Ive seen a lot of posts on here along the lines of aren't theists funny and stupid because they don't believe what we do?
Its a mistake to underestimate theists, some of the cleverest people who have ever lived have been commited theists, the history of philiosophy is largely one of hugely,frighteningly intelligent people trying to come up with reasons why a silly word game devised by a 12th century monk didnt actualy prove that god existed. It took 500 years for Kant to show why the argument was wrong.Dont fall for the trap of thinking that theists are stupid simply because stupid ones lurk on facebook.

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go back and read about how your claim on my post was straw man.

nobody says that all theists are idiots; simply that all claims to theism are idiotic by nature. People can be completely rational otherwise.

if you don't think god claims are rediculous then why are you atheist?

There is no intelligent argument for the existence of god. If you have one do share it.
Well.. there are people who will tell you that St Anslems otological proof and Descartes reformulating of it are spot on correct if looked at in terms of modal logic, Alvin Plantigna is one such person and as far as I am aware nobody has ever proved him wrong.I dont happen to think the ontological proof runs because I agree with Kant when he says that existence is not a property, Plantinga would say that existence is a necissery property under modal logic and I dont believe that a priori arguments such as St Anslems can ever say anything about matters of fact.
I am not atheist anyway I am agnostic ;-)
agnostic is not a position on god. everybody makes that mistake.

I'm an atheist agnostic. I both "accept that nothing can be known about god" and don't believe the positive claims made about his existence. Atheist agnosticism is the correct null hypothesis. They are not mutually exclusive.

Nobody said anything about proving wrong or whatever. Nobody HAS to prove an atheist wrong. The theist is responsible for the positive claim. If the positive claim, "god exists" can not be proven, there is no reason to believe it. There is currently no sound positive claim and every claim I see is just some absurd, wordy revision of a horrible argument like "cosmological."

There is no respectable defense for the claim that god exists, therefore there is no respectable and intelligent argument for theism as a truth claim.

If you think Descartes was spot on when analyzing the existence of god, all of the fallacies surrounding his proof would be worth a look. Like I said in my response on my other post, my philosophy teacher echoed other philosphers who shredded his proof of god.
I think you missed the point I was trying to make, I don't think Anslem's argument runs and I think the reason it doesnt run is because as Kant said Existance is not a property of things, existance is merely a placeholder which allows things to have properties, so you cannot magic things that don't exist into existance simply by talking about their properties.However Plantinger who is working now would say that Kant is talking out of this arse.
The point I was really trying to make is don't judge the level of intellectual debate by the sort of debate you find on facebook.
"The point I was really trying to make is don't judge the level of intellectual debate by the sort of debate you find on facebook."

just because in certain areas like my hometown theists were smarter than the facebook rabble doesn't mean at all that a a good majority of the people on facebook (there are atheists in there too) aren't stupid. The avg Iq still isn't very good.
Also, stupid is a relative word. What I may consider stupid wouldn't necessarily be considered stupid by you. That could either be because I have a low tolerance for stupidity or that you have a higher tolerance.

I have even less tolerance for stupid comments made by smart people unless they are corrected. Smart people have NO excuse for giving stupid arguments. It's a no win situation. Either they are stupid in general or they are stupid only when they analyze religion. There is the RARE apologist that would be the exception, but their arguments aren't very good either. At least they try though. I respect them a little more.

By your description of Kant and Plantinger are unfamiliar to me so I can't call those arguments stupid or anything without analyzing them obviously, but if they were better than cosmological and TAG I probably would have seen them by now (not to be closed minded, but I am a bit skeptical, hence aheist =P)

anyway, case and point: stupidity is relative. you can't really tell me what isnt stupid without convincing me that it is not, which would involve making me a theist.
It is impossible to ever prove that something does not exist. The onus of proof is always on the one making an extraordinary claim to provide the evidence.

To cite classic examples if someone claims the tooth fairy exists or a perfect teapot exists between the orbits and Mars and Jupiter he/she had better have damn solid evidence or there is no reason to give their thesis any credibility. The existence of god/gods is an even more extraordinary claim!

One other thing to remember; even the best thinkers are people of their time. Those of the past did not know much of what we now know; for example the mechanism of natural selection.
Van Gogh, Bach, the surgeon who saved my frikkin' life, etc.

But Johhny is right - ridicule the theism - not the theist.
It's also worth noting that during the 500 years between Anselm and Kant, pretty much everybody in "Christendom" was heavily socialized to not seriously question the existence of their god. And by that I mean anybody who noticed the glaring flaws in the ontological argument was unlikely to risk life or livelihood by pointing them out. Chief amongst the flaws being that it's never the case that wishing makes it so. The ontological argument is nonsense on its face, an obvious example of special pleading and semantic hand-waving. Of course, that's all religion is, with the addition of a little literal hand-waving.

That said, of course there are and have been multitudes of mightily intelligent god-believers. Humans excel at compartmentalization of conflicting notions. One need look no further than Isaac Newton for confirmation of this. The guy invented gravity, optics, and calculus, and then wasted the rest of his life on god and alchemy. Of course, with patents on gravity, optics, and calculus, it's not like he needed to work for a living.
According to Anselm (copied from Wikipedia):

1. God is something of which nothing greater can be thought.
2. God may exist in the understanding.
3. To exist in reality and in the understanding is greater than to exist in the understanding alone.
4. Therefore, God exists in reality.

Step 3 is nothing more than a bald assertion. Actually, the true power of a god is its nonexistence, because a god that exists might disagree with its followers. A nonexistent god can't, and is therefore much more useful to its followers, who are entirely free to make up any shit whatsoever and give it a divine imprimatur by mortal fiat. Therefore, step 3 is false.

See? Anybody can play word games. And it takes a certain level of intellect and creativity to make up truly wacky stuff. Then it's just a matter of believing your own press.

BTW, Thomas Aquinas rejected Anselm's argument in the 13th century, according to the Wikipedia article, so apparently not everybody in "Christendom" was quite so cowed. On the other hand, the church wasn't too likely to burn Aquinas at the stake, since he was part of the in crowd responsible for making the loony shit up.

And as near as I can tell from the Wikipedia article, Plantinga himself admits that his argument depends on his possibility step having a probability that's reasonably estimated to be 50/50, so essentially it's a coin-flip--either a god exists or it doesn't. Kinda makes you wonder why he bothered.
It's especially sad since the existence of god is far less likely than 50/50.

I don't even use 'agnostic' to mean not sure if there is a god - you run into the same crap as with theism there: not sure if there is which god?

Agnostic can mean - I don't know nor do I think we will ever know what is actually going on here. That's quite in line with the scientific approach.
It is a human thing, honestly. Besides the fact that your post lacked a general understanding for me (kind of pulling-things-out-of-your-ass deal). The simple fact is that, while of course there are brilliant theists, there are also stupid ones. Like I said, it is a human thing. It depends on your mindset.

Remember, Archimedes, a famous Greek mathematician (who developed quite a bit of our mathematical theories) believed in gods. But as well as that, Isaac Asimov was also an atheist, and was another extremely intelligent man, as well as a leading scientist on many theories.

Simply, before you make a post about something like this, please, study and make a well-informed argument as to what you think. Not all theists are stupid, just as all non-theists are smart.
Also it is a fact that someone can be brilliant and analytical in one area of human thought ans totally out to lunch in another. Brilliant people can have delusions and are a product of their times too.




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