Author Topic: A Challenge to Christians  (Read 18739 times)

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Offline skepticofatheism

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #232 on: April 21, 2013, 10:40:50 PM »
Expose it, then... By having your god visit Me in person, in My office.

He is always there. God is present everywhere, all the time. He is All knowing. If you are not able to perceive it with your senses, that does not mean, he is not present.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #233 on: April 21, 2013, 10:49:19 PM »
He is always there.

Baseless assertation.


Quote
God is present everywhere, all the time.


Baseless assertation.


Quote
He is All knowing.

Baseless assertation.


Quote
If you are not able to perceive it with your senses, that does not mean, he is not present.

Baseless assertation, unfalsifiable claim.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Astreja

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #234 on: April 21, 2013, 11:33:28 PM »
He is always there. God is present everywhere, all the time. He is All knowing. If you are not able to perceive it with your senses, that does not mean, he is not present.

An alleged entity that is invisible, inaudible, intangible, totally unresponsive to My inquiries and totally undetectable by any means known to current science -- and whose "presence" doesn't even annoy My cats -- is a de facto imaginary being that has no fucking relevance to the life that I am currently living.

In other words, even if it *is* real I don't bloody well care, because it has no perceivable effect on My reality.
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Offline holybuckets

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #235 on: April 21, 2013, 11:37:09 PM »
"In other words, even if it *is* real I don't care, because it has no perceivable effect on My reality."

I hate to disagree with you, but if "it" [God] is real, He will have a profound effect on Your reality.

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #236 on: April 22, 2013, 12:30:30 AM »
Has atheism been proved? Has it been proved that is NO GOD?
Has evolution been proved? Has it been PROVED that man evolved?
Seems to me there should be a challenge to atheists as well.

What "seems to you" is grossly wrong.

1. Atheism is not an assertion or 'belief'. It is the REJECTION of an assertion, namely that there is a God (just like someone who rejects there is a Santa Claus would be called an "a-Santa-Clausist"). Atheism is the lack of belief in something. Not a belief in something.

2. Evolution HAS been proved, actually (in as much as anything in science can be demonstrated - such as germs causing decease). Change over time IS a fact. Please visit www.talkorigins.org and do some homework. But of the course, the question of evolution doesn't have anything to do with whether or not a God exists. If all of the absolutely overwhelming evidence for evolution were overturned tomorrow that still wouldn't get you one step closer to your biblical 'Yahweh' God. At best, you would have to admit (if you were intellectually honest with yourself) that you simply don't know how we got here. It would NOT lead you to, "Oh, God did it cause I can't think of any other way." That is called the argument from ignorance fallacy. Look it up.


Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #237 on: April 22, 2013, 12:45:24 AM »
Same me. Do not expect me to believe, positive atheism is true, unless you provide solid evidence to back up this view.
What part of "I am not an atheist, let alone a strong atheist", are you having trouble understanding?  I'm not making an argument for "positive atheism" in the first place, because you can't prove something doesn't exist.  The burden of proof for proving that gods exist, and thus disproving atheism, rests on you and believers like you, not on atheists or skeptics.  And, quite frankly, testimonials aren't going to cut it.

Quote from: skepticofatheism
I met the challenge. I have provided the only possible evidence for a miracle. A testimony. Challenge met. If you do not believe it, i can provide you the contact information of the person in question, and its sister. They will confirm everything i said. Why do you believe they have interest to lie ?
Testimonials aren't evidence of anything except what someone believes to be true.  Look up "confirmation bias", for example.  People can and often do get fooled by what they expect to be true, even though it isn't actually true. Furthermore, there's no way that you can rule out a non-miraculous explanation with a testimonial.  If you want to show that something is a miracle, explainable only by divine providence, then you have to be able to rule out every other possible cause for it.  And testimonies can't do that, because they're based on a person's subjective perspective.

Quote from: skepticofatheism
Argument from incredulity.
No, I'm suggesting alternatives to "your pastor had a vision from God".  I'm not saying your explanation can't be true because it's incredible[1], I'm saying that you have a very high standard of evidence to meet, and demonstrating why testimonial/anecdotal evidence doesn't cut it.

Quote from: skepticofatheism
why should i ?
Because the human memory is not a video camera or a tape recorder.  Every time a person remembers something, they change the memory.  That's why they have to separate eyewitnesses so they can't compare notes, for example.

Quote from: skepticofatheism
sure sure..... its however not so easy to spin a world view of pure naturalistic means. Try......
I'm honestly not sure why you included this.  Spin, as I used it, means to provide an interpretation of an event in order to sway opinion.

The biggest miracle is a universe without a cause. If you claim that, your case is a lost case.
So, question for you.  You believe that the universe was caused by your god; that is to say, your god caused it to come into existence.  So, what caused your god to come into existence?

Quote from: skepticofatheism
The narrative was about i miracle i presenced. Challenge met.
No offense, but this is one of the least miraculous 'miracles' I've ever heard of.  I don't even define it as a commonplace "one in a million" miracle (which happens on average once a month to everyone), let alone a divine miracle.  For one thing, based on your story, none of you actually questioned where he got his information from.  You simply took him at his word that God gave him that vision right at that moment.  Maybe it did happen that way, but I'd bet against it.  For another, you're relying on eyewitness testimony, which is notoriously inaccurate (especially when the eyewitnesses talk to each other after the fact).  There are other problems with it, but those will suffice for now.

Quote from: skepticofatheism
Neither have i asked for that. You should read more carefully what i have asked for. Are you sure you understood it correctly ?
You're asking us to explain it.  I can tell you right now that I can come up with several other explanations, none of which require the intervention of a supernatural deity.  And you can't actually disprove those explanations satisfactorily, because you're relying on eyewitness testimony.

Quote from: skepticofatheism
I do not have to prove anything. Evidence is enough. I have plenty of it. Do you have any to back up your world view ?
Well, let's see your evidence.  Note that anecdotes don't cut it on their own.

Also, the point of atheism is that until something is shown to exist, there is no point to believing in it.  If something doesn't exist, believing in it won't make it exist, and if something does exist, not believing in it won't make it go away.  It's really that simple.

Quote from: skepticofatheism
So where is your evidence for philosophical naturalism and positive atheism ?  You cannot make a case on base of a negative.
Nor is he.  The case for philosophical naturalism is that you can explain every event that happens without invoking something from 'outside' nature.  That is to say, supernatural or divine.  And your statement about positive atheism is based on your misunderstanding of it.  Positive atheism does not say that it is impossible for gods to exist; it says that if gods existed, we would see evidence of them, and since we do not, they almost certainly do not exist.  But that is not the same as saying they definitely do not exist.

Quote from: skepticofatheism
This thread is strictly a challenge of miracles. I have presenced one, and narrated it. Challenge met. That does not say anything else about what evidence i have on hand for theism.
Again, no offense, but the event you reported was hardly miraculous, even by the definition of "a one in a million chance of it happening".  There are numerous ways to explain it that don't require the intervention of a god.  For example, your pastor faked it - he researched your employee beforehand and presented it as if God were whispering it in his ear.  Or, your pastor was playing a confidence game - he asked leading questions and used his observations of your employee's reactions to determine if he was correct or not.  Or, he read about it some time before, forgot that he read it, and when you introduced the two of them to each other, he recalled it and mistakenly thought that God was giving him the information.  Or, you and your pastor had discussed it at some point previously, and either forgot that you had or intentionally planned it out to get him to convert to Christianity.

Testimonials have two serious flaws; they assume that the people testifying remember it with perfect accuracy, and they rely on the honesty of those testifying.  Why do you think lawyers cross-examine someone testifying on the stand?
 1. though it is incredible, incredible things have been proven true before, emphasis on proven

Offline Samothec

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #238 on: April 22, 2013, 12:58:54 AM »
I went with a pastor, friend of mine , visiting my farm. it is located about 50km away from where i live. This pastor was never there. When we arrived, a employee of mine welcomed both of us.
When this pastor shaked my employees hand, he said straight away to him : God shows me, that you had a car accident, in 2002. You almost died. You lost a lot of blood. Your intestine was open, and could be seen. But God has a plan in your life, that is why he saved you there. Ed, ( my employees name ) was shocked. He could not say one word. But his sister arrived, and heard everything the pastor said. After he finished, she screamed, and said : Ed, everything this pastor said, is true. Two weeks later, i went again to my farm, and met my employee again. He confirmed me the whole story, and said, that indeed, God called him many times, but he always avoided to convert. After this event, he converted, and is now a born again christian. His sister converted as well. I could tell other similar stories as this. I have presenced this, its all true, not a invented story. My pastor was never at my farm, never met my employee. How do you explain this ?

50 km is not a great distance so the pastor could have read a newspaper article on your employee's accident and upon meeting him decided to use that knowledge to try and convert him.

You avoid mentioning whether or not the employee was shirtless at the time of meeting which would have revealed the scar which would have told the pastor a lot on its own. You also don't say when this meeting happened trying (dishonestly?) to imply it was recent which would make the announcement of 2002 a somewhat remarkable feat. But if this happened several years ago (only a year or two after the accident) and the pastor saw the condition of the scar he could have made an educated guess about the timing - after all, he only gave a year, not an actual date.

You say "I went with a pastor, friend of mine , visiting my farm." and your employee "always avoided to convert." A more honest wording would have been to use the word "took" not "went with". But that leads to the question of why you took him there. Was it to have them meet so the pastor could try to convert him?

Was the employee working for you back in 2002? Then you already knew about the accident although you imply that you didn't (which supposedly clears you of informing the pastor). But knowing about the accident means you could have at any point in the past told your friend, the pastor, about the employee.

These are just a few of the holes in your testimonial.


Just scientific evidence is not enough to build a entire world view. More is required. And you need to be able to provide evidence of how the entire universe could arise by entirely natural means, be finely tuned. Be able to explain abiogenesis, present a natural mechanism for complex, specified , and codified information as stored in the cell. Explain homochirality,  the irreducible complexity in the cell, explain consciousness, and how it arose through evolution. And so sex, the hability of speech. Why men have beards, woman have not. I have a few other issues on hand, but thats enough for now. Just pick one issue, and provide evidence that  methodological naturalism provides the best explanation. Over to you.......
You are good at parroting things from others but you make it obvious by your misspellings and poor use of commas.

Why do we "need to be able to provide evidence of" anything natural? Only an idiot asks for natural things to be proven.

As for the idea that the universe is "finely tuned" that makes a huge and incorrect assumption: that any other arrangement of forces could have resulted in a stable universe. Scientists have found that "absolutely nothing" might not be stable either. So initially nothing existed but was unstable. Instabilities cause change which could have altered the forces. Which then caused another instability instead of a universe because they were not in balance. Again this forces a change which again caused another instability and so on. Until this combination was arrived at and a stable universe developed so here we are.

Abiogenesis – a couple possibilities proposed and are being tested. Look them up yourself.
DNA - ditto
Homochirality – it is stupid to even suggest that this needs explaining
"irreducible complexity" – doesn't exist; it is fiction
Beards – not sure but probably a sexually selected trait.

"provide evidence that  methodological naturalism provides the best explanation" – no. You can ask for evidence as has been done with theists claims about god(s) but you don't get to pick anything beyond that. Unless you are willing to prove that Osiris exists rather than Yahweh – or whatever god is picked by the person who answers you to your satisfaction. Because that is really the issue you're trying to manufacture: a test no one can answer sufficiently.
 
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline Jag

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #239 on: April 22, 2013, 01:12:42 AM »
you cannot base a world view on a negative.
Agreed conditionally, and I don't base my world view on a negative. I'm not sure that I couldn't, but that's a different topic, and not of much interest to me. You should start a new topic if you want to discuss that.

You assume that my world view is based on a negative because you can not conceive of a world without God - for you it's THE defining feature but don't assume I share your hangup. I don't base my world view on the absence of a god figure, I base it on my experiences of the world. You really need to stop thinking you can speak accurately on my behalf - you keep getting it dead wrong.

Again: I know this remains difficult for you to understand, but you are comparing apple and oranges, while discussing bananas and fish.

Thats why you need to provide positive evidence for your case, if you want to be taken seriously. Have any ?

Evidence of what? What is this "case" you keep trying to hand off to me? I have no vested interest in whether you take me seriously or not; as far as I can tell, you're a random uptight fellow with access to the internet, a poor grasp of logic and an attitude of entitlement. That hardly compels me to care if you take me seriously.

You make no sense at all - you are the one making demands out of nowhere and insisting that you are owed something, not I.
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #240 on: April 22, 2013, 01:41:43 AM »
I have none and have never claimed to.  So why are you asking?

Then you have a lost case. Case closed.

The time to believe a claim is when sufficient sound evidence has been presented - and not a second before. Your gullibility and credulity don't get to dictate that we have "lost our case". Have children who no longer believe in Santa Claus "lost their case" because they will not go out and try to prove a universal negative?? You are talking absurd hypocrisy talk.

Can you prove "positive a-Santa-Clausism" is true?? Santa must exist!! NOT...
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #241 on: April 22, 2013, 01:46:50 AM »
you cannot base a world view on a negative. Thats why you need to provide positive evidence for your case, if you want to be taken seriously. Have any ?

HA! You just missed the underlying point of your own words! "You can't base a worldview on a negative..." EXACTLY! That's because atheism is NOT a worldview. It is simply the rejection of one claim (that a "God" exists). You should stop listening to the Greg Bahnsen/Matt Slick types that try to tell you otherwise. There are many different non-believers of religion (atheists) with many different "views" of the world. Your thinking is just too narrow here to realize the flaw.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #242 on: April 22, 2013, 02:00:29 AM »
Same me. Do not expect me to believe, positive atheism is true, unless you provide solid evidence to back up this view.

Really? Do you believe in unicorns?

Get back to the OP and DEMONSTRATE YOUR DEITY. Just making MORE claims to the supernatural isn't meeting the challenge of the OP. Get to the "greater works" of Mark 16/Matthew 14 and start SHOWING - not claiming.

I met the challenge. I have provided the only possible evidence for a miracle. A testimony. Challenge met. If you do not believe it, i can provide you the contact information of the person in question, and its sister. They will confirm everything i said. Why do you believe they have interest to lie ?

You're not the final decider on what counts as sufficient evidence and what is not - especially when it comes to extraordinary claims to the supernatural. Sorry, your standard of evidence is far too low, and quite hypocritical. Do you believe ALL personal testimony to the supernatural? Your religion is not the only one with such claims, you know. Testimony is NOT sufficient - even for you! If a salesman comes to your door selling a magic potion, that will cure all deceases, will you believe his "personal testimony" that it worked for his mom and grandma (even if they both confirm it with their words)?

You are practicing credulity.


Quote
This is why anecdotal evidence isn't convincing, because it's so easy to spin.

sure sure..... its however not so easy to spin a world view of pure naturalistic means. Try......

HA! I love the "sure sure" part. It's like, "Yes, you're right. But...moving on!!" Dude, you just agreed that anecdotal evidence isn't sufficient - meaning you shouldn't be making a judgment about whether it's true or not. You should be withholding judgment. But, of course, that isn't good enough for you, is it? You just have to know!

What hubris and arrogance!
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Seppuku

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #243 on: April 22, 2013, 02:10:40 AM »
SoA, the anecdote you've given us could have multiple explanations, you've only chosen to believe one, as has your employee and his sister, it doesn't mean it's the right one, it's just the one the pastor would like you to believe. Considering Darren Brown, an atheist with no claim to God powers, is able to pull the same sort of tricks suggests to me there are alternative explanations. Good magicians can seemingly defy the laws of physics and our understanding of the world, when in reality all they're doing is creating an illusion. If you're a believer or are more susceptible to it, it makes it easier for you to interpret such things as supernatural and heck, it can influence your constructive memory of how things transpired.
So as you can see, an anecdote isn't exactly reliable.
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Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #244 on: April 22, 2013, 02:10:50 AM »
Just scientific evidence is not enough to build a entire world view. More is required. And you need to be able to provide evidence of how the entire universe could arise by entirely natural means, be finely tuned. Be able to explain abiogenesis, present a natural mechanism for complex, specified , and codified information as stored in the cell. Explain homochirality,  the irreducible complexity in the cell, explain consciousness, and how it arose through evolution. And so sex, the hability of speech. Why men have beards, woman have not. I have a few other issues on hand, but thats enough for now. Just pick one issue, and provide evidence that  methodological naturalism provides the best explanation. Over to you.......

Your first and primary fallacy begins with your idea (which likely some other Christian apologist "sold" you, and which you bought full price) - that you just have to explain it all, and have all the answers to existence, right now! In case you hadn't noticed, there is no "I don't know" worldview. This is the beauty of science. It readily admits when it doesn't know something AND THEN GOES OUT IN SEARCH OF DEMONSTRABLE ANSWERS THAT CAN BE TESTED! You, on the other hand (for some strange reason) felt comfortable (as so many apologists are) starting with your conclusion. "I bought this and believe it and now I'm going to go out and defend it!" That is the opposite of critical thinking and investigating. It is called being GULLIBLE. When you don't know, you should admit it. You'll find that life is much better when you are honest with yourself.


"Nature proves nature. It doesn't tell you how it got here until you investigate."
Matt Dillahunty
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 02:37:15 AM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #245 on: April 22, 2013, 02:23:15 AM »
He is always there. God is present everywhere, all the time. He is All knowing. If you are not able to perceive it with your senses, that does not mean, he is not present.

"If you can't perceive Santa, that doesn't mean Santa doesn't exist Timmy!! Neener, neener, neener!!"

Anyone can claim that nearly anything exists, and then say, "You can't prove it doesn't!" That doesn't help your case one bit. You can't prove lots of things don't exist (unicorns, fairies, leprechauns, etc). So what! The time to believe is AFTER sound demonstrable evidence has been presented for the extraordinary claim, not before. 

Please stop regurgitating paraphrased bible quotes ("He's always there..." etc) b/c those are nothing more than restating the big fat assumptions you have made from the very beginning, based upon your presupposition that the bible is "the word of God". The OP asks you to DEMONSTRATE this deity - not just make more claims or start quoting bible verses from memory (i.e. - bible thumping).

If you can't demonstrate your "Yahweh" deity, then why not just be honest and admit it? Doesn't your bible command you not to lie?? Then be honest and admit when you can't meet the challenge.

Stings, don't it...
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 02:40:17 AM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #246 on: April 22, 2013, 04:13:03 AM »
Answer this question. Is there a God, or is there not? It is a very simple question.

About as simple as "do you still beat your wife", but never mind.

"Could there be A god"?  Yes.  There could indeed be A god that I have hiterto not yet examined the evidence for.  I am always open to new hypotheses.

"Is there a God?"  No.  I have seen no evidence for God (by which I presume you mean Yahweh), so I dismiss it as not existing in the same way I dismiss Allah, Vishnu, Odin, Osiris, pianodwarf's leprechaun in his cupboard, and every other deity that I have ever examined.

Many people say to me "my god exists!".  And I polutely ask them to define that god, to see if it matches what I understand and perceive of the universe.  It rarely does.  I ask them to show me the evidence for their god, and rarely if ever do I receive any.  I ask "how can I find/communicate with/experience this god for myself?"  And rarely if ever do I get an answer.  When I do - and I follow the instructions - I invariably have no results.

And so to all those gods that I have examined, I confidently say "NO.  That god does not exist."

EXACTLY the same way, holybuckets, that you say that "Ganesh does not exist".

Or do you agree that Ganesh exists?  I wouldn't want anyone to think that YOU were a hypocrite.
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: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #247 on: April 22, 2013, 04:18:55 AM »
So you call the fact, that my pastor new what happened to my employee in 2002, without never met him before, a " uncommon natural phenomenon " ?
Why do you think it was natural, and not supernatural ?

Another explanation could be that the pastor had read or heard something about this man, and then consciously forgotten it.  When the man appeared in front of him, his name or his face triggered the memory of what happened.

For most people, when that memory popped up, we might say "oh, didn't I HEAR you were in a car crash?"  But for your pastor - a man steeped in belief who genuinely believes his god speaks to him and imparts information - when that memory popped up, it would be extremely likely he would "feel" it was his god speaking to him directly and imparting that information for the first time.  As a result he would speak the information just as he did.....but with no requirement for ANY supernatural intervention.

It is, of course, impossible now to prove that your pastor had never read or been told of the accident.  But of course, nor is it possible to prove that there was a god who DID decide to pop some information into your pastor's brain.....though to accept there IS a god, who DID do that, one would have to explain why then?  Why not give some useful information to someone who could use it for something other than a cheap parlour trick?

But I digress.  In the absence of proof either way, my explanation is perfectly reasonable, and benefits from requiring no additional supernatural elements.
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 pianodwarf

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #248 on: April 22, 2013, 06:02:40 AM »
You are here to play. If you don't , you loose the game.

In this case, you asked me to support a claim I never made, then when I said I couldn't support the claim and that I had never made the claim in the first place in any event, you said that my claim was invalid.  If this was an honest mistake on your part, just admit it and move on -- I promise you, no one is going to sneer at you for being mature enough to admit you erred.

(On the other hand, if it was deliberate, and if that type of behavior is your norm, you can probably expect moderator intervention soon.)
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline skepticofatheism

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #249 on: April 22, 2013, 06:25:07 AM »
He is always there. God is present everywhere, all the time. He is All knowing. If you are not able to perceive it with your senses, that does not mean, he is not present.

An alleged entity that is invisible, inaudible, intangible, totally unresponsive to My inquiries and totally undetectable by any means known to current science -- and whose "presence" doesn't even annoy My cats -- is a de facto imaginary being that has no fucking relevance to the life that I am currently living.

In other words, even if it *is* real I don't bloody well care, because it has no perceivable effect on My reality.

your inquiries have a apropriate answer - which you willfully ignore. Read the bible.
There are millions of testimonies of people that pray, and have their prayers answered.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #250 on: April 22, 2013, 06:50:22 AM »
skepticofatheism,

Its all very well to tell us about all the people who make claims about prayer working but it can't be shown to be true. Sadly, the best study to date found that prayer doesn't work.

You see there are quite are few things that are claimed by, for exmple, Christianity like prayer being effective and so on. Yet when it is tested, it is clear it has no effect. Now I know you can tell m eof people who claim it works but think about this example.

There are 20 patients in a hospital ward, each with a 5% chance of survival from some nasty disease. Sure enough, all but one die. now each patient's family prayed for their loved one. Can the family of the one who survived claim their prayer was effective, because if so there are 19 families for whom is wasn't? is it not the case that people claim prayer is effective by ignoring all the times it didn't work and then, by chance the think they pray for happens so that prayer worked?

It is when one gets to the predictions a religion makes and then finds the prediction is false than one gets to wonder if there is a god at all or if the whole thing was made up by men as a way of control a stone age population.

Now, let us see just bit of hard evidence that anything your religion predicts should happen actually does happen.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #251 on: April 22, 2013, 06:51:20 AM »
your inquiries have a apropriate answer - which you willfully ignore. Read the bible.
There are millions of testimonies of people that pray, and have their prayers answered.

Read it.  Prayed.  No answers.

Muslims read the Koran.  Prayed.  Got answers.

Not sure what your point is here?  Astreja's point is that if following all the required steps to make contact with a particular deity produces no effect or response, then there is no need thereafter to consider that deity as being existent, nor to live one's life with any nod to that deity's alleged wishes or desires.

Can I ask how many prayers you have directed to Lord Ganesh?  How you structure your life to take into account Lord Ganesh's teachings and wishes?  And what your answer would be to the question "does Lord Ganesh exist"?
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 #252 on: April 22, 2013, 06:52:17 AM »
Im just assuming SoA is lying about the whole thing until some evidence is put forth. My testimony is that there is no god, now we have to determine truth between two opposing testimonies. How shall we do that?

Offline Dante

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #253 on: April 22, 2013, 07:07:58 AM »
I met the challenge. I have provided the only possible evidence for a miracle. A testimony. Challenge met. If you do not believe it, i can provide you the contact information of the person in question, and its sister. They will confirm everything i said. Why do you believe they have interest to lie ?

Bwahahahaha!
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #254 on: April 22, 2013, 07:15:17 AM »
This website and the majority of participants stream out " there is no god ". This becomes clear after the first assertion, that their case is only disbelief in deities. Its for most of them more that just this. Most do actively deny Gods existence.
Of course, there are a lot of gods you don't believe in, aren't there? Do you believe they exist? If not, why not?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Quesi

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #255 on: April 22, 2013, 07:45:58 AM »

May I ask you a question.  If I testified that I am the reincarnation of Cleopatra, and that I was abducted by aliens last night, would you accept my testimony at face value?


May i ask you a question as well. What do you think, motivated me, and millions over the world, to testify the miracles they presenced ?

Great question!  I would say that the same factors motivated you to testify, and motivated millions of others to testify about god and aliens and being the reincarnation of Cleopatra. 

Here is an article in Psychology Today, which describes some of the traits that are common among people who claim to have been abducted by aliens.  I've listed 4 of the 5 traits, and I suspect that each of these traits is common among folks who have received messages from god or experienced miracles or have seen ghosts or fairies or demons or who remember past lives.   http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/why-we-worry/201207/five-traits-could-get-you-abducted-aliens



* Tendency to Recall False Memories: In an elegant set of experimental studies, McNally and colleagues found that individuals who claimed to have been abducted by aliens were prone to what is known as “false memory syndrome." That is, alien abductees regularly claimed to recall words, items, sentences, etc. in memory tests that they had never actually seen before. If this “false memory” affect can be generalized to autobiographical memories, then individuals who claim to have been abducted by aliens would be twice as likely to “falsely remember” things that had never happened to them than would non-abductees.

*   High levels of “Absorption”: Alien abductees also score significantly higher than most people on the mental characteristic known as ‘absorption.' This is a trait related to fantasy proneness, vivid imagery, and susceptibility to hypnosis and suggestion.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorption_(psychology)

New Age beliefs: (New age beliefs are more likely for reincarnation or alien abductions.  "Old age beliefs" are more likely for god and fairies and demons.)[1] ... They score highly on measures of magical ideation and endorse New Age ideas that encompass beliefs about alternative medicines and healing, astrology, and fortune telling. Such beliefs would certainly allow the individual to accept things happening to them that would be dismissed by existing scientific knowledge.

A familiarity with the cultural narrative ...  Pretty self evident.  We tell these stories over and over again.  And then certain members of the society that is telling the story imagine themselves to be a protagonist in the story.

I'm guessing that you and your wife and your pastor and your employee are all familiar with the cultural narrative of Christianity, and most of you believed it before you had this miraculous experience.  I would also guess that all of you probably have fairly high absorption levels, and that this experience is probably not the first false memory that you have had. 

Hundreds of years ago, no one reported being abducted by aliens.  Today reports come in from all over the world.  For many hundreds of years, members of certain cultures reported seeing fairies and goblins and mysterious creatures, who would often pull pranks and knock over buckets and move items around and eat food and whatnot.  Not too many people report a lot of fairy activity these days.  But some folks tell ghost stories. 

Throughout all of human history, there have always been folks who got special messages from their deities.  Ancient Greek gods spoke to mortals all the time.  Had sex with them too.  Ancient Mayan gods approached both royalty and common folk, and offered farming tips and suggestions for temple construction.  The god of Abraham sometimes offers really nasty advice, such as placing bombs or killing your children.  But in spite of being really busy, that god still takes the time to send illusionary pastors to re-tell stories of accidents to individuals, rather than making himself universally known to everyone, and nogodsforme suggested he could. 

I know you believe it.  I know you do.  And if you lived in ancient Greece, you would probably have been visited by a member of the pantheon.  And if you lived in ancient Guatemala, you probably would have gotten a message from a corn deity.  And if you lived in a community that was more new age and less fundamentalist Christian, you probably would have been abducted by aliens, or recognized yourself as the reincarnation of some famous person from the past. 

As long as Christianity exists, some people are going to imagine themselves as protagonists in some important aspect of the story. 

 



 1. My editorial comments, not included in the article.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #256 on: April 22, 2013, 08:42:37 AM »
your inquiries have a apropriate answer - which you willfully ignore. Read the bible.
There are millions of testimonies of people that pray, and have their prayers answered.
I think you are mistaken! The enquiries do have an answer, but it is in the Bhagavad GitaWiki

If you visit just a few of the Hindu websites, you will see that "There are millions of testimonies of people that pray, and have their prayers answered."

Your god is not there and it is just coincidence that you ask for say, "good health for a friend" and it happens. With Ganesha, he really does listen and He acts. He is not like your imaginary god.

I know Ganesha, Lord of all existing Beings, is real. You are deluded and your karma will not be resolved; you will never attain moksa (liberation) and you will be condemned to eternal cycles of reincarnation.

I urge you to accept Ganesha as your Lord and Protector.

Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline screwtape

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #257 on: April 22, 2013, 09:41:58 AM »
Hi skepticofatheism

welcome to our site.  My green text indicates I am acting as a moderator.  I am not participating in the discusion, but trying to help guide you.

You have taken a rather bombastic and in-your-face approach.  I suggest you dial back on that.

You also say a lot of things without any support or citation.  For example, this:

The probability that the universe came out of absolutely nothing is exact...... ZERO. All quantum fluctuation speculations are all irrational nonsense, since a quantum field does not arise from absolutely nothing. A eternal universe is a failed hypotheses, since otherwise we would be in a state of heath death.

You need to show your work or link to a legitimate source that shows this statement is correct.  Your say so does not cut it.  Or you can stop saying things like this. 

For your benefit, there are links to the site rules below in my sig.

Thanks for your cooperation.
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What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #258 on: April 22, 2013, 10:36:50 AM »
If miracles are evidence for a god, do Christians acknowledge the gods of Islam or Hinduism? Because they also have miracles, dozens on websites, just like Christians.

Even if there were documented miracles (supernatural events) it would still be a stretch to say that the miracles came from one particular god. Because there are a lot of gods out there, according to the various religions that exist. How does anyone know that it is their own special diety that is responsible for all the world's miracles?

Besides, I have yet to have a Christian explain to me the difference between an unlikely but normal human event (someone has cancer and gets better after praying) and a supernatural one, impossible without divine intervention (everyone in world with cancer is cured overnight by prayer).
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 mango

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #259 on: April 22, 2013, 11:12:20 AM »
Quote
Can you prove "positive a-Santa-Clausism" is true?? Santa must exist!! NOT...

Interestingly, you can prove "positive a-Santa-Clausism"
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/santa/physics.asp
Argument with the conclusion "If Santa ever did deliver presents, he's dead now"

Offline Astreja

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #260 on: April 22, 2013, 12:21:59 PM »
There is no proof that man evolved from ANYTHING. NO PROOF.  There is MORE proof that Jesus resurrected from the dead than there is for evolution.

(Springy G stops giggling and starts typing...)

Well, let's see what we have here...

On the pro-evolution side:  Millions upon millions of fossil specimens, DNA analyses, physiological commonalities, experiments such as Richard Lenski's famous E. coli experiment and innumerable transitional lifeforms, supported by a theory that has yet to be falsified in favour of a more elegant one.

On the pro-Jesus side:  A few old stories full of supernatural crapola, none of which were written in the time period in question, describing events that over 40 contemporaneous scholars in the Jerusalem area apparently never witnessed and never recorded.  One would think that somebody other than the Gospel authors would have written about that 3 hours of darkness, or the resurrected-saint zombies wandering the streets, or even the mob scene with Pilate addressing the masses from his balcony.  Nada.  Not a sausage.

I think I'll stick with evolution, thanks.  At least it can be used for useful things such as disease control.
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