeed most fortunate or as believers say, "Blessed."

One of those Talking Heads nailed it back in the Eighties: "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around / This ain't no Mudd Club, no CBGB's, I go no time for that now"

One final Jesus-quote: ""If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"

In 1947 C.S. Lewis published three lectures describing the final character of secular success entitled "The Abolition of Man". Dr. Lewis must have been laboring under the impression that a word to the wise would be sufficient: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/lewis/abolition1.htm

Oh, Happy Day! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNQXQKflJNA

50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is about as convincing as Obama's thoughts on the need for frugality.

But the real shame is on you, PJ; what possessed you to give space to this kind of hackneyed garbage? Do you really think that all conservatives per se have the credulous and religious, let alone Christian, gene? Talk about misreading your readers!

Shame on you
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Philosophy, both theist and non-theist, is of interest to many conservatives. If you are not interested, then there was no reason for you to click on the link bringing you here.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
A lot of posters are cats in search of the perfect ball of yarn.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's a "real shame" to talk about something many conservatives believe in, but not you?


"Shut up," he explained.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
This article was not rational, it is all about faith. Specifically, Judeo-Christian faith. The logic is circular and it all comes down to believing in a god. As long as you leave me alone, go ahead and believe but don't try to tell me it is logical because it isn't.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
...and I should have added: do so without employing logic. Because that would, you know, be circular.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Prove that logic is valid and has authority in such arguments.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
How can anybody believe in a world where everything just suddenly blew up&became things?I'd rather believe in a Creationists world.Liz
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
>If God Does Not Exist Then There Is No Objective Definition of Good and Evil.

The opposite is true. If God DOES exist, than Good and Evil are defined by God's judgement and god's judgement alone- absolutely arbitrary, since by definition there is "higher" authority God can defer to.

In Humanism, Good and Evil are like Art- defined by consensus. Vague around the edges, but we can live with that.

>Everyone’s Subjective Feelings Of Good and Evil All Have the Same Level of Authority.

Not necessarily. We all have subjective feelings about art, but your five year old son's fingerpainting is not going to sell well. Quality is defined by the marketplace. The marketplace is the consensus of free willed opinion.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
> If God DOES exist, than Good and Evil are defined by God's judgement and god's judgement alone- absolutely arbitrary, since by definition there is "higher" authority God can defer to.

Not so. That would be true if God were monadic -- one god, one person.

But such is not the case. God is One God, Three Persons, whose union is eternal. Morality is not arbitrary; it is about having good relationships. If the things that establish good relationships were arbitrary, then women would, as often as not, file for divorce because their husbands were faithful; businessmen would be suing each other for not breeching contracts; we would sentence people to death for not murdering.

Since the relationships between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are eternal, it follows that moral principles too are eternal. And since they are perfect, so are the principles, even if imperfectly understood by man. And since God is our creator, His principles stand in authoritative judgment over our own actions.

Whereas, if god were a monadic god such as Allah, you'd have a case. He would presumably have lived alone for eons before creating man. Since there were no relationships before that time, that is when morality was created. That makes moral principles arbitrary -- they are not eternal and unchanging. Islam actually reflects this in its theology. When the Koran contradicts itself, the rule is that the passage written later overules the earlier passage. Allah himself is a capricious god who can send even the faithful to hell if he's having a bad day.

> We all have subjective feelings about art, but your five year old son's fingerpainting is not going to sell well.

You're equating moral principles with aesthetics and with economics. If the marketplace of free-willed opinion thinks committing genocide against an unwanted minority, does that make it right?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
> Belief in God is not logical, there are no fingerprints, and there is no reason to suppose a supernatural origin is required to explain the universe.

Is that an argument or an assumption?

> Human life is the objective standard of good and evil for humans, and it is possible to rationally define a code of conduct for humans from observation of that fact, and other facts pertaining to humans.

Why human life? Why not *my* life, or yours? Yes, humans live in cooperation, but they also live in competition. If enslaving someone makes my life better, why is that wrong?

You seem to be implying some "brotherhood of man" ethos for which, frankly, there are no fingerprints. If you don't like believing in something you can't prove, start with this one: there is no brotherhood of man. That is, unless there is some transcendent moral standard. But transcendent, trans-schmendent, you don't believe in things you can't prove, right?

> This does not mean human life has no more value for humans than anything else in existence.

Wouldn't that depend on the human? Obviously, some humans place little value on human life. Why are they wrong?

> I choose not to worship. I don't "worship nothingness".

So then, there is no reason to accept your statement that "Human life is the objective standard for good and evil," for anyone who chooses not to worship any standard, objective or not.

> Why is the existence of a mystical being required for free will?

Because otherwise we're just walking vats of chemicals, doing whatever walking vats of chemicals do. We may think we're having a debate, but in fact we are no more debating than vinegar is having a debate with baking soda whenever the two are put together. Since we can't prove that there is any higher meaning than that, it would be illogical to believe there is. We have no need for this "debate" hypothesis, as we can explain it in terms of chemistry.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
1. Belief in God is not logical, there are no fingerprints, and there is no reason to suppose a supernatural origin is required to explain the universe.

2. Human life is the objective standard of good and evil for humans, and it is possible to rationally define a code of conduct for humans from observation of that fact, and other facts pertaining to humans.

3. Human life is not sacred, because there is no such thing as god, which mystical being is required by the definition of "sacred". This does not mean human life has no more value for humans than anything else in existence.

4. If you are making a leap of faith, which means choosing to believe in something in the absence of evidence or in contradiction to the evidence at hand, you are not "weighing evidence" at all. I choose not to worship. I don't "worship nothingness".

5. Why does god have to exist for you to believe your life has meaning? I don't believe in god, and yet my life has great meaning for me. Do you need an authority figure to tell you it's alright to live?

6. Why is the existence of a mystical being required for free will?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did you watch the videos included or just respond to the points listed? Because all of your points are addressed in the videos included.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Baby burned to death on bonfire in Chile after cult leader decided she was the antichrist"

"'Everyone in this sect was a professional,' Ampuero said. 'We have someone who was a veterinarian and who worked as a flight attendant, we have a filmmaker, a draftsman. Everyone has a university degree.'

Well, I was going to state how wrong this was, but then I realized, that as an agnostic, I have no moral basis for doing so. I bow to the superior morality of the believer, then.

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cute, but not precise. Objective reality is what it is. Either God is in Heaven, sitting on His throne and all of creation owes Him their existence; or nothing of the sort.

If He is there, then it doesn't matter whether you believe He does, He's still there and still in charge. The things He makes, you can still see. He decides what right and wrong is, so it's still there. Of course you can see it, whether you acknowledge Him or not.

But it's fair to do a thought experiment to ask, if somehow God were not there, what implications would that have for morality? Because with a secular ethical universe (it seems obvious, but sometimes you have to spell things out), we're talking about something entirely different.

If God, then morality is eternal, objective and absolute; if not God, then temporary, subjective, and malleable.

If God, then morality is higher than we are, a reflection of our Creator; if not God, then morality is lower than we are, a creation or reflection of our nature. God's will vs. man's will.

Shifting from God-centered to man-centered morality, the first thing you notice is that morality loses its authority. Ideas have consequences. Is it an accident that, in the 20th century, more people were slaughtered by their own governments during peacetime than were killed in all the wars in human history? The philosophers led the way. Rousseau declared that man is free but is everywhere in chains -- he meant the church. If only we could free man of those fetters. The French Revolution was a dress rehearsal for the carnage to come, a sneak preview of what happens when man is free to follow his own will. Yeah, but what about the Inquisition, you object? Not good, I respond -- over a period of about three hundred years, probably 500 or more were murdered. But 500 dead was just a productive week during the Reign of Terror, which killed probably over 30,000 within a span of three years.

We are humans. We can corrupt any institution, even the church. But the church in its wildest excesses still wears its theological and philosophical chains. Unrestrained man is the most fearsome and terrible force there is.

And the philosophers weren't done. Nietsche's nihilism. Wagner's anti-Semitism. Marx's economics and class-stuggle dynamic. Existentialism and post-Modernism. Take God out of the equation, and logic itself becomes undone because there is no philosophical link between the good and the rational. Reason on its own leads to despair. (People on the whole would rather be happy than rational.) Right vs. wrong? By the time these gentlemen were done, we didn't even know up from down.

But there are still some Christians left. Obviously, they are the problem. Millions dead from communism in China, Cambodia, Russia; millions dead from National Socialism in Germany and the rest of Europe; and leftists like Hitchens could only see the harm done by religion. There are none so blind...
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thought experiment, hey?

You imply that the world would be a much worse place than it is, if it weren't for God's morality. BUT, as there is no proof that there is a god, our current moral framework must, per force, be the godless one, i.e. the one that man created.

If, however, you insist that there is a God, then His morality and the one we currently have are the same thing because whether we or He made it, it's in place now and without proof of his existence ......
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
> BUT, as there is no proof that there is a god, our current moral framework must, per force, be the godless one, i.e. the one that man created.

Try again. As I said, God either objectively exists or He does not. If He does, then "our current moral framework" necessarily reflects His to some degree, great or smalll.

If He does not exist, then our moral code is simply a set of human conventions, with no more authority than anything else man creates.

> If, however, you insist that there is a God, then His morality and the one we currently have are the same thing because whether we or He made it, it's in place now and without proof of his existence

If God exists, then all of morality is His -- all of it.The only question is whether we acknowledge it as such and try to understand it and follow it -- or whether instead we demote it to mere human convention -- thus giving us an excuse to use it as something to wipe our feet on.

Societies without longstanding Christian influence may think some things are okay that would make Christians blanch. But even folks who have a better understanding of God's will are not necessarily capable of following it. Like comedian Ron White's story about being arrested by the NYPD. "I had the right to remain silent," White smirks, "But not the ability." That's the human condition pretty much in a nutshell.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are you saying that you can't say why this is wrong?

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Xiaoding is saying that he/she HAS BEEN TOLD that, as an agnostic, he/she
is not equipped to make that judgement.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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