Author Topic: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?  (Read 7284 times)

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Online Azdgari

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #116 on: December 24, 2011, 09:56:48 AM »
By "vacant" I meant that it has just as little content with respect to offering an explanation.  "Everything is woo" does not imply anything specific about reality.  It leads, on its own, to no conclusions.  Similarly, "God did it" offers no information about what to expect, which is something an explanation would have to do in order to be an explanation.

"God did it" could "explain" why the universe doesn't exist.  Or why it does.  Or why it's 100% inhospitable to life.  Or why it isn't.  Because "God did it" offers no information that would explain the likelihood of one outcome being preferred over another.  It is a vacant place-holder.  And that's assuming that the god exists in the first place.
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Offline monkeymind

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #117 on: December 24, 2011, 10:02:06 AM »

Yes, I knew that about the friar. Since Azdgari covered my thots rather well. I'll go back to my coffee.

i've got jack daniels in mine.

merry christmas

Thanx. Merry Xmas to you also.

I'll back out of this thread while I'm behind. I feel like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. Oh WWGHA?
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Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

Offline jetson

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #118 on: December 24, 2011, 10:02:25 AM »

so far the alternatives seem more dubious to me.

Which means you are willfully rejecting reality, and you obviously hate science.   ;D

Offline jetson

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #119 on: December 24, 2011, 10:05:30 AM »

"Everything is woo" and "God did it" are equally vacant statements.

for that to be true, the statement that "god did it" would have to be logically dis-proveable, which is the old problem of establishing the truth or falsity of a negative statement.

"vacancy" is a criteria based in the eyes of a beholder, and rests on assumptions that aren't listed, at least here. if one denies the truth of the theistic assumptions, then "god did it" is certainly an empty statement, but i haven't seen that demonstrated yet, and to do so requires an exhaustive search of an infinite amount of evidence, doesn't it?

scientific parsimony is not a test of truth, it's merely a shorthand method of determining which of several competing hypotheses can be most economically applied to solving  a problem. as soon as additional conflicting evidence is presented, any hypothesis based purely on parsimony should be immediately set aside in favor of a new one.

that cannot be done with a statement believed to be true, else "truth" has only conditional meaning.

is truth conditional?

My bold.  Tell me why no one cares about Zeus, even though he has never been logically disproven?  Gods were posited by humans prior to humans rejecting those assertions.  IT doesn't work the other way, at all.  Otherwise, we would have to spend eternity disproving anything that anyone ever claims.  God assertions are absurd - read my signature.

Offline kin hell

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #120 on: December 24, 2011, 10:35:52 AM »

"Everything is woo" and "God did it" are equally vacant statements.

for that to be true, the statement that "god did it" would have to be logically dis-proveable, which is the old problem of establishing the truth or falsity of a negative statement.
further to jetson's below, it you use this reasoning to (by default) infer a validity to the idea that your god exists, then all/any posited gods exist.

Quote
"vacancy" is a criteria based in the eyes of a beholder, and rests on assumptions that aren't listed, at least here. if one denies the truth of the theistic assumptions, then "god did it" is certainly an empty statement,
my bold

Firstly there is no integral and perceivable "truth" to the theistic assumption, there is only theistic assumption. And yes "god did it" is an empty statement from all theistic variations past and present, until the assumption can be validated with verifiable proof. (ignoring completely the last refuge that "god did it"is so often used as)

Faith and belief are not proof, they are distortions in ones ability to pursue rational inquiry/perceive rational truths.
Faith and belief do not provide truths, nor are they necessarily based on truths, else all past defunct gods were real.
Faith is the worst tool to be seeking a truth with, as you have decided upon the answer before you even begin to construct a question, and in fact questions are discouraged.
And this is inevitable and unavoidable.
And faith as a tool of inquiry only works for the one construct that cannot ever be proven, belief that there is a god.
Have faith there is a god, and you'll believe there is a god. If you want to know god, have faith.

Not one other tool  that we can wield will show evidence there is a god.
So faith is the creator of false positives.
Faith creates gods, not the other way around.
Theistic assumptions create untruths, it needs to to maintain god invention.

Rational inquiry destroys gods.

Have you even one reason why rational enquiry cannot find any evidence of any god, that doesn't rely on the historically inconsistent excuse that god wishes to not be seen?



« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 10:38:15 AM by kin hell »
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Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #121 on: December 24, 2011, 10:45:18 AM »

"Everything is woo" and "God did it" are equally vacant statements.

for that to be true, the statement that "god did it" would have to be logically dis-proveable, which is the old problem of establishing the truth or falsity of a negative statement.
further to jetson's below, it you use this reasoning to (by default) infer a validity to the idea that your god exists, then all/any posited gods exist.

Quote
"vacancy" is a criteria based in the eyes of a beholder, and rests on assumptions that aren't listed, at least here. if one denies the truth of the theistic assumptions, then "god did it" is certainly an empty statement,
my bold

Firstly there is no integral and perceivable "truth" to the theistic assumption, there is only theistic assumption. And yes "god did it" is an empty statement from all theistic variations past and present, until the assumption can be validated with verifiable proof. (ignoring completely the last refuge that "god did it"is so often used as)

Faith and belief are not proof, they are distortions in ones ability to pursue rational inquiry/perceive rational truths.
Faith and belief do not provide truths, nor are they necessarily based on truths, else all past defunct gods were real.
Faith is the worst tool to be seeking a truth with, as you have decided upon the answer before you even begin to construct a question, and in fact questions are discouraged.
And this is inevitable and unavoidable.
And faith as a tool of inquiry only works for the one construct that cannot ever be proven, belief that there is a god.
Have faith there is a god, and you'll believe there is a god. If you want to know god, have faith.

Not one other tool  that we can wield will show evidence there is a god.
So faith is the creator of false positives.
Faith creates gods, not the other way around.
Theistic assumptions create untruths, it needs to to maintain god invention.

Rational inquiry destroys gods.

Have you even one reason why rational enquiry cannot find any evidence of any god, that doesn't rely on the historically inconsistent excuse that god wishes to not be seen?
God is not discoverable or demonstrable by purely scientific means, unfortunately for the scientifically minded. But that really proves nothing. It simply means that the wrong instruments are being used for the job. - J.B. Phillips

Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Online Azdgari

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #122 on: December 24, 2011, 10:47:37 AM »
If the wrong instruments for believing in something are sense, reason, and intellect, then perhaps it's the belief, rather than the instruments, that is at fault.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 10:49:27 AM by Azdgari »
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Offline jetson

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #123 on: December 24, 2011, 10:49:36 AM »
Many theists don't want truth, they want their god and their after life.  And they want to believe that Jesus loves them, and cares deeply about them for their after life, life.

The only problem with these "wants", is that they are completely void of any connection to what is real, and what we are ultimately going to face.  Death.

I thought about death early this morning.  It popped into my head that I have 25 years left, assuming average age of males.  I have a nagging sore shoulder, been hurting for two years.  Been to the doctor, been through PT, and was wondering if this was the fate of my shoulder?  Am I to live out my last 25 years with this pain?

Mortality.  I'm glad I'm not a deluded believer.

Offline jetson

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #124 on: December 24, 2011, 10:54:53 AM »
Riley, I know you are quoting someone else, but think about the quote.  Tell me, in your personal opinion, why gods were invented in the first place?  Do you believe there was once a single human, who actually, and quite literally talked to a god?  And do you believe that we all came from that human, after god created a female?

I mean, I have never heard an even remotely credible god story from any point in human story telling.  Every single one of them sounds like it was made up by very ignorant, and probably fearful humans.  What would a credible god story even sound like?

Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #125 on: December 24, 2011, 11:12:47 AM »
Riley, I know you are quoting someone else, but think about the quote.  Tell me, in your personal opinion, why gods were invented in the first place?  Do you believe there was once a single human, who actually, and quite literally talked to a god?  And do you believe that we all came from that human, after god created a female?

I mean, I have never heard an even remotely credible god story from any point in human story telling.  Every single one of them sounds like it was made up by very ignorant, and probably fearful humans.  What would a credible god story even sound like?
You know, Those very thoughts have been going on in my mind for a few weeks. I don't believe God was invented, I believe God invented us. Do I believe that once there was one human , yea I do , did he talk to God like two people talking to one another? Hell I don't know , and neither do you. As for a credible story about the way it all began. Well, Once upon a time,  :laugh: just joking. Look , it was so long ago that there is really no way that anyone can know how it began. All I know for sure is that it did begin. I don't believe, we all just got here because of chance. Do you? Really? Not saying you believe in the bible God , but don't you think it is possible that some power of intelligence created it all. As for all of the stores being told about this God or that God. You know that at any auto crash , you can ask 4 different people what happen and you are more than likely going to get 4 different answers. How many different stores do you think you are to get after a few centuries? Then there is always this way to think of it . What if all religions were inaccurate to varying degrees and it was deliberate to create individuality!
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #126 on: December 24, 2011, 11:15:53 AM »

so far the alternatives seem more dubious to me.

Which means you are willfully rejecting reality, and you obviously hate science.   ;D

sure i do, jet. that's why i spent years in graduate school with two hard science master's degrees, one in mammalian population ecology, and the other in invertebrate paleontology of silurian metacope ostracodes.

Offline kin hell

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #127 on: December 24, 2011, 11:17:38 AM »
God is not discoverable or demonstrable by purely scientific means, unfortunately for the scientifically minded. But that really proves nothing. It simply means that the wrong instruments are being used for the job. - J.B. Phillips
my bold

Why?
Why would a god not give evidence?

If god spoke in person to our ancestors, his evidence, one assumes, would be pretty damn overwhelming.

So what has changed?

"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Online Azdgari

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #128 on: December 24, 2011, 11:19:03 AM »
sure i do, jet. that's why i spent years in graduate school with two hard science master's degrees, one in mammalian population ecology, and the other in invertebrate paleontology of silurian metacope ostracodes.

Pfft.  You think you acquired knowledge on those subjects, but you were using the wrong instrument:  Science.

(see, Riley?  "Science is the wrong instrument" can be direct at anything!)
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Offline kin hell

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #129 on: December 24, 2011, 11:22:33 AM »

so far the alternatives seem more dubious to me.

Which means you are willfully rejecting reality, and you obviously hate science.   ;D

sure i do, jet. that's why i spent years in graduate school with two hard science master's degrees, one in mammalian population ecology, and the other in invertebrate paleontology of silurian metacope ostracodes.

OK    that is impressive, and obviously shows a capable and inquiring mind, then perhaps you might explain what brought you to "faith".

What have you seen or heard thought or felt that empowers faith in you?

I'm asking a serious question out of interest.




"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

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Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #130 on: December 24, 2011, 11:27:02 AM »
God is not discoverable or demonstrable by purely scientific means, unfortunately for the scientifically minded. But that really proves nothing. It simply means that the wrong instruments are being used for the job. - J.B. Phillips
my bold

Why?
Why would a god not give evidence?

If god spoke in person to our ancestors, his evidence, one assumes, would be pretty damn overwhelming.

So what has changed?
Why? How would I know? Do you realize you are asking me to try and explain the working mind of a God you don't believe in. I will tell you this. I wish I did know, I wish I did know if God did speak in person to our ancestors. I see the evidence of God most every place I look. What is that old saying, A Christian looks at the Grand Canyon and sees the wonder of God. An atheist looks at the same Canyon and sees a big hole in the ground. I don't really know how an atheist sees things, it is just a saying. More than likely a Christian saying , you know how them Christian are. ;)
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Offline kin hell

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #131 on: December 24, 2011, 11:41:23 AM »
>snip< I see the evidence of God most every place I look. What is that old saying, A Christian looks at the Grand Canyon and sees the wonder of God. An atheist looks at the same Canyon and sees a big hole in the ground. I don't really know how an atheist sees things, it is just a saying. More than likely a Christian saying , you know how them Christian are. ;)

I see exactly what you see, I can feel awe exactly as you, but I don't dilute, diffuse or distort it through the filter of "feelings" that appear to be the true basis of belief in a supernatural.

For me, that hole in the ground, how it looks today, and what it means in terms of rock of ages is (I imagine having never witnessed it irl) a fulltilt sensory and intellectual assault that I would love.

It is the "overwhelming" things of the planet, that most obviously (to me at least) are cause of god invention in the first place.

The hole was not in the ground, it was in our earliest knowledge and comprehension, and it was filled with our astonishingly imagined construct ...gods.



« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 11:43:05 AM by kin hell »
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #132 on: December 24, 2011, 11:53:02 AM »
>snip< I see the evidence of God most every place I look. What is that old saying, A Christian looks at the Grand Canyon and sees the wonder of God. An atheist looks at the same Canyon and sees a big hole in the ground. I don't really know how an atheist sees things, it is just a saying. More than likely a Christian saying , you know how them Christian are. ;)

I see exactly what you see, I can feel awe exactly as you, but I don't dilute, diffuse or distort it through the filter of "feelings" that appear to be the true basis of belief in a supernatural.

For me, that hole in the ground, how it looks today, and what it means in terms of rock of ages is (I imagine having never witnessed it irl) a fulltilt sensory and intellectual assault that I would love.

It is the "overwhelming" things of the planet, that most obviously (to me at least) are cause of god invention in the first place.

The hole was not in the ground, it was in our earliest knowledge and comprehension, and it was filled with our astonishingly imagined construct ...gods.
You are right about the feelings and they do appear to be the reason of belief. But those feeling are so strong. They are overwhelming in them selves. Anyway, got to go and do that last min Christmax shopping for Angela. I alway put it off till the last min and then swear it will be different next year.  :laugh:
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Offline jetson

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #133 on: December 24, 2011, 12:15:43 PM »

so far the alternatives seem more dubious to me.

Which means you are willfully rejecting reality, and you obviously hate science.   ;D

sure i do, jet. that's why i spent years in graduate school with two hard science master's degrees, one in mammalian population ecology, and the other in invertebrate paleontology of silurian metacope ostracodes.

I'm sure you noticed my smiley, indicating I was not serious?  Your reply did not have one, so I assume you missed my sarcasm?  The point I was making, is that atheists are almost always accused of this same thing, but towards god and faith.

To be sure, many theists are very serious with this accusation towards atheists.  And it in fact makes me angry.  It's one of the most disingenuous replies, or thoughts about why atheists reject gods and faith.  The truth is much more accurate - a complete lack of anything even remotely suggesting that any god has ever been real, or necessary to explain anything. 

Ancient humans had no science, so they naturally leaned towards explanations that satisfied them enough.  But I would be willing to bet that among those who were given god explanations, even the earliest ones, were skeptics.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 12:17:18 PM by jetson »

Offline jetson

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #134 on: December 24, 2011, 12:28:57 PM »
You know, Those very thoughts have been going on in my mind for a few weeks. I don't believe God was invented, I believe God invented us. Do I believe that once there was one human , yea I do , did he talk to God like two people talking to one another? Hell I don't know , and neither do you. As for a credible story about the way it all began. Well, Once upon a time,  :laugh: just joking. Look , it was so long ago that there is really no way that anyone can know how it began. All I know for sure is that it did begin. I don't believe, we all just got here because of chance. Do you? Really? Not saying you believe in the bible God , but don't you think it is possible that some power of intelligence created it all. As for all of the stores being told about this God or that God. You know that at any auto crash , you can ask 4 different people what happen and you are more than likely going to get 4 different answers. How many different stores do you think you are to get after a few centuries? Then there is always this way to think of it . What if all religions were inaccurate to varying degrees and it was deliberate to create individuality!

Riley...why are you always appealing to the unknown as though it should be given credibility?  Especially that which originated from extremely ignorant humans?  Saying that I "don't know either" is ignoring what I have said, and giving credence to things that have NEVER been shown to have even the slightest amount of facts or evidence to support them.

Do you know how many things we thought were true that have long been forgotten because they turned out to be more than wrong, but patently ridiculous?  Yet here you are, continuously appealing to something that you claim could actually be true, simply because what - it cant be disproven?

As humans, in these far more modern times and using science, it is truly time to stop dragging mythology around as though it still has a possibility of being correct.  It doesn't.  It's been literally thousands upon thousands of years of dragging this nonsense into modern culture, and watching it hopelessly clash with demonstrable reality, so much so that it is beyond my imagination as to how anyone can let it continue to dominate their mind as anything more than pure fairy tale and fiction.

Our world, and what we have learned in a very short time, on an incredibly steep curve of new knowledge, looks exactly like it would if there was no Bible, no religion, no creation stories, etc., etc.  And even though we still don't have all of the answers, there is still no reason at all to consider any of the mythology as credible, or worthy of consideration.

Offline JeffPT

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #135 on: December 24, 2011, 01:14:22 PM »
i wonder whether i'm wrong all the time, jeff.

In every other area of your life, I'm sure you do. 

so far the alternatives seem more dubious to me.

I disagree.  And when you have 2 people who have different opinions about a subject either one or both of them are surely wrong about, what process can we call upon to see what the truth is? 

Let me ask you this... Is there anything in your life that you believe happens completely without the intervention of any type of deity?  I mean, you drive a truck, right?  Do you believe your truck operates on god power, or do you think it operates via the internal combustion engine?  Since you seem like a smart person, I am going to jump the gun and say that you believe your truck operates via the internal combustion engine.  Why is this an important question to answer?  Because if I can point to at least one action, activity or circumstance that we both agree operates completely without the intervention of a deity, then we are BOTH forced to admit the possibility that ALL actions, activities and circumstances could operate completely without the intervention of a deity.  I'm not saying fore sure that they DO operate without the intervention of a deity, but that it is at least POSSIBLE that everything happens without a deistic intervention of some kind. 

And when you look at the rest of the universe, is there anything that happens that we know of that could not possibly occur without the intervention of a deity?  In order to know that information, we would have to know everything.  But since we do NOT know everything, we are forced to look only at what we DO know.  And when you examine everything we DO know, everything... without a single exception... happens without needing to invoke the supernatural. 

Now you will probably take all that information and say... "well, just because everything we currently know happens without a deity, that doesn't mean it's not there."  And I am forced to agree with you.  But until something comes along that requires an alternate explanation that only a supernatural entity could account for, why even postulate it in the first place?  Its just a completely unnecessary postulate. 

Now, can you point to anything in the entire universe... any action, activity or circumstance that actually occurs in our universe that could not possibly operate WITHOUT the intervention of some sort of deity?   I can't think of any. 

Please do not respond to this one until you have taken the time to respond to my previous post.  This one only took a few minutes, but I spent a good amount of time on the previous one getting the wording the way I wanted it to be, and I want to hear your thoughts. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #136 on: December 24, 2011, 03:06:29 PM »
You know, Those very thoughts have been going on in my mind for a few weeks. I don't believe God was invented, I believe God invented us. Do I believe that once there was one human , yea I do , did he talk to God like two people talking to one another? Hell I don't know , and neither do you. As for a credible story about the way it all began. Well, Once upon a time,  :laugh: just joking. Look , it was so long ago that there is really no way that anyone can know how it began. All I know for sure is that it did begin. I don't believe, we all just got here because of chance. Do you? Really? Not saying you believe in the bible God , but don't you think it is possible that some power of intelligence created it all. As for all of the stores being told about this God or that God. You know that at any auto crash , you can ask 4 different people what happen and you are more than likely going to get 4 different answers. How many different stores do you think you are to get after a few centuries? Then there is always this way to think of it . What if all religions were inaccurate to varying degrees and it was deliberate to create individuality!

Riley...why are you always appealing to the unknown as though it should be given credibility?  Especially that which originated from extremely ignorant humans?  Saying that I "don't know either" is ignoring what I have said, and giving credence to things that have NEVER been shown to have even the slightest amount of facts or evidence to support them.
I guess I am just that guy that keeps chasing that rainbow. And I really can not believe that you think even for a minute that I have ignored anything that I have been shown here, by you or anyone else. I have even gave a great deal of thought to the post of Brakeman , and i still think he is just pissed at the world. When I first got to this forum ( and that was not that long ago) I had no doubts at all about my beliefs, my God , or the Bible. Now I do have doubts about most of it. So don't think I have ignored any of you.

Quote
Do you know how many things we thought were true that have long been forgotten because they turned out to be more than wrong, but patently ridiculous?  Yet here you are, continuously appealing to something that you claim could actually be true, simply because what - it cant be disproven?
Yea , I have some ideal , things like the pyramids that we still can only guess about how they built them with what we think they had to work with. We don't understand for sure how they did it. And I don't understand how a God that does not exist, still is being debated today. There has got to be something to it.
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As humans, in these far more modern times and using science, it is truly time to stop dragging mythology around as though it still has a possibility of being correct.  It doesn't.  It's been literally thousands upon thousands of years of dragging this nonsense into modern culture, and watching it hopelessly clash with demonstrable reality, so much so that it is beyond my imagination as to how anyone can let it continue to dominate their mind as anything more than pure fairy tale and fiction.
And I can not imagine how anyone would think that knowledge that is not understood or has been forgotten is consider useless  just because we have forgotten.
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Our world, and what we have learned in a very short time, on an incredibly steep curve of new knowledge, looks exactly like it would if there was no Bible, no religion, no creation stories, etc., etc.  And even though we still don't have all of the answers, there is still no reason at all to consider any of the mythology as credible, or worthy of consideration.
[/quote]Sadly, it's not that simple, atheists and skeptics would do well to remember that we are all capable of holding irrational beliefs and that there are myriad social, economic, cultural and educational factors that determine what and how people think. Heck, I'll go out on a limb and suggest there might even be genetic factors involved in determining the extent to which people may or may not be susceptible to holding religious beliefs. That is why I do ask so many questions. I think I will keep asking. If God is truth , then no matter how many questions I ask , at the end of it all God will be there. If not, then He was never true to Begin with. That is my quest and I must know. I only wished I knew why it was so important to me. Because other than that I am a normal guy , getting married , raising kids, trying to meet the mortgage. But the idea of God seems to burn in my mind. Oh well, it will be what it will be.

Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Offline Traveler

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #137 on: December 24, 2011, 03:10:59 PM »
... don't you think it is possible that some power of intelligence created it all...

No. The idea that the world is too complex to come into being by small stages, but that an even more complex, indeed, perfect being created us instead??? I'm sorry, but that's absurd. By that logic, the even more complex being would need a creator, which would need a creator, on into infinity.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #138 on: December 24, 2011, 03:32:12 PM »
... don't you think it is possible that some power of intelligence created it all...

No. The idea that the world is too complex to come into being by small stages, but that an even more complex, indeed, perfect being created us instead??? I'm sorry, but that's absurd. By that logic, the even more complex being would need a creator, which would need a creator, on into infinity.
Yea it would seem to go that way , but then again, I am still a believer in that first cause thing. And even if we had to go into explaining what created the creator. It does not work that way even in science, we would need to explain and have some understanding of the creator in question before we could start looking for the creator of the creator. It is unreasonable to look for scientific evidence of God's existence. Whether there is or is not a creator who subsists completely outside of the universe cannot be proven or disproven by any means, scientifically or otherwise. So what makes me believe? So what if one man among thousands crucified by the Romans millennia ago was sent by God? What followed after his real historical death and burial  is the tipping point of trust for me, an event that is hardly describable, directly witnessed by no one and yet has changed the course of human history. An event that declares human life, yours and mine, is worth living because it is always more than we can know. I think everyone has that intuition sometime in life, even if they end up dismissing it as impossible. But then again, I have been wrong before.



Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Offline rickymooston

Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #139 on: December 24, 2011, 03:55:32 PM »
Any questions, really. I've never seen a theist answer a question without using fallacies.

You've not looked very hard then.  :police:

I've seen a large number of theists, answer non-religious questions, without using logical fallacies.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline jetson

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #140 on: December 24, 2011, 05:22:14 PM »
Riley - indeed, you are an interesting forum member who has shown a decent amount of humility on these topics - for a self labeled theist! 

I did not intend to say that you have ignored everything said here, because clearly you have not.  I was only referring to my own specific reply, and attempting to dig deeper into your personal views, and question them a bit more.

And you know, it is true that theism versus atheism does not decide alone, the rationality of people's thinking.  So in this case, I generally refer only to the belief in higher powers, gods, supernatural, and anything else that amounts to nothing more than wishful thinking, draped in appeals to emotion, and the human need to have answers that are not so cold and hard to swallow - like our existence, and ultimate death.

Perhaps you are genetically inclined to believe in these things, and I am not?  I have actually asked my theist friends this very same question.  If I am a normal human being in every way, with the exception of thinking that gods are real, or even likely to be real, then what exactly causes me to reject these ideas?  Personally, I think most atheists have given the matter some thought, which is how they arrived at their conclusion.  There's just no reason at all to think otherwise.

This is the key to atheism, in my opinion.  Of the billions of "apologists" for each of the thousands upon thousands of gods, over the human existence on this tiny planet, there has yet to be anything beyond pure, unadulterated faith, that there is a god.  Well, faith is not good enough for people like me.  It's just not.  And neither are the current mysteries of the universe, and neither are any of the wonders of the world, or the amazing fact that we are even here in the first place.  None of those ideas make me think "there must be a god!"

And perhaps, to you, that is all you need?  Just enough doubt that it could all be purely natural, seemingly random, and utterly impossible to believe without the involvement of a higher power.  And voila, there must be a god!  Of course, if that were the case for you, then you should jump straight to being a deist, and abandon the idea of Bible God!  There is simply no way anyone can connect the petty behavior, and attention to the most mundane details of the human animal, and how it should live (like make sure you don;t poop in the camp site before a battle), to the mind-boggling size of the just this universe, and all of it's 100 billion plus galaxies, each with billions of stars, and each of those stars with potentially life inhabiting planets.  There's just no way.

Keep thinking Riley, it will never cause you any harm!

Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #141 on: December 24, 2011, 05:42:19 PM »
Riley - indeed, you are an interesting forum member who has shown a decent amount of humility on these topics - for a self labeled theist! 

I did not intend to say that you have ignored everything said here, because clearly you have not.  I was only referring to my own specific reply, and attempting to dig deeper into your personal views, and question them a bit more.

And you know, it is true that theism versus atheism does not decide alone, the rationality of people's thinking.  So in this case, I generally refer only to the belief in higher powers, gods, supernatural, and anything else that amounts to nothing more than wishful thinking, draped in appeals to emotion, and the human need to have answers that are not so cold and hard to swallow - like our existence, and ultimate death.

Perhaps you are genetically inclined to believe in these things, and I am not?  I have actually asked my theist friends this very same question.  If I am a normal human being in every way, with the exception of thinking that gods are real, or even likely to be real, then what exactly causes me to reject these ideas?  Personally, I think most atheists have given the matter some thought, which is how they arrived at their conclusion.  There's just no reason at all to think otherwise.

This is the key to atheism, in my opinion.  Of the billions of "apologists" for each of the thousands upon thousands of gods, over the human existence on this tiny planet, there has yet to be anything beyond pure, unadulterated faith, that there is a god.  Well, faith is not good enough for people like me.  It's just not.  And neither are the current mysteries of the universe, and neither are any of the wonders of the world, or the amazing fact that we are even here in the first place.  None of those ideas make me think "there must be a god!"

And perhaps, to you, that is all you need?  Just enough doubt that it could all be purely natural, seemingly random, and utterly impossible to believe without the involvement of a higher power.  And voila, there must be a god!  Of course, if that were the case for you, then you should jump straight to being a deist, and abandon the idea of Bible God!  There is simply no way anyone can connect the petty behavior, and attention to the most mundane details of the human animal, and how it should live (like make sure you don;t poop in the camp site before a battle), to the mind-boggling size of the just this universe, and all of it's 100 billion plus galaxies, each with billions of stars, and each of those stars with potentially life inhabiting planets.  There's just no way.

Keep thinking Riley, it will never cause you any harm!
I will , And it is people like you that keep me thinking , I am glad that there are people that need more than faith to make sure the world truly thinks about what it believes. Because , most of the people that i know believe, has given it a lot of thought. We have just come to different conclusion than you have. But I will say , I have seen some unthinking theist on this site. :laugh:
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Offline monkeymind

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #142 on: December 24, 2011, 06:18:29 PM »
Hi Riley,

Since you have shown a genuine desire to understand the atheist, I would like to share with you my personal stance. Understand that it is my thinking and any resemblance to other atheists on this forum is purely coincidental.

When it comes to faith, I don't have even a  mustard seed's worth.  I just don't have any. Nada, zip, zero. Nope, none. No faith here. Sorry, fresh out. I used to have faith. I had a whole passel of it  along with magic and superstition. I had faith, and myth and magic and superstition, and superdupernatural, super Jesus juice.

When I was very young, I used to have a pillow. A very special pillow. One that I used to cover my face. I covered my face so you couldn't see me sucking my thumb. No one ever knew.

At night, when scared (as everyone knows) when you close your eyes real tight and hold your breath for a count of ten...instant invisibility! It is impossible for the booger man to see you when you do this.  And I am living proof that this works.

If you pick up a piece of food within 3 counts of dropping it, no germs. Gauranteed safe to eat. Because I'm quick, I have never been sickened by eating food that I have dropped. 

Throwing a dash of salt over your left shoulder gives you good luck, but walking under a ladder guarantees you bad luck.

Be a good Christian.  When you die, you'll go to heaven, get an incorruptible body and walk  on streets paved with gold.

What's the harm in believing these things, if it helps me live a happier life?

Because they are not true! They are stories to help us cope with the harshness of reality. A way of dealing with life's hard, sharp edges. They are tricks used to manipulate and control  behavior. They are myths used to explain things we do not understand, and to make us feel safe. They are lies and a lot of fluff to fill the gaps in our knowledge. Why believe in fairy tails? Anything believed that is not true, devaluates the truth.

There was a time in the past when magic and supernatural forces filled in the gaps in our knowledge. The gap, what we don't know, has shrunken considerably since the days of dragons and things falling off the edge of the earth.

What experience has shown us, is that there are natural explanations for everything, but there is no empirical evidence what-so-ever, for anything supernatural.

A little logic and reason and critical thought and...scientific investigation...and one by one the old false beliefs have fallen away to be replaced with facts and reason and evidence for why things are the way they really are.

We were small and gullible once, but we quickly learned that there is no tooth fairy. We figured out all too soon (or knew all along) that Easter bunnies  don't lay chocolate eggs and Santa Clause doesn't deliver presents on Christmas. But what we failed to learn, was that it is no longer necessary to make believe, once we are able to observe and reason and understand.

Kissing an owie, that really does help, but no, there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and I’ll bet there are no golden streets  to walk on in heaven, There is no evidence for an afterlife. God does’nt throw lightning bolts and seizures are not caused by demons. There are no talking snakes or donkeys and zombies don't come out of the grave. The sun never stood still and the earth was never covered in 5 miles of water.  There is no heaven, or hell, or God, or devil, or angels, or demons.

Life is what we make of it, not what we make up about it. And why make believe when the truth is so amazing to begin with?

Now, pull up your big boy pants, roll up your sleeves and get to work at finding out what reality is all about. When you don't know, say you don't know, but never make stuff up. And don't let others make up stuff for you either. You don't need to, there is plenty of stuff to think about without make-believe.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 06:21:04 PM by monkeymind »
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Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

Offline Brakeman

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #143 on: December 24, 2011, 06:41:53 PM »
I've looked everywhere around the room, upstairs and downstairs, and around the yard, I cannot see Monkeymind anywhere. This is proof of his godly power, for it is written that when monkeymind sucks his thumb, he is invisible!

Celebrate Monkeymind's birth today, pick any tradition and make it your own, for now we have proof that Monkeymind is a god, the god! I can attest to that because I am a scientist, and his invisibility is proof!
Help find the cure for FUNDAMENTIA !

Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #144 on: December 24, 2011, 09:20:27 PM »
Hi Riley,

Life is what we make of it, not what we make up about it. And why make believe when the truth is so amazing to begin with?

Now, pull up your big boy pants, roll up your sleeves and get to work at finding out what reality is all about. When you don't know, say you don't know, but never make stuff up. And don't let others make up stuff for you either. You don't need to, there is plenty of stuff to think about without make-believe.
You could have a point, life is what we make of it . However , once again I do have doubts, about the Bible and some about science like The Baigong Pipes. Scientists can't explain them yet or many other things. Here are a few, it is kinda interesting. http://www.cracked.com/article_16871_6-insane-discoveries-that-science-cant-explain.html
One day I feel that scientists will figure these things out . It just may take some time. Maybe figuring other things out will just take some time. What you did not once believe , upon receiving more information you may believe. I am in no hurry .  I will decide my belief upon my conclusions. However , in keeping with your rules of argument ,(which I no way have tried to argue at all) Your boy big pants in no more that an Ad Homonym and  while you saying that throwing a dash of salt over your left shoulder gives you good luck being that is fault then any conclusion I make must in turn be incorrect. Come on I really expected better. I am not asking you to believe what I believe. So  relax, what is with the  hostility?  :?
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin