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Christian_Apologist
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To Atheists

(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?

 

(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?  Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity, (b) hypostatic union, (c) salvation by grace, and (d) the resurrection of Christ?

 

(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?

 

(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?

 

(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why?

 

(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

 

(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?

 

 


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(1) I do not assent to any

(1) I do not assent to any notion that consciousness exists as an entity distinct from the universe, in its entirety or the parts that make it up, (as affirmed by Deism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Panentheism, and so on) or to any notion that consciousness exists within the universe without a material substrate to generate it (as affirmed by Classical Pantheism). This effectively covers all notions of a god that are not just weasel-wording ("What about the extraterrestrials, huh?" ).

(2) I know a bit about Christian doctrine, including the four ideas you mentioned. Whether I would be able to give a proper representation of them really depends on what you consider proper, because I can generally give the same kind of descriptions as the believers in those doctrines give, but I don't think that I could make them seem reasonable.

(3) I have thought about the possibility of infinite regresses many times, and I have not reached any conclusion, for the truth or falsity of the notion seems equally astounding to me.

(4) There are absolute truths.

(5) When I think about my own death, the rational part of me concludes that I have nothing to fear, but the emotional part of me does not care what the rational part of me thinks and fears death anyway. Our brains are constructed by our genomes to fear death, no matter what, and I am not an exception.

(6) I do not rule out any gods on account of their alleged character.

(7) I do not believe that morals are relative.

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I'll give it a shot.

 

 

 

      1}  Any super natural, all being all knowing fairly tale.   If you can't prove its real I am not interested.

 

      2}  I am knowledgeable on meny religions,  the more I learn about them,  the less interest I have in buying into them.  I really like the real world,  join us sometime.

 

 

       3} Only on a Theoretical plane. I am a mechanical engineer (P.eng.) not a Theoretical engineer.

 

 

       4} There are absolute truths  death, taxes,  gravity among others.  Relativity has its place also but doesn't work very well in a yes/no world.

 

 

        5} As an atheists I don't believe in Heaven or hell  so I have no place to go;  ergo --  I am not going.  In case I am wrong  my eternal death will be the same to me has the billions of years that existed before I was born. (thanks Mark Twain)

 

 

        6} Atheists  do not try to prove god does NOT exist.  If you think god is real you get to prove it. The OT shows where several religious dogmas came from;  it proves nothing else.

 

 

         7} Morals are relative to a social situation.  The god of the old testament is a fairy tale and a damn amoralistic one.

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1. That invisible friend you

1. That invisible friend you deist morons have is what I mean by 'god'. It tends to change depending on the circumstances.

2. I am not that knowledgeable on the topic of pulmonary circulation yet I am able to breathe.

3. No.

4. Depends.

5. The manner of my death may be cause for concern (wouldn't want to suffer) but death will be just like before I was born.

6. Evidence proves he did not exist, my feelings are immaterial.

7. The actions of god in the OT were reprehensible. It's just as well it's only a piss-poor story, eh?

 

 

 

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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Christian_Apologist

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?


This is up to the claimant to define. First, define the god you believe in.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?  Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity, (b) hypostatic union, (c) salvation by grace, and (d) the resurrection of Christ?


Personally, I'd say I'm very familiar with Christian doctrine.

a.) Insofar as I can tell, I've never met a Christian who had a meaningful understanding of the Trinity without resorting to some analogy, which all result in some sort of modal heresy.

b.) Same is true here...there have been division throughout history over this very issue.

c.) Sure...but which version are you talking about. Catholics and Protestants will both affirm this doctrine, but how they understand grace is entirely different.

d.) The resurrection of Christ is a pretty broad topic...are you talking about the theological implications of it, the historicity of it, both, or something entirely different?

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?


I don't tend to think so.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?


This is a false dichotomy, so it seems. There are "absolute truths", if what you mean by this is deductive truths such as axioms, etc. But there is also relative truth..that is something that we cannot know for certain.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why?


Nope.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?


Nope.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?


Nope.

 

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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Christian_Apologist

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?

It's up to the believer to define God.  One of my reasons for rejecting god-belief is that there doesn't seem to be any coherent definition of the term.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?

Not bad.  Better than most Christians, I expect.  I was practically raised in church, have read the Bible several times (yes, the whole thing), and attended a post-secondary Bible college for a few years.  When I was still a Christian, I read quite a bit of C.S. Lewis.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
  Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity,

Yes, with the proviso that there isn't a single universally accepted understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity among Christian denominations.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
  (b) hypostatic union,

Yes, I'm familiar with the belief that Jesus was both fully divine and fully human.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
  (c) salvation by grace,

Yes, of course.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
  (d) and the resurrection of Christ?

Yup.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?

Yes.  It boggles the mind but I don't see that it is logically impossible.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?

I think mathematics is an example of a universal truth.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why?

I have no more fear of death than I have of my non-existence prior to my birth.  I'm not too keen on dying, though, as it is often a painful and messy affair.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

That depends on what you mean by God.  If you mean an omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good God, then I do not think that the existence of such a being is consistent with the God portrayed in the OT, assuming that we consider goodness to include concepts such as justice and mercy, as implied by much of the Old and New Testaments (if we ignore the parts of the Bible that a contradictory to the parts that preach justice and mercy).

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?

If we're discussing the morality of what God is described as doing in the OT, then what I believe about morality is irrelevant.  What is relevant is the supposed nature of that God and what good means in the context of Christian doctrine.

Reality is the graveyard of the gods.


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(1) You say that you are

(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?

An intelligent designer of the universe.  Usually for the sake of discussion one that is involved in human affairs.    

(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?  Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity, (b) hypostatic union, (c) salvation by grace, and (d) the resurrection of Christ?

 

I am as interested in understanding the trinity as i am interesting in understanding how Apollo got that big old sun in that little charriot.

I was raised Jehovah's witness so no trinity in my early teaching.  Ofcoarse when i left the infectious cult and persued my real education i didnt want to hinder my enlightenment with trying to understand rediculous things.  Let me see if i can best sum up my understanding our your teachings.  God creates man and earth...Man eats apples...God creates loophole for apple eating...God becomes man...Godman sacrifices himself to himself for the hole apple fiasco...Doesnt seem to work properly...something about a 3rd form of god...yadayadayada.......God hates gays. 

Nailed it!!!   

 

(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?

I dont know forsure, do you?  I dont enough of the concept but i can state one thing accurately, after doing some research on the subject so i can be intellectually honest with my response to the question, whatever my findings are after critical thought i will in no way find myself believing that jesus walked on water.

 

(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?

I believe in absolute truth, something that is %100 predictable.  I would consider gravity an abolute truth.  But ofcoarse if you believe that god created all this they're would be no absolute truths to you, tomorow god could make me as big as jupiter and turn the moon into chocolate.  How do we know the moon wasnt chocolate yesterday, god could have erased our memories and replaced them with new ones, hmmmmmm??? 

 

(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why?

Ceasing to exist is the most terrifing thought known to man.  I dont fear the pain, nor death itself, just ceasing to exist, people forgetting about you over time.  Why wouldnt enyone fear ceasing to exist?  I would certainly rather cease to exist that go to your creepy stepford wife heaven full of god praising sicifants.  Ill take the mortality thankyou!!!!!

 

(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

Nope but it does prove that if he does, hes a prick!!!  Might does not make right, that is why you are the sheep and i am the wolf, I stand up to pricks, you fear and bow to them.

 

(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?

Morals are not relative, morals mad made.  We dectate our morals, some societies have different morals, but most rational humans could sit down together and easily come up with a list that would describe basic morality.  One much better than the 10 commandments. 

 


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Christian_Apologist

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?

 

I believe the term is used for many things as such I wait until someone gives me their definition.  However I think that in doing so the term itself is meaningless. I don't believe in deities or intelligent universe creators.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?  Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity, (b) hypostatic union, (c) salvation by grace, and (d) the resurrection of Christ?

 

Some.

I don't think all Christians even agree on these.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?

Not really sure.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?

Sure why not.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why?

Fear is a strong word. I don't want it to happen to me.  Why? I like existing.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

 

No. Hitler did things I didn't like, but there is at least evidence he existed.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?

I believe morals are a strategy to survive and prosper.  Morals are beneficial actions that we use to help build a more stable society.  It has evolved over time as our knowledge and social structure improves. 

Sounds made up...
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1. Whatever each theist mean

1. Whatever each theist mean when they say "god" and claim it exist. The lack of a coherent definition is reason enough to reject it (yet it's still not nearly the only reason).

2. Probably not all to complete accuracy. So what? I'm not very knowledgeable about Norse mythology or - even less - the Greek mythology, the ancient Egyptian mythology etc. Are you knowledgeable in every single religion there is and ever were?

3. I don't know.

4. Yes, absolute truths exist.

5. No.

6. That I don't like what a tyrannical, self-obsessed and genocidal asshole does doesn't prove that he doesn't exist, of course. That's not why I reject christianity.

7. Like Magus said, morals are a way to help a species to survive, so they're not completely relative. However, while killing someone is immoral, it is okay if that's the only way you can stop him from killing someone else.

God - the god of the bible, at least - could never point to that to excuse himself from anything ever, though, since he's supposed to be omnipotent. There could thus never be a situation where he couldn't solve it peacefully without anyone getting hurt.

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I do not buy any claim by

I do not buy any claim by any name of magical invisible super brains that have no body. I don't buy the Muslim claims of invisible brains in that of Allah, and I  don't buy yours.

I also don't buy claims of magical births or deaths.

The ancient Egyptians used to believe that big orange ball in the sky was a thinking being with a super brain. They used to pray to it believing it was involved in their affairs.

Humans have always made up fictional super heros and fooled themselves into believing them to be real. Your claim is NOT special, and your holy book is a book of myth, just like stories of Ra, Osirus and Horus were to he Egyptians. Your myth is simply currently popular. But so are other myths like Allah and Vishnu and Buddha.

Neither you or I, the Pope or Obama or Pat Robertson will be remembered 50 billion years from now, and neither will your gods or myths.

There is no need for any made up super hero with super powers.

BTW, you spoke of the Trinity. Would you care to know what Thomas Jefferson thought of 3 headed monsters? He wasn't an atheist, but you'd be suprised at what he says about the magical claims in the bible.

 

 

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Quote: Even if you do not

Quote:
Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

You can read many of the nasty verses in the Koran but you don't believe in Allah. Is Allah real because you can't prove he isn't?

I am glad that such a being isn't real. When I take a shit I don't want someone watching. When I have sex, that too is something I don't want uninvited eyes watching.

BUT Allah/God/Yahwey are, according to the claim omniscient and omnipotent means that every moment from the time I am born to the time I die, including my thoughts, are being recorded by this invisible big brother in the sky. Watching me shit, and have sex, and knows every thought in my head.

If, ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF USING YOUR MODEL, for the sake of this question. Such a being WOULD NOT be worthy of spitting on, much less worshiping.  Hitler was a monster, but when he killed the Jews, they stayed dead, he didn't keep them alive through magic and tourture their soles for eternity. Your god character is worse than Hitler and Hitler was a monster.

I do not worship anything. I don't worship tv shows or politicians or gods. Worship is stupid and makes lemmings  out of people. Iranians worship Allah, but neither you or I would want to live there. North Koreans worship Kim Jong Ill and the State, and again, neither you or I would want to live there.

These two countries ARE big brother and have the absolute power to pry into your life and make it miserable and threaten any questioning or dissent. YOUR bible does not escape this problem with the NT because the end of the book the God character goes right back to beating the shit out of "outsiders". But he doesn't stop there. He throws the rest of humanity into hell to be tortured forever.

6 BILLION PEOPLE AND MOST WILL BURN IN HELL? Go look up genocide.

Even the NT Jesus demands loyalty to the point of abandoning your family if they do not follow him.

The reality is that this book was written over 1,000 year period by over 40 authors with books left out. It is not a work handed down to humans by an invisable hand or invisible brain. It is a tribal gang manual based on myth and magic and superstition. The writers falsely thought that their super hero would come back and save them IN THEIR TIME.

I do not worship at all, much less a tyrant.

 

 

 

 

 

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Christian_Apologist

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?

The christian, islam, hindu, norse, greek, roman, mayan, etc, etc, etc god(s) or goddess(es), basically any and all deities invented by man to explain the unknown at the time, such but not limited to, the universe, earth, life, man, stars, etc, etc, etc. As well as illogical defintions of such beings....to which at this point in time is all of them.

Quote:

(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?

De Doctrina Christiana written by st. augustine de hippo? yes, as well as the catholic, now of course there is the sects of chrsitianity that has different takes on the christian doctrine, such as the christadelphians.

Quote:

Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity, (b) hypostatic union, (c) salvation by grace, and (d) the resurrection of Christ?

from the catholic point of view sure (grew up with catholics, have lots of family that are catholics so, yes I can) of course there are sects that have different view on this, latter day saints for example on the holy trinity, unitarism as well. The hypostatic union of course fully divine and fully human. C and D as well I can talk about if you like.

Quote:

(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?

philisophically speaking sure, however it does not need to be so, as in quantum level it's possible to have an effect without a prior cause. So god (as described by many being the uncause cause.) is not required.

Quote:

(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?

Sure there are absolute truths, gravity always attracts is an absoute truth. However for the most part in regards to most human events truth is relative.

Quote:

(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why?

Not since I was declared dead on the operating table, ever since then I have had no fear, then again it could be because it was exactly what I expected........nothing, no lights, no god, no hell no nothing, just nothing. Although I am not looking forward to it, I don't fear death, however I do fear dying. I didn't like the process the first time.

Quote:

(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

Nope, that does not prove he does not exist, the lack of evidence, the illogical descriptions and well basically the lack of evidence for god shows to me that he doesn't exist. I don't like george bush, pat robertson, hugo chavez, stalin, hitler, mao, pot pol, and various other people, that doesn't stop the fact they exist...then again there is evidence for their existance.

Quote:

(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?

yes morals are, laws however are meant to be enforced, even the enforcers are not above the law, however in the bible god is untouchable. so doesn't matter.

Not much in regards to absolute morals in the bible as they are all broken at one point or another. Even the laws are broken on a whim.


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Christian_Apologist

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?

The religious people are the ones inventing the concept of God, so it should be up to them to define 'God'. They all have a different concept. Every concept of God that religious people have I totally reject.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?  Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity, (b) hypostatic union, (c) salvation by grace, and (d) the resurrection of Christ? 

Yes. But they are all BS concepts because the depend upon something imaginary. The 'divine' has never been observed or measured.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?

Maybe. We don't the know the origin of the universe. It's probably something very strange that in our current frame of reference we can not understand.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?

There is information in the universe and rules about how that information flows. Seems like truth is kind of an invention of the mind to help us process this information. So I don't know if there is absolute truth.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why? 

All animals fear death, so I would assume we are genetically disposed to fear death as a survival mechanism. Perhaps our brains could be tinkered with to remove the neural pathways that cause this fear.

My questions is if Christian really believe the have eternal life and heaven is way better than earth. Why do you all seem to fear death as much as us atheists?

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist? 

Well the fact that he was a cruel SOB is a demonstration that he was an invention of Jewish religious leaders to maintain control over the people.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations? 

Morality is a BS concept used to control weak minded people. Everyone is a pleasure seeking hedonist. The best we can do is a have social contracts to attain our common goals. The God of the OT did make social contracts(covenants) with the Jewish people. He didn't make any with other groups so I guess it was OK to commit genocide, infanticide, etc... But you would have to conclude he was insane for making people so he could later torture and kill them.

So if God is the gold standard for what is moral or immoral, God can do what he wants and he can never be questioned. So if God changed his mind at the final judgement and said "You know what I rather spend eternity with atheists than Christians", and he sent us to heaven you to hell, this is morally OK to go back on his promises. You could be suffer in hell for being a Christian, but you can never question God's motives or morality.

God is kind of like Nixon, "If the president does it then it's not illegal". Except he can't be impeached.

 

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1) Wow, a theist asking this

1) Wow, a theist asking this question. Awesome. Here's the problem: We're not entirely sure. That is at least part of the problem. Some theist tells us to believe in this thing they call god, but none of them can describe this god in any logical or meaningful way. We can hardly believe in something that we can't see and makes no sense.

2) To a degree, but as I have rabidly avoided poisoning my mind with religious texts, I'd have to draw upon the memes and stories that christians have swamped the entertainment industry with in order to force their beliefs on others. So I doubt I'd do it to your satisfaction.

3) Perhaps. Perhaps not. We don't know for certain.

4) Varies. A rock in Alberta in 1984 is a rock in Alberta in 1984 regardless of subjective perspective. If you get more complicated than simple fact, then it's all relative.

5) No.

6) No, it would just prove he's an asshole not worth my devotion.

7) Yes, and yes. However, an omnipotent and omniscient being has no claim to such an argument.

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I ran out of room to expand

I ran out of room to expand on 3). It makes little or no sense that it could be, but that doesn't completely preclude the possibility, especially depending on the terminology. Technically, time started with the big bang, so there was no time before the bang. Unless perhaps our universe is contained within another, where if the laws of physics are similar enough, time would've existed for the same reason it does here and now, before time as we experience existed.
But we have no reason to believe such is the case, and won't have the necessary info to say for a very long time, if ever.

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Quote:(1) You say that you

Quote:
(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?

I have no idea.  I've yet to encounter a meaningful definition of God.

 

Quote:
(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?  Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity, (b) hypostatic union, (c) salvation by grace, and (d) the resurrection of Christ?

Yes.  I was raised in a variety of Christian denominations.  I'm familiar with everything from Roman Catholic to Southern Baptist to Church of Christ.  I'm as good an apologist as you're ever going to meet.

Quote:
(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?

It depends on the nature of time.  I suspect so.

Quote:
(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?

Some things are true regardless of belief.  Nature is what it is, and your belief about it doesn't matter, so yes.  Some things are absolutely true.

Quote:
(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why?

Nah.  I'm not looking forward to it, but I'm not afraid of it.  I'm much more afraid of dying than I am of being dead.  Dying probably hurts in a lot of cases.

Quote:
(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

No.

Quote:
(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/morality-absolute-and-subjective/

 

 

 

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

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Atheistextremist
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Same as many people here

 

I have a knowledge of the bible that's so thorough I realised it was bullshit. I read the bible cover to cover in First Form (about 11yo).

Of course at that age you don't realise it's rubbish and I had another go in my 20s and then my mid-30s and yes, it was balls.

Everyone has done a better job than I might of answering these questions but please CO, these are the questions your mind framed

as important to you and I'd be stoked to read your own answers. I can't help feeling these quessies are the lintel of your personal faith.

A definition of god that makes any sense, for the first time in history, would make you my personal hero so come on - get stuck into it.

 

 

 

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


butterbattle
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Christian_Apologist

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?

It is up to the claimant to define the proposition. You have to define what "God" is; then, I can tell you whether I believe in it or not.

There are many different definitions of God and God beliefs. My position varies depending on the God in question, but so far, I have yet to encounter any that is not incoherent, trivial, and/or unsupported by evidence.  

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?

No. 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity, (b) hypostatic union, (c) salvation by grace, and (d) the resurrection of Christ?

Maybe. No. Maybe. Maybe.  

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?

Mathematically, yes. Within our universe, probably not. Outside of our universe or before our universe, I don't know.

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?

Yes, there are absolute truths. P is P, and Q is Q. If P and Q contradict, then only P or Q can be true (exclusive), and whether P or Q is true is not 'relative' or a 'matter of opinion.'

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why?

I fear dying in a painful way, but I don't fear death. I was dead since the beginning of time before I was born, and it didn't bother me the slightest. I see no reason why it would bother me after my life. 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

No.

Christian_Apologist wrote:
(7) Do you believe morals are relative?

There is no absolute truth in morality, in the sense that nothing is objectively right or wrong unless we start with some necessary assumptions. It is my belief and the position of most of the members of this forum, that morality is a human concept, so to ask whether something is inherently right or wrong is ultimately meaningless. It's often said that we can't derive an "ought" from an "is." We can conclude, partly from this premise, that there is no 'oughtness' at all, because in nature, there is no 'ought.' There simply 'is.'

If there is no absolute morality, then we are left to rely, somewhat axiomatically, on our instincts and logic for guidance i.e. we decide what is right based simply on what we want and what we think is right. So, why don't atheists just all just go outside and starting fornicating, pillaging, and slaughtering gleefully? Well, why should they? 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?

I'm not sure what 'morally permissible' means.

But, certainly, the OT is morally repugnant, to me.

 

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


Conor Wilson
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For myself:

A.Q.1.:For now, anyway, I'll run with the definition of God used in the old Baltimore Catechism: "the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect, who made all things, and keeps them in existence."  That sounds to me a lot like what most people mean when they say "God," and that is certainly a god I don't believe in.  Of course, I don't believe in any other god, either.

 

A.Q.2.: I have a collection of college courses under my belt that very nearly represents a degree in Roman Catholic theology.  Is that good enough for you?  Oh, and btw, I *can* define those terms.  I will do so...but only if asked.

 

A.Q.3.:  Infinite regress of cause and effect is not necessary.  To explain much of anything worth explaining, we need only go back as far as the Big Bang.  Of course, given that the Big Bang was the start of space *and* *time,* it is meaningless to speak of "before the Big Bang."

 

A.Q.3.: Of course absolute truths exist.  The problem is that, humanly speaking, our knowledge of those truths is usually just an approximation.

 

A.Q.4.: I try not to think about death, very much.  I was pretty much obssessed with it as a Catholic, and I'm kind of burnt out on the topic.

 

A.Q.5.: Of course not, but it does prove that God as represented in the Bible is not all-loving, nor concerned with an alleged "sacredness" of human life, nor terribly concerned with the morality of his own behavior.  That, right there, pretty much proves that at least the modern Christian conception of god is incorrect and/or unfaithful to its own sources.

 

A.Q.7.: Morals have to be relative, don't they?  Say we're talking about killing somebody.  Surely that sounds like a situation for "absolute morality," doesn't it?  And yet: what if the killing is done in defense of innocent life...say, a would-be murderer being stopped by a cop?  The situation changes, doesn't it?  "Absolute morality" sounds comforting, but at the end of the day, nobody really believes in it--not that I've seen, anyway.

 

Conor


MichaelMcF
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Christian_Apologist

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?

Broadly: Any being claimed to be capable of creating the universe.  Narrow:  Any being claimed to be capable of creating the universe and who has a special interest in human affairs.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?  Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity, (b) hypostatic union, (c) salvation by grace, and (d) the resurrection of Christ?

I will say no, purely because any Christians I know can't agree on the understanding of these subjects and they differ greatly from what I was taught growing up as a catholic.  Very loosely:

  • the trinity states that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all God but they are not each other
  • Hypostatic Union is the idea that aspects of divinity and humanity co-existed in Christ
  • Salvation by Grace is the idea that salvation is a gift from God and is not something that can ever be earned.  We have been given grace through Christ... if we have faith and live through christ his grace will shine on us.  Which sounds an awful lot like earning something.  But you're not earning it.  You're being given it because you did something....
  • Christ took upon himself the sins of the world and, by dying, paid the ultimate price for man's sin.  His humility in this sacrifice bought him - and the rest of humanity - entry into heaven by the aforementioned grace of god.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
 

(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?

We can't be sure.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:
 

(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?

There are absolutes.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why?

Yes and No.  I fear death only so far as it means I'm not alive and I don't get to eat, drink and have sex.  Like Hamby I think the process of dying will suck.  As for actually being dead?  I survived perfectly well not existing before I was born.  I imagine not existing after I'm dead will be much the same.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

Of course not.  Nothing can prove he doesn't exist.  That's not the point though.  I don't believe in "God" because there's no evidence for his existence.

 

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?

Absolutely to the first half of this question.  Morals are a social construct.

No to the second half.  God doesn't get to claim moral relativism while we're expected to follow moral absolutes espoused by the church and which come from the same part of the book.

 

 

 

 

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


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1. An intelligent,

1. An intelligent, conscious, all powerful being that created our reality.

2. Yes.  I was raised in a religious family, went to Sunday school and pre-school at a church, was confirmed as a Lutheran and went to a private religious school from K-11th grade.

3. Possibly.  If time was created when the universe began, defining something like infinite is difficult.  I doubt we will ever know anything concrete about what existed before our universe 'began'.

4. Inside of our universe, there seem to be some things about reality that are constant.

5. Absolutely.  I like being alive, and have a strong instinctual fear of my life ending.  Every animal does.

6. I never said it does.  However, it does prove he is not benevolent towards humanity as a whole and the common modern interpretation of god as a loving being are clearly mis-guided.

7. I think morality is created by man, to help man.  You mean, if god created us as a giant ant farm, is it wrong for him to fry some of us with his cosmic magnifying glass?  From his viewpoint, I suppose not.  From mine though, I would need some heavy duty convincing to think he was righteous.

From a theistic point of view though, morality is relative to whatever your god says to do, so in that case god can do anything he wants and it is always moral.  His followers can also do anything they want and claim moral high ground by doing so in his name...like religious terrorism.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Christian_Apologist

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(1) You say that you are without belief in God.  What do you mean by "God"?

 

The definitions offered by all religions and/or believers about their deities. But in a broad sense, I would say the concept of a sentient, all powerful entity that willfully created and/or maintained the universe.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(2) Are you knowledgeable in Christian doctrine?  Would you be able to properly represent the Christian understanding of the (a) Holy Trinity, (b) hypostatic union, (c) salvation by grace, and (d) the resurrection of Christ?

 

This question is incorrectly phrased. It should read "Christian doctrines"  since there are quite a lot of christian denominations, all with their own, often contradictory doctrines. Even if you were to grant that they base this doctrines from the same source (the bible) and even if you also grant the unifiying use of this single sourse (no diferent versions, no different translations, etc.) they still have quite different interpretations of it. Their exegesis differs, often in abismal ways.

So in answer to your question, I would have to ask in turn: The doctrine of which christian denomination?

Im guessing this question is aimed to inquire our knowledgable capacity to justifiably dismiss/refute the claims of the doctrines you exemplify. If this is correct, I would then also have to ask you: are you knowledgable with Jewish doctrines? Islam? Buddists? Induists? and so on ad infinitum.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(3) Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?

 

I dont know.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(4) Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?

 

I exist. There are indeed absolute truths. Is the Great Gazoo dark green or turquoise? there are also relative things too.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(5) Do you fear death?  If so, why?

I do not fear the concept of death, anymore than I fear the concept of my non existance previous to my birth. My death, on the other hand, is something I do fear, simply because I, as many have responded before me, like to exist.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

 

No it doesn't. I do not like what Dr. Moreau did on his little pet zoo island either, yet my opinion of his actions also bear no relevance whatsoever in his existance.

Christian_Apologist wrote:

(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?

 

Killing is immoral, yes or no? what if the person you kill had both means and intention to kill your loved ones?

But heres the real meat to this question: Is global infanticide immoral? Even if you did it in order to cleanse a corrupt world? What if you were, lets say, all powerful, and could achieve the same goal without drowning every child on the planet?

Is the needless sacrifice less immoral if you only reduce the death tally to 1? Lets say, your own son?

The christian god, in both OT and NT, is the most immoral character that humans have ever being able to pluck out of our nightmares.

Lenore, The Cute Little Dead Girl. Twice as good as Jesus.


foul5town
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losers

It's funny to watch people respond with these "5 dollar words" so that they sound like they are smart when in reality they probably never use them.

 

What a bunch of losers. HAHA


Vastet
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It's generally a bad sign

It's generally a bad sign when you start talking about yourself that way...

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Abu Lahab
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foul5town wrote:It's funny

foul5town wrote:

It's funny to watch people respond with these "5 dollar words" so that they sound like they are smart when in reality they probably never use them.

 

What a bunch of losers. HAHA

 

Please, stay in school.

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


Atheistextremist
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I hope one day

foul5town wrote:

It's funny to watch people respond with these "5 dollar words" so that they sound like they are smart when in reality they probably never use them.

 

What a bunch of losers. HAHA

 

You will say something righteous and worthwhile for a change.

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


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foul5town wrote:It's funny

foul5town wrote:

It's funny to watch people respond with these "5 dollar words" so that they sound like they are smart when in reality they probably never use them.

 

What a bunch of losers. HAHA

Good work, foul5town.  Content-free insults are an excellent way to distract from the fact that you have nothing meaningful to add to the discussion.

Reality is the graveyard of the gods.


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Seven Answers

(1) "What do you mean by God?"

It's your belief, don't you know?  An entity who is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, who is invisible and unknowable AND can produce matter with a word, who is all powerful and free of all error, well I suppose that would qualify.

(2)Holy Trinity - Father Son and Holy Spirit unified in one Godhead.

Hypostatic union - Jesus as both fully man and fully God.

Salvation - Christian belief that humans need to be saved from the terrors of Christian beliefs. 

Resurrection of Christ - Christian claim that what Christians claim actually occurred because Christians claim it did. (Ref. Nonsense)

(3)"Is an infinite regress of cause and effect possible?"

When you don't know an answer anything's possible. It's just that not everything is true. There are limits to what we "know," you see. There is some good bit of information lacking on this particular question as of yet, and some of it may be beyond our grasp entirely. "I don't know" will have to serve until such time as we have enough information to make those sorts of judgements, if ever.

(4) "Are there absolute truths or is everything relative?"

There are physical limits which we refer to as the "laws of physics." Everything else is an opinion. 

(5) "Do you fear death?  If so, why?"

The process of dying is a bit worrisome, I must admit. It's not always a pleasant experience, or so I've noticed. I've also noticed that a person's religious beliefs, or lack thereof, have no apparent impact on whether a person dies peacefully, or dies a painful degrading death. And everyone dies, don't they! As for being dead, why would anyone fear that? Dead is dead. Game over man. There is no more "you" to generate fear, or anything else.

(6) Even if you do not like what God did in the Old Testament, does that prove that He does not exist?

 Here's what proves that "He" does not exist, insofar as it is even possible to ever "prove" a negative. In 1905 Albert Einstein published an article on mass-energy equivalence in which he unveiled his famous equation E=mc2 for the first time. The real revelation is that matter and energy are THE SAME THING. Matter is made up of certain types of energetic particles which clump together due to their positive and negative attraction. Matter IS energy. In the 1860's, before Einstein was even born, British scientist James Clerk Maxwell developed the First Law of Thermodynamics. Better known as the Law of Conservation of Energy, it tells us that ENERGY CAN NEITHER BE CREATED OR DESTROYED. Are you paying attention here? The universe IS energy, and energy can neither be created or destroyed. According to the laws of physics, and all experimentation and observation, the universe COULD NOT HAVE BEEN CREATED. Could science be wrong about this conclusion? Certainly. Science is a human endeavor, and like all human endeavors it is subject to the possibility of error. (Humans are manifestly NOT Gods). Maxwell's Law has stood up remarkably well to all experimentation and observation for the last 150 years however.

(7) Do you believe morals are relative?  If so, then wouldn't the actions of God in the OT be morally permissible in certain situations?

 Morality is an opinion (See #4). Is genocide ever morally acceptable? NEVER, in my opinion. And anyone who argues that it is for any reason, is repugnant, in my opinion.