Author Topic: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?  (Read 10021 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #174 on: October 04, 2011, 10:40:28 AM »
Then it all boils downs to an appeal to ignorance. There is nothing seperating your belief from any other god belief. You might wax poetically about the term "allegory" and "Reach beyond yourself" but, ultimately, to use a peotic allegory, the mystery box is empty.

I don't have the proof you're looking for. I don't have solid, scientific evidence that God exists. I can't trace the remains with carbon dating. I will not be able to use math to determine its existence.

My "proof" is based on the effect God has on people.

Without God, my life goes like this ----

With God, my life now goes like this ----

I like my life with God better than my life without God. I have proof of the reasons why I like my life better with God than without.

I know this is true for me and MANY others. Therefore, if "God" affects so many, wouldn't it be logical that God exists?

The "god" concept might have an effect...but loads of concepts have an effect

Racism
Justice
Me first
empathy

And so forth. I agree the CONCEPT of god exists, but it still is like the CONCEPT of the Volcano god in the mind of the gibbering tribal native...there isn't a difference.

If you like your life better that Santa Claus exists, is that a good argument for people to make shrines to Santa? To pass laws to make Cookies and Milk subsidized? To have wars with those who call him "Father Christmas?"

And then the concept of Santa Claus affects so many, wouldn't it be logical that Santa Claus exists?

No, it would not.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline velkyn

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #175 on: October 04, 2011, 12:27:33 PM »
My "proof" is based on the effect God has on people.

Without God, my life goes like this ----

With God, my life now goes like this ----

I like my life with God better than my life without God. I have proof of the reasons why I like my life better with God than without.

I know this is true for me and MANY others. Therefore, if "God" affects so many, wouldn't it be logical that God exists?

I can replace every instance of "god" in this post with "Krishna" or any other god.  Does this mean that those gods exist as distinct entities, as well as yours?
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #176 on: October 04, 2011, 12:33:26 PM »
My "proof" is based on the effect God has on people.

Without God, my life goes like this ----

With God, my life now goes like this ----

I like my life with God better than my life without God. I have proof of the reasons why I like my life better with God than without.

I know this is true for me and MANY others. Therefore, if "God" affects so many, wouldn't it be logical that God exists?

I can replace every instance of "god" in this post with "Krishna" or any other god.  Does this mean that those gods exist as distinct entities, as well as yours?

Well, shoot.  For that matter, you could almost even replace it with the word "chocolate", except that the existence of chocolate isn't actually in doubt.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline velkyn

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #177 on: October 04, 2011, 12:40:07 PM »
perhaps we can worship a gallon of *chocolate* milk.  Much getter.  ;D
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Offline Whateverman

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #178 on: October 04, 2011, 03:02:59 PM »
You DO know that about 95% of the time, I'm not talking about God?

Yes, but theists do little more than rail against "atheists" on this blog about God, sin, Hell and salvation.  If they then complain they're being characterized by that 5% of their lives rather than the unspoken 95%, don't you think it's a bit silly?

I haven't followed your comments on this forum, YY.  I know you tend to spark a bit of controversy (though admittedly less than the typical drive-by fundamentalist), but maybe you're more reasonable than the average theist who posts here. 

Still, the face of modern theism on display here at WWGHA screams "My God or Hell!  Repent!" - and that's mostly your problem.  You can combat it by showing that other 95% more often...
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Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #179 on: October 04, 2011, 04:56:00 PM »
The "god" concept might have an effect...but loads of concepts have an effect

Racism
Justice
Me first
empathy

And so forth. I agree the CONCEPT of god exists, but it still is like the CONCEPT of the Volcano god in the mind of the gibbering tribal native...there isn't a difference.

If you like your life better that Santa Claus exists, is that a good argument for people to make shrines to Santa? To pass laws to make Cookies and Milk subsidized? To have wars with those who call him "Father Christmas?"

And then the concept of Santa Claus affects so many, wouldn't it be logical that Santa Claus exists?

No, it would not.

Yes, God is "conceptual", and thus, God goes by many names. Some call it God, Buddah, Jesus, Lord, Spirit, Universe, and on and on. And yes, it's similar to the Volcano God (like Pele in the Hawaiian culture), but I personally don't offer human sacrifices.

I don't make shrines and I don't think Santa would warrant a shrine. Santa has a particular place in the calender and makes his appearance for a day. It would be logical that Santa Claus exists in concept. It would be illogical to think there were a man with little elves that made toys and traveled around the world on December 25th giving toys to the good little boys and girls.


Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #180 on: October 04, 2011, 04:58:41 PM »
The "god" concept might have an effect...but loads of concepts have an effect

Racism
Justice
Me first
empathy


These concepts do effect us, but they are attitudes more than lifestyles. They have a different place in society, but they are equally as real as God.

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #181 on: October 04, 2011, 05:01:39 PM »
I can replace every instance of "god" in this post with "Krishna" or any other god.  Does this mean that those gods exist as distinct entities, as well as yours?

Yes. They are distinct and very different.

Stanford, Harvard, NYU, Georgetown, BYU, USC etc. are all Universities. They go by different names. They teach essentially the same thing but in VERY different ways. There are many paths to a college degree. No matter which University you go to, as long as you meet the requirements, you always get the same thing -- a degree.

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #182 on: October 04, 2011, 05:04:47 PM »
Well, shoot.  For that matter, you could almost even replace it with the word "chocolate", except that the existence of chocolate isn't actually in doubt. 

You can also replace it with water, sex, racism, TV, etc.  Each has its own unique placeholder and effect on a particular aspect of your life. The all encompassing, catch all term would be "God".

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #183 on: October 04, 2011, 05:07:36 PM »
Yes, but theists do little more than rail against "atheists" on this blog about God, sin, Hell and salvation.  If they then complain they're being characterized by that 5% of their lives rather than the unspoken 95%, don't you think it's a bit silly?

I haven't followed your comments on this forum, YY.  I know you tend to spark a bit of controversy (though admittedly less than the typical drive-by fundamentalist), but maybe you're more reasonable than the average theist who posts here. 

Still, the face of modern theism on display here at WWGHA screams "My God or Hell!  Repent!" - and that's mostly your problem.  You can combat it by showing that other 95% more often...

I totally hear you. I guess it's a component of this message board and the contents of the the discussions. I'll admit that I get pretty defensive and obtuse and am learning why people see some of my posts that way. It took a while (300+ posts) but believe me, some of my greatest understanding came from those that flogged me the hardest.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #184 on: October 04, 2011, 06:34:39 PM »
Well, shoot.  For that matter, you could almost even replace it with the word "chocolate", except that the existence of chocolate isn't actually in doubt. 

You can also replace it with water, sex, racism, TV, etc.  Each has its own unique placeholder and effect on a particular aspect of your life.

I think you may be starting to get it.

Quote
The all encompassing, catch all term would be "God".

(Oops.  Well, at least there was hope there for a moment...)

There are plenty of people who define huge portions of their lives, even the great majority of their lives, to things that don't "really" exist.  Have you ever been to a science fiction convention, for example?  Have you ever seen those people wearing fantastically beautiful and intricate costumes that they have spent hours and weeks and even months painstakingly creating by hand?  The people who pursue "Star Wars" so relentlessly that they can recite the entire films' scripts by heart and who know the name of the group that was playing in the cantina, as well as the title of the song they were playing?  The people who have even gone so far as to get married wearing Starfleet uniforms, having the ceremony officiated by a "starship captain"?  The people who will argue for hours on end about whether Xena and Gabrielle are lovers?  The people who spend months making travel plans, laying out fat wads of cash, enduring massive crowds and all kinds of other headaches, just so they can get a photograph like this one to hang on their walls?



Have you ever seen the films that fans make, sinking their hearts and souls (and, usually, more than a little time, money, and effort), to produce features like "Star Wars: Revelations"?

Your argument is that something that affects so many people so deeply, and that has such an overwhelming influence and guiding effect on their lives, must have an objective existence.  You couldn't be more wrong.  I've seen threads on discussion boards going on even longer than the infamous "did Jesus rise from the dead" thread here, discussing things that a lot of people would consider too trivial to even be aware of, let alone to debate about (e.g., whether Han shot first).  But not a single one of them believes that "Star Wars" is a documentary.

I don't doubt for a moment that your belief in God has a huge impact on you and many millions of other people as well.  But the effect of that belief on your lives has no pertinence to whether those beliefs are true.  That's a non sequitur.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #185 on: October 04, 2011, 07:07:49 PM »

Stanford, Harvard, NYU, Georgetown, BYU, USC etc. are all Universities. They go by different names. They teach essentially the same thing but in VERY different ways. There are many paths to a college degree. No matter which University you go to, as long as you meet the requirements, you always get the same thing -- a degree.

Buddhism has an attitude of studying by meditation. Its adherents actually seem to gain something in this life - which is what it's designed for. However, some forms of Buddhism is atheism. For those who practice Christianity by works and self sacrifice, it could be argued that the same could be achieved through another of the Indian religions, however, the Indians do not have a culture of philanthropy. Then there is the Christian who believes he has been saved, and his life does not change all that much from an atheist.

Christians have no way of telling whether another person is also a Christian, and their doctrine specifically allows death-bed hypocrisy.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #186 on: October 04, 2011, 07:27:04 PM »
Great photo pianodwarf! Should we start calling you Parrish???  JK  (Side note: I saw Tricia Helfer on a discussion panel and she was very insightful and of course, gorgeous)

I don't doubt for a moment that your belief in God has a huge impact on you and many millions of other people as well. But the effect of that belief on your lives has no pertinence to whether those beliefs are true.   That's a non sequitur.

Would you rephrase? I'm not quite getting what you're trying to say. I think the word I'm having trouble with is "true". Much appreciated.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #187 on: October 04, 2011, 08:20:19 PM »
Great photo pianodwarf!

It's hard to imagine a Victoria's Secret model ruining any photograph that she's in.  Even one where she's posing with me.  *chuckle*

Quote
(Side note: I saw Tricia Helfer on a discussion panel and she was very insightful and of course, gorgeous)

Ah, so you probably do know a bit about the subculture I'm referring to here.  Neat.  :-)  I could tell so many stories about seeing her that weekend.  In fact, I do.  Including how it did not at all make me feel self-conscious, much to my surprise, to hand her a copy of the "Playboy" that she posed in and ask her to autograph the cover.  "Oh, yeah, if you could just sign right there along your back, that would be fine.  Thanks."

Anyway, back to the subject...

I don't doubt for a moment that your belief in God has a huge impact on you and many millions of other people as well. But the effect of that belief on your lives has no pertinence to whether those beliefs are true.   That's a non sequitur.

Quote
Would you rephrase? I'm not quite getting what you're trying to say. I think the word I'm having trouble with is "true". Much appreciated.

What I was trying to get at was this: your claim here:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20149.msg447256.html#msg447256
is that, because so many people's lives (including your own) are so profoundly affected by belief in God, it must mean that God actually exists.  My point was that there are many people whose main purpose in life is found in pursuing studies in fields of interest that are, in fact, fictional, and are acknowledged by their enthusiasts to be fictional.  Some people's entire existence is dedicated to burying themselves into Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, and the like -- I am, largely, one such person, as you have no doubt deduced.  ;-)  However, even though I love all those shows, and the books, and having long discussions about what would happen in a battle between the Death Star and a Borg Cube... even though I am so passionate about science fiction that I've shelled out $500 to have a character named after me in an upcoming SF novel, it does not follow that just because I have those passions, the Death Star and Borg Cubes actually exist, or that the alien creatures that are going to kill "me" in the upcoming novel are real.  Similarly, your own overwhelming passion for Scripture, its tremendous impact on your own life, does not indicate that Yahweh actually exists, either.

And conversely, of course, to be fair, it does not indicate that those beliefs are false, either.  It is perfectly possible for people to feel their lives being driven by things that are actually true.  The point is simply that a person's passion for his beliefs -- or the number of people holding the same passions -- isn't relevant to the belief's truth or falsity.  (Some Christian apologists, in particular, like to argue that because the apostles were willing to die for their beliefs, their beliefs must have been true.  That does not follow; Jonestown, the Branch Davidians, and Heaven's Gate are but a few counterexamples.  For that matter, I and many other people strongly believe that the Scriptures are false, but that does not mean they are false).  It's basically just a form of the Democratic Fallacy.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline velkyn

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #188 on: October 05, 2011, 08:17:51 AM »
I can replace every instance of "god" in this post with "Krishna" or any other god.  Does this mean that those gods exist as distinct entities, as well as yours?

Yes. They are distinct and very different.

Stanford, Harvard, NYU, Georgetown, BYU, USC etc. are all Universities. They go by different names. They teach essentially the same thing but in VERY different ways. There are many paths to a college degree. No matter which University you go to, as long as you meet the requirements, you always get the same thing -- a degree.

So you claim all of the gods mentioned are real existential entities?   or do you mean that they are all concepts, evidently created by mankind and have no more impact than any other man-made concept, with no need of the supernatural at all? 
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #189 on: October 06, 2011, 07:22:26 AM »
The "god" concept might have an effect...but loads of concepts have an effect

Racism
Justice
Me first
empathy


These concepts do effect us, but they are attitudes more than lifestyles. They have a different place in society, but they are equally as real as God.

Which would mean they have no independent existence other than the culture that agrees on their meaning. Therefore "God" couldn't have created the universe, answer prayer, or judge people after they die. This would mean "God" is a meme...and nothing more


Are you saying God is just a meme or not...stop slipping around with the definition.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #190 on: October 06, 2011, 07:26:41 AM »

 Some people's entire existence is dedicated to burying themselves into Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, and the like -- I am, largely, one such person, as you have no doubt deduced.  ;-)  However, even though I love all those shows, and the books, and having long discussions about what would happen in a battle between the Death Star and a Borg Cube... even though I am so passionate about science fiction that I've shelled out $500 to have a character named after me in an upcoming SF novel, it does not follow that just because I have those passions, the Death Star and Borg Cubes actually exist, or that the alien creatures that are going to kill "me" in the upcoming novel are real.  Similarly, your own overwhelming passion for Scripture, its tremendous impact on your own life, does not indicate that Yahweh actually exists, either.


Wow, you manage to be a deeper geek than me. Ever notice it seems socially acceptable to be a "God geek" or a "Sports Geek" but anything else...not so much?
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #191 on: October 06, 2011, 04:34:11 PM »
It's hard to imagine a Victoria's Secret model ruining any photograph that she's in.  Even one where she's posing with me.  *chuckle*

What about Boomer? HOT! You know who else was really hot, but not portrayed that way? The other badass pilot Kat. She always had her hair tied up and looked very tom-boyish on the series. I met her at a party once (not BSG related) and she was so incredibly hot that I didn't recognize her. Check out her non BSG pix. Gorgeous!

# # # #
What I was trying to get at was this: your claim here:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20149.msg447256.html#msg447256
is that, because so many people's lives (including your own) are so profoundly affected by belief in God, it must mean that God actually exists.  My point was that there are many people whose main purpose in life is found in pursuing studies in fields of interest that are, in fact, fictional, and are acknowledged by their enthusiasts to be fictional. 

Right, so I don't believe that there was a man named Jesus who wandered the desert for 40 days and nights and survived on mana alone. Nor do I believe in Noah's ark, Moses parting the Red Sea, etc. etc. There's more evidence to point out that this did NOT happen. I do believe that the teachings of Jesus the Christ and other enlightened people add value by setting the example.

So yes, I know the people who attend the SciFi conventions don't think the movies, books, tv shows etc. are documentaries, but I DO think that even though things are written about in a fictional series, they can theoretically be true. Take for instance all of the Star Trek technology. Yes, Star Trek is fictional, but theoretically, a lot of the moving parts are documented quite well and could theoretically be true. Take for instance the entire blueprint of the Enterprise, transporters, transponders, communicators, the time line of the series etc. If someone had more detail, they might possibly be able to use the Star Trek books to build a working warp class engine.

In Star Wars, Yoda says a lot of things that are quite inspirational. Honestly, there could be a religion based on the sayings of Yoda. Why not? If the Flying Spaghetti Monster said those types of things, then maybe it would also have followers.

Quote from: yoda
“Do or do not... there is no try.”
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
“Size matters not, ... Look at me. Judge me by size, do you?”
“Luke: What's in there? Yoda: Only what you take with you.”
“Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is.”
“[Luke:] I can’t believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.”
“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”

So to tie this up, I believe all of these nuggest of insight are divinely inspired by God to help people live their lives to the fullest. As God is the source, Jesus, Yoda, the Flying Spaghetti Monster are the transmitters. It's like when you're listening to the radio, the songs don't come from the radio, but rather, they are transmitted from the station and your radio is the tool used to translate the radio waves into sound so that we humans can understand what's being said.

Why not just take God out of the equation? What purpose will that serve? Pretty limiting if you ask me. And for what reason? So I can claim to be "rational"?

I think the biggest reason as to why I (and others) believe in God is that we don't want to limit our potential to human understanding when it comes to allowing the good in our lives. If we try to "Box" God into what we humans know and understand, or what we can "prove", we'd be limiting God to a predetermined knowing of objective facts and measurements. If we take the lid off the box, it would be like allowing rather than encapsulating.

Some of our greatest discoveries and advances came out of going beyond the known guidelines for proper procedure. And again, I'm not talking about walking off of cliffs or driving into walls. All I'm saying is that IMHO, some of us are better served if we don't limit our understanding of the world we live in and go beyond what we're taught, what the books might say, what previous people have told us, what we see happening to everyone else. It's pretty refreshing to be able to continue on the path without limiting thoughts.

Offline Alzael

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #192 on: October 06, 2011, 06:20:21 PM »
Some of our greatest discoveries and advances came out of going beyond the known guidelines for proper procedure. And again, I'm not talking about walking off of cliffs or driving into walls. All I'm saying is that IMHO, some of us are better served if we don't limit our understanding of the world we live in and go beyond what we're taught, what the books might say, what previous people have told us, what we see happening to everyone else. It's pretty refreshing to be able to continue on the path without limiting thoughts.

Actually your thoughts are extremely limited. Because you've left yourself no means of actually knowing when your thoughts are right. Sure you can consider every single possibility, but you have no way of knowing the right possibility. So there's not much point in what you're thinking, is there? You've opened yourself up to so many possibilities that everything is possible and nothing can be proven, ever.

While it is true that some of our greatest advances come about by going beyond the guidelines, they don't come about by entirely redefining them. You still need some way to know fantasy from reality. That's why religion has never advanced anything.

You keep evading the question, but it needs to be answered. How can one (including you) differentiate your beliefs and your conclusions from the ramblings of a lunatic?

And if a person (including you) can't tell the difference (which seems to be the case) then what point is there to any of these thoughts that you have?
"I drank what?!"- Socrates

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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #193 on: October 06, 2011, 08:56:53 PM »
What about Boomer? HOT!

I don't know... Grace Park never really did all that much for me.  Not that I think she's the Elephant Man or anything, but there are others who just catch my eye so much more.  Katee Sackhoff, for example, she's quite beautiful.



(Who the hell is that loser who keeps showing up with all these women...?)

Quote
You know who else was really hot, but not portrayed that way? The other badass pilot Kat.

We're starting to see more and more of that these days.  Kat is one.  Benson from Stargate Universe is another one.  Even Weir from Atlantis, to a somewhat lesser extent.  (Tori is great company, by the way... very down to earth.  Remind me to tell you sometime about the evening that I spent hanging out having drinks with her and a few other fans.  Definitely filed in organic Flash RAM under "Times That Are Good".)

# # # #
Quote
Right, so I don't believe that there was a man named Jesus who wandered the desert for 40 days and nights and survived on mana alone. Nor do I believe in Noah's ark, Moses parting the Red Sea, etc. etc. There's more evidence to point out that this did NOT happen.

Yes, there is.

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So yes, I know the people who attend the SciFi conventions don't think the movies, books, tv shows etc. are documentaries, but I DO think that even though things are written about in a fictional series, they can theoretically be true. Take for instance all of the Star Trek technology. Yes, Star Trek is fictional, but theoretically, a lot of the moving parts are documented quite well and could theoretically be true. Take for instance the entire blueprint of the Enterprise, transporters, transponders, communicators, the time line of the series etc. If someone had more detail, they might possibly be able to use the Star Trek books to build a working warp class engine.

There are some things in those milieus that are theoretically possible, and others that aren't.  The Trek communicators, for example, definitely are -- in fact, we're not too far from that now.  Transponders as well.  Transporter technology is a bit of a stretch.  Warp engines are, as far as our current science can tell, impossible.  (Future discoveries may change that evaluation, of course... that's the way science works.)

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In Star Wars, Yoda says a lot of things that are quite inspirational. Honestly, there could be a religion based on the sayings of Yoda. Why not?

No reason at all.  In fact, a movement in the United Kingdom has sprung up in the past few years, exhorting people to identify themselves as "Jedi Knight" when completing the "religion" section of the census.

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If the Flying Spaghetti Monster said those types of things, then maybe it would also have followers.

Well, yes and no.  The FSM does have followers, but even at that... Pastafarians know that the FSM does not exist, and in fact, they self-identify as Pastafarians precisely because they do know that and are trying to make a point in so doing.

Quote from: yoda
{snip}

Yoda also said, "Once you start down the Dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."  Yet even Yoda, arguably the wisest and most powerful Jedi ever, was wrong about this.  What do you think about that?

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So to tie this up, I believe all of these nuggest of insight are divinely inspired by God to help people live their lives to the fullest. As God is the source, Jesus, Yoda, the Flying Spaghetti Monster are the transmitters. It's like when you're listening to the radio, the songs don't come from the radio, but rather, they are transmitted from the station and your radio is the tool used to translate the radio waves into sound so that we humans can understand what's being said.

OK, I understand that that's what you believe but do you have any reason to think that it's true?

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Why not just take God out of the equation? What purpose will that serve? Pretty limiting if you ask me.

It's not so much a question of taking Yahweh out of the equation.  Rather, it's a question of trying to figure out why Yahweh should be in the equation.  And if you don't even know why it should be in the equation in the first place, then having it in the equation, rather than taking it out of the equation, is what's limiting.

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And for what reason? So I can claim to be "rational"?

Not so you can claim to be rational.  So that you can actually be rational.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Ambivalent

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #194 on: October 07, 2011, 01:03:02 AM »
I prefer asking Christians which is more admirable;

A person who does "good" in the world out of fear from God, OR
A person who does "good" for humanity, without knowing/fearing a God

 ;D I have yet to meat an atheist or agnostic person who doesn't carry a desire to help the less fortunate! If life doesn't really have much "meaning" without a God, then simply make your own "meaning." It's not that hard. Hold a door opened for an elderly lady or a woman/man with small children. Grab a coffee for your co-worker. Volunteer somewhere.

Humans are social by nature, we're naturally meant to cooperate. Even if we hadn't evolved in such a way our intelligence and empathy provides us with the ability to work together for a 'great good'. (We all want to treat others and we'd like to be  treated!)

Too many people associate charitable organizations with Churches! This doesn't set a good example. We need to be the example without fear of God-like consequences. So I set about encouraging people through example: I may not believe in a Christian God but I'm still helpful and contributing.  ;D

Offline screwtape

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #195 on: October 07, 2011, 07:47:26 AM »
I have yet to meat an atheist or agnostic person

meet.  what you have written has other connotations.


Humans are social by nature, we're naturally meant to cooperate.

if by "meant" you mean "evolved", then yes.  To a point.

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Offline Ambivalent

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #196 on: October 07, 2011, 01:28:43 PM »
I have yet to meat an atheist or agnostic person

meet.  what you have written has other connotations.


Humans are social by nature, we're naturally meant to cooperate.

if by "meant" you mean "evolved", then yes.  To a point.

 I was tired when I had written that, I highly doubt it could have been thought to mean anything else. Unfortunately, I do not have the time or the desire to spell check to your perfection. Minor spelling errors shouldn't be your main concern. 

Offline Hatter23

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #197 on: October 07, 2011, 02:37:58 PM »
I have yet to meat an atheist or agnostic person

meet.  what you have written has other connotations.


Humans are social by nature, we're naturally meant to cooperate.

if by "meant" you mean "evolved", then yes.  To a point.

 I was tired when I had written that, I highly doubt it could have been thought to mean anything else.

Then you haven't talked to a lot of apologists who use that sort of terminology to slowly slip in ID....or accuse you of "Darwinism" in equivalism of ID. Yes, debating theists can be that tricky that they will engage you at a semantic level. I don't think Screwtape was scolding you, so much as telling you to get the elbows off the table before mom sees it, to use an analogy.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline screwtape

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #198 on: October 07, 2011, 03:29:22 PM »
Wah.  Screwtape's being pedantic again.

Maybe you should change your screen name to "Apathetic".  I have a couple others if you don't care for that one.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #199 on: October 07, 2011, 03:56:59 PM »
Screwtape,

I still disagree with your assessment even with the post in its entirety. This would have been easily avoided if you just started your response to curiousgirl with "I do not condone violence, but here's why I think it can be justified to some". As stated before, when you put your disclaimer several posts beyond your original statement, it can be taken by some (like myself) as incitement.

I'm sure you would have been just as capable of cutting out the clarification in order to manufacture outrage no matter where it was in the post.  It's well within your technical capabilities.
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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #200 on: October 10, 2011, 12:51:20 PM »
Actually your thoughts are extremely limited. Because you've left yourself no means of actually knowing when your thoughts are right. . . .

You keep evading the question, but it needs to be answered. How can one (including you) differentiate your beliefs and your conclusions from the ramblings of a lunatic?

And if a person (including you) can't tell the difference (which seems to be the case) then what point is there to any of these thoughts that you have?

Here's the thing. I get the best of both worlds. I get to use science and data and proof when necessary, but I can also go beyond those means of verification to come to conclusions about subjects beyond their comprehension. The unexplained is just something science hasn't found an answer to yet. But, unlike the atheist, I don't dismiss the notion entirely. Rather, I open my mind to possibility, accept, and incorporate into my life.

You may call this lunacy, but it's only lunacy when your life is negatively affected by such thinking.

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #201 on: October 10, 2011, 01:08:03 PM »
OK, I understand that that's what you believe but do you have any reason to think that it's true?

Ahhh, good question. This is where I use my limited logic to determine that a certain story makes sense. The story of source energy expanding into physical form makes more sense to me than something coming from nothing and randomly forming into what we see today. Either story is just as "true" because neither can be proven or disproven. Again, here comes my limited logic . . .

Random occurances are "possible" that is true. But to really fathom the reality of "random possibility", let's take this example.

It's been said that you could get a room full of monkeys typing for a million years (or more) and eventually, they'll hammer out "War and Peace". Has anyone really run the numbers on that? In fact, I posit that it would take trillions of years for that to occur if a room full of monkeys were hammering away at a keyboard.

Proof: There is a mathematical equation that gives the exact probability of shuffling a deck of 52 playing cards, in random order, so that they come out as a perfectly arranged deck of cards in order from Ace to King of every suit. This mathematical equation then goes on to calculate the number of times a deck of cards has been shuffled from the advent of the 52 card deck.  This theory goes on to state that NEVER in the history of our existence has a random deck of cards been shuffled so that they arranged themselves into perfect order. The theory also points out that it would take MILLIONS of years more to have this unlikely even occur.

Now, take the infinate varibles of getting letters and spaces to randomly line up to write the novel "War and Peace" much less, a 10 page pamphlet?

Now, extrapolate this into the Universe as we know it and take into account the supposed age. Does it seem logical that our Universe is a random event?



Not so you can claim to be rational.  So that you can actually be rational.

I repeat, I get the best of both worlds. I get to use science and data and proof when necessary, but I can also go beyond those means of verification to come to conclusions about subjects beyond their comprehension. The unexplained is just something science hasn't found an answer to yet. But, unlike the atheist, I don't dismiss the notion entirely. Rather, I open my mind to possibility, accept, and incorporate into my life.

Offline screwtape

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #202 on: October 10, 2011, 01:17:08 PM »
... but I can also go beyond those means of verification to come to conclusions about subjects beyond their comprehension.

Ooo.  You're beyond normal rational thinking.  Normally that is considered to be a character flaw or arrogant or just plain stupid.  But you have elevated it to a virtue.  You are like some kind of super hero.  Without any need for such pedestrian notions as verification, you weild the limitless power to come to conclusions about topics the rest of us mere mortals find incomprehensible!  Our hero!   


The unexplained is just something science hasn't found an answer to yet. But, unlike the atheist, I don't dismiss the notion entirely. Rather, I open my mind to possibility, accept, and incorporate into my life. 

Ah, that must be it.  Atheists are just too closed minded.  Free thinkers and rebels like you, Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, the Pope - you guys have it all figured out because you don't dimsiss ridiculous ideas.

You may call this lunacy, but it's only lunacy when your life is negatively affected by such thinking.

Actually, I call it arrogant stupidity.  Key question:  Do crazy people know their craziness is detracting from their lives?

If you're a fan of the show Hoarders, you'd know the answer is usually "no".  They think everyone else has the problem.  That is how come people have to be committed to mental health facilities.  They don't normally stroll in on their own.

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