Debate Theism

rthomas2
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Debate Theism

Hi everyone;

I'm starting this thread with a pretty narrow purpose: I'm a theist, and I think that I can offer a good argument for theism, which can withstand criticism.  From what I can tell, the atheists on this forum are some of the best and most passionate critics of religion, so I'd like to challenge all comers to a debate.  (If there is a god, I may just have stepped onto a cliff during a thunderstorm...)

 

Before we start, I'd like to set some ground rules; if you think any of these are unfair, let me know.  They can certainly be revised.

 

1) No personal attacks/taunting/mockery.

I think that if we start criticizing each other, rather than our positions, the debate will soon disintegrate.  So, the limit to criticism is: if anyone thinks a person's position, manner of argument, etc., are despicable, you can politely say something like, "I think that's very ignorant to say, and here's why," or else, "You're disrespecting the rest of us by doing X."  You get the idea; any criticism must not extend beyond the specific views/arguments voiced in this thread, and must be something that can be rationally defended against by the accused.  By extension, any snide remarks or sarcasm are plain out; don't insinuate someone's position to be ridiculous, prove it so respectfully.

2) No out-of-hand dismissals

This is somewhat similar to the first rule, but deals with over-dismissiveness rather than outright attacks.  If another person posts a view you disagree with, either don't engage it, or do.  However, don't simply disagree without offering evidence which contradicts their claim.  This doesn't imply their claim is weak, it implies you can't counter it.  And presumably if it's so ridiculous you feel it could be ignored, you can easily counter it...so do.

3) Other Guidelines

I. Clarity First

The more clearly you state your arguments, the less time wasted by others in deciphering them, or possibly in engaging points other than the ones you're interested in arguing.  This isn't a school debate; we're going for truth, not the appearance of it.

II. Finish what you start

I'm probably the worst offender when it comes to abandoning arguments once interest wanes, so I know this is hard.  But please, let's all finish any arguments we agree to start, which means: progressing until each side has a fully valid, consistent argument, and any issues of soundness are no longer objectively arguable.  If someone has been convinced of their opponent's or opponents' arguments, it should mean that the validity of their previous argument has been disproven, not that they've simply been impressed by their opponent's rhetoric.  See guideline I.

 

That's it; let the debate begin!


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1: You smell like oranges.2:

1: You smell like oranges.

2: Pfffft!  Whatever, man.

3A:God=cheese, therefore China=Satan.

3B: Well, I'm not sur....

 

 

I'm glad I got that out of my system.

Welcome to the RRS!

 

This forum has almost no rules for posting and the mods won't tell anyone to back down unless they get super-nasty.  However, we have a specific sub forum called, "Kill-em-With Kindness".  If you start a thread there, mods will enforce basic decorum from all sides.  Up to you, but if you start a thread here and someone calls you a dirty so-and-so, no-one will stop them.  Just fair warning.

Have fun!

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


rthomas2
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One last thing before we start.

Should have mentioned; this is probably arrogant and petty of me, but if you're willing, I'd prefer if you all begin by raising objections to faith and I bat them off, so that at first I'm not proving the validity of faith, but disproving any argument for disbelief.  This way I'd get a feel for what angle would be best to actually present my own views from.  However, anyone wishing to know anything I believe, please ask.  I'll only add that assuming I'm not perfect--a very safe bet--my views will change during my tenure on this forum, so what I believe now is simply what I believe now.


mellestad
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rthomas2 wrote:Should have

rthomas2 wrote:

Should have mentioned; this is probably arrogant and petty of me, but if you're willing, I'd prefer if you all begin by raising objections to faith and I bat them off, so that at first I'm not proving the validity of faith, but disproving any argument for disbelief.  This way I'd get a feel for what angle would be best to actually present my own views from.  However, anyone wishing to know anything I believe, please ask.  I'll only add that assuming I'm not perfect--a very safe bet--my views will change during my tenure on this forum, so what I believe now is simply what I believe now.

 

Honestly, I think it is appropriate to at least state what you particular brand of belief is.  Muslim?  Christian?  Off-shoot cult?  New Ager?  Occultist?  What specific flavor of whatever it is you are?

Theists are too different, if someone is a liberal Catholic it won't do any good to argue with them like they are a protestant evangelical.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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We need to agree on

We need to agree on definitions for a start.

I see 'faith', in the religious usage, as very strong belief in and/or commitment to, some set of propositions, without empirical evidence, or even, to an extent, despite the available evidence.

How do you see it?

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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What particular topic

What particular topic would you like to start off with ? What exactly defines your theism for instance ?

Are you a creationist ? Do you believe in evolution ?

Are you a Christian theist ? A Universalist type of theist ?

What specific aspects of god belief do you feel would make for the crux of your arguments ?

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


rthomas2
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Touche :)

 Okay, that was awesome.  And thanks for the heads up! I chose this forum because I want it to be self-moderated: if someone does decide to break the rules, they won't face any penalty for it...which makes it the more respectable to follow them, in my opinion.  But if it gets bad, I will indeed move to the "Kill Em" forum.  Thanks again!  See you around!


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Welcome to the

Welcome to the forum.

Very well, I will try to follow your rules. I will accept rule #2 with some reservations.

The burden of proof is always on the claimant. The default position is to not believe any positive claim until provided with sufficient evidence. An assertion that is given without evidence can be dismissed.

rthomas2 wrote:
Should have mentioned; this is probably arrogant and petty of me, but if you're willing, I'd prefer if you all begin by raising objections to faith and I bat them off, so that at first I'm not proving the validity of faith, but disproving any argument for disbelief.

As Bobspence already stated, you first need to define "faith" and what you mean by the "validity of faith." I view faith as simply belief without or even in spite of the evidence. I want to know what is true, what is real, and the best way to ascertain what is real is through reason and evidence. Ergo, on that definition, I reject faith because it is antithetical to the honest pursuit of truth. To have faith in something is to cling to it dogmatically, ignoring any and all evidence to the contrary.

If by "faith," you mean "belief in God," that is a somewhat different topic. I do not believe in God because I have not been convinced that a being called God exists, other than some of the pantheists' 'Gods.' To demonstrate the existence of God, simply first define God, then provide evidence for that God.

 

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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rthomas2 wrote: Debate

rthomas2 wrote:
Debate theism

That's an oxymoron.

Theism is insanity.

Theism is a psychosis.

 

There is no rational discussion with circular reasoning (their scriptures) being substituted as logic and evidence.

 

Dictionary definition of insanity:

Insanity

–noun, plural -ties.

 
1. the condition of being insane; a derangement of the mind.
2. Law . such unsoundness of mind as affects legal responsibility or capacity.
3. Psychiatry . (formerly) psychosis.
4. extreme folly; senselessness; foolhardiness.

 

Dictionary definition of insane:

 

Insane

 –adjective
1.
not sane; not of sound mind; mentally deranged.
2.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a person who is mentally deranged: insane actions; an insane asylum.
3.
utterly senseless: an insane plan.

 

 

Dictionary definition of psychosis:

 

Psychosis

–noun, plural
 
1. a mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that indicate impaired contact with reality.
2. any severe form of mental disorder, as schizophrenia or paranoia.
 

 

 

An illustration of insane thinking:

 

 

Thanks for playing....

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


rthomas2
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My Religion

I'm very Roman Catholic, although there are certainly some instances, many practices, and many, many specific lines of thought that Catholicism officially incorporates which I'm pretty sure I don't hold to.

I would say I'm moderate Roman Catholic, to label it the best I can.  My ethnic heritage is Italian (50%), Lebanese (~25%), Irish (~12.5%), and mixed amounts of English, Swedish, and several others I don't know.  The Irish and Italian are the ones I'm very proud of, as I would be of the English if I had enough of it to really count; the Lebanese I know little to nothing about, since all those relatives were either dead or out of touch with the family by the time I was 7 (which I consider to be, more or less, the age by which we can control our minds.)

Hope that answers your question!


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 Ok, I will start...There

 Ok, I will start...

There is no Biblical God.

If you agree with this, please elaborate on the type of God you believe in, this cuts down on guessing time.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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rthomas2 wrote:I'm very

rthomas2 wrote:

I'm very Roman Catholic, although there are certainly some instances, many practices, and many, many specific lines of thought that Catholicism officially incorporates which I'm pretty sure I don't hold to.

I would say I'm moderate Roman Catholic, to label it the best I can.  My ethnic heritage is Italian (50%), Lebanese (~25%), Irish (~12.5%), and mixed amounts of English, Swedish, and several others I don't know.  The Irish and Italian are the ones I'm very proud of, as I would be of the English if I had enough of it to really count; the Lebanese I know little to nothing about, since all those relatives were either dead or out of touch with the family by the time I was 7 (which I consider to be, more or less, the age by which we can control our minds.)

Hope that answers your question!

I am a former Roman Catholic also of an Italian -Irish mix.

Now, of course you and I both know that there are hundreds of variations of Christianity, including the division in the Catholic Church between Roman and Byzantine Catholics. All of them have variations in their doctrines and claim to have a practice of the true faith.

Do you claim that Roman Catholicism is the correct faith for all believers in god to follow ? How do you arrive at this conclusion ?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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rthomas2 wrote:I'm a theist,

rthomas2 wrote:

I'm a theist, and I think that I can offer a good argument for theism, which can withstand criticism. 

So...what's the argument?

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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 Ignore redneF, we love him

 Ignore redneF, we love him but he used to get beat up for lunch money by a gang of unspecified theists when he was in school.  Now he hates all theists equally.  Smiling

rthomas2 wrote:
 

From what I can tell, the atheists on this forum are some of the best and most passionate critics of religion, so I'd like to challenge all comers to a debate.  (If there is a god, I may just have stepped onto a cliff during a thunderstorm...)

 

Flattery will get you everywhere...  I'm not sure how one would classify atheists relative to quality, and I'm not sure if your definition of 'best' atheists constitutes a compliment.  

rthomas2 wrote:
 

I'm very Roman Catholic, although there are certainly some instances, many practices, and many, many specific lines of thought that Catholicism officially incorporates which I'm pretty sure I don't hold to.

I would say I'm moderate Roman Catholic, to label it the best I can. 

How can you be 'very' R.C. and not hold to some of their practices?  Perhaps some examples of doctrine items you don't adhere to would clarify.  

rthomas2 wrote:

 My ethnic heritage is Italian (50%), Lebanese (~25%), Irish (~12.5%), and mixed amounts of English, Swedish, and several others I don't know.  The Irish and Italian are the ones I'm very proud of, as I would be of the English if I had enough of it to really count; the Lebanese I know little to nothing about, since all those relatives were either dead or out of touch with the family by the time I was 7 (which I consider to be, more or less, the age by which we can control our minds.)

I'm 100% Romanian born and raised, though I consider that neither an advantage or a disadvantage, nor anything to be proud or ashamed of, or at the very least relevant.

Some basic definitions have been outlined by Bob and Butter that need to be addressed before we can really have anything to debate.  Perhaps you care to address those.

 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Ktulu wrote: Ignore redneF,

Ktulu wrote:

 Ignore redneF, we love him but he used to get beat up for lunch money by a gang of unspecified theists when he was in school. 

Ouch.

Ktulu wrote:
Now he hates all theists equally.  Smiling

Correction.

 

Just for the record.

 

I don't hate people.

I hate some of their actions.

I hate insanity.

I don't suffer fools gladly.

 

However, you are absolutely correct in asserting that I don't discrimate which people's actions, or insanity I hate.

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Chuckle.

 

This thread looks like it's going to be fun. I know it's going to turn into a titanic gang bang at some point with 90 atheists vs Thomas but I'll throw a question into the mix.

Does the faith of monotheists apply to their definition of god as well as to the fundamentals of his existence?

Welcome to the forum, Tom. Have fun. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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My Definition of Faith

Synonyms: Trust, Belief, Conviction

The association of one thing with another outside of its definition, spanning varying degrees of permanence and source.  For instance, "I believe that all apples are red," signifies the idea that when I encounter an object which fits the definition of an apple, it will also be of the color red.  Beliefs and the like are stronger or weaker depending on a) how much evidence one has that the two things are associated, b) how many scenarios said evidence is supported by, and c) how many alternate explanations said evidence disproves, because one can always review most if not all possibilities in one's mind, or at least be alerted to them, so long as one has the means to communicate with others.  And so, depending on how well a belief fits with all existing data, it is stronger or weaker; depending on how well it fits with all observed, and all consistent-with-observation theoretical, data, it is thought stronger or weaker.

 

Now, to relate to the rest of your question:

"Faith in God" usually implies: 1) A belief that some specific thing which fits a certain definition of the term god exists, or 2) A belief that some specific thing which fits a certain definition of the term god is beneficial and/or correct to follow.  Of course there are other meanings used, and the strength attributed to each meaning also varies.  I use several meanings and strengths, depending on context.  I consider both true at a very high level of strength.  Whether the evidence one has to support such claims is empirical or not, I don't know.  Were any of them to contradict evidence, I would consider them false, and disbelieve them; were any of them to lack any evidence, I would not believe them, though I might hope them.

 


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Cutoff, 02-04-2011

 Anything posted after this, I won't respond to tonight.  Good evening everyone!


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A Starting Topic

1) For a description of my belief system, see "My Religion," post #9.

2) Hmm...I'll answer all these very briefly, and whatever you'd like me to clarify I will.

I'm not a creationist, in that I don't believe the Earth was created in 7 days, nor that matter was dumped into the universe in the exact form of early Earth, nor that the planet is 4000-odd years old.  I do believe that the physical universe was created by a non-physical god; I believe that time is linear and that all that exists within time began, so that something which exists eternally must have supplied the initiation.  However, I believe the current hypotheses concerning the process by which the universe was formed, and though I do not disbelieve in the possibility of divine intervention, I believe said intervention was limited to 1) things which could not occur physically, and/or 2) reactions to the exercise of free will, the use of which I do not believe can be presaged, though the possible uses of which can all be known.

I do believe in evolution.  I believe in all that is scientifically provable and disbelieve in all which is scientifically disprovable, so far as I know/understand them.  Like my belief in the current theories concerning the history of the universe, these beliefs and disbeliefs are mostly based in a trust in scientific procedure, and the intelligence and thoroughness of those who do such studies.

As for aspects of god belief, first let me say this is my favorite of the questions you've asked, and second, attempt to answer it as best I can:

I believe that the accounts of the new testament are true.  Not only do the principles, as do many moral principles from countless traditions, ring true to me, that is, appear to be consistent with, and predictive of, human nature as I understand it, but the authors themselves I trust.  Because they advocate a morality in which any sin is to be despised, and in which dishonesty is a major sin, as is hypocrisy, as are many forms of falseness, I believe that they are telling what they vehemently believe to be the truth.  Thus, the more specific their accounts, the more I trust them.  And since they all claim that Jesus taught, was crucified, and appeared resurrected, I believe just that, because I trust them.  I also believe, simply given the quality of the morals expressed, that whoever decreed them was incredibly wise.  They all claim that to be Jesus, so I trust in his wisdom; he claims to be divine, so I trust in his divinity, both due to their accounts, and to the fact that seems unlikely to me that the source of such wisdom is merely human.  Which in turn makes the resurrection and divine birth more believable, etc.  So, the tenants of faith are to me thus:

1) The account given in the new testament is at least majorly true, despite any contradictions between authors, and where it is not literally true, it is figuratively true, and where it is neither, it is unknowingly neither.  But, because the authors are trustworthy, they would also not report information of importance unless they were absolutely sure of its truth, and as such, it is likely that most of the information, and all of the important information, in the bible is thoroughly vetted by its authors.  Who have demonstrated within the text itself their conviction to truth.

2) The morality within the new testament is the best morality by which to live one's life.

3) Jesus is divine, and the morality he teaches is that of god.

4) Following god is the best way to live one's life.

 

 


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rthomas2 wrote: Anything

rthomas2 wrote:

 Anything posted after this, I won't respond to tonight.  Good evening everyone!

 

still waiting for the argument...

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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My Claims

 You raise an excellent objection to my manner of opening the debate: that as the claimant, I should first argue my claim.

My response is that I stated my claim upfront, though you are right that I did not define it fully enough, but I believe I've done so since in posts #16 and #18.  I'm sorry that I don't want to restate them here, mainly because of time--also, I have a near-fully irrational aversion to quoting, because I believe it unnecessarily elongates posts, though I may be wrong that post length is more important than location of important text.

Further, I believe that I am also arguing against the disbelief of others, as the quote of mine you've highlighted says, and the (in my opinion) unwarranted beliefs I don't belief.  So, I wish responders to both critique my position, and offer up their counter arguments to any theism, whether or not I hold it, so that I can say why I don't believe those things I don't, as well as why I do believe those things I do.  However, in doing this, I hope I do not allow myself to be remiss in arguing my own position, so thank you for keeping me responsible.

 

In response to the two pieces of your position you've spoken so far, here's what I've got:

1) It seems to me that having faith is not necessarily ignoring evidence.  As I understand it, faith at its simplest is any proposition one holds without knowing all possible and impossible cases.  Because the possibility exists that at any moment, a case could be observed which contradicts all previous observations about a supposedly known fact, any information which we hold true, is simply believed, though it may be based entirely on evidence, and falsifiable.  However, if faith is held in blatant disregard for evidence, and perhaps even in rejection of evidence, then it is dishonest.  But I do not condone such faith, nor do I think I have it, or at the very least not consciously.

If you wish a further explanation of why I think all propositions are held in faith, and not absolute knowledge, look at the problem of induction, made famous by David Hume.  If you deny the very possibility that the future could contradict all previous knowledge...that itself must be an act of faith, because you cannot provide evidence from the future.  So there really is not a way to deny that all propositions we hold are not based on belief--only observations themselves, such as, "This apple currently appears red to me," and later, "Said apple appeared red to me at said instant," are entirely incontrovertible and thus not belief based.

2) I believe that Jesus and the god he called his father exist.  I believe this for reasons I stated in post #18, reasons which I believe my constant observations of other people lend evidence to.  However, I also believe that if one does not have evidence of something, they would be dishonest to believe it, so I will say that by the account you've given, you appear to me to be justified in your lack of belief.

3) In response to your quote, which I found to be funny and also making a very good point: I believe that one going to hell, which by the way I do not define as permanent, but rather akin to a more intense purgatory (that is, with the possibility for repentance), has nothing to do with whether or not they know of god and sin.  It is not disbelief in, nor even lack of belief in them which I believe leads to hell, but rather imperfection itself.

That's all for now!

 

 


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My Sanity

I actually really like your sense of humor, but whether or not you're funny, you've asserted over and over that theists are wrong and insane, but offered insufficient proof for such a claim.  To prove that all theists are insane, that all theism is insane, you'd have to know every form of theism, and provide a reason why each one is insane.  To provide an argument which proves that any central tenant of any and all theism is insane would certainly suffice, but I can prove that you haven't done so:

1) You've asserted that all theists base at least part of their reasoning on the circular argument depicted in your illustration, but I myself don't; to wit, I say: I believe the bible because its authors seem credible because they espouse a moral code which condemns hypocrisy and dishonesty.  I do not believe the bible is infallible, though I do believe it's very, very trustworthy.  I believe it's the word of god because I believe its morals to be above those that humans would imagine, based on the morals I've seen humans imagine, as well as because the writers ascribe divinity to Jesus, and divine guidance to him--that is, that he teaches the teachings of god.  So right there, I've given a form of theism which isn't as you've described it.  Unless you genuinely believed all theism was so easily and simply categorizable and simplifiable, you seem not to have accorded me or any theist respect, and while, if the anecdote in post #13 is accurate, or at least generally true--that is, you've been disrespected by some theists in the past, and may have been told that this was part of the behavior of all theists--you have a reason for being disrespectful to theists, not only is such a reason flimsy by most mature standards, as life provides ample evidence that no group is truly uniform in behavior, but it should fail by the manner in which I opened this discussion, which I considered quite respectful.  If it came across as anything else, you have my apologies and I would mostly excuse your lack of decorum by my standards.

2) You've called theism "insanity" and "a psychosis", and given definitions of these things, but not provided me with any reason why they are such.  Or perhaps the idea that all theists substitute scripture for evidence is this reason.  However, it too is easily proven false, perhaps even by the above paragraph.  Specific to this assertion, I would say that scripture does not substitute for evidence.  It may be used as evidence itself, but not in an argument against the validity of scripture itself.  Again, you may be accidentally ascribing such circular reasoning with so little proof, but your constant re-statement of your diagnosis (or is it prognosis? Honestly, because of its derisive content, maybe con-gnosis, rather than pro-gnosis.  Although gnosis is another topic altogether.) implies if not asserts that your main assertions are nigh on undeniable, whereas I have swiftly proven otherwise by offering information which directly contradicts your current argument, and thus if true, completely discredits them.  So please, either more caution, more respect, more maturity, or all three in the future, so long as you want to debate me.  There's no penalty for rudeness, but I will be more and more inclined to ignore you.  

Still, in this case, though your presentation was not the best, you did at least raise the ideas that theists argue circularly concerning scripture, which I hope I've debunked in at the very least my own case.


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The morality of the New

The morality of the New Testament is certainly a step above the Old Testament, but it is still quite barbaric, based on unjustified, supernatural concepts like sins, and appeals to fear, eternal torture in hell, and an ultimate authority, God. Jesus, as portrayed, is quite inconsistent in his teachings. Sometimes, they are good. Sometimes, they are okay or inane. Sometimes, they are horrific. He warns against judging others, but he also threatens his opponents with hell fire. He tells his disciples to turn the other cheek, but he also encourages his followers to slay their enemies.

I find even the very foundations of NT morality to be largely dubious and appalling. Jesus refers to himself as a shepherd, and people are his sheep. The entire message implies that people should follow him blindly, without even thinking. Add that to the fact that Jesus threatens the unbelievers with hell. Your choices are a) follow a dogmatic religion, foregoing any rational thought, like a sheep, or b) be tortured for all eternity. The most important message of all, namely of Jesus dying on the cross, is a mockery of modern ideas of justice. The idea that you can arbitrarily pick a scapegoat to atone for someone else's wrongdoing is a wholly outdated and impractical concept. Not to mention that he was only tortured for 3 days, and then he got to spend all eternity in heaven. That's silly. That's not a sacrifice at all; almost anyone on this very forum would choose to do that just to get to go to heaven, if it existed. POW's are sometimes tortured for months or even years at a time. 

Here is my argument for disbelief. No evidence or good argument for the existence of any God or Gods.


 

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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My Catholicism

 Another excellent question.  I'm not sure this will be a sufficient answer, so please let me know if you want more of one; it's getting very late for me and I'm trying to finish responding to those who posted before the cut-off.

Having read the catechism, and been raised in and out of sunday school, I believe that the Catholic traditions are the most conducive to establishing a relationship with god.  Thus, though I know there are countless versions of Christianity, I believe this is the most complete and practical one.  However, I am open to learning of other traditions, and if any appear better than mine, I would convert once I am convinced.


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My Argument

 I believe posts #16 and #18 give a succinct version of my argument; if you think not, let me know, and I'll elaborate where needed.


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rthomas2 wrote: I believe

rthomas2 wrote:

 I believe posts #16 and #18 give a succinct version of my argument; if you think not, let me know, and I'll elaborate where needed.

I don't not see where you posted an argument, unless your argument is:

P1 - The morality of the New Testament is perfect.

P2 - If the morality of the New Testament is perfect, then the Christian God exists and everything in the New Testament is true.

Conclusion - The Christian God exists and everything in the New Testament is true.

If that is the argument, then it is obviously unsound due to premise 1. Premise 2 is actually questionable as well, as the NT being morally good does not necessitate the Christian God exists nor that the NT is all true. Plus, the NT is sometimes internally inconsistent, so it can't all be true, as that would violate non-contradiction.

rthomas2 wrote:
2) The morality within the new testament is the best morality by which to live one's life.

3) Jesus is divine, and the morality he teaches is that of god.

4) Following god is the best way to live one's life.

These are all naked assertions.

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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My God

 Oops!  I think I skipped this one; my apologies.

I believe in the new testament god.  I believe said god has no gender; I use the pronoun "he" to refer to this god, because of tradition and because man is, as I take it, the neuter gender--there is man and woman, he and she, and when referring to the masses in english and spanish (which I know a bit of), the masculine is used.  So, in referring to god, wishing to articulate a level of dignity that the word "it" seems to degrade, I use "he".

I believe god communicated the moral code of the bible, both testaments, to man, and that that message is a set of instructions on how to live morally.  I believe god loves all things and people, no matter their faults, that have any potential for goodness.  I believe he that is omnipotent, though not that he will do anything, but that he can do anything he wills; that he is omnipresent, though not visible; and that he is omniscient, though not in the sense that he knows everything that will happen; he knows every possibility of what may happen.  But free will means that there is constantly the chance for a huge amount of different things to happen, and as it truly is free, god cannot know which choice anyone will make; only the reasons for making each choice, the person's preferences for each reason, and the necessary consequences of each action.  Thus, god knows the nature of all things, but the total future of none; only things that are guaranteed to happen by some means at some time does he know will happen, but not the exact when or how, only all the possibilities.  It's like a chess player--you don't know your opponent's next move, but you do know all the possibilities, and that the outcome will always be either a checkmate or a stalemate.

I believe two more things that come to mind: 1) god can and does intervene in the world.  2) god intentionally hides himself, to preserve free will as well as because people are sinful, and in all possibility for other reasons.  After all, if knowledge of god was unavoidable, a major choice--to suspend disbelief in the so-called supernatural--would be impossible short of insanity.

 

Anything else you're interested in?


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My Conformities

 1) As far as practices I don't adhere to within Catholicism, for instance, gay-bashing, or the idea that sheltering criminals is just.  I say that I'm very Catholic as opposed to completely Catholic, to indicate that I agree with most but not all of what the R. C. Church says.  I don't know that I could provide a comprehensive list of my disagreements, as there are many I don't remember; I'm sure they'll come up as I'm asked questions like, "do you agree with the church about such-and-such"?

2) I believe my heritage is relevant because of the influence cultures have on one's opinions and experiences.  I indicate which heritages I'm proud of because I'm glad to be considered a part of them, as I particularly like the value sets I associate with them.  However, I realize this is probably much to vague to be considered relevant or important.

3) I've responded to redneF the best I could.


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My Tolerance

 I'd respond that hating blindly is much worse than believing blindly.  As well, hating insanity and fools is only in any way good so long as you are able to correctly identify insanity and foolishness.  Also, hating the person who exhibits these traits--which you first say you don't do, then indicate you do indeed do by saying you don't suffer "fools", rather than "foolishness"--rather than the trait itself is an instance of throwing babies out with bathwater.  Unless you can provide an argument which proves that anyone displaying certain imperfections is 1) entirely despicable and 2) irredeemably so.


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It'll probably take you

It'll probably take you forever to keep up with everybody's posts. You should get some sleep and pick the good responses to address.

Good night. God bless.

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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My Fundamentals

 Hi!  Thank you for being the first to use my name; actually, it's Ryan Thomas, but I see what threw you off.  Sorry for that!  And btw, I look forward to the ordered chaos due to ensue!  Should be fun.  As I think ordered chaos always is!

To respond to your question: Perhaps it does, in fact I think it does indeed.  Because as I've defined faith, in post #16, every step of a definition would involve adding a layer of belief to one's previous definition.  So, yes, I would say so, that it is a matter of faith to ascribe characteristics to a god.  That he is the only one, that he is all-powerful, etc; any characteristics past the central one are belief.  I think the central one is, creator of the universe, but it might be creator of the world, or maybe onlooker instead of creator...but only one of those is central.  The rest of the characteristics we add on are beliefs about that object, and the very central piece itself, though not tantamount to a belief in the existence of said thing, is equivalent to a believe that said word describes said thing, that is, that god = {definition}.

I'm having some trouble being clear here; if you understand what I mean, could you rephrase what I've said, and then I'll confirm if that's what I meant?  Greatly appreciated!


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Your Salutation

 Since this isn't quite an argument, I'll bend my promise and say thank you for the thoughtfulness, and goodnight to you as well; and God bless you as well! 


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Just a tip rthomas

Hey rthomas, here's a couple of tips that can help the thread flow more smoothly for you.

When you wish to answer one poster directly, simply click on the quote button at the bottom of their post. That way their quote will be in the reply as well as your reply.

Also, rather than try to type out responses to each sentence, you can cut and copy the quotes of the people that you are replying to, as you have already seen some of us do. Look at this thread to see how it is done :

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/general_conversation_introductions_and_humor/7011

That should make it a little bit easier for you so that you need not feel overwhelmed by responses. Also, there won't be any difficulty determining who is addressing who in each quote Smiling

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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rthomas2 wrote:god

rthomas2 wrote:
god intentionally hides himself, to preserve free will as well as because people are sinful, and in all possibility for other reasons.  After all, if knowledge of god was unavoidable, a major choice--to suspend disbelief in the so-called supernatural--would be impossible short of insanity.

The idea that free will requires ignorance is not only absurd, but contradicted by christianity itself, unless you're going to claim that Satan didn't have free will or didn't know god existed for certain when he rebelled against him. Just because it would be a bad idea to not kiss god's ass if he existed in no way means I don't have the freedom to do so, it just means it's a bad idea.

So god rewards people who are gullible enough to believe things that aren't based on proper evidence. How are we supposed to know which religion to follow exactly? If god can't give us sufficient evidence for the truth of the bible because that would violate free will, then we cannot in any way distinguish christianity from the thousands of other religions. God's "perfect" system consists of us rolling the dice on whether we go to hell or not, and with an abysmal chance of success.

How is whether I believe in something a good way of deciding whether I should be punished or not in the first place, even if the evidence was rock solid? Let's say god shows up in my room right now and proves his existence beyond any doubt and I still won't kiss his ass, do you think that justifies him torturing me?

 


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rthomas2 wrote:... I'd

rthomas2 wrote:

... I'd prefer if you all begin by raising objections to faith and I bat them off...

Hold on, there... you said you had a "strong argument for theism." If that's true, then offer it.

You don't walk into someone else's dining room and start telling them what to eat and serve.

And you don't walk into someone else's playing field and try to set "rules." If you want to, start your own forum. Otherwise, piss off.


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rthomas2 wrote:I actually

rthomas2 wrote:

I actually really like your sense of humor

It didn't take you long to break your rules, did it?

I guess your rules only apply to others.

rthomas2 wrote:
  Before we start, I'd like to set some ground rules; if you think any of these are unfair, let me know.  They can certainly be revised.

 

1) No personal attacks/taunting/mockery.

I think that if we start criticizing each other, rather than our positions, the debate will soon disintegrate.  So, the limit to criticism is: if anyone thinks a person's position, manner of argument, etc., are despicable, you can politely say something like, "I think that's very ignorant to say, and here's why," or else, "You're disrespecting the rest of us by doing X."  You get the idea; any criticism must not extend beyond the specific views/arguments voiced in this thread, and must be something that can be rationally defended against by the accused.  By extension, any snide remarks or sarcasm are plain out; don't insinuate someone's position to be ridiculous, prove it so respectfully.

2) No out-of-hand dismissals

This is somewhat similar to the first rule, but deals with over-dismissiveness rather than outright attacks.  If another person posts a view you disagree with, either don't engage it, or do.  However, don't simply disagree without offering evidence which contradicts their claim.  This doesn't imply their claim is weak, it implies you can't counter it.  And presumably if it's so ridiculous you feel it could be ignored, you can easily counter it...so do.

Seeing as I never indicated I was joking, you've immediately offered both, a personal criticism of me, and an out of hand dismissal that my posts are a joke of some sort.

Your overview and 'rules' would indicate that you've already lost.

I win.

rthomas2 wrote:
 ..you've asserted over and over that theists are wrong

Please quote the numerous times I've asserted they were wrong...

rthomas2 wrote:
...and insane, but offered insufficient proof for such a claim.  

The dictionary definitions are the absolutely correct definitions for the usage of the terms we use.

The terms I used are completely compatible with theists.

rthomas2 wrote:
To prove that all theists are insane, that all theism is insane, you'd have to know every form of theism, and provide a reason why each one is insane. 

Incorrect. 

I only have to prove the compatibility that the category of theism is an insanity. Theism does that itself.

rthomas2 wrote:
To provide an argument which proves that any central tenant of any and all theism is insane would certainly suffice, but I can prove that you haven't done so:

By equivocating terms, and denial, only.

Not by fact.

rthomas2 wrote:
1) You've asserted that all theists base at least part of their reasoning on the circular argument depicted in your illustration, but I myself don't;

You'll not base any of your reasoning on the bible? Or it's veracity?

Your claim is in complete contradiction with your actions.

rthomas2 wrote:
  I do not believe the bible is infallible, though I do believe it's very, very trustworthy. 

This contradicts your claim that you don't base your reasoning using the bible in a circular reasoning. 

rthomas2 wrote:
 I believe it's the word of god because I believe its morals to be above those that humans would imagine..

You believe what the bible says, because it says it.

More personal demonstrations of your circular reasoning using the bible.

Another epic fail...

rthomas2 wrote:
 So right there, I've given a form of theism which isn't as you've described it.  

False.

rthomas2 wrote:
 Unless you genuinely believed all theism was so easily and simply categorizable and simplifiable, you seem not to have accorded me or any theist respect

The position of theism is based solely on it's own conjecture that it is true.

That doesn't qualify as veracity.

rthomas2 wrote:
if the anecdote in post #13 is accurate, or at least generally true--

It was said in complete jest.

rthomas2 wrote:
2) You've called theism "insanity" and "a psychosis", and given definitions of these things, but not provided me with any reason why they are such. 

rthomas2 wrote:
Or perhaps the idea that all theists substitute scripture for evidence is this reason.  

Cool.

The adage is true!

Even a blind squirrel gets a nut, once in a while...

rthomas2 wrote:
However, it too is easily proven false

Being 'argued' is not the same as 'proving'.

You are using the term 'proven', incorrectly.

The Supreme Court does not agree with the bible.

Tell it to a Supreme Court judge.

You are guilty of equivocating.

 

rthomas2 wrote:
..perhaps even by the above paragraph.  Specific to this assertion, I would say that scripture does not substitute for evidence. 

One could use the same circular reasoning for the tales of Atlantis, as a basis for argument.

And one would be incorrect.

rthomas2 wrote:
 So please, either more caution, more respect, more maturity, or all three in the future

Get real, rookie.

rthomas2 wrote:
...so long as you want to debate me.  

Narcissistic aren't we?

I'm not debating you.

You are not doing anything new. You are parroting the same hackneyed defenses of apologetics, that were already worn out before you were born.

rthomas2 wrote:
There's no penalty for rudeness, but I will be more and more inclined to ignore you.  

Ouch.

rthomas2 wrote:
Still, in this case, though your presentation was not the best

Don't put the onus on me, for your lack of comprehension of succinctness with your ad hominems, you hypocrite.

rthomas2 wrote:
you did at least raise the ideas that theists argue circularly concerning scripture, which I hope I've debunked in at the very least my own case.

All you have is hope...

You are no logician, or objectivist.

 

You're no challenge, whatsoever.

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Tadgh wrote:rthomas2

Tadgh wrote:

rthomas2 wrote:

... I'd prefer if you all begin by raising objections to faith and I bat them off...

Hold on, there... you said you had a "strong argument for theism." If that's true, then offer it.

You don't walk into someone else's dining room and start telling them what to eat and serve.

And you don't walk into someone else's playing field and try to set "rules." If you want to, start your own forum. Otherwise, piss off.

c'mon Tadgh. Let him bring up those counter-arguments that he's so sure we've never heard.

Heck, I'll start. Heb. 11:1 (KJV) says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen". If it is the substance of hopes and evidence of the invisible how does it differ from faith being defined as "belief without evidence"?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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 By the OP's own admission

 By the OP's own admission he cannot have a strong argument or evidence. If he did god's existence would be obvious making knowledge of it unavoidable.

 Of course even if its existence were apparent we could still think that the actions, ideas, and doctrines of this thing were completely vile, abhorrent, and counter to human interests in almost all ways imaginable and refuse to accept such an authority, which would be a difficult choice unlike disbelieving things that aren't obvious and can't be.

 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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Gauche wrote: By the OP's

Gauche wrote:

 By the OP's own admission he cannot have a strong argument or evidence. If he did god's existence would be obvious making knowledge of it unavoidable.

 Of course even if its existence were apparent we could still think that the actions, ideas, and doctrines of this thing were completely vile, abhorrent, and counter to human interests in almost all ways imaginable and refuse to accept such an authority, which would be a difficult choice unlike disbelieving things that aren't obvious and can't be.

 

The whole drama, buildup, and cliffhanger of the OP, is an appeal to emotions.

There is no method of proving that one's 'notion', or 'intuition' is true, simply based on those things, or on mere conjecture and speculations that have no physical evidence, and cannot make any testable predictions.

That's the reality.

It's not in touch with reality, to assume otherwise.

The OP was not going to defy reality.

He would be physical evidence of a god, if that were the case.

 

Ergo...

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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The bible is not the word of

The bible is not the word of a moral God  because its morals are inferior to what we hold now - we do not allow people to be owned as property, ie slaves. Slavery is ok with God, according to the Bible.

It is very strange in its attitude to rape. God actually appears to ok it, specifically allowing all the young women of a conquered people, who are not betrothed, to be 'given' to the soldiers. It is certainly not unconditionally condemned.

And the fundamental message of the Garden of Eden is bad.

Disobeying an Authority figure is not inherently wrong, otherwise we would have let Hitler's deputies off when they could show they were "just following orders".

It is also wrong to punish someone's descendants for the crime the ancestor committed.

It is also wrong to punish someone for their thoughts, as in the Commandment about not 'covetting' your neighbours wife , or servants, or ass, etc. Thought Crime was a big theme in Orwell's "1984", and is associated with Totalitarian regimes.

That same commandment is also bad because it treats wives and servants as property.

It also seems ok with torture.

There are many other examples, but to me, these are the big ones.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Quote:1) No personal

Quote:
1) No personal attacks/taunting/mockery.

If you owned this website, you would be within your rights to determine how people respond to you. Since you don't all you can do is request. Now that you have, the answer is NO. We respond to claims, unfortunately some equate their claims to being equal to them, the person themselves, and the two are NOT THE SAME.

If you want a "library" type debate there is a "Kill em with kindness" section.

I only owe my fellow human the right to claim what they want. I do not owe the claim, or the person, automatic respect just because I agree with a basic human right.

I can respect your right, for example, to claim that Allah or Vishnu or Thor exist, without wanting to literally kill you. But I don't owe the claim itself respect, just because I might think you are a nice guy. The logic behind the claim and the evidence to back it up is the issue, not the fact that someone I might like holds a position I find to be absurd. If you can prove me wrong, name calling and blasphemy to your claim, can be combated and shut the skeptic up quite quickly with EVIDENCE.

I don't make demands at websites I don't own. I also don't complain about being banned on sites I don't own. Instead of demanding we don't pick on your god, spend more time providing evidence for your claimed god.  What is more important to you? Protecting an old myth, or learning that the earth is a globe and not flat?

The truth is not an agenda or something to be afraid of scrutiny or blasphemy. The truth is found through the ability to admit when one is wrong. That is why our species no longer lives in caves.

 

 

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redneF wrote:The whole

redneF wrote:

The whole drama, buildup, and cliffhanger of the OP, is an appeal to emotions.

There is no method of proving that one's 'notion', or 'intuition' is true, simply based on those things, or on mere conjecture and speculations that have no physical evidence, and cannot make any testable predictions.

That's the reality.

I'm with redneF on this one.  I had my mama take out my good blue suit so I can get ready for church, thinking this guy will have me converted by Sunday.  Now I'm sitting here in my blue suit feeling ripped off... 

Perhaps I'm getting lost in the intricate paragraph syntax.  Or the way rthomas2 so eloquently states his facts with his extensive vocabulary.   I've yet to be blown away.  Still hanging in there though, in my good blue suit...

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The problem is that the

The problem is that the justifications for belief presented here amount to very subjective judgments, intuitions, etc, rather than reference to any actual evidence.

Such internal feelings, no matter how strong and compelling to the individual, have long been shown to be extremely poor guides to what is actually true.

To trust such feelings as proof of the existence of something so totally outside any established science as a God is really a stretch way too far.

Even if all the miracles and visions in the Bible were reported exactly as experienced, all it 'proves' is that something strange was going on. Even if we discount hallucinations, it still only suggests something unusual occurred. Nothing is pointing to the existence of a God, let alone one with exactly the attributes assumed by believers, as the only possible explanation.

Visiting aliens would work better, since that doesn't require supernatural assumptions, or violation of known science. And many people today do believe in aliens, ancient and modern, as explanations for many things. I don't think aliens are the most likely explanation for what was written, just much more plausible than 'God'.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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My Argument, circa Post #18

butterbattle wrote:
 rthomas2 wrote:

 

 I believe posts #16 and #18 give a succinct version of my argument; if you think not, let me know, and I'll elaborate where needed.

 

 

I don't not see where you posted an argument, unless your argument is:

P1 - The morality of the New Testament is perfect.

P2 - If the morality of the New Testament is perfect, then the Christian God exists and everything in the New Testament is true.

Conclusion - The Christian God exists and everything in the New Testament is true.

If that is the argument, then it is obviously unsound due to premise 1. Premise 2 is actually questionable as well, as the NT being morally good does not necessitate the Christian God exists nor that the NT is all true. Plus, the NT is sometimes internally inconsistent, so it can't all be true, as that would violate non-contradiction.

 

rthomas2 wrote:
2) The morality within the new testament is the best morality by which to live one's life.

 

3) Jesus is divine, and the morality he teaches is that of god.

4) Following god is the best way to live one's life.

 

These are all naked assertions.

First off, my argument included the following assertion:

rthomas2 wrote:
 1) The account given in the new testament is at least majorly true, despite any contradictions between authors, and where it is not literally true, it is figuratively true, and where it is neither, it is unknowingly neither.  But, because the authors are trustworthy, they would also not report information of importance unless they were absolutely sure of its truth, and as such, it is likely that most of the information, and all of the important information, in the bible is thoroughly vetted by its authors.  Who have demonstrated within the text itself their conviction to truth.

This is to me a major part of my argument.  I didn't provide in-depth explanations of my logic, but I think it's fair to say that if 2 and 3 from post #18 are true, then 4) follows, and that if 1) is true, 2) and 3) follow.  The validity of the argument depends on 1) being present; your claim that 1) isn't true simply means that none of the rest would necessarily be true.  It doesn't negate the fact that "if 1), then 2) & 3)."  See?

 

Now, I thought I had sufficiently stated my argument in post #18, but here it is, as fully as I can present it without arguing against specific criticisms; for that, see the posts I've made before and after this one.  And my apologies to those who claim it was my duty to post this first and foremost; I had thought that answering criticism of theism would allow me to fully outline my beliefs as needed, but I think you're more than justified in wanting a full summary before you engage me.  So, without further ado:

 

As I understand it, I'm first asserting that in most matters, and all major ones, the four gospels are accurate; that where they contradict one another, one of the authors was either mistaken, or speaking figuratively while the others spoke literally; that any information which is truly central to the message of the gospels is absolutely accurate and consistent, whereas that which is not--such as, the exact location of the Sermon on the Mount (which I believe takes place on a plain in the gospel according to Luke,)--may vary.  So, the information which the gospels were written to convey--that is, the teachings and death of Jesus--is, I think, both consistent between gospels and accurate, whereas auxiliary information such as the exact whereabouts of certain events may be incorrect.

I argue that this is the case because the writers of the gospels approached their task with integrity; I argue that this is the case because of the content of the gospels themselves.  For I think that if a person records and glorifies a condemnation of hypocrisy and dishonesty, then they are not currently hypocrites or liars.  Otherwise, they would have no reason to write such things.

Having argued for the overall integrity of the bible, I then claim that the events it records did occur, as reported, some of the highlights being: Jesus taught that which he is said by the gospel writers to have said; he was then betrayed by Judas to the Roman courts, who had him crucified due to pressure from the high priests and citizens in his community.  He was then seen alive, his body absent from the tomb, and his body bearing the wounds of crucifixion, by his followers and several groupies.

Having claimed this to be the case, based on my argument for the accuracy of the bible, I then argue that Jesus was divine.  My support would be 1) the miracles reported in the bible, 2) the attribution of divinity to Jesus by such people as the disciple Peter and John the Baptist, and 3) the quality of the morality which Jesus preached.

I also use the quality of the morality preached by Jesus as support for the assertion that it's worth following on its own merit.  However, this is a separate assertion from my main argument.

Having argued Jesus' divinity, I've made a case for the existence of a god.  However, I want a case for the trinity, not just one member, so the final claim is: Jesus' claims that there is a god, based on his own integrity and divinity, are true.

 

So, that's my argument. To simplify,

1) The writers of the gospel condemned lies and liars.

2) Thus, said writers tell the truth.

3) Thus, the gospels are accurate.

4) Thus, Jesus said and did what the gospels say he said and did.

5a) The teachings and actions the gospels ascribe to Jesus are superhuman.

5b) The teachings the gospels ascribe to Jesus testify to his integrity.

6a) Thus, Jesus is divine.

6b) Thus, Jesus is trustworthy

7) Jesus asserts that there is a god.

8 ) Because Jesus is divine and trustworthy, his assertion that there is a god is credible.

9) God exists.

 

Is this comprehensive enough for our purposes?

 

 

 

 


Manageri
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rthomas2 wrote:1) The

rthomas2 wrote:

1) The writers of the gospel condemned lies and liars.

2) Thus, said writers tell the truth.

 

1) I condemn lies and liars.

2) Thus, I am telling the truth.

3) I claim there is no god.

4) Therefore, there is no god.

 


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rthomas2 wrote:So, that's my

rthomas2 wrote:

So, that's my argument. To simplify,

1) The writers of the gospel condemned lies and liars.

2) Thus, said writers tell the truth.

3) Thus, the gospels are accurate.

4) Thus, Jesus said and did what the gospels say he said and did.

5a) The teachings and actions the gospels ascribe to Jesus are superhuman.

5b) The teachings the gospels ascribe to Jesus testify to his integrity.

6a) Thus, Jesus is divine.

6b) Thus, Jesus is trustworthy

7) Jesus asserts that there is a god.

8 ) Because Jesus is divine and trustworthy, his assertion that there is a god is credible.

9) God exists.

Better...I was looking for something as such. The said argument in the OP, at least from what I've read, hadn't been posted yet...

But I think there are 2 huge problems here between your 1st and 2nd and 5b...

Your 2nd premise from 1 is non sequitur... just because someone condemns lying does not necessarily mean that he or she is telling the truth. One could very well be or liar or simply be presenting false information he or she believes to be true. There's no reason to think that just because they condemned liars means that any of the content of their writings is true...

And your 5b is question begging from your 1st premise... was it not Jesus that was condemning the liar? That is, you say the writers condemn liars therefore the books are telling the truth about Jesus who is the one who did the condemning the writers were referencing... This is circular.

Reboot and try again.

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Manageri wrote:1) I condemn

Manageri wrote:


1) I condemn lies and liars.

2) Thus, I am telling the truth.

3) I claim there is no god.

4) Therefore, there is no god.

Well said. It doesn't follow that condemning liars implies telling the truth.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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rthomas2 wrote:First off, my

rthomas2 wrote:

First off, my argument included the following assertion:

rthomas2 wrote:
 1) The account given in the new testament is at least majorly true, despite any contradictions between authors, and where it is not literally true, it is figuratively true, and where it is neither, it is unknowingly neither.  But, because the authors are trustworthy, they would also not report information of importance unless they were absolutely sure of its truth, and as such, it is likely that most of the information, and all of the important information, in the bible is thoroughly vetted by its authors.  Who have demonstrated within the text itself their conviction to truth.

This is to me a major part of my argument.  

So you're pluggin it into equations, and extrapolating? An attempt at being thorough, are we?

To test the rate of probability, to ensure you are not simply randomly speculating, on any and all points?

Beauty!

rthomas2 wrote:
    

So, that's my argument. To simplify,

1) The writers of the gospel condemned lies and liars.

2) Thus, said writers tell the truth.

3) Thus, the gospels are accurate.

4) Thus, Jesus said and did what the gospels say he said and did.

5a) The teachings and actions the gospels ascribe to Jesus are superhuman.

5b) The teachings the gospels ascribe to Jesus testify to his integrity.

6a) Thus, Jesus is divine.

6b) Thus, Jesus is trustworthy

7) Jesus asserts that there is a god.

8 ) Because Jesus is divine and trustworthy, his assertion that there is a god is credible.

9) God exists.

 

Is this comprehensive enough for our purposes?

It's entirely more than adequate for my purposes....

It adequately demonstrates your hubris.

You've demonstrated confirmation bias, and circular reasoning.

Both of which fit my predictions.

Congratulations, you've failed at being a logician, or presenting a much promised 'compelling' argument.

You're just being verbose, and reframing the same hackneyed arguments, we've all heard countless times, with the addition of more obfuscation and confirmation bias, in what Hitchen's correctly predicts as Christianity being an infinitely expanding tautology.

 

Your 'conclusion' does not have one single absolutely certain qualifier. It is the sum of a list of assumptions, however, it (miraculously) seems to be immune from Boole's Inequality theorem, which states that the rate of probability of multiple events occuring, is equal to, or less than the sum of probabilities of the single events occuring.

IOW, the probability of a prediction being correct, progressively lessens at every point where one must make a 'stretch'. It can never 'increase' in rates of probability.

 

This guy is a troll (posing as a 'sophisticated' objectivist) hoping to be fed...

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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My View of Divine Hiddenness

 

Mangeri wrote:
 rthomas2 wrote:
god intentionally hides himself, to preserve free will as well as because people are sinful, and in all possibility for other reasons.  After all, if knowledge of god was unavoidable, a major choice--to suspend disbelief in the so-called supernatural--would be impossible short of insanity.

 

The idea that free will requires ignorance is not only absurd, but contradicted by christianity itself, unless you're going to claim that Satan didn't have free will or didn't know god existed for certain when he rebelled against him. Just because it would be a bad idea to not kiss god's ass if he existed in no way means I don't have the freedom to do so, it just means it's a bad idea.

So god rewards people who are gullible enough to believe things that aren't based on proper evidence. How are we supposed to know which religion to follow exactly? If god can't give us sufficient evidence for the truth of the bible because that would violate free will, then we cannot in any way distinguish christianity from the thousands of other religions. God's "perfect" system consists of us rolling the dice on whether we go to hell or not, and with an abysmal chance of success.

How is whether I believe in something a good way of deciding whether I should be punished or not in the first place, even if the evidence was rock solid? Let's say god shows up in my room right now and proves his existence beyond any doubt and I still won't kiss his ass, do you think that justifies him torturing me?

My meaning was that should knowledge of god be unavoidable, it would limit free will.  However, I agree that by no means would it cease to exist!  And your assertion that, according to my assertions, god rewards gullibility, I disagree with.  In fact, the whole perspective which you advocate, while reasonable to me, is still, I think, wrong.  Here's why.

If god were known to exist, many people would follow him sycophantically--that is, they would do his will not because it was right, but because he was the most powerful being around.  That's a view that some advocate, that is, we should follow god simply because he's omnipotent, because we could go to hell otherwise, etc.  However, if we were to follow god for this reason, we would not need to believe that the morality god voices is the best way to live.  By having to seek god out, however, we must devote ourselves to him solely based on what we know of him, and what we know of him is his morality.  What I'm trying to say is that as it stands now, people will or won't follow god based on whether or not they agree with his morality.

The issue that you've brought up, I think, is that god punishes those who don't kiss his ass and rewards those who do.  Not only that, he toys with us by not giving us any proof of whether or not he even exists.  This is what I believe certain people say about god, but not me.  I believe that heaven and hell are not places we are assigned to by god; rather, perfect people go to heaven and imperfect ones go to hell.  The only way to become perfect, having lived imperfectly, is to be given a second chance, and god is the one who's able and willing to do so.  Whereas it seems unfair that any being's whim is the only thing that matters in the afterlife, as far as I can tell from the morality advanced in the bible, the "whim" of god is not favoritism based on ass-kissing, but a sort of "waste not" mentality.  For in becoming subservient to god, we pledge ourselves to doing his will, that is, follow his morality--by his standards, live as good people from then on.   If one isn't committed to this, what good would it do to extend a second chance?  One has not committed to using it well.  So, by having to seek out god, we must undergo the process of evaluating his morals, and deciding whether or not to commit to them.  This may seem like it screws over those who have no chance to seek god out, but then, the fact that they aren't seeking something higher than themselves is part of the reason they're not being reached out to.  It's not that believing flimsy evidence is rewarded; it's that deciding to seek god is important, and that if god exists, that step is pretty much disposed of.

Please criticize, I know there's something here I'm overlooking but I can't put my thumb on it.  Thanks!

 


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My Opening

 

Tadgh wrote:
 Hold on, there... you said you had a "strong argument for theism." If that's true, then offer it.

You don't walk into someone else's dining room and start telling them what to eat and serve.

And you don't walk into someone else's playing field and try to set "rules." If you want to, start your own forum. Otherwise, piss off.

1) As I've said, I'm sorry I didn't immediately offer my argument; you can find it in posts #18 and #47.

2) First off, I was of the impression that everyone here was on equal footing as far as debating goes, with the moderators being the only ones with the right to set or dispel rules of procedure.  Thus, the analogy of me walking into someone else's domain and ordering them around seems incorrect to me; perhaps the analogy of coming into someone's diner, sitting at a table, and inviting others to join me on terms I outlined.  The only bad implication of this is that I imply I have the right to decide who comes and goes from this thread, which, yes, is absolutely wrong and insubordinate.  I apologize for allowing this inference.  What I was attempting to imply was that I was taking up the privilege I'd been granted--that is, sitting at a table--and would then invite others to join me, assuming they were coming with X form of intentions, X assumptions of proper decorum.  I didn't mean to imply that it was either my right to 1) kick anyone out from said table or 2) stay there myself without the express permission of management.  But I did want there to be some stated idea of what manner of discussion I myself would be attempting to engage, and what kind of conversation I'd ignore or refuse to take up.  Does that clear things up?  In any case, I apologize for however presumptive I may have looked.

That said, I'd really appreciate it if you wouldn't heckle me; I'd hope that even if I am presumptive, it doesn't preclude the likelihood of me retracting any dickishness should I be shown that I am, indeed, making myself look like a dick.  Your assumption that my faux pas was intentional is insulting, even if it's warranted.

 

 


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My Interpretation of Heb. 11:1

Thanks for the support, although I don't think I'm going to always bring up new counter-arguments; though I do hope they'll be better explained than usual.

My interpretation is that for faith to be the substance of hopes and the evidence of the invisible--my translation being, that which gives substance to hopes and provides proof of the invisible--it means that the very existence of faith in those things offers credence to them.  Now, for faith to offer credence, it must be of a certain nature.  Not simply any belief--for a person could believe himself a monkey, and that would offer proof to no one that he was indeed a monkey.  Instead, it must be a kind of belief that when seen, gives credence to that which it proposes.  Thus it must be belief with evidence, for belief without evidence of some sort convinces no one.  And belief that is thought to be evidenced will only convince those who trust that supposed evidence.

For example, think of any person you've ever met who was convinced of something you were not.  If you asked them why, they would most certainly have given you a reason!  Whether that reason would have been valid or not, it would still have been a reason.

Do we agree here?