Author Topic: A Challenge to Christians  (Read 21186 times)

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Offline mango

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #377 on: April 29, 2013, 11:09:18 AM »
I'll reply to the other things as soon as I have time, but come on holybuckets. You just posted a link to an argument that I had already made on my own two or three posts ago. If you can't contribute new content, at least read the other comments.

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #378 on: May 04, 2013, 11:09:17 PM »
Here's an interesting piece from an article that says you can prove a universal negative:

With those principles in line, we must ask then, does the proposition “God exists”, or “God does exist” qualify as an unfalsifiable statement? At this point at least, we know the skeptic is not rationally permitted to suggest that he “cant prove a universal negative.” He must provide a negative reason, or a counter-factual to the given proposition. If he cannot do so, then he has no reason to call himself an “Atheist”.

Source: http://philosophicaugustine.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/is-the-maxim-you-cant-prove-a-universal-negative-true/

The conclusion here that, "he has no reason to call himself an 'Atheist'" is grossly mistaken because it commits an equivocation in terms. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in any God/deity. It is NOT a positive statement, rather it is the result of the rejection of claims that have not met their burden of proof.

As to the question of whether or not one can "prove a universe negative" - two points. 1) The article makes absolutely no attempt to define the term "universal". It merely assumes a specific definition of said term, and 2) the assertion is a red herring to the OP. Please demonstrate your deity or admit you can't.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #379 on: May 05, 2013, 12:04:32 AM »
Mango,
Your posts are big red herrings, and according to one of your previous postings (where you admitted that you didn't come here to meet the challenge of the OP) it seems you are just one big TROLL. Are you just here to be a dick - going off onto tangents about who has the burden of proof, universals, Beye's Theorem, etc etc? None of these things have to do with the OP!

Honestly, what it seems to me is that you really can't demonstrate the alleged deity you claim to believe in, and that's why you skirted the OP from the very start. In another thread I'd be glad to discuss Beye's Theorem (and how it demonstrates Yahweh almost certainly does not exist), who has the burden of proof etc, etc - but really, I don't care about those things in this OP! I want you to demonstrate your deity or admit you can't. And if you admit that you can't demonstrate your deity then I'd like you to tell us why you believe in this non-demonstrable "thing". How do you define this "thing" and what good reason(s) do you have for thinking this thing is real?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Samothec

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #380 on: May 07, 2013, 01:24:43 AM »
Here's an interesting piece from an article that says you can prove a universal negative:
Source: http://philosophicaugustine.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/is-the-maxim-you-cant-prove-a-universal-negative-true/
Except the author of that article fails. I added the bolding below.

Quote from:  Is the Maxim ‘You Can’t Prove a Universal Negative’ True?
An important thing to remember in the rules and inferences of logic is the following:
Quote
A proposition is a statement, utterance, or sentence that asserts a given state of affairs. In other words, propositions can assert affirmative statements “X functions with Y” or negative statements “X does not function with Y”. Both propositions assert something.
 
Furthermore, if a proposition is to be true, it must also be capable of being false (Wittgenstein). If a statement cannot be falsified, then we have no reason to consider the proposition. That is not to say that it is ultimately false, but we have no reason to consider it as such.
With those principles in line, we must ask then, does the proposition “God exists”, or “God does exist” qualify as an unfalsifiable statement? At this point at least, we know the skeptic is not rationally permitted to suggest that he “cant prove a universal negative.” He must provide a negative reason, or a counter-factual to the given proposition. If he cannot do so, then he has no reason to call himself an “Atheist”.

The bold portion points out the author's failure. He uses the quotes he made to refute the universal negative issue. But that skips a step even though he refers to it: showing (as per the bold) that either the position "God exits" or its negative “God does exist” are falsifiable/unfalsifiable. IIRC I have never seen a "God exits" claim that was falsifiable so there is no reason to consider such a statement - and no reason to propose the negative much less prove it.
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline kin hell

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #381 on: May 09, 2013, 08:38:31 AM »
Atheists are hypocrites.
You can use all of the "rules of reason" or whatever you guys use in your chat rooms or whatever.  Here is the bottom line:
NOBODY on this earth has seen God.

First of all, I challenge anyone to dispute me on that!

Secondly, Christians believe that there IS a God.

Are you with me so far? I can type slower if you do not understand.

Thirdly, Atheists do NOT believe in God.  Oh, I know some will say it's not that they don't believe or not believe, but a God has not been proven.

It is hypocritical to say they a person is wrong because they believe in God but cannot prove it, and say that there is no God because they cannot prove it.

Once again, I know you are going to apply your law of "reason"... but you are only stroking yourself.  You may buy the argument- and more power to you.

Same with evolution. There is NO PROOF humans came from fish or some ape looking thing.  NO PROOF. Do you hear me? 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.

Atheists think they have it figured out, but offer NO PROOF!

that so sounds like a tantrum
hands on hips
foot stamping
little white flecks of spittle flying

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Offline riley2112

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #382 on: May 09, 2013, 02:06:05 PM »
Here is a tantrum, with little flecks of spittle flying.. My name is Riley ,, I came to this forum about a year ago. I felt like the people here had no idea about faith, belief or religion. However I did learn some things. After awhile I left the forum, like most believer do. Well now I have come back , and I still believe that there is a creator out there. However, as for religion and I mean all of it ,, I have a little different view on it that I did last time. I am going to let you read something that made me stop and think, I could not have said it any better than this, I did not write this, but it is what I now think almost word for word.

Quote
Yes, it's quite obvious that mankind in general have always superstitiously believed that they must appease the Gods. This is true of just about every religion that exists. Even the Egyptians felt a need to appease their gods as well, as did the Greeks.

Why should a God who does not desire sacrifices cater to people's superstitious beliefs and fears?

Don't you think an all-wise supreme being would indeed be wise enough to realize that the reason people superstitiously believe that they need to appease the Gods is precisely because they believe that the Gods are angry with them?

Why would a real God continue to support such superstitious if they aren't true? And to even go out of his way to make rules about precisely how they are supposed to go about doing this?

You so-called "resolutions" of these contradictions do not constitute resolutions to me. All they amount to are extremely desperate attempts to try to keep alive an ideal that some particular ancient myths have something to do with "God".

But why bother? Can you even answer me that?

Why is it so important to you to support that the Bible is the "Word of God" at all cost?

Have you even ever wanted to understand it without contradictions? I don’t believe so.


Oh absolutely! That was my hope, dream, and expectation when I had originally set out to study the Bible.

I was erroneously taught that the Bible has answers to every question. I naively believed that as a "matter of faith" if only because my very own mother told me it was true.

But what I discovered is that just the opposite is true. The Bible does not have any answers to anything. And the proof of this is in the religion itself.

Just stand back and look at the religion. The original Jews do not even agree with each other on what these ancient stories are trying to say. Clearly Jesus didn't agree with the orthodox Pharisees of his day either. And the Pharisees themselves were not the only views on Judaism even at that time.

Moreover, why would the Jew have rejected Jesus if the Bible was truly clear about this? The Jews never accepted the rumors that Jesus was the promised messiah, and they have extremely good evidence for this.

The messiah was supposed to bring a time of peace among all nations. He was also supposed to be handed the throne of the King of David by God himself.

Jesus never became King and he most certainly didn't bring peace among nations. In fact Christianity (i.d. the rumors of Jesus) historically became the fodder for wars, crusades, and all manner of horrific acts against pagans and non-Christians. Later it even became an excuse to burn people at the stake as "witches".

Where's the "Peace to all nations"?

I agree with the Jews. Jesus could not possibly have been the promised messiah that the Christians claim.

These stories cannot be made to make sense .

I've tried extremely hard. I've bent over backwards to the point of absurdity trying to make these stories work. It's simply not possible.

 I became wiser and finally asked myself, "Why?"

Why am I trying so hard to make these stories work? It was my original hope that I could actually understanding them because they made sense. Then I could hopefully teach others what these stories truly have to say and why they are wrong in their misunderstanding and wrongful interpretations. But what I found was that this is utterly impossible to do. Trying to come up with a sane teachable version of these stories that I could actually convincingly teach to anyone is impossible. Absolutely impossible.

At the very best I can do like the Christians do and pretend to have some outrageous excuses for everything that truly don't make any sense. But why bother with that facade? What's the point to it?

Wouldn't you rather know the truth?

The truth is that these stories cannot be made consistent by anyone. And this is precisely why there are so many different sects and denominations of this religion. No two people are willing to make up or accept the same excuses for these absurdly contradiction fables.

And let's go back to the question of "Why?"

Why bother? Any excuses I could possibly come up with for these stores are going to be extremely lame and unconvincing in general. And to be perfectly honest I cannot even come up with any excuses that would even convince myself.

These fables cannot possibly be true.

And what does the overall story claim?

Well this is something almost everyone can agree on (although there are even people who can't agree on the big picture).

The overall story proclaims that mankind has "fallen from grace" from God and we are in dire need of repentance and need to reconciled with God.

This is the underlying premise of the whole Biblical Picture. As a personal note I personally don't feel that I'm at odds with any God. So this is already going against my own personal innate feelings.

This God tries to get humans to worship, obey, and love him the whole way through these stories failing miserably at every turn of the page of the book.

If you stand back and look at it this God never does a truly wise or intelligent thing the whole way through. It's all done via violence and threats of more violence. Basically saying, "Love and Obey me or be damned!".

IMHO, this is not an intelligent tactic for even mortal parents to employ. The idea that a supposedly all-wise God would employ such low-mentality tactics is absurd at best, and quite disturbing at worst.

So what is Jesus offering to "save" us from? An angry wrathful God who will damn us if we refuse to love, honor and obey him, when all the while he behaves like a totally immature ignoramus?

What's to love?

How can you love a God who's doing nothing other than threatening to harm you if you fail to love him and not even giving you any reason to love him?

And this is all based on the idea that you have already knowingly and willfully rebelled against him and have rejected him and have chosen evil over good?

That's utter nonsense. I know for a fact that none of this is true of me. I haven't chosen evil over good simply because I've recognized the Bible is utterly absurd.

To simply not believe in Jesus cannot be grounds for damnation. Not believing in Jesus or the Bible in general, does not constitute an act of evil, nor does it constituent choosing evil over good.
Yet for Christianity to fly this MUST BE TRUE.

At least as it's preached by the Christians and by many authors of the New Testament. (i.e. Mark, John, Paul), and even places in the Old Testament that claim that anyone who doesn't believe in this religion is an immoral sinner who is incapable of doing good.

Those are all false. They are all lies. Disbelieve in the Abraham God of the Hebrews cannot possibly be grounds for damnation or having chosen evil over good.

So in the BIG PICTURE this religion has clearly shot itself in its own foot. It's trying to demand that if you don't believe in this religion God will hate you and rightfully so because if you refuse to cower down to this religion this religion itself will brand you as a heathen sinner deserving of damnation. 

IMHO, the Hebrew Bible is nothing more than a truly underhanded brainwashing tactic created by the Hebrews in an attempt to elevate their religion above all other religions. This is what these ancient cultures always tried to do. They were constantly trying to lay claim to having the only true religion. Even the Greeks had Zeus as "The God of Gods". The Hebrews aren't any different.

The bottom line for me is simple.

Am I "rejecting my Creator" by not believing in Hebrew religious brainwashing tactics designed to create religious bigotry that puts their religion above all other religions?

No, absolutely not. That is absurd.

Their myths are riddled with absurdities, self-contradictions, and totally unreasonable ultimatums. (like either accept Christ as your savior or be damned).

What kind of a genuinely righteous creator would have created such a negative scheme as this?

It's an 'ungodly' collection of fables, IMHO.

There is no reason to even support it. And there are actually far better reasons for renouncing it as being utterly absurd.

To be perfectly honest, as much as I can appreciate, and personally enjoy, the dream of a spiritual or mystical essence to reality, in terms of human society I would vote for atheism over any of the Abrahamic religions as being a far more sane philosophy to live by.

The Abrahamic religions are founded entirely on the principle that mankind is rebelling against the creator, and that the creator has all manner of commands and directives that he wants mankind to abide by (many of which I do not even see as being sane, much less moral).

Why support ancient fables that proclaim that we are all rebelling against our creator? That's absurd. And it's a highly negative stance to take.

Moreover, even if you accept the "religion" then you are stuck with a lifetime of having to either support all the nonsense in these fables or being branded a "False Believer" because you refuse to swallow and obey specific biblical passages verbatim.

Do I believe that women should be treated as second-class citizens? No I don't.

Yet the Bible demands that they must be, and clearly you can see this in the Catholic Church where women are still not permitted to hold any position of importance or authority.

Islam has the same male-chauvinistic problems. And they all come from these fables.

Sure, there are "Progressive Protestants" who refuse to accept the Bible verbatim.

But what are they doing other than rejecting the Bible whilst still pretending to believe in it. What sense does that even make?

Why continue to cling to a Biblical picture of God if you're going to reject a lot of what the Bible even has to say?

I'm not about to go down that road. That road is truly absurd. Rejecting a dogma whilst pretending to accept it is the epitome of trying to cling to something that you truly don't even believe in.

I'm not going to become a "pretentious Christian". If they Bible can't be trusted verbatim, then let's MOVE ON. Why pretend that we can believe in just parts of it and reject other parts?

That's nonsense, IMHO.(Divine Insight, Apr 23, 2013)

Thank you all for putting up with me the last time I was here...


edit: added quote tag at top
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 02:32:05 PM by screwtape »
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #383 on: May 09, 2013, 03:23:33 PM »
Welcome back, riley. I remember you.

One question: since you understand that attempts to explain real world things through religion are lacking, what leads you to think that there is a "creator out there"?
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 riley2112

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #384 on: May 09, 2013, 03:33:17 PM »
That is a very good question. I just don't have an answer yet.
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Offline Iamrational

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #385 on: May 09, 2013, 04:29:50 PM »
Riley you are a great example. You are humble enough to say I don't know. I am very impressed. Good luck on your continued journey. Awesome!

Online wheels5894

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #386 on: May 09, 2013, 04:31:15 PM »
Riley you are a great example. You are humble enough to say I don't know. I am very impressed. Good luck on your continued journey. Awesome!

Seconded! Religious people somehow always know the answers to the really hard questions whilst no one else does.
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 jaimehlers

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #387 on: May 09, 2013, 04:33:28 PM »
I remember you too, riley.  I'm glad to see you didn't stop thinking after you left.

My take on ancient fables and stories is that they were ways for people to try to make sense of a world that almost seemed to have a split personality.  At times, it was generous and forgiving; at other times, vicious and violent.  Some cultures explained this by having a pantheon of gods, some of whom were good, and some of whom were bad.  Others had reincarnation, so that as you lived life after life, you would gradually lift yourself higher and higher in the scheme of things, until you no longer had to come back.  Judaism had a single god who rewarded the faithful and punished the sinners, so if you were punished, it must have been your fault.  Christianity and Islam had this single god who rewarded and punished, but they explained evil by creating a devil-figure who was responsible for various bad things (except the ones that it wasn't responsible for).  Astrology replaced gods with stars, but it was the same basic premise - we didn't have control, it was all out of our hands, and it was being done to us by things that meant us either good or ill.

It took a long time for people start realizing that the universe is simply indifferent to us.  Whatever happens, happens (aside from the things we ourselves cause).  Life came about as a response to this indifference - when good things happen, life thrives, when bad things happen, it adapts or dies.  As far as we go, there's either things that we do to ourselves (or at least exert influence on), or things that just happen because of probabilities that had nothing to do with us at all.  Things that we can control, and things that we can't.

In short, religion is a way for us to take a situation where we don't have control and make-believe that we do (by importuning the things that seem to have control).  But there's another, better way to do it.  We figure out a way to control things ourselves.  That's why science came about, I think, and that's why it's inherently superior to religion - because as we learn how to control things better, there's less things we have to worry about not having control over, and the less likely that we'll have to believe in gods who do the controlling for us.

Offline riley2112

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #388 on: May 09, 2013, 05:00:17 PM »
we learn as we gain knowledge. It sometimes takes longer for some. I guess I was the some.
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #389 on: May 09, 2013, 05:55:06 PM »
Riley,
I was very impressed by your post and I'd like to congratulate you on your honesty here. What you depicted sounds strikingly similar to my de-conversion from Christianity (from theism to deism and then atheism). Simply put, I just couldn't buy it anymore. I couldn't keep giving the irrational arguments a pass and I certainly couldn't keep ignoring them. Please know that you have (at least in part) a support system here (should you feel that you need it). The fact that we are communicating through this forum does not make us any less human, any less compassionate, or any less interested in the well being of conscious creatures.

With that said, my hat is off to you. You seem to have taken the first big step out of credulity and toward open-mindedness. If we can be of any assistance in this process please don't hesitate to ask. We will do what we can to help.

----
Now, to those theistic apologists who are still here...please demonstrate your deity or admit you can't!
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline kin hell

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #390 on: May 09, 2013, 08:48:22 PM »
Riley

....an awesome display of persistence of rationality  ....thank you very very much for taking the time and sharing your thoughts in such detail.

I suspect that what you are left with (regarding your creator) is the very strong "feeling" (no disrespect implied) that there is (must be) more to this life, universe etc than random chance.

As an atheist with a strong creative side I regularly experience epiphanies which, given a different mindset, I would have to read as spiritual.
Awareness and overwhelming awe at the scale, beauty and complexity of this life, and regular epiphany-type-moments of feeling fully as "part of it all" would easily tip me into belief, if I wasn't also aware that such belief it is just not needed. A creator is just not necessary.

That some seem to need/want/create a god without any need for any evidence of such whatsoever, leaves me with the understanding that those believers have applied a god filter to exactly the same world view experiences and "epiphanies" I've described above.

The god filter they employ is described and empowered by feelings, nothing else (there can be nothing else as there is absolutely no real evidence to support such a filter).

In everything else, they would require demonstrable evidence, yet in the key question in their lives they choose to delegate authority to their feelings and so add an extra and unnecessary filter between them and the direct accurate experience of being alive in this universe. (I fully acknowledge that the "accurate" experience is as prone to individual misread as anything).

From that use of the god filter, from that willingness to credit unsubstantiated feeling with so much core interpretation of "everything", comes the chaos of religion and the insanities of magical thinking.

You have my total respect for your journey

Happy trails.
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline JeffPT

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #391 on: May 09, 2013, 10:30:27 PM »
Welcome back riley. I remember going a few rounds with you back in the day. 

Harboring a belief in 'some sort of a creator' is a step in the right direction, but you're not at the end of that path yet.  Keep going.

I agree with the others.  It was a good post. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline PaulGL

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #392 on: May 20, 2013, 03:13:54 PM »

There are two, and only two, explanations for the means whereby life now exists on this planet.
First, there is the explanation that life on earth was divinely created.
Since, obviously, there is no way that the above explanation of the origin of life can be subjected to any scientific analysis, it would be profitless to discuss its merits (at this point).
The other means I am referring to is, of course, the theory of evolution. By evolution, I mean the process or processes whereby life as we now know it has come about from an originally inorganic universe through purely mechanistic actions in conformity with the laws of the physical universe. Keeping these parameters in mind, let us now see what relevant conclusions may be derived:...

Given the vastness of the universe and the consequent profusion of life, what must the ultimate consummation of the process of evolution be?
It is my contention that the inevitable and ultimate result of evolution is this: that somewhere, sooner or later, an entity would be evolved through either natural or artificial means which would no longer be subject to time.

What are the implications of such a conclusion?

Such an entity would in all practicality be:

1.   Omnipotent and
2.   Omniscient and
3.   Omnipresent.

Such an entity would, by definition, be God.
By no means am I intending to speculate about the origin of God.
Such speculation is vain at best and blasphemous at worst. My intention is to show that no matter what method that you employ to explain the existence of life; the inevitable implication is the existence and reality of God.

Chapter Seven.  Past History: The World System                              p.145
...
            {   II.     The Religious System
A.   The Source of Religion <Hint: NOT God>
B.   The World’s Religions
C.   The Jewish Religion
D.   Christianity, the Religion   }


FROM: amessageforthehumanrace

Offline PaulGL

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #393 on: May 20, 2013, 03:15:33 PM »
CHAPTER THREE


THE LOGIC OF IT ALL


       I will do all my pleasure: ... I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.  (Isaiah 46:10?11)


I.   Divine Purpose

Granted the existence and reality of God, let us consider the following extremely relevant question: What would an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent being, knowing, having, and being capable of anything and everything, possibly want? The only possible thing that such a being would want would be an entity, perfectly complementary to Him, that was His of its own choice, and not out of necessity.


II.   THE NECESSITY FOR A SECONDARY WILL

Obviously, if there existed only one will (God’s) in the universe, there would be no possible way for such a divine purpose to be realized, as all actions would necessarily be in response to that divine will. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to the attainment of such a divine purpose that there exist in addition to divine will a secondary, opposing will.


III.   FREE WILL

It should be equally apparent that, in order for such a complementary entity to choose to belong to God, it must have an independent, free will.

FROM: amessageforthehumanrace

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #394 on: May 20, 2013, 03:30:20 PM »
Actually, evolution explains the diversity of life, not the existence of life.  It also has no purpose in the sense you mean.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #395 on: May 20, 2013, 03:34:26 PM »
Hello PaulGL;

nogodsforme here.  :D

1) Evolution says nothing about how life began on earth. Evolution is about how living organisms diversify, ie change in adaptation to environmental conditions.
 
2) Argumentation, no matter how logical, cannot produce a god if no god actually exists. No argument is good enough to create a god. If so, there would be lots of gods around, one for each good argument.

3) Even if your argument was sound, and you could somehow demonstrate that there was some being who created the universe, you would still have to show how you know anything about that being.

4) Once you have shown how you know about the being, you have to show that the being is something that communicates or affects human beings in some way.

5) If the being communicates or affects human beings, it is part of the natural world and as such, can be detected, measured and evaluated using the scientific method. The same method that has established evolution as fact.

Good luck.
Your resident black dreadlocked atheist commie mommy
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 jdawg70

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #396 on: May 20, 2013, 05:11:08 PM »
There are two, and only two, explanations for the means whereby life now exists on this planet.
I take issue with this.  I can come up with more than two explanations:
1) A sufficiently powerful wizard could accomplish the trick.  This wizard, not being god, is unfortunately limited in scope and could not, for example, grant immortality.  Don't worry about speculating on the origins of this wizard.  Such speculation is vein at best, and at worst he may get upset with you and destroy you with a fireball.
2) The mechanistic behavior of particles led to the emergent phenomenon of self-replication.
3) A highly advanced alien race came to Earth and planted the seeds of life.  Don't worry about speculating on the origins of these aliens.  Such speculation is vein at best, and at worst they may use their superior technology to obfuscate your speculations.
4) There is no life on this planet.  What you perceive as 'life' is merely an illusion constructed in your head.  You are the only sentience, and all other sentience is simply a manifestation of your own will trying to deal with eternal loneliness.  Don't worry about speculating on where you life or where you came from.  Such speculation is vein at best, and at worst will cause you to go insane and breakdown your entire reality.

Bam.  More than two.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline xyzzy

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #397 on: May 20, 2013, 05:30:15 PM »
Paul, you seem to be starting from your conclusion and working backwards in an attempt to come up with some kind of justification for your belief. It's not a good plan.

You're a somewhat mistaken about evolution but that's already been addressed. As for only two options for how life started, well another is alien seeding. I'm not saying that that's what happened but you seem to be creating a false dichotomy to serve as a springboard for your predetermined conclusion.

As for something evolving to be outside of time? Really? Other than wishful thinking, how did you come to that conclusion? How is that even possible given any of the current theories of time?

But let's say you are correct. The first thing is that an entire species would have that attribute. It's not going to be your god and your god alone so, no, it doesn't explain your god in isolation. This is not the argument you are looking for.

Also, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscience as attributes of "not being subject to time?". Again, how does one lead to the other, and how does that work in a species that all have those attributes?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool -- Richard Feynman
You are in a maze of twisty little religions, all alike -- xyzzy

Offline The Gawd

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #398 on: May 20, 2013, 07:41:28 PM »
actually jdizzle,

There is more options. I tend to agree with the magical frog theory, although some claim it is a toad. The magical frog created the universe, which is really just a large piece of flypaper, and the planets, stars and such are simply dust particles on the flypaper.  Of course his mortal enemy Baxter the fly wants to destroy the flypaper and thus our universe, but he dare not cross this nameless magical frog (or toad)...

as per the prerequisite. Asking about the frog is an exercise in futility and would cause one's mental fabric to rip, so we may as well forget about that.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #399 on: May 21, 2013, 08:22:42 AM »
actually jdizzle,

There is more options. I tend to agree with the magical frog theory, although some claim it is a toad. The magical frog created the universe, which is really just a large piece of flypaper, and the planets, stars and such are simply dust particles on the flypaper.  Of course his mortal enemy Baxter the fly wants to destroy the flypaper and thus our universe, but he dare not cross this nameless magical frog (or toad)...

as per the prerequisite. Asking about the frog is an exercise in futility and would cause one's mental fabric to rip, so we may as well forget about that.
Frog?  I thought it was a rat and his four turtle buddies.  Fo shizzle.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

- Eddie Izzard

http://deepaksducttape.wordpress.com/

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #400 on: May 21, 2013, 11:07:18 AM »

There are two, and only two, explanations for the means whereby life now exists on this planet.

NOPE! This is the classical fallacy of a False Dichotomy. So we can just ignore the rest of the post because these are not the only two options. However, even if they were we have ample and overwhelming evidence for evolution (and no we're NOT talking about abiogenesis yet - which is a different subject altogether). We do not, however, have any evidence for some supernatural deity that supposedly created it all, and 'sustains' it. And making some assertion regarding another 'higher evolved' being that has the characteristics of what you are attributing to a deity is just wishful thinking (i.e. - starting with your conclusion and trying to work backwards). How credulous!
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Online wheels5894

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #401 on: May 21, 2013, 11:18:08 AM »
Just for the interest, what does it mean to say that 'god sustains the universe'? From what science we have done it appears that the universe is self sustaining and does not need and help from any sort of being.
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 Tonus

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #402 on: May 21, 2013, 12:06:26 PM »
My intention is to show that no matter what method that you employ to explain the existence of life; the inevitable implication is the existence and reality of God.

Unless it's, you know... the scientific method.

Offline neopagan

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #403 on: May 21, 2013, 01:00:07 PM »
Riley,

Fantastic post - welcome back aboard.  I fought the same battle recently and here I am...

This part of your post really spoke volumes to a former xian like myself:

So what is Jesus offering to "save" us from? An angry wrathful God who will damn us if we refuse to love, honor and obey him, when all the while he behaves like a totally immature ignoramus?

What's to love?

How can you love a God who's doing nothing other than threatening to harm you if you fail to love him and not even giving you any reason to love him?

If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline riley2112

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #404 on: May 21, 2013, 02:17:53 PM »
What I find interesting is the fact that somehow, I feel betrayed. I guess I will get over it. It just kinda pisses me off.
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Offline neopagan

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #405 on: May 21, 2013, 02:32:00 PM »
What I find interesting is the fact that somehow, I feel betrayed. I guess I will get over it. It just kinda pisses me off.

Betrayed is a good word for it... I don't even think it's entirely "intentional" batrayal on the part of the current band of xian leaders (for the most part).

I still sit in church every week with my family (as the pretender), and I'm sure the pastors are sincere - they just never bothered to question the party line, or they have shelved those doubts so far back in their brain it no longer matters (or the happy trappings of xiandom outweigh the alternative).

However, if at any point the church had addressed the "big questions" and contadictions, it would have been a huge step.  For now, the alleged "contradications" are internal debates like mode of baptism... NEVER did I get something meaty like - prove the existence of your deity outside the given holy book.
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan