Theists, answer this

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Theists, answer this

A friend of mine died a few days ago of congestive heart failure, he was 41 yrs old.  I'd only known him about 3 yrs, he was a customer on my mail route who would meet me at the mailbox most every day.  He was born with congestive heart failure and suffered greatly from other conditions during his 41 years.  At one point medicine he was taking caused him to black out and fall, shattering his arm.  He suffered great pain in that arm for many years.  In addition to all this his mental development was that of about a 12 year old.  It's been difficult delivering mail there knowing he's not coming out, we had become good friends.  He was a big fan of KISS and Ace Frehley (I downloaded all of their music for him), and he was a big believer in your god.

My question is this; why would your god (or any god) suffer this gentle individual with such misery from birth?  What could the unborn have possibly done to deserve such a fate?  I don't want to hear any crap about how we can't fathom his reasons or tests of faith (remember, he was a believer) or any other such bullshit.  Come up with some straight answers that make moral sense, or even common sense.  In my estimation, if your god exists, the Epicurean argument applies.

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Not being a theist, I

Not being a theist, I realize this thread is not directed at me.  However, I'd like to say that I'm really sorry about your friend.  Forty-one is far too young.


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Thank you, DrTerwilliker.

Thank you, DrTerwilliker. Your condolences are much appreciated. I am surprised that I've had difficulty with his death.  There have been others on my route who have passed away recently, some I've talked to on many occasions, however, I sort of looked at my friend as a little brother and I think that is why the impact on me is difficult.

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I'm not a theist either, but

I'm not a theist either, but you also have my condolences.


seen too much
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Bulldog, just curious, what

Bulldog, just curious, what did he think about his physical suffering?


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Sorry I haven't responded

Sorry I haven't responded before this, been busy.  And, to Zombie, thank you, it's greatly appreciated. 

seen too much, we never really talked about it but on one occasion.  He understood the medical reasons behind his problems, but he failed to understand the "why me" aspect, though he continued to believe in god.  He became clearly upset as we talked so I changed the subject.

He knew I am an atheist and was curious about it, so he asked questions on several occasions.  The minute he thought I was trying to turn him into an atheist, however, he would suddenly have to leave.

Mind you, I never tried to "convert" him, even in jest.  Once he asked what happened when people died.  I asked him if he knew what it was like between the time he went to bed and when he woke up.  Actually, I think that was what scared him that time.

No, I would not try talk someone in his condition into any belief contrary their current belief.  They were brainwashed once and don't need any further mental abuse.

Besides, it seemed to give him some measure of comfort at times and that, I believe, is the most important thing.

"Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society." Thomas Jefferson
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Bulldog wrote:My question is

Bulldog wrote:

My question is this; why would your god (or any god) suffer this gentle individual with such misery from birth?  What could the unborn have possibly done to deserve such a fate?  I don't want to hear any crap about how we can't fathom his reasons or tests of faith (remember, he was a believer) or any other such bullshit.  Come up with some straight answers that make moral sense, or even common sense.  In my estimation, if your god exists, the Epicurean argument applies.

I don't think with this question being so personal for you, that it's my place to answer. The suffering question is one very dear to me as well, and it's the reason I was a disbeliever for most of my life. In fact I wrote a blog entry about it some time ago, I'll link the writing here: http://debate.atheist.net/showpost.php?p=12313&postcount=6. When I came to believe it was on that question as well.

There is something ultimately relatable to the suffering in one's life to that of the image of Jesus Christ Crucified, it's been a haunting and unshakable image for me, that elicits disbelief and faith, both despair and hope. In belief, it's hope, that all suffering is ultimately redeeming, in disbelief, its despair, that it's probably not so. 

Was your friend miserable though? Was he a person of despair? Not at peace with his predicament and impeding death? Did he have a sense of joy in his life, or was he completely robbed of it? Do you feel you were more despair ridden by his situation than he was? Do you know why he believed? 

 

 


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Bulldog wrote: A friend of

Bulldog wrote:

A friend of mine died a few days ago of congestive heart failure, he was 41 yrs old.  I'd only known him about 3 yrs, he was a customer on my mail route who would meet me at the mailbox most every day.  He was born with congestive heart failure and suffered greatly from other conditions during his 41 years.  At one point medicine he was taking caused him to black out and fall, shattering his arm.  He suffered great pain in that arm for many years.  In addition to all this his mental development was that of about a 12 year old.  It's been difficult delivering mail there knowing he's not coming out, we had become good friends.  He was a big fan of KISS and Ace Frehley (I downloaded all of their music for him), and he was a big believer in your god.

 

That's really sad. I'm pretty sure he didn't believe in any of my gods though.

 

Quote:

My question is this; why would your god (or any god) suffer this gentle individual with such misery from birth?

Why do you think a god would be responsible for this?

 

Quote:

  What could the unborn have possibly done to deserve such a fate?

I'm not sure that human ailments are a punishment for something.

 

Quote:

  I don't want to hear any crap about how we can't fathom his reasons or tests of faith (remember, he was a believer) or any other such bullshit.  Come up with some straight answers that make moral sense, or even common sense.  In my estimation, if your god exists, the Epicurean argument applies.

 

Actually it doesn't apply. None of my gods are claimed to be omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, or omnibenevolent. It's curious that you would think a god was responsible and that it was some sort of punishment. There's no reason to think that. Sometimes unfortunate things happen to people regardless of whether or not they deserve it. That's life, it happens.


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So your gods are not the

So your gods are not the source of good and ill (despite what the mythologies claim)?

Seems like you're trying to special plead.

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Um, Ciarin, I think bulldog

Um, Ciarin, I think bulldog is an atheist. He was posing a question to Christians asking why their God, assuming he existed, would let his friend suffer. Also, unless otherwise stated or if the question is directed to you, I don't think it would be too rash to assume that the person is talking about Yahweh.

To the OP, this is an old thread. But, nevertheless, my condolences for the loss of your friend.

 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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jcgadfly wrote:So your gods

jcgadfly wrote:

So your gods are not the source of good and ill (despite what the mythologies claim)?

Seems like you're trying to special plead.

 

They aren't the source of good and ill, and the lore doesn't state that they are.


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butterbattle wrote:Um,

butterbattle wrote:

Um, Ciarin, I think bulldog is an atheist.

I am aware of this. I figured it out when I read:

"He knew I am an atheist"

Quote:

He was posing a question to Christians

Correction, the subject title says "Theists, answer this". I am a theist, so I answered.

Quote:

asking why their God, assuming he existed, would let his friend suffer.

He said "your god (or any god)". Any god would include the ones I believe in, n'est-ce pas?

Quote:

Also, unless otherwise stated or if the question is directed to you, I don't think it would be too rash to assume that the person is talking about Yahweh.

 

One can assume that because, as I've said many times before, many atheists think theist=christian; it happens frequently. It's the reason for my signature. But, since he actually did address this to theists, and I technically count as a theist, there shouldn't be problem with my answering his questions.

 


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Ciarin wrote:Correction, the

Ciarin wrote:

Correction, the subject title says "Theists, answer this". I am a theist, so I answered.

He said "your god (or any god)". Any god would include the ones I believe in, n'est-ce pas?

One can assume that because, as I've said many times before, many atheists think theist=christian; it happens frequently. It's the reason for my signature. But, since he actually did address this to theists, and I technically count as a theist, there shouldn't be problem with my answering his questions. 

Oh, of course you can answer his questions. It's just...meh. I guess he did address it to theists. (but he was thinking about Christians!)

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:I guess

butterbattle wrote:

I guess he did address it to theists. (but he was thinking about Christians!)

 

 

par for the course with atheists.


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Ciarin

Ciarin, in order to better evaluate your response, and I suppose frame the OP's question in a matter that relates more to your beliefes, would you mind telling us what your gods do?  In a great many religions gods are causes for things, possibly everything.  It seems this isn't the case with whatever you believe.  So if you could explain what your gods do, then maybe we could figure how/if this question relates to you.

I admit the OP was rather presumptuous in relating everyone's gods to the causal gods of many but not all religions.  But the question has a basic form that can be applied to pretty much any religion that uses gods to answer questions of causality or purpose.  I don't want to presume that your views of gods do this, but if they do maybe we could rephrase the question in a way that would be more meaningful and insightful to you.

 

And of course, my condolences to the OP

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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They do whatever they want.

They do whatever they want. I have no way of knowing what they'll do next. I assume it'd have something to do with their character and personality. For example, Thunor(aka Thor) would probably do something warrior related. Or maybe he'll just drink a lot of beer.

 

We don't use the gods as genies, who grant our wishes and take care of our every whim. We also don't blame them for our troubles.


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Quote:For example,

Quote:

For example, Thunor(aka Thor) would probably do something warrior related. Or maybe he'll just drink a lot of beer.

 

Thor's relationship with mankind and vice versa was one of the best defined in the old Germanic belief systems since it was Thor who, it was believed, presided over all things agricultural (hence the hammer, by the way). There was no ambiguity at all about his behaviour at any time since it could be divined simply by looking at the day's weather, which it was assumed he controlled, and for this reason of accessibility it was logiially assumed that he was best positioned to act as an intermediary between mortality and immortality as represented by the Norse pantheon. An important function ascribed to Thor was also removing the threat posed by forces which mankind could never counter, personified as "giants" in their own realm, and in which myths he is often accompanied by a fellow immortal representing initiation into warriorhood, the nearest he came to the concept at all.

 

Outside of Marvel comics, in other words, Thor was never a warrior - despite what "modern" paganism avers. He was however a great facilitator and operated as one of the principal catalysts between mankind and the forces of nature.

 

Here in Norway much has been written in recent years about the Americanisation of Norse legendary icons, and how restricted the American imagination is in its insistence that all to do with Norse mythology must translate into bellicosity at some primary level. We know that this is based on an equally ignorant understanding of Viking and pre-Viking society and a woeful underestimation of its complexity.

 

But more importantly, as a representation of how religionists simply make it up as they go along it is seen as a classic case study.

 

 

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Never a warrior my ass.


Never a warrior my ass. According to the lore, Thunor is protector of worlds, by being the greatest enemy of the Thurses and Eotens. At ragnorak he battles the world serpent. This is his warrior aspect. This is why he is depicted in paintings as a mighty warrior of great strength and courage. Not because of Marvel comics. His connection to farmers is because of his mastery of the weather. Most vikings were farmers btw. No, you can't tell what Thunor is doing at any given moment based on the weather, you can only guess. He could be travelling to utgard, he could be causing thunder and rain in some otherplace, he could be asleep, he could be doing anything.

 

I'm looking out the window, and it's sunny and clear. Tell me what does this indicate Thunor is doing right now, o wise norseman.

 

 

 


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In Marvel comics he might

In Marvel comics he might approach the task as a warrior, right enough. In Norse mythology Ragnarak is a time of absolute pathos (Snurrilson used the term "svultsighetsdød" - the death of pomposity) when even the gods' endeavours to resist destruction brought about by humans are proved futile. It is an end-of-the-world scenario as you probably know, and one which lays waste to all hope, even that placed in the gods, which you obviously don't know.  It has its roots, it is believed, in earlier Indo-European mythology and beliefs in which universal destruction leads to the end of aspiration as humanly understood and fulfilment in a way which we cannot - a theme incidentally echoed in judæo-christian myth too.

 

He "fights" the serpent and dies in the myth, as do all the other gods who attempt to fight for their (and humanity's) survival. The two survivors "life" and "desire to live", portrayed in the legend as a male and female, survive because they do not fight but rather hide in Yggdrasil "the tree of the world". Their pacifist approach ensures a continuity into the next pantheonic era.

 

Warrior-myth my ass.

 

If you're going to insist on "adopting" an out-dated belief system's characters as your personal deities the least you could do is credit them with their appropriate character and function. See what I mean about making it up as you go along? I would maintain that attempting to buy into any religion is a retrogressive step intellectually, but attempting to regenerate an obsolete one with inappropriate and arbitrary modern values is even worse and can best be described as anti-intellectual in its wilful disregard for all intelligent sensibilities, both modern and ancient. Whatever flies your kite, I guess.

 

But I will admit that Tom Raney's artwork is cool.

 

And by the way, if the weather is warm and dry then Thor might be very displeased indeed - especially if it's the planting season in a land with an extremely narrow window of opportunity for cultivation and you're hoping your seeds germinate. You'd better go off and sacrifice a life form or something!

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Ciarin
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My seeds have already

My seeds have already germinated. I just transplanted them in to the new flower bed. And regardless of whether you think he's displeased or not, you've failed to answer what he's doing.

 

Ragnorak is the end of the gods, not the end of the world. The world goes on, always.

 

I don't insist on adopting anything. I'm heathen, take it or leave it. You assume things about my beliefs that have no basis. You need to educate yourself.


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Quote:You need to educate

Quote:

You need to educate yourself.

 

I have.

 

Your post raises some interesting aspects to the delusional mindset of the religionist, especially those who have invested their perceived deities with human characteristics. The notion that Thor is "pleased" or "displeased" is probably understandable as a subversion of the will to control one's environment. In a person ignorant of how that environment actually worked, such as pertained at the time your deities were given the pseudo-physical manifestation you have arbitrarily adopted now, such ignorance was normal. However the notion by extension that said deity then "moves around" and otherwise accords to human impulses and mannerisms is where delusion shows itself. Not being ill in that respect myself I of course can't tell you what a figment of your imagination is doing at any time, whether he has "gone anywhere" or whether you are privy or not to his whereabouts. Only you can answer that, but it is very interesting that you think you have made a valid challenge all the same.

 

Do you know what the word "ragnorak" (more correctly "ragnarøk" ) means by the way? If you say "Twilight of the Gods" then I'll have been confirmed correct in my previous assumption about how you have assimilated the information with which you feed your delusions, and I can recommend you may as well simply continue to inform those delusions with 19th century nationalistic and pseudo-psychological nonsense (or even better, by the swathe of "norse mythology" internet garbage out there) since - as with most religionists - anything more complex which suggests their naive faith in the supernatural is wrong doesn't get beyond the first brain cell anyway.

 

Which is a pity in your case since you obviously have an intellect, and one which might have been even better rewarded by a thorough and more productive education regarding norse myth and legend, the norse languages, and the insight these lend to better understanding ancient Indo-European cultural roots from which much of our modern language and culture evolved. Getting sidetracked in idol-worship, especially idols which are such pale imitations of the fantastic inventions they once were, is just a tragic waste of time and intelligence. But hey ho - if you get a buzz out of it what the hell.

 

I neither take it nor leave it that you describe yourself as a heathen. You are deluded, but at least have immersed yourself in a fantasy which - apart from damaging some animals unnecessarily - has very little negative impact on society as a whole. There's worse out there.

 

 

 

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Only on the RRS could you

Only on the RRS could you have such an interesting debate on Norse Theology its so much more interesting than monotheism where if god says it do it


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Nordmann wrote:Do you know

Nordmann wrote:

Do you know what the word "ragnorak" (more correctly "ragnarøk" ) means by the way?

 

Doom of the Powers.


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Nordmann wrote:Which is a

Nordmann wrote:

Which is a pity in your case since you obviously have an intellect, and one which might have been even better rewarded by a thorough and more productive education regarding norse myth and legend, the norse languages, and the insight these lend to better understanding ancient Indo-European cultural roots from which much of our modern language and culture evolved.

 

Actually I'm hoping to study Old English. I'm not as interested in the norse languages as much.

 

You need to realize you assume too much about me. You should really find out more before you keep making these inaccurate assumptions. Educate yourself.


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I assume nothing about you,

I assume nothing about you, except of course that which you have previously said. You have decided to adopt the Norse gods as your own gods.

 

You have said twice that I should educate myself, when I already have. Norse mythology is, to me, a much more fecund route of philosophical spore tracking back to the Indo-European root of much of our inherited culture than, for example, the Judæo-christian route, sidelined as it is by an historically attestible minority syndrome. Isolated sub-cultures provide contrast, not explanation.

 

But I fully understand that Norse mythology requires contextual placement before it can be understood. For that reason alone I would recommend not placing any belief in any of its deities at least before properly understanding why such deities were invented. It is a fascinating study (and informs the study of Old English in the process). But it is an intecllectual pursuit, and any deviation into religious adherence is an obstacle to that pursuit, not an advantage.

 

If your primary objective is to understand humanity's relationship with the world then you have chosen a good introductory subject. But you are going about it the wrong way if you think it requires that religious conviction is an antecedent to comprehension of the subject matter. You are better than that - and have proved it with your lucidity.

 

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Nordmann wrote:I assume

Nordmann wrote:

I assume nothing about you, except of course that which you have previously said. You have decided to adopt the Norse gods as your own gods.

If by Norse you really mean English, then yes.

 

Quote:

You have said twice that I should educate myself, when I already have.

You've done a great job at learning norse mythology. How about learning about fyrnsidu? You assume I base my beliefs on marvel comics, or modern pagan books. I don't.

 

Quote:

But I fully understand that Norse mythology requires contextual placement before it can be understood. For that reason alone I would recommend not placing any belief in any of its deities at least before properly understanding why such deities were invented.

You don't think I've actually done my homework. You think I read a book by llewellyn and now I call myself heathen. You're wrong on both counts. You really should stop making assumptions, cause you really suck at it.


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Hi.

I'm not a theist, but if you're asking for why the christian god would incur this suffering, it's because he either deserved it, or was worthy of being tested by him.

I am reminded of the stories of Job and Joshua.


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Quote:You really should stop

Quote:

You really should stop making assumptions, cause you really suck at it.

 

On the contrary, it appears I am quite right. And I would dearly love to see what "homework" you claim to have done which has identified an Anglo-Saxon mythology from attestible sources which differs fundamentally from that which we at least can recreate from Norse sources. Religious cherry-pickers rarely bother themselves much with authenticity in a strictly academic sense and your "homework" will either reveal that you have made a fantastic literary discovery which will advance our understanding of old European mythology considerably or it will reveal that you - like all cherry-pickers (and the American-centred fyrnsidu enthusiasts in particular) - have simply applied modern and personal preferences to badly researched and largely unattestible waffle. I suspect the latter - another assumption on my part I admit, but again a rather safe one. When it comes to religion "followers" are just that, and those who originate the bunkum rarely want to be identified.

 

As delusional wastes of time and intellect go however you have chosen a relatively harmless one so I would not want my comments to be interpreted chiefly as criticism of either your character or your motives. They are expressed more in regret that an intelligent person has become enthused about a subject which offers huge academic scope for an historical understanding of very ancient socio-political and demographic developments lying at the root of our modern western culture, but has chosen arbitrarily to truncate that research in order to become just another deluded victim of bunkum. Religious adherence is often anathema to learning, and I am afraid you are just another example of this.

 

"Ure æghwylc sceal ende gebidan worolde lifes" as Beowulf said. It's a tragedy that religion has led so many people to waste so much of theirs in the process.

 

 

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Bulldog wrote:A friend of

Bulldog wrote:

A friend of mine died a few days ago of congestive heart failure, he was 41 yrs old.  I'd only known him about 3 yrs, he was a customer on my mail route who would meet me at the mailbox most every day.  He was born with congestive heart failure and suffered greatly from other conditions during his 41 years.  At one point medicine he was taking caused him to black out and fall, shattering his arm.  He suffered great pain in that arm for many years.  In addition to all this his mental development was that of about a 12 year old.  It's been difficult delivering mail there knowing he's not coming out, we had become good friends.  He was a big fan of KISS and Ace Frehley (I downloaded all of their music for him), and he was a big believer in your god.

My question is this; why would your god (or any god) suffer this gentle individual with such misery from birth?  What could the unborn have possibly done to deserve such a fate?  I don't want to hear any crap about how we can't fathom his reasons or tests of faith (remember, he was a believer) or any other such bullshit.  Come up with some straight answers that make moral sense, or even common sense.  In my estimation, if your god exists, the Epicurean argument applies.

I'm sorry about your friend.  There is a philosophical answer to your question and a biblical answer.  

The philosophical answer to your question is that God is defined as that which is the greatest conceivable being.  The greatest conceivable being must have all positive properties.  For example, there are rational beings with finite knowledge and then there is omniscience.  Finite knowledge is imperfect while omniscience is perfection of knowledge. God, by definition, would be infinite in perfection (i.e. omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, etc.)

According to Leibniz' law of identity, A is idenitical to B if A and B share the same properties.  Therefore, if the world was perfect, then the world would simply be identical to God himself.  But since the world is a distinct entity, it is imperfect by necessity.

Now you can argue, "Okay, it is not perfect, but could it not have been a little better than this?" Ultimately, you would be begging the question because you are presupposing some standard of good and evil and you would have to justify that position before you could make such an argument.  

The biblical answer to your question is that we live in a fallen creation due to original sin. This is not God's fault.  This was due to the misuse of human volition.  

Anyway, I really do not see that rejecting God would make your situation anymore comforting.  In fact, atheism really cannot offer you anything other than, "This sort of thing happens.  Your friend is dead.  Go see a psychiatrist and she'll help you get over it." Furthermore, nobody is really sorry that your friend is dead since our apologies and sympathies are based on nothing more than the chemistry of our brain and that nothing your friend did was ever really good because he could not have done it any other way.  It was all dictated by determinism.

As a theist, I would actually offer you the same advice but I would also offer you that there is more to existence than what we perceive and that your existence here is merely a blip on the radar of eternity.  Your friend's life is not gone.  He has merely moved on from his physical existence.  


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Quote:In fact, atheism

Quote:

In fact, atheism really cannot offer you anything other than, "This sort of thing happens.  Your friend is dead.  Go see a psychiatrist and she'll help you get over it."

 

What a stupid and arrogant person you are. If you had attended any of my family's funerals and delivered that line you'd have been joining the corpse in double quick time.

 

But you are a great advertisement for christian double standards, and a reminder if one is needed of how sick people like you can get. You don't even know what you did wrong there, do you?

 

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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BostonRedSox wrote:The

BostonRedSox wrote:
The philosophical answer to your question is that God is defined as that which is the greatest conceivable being.

This is the ontological argument. It was debunked centuries ago.

Re-define 'god,' if you please.

Quote:
The greatest conceivable being must have all positive properties.

And all negative properties, if by 'greatest conceivable being' you mean 'a synonym for an infinite' or 'multi-omni' being. Which it seems like you do.

Quote:
For example, there are rational beings with finite knowledge and then there is omniscience.  Finite knowledge is imperfect while omniscience is perfection of knowledge. God, by definition, would be infinite in perfection (i.e. omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, etc.)

'Infinite', in this case, means nothing. It's an abstraction that we humans can never understand, and probably never will. And the fact that we can dream it up doesn't make it real- we can dream up any number of beings, states, things, whatever. That we have an idea of 'infinite perfect being' makes it no more true than does the fact that we have an idea of unicorns or Santa Claus.

Quote:
According to Leibniz' law of identity, A is idenitical to B if A and B share the same properties.  Therefore, if the world was perfect, then the world would simply be identical to God himself.  But since the world is a distinct entity, it is imperfect by necessity.

How do you *know* that 'the world' isn't identical to god 'himself'? Maybe the pantheists are right. And/or; maybe god is immanent. Maybe god is not omni-benevolent (that would explain tapeworms and kandiru fish). Or maybe, just maybe, 'god' is a null category, a filler for the unknown.

Quote:
Now you can argue, "Okay, it is not perfect, but could it not have been a little better than this?" Ultimately, you would be begging the question because you are presupposing some standard of good and evil and you would have to justify that position before you could make such an argument.

This is funny- a god-believer invoking question-begging with regards to good and evil, yet not in regards to an impossible to detect or experience (except through 'revelation' or personal experience *snort*) realm that still HAS to exist because.... er... well, it's just self-evident, dammit! 

Quote:
The biblical answer to your question is that we live in a fallen creation due to original sin. This is not God's fault.  This was due to the misuse of human volition.

No, actually it was god's fault. If god is omnipotent and omniscient, he foresaw with perfect knowledge that humans would fall. He knew, without a doubt, that he would condemn certain people to hell and others to heaven- yet this is supposed to mean something, this is supposed to be justice.

That he then felt the need to come to earth to fix his own mistakes, act like he was doing this big favor for us, and STILL hang this awful threat over our heads after he supposedly made things all right, makes it even more ridiculous.

And even if you want to make the case for god not being the author of evil, he is still the one being who is allowing it to keep happening. At this point, you'll probably fall back on the standard 'it's to test us' or 'it's to prepare us for paradise.' But that's nonsense: with god all things are possible, right? So 'he' should be able to make a world where there is no sin, yet there is a choice; a world where we know, without the tiniest shadow of a doubt, that god exists (and where we can *positively* define what god is) and yet still be free, in some fashion, to be human.

Of course, this is also dependent upon the idea that the Garden story is true. If it isn't- that just throws the whole 'died for our sins' narrative into question.

Quote:
Anyway, I really do not see that rejecting God would make your situation anymore comforting.  In fact, atheism really cannot offer you anything other than, "This sort of thing happens.  Your friend is dead.  Go see a psychiatrist and she'll help you get over it."

Ah yes, I forgot- atheists have no morals because god didn't tell them that if they're not moral they're going to a place of eternal unpleasantness, or are at least cut off from god, forever; and that those who are moral get massive, eternal rewards.

Dude, where have you been for the past 150 years?!? Evolution explains where morality comes from. Hint: It ain't god.

We are social creatures because of evolution. We naturally make consensus decisions, we naturally want to get along (at least in our extended social groups- beyond that, it becomes an abstraction, and thus, morality is far more unevenly applied). Even before we were primates, probably, our ancestors survived because they could stick around and not cause harm to the social group. Those that didn't, got kicked out or were picked off at the periphery by predators.

This leads us to today's moral code: a combination of enlightened self-interest and consensus. Together these match up very well to the golden rule, yet they are absent the carrot-stick approach of most god-belief.

Quote:
Furthermore, nobody is really sorry that your friend is dead since our apologies and sympathies are based on nothing more than the chemistry of our brain and that nothing your friend did was ever really good because he could not have done it any other way.  It was all dictated by determinism.

Just because it's based in the physical world, doesn't make it unreal. In fact, quite the opposite. All emotions come from the brain; the 'mind,' an abstraction, allows us to make sense of this brain chemistry. That you've got it backwards- that things seem more 'real' to you as abstractions that descend from above/beyond 'this world'- is to your detriment. And it shows your arrogance in feeling that you *know* what people need, what 'atheism' can give to people, and what is 'really' important.

Quote:
As a theist, I would actually offer you the same advice but I would also offer you that there is more to existence than what we perceive and that your existence here is merely a blip on the radar of eternity.  Your friend's life is not gone.  He has merely moved on from his physical existence.

And as a materialist, I would say 'show me.' If you had conclusive proof, it would revolutionize.... well, everything, really. I'd be amazed if you could actually even give a positive ontology for the supernatural.

OrdinaryClay wrote:
If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.


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crazymonkie wrote:SNIP I

crazymonkie wrote:

SNIP

 

I have an objection, first of all, to the way in which you are answering my post.  The problem is that you are taking it quote by quote, which means that what I am saying is being taken out of its context and being isolated.  For example, you took the line about the philosophical answer and called it the "ontological argument," which has nothing to do with what I was talking about.  That appears to be what some atheists do; project upon you what they *want* you to be arguing so that they can refute it using their stock rebuttals.  I was not using the ontological argument.  The ontological argument is based on the assumption that existence is a property of a being, which I myself reject. Existence is not a thing that a being has or does not have, which is why it is actually unintelligible for someone to assert that a God which has existence is better than a God which does not have existence.  Nevertheless, just because an argument is invalid does not mean that all of its premises are false, in fact, an argument can have all true premises and still be false.  The premise in the ontological argument which states that God is the greatest conceivable being is a true premise, even if the rest of the argument is false.

Another example was at the end where you projected upon me the argument that atheists have no morals.  I never said that and I have no idea where you pulled that out from.  In fact, I do believe that atheists are fully capable of acting moral.  But I do not believe that they have strong footing when it comes to justifying their position of "right" and "wrong."  In that instance, atheism is intellectually bankrupt.

You have no authority to tell me what I have to "re-define."  "Greatest conceivable being" is a perfectly legitimate definition of "God."  This has been the accepted definition even before the beginning of the Common Era.  If you do not like it, take it up with society and its agreed-upon convention.

I will take responsibility for some of your misunderstanding.  I should not have used the term "positive property," as that gives way to the misunderstanding that you demonstrate.  Nobody *has* a negative property.  For example, an amputee does not *have* the property of lacking an arm.  Lacking an arm is a privation of a specific body part.  It is unintelligible to say, "If God has no negative properties, then God is not the greatest conceivable because he lacks something."  You either have a property or you do not.  You do not have a lack of a property.

I will also take responsibility for not clearly defining what I mean by "world."  By "world", I am referring to the material universe.  In this instance, we know that the world is not identical to God because (1) the world is not even a thing in itself, but rather, a colloquial term that we use to describe the sum of all particular things, (2) evil exists in the world and that is inconsistent with the idea of God's nature of goodness.  

But you are jumping ahead to many different things and you want me to answer 100,000 different questions in one post.  I can debate you on a lot of these topics but for you to just demand that I debunk all of the claims of pantheists and/or others in my response to you is unreasonable.

As far as your sophomoric reading of Genesis goes, just because God had foresight into what would happen and allows it to happen did not mean that he approves of it nor does it mean that he had any causal connection to it.  But we can debate that another time. Once again, you are asking me to debunk every claim in history made by atheists in one post.  

 


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Quote:I have an objection,

Quote:
I have an objection, first of all, to the way in which you are answering my post.  The problem is that you are taking it quote by quote, which means that what I am saying is being taken out of its context and being isolated.

 

It's a php based forum. That's what happens. You're just going to have to deal with it.

 

 

Also: Yankees Suck!


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Ciarin wrote:Quote:I have an

Ciarin wrote:

Quote:
I have an objection, first of all, to the way in which you are answering my post.  The problem is that you are taking it quote by quote, which means that what I am saying is being taken out of its context and being isolated.

 

It's a php based forum. That's what happens. You're just going to have to deal with it.

And that I am doing. 

 

Quote:
Also: Yankees Suck!

Yes.


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Wow.  I thought this thread

Wow.  I thought this thread had disappeared into the nether-regions of the net.  Guess I need to check my e-mail more often.  First, I want to thank all of you who have expressed your condolences, they are greathly appreciated.  My reason for the original question was not from the pain of losing a friend.  My anger with christians in particular and theists in general stemmed from comments I heard from believers and have heard too many times  in the past to count.  Comments such as "he's in a better place", "it's god's plan", "god needed him in heaven", "god's ways are too mysterious for humans to understand" and I don't know how many other ways people put such bullshit.  What I asked for was asked from the perspective of a believer, not just of the christian god but any other god or gods purported to care about what we mere mortals here on Earth do, think, say, eat, drink, shit and fuck.  I want to know specifically any good explanations any christian or theist can come up with that does not dismiss my intelligence by giving me platitudes that seem to come up whenever there is no good explanation for anything god does.

Theacrobat, you should have stayed an etheist.  There is little to no credible evidence, contemporary to jesus' time, that is extra-biblical, that he even existed.  My opinion of the writings that were put forth years after his supposed death is that they are merely fictional accounts of a popular idea that spawned a lot of writings on the subject. 

Let me ask you; how is suffering by a person "utlimately relatable to the image of christs crucifiction"?  "Hope, that all suffering is ultimately redeeming" is merely a delusion of those who are unable to accept the reality of the cycle of life and death.  I for one am comfortable with the idea of death being the ultimate end with nothing beyond this life.  I find it liberating to accept that there is no afterlife and that there is no god, gods, daemons, ghosts, angels, archangels that we must contend with not only here in this reality, but in a metaphysical realm as well.  I don't do well with worship and am impressed with very few people in this reality. 

I have met presidents, statesmen, sports figures, actors, and other celebrities and have only been impressed by two; Bob Marley whom I met before he died, and the Reverend Tutu.  Yeah, I know he's a beleiver but that was not what impressed me about him. He is short of stature but stands ten feet tall in his humility and wisdom.  There is a calm demeanor and a certainty in his belief in mankind that has nothing to do with religion.

Was my friend miserable, or a person of dispair?  Not particularly.  He could not understand, even though he believed the bullshit force-fed to children by christians, why god had singled him out and he knew he was missing out on a lot in life.  As I mentioned earlier, he was a big fan of Kiss and he always looked forward to receiving a Kiss catalog each fall.  There was joy in his life but he knew he was missing out on a lot because of his condition but could not understand what he had done to warrant such treatment.  He understood so-called "original sin" but, like me, thought that was so much bullshit.  No amount of logic can justify the idea that we all have to pay for the sins of adam and eve. 

No, I was not more dispair-ridden than he was.  I understand that things sometimes happen during fetal development that turns out badly.  Do I feel badly for those who were dealt a bad hand in life, so to speak?  Of course I do.  But, I don't assuage myself with a delusional belief in an invisible sky daddy who I can say is testing someone or who's reasons for doing what he does are beyond our meager abilities to understand and claim that a person's suffering will be rewarded in a next life for the strenght of his faith in that delusion.  I understand that it is simply something that happens and there is nothing that can be done about it at this stage of our understanding of the world we live in.  Perhaps if fundamentalist christians had not been able to impose their beliefs on the rest of the U.S. over the past eight years through a born-again president of limited intelligence, stem cell research might have found some clues to a treatment or cure for such things.

Ciarin, I don't think a god would be responsible for the suffering of millions of people everyday.  As you eventually noted in your disingenuous way, I am an atheist and do not believe in such bullshit.  However, christians and theists do believe in much of the myth surrounding gods, goddesses, and other metaphysical fantasies.  That is why I worded my question the way I did, so those less astute could grasp it.  And, while I did address the question primarily to christians I also directed it to those who believe in entities other than yahwey.  Now, while the Epicurean argument does not apply to the gods of your particular version of a religion, it does not mean that your version is any less absurd than the christian version.  Evidence of your religion is no different than evidence of the christian or any other religion.  Faith is not evidence, it is a refusal to think.  It is dogma based on nothing more than a desire for something more, something beyond this life, a desire for immortality.

All gods are inventions of primitive cultures with little understanding of the reality of their world.  Gods were invented to explain the unexplainable by individuals or groups who had deep-seated desires to impress his/their fellow primitives with inside knowledge and the power that comes with such knowledge.

BostonRedSox, your philosophical answer is nothing more than a reflection of the so-called biblical answer and does not begin to answer my question any more than any other response so far.  The Epicurean Argument definitely applies to your post.  Original Sin is nothing more than the church's effort to make people feel guilty so they will blindly accept whatever else is fed to them by ecclesiastical authority.  Before you start using the bible as authority you should read it from front to back, word for word and pay attention to what has been written.  First, take a few classes in critical thinking and then apply that to your read of the bible.  More atheists have been "created", if you will, from actually reading the bible instead of simply regurgitating some crap fed to them in church.  Most humans have an innate tendency to seek easy routes to knowledge and in doing so usually end up listening to someone tell them how to think.  This is a singularly pernicious tendency with theists and particularly those theists who believe in monotheistic religions.  Open your mind to reason.  BTW, your post is the same bullshit that set me off to begin with.  You did not answer the question, you simply regurgitated what you have been taught by a preacher/priest who may also have limited knowledge of what the bible actually says because he was indoctrinated as opposed to educated.  Most religious leaders have no more knowledge of the bible than any of their followers.  They can quote scripture out of conext with the best of them.  Re-read my question and then make another attempt to answer it.  This time without all the hocus pocus of the bible and claims of ominiscience, omnipresence, omnipotence.  These and original sin are non-starters.  Oh, and for the record, your brain chemistry may be meaningless but mine and most others are not.

The challenge is still out there.  Explain to my why your god or any god would visit such misery on people who may or may not worship him/her/it.  A solid reason not tired old platitudes that simply avoid to question.

"Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society." Thomas Jefferson
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Bulldog wrote:Ciarin, I

Bulldog wrote:

Ciarin, I don't think a god would be responsible for the suffering of millions of people everyday.  As you eventually noted in your disingenuous way, I am an atheist and do not believe in such bullshit.  However, christians and theists do believe in much of the myth surrounding gods, goddesses, and other metaphysical fantasies.  That is why I worded my question the way I did, so those less astute could grasp it.  And, while I did address the question primarily to christians I also directed it to those who believe in entities other than yahwey.  Now, while the Epicurean argument does not apply to the gods of your particular version of a religion, it does not mean that your version is any less absurd than the christian version.  Evidence of your religion is no different than evidence of the christian or any other religion.  Faith is not evidence, it is a refusal to think.  It is dogma based on nothing more than a desire for something more, something beyond this life, a desire for immortality.

All gods are inventions of primitive cultures with little understanding of the reality of their world.  Gods were invented to explain the unexplainable by individuals or groups who had deep-seated desires to impress his/their fellow primitives with inside knowledge and the power that comes with such knowledge.

 

The rationality of my beliefs is irrelevent to this discussion. You were not asking why our beliefsd are irrational. You were complaining that theist beliefs of the afterlife were of no comfort and insulted your intelligence. Well, I wanted to point out that your generalisms of theism don't apply to this theist. Your post would be more appropriately directed to those in the abrahamic faiths. My gods do not control people's lives, they don't decide how/when they'll die, they don't make out plans for everyone's existence. And I have no idea if someone's goes to a "better place" when they die. Traditionally, when someone we know dies, we raise a toast to their memory and the accomplishments in their life. Where they go after that(if they go anywhere) is no concern of us. The best thing we do for our dead is remember them, remember their story.

 

"76. Cattle die, and kinsmen die,
And so one dies one's self;
But a noble name will never die,
If good renown one gets.
77. Cattle die, and kinsmen die,
And so one dies one's self;
One thing I know that never dies,
The fame of a dead man's deeds."
(Havamal 76-77)


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Getting back to the point

Bull dog I know this is an old but I am sorry.

You are asking a very serious question and I think it deserves a serious answer. I fore warn this is not a nice neat answer, but it is the truth as I see it.

This is a cause and effect universe. There are systems in place that cause good things and bad. Biological systems, cosmological systems, ecological systems, and possibly others yet to be discovered that when interacted with have an effect rather good or bad. So, if we are assuming for a moment that God exist then we are left with the fact that sin has entered the world and we each have our share in the repercussions of that. That leaves us with one question: can we except that God has not shielded us from the effects of our actions and the actions of those who have came before us?

If God doesn't do things the way you think they should be done maybe you should entertain the idea that it's you who doesn't understand.


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Bulldog wrote:BostonRedSox,

Bulldog wrote:

BostonRedSox, your philosophical answer is nothing more than a reflection of the so-called biblical answer and does not begin to answer my question any more than any other response so far.  The Epicurean Argument definitely applies to your post.  Original Sin is nothing more than the church's effort to make people feel guilty so they will blindly accept whatever else is fed to them by ecclesiastical authority.  Before you start using the bible as authority you should read it from front to back, word for word and pay attention to what has been written.  First, take a few classes in critical thinking and then apply that to your read of the bible.  More atheists have been "created", if you will, from actually reading the bible instead of simply regurgitating some crap fed to them in church.  Most humans have an innate tendency to seek easy routes to knowledge and in doing so usually end up listening to someone tell them how to think.  This is a singularly pernicious tendency with theists and particularly those theists who believe in monotheistic religions.  Open your mind to reason.  BTW, your post is the same bullshit that set me off to begin with.  You did not answer the question, you simply regurgitated what you have been taught by a preacher/priest who may also have limited knowledge of what the bible actually says because he was indoctrinated as opposed to educated.  Most religious leaders have no more knowledge of the bible than any of their followers.  They can quote scripture out of conext with the best of them.  Re-read my question and then make another attempt to answer it.  This time without all the hocus pocus of the bible and claims of ominiscience, omnipresence, omnipotence.  These and original sin are non-starters.  Oh, and for the record, your brain chemistry may be meaningless but mine and most others are not.

 

You are not offering me anything objective.  You are making emotional arguments that typify a common atheist mindset.  In other words, it does not seem to be an issue of rationality.  It seems to be an issue of emotion.  You hate God.  And therefore, you will not believe in him as a sort of vengeance.  If this was an issue of rationality, I would expect an equal assault on the tenets of Zen Buddhism or Raelianism, both atheistic religions.  But I digress.

You have not refuted my argument in any way.  You've simply declared it irrational and continued preaching an angry diatribe.

In regards to the sincerity of the doctrine of Original Sin, do you have any proof that it was just invented by the church to instill a guilt trip into laypeople in order to take advantage of them?  Or is this simply your opinion?  Furthermore, I find your claim about Christianity creating atheists highly suspect considering the actual statistical proportion of Christians to atheists, especially in the United States.  

I disagree that humans seek easy routes to knowledge.  I would argue that what humans seek are easy routes to their own fulfillment.  Secular atheism finds that fulfillment is something that is of this world and can be found in how many women you have sex with or how much money you make.  If only things were that easy.  Religion argues that fulfillment is not easy.  It takes work and secular atheism is the coward's way out. Instead of confronting the human problems, you've not only sanctified them but you've removed the "human" element altogether since humans become nothing more than natural robots subject to determinism.

Let me ask you a question.  Would you world be a better place if, whenever something bad was about to happen, God popped up and stopped it?  If, for example, you were about to caught by a rip tide, would you want God to pop up from the water and save you?  Should God jump up and block a hurricane from hitting your house?  Should God make hamburgers magically appear when there is a famine in Somalia?  Is that how the world *ought* to be?  

By what standard are you judging "good" and "evil", by the way?  What made your friend a good person?  What if, according to someone else's morality, your friend was a horrible person and deserved to die?  

 


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BostonRedSox wrote:You hate

BostonRedSox wrote:

You hate God.

Hehehe.

BostonRedSox wrote:
Secular atheism finds that fulfillment is something that is of this world and can be found in how many women you have sex with or how much money you make.

Hahahahahaha.

BostonRedSox wrote:
Religion argues that fulfillment is not easy.

Depends on the religion. Christianity is easy. Scientology is hard.

BostonRedSox wrote:
It takes work and secular atheism is the coward's way out.

Hahaha.

Quote:
Let me ask you a question.  Would you world be a better place if, whenever something bad was about to happen, God popped up and stopped it?

Yes.

Quote:
If, for example, you were about to caught by a rip tide, would you want God to pop up from the water and save you?

Yes.

Quote:
Should God jump up and block a hurricane from hitting your house?

Yes.

Quote:
Should God make hamburgers magically appear when there is a famine in Somalia?

Yes.

Quote:
Is that how the world *ought* to be?

If there is a God, and he is omnibenevolent and omnipotent, yes.

Quote:
By what standard are you judging "good" and "evil", by the way?

My own.

Quote:
What made your friend a good person?

He/she is honest. Responsible. Hard-working. Compassionate. Etc.

Quote:
What if, according to someone else's morality, your friend was a horrible person and deserved to die?  

What do you mean? What if what? Your question is too vague and ambiguous.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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If the God of the Bible were

If the God of the Bible were a person, he'd probably be in jail.  He'd also be a terrible husband.

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...Wait: Nordmann, Thor's

...Wait:

 

Nordmann, Thor's 'agricultural' hammer was, like, Mjollnir, right? The magical hammer that never missed a target when thrown at them? the magical hammer that was used to bust the chops of giants (and incidentally, also went right through a stone slab - a magical stone slab, if I recall - to hit a giant in the face despite his attempt to block the hammer. 'Cuz Mjollnir can't be blocked, 'cuz it's magic... and then Thor got hit by the shrapnel, and that's why he's always pissed-off...)

 

Norse mythology rocks. Hard.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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It sure does.I also like

It sure does.

I also like Jainism, because it's got living beings made of fire.

I'll repeat: Living things, that exist in fire.

So one part of that really strict religion is strictures dealing with fire and the living things in it.

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If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.


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You think agriculture in

You think agriculture in Scandinavia is frolicking lambs and bringing in the sheaves on cue? Believe me, you need one of those hammers on your side!

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I seem to recall a lot of

I seem to recall a lot of skull-splitting in the sagas.


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They didn't have

They didn't have capitalization grants and headage counts in those days. Agriculture was more ... well, basic.

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BostonRedSox
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buttergook wrote:Quote:Let

[duplicate post]

 


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Forgive me, Ciarin.  It's

Forgive me, Ciarin.  It's been quite a few years since I read any of the stories of the Norse gods I but I seem to remember one or more gods, not demons, who would cause problems, injuries or death to humans.  The Abrahamic god visits problems, injuries and death on humans.  I don't see the difference.  My question was quite specific, if somewhat wordier than this version; what moral reason could any god have for making or allowing my friend to have been born with a serious health problem?  You seem to know a lot about what your gods don't do, what do they do?  BTW, I completely agree with your sentiment that "the best thing we do for our dead is remember them, remember their story".

Blackroseseeker, read my question again then read your post.

BostonRedSox, I know I'm going to regret saying this, I don't hate god I simply do not accept his existence.  I don't see how one can hate what does not exist.  I'm not too thrilled with some of his (I'm talking about the Abrahamic god as I assume you are too) followers and I can think of more than a few who should be in prison (I'm against the death penalty, too) for the rest of thier lives.

I did not refute your argument because it was nonsense and I didn't try.  I simply stated my opinion of you and your post.  Original Sin is christian doctrine, not the word of god.  It is painfully obvious you have yet to read the book you believe in as there is not mention of original sin in any form in the book.  Once again I am suggesting that you take a few classes in critical thinking and then actually sit down and read the bible from the first page to the last, and don't skip the begats they're quite the exciting read.  That alone almost made me an atheist the first time I read the thing.  Ask some of the atheists on this site, a great number of them were christians until they actually read the bible.  It's impossible to not see glaring errors and contradictions throughout the bible, there are thousands of them.

To answer your question about whether the world would be a better place, I'll ask this.  What would be so wrong with a god who stopped all this from happening?  Isn't your god all powerful, loving and good?  Do you think the world is a better place because of famine and thousands of children dying of starvation?  Or do you think there's nothing wrong with that because god did it? You need some serious help.  People like you scare me. 

 

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Bulldog wrote:BostonRedSox,

Bulldog wrote:

BostonRedSox, I know I'm going to regret saying this, I don't hate god I simply do not accept his existence.  I don't see how one can hate what does not exist.  I'm not too thrilled with some of his (I'm talking about the Abrahamic god as I assume you are too) followers and I can think of more than a few who should be in prison (I'm against the death penalty, too) for the rest of thier lives.

Like I said, I do not believe that this is an issue of rationality.  I believe you are angry at all of the evil in the world, so you choose not to be believe in God as a sort of vengeance.  But I guess only you know for sure, since I cannot read your mind.

I will say, though, that I find what you are doing to be appauling.  You are essentially exploiting your friend's death in order to score some sort of theological victory over theists, who actually will offer you something more comforting than what you believe, which is that your friend was just a physical body which has become nothing more than worm food.  To use your friend in such a way is pretty sick, actually. 

Quote:
I did not refute your argument because it was nonsense and I didn't try.  I simply stated my opinion of you and your post.  Original Sin is christian doctrine, not the word of god.  It is painfully obvious you have yet to read the book you believe in as there is not mention of original sin in any form in the book.  Once again I am suggesting that you take a few classes in critical thinking and then actually sit down and read the bible from the first page to the last, and don't skip the begats they're quite the exciting read.  That alone almost made me an atheist the first time I read the thing.  Ask some of the atheists on this site, a great number of them were christians until they actually read the bible.  It's impossible to not see glaring errors and contradictions throughout the bible, there are thousands of them.

No, what you are doing is launching ad hominem attacks because I did not give you the answer that you wanted.  Perhaps you would respect my knowledge of scripture if I stated, "Wow.  Your friend was such a great guy.  God can't exist because he killed your friend.  I'm with you!"  Sorry pal, you failed. 

Original Sin is a doctrine held true by Christians.  Jesus is purported by Christians to be the lord and savior.  If Original Sin is not part of Christianity, then what do you propose that Jesus was trying to save us from? 

"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues" -- Romans 3:10-18. 

Now since you seem to be an expert in "critical thinking," why would the New Testament say that if it held the doctrine of Original Sin to be false?  Or do you believe in the idea of Pelagianism whereby man did not inherit any sinful nature from Adam but still has the propensity to do it, which is actually not biblical at all.  Here's another passage for you to chew on:

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— " --Romans 5:12

So yes, Original Sin is an essential part of Christianity.  Just because it was written in Genesis does not mean that it was not Christian doctrine.

 

Quote:

To answer your question about whether the world would be a better place, I'll ask this.  What would be so wrong with a god who stopped all this from happening?  Isn't your god all powerful, loving and good?  Do you think the world is a better place because of famine and thousands of children dying of starvation?  Or do you think there's nothing wrong with that because god did it? You need some serious help.  People like you scare me.

Yes, I do believe the world would be better if there was no famine.  But that does not mean that I think the conditions ought to be such that God should magically make hamburgers appear out of thin air whenever a famine strikes Ethiopia.  Then while we've fixed the problem of famine, the world ceases to be rational.  It's the same old tired argument asking why God does not heal amputees.  God does not heal amputees because it is a biological impossibility for them to grow their arm back, and a general tenet of natural science is that we live in a rational universe which follows a certain order.  And isn't a rational world better than one that is not rational?

So yes, God is loving, all-powerful, and good.  But he is also righteous and logical.


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BostonRedSox wrote:Like I

BostonRedSox wrote:
Like I said, I do not believe that this is an issue of rationality.  I believe you are angry at all of the evil in the world, so you choose not to be believe in God as a sort of vengeance.
 To be clear... vengeance upon whom/what?

Quote:
But I guess only you know for sure, since I cannot read your mind.

Correct, to state otherwise would be WILD speculation based on your own wishful thinking.

Quote:
You are essentially exploiting your friend's death in order to score some sort of theological victory over theists

That's cold dude. I mean really, that's just mean.

The guy is clearly using a personal experience, which he finds emotionally significant, to spur a conversation. He's obviously pissed about the "better place" bullshit, total bullshit, and wants to get it out. The emotion which you conveniently use to demonstrate that he is "angry at god". You implying that he is somehow shitting on the memory of his dead friend is both wrong and really cruel.

Quote:
But that does not mean that I think the conditions ought to be such that God should magically make hamburgers appear out of thin air whenever a famine strikes Ethiopia. 

On this we agree. Pretending, even for a moment, that miracles and super god powers exist is ridiculous. Until there is some kind of earth shattering evidence to the contrary, the god proposition will continue to get its due consideration... none.


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BostonRedSox wrote:Like I

BostonRedSox wrote:

Like I said, I do not believe that this is an issue of rationality. 

Of course it is, at least in as much as I am asking for a rational response to my question.

Quote:

I believe you are angry at all of the evil in the world, so you choose not to be believe in God as a sort of vengeance.  But I guess only you know for sure, since I cannot read your mind.  

Okay, for the purpose of this thread only, I posed the question as though there really is a god and all that. I do not accept that there is a god nor do I accept a heaven, hell, purgatory, the bible, angels, devils, daemons or any of the rest of the claptrap. It would be irrational to be angry at something I don’t believe in.  That also goes for vengeance. I haven’t accepted the existence of god since I was a kid. No vengeance involved in this.  There was nothing evil about my friend’s disability. Life sometimes does not work out the way we would all like it to. When that happens we simply need to deal with it and not waste our time praying to a make believe friend.  Speaking of prayer that unconstitutional national day of prayer is coming up.  While you waste your time praying and accomplishing nothing, I will be giving blood at the local blood bank and actually doing something to help society.

Quote:

I will say, though, that I find what you are doing to be appauling.  You are essentially exploiting your friend's death in order to score some sort of theological victory over theists, who actually will offer you something more comforting than what you believe, which is that your friend was just a physical body which has become nothing more than worm food.  To use your friend in such a way is pretty sick, actually. 

No, I’m not exploiting my friend’s death. I am posing a question/challenge based on all of the platitudes offered by the christians I know who offered them in spite of the fact they know I’m a non-believer. I accept that death is an inevitable part of life, something christians seem to have a hard time with, ergo: the fantasies about an invisible sky-daddy and everlasting life.  There is absolutely nothing that any christian or theist can offer in a “spiritual” way that would comfort me in any situation. What I believe is that we are born, we live and eventually we die. If there is a purpose for our being here it is not one given us by some maleficent, all powerful, all knowing magical critter. We make our own purpose in life. If you have figured out what yours is don’t blame it on god, it’s your purpose and no one else’s.  BTW, you are right. I do believe that the physical body after death is nothing more than worm food. Well, maybe not after the mortician puts all those chemicals in the body. I have no baggage to carry in life other than what I have created for myself. I do not need to have someone to blame for my mistakes or inadequacies.  My friend lives on in my memory. Grief happens, for most people, and is a natural part of loss. I wasn't’t consumed with grief although I did grieve. And, I am not using his death to prove some “theological victory over theists”. I could not care less if people like you spend your entire lives believing in a fantasy. That’s something you have to deal with.  What I find sick is christians who take advantage of someone’s grief or their disadvantaged situation in order to proselytize and convert the vulnerable to their way of thinking.

Quote:
No, what you are doing is launching ad hominem attacks because I did not give you the answer that you wanted. 

How was I making an ad-hominem attack against you. There was nothing emotional about my response. It was simply an expression of my opinion of you and your argument.  Actually, I was not looking for an argument, I was looking for an answer as to what reason any all-powerful critter would so lovingly inflict disability on someone. You did not answer that, all you did was spout mystic crap and that is all any christian can do. Any answer would fail the challenge because there is no rational reason at all for inflicting a life of misery on someone who has done nothing to deserve it.

Quote:

Perhaps you would respect my knowledge of scripture if I stated, "Wow.  Your friend was such a great guy.  God can't exist because he killed your friend.  I'm with you!"  Sorry pal, you failed. 

I have no idea as to how much knowledge of the scriptures you may or may not possess. My feeling is that you know a few verses you learned from some preacher without really having read any significant part of the bible. Few christians I am aware of have. Quite frankly, if you could be dissuaded from your beliefs so easily I would probably be disappointed

Quote:

Original Sin is a doctrine held true by Christians. 

Yes, that’s what I said.

Quote:

Jesus is purported by Christians to be the lord and savior

Prove it. The bible is not proof so don’t say it’s in the bible. I know it’s in the bible, the bible is fiction written and re-written in the form of short stories by an untold number of primitive people. 

Quote:

If Original Sin is not part of Christianity, then what do you propose that Jesus was trying to save us from? 

I never said original sin was not part of christianity. It is, in fact, uniquely christian. Since there is no extra-biblical reference to jesus from independent sources it’s likely the jesus of the bible did not exist.  Therefore, he wasn't trying to save us from anything.  Hard to do things when you don't exist to begin with. 

Quote:

"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues" -- Romans 3:10-18. 

Okay, which version of the bible did you get this from? It’s not in the KJV that I have, nor does it read anything like the version I have. You need to quit paraphrasing, it doesn't’t help. As to the part of no one doing good in the context of these verses there is a huge amount of evidence to the contrary. You should get out more and read something other than bogus religious tracts printed by your church.

Quote:

Now since you seem to be an expert in "critical thinking," why would the New Testament say that if it held the doctrine of Original Sin to be false? 

As I wrote earlier, original sin is not in the bible. Romans 5:12, which you point out below is merely the seed of the idea that St. Augustine expanded into the doctrine of original sin. Original sin is the concept that oozed out of Augustine’s twisted little mind one night while it was squirming like a toad during one of his deliriums.

Quote:

Or do you believe in the idea of Pelagianism whereby man did not inherit any sinful nature from Adam but still has the propensity to do it, which is actually not biblical at all. 

Agreed. The whole idea is absurd.

Quote:

Here's another passage for you to chew on: 

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— " --Romans 5:12

So yes, Original Sin is an essential part of Christianity.  Just because it was written in Genesis does not mean that it was not Christian doctrine.

 

Again, I never said original sin was not a part of christianity. Romans 5:12 is not the doctrine of original sin, merely the seed that allowed Augustine to regurgitate that bit of bile and hatred into the doctrine of original sin. Yes it was written in genesis, but the bible is fiction and so is the idea of original sin. You are aware that there are many christians who do not buy into the doctrine, aren't’t your? Oh, yeah, I forgot. They don’t agree with your myopic views so they are not real christians.  If I'm not mistaken, I believe Jews do not buy into that misogynistic idea either.

Quote:

Yes, I do believe the world would be better if there was no famine.  But that does not mean that I think the conditions ought to be such that God should magically make hamburgers appear out of thin air whenever a famine strikes Ethiopia.  

Actually, I was thinking something a little healthier. So, why shouldn’t he provide them with food, what did they ever do to him? Why let little children starve to death?    So, let me get this straight. You believe the world would be better off if there was no famine but, because there is famine and god could do something about it but does not, that’s okay?

Quote:

Then while we've fixed the problem of famine, the world ceases to be rational. 

Explain how making the world a better place to live for everyone is not rational. Seriously, dude, you scare me.

Quote:

It's the same old tired argument asking why God does not heal amputees. 

Why doesn’t god heal amputees? He’s all powerful isn’t he. It would be a simple matter for god to heal them.

Quote:

God does not heal amputees because it is a biological impossibility for them to grow their arm back, and a general tenet of natural science is that we live in a rational universe which follows a certain order.   

So you admit god is not all-powerful!

Quote:

And isn't a rational world better than one that is not rational?  

Agreed. However, your idea of "rational" is rather twisted.  As long as religions exist non-rational minds steeped in ignorance and wrapped in fantasy will adversely affect any society in which it can be found. There is nothing rational about any religion and there is especially nothing rational about christianity with all of it’s contradictions and fantasies.

Quote:

So yes, God is loving, all-powerful, and good.  But he is also righteous and logical.

 

No he isn’t any of these things. There is nothing good, righteous or logical about inflicting pain, diability, poverty, starvation or anything else on people who do not deserve it.  You have offered nothing in the way of a rational reason for god to do the things you all assume are the result of his influence on even the most minute thing.  I have seen little in the bible to indicate that your god would be righteous and absolutely nothing to indicate he would be logical. Now, either give it up or come up with an answer to the question posed

 

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BostonRedSox wrote:God does

BostonRedSox wrote:

God does not heal amputees because it is a biological impossibility for them to grow their arm back, and a general tenet of natural science is that we live in a rational universe which follows a certain order.

Does God choose not to heal amputees or is he unable to?


 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare