Disbelief in God or Sick of religion? [Kill Em With Kindness]

DadaMungo
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Disbelief in God or Sick of religion? [Kill Em With Kindness]

Hi!

I cannot help but sympathise with the apparent majority of the atheists who post on these forums. The main "gripe", if you will forgive the term, seems to be against the concoctions and fabrications that are the pantheon of religions in the world today. Even as a theist, I find the same quite appalling and difficult to stomach. However, I'm not finding it easy to discern in the posts I read the distinction between a disbelief in God and this anathema for organised belief.

For me, we're talking about two completely distinct matters here. And yet, this is something that even the smartest of us have difficulty keeping apart. For example, Richard Dawkins, in his bestseller The God Delusion dedicated an alarmingly small percentage of his thought on the issue of the actual existence of God. The overwhelming majority of his focus in on trying to tear down religion, firstly in its fundamentalist form and then in its more moderate forms. He seems to be one very angry chappie, poor bloke. I need not dwell on the overall weakness of his reasoning for the non-existence of God (which has been addressed by many more qualified than I). My point is that pretty much from the get-go, he allows himself to get sidetracked into railing against organised belief systems.

I'm getting the impression that the same is true on this site. So, if I could ask the atheisst to put aside their disdain for theism (or at least its abusive manifestations), I would like to know exactly how they have come the notion that there is no God. I anticipate the most common response would be the perceived lack of evidence, but I would think that the evidence (or lack thereof) has been measured according to what the doctors of religion say, or at least how they have been understood. For example, espousing the ludicrous idea that there were no rainbows before the Flood. Such thinking has been tainted by religion, so the line gets blurred. Are there reasons which remain pure and unsullied from disdain for religious thinking?

I personally feel that Dawkin's reasons fall appallingly short, despite his air of fait accompli. I would like to think that you guys could be more critical and insightful in your thinking.


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Without phenomenology to

Without phenomenology to back it up, the theistic position has only religion to carry it from one generation to the next. So you'd basically be shooting yourself in the foot, or at the least biting the hand that fed you the god-biscuit in the first place. But yeah, there's no phenomenology to back it up, so it persists as bad folk tales, apologetic word-play, and arguments from ignorance.

Oh, and stop trying to suck up. It's ugly.


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I was an atheist long before

I was an atheist long before I found reason to have a problem with organised religion. I really do need evidence before I'll put any stock in any idea - my father used to say I was "result oriented".

So, tell you what, present some evidence for god and we'll evaluate it.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


DadaMungo
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magilum wrote:Oh, and stop

magilum wrote:
Oh, and stop trying to suck up. It's ugly.

Be cool, man! Not everyone has an axe to grind.


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DadaMungo wrote:magilum

DadaMungo wrote:

magilum wrote:
Oh, and stop trying to suck up. It's ugly.

Be cool, man! Not everyone has an axe to grind.

But you do. Perhaps not having one is another delusion you entertain, but it's not very compelling to me. Look at yourself, trying to challenge atheism in the most cowardly, passive-aggressive way.


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The way I see it, I'm

The way I see it, I'm both.

Being sick of organized religion got me to read my Bible. Reading my Bible got me to see that Yahweh is just as much of a myth as Zeus.

Is there a "god"? Who knows? Is Yahweh it? I don't think so.

I hope you can get to the point where you read your Bible as thoroughly, DadaMungo.

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

DadaMungo wrote:

magilum wrote:
Oh, and stop trying to suck up. It's ugly.

Be cool, man! Not everyone has an axe to grind.

 

No, seriously, say what you think, its ok, we get it all the time... we like it rough

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DadaMungo wrote:The main

DadaMungo wrote:

The main "gripe", if you will forgive the term, seems to be against the concoctions and fabrications that are the pantheon of religions in the world today.

~rip~

I would like to know exactly how they have come the notion that there is no God. I anticipate the most common response would be the perceived lack of evidence, but I would think that the evidence (or lack thereof) has been measured according to what the doctors of religion say, or at least how they have been understood.

If religions and believers kept their beliefs to themselves and out of the lives of others we have no problem. Unfortunately theists want to legislate morals and laws based on their mythical gods.

I was originally a fundie Lutheran with a Lutheran school teacher parent. As such  I participated in everything and went to parochial schools. When I was 18 I married a Catholic and converted. In so doing I studied Christianity and even went to a Jesuit grad school. Over time this knowledge helped me to see the problems with Christianity especially and led me to further study. In my case it was the multiple choice accounts in the Gospels and the so obvious errors in Genesis that pushed me over. In my view, in order for Christian belief to have basis and subsequent concepts such as Islam, Judaism and Yahweh must be proved first. The problem I have is it seems Yahweh is really a volcano god that has been modified through the years. Research into the ancient Jews indicate many problems with the Hebrew Bible and history of other lands. The more I studied the more I learned how the Jewish stories were just that stories.

I have no clue if there is an entity that is a god, but I'm sure what I was taught isn't true. The Universe is explained sufficiently without the addition of another layer called God did it, so why add it.

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"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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The way traditional theists

The way traditional theists portray god, is to imply a beginning of some sort and a wise conscious designer, which I find completely preposterous .... then it gets harmful.


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DadaMungo wrote: I would

DadaMungo wrote:
I would like to know exactly how they have come the notion that there is no God.

Perhaps I can help.

I have no real disdain for organised Religion. I live in a country (Denmark) where the problems that fundamentalism presents are "outside". I see crazy superstitions, and I don't like them, but they are always on TV, or on the internet. I have never been personally inconvenienced by religious believers, and when all's said and done, I really can't get truly riled by it, on a personal, emotional level.

So how did I arive at the notion that there is no God?

I didn't. I have never been told that he is real (nor have I been told that he is not), because in Denmark, it is a non-issue. The people that have helped shape my beliefs as I have grown up, have never adressed the issue of God with me.

So I didn't arive at anything. Which is why I don't believe in God. Because I have not moved anywhere on that issue since infancy. Does that answer your question?

 

And P.S: I would like to point out that I think the OP sounds passive aggresive too. I don't object to this, but at least admit that you know you aren't completely impartial. You are coming across as pasive aggresive, and you will have to present a very compelling case to me to convince me that you really didn't know that's what you were doing.

I can be both arrogant, condesending and agitated at times, but I don't try to pretend I'm not when I am.

My P.S here for example is slightly patronizing, I will readily admit. But I think it is called for, so I stand by it.

Stand by your slightly passive aggresive attitude, and you'll gain more respect from me, and if you persist in pretending you are completely impartial, you will loose my respect.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm pleased to get a variety of answers on the subject, and they all seem reasonable enough to me, not that my opinion on the topic really matters. But thanks for taking the time to respond!

As for the PA line, I assume you're referring to my empathising/disarming overtones. Well, you might be right (time for some introspection), but I can say that I've not misrepresented myself here. As I've said in other posts, not all theists are out to get you or rejoicing that you will all burn in hell. It does offend me that some are ostracised or even persecuted for their views, even if those views are in complete contrast to my own. Furthermore, there is much in organised religion that I find either offensive, ludicrous or just downright embarassing. For me, this only makes it harder for the real gems to be found and appreciated for what they are. However, neither am I on a crusade against the infidel here. My purpose for coming to this site is gain another perspective on life, the universe and everything, with the intent of purging the inane from my own.

I can freely admit that I abhor confrontation and seek to avoid it. Part of that works at an emotional level (which is where the PA might be playing a part) but also at a philosophical level: I can't see it being warranted under normal circumstances. My personal feeling is that the "honest" approach espoused on this site is really a euphemism for a "sod you, mate!" attitude, which I find entirely unconstructive, and somewhat immature. If the purpose of this site really is to enlighten the misguided, then it will not serve to ridicule, belittle or disparage to any degree. This is indeed shooting yourselves in the foot. Choose to ignore those who come looking for a fight, and rather focus on the earnest seeker of understanding and lead him along gently. But, if this is just a mosh-pit for contrasting ideas, then come clean about it and have done.

As for impartiality, no doubt in the context of these discussions it is impossible to be totally impartial, but I have attempted to leave all bias at the door, at least in terms of phrasing my questions and statements. I have refrained from "taking the bait" when goaded by more inflammatory statements. Of course, I assimilate the feedback into my own views, or rather against them.


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jcgadfly wrote:I hope you

jcgadfly wrote:
I hope you can get to the point where you read your Bible as thoroughly, DadaMungo.

You assume here that the only reasonable conclusion to arrive at from reading the Bible is that it is a load of hogwash. This leads to the patronising attitude you manifest here.

Should the Bible be taken at face value? Certainly not. So, is it completely without merit? Again, certainly not. I don't want to get into a discussion about this here and now, but my observation of criticisms of Judaism/Christianity are generally straw-men arguments or based upon false premises, or at the least missing the point.

Personally, I find the Bible to be extremely enlightening on levels which I think are missed or at least not appreciated by the skeptic. Naturally, I have read the Bible thoroughly, and I don't really have any serious issues with it. Quite the contrary. To me, it is a profound book.


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DadaMungo, have you gotten a

DadaMungo, have you gotten a chance to peruse the Biblical Errancy forum?

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I dont think any human, not

I dont think any human, not even atheists should ever fool themselves into thinking their wants of what a utopia would look like, can be a reality.

Even if either Christians get what they want, there would still be problems. Even if atheists get what they want, there would still be problems.

Our gripe is not that humans are different, we always will be. Our gripe is that logic and reason and science always seems to fly out the window and gets replaced with personal superstition BY ANY LABEL. It wouldn't be any skin of my nose if my neighbor, or the guy I never met in Iran, would keep their pet whims out of government politics, but they wont.

And as long as theists and facsists insist on having power watchdogs must exist to keep them in there place. Without question humanity can never improve.

And when I say theists, I mean any religion. When I say facsist I mean any concept of government ruled by the superstious worship of the state(being the god) or the theocractic idea that a deity should rule a government.

With freedom comes personal responsibility, including the most important that if one wants to have the autonomy of the mind, then all must have the common intrest of understanding that we are all individuals. Theocracies and facsism happen when the government becomes the extention of projecting personal wishes on all other individuals.

 

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DadaMungo wrote:jcgadfly

DadaMungo wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
I hope you can get to the point where you read your Bible as thoroughly, DadaMungo.

You assume here that the only reasonable conclusion to arrive at from reading the Bible is that it is a load of hogwash. This leads to the patronising attitude you manifest here.

Should the Bible be taken at face value? Certainly not. So, is it completely without merit? Again, certainly not. I don't want to get into a discussion about this here and now, but my observation of criticisms of Judaism/Christianity are generally straw-men arguments or based upon false premises, or at the least missing the point.

Personally, I find the Bible to be extremely enlightening on levels which I think are missed or at least not appreciated by the skeptic. Naturally, I have read the Bible thoroughly, and I don't really have any serious issues with it. Quite the contrary. To me, it is a profound book.

Where's the profound material again?

The stuff in the Bible that is useful (not murdering, not stealing, etc.) was taken from the laws of  civilizations that were old when the Hebrews were young.

The rest of it is myth that was stolen from those civilizations and ones that came after (depending on whether you focus on the OT or the NT).

Asimov said, "Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived." I hope you can do that someday. Read the thing without looking at it as the holy, divinely inspired Word of God (if you can) and see what happens.

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


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jcgadfly wrote:DadaMungo

jcgadfly wrote:

DadaMungo wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
I hope you can get to the point where you read your Bible as thoroughly, DadaMungo.

You assume here that the only reasonable conclusion to arrive at from reading the Bible is that it is a load of hogwash. This leads to the patronising attitude you manifest here.

Should the Bible be taken at face value? Certainly not. So, is it completely without merit? Again, certainly not. I don't want to get into a discussion about this here and now, but my observation of criticisms of Judaism/Christianity are generally straw-men arguments or based upon false premises, or at the least missing the point.

Personally, I find the Bible to be extremely enlightening on levels which I think are missed or at least not appreciated by the skeptic. Naturally, I have read the Bible thoroughly, and I don't really have any serious issues with it. Quite the contrary. To me, it is a profound book.

Where's the profound material again?

The stuff in the Bible that is useful (not murdering, not stealing, etc.) was taken from the laws of  civilizations that were old when the Hebrews were young.

The rest of it is myth that was stolen from those civilizations and ones that came after (depending on whether you focus on the OT or the NT).

Asimov said, "Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived." I hope you can do that someday. Read the thing without looking at it as the holy, divinely inspired Word of God (if you can) and see what happens.

Juxtipose any holy writing of any polythiestic religion or monotheistic religion next to a Marvel Comic and it should, if one is being objective, be clear that the only difference between the two is one is baught as fact when both are fiction.

Star Wars has issues of morality in it yet we don't believe in "The Force". Harry Potter as well conveys issues of morality, yet we rightfully dont believe that a boy can litteraly fly around on a broomstick.

What scares me is that even the brightest minds can fall for such tripe and turn around and try to retrofit lagit science and turn it into junk simply to protect their own ego.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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I fall into the both camp.

I fall into the both camp. If one cannot define god then one cannot know god. So going one step further if the bible does not answer the question of what god is how can anyone say that the bible is god's word? Organized religion has always been a threat to the individual freedoms we have and not the solution. If religion was the solution then the Constitution would not be a secular document as it clearly is. 

As atheists, most here simply do not believe that a god exists as opposed to believing or knowing one does. I guess there was a time when I was a believer, but I, like Karl Rove said, was not born with the virtue of faith. The burden of proof if there is a god must be born on the believer and not the skeptic. The reasons I deny the popular concept of what god is or might be cannot be boiled down into sound bites. I guess you could say that I find the OT absolutely ridiculous, not that the NT is any better mind you. Whatever positive revelation comes from the NT is cancelled out by the reaffirmation of the OT. Basically, the OT is bull.... and the NT just reaffirms what I believe. Wow I guess you could make that a soundbite after all.

I appreciate the open mindedness that you show when you deny the literal interpretation of the bible. Most Americans do not share this point of view so it is refreshing. Unfortunately the ones that do buy into the literal view of the bible are the most vocal and are enabled by reasonable moderates.

The motive of The God Delusion was not to question the existence of god from my reading, but to question what one believes about god. It continues to amaze me that most believers that are not affiliated with a particuliar denomination understand the bible more than those that belong to organized religion.

 

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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Just for the record... The

Just for the record...

 

The purpose of "The God Delusion" was to argue that:

 

  1. Atheists can be happy, balanced, moral, and intellectually fulfilled.
  2. Natural selection and similar scientific theories are superior to a "God hypothesis" — the illusion of intelligent design — in explaining the living world and the cosmos.
  3. Children should not be labelled by their parents' religion. Terms like "Catholic child" or "Muslim child" should make people flinch.
  4. Atheists should be proud, not apologetic, because atheism is evidence of a healthy, independent mind.[

 


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Keep religion out of schools

Keep religion out of schools and politics/legislation, plain and simple. That's my main gripe with religion.


DadaMungo
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jcgadlfy wrote:Where's the

jcgadlfy wrote:
Where's the profound material again?

'Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.'

The profound stuff doesn't just fall into your lap. You have to hunt for it, because it is hidden (as is implied by the above parable). I have found some real gems, and you're simply going to have to take my word on that. I'd love to talk about them, but it would be a case of 'casting your pearls before swine', if you pardon the expression - no offense intended. I'm sure you'll not find that at all satisfying, but you know my assessment is right.

One freebie, though, which you might enjoy: Gen 1:20-21 'And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly'

Note what's being said here: the waters bring forth life, leading to (implicit) life forms which fly. One might reasonably imply (based upon the physics involved) that a transition phase of moving on land comes between the water and the skies. That seems to match very snugly with what evolution states happened. It's right there in the Bible! The real problem is that in so many case "we" arrive at assumed interpretations, based upon our limited understanding at the time, of what was meant and the fight hammer and nail to stick to those assumptions even when fact is demonstrated to be contrary. The source is and has been quite compatible with what is now taken as fact.

The real issues with the Bible stem primarily from misinterpretation. For example the Flood. Tradition has it that the whole planet was flooded at the same time, but that's an interpretation. If the origin of the account came from Noah, what would he have recounted? From the deck of his ship he would have seen nothing but water. From his perspective (and this is vitally important), the whole Earth was flooded. And did he really have two of every kind of animal berthed away? I doubt it. Rather, he would likely have had just enough to get started again when the waters receded. There is evidence, both archaeological and historical, of such a local event occurring. So the skeptics and critics are chasing windmills on this and many other issues. Sadly, their opponents are generally just as blinded in believing the same Quixotic delusion.

I wish to state that the above are just tidbits, and not really worth getting all het-up about. The real value of the scriptures is in helping the individual understand who he/she is and how to become more full, even complete. This message is hidden, as I stated earlier. The real value is not in the literal understanding, though there is much to enjoy on the journey to real discovery.

'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear'

PS. Some might want to throw up the "God of the gaps" banner, but this can only really be applied to interpreted religion. Yes, "we" were wrong. And we'll be wrong again. But this isn't a phenomenon restricted to religion. It's happened/ing in science just as much, as theories are shown to be false or only poor approximations, and better, more precise theories take their place, based on clearer understanding.


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Sleestack wrote:Keep

Sleestack wrote:
Keep religion out of schools and politics/legislation, plain and simple. That's my main gripe with religion.

On the first one, I agree with you. But as we're talking about moral values and ethics, how can the latter be truly achieved? Everyone has a worldview, drawn from various sources, which encompasses issues of what is right and what is not right, what is good for the community and not so. Whose worldviews are valid?

I think keeping religion out of schools is easily done (if the will can be found), and correct. But politics and legislation? Don't these systems work by allowing people the liberty of choosing according to their 'pursuit of happiness', even if their ideals are "sold" by religious organisations?

Can you give examples of how you feel religionists are meddling with politics and/or legislation? I ask, because I don't follow US politics, and am ignorant of any such tender issues.


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DadaMungo wrote:'Again, the

DadaMungo wrote:

'Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.'

This parable is actually badly written and promotes an activity you may not at first consider. It suggests deception is a good thing as no mention is made that the owner of the land is informed he has a treasure on his property. It may be the person discovers gold nuggets on the property as he is walking through the field. He knows the land is worth far more than for farming. I know that was not the intent of the parable but never the less it is a hidden meaning that is there. If I were you I wouldn't use this example.

DadaMungo wrote:

The profound stuff doesn't just fall into your lap. You have to hunt for it, because it is hidden (as is implied by the above parable). I have found some real gems, and you're simply going to have to take my word on that. I'd love to talk about them, but it would be a case of 'casting your pearls before swine', if you pardon the expression - no offense intended. I'm sure you'll not find that at all satisfying, but you know my assessment is right.

Perhaps your judgment is skewed by your enthusiasm as you have just demonstrated. You are not considering all aspects of what you promote.

DadaMungo wrote:

The real issues with the Bible stem primarily from misinterpretation. For example the Flood. Tradition has it that the whole planet was flooded at the same time, but that's an interpretation. If the origin of the account came from Noah, what would he have recounted? From the deck of his ship he would have seen nothing but water. From his perspective (and this is vitally important), the whole Earth was flooded. And did he really have two of every kind of animal berthed away? I doubt it. Rather, he would likely have had just enough to get started again when the waters receded. There is evidence, both archaeological and historical, of such a local event occurring. So the skeptics and critics are chasing windmills on this and many other issues. Sadly, their opponents are generally just as blinded in believing the same Quixotic delusion.

That there are flood stories that date to the time of the Sumerians predating Noah by a thousand years or more has been shown. That it was likely to have been a large hurricane that went up the Persian Gulf is also likely. See the myths of the Sumerians and the Gilgamesh story. The descriptions match the effects of such a tropical disaster.

DadaMungo wrote:

I wish to state that the above are just tidbits, and not really worth getting all het-up about. The real value of the scriptures is in helping the individual understand who he/she is and how to become more full, even complete. This message is hidden, as I stated earlier. The real value is not in the literal understanding, though there is much to enjoy on the journey to real discovery.

The real value of the scriptures is it gives a glimpse of a belief system of an ancient people it however has many issues you choose to ignore. One can say the Star Wars films and the Matrix films also have hidden meanings that can help one understand and become more full and complete. This is true of many fictional accounts throughout the history of man.

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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DadaMungo wrote:jcgadlfy

DadaMungo wrote:

jcgadlfy wrote:
Where's the profound material again?

'Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.'

The profound stuff doesn't just fall into your lap. You have to hunt for it, because it is hidden (as is implied by the above parable). I have found some real gems, and you're simply going to have to take my word on that. I'd love to talk about them, but it would be a case of 'casting your pearls before swine', if you pardon the expression - no offense intended. I'm sure you'll not find that at all satisfying, but you know my assessment is right.

One freebie, though, which you might enjoy: Gen 1:20-21 'And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly'

Note what's being said here: the waters bring forth life, leading to (implicit) life forms which fly. One might reasonably imply (based upon the physics involved) that a transition phase of moving on land comes between the water and the skies. That seems to match very snugly with what evolution states happened. It's right there in the Bible! The real problem is that in so many case "we" arrive at assumed interpretations, based upon our limited understanding at the time, of what was meant and the fight hammer and nail to stick to those assumptions even when fact is demonstrated to be contrary. The source is and has been quite compatible with what is now taken as fact.

The real issues with the Bible stem primarily from misinterpretation. For example the Flood. Tradition has it that the whole planet was flooded at the same time, but that's an interpretation. If the origin of the account came from Noah, what would he have recounted? From the deck of his ship he would have seen nothing but water. From his perspective (and this is vitally important), the whole Earth was flooded. And did he really have two of every kind of animal berthed away? I doubt it. Rather, he would likely have had just enough to get started again when the waters receded. There is evidence, both archaeological and historical, of such a local event occurring. So the skeptics and critics are chasing windmills on this and many other issues. Sadly, their opponents are generally just as blinded in believing the same Quixotic delusion.

I wish to state that the above are just tidbits, and not really worth getting all het-up about. The real value of the scriptures is in helping the individual understand who he/she is and how to become more full, even complete. This message is hidden, as I stated earlier. The real value is not in the literal understanding, though there is much to enjoy on the journey to real discovery.

'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear'

PS. Some might want to throw up the "God of the gaps" banner, but this can only really be applied to interpreted religion. Yes, "we" were wrong. And we'll be wrong again. But this isn't a phenomenon restricted to religion. It's happened/ing in science just as much, as theories are shown to be false or only poor approximations, and better, more precise theories take their place, based on clearer understanding.

Only to interpreted religion? Well, that's pretty much all of them.

Besides, how else besides interpretation can you determine whether a passage of scripture or another book is profound?

It sure makes the argument easier when you guys  pwn yourselves.

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


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DadaMungo wrote:  The

DadaMungo wrote:

 

 

The profound stuff doesn't just fall into your lap. You have to hunt for it, because it is hidden (as is implied by the above parable). I have found some real gems, and you're simply going to have to take my word on that. 

 

I'm sure you have found some profound material as you can find something profound from just about anything written.  Given the time involved in looking for usable material and the amount of material you can get back, the bible is not a very good sourc.  If you're looking for something written that's going to make you think, how about Plato or Tolstoy?  Even popular writers LeGuin, Lessing, or Palahniuk are better than the bible in terms of making you think about the nature of life and getting you somewhere if you try to think about the story.  The cost/benefit analysis doesn't work out too well for the bible.

"I am that I am." - Proof that the writers of the bible were beyond stoned.


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johnpaultheskeptic

johnpaultheskeptic wrote:
This parable is actually badly written and promotes an activity you may not at first consider. It suggests deception is a good thing as no mention is made that the owner of the land is informed he has a treasure on his property. It may be the person discovers gold nuggets on the property as he is walking through the field. He knows the land is worth far more than for farming. I know that was not the intent of the parable but never the less it is a hidden meaning that is there. If I were you I wouldn't use this example.

Yes, anyone who thinks for more than a little while will come to wonder about what is also not said in this parable. At least I have. I had not missed the point you make, and I have wondered at it. To be honest, I was only borrowing the parable to make a point about the Bible. This parable is talking about life itself, and not the Bible. There is a sense of irony here, as what the field actually represents here is one's own life, which is to be gained. I would think that the implication here is that the field belongs to no-one in particular. We are not told why the man is in the field, nor why he is digging. However, I have my opinions based upon other passages.

johnpaultheskeptic wrote:
Perhaps your judgment is skewed by your enthusiasm as you have just demonstrated. You are not considering all aspects of what you promote.

Possibly. But, I never claimed to have seen to the heart of all matters. But the finding of one pearl does fuel my desire to find more. I choose to keep my mind open. Have you thought that the same could be said of you and your skepticism? How does that cloud your judgment? Will you deny it has an effect?

johnpaultheskeptic wrote:
The real value of the scriptures is it gives a glimpse of a belief system of an ancient people it however has many issues you choose to ignore. One can say the Star Wars films and the Matrix films also have hidden meanings that can help one understand and become more full and complete. This is true of many fictional accounts throughout the history of man.

Well, yes. Jesus' parables are fiction, but He used them to teach people about themselves and their relationship to God. Truth and understanding only exist within our minds. Books, films, whatever are simply keys to unlock that truth to ourselves and lead us to greater awakening and fulfillment.


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jcgadfly wrote:Only to

jcgadfly wrote:
Only to interpreted religion? Well, that's pretty much all of them.

Besides, how else besides interpretation can you determine whether a passage of scripture or another book is profound?

It sure makes the argument easier when you guys  pwn yourselves.

If you will step out of your "them and us" mentality for a moment you will see that I was making a point about humanity in general. That is the way we work. We express our experience in terms of our current understanding. As we gain more knowledge we leave behind our previous views and develop "purer" ones. Some ideas prove to be d34d-ends, but most build on the shoulders of their predecessors, and work better.

Religion does not have a monopoly on this phenomena as you well know, and so you shouldn't be so quick to point the accusing finger. Your ridicule profits no-one.

This principle applies to humanity and to individuals. Surely you have experienced it? Just because your views of the world have matured since your childhood, does that mean your childhood was a lie? Of course not.

Don't you find it profound, or at least intriguing that a document several thousands of years old outlines the creation of the world very much as modern science has discovered, and this despite millenia of misinterpretation and blinkered thinking? Lucky guess, say you? How do you explain that the authors of Genesis were right on the money about the beginnings of our world, the formation of land and sea, the development of life in ever increasing levels of complexity and intelligence?

And I'm not even going to talk of the parallels between scriptural themes and discoveries of the cosmos that are only now coming to light - things which the ancients could not have discovered with their limited technologies. They knew things that they simply could not have known.


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DadaMungo wrote:Don't you

DadaMungo wrote:
Don't you find it profound, or at least intriguing that a document several thousands of years old outlines the creation of the world very much as modern science has discovered, and this despite millenia of misinterpretation and blinkered thinking?
What document is that?

Edit: Oh, nevermind. You mean the bible.  Hilarity will surely ensue from here on in.  Look forward to my future posts in this thread. 

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From RRS Adnihilo. [brackets

From RRS Adnihilo. [brackets added by me]

You're traveling through another dimension -- a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a [religion] signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Twilight Zone!

You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into [religion]... the Twilight Zone.

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area [also of religion] which we call "The Twilight Zone".

 

 


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DadaMungo wrote:jcgadfly

DadaMungo wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
Only to interpreted religion? Well, that's pretty much all of them.

Besides, how else besides interpretation can you determine whether a passage of scripture or another book is profound?

It sure makes the argument easier when you guys  pwn yourselves.

If you will step out of your "them and us" mentality for a moment you will see that I was making a point about humanity in general. That is the way we work. We express our experience in terms of our current understanding. As we gain more knowledge we leave behind our previous views and develop "purer" ones. Some ideas prove to be d34d-ends, but most build on the shoulders of their predecessors, and work better.

Religion does not have a monopoly on this phenomena as you well know, and so you shouldn't be so quick to point the accusing finger. Your ridicule profits no-one.

This principle applies to humanity and to individuals. Surely you have experienced it? Just because your views of the world have matured since your childhood, does that mean your childhood was a lie? Of course not.

Don't you find it profound, or at least intriguing that a document several thousands of years old outlines the creation of the world very much as modern science has discovered, and this despite millenia of misinterpretation and blinkered thinking? Lucky guess, say you? How do you explain that the authors of Genesis were right on the money about the beginnings of our world, the formation of land and sea, the development of life in ever increasing levels of complexity and intelligence?

And I'm not even going to talk of the parallels between scriptural themes and discoveries of the cosmos that are only now coming to light - things which the ancients could not have discovered with their limited technologies. They knew things that they simply could not have known.

Sorry. It's hard not to ridicule when faced with the ridiculous.

It is true that new knowledge supplants old knowledge in the real world. Unfortunately, that's not the case with religion. The religious, when faced with new information, either disregard it or (in the case of the vague prophecies) tweak a new interpretation to attempt to fit with the new data. don't think that's true? How many religious folk have predicted the coming of Christ in a particular year (by interpreting scripture)?

No, I don't find it profound that an ancient tome had a scientifically wrong creation story (either one). I would like you to give one of those "parallels" that you don't want to talk about. Need time to make one up or do you have one handy?

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


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DadaMungo wrote:Sleestack

DadaMungo wrote:

Sleestack wrote:
Keep religion out of schools and politics/legislation, plain and simple. That's my main gripe with religion.

On the first one, I agree with you. But as we're talking about moral values and ethics, how can the latter be truly achieved? Everyone has a worldview, drawn from various sources, which encompasses issues of what is right and what is not right, what is good for the community and not so. Whose worldviews are valid?

I think keeping religion out of schools is easily done (if the will can be found), and correct. But politics and legislation? Don't these systems work by allowing people the liberty of choosing according to their 'pursuit of happiness', even if their ideals are "sold" by religious organisations?

Can you give examples of how you feel religionists are meddling with politics and/or legislation? I ask, because I don't follow US politics, and am ignorant of any such tender issues.

The best example that I can give is gay marriage. The resistance of it is fed by the religious here in America by trying to have constitutional admendments banning gay marriage or laws defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. There's various laws in the south east that ban anal sex, sex toys, missionary postion only, etc. The root of these laws and regulations are from the religious not wanting these 'dirty' things in their neighborhood.


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DadaMungo wrote:However, I'm

DadaMungo wrote:
However, I'm not finding it easy to discern in the posts I read the distinction between a disbelief in God and this anathema for organised belief.
First, the term anathema is not an adjective nor a verb, but a noun; it can’t be used as you’ve used it. If you find the distinction uneasy to discern I recommend looking harder and staying around longer.
Quote:
For me, we're talking about two completely distinct matters here.
In fact, we’re not. Religion is dependant on theism; it facilitates the theistic belief upon which it was founded and provides a mechanism for the spread of that belief. The way in which religion and theism are different is that while religion is dependant (inextricably so) upon theism some theistic belief is unattached, at least directly, from religion.
Quote:
And yet, this is something that even the smartest of us have difficulty keeping apart. For example, Richard Dawkins, in his bestseller The God Delusion dedicated an alarmingly small percentage of his thought on the issue of the actual existence of God.
This alarms you? It alarms you that something for which there is no verifiable, testable evidence, something defined in broken concepts and meaninglessness does not take precedence in a book which was designed to break through the belief that belief in god somehow makes people special? You have a very simplistic understanding of the title of that book and an extreme misunderstanding of the intentions of Dr. Dawrkins.
Quote:
The overwhelming majority of his focus in on trying to tear down religion, firstly in its fundamentalist form and then in its more moderate forms. He seems to be one very angry chappie, poor bloke.
I believe he is angry, but his anger is well controlled and directed and I think you would be hard pressed to describe him as angry in the sense of someone who is fuming and red-faced.
Quote:
I need not dwell on the overall weakness of his reasoning for the non-existence of God (which has been addressed by many more qualified than I). My point is that pretty much from the get-go, he allows himself to get sidetracked into railing against organised belief systems.
But he is not sidetracked and his reasoning is not altogether weak. Perhaps you should study so that you can address the supposed weakness for yourself rather than relying on others.
Quote:
I'm getting the impression that the same is true on this site.
Your impression, I could hope, should be bound to change.
Quote:
So, if I could ask the atheisst to put aside their disdain for theism (or at least its abusive manifestations), I would like to know exactly how they have come the notion that there is no God.
You seem to be confused. Theism is not something I disdain, it is something I do not believe. That is true of every Atheist. Theism is the belief in god. Atheism is the absence of that belief either defined as weak or strong, agnostic or gnostic. Now, how have I come by the notion that there is no god (you’ll appreciate that there are varied answers to this question)? I will respond later.
Quote:
I anticipate the most common response would be the perceived lack of evidence, but I would think that the evidence (or lack thereof) has been measured according to what the doctors of religion say, or at least how they have been understood.
Doctors of religion? Of what religion? Of the Christian relgion? Of the varied religions of Aboriginal Canadians? Of Hinduism? You’ll have to be more specific. There is no evidence for god. There has never been evidence for any god that has passed the muster of the scientific inquiry.
Quote:
For example, espousing the ludicrous idea that there were no rainbows before the Flood. Such thinking has been tainted by religion, so the line gets blurred.
Ah. You do mean the Christian religion. Is there a reason I should suppose that someone who is a doctor of the Christian religion should have any more insight into the vagaries of the evidence for her own god than I could? Should I suppose that such a person would be better equipped to examine such evidence if it came forth? I should not. There is no reason to believe that a person committed to the study of Christianity would be better suited than anyone to examine any credible evidence for the existence of their god. Such evidence would be apparent to everybody and to gainsay such a statement would be to commit a no true Scotsman fallacy. Will you be committing such a fallacy in your retort?
Quote:
Are there reasons which remain pure and unsullied from disdain for religious thinking?
Reasons not to believe in god that are unsullied from disdain for religious thinking? Certainly. You define your god coherently, please. I’ll wait for you to do so. I’m very patient. You’ll have my response to your question when you define your god coherently. And just so that we’re clear, my response will also be to that question which I said I’d respond to later. Don’t get ahead of yourself and suppose that you already know my answer, though. Just define your god coherently.
Quote:
I personally feel that Dawkin's reasons fall appallingly short, despite his air of fait accompli. I would like to think that you guys could be more critical and insightful in your thinking.
I speak only for myself. I see no reason for you to compare atheists, or even anyone at this site, to Dawkins and his book. All atheists are only defined by one thing; atheism.
Quote:
My personal feeling is that the "honest" approach espoused on this site is really a euphemism for a "sod you, mate!" attitude, which I find entirely unconstructive, and somewhat immature.
You misunderstand the approach espoused. Not only is honesty (in all its brands) espoused, but so also is the idea that religions be spoken of in the plain and sometimes rough language which is used in the discourse of politics or any other passionate topic. I do not mean that politeness should be tossed out, but that politeness should not extend to a quiet reverence and the mumbling of platitudes because, well, you believe it. It is inevitable that people will be offended or that they will feel ridiculed (or will be when warranted). It is inevitable that these things will happen both intentionally and unintentionally.
Quote:
If the purpose of this site really is to enlighten the misguided, then it will not serve to ridicule, belittle or disparage to any degree. This is indeed shooting yourselves in the foot.
I disagree. Your opinion on the matter is inconsequential and your misconceptions have been noted and responded to many times elsewhere on the forums. You are not the first person to post such an opinion.
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Choose to ignore those who come looking for a fight, and rather focus on the earnest seeker of understanding and lead him along gently.
It is impractical. There is not way to weed through such people without first engaging them and you must understand that the majority post here to be engaged in a fight, but under the guise of genuine interest. Sometimes humouring those looking for a fight is what we choose. Sometimes it is not.
Quote:
But, if this is just a mosh-pit for contrasting ideas, then come clean about it and have done.
If this thread is any evidence to you then this site is not only a ‘mosh-pit’ for contrasting ideas. In fact, some extremely intelligent conversation takes place here. Have you not looked around?

I'll add, apart from the above, DadaMungo, that you are already on your way to committing a variation of the no true Scotsman fallacy.  You cannot claim that skeptiks are missing some aspect of what is written plainly on a page without citing some particular reason.  If there is supposed to be some profound messages within the Bible (there are profound messages in a variety of books and no one necessarily needs to be particularly equiped to uncover them) and the book is supposed to be profound in a way that Oryx and Crake (a novel by Canadian novelist and poet Margaret Atwood) is not, who is open to seeing that profudity and by what method does it become uncovered?  (Please, I strongly urge you to answer those questions to the best of your ability.  Make an effort.)

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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DadaMungo

DadaMungo wrote:

johnpaultheskeptic wrote:
This parable is actually badly written and promotes an activity you may not at first consider. It suggests deception is a good thing as no mention is made that the owner of the land is informed he has a treasure on his property. It may be the person discovers gold nuggets on the property as he is walking through the field. He knows the land is worth far more than for farming. I know that was not the intent of the parable but never the less it is a hidden meaning that is there. If I were you I wouldn't use this example.

Yes, anyone who thinks for more than a little while will come to wonder about what is also not said in this parable. At least I have. I had not missed the point you make, and I have wondered at it. To be honest, I was only borrowing the parable to make a point about the Bible. This parable is talking about life itself, and not the Bible. There is a sense of irony here, as what the field actually represents here is one's own life, which is to be gained. I would think that the implication here is that the field belongs to no-one in particular. We are not told why the man is in the field, nor why he is digging. However, I have my opinions based upon other passages.

If the man buys the field then he must buy it from someone so it must be owned. I understand what the analogy was supposed to be in the parable but it's still poor. Another way to consider it is if you discover a truth do you not proceed to do all you can to understand and learn. This is applicable to general knowledge not just Jesus belief and was likely a wise saying of the time.

DadaMungo wrote:

johnpaultheskeptic wrote:
Perhaps your judgment is skewed by your enthusiasm as you have just demonstrated. You are not considering all aspects of what you promote.

Possibly. But, I never claimed to have seen to the heart of all matters. But the finding of one pearl does fuel my desire to find more. I choose to keep my mind open. Have you thought that the same could be said of you and your skepticism? How does that cloud your judgment? Will you deny it has an effect?

As I was a Christian and have studied theology and religion even as a grad student in a Jesuit University I am  aware of what you consider to be pearls in these writings. As I became a skeptic and then an atheist my mind is far more open then when I was a Christian wearing blinders. Is there truth in these writings called the Bible, in places. Does it support the God concept of the Jews? No. It is writing by men who explained the world in various ways including fiction. Is my judgment clouded, not anymore. In the past everything was filtered through the accepted basis that God and the Christian stories were real. This view filtered all I accepted and was a cause for issues and concerns. As I grew in knowledge I concluded this filter had to be knocked down so I could discern reality. My position today is what I was taught is not true. What is truth? I have no idea and may never know, but not what I was taught. Science explains more without causing massive contradiction and issues. It always comes to a point where the less than sane Yahweh is said to have created the Universe with religion. One can claim that man misunderstood Yahweh and injected human understanding and emotions in the accounts. Or one can realize that the whole thing was likely created by Og and Ug one day in the ancient land of the Middle East as a volcano and thunder god when a lightning bolt nearly fried them into insanity.

DadaMungo wrote:

johnpaultheskeptic wrote:
The real value of the scriptures is it gives a glimpse of a belief system of an ancient people it however has many issues you choose to ignore. One can say the Star Wars films and the Matrix films also have hidden meanings that can help one understand and become more full and complete. This is true of many fictional accounts throughout the history of man.

Well, yes. Jesus' parables are fiction, but He used them to teach people about themselves and their relationship to God. Truth and understanding only exist within our minds. Books, films, whatever are simply keys to unlock that truth to ourselves and lead us to greater awakening and fulfillment.

I didn't mean just the parables were fiction but likely the entire Jesus story is a work of literature. Much of the OT is also literature or fiction. Even the Catholic Church and some sects of Judaism take the position that much of the OT is figurative language or stories much like parables.

 

 

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"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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No evidence

For me it's very simple. The onus is on the person making the claim to prove the claim.  Seeing as how there has never been more than easily disputed anecdotal evidence to suggest that god does exist, it's a pretty good bet he doesn't. As well, everything makes perfect sense without the need or requirement for god belief.   


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Shakespeare is Better.

DadaMungo wrote:

I wish to state that the above are just tidbits, and not really worth getting all het-up about. The real value of the scriptures is in helping the individual understand who he/she is and how to become more full, even complete. This message is hidden, as I stated earlier. The real value is not in the literal understanding, though there is much to enjoy on the journey to real discovery.

'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear'

PS. Some might want to throw up the "God of the gaps" banner, but this can only really be applied to interpreted religion. Yes, "we" were wrong. And we'll be wrong again. But this isn't a phenomenon restricted to religion. It's happened/ing in science just as much, as theories are shown to be false or only poor approximations, and better, more precise theories take their place, based on clearer understanding.

 

 

Yes your tidbits are fine, but they are not particularly special.  The human race is a species that delights in story telling and an enormous body of fine literature has accumulated over the Millennia in all languages.  The value of fine literature, or art, or opera, or poetry, or drama, or any number of artistic endeavors is that at its best  it does what you say the bible does at its best, namely help individuals understand who they are and become more enriched as human beings.  But art doesn't have to be true to achieve this.  One can be deply moved by say, Wagner's Ring Cycle, without believing in the existence of the Nordic gods.   Personally, I think Shakespeare is better than the bible.  Not only does it contain more pround insights into the human condition than the bible but it has better stories.

As for the god-of-the-gaps bit, your comparison with science is invalid.  The scientific method is ultimately self-correcting and ensures that over time incorrect hypotheses are culled and the correct theories are adopted.  Science will always be a work in progress.  But the bible claims to be the absolute word of god and contain absolute truth.  How can this be if no one knows for sure how to interpret it?  And obviously, given the enormous number of denominations and sects within Christianity, it can't be correctly interpreted.  Or do you think there is just one correct interpretation...and what is it?

 

 

............................................................

"Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition". - Isaac Asimov


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Nicely stated Future ....

Nicely stated Future ....


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Quote:But the bible claims

Quote:
But the bible claims to be the absolute word of god and contain absolute truth.

I don't think that is quite right. There are many who claim the Bible to be the absolute truth, but I think that stems more from their own xenophobia.

There are a couple of passages in the Bible (one in Deuteronomy, the other in Revelation) which are often misquoted about not permitting any changes, but those are usually taken out of context to apply to the Bible, which didn't exist as we have it today when those writings were made.

The Bible in fact supports the notion of open-ended enlightenment, i.e. that further understanding and greater knowledge are the right way.

As I said earlier, the Bible is simply a key (one of many) to unlocking truth. It is not the truth directly, if you take my meaning, and should not be treated so.

And of course, there are a multitude of other works of literature, art, etc. that convey truth. I for one love to learn form other sources as well. It's not as if I read the Bible at the exclusion of all else. My personal experience is that the Bible (esp. the NT) is replete with insight and instruction, if one is willing to look for it. I don't find Shakespeare to be as inspiring in the same way. Sure, perhaps we can say Shakespeare is more "honest" about human nature, but he doesn't inspire me to fulfill myself in the same way as scripture does.


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Fulfillment is Atheism, no

Fulfillment is Atheism, no master , no idols, and buddha jesus told me so .... as all the bibles told me so ....    Lucky me, I can read ! Thanks atheist buddha jesus etc. No master, now what ???  Sucks, no sky daddy thingy .... only REALITY .... 

Carl Sagan - "Pale Blue Dot" , 3 min  .... an atomic speck of dust, earth ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p86BPM1GV8M

                       

 


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DadaMungo wrote:And of

DadaMungo wrote:
And of course, there are a multitude of other works of literature, art, etc. that convey truth. I for one love to learn form other sources as well.
Truth?  Certainly one can learn from a variety of sources.  Some of these sources contain within them things that are true, but what do you mean by 'truth'?  I sense in your use of the word that you mean to hint at something more than just a fact or something truth-functionally true, but you are being vague.

Quote:
It's not as if I read the Bible at the exclusion of all else.
That would be a nearly impossible task to accomplish in practice and as you are responding to posts here it's obvious that you do read things other than the Bible.

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My personal experience is that the Bible (esp. the NT) is replete with insight and instruction, if one is willing to look for it. I don't find Shakespeare to be as inspiring in the same way. Sure, perhaps we can say Shakespeare is more "honest" about human nature, but he doesn't inspire me to fulfill myself in the same way as scripture does.
Your argument is unconvincing.  You'll have to stop appealing to your personal experience and coupling that with the caveat that to see the insight and instruction with which you claim the Bible is replete one must be willing to look for it.  What is this particular kind of willingness that someone who does not see the insight and instruction is missing?  What is the insight and instruction the Bible is supposed to be replete with?  Surely, if you can see the insight and instruction you can convey to us what it is and by what method we too can see it.

I realize I asked these questions already, but this is the second time you've appealed to this same argument.  I'll remind you that the argument is unconvincing for a reason.  We'll see exactly what reason that is as you answer the questions I've posed.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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I personally haven't read

I personally haven't read any of Mr Dawkin's work so I cannot comment on his attitude but in my own case I was a practicing Catholic pretty much until I went away to college and then I stopped attending mass as I didn't miss it (truthfully I probably lost my faith some years before that).

The main reason I now consider myself Agnstic is the attitudes of organised religion especially in relation to homosexuality and free speech, though being a Rangers fan at a Catholic High School in west Scotland kinda didn't help. If the religious were as loving as they claim to be I'd have no problem but the bigotry I see from them really angers me, never mind all the scandals there have been in recent years including the Catholic church moving priests about to avoid child abuse accusations and the Anglican schism over Gay priests.


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Some good people.

DadaMungo wrote:

 

I don't think that is quite right. There are many who claim the Bible to be the absolute truth, but I think that stems more from their own xenophobia.

There are a couple of passages in the Bible (one in Deuteronomy, the other in Revelation) which are often misquoted about not permitting any changes, but those are usually taken out of context to apply to the Bible, which didn't exist as we have it today when those writings were made.

The Bible in fact supports the notion of open-ended enlightenment, i.e. that further understanding and greater knowledge are the right way.

As I said earlier, the Bible is simply a key (one of many) to unlocking truth. It is not the truth directly, if you take my meaning, and should not be treated so.

And of course, there are a multitude of other works of literature, art, etc. that convey truth. I for one love to learn form other sources as well. It's not as if I read the Bible at the exclusion of all else. My personal experience is that the Bible (esp. the NT) is replete with insight and instruction, if one is willing to look for it. I don't find Shakespeare to be as inspiring in the same way. Sure, perhaps we can say Shakespeare is more "honest" about human nature, but he doesn't inspire me to fulfill myself in the same way as scripture does.

 

There are very, very many who claim the bible to be the absolute truth and they are the dangerous ones, not the reasonable people like you.  There are powerful organizations such as:  Campus Crusade, Creation Ministries International, Tectonics, CADRE, Christian Research etc who are nutty enough to believe in an inerrant bible, who devalue science and its achievements and who wield power ruthlessly in their bid to gain authority and drive the USA back to a Bronze Age mindset.  They want the USA to be a Christian Theocracy  These are the ones indoctrinating American children in Jesus Boot Camps, trying to get prayers and Intelligent Design taught in schools.   These are the ones who put Bush into power not because he would be a good leader but because he was a Christian who was against abortion and gays.  And the price the USA is paying for such judgemental, bible-based, narrow-mindedness is that it is in fiscal crisis and ever more dependent on China, Russia and Saudi Arabia for funding. 

So it's more than an academic exercise.  The Christian fundamentalists are driving the USA, and with it the Western World, into a new Dark Age .     

 

............................................................

"Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition". - Isaac Asimov


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evidence for God

Hello JillSwift. HP here. Well, I am a christian. I came to faith at the age of 16. I was a wounded, searching teenager who had been abused as a child and who's parents had divorced when i was 8. I was in search of something to fill the dark emptiness within. I felt empty. So i started with new age and it caught my curiosity. But it didn't really fill the void. At the age of 16 I was determined to go to every major religion until I found the one that would let me find the "something" to take away the pain and emptiness. Through a series of events where I moved from my one set of parents who lived in Indiana to my other set of parents who lived down south I ended up moving. I moved to live with my dad and his wife who took me to their church and I heard the good news of Jesus. I was skeptical but sensed the young people around me had genuine faith and they were very loving. One night at an Assemblies of God church camp I heard about Jesus again that he was real and what punishment he took in my place on the cross. And I softly began to sing a praise chorus. Then the Holy Spirit touched me...and God filled the void in me. I felt His love and forgiveness. His watchcare...it was as if He said to me "you're safe now... no more searching." that is my testimony. But if you're interested in actual proof of God's existence..certain cells in our own body point to a master designer ...research is now surfacing far advanced beyond the capabalities Darwin had..check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1iCjKWzeEE or check out ANSWERS IN GENESIS about all things creation vs. evolution. I believe because I have peace now. But these facts only strengthen my faith.

freypark123


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Hi HP. Good for you? Where

Hi HP. Good for you... Where are you going with this exactly? It's a sweet little story, but do you think you are arguing for something? I'd love for you to come to Denmark one day. I really am amazed sometimes at how incredably blind people can be to the fact that other people don't see the world the way they do.

I hope you realize that your story, and your references in the end of your post, looks very familiar, and very wrong to us.

Understand, that we aren't in a position where we don't understand what you are talking about. We understand exactly where you are coming from, which is why we don't believe you. Your story is so obviously the story of an uneducated, emotionally vulnerable person, and the conclussions you have drawn are completely understandable, considering your situation.

Had you realized something that had no connection to your cultural background (of course you fall for Christianity, when you are in a community where that is what everyone else believes), and your own emotional background, then we might be slightly more intrigued.

I'd like you to read my respond to another person in this ( http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/15475 ) thread, and pay particular attention to the analogy I draw between an abused woman's faith in her abuser, and religion.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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HPw1907, evolution has never

Hey HPw1907, evolution has never said it knows how life started. Why do you love the idol you wordhip? WTF are you saying, my special invented idol makes me feel good ??? Fuck your invented idol. Your idol is my enemy, me god, as all is ONE. No idols, No master, so fuck your religion bunk dogma shit crap ....


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HPw1907 wrote:Hello

HPw1907 wrote:

Hello JillSwift. HP here. Well, I am a christian. I came to faith at the age of 16. I was a wounded, searching teenager who had been abused as a child and who's parents had divorced when i was 8. I was in search of something to fill the dark emptiness within. I felt empty. So i started with new age and it caught my curiosity. But it didn't really fill the void. At the age of 16 I was determined to go to every major religion until I found the one that would let me find the "something" to take away the pain and emptiness. Through a series of events where I moved from my one set of parents who lived in Indiana to my other set of parents who lived down south I ended up moving. I moved to live with my dad and his wife who took me to their church and I heard the good news of Jesus. I was skeptical but sensed the young people around me had genuine faith and they were very loving. One night at an Assemblies of God church camp I heard about Jesus again that he was real and what punishment he took in my place on the cross. And I softly began to sing a praise chorus. Then the Holy Spirit touched me...and God filled the void in me. I felt His love and forgiveness. His watchcare...it was as if He said to me "you're safe now... no more searching." that is my testimony. But if you're interested in actual proof of God's existence..certain cells in our own body point to a master designer ...research is now surfacing far advanced beyond the capabalities Darwin had..check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1iCjKWzeEE or check out ANSWERS IN GENESIS about all things creation vs. evolution. I believe because I have peace now. But these facts only strengthen my faith.

Well Hi. I'm not sure why you addressed me in particular - unless you think you're providing evidence for me to evaluate? Nikolaj has already gone over why your story isn't evidence.

Beware Ken Ham - he's evil. He outright lies on his web site and in his presentations. He has some ulterior motive for keeping folks ignorant of solid science.

 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Jill is Swift, Jill is true

Jill is Swift, Jill is true .... so far anyway , and when I god, fuck up, do let me know ....   Thanks for caring.

  SONG,   "nothing is easy" ... Tull ,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZZ35zOtmFc

              MORE ?


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Not to change the subject but...

OK, not to change the subject, and i apologize for my grammar, spelling, and generally bad writting skills, but, i pose a question to all the other athiests out there. Suppose, for a moment that the christians are right. That their whole religion is correct, and yes i know, there are easily 100 different drastically different forms, but lets settle for the one that involves the rapture, and the second coming of jesus...suppose that happens. Say it happened right now. And up in the sky the entire world saw jesus. And all the christians were ppof. transubstantiated immediately, how many of you would realize your mistakes and ocnvert? This is just a hypothetical. I for one, when presented with a proff like that would more than likely champion the religion through the prophesied tribulation like a soldier. But i am just wanting to know what other atheist think on that hypothetical.

Also, i wanted to note an incongruency i found in the bible....and yes im aware there are many. Im refering to gen ch1 vs 26 here it states "AND god said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness," and the verse goes on to say that he created man and woman.(at the same time) now this is supposedly during the 5th day. If you read on you'll find that the tale continues thru days 6 and 7 when god takes a smoke break from all this creation. He then starts up again watering all the plants, and whatnot, then in gen ch2 vs. 7 it states: and the lord god formed man out of the dust and breathed life into him.....wait a minute now...if im understanding this....he has just made...man again? what happened to the first man and woman,....and if you read on further, in the same chapter verse 22 he takes the rib of the 1st? 2nd? man and made a woman (another one!?!?!?) so in summary, if i am assuming my reading skills are functioning, we have a total of 4 humans created, a man and a woman made together, then a man, then another woman. Any one care to make sense of this for me. or is it just another flaw in the bibles structure? thanks...and again, i apologize tremensely for my ineptitude at writting, grammar, punctuation, and basically everything one learns in 2nd grade english.


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The bi bull is shit.  The

The bi bull is shit.  The only reason it has any meaning is it's effect on us. Fuck all idol worship of any design. KIll religion ... kill all idol worship. FUCK that, and so says my atheistic jesus .... my brain ....      


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crutchlessprincipal

crutchlessprincipal wrote:

OK, not to change the subject, and i apologize for my grammar, spelling, and generally bad writting skills, but, i pose a question to all the other athiests out there. Suppose, for a moment that the christians are right. That their whole religion is correct, and yes i know, there are easily 100 different drastically different forms, but lets settle for the one that involves the rapture, and the second coming of jesus...suppose that happens. Say it happened right now. And up in the sky the entire world saw jesus. [...]

I would hope I could adequately adjust to this new information, and deal with it honestly. It's possible I've been accustomed to a certain view and it's doubtless that I'd regard something improbable with immense suspicion, not take it for face value (especially with the awareness of the sheer desperation the religious have been living with, to vindicate their views with something tangible, lo these millennia). That being said, it is, of course, unnecessary to dignify this scenario.


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Lennon, song

John Lennon, song ,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEOkxRLzBf0

Debating does not change the truth ....


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crutchlessprincipal

crutchlessprincipal wrote:

... i pose a question to all the other athiests out there. Suppose, for a moment that the christians are right.

Many christians are right...right to fear the coming of rationality & reason, right to fear their perceptions of evolution and what it will eventually mean for the xian system, right to fear the militant religions of the world (including themselves); not to mention the literalists who are certainly, as a whole, politically right of center, etc.

So yeah, in many ways christians are right..... but continue

 

crutchlessprincipal wrote:
That their whole religion is correct, and yes i know, there are easily 100 different drastically different forms, but lets settle for the one that involves the rapture, and the second coming of jesus...suppose that happens.

I assume the second coming of Jesus would involve him appearing in the sky with lots of fanfare, music, angels etc. Would such a vision effect me? Why, yes of course. I could further assume it was Jesus but I could also assume it was an elaborate trick by satan, OR that it was an alien with the power to fly/float through the air, OR that someone had slipped some good drugs into my diet Coke, OR... well, sure-- you get my point (and I won't call you surely.) 

 

crutchlessprincipal wrote:
Say it happened right now. And up in the sky the entire world saw jesus.

See, I knew he'd be up in the sky. Knowledgeable people we Atheists, huh.

 

crutchlessprincipal wrote:
And all the christians were ppof. transubstantiated immediately, how many of you would realize your mistakes and ocnvert?

Transubstantiation would involve what exactly? Contrary to many, *strike that*, most theist believers, there are far too many disagreements between the various xian denominations and sects for me to understand exactly what you are referring to here. Clean it up and I'll respond....assuming I'm not transubstantiated before all the xians who certainly will be gone by late Sunday.

 

crutchlessprincipal wrote:
This is just a hypothetical. I for one, when presented with a proff like that would more than likely champion the religion through the prophesied tribulation like a soldier.

What you describe would likely not be proof, to me. It would take something on the magnitude of more than a miracle for me to believe an entity, who appeared in the sky was actually Jesus. Having said that let me also add, I would be most apt to believe in a god entity who arrived on our planet and began to show all the people how he could heal everyone and how he could help us to see what we previously considered impossible.... such as square circles and the like. Short of an entity offering up truly amazing, mind bending displays why should I assume that with god/jesus/trinity all things are possible? And if he were Jesus, he would know what it would take to convince everyone, don't you think? 

However, in a case where some being arrived and  did something that appeared to be an amazing feat, why wouldn't I assume the easiest, simplest explanation tends to be the correct one. If it was a small trick (or small bag of tricks), I'd most likely think it was a very powerful alien from another world which had developed/harnessed powers beyond our current capabilities/understanding, before I'd assume it was Jesus.

Embrace your skepticism, man.

 

 


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crutchlessprincipal, If some

crutchlessprincipal, If some voice came from the sky, and proceeded to do what you describe, I would say, "oh shit , some aliens have finally arrived and are toying with us."