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Relevance of Existence (Begging the Question)

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posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 04:42 AM
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Relevance of Existence

There is a recurring problem on ATS. Many people know this problem exists. I have researched the issue and now I am prepared to put my finger squarely on it.


Step 1. Identify the Problem

People in the religious forum *sigh* (Another Christian gets annoyed by the fact of the nonexistence of god.)

It seems to me that in far too many threads in the religious forum there will be a nice descussion about religion with smart educated replies and then we'll see something like this by some ignorant user.. "THEIR IS NO GOD...(spare me the ridiculous insinuation atheists can't spell)
These people are annoying and it pisses me off when I see those posts. If there's a moron award to stop morons from posting rediculous "facts" in the science forum can we please find a way to shut these annoying people the hell up?
--LostProphet


This is a typical example. The Christian (or religionist, but we know they're mostly Christians) can't understand the problem, but just wants it to stop. He asserts people should stop or find a way to make them stop (appeal to force implied).

The common practice in the forums has become labelling the assertion of the nonexistence of god or Jesus as "OFF-TOPIC". Discussion degenerates into the topic of "boats" for some reason, because "boats" are off-topic in a discussion of god or Jesus.

The problem that we identify is that the question of the existence of god or Jesus is always relevant in any discussion of these figures. Why?


Loaded Question / Complex Question / Begging the Question / Framing the Debate
FallacyFiles.org - Begging the Question
FallacyFiles.org - Loaded/Complex Question
These all refer to the same thing. Christians load the question with the assertion that Jesus/God exist, frame the debate so the question of existence can't be tolerated, beg us to accept their answer to the question of the existence of God/Jesus, and mask their mischief in a complex question.


Basically, these topics the Christians start are rotten. They provoke exactly the response they get with this kind of unacceptable behaviour. As you can see from the first linked post, most Christians clearly do not understand why the problem exists, although many do and deliberately work to maintain protections in this forum for this kind of behaviour.

For atheists, the rhetoric is unbearably offensive. It is a matter of fact (not "fact") that god has been disproven decisively and Jesus has been proven to be a mythic/legendary figure possibly based on one or more real persons. Christians demand proof from me. The proof is established throughout the Internet and the topic is discussed absolutely to death, mainly because of Christian stubbornness and deliberate unwillingness to put the little bit of effort into understanding the very simple proofs. They think they have an interest in not understanding it, but the opposite is clearly true.


Jesus DID say he was God
Answer #1: Yes, he did, on June 24, 26 CE, just before dusk, six miles west of the Sea of Galilee.
Answer #2: No, I have been in the company of Jesus his whole life, and not once did he ever claim he was god.
Answer #3: The question presupposes the existence of Jesus (but not god), and the answer is predicated on the question Did Jesus Exist? The answer to that question is no, therefore the original question has no meaning because there is no context.

...




posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 04:43 AM
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Step 2. Propose a Solution
We’ll leave your precious religious threads alone if they have the following disclaimer right up front (or something equivalent):

“This thread deals with fictional subject matter and all participants in this thread agree that all proofs are strictly drawn from the fictional Canon of The Bible.”

or

“This thread assumes the existence of God or Jesus despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

(Then you must state whether you accept the apocrypha, pseudepigraphy, etc. as Canon or not because that affects the truth claims of the fictional subject. If one person is asserting that something is true because it appears in the Gospel of Peter, another person may deny it because he rejects that book as Canonical. Fundamentally there is no “real” truth value to any claims about Jesus or god beyond the fact that they do not exist.)

This way we establish both sides of your argument (which I for one will stay out of) as equally unreal.

If the sublect were Spiderman, no one seriously believes Spiderman is real, therefore the fictional clause isn't required, but you would still need to state what material you consider Canonical.

The underlying issue is that an inordinate number of people continue to believe things that have been decisively proven false, and these people.

Questions about Jesus and God are in fact rhetorical questions, which means they aren't really questions at all, but statements superficially disguised as questions.

Rhetorical Question: Did Jesus claim he was God?
Implied Statement: Jesus Existed And He Claimed He Was God.


In any case, ATS Policy was formed around Christian complaints that are based on a fallacy, and on misleading attempts to frame discussion in the illusion that God and Jesus definitively exist when this is not the case.

If people knew that God and Jesus did not exist, definitely there would be no discussion because the Bible is the most dry and uninspiring brainwashing screed. If you know anything about brainwashing or where Christian's come from, you know what I mean.

And let's try to avoid starting posts with offensive loaded questions that only beg atheists to come in and refute the implied assertion of the existence of God and Jesus.

Columbus



posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 10:29 AM
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I admit I am a Christian. I think it is ridiculous to ask a Christian to put a clause in every thread stating that Christianity is a myth or has been debunked. As a Christian, I simply don't believe it is true. I'd say the same thing about a group of adults running around yelling that Santa Claus is real. If they truly believe it, they're entitled to their opinion and free to make statements like "Does Santa really stop time to give out toys to every child?" I would take no offense to such a loaded question even though I don't believe in Santa myself. Their asking of the question in and of itself implies to everyone that if you don't believe in Santa Claus, you ought to reply within this particular thread as if Santa Claus existed because there are other threads discussing the possible existance of Santa. If not so, if a discussion is desired, the thread ought to be started separate from the current discussion because even if we're talking about Santa, the question of his existence is irrelevant to the question of (if you suppose that he really exists) whether he stops time to give out toys.

* Edited for spelling.

[edit on 11.11.2006 by Isaac Tanner Madsen]



posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 10:59 AM
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Perhaps you should read this thread.

ALL MEMBERS READ - Moving Past Religion 101 and Staying on Topic



  • Faith - Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
  • Religion - A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
  • Theology - The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.



That's just an overview, but as you can see the very name of this forum implies that one believes in a "higher power" or some divine force. (Or wishes to discuss this topic) This is the default of every thread in this forum unless otherwise stated in the topic. (As you have done). Questioning the existence of God is Religion 101. The intro to a movie if you will. We're wanting to discuss what happens to Luke Skywalker on the Death Star and some are still wanting to argue if Luke is an actual person. Hopefully you can see how this slows things down by dragging the entire topic back to the opening scene every time.




Rhetorical Question: Did Jesus claim he was God?
Implied Statement: Jesus Existed And He Claimed He Was God.


Exactly! The discussion is about if Jesus, whom we proclaim to be real in the title, claimed he was in fact God. The point of God being fictional or not is not in question. The question is if Jesus claimed he was God. Even an atheist has to agree that someone can claim to be God even if said God doesn't exist. If you have doubts that Jesus existed, the start a new discussion/thread with the title "Jesus never existed" and feel free to mow down Christians with your logical machine-gun.



Hopefully this clears things up for you. It's all about staying on topic. These rules actually apply in every forum it's just not as obvious. If someone jumped into every discussion in War on Terrorism forum and wanted to argue if Osam Bin Laden actually existed, it would get old really fast. No one would be able to move on to the actual topic, say "Is Osama in Iran?"



Originally posted by Columbus
Step 2. Propose a Solution
We’ll leave your precious religious threads alone if they have the following disclaimer right up front (or something equivalent):

“This thread deals with fictional subject matter and all participants in this thread agree that all proofs are strictly drawn from the fictional Canon of The Bible.”
or
“This thread assumes the existence of God or Jesus despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”


Why do we impose extra restrictions on a topic because it has a religious theme. Should all discussions about aliens and ufos in the Aliens and UFOs forum be forced to begin with a disclaimer that Aliens are fictional? (since no one has ever proven them to be real) According to your logic they must or else be forced to subjection by other members with constant taunts of "There are no aliens you moron! Where's the proof?"

In all honesty if you don't believe in a God and it distresses you for people to believe, then stay out of the forum.

[edit on 11-11-2006 by dbates]



posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by dbates

Exactly! The discussion is about if Jesus, whom we proclaim to be real in the title, claimed he was in fact God. The point of God being fictional or not is not in question. The question is if Jesus claimed he was God. Even an atheist has to agree that someone can claim to be God even if said God doesn't exist. If you have doubts that Jesus existed, the start a new discussion/thread with the title "Jesus never existed" and feel free to mow down Christians with your logical machine-gun.
The 'jesus never existed' thread has been done here and in the 13 pages there are many replies by christians debating their view. Therefore I find no reason why atheists etc cant involve themselves in christian based threads although in the thread in question I find no reason to involve myself.


In all honesty if you don't believe in a God and it distresses you for people to believe, then stay out of the forum.
The same could be said for believers


On topic - I dont agree with the need for disclaimers although I do agree that some religionists pose loaded questions in an attempt to involve atheists.


G



posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 02:22 PM
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I find no reason why atheists etc cant involve themselves in christian based threads

Atheist do not exist. There is no such thing.




he same could be said for believers

Uhm yes. I've had it up to here with religious people discussing religious things in the religous forum. It's almost as if it was a religion to these people.



posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 07:14 PM
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Isaac Tanner Madsen

I think it is ridiculous to ask a Christian to put a clause in every thread stating that Christianity is a myth or has been debunked.

Then they are begging people to point it out to them. Hence the expression Begging the Question. Perhaps you are familiar with this expression after I've just done explaining it to you?


I simply don't believe it is true.

Christians refuse to do due diligence to determine whether what they believe is even worthy of being believed. The forthright statement that you simply don't believe belies a deliberate willfull ignorance.


...Santa Claus is real. If they truly believe it, they're entitled to their opinion and free to make statements like "Does Santa really stop time to give out toys to every child?" I would take no offense to such a loaded question even though I don't believe in Santa myself.

The large point that you completely missed is that Christians make up the majority, have political power, and force their false "opinions" down people's throats.

Besides, there is nobody saying any such thing about Santa Claus and if there were there would be no doubt they are delusional. But for Christians, the exact same delusion is present yet not recognized. Such things are a state of mental illness and those who profess them are making a plea for help.


...if you don't believe in Santa Claus, you ought to reply within this particular thread as if Santa Claus existed because there are other threads discussing the possible existance of Santa.


I made this exact point in my first thread about Spiderman. Read it again. No one disputes the non-existence of Spiderman or Santa Claus. The issue is specifically confined to topics that are proven false but continue to be asserted as true.

If I started a thread Since everyone knows 2+2=5, what is the fifth cardinal direction? A lot of people would point out that 2+2=4. No discussion of whether 2+2=5 is allowed. That is "OFF-TOPIC". (?) I can't demand people assume it is true. I can't stop people by ignoring them or asking a moderator to protect me with special rules. Yet this is what a Christian does when he posts such a question Since everyone knows God exists, blah blah blah.


...the question of his existence is irrelevant...

If you are talking about Santa or Spiderman, it is understood by everyone that you are talking about fiction.

My first post explains why this question is always relevant only for God and Jesus. The assertion that Christians are making is not, "we are having a discussion on a fictional subject that everyone accepts as fiction" but "we are asserting that God and Jesus are real and banning anyone who disagrees".

Columbus



posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 07:14 PM
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dbates
ALL MEMBERS READ - Moving Past Religion 101 and Staying on Topic

The sticky topic is oppression. Christians demand to be protected from the facts in this forum and that demand has been satisfied through politics.

The trouble in this forum is caused by Christians and they abuse power to control people's response to them.


* Faith - Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

Faith does not imply believing in things contradictory to logical proof or material evidence. Christians behave as though it does.


* Theology - The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.

Theology is the study of god and his supposed works. People who call themselves theologists imply they believe that god exists. "Religious truth" is an oxymoron.


The point of God being fictional or not is not in question.

It is not in question because, according to you, it is absolutely true. You don't have a problem with the topic, the problem is you don't like hearing that God and Jesus do not exist.

Here is how that question should be worded:
Where in the Bible did Jesus claim he existed.

There is no loaded question begging here. It implies context. Existence is not asserted or questioned.


The question is if Jesus claimed he was God.

And the answer is "He didn't exist, therefore there is no context.


Even an atheist has to agree that someone can claim to be God even if said God doesn't exist.

The leading proof against anyone claim to be god is the fact of the non-existence of god. If god does not exist then you can't be him. Simple. If I claimed to be George W. Bush's older brother, the fact that he doesn't have an older brother would be sufficient to know I am wrong.


If you have doubts that Jesus existed, the start a new discussion/thread with the title "Jesus never existed"

If I had doubts that Jesus existed, I should start a new thread "I have doubts that Jesus existed." I know that Jesus did not exist, and this fact is as certain as our existence allows us to be. You only sabotage your ability to know this.

Columbus



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 01:50 AM
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Originally posted by Columbus
Then they are begging people to point it out to them.


I think you missed the point of my entire post. Quite frankly the majority of people in this world believe in some form of God. Just because the minority have proved to themselves that God doesn't exist doesn't mean their proof is validated. The same goes for the majority.


Christians refuse to do due diligence to determine whether what they believe is even worthy of being believed. The forthright statement that you simply don't believe belies a deliberate willfull ignorance.


Hey. I've done quite a bit of research on the subject. I've taken a course on modern philosophy and quite a bit of it points to the non-existance of a God, so sure. I've seen the arguments, and I've pulled some questions out of the hat that have stumped an entire class of Christians. Maybe they'll all turn atheist after that. I don't know. Call me a coward or call me crazy for still believing in God, but just because some philosopher proved to himself that God is dead with some pretty considerable philosophical evidence doesn't make it true. Even if I don't have the evidence to prove to even myself that God exists doesn't make it false.


The large point that you completely missed is that Christians make up the majority, have political power, and force their false "opinions" down people's throats.


So you're going to use the same tactics against them? That's the way it seems from the tone I'm getting from your posts. No offense intended, but it's getting pretty hot in here.




But for Christians, the exact same delusion is present yet not recognized. Such things are a state of mental illness and those who profess them are making a plea for help.


This is a matter of opinion, not fact.


No one disputes the non-existence of Spiderman or Santa Claus. The issue is specifically confined to topics that are proven false but continue to be asserted as true.


The same thing is done in science. There have been cases where the majority of people believed one thing after a considerable amount of research. One man would stand up and shout the opposite until his death, making no ground whatsoever. Everyone thought he was crazy. Years later, come to think of it, the guy was right. Even if Christianity were crushed into the ground, I think it would spring back up again after the evidence was re-evaluated.


If I started a thread Since everyone knows 2+2=5, what is the fifth cardinal direction? A lot of people would point out that 2+2=4. No discussion of whether 2+2=5 is allowed. That is "OFF-TOPIC". (?) I can't demand people assume it is true. I can't stop people by ignoring them or asking a moderator to protect me with special rules. Yet this is what a Christian does when he posts such a question Since everyone knows God exists, blah blah blah.


Well, I've never made one of those posts. Not everyone "knows" that. Very few peole even think they do. Even I don't know it. I just believe. Religion shouldn't be a matter of proving your beliefs to everyone else. For me, it's about finding it out for myself. Physical evidence isn't always necessary when searching the soul. Remarkably, different people come to different conclusions through soul searching. The same thing happens through science if you haven't noticed.


The assertion that Christians are making is not, "we are having a discussion on a fictional subject that everyone accepts as fiction" but "we are asserting that God and Jesus are real and banning anyone who disagrees".


If that is the case and that is how you've been treated, then you do have reason to be angry. I welcome anyone into my threads.

Just a question. When you say "Jesus doesn't exist," do you mean as a God, or do you include the man, because there is a lot of physical evidence for the man.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 02:16 AM
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Originally posted by Columbus
The sticky topic is oppression. Christians demand to be protected from the facts in this forum and that demand has been satisfied through politics.


Can't argue with that.


Faith does not imply believing in things contradictory to logical proof or material evidence. Christians behave as though it does.


I'm not implying that I agree or disagree. I'd just like to see your definition of faith.


Theology is the study of god and his supposed works. People who call themselves theologists imply they believe that god exists. "Religious truth" is an oxymoron.


I think oxymoron is a bit of an exaggeration. Religion exists because it opens up possibilities to the unknown and makes us rethink what we think we know. You might argue that this holds us back, but I think it is useful. Sometimes we are a bit hasty making our conclusions about things and forget to evaluate all the evidence because we haven't found all the evidence.


It is not in question because, according to you, it is absolutely true. You don't have a problem with the topic, the problem is you don't like hearing that God and Jesus do not exist.


Actually, I just disagree. I've always been open to persuasion, but because of the considerable evidence for both sides I've chosen to stay on the side I was born on.


There is no loaded question begging here. It implies context. Existence is not asserted or questioned.


That is why bringing it into question is off topic.


And the answer is "He didn't exist, therefore there is no context.


Once again, are you talking about the man or a God figure?


The leading proof against anyone claim to be god is the fact of the non-existence of god. If god does not exist then you can't be him. Simple. If I claimed to be George W. Bush's older brother, the fact that he doesn't have an older brother would be sufficient to know I am wrong.


No. You'd just have to prove that he DID have an older brother.


If I had doubts that Jesus existed, I should start a new thread "I have doubts that Jesus existed." I know that Jesus did not exist, and this fact is as certain as our existence allows us to be. You only sabotage your ability to know this.


This is like pointing at night sky and saying that you know for a fact there is no matter of any kind at point x, y, z, there never will be, and there never has been. Human history is fallible, so I don't think there can be absolute knowledge like that about anything other than a mathematical equation, and even a few of those can be questioned.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 08:59 AM
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>> Columbus

What seems to be escaping your grasp is that there are other forums on this site where Christianity, religion, etc. are by default considered problematic and fictitious. In the Conspiracies in Religion forum it's often pointed out that religion is a control mechanism for the weak-minded. Also note the Origins & Creationism Conspiracy forum where Darwin and evolution rule the roost. There intelligent design is a conspiracy or just a myth unless someone pulls out some good evidence to prove otherwise.




The sticky topic is oppression.

Yet here you are having a discussion where your opinion clearly states that there is no God and Christians are wimps for wanting protection from this "fact". (How can you prove that something does not exist?) If this is oppression, it's really a weak one.


For an example of how atheism or Gnosticism doesn't work, consider the following fictitious discussion: (Not a discussion, please don't' continue it)

[PRETEND DISCUSSION]
Was Satan a Seraphim or Cherubim before he was cast out of Heaven? Did he have an equal or was he alone in his own special ranking? Or perhaps he was just the highest rank of all the fallen angels that rebelled. I'm often curious to this when reading the passage in Revelation that says he is bound for 1,000 years. Wouldn't it take a greater being to bind him?
[/PRETEND DISCUSSION]

Hopefully you can see that members who wish to engage in this discussion do not need to first explain their belief in God. "I would like to comment, but first to disprove doubters, let me recount my conversion that made me believe in God....I was in my living room when a bright light shone through the window......" No one would ever be able to continue the discussion and every thread might as well be titled "Proof that God does exist".

You're being irrational by not seeing that every forum has a scope of discussion that is understood by the nature of it's title. And again, that doesn't mean you can't discuss your disbelief in God, it just means you can't hijack every thread into that discussion. As this very discussion proves, there is no oppression or thought police, just a request to stay on the topic that the thread started as.



posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 01:28 AM
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Jesus DID say he was God
Answer #1: Yes, he did, on June 24, 26 CE, just before dusk, six miles west of the Sea of Galilee.
Answer #2: No, I have been in the company of Jesus his whole life, and not once did he ever claim he was god.
Answer #3: The question presupposes the existence of Jesus (but not god), and the answer is predicated on the question Did Jesus Exist? The answer to that question is no, therefore the original question has no meaning because there is no context.


Thanks for promoting my post Columbus!!



posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 03:54 AM
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A Religious discussion is not universally about Religion. It is about the topic at hand concerning religion. It is not about the debate whether or not religion exist. Unless ofcourse, it was stated by the OP.


Let's have a look at something...

Atlantis never existed. The only evidence seen is either written or drawn. Thus it cannot be factual. The discussion of the possibility is pointless.

There was no, and is no conspiracy relating to Hurricane Katrina. Nature Called, and human's answered. Case closed.

War on Terrorismdoes not exist. It is meerly a propaganda tool.

The world has an Oil Shortage. The companies in control are not greedy, nor are they hiding anything. There is no factual evidence to point otherwise.

Skunk Works. Speculative theory. Enough said.

All concerns of Politicians are the wellbeing of the masses. There is no reason for Disinformation. Thus the only disinformation is that provided on this forum.

Terrorists crashed planes into the world Trade Centers. There are no conspiracies involved in 9/11. You are a terrorist to state otherwise.

There is no factual evidence in the existence of Aliens or UFOs.

We talk about Secret Societies all the time. Therefore they are not secret. If we don't talk about it, it's because we don't know about it, thus there is no evidence that they exist.

With the global westernization in the modern age, a New World Order is already here. Thus there is no New World Order coming, nor is there evidence to suggest if it even exists.

There is nothing conspicuous about Area 51. Like many others, it is a military base, off limits to civilians. There is no factual evidence to believe otherwise.

Much of modern Science involves physics as a basis. At some point, all mathematical physics values break down or contradict each other. Thus science does not exist, and is 'magic'.

Ancient Civilizations where massively influenced by gods. There is no factual basis for gods, therefore the information we learn from them is illegitimate.

Cryptozoology. If there is no evidence that it exists, then it does not exist. If it were to be newly discovered, then it is no longer classified as cryptozoology.

The sole purpose of most
medicine is supposed to help heal or cure people. To think otherwise is stopping the progression of human development.

Origins & Creationism. There is no factual basis for God, therefore he does not exist. Thus, he did not create humans. There is no absolute proof without conflicting ideas that evolution exists. Therefore we did not evolve.

There is no factual basis for organised religion. Thus all Religion is a conspiracy

There is no factual basis for Paranormal Events. Therefore they do not exist.

Most predictions come and go. Most are wrong. Therefore all predictions are wrong.

Abovetopsecret.com is free to anyone with access to the internet. Therefore it is not secret, it is not top secret, and it is certainly not above top secret.


Wow. What was the point of all that? In your logic, I just 'disproved' most of the discussion on ATS. How? Because all the discussion is subject to personal opinions and interpretation. The religious forum is no different.


Originally posted by Columbus
The problem that we identify is that the question of the existence of god or Jesus is always relevant in any discussion of these figures.

There is very little to no amount of members posting in the above mentioned topics stating that 'the subject matter does not exist, and therefore is up for debate'. Religion discussion should be no different. However, as you have 'made it clear' that it is different, then members should have no choice but to start to argue the existence of the subject matter, rather than the actual topic at hand.

As a result, we should prevent this from occuring by demanding all these topics to have a label that says:
“This thread deals with fictional subject matter and all participants in this thread agree that all proofs are strictly theoretical or have no factual basis.”
Look familiar?

Originally posted by Columbus
“This thread deals with fictional subject matter and all participants in this thread agree that all proofs are strictly drawn from the fictional Canon of The Bible.”





The ultimate point of my post is this:
Most of the subject matter, topics and threads on ATS is highly opinionated with very low amounts of irrefutable fact.

If a member's opinion is against any opinions or evidence presented in an Alien topic, they will present arguments against the evidence or opinions presented.

If a member's opinion is against any opinions or evidence presented in an Alien topic because their own opinion says that aliens do not exist, They will not despute that fact. They will still only present arguments against the evidence or opinions presented. If they even read that thread.

[edit on 13-11-2006 by Gear]



posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 04:47 AM
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Originally posted by Captain Obvious


I find no reason why atheists etc cant involve themselves in christian based threads

Atheist do not exist. There is no such thing.
Tell us oh learned one how this can be so? I'm an atheist and I exist!!!!!!!




he same could be said for believers

Uhm yes. I've had it up to here with religious people discussing religious things in the religous forum. It's almost as if it was a religion to these people.
I meant that believers have a tendency to get up in arms because some people dont believe in god. So if they dont like it then they should stay out of the forum.


G



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