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Offline Samuelke

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #348 on: August 31, 2012, 09:59:56 PM »
Sorry for my slow replying, I'm going to start working on my next reply now though.

Here's one that will take you all of two seconds to type.

.....I don't believe God to be hidden in any sense....
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?

Once again, its a simple yes or no question Samuel.

Two - or three - keystrokes, plus hitting the enter key.  Takes no time at all.




<<edit - fixed quotes>>

Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

Offline none

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #349 on: August 31, 2012, 10:08:20 PM »
Sorry for my slow replying, I'm going to start working on my next reply now though.

Here's one that will take you all of two seconds to type.

.....I don't believe God to be hidden in any sense....
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?

Once again, its a simple yes or no question Samuel.

Two - or three - keystrokes, plus hitting the enter key.  Takes no time at all.




<<edit - fixed quotes>>

Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.
so if I look for your god what will I find?

Offline Garja

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #350 on: August 31, 2012, 10:50:14 PM »
I dont know Sam.  During my deconversion process I practically begged God to show himself to me in some kind of unambiguous way.... after a while I even specifically said, "okay, it doesn't have to be completely unambiguous", and I got NOTHING.  Ive prayed, tried to be "a good witness",I had lived the life of a good Christian man for 3 decades.  In a time when I started to really use my brain in place of my heart to look at the validity of God and pleaded with God for some kind of proof, the silence was deafening.

Sam, there is no God.  I'm sorry, there just isn't man.  There is no afterlife, you will not be able to see your grandparents again.  There is no deity looking out for you. You wont be able to hang out with Jesus after you die and ask all those questions you've wanted to ask.  Just live your life, abandon the delusion.  The world makes infinitely more sense once you understand that god is completely imaginary, a construct of pre-modern societies that needed a way to explain the world they saw around them.  "God" provided that explanation, but has done nothing else since.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 10:52:46 PM by Garja »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #351 on: August 31, 2012, 11:06:23 PM »
I dont know Sam.  During my deconversion process I practically begged God to show himself to me in some kind of unambiguous way.... after a while I even specifically said, "okay, it doesn't have to be completely unambiguous", and I got NOTHING.  Ive prayed, tried to be "a good witness",I had lived the life of a good Christian man for 3 decades.  In a time when I started to really use my brain in place of my heart to look at the validity of God and pleaded with God for some kind of proof, the silence was deafening.

This is where Sam, should he choose to answer, claims to know your past thoughts and motivations better than you do.

After all, you really just wanted to deny God so that you could freely sin, right?  You didn't really want to look for a sign, did you?
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Samuelke

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #352 on: August 31, 2012, 11:09:17 PM »
I would love to see some evidence for all these empty claims. Go right ahead and believe all that, that's perfectly fine. But untill you can provide me with the actual proof you speak of for God not existing I will remain with my belief.
Tell me, what would the proof be that would cause you to stop believing?

Well honestly, my relationship with God and my relationship with him through jesus and the Bible confirms my belief in him more then anything. I mean I suppose only if someone can prove that I'm completely insane and or psychotic one day, that's the only way I can think of at the moment for that.

Ok so obviously you all know the main arguments the apologist have formed over the years, for me, the strongest ones are the moral argument and the historical evidence for Jesus. Now I'm not saying I don't agree with the others like the cosmological and teleological, over the past few months I've been listening to debate after debate between some of the most intelligent believers and non-believers. Most on all the apologetic arguments, now I've heard many great attempts to disprove, but nothing ever actually disproving.

But I just understand how the others may not be as convincing to some people, however I think the moral and the historical evidence for Jesus stand very strong and I am more then willing to interact on those if you all would like. But to further answer the question these two arguments I have just named, if those were logically, truthfully, and coherently disproved I would have a lot to rethink.

I think that doubts can be a good thing sometimes, whatever your belief may be, I still have moments of doubt, but they can lead us to more understanding. I guess the main thing that would prove to me it wasn't the truth, is if he abondoned me all the sudden in our relationship and he ceased working in my life.

Offline Garja

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #353 on: August 31, 2012, 11:21:23 PM »

But I just understand how the others may not be as convincing to some people, however I think the moral and the historical evidence for Jesus stand very strong and I am more then willing to interact on those if you all would like. But to further answer the question these two arguments I have just named, if those were logically, truthfully, and coherently disproved I would have a lot to rethink.


Lets assume for a moment that Jesus did exist, that physically there was a man in that region at that time.  The historical evidence for even that is sketchy, but I will give you that.  I will also give you that if he did exist, his teachings were generally moral.  There are exceptions to that, but largely I would consider the tradition of Jesus to be "moral".

The thing is... at what point does that prove the existence of God?  I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that a man who occasionally goes by the name of Garja online, currently lives in South-Central Ohio, behaves morally, loves his family, teaches children and wants the best for society.  Garja stands in front of a rapt audience 180 days a year for 45 minute sermons 6 times a day.  His teachings are moral, they talk frequently about the sins of those in the past and how men and women can move beyond that while recognizing how those past decisions effect us today.  Garja has spoken with thieves, drug dealers, gang members,rapists and drug dealers and approached them as equals, but equals who lacked the ability to lead moral lives. 

At what point does being moral equate divinity?
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #354 on: August 31, 2012, 11:42:32 PM »
Well honestly, my relationship with God and my relationship with him through jesus and the Bible confirms my belief in him more then anything. I mean I suppose only if someone can prove that I'm completely insane and or psychotic one day, that's the only way I can think of at the moment for that.
Can you explain the nature of this relationship of yours?  And what does 'through jesus' mean?  Do you mean that this 'relationship' exists by proxy through Jesus...Jesus, being the son of god, and also god, so the proxy is with...um...

Yeah I can't pretend to speculate.  If you can clarify how your relationship with god differs from not having a relationship with god I'd be much obliged.
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Ok so obviously you all know the main arguments the apologist have formed over the years, for me, the strongest ones are the moral argument and the historical evidence for Jesus. Now I'm not saying I don't agree with the others like the cosmological and teleological, over the past few months I've been listening to debate after debate between some of the most intelligent believers and non-believers. Most on all the apologetic arguments, now I've heard many great attempts to disprove, but nothing ever actually disproving.
Haven't we been through this 'proving a negative'/'burden of proof'/'invisible dragons' thing already?
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I think that doubts can be a good thing sometimes, whatever your belief may be, I still have moments of doubt, but they can lead us to more understanding.
Sometimes?  When is it bad to doubt that you know something for certain?
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #355 on: August 31, 2012, 11:55:23 PM »
All I can say is that I have been an atheist for half a century and my life is pleasant. I am healthy, I have many friends and family members that I love and that love me. I am a kind, caring individual who is responsible, honest and trustworthy. Many can and do depend on me because I am a decent human being. Without a god. Like Garja, I am pretty darned moral.

I'm nice like a religious person thinks they should be, but without the guilt. It is so much easier this way.

Religion has nothing to add to what I already have. I am very happy that I do not have your POV, samuelke. It would only detract from my life.

(If you think that the afterlife thing would make things better, you're wrong. I am much healthier, mentally, because I don't have a fantasy future to fall back on. This is it folks. And that is a good thing.)
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Offline Samuelke

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #356 on: September 01, 2012, 02:01:20 AM »
I dont know Sam.  During my deconversion process I practically begged God to show himself to me in some kind of unambiguous way.... after a while I even specifically said, "okay, it doesn't have to be completely unambiguous", and I got NOTHING.  Ive prayed, tried to be "a good witness",I had lived the life of a good Christian man for 3 decades.  In a time when I started to really use my brain in place of my heart to look at the validity of God and pleaded with God for some kind of proof, the silence was deafening.

This is where Sam, should he choose to answer, claims to know your past thoughts and motivations better than you do.

After all, you really just wanted to deny God so that you could freely sin, right?  You didn't really want to look for a sign, did you?

Well I concede this is a tough one for sure, I'm not going to act like I know him better then he does at all, because I don't that is impossible. Actually it seems you claim to know what I'm going to say before I say it no?

I know how difficult this is and there are many days I struggle with it too. I think the toughest question any Christian or person with belief in God, has to answer is that of evil and suffering. While I do think there are good answers and well thought out and rational ones, but when the suffering is personal the best answers can become obsolete. One idea I will mention here is that whenever this question of suffering is raised, it is being raised by a person, and/or about a person. Now for this to logically make sense to me, every person must have intrinsic value and worth, and in a naturalistic framework this is not possible, sure some naturalist may believe that but those ideas are just relative to them.

Ok I have a question for you all, well for me a transcending mind and intelligence makes complete sense in a universe that makes possible, and let's such a complex and coherent mathematical, and logical consistency work in nature, and it just so happens that us humans can understand that math and logic.  And last there that humans, above all creatures and evm the universe itself, in this sense that we can ask this question, why, why is this all here and why does math and logic work and make total sense, so I'm wondering how you all feel about this?

Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.

To wrap up, I really feel for your situation and I understand to an extent, but I can't fully know your struggle. Now I would like to ask you just a couple of questions about so maybe I can better understand, but this isn't at all me trying to tell you what you did or didn't do or whatever, what you or anyone on here believes or comes to believe is you alls choice, just trying to understand more not force my beliefs onto you. But how much would you say you normally read the bible then? And then how did you come to be a Christian to begin with, was it family or a friend or what that lead you to believe to begin with? And finally did you always, from the beginning and throughout have that sense that God just wasn't making himself known enough to ?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #357 on: September 01, 2012, 04:37:39 AM »
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

Wonderful.  Well, I'm looking.
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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #358 on: September 01, 2012, 05:57:58 AM »
Well honestly, my relationship with God and my relationship with him through jesus and the Bible confirms my belief in him more then anything. I mean I suppose only if someone can prove that I'm completely insane and or psychotic one day, that's the only way I can think of at the moment for that.

You don’t have to be insane or psychotic for your relationship with your God to be imaginary. Insecurity and gullibility are all you need to account for it. There is nothing to distinguish your so-called relationship from pure imagination, Samuelke—absolutely nothing. There isn’t a single thing in your “relationship” you can point to and say, “I couldn’t have merely imagined God as the cause.”

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Ok so obviously you all know the main arguments the apologist have formed over the years…

Not one apologetics argument has ever proven to be true despite millennia of religious believers searching for one. They are all based on misapprehensions, fallacies or misrepresentations. The only people who are swayed by apologetics arguments are those who are gullible or those who allow their desire for emotional comfort to override their reason.

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I guess the main thing that would prove to me it wasn't the truth, is if he abondoned me all the sudden in our relationship and he ceased working in my life.

Your God has never been with you, Samuelke—other than in your imagination. You are allowing yourself to believe that an unvalidated feeling is true. This relationship you believe you have is just the result of self-deception. If you think your belief is validated then please go to this thread and show us. Give us a factual description of your God, provide enough sound evidence and sound arguments to prove beyond reasonable doubt that your God is real or explain cogently what distinguishes your belief and your relationship from imagination.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #359 on: September 01, 2012, 06:37:46 AM »
Well honestly, my relationship with God and my relationship with him through jesus and the Bible confirms my belief in him more then anything.

What this means is that your belief in god confirms your belief in god.  Circular reasoning.

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Ok so obviously you all know the main arguments the apologist have formed over the years

Millennia.   ;)

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for me, the strongest ones are the moral argument

It's very odd, you know... I'm something of an anomaly in the atheist community in that I reject moral relativism, but even so, I regard the moral argument for god as one of the weakest there is.  The moral argument is predicated on the assumption that not only is there a universal moral standard, but all human beings everywhere throughout all of history have instinctively known what it is.  Anyone with even the most casual passing familiarity with history knows that that's breathtakingly wrong.  For that matter, even the bible itself doesn't display a consistent moral standard.  Christians themselves are constantly going on and on and on about how the rules and laws laid out in the old testament don't apply anymore, which could not be the case with an objective moral standard.

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and the historical evidence for Jesus.

Just about the only thing that historians are agreed on is that there was a preacher named Jesus who lived around the time that Christians believe he did, and that he was crucified by the Romans.  Everything else is hotly debated, to put it mildly.

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Now I'm not saying I don't agree with the others like the cosmological and teleological, over the past few months I've been listening to debate after debate between some of the most intelligent believers and non-believers. Most on all the apologetic arguments, now I've heard many great attempts to disprove, but nothing ever actually disproving.

The nonbeliever bears no burden of proof because he is making no claim to prove.  He is merely defaulting to the null hypothesis.

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I guess the main thing that would prove to me it wasn't the truth, is if he abondoned me all the sudden in our relationship and he ceased working in my life.

You probably don't really know that he is working in your life.  More likely, what you're seeing is your own confirmation bias.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Boots

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #360 on: September 01, 2012, 07:23:24 AM »
Ok I have a question for you all, well for me a transcending mind and intelligence makes complete sense in a universe that makes possible, and let's such a complex and coherent mathematical, and logical consistency work in nature, and it just so happens that us humans can understand that math and logic.  And last there that humans, above all creatures and evm the universe itself, in this sense that we can ask this question, why, why is this all here and why does math and logic work and make total sense, so I'm wondering how you all feel about this?

So, because we can ask the question?  that's convincing to you?  OK then--what color is Beethoven's 9th Symphony?  What does the Sistine Chapel sound like?  How many gloobs are there in a belblop?

just because a question can be formulated doesn't mean there's an answer to it.  There are very, VERY few things that differnetiate humans from "lower animals:" opposable thumbs, walking upright, and speech are juuuuuust about it.  Once you get speech, you get abstract thought.  Once you get abstract thought, you can start asking all kinds of questions.

we can ask this question because we've evovled to be able to ask the question.

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Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.

You ever see the mating dances of the Birds of Paradise?  Can you tell me that these unintelligent female birds are not making a distinction--probably an aesthetic distinction--between the males that are doing their hugely ostentatious displays?  What purpose do these mating displays serve?  To get the female's attention.  They're a waste of energy, and put the male in danger of predators, so they can look purdy.

Beauty, for beauty's sake, apparently *does* exist in nature.  :-)  Check out the dancing queen!! (it's a male, though, I'm pretty sure the females don't dance)

It's one of the reasons I'm an atheist today.  I decided to take my religion seriously, and that's when it started to fall apart for me.
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #361 on: September 01, 2012, 07:44:17 AM »
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Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.


I have to ask, do you think that biological evolution is not how the species of the planet came to be?
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 The Wannabe

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #362 on: September 01, 2012, 08:35:02 AM »
Well I concede this is a tough one for sure, I'm not going to act like I know him better then he does at all, because I don't that is impossible. Actually it seems you claim to know what I'm going to say before I say it no?

While i'm no Garja, i'm gonna respond to your post here because i'm an insomniac and the act of writing this will hopefully tire me out enough mentally so i can get some damn sleep!  ;D

 
Ok I have a question for you all, well for me a transcending mind and intelligence makes complete sense in a universe that makes possible, and let's such a complex and coherent mathematical, and logical consistency work in nature, and it just so happens that us humans can understand that math and logic.  And last there that humans, above all creatures and evm the universe itself, in this sense that we can ask this question, why, why is this all here and why does math and logic work and make total sense, so I'm wondering how you all feel about this?

You've asked some very probing and provocative questions here.  The short answer is, math and logic are cognitive tools that man has evolved in order to interpret reality.  You see, the human abstractions of mathematics, language, and logic are not an intrinsic part of reality; in fact outside of us they don't even exist.  It might be hard for you to contemplate an understanding of the universe outside human experience, but believe me when i say that the reality we filter through our sensory organs and objective reality, while overlapping, are not the same.  There is no god who made some divine dictation that "math and logic work", math and logic were merely the means with which we interpreted (ie. made "sense" of) the fantastic, yet constant behavior of matter and energy. 

Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.

Beauty and art are another example of humanity interpreting reality in a way that would only make sense to, well, a human.  They are cognitive abstractions that hold no meaning or purpose outside our whimsically insignificant primate experience.   You think a dog has any appreciation for Picasso, or Marilyn Manson for that matter?  Of course not!  Your average golden retriever would find a squirrel much more aesthetically pleasing.

From an evolutionary standpoint, beauty and art can be thought of as byproducts of a brain that was designed to aid in the survival of our egocentric genes.  Thanks to some godless miracle, mutations that favored abstraction and inquisitiveness were favored in our species by natural selection.  These traits are what allow us to take artistic pleasure in symmetry and form.  If somehow the history of evolution on this planet was altered so that homo sapiens never came into existence, these abstractions would not exist.  Artistry and beauty are contingent upon human experience, they are not objective realities that exist outside of us.

But how much would you say you normally read the bible then?

At around the age of twelve, I was once in this Christian indoctrination club for youts called Awanas.  I was coerced by flashy badges and sugar to memorize a shitload of scripture.  It was all gibberish to me back then, but i literally read my b-i-b-l-e every day. 

I only really started to read the bible in my later teens.  That's when i began to notice moral and logical discrepancies every which way i turned those gold-guilded pages.

And then how did you come to be a Christian to begin with, was it family or a friend or what that lead you to believe to begin with?  And finally did you always, from the beginning and throughout have that sense that God just wasn't making himself known enough to ?

I was raised in a devoutly religious home.  Both parents were sincere and practicing Christians.  All throughout childhood i was dragged to Sunday school, and was part of the church choir[1].  I was inundated with Christian culture, and i believed with a fervor that only a child can muster. 

The years went by, and i continued to go to church.  I continued to be taught that the earth was only six thousand years old.  I continued to memorize bible versus.  I continued to pray.  I continued to believe. 

When i turned seventeen or so, something which proved to be fatal to this idyllic, childlike faith of mine began take root inside of me.  Curiosity.

I began to question things.  I wanted to know how the world worked.  I began to absorb culture and media outside my little Christian bubble.  I read provocative and dangerous books.  I watched provocative and dangerous films.  I googled stuff.  I started to become aware of the immense suffering and confusion around me. Questions like "If there is a god, why is there evil?" and "Why doesn't he answer my prayers, or anyone else's for that matter?" reared their ugly heads.  My faith started to make less and less sense when juxtaposed onto reality.  The basic tenants of my religion began to ring hollow. 

At eighteen i read the God Delusion, it had a profound effect upon me and my faith never fully recovered.  One year later this forum hammered the final nail in the coffin of my religious beliefs.  In the end, it was curiosity that killed the Christian dogma. 

Why are you here, Samuelke?  Are you curious too?

 1.  I'm still in possession of my family jewels, thank you very much!  ;)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 09:48:55 AM by The Wannabe »
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Offline Garja

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #363 on: September 01, 2012, 10:37:06 AM »
The bird of paradise example for me is perfectly eloquent enough of a way to explain the situation of beauty in the world, so I wont go into that more.

To touch on the problem of evil that you brought up in your last post.  Pretend for just one moment that you do not think that there is a God.  Now think about the evil and suffering that we see every day.  Does that human condition not make a whole hell of a lot more sense in a world without a benevolent benefactor orchestrating its every move?  You no longer have to make excuses for why suffering exits, you no longer have to think about the "christian struggle" that one has to constantly do battle with in order to willfully delude yourself into believing something that stands in stark contrast to the world around you.  Drop the illusion, and the problem disappears.  Sam, are you familiar with Occam's razor?

Ok I have a question for you all, well for me a transcending mind and intelligence makes complete sense in a universe that makes possible, and let's such a complex and coherent mathematical, and logical consistency work in nature, and it just so happens that us humans can understand that math and logic.  And last there that humans, above all creatures and evm the universe itself, in this sense that we can ask this question, why, why is this all here and why does math and logic work and make total sense, so I'm wondering how you all feel about this?

This is something that I try to work on with a friend of mine who kinda walks the line between deist and atheist.  For some reason he sees all this mystery in how the universe works, but I just see how things have to be.  For example, he talks about how the Earth exists in "the Goldilocks zone", where we are the right distance from the earth for life to have a chance to evolve.  This is quite remarkable until you use your brain to think about it.  If life evolved on Mars for example, that life would have been pissed to find out that its time in the zone was short!  Conversely if life has evolved to human-like forms on a planet around Ceti-Alpha-5 or some such shit do they also think THEY are blessed by God to have been created juuuust the right distance from their sun?  There are billions of stars in our galaxy alone... one could probably assume then that at least a handful of planets would form in this so called "Goldilocks" zone where life has a chance to evolve.

If the universe did not come to exist in the way that we see now there would not have ever been humans present to ask questions like this.  Or if the laws of physics had come into existence in a different way the universe may have caused our evolution in such a way that life would exist, but it would be in a form that none here would recognize.  I dont know, but saying "god did it" is just lazy.

I want you not to think about how the human brain has a tendency to see patterns that aren't there.  The Man on the Moon is the best example, occasionally I think I hear music but in truth it is just an oscillating fan.  My wife commonly reports finding a new shape in our faux marble shower wall, an alien-head one day, a wildebeest the next.  HUMAN BRAINS ARE WIRED TO FIND PATTERNS.  There is an evolutionary advantage to being able to pick out the shape of an animal in a field of grass.  The right animal provides food, the wrong one makes food from you.  When I was in jr. high camping with some friends, we slowly stalked a coyote we saw covered by tall grass in a field.  We took an hour slowly moving around to surround the animal and began to close in... to a fucking bush.  We see patterns that aren't there ALL THE TIME.
 

To wrap up, I really feel for your situation and I understand to an extent, but I can't fully know your struggle. Now I would like to ask you just a couple of questions about so maybe I can better understand, but this isn't at all me trying to tell you what you did or didn't do or whatever, what you or anyone on here believes or comes to believe is you alls choice, just trying to understand more not force my beliefs onto you. But how much would you say you normally read the bible then? And then how did you come to be a Christian to begin with, was it family or a friend or what that lead you to believe to begin with? And finally did you always, from the beginning and throughout have that sense that God just wasn't making himself known enough to ?

I read the Bible periodically throughout my time as a Christian.  Went to a really rather advanced Bible study every week for 3 years in college and helped to lead a more entry level one for Christians.  One member of the study I co-lead is now in the missionary field.  Removing my financial support for his activities was one of the harder decisions in my deconversion.  I like the guy, but no longer feel his work has a net-positive effect on the world.

I formally became a Christian (was baptized) at around age 6 (1986), grew up in a church and felt that I believed in and loved God so made the next step.  I remained tied to those ideas from c1986-2011.  And no, not really. I CANNOT RECALL A SINGLE TIME WHEN I FELT GOD WAS COMMUNICATING WITH ME AND NO ONE ELSE.  If dealing with difficult times personally I would pray and try to randomly flip through the Bible trying to find comfort, trying to get God to lead my hand to SOMETHING that would ease whatever I was going though at the time. NOT. ONE. TIME. Did god ever respond, nor did I ever feel lead to a particular passage in the Bible.

"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

-Benjamin Franklin

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #364 on: September 01, 2012, 01:48:47 PM »
Quote
How many gloobs are there in a belblop?

just because a question can be formulated doesn't mean there's an answer to it

 :angel:
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline wright

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #365 on: September 01, 2012, 02:02:44 PM »
I know how difficult this is and there are many days I struggle with it too. I think the toughest question any Christian or person with belief in God, has to answer is that of evil and suffering. While I do think there are good answers and well thought out and rational ones, but when the suffering is personal the best answers can become obsolete. One idea I will mention here is that whenever this question of suffering is raised, it is being raised by a person, and/or about a person. Now for this to logically make sense to me, every person must have intrinsic value and worth, and in a naturalistic framework this is not possible, sure some naturalist may believe that but those ideas are just relative to them.

It baffles me when Christians claim the bolded section. Do you really think the Golden Rule is somehow stricken from nonbelievers' minds? That we instantly lose the capacity for empathy that allows normal human interactions to take place? The benefits of reciprocal altruism are so enormous that virtually every social species practices it, at times even extending it to species other than their own kind.

With that kind of incentive clear in not only human society but with even a superficial observation of animal behavior, only the most deranged fail to at least pretend to value and respect others. Even those whose brains are damaged to the point where they can't feel empathy can  learn to mimic it; if they don't, they usually end up institutionalized.

So no, Sam. Recognizing the worth of others is not at all a problem with a naturalistic worldview.

But how much would you say you normally read the bible then? And then how did you come to be a Christian to begin with, was it family or a friend or what that lead you to believe to begin with? And finally did you always, from the beginning and throughout have that sense that God just wasn't making himself known enough to ?

I was a Christian from early 1991 to about mid-2006. During that time I read the Bible virtually every day. I deliberately read it all the way through twice; I have seven journals mostly filled with copied scripture. While I'm no scholar, I do have a layman's familiarity with the KJV Bible.

I became a Christian because I was lonely and depressed, and the worship service was contemporary and upbeat. For nearly thirteen years, that was enough to compensate for my church being appallingly fundamentalist.

My SPAG was labeling the rush I got from worshipping as "God", as well as the nudging of my own conscience. That intensely personal feeling (which is what I suspect most Christians call their "relationship" with God) eventually faded, and my conscience made me reject the anti-humanist doctrine of my church. My deconversion was a very gradual process; I don't remember any real "crisis" of faith. Just a final realization that it had always been me, not any god, telling me what I wanted to hear.
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.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #366 on: September 01, 2012, 03:18:54 PM »
Samuelke, we human beings are never even aware of most of what you call "nature",  its beauty and so forth. A lot of nature is not detectable to us at all with our senses ie without microscopes, telescopes, infrared, satellites and so forth.

But you maintain that god created nature for human beings to enjoy?[1] Even the parts that have nothing to do with us, like the birds dancing for each other?

Most of the living things on this planet exist for a brief moment, reproduce if lucky, and then die. Are human beings the only exception, the only creature with another life after this one? Isn't that a waste? Why all these other plants, animals, and microbes, most of which have nothing whatsoever to do with human beings? Evolution explains all that--enviromental niches are filled. "God made it all" just leads to more questions. Like "why"?
 1. We don't even need to get into why god created all the parts of nature that are determined to destroy us.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Samuelke

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #367 on: September 02, 2012, 12:25:50 AM »
Ok I have a question for you all, well for me a transcending mind and intelligence makes complete sense in a universe that makes possible, and let's such a complex and coherent mathematical, and logical consistency work in nature, and it just so happens that us humans can understand that math and logic.  And last there that humans, above all creatures and evm the universe itself, in this sense that we can ask this question, why, why is this all here and why does math and logic work and make total sense, so I'm wondering how you all feel about this?

So, because we can ask the question?  that's convincing to you?  OK then--what color is Beethoven's 9th Symphony?  What does the Sistine Chapel sound like?  How many gloobs are there in a belblop?

just because a question can be formulated doesn't mean there's an answer to it.  There are very, VERY few things that differnetiate humans from "lower animals:" opposable thumbs, walking upright, and speech are juuuuuust about it.  Once you get speech, you get abstract thought.  Once you get abstract thought, you can start asking all kinds of questions.

we can ask this question because we've evovled to be able to ask the question.

Quote
Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.

You ever see the mating dances of the Birds of Paradise?  Can you tell me that these unintelligent female birds are not making a distinction--probably an aesthetic distinction--between the males that are doing their hugely ostentatious displays?  What purpose do these mating displays serve?  To get the female's attention.  They're a waste of energy, and put the male in danger of predators, so they can look purdy.

Beauty, for beauty's sake, apparently *does* exist in nature.  :-)  Check out the dancing queen!! (it's a male, though, I'm pretty sure the females don't dance)



Sorry I wasn't clear enough in what I said, I wasn't saying because we can ask any question, it's because we can ask the hard questions, mainly how and why the universe came to be and what we ought to and ought not to do, things like this is what I meant, the universe or other animals can't do it.

Offline none

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #368 on: September 02, 2012, 01:00:41 AM »
Sorry I wasn't clear enough in what I said, I wasn't saying because we can ask any question, it's because we can ask the hard questions, mainly how and why the universe came to be and what we ought to and ought not to do, things like this is what I meant, the universe or other animals can't do it.
can you put a coherent idea in a sentence?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #369 on: September 02, 2012, 05:10:52 AM »
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

Wonderful.  Well, I'm looking.

24 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #370 on: September 02, 2012, 05:19:52 AM »
Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.

I think this just shows how little understanding you have of evolutionary theory.

What you appear to be saying is that particular traits or senses can ONLY develop when there is an immediate evolutionary survival need for them.  But this is not the case.  Many traits occur as byproducts of the evolutionary mechanism.  For example: our hands developed allowing us to wield tools such as spears and axes, which gave us an evolutionary advantage.  But at the same time, those evolved hands became able to hold a flute, or wield a paintbrush.  Byproducts, not the necessary end.

Similarly, beauty.....physical beauty is a byproduct of the survival mechanism.  A "perfect" physical form is (generally) more likely to be fertile - so people choosing perfect specimens as procreation partners were more likely to spread their genes.  A simplification sure, but the main point is that perceptions of beauty are, again, a byproduct of the evolutionary process.  Beauty in nature?  A quiet, serene landscape - what we would call a beautiful thing - is more likely one with no predators.  Those "attracted" to serene landscapes lived longer, meaning their descendants would be more likely to be attracted to those serene landscapes.

Byproducts.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Boots

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #371 on: September 02, 2012, 06:43:16 AM »
Sorry I wasn't clear enough in what I said, I wasn't saying because we can ask any question, it's because we can ask the hard questions, mainly how and why the universe came to be and what we ought to and ought not to do, things like this is what I meant, the universe or other animals can't do it.

Your clarification does not invalidate my point.  Just because a question can be asked in no way implies that it can be answered!  We may never know why the universe came to be--or we may discover there is no "why."  Defaulting to "goddidit" is, IMHO, arrogant and even cowardly.

And structuring abstract questions is a part of our evolved brain--we can label things, including abstract concepts.  That's really the only reason we can ask questions such as you suggest.
It's one of the reasons I'm an atheist today.  I decided to take my religion seriously, and that's when it started to fall apart for me.
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Offline Samuelke

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #372 on: September 03, 2012, 12:46:02 AM »
I know how difficult this is and there are many days I struggle with it too. I think the toughest question any Christian or person with belief in God, has to answer is that of evil and suffering. While I do think there are good answers and well thought out and rational ones, but when the suffering is personal the best answers can become obsolete. One idea I will mention here is that whenever this question of suffering is raised, it is being raised by a person, and/or about a person. Now for this to logically make sense to me, every person must have intrinsic value and worth, and in a naturalistic framework this is not possible, sure some naturalist may believe that but those ideas are just relative to them.

It baffles me when Christians claim the bolded section. Do you really think the Golden Rule is somehow stricken from nonbelievers' minds? That we instantly lose the capacity for empathy that allows normal human interactions to take place? The benefits of reciprocal altruism are so enormous that virtually every social species practices it, at times even extending it to species other than their own kind.

With that kind of incentive clear in not only human society but with even a superficial observation of animal behavior, only the most deranged fail to at least pretend to value and respect others. Even those whose brains are damaged to the point where they can't feel empathy can  learn to mimic it; if they don't, they usually end up institutionalized.

So no, Sam. Recognizing the worth of others is not at all a problem with a naturalistic worldview.

But how much would you say you normally read the bible then? And then how did you come to be a Christian to begin with, was it family or a friend or what that lead you to believe to begin with? And finally did you always, from the beginning and throughout have that sense that God just wasn't making himself known enough to ?

I was a Christian from early 1991 to about mid-2006. During that time I read the Bible virtually every day. I deliberately read it all the way through twice; I have seven journals mostly filled with copied scripture. While I'm no scholar, I do have a layman's familiarity with the KJV Bible.

I became a Christian because I was lonely and depressed, and the worship service was contemporary and upbeat. For nearly thirteen years, that was enough to compensate for my church being appallingly fundamentalist.

My SPAG was labeling the rush I got from worshipping as "God", as well as the nudging of my own conscience. That intensely personal feeling (which is what I suspect most Christians call their "relationship" with God) eventually faded, and my conscience made me reject the anti-humanist doctrine of my church. My deconversion was a very gradual process; I don't remember any real "crisis" of faith. Just a final realization that it had always been me, not any god, telling me what I wanted to hear.

Well I probably wasn't clear enough on what you said first here but I'm not saying that people can't be moral without God, I think that is entirely possible. But that leads to my point, how do you explain where these morals come from, why do we have such value for one another? And I don't understand how you compare human morals to animals morals, yes animals have their own morals but ours are far beyond theirs. Certain animals are more moral in certain ways but humans have the full set of morals unlike any animal. Animals don't go out of their way to help anyone outside their family or social circle I guess for primates, but humans can create things like animals rights groups, the peace corp, soup kitchens, and people travel around the world to help others they don't even know. And then all the jobs that help people doctors and nurses, emt, and firefighters to name only a few. So while some animals are more moral then others none of their morals go anywhere near as far as ours go. One more example of this, I heard this story some may have heard it I know some of it was in the news, but it was about this train wrecking into water, on board there was this couple and their child had cerebral palsy and was in a wheel chair. They immediately picked her wheel chair up over their heads, and when rescuers came they were able to save the child barely because of the parents, but the parents didn't make it.

My point is and sorry for the length, how does a love like that come about by accident, or however you want to put that? I don't understand how evolution can explain that, it goes against all of evolution, because of such deep love. I believe that it because of the fact that you don't have to believe in God to have morals and know every life is worthy of value, that shows there has to be some transcending absolute that has instilled it within all of us. So I ask if you can really give me a rational explanation of where these came from, how there truly are things that are absolutely wrong whether or not someone agrees with it like murder, rape, and things of that nature.

Of course I can't fully understand what you went through, but I know I went through about 5 or 6 years Of time in a simialar way, just asking God the same things you said. And I also had no results, but I came to a point after researching and reading(different religious sources not just Christian and non-religious sources) that truly rationally and logically nothing fit with reality as well as Christianity, mainly the bible not the religion, and more so Jesus the heart of the biblical teaching. Now I'm fully ready to start a thread on all the reasons I believe the Bible is God breathed or Divinely inspired.

For me, and I've heard many others says this, it wasn't untill this kind of two step process of turning to God, and then trusting him, Jesus, and Jesus's mesage. Now that trust was minute compared to mine now in God, But that Bible talks about this, it says that is ok, and it does talk about doubt and how it is normal. It truly was after that though and still to this day, God does prove himself to me. Now I was raised southern baptist, and when I was very young I saw so many hypocrites in the church constantly contradicting themselves. Things like that lead me away from Christianity to explore and research everything. So I promise you all I haven't settled on this or believe it cause it make me feel good or anything like that, I'm very sure in my beliefs but that doesn't mean I have stopped searching and questioning for truth, I will always stay open to ideas.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #373 on: September 03, 2012, 05:49:42 AM »
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

Wonderful.  Well, I'm looking.

24 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?

48 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Boots

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #374 on: September 03, 2012, 07:30:49 AM »
My point is and sorry for the length, how does a love like that come about by accident, or however you want to put that? I don't understand how evolution can explain that, it goes against all of evolution, because of such deep love. I believe that it because of the fact that you don't have to believe in God to have morals and know every life is worthy of value, that shows there has to be some transcending absolute that has instilled it within all of us. So I ask if you can really give me a rational explanation of where these came from, how there truly are things that are absolutely wrong whether or not someone agrees with it like murder, rape, and things of that nature.

Samuelke, it's actually quite simple to explain via evolution--even though I'm really not qualified to do so; perhaps someone else who is more qualified than me can correct my mistakes.

Evolution's main "goal" (if you can call it that) is NOT repeat NOT the "survival of the individual."  It is the survival of the GENE.  The species.  That's why sex feels so good--evolution made it that way to insure procreation occurs.  Your example above (the parents saving the palsy child) is nothing more than good 'ol parental instinct.  You show me any parent who wouldn't walk through fire for their kid, I"ll show you a phu ktup parent (I know, I'm a parent too).  And I'm not talking about human parents only--ANY animal that has the maternal instinct (most mammals, I believe, and there probably are others) will risk their lives for their offspring.  Ever hear the stories of the mama cat that runs into a burning building repeatedly to save her litter?  Exactly the same thing.

There are documented examples aplenty of cooperation, self-sacrifice, sharing, and other "moral" behavior in the animal world.  Go look for it.

As far as "deep love," may I hypothesize that the combination of a mammal's parental instinct, plus our evolved language that allows us to label and think about abstract things, leads to philosophical topics such as "morals' and "love," and that's all there is to it?  As soon as you get a robust language, you can contemplate things that you can't see.  It's not such a leap to understand that concepts like "love" will evolve naturally from having a robust language, which is simply a product of evolution.

As far as "universal" moral truths--meh.  Too much of a philosophical hotbed and I'm NOT equipped to handle that one.  However, I will point out that morals change with the times--even the most cursory study of history reveals that.

I'd like to point out that your saying "I don't understand how this could be true" is a textbook example of the logical fallacy of "argument from ignorance."  You don't know something, so you reject a belief in it, and you're willing to offer an unprovable assertion that fits your current beliefs/world view ("goddidit") to quell the cognative dissonance, rather than actually go learn about the topic.

Finally, you REALLY need to answer Anfauglir.  REALLY.

Edited: a few spelling mistakes and formatting, and clarified a couple things
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 07:57:48 AM by Boots »
It's one of the reasons I'm an atheist today.  I decided to take my religion seriously, and that's when it started to fall apart for me.
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #375 on: September 03, 2012, 07:31:13 AM »
Anfauglir, did you look behind the couch?
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 Anfauglir

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Re: World views with no God
« Reply #376 on: September 03, 2012, 07:48:05 AM »
......Animals don't go out of their way to help anyone outside their family or social circle I guess for primates, but humans can create things like animals rights groups, the peace corp (etc).....

You've accepted that higher primates help in a social circle, so you have accepted that "moral" behaviour DOES exist outside of man?  So your sole "point" is that the greater brainpower a creature has, the more likely it is to help others?  As Boots pointed out, evolution is not about the survival of the individual, but the survival of the gene - of the genetic group. 

Creatures that evolved just to "help themselves" would not last very long...when would they sleep safely, for example?  Fact is, as Boots says again, it is very easy to find footage of creatures helping others - packs of bison, for example, will band together to drive predators away from their targets.

But I think the best thing I can do is offer this example: the cuckoo.  The cuckoo lays it eggs in the nests of other birds, after chucking out some or all of the original eggs.  And the parent birds will raise and feed the cuckoo as if it was their own.

Now....either this is an example of how birds have a complex moral system that means they consciously help other species (which itself destroys your argument).......or creatures can and so evolve so that they will give add to other creatures, whether wittingly or unwittingly (depending on their brain size) - which again destroys your argument that it is impossible to evolve like that.  Humanity is, if you like, just the cuckoo writ large.

Can I ask where your knowledge about evolution comes from, Samuelke, because it seems decidedly lacking in some major respects?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?