God of the gaps for atheists

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Wootah
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God of the gaps for atheists

Post #1

Post by Wootah »

Recently I wrote:
You know, a lot of atheist talk is like a lifelong prisoner no longer believing there is anything outside the prison cell. Religion or not I just don't think it is justifiable. I do think it is a worldview and when I point it out atheists tend to get very offended (as if I attacked a sacred belief).
This is a discussion of what this means and if it is valid claim.

We know the sun rises and sets every day, day in and day out. Assuming only common sense knowledge you would be right to assume that it will always be the case.

Similarly for death. Assuming common sense knowledge you would be right to assume death is the end of life.

But then someone shows that the sun is a ball of energy and is burning up and you realise that one day the sun will not rise (or set). That it is simply a habit of life that you assumed was normal.

To date, the atheist believes death is the end, because of the same reasoning. As soon as someone rises from the dead that satisfies their burden of proof then they will change their view.

But this has two philosophical issues.

1) Humes problem of induction
https://beisecker.faculty.unlv.edu/Cour ... uction.htm

2) The god of the gaps fallacy
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps

From rational wiki: God of the gaps (or a divine fallacy) is a logical fallacy that occurs when believers invoke Goddidit (or a variant) in order to account for some natural phenomena that science cannot (at the time of the argument) explain. This concept resembles what systems theorists[1] refer to as an "explanatory principle".[2] "God of the gaps" is a bad argument not only on logical grounds, but on empirical grounds: there is a long history of "gaps" being filled and the remaining gaps for God thus getting smaller and smaller, suggesting "we don't know yet" as an alternative that works better in practice; naturalistic explanations for still-mysterious phenomena always remain possible, especially in the future where research may uncover more information.[3]
In the end the atheist claims about death are simply a gap and they are quick to fill it with nothing. That nothing happens after death.

So back to my quote.

If you were born inside a locked room and given food and water and air and whatever to survive through a hole then it is possible you might never wonder what is outside the room. That room just happens to be he universe and death is the border to what might be beyond.

Responses please :)
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Re: God of the gaps for atheists

Post #21

Post by JoeyKnothead »

Wootah wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:17 pm
POI wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:00 pm
Wootah wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:39 pm If you were born inside a locked room and given food and water and air and whatever to survive through a hole then it is possible you might never wonder what is outside the room. That room just happens to be he universe and death is the border to what might be beyond.

Responses please :)
So your claim is that something must exist outside the 'universe', and this existence must be God?
Well, I wouldn't stretch the specific thread that far but it all extrapolates to that for sure.
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Re: God of the gaps for atheists

Post #22

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to Wootah in post #1]
In the end the atheist claims about death are simply a gap and they are quick to fill it with nothing. That nothing happens after death.
But we have no actual evidence of any kind that something does happen after death apart from decay of the corpse (or burial, cremation, etc. ... eventual termination of the physical body). So what reason is there to believe otherwise?

The basic position of an atheist is a lack of belief in gods, not speculations on whether humans have afterlives or not. Different religions have different beliefs on the details of an afterlife, but atheism doesn't address that issue specifically. It could be inferred I suppose that if no gods exist, then an afterlife might be pointless, or may not exist at all. But I don't know any of any "atheist claims about death" that are a result of the lack of belief that gods exist. Or are you suggesting that belief in an afterlife is only sensible if a god exists to share it with in some way, so that a belief that gods do not exist (ie. atheism) equates to a belief that there is no afterlife?
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Re: God of the gaps for atheists

Post #23

Post by POI »

Wootah wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:17 pm
POI wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:00 pm
Wootah wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:39 pm If you were born inside a locked room and given food and water and air and whatever to survive through a hole then it is possible you might never wonder what is outside the room. That room just happens to be he universe and death is the border to what might be beyond.

Responses please :)
So your claim is that something must exist outside the 'universe', and this existence must be God?
Well, I wouldn't stretch the specific thread that far but it all extrapolates to that for sure.
Then what exactly IS your objective in this post? What exactly do you plan for atheists to acknowledge and/or recognize as true?

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Re: God of the gaps for atheists

Post #24

Post by Athetotheist »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:06 pm
Athetotheist wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:38 pm While indeed a fallacy, the God of the Gaps argument has an equally fallacious counterpart: Appeal to the Future, a materialistic assumption that every unknown will eventually be understood.
What's an appeal to a magic thing up in the sky that knows every "unknown"?

Religion?
What's "a magic thing up in the sky"?

A straw man?

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Re: God of the gaps for atheists

Post #25

Post by Wootah »

DrNoGods wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 11:49 pm [Replying to Wootah in post #1]
In the end the atheist claims about death are simply a gap and they are quick to fill it with nothing. That nothing happens after death.
But we have no actual evidence of any kind that something does happen after death apart from decay of the corpse (or burial, cremation, etc. ... eventual termination of the physical body). So what reason is there to believe otherwise?

The basic position of an atheist is a lack of belief in gods, not speculations on whether humans have afterlives or not. Different religions have different beliefs on the details of an afterlife, but atheism doesn't address that issue specifically. It could be inferred I suppose that if no gods exist, then an afterlife might be pointless, or may not exist at all. But I don't know any of any "atheist claims about death" that are a result of the lack of belief that gods exist. Or are you suggesting that belief in an afterlife is only sensible if a god exists to share it with in some way, so that a belief that gods do not exist (ie. atheism) equates to a belief that there is no afterlife?
Believe it or not, what you see when someone dies is exactly what I expect to see for each of us as we face the choice we made, in the beginning, to die in our sins or live under God's grace. I see the ageing process as a kind of 'sin calcification'. Christians get more excited as we age because the effects of sin (wages of sin is death) get more and more obvious and undeniable. Interestingly I see many non-Christians experience death as a kind of mercy from this process in the same way that I do. Both views want release from the slavery of death.

What I am suggesting is that it is merely an opinion formed from a worldview as to what death means to you. You have no actual evidence that it is the end.

I do think there is a lot of philosophical validity in the story of the two babies in the womb. https://matthewwarner.me/story-of-two-babies

We have more evidence in life that ends are not the end. The end of birth is the first stage of life in the world, the end of a study is the beginning of a job, the end of youth is the beginning of being a man and woman. Actually very few ends apart from death are the end and yet we have all this experience of ends being new beginnings and still choose to think death is the end. Pretty bizarre.
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Re: God of the gaps for atheists

Post #26

Post by brunumb »

Athetotheist wrote: Sat Aug 21, 2021 4:09 pm What's "a magic thing up in the sky"?

A straw man?
I suppose the answer is yes, if one equates God with a straw man. :)
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Re: God of the gaps for atheists

Post #27

Post by brunumb »

Wootah wrote: Sat Aug 21, 2021 5:54 pm We have more evidence in life that ends are not the end. The end of birth is the first stage of life in the world, the end of a study is the beginning of a job, the end of youth is the beginning of being a man and woman.
Poetic, but in no way is that even remotely evidence that there is life after death. The end of a piece of string is the end of the string. The end of the food supply is the end of the food. It's just silly, pointless word spinning. The end of life is death. In this universe we were effectively 'dead' for 13.8 billion years before we were born. We will return to that state after we die, fanciful tales in ancient texts notwithstanding.
Last edited by brunumb on Sun Aug 22, 2021 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: God of the gaps for atheists

Post #28

Post by POI »

Wootah wrote: Sat Aug 21, 2021 5:54 pm We have more evidence in life that ends are not the end.
Such as?

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Re: God of the gaps for atheists

Post #29

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to Wootah in post #26]
What I am suggesting is that it is merely an opinion formed from a worldview as to what death means to you. You have no actual evidence that it is the end.
And you have no evidence that it is not the end. This idea of an afterlife seems to be reserved only for humans, yet the Earth was teeming with life long before anything resembling humans came along. What about all of those creatures? Does my dog have any chance at this priviledge? I expect the answer would be no from the perspective of the religious because humans are "special." Of course, my dog doesn't have a large brain that is about 80% neocortex with the ability for abstract thought or to consider his own mortality (as far as I know), so he may not have the opportunity for eternal life simply because he is not smart enough to think of it. But us humans can think of such things and imagine them, although this has no bearing on whether or not they are actually true.

I'd argue that it is more than just an opinion formed from a worldview as to what death means to me or another atheist. I'm old enough to have seen quite a few people die and I've been present at three of those cases when the moment of death came in hospitals or hospice care. In each case the attending doctor confirmed that the person was indeed medically deceased and the body was handled according to that person's will (cremation or burial). It is impossible to know beyond what we can observe in cases like this, and what we observe is that the body of the living entity becomes lifeless at "the end" and remains so indefinitely as far as we are able to know (no examples to the contrary exist, do they?).

The prospect of an afterlife, or the existence of a "soul" are pure conjecture and "an opinion formed from a worldview" as you say above. At least we can observe death and see that the physical body meets its end. Anything beyond that requires belief in a religious claim ... not reliance on any kind of evidence.
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Re: God of the gaps for atheists

Post #30

Post by JoeyKnothead »

Athetotheist wrote: Sat Aug 21, 2021 4:09 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:06 pm
Athetotheist wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:38 pm While indeed a fallacy, the God of the Gaps argument has an equally fallacious counterpart: Appeal to the Future, a materialistic assumption that every unknown will eventually be understood.
What's an appeal to a magic thing up in the sky that knows every "unknown"?

Religion?
What's "a magic thing up in the sky"?

A straw man?
An invisible strawman that knows everything?
Discovery is finding things that exist.
Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

- William

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