Another Crazy Theist Thought

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Another Crazy Theist Thought

We have all witnessed the many arguments proposed by Theists.  Arguments from Design, Personal Incredulity, Revelation, etc.

 

One of the crazy positions that I have often come across is this old canard:

 

"You atheists are stupid, how can you talk about something you don't believe in?"

 

The assumption is that they, as a believer, can speak more accurately about God than another person.  It must chafe their ass, but guess what, Theists, atheists can speak just as authoritatively about an imaginary being as you can.

 

I'll admit, some people can speak more authoritatively about a religion.  However, being accurate about God is like being an expert on Pixies.  Sure, you might know a lot of the mythology or folk tales about them, but to know they desires and dreams is another matter.

 

Theists: if you say "God wanted to create man out of love", an atheist can respond just as accurately and authoritatively, "no, god wanted to make people suffer."  When we are making thing up, we are only limited by our creativity.  Just because some people believe in a religion doesn't make them experts on God.

 

Imagine, next time you argue for your God that you are talking about Santa Claus.  That when you are talking about Salvation, Love, Creation, Punishment, Redemption, etc. it is the same as Good and Bad, Reward and Punishment, Sleighs and Reindeer, Elves, the North Pole, Mrs. Claus, etc.

 

If someone wants to chime in and say "Santa has a cock ring", then it is true for that person. They are just as accurate as the person who is a traditionalist.

Remember this about your God.  He may have a cock ring, whether you like it or not.

 

Just a public service announcement.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


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I know what you mean.  Some

I know what you mean. 

Some (maybe most) theists fail to realize that this is an atheist's disgruntledness with the concept of God (and the subsequent problems which arise from this concept), not "God him/herself". 


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Me god , not much to argue,

Me god , nothing to argue, but what am I as the details? .... go go science >>>> 


shelley
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My God wouldn't need a cock

My God wouldn't need a cock ring.


BMcD
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But he might enjoy using

But he might enjoy using one, nonetheless...


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Oh my shelley joy , my cock

Oh my shelley joy , my cock ring , to the joy of knowing you .... and your whips to your surrender , and whims of lustful desire .... your pleasure so mine to behold !


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ok. that was unexpectedly

ok. that was unexpectedly hot.  i was going for humorous, btw.


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daedalus wrote: Theists: if

daedalus wrote:

 

Theists: if you say "God wanted to create man out of love", an atheist can respond just as accurately and authoritatively, "no, god wanted to make people suffer."  When we are making thing up, we are only limited by our creativity.  Just because some people believe in a religion doesn't make them experts on God.

 


      This response is neither accurate nor can it carry any authority since it is has nothing to base it on. The practical use of Critical thinking would allow you to distinguish between fact and opinion. The theist is stating what they consider to be fact, be it right or wrong. The response “no, god wanted to make people suffer” can only be a prejudiced opinion due to the fact that you do not believe in God’s existence. Your statement is not based on logic or evidence.
       It still has no basis of evidence if your response is based off interpretations of the Bible, unless you are introducing the Bible as a credible source. If you argue text with a theist than you have to accept the Bible as credible. Even if the Bible is introduced as credible the next problem is an atheist attempt to use the bible to disprove the teachings of the bible will always hit a standard fundamentalist response of – “you can't understand the Bible correctly unless God, through the Holy Spirit, directs your understanding”.I personally do not agree with this simply because there has become so many elightened fools in th world . Which leads me to my next point.
       If you base your response on the actions of religious people you do have a better footing but there again you loose credibility if it is not a universal practice. Since one atheist argument against a God is that there are to many of them…I really don’t know how you could use actions of the religious.

  I haven't found anything about God and a cock ring but I do know the Santa Claus in my house does't need one.

 


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You don't have to accept the

You don't have to accept the Buybull as credible in order to use it to show the God character isn't good, anymore than you have to accept Spiderman comics as true in order to say that Venom is a criminal.

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Mjolnin, you've hit on a few

Mjolnin, you've hit on a few of the common problems which plague the debate between theist and atheist.

 

Quote:

This response is neither accurate nor can it carry any authority since it is has nothing to base it on. The practical use of Critical thinking would allow you to distinguish between fact and opinion. The theist is stating what they consider to be fact, be it right or wrong. The response “no, god wanted to make people suffer” can only be a prejudiced opinion due to the fact that you do not believe in God’s existence. Your statement is not based on logic or evidence.

When you say that the theist is stating what they consider to be fact, be they right or wrong, you deftly avoid the bit which, to an atheist, is critically important. The theist asserts something to be fact despite the paucity of evidence to support the assertion. The atheist draws a much sounder conclusion from the same absence of evidence. However what you say next is essentially true - that the atheist, in ascribing any trait to the theist's deity, risks validating the theist's delusional fantasy as factual through negative affirmation. But of course that is not how the atheist is thinking and far from their intentions too.

He or she is discussing a hypothesis as a hypothesis, and the atheist should by right make that clear at every turn, though I admit for the sake of conversation the shortcut is taken of skipping the repetition of that statement. But that does not mean it should be assumed the atheist has deviated from his or her stance.

So your last sentence is not actually true. The atheist has an opinion, and even a prejudiced one in the sense that it has been considered and formed beforehand. But it is most definitely based on logic, and even evidence. To an atheist the fact that the theist's assertions regarding the character and purpose of his or her god never invoke empirically testable evidence to support them is indeed evidence that the theist's presumptions are just that.

Quote:

       It still has no basis of evidence if your response is based off interpretations of the Bible, unless you are introducing the Bible as a credible source. If you argue text with a theist than you have to accept the Bible as credible.

 

That is just plain wrong if by that you mean a credible source of fact. But the bible is a source of doctrine, and credibly competent one too since there is ample evidence to show that it has been used as a tool to recruit subscribers to that doctrine (and all the myriad interpretations of that doctrine such a clumsily compiled work engenders) with great effect, despite its many fundamental flaws. So an atheist can of course (indeed must) address that doctrine too, and if the interpretation includes exposing the book as a fallacy-ridden and inaccuracy-ridden document which has played a huge role in influencing and impacting on human behaviour over a long time then it simply demonstrates that the atheist regards it as importantly as the theist, but for completely different reasons. Its content might be largely incredible, but its political and historical impact is completely credible.

Quote:

Even if the Bible is introduced as credible the next problem is an atheist attempt to use the bible to disprove the teachings of the bible will always hit a standard fundamentalist response of – “you can't understand the Bible correctly unless God, through the Holy Spirit, directs your understanding”.I personally do not agree with this simply because there has become so many elightened fools in th world .

As an atheist I would not consider it my role to "disprove the teachings of the bible". Most of it is not instructive in any case, and where it does contain instructions they tend to be rather fractional and often contradictory. A lot of them are simply instructions designed to perpetuate the delusion of the existence of the god central to the plot, but others are derived from more common sense sources, and some few even smack of a humanitarian attitude. So to set out "disproving" them would be rather silly. Logic alone does that job automatically. Exposing the irrelevancy of a lot of them would be a worthwhile exercise, and demonstrating that the better ones are not at all contingent on maintaining a delusion of deity at all would also be worthwhile.

Quote:

       If you base your response on the actions of religious people you do have a better footing but there again you loose credibility if it is not a universal practice. Since one atheist argument against a God is that there are to many of them…I really don’t know how you could use actions of the religious.

 

And you've highlighted another pitfall into which these debates often stumble, but an understandable one if an atheist is arguing with a subscriber to a particular delusion.  It is not a question of "losing credibility" however should the argument focus on the behaviour of such subscribers to a particular delusional ideology. It is often a case of missed opportunity though on the part of the atheist since, as you say, some aspects to the behaviour of theists generally are indeed common, and highlighting this fact is indeed a powerful argument to use in exposing the fallacy of thinking, as part of one's "belief system", that one is right and the other theists are wrong.

 

So I disagree with your overall assertion that the atheist loses credibility when he or she tackles the theist using reference to that theist's doctrinal sources. But I do think they must do so carefully as such a discussion should never be falsely used by a theist to claim an implicit affirmation of the mistaken belief that they are right.

 

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It seems that there are

It seems that there are several issues to clarify. The rest is just banter. The most important to me are:

1) Agree on a universal definition for God that is acceptable to both sides. Otherwise there is no discourse possible on the subject.

2) Although many atheists are agnostic, most on this forum take the position that there can absolutely positively be no such God as described in the bible. Not  even an approximation to the truth. And there can be no such God who relates to mankind especially since God is not a being in our universe.

3) What would we need to see to have evidence that a God has interacted with mankind. Especially since we have no definition for God. Would witnessed miracles be enough? I think we all agree that the odds are any second or third hand miracles are unreliable. And even first hand miracles are unreliable.

4) So how could we possibly show evidence that there was a God that would be acceptable to a scientist.

I don't imagine any answers to these that would be acceptable to theists and atheists. Thus we continue on and on...

 

 


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1) god is existance, while

1) god is existence, while the whys and hows of such are not fully known.

2) some bible writing is atheistic/pantheist, and scientifically sound .... This is the kingdom of god / heaven / hell now. I as you as everything is One with the cosmos father mother god.

3) All and everything is interesting, yet nothing is a miracle, as all things are simply still full of mystery, and no thing is more special, as all is connected as the laws of physics, god, and will always be, as the law of thermodynamics, the sum of One.

4) To study god is science.

     ~ We can most all agree we are in awe, to eventually simply say we are g-awe-d, to then better focus on peace of mind for all, of the now. This is an age old message, so what is the enemy of humankind that makes hell on earth, and perverts the simple wisdom of the ages?  


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JustAnotherBeliever wrote:It

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

It seems that there are several issues to clarify. The rest is just banter. The most important to me are:

1) Agree on a universal definition for God that is acceptable to both sides. Otherwise there is no discourse possible on the subject.

2) Although many atheists are agnostic, most on this forum take the position that there can absolutely positively be no such God as described in the bible. Not  even an approximation to the truth. And there can be no such God who relates to mankind especially since God is not a being in our universe.

3) What would we need to see to have evidence that a God has interacted with mankind. Especially since we have no definition for God. Would witnessed miracles be enough? I think we all agree that the odds are any second or third hand miracles are unreliable. And even first hand miracles are unreliable.

4) So how could we possibly show evidence that there was a God that would be acceptable to a scientist.

I don't imagine any answers to these that would be acceptable to theists and atheists. Thus we continue on and on...

 

 

 

1) Even theists can't seem to do that.

2) This is quite correct. God is a concept applied to the inexplicable, but the inexplicable is often simply the "yet to be explained", and even more often the "already explained better through ration, reason and knowledge of reality".

3) As an atheist it is impossible to answer that question. "We" don't "need" to see any "evidence" for a phenomenon that is patently fantasy. Apparent miracles are only "evidence" of divinity to people who prefer fantasy over reality. To the realist they are simply a puzzle to be solved, and most alleged miracles aren't even that.

4) Why scientist? You misunderstand the character of the delusion - it affects some scientists too. A better way of phrasing the question is to ask what would constitute evidence to rational people that the delusion you suffer from is in fact knowledge of fact, as you claim? And the answer of course woud be rational evidence based on fact.

 

The banter, as you call it, is however very necessary. As long as verbal communication is used by theists to indoctrinate more people into their delusion then it is only fair and necessary that people who champion realism and rationality speak up too.

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Nordmann wrote:He or she is

Nordmann wrote:

He or she is discussing a hypothesis as a hypothesis, and the atheist should by right make that clear at every turn, though I admit for the sake of conversation the shortcut is taken of skipping the repetition of that statement. But that does not mean it should be assumed the atheist has deviated from his or her stance.

So your last sentence is not actually true. The atheist has an opinion, and even a prejudiced one in the sense that it has been considered and formed beforehand. But it is most definitely based on logic, and even evidence. To an atheist the fact that the theist's assertions regarding the character and purpose of his or her god never invoke empirically testable evidence to support them is indeed evidence that the theist's presumptions are just that.

    

That is just plain wrong if by that you mean a credible source of fact. But the bible is a source of doctrine, and credibly competent one too since there is ample evidence to show that it has been used as a tool to recruit subscribers to that doctrine (and all the myriad interpretations of that doctrine such a clumsily compiled work engenders) with great effect, despite its many fundamental flaws. So an atheist can of course (indeed must) address that doctrine too, and if the interpretation includes exposing the book as a fallacy-ridden and inaccuracy-ridden document which has played a huge role in influencing and impacting on human behaviour over a long time then it simply demonstrates that the atheist regards it as importantly as the theist, but for completely different reasons. Its content might be largely incredible, but its political and historical impact is completely credible.

     These statements about discussing the Bible have only small foothold in logic and no stance in critical thinking. The term logic can only be accepted if the discussion is solely based on hypothesis (personal interpretation) and if the theist is the person that introduces the Bible without supporting the argument with anything but personal interpretation.  Process of critical thinking would throw you both out of the game.
 If you wish to use the Bible than don’t make assertions based on logic without using the entire book. The Bible does not allow for personal interpretations. It's in there. But if one persists in using "interpretation, than they are simply cherry picking verses, as do the idiotic fundamentalists. I hope this is not the group you wish to identify your use of logic with. You must go to the source, as with any other book.  The source is the same for theist or atheists. Simply – you can’t argue with the author. Whether you believe in God or not the answer is still the same. Yes I know, I purposely didn't give the authors name or the source.
 
 To make it short - It is illogical to base belief upon the private interpretation of any book.  Interpretation allows total judgment to rests with the reader, "who submits the text of to post-mortem examination and delivers a verdict without appeal" ( i kinda like that line- wish it was mine) : he believes in himself rather than in any higher authority, not just GOD. This goes for both sides, my statments are not just targeting atheists.

 


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Response #3 to the 4

Response #3 to the 4 discussion points

 

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

It seems that there are several issues to clarify. The rest is just banter. The most important to me are:

1) Agree on a universal definition for God that is acceptable to both sides. Otherwise there is no discourse possible on the subject.

I take the stance that every theist worships a different god that they have created.  All you have to do is ask 10 christians what their god things about homosexuality to see that they aren't all worshiping the same being.  For this reason every discussion between a theist and an atheist has to start with the theist describing in detail the characteristics of the deity that they believe in.  If this doesn't happen than the average atheist will no doubt make many strawman arguments claiming that you want to stone your disobediant children to death as it's what the bible says.

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

2) Although many atheists are agnostic, most on this forum take the position that there can absolutely positively be no such God as described in the bible. Not  even an approximation to the truth. And there can be no such God who relates to mankind especially since God is not a being in our universe.

I can't really comment on everyone elses opinions here but I am agnostic that there is a deity out there as it's impossible to prove a negative.  I do however hold the strong belief that the god described in the bible is nonexistant as its definition is internally contradictory, in the same way that I know that there is no such shape as an equilateral triangle that is also a circle.

Again in reference to #1, this is why the theist should define their god at the very begining of the discussion so their own specific deity can be addressed.

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

3) What would we need to see to have evidence that a God has interacted with mankind. Especially since we have no definition for God. Would witnessed miracles be enough? I think we all agree that the odds are any second or third hand miracles are unreliable. And even first hand miracles are unreliable.

This again relates back to #1.  The theist is making the claim that a specific deity exists, they should be able to explain what their deity can and cannot do.

If we want to use the god of the bible then this question is irrelivant.  Being that this deity is all good it should want me to go to heaven.  Since it is also all knowing and all powerful it should know exactly what it needs to do to show it's existance to me and be able to perform it for me.

No single piece of evidence would be enough to bring the probability of the existence of such a being above 50%.  There would need to be large piles of evidence and needless to say we are far from that at the momoent.

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

4) So how could we possibly show evidence that there was a God that would be acceptable to a scientist.

This goes back to #3.  I also echo that it's not a scientist that you need to show evidence to as many scientists have been douped before. 

Each individual person has their own level of evidence that they require.  This would also have to be something that the two parties would have to discuss amongst themselves.

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

I don't imagine any answers to these that would be acceptable to theists and atheists. Thus we continue on and on...

 

Whatever the theist answers to #1 is fine with me, they are they ones making the positive claim and providing the evidence for such a claim.

As for the rest that would go on a case by case basis.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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Mj, are you saying to give

Mj, are you saying to give the bible some special treatment? I cherry pick from any and all writing. Each and all religion is a summary of variety that has been going on for thousands of yrs, by billions of people. The jesus character is an inconsistent mess, ranging from a jewish buddha to the fantasy jesus of wild Saul.

My interpretations are built from many sources and I am the final authority of my conclusions. 


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Quote:The Bible does not

Quote:

The Bible does not allow for personal interpretations.

 

That has to be the most amazingly ignorant, or amazingly hypocritical, or amazingly deviant statement I have ever heard a theist make about the bible. For a start if it was true then a lot of theologians will be very sorry to hear that their livelihoods have been eliminated in one fell swoop (maybe not such a bad thing). It would also of course mean that the views attributed to Paul, which themselves are now part of the book, would have to be excised from its contents (maybe not a bad thing either). It would most definitely mean that the christian religion would be dead overnight (maybe the best thing of all) since any subscriber who dared interpret the "message" it allegedly contains without being told exactly which interpretation he should by someone claiming to have read the whole book (including the bits left out these days, I wonder?) would themselves have to be excised from membership of the club.

 

What on earth role do you think the bible has played over the centuries? It contains texts composed by people with differing interpretations, it was edited and stuck together by people with varying interpretations, it has been interpreted and reinterpreted by successive generations of people for ends that have always been portrayed as religious (even the most political of them) and it stands today, ljust ike the god it purports to advertise to the "faithful", as a target due to its inherent inconsistencies for every two-bit interpretation that anyone wants to cast at it.

 

As an explanation for anything, even for the narrowly subjective tenets and assumptions on which christian theology is based, it is a fraudulent document - designed and assembled by just those cherry-pickers you seem to despise, and it has been intentionally so designed.

 

Quote:

Interpretation allows total judgment to rests with the reader, "who submits the text of to post-mortem examination and delivers a verdict without appeal" ( i kinda like that line- wish it was mine) : he believes in himself rather than in any higher authority, not just GOD. This goes for both sides, my statments are not just targeting atheists.

 

This last point explains neatly why the previous point you made came across as ignorant, hypocritical or deviant, or a combination of some or all of these things. The essence of your defence of the bible against it being allowed to be interpreted personally is anti-intellectual, and in pursuing it you reveal your own anti-intellectualism with rather more eloquence than you probably realise. To level as a charge against anyone the accusation that "he believes in himself rather than in any higher authority, not just GOD" is to state explicitly that you don't think anyone should place faith in his own judgement without the sanction of a third party in authority. That the "authority" in question here happens to be self-appointed (the official bible-interpreters, for want of a better term) is sufficient to alert most reasonable people to the true character of the person who makes it. That the same person then explicitly states that even this authority is superceded by a fantasy figure will simply copperfasten their suspicions.

 

But when one looks at the "crime" which has led to this charge being levelled, that of daring to personally interpret the bible, it is then that one sees in absolute clarity how warped is the mind that could level it at all.

 

I interpret the bible, and in a way that no christian would like, just as charged. And I believe in myself, as charged. But when I interpret the bible, as when I interpret anything else, I submit to a greater authority. That authority is reason and logic and a respect for knowledge based on factual inquiry. None of my findings matter much until they reference that authority for validation. It is a kind of authority your kind of thinking shuns, or even abhors. The authority that guides me and receives my respect is one that encourages my curiosity, allows me to be wrong on occasion as long as I retain the ability to correct myself, and above all allows me to do anything, say anything, think anything and know anything as long as I stay reasonable and reasoned in doing so.

 

Oh, and my subscription to that authority of logic and reason demands that I do just what you say I shouldn't - examine and interpret others' claims personally. The only requirement is that I do so as intelligently as I am able and use whatever reasonable faculties and references are to hand, the more impartial the better.

 

I don't get to live for ever subscribing to my authority of course, and nor do I get the chance to systematically fuck up and interfere with other people's lives on a grand scale, but then hey - what would be the "reason" in either of those things? Amazingly, christians have never been short of answers to that question!

 

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Nordmann wrote:This last

Nordmann wrote:

This last point explains neatly why the previous point you made came across as ignorant, hypocritical or deviant, or a combination of some or all of these things. The essence of your defence of the bible against it being allowed to be interpreted personally is anti-intellectual, and in pursuing it you reveal your own anti-intellectualism with rather more eloquence than you probably realise. To level as a charge against anyone the accusation that "he believes in himself rather than in any higher authority, not just GOD" is to state explicitly that you don't think anyone should place faith in his own judgement without the sanction of a third party in authority. That the "authority" in question here happens to be self-appointed (the official bible-interpreters, for want of a better term) is sufficient to alert most reasonable people to the true character of the person who makes it. That the same person then explicitly states that even this authority is superceded by a fantasy figure will simply copperfasten their suspicions.

 

Read the Bible and you will find it.

And yes there will be many people suprised to find that their jobs will be null and void. AS far as "ignorant, hypocritical or deviant, or a combination of some or all of these things" " that you don't think anyone should place faith in his own judgement " Is far off base and quite short minded of you. I was hoping for an itelligent conversation, but as usual with this site it comes down to a childish name calling session.It is apparent that you consider yourself as the highest authority that you know. You never investigate or even question? You must know it all. I am very impressed. - a little bit of sarcasm in this last statement.

I never told you not to examine. Please reread and rethink your responce. I did say that the author of the book knows what is in it best. The question you should be asking yourself is to whom you give this credit to? After you have done this than try to find out what else they wrote about it.


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I did not call you names,

I did not call you names, Mjolnin. I stated how your point came across. Learn to differentiate between critical comment and personal abuse and you'll find yourself engaged in more of the intelligent conversations you're talking about.

 

Nor can it be apparent at all that I consider myself "the highest authority that I know". Didn't you read my post at all? That authority resides in the discipline of remaining rational, and is only mine to emulate not to assume.

 

I fail completely to see the point you are trying to make regarding authorship of a book. What book?

 

If it's the quote you referred to earlier, which in reality was a lambast against protestantism by a catholic (Kleugen?), then you should really give it in its entirety:

"Again, it is illogical to base faith upon the private interpretation of a book. For faith consists in submitting; private interpretation consists in judging. In faith by hearing the last word rests with the teacher; in private judgment it rests with the reader, who submits the dead text of Scripture to a kind of post-mortem examination and delivers a verdict without appeal: he believes in himself rather than in any higher authority. But such trust in one's own light is not faith. Private judgment is fatal to the theological virtue of faith."

A most detestable and hateful little piece if you think about it, given its source and the untold damage the Roman Catholic Church has managed to do to innocent people it encouraged to "submit". But all it really says is what is undoubtedly true - catholic authority over scripture interpretation was undermined and threatened by people doing it for themselves. The catholic idea has always been that it would prefer its adherents to be pig ignorant about any of its doctrinal sources than that they start private evaluations of them. Obedience, not intelligence - that's the catholic priority.

 

Of course if the book you refer to is the bible itself and you wish me to agree that it had one author then you have completely lost me.

 

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Quote:Read the Bible and you

Quote:
Read the Bible and you will find it.

The Bible expresses that the universe and the planet Earth were specially created by magic about 6,000 years ago over the course of a week. It suggests that there was a magical flood that covered all the Earth.

 

Do you yourself believe this? If not, how could you possibly claim to not be putting your own personal spin on what you take out of the Bible?

Quote:
"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
February 27, 1940


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BI BULL, old, new , a

BI BULL, old, new , a distortion of a few obvious dirt simple truths mixed with lots of dogmatic fantasy. Most religion is idol worship and blasphemy. All is one, all is eternal, all is saved, for those not mentally sick and blind. Seek peace of mind, as all is one, one race, one earth, one eternal cosmos.


Nordmann
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Guys, I agree that the

Guys, I agree that the phrase "Read the bible and you will find it" is insufficient a response to make to anyone, least of all an atheist, but I let it pass in Mjolnin's case as the rest of his contributions here would suggest he is one of those who has found it convenient to adopt the "part allegory/part factual account" explanation for the bible's many logical inconsistencies. This is also the practise of the major christian churches at this moment in time so he is merely iterating a current theological stance with regard to its content and can on that basis feel honest when he says that he himself is not cherry-picking at all.

 

He has let someone else do it for him.

 

Of course this theological stance is not one that the major churches adopted voluntarily and Mjolnin would be wise to remember that a belief in the bible as a literal account of history as well as divine "revelation" was current until comparatively recently in historical terms. What forced theologians into selectively declaring items as allegorical which hitherto had been declared fact was nothing less than a decrease in ignorance amongst christianity's members regarding the true nature of the universe. It is interesting to note that the catholic church, as Mjolnin's own preferred quote above illustrates, reacted to this development by reinforcing its emphasis on obedience of the faithful. In other words it tacitly admitted that a major overhaul of its theology was required, but was sure not going to let anyone but its own hierarchy dictate what that should entail. Another way of putting it of course is that it had to admit that it had got a lot of stuff seriously wrong which by rights should have publicly invalidated much else that it professed to be true (ie. exposed it as fraudulent), but chose the path of militantly coercing obedience to its dictats and discouraging to the extent of banning any discourse relating to this whole area.

 

I saw it myself growing up when everyone in my area who had dutifully prayed for the souls of the heathen innocents in Limbo were first told suddenly that as of a certain date these souls had been retrogressively adopted into the non-heathen fold, and then at another point in time that Limbo had been abolished altogether. Teachers and priests imparting this claptrap not only kept a straight face but managed to impart the other instruction from Rome that accompanied these policy changes - namely that these changes were to be regarded just as the "mystagogy". In other words good catholics were to treat the whole thing as a mystery and not question it, just as their catechism tells them to do the same about transubstantiation, flying Jesuses, etc. Their spiritual masters had deliberated, and that was enough.

 

That their spiritual masters were shitting bricks at the time having belatedly realised that they were losing in many key constituencies their political grip, a lot of their revenue sources and a large chunk of their membership, was of course not even allowed to be stated, let alone declared a mystery.

 

But of course such blatantly cynical, manipulative and self-preservational tendencies on the part of the church are not something you'll find in the bible (unless of course you study Paul with the blinkers off). In fact, nor was Limbo ever there either, even allegorically. But woe betide anyone who dared point out such a thing when the bosses waxed lyrical about it. That would have been "personal interpretation" and therefore "disobedient".

 

What a racket!

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


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Nordmann wrote:Guys, I agree

Nordmann wrote:

Guys, I agree that the phrase "Read the bible and you will find it" is insufficient a response to make to anyone, least of all an atheist, but I let it pass in Mjolnin's case as the rest of his contributions here would suggest he is one of those who has found it convenient to adopt the "part allegory/part factual account" explanation for the bible's many logical inconsistencies. This is also the practise of the major christian churches at this moment in time so he is merely iterating a current theological stance with regard to its content and can on that basis feel honest when he says that he himself is not cherry-picking at all.

 

He has let someone else do it for him.

 

Very cute. I like how you have tried to place this as only my personal belief, when my personal beliefs on the Bible have not been stated.

Misinterpretation is exactly what this conversation has been about and your desire to argue with a ID tag has put you into a defensive stance that has proven my very point. What you have been trying to place as a theological standing point is a simple text book stance on the propper use of critical thinking and how to build a strong debate. The plain and simple of it is wrong interpretaion is wrong interpretation of anything. 

Personal judgement has no basis of truth if it has not been researched- That is what I have stated.

My stance on cherry picking has been stated quite clear- It is not acceptable. If you believe you should have the right than I believe you are wrong.

What a racket?

The attack against me instead of the points made is such a loosing ploy that again you have proven my point. A spin is a spin a lie is a lie and deliberate misinterpretaion is still not correct.


Nordmann
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Quote:Very cute. I like how

Quote:

Very cute. I like how you have tried to place this as only my personal belief, when my personal beliefs on the Bible have not been stated.

I have addressed only what you yourself have said about the bible. See your own words in the posts above.

 

Quote:

Misinterpretation is exactly what this conversation has been about and your desire to argue with a ID tag has put you into a defensive stance that has proven my very point. What you have been trying to place as a theological standing point is a simple text book stance on the propper use of critical thinking and how to build a strong debate. The plain and simple of it is wrong interpretaion is wrong interpretation of anything. 

This statement just does not make sense, either semantically or in the context of the conversation it refers to. The last sentence, for example, implies that to understand one thing incorrectly infers automatically that everything is understood incorrectly by the same person. This is not my experience, and in fact if it were true the ramifications would be disastrous for mankind. I am not aware of any "defensive stance" on my part, and nor am I aware of the relevance in the context of your own contributions of this undefined "simple text book stance on the proper use of critical thinking and how to build a strong debate". The proper use of critical thinking, I would suggest, is in employing it to dispel and discard misinformation and disinformation which might otherwise cloud or corrupt one's power of judgment. However if you have found such a text book and it also teaches you how to build a strong debate I would suggest you read it.

 

Quote:

Personal judgement has no basis of truth if it has not been researched- That is what I have stated.

That is not what your quote above supports however, the opposite in fact. Kreugel's attitude was that interpretation of scripture, should it be a matter of faith, must be left to someone else. He was against "research".

 

Quote:

My stance on cherry picking has been stated quite clear- It is not acceptable. If you believe you should have the right than I believe you are wrong.

Your avowed stance on cherry-picking is also at odds with your practise, if you indeed use the quote you did to illustrate what that practise is.  Otherwise, if you cited that quotation for another purpose you will have to explain why. (see my note above about getting out that text book you refer to and reading it)

 

Quote:

What a racket?

A racket is a scheme whereby an individual or group achieves their ambition by essentially hoodwinking others into helping them achieve it. If they can employ coercion and still hoodwink the dupes into thinking they are acting voluntarily then, in terms of how rackets go, it is a very successful racket.

 

Quote:

The attack against me instead of the points made is such a loosing ploy that again you have proven my point. A spin is a spin a lie is a lie and deliberate misinterpretaion is still not correct.

No one has attacked you. I have contradicted you and I have suggested a rational explanation for your behaviour which is at odds with the one you would seemingly wish to believe. That is not an attack. The last sentence of yours requires elucidation and an explanation of how it is relevant to what I said in any of my posts. However, as a clumsy and syntaxually challenged summary of the justifications theists use in support of their blind belief, it is more or less correct.

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


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First, I appreciate all the

First, I appreciate all the responses.

 

Now:

 

JAB and Moljinin, et al.  My issue is much more simple than trying to argue religious dogma.

 

Since we atheists pretend to entertain your hypothesis, please indulge me.

 

1. You are a theist of a certain belief (even if you change your beliefs, at any one time you have a certain belief about gods).

2. Hypothesize that there is an IDENTICAL Theist except for ONE aspect.

3. How do you determine which Theist is more accurate in their "understanding" of gods?

 

I propose that since the term god is meaningless, or at best, an invented concept of mythology, that there is no more ability for one Theist to be more accurate than another, just as one Pixie-ist can be more accurate than another - or, that an Atheist can't be more accurate than a Theist.

 

My issue is, how do you determine if one person is more accurate than another with respect to your belief in gods?  If I propose that a "Shutcj" is a "small, carnivorous angel that feeds of its young" can you argue with greater accuracy that it is not small, but medium sized?  How so?  What METHODOLOGY do you use?  (I would refer to Peter Carruthers methodology of determining the methodology of what makes a "good" explanation - see below).

 

I am talking about accuracy in determining what you are talking about.  If one can't show they are more accurate than another person, then there is really no discussion.  And since, I posit, that "god" is a meaningless term, I can be just as accurate (or inaccurate) as any theist.

 

Unless you can show me a methodology that differentiates between god concepts and achieves better accuracy in definition.

 

It stands that if I say "god has a cock ring" then I am as (in)accurate as any theist.

 

 

 

……What characteristics make an explanation 'good'? Here's a list from Peter Carruthers - maybe you can think of more:

Accuracy - predicting all or most of the data to be explained and explaining away the rest - i.e. showing where there may be errors of data collection or interpretation.

Consistency - that there are no contradictions within the theory or model.

Coherence - with surrounding beliefs and theories which are not to be superseded by the new, or at least consistency with them.

Simplicity - being expressible as economically as possible, with the fewest commitments to distinct kinds of fact and process.

Fecundity - making new predictions and suggesting new lines of enquiry.

Scope - unifying a diverse range of data.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


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Hello

Mjolnin wrote:
The plain and simple of it is wrong interpretaion is wrong interpretation of anything.

Since the Bible is not open to interpretation and has only one, single, absolute meaning, my question is, do you believe that you have understood the Bible correctly? If so, how do you know this? Almost every Christian I have ever met 'interpreted' the Bible differently. Since they all possess an incorrect understanding of the Bible, are they all going to hell?

Thanks.

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:Mjolnin

butterbattle wrote:

Mjolnin wrote:
The plain and simple of it is wrong interpretaion is wrong interpretation of anything.

Since the Bible is not open to interpretation and has only one, single, absolute meaning, my question is, do you believe that you have understood the Bible correctly? If so, how do you know this? Almost every Christian I have ever met 'interpreted' the Bible differently. Since they all possess an incorrect understanding of the Bible, are they all going to hell?

Thanks.

 

And lets take this another step.

 

The standard response is that "god knows" if you try and don't get it right, that God has forgiveness.  So, the Xian is always justified in their interpretation.

Of course, this would then extend to ANY interpretation.  Since, as an atheist, I interpret the Bible yet another way, surely a forgiving god would undersrtand my position that mythology is the better explanation and not supernatural beings.

And, the Xian, once they allow interpretation in, can't cast it out since there can be as good a case that it is all allegory - even if a god exists. Or, it might be entirely true, but their god has no intention of judging people who disbelieve it - no matter what it says in it.

 

In the end, religion is a personal expression of belief and used to justify actions.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


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 Its not really an issue of

 Its not really an issue of whether God is flawed or not, but given that his followers are, then the organization as a whole must be flawed, although "holy" to some...

 This is more the God I´m depicting after having spent some time debating some mofo´s over at the local YMCA

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wwhhgSwvqc

 

All hail the hypnotoad!!! 

ake the life-lie away from the average man and straight away you take away his happiness.

- Henrik Ibsen


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"In the end, religion is a

"In the end, religion is a personal expression of belief and used to justify actions." ~ daedalus

So true. We are the eyes of god, existence, the cosmos, looking at itself  ... cool Carl Sagan mused ....

 


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Well, logically.

Mjolnin wrote:
Since, as an atheist, I interpret the Bible yet another way, surely a forgiving god would undersrtand my position that mythology is the better explanation and not supernatural beings.

Obviously, everyone interprets the Bible differently, but any fundie will tell you that Mormons are going to hell, or, even better, they worship Satan and are trying to send everyone to hell. If they're not Catholic, then Catholics are going to hell. Jehovah's Witnesses are going to hell. People who don't accept the literal meaning of Genesis are going to hell. Basically, everyone is going to hell except the fundie himself, and everyone that he believes shares his "correct" interpretation.

My conversations with these kinds of Creationists never get anywhere. Often, it ends up with some logicallly fallacious and extremely annoying assertion like, "God created the heavens and the Earth. To question him over small details is somewhat arrogant." or "Jesus died on the cross for your sins. I know you're not listening to what I'm saying, but if you just take that first step of faith, you can find peace. I will pray for you." 

They might also close with some kind of meaningless personal attack, "Evolution is not science because it has never been observed. If you believe in evolution, then you're delusional. Congratulations, you have faith!"

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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butter , don't give up the

butter , don't give up the battle !  


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lol

  Okay, thanks. As an agnostic, though, I don't really see it as a battle, but, if you've seen commercials of Jesus Camp.....

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