Rational faith?!

KSMB
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Rational faith?!

I found this thing, one of my crazily christian fellow graduate students posted it for me.

http://www.trivialsolution.com/?p=428

This is the first-ish of what will be an indefinite series of brief articles outlining my thoughts on big issues outside astrophysics. Today I will talk about faith and a significant misconception that many people, both religious and nonreligious, have carried for a long time.

Faith, a word synonymous with religion today, has a distasteful reputation among many who consider themselves to be scientific or simply intelligent. The single greatest reason for this disdain is the perception that faith is incompatible with reason; that is, that religious belief is “irrational.”

Perhaps the separation of faith and reason is a consequence of the oft-omitted adjective “blind.” Blind faith, indeed, shares a category of thought with wishful thinking. When most people say faith, they mean this sort of wishing.

Some go further and define faith as “belief without proof.” Fair enough: I can accept this definition. This is not the same as “belief without evidence.” That is wishful thinking, fantasy, imagination. But it is certainly interesting how inconsistent some people are in their response to a lack of proof.

What I mean is this: Every day we all believe things without requiring proof. I had no airtight logical argument that my chair would support my weight when I sat in it to write this, yet I did anyway. A long history of successes does not constitute proof, but (combined with a lack of apparent deterioration in the chair’s structural integrity) it does constitute a compelling reason for me to trust that it will.

The skeptic who says “Prove to me that God exists” (a reasonable prerequisite for demonstrating the validity of any particular religious tenet) is not necessarily demanding the rigorous logical proof one uses when proving a mathematical identity. But he may be asking for an argument as compelling as the one I could make for why I sat in my chair, and hitherto, he has not heard such an argument.

Indeed, anyone who believes in God’s existence without being able to make a rational response to the question “why believe?” is using blind faith. Now, if God exists, then such people are still right; their wishful thinking comes true regardless of their lack of an objectively compelling reason for thinking that way. But they certainly are not “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have,” as the Bible instructs those who call themselves Christians to be (1 Peter 3:15).

You see, the Christian says that faith is not about wishful thinking, but about trust on the basis of evidence that the object of their trust is worthy of their trust. Christians look primarily to the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the historical event that demonstrates the validity of Christian religion. Reasonable people don’t believe that the resurrection happened because they are Christians; reasonable people are Christians because they believe the resurrection happened. They see that Christ is worthy of their trust, and they respond by putting their trust in him and obeying his commands.

Faith is belief about what will be, on the basis of what is. The same objective evidence that convinces a reasonable person who considers it to become a Christian is not itself a matter of wishing, but is rather a matter of history, philosophy, logic, even science. There is nothing irrational about choosing to believe on the basis of a good argument.

If you want to argue against Christianity, you cannot simply say that it is irrational. This would make you an uninformed propagator of misinformation. You must back up your claim by demonstrating that it is based on something that has been rationally proved false.

Rationally - the key word. You must use logic to prove Christianity false if you want to call it irrational. Since no one has succeeded in doing this, the best you can do is attempt to introduce a reasonable doubt about any aspect of Christianity’s foundation. Once you have introduced this, you must argue why it is preferable to choose, on the basis of this doubt, to reject the rest of the evidence in favor of Christianity.

Isn’t it interesting that in light of the things I’ve said about logical, objective evidence, I should introduce the concept of preference? I agree, it seems out of place. But it’s the best we can do. The choice to believe something on the basis of evidence is ultimately a volitional, rather than intellectual, matter. I can see the evidence for something and choose either to believe or not to believe.

If I don’t want to believe that Christianity is false, there is not a single intellectual argument you can contribute that will force me to reject it. Likewise, if I don’t want to believe that it is true, I will find a way to explain away every single argument you throw at me in its favor, finding satisfaction in even the most tenuous rebuttal, allowing me to remain contentedly non-Christian.

Therefore, it comes down to this: in the presence of what one perceives to be a mixture of evidence for and against Christianity, an informed Christian (having chosen to believe on the basis of reasonable evidence) is no more irrational than those atheists who think they have a monopoly on reason.


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Same old shit on a

Same old shit on a shingle.

You're mixing your definitions, just like everyone else who's made this argument.

I'm not going to write it all out. This has been thoroughly refuted in a recent thread, but I can't remember which one. Maybe somebody can link to it.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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If a person wants to be

If a person wants to be rational, why use the word 'faith' at all?

It's obvious that this person is desparately trying to avoid the obvious reality that faith is non rational by definition. If you have a reason to hold to a belief, you don't need to hold it without any reason!

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Oh, I couldn't agree more.

Oh, I couldn't agree more. I'm gonna rip this thing apart on my own, but I was looking for some additional input if anyone cares to give some.


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Exactly. Haven't you sat in

Exactly. Haven't you sat in chairs your entire life, and in virtually every case it suported your weight? Hasn't it been true that in virtually every case you've seen someone sit on a chair it held their weight?

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I was thinking that todangst

I was thinking that todangst was spearheading the thread I was remembering, but maybe not...

The bottom line is that the word "faith" is given two definitions, and then they are used interchangeably, so that if you're not careful, you miss the inconsistency.

One use is purely irrational -- to believe something despite a lack of evidence, and the other is used as a hedge against an absence of absolute proof.

The disconnect comes when you realize that one can never meet the other. Faith that the sun will rise tomorrow is not faith, it's reasonable expectation based on empirical evidence of predictable patterns. Faith that god exists is based on the desire to believe despite evidence to the contrary, or at the least, a total lack of evidence.

All that bullshit about mixing reasonable faith and reasonable evidence, that's just muddying the waters by using both definitions at once and hoping nobody will notice.

Good luck with your crazy christian friend. You're going to need it. He's got a lot of hairs he can split before running away and hiding in the corner.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit
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Quote:Now, if God exists,

Quote:
Now, if God exists, then such people {who believe based on blind faith} are still right; their wishful thinking comes true regardless of their lack of an objectively compelling reason for thinking that way.

Actually, this is a fine place to start hacking away at his premise. He's trying to wish the thing into existence by pointing out that if an illogical thing could be logical, then the people who were illogical would be correct in believing in the thing that was really logical even though it was illogical.

Dick Cheney would be proud. It's a worthy circle.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Most of his points have been

Most of his points have been refuted elsewhere on this site....

The one I personally want to address is something that also came up in the chatroom last night.

Quote:
Likewise, if I don’t want to believe that it is true, I will find a way to explain away every single argument you throw at me in its favor, finding satisfaction in even the most tenuous rebuttal, allowing me to remain contentedly non-Christian.

I hear this argument a lot. I have always wondered what comfort a theist assumes atheists get from realizing there are no gods. It's certainly not comfort. I have to deal with the fact that once life is over, it's over. I don't have promises of eternal life in heaven or reuniting with loved ones. When someone I care about dies, I have to come to terms with the fact that they just stopped. That I won't meet up with them one day, and that the last time I saw them is really the last. I have to deal with the fact that when life is going badly, I'll just have to pull myself out of it, and try to keep my chin up. That there's no all loving being taking care of me. That ultimately, I have to take care of myself. This is truly no comfort. It's scary and sad, and well, real. It makes living well, and telling people how much they mean to you SO much more important. It makes life poignant and bittersweet.
I would LOVE it if there were some being that was there to take care of me and help things with prayer, and so on. That would be great.
A nerdy aside.....I sometimes play RPG video games, where a character will go on a quest for their god. I always chuckle a little, but I think about it and in the video game's world, their gods are real, they manifest and send down creatures. It would be a neat thing to have that, a god that exists in the world alongside you and actually manifests in temples and gives you quests... Laughing out loud
On another note...they usually end up being kind of evil, and then your party has to kill them, but anyway.....
An all-loving god would be great to have. I don't think anyone is denying this..... And it would be great to be able to fly, and to have psychic powers, and to be able to meet up with loved ones after death. But there is not enough evidence for any of the gods that humanity has professed to "know" throughout the ages.
I can never figure out what comfort a theist thinks we find.


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That's a great point,

That's a great point, Kat.

Sounds like projection to me.... Actually, it sounds exactly like the way a Christian holds desperately onto his position in the face of mounds of evidence that he's wrong.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:I was

Hambydammit wrote:
I was thinking that todangst was spearheading the thread I was remembering, but maybe not...

The bottom line is that the word "faith" is given two definitions, and then they are used interchangeably, so that if you're not careful, you miss the inconsistency.

Yes, it's a common error to equate theistic faith, non contingent faith, with secularized, colloquial usages of the word, such as "I have faith that the Yankees will win the WS next year".

These secuarlized usages of the word have no bearing on theological faith,and importing these secondary meanings into a theological discussion is a common error made by hack pastors, and a common dishonest debate practice by TWEBers and other incompetent internet 'debaters'

Here's one of the threads in question:

http://www.infidelguy.com/archives/modules.php?name=Boards&file=viewtopic&p=364843#364843

In this thread, various people trip over each other to refute the psychotic JOHN POWELL and his schizophrenic squad.....

The purposeful conflation of theistic faith with colloquial usages of faith is one of the lies a theist must tell himself to remain a theist..... don't let him spread his disease to you....

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GlamourKat wrote: I can

GlamourKat wrote:

I can never figure out what comfort a theist thinks we find.

They probably don't actually "think" that at all, as Hamby suggests, it's more likely a projection - they realize that it is they who has much to lose if they lose their comforting delusion, but this is to painful to deal with unless it is projected elsewhere...... safely.... where it can be dealt with indirectly.

Many theist arguers attempt to draw a synchronicity between theism and atheism, but many of the claims are false.

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todangst wrote:Hambydammit

todangst wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:
I was thinking that todangst was spearheading the thread I was remembering, but maybe not...

The bottom line is that the word "faith" is given two definitions, and then they are used interchangeably, so that if you're not careful, you miss the inconsistency.

Yes, it's a common error to equate theistic faith, non contingent faith, with secularized, colloquial usages of the word, such as "I have faith that the Yankees will win the WS next year".

These secuarlized usages of the word have no bearing on theological faith,and importing these secondary meanings into a theological discussion is a common error made by hack pastors, and a common dishonest debate practice by TWEBers and other incompetent internet 'debaters'

Here's one of the threads in question:

http://www.infidelguy.com/archives/modules.php?name=Boards&file=viewtopic&p=364843#364843

In this thread, various people trip over each other to refute the psychotic JOHN POWELL and his schizophrenic squad.....

The purposeful conflation of theistic faith with colloquial usages of faith is one of the lies a theist must tell himself to remain a theist..... don't let him spread his disease to you....


I cannot access the thread from that link Sad


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apparently reggie is

apparently reggie is redirecting everything to his blog... I'll see if I can retrieve the post in another way....

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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HAHAHAHAHA you guys are

HAHAHAHAHA you guys are incredible... making videos wherein you "denie the holy spirit"... LOL hahaha so pointless... i dont know what kind of world you people live in..
but... trying to "kill" religion with these kind of "arguments" is..
lets quote the borg.. "futile" this whole mission is ... pointless
u prolly grew up among fanatics.. (good luck trying to change their minds) how about subtly changing religion to smth more acceptable... ??? cuz what you're doing now... a mission impossible... every informed person on earth knows the crap u spew out..(and that it doesnt matter to a theist).. IF U DO NOT UNDERSTAND "EVIDENCE" MEANS NOTHING.....(let me stress NOTHING) ur wasting energy... kudos on the 5 ppl u converted... i think u didnt even understand religion even when u were religious... wanna change religion ??? SPEAK RELIGION!
STOP HURTING ATHEISM WITH YOUR ARROGANCE!!
(i know i can trust sapient to completely miss the point of this reply and focus on the last capslocked sentence)

p.s. i am sorry u grew up in a religious enviroment which has left you so angry and souer... this all..... if i put forth the "evidence" u cite over and over again, to local christians... they'll say : "true... but do u not know its meaning is symbolical?" our christian country has acknowledged gay rights.. gay marriage... embraced evolution... and is still in majority christian... food for thought ???


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kristoffer wrote:HAHAHAHAHA

kristoffer wrote:
HAHAHAHAHA you guys are incredible... making videos wherein you "denie the holy spirit"... LOL hahaha so pointless... i dont know what kind of world you people live in..
but... trying to "kill" religion with these kind of "arguments" is..
lets quote the borg.. "futile" this whole mission is ... pointless
u prolly grew up among fanatics.. (good luck trying to change their minds) how about subtly changing religion to smth more acceptable... ??? cuz what you're doing now... a mission impossible... every informed person on earth knows the crap u spew out..(and that it doesnt matter to a theist).. IF U DO NOT UNDERSTAND "EVIDENCE" MEANS NOTHING.....(let me stress NOTHING) ur wasting energy... kudos on the 5 ppl u converted... i think u didnt even understand religion even when u were religious... wanna change religion ??? SPEAK RELIGION!
STOP HURTING ATHEISM WITH YOUR ARROGANCE!!
(i know i can trust sapient to completely miss the point of this reply and focus on the last capslocked sentence)

p.s. i am sorry u grew up in a religious enviroment which has left you so angry and souer... this all..... if i put forth the "evidence" u cite over and over again, to local christians... they'll say : "true... but do u not know its meaning is symbolical?" our christian country has acknowledged gay rights.. gay marriage... embraced evolution... and is still in majority christian... food for thought ???

Hi,

If you're going to engage people here in a discussion, might I suggest you try a wonderful language called English? Look it up. I hear it's all the rage.

As for your idea about changing religion to something more acceptable, that won't really work. The theist would accuse you of watering down the faith and you're still not giving anything to the atheist.

If you fall for that "It's only symbolic" dodge continually, I truly pity you. You're letting a wonderful opportunity to show up the self-contradictory nature of Christianity slip past you.

One more thing - this nation has never been a Christian nation, despite what you've been spoon-fed.

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


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obviously im not american

obviously im not american (which should have been obvious after the "gay marriage" and "embraced evolution")... and criticising a foreighners mastery of the english language is hardly a valid argument..(i think i do OK in all 4 languages i speak)
"wont really work" ?? no... trying to change fanatic minds thru science... now there's an egg of columbus ( sarcasm )
i live where your fanatics hail from.. we've moved on.. you havnt... which is prolly why you are still on this lvl of discussion...
the "symbolical" just serves to illustrate the difference in perception between northern europe and the bible belt...
u people are speaking english in paris... they hear you.. they might even understand you... but they wont acknowledge it... got any other completely pointless remarks to make ?


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and IF i wanted to prove the

and IF i wanted to prove the "self-contradictory nature" of christianity id be intelligent enough NOT TO BOTHER WITH THE PRESENT DAY BIBLE!!! ( which has been edited to fit/ steer social structure, among others: the "mutation" of mary of magdalen's role)


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"fall for" ??? i thought we

"fall for" ??? i thought we were combating fanatics and absolutes and literal interpretations here... why would u have a problem with people that take the bible loosely? "do upon others etc".. i dont fall for shit... its just plain arrogance to assume u have all the asnwers... all i can say with CERTAINTY is that the (modern day) bible is plain bleedin wrong... assuming more is at best a well educated guess..
as long as a christian doesnt think i will go to hell for not sharing his / her religion ...... i dont see what the big fucking deal is... want some valid ammo ??? compare the bible to mesopotamian/egyptian/whatever nearby civ. scriptures... compare a 1000AD bible to a 2000AD bible..
now there's the key to proving the (modern day) bible is BS


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kristoffer wrote:obviously

kristoffer wrote:
obviously im not american (which should have been obvious after the "gay marriage" and "embraced evolution")... and criticising a foreighners mastery of the english language is hardly a valid argument..(i think i do OK in all 4 languages i speak)
"wont really work" ?? no... trying to change fanatic minds thru science... now there's an egg of columbus ( sarcasm )
i live where your fanatics hail from.. we've moved on.. you havnt... which is prolly why you are still on this lvl of discussion...
the "symbolical" just serves to illustrate the difference in perception between northern europe and the bible belt...
u people are speaking english in paris... they hear you.. they might even understand you... but they wont acknowledge it... got any other completely pointless remarks to make ?

I see. You were just trying to be an ass. Congratulations, you succeeded.

Do you have any actual ideas or just vagaries like "trying to make religion more acceptable" without mentioning who you would be making religion more acceptable to. Remember, both sides are happy with their belief systems or lack thereof.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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kristoffer
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being an ass is my

being an ass is my forté.... whom i'd make it more acceptable (im talking de-fanatisation) to ??? "damned" people... people that have been condemned to hell / negative afterlife by random religious dogma... u can drop the seed of doubt on that issue ( "i know this for i have done it, my name is ceasar") good people should not be damned and christians can be made wise to this... ( would an all powerfull, perfect god condemn people who have never heard of jesus to hell ?? NO!!!!(or ghandi?? NO!!) and yes, those people (who've never heard of jesus), exist.. and "god" knows it, there are billions of people that follow gods rule and still not see his "son" as their savior... and this is a much more powerfull argument than any timeline or "non effectiveness of prayer-study" could ever make.
and as far as actual ideas go READ IT!!! i just said it!! wanna debunk the bible???? drop an earlier bible!!! IT BLEEDIN DEBUNKS ITSELF!!! thanks tho for missing any of the points i made and refering to me as an ass...your reply is a load of crap... u dont enter into anything.. u just tell me im an idiot and offer NO intelligent thought whatsoever, wanna talk vagaries? your reply is the epiphany of aforementioned.. this might be hard to fathom ( feel free to correct my spelling ) but there is a world outsiiiiide of the US ...what you think you have to tell the locals might not work on a global scale...theres a huge diff in "schools" of christianity and even countrys.. christianity has several forms.. just because you're still on that lvl of the theological discussion... doesnt mean the rest of the world is... we've come to the point were its all in the eye of the beholder...
let them have their warped view as long as they dont believe disagreeing with them leeds to hell !!! STEP ONE!
if you havent succeeded in convincing them that a good non christian person could go to heaven......you havent done shit for atheism and you're just having a pissing contest.. subtle and gradual "watering down" is vastly preferable to being a pompous ass(can u spell contra-productive?).... looking forward to the next meaningless heap of dung that leaves your preverbial mouth


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Talk about missing the

Talk about missing the point. None of the stuff you advocate works either.
Drop an earlier version of the Bible on theists and they'll quote Philippians 1:6b "that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.". They'll say the new editions of the Bible are just continuations of the good work God is doing in the hearts and minds of the authors (been there, done that).

The problem you face with "watering down" is that the only way to make religon acceptable to an atheist is to remove the requirement of a belief in a God. Please let me know if you've found a theist who considers a religon without their version of God acceptable. The theistic belief system rests completely on the concept that only a belief in their God gets them to heaven. As such, you will never be able to convince them that a "good" non-Christian will get into their heaven. That's one of the reasons why the RRS considers theism a mental disorder.

If my words to you are a meaningless heap of dung, rest assured that I'm only responding in kind. When you raise the discussion level to someplace above someone typing with their penis, I'll match you. Otherwise, I'll do what I can with what you give me.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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curing theism will always be

curing theism will always be like deprogramming brainwashee's...


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kristoffer wrote:curing

kristoffer wrote:
curing theism will always be like deprogramming brainwashee's...

Agreed. It's not an easy process.

I'm just not sure how making religion more acceptable to atheists is a solution to that problem.

Please help me if I'm missing what you're trying to say.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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kristoffer wrote:curing

kristoffer wrote:
curing theism will always be like deprogramming brainwashee's...

I think the provacative nature of RRS does incite theist and hopefully it might cause some to reflect and actually study about their own and often times, inherited belief. Most people never question the nature of the bible, nor do they spend much time trying to reconcile issues within it. They merely accept it without much inquiry.

An example recently was my mother in law (a lifelong christian) who is 53, only just a week ago, came to the conclusion that it would be impossible for Adam and Eve to create all the variety of people we see today. However in the end, she just settled it as a mystery that God maybe chose not to reveal to us. Yet, you wonder why it took so long to even think about this. RRS could provide the necessary catalyst for the theist to question his or her own belief. They could become Atheist or appologist, who knows.


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GlamourKat wrote:Most of his

GlamourKat wrote:
Most of his points have been refuted elsewhere on this site....

The one I personally want to address is something that also came up in the chatroom last night.

Quote:
Likewise, if I don’t want to believe that it is true, I will find a way to explain away every single argument you throw at me in its favor, finding satisfaction in even the most tenuous rebuttal, allowing me to remain contentedly non-Christian.

I hear this argument a lot. I have always wondered what comfort a theist assumes atheists get from realizing there are no gods. It's certainly not comfort. I have to deal with the fact that once life is over, it's over. I don't have promises of eternal life in heaven or reuniting with loved ones. When someone I care about dies, I have to come to terms with the fact that they just stopped. That I won't meet up with them one day, and that the last time I saw them is really the last. I have to deal with the fact that when life is going badly, I'll just have to pull myself out of it, and try to keep my chin up. That there's no all loving being taking care of me. That ultimately, I have to take care of myself. This is truly no comfort. It's scary and sad, and well, real. It makes living well, and telling people how much they mean to you SO much more important. It makes life poignant and bittersweet.
I would LOVE it if there were some being that was there to take care of me and help things with prayer, and so on. That would be great.
An all-loving god would be great to have.

I don't mean for this to sound rude or anything and I think that is an interesting perspective but I can see both sides of it.... I think it might be a crazy great thing to not believe in God. If nothing happens when I die, then I wouldn't even remember how good/bad life was and I could do whatever I wanted all the time. I would only be concerned about what I felt at the time. Morality wouldn't even be an issue b/c if there is no God morality is all just an opinion. Why should I really care if i live a long life or a short one, the same thing happens when I die.....after I die there is just nothing (no pain, no regret, no sorrow) b/c I would cease to exist. Love and relationships would just be the electric pulses in my brain, nothing to get emotional about.


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I hate to tell you this but

I hate to tell you this but the "Without God, there's no love, morality, real relationships, etc." has also been refuted to smithereens on this site and others.

Personally, I can see Christians as having the advantages you describe. You can do whatever you want and pray to your god if you're caught or feel a twinge of remorse. You just have to tell your God you won't do it again (until the next time you want to or see a benefit from doing it again).

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


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jcgadfly wrote:I hate to

jcgadfly wrote:
I hate to tell you this but the "Without God, there's no love, morality, real relationships, etc." has also been refuted to smithereens on this site and others.

I would love to read any theories about this. It seems interesting.

jcgadfly wrote:

Personally, I can see Christians as having the advantages you describe. You can do whatever you want and pray to your god if you're caught or feel a twinge of remorse. You just have to tell your God you won't do it again (until the next time you want to or see a benefit from doing it again).

You're right there are Christians that believe/act that way, but that doesn't make it what is actually taught or what is "true" if there is a God

I can also say that being Catholic, I believe in a heaven and a hell and there is no guarantee that I am "good" enough to actually make it to heaven. So there is the distinct possibility of hell.


kristoffer
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dont worry about

dont worry about hell........ its an addition to the bible...
ever heard a jew talk about hell ? no? odd... same ol JHWH...
religion = population control


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If there's no guarantee

20vturbo,

If there's no guarantee you're good enough to get to heaven, why bother with the attempts?

Why try to please a God who may throw you into hell on a whim, no matter how well you've followed his rules?

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


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kristoffer wrote:dont worry

kristoffer wrote:
dont worry about hell........ its an addition to the bible...
ever heard a jew talk about hell ? no? odd... same ol JHWH...
religion = population control

I would agree to this. Even though the word hell is in the bible (mostly in the NT), there really isn't a definition of what it is percieved to be (eternal torture etc).

kristoffer, are you Swedish?


kristoffer
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yup... swedish... but the

yup... swedish... but the occurence of the word hell is if i recall correctly... a translation of a sort of OT limbo... in no way "the hell" as its become known as..


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gehennam ?? gehenna? smth

gehennam ?? gehenna? smth like that... named after a valley or hilltop or smth they threw garbage in / off ... at least i think..
well thats been translated into hell in our edited bibles


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gehennam ?? gehenna? smth

gehennam ?? gehenna? smth like that... named after a valley or hilltop or smth they threw garbage in / off ... at least i think..
well thats been translated into hell in our edited bibles


kristoffer
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gehennam ?? gehenna? smth

gehennam ?? gehenna? smth like that... named after a valley or hilltop or smth they threw garbage in / off ... at least i think..
well thats been translated into hell in our edited bibles


kristoffer
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gehennam ?? gehenna? smth

gehennam ?? gehenna? smth like that... named after a valley or hilltop or smth they threw garbage in / off ... at least i think..
well thats been translated into hell in our edited bibles


kristoffer
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religion is not a ratio of

religion is not a ratio of logic and scientific knowledge...
it simply IS out of basic human need...


kristoffer
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i have no idea how or why i

i have no idea how or why i posted that 4 times ....
maybe i should quit drinking...


kristoffer
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i dont like matt shizzle..

i dont like matt shizzle.. Sticking out tongue everything he says sounds nice... yet means nothing... an atheist equivalent of a populist


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add a delete comment option

add a delete comment option


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jcgadfly wrote:20vturbo, If

jcgadfly wrote:
20vturbo,

If there's no guarantee you're good enough to get to heaven, why bother with the attempts?

Why try to please a God who may throw you into hell on a whim, no matter how well you've followed his rules?

based on what I have studied so far, it would be against his nature to "on a whim" throw someone into hell (some propose that hell = the absence of God) I personally would love to know as much as possible about God. That is also what fascinates me about everything from the origins of the universe to the biology of the human body. If I had infinite resources I would stay in school until I couldn't cram anything else into my head!


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JohnPowell wrote: I request

JohnPowell wrote:

I request that certain persons not participate in this thread.

Todangst: Because otherwise, I will come in and refute you. Again.

Quote from John Powell:
What is faith?

The American Heritage Dictionary (at www.dictionary.com) defines faith as:

Todangst:

STOP.

Citing a dictionary definition, rather than a theological source, for a theological discussion, is outright fraud. The dictionary includes colloquial definitions that have no bearing on the matter of theological faith.

Look:

1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief. See Synonyms at trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.

Theological faith, or non contingent faith, has NOTHING to do with contingent faith, or matters of probability or justified trust. People use the word 'faith" in multiple ways and conflating colloquial usages of the word "faith' with theistic faith is outright fraud.

Theistic faith is properly defined in definition 2 and 4, although four contains an element that begs the question of god's existence.

Powell Quote:

Thus, the dictionary justifies a skeptic to call a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material (relevant) evidence a case of faith because that's how many language users use the word.

Todangst: WRONG. Theistic faith is different from other usages of the word faith that are captured in the secular definitions listed in the dictionary.

Again, purposely relying on secular, contingent forms of the term 'faith' and purposely conflating them with theistic faith, is an outright fraud.

It wasn't an atheist who came up with that definition. Non contingent faith, or 'theistic' faith, was defined by theists:

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
- Paul, Bible: New Testament. Hebrews 11:1.

I.e., it's belief based on hope, not evidence.

Paul then explains here, why precisely theistic faith cannot be equated with a contingent faith, or with reason or 'evidence':

Romans 8:24-25: “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (NKJV)

It should be now obvious to anyone that theists themselves define faith as belief without justification. If one has evidence - reasons - for their belief, then why do they need faith? Clearly and obviously "faith" is required when one wishes to hold to a supernatural claim.

Again, to make this point even clearer, let look at what Martin Luther has to say:

"All the article of our christian faith, which God has revealed to us in His Word, are in the presence of reason shearly impossible, absurd and false. ...Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has. ...She is the devils greatest whore... a whore eaten by scabs and leprosy, who ought to be trodden underfoot and destroyed, she and her wisdom...Throw dung in her face...drown her in baptism"
-- Martin Luther

So, obviously, a theist feels a need for a means to hold belief without any justification - faith - i.e. unjustified belief - i.e. belief without evidence.

However, I'm sure JOHN POWELL STILL doesn't get it, so let's continue:

"If by any effort of reason I could conceive how God, Who shows so much anger and iniquity, could be merciful and just, there would be no need of faith."
-- Martin Luther Werke (Erlangen),XXIX , 217-33, on Maritian, 15.

Again, it should be plain to any sane person that we already have words to describe belief justified by reason, or by logic (proofs). Theists have a need for a term that describes beliefs that are unjustified.

Faith is not an epistemological position. It's a rejection of the need to justify a belief.

Those who purposely equate theistic faith with contingent faith, or with colloquial definitions of the word faith - trust, etc., are falling to a fallacy of equivocation. Those who continue to repeat the same claim, after the fallacy has pointed out to them, are lying.

Those who purposely seek to silence the truth, as POWELL has done here, are beneath contempt.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


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20vturbo wrote:jcgadfly

20vturbo wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:
20vturbo,

If there's no guarantee you're good enough to get to heaven, why bother with the attempts?

Why try to please a God who may throw you into hell on a whim, no matter how well you've followed his rules?

based on what I have studied so far, it would be against his nature to "on a whim" throw someone into hell (some propose that hell = the absence of God) I personally would love to know as much as possible about God. That is also what fascinates me about everything from the origins of the universe to the biology of the human body. If I had infinite resources I would stay in school until I couldn't cram anything else into my head!

Your god punishes people for eternity for the "crime" of disagreeing with him. Your Bible records an incident where he vaporized a person for helping to keep the ark of the covenant on a wagon.

Looks to me like doing things on a whim is his nature.

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


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jcgadfly wrote: Your god

jcgadfly wrote:

Your god punishes people for eternity for the "crime" of disagreeing with him. Your Bible records an incident where he vaporized a person for helping to keep the ark of the covenant on a wagon.

Looks to me like doing things on a whim is his nature.

Ahhh but looks can be deceiving! Smiling It may not be "punishment" if you choose to not live with God.

I also don't think the bible is supposed to be taken literally at all times. So did he really vaporize someone or is there some other teaching that he is trying to get across?


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20vturbo wrote:jcgadfly

20vturbo wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:

Your god punishes people for eternity for the "crime" of disagreeing with him. Your Bible records an incident where he vaporized a person for helping to keep the ark of the covenant on a wagon.

Looks to me like doing things on a whim is his nature.

Ahhh but looks can be deceiving! Smiling It may not be "punishment" if you choose to not live with God.

I also don't think the bible is supposed to be taken literally at all times. So did he really vaporize someone or is there some other teaching that he is trying to get across?

Then again, does one really choose anything when there's an omniscient God in the game?

If an omniscient God created man, then he created them knowing some would disagree with him. Indeed, it can be said that he created these people for the purpose of populating his hell.

If you don't take all of the bible literally, why take any of it literally? Or are you just picking out the stuff you like?

Examples of God killing to "protect" his ark.

1 Samuel 6:19-20

"But God struck down some of the men of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy [c] of them to death because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the LORD had dealt them, and the men of Beth Shemesh asked, "Who can stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God? To whom will the ark go up from here?""

2 Samuel 6:6-7

"When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God."

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


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jcgadfly wrote: Then again,

jcgadfly wrote:

Then again, does one really choose anything when there's an omniscient God in the game?

Of course, you can choose to live with or without God.

jcgadfly wrote:

If an omniscient God created man, then he created them knowing some would disagree with him. Indeed, it can be said that he created these people for the purpose of populating his hell.

No problems here, why would he force someone who doesn't want to live with him in heaven?

jcgadfly wrote:

If you don't take all of the bible literally, why take any of it literally? Or are you just picking out the stuff you like?

I currently could not tell you everything about how to study the bible as I am not a bible scholar and don't read Hebrew ect...yet...I definitely don't pick and choose by what I like.....there are many things that I would much rather have mean something different than what it does. I am currently having faith that the Catholic Church is teaching the bible correctly...until I have had the time, experience, knowledge, and wisdom to verify that everything taught is correct. If you want to know how to read the bible or any other questions, you should ask someone that is an "expert" on the subject and studies it daily....I will try to help if I can with what I know now.


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todangst, thank you!

todangst, thank you!


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Quote:JohnPowell wrote: I

Quote:
JohnPowell wrote:

I request that certain persons not participate in this thread.

(chuckle)

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
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