Author Topic: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing  (Read 28230 times)

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Offline shnozzola

Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #377 on: April 19, 2013, 11:06:22 AM »
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However, don't feel your belief in a god should be somehow spared here at WWGHA.

I believe I'm going to have to ask you to back that statement up dude. that's far out. i'm not going to respond w/o collaboration.

When I say spared, I mean not spared from scrutiny and debate.  Maybe we both need to stand in each other's shoes. I had hoped my post had shown I am trying to stand in your shoes. 
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #378 on: April 19, 2013, 11:24:48 AM »
And secondly, you must be able to demonstrate that your definition of god is correct, and my definition is wrong.  And - sorry to say - to do that, I rather suspect you will need to show some evidence.....

That is a subject for another thread.

Just to clarify: are you saying that you ARE prepared to demonstrate your definition of god is correct, and provide evidence to support it, in another thread?  If so I would be more than happy to discuss it with you in the debate room: the benefit to you there is that you would only be discussing it with me, and not have to field umpteen questions from several other participants.

Shall I request that a debate be set up for us Junebug?  Or are you, perhaps, using "this is not the thread to discuss evidence" as a shield.....?

I repeat the question.  Shall I request that a debate on the evidence for your god be set up for us Junebug?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline DumpsterFire

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #379 on: April 19, 2013, 11:59:16 AM »
You know the future might find itself without God, but for now people want to believe. They want to. Not everybody but a whole whole lot of people want to believe. As long as there is mystery to life and there will be until we can look past death with our eyes to see what is behind that cold dark door, people will want to believe.IMO. To me it's harmless it is not a bad thing.

I just want to point out that I've been a victim of religious prejudice, that is not a good thing, but it isn't the core of belief that causes them to be prejudicial, they would be prejudice whether they believed or not because that is what's in their hearts. That my desire to please God motivates me to forgive those prejudice people, therefor making it not a bad thing.
Hello June, I'm a bit late in the thread, but I thank you for your continued input.

I agree that a belief in and of itself does no actual harm, provided it remains internal to the believer. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case when it comes to religious belief. It is not the belief in god that causes harm, it is the belief that one knows god's will and then tries to enforce god's "intentions" on others. And it doesn't have to be of the overt smack 'em with the Bible and condemn 'em to hell or carry a sign that says "god hates fags" at a funeral sort, either.

If you have (and I'm not saying you have, these are just examples) ever thought to yourself that Muslims shouldn't be allowed to build a mosque near the WTC site, or that you wouldn't vote for an atheist political candidate, or that god is unhappy about abortion or school prayer, then your religious belief is affecting you in potentially harmful ways.

You do come across as a fairly reasonable and dogmatically unencumbered believer, and I commend you for that. Nevertheless, you have stated things such as
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You have to earn the right to meet God.
which means, whether you realize and admit it or not, that you view those (which would presumably include the majority on this forum) who have not achieved whatever criteria you deem necessary to "meet god" as inferior to those who have.

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If you want to know if you're pleasing God, just look and see if the person beside you is wearing a smile.
All this indicates is that the person sitting next to you is pleased smiling.

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If you're referring to the Carrie Underwood song I think you missed the meaning of it. She only asked Jesus to take the wheel because she ran out of steam. She's saying it's too much for me, I need you and she was all alone. There wasn't a second person in the car to take the wheel, she was on her own except her belief that He was by her side, so she doesn't feel so alone and powerless.
You are correct that the main point of the song is to trust in god, but the last line of the first verse literally says "she threw her hands up in the air" when her car was skidding out of control[1]. Hopefully no one in a similar situation will follow suit.

edit: grammar
 1. sorry, years spent analyzing and critiquing song lyrics have made me very nitpicky on the subject
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 12:19:20 PM by DumpsterFire »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #380 on: April 19, 2013, 12:07:50 PM »
"Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" is the proposition - a pretty bald statement.

It means in effect that a person who believes in god will act in a better way as a result, I suppose.  That's the way I will presume the statement is to be taken - that belief improves that person's life, and/or improves the world as a result.

That's not what that statement means. It means that it's not believing that causes problems, it is the decision of a person what to believe, making the person responsible for their own actions. In other words these same people that use belief to disgrace God, they are responsible not the belief itself. I hope that clears it up for you.

How in the world do you come up with this stuff? Could somebody please help me out here! Just because I say BIGINABT, doesn't mean I'm saying Not believing is. I mean really come on now!!!

After a hell of a lot of head scratching, I think I've twigged where where the problem lies.

When you said "It means that it's not believing that causes problems", I read that as "it is unbelief that causes problems".  You meant "its not the belief that causes problems".  I really hope I've got that right this time?

So I'll try again:  your point is that "it isn't the belief in (a) god that causes the problems, its the people that cause the problems".  "Don't blame the belief, because its the person that is at fault, not the belief".

I think I've got that right, because you said that

a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief.

Have I grasped what you are saying?  Honestly, I'm trying hard to get your drift.

It's hard because - assuming I HAVE got it right so far - the sentence

a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief.

presumably applies both to those who do bad, and those who do good.  A person who is going to do good "(will) display the same behaviour with or without belief" also.  Which means that if we accept the premise that "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing", it also means that "Believing in God is Not a Good Thing"- simply, that "Believing in God has no effect on a person's behaviour".

But no - that can't be right, because you have asserted over and over again that Believing in God changed your behaviour quite dramatically, for the better.  So clearly somene who believes in god WILL change dramatically for the better, as a result of that belief. 

But.....you said that " a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief", because people are people.

But then you can't have changed as a result of your belief.....and you reinforce that up there:

.....a person who believes in god will act in a better way as a result, I suppose.....belief improves that person's life

That's not what that statement means

Can you see why I am confused, Junebug?  I truly, honestly do not understand what you are saying, because you so often say things that contradict other things that you have said.

Can you spell it out for me please?  Does belief in god change a person, yes or no?  Will people behave the same way whether or not they believe in god, yes or no?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 12:12:03 PM by Anfauglir »
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Astreja

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #381 on: April 19, 2013, 12:22:57 PM »
I have met a few nice people but for the most part I find you most intolerant of a person with a different perspective than your own and you use scientific "evidence" as a shield.

After the catastrophic effects that religion has had on this planet over the past several thousands of years, durned tootin' I'm going to ask for evidence rather than rely on someone's subjective touchy-feely religious woo-woo say-so.

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God is not something science can experiment on, God is found inside in our souls.

If your god were real, we should be able to find it.  Ditto for "souls" -- No evidence that a "soul" is anything more than a mind operation that ponders things like love, purpose and other emotional abstractions.

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Do you really think if there is God that you could reach God through scientific experiments?

Yes.  Absolutely.

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If there is a force that powerful in the universe it would not come at our beckon call.

Why should it have to come to us?  If it's that powerful, we should be able to detect it.  Why is there no physical trace of it anywhere the instrumentation of humanity can reach?  Even if it were hiding in "another" universe, in order for it to affect us in any way it has to have at least one point of contact with this universe.

There is no such point of contact identified; at least, we have yet to find such.  There is no unexplained energy imbalance where a god is piping in "miracles" and otherwise disturbing the laws of physics.

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You have to earn the right to meet God. All my opinion.

How, um, very convenient.  If it can't bother to reveal itself to humanity, particularly to people who are at this very moment crying out to it for help with an emergent life-threatening situation, I think we should just dismiss it as undependable and get on with our lives.

The bottom line, Junebug, is that your subjective spiritual experiences do not hold the same value for us as they hold for you.  That does not necessarily alter their value to you, unless of course your happiness is somehow dependent on a consensus of uncritical yes-men.  If that is indeed the case -- If you actually feel diminished because we are not nodding our heads and saying that we believe you, I think that is vastly more damaging to your god hypothesis.  Please give this serious consideration.
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #382 on: April 19, 2013, 12:31:03 PM »
I think at this point it's clear and worthwhile to point out that JB loves her "beliefs" more than anything else.  Michael Shermer has written a book on this, and while I haven't read it, from what I gather from the reviews, it sheds a lot of light on this.

Linky.


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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #383 on: April 19, 2013, 12:47:38 PM »
Anfauglir:  What she wrote was confusing, I definitely agree there.

Reading it as "it isn't believing that causes problems" would also do the trick.

I hope that she realizes just why the words are so important now.  Just by putting the contraction in a different spot ("it's not believing" vs "it isn't believing") can change the whole meaning.

Offline Jag

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #384 on: April 19, 2013, 02:18:24 PM »
Ok jb, here’s the long-promised post. I am in no way going to try to talk you out of your belief in God. I’m simply going to try to frame this so it makes more sense to you – I want you to understand why we don’t agree, hopefully in a way that may be easier for you to relate to.

I want to begin with a couple of observations that had to be considered in order for me to go forward.

Much of the disputing seems to be at least in part over semantics:
1.   Your position (I think from the beginning) is that your belief in God is not a bad thing, and – this is important – that you mostly agree that organized religion is not what you are talking about. If I’m correct about that (?), I actually agree with you (more on that later – there are qualifiers). But your post is titled “Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing”, and it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to find agreement here; I’m quite certain that you’ve noticed. It’s because you didn’t specify that you are only referring to yourself (I assume).
2.   You’ve also indicated that you do not consider yourself a christian, and I’m not going to argue the semantics of that with you; I understand what I think you mean – you do not chose to attach yourself to the organized practice of Christianity, so you reject that term in application to yourself. I can accept that as well, again after noting that from a semantic view, technically, you are. I understand the line you are drawing and will leave it where you have placed it.

I want to start with your premise that your belief is not harmful to you. As I stated above, I do agree, for the most part. However, it really does bother me that you are selling yourself short, because you believe in God. You’ve certainly indicated that you don’t believe God is directly intervening in your life, and that you perceive God as a source of strength for you in trying times. I wish you could believe that all the strength and endurance, and yes, even the feelings of joy and gratitude are from you yourself, from your internal fortitude, without any God whatsoever in the background. Again, I don’t think it’s actually doing you much real harm. I wish you had as much faith in yourself and your own abilities to trust in you, but that’s not really harmful so much as it could be limiting. It always bothers me when people place unnecessary constraints on themselves - I believe in you, more than you believe in yourself, and that is troubling to me. The world needs all of us working on real solutions to real problems, and belief in a god is all too often the excuse for not taking action.

I think it’s vitally important to take the long view. My goal is to help you see why.

For example, let’s consider climate change, again with a qualifier. I think the term itself has become so laden with political baggage that it gets in the way of incredibly important discussion required for meaningful action. Instead of climate change, let’s call it pollution, because that’s really what the root of the problem is. Regardless of if one accepts that climate change is real, it’s impossible to say that pollution is not. I will provide proof if you require it.

So what this have to do with God beliefs? Here’s a real world example:  Rep. John Shimkus is standing by a controversial comment that global warming isn't something to worry about because God said he wouldn't destroy the Earth after Noah's flood.
The Illinois Republican running for the powerful perch atop the House Energy and Commerce Committee told POLITICO on Wednesday that his understanding of the Bible reaffirms his belief that government shouldn't be in the business of trying to address rising greenhouse gas emissions.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44958.html#ixzz2QvrqsW37

Just in case you don’t completely understand why that freaks me right out, let me point out the amount of power we’re really talking about here. The House Energy and Commerce Committee does more than guide policy. In effect, they actually have the power to strongly influence, or even determine to a point, which potential issues will ever get far enough along in the political process to even be considered for policy action. Do you see the ramifications of that?
(Another link with other details: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1328366/John-Shimkus-Global-warming-wont-destroy-planet-God-promised-Noah.html)

The US is a global leader, like it or not. We’re also among the worst offenders (China is kicking in quite a significant share as well). If we don’t step up and take the lead, it isn’t going to be addressed at all. And the whole world will suffer for it together. There are places where people will simply not survive if action is not taken - real people, real deaths, and all potentially preventable if we just drop the "God will take care of us" crap and get our collective shit together for the good of all humankind.

Another example that you may relate to as an adult female is the Quiverfull movement, among many other patriarchal religious movements. They are a horror for women from beginning to end. I’m not going to give you a full-blown primer on that, just hit a few highlights.

[For much more from someone with first-hand experience, I strongly encourage you to read Libby Ann’s blog at Patheos: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/# . Under the heading near the top, she has a section for “Background” – please see the posts tagged Quiverfull here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/christian-patriarchyquiverfull . Also see the posts here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/tag/created-to-be-his-help-meet for her review of a book that is, in essence, the “Bible” of the Quiverfull movement, created entirely by one man (who quite frankly comes off as a childish, insecure, petty asshole in a book written by his wife and, get this, approved by him before he allowed her to publish). Be prepared to be shocked and disgusted, by the way; it’s incredibly offensive to anyone with a shred of humanity and decency. I believe you have both.]

That movement disturbs me on a lot of levels. But the worst in my eyes is that it forces women into very tightly prescribed roles, with no consideration whatsoever given to the idea of a woman as an autonomous human being with the right to self-discovery, self-expression, or even a decent education. Women born into this movement (and make no mistake, there are a LOT of them!) have almost no chance of even being permitted to think, at all. All decisions are deferred to the father, as the head of the family. It matters not one bit if he is making shit decisions that will cause him family harm, he is never to be disagreed with, no matter what. He can bankrupt the family, but woe betide the wife who speaks against it. I wish I was joking. Beating are an accepted matter for children and wives. Hell, that vile book in the review posts I link to even provides instruction, per the biblical interpretations of the movement founder.

What would it do to a girl's perception of her own capabilities and her value as a human being to grow up like that? How could she ever break away from that kind of conditioning, foisted onto her at birth? Her entire existence is only for the purpose of producing babies and serving her husband, so her early life is spent in training for that eventual role. If she's an older siblings, she will be responsible (as a child herself, and a sibling as well) for the care, and often the discipline, of the younger children. She absolutely won't be permitted to have friends outside the movement, and she may not even have friends in it, depending on her specific family. She doesn't attend school outside the home, she is only permitted to read limited religious texts, and is essentially completely shielded from any independent interaction with people outside of her family's faith. With no opportunity to ever know that alternative exist, she's trapped in this situation in almost every way imaginable.

If every believer had the same view that you do, there would be much less for atheists to protest. But that’s not the case. The ones who follow oppressive interpretations also are the ones who are taking political actions, and trying hard to undermine the civil legal grounds put in place to stop exactly the kind of shit they are trying to force on the rest of us.

The worst of the harm you insist is not happening is impossible to separate from these God beliefs. Make no mistake about it – if they have their way, we will live under the equivalent of Sharia law here. I’ll fight to my last breath to stop that from happening, and any believer who doesn’t want it to happen should damn well be standing right alongside me doing the same damn thing.

I’m not JUST trying to protect myself and other non-believers from a being forced to follow laws based on religious belief, I’m also protecting people who do believe in God, but not the version being pushed by fundamentalists. Too many of them are not paying attention to the realities being played out right under their noses, and are heading for quite a shock if they don’t start seeing what is happening.

THAT is where it becomes a bad thing – all too often, the moderate believers, the “respectful of others” believers, the “believe what you chose, it’s a personal decision” , THEY ARE NOT FUCKING GETTING OFF THEIR ASSES TO SPEAK UP AND TAKING ACTION IN OPPOSITION TO THE CRAZY FUCKERS!

I concede that you are not doing active harm to anyone, other than potentially to yourself. But I also contend that you are possibly doing passive harm by not taking action (if you are not), or by letting your beliefs set limits on your options, or by sitting passively and not noticing the damage being enacted into law by other who are believers. That is still harmful, if only by association.

I think you are a good person with a good heart. But I also think you are wrong that belief is not a bad thing. I see a lot of awful embedded in it. There’s much, much more than I’ve shown you in this post.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #385 on: April 19, 2013, 02:48:59 PM »
My son: (deadpan) It wasn't God. I went and hid in the library.
I don't find it amusing at all.  First off, nobody should be bullied in the first place, and second, he shouldn't have to hide to avoid it.  I also don't think your wife's prayer had anything to do with it, because hiding from bullies (in a place they don't normally go or can't easily get to) is a very common reaction to being bullied.

You see, the bullying didn't actually stop.  Your son just wasn't around to be bullied.  The bullies will just harass others and wait for him to show up again.  Unless the bullies themselves change, or your son can figure out how to keep them from targeting him, it won't stop, and praying won't help.

Yes. We are addressing the issue in very practical ways. Discussions with his teacher, etc.

FYI, when our kids are unwell they see a doctor.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #386 on: April 19, 2013, 03:10:29 PM »
junebug:  To expand a little bit on Jag's point, I'd like to point out that many of those Christians are perfectly okay with taking away the rights of people who have different beliefs.  And they justify those actions with their beliefs.  That is a situation where Belief in God is a Very Bad Thing, because that belief empowers their decisions and makes them think that they are perfectly and righteously justified in doing what they think their god wants them to do, no matter what it costs others.

If every Christian were okay with alternate beliefs, and just focused on their personal relationship with their god, it probably wouldn't be that big of a deal.  The problem is that there are literally millions of Christians who are practically obsessed with dictating what other people say, do, and even think, and it is because of their beliefs.  They wouldn't be capable of nearly as much harm if they didn't believe their god was standing behind them approving of everything they did.

Offline Jag

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #387 on: April 19, 2013, 04:22:52 PM »
^^^One step at a time. We're trying to shake her world view up a bit, and if we do too much at one time, we risk losing the message in sheer volume.

I apologize if that sounds like a rebuke, that is not my intent. For some reason, I seem to have developed personal interest in getting junebug72 to see this from our perspective - not to change her mind but to change her self-imposed limits (no offense intended at all jb). I think we, as atheists who are representing ourselves as decent human beings on par with believers, are better served in this case by slowing down and taking things in small doses. We risk blowing an good opportunity to be seen as we see ourselves if we get overwhelming again.

I won't be the least bit offended if you tell me to stuff it and mind my own business. My investment in the outcome I seek certainly isn't yours, and I sincerely hope I haven't offended you.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #388 on: April 19, 2013, 04:26:43 PM »
I'm just trying to reinforce your point a bit.  I had more I wanted to say, but I decided to expound on it elsewhere because it made better sense there.

Offline Jag

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #389 on: April 19, 2013, 04:36:33 PM »
Thank you.

Seriously, I hope I wasn't rude. I sort of feel like I've got a fish on the line, and I'm hoping that jb can incorporate what we're talking about into her world view. I'm trying to be very careful to not threaten her beliefs, while still insisting that she needs to see a bigger view of god beliefs. She can keep her beliefs intact while still seeing the need for action in place of, or in addition to, prayer.

I shouldn't let myself get invested in the outcome, but there is a kind heart in her, and I want very much to find common ground. Moving believers to see the harm can only serve to get more people involved in solving problems. If I have to do it one person at a time, so be it.  ;D
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Online junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #390 on: April 20, 2013, 04:31:53 AM »
And secondly, you must be able to demonstrate that your definition of god is correct, and my definition is wrong.  And - sorry to say - to do that, I rather suspect you will need to show some evidence.....

That is a subject for another thread.

Just to clarify: are you saying that you ARE prepared to demonstrate your definition of god is correct, and provide evidence to support it, in another thread?  If so I would be more than happy to discuss it with you in the debate room: the benefit to you there is that you would only be discussing it with me, and not have to field umpteen questions from several other participants.

Shall I request that a debate be set up for us Junebug?  Or are you, perhaps, using "this is not the thread to discuss evidence" as a shield.....?

Before we continue with that discussion, I must ask what your qualifications are. Are you an expert scientist ready to conduct experiments and if so what kind of experiments are we going to do? My "report"evidence was dismissed by screwey as legal evidence not scientific, but I am more than happy to cooperate with any expert scientist with knowledge and equipment. Maybe WE could solve the mystery once and for all!

I'm not the one dictating what a person can say and what they can't. This is a major reason I wouldn't want to live in an atheist environment, no freedom of speech.

The only experiment I have ever conducted is trying the philosophies I have mentioned in my life with very successful results. It would be my pleasure to share with you Anf.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Online junebug72

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #391 on: April 20, 2013, 05:26:05 AM »
With all due respect, junebug, you can call your beliefs whatever you want, but they are Christian beliefs because you believe in Jesus Christ.  You just belong to a specific sect of Christianity - population 1.

Regarding some of your other posts, what does it matter that the stories of the Gospels have been passed down for nearly 2000 years[1]?  The story of the Iliad and the Odyssey are hundreds of years older than that.  If a story is mythical or fictional to begin with, it remains so no matter how old it is.

And another thing.  You challenged Star Stuff for being more concerned with beliefs, rather than people.  Yet, you are trying to give your concern for people a religious spin - you're doing it because you think it pleases your god, rather than because it's a good thing to do in and of itself.  You write threads like this, arguing that particular beliefs are not bad.  You yourself are giving beliefs a higher priority than people.

If people are more important than beliefs, then why are you worrying about your beliefs to begin with, let alone trying to spread them?
 1. by the way, the stories of the Gospels are not yet 2000 years old - you cannot date them based on the Christian calendar or the presumed birth of Jesus, you have to base them on when they were first told

I am not going to get into another debate about what I am. I know who I am and that matters most to me. I'm only disappointed you can not see the difference.  I believe in God, I study Jesus. I believe Jesus died on the cross and showed the Greatest act of Love known to man. His death started the process of turning Romans from paganism to Catholicism. I don't believe Iliad or Odyssey have nations that celebrate their birth or respect the day of their deaths.

I really don't know what to say about that. I have been as "nice" as I could be. It is not in my moral fibre, and if you take a better look back through this thread I apologized for what little bit of attitude I did get. I have been taunted to death. I have kept my cool. What more do you want?  :?
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 #392 on: April 20, 2013, 05:39:07 AM »
Quote
However, don't feel your belief in a god should be somehow spared here at WWGHA.

I believe I'm going to have to ask you to back that statement up dude. that's far out. i'm not going to respond w/o collaboration.

When I say spared, I mean not spared from scrutiny and debate.  Maybe we both need to stand in each other's shoes. I had hoped my post had shown I am trying to stand in your shoes.

I don't have an iota of a problem with scrutiny and debate, my problem is with censorship. I feel I'm being told If I can't prove it I can't say it here. That doesn't leave much room for a debate. The same people determine what is evidence and what is not.  This is way too important to me to get kicked out, so I must be very, very careful.

Thanks for meeting me in the middle Shno, you have earned more of my respect.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #393 on: April 20, 2013, 05:41:43 AM »
And secondly, you must be able to demonstrate that your definition of god is correct, and my definition is wrong.  And - sorry to say - to do that, I rather suspect you will need to show some evidence.....

That is a subject for another thread.

Just to clarify: are you saying that you ARE prepared to demonstrate your definition of god is correct, and provide evidence to support it, in another thread?  If so I would be more than happy to discuss it with you in the debate room: the benefit to you there is that you would only be discussing it with me, and not have to field umpteen questions from several other participants.

Shall I request that a debate be set up for us Junebug?  Or are you, perhaps, using "this is not the thread to discuss evidence" as a shield.....?

I repeat the question.  Shall I request that a debate on the evidence for your god be set up for us Junebug?

I already answered this one. Patience is a virtue.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #394 on: April 20, 2013, 06:24:02 AM »

Hello June, I'm a bit late in the thread, but I thank you for your continued input.

Your welcome Dump.  that's funny. :laugh: I think I'll nickname you Fire!


Quote
I agree that a belief in and of itself does no actual harm, provided it remains internal to the believer. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case when it comes to religious belief. It is not the belief in god that causes harm, it is the belief that one knows god's will and then tries to enforce god's "intentions" on others. And it doesn't have to be of the overt smack 'em with the Bible and condemn 'em to hell or carry a sign that says "god hates fags" at a funeral sort, either.


You do come across as a fairly reasonable and dogmatically unencumbered believer, and I commend you for that. Nevertheless, you have stated things such as
Quote

Thanks for getting the point.




Quote
which means, whether you realize and admit it or not, that you view those (which would presumably include the majority on this forum) who have not achieved whatever criteria you deem necessary to "meet god" as inferior to those who have.

I've never seen God either. I don't even know if that's possible in our physical form. That's not what I meant by that. On the contrary, I said I thought you only have to be kind to others. That you do NO HARM to others. I said I think God understands why you don't believe and loves you still.


Quote
All this indicates is that the person sitting next to you is pleased smiling.

What I mean by that is if the person next to you is smiling, then you haven't done anything to offend them.

I went to the store yesterday to pick up some dinner, and I was pleased at all the smiles I got. Such a simple gesture, but it means so much. :)

Let's say you blare up the radio on your cell phone and your smiling neighbor is trying to have a convo with her husband about picking up the kids and your loud radio disturbs her convo making her irritated and her smile turns upside down. small scale ex.

The point is if your actions causes another grief I believe you are not pleasing God. That is why I don't want to be a Christian. They do cause a lot of grief to others.

Quote
If you're referring to the Carrie Underwood song I think you missed the meaning of it. She only asked Jesus to take the wheel because she ran out of steam. She's saying it's too much for me, I need you and she was all alone. There wasn't a second person in the car to take the wheel, she was on her own except her belief that He was by her side, so she doesn't feel so alone and powerless.

Quote
You are correct that the main point of the song is to trust in god, but the last line of the first verse literally says "she threw her hands up in the air" when her car was skidding out of control[1]. Hopefully no one in a similar situation will follow suit.
 1. sorry, years spent analyzing and critiquing song lyrics have made me very nitpicky on the subject
edit: grammar

It does say "Out of Control." I do believe she survived that crash because she asked for help. Here's the lyrics:

 Jesus, Take the Wheel
(James/Lindsey/Sampson)

She was driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas Eve
Going home to see her Mama and her Daddy with the baby in the backseat
Fifty miles to go and she was running low on faith and gasoline
It'd been a long hard year
She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention
she was going way too fast
Before she knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass
She saw both their lives flash before her eyes
She didn't even have time to cry
She was sooo scared
She threw her hands up in the air

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel

It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder
And the car came to a stop
She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat sleeping like a rock
And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way
I've been living my life
I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on

Ooh, Jesus take the wheel
Ooh, I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
From this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel
Ooh, take it, take it from me
Ooh ooh wah ah ooh ooh ooh


This song gives me chills.
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 #395 on: April 20, 2013, 06:29:35 AM »
Anfauglir:  What she wrote was confusing, I definitely agree there.

Reading it as "it isn't believing that causes problems" would also do the trick.

I hope that she realizes just why the words are so important now.  Just by putting the contraction in a different spot ("it's not believing" vs "it isn't believing") can change the whole meaning.

thx Jaime. I do a lot of proofreading and I can see how someone could misinterpret.

I never underestimate the power of words!!!
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #396 on: April 20, 2013, 07:15:16 AM »
It does say "Out of Control." I do believe she survived that crash because she asked for help. Here's the lyrics:

 Jesus, Take the Wheel
(James/Lindsey/Sampson)

She was driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas Eve
Going home to see her Mama and her Daddy with the baby in the backseat
Fifty miles to go and she was running low on faith and gasoline
It'd been a long hard year
She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention
she was going way too fast
Before she knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass
She saw both their lives flash before her eyes

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
[…]
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel
[…]
Ooh ooh wah ah ooh ooh ooh

This song gives me chills.

It should give you the chills,

1.   Jesus hasn’t got a drivers’ license.
2.   If we consider a car to be an “iron chariot”, God is terrified of cars (J'g:1:19: And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.)
3.   The driver of the car was an idiot. She could easily have killed innocent people “She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention/ she was going way too fast.” If Jesus had had a drivers’ license, he would have driven her straight into a tree and killed her.
4.   “she was running low on faith” Jesus hates people of weak faith, “Re:3:16: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

I suggest that you consider that this song was written to make money by appealing to those with minimal critical thinking skills.

How many accidents in the US each year? How many deaths? Jesus seems to be slacking on the job (or I'm right and He can't drive.)
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #397 on: April 20, 2013, 08:04:05 AM »
#384

Hey Jag,

Seems to me we 're basically on the same team, we just have different ideas about how to go about "saving the world". I believe we are starting to move in the right direction. 

Those politicians are using  people's beliefs to promote their own greedy agenda. They don't have me fooled one little bit. I will say that as a believer in God it must upset me more than you, because they make God look bad to people like you. It utterly breaks my heart. I would argue that politicians being bought by large corps. is worse for us than believing and we should start there by getting everybody we know to say enough of that. We want regulations in Washington to put an end to it. Really can any man not get corrupted by power? I don't think it's possible. Take a fast food mng. A lot of them are jerks. Just that little tiny bit of power goes straight to the head. Oh Lord it's hard to stay humble!! :D

I just believe there is a better chance of convincing people that God is better than that, than it would be to convince them that God does not exist. That's why I'm here. Sometimes you have to give the people what they want as well as what they need to move forward. 

I really respect what atheism has done for God. It really points out the contradictions of Christianity. I believe atheists have done a lot more for God than Christians. I'm looking for other folk like me, but I'm having a difficult time, as you can imagine.

Maybe my population is just 1. Working on it.

I appreciate the vote of confidence Jag. It was very nice of you to say. I really don't see how giving credit to God takes anything away from me. God only helps the ones that help themselves. I want to help myself, I do help myself. I definitely do not believe in waiting for God to answer prayer. God knows what we need. I believe we should be careful what we ask God for. God is not a genie in a bottle that grants our wishes and desires.

I hate pollution as much as you do!! I watch a lot of documentaries on the subject and even worse than what it's doing to mother earth it kills people now. I ball my eyeballs out when they start showing pictures of the children that have died from cancer from the effects of coal mining and fracking. The refineries, aw man, very disturbing. 

Seems unconstitutional to me to even bring up religious beliefs in an election. I don't know what his beliefs are but I wish I had voted for Ralph Nader.  Didn't know who he was until after the election. Just starting to get to know the political system the past 8/9 years. The Independent Candidates need to make more noise.

As far as did I mean the post personally yes and no. I don't think believing in "intelligence vs. luck" is a bad thing in general, I think greedy egotistical people use it to take advantage of the masses which gives the "appearance of believing" but it's not actually believing. You can also believe in God and not care if you please God. It's not the belief, it's what you chose to do with it.

I will check out that link and get back to ya on it.

Always a Pleasure, 

JB
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 #398 on: April 20, 2013, 08:30:21 AM »

It should give you the chills,

1.   Jesus hasn’t got a drivers’ license.
2.   If we consider a car to be an “iron chariot”, God is terrified of cars (J'g:1:19: And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.)
3.   The driver of the car was an idiot. She could easily have killed innocent people “She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention/ she was going way too fast.” If Jesus had had a drivers’ license, he would have driven her straight into a tree and killed her.
4.   “she was running low on faith” Jesus hates people of weak faith, “Re:3:16: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

I suggest that you consider that this song was written to make money by appealing to those with minimal critical thinking skills.

How many accidents in the US each year? How many deaths? Jesus seems to be slacking on the job (or I'm right and He can't drive.)

Oh my this stuff does make me smile. Let me give you a little hint, all that stuff that has worked on Christians is just not going to work on me. The sooner you figure that out; we can stop wasting our valuable time on this stuff. I am not here to defend the Bible.  These contradictions you speak of should tell you the same thing it tells me, that it wasn't written by God. To me it's a historical document of how misunderstood God has been, especially the Old Testament. I think Jesus tried to get them to see the error of their ways and it got Him crucified as predicted.  It is my belief that all the restraints put on mankind by church and gov. as to what to believe by means of death or public humiliation, has dictated beliefs up until now. Freedom of religion is now starting to reveal what is wrong with the picture. I have witnessed the beginning of this revolution and I truly have faith now that our generation,(60's and 70's) is starting to move up the food chain, so to speak, we'll start seeing more, and more of this spiritual growth.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #399 on: April 20, 2013, 08:41:35 AM »
I don't think you shouldn't be testing God when you pray, then you're prayer is for yourself.  Just saying. :D

I'm praying to end cancer.  How is that for myself again?  I don't have cancer. 

If you're referring to the Carrie Underwood song I think you missed the meaning of it. She only asked Jesus to take the wheel because she ran out of steam. She's saying it's too much for me, I need you and she was all alone. There wasn't a second person in the car to take the wheel, she was on her own except her belief that He was by her side, so she doesn't feel so alone and powerless.

I was using a line from the song, not the song itself.  If you're crashing in a car, do you want someone who prays, or someone who tries to straighten the car out? 

Not much different from my own story. I was so alone and it was there that I started to develope my faith.

When Tom Hanks was alone on the island, he developed a relationship with Wilson.  A volleyball.  So much so that when the volleyball started to float away later, he cried and apologized to it. 

The reason that it was somewhat believable is because we all know that people's minds do strange things when the chips are down.  How would you think the rest of the public would have responded to Tom Hanks character if he came back with the volleyball and continued his relationship with it?  That's what you're doing with your God.  The only thing that saves you is that a lot of other people have relationships with their volleyball as well. 

You turned your life around all by yourself by creating a relationship.  You're fine now.  Let go of the volleyball. 
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 jaimehlers

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #400 on: April 20, 2013, 08:53:04 AM »
I am not going to get into another debate about what I am. I know who I am and that matters most to me.
If you believe in Jesus Christ, you are a Christian - a follower of Jesus Christ and his teachings.  That's what the word Christian means.  That does not mean you follow the doctrines of any particular Christian sect.  It isn't an insult - this is how I and others see you.

Quote from: junebug72
I'm only disappointed you can not see the difference.  I believe in God, I study Jesus. I believe Jesus died on the cross and showed the Greatest act of Love known to man. His death started the process of turning Romans from paganism to Catholicism. I don't believe Iliad or Odyssey have nations that celebrate their birth or respect the day of their deaths.
Actually, the Iliad and the Odyssey are famous epics by the Greek poet Homer.  The Iliad covers the Trojan War, and the Odyssey covers the travels of Odysseus (a major participant of the previous epic) as he attempted to return to his home in Ithaca.  Both of them have some truth to them, but both are also heavily influenced by mythology.  For example, Odysseus was the great-grandson of the god Hermes, and he constantly had to deal with gods and monsters who either 'helped' him or attempted to get in his way.  Compare this to the Gospels, where Jesus was the son of a god, traveled throughout Judea, had awesome divine powers, had to constantly deal with attempts to trap him (both supernatural and by men), and then came back from the dead after his enemies finally managed to capture and kill him.

My point is that the Gospels are an epic, told from four perspectives.  Because Paul is the one who actually spread Christianity, the Gospels could have been entirely fictional, describing a man who never lived in the first place, and it wouldn't have mattered one bit.  He wasn't around in any of them, and he never met Jesus "in the flesh", let alone witnessed any of his miracles; he was converted by having a vision of Jesus.

Quote from: junebug72
I really don't know what to say about that. I have been as "nice" as I could be. It is not in my moral fibre, and if you take a better look back through this thread I apologized for what little bit of attitude I did get. I have been taunted to death. I have kept my cool. What more do you want?  :?
I'd appreciate an answer to the question I posed to you.  "If people are more important than beliefs, then why are you worrying about your beliefs to begin with, let alone trying to spread them?"  Bear in mind, I don't have a problem with your own personal beliefs.  I just don't understand why, if you're more concerned with people than beliefs, you're emphasizing your beliefs here, on this site.  Many Christians have come here and done the same thing, in attempts to convert the atheists here or at least convince them that they have the right of things.

Do you see the problem?  To many people here, you're coming across as just another Christian.  Nicer and less authoritarian than most, but you're still pushing your beliefs on us in an attempt to get validation for them.  Or at least that's how it seems.  If your belief in God and Jesus has helped you out, that should be all the validation you need, right?

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #401 on: April 20, 2013, 08:54:51 AM »
His death started the process of turning Romans from paganism to Catholicism. I don't believe Iliad or Odyssey have nations that celebrate their birth or respect the day of their deaths.



What's that old saying about a "little bit of knowledge"?

You obviously haven't the first clue how the small cult of christianity became what it is today.  Start with Constantine, and see what you find.


More stuff:

http://www.bandoli.no/nooriginaljesus.htm



.
God is an Imaginary Friend for Grown-ups

Offline shnozzola

Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #402 on: April 20, 2013, 09:08:39 AM »
God only helps the ones that help themselves. 
If I only had a penny for every time....
                          * Who helps the ones that don't help themselves?
I want to help myself, I do help myself.
That's it, young lady - you do, and you need to recognize how strong you are.  If only you would see it.
“I wanna go ice fishing on Europa, and see if something swims up to the camera lens and licks it.”- Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #403 on: April 20, 2013, 09:27:19 AM »
JB,

You say you are not a Christian, but then applaud "Jesus" for what you say he did. The ONLY media where they teach about this "Jesus" fellow are The Bible and the Qu'ran. If you are accepting the stories about this "Jesus" based on these books, then you have two options, A) to accept the books as a whole, including the parts where "Jesus" massacres people under his pseudonym "Yahweh" or B) demonstrate how to reasonably discern between the true scriptures and the false scriptures.

Keep in mind that according to the ONLY writings that tell you about Jesus, he believed and worshiped the terrible character that is the god of the old testament that is demonstrably NOT love, and that has consistently been the driving force behind atrocities. Belief in such a god allows the believers to be manipulated to do evil (as has been demonstrated over and over again). Thus belief IS bad.

I left Judaism out earlier because Jews dont think the Jesus mentioned by the other two faiths is the one who their text refers to.

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #404 on: April 20, 2013, 09:36:29 AM »
"god only helps those that help themselves"



HELP YOURSELF KIDDO!! Yahweh says to...

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Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
« Reply #405 on: April 20, 2013, 09:47:14 AM »
After the catastrophic effects that religion has had on this planet over the past several thousands of years, durned tootin' I'm going to ask for evidence rather than rely on someone's subjective touchy-feely religious woo-woo say-so.


Religion is not belief. It is the dividing of belief. I'll help you get rid of religion anyway I can, I will not help you get rid of God.

Quote
If your god were real, we should be able to find it.  Ditto for "souls" -- No evidence that a "soul" is anything more than a mind operation that ponders things like love, purpose and other emotional abstractions.

Why should it have to come to us?  If it's that powerful, we should be able to detect it.  Why is there no physical trace of it anywhere the instrumentation of humanity can reach?  Even if it were hiding in "another" universe, in order for it to affect us in any way it has to have at least one point of contact with this universe.

There is no such point of contact identified; at least, we have yet to find such.  There is no unexplained energy imbalance where a god is piping in "miracles" and otherwise disturbing the laws of physics.

You do realize we are talking about the most powerful force in the universe don't you. In your mind it may seem possible to track God down on some radar device, but in my mind it is not possible.

It would make things alot  easier wouldn't it? Well, maybe it's not supposed to be easy. Maybe it's supposed to be hard as hell. That's why I believe there is a gift behind death's door. A gift that makes it all worthwhile!

Quote
How, um, very convenient.  If it can't bother to reveal itself to humanity, particularly to people who are at this very moment crying out to it for help with an emergent life-threatening situation, I think we should just dismiss it as undependable and get on with our lives.

The bottom line, Junebug, is that your subjective spiritual experiences do not hold the same value for us as they hold for you.  That does not necessarily alter their value to you, unless of course your happiness is somehow dependent on a consensus of uncritical yes-men.  If that is indeed the case -- If you actually feel diminished because we are not nodding our heads and saying that we believe you, I think that is vastly more damaging to your god hypothesis.  Please give this serious consideration.

I'm going to say again, that i think: God is not a man you can meet. God is the "SOURCE of All Life".  I don't think God's hiding from any of us, some people just don't see.  Maybe you have to go through enough life cycles, I don't know, I've never claimed to have all the answers. I am willing to share my heart and soul with you, so that you have something to judge belief on besides what you have seen so far. That's all.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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