God and the Tree RiddleI once had a debate over the internet with a friend of mine over the existence of a god. He was, of course, arguing for the Christian god; don't ask me which of the >30,000 versions of said god.
Anyway, he pulled this against me: "If a tree in a forest falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?" It was blatantly obvious what he was trying to do there. The tree was a metaphor for God, and the making of the noise was a metaphor for his existence. In other words, "If God exists and there's no evidence, does he not exist?" Now, I shall tear this argument apart.
There is a distinct difference between God and a tree. One can be tested, and the other can't. If I drop something, it usually makes a noise that my ears can detect, depending on what the object is and what it's falling toward. But in this situation, it's a tree hitting the ground. If I'm around for a tree to fall, I'm going to hear something. So I have good reason to think that a falling tree would make a noise, e
FaithThe definition of the word "faith" is: belief without evidence. While faith is never 100% rational, it does vary in degree based on what one has faith in. Here are three examples to explain what I mean.
1. "I have faith that the sun will come up tomorrow." It's true that I cannot definitively prove that the sun will in fact come up tomorrow, but I can easily test it simply by waiting less than a day. It's not like in the Bible, where prophecies take an undefined amount of time to supposedly come to pass. The statement is also based on past experience; for the past near-16 years of my life, the sun has come up every single day, so it is a very rational statement. You can also replace the sun rising with any other mundane experience, like dropping a pencil causing it to fall, or turning on your computer.
2. "I have faith in the legal system." The legal system is imperfect, as has been shown time and time again, so it only works some of the time. Faith in the legal system means you have t
Unfalsifiable Claims and the Burden of TruthTheists are always asserting their claims as the absolute truth. In response, we skeptics like to ask for proof of their god's existence. Since the theist knows (though many trick themselves into thinking they know) he has no proof, they might try to pull the "Prove there is no god." argument. This is what is called a "negative proof" or "proving a negative". If you're one of the people who is easily convinced of things and doesn't put much thought into them, this may almost seem like a solid argument. But it doesn't carry any weight, and here's why:
1. Can you prove to me that there are no unicorns?
2. This is a deist argument.
By simply inserting another absurd claim, one can easily nullify the argument. What most Christians fail to realize is that the lack of evidence does not automatically mean that the thing in question exists. The burden of proof lies on the person making the claim, not the respondent to it. Besides, gods (for the most part) are unfalsifiable claims. They cannot
Chicken or the EggI'm sure many people have heard of the classic riddle of "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?" Many people get into a circular argument with themselves over this, because chickens come from eggs, and eggs come from chickens, and chickens come from eggs, and so on, and so on.
What this cycle of reasoning fails to take into account is the origin of species. For those who have been living under a rock: there's this thing called the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution is an explanation of how species change over time due to natural selection and random mutation. Natural selection basically means that if an individual is unsuited to an environment, it will die off along with any others who are unsuited. They will not be able to pass on their characteristics to their offspring. Mutations are random changes in the structure of genes that result in characteristics not expected in the offspring.
With this knowledge, the answer to the riddle is quite easy. Chickens come from eggs,
Homophobia and BS Arguments1. "It's unnatural."
Actually, homosexuality has been observed in other species. You know; animals. In nature.
What qualifies as natural depends on the person you ask. Some will define "natural" as anything that would be considered the norm. To these people, anything not "normal" to them is morally wrong. But remember that the norm a couple of centuries ago was slavery. Was that a good thing? No, of course not. In this case, deviating from what was socially acceptable was a good thing. Now does that mean homosexuality is a good thing? No, of course not. But does that make it a bad thing? No, it doesn't. The point is, just because something isn't considered the norm in society, that doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing.
Others, mainly those ignorant of homosexuality in other species, will define "natural" as anything that occurs in the animal kingdom. Again, homosexuality has been observed in other species. Marriage contracts haven't been. Neither has religion. Or medical surgeries.