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The Perplexing Argument of Atheistic Materialism


rvb8, one of our regular self-described atheistic materialists, makes some pretty interesting assertions, considering he admits he is not a scientist:

That is where you stumble, because chance and the interaction of forces and matter can explain it.

I’m with Mr Dawkins there; 99% sure, and am quite happy for you to build faith upon the remaining 1%.

the building blocks of life came from the first stars, and continue to be produced by Super Novas, and are ubiquitous throughout the universe.
The energy required to start this process of trial and error combinations of these chemicals and water, came from the sun, the heat of the earth, impacting astroids, electrical storms etc
Wikipedia has an excellent article on Miller/Urey. The experiment which, after one week of continuous work, produced all 20 amino acids necessary for life; or there was an ‘intervention’.

This is also the reason miracles are less flashy and more mundane these days. Most of the miracles of the past, or events that seemed supernatural, have been explained. Eartquakes and the like.

rvb8 has also admitted he distrusts long, technical written pieces and has said they make his head hurt and that he finds them difficult to read. One wonders, then how it is that rvb8 feels so comfortable making scientific claims he cannot hope to support (since he does not understand the science involved – indeed, doesn’t even have the time or attention necessary to even read through his own outdated and problematic wiki references.

This is not just rvb8’s problem, it’s a problem for many atheists we encounter on this site and others – people who are admittedly not scientists or philosophers, but yet who feel comfortable cheerleading certain atheist and materialist talking points and tropes as if they understood the science or as if they understood the philosophical/logical arguments and supposed rebuttals.  They display a level of faith in their ideological perspective that rivals any faith held by religious laymen.  They are fully invested in the unwarranted belief that “science” somehow supports their atheism or their materialism and so use phrases that are supposed to vaguely appeal to science as if science has “explained” whatever they are talking about.  Of course, even if that were true, they lack any of the necessary credentials nor (often) have put in the necessary effort to actually understand and make such arguments.

Lacking such education and effort, the atheism and materialism of these individuals cannot be based on an understanding of the science or an understanding of the philosophical/logical/metaphysical arguments – rvb8 is a prime example of this.  His atheism is (apparently) entirely faith-based.  He has faith that there is no god, and faith that materialism is true, and requires no investigation or internal examination thereof. The question is, why?  What can such faith be rooted in? Why adopt such a view and insist on defending it when it doesn’t even apparently offer anything of value in exchange?

rvb8 has commented upon the freedom and relief from guilt he felt when he parted from his old theistic views.  I can empathize with that, because I went through much the same thing when I left my original religious views for other beliefs.  Like rvb8 (apparently), I adopted a rather extreme contrary view against those beliefs which I felt had improperly and irrationally organized my sense of self and my place in the world. However, unlike rvb8, I invested the effort and time into examining new views because I realized (from my experience of childhood beliefs) I was susceptible to cultural programming, social pressures and my own internal, emotional, often unrecognized commitments, needs and desires.  While I appreciated the thought process that liberated me from the beliefs I held as a child, I realized that unless I had fundamentally sound reasons for holding a belief and understood why I was holding it, what value it actually provided, and how well it was actually supported by the facts of my experience and logic, all I was doing was adopting the beliefs of others around me based on whatever unexamined, largely emotional appeal they provided me.

There is absolutely no scientific (or any kind of) evidence that atheism is true.  None. There is not even a single, logical argument that atheism is true.  Not one, at least that I’m aware of.  There are, of course, rebuttals against arguments for god, but those “rebuttals” are only attempts to point out the logical flaws or erroneous assumptions of arguments in favor of certain concepts of god; they are not arguments that no god or gods exist whatsoever. On the other hand, there are countless firsthand testimonies of experiences of god, several good lines of scientific evidence in favor of the existence of an intelligent, creator god, and many, many decent arguments that a god of some sort likely or necessarily exists.

Additionally, there is no good reason to be either an atheist or a materialist, as they offer no incentives whatsoever towards leading a better, more fulfilled, more ethical, more enjoyable life.  Materialism cannot even be supported by rational argument because materialism undermines the premise that our arguments are actually rational in nature and that we have the free will and supernatural capacity necessary to understand the meaningful content of such arguments and implement their conclusions upon our physical bodies.

While it may be valid to abandon beliefs that appear to make one’s life miserable, or to abandon beliefs that actually cause one harm, that doesn’t mean it is wise to abandon a whole class of beliefs just because one’s personal experience of one specific belief in that category didn’t work out well.  There’s no good reason to be committed to atheism or materialism because, even if true, such views offer no benefit other than whatever immediate emotional satisfaction they might provide.  The sad thing is, there is no rational reason why such beliefs – especially if true – should make anyone feel better emotionally; it’s not like atheism and materialism are anything but bleak, nihilistic perspectives that give you no personal credit for anything you happen to do.

Perhaps in the mind of the atheistic faithful, they can say “at least I believe the truth” even though they can take no personal credit for the happenstance material interactions that produces such beliefs (whether they liked it or not), nor hold others responsible for the presumably false beliefs their chemistries happen to produce, and even though such beliefs cannot be said to produce any better outcomes than false beliefs. I mean, atheists can’t even claim that theistic beliefs are some sort of emotional “crutch”; under atheistic materialism, people believe whatever happenstance chemistries produce as beliefs. Nothing more, nothing less.  Any sense of self-worth for believing the “hard truth” is lost because of the nature of what those truths mean; you can hardly take personal credit for beliefs you didn’t choose and can’t do anything about.  You might as well be a rock rolling down a hill taking credit for the particular path it happens to take.

What a hollow, meaningless reason to feel good about yourself; it would be like claiming victory in life for being whatever height you happen to be as an adult.

Wow.  Good argument, atheistic materialists!  Under the premise that what you believe is true, you deserve no credit for your beliefs; you cannot help but hold them due to happenstance chemistry; and ultimately your beliefs offer no benefits nor intrinsic advantage because it is not beliefs that control our activities, choices or feelings.  Rather, those are simply products of chemistry and physics. Beliefs are nothing more than the concurrent sensations experienced by an illusory “self” that may or may not correspond at all with behaviors; the perceived content of beliefs are not themselves actually causative factors – it is only the chemistry itself which is causative.

Now, if rvb8 and others actually understood these intrinsic problems with atheism and materialism, it’s hard to imagine them keeping their faith.  However, that is the nature of an uninformed, largely unexamined faith commitment; it can even be self-contradicting and utterly preposterous.  Irrational beliefs are what they are; they cannot be rationally explained. Here we have beliefs that, if true, cannot themselves possibly confer any benefit upon those who experience the sensation of having them and cannot be acquired via reason or will but only by happenstance chemical processes we are not in control of.  What an inanely perplexing position to try and argue.

Again, why? Even if atheism and materialism were what I call “retroviral memes” used to mentally and emotionally detach oneself from what one perceived to be harmful beliefs, why remain so committed to them that one ignores their blatantly irrational, self-defeating and self-contradicting nature, and attempt to argue on their behalf when no such argument can even hope to be valid or meaningful if those beliefs were in fact true? Why bother, when none of it would ultimately mean anything?

Perplexing.  Perhaps they irrationally see atheism and materialism as heroic views that saved them from emotional distress and can also save the world from its ills, and so they have a devotion towards spreading those views and “freeing” others from what they experienced as harmful or hurtful beliefs. The problem is that if those views are true, their commitment and mission is necessarily worse than Quixotic; they are tilting at windmills as if they were giants even though they insist that giants do not exist. They argue here as if we have some supernatural agency like free will and the capacity to to force our chemistries into obeyance of rationality, even while insisting we do not.  Atheistic materialists seem utterly unconcerned that their behavior is necessarily delusional – they act and argue as if the atheistic, material illusions of self, free will and rationality were real, causative commodities and not just side-effect sensations generated by ongoing chemical interactions.

I, for one am so delighted that rvb8 has not been banned--regardless of his protestations--if for no other reason than my waiting to see a cogent answer to the following question:
From an atheistic and evolutionist point of view, is there anything ethically wrong with abortion or with eating human flesh?
And also upon what grounds that "awareness" has to do with the question about whether one can make burgers out of babies to feed hungry, starving people. -Q Querius
Really editor? Paraphrasing; 'If only you would remain on topic. If only your trolling could be reigned in. If only you would stop taunting.' No. No. And No! Try this. If only your arbitrariness could be predicted. If only we could exclude quotes from the KJB on topics dealing with science. If only the nastiness exhibited towards my posts could be equally judged. I introduced the idea on this thread that ID advocates view OOL studies and SETI in a similar light; both a waste of time, I drew an equivalency. In what way is that trollish, or off topic? Kairos who seems able to practice Biblical exegesis at will, anywhere, at any time, is judged to be 'on topic'? You don't have to hide your 'banning' behind the cloak of reasonableness. rvb8
A post quoting me to which I am not aloud to reply. Hmmm. UDEditors: RV, you need to work on your reading comprehension. You are indeed "allowed" to reply as much as you wish. You are not allowed to troll the thread. Now it may be that you simply cannot help yourself and your compulsion to troll is uncontrollable. If that is the case, and for you "replying" and "trolling" are always the same thing, then you are correct; you are not allowed to reply. If that is not the case, feel free to reply as much as you like. rvb8
Vy you say, ‘please support..’ Everything I write is easily found on the net.
Is there any "thing" that isn't? You made the claim, the burden of proof lies on you.
If I make errors I apologize but the main points are not controversial.
Making errors is one thing, repeating them is another.
Sorry, ‘more than 20.’ This harms me how exactly?
No evidence for "[t]he resulting ‘goo’ was 20 different complete organic amino acids". Vy
You could ban me [No, I can't, but I can limit your trolling on my threads. Keep your comments to the point, please. You'll be on a short leash on all threads I begin now and in the future. - WJM] rvb8
john-a-designer @ 20: "I think most of the internet atheist* trolls who frequent sites like this, are people (mostly male) who have big egos but very low self-esteem." I agree with you wholeheartedly. They are a sad and miserable lot. Truth Will Set You Free
I think most of the internet atheist* trolls who frequent sites like this, are people (mostly male) who have big egos but very low self-esteem. I don’t think that they care a thing about having an honest discussion, the truth or even whether or not any of their arguments are reasonable. They just think they are right. It is the attention-- positive or negative-- for some reason that they crave. Notice that they are almost always contrarian and almost never make any effort to establish any kind of common ground. It also appears that they don’t know the difference between being argumentative, which they typically are, and making a reasonably sound argument. It is easy to be contrarian and argumentative but very difficult to make a sound convincing argument. Footnote: *I don’t believe that internet atheists are typical of all atheists-- indeed, there are more than a few atheist thinkers and writers whose thinking and writing I respect. john_a_designer
F/N: Thoughts on folly and addressing it: >> Proverbs 26English Standard Version (ESV) 26 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool. 2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight. 3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools. 4 Answer not a fool according to his folly [or, in the way a fool argues and behaves], lest you be like him yourself. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly [or, as his folly deserves], lest he be wise in his own eyes. 6 Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. 7 Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools. 8 Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool. 9 Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools. 10 Like an archer who wounds everyone is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.[a] 11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. 12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. >> A bit of bronze age JEWISH wisdom accepted with gratitude by many gentiles who are joyfully disciples of a Jewish Messiah. KF kairosfocus
it is certainly useful to use your posts as a means to make certain cases to the wider audience we have reading here
This! He's an excellent specimen of the stupefying effects of the Atheist religion. Vy
Origenes @14, thanks. I believe I referenced it in the last thread rvb8 mentioned the Miller-Urey experiment. Vy
rvb8 @5, Although I'm sure you enjoy the attention, the post isn't about you per se, but rather about a category of self-described atheistic materialists who make what are easily refuted statements about all sorts of things (including science), and who seem to be unable or unwilling to understand what are really very simple logical and practical problems with your worldview. While any attempt to correct and inform you personally would most likely be a waste of time, it is certainly useful to use your posts as a means to make certain cases to the wider audience we have reading here. As I have said before, you cannot convince a person via logic or evidence of that which they irrationally deny. William J Murray
Of course the experiment was designed. What’s your point?
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan When you want to make claims about OOL pseudoscience, ensure anything you bring is set up naturalistically. NO artificial selection from intelligent scientists would be paramount to the validity of such claims. But even then, you're in a planet created for life :D Vy
Vy @11, If you haven't already done so, this evolutionnews.org article on this particular WIKI-page you cite from, may be an interesting read. Origenes
In the 1970s extra-solar planets were ridiculed by the faithful as impossible (Mr Gish), then we found some.
Wow, just wow!
Then the argument was none of them could sustain life. We haven’t found that yet, but we are finding very many Goldilocks planets, and innevitably more will be found.
Do you need a list of all the requirements for life as we know it other than simply being in the "Goldilocks" zone? They number more than ten.
Along with OOL science
Hahaha, OOL pseudoscience you mean.
the search for habitable planets really upsets many religious people. I think I know why.
So true! Especially when the planetary models of said religious Darwinists shows time and again to be rooted in pure imagination. But don't worry, life must muST MUST!!! be out there, I mean, it's soooooo big, right? ;) Vy
rvb8- For get planets lets stick to the discussion at hand Since the original experiment , which judged on its own merits PROVES you cannot get life by the process they used as it has been tried over and over and over again and never even got close to making life , so what this PROVES IS YOU CANNOT GET LIFE THIS WAY , now why do you believe you can. Say I set up an experiment to see if a man can jump across the grand canyon , the first guy gets 10 feet, second guy get 15 third guy 20 up to the best guy at 29 feet 6 inches. So what you would conclude from this is yes its possible as you can see we are getting nearer and nearer the other side , what I would conclude that not its not possible as we keep reaching a dead end and although we have tried a million times we have failed.Also when we eventually study the exertion forces required to complete the task you can see mans body just is unable by a huge magnitude to do this.So the evidence shows its not possible but wishful thinking and a refusal to accept the evidence keeps you in cloud cuckoo land. Marfin
I knew you wouldn't disappoint. Consistent nonsense, keep it up! :)
An early earth atmosphere was hypothisised.
Of course! The type that only exists in the mind of Darwinists. Wiki:
More-recent evidence suggests that Earth's original atmosphere might have had a different composition from the gas used in the Miller experiment. But prebiotic experiments continue to produce racemic mixtures of simple to complex compounds under varying conditions.[8]
The resulting ‘goo’ was 20 different complete organic amino acids.
Please support this claim. ION, your Wiki reference maintains:
After Miller's death in 2007, scientists examining sealed vials preserved from the original experiments were able to show that there were actually well over 20 different amino acids produced in Miller's original experiments. That is considerably more than what Miller originally reported, and more than the 20 that naturally occur in life.[7]
And it they weren't "complete" by any stretch no matter how good you twist the story.
Since this ground breaking science, these rsults have been replicated world-wide, in good science laboratories, and the experiment has been expanded upon.
Ground-breaking?!! LOL! Continue grasping those Miller straws! :) Vy
Rvb8 Why does the search for extrasolar planets upset religious folk, in your opinion? CLAVDIVS
All they did was create (Heh!), organic matter necessary to life from inorganic matter. They did this by supposing past earth like environments, and testing. They were curious, what are you? I know OOL science is miles away from creating life, but that won't stop them trying. I also know that should they succeed in my lifetime, that the religious already have their answer prepared. In the 1970s extra-solar planets were ridiculed by the faithful as impossible (Mr Gish), then we found some. Then the argument was none of them could sustain life. We haven't found that yet, but we are finding very many Goldilocks planets, and innevitably more will be found. Along with OOL science, the search for habitable planets really upsets many religious people. I think I know why. rvb8
rvb8- Do you read the scientific data with a clear head and analyse what is being said or do you just look at the headlines and hype. Life has never been created in a lab ,we are not even remotely close, so the organic molecules or goo as I call it is a dead end it takes INTELLIGENT INTERVENTION to refine these molecules to take it a stage further, then it stops again and it takes intelligent intervention to get it to the next stage, and so on and so forth. So what conclusion could an honest person draw from such experiments PLEASE YOU TELL ME. At no stage is the process random , at each stage you reach a dead end ,and to progress past these dead ends you need intelligent ,intervention ,and we are still a billion miles away from forming life. But what you get from this is that life came from inorganic matter by a purely random process , seriously now seriously , if you met a guy who said Mustang`s spontaneously form by a random process in his garage and to prove his point , got his friends together to try and build a Mustang would you be convinced , who knows maybe you would be. And by the way No God does not need to use a step by step process to make life , he is not man , he can do it in one go on his first attempt. Marfin
I don't love Miller/Urey, I respect their taking an idea and creating an experiment to test that idea. Far more complex experiments in OOL science have been attempted since then. You are wrong. An early earth atmosphere was hypothisised. As Ken Ham likes to say, 'were you there?' No, but we know there was salt water, so that was used, and placed into a beaker. Methane, Amonia, and Hydrogen were added to this sealed environment. Heat was applied (it being assumed the earth back then was unstable, and highly volcanic, as per geologic evidence), and the gasses and water vapour mixed. To this mixture electrical sparks were zapped, thus simulating lightening. The resulting 'goo' was 20 different complete organic amino acids. Since this ground breaking science, these rsults have been replicated world-wide, in good science laboratories, and the experiment has been expanded upon. Different mixtures of different gasses, adding ultr-violet light, and larger or smaller charges. All the different experiments produce what you call 'goo', and what I prefer to call organic molecules. Of course the experiment was designed. What's your point? We're in a celestial beaker and God is adding the ingredients, and tinkering, like the scientists? I hope not, that's a non-answer. rvb8
rvb8- Ah science the explainer of all, ok rvb8 you love to use the Miller /Urey experiment as proof that life was created from non living material by a purely random process so please expand on your explanation of how it works. The way I see it is that intelligent men set up a specific, not random experiment, which resulted in racemic amino acids being produced in a goo which contaminated the process and prevented the mix producing the pure elements need for the experiment to progress. If I am wrong please put me right if not then please accept this experiment is not evidence for a random cause for life. Failing that I am building a space shuttle at home in my garage I have already bolted 5 pieces of metal together surely thats how space shuttles are made so I am well on my way, you can take a trip with me when its finished my wife is knitting the space suits as we speak ,we can use fish bowls as helmets they are basically the same things. Marfin
I agree with TWSYF, so much time and effort rebutting me? One question to start; "people who are admittedly not scientists or philosophers", why are 'philosophers' necessary in this argument about science? I really must have tuched a sore spot. Is it that the lack of science in your argument is a burden you try to ignore by doing just, philosophy? I say 'just', as ever since university where I learned that trying to interpret philosophers was an interesting way to spend time, but a poor way to get to a conclusive answer. Not being a science major I turned to History. Better than philosphy, less conclusive than science. No, I am not a scientist, but being schooled in History I love evidence, argument, and proof. Science is a hobby of mine, and the latest scientific discoveries thrill me. ID, produces nothing, hence my antagonism. I've read 'The Sefish Gene', 'Climbing Mount Improbable', 'The Origin of Species', ‘Why Evolution is True', 'Your Inner Fish' etc. Although not a scientist, the arguments explained in these entertaining books is rational, easy to follow, and makes infinately more sense than the incurious ID position. People are fond of mocking my intellect here. That's okay, 'sticks and stones' you know. However if you just produced one experiment tha t I can use as an example of the ID position, that proves an ID hypothesis (Miller/Urey is an example of excellent scientific guessing turned into practical results) I, andothers would take your position slightly more seriously. Thanks for the atention, I really don't deserve so much of your time however. P.S "Divine grace or extreme pain can change the mind..' And the inquisition is just round the corner. rvb8
It's been my experience that nothing but divine grace or extreme pain can change the mind of those who are irrationally committed to certain ideas. What is so bizarre about these particular ideas is that, in and of themselves, the not only offer no benefit, they are thoroughly self-defeating. They have no practical or necessary value, and there's no way to logically or scientifically support or justify holding the beliefs, and you cannot even act as if they are true. It's really bizarre. William J Murray
If only this could thru rb's brain fog. Now, wait for it... Vy
Truth will set you free at 1: Ah, but we more often need to be reminded than instructed. News
Wow. An entire post built around rvb8's blatant hypocrisy and incoherent logic. That's a lot more attention than he deserves, but it is a good opportunity to expose his irrationality...once again. Truth Will Set You Free

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