Author Topic: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing  (Read 32431 times)

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Online Mrjason

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #261 on: April 17, 2013, 11:13:04 AM »
...The earth has not slipped into a black hole.
Yet... I'm chalking that up to immense distances and a bit of luck  :D

I would hope to forgive the person that shot me and feel compassion for the circumstances in his/her life that brought them to such desperate behaviour.
I would also hope to do the same irrespective of religion.

Difficult if its a fatal shooting though & still doesn't explain why god stopped protecting you.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #262 on: April 17, 2013, 11:31:16 AM »
Aaron I can't believe you're still using that phrase against me. I'm not going to waste anymore of my time defending a comparative; not literal, statement.  And really I haven't seen a fish turn human have you? That is literally. I haven't, I haven't seen a fish turn human. Saw a fish fly one time, never seen a fish turn human. If I had you wouldn't believe me anyway because I wouldn't have any evidence!  If I said, you guys aren't going to believe what happened yesterday, I saw a fish turn human, you'd say I was crazy! Seems I'm caught between a rock and a hard place with you.

I really hope we can move past this now and get the conversation back on track; Believing in God is not a Bad Thing.

At this point, I think some clarification is needed.  What is your understanding of the process of evolution?  Does the 'fish into human' line reflects your understanding of it?  If it doesn't, or no longer reflects your thinking, then perhaps I jumped the gun.

I'm not trying to be a hardass (or at least; I hope that's not how I'm coming off), but I am a little confused what your stance is here.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #263 on: April 17, 2013, 11:37:59 AM »
I know I'm telling the truth. Does that count for anything here? The truth being; faith in God helps me to understand life, purpose. That belief in and of itself is not a bad thing.
Given that the birther also 'knows' he's telling the truth about Obama being born in Kenya, I have to say that it doesn't really count for much.

Let me point something else out to you.  "faith in God helps you to understand life, purpose".  That may well be true for you (in the sense you believe it's true), but it is not a universal truth.  That, I think, is the point that others have been trying to get across to you.  Furthermore, your belief, your faith, can actually be a handicap that holds you back.

Let's say a lonely child creates imaginary friends to help cope with their loneliness.  It's a good thing, it helps them to deal with not having friends.  But it also holds them back, because those friends are and always will be imaginary.  They won't ever exist outside the child's mind, and they might actually make it harder for that child to reach out and make real friends.

So, yeah.  Your belief in your god isn't necessarily a bad thing.  But that doesn't mean it's a good thing.  By relying on your belief to help you understand life and your purpose, you're holding yourself back from being able to understand life on your own terms, from being able to decide on your own purpose rather than the one you think your god wants you to have.

Offline Jag

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #264 on: April 17, 2013, 12:05:03 PM »
Your belief in your god isn't necessarily a bad thing.  But that doesn't mean it's a good thing.

This. All day long, this.

jb's beliefs are comparatively harmless. Relative to what is done in the name of god, any god, jb's beliefs are not leading her to act in a willfully harmful manner. I think we can all agree on that.

We've gotten a very long way from the OP, and have gotten into some of the minutia of jb's beliefs. That was likely necessary in order to address the OP, but it seems unlikely that we'll end up anywhere useful by arguing about science and whether or not spirit exists. I don't think we're doing a very good job of explaining why we disagree with jb's original statement.

For lack of a better way to say this, we're not speaking the same language. I don't believe that it's impossible to get jb to at least understand why we disagree with her premise, but a good place to start getting back there might be to observe that we seem to be using the word "God" to mean very different things.

Most of us arguing against the god of the bible (which she has already stated she does not believe in), and jb seems to be using the word to describe something much more amorphous. I often hear pagans refer to "the source" and based on what jb has written so far, it appears that she is using the word god in the same way.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #265 on: April 17, 2013, 01:13:11 PM »
I've given you all the "evidence" I got. 

The evidence you have provided is nothing more than your feelings and personal opinions.  I'm pretty sure that you have made no attempt to provide any evidence that is relevant to anyone else. 

Do you ever question claims that other people make?  If someone says that he was abducted by aliens, and provides testimony, do you just accept it?  If someone says she had a dream that her husband was possessed by demons, would you believe it?  If someone tells you that god told her to murder her children, would you defer to her personal relationship with her deity and let her do it?  If someone warns you that there are ghosts in Walmart, who sprinkle aborted fetus powder all over the produce, would you stop buying peaches at Walmart? 

Or would you expect a little bit of evidence beyond the personal testimony provided by these folks? 

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #266 on: April 17, 2013, 01:44:16 PM »
To be fair, most people with religious really don't  have a ot of evidence in the usually accepted sense.They join a religion for a variety of reasons from being born into it to being taken along by a work colleague or a spouse.  They settle into the ways of the religion and become part of it, They probably believe that there is a god helping them or protecting them or whatever (or angels if one is a Catholic) and even extensive study of holy books and scholarly works does no more than re-enforce what the belief is rather than provide evidence.

I do wonder whether people ought to try another tack with religion, though, and act in a similar way we act. Like any scientist who hears of a new hypothesis, we try to disprove a religion or religious belief. Of course that can't be done, as far as logic is concerned, but, frankly, there are enough seeds of doubt surrounding and inside holy books to convince any jury that the belief is unfounded. Maybe that would be a better way of looking at things.
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 junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #267 on: April 17, 2013, 02:05:39 PM »
...The earth has not slipped into a black hole.
Yet... I'm chalking that up to immense distances and a bit of luck  :D

I would hope to forgive the person that shot me and feel compassion for the circumstances in his/her life that brought them to such desperate behaviour.
I would also hope to do the same irrespective of religion.

Difficult if its a fatal shooting though & still doesn't explain why god stopped protecting you.


God doesn't protect me from man's deeds because man has free will. There are some earlier post where I try to explain free will. A shooter has the free will to shoot me if that's what he choses to do. He will answer to God for the decisions he makes. Far as I know black holes do not have free will.

That's free will. You chose to be forgiving, it's not shoved down your throat it's your choice.   
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 02:12:32 PM by junebug72 »
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Online sun_king

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #268 on: April 17, 2013, 02:06:23 PM »
I've given you all the "evidence" I got.

Adding to what Quesi said...

One aspect of "evidence" is that it should be accessible to the other parties for their scrutiny. Your thoughts, assumptions and beliefs are not accessible to anyone else.

For example, in an aviation forum, I can make the statement that the F-15 Eagle is the greatest fighter aircraft ever built and it will be immediately contested by followers of other aircraft. At this point I can support my claim with the fact that the Eagle is unbeaten in air combat (its primary role, versions A/B/C/D). Now my fair opponents have something they can inspect and in this particular topic, it is a formidable claim. Since the kill count is accessible to everyone, it has  to be considered and countered[1]if they are to argue about my claim. I am not treated nicely in such forums if I back up my statement with the "evidence" that I think the Eagle is cool and looks awesome in gray[2]

Which was the "evidence" you gave?
 1. They say that the Eagle's victims are usually weak - aging MiGs flown by less than supreme pilots . They would say the Mustang would have raked more kills if flown against WW1 biplanes-  - the downside of giving accessible evidence
 2. It is!.

Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #269 on: April 17, 2013, 02:44:13 PM »
One aspect of "evidence" is that it should be accessible to the other parties for their scrutiny. Your thoughts, assumptions and beliefs are not accessible to anyone else.

Which was the "evidence" you gave?

Yes they are. You can do anything to me you want and see if it doesn't bring me closer to God.  I don't blame anybody here for putting my evidence under scrutiny, I wouldn't expect nothing less, but I think it's irrational to say I've given none.

God helped me through painful situations I could not have gotten through w/o my faith. That's what happened and that's what I'm telling you. I trust God. I am a better person for having respect for God in my life. These are definitely facts that are accessible. You can put what I've said to the ultimate test by trying it in your own life to see if we draw the same conclusion.


Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #270 on: April 17, 2013, 02:50:16 PM »
Yes they are. You can do anything to me you want and see if it doesn't bring me closer to God.  I don't blame anybody here for putting my evidence under scrutiny, I wouldn't expect nothing less, but I think it's irrational to say I've given none.

God helped me through painful situations I could not have gotten through w/o my faith. That's what happened and that's what I'm telling you. I trust God. I am a better person for having respect for God in my life. These are definitely facts that are accessible. You can put what I've said to the ultimate test by trying it in your own life to see if we draw the same conclusion.

Epic fail, junebug72. Most of us were once christians like yourself[1]. We respected your god and believed in it just as you do now. We didn't draw the same conclusions you did. Mind explaining that?
 1. Or whatever you want to be called. I call you a christian because... well, quod erat demonstrandum.
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Offline Jag

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #271 on: April 17, 2013, 02:52:17 PM »
You can put what I've said to the ultimate test by trying it in your own life to see if we draw the same conclusion.

.....I think it's safe to say that many of the posters here have done so, and arrived at a different conclusion. And they've been saying THAT for 10 pages.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #272 on: April 17, 2013, 03:02:45 PM »
I've given you all the "evidence" I got. 

The evidence you have provided is nothing more than your feelings and personal opinions.  I'm pretty sure that you have made no attempt to provide any evidence that is relevant to anyone else. 

Do you ever question claims that other people make?  If someone says that he was abducted by aliens, and provides testimony, do you just accept it?  If someone says she had a dream that her husband was possessed by demons, would you believe it?  If someone tells you that god told her to murder her children, would you defer to her personal relationship with her deity and let her do it?  If someone warns you that there are ghosts in Walmart, who sprinkle aborted fetus powder all over the produce, would you stop buying peaches at Walmart? 

Or would you expect a little bit of evidence beyond the personal testimony provided by these folks?

Yes I question the claim, there is no God. I don't think it is at all irrational to think there is intelligence behind our existence. You don't believe in aliens? That is possible. It is possible that someone was abducted by aliens. It is possible for a woman to "dream" her husband is possessed by demons. If someone told me God told them to kill their child, I would definitely be concerned. I would explain that's not how God works. Try to understand how she came to believe this awful thing is God's will. I don't like to shop at Wal-Mart anyway. :) It's probably chicken poop. >:(
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #273 on: April 17, 2013, 03:03:48 PM »
God doesn't protect me from man's deeds because man has free will. There are some earlier post where I try to explain free will. A shooter has the free will to shoot me if that's what he choses to do. He will answer to God for the decisions he makes. Far as I know black holes do not have free will.

That's free will. You chose to be forgiving, it's not shoved down your throat it's your choice.
Couple o' questions come to mind:
a) What about your free will as a victim of a shooting?  Where is the violation of free will if the shoot exercises his/her free will to murder you, but at the last instant before the bullet tears apart your insides, god made the bullet disappear, deflect, or otherwise do no harm to you?
b) Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes - why doesn't god protect people (including you) in that circumstance?  What potential free will issue exists there?  Yes, I recognize that you haven't been killed by a tsunami, but a lot of good, decent, and even some god-fearing folk, did die (and potentially suffered while doing so).  This relates to an earlier question I had for you in this thread.
"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 Star Stuff

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #274 on: April 17, 2013, 03:06:11 PM »
Yes I question the claim, there is no God.

Once again, you're seeing it all bass-ackwards.  Atheism is not a "claim" that there are no gods.  It is nothing more than a response to the claim that there are.  There's a massive difference.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #275 on: April 17, 2013, 03:20:37 PM »
Hi junebug.

My green text means I'm taking a role as a moderator.  I'm not here to beat you up.  I'm here to try to help.

There is a major disconnect between what you consider evidence and what everyone else here does. sun_king, wheels and Quesi have all tried to help you with that.  You have...resisted, unfortunately.

In many cases you have given us your subjective experience.  You tell us how you feel.  I understand that for you, that counts.  But we do not have those experiences and they are not things you can demonstrate to us.  So, if you want to persuade us, you need to use other means. 

I am a mechanical engineer, so I can speak of evidence from my perspective.  If I were to say to someone, "gravity on Earth accelerates all objects at a rate of 9.81 m/s2", she might ask why she should believe me.  And she would have a good point. I could not say "I just believe it is true" and expect to be taken as credible. 

But, I could design an experiment that measures the position of a falling object at different time intervals.  I could plot those data and find the underlying equations. I could show her my data.  I could give her instructions for recreating the experiment and validating it herself.  And if she got different answer, we could compare and see who is right, if anyone, and where we went wrong.  Anyone would have the opportunity to look for flaws in my method and improve on it.  That is evidence.  That is what would make my claim credible. 

Evidence is how you know a claim is true.  When you said "Nothing exists without God", Star Stuff said that was a baseless assertion.  He was saying you have no evidence of this.  I understand you feel this is true.  But how do you know it is true?  Why should he, or I, believe you?  If there were some experiment you could do, some data you could collect, that would be it.  But as it stands, we have no way of knowing whether your statement is true or false.  It is as valid as saying "Yetis have spots."

Do you understand what we are looking for?

Everyone else, please hold off on junebug until we can get this sorted out.  Thanks
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #276 on: April 17, 2013, 03:47:28 PM »
You can put what I've said to the ultimate test by trying it in your own life to see if we draw the same conclusion.

.....I think it's safe to say that many of the posters here have done so, and arrived at a different conclusion. And they've been saying THAT for 10 pages.

Jag what I've heard for ten pages is that you all tried Christianity. That when the religious practices let you down, you gave up. If you're going to duplicate my experiment with philosophy you have to understand Christianity i not a part of it. I would be curious to know if anybody here that has gone through Christianity tried to keep their belief and further define it. I know it wasn't an easy experience for anybody, having gone through it myself.  I would like to really understand. I know my mom quit going to church because of gossip. It hurt her feelings so bad, she was good to those people. She just quit going to church though, she never quit believing in God. I almost wish you could have been there when :'( , me and my mother waited by my brother's death-bed for him to take his last breath. That's the first time I felt God. I mean I really,really felt a presence there.  That through forgiveness, a quality of my trust in God, my family was able to heal. There was an article in the Asheville Citizen Times by Susan Rheinhart, Oct.13/14 2002. Imagine how much more painful losing a son would have been for my mother and father if I had held on to that anger. My daddy was pitiful :'(, it was the Love I learned from God that healed my family. During that whole chapter of my life, I struggled within myself. I had a lot of anger towards my brother, He molested my baby boy when he was four. I caught it quick but it did happen 3-4 times according to my son. Oh let me tell you, it was hard. He plead guilty and was sentenced to around 40 years. He died in a prison hospital from pancreatic cancer at 32.  So I struggled I yelled at God, I wanted to die. I said God if your not going to make my life worth while take me on home please,I beg you. Every time God would remind me how much I love my son and how badly he needs me. That I can use my pain in a positive way or a negative way. I'm speaking of thoughts in my head now yal, I'm not hearing voices.

 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #277 on: April 17, 2013, 03:59:28 PM »
Hi junebug.

My green text means I'm taking a role as a moderator.  I'm not here to beat you up.  I'm here to try to help.

There is a major disconnect between what you consider evidence and what everyone else here does. sun_king, wheels and Quesi have all tried to help you with that.  You have...resisted, unfortunately.

In many cases you have given us your subjective experience.  You tell us how you feel.  I understand that for you, that counts.  But we do not have those experiences and they are not things you can demonstrate to us.  So, if you want to persuade us, you need to use other means. 

I am a mechanical engineer, so I can speak of evidence from my perspective.  If I were to say to someone, "gravity on Earth accelerates all objects at a rate of 9.81 m/s2", she might ask why she should believe me.  And she would have a good point. I could not say "I just believe it is true" and expect to be taken as credible. 

But, I could design an experiment that measures the position of a falling object at different time intervals.  I could plot those data and find the underlying equations. I could show her my data.  I could give her instructions for recreating the experiment and validating it herself.  And if she got different answer, we could compare and see who is right, if anyone, and where we went wrong.  Anyone would have the opportunity to look for flaws in my method and improve on it.  That is evidence.  That is what would make my claim credible. 

Evidence is how you know a claim is true.  When you said "Nothing exists without God", Star Stuff said that was a baseless assertion.  He was saying you have no evidence of this.  I understand you feel this is true.  But how do you know it is true?  Why should he, or I, believe you?  If there were some experiment you could do, some data you could collect, that would be it.  But as it stands, we have no way of knowing whether your statement is true or false.  It is as valid as saying "Yetis have spots."

Do you understand what we are looking for?

Everyone else, please hold off on junebug until we can get this sorted out.  Thanks


Hi screw, I took a minute to look up evidence in wiki. I thought this legitimized my evidence from wiki evidence come in many forms, such as documentary, DNA, forensic and report evidence or from a scientist or forensic pathologist. from Scot's Law. Especially "report evidence" I have given you report evidence. If you need to verify I will produce character witnesses. Do you want me to get signed statements and post them for you. I can do it.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #278 on: April 17, 2013, 04:24:03 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_law

That quote you made refers to the Scottish legal system.  I don't think that's what screwtape is asking for, junebug.

I'd recommend you look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence#Evidence_in_science.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #279 on: April 17, 2013, 05:19:21 PM »
Jag what I've heard for ten pages is that you all tried Christianity. That when the religious practices let you down, you gave up.

Wrong.  This is precisely what the "believer" wants to think or hear from the de-converted - that their de-conversion was due to being hurt, let down, rebellion, or a preference to lead an immoral life.  That way, the theist doesn't have to think.  They don't have to consider the possibility that their cherished "beliefs" might actually be in question.  The other favourite impoverished line from the theist camp, is that the person never was "a true christian".  I think we've heard that once or twice around here.

Speaking for myself Junebug, that wasn't the case at all.  As a person who cares more about what is true over what is comforting, familiar or indoctrinated, the cognitive dissonance simply became too loud for me, and over a period of time, the beliefs just fell away as I woke up from the sleep of faith.  Life has been much much better ever since.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #280 on: April 17, 2013, 05:21:26 PM »
Everyone else, please hold off on junebug until we can get this sorted out.  Thanks

^^ Folks, I think you're missing something here...
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #281 on: April 17, 2013, 08:05:26 PM »
Hi screw, I took a minute to look up evidence in wiki.

I appreciate the effort.  I assume it is this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence

If not, please correct me.  The bulk of that article is pertinent to the legal system, which is reflected in your post.  This is not a trial (though at times it is trying).  jaime was right in pointing out the section regarding scientific evidence.  At the end of that section it talks about anecdotal evidence and bias.  You should follow those links because they specifically pertain to peoples' "experiences" with what they call god.

In science you must have a hypothesis that can be falsified. To keep with my previous example of gravity, a hypothesis such as "gravity accelerates objects toward each other" would be a falsifiable hypothesis.  If the data of a falling object showed that it traveled at a constant speed, then it does no accelerate and the hypothesis may be falsified.

Your statement "nothing exists without god", is not a falsifiable hypothesis.  You cannot prove it right or wrong. That was the point I was making about its truth value being the same as "yetis are spotted".  So, not only does it lack evidence, it lacks any way to establish evidence.  You should avoid making those kinds of statements.


I have given you report evidence.

Indeed you have.  However, it falls under the category of anecdotal evidence.  If you were making claims such as "I ate spaghetti for dinner" that would probably be sufficient.  But your claims have been much more extraordinary than that.  Your claims are about the nature of the universe and all being.  For that to stand, you need to provide something more substantial.  Otherwise you are asking us to rely on your say so.   

Does that help?


If you need to verify I will produce character witnesses. Do you want me to get signed statements and post them for you. I can do it.

Thank you for the offer, but that won't be necessary.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #282 on: April 17, 2013, 10:18:23 PM »
We atheists do not experience any gods, junebug.

Whatever you feel when you look at nature, or inner strength to get through a tough time, you experience that as the presence of a god-like being. We atheists have the same feelings about nature, and have the same inner strength, etc. People of every religious belief and no belief at all experience awe in the natural world, and manage to survive tough life experiences.

But atheists know that what all people are having is a normal human experience. It does not come from a supernatural source. Here is some evidence that the god-feeling does not come from any real gods:

Scientists have hooked people up to machines and made them have "god-being" experiences by doing things to their brains. They can tell you what chemicals make you feel god's presence. Someday, there will be a pill anyone can take to "experience god" by making that chemical reaction happen. 

What will happen to people who think that there really is a god-being out there somewhere when anyone who takes a particular pill can "feel god" and the feeling goes away when the pill wears off. Do you, junebug, think that god will be showing up when people take the pill and disappearing when the pill wears off? Or will you finally realize that the god-feeling is a chemical reaction in the brain?

This is probably too hard for you to take in. You think that you have survived the horrible things that have happened to you because a nice god-being has been helping and protecting you. In reality, you are far stronger than you think, because all this time you have been helping and protecting yourself.  :)
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: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #283 on: April 17, 2013, 10:25:37 PM »
In reality, you are far stronger than you think, because all this time you have been helping and protecting yourself.  :)

^^^This cannot be said enough jb. I'm not sure that you're ready to hear it, but it should be said regardless. You are far more self-sufficient that you believe yourself to be. All this time, the strength and endurance has been YOU.
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #284 on: April 17, 2013, 10:33:36 PM »
People are capable of the best and worst actions, all by themselves. No gods or devils needed.
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.

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #285 on: April 17, 2013, 11:00:29 PM »
You think that you have survived the horrible things that have happened to you because a nice god-being has been helping and protecting you. In reality, you are far stronger than you think, because all this time you have been helping and protecting yourself.

That, and, what I find that doesn't occur to christians is what actually gets them through tough times is the comfort, help and company that they receive from other people.  yet somehow, this invisible god character gets all the credit.
God is an Imaginary Friend for Grown-ups

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #286 on: April 18, 2013, 03:07:47 AM »
I really don't understand why you keep saying I haven't given any evidence when I have. I haven't dodged one single question,not one!

Very well.  Here is a specific question that you have not answered, that goes to the heart of everything we have been saying for the last few pages:

(Do) you agree that everything that John Johnson attributes to his magical talking sock really happened?

And if not, why do you doubt his word?

Here is one that you have dodged:

If someone warns you that there are ghosts in Walmart, who sprinkle aborted fetus powder all over the produce, would you stop buying peaches at Walmart? 
I don't like to shop at Wal-Mart anyway.

But I believe this sums up exactly where the disconnect comes.

I am a better person for having respect for God in my life. These are definitely facts that are accessible......I have given you report evidence. If you need to verify I will produce character witnesses.

I do not doubt that you can find umpteen people that will be prepared to say "Junebug is a better person since she says she found god".  Nor am I disputing that you are a better person since you believed god was in your life.  Neither of those are claims that we require evidence of.

What we are asking for evidence for, is how you can demonstrate that these changes in your life happened as the result of an external force that you label god, as opposed to a combination of internal feelings and thoughts that you misidentified as an external force.

Or, to return to my trivial-sounding question, whether there is any way you can demonstrate that you becoming a better person was due to "god", as opposed to John Johnson's Magical Socks.

That's the first part of evidence we are asking for - NOT evidence that you are a changed person, but evidence that supports your assertion as to the cause behind that change.  And to clarify further: we are not asking for evidence that you believe there is a god that has helped you - we are versed enough in psychology to understand the placebo effect, and that belief in something that is in fact nonexistent can nevertheless lead to positive results.  What we are asking for is if you have ANY evidence to support there actually being an external force that instilled changes in you?

The second part is, unfortunately, again something that you have dodged when responding to Screwtape by talking about "report evidence".  You have also gone on record as saying that your god created everything; that it has desires and wishes; that there is an afterlife.  But so far as I can tell, the ONLY evidence you have put forward for any of those is "I believe god told me these things".

I honestly do not believe I can make it any clearer as to what we mean when we say "evidence", Junebug.  If there is anything above that you do not understand, please ask.
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?

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #287 on: April 18, 2013, 06:14:22 AM »
Hi screw, I took a minute to look up evidence in wiki.

I appreciate the effort.  I assume it is this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence

If not, please correct me.  The bulk of that article is pertinent to the legal system, which is reflected in your post.  This is not a trial (though at times it is trying).  jaime was right in pointing out the section regarding scientific evidence.  At the end of that section it talks about anecdotal evidence and bias.  You should follow those links because they specifically pertain to peoples' "experiences" with what they call god.

In science you must have a hypothesis that can be falsified. To keep with my previous example of gravity, a hypothesis such as "gravity accelerates objects toward each other" would be a falsifiable hypothesis.  If the data of a falling object showed that it traveled at a constant speed, then it does no accelerate and the hypothesis may be falsified.

Your statement "nothing exists without god", is not a falsifiable hypothesis.  You cannot prove it right or wrong. That was the point I was making about its truth value being the same as "yetis are spotted".  So, not only does it lack evidence, it lacks any way to establish evidence.  You should avoid making those kinds of statements.


I have given you report evidence.

Indeed you have.  However, it falls under the category of anecdotal evidence.  If you were making claims such as "I ate spaghetti for dinner" that would probably be sufficient.  But your claims have been much more extraordinary than that.  Your claims are about the nature of the universe and all being.  For that to stand, you need to provide something more substantial.  Otherwise you are asking us to rely on your say so.   

Does that help?


If you need to verify I will produce character witnesses. Do you want me to get signed statements and post them for you. I can do it.

Thank you for the offer, but that won't be necessary.

Thanks screw. I'll be more careful.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #288 on: April 18, 2013, 07:07:17 AM »
We atheists do not experience any gods, junebug.

Whatever you feel when you look at nature, or inner strength to get through a tough time, you experience that as the presence of a god-like being. We atheists have the same feelings about nature, and have the same inner strength, etc. People of every religious belief and no belief at all experience awe in the natural world, and manage to survive tough life experiences.

I'm sorry nogod, but when you experience this feeling yourself it is very difficult to shrug it off as adrenaline. Regardless, my point is it's not a bad thing to believe it comes from God. God is real to me because I define God as "The Source" of life. God is not a character, a person like you or me.


But atheists know that what all people are having is a normal human experience. It does not come from a supernatural source. Here is some evidence that the god-feeling does not come from any real gods:

Scientists have hooked people up to machines and made them have "god-being" experiences by doing things to their brains. They can tell you what chemicals make you feel god's presence. Someday, there will be a pill anyone can take to "experience god" by making that chemical reaction happen.

That sounds scary, like some horror sci-fi movie. I don't think you can make someone have a 'god-like' feeling. That to me right there falsifies that experiment. That is completely unnatural. That's just not how it works, IMO. In my life God is with me always, no matter what my brain chemmies are doing.


 

What will happen to people who think that there really is a god-being out there somewhere when anyone who takes a particular pill can "feel god" and the feeling goes away when the pill wears off. Do you, junebug, think that god will be showing up when people take the pill and disappearing when the pill wears off? Or will you finally realize that the god-feeling is a chemical reaction in the brain?

This is probably too hard for you to take in. You think that you have survived the horrible things that have happened to you because a nice god-being has been helping and protecting you. In reality, you are far stronger than you think, because all this time you have been helping and protecting yourself.  :)

That's right, you have to do things for yourself. What I'm saying is I gained strength and wisdom through my belief in God. I want to live a life that pleases God and that motivates me, and many others, to be a loving, kind, humble person. I don't think that's a bad thing. IMO, that it's not the belief that hurts society its bad teaching. People that lead understand how impressionable humans can be and they use it to their own advantage.



Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #289 on: April 18, 2013, 07:08:48 AM »
Thanks screw. I'll be more careful.

It's not about being careful.  It is about everybody understanding what the expectations are.  Do you feel like you understand what we mean by "evidence" now?  Can you provide what we are asking for?
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