QuestionFor atheists: Can you elaborate on a situation that would convert you to theism?
      – BorgClown, 2009-11-09 at 22:11:33   (12 comments)

On 2009-11-09 at 22:15:14, BorgClown wrote...
Let's see: Since I know the basic blocks of organic life are so abundant in the universe as to appear in space rocks, I would seriously reconsider my atheism if humankind explored hundreds of life suitable planets without finding even a lousy microbe. What if we explored out whole galaxy and found no intelligent life, not even life at all?
On 2009-11-09 at 22:31:00, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@BorgClown: Since we cannot begin to say how likely life is in the first place, that's no indication of anything. It could be that the Universe is full of life, or it could be that life only exists here on Earth. Or it could be that other life is simply too far away for us to communicate with - e.g. beyond the cosmological horizon. I'd say that a violation of the most basic prediction of evolution might be convincing, where a fossil appears in the geological record out of sequence with its ancestors and descendants. No such fossil has ever been found, so evolution happily explains the entire history of life on Earth with no need for supernatural explanations.
On 2009-11-10 at 04:40:35, BorgClown wrote...
What, misplaced fossils would make you theist? I suppose you mean after all science has to offer fails, geology, biology, etc., even plausible or implausible theories.
On 2009-11-10 at 11:33:31, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Yes, you'd assume that a single misplaced fossil would be a mistake or a fake. It's possible that an undiscovered species might be found whose fossil couldn't possibly have descended from any other species known in the fossil record, but I don't know if you'd just wait for other fossils to be found or not. There's nothing in nature that cannot be explained just as easily without a god as with one. In fact, inventing gods always gives you something extra to explain that you didn't have before. Even if you said that a god has always existed, and happens to be functioning rather than a scrambled mess, that's not better than declaring that the Universe itself always existed. The Universe is certainly simpler than any god might be!
On 2009-11-12 at 23:50:04, Scarletxstarlet wrote...
If a deity came to me in public and explained who he or she was, why and how they made the universe, and everyone around me had the exact same experience, I would believe in said deity. Would I accept their rule? That's a totally different issue.
On 2009-11-13 at 03:20:27, BorgClown wrote...
@Scarletxstarlet: If you believe that said Deity created the universe, you're accepting that he's the owner, the non-plus-ultra, the pimpest of pimps. Why not acquiesce to his ruling after all the effort he put in?
On 2009-11-13 at 03:22:35, BorgClown wrote...
@Scarletxstarlet: You're kinda sweet there anyway, you only ask for an explanation, no miracles or epic stuff.
On 2009-11-13 at 11:15:04, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Scarletxstarlet: I was going to say what BorgClown did - anyone could come up to you and say that they're a god. You'd reasonably expect proof, although I see you expect the god to talk to everyone - presumably simultaneously. What's problematic is that you might simply be deluded, as religious people are, into thinking that you've met a god when it's actually just your brain tricking you. It's relatively straightforward to induce religious experiences in people with little more than a magnetic field, and schizophrenic individuals also sometimes have them.
On 2009-11-15 at 02:51:14, Scarletxstarlet wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: Well it obviously has to be a very GOOD explanation. :p As for being deluded, that's why I would want everyone around me to be seeing and hearing the same thing. And not in an emotionally charged setting, like a church revival or a natural disaster. I mean Yahweh/Allah/Buddha/Zeus/unquantified deity comes up to me in a restaurant and reveals the mystery of the universe over my chicken nuggets. Something mundane.
On 2009-11-15 at 02:54:08, Scarletxstarlet wrote...
@BorgClown: Why wouldn't I necessarily support the creator of the universe? Greatness doesn't always equal goodness. I'm not sure that flowers and kittens and waterfalls make up for ebola and hurricanes and the whole 'life is dependent upon killing things and eating them' bit. Ya dig?
On 2009-11-15 at 04:36:53, BorgClown wrote...
@Scarletxstarlet: Yes, I dig. If I was a chatty as you with said Deity, I'd ask him about all those things to learn the answers, to know the purpose. Undoubtedly millions of people would want the same, so in a sense, we'd become students in God ChurchUniversity. You wouldn't have to worship him, but your relation would become closer and it would be hard not to like him in the end, if only for familiarity.
On 2009-11-15 at 09:17:52, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Scarletxstarlet: Regarding the bad things in the world, you can split them into those which are natural and those which are caused directly by individual people. Perhaps hurricanes would be okay so long as they didn't kill anyone. But if you had the power, what would you do with all the bad people in the world - both those 'born bad' and those who turn bad? Would you simply block them each time they tried, or would you do something to them? There are plenty of options for post-crime actions. You could lock them up, dull their senses, remove them from the planet, cause them pain (as punishment), kill them... Going around preventing crimes on the entire planet would be a big undertaking for a brain wired like ours, even if it did have superpowers - you'd need a whole crew of 'angels' working for you to get it done.