The article is called “A Skirmish With An Atheist, A Response To Andy Uyboco’s “From Nothing To Something.”
I have responded to the author, Mr. Isahel N. Alfonso, on the comment section of his site a few days ago but for some reason, he has not yet published my responses. So for the sake of a good discussion, I will post them here.
Response to your opening statements:
A) You labeled me as an atheist, but I am really more of an agnostic. I do not believe in your particular god, but that doesn’t mean I reject the idea of some supreme being altogether. If you think about it, you are also an atheist with respect to Zeus or Odin.
B) Filipino Freethinkers is NOT an “organization for atheists” as you claim. It is a group that upholds reason, science and logic as the tools for discovering truth as opposed to accepting dogma, tradition and authority. While it is true that our founder, Red Tani, is an atheist, many members and even officers hold on to different beliefs (or unbelief). Yes, some are even Christians (and Catholics such as yourself, at that).
What keeps us together is not the commonality of our belief, but rather our willingness to discuss, debate and dialogue using reason and evidence, with no holds barred.
Now, that we have that out of the way, let’s proceed to your responses:
Uyboco’s response to the argument from causality is trying to lead us away from the issue, instead of responding to the question “is there really an uncaused cause?”
If you read carefully, it was never my intent to refute the argument from causality — that was never the point. What I merely intended to show was that even if both of us accepted this premise, then you still have a few more steps to go to connect that uncaused cause with your particular version of god.
The reason for this is that many Christians use this argument, and then say “therefore God exists” but what they really mean is God (who is Jehovah/Jesus/Holy Spirit) exists. I’m saying that’s not necessarily so. I can use the same argument from causality and tell you that God exists and his name is Bartolome and we had breakfast together a while ago.
…however for that kind of futuristic event to happen in the future would only be a speculation, hearsay and a lot of guess work.
Oh but speculation and guess work is the very foundation of invention and discovery. But then this whole issue of there being a god or not is one big exercise in speculation is it not? I mean, if there were conclusive proof of god (such as proof that gravity exists), then we wouldn’t be having this debate.
If atheists would want to use this kind of argument then it would be a very weak one because one has to have a conclusive argument not that one that is unproven and ambiguous.
Well, if I were an atheist and vehemently claim that there is no god, maybe that would be true. As it is, I do not know. I do not have sufficient evidence to make any conclusive claims or arguments. If you notice, I do not have any hard conclusions in my writing. And that’s because I have none in reality as well. I am quite comfortable in my uncertainty because that pushes me to learn more and seek more.
“What if” is an indication of uncertainty and wishful thinking, “What if” does not constitute truth therefore it is not worthy of our time and effort.
To repeat a point made earlier, “What If” is the basis of invention and discovery. A lot of the technology we enjoy and take for granted would not have been possible without mavericks asking “What if.” Contrary to what you say, I find that it IS worthy of my time and effort.
Uyboco is now flip-flopping from his position at first he claims that there is no God.
I am not flip-flopping. You are making things up. I never claimed “there is no God.” If you can show me exactly where I said that, I’ll treat you out to dinner.
Life would not be meaningful without God, you would not have your friends and your family if didn’t create them on the first place.
With that statement, you are presupposing that your God is true and that he created my friends and family. We are not there yet. You jump to a conclusion you haven’t proven.
And who are YOU to say that MY life is not meaningful? You are not me. You do not know the joy I feel at being unencumbered with belief, of enjoying life as it is here and now.
If I live in accordance to the teachings of God and I died and found out that there is no God then I lost nothing. But if I live a life of hedonism and atheism and I died and found out that God indeed exists then I lost everything.
I have discussed this in my article, False Dichotomies, if you would care to read it.
But in short, you have just presented a false dichotomy — either you believe in the Christian God or you live a life of hedonism and atheism — but why only those two choices? You can live a life of devout belief in Allah as a Muslim. You can live as a buddhist ascetic. You can become a Hindu and believe in reincarnation and karma. You can be an atheist but not a hedonist (why should the two necessarily go together?). You can be agnostic and searching like me.
You could live according to the teachings of YOUR God, then die and find Zeus with a lightning bolt grinning at you saying, “Wrong choice, buddy” or you could see Apollo Quiboloy saying, “See? I told you I was the real appointed Son. Now go to hell.”