Author Topic: Personal Question [#2668]  (Read 1650 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2012, 11:56:56 PM »

I want to make sure I am getting this right.  You are saying that because the universe is so awesome and huge the conclusion that a God exists doesn't necessarily follow.    From that point you conclude that the world is the way it is, and no God designed it.  I do not believe that the idea of God not existing directly follows in that argument.  I would not like to prove God exists.  I would just like to open up the idea that it is possible. I'm going to map it out in steps because I'm an engineer and we love flow charts  :).

My proposal:
The world is pretty spectacular -> This is evidence of God's work -> God exists.

Your Rejection:
The world is spectacular -> Assuming that God created it would be a silly way of trying to explain something that isn't known -> God doesn't exist.

I would like to propose a different line of thinking:
The world is spectacular -> The origin is unknown. It could be God's work or it could be chance. -> This may or may not be an example of God's work -> God might exist

I do not think that I would ever be able to come up with a sound logical argument proving the existence of God apart from subjective experience, knowledge, and faith, but I also believe that proving God does not exist is also impossible.

Not quite right. You are saying since X therefore Y. X being a wonderful universe Y Being a designer. Your reasoning for the "therefore" in the equation is "I cannot imagine otherwise"

Thus if we make X "car engines generate heat"  and Y "elephants exist" We can demonstrate that your "cannot imagine otherwise" is a not good reason for Y. It in no way means Y is not true, as Elephant do exist. We are not claiming "Not Y" because we would be just as guilty as committing a fallacy.

And ultimately we have your alternate line of reasoning:

The world is spectacular -> The origin is unknown. It could be God's work or it could be chance. -> This may or may not be an example of God's work -> God might exist

Which is true...but gives us no knowledge, no incite, no reasoning

Car Engines generate heat -> The reason is unknown. It could mean Elephants cause the heat ->. Elephants might Exist.

Really what you are doing by your "god might exist" is just invoking an appeal to ignorance. This is not saying you are ignorant, but saying "could be" is somehow evidence of "is"

Think about the popular atheist parody, The Flying Spaghetti Monster. Everything about it is demonstration of how an appeal to ignorance can be used for any idea that has cross anyone's mind ever.









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

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

Online pianodwarf

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2012, 06:37:46 AM »
I will admit that I do have little experience in discussions such at these.

We all started somewhere.  :)

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From what I understand and what i just search on Dictionary.com: Atheism is the belief that there is no God.

There are (at least) two different types of atheist:

1)  Those who believe that god does not exist.
2)  Those who do not believe that god exists.

As I said, the distinction appears to be subtle, but it's anything but -- the difference is huge.  Further, many if not most people make the mistake of assuming that "Atheist Type One" is the only type there is, when in fact "Atheist Type Two" also exists and is actually far more common than type one.[1]

I would advise caution about using dictionaries.  They're generally reliable, but they're not infallible, and they're infamous for making errors regarding this type of thing.  It was not so very long ago, for instance, that one of the definitions listed for "atheist" was "an evil or immoral person".  I remember seeing such entries in then-current editions of dictionaries as recently as the 1980s.  Merriam Webster, in particular, is especially notorious in this regard.  That dictionary is owned and published by the Christian Science Church, and their bias is painfully evident when you look up entries for words pertaining to atheism and Christianity.

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A person who believes there might be a God, but he or she doesn't really know would be considered agnostic.

Theism is about belief, gnosis is about knowledge.  Most atheists are, in fact, agnostics in that, although we lack theistic belief, we do not claim to know for certain that deities do not exist.  Being an atheist isn't about being 100% certain, it's simply about being certain enough.  We feel the same way about the Christian deity that you probably do about Zeus: no, you don't know for certain that Zeus does not exist, but given that there's no evidence of his existence, you probably assume that he doesn't.

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The last part of your statement leads me to believe that you believe there may be a God.  Maybe not my God, but a God is possible.  Is this true?

In rather the same way that life on Neptune is possible.  The existence of life on Neptune has not been disproven, but inasmuch as there is no evidence for life there, and also inasmuch as there are strong reasons to believe that life does not exist there (based on what we know about chemistry, biology, and related disciplines), it is most likely that Neptune is lifeless.  Should evidence be forthcoming in the future to indicate otherwise, I would/will reexamine the issue at that time.

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I'm sorry to those people who I do not respond to.  Conversations about God have more arguments and points of discussion than there is time.

I'm aware, believe me.

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I'm trying to keep the discussion focused on a single topic as possible.  As I said earlier, people on both sides have the tendency to prioritize making there opinion known and bashing the other party over having an open-minded conversation.

Ditto.
 1. These two positions are commonly referred to as "hard atheism" or "strong atheism", and "soft atheism" or "weak atheism".
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline justcurious

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2012, 09:50:00 AM »
Thanks you piano and Jeff that clears up my confusion.  I can definitely see the distinction now.

Jeff said that he see the Abrahamic God for sure does not exist, and Piano say that he sees my God as I would see Zeus.  How can you be so certain that my God does not exist?  Is it purely because you see no evidence? 

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2012, 10:14:17 AM »
Jeff said that he see the Abrahamic God for sure does not exist, and Piano say that he sees my God as I would see Zeus.  How can you be so certain that my God does not exist?  Is it purely because you see no evidence?

Not speaking for Jeff here, of course, only for myself:

I am, in fact, not certain that your god (whichever one it is) does not exist.  I am also not certain that there is no life on Neptune.  However, as I said, there is no reason to believe that life is there, and there are good reasons to believe that it is not there, and I therefore go on the assumption that Neptune is lifeless.  So I conclude with deities: since there is no evidence that any deities exist, I simply default to not believing that there are any.  Atheism is what is known as a "null hypothesis".

To make a more mundane comparison: if a biologist says that he has discovered a new species of tree frog in the Amazon rain forest, which frog is six inches long, averages 1.5 pounds, and has purple skin with green and orange spots (or whatever), the scientific community will ask that biologist for his evidence that this frog exists.  If he cannot present any evidence, the default position is to assume that there is no such frog.  This is not the same thing as insisting that the frog does not exist at all.

If an omnipotent being does in fact exist somewhere, it is of course always possible that evidence of that being's existence will come to light -- the most obvious way, of course, being that it simply chooses to reveal itself.  If such a thing ever does happen, then I will examine whatever evidence has arisen and adjust my epistemic stance on the matter accordingly.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 12:05:21 PM by pianodwarf »
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Nick

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2012, 10:35:57 AM »
Isn't it odd that gods have the hide and seek nature built into them.  Even the bad guys (Satan and crew) play the hide and seek game.  Been that way thru history.  Same with pink unicorns, gold at the end of the rainbow, and "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter".  You would think that at least one of them would pop up it they were real.  But then you would think that at least one amputee would be worthy of curing also.
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2012, 11:54:17 AM »
Thanks you piano and Jeff that clears up my confusion.  I can definitely see the distinction now.

Jeff said that he see the Abrahamic God for sure does not exist, and Piano say that he sees my God as I would see Zeus.  How can you be so certain that my God does not exist?  Is it purely because you see no evidence?

What characteristics does your god possess? 

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 justcurious

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2012, 12:52:21 PM »
If an omnipotent being does in fact exist somewhere, it is of course always possible that evidence of that being's existence will come to light -- the most obvious way, of course, being that it simply chooses to reveal itself.  If such a thing ever does happen, then I will examine whatever evidence has arisen and adjust my epistemic stance on the matter accordingly.

Your position is very understandable.  I am happy to see that your position remains open to the idea that evidence may arise.  The task then falls on me to prove that the idea of my God is much more practical and logical then the idea that Neptune supports life. 

I'm going to begin by stating that I do not think that I will ever be able to give conclusive evidence that God exists nor will God ever show himself in a manor by which every single person will agree that he is real.  The reason I hold this opinion is rooted in faith.  If we were to have conclusive evidence that God exists, then faith would mean nothing.  We are put on Earth to ultimately to choose between God as God or ourselves as God, so if everyone knew God existed, they would choose him not because they really do choose him in their hearts but because it is a purely logical decision.  I will give this short example: if you were a ruler, would you rather your subjects want to be apart of your kingdom or would you rather force your subjects to follow you by force?  Without faith God would be forcing people to follow him instead of letting them choose to follow him.

As for my evidence, I will not be able to give any as objective as a statement like the "grass is green" because of the reason stated above.  My evidence is very subjective.  I see and feel God moving in my heart and mind every day.  I will give one example that I experienced yesterday.  I drove about an hour and half to a paintball course with a coworker.  I just started work about a month ago and did not know this gentlemen very long.  Before going I felt God pushing me to talk to my coworker about Christianity.  I prayed that if God truly wanted me to share my story with my coworker that He would all the conversation to move naturally to the topic of Christianity.  On the drive down we made the usual small talk with no mention of God at all, but when we were driving home the conversation did indeed move to the topic of Christianity.  I guarantee that I did not force the conversation onto the topic.  I merely mentioned that I had been driving a lot because I went to a Christian retreat, and my coworker began to question me on the topic.  Through the conversation I found that he did regularly attend church but was looking for something more.  He did not have a background as a believer, but he said that you could just tell that the messages spoken at his church were truth (which again is a subjective experience).  We continued to talk about what God has done in my life and ended by agreeing to go to church together some Sunday. 

I attribute the whole conversation and its outcome to God's work.  It may seem trivial, but I have countless stories where I know God was behind the action.  He may not be physically showing himself to the world, but I know that he is working in my life and the lives of others every day.  You can say that I'm attributing these events to God when they are really just chance, dumb luck, or have no correlation at all, but unfortunately, you cannot be inside my head and experience these events from my perspective.  If you could then I would be able to definitively prove to you that God exists, but because I am unable to put you inside of my thoughts, you have to trust and to have faith in my words until God begins to work in your life.

I have a feeling that sharing this story is going to get me called illogical, but please keep in mind that from an outside perspective the situation may look different then what is actually going on.  For example imagine a court case.  People present evidence for and against the person on trial, but nothing can be proven 100%.  Each person on the jury is going to have his or her opinion on the situation, but only the person on trial will be able to say with 100% certainty that he did or did not commit the crime.  I can find many people who would believe my story or disbelieve my story, but in my mind I can tell you with 100% certainty that I know God was working in that situation. 

Christianity is part knowledge and part emotion.  It will give you truth and knowledge, but you have to be open to it by faith.  So trying to prove that God exists devote of any emotional/subjective experience is not possible

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2012, 01:16:04 PM »
Justcurious, the story you just typed out is consistent with what we know about basic human psychology. It is unimpressive in light of what we know about how the brain works and how one gets such impressions as you get from your daily experiences. I could have wrote it for you. A person born and raised in another culture could have written it for you, with their beliefs interposed. 

Such an explanation as you gave will have zero traction with anyone on these forums that doesn't already hold the type of beliefs you have.

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The task then falls on me to prove that the idea of my God is much more practical and logical then the idea that Neptune supports life. 


Ultimately, if that is all you have, it's a waste of your time. Do you have any other reason to be here or to remain? Well spoken folk are hard to come by round these parts.
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline on:bread:alone

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2012, 01:23:16 PM »

Christianity is part knowledge and part emotion.  It will give you truth and knowledge, but you have to be open to it by faith.  So trying to prove that God exists devote of any emotional/subjective experience is not possible

nice anecdote. it's nice that you're trying to be respectful, and i'll try to do the same. however, and maybe this isn't the same response you'd get from everyone else, when people tell me that "you have to trust and to have faith <snip> until God begins to work in your life," i find it to be both dismissive of my personal beliefs (or lack there of) and furthermore, i find it presumptuous and insulting. regardless of how good your intentions may seem to you, essentially what you're saying (or rather, what i'm hearing) is that you're right, i'm wrong, and that you are further along with whatever the purpose of life is because you believe in god and i don't, but that it's supposed to be okay because eventaully i will have to believe in god, and that i really don't have any other choice.

apart from that, you say christianity gives us truth and knowledge... but i say christianity takes from us truth and knowledge, and in return gives us bigotry and death. it takes from us the fiddle, and leaves us with the drum. as a religion, it is cold, calculating and elitist. it employs threats and scare tactics to coerce people into following it blindly in leiu of eternal punishment at the hands of a "loving" dictator.

in any case, welcome to the forum. may you enjoy your tenure here.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2012, 01:28:30 PM »
  The reason I hold this opinion is rooted in faith.  If we were to have conclusive evidence that God exists, then faith would mean nothing.  We are put on Earth to ultimately to choose between God as God or ourselves as God, so if everyone knew God existed, they would choose him not because they really do choose him in their hearts but because it is a purely logical decision.

Notice "faith" is just a way of saying "credulity is a virtue" You may have faith, so does the islander bowing down before a volcano god, and the priest of Zeus. All three of you cannot be right, so at least two have to be wrong. Those that are wrong are therefore ignorant of fact.  By making faith a virtue you are upholding the idea that ignorance of fact as a virtue.

Secondly, why would you uphold faith as a virtue anyway? Several characters through the Bible actually interact with a demonstrable, self evident deity or his son. They display powers utterly impossible within the confines of the way science states the world works. Yet some still rebel and reject this God, and some do not. Right there in the Bible we have the opposite of your claim.

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

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

Online pianodwarf

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2012, 01:40:49 PM »
Your position is very understandable.

I'm glad you think so.  There are more than a few believers out there who think that atheism is irrational.

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I am happy to see that your position remains open to the idea that evidence may arise.

But of course.  :)  I've spent many, many years (and more than a little money) training my mind to become a scientific skeptic.  Among the important elements of being a skeptic is being able to admit when you're wrong about something, an action that, unfortunately, evolution has selected against in our species.

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I'm going to begin by stating that I do not think that I will ever be able to give conclusive evidence that God exists nor will God ever show himself in a manor by which every single person will agree that he is real.

I'd say you're right.  Yahweh[1], if he exists, is more than capable of doing that himself.

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I will give this short example: if you were a ruler, would you rather your subjects want to be apart of your kingdom or would you rather force your subjects to follow you by force?  Without faith God would be forcing people to follow him instead of letting them choose to follow him.

I've heard this line of reasoning before, of course, and my opinion is that it's a very weak argument.  Greta Christina uses an excellent analogy.[2]

Quote from: Greta Christina
Imagine you’re on a jury. You’re asked to decide whether something is or is not real, whether it did or did not happen: whether the accused stole the diamonds, or set fire to their warehouse for the insurance, or shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. The prosecution doesn’t offer much evidence at the trial — it’s all circumstantial at best, third-hand hearsay at worst, with excessive appeals to emotion and fear, and arguments based on faulty logic. So you decide to acquit.

And then, after you’ve reached your verdict, you’re told there’s a videotape, clearly showing the accused committing the crime.

You’re baffled. You’re outraged. You confront the prosecutor in the hallway, and ask, “Why didn’t you show us this evidence at the trial? Why show it to us now — when it’s too late to do anything about it?”

And the prosecutor replies, “Because you had to be free to decide for yourself. If we gave you that videotape, it would have made your choice too obvious. Free will is a precious gift, a crucial component of the justice system — and in order for the jury to have free will, we can’t make the right verdict too obvious. That would have forced your hand.”

Would you nod your head sagely in agreement? Would you think that was a sound and reasonable explanation?

Or would you think they were out of their gourd?

This is the same thing that so many Christians say that Yahweh is doing.  If he is, then he's unclear on something: our freedom of choice -- or, to be more specific, our ability to make wise and proper choices -- is not hampered by having more information.  Quite the contrary, having more information makes it more likely that we'll make wise decisions.

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My evidence is very subjective.

I'm sorry for having to snip such a huge portion of your post, since it obviously took a lot of time to write (and I did read the whole thing, believe me).  But to be honest about it, this one sentence is pretty much the crux of everything you said.

Evidence, almost by definition, really, is not subjective.  If it's subjective, it isn't really evidence.  If we were trying to decide on Yahweh's existence in a courtroom trial, for example, any of the stories you relate here would not be considered evidence, and you probably wouldn't even be allowed to enter it into your testimony.

I don't doubt for a moment that you have had some fantastic experiences.  So have I.  On one occasion, I had a very clear and powerful vision -- extremely realistic -- of angels visiting me and showering me with love, and I hadn't even been taking any kind of drug.  I'd really like to believe it was real, believe me, because it was a beautiful experience.  However, I know enough about the human mind to know that it was almost certainly some form of hallucination.

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Christianity is part knowledge and part emotion.  It will give you truth and knowledge, but you have to be open to it by faith.

Other religions say exactly the same thing.  Why is Christianity right and the others wrong?  Or do you not think that that's the case?
 1. I'm going to use that name now, since you've identified him as the deity that you believe in
 2. Source: http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2010/08/11/why-does-god-play-hide-and-seek/
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Zankuu

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2012, 01:55:25 PM »
I will give this short example: if you were a ruler, would you rather your subjects want to be apart of your kingdom or would you rather force your subjects to follow you by force?  Without faith God would be forcing people to follow him instead of letting them choose to follow him.

justcurious, you may want to include in your analogy where the ruler gives his people the choice of being part of his kingdom, or being drug to his dungeon where they will be tortured for the rest of their lives. That part is kind of a big deal.

I will give one example that I experienced yesterday.  […] I prayed that if God truly wanted me to share my story with my coworker that He would all the conversation to move naturally to the topic of Christianity. […] I guarantee that I did not force the conversation onto the topic.  I merely mentioned that I had been driving a lot because I went to a Christian retreat, and my coworker began to question me on the topic.

I believe that this was completely you guiding the conversation with no help from a god. You just said it yourself that you prayed and wanted the conversation to be steered that way. You probably just alluded to Christianity, consciously or subconsciously, so the subject of God would be touched on.

“I merely mentioned that I had been driving a lot because I went to a Christian retreat.”

Ah, there we go. Mentioning Christianity is a good way to steer the conversation toward Christianity. I have a few thoughts on your “push from God” to speak to your coworker.

For survival, Christianity's most important job is to sell itself to the masses by spreading “The Word of God” and converting people. Christianity's number one marketing strategy is by peer to peer word of mouth (exactly what you did with your coworker).

General Marketing Strategy 101:

1. Creation of a need.
2. Offer a product to fit that need.
3. Offer a reward or consequence.
4. Create urgency.

Christianity's created need is “sin”. With the idea of original sin or an innate sinful nature, every human needs help. The product Christianity offers is “salvation”, and everyone can have salvation if they just believe in God and accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. The reward is “eternal life” and the consequence is “eternal damnation”. The urgency is the “end times” and we are taught that the world could end at any time and we need shouldn't hesitate until it’s too late. This is point for point a marketing strategy, and it has been very successful for Christianity.

I'm not sure how long you've been a Christian, but I was raised Christian since birth, and I was taught that it wasn’t good enough for me to just believe, no- everyone else needed to believe like I did. So why did you feel the need to bring up God to your coworker? Was it because you wanted him to have salvation? Did you want him earn the same reward as you so he could avoid eternal torment? Did you want to offer him Jesus? Those are the reasons I wanted to "save" people until I began asking the questions which eventually shattered my faith.

Rather than a Middle Eastern desert god telepathically speaking to you, I believe that the church and those you have trusted have repeatedly told you a marketing plan (most likely unknowingly) to increase their religion's numbers while tugging on your emotional heart strings.

You can say that I'm attributing these events to God when they are really just chance, dumb luck, or have no correlation at all, but unfortunately, you cannot be inside my head and experience these events from my perspective.  If you could then I would be able to definitively prove to you that God exists, but because I am unable to put you inside of my thoughts, you have to trust and to have faith in my words until God begins to work in your life.

You’re correct, I can’t see inside your head or feel the things you feel. But what I do have are my past feelings and experiences as a Christian for nearly 20 years.

I can find many people who would believe my story or disbelieve my story, but in my mind I can tell you with 100% certainty that I know God was working in that situation.

Muslims say the very same thing. They feel their god speaking to them and working in their lives. Every person that has a personal deity in their life says this. So how does one evaluate and weigh these claims, feelings, and gods?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 03:01:21 PM by Zankuu »
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Offline justcurious

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #41 on: July 08, 2012, 03:20:14 PM »
At this point I see that I am not going to be able to continue to have this discussion over a forum.  I feel as though this topic is not suited well with the forum style of communication.  I would try to continue, but I unfortunately do not have enough time to devote to answering every question or comment.  I very much enjoy discussing these issues.   I would consider myself a relatively new believer, so  I have not heard many of these arguments before. I will be thinking about them as time progresses.   I thank everyone for the kind and thoughtful responses.  Before coming to this forum, I have never had a discussion with a well educated atheist before, and it has clarified many misconceptions I had coming into this discussion. 

I would like to leave with one final thought.  We try to apply logic to every situation in life, but some things just can't be understood using logic.  Firefighters run into burning buildings to save strangers.   People love to overeat, binge drink, and do other things detrimental to their health.  I'm trying to think of stronger examples, but none are coming to me right now.  All I'm trying to stay is that no matter who you are, something you are doing in your life is illogical.  Is there a point when logic just doesn't cut it?

I thank you again for being welcoming me to on the forum.  I would be more than happy to have one-on-one conversations with anyone.

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2012, 03:29:55 PM »
justcurious,

Welcome to the forum!  Please don't feel the need to answer every response, and thank you for being respectful towards those who do not share your views.  You are a member of this forum now, and are welcome to have one-on-one discussions in our debate section.  You can alo politely ask others to be patient while you consider their replies.

Also, take a peek at our rules and etiquette (see links in my signature below this reply). 

Again - welcome to the forum!

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2012, 03:35:06 PM »
At this point I see that I am not going to be able to continue to have this discussion over a forum.

I can understand how you feel.  It's the same reason I don't participate on Christian forums, much as I'd like to.  It's not that I don't think I could hold my own against them, it's that I'm always outnumbered ten to one.

Please do read jetson's advice.  I'd really hate to see you feel like you have to leave.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline JeffPT

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2012, 09:56:55 PM »
I would like to leave with one final thought.  We try to apply logic to every situation in life, but some things just can't be understood using logic. 

Perhaps.  But when you are trying to determine fact from fiction, logic is really the only way to get reasonable answers. 

Firefighters run into burning buildings to save strangers.

That's perfectly logical.  They are trained to do exactly that. It's their job. 

People love to overeat, binge drink, and do other things detrimental to their health.

Again, perfectly logical.  Overeating and drinking is fun and it feels good. 

All I'm trying to stay is that no matter who you are, something you are doing in your life is illogical.  Is there a point when logic just doesn't cut it?

Maybe yes.  But that line shouldn't be drawn at the most important questions you can possibly ask about the universe.  To answer those, you need to bring your 'A' game.   

I thank you again for being welcoming me to on the forum.  I would be more than happy to have one-on-one conversations with anyone.

If you feel as though you would like to do that, then send someone a PM and get that ball rolling.  There are plenty of us who'd be happy to speak with you 1 to 1. 
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 Samothec

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #45 on: July 09, 2012, 02:05:05 AM »
...
I'm starting my senior year as an electrical engineer, so I have studied a lot of math.  I don't know how knowledgeable on the subject you are, but I would like to look at the sine and cosine functions.  The sine and cosine were discovered as a ratio between the sides of a right triangle.  That's simple and easy not too hard to think that it's just another thing in math, but if you graph the sine ratio over all possible angles you get a traditional sine wave.  These sine waves show up everywhere.  As an electrical engineer we use sine waves in AC current.  We use them when deriving different equations.  We have even proved that sine and cosine are related to the naturally occurring number e.  I guess when I start thinking about all the relationships between sine and cosine and the physical world and see how it is all supposed to come from the relationship of the sides of a right triangle, it all seems too much to not be designed by a higher power.  I guess my observation is that from my experience with math and physics, it seems very very likely that a higher power (not necessarily my God) has designed the world.  Is this something you would disagree with?

Imagine you could restart the universe (or create a new one) and you adjust the basic constants. You will get a lot of garbage until the constants produce another viable universe. With a different origin, there will be different relationships between things. But because the universe functions there will be an interconnectedness that mimics design even though the connections are guaranteed to exist. You can't have a functioning universe without such connections.

A less esoteric way of saying it might be: is pi = 3.1? is e=2.7? or are both a royal pain-in-the-ass?
Just the first 50 places of each:
pi = 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...
e = 2.71828182845904523536028747135266249775724709369995...
Another one: Why isn't the solution for every triangle (not just the right triangles) a2 + b2 = c2?

There are very many cool things but none indicate that a god/higher power/creator exists – that is a function of our minds. We evolved to see agency even where none existed because such false positives were not detrimental but false negatives were. (Imagining a predator or prey made the branch move means you reacted even to nothing while disregarding a moving branch could mean death by animal attack or by starvation.) Add to that, the fact that we retain memories of dead friends and relatives which gives us the feeling they continue to exist. Result: we speak about a dead ancestor and something happens, we imagine that the ancestor made that thing happen. That is easily expanded to the concept of god.

You took amazing facts about reality that appear organized but are only naturally connected and your mind, used to only intelligences (people) making organized/structured things, created an agency responsible: a higher power.

EDIT: Finally read the rest of the thread. Hopefully you are at least reading this thread and will think about what is said.

As for you question about what sort of king I'd want to be: neither. I'd try to be a good king who the people could trust to do the right thing, who tried to be compassionate and kind without letting the bad people ruin the kingdom. And I'd want anyone esle who was king to be the same, rather than absent or "Oh, follow me because you want to".
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 02:33:33 AM by Samothec »
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline ProudPatriotVetUSA

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2012, 04:19:06 PM »
.............Your letter was, I assume, addressed to the author of the material that you read.  That individual is no longer active with the site, but the rest of us here in the forums would be glad to share our stories with you.
May I ask, please, why the author is no longer active?

If there's a thread that discusses this issue, please point me in the right direction.

THANKS!

Online pianodwarf

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Re: Personal Question [#2668]
« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2012, 04:41:34 PM »
.............Your letter was, I assume, addressed to the author of the material that you read.  That individual is no longer active with the site, but the rest of us here in the forums would be glad to share our stories with you.
May I ask, please, why the author is no longer active?

If there's a thread that discusses this issue, please point me in the right direction.

THANKS!

Hi, PPV-USA, I'm glad you could join us here.

I'm not really sure why the author of the site isn't active here anymore... it was, I assume, for personal reasons.  My best guess is that he moved on to other things and either lost interest in this forum or simply didn't have time for it anymore.  He is also the creator of the site www.howstuffworks.com , for example, and I can easily see how that would keep him pretty busy.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn