Author Topic: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?  (Read 7743 times)

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Offline wright

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #145 on: December 25, 2011, 12:58:07 AM »
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.

riley, you are gonna think I'm such a wet blanket of a skeptic for posting this... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baigong_Pipes Basically, these "pipe" formations have been found across the world, and at least some of them have quite mundane explanations. I saw that Cracked article too, and was curious enough to look up a few more references. I love Cracked, but they are writing to entertain as well as to inform (though at least they're up front about it).

Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline monkeymind

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #146 on: December 25, 2011, 06:45:44 AM »
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?  :?

OhRiley?!? Hostile you say? Me? angry and aggressive? Nobody calls me hostile and gets away with it! I'll show you hostile @#@#$%%!!!&*!
Or did you mean inimicality? I know you didn't just call me inimicable! That really makes me mad! I'm furious!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostility

Actually, I was being satirical.
http://en.monkeypedia.org/monkey/Satire
Quote
In satire, magic, superstition, religion, and sucking ones thumb are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement.[1] Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.

I can understand that you have your doubts about the bible...and some about science. Geesh those silly scientists. Those Cracked Scientists are as dumb as a box of hammers! Now if you read Mad Magazine...there's some good science dude!

The Baigong Pipes are interesting tho. I Googled it and the second on the list was this:
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4181

Quote
If you visit the area today, you'll find a locally-built monument to the aliens off the main highway, replete with a mockup metallic satellite dish. Internet forums buzz with the absence of followup articles by Xinhua; the natural conclusion is that it turned out the alien explanation was the true one and the Chinese government is suppressing any further reporting. Cracked.com touts the Baigong Pipes as one of Six Insane Discoveries that Science Can't Explain.

And although that's where most reporting of the Baigong Pipes stops, it's also where responsible inquiry should begin. When you settle on a paranormal explanation, it means you've decided there is no natural explanation. In fact, when you don't yet know the explanation, you don't yet know the explanation; so you can't reasonably decide that the time is right to stop investigating. But so many do.

There are several hypotheses. Here's one.
Quote
Three years before Bai Yu took his first peek into the cave at Lake Toson, researchers Mossa and Schumacher wrote in the Journal of Sedimentary Research about fossil tree casts in Louisiana. They found cylindrical structures in the soil, thermoluminescence dated from 75-95,000 years ago. The chemical composition of the cylinders varied depending on where and when they formed and in what type of soil. The authors found that these were the fossilized casts of tree roots, formed by pedogenesis (the process by which soil is created) and diagenesis (the lithification of soil into rock through compaction and cementation). The result of this process was to create metallic pipelike structures, which by comparing the descriptions offered by researchers, appear to be a perfect match for the Baigong Pipes.


The Chinese scientists eventually did come to the same conclusion, according to the Xinmin Weekly article. They used atomic emission spectroscopy to conduct a detailed chemical analysis of the rusty pipe fragments, and found them to contain organic plant matter. Under the microscope they found tree rings, consistently throughout the samples. Once they established that the Baigong Pipes were simply fossilized tree casts, they set about to discover how they got there.


Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
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 monkeymind

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #147 on: December 25, 2011, 07:59:25 AM »
Riley:

There is something that I would like you to know about me. I was raised a Southern Baptist. Not Baptist-Southern Baptist. So of course, the main book I was raised with was the King James Bible, and verily I can say unto you- I have read it and had it read to me a lot. As a Royal Christian Soldier (like the Boy Scouts). I was nearly always the first one to step forward in Draw Swords. The leader (preacher) would give us a scripture address, like John 3:16. The first one to locate it would step forward and read it. Do you know why I was nearly always first? Because I knew generally where it was. All I had to do is get to the neighborhood and the pages would fall open to that reference because I had been there so many time before. This is what we did for fun!

I did get away from the King James version and read cover to cover a few others. I read The Book, The Modern Bible, The Thompson Bible, The NIV, the NAS, The New Oxford, and the Holy Bible by George Lamsa. I also read the Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible and many Concordances and Commentaries. I listened to Charlton Heston read the New Testament on tape while going to sleep for a whole year. Must have gone through it a dozen times. Oh yeah, I read the JW version of King James, the Urantia Book, the Bagavad Gita and a course in Miracles, and countless other religious books.

One year, I was chaplain at my family reunion. I have been in cell groups, prayer groups and revival meetings. I've been baptised in the spirit, slain in the spirit and gave prophesy (which was interpreted). I've Holy Rolled and spoken in tongues. I've been baptised three times in water.

I did a Public Service Announcement (PSA) where I interviewed Madlyn Murrey O'Haire's right hand man, Rich Richardson. I was Vice President of the local chapter of the Christian Action Council. As a free lance photojournalist, I helped Mark Weaver of the Citizens Against Pornography, photo document the Gay Splash Bath and open sex in a popular park. I have picketed movie theaters for showing The Last Temptation of Christ and abortion clinics. I documented a few of the peak moments of the Randal Terry abortion clinic sit-ins and marches in Atlanta Georgia. I argued with John Stossel and also was on the front page of the Atlanta Journal Of Constitution (or something like that). I called it the Atlanta Urinal of Constipation. I marched in the God and Country Rally with MM O’haire’s son Bill Murray in protest against her Atheist Rally. I've picketed and marched and huffed and puffed and screamed and yelled and preached.

But I've also hung out with the Christ Family, the Mormons, and the Hare Krishna. Blah, blah blahdy da! I have spent most of my life asking god and his people a lot of questions. Through it all, I was never completely satisfied with the answers and always, always more questions would come to mind. Finally, one answer answered every single question perfectly, and satisfied my restless wandering mind. There is no BibleGod. And…there probably isn't any god, but there doesn't need to be!
 
« Last Edit: December 25, 2011, 08:09:52 AM by monkeymind »
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
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 riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #148 on: December 25, 2011, 08:35:45 AM »
OK, well maybe you are not all that angry. ;) any ways. I have had a lot of fun on this cite , I have learned a lot , and read a lot of thoughts that was new to me. I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas , or Happy holiday.  :laugh: thank you all for putting up with me , even you Brakeman. &)
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 Brakeman

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #149 on: December 25, 2011, 08:41:09 AM »
even you Brakeman. &)

Thanks, But I must admit I must be clueless about your perception of me. I'm sure I deserved the eye-rolling, but I'm not connecting the two this morning .. I'm sleepy!
Help find the cure for FUNDAMENTIA !

Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #150 on: December 25, 2011, 08:46:15 AM »

monkeymind
 Thank you for sharing that with me . I am now starting my journey down that road of enlightenment. Maybe I will come to the same conclusion as you , maybe I won't. But you have been down that road, so you of all people must know that in order to find out want it is that makes you decided one way or the other and feel right about it , no matter the out come,YOU have to travel the road to gain the knowledge you need in order to make that decision. After I have been down that road I may come to the same conclusion you have , I may not. But that is left to be seen. The good thing is I am searching for the truth. And that has to mean something.
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 #151 on: December 25, 2011, 08:46:27 AM »
Merry Xmas, Riley!
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
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 riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #152 on: December 25, 2011, 08:48:10 AM »
even you Brakeman. &)

Thanks, But I must admit I must be clueless about your perception of me. I'm sure I deserved the eye-rolling, but I'm not connecting the two this morning .. I'm sleepy!
That be ok, I am sleeply too. The kids woke us up. You have a Merry Xmas dude. Talk at you later. :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 #153 on: December 25, 2011, 08:48:32 AM »

monkeymind
 Thank you for sharing that with me . I am now starting my journey down that road of enlightenment. Maybe I will come to the same conclusion as you , maybe I won't. But you have been down that road, so you of all people must know that in order to find out want it is that makes you decided one way or the other and feel right about it , no matter the out come,YOU have to travel the road to gain the knowledge you need in order to make that decision. After I have been down that road I may come to the same conclusion you have , I may not. But that is left to be seen. The good thing is I am searching for the truth. And that has to mean something.

Well, I think coming here was a good step, and it does mean something.
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
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 kevinagain

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #154 on: December 25, 2011, 01:47:52 PM »
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!)

i never said i aquired knowledge. education just provides you with information. knowledge is something that takes information and cross-catalogues it into new and useable forms.

come on, azdgari--how many educated people have you met who you wouldn't trust to cross the street without help?


Offline kevinagain

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #155 on: December 25, 2011, 02:16:27 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.

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.

screw the impressiveness, please. i know lots of people with credentials who make me cringe when i think about how they got them. really. academics is not a pleasant place in many ways.

but it's a fair question. my background is in hypothesis testing, multivariate statistical analysis, biometrics, and quantitative ecology. microhabitat selection and interspecific competition, and then stratigraphic distribution of a specific silurian ostracode in the england, gotland, latvia, lithuania, and podolia. esoteric stuff, and of absolutely no interest to people outside the fields. but fascinating if you're immersed in them.

given the chance to do it again, i would have skipped it all and gone straight into evolutionary parasitology. the most fascinating subject i ever came across too late.

anyway, i was an atheist for most of my life, for the usual reasons, most important of which is that atheism makes so much sense. that's inarguable, and i have little patience with theists who say that it doesn't. they're usually ignorant or blind.

but i was curious, and so over a lengthy period of time i posed a series of specific questions to a hypothetical god, the usual if-you're-there-then-make-this-happen types of questions. doesn't matter what they were, as it was a far-too-long series of straights that convinced me that something other than chance was going on, certainly something that made me question a god-does-not-exist statement at a P= 0.99 level, anyway.

there's all sorts of other possible explanations, confirmation bias, simple chance, and so forth, but at that level they weren't more likely than the chances of a god-hypothesis being true.

since then i've continued looking. sacramental christianity was a dead-end, all concerned with poorly thought-through evidences that were based on too little experiential evidence and too much rote. after a while, i was led to quakerism (as i see it now) which requires a lot less in the way of unproveable belief, and accepts that the fog of faith is likely to remain pretty foggy for a long time.

i'm still looking, and everything i believe is tentative, and subject to change as i discover things that are inconsistent. so far the theist interpretation makes more sense to me than the others. but i'm agnostic about a lot of it.


Offline kevinagain

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #156 on: December 25, 2011, 02:30:06 PM »
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.

nah, i didn't notice it jet,, and i apologize. it's been so long since you and i talked about anything that i can't read your meanings easily.

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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.

i have evidence for the actions of a god in my life, but because there are alternative hypotheses i don't have much interest in trying to argue for one or the other possible explanations, because there's always other explanations, for anything. for me it's a working hypothesis that so far has adequate explanatory ability in my life and also serves as a useful interpretation of the nature.

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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.

probably. there have always been alternative interpretations of anything.

Offline JeffPT

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #157 on: December 25, 2011, 03:22:40 PM »
Kevin,

With everything you said to kin hell, why do you find it so difficult to just say you think there might be something out there, but that you have no idea what it is?  I doubt anyone here would have a problem with that.  What we tend to have issues with is people who think they KNOW there is something out there, and that they can speak intelligently about what it wants, does, and desires of humanity. 

A foggy belief system is deism, not theism nor Quakerism.  The more foggy it is, the more difficult you make it to refute. 

When you ask God all sorts of "God-if-you're-there" type questions, did you receive answers that 'might' be attributed to a god, or that it would be absolutely physically impossible to get without a supernatural intervention?  Because that's what it would take for me. Remotely possible answers need no supernatural explanation, even if it's a bunch in a row. 

And if it worked for you, please tell everyone here what it was you asked so we could go about reproducing your single sample size, non-double blinded, unscientific trial  that seemed to give you convincing results. (Ignore the sarcasm, sometimes I'm just a prick.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS btw)  If it worked for you, there is no reason to believe it couldn't work for me as well. 

I should stop responding to things like this until you catch up with the last big message I sent you.  Sorry.  I'll shut up now.  Please respond to the previous large message before this one.  Thank you. 
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 Azdgari

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #158 on: December 25, 2011, 04:10:37 PM »
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!)

i never said i aquired knowledge. education just provides you with information. knowledge is something that takes information and cross-catalogues it into new and useable forms.

come on, azdgari--how many educated people have you met who you wouldn't trust to cross the street without help?

Education can provide one with knowledge as well as mere information.  In fact, I'd suggest that any half-way decent education must do so.

But anyway, that's beside the point.  My message wasn't so much to you, Kevin, but for Riley.  He'd said that science was an inappropriate instrument for gaining information about his god.  I think it's a perfectly legitimate instrument for gaining information about anything, and that if one has can gain verifiable information about something, then one is practicing science.

So, I decided to brush away your own education - the knowledge (information, or whatever) you'd gained your scientific studies - as being the product of science.  I can just as blithely say that science is inappropriate for studying ostracods as Riley can blithely say that science in inappropriate for studying his god.

That was my point.  ;)
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #159 on: December 25, 2011, 04:36:38 PM »
hey jeff—

here are the highlights of our discussion so far, as i see it. i haven't been able to address all your questions, because there were so many, but i've tried to hit the important ones that answer the others. let me know if there's one in particular that you want to follow up on.

It is a common tactic for a theist to place god in a position where He is unreachable by the hand of scientific inquiry.  It makes it harder to pin you down.  Saying you have no clear idea of what god is doesn't help anyone here.

well, i don't think i have any "tactic" at all, jeff. i'm not interested in convincing you of things you find dubious, but neither do i find it necessary to completely understand phenomena before i adopt them as tentatively true. and i don't have a clear idea of what god is, and anybody—theist or atheist—who says he does is most likely making stuff up, in my opinion. and with respect to scientific enquiry, i think it's useful, but i don't know of anything in the philosophy of science that asserts –with evidence—that scientific enquiry can answer all questions poised by inquisitive people. the best that can be said for science is that it answers scientific questions very well, and non-scientific questions very badly.

. . .  what i'm talking about is experiential knowledge, the direct contacts between gods and people, not logical proofs of existence based on reason

There is a reason that we both know why this would be opening a can of worms Kevin.  The fact that it goes unspoken between us does not diminish it in any way.  You and I both know how bad this topic would go for you.  I don't blame you for avoiding it.

nope. i'm happy to speak of it, explicitly, but it's off-topic here. i know people who hear voices, see visions, and experience various other supra-normnal phenomena. i'm married to one. i also know people who i believe imagine such experiences. i'm willing to believe people i trust when they describe experiences that appear supranormal. the most that anybody can say against that stuff is that they don't believe it, themselves. that's fine with me, because i don't think that anybody should believe in something that they don't think is adequately demonstrated. 

No, that's not true at all.  Evolution does not say we should love kin and ignore strangers.

i choose the end points of logical arguments as a rhetorical convenience, jeff. obviously, 99 percent of the time, "ignoring strangers" is going too far, and the more correct and much more wordy statement is "we should favor kin and refrain from favoring non-kin to the extent that the kin share with us  genetic representation and the non-kin may be reliably assumed not to share genetic representation, as a function of social or morphological dissimilarity." but that's really wordy, and saying we should love kin and ignore strangers is lots briefer.
 
sorry for taking too much for granted there. i try to skip steps when there's general agreement, but we obviously don't know each other well enough for that to work yet.

If you say, however, that god morality says we should love kin and non kin alike, then why don't we do that?  If it came from god, you would expect that to be how we do it, wouldn't you?


i answered that— a valid explanation is that our expression of divine intentions is degraded by natural selection.
 
Quote
Why propose a god at all if the natural explanation works just fine without it?  And it does.

for the reasons i gave pages ago, that i choose to believe in god on the basis of other ideas than morality, and that morality does not prove god, but is consistent with it.

But why would an all powerful being give us all the same version of morality knowing that we were not going to be able to comprehend it the same way?

because we all are capable of it, to the extent that we are required to understand.

If god gave us a universal moral sense, but did not give us the universally equal ability to perceive that moral sense, then either god is not very bright, or he did it on purpose without giving us a reason for doing it.

or he allowed it happen.

You keep answering these questions as if your responses are on the same explanatory level as the natural theory.

why yes, i do. i've noticed a corresponding tendency in your answers as well.  :)

Can you deny this, Kevin... if everyone had the same moral compass, and reacted the same way in every situation, then it would be more likely that our morality came from the same, singular source?

course i wouldn't deny it. and in general, i find that such is exactly what i see in nature, jeff:

may i eat your children? why or why not?
 
but i believe that we measure nature with error, and i do not exclude morality from that measure. there's nothing in the world that's 100 percent black and white, jeff, not morality, not chemical reactions, not brownian motion. i believe that morality is an extension of the intentions of god, and the general revulsion that people feel for obvious violations of moral codes are consistent with a god explanation.

quakerism postulates that we all have this moral sense, and that we have all been given enough to be faithful to the minimum degree necessary to our own assignment.

I am not sure I understand this fully.  We have all been given enough of what?  Brain power to understand it?  Or enough moral sense?  Are you really meaning to say that we have all been given enough of an understanding (not moral sense, but ability to understand that moral sense) to make us liable for our decisions?  I am going to answer this response as if that is what you mean... if not, tell me what you are trying to say here again in a different way please.

that's exactly what i mean, but it's religion, not science. and i believe we are responsible to no more than the extent that we understand.
 
What does faith have to do with anything if, as you say, it is literally a difference in perception of what god wants that causes you to be unable to see what god wants you to do at any given time?  If you incorporate this notion into what you've been saying all along here, then you are saying god gave us just enough of an understanding of what he wants to make us liable for our screw ups.  But since we all have different opinions on moral issues, then it is patently obvious that we have NOT been given the same level of brain power to own assignment.  Some are closer and some are further away from knowing what god wants, as evidenced by the sheer number of people with varying opinions.  So which one among us has the bare minimum of perception power? And why would god give some of us the ability to know what he wants better than others?  And I also have to ask you why you would want to worship a god that plays favorites by giving some people more brain power than others to understand what he wants?  That seems a bit mean to me.  Even if I got the lions share of the brain power, I'd think god was a jerk for not providing it to everyone.

judging god because he doesn't act like you would if you were god is the old SPAG argument, jeff—Self-Projection Against God, where god is assumed to be unlikely because he isn't jeff-like in nature or behavior. it isn't a logical refutation of the idea, but it shows up a lot, just like here. how does the fact that a possible god is different from what you would be if you were god make the idea of god more or less likely?

interesting examples. sometimes this stuff is easier to work through using that method rather than straightforward reasoning, at least for me. i find that i get tangled up in the logic trees and have trouble keeping track of what i know, and what i just think i know.

Bottom line.  Your stance presupposes a being for which we have no scientific evidence what-so-ever, and answers questions about morality based on a preconceived notion that it exists and that it behaves a certain way that you yourself admit you don't have a good grasp of. 

yes? have i been unclear on that?

Your stance creates LOTS of questions that you CAN answer, but only by appealing to rationalizations you are forced to make (because of your preconceived notion that it exists) that you can neither prove or disprove (a common tactic for theists).

yes? i've tried to make that point explicit.

My stance presupposes that morality exists as nothing more than opinions based on subjects that guide our lives, and that it is explained in great detail, and with incorporation of ALL the facts we currently have (without the need to presuppose a being that we have no scientific evidence for) in terms of evolution, culture and experiences.  All I'm doing is taking the more reasonable road here.  I'm not saying this is absolutely how things are... I am saying given everything we know right now, this is the most reasonable conclusion to come to. 

can't argue with that, jeff. i've tried to make it clear all along that i reject the idea that people should be expected to assent to things that they don't find personally believable.

belief is a funny thing, and doesn't depend on any single way of evaluating the universe, although people who are trained in one method or another will obviously favor the method of explaining the universe that fits their preconcieved ideas of how the universe should be explained. i tend to weight certain kids of data differently than you might weight them, and that's where a lot of the differences in our views derive, i think.

thanks for the patience, jeff, but i think you'll notice that i'm not approaching knowledge in the same way that you do-- in that i don't assume that my method of apprehension is the only way to view the natural world. the evidence that i have is not the kind that fits your own view of what is acceptable, and therefore you don't conisder it relevant. because you and i start with different assumptions about how the world is likely to work, we derive different suites of tools that we use to investigate it. you use a single tool--science-- and assert that all phenomena must be conformable to that tool, else they have no real existence. i use two tools-- science and religion-- and base my decisions on which tool to use upon which questions i am interested in answering.

from your point of view, i'm claiming that i can drive a nail that you know is obviously incapable of being driven. from my point of view, i see you try to drive that nail with a hand saw, and point out that if you use a hammer, then that nail-- and many others-- can be driven in straight and deeply.

all a matter of point of view, i think.

Offline kevinagain

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #160 on: December 25, 2011, 06:49:00 PM »

 I can just as blithely say that science is inappropriate for studying ostracods as Riley can blithely say that science in inappropriate for studying his god.


did you know that ostracodes have a penis that composes something close to thirty percent of their body mass?

the largest penises in the animal kingdom, to my knowledge.

relatively, i mean. mostly ostracodes are pretty small.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #161 on: December 25, 2011, 07:03:08 PM »
I had no idea.  The only ostracods I've ever looked at were fossilized, and either that wasn't preserved, or I wasn't looking at the right end.
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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #162 on: December 25, 2011, 07:11:49 PM »
the ones that i looked at were fossils as well, but modern ones have organs of monstrous proportions.

hard to even decide which end is the right one anyway, for lots of them


Offline JeffPT

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #163 on: December 26, 2011, 01:19:24 AM »
hey jeff—

Thanks for getting back to me.  I appreciate it.

well, i don't think i have any "tactic" at all, jeff.

I didn't say you were using it to hide something.  It's just something I see a lot, and I didn't know what else to call it. 

with respect to scientific enquiry, i think it's useful, but i don't know of anything in the philosophy of science that asserts –with evidence—that scientific enquiry can answer all questions poised by inquisitive people. the best that can be said for science is that it answers scientific questions very well, and non-scientific questions very badly.

I would agree here.  But the important thing is that we both KNOW that science answers the questions it answers well.  And when we analyze HOW we know that science is good at answering scientific questions, we can point to the track record and to everything in the modern world around us that science has gotten right.  Correct?  We can both agree that science is top notch at answering questions about science because we can observe the results.  This will become important in a few minutes.   

nope. i'm happy to speak of it, explicitly, but it's off-topic here. i know people who hear voices, see visions, and experience various other supra-normnal phenomena.

And the ONLY POSSIBLE explanation for people who hear voices and see visions is the god theory?  I find that to be a bit of a stretch, seeing as the human brain is prone to seeing things and hearing things that aren't there pretty regularly.  Also because chemical changes in the brain, and direct, mechanical stimulus can also produce visual and auditory hallucinations.   

What 'other supra-normal phenomena' have you heard of or witnessed that could only possibly be explained by the presence of a supernatural entity such as god?  If they convinced you, a former atheist, that a god is more likely to exist than not, then it should, at the very least, set me back a step or 2, shouldn't it? 

i'm willing to believe people i trust when they describe experiences that appear supranormal.

Of course you are. Who wouldn't?  One of the problems with this, however, is the problem that people in all cultures experience things like this, and quite often they use them as proof of their own gods too.  So I ask you... Given everything we know about the chemical and mechanical nature of the brain and how much we know about human behavior... Is it more likely that some people experience different phenomena than others as a result of relatively well understood biochemical and mechanical differences inside their brains, or that some sort of intelligent, invisible being is implanting visual and auditory messages inside their heads?   

the most that anybody can say against that stuff is that they don't believe it, themselves. that's fine with me, because i don't think that anybody should believe in something that they don't think is adequately demonstrated. 

I don't usually question the experiences unless they are over-the-top nutty. I question the conclusion that the only possible answer is god.  I once had an experience where I predicted an unlikely future event in my own life with extreme accuracy.  Sure, some sort of god could have put it there.  But that is only one possibility.  I see no evidence that would make me think it was god that did it. 

As a side note, I find the entire premise that god implants messages in some peoples heads and not in others to be rather disgusting.  Thousands and thousands of horrible things happen every day to people all around the world, and the thought that god is implanting largely benign messages into some people's heads and not others seems really, really wrong.  If god has the capability to put a message in every person's head, then why not the little girl who is abducted by some dude, only to be beaten, raped and killed?   A simple, "Hey, don't go over to that swing set", or maybe a "Hey, you're hungry now.  Go find your mommy" as the man approached.  Or how about a message in the rapists head?  "Hey, you don't want to rape that little girl.  If you do, I'm gonna mash the living fuck out of you.  Love, God"  Why would ANYONE worship a god like that, I don't know. 

for the reasons i gave pages ago, that i choose to believe in god on the basis of other ideas than morality, and that morality does not prove god, but is consistent with it.

Everything you believe about god is consistent with god. Everything a Hindu believes is consistent with the Hindu gods.  Everything Islamics believe about god is consistent with their god.  There's nothing inconsistent about a god that is believed to be able to do literally anything it wants.  I could create one right now if you like. 

But why would an all powerful being give us all the same version of morality knowing that we were not going to be able to comprehend it the same way?

because we all are capable of it, to the extent that we are required to understand.

Capable of what?  Capable of understanding  that version of morality that god implanted in our heads?  How do you know we are capable of that?  In order to be sure of that, someone, at some point in time had to reach it, right?  If, as you say, every single person in the world has an acuity problem, who do we go to in order to understand what god really wants from us?  If you are going to say we have this morality implanted in us, and that it is our goal to try and reach it, then you would have to know what that version of morality actually IS in order to know whether you are getting closer to, or further away from that goal, would you not?  I go back to the analogy of the game.  It's as if you are dropped in a wide open field and God says, "We're playing a game.  You'll never know what your goal is, or what the rules are, and you won't have a single clue whether or not you are getting close to scoring until you're dead...Go!" 

Is this what you are arguing for? 

If god gave us a universal moral sense, but did not give us the universally equal ability to perceive that moral sense, then either god is not very bright, or he did it on purpose without giving us a reason for doing it.

or he allowed it happen.

That's the same as saying he did it on purpose without giving us a reason for it.  If god exists, everything that's ever happened... he allowed to happen. 

may i eat your children? why or why not?

If you are asking my permission, then no.  But if you had them tied up in your basement and you killed them, you really could physically eat them. 


but i believe that we measure nature with error, and i do not exclude morality from that measure. there's nothing in the world that's 100 percent black and white, jeff, not morality, not chemical reactions, not brownian motion.

That doesn't mean we should use unreliable, unproven methods to solve the gray. 

i believe that morality is an extension of the intentions of god, and the general revulsion that people feel for obvious violations of moral codes are consistent with a god explanation.

You are forced to come up with a moral view that is consistent with god because you first believe in god and you must square that notion with a reality that's shaped like a circle.  If you start with the premise, "What is the most reasonable reason for our moral compass?" instead of, "Since god is real, what is the most reasonable way that morality came to be?", then I believe you are searching for the truth.  The first does NOT eliminate the possibility of a deity, it only puts it in the same realm of probability with everything else. 

Here you point to the notion that we all share a general revulsion for obvious violations of moral codes, and that this is consistent with the god explanation.  As I said before, you could make anything up and it would be consistent with the god explanation.  You could say god is just likes good practical jokes and I'd be at a loss to prove you wrong.  But what about things like genital mutilation?  Is this not an example of how we don't all feel revulsion at obvious violations of moral codes?  I mean... here is a little boy and we go hacking away at his penis so we can do right by god.  To me, that's absolutely awful.  To others, it's not.  And then take the little girl who gets her clitoris hacked off in order to do right by god.  To me, that's absolutely awful.  To others, it's not.  The most important question we have to ask ourselves here Kevin is this... Who is right and how do you know?  My answer is simple.  Nobody is cosmically right or wrong; we all just have our opinions about it. 

I have to ask you... Do you see any holes in the idea that morality came from culture, evolution and experiences?  And not from an "I don't like it" perspective.  I mean from a logical, reasonable, evidence based perspective? 

that's exactly what i mean, but it's religion, not science. and i believe we are responsible to no more than the extent that we understand.

But by your own admission, nobody really understands, right?  I mean... it's inside us, but nobody REALLY sees it clearly.  Just think this through for a moment. 

Everyone who claims they DO understand gods morality should realistically be held accountable to prove that.  And how could you prove that?  The only way I could think of would be to see exactly what god wanted in the first place.  Since this is not possible, then we're left completely in the dark as to who is doing things right and who is doing things wrong.  How can we be held responsible in such a scenario? 

The danger of believing as you do is that you could justify your desire to eat my children by simply saying you are attempting to do what you believe god would like you to do.  Has this not been the cause of some of the most horrific events in all of human history?  And if that is the reasoning you used, who could prove you wrong?  Or worse yet, given that we have absolutely no idea what the TRUE version of this moral download actually is (Is it morality_2.3, or 2.4?  Should I get the upgrade to morality_3.0?) is it not possible that eating my children is seen by god as a step in the right direction? 
 
judging god because he doesn't act like you would if you were god is the old SPAG argument, jeff—Self-Projection Against God, where god is assumed to be unlikely because he isn't jeff-like in nature or behavior. it isn't a logical refutation of the idea, but it shows up a lot, just like here. how does the fact that a possible god is different from what you would be if you were god make the idea of god more or less likely?

You would have saved yourself a lot of words here if you'd just said, "God is mysterious Jeff.  Sometimes we don't understand him." 

BTW, I've seen more SPAG than you can shake a stick at. 

belief is a funny thing, and doesn't depend on any single way of evaluating the universe, although people who are trained in one method or another will obviously favor the method of explaining the universe that fits their preconcieved ideas of how the universe should be explained.

Very interesting sentence here, Kevin.  The word 'should' is a surprising choice.  I do not believe the universe 'should' be explained in any way at all.  Science is the only method we currently have that CAN explain at least parts of the universe.  That is not a preconceived notion.  To the best of our knowledge, it's a statement of fact.  I wasn't born thinking science 'should' explain things. 

i tend to weight certain kids of data differently than you might weight them, and that's where a lot of the differences in our views derive, i think.

This is where the notion of a track record comes back into play.  Yes.  In situations where it is useful, I use the only method that I know of that has a proven track record.  And with the things I don't yet understand, I don't claim knowledge about.  You do the first part as well, but you switch to another completely unreliable and unproven method with things you don't fully understand.  I just don't see why. 

because you and i start with different assumptions about how the world is likely to work, we derive different suites of tools that we use to investigate it. you use a single tool--science-- and assert that all phenomena must be conformable to that tool, else they have no real existence.

I would appreciate you not putting words into my mouth in the future.  This is completely untrue, and let me clarify it for you. I use a single tool--science-- when that tool is appropriate for the job, because it has a proven track record of success.  When that tool is NOT appropriate for the job, I do not attempt to use a different tool without knowing whether or not it is going to do the job I need it to do.   

i use two tools-- science and religion-- and base my decisions on which tool to use upon which questions i am interested in answering. from your point of view, i'm claiming that i can drive a nail that you know is obviously incapable of being driven.

Not quite.  To borrow from your analogy... From my point of view, I'm asking why you think that the tool you have chosen is capable of driving the nail in in the first place.  More to the point, I'm wondering why you're holding the hack saw.  It's a tool that has no proven track record on nails (IOW, religion as an explanation has gotten things wrong over and over again).  Why use it? 

from my point of view, i see you try to drive that nail with a hand saw, and point out that if you use a hammer, then that nail-- and many others-- can be driven in straight and deeply.

Hehe, it's not my nail Kevin.  It's yours.  I'm going to use a hammer for a nail, like I use science to understand things in the scientific realm.  It's a proven tool.  It works.  And when I am faced with a job where I don't know what tool is going to do the trick, I don't go grabbing for random tools.  I might just make things worse.  You are the one reaching for tools that have no track record of success. 

all a matter of point of view, i think.

Maybe, but the truth doesn't care about what point of view we're using.  Why should we? 
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 kin hell

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #164 on: December 26, 2011, 02:15:00 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.

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.

screw the impressiveness, please. i know lots of people with credentials who make me cringe when i think about how they got them. really. academics is not a pleasant place in many ways.

understood and agreed, this method of communication completely fails at providing the subtle "tells" that you would've recognised as a slight tinge of facetiousness at your unintentional appeal to authority  :) But my next words
Quote
shows a capable and inquiring mind
were exactly intended.


but it's a fair question. my background is in hypothesis testing, multivariate statistical analysis, biometrics, and quantitative ecology. microhabitat selection and interspecific competition, and then stratigraphic distribution of a specific silurian ostracode in the england, gotland, latvia, lithuania, and podolia. esoteric stuff, and of absolutely no interest to people outside the fields. but fascinating if you're immersed in them.

given the chance to do it again, i would have skipped it all and gone straight into evolutionary parasitology. the most fascinating subject i ever came across too late.

Specialisation in a complex world does tend to limit our interactions, but how can you know at the start of any path how it will end?
Is "too late" a figure of speech or an actual limiter?


anyway, i was an atheist for most of my life, for the usual reasons, most important of which is that atheism makes so much sense. that's inarguable, and i have little patience with theists who say that it doesn't. they're usually ignorant or blind.

but i was curious, and so over a lengthy period of time i posed a series of specific questions to a hypothetical god, the usual if-you're-there-then-make-this-happen types of questions. doesn't matter what they were, as it was a far-too-long series of straights that convinced me that something other than chance was going on, certainly something that made me question a god-does-not-exist statement at a P= 0.99 level, anyway.

there's all sorts of other possible explanations, confirmation bias, simple chance, and so forth, but at that level they weren't more likely than the chances of a god-hypothesis being true.

since then i've continued looking. sacramental christianity was a dead-end, all concerned with poorly thought-through evidences that were based on too little experiential evidence and too much rote. after a while, i was led to quakerism (as i see it now) which requires a lot less in the way of unproveable belief, and accepts that the fog of faith is likely to remain pretty foggy for a long time.

i'm still looking, and everything i believe is tentative, and subject to change as i discover things that are inconsistent. so far the theist interpretation makes more sense to me than the others. but i'm agnostic about a lot of it.

Well I thank you for your reply kev, I am always interested in peoples conversions.
I see that the tyranny of time zones has marched this thread ever  onwards, and I consider that most  observations/queries I may have raised re your reply have already been asked already in one form or another.

I also am very content to step aside and watch your conversation with Jeff rather than add another stream of time demanding content for you to juggle.
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all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline kevinagain

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #165 on: December 26, 2011, 10:51:45 AM »

Quote from: kevin
given the chance to do it again, i would have skipped it all and gone straight into evolutionary parasitology. the most fascinating subject i ever came across too late.

Specialisation in a complex world does tend to limit our interactions, but how can you know at the start of any path how it will end?
Is "too late" a figure of speech or an actual limiter?


it just ain't possible to do it all, man. we all die too soon. too late for me means that i'd be dead before i accumulate the money and free time to get serious about a completely new field. i've switched lives completely four or five times, and i know how much time it takes to get up to speed.

that doesn't mean i can't learn about it, but it means i'll not get serious about research.


Offline kevinagain

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #166 on: December 26, 2011, 11:51:50 AM »
hey jeff

I have to ask you... Do you see any holes in the idea that morality came from culture, evolution and experiences?  And not from an "I don't like it" perspective.  I mean from a logical, reasonable, evidence based perspective?   

i think your post boils down to this useful question, in the end, and i think i've answered it several times already.

my theistic beliefs aren't contingent on the existence of morality, but rather on other matters which i have found compelling but which you probably would not. that's fine with me, jeff. in my opinion, your view of reality isn't equipped to address the questions which i find significant, and to me that's been sufficiently demonstrated a number of times in our conversation. that's not to say that you believe in things that are false, but just to say that i see the underpinnings of the world differently than you do. to repeat that your view is the only one that answers the questions you ask in the ways you want to ask them is just to beg the question of whether we derive knowledge of the world in the same way in the first place.

i believe that evolution, culture, and experiences provide a mechanism of morality that is internally consistent. whether it's a correct view of the derivation of morality depends on other evidence, because consistency can occur with a variety of causative agents, here and in virtually any other field. finding a single, internally consistent explanation for a phenomenon is a far cry from demonstrating that the whole answer has been found, especially when certain forms of evidence are weighted such that they disappear from the question. your own definition of a "logical, reasonable, evidence based perspective" isn't the same as mine, so we're spinning our wheels here as we discuss why my conclusions can't be derived from your propositions, and vice versa. this is not a new discovery to me.

probably in the end, we're just going to have to agree to disagree, because i don't think there's going to be anything i might say that could change the way you view the world. for my part, nothing that you've said to me is very different from the same sorts of arguments i've heard for years on the matter. so i suspect we'll stalemate here.

but maybe not. i've changed my mind before on substantial issues, and this may be one of them. but i'm here to listen more than i am to speak, so i try to keep an open mind.



Offline jetson

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #167 on: December 26, 2011, 12:10:09 PM »
hey jeff

I have to ask you... Do you see any holes in the idea that morality came from culture, evolution and experiences?  And not from an "I don't like it" perspective.  I mean from a logical, reasonable, evidence based perspective?   

i think your post boils down to this useful question, in the end, and i think i've answered it several times already.


My bold.  I have not seen it answered even once?  What I have seen is s lot of ideas that try to keep the god factor alive, but only in a personal way.  In other words, you are happy with your own answer, but you have failed to connect it in any meaningful way to people who are not you (not that it was your goal, of course.)

There is a distinction on this forum that sometimes gets lost among the topics and debates - there is either a god, or there is not.  One side is operating as though there is no god, and is getting along quite well in society.[1]  The other side is convinced, largely, that there is a god, and they appear to be getting along in society just fine as well.  But the real challenge that never gets answered, or even remotely approached, is the actual god itself.  Where is it?

Atheists who choose to engage in these conversations are always on the side of granting the benefit of the doubt.  But why is that?  What has happened on the god side that makes this necessary?  Nothing.  There is nothing on the god side that should allow this conversation to continue as though it has merit.  It does not.  It never has.  Yet, in order to even talk about it, it is indeed a requirement that atheists provide that benefit before a conversation can occur.  For without that benefit, there is no conversation.  The theist is left standing there, looking foolish because the very thing they wish to discuss, is demonstrably non-existent.  And always has been.  Yet, here we are...

A bit of a side rant, feel free to ignore!
 1. With the exception of being marginalized by some of the believer community

Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #168 on: December 26, 2011, 12:19:56 PM »
  The theist is left standing there, looking foolish because the very thing they wish to discuss, is demonstrably non-existent. 
Or the atheist is left standing there looking foolish because that is the very thing they seem to what to discuss.(look at the title of this cite) Something they don't believe exists. I guess the looking foolish part depends on who is doing the looking.
Sorry just my two cents. You can ignore this one too. &)
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #169 on: December 26, 2011, 12:27:05 PM »
Or the atheist is left standing there looking foolish because that is the very thing they seem to what to discuss.(look at the title of this cite) Something they don't believe exists. I guess the looking foolish part depends on who is doing the looking.
Sorry just my two cents. You can ignore this one too. &)

The atheist may end up looking foolish for discussing that doesn't exist.  But the theist looks more foolish, for both discussing it and believing it's real.

Any appearance of foolishness on the part of the atheist for bothering to discuss gods is matched and exceeded by the apparent foolishness of the theist for discussing them and believing in them.
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Offline jetson

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #170 on: December 26, 2011, 01:45:07 PM »
  The theist is left standing there, looking foolish because the very thing they wish to discuss, is demonstrably non-existent. 
Or the atheist is left standing there looking foolish because that is the very thing they seem to what to discuss.(look at the title of this cite) Something they don't believe exists. I guess the looking foolish part depends on who is doing the looking.
Sorry just my two cents. You can ignore this one too. &)

Ha!  I like your spunk Riley!  But I would certainly agree with Azdgari.  The atheist is rejecting a very real claim that has zero validity, zero.

Atheists on this forum, for example, have heard this very argument many, many times - especially through our lovely mailbox.  Essentially, why do atheists always want to discuss that which they do not believe?  My first response is usually "because theism is literally and actively interfering with individual freedoms and human rights".  Therefore, we must engage the theist if only to continue to remind them that they do not hold any truth - rather, they cling to a belief, and they do it on the shakiest grounds imaginable - mythology and ancient writings and stories.

I have also argued many times on this forum that if there was a real god, there would be no atheists.  Atheists do not reject God, they reject gods (all of them).  They do this because no god has ever been shown to be real.  Ever.  And I often wonder how a modern, educated human being can sit back and comfortably proclaim, without any internal conflict, that they know there is a god.  It's odd, to me.

Anyway, keep the pressure on Riley - you're one of the best reasons the atheist has to keep engaging.  Even if you never lose your belief in a god, you are at least acknowledging some of the real problems associated with blind faith and personal belief.  Indeed, there are bigger questions we humans saddle ourselves with, and they tend to move towards unexplainable "higher power" for many people.  Basically, they are admitting they have no idea, without just saying it outright.  But within that type of tendency, there is an unmistakeable reference to something that is obviously there, but that we simply cannot measure or understand.  Odd how that works, don't you think?

Offline kevinagain

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #171 on: December 26, 2011, 02:54:53 PM »
hey jeff

I have to ask you... Do you see any holes in the idea that morality came from culture, evolution and experiences?  And not from an "I don't like it" perspective.  I mean from a logical, reasonable, evidence based perspective?   

i think your post boils down to this useful question, in the end, and i think i've answered it several times already.


My bold.  I have not seen it answered even once?

what's up, jet? probably three times i've answered this question by saying that the cultural, evolutionary, and experiential hypothesis is an adequate morality explanation, most recently in the same post that you just quoted in which you said that i hadn't answered the question.

go back and read it again, more slowly, bud. just because the answer isn't one you might like doesn't mean that the answer isn't there.

seriously.

Offline riley2112

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Re: What are the hardest questions for Christians to answer?
« Reply #172 on: December 26, 2011, 03:27:47 PM »
  The theist is left standing there, looking foolish because the very thing they wish to discuss, is demonstrably non-existent. 
Or the atheist is left standing there looking foolish because that is the very thing they seem to what to discuss.(look at the title of this cite) Something they don't believe exists. I guess the looking foolish part depends on who is doing the looking.
Sorry just my two cents. You can ignore this one too. &)

Ha!  I like your spunk Riley!  But I would certainly agree with Azdgari.  The atheist is rejecting a very real claim that has zero validity, zero.

I have also argued many times on this forum that if there was a real god, there would be no atheists.  Atheists do not reject God, they reject gods (all of them).
I don't think atheist really reject any God. As a matter of fact I believe that you all would believe in God. If I had evidence of his existence. And that works for me. You should have a reason for believing anything. To believe without reason/ evidence which makes sense to you would be a lie. And if it is one thing I have learned here is that you can give me or anyone evidence as to why you believe or disbelieve. I wish more people was like that .
 
Azdgari; you may have a point , but don't tell anybody I said that. ;)
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 #173 on: December 26, 2011, 03:29:12 PM »
I disagree kevin - you have actually avoided the direct question from JeffPT.  Read the question again.