Author Topic: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.  (Read 2028 times)

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Offline Schizoid

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This is really a no-brainer, but it occurred to me that something all gods of all religions have in common is that they only exist by faith within their believers.  We see all of these super hero and super villain movies where they all manifest themselves to the world, showing and proving what they can do.  But no god ever does this.  The common thread that runs through all religions.

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2013, 01:14:41 AM »
I've asked theists here many times why a real god would demand faith, in exactly the way a false religion, because it had no actual gods, would also demand faith.

No responses so far.

Gee, I wonder why?
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Offline Nick

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2013, 07:21:37 AM »
Gee, I wonder why that is? :o
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 08:13:17 AM »
I can't see the problem here - all the gods are, of course, non-material and inhabit a different dimension from us. After all, if a god has created the whole of the universe he/she/it would be a different scale from us - probably far to big to fit into our universe. The creator would necessarily have to exist outwith the universe and thus, but definition, not be able to do public appearances on earth.

Of course, if one is a believer in one of the many, many gods one may be a little disheartened to think that a being like this creator probably cannot manage to communicate with individual humans but, of course, that's what holy books are for. Everything anyone wants to know - that is except the most important things - are in the holy books and one has only to trust the appropriate holy book to know one is doing what that god wants.

Naturally, as this creator cannot communicate with individuals on earth he has had to leave it to individual writers to work out on their own what a creator would want people to do - assuming that creator has any wishes in this regard - and to set out what they think in documents that appear as holy books. Individuals have differing views on what a god might actually want, which neatly explains why the holy books are so different in contnent and requirements as they amount to what one or several humans think that this creator, if he could tell us, would actually want.

Now, as no one can communicate with that creator, we can have no confirmation that the holy books are what god might want which is where faith comes in. One has to have faith that the writers of these books actually have got the rules right. Its a bit of  lottery as getting the rules wrong might mean banishment after death rather than some heavenly party so choosing religion needs a lot of careful thought. Its really juts as well that our ancestors settled on areas of the world for each religion so that we don't have to work so hard to choose - born  in the UK, Christian, born in India, Hindu etc.

So faith is required but not in the creator but in the writers of the holy books - that they have got the right ideas i.e. made the right guesses as to the rules the creator wants. This is where faith gets hard as, with the exception Islam and Mormonism where we know who the writers of the holy books are, we have no idea who wrote the holy books so that makes faith that more important.

I suppose I ought to just say that the problem with all this is that if there is no communication from a creator at all and everything is guesswork, how do we know -
  • That there is a creator at all?
  • That a creator, if it exists, has any knowledge of us or the slightest interest in our behaviour?
It seems to me we might just as well settle for our own moral codes and ignore that guesses other have made.
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 Mrjason

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 08:44:00 AM »
Instead of having Yahweh, Allah, Krishna etc.. it would be more believable if all denominations had the same name for the creator. As it is people of different languages have created a noun for what they believe to be the creator, indicating that the supreme being is localised to a specific culture.
If this creator was named (for example) Kenneth then that would go some way assuaging doubts. Kenneth could still have appeared to different prophets but with a consistant name.
Then the religions could say, for example, that when Kenneth appeared to our prophet he forbid us to eat donkey meat, Kenneth didn't forbid you to do that instead he has forbidden you to collect firewood on a Tuesday.
Why has he done that? Who knows but it must be whats best for us.

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Offline wheels5894

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 09:00:03 AM »
Instead of having Yahweh, Allah, Krishna etc.. it would be more believable if all denominations had the same name for the creator. As it is people of different languages have created a noun for what they believe to be the creator, indicating that the supreme being is localised to a specific culture.
If this creator was named (for example) Kenneth then that would go some way assuaging doubts. Kenneth could still have appeared to different prophets but with a consistant name.
Then the religions could say, for example, that when Kenneth appeared to our prophet he forbid us to eat donkey meat, Kenneth didn't forbid you to do that instead he has forbidden you to collect firewood on a Tuesday.
Why has he done that? Who knows but it must be whats best for us.

Maybe there are different name of gods juts as different languages have different words for the same thing - German Gott, Spanish Dios, French Dieu. That would nicely fit the idea I proposed that communities settled to a religion is different areas and they all chose different names for the god of their religion.
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 Mrjason

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 09:33:06 AM »
Instead of having Yahweh, Allah, Krishna etc.. it would be more believable if all denominations had the same name for the creator. As it is people of different languages have created a noun for what they believe to be the creator, indicating that the supreme being is localised to a specific culture.
If this creator was named (for example) Kenneth then that would go some way assuaging doubts. Kenneth could still have appeared to different prophets but with a consistant name.
Then the religions could say, for example, that when Kenneth appeared to our prophet he forbid us to eat donkey meat, Kenneth didn't forbid you to do that instead he has forbidden you to collect firewood on a Tuesday.
Why has he done that? Who knows but it must be whats best for us.

Maybe there are different name of gods juts as different languages have different words for the same thing - German Gott, Spanish Dios, French Dieu. That would nicely fit the idea I proposed that communities settled to a religion is different areas and they all chose different names for the god of their religion.
What I'm trying to say is if Toyota have managed to have a consistant global brand name why not the supreme ruler of the universe.

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 09:36:42 AM »
What I'm trying to say is if Toyota have managed to have a consistant global brand name why not the supreme ruler of the universe.

He gives us the free will to call him the wrong name, so he can send us all to hell.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 11:16:44 AM »
No, Mr Mason, that's not the idea I had. I am assuming that a 'creator' who could create the whole of the universe is likely vastly large and, by definition, exists outwith the universe is likely not able to communicate with humans. Thus all we have is men guessing what its name is and what it would like us all to do. So, since it cannot tell us its name, people, who have written down accounts how the writer presumes it would like us to act have had to give it a human name and in different places and different languages these names are all different just as the holy books written in different places and different times are all different.

Yet all the holy books are in essence the same - a collection of stories and history written down to show how writer thinks the creator wants us  to act but at no time did any of the writers hear anything from the creator so it is just guess work.

Summed up, if there is a creator he isn't talking so we have to make it up as we go along!
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 Schizoid

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 05:51:04 PM »
How about if the "gods" would reveal themselves in a manner that is only explainable as being from god.  You know, like a flaming celestial display that says, "Yo!  It's me, god, the creator in chief.  Now bow, yield, and kneel!"

You'd think that one of the posers would be capable of doing that.  Then again, probably not, since they don't exist (should I posted a spoiler alert about that? ;)).

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 07:23:02 PM »
Instead of having Yahweh, Allah, Krishna etc.. it would be more believable if all denominations had the same name for the creator. As it is people of different languages have created a noun for what they believe to be the creator, indicating that the supreme being is localised to a specific culture.
If this creator was named (for example) Kenneth then that would go some way assuaging doubts. Kenneth could still have appeared to different prophets but with a consistant name.
Then the religions could say, for example, that when Kenneth appeared to our prophet he forbid us to eat donkey meat, Kenneth didn't forbid you to do that instead he has forbidden you to collect firewood on a Tuesday.
Why has he done that? Who knows but it must be whats best for us.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
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.

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2013, 09:59:08 PM »
What's the frequency, Kenneth?
I don't know, but Dan Rather better watch his back!
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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2013, 10:21:46 PM »
I've asked theists here many times why a real god would demand faith, in exactly the way a false religion, because it had no actual gods, would also demand faith.

No responses so far.

Gee, I wonder why?

I don't know any person of faith who wouldn't happily answer that for you,

I can't speak for others, but I'd say that when you acknowledge faith in something, you acknowledge that you can't prove it, that you chose to believe and commit to that belief to some extent. which is an honest position for any stance on the 'ultimate question' isn't it?

Let me ask you, do you acknowledge that you can't prove your beliefs? i.e. that what you have is faith? if not THAT is the false religion, i.e. one that does not acknowledge faith but asserts inherent intellectual superiority over others' beliefs, which I think is where the problems begin for any belief/religion?

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2013, 10:46:19 PM »
I don't know any person of faith who wouldn't happily answer that for you, ...

So, you wouldn't describe yourself as a person of faith then, right?  Because you didn't answer that for him at all, happily or otherwise.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2013, 02:36:54 AM »

I don't know any person of faith who wouldn't happily answer that for you,

I can't speak for others, but I'd say that when you acknowledge faith in something, you acknowledge that you can't prove it, that you chose to believe and commit to that belief to some extent. which is an honest position for any stance on the 'ultimate question' isn't it?

Not really! if we are discussing any sort of 'ultimate question' such as where did the universe come from or what happens after we die then a rational response is to say that we do no know yet. It is not rational or reasonable to claim belief in something written down a long time ago and claim merit for having faith in it.

Quote
Let me ask you, do you acknowledge that you can't prove your beliefs? i.e. that what you have is faith? if not THAT is the false religion, i.e. one that does not acknowledge faith but asserts inherent intellectual superiority over others' beliefs, which I think is where the problems begin for any belief/religion?

What's all that about? Are you saying that having faith in the unprovable and something with no hard evidence is meritorious?
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 screwtape

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2013, 08:36:11 AM »
I can't speak for others, but I'd say that when you acknowledge faith in something, you acknowledge that you can't prove it, that you chose to believe and commit to that belief to some extent.

I'd disagree.  It sounds to me like you are talking about blind faith, which, everyone I can remember talking to, agrees is idiocy.  When I talk about faith - and I hardly use the word because it is so ambiguous - I am talking about trust based on an observed pattern.  For years before we married, I observed a pattern in my wife's behavior that she was interested in my well being and did not do things that hurt me.  My faith in her is based on that observation.  It is based on evidence.  Not so faith in gods.

So faith is rarely about things you cannot prove.  And if it is, is that really such a good idea?

which is an honest position for any stance on the 'ultimate question' isn't it?

What's the "ultimate question"?

Let me ask you, do you acknowledge that you can't prove your beliefs?

No, I do not acknowledge that.  And your point is a bad one. You are trying to say our beliefs are as irrational and unfounded as yours.  They're not.  (Thank you for admitting that, by the way, even if you did not say it explicity).  And even if they were, that does not excuse your irrationality.   If you say 1+1=7 and I point out you are wrong, you are still wrong even if I say 1+1=3.  No one can excuse you from the laws of rationality any more than they can excuse you from the laws of gravity or thermodynamics. 


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Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2013, 02:26:03 PM »

I don't know any person of faith who wouldn't happily answer that for you,

I can't speak for others, but I'd say that when you acknowledge faith in something, you acknowledge that you can't prove it, that you chose to believe and commit to that belief to some extent. which is an honest position for any stance on the 'ultimate question' isn't it?

Not really! if we are discussing any sort of 'ultimate question' such as where did the universe come from or what happens after we die then a rational response is to say that we do no know yet. It is not rational or reasonable to claim belief in something written down a long time ago and claim merit for having faith in it.

It's true we don't know, but most of us are interested enough to examine what evidence there is and come to a best guess. maybe you are a 50/50 agnostic but that would be pretty rare! faith is acknowledging that your best guess cannot be proven, For most of us that best guess throughout history is usually that some sort of creative intelligence was probably involved. For this there are certain implications that follow, why? what's our role, purpose etc? 


Quote
Let me ask you, do you acknowledge that you can't prove your beliefs? i.e. that what you have is faith? if not THAT is the false religion, i.e. one that does not acknowledge faith but asserts inherent intellectual superiority over others' beliefs, which I think is where the problems begin for any belief/religion?

What's all that about? Are you saying that having faith in the unprovable and something with no hard evidence is meritorious?

it is 'meritorious' to acknowledge your personal faith, that you have no proof for that belief. that's what I'm asking you re. your belief in atheism- however strong it may be, I suppose it's a sliding scale , I'd consider myself about 85% leaning towards God- how about you? I have no problem with alternative theories, alternatives are always needed to compare, I just don't consider them very plausible

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2013, 02:29:54 PM »
What do you base that 85% lean towards god on? Why 85%? If you do know, why not 100%? If you really don't know and are just guessing, why not 50-50?
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 wheels5894

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2013, 02:36:51 PM »


it is 'meritorious' to acknowledge your personal faith, that you have no proof for that belief. that's what I'm asking you re. your belief in atheism- however strong it may be, I suppose it's a sliding scale , I'd consider myself about 85% leaning towards God- how about you? I have no problem with alternative theories, alternatives are always needed to compare, I just don't consider them very plausible

  • What is so great or meritorious about believing in something without proof?
  • I do not believe in any gods. I see no evidence of their existence so I do not believe in them. Atheism, is just that - lack of belief in gods. Essentially, compared with you Guybush, I lack belief in one less god than you on the assumption that you only accept one god and have no belief in the other thousands of gods that have been and still are worshipped.

Oh, and blind faith - accepting something without evidence - try this...

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)

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2013, 02:38:07 PM »
it is 'meritorious' to acknowledge your personal faith, that you have no proof for that belief. that's what I'm asking you re. your belief in atheism- however strong it may be, I suppose it's a sliding scale , I'd consider myself about 85% leaning towards God- how about you? I have no problem with alternative theories, alternatives are always needed to compare, I just don't consider them very plausible

Let me start by correcting the one mistake that's caught my eye in a few of your posts: atheism as a belief. theism is not a belief, in the same manner that a-leprechaunism is not a belief and bald is not a hair color. It is a lack of belief. See [awiki]atheism[/wiki].
As for the "sliding scale", that's plain wrong. You either believe or you don't; there is no "middle ground". Gnosticism (and its counterpart, agnosticism) refers to knowledge; in other words, whether you're sure of your position or not (with agnostic being the "not sure" and gnostic being the "100% sure").
As for alternative theories, we're in agreement. They are necessary to compare better theories to the crap people can come up with, to see who's right. For example, intelligent design and evolution. Evolution has experiments[1] (see evidence of common descentWiki), correct predictions and pretty much all available evidence. Intelligent design has none of those.
 1. At least one of which was actually done by a theist in a hilariously ironic attempt to disprove it.
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Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2013, 02:47:22 PM »
I can't speak for others, but I'd say that when you acknowledge faith in something, you acknowledge that you can't prove it, that you chose to believe and commit to that belief to some extent.

I'd disagree.  It sounds to me like you are talking about blind faith, which, everyone I can remember talking to, agrees is idiocy.  When I talk about faith - and I hardly use the word because it is so ambiguous - I am talking about trust based on an observed pattern.  For years before we married, I observed a pattern in my wife's behavior that she was interested in my well being and did not do things that hurt me.  My faith in her is based on that observation.  It is based on evidence.  Not so faith in gods.

I'd agree, and I think that every person of faith I know would also that blind faith is irrational. I don't know a single 'theist' who has nothing else to back up their belief with. Likewise you have faith in your wife based on observation as I have faith in God based on observation. I have no more proof he exists than you do that your wife won't file for divorce tomorrow and take half your stuff with her!- it happens a lot!. But we all committed to those marriages at some point on the same faith as you yes?   By the way- if she is as nice to you after marriage as before, every day of the month, then I concede you did better research than I did!


 
So faith is rarely about things you cannot prove.  And if it is, is that really such a good idea?
if it is, I think it's a good idea to acknowledge it

which is an honest position for any stance on the 'ultimate question' isn't it?

What's the "ultimate question"?

the origins of the universe, meaning of life etc?

Let me ask you, do you acknowledge that you can't prove your beliefs?

No, I do not acknowledge that.  And your point is a bad one. You are trying to say our beliefs are as irrational and unfounded as yours.  They're not.  (Thank you for admitting that, by the way, even if you did not say it explicity).  And even if they were, that does not excuse your irrationality.   If you say 1+1=7 and I point out you are wrong, you are still wrong even if I say 1+1=3.  No one can excuse you from the laws of rationality any more than they can excuse you from the laws of gravity or thermodynamics.

No I don't think your beliefs are irrational or unfounded, or any less 'valid' than mine, they are shared by many thoughtful intelligent people, many who I know and love, as are mine. I think the vast majority of us just want to know the truth don't you?

(but I appreciate you acknowledging atheism is a belief! the only invalid belief I think is the one that does not recognize itself as such, theistic or atheistic)

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2013, 02:51:09 PM »
What do you base that 85% lean towards god on? Why 85%? If you do know, why not 100%? If you really don't know and are just guessing, why not 50-50?

I don't know 100% that when I leave on a car trip that I'll ever make my destination, but I commit to 100% of the journey because there are probabilities for things other than 0 50/50 and 100

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2013, 02:54:18 PM »
I don't know 100% that when I leave on a car trip that I'll ever make my destination, but I commit to 100% of the journey because there are probabilities for things other than 0 50/50 and 100

Pascal's Wager? Really? *yawn* I can debunk this in my sleep. Try checking the list of deitiesWiki. Might as well start worshiping all of them, just in case. I'd also recommend worshiping Me, as I am a god. The first one, in fact. I created all that you see.
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Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2013, 03:01:24 PM »


it is 'meritorious' to acknowledge your personal faith, that you have no proof for that belief. that's what I'm asking you re. your belief in atheism- however strong it may be, I suppose it's a sliding scale , I'd consider myself about 85% leaning towards God- how about you? I have no problem with alternative theories, alternatives are always needed to compare, I just don't consider them very plausible

  • What is so great or meritorious about believing in something without proof?
  • I do not believe in any gods. I see no evidence of their existence so I do not believe in them. Atheism, is just that - lack of belief in gods. Essentially, compared with you Guybush, I lack belief in one less god than you on the assumption that you only accept one god and have no belief in the other thousands of gods that have been and still are worshipped.

Oh, and blind faith - accepting something without evidence - try this...



Once again, I'm saying that if you DO believe something without proof, be it God or the multiverse, it is meritorious to acknowledge that belief rather than claim supreme knowledge superior to everyone elses

I do not believe in any spontaneous purposeless universe creating mechanism,. I see no evidence of their existence so I do not believe in them. theism, is just that - lack of belief in those mechanisms. Essentially, compared with you Nogo, I lack belief in one less(more?) spontaneous mechanism than you on the assumption that you only accept one mechanism and have no belief in the other thousands of mechanisms that have been and still are claimed
(it's not an argument I'd make but I think it works as well either way no?)

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2013, 03:05:52 PM »
I do not believe in any spontaneous purposeless universe creating mechanism,. I see no evidence of their existence so I do not believe in them. theism, is just that - lack of belief in those mechanisms.

Wrong. Theism is the belief that there is at least one deity. What makes that deity a deity is left up to the individual. What you're describing is your particular brand of theism.

Essentially, compared with you Nogo, I lack belief in one less(more?) spontaneous mechanism than you on the assumption that you only accept one mechanism and have no belief in the other thousands of mechanisms that have been and still are claimed
(it's not an argument I'd make but I think it works as well either way no?)

Don't assume anything about atheists' beliefs and opinions. Ask us about them.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2013, 03:06:54 PM »


[/quote]

let me guess; a group of atheist static universe, steady state & big crunch proponents off to their academic awards ceremony?

I think I see Lemaitre way off in the back,  he's not invited

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2013, 03:09:36 PM »
I do not believe in any spontaneous purposeless universe creating mechanism,. I see no evidence of their existence so I do not believe in them. theism, is just that - lack of belief in those mechanisms.

Wrong. Theism is the belief that there is at least one deity. What makes that deity a deity is left up to the individual. What you're describing is your particular brand of theism.

Essentially, compared with you Nogo, I lack belief in one less(more?) spontaneous mechanism than you on the assumption that you only accept one mechanism and have no belief in the other thousands of mechanisms that have been and still are claimed
(it's not an argument I'd make but I think it works as well either way no?)

Don't assume anything about atheists' beliefs and opinions. Ask us about them.

It's a parody of Nogods post, the assumptions were his. I'm open to more than one interpretation of God, as I'd guess you are open to more than one atheistic mechanism?

oops sorry nogods, I guess that was wheel's original post?

OK really got to run here, weather way too nice to be doing this right now but appreciate the civil debate again,
have a good weekend all
« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 03:15:38 PM by Guybrush Threepwood »

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Re: All gods require faith--not one of them ever shows themselve.
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2013, 03:11:45 PM »
It's a parody of Nogods post, the assumptions were his. I'm open to more than one interpretation of God, as I'd guess you are open to more than one atheistic mechanism?

Define "atheistic mechanism". I assume it's the same as "logical mechanism", but I want confirmation.
As for you being open to more than one interpretation of god[1], I find that hard to believe.
 1. Lower case "g", by the way. Unless you're referring to Allah; the only god whose name is actually "God".
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.