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

B166ER
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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!


Joker
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Sorry this took so long, I

Sorry this took so long, I won't be able to respond for a while but let's see what I can do. Your response shows that you and I used different bibles, this leads us to a problem of translation, we could both be right, both be wrong, or have some middle ground, just saying. We have national assistance and we also have people trying to cut it from everyone, we have people not getting enough money because the assumptions are based off different standards of living (costs in suburbs vs. costs in city, prices of things state to state). Let me ask you a different question, if tomorrow we were able to objectively prove the nonexistence of any divinity (merely for the sake of argument here) would you alter your behaviors? Would you suddenly start hurting people or causing mayhem when before you wouldn't? And yes, a rich person can do a helluva lot more damage than a poor guy with a gun (see Enron, the banking meltdown, etc.). And I do not think that society is degenerating, I might be depressed that people aren't willing to provide for the less fortunate and I will rail against social injustice, but I don't think we're a hairsbreadth from collapse barring some kind of disaster on a scale that would functionally be the equivalent of a worldwide war melded with escalating natural disasters and technological failure. As for primitive tools, on a basic level the club is a tool, it's also technically just a really big stick. Primitive also in the sense of timescale.

You keep complaining when I use arguments for how the traits could have formed naturally, or at least why such traits would exist independently of a divine agent handing them down from high. Wolves hunt in packs, share their kills and watch over the cubs of each other, they don't suddenly devour the cubs that are not their own when no one is watching. Schools of sharks (thankfully rare) don't turn on one another unless a shark is injured and bloody or there is extreme starvation. Do these animals believe in God as well? Are they divided by a divine being or are we merely seeing an example of traits or behaviors being rewarded and thus ensuring species survival? Why do you assume some grand spectacle, I readily admit I'm not a biologist or an expert on the subject, but I can offer som oe possible arguments in favor of why morality could exist independently of a deity. Survival of the fittest just means that which best works in the environment survives, if you're bigger and stronger than me but I can get people to work with me we can overcome you if you are a threat, you might be 'better' than us individually in one sense but not in another, it doesn't mean that there is some underlying goal of becoming a superbeing or anything like that.

"It's Good because God Says so" lovely, so genocide is fine if we can prove that God accepts it. If the 'word of God' allows anything or says something then it must obviously be morally right regardless of whether or not it is actually good or even worthwhile. I do not trust the idea of a divine being that many people claim to hear talking to them, maybe they really are hearing God, maybe they're crazy, maybe their charlatans. Hitler thought he was doing Gods work, the violence in India and Pakistan are linked to religion and the idea that the 'other' had to be slain, the same is true in the middle east. Your argument of the infinite absolute says that anything can be 'right' so long as God has it, I noticed that you were claiming that some of the things mentioned must have been metaphorical (crops and fabrics) how do we determine which is which? Who would determine it? You're the one claiming ultimate divine knowledge here and saying that you have an absolutely perfect system. The assassination was the match that set off the kegs of powder (the assassination causing the war) the fact was the kegs were there, any action could have potentially caused it, it just so happened to be that particular disaster. And no, it isn't 'supreme rationalism' to turn on a weaker being or find a scapegoat, supreme rationality would be to assess the problems at hand and work out the best methods to deal with it. Spreading lies and making scapegoats isn't rational, it's just more stupidity, and there is no 'philosophy of evolution either'. Your comment of course ignores ideas like an endangered species or the fears of an animal getting wiped out versus a medical procedure that might be done to save the life of a mother or in the case of a woman being raped.


freeminer
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Quote:Sorry this took so

Quote:

Sorry this took so long, I won't be able to respond for a while but let's see what I can do.

no problem, I'm not so quick myself!

Quote:
Your response shows that you and I used different bibles, this leads us to a problem of translation, we could both be right, both be wrong, or have some middle ground, just saying.

What are you using? I think I used a variety in replying - probably including the NIV, which is notoriously inaccurate in some passages. The KJV is probably still best overall but is not without problems; the New American Standard is probably better than most for nuance. You would have to highlight the issues which bother you........I think any discrepancy would have to be fairly fundamental to give you a case for judging God!!!! 

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We have national assistance and we also have people trying to cut it from everyone, we have people not getting enough money because the assumptions are based off different standards of living (costs in suburbs vs. costs in city, prices of things state to state).

I am not here to make a case for the perfection of a humanistic system! Just bear in mind that you were seeking to justify crime by citing poverty!.........there are any number out there stealing/pimping to support cocaine habits! That btw is a spiritual problem......... I'm not simply sitting in judgement here.

 

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Let me ask you a different question, if tomorrow we were able to objectively prove the nonexistence of any divinity (merely for the sake of argument here) would you alter your behaviors? Would you suddenly start hurting people or causing mayhem when before you wouldn't?

the fact that everyone carries good and evil within them is a result of being made in God's image plus  the effect of the Fall. I see the consequences of your hypothesis as so far reaching as to render the question meaningless...... eg. if God did not exist, I see no reason why the question of morality should even  arise.......what would define it? Why would man possess a moral sense? 

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And yes, a rich person can do a helluva lot more damage than a poor guy with a gun (see Enron, the banking meltdown, etc.). And I do not think that society is degenerating,

but whatever the evidence,  you can't afford to think it's degenerating... everything is supposed to be improving. 

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I might be depressed that people aren't willing to provide for the less fortunate and I will rail against social injustice, but I don't think we're a hairsbreadth from collapse barring some kind of disaster on a scale that would functionally be the equivalent of a worldwide war melded with escalating natural disasters and technological failure.

well, we still haven't recovered from near economic meltdown.....world economics runs on confidence ie. human emotion..........you trust it if you want to.

 

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As for primitive tools, on a basic level the club is a tool, it's also technically just a really big stick. Primitive also in the sense of timescale.

but your timescale is assumed.

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You keep complaining when I use arguments for how the traits could have formed naturally, or at least why such traits would exist independently of a divine agent handing them down from high.

sorry, but that's because they are founded on an evolutionary premise.......you would need to prove the premise first.  

 

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Wolves hunt in packs, share their kills and watch over the cubs of each other, they don't suddenly devour the cubs that are not their own when no one is watching. Schools of sharks (thankfully rare) don't turn on one another unless a shark is injured and bloody or there is extreme starvation.

no, but you keep stating 'what is' on an evolutionary premise. It ain't necessarily so. You assume order, contrary to evolutionary doctrine.

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Do these animals believe in God as well? Are they divided by a divine being or are we merely seeing an example of traits or behaviors being rewarded and thus ensuring species survival?

species survival is not "ensured"......many species are lost per week. Evolutionists seem perturbed.......can't imagine why, seems "natural"!

 

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Why do you assume some grand spectacle,

I don't "assume" anything. I deduce sufficient reason to justify the experiment of personal  commitment. 

 

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I readily admit I'm not a biologist or an expert on the subject, but I can offer som oe possible arguments in favor of why morality could exist independently of a deity.

I seriously doubt this but go ahead. 

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Survival of the fittest just means that which best works in the environment survives,

but [to repeat a mantra] "morality" is a non-material entity and you don't believe in these. Secondly, the "fittest" survive at the expense of everything and everyone else in the locality.......why would it be otherwise? 

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if you're bigger and stronger than me but I can get people to work with me we can overcome you if you are a threat,

firstly, you'd better believe I'm a threat. Secondly, on what conceivable basis would you, "get others to work with you"? They're all too busy sorting out their own pecking order. You see, you have to assume a priori, some sort of social agreement......one which you have no justifiable basis for. Survival of the fittest means precisely that, no more, no less. You assume evolution in an attempt to justify it and even then can't stick to its most fundamental principle.   

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you might be 'better' than us individually in one sense but not in another, it doesn't mean that there is some underlying goal of becoming a superbeing or anything like that.

not so, it's a basic principle oof evolutionary theory that everything is getting bigger, faster, stronger, smarter.

 

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"It's Good because God Says so" lovely, so genocide is fine if we can prove that God accepts it.

but he's already made it amply clear that he doesn't. 

 

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If the 'word of God' allows anything or says something then it must obviously be morally right regardless of whether or not it is actually good or even worthwhile.

allow me to ask........do you accept your own finitude or not? If so, why would you be doubting an infinite source?

 

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I do not trust the idea of a divine being that many people claim to hear talking to them,

but I already know this........were it not so we wouldn't be needing to have this conversation. 

 

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maybe they really are hearing God, maybe they're crazy, maybe their charlatans.

but we call people "crazy" who are hearing voices........no-one seems to ask whether they are, in fact, hearing voices. 

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Hitler thought he was doing Gods work,

a quick peek at the Bible would have saved Poland. 

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the violence in India and Pakistan are linked to religion and the idea that the 'other' had to be slain, the same is true in the middle east.

religion exists to  make  Man feel better about himself........I'm not a religionist. Regarding the Middle East; God has a plan, Mankind disregards it at his peril. 

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Your argument of the infinite absolute says that anything can be 'right' so long as God has it,

no, not "anything". The Bible reveals his character and tells us we can expect him to act in accordance with it. 

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I noticed that you were claiming that some of the things mentioned must have been metaphorical (crops and fabrics) how do we determine which is which? Who would determine it?

I think "metaphorical" is the wrong term ie. the commandment was actual and intended but its implementation symbolised deeper truth.........perhaps that's what you meant. The Levitical Law was intended specifically for the Jews. 

 

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You're the one claiming ultimate divine knowledge here and saying that you have an absolutely perfect system.

correct

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The assassination was the match that set off the kegs of powder (the assassination causing the war) the fact was the kegs were there, any action could have potentially caused it,

yes, the "kegs of powder" were a prevailing mindset. You see, evolutionists continually restate situations as though the restatement were itself an explanation.......it isn't.

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it just so happened to be that particular disaster. And no, it isn't 'supreme rationalism' to turn on a weaker being or find a scapegoat, supreme rationality would be to assess the problems at hand and work out the best methods to deal with it.

Hitler did; the best method was turning on the Jews and inciting a whole nation to war.......it worked.......it got him autocratic power via, I would remind you, much vaunted democracy! It may not be "reasonable" but it is indeed supreme rationalism....but that is my point. 

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Spreading lies and making scapegoats isn't rational,

no it's rationalistic........different thing.....it takes over from rationality when we subsume value and meaning below personal autonomy. 

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it's just more stupidity, and there is no 'philosophy of evolution either'.

this is a myth oft propounded by evolutionists.......evolution is a belief system........people commit to it and defend it vigorously........it is a world-view......and therefore a philosophy. 

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Your comment of course ignores ideas like an endangered species

as I pointed out, there is no such thing as an "endangered species"......it's evolution.........it's natural! 

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or the fears of an animal getting wiped out versus a medical procedure that might be done to save the life of a mother or in the case of a woman being raped.

you should watch 'The Silent Scream' sometime.........you can rationalise murder until the cows come home!........people 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.


Joker
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freeminer wrote:What are you

freeminer wrote:

What are you using? I think I used a variety in replying - probably including the NIV, which is notoriously inaccurate in some passages. The KJV is probably still best overall but is not without problems; the New American Standard is probably better than most for nuance. You would have to highlight the issues which bother you........I think any discrepancy would have to be fairly fundamental to give you a case for judging God!!!!

Well if you used a variety in replying then there is the question if you looked for ones that were specifically different from mine, I use a KJV since my family has one.

freeminer wrote:
I am not here to make a case for the perfection of a humanistic system! Just bear in mind that you were seeking to justify crime by citing poverty!.........there are any number out there stealing/pimping to support cocaine habits! That btw is a spiritual problem......... I'm not simply sitting in judgement here.

 Justify crime, no, explain it, yes. To put it another way, assuming blindly that person who commits crime=EVIL doesn't take into account the question of the justness of the law, the circumstances of the criminal, etc. Some people end up in crime out of desperation, few economic opportunities and they see the people doing 'honest' work barely able to make ends meet while the dealers and other criminals have nice cars, nice clothing, in essence they see what seems like a path to easier money and a better life. It doesn't make it right but it does allow us to to study it and try to find more effective ways to battle crime rather than just trying to lock up everyone (as the US locks up more people than China...)

freeminer wrote:
the fact that everyone carries good and evil within them is a result of being made in God's image plus  the effect of the Fall. I see the consequences of your hypothesis as so far reaching as to render the question meaningless...... eg. if God did not exist, I see no reason why the question of morality should even  arise.......what would define it? Why would man possess a moral sense?

You're once again ignoring the question, you are starting from the presupposition that you're correct and there is no way you can be wrong. You were simply asked, if you were shown evidence, perfect evidence of the nonexistence of any kind of divinity if that would change your behavior. If you said you didn't know I would have accepted that, it's an honest enough answer. But instead you evaded it entirely, either because it brought up a troubling question about yourself or your faith. You ask why we possess a moral sense, again, there are practical reasons for us to not try to wreck one another. One human vs. one tiger results in a full tiger. Four coordinated humans vs. one tiger, results in a lovely tiger skin rug. Being able to work together helps us to survive, what we view as morality might just be a kind of logical enlightened self preservation . "I do not harm you because your existence can help keep me safe."

freeminer wrote:
but whatever the evidence,  you can't afford to think it's degenerating... everything is supposed to be improving.

What evidence do you have that society is 'degenerating'? And please, non-biblical, Everyone keeps thinking the end times are here or they can find a prophecy to any current event, give me stuff from newspapers, experts.

freeminer wrote:
well, we still haven't recovered from near economic meltdown.....world economics runs on confidence ie. human emotion..........you trust it if you want to.

 We aren't back to the point of the bubble, no, but growth of that level isn't tenable. Also the global economy also has stoppers in place, yeah it's based on human belief and emotion but it can also be altered as we get new information and find better ways to control and regulate it (anti-regulatory stuff in the economy irks me, but that's a political not religious thing) It also took a lot of time to get us into the situation, it will take time to get out of it too, unless you think that the world leaders can just wiggle their noses and make everything the way it was before. They have to deal with people being uneasy about the market, about strategies changing, and also fearmongers make things harder too, but I don't think the global economy is going to utterly collapse, barring two or three more big meltdowns before we get through this one. My reason has more to do with other nations being willing to forgive debts or change the system, after all if we're all in danger of going over the edge most people would agree that forgiving some debts or some extra loans would be worth it in the long run

freeminer wrote:
but your timescale is assumed.

Assumed based on existing data and evidence. You do realize that bald assertion from your holy book isn't enough, if your book says that the earth is a flat disc, and then we learn the earth is round...well that seems to contradict doesn't it?

 

freeminer wrote:
sorry, but that's because they are founded on an evolutionary premise.......you would need to prove the premise first.  

 What premise exactly, we have evidence of things evolving, we have examples of it in labs and in field studies. We have examples of it in agriculture.

 

freeminer wrote:
no, but you keep stating 'what is' on an evolutionary premise. It ain't necessarily so. You assume order, contrary to evolutionary doctrine.

There is no evolutionary doctrine, and again you didn't answer my question. I pointed out a possible reason for altruistic behaviors to exist, I even pointed out cases in the animal kingdom where such cases were, since animals don't worship a god it would seem then that our view of 'morality' might just be something that's a result of natural selection.

 

freeminer wrote:
species survival is not "ensured"......many species are lost per week. Evolutionists seem perturbed.......can't imagine why, seems "natural"!

 Some species die out because we introduce contaminants, not really natural there. On a more basic level, the reason people get concerned is simple, each creature acts as a control or a food source to something else (in some cases they can be both). Mosquitoes help distribute biomass even though they're horrid pests and spread disease. We are part of this world, that means that when things go bad we will be affected. Yes, some things will die naturally but the more species lost the greater the chance of even a minor disaster causing mass extinction and putting our own existence into question. And yes, no species survival is ensured, but it does make it easier for them to survive with positive traits.

 

freeminer wrote:
I don't "assume" anything. I deduce sufficient reason to justify the experiment of personal  commitment.

 What are your deductions based off of?

 

freeminer wrote:
but [to repeat a mantra] "morality" is a non-material entity and you don't believe in these. Secondly, the "fittest" survive at the expense of everything and everyone else in the locality.......why would it be otherwise? firstly, you'd better believe I'm a threat. Secondly, on what conceivable basis would you, "get others to work with you"? They're all too busy sorting out their own pecking order. You see, you have to assume a priori, some sort of social agreement......one which you have no justifiable basis for. Survival of the fittest means precisely that, no more, no less. You assume evolution in an attempt to justify it and even then can't stick to its most fundamental principle.   not so, it's a basic principle oof evolutionary theory that everything is getting bigger, faster, stronger, smarter.

 Um, no I don't assume evolution is an attempt to 'justify' it. You're also misinterpreting survival of the fittest, it doesn't mean the criteria that YOU think are important. For example, being smaller might be better in an environment with harsh competition for food or needing places to hide as with a smaller form it is easier to hide and your body will usually require less to keep it running. As to how I organize them, I might say "Person X attacked me and took supplies from me, he's likely to do the same to you. Work with me and we can overcome Person X, we divide the spoils between ourselves." They may or may not agree but if enough are concerned they can work with me, I don't necessarily need to be stronger than you as an individual if I have help, think of an ant colony, they can take down beings much larger than them, and much stronger than they are individually through teamwork. And who says they survive at the expense of others, or at least any more than usual (IE anything eating an apple means that something else can't eat THAT particular apple)? I also think that you have a very odd view of morality and I am growing fairly convinced that you're either not interested in a discussion or you're just trolling me.
 

freeminer wrote:
but he's already made it amply clear that he doesn't.

 How has he made it clear? Plenty of biblical heroes committed mass genocide against there enemies, not to mention the alleged global flood.

 

freeminer wrote:
allow me to ask........do you accept your own finitude or not? If so, why would you be doubting an infinite source?

 I know that I am finite, that doesn't imply that there is an infinite being. Nor does it mean that there is some being that can more or less randomly declare morality and have it last as long as its whims are.

 

 

freeminer wrote:
but I already know this........were it not so we wouldn't be needing to have this conversation.

 You don't seem to understand it though, I am skeptical of any person who claims to be speaking as an emissary for some infinitely powerful being. The reason is that absent assertion and their text they lack evidence. If the stories of their myths were corroborated in history and archaeology it would be easier to believe. It would also help if whenever a scholar is cornered on a particularly odd piece of the bible they immediately claim it is metaphorical (after earlier claiming that the bible must be read literally)

 

freeminer wrote:
but we call people "crazy" who are hearing voices........no-one seems to ask whether they are, in fact, hearing voices.

They are, or at least they thing they are. They'll hear words or messages in their heads (kind of like how you can hear a song in your mind). My point, which you again ignored, is that we have no way to differentiate between the ones truly receiving divine oration, the ones who are a bit off, and the ones who are charlatans trying to scam people. Look at faith healers like Peter Popoff who managed to convince his followers that he had divine powers. In truth his wife was reading him information from prayer cards and he had a hidden earpiece. James Randi managed to prove this mans duplicity which shut him down thankfully before any more people got fleeced. The problem is that there are also plenty of demagogues who thought that God had chosen them or simply intended to use God as a steed to ride to glory, regardless how can you tell without seeing into their minds, you can't. So, I simply react with skepticism at best to such claims because aside from the questionable existence of the divine being they claim to be getting their marching orders from I have no way of determining if they're truly honest about it.

 

freeminer wrote:
a quick peek at the Bible would have saved Poland.

I'll just say that the neighbors of the ancient Israelites might disagree with that.

 

freeminer wrote:
religion exists to  make  Man feel better about himself........I'm not a religionist. Regarding the Middle East; God has a plan, Mankind disregards it at his peril.


Their texts say it too, you want me to use faith instead, fine, their FAITHS said that the 'other' had to be slain based on their interpretations. And this plan, I take it you're a premillenial dispensationalist, aka a member of the rapture ready crowd?

 

freeminer wrote:
no, not "anything". The Bible reveals his character and tells us we can expect him to act in accordance with it.

Based on our interpretations of it, no two people read the same book the same way. The bible is a case of this to an even greater extent given both its length and the amount of prophecy and other claims in it, not to mention trying to parse out what is meant to literal and what is meant to be figurative or metaphorical. If the bible reveals it so well then why are there so damn many sects of Christianity, this isn't a religious question either, this simply saying that apparently there are a lot of people who don't get the same data you are from the same book.

 

freeminer wrote:
I think "metaphorical" is the wrong term ie. the commandment was actual and intended but its implementation symbolised deeper truth.........perhaps that's what you meant. The Levitical Law was intended specifically for the Jews.

 Really? Jesus said he didn't come to overthrow the old laws, nothing directly said by him throws levitical law out the window unless you add interpretation to comments. But again, that's my point.

 

freeminer wrote:
yes, the "kegs of powder" were a prevailing mindset. You see, evolutionists continually restate situations as though the restatement were itself an explanation.......it isn't.

Get a bunch of hot tempered people in a room, make sure they are all angry at each other, give them all guns, then as they stare at one another play the sound of a gunshot, they're all likely to fire at one another killing or severely wounding a good number of the population there. You were the one asserting that 'Rationalism' caused the war, and I'm not just asserting, I'm also going from history textbooks and commentaries from the time. Sure, they might not be fully accurate either but it does seem to click with the evidence.

freeminer wrote:
Hitler did; the best method was turning on the Jews and inciting a whole nation to war.......it worked.......it got him autocratic power via, I would remind you, much vaunted democracy! It may not be "reasonable" but it is indeed supreme rationalism....but that is my point.


 

Except he was doing it for himself, not his nation. If he could have been in power with is nation in ruins he likely would have accepted that. What he did was make choices based on seizing power and generating an autocracy, different than trying to make a nation work the best ways that it can.

 

freeminer wrote:
no it's rationalistic........different thing.....it takes over from rationality when we subsume value and meaning below personal autonomy.

Rationalism is simply using logic and deductive reasoning. You're making assertions again. Not to mention the fact that you are talking about 'value' and 'meaning' which are, again, HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE.

 

freeminer wrote:
this is a myth oft propounded by evolutionists.......evolution is a belief system........people commit to it and defend it vigorously........it 

is 

a world-view......and therefore a philosophy.

How is it a belief system? Or more accurately, if it is a belief system is the germ theory of disease a belief system? Is Gravity a belief system? How about Heleocentrism? We have evidence in transitional forms, in the human genome, in lab studies and tests, what would you prefer?

 

freeminer wrote:
as I pointed out, there is no such thing as an "endangered species"......it's evolution.........it's natural!

 

Now you're being deliberately obtuse, if you keep this up I am done arguing with you since you have no apparent interest in real discussion. If you really want me to explain it, endangered means that the population is near extinction. Since we live on the planet we have a vested interest in having the worlds ecosystem not averse to human life. The more things die out the harder some populations are to control. Too few dragonflies, bats and other insectivores we see huge amounts of mosquitos which can mean a rapid spread of malaria and other blood based diseases. There is also the basic idea that if we mess things up we need to try to fix it. For the time being this is the only world we have which means we have to try to make it so that we can survive on it and hopefully future generations too.

 

freeminer wrote:
you should watch 'The Silent Scream' sometime.........you can rationalise murder until the cows come home!........people do........ 

Ah, silent scream, the lying propaganda movie. Wonderful! You do know that in the first few weeks the fetus looks more like an amoeba, correct? Just pointing out here that they were going for shock value more than anything else but hey curtailing reproductive freedom is hard! The claims that the fetus feels pain at 12 weeks was refuted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the nerve endings to allow for pain to be felt are just starting to form now. The claim that 'The Crime Syndicate' is heavily involved is kinda funny though, I mean if they were trying for a fundie parody thing they would be setting themselves on the right track. I will admit some unease on abortion, if only because we have legal access to contraceptives. That being said, forcing a woman who was raped to carry the child is cruel and forcing the woman to keep a pregnancy that could kill her is a violation of the hippcratic oath. But ignoring all that, if you get your way and abortion is declared murder, does that make miscarriage manslaughter? Does that mean that a woman whose fetus miscarries could be charged and imprisoned for manslaughter? Since that seems to be the route you're going with. And if we say that too, then could I insure a fetus? I mean if we're going to consider them people legally then we have to explore all the ramifications of it.


freeminer
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Quote:What are you using? I

Quote:

What are you using? I think I used a variety in replying - probably including the NIV, which is notoriously inaccurate in some passages. The KJV is probably still best overall but is not without problems; the New American Standard is probably better than most for nuance. You would have to highlight the issues which bother you........I think any discrepancy would have to be fairly fundamental to give you a case for judging God!!!!

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Well if you used a variety in replying then there is the question if you looked for ones that were specifically different from mine, I use a KJV since my family has one.
I used KVJ generally - if you have a specific issue raise it by all means. 

freeminer wrote:
I am not here to make a case for the perfection of a humanistic system! Just bear in mind that you were seeking to justify crime by citing poverty!.........there are any number out there stealing/pimping to support cocaine habits! That btw is a spiritual problem......... I'm not simply sitting in judgement here.

 

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Justify crime, no, explain it, yes. To put it another way, assuming blindly that person who commits crime=EVIL doesn't take into account the question of the justness of the law, the circumstances of the criminal, etc. Some people end up in crime out of desperation, few economic opportunities and they see the people doing 'honest' work barely able to make ends meet while the dealers and other criminals have nice cars, nice clothing, in essence they see what seems like a path to easier money and a better life. It doesn't make it right but it does allow us to to study it and try to find more effective ways to battle crime rather than just trying to lock up everyone (as the US locks up more people than China...)

yes, if you study Levitical Law, you will note that circumstances are not ignored.

 

freeminer wrote:
the fact that everyone carries good and evil within them is a result of being made in God's image plus  the effect of the Fall. I see the consequences of your hypothesis as so far reaching as to render the question meaningless...... eg. if God did not exist, I see no reason why the question of morality should even  arise.......what would define it? Why would man possess a moral sense?

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You're once again ignoring the question, you are starting from the presupposition that you're correct and there is no way you can be wrong. You were simply asked, if you were shown evidence, perfect evidence of the nonexistence of any kind of divinity if that would change your behavior. If you said you didn't know I would have accepted that, it's an honest enough answer. But instead you evaded it entirely,

no I addressed it entirely accurately. If a question is meaningless, there is no point in me pretending otherwise........I am not responsible for your questions! I'm sorry if this does not suit you. If no absolute exists, the very question of calibrating 'behaviour' becomes meaningless.......that is my whole point. My behaviour would just "be"..........in other words I would share your view of "what is, is right". You are asking me to share your moral basis and for the life of me I can't imagine what that is.

 

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either because it brought up a troubling question about yourself or your faith.

well, you are free to tell yourself this of course but neither is the case. 

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You ask why we possess a moral sense, again, there are practical reasons for us to not try to wreck one another. One human vs. one tiger results in a full tiger. Four coordinated humans vs. one tiger, results in a lovely tiger skin rug. Being able to work together helps us to survive, what we view as morality might just be a kind of logical enlightened self preservation . "I do not harm you because your existence can help keep me safe."

sorry, but my point holds........in order to explain social mores, you have to presuppose social mores ie. why would one not regard everyone as a threat from the outset? Why should I risk allowing you to live long enough to establish that you are "helpful"? Furthermore your hypothesis departs from evolutionary theory in that it presupposes that an impersonal process can have some rational 'interest" in the survival of the fittest........it can't, but evolutionists are so used to churning out these arguments that they do it unthinkingly.

 

freeminer wrote:
but whatever the evidence,  you can't afford to think it's degenerating... everything is supposed to be improving.

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What evidence do you have that society is 'degenerating'? And please, non-biblical, Everyone keeps thinking the end times are here or they can find a prophecy to any current event, give me stuff from newspapers, experts.

family breeakdown is rife, we can't build prisons fast enough, we have feral kids regularly knifed in the streets drug use and STDs are endemic and we have an NHS continuously creaking under the strain but to the evolutionist newspaper headlines are just hearsay because he has his head firmly inserted in his own backside.

 

freeminer wrote:
well, we still haven't recovered from near economic meltdown.....world economics runs on confidence ie. human emotion..........you trust it if you want to.

 

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We aren't back to the point of the bubble, no, but growth of that level isn't tenable. Also the global economy also has stoppers in place, yeah it's based on human belief and emotion but it can also be altered as we get new information and find better ways to control and regulate it (anti-regulatory stuff in the economy irks me, but that's a political not religious thing)

where are your "stoppers"? We are into sovreign debt......waiting for the next country to go down.....it won't be allowed to of course but only because regulation will become global..........just as the Bible says.

 

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It also took a lot of time to get us into the situation, it will take time to get out of it too, unless you think that the world leaders can just wiggle their noses and make everything the way it was before. They have to deal with people being uneasy about the market, about strategies changing, and also fearmongers make things harder too, but I don't think the global economy is going to utterly collapse, barring two or three more big meltdowns before we get through this one. My reason has more to do with other nations being willing to forgive debts or change the system, after all if we're all in danger of going over the edge most people would agree that forgiving some debts or some extra loans would be worth it in the long run

freeminer wrote:
but your timescale is assumed.

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Assumed based on existing data and evidence.

and your data is subjective.

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You do realize that bald assertion from your holy book isn't enough, if your book says that the earth is a flat disc, and then we learn the earth is round...well that seems to contradict doesn't it?

please tell me where the Bible states that the earth is a flat disc. Don't you think that it would be rational at least to  know what it actually says?

 

freeminer wrote:
sorry, but that's because they are founded on an evolutionary premise.......you would need to prove the premise first.  

 

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What premise exactly, we have evidence of things evolving, we have examples of it in labs and in field studies. We have examples of it in agriculture.

no we don't.......we have examples of adaptation......the world's full of it, nothing more, nothing less.

 

freeminer wrote:
no, but you keep stating 'what is' on an evolutionary premise. It ain't necessarily so. You assume order, contrary to evolutionary doctrine.

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There is no evolutionary doctrine, and again you didn't answer my question.

of course there is evoltionary doctrine. Doctrine = belief. You believe certain tenets of evolution. Therefore you hold to these doctrines. 

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I pointed out a possible reason for altruistic behaviors to exist, I even pointed out cases in the animal kingdom where such cases were, since animals don't worship a god it would seem then that our view of 'morality' might just be something that's a result of natural selection.

what you did was to restate the situation. A restatement is not an explanation, you now speculate that the reason is "natural selection", none of which is 'evidence' of anything any more than an assertion from me that animal behaaviour is programmed by God constitutes evidence.

 

freeminer wrote:
species survival is not "ensured"......many species are lost per week. Evolutionists seem perturbed.......can't imagine why, seems "natural"!

 

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Some species die out because we introduce contaminants, not really natural there. On a more basic level, the reason people get concerned is simple, each creature acts as a control or a food source to something else (in some cases they can be both). Mosquitoes help distribute biomass even though they're horrid pests and spread disease. We are part of this world, that means that when things go bad we will be affected. Yes, some things will die naturally but the more species lost the greater the chance of even a minor disaster causing mass extinction and putting our own existence into question. And yes, no species survival is ensured, but it does make it easier for them to survive with positive traits.

but it's all good ie. it's all evolution!!...........you see, you wish to retain evolutionary social theory but then suddenly become an evolutionary cessationist with regard to Man's relatonship with nature........some consistency would at least be refreshing. Furthermore, I can confirm that the disappearance of the white rhino will have zilch impact on me. You are right about one thing, the only reason the atheist has to care about the planet is a selfish one.  

 

freeminer wrote:
I don't "assume" anything. I deduce sufficient reason to justify the experiment of personal  commitment.

 

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What are your deductions based off of?

the same facts which you have.

I perceive that  our solar system is uncannily finely tuned to Man's needs

I perceive that empirically matter can neither be created nor destroyed

I perceive that human experience incorporates a multiplicity of non-material entities including the Laws of Logic which the philosophy off Materialism has no answer for.

I perceive that  input of Logos is necessary in  abiogenesis.

I perceive that conjecture regarding the existence of an infinitely intelligent being unbound by the space-time continuum is not inherently irrational.

I perceive that conjecture that such a being created the universe is not inherently irrational

I perceive that conjecture that such a being may have communicated with his creation is not inherently irrational.

I perceive that conjecture that the Bible may constitute such communication is not inherently irrational.

I perceive that the propositions contained in the latter correspond with the facts relating to the nature of Man and  the external world.

I perceive that the Bible alone, presents a world-view which answers all the philosophical questions confronting Man.

 

I am happy to expand/expound on this list as required.   

 

freeminer wrote:
but [to repeat a mantra] "morality" is a non-material entity and you don't believe in these. Secondly, the "fittest" survive at the expense of everything and everyone else in the locality.......why would it be otherwise? firstly, you'd better believe I'm a threat. Secondly, on what conceivable basis would you, "get others to work with you"? They're all too busy sorting out their own pecking order. You see, you have to assume a priori, some sort of social agreement......one which you have no justifiable basis for. Survival of the fittest means precisely that, no more, no less. You assume evolution in an attempt to justify it and even then can't stick to its most fundamental principle.   not so, it's a basic principle of evolutionary theory that everything is getting bigger, faster, stronger, smarter.

 

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Um, no I don't assume evolution is an attempt to 'justify' it. You're also misinterpreting survival of the fittest, it doesn't mean the criteria that YOU think are important.

in assuming social order a priori, you assumed such order to be the product of evolutionary forces.......my "criteria" don't enter the issue - I didn't set any. 

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For example, being smaller might be better in an environment with harsh competition for food or needing places to hide as with a smaller form it is easier to hide and your body will usually require less to keep it running.

nah......it's better to be bigger and more aggressive than everyone else..........you see, evolutionists can tell themselves stories until the cows come home. 

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As to how I organize them, I might say "Person X attacked me and took supplies from me, he's likely to do the same to you. Work with me and we can overcome Person X, we divide the spoils between ourselves." They may or may not agree but if enough are concerned they can work with me, I don't necessarily need to be stronger than you as an individual if I have help, think of an ant colony, they can take down beings much larger than them, and much stronger than they are individually through teamwork. And who says they survive at the expense of others, or at least any more than usual (IE anything eating an apple means that something else can't eat THAT particular apple)?

but you are continually introducing self-conscious rationalising into a process that has neither.......you  don't seem to be getting your head around the notion that you are dealing with a blind, unconscious, unreasoning process. Yes, consider the ant.......as the Bible says, a creature of infinitesimally small and basic nervous system........to which you are now attributing sophisticated powers of reason! My conclusion is it was programmed........yours is that it programmed itself!.........who is being irrational here?

 

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I also think that you have a very odd view of morality and I am growing fairly convinced that you're either not interested in a discussion or you're just trolling me.

I don't have time to troll anyone. Getting to basics, the fact is that evolution cannot supply you with an absolute. With no absolute you have no truth. With no truth there is no morality - it really is as simple as that. You have a moral sense; you think evolution is responsible; I think God is responsible; but you can't point to an absolute and I can. On what basis could you go to war with Hitler? His morality is his, yours is yours. What makes yours better than his? He's quite entitled to it. Unfortunately people died - so what? - survival of the fittest after all.  
 

freeminer wrote:
but he's already made it amply clear that he doesn't.

 

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How has he made it clear? Plenty of biblical heroes committed mass genocide against there enemies, not to mention the alleged global flood.

God used Israel to act in judgement against surrounding demon worshippers; God used Assyria to act in judgement against Israel; God used the Allies to act in judgement against Nazism............he hasn't finished yet. In the flood, God acted in judgement against Mankind which had given itself over entirely to demon worship. If you want to live in that sort of world, you will soon have the opportunity.......I trust you won't complain. You make all sorts of cavalier judgements totally devoid of understanding.........one would have thought you at least owed yourself that! 

 

freeminer wrote:
allow me to ask........do you accept your own finitude or not? If so, why would you be doubting an infinite source?

 

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I know that I am finite, that doesn't imply that there is an infinite being.

but I didn't say it did.........your position took the existence of an infinite source as a basic premise.........you were adopting the atheist stance of complaining about an entity you don't believe in. 

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Nor does it mean that there is some being that can more or less randomly declare morality and have it last as long as its whims are.

but this is a direct inversion of the truth since absolutism does not allow for whimsy whereas it is endemic to relativism. It is precisely the case that relativism is "random".

 

 

freeminer wrote:
but I already know this........were it not so we wouldn't be needing to have this conversation.

 

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You don't seem to understand it though, I am skeptical of any person who claims to be speaking as an emissary for some infinitely powerful being.

why?...........you see, you say this as though in some way it should be self-explanatory ; I don't see that it is. If I want to know what something is like, I ask someone who's tried it. 

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The reason is that absent assertion and their text they lack evidence. If the stories of their myths were corroborated in history and archaeology it would be easier to believe.

well, perhaps it would help if you mugged up on the history and archeology. People didn't believe the Hittites existed until their capital was found; Samaria is  exactly in the state God said he would leave it..........same with Petra; Tyre and Sidon.......wiped off the face of the earth but we know where they were! God said to Ezekiel that the nation would be born, "in a day"........it was........1948.  

 

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It would also help if whenever a scholar is cornered on a particularly odd piece of the bible they immediately claim it is metaphorical (after earlier claiming that the bible must be read literally)

The Bible follows the normal rules of communication, the only confusion for the modern mind is that it deals in "classical" truth. Where it is intended to be read literally, it is obvious. My God is not a "rock".

 

freeminer wrote:
but we call people "crazy" who are hearing voices........no-one seems to ask whether they are, in fact, hearing voices.

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They are, or at least they thing they are. They'll hear words or messages in their heads (kind of like how you can hear a song in your mind).

yes they are......you must decide the source.

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My point, which you again ignored, is that we have no way to differentiate between the ones truly receiving divine oration, the ones who are a bit off, and the ones who are charlatans trying to scam people.

you appear to be under the impression that I wish to ignore certain questions. The answer to this one is, "yes we do". That is, the Bible tells us to check everythng against iself as the ultimate trustworthy source of God's revelation. That is the [critical] difference between Catholics/Orthodox /other cults and those in the Reformed tradition. Evangelical Christians are [a bit] more sceptical than you imagine.   

 

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Look at faith healers like Peter Popoff who managed to convince his followers that he had divine powers. In truth his wife was reading him information from prayer cards and he had a hidden earpiece. James Randi managed to prove this mans duplicity which shut him down thankfully before any more people got fleeced. The problem is that there are also plenty of demagogues who thought that God had chosen them or simply intended to use God as a steed to ride to glory, regardless how can you tell without seeing into their minds, you can't. So, I simply react with skepticism at best to such claims because aside from the questionable existence of the divine being they claim to be getting their marching orders from I have no way of determining if they're truly honest about it.

well, I actually think this is a very, very healthy attitude and when you become a Christian you should retain it. Don't bother to judge them, let the Bible do it but don't judge the Bible by them. If Benny Hinn preaches what the Bible says........fine, his personal lifestyle and the way he conducts his ministry he is answerable to God for........there are other causes with access to my wallet.

 

 

freeminer wrote:
a quick peek at the Bible would have saved Poland.

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I'll just say that the neighbors of the ancient Israelites might disagree with that.

I don't think you would argue that Hitler had the mind of God. The latter expects you to exercise  rational discernment. 

 

freeminer wrote:
religion exists to  make  Man feel better about himself........I'm not a religionist. Regarding the Middle East; God has a plan, Mankind disregards it at his peril.


 

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Their texts say it too, you want me to use faith instead, fine, their FAITHS said that the 'other' had to be slain based on their interpretations.

that's right, I have little doubt they do........but Satan was a liar from the beginning. It is open to you to examine the claims of other faiths - everyone deposits their faith somewhere. I don't have you down as a candidate for Ganesh. On all the evidence I'm inclined to believe Jesus but you know that and I have more evidence than you do.

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And this plan, I take it you're a premillenial dispensationalist, aka a member of the rapture ready crowd?

hmm........Jesus advised us to interpret the signs........my inclination is to take him seriously. I think Scofield like Luther, was right about some things! I will discuss eschatology with you if you like; I think it makes sense to have a defensible, coherent paradigm but remain open.

 

freeminer wrote:
no, not "anything". The Bible reveals his character and tells us we can expect him to act in accordance with it.

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Based on our interpretations of it, no two people read the same book the same way.

well, despite the jibes of Catholics, this is not true. I could set out the differences of consequence, probably in under 3 minutes. Don't be confused by existentialist 'theologians' who scam more than charismatics!.......they have created lifelong employment for themselves by latching on to post-enlightenment theological dialectics. The interpretation of scripture is not merely solipsistic.......the Church contains an agreed body of doctrine but the real Church doesn't hand it down from prelates.

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The bible is a case of this to an even greater extent given both its length and the amount of prophecy and other claims in it, not to mention trying to parse out what is meant to literal and what is meant to be figurative or metaphorical.

I understand the confusion.....I am at your service. 

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If the bible reveals it so well then why are there so damn many sects of Christianity, this isn't a religious question either, this simply saying that apparently there are a lot of people who don't get the same data you are from the same book.

I am [independent] AoG; my son attends charismatic Anglican while at uni; my daughter attends Baptist youth club. The difference between the orthodox evangelical denominations are actually minimal, historical and matters  of emphasis. I am more than happy to discuss specifics.

 

freeminer wrote:
I think "metaphorical" is the wrong term ie. the commandment was actual and intended but its implementation symbolised deeper truth.........perhaps that's what you meant. The Levitical Law was intended specifically for the Jews.

 

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Really? Jesus said he didn't come to overthrow the old laws, nothing directly said by him throws levitical law out the window unless you add interpretation to comments. But again, that's my point.

that's why I suggested you read Romans. His ministry was to the Jews but Jesus said he came to fulfil the law. We are not to live lawlessly but to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.

 

freeminer wrote:
yes, the "kegs of powder" were a prevailing mindset. You see, evolutionists continually restate situations as though the restatement were itself an explanation.......it isn't.

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Get a bunch of hot tempered people in a room, make sure they are all angry at each other, give them all guns, then as they stare at one another play the sound of a gunshot, they're all likely to fire at one another killing or severely wounding a good number of the population there. You were the one asserting that 'Rationalism' caused the war, and I'm not just asserting, I'm also going from history textbooks and commentaries from the time. Sure, they might not be fully accurate either but it does seem to click with the evidence.

the history books will recount the external facts and on this basis will speculate as to the motivations behind them. The question as to why those motivations exist require deeper digging. Until the Enlightenment a Christian world-view was generally in play although people were not necessarily Biblical Christians. Thus people did not regard themselves as autonomous. It is the perception by Man of his own autonomy which sets human rationality free from reason. From a Christian perspective, God designed human reason to be used under the umbrella of his infinte objectivity which protects it from lapsing into absurdity.  I cite again the examples of 20 th century philosophy. 

freeminer wrote:
Hitler did; the best method was turning on the Jews and inciting a whole nation to war.......it worked.......it got him autocratic power via, I would remind you, much vaunted democracy! It may not be "reasonable" but it is indeed supreme rationalism....but that is my point.


 

 

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Except he was doing it for himself, not his nation.

difficult to look inside that head ain't it.......he was able to sell it to the nation pretty successfully. 

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If he could have been in power with is nation in ruins he likely would have accepted that.

well, it was and he didn't........he did after all have a democratic mandate.

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What he did was make choices based on seizing power and generating an autocracy, different than trying to make a nation work the best ways that it can.

yes, but you have to ask yourself why?...........human autocracy is always rationalistic, it is always self-justifying, it never needs a higher reason. War = full employment and the ultimate state- controlled project. Print money and go to war.......the recourse of every dictator, if not against their neighbours, against their own.

 

freeminer wrote:
no it's rationalistic........different thing.....it takes over from rationality when we subsume value and meaning below personal autonomy.

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Rationalism is simply using logic and deductive reasoning.

no it isn't, it's unbridled rationality........it is a world-view in its own right. Do you think movements like Dada or the Theatre of the Absurd just happened by accident?........do you think these people were stupid?, that they didn't understand the issues? Do you think men like Sartre were not the ultimate rationalists, trying to be honest to what they believed?

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You're making assertions again. Not to mention the fact that you are talking about 'value' and 'meaning' which are, again, HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE.

name me something that isn't subjective. Do you think that when Duchamp hung a pissoir as a work  of "art" he wasn't making a statement about "values and  meaning" ? Do you think the role of art was always simply to hack people off? always peering pretensiously up its own backside, always engaged in mental masturbation? always so trite, so utterly and totally devoid of anything worth saying?...............please look around you............the world, believe it or not was not always thus.

 

freeminer wrote:
this is a myth oft propounded by evolutionists.......evolution is a belief system........people commit to it and defend it vigorously........it 

is 

a world-view......and therefore a philosophy.

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How is it a belief system? Or more accurately, if it is a belief system is the germ theory of disease a belief system?

it makes propositions which people accredit as 'facts' which they commit to ie. "believe" Consequences flow from them........for example that the material is all that exists, that moral values are "subjective", that meaning is "subjective" and anyway cannot be shown to be "real" in any true sense because they are immaterial and therefore cannot ultimately be shown to exist..........thus it leaves humanity with no ultimate purpose or  meaning because we know that entropy will take its course and leave cold, lifeless darkness. So ultimately the pinnacle of creation is deemed to have crawled out of slime meaninglessly and will depart meaninglessly..........that would all be fine except that you cannot even begin to live consistently as though it is true. Your absurd conclusions result in absurdity and you come on this forum protesting that  it is NOT a belief system, that there ARE no consequences. You sit back having stripped away everything that makes human beings human..........but you and I both know that it is the very peak of intellectual dishonesty.........that you have separated this forum off as a tiny enclave in which you may parade a philosophy which you can't  make stick in real life. You no doubt think I should have taught my kids that "good" may be no more than what they MAY feel like doing today...........then you tell me this is NOT  a belief system!!!      

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Is Gravity a belief system? How about Heleocentrism? We have evidence in transitional forms, in the human genome, in lab studies and tests, what would you prefer?

 Gravity is a Universal Law - Laws have lawmakers. There is no evidence of transitional forms; we have fossil evidence of extinct fauna - so what? 

freeminer wrote:
as I pointed out, there is no such thing as an "endangered species"......it's evolution.........it's natural!

 

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Now you're being deliberately obtuse,

no I'm not, the point is a perfectly valid one..........the same people who propound evolution, breastbeat about endangered species..........absurdly  inconsistent. 

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if you keep this up I am done arguing with you since you have no apparent interest in real discussion.

well, it's a mystery why you'd come to that conclusion...........

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If you really want me to explain it, endangered means that the population is near extinction. Since we live on the planet we have a vested interest in having the worlds ecosystem not averse to human life. The more things die out the harder some populations are to control. Too few dragonflies, bats and other insectivores we see huge amounts of mosquitos which can mean a rapid spread of malaria and other blood based diseases. There is also the basic idea that if we mess things up we need to try to fix it. For the time being this is the only world we have which means we have to try to make it so that we can survive on it and hopefully future generations too.
in those countries where we have a malaria problem, we have one anyway. I haven't heard of introducing more bats proposed as a serious solution. Furthermore it doesn't explain the gnashing of teeth over the Siberian tiger, the Giant Panda, the White Rhino et al. 

 

freeminer wrote:
you should watch 'The Silent Scream' sometime.........you can rationalise murder until the cows come home!........people do........ 

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Ah, silent scream, the lying propaganda movie. Wonderful! You do know that in the first few weeks the fetus looks more like an amoeba, correct? Just pointing out here that they were going for shock value more than anything else but hey curtailing reproductive freedom is hard!

you see, everything you don't WANT to believe is "lying propaganda"..........spare me your rationalising delusions, babies are babies until not wanted when they become hoovered out "foetuses".

 

oh, for goodness sake.........what's the problem........too big for condoms?...listen to yourself, you can buy abortion in an over the counter pill and you still can't organise your own sperm?!

 

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The claims that the fetus feels pain at 12 weeks was refuted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the nerve endings to allow for pain to be felt are just starting to form now.

yes, thanks for that...........

 "In a 1985 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine Dr K Annand stated that foetuses could perceive a basic kind of pain at 12 weeks, and Dr Peter McCullagh, an Australian medical researcher, has pointed out more recently that the unborn child's pain receptors are in place from 10 weeks."

 

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The claim that 'The Crime Syndicate' is heavily involved is kinda funny though, I mean if they were trying for a fundie parody thing they would be setting themselves on the right track. I will admit some unease on abortion, if only because we have legal access to contraceptives.

oh, where did the conscience come from?

 

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That being said, forcing a woman who was raped to carry the child is cruel and forcing the woman to keep a pregnancy that could kill her is a violation of the hippcratic oath. But ignoring all that, if you get your way and abortion is declared murder, does that make miscarriage manslaughter?

no, miscarriages occur naturally, like so much death.

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Does that mean that a woman whose fetus miscarries could be charged and imprisoned for manslaughter? Since that seems to be the route you're going with. And if we say that too, then could I insure a fetus? I mean if we're going to consider them people legally then we have to explore all the ramifications of it.

see above.

'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.


Jeffrick
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Freeminer

 

 

 

                                      Try shorter posts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!       It works wonders.

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Joker
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Freeminer, you keep talking

Freeminer, you keep talking about absolutes and complete sureness of a central ideal. The problem is that this 'absolute' morality seems awfully inconsistent when it comes to meting out justice. You say "God is the infinite good, he is all good, thus all he does is good and all he loves is good, etc." assuming that such a being does exist then couldn't this God provide a clearer version of their laws? Or at the very least explain the reason behind some of the decisions? Hell, my parents explained to me as a child why there were certain rules and even let me argue them and sometimes they did change things if I made a reasonable point. God on the other hand is completely arbitrary, humanity didn't ask to exist and we're being punished for the actions of the first human being...just a little strange there. You also keep trying to claim that rationalism and evolution lead to evil, I should point out that I haven't heard of burning people in the name of rational inquiry or slaughtering people in the name of evolution. I have however seen plenty of people committing all kinds of heinous atrocities in the name of their god.

 

Also, Freeminer I don't believe in a God yet I don't run around committing crimes. I don't randomly harm people or try to cause them pain, in fact I try to do what I can to alleviate suffering where I see it. My morality is mostly based on "How would I feel if this happened to me." When I asked if discovering a lack of God would change your behavior you said the question is irrelevant, it's not. Show me that there is a universal moral law system that is internally consistent and works perfectly and I'll probably change my behavior to be more in line with it. If you were to discover that there was no God would you act differently? Not even a question of morality, just would you do things differently and if so why and if not why. My behavior is more or less the same as it was when I was Christian, I give food to the homeless, volunteer, and try to make things easier for others. The only big difference is that I have more a sense of urgency since I know I don't have some all powerful divine being backing my plays and that these people need all the help that can be gotten to them. But that's just me, maybe you're different.


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Quote:Freeminer, you keep

Quote:

Freeminer, you keep talking about absolutes and complete sureness of a central ideal. The problem is that this 'absolute' morality seems awfully inconsistent when it comes to meting out justice. You say "God is the infinite good, he is all good, thus all he does is good and all he loves is good, etc." assuming that such a being does exist then couldn't this God provide a clearer version of their laws?

I understand that it must seem odd that the thing which interests him most is not your keeping of his laws! His whole strategy is based on his foreknowledge that you can't. The Bible doesn't teach that people go to Hell because of their behaviour but because of their sinful nature. We sin simply as a result of that nature. What he wants is for us to allow him to give us a new one. Why I recommended reading Romans is because it deals with the relationship between Law and Grace. Those without a new nature remain under Law. The Bible teaches that God would rather we allow him to give us a new nature and from then on live by grace ie. the Holy Spirit teaches the individual what sin is and he is constrained by love rather than the written law. The written law only exists to teach Man what sin is. Paul argues that sin would not exist were it not for the written law. The reason a Christian is not to break State law is simply because it brings Christ into disrepute. 

 

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Or at the very least explain the reason behind some of the decisions?

can I ask [like Ray the banana man].........which of the Commandments you have a problem with?

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Hell, my parents explained to me as a child why there were certain rules and even let me argue them and sometimes they did change things if I made a reasonable point.

yeah........that was enlightened of them. 

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God on the other hand is completely arbitrary, humanity didn't ask to exist and we're being punished for the actions of the first human being...just a little strange there.

yeah, I understand atheists being 'a bit put out by this'!........but, firstly, do you think you'd have done better?........and anyway which of us hasn't broken a commandment? [crumbs, now I'm sounding like Ray!] 

 

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You also keep trying to claim that rationalism and evolution lead to evil, I should point out that I haven't heard of burning people in the name of rational inquiry or slaughtering people in the name of evolution.

my complaint is not against rationality....... ie exercise of the Laws of Logic [which the Christian sees as the way God himself thinks] but against 'Rationalism' [capital 'R'] which becomes a philosophy in its own right. [autonomous human reason which purports to be infinite.  [acts as though it is infinite]

 

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I have however seen plenty of people committing all kinds of heinous atrocities in the name of their god.

and in the name of God!.......... don't get me started.

 

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Also, Freeminer I don't believe in a God yet I don't run around committing crimes. I don't randomly harm people or try to cause them pain, in fact I try to do what I can to alleviate suffering where I see it. My morality is mostly based on "How would I feel if this happened to me."

that's excellent, so how about having  God himself confirm that you were right all along? See above - your behaviour isn't the main issue. 

 

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When I asked if discovering a lack of God would change your behavior you said the question is irrelevant, it's not.

but hopefully you understand why I said it. Behaving well is ok as long as my interests aren't at stake.

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Show me that there is a universal moral law system that is internally consistent and works perfectly and I'll probably change my behavior to be more in line with it. If you were to discover that there was no God would you act differently? Not even a question of morality, just would you do things differently and if so why and if not why.

no, very possibly I wouldn't . Wasn't it Freud who said, "there is no God but people behave better if they believe there is"? But both you and I have already proved we're sinners!

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My behavior is more or less the same as it was when I was Christian, I give food to the homeless, volunteer, and try to make things easier for others. The only big difference is that I have more a sense of urgency since I know I don't have some all powerful divine being backing my plays and that these people need all the help that can be gotten to them. But that's just me, maybe you're different.

 

When you were "a Christian" ,  what did you think had happened?

 

 

 

'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.


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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

 

 

 

                                      Try shorter posts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!       It works wonders.

 

I'll really try..........honest!                                

'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.


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I will say now, the fact

I will say now, the fact that you're quoting bannanaman is not exactly helping you, the man is a trainwreck, but meh. The problem keeps coming back to the idea that God apparently made us easily tempted and subject to sin and then made a place of torment because he made us wrong. The laws originally required sacrifice, so what happened to those before Jesus did they get into heaven or at least avoid punishment by spilling the blood of animals? If you want to know what commandments I have a problem with, no other gods before me adds in that God is jealous and I don't really see the issue with other deities. Gods name in vain is another since we don't even know how we're to do it, referring to him as God, is that is name or is it Jehova, or Yaweh? Is God the word just a placeholder so we can discuss him without risking using the name in vain? Honoring the Sabbath has the issue of what day the sabbath is supposed to be as well as the fundamental question of why one day matters more than the others out of the week. As for my parents, I could point out that I never used drugs, I don't really drink, I never broke laws I also understood the rules my family had and thus was more loath to break them because I had a clearer understanding of why, just saying. I don't know that I could have done better, but then again I also would try to avoid being as arbitrary and I don't pretend that I'm perfect or demand the worship of others. As for a divine being confirming I was right all along, meh, it might be nice but I don't see a need for it. I do this stuff because it's necessary and because I think it's the right thing to do not because I'm trying to score brownie points with an immaterial skyfather.

You point out that your behavior would likely be fairly similar without a God, that seems to show that your actions are based more on an independent moral system than they are on the idea of a divine being who burns or saves. I believe in social justice, compassion, etc. I believed in those things before I became a Christian and there are parts of the bible that I find very eloquent and lovely, but there are also parts that are at best silly and at worst abominable. When I was a Christian I figured God had a plan for it or something similar, the problem is that that ideal makes it easy for people to ignore major problems because they figure God will sort it out somehow. It makes people more likely to pray than to take action, and that is a danger especially when so many things are already going wrong.


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Quote:I will say now, the

Quote:

I will say now, the fact that you're quoting bannanaman is not exactly helping you, the man is a trainwreck, but meh.

I didn't think I'd quoted him......I merely pointed out what I consider his error of expecting atheists  to take scripture as truth from the outset!........please read carefully!

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The problem keeps coming back to the idea that God apparently made us easily tempted and subject to sin and then made a place of torment because he made us wrong.

we weren't subject to sin until WE chose to be. Behind every sin of ours is a decision of ours.

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The laws originally required sacrifice, so what happened to those before Jesus did they get into heaven or at least avoid punishment by spilling the blood of animals?

yes sacrifice was for forgiveness and looked forward symbolically to Calvary.

 

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If you want to know what commandments I have a problem with, no other gods before me adds in that God is jealous and I don't really see the issue with other deities.

 yes, he says he is. Which other deities did you fancy? Isn't the issue, "what is true"? Either Man is designed for a relationship with an infinite being or he isn't.

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Gods name in vain is another since we don't even know how we're to do it, referring to him as God, is that is name or is it Jehova, or Yaweh? Is God the word just a placeholder so we can discuss him without risking using the name in vain?

I think you have a concept of God which anticipates that he is out to nail you.......the nailing has already been done.

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Honoring the Sabbath has the issue of what day the sabbath is supposed to be as well as the fundamental question of why one day matters more than the others out of the week.

 read what Paul has to say, " to one man the sabbath is special, to another all days are the same". chill  out!

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As for my parents, I could point out that I never used drugs, I don't really drink, I never broke laws I also understood the rules my family had and thus was more loath to break them because I had a clearer understanding of why, just saying. I don't know that I could have done better, but then again I also would try to avoid being as arbitrary and I don't pretend that I'm perfect or demand the worship of others.

but Jesus said he didn't come for the righteous but for sinners. What you've said is fine....... you're probably a better person than me.

 

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As for a divine being confirming I was right all along, meh, it might be nice but I don't see a need for it.

but that's just functionalism again, it doesn't impinge on God's existence. 

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I do this stuff because it's necessary and because I think it's the right thing to do not because I'm trying to score brownie points with an immaterial skyfather.

I wouldn't want to discourage you but can I suggest that the 'good' you do has no ultimate meaning.

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You point out that your behavior would likely be fairly similar without a God, that seems to show that your actions are based more on an independent moral system than they are on the idea of a divine being who burns or saves.

all this says is that I'm not driven by fear..... this is true. But neither does my salvation depend on my behaviour. My relationship with Jesus depends on my behaviour.  .....I value it.

 

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I believe in social justice, compassion, etc. I believed in those things before I became a Christian and there are parts of the bible that I find very eloquent and lovely, but there are also parts that are at best silly and at worst abominable.

let's talk about them. 

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When I was a Christian I figured God had a plan for it or something similar, the problem is that that ideal makes it easy for people to ignore major problems because they figure God will sort it out somehow.

and his promise is that he does... .just not always in conformity with our ideas.

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It makes people more likely to pray than to take action, and that is a danger especially when so many things are already going wrong.

the Bible does not exclude action.  Christianity is not passive, it just suggests we take our problems to God first.

'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.


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Since this is more or less

Since this is more or less just devolving into Freeminer and I we might be further off moving to the two man debate forum for this since it seems we're the only ones really involved in the conversation.


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honestly?

honestly,

i think you are making a very ostententatious claim on the basis of other people being stupid, and i have only a little respect for you.

 

bored,

froodley


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Joker wrote:Since this is

Joker wrote:

Since this is more or less just devolving into Freeminer and I we might be further off moving to the two man debate forum for this since it seems we're the only ones really involved in the conversation.

 

sorry joker, I thought the exchange on this thread was over, at least in terms of constructive debate - I'll try to pick up. 

'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.


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froodley wrote:honestly,i

froodley wrote:

honestly,

i think you are making a very ostententatious claim on the basis of other people being stupid, and i have only a little respect for you.

 

bored,

froodley

 

I think that, surprisingly,  I can live with this..........of course if you actually have a point to make........ 

'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.


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freeminer wrote:Joker

freeminer wrote:

Joker wrote:

Since this is more or less just devolving into Freeminer and I we might be further off moving to the two man debate forum for this since it seems we're the only ones really involved in the conversation.

 

sorry joker, I thought the exchange on this thread was over, at least in terms of constructive debate - I'll try to pick up. 

 

Eh, you're probably right on that front. Ah well, it was an interesting conversation at least.


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freeminer wrote:Joker

freeminer wrote:

Joker wrote:

Since this is more or less just devolving into Freeminer and I we might be further off moving to the two man debate forum for this since it seems we're the only ones really involved in the conversation.

 

sorry joker, I thought the exchange on this thread was over, at least in terms of constructive debate - I'll try to pick up. 

 

Eh, you're probably right on that front. Ah well, it was an interesting conversation at least.


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our debate

hi joker, just dropped in - have spent some time with an atheist on another forum. RRS is definitely best I've seen for atheist/christian debate. Glad you found our discussion worthwhile anyway.

Regards,

FM.

'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.


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I count myself closer too

 I count myself closer to the atheist mindset than that of the average theist.

 

However, I believe in god. Confused? Let me explain.

 

The only thing that can be known is that you can know nothing. Your eyes and ears are not reliable sources of information. Many of you are already familiar with this concept. There is no way to know for sure that anything is real, that anything can exist. You can never really KNOW anything for sure. Seen the matrix? what if you are really just plugged into a machine? What if gravity, taste, or emotion are constructs of some program, and in the real world these things don't exist? What if your entire existence is merely a piece of some other beings dream? If everything you have ever experienced is just the random firing of the neurons of some creature in another universe, if earth doesn't exist, and nothing you have ever seen or heard has actually happened? If you have ever been on drugs, you know that consciousness is an easily disrupted thing.

 

So how can we function if we always try to factor this in? If we doubt that what we see is true, we will never function, let alone survive.

 

Which means every person necessarily must make certain fundamental assumptions, (such as "What I am seeing is true&quotEye-wink without evidence (because evidence is impossible without these assumptions in the first place) in order to function. Then we logically build off of those assumptions to construct our world-view. Every person uses this logic, whether they realize it or not.

 

Before the first moment of the universe, can there be ANY evidence of what there was or was not? No. So it comes down to this. What assumption are you going to make? That nothing exploded and became something? Or that some cosmic force suddenly decided to make nothing explode and turn into something? Is there a more likely scenario? No. There can be no probability, no evidence, and no rational discussion of what may or may not have occurred.

 

Which means it is a simple choice of preference. I prefer to think that something is out there (metaphorically speaking), with some intention for me. It is comforting. And "Because I want to" is as good a reason to believe something about a time that cannot be looked at as any. I challenge anyone to show me better reasons to believe something else. 

 

Now, to clarify: I do not think god is some arbitrary force who's "word" is law, and who literally reaches his hand down to change the world. I make no claims about god beyond the original, that he exists. I do not use him for the purpose of moral discussions, or base my logic on him. I make my decisions based on a universe where god does not have to exist. If it were somehow proven that he does not, I would have to change NONE of my beliefs about the universe but that single, isolated, ONE.

 God is why. Science is how. Two different questions about the same thing. The answers do not have to conflict.

 

I fear I have not been clear, so please help me clarify. Point out my mistakes, so that I can show you what I meant please.

Be as you wish to seem ~Socrates


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Pheonix wrote:Which means it

Pheonix wrote:
Which means it is a simple choice of preference. I prefer to think that something is out there (metaphorically speaking), with some intention for me. It is comforting. And "Because I want to" is as good a reason to believe something about a time that cannot be looked at as any. I challenge anyone to show me better reasons to believe something else.

As you said, we must act as if reality is as we perceive it in order to function i.e. it is pragmatic to do so. On the other hand, it is not necessary to assume an arbitrary cause for the origin of the universe to live our life; this is not the same.

Furthermore, recognizing that you believe in something just because you want to is silly. To believe in a claim is to be convinced that the claim is true. Unless you have impeccable mental compartmentalization skills, you cannot simultaneously hold that the claim is true AND unjustified. Preferring that the claim is true doesn't translate to believing that it actually is true.

Pheonix wrote:
I make my decisions based on a universe where god does not have to exist.

So, you believe in God but acts like he does not exist? That's interesting.

What is your God anyways? Is it an intelligence?

Pheonix wrote:
If it were somehow proven that he does not, I would have to change NONE of my beliefs about the universe but that single, isolated, ONE.

You can believe whatever you want, but one irrational belief is still an irrational belief.

Pheonix wrote:
God is why. Science is how. Two different questions about the same thing. The answers do not have to conflict.

Aesthetically, these are very beautiful statements. But, they are still completely wrong.

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