Does this make sense?

Here is another way I can share how atheists see the world. When I hear a Christian say they believe in God but do not believe in Allah, Lord Shiva, or any other god it occurs to me that Christians believe thousands of gods were created by man but Yahweh is real.

It looks like this:
  • Allah (stories created by man)
  • Zeus (stories created by man)
  • Ra the Sun God (stories created by man)
  • Odin (stories created by man)
  • Lord Shiva (stories created by man)
  • Buddha (stories created by man)
  • Bǎoshēngdàdì (stories created by man)
  • Huitzilopochtli (stories created by man)
  • Quetzalcoatl (stories created by man)
  • Ratnasambhava (stories created by man)
  • Dagda (stories created by man)
  • The Morrigan (stories created by man)
  • Lakshmi (stories created by man)
  • Jesus Christ and Yahweh - stories are true and come from the one real God
  • Waheguru (stories created by man)
  • Ahura Mazda (stories created by man)
  • Osiris (stories created by man)
  • The Sun Goddess Amaterasu (stories created by man)
  • Nana-Buluku the Creator (stories created by man)
  • Yemaya (stories created by man)
  • Pachamama goddess of Earth (stories created by man)
  • Viracocha the Creator (stories created by man)
  • Ares god of War (stories created by man)
  • Jupiter (stories created by man)
  • Nerrivik the Sea Mother (stories created by man)
  • Aphrodite (stories created by man)
  • Ukko the Sky God (stories created by man)
  • Tiw god of War (stories created by man)
That strikes me as strange. It seems strange to believe that man is capable of creating thousands of complex, intricate, well documented stories of tens of thousand of gods and pantheons. Man wrote The Bible, the Vedas, The Koran, The Pyramid Texts, and hundreds of religious books detailing the way the world works and the creation of the universe - but one of them is true.

This is not empirical evidence of anything. This does not prove that Yahweh is real or not real. However, it is enough to make me question the idea that any of these gods are real and demand evidence before I believe in any. Because it seems very likely that they were all created by man. Occam's Razor.

Anyways, I thought this might help Christians understand why atheist are skeptical of The Bible and the stores in it. Many Christians I speak to view religion as binary - you believe in God or not - those are your choices. We atheists recognize that the Yahweh is not the only god that has been worshipped by millions. So we consider all of the gods - not just the Christian god.

And it seems very, very hard to believe that man created thousands and thousands of gods - but yours is the real one.

Have a great day everyone.
 
@Lighthearted Atheist, I agree. I don't view Christianity per se as an interesting topic to debate. I do find the abstract metaphysical arguments of natural theology to be interesting, though.
Maybe I need to stop asking for evidence and just enjoy the metaphysical and eschatological debate. I find that interesting too. I've read The Bible, The Vedas, the Koran, The Book of Mormon, the Upanishads, The Pyramid Texts, Scientology, and numerous other works on belief systems. I find the topic of faith and belief fascinating.

But its hard for me to let go of my empirical need for things to be proven as true before we waste time discussing it.

Its a character flaw I suppose :)
 

Torin

Active member
Maybe I need to stop asking for evidence and just enjoy the metaphysical and eschatological debate. I find that interesting too. I've read The Bible, The Vedas, the Koran, The Book of Mormon, the Upanishads, The Pyramid Texts, Scientology, and numerous other works on belief systems. I find the topic of faith and belief fascinating.

But its hard for me to let go of my empirical need for things to be proven as true before we waste time discussing it.

Its a character flaw I suppose :)
Natural theology isn't invariably framed in contrast to observational evidence by its proponents. An example would be Aquinas' five ways. Take the first way. What Aquinas is saying in the first way is that if you start with the observation that something is changing, and analyze that fact carefully, you'll arrive at the conclusion that the God of classical theism must exist (with certainty).

I think the reason to debate natural theology is the same as the reason to debate the Bible, etc. The point is to assess the arguments and evidence for and against the claims being made. You seem to be happy to just suppose that everything in natural theology is BS, but you could equally just suppose that the Bible and the various other holy texts you mention are BS.

Anyway, if you're not interested in something then you're not interested in it. I'm certainly not one to argue that you have some "obligation" to study natural theology. *shrug*
 
I don't view atheists as a monolithic group, as you indicate here. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt most atheists would draw a hard and fast equivalence between the claims of Christianity and nearly all the examples of your list. It's certainly the case in my experience.
Great point - I guess this is how I view things - other atheists may or may not.
 

5wize

Well-known member
Fair enough, LA, but on what basis would you draw a hard and fast equivalence between the claims of Christianity and the others on your list, excluding Allah?
That they require supernatural activity to capture the awe of the superstitious and that they are implemented as either science or government or both in most cases - and none of them survive as such today.
 
That they require supernatural activity to capture the awe of the superstitious and that they are implemented as either science or government or both in most cases - and none of them survive as such today.
Neither of these are their claims, which is what I asked for and what is required to draw an equivalence.
 
The equivalence of a supernatural mythos is assumed.
That is true, but it does not provide enough distinction to draw an equivalence in the manner required by the OP, of any usefulness, at least. I could just as easily go all tercon on it and say all of them must require a believing mind to be believed. :)
 

Whatsisface

Active member
Here is another way I can share how atheists see the world. When I hear a Christian say they believe in God but do not believe in Allah, Lord Shiva, or any other god it occurs to me that Christians believe thousands of gods were created by man but Yahweh is real.

It looks like this:
  • Allah (stories created by man)
  • Zeus (stories created by man)
  • Ra the Sun God (stories created by man)
  • Odin (stories created by man)
  • Lord Shiva (stories created by man)
  • Buddha (stories created by man)
  • Bǎoshēngdàdì (stories created by man)
  • Huitzilopochtli (stories created by man)
  • Quetzalcoatl (stories created by man)
  • Ratnasambhava (stories created by man)
  • Dagda (stories created by man)
  • The Morrigan (stories created by man)
  • Lakshmi (stories created by man)
  • Jesus Christ and Yahweh - stories are true and come from the one real God
  • Waheguru (stories created by man)
  • Ahura Mazda (stories created by man)
  • Osiris (stories created by man)
  • The Sun Goddess Amaterasu (stories created by man)
  • Nana-Buluku the Creator (stories created by man)
  • Yemaya (stories created by man)
  • Pachamama goddess of Earth (stories created by man)
  • Viracocha the Creator (stories created by man)
  • Ares god of War (stories created by man)
  • Jupiter (stories created by man)
  • Nerrivik the Sea Mother (stories created by man)
  • Aphrodite (stories created by man)
  • Ukko the Sky God (stories created by man)
  • Tiw god of War (stories created by man)
That strikes me as strange. It seems strange to believe that man is capable of creating thousands of complex, intricate, well documented stories of tens of thousand of gods and pantheons. Man wrote The Bible, the Vedas, The Koran, The Pyramid Texts, and hundreds of religious books detailing the way the world works and the creation of the universe - but one of them is true.

This is not empirical evidence of anything. This does not prove that Yahweh is real or not real. However, it is enough to make me question the idea that any of these gods are real and demand evidence before I believe in any. Because it seems very likely that they were all created by man. Occam's Razor.

Anyways, I thought this might help Christians understand why atheist are skeptical of The Bible and the stores in it. Many Christians I speak to view religion as binary - you believe in God or not - those are your choices. We atheists recognize that the Yahweh is not the only god that has been worshipped by millions. So we consider all of the gods - not just the Christian god.

And it seems very, very hard to believe that man created thousands and thousands of gods - but yours is the real one.

Have a great day everyone.
I agree.

And yes, people of different religions will use the same justifications for their God, and think there are good reasons why the others are false.
 

5wize

Well-known member
That is true, but it does not provide enough distinction to draw an equivalence in the manner required by the OP, of any usefulness, at least. I could just as easily go all tercon on it and say all of them must require a believing mind to be believed. :)
I think it is the lack of distinction that is the point of the equivalence. What distinction(s) do you feel would support the thesis and how?
 
I think it is the lack of distinction that is the point of the equivalence. What distinction(s) do you feel would support the thesis and how?
The idea here is that there are twenty five religions listed, such that it is weird that Christianity might be believed. For this suggestion to go through, it requires us to believe that all are roughly the same. Merely pointing out they all have supernatural elements does not rise to the level of equivalence necessary. I mean, do you really think there's an equivalence between the claims of L Ron Hubbard, the FSM, and Christianity, beyond whether you think they're all false, have supernatural elements, etc., such that the OP goes through?
 

Whatsisface

Active member
Here again are the adherents appealed to rather than the content of the religions.
Am I not making a point about what the adherents appeal to? If they all have the same sorts of reasons for believing their God correct and all the others false, that counts against all of them.
 
Am I not making a point about what the adherents appeal to? If they all have the same sorts of reasons for believing their God correct and all the others false, that counts against all of them.
Yep, you are. Was not criticizing your statement, just referring to it as a further example. I'm arguing that the content of the examples of the OP don't support an equivalence, irrespective of what adherents do or think.
 

5wize

Well-known member
The idea here is that there are twenty five religions listed, such that it is weird that Christianity might be believed. For this suggestion to go through, it requires us to believe that all are roughly the same. Merely pointing out they all have supernatural elements does not rise to the level of equivalence necessary. I mean, do you really think there's an equivalence between the claims of L Ron Hubbard, the FSM, and Christianity, beyond whether you think they're all false, have supernatural elements, etc., such that the OP goes through?
Yes I do. I don't see Paul as too different from L. Ron Hubbard actually. The taking of what Jesus' life actually entailed and the invention of Paul's Christianity have many of the same elements of L. Ron Hubbard taking human life experiences and creating enough of a psychological theory around them to get a lot of people to say that makes sense.

So yes, I think there are plenty of intrinsic similarities between them all, and how they come to be accepted as true, to have made the point just fine. That's why I asked what you had in mind that would lead us to believe the point is not well enough formed? I can't think of any distinctions that would negate the point as opposed to be fodder for it.
 

5wize

Well-known member
Perfect example. Not too much taking of what Nerrivik the Sea Mother's life entailed going on, now or then. Same thing with Hubbard's thetans or the FSM.
There is on a Scientology forum and no so much talk of Paul, and little of transmutation of bread to flesh or plenary inspiration on a "my favorite movie" forum. So that's not such a good tack for your point. The point is how do beliefs in mental fabrications, such as L. Ron's and Paul's become mentally accepted and what social processes use that mental vulnerability to make them mainstream and why?
 
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