Change "God" to "hell".

Anbesol
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Change "God" to "hell".

Right now your groups focus is on disproving god, as you have made it not only your staple argument and logo, it seems you even have classified people into those two categories, those who beleive and those who dont.  This is a grave mistake on your part, because you alienate, and you isolate, and you put yourself against more people then you truly wish to go against.  It also weakens your arguments, because there is truly a plethora of reasonable conjectures to prove of "god", especially in other global religions, that even transcend the laws of your science.  You cannot prove nor disprove, so you have just rested on your laurels that all who do believe make god out to be "pixie dust floating in the sky" (as one of the members here calls it) and other equally improbable mythological hypotheses'.   Rather, the source of the hatred, and the militaristic convictions in Christians lie not in their faith in God, but in their faith in Hell.  That Hell is the place prepared for gods eternal punishment.  This is their conviction that seperates them from treating others as equals, such as you guys.  Furthermore - the concept of hell is of such tremendous preposterous proportions, that you can create some intense and very self-evidencing conjectures against hell, so much that they will not be able to stand on a foot.  The concept of "hell" is so tragically limited, and has a hundred thousand paradoxical loopholes in the reality of "existence".  If you changed your word "God" to "hell", you would garner the attention that is NEEDING to be addressed to these communities of fanatical Christians.  Civilizations that tremble in their frightenednous to fear, will tremble in their frightenednous to truth - as you give them truths that even they cant refute to themselves, then they will embark on a journey of further discovery, and come to the realization of what IS self evident.

It takes no intellectual capacity to realize the insanely impossible reality of hell, an elementary student could easily understand, it takes someone to be honest with their selves.  So, when you talk to an evangelist, ask them the right questions - make them think about their own faith, challenge them, and help them to see.  So long as you keep sticking to "does God exist" or "does Jesus exist" or "is Jesus the son of god" and so on, you are just scratching the surface of their own lies, the root of their own lies is attached to their own inner trembling to their fear of death - and if exploited and observed, and you can transmit a solid conjecture to them, they cannot help but to ask themselves, and hopefully, they will see.

However, you do run into some problems here, sometimes, just by simply pointing out the truth of ones own concepts, they become more scared, and  they react by getting angry, to become outwardly hostile, as if to fight the truth away, some of them will fight truth like they fight for their life.  Because to them, they are fighting for their life.

A philosopher once said, "many men live life in constant trembling, trembling from their own fear of death, and they run away from it and indulge their selves in efforts to appease the trembling, but underneath those superficial indulgences, lie that trembling, which remains ever present in them."  This is true for the ordinary mind, but the strong of mind has conquered the fear of death, not by rationalizing it, but by facing death head on, and becoming one with it, not physically, but to give your self to death.  This dissolves the human identity, or ego - but once it is realized, you will see that all things associated with your ego, never truly existed in reality, they were purely illusions.  You can disillude people, but some people take it one step at a time, I promise you, your pursuits into opposing Christian fanatics will not lie in "prove god", but in pursuing reasoned inquiry into the concept of hell, and assessing and critiqing the book of revelations.


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To your main premise I would

To your main premise I would argue that this would give credence to theists who believe an atheist is motivated to reject a religion simply out of fear of hell. As if it frees a person of any moral responsibilities. I appreciate your contributions to the board, but I do feel you've attempted a couple times to suggest modifications to what atheism means. I don't agree, and the definition itself doesn't allow for such fine distinctions.
With regard to approach, I partly agree. But, I would note that there are many different secular groups, each presenting their case in different ways. Some resemble religions, some reject all metaphysics, and some fall in between. I don't agree with a lot of RRS's approach, but I will say it's novel, and it seems to be working in certain demographics.


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no, it has nothing to do

no, it has nothing to do with the Atheists fear of hell, from what I've gathered most of you guys see through the elementary concept of hell. I never thought you were motivated by your fear of hell. we live in a community where you need to be christian to be accepted, in work, in school, in the community, in politics, everywhere - atheists are tragically mistreated because of this egomaniacal bullshit - from what I gathered youre movement is in response to this segregation, nothing more or less, you guys know that hell is a fairy tale, you guys see past that - so youre already one step ahead of them in that.

how can one fear, what cannot exist?  Well, first, by believing in it - when a Christian says to you that you are afraid of hell, tell them that, and when they say that they believe in it, then express that is them biting into the forbidden fruit, and being expelled from the Garden of Eden, the Kingdom of God.  Then when they say that the Garden of Eden is not the Kingdom of God, you can use your own biblical knowledge of it to express the paramount parallel between them, and that their own personal saviour could speak of nothing else, and that he too spoke from the Garden, and he was unafflicted by the poisonous toxin of the fruit, for he extinguished it from his own body, and became one with the father.  You can then say that "I am sorry that you are afflicted with the poison, perhaps I can help you reconcile with god".

They will not have a leg to stand on.     


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I never thought that your

I never thought that your argument was that the atheist fears hell, but I think I see what you're saying. You're proposing a subversive kind of religious posturing; undermining the beliefs from within, without admitting to disbelief. Is that accurate?


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Yes, precisely.  And if

Yes, precisely.  And if you guys could see the truth of Jesus teachings, which, in my observation you are in closer proximity with then are the Christians, then you can easily obliterate their dogmatic bullshit.  Jesus Knew that many people would try to control and manipulate his teachings, fortunately most of his teachings are intact, but there is one special one that didnt make it in the canon, because it would dismiss its own authority, and the church didnt want that, the church wanted authority over its people.  Its the famous Gospel of Thomas, verse 3:

Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.

When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."

 We can see quite clearly that they are doing just that, making the kingdom of god a place in the sky.  A worldly concept of an after life.  idiotic.

 


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Thank you for

Thank you for clarifying.
Your views are interesting. I agree that the world can be potentially better or worse given changes within the religious communities. I think that's been demonstrated in the United States: a country founded by Deists, driven into fearful deference to religious authority by wartime and cold war paranoia. I wouldn't object if Christians let go of the concepts that stood between this country and progress, even if they retained the rest of their beliefs. The same goes for the fringes of Islam and Judaism (and Hinduism and Buddhism for that matter) in their respective communities.
It would be dishonest of me, though, to pretend to believe, even for the purpose of undermining the establishment. As for genuine beliefs, I've tried a number of them.


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You make an interesting

You make an interesting observation.  I think that the ball got rolling in mid 1800's, when Neitzche declared god dead.  But yeah, the post-war paranoia was a major contributer to the trembling fear of god.

Buddhism doesnt conflict with Hinduism at all, there is a movement of fundamentalist Hindus in India, however.  Naturally they conflict, as any fundamentalist movement conflicts with all others, but there is no fundamentalist Buddhism, the Buddha did a great job at laying a dogma free foundation for religion, he constantly dismissed even his own authority, its hard to find fundamentalism when the "deity" (for lack of a better word) so actively refuses fundamentalism.

Seriously though, you actually do believe in god, you just call him by a different name, to you, "god" is probably the whole of the universe, the laws of the universe, nature, and evolution are to you, what the "will of god" is to them.  You and they do not have different beliefs, you have different words to attach to your concepts, but they are still one in the same.  For practical sake, just look at god as "truth", the "infinite" or "objectivity".  He is indeed the same as those, as well.

Perhaps I am making assumptions about you though - what is it about the concept of god that you cannot believe?  What beliefs have you tried?  The Buddhist community has very little attachment to the word god, for them to even talk about god as in believing or disbelieving is scrutinizing over the unimportant.


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I wasn't suggesting a

I wasn't suggesting a conflict between Buddhism and Hinduism (one may exist somewhere, but I am unaware of it), but holding up their more mainstream or progressive interpretations as preferable to the more extreme ones. I don't recall whether I've heard of violent or oppressive forms of Buddhism, but it's not a significant point in this discussion.
I misspoke about my religious journey. I've only looked at Taosim, a new agey religion based largely on Hinduism, and my native Catholicism. Independent of religion, I've looked at practices of meditation, healing, astral projection, martial arts that incorporated animism, and scrying. Unlike many atheists, I don't dismiss these individual concepts outright, nor do I accept them on faith. I see reason to explore each to determine their validity.
To say that an atheist believes in a god by redefining other concepts, and the commonly held concept of god itself, is not a claim I feel is justified. To make a comparison, I've seen Christians on this board cite their own fear at what they'd do without the fear of hell. It's my hope they would do nothing particularly different or immoral; they've merely misattributed their own sense of social and moral obligation. It exists whether they attribute it to divine inspiration or simply social responsibility. 


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Anbesol wrote: For

Anbesol wrote:

For practical sake, just look at god as "truth", the "infinite" or "objectivity". He is indeed the same as those, as well.

I don't see how changing what the word god means to me will change the discussion. I can give the word any definition I like but that does not change the fact that I don't believe in anyone elses definition of god. I have merely shifted the meaning to something else but still don't believe in superwizards, reincarnation, ultimate truth that comes from stillness of mind etc. If I change the meaning of the word god to mean "universe" that's great (strange, but fine) however this does nothing to change the nature of our (theist and atheist) disagreement.

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The Buddhist community has very little attachment to the word god, for them to even talk about god as in believing or disbelieving is scrutinizing over the unimportant.

Correct, and on this very particular point we (myself and buddhism) are in agreement. However, their beliefs are still routed in mysticism which is also something that is irrational to me. 


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Marcus - The Buddhists

Marcus - The Buddhists understand deeper ration then it seems you do, their mystical expressions are there simply because there is no human vocabulary to express it otherwise.  To be honest - I think that the only reason you so adamently disbelieve the word "god" is because you closed your mind from all outside conceptions of it, and dismissed all other concepts not because you have openly assessed them, but because you have projected your own ideas about them.  Reincarnation isnt that absurd, and its not some new age jazz about keeping your soul alive, but rather, if you were to look at even your schools law, you would know that energy cannot cease to exist, so what else can the energy that your body carries do, but continue to exist?  spirit energy is not human identity, its what gives rise to human identity, however - many people think that reincarnation exists to appease the human identity, and to make the human identity that exists eternal, which is not what reincarnation is.

Buddhists use mysticism to explain the phenomonalogical, and to explain reality, but because there are no human words to express the particulars of their experience, they use words of mysticism, to point to the higher reality that they experience.

do you know what stillness of mind really is?  Because you can actually have stillness of mind and still be mindful.


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Anbesol wrote: To be

Anbesol wrote:

To be honest - I think that the only reason you so adamently disbelieve the word "god" is because you closed your mind from all outside conceptions of it

And you're entitled to your opinion.

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if you were to look at even your schools law, you would know that energy cannot cease to exist, so what else can the energy that your body carries do, but continue to exist?

I'm not arguing against that idea. However, this is one interpretation of the idea of reincarnation. The primary buddhist sources that I spoke too were very clear on the fact that they DID assign a consciousness to this energy. I do not. Not because I'm an ego maniac, but because thus far there has never been a logical argument in favor of it. 

Quote:
many people think that reincarnation exists to appease the human identity, and to make the human identity that exists eternal, which is not what reincarnation is.

From your particular vantage point. You are speaking for a lot of people in your assumption.  

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but because there are no human words to express the particulars of their experience, they use words of mysticism

I'm not sure how it ceases to be mysticism just because this is the only way they can express it.  

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do you know what stillness of mind really is? Because you can actually have stillness of mind and still be mindful.

I have always understood stillness of mind to represent an internal calm. The theory is that when we reach this calmness, and our minds stop fighting against us, that we see "truth".  


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And indeed we do see truth

And indeed we do see truth with stillness of mind, because without stillness of mind we see what our mind is leaning to see, what it WANTS to see. but when we see past our own wants and desires, and indeed beyond our very self, we can see the truth, not knowing it, not containing it, becoming one with, perceiving, understanding it.

The "consciousness" of the energy contained within reincarnation is VERY scarcely understood even by the most well practiced buddhist, to assume that you can take a cardboard understanding of what it is without the practice of first understanding, then of course it will seem bizarre and absurd.

What we can see is that all things rise from and return to this consciousness.... and the consciousness will always remain the same, outside of its conditionings, nothing has changed. Is it not sound then that if you rose from this consciousness and are bound to return to it, is it possible that you could once rise again, not as who you are now, but as a fresh and pure consciousness reborn. This belief however refuses all worldly concepts, so its not something that even the buddhists themselves really stick to, they are more concerned about practicing mindfulness in life, and being aware, and in the present moment.

*edit - i say it refuses worldly concepts, but that is not to say it refuses worldly reasoning, indeed, it is perfectly reasonable...


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Why might we be compelled to

Why might we be compelled to assume consciousness or self-awareness are things in themselves, as opposed to mental states arisng wholly from biology?


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that is a different

that is a different consciousness, that is the thought process, what gives rise to the thought process, is the same energy that gives rise to perception, and even right down to your breathing.  If it was a wholly biological phenomena, then why does anything die?  and more importantly, how does anything exist?


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Why would such an "energy"

Why would such an "energy" be necessary for things to exist, or for things to die?


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Anbesol wrote:Right now

Anbesol wrote:

Right now your groups focus is on disproving god, as you have made it not only your staple argument and logo, it seems you even have classified people into those two categories, those who beleive and those who dont.  This is a grave mistake on your part, because you alienate, and you isolate, and you put yourself against more people then you truly wish to go against.  It also weakens your arguments, because there is truly a plethora of reasonable conjectures to prove of "god", especially in other global religions, that even transcend the laws of your science.  You cannot prove nor disprove, so you have just rested on your laurels that all who do believe make god out to be "pixie dust floating in the sky" (as one of the members here calls it) and other equally improbable mythological hypotheses'.   Rather, the source of the hatred, and the militaristic convictions in Christians lie not in their faith in God, but in their faith in Hell.  That Hell is the place prepared for gods eternal punishment.  This is their conviction that seperates them from treating others as equals, such as you guys.  Furthermore - the concept of hell is of such tremendous preposterous proportions, that you can create some intense and very self-evidencing conjectures against hell, so much that they will not be able to stand on a foot.  The concept of "hell" is so tragically limited, and has a hundred thousand paradoxical loopholes in the reality of "existence".  If you changed your word "God" to "hell", you would garner the attention that is NEEDING to be addressed to these communities of fanatical Christians.  Civilizations that tremble in their frightenednous to fear, will tremble in their frightenednous to truth - as you give them truths that even they cant refute to themselves, then they will embark on a journey of further discovery, and come to the realization of what IS self evident.

It takes no intellectual capacity to realize the insanely impossible reality of hell, an elementary student could easily understand, it takes someone to be honest with their selves.  So, when you talk to an evangelist, ask them the right questions - make them think about their own faith, challenge them, and help them to see.  So long as you keep sticking to "does God exist" or "does Jesus exist" or "is Jesus the son of god" and so on, you are just scratching the surface of their own lies, the root of their own lies is attached to their own inner trembling to their fear of death - and if exploited and observed, and you can transmit a solid conjecture to them, they cannot help but to ask themselves, and hopefully, they will see.

However, you do run into some problems here, sometimes, just by simply pointing out the truth of ones own concepts, they become more scared, and  they react by getting angry, to become outwardly hostile, as if to fight the truth away, some of them will fight truth like they fight for their life.  Because to them, they are fighting for their life.

A philosopher once said, "many men live life in constant trembling, trembling from their own fear of death, and they run away from it and indulge their selves in efforts to appease the trembling, but underneath those superficial indulgences, lie that trembling, which remains ever present in them."  This is true for the ordinary mind, but the strong of mind has conquered the fear of death, not by rationalizing it, but by facing death head on, and becoming one with it, not physically, but to give your self to death.  This dissolves the human identity, or ego - but once it is realized, you will see that all things associated with your ego, never truly existed in reality, they were purely illusions.  You can disillude people, but some people take it one step at a time, I promise you, your pursuits into opposing Christian fanatics will not lie in "prove god", but in pursuing reasoned inquiry into the concept of hell, and assessing and critiqing the book of revelations.

But if you are not arguing whether God exists, then wouldn't Hell be possible regardless of how unlikely it seems? I mean if God exists, then He can create a place for people to burn for eternity, because He can do anything He pleases. Whether it seems "insanely impossible" to you is irrelevant if God exists.

 

And as far as this comment goes...

Quote:
This is their conviction that seperates them from treating others as equals, such as you guys.

That is pure BS. The bible teaches to love your neighbors and your enemies. Not only treat them like equals, but treat them as though they are more important than you are. If certain so-called Christians aren't doing that, then they are the problem, not Christianity.

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18


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Musicdude: Nice link from a

Musicdude:

Nice link from a theist against the existence of Hell:

http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/ifhellisreal.htm

EDUCATION! EDUCATION! EDUCATION!