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E) LOGIC

Christian Theism is More Logical Than Atheism

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Christian theism is more logical than atheism because it recognizes incredible complexity that cannot be replicated naturally within a  “more knowledge = less understanding” circumstance (a reverse "God of the gaps" situation).


To give an example, if one sees a highly complex object such as a laptop computer lying in the mud; it is more logical to presume it came into existence due to an "intelligence" instead of self-assembling on its own naturally.


This is not a false example since the simplest living cell is vastly more complex than the most advanced computer and there are NO known pathways between nonliving materials and to any of the macro molecule components of a cell, much less a living, reproducing cell.  


The experts on the development of complex molecules from simpler ones, the synthetic chemists, have no idea how proteins (macromolecules built from amino acids, which include enzymes), nucleotides (the building blocks of DNA and RNA), saccharides (also called carbohydrates or sugars, the scaffolding for DNA and RNA, energy sources, and much more), and lipids (the main constituents of cell membranes) can form naturally in a pre-biotic Earth, especially before the formation of enzymes, to catalyze many of the requisite chemical reactions. 


If the subject matter experts have no idea, then the non-experts such as geneticists, biologists, and physicists - as well as the typical college professor will not know either. Any claim to the contrary is nothing more than bloviating gas.


A simple, "Prove it!" exposes the exaggeration since whomever can will become the richest person who ever lived.


By stating it appears highly plausible that an intelligence created life unless convincing evidence to the contrary is provided is logically healthy compared to the atheistic tendency of refusing to believe despite overwhelming non-reproducible evidence. 

See Logic Shirts.

Addressing Apparent Intelligent Complexity

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Since the pieces of evidence for God are issues where the more one knows about them, the more likely they appear to exist due to an intelligence; atheists need to address them honestly instead of blithely ignoring the evidence or only cherry-picking evidence that suits their preconceptions.


As a blatant example, atheists are guilty of confirmation bias whenever they cite the creation of molecular precursors as evidence for abiogenesis. The same occurs whenever they cite secondary studies that build upon purified versions of earlier studies that show unpurified results.


What is often overlooked is an argument from ignorance or argument from incredulity is not always bad. There can be valid instances as well as invalid situations where it is used – the deciding factor on which is likely, is the claimant’s credibility on the subject.


And yet, when faced with real examples that support the likelihood that God exists, many atheists act precisely like they accuse theists of acting—by practicing deliberate ignorance or putting blinders on themselves. They refuse to hear or consider alternative evidence because their minds are made up.


At some point, skepticism needs to give way to considering new possibilities: Seeing a laptop computer beside the road can either imply it came into existence through a natural process or by virtue of an intelligence. The same with the vastly more complex living cell. 

 See Logic Shirts. 

Atheism Vs. Agnosticism (Knowledge Vs. Belief)

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Atheism is commonly called the belief that there aren’t any gods or the lack of belief in gods. But in a more accurate, philosophical, sense, it is the knowledge that gods do not exist. This is easily seen by how an atheist answers the question: “Is there a God?” Belief is irrelevant to the question; knowledge is what’s important.


Calling oneself an “atheist” is chic in our society, and conveys an air of intellectual sophistication—but many “chic atheists” describe themselves incorrectly. They are actually “agnostics” not “atheists” if they claim they do not know for certain whether God exists or does not exist because of the lack of “convincing” evidence. Simply saying, “I do not believe in God” or “I do not believe God exists” are belief statements—which are always subsumed by knowledge statements.  

 See Logic Shirts. 

Proper Logical Structure

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A unique trait of man is the ability to ask “Why?” and use the logical process to arrive at whatever we perceive to be true. 


Each of us is capable of thinking and determining for ourselves if something is true or not, and to whom we accept as authoritative when we do not have the ability or inclination to verify on our own if something is true or likely true.


One should accept science and everything it teaches that can be verified. The problem is many who claim to speak for science and its supremacy over faith are themselves guilty of faith, by believing something that is not proven and may not be provable one way or the other, or, they believe without personally verifying, because they accept or assume the source of information is credible and authoritative.


And when they repeat the claim, they become nothing more than an echo chamber, because no thought is made to verify the allegation just because it reinforces their personal beliefs. Their response to the simple challenge of "How do you know?" quickly shows the difference between something a person can prove and when someone is just mindlessly parroting others. 

 

The words “truth,” “proof,” and “facts” are constantly mentioned in relation to science, such as “Scientists proved AAA is true/false.” But it is actually more accurate to say “AAA appears to be correct in BBB circumstances using CCC measurement tools following the DDD protocol. It may not be valid in BCC circumstances or using CDD tools, or following the DEE protocol. 


This is why anyone who makes sweeping generalizations about what science can “prove” overstates the issue – and this goes double when claiming science disproves the existence of God. In fact, it is more accurate to say, “Science cannot really prove something is ‘true’ in all circumstances, and in all conditions.”


Some things are logical impossibilities but is a belief in God one of them? Being both taller and shorter than a specific person at the same time, or being both heavier and lighter than a specific person at the same time are both logical impossibilities, and no conceivable worlds exist where they can be true. But it is very easy to conceive of the existence of a deity, so belief in God is not a logical impossibility. 

 See Logic Shirts. 

Ground Rules for Dialogue

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Before a theist and atheist engage in debate or dialogue, both parties need to agree on the basics. What constitutes pass/fail for a given item as to whether it supports the notion of God’s existence or not? Should the standards of evidence of three-sigma (3σ) to five-sigma (5σ) that all branches of science use be good enough or should the theist be held to a harsher standard and if so, why, when belief doesn’t affect our physical world? 


How will evidence be valued and weighted? How will individual samples be added together? (For example, are three 2σ pieces of evidence to be calculated as “2σ × 2σ × 2σ = 6σ” or another value?)


What will it take for the atheist to accept the theist’s positive argument? What will it take for the theist to accept the atheist’s positive argument? What subjects and arguments are valid and which are invalid?


Unless these things are defined and mutually agreed upon, both parties will just talk past each other without coming to a resolution. 


Burden of Proof

The bedrock of logic on this issue can be described as:


The burden of proof is always on the one making a claim. When the claimant is challenged to back up the declaration, the proper response is to provide evidence, not attempt to shift the burden of proof onto the skeptic.


If I claim to bench press 450 pounds (204 kg), the burden of proof is on me to prove I can do it. It is not for me to challenge the skeptic and demand he or she prove I cannot do it.


Similarly, believers who claim “God” is responsible for “X” become responsible for providing evidence for their belief in a manner that the skeptic may accept. And whatever explanation must be shown not to have an alternative cause of greater or equal probability.


All branches of science follow this standard, which can also be summarized as:

Insufficient evidence = No belief

Sufficient evidence = Belief


If this standard is good enough for all branches of science, it’s good enough for any theist-atheist debate. 

 See Logic Shirts. 

Avoid Confirmation Bias

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Confirmation bias is incredibly common in our world – and in the scientific community. Most arguments see parties go online to cherry-pick evidence to support their position. They may win debate points with these tactics, but this is no way to practice science.


When we look at a car or a computer, we can honestly say that it will take an infinitely long period of time for these objects to spontaneously come into existence on their own without the involvement of an intelligence. We can say this because we know how to build cars and computers from scratch. Only those completely ignorant would claim they can emerge out of raw materials by random “luck.”


By way of comparison, when we look at the simplest living cell, with its unimaginably intricate network of complex molecules; the more one knows, the worse the origin problem becomes if one discounts the involvement of an intelligence.


This means it is not an argument from ignorance or incredulity (argumentum ad ignorantiam) to use a living cell as an example of probable evidence of God because this is an instance where “more knowledge = less understanding” of how it can arise naturally without the aid of an intelligence.  


This is why when a subject matter expert with nearly 70,000 hours of experience on the subject states he or she has no idea how the subject in question can come into existence from random chance without the involvement of an intelligence and estimates it to be a four-sigma probability; that SME’s opinion should be taken seriously. It does not make the SME right or wrong; only that they’ve earned the right to be taken seriously by those with less or no experience on the subject.

 See Logic Shirts.