How do people who believe in God--define the God that they believe in? And how do atheists define the God they don't believe in?

Barrie
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How do people who believe in God--define the God that they believe in? And how do atheists define the God they don't believe in?

People who believe in God--may not all agree what God is. 10 people may say they believe in God--but they all may have a different definition/explanation of what God is. Therefore, on the surface it seems they are in some sort of agreement--but depending on their beliefs about God--there may actually be spaces of disagreement between each of these 10 as there are between any one of them and an atheist.

So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God? And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in.

Perhaps, some who do believe in God also wouldn't believe in the God as defined by some atheists.

Be well & happy,

Barrie


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i believe that the entire

i believe that the entire collective concept of gods, higher powers, deities, saviors, angels, heaven, hell, devils and demons is entirely man-made and fictional.

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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djneibarger wrote: i

djneibarger wrote:
i believe that the entire collective concept of gods, higher powers, deities, saviors, angels, heaven, hell, devils and demons is entirely man-made and fictional.

I concur with this 100%. This post exactly describes my lack of belief. 


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Barrie wrote: People who

Barrie wrote:


People who believe in God--may not all agree what God is.
Yeah, I've noticed the hate and killing.
Quote:
10 people may say they believe in God--but they all may have a different definition/explanation of what God is.Therefore, on the surface it seems they are in some sort of agreement--but depending on their beliefs about God--there may actually be spaces of disagreement between each of these 10 as there are between any one of them and an atheist.
It is because people are imagining different things. Why is that? Because there is no evidence of such a thing. Without any evidence, every theist has only his/her (or another's) imagination as a reference in formulating a definition/explanation of what 'it' is.

Quote:
So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God? And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in.

Perhaps, some who do believe in God also wouldn't believe in the God as defined by some atheists.

Be well & happy,

Barrie
I define the word 'god' as an imaginary being ignorant and/or mentally ill people believe in.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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djneibarger wrote: i

djneibarger wrote:
i believe that the entire collective concept of gods, higher powers, deities, saviors, angels, heaven, hell, devils and demons is entirely man-made and fictional.

Barrie Responds: Leaving out the other terms for the moment--what I'm asking is this: What is your personal concept of god that you then reject?

When you state "the entire collective concept of gods...," you are still making a blanket statement with no definition. You are not defining or explaining what it is that you believe others believe. You are just saying that you don't agree.

And that is what I'm trying to avoid in order to understand exactly what people DO believe about God--either in their belief that there is or is not a God.

I ask this question because so many people discuss God or if God exists or not--and rarely does anyone define what it is they are actually talking about.

I believe that there are as many huge differences of opinions between theists and theists as there are between theists and athiests.

I am also curious as to whether there are any disagreements between athiests and atheists as to the "God" they believe doesn't exist.

 In both cases, one group believes in "God" and one group thinks "God" is a fantasy or make-believe. And no one actually defines what it is they are talking about.

I am curious as to what agreements and/or disagreements may exist within each group, as well as between each group.

Be well & happy,

Barrie


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Barrie wrote:

Barrie wrote:

Barrie Responds: Leaving out the other terms for the moment--what I'm asking is this: What is your personal concept of god that you then reject?

When you state "the entire collective concept of gods...," you are still making a blanket statement with no definition. You are not defining or explaining what it is that you believe others believe. You are just saying that you don't agree.

And that is what I'm trying to avoid in order to understand exactly what people DO believe about God--either in their belief that there is or is not a God.

I ask this question because so many people discuss God or if God exists or not--and rarely does anyone define what it is they are actually talking about.

I believe that there are as many huge differences of opinions between theists and theists as there are between theists and athiests.

I am also curious as to whether there are any disagreements between athiests and atheists as to the "God" they believe doesn't exist.

In both cases, one group believes in "God" and one group thinks "God" is a fantasy or make-believe. And no one actually defines what it is they are talking about.

I am curious as to what agreements and/or disagreements may exist within each group, as well as between each group.

Be well & happy,

Barrie

You are missing a very important point here, it is not up to the non-believers to define god. I can only lack belief in the definitions I have been presented. Thus far every 'concept' of god I have encountered is preposterous and nothing more than magical thinking.

Furthermore, if you were to define god as the next taco I eat from Taco Bell, I would be obliged to believe in it as I sat there and devoured it.


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Hi AiiA,

Hi AiiA,

Barrie wrote: People who believe in God--may not all agree what God is.

AiiA Responds: Yeah, I've noticed the hate and killing.

Barrie Now Responds: I believe that more people have hated others and killed others because of their differing beliefs about God. But there are also huge numbers of theists who disagree about God--and don't hate or kill each other. That is, it is not intrinsic that IF you disagree about God--you will therefore hate or kill those with whom you are in disagreement. I know you are not saying this, but I'm just saying it for clarification's sake.

Barrie Had Written: 10 people may say they believe in God--but they all may have a different definition/explanation of what God is.Therefore, on the surface it seems they are in some sort of agreement--but depending on their beliefs about God--there may actually be spaces of disagreement between each of these 10 as there are between any one of them and an atheist.

AiiA Responds: It is because people are imagining different things. Why is that? Because there is no evidence of such a thing. Without any evidence, every theist has only his/her (or another's) imagination as a reference in formulating a definition/explanation of what 'it' is.

Barrie Now Responds: What you say is true only if the belief in God actually is soley a product of one's imagination. The truth of that statement is really your belief on the subject--that you accept as fact--as do all "believers" accept their beliefs as facts.

A believer in God may make the same argument about atheists--that it is only their imagination that is behind their lack of belief.

Each person makes sense when their viewpoint is seen thru the filter of their own beliefs.

All that said, the concept of God--whether accepted or rejected--still exists. And I am asking what is your concept of God that you reject?

Barrie Wrote: So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God? And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in. Perhaps, some who do believe in God also wouldn't believe in the God as defined by some atheists.

AiiA Responds: I define the word 'god' as an imaginary being ignorant and/or mentally ill people believe in.

Barrie Now Responds: I believe many theists would agree with you--who also do not believe God to be a being at all. As for the terms "ignorant" and "mentally ill:" These terms only make sense when seen thru the filter of your beliefs.

What I mean is this: A believer in God may say that Atheists are either ignorant and/or mentally ill. Why? Because according to THEIR belief system--those are possible explanations concerning why people don't believe in God. For our discussion's sake, those would be the only two "slots" that atheists can fit into.

Likewise, the only two slots your belief system allows for theists--are those slots labeled "ignorant" or "mentally ill." Perhaps there are other reasons or explanations why people either believe or don't belief in God--that do not involve ignorance or mental illness?

AiiA Continues: I'm atheist - I hold the postulation of 'god' to be false.
P1 - If there's no evidence of a god, then the lack of evidence of a god is evidence that there is no god.
P2 - There is no evidence of a god
C - Therefore there is no god

Barrie Responds: People who believe in God do see evidence of God. It is not evidence that you may accept as evidence. But to them--it is evidence. Your concept of evidence, as theirs, may not be absolute. They may see evidence where you don't.

For example, a dead body is found. If there is no evidence or seems to be no evidence that a murder has occurred, it doesn't follow that a murder has not occurred. Evidence may be there but not yet seen or understood or discovered.

Also, one person may see evidence of a murder, while another person may reject this "evidence" as evidence.

What one person sees as "evidence" is only evidence based on their belief system about the nature of reality.

People have different beliefs about what the nature of reality is. Those beliefs dictate what is seen as evidence as what is not seen as evidence.

Someone who believes in God may say that prayer brought about some effect--and that effect is evidence of God. That fits their beliefs about the nature of reality. An atheist may not see that as evidence at all; may have a totally different explanation for the effect. Both may appear to be correct--from their perspectives. But does anyone really KNOW? I say that each side believes, first; and then takes their beliefs as knowing.

I say this because I believe that no group or person really knows the nature of reality--they each only have beliefs about the nature of reality--and then they assume that their beliefs are actually Truth or Absolute Truth.

In order to be function human beings, we all act if what we believe to Absolute Truths are actually Absolute Truths; and this includes the Absolute Truth that there are NO absolute truths.

Be well & happy,

Barrie


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I don't believe in anything

I don't believe in anything supernatural.


wavefreak
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djneibarger wrote: i

djneibarger wrote:
i believe that the entire collective concept of gods, higher powers, deities, saviors, angels, heaven, hell, devils and demons is entirely man-made and fictional.

 This is essentially saying atheism = not(anything theistic). Why is this not a negative definition akin to supernatural = not(anything natural)?


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MattShizzle wrote: I don't

MattShizzle wrote:
I don't believe in anything supernatural.

Hi Matt,

One question is: Is what you personally believe to be supernatural actually supernatural--OR is it actually natural in ways not yet understood? Another question would be: How would you define supernatural?

Be well & happy,

Barrie


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MattShizzle wrote: I don't

MattShizzle wrote:
I don't believe in anything supernatural.

 

This would allow for pantheism. From your posts I'm pretty sure you don't accept even that as a possibility.


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  The only reason I would

  The only reason I would make my own definition of god would be if I truly was doing just making stuff up. I don't make the definition of god, I am presented with many, and to those definitions I find no evidence, proof, or value in it's belief.  I shouldn't be defining god in the first place it should, if it exists, be capable of doing that all on its own.  I don't define the qualities of anything, I find qualities in things and those become their definition.  A rock is hard, not because I have defined the rock as such, but because the definition of hard (an abstract) is a quality the rock possesses.

Sounds made up...
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wavefreak

wavefreak wrote:

djneibarger wrote:
i believe that the entire collective concept of gods, higher powers, deities, saviors, angels, heaven, hell, devils and demons is entirely man-made and fictional.

This is essentially saying atheism = not(anything theistic). Why is this not a negative definition akin to supernatural = not(anything natural)?

you can call it anything you want, but i think it's a crystal clear statement. i see no need to revise or elaborate, other than to make something out of nothing purely for the sake of debate. 

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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Barrie wrote: djneibarger

Barrie wrote:

djneibarger wrote:
i believe that the entire collective concept of gods, higher powers, deities, saviors, angels, heaven, hell, devils and demons is entirely man-made and fictional.

Barrie Responds: Leaving out the other terms for the moment--what I'm asking is this: What is your personal concept of god that you then reject?

When you state "the entire collective concept of gods...," you are still making a blanket statement with no definition. You are not defining or explaining what it is that you believe others believe. You are just saying that you don't agree.

no offense, but i simply don't see how i could make my original statement any more clear, simple, direct, or to the point.

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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Hi Magus, Magus Writes: 

Hi Magus,

Magus Writes:  The only reason I would make my own definition of god would be if I truly was doing just making stuff up. I don't make the definition of god, I am presented with many, and to those definitions I find no evidence, proof, or value in it's belief. 

Barrie Responds: I'm a little surprised because most people never try to define God in their discussions about it.  But given what you say above, then you would still have concepts or definitions of God--given to you by others--that you reject. So, what have been some of the definitions of God that have been presented to you that you have rejected?

 Magus Continues:  I shouldn't be defining god in the first place it should, if it exists, be capable of doing that all on its own. 

Barrie Responds: That's only if God existed in such a manner that it was capable of making such declarations; and if capable, it had the desire or intent to make it--and all people had the capability of hearing it. For example, people can't hear dog whistles--yet the sound exists. 

Magus Continues: I don't define the qualities of anything, I find qualities in things and those become their definition. 

Barrie Responds: Does anything exist outside of your capability of seeing it? Does love exist? How would you define the sound of a dog whistle? Or does it not exist because you can't hear it?

 Magus Continues: A rock is hard, not because I have defined the rock as such, but because the definition of hard (an abstract) is a quality the rock possesses. 

Barrie Responds: Is a rock hard? It depends upon how your look at it? On the quantum level, it is not even solid at all. Perhaps there are a variety of ways things may be perceived--and some may even contradict the others--yet all may be true.

Also, someone may try to use certain rocks as a tool to break into something--and these rocks may crumble in the attempt. Are these rocks hard?

I'm just saying that there may be a variety of ways things may be looked at--and one may not be wrong because it conflicts with another which is thought of as right.

Be well & happy,

Barrie


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Hi BGH,

Hi BGH,

BGH Writes: You are missing a very important point here, it is not up to the non-believers to define god. I can only lack belief in the definitions I have been presented. Thus far every 'concept' of god I have encountered is preposterous and nothing more than magical thinking.

Barrie Responds: Then the question is: What are some of the definitions of God that you have encountered?

I was not trying to suggest that it was up to a nonbeliever to define God. I was only trying to ascertain what some of the definitions of God were--that were actually being discussed when someone says they either believe or not believe in God.

BGH Continues: Furthermore, if you were to define god as the next taco I eat from Taco Bell, I would be obliged to believe in it as I sat there and devoured it.

Barrie Responds: If I were to define God as the next taco you ate from Taco Bell--most believers would disagree with me as to what God is or was; and most atheists would also reject that definition.

Perhaps if there was a Mr. Bell who actually owned taco bell, and he worshipped the money he made from his sales of tacos--he would hold the "taco" definition of God.

Be well & happy,

Barrie



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 Hi DJ, DJ Had Written:

 Hi DJ,

DJ Had Written: "i believe that the entire collective concept of gods, higher powers, deities, saviors, angels, heaven, hell, devils and demons is entirely man-made and fictional."

Barrie Responded: When you state "the entire collective concept of gods...," you are still making a blanket statement with no definition. You are not defining or explaining what it is that you believe others believe. You are just saying that you don't agree.

DJ Comments on the Above Exchange: no offense, but i simply don't see how i could make my original statement any more clear, simple, direct, or to the point.

Barrie Now Responds: No offense, taken. But if you wish to be more clear--would you elaborate on some of the concepts of God that have been presented to you--for those would be the concepts that you reject and/or do not believe in. Thanks.

Be well & happy,

Barrie

Barrie wrote:

Barrie Responds: Leaving out the other terms for the moment--what I'm asking is this: What is your personal concept of god that you then reject?

When you state "the entire collective concept of gods...," you are still making a blanket statement with no definition. You are not defining or explaining what it is that you believe others believe. You are just saying that you don't agree.


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Just a little side

Just a little side note:

For the new members, here is a great tutorial on proper use of the quote function.

How To Use The Quote Function


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Barrie wrote: Barrie Now

Barrie wrote:

Barrie Now Responds: No offense, taken. But if you wish to be more clear--would you elaborate on some of the concepts of God that have been presented to you--for those would be the concepts that you reject and/or do not believe in. Thanks.

that would be ALL concepts of god. did i miss any?

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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djneibarger

djneibarger wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

djneibarger wrote:
i believe that the entire collective concept of gods, higher powers, deities, saviors, angels, heaven, hell, devils and demons is entirely man-made and fictional.

This is essentially saying atheism = not(anything theistic). Why is this not a negative definition akin to supernatural = not(anything natural)?

you can call it anything you want, but i think it's a crystal clear statement. i see no need to revise or elaborate, other than to make something out of nothing purely for the sake of debate.

Theological non-cognitivism rejects the god concept based on its logical structure. It is entirely a relevant question. Jesus is Lord is crystal clear to a fundamentalist, but this does not make it logical. 


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Magus wrote:

Magus wrote:
The only reason I would make my own definition of god would be if I truly was doing just making stuff up. I don't make the definition of god, I am presented with many, and to those definitions I find no evidence, proof, or value in it's belief.

Barrie wrote:

Barrie Responds: I'm a little surprised because most people never try to define God in their discussions about it. But given what you say above, then you would still have concepts or definitions of God--given to you by others--that you reject. So, what have been some of the definitions of God that have been presented to you that you have rejected?

If someone says God exists to me and doesn't define it, I really don't see how the we can be discussing anything as there are many definitions give. There is the god of the Omni-Omni's. Has everything can do anything, not limited by the physical laws/time/space. This itself leads to many contradictions that have been discussed in other places of this forum.

There have also been gods that lack one omni or the other.

The Omni's: Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omni benevolent, Omniscients (Note: These are all the ones I can remember at the moment)

There has also been the physical limited god. A god that is limited to the maximum physical constraints. As in a god that is the most powerful, but limited to what physics says most powerful can be.

There have been deistic gods. A god that set things into motion.

Multi God - Kind of like the god of X (X being some property, Love, hate, pain, joy, fun)

A god that is limited by logic. As in it can only do things that are logical

The evil god. A god who created the universe and made everything just to watch it suffer.

There are more but I cannot think of them at the moment so Ignore this line.

Magus wrote:

I shouldn't be defining god in the first place it should, if it exists, be capable of doing that all on its own.

Barrie wrote:

Barrie Responds: That's only if God existed in such a manner that it was capable of making such declarations; and if capable, it had the desire or intent to make it--and all people had the capability of hearing it. For example, people can't hear dog whistles--yet the sound exists.

If one cannot make declarations of something then what exactly are they talking about? You mean some people cannot hear dog whistles. However we have instruments to detect the sound a dog whistle makes, and we can also test a dog whistle, and get repeatable results. Blow whistle dog reacts, repeatable.

Magus wrote:
I don't define the qualities of anything, I find qualities in things and those become their definition.

Barrie wrote:

Barrie Responds: Does anything exist outside of your capability of seeing it? Does love exist? How would you define the sound of a dog whistle? Or does it not exist because you can't hear it?

I define the sound of a dog whistle by its decibels and the vibrations it transmits. Define love...

Magus wrote:

A rock is hard, not because I have defined the rock as such, but because the definition of hard (an abstract) is a quality the rock possesses.

Barrie wrote:

Barrie Responds: Is a rock hard? It depends upon how your look at it? On the quantum level, it is not even solid at all. Perhaps there are a variety of ways things may be perceived--and some may even contradict the others--yet all may be true.

Also, someone may try to use certain rocks as a tool to break into something--and these rocks may crumble in the attempt. Are these rocks hard?

I'm just saying that there may be a variety of ways things may be looked at--and one may not be wrong because it conflicts with another which is thought of as right.

I forgot the words can be described as. Is hard even a coherent word when talking about things on the quantum level? Anyway it was a simple example of what I was trying to point out, not something that should be picked apart, for semantics. We define abstract qualities, and when something has those qualities we can attribute those qualities to them. However this is based on the assumption that we both understand the language being used.

Barrie wrote:

Be well & happy,

Barrie

Thanks

[Edit: Fixed quotation]

Sounds made up...
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djneibarger wrote: Barrie

djneibarger wrote:
Barrie wrote:

Barrie Now Responds: No offense, taken. But if you wish to be more clear--would you elaborate on some of the concepts of God that have been presented to you--for those would be the concepts that you reject and/or do not believe in. Thanks.

that would be ALL concepts of god. did i miss any?

I regard the Christian god in the exact same way I regard Zeus or Athena. 

There are so many concepts of god.  They vary from culture to culture. As an atheist, I view them all in the same way. 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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djneibarger wrote: Barrie

djneibarger wrote:
Barrie wrote:

Barrie Now Responds: No offense, taken. But if you wish to be more clear--would you elaborate on some of the concepts of God that have been presented to you--for those would be the concepts that you reject and/or do not believe in. Thanks.

that would be ALL concepts of god. did i miss any?

 Hi DJ,

Why not describe a few concepts of God that come into your mind. Those would be some of the concepts, then, that you are rejecting. Again, I'm curious as to the concepts--and I'm a little surprised at how difficult it is to get people to be specific. If you remember some of the concepts--which details stand out the most clearly as concepts you reject.

Be well & happy,

Barrie


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djneibarger wrote: i

djneibarger wrote:
i believe that the entire collective concept of gods, higher powers, deities, saviors, angels, heaven, hell, devils and demons is entirely man-made and fictional.

 Yep I couldn't agree more. 

 

Barry wrote:
Barrie Wrote: So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God?

I don't beleive in a god but to find out how god believers define their god you must consider their interpretation and what faith they are.  What bible/koran they read. 

 

Barry wrote:
And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in.
 

Um the above post from djneibarger and I also pertaining only to the made up god I don't believe in intelligent design by a supernatural, all powerful, omnisicent, omnipotitent and Omnibenevolent creator.

 


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Barrie wrote: Why not

Barrie wrote:

Why not describe a few concepts of God that come into your mind. Those would be some of the concepts, then, that you are rejecting. Again, I'm curious as to the concepts--and I'm a little surprised at how difficult it is to get people to be specific. If you remember some of the concepts--which details stand out the most clearly as concepts you reject.

i think "ALL concepts" is sufficiently specific.

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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Barrie wrote: and I'm a

Barrie wrote:

and I'm a little surprised at how difficult it is to get people to be specific.

And I am surprised that you are surprised!   

You seem a little upset at the blanket answer given, but to be fair, you have asked a very general question.  Atheists lack a belief in any and all gods.  Period. 

If you want descriptions or concepts of god you will need to visit a theist forum.  Trust me, you will read about everything from little tiny gods that sit on people's shoulders and help them with their computers to giant green aliens waiting to rapture humans away.  Every believer has his/her own description and interpretation of the term 'god'.  It would be impossible to list all of them here for you. 

Djneibarger's response was more than sufficient.  If you would like to proceed in a discussion concerning one particular concept of god, please choose one and describe it.  It really doesn't matter to any of us which one you choose - they are all fictional.


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I literally laughed outloud

I literally laughed outloud when I read this, "how would you define what it is you don't believe in." How do you define ANYTHING you don't believe in? I don't believe in fairies. Fairies are what other people created from their imaginations. They have wings and are colorful with pointy ears and can fly. This is what other people have defined them as, not me. How then can anyone define anything they've never believed in?

An atheist's disbelief is simply a state of knowledge that one possesses based on the information he/she has attained through science, history, etc. and based on scientific information available to man simply chose not to believe in something that at face value appears to be invented by other human beings claiming that such a being exists.

When someone tells you that two plus two equals four, you asked them to prove it to you. When someone tells you that cells duplicate, you ask them to prove it. When someone tells you that a chair is sitting in your living room, you ask them to prove it. It is, therefore, obvious that when someone says "there's a supernatural being you can't see, smell, touch, hear, communicate with in a two way conversation, etc." and any human being asked them to prove it through facts and evidence other than a book or someone else's word and it can not be done then what reason does one have to believe rather than disbelieve? How does one choose which of the 3600+ gods to believe in, as well?

Disbelief is defined as:

 

be·lief play_w("B0170700&quotEye-wink (b-lf)

n.1. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: My belief in you is as strong as ever.2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: His explanation of what happened defies belief.3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons. Atheists place trust in facts and provable evidence, not in blind faith that something is true though it can't be proven. You're asking people to define something they don't believe in so this question is moot. I'll never understand how someone can say "prove it to me" with all other things but a supernatural being and not see the irony in this. Everything in your life we demand a positive proof but when it comes to religion we simply say prove my supernatural belief is false. How can one possibly prove a negative? I really recommend reading God: The Failed Hypothesis.

 

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


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Barrie wrote: Hi

Barrie wrote:
Hi AiiA,

Barrie wrote: People who believe in God--may not all agree what God is.

AiiA Responds: Yeah, I've noticed the hate and killing.

Barrie Now Responds: I believe that more people have hated others and killed others because of their differing beliefs about God. But there are also huge numbers of theists who disagree about God--and don't hate or kill each other. That is, it is not intrinsic that IF you disagree about God--you will therefore hate or kill those with whom you are in disagreement. I know you are not saying this, but I'm just saying it for clarification's sake.
I think if delusions are eliminated most predjudices will disappear.

Quote:
Barrie Had Written: 10 people may say they believe in God--but they all may have a different definition/explanation of what God is.Therefore, on the surface it seems they are in some sort of agreement--but depending on their beliefs about God--there may actually be spaces of disagreement between each of these 10 as there are between any one of them and an atheist.

AiiA Responds: It is because people are imagining different things. Why is that? Because there is no evidence of such a thing. Without any evidence, every theist has only his/her (or another's) imagination as a reference in formulating a definition/explanation of what 'it' is.

Barrie Now Responds: What you say is true only if the belief in God actually is soley a product of one's imagination. The truth of that statement is really your belief on the subject--that you accept as fact--as do all "believers" accept their beliefs as facts.
Then what I say is true, because there is no evidence for being a theist.

Quote:
A believer in God may make the same argument about atheists--that it is only their imagination that is behind their lack of belief.
I have evidence to support my belief and that evidence is 'the lack of evidence'.

Quote:
Each person makes sense when their viewpoint is seen thru the filter of their own beliefs.
No theist makes sense about why they are theist.

Quote:
All that said, the concept of God--whether accepted or rejected--still exists. And I am asking what is your concept of God that you reject?
The god-concept is incoherent, it exists as a disease of the mind.

Quote:
Barrie Wrote: So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God? And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in. Perhaps, some who do believe in God also wouldn't believe in the God as defined by some atheists.

AiiA Responds: I define the word 'god' as an imaginary being ignorant and/or mentally ill people believe in.

Barrie Now Responds: I believe many theists would agree with you--who also do not believe God to be a being at all.
I am aware of that and regardless there is no evidence.
Quote:
As for the terms "ignorant" and "mentally ill:" These terms only make sense when seen thru the filter of your beliefs.
Theists do not use reason to "filter" and there are 2 types: the ignorant and the mentally ill.

Quote:
What I mean is this: A believer in God may say that Atheists are either ignorant and/or mentally ill. Why? Because according to THEIR belief system--those are possible explanations concerning why people don't believe in God. For our discussion's sake, those would be the only two "slots" that atheists can fit into.

Likewise, the only two slots your belief system allows for theists--are those slots labeled "ignorant" or "mentally ill." Perhaps there are other reasons or explanations why people either believe or don't belief in God--that do not involve ignorance or mental illness?
There's no justification for believing in anything when there is no evidence to support that belief.

Quote:
AiiA Continues: I'm atheist - I hold the postulation of 'god' to be false.
P1 - If there's no evidence of a god, then the lack of evidence of a god is evidence that there is no god.
P2 - There is no evidence of a god
C - Therefore there is no god

Barrie Responds: People who believe in God do see evidence of God. It is not evidence that you may accept as evidence. But to them--it is evidence. Your concept of evidence, as theirs, may not be absolute. They may see evidence where you don't.
This is were ignorance and mental illness come into play. Why would a theist consider something to be evidence when I do not? Answer: Because it is not evidence.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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I have been "badged" or labeled as a theist--but I'm not.

Hi Everyone,

 I notice that under my name in the section that states who posted what post--that I have been labeled or badged as a "theist"--and I am not.

I do not believe in the Bible; or that there is a God who interferes in our lives or who we have to answer to; or is some kind of being in any way.

I do have spiritual beliefs but they do not include the  believe in a God; altho I do have beliefs about the concept of God.

I just wanted to clarify and hope to have my label as "theist" removed by whoever the "gods" of the board are who do such things.

Be well & happy,

Barrie


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Hi Lynette, Lynette1977

Hi Lynette,

Lynette1977 wrote:

I literally laughed outloud when I read this, "how would you define what it is you don't believe in." How do you define ANYTHING you don't believe in?

Barrie Responds: It's easy. For example, I don't believe that Jesus is/was God or the son of God...but I have defined it. I also don't believe in gnomes, but I can define what I mean. I mean little people with faces that are barely human, and some may have magical powers. I also don't believe in the tooth fairy--but I can define what the tooth fairy is--some sort of magical being or creature that comes to children's rooms in the middle of the night and replaces a tooth left under the pillow with money. So, I'm not sure what the difficulty may be in defining the  term "God" when a person is saying that he or she doesn't believe in God.

 

Lynette1977 wrote:

I don't believe in fairies. Fairies are what other people created from their imaginations. They have wings and are colorful with pointy ears and can fly. This is what other people have defined them as, not me. How then can anyone define anything they've never believed in? 

 Barrie Responds: That's exactly what I mean. What are some specific definitions of God that stick in your mind--that you believe are based on the imagination or delusions of others?

 Be well & happy,

Barrie


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Quote: So, I'd like to pose

Quote:
So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God? And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in.

Quote:
In both cases, one group believes in "God" and one group thinks "God" is a fantasy or make-believe. And no one actually defines what it is they are talking about.

As an atheist I don't have to define god and if someone doesn't define their idea of god I'm obviously not going to believe in it. I think you need to understand the difference between weak and strong atheism. A weak atheist wouldn't need to define anything its a simple lack of belief. A strong atheist might have to define the god which he doesn't believe if he wanted to make the claim X doesn't exist and prove it.

Most here have the position that there is a lack of proof for X's existence. Now if you want to say something about a definition well without defining X we don't really have anything to go on so it would be ridicules to expect someone to believe in it.

A good portion of a debate might be the defining of a god. The atheist might ask them questions like, "is god all powerful or loving". A thiest might find those question odd things to ask, but even people within the same sub religion may not agree. Its not just a muslim's idea of god or a christian's idea of god, but is probably Betty's idea of god, Sally's idea of god, etc.

People don't go around defining what they don't believe in, its a waste of fucking time and meaningless. I mean really do you define all the aspects of bigfoot or FSM? (assuming you don't believe in those things)


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Hi Void, Quote: Barrie

Hi Void,

Quote:
Barrie Wrote: So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God? And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in.

Quote:
Barrie Continued: In both cases, one group believes in "God" and one group thinks "God" is a fantasy or make-believe. And no one actually defines what it is they are talking about. 

Voiderest wrote:

As an atheist I don't have to define god and if someone doesn't define their idea of god I'm obviously not going to believe in it.

Barrie Comments: I did not mean to imply that an atheist should or must define their idea of a god. I am just curious as to how individual people--atheists or theists--envision the concept of "god" when they are in disagreement or agreement. I assume that each atheist has some idea, picture or concept of what theists believe their gods to be. Perhaps this image or idea came from a discussion or an argument. Perhaps the atheist once actually was a theist and then changed his/her mind.

I believe, and excuse my pun with your nickname, that people do not think and react in or to a void--but have some ideas in their mind when they encounter topics. It's sort of like a personal archetype or stereotype.

For example, we each, I believe, have some image in our mind of what an American Indian may look like; or a tree; and so forth. Or when someone says, "I hate skiing," they probably have some picture or concept in the mind of what skiiing is like and why they hate it. I believe that the same holds true for atheists--when it comes to the concept of god; that their minds are not blank but some image, belief or concept comes into play--that they then reject.

Voiderest wrote:

I think you need to understand the difference between weak and strong atheism. A weak atheist wouldn't need to define anything its a simple lack of belief. A strong atheist might have to define the god which he doesn't believe if he wanted to make the claim X doesn't exist and prove it.

Barrie Comments: Again, I didn't mean to imply that any atheist of any label needed to define anything or had to define anything. I was just curious, as stated above, as to what image or concept or stereotype or archetype comes into the mind of anyone who considers himself an atheist or theist when it comes to the concept of God.

 

Voiderest wrote:
 Most here have the position that there is a lack of proof for X's existence. Now if you want to say something about a definition well without defining X we don't really have anything to go on so it would be ridicules to expect someone to believe in it.

Barrie Comments: I believe that it is natural that when someone, anyone, has a strong belief--either for or against something--that that person has some picture, concept, idea, stereotype or archetype in their mind concerning that something that they feel strongly about.

Voiderest wrote:
A good portion of a debate might be the defining of a god. The atheist might ask them questions like, "is god all powerful or loving". A thiest might find those question odd things to ask, but even people within the same sub religion may not agree. Its not just a muslim's idea of god or a christian's idea of god, but is probably Betty's idea of god, Sally's idea of god, etc.

 Barrie Comments: Yes, I understand. And I believe that because of these types of conversations, debates or discussions--that the atheist may have developed in his/her mind--some concept or stereotype of "God" that they have in mind or that automatically comes to mind when they talk about how they don't believe in God.

Voiderest wrote:
People don't go around defining what they don't believe in, its a waste of fucking time and meaningless. I mean really do you define all the aspects of bigfoot or FSM? (assuming you don't believe in those things)

Barrie Responds: It would only be a waste of time if it was required or forced upon someone. But self-examination is always helpful. And I believe it to be meaningful and mind-expanding for an atheist, and everyone, to be aware of what image, pictures, stereotypes or concepts they have floating around in their minds when they hear the word "God" and when they discuss the topic. 

For example, I don't believe in angels. But I do have a picture in my head of what an angel "looks" like or is "supposed" to look like. And this picture or image does come into my mind when I say that I don't believe in angels. So, if I'm debating the existence of angels--I would be curious as to what image or picture the believer has in mind--and if it is similar to mine...to see if we were talking about the same thing--or something different--but just with the same label.

This may just be for me, then, but I believe its a good use of my time as well as meaningful to be aware of the images that exist in my mind--even including that of "angel" --even tho I reject the reality of angels.

In any case, I meant no offense to anyone with my question.

Be well & happy,

Barrie


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when I do think there might

when I do think there might be something higher than us, I think of it in deistic terms.


Froggy618157725
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I don't strictly define

I don't strictly define G_d, but I'm working on a limit.

On one side, I use logic to set up a framework for some basic things that can and can't be. I go on the assumption that G_d is the underlying reality to the universe. That directly implies omnipresence, and being all-knowing. Actually, 'containing all knowledge' would be more appropriate. If self aware, omnipotence would be practically given. Self awareness is present in some form, because I am self aware, and I exist within reality. The effects of that could be insignificant. At this point, a different word would probably be appropriate, to avoid preconceptions that could get in the way.

On the other end, I compare it to personal experience. For me, that points strongly to a self aware G_d that will interact on a personal level, with a strong sense of humor and irony.

My goal is to decrease the distance between these two ideas to try to approach something accurate, or arrive at some irreconcilable difference. 

 

The sentence below is false.
The sentence above is true.
This sentence doesn't care.


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that was pretty cool

that was pretty cool Smiling


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friendlyagnostic

friendlyagnostic wrote:
when I do think there might be something higher than us, I think of it in deistic terms.

Hi Friendly,

When you "think in deistic terms"--what is it that you actually think, picture or believe? Do you have any details or specifics?

Be well & happy,

Barrie


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Hi Froggy, Froggy Writes:

Hi Froggy,

Froggy Writes: On the other end, I compare it to personal experience. For me, that points strongly to a self aware G_d that will interact on a personal level, with a strong sense of humor and irony.

Barrie Responds: Do you have any theories or beliefs about how the G-d that you envision actually does or would interact on a personal level? Can you give a scenario or an imagined or experienced example? Also, if G-d can interact--does G-d use or have some sort of form--phyiscal or otherwise?

Be well & happy,

Barrie

Froggy618157725 wrote:

I don't strictly define G_d, but I'm working on a limit.

On one side, I use logic to set up a framework for some basic things that can and can't be. I go on the assumption that G_d is the underlying reality to the universe. That directly implies omnipresence, and being all-knowing. Actually, 'containing all knowledge' would be more appropriate. If self aware, omnipotence would be practically given. Self awareness is present in some form, because I am self aware, and I exist within reality. The effects of that could be insignificant. At this point, a different word would probably be appropriate, to avoid preconceptions that could get in the way.

On the other end, I compare it to personal experience. For me, that points strongly to a self aware G_d that will interact on a personal level, with a strong sense of humor and irony.

My goal is to decrease the distance between these two ideas to try to approach something accurate, or arrive at some irreconcilable difference. 


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Barrie wrote:

Barrie wrote:
I am just curious as to how individual people--atheists or theists--envision the concept of "god" when they are in disagreement or agreement.

I usally try to go off of the theist's idea of god otherwise its just strawmaning.

Quote:
Perhaps the atheist once actually was a theist and then changed his/her mind.

I good number here were theist and I'm not really surprised if most of the world is theist.

Quote:
It's sort of like a personal archetype or stereotype.

...

I believe that the same holds true for atheists--when it comes to the concept of god; that their minds are not blank but some image, belief or concept comes into play--that they then reject.

...

I was just curious, as stated above, as to what image or concept or stereotype or archetype comes into the mind of anyone who considers himself an atheist or theist when it comes to the concept of God.

Stereotyping is a natural function of the brain so it wouldn't surprise me.

Quote:
For example, I don't believe in angels. But I do have a picture in my head of what an angel "looks" like or is "supposed" to look like. And this picture or image does come into my mind when I say that I don't believe in angels. So, if I'm debating the existence of angels--I would be curious as to what image or picture the believer has in mind--and if it is similar to mine...to see if we were talking about the same thing--or something different--but just with the same label.

I think this is just an aspect of communication it ain't perfect.

Quote:
In any case, I meant no offense to anyone with my question.

You probably got the reaction you did because it seems to be close to if not dancing around a few arguments for god. Since this is a message board that kinda debates that kinda thing we are on our toes.

 

Here, here, here, here is what you are looking for.

 

A few common ideas that come to mind are...

All loving, All powerful, All knowing.

Creator.

The greatest thing.

The highest thing.

Energy.

Love.

Chuck Norris, but he has a god OH NOES! Shocked


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Taken from the other topic

Taken from the other topic in which you originally asked this question:

LosingStreak06 wrote:
Barrie wrote:

People who believe in God--may not all agree what God is. 10 people may say they believe in God--but they all may have a different definition/explanation of what God is. Therefore, on the surface it seems they are in some sort of agreement--but depending on their beliefs about God--there may actually be spaces of disagreement between each of these 10 as there are between any one of them and an atheist.

Indeed, which becomes quite annoying when certain theists try to use this appearance of great numbers in order to justify pushing their ridiculous political agendas.

Quote:
So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God?

My God is a fruit smoothie.

Quote:
And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in.

How on earth do you define what you don't believe in? I think it's safe to say that there is not just one God that atheists don't believe in. They happen to not believe in all of them, or so I've been led to believe.

Quote:
Perhaps, some who do believe in God also wouldn't believe in the God as defined by some atheists.

Well, if they define God as non-existent, then it would be rather hard to believe in, no? On the other hand, I have met a person who believes in a non-existent Goddess. I must say I admire him greatly.

 


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Quote:

Quote:
Hi Friendly,

When you "think in deistic terms"--what is it that you actually think, picture or believe? Do you have any details or specifics?

Be well & happy,

Barrie


Hi Barrie, not really. Just that there might be a "remote higher power"-that's where the desitic part comes in (deists believe in a "hands off" higher power, you can google deism to read more). But I don't claim to know anything about what it would be like, nor do I think it's been revealed and I don't think we can know. anyone that says "we have all the truth" to me is arrogant (my main beef with religion). And I certainly don't believe in any of the Gods of "revealed books". That's where the agnostic comes in, and I go between "agnostic deist" and just straight up "we can't know at all if anything is there" agnostic. hope that makes sense. I probably should have added deist to my name.....but I go back and forth. and suprisingly I've met a lot of other people who do. there seem to be several people who consider themselves non-theist and are turned off by organized religion, (like me) but not atheist (not b/c we "hate" the word, just we don't feel it defines us accurately). and they DO regard it as a valid position.

[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes, text color and font]


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Barrie wrote: People who

Barrie wrote:
People who believe in God--may not all agree what God is. 10 people may say they believe in God--but they all may have a different definition/explanation of what God is. Therefore, on the surface it seems they are in some sort of agreement--but depending on their beliefs about God--there may actually be spaces of disagreement between each of these 10 as there are between any one of them and an atheist. So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God? And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in. Perhaps, some who do believe in God also wouldn't believe in the God as defined by some atheists. Be well & happy, Barrie

I can not have a belief in something for which I have no coherent definition nor can I hold a concept of such an 'existing thing'. Until some person can define a 'god' in a way that I can understand the way it is supposed to exist within the parameters of existence as I understand them to be, it is not a matter of not believing in something as much as its not being able to conceptualize what it is that is being posited.

When I add to this the fact that, within the existence I understand, there is nothing which requires me to posit a 'token existence' as a foundation for any otherwise unexplainable reality or truth, not only do I have no concept of a god in which to believe, but I have no reason to even attempt to define such an entity in any manner.

Until some theist can stop ducking and dodging and obfuscating and deflecting when confronted with the question of what it is they actually believe in and in what way it can be said to exist, for me to form a concept in which to hold a belief is impossible.

In other words, not only do I have no belief in any god or gods, but I have no freaking idea what the hell people think they believe in when they claim that they do. As of yet, I have never met any theist who actually knows what it is they think they believe exists either.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Barrie wrote:

Barrie wrote:

Hi Froggy,

Froggy Writes: On the other end, I compare it to personal experience. For me, that points strongly to a self aware G_d that will interact on a personal level, with a strong sense of humor and irony.

Barrie Responds: Do you have any theories or beliefs about how the G-d that you envision actually does or would interact on a personal level? Can you give a scenario or an imagined or experienced example? Also, if G-d can interact--does G-d use or have some sort of form--phyiscal or otherwise?

Be well & happy,

Barrie

I have tons of experienced examples. That's actually my biggest problem with the whole thing now. Why is it so common for me and not others?

My experiences fall into several categories. The weakest of these would be my 41 sightings, which have shown patterns that have been very definable and consistent. These could potentially be explained by an insane amount of coincidence, me subconsciously searching for them, or them being 'set up'. Pure coincidence is very unlikely. For a while, I went with the idea of it being me subconsciously searching for it as a result of a set of two dreams I had which had predicted the future on several different levels. After an experience like that, I would have a right to be sensitive to picking 41's out of randomness. After that, though, the 41 sighting jumped to ridiculous proportions, mostly from random people shoving it into my face. 41 has also been used as a symbol in many of my other experiences.

A few of my experiences could be explained by anomalies in perception. Altering perception would probably be the easiest way for an all-powerful omniscient being to interfere with you without you being able to provide any evidence. I've complained about this on numerous occasions, which generally leads to a blatant case of that. One of the more memorable ones was this:

I was complaining about how a large amount of my strange experiences could fall under coincidence or errors in perception. I then decided to go to sleep. I have two alarm clocks set up. One is a radio/alarm clock. It's red, slightly larger than a brick, and plugged into the wall. The other is a small, thin portable silver one with a screen that you can look through. My dad gave that one to me. It's one of the little trinket things drug reps sometimes give doctors. It often falls down under my bed. I saw that it wasn't on my desk, and proceeded to set the red alarm clock. I then looked under my bed for the silver one. It wasn't there. I searched for an additional 15 seconds, confused. I gave up, and looked back on the desk, only to see it was there. I assumed I must've somehow missed it, though not only must it have been directly in my line of sight, but where it was, I should not have been able to set the red alarm clock without touching the silver one. I then realized the irony..

More recently, the trend has been towards undeniably real and 'normal' examples. The last time I was complaining about the lack of concrete evidence, I happened to be in the bathroom. An interesting looking bug flew in from under the door. It had a slightly gold color to it, and didn't quite look like a fly. It buzzed around, hit the glass a few times, and then fell into the sink. I went over to examine it, but it had disappeared, likely down the drain. The only evidence I had for the existence of the bug was that I saw it for about 15 seconds, heard it's wings, heard and saw it hit the mirror several times, and saw it fall. The argument against the existence of the bug was that I had never seen it before, it flew in from under the door, where I wasn't sure if there was enough clearance for it, and the proximity to me complaining to G_d about manipulation of perception.

Many of the experiences have involved multiple levels of interaction. They've also changed in response to my changing standards as what I will accept as evidence. But that would be as much support for G_d as for some sort of highly advanced mental disorder.

I have a lot more detail about what I've come to call my 41 meta-puzzle in my "Why I believe" topic here.

At this point, it's very hard for me to doubt it at all. That's one of my reasons for me to post it here.

I'd think that G_d can take whatever form would be suiting for the occasion, assuming one is needed. The closest I've ever got to that is an experience which either means that G_d, or some other being with the ability to manipulate reality, exists, or I am very insane. It effectively removed the middle ground.

I was talking to someone on AIM(I use Trillian) at the time. We got on to the topic of my strange experiences. He didn't respond for about 5 minutes. He had already known about the main parts of it, and had discussed it with me before, so I asked him if he was still there. He told me he had been, and asked if I had gotten his messages. I said I hadn't. I began typing some more, but random symbols started showing up in the messages I sent. There were some html snippets. I tried closing the box, but it did no good. Then it stopped showing the letters I was typing altogether, instead showing the standard 'can't display char' box, with some random ascii inbetween. Trillian then hit some error which I haven't seen before or since, and closed. I looked at the clock, and saw it was later than I thought it was I decided to take a shower, since my parents would be upset with me if I waited much later. I went to check my mail first, but the shortcut only brought up some property box. My desktop flashed a few times, then some popup informed me that Windows had hit some fatal error at *insert pointer here*. My computer shut down. I went into the shower.

In the shower, I was contemplating over what could've caused the string of errors my computer hit. I scan for problems regularly and update my anti-spyware and anti-virus programs no less than once a week. A later scan confirmed nothing that shouldn't be there was (Not that I could detect. I'm certainly no expert there, though). In the middle of these thoughts, I was hit by a strong sense of a presence. In light of how I was only in the shower due to a string of unlikely events, I didn't question that too much. All my hair was standing on end, and I was a little freaked out. I asked, mentally, "Who are you? What are you?". Immediately, I felt a sort of cloudiness in my mind, sort of like being half asleep. I was overcome by a very strong desire to focus on specific locations. The locations were all letters on various bottles. 'G', then 'o', then 'd'. After that, the sensation immediately went away, leaving me shaking for about the next 30 minutes. I felt like a freakin' ouija board. After between 10 and 15 minutes, I wrote down the experience as I remembered it. I then locked the file, and archived a copy of it. I didn't spell check or edit anything so that I would have a more truthful account of my mental state at the time. Ironically, it was 5 days before my birthday, which is the birthday of my best friend. I don't know if that has any significance.

That is not my first experience that seemed to be G_d claiming that He exists. It is, however, the most direct.

 

And now I'm typing randomly specifically to avoid posting this at 11:41 Eye-wink

 

edit: please direct any responses that aren't quite on topic to the "Why I Believe" topic I linked to.

The sentence below is false.
The sentence above is true.
This sentence doesn't care.


Master Jedi Dan
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Barrie wrote: People who

Barrie wrote:
People who believe in God--may not all agree what God is. 10 people may say they believe in God--but they all may have a different definition/explanation of what God is. Therefore, on the surface it seems they are in some sort of agreement--but depending on their beliefs about God--there may actually be spaces of disagreement between each of these 10 as there are between any one of them and an atheist. So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God? And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in. Perhaps, some who do believe in God also wouldn't believe in the God as defined by some atheists. Be well & happy, Barrie

 

Atheists don't need to define a god because atheists have no belief about god.  Atheism is not a belief that there are no gods, it is a disbelief in god.  A god can be anything that religion presents as god, and we have a disbelief in that.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.


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I will try to answer your

I will try to answer your question Barrie.

Relating to humanity: 

I do not believe in Gods.

I do not believe in a contributory God.

I do not believe in a self-aware God.

I do not believe in a concerned God.

I do not believe in an observing God.  

I do not believe in a malevolent God.

There are many more but that should give you an idea. 

 

However I leave a possibilty in the nonsensical parts of my brain for an insignificant God. The kind that indifferently created an entirely independent, completely encapsulated and annoyingly irrelevant universe...where we live parochially. Flickering at our solar system, unlisted in our homely Galaxy; unidentified, unknown and unseen to our stellar horizons. Where the brief emittance of our existence will wave to leave a peculiar fuzzy tinge on our ex-directory universe. 

 

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


brights
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Barrie wrote:I am just

Barrie wrote:

I am just curious as to how individual people--atheists or theists--envision the concept of "god" when they are in disagreement or agreement. I assume that each atheist has some idea, picture or concept of what theists believe their gods to be.

Barrie what image do you envision?

Barrie what is your concept of the god any and all gods you know of?

My image is nothing, I have never seen a god. Not Zeus, Loki, or the god of abraham, isaac and jacob, hebrew god, islamic god, muslim godor any kind of man made god. Therefore I don't envision anything. The character called god in the bible is nothing more than mans excuse for control, rape, murder, genocide, abortion ( yes they did abortions with the god as an excuse to) etc.

Barrie wrote:
, we each, I believe, have some image in our mind of what an American Indian may look like; or a tree; and so forth. Or when someone says, "I hate skiing," they probably have some picture or concept in the mind of what skiiing is like and why they hate it.

you (we) have an image in our minds of what an American Indian looks like because we have seen drawings, pictures etc. Most people say they hate skyiing because they already tried it - those, such as myself, say I would hate to skyiing because of fear of heights. We can see what skyiing is. We can see both American Indians and Skiing without needing an invisible fairytale story made up without proof -there is nothing to envision.

Barrie wrote:
I believe that the same holds true for atheists--when it comes to the concept of god; that their minds are not blank but some image, belief or concept comes into play--that they then reject.

Yeah the freakin bible, koran and all biblical scripture.

Barrie wrote:
Barrie Comments: I believe that it is natural that when someone, anyone, has a strong belief--either for or against something--that that person has some picture, concept, idea, stereotype or archetype in their mind concerning that something that they feel strongly about.

I don't need to envision, picture, make up some idea in my head when there is nothing to picture, envision.

Barrie wrote:
It would only be a waste of time if it was required or forced upon someone. But self-examination is always helpful. And I believe it to be meaningful and mind-expanding for an atheist, and everyone, to be aware of what image, pictures, stereotypes or concepts they have floating around in their minds when they hear the word "God" and when they discuss the topic.

For example, I don't believe in angels. But I do have a picture in my head of what an angel "looks" like or is "supposed" to look like. And this picture or image does come into my mind when I say that I don't believe in angels. So, if I'm debating the existence of angels--I would be curious as to what image or picture the believer has in mind--and if it is similar to mine...to see if we were talking about the same thing--or something different--but just with the same label.

This may just be for me, then, but I believe its a good use of my time as well as meaningful to be aware of the images that exist in my mind--even including that of "angel" --even tho I reject the reality of angels.

In any case, I meant no offense to anyone with my question.

Be well & happy,

Barrie

Voiderest is right it is a waste of time. You already got your answer from what I read here.

No offense but yu sound like a christian trying to find a new way to evangelize by trying to see what, if anything, we envision, picture. If you want to know if we envision the christ as the christians do then just ask - my answer no. I suspect you want to know what concept, if any, we have so you can determine why we don't believe other than non existent proof and/or science to back us up.

I suspect another reason you are asking these questions. You want to know why we use the bible to disprove the god we don't believe in. You want to know what we envision,picture and our concept of the god because you can't understand why maybe at times it sounds to you like we are thinking like theists when we dispute what they purport to be true.

 

[MOD EDIT - fixed quote] 


Barrie
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Hi Brights,

Hi Brights,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Let me try to respond:

Barrie wrote:

I am just curious as to how individual people--atheists or theists--envision the concept of "god" when they are in disagreement or agreement. I assume that each atheist has some idea, picture or concept of what theists believe their gods to be.

brights wrote:

Barrie what image do you envision? Barrie what is your concept of the god any and all gods you know of?

Barrie Responds: To me, the word "God" has so much baggage to it--that it is basically rendered meaningless; or rather, so emotionally ladened with various intense and diverse meanings--that it becomes almost meaningless to help communication--but in fact hinders and inflames any discourse of disagreement.

But to me--the word "God" does not relate to a person, being or a thing--but rather is an attempt to describe existence, and of the process and substance of existence. It is a term of observation and feeling. It is the human attempt to describe how everything-all-at-once exists simulateously all over the place, while trying to grasp or understand how it all came to be--while trying to hold the vision of "it all" in one's mind--while contemplating, too, what energy substances it is composed.

I believe the term "God" also has been used to explain those mysteies of existence and creation--that still exist or have ever existed. And to the extent that consciousness may be involved in reality creation--then, in that case, God would actually be the selves of all people enmasse--which would be part of the process of creation--if this was found to be the case, of course.

brights wrote:
My image is nothing, I have never seen a god. Not Zeus, Loki, or the god of abraham, isaac and jacob, hebrew god, islamic god, muslim godor any kind of man made god. Therefore I don't envision anything. The character called god in the bible is nothing more than mans excuse for control, rape, murder, genocide, abortion ( yes they did abortions with the god as an excuse to) etc.

Barrie Responds: You have aptly described all or most of the negative uses or purposes that the belief of the Bible's God or any "Organized God" has been put. But you did leave out any mention of any positive results that have also simultaneously stemmed from the belief in God: Acts of grand kindness, compassion, bravery, charity, and so forth. Neither the good nor the bad exist exclusively of the other. But there has been both great good and great harm stemming from the belief in God.

Barrie wrote:
, we each, I believe, have some image in our mind of what an American Indian may look like; or a tree; and so forth. Or when someone says, "I hate skiing," they probably have some picture or concept in the mind of what skiiing is like and why they hate it.

brights wrote:
you (we) have an image in our minds of what an American Indian looks like because we have seen drawings, pictures etc. Most people say they hate skyiing because they already tried it - those, such as myself, say I would hate to skyiing because of fear of heights. We can see what skyiing is. We can see both American Indians and Skiing without needing an invisible fairytale story made up without proof -there is nothing to envision.

Barrie Responds: I agree. And when it comes to God we also have all heard or read about various descriptions of God and/or angels, and so forth. The description of angels is more homogenus(?) than the various descriptions of God, tho. And I was curious as to what descriptions of God has stuck in the heads of people who discuss It.

Barrie wrote:
I believe that the same holds true for atheists--when it comes to the concept of god; that their minds are not blank but some image, belief or concept comes into play--that they then reject.

brights wrote:
Yeah the freakin bible, koran and all biblical scripture.

Barrie Responds: So, when you debate about the existence of God--most often the vision of God you have in your head--is that of an old man with long gray hair--or of a white man with hippie-type hair, wearing a robe?

Barrie wrote:
Barrie Comments: I believe that it is natural that when someone, anyone, has a strong belief--either for or against something--that that person has some picture, concept, idea, stereotype or archetype in their mind concerning that something that they feel strongly about.

brights wrote:
I don't need to envision, picture, make up some idea in my head when there is nothing to picture, envision.

Barrie Responds: I understand that you have no need to envision. I was asking my question guided by my belief that we all envision something when we discuss it. You seem to envision the God of the Bible--which I assume to be either that of an old White Man with long gray hair--like painted by Michaelangelo; or as a younger-looking White Man with long hair--referred to as Jesus in the Bible.

Barrie wrote:
It would only be a waste of time if it was required or forced upon someone. But self-examination is always helpful. And I believe it to be meaningful and mind-expanding for an atheist, and everyone, to be aware of what image, pictures, stereotypes or concepts they have floating around in their minds when they hear the word "God" and when they discuss the topic.

For example, I don't believe in angels. But I do have a picture in my head of what an angel "looks" like or is "supposed" to look like. And this picture or image does come into my mind when I say that I don't believe in angels. So, if I'm debating the existence of angels--I would be curious as to what image or picture the believer has in mind--and if it is similar to mine...to see if we were talking about the same thing--or something different--but just with the same label.

This may just be for me, then, but I believe its a good use of my time as well as meaningful to be aware of the images that exist in my mind--even including that of "angel" --even tho I reject the reality of angels.

In any case, I meant no offense to anyone with my question.

Be well & happy,

Barrie

brights wrote:
Voiderest is right it is a waste of time. You already got your answer from what I read here.

Barrie Responds: I'm sorry that Void feels that way. I was looking forward to more discourse on the subject. Could you clarify what you mean that I already got my answer? Do you mean that various people have their descriptions of God?

brights wrote:
No offense but yu sound like a christian trying to find a new way to evangelize by trying to see what, if anything, we envision, picture.

Barrie Responds: I am not a Christian; nor do I believe in the Biblical God or in the Bible as the word of God. I believe the Bible to be a mythological book depicting tales of the human condition. I do believe some historical events referred to in the Bible may have happened in some form or another--but I'm not familiar enough with the Bible to say which events. Did a man named Jesus actually exist? Was Jesus a very popular name and many men with that name existed? I don't know, to both questions. But if he did exist, I would believe him to be a man, not a God. So, your belief about me being an evangelical Christian with a hidden agenda--happens not to be the case.

brights wrote:
If you want to know if we envision the christ as the christians do then just ask - my answer no. I suspect you want to know what concept, if any, we have so you can determine why we don't believe other than non existent proof and/or science to back us up.

Barrie Responds: Actually, I asked the question exactly how I wanted to, and for exactly the reasons I stated. I have no hidden agenda, just curiosity.

brights wrote:
I suspect another reason you are asking these questions. You want to know why we use the bible to disprove the god we don't believe in.

Barrie Responds: I wish I had that buzzer sound used on TV game shows when someone gives the incorrect answer. Why do you think I have hidden agendas? I believe it to be very normal and natural for an atheist who has been exposed to the Bible to have images of God to be that as depicted in the Western Arts. He doesn't believe those images to actually be any kind of God at all--but those would be the images. The same is true for me when it comes to the concept of angels. I don't believe in angels--but I do have a picture in my head of them gleaned from Western Art--kind of satin-draped beings with white wings. And likewise I have pictures in my head of Bigfoot and so forth. To have these pictures in one's head--I believe to be normal and natural--for those who think they exist or not.

brights wrote:
You want to know what we envision,picture and our concept of the god because you can't understand why maybe at times it sounds to you like we are thinking like theists when we dispute what they purport to be true.

Barrie Responds: This is interesting, that you think that I think that you are "thinking like theists." I'm not sure at all what you mean by this. If two people are debating the existence of something--I believe it to be natural and normal for both people to have some agreement or picture in their mind about what they are saying does or does not exist. This normalcy would include all types of discussions in any and all fields.

The only similarities I do see between theists and atheists--is that both sides have very firm boundaries of their beliefs they do not like people of their own ilk to stray from. I believe there to be great peer pressure from within both groups to silence those who wish to actually think freely on the subject--and not subject themselves to the particular dogma of any one group. But this is not why I asked my question.

Be well & happy,

Barrie

 

[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes] 


friendlyagnostic
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Quote:

Quote:
The only similarities I do see between theists and atheists--is that both sides have very firm boundaries of their beliefs they do not like people of their own ilk to stray from. I believe there to be great peer pressure from within both groups to silence those who wish to actually think freely on the subject--and not subject themselves to the particular dogma of any one group. But this is not why I asked my question.

I've heard a lot of people say this. I'd have to say it really depends on who you're talking to. there's lots of diversity of opinion.

 

[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes]

 


Barrie
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friendlyagnostic

friendlyagnostic wrote:

Barrie wrote:
]The only similarities I do see between theists and atheists--is that both sides have very firm boundaries of their beliefs they do not like people of their own ilk to stray from. I believe there to be great peer pressure from within both groups to silence those who wish to actually think freely on the subject--and not subject themselves to the particular dogma of any one group. But this is not why I asked my question.

I've heard a lot of people say this. I'd have to say it really depends on who you're talking to. there's lots of diversity of opinion.

Hi Friendly,

I hope you are more correct than I am.

Be well & happy,

Barrie

 

[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes]


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Barrie wrote: People who

Barrie wrote:
People who believe in God--may not all agree what God is. 10 people may say they believe in God--but they all may have a different definition/explanation of what God is. Therefore, on the surface it seems they are in some sort of agreement--but depending on their beliefs about God--there may actually be spaces of disagreement between each of these 10 as there are between any one of them and an atheist. So, I'd like to pose the question: IF you belive in God--how would you define that God? And if you DON'T believe in God--how would you define what it is you don't believe in. Perhaps, some who do believe in God also wouldn't believe in the God as defined by some atheists. Be well & happy, Barrie

First, let me identify myself as an atheist, for those whom may be new here.

To me, anything and everything that exists is part of nature. Thus - everything there is must have a "natural" explanation - whether this explanation is currently known or describable is not of imminent importance.

For example, if someone one day could perform telekenesis - i would acknowledge this occurred - however, would simply say there has to be a natural explanation for it. Perhaps something to the affect of an evolved brain being able to manipulate energy... anyway... i would never accept the explanation of "supernatural" or "beyond natural" as an explanation.

The same would be true if a "ghost" appeared before me. Assuming it is NOT a hallucination - this would mean this ghost existed - and thus - is part of nature. How much of a phenomena it is - is, again, irrelevant - it must have a natural explanation, for example - that it is an energy being of some sort - NOT that it is something "beyond" nature.

So... getting to the question poised: God is readily defined as being "beyond nature." Nature is synanamous with existence. If it is "beyond nature" - then it is also "beyond existence." - thus it is not real.

As far as this is concerned, I am simply waiting for a natural god to be poised - until then - all gods of this stripe are definitely false.

The other conceptualization of god that I recognize is irrationally reattributing some phenoma or thing AS god. For example, if someone said "The universe is god" - I recognize the universe as a natural realm we (and perhaps many alien species) occupy. I cannot justify adding in the pretense that this natural realm IS god. I cannot justify pretending it has any inherent intelligence. To me, if someone is going to equate the universe as god - then they have bent the definition of god over the universe - not altered the definition of universe to include a status of "being".

The same is true if anyone says "god is love". My response: while love may be a cute, fine and dandy psychotropic hallucination - equating god with this, again, does not reattribute "love" with a status of "being" - but, rather, relegates the definition of god as a "psychotropic hallucination" identical to love.


stuntgibbon
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For fun, here's a few of

For fun, here's a few of the many god definitions that I've come across and reject. 

 1. An old man with a beard, who lives in the sky.

 2. A being in charge of an invisible universe factory.

 3.  Personal gods that keep tabs on every thought and action, just so that one might be persuaded to subscribe to a particular flavor of Sunday activities.

 4. A being that was mischievous enough to completely fabricate a fossil record in order to confuse us and test the faith.

  5. A being for which "on its side" is an excuse for countless horrors: slavery, tribalistic barbarism, war, oppression of women, and so on.

 6. The notorious gods of gaps in natural understanding: gods of light, dark, lightning, rain, thunder, wind, etc.

 7.  The all-loving being that's damned everyone to hell, unless they believe his son became a zombie to save us.

 8.  The  god which has a personal stake in pro football games, and is personally delighted when his favorite players point to the sky.

 

This list could go on for awhile, as I too simply reject all god concepts.  

 


brights
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Barrie wrote:

Barrie wrote:


Hi Brights,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Let me try to respond:

Barrie wrote:


I am just curious as to how individual people--atheists or theists--envision the concept of "god" when they are in disagreement or agreement. I assume that each atheist has some idea, picture or concept of what theists believe their gods to be.



brights wrote:


Barrie what image do you envision? Barrie what is your concept of the god any and all gods you know of?


Barrie Responds: To me, the word "God" has so much baggage to it--that it is basically rendered meaningless; or rather, so emotionally ladened with various intense and diverse meanings--that it becomes almost meaningless to help communication--but in fact hinders and inflames any discourse of disagreement.

But to me--the word "God" does not relate to a person, being or a thing--but rather is an attempt to describe existence, and of the process and substance of existence. It is a term of observation and feeling. It is the human attempt to describe how everything-all-at-once exists simulateously all over the place, while trying to grasp or understand how it all came to be--while trying to hold the vision of "it all" in one's mind--while contemplating, too, what energy substances it is composed.


sounds like you think its energy or nature.

Barrie wrote:
I believe the term "God" also has been used to explain those mysteies of existence and creation--that still exist or have ever existed. And to the extent that consciousness may be involved in reality creation--then, in that case, God would actually be the selves of all people enmasse--which would be part of the process of creation--if this was found to be the case, of course.

brights wrote:
My image is nothing, I have never seen a god. Not Zeus, Loki, or the god of abraham, isaac and jacob, hebrew god, islamic god, muslim godor any kind of man made god. Therefore I don't envision anything. The character called god in the bible is nothing more than mans excuse for control, rape, murder, genocide, abortion ( yes they did abortions with the god as an excuse to) etc.


Barrie Responds: You have aptly described all or most of the negative uses or purposes that the belief of the Bible's God or any "Organized God" has been put. But you did leave out any mention of any positive results that have also simultaneously stemmed from the belief in God: Acts of grand kindness, compassion, bravery, charity, and so forth. Neither the good nor the bad exist exclusively of the other. But there has been both great good and great harm stemming from the belief in God.


No I have not. I briefly listed the different types of gods known that I don't believe exist. Of course regardless of the names given or descriptions I still don't believe in any god.

Barrie wrote:
, we each, I believe, have some image in our mind of what an American Indian may look like; or a tree; and so forth. Or when someone says, "I hate skiing," they probably have some picture or concept in the mind of what skiiing is like and why they hate it.

brights wrote:
you (we) have an image in our minds of what an American Indian looks like because we have seen drawings, pictures etc. Most people say they hate skyiing because they already tried it - those, such as myself, say I would hate to skyiing because of fear of heights. We can see what skyiing is. We can see both American Indians and Skiing without needing an invisible fairytale story made up without proof -there is nothing to envision.


Barrie Responds: I agree. And when it comes to God we also have all heard or read about various descriptions of God and/or angels, and so forth. The description of angels is more homogenus(?) than the various descriptions of God, tho. And I was curious as to what descriptions of God has stuck in the heads of people who discuss It.


Angels have been described as haveing some sort of physical aspects, physical bodies but considered celestial. the god has not physical descriptions but is very much described to have human emotions, thoughts, reactions, etc etc.

Barrie wrote:
I believe that the same holds true for atheists--when it comes to the concept of god; that their minds are not blank but some image, belief or concept comes into play--that they then reject.

brights wrote:
Yeah the freakin bible, koran and all biblical scripture.


Barrie Responds: So, when you debate about the existence of God--most often the vision of God you have in your head--is that of an old man with long gray hair--or of a white man with hippie-type hair, wearing a robe?


Of course not Barrie what gave you that idea? I told you I don't envision anything, I don't see a picture in my head of a god I don't believe exists. The scriptures in the bible, koran, or whatever don't give a physical description - but do give human descriptions to something that was made up.

Barrie wrote:
Barrie Comments: I believe that it is natural that when someone, anyone, has a strong belief--either for or against something--that that person has some picture, concept, idea, stereotype or archetype in their mind concerning that something that they feel strongly about.

brights wrote:
I don't need to envision, picture, make up some idea in my head when there is nothing to picture, envision.


Barrie Responds: I understand that you have no need to envision. I was asking my question guided by my belief that we all envision something when we discuss it. You seem to envision the God of the Bible--which I assume to be either that of an old White Man with long gray hair--like painted by Michaelangelo; or as a younger-looking White Man with long hair--referred to as Jesus in the Bible.


Again you have it wrong and are just assuming. Please see above.

Barrie wrote:
It would only be a waste of time if it was required or forced upon someone. But self-examination is always helpful. And I believe it to be meaningful and mind-expanding for an atheist, and everyone, to be aware of what image, pictures, stereotypes or concepts they have floating around in their minds when they hear the word "God" and when they discuss the topic.

For example, I don't believe in angels. But I do have a picture in my head of what an angel "looks" like or is "supposed" to look like. And this picture or image does come into my mind when I say that I don't believe in angels. So, if I'm debating the existence of angels--I would be curious as to what image or picture the believer has in mind--and if it is similar to mine...to see if we were talking about the same thing--or something different--but just with the same label.

This may just be for me, then, but I believe its a good use of my time as well as meaningful to be aware of the images that exist in my mind--even including that of "angel" --even tho I reject the reality of angels.

In any case, I meant no offense to anyone with my question.

Be well & happy,

Barrie



brights wrote:
Voiderest is right it is a waste of time. You already got your answer from what I read here.


Barrie wrote:
Barrie Responds: I'm sorry that Void feels that way. I was looking forward to more discourse on the subject. Could you clarify what you mean that I already got my answer? Do you mean that various people have their descriptions of God?


Read the posts again and you will see.

brights wrote:
No offense but yu sound like a christian trying to find a new way to evangelize by trying to see what, if anything, we envision, picture.


Barrie wrote:
Barrie Responds: I am not a Christian; nor do I believe in the Biblical God or in the Bible as the word of God. I believe the Bible to be a mythological book depicting tales of the human condition. I do believe some historical events referred to in the Bible may have happened in some form or another--but I'm not familiar enough with the Bible to say which events. Did a man named Jesus actually exist? Was Jesus a very popular name and many men with that name existed? I don't know, to both questions. But if he did exist, I would believe him to be a man, not a God. So, your belief about me being an evangelical Christian with a hidden agenda--happens not to be the case.


ok just saying that's how you sounded to me. but now you seem more a little like you think of a god in a buddhism way or belief

brights wrote:
If you want to know if we envision the christ as the christians do then just ask - my answer no. I suspect you want to know what concept, if any, we have so you can determine why we don't believe other than non existent proof and/or science to back us up.


Barrie wrote:
Barrie Responds: Actually, I asked the question exactly how I wanted to, and for exactly the reasons I stated. I have no hidden agenda, just curiosity.




brights wrote:
I suspect another reason you are asking these questions. You want to know why we use the bible to disprove the god we don't believe in.


Quote:
Barrie Responds: I wish I had that buzzer sound used on TV game shows when someone gives the incorrect answer. Why do you think I have hidden agendas? I believe it to be very normal and natural for an atheist who has been exposed to the Bible to have images of God to be that as depicted in the Western Arts. He doesn't believe those images to actually be any kind of God at all--but those would be the images. The same is true for me when it comes to the concept of angels. I don't believe in angels--but I do have a picture in my head of them gleaned from Western Art--kind of satin-draped beings with white wings. And likewise I have pictures in my head of Bigfoot and so forth. To have these pictures in one's head--I believe to be normal and natural--for those who think they exist or not.




Then why not just say "this is what picture of a god I see in my head when talking about god" "what picture, if any do you see" or something like that but when told they (we) don't envision any picture why assume that we do. Ever think it be possible that a person brought up to look at pictures like the christ to be a god would no longer see that in their mind when they no longer believe.

brights wrote:
You want to know what we envision,picture and our concept of the god because you can't understand why maybe at times it sounds to you like we are thinking like theists when we dispute what they purport to be true.


Barrie wrote:
Barrie Responds: This is interesting, that you think that I think that you are "thinking like theists." I'm not sure at all what you mean by this. If two people are debating the existence of something--I believe it to be natural and normal for both people to have some agreement or picture in their mind about what they are saying does or does not exist. This normalcy would include all types of discussions in any and all fields.


to the bold: it's not natural and normal for people to not envision a picture of a god too. I don't even envision a human like jewish man called the jesus as being a picture of the god.

This isn't a discussion of all types in any and all fields. It's a discussion about a made up fairytale with a character called 'god' that no one has ever seen. the closest there is to any claimed physical god would be the jesus.

Barrie wrote:
The only similarities I do see between theists and atheists--is that both sides have very firm boundaries of their beliefs they do not like people of their own ilk to stray from. I believe there to be great peer pressure from within both groups to silence those who wish to actually think freely on the subject--and not subject themselves to the particular dogma of any one group. But this is not why I asked my question.

Be well & happy,

Barrie



Barry atheism is not a belief. People can get along and be friends both atheist and christian or whatever religion. No one ever said both can't think freely or christians can't believe what they want to as far as I know until they started evangelizing, indoctinate and proselytizing people.



[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes   I hope.]