To all theists: Why do you believe? [kill em with kindness]

B166ER
atheist
B166ER's picture
Posts: 557
Joined: 2010-03-01
User is offlineOffline
To all theists: Why do you believe? [kill em with kindness]

I'm putting this in the Kill em' with kindness section so that more theists will feel safe posting on it. I'm not used to watching what I say, or in my opinion calling a spade a spade, but I'll do my best.

As a person who has never believed in deiti(es), I have always been curious as to why people believed in them. Don't think I'm using this thread to just try and belittle believers, I am genuinely curious as to what you have felt and experienced which brought you to a belief in some kind of "higher power". I am curious as to the kinds of experiences which will lead someone to god belief.

Was it a close call with death? Your own or someone close to you?

Was it your upbringing? What part of it lead you to begin or keep believing?

Was it something else entirely, like a personal vision or something of that nature?

So what's YOUR story? I may not agree that there is any truth to belief in deiti(es), but people do believe, and I'm wondering what causes it.

 

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
"The means in which you take,
dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
No Gods, No Masters!


drichards85
Theist
drichards85's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: 2010-07-22
User is offlineOffline
Brief Addendum on Morality and Society

cj, I almost forgot.  Apropos of your point about morals, I do not believe that human society can furnish us with a basis for morals, and here is why.  Just as there are many beliefs about God, there are also many beliefs among societies about which actions are moral and which are immoral.  The question then becomes, which morals should we accept, those of society A or those of society B?  Should we accept it that some tribes practice cannibalism, or that in some parts of the world female circumcision is performed?  But why should our society, which takes itself to be "civilized," become a basis of morality for those societies?  It is similar to when an atheist argues that he rejects the Christian conception of God because why should he prefer it to any other conception of God?  The problem turns up when we ask why we should prefer our own morality to those of so-called primitive peoples.  What makes our way better than theirs?  Furthermore, if a society did something wrong, how would you know it without already presupposing that some things are wrong and other things are right?  We have to define what right and wrong is, and why they are normative, not just assume that morality will naturally spring from human society.  Because, after all, so does crime and corruption and we have to know what a crime consists in before we can penalize it as a society.

IC XC

David


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
drichards85 wrote: cj, Why

drichards85 wrote:

cj,

Why does a subscription to Christian belief require one to turn off their brain?  Have I said anything throughout this discussion to indicate that I do not use my brain?

 

Maybe it doesn't seem that way to you.  To me, believing in someone who was dead for three days being ressurrected back to life is impossible.  And you don't believe Jesus died and was risen?  And you are a christian?  They had no refrigeration at the time and just how was the putrefaction reversed?  A miracle?  How is this not turning off your brain?

 

drichards85 wrote:

Also, I am not sure why you would assume that, if God did exist, He would make Himself known to you in the ways you describe.  What is the basis for this belief?

 

I am a realistic pragmatist or some days a pragmatic realist.  I don't care if you want to say god/s/dess made me that way or if you say it was a consequence of genetics and environment.  The only way I'll believe in some entity capable of miracles is if I see a few miracles.  None so far.  Some sort of empirical evidence?  You know, reproducible and verifiable, preferably measurable.  Amputated limbs magically regrown, dead people who have already progressed to putrefaction reviving?   Nope - a lot of wishful thinking, but nothing substantiated.  If god/s/dess is so hot to get me to believe why the hell can't s/he/it/they come up with something - anything - to convince me?  Nope?  Nada.  Guess they will have to do without my belief. 

I tried the "leap of faith" thing, it doesn't work for me.  Works for some people, fine, that is them.

 

drichards85 wrote:

I do not believe God is "a malignant thug," so on that we are in agreement.  But then, why argue against a position that I do not hold?  It is possible to understand God in a way that is not malignant or pure wrath, so why should that be an obstacle to belief in any God?  To reject one view does not require one to reject every view.

 

Except there is all this evidence that god/s/dess is a malignant thug - if you or I starved, murdered, tortured, neglected like this entity was said to in the bible and demonstrably does in our world, we would be vilified.  Why do you think this is so wonderful?  If god/s/dess is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, why the hell are innocents allowed to be tortured?  Why are we threatened with eternal hell fires if we don't believe?  Oh, I'll bet you are one of the ones that doesn't believe in hell fires because that belief would make you uncomfortable.  Someone once posted the exact verse where Jesus says unbelievers will go to hell and be tortured for eternity. (Maybe one of these: Matthew 5:22, 18:8-9; Mark 9:43-49)

There isn't any other view if you read the entire bible.  You are picking and choosing again.

 

drichards85 wrote:

I do not demand "philosophical proofs," per se, only that someone gives an actual argument for their position or a justification for their belief that does not boil down to the "I used to be a Christian but got screwed over," or "All the Christians I know (or who are in the media) are stupid/hypocrites/evil," etc.  It is a fallacy to conflate the outspoken bigotry of some extremists and fundamentalists with Christians across the world and over the centuries, especially since the type of extremism and fundamentalism you deplore has a pretty recent history and its origins are easily traced to some doctrines which were exaggerated and then used as excuses to amass power.  But that sort of thing happens across the board, so I see no reason to point it out in reference to some particular religion or all religions but downplay secular or atheist ideologies that also had harmful effects on society and the world at large.  Just as it would be unfair to treat every atheist as the Bill Maher type, it is not quite charitable to pretend that we are all Fred Phelps in Billy Graham clothing.

 

Extremism and fundamentalism are not recent.  Go read some history for crying out loud.  I am not excluding secularism or atheism.  There are nut jobs on any side of any fence you choose.  And they are not why I don't and won't believe in christianity or islam or hinduism or ..... I won't subjugate myself to anyone or anything.  I won't believe in ridiculous claims of miracles when there are perfectly good natural explanations for the phenomenon in question or lack of any other evidence than that in some "holy" book that a bunch of people blindly follow.  I won't join up for empty promises - yes, empty.  Sweetness and light?  Phooey.  Goodness and kindness?  In your dreams and no where else.  You may be a wonderful fellow - but it isn't because of your religious views, but in spite of them.

 

drichards85 wrote:

As for Billy Bob Jenkins, he may be a character - I have read some of his comments - but that type of tone is hardly conducive to dialog nor are many of his particular beliefs supported by history or geography.  What did Christians do before the KJV?  How did they interpret the Scriptures before the rise of Evangelical Fundamentalism?  I simply see no good reason to let the baseless and (in some cases) un-Christian views, in the historical sense of that word, be mistaken for the beliefs of millions upon millions of people who live now and lived in the past.  Such polemic against the "stupid/evil" atheists would never be tolerated if it came from my side; I only ask for that same courtesy.  I am not an Evangelical, nor am I Fundamentalist.  As I have indicated before, I do not believe in the doctrine of "original sin" or with it the Calvinist claims to predestination and the total depravity of man.  I believe that human nature is good, even though individual persons choose to act contrary to their nature.

 

Fine for you.  Regardless of your sincerity or lily white goodness, those other people exist.  And they use the exact same book you use to justify their claims.  You are picking and choosing which parts you believe in, just like all the other christians.

 

drichards85 wrote:

I am not sure what I said to give you the impression that I "pick and choose" what I want to believe, so I am not sure what prompted you to say that.  Have I indicated here or anywhere else that I simply pick and choose the parts that make me happy and disregard the parts that make me uncomfortable?  And in any case, is that relevant?  Seems sort of ad hominem to me.

IC XC

David

 

Why would you view this as ad hominem?  It is not a put down, it is demonstrably true.  Do you think it is right and just that children be eaten by bears at god/s/dess command?  Shall we stab women of child bearing age who are our enemies in the stomach at god/s/dess' command?  Shall we kill all first born sons because the big guy/gal/neuter is pissed?  You haven't addressed any of these stories.  They must all be due to sin.

According to you an infant's head being beaten against a wall is due to sin.  Not original sin - because you don't believe in that - but just sin.  Who's sin?  The infant's?  What did that baby do that was sinful?  The person beating the infant?  Why should the infant suffer because the person beating them is sinning?  What sense does this make?  I'm not saying original sin makes any more sense.  The whole sin thing is irrational. 

So if you don't pick and choose, and you don't believe every single word is inerrant and true, what?  Did you write your own book?  Have your own god/s/dess?  Anything special or is it all kittens and sunshine and pink unicorns?  I am not attempting to attack you here, but to point out your choices are limited and you are the one doing the limiting - not I or any other atheist.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


drichards85
Theist
drichards85's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: 2010-07-22
User is offlineOffline
How Do I Pick and Choose Again?

Simply to say that, because I believe X or Y, therefore I must be irrational, is not an argument.  The same line is used by conspiracy theorists who claim we must all be duped because we believe that man landed on the moon and do not see the New World Order that forms in front of our very eyes.  And if you disbelieve them, you must be irrational, stupid at best and evil at worst.  It would be helpful if you could tell me why you believe these doctrines are irrational rather than just claim that I am irrational because I believe them.  There is an assumption that miracles are unbelievable, but I have not yet seen an actual argument as to why miracles are in principle impossible.

It is unhelpful to point out biblical passages for a number of reason.  First, because the interpretation of those passages throughout history has not been monolithic.  The literalist interpretations are in fact quite recent.  Though some in the distant past chose a literal interpretation of Scripture over a non-literal interpretation, the mainstream was to view these Scriptures in a way quite different from what you are probably used to.  Second, even if the Bible is to be understood as a literal book, even if we could crack it open and read it and understand everything contained therein, and suppose the Bible did affirm that God admitted unjustified atrocities, there are still two questions that remain unanswered.  The first is, how would that disprove the existence of every idea there has ever been about God; and the second, on what basis do we hold these actions on the part of the Judeo-Christian God to be morally repugnant?  It is taken for granted that they are "wrong," but why accept that they are wrong?  Furthermore, how does this constitute a general argument against the concept of God altogether?

I should clarify when I said that extremism and fundamentalism are recent: I said "the type of extremism and fundamentalism" you deplore.  Of course extremism and fundamentalism have always existed in some form or another, but it seems a stretch to say that extremism and fundamentalism have always been characteristic of religion.  The particular movement among so-called Christian extremists and fundamentalists in our day and age really is recent; it has not always been an essential feature to Christian belief, and at any rate, would not go to disprove Christian belief even if it had been.  One could just as well argue that, in their extremism and fundamentalism, these people actually violate the doctrines of Christ.  Just as I might be a wonderful fellow not because of, but in spite of, my beliefs, a person, sect, or institution can commit crimes in spite of, rather than because of, what they teach.  I do not see how it is helpful to use bad examples to discredit the good ones, and what needs to be demonstrated (rather than assumed) is that correlation implies or equals causation.  My subscription to a belief and then my consequent evil action do not indicate that my belief is wrong; they could just as well indicate that I do not really believe as I claim, or that I am in violation of my so-called beliefs.

If it is demonstrably true that I "pick and choose" what I want to believe, then would you please demonstrate from anything I have posted how I "pick and choose" what I want to believe?  This would be preferable to a mere assertion to that effect.  Thanks.

IC XC

David


Joker
atheist
Joker's picture
Posts: 180
Joined: 2010-07-23
User is offlineOffline
Drichard85. The reason I

Drichard85.

 

The reason I give the comparison is this, if someone tells me something then I have every reason to at the very least be skeptical without some kind of proof. The reason why the atheist disbelieves is simple, there is no reason TO believe. You have no proof or evidence that isn't questionable. You have no way to study or test your claims. You say that you're being attacked, we merely say "What proof do you have, why should we believe with no proof, no evidence, no reason?" I use the flying spaghetti monster, celestial teapot and dragon to show that these things seem quite silly, but they can't be disproven. Just because we can't say with utter certainty that they don't exist isn't a reason to believe that they do. Also, if God is allegedly outside the purview of any of this, then God also stopped intervening, since if God sticks his arm in the universe it would come out dripping in physics, mathematics, and plenty of other natural laws.

I am also explaining that anyone making a positive claim (IE X exists X=whatever you wish) the burden is on them to prove it, show us mathematically that X exists, show us with scientific experiment, show us chemically, show us a way to prove the existence of X. In science a person doesn't declare something and then say "Well you can't disprove it!" and get to have a theory published based on that. THe way that we gain knowledge, that we beat back the darkness of ignorance is by basing our understanding on testable evidence. Atheism is a response to the idea that a divine being or multiple divine beings exist, we simply say "No, there is no evidence, therefore we do not believe that such entities exist" There are also plenty of other alleged Deities in history, Thor, Odin, Zeus, Hercules, Apollo, Mithras, Sol Invictus, etc. I doubt that you believe in them, why not? My guess is because you see no evidence for them, no proof of their being or acting on this world.

Also, to the question of why God should reveal itself to humanity, here it is, if God truly loves the people on this world, and those who do not believe are cast into torment forever, then God revealing himself would not only be reasonable it would be moral. As it is, there is no reason to believe. Also, there are problems with a being that says "Love me or burn forever"


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote: The reason I give

Quote:

 

The reason I give the comparison is this, if someone tells me something then I have every reason to at the very least be skeptical without some kind of proof. The reason why the atheist disbelieves is simple, there is no reason TO believe. You have no proof or evidence that isn't questionable. You have no way to study or test your claims. You say that you're being attacked, we merely say "What proof do you have, why should we believe with no proof, no evidence, no reason?" I use the flying spaghetti monster, celestial teapot and dragon to show that these things seem quite silly, but they can't be disproven.

1] If God created, then "evidence" abounds. The issue is what you accredit as evidence and why.

2] If God's existence is susceptible to an empirical test devised by Man, he is not God by definition, since God is subject to nothing.

3] Your post presupposes that empirical 'proof' is the only kind.

4] Your post  presupposes cause and effect within a closed system in the face of contrary evidence.

5] the reasons why the celestial teapot etc are not epistemological  equivalents are given above.

6] The Bible itself states that God's existence may be proved on a personal basis by personal commitment. 

 

Quote:
Just because we can't say with utter certainty that they don't exist isn't a reason to believe that they do. Also, if God is allegedly outside the purview of any of this, then God also stopped intervening, since if God sticks his arm in the universe it would come out dripping in physics, mathematics, and plenty of other natural laws.

this appears to irrationally presuppose that God is constrained by his own laws.

[quoteI am also explaining that anyone making a positive claim (IE X exists X=whatever you wish) the burden is on them to prove it, show us mathematically that X exists, show us with scientific experiment, show us chemically, show us a way to prove the existence of X. In science a person doesn't declare something and then say "Well you can't disprove it!" and get to have a theory published based on that. THe way that we gain knowledge, that we beat back the darkness of ignorance is by basing our understanding on testable evidence.

 

see [1] - [4] incl. above. 

 

Quote:
Atheism is a response to the idea that a divine being or multiple divine beings exist, we simply say "No, there is no evidence, therefore we do not believe that such entities exist" There are also plenty of other alleged Deities in history, Thor, Odin, Zeus, Hercules, Apollo, Mithras, Sol Invictus, etc. I doubt that you believe in them, why not? My guess is because you see no evidence for them, no proof of their being or acting on this world.

correct, but it ain't the only reason, another is, I haven't met any of them.

 

Quote:
Also, to the question of why God should reveal itself to humanity, here it is, if God truly loves the people on this world, and those who do not believe are cast into torment forever, then God revealing himself would not only be reasonable it would be moral. As it is, there is no reason to believe.

he revealed himself 2000yrs ago..............you don't believe it.

 

Quote:
Also, there are problems with a being that says "Love me or burn forever"

but the primary issue is whether it's true or not! Setting aside the "burn" thing, if Christianity is true, he only has to withdraw his presence for you to have a noticeably reduced standard of living. On that basis, if you don't want him this life, why should he want you in the next? Furthermore, I suggest that people don't go to Hell for not loving God but for sin. He has a problem living with it.

This is actually the issue:

Quote:
..... I won't subjugate myself to anyone or anything.

 

..........the purported autonomy of Mankind.

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:I am not sure what I

Quote:
I am not sure what I said to give you the impression that I "pick and choose"

 

your denial of the fallen nature of mankind perhaps?

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


Joker
atheist
Joker's picture
Posts: 180
Joined: 2010-07-23
User is offlineOffline
freeminer wrote:1] If God

freeminer wrote:

1] If God created, then "evidence" abounds. The issue is what you accredit as evidence and why.

2] If God's existence is susceptible to an empirical test devised by Man, he is not God by definition, since God is subject to nothing.

3] Your post presupposes that empirical 'proof' is the only kind.

4] Your post  presupposes cause and effect within a closed system in the face of contrary evidence.

5] the reasons why the celestial teapot etc are not epistemological  equivalents are given above.

6] The Bible itself states that God's existence may be proved on a personal basis by personal commitment. 

 

1) Sunsets are not proof of a sunset making factory, this argument doesn't work very well. I can claim any other creator deity by the same evidence you'd use for God.

2) This seems a confused statement, If God exists then evidence would merely confirm it, if such a being does exist lack of evidence won't cause the being to fade away

3) What other kind of proof is there that isn't biased or tainted?

4) What contrary evidence? (preferably the empircal kind please)

5) No, no they are not. I have just as much evidence for any of the above as you do for your God. If we take a position that things are proved by lack of disproof then we open the door to everything.

6) Which means that I already have to believe in God for God to reveal himself. If I start with the assumption that God exists I mighj attribute unrelated things to him simply due to personal bias.

 

Quote:

this appears to irrationally presuppose that God is constrained by his own laws. 

see [1] - [4] incl. above. 

correct, but it ain't the only reason, another is, I haven't met any of them.

 

 

 

Quote:
he revealed himself 2000yrs ago..............you don't believe it.

 It would be more compelling if I saw some documented historical evidence of him. Let me explain, Jesus was born and apparently lived his life in the Roman Empire, these people were fairly big on record keeping. Jesus starting a riot in the temple (given how the Jews kept revolting almost constantly) should have been recorded, it wasn't. Nor was his execution. His birth wasn't either, also there were MANY who claimed to be the messiah at this time, some of whom led failed revolts against the Romans. My point is that the only thing corroborating the claim of your holy book is the holy book itself. Also, given that he claimed he would return in the lifetime of those who physically saw him seems to say that at least a few things went unfulfilled.

 

Quote:
but the primary issue is whether it's true or not! Setting aside the "burn" thing, if Christianity is true, he only has to withdraw his presence for you to have a noticeably reduced standard of living. On that basis, if you don't want him this life, why should he want you in the next? Furthermore, I suggest that people don't go to Hell for not loving God but for sin. He has a problem living with it.

This is actually the issue:

 

..........the purported autonomy of Mankind.

One thing I'll say is the subjugation thing isn't mine, just mentioning as the above post makes it look like it's part of what I said when it wasn't. I am perfectly willing to accept that a divine being could exist. The counter to your argument is that if the only way into heaven is taking Jesus as your savior, then yes, you are functionally going to hell for not loving the 'savior'. The savior who, by the way, didn't bother to make disciples aware of North and South America as well as Australia, ensuring that, if the doctrines are true, the people there had 400 years of ensured damnation simply because they had the bad luck to be born where they were. God is, by your definition omniscient, so God knew this would happen. This implies that God is either apathetic towards the people of the world (which rather clashes with the idea of a God who sent his son to die) or that he was simply unaware, which again implies that he is a creation of those living at the time, since they had no way of knowing of those parts of the world at that time either. Not to mention that the system in place makes God into a bully, or to use a familial analogy, a person who beats his children and grandchildren, randomly causes them misfortune, but you have to dote on him or you won't get your inheritance, such a person is not worthy of the affections of these people and their reasons for showing him affection would seem to be primarily rooted in self preservation/self interest.


drichards85
Theist
drichards85's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: 2010-07-22
User is offlineOffline
Finally...

freeminer,

Nice try, but I never denied that human nature is fallen. 

Joker,

I will be brief.  What does the concept of God have in common with the concept of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

What kind of proof do you require, analytical proof whereby a person can attain rational certainty of a proposition?

There is a difference between proof (at least of the type I think you require) and justification.  Since many of our beliefs (not just belief in God) cannot be proven with certainty, what matters is how a belief is justified.  If your justification for disbelief in God is that "there is no evidence" for His existence, what kind of evidence would satisfy you, and why?  Or let me put it another way: do you accept proof only when it is something that is evident to the senses or derived (by reason) therefrom?

I doubt you would ever turn your demand for evidence in on itself.  For example, on what basis do you demand evidence for a belief before you believe it?  Do you have evidence for that belief?

I think what it comes down to are different axioms.  Your axiom is unproven and so is mine, but you demand proof of my axiom based on your axiom, which is itself unproven.

I will not address every point you raised, just a few to get the ball rolling.

IC XC

David


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
 Wiki:Original sin,

 

Quote:
freeminer,

Nice try, but I never denied that human nature is fallen

Wiki:

Original sin, sometimes called ancestral sin,[1] is, according to a doctrine proposed in Christian theology, humanity's state of sin resulting from the Fall of Man

 

you denied original sin..........thus the Fallen nature of Man

you also denied the reality of Hell.

 

thus the confusion of Heathens. 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Joker wrote:freeminer

Joker wrote:

freeminer wrote:

1] If God created, then "evidence" abounds. The issue is what you accredit as evidence and why.

2] If God's existence is susceptible to an empirical test devised by Man, he is not God by definition, since God is subject to nothing.

3] Your post presupposes that empirical 'proof' is the only kind.

4] Your post  presupposes cause and effect within a closed system in the face of contrary evidence.

5] the reasons why the celestial teapot etc are not epistemological  equivalents are given above.

6] The Bible itself states that God's existence may be proved on a personal basis by personal commitment. 

 

Quote:
1) Sunsets are not proof of a sunset making factory, this argument doesn't work very well. I can claim any other creator deity by the same evidence you'd use for God.

but I didn't propose creation as proof of God's existence. I simply pointed out that you have a predisposition  regarding what constitutes empirical evidence. You seem to agree.

Quote:
2) This seems a confused statement, If God exists then evidence would merely confirm it, if such a being does exist lack of evidence won't cause the being to fade away

it is simply a statement of theological fact. Try this: God exists. Evidence confirms it. However you don't accredit the "evidence" to be "evidence".

Quote:
3) What other kind of proof is there that isn't biased or tainted?

I believe Ontological arguments are a really bad idea, for the reason I give in [2]. I believe the only 'proof' of God is in personal commitment. The Bible tends to confirm it. The question, "are there better reasons to believe the Bible than anything else?".......is very much another question.

Quote:
4) What contrary evidence? (preferably the empircal kind please)

see [2] Why should it be empirical when the WHOLE of scripture proclaims that God [as one would logically expect] is not constrained by the cause-effect framework. If you wish to find truth [do you?] why do you start by locking yourself out of it? If you look at my lengthy discussion with Bob on 'Kill em with Kindness' you'll hopefully see why the notion that empiricism is 'all there is' is shot out, both philosophically and scientifically.

Quote:
5) No, no they are not. I have just as much evidence for any of the above as you do for your God. If we take a position that things are proved by lack of disproof then we open the door to everything.

there are no reasons for believing in Russell's teapot. In fact, what we know historically miltates against it. Neither of these statements are true of God. Note: we are discussing reasons for belief not proof.

 

Quote:
6) Which means that I already have to believe in God for God to reveal himself. If I start with the assumption that God exists I mighj attribute unrelated things to him simply due to personal bias.

the attributes we accredit to him are derived from his revealed word about himself. I have not and will not ask you to presume God's existence.

 

Quote:

this appears to irrationally presuppose that God is constrained by his own laws. 

see [1] - [4] incl. above. 

correct, but it ain't the only reason, another is, I haven't met any of them.

 

 

 

Quote:
he revealed himself 2000yrs ago..............you don't believe it.

 

Quote:
It would be more compelling if I saw some documented historical evidence of him. Let me explain, Jesus was born and apparently lived his life in the Roman Empire, these people were fairly big on record keeping. Jesus starting a riot in the temple (given how the Jews kept revolting almost constantly) should have been recorded, it wasn't.

the Jews are the most historically aware people on God's earth. Please cite Roman records of execution of minor criminals in the UK to substantiate your point. Paul was more given to starting riots than Jesus but I'll try to refrain from pedantry! If the event you refer to had not been recorded, you wouldn't know about it.

 

Quote:
Nor was his execution. His birth wasn't either,

same true of these. 

Quote:
also there were MANY who claimed to be the messiah at this time, some of whom led failed revolts against the Romans.

true 

Quote:
My point is that the only thing corroborating the claim of your holy book is the holy book itself.

not true. ie. the fact that the propositions of scripture are "corroborated" by facts extant in the external world would seem to be reason to believe. The fact that it answers the philosophical questions which no other world-view does, would seem to be another. The fact that it concurs with scientific findings is another. 

Quote:
Also, given that he claimed he would return in the lifetime of those who physically saw him seems to say that at least a few things went unfulfilled.

this seems to be a misunderstanding  - would you like to put the reference up? I think you mean the reference to the fig tree and "this generation not passing away" My personal view is that the blossoming of the fig tree refers to the nation being re-established in the land in 1948......ie. the reference is to the generation born in 1948.

 

Quote:
but the primary issue is whether it's true or not! Setting aside the "burn" thing, if Christianity is true, he only has to withdraw his presence for you to have a noticeably reduced standard of living. On that basis, if you don't want him this life, why should he want you in the next? Furthermore, I suggest that people don't go to Hell for not loving God but for sin. He has a problem living with it.

This is actually the issue:

 

..........the purported autonomy of Mankind.

Quote:
One thing I'll say is the subjugation thing isn't mine, just mentioning as the above post makes it look like it's part of what I said when it wasn't.

yes, I was aware......my apologies....no offence intended. 

Quote:
I am perfectly willing to accept that a divine being could exist. The counter to your argument is that if the only way into heaven is taking Jesus as your savior, then yes, you are functionally going to hell for not loving the 'savior'.

I have considerable sympathy for your view. There is a problem with the idea of things just being "functionally true". When we come down to cold rational dissection philosophically, the cases for and against God end up looking like legal documents.........and the thing is, God is not averse to this. He IS a lawyer. It IS possible for a person to be legally saved and emotionally cold towards God. When the Bible talks of love towards God, at root, it is referring to an 'act of will' rather than an emotional reaction [which however is not excluded] 

 

Quote:
The savior who, by the way, didn't bother to make disciples aware of North and South America as well as Australia, ensuring that, if the doctrines are true, the people there had 400 years of ensured damnation simply because they had the bad luck to be born where they were. God is, by your definition omniscient, so God knew this would happen. This implies that God is either apathetic towards the people of the world (which rather clashes with the idea of a God who sent his son to die) or that he was simply unaware, which again implies that he is a creation of those living at the time, since they had no way of knowing of those parts of the world at that time either.

The point is a reasonable one; the Bible says that where there is no law, there is no sin. The law exists to bring mankind to consciousness of sin. It is unjust of you to presume the unrighteousness of God. Many people, historically, did not have the law. 

 

Quote:
Not to mention that the system in place makes God into a bully, or to use a familial analogy, a person who beats his children and grandchildren, randomly causes them misfortune, but you have to dote on him or you won't get your inheritance, such a person is not worthy of the affections of these people and their reasons for showing him affection would seem to be primarily rooted in self preservation/self interest.

no, you are not required to "dote"! Our emotional response tends to grow with understanding as in human relationships. The reason for "self-preservation" doesn't exist if belief in God doesn't exist first. I suggest we all have a vested interest in not spending eternity in Hell. This doesn't seem to impinge on whether it is true or not. 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


drichards85
Theist
drichards85's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: 2010-07-22
User is offlineOffline
Original Sin and Hell

freeminer,

In the footnote after "ancestral sin" on Wikipedia, it points out that "ancestral sin" is the Greek term for what is called original sin.  It should have pointed out that original sin, as it is understood today in most churches we encounter, is a distinct concept from the Greek "ancestral sin."  If by original or ancestral sin, one means that Adam and Eve sinned and therefore human nature is fallen and in need of redemption through Christ, then I do affirm this doctrine.  But it is often understood to mean that all humans share in the guilt of the first sin, and are born with this guilt in their natures, which because of the fall are incapable of good in and of themselves, and can only ever produce sinful thoughts and deeds.  Granted, this is a very extreme version of the doctrine but it exists in more nuanced and subtle forms, for example in the Latin Church.  I believe that what happened after the fall did not leave man with a sinful nature, but a fallen nature, as the two concepts are distinct.  Not a nature that never wants good, but a nature that even though it strives for good does not have the power to achieve it alone.  But this distinction and subject are sort of off the subject of these forums, which is atheist / theist debate, so if you would like to discuss specific Christian theology, feel free to e-mail me.  My address is davey.richards@gmail.com

IC XC

David

P.S. I never once denied the reality of hell.  I do affirm belief in hell, as all Christians, but what I understand hell to be is much different than many Christians.  I know a common retort will be that I "pick and choose" my doctrine, but in fact the number of Christians that believe a thing does not make that thing right.  There is no magical formula whereby one can label their self Christian and believe a doctrine and, presto, that doctrine is true.  So if you would really like to know where I am coming from, then we might take this discussion elsewhere.


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
drichards85 wrote:There is

drichards85 wrote:
There is no magical formula whereby one can label their self Christian and believe a doctrine and, presto, that doctrine is true.

But I can do exactly that and still be a christian, right ?


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
drichards85 wrote:cj, I

drichards85 wrote:

cj, I almost forgot.  Apropos of your point about morals, I do not believe that human society can furnish us with a basis for morals, and here is why.  Just as there are many beliefs about God, there are also many beliefs among societies about which actions are moral and which are immoral.  The question then becomes, which morals should we accept, those of society A or those of society B?  Should we accept it that some tribes practice cannibalism, or that in some parts of the world female circumcision is performed?  But why should our society, which takes itself to be "civilized," become a basis of morality for those societies?  It is similar to when an atheist argues that he rejects the Christian conception of God because why should he prefer it to any other conception of God?  The problem turns up when we ask why we should prefer our own morality to those of so-called primitive peoples.  What makes our way better than theirs?  Furthermore, if a society did something wrong, how would you know it without already presupposing that some things are wrong and other things are right?  We have to define what right and wrong is, and why they are normative, not just assume that morality will naturally spring from human society.  Because, after all, so does crime and corruption and we have to know what a crime consists in before we can penalize it as a society.

IC XC

David

 

My apologies for taking so long to reply.  I'll get to your other message tomorrow, perhaps.

Let's take an example.  Thou shalt not kill.  I like to use this one since it is pretty easy to get all muddled.  Are you a Quaker?  Yes, then you follow this commandment.  Otherwise, do you believe it is okay to kill in self defense?  In national defense?  Are state executions okay?  How about manslaughter?  Should any of these killings have consequences according to the secular law or religious law?  How about euthanasia?  You may be against it, but I live in Oregon where we have the assisted suicide law.  If I have pleurisy like my mom did before she died, I'm taking the pills.  She didn't die in Oregon and told me she wouldn't do assisted suicide.  But she finally asked for enough pain killer to put herself out.  Is suicide wrong?  When you are healthy?  When you are very ill and in constant unremitting pain?  One of my cousins died of lung cancer.  As the cancer ate through the brachial nerve, his screams echoed down the hallway of the hospital.  Is suicide okay under these circumstances?  Do any of these scenes not constitute killing?  If it isn't killing, what is it?  Dead is dead.

(For the veterans on line:  I do not condemn anyone for killing under any of these circumstances.  Including war and self-defense.  You do what you have to.)

So, do I think cannibalism is okay?  I don't think it is a very safe practice given the various nasties you can pick up.  Depends on who and how they filled the pot I suppose.  Do I think female circumcision is okay?  Well, no.  I do think it is self-limiting given the increased maternal and infant deaths in women who have been circumcised - particularly by the traditional methods.  (I just finished reading Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  She was circumcised in the traditional method and she describes the procedure.  I won't repeat it here.)

I can say - "it is their country and they can do what they want in their country" - which is true.  I can't make the Somalis stop female circumcision.  I can't make most US hospitals stop male circumcision.  I can't stop cannibalism.  Or murder or killing or stealing or gambling or alcoholism or drug abuse or name your poison.  Whether I think it is right or wrong is a moot point.

Humans have a number of legal criminal statutes - some based on religion, some based on economies and business, some based on some politician's Auntie having a bad hair day.  These criminal statutes vary from country to country, state to state, county to parish, city to town.  Defining what is right and wrong is done from simple expediency combined with history and culture.  Whatever we view as wrong now has not been wrong in other places and times.  I'll bet old Org the cave man did not have to worry about being tried for murder when he bashed the squalling infant's head against the cave wall.  But then, Org's genes would not have been included in the next generation, would they?  Self-limiting behavior.

Is it your place or mine to tell someone what their laws should be?  I am squeamish about a lot of laws in our own country, let alone some place half way around the world.  It is my own personal upbringing and personality.  Nothing special - just me.

If the laws of this country were truly based on the bible, we would have - what? - 12 laws?  Or shall we add in all of Leviticus and Deuteronomy?  And we can get rid of all the other laws on the books.  Does this make sense to you?

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Joker
atheist
Joker's picture
Posts: 180
Joined: 2010-07-23
User is offlineOffline
Freeminer,I will make a note

Freeminer,

I will make a note that I'm sorry this took so long but I wanted to get my thoughts in order.

 

1) I am inclined to doubt things, that's it. If you think there is a plethora of evidence, where is it? What is it? And how does your evidence differ from what is offered by mystics or members of other sects and faiths claiming that your evidence is evidence of their divine being? I believe in keeping an open mind, but not one so open that ones brain falls out.

2) Again, what evidence. You're asserting that God exists and claim to have evidence, yet when I ask for it, you say that I have predispositions that would keep me from interpreting it as such. Also, what do you mean by theological fact?

3) If you can't provide empirical evidence then all we're left with is biased comments. I could probably get someone to worship Cthlhu and claim that they feel his presence. There are plenty of cults where the people claim to feel a connection to whatever the higher power du jour is.

4) In other words I have to presuppose that God exists before I can 'feel' it, this isn't evidence of God, this is evidence of the autodeceptive parts of the human mind. Again, you're basically saying, "Well, God isn't subject to any kind of law or rule, we have no proof whatsoever in a meaninful sense that isn't tainted or can't be claimed by anyone and anything else." And then you wonder why I have trouble with your 'truth' it's just more begging the question.

5) I have as much reason to believe in the teapot as I do in your God, I was also bringing up why I don't believe because I was asked. If you have no evidence for something, why do you believe in it? It's based more on culture, fear, and probably a few good dump trucks full of guilt.

6) And what 'attributes' are these exactly?

 

Jesus wouldn't have been a 'minor criminal' he started a temple riot among people that kept revolting and had to keep getting put down. He started a riot in a major temple, also what we know today as the UK was frontier territory for the Roman Empire of the day, the same is not true for Israel. Also, if they are so historically aware why were so many still skeptical or outright disbelieving of Jesus being the prophecised(sp) messiah. For his birth and death records, his birth at least would have been listed if the family was going to meet with information on taxes and such, the area was quite good at keeping records.

And how are these things corroborated exactly? And how much of this is you imposing the idea onto the world until you find things that somewhat sync up?

Your comment that where there is no law there is no sin? Doesn't this mean then that if the missionaries never went to certain places all the people there could get into heaven if there was 'no sin' because of a lack of law? If so this would seem to fly in the face of the idea of sending his son to die if it was easier to get into Heaven from simple flat ignorance and in fact spreading the word risks damning more souls than saving them, apparently the Christian thing to do is pretend that Jesus never existed, which again is rather off.

My point was that if we say that God exists, the main argument for believing in him/her/it seems to be avoiding the place of punishment. If that's the case then yes, we are functionally being bullied into loving this being based on a play on our own instincts of self preservation which is usually the argument used from the perspective of pascals wager, which by the way has several other issues inherent.


Joker
atheist
Joker's picture
Posts: 180
Joined: 2010-07-23
User is offlineOffline
drichards85 wrote:cj, I

drichards85 wrote:

cj, I almost forgot.  Apropos of your point about morals, I do not believe that human society can furnish us with a basis for morals, and here is why.  Just as there are many beliefs about God, there are also many beliefs among societies about which actions are moral and which are immoral.  The question then becomes, which morals should we accept, those of society A or those of society B?  Should we accept it that some tribes practice cannibalism, or that in some parts of the world female circumcision is performed?  But why should our society, which takes itself to be "civilized," become a basis of morality for those societies?  It is similar to when an atheist argues that he rejects the Christian conception of God because why should he prefer it to any other conception of God?  The problem turns up when we ask why we should prefer our own morality to those of so-called primitive peoples.  What makes our way better than theirs?  Furthermore, if a society did something wrong, how would you know it without already presupposing that some things are wrong and other things are right?  We have to define what right and wrong is, and why they are normative, not just assume that morality will naturally spring from human society.  Because, after all, so does crime and corruption and we have to know what a crime consists in before we can penalize it as a society.

IC XC

David

 

We can argue on how its better based on different things actually. One might be what we view as necessary for our culture to function (free speech means free flow of ideas and a more stable thriving government which is better for development and maintenance of civilization) as it has been and hopefully will continue to. We might make arguments based on what we see as the best method, see political parties in this where some argue that there should be little to no government action where others might argue heavy intervention and in some cases the issues can cause both groups to seem uneasy. I can argue cannibalism because of the chances for disease, the fact that a human being has to die for it to occur, etc. Most people have an inherent revulsion at the idea and there is probably something deep seated that warns us against it, probably due to the risk of contracting certain diseases and such.

As for crime, we actually tend to base it off of a kind of enlightened self preservation, it's illegal to steal because we don't want to be robbed, illegal to kill because we don't want to be killed, assault because we don't want to be attacked, rape to avoid being raped ourselves, etc. And questions of crime ARE common, look at societies, morality has varied wildly generation to generation, society to society, things that might make our grandparents faint dead away doesn't really phase us, and there are probably plenty of things vice versa. We argue law and justice today, we argue questions of morality, and the bible isn't even consistent on the moral area so I doubt we'd use that as our basis for morals, unless we want a fairly monstrous society.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Freeminer,I will make

Quote:

Freeminer,

I will make a note that I'm sorry this took so long but I wanted to get my thoughts in order.

 no problem - take your time.

Quote:
1) I am inclined to doubt things, that's it. If you think there is a plethora of evidence, where is it? What is it? And how does your evidence differ from what is offered by mystics or members of other sects and faiths claiming that your evidence is evidence of their divine being? I believe in keeping an open mind, but not one so open that ones brain falls out.

there is nothing wrong with doubt........none of us believe anything without doubting something else. My main point was that evidence is only evidence when we accredit it that status. Thus, for example Paul asserts that the whole of creation proclaims the existence of God. The evolutionist sees the great swathes of sedimentary rocks stretching across continents as the result of local floods; I  seem them as resulting from a worldwide flood. Same facts, different interpretation.

 

Quote:
2) Again, what evidence. You're asserting that God exists and claim to have evidence, yet when I ask for it, you say that I have predispositions that would keep me from interpreting it as such. Also, what do you mean by theological fact?

following on from [1] can I suggest that the real issue is not simply the "evidence" but whether there are better reasons for believing the Christian or the Atheist interpretation of the facts. The Bible does indeed suggest that the unregenerate person is predisposed not to believe but also that God says, "I will be found by he who seeks me".

 

Quote:
3) If you can't provide empirical evidence then all we're left with is biased comments.

this is not the case because empiirical evidence is not only not absolute but it fails to deal with huge areas of human experience. Also, as I discussed with Bob, empirical evidence deals with cause/effect in a closed system. All the evidence is that the system is not closed.

Quote:
I could probably get someone to worship Cthlhu and claim that they feel his presence. There are plenty of cults where the people claim to feel a connection to whatever the higher power du jour is.

yes and they may well do so.......where it originates is another question.

Quote:
4) In other words I have to presuppose that God exists before I can 'feel' it, this isn't evidence of God, this is evidence of the autodeceptive parts of the human mind.

however everyone believes something and the problem with this argument is that it applies as much to your view as to mine. Also if the Bible says, "do 'A' and 'B' will happen and one does 'A' and 'B' happens.... it begins to look like proof. 

Quote:
Again, you're basically saying, "Well, God isn't subject to any kind of law or rule, we have no proof whatsoever in a meaninful sense that isn't tainted or can't be claimed by anyone and anything else."

see above. Also, name me another world-view which answers all the questions.

Quote:
And then you wonder why I have trouble with your 'truth' it's just more begging the question.

consider for a moment what your 'truth' is based on. How do you know it is 'true'?

Quote:
[5) I have as much reason to believe in the teapot as I do in your God,

of course, obviously the teapot answers all your philosophical questions.......it didn't seem to answer Russell's!

Quote:
I was also bringing up why I don't believe because I was asked. If you have no evidence for something, why do you believe in it?

because I concluded that the facts were evidence for the claims of the Bible so I saw the 'facts' in a different light due to a changed epistemology.

Quote:
It's based more on culture, fear, and probably a few good dump trucks full of guilt.

not being Catholic, I never suffered from culture, fear or guilt! 

 

Quote:
6) And what 'attributes' are these exactly?

personal, infinite, triune, omnipresent, omniscient, the personification of truth, love, righteousness etc, etc.

 

Quote:
Jesus wouldn't have been a 'minor criminal' he started a temple riot among people that kept revolting and had to keep getting put down.

 Pilate didn't want him convicted.........found him guilty of nothing.

Quote:
He started a riot in a major temple,

no, the account is that he cleared it, there wasn't a pitched battle! 

Quote:
also what we know today as the UK was frontier territory for the Roman Empire of the day, the same is not true for Israel.

how does this affect the point........are you wishing to contest the historicity of Jesus?

Christian answers.com

SCHOLARSHIP UPHOLDS THE NEW TESTAMENT

Archaeologists studying ancient civilizations by uncovering ruins and examining artifacts, are with increasing success confirming the accuracy of the Biblical texts. Sir William Ramsey's vindication of Luke's writings is a classic example.[2] The findings of archaeology have in fact reversed the opinions of a number of former skeptics. Among these is the scholar Dr. William F. Albright, who writes:

"The excessive skepticism shown toward the Bible [by certain schools of thought] has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of numerous details."[3]

Recent archaeological discoveries include both the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1f) and "The Pavement" (John 19:13). Their existence was doubted just a few decades ago. Confirmation of the accuracy of the setting of Jacob's well has also been found (John 4).[4] Such findings have caused many scholars to reverse earlier skeptical opinions on the historicity of the Fourth Gospel. Its author has demonstrated an obvious intimate knowledge of the Jerusalem of Jesus' time, just as we would expect from the Apostle John. Such detail would not have been accessible to a writer of a later generation, since Jerusalem was demolished under Titus' Roman army in 70 A.D.

Also, the recent recovery of a Roman census similar to the one in Luke 2:1f, and the historical confirmation of his “synchronism”[5] in Luke 3:1f, underscores the care Luke took in writing his Gospel (Luke 1:1-4).

[Read more about archaeological discoveries that confirm the Bible's accuracy.]

Critics of Luke's Gospel often retreat into non-verifiable and subjective opinions, but they have not overthrown Luke's historical confirmations.[6] By extension, the other two “Synoptic”[7] Gospels of Matthew and Mark, painting essentially similar portraits of Jesus' ministry, are also trustworthy accounts of his life.

Additionally, outside the Bible, Jesus is also mentioned by his near-contemporaries. Extra-Biblical and secular writers (many hostile) point to Jesus' existence, including the Roman writings of Tacitus, Seutonius, Thallus and Pliny, and the Jewish writings of Josephus and the Talmud. Gary Habermas has cited a total of 39 ancient extra-Biblical sources, including 17 non-Christian, that witness from outside the New Testament to over 100 details of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.[8]

 

Quote:
Also, if they are so historically aware why were so many still skeptical or outright disbelieving of Jesus being the prophecised(sp) messiah. For his birth and death records, his birth at least would have been listed if the family was going to meet with information on taxes and such, the area was quite good at keeping records.

if those records existed ,records of everyone else would exist too........what is your case? that there were no Jews in the land?! You see, atheists become mystical about history.

Quote:
And how are these things corroborated exactly? And how much of this is you imposing the idea onto the world until you find things that somewhat sync up?

have you stopped to consider the absurdity of this? If a man is determined not to find truth nothing will prevent him avoiding it. What you've described is what evolutionists do all the time.

 

Quote:
Your comment that where there is no law there is no sin? Doesn't this mean then that if the missionaries never went to certain places all the people there could get into heaven if there was 'no sin' because of a lack of law? If so this would seem to fly in the face of the idea of sending his son to die if it was easier to get into Heaven from simple flat ignorance and in fact spreading the word risks damning more souls than saving them, apparently the Christian thing to do is pretend that Jesus never existed, which again is rather off.

there are elements of truth in this - I'm happy for a full discussion. Reading Romans would be a start. This element of your post raises theological questions requiring fuller explanation.

Quote:
My point was that if we say that God exists, the main argument for believing in him/her/it seems to be avoiding the place of punishment.

 is it? doesn't discovering 'truth' take precedence........ie the basis on which we live THIS life.

Quote:
If that's the case then yes, we are functionally being bullied into loving this being based on a play on our own instincts of self preservation which is usually the argument used from the perspective of pascals wager, which by the way has several other issues inherent.

By whom are you being "bullied"? If it is more reasonable to conclude that the Bible may be true and commit on that basis, you will have done it because Jesus was crucified for you. Your acceptation of 'love' is not the Bible's.

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote: In the footnote

Quote:

 

In the footnote after "ancestral sin" on Wikipedia, it points out that "ancestral sin" is the Greek term for what is called original sin.  It should have pointed out that original sin, as it is understood today in most churches we encounter, is a distinct concept from the Greek "ancestral sin."  If by original or ancestral sin, one means that Adam and Eve sinned and therefore human nature is fallen and in need of redemption through Christ, then I do affirm this doctrine.

excellent.

 

Quote:
But it is often understood to mean that all humans share in the guilt of the first sin, and are born with this guilt in their natures, which because of the fall are incapable of good in and of themselves, and can only ever produce sinful thoughts and deeds.  Granted, this is a very extreme version of the doctrine but it exists in more nuanced and subtle forms, for example in the Latin Church. 

yes, one thinks of Rome first.

Quote:
I believe that what happened after the fall did not leave man with a sinful nature, but a fallen nature, as the two concepts are distinct.  Not a nature that never wants good, but a nature that even though it strives for good does not have the power to achieve it alone. 

in drawing a distinction, I would not have used that phraseology ie. I believe Man's nature is both sinful and fallen but  'flawed'  - that  is, not  one of total depravity [to misuse another 'technical' term].  Thus the image of his creator remains in him. I suspect this may be what you mean! 

Quote:
But this distinction and subject are sort of off the subject of these forums, which is atheist / theist debate, so if you would like to discuss specific Christian theology, feel free to e-mail me.  My address is davey.richards@gmail.com 
thank you, I will email to exchange addresses anyway.

Quote:

P.S. I never once denied the reality of hell.  I do affirm belief in hell, as all Christians, but what I understand hell to be is much different than many Christians.  I know a common retort will be that I "pick and choose" my doctrine, but in fact the number of Christians that believe a thing does not make that thing right.  There is no magical formula whereby one can label their self Christian and believe a doctrine and, presto, that doctrine is true.  So if you would really like to know where I am coming from, then we might take this discussion elsewhere.

no, I do not take a statistical view of 'truth'. On the other hand it may be deemed strange if the Spirit is only teaching you a particular truth! Scripture does not tell us a great deal about Hades, or the 'Lake of Fire'. Whether one concludes that you "pick and choose" may depend on whether you can present a rational, coherent exegesis!

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


Joker
atheist
Joker's picture
Posts: 180
Joined: 2010-07-23
User is offlineOffline
Only the one that the

Only the one that the scientist uses also has radiometric dating and geological information on his side whereas the person making the claim based on religion has their holy text, I'm more inclined to stand with the scientist on that front thank you. My reason is simple, I can study their evidence, I can test it, I can see that their experiments are repeatable and their theories are based on decades of research and study. The holy texts of religions also claim that disease is a result of demonic possession, where we know today about the germ theory of disease and how it works, we have antibiotics and other things which help us greatly extend our lifespans and overall level of health and wellness. The bible claims that I can cure leprosy by taking two birds, killing one, and dipping the other bird in the blood of the first. It also says that I can be put to death for eating shellfish, these might be old testament but they are still 'the word of God.' I can see how some of them made sense, Kosher dietary law helped keep them healthy in a desert environment before pasteurization and the other methods we have for making food safer to eat. Generally speaking, I try to avoid assuming supernatural aspects on things mostly to be sure that I am as accurate as possible. 'Searching' for God still implies that you believe that there is a god and that you might believe in one God in particular which means that you are likely to have a confirmation bias, seeing things as a sign of Gods plan or Gods existence and ignoring things when evidence contradicts you or rationalizing it as an action of some adversarial force. And what does empirical evidence ignore from human experience exactly, what does it not take into account? Again, not trying to be rude here, just trying to see your point. Also, yes, A might cause B, but if the bible says push your cart and it will move it means that it has a true point, but not that it is fully true. I can write a book that has some true elements of cause and affect and a lot of supposition and random crap thrown in, the latter isn't elevated to being true or valid because of the presence of the former. Christianity also doesn't answer ALL the questions and in fact ends up creating more. There are some that are more academic if it is true "Who made God? Why did an omniscient being create life? If God subject to morality, if not then what is the source of morality and why does it not apply to him?" among other things. Nothing will cover everything perfectly, in philosophy and political craft we'll always change as we gain new knowledge, technology and capability which alters how governments function and societies interac, Science will likely disprove some theories as we get better data and alter others as we get a clearer picture. That is part of why I trust science, I trust a system that will change and admit error and alter things as they gain new insight and data. Something that claims to be the perfect guide for living that has things that are at best anachronistic and is called to be perfectly inerrant...we have a problem. What I trust is based on what I can see repeated, tested, studied, at least in terms of universal physical laws. For the more subjective stuff on human nature and government, what guides my truths are the idea of what works, what fails, and what causes a stable society and civilization.

The teapot doesn't answer philosophical questions but neither does your deity. My point is that you can say that there is some all powerful being, and set things up that it can't be disproved, well fine, but that doesn't mean that the deity in question has any kind of answer to complex moral questions or the issue of creating a working society. You say that you concluded this, what was the conclusion based off of? You might say that you looked at the evidence and got your conclusion as this, but I am curious if you were looking at the evidence through biblical blinders. As for culture, guilt, etc. it isn't a catholic thing, I wasn't raised catholic either. Culture has to do with background, a community that is mostly Christian has someone growing up around the images and symbols, church is a part of their social structure. In essence, they grow up with the religious belief as a part of their life, they are told about the nature of sin, if they go to a religious school it's even more pronounced. It becomes how they see the world, how they understand it whether or not it's accurate. We don't wonder why most people in India are Hindu, or why most people in the Middle East are Islamic, we see that there are cultural barriers, now if a religion is the one true one I would think that it would be in fact so perfect that its texts could not be refuted or have any errors, no one would be able to find another book better or more personally reasonable no matter how they read it. If it was directly written by such a perfect deity then we could expect no less. Instead we see examples of bigotry, mysogeny, prejudice and evil. Sure, the bible puts out plenty of good ideas but it also throws out a fair number of bad ones too, stoning disobedient children to death, saying that a woman must always be submissive to her husband and never speak in church, not to mention rather silly ideas for treating illnesses. Also Jesus did start a riot, he tossed people out, flipped tables, etc. Even if Pilate didn't find him guilty there would still have to be a report sent, if Pilate didn't one of his underlings likely would because Pilate would be considered to not be doing his job. The point I was making was that your comparison was erroneous using the UK as a similar example for Israel at the time, in a frontier part of the empire, on its fringes records are likely to be more sparse. In areas that are more heavily built up, with cities and closer to the empires heart (as well as being a source of multiple revolts and people who often refuse to worship the emperor) record keeping would be a bit stricter and more comprehensive. I should also add your links are broken so I can't really find anything helpful in them.

You mention Dr. William F. Albright, you should also know that after his death more and more people have been looking over what he did and are finding more and more problems with his claims and methods. I am merely pointing out that there is some controversey there, he may well be right, just pointing out that he also has a fair number of critics out there. I would also point out that the works written about Jesus were written nearly 40 years after the fact, human memory is an imperfect thing, I can have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast last Tuesday, let alone the full and accurate account and all that was said to me. Yes, this was likely a very important and formative time for them, and maybe they were granted perfect memories of the events but given their contradictions of one another I have to think otherwise. The point I was making to you before was that, as you pointed out that the Hebrews were very good at record keeping and scholarly study of their texts and such it would seem that all of them should have immediately gone for Jesus, if not at the time then afterwards, but instead they were divided. My point is that with their history of study of their beliefs, in fact often having 10 men in a community who SOLELY study the Torah and Talmud then it would seem that they would all embrace him would it not? What is it that 'evolutionists' do to impose their view on the world? A religious person or a person of faith might think they find corroboration for their beliefs in everything because of how they interpret it, then again the same can be said of cultists, UFO fringers, Cryptozoologists, and any other group out on the fringe. Searching for truth is important, BUT I'm saying that in Christianity, and in most evangelism I see the argument is more out of fear of hell, fear of eternal punishment. If the search for truth is the big one, then why not critically study your own book more often, look for flaws and errors, study other books to see if they might actually be better. I mean if the search is for truth, literal truth, then you have to question EVERYTHING. As to who the bully would be, if God exists as is being described, God is saying "Love me, worship me, praise me, or suffer for all eternity, oh and even if you do but others don't they will suffer for all eternity" Wouldn't a Christian feel disgust, horror at those who are suffering, why not beg God to spare them? If we can forgive anyone, should forgive anyone, wouldn't there be people willing to say that perhaps God was going too far or that the pain of these people hurt them too deeply?


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Only the one that the

Quote:

Only the one that the scientist uses also has radiometric dating and geological information on his side whereas the person making the claim based on religion has their holy text, I'm more inclined to stand with the scientist on that front thank you.

Neither I nor scientists who are creationists are ignorant of the claims made on the basis of radiometric dating. The amount of research you do into its real capabilities will be be determined by how serious you really are to arrive at truth. Regarding geology, we date the fossils by the rocks and the rocks by the fossils. If the geologic column were actually extant, it would be miles deep, as it is, it doesn't exist anywhere. I would say a person owes it to themselves to at least become conversant with the real facts.  

 

Quote:
My reason is simple, I can study their evidence, I can test it, I can see that their experiments are repeatable and their theories are based on decades of research and study.

this would be a great reason if it were true but evolution [as opposed to adaptation] is  not repeatable, neither can it be shown to have happened or to be happening now. Its strength is as an infinitely flexible paradigm which will accommodate speculation upon speculation. Which component of evolutionary theory have you ever tested and found to be true?  

 

Quote:
The holy texts of religions also claim that disease is a result of demonic possession, where we know today about the germ theory of disease and how it works, we have antibiotics and other things which help us greatly extend our lifespans and overall level of health and wellness.

I don't know which religions you are speaking of. If you doubt the reality of demonic possession, I will ask a certain young lady currently in Hong Kong to give you her testimony. The spread of illness due to demonic possession is fairly narrow. The Bible suggests numerous reasons. Thank God for the advances of medical science - Jesus called Luke, a "blessed physician" I believe, not an "anachronistic quack"                               

 

Quote:
The bible claims that I can cure leprosy by taking two birds, killing one, and dipping the other bird in the blood of the first. It also says that I can be put to death for eating shellfish, these might be old testament but they are still 'the word of God.' I can see how some of them made sense, Kosher dietary law helped keep them healthy in a desert environment before pasteurization and the other methods we have for making food safer to eat.

If you read Romans, you will see that Christians aren't under the Law at all. Atheists go around with some odd preconceptions one being that Christians are anti-science.

 

Quote:
Generally speaking, I try to avoid assuming supernatural aspects on things mostly to be sure that I am as accurate as possible.

you are correct to make no presumptions - on the other hand, if one's current world-view doesn't cover all the bases it is rational to find one which does. It is a matter of observation that empiricism doesn't cover everything. If action from outside the space-time continuum does then it appears irrational to ignore the possibility. 

 

Quote:
'Searching' for God still implies that you believe that there is a god and that you might believe in one God in particular which means that you are likely to have a confirmation bias, seeing things as a sign of Gods plan or Gods existence and ignoring things when evidence contradicts you or rationalizing it as an action of some adversarial force.

searching for the Higgs Boson implies that conceptually, the possibility of its existence is not an outrageous irrationalitty. The same is true of God. Regarding "confirmation bias", precisely this argument is true of evolutionary theory. We are all biased. Choose your bias. Ensure you choose it on the most rational basis possible.

 

Quote:
And what does empirical evidence ignore from human experience exactly, what does it not take into account?

do you have a scale of 1 - 10 for love, creativity, morality, beauty, fulfillment, desire or meaning? Atheists commonly deal with a very restricted  spectrum of the human condition. They tend to be unremittingly reductionist. 

Quote:
Again, not trying to be rude here, just trying to see your point. Also, yes, A might cause B, but if the bible says push your cart and it will move it means that it has a true point, but not that it is fully true. I can write a book that has some true elements of cause and affect and a lot of supposition and random crap thrown in, the latter isn't elevated to being true or valid because of the presence of the former.

but if the God says, "I will be found by he who seeks me" or commit yourself to me and I will change your epistemology", the proof is of a different order.......I suggest. 

Quote:
Christianity also doesn't answer ALL the questions and in fact ends up creating more.

I am open for business. 

Quote:
There are some that are more academic if it is true "Who made God?

the question presupposes the universality of time. We know time to be both illusory and variable. The conceptual evidence suggests that it is not universal. If anyone made God, God is not God.  

 

Quote:
Why did an omniscient being create life?

because he is creative and takes pleasure in his creation. That is the Christian view of why Man  is a creative Being ie. he is made in God's image. There are deeper reasons which we may get to.

 

Quote:
If God subject to morality, if not then what is the source of morality and why does it not apply to him?" among other things.

excellent question. What is the source of your morality?.......the question is not intended to be fascetious. Man is finite, God is infinite. Man needs an infinite source of morality otherwise it will always be relativistic or handed down by some social or political elite. We have this already, police kill a man in the street but no-one is guilty. They break speed limits as a matter of course - no-one is guilty. We need morality to be absolute ie based on absolute truth but we don't have an absolute. The Biblical view is that God is the personification of truth and morality. Jesus said, "I am the truth". 

Quote:
Nothing will cover everything perfectly, in philosophy and political craft we'll always change as we gain new knowledge, technology and capability which alters how governments function and societies interac, Science will likely disprove some theories as we get better data and alter others as we get a clearer picture. That is part of why I trust science,

 this is just a statement of optimistic humanism, it presupposes that the future will be the same as the past. I trust science  but only in the area of its competence and not when it morphs into pseudo-science. 

 

Quote:
I trust a system that will change and admit error and alter things as they gain new insight and data.

well, you should be happy with evolution then because the details change constantly. What won't change is the conceptual paradigm.......everything else is up for grabs. The question is, "is the 'data' really data and how would we know?"

 

Quote:
Something that claims to be the perfect guide for living that has things that are at best anachronistic and is called to be perfectly inerrant...we have a problem.

line up the specifics

Quote:
What I trust is based on what I can see repeated, tested, studied, at least in terms of universal physical laws.

the term "universal laws" begs its own question. Thank God for them.

Quote:
For the more subjective stuff on human nature and government, what guides my truths are the idea of what works, what fails, and what causes a stable society and civilization.

ok, you're a social pragmatist. What does  "cause stable society and civilisation"? Relativistic morality? Relativistic law?

Quote:
The teapot doesn't answer philosophical questions but neither does your deity.

on the contrary.......feel free to pose them. 

Quote:
My point is that you can say that there is some all powerful being, and set things up that it can't be disproved, well fine, but that doesn't mean that the deity in question has any kind of answer to complex moral questions or the issue of creating a working society.

it doesn't mean the converse either ........ put the questions.

Quote:
You say that you concluded this, what was the conclusion based off of?

 you and I have the same external facts.

Quote:
You might say that you looked at the evidence and got your conclusion as this, but I am curious if you were looking at the evidence through biblical blinders.

are you looking through evolutionary blinders? Every position is a faith position. We all make a jump -it's just sensible to ensure it's off a firm foundation. 

Quote:
As for culture, guilt, etc. it isn't a catholic thing, I wasn't raised catholic either. Culture has to do with background, a community that is mostly Christian has someone growing up around the images and symbols, church is a part of their social structure. In essence, they grow up with the religious belief as a part of their life, they are told about the nature of sin, if they go to a religious school it's even more pronounced. It becomes how they see the world, how they understand it whether or not it's accurate. We don't wonder why most people in India are Hindu, or why most people in the Middle East are Islamic, we see that there are cultural barriers,

this argument is not uncommon but again it  is double -edged. I could speculate that you are an atheist merely because of your background/upbringing. Moreover it presupposes that we are both stupid - unable to sort the facts for ourselves. There are any number of atheists who claim a Christian background, including on this forum. 

 

Quote:
now if a religion is the one true one I would think that it would be in fact so perfect that its texts could not be refuted or have any errors, no one would be able to find another book better or more personally reasonable no matter how they read it. If it was directly written by such a perfect deity then we could expect no less. Instead we see examples of bigotry, mysogeny, prejudice and evil.

please give examples .

 

Quote:
Sure, the bible puts out plenty of good ideas but it also throws out a fair number of bad ones too, stoning disobedient children to death,

 do you wish me to deal with life under the Law first or without it.

Quote:
saying that a woman must always be submissive to her husband and never speak in church,

yes, the Bible propounds an order of authority.  My wife is no wimp. I am never in doubt as to her opinion. I'm pleased about this. I'm required to love her as myself.  It seems to work. Btw, the Bible doesn't mean women are to say nothing ever!!!!!  

Quote:
not to mention rather silly ideas for treating illnesses.

if God instigated them, presumably they worked!                 

Quote:
Also Jesus did start a riot, he tossed people out, flipped tables, etc. Even if Pilate didn't find him guilty there would still have to be a report sent, if Pilate didn't one of his underlings likely would because Pilate would be considered to not be doing his job.

 he was guilty of disturbing the peace.......a riot implies 2 sides in conflict.

Quote:
The point I was making was that your comparison was erroneous using the UK as a similar example for Israel at the time, in a frontier part of the empire, on its fringes records are likely to be more sparse. In areas that are more heavily built up, with cities and closer to the empires heart (as well as being a source of multiple revolts and people who often refuse to worship the emperor) record keeping would be a bit stricter and more comprehensive. I should also add your links are broken so I can't really find anything helpful in them.

go to christiananswers.net. You seem to have forgotten that Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70. If the Jews found their messiah today, they couldn't  prove him to be the son of David because all the records were destroyed. How many such Roman records do we have? Atheists become mystical and revisionist about history. They'll believe in Boadicea but question the historicity of Jesus when we know what he had for breakfast. They are desperate for God not to exist.

Quote:
You mention Dr. William F. Albright, you should also know that after his death more and more people have been looking over what he did and are finding more and more problems with his claims and methods. I am merely pointing out that there is some controversey there, he may well be right, just pointing out that he also has a fair number of critics out there.

everyone has critics but either the Pool of Bethesda is the Pool of Bethesda or it isn't.

John 5:2
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.
 

 

Quote:
I would also point out that the works written about Jesus were written nearly 40 years after the fact, human memory is an imperfect thing, I can have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast last Tuesday, let alone the full and accurate account and all that was said to me.

in which case it is remarkable that the Gospel accounts concur. God says, I will watch over my word to perform it". 

 

Quote:
Yes, this was likely a very important and formative time for them, and maybe they were granted perfect memories of the events but given their contradictions of one another I have to think otherwise.

list them.

Quote:
The point I was making to you before was that, as you pointed out that the Hebrews were very good at record keeping and scholarly study of their texts and such it would seem that all of them should have immediately gone for Jesus, if not at the time then afterwards, but instead they were divided.

we both have access to the account. Somehow the story of human pride, of failure to believe that what was prophesied could actually be happening on 'my' watch, of politics, of intrigue, all have a ring of truth to it. People die in fires because they can't believe it's happening. 

Quote:
My point is that with their history of study of their beliefs, in fact often having 10 men in a community who SOLELY study the Torah and Talmud then it would seem that they would all embrace him would it not?

it was prophesied that they would reject him 

Quote:
What is it that 'evolutionists' do to impose their view on the world?

they don't need to do much......they pretend that the basis of their speculation is real science and an atheistic media connives in duping a gullible public. 

Quote:
A religious person or a person of faith might think they find corroboration for their beliefs in everything because of how they interpret it, then again the same can be said of cultists, UFO fringers, Cryptozoologists, and any other group out on the fringe.

including evolutionists. You see, it's a matter of rationality. Codes don't self-generate. Things don't actually design themselves. It is not observed. It is not science.

Quote:
Searching for truth is important, BUT I'm saying that in Christianity, and in most evangelism I see the argument is more out of fear of hell, fear of eternal punishment.

in a sense this is a non-issue. This is unprovable speculation about motivation. Let's say you are right........so what? Would it affect the truth or otherwise of rational findings? Perhaps you don't wish to speculate upon the existence of God out of fear.

Quote:
If the search for truth is the big one, then why not critically study your own book more often, look for flaws and errors, study other books to see if they might actually be better.

 yes we do, it's how we arrive at both doctrine and apologetics. I am not muslim because it is historically and philosophically untenable. I am no brand of pantheist because it has no answer for diversity including personality etc.

Quote:
I mean if the search is for truth, literal truth, then you have to question EVERYTHING.

I agree, question everything.........find your infinite absolute. 

Quote:
As to who the bully would be, if God exists as is being described, God is saying "Love me, worship me, praise me, or suffer for all eternity,

no, he's saying, "find an acceptable answer to the problem of sin  because I won't support your eternal lifestyle".

Quote:
oh and even if you do but others don't they will suffer for all eternity" Wouldn't a Christian feel disgust, horror at those who are suffering, why not beg God to spare them?

we do, we pray for people like you.......but God will not remove your freewill just to get the answer he wants......that would make you less than human and him a bully. 

Quote:
If we can forgive anyone, should forgive anyone, wouldn't there be people willing to say that perhaps God was going too far or that the pain of these people hurt them too deeply?

the Bible doesn't tell us much about the eternal destiny of the unregenerate but I don't care for the look of it.........you see God has this problem , he can't ignore sin. It's what comes from being infinitely righteous.

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
freeminer wrote:Neither I

freeminer wrote:

Neither I nor scientists who are creationists are ignorant of the claims made on the basis of radiometric dating. The amount of research you do into its real capabilities will be be determined by how serious you really are to arrive at truth. Regarding geology, we date the fossils by the rocks and the rocks by the fossils. If the geologic column were actually extant, it would be miles deep, as it is, it doesn't exist anywhere. I would say a person owes it to themselves to at least become conversant with the real facts.  

 

Actually, the geologic column came first.  It was only after geologists had firmed up their understanding of the time required to create the geologic features that they were able to examine, compare and date fossils.  Now, we use both together to date a particular fossil, comparing the new fossil with strata and with other fossils in the strata.  And then radiometric dating may be used to verify as well.

If you think radiometric dating doesn't work, then you need a refresher course on nuclear chemistry.  Go look it up for yourself, I don't have the time to give you 2-3 semesters worth of instruction.

As for miles deep - go to the Grand Canyon sometime.  Take the trail to the bottom and really look at the successive layers - in places it is over a mile deep, you know.  http://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/parks/grca/index.cfm

 

freeminer wrote:

this would be a great reason if it were true but evolution [as opposed to adaptation] is  not repeatable, neither can it be shown to have happened or to be happening now. Its strength is as an infinitely flexible paradigm which will accommodate speculation upon speculation. Which component of evolutionary theory have you ever tested and found to be true?  

 

Hawaiian wallabies among others.  Here is a whole page of known new species: http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/speciesf.htm

 

freeminer wrote:

I don't know which religions you are speaking of. If you doubt the reality of demonic possession, I will ask a certain young lady currently in Hong Kong to give you her testimony. The spread of illness due to demonic possession is fairly narrow. The Bible suggests numerous reasons. Thank God for the advances of medical science - Jesus called Luke, a "blessed physician" I believe, not an "anachronistic quack" 

 

Ha.  My mom told me a story - she actually believed this.  See someone at her church got sick wearing a dress.  So they gave the dress away and the new owner got sick.  And the church ladies decided the dress was possessed.  So they tried to burn it but it was real hard to burn.  They had to pray and use lighter fluid to get it going.

So, just how hard do you think flame-retardant treated polyester is to light?  Have you tried to burn something made out of plastic?  Color me unimpressed.

 

freeminer wrote:

If you read Romans, you will see that Christians aren't under the Law at all. Atheists go around with some odd preconceptions one being that Christians are anti-science.

 

Uh, you just said evolution is not possible.  Evolution is not only biology, but also physics, chemistry, cosmology, astronomy, genetics.... And you say you believe in science?

 

freeminer wrote:

you are correct to make no presumptions - on the other hand, if one's current world-view doesn't cover all the bases it is rational to find one which does. It is a matter of observation that empiricism doesn't cover everything. If action from outside the space-time continuum does then it appears irrational to ignore the possibility. 

 

If you can name me just one thing that impacts my life that is outside the space-time continuum, I'll go with empiricism may be unable to explain everything important to me.  Since god/s/dess hasn't bothered to get involved with my life, s/he/it/they don't count.

 

freeminer wrote:

do you have a scale of 1 - 10 for love, creativity, morality, beauty, fulfillment, desire or meaning? Atheists commonly deal with a very restricted  spectrum of the human condition. They tend to be unremittingly reductionist. 

 

Doesn't everybody?  That view is more beautiful than that one, that person is more beautiful, that idea is less creative as someone else thought it up 10 years ago, I love my husband more than I love my sister (this happens to be true), I really want a winning lottery ticket but I am a little less desirous of a 60 room mansion and wouldn't buy said mansion if I had a winning lottery ticket, the Tao te Ching is more meaningful to me than the bible ever has been.  Don't you prioritize as well?  I'll bet you think the bible is more meaningful than the Tao.

 

freeminer wrote:

but if the God says, "I will be found by he who seeks me" or commit yourself to me and I will change your epistemology", the proof is of a different order.......I suggest. 

 

At one point in my life, I spent years seeking god/s/dess - no results.  Nothing, nada, zip.  I made a good faith effort at the time, where was s/he/it/they?

 

freeminer wrote:

well, you should be happy with evolution then because the details change constantly. What won't change is the conceptual paradigm.......everything else is up for grabs. The question is, "is the 'data' really data and how would we know?"

 

When data is repeatable, then we have a good feeling for it being accurate.  And evolution is repeatable, see my link above.  Though I'll bet you won't bother.

 

freeminer wrote:

 

ok, you're a social pragmatist. What does  "cause stable society and civilisation"? Relativistic morality? Relativistic law?

 

Of course morality is relative.  Thou shalt not kill.  So is self-defense killing?  National defense?  How about suicide?  State sponsored executions?  Is it okay to commit suicide if you are in so much pain you can no longer scream as your voice is gone?  Is manslaughter killing?  You have choices, bud, it is either relativistic or it is semantics.  Take your choice.

My view is that killing is killing, dead is dead, and there are cases where killing is okay.  If you want to tell me self-defense is not killing, I'll probably laugh a lot.

 

freeminer wrote:

Quote:
not to mention rather silly ideas for treating illnesses.

if God instigated them, presumably they worked!   

 

Ah, god/s/dess instigates marvelous wonders and children die.  http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2010/02/beagley_verdict_comes_in_from.html

"Jeffrey and Marci Beagley were found guilty Tuesday of criminally negligent homicide in the death of their 16-year-old son, Neil. The boy died in June 2008 of complications from an undiagnosed congenital urinary blockage after his parents attempted to heal him with prayer, anointing with oil and laying on of hands."

http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2010/02/clackamas_da_wants_to_work_wit.html

"Dozens of church members' children have died of treatable conditions since the 1950s, and a few mothers died in childbirth. The deaths led the Oregon Legislature to modify state law in 1999 to eliminate legal immunity in some cases for parents who treat their children solely with faith healing -- prayer, anointing with oil, fasting and laying on of hands to treat illness and disease."

 

 

The rest of your post is more of the same.  Believe all you want, but none of my children died of a treatable medical condition because I "trusted in the Lord".

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Joker
atheist
Joker's picture
Posts: 180
Joined: 2010-07-23
User is offlineOffline
I am familiar with the

I am familiar with the actual facts, which is why I trust radiometric dating over the assumption that the rocks are only a few thousand years old. There are examples of evolution occurring, new examples of speciation can be seen and are documented, not to mention having the fossil record to work from, hell we even have the whole antibiotic resistant bacteria. As for the woman who thought she was demon possessed, she could be delusional, misled, or actively lying. I highly doubt the idea of demonic possession because we have evidence for all the things they were blamed for through naturalistic means, bacteria and viruses causing sickness genetic abnormalities causing birth defects among other things. Actions outside of space time and such are basically magic, I could make the claim that any number of things are causing events that we can't currently explain with science or even deny science saying my way is right. However, none of that helps us advance our understanding of the universe, it doesn't help us make new medicines, doesn't help us build better reactors or more efficient engines, it doesn't help us remove horrible afflictions like Alzhiemers or Lou Gehrigs. If your faith healing works so well, why don't they go to hospitals, cure Alzheimers in a patient since that is one disease we know that doesn't stop, hell do that and you'd have medical evidence and the strongest proof imaginable. You ask what causes a good society, one thing is that laws have to be relative, manslaughter is different than murder and both are different than killing in self defense. An officer of the law must be held to a higher standard than a private citizen and as law can be imperfect it must be subject to change and interpretation or we end up with injustice. For example, during an outbreak of a deadly disease cities might enforce curfews and such to try to keep the spread of the disease down such things wouldn't occur normally but in that case the minor curtailment of freedom is justified in the protection of the masses. Similarly, do you develop a weapon capable of wiping the world out entirely during times of peace? In a world with multiple powers should we focus heavily on our military or instead on infrastructure and improvement of the national standard of living? Is government to always be transparent or are there things that can be sometimes kept secret for the argument of national security, and if so what constitutes this in order to avoid abuse of such things? A system with purely objective law is either going to be barbarically harsh or is going to fall to pieces if things ever go bad in a big way. In fact, if we see other nations doing things that are different from us that seem to make things work better, we should study it and see if we can and should incorporate it.

My morality comes from the following, 1) Empathy, I try to understand the other position, the other perspective, put myself in their shoes. This helps me to see why they might oppose or be in favor of something. 2) Socratic reasoning, this one is a bit from my father, from the time when I was 6 whenever I said anything firmly in terms of belief he would ask why, and point out holes in my reasoning or potential problems until I was either able to explain my position fully or I modified it. (annoyed the hell out of me growing up, but by the time I was in college I was grateful) I did the same with him, it means that I am more likely to see the ramifications of what I do and also let me see potential fallout from overly vague or overly narrow comments.  3) The sandbox of history, I look at the moral/political/social codexes and philosophies and see how their ideas worked and the ways they were used. Anarchism is fascinating but is unlikely to work post scarcity, socialism is a great idea until someone decides to alter the system to make it a dictatorship. 4) The situation at hand, this is more in the vein of "In the event of emergency, panic, etc." in some situations I might be more strict on things more permissive on others, not to mention new information coming to light or a major personal viewpoint change. There are some things I believe deeply and with great conviction, but they are all in the philosophical realm and even that goes into constant re-evaluation. As to guilt or innocence, the question can be did they violate the law? Is the law just? Did their violation of the law cause harm, or is this a kind of outreach from the base law? IE an interpretation of law X made some action illegal? Is the exclusionary rule just even if they discover that the person whose rights they violated was a dangerous criminal? If morality was fully absolute there would be no need for lawyers or subtle minutea in law, instead we have a profound need for it.

I sought God, even wondered for a while if I had found God, but if anything the questions became more complex, more problematic, the more I studied things the less reasonable Christianity and other organized religions seemed. Seeking God apparently made me an atheist, which is somewhat amusing depending on how you view things. Every position is not a faith position, if you study things, retest them etc. and will change views if data changes, or change how the schema works then that isn't faith. And my point on culture doesn't say anyone is an idiot or unable to distinguish, just that our formative years do a lot to shape our perceptions, also I'd be willing to bet that more atheists from religious backgrounds come from families who are better educated or are educated themselves. As to your comment on being anti-science, I never said that you or any Christians were inherently, I merely pointed out that if the bible is inerrant then it wouldn't have the methods for treating disease that it does, and yes, some of the methods may have 'worked' and when they didn't it was a result of inadequate faith or gods will. And to your questions about contradictions, Matthew and Mark seem to disagree about whether Jesus wanted things hidden or revealed, Matthew said the laws were forever, Luke said they were only until the time of John. Luke says that Jesus approves of destroying ones enemies whereas Matthew said they were to be loved and forgiven. Judas's end is also played out differently too. Now I can accept that these were people with fallible memories, but if they were truly inspired by God you would think they wouldn't be contradicting one another. There are other contradictions as well but I don't know that I should post each and every one. There is a nice list though if you want. www.skeptically.org/bible/id6.html

I do have to laugh at the idea of an atheistic media, generally speaking they bend over backwards for Christians, atheists are tolerated at best, if you're Hindu or Muslim or any other faith expect a fair amount of mockery, derision, etc. The problem that I have with hell being the key point is that it reinforces the basic idea, "follow my religion or suffer forever, regardless of the fact that you never asked to be born and that plenty of the alleged sins are either not at all based on morality or are problematic when applied broadly (Killing in war and self defense are different than murder, to some fantasizing is adultery of the heart where for others it's even noticing someone is attractive and some say it doesn't count if its your spouse, etc.) not to mention of course that the bible allows plenty of things that are abominable. Following the bible I can stone a kid to death, a husband can beat their wife, a woman who is raped would be forced to marry her rapist, Levitical law says that because of how I am BORN I can be denied entry to heaven forever. There is also the fact that the bible can be used to justify slavery (as it was during the civil war) racism (as plenty of bigots do now), this isn't to say that the bible is evil, just that if we assume it to be a center for objective morality and the guideline for all humanity it has some rather severe issues within.

You say that you find being a Muslim untenable, they find being a Christian the same apparently. Even if we discount those in the theocratic nations of the middle east where they might be punished for even studying the book, there are plenty of muslims in the US, they aren't going to be put to death for reading the works. Assuming that they're as rational as you are they seem to be having trouble agreeing with your beliefs, so why is it that they don't agree automatically if everything is so apparently self evident. To your answer of why God created it brings up more questions, why would an infinite, and at least theoretically perfect, being desire to create us? We wouldn't fulfill any kind of need for him/her/it, being perfect it would lack nothing so we can't serve a purpose to such a being. If such a being did it as an act of whimsy then why bother providing us with moral regulations? Also, if God is perfect, all knowing, all seeing, why not give us the right laws in the beginning rather than changing them over time (IE kosher dietary law, clothing made of mixed fibers, etc.) since if these were the inerrant words of God they shouldn't be disagreeing with each other. And if God changed his/her/its mind how can that be possible with a being that sees and knows all, it would know the results of each thing.

As to saying that God can't ignore sin, really, he seems happy to do that if you go the whole Jesus route. In that case he'll ignore ANYTHING you do. In fact, this almost seems to make a mockery of the idea of morality, be an utter monster your whole life then on your deathbed have a heartfelt sincere conversion and sing with the angels. Do good works your whole life, show kindness, mercy and love to those around you, be in every way the epitome of goodness and kindness, but sadly you don't believe in Jesus and are human so sin is inevitable so into the fires you go go go! It takes the idea of morality and stands it on its head, it says that what you do doesn't matter, only what you believe. As to the idea of an acceptable answer, what about no afterlife? No Heaven, no hell, just oblivion? God doesn't have a need for us and he can truly see how we would behave, after all, the idea of a reward/punishment system of the afterlife would make, in my mind at leas,t the actions of believers in such things morally suspect.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
alleged new 'kinds'

Quote:
Hawaiian wallabies among others.  Here is a whole page of known new species:

I will try to deal with the rest of your post in due course. In the meantime your link conflates 'species' with 'kinds'.......not a universally accepted definition of 'species' by any means. Secondly the entries appear to be dealing with adaptation........unless, of course it can be shown that there is new information on the genome.....which I very much doubt.

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:I am familiar with the

Quote:

I am familiar with the actual facts, which is why I trust radiometric dating over the assumption that the rocks are only a few thousand years old.

if you need me to put up examples of failures and reasons why, I'll happily do so.  

 

Quote:
There are examples of evolution occurring, new examples of speciation can be seen and are documented, not to mention having the fossil record to work from,

give one example of information gain in the genome. 

 

Quote:
hell we even have the whole antibiotic resistant bacteria.

none resulting from information gain on the genome. 

Quote:
As for the woman who thought she was demon possessed, she could be delusional, misled, or actively lying.

to people predisposed not to believe, such testimonies are always lies, despite the surrounding witnesses. Goodness knows what they think the motives are. Jesus said, if someone returned from the dead they wouldn't believe...........then he proceeded to prove it.  

 

Quote:
I highly doubt the idea of demonic possession because we have evidence for all the things they were blamed for through naturalistic means, bacteria and viruses causing sickness genetic abnormalities causing birth defects among other things.

of course you do, classic naturalistic reductionism.

Quote:
Actions outside of space time and such are basically magic,

how would you discern the nature of phenomena impacting the space-time continuum from outside?

Quote:
I could make the claim that any number of things are causing events that we can't currently explain with science or even deny science saying my way is right.

of course....people do. 

Quote:
However, none of that helps us advance our understanding of the universe, it doesn't help us make new medicines, doesn't help us build better reactors or more efficient engines, it doesn't help us remove horrible afflictions like Alzhiemers or Lou Gehrigs.

but this tells us nothing about the truth, it is merely reduction to functionalism. 

Quote:
If your faith healing works so well, why don't they go to hospitals, cure Alzheimers in a patient since that is one disease we know that doesn't stop, hell do that and you'd have medical evidence and the strongest proof imaginable.

personal testimony makes no difference........you've just proved it. 

Quote:
You ask what causes a good society, one thing is that laws have to be relative, manslaughter is different than murder and both are different than killing in self defense.

 yesterday's murder is today's termination. There's a law for murder, a law for manslaughter.

Quote:
An officer of the law must be held to a higher standard than a private citizen and as law can be imperfect it must be subject to change and interpretation or we end up with injustice. For example, during an outbreak of a deadly disease cities might enforce curfews and such to try to keep the spread of the disease down such things wouldn't occur normally but in that case the minor curtailment of freedom is justified in the protection of the masses.

terrorism would have been apposite. Yesterday's special measures are today's routine.

 

Quote:
Similarly, do you develop a weapon capable of wiping the world out entirely during times of peace? In a world with multiple powers should we focus heavily on our military or instead on infrastructure and improvement of the national standard of living?

the first duty of government is the protection of it's citizens. Protect the widows and orphans, put the freeloaders back to work, read the signs of the times, stop worshipping money. 

 

Quote:
Is government to always be transparent or are there things that can be sometimes kept secret for the argument of national security, and if so what constitutes this in order to avoid abuse of such things?

again, you make my case for me. Today's reasonable measures are tomorrow's rationalistic totalitarianism. Truth and freedom sleep together.......without an absolute.......wave goodbye.

Quote:
A system with purely objective law is either going to be barbarically harsh or is going to fall to pieces if things ever go bad in a big way.

Jesus was objjective, he said, if you're sinless, throw the first stone. 

Quote:
In fact, if we see other nations doing things that are different from us that seem to make things work better, we should study it and see if we can and should incorporate it.

we have downloaded the accumulated wisdom of truckloads of "social science" for years.......so why isn't it sorted? Dialectics = someone else must have the answer/the grass is always greener........

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
 Quote:My morality comes

 

Quote:
My morality comes from the following, 1) Empathy, I try to understand the other position, the other perspective, put myself in their shoes. This helps me to see why they might oppose or be in favor of something. 2) Socratic reasoning, this one is a bit from my father, from the time when I was 6 whenever I said anything firmly in terms of belief he would ask why, and point out holes in my reasoning or potential problems until I was either able to explain my position fully or I modified it. (annoyed the hell out of me growing up, but by the time I was in college I was grateful) I did the same with him, it means that I am more likely to see the ramifications of what I do and also let me see potential fallout from overly vague or overly narrow comments. 

you clearly have a productive relationship with a father who gets a kick out of it too. I think my son [also at college] would say the same sort of thing. 

 

Quote:
3) The sandbox of history, I look at the moral/political/social codexes and philosophies and see how their ideas worked and the ways they were used. Anarchism is fascinating but is unlikely to work post scarcity,

has anarchy ever worked?........even punk didn't last long!

 

Quote:
socialism is a great idea until someone decides to alter the system to make it a dictatorship.

I hope I'm putting reasons why "it alters". Suddenly Rationalism looks pragmatic and freedom disappears. 

 

Quote:
4) The situation at hand, this is more in the vein of "In the event of emergency, panic, etc." in some situations I might be more strict on things more permissive on others, not to mention new information coming to light or a major personal viewpoint change.

yes, I think liberal/ pragmatic is your default position. See above.

Quote:
There are some things I believe deeply and with great conviction,

what and why? 

Quote:
but they are all in the philosophical realm and even that goes into constant re-evaluation.

you continue to make my point.........you see, there's being "open-minded" and there's being, "all at sea"!

Quote:
As to guilt or innocence, the question can be did they violate the law? Is the law just?

without an external reference point, how d'you know what justice looks like? 

Quote:
Did their violation of the law cause harm, or is this a kind of outreach from the base law? IE an interpretation of law X made some action illegal? Is the exclusionary rule just even if they discover that the person whose rights they violated was a dangerous criminal?

are you studying legal ethics? Your question of interpretation is relevant. Judges make law. Judges are subjective. Judges are influenced by public opinion. 

Quote:
If morality was fully absolute there would be no need for lawyers or subtle minutea in law, instead we have a profound need for it.

Jewish law was absolute. Moses appointed judges because peoples' morality was not.

Quote:
I sought God, even wondered for a while if I had found God, but if anything the questions became more complex, more problematic, the more I studied things the less reasonable Christianity and other organized religions seemed.

I am not religious. State the problems. 

Quote:
Seeking God apparently made me an atheist, which is somewhat amusing depending on how you view things.

I doubt it. 

Quote:
Every position is not a faith position,

everyone has a world-view. They are commited to as being true. Without an absolute no world-view can be proved true, therefore they are held by faith.

Quote:
if you study things, retest them etc. and will change views if data changes, or change how the schema works then that isn't faith.

this implies objectivity. Objectivity is dead. Hume would ask you how you know your "data" is data. 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
freeminer

freeminer wrote:

Quote:
Hawaiian wallabies among others.  Here is a whole page of known new species:

I will try to deal with the rest of your post in due course. In the meantime your link conflates 'species' with 'kinds'.......not a universally accepted definition of 'species' by any means. Secondly the entries appear to be dealing with adaptation........unless, of course it can be shown that there is new information on the genome.....which I very much doubt.

 

Ah, what "kind" is this animal?

 

If you said dog, you are wrong.  Hyenas are actually more closely related to meerkats and mongooses.  Would you have said "mongoose kind"?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyena

If so, then you aren't following biblical standards.

"New information" is NOT a requisite for evolutionary change.  Nor is new species.  This is the definition:

wiki wrote:

Evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations.

That's it, nothing more, nothing less.  You can search high and low, but the only sources that mention new information and/or new species are christian websites. 

What mechanism stops an organism from evolving a succession of new adaptations that eventually leads to a new species?

*Rice, W.R.; Hostert (1993). "Laboratory experiments on speciation: what have we learned in 40 years". Evolution 47 (6): 1637–1653. doi:10.2307/2410209. 


*Jiggins CD, Bridle JR (2004). "Speciation in the apple maggot fly: a blend of vintages?". Trends Ecol. Evol. (Amst.) 19 (3): 111–4. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2003.12.008. PMID 16701238. 


*Boxhorn, J (1995). "Observed Instances of Speciation". TalkOrigins Archive. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html. Retrieved 2008-12-26. 


*Weinberg JR, Starczak VR, Jorg, D (1992). "Evidence for Rapid Speciation Following a Founder Event in the Laboratory". Evolution 46 (4): 1214–20. doi:10.2307/2409766

Also, I will be happy to bring up the concept of ring species and dogs.  In the last 14,000 years, humans have turned dogs into a ring species.  Chihuahuas can breed with other small dogs and slightly larger small dogs who can breed with slightly larger dogs up to Great Danes.  But Great Danes and Chihuahuas can not breed without a lot of assistance.  A male Chihuahua can not tie a female Great Dane and a male Great Dane would kill a female Chihuahua.  Of course no one has watched this happen, as no one lives 14,000 years.  But, we do have pictorial records of dogs from the earliest pottery shards to the elaborate paintings of the 19th century to the photos of today.  The Egyptians had a Greyhound like dog and the Romans had a Mastiff like dog and little lap dogs.  Are they still dogs?  Sure, but dogs are obviously a very malleable species.

How about this one? 

 

Snake?  Fish?  It has lungs as well as gills so it can breathe air as well as water - what kind is it?

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
cj wrote:freeminer

cj wrote:

freeminer wrote:

Neither I nor scientists who are creationists are ignorant of the claims made on the basis of radiometric dating. The amount of research you do into its real capabilities will be be determined by how serious you really are to arrive at truth. Regarding geology, we date the fossils by the rocks and the rocks by the fossils. If the geologic column were actually extant, it would be miles deep, as it is, it doesn't exist anywhere. I would say a person owes it to themselves to at least become conversant with the real facts.  

 

Actually, the geologic column came first.  It was only after geologists had firmed up their understanding of the time required to create the geologic features that they were able to examine, compare and date fossils.  Now, we use both together to date a particular fossil, comparing the new fossil with strata and with other fossils in the strata.  And then radiometric dating may be used to verify as well.

If you think radiometric dating doesn't work, then you need a refresher course on nuclear chemistry.  Go look it up for yourself, I don't have the time to give you 2-3 semesters worth of instruction.

As for miles deep - go to the Grand Canyon sometime.  Take the trail to the bottom and really look at the successive layers - in places it is over a mile deep, you know.  http://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/parks/grca/index.cfm

 

There's so many different kinds of radiometric dating too!  There are at least 12 common dating techniques all using different radioactive isotopes.  It all depends on how long ago you want to look and how the fossil or whatever you're dating was frozen in time.  Further, we can calibrate radiometric dating to the known ages of things and then prove that it's correct.  Take ...radiocarbon dating, for example ...we use trees of a known age to calibrate radiocarbon dating, or the known age of some other thing.  We can then radiocarbon date it and show that the carbon dating matches the known age.  This works precisely because radioactive isotopes decay at an exact rate that not only can we predict, but observe to be true.  This makes radiometric dating an extremely precise tool for dating things of all ages.

As far as the geologic strata go, it certainly exists and it can be observed.

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."


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
 Quote:And my point on

 

Quote:
And my point on culture doesn't say anyone is an idiot or unable to distinguish, just that our formative years do a lot to shape our perceptions,

I'm sure they do but they don't rob us of the power to choose. 

Quote:
also I'd be willing to bet that more atheists from religious backgrounds come from families who are better educated or are educated themselves.

education doesn't render a man immune to spiritual blindness............ the evidence is everywhere.      

Quote:
As to your comment on being anti-science, I never said that you or any Christians were inherently, I merely pointed out that if the bible is inerrant then it wouldn't have the methods for treating disease that it does,

why not? 

Quote:
and yes, some of the methods may have 'worked' and when they didn't it was a result of inadequate faith or gods will.

 we don't read accounts of failures.

Quote:
And to your questions about contradictions, Matthew and Mark seem to disagree about whether Jesus wanted things hidden or revealed, Matthew said the laws were forever, Luke said they were only until the time of John. Luke says that Jesus approves of destroying ones enemies whereas Matthew said they were to be loved and forgiven.

both were true in each case.

Quote:
Judas's end is also played out differently too.

in this one too. 

Quote:
Now I can accept that these were people with fallible memories, but if they were truly inspired by God you would think they wouldn't be contradicting one another.

Quote:
There are other contradictions as well but I don't know that I should post each and every one. There is a nice list though if you want. www.skeptically.org/bible/id6.html

yes, I'm not much impressed!

 

Quote:
I do have to laugh at the idea of an atheistic media, generally speaking they bend over backwards for Christians, atheists are tolerated at best,

 

in the UK it would be a poor joke. 

Quote:
if you're Hindu or Muslim or any other faith expect a fair amount of mockery, derision, etc.

I don't recommend Islamic jokes here.

Quote:
The problem that I have with hell being the key point is that it reinforces the basic idea, "follow my religion or suffer forever, regardless of the fact that you never asked to be born

would you rather not have been? You see, at root this is fundamentally an evolutionary comment. It presupposes that God has no prior claim on a man. It's why Satan is attacking Genesis.

Quote:
and that plenty of the alleged sins are either not at all based on morality

whose morality? 

Quote:
or are problematic when applied broadly (Killing in war and self defense are different than murder, to some fantasizing is adultery of the heart where for others it's even noticing someone is attractive and some say it doesn't count if its your spouse, etc.)

 as I said, humanistic morality is relativistic. Jesus said, you can't keep away from what I define as adultery........he was right.

Quote:
not to mention of course that the bible allows plenty of things that are abominable. Following the bible I can stone a kid to death, a husband can beat their wife, a woman who is raped would be forced to marry her rapist, Levitical law says that because of how I am BORN I can be denied entry to heaven forever.

references? 

Quote:
There is also the fact that the bible can be used to justify slavery (as it was during the civil war)

a man may try to justify all sorts of things......it doesn't follow that God sees it his way. 

Quote:
racism (as plenty of bigots do now),

the Bible is clear that there are two races on this earth; the regenerate and the unregenenerate.

Quote:
this isn't to say that the bible is evil, just that if we assume it to be a center for objective morality and the guideline for all humanity it has some rather severe issues within.

the Bible claims to be the centre of moral objectivity and if it has lied to us it is evil. If you can't find an alternative centre, the "severe issues" will end up on your doorstep. People just can't get used to the idea that righteousness is what God says it is.

 

 

Quote:
You say that you find being a Muslim untenable, they find being a Christian the same apparently.

I have absolutely no doubt they do........the difference is that I can present a philosophically watertight rationale.  

Quote:
Even if we discount those in the theocratic nations of the middle east where they might be punished for even studying the book, there are plenty of muslims in the US, they aren't going to be put to death for reading the works. Assuming that they're as rational as you are they seem to be having trouble agreeing with your beliefs, so why is it that they don't agree automatically if everything is so apparently self evident.

for the simple reason that remarkably few  people are aware of the roots of their own mysticism. This country is overwhelmingly populated by such people. One can demonstrate the irrationality of Islam in under 2 minutes.

Quote:
To your answer of why God created it brings up more questions, why would an infinite, and at least theoretically perfect, being desire to create us?

why does anyone have children? 

Quote:
We wouldn't fulfill any kind of need for him/her/it, being perfect it would lack nothing so we can't serve a purpose to such a being.

this is half-true. There are "purposes" other than the merely functional.

Quote:
If such a being did it as an act of whimsy then why bother providing us with moral regulations?

were you an act of whimsy?? The law exists to bring Man to consciousness of sin. Moral absolutes are the operating instructions for the happy functioning of project 'mankind'. He knows how he made us.

Quote:
Also, if God is perfect, all knowing, all seeing, why not give us the right laws in the beginning rather than changing them over time (IE kosher dietary law, clothing made of mixed fibers, etc.) since if these were the inerrant words of God they shouldn't be disagreeing with each other.

some of these issues are representative/symbolic of higher truths, some simply designed for the purposes of a nomadic desert people. You are asking for an understanding of the OT in one package! 

Quote:
And if God changed his/her/its mind how can that be possible with a being that sees and knows all, it would know the results of each thing.

but such changes are aimed at us. eg incest. Cain could marry his sister because mutation wasn't a problem........that wasn't true later thus God changed the Law.

 

Quote:
As to saying that God can't ignore sin, really, he seems happy to do that if you go the whole Jesus route.not true. for the Christian, sin impacts his relationship with Christ.......the Holy Spirit has his means. The Christian is answerable for his handling of truth.......like me talking to you now.

 

Quote:
In that case he'll ignore ANYTHING you do.

I may be saved but, take it from me, he won't! 

Quote:
In fact, this almost seems to make a mockery of the idea of morality, be an utter monster your whole life then on your deathbed have a heartfelt sincere conversion and sing with the angels.

there's an element of truth to this eg. the thief on the cross, but you'd be daft to bank on it......your deathbed may be under the wheel of a number nine bus. Your morality is not the issue, it won't save you anyway. 

Quote:
Do good works your whole life, show kindness, mercy and love to those around you, be in every way the epitome of goodness and kindness, but sadly you don't believe in Jesus and are human so sin is inevitable so into the fires you go go go!

absolutely right!!!! human beings just can't gat used to the idea that they can't be good enough.......their pride and autonomy is insulted. 

Quote:
It takes the idea of morality and stands it on its head, it says that what you do doesn't matter, only what you believe.

see above. John says, faith without works is dead. 

Quote:
As to the idea of an acceptable answer, what about no afterlife? No Heaven, no hell, just oblivion? God doesn't have a need for us and he can truly see how we would behave, after all, the idea of a reward/punishment system of the afterlife would make, in my mind at least the actions of believers in such things morally suspect.

but you're clearly too bright for idle speculation,  you want truth.

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:As far as the geologic

Quote:
As far as the geologic strata go, it certainly exists and it can be observed.

 

 

Quote:
There's so many different kinds of radiometric dating too!  There are at least 12 common dating techniques all using different radioactive isotopes.  It all depends on how long ago you want to look and how the fossil or whatever you're dating was frozen in time. 

that's right, take a sample to a lab and the first question they'll ask is, "how old d'you think it is?"  

this:

Quote:
how the fossil or whatever you're dating was frozen in time. 

appears to evince a certain gullibility.

 

Quote:
Further, we can calibrate radiometric dating to the known ages of things and then prove that it's correct. 

and how would you "know" this "known age"? 

Quote:
Take ...radiocarbon dating, for example ...we use trees of a known age to calibrate radiocarbon dating, or the known age of some other thing.  We can then radiocarbon date it and show that the carbon dating matches the known age.  This works precisely because radioactive isotopes decay at an exact rate that not only can we predict, but observe to be true.  This makes radiometric dating an extremely precise tool for dating things of all ages.name where the complete geologic column, "may be observed"

 

I feel an exposition of the perils and sad inadequacies of carbon dating coming on......... but here it's 7.45 pm and I've had enough so.........until the morrow, farewell my atheistic friends!

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


reynaldo77
Posts: 3
Joined: 2010-07-29
User is offlineOffline
To all theists: Why do you believe?

To My Dear Atheist, God is all of our Father, whether we are angry at him for unexplained tragedies in our life or not... The world is as it is, (when you all question if there is a God why the Holocaust, why the brutal American Slavery system, etc.) all of these horrors are explained by sin... We are born into sin, so we wil do what our father the evil one dictates until we come to a cross point in life that leads us back too God! People cry out to God not when they are rich and everything is going their way, no on the contrary like, spoil little children we go to our Earthly Father's or Mother's when we need them, and half the time we neglect them until we do need them; This is the same premise with our Heavenly Father, he just wants all to come too him! Because eternity is a long time to be wrong and to pay for your intellectual choice in utter displacement from your Creator! Intelligence is a gift from a loving Creator that is being used in this supposedly enlightened age to exclude the one who Gave us life and this intelligence! We instead would like to believe an ex-Christian's rant of evolution (Darwin)... Which ultimately leads the supposed educated that a spinning rock in space cooled off and created life!
 


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:If you said dog, you

Quote:
If you said dog, you are wrong.  Hyenas are actually more closely related to meerkats and mongooses.  Would you have said "mongoose kind"?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyena      

no I wouldn't....try mating it with a mongoose and see how far you get. If you start from an evolutionary premise [which you have ie,"more closely related to........"] you are simply attempting a circular argument. We  are not all so gullible. 

 

 

Quote:
If so, then you aren't following biblical standards.
would you know what these are? Tell me about them.

 

Quote:
"New information" is NOT a requisite for evolutionary change.  Nor is new species.  This is the definition:

 

wiki wrote:

 

Evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations.

 

 

 

you couldn't even make this apology stand up in a queue of scientists at a water cooler.

 

Quote:
That's it, nothing more, nothing less.  You can search high and low, but the only sources that mention new information and/or new species are christian websites. 

tosh......and I'm half man half banana...the reason only christian sites mention new information is that it's an embarrassment to the evolutionary establishment..... surprise surprise..........what price freedom of information!!!!

Quote:
What mechanism stops an organism from evolving a succession of new adaptations that eventually leads to a new species?

the simple fact that new information ie information GAIN is required on the genome for the construction of new proteins for new structures/functions. Adaptation generally involves information loss as per your example.

Quote:
When data is repeatable, then we have a good feeling for it being accurate.  And evolution is repeatable, see my link above.  Though I'll bet you won't bother.

can't resist this..........go on, give verifiable, repeatable, testable evidence that a code has just generated itself........or for that matter than information gain has just taken place on a genome.

 

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


reynaldo77
Posts: 3
Joined: 2010-07-29
User is offlineOffline
To all theists: Why do you believe?

To My Dear Atheist,  Also Darwin said that Africans and Australian Aborigines were,  lower forms of humanity,  closer related to the great apes than the Anglo Saxons of Europe, which were more highly evolved!  Atheist try to pick apart the Bible quoting all the Old Testament laws that were very harsh indeed,  When we are young our Earthly Father's are much more harsher to their young developing children in order to teach them of absolutes, fire is hot...  don't touch it, in a stern voice, etc.  You see My Dear Atheist,  there are absolutes and truths that are not transitory or relative... Rain in India or Paris is wet just like it is in the U.S.  an absolute that does not change!  The Old Testament was very brutal in many aspects because the Creator taught his people alot of do's and don'ts!  God knows all he created all ...He does to whom he wants,  what he wants... Somethings are not up for discussion with your parents just like it is with our Heavenly Father,  You think God didn't know Hitler wasn't going to finish his Artistic studies in youth only to pursue his infamous path?  By the way,  you Atheist are not unintelligent just stubborn,  because you believe God doesn't exist does not matter to him,  and when you all meet him you'll be able to explain your earthly philosophy you all learned in College to him in person and see who wins your philosophical arguments then!  While we have breath we all, ( not collective college classes who are taught these fallacies of life, existence and God)  but individually must choose which direction we will go... Jesus has answered all of mankinds questions,  he has answered the Old Testament,  he is the end of all law,  he is the culmination of all human existence.... " He said what many of you miss more poignantly than all of the arguments you try to bring up... When the non-believing leaders of the Jews tried to trip him up on "What are the greatest of the Commandments"?  "Jesus eloquently stated,  There only two... Love God with all your heart and soul and obey him,  then love your neighbor as yourself,  and doing these two you will keep all of the others"!  We all know of the ills of the Catholic Church in the past,  the Spanish Inquisition, The Catholic Church giving their blessings to the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, their ignoring Hitler's evils, etc.  That is not true religion,  over zealous fundamentalism that was practiced by those whom burned people in the Salem Witch Trials, etc.  Just as Islam is supposed to be a religion of peace and harmony, etc.  But is that the Islam that Osama and his ilk are practicing?  Love your neighbor as yourself and you will not harm your neighbor for anything,  you will not covet his wife and commit adultery with her, etc.  You will not steal from your neighbor or bear false witness against him,  and you would certainly not kill your neighbor if you truly practiced Jesus' tenets!  You would always love and forgive which are the true tenets of Godly Religion!  Jesus did no wrong, historically our leaders do every evil imaginable as the Bible says " ...every wicked thing a man will thinketh,  he will do"!  All of my Dear Atheist, you all are very intelligent indeed, Hitler, Stalin and Mao... in modern times have killed more people in history on this planet than all recorded religious zealotry ever has!  These things you all know,  as I've stated most of you are College educated... So saying Religion is the cause of more wars, murders, etc.  you know full well is a fallacy!  God knew what Hitler was going to do... He knew what Mussolini and Stalin and Mao were going to do,  like he knew what Jeffrey Dahmer was going to do,  he also knew,  the wicked people of the past and what they would do and what they wouldn't ...never repent of their wickedness,  so sometimes everyone of them, were slaughtered by David, Gideon, Joshua, etc.  If you knew someone was totally evil... and you had the power to stop them as Hitler, ( everyone asks) wouldn't you kill him, etc.  Before he committed such atrocities?  God allows all because it is not yet time for his return,  when it comes all of these earthly arguments will be for nothing... all will be settled!  Atheist say as those in Noah's day,  nothing is going to happen,  Noah's got his poor boys building a big house boat for what?  What the heck is rain,  that's impossible water coming from the sky,  water is heavier than air isn't it?  The people in Sodom & Gommorrah,  did totally sinful things and they perished as well,  my Dear Atheist,  some of you are meant to come out of this misleading philosophy that you learned from jaded College Professors.... You have left the Christianity of your parents, thinking you are now educated and you now know more then them!  Read the Gospels for yourselves don't listen to the arrogance of others, who don't want you to know the truth... pick it up and investigate Jesus' words for yourself and ask for God to give you understanding and see won't he make those pages clear too you!  As I said some of you will come back to an understanding of your parents beliefs but not all... This is truly sad to me and other true believers that all we say all we do... will not convince this stubborn modern intellectual mind!  My Dear Atheist,  Do you know the original definition of the name Fool... It means, one who says there is no God"!  As I've stated above you all are very educated and I know you would not consider yourselves, to be fools!  Never take another's words for truth when you can investigate for yourselves, there is not one fossil of a missing link... of any of the humanoid or primate bones found they all show DNA of either Human or Ape DNA... There are no mixtures!  It takes more belief to believe that all of existence came from nothing that exploded to create our world than to believe that a benevolent Creator made existence!
The fairytale,  Millions of years ago... might as well be ...Once upon a time,  the Big Bang...  foolishness to believe that anything can come into existence without first being fashioned by someone!  Why don't things just pop into our world now, if we are to believe this erroneous theory?  I might as well wish for a million dollars and wait for it to just pop up out of thin air!  Because this ultimately is what the University Professors who spew this tripe out,  want us to believe when we enter their institutions of supposed Higher Learning... That Once Upon a Time,  Millions of Years Ago... All was created from Nothing!  Forgetting the Laws of Causality,  which they know full well is more exacting than believing in a plagiarist, misguided, racist, ex-Christian as poor Darwin!  This law is not a theory as evolution, but is verifiable in everyday existence,  for every cause there is something or someone who has affected that cause!  No two ways about it!  If someone dies of Lung Cancer and they smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day for twenty or so years,  more than likely the cigarettes might have had something to do with it,  you think... Shortening their life,  you think!  The smoker thus causes his own demise by Lung Cancer from the practice of smoking twenty years, until his lungs finally couldn't heal themselves anymore!  Death from drunk drivers, killing innocent pedestrians and other motorist,  whom all they were doing was trying to reach their destinations as in any other day... But a Drunk Driver chose to drink,  thus loosing control for the last time, and finally causes these innocent people's lives too end... They would have made it home to work or the movies, etc.  If not for someone causing them to die that very moment!  Nothing happens without an agent causing it people,  That agent for the Big Bang or as I rightfully call it ;  was the Lord Saying "Let There Be Light"!  Plain and simple the light explodes over the darkness (Bang!)  My Dear Atheist,  I wish I had everyone of you in front of me too explain every aspect of the Bible that you have questions about so that you could have an objective reference to deduce true belief from!  One wiser man than I stated in the past,  "People usually believe not what is true but what is convenient for them and attracts them"!  Believing that there is no God because of a Theory of Evolution,  or because some misguided Scientist tells you there is no God, etc.  is accepting blindly your eternal faith from the hands of someone that does not Love You At All... Only God Loves You!  Go Blindly Believing in someone Else's thoughts and when you stand before Jesus on Judgment Day,  quoting these foolish theories and philosophies will not hold up in the face of all truth the Word Himself... As John Teaches us,  "The Word Became Flesh And Dwelt Among Us"...  There was a Jewish Atheist back during the World Wars, Who stated he solved all of philosophies problems in his treatise... Think about that people... One man out of all time, history, human understanding solved all in his limited time on earth before my Dear Atheist, He killed himself... This is what ultimately is most of you all's fate,  my people... Atheist kill themselves at an alarming high rate over believers of any faith!  So Sad to believe that there is nothing more to live for and that nothing awaits you,  be sure of your own beliefs before you take that eternal journey,  don't accept other's,  know it all's philosophies,  don't even accept my words, but investigate your only path,  by picking the Bible up yourself and if it makes no sense still,  then all I can say is God Bless You, Anyway!  God is Love,  he created all of us to be his Children,  This is the "True Meaning of Life",  simply to be God's Children, so that he could love us and teach us his ways!  It was said by another wiser than I, "If you want the simple or obvious to be complicated,  let a philosopher explain it"! 
The Bible is the Infallible Word of Our Heavenly Father, All I can say to my Dear Atheist Brethren,  is investigate it for yourselves,  don't take my word or anyother's of it's accuracy or inaccuracy,  read for yourselves!


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
This thread seems to have

This thread seems to have been invaded by a slightly crazier variety of theist.

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."


Joker
atheist
Joker's picture
Posts: 180
Joined: 2010-07-23
User is offlineOffline
Ok, Freeminer, this is going

Ok, Freeminer, this is going to be a bit more broad brush as some of the comments you made are related. If I miss anything I apologize. The problem is that your argument of subjective morality is functionally an anarchy within the law, your system doesn't maintain the laws as a constant. Our own laws change over time based on what we view to be just, fair and proper in terms of the actions of government and the actions of private citizens. The fact is too that your argument of 'he who is without sin cast the first stone' it is in truth a good argument for moral judgment, after all everyone is imperfect and we should realize that, but if taken literally (IE you can't punish someone unless you have never broken a law, done anything legally questionable) the legal system grinds to a halt. Plenty of people have parking tickets, moving violations, etc. Should they not be able to sit for jury duty? Should they be unable to be police officers, judges, or in any way part of the judicial system? Since after all if they sit in judgment over this person they are casting a stone, the same is true for law makers, prison guards, etc. To be blunt, if that comment is objective then we can have NO workable law within man because there is no way to enforce any law. And yes, you pointed out how temporary measures can become permanent, I don't dispute this. I merely point out that the morality of them when they are put into affect (assuming a legitimate emergency) is different than if they are put in on a whim or a desire for a power grab. And you yourself agreed that there are laws for murder and laws for manslaughter, both involve killing a person BUT they make distinction of the idea of intent and the state of the perpetrator. Thou Shalt Not Kill didn't have caveats or distinctions in terms of what we were supposed to do in different scenarios. To your question of what justice looks like, Justice is the law giving a punishment of equal level to the crime committed. I am against the death penalty morally, mostly because if we foul up we can't fix it later if we find out we killed the wrong person. I have other issues with it too, but those have more to do with my concern that it is more about vengeance and a scare tactic that is largely ineffective and makes society as a whole less compassionate.

For failed biblical methods for healing, allegedly the way to cure leperosy was to take two birds, kill one, then dip the other bird in the blood of the first, then sprinkle the blood on the leper, let the blood soaked bird fly off. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally kill a couple doves and offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. It's from leviticus in case you're wondering where I grabbed it. Leviticus also has the sections I mentioned, those who are disabled, have flat noses, poor eyesight etc. are not allowed near the altar of God because they would 'profane' it, some translations I've read say Kingdom instead of altar, but I will admit that the translations might be in error on that note. I could also point out that there are plenty of cases where slavery is considered acceptable in the bible, and for racism, I have met people who claim that nonwhites are the descendants of Ham (the mormons have their own thing on that too, I don't really want to get into that one as it would be a whole other ball of wax).  For faith healing and such, part of why I mentioned Alzheimers is that there are no known cases of that going into remission. If a person was diagnosed with Alzheimers and then it suddenly vanished after a faith healer, that would work because if that was the only thing (they didn't also go on a new drug/experimental procedure/what have you) they were exposed to then it would work as evidence. As it would not only be radically more effective than a placebo but ANY drug or treatment attempt made. To your question of information in the genome, what do you mean when you say information? An Amoeba has more 'information' than a human does, if you were to digitize its genome it takes up more space than a humans does, so I would love to hear what you define information as. Similarly, what do you define 'kinds' as, since there have been no successful attempts to scientifically work out the various biblical kinds, even the proponents of ID, many of whom attempted to work out the various kinds, proved unable to do so, eventually abandoning the project.

On a more personal note, I think Anarchism could work if we existed in a post scarcity world as most conflicts are based around need for resources. If we can make it so that we have more than everyone can use government becomes less necessary and anarchism more practical. The dangers of the rogue destructive element still exist but hopefully would be easier to manage. I do wonder why it seems to bother you that I constantly study my own positions, since from my view doing that allows me to be more sure of myself, my views and better able to defend and clarify them when questions come up.

As to why people have children, biological urge. Those that don't have the urge likely self select themselves out of the gene pool by not reproducing. And what purpose do we fulfill for God exactly? Again, God is a perfect being so he wouldn't need our love or affection any more than I would need, or even desire an anthill worshiping me. God also made the angels before man, if Satan was truly the serpent in the garden then he was going against God before the fall, an evil act, therefore apparently Adams sin was SO terrible that it actually went back in time and affected lucifer before it was eaten. Otherwise God also created evil, he created servants that he knew would lead man astray.

 


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Quote:Ok, Freeminer,

 

Quote:
Ok, Freeminer, this is going to be a bit more broad brush as some of the comments you made are related. If I miss anything I apologize. The problem is that your argument of subjective morality is functionally an anarchy within the law, your system doesn't maintain the laws as a constant.

I think, if we are not careful we will confuse issues here. Allow me to set out the Biblical position as clearly as I can.

1] For absolute truth to exist we, as finite beings need an infinite absolute reference point [that is true in other areas eg. communication, epistemology as well]. Without this truth and therefore law is always relative.

2] Human decision making and therefore morality is always subjective.

3] The state gets its authority from God and has a duty to exercise it. Biblical principles are there for a state to implement to the degree it chooses to do so but Jesus said, "my kingdom is not of this world". That doesn't mean it won't be at some point.

4] The individual chooses, in terms of personal morality, whether to live under law or under grace. As a generalisation, the OT deals with law, the NT deals with grace. Grace comes under the new covenant which Jesus came to introduce. In God's perception, you currently live under law and I live under grace. I am not bound by the written law but I am directly morally responsible to the Holy Spirit. For me, sin is what the Holy Spirit tells me it is for me. This is what Jesus meant when he said, "Man shall live by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God" God says, "I will write my law on their hearts". Law works by the compulsion of a written code - religious people love it. Grace works by the drawing power of love - that is the difference. So it looks subjective to you but it is driven directly by the objectivity of the Holy Spirit. 

 

Quote:
Our own laws change over time based on what we view to be just, fair and proper in terms of the actions of government and the actions of private citizens. The fact is too that your argument of 'he who is without sin cast the first stone' it is in truth a good argument for moral judgment, after all everyone is imperfect and we should realize that, but if taken literally (IE you can't punish someone unless you have never broken a law, done anything legally questionable) the legal system grinds to a halt.

point taken.......remember that we are talking about a law in this case, in which State and moral/religious law were deemed to be synonymous. The Romans weren't interested in this incident. Yes she had broken Masoretic Law.....so had the other party, who was nowhere to be seen! Jesus didn't deny that she had, he merely encouraged them to carry out the sentence but pointed out that, since they had all broken the same law, they would have to die too! Our separation of personal morality and State law was, in effect, being encouraged by Jesus when he said, "my kingdom is not of this world" He wasn't denying that the state should regulate society via law but he was implicitly asserting that a man's moral code is a matter of his choice. The fact that we can't meet God's standards however morally upright we are is the bottom line. The acceptance of this fact by some of us is the foundation of the Kingdom. 

 

Quote:
Plenty of people have parking tickets, moving violations, etc. Should they not be able to sit for jury duty? Should they be unable to be police officers, judges, or in any way part of the judicial system? Since after all if they sit in judgment over this person they are casting a stone, the same is true for law makers, prison guards, etc.

our law still seeks to be objective in that the law does not exist to hold grudges, it is there to deal with the infringement before it. Jesus was agreeing with you. He was pointing out that as legal experts, they too were flawed and that forgiveness was appropriate. Effectively our law does this in so far as a penalty is imposed but that is the end of the matter. The really interesting point in what you say is the degree to which the law is now seen to be holding grudges........and not only that but purporting to read a man's mind before a crime is commited. We have sex offenders registers, we have criminal records, we have just had the first criminal trial held in camera........ 

 

Quote:
To be blunt, if that comment is objective then we can have NO workable law within man because there is no way to enforce any law. And yes, you pointed out how temporary measures can become permanent, I don't dispute this. I merely point out that the morality of them when they are put into affect (assuming a legitimate emergency) is different than if they are put in on a whim or a desire for a power grab.

yes, you see my point is that measures put into effect in an emergency tend to become permanent when the overwhelming mindset of a society is rationalistic. It's not the measures I complain of, its the subtle morphing of reasonableness into rationalism which goes undetected when human beings regard themselves as autonomous and thus answerable to no-one that's my beef. It's the argument that, we can have a cc camera on every corner and have to carry identity cards......."because if you're not doing anything wrong, why would you mind?"........that's rationalism. 

 

Quote:
And you yourself agreed that there are laws for murder and laws for manslaughter, both involve killing a person BUT they make distinction of the idea of intent and the state of the perpetrator. Thou Shalt Not Kill didn't have caveats or distinctions in terms of what we were supposed to do in different scenarios.

oh yes it did have caveats........very much so. In fact the NASB is correct, it should read, "thou shalt not murder", not, "thou shalt not kill".  

Quote:
To your question of what justice looks like, Justice is the law giving a punishment of equal level to the crime committed. I am against the death penalty morally, mostly because if we foul up we can't fix it later if we find out we killed the wrong person.

hmm but we don't stop at the crime committed or whether it's actually manslaughter [which the Bible allows for] we look at the minutae of the context. I support the death penalty because as the Bible says, murder pollutes the land with blood and the State derogates its responsibility in the issue. There are many cases where there is NO doubt. It demeans the value of a life.......the UK is becoming uninhabitable.

Quote:
I have other issues with it too, but those have more to do with my concern that it is more about vengeance and a scare tactic that is largely ineffective and makes society as a whole less compassionate.

to whom?.........the victim's family?

Quote:
For failed biblical methods for healing, allegedly the way to cure leperosy was to take two birds, kill one, then dip the other bird in the blood of the first, then sprinkle the blood on the leper, let the blood soaked bird fly off. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally kill a couple doves and offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. It's from leviticus in case you're wondering where I grabbed it. Leviticus also has the sections I mentioned, those who are disabled, have flat noses, poor eyesight etc. are not allowed near the altar of God because they would 'profane' it, some translations I've read say Kingdom instead of altar, but I will admit that the translations might be in error on that note.

agreed but what is your point? I can assure you, if you have a flat nose and a squint, you are very welcome in our church!

Quote:
I could also point out that there are plenty of cases where slavery is considered acceptable in the bible,

slavery is your word not the Bible's. We had servants well into the 20th century.......some still do. There were laws regarding their treatment. 

Quote:
and for racism, I have met people who claim that nonwhites are the descendants of Ham (the mormons have their own thing on that too, I don't really want to get into that one as it would be a whole other ball of wax). 

yes, let's leave Mormonism out for now! Yes these people do exist...I'm aware of the Ham thing.........they don't know their Bible........shall I have them shot for you? My point is that no-one in their right mind would become a Christian on the basis of the behaviour of Christians! [or people who purport to be]

Quote:
For faith healing and such, part of why I mentioned Alzheimers is that there are no known cases of that going into remission. If a person was diagnosed with Alzheimers and then it suddenly vanished after a faith healer, that would work because if that was the only thing (they didn't also go on a new drug/experimental procedure/what have you) they were exposed to then it would work as evidence.

you'd think resurrection would work as evidence but apparently it doesn't. If you read Isaiah 53 and Matthew 8:17, you'll see that Jesus died for all diseases. 

Quote:
As it would not only be radically more effective than a placebo but ANY drug or treatment attempt made. To your question of information in the genome, what do you mean when you say information? An Amoeba has more 'information' than a human does, if you were to digitize its genome it takes up more space than a humans does, so I would love to hear what you define information as.

hmm, so do ferns, the amount is not the issue, the gain is. See my last post. Coding for new proteins for new functions/structures does not generate itself. When a fruit fly has an extra pair of wings as a result of mutation, that is not information gain. It already has coding for wings. Neither is it an advance since it won't be able to fly. 

Quote:
Similarly, what do you define 'kinds' as, since there have been no successful attempts to scientifically work out the various biblical kinds, even the proponents of ID, many of whom attempted to work out the various kinds, proved unable to do so, eventually abandoning the project.

no, research is still going on to identify groups but I don't know about the ID fraternity. I've come to the conclusion that the discussion of definition is a red herring.........I suggest a dictionary! Meyer, who was rabidly atheist more or less aligned 'species' with 'kinds', though not explicitly I assume! The term 'species' seems to have various acceptations within the scientific community......so they don't seem to be able to work it out either.  

Quote:
On a more personal note, I think Anarchism could work if we existed in a post scarcity world as most conflicts are based around need for resources.

when I rape your girlfriend, it won't be because of a lack of women in the world, when I nick your car it won't be because of a car shortage. The day everyone has everything their hearts desire, the world economy will come to a shuddering halt and no-one except those with large gardens [will that be everyone?] will be eating. Haven't you noticed that mankind's material appetite is insatiable? One Ferrari is not enough. People aren't druggies for want of money..... celebrities are as high as kites. Your statement is one of ultimate optimistic humanism.

Quote:
If we can make it so that we have more than everyone can use government becomes less necessary and anarchism more practical. The dangers of the rogue destructive element still exist but hopefully would be easier to manage.

by whom?..... the police are all anarchists, they are all driving Lambo's and show up to work just for entertainment! 

Quote:
I do wonder why it seems to bother you that I constantly study my own positions, since from my view doing that allows me to be more sure of myself, my views and better able to defend and clarify them when questions come up.

no, I don't complain at you being self-analytical - far from it,  just as long as you always have a view firm enough to be worth altering!

 

Quote:
As to why people have children, biological urge.

no, I just wanted sex........and since we were already setting about it, she said, "if you do right now, I'll be pregnant...... she was right!!! What I notice is that people who don't have them tend to borrow ours........I can assure you, your reason is reductionist, there's far  more to it.

Quote:
Those that don't have the urge likely self select themselves out of the gene pool by not reproducing. And what purpose do we fulfill for God exactly?

multiple mutual relationships and everything that goes with it. God is able and does limit himself........to walk with us in the garden in the cool of the day. 

Quote:
Again, God is a perfect being so he wouldn't need our love or affection any more than I would need, or even desire an anthill worshiping me.

how tediously functional of you, do you really live your life like this? 

Quote:
God also made the angels before man, if Satan was truly the serpent in the garden then he was going against God before the fall, an evil act, therefore apparently Adams sin was SO terrible that it actually went back in time and affected lucifer before it was eaten. Otherwise God also created evil, he created servants that he knew would lead man astray.

 

Hypothesise with me the existence of a perfectly righteous God. Do you see an issue? Do you think perhaps such existence renders the existence of the converse an inevitable possibility? Do you think anyone needed to conceptualise evil? Don't you think it was always just waiting to be implemented?

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


robj101
atheist
robj101's picture
Posts: 2481
Joined: 2010-02-20
User is offlineOffline
drichards85 wrote:cj, I

drichards85 wrote:

cj, I almost forgot.  Apropos of your point about morals, I do not believe that human society can furnish us with a basis for morals, and here is why.  Just as there are many beliefs about God, there are also many beliefs among societies about which actions are moral and which are immoral.  The question then becomes, which morals should we accept, those of society A or those of society B? 

 

We accept what works, exactly as we are doing at this very moment. What works changes over time, exactly as it is doing, at this very moment.

If our morals came from the bible why have they changed so much? Were people randomly raping, killing, stealing etc before we received the ten commandments as written by a "mouthpiece" for a god and is it still going on to an extent to this day. I suspect the amount of killing, raping and stealing has gone down significantly but not due to morals but law created by man based on morals necessary for a society to function.

Societies existed before "christianity" therefore morals were around already. Even social animals have morals that are clearly obvious, again it is necessary for them to function.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
freeminer wrote:Quote:"New

freeminer wrote:

Quote:
"New information" is NOT a requisite for evolutionary change.  Nor is new species.  This is the definition:

 

wiki wrote:

 

Evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations.

 

 

you couldn't even make this apology stand up in a queue of scientists at a water cooler.

 

You are now officially dumber than a box of rocks.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
cj wrote:freeminer

cj wrote:

freeminer wrote:

Quote:
"New information" is NOT a requisite for evolutionary change.  Nor is new species.  This is the definition:

 

wiki wrote:

 

Evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations.

 

 

you couldn't even make this apology stand up in a queue of scientists at a water cooler.

 

You are now officially dumber than a box of rocks.

 

but that is the judgement of one for whom it is the supreme peak of insightfulness.........good grief, presumably you actually rate this definition!!!!!! 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
freeminer wrote:cj

Quote:

 Of course morality is relative.  Thou shalt not kill.  So is self-defense killing?  National defense?  How about suicide?  State sponsored executions?  Is it okay to commit suicide if you are in so much pain you can no longer scream as your voice is gone?  Is manslaughter killing?  You have choices, bud, it is either relativistic or it is semantics.  Take your choice.

My view is that killing is killing, dead is dead, and there are cases where killing is okay.  If you want to tell me self-defense is not killing, I'll probably laugh a lot.

 

.............off you go......spewing out nonsense on a totally false premise because you don't actually know what God says.........but then, you think the Grand Canyon is as deep as the geologic column!

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Neither I

Quote:

Neither I nor scientists who are creationists are ignorant of the claims made on the basis of radiometric dating. The amount of research you do into its real capabilities will be be determined by how serious you really are to arrive at truth. Regarding geology, we date the fossils by the rocks and the rocks by the fossils. If the geologic column were actually extant, it would be miles deep, as it is, it doesn't exist anywhere. I would say a person owes it to themselves to at least become conversant with the real facts.  

 

Quote:
Actually, the geologic column came first.  It was only after geologists had firmed up their understanding of the time required to create the geologic features that they were able to examine, compare and date fossils.  Now, we use both together to date a particular fossil, comparing the new fossil with strata and with other fossils in the strata.  And then radiometric dating may be used to verify as well.

If you think radiometric dating doesn't work, then you need a refresher course on nuclear chemistry.  Go look it up for yourself, I don't have the time to give you 2-3 semesters worth of instruction.

if your time is so precious why d'you waste so much posting nonsense?

AiG

We know that radioisotope dating does not always work because we can test it on rocks of known age. In 1997, a team of eight research scientists known as the RATE group (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) set out to investigate the assumptions commonly made in standard radioisotope dating practices (also referred to as single-sample radioisotope dating). Their findings were significant and directly impact the evolutionary dates of millions of years.3

A rock sample from the newly formed 1986 lava dome from Mount St. Helens was dated using Potassium-Argon dating. The newly formed rock gave ages for the different minerals in it of between 0.5 and 2.8 million years.4 These dates show that significant argon (daughter element) was present when the rock solidified (assumption 1 is false).

Mount Ngauruhoe is located on the North Island of New Zealand and is one of the country’s most active volcanoes. Eleven samples were taken from solidified lava and dated. These rocks are known to have formed from eruptions in 1949, 1954, and 1975. The rock samples were sent to a respected commercial laboratory (Geochron Laboratories in Cambridge, Massachusetts). The “ages” of the rocks ranged from 0.27 to 3.5 million years old.5 Because these rocks are known to be less than 70 years old, it is apparent that assumption #1 is again false. When radioisotope dating fails to give accurate dates on rocks of known age, why should we trust it for rocks of unknown age? In each case the ages of the rocks were greatly inflated.

Isochron Dating

There is another form of dating called isochron dating, which involves analyzing four or more samples from the same rock unit. This form of dating attempts to eliminate one of the assumptions in single-sample radioisotope dating by using ratios and graphs rather than counting atoms present. It does not depend on the initial concentration of the daughter element being zero. The isochron dating technique is thought to be infallible because it supposedly eliminates the assumptions about starting conditions. However, this method has different assumptions about starting conditions and can give incorrect dates.

If single-sample and isochron dating methods are objective and reliable they should agree. However, they frequently do not. When a rock is dated by more than one method it may yield very different ages. For example, the RATE group obtained radioisotope dates from ten different locations. To omit any potential bias, the rock samples were analyzed by several commercial laboratories. In each case, the isochron dates differed substantially from the single-sample radioisotope dates. In some cases the range was more than 500 million years.6 Two conclusions drawn by the RATE group include:

  1. The single-sample potassium-argon dates showed a wide variation.
  2. A marked variation in ages was found in the isochron method using different parent-daughter analyses.

If different methods yield different ages and there are variations with the same method, how can scientists know for sure the age of any rock or the age of the earth?

In one specific case, samples were taken from the Cardenas Basalt, which is among the oldest strata in the eastern Grand Canyon. Next, samples from the western Canyon basalt lava flows, which are among the youngest formations in the canyon, were analyzed. Using the rubidium-strontium isochron dating method, an age of 1.11 billion years was assigned to the oldest rocks and a date of 1.14 billion years to the youngest lava flows. The youngest rocks gave a billion year age the same as the oldest rocks! Are the dates given in textbooks and journals accurate and objective? When assumptions are taken into consideration and discordant (disagreeing or unacceptable) dates are not omitted, radioisotope dating often gives inconsistent and inflated ages.

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Very pleasing Freeminer

 

to see you using the scientific method to discredit...the scientific method. You see how well it works? The trouble is, no such liberty is given to us to comprehend the existence of god except inner spirituality - it's all true if only we could believe it. Clearly, to your brain Freeminer, all this is comprehensible but the fact you understand your position does not make it true.

It's incontestable that all your preconceptions about your heavenly father and all your ideas about his otherworldliness and your personal feelings of love and devotion for him depend on your mind and your imagination for their existence. Enhancing the suspiciously anthropomorphic nature of the lord, all the god-qualities christians serve up to us on the boards are no more than human qualities with amplification. Intelligence, creativeness, love, morality, self sacrifice, etc.

You believe in heaven, hell, probably the garden of eden, noah's ark, too. There's nothing we can do to crack your cognitive bias. You will live forever in paradise with the lord jesus brushing your golden hair.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Joker
atheist
Joker's picture
Posts: 180
Joined: 2010-07-23
User is offlineOffline
Freeminer, you keep saying

Freeminer, you keep saying that rationalistic societies tend towards tyranny, what reason do you have for this? What evidence do you have? I could point out all the theocracies that were dictatorships in history and how many of them were willing to kill those they saw as threats to their power or to the religion (as church and state were intertwined). I could also point out that the founders of the US were deists, Ben Franklin was a member of the American Hellfire Club and they specifically tried to avoid theocracy because they saw it as a danger. If you're claiming that society gets its authority from 'God' and that 'Gods Law' is key, then why no dietary laws? Why not follow levitical law and make it a key part of our legal system? The reason is usually that such laws either seem silly (dietary restrictions, not wearing clothing of two fabric types) or unjust (a woman being punished for being raped, disobedient children being stoned to death). I do find it interesting that you seem to creating a dichotomy between reasonableness and rationalism, and as to the question of accountability, the law still exists and I still need people to survive. I care about my friends and family, both as fellow human beings and as people who I enjoy being around. I am atheist, but I don't just run around causing havoc and destruction, for one thing it's kind of a dick thing to do, for another I'd be arrested and imprisoned. The fact that you seem to think that the vague fear of hell can control people seems somewhat odd given that there are plenty of people in prison who subscribe to the various Abrahamic religions.

In terms of not holding grudges, the death penalty does hold a grudge, we kill you to show that killing people is wrong...seems a bit odd to me. Now you might ask how I'd feel if the victim were a friend, a spouse, a family member and while a valid question it's also an appeal to emotion. One basic question is how can we be sure of justice, in that we have found cases where people were on death row for crimes they did not commit. The innocence project and similar groups help, but they can't be everywhere. The death penalty also doesn't necessarily lower crime, in plenty of places crime rates remain constant or can even go up (this isn't to say that the death penalty causes crime to go up, more that crime rate and the death penalty are likely unrelated). I will add that I find it strange that you seem to think that the fear of hell is all that holds people from behaving in a monstrous manner, since if that was the case wouldn't atheists be doing road warrior assaults on towns, or committing horrific acts en masse?

You asked about my point when I mentioned the leperosy cure and the like, you had asked me for examples from the bible of bad medical treatments and of unjust passages, I was showing them. And slavery is not my word, Abraham mentioned buying individuals, they could have called it 'walrusiam' for all I care, by any technical definition it's still slavery. The bible found this acceptable, it also apparently had no problem with King Solomon having multiple wives and dozens, hundreds of concubines. Again, just saying that I find the morality in play a little odd. As to your response to what I said about reproduction, if you want sex but not kids we have contraceptives, we have vasectomies, we have the ability to give the kid up for adoption, IE you can go for sex but not kids. People trying for kids is more a biological thing, sure there are emotional reasons too, but a lot of it is still tied to simple genetic programming if you are able to overcome it or don't have it then fine, but since you are likely not having offspring you're self selecting yourself out of the human gene pool. Also, plenty of my views are fairly strong, but they still undergo analysis. I have to say I'm a bit confused, you say that we provide God with a relationship, why would God want one? Again, if God is a perfect being it would lack the need for such thing. If it still desired it for whatever reason, why us? Or to put it more directly, he apparently also made Angels, they have a clearer look at the grand picture, they are probably far smarter than man far wiser, why not keep a relationship with them, with beings closer to its (the it in question being a God, Goddess, Pantheon, etc.) mental abilities and level of comprehension that humanity. You call my comparison to an anthill 'tediously functional' I would like a bit of clarification but it seems to be what our relationship would be to the God you describe in terms of intellectual capacity etc.

To answer your question of the perfectly righteous being, we then have some questions. You say that evil existed before God made anything, fine. But if that's true so did good, so did essentially all concepts. So, either these concepts are universal regardless of deity (which brings up some other issues) or these are things that we ourselves have come up with and will argue over philosophically until the end of our species. Though if the former is true then I would think that it also means that I can also apply judgement to God could I not? Since if morality and such are truly objective and universal then it would also be able to judge a divine being as good or evil or say that action X is Good but action Y was evil. In such a case God could be said to be committing evil acts, or is this a case where laws are objective for everyone but God who is always good so can never do wrong?

((I'll drop the anarchism discussion after this since it's tangental. But in an anarchist system there is no economy, for anarchy to work we can't have currency either, again, why we need to be post scarcity. I never said it was eminently plausible that we could reach this point, I am just saying that if we do anarchism is tenable))


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote: to see you using the

Quote:

 

to see you using the scientific method to discredit...the scientific method.

thankyou.......yes I can't imagine why atheists think that Christians are somehow 'anti-science'.

Quote:
You see how well it works? The trouble is, no such liberty is given to us to comprehend the existence of god

except inner spirituality - it's all true if only we could believe it.

'understanding' an infinite is clearly beyound us. We 'know' what he tells us about himself. It is possible for us to conceptualise regarding aspects we don't understand.

Quote:
Clearly, to your brain Freeminer, all this is comprehensible but the fact you understand your position does not make it true.

no but it doesn't make it false either. I don't set out to prove the existence of God, I simply claim that the Christian position is more rational than the atheist one and from that point people must make up their own minds.

Quote:
It's incontestable that all your preconceptions about your heavenly father and all your ideas about his otherworldliness and your personal feelings of love and devotion for him depend on your mind and your imagination for their existence.

on the contrary, I contest it entirely. People tend not to get converted with preconceptions which are favourable to God! The notion that God exists in my imagination limits the reasons supporting his existence to my personal experience of him. I don't use my personal experience of God as 'proof' of his existence - it can't be done. If there are not overwhelming reasons to support the possible existence of God externally to oneself, then my position collapses - I haven't seen it happen yet. 

 

Quote:
Enhancing the suspiciously anthropomorphic nature of the lord, all the god-qualities christians serve up to us on the boards are no more than human qualities with amplification. Intelligence, creativeness, love, morality, self sacrifice, etc.

I'm not sure why you find this "suspicious".......it is, after all, in line with what the Bible says......we are made in his image.

Quote:
You believe in heaven, hell, probably the garden of eden, noah's ark, too. There's nothing we can do to crack your cognitive bias. You will live forever in paradise with the lord jesus brushing your golden hair.

 

but you appear to live under the misapprehension that you don't have cognitive bias. We are all biased, the trick is to analyse the reasons we hold the biases we do.

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
I'm going to leave the

freeminer wrote:

Enhancing the suspiciously anthropomorphic nature of the lord, all the god-qualities christians serve up to us on the boards are no more than human qualities with amplification. Intelligence, creativeness, love, morality, self sacrifice, etc.

I'm not sure why you find this "suspicious".......it is, after all, in line with what the Bible says......we are made in his image.

Quote:
You believe in heaven, hell, probably the garden of eden, noah's ark, too. There's nothing we can do to crack your cognitive bias. You will live forever in paradise with the lord jesus brushing your golden hair.

but you appear to live under the misapprehension that you don't have cognitive bias. We are all biased, the trick is to analyse the reasons we hold the biases we do.

 

"We know what he tells us about himself" alone. There's something about the knowability of the unknowable deity that sprains my prefrontal cortex. Yeah, I thought you'd come back with the made in god's image thing but is it more likely that the big monkeys who created 5000 different religions before this one, the majority in which humans and superhumans were gods, came up with one more anthro god, or is it more likely that in this one case it's true?

I don't expect us to agree but do you ever wonder about this? The mere fact god is constrained by the extremity of our ability to conceive of him before he tails off into the darkness of incomprehensibility bothers me. God seems very clearly to me, to be of humanity. His qualities are our qualities, his morality mirrors our own with the variation that he's alleged to be able to attain universal ultruism, while most of us can only momentarily conceive of it before it's washed away by daily cares and morning radio. I don't see this as a sin, mind you. Human concentration has limits that are not defined by morality and humans can imagine all sorts of things that will never and can never be.

Ok - I was being flippant with the heavenly hair thing but there is something supremely self serving in devising a personal relationship with the master of the universe. An eternal togetherness like mother and child. It's so core that it makes an obvious sort of sense at the most basic human level. But given most of us will not be there I wonder about the morality of worshipping the christian god. Does his power entitle him to our worship even if his actions seem violent? How does he combine perfect justice and perfect mercy without failing to achieve one? Who among christians would turn on the fires of hell, given the choice? If they choose to leave that part up to the lord, why do they baulk at administering perfect punishment to the unworthy? Is this resistance the application of a human moral precedence?

I'm not unaware of my internal biases. I'm a rationalist evangelical preacher's son who never managed to believe in an invisible god no matter how hard I tried to do so, a state of being that amplified the fallacy from force doctrine of the garden of eden no end. The only way I could be a christian was to lie to myself about what I believed was possibly true to avoid eternal punishment. In hindsight I believe this position represented a moral failure. Biblical morality, at an operational level, is rooted in the conventional morality of children - reward and punishment. It preaches a higher lore but never shows true leadership. Even calvary is tainted by the need for sacrifice in the absence of real forgiveness.

An annoying quality of christianity is that core adhom argument that insists the need for knowledge is no more than pride, that doubt is the work of satan, the neverending quest to understand a sort of intellectual idolatry. I think it's fair to say, that most the atheists on these boards and some of the christians are people who have a hunger to really know and this gnawing, curious thing bridles at half answers and never lets them rest. 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Freeminer, you keep

Quote:

Freeminer, you keep saying that rationalistic societies tend towards tyranny, what reason do you have for this? What evidence do you have?

simple........look at the premises of autocracies......try Facism.

 

Quote:
I could point out all the theocracies that were dictatorships in history and how many of them were willing to kill those they saw as threats to their power or to the religion (as church and state were intertwined). I could also point out that the founders of the US were deists, Ben Franklin was a member of the American Hellfire Club and they specifically tried to avoid theocracy because they saw it as a danger.

all sorts of people believe in God, Satan believes in God! This is as illogical as saying, "I won't be a Christian because some Christians behave badly" [like cj]  

 

Quote:
If you're claiming that society gets its authority from 'God' and that 'Gods Law' is key, then why no dietary laws? Why not follow levitical law and make it a key part of our legal system? The reason is usually that such laws either seem silly (dietary restrictions, not wearing clothing of two fabric types) or unjust (a woman being punished for being raped, disobedient children being stoned to death).

don't even suggest it........some goon will start a pressure group! As it is there are people who apply as much pressure as they think they can get away with........obesity causes diabetes = [in the UK] costs to the Health Service. The point about Christianity is precisely that it sets us free from levitical law. You haven't given references for the last two 'allegations'.

 

Quote:
I do find it interesting that you seem to creating a dichotomy between reasonableness and rationalism,

well, observe it for yourself. 

and as to the question of accountability, the law still exists and I still need people to survive. I care about my friends and family, both as fellow human beings and as people who I enjoy being around. I am atheist, but I don't just run around causing havoc and destruction, for one thing it's kind of a dick thing to do, for another I'd be arrested and imprisoned.

Quote:
The fact that you seem to think that the vague fear of hell can control people seems somewhat odd given that there are plenty of people in prison who subscribe to the various Abrahamic religions.

but I don't believe fear of Hell, vague or otherwise "can control people" If God wanted to control people he wouldn't have given them freewill in the first place. No freewill =no love  = object of exercise defeated. Neither law nor fear of Hell can change the fallen nature of Man.

 

Quote:
In terms of not holding grudges, the death penalty does hold a grudge, we kill you to show that killing people is wrong...seems a bit odd to me.

but that isn't the purpose of the death penalty. People already know it's wrong! God says, "the man who sheds blood [ie murders] , by man shall his blood be shed". ie we confirm the value of a man's life as made in the image of God and prevent what we currently have - murder endemic in society. 

Quote:
Now you might ask how I'd feel if the victim were a friend, a spouse, a family member and while a valid question it's also an appeal to emotion.

but not only an appeal to emotion. It's primarily an appeal to values. Here, we don't execute murderers because death is taboo but ironically we don't value human life.

Quote:
One basic question is how can we be sure of justice, in that we have found cases where people were on death row for crimes they did not commit. The innocence project and similar groups help, but they can't be everywhere.

but we have plenty of cases where there is no doubt. 

Quote:
The death penalty also doesn't necessarily lower crime, in plenty of places crime rates remain constant or can even go up (this isn't to say that the death penalty causes crime to go up, more that crime rate and the death penalty are likely unrelated).

don't you believe it. Everyone over a certain age in this country remembers the first time a gun was used on a policeman.........this is a common myth touted around. I bet they can't remember the name of the last officer.

Quote:
I will add that I find it strange that you seem to think that the fear of hell is all that holds people from behaving in a monstrous manner, since if that was the case wouldn't atheists be doing road warrior assaults on towns, or committing horrific acts en masse?

I'm not sure where this odd notion has come from because I haven't talked about Hell........much less fear of it. Man is made in God's image even fallen man retains both good and evil. 

Quote:
You asked about my point when I mentioned the leperosy cure and the like, you had asked me for examples from the bible of bad medical treatments and of unjust passages, I was showing them.

no, I asked for references, you have neither given specific examples nor references. 

Quote:
And slavery is not my word,

yes it is.......I haven't used it and the Bible doesn't 

Quote:
Abraham mentioned buying individuals, they could have called it 'walrusiam' for all I care, by any technical definition it's still slavery.

no it isn't........there's a world of differencee between a servant and a slave.

Quote:
The bible found this acceptable,

sort out what "it" is and we can discuss it. 

Quote:
it also apparently had no problem with King Solomon having multiple wives and dozens, hundreds of concubines.

do you mean God had no  problem? What gives you that idea?

Quote:
Again, just saying that I find the morality in play a little odd.

 of course you do.

 

Quote:
As to your response to what I said about reproduction, if you want sex but not kids we have contraceptives, we have vasectomies, we have the ability to give the kid up for adoption, IE you can go for sex but not kids. People trying for kids is more a biological thing, sure there are emotional reasons too, but a lot of it is still tied to simple genetic programming if you are able to overcome it or don't have it then fine, but since you are likely not having offspring you're self selecting yourself out of the human gene pool.

 my point was that you implied that procreation was merely a matter of biological drive......it isn't, people take conscious decisions. 

Quote:
Also, plenty of my views are fairly strong, but they still undergo analysis. I have to say I'm a bit confused, you say that we provide God with a relationship, why would God want one? Again, if God is a perfect being it would lack the need for such thing.

try to get this 'functional' image of God out of your head!

Quote:
If it still desired it for whatever reason, why us? Or to put it more directly, he apparently also made Angels, they have a clearer look at the grand picture, they are probably far smarter than man far wiser, why not keep a relationship with them, with beings closer to its (the it in question being a God, Goddess, Pantheon, etc.) mental abilities and level of comprehension that humanity.

there are a number of reasons but consider this........going back to the origin of sin; we have experienced sin, the angels haven't. To experience sin, to understand the issues and then to voluntarily choose to be changed.......that alone makes man special to God. It is the solution to the philosophical problem which confronted God [ to put it in our terms.]            

 

Quote:
You call my comparison to an anthill 'tediously functional' I would like a bit of clarification but it seems to be what our relationship would be to the God you describe in terms of intellectual capacity etc.

he has set our intellectual capacity where he has for reasons known only to him.......lack of capacity doesn't seem to be our problem.

Quote:
To answer your question of the perfectly righteous being, we then have some questions. You say that evil existed before God made anything, fine. But if that's true so did good, so did essentially all concepts. So, either these concepts are universal regardless of deity (which brings up some other issues) or these are things that we ourselves have come up with and will argue over philosophically until the end of our species.

well, evil doesn't exist before a being capable of exercising it exists........so it couldn't exist before creation. 

Quote:
Though if the former is true then I would think that it also means that I can also apply judgement to God could I not?

people purport to judge God all the time........not least here! No, the concepts can't exist regardless of an infinite God's existence. Even now, when people assume the non-existence of God, they can't decide what 'good' is. A concept cannot exist without a Universal to give it meaning.

Quote:
Since if morality and such are truly objective and universal then it would also be able to judge a divine being as good or evil or say that action X is Good but action Y was evil.

not unless you can find a universal absolute outside of God........and no-one has yet! If God is the personification of infinite 'good' , he is its very definition and there is no other external standard by which he can be judged. It is not the 'good' as a separate entity which is universal but God personifying the 'good'.

Quote:
In such a case God could be said to be committing evil acts, or is this a case where laws are objective for everyone but God who is always good so can never do wrong?

laws are made by someone......they don't just appear! This is part of the evolutionary paradigm. See above.

Quote:
((I'll drop the anarchism discussion after this since it's tangental. But in an anarchist system there is no economy, for anarchy to work we can't have currency either, again, why we need to be post scarcity. I never said it was eminently plausible that we could reach this point, I am just saying that if we do anarchism is tenable))

I suggest it's only "tenable" if it's possible. It isn't possible because human nature militates against it.......and if it didn't, it wouldn't be anarchy! 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

freeminer wrote:

Enhancing the suspiciously anthropomorphic nature of the lord, all the god-qualities christians serve up to us on the boards are no more than human qualities with amplification. Intelligence, creativeness, love, morality, self sacrifice, etc.

I'm not sure why you find this "suspicious".......it is, after all, in line with what the Bible says......we are made in his image.

Quote:
You believe in heaven, hell, probably the garden of eden, noah's ark, too. There's nothing we can do to crack your cognitive bias. You will live forever in paradise with the lord jesus brushing your golden hair.

but you appear to live under the misapprehension that you don't have cognitive bias. We are all biased, the trick is to analyse the reasons we hold the biases we do.

 

Quote:
"We know what he tells us about himself" alone.

unless you get to know him personally.  

Quote:
There's something about the knowability of the unknowable deity that sprains my prefrontal cortex.

I'm sorry, no doubt evolution will solve your problem in time.........just don't hold your breath. 

Quote:
Yeah, I thought you'd come back with the made in god's image thing but is it more likely that the big monkeys who created 5000 different religions before this one,

there weren't any "before"........this one goes back to day one. 

Quote:
the majority in which humans and superhumans were gods, came up with one more anthro god, or is it more likely that in this one case it's true?

you must look at what the others claim and decide. You may conclude that the existence of others only demonstrates the fact that Man has always recognised the philosophical need for answers [except some modern atheists apparently]. For example the totemism of the American Indian clearly demonstrated that they understood the need for diversity to be covered by unity, for particulars to be covered by a universal. They would think modern Man is just stupid to lie to himself that it is not so!

 

Quote:
I don't expect us to agree but do you ever wonder about this? The mere fact god is constrained by the extremity of our ability to conceive of him before he tails off into the darkness of incomprehensibility bothers me.

that's only because you can't rid yourself of the idea that everything should be comprehensible by you when common sense should tell you you're not infinite. It's part of the lie men tell themselves. 

Quote:
God seems very clearly to me, to be of humanity. His qualities are our qualities, his morality mirrors our own with the variation that he's alleged to be able to attain universal ultruism, while most of us can only momentarily conceive of it before it's washed away by daily cares and morning radio.

that's because   you've created God in your image. 

[quoteI don't see this as a sin, mind you. Human concentration has limits that are not defined by morality and humans can imagine all sorts of things that will never and can never be.

but that is only testimony to the power of the imagination he has given us.......the core of our creativity.

Quote:
Ok - I was being flippant with the heavenly hair thing but there is something supremely self serving in devising a personal relationship with the master of the universe.

yes, there would be.........if it bore no relationship to truth. 

Quote:
An eternal togetherness like mother and child. It's so core that it makes an obvious sort of sense at the most basic human level.

I suggest that our age is so cynical that many wouldn't believe happiness exists if lumps of it fell on them.

Quote:
But given most of us will not be there I wonder about the morality of worshipping the christian god. Does his power entitle him to our worship even if his actions seem violent?

the things you refer to require a full discussion all of their own. Worship is not for his benefit but ours, it aligns with the way we are made. 

Quote:
How does he combine perfect justice and perfect mercy without failing to achieve one?

I wouldn't pre-judge before you understand........we have the choice between his justice and his mercy. I recommend the latter.

Quote:
Who among christians would turn on the fires of hell, given the choice?

no-one......which is why he doesn't leave it to us.

Quote:
If they choose to leave that part up to the lord, why do they baulk at administering perfect punishment to the unworthy? Is this resistance the application of a human moral precedence?

no it isn't........the reason being that I have no righteousness of my own and therefore am not equipped for the job. I only have the righteousness of Christ. God looks at me and sees Christ's righteousness. 

Quote:
I'm not unaware of my internal biases. I'm a rationalist evangelical preacher's son who never managed to believe in an invisible god no matter how hard I tried to do so, a state of being that amplified the fallacy from force doctrine of the garden of eden no end.

I have come across any number of atheists with similar miserable experiences.

Quote:
The only way I could be a christian was to lie to myself about what I believed was possibly true to avoid eternal punishment. In hindsight I believe this position represented a moral failure.

yes, you're right.........I would say God thinks so too! 

Quote:
Biblical morality, at an operational level, is rooted in the conventional morality of children - reward and punishment.

I agree insofar as I believe children have  a natural affinity for spiritual issues but why "reward and punishment" are such over-riding actors I don't know. Atheists are always complaining of a God they don't believe in, meting  out punishment.........then they call themselves rational!!!! I keep using the term 'reductionist'.......I'm tempted to use it again here. Do think God should force   those who've clearly said they don't want him, to live in his presence?

Quote:
It preaches a higher lore but never shows true leadership. Even calvary is tainted by the need for sacrifice in the absence of real forgiveness.

he made the sacrifice.........we get the forgiveness [if we want it]. Don't you think it was leadership? To take the whole issue of sin by the scruff of the neck?

Quote:
An annoying quality of christianity is that core adhom argument that insists the need for knowledge is no more than pride,

not so, God says, "come let us reason together" He also says, "my people die for lack of knowledge". He also says, "the fear  of God is the beginning of knowledge".  

Quote:
that doubt is the work of satan,

not so........I doubt all sorts of things, among them that atheism is rational. 

Quote:
the neverending quest to understand a sort of intellectual idolatry.

an interesting point........conceivably an intellectual pursuit can become an end in itself. If you're looking for truth, you're looking for  him and therefore it can't be idolatry.

 

Quote:
I think it's fair to say, that most the atheists on these boards and some of the christians are people who have a hunger to really know and this gnawing, curious thing bridles at half answers and never lets them rest. 

 

one of the most perceptive statements I've seen......welcome to the full answer.

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


Joker
atheist
Joker's picture
Posts: 180
Joined: 2010-07-23
User is offlineOffline
So even if God exists

So even if God exists concepts can only exist if there is a being to exercise them, they can't even exist in an abstract form? God had to have some kind of awareness of such things to create them, some kind of mental image or understanding of such concepts if creation is to have them. So tell me, why is my image of a functional God a problem for you? Does it bother you because I can't see why a deity that is supposedly infinite would have any interest in humanity? You are asserting that God is a construct of infinite good. I'll go back to Aristotle, is it good because God loves it or does God love it because it's good? If it's the former then morality cannot be objective, if it's the latter then such concepts exist independently of God. Laws are made, but plenty of them arise out of necessity, in the hunter gatherer period killing a member of the group made the group weaker, more vulnerable to external threat and starvation, so killing was bad. Theft created similar problems because it would make them less able to trust each other, it's not a matter of some grand perfect wisdom, merely enlightened self preservation. If good can exist independently then so can evil, if evil exists as soon as God creates then either God willingly created evil or evil existed beforehand. I could also point out that the idea of punishment eternal makes free will a bit of a strange argument. "I made you, the original humans screwed up because they were misled, as a result all of you will go to hell without the messiah. Since everyone is inherently sinful, oh, and by the way I'll make you a list of laws but some of them will be contradictory, some will be impractical and serve no moral use, and some will feel incredibly cruel. But don't dare question them because you risk hell" Say free will all you want, it still functionally says that humanity is a horrible horrible thing and that we need to do X to be able to be with the being that made us and unleashed all this havoc on people and put out some rather odd moral guidelines.

You argued fascism as an example of rationalist society, what reason do you have to support that exactly? For that matter, I pointed out that societies that tried to rest government on 'God' IE theocracies were prone to tyranny and monstrous actions. It doesn't mean that those who believe in a divine being are bad, just that basing your laws and government on an alleged holy book doesn't render you immune to tyranny. If anything it can even make it more likely, as people might believe that they rule by divine right/divine rank since they were born into the position; thus they are more likely to be sure that any decision they make is perfect because after all God chose them for it. I should also point out that if you look at statistics, violent crime rates are falling, fear might be at an all time high but actual rate of violent crime has been falling. Maybe our lack of death penalty does this, maybe it's tied to economics, or maybe it has to do our culture. To put it another way, fear of zombies may be at an all time high, that doesn't mean that I need to start making a zombie proof panic room in my house. You also say that the bible says that we shall spill this persons blood because they spilled blood, does that count intent? If the person is legally insane do we treat them the same way as we would a person who was fully rational? I guess I also have to ask this, are we killing them because it's right or because of some internal bloodlust, if they started doing pay-per-view executions my bet is that there would be enough ghouls in this country that would tune in to watch that we could pay off the national debt.

 

Ok, if you want chapter and verse for what I said from the bible:

Sun rotating around the earth: Judges 5-31, 1 Chronicles 16:30

Leperosy Cure: Leviticus 14:2-52

Killing Disobedient Children: Exodus 21:15, Dueteronomy 21:18

Slavery: From Exodus to first Peter, it talks about buying people. They might call them servants but if I own a human being it is still slavery. Leviticus 25: 44-46, Leviticus 25:39, Leviticus 21:11, 1 Timothy: 6:1, Titus 2: 9-10

Forcing a woman to marry her rapist: Deuteronomy 22:28-29

Killing a woman if she is raped but does not cry out Deuteronomy 22:23-24

Taking women from enemy nations as slaves/concubines Numbers 31: 15-18

A husband can have his wife killed if he hates her: Deuteronomy 22:13

Women are supposed to let men do the thinking for them 1 Corinthians 14:34-36, Ephesians 5:22-24

Clothing shall not have mixed fibers: Leviticus 19:19

Don't try to learn things, just do what your religious leaders say Proverbs 3:5

 


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:So even if God exists

Quote:

So even if God exists concepts can only exist if there is a being to exercise them, they can't even exist in an abstract form?

a concept can't exist without someone to conceptualise but I suggest that God knew that the problem of sin was inherent to creation if he wanted beings capable of freewill and therefore love. 

 

Quote:
God had to have some kind of awareness of such things to create them, some kind of mental image or understanding of such concepts if creation is to have them.

yes, I believe God was always aware. 

Quote:
So tell me, why is my image of a functional God a problem for you? Does it bother you because I can't see why a deity that is supposedly infinite would have any interest in humanity?

 because to view God as someone with just a functional outlook is far too small an image of God. That's why I suggest that even human beings having kids merely as a result of biological drive, misses all the truly human reasons, the real meaning of procreation. It is a reductionist, evolutionary answer, devoid of real meaning. It totally misses the fact that human beings are highly self-conscious and reflective. 

Quote:
You are asserting that God is a construct of infinite good. I'll go back to Aristotle, is it good because God loves it or does God love it because it's good? If it's the former then morality cannot be objective, if it's the latter then such concepts exist independently of God.

the flaw lies in the question. The very terminology of Aristotle's question sets up 'good' as an separate entity. I understand that this may take some getting your head around but God is the quality of 'good'. The quality of 'good' is defined by God. He is the universal good, thus he is objective good. Thus moral 'goodness' is what God says it is. 

Quote:
Laws are made, but plenty of them arise out of necessity, in the hunter gatherer period killing a member of the group made the group weaker, more vulnerable to external threat and starvation, so killing was bad.

but we all know that this is all total evolutionary speculation. If you throw out the Biblical understanding of what a man is, you will end up with a totally flawed anthropology. There is no evidence that man was only a hunter gatherer. Cain grew crops. 

Quote:
Theft created similar problems because it would make them less able to trust each other, it's not a matter of some grand perfect wisdom, merely enlightened self preservation.

this is an evolutionary view of morality of course. There are several most obvious fundamental problems:

1] It presupposes rationality a priori

2] It presupposes that there is something rational about moral 'goodness'

3] It presupposes that there is something evolutionarily 'natural' about a prevailing consensus regarding [2]

4] None of the above are evidenced by our experience of reality.......eg. whole societies have been known to support rationalistic evil.

5] It leaves the concept of 'good', meaningless because a concept cannot exist without a universal to give it meaning.........where are you going to find one in evolutionary theory? Even now, with God dead, the concept is meaningless because once everything is subject to a dialectic there is no final answer [by definition] to what constitutes 'good'. Once again the evolutionist borrows from Christianity to deny Christianity. 

 

Quote:
If good can exist independently then so can evil,

but it didn't.........to understand the concept of evil and to practise it are very different things. 

Quote:
if evil exists as soon as God creates then either God willingly created evil or evil existed beforehand.

but I didn't say this.......what I said was that as soon as God created, the possibility of evil existed. 

Quote:
I could also point out that the idea of punishment eternal makes free will a bit of a strange argument. "I made you, the original humans screwed up because they were misled, as a result all of you will go to hell without the messiah. Since everyone is inherently sinful,

but your argument ignores the fact that you do have free-will and you are exercising it in this matter at this very moment. Inherent in your argument is the view that an infinitely righteous God could somehow justify supporting beings in which the problem of sin remains unresolved, throughout eternity having handed them the answer at no cost to themselves. How do you think this would work?      

 

Quote:
oh, and by the way I'll make you a list of laws but some of them will be contradictory, some will be impractical and serve no moral use, and some will feel incredibly cruel.

have you converted to Judaism? Which ones apply to you? The law exists to show you what sin  is.........there was never a chance of you keeping it. 

Quote:
But don't dare question them because you risk hell"

I've never read anywhere that God says, "don't question". Where did you?

Quote:
Say free will all you want, it still functionally says that humanity is a horrible horrible thing and that we need to do X to be able to be with the being that made us and unleashed all this havoc on people and put out some rather odd moral guidelines.

1] if free-will is not essential for love to exist, please explain.

2] The record shows that we unleashed the havoc, not God. 

Quote:
You argued fascism as an example of rationalist society, what reason do you have to support that exactly?

a world war should do........try to get to see the film 'The Wave'......true story. 

Quote:
For that matter, I pointed out that societies that tried to rest government on 'God' IE theocracies were prone to tyranny and monstrous actions. It doesn't mean that those who believe in a divine being are bad, just that basing your laws and government on an alleged holy book doesn't render you immune to tyranny. If anything it can even make it more likely, as people might believe that they rule by divine right/divine rank since they were born into the position; thus they are more likely to be sure that any decision they make is perfect because after all God chose them for it.

you are predisposed to blame God for the things men do. Jesus said, "my kingdom is not of this world". I am not answerable for any theocracy.

 

Quote:
I should also point out that if you look at statistics, violent crime rates are falling, fear might be at an all time high but actual rate of violent crime has been falling.

the evolutionist says, human nature is improving, give us enough time........... 

Quote:
Maybe our lack of death penalty does this, maybe it's tied to economics, or maybe it has to do our culture.

..........and is adrift on a sea of speculation. Yes, maybe if we gave criminals enough money, they'd stoppit!

Quote:
To put it another way, fear of zombies may be at an all time high, that doesn't mean that I need to start making a zombie proof panic room in my house.

no........at what stage would you?

Quote:
You also say that the bible says that we shall spill this persons blood because they spilled blood, does that count intent?

murder not manslaughter.

Quote:
If the person is legally insane do we treat them the same way as we would a person who was fully rational?

no. 

Quote:
I guess I also have to ask this, are we killing them because it's right or because of some internal bloodlust,

because it's right. 

Quote:
if they started doing pay-per-view executions my bet is that there would be enough ghouls in this country that would tune in to watch that we could pay off the national debt.

so don't do it.

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


Joker
atheist
Joker's picture
Posts: 180
Joined: 2010-07-23
User is offlineOffline
Freeminer, did you check the

Freeminer, did you check the passages I listed for you? And plenty of crime occurs because of desperation, few people are somehow inherently 'bad' plenty of them turn to theft, drug dealing, etc. because it provides them with money and a chance to survive. There's a reason why you see lower rates of crime in wealthier communities in terms of violent crime and such. I never said that human nature is improving, I just said that crime isn't skyrocketing. Man in earlier stages was a hunter gatherer we know this from a combination of primitive tools and weapons, but then again you don't trust dating methods, we have evidence of nomadic man, eventually we either learned by accident or experimentation about growing crops and we changed from hunter-gatherers to farmers. Farming meant that they had more organized communities, law became more complex in turn and also more refined. Someone stealing was still a problem but for different reasons, it made things difficult for the community since the crops fed everyone and it also would undermine attempts to create a system where they could work together. Communities that ran smoothly could fend off attackers, could produce in excess for trade, etc. Communities that had people stealing from one another and causing instability likely would have led to people either leaving or the community falling to an external threat, regardless the community was a failure. How is the idea of morality not rational, on a basic level I know that I need others, strip away compassion, empathy, etc. and I know that I still depend on others for my survival. I am not an island, I need to at least have livable contact with others. Adding a layer I understand what pain is, inflicting it on others would likely incline them against me, just as inflicting on me would incline me against them. From that I can get compassion, recognize their suffering as if it could be my own and offer them comfort and aid, they are likely to do the same. It's probably more complicated than that, but at a fairly minimal level it's easy to see how morality could emerge more or less naturally, or at least the basics of what we could call morality.

You claim that my question on God and good are flawed, but you seem to have answered it, you are in essence saying that a thing is good because God loves it. This makes morality based entirely on Gods proclamation, the divine command theory isn't exactly a good morality system. It's simple, but it's also very open to abuse, but of course the faith and texts aren't responsible because even though we are accountable to this divine being said being is not accountable to us. I do thank you for answering my question on the death penalty, my responding question is how do we determine that it's right? Is it right merely because the bible says so or is there a reason we can find independent?

As for world wars proving that rationalism is bad...Let's see. World War 1 was a result of a combination of nationalistic saber rattling, constant military buildup by the various imperial powers, and finally entangling alliances to ensure that if one was attacked all would stand with them. The net result of this was that Europe was a powder keg waiting for a match, it wasn't a result of rationalism really, at least from my view and more the result of a series of small problems snowballing into a monstrous war. As for world war 2, we have cults of personality, people being willing to sacrifice anything for a chance to feel productive, and frequent scapegoating (in that it isn't the fault of the nation, business, etc. it's the OTHER). Those aren't really rationalists standpoints, I will also try to avoid discussions of nazism mostly to avoid invoking good ol' Godwin.

To answer the question on zombie panic rooms, I'd do it when I actually heard evidence of zombies, IE any kind of report or statement to the effect of their reality. Fear of a being of myth doesn't mean that suddenly the being will appear. Fear of crime might be high but it doesn't really have an affect on crime other than making each individual case exaggerated and bringing a bundle to the home security businesses.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
 Quote: Ok, if you want

 

Quote:
Ok, if you want chapter and verse for what I said from the bible:

Sun rotating around the earth: Judges 5-31, 1 Chronicles 16:30

Joshua 10:13
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
Joshua 10:12-14 (in Context)

the Bible is dealing with OUR perceptions.........we talk of sunrise........the sun never rises! Atheists apparently expect God to enter into an astronomy lesson with Joshua. 

Quote:
Leperosy Cure: Leviticus 14:2-52

what is your problem with this?

Quote:
Killing Disobedient Children: Exodus 21:15, Dueteronomy 21:18

Exodus 21:15 (New International Version)

 

 15 "Anyone who attacks [a] his father or his mother must be put to death.

 

Footnotes:
  1. Exodus 21:15 Or kills
A Rebellious Son

 18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

 

Neither are merely "disobedience"

 

 

Quote:
Slavery: From Exodus to first Peter, it talks about buying people. They might call them servants but if I own a human being it is still slavery. Leviticus 25: 44-46, Leviticus 25:39, Leviticus 21:11, 1 Timothy: 6:1, Titus 2: 9-10

Titus 2:9 (New International Version)

 

 9Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,

this was addressed to slaves who were members of the church.

1 Timothy 6:1 (New International Version)

 

1 Timothy 6

 1All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered.

so was this.

Leviticus 21:11 (New International Version)

11 He must not enter a place where there is a dead body. He must not make himself unclean, even for his father or mother

???????

Leviticus 25:39 (New International Version)

 

 39 " 'If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave.

??????

 

Leviticus 25 [niv]

42 Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. 43 Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.

 44 " 'Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

slavery was common among the surrounding nations as it was in Roman culture.

I would point out...............

Deuteronomy 5:14-16 (New International Version)

14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

also.............

Freedom for Slaves

 8 The word came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom for the slaves. 9 Everyone was to free his Hebrew slaves, both male and female; no one was to hold a fellow Jew in bondage. 10 So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves and no longer hold them in bondage. They agreed, and set them free. 11 But afterward they changed their minds and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again.

 12 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 13 "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your forefathers when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I said, 14 'Every seventh year each of you must free any fellow Hebrew who has sold himself to you. After he has served you six years, you must let him go free.' [a] Your fathers, however, did not listen to me or pay attention to me. 15 Recently you repented and did what is right in my sight: Each of you proclaimed freedom to his countrymen. You even made a covenant before me in the house that bears my Name. 16 But now you have turned around and profaned my name; each of you has taken back the male and female slaves you had set free to go where they wished. You have forced them to become your slaves again.

 17 "Therefore, this is what the LORD says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom for your fellow countrymen. So I now proclaim 'freedom' for you, declares the LORD -'freedom' to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 The men who have violated my covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces. 19 The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, the priests and all the people of the land who walked between the pieces of the calf, 20 I will hand over to their enemies who seek their lives. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth.

also.................

Exodus 21:5-7 (New International Version)

 

 5 "But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,' 6 then his master must take him before the judges. [a] He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

 7 "If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do.

 

 

Quote:
Forcing a woman to marry her rapist: Deuteronomy 22:28-29

no, it doesn't say this........it says: 28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. [c] He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

ie the girl is guaranteed this security if she wants it.

Quote:
Killing a woman if she is raped but does not cry out Deuteronomy 22:23-24

 23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

ie. she was a willing party to adultery.

Quote:
Taking women from enemy nations as slaves/concubines Numbers 31: 15-18

Numbers 31:15-18 (New International Version)

 

 15 "Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them. 16 "They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD's people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

 

would you rather they'd been killed?..........these nations sacrificed their children to Molech by fire!!!!

Quote:
A husband can have his wife killed if he hates her: Deuteronomy 22:13

not so..........here's the real story. Btw, why do you feel compelled to do this sort of thing? It is so obvious that the allegation isn't true...........

Marriage Violations

 13 If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity," 15 then the girl's father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate. 16 The girl's father will say to the elders, "I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, 'I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.' But here is the proof of my daughter's virginity." Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, 18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him. 19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver [b] and give them to the girl's father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.

 20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you.

Quote:
Women are supposed to let men do the thinking for them 1 Corinthians 14:34-36, Ephesians 5:22-24

33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
      As in all the congregations of the saints, 34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Dorcas ran a church in her own home. The women clearly spoke because they prayed and prophesied. Paul is specifically addressing disorder in church..........ie women gossiping.

 Ephesians 5:22 (New American Standard Bible)

 

Marriage Like Christ and the Church
 22">(A)Wives, ">(B)be subject to your own husbands, ">(C)as to the Lord.

yes, there is an order of final authority in Christian marriage........we both accepted it before marrying. I beat her regularly.

Quote:
Clothing shall not have mixed fibers: Leviticus 19:19

Leviticus 19:19 (New American Standard Bible)

 

 19'You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; ">(A)you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.

this was not whimsical on God's part.  Sometimes we can see practical reasons...........

 9"">(A)You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled.

I think commentaries on this are probably not very good.........I suspect a deeper rationale to do with an expression of the unity and purity of God among his people.

Quote:
Don't try to learn things, just do what your religious leaders say Proverbs 3:5

Proverbs 3:5 (New American Standard Bible)


    5">(A)Trust in the LORD with all your heart
         And ">(B)do not lean on your own understanding.

this doesn't mean that we're not to use our God -given intelligence!!!!!!!! It means we are to consult his wisdom as a source of infinite knowledge. ie we are not, in the last resort to trust our subjective perception of issues.

 

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


freeminer
Theist
Posts: 304
Joined: 2010-07-04
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Freeminer, did you

Quote:

Freeminer, did you check the passages I listed for you?

see above 

Quote:
And plenty of crime occurs because of desperation, few people are somehow inherently 'bad' plenty of them turn to theft, drug dealing, etc. because it provides them with money and a chance to survive.

behind every crime is a human decision. We have National Assistance. 

 

Quote:
There's a reason why you see lower rates of crime in wealthier communities in terms of violent crime and such.

what was it Don Henley said?........"a man with the attache case can do more harm than any man with a gun".

Quote:
I never said that human nature is improving, I just said that crime isn't skyrocketing.

is your point that society isn't degenerating? 

Quote:
Man in earlier stages was a hunter gatherer we know this from a combination of primitive tools and weapons,

if you had no tools.......you'd use flint too!........what d'you mean by primitive? Men have always hunted, always gathered........so what?        

Quote:
but then again you don't trust dating methods,

with good reason. 

Quote:
we have evidence of nomadic man,

we have nomadic men today. 

Quote:
eventually we either learned by accident or experimentation about growing crops and we changed from hunter-gatherers to farmers. Farming meant that they had more organized communities, law became more complex in turn and also more refined. Someone stealing was still a problem but for different reasons, it made things difficult for the community since the crops fed everyone and it also would undermine attempts to create a system where they could work together.

but this is just an evolutionary paradigm..........I'm well aware you believe this sort of crap. 

 

Quote:
Communities that ran smoothly could fend off attackers, could produce in excess for trade, etc. Communities that had people stealing from one another and causing instability likely would have led to people either leaving or the community falling to an external threat, regardless the community was a failure.

and this is more.........you see anyone can make up stories.........post-rationalisations. Btw anarchy and communism don't live happily together!

Quote:
How is the idea of morality not rational, on a basic level I know that I need others, strip away compassion, empathy, etc. and I know that I still depend on others for my survival.

no, I didn't say morality is irrational........far from it........I just doubt your ability to establish an adequate basis for it.

Quote:
I am not an island, I need to at least have livable contact with others. Adding a layer I understand what pain is, inflicting it on others would likely incline them against me, just as inflicting on me would incline me against them. From that I can get compassion, recognize their suffering as if it could be my own and offer them comfort and aid, they are likely to do the same. It's probably more complicated than that, but at a fairly minimal level it's easy to see how morality could emerge more or less naturally, or at least the basics of what we could call morality.

no it isn't because survival of the fittest is precisely that.........no more, no less.......though I do enjoy the occasional spectacle of evolutionists attempting to post-extrapolate some sort of moral code. 

 

Quote:
You claim that my question on God and good are flawed, but you seem to have answered it, you are in essence saying that a thing is good because God loves it.

Jesus turned to his critics and said, "there is no-one good but God". 'Good' is an absolute. God loves everyone.........doesn't make them good.  

 

This makes morality based entirely on Gods proclamation, the divine command theory isn't exactly a good morality system.  It's simple, but it's also very open to abuse, but of course the faith and texts aren't responsible because even though we are accountable to this divine being said being is not accountable to us.

but we know you don't trust God.......how else would you react? He was accountable enough to get himself spiked to a Roman gibbet.

Quote:
I do thank you for answering my question on the death penalty, my responding question is how do we determine that it's right? Is it right merely because the bible says so or is there a reason we can find independent?

it's right because God says so........that's the advantage of having an infinite absolute. 

Quote:
As for world wars proving that rationalism is bad...Let's see. World War 1 was a result of a combination of nationalistic saber rattling, constant military buildup by the various imperial powers, and finally entangling alliances to ensure that if one was attacked all would stand with them. The net result of this was that Europe was a powder keg waiting for a match, it wasn't a result of rationalism really, at least from my view and more the result of a series of small problems snowballing into a monstrous war.

a Serbian Croat got assassinated and Europe  erupted into an absurd war........and you think that's reasonable?  When you use phrases like, "small problems" ,you are omitting to consider the mindsets behind them. 

Quote:
As for world war 2, we have cults of personality, people being willing to sacrifice anything for a chance to feel productive, and frequent scapegoating (in that it isn't the fault of the nation, business, etc. it's the OTHER). Those aren't really rationalists standpoints, I will also try to avoid discussions of nazism mostly to avoid invoking good ol' Godwin.

excuse me, but you're seeking to argue that an autocrat exploits economic collapse by appealing to nationalism and consequently destroys his country [to say nothing of others] and that is reasonable. It is supreme Rationalism to turn on the weaker, whether it's Poland or an ethnic minority......find a scapegoat......you can't see it but it's the philosophy of evolution......."what is is right" These days we do it to unborn children. We don't want it......it makes supreme sense to get rid of it. I can kill a baby but not even disturb a bat in my own loft! [Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981]........the world has gone totally, totally mad and people don't notice. It's completely in line with what the 20th century philosophers like Sartre and Camus said.......Rationalism ends in absurdity. 

Quote:
To answer the question on zombie panic rooms, I'd do it when I actually heard evidence of zombies, IE any kind of report or statement to the effect of their reality. Fear of a being of myth doesn't mean that suddenly the being will appear. Fear of crime might be high but it doesn't really have an affect on crime other than making each individual case exaggerated and bringing a bundle to the home security businesses.

there is a degree of truth to this but I suggest the situation is 'both/and' not 'either/or' When the Antichrist takes power, people wont see him coming. 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.