Peoples faith doesn't hurt you...

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Peoples faith doesn't hurt you...

TOO BUSY TO RESPOND, YOU FOLKS CAN HANDLE IT:

Quote:

FROM: general.chaos
TO: Blasphemychallenge

I just wanted to write in that I find it morally appauling that you are doing such a challenege. You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs, but why do you feel the need to take belief from those who have it? Religion (any) can do many great things for people... Sometymes religion is all a person has. It would be different if you were a religious group out trying to save people, feeding the homeless, building houses for the homeless, etc. but what you are doing is damning people and attempting to destroy people's faith (which doesn't hurt you). You have no belief, so why does it matter what people believe? The fact that you ask them to renounce the Holy Ghost only shows that you do infact believe in it.

Please respond, I look forward to discussing this with you intelligently.


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He should consider reading

He should consider reading Freud's Future of an Ilusion or Civilization and its Discontents.... they point out the value of freeing people from culturally acceptable delusions....

Or he could consider Sagan's point: without a Dark Age, which was a time where Faith was king, we might be living today in a world more like the 25th century.... If so, then the lives lost due to favoring faith over reason are incalcuable.....

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

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Quote:I just wanted to write

Quote:
I just wanted to write in that I find it morally appauling that you are doing such a challenege. You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs, but why do you feel the need to take belief from those who have it?

We aren't taking belief from people. We are provided a forum where we can answer questions, respond to challenges, and provide information that can allow people to discard their beliefs on their own. If we are correct in saying that their is no rational justification for believing in God, then we are doing a service, not a morally repugnant action. If we are incorrect, then someone, anyone, should be able to demonstrate that. We are open to hearing or reading anything that will support theism; until it surfaces, our disbelief is warranted.

Quote:
Religion (any) can do many great things for people... Sometymes religion is all a person has.

Yes, and religion (any) can also do harm. The simple fact is the real source of benefit and harm are the actions of people and the actual, physical, natural world. Religion is very good at taking the credit or attributing ot to some deity (deities, in some case), where it should be clear that the efforts of people and the results of natural processes are the cause.

If religion is all a person has, then I suppose those people consult the Bible when picking their flavor of ice cream or color of their car (for example)? Nobody only has religion. Many people attribute most things in their life to their religious beliefs, but they are generally incorrectly attributing these things to supernatural powers of one kind or another.

Quote:
It would be different if you were a religious group out trying to save people, feeding the homeless, building houses for the homeless, etc. but what you are doing is damning people and attempting to destroy people's faith (which doesn't hurt you).

Many atheists, including people at the Rational Response Squad, do partake in these kinds of activities. But some of our efforts are aimed at curing other problems; we view theism as one of these problems with harmful consequences. You are assuming that we and people we convince are damned; that opinion is one that we are attempting to fix. We are trying to "destroy faith" because we see it as irrational to believe things that have no support--no reason to believe them besides fear (of Hell), hope (of heaven), and mere complacency (not wanting to challenge cherished core beliefs).

Quote:
You have no belief, so why does it matter what people believe? The fact that you ask them to renounce the Holy Ghost only shows that you do infact believe in it.

No, it doesn't . I deny the holy spirit because I see no reason to accept it as a true being. It matters what people believe because I have to live around people, and I would like to live in a world where people act and believe based upon what is rational and supported by evidence (or at very least not believing in things that evidence shows to be false).

Quote:
Please respond, I look forward to discussing this with you intelligently.

I look forward to intellectual dialog as well. I hope you respond, so we can sort out these issues, as I think they are important.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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Quote:Please respond, I look

Quote:
Please respond, I look forward to discussing this with you intelligently.

As a "person of faith", I must agree with the people above. Rational discussion is not going to do any harm to people. If your faith is based on truth, it's not going to be damaged by simple dialog. If your faith is damaged by truth, then your faith was false, and you should be thankful its gone.


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nedbrek wrote:Quote:Please

nedbrek wrote:
Quote:
Please respond, I look forward to discussing this with you intelligently.

As a "person of faith", I must agree with the people above. Rational discussion is not going to do any harm to people. If your faith is based on truth, it's not going to be damaged by simple dialog. If your faith is damaged by truth, then your faith was false, and you should be thankful its gone.

That reminds me of how people view the word 'disillusionment'... it's usually seen as a negative process.... but being disillusioned only involves losing an illusion.. whatever negative you confront was always there.

Disillusionment is a good thing.

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

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Quote:It would be different

Quote:
It would be different if you were a religious group out trying to save people, feeding the homeless, building houses for the homeless, etc. but what you are doing is damning people and attempting to destroy people's faith (which doesn't hurt you).

I was thinking that this argument comes up a lot. It makes me want to start up a charity of atheists helping people. Except I know many of us DO already help out. But I think of "Child's Play" and how it came about.
"Since Child’s Play was conceived as a way to combat negative portrayals of gamers in the media, we’re eager to get the positive word out about gamers helping kids."

Quote:
You have no belief, so why does it matter what people believe?

I believe it's been said, "Your freedom to swing your fist ends at the end of my nose". In other words, I don't generally have a problem with people who believe weird crap. If you want to believe a blue chair is yellow, then by all means, go ahead. But because I know the chair is NOT, in fact, yellow, I will tell you so. And if someone tries to pass laws based solely on their religious beliefs that will impede my quality of life and freedom, I will fight it.

Quote:
The fact that you ask them to renounce the Holy Ghost only shows that you do infact believe in it.

What? People keep saying this and it doesn't make it true.
Puzzled
I don't believe in Thor, or Isis, or Zoroaster. But noone is trying to force me to. Everyone I've ever met thinks those "gods" are myths. And they're right. Yet, I've met plenty of Xtians who get offended at the mere WORD myth. Blaspheming the holy ghost means nothing to us. It's not real. I may as well say "I deny the existence of Odin." Does that mean I believe in Odin? The only reason noone is saying that is because there isn't a huge movement to have Odin worship made into the official national religion, on all the money, with Odin prayers before games.... etc....


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Actually, faith kicked me in

Actually, faith kicked me in the nuts about a year ago, and since then, I've been fighting my hardest against it. Low-blows are unacceptable.

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Quote:I just wanted to write

Quote:
I just wanted to write in that I find it morally appauling that you are doing such a challenege.

I find it morally appallling that no one thought of it sooner.

Quote:
You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs, but why do you feel the need to take belief from those who have it?

No one is trying to take away anyone's beliefs here. I think it would be great if everyone willingly gave up religion. I would never want to forcibly take away religion from people. Nevermind the fact that you can't 'force' someone to stop believing in something. You can convince them that what they believe is incorrect. I can't force you to stop believing in god and you can't force me to believe in god. We can argue about it, though.

Quote:
Religion (any) can do many great things for people...

And a crutch can help a man to walk, but that doesn't mean we all need crutches if we want to get anywhere.

Quote:
Sometymes religion is all a person has.

That's very unfortunate, which is why did should give up religion and ask for more.

Quote:
It would be different if you were a religious group out trying to save people, feeding the homeless, building houses for the homeless, etc.

Right. Because only religious people do those things. Alright, don't worry about it, you didn't explicitally say that, but there is an implication there. I live in a city where homelessness has quadrupled in the past four years. I do my part by donating to (secular) charities, voting for people who will actually do something about it and handing out change when I have it. Ending homelessness isn't a goal of this particular orginization, but that doesn't mean no one here gives a shit.

Quote:
but what you are doing is damning people and attempting to destroy people's faith (which doesn't hurt you)

Again, there is no forcing here. The people who have participated in the blasphemy challenge did so willingly and if they had faith before, gave that up willingly too.

Quote:
You have no belief, so why does it matter what people believe? The fact that you ask them to renounce the Holy Ghost only shows that you do infact believe in it.

Two sentences side by side and yet, they completly contradict one and other. I compliment your use of contrast. You have to believe in the holy spirit in order to deny the holy spirit runs along the same line of logic as the bible is true because it says it is. Try this: I deny the holy spirit BY not believing in it. I deny the holy spirit by denying it's existance. I hope that works for you

Quote:
Please respond, I look forward to discussing this with you intelligently.

That would be nice. I hope to talk to you in the future.

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine


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His response to

His response to me:

Quote:
I've been reading the posts on your site (which I will not be registering for) and it seems that I am hearing alot of what political people such as my self refer to as talking points. As was stated however, no one can make you believe in something, nor can anyone make you stop believing in something... but they can trick you.

You say there is no scientific proof of a God, but there are plenty of eyewitness accounts. I'm certain that you would imply insanity in anyone who came to you telling you they hard the voice of God, which is where part of the problem lies. This may require a bit of abstract thinking, but most matters of religion do.

Assume that God was infact talking to someone, in todays society they would be considered insane... The Bible shows us that God does in fact talk to man... While you don't have to believe it, it shouldn't imply insanity in the person hearing it. Perhaps society would be alot better off if we actually took the tyme to listen to God instead of demaning evidence of his existence. While science is a great tool, it is flawed. Scientists can't proove something exists if they don't know what it is. A good example of this would be the human soul (if you believe in such a thing). Surely it must exist as there has been documented footage of ghosts, but science can't find one. The same is true for God, there are plenty of documented cases of devine intervention, but science cant find him.

Science does support the bible in many cases however. For example, the theory of singularity completely supports the existance of a creator. You can find more cases here: http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science.shtml .

In the end I am compelled to do my Christian duty and defend our saviour. I'm sure that I'm not going to convince anyone, but I am doing my duty.

Let me pose one question to you: If heaven and hell don't exist, when I die I have lost nothing... I have lived a good life by a book of morals. If you die and heaven and hell do exist... you have lost everything.

It is my life decision to choose the higher path. I can't logically put faith in science, and science has tyme and again been proven wrong. We humans do the best with the brains God gave us, but there is so much more that we cannot comprehend. In closing, God has touched me, so there is no way anyone could ever convince me that He doesn't exist. My life has been blessed. I am greatful for all the wonderful things that have come about by his doing, not mine.

God Bless.

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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Quote:Let me pose one

Quote:
Let me pose one question to you: If heaven and hell don't exist, when I die I have lost nothing... I have lived a good life by a book of morals. If you die and heaven and hell do exist... you have lost everything.

Oh, no!!!! It's the Pascal Monster again!!

Dude... what a narrow, and probably ethnocentric, view of the universe you have. There are now hundreds, if not thousands of deities worshiped on planet earth. If I'm wrong, there's just as much chance that you're wrong, too. Allah might be the one true god. For that matter, there might be a god that none of us have heard of! What if there are ten gods?

Pascal assumed that only the Christian god was a possibility, and that was a very, very bad error.

Logic! It's what's for dinner.

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

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Allow me... ShaunPhilly

Allow me...

ShaunPhilly wrote:
As was stated however, no one can make you believe in something, nor can anyone make you stop believing in something... but they can trick you.

You forgot one option, which is that we can be convinced to believe something based on reason. I can't force you to believe something, I can give you knowledge, and you can choose to believe it yourself.

If your point is that beliefs are only obtained through trickery then the question should be... why should we trust you considering you were simply tricked, and are merely trying to trick us?

Quote:
You say there is no scientific proof of a God, but there are plenty of eyewitness accounts.

Oh, that's rich. FWIW: eyewitness accounts does not equal scientific proof.

Quote:
Assume that God was infact talking to someone, in todays society they would be considered insane...

And rightly so.

Quote:
The Bible shows us that God does in fact talk to man...

It also shows us that God created the sun twice, the Earth is flat, and that all loving beings can murder and torture.

Quote:
I'm sure that I'm not going to convince anyone, but I am doing my duty.

You never know, there may be irrational people lurking this thread right now!

Quote:
Let me pose one question to you: If heaven and hell don't exist, when I die I have lost nothing... I have lived a good life by a book of morals. If you die and heaven and hell do exist... you have lost everything.

Actually you've lost everything because since it's impossible for the god of the bible to exist, then this heaven must be ruled by a different god. Most other gods will be pissed at you for believing in the wrong one where as we wont be damned for believing in the wrong one because we abstained from belief in all of them. We're likely to be forgiven for using the logic Poseidon gave us, while you'll be smited for embarrasing him with your false belief.

Pascals wager sucks, find a better argument this one's broken.

Quote:
I can't logically put faith in science

That's right because science doesn't require faith because it's based on the revolutionary idea of FACTS.

Quote:
We humans do the best with the brains God gave us, but there is so much more that we cannot comprehend.

If you can't comprehend it, how can you believe in it? If you can't comprehend it, why do you claim to know about it? You defeat your own argument.

Quote:
In closing, God has touched me

Could you show me on the doll where Jesus touched you?

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Quote:Let me pose one

Quote:
Let me pose one question to you: If heaven and hell don't exist, when I die I have lost nothing... I have lived a good life by a book of morals. If you die and heaven and hell do exist... you have lost everything.

This sounds like he or she is saying.
"You are immoral"

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Ophios wrote:Quote:Let me

Ophios wrote:
Quote:
Let me pose one question to you: If heaven and hell don't exist, when I die I have lost nothing... I have lived a good life by a book of morals. If you die and heaven and hell do exist... you have lost everything.

This sounds like he or she is saying.
"You are immoral"

I caught that too. Im my response, I pointed that out. It's amazing how easy it is to find out if someone is immoral. All you have to do is ask them if they believe in God. Which God? Depends on who is asking.

If it is moral to follow the God of the Bible, I don't want to be moral.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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Show me where I ever said

Show me where I ever said you are immoral. Please don't put words in my mouth. You could be living a 100% moral life for all I know, and I hope that you indeed are. Morality is not the soul key to heaven my friend.

John 10:7

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator ...


Sapient
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ShaunPhilly wrote:His

ShaunPhilly wrote:
His response to me:

Quote:
I've been reading the posts on your site (which I will not be registering for)

general chaos wrote:
...

- Brian Sapient


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Sapient wrote:ShaunPhilly

Sapient wrote:
ShaunPhilly wrote:
His response to me:

Quote:
I've been reading the posts on your site (which I will not be registering for)

general chaos wrote:
...

What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.

-Albert Einstein

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator ...


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Welcome to the forum,

Welcome to the forum, General!

general chaos wrote:

You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs, but why do you feel the need to take belief from those who have it?

Religious beliefs cause much suffering and death. In most cases it is believer herself (and her family and friends) who suffers; examples would include families torn apart by religious shunning and people (including children) in need of medical care who die of curable diseases because they resort to "faith healing". In rarer cases (like religious terrorism) the victims may have no connection to the believer at all.

We care both about the believers and their victims. That is why we want to free people from these delusions.


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Where religion hurts the

Where religion hurts the non-religious:

Anti-Choice movement, Discrimination against women and homosexuals (not to mention atheists), the religious war on science, teaching abstinance only in sex ed classes, an so on...

More Einstein quotes:

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." [From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954. It is included in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, published by Princeton University Press.

"If this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?" [Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years (New York: Philosophical Library, 1950), p. 27.]
"During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution, human fantasy created gods in man's own image who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate influence, the phenomenal world... The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old conception of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes... In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vase power in the hands of priests." [Albert Einstein, reported in Science, Philosophy and Religion: A Symposium, edited by L. Bryson and L. Finkelstein. Quoted in: 2000 Years of Disbelief. by James Haught]
"Thus I came...to a deep religiosity, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of 12. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached a conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true....Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this experience...an attitude which has never left me." [The Quotable Einstein]

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


ShaunPhilly
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general chaos wrote:Show me

general chaos wrote:
Show me where I ever said you are immoral. Please don't put words in my mouth. You could be living a 100% moral life for all I know, and I hope that you indeed are. Morality is not the soul key to heaven my friend.

John 10:7

Well, when you wrote; "I have lived a good life by a book of morals" you imply that one who does not accept the book or it's morals, they are not (perhaps cannot) live a life of morality.

So, if you are willing to admit that one can live morally without this book, then I will concede taht ive assumed too much and I will apologize accordingly.

But if you contend that one needs said book to live morally, then the implication holds up and while you have not said explicitly that I am not moral, your comments logically implied it.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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from someone who praises his

from someone who praises his own logic, you seem to be lacking some... I already said that I didn't know whether you were living morally or not, and that I hoped you indeed were... This implies that one can live morally without following the Bible. This is common sense.

Man is not saved by deeds alone however.. You could live the most moral life ever, but a lack of faith is condemning.

Since you never replied to my email, I will post it here to show my points.
==================================================
There are no tricks. It is a site for discussion. If you don't want discussion, then why did you write?

No one said I didn't want a discussion.. Where did you get this from? I am discussing the matter am I not?

Eye-witness accounts are notoriously unreliable. The brain is capable of all kind sof delusions, illusions, misinterpretation, etc. Abstract thinking is one thing. Extrapolating reality from it is another.

It is much easier to discredit something as an error than to accept a result you don't understand. Funny that our legal system hinges on eye witnesses, no?

The Bible says lots of things. it does not make any of them true. I'm not saying that these people are necessarily insane, either. Before we can decide to take time to listen to something, we should, I think, first try and determine whether it is something that aenough evidence supports int's existence. Perhaps you should take more time to listen to Thor or Zeus?

Well, either God is talking to them or he isn't. If you don't discount them as insane as you say, then you are acknowledging his existence... I've explored many religions and found the one I believe to be true... Please don't assume I am some ignorant fool.

There is no credible evidence for ghosts or the soul. You've been duped. yes, science is not perfect. It is limited in how precise and how sure we can be about our conclusions from scientific research. However, imprecise and imperfect conclusions from empirical evidence is better than speculative thought or circular logic. Taht is, while science may not be perfect, religion is not a better substitute. religion claims certainty, but does not follow through with it in any supported way.

Ghosts have been captured on camera many tymes, this is not evidence? People make their livings on hunting ghosts, talking to them, etc... Religion claims certainty through faith... If I could show you God you would be forced to believe and freewill would cease to exist.

This is complete BS. The cosmological theories don't support a creator. What you are claiming, implicitly, is a philosophical assertion that something that begins must have a cause, and taht Cause you call God. read the following:

The cosmological theories don't rule out God as a creator either. Singularity shows a clear beginning of the universe from a single point... That sure seems to mesh with Creationism to me.

This is a form of what's called "Pascals' Wager" and is a question we literally asnwer several tiems a day from theists.

There are problems with it, and here they are;

1) What if you've chosen the wrong God? Taht is, you say that Heaven amd Hell may exist, but what if they are run by Allah? On what basis can you say you've picked the correct God? Any argument you give will be matched by a Moslem apologist, and neither will be more credible. Taht is, if Hell is real and you've picked the wromng God, we may be going to hell together.

Most other religions don't have a hell, so that holds little water.

That is what science does; it improves itself and learns from more discoveries over time. science is not proven wrong, past conclusions have been proven wrong. Science is the methodology that allows us to improve our understanding, not the conclusions. This is the primary difference between science and religion. Science learns and changes with knowledge while religion claims absolute truth from the time of stone-age and iron-age people.

and Thousands of years later science has yet to rule out God as creator... Scientifically you can't.

So you say. How would we know taht there is more if we can't know it to comprehend it? Becaus ethe Bible says so? Absurd.

Can you comprehend the number of stars in the sky? Does that mean they don't exist if they are beyond what we may ever see? We don't even understand everything that happens in space, let alone what other dimensions may exist etc. When it comes down to it I will choose the side of the all knowing over the obviously flawed humans.

Then you admit you are close-minded?. What if you are wrong in your interpretation of data? What if it wasn't God, but rather Zeus, or perhaps your over-active brain?

I admit that you can't convince someone that something isn't real when they have touched it. How do you know that what you are reading is really what I wrote...? Could be bad interpretation... (I know that was a stretch, but that argument could be used for any situation)

You should learn to take credit for your accomplishments, where they are due to your efforts, and to good fortune when they come to you through the efforts of others. You can assume it's god if you like, but i find taht unconvincing.

I do all things through Christ which gives me strength...

God Bless...

shall we go again?

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator ...


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If I might add

If I might add something...

Quote:
It is much easier to discredit something as an error than to accept a result you don't understand. Funny that our legal system hinges on eye witnesses, no?

That is actually incorrect. It's not possible to make a criminal conviction purely on eye witness acounts. This is because, as stated previously, they are typically unreliable and differ from person to person. Hard evidence and a motive are nessecary. Eye witness accounts can be provided as testimony and can lead to an initial arrest, but our legal system certainly does not hinge on them.

If our legal system did hinge on eye witness acounts, there would be absolute chaos. Take the Salem witch trials of 1692; those were based entirely on eye witness accounts. We all now how they turned out.

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine


ShaunPhilly
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general chaos wrote:from

general chaos wrote:
from someone who praises his own logic, you seem to be lacking some... I already said that I didn't know whether you were living morally or not, and that I hoped you indeed were... This implies that one can live morally without following the Bible. This is common sense.

Very well, I apologize for my assumption.

Quote:
Man is not saved by deeds alone however.. You could live the most moral life ever, but a lack of faith is condemning.

And here we'll part ways. I don't see any teeth to the condemnation, as I don't believe in a heaven or hell.

Quote:
Since you never replied to my email, I will post it here to show my points.

Very well. The reason I haven't responded was two-fold. I've been busy and since I saw you come here to chat, I figured we could hash them out here.

So here's the conversation and my replies:

My original post is white

chaos' responses are in yellow

My new responses are in blue

==================================================

There are no tricks. It is a site for discussion. If you don't want discussion, then why did you write?

No one said I didn't want a discussion.. Where did you get this from? I am discussing the matter am I not?

I assumed that since you said that you didn't want to register here, you were not that interested in discussion. Again, I apologize.

Eye-witness accounts are notoriously unreliable. The brain is capable of all kinds of delusions, illusions, misinterpretation, etc. Abstract thinking is one thing. Extrapolating reality from it is another.

It is much easier to discredit something as an error than to accept a result you don't understand. Funny that our legal system hinges on eye witnesses, no?

My point was that while your experience may be convincing to you, it is not objective evidence. That is, it doesn't do anything for the discussion about whether God exists to talk about subjective evidence. And it simply is a fact that many people claim to see and hear things that have no other evidence of being there. I'm not saying you are crazy, but if you claim to experience God and there happens to be nothing there, then you would be at least deluded in that sense. I've had what I might label "spiritual" experiences, I just don't attribute them to a god.

The Bible says lots of things. it does not make any of them true. I'm not saying that these people are necessarily insane, either. Before we can decide to take time to listen to something, we should, I think, first try and determine whether it is something that enough evidence supports its existence. Perhaps you should take more time to listen to Thor or Zeus?

Well, either God is talking to them or he isn't. If you don't discount them as insane as you say, then you are acknowledging his existence... I've explored many religions and found the one I believe to be true... Please don't assume I am some ignorant fool.

I'm just not sure if "insane" is the correct term for people who hear voices (or whatever experiencing God is like) that are not there. I'm not a psychiatrist. I'm glad you've done some exploration, as I have done the same. I don't assume you are ignorant. When any possible ignorance of your surfaces, then I'll not have to.

There is no credible evidence for ghosts or the soul. You've been duped. yes, science is not perfect. It is limited in how precise and how sure we can be about our conclusions from scientific research. However, imprecise and imperfect conclusions from empirical evidence is better than speculative thought or circular logic. Taht is, while science may not be perfect, religion is not a better substitute. religion claims certainty, but does not follow through with it in any supported way.

Ghosts have been captured on camera many tymes, this is not evidence? People make their livings on hunting ghosts, talking to them, etc... Religion claims certainty through faith... If I could show you God you would be forced to believe and freewill would cease to exist.

OK, now I can cite your ignorance. There is no evidence for ghosts that stands up to scrutiny. I challenge you to present any evidence of ghosts. People make yhere livings doing all sorts of things. That guy on Sci-Fi a while back who used to do cold-readings while convincing gullible people he was communication with their dead relatives is one example.

Ghost Hunters?

right...

Claiming certainty through faith? Faith cannot provide certainty. It is belief in things despite the lack of evidence or in the face of evidence to the contrary. And even if you feel certain, you can be absolutely certain and absolutely wrong.

And this whole thing about knowing God exists taking our free will is bogus. I could still choose to live as if God did not exist, couldn't I? If I knew it because the evidence was there, then I'd be irrational for denying it or ignoring it, but I would still have free will. Choosing to love and worship god would still be a choice, wouldn't it?

Besides, as it is I don't really have a choice about my belief. Due to the utter lack of evidence, I cannot simply decide to believe anyway. And if you have this free will you are so fond of, then, as an experiment, decide not to believe in God. if you can do it, then you might not be as convinced as you claim to be.

This is complete BS. The cosmological theories don't support a creator. What you are claiming, implicitly, is a philosophical assertion that something that begins must have a cause, and taht Cause you call God. read the following:

The cosmological theories don't rule out God as a creator either. Singularity shows a clear beginning of the universe from a single point... That sure seems to mesh with Creationism to me.

You should really talk to todangst about this. Or better yet, simply read his very long post about cosmology here. It is the one dated 12/12/06, at 18:30 hours.

This is a form of what's called "Pascals' Wager" and is a question we literally answer several times a day from theists.

There are problems with it, and here they are;

1) What if you've chosen the wrong God? Taht is, you say that Heaven amd Hell may exist, but what if they are run by Allah? On what basis can you say you've picked the correct God? Any argument you give will be matched by a Moslem apologist, and neither will be more credible. Taht is, if Hell is real and you've picked the wromng God, we may be going to hell together.

Most other religions don't have a hell, so that holds little water.

All that is relevant is that some do. Any other religion that has a Hell, if true, will damn you to it. The implicit point is that you have no credibility in your religion that they don't in theirs. Since they are equally valid, the wager fails because it's not an either/or situation; it's not your god versus us, it's your god, the Moslem god, the Zoroastrian god, etc....

That is what science does; it improves itself and learns from more discoveries over time. science is not proven wrong, past conclusions have been proven wrong. Science is the methodology that allows us to improve our understanding, not the conclusions. This is the primary difference between science and religion. Science learns and changes with knowledge while religion claims absolute truth from the time of stone-age and iron-age people.

and Thousands of years later science has yet to rule out God as creator... Scientifically you can't.

Correct. However, the more science learns, the more we understand about how the world works. The more we understand how the world works, the less we need God as an explanatory force. Essentially, God is being pushed to the corners and becomes smaller and smaller. How long ago was it before gods caused the rains, lightning, and when the sun rose, again?

So you say. How would we know that there is more if we can't know it to comprehend it? Because the Bible says so? Absurd.

Can you comprehend the number of stars in the sky? Does that mean they don't exist if they are beyond what we may ever see? We don't even understand everything that happens in space, let alone what other dimensions may exist etc. When it comes down to it I will choose the side of the all knowing over the obviously flawed humans.

Irrelevant. The point was not the fact that I know only a small percentage of some astronomically (sic) large number of stars, but that we don't know what we don't know. I thought you were saying that there is so much about the God that we don't know because those things are supernatural and thus beyond our epistemological capabilities. If you were simply saying that since we only know some stars and not all, well that's irrelevant anyway.

The fact is that we can know all the stars in principle. That is, only the scale of the question creates the problem, not the nature of the problem.

Not so with God. In this case, the very nature of God is supposed to be beyond us, so saying we know anything about it, even that we don't know about it, is absurd. It's an assumption.

Then you admit you are close-minded?. What if you are wrong in your interpretation of data? What if it wasn't God, but rather Zeus, or perhaps your over-active brain?

I admit that you can't convince someone that something isn't real when they have touched it. How do you know that what you are reading is really what I wrote...? Could be bad interpretation... (I know that was a stretch, but that argument could be used for any situation)

I have a reasonable expectation that what I read above is what you wrote. perhaps someone else wrote it, but I'm willing to believe you did. I am not an epistemological nihilist, but there is a point where a supernatural claim--an extraordinary claim--requires an extraordinary claim (in fact a supernatural one, which is impossible since I'm natural and not supernatural).

I'm saying that it seems more likely that you are misinterpreting data than experiencing a being for which I've seen nothing that I would consider evidence for. I'm not saying I can't be wrong, only that I see no reason to believe you are right.

You should learn to take credit for your accomplishments, where they are due to your efforts, and to good fortune when they come to you through the efforts of others. You can assume it's god if you like, but i find taht unconvincing.

I do all things through Christ which gives me strength...

God Bless...

I prefer to think that I just have strength, and that if it is given by anyone, it comes from those around me and not from a god. But hey, if God exists and he sees fit to give me strength, then I thank him for it. I'd be more than willing to be appreciative of God who gave me life, happiness, etc. I will, however, have some gripes about all the suffering, pain, and evil I see around me. I hold this hypothetical god responsible.

I bless you in the name if the Flying Spaghetti Monster. May his noodly appendages touch you for all of your days.

shall we go again?

We shall have gone again. In fact, I already went there.

Shaun

Just did.

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


shayne26
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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Actually, faith kicked me in the nuts about a year ago, and since then, I've been fighting my hardest against it. Low-blows are unacceptable.

You know, if this God thing turns out to be true for some reason and I get called out on the carpet to answer to Jesus. I am going to kick Him in the nuts for putting us all through this. Not that I am complaining.


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No offense, but I highly

No offense, but I highly doubt that to be true. Why don't you drop your "image" and take a good look @ things?

...I'll get back to you later Shaun, its late.

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator ...


shayne26
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general chaos wrote:No

general chaos wrote:
No offense, but I highly doubt that to be true. Why don't you drop your "image" and take a good look @ things?

What do you mean by drop your "image"?
Of course it is highly doubtful it is true, but it could be that it is and Christians are flat out wrong about it. It is possible that God is just a prick and loves seeing us argue about it. Possible, but very highly improbable.


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That yellow text is

That yellow text is unreadable.


TheSarge
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Faith Doesn't Hurt?

I feel that faith is a very bad idea. I have yet to see any conclusive evidence that it has done anything positive, short of population control in the form of incidents like the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. Faith in odd forms of supernatural entities is not only irrational, but it does lead to completely irrational behavior in general, such as the aforementioned Crusades and Inquisition. However, this is not only limited to the Catholic Church or the Christians, far from it. Islam is just as bad, if not worse than the Christians in their belief that whosoever does not believe in their exact god the way that they see him/her/it, they are authorized by some supreme being to initiate jihad against the infidels. Judging people by their beliefs about fictional characters is completely irrational.

For instance, if I was to begin worshiping one of my all time favorite fictional characters, Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise, does that mean I am now authorized by Captain Kirk to exterminate everyone who likes, say, Captain Picard or Luke Skywalker? I would more than likely be put in prison for that practice, and Captain Kirk isn't going to be around to have Mister Scott beam me up. And William Shatner would probably laugh at me and tell me to get a life, too. Yet for some reason, worshiping fictional characters such as God or Allah is completely acceptable, even when it leads to similar results.

Right now, other peoples faith in Allah is killing U.S. Servicemembers fighting overseas right now because they see this as a religious war. These people believe so strongly in Allah and the 72 virgins, they are willing to strap themselves with explosives and detonate themselves in an attempt to kill us. Fortunately for me, my Stryker's 14 millimeters of homogeneous rolled steel armor, slat armor and ceramic plating saved me. There was no god to make these people of faith's explosive vests and IEDs and VBEDs into duds to save us.

So yes, faith does far more than hurt, faith kills.


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Just wanted to comment on

Just wanted to comment on one thing--generalchaos wrote "When it comes down to it, I will choose the side of the all knowing over the obviously flawed humans." 

Where does the idea that god is all-knowing come from? Where does the very idea of a god come from? From, obviously, flawed humans. Same with the Bible--didn't just appear fully formed from on high. It was written by humans, it is only humans who claim it to be the word of god, only humans who believe the claim. Point is, the "side of the all knowing" is only really the side of the obviously flawed humans, too.

doubtabout


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Quote: I just wanted to

Quote:
I just wanted to write in that I find it morally appauling that you are doing such a challenege.

Maybe you need to be appaled every once in a while, a shock to the complacent system as it were.

Quote:
You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs, but why do you feel the need to take belief from those who have it?
If someone has false beliefs, why shouldn't they be removed? And what's the big deal about belief? I don't know about you, but for me beliefs come and go. I continually adjust what I think based on new info. Maybe the difference between you and me is that I am willing to adjust ANYTHING I currently believe, whereas you consider some things you believe to be indispensible. The question still remains, what if you have a belief that you think is indispensible but which is nevertheless false?

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Sometymes religion is all a person has.
To someone like me this sounds like: For some people, if they had no imaginary firends then they'd have no friends at all. I don't doubt this is true, but it's also very sad.

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It would be different if you were a religious group out trying to save people, feeding the homeless, building houses for the homeless, etc. but what you are doing is damning people and attempting to destroy people's faith (which doesn't hurt you).
Now it's my turn to be appaled. The religious have no monopoly on helping people, thank you very much. That you think this of us just tells me how WRONG you are.

Also, being an atheist does not mean one has no beliefs. I have plenty of beliefs, I just don't believe in YOUR god...or anyone elses's.

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The fact that you ask them to renounce the Holy Ghost only shows that you do infact believe in it.
This is just plain false and you know it. If I tell you to stop believing in Santa Claus, does that mean I believe in Santa Claus? Absurd...

It's official, I now doubt your honesty and integrity after a comment like that. See what religion does to you? It makes you lie without even noticing.


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RationalResponseSquad

RationalResponseSquad wrote:
TOO BUSY TO RESPOND, YOU FOLKS CAN HANDLE IT:
Quote:
FROM: general.chaos TO: Blasphemychallenge I just wanted to write in that I find it morally appauling that you are doing such a challenege. You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs, but why do you feel the need to take belief from those who have it? Religion (any) can do many great things for people... Sometymes religion is all a person has. It would be different if you were a religious group out trying to save people, feeding the homeless, building houses for the homeless, etc. but what you are doing is damning people and attempting to destroy people's faith (which doesn't hurt you). You have no belief, so why does it matter what people believe? The fact that you ask them to renounce the Holy Ghost only shows that you do infact believe in it. Please respond, I look forward to discussing this with you intelligently.

Jihad:

witch burning:

crusades, and other religious wars:

 

I rest my case.

 

on a side note, I did find this bit quite amusing:

Quote:
The fact that you ask them to renounce the Holy Ghost only shows that you do infact believe in it.

how does that work exactly?

 


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Ok, I'd like to twist this

Ok, I'd like to twist this up a bit and respond to the last sentence first.

"Please respond, I look forward to discussing this with you intelligently."

    Do I really need to say this? Your spelling is atrocious. All of that time spent in the christian indoctrination center should have been spent with a tutor. 

 

"I just wanted to write in that I find it morally appauling that you are doing such a challenege. You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs, but why do you feel the need to take belief from those who have it?"

If your heighness hath entitled us to our own beliefs, why is it morally apalling? This is a case of opinions and a**holes. They're alot alike, frankly, and most of them stink. 

"Religion (any) can do many great things for people... Sometymes religion is all a person has. It would be different if you were a religious group out trying to save people, feeding the homeless, building houses for the homeless, etc. but what you are doing is damning people and attempting to destroy people's faith (which doesn't hurt you)."

No one has been damned. That is all done in the fictional work affectionately referred to as the "good book", and I will point out that I have, in fact, assisted in the construction of a dozen or so "Habitat for Humanity" houses. No one is trying to destroy faith. That is impossible. Wouldn't it be more useful and practical to have faith in yourself as opposed to an invisible man in the sky? Have faith in mankind maybe, wouldn't that be nice? 

"You have no belief, so why does it matter what people believe? The fact that you ask them to renounce the Holy Ghost only shows that you do infact believe in it."

It matters to me that people are so easily convinced of things the way they are. It bothers me that with all of the evidence on this planet that the human race has yet to get past all of this idol worship. We are intelligent beings. We have logic. We have science. Unfortunately, we also have people who are willing to mislead others into believing in ghosts and using that gullibility to line their own pockets. 


pyrokidd
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First off, people's faith

First off, people's faith has, does, and probably will continue to hurt people either directly or indirectly. I hate to bring it up but come on, after the spanish inqusition and other instances of torture and killing of non-believers, it's evident faith can most definately have a downside. I can't even voice my beliefs most of the time without nasty glares or worse. And what about abortion or stem cell research? The opposition largely comes from religous groups, though their benifits improve and even save lives.
Secondly, not just on this thread but many, STOP INSULTING PEOPLE'S SPELLING. It dosn't make you look any smarter or prove your point. This is the internet, people are here to argue a point, spelling is NOT some sort of IQ test. As long as you can understand what they mean, STFU already.

"We are the star things harvesting the star energy"
-Carl Sagan


Clara Listensprechen
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Kemono wrote: Welcome to

Kemono wrote:
Welcome to the forum, General!
general chaos wrote:
You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs, but why do you feel the need to take belief from those who have it?
Religious beliefs cause much suffering and death. In most cases it is believer herself (and her family and friends) who suffers; examples would include families torn apart by religious shunning and people (including children) in need of medical care who die of curable diseases because they resort to "faith healing". In rarer cases (like religious terrorism) the victims may have no connection to the believer at all. We care both about the believers and their victims. That is why we want to free people from these delusions.

I had to read a half pageful of postings before encountering this, the FIRST recognition of how false the title of this thread is.  Religion does cause harm, and it continues to cause harm in the Middle East in particular.  Religion is also causing harm to those lynched for being born the race they are--here, Darfur, Rwanda, and elsewhere.

And as long as there ever will be an Evangelist In Chief in the White House, everybody's religion is my political business. 

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}