Author Topic: A Challenge to Christians  (Read 16510 times)

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Offline Jag

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #261 on: April 22, 2013, 12:38:25 PM »
Astreja, I just want to take this opportunity to say that you are the most believable goddess I know of  ;)
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #262 on: April 22, 2013, 12:39:12 PM »
So, there is a possibility the IS a God! Yes or no? Again, this is a very simple question.

No, not a chance. And even if there were, the chances of it being your god would be next to zero.

You are seriously proposing an invisible being living in outer space, completely undetectable, no source of energy, who is immortal and unaffected by time[1], of the trillions of stars all with planets, is genuinely concerned about wearing mixed fibre or women with short hair?

This improbable being can make us live for ever although no dead people have ever given witness to this? But only if we have obeyed His Commands even though everyone has a different idea of what these commands are and whether they are still valid.

Not only that, but if anyone in the Bible had had the slightest intelligence, they would have asked Jesus, "Now exactly how do you make the blind see? I mean, what is the biological process?" and once we knew that, it would not be "miraculous" because we would understand it.

So, once we understand how a god does what it is gods do, he would no longer be a god.

All gods are ignorance. Ignorance is real enough, isn't it, holybuckets?

Astreja, I just want to take this opportunity to say that you are the most believable goddess I know of  ;)

Creep! :)
 1. What would be the use of that? I mean - either immortal OR unaffected by time would do the job
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 12:41:04 PM by Graybeard »
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #263 on: April 22, 2013, 01:28:04 PM »
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"

HA! This is awesome. I'm really glad you posted this article because it demonstrates quite clearly what I was getting at. Here's the rebuttal from the credulous "spin" side.

"Oh no, that article is wrong! Santa and his workers and reindeer are not natural! Silly non-believer, Santa can do whatever he wants because he's supernatural! Didn't you know this? That's why he can fit down every chimney and how he knows who is naughty and who is nice. You a-Santa-Clausists are so blind! Santa is real! I know it. I experienced him and you can't prove me wrong! I know he's real and his magic is true because I have faith."

Notice how your article tries to make points that WE non-believers (those who reject your "Yahweh" deity God thing) are making. But when we state the strong reasons why your God simply is an absurd notion and could not exist, you start ranting things like the above. It's hypocrisy, plain and simple. If you can show good reasons for thinking Santa is not real, then in the same exact fashion we can use those same reasons for showing your God isn't real. You can't have your cake and eat it too. The door swings both ways.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 01:39:34 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #264 on: April 22, 2013, 01:37:29 PM »
So, there is a possibility the IS a God! Yes or no? Again, this is a very simple question.

This depends upon what you mean by the term "God". If you believe in a being that supposedly has logically contradictory traits (such as being all-just but all-merciful, all-good but creates evil and breaks it's own laws, all-powerful but cannot lie, etc), then the answer is almost certainly no. That God is not possible. But if for you the term "nature" and "God" are interchangeable, then the answer is...sure. So it all depends on how you are defining your terms.

As far as I'm concerned, the traditionally accepted definition of the Christian God is simply not possible.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 01:41:26 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline mango

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #265 on: April 22, 2013, 02:17:11 PM »
"Oh no, that article is wrong! Santa and his workers and reindeer are not natural! Silly non-believer, Santa can do whatever he wants because he's supernatural! Didn't you know this? That's why he can fit down every chimney and how he knows who is naughty and who is nice. You a-Santa-Clausists are so blind! Santa is real! I know it. I experienced him and you can't prove me wrong! I know he's real and his magic is true because I have faith."

Well, I suppose that might be a fall back. It still demonstrated that something doesn't exist, namely a present deliverer that works with the laws of physics, delivering physical presents. That one we absolutely know, and proved, does not exist.

I actually don't think that there is some extra burden of atheists to prove a god doesn't exist. Everyone has the same burden to come up with a theory that works with all the data we have. If you can accommodate all the data you know of without needing a god to explain anything you are either obligated to look at more or justified in not believing in one, even if you don't have any specific arguments against the existence of a god.

It's just that the idea of "you can't prove a negative" is sortof dumb. Otherwise the theist can just say "I don't have to prove that God doesn't not exist because I can't prove a negative."

Even the more refined "You can't prove negative existence claims" is bad. You can prove that Santa, as usually conceived, doesn't exist. I can prove there is no visible pink unicorn in my room. I can prove there is no elephant sitting on my keyboard. I can prove that there is not yet a third post by me in this thread. Or at least I can prove them by the same standard we have for other things.

There may be some things the existence of which cannot be disproved, but it takes an additional argument beyond either of these slogans to show that it CAN'T be done. Incidentally, there are some decent arguments why this might be the case for a classical theistic God, but they do have to be made and defended.

Offline Astreja

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #266 on: April 22, 2013, 02:19:26 PM »
You {holybuckets} are seriously proposing an invisible being living in outer space, completely undetectable, no source of energy, who is immortal and unaffected by time, of the trillions of stars all with planets, is genuinely concerned about wearing mixed fibre or women with short hair?

Já, what's up with that hate for short hair?  Sounds more like My ex Whatsisname than an entity capable of putting a hydrogen atom together properly.
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Offline mango

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #267 on: April 22, 2013, 02:32:20 PM »
So, there is a possibility the IS a God! Yes or no? Again, this is a very simple question.

That is actually not as simple a question as it seems. If you accept that God, if there is one, is a necessary being, and you accept modal logic up to S5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modal_logic which most logicians do), then the possibility that God exists entails that God actually exists. This God possibly existing or not existing is tricky business.

Of course you could mean epistemic modality, but then you are just asking if you believe anything incompatible with the existence of God, and of course all atheists do (They believe he actually doesn't exist).

Thus, an atheist sortof shouldn't say that it is possible that God exists. And if asked for reasons, she may say because he actually doesn't exist (and S5 and the nature of the God under discussion entail that it is thereby impossible for God to exist).

Edit::
Oh, just thought of this though: For interesting philosophical reasons, an atheist may say though that there is only a very low but non-zero probability that God exists, even though it is impossible for God to exist. Yay for formal epistemology.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 02:36:04 PM by mango »

Online jaimehlers

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #268 on: April 22, 2013, 02:46:55 PM »
Are we talking about gods or cats[1] here?
 1. referring to Schrodinger's Cat

Offline skepticofatheism

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #269 on: April 22, 2013, 02:58:38 PM »

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #270 on: April 22, 2013, 03:03:18 PM »
Yes, because Christians are making the claim that there is a god despite not having any evidence whatsoever to prove there is one.  If you believe there is a god, you have to prove it.  Until you can prove it, nobody else has any obligation to believe you.
present solid evidence, that the natural world is all there is. As long as you do not have any, nobody else has either obligation to believe you. So far, not ONE strong atheis has been able to present convincing positive atheist arguments, which make a compelling case for strong atheism.
One piece of evidence that the natural world is all there is: people who behave as if there are gods have exactly the same lives as people who behave as if the natural world is all there is (athiests). Belief in gods has zero effect on anything measurable. If believing in god made a difference, that difference should show up somewhere. It doesn't.

Planes don't drop out of the sky based on the religion of the passengers or pilot. Floods, earthquakes and tornadoes happen based on natural world conditions, not on how strongly people practice their faith.

The "miracles" that supposedly happen to god-believers also happen to atheists. Atheists and believers alike recover from cancer, escape dangerous criminals, survive car accidents, come back safely from war, win the lotto, give birth under difficult circumstances, find love, get job promotions, live to be 100.

Religious people like to tell atheists that life without god leads to rampant crime, violence, family breakup, misbehavior of every kind, jails full of evil doers. If this was the case, Japan should be the crime and violence capital of the world, since it is almost completely free of god-belief. In fact, when people actually do research on the effects of religious belief on societies, they find the opposite of what religious people have always told us.

The more heavily a society relies on religious belief, the higher all the bad indicators are--more crime, more poverty, more violence, higher prison populations, more unemployment, more divorce, more inequality, worse pollution.

The places with the least violent crime, safest streets, fewest prisoners, best health care, highest education levels, lowest divorce and teen pregnancy rates, better status for women, etc. are the countries and states with the lowest rates of religious belief and participation. Like Japan, and Scandinavian countries.

Religious people sometimes respond by saying that just because people claim to believe in god does not mean they really practice their faith. People say on the survey that they are Christians or whatever, then they go on looking at child porn, beating up gay people and using meth. Maybe.

But why would the rates of bad behavior be lower among people who say they are not religious? Could it be that people who claim to be atheists are behaving better than people who say they believe in god?

Maybe it just so happens that policies based on rational evaluation of problems and solutions[1]create better environments for people than relying on faith and prayer to solve social problems.... 

So, if there is a supernatural force out there somewhere, it has no effect whatsoever on anything--as far as we can tell. The entire universe functions as if there is no god--as far as we can tell. Therefore, it may as well not exist.
 1. like science-based sex ed and contraception for teens, instead of abstinence programs
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 03:05:16 PM by nogodsforme »
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 screwtape

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #271 on: April 22, 2013, 03:07:40 PM »
atheism is NOT a worldview.

Of course it is.

http://carm.org/atheism-worldview

Really?  CARM presuming to speak for atheists?  Sort of like the the Klan presuming to speak for jews.

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #272 on: April 22, 2013, 03:08:09 PM »
atheism is NOT a worldview.

Of course it is.

http://carm.org/atheism-worldview

There are atheist worldviews.  But "atheism" in and of itself does not describe a worldview.

There are also theist worldviews.  "Theism" in and of itself does not describe a worldview, either.  If it did, then a Christian and a Hindu would have the same worldview, the "theist" one.  They don't.
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Online pianodwarf

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #273 on: April 22, 2013, 03:10:29 PM »
atheism is NOT a worldview.

Of course it is.

http://carm.org/atheism-worldview

It annoys the crap out of me when theists take it upon themselves to "explain" what it means to be an atheist.  The most common phenomenon in this regard is theists insisting that atheism is a claim (which it isn't), but this worldview thing also makes the list.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #274 on: April 22, 2013, 03:12:50 PM »
It annoys the crap out of me when theists take it upon themselves to "explain" what it means to be an atheist.  The most common phenomenon in this regard is theists insisting that atheism is a claim (which it isn't), but this worldview thing also makes the list.

yeah.  makes me glad the conversation is done over internet.  I might otherwise be inclined to kick someone in the shins.
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Offline Jag

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #275 on: April 22, 2013, 03:18:07 PM »
atheism is NOT a worldview.

Of course it is.

http://carm.org/atheism-worldview

Without bothering first to go check the link you provide, I'm going to counter with this: care to explain, in your own words, how "I don't believe in god(s)" constitutes a WORLD view?

Belief, or lack thereof, addresses a single factor of how one perceives and interacts with the rest of the world, and frankly, it's believers who tend to allow that single factor to guide their decisions and choices (when they choose to apply it, the hypocrites). Most atheists I know - and unlike you, I do know them from real life interactions as opposed to on the internet, which positions me to be far more credible than you on this topic - look for answers from multiple credible sources as opposed to interpreting a book with so many blatant contradictions in it.

Now I'll go see of there's anything worthwhile in your link. Get back to me on my question above so we can have further discussion with a point that makes some sense.
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Offline Jag

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #276 on: April 22, 2013, 03:25:06 PM »
And the very first sentence is this: In order to know if atheism is a worldview, we need to first define our terms. 

So, there's a qualifier from the start. Let's see what else this guy has to say....

Oh! Another gem! Here's this: In a recent discussion I had in the CARM chat room (10/21/11), I asked the atheists about their worldiew.  They said that atheism was not a worldview.  I said that it was. 

Ok, I have no clue who Matt Slick might be, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that he is a christian. I also contend that he is taking the typical christian approach of insisting that a believer such as himself is better suited to tell a non-believer what the non-believer believes than the non-believers is suited to speak on their own behalf.

MASSIVE fail, and a waste of a mouse click.

Edited to add: just noticed what CARM actually stands for, and I retract every assumption I made in the paragraph above. I state them as fact instead.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 03:28:23 PM by Jag »
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #277 on: April 22, 2013, 03:38:17 PM »
I think that was the site where I saw all the face-palm-worthy stuff about gay marriage. Arguments at the 7-year-old kid level of analysis. Basically, "my god says gay people are icky, and they have cooties, so no equal rights for them". For pages and pages. :P
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 skepticofatheism

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #278 on: April 22, 2013, 03:39:14 PM »

You are seriously proposing an invisible being living in outer space, completely undetectable, no source of energy, who is immortal and unaffected by time[1], of the trillions of stars all with planets, is genuinely concerned about wearing mixed fibre or women with short hair?

 1. What would be the use of that? I mean - either immortal OR unaffected by time would do the job

yes, i do. What better alternative do you have on hand ? please present it.

Offline skepticofatheism

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #279 on: April 22, 2013, 03:47:02 PM »

One piece of evidence that the natural world is all there is: people who behave as if there are gods have exactly the same lives as people who behave as if the natural world is all there is (athiests). Belief in gods has zero effect on anything measurable. If believing in god made a difference, that difference should show up somewhere. It doesn't.

and how do you know this ?

Quote
Planes don't drop out of the sky based on the religion of the passengers or pilot. Floods, earthquakes and tornadoes happen based on natural world conditions, not on how strongly people practice their faith.

without earth quakes, volcanoes etc. there would be no life.... its all finely tuned to permit life on earth. how comes ?

Quote
The "miracles" that supposedly happen to god-believers also happen to atheists. Atheists and believers alike recover from cancer, escape dangerous criminals, survive car accidents, come back safely from war, win the lotto, give birth under difficult circumstances, find love, get job promotions, live to be 100.

atheists dont pray to God, and do not have answers of prayers. that is a BIG difference.

Quote
Religious people like to tell atheists that life without god leads to rampant crime, violence, family breakup, misbehavior of every kind, jails full of evil doers. If this was the case, Japan should be the crime and violence capital of the world, since it is almost completely free of god-belief.

you are quit wrong. Have you been in japan ? i have been there. japanese are well religious people. Their religion happens just to be different than ours.

Quote
In fact, when people actually do research on the effects of religious belief on societies, they find the opposite of what religious people have always told us.

and how should this be a evidence that God does not exist ?

Quote
The more heavily a society relies on religious belief, the higher all the bad indicators are--more crime, more poverty, more violence, higher prison populations, more unemployment, more divorce, more inequality, worse pollution.

how do you know this ?

Quote
The places with the least violent crime, safest streets, fewest prisoners, best health care, highest education levels, lowest divorce and teen pregnancy rates, better status for women, etc. are the countries and states with the lowest rates of religious belief and participation. Like Japan, and Scandinavian countries.

even if lets say that would be the case. that is still not evidence that God does not exist.

Quote
Religious people sometimes respond by saying that just because people claim to believe in god does not mean they really practice their faith. People say on the survey that they are Christians or whatever, then they go on looking at child porn, beating up gay people and using meth. Maybe.


again. that doesnt say nothing about if god exists, or not.

Quote
So, if there is a supernatural force out there somewhere, it has no effect whatsoever on anything--as far as we can tell. The entire universe functions as if there is no god--as far as we can tell. Therefore, it may as well not exist.

then you should study nature better. Do you imagine the letters you read now could have chance as origin ? No ? in the same way, the codified information stored in DNA cannot have chance, or physical necessity, as origin.

Offline skepticofatheism

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #280 on: April 22, 2013, 03:50:25 PM »
atheism is NOT a worldview.

Of course it is.

http://carm.org/atheism-worldview

It annoys the crap out of me when theists take it upon themselves to "explain" what it means to be an atheist.  The most common phenomenon in this regard is theists insisting that atheism is a claim (which it isn't), but this worldview thing also makes the list.

maibe there should be made a distinction between weak, and strong atheists. Strong atheists indeed claim, that most probably there is no God. So they need provide evidence for their claim.

have fun :

http://www.atheism-analyzed.net/

Offline Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #281 on: April 22, 2013, 03:59:24 PM »
maibe there should be made a distinction between weak, and strong atheists. ...

There is a distinction between weak and strong atheists.  So far you've been behaving as if the distinction didn't exist.
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Offline Jag

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #282 on: April 22, 2013, 04:13:57 PM »
atheism is NOT a worldview.

Of course it is.

http://carm.org/atheism-worldview

It annoys the crap out of me when theists take it upon themselves to "explain" what it means to be an atheist.  The most common phenomenon in this regard is theists insisting that atheism is a claim (which it isn't), but this worldview thing also makes the list.

maibe there should be made a distinction between weak, and strong atheists. Strong atheists indeed claim, that most probably there is no God. So they need provide evidence for their claim.

have fun :

http://www.atheism-analyzed.net/

Maybe, just maybe mind you, you would be better served by listening to what actual real live atheists are telling you, rather than denying what we are saying about ourselves in favor of an idiot who just happens to agree with you. It's just a thought, but you ought to consider it a bit before rejecting it out of hand.

Why do you keep defaulting back to a non-atheist to find out what an atheist believes, when you have so many of us right here at the other end of your keyboard? And what makes you think that we all share the same opinions about everything, other than your apparent love of simplistic answers? The only explanation you're demonstrating so far is that you freak right the hell out as soon as you encounter an opinion that contradicts your own, and respond by deflecting all over the place.

Do yourself a favor and get this one firmly set in your head - arguments posed by other believers about what an atheist believes are not going to be compelling to an actual atheist who is perfectly capable of speaking on their own behalf. It's painfully clear why if you would bother to think about that for just 2 quick seconds.

We are not a collective, we don't have rules, and we argue amongst ourselves all the time. We are individuals who happen to agree that we disbelieve god claims. That we sometimes do have other things in common is a side effect of that, not a requirement. You'd probably be quite surprised that you have stuff in common with a lot of us as well. Do you like sports? Do you own a car? Have any pets? How 'bout kids? A job? A family? Do you watch tv or movies? Do you listen to music? Have any hobbies?

Just for fun, chew on this one - atheism is not a religion.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #283 on: April 22, 2013, 04:18:49 PM »
Thanks for the detailed reply, skepticofatheism.

I never said that there was no god. I said that, looking at the natural world and the everyday world as we humans experience it, there is no sign of god that can be distinguished from there being no god at all. If "belief in god" and "no belief in god" produce exactly the same results (no difference in the lives of believers and unbelievers) than we can only assume that the god-belief had no effect. A god who has no effect might was well not exist.

There are lots of studies of social conditions around the world. Higher levels of professed religious belief are correlated with lower living standards and more social problems.

This holds for regions of the US as well. The states with the worse crime, poverty, teen pregnancy, family breakups, etc are in the Bible Belt. The highest living standards are in the less religious northern and western states. (I can get the links, or maybe someone else has them handy.)
 
The earth is not at all "finely-tuned" for people, or any other life forms. Humans can only live in a tiny portion of the earth, and only with a lot of constant adjustment. Life is pretty damn precarious--that's probably why ancient people had to invent supernatural beings to call on for help.

Atheists do not pray to any gods, and have as much success in life as people who do pray to gods. What does that suggest about praying to gods?

As for Japan, that is one example of a place with very little organized religion and almost no Christianity. There is Shintoism and Buddhism, but not very much formal god-belief. People in Japan are following the law and behaving peacefully due to social reasons, not fear of hell. Or are you saying that any old god-belief is the same as any other?

Lastly, to say that the natural world functions as if there is no god does not mean that there is no order. The universe is not based on random chance, or there would be no way to use science to understand things. Science is based on being able to understand and predict phenomena based on gathering data.

For example, if you drop something it will be drawn toward the earth by gravity. If a god can do anything, like make dropped objects sometimes fall, sometimes float, sometimes turn into dragons, based on the correct prayers, that is random, because absolutely anything could happen-- the data would not matter. And there is no way I would ever get onto a plane, because it would only fly if the right prayers were said!

As far as we have been able to tell, there are some things that never happen. Cars don't suddenly turn into dragons, no matter how much you pray. Chopped off legs do not grow back on humans, no matter how much you pray. If human legs sometimes grew back and sometimes did not, based on prayer, that would be pretty random.

Science is the opposite of random chance--science defines the current limits of the possible. God is the lord of random--with god, all things are possible. Right?
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.

Online shnozzola

Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #284 on: April 22, 2013, 04:49:57 PM »
Yeah, Please speak up. Start , presenting a consistent world view based on positive atheism.

skepticofatheism,

   Let me explain my beliefs to you.  I am not certain of anything.  Looking at christianity and being a christian most of my life, I feel there is great wisdom attributed to Jesus.  But there is also great wisdom in many religions and secular philosophies.  At this point I have whittled the idea of god so small to make it fit the universe as it is, that said "god" does not exist.  Therefore said "heaven and hell" do not exist.  These things start to make a lot more sense if you can begin to think critically.  Try it, it's not evil, and, if you were correct, and the god you believe in created the entire universe, he probably would cut your questioning some slack, yes?

   But that really is not the point.  The point is how these beliefs make each of us view society and act upon our views. I have no problem with your beliefs as long as you respect the beliefs of others, since it doesn't involve much thinking to see how mankind arrives at our varied beliefs.  Most of us get there as children from the beliefs taught to us.  Sadly, most people don't question anything more, and fight tooth and nail throughout life defending our beliefs and cursing another's.

   My hope is that a theist here doesn't so much become defensive and angry, but realizes the world is grey, not black and white, and our fellow man's shoes are important enough to stand in, and then maybe Jesus' words mean something - lose yourself (in another man's shoes) and follow me.  Taking care of each other is infinitely more important than religion.

Positive atheism, negative atheism, positive Christianity, negative Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, on and on.............  I mean, come on, we have got to get past this hatred of the unknown.

There skepticofatheism, I spoke up.  I gave it my best shot.  Please don't kill me because my beliefs are different than yours.
“I wanna go ice fishing on Europa, and see if something swims up to the camera lens and licks it.”- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #285 on: April 22, 2013, 05:18:39 PM »
skepticofatheism

Sorry I'm late to the game. I'd like to be sure I have this right.

Historically people have said that there is a god. Currently people say there is a god. In both cases, the claim is made without solid evidence. That is, this god fella hasn't shown up and proved his or her own existence.

And yet I, as an atheist, am tasked with proving that this oft-claimed, poorly described, variously talented, occasionally omnipotent, multi-interpreted and ineptly/selectively worshipped deity is false? Do i have that correct?

And after you clarify that, could you do me a favor. Tell me what religions would look like if they were all false.

My position (not a worldview, it doesn't dictate any part of my existence except what I do on Sunday morning and when hanging around on this site) is that there is no reason to think there is a god. I would like to put my certainty about the non-existence of a christian god at 100%, but most of the atheists on this site won't let me do that. They insist that I have to leave the guy a little wiggle room. So I tone it down and say that I am 99.999999999% sure there is no god, based mostly on the fact that he doesn't exist.

I can't prove he doesn't exist. And he can't prove that he does. I know it sounds like a tie, but I have a computer and he doesn't. I can communicate to many my POV. He can't. I win.

That you are speaking for a god (whichever version you may have worldviewed yourself to) doesn't give him any validity if he doesn't exist. And if the only proof that he does is people who claim that he exists, then there is no proof at all.

I have walls. He knows how to write on them. I have eyes, he knows how to show me his hindquarters. I have two sons. He knows how to tell me to sacrifice them. I don't have a boat. He knows how to drown me. I look back a lot. He knows how to turn me into a pillar of salt. I've seen whales. He knows how to have me swallowed.

But noooooooo. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Instead, I'm supposed to have faith. Exactly the same thing I would have to have to believe in a real fake god. Coincidence? I don't think so.

You can yell and scream all day long that I have no way to prove that there is no god, but you have no way to prove that there is one either. You're picking your evidence, I'm picking mine. There can be no winner.

Were there actually a god, there could be.



Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #286 on: April 22, 2013, 05:25:36 PM »
I think if you ask, 'strong' atheists will admit that they can't be certain that there is no god.  But their claim is based on the same premise as 'weak' atheism - that a god should have noticeable effects on the universe, and we observe no such effects.  They're just more forceful about it.

Like it or not, it's up to theists to provide evidence to show that their particular god exists.  If they - you - don't, then the obvious next question is, "well, why should I believe?"  And to that question, the theist who can't demonstrate that his god even exists has no answer, because all of the things that provide incentives to believe have no meaning if the god doesn't exist to provide them.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #287 on: April 22, 2013, 05:48:50 PM »

I do not believe there is a single member of this forum who does not believe, somewhere in a part of their heart and soul, that God exists. Including you.



I want to try and explain this a bit more. My primary reason for holding this view remains the passage from Romans:

"since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

I believe the bible is God's message to humanity. All of it. The good bits, the difficult bits, the really strange bits. My reasons for believing this are beside the point, and I have discussed it before many times anyway. Clearly, we disagree on this. But I seek only, for now, to better explain my statement above.

Those verses are part of Paul's letter to the believers in Rome, in which he tells of God's wrath against humanity. So when he says 'them', he is not speaking of a select group of people at a certain time (unlike other passages). The context is pretty clear. He's referring to all of humanity. God has made it clear to him that the human heart is aware of God.

Now, I don't know if every human heart has a sense of God in exactly the same way, or at the same time, whether its constant or whether its fleeting. But I believe that somewhere along the line the human heart speaks clearly to its owner. Maybe its when you saw something beautiful in nature, and just for a second your heart was filled with God. Then, quick as a flash, you tell yourself 'no, no. that's just my silly, unreliable emotions, a perfectly natural human reaction to seeing something lovely. It wasn't really God.'

Or maybe its when you hear of some awful injustice or suffering, and before you know it your heart is filled with pleas to...who? 'No, no...no one in particular. Get a grip. Stupid heart. Shutup.I'm smarter than that' But because you're not smarter than your own heart, that plea turns to anger ( a 'hypothetical' anger, mind you ) that any God could allow the suffering at all.

What I've seen on the forum here over the past 14 months belies its oft stated purpose - (to educate theists that their belief in God is irrational, and that theists having an influence on society is bad news). Certainly, whenever a new theist emails in or joins the forum, there is an initial flood of posts explaining why belief in God is irrational. From where I sit, it has a real sense of 'going through the motions'.

But the real action almost always kicks in when discussions turn to what God says, what He has done, what He will do. The emotions displayed in many of the posts seem far too real for me to believe that they're generated only by the idea of God. I know that some of the emotion and anger is generated by hurtful and stupid things Christians sometimes do and say. But you do a much better job of convincing me that you believe God is an evil SOB or impotent or MIA, than you do convincing me that you don't even believe He exists.

There's probably a lot more I could say on this, but time is against me. I hope this at least better explains why I hold my belief about your belief, even if you continue to find it an arrogant and disrespectful belief. I don't disrespect the vast majority of posters here. Many I genuinely like, as much as thats possible on a forum. I like to think I have a reasonable understanding of the lives many of you lead, as much as they've been shared. I pay attention.



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?

I've thought about this, and can only conclude that my faith in God's nature would probably be weakened. It's a really hard thing for me to answer, because there has just been no obvious, honest answer I can give. I don't think it would cause me to stop believeing God existed, because my belief in God is not tied to whether anyone esle beieves. But He says everyone does, so if that was wrong....I just don't know. Clear as mud?

The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #288 on: April 22, 2013, 05:58:39 PM »
Does it seem at all nutty to anyone here that the most powerful being in all of everything can't show any sign of being real? In what other area of normal life (and theoretical physics is not exactly normal life) can something that acts as though it is not there be presumed to exist?

I have a billion dollars. You can't see it, but it's there, working away in my bank account drawing interest. In ten years I promise to draw out all that money and buy everyone here lavish gifts. So, in advance, I would like everyone here to thank me for the gifts on one day each week, for the next ten years.

And be nice to others.
And refuse to eat certain foods.
And cut off the tip of a sensitive body part.

Because, deep in a secret place inside of everyone, you know that I really have that billion dollars, don't you? Admit it, you want those gifts.

How many people would take me up on that offer, even knowing that I actually do exist? &)
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 Jag

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #289 on: April 22, 2013, 06:08:44 PM »
With much respect mm, you still seem to be missing something here. It's not like this forum is filled with non-believers who sought to reject God in the first place - based on my own familiarity with the stories of the posters here (gained the same way as yours), many of them fought quite hard to hold on to those beliefs, not reject them. Lack of evidence of a god was the end of the journey, not the beginning.

I can absolutely relate to the scene you painted in your post. I felt that when I believed, and continue to feel that to this day. I can say in utter honesty that I don't examine that feeling when it happens, I appreciate the moment and just enjoy it. I certainly don't stop to talk myself out of thanking god for it, as I don't think of god when it happens in the first place. You seem to think we spend our time (in our normal daily lives, not here, obviously) looking for ways to reject god at every opportunity. That's simply not the case.

I really think you don't quite believe us because it's simply inconceivable to you due to your own beliefs in god. I'm not saying that the support you offered isn't supportive of your beliefs, but I strongly suspect that you own beliefs are the basis of your position first. Anything else is not the foundation, but the walls. And I admit that I could be mistaken about that, but it remains a possibility in my mind.

Thank you for elaborating.

Edited: because I can spell, but not type apparently
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 06:12:51 PM by Jag »
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