Author Topic: A Challenge to Christians  (Read 23349 times)

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Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #116 on: April 17, 2013, 07:25:57 PM »


Now I have a question for you.  Please take your time with this, and don't rush to answer it.  How would it affect you if it turned out that you were wrong about what we believe?

Do you mean, if it was somehow demonstrated beyond all doubt that you really do have zero belief in God?

I can demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that I have zero belief in God. Follow me around for a year or two and you'll observe absolutely zero speech or actions from me that would lead you to think I might believe in God.

Done deal. I live in Australia. Do you want to come here or should I go to you?

Seriously, that would demonstrate nothing much at all.
Go on up you baldhead.

Offline Hierophant

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #117 on: April 17, 2013, 07:34:03 PM »
Sounds to me like there's no evidence you'd accept, then, if you refuse to admit my actual behavior as evidence. I know I have no belief whatsoever in your god. Whether you accept that or not is really not very relevant... the fact that you refuse to accept my claim is merely proof that you are arguing disingenuously.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #118 on: April 17, 2013, 07:44:07 PM »
Obviously I can't verify it. I don't anticipate that, even if an atheist member here wanted to step forward and declare that in some part of their being they suspected God was a reality, they would feel comfortable to do so. There was an OP from a regular atheist poster about a year ago which made that clear to me. (the way the OP was responded to made it clear to me)
As I'm sure you know, just because you believe something doesn't make it true.  That goes for anything you believe; unless you can support and verify it with something that exists in reality and isn't subject to interpretation, there's no reason to consider it having any more validity than any other unsupported opinion.

Online Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #119 on: April 17, 2013, 07:51:40 PM »
I wonder how magicmiles would feel if scores of people believed, deep down, that he was sexually attracted to little boys, and would not accept any of his actions/behaviour/protests to the contrary as evidence that they might be wrong.  A belief held by faith alone.  How would that be, for him?
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Dante

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #120 on: April 17, 2013, 08:01:36 PM »
It occurs to me that mm's belief that we're all theists is exactly like his god. It's all in his delusional head.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #121 on: April 17, 2013, 08:02:28 PM »
I wonder how magicmiles would feel if scores of people believed, deep down, that he was sexually attracted to little boys, and would not accept any of his actions/behaviour/protests to the contrary as evidence that they might be wrong.  A belief held by faith alone.  How would that be, for him?

I'd be hurt. I'd know it wasn't true. I'd try and get to the bottom of why they believed that.
Go on up you baldhead.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #122 on: April 17, 2013, 08:07:27 PM »
It occurs to me that mm's belief that we're all theists is exactly like his god. It's all in his delusional head.

I haven't gone so far as to put a 'theist' label on anybody. Theist (to me) implies a deliberate, all encompassing belief in God. Not what I had in mind.

Go on up you baldhead.

Online Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #123 on: April 17, 2013, 08:18:36 PM »
I'd be hurt. I'd know it wasn't true. I'd try and get to the bottom of why they believed that.

I already told you why they believed that.  Faith.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #124 on: April 17, 2013, 08:31:29 PM »
I'd be hurt. I'd know it wasn't true. I'd try and get to the bottom of why they believed that.

I already told you why they believed that.  Faith.

Yes. And I wouldn't be satisfied with such a pat response. I'd want to delve deeper into what that faith actually consisted of. It might even lead to meaningful discussion, assuming I hadn't told em all to fuck off (which would certainly be very tempting).

Go on up you baldhead.

Online Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #125 on: April 17, 2013, 08:32:23 PM »
Well, if they told you that for one reason or another, they would never change their minds on the topic, that temptation might get a little stronger wouldn't it?
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #126 on: April 17, 2013, 08:38:50 PM »
Well, if they told you that for one reason or another, they would never change their minds on the topic, that temptation might get a little stronger wouldn't it?

Sure, but excuse me for thinking that being accused of believing (on some level) that God exists is not as offensive as being accused of a sexual attraction to little boys.

Edited to more accurately describe the analagy Azdgari used
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 08:55:13 PM by magicmiles »
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Online Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #127 on: April 17, 2013, 09:03:04 PM »
Agreed.  However, a similar problem presents itself doesn't it?  The offense factor is definitely different, but the frustration factor in dealing with people who have permanently made up their minds about you without knowing a thing about you is the same.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 09:05:53 PM by Azdgari »
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #128 on: April 17, 2013, 09:07:18 PM »
I guess so. And what a boring old forum it would be if such problems didn't arise. Gives us all something to do.
Go on up you baldhead.

Online Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #129 on: April 17, 2013, 09:08:20 PM »
That line could be used to justify all manner of trolling...just sayin'.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Online Jag

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #130 on: April 17, 2013, 09:08:58 PM »
There's a difference between acknowledging that a god could exist, and believing that one does. I'm in the first camp.

I'm not even stretching for an example when I state that I absolutely think Bigfoot is way more likely. And I don't believe in Bigfoot either.

As I said earlier, I defaulted to a very vague amorphous idea of God after I bailed on the church. Eventually, questions from my kids forced me to start dealing with the weird left-over bits and pieces of my former beliefs. I parted ways with as much of the negative catholic conditioning as I could, but I continued to shy away from examining what I did believe by staying focused on what I didn't.

Unvarnished truth: I was scared to face it. As long as I avoided actually thinking about what I had left I was fine, but every time a stray thought slipped in, it scared me. So I kept ignoring it. I kept telling myself I wasn't ready; in retrospect I was being a childish.

By the time I decided I was ready to examine what remained of my beliefs about God, it turned out there really was nothing left. What I had been afraid of for all those years was the idea of being truly on my own in the universe. I didn't even remotely believe in a participatory God anymore, and along the way, everything else had faded completely away.

And it felt great. In almost every single objective measure my life is better. It IS better in every subjective sense. I now delight in the idea that we are on our own, to succeed or fail as a species based on our own choices. It's liberating.
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #131 on: April 17, 2013, 09:11:24 PM »
That line could be used to justify all manner of trolling...just sayin'.

Agreed, but hopefully my contributions don't amount to trolling, no matter how unappealing.
Go on up you baldhead.

Online Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #132 on: April 17, 2013, 09:12:14 PM »
No, they don't.  Hence "could".
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Online Jag

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #133 on: April 17, 2013, 09:15:02 PM »
There's also a difference between being told what you believe (which pisses most people right off) and not believing what you've been told, no matter what it's in regards to.

It's very frustrating - not many things genuinely "red-rage" me, but being told what I think or believe is one of them. I don't see what you said quite like that, but I understand why it provoked the response that it did.
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #134 on: April 17, 2013, 09:16:02 PM »
In response to Azdgari's Karma comment, I can accept what Jag says in post 130 without any difficulty or dishonesty, and whilst maintaining my original opinion.

I do, however, need to make some follow up comments on that opinion. I don't have time to do it justice at the moment though.
Go on up you baldhead.

Online Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #135 on: April 17, 2013, 09:31:02 PM »
True, I suppose there's another way out:  Telling him that he's not lying, but simply wrong.  That you know his mind better than he does.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #136 on: April 17, 2013, 09:36:55 PM »
I think there's more to belief than the mind. But more on that later.
Go on up you baldhead.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #137 on: April 17, 2013, 09:45:31 PM »
Sure, but excuse me for thinking that being accused of believing (on some level) that God exists is not as offensive as being accused of a sexual attraction to little boys.
Of course you don't think it is - you think it's a good thing to believe in your god.  But believe me, it's pretty offensive to say that someone believes something when they state that they don't.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #138 on: April 17, 2013, 10:31:58 PM »
People can say anything. But they reveal more by their actions.

Based on actions, atheists are as ethical and moral and kind and generous and law-abiding as theists. In many cases, more so. (We have lots of evidence that places with less religious people are better on every human development measure than more religious places.)

Is it because, secretly, deep down, without even being aware of it, we atheists actually believe in the Christian version of god and want to go to heaven when we die? Even though we never worship, pray, or show any god-belief in any way? Or is it because we really think this is the only life we get and we should try to make it as good as we can for everyone?

On the other hand, most religious people behave every bit as badly as any atheist. Just as likely to break traffic laws, rob banks, beat up people, rape and molest, neglect their children and elderly, get divorced, have illicit sexual relations, steal cars, drink, smoke, take drugs, etc. Maybe even more so.

Even though they claim to believe that a god-being is watching them 24-7 and judging whether they are being good or not.

So, who is more likely to be acting on what they say they believe?
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 Hierophant

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #139 on: April 18, 2013, 02:12:06 AM »
I think there's more to belief than the mind. But more on that later.

Funny, you rebuked me for giving you my own actions as evidence. Now you're saying this? Oh well.

Online Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #140 on: April 18, 2013, 02:31:43 AM »
He probably doesn't mean actions, but rather something supernatural.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Hierophant

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #141 on: April 18, 2013, 03:25:44 AM »
So... a presuppositionalist argument then?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #142 on: April 18, 2013, 03:38:28 AM »
.....The offense factor is definitely different, but the frustration factor in dealing with people who have permanently made up their minds about you without knowing a thing about you is the same.

I guess so. And what a boring old forum it would be if such problems didn't arise. Gives us all something to do.

Actually, if one side (or both) is flatly refusing to change their mind; refusing to accept there is even any possibility of changing their mind.....then so far as I am concerned there is no longer any point in conversing with that person.

There's little or no point in me trying to understand their position.  Certainly there is no point trying to understand why they hold that position.  All I need to know is how their position may or may not affect me. 

Its like arguing with a locked door - it may be mildly interesting to know who built the lock, why the door is locked, or what is behind that door, but at the end of the day if that door is impassable then my focus has to be on how I circumvent that door.  Does it mean I have to sit in front of it forever, or do I go somewhere else?  A better analogy might be arguing with a bomb-on-wheels.....it's irrelevant WHY this bomb may want to blow me up, all I need to know is how fast it goes, and what damage it will do.

When a mind is entirely impervious to change, its motives are moot.  All that matters is how its opinions will affect the world.  And in great part, that may be a conversation best held without the input or knowledge of the unchangeable mind.
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 The Gawd

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #143 on: April 18, 2013, 06:52:05 AM »
I am actually not bothered by MM's belief comment at all...
why? because it actually is him admitting that he is atheist.

As you all have surely noted, a lot if not most of, theist arguments here are projections. They project how they behave onto others. So his belief that we all believe is actually an admission that he is a non-believer that refuses to admit it. You can see this line of reasoning everywhere in theist arguments. "if you dont believe in god, what do you believe in?" suggests that because they believe in something, we must too. "Without god we would have no morals" suggests that because they would behave like savages we would too. "You all have a belief in god" means that because he lies about his belief, we must be lying too.

Thank you for the admission MM, and welcome to the ranks of the non-believers!

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #144 on: April 18, 2013, 12:08:16 PM »

Thanks Median, Jesus was talking to his disciples in John 14:12-13. He was not talking to me, I was not there. Of course atheists do not accept this, but His disciples actually did great things. Look at the Christian world today, how big it is, and it started with 12 men. So, I would say that Jesus was right on - on that one.

So, according to your interpretation then, nothing Jesus said applies to you, right? B/c he didn't say it to you in "his word", right? By your logic you shouldn't be a Christian then because nothing Jesus supposedly said was actually said to you. Yeah, that's some serious SPIN there dude. You really need to study your Christian history and start getting honest with yourself.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 12:26:57 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan