Author Topic: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?  (Read 41870 times)

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Offline Hierophant

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2013, 03:47:35 PM »
Now that I think about it, the most likely reason people concede the possibility of gods in a way they wouldn't for other imaginary entities is probably to pacify Christians and not appear "close-minded" to them.

I personally see no reason to pacify Christians, not as long as Christianity remains the powerful force for evil in this world that it is, a fatal parasite to the human race, causing ignorance, death and misery wherever it flourishes. Christianity is on the way out and we need to keep its head down while it drowns, not prop it up.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 03:50:26 PM by Hierophant »

Online nogodsforme

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2013, 04:26:09 PM »
How could I distinguish a god from a really savvy shape-shifting alien-- who knew what humans like in their gods? Theists come here and say,"If Jesus himself appeared before you, you still would not believe." And in a sense they are correct.

Because a really savvy shape-shifting alien could appear looking like what we think Jesus looked like, and do some nice miracles, like cure cancer and heal amputees, and then pen us up because of you-know-what:

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 The Gay Impositor

Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2013, 08:15:39 PM »
If I am given wealth and a charming lad to spend time with, I will believe.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2013, 10:55:33 PM »
They want twenty-seven 8x10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence... :D
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Online dloubet

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2013, 02:04:51 AM »
Evidence.

If a god, afterlife, or spiritual realm, cannot muster the same level of evidence as the chair I'm sitting in, then it has not earned my conditional agreement.

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Online jdawg70

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2013, 11:10:51 AM »
Now that I think about it, the most likely reason people concede the possibility of gods in a way they wouldn't for other imaginary entities is probably to pacify Christians and not appear "close-minded" to them.
Yeah I suppose a part of it is due to an over-reaching internalized 'need' to placate the theists and assure them that I am not close-minded.  I don't feel it to be a big driver, but I interact mostly with theists of some variety, and they're generally very decent and very smart people so there may be some personal biasing in there too.

It seems to me that I primarily concede the possibility of gods to placate the linguists; to allow for the notion that the definition of the word 'god' (or maybe more accurately the 'god' concept) may evolve into something that is amenable scientific inquiry.  Of course, it may be the case that the word 'god' has evolved enough that core features of the existing definition that make it principally unknowable are static (or very unlikely to change).  But that doesn't seem to be the case; the word 'god' entails a large span in variation with plenty of room to change.  I confess it is a largely intuitive notion I have for believing that the word 'god' can evolve in such a way; refer to the above 'personal biasing' disclaimer.
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Offline The Gawd

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2013, 11:23:37 AM »
Youre leaving, JB, because you refuse to actually engage us. You are more interested in asserting your beliefs than investigating them. Many people have stated here that they are more than willing to accept truths when they are based upon evidence, evidence that you have failed to provide. Why you expect us to just accept your claims all the while rejecting Fred Phelps claims is beyond me. You have to show why your claims are more credible than Fred Phelps. Because in reality it appears his are more valid and at least supported by the book you both get your information from (no matter how many times you want to deny the book, its clear you base your personal religion off the bible).

Offline screwtape

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2013, 07:12:37 AM »
Evidence.

Not to single out dloubet, because a lot of people have said this.  I think the crux of the question is what would you say would be valid evidence?  A hippy looking guy with long hair and a beard, nail holes in his hands, wearing a crown of thorns and radiating light?  A dream where a disembodied voice tells you its god and it will bless you and make you prosper if you follow it's weird and arbitrary rules?  Or how about if you were unexpectedly and spontaneously cured of some ailment after being prayed for?

What specifically would the evidence have to be?
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2013, 08:15:09 AM »
What specifically would the evidence have to be?

The trouble is, a lot of it depends on the particular god-claim being advanced.  Gods variously claim power, love, omniscience, this that and the other.  Some gods claim the lot, some gods claim just a handful - Loki, for example, would not claim love for all lesser beings.....well, he WOULD, but he wouldn't mean it!

So its hard to quantify without a specific.  As Brando said...."whaddaya got?"

If it was a demonstration of godship, it's not going to be a simple thing - though it would be easy for an omnipotent being - because whatever it is they would be doing to demonstrate would have to be something so clearly godlike!  As you say, "guy in beard saying he loves me" won't cut it!

As I've said elesewhere though - whatever evidence it was, would have to be evidence that ONLY points to that god, and that god alone.  Anything the slightest bit generic (though it might  sway me towards gods in general) would not point me at a specific god. 

Indeed, once there is evidence for A god, why not LOADSA gods? 
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Tonus

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2013, 01:54:58 PM »
What specifically would the evidence have to be?

I would think that a being who could demonstrate the supernatural would at least convince me of the existence of the supernatural.  Someone who could read thoughts, or levitate, or miraculously heal the sick and change the weather and feed the world and make the world's nuclear stockpile turn into soap bubbles.  Proof of being an honest-to-goodness deity might follow from that, as well.

The problem I see with the question, and this follows from Greta Christina's response on her blog (linked by pianodwarf earlier in this topic) is that often it implies that there might be something that would convince me that the god of the Bible, or of any of our major religious movements, is real.  But those gods, as envisioned, make little or no sense and the way they are described makes me terrified at the thought that they would ever be real.  I don't WANT for Yahweh to present himself to us and tell us that he's real.  He's a miserable and angry and bitter person with a penchant for capricious decisions to massacre people wholesale.  He can't possibly exist, and I don't want him to.

I could imagine a god who created the universe and then went on to some other reality in order to create a universe there.  And maybe he stops by to see how we're getting along, and he manifests as something truly godlike in stature and capabilities, and he gives us a guidebook that is so amazing that it doesn't take long for us to cure AIDS and cancer and stop fighting wars.  And then he apologizes for waiting so long to check up on us, and he tips his cap and moves on to the next reality.  That's a god that I can stomach.

Offline Samothec

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2013, 02:38:12 PM »
I could imagine a god who created the universe and then went on to some other reality in order to create a universe there.  And maybe he stops by to see how we're getting along, and he manifests as something truly godlike in stature and capabilities, and he gives us a guidebook that is so amazing that it doesn't take long for us to cure AIDS and cancer and stop fighting wars.  And then he apologizes for waiting so long to check up on us, and he tips his cap and moves on to the next reality.  That's a god that I can stomach.

Indeed. I took several years trying to find/figure out god and reached the conclusion that all the gods anyone worships (all that I've heard of and nearly(?) all that I haven't) are no more than powerful aliens if they exist at all. Not that I think any of them are at all real. In our current day science fiction we have beings equal to or greater than any god worshiped on Earth. Why would a powerful fictional alien be better than a god? It wouldn't.

I came to the conclusion there might be a Creator (which I have since become agnostic about) but it bears no resemblance to the tiny pathetic "gods" people worship. Thus my rather significant requirements in my earlier post in this thread.
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Online nogodsforme

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2013, 04:21:41 PM »
Yes to the previous two posts.

At best, any god I want around would just be a benevolent, very advanced alien who did a few big miracles (cures all disease, gives us an unlimited non-polluting energy source and leaves us with world peace) and then left us alone for another few millenia. We can figure out where to put our genitalia, which animals to eat and what to wear on our own, thank you very much.

And it would be nice if he/she was smokin' hot as well. Thor springs to mind for some reason. Is the next movie out this summer? Please, please, please?
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: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2013, 07:55:17 PM »
Is it seriously too much to ask that a God worthy of worshiping, or even paying attention to, be ... oh, I don't know,...useful?

Soap merited a mention in the good book, don't you think?

Considering what people are willing to do to themselves, and to other people (hell, even the ones that agree with them!), just doing something useful once in a while doesn't seem like such an outrageous request. Just give us a godly boost every now and then. If we'd been getting the occasional obviously deistic assistance collectively, how much better off would the whole planet be? And this is out of the question, why?

Unambiguously please, so we know which one it is.

My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #42 on: April 29, 2013, 10:08:19 PM »
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708702/

This ep of Star Trek is a goodie.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

In this case, her magic is probably less advanced than what the Enterprise can do.
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #43 on: April 30, 2013, 10:33:32 AM »
If, when I shuffle off this mortal coil, god is waiting for me outside the pearly gates I'd still be skeptical.
I'd want him to prove
A) He's not an alien,
B) I'm not an alien,
and
C) I'm not god and have created him.
 

Offline Strawman

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2013, 01:32:10 PM »
People say they want evidence, but evidence of what!? No one has ever defined what god is, so how can we have evidence for him? We don't know what we're looking for. The whole concept of god is a tangled mess of double-negatives and contradictions. Give me a solid explanation of what god is that can be tested and then we can talk about evidence. But then god is invisible and metaphysical and outside of everything yet somehow inside of everything and controlling everything yet giving the clear impression that he is doing sod all and doesn't exist. If God exists at all he clearly wishes to reside exclusively in the imagination.
If God exists at all he clearly wishes to reside exclusively in the imagination.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2013, 03:56:27 PM »
Many Christians accuse atheists of being closed to the idea of God. Likewise, many of us atheists argue that theists are doxastically closed to revising their beliefs. I think an effective way of spurring change is to demonstrate that which we would like to see from the other side. So what would it take in order for you to change your view? Please answer as honestly as you can.

FOR THEISTS:

What would it take for you to give up believing in Jesus and/or God? Please be as specific as you can.

What is in my opinion most necessary in order to begin a trek down the road of unbelief is to first establish some specifics pertaining to what it is a believer actually believes in. The theist's "God Model" must be solid and based on certain fundementals that can either be confirmed, disproven, or at the very least able to be held under the microscope for inspection. If the model does not possess any tangibles or specifics, there is real no use in trying to disprove what the belief is based on.

So, to disprove my belief in God, I must first have convictions that give me a clear and concrete definition of my god and its qualities, will, abilities, and history. After these are established and I commit myself to not moving the goal posts, those that wish to procecute my faith would of course need to focus their attention on disproving the validity of my god-definition.

If it can be proven that my God did not do somethings attributed to it, did/does not posses the qualities attributed to it, and violated its own supposed will; I become doubtful. This doubt would not necessarily cause me to immediately drop my god-belief. What it would cause me to do is initially re-examine my beliefs and understanding of god. This may result in me redefining god into somethin more abstract and personal that couldn't be brought under scrutiny or it may result in me redefine god based on a renewed understanding that like my initial conviction, can be challenged by similar means.

If I create an abstract god, IGNORE THE HELL OUT OF ME for I cannot be reasoned with logically. But if I'm an honest thinker, continue the process of logically breaking down what my faith has built up until there is literally nothing left for me to build my faith on. At that point, I will have no choice but to pull a Julia Sweeney.

Offline madame_zora

Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2013, 03:59:52 PM »
Any alien could easily present itself as a god. I wouldn't worship said alien unless he threatened my well-being- which very well might be the case.
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Offline Greenandwhite

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #47 on: May 03, 2013, 04:33:01 PM »
     My mom, in the popular parlance, “led my to the Lord” when I was five years old.  She came into my room one evening to tuck me in and read me the four spiritual laws booklet.  I can remember saying a prayer and experiencing an authentic feeling of joy like that which Christians often talk about.  My purpose here is not to justify to you that my experience was real or to convince you that I was correct to see this experience as authentic, because it was personal – incommunicable as it were, just as anything that we subjectively experience is incommunicable.  I guess the point I am getting at is that my mother didn’t throw the cosmological, teleological, or ontological arguments at me; she didn’t attempt to convince me based on the appearance of design in the universe; she didn’t attempt to present a case for the historicity of the gospels; and she didn’t try to read of a laundry list of answered prayers that she had experienced (unlike our rather vitriolic friend Andrew (-: ).  All she did was ask me, “would you like to meet someone who has meant a lot to me”.  So my answer to the question “what would it take for you to become an atheist” is that I would have to lose my experience with Christ first.  I could conceivably give up every single one of the theist arguments and so long as I still was experiencing Christ it wouldn’t matter. 

Online nogodsforme

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #48 on: May 03, 2013, 04:47:45 PM »
If your mother had introduced you to Allah or Ganesha or Buddha or Shango, at the age of five, you would be now attesting to your relationship with one of those instead of Christ.

Agreed?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #49 on: May 03, 2013, 05:53:17 PM »
When I was young, I had extremely vivid imaginings (frankly, I never stopped having a vivid imagination, I just learned how to not let it run away with me).  Vivid enough that they seemed "more than real", and the emotions I got from them were, in fact, real emotions I felt, but they were because of experiences that only existed in my mind.

As a thirty-something adult, I can still have powerfully vivid imaginings, that inspire or empower strong emotions.  However, I know that they aren't based on anything that really happened.  And that's why I don't accept "I get these really strong feelings because of visions I see, so my religious beliefs are valid" as an argument.  Because I know that they come from within me, and have for a long time.

That doesn't mean those imaginings don't help shape the person I am, or that I ignore the feelings I get from them.  I just don't let myself fall into the trap of believing that my imagination accurately represents reality.

Offline Greenandwhite

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #50 on: May 04, 2013, 02:23:52 AM »
If your mother had introduced you to Allah or Ganesha or Buddha or Shango, at the age of five, you would be now attesting to your relationship with one of those instead of Christ.

Agreed?

Agreed.  If my mother had introduced my to Allah when I was five it is highly likely that I would be a follower of Allah today; however, I think that when judging the truthfulness of a belief one should look at the content of the belief not the origin. 

Online dloubet

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #51 on: May 04, 2013, 03:02:55 AM »
screwtape wrote:
Quote
Not to single out dloubet, because a lot of people have said this.  I think the crux of the question is what would you say would be valid evidence?

Well, I did offer the following line: If a god, afterlife, or spiritual realm, cannot muster the same level of evidence as the chair I'm sitting in, then it has not earned my conditional agreement.

There are numerous lines of evidence all leading to the nearly inescapable conclusion that I'm sitting in a chair. Do I really have to cite one in particular? Ok, how about: My knees are bent, and I'm in a completely unbalanced position and should fall backwards, but for some reason my ass isn't on the floor. Or: I can clearly feel a soft surface underneath my ass that's holding me up off the floor. Or: I can clearly feel, see, hear, and if I so choose, smell or even taste the chair that I claim I'm sitting on.

But I say "nearly inescapable" and "conditional agreement" because I could be a brain in a box, and the chair and everything else I experience could be mere illusions. But I figure the odds of that are slim. So the things I experience daily: 99.9999... percent certain they exist.

Now, if I was presented unambiguous evidence of a god, I could never get near 99 percent because I would have to be omniscient to determine if the thing was omniscient, omnipotent, or omnibenevolent. I would be able to agree that its a powerful thing, but there's no way I could reliably identify it without being omniscient myself.

Throw in evidence for a "Father of Lies" creature, and all bets are off. Because if a supernatural being with unknown powers of persuasion existed, the very concept of knowledge itself would die a horrible death. Hell, the evidence of a god would cause the same thing. A being that can invisibly interfere with each and every observation ever made? Knowledge would be dead.
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Offline The Gawd

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #52 on: May 04, 2013, 03:55:07 AM »
If your mother had introduced you to Allah or Ganesha or Buddha or Shango, at the age of five, you would be now attesting to your relationship with one of those instead of Christ.

Agreed?

Agreed.  If my mother had introduced my to Allah when I was five it is highly likely that I would be a follower of Allah today; however, I think that when judging the truthfulness of a belief one should look at the content of the belief not the origin.
So, if you likely would be a follower of allah today had your mom indoctrinated you that way, it clearly suggests that you would not know that you believed in something false. Is it far fetched to assume that this is also true for any other set of beliefs unsubstantiated by reality?

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #53 on: May 04, 2013, 10:04:35 AM »
Agreed.  If my mother had introduced my to Allah when I was five it is highly likely that I would be a follower of Allah today; however, I think that when judging the truthfulness of a belief one should look at the content of the belief not the origin.

And yet, that is not what you did when you adopted your belief, nor what your mother attempted to justify when she conveyed it to you.  Why is that?
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Offline median

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #54 on: May 05, 2013, 02:48:36 AM »
     My mom, in the popular parlance, “led my to the Lord” when I was five years old.  She came into my room one evening to tuck me in and read me the four spiritual laws booklet.  I can remember saying a prayer and experiencing an authentic feeling of joy like that which Christians often talk about.  My purpose here is not to justify to you that my experience was real or to convince you that I was correct to see this experience as authentic, because it was personal – incommunicable as it were, just as anything that we subjectively experience is incommunicable.  I guess the point I am getting at is that my mother didn’t throw the cosmological, teleological, or ontological arguments at me; she didn’t attempt to convince me based on the appearance of design in the universe; she didn’t attempt to present a case for the historicity of the gospels; and she didn’t try to read of a laundry list of answered prayers that she had experienced (unlike our rather vitriolic friend Andrew (-: ).  All she did was ask me, “would you like to meet someone who has meant a lot to me”.  So my answer to the question “what would it take for you to become an atheist” is that I would have to lose my experience with Christ first.  I could conceivably give up every single one of the theist arguments and so long as I still was experiencing Christ it wouldn’t matter.

How do you know your experience was "with Christ"? Isn't this just making a big assumption (just like Muslims or Hindus do with their alleged subjective experiences)? Wouldn't it be better to say that if you were convinced that your experience was not actually with "Christ", but was actually just you having a misapprehension of what you thought you were experiencing (based on what you were already preconditioned to believe in your family/culture) that you might change your mind?

Your answer here does not display that you are actually open to the possibility that you are mistaken in your interpretation of your experiences (which is really what this OP is all about). In a round about way, it sounds like you just came here to say, "No, I could never be convinced that I'm mistaken." Well sir, that is called being CLOSED-MINDED.

So then the question is, do you truly care whether or not your beliefs are actually true?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 02:52:07 AM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline magicmiles

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #55 on: May 05, 2013, 04:43:15 AM »


Even if we did find out that the universe has a creator, it would be an entity on its own right, with its own properties, not a mythical creature with human-invented properties.

I missed this earlier.

Are you saying that if the universe had a creator, and therefore a designer, that this creator would be what you, the designed and created person, say it would be? Really?


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Offline junebug72

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #56 on: May 05, 2013, 05:36:18 AM »
Youre leaving, JB, because you refuse to actually engage us. You are more interested in asserting your beliefs than investigating them. Many people have stated here that they are more than willing to accept truths when they are based upon evidence, evidence that you have failed to provide. Why you expect us to just accept your claims all the while rejecting Fred Phelps claims is beyond me. You have to show why your claims are more credible than Fred Phelps. Because in reality it appears his are more valid and at least supported by the book you both get your information from (no matter how many times you want to deny the book, its clear you base your personal religion off the bible).

I think you put this in the wrong thread.  I am going to tell you again I have no desire to change your mind. You believe whatever you like as far as that goes. I used to think atheism wasn't hurting anybody but that was before I came in here, but if that's what you like go ahead feel free, it's not for me to decide one little bit what you do with your life. 

What beliefs of mine are you referring to?

Do I know the Bible, yes I do, doesn't make me guilty and I'm really tired of people not getting it. You wrap belief up into a box of Christians, Islam and Judaism.  I don't know if you're living sheltered lives or what because there are a lot of people out there like myself, a lot.  We just don't go around knocking on doors and shouting on street corners.  Maybe if you look up God on wikipedia you will broaden your horizon.  Until you do I guess I'll just have to put up with your lack of insight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_paine.html#XXwlhVIMq06zWg2d.99

Offline junebug72

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Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #57 on: May 05, 2013, 05:39:35 AM »


Even if we did find out that the universe has a creator, it would be an entity on its own right, with its own properties, not a mythical creature with human-invented properties.

I missed this earlier.

Are you saying that if the universe had a creator, and therefore a designer, that this creator would be what you, the designed and created person, say it would be? Really?

VERY, VERY GOOD POINT!!!  Please don't dodge this question. I can't wait to hear the answer. WOW!!! GREAT QUESTION!!!
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_paine.html#XXwlhVIMq06zWg2d.99