One thing I really want

razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
One thing I really want

One thing I really want everyone to know, understand, and accept (atheists and theists) - not one person on this planet can prove God exists.  No possible proof can be offered to another individual to believe.  God makes himself known to every person on an individual basis.  Until you are called, you will remain in a state of disbelief, which is OK too because just as those in the time of Jesus that did not believe, there are those who were meant to believe and others who aren't.  Once we all accept this, understanding that I cannot convert you, and you cannot de-convert me, we'll all live much more happy, co-existing lives (and yes this is biblically supported).  It's from this point that I know, I realize, that nightline thing was a complete mistake.  I personally have had run-ins with WOTM-types and I don't agree with their approach.

Now as soon as we move on from that point, I'd be curious as to what kind of discussions we'd actually have.  From the RRS perspective, what would you discuss with a theist if you abandon the "prove God"  - the gnome challenge - question?

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


crushingstep7
Theist
crushingstep7's picture
Posts: 129
Joined: 2007-01-21
User is offlineOffline
No one can provide any

No one can provide any absolute proof of God's non-existance... only because everyone needs a different amount or type of evidence to be convinced of something.  And if we couldn't prove in some way that God does/doesn't exist, the only reasonable thing to do would to be agnostic.

 It sounds to me like you're saying "We really can't know either way, but I believe anyways, even  though I could be wrong."

 But still, through the use of logic you can see that God's existance is impossible (I'm referring to the Christian-Judaeic God) and that in itself is proof enough for most. 

 

And sorry if I didn't explain that too well.  I tend to have trouble putting things on screen without talking too much, and I start to confuse myself, etc.


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
crushingstep7 wrote: No one

crushingstep7 wrote:
No one can provide any absolute proof of God's non-existance... only because everyone needs a different amount or type of evidence to be convinced of something. And if we couldn't prove in some way that God does/doesn't exist, the only reasonable thing to do would to be agnostic.

But what is reasonable?  I think that reverts back to the "label everything" problem - I am called Christian because I follow the teachings and example of Jesus.  That is simply a label however - if you want to know me all you've gotta do is ask which goes for every person on or off this forum.  Something I see very little of...both on and off this forum.

crushingstep7 wrote:
It sounds to me like you're saying "We really can't know either way, but I believe anyways, even though I could be wrong."

Please don't assume.  All I've been saying since being on this forum is I believe because I have been given the proof from God.  I received this directly and through that is why I believe.  I can't show you my proof but I have my reasons why I believe.  Because of how I received my proof, I do not doubt....so there is no "could be wrong". 

crushingstep7 wrote:
But still, through the use of logic you can see that God's existance is impossible (I'm referring to the Christian-Judaeic God) and that in itself is proof enough for most.

Now please go back to what I said in my previous post.  Logic is not the point nor has it been.

crushingstep7 wrote:
And sorry if I didn't explain that too well. I tend to have trouble putting things on screen without talking too much, and I start to confuse myself, etc.

The problem with online only I guess... 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak wrote:

razorphreak wrote:

One thing I really want everyone to know, understand, and accept (atheists and theists) - not one person on this planet can prove God exists. No possible proof can be offered to another individual to believe.

Then why believe there is this thing?

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


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
AiiA wrote: Then why

AiiA wrote:
Then why believe there is this thing?

Because the "proof" that came to me was undeniable.  My proof is not proof to show you to believe but was for me and me alone.  I know that will bring titles to my name, most of which are not nice, but that's OK.  I believe because this thing came to me and showed me who he is.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


crushingstep7
Theist
crushingstep7's picture
Posts: 129
Joined: 2007-01-21
User is offlineOffline
"But what is

"But what is reasonable?"

 

  Being agnostic to God's existance is reasonable when we can't prove his existance or non existance.  To borrow something from Russel; we couldn't be sure or unsure if a teapot is revolving around the planet, but it's highly unlikely.  It wouldn't make sense. 

 

"Please don't assume.  All I've been saying since..."

I would love to hear about the proof you've recieved.

 

"Now please go back to what I said in my previous post.  Logic is not the point nor has it been."

 

I'm making logic the point.  But whatever, logic is for idiots anyways.

 

 

 

 


JonnyP
Posts: 6
Joined: 2007-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Word razorphreak. You say

Word razorphreak. You say that god can't actually be proven, except through personal delusion; woops,  I mean personal experience. Surely, you don't live in a box, and you're smart enough to realize that every single religious person in the world feels the same way. Allah is proven to the muslim through personal experience, and so on.

 Perhaps delusion is all the proof that is needed?


JonnyP
Posts: 6
Joined: 2007-02-27
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak wrote: Until

razorphreak wrote:

Until you are called, you will remain in a state of disbelief, which is OK too because just as those in the time of Jesus that did not believe, there are those who were meant to believe and others who aren't. 

Hmmm. I love the good 'ol predestination line. Jesus has chosen some of us for heaven, and the better looking of us for hell. Jealous bastard.


ShadowOfMan
atheist
ShadowOfMan's picture
Posts: 187
Joined: 2006-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Of course theists have the

Of course theists have the burden of proof.  If God makes it so that there could be no physical evidence and only direct personal experience, then there is no reason to even be evangelical at all.  Why would you be on this site at all?  Theists should be completely content with waiting for God to reveal himself to each person in time.  As far as personal experience is concerned, it would be nice to hear some testimony.  While some may be rude and call you nuts, I would never judge your sanity.  Lots of people hear and see things that aren't really there.  Your may simply be a "feeling" that you have.  Maybe an intense feeling of guilt that you don't want to own up to, or an in ability to put something that happened in the passed behind you.  I wouldn't pretend to guess any further, but we all have unique psychological ways of explaining our experiences.  My best friend (an atheist) really was hearing and seeing demons and angels.  He was diagnosed and prescribed meds, until he found religion.  He was more inclined to accept a supernatural explaination for his visions, but other than literal demons following him around, he seems normal.  These are the extreme cases.  Sometimes it's just ghost noises, bad dreams.  The point is, you should be sceptical of your own senses, not to mention other people's personal experiences.  

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


crushingstep7
Theist
crushingstep7's picture
Posts: 129
Joined: 2007-01-21
User is offlineOffline
That really sucks for your

That really sucks for your friend man. Is he still a theist?


ShadowOfMan
atheist
ShadowOfMan's picture
Posts: 187
Joined: 2006-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Yeah. I run into him around

Yeah. I run into him around town every once in a while. It's one of those situations where I think the religion is maybe helping him (in a diluted reality sort of way).  I mean, it's either drugs or god in his case.  Religion a way in which he is making sense of what his brain is creating in front of him.  I believe he has learned to ignore the visions for the most art.  He describes seeing demons dressed and impersonating angels as well.  It's very difficult for me to talk to him, but it's comforting when I can just see that he's doing well.  Funny thing is, he used to be a slacker-type.  His christianity has helped him quit smoking, hold down a job, ect.  That's how I mean that the religion has helped him.  I just miss him.  He is a completely different person.  These personal experiences just give me perspective on how the brain can missfire so easily.  I know I've personally (actually) heard my name called when there is noone there.  I know how amazing it can be to (finally) see the errors that you may have made in life choices, and how profound they can change your world views.  I think in some cases people are actually hallucinating, and in others, people are just attributing a very intense emotional change to a divine intervention.  I don't think it's possible at all to influence the emotions of either of these types of people, but the purpose of these forums is to debunk the myths of religion and to defend science.            

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


JCE
Bronze Member
JCE's picture
Posts: 1219
Joined: 2007-03-20
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak wrote: One

razorphreak wrote:

One thing I really want everyone to know, understand, and accept (atheists and theists) - not one person on this planet can prove God exists. No possible proof can be offered to another individual to believe. God makes himself known to every person on an individual basis. Until you are called, you will remain in a state of disbelief, which is OK too because just as those in the time of Jesus that did not believe, there are those who were meant to believe and others who aren't. Once we all accept this, understanding that I cannot convert you, and you cannot de-convert me, we'll all live much more happy, co-existing lives (and yes this is biblically supported). It's from this point that I know, I realize, that nightline thing was a complete mistake. I personally have had run-ins with WOTM-types and I don't agree with their approach.

I could throw the Sam Harris card down and ask, why then would you align yourself with such people but I am guessing that you have no choice.  Just as I cannot change the color of my skin (Free Thinker said this), neither can I change my disbelief so I would imagine the same holds true for you.   

razorphreak wrote:
Now as soon as we move on from that point, I'd be curious as to what kind of discussions we'd actually have. From the RRS perspective, what would you discuss with a theist if you abandon the "prove God" - the gnome challenge - question?

Everything.  I am not clear on what you mean by "the RRS perspective" but every subject is open to discussion as far as I am concerned.  I would hesitate to single you out but my curious mind has many questions.  Have you studied other religions and to what extent?  You say you were called - are others called in the same manner to be muslim, jewish, etc. or is this a non-denominational calling?  Can you describe your god (not physically, of course)?  Has your belief fundamentally changed who you are?  From your perspective and understanding, would you be willing to open a discussion about the bible?  Why do so many people want to convert each other?  What changes would you work toward to improve humankind and world relations?  Outside of these personal questions, I have about a dozen more concerning science, politics, and education.  (You may call me a pest at any time - others do.)

You see, there are many things to discuss.  Pick one, pick them all - doesn't matter to me as long as the discussion is productive. 


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
I personally have had

I personally have had run-ins with WOTM-types and I don't agree with their approach.

What's a WOTM? 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


Wishkah311
Theist
Wishkah311's picture
Posts: 159
Joined: 2007-04-21
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod wrote: I

deludedgod wrote:

I personally have had run-ins with WOTM-types and I don't agree with their approach.

What's a WOTM?

Way of the Master I think.  But I could be wrong.

And razorphreak.  I think I understand some of the feeling behind your post (correct me if i'm wrong).  It does get frustrating to feel like you are fighting with someone you care about when this subject comes up.  Ninja and I get into discussions on my beliefs and I downright feel attacked at times.  Of course, he is not attacking me and I really shouldn't feel that way, but it happens.  It is a frustrating feeling to always have the discussion be about right v. wrong... but that's why I tend to stay out of a lot of topics on this site.  If I don't feel like arguing with someone about my beliefs, then I don't respond.  The science forums are really quite interesting.  I could say I've learned a lot from them, but I'm really not that smart... Anyhow, I prefer to discuss things with Atheists that we agree on, like the Hubbell telescope and the problems with the moral majority.  But that's just me.  It's all about where you go. 

Ah, the pitter patter of tiny feet in huge combat boots.


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
JonnyP wrote: You say that

JonnyP wrote:
You say that god can't actually be proven, except through personal delusion; woops, I mean personal experience.

See how can I actually discuss with you rationally when you start with comments like that?  Are you actually interested in understanding why I believe or are you looking for yet another theist to bash and call "delusional"??  Every person can and I believe does have "visits" by spirits - you know the thing that science can't prove but when you have several hundred million telling you it happens, you can't just deny it straight.  Given that spirits CAN exist, just like with people can it not be concluded that some are good and some are, well, not?  What you call delusions because you have not received the same calling does not make it any less real.

JonnyP wrote:
Hmmm. I love the good 'ol predestination line. Jesus has chosen some of us for heaven, and the better looking of us for hell. Jealous bastard.

You are so wrong with that statement on so many levels...but since that isn't what this thread is on, I'll refer you to check out other threads on that subject. 

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Of course theists have the burden of proof. If God makes it so that there could be no physical evidence and only direct personal experience, then there is no reason to even be evangelical at all. Why would you be on this site at all?

How about to correct the misuse of biblical references?  You are probably still under the impression that people going on YouTube and making a video about the holy spirit is actually a blaspheme don't you?

I didn't come here to preach, just to stand up for my beliefs and correct others where they've got the wrong impression.  Don't confuse the two... 

ShadowOfMan wrote:
As far as personal experience is concerned, it would be nice to hear some testimony. While some may be rude and call you nuts, I would never judge your sanity.

I didn't come to "witness" so if someone else does...

Since I've already been called nuts I prefer to just stick with correcting poor biblical references. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


JonnyP
Posts: 6
Joined: 2007-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Oh razor, you take my

Oh razor, you take my sarcasm too far.  I was a theist and born again christian for 20 years. I know why you believe. Young earth creationism was my thing, I even attended some seminars with Eric Hovind (Kent's son) and really got into their material.  Even seriously considered giving the presentations to an audience such as they do.

I guess that shows how little I used to know about science, but none of us are perfect.

I'd love to have a rational discussion, although I don't know how rational we can get when discussing god. If you know Richard Dawkins, he'd say you don't have evidence. And that's really what it comes down to. You believe in god; it's based on tradition, faith, and hope.


JonnyP
Posts: 6
Joined: 2007-02-27
User is offlineOffline
razor: "Every person can

razor: "Every person can and I believe does have "visits" by spirits - you know the thing that science can't prove but when you have several hundred million telling you it happens, you can't just deny it straight.  Given that spirits CAN exist, just like with people can it not be concluded that some are good and some are, well, not?  What you call delusions because you have not received the same calling does not make it any less real."

 If science can't prove it then why are we talking about it here? Let's stick to the good stuff. It may be noteworthy to point out that hundreds of millions of people sincerely believe in Allah. This doesn't lend a shred of credence to Islam in your mind, probably.


JCE
Bronze Member
JCE's picture
Posts: 1219
Joined: 2007-03-20
User is offlineOffline
JonnyP wrote: Oh razor,

JonnyP wrote:

Oh razor, you take my sarcasm too far. I was a theist and born again christian for 20 years. I know why you believe. Young earth creationism was my thing, I even attended some seminars with Eric Hovind (Kent's son) and really got into their material. Even seriously considered giving the presentations to an audience such as they do.

I guess that shows how little I used to know about science, but none of us are perfect.

I'd love to have a rational discussion, although I don't know how rational we can get when discussing god. If you know Richard Dawkins, he'd say you don't have evidence. And that's really what it comes down to. You believe in god; it's based on tradition, faith, and hope.

Without sounding rude, I do not think you or anyone else can say conclusively that you know why someone believes.  There are many points on which we can all agree and evidence of god is not needed to discuss them.  Sorry, but the point of this thread is not to discuss evidence. 


JonnyP
Posts: 6
Joined: 2007-02-27
User is offlineOffline
jce wrote: Without sounding

jce wrote:
Without sounding rude, I do not think you or anyone else can say conclusively that you know why someone believes.  There are many points on which we can all agree and evidence of god is not needed to discuss them.  Sorry, but the point of this thread is not to discuss evidence. 

Sure, I don't mean to take the thread of topic. Razor's first post did in fact state that he didn't think there was real evidence for god. What he talked about was personal experience and god revealing himself to select individuals as "evidence".

It's the conecpt that I want to go after. I know there is no evidence, but I would really like to know how he can give his personal feelings so much weight. There are a lot of religious people in the world, and they all rely on personal revelation. My question is why is he correct, and others, such as Muslims, incorrect? Why do his feelings carry more weight than others that are sincerely convinced of different faiths?

I direct this question to you, Razor.


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
jce wrote: I could throw

jce wrote:
I could throw the Sam Harris card down and ask, why then would you align yourself with such people but I am guessing that you have no choice. Just as I cannot change the color of my skin (Free Thinker said this), neither can I change my disbelief so I would imagine the same holds true for you.

Even through their faults, many of which can be corrected with very little effort, they are accepters of the message.  I cannot deny that they know God; it's just how they listen to God that might need to be adjusted.  As a Christian, I understand that all people, believer or not, are what they are because of God's purpose for them.  I cannot make any judgments upon their salvation or damnation as to do so would make a me "pee-wit".

jce wrote:
I am not clear on what you mean by "the RRS perspective" but every subject is open to discussion as far as I am concerned.

What I mean by the RRS perspective is...OK, we bring up a topic with say who is Satan.  I explain in accordance with my beliefs and you turn around and say two things to me: first I'm wrong because it's my interpretation leading to the second point of the bible being a work of fiction and has no proof.  How is that a discussion?  If I'm asked what my beliefs are but then, even though you don't share them, decide to take the opportunity to bash my beliefs, forgoing the discussion, how likely am I to remain patient or more so, open minded? 

jce wrote:
Have you studied other religions and to what extent? You say you were called - are others called in the same manner to be muslim, jewish, etc. or is this a non-denominational calling? Can you describe your god (not physically, of course)? Has your belief fundamentally changed who you are? From your perspective and understanding, would you be willing to open a discussion about the bible?

I stopped it here sine the other line of questioning seemed a bit different.

Yes I've studied other religions.  I've understood that being a Christian you must also know what others believe so you can relate.  I cannot say what someone else's calling is; I can only describe my own.  I can say it has changed my life and I would be more than willing to discuss the bible...

jce wrote:
Why do so many people want to convert each other? What changes would you work toward to improve humankind and world relations? Outside of these personal questions, I have about a dozen more concerning science, politics, and education. (You may call me a pest at any time - others do.)

I don't know the answer to the first question.  People sometimes think they can do it without God's help.  The rest...we'll talk about those more a bit later I think...

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


BGH
BGH's picture
Posts: 2772
Joined: 2006-09-28
User is offlineOffline
JonnyP wrote: Sure, I don't

JonnyP wrote:
Sure, I don't mean to take the thread of topic. Razor's first post did in fact state that he didn't think there was real evidence for god. What he talked about was personal experience and god revealing himself to select individuals as "evidence".

It's the conecpt that I want to go after. I know there is no evidence, but I would really like to know how he can give his personal feelings so much weight. There are a lot of religious people in the world, and they all rely on personal revelation. My question is why is he correct, and others, such as Muslims, incorrect? Why do his feelings carry more weight than others that are sincerely convinced of different faiths?

I direct this question to you, Razor.

Jonny I think you are missing the point of the original post. I think Razor was directly asking if we step away from the proving god argument, what other types of discusions would we have.

Also I think he was asking(if I have this right), if theists understood their beliefs are personal and not to be enforced on anyone, would there be a need for the RRS? If religion stayed out of goverment, would the arguments against god be needed? 


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
JonnyP wrote: I'd love to

JonnyP wrote:
I'd love to have a rational discussion, although I don't know how rational we can get when discussing god. If you know Richard Dawkins, he'd say you don't have evidence. And that's really what it comes down to. You believe in god; it's based on tradition, faith, and hope.

As would I but then if it deals with proof for you, I'm afraid we are at an impass. I believe not because of hope or tradition but faith and faith alone.  The fact that Dawkins and his followers refuse to listen because of proof shows a serious closed minded approach to actually understanding why someone believes.  It sounds like rejecting the answer before asking the question.

JonnyP wrote:
razor: "Every person can and I believe does have "visits" by spirits - you know the thing that science can't prove but when you have several hundred million telling you it happens, you can't just deny it straight. Given that spirits CAN exist, just like with people can it not be concluded that some are good and some are, well, not? What you call delusions because you have not received the same calling does not make it any less real."

If science can't prove it then why are we talking about it here? Let's stick to the good stuff. It may be noteworthy to point out that hundreds of millions of people sincerely believe in Allah. This doesn't lend a shred of credence to Islam in your mind, probably.

And? I'm not talking about Islam, I'm talking about theism. Whatever someone else believes, because it is beyond the scope of what science is, does that automatically disqualify it from being a topic of disucssion?

JonnyP wrote:
Razor's first post did in fact state that he didn't think there was real evidence for god. What he talked about was personal experience and god revealing himself to select individuals as "evidence".

I did not say that. I said there is no proof that can be offered to believe. I didn't say there was no real evidence. My evidence is not proof FOR YOU. Please don't twist my words. If you don't know what I mean by them, ASK.

JonnyP wrote:
It's the conecpt that I want to go after. I know there is no evidence, but I would really like to know how he can give his personal feelings so much weight. There are a lot of religious people in the world, and they all rely on personal revelation. My question is why is he correct, and others, such as Muslims, incorrect? Why do his feelings carry more weight than others that are sincerely convinced of different faiths?

If your family was killed by a drunk driver, would you feel differently about drinking and driving yourself? What about when you see it happen to others?

Personal experiences are HUGE in determining who you are as a person and because I've had a personal experience with God, there is a very big reason why it has so much weight in my life.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
BGH wrote: Also I think he

BGH wrote:
Also I think he was asking(if I have this right), if theists understood their beliefs are personal and not to be enforced on anyone, would there be a need for the RRS? If religion stayed out of goverment, would the arguments against god be needed?

Wow I don't think I could have said that any better...

Though one other point...if we truly achieve separation of church and state, would you want freedom of religion gone?  I ask that because of some of the material on this site, such as the "end of faith" book.  I've never read it but from the Amazon description, it sure seems to be calling to abolish religion all together, not allow it to exist as a personal preference (which in itself brings up another thought - if my faith makes me who I am, obviously I will live my life in accordance to it.  If I am not trying to convert you, would you look at me with a judgment of delusional or, as I saw in a movie once, "be my friend?&quotEye-wink

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


pariahjane
pariahjane's picture
Posts: 1595
Joined: 2006-05-06
User is offlineOffline
Hi Razor - You're

Hi Razor - You're absolutely right; no one can prove the existence of god. 

Are you asking what we could discuss if we remove the 'proof of god' issue?  If so, I think there are a myriad of topics that still need to be covered. Religion is still so pervasive and effects so many people.

I think it would be nice if other theists realized that there belief is personal.  If they did, there would probably be no need for a group such as this. 

 If religion became personal, that would mean it wouldn't effect our laws.  Religious views wouldn't be able to dictate who has what right to marry, for example.

Of course, we are speaking ideally.  But I definitely see your point.

 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


HC Grindon
High Level DonorModerator
Posts: 198
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak wrote: Now as

razorphreak wrote:

Now as soon as we move on from that point, I'd be curious as to what kind of discussions we'd actually have.  From the RRS perspective, what would you discuss with a theist if you abandon the "prove God"  - the gnome challenge - question?

Well, it's kind of hard to abandon the "prove god" challenge because ultimately, that's what any discussion on the subject comes down to.

I have no problem with you or your ilk believing what you believe as long as it stays within the confines of your home, church, mosque, or pumpkin patch.  But when those beliefs start making their way into public and foreign policy, when those beliefs interfere with scientific progress and education, when those beliefs are the driving force behind planes crashing into buildings...in other words, when those beliefs stop being passive and become aggressive, that is when I take issue with your beliefs.

When the religious decide that their imaginary friend doesn't just judge and punish individuals, but communities and nations, then insist that those communities and nations enact laws to pacify said imaginary friend, proof of this supernatural lawgiver becomes imperative.  The onus of providing this proof falls to those asserting the existence of said lawgiver, not to those who make no such assertions.

So, Razor, I suppose any further discussions are predicated on where you stand on the issue of passive vs. assertive religious beliefs.

-HCG


pariahjane
pariahjane's picture
Posts: 1595
Joined: 2006-05-06
User is offlineOffline
Though one other point...if

Though one other point...if we truly achieve separation of church and state, would you want freedom of religion gone?

No.  I think that people have every right to worship, as long as that worship does not affect any other person adversely. 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


Wishkah311
Theist
Wishkah311's picture
Posts: 159
Joined: 2007-04-21
User is offlineOffline
Okay, I think I missed the

Okay, I think I missed the point of the thread a bit too... sorry.  But I like Razor's question.  Aside from the converting aspect, would you guys be okay with others worshiping God/s?

Ah, the pitter patter of tiny feet in huge combat boots.


HC Grindon
High Level DonorModerator
Posts: 198
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
Wishkah311 wrote: Okay, I

Wishkah311 wrote:
Okay, I think I missed the point of the thread a bit too... sorry.  But I like Razor's question.  Aside from the converting aspect, would you guys be okay with others worshiping God/s?

Like I said in my previous post, as long as that worship remains in the confines of the home or church, by all means, worship away.  Religion can help provide hope, inspiration, even constructive discipline to many people.  Just understand, not everyone believes that religion is a prerequisite for hope, inspiration, and discipline.

-HCG


Wishkah311
Theist
Wishkah311's picture
Posts: 159
Joined: 2007-04-21
User is offlineOffline
HCG: sorry to change the

HCG: sorry to change the subject (again), but I love your quote and your avatar!  Mal is my man.


Icebergin
Icebergin's picture
Posts: 121
Joined: 2007-04-18
User is offlineOffline
BGH wrote: Jonny I think

BGH wrote:
Jonny I think you are missing the point of the original post. I think Razor was directly asking if we step away from the proving god argument, what other types of discusions would we have.

Also I think he was asking(if I have this right), if theists understood their beliefs are personal and not to be enforced on anyone, would there be a need for the RRS? If religion stayed out of goverment, would the arguments against god be needed?



You know, BGH. I would say "yes", because atheists would still be given a negative connotation in society. If religion stayed out of the public domian and remained in the private (and you'd be amazed at how many people go to church because it's a status symbol) then there would be no need for an RRS, nor would there be a need for any of this discussion. We could progress as human beings.

YOU shut the fuck up! WE'LL save America!


AmericanIdle
Posts: 414
Joined: 2007-03-16
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak wrote: BGH

razorphreak wrote:

BGH wrote:
Also I think he was asking(if I have this right), if theists understood their beliefs are personal and not to be enforced on anyone, would there be a need for the RRS? If religion stayed out of goverment, would the arguments against god be needed?

Wow I don't think I could have said that any better...

Though one other point...if we truly achieve separation of church and state, would you want freedom of religion gone?  I ask that because of some of the material on this site, such as the "end of faith" book.  I've never read it but from the Amazon description, it sure seems to be calling to abolish religion all together, not allow it to exist as a personal preference (which in itself brings up another thought - if my faith makes me who I am, obviously I will live my life in accordance to it.  If I am not trying to convert you, would you look at me with a judgment of delusional or, as I saw in a movie once, "be my friend?&quotEye-wink

I have no interest in seeing religion abolished.  This is counterproductive to a free society and to individualism.  I have never once thought that was the purpose of RRS either.

You should be able to explore any avenue that does not cause harm to another and therein lies the dilemma.  Do claims of supernatural acts (tarot cards, tea leaves, ESP, talking to the dead-Hi John Edwards you big idiot fraud, etc.) cause harm to individuals ?

I think your religion needs to come under the same scrutiny that all other supernatural claims (and someone else's religion) come under.  Right now, not only is it exempted from almost any scrutiny, but it is actively promoted by our governments, often inserted into our educational system, hailed by political leaders, sports stars, parental figures, etc. and receives enormous tax breaks, etc.

Now on the topic of our own personal relationship w/ god and your premise that one is chosen/"called" by god and the idea of god revealing himself only to whom he selects.

How can this premise not end up feeding the human's most destructive narcissistic tendencies? 

God reveals himself to me and either me alone or the select few who believe as I do.  The state of mankind is deplorable and wretched w/o god, but I have god and a personal relationship w/ him.  I am no longer wretched but they are.  My personal relationship w/an omnipotent god allows me speak to to him directly and gain proximity to him.  This proximity endows me w/ a direct source to the power of god.  In a vicarious sense, I am now godlike, a part of god and eventually I will see myself almost as if I am god.

We also have the responsibility and the burden of determining which ideologies are healthy/destructive to our own human nature and promote or discourage them accordingly, a point I think JonnyP was trying to make.

And to Wishkah:  I read your signature and now have Freddie Mercury's voice floating around in my head. Flashback !

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


HC Grindon
High Level DonorModerator
Posts: 198
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
Wishkah311 wrote: HCG:

Wishkah311 wrote:
HCG: sorry to change the subject (again), but I love your quote and your avatar!  Mal is my man.

Shiny!  Firefly: Best show ever.

:^)


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
pariahjane wrote: Are you

pariahjane wrote:
Are you asking what we could discuss if we remove the 'proof of god' issue? If so, I think there are a myriad of topics that still need to be covered. Religion is still so pervasive and effects so many people.

It would be interesting if for one minute we could all be discussing religion points of view without bringing up the points of "well, it's all fake anyway". 

pariahjane wrote:
I think it would be nice if other theists realized that there belief is personal. If they did, there would probably be no need for a group such as this.

If religion became personal, that would mean it wouldn't effect our laws. Religious views wouldn't be able to dictate who has what right to marry, for example.

What I'm wondering is the second part of my question on religion being personal.  If you saw me on the street, praying over my food, or talking about it to a friend, or if I were on TV and I said "thank God", tell me does that change things? 

AmericanIdle wrote:
I have no interest in seeing religion abolished. This is counterproductive to a free society and to individualism. I have never once thought that was the purpose of RRS either.

Well that makes me wonder considering some of the reference material found on this site and Dawkins himself...all of which seem to go beyond the call for separation. 

AmericanIdle wrote:
You should be able to explore any avenue that does not cause harm to another and therein lies the dilemma. Do claims of supernatural acts (tarot cards, tea leaves, ESP, talking to the dead-Hi John Edwards you big idiot fraud, etc.) cause harm to individuals ?

I don't think they do...do you?  What causes harm is when a group of people go get in your face and start telling you that, because you are a sinner, you deserve to die.  That's just a tad different...and I don't associate myself with that at all. 

AmericanIdle wrote:
I think your religion needs to come under the same scrutiny that all other supernatural claims (and someone else's religion) come under. Right now, not only is it exempted from almost any scrutiny, but it is actively promoted by our governments, often inserted into our educational system, hailed by political leaders, sports stars, parental figures, etc. and receives enormous tax breaks, etc.

Questioning what the basis of my faith is vs. insulting it and claiming it to be the works of delusional people of history are two different things.  The latter isn't scrutinizing; that's insulting - as I said claiming the answer is wrong before you even ask the question. 

AmericanIdle wrote:
How can this premise not end up feeding the human's most destructive narcissistic tendencies?

God reveals himself to me and either me alone or the select few who believe as I do. The state of mankind is deplorable and wretched w/o god, but I have god and a personal relationship w/ him. I am no longer wretched but they are. My personal relationship w/an omnipotent god allows me speak to to him directly and gain proximity to him. This proximity endows me w/ a direct source to the power of god. In a vicarious sense, I am now godlike, a part of god and eventually I will see myself almost as if I am god.

You know there is a fine line between those who use their relationship with God for love vs. hate.  Because I follow God does that mean I should hate you for not believing?  The bible doesn't say this yet some can selectively take a verse and twist it just enough to say it does.  If it is beyond the message of the bible THAT needs to be questioned and justified.  99% of the time, it can't.  If I consider a sinner wretched, I'm with that group because I am not perfect as well.  Vanity is without a doubt the worst that can happen to any person, especially someone who claims to be a Christian.

HC Grindon wrote:
Shiny! Firefly: Best show ever.

Don't forget about serenity.  That movie rocked.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


HC Grindon
High Level DonorModerator
Posts: 198
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak wrote: Don't

razorphreak wrote:

Don't forget about Serenity.  That movie rocked.

Yeah, I just got tired of typing out "Firefly/Serenity" all the time, so I bundle my fanboy enthusiasm under the label "Firefly".  :^)


Rave
Posts: 114
Joined: 2007-03-02
User is offlineOffline
AmericanIdle wrote: You

AmericanIdle wrote:
You should be able to explore any avenue that does not cause harm to another and therein lies the dilemma. Do claims of supernatural acts (tarot cards, tea leaves, ESP, talking to the dead-Hi John Edwards you big idiot fraud, etc.) cause harm to individuals ?

My answer would be yes. People are fooled and make important decisions based on this bullshit and it affects them, their families and the whole of society. The more things that need you to reject common sense and proof for in order to believe in, the less respect the population has for proper science and technology. When people start believing in aura-healing and homeopathy en masse then you have real problems for everyone. It's the same kind of results as you get from most religions, like lack of belief in the theory of evolution.

"This is the real world, stupid." - Charlie Brooker

"It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." - Thomas Paine


pariahjane
pariahjane's picture
Posts: 1595
Joined: 2006-05-06
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak

razorphreak wrote:

pariahjane wrote:
Are you asking what we could discuss if we remove the 'proof of god' issue? If so, I think there are a myriad of topics that still need to be covered. Religion is still so pervasive and effects so many people.

razorphreak wrote:
It would be interesting if for one minute we could all be discussing religion points of view without bringing up the points of "well, it's all fake anyway".

Yes, it would be interesting, wouldn't it. Eye-wink I will, on occasion, enter into light hearted debate with theistic friends, and I do admit that I never actually argue actual existence with them. It's usually more about the religious practice.

pariahjane wrote:
I think it would be nice if other theists realized that there belief is personal. If they did, there would probably be no need for a group such as this.

If religion became personal, that would mean it wouldn't effect our laws. Religious views wouldn't be able to dictate who has what right to marry, for example.

razorphreak wrote:
What I'm wondering is the second part of my question on religion being personal. If you saw me on the street, praying over my food, or talking about it to a friend, or if I were on TV and I said "thank God", tell me does that change things?

Honestly? No, I wouldn't care. I can respect your belief as long as you respect my non-belief.

If god takes life he's an indian giver


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
pariahjane wrote: Honestly?

pariahjane wrote:
Honestly? No, I wouldn't care. I can respect your belief as long as you respect my non-belief.

This is what I keep asking yet I see this...

Rave wrote:
My answer would be yes. People are fooled and make important decisions based on this bullshit and it affects them, their families and the whole of society. The more things that need you to reject common sense and proof for in order to believe in, the less respect the population has for proper science and technology. When people start believing in aura-healing and homeopathy en masse then you have real problems for everyone.

How does Rave's statement respect my faith?  How does Rave's statement project an open mind to understanding what I believe when he immediately rejected it as "bullshit"?  Does his statement project the removal of religion from society?  In my view...very much so.

Rave wrote:
It's the same kind of results as you get from most religions, like lack of belief in the theory of evolution.

What does that have to do with anything?  Are we talking about evolution here?  If you want to go on some kind of rant, do it in another thread... 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


pariahjane
pariahjane's picture
Posts: 1595
Joined: 2006-05-06
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak

razorphreak wrote:

pariahjane wrote:
Honestly? No, I wouldn't care. I can respect your belief as long as you respect my non-belief.

This is what I keep asking yet I see this...

Rave wrote:
My answer would be yes. People are fooled and make important decisions based on this bullshit and it affects them, their families and the whole of society. The more things that need you to reject common sense and proof for in order to believe in, the less respect the population has for proper science and technology. When people start believing in aura-healing and homeopathy en masse then you have real problems for everyone.

How does Rave's statement respect my faith?  How does Rave's statement project an open mind to understanding what I believe when he immediately rejected it as "bullshit"?  Does his statement project the removal of religion from society?  In my view...very much so.

Rave wrote:
It's the same kind of results as you get from most religions, like lack of belief in the theory of evolution.

What does that have to do with anything?  Are we talking about evolution here?  If you want to go on some kind of rant, do it in another thread... 

 Hmm.  I can only speak for myself and no one else.  I'm basing my answers on the idea that religion has been taken out of the spotlight and remains in home and the churches of religious (meaning, not in the government).  Perhaps I'm being too idealistic.

Or maybe not.  Even on these threads I want to be respectful to those who I feel are being respectful to me, regardless of their religious beliefs (or non-beliefs!)  I like you, I think your threads are thoughtful and I think you are respectful.  I'd like to return the favor.  Do I agree with you?  Not really, but sometimes our points match. 

If I'm at a restaraunt and someone is quietly saying grace next to me, I wouldn't interupt them, or bring any attention to it.  If they try to force me to say it, or tell me I'm a bad person if I don't... things might get a little unpleasant.

Of course, some people will say I'm being wishy-washy because of this.  *shrugs* Oh well. 

Does that make sense?  It's kind of early in the morning for me and I haven't had my tea... Smiling

If god takes life he's an indian giver


Rave
Posts: 114
Joined: 2007-03-02
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak wrote: Rave

razorphreak wrote:
Rave wrote:
My answer would be yes. People are fooled and make important decisions based on this bullshit and it affects them, their families and the whole of society. The more things that need you to reject common sense and proof for in order to believe in, the less respect the population has for proper science and technology. When people start believing in aura-healing and homeopathy en masse then you have real problems for everyone.

How does Rave's statement respect my faith? How does Rave's statement project an open mind to understanding what I believe when he immediately rejected it as "bullshit"? Does his statement project the removal of religion from society? In my view...very much so.

Rave wrote:
It's the same kind of results as you get from most religions, like lack of belief in the theory of evolution.

What does that have to do with anything? Are we talking about evolution here? If you want to go on some kind of rant, do it in another thread...

Chill dude, I wasn't talking to you. I was responding to American Idle's question "Do claims of supernatural acts (tarot cards, tea leaves, ESP, talking to the dead-Hi John Edwards you big idiot fraud, etc.) cause harm to individuals?".

 I reject 'aura-healing' and homeopathic medecine as bullshit, the same as fortune telling and talking to the dead. Read the post more carefully next time.

"This is the real world, stupid." - Charlie Brooker

"It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." - Thomas Paine


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
pariahjane wrote: Do I

pariahjane wrote:
Do I agree with you? Not really, but sometimes our points match.

Which is fine.  I think you are cool because you actually disucss the subject at hand instead of trying to redirect it somehow to the "burden of proof" point, especially when that isn't the initial request. 

pariahjane wrote:
If I'm at a restaraunt and someone is quietly saying grace next to me, I wouldn't interupt them, or bring any attention to it. If they try to force me to say it, or tell me I'm a bad person if I don't... things might get a little unpleasant.

Well that isn't being respectful to begin with.  If you and I were at a table and I chose to say grace, I just begin saying it.  If I don't know your stance on to say grace or not, I simply say it to myself.  People just jumping up and saying "you must say with us" is forcing one's beliefs on someone else, and I am against this approach. 

   
Rave wrote:
Chill dude, I wasn't talking to you. I was responding to American Idle's question "Do claims of supernatural acts (tarot cards, tea leaves, ESP, talking to the dead-Hi John Edwards you big idiot fraud, etc.) cause harm to individuals?".

I reject 'aura-healing' and homeopathic medecine as bullshit, the same as fortune telling and talking to the dead. Read the post more carefully next time.

And I've seen it time and time again where the faith and belief in God are on the same level as those.  Are you saying you consider them different? 

 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


Rave
Posts: 114
Joined: 2007-03-02
User is offlineOffline
No not really, I consider

No not really, I consider them both of them to be grouped together in the 'Ridiculous' section. I don't mean any offense though, so relax.

"This is the real world, stupid." - Charlie Brooker

"It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." - Thomas Paine


DelphicRaven
DelphicRaven's picture
Posts: 101
Joined: 2006-08-17
User is offlineOffline
"Until you are called, you

"Until you are called, you will remain in a state of disbelief"

 Okay, sorry but that's the kind of holy-istic talking that really bothers me. So, what is God suppose to do? Call me on the phone? Should I wait next to it all day? Maybe he'll text message me. I'll keep my cell phone handy. Oh!! I know! God is going to email me! Good thing I have the internet.

Yippie-Skippie! It's what I've always been wanting, an email from God so I can feel just as special as a Christian.

--Sarah-- 

Prayer: How to do nothing and feel like your doing something.


AmericanIdle
Posts: 414
Joined: 2007-03-16
User is offlineOffline
There is always a point

There is always a point when the policy of respecting someone else's beliefs has to give way to the more important policy of protecting others from harm. 

Animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, mass suicides are all obvious examples of the harm that someone else's beliefs have caused.

All beliefs are absolutely not equal, nor should they be seen as such.  If our species has progressed at all it is because we have educated ourselves and asked difficult questions which have exposed the truths or lack thereof in our beliefs.  Again we as humans must judge for ourselves which beliefs are healthy and which are unhealthy for our society.

I see absolutely nothing healthy about say...palm reading.  While it may seem harmless to some, it caters to the ignorance of humans.  It is dishonest and it can cause the less intelligent of us to base our decisions on what is nothing more than fraud.

Do I think we should abolish palm readers ?  No, I don't, but as I mentioned before, if we educated ourselves as humans, made this a priority and were honest with ourselves, there'd be no need for a palm reader.

Religious belief should not be provided any more or less protection than any other supernatural claim.  Again, I would not abolish it and am fairly certain that even if one tried, a hundred would spring up in its place as such is the nature of humans.  However, it should no longer be promoted, respected or protected any more than any other extraordinary claim.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
DelphicRaven wrote:

Rave wrote:
No not really, I consider them both of them to be grouped together in the 'Ridiculous' section. I don't mean any offense though, so relax.

OK I'll tell you right now that your non-belief is in the ridiculous section too.  Evolution?  Ridiculous.  Science?  Delusions of cleaver hand tricks.  How much of a rise would you get from that?  Would you turn around and explain why you disagree or just call me an idiot?  Are you starting to see my point yet from the very first post on this thread?

DelphicRaven wrote:
Okay, sorry but that's the kind of holy-istic talking that really bothers me.

Why does it bother you. Explain yourself.

AmericanIdle wrote:
There is always a point when the policy of respecting someone else's beliefs has to give way to the more important policy of protecting others from harm.

I don't necessarly agree. If the example of someone's faith is to do volunteer missions, how would this apply?

AmericanIdle wrote:
Again we as humans must judge for ourselves which beliefs are healthy and which are unhealthy for our society.

Isn't that contradicting the point of respecting someone's beliefs? If you say you respect my choice to believe in God (which I don't consider a choice), but then you go around saying that belief in God is bad for society, hence implying that MY belief in God is bad for society, now you are no longer respecting my right to believe. I'm not saying this is what's happening but you can surely see how quickly the assumption of you wanting to remove beliefs from society arise. If I and a group like myself all believe the same, and you and a group like you don't, what's to say that your group or my group can't say that the other's system of beliefs is unhealthy for society? Respect of someone's beliefs cannot include the right to judge someone's beliefs. Your example of palm reading - OK while it might cater to "the ignorance of humans", who are we to judge that person because we might consider them ignorant but others don't? What exactly is so wrong with the live and let live policy and allow people to exist as brilliant or ignorant as they wish?

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


JCE
Bronze Member
JCE's picture
Posts: 1219
Joined: 2007-03-20
User is offlineOffline
DelphicRaven wrote:

DelphicRaven wrote:

"Until you are called, you will remain in a state of disbelief"

Okay, sorry but that's the kind of holy-istic talking that really bothers me. So, what is God suppose to do? Call me on the phone? Should I wait next to it all day? Maybe he'll text message me. I'll keep my cell phone handy. Oh!! I know! God is going to email me! Good thing I have the internet.

Yippie-Skippie! It's what I've always been wanting, an email from God so I can feel just as special as a Christian.

--Sarah--

Sorry Delphic - could you please read BGH's post on the first page? I understand what you are saying, but I do not think this is an arrogant statement. It is what it is.

My question to razor would be - what does it mean? From your perspective, is there a reason some are chosen and some are not? It makes no sense that the majority of people would be chosen or called and yet we have a majority of the world-wide population calling themselves "believers".  Are they misguided in their beliefs?


Beloved Spear
Theist
Posts: 37
Joined: 2007-03-05
User is offlineOffline
Proving God's existence is

Proving God's existence is a particular challenge given the simultaneous assertion on the part of we theists that God is transcendent.  Existence implies being woven into the fabric of space/time...and most Christians who can spell well enough to write the word "pantheism" grasp that this is not what we're about.  As existence assumes being physically and temporally bounded, arguing that God exists in the same categorical way that other beings exist is ultimately futile.

We should also be able to agree that faith is not rationally mediated.  It's experiential, and thus something that cannot be conveyed completely using language. It is more effectively conveyed through praxis, which is why the WOTM folks are so completely misguided. 


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
jce wrote: I understand

jce wrote:
I understand what you are saying, but I do not think this is an arrogant statement. It is what it is.

I still want to understand why it bothers her... 

jce wrote:
My question to razor would be - what does it mean? From your perspective, is there a reason some are chosen and some are not? It makes no sense that the majority of people would be chosen or called and yet we have a majority of the world-wide population calling themselves "believers". Are they misguided in their beliefs?

What does it mean?  I'm not sure how to answer that other than being in a state of "disbelief" is to not believe in God.

From my Christian perspective, why are some called and others not?  It stems from these verses...

 Romans 9:19-24 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "  Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?  What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

What this means is that since we are the creation, not the creator, it is not for us to question God's purpose for those on this planet, including ourselves.  In other threads, I've used this as an alternate question - who are we to say Hitler is in hell?  My point here is while by all Earthly means and man based laws, Hitler was pure evil.  But by God's will, if he was one of those objects of wrath already prepared for destruction, who are we to say that he didn't perform God's will.  Since God can produce no evil (James 1:17), we simply cannot say that someone who was like Hitler is condemned by God because ultimately the judgment is his and his alone. 

I don't think people are misguided by their faith but rather are misguided by other motives, such as showmanship, wealth, or popularity (e.g. Pat Robertson, so called "evangelical" preachers - if you've ever seen the Steve Martin movie Leap of Faith, that's a good example of an evangelical, etc.).

Through all that, I don't see it a bad thing that there are non-believers, atheists.  I don't control your destiny any more than you can control mine so be believer or in a state of non-belief, because we are all simply human there was never meant to be any kind of "holy-istic" meaning behind that.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


AmericanIdle
Posts: 414
Joined: 2007-03-16
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak

razorphreak wrote:

 

AmericanIdle wrote:
There is always a point when the policy of respecting someone else's beliefs has to give way to the more important policy of protecting others from harm.

I don't necessarly agree. If the example of someone's faith is to do volunteer missions, how would this apply?

AmericanIdle wrote:
Again we as humans must judge for ourselves which beliefs are healthy and which are unhealthy for our society.

Isn't that contradicting the point of respecting someone's beliefs?

I can't believe I even have to answer this question..........Were you under the impression that respecting everyone's beliefs was healthy?  Tell me, do you respect the beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan ?  Why or why not ?  Relatives of a kurdish teen stoned her to death in front of a mob and you can read about it on CNN right now.  Those relatives had beliefs that led them to murder one of their own flesh and blood.  Should we respect those beliefs as well?  Maybe plug our ears until the final screams of her fear and her torture die out, perhaps ?  We make conscious decisions all the time as to whether a belief is good for us as individuals and as a society.  If all beliefs are equal how do humans ever rise above tyranny ? 

Quote:
What exactly is so wrong with the live and let live policy and allow people to exist as brilliant or ignorant as they wish?

Ignoring for a moment that a theist is posing this question... (I swear I can feel an ulcer coming on).

Live and let live is a wonderful policy based in idealism and rarely seen in reality.  The list of theist ideologies that have managed to keep their hands to themselves is very short indeed if it exists at all.

If there is nothing wrong or unhealthy w/ humans living in ignorance, I assume you oppose children going to school, college, reading an instruction manual.  How about your doctor keeping up with the latest medical practices before operating on you ?  Why can't we allow them to live in ignorance if they wish ?

Why do these questions even have to be asked ?

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10546
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak wrote: Every

razorphreak wrote:
Every person can and I believe does have "visits" by spirits - you know the thing that science can't prove but when you have several hundred million telling you it happens, you can't just deny it straight.

I disagree. Several hundred million people thought the world was flat. A few thousand still do. That doesn't make it so, or make it incapable of being denied outright. Several hundred thousand or million people believe they were taken by aliens into spacecraft. And while incalculably more likely than the existance of a god, I can still deny it outright as ludicrous on multiple levels.

Quite honestly, what makes your beliefs any different than theirs from my perspective?

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
AmericanIdle wrote: Were

AmericanIdle wrote:
Were you under the impression that respecting everyone's beliefs was healthy? Tell me, do you respect the beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan ? Why or why not ? Relatives of a kurdish teen stoned her to death in front of a mob and you can read about it on CNN right now. Those relatives had beliefs that led them to murder one of their own flesh and blood. Should we respect those beliefs as well? Maybe plug our ears until the final screams of her fear and her torture die out, perhaps ? We make conscious decisions all the time as to whether a belief is good for us as individuals and as a society. If all beliefs are equal how do humans ever rise above tyranny?

Beliefs are just that.  Because the KKK believes that white is superior does not make them correct.  But how you tell them they are incorrect in their belief is where the respect comes in.  It is by their actions where they lose the respect that every person should be granted.  The KKK isn't respected because we know by biology and human anatomy we are all humans.  Their actions show they reject that proof for no reason other than their internal hatred.  The same goes to any group of people that use hate as a means to show their message - how can you respect a group that does this?  I was expecting that as a response from you.  Why we do not respect a group of people is more important than just naming a bunch of groups...

AmericanIdle wrote:
Live and let live is a wonderful policy based in idealism and rarely seen in reality. The list of theist ideologies that have managed to keep their hands to themselves is very short indeed if it exists at all.

If there is nothing wrong or unhealthy w/ humans living in ignorance, I assume you oppose children going to school, college, reading an instruction manual. How about your doctor keeping up with the latest medical practices before operating on you ? Why can't we allow them to live in ignorance if they wish ?

Why do these questions even have to be asked ?

Your first problem is you love to assume without asking one question.  If you actually think I oppose those things then you aren't worth discussing anything with. 

Vastet wrote:
I disagree. Several hundred million people thought the world was flat. A few thousand still do. That doesn't make it so, or make it incapable of being denied outright. Several hundred thousand or million people believe they were taken by aliens into spacecraft. And while incalculably more likely than the existance of a god, I can still deny it outright as ludicrous on multiple levels. Quite honestly, what makes your beliefs any different than theirs from my perspective?

In your eyes, nothing.  If you've never seen an alien, a ghost, hell if you've never been outside your home town you may not actually believe that 8-10 million people live in Mexico City.  We are all the way back to "prove it" again.  I'm going to keep repeating it - I cannot prove God to you.  No evidence I show you, no words I speak (or write), not even my actions will be proof to you that my beliefs are not a delusion, not a make believe story, and not based upon an unprovable being.  No matter what I say or do can convince you of God or that my beliefs are actually different.  I'm aware of this, are you?  Are you capable of holding a discussion that questions what I believe because you want explanations?  If you can, that will tell me that you are not questioning to discredit for if you are, that will only prove that you do not believe faith, religion, whatever you want to call it belongs in society at all and would scratch out that part of the 1st amendment if you could.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10546
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak wrote:In your

razorphreak wrote:
In your eyes, nothing.

I wish you'd left it at that, since that's all I asked.

razorphreak wrote:
  If you've never seen an alien, a ghost, hell if you've never been outside your home town you may not actually believe that 8-10 million people live in Mexico City.  We are all the way back to "prove it" again.

I wasn't asking you to prove anything. We've covered that in other threads. I just asked what makes your beliefs different than anyone elses, and why ridiculous beliefs can't be discarded as ridiculous.

razorphreak wrote:
  I'm going to keep repeating it - I cannot prove God to you.  No evidence I show you, no words I speak (or write), not even my actions will be proof to you that my beliefs are not a delusion, not a make believe story, and not based upon an unprovable being.  No matter what I say or do can convince you of God or that my beliefs are actually different.  I'm aware of this, are you?

No. Never say never. The person who says it can't be done is usually followed by the person who just did it(I forget what movie that was from but the line stuck with me, and I've wanted to say it for awhile now Sticking out tongue). Which is not to suggest that you should try to evangelize me, just to suggest that it's not outside the realm of possibility for anyone to change their mind about an issue. If I believed otherwise I wouldn't be here. If your experience was experienced by me, who can say what I'd conclude? I don't even know what you experienced.

razorphreak wrote:
  Are you capable of holding a discussion that questions what I believe because you want explanations?

I'm pretty sure that's what I did. I didn't ask for the extra paragraphs. I simply asked what makes your belief different from another. A possible extension to it could be an explanation for why a belief that I see is ridiculous should not be challenged. But you didn't cover that part.

razorphreak wrote:
  If you can, that will tell me that you are not questioning to discredit for if you are, that will only prove that you do not believe faith, religion, whatever you want to call it belongs in society at all and would scratch out that part of the 1st amendment if you could.

As I'm not American, and don't intend to change that, the first amendment means nothing to me. I don't like the idea of messing with another people's political system unless it directly impacts me.
Though I do admit I don't believe any dogmatic religion has any place in a civilized society. I don't generally have a problem with faith as long as it's kept away from power. Mixing the two is like pouring acid into water.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.