You Do Believe In God

stgemma
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You Do Believe In God

Peace~

I've scoured the Atheist Experience website and numerous YouTube videos from there and elsewhere (atheist) and I've seen a lot of good, logical arguments against the existence of God.  Somewhere in those viewings I was taken to this site.  Admittedly, I've only read a few topics here, but so far I'm just plain disappointed.  It looks more like a Christian hate-site than an attempt at good, logical, unemotional dialogue.  I'm guessing that quite a few participants here are closet-believers with a real grudge against God.  There's a lot of anger, hatred and obvious immaturity here.  

 

I consider myself Christian but I have often doubted the existence of God.  The majority of participation I've seen here (on the "atheist" side) has been hostile and childish.  In fact, possibly every response I've seen from the "atheist" side has been.  I say the "majority" in case my memory serves me wrong - but I doubt that's the case.  

 

Tell me:  Why would I want to join you in your supposed "disbelief"?  Is this what will become of me?  

 

Tell me:  What motivates you?  How will disbelieving "improve" "life" (you seem already dead)?  Do you live for this world (your earthly life)?  Do you live for yourself?  For pleasure?  To escape suffering?  Have you compassion (for others - especially for strangers)?  Do you work for the common good?  What reason have you to?  Is love real or is it a chemical reaction; a figment of our imagination?  

You people have never experienced God - that is obvious.  I tell you, most professing Christians have not known God either, and I sympathize with you for choosing to disbelieve based on your experience with nominal Christianity (for those of you who can admit this).  

 

I can easily refute the existence of God using logic just like anyone else can.  I'm right there, for instance, with Matt Dillahunty (sp?) of the Atheist Experience...  I can totally see his point of view.  But that is using a very base and, albeit "natural" view of God, the universe, science, etc...    It clearly takes "eyes to see" and "ears to hear" the paradoxical nature of Jesus' teachings.  

Anyone who can recall childhood can easily gain insight into the many "problems" you all raise about God; suffering being a prime example.  Such statements to the affect of: "If God is so good, why does he allow miscarriages."  "Why does he allow rape" "...murder", etc......

When I was 4 I'm sure I wondered why my parents punished me when I did what I thought was a good thing.  I didn't realize if I had gone through with what I wanted that it would have hurt me in some way or prevented me from some greater good later.  You (and I at times....) act like little children who are sulking b/c you don't "get" why your "daddy" seems so "mean" sometimes. 

A tree has to endure some injury during the pruning process, but what results is a more bountiful fruitation as the damaged (pruned) areas are opened to release more branches, leaves and fruit.  If the tree had consciousness, it would not understand why it had to undergo such cruelty.  It would view the gardener as a tyrant; every so often taking his cruel weapons and inflicting such pain and damage to it.  If it knew, in advance, what a benefit the gardener's work on it would have in the near future, it would thank him; seeing him now as a great liberator or guide to its advancement.  

I'm sure life must be quite meaningless without belief.  It's all about here and now.  If so, what motivation do you have to me "moral" at all?  In that case, how do you even determine morality/ethics?  Sure, it seems quite elementary to a stagnant mind, but I assure you that the issue is quite complicated.  The 10 commandments are elementary, and yet even those are difficult to abide by at times.  Btw, Jesus raised the bar so to speak, concerning the 10 commandments.  "Whosoever looks at a woman with lust in his heart has already commited adultery...".  

Bondage?  You think the level Jesus calls us to is bondage?  I assure you that you have no idea what bondage you are already in if that's the case.  I feel very sorry for those, like many of yourselves here, who have bought into the lie of this world; that seeking pleasures and trying to escape suffering are what your temporal, earthly lives are all about.  Ever heard "it is better to give than to receive"?  I would gladly go to hell for all eternity to give my all (love) than to live comfort and ease, and I will rejoice all the while.  Shocking?  I know many of you view the "religious" as selfish.  Pity, pity, pity.  You've never met a passionate, godly person. 

Even suffering is a grace; a gift; a thing to be enjoyed.  THIS is liberation!  If you walked the streets of the impoverished, would you love the diseased and filthy you encounter?  HOW ARE YOU IMPROVING MANKIND?  Would you step out of your comfort level and embrace them and love them and help them?  Would you give your life for someone you don't know at all?  Would you forgive your enemy?  Love them?  Peace in this world will never be attained, but it certainly never would be by bloodshed.  Love would end all wars.  I think you all have never encounted real, agape, unconditional love.  Such a pity!  

When you know what holiness is; when you know God (stop reading your hatred for Him into Scripture), you will see how ungrateful and proud you have been to your Creator and Father...   When you discover how much He has loved you by giving His own, human, life for you, you will fall upon your knees in repentance.  The Almighty has lowered Himself by being born a babe in this hostile world and allowing Himself to be continually mistreated, dibelieved and persecuted.  Would you do that for someone?  This was a man born into crucifixion.  I tell you, He was crucified at the moment of His birth.  God loved us so much He wanted to share in your human misery, oppression, depression, poverty, persecution....   He lived it for 33 years and it ended with the most bitter and painful death imaginable.  Why?

He gave purpose to our humanity.  By becoming like us, we can become like Him.  God made us to become like Him.  There is a purpose to this life.  What an awesome opportunity we ALL have, to become like God!  I have experienced unconditional love.  Perhaps many of you have not, for which I'm empathetic and sorrowful.  God created mankind to be made divine, like Himself.  We are all created to be with Him; a part of Him, forever.  Like the tree that doesn't comprehend why it has to undergo a pruning, we are God's creation unaware of the purpose of our suffering.  And God is not elusive.  You have evidence for these paradoxes in nature itself.  We also live in a time where God's revelation is written and widely-distrubed throughout the world.  God reaches out to everyone - I am certain of that.  Many have not recognized Him b/c they are too enamored in themselves or are too busy with self-pity (which is pride) to notice Him.  Too entangled in (what many KNOW is) a sinful lifestyle to admit they recognize God's presence.         (cont...) 

 


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The Doomed Soul

The Doomed Soul wrote:

stgemma wrote:

Soul,

I already answered your "murder in secret" objection.  You either missed the point, or evaded it.  

Well? which is it then?

 

You; Blah

Me; Refute Blah

You; YOU MISSED THE POINT! UH! STOP EVADING!

Me; ... o_O? wut?

stgemma wrote:

Hmmm....  Do you know of anyone murdered in secret?  (Of course not, then it wouldn't be secret.......)  Points to ponder:  Do you think the murderer isn't aware that he has murdered?  No murder is secret.   Does the fact that no one you consider important knows about this murder mean it is secret?   

There is no point to miss, and no evasion if im the one persuing the issue... just admit to pulling some bolox out your keester so we can move on.

 

Sorry, Soul.  You missed the point apparently. 

The point was to show you that even if the murderer is the only one aware of the "secret" act, his act is not held secret from God, or himself.  And, as I already said, this person may be able to draw upon the experience later in life (after a change of heart) to help others.  There are real-life cases of people who turned from their violent ways to counsel others.  Albeit perhaps few - but Jesus said that few would find the way that leads to life. 


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stgemma wrote:   He lived

stgemma wrote:

   He lived it for 33 years and it ended with the most bitter and painful death imaginable.  Why?

It wasn't death was it? It was only a 3 days of nothing. He is alive so therefore he never died. Death means death.

stgemma wrote:

He gave purpose to our humanity.  By becoming like us, we can become like Him.  God made us to become like Him.  There is a purpose to this life.  What an awesome opportunity we ALL have, to become like God!  I have experienced unconditional love.  Perhaps many of you have not, for which I'm empathetic and sorrowful.  God created mankind to be made divine, like Himself.  We are all created to be with Him; a part of Him, forever.   

There is the real answer to why you believe. Your own insecurity and narcissism.

You love yourself to much to ever admit that you may not go on forever. Because you are insecure about your mortality is hardly a reason for me to believe such an outlandish story.

Also you would not go to hell for all eternity if it even existed. If you were being tortured, you would do anything to get out of it. You don't live by any standard of morality other that do what's convienient for yourself. I've never met a person that really lives by any moral standard than this.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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1.stgemma wrote:Hmmm.... 

 

stgemma wrote:

Hmmm....  Do you know of anyone murdered in secret?  (Of course not, then it wouldn't be secret.......)  Points to ponder:  Do you think the murderer isn't aware that he has murdered?  No murder is secret.   Does the fact that no one you consider important knows about this murder mean it is secret?   

 

stgemma wrote:

The point was to show you that even if the murderer is the only one aware of the "secret" act, his act is not held secret from God, or himself.  And, as I already said, this person may be able to draw upon the experience later in life (after a change of heart) to help others.  There are real-life cases of people who turned from their violent ways to counsel others.  Albeit perhaps few - but Jesus said that few would find the way that leads to life. 

 

/facedesk

 

What you say, and what you mean to say are 2 totally different things. Thus Bolox / Keester

What Would Kharn Do?


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stgemma wrote:That's not

stgemma wrote:

That's not quite how I put it.  I don't recall saying anything about imposed rules either. 

You said:

Quote:
When I was 4 I'm sure I wondered why my parents punished me when I did what I thought was a good thing.


So, when you said that were you not attempting to draw a parallel between your parents imposing something on you (rules) that you didn't understand and god imposing things on people (tragedy) that they don't understand?

That was the only thing buttressing the argument that your god is really a misunderstood sweetheart and people who point to the obvious inconsistencies between that idea and observable reality are like spoiled children.

Quote:
Didn't say that either.  It may be a person's response to adversity, period.  We can use adversity as a means to grow, or we can become bitter.  That is our choice.  Take relationships for instance:  Often relationships are strengthened in times of adversity and as a result of facing many difficulties in life together.  The point is that love is often best expressed when it involves suffering.  That is why I said love is most "real" through suffering.   

I'm not arguing with that. I'm arguing with your conflicting notions about god. You say that god allows tragedy as a "growing experience" but the fact that not every tragedy is a growing experience belies that idea.

Quote:
No.... I said that some people will become bitter.  I did not say that is one of the reasons god allows people to suffer. 

You acknowledge that some people will become bitter which contradicts your earlier statements that god allows bed things to happen because it has good consequences. Becoming bitter isn't a good consequence.
 

Quote:
He can know what will happen, yes, but having the ability to know does not mean that He orchestrates things for us.  Being omniscient doesn't interfere with free will.  That's a common fallacy.
But you don't just think god is omniscient. Don't you also believe that it is omnipotent and the creator of everything?

In such a case, were it possible not only would god necessarily know what will happen, but all events would necessarily be a result of god's actions.
 

Quote:
He doesn't necessarily craft the situation, nor does any interaction with us necessarily have to be connected to his knowledge of the future. 

If god was unlimited in terms of power and knowledge, and the creator of everything then god would necessarily craft every situation. You've created a set of rules that lead to so many contradictions that it's difficult to enumerate them, but when someone points out the inconsistencies you throw out your own rules to make ad hoc solutions to clearly intractable problems. That, in my opinion is the major flaw in the theistic mindset.

Quote:
Like I said, perhaps it was God's final attempt (final, allowed "opportunity) at getting the person's attention?  Perhaps there were numerous other circumstances in life when that person could have come to faith/humility/repentance/etc.. less painfully.

This is deviating pretty far from the original point and it's rather absurd. I just want to point out in case it isn't apparent to you already that your notion of god is that instead of providing people with some evidence that they could rationally accept, god thinks it's a better idea to have people suffer extreme agony to get his point across and force belief on them.

Quote:
First of all, I am not claiming to know with absolute certainty exactly why God permits every instance of evil in this world.  Suffering is a mystery as are many other things in the universe.  I am, however, trying to provide you with possibilities that don't conflict with God's nature.  I can see, from the simple parent-child analogy, the plausibility that God permits evil in this life (what we perceive as painful experiences/suffering) in order to show us our need of Him, our fallibility, our pride, etc.. etc..  You are reading plot holes and contradictions into my examples.  I'd simple like to show that allowing human suffering may not be as inconsistent with a loving God as many seem to think, no matter how unnatural to our minds it may be.  God's ways are not our ways.  They are high above ours. 

If you don't know why suffering exists then just say you don't know. Why bother with this silly charade of pretending that your notion of god is somehow reconcilable with the reality we observe, when the only way you can address these problems is with special pleading

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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stgemma wrote:Here's the

stgemma wrote:

Here's the short version:

 

Many of you are believers, you just hate God b/c you love your lifestyle which is killing you and making you miserable.  You're not happy, you're angry at God and anyone who professed to believe in Him or find peace with Him b/c you have made no effort to step down from your pedestal and admit that you wish to be your own God.  Like silly little children who sulk b/c they don't understand their parent's rules and prefer their childish ways...

 

You were made to be holy - like God.  It takes humility.  Humility will give you "ears to hear" and "eyes to see".  God isn't a tyrant like you envisioned your parents in your youthfulness.  He wants you to grow up to be like Him and share in His divinity.  Like a tree that has to bear the uncomfortable pruning, our suffering and "injustices" endured in this life are for our advancement.  They are for our own downfall if we insist, in our pride, to follow our own destructive path.

 

 

I especially like the ''god isn't a tyrant'' bit. Funny.

 

 

''Black Holes result from God dividing the universe by zero.''


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stgemma wrote:...I consider

stgemma wrote:
...I consider myself Christian...Tell me:  Why would I want to join you in your supposed "disbelief"?

Abondoning your dogma is for you to decide.

Personally, I think you would be a miserable Atheist as you are entirely unprepared to think independently. For that reason, I wouldn't suggest you consider Atheism, as you're clearly unprepared to exist happily as a person witout dogma, and entirely reliant upon independent thought and decisions. As an example, see the questions you can not answer for yourself without your dogma.

stgemma wrote:
... Is this what will become of me?  

 

Tell me:  What motivates you?  How will disbelieving "improve" "life" (you seem already dead)?  Do you live for this world (your earthly life)?  Do you live for yourself?  For pleasure?  To escape suffering?  Have you compassion (for others - especially for strangers)?  Do you work for the common good?  What reason have you to?  Is love real or is it a chemical reaction;... what motivation do you have to me "moral" at all?  In that case, how do you even determine morality/ethics?...

You've convinced me.

You'd be a miserable Atheist
without your dogma. Please don't attempt to abandon it, as you would be lost without it.

You have my sympathy, as you are clearly quite miserable even with your dogma. Peace be upon you.


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stgemma wrote:Is love real

stgemma wrote:
Is love real or is it a chemical reaction;

butterbattle wrote:
How do you define love? What makes it real?

stgemma wrote:
Sacrifice.

butterbattle wrote:
If I sacrifice something for someone, then I love that person?

stgemma wrote:
Not necessarily.  But I believe love is best expressed ("made real) through sacrifice.  I can tell my children I love them all day long but if I never lift a finger to meet their needs I've proven my love is only in word.  Love is a choice, not a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Then, how are 'love being real' and 'love being a chemical reaction' mutually exclusive?

stgemma wrote:
I sympathize with you for choosing to disbelieve based on your experience with nominal Christianity (for those of you who can admit this).

butterbattle wrote:
How do you know this?

stgemma wrote:
Personal experience. Nominal Christianity doesn't follow Christ. It's all talk and no walk.

butterbattle wrote:
What makes a person a true Christian?

stgemma wrote:
Simple.  Someone who actually follows Christ - does what He commands - not just on Sunday morning, not for personal gain, and not just for others to see.

So.....you know, based on personal experience, that we've never met people who do what Christ commands?

That doesn't make any sense. 

stgemma wrote:
No, that's not what I meant.  I did not mean to say that I know God exists b/c everything is not as it seems.  I'm simply saying that I cannot logically dismiss the possibility of His existence based on my imperfect evaluation of the universe.

So, you can "easily refute the existence of God using logic just like everyone else," but you still choose to believe in God because there's still a chance. Well, of course there's a chance. There's also a chance that the true God is Krishna.

This is an argument for agnosticism, not theism.

butterbattle wrote:
You do the best you can with what you have.

stgemma wrote:
What if you don't seem to "have" anything?  What about the "disadvantaged"?

Ever heard the expression, life isn't fair?

stgemma wrote:
What should a godless society do with them?  What agreement would you all come to concerning them?  Some would insist we take care of them. Others would say euthanize them; put them out of their misery.
 

It depends. In general, I think we should take care of the disadvantaged.

stgemma wrote:
Heh...  Isn't that what I said? ("for the good of His Body)

Oh, hahaha, oops, I guess it is.

stgemma wrote:
But, as in my example of the disadvantaged, how do you even know how to help others?

- I help others because I enjoy helping others.

- I determine what is moral based on my conscience and reason.

I do not think the Bible is a good source of morality as it contains both good messages and immoral, barbaric messages.

stgemma wrote:
Furthermore, we are called to help one another at a much deep level than solely physical or psychological.

I don't strive to improve others' spiritual welfare because I don't even know what that means. If it means 'religion related,' then obviously, I can't help anyone with that, as I don't think the problem even exists. 

Okay, this isn't getting anywhere. Let's make this more straightforward. You can take a few of these questions at a time.

- Is your God completely supernatural? Is your God multiple omni (omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnipresent?)?

- Do you interpret Genesis literally? (Adam and Eve existed, Flood, Tower of Babel, etc.) Do you follow any OT laws? Do you support gay marriage?

- How old do you believe the universe is? Do you accept the theory of evolution, Big Bang, etc.? In general, to you support the efforts of science to explain the universe and improve human civilization?

- Edit: Do you believe in the mainstream Christian version of hell, where people are mercilessly tortured for all eternity? Do you know what determines whether a person will to heaven or hell? If so, what?

- Explain how you know that God exists, in particular, how you know that it is the Christian God and not one of the other thousands of Gods currently being worshiped by other humans.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:while

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

while others  like butterbattle, bobspence, or Eloise ( she's a theist ) are virtually unflappable. 

Meh.

Even when I first came to this forum, I still lost my temper sometimes. I had to learn through trial and error that it's better to end a discussion with a closed-minded theist than to continue debating and get more frustrated with each successive post.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:...you

butterbattle wrote:
...you still choose to believe in God because there's still a chance. Well, of course there's a chance. ...

Not even a chance in hell.

Soory, but even if Clockcat's smiley face occupied the entire sky and spoke to me, I
would be in a delusional state and either have taken serious psychotropics or be in serious need of them.

All the same. Even if my brain perceived such a ridiculous notion as god as being real, if medication didn't help, I'd blow my brains out.

No. There's not even a chance Santa Claus exists. It's a myth and I know better than the ignorant people 2000 years ago and their ignorant followers, as well. I learned to shrug of such myths as early as age 5.


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stgemma wrote:No, that's not

stgemma wrote:
No, that's not what I meant.  I did not mean to say that I know God exists b/c everything is not as it seems.  I'm simply saying that I cannot logically dismiss the possibility of His existence based on my imperfect evaluation of the universe.

butterbattle wrote:

This is an argument for agnosticism, ...

BUTTERS!!!

You could have ended it at that!!!


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butterbattle wrote: I had

butterbattle wrote:

 I had to learn through trial and error that it's better to end a discussion with a closed-minded theist than to continue debating and get more frustrated with each successive post.

 

   Agreed. Life is too short to waste on futile endeavors....

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


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EXC wrote:It wasn't death

EXC wrote:

It wasn't death was it? It was only a 3 days of nothing. He is alive so therefore he never died. Death means death.

There is only physical death.  No one ceases to exists when they die.  I know it won't help you to tell you this, but I know this for a fact b/c many people in my family have had contact with other "dead" family - even foretelling future (usually family-related) events.  And I'm not telling you that to convince you as you obviously don't believe what can't be proven.  And I can't tell you why some people have supernatural experiences while others do not. 

 

A reoccuring theme amongst Atheists is that God cannot be proven.  There was a time when we couldn't prove the earth was round too.  Atheists will accept that which can be proven and will not accept unproven claims.   That's actually a very un-scientific way of giong about things.  Even a scientist has to be open minded and ready to accept all possibilities until they can be disproven.  But what many Atheists do is the opposite of scientific.  They only accept that which others have proven, usually as a result of an open-mind!  Iow, let the open-minded scientists do the legwork so we know what to believe, but have a closed-minded approach to life.  THAT IS NOT FREETHINKING!!!

 

Let's take a more scientific approach to the God question:

I don't know the exact statistics, but a hefty portion of the human population has either had a supernatural experience, or believes in the supernatural, particularly the belief that God exists.  Even in our very scientific age the majority of the human race believes in a God.  Why?  Are we, perhaps, created with an innate desire for Him?  A longing to find Him, and know Him?  You can take individuals, one by one, and MOST of the time you will find the person has faith.  Even despite the fact that science has made great progress in attempting to explain the universe, people continue to have faith.  Despite the fact that many of our conventional (and usually faith-derived) ideas about the universe have been disproven (at least, disproven to be literal). 

Quote:
There is the real answer to why you believe. Your own insecurity and narcissism.

You love yourself to much to ever admit that you may not go on forever. Because you are insecure about your mortality is hardly a reason for me to believe such an outlandish story.

Also you would not go to hell for all eternity if it even existed. If you were being tortured, you would do anything to get out of it. You don't live by any standard of morality other that do what's convienient for yourself. I've never met a person that really lives by any moral standard than this.

Are you projecting here?  Perhaps you live by that standard, and, as I've already admitted, the majority of professing Christendom does as well, but not everyone does.  Jesus said few would find the way that leads to life.  Call  me a narcissist if you like b/c I hope to be one of the few who has found the way and strives to live it and wishes to be transformed into Christ's likeness.  I believe it is possible b/c I have read accounts of people who have attained union with God even in this life, and I have proven for myself that it is possible as I have also attained some degree of this union myself a number of years ago before I had what I perceived to be a relapse of disbelief.  The soul's journey to perfection is well-documented and consistent.  Unrelated peoples, even of different faiths and cultures have had consistent experiences - not possible to be coincidental - especially since often what is experienced is not perceived to be from God.  Even if we can't prove the experiences come from God, most of these people do attribute it to God and many sacred writings affirm the veracity of their claims.  

 Does any of that prove God exists?  NO!  But no true scientist, freethinker, or whatever else you look up to for your answers would dismiss the likelihood that something is possible or true when it is repeatedly observed!

 


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stgemma wrote:EXC wrote:It

stgemma wrote:

EXC wrote:

It wasn't death was it? It was only a 3 days of nothing. He is alive so therefore he never died. Death means death.

There is only physical death.  No one ceases to exists when they die.  I know it won't help you to tell you this, but I know this for a fact b/c many people in my family have had contact with other "dead" family - even foretelling future (usually family-related) events.  And I'm not telling you that to convince you as you obviously don't believe what can't be proven.  And I can't tell you why some people have supernatural experiences while others do not. 

 

A reoccuring theme amongst Atheists is that God cannot be proven.  There was a time when we couldn't prove the earth was round too.  Atheists will accept that which can be proven and will not accept unproven claims.   That's actually a very un-scientific way of giong about things.  Even a scientist has to be open minded and ready to accept all possibilities until they can be disproven.  But what many Atheists do is the opposite of scientific.  They only accept that which others have proven, usually as a result of an open-mind!  Iow, let the open-minded scientists do the legwork so we know what to believe, but have a closed-minded approach to life.  THAT IS NOT FREETHINKING!!!

 

Let's take a more scientific approach to the God question:

I don't know the exact statistics, but a hefty portion of the human population has either had a supernatural experience, or believes in the supernatural, particularly the belief that God exists.  Even in our very scientific age the majority of the human race believes in a God.  Why?  Are we, perhaps, created with an innate desire for Him?  A longing to find Him, and know Him?  You can take individuals, one by one, and MOST of the time you will find the person has faith.  Even despite the fact that science has made great progress in attempting to explain the universe, people continue to have faith.  Despite the fact that many of our conventional (and usually faith-derived) ideas about the universe have been disproven (at least, disproven to be literal). 

Quote:
There is the real answer to why you believe. Your own insecurity and narcissism.

You love yourself to much to ever admit that you may not go on forever. Because you are insecure about your mortality is hardly a reason for me to believe such an outlandish story.

Also you would not go to hell for all eternity if it even existed. If you were being tortured, you would do anything to get out of it. You don't live by any standard of morality other that do what's convienient for yourself. I've never met a person that really lives by any moral standard than this.

Are you projecting here?  Perhaps you live by that standard, and, as I've already admitted, the majority of professing Christendom does as well, but not everyone does.  Jesus said few would find the way that leads to life.  Call  me a narcissist if you like b/c I hope to be one of the few who has found the way and strives to live it and wishes to be transformed into Christ's likeness.  I believe it is possible b/c I have read accounts of people who have attained union with God even in this life, and I have proven for myself that it is possible as I have also attained some degree of this union myself a number of years ago before I had what I perceived to be a relapse of disbelief.  The soul's journey to perfection is well-documented and consistent.  Unrelated peoples, even of different faiths and cultures have had consistent experiences - not possible to be coincidental - especially since often what is experienced is not perceived to be from God.  Even if we can't prove the experiences come from God, most of these people do attribute it to God and many sacred writings affirm the veracity of their claims.  

 Does any of that prove God exists?  NO!  But no true scientist, freethinker, or whatever else you look up to for your answers would dismiss the likelihood that something is possible or true when it is repeatedly observed!

 

That's about all I can manage to post right now, but I think it answers at least more than a few of the questions in the other replies.  I will try to get back and answer the others' points/questions as time permits.

 


pauljohntheskeptic
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stgemma wrote: There is

stgemma wrote:

 There is only physical death.  No one ceases to exists when they die.  I know it won't help you to tell you this, but I know this for a fact b/c many people in my family have had contact with other "dead" family - even foretelling future (usually family-related) events.  And I'm not telling you that to convince you as you obviously don't believe what can't be proven.  And I can't tell you why some people have supernatural experiences while others do not.

This only shows that you grasp at fantasy or watched too many episodes of Medium or Ghost Hunters. My sister makes such claims though they never occur in my presence or I can't see what she claims. My mother also a Fundie like my sister was involved in psychiatry and considered my sister to suffer from schizophrenia.

 

stgemma wrote:

A reoccuring theme amongst Atheists is that God cannot be proven.  There was a time when we couldn't prove the earth was round too.  Atheists will accept that which can be proven and will not accept unproven claims.   That's actually a very un-scientific way of giong about things.  Even a scientist has to be open minded and ready to accept all possibilities until they can be disproven.  But what many Atheists do is the opposite of scientific.  They only accept that which others have proven, usually as a result of an open-mind!  Iow, let the open-minded scientists do the legwork so we know what to believe, but have a closed-minded approach to life.  THAT IS NOT FREETHINKING!!!

You seem to have little grasp of the scientific method. Open minded to possibilities does not mean one accepts all possibilities can occur. One can be open to the possibility that one can transmute matter but there is no basis for considering it likely. As in your example above. Dead bodies don't seem to have the ability to communicate as they show no electrical activity in their brains nor do these dead bodies move about. No one has observed actual dead persons communicating following death other than Emails or letters sent prior to death and received subsequently afterwords.

 

stgemma wrote:

Let's take a more scientific approach to the God question:

I don't know the exact statistics, but a hefty portion of the human population has either had a supernatural experience, or believes in the supernatural, particularly the belief that God exists.  Even in our very scientific age the majority of the human race believes in a God.  Why?  Are we, perhaps, created with an innate desire for Him?  A longing to find Him, and know Him?  You can take individuals, one by one, and MOST of the time you will find the person has faith.  Even despite the fact that science has made great progress in attempting to explain the universe, people continue to have faith.  Despite the fact that many of our conventional (and usually faith-derived) ideas about the universe have been disproven (at least, disproven to be literal).

Appeal to mass delusion, everybody believes in this therefore it must be true. What humans have is the knowledge that eventually they will die which they know and understand from an early age. This knowledge generates the need to justify existence and there must be more or why am I here resulting in the concept of gods that explain it all. We are here because the gods made us for their pleasure, boredom, or just because instead of the conclusion of I don't know. 

stgemma wrote:
 

 Does any of that prove God exists?  NO!  But no true scientist, freethinker, or whatever else you look up to for your answers would dismiss the likelihood that something is possible or true when it is repeatedly observed! 

True Scotsman fallacy. No true scientist, et al. We repeatedly observe Muslims praying 6 times a day towards Mecca so Islam must be true. We repeatedly observe Jews wailing at the wall in Jerusalem so Judaism must be true. We repeatedly hear that Jesus died for you and me from Christians everyday though there is naught  but ancient writings that allege such without any other evidence so God is real and loves us all.

____________________________________________________________
"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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stgemma wrote: A reoccuring

stgemma wrote:

 

A reoccuring theme amongst Atheists is that God cannot be proven.  There was a time when we couldn't prove the earth was round too.  Atheists will accept that which can be proven and will not accept unproven claims.   That's actually a very un-scientific way of giong about things.  Even a scientist has to be open minded and ready to accept all possibilities until they can be disproven.  But what many Atheists do is the opposite of scientific.  They only accept that which others have proven, usually as a result of an open-mind!  Iow, let the open-minded scientists do the legwork so we know what to believe, but have a closed-minded approach to life.  THAT IS NOT FREETHINKING!!!

When exactly was this time that it couldn't be proven that the earth was round? 

It's possible you're conflating two uses of "cannot" (those being: absolutely impossible (e.g. you cannot be both something and not something) and circumstantially impossible (e.g. I cannot go to the moon).  Proving the existence of god if the former, while proving that the earth is round is the latter.  Even if this is the case, you still have a very poor understanding of "scientific method" and the proof of a round world likely occured much earlier than you believe. 

stgemma wrote:

Let's take a more scientific approach to the God question:

I don't know the exact statistics, but a hefty portion of the human population has either had a supernatural experience, or believes in the supernatural, particularly the belief that God exists.  Even in our very scientific age the majority of the human race believes in a God.  Why?  Are we, perhaps, created with an innate desire for Him?  A longing to find Him, and know Him?  You can take individuals, one by one, and MOST of the time you will find the person has faith.  Even despite the fact that science has made great progress in attempting to explain the universe, people continue to have faith.  Despite the fact that many of our conventional (and usually faith-derived) ideas about the universe have been disproven (at least, disproven to be literal). 

There's nothing remotely scientific about this approach.  A "hefty portion" of the human population also believes in santa clause and closet monsters.  Does this then in your opinion lend credibility to those fictional beings?  Similarly, the desire for there to be a god does not in any way support the claim that god exists. 


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stgemma wrote:Even a

stgemma wrote:

Even a scientist has to be open minded and ready to accept all possibilities until they can be disproven.  But what many Atheists do is the opposite of scientific.  They only accept that which others have proven, usually as a result of an open-mind!  Iow, let the open-minded scientists do the legwork so we know what to believe, but have a closed-minded approach to life.  THAT IS NOT FREETHINKING!!!

You accept that something can be true until it is disproven. You don't accept that it is true. Big difference!

stgemma wrote:
I don't know the exact statistics, but a hefty portion of the human population has either had a supernatural experience, or believes in the supernatural, particularly the belief that God exists.

People have experienced things that they couldn't otherwise explain. Whenever people can't explain something, they label it supernatural. It's nothing but an intellectual cop-out.

stgemma wrote:
Even in our very scientific age the majority of the human race believes in a God.  Why?  Are we, perhaps, created with an innate desire for Him?  A longing to find Him, and know Him?

We have an innate desire to want to explain things with ad hocs.

stgemma wrote:
Even if we can't prove the experiences come from God, most of these people do attribute it to God and many sacred writings affirm the veracity of their claims.

They all hold different supernatural beliefs, different Gods. This is evidence that people have a tendency to cling to the supernatural, not that there is actually a God.

stgemma wrote:
But no true scientist, freethinker, or whatever else you look up to for your answers would dismiss the likelihood that something is possible or true when it is repeatedly observed!

God is not 'repeatedly observed;' people that believe in God are repeatedly observed and their claims contradict.

Edit:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Ghost Hunters.

Hey, I like that show.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Gauche wrote:So, when you

Gauche wrote:


So, when you said that were you not attempting to draw a parallel between your parents imposing something on you (rules) that you didn't understand and god imposing things on people (tragedy) that they don't understand?
The point wasn't about imposing rules.  The point was that a child does not understand his parent's ways.  I could also have said that when I was 4 I thought my parents were abandoning me day after day when they went to work - not understanding that it was for the good of our family that they do so.  So focused would I have been on the painful experience of my parent's leaving me for long periods of time. 

 

Quote:
 I'm not arguing with that. I'm arguing with your conflicting notions about god. You say that god allows tragedy as a "growing experience" but the fact that not every tragedy is a growing experience belies that idea.

And all that proves is that people react differently.  For all we know everyone's tragic experiences benefit them at some point in life even if it's their last breath of life. 

Quote:

 Don't you also believe that it is omnipotent and the creator of everything?

Yes
Quote:


In such a case, were it possible not only would god necessarily know what will happen, but all events would necessarily be a result of god's actions.

All events would be a result of god's having created things as He did, yes.  So in an abstract sense, He would be responsible indirectly.  Iow, He made man with free will - man does bad things - God is the creator of man - In an abstract sense, God is responsible for the evil.  Are all parents responsible for the evil their children do?

Quote:
If god was unlimited in terms of power and knowledge, and the creator of everything then god would necessarily craft every situation.

how so?  If he sets the universe in motion and creates man with a free will, then things can operate freely.  If I was the inventor of the car, and 10 years later the car malfunctions in some way, does it mean I, the inventor, crafted the situation?

Quote:
your notion of god is that instead of providing people with some evidence that they could rationally accept, god thinks it's a better idea to have people suffer extreme agony to get his point across and force belief on them.

 I believe God has provided people with ample evidence we can rationally accept.  I think it's completely irrational to look at the world around you and think that it all just happened by some stroke of luck and everything is balanced so delicately but it's just coincidence.  I think it's irrational to dismiss 90% or something like that of the world's population who believe in God - even cultures with no contact with the rest of the world .  Why not attribute the unknown to something else?  I think it's irrational to dismiss a good majority of peole who claim to have had supernatural experiences as being dillusional or ignorant or deceptive.  Most importantly, I believe God puts a desire in every person to seek Him.  Most people try to satiate their hunger for God by filling themselves with other things; things that can never satisfy.  I don't believe for a second that anyone who says they disbelieve God exists is truly satisfied.

Quote:
If you don't know why suffering exists then just say you don't know. Why bother with this silly charade of pretending that your notion of god is somehow reconcilable with the reality we observe, when the only way you can address these problems is with special pleading

It's not special pleading.  I'm showing you that you close-mindedly dismiss reasonable possibilities.  I cannot prove that God exists, and you cannot prove He does not exist.  I am open to the possibility that He does not exists.  Are you open to the possibility that He does? 


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treat2 wrote:stgemma

treat2 wrote:
stgemma wrote:
...I consider myself Christian...Tell me:  Why would I want to join you in your supposed "disbelief"?
Abondoning your dogma is for you to decide. Personally, I think you would be a miserable Atheist as you are entirely unprepared to think independently. For that reason, I wouldn't suggest you consider Atheism, as you're clearly unprepared to exist happily as a person witout dogma, and entirely reliant upon independent thought and decisions. As an example, see the questions you can not answer for yourself without your dogma.
stgemma wrote:
... Is this what will become of me?  

 

 

Tell me:  What motivates you?  How will disbelieving "improve" "life" (you seem already dead)?  Do you live for this world (your earthly life)?  Do you live for yourself?  For pleasure?  To escape suffering?  Have you compassion (for others - especially for strangers)?  Do you work for the common good?  What reason have you to?  Is love real or is it a chemical reaction;... what motivation do you have to me "moral" at all?  In that case, how do you even determine morality/ethics?...

You've convinced me. You'd be a miserable Atheist without your dogma. Please don't attempt to abandon it, as you would be lost without it. You have my sympathy, as you are clearly quite miserable even with your dogma. Peace be upon you.
Actually, when I contemplate what it must be like to have no faith, those are the problems I see.  How can anyone answer them consistently?  Is it all relative?  And how does a society operate for the common good (if you can even prove that it should) when everyone's answers only originate with their own opinions?  Why is killing wrong?  What if I believe that my family is superior than everyone else's and I just kill anyone who gets in the way of our progress?  Who determines that is wrong and why?  We are fast approaching a time when the number of elderly exceed the number of working-class people (and people who have the potential to live to be workers).  What a burden this will be to the working-class.  If our interests are on progress, we should eliminate these people who cannot contribute to society.  Same with disabled people. 

Seriously - don't you people see something wrong with this?  I'll wager a guess that some of you DONT!  And you cannot honestly tell me that everyone agrees that these things are wrong - I know for a fact that this is how a staggering percentage of society are thinking.  And how can you prove it's right or wrong?  Euthanize them all and no one will suffer - in fact fewer will suffer as the burden will be lifted.  Many elderly feel like they are a burden anyway... 

A world without faith or where the faithless are the majority (at least in a democracy), this will be just one of the results. 

Those of you who think those things are wrong believe so b/c you were raised to believe so - most likely b/c family and society have been influenced by faith - especially Christianity here in the states.  I believe not many generations from now all of that will change, and what a sad state of affairs that will be. 

 


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Quote: You can take a few of

Quote:
You can take a few of these questions at a time.
I'd also like to go back to a few of your points earlier in this reply, but I'm running short of time and wanted to at least give this a quick response:
Quote:

- Is your God completely supernatural? Is your God multiple omni (omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnipresent?)?

I am preimarily Christian, and I am a trinitarian Christian, therefore I believe in God the Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus who was made man (and still God), and the Holy Spirit (the manifestation of the love between the Father and the Son).  And yes on the omnis.  (My dad had one when I was 10 Eye-wink  - sorry it's getting late..... 
Quote:

- Do you interpret Genesis literally? (Adam and Eve existed, Flood, Tower of Babel, etc.)

No. 
Quote:
Do you follow any OT laws?
HA!  Even Christendom cannot agree on that one.  I follow Jesus' two commandments:  Love God and Love Neighbor. 
Quote:
Do you support gay marriage?
I don't oppose it.  I admit I haven't really looked into the issue enough to.
Quote:

- How old do you believe the universe is? Do you accept the theory of evolution, Big Bang, etc.?

I believe it is just that - a theory.  I don't believe that the universe has to be young or that genesis was literal.  It appears that evolution is fast becoming more than a theory.  
Quote:
In general, to you support the efforts of science to explain the universe and improve human civilization?
Absolutely!  I follow scienctific breakthroughs with great interest.  I more than support it, I went to college for it - marine biology.  Love astronomy too.
Quote:

- Edit: Do you believe in the mainstream Christian version of hell, where people are mercilessly tortured for all eternity?

Yes and no.  I believe Hell is a place where one is eternally seperated from God.  I believe seperation from God here (although we are not entirely seperated from Him here) is torturous (although they may not attribute their agony to it) and when we die, and see God perfectly, being eternally seperated will be unltimately agonizing. 
Quote:
Do you know what determines whether a person will to heaven or hell? If so, what?
Willfully rejecting God or willfully rejecting to keep His commandments (the 2 I mentioned above). 
Quote:

- Explain how you know that God exists, in particular, how you know that it is the Christian God and not one of the other thousands of Gods currently being worshiped by other humans.

That's going to take more than I have time for, but generally speaking, I believe Jesus was God, and I see elements of His teachings in other religions for which I have great admiration. 


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stgemma wrote:The point

stgemma wrote:

The point wasn't about imposing rules.  The point was that a child does not understand his parent's ways.  I could also have said that when I was 4 I thought my parents were abandoning me day after day when they went to work - not understanding that it was for the good of our family that they do so.  So focused would I have been on the painful experience of my parent's leaving me for long periods of time.

Maybe I'm using the word "imposing" the wrong way. My english is not always perfect. You're drawing a parallel between what your parents did and what god does based on the idea that it's ultimately beneficial right?

 

Quote:

And all that proves is that people react differently.  For all we know everyone's tragic experiences benefit them at some point in life even if it's their last breath of life. 

That may be the case but it would be rather presumptuous for us to assume that it was the case. If it's not the case then it proves that sometimes god exposes people to tragedy for reasons other than to benefit them.

 

Quote:

All events would be a result of god's having created things as He did, yes.  So in an abstract sense, He would be responsible indirectly.  Iow, He made man with free will - man does bad things - God is the creator of man - In an abstract sense, God is responsible for the evil.  Are all parents responsible for the evil their children do?

Parents only have an idea of what their children may do. If god was omniscient it would know exactly what a person will do. And if god was omnipotent it would have the ability to alter the situation surrounding the person to ensure that they will do something different. Even if you believe in free will you have to admit that choice is only one of many factors that determine a person's actions. Most of those factors are not controlled by the individual directly or indirectly, but an omnipotent, omniscient, creator god would have complete control over all of those factors. In such a case every event would only occur in the manner and at the time that it does because god didn't choose for it to occur differently. It's the only logical conclusion.

Quote:

how so?  If he sets the universe in motion and creates man with a free will, then things can operate freely.  If I was the inventor of the car, and 10 years later the car malfunctions in some way, does it mean I, the inventor, crafted the situation?

A better analogy would be if you invented a car and you knew for a fact that if you went with your original design that there would be a crash 10 years later and if you altered the design then the crash would not occur, but armed with this knowledge you decided to go with your original plans. Then yes, you crafted the situation and caused the accident.

Quote:

 I believe God has provided people with ample evidence we can rationally accept. 

Great, that's concrete. What is this evidence?

 

Quote:
I think it's completely irrational to look at the world around you and think that it all just happened by some stroke of luck and everything is balanced so delicately but it's just coincidence.
That's not what I believe.

Quote:
I think it's irrational to dismiss 90% or something like that of the world's population who believe in God - even cultures with no contact with the rest of the world .  Why not attribute the unknown to something else?

It's a rhetorical appeal, it doesn't matter how many people believe something.

 

Quote:
  I think it's irrational to dismiss a good majority of peole who claim to have had supernatural experiences as being dillusional or ignorant or deceptive.  Most importantly, I believe God puts a desire in every person to seek Him.  Most people try to satiate their hunger for God by filling themselves with other things; things that can never satisfy.  I don't believe for a second that anyone who says they disbelieve God exists is truly satisfied.

I haven't called anyone delusional and ignorant yet. I think it might be against the rules in this forum. If you want to believe that all atheists are unhappy that's your right I guess but you might want to actually meet a few first before you render your final judgment.

 

Quote:
It's not special pleading.  I'm showing you that you close-mindedly dismiss reasonable possibilities.  I cannot prove that God exists, and you cannot prove He does not exist.  I am open to the possibility that He does not exists.  Are you open to the possibility that He does? 

I've never been the sort of person to dismiss things outright unless I think they are patently absurd. While I think that the god you're speaking of is impossible it's not really my position that all gods are impossible. But to be perfectly honest even if I thought your god was possible it wouldn't matter to me because I see the claim that it exists as being completely arbitrary.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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stgemma wrote:And yes on the

stgemma wrote:

And yes on the omnis.  (My dad had one when I was 10 Eye-wink  - sorry it's getting late..... 

What?

stgemma wrote:
I follow Jesus' two commandments:  Love God and Love Neighbor.

Yay! Hahaha. You're the kind of Christian I can respect.....not that I don't respect other Christians.

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes."

stgemma wrote:
I believe it is just that - a theory.

What is a theory?

stgemma wrote:
I more than support it, I went to college for it - marine biology.  Love astronomy too.

Wow, what college did you go to? Do you have a degree?

stgemma wrote:
Willfully rejecting God or willfully rejecting to keep His commandments (the 2 I mentioned above).

When you say "rejecting God," would that be when one knows that He exists, but remains disbelieving?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


pauljohntheskeptic
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butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Ghost Hunters.

Hey, I like that show.

No problem with liking shows like that its thinking that its real when problems occur. I liked Dead Like Me, Dexter and True Blood but TV fantasy is just that and no more.

____________________________________________________________
"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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Quote:stgemma wrote:  And

Quote:

stgemma wrote:

 

And yes on the omnis.  (My dad had one when I was 10 Eye-wink  - sorry it's getting late..... 

What?

I think he/shewas going for a car here...... as in Dodge Omni !

Perhaps not all that funny...but if it's any consolation I've found a great deal of humor in many other portions of his/her thread.

 

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


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Gauche wrote:Maybe I'm using

Gauche wrote:

Maybe I'm using the word "imposing" the wrong way. My english is not always perfect. You're drawing a parallel between what your parents did and what god does based on the idea that it's ultimately beneficial right?

Yes.  The idea is that things are not always as they seem, and if God's ways are unlike ours - particularly if He is more intelligent than we - then we would not understand the purpose for the experiences we have. 

 

Quote:
 That may be the case but it would be rather presumptuous for us to assume that it was the case.
Sure - without endorsing my particular God, it would be presumptuous.  I don't think it is presumptuous if I consider the Christian God. 
Quote:

A better analogy would be if you invented a car and you knew for a fact that if you went with your original design that there would be a crash 10 years later and if you altered the design then the crash would not occur, but armed with this knowledge you decided to go with your original plans. Then yes, you crafted the situation and caused the accident.

For clarity, let's say the "crash" is condemnation in Hell (since that would be the ultimate tragedy for a person in the eyes of a God whose purpose in creating people was to have them freely choose to love Him and live with Him eternally in Heaven).  First of all, we don't know that this crash ever even occurs, or if it does, how often it does.  There may well be very few people who actually end up in Hell, and there may be none at all.  But I still don't see why God's omniscience or omnipotence makes his plan a failure if His creation freely chooses the way that ultimately condemns them.  It does make Him indirectly responsible since God created us with free will, but it doesn't make His plan a failure. 

Quote:
That's not what I believe....

It's a rhetorical appeal, it doesn't matter how many people believe something....

I don't expect you to agree as if I'm presenting you with evidence that you would consider concrete.  You and I both know I cannot do that.  I see these things as evidence of the possibility that God exists.  I combine this with looking at the claims of various religions, combined with my own life experiences, combined with my own supernatural experiences, combined with my own religious experiences when I reached out in faith...  It's a combination of things that has led me to choose to continue in faith even though God cannot be proven.

 

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  I don't believe for a second that anyone who says they disbelieve God exists is truly satisfied.
Quote:

I haven't called anyone delusional and ignorant yet. I think it might be against the rules in this forum.

No, but others have, and they are also reading....
Quote:
If you want to believe that all atheists are unhappy that's your right I guess but you might want to actually meet a few first before you render your final judgment.
I believe many people think they are happy too.  I'm simply saying that if we are created with a desire for God, it would make sense that those without faith would be restless.  I'm thinking of St. Augustine's quote: "Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee O Lord.".


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butterbattle wrote:And yes

butterbattle wrote:

And yes on the omnis.  (My dad had one when I was 10 Eye-wink  - sorry it's getting late..... 

Dodge Omni Eye-wink  - and no, it wasn't meant to be knee-slapping funny - it was mostly for my own amusement.
Quote:

What is a theory?

Evolution is a theory.  Or are you asking me to define what a theory is?

Definition:
 
1. rules and techniques: the body of rules, ideas, principles, and techniques that applies to a subject, especially when seen as distinct from actual practiceeconomic theories
Many coaches have a good grasp of the theory of football but can't motivate players.

 
2. speculation: abstract thought or contemplation

 
3. idea formed by speculation: an idea of or belief about something arrived at through speculation or conjecture
She believed in the theory that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

 
4. hypothetical circumstances: a set of circumstances or principles that is hypothetical
That's the theory, but it may not work out in practice.

 
5. scientific principle to explain phenomena: a set of facts, propositions, or principles analyzed in their relation to one another and used, especially in science, to explain phenomena

 
[Late 16th century. Via late Latin< Greek theōria "contemplation, theory" < theōros "spectator"]
 
in theory under hypothetical or ideal circumstances but perhaps not in reality
 

http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861719564/theory.html

Quote:

Wow, what college did you go to? Do you have a degree?

UMass Dartmouth (Massachusetts).  And no, I went for a degree but did not continue.  However, 2 of my classmates went on to work for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and work with Dr. Ballard (the man who discovered the Titanic).  Kinda wish I had stayed with it.
Quote:

When you say "rejecting God," would that be when one knows that He exists, but remains disbelieving?

It can mean many things.  For example, some people see a reasonable possibility that He exists but feign ignorance, are unwilling to give it more thought or investigation, don't want to live under an authority... 


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Quote:So.....you know, based

Quote:
So.....you know, based on personal experience, that we've never met people who do what Christ commands?

That doesn't make any sense. 

No.  I know from personal experience that a great majority of Christendom doesn't follow Christ.  I never claimed that everyone here dismisses Christianity for that reason, but I'd wager a guess that some do.  It wasn't meant to be a blanket statement - it was to address those it applies to. 
stgemma wrote:
What should a godless society do with them?  What agreement would you all come to concerning them?  Some would insist we take care of them. Others would say euthanize them; put them out of their misery.
 
Quote:

It depends. In general, I think we should take care of the disadvantaged.

And what if the majority in this democracy vote not to take care of them and your disabled children and elderly parents' lives are in danger?  Atheists don't like when the religious majority impose their morality on society, but the alternative is a godless society with no authority other than the individual consciences of the people, and whatever the majority believes will govern the whole, whether it's right nor not, whether you agree or not.  So, is there truth to the issue or not?  Is truth relative to the individual conscience?  Or is there an authority that has revealed the answers to these issues? 
Quote:

- I help others because I enjoy helping others.

Well, what if you think you're helping someone by giving them a lethal dose of medicine, and that person doesn't agree with you that you're actually helping? 
Quote:
- I determine what is moral based on my conscience and reason.
That's exactly my point.  Morality is subjective iow?  How does that work?


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 Yes, Morality is

 Yes, Morality is subjective, even your morality is subjectiv.

After all, you have admitted (I think this is you, I might be getting some posters mixed up) that you reject almost all of the commandments and laws contained in the bible.  You have, if you only follow Jesus' two Commandments of love, rejected essentially the entire Old Testament

How did you do that?  Did god personally tell you that the Old Testament was not valid and you should ignore it, or did you apply your own conscience to it and determine you didn't like it?

Even if you were told by Priests, how did they decide this?

Absolute Morality does not exist, for even should a god exist, no man may know his mind.

 As for a democracy changing its morality, this is an inherent risk in all democracies and all governments really, whether faithful or not. Remember, Hitler took power legally.

Note for the Godwins; I am not comparing anyone in this thread to Hitler, thus this is not an example of the Reductio-ad-Hitlerum Falacy.  I am merely using him as an example.  In all honesty, Napoleon would be a better example.

 

 

When you say it like that you make it sound so Sinister...


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This only shows that you grasp at fantasy or watched too many episodes of Medium or Ghost Hunters. My sister makes such claims though they never occur in my presence or I can't see what she claims. My mother also a Fundie like my sister was involved in psychiatry and considered my sister to suffer from schizophrenia.

And so you project your experience on those who believe to have had legitimate supernatural experiences.  Maybe your sister is mentally ill.  Certainly there are people who don't have a grasp at reality and there are some that live in a fantasy world.  I know these occurances in my family are legitimate b/c there is no natural or scientific explanation for them.  Please tell me if you can give me a natural or scientific explanation for these: In your dream your father (who has been dead for 5  years or so) tells you that your mother will be taken suddenly.  That afternoon you receive the information that she died unexpectedly from an unforeseen medical condition.  Your 8-year-old daughter died of leukemia about 10 years ago.  One day as you're waiting at a stop light you see what appears to be your father walking hand in hand with her down the sidewalk.  You pull over to investigate and the people disappear.  When you get home you receive the information that your father has just passed away.  This is just 2 of about a dozen or so examples. The first example is the experience of my cousin - a prominent man in the medical and science community in Boston (who will remain nameless). He's not a religious person that I'm aware of, and I assure you he is completely sane and no one has any reason to believe he'd make up such a story.  The second is my uncle's experience - also not a religious person - completely sane to our knowledge and a man of intergrity.   
Quote:
  

You seem to have little grasp of the scientific method. Open minded to possibilities does not mean one accepts all possibilities can occur. One can be open to the possibility that one can transmute matter but there is no basis for considering it likely. As in your example above. Dead bodies don't seem to have the ability to communicate as they show no electrical activity in their brains nor do these dead bodies move about. No one has observed actual dead persons communicating following death other than Emails or letters sent prior to death and received subsequently afterwords.

I'm not talking about dead people walking around.  I'm talking about a spiritual body or energy that continues to exists after bodily death.  As far as I know Jesus is the only person whose actual body was raised from the dead.  My point was that many atheist reject the possibility that God exists while accepting science when scientists actually take a more open-minded approach to discovering things than those atheists do.  They rely on the open-minded efforts of scientists to help formulate their beliefs while they themselves are not open-minded. 
Quote:
  We repeatedly observe Muslims praying 6 times a day towards Mecca so Islam must be true. We repeatedly observe Jews wailing at the wall in Jerusalem so Judaism must be true. We repeatedly hear that Jesus died for you and me from Christians everyday though there is naught  but ancient writings that allege such without any other evidence so God is real and loves us all.
I think they are all worth consideration.  I see a common thread in most religions and spiritual beliefs and practices (there's a higher power, love one another, do no harm, etc...)  I see a common theme as well; that men distort the truth (in religion) and use religion as tools and weapons to propagate their personal agendas (whether or not they realize it).  But instead of recognizing that there are commonalities some people only see the contradictions and so dismiss them all - they can't all be right afterall. 


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Sinphanius wrote: Yes,

Sinphanius wrote:

 Yes, Morality is subjective, even your morality is subjectiv.

After all, you have admitted (I think this is you, I might be getting some posters mixed up) that you reject almost all of the commandments and laws contained in the bible.  You have, if you only follow Jesus' two Commandments of love, rejected essentially the entire Old Testament.

Actually, Jesus gave only 2 commandments: love God and love neighbor - and then He said that the whole of the "law and the prophets" is contained in those two commands.  The law and the prophets refers to the Old Testament.  Jesus taught us to live by the spirit of the law and not the letter.  Please bear in mind also that the pharisees whom Jesus often opposed and criticized added many, burdensome commands to God's commands - Jesus pointed out this fact and rebuked them for it.  The Israelites were given many commands by God - very specific ones.  Paul in the New Testament explains that the old testament was their teacher.  It taught man the sinful nature of man, the holiness of God in comparison, the severity of sin, and man's dependence on God (among other things). 

Quote:
Absolute Morality does not exist, for even should a god exist, no man may know his mind.

They may know it if He has revealed it to them.  I see this revelation in the Bible and other world religions as well - there's a common thread woven through most of them.  

 

Hey!  I think I'm finally caught up in my replies!


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stgemma wrote:in

stgemma wrote:
in theory under hypothetical or ideal circumstances but perhaps not in reality
That's not the sort of theory that evolution is.  It is not the sort of theory that any theory in science is.

Quote:
5. scientific principle to explain phenomena: a set of facts, propositions, or principles analyzed in their relation to one another and used, especially in science, to explain phenomena
That is the sort of theory meant in regards to science.  In other words, the theory of evolution, as much as the theory of gravity, is an explanation of observed phenomenon.  We see that evolution happens.  We are able to observe a great deal of phenomenon which are best explained by the current iteration of the theory of evolution.  It is difficult to believe that you are so ignorant that when asked if you believe the theory of evolution you admit that it is 'just a theory', clearly conflating two uses of the word and when asked what a theory is, you point to evolution, post a list of definitions and pick the wrong one out.  Are you really ignorant or just intellectually dishonest?

Quote:
It appears that evolution is fast becoming more than a theory.
Oh, I see.

Sinphanius wrote:
As for a democracy changing its morality, this is an inherent risk in all democracies and all governments really, whether faithful or not. Remember, Hitler took power legally.

Note for the Godwins; I am not comparing anyone in this thread to Hitler, thus this is not an example of the Reductio-ad-Hitlerum Falacy.  I am merely using him as an example.  In all honesty, Napoleon would be a better example.

Then you should have used Napoleon.  Besides, he has a great many witty statements about religion attributed to him.

stgemma wrote:
And what if the majority in this democracy vote not to take care of them and your disabled children and elderly parents' lives are in danger?
You mean America?  You should really be more explicit.  We're not all American here.  Further, why should your secular democracy somehow function so differently than the rest in this world that people should not be decent without the directive of god?  You realise that you're essentially discounting those countries where religion really has very little to do (at least explicitly) with politics and that humans are treated as equally capable of good (as in your democracy) without the invocation of some deity? 

Quote:
Atheists don't like when the religious majority impose their morality on society, but the alternative is a godless society with no authority other than the individual consciences of the people, and whatever the majority believes will govern the whole, whether it's right nor not, whether you agree or not.
How cynical and completely untrue.  Built into your society and those of other democratic countries, are the protection of rights against the will of the majority thus that a group of people who participate in that society may not be marginalized or reduced in rights compared to the majority.  Also built into your society is a secular code of law that prescribes the behaviours unacceptable to society.  There is no doubt that these behaviours are subject to (enlightened) change; the emancipation of slaves, universal suffrage and the abolishment of homosexuality as a crime.  There is no doubt that the morality of society is constantly changing; that there appears to be a progression; that there is debate about what is in fact moral and immoral, what the words mean and how morality should be studied and applied and how it is to be accounted for.  And all this because, rather than morality being an ordained and arbitrary law of some divine law maker and judge, it is subjective to individuals and how they interact with each other in ways that are productive and self-serving and beneficial to society or none of those things or all of them and perhaps more.

Quote:
So, is there truth to the issue or not?  Is truth relative to the individual conscience?
Why are you talking about truth?  What has truth got to do with morality? 

Quote:
Or is there an authority that has revealed the answers to these issues?
Ostensibly no, if what you're asking is if an authority has ordained an absolute and objective code of morals.

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."


pauljohntheskeptic
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stgemma wrote: And so you

stgemma wrote:

 And so you project your experience on those who believe to have had legitimate supernatural experiences.  Maybe your sister is mentally ill.  Certainly there are people who don't have a grasp at reality and there are some that live in a fantasy world.

Perhaps she is mentally ill though she comes across exactly as you do as what she says is a "true Christian." If personal experience and observation of the same type of circumstances as you claim are to be rejected as someone in fantasy not reality it certainly doesn't gain you any points in this activity being legitimate.

 

stgemma wrote:

I know these occurances in my family are legitimate b/c there is no natural or scientific explanation for them.  Please tell me if you can give me a natural or scientific explanation for these: In your dream your father (who has been dead for 5  years or so) tells you that your mother will be taken suddenly.  That afternoon you receive the information that she died unexpectedly from an unforeseen medical condition.  Your 8-year-old daughter died of leukemia about 10 years ago.  One day as you're waiting at a stop light you see what appears to be your father walking hand in hand with her down the sidewalk.  You pull over to investigate and the people disappear.  When you get home you receive the information that your father has just passed away.  This is just 2 of about a dozen or so examples. The first example is the experience of my cousin - a prominent man in the medical and science community in Boston (who will remain nameless). He's not a religious person that I'm aware of, and I assure you he is completely sane and no one has any reason to believe he'd make up such a story.  The second is my uncle's experience - also not a religious person - completely sane to our knowledge and a man of intergrity.

In both cases that you cite it is hearsay and not your own experience. You are left to accept their word such experience occurred.

1) In your cousin's case - you may not completely know the circumstance of the knowledge he had. His mom may have mentioned she was having chest pains, or had mentioned something to him about her general health. These comments could have triggered his dreams. Little things cause dreams that may sound insignificant but in fact were revealing.

2) In your uncle's experiences, you don't indicate what his father died from. The daughter I take it died 1st and his father next. You give insignificant info here to understand.

stgemma wrote:
 

 

Quote:
  You seem to have little grasp of the scientific method. Open minded to possibilities does not mean one accepts all possibilities can occur. One can be open to the possibility that one can transmute matter but there is no basis for considering it likely. As in your example above. Dead bodies don't seem to have the ability to communicate as they show no electrical activity in their brains nor do these dead bodies move about. No one has observed actual dead persons communicating following death other than Emails or letters sent prior to death and received subsequently afterwords.

 I'm not talking about dead people walking around.  I'm talking about a spiritual body or energy that continues to exists after bodily death.  As far as I know Jesus is the only person whose actual body was raised from the dead.  My point was that many atheist reject the possibility that God exists while accepting science when scientists actually take a more open-minded approach to discovering things than those atheists do.  They rely on the open-minded efforts of scientists to help formulate their beliefs while they themselves are not open-minded.

I wasn't talking about dead people walking around either. My point, when the electrical activity in the brain ceases so does the interaction with that person. Seances and dreams are not proof of an afterlife. Please cite actual scientific experiments as validation to back your claim of "dead people" communicating with the living.

Again as I said and others - Open minded to possibilities means one considers they might occur until one gains further knowledge. It is not that all possibilities will occur. A very big difference.

stgemma wrote:

Quote:
 

We repeatedly observe Muslims praying 6 times a day towards Mecca so Islam must be true. We repeatedly observe Jews wailing at the wall in Jerusalem so Judaism must be true. We repeatedly hear that Jesus died for you and me from Christians everyday though there is naught  but ancient writings that allege such without any other evidence so God is real and loves us all.

I think they are all worth consideration.  I see a common thread in most religions and spiritual beliefs and practices (there's a higher power, love one another, do no harm, etc...)  I see a common theme as well; that men distort the truth (in religion) and use religion as tools and weapons to propagate their personal agendas (whether or not they realize it).  But instead of recognizing that there are commonalities some people only see the contradictions and so dismiss them all - they can't all be right afterall. 

My point was just because repeated observation of a belief occurs that does not validate the belief only that a large number of people consider it to be true. I won't cite the countless times that beliefs have been shown to be wrong even when virtually the entire population of the world held them.

You obviously need to read the Qu'ran before you make such claims. 

No disagreement that religions are used as tools to control the masses and for personal gain and power.

____________________________________________________________
"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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Thomathy wrote:stgemma

Thomathy wrote:

stgemma wrote:
in theory under hypothetical or ideal circumstances but perhaps not in reality
That's not the sort of theory that evolution is.  It is not the sort of theory that any theory in science is.

Quote:
5. scientific principle to explain phenomena: a set of facts, propositions, or principles analyzed in their relation to one another and used, especially in science, to explain phenomena
That is the sort of theory meant in regards to science.  In other words, the theory of evolution, as much as the theory of gravity, is an explanation of observed phenomenon.  We see that evolution happens.  We are able to observe a great deal of phenomenon which are best explained by the current iteration of the theory of evolution.  It is difficult to believe that you are so ignorant that when asked if you believe the theory of evolution you admit that it is 'just a theory', clearly conflating two uses of the word and when asked what a theory is, you point to evolution, post a list of definitions and pick the wrong one out.  Are you really ignorant or just intellectually dishonest?
Actually, I did not pick out any one at all.  I copy/pasted all of that from the site I cited.  Check out the link and see for yourself.  Scientific theory is not law.  And yes, I agree that #5 comes closest to what we're discussing.  And I am not contesting the theory of evolution at all. However, there is a possibility that the theory of evolution is wrong.  Although I've heard compelling arguments from both sides - I do tend to lean more heavily toward evolution. 
Quote:
Oh, I see.
No, you didn't - but that was partially my fault for not making it clear.  Iow, I personally, am accepting the theory of evolution (#5 definition) as more than just a theory (last definition without a number).  Dizzying, I know.  I actually meant to edit that portion before I submitted it as it was sloppily put.  

Quote:
stgemma wrote:
And what if the majority in this democracy vote not to take care of them and your disabled children and elderly parents' lives are in danger?
You mean America?  You should really be more explicit.  We're not all American here.  Further, why should your secular democracy somehow function so differently than the rest in this world that people should not be decent without the directive of god?  You realise that you're essentially discounting those countries where religion really has very little to do (at least explicitly) with politics and that humans are treated as equally capable of good (as in your democracy) without the invocation of some deity
First of all, I don't think America's democracy is superior to other countries' governments if that's your objection, and I also don't believe there is a perfect earthly government.  I'm using America as an example b/c, well, I live there, and I did specifically say "here in the states" in my previous post.  As for the bolded part above - that statement can be contested.  Without a rule of measure, what one considers "good" is not necessarily good. 

Quote:
Built into your society and those of other democratic countries, are the protection of rights against the will of the majority thus that a group of people who participate in that society may not be marginalized or reduced in rights compared to the majority. 
This statement is unclear to me.  Are you saying that the majority's rights are protected and that groups of people who participate in that society (meaning the minority?) may not be marginalized etc.?  I'm not sure I follow your point, or that I agree with you if you're saying what I think you are... 
Quote:
 

Also built into your society is a secular code of law that prescribes the behaviours unacceptable to society. 

And are often interpretated inconsistently, which isn't very helpful. 

Quote:
 There is no doubt that these behaviours are subject to (enlightened) change; the emancipation of slaves, universal suffrage and the abolishment of homosexuality as a crime. 
They are also subject to un-enlightened change.....

Quote:
 There is no doubt that the morality of society is constantly changing; that there appears to be a progression;
...and regression.....

Quote:
 that there is debate about what is in fact moral and immoral, what the words mean and how morality should be studied and applied and how it is to be accounted for.  And all this because, rather than morality being an ordained and arbitrary law of some divine law maker and judge, it is subjective to individuals and how they interact with each other
B/c morality is treated as such does not mean it is correct.  I agree that morality is treated as subjective but I don't believe it actually is. 

Quote:
Why are you talking about truth?  What has truth got to do with morality? 
Again, b/c I don't believe morality is subjective.  Truth has a lot to do with morality (when you don't believe it is subjective).  With subjective morality one can justify any behavior.  But I believe some behaviors are unjustifiably wrong.  
Quote:
Or is there an authority that has revealed the answers to these issues?
Quote:
Ostensibly no, if what you're asking is if an authority has ordained an absolute and objective code of morals.
I believe God (The Authority) has ordained one - albeit there is contention as to its interpretation.   

 


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Quote: In both cases that

Quote:
In both cases that you cite it is hearsay and not your own experience. You are left to accept their word such experience occurred.

1) In your cousin's case - you may not completely know the circumstance of the knowledge he had. His mom may have mentioned she was having chest pains, or had mentioned something to him about her general health. These comments could have triggered his dreams. Little things cause dreams that may sound insignificant but in fact were revealing.

She died unexpectedly - like an intestinal rupture or some aweful thing like that.  No one knew her health was at risk, that is why it seems unlikely that something subconscious could have triggered the dream. 

Quote:
2) In your uncle's experiences, you don't indicate what his father died from. The daughter I take it died 1st and his father next. You give insignificant info here to understand.
Their deaths were about 10 years apart.  She was very close to her grandfather before she died.  I think he had a heart attack. 

In any case, I've no reason to doubt them.

Quote:
does the interaction with that person. Seances and dreams are not proof of an afterlife. Please cite actual scientific experiments as validation to back your claim of "dead people" communicating with the living.
I never claimed to have any scientific proof, but I think there is good reason to accept it as a possibility since it is a common claim that has not been disproven. 
Quote:

Again as I said and others - Open minded to possibilities means one considers they might occur until one gains further knowledge. It is not that all possibilities will occur. A very big difference.

I never said all possibilities will occur.  I said we shouldn't close-mindedly reject the possibilities, as, I believe, a good number of atheists do.

 


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stgemma wrote:] Iow, I

stgemma wrote:
Iow, I personally, am accepting the theory of evolution (#5 definition) as more than just a theory (last definition without a number).  Dizzying, I know.  I actually meant to edit that portion before I submitted it as it was sloppily put.
I don't want to press the topic since it, as yet, doesn't seem terribly important, but you realise that the theory of evolution is a theory and not 'more than just a theory'.  I mean, when you say that it reeks of a particular ignorance on the subject and a misuse or misunderstanding of the word theory.  Perhaps you mean to say that you believe that evolution is an observable phenomenon and that the theory of evolution appears to best explain that phenomenon?  It hardly matters, but I do wish for your clarification.

 

stgemma wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
stgemma wrote:
And what if the majority in this democracy vote not to take care of them and your disabled children and elderly parents' lives are in danger?
You mean America?  You should really be more explicit.  We're not all American here.  Further, why should your secular democracy somehow function so differently than the rest in this world that people should not be decent without the directive of god?  You realise that you're essentially discounting those countries where religion really has very little to do (at least explicitly) with politics and that humans are treated as equally capable of good (as in your democracy) without the invocation of some deity?
First of all, I don't think America's democracy is superior to other countries' governments if that's your objection, and I also don't believe there is a perfect earthly government.
I have suggested neither that you believe America to be superior nor that you believe there is a perfect earthly government (though I am curious as to where the extra-earthly government that you imply exists exists).  

 

stgemma wrote:
I'm using America as an example b/c, well, I live there, and I did specifically say "here in the states" in my previous post.  As for the bolded part above - that statement can be contested.  Without a rule of measure, what one considers "good" is not necessarily good.
I fail to see how that can be contested.  The laws prescribing acceptable behaviours in your country are secular; they don't invoke god.  The rule of measure is society.  Before the invocation of the Christian god (or indeed before that of any personal god or divine law maker) humans did not run amok killing eachother and committing ostensibly immoral acts.  Don't be inconsistent now.  I won't like it very much if you suggest that a god has always tended humans.  Contradiction will not improve your argument.

 

Don't you think a natural explnation for morality would be more sound than merely appealing to your god?  It's not somehow less reasonable, is it, to look at our evolutionary history and deduce that we act in certain ways because it is beneficial to survival?  That as our complex social relationships developed our morality developed as well?  Well, that is what the science shows us.  Of course, you discount this because there's not some authority to it, which is a particular oversight, for can we not be authorities over our own actions?  Would you murder if a commandment by some zombie god did not tell you (vaguely) to love your neighbour?

 

stgemma wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
Built into your society and those of other democratic countries, are the protection of rights against the will of the majority thus that a group of people who participate in that society may not be marginalized or reduced in rights compared to the majority.
This statement is unclear to me.  Are you saying that the majority's rights are protected and that groups of people who participate in that society (meaning the minority?) may not be marginalized etc.?  I'm not sure I follow your point, or that I agree with you if you're saying what I think you are...
Well, I thought I was quite clear.  Let me try again:

Built into your society is the protection of the rights of minorities against the will of the majority.  Even if a majority of people in your society wished to implement slavery, it would not be possible.  The rights of black people are guaranteed and they are equal citizens.

stgemma wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
Also built into your society is a secular code of law that prescribes the behaviours unacceptable to society.
And are often interpretated inconsistently, which isn't very helpful.
Interpreted inconsistently?  Not helpful?  Bulging eyes aside, you have failed to offer anything other than a criticism of the system which enforces the laws.  You have not challenged the fact that the laws are secular.  If the laws are secular, on what do you think they're based?  Oh, right, laws regarding morality are universally based on the arbitrary directive of your zombie god.

 

stgemma wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
There is no doubt that these behaviours are subject to (enlightened) change; the emancipation of slaves, universal suffrage and the abolishment of homosexuality as a crime.
They are also subject to un-enlightened change.....
Oh, you're not going to let us know what, specifically, constitutes an unenlightened change in what behaviour is considered moral?

 


stgemma wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
There is no doubt that the morality of society is constantly changing; that there appears to be a progression;
...and regression.....
I'll bite.  'There appears to be a progression;' we don't stone children to death for disobeying their parents (which even if you don't think the bible prescribes as punishment today, people once did); we don't burn witches; hunt heretics; imprison people for espousing atomism.  What I mean is that morality changes, but that it doesn't seem, in the long run, that societies become less moral.  Rather, they seem to become more moral by standards of the past.  If you disagree, make explicit in what way societies seem to be retreating from a common moral progression.

 

stgemma wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
That there is debate about what is in fact moral and immoral, what the words mean and how morality should be studied and applied and how it is to be accounted for.  And all this because, rather than morality being an ordained and arbitrary law of some divine law maker and judge, it is subjective to individuals and how they interact with each other
B/c morality is treated as such does not mean it is correct.  I agree that morality is treated as subjective but I don't believe it actually is.
You believe an aweful lot, but you don't care to espouse the reasoning behind that belief.  Declaring that though morality is 'treated' as objective it may not be and then repeating that declaration in another manner does not constitute anything than the obvious fact that just because something is treated so, doesn't mean it is.  Well, morality happens to be observably subjective.  It is dependant on the individuals involved with each other, and the situation with which they are faced.  It is so blatantly obvious.  Can you please say something more than a banal statement about what you believe and come with some substance?

 

stgemma wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
Why are you talking about truth?  What has truth got to do with morality?
Again, b/c I don't believe morality is subjective.  Truth has a lot to do with morality (when you don't believe it is subjective).  With subjective morality one can justify any behavior.  But I believe some behaviors are unjustifiably wrong.
Some behaviours are unjustifiably wrong?  There needs to be no justification for how a behaviour is wrong?  It is simply the dictation of some god?  That hardly seems acceptable.  Also, why do you think anyone can justify any behaviour if morality is subjective?  Is it not obvious that your behaviour is accountable to those you're interacting with?  What you're proposing it that without divine guidance there would be some kind of stupid anarchy.  I have tried to point out to you that in far more secular societies than your own there has been no degradation or morality toward stupid anarchy.  In fact, there is less immoral behaviour, such as murder.

 

stgemma wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
stgemma wrote:
Or is there an authority that has revealed the answers to these issues?
Ostensibly no, if what you're asking is if an authority has ordained an absolute and objective code of morals.
I believe God (The Authority) has ordained one - albeit there is contention as to its interpretation.
So, I can refer to your god as The Authority?  Anyhow, again, you respond with no substance.  Yeah, you believe that a god has ordained a morality and that how that is to be interpreted is a contentious issue.  Great ...read above?

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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stgemma wrote:Quote: In both

stgemma wrote:

Quote:
In both cases that you cite it is hearsay and not your own experience. You are left to accept their word such experience occurred.

1) In your cousin's case - you may not completely know the circumstance of the knowledge he had. His mom may have mentioned she was having chest pains, or had mentioned something to him about her general health. These comments could have triggered his dreams. Little things cause dreams that may sound insignificant but in fact were revealing.

She died unexpectedly - like an intestinal rupture or some aweful thing like that.  No one knew her health was at risk, that is why it seems unlikely that something subconscious could have triggered the dream.

So many claims so little proof. You bring this claim here as evidence that there is an afterlife, even more explicit that it substantiates somehow the Christian claim, Problem 1, you don't even know the exact details of the situation and yet you assert it is factual. Problem 2, it's still hearsay and 2nd or 3rd hand.

stgemma wrote:

Quote:
2) In your uncle's experiences, you don't indicate what his father died from. The daughter I take it died 1st and his father next. You give insignificant info here to understand.
Their deaths were about 10 years apart.  She was very close to her grandfather before she died.  I think he had a heart attack. 

In any case, I've no reason to doubt them.

Men over 50 have heart attacks with increasing frequency as they age. Since he was a grandfather I'd guess an age range of 50 to 80 with each year increasing the probability of dropping over dead suddenly. 

"Everybody dies" - Rube Sofer the leader of the Grim Reapers, Dead Like Me.

stgemma wrote:

Quote:
does the interaction with that person. Seances and dreams are not proof of an afterlife. Please cite actual scientific experiments as validation to back your claim of "dead people" communicating with the living.
I never claimed to have any scientific proof, but I think there is good reason to accept it as a possibility since it is a common claim that has not been disproven. 
Quote:

Again as I said and others - Open minded to possibilities means one considers they might occur until one gains further knowledge. It is not that all possibilities will occur. A very big difference.

I never said all possibilities will occur.  I said we shouldn't close-mindedly reject the possibilities, as, I believe, a good number of atheists do. 

Some atheists are close minded, many are not. Proof and evidence can influence most of us. The problem is our standards for evidence may be much higher than yours which may cause you to think we are close minded. Hearsay evidence is not evidence. Evidence must be able to be verified and claims of he said that she said it was written 2000 years ago that a man rose from the dead don't even come close. I'm not close minded to real verifiable evidence only asserted claims that can't be verified. Prove it please.

*Edit* Added

stgemma wrote:
 Atheists will accept that which can be proven and will not accept unproven claims.   That's actually a very un-scientific way of giong about things.  Even a scientist has to be open minded and ready to accept all possibilities until they can be disproven.

So do you accept that the Sumerian god Enki is the one true god? Or have you disproven that this is not so? Or what of all the Greek and Egyptian gods, do you still accept every single one? Do you accept that time travel to any point in time can occur? If not, what research has convinced you that this is not possible?

 

____________________________________________________________
"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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stgemma wrote:A reoccuring

stgemma wrote:
A reoccuring theme amongst Atheists is that God cannot be proven.  There was a time when we couldn't prove the earth was round too.



Coincidentally, that was when we picked up Christianity. Erastothenes calculated the circumference of the Earth pretty well around 240 BC.



stgemma wrote:
Atheists will accept that which can be proven and will not accept unproven claims.   That's actually a very un-scientific way of giong about things.  Even a scientist has to be open minded and

ready to accept all possibilities until they can be disproven

.  But what many Atheists do is the opposite of scientific.  They only accept that which others have proven, usually as a result of an open-mind!  Iow, let the open-minded scientists do the legwork so we know what to believe, but have a closed-minded approach to life.  THAT IS NOT FREETHINKING!!!



No, I suppose it wouldn't be. But you've given the scientist nothing to work with. What's your hypothesis, that God exists? Okay, describe God, so that we know what we'll be looking for.

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K, now that I've checked out

K, now that I've checked out more of this site, I think it's best to bid you farewell.  I didn't come here to convert anyone  - it was mostly to respond to what I had already seen on here.  Today I've looked through quite a bit of this site and realize I could have said a lot more about how ridiculous it actually is.  This site does not apper to be making an honest appeal to people with faith in God; to show them "reality" in a mature and rational way.  It's about the most irrational method I've ever seen it trying to present something.  

Regardless, I see that there are genuinely good people on here who do seem to have the right approach.  I would suggest you find a truly rational forum through which to engage in conversation.  If I can find one, maybe I'll meet you there.

 


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stgemma wrote:K, now that

stgemma wrote:

K, now that I've checked out more of this site, I think it's best to bid you farewell.  I didn't come here to convert anyone  - it was mostly to respond to what I had already seen on here.  Today I've looked through quite a bit of this site and realize I could have said a lot more about how ridiculous it actually is.  This site does not apper to be making an honest appeal to people with faith in God; to show them "reality" in a mature and rational way.  It's about the most irrational method I've ever seen it trying to present something.  

Regardless, I see that there are genuinely good people on here who do seem to have the right approach.  I would suggest you find a truly rational forum through which to engage in conversation.  If I can find one, maybe I'll meet you there.

 

Well that's too bad you feel that way because without discussion between those of opposing ideas understanding and tolerance are difficult. There are several theists here that you might find some commonality on issues such as Caposkia whom you sound like in many ways. The posters on this site create the content enabling those that create a thread to discuss issues that concern them. There are those that have no patience for religion and they usually snap at believers especially those that are proselytizing which you really weren't. They may do this generally because they have heard the same argument time after time. In the case of many of us, it's not winning a debate but communicating to those of the opposing views. There are also 10 guest viewers for each member at any given time which are in many cases those that are in a grey area or unconvinced in either direction. It's to this group that one should be concerned about in the long run.

Sorry to see you run, I think you are wrong in your assessment.

____________________________________________________________
"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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  Well as you already know

  Well as you already know stgemma you can always return if you wish.  As an atheist I don't personally agree with your belief in the supernatural ( bet ya didn't see that coming ?.... ) but you provided a vigorous defense for your point of view with out being an asshole so from my perspective as an observer it wasn't a bad experience.  Don't be too discouraged to come back if you change your mind.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


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stgemma wrote: Dodge Omni  

stgemma wrote:

Dodge Omni Eye-wink  - and no, it wasn't meant to be knee-slapping funny - it was mostly for my own amusement.

Oh, haha.

stgemma wrote:
Evolution is a theory.  Or are you asking me to define what a theory is?

stgemma wrote:
2. speculation: abstract thought or contemplation

5. scientific principle to explain phenomena: a set of facts, propositions, or principles analyzed in their relation to one another and used, especially in science, to explain phenomena.

I should have been clearer.

'Theory' is a term with definitions that contradict. In everyday speech, people tend to think of it as an inference or even a guess. However, in the scientific world, a theory can hold the exact opposite meaning; typically, a theory is a well-supported, overarching explanation for some natural phenomena. When you wrote "it appears that evolution is fast becoming more than a theory," it seems like you were implying that a theory is just a guess. I could be misinterpreting your posts, but if I'm not, I'm surprised that you don't know the semantics involved with this term, considering that you were a science major at a decent university.

stgemma wrote:
It can mean many things.  For example, some people see a reasonable possibility that He exists but feign ignorance, are unwilling to give it more thought or investigation, don't want to live under an authority... 

Okay.

stgemma wrote:
No.  I know from personal experience that a great majority of Christendom doesn't follow Christ.  I never claimed that everyone here dismisses Christianity for that reason, but I'd wager a guess that some do.  It wasn't meant to be a blanket statement - it was to address those it applies to.
 

Okay

stgemma wrote:
And what if the majority in this democracy vote not to take care of them and your disabled children and elderly parents' lives are in danger?  Atheists don't like when the religious majority impose their morality on society, but the alternative is a godless society with no authority other than the individual consciences of the people, and whatever the majority believes will govern the whole, whether it's right nor not, whether you agree or not.  So, is there truth to the issue or not?  Is truth relative to the individual conscience?  Or is there an authority that has revealed the answers to these issues?

Well, what if you think you're helping someone by giving them a lethal dose of medicine, and that person doesn't agree with you that you're actually helping?

That's exactly my point.  Morality is subjective iow?  How does that work?

To me, morality is nothing more than a human abstraction of what we think we should do.

Taking my response from another thread, before we existed, the Earth was still round, and it still revolved around the sun, but nothing was moral or immoral. There's nothing "immoral" about a female praying mantis biting off the head of a male praying mantis after mating; that's just what they did. There's nothing "moral" about bats sharing their catch with each other; it's just reciprocal altruism. There's nothing "immoral" about a tornado; it's a rotating column of air. These concepts arose as we evolved into intelligent social animals; it granted us extra motivation to pursue what was beneficial for our in-group and avoid what was detrimental.

Am I a moral relativist? Possibly. I'm not even sure what these words mean at this point. I do hold that nothing is inherently right or wrong or ought to be on some cosmic level and that there is no Platonic form that represents "Moral" in some alternate, supernatural realm. However, there are many moral sentiments, our conscience, that all humans share, albeit in varying amounts, but pretty much universal. We also share the faculty of reason, which we can use to determine what is fair and to satisfy our moral desires to the best of our abilities.

"And what if the majority in this democracy vote not to take care of them and your disabled children and elderly parents' lives are in danger?"

I don't understand what you're asking. What if what? Take care of them how? How are their lives in danger?

"Atheists don't like when the religious majority impose their morality on society, but the alternative is a godless society with no authority other than the individual consciences of the people, and whatever the majority believes will govern the whole, whether it's right nor not, whether you agree or not."

First, you seem to imply anarchy; then, you implied a pure democracy. Why does atheism necessitate either of those things?

In general, people are honest and peaceful, so it's not like everyone will go out and start murdering each other. That said, what you need is a type of society that balances the power of the majority with the rights of the individual. The Golden Rule works very well. In addition, we cannot arbitrarily place an in-group, but must give equal consideration to all.

"So, is there truth to the issue or not?  Is truth relative to the individual conscience?"

Kind of...

On one hand, I would say that truth does not exist in morality, since it is an entirely human construct. Yet, because this is the case, whatever humans would designate to be moral or immoral becomes its own end; it needs no further authority to validate it. 

"Or is there an authority that has revealed the answers to these issues?"

As usual, science explores the subject with tenacity, but, in ethics, it doesn't reveal any answers, per se. Science can tell us what we do and why we do it, but it can't tell us what we ought to do.

"Well, what if you think you're helping someone by giving them a lethal dose of medicine, and that person doesn't agree with you that you're actually helping?"

I can tell these hypotheticals are going to get annoying.

What if what? Why would I think I'm helping them?

Since whether or not the medicine would actually help the person is matter of science, I could just call a doctor and ask whether the drug will be beneficial or harmful. I could look on the label to see how many pills the person is supposed to take. I could discuss it with the person and find out that the person is actually allergic to the medicine in question.

Hambydammit's views of morality pretty much match mine, so for a more detailed explanation of these things, you can try:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/what_does_sugar_have_to_do_with_murder

http://www.rationalresponders.com/innate_vs_cultural_morality

Etc.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Let me set the record

Let me set the record straight about everyone's "theory" issue with me: I think the evolutionary theory is a theory, meaning, I see potential problems with it and do not consider myself an "evolutionist".  However, although I see veracity in some of the arguments which oppose the evolutionary theory, I am closer to accepting evolution than not.  For me, it is quickly becoming more than just a theory (a hypothesis). 

I was being a bit of a jerk by posting the definitions b/c I felt the question was a ploy to test my intelligence.  And the main reason I'm back today to post this in my defense is to make a point about this site:

I see a lot of "let's make the believer look stupid" tactics here and, in fact, when looking through some of the video on this site, Kelly admits that making the believer look or feel stupid is one of the common tactics used by the RRS to make people question their beliefs.  (Not very rational at all.....)  IOW, the RRS is really only interested in converting the less-intelligent people; people who aren't necessarily giving rational consideration to the issue but rather had an appeal to their emotions and sense of fitting in or wanting to appear more intelligent, etc.... 

Please....

This site is an insult to those of you who really are rational and intelligent, and association with it prevents you engaging with others of equal intelligence.  And for the rest of you: hey, if conversation with the more ignorant faithful is all you can manage, then this site if just for you.  I, for one, don't wish to be associated with it.     

That said, this site does not help the case for atheism at all. 

 

Last rant, and final appeal. 

Farewell~


pauljohntheskeptic
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stgemma wrote: And the main

stgemma wrote:

 And the main reason I'm back today to post this in my defense is to make a point about this site:

I see a lot of "let's make the believer look stupid" tactics here and, in fact, when looking through some of the video on this site, Kelly admits that making the believer look or feel stupid is one of the common tactics used by the RRS to make people question their beliefs.  (Not very rational at all.....)  IOW, the RRS is really only interested in converting the less-intelligent people; people who aren't necessarily giving rational consideration to the issue but rather had an appeal to their emotions and sense of fitting in or wanting to appear more intelligent, etc.... 

Please....

This site is an insult to those of you who really are rational and intelligent, and association with it prevents you engaging with others of equal intelligence.  And for the rest of you: hey, if conversation with the more ignorant faithful is all you can manage, then this site if just for you.  I, for one, don't wish to be associated with it.     

That said, this site does not help the case for atheism at all. 

 

Last rant, and final appeal. 

Farewell~

You obviously came here with a goal in mind though conversion may have been not a primary objective it was a least secondary which is not unusual for a Christian. Your interest in enticing or suggesting members run from this site in terror to save themselves from association is an interesting tactic. What you are suggesting is that we who stay do so because we are incapable of dealing with intelligent people and stay here because it's all we can handle. Cluelessness knows no bounds and though you appear to be a person of consideration your divisiveness and generalization reveal exactly who it is that is close minded. You still miss the point of this site by concentrating on a few. What Kelly feels or says or anyone else whether they be a core member or an occasional contributor is their view and responsibility not that of all participants in this forum. In a like comparison one could infer that Pat Robertson's comments as a Christian reflect on all Christians which in fact it does not.

Thanks for you appeal which is duly noted and shall be held in the high regard it deserves. Completely ignored.

Bye now.

____________________________________________________________
"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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stgemma wrote:Let me set the

stgemma wrote:

Let me set the record straight about everyone's "theory" issue with me: I think the evolutionary theory is a theory, meaning, I see potential problems with it and do not consider myself an "evolutionist".  However, although I see veracity in some of the arguments which oppose the evolutionary theory, I am closer to accepting evolution than not.  For me, it is quickly becoming more than just a theory (a hypothesis).

This is unbelievable.  It was pointed out to you that the theory of evolution is no mere hypothesis several times.  You are conflating different uses of the word theory.  If you mean to say hypothesis and not theory, you should have been more explicit.  Had you done that, however, you would have had to own up to the fact that you clearly don't understand what is meant when theory is used in a scientific sense.  The theory of evolution cannot be 'quickly becoming more than just a theory' because all it is is a theory.  It's unfortunate that you can't seem to grasp the meaning of the bloody word in reference to science.

Quote:
I was being a bit of a jerk by posting the definitions b/c I felt the question was a ploy to test my intelligence.  And the main reason I'm back today to post this in my defense is to make a point about this site:

I see a lot of "let's make the believer look stupid" tactics here and, in fact, when looking through some of the video on this site, Kelly admits that making the believer look or feel stupid is one of the common tactics used by the RRS to make people question their beliefs.  (Not very rational at all.....)  IOW, the RRS is really only interested in converting the less-intelligent people; people who aren't necessarily giving rational consideration to the issue but rather had an appeal to their emotions and sense of fitting in or wanting to appear more intelligent, etc....

I don't think that's the case at all.  Perhaps you've not noticed, but the greater part of the discussions on these forums are of a highly intelligent sort.  Very few people seem to be genuinely concerned with converting anyone.  The arguments are presented, however, and I'm certain a few people have converted based on them.  It is a clear indication that you have not taken the time to explore the site that you think ridicule is the only way in which theism is addressed here.

Quote:
Please....

This site is an insult to those of you who really are rational and intelligent, and association with it prevents you engaging with others of equal intelligence.

Wait, are you ...I'll get back to that.  What's insulting is being told that those of us here (who happen to be a majority of the site, or perhaps at least, the majority of the regular posters) who are rational and intelligent (which includes some of the theists) are being damaged by posting here.  If you think you're worthy of our conversation, stay.  If you think the site is rather filled with irrational and unintelligent people, shove off.  Don't presume, however, that you, who cannot distinguish between uses of a single word (not to mention your other blatant fallacies), can judge who is and who is not rational or intelligent.

Quote:
  And for the rest of you: hey, if conversation with the more ignorant faithful is all you can manage, then this site if just for you.  I, for one, don't wish to be associated with it.
Oh, I guessed right; You're too intelligent and rational a person of faith to carry a conversation here.  I see.  That must be why you never responded with an argument to any post in this thread.

Quote:
That said, this site does not help the case for atheism at all.
Strange language since I presumed that to be the point of your rant.

Quote:
Last rant, and final appeal. 

Farewell~

Ha!  Bye!

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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stgemma wrote:Let me set the

stgemma wrote:

Let me set the record straight about everyone's "theory" issue with me: I think the evolutionary theory is a theory, meaning, I see potential problems with it and do not consider myself an "evolutionist".  However, although I see veracity in some of the arguments which oppose the evolutionary theory, I am closer to accepting evolution than not.  For me, it is quickly becoming more than just a theory (a hypothesis).

And we've already explained to you what a theory is in scientific nomenclature. It is NOT a hypothesis. If you wanted to explain that you still had doubts about the veracity of evolution, don't express that by calling it a theory. Otherwise, you should have just admitted that you didn't know what the word meant.

stgemma wrote:
]IOW, the RRS is really only interested in converting the less-intelligent people; people who aren't necessarily giving rational consideration to the issue but rather had an appeal to their emotions and sense of fitting in or wanting to appear more intelligent, etc....

Where did you get that idea?

Quote:
This site is an insult to those of you who really are rational and intelligent, and association with it prevents you engaging with others of equal intelligence.

How?

Quote:
And for the rest of you: hey, if conversation with the more ignorant faithful is all you can manage, then this site if just for you.  I, for one, don't wish to be associated with it.  

That said, this site does not help the case for atheism at all.

Haha......ha.

Quote:
Last rant, and final appeal. 

Farewell~

Bye.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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and so ends the story, of

and so ends the story, of yet another driveby proselytizer... He possessed neither intelligence nor humor.... sarcasm befuddled him, and logic held no sway. He shall be remembered in the mighty Athiest records, as a nobody, who did nothing, and never tried... a fitting end...

What Would Kharn Do?


Waiting for Oblivion
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stgemma wrote: It looks

stgemma wrote:

 It looks more like a Christian hate-site than an attempt at good, logical, unemotional dialogue.  I'm guessing that quite a few participants here are closet-believers with a real grudge against God.  There's a lot of anger, hatred and obvious immaturity here. 

Yes, because hating what religion does to people and our lifes means hating something we don't believe exists, makes perfect sense.

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I consider myself Christian but I have often doubted the existence of God.  The majority of participation I've seen here (on the "atheist" side) has been hostile and childish.  In fact, possibly every response I've seen from the "atheist" side has been.  I say the "majority" in case my memory serves me wrong - but I doubt that's the case. 

please elaborate (I'm not sure if this is the right word).

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Tell me:  Why would I want to join you in your supposed "disbelief"?  Is this what will become of me? 

No one asked you to join, and your character wont probably change just because you stopped believing.

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Tell me:  What motivates you? 

the desire to enjoy life, have fun with my friend, learn more, become a great  artist  and sex, it's awesome.

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How will disbelieving "improve" "life" (you seem already dead)?

Depending on what kind of belief you have, If you are a  hardcore christian fundamentalist, then your life will most likely vastly improve. Now if you are a "cafeteria" christian (as I've heard people call them) then your life will most likely remain the same.

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Do you live for this world (your earthly life)?  Do you live for yourself?  For pleasure?  To escape suffering?
 

What other life is there to live for?, as for the others see the what motivates you for answer.

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Have you compassion (for others - especially for strangers)?

Yes I do, otherwise I would have a mental disorder.

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Do you work for the common good?

If you mean if I help other people, I try to help people whenever I can.

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What reason have you to?

I don't need a reason to help people.

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Is love real or is it a chemical reaction; a figment of our imagination? 

 Love is an abstract concept, much like freedom and pride. And yes, the emotions we call love are a result of chemical reactions, but that doesn't make them less real or imaginary.

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You people have never experienced God - that is obvious.  I tell you, most professing Christians have not known God either, and I sympathize with you for choosing to disbelieve based on your experience with nominal Christianity (for those of you who can admit this).

While it's true that I have never been able to believe in god, even when we where indoctrinated in class, I don't really see how can it be obvious or even relevant.

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I can easily refute the existence of God using logic just like anyone else can.  I'm right there, for instance, with Matt Dillahunty (sp?) of the Atheist Experience...  I can totally see his point of view.  But that is using a very base and, albeit "natural" view of God, the universe, science, etc...    It clearly takes "eyes to see" and "ears to hear" the paradoxical nature of Jesus' teachings.

the what in the what now? you're not making any sense. Also, You should know you just lost any kind of credibility to me and any kind of respect I might have had for you.

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When I was 4 I'm sure I wondered why my parents punished me when I did what I thought was a good thing.  I didn't realize if I had gone through with what I wanted that it would have hurt me in some way or prevented me from some greater good later.  You (and I at times....) act like little children who are sulking b/c you don't "get" why your "daddy" seems so "mean" sometimes.

    "Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? The whence comes evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus

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A tree has to endure some injury during the pruning process, but what results is a more bountiful fruitation as the damaged (pruned) areas are opened to release more branches, leaves and fruit.  If the tree had consciousness, it would not understand why it had to undergo such cruelty.  It would view the gardener as a tyrant; every so often taking his cruel weapons and inflicting such pain and damage to it.  If it knew, in advance, what a benefit the gardener's work on it would have in the near future, it would thank him; seeing him now as a great liberator or guide to its advancement. 

To continue with your metaphor, if the gardener was omnipotent then he could give the benefit of the torture without the torture, but he choses  to to torture the tree anyway. That means that the gardener is either incompetent, therefore unfit to take care of the tree, or malevolent, therefore unfit to take care of the tree.

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I'm sure life must be quite meaningless without belief.  It's all about here and now.  If so, what motivation do you have to me "moral" at all?  In that case, how do you even determine morality/ethics?  Sure, it seems quite elementary to a stagnant mind, but I assure you that the issue is quite complicated.  The 10 commandments are elementary, and yet even those are difficult to abide by at times.  Btw, Jesus raised the bar so to speak, concerning the 10 commandments.  "Whosoever looks at a woman with lust in his heart has already commited adultery...". 

No, not really, life is quite nice, if only there weren't people like you who assume moral superiority just because they're afraid that their imaginary friend will punish them if they don't follow his obsolete moral code.

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Bondage?

www.pornhub.com/view_video.php

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You think the level Jesus calls us to is bondage?  I assure you that you have no idea what bondage you are already in if that's the case.  I feel very sorry for those, like many of yourselves here, who have bought into the lie of this world; that seeking pleasures and trying to escape suffering are what your temporal, earthly lives are all about.  Ever heard "it is better to give than to receive"?  I would gladly go to hell for all eternity to give my all (love) than to live comfort and ease, and I will rejoice all the while.  Shocking?  I know many of you view the "religious" as selfish.  Pity, pity, pity.  You've never met a passionate, godly person.

Even suffering is a grace; a gift; a thing to be enjoyed.  THIS is liberation!  If you walked the streets of the impoverished, would you love the diseased and filthy you encounter?  HOW ARE YOU IMPROVING MANKIND?  Would you step out of your comfort level and embrace them and love them and help them?  Would you give your life for someone you don't know at all?  Would you forgive your enemy?  Love them?  Peace in this world will never be attained, but it certainly never would be by bloodshed.  Love would end all wars.  I think you all have never encounted real, agape, unconditional love.  Such a pity!  

When you know what holiness is; when you know God (stop reading your hatred for Him into Scripture), you will see how ungrateful and proud you have been to your Creator and Father...   When you discover how much He has loved you by giving His own, human, life for you, you will fall upon your knees in repentance.  The Almighty has lowered Himself by being born a babe in this hostile world and allowing Himself to be continually mistreated, dibelieved and persecuted.  Would you do that for someone?  This was a man born into crucifixion.  I tell you, He was crucified at the moment of His birth.  God loved us so much He wanted to share in your human misery, oppression, depression, poverty, persecution....   He lived it for 33 years and it ended with the most bitter and painful death imaginable.  Why?

He gave purpose to our humanity.  By becoming like us, we can become like Him.  God made us to become like Him.  There is a purpose to this life.  What an awesome opportunity we ALL have, to become like God!  I have experienced unconditional love.  Perhaps many of you have not, for which I'm empathetic and sorrowful.  God created mankind to be made divine, like Himself.  We are all created to be with Him; a part of Him, forever.  Like the tree that doesn't comprehend why it has to undergo a pruning, we are God's creation unaware of the purpose of our suffering.  And God is not elusive.  You have evidence for these paradoxes in nature itself.  We also live in a time where God's revelation is written and widely-distrubed throughout the world.  God reaches out to everyone - I am certain of that.  Many have not recognized Him b/c they are too enamored in themselves or are too busy with self-pity (which is pride) to notice Him.  Too entangled in (what many KNOW is) a sinful lifestyle to admit they recognize God's presence.         (cont...) 

Preaching is against the rules, follow them or leave the forums.


daedalus
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stgemma wrote:And, as I

stgemma wrote:

And, as I already said, this person may be able to draw upon the experience later in life (after a change of heart) to help others.  There are real-life cases of people who turned from their violent ways to counsel others.  Albeit perhaps few - but Jesus said that few would find the way that leads to life. 

 

I find it hard to believe you really believe this.  you are saying that the numerous murders, rapes, and molestations occur to teach a lesson?

 

So, why would a Christian not kill someone if they felt like it?  After all, maybe God was trying to get them to teach a lesson?

 

This is absurd.  Swinbourne, et al use this "Evil exists because it is Good" defense to the PoE.  It's about as disgusting as it gets.

 

To say that a child needs to be raped and murdered in order to teach someone, even if it is just the murderer, a lesson.

 

There is a girl on another forum whose parents were murdered by Christians.  How about you go and tell her that she doesn't have parents because God felt someone needed to learn a lesson.

 

Stgemma, you are a disgusting human being if you think this kind of thing is not only allowed, but somehow part of a plan of an Omnipotent, Omnibenevolant Being.

 

It is the definition of evil.  Yes, we learn from acts of evil, but we also learn from the idea of acts of evil.  The act never needs to happen to learn the lesson.

 

Especially if God was omnipotent.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


butterbattle
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Hehe, if everything is

Hehe, if everything is equally part of God's plan, then why are some actions condemned by the Bible while others are praised?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


BobSpence
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Suffering is a NOT a

Suffering is a NOT a mystery. It is an inevitable result of a complex, imperfect world.

It is only a mystery if you make the silly assumption that Christian beliefs, or other similar systems of belief, are true. Once you purge your mind of all that nonsense, the world is more intelligible, so you will be in a better position to see what may possibly be done to improve things.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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You Do Believe In God ?

St. Gemma asked "You Do Believe In God?"

 

Abu says "No".