1. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    21 Feb '07 19:08
    The thread title echoes that of an essay by poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, reproduced here:
    http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/percy_shelley/necessity_of_atheism.html

    It's pretty high-flown, eloquent stuff. I invite especially theists to rebut it, although all voices are of course welcome.
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    21 Feb '07 21:55
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    The thread title echoes that of an essay by poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, reproduced here:
    http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/percy_shelley/necessity_of_atheism.html

    It's pretty high-flown, eloquent stuff. I invite especially theists to rebut it, although all voices are of course welcome.
    Love that essay. I especially like

    "The being called God...bears every mark of a veil woven by philosophical conceit, to hide the ignorance of philosophers even from themselves. They borrow the threads of its texture from the anthropomorphism of the vulgar."

    "In fighting for his God everyone, in fact, fights only for the interests of his own vanity, which, of all the passions produced by the mal-organization of society, is the quickest to take offense, and the most capable of committing the greatest follies."
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    22 Feb '07 11:33
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    The thread title echoes that of an essay by poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, reproduced here:
    http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/percy_shelley/necessity_of_atheism.html

    It's pretty high-flown, eloquent stuff. I invite especially theists to rebut it, although all voices are of course welcome.
    I've never read it before, but I love Shelley's style, he makes the written word float, it's a crying shame he died so young.
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    22 Feb '07 13:011 edit
    "The being called God...bears every mark of a veil woven by philosophical conceit, to hide the ignorance of philosophers even from themselves.


    huh? Could you give me an example or two?
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    22 Feb '07 13:08
    Originally posted by jaywill
    [b]"The being called God...bears every mark of a veil woven by philosophical conceit, to hide the ignorance of philosophers even from themselves.


    huh? Could you give me an example or two?[/b]
    You need to remember that in those days the realm of philosophy was entirely different and that it was populated by very few atheist thinkers. The prominent lines of thought involved god being responsible for everything, Shelley thought otherwise and the essay explicates his reasons for thinking this.
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    23 Feb '07 07:19
    This guy had some thoughts on the subject too ..

    St. Augustine:

    "What, then, are You, O my God—what, I ask, but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God? Most high, most excellent, most potent, most omnipotent; most piteous and most just; most hidden and most near; most beauteous and most strong, stable, yet contained of none; unchangeable, yet changing all things; never new, never old; making all things new, yet bringing old age upon the proud and they know it not; always working, yet ever at rest; gathering, yet needing nothing; sustaining, pervading, and protecting; creating, nourishing, and developing; seeking, and yet possessing all things. Thou lovest, and burnest not; art jealous, yet free from care; repentest, and hast no sorrow; art angry, yet serene; changest Your ways, leaving unchanged Your plans; recoverest what Thou findest, having yet never lost; art never in want, while Thou rejoicest in gain; never covetous, though requiring usury. That You may owe, more than enough is given to You; yet who has anything that is not Thine? Thou payest debts while owing nothing; and when Thou forgivest debts, losest nothing. Yet, O my God, my life, my holy joy, what is this that I have said? And what says any man when He speaks of You? Yet woe to them that keep silence, seeing that even they who say most are as the dumb."
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    23 Feb '07 07:31
    Originally posted by jammer
    This guy had some thoughts on the subject too ..

    St. Augustine:

    "What, then, are You, O my God—what, I ask, but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God? Most high, most excellent, most potent, most omnipotent; most piteous and most just; most hidden and most near; most beauteous and most strong, stable, yet contained of no ...[text shortened]... f You? Yet woe to them that keep silence, seeing that even they who say most are as the dumb."
    So does that actually mean anything or is it a good example of:
    "The being called God...bears every mark of a veil woven by philosophical conceit, to hide the ignorance of philosophers even from themselves."
  8. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    23 Feb '07 08:15
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So does that actually mean anything or is it a good example of:
    "The being called God...bears every mark of a veil woven by philosophical conceit, to hide the ignorance of philosophers even from themselves."
    It's certainly an anthropomorthic apostrophe--impossible for it not to be, given the rhetorical style.

    O twhitehead, what art thou but twhitehead?
  9. Standard memberYuga
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    24 Feb '07 02:41
    Regarding the “There Is No God” portion:

    The writer’s argument maintains that three components are necessary to convince us of a deity: senses, reason, and testimony. We cannot sense the supernatural, “we must prove design before we can infer a designer”, and we must have “sufficient testimony…to prove the being of a God.” Reason is essential; our ability to sense the supernatural is not.

    If God would “convince our senses of his existence,” “the revelation would naturally command belief.” “But the God of Theologians is incapable of local visibility.”

    We cannot observe the supernatural world. Hence, we cannot know how God operates; indeed, we cannot know if the God of Theologians exists, but we may deduce the existence of a Creator.

    “Our reason can never admit the testimony of men, who not only declare that they were eye-witnesses of miracles, but that the Deity was irrational; for he commanded that he should be believed, he proposed the highest rewards for, faith, eternal punishments for disbelief.”

    Naturally, this is true. Man’s testimony is inconsistent and unreliable, passed down through the generations. And testimony from the supernatural has never been ascertained.

    “…whatever is not eternal must have had a cause. When this reasoning is applied to the universe, it is necessary to prove that it was created.”

    The universe, everything within it, and certainly life on Earth had a point of origin. Considering the sheer magnitude of the universe, and the necessary conditions for life that had to be fulfilled implies creation.

    But I strongly believe in our creation; we may eventually trace back to our beginnings.

    “The only idea which we can form of causation is derivable from the constant conjunction of objects, and the consequent inference of one from the other.”

    The existence of humankind may be traced back to the most rudimentary organism through evolution. The mechanism of how life sprang from non-life is unknown; perhaps the mechanism will be found someday. Then we may consider how Earth has come into being. Subsequently we may consider how the universe begins.

    But here the author and I differ:

    All the above mechanisms coming into being allowing for the existence of humankind implies Creation. This is the essential part of the argument! It is easily apparent how human existence defies the odds. But does this not imply creation? Is it not necessary to have a Creator to initiate any of these mechanisms? There has to be something (Creator, mechanism, force) to instigate the processes from the existence of the universe to human existence.

    I thereby conclude that the argument for atheism is weak.
  10. Standard memberYuga
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    24 Feb '07 02:441 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    It's pretty high-flown, eloquent stuff. I invite especially theists to rebut it, although all voices are of course welcome.
    Afterthought:

    Any theory regarding God/Creator/Deity, the Creator’s characteristics, and His relation to us is totally irrelevant to the argument and should not have been included in the article. Substantiating any of the God theories and major religions is a totally different matter. Obviously nobody can garner truth from the supernatural world, but only from the natural world. It is foolish to seek and draw conclusions about what is not possible to sense.

    Additionally, the article uses declarative tone excessively (i.e. “It is absurd that…etc.), non-essential rhetoric, and is filled with implied and blatant bias and Dickens-esque philosophical aargh! The author allows personal conviction to overrule factual basis of reasoning, especially in the section regarding testimony, and everything after that.

    The writer knows big, and yes, eloquent words, but he rambles and it is awkward reading. Consider the first sentence of his paper:

    [The premise, “There Is No God”] “must be understood solely to affect a creative Deity. The hypothesis of a pervading Spirit co-eternal with the universe remains unshaken.”

    What? (Of course I understand…yet it is clumsy writing&hellip😉

    However, one must love Shelley for his emotive rhetoric.

    And thanks for posting the article. 🙂

    Instilled in me is the knowledge that there is vastly more that is good, right, and nearly faultless in this world; in comparison, there is little that is flawed. Media, critics, and a multitude of horrors and imperfections of the world may make a more lasting impression on one’s mind, but for every flaw of nature, there are a myriad of things that are right in the world. The perfection and symmetry found in the universe would correspond with design; many imperfections of the world are self-induced, and I would consider the implication of biological shortcomings, as our biology is mostly faultless, limited in considering the existence of a Creator.
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    25 Feb '07 20:011 edit
    We cannot sense the supernatural


    How do you know that you cannot sense the supernatural?

    The best you could honestly say is that you have not had that experience personally.

    Prior to a person turning on a radio he might say "We cannot receive radio waves." Once he uses his radio he can substantiate to a great degree that radio waves do exist. If he never wanted to turn on his radio, at best he could only say that he has not had the experience of substantiating radio waves yet.

    This is not to say that the sense of the supernatural is alone enough to vindicate the Bible. But it is contributory towards that end and strengthens one's belief that he is on the right track to believe the Bible.
  12. Standard memberYuga
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    25 Feb '07 22:094 edits
    Originally posted by jaywill
    [b] We cannot sense the supernatural


    How do you know that you cannot sense the supernatural?

    The best you could honestly say is that you have not had that experience personally.

    Prior to a person turning on a radio he might say "We cannot receive radio waves." Once he uses his radio he can substantiate to a great degree ...[text shortened]... rds that end and strengthens one's belief that he is on the right track to believe the Bible.[/b]
    Fair enough. I do not know if I or anybody else can or cannot sense the supernatural.

    We can turn on the radio and hear the music. Radio waves are observable. But I do not observe divine intervention on a day-to-day basis in my life; if it occurs, it happens only in a manner so subtle I cannot detect it. Sure, events happen every day that are extraordinary and improbable; yet they may be part of the natural way of things.

    How must we attune ourselves, and essentially, what must we understand, so that we can sense the supernatural?

    (Edits for removing repetition and excessive wordage...)
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