Author Topic: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?  (Read 15402 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline neopagan

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1161
  • Darwins +86/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2013, 12:11:40 PM »
The world is filled with unreasonable people who have not thoroughly examined their positions.

Welcome danohk

That comment puts you squarely in the middle of... To whom are you referring or are you just making a general observation about life on this planet?  Do you mean believers, atheists, bowlers, mimes?

« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 12:18:20 PM by neopagan »
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Danohk

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Christian.
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2013, 12:18:16 PM »
It was an attempt to answer the topic question.  It refers to all humanity.  In a world filled with such individuals, getting a direct answer to a direct question from anyone is a simple improbability.
I'm from the 80s, and the internet.  In that order.

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6218
  • Darwins +783/-4
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2013, 02:36:17 PM »
^^^^Atheists, and others on this board feel pretty strongly about giving straight, honest answers to direct questions. Even if the straight honest answer is "I don't know", "I'd rather not say", or "I haven't thought about that". Because it is frustrating that we get so many convoluted, illogical, made-up-on-the-spot or regurgitated unthought-out non-answers, mainly from the religious folks who come here.

When we insist on real answers, and refuse to back down, some get offended and accuse us of hating religious people. &)
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 xyzzy

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Darwins +48/-0
  • "Nothing happens"
    • xyzzy
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2013, 03:54:09 AM »
I've wondered the same, particularly as the inability of my parents and the various religious teachers to give consistent, non-contradictory, answers to simple questions, was one of the dominating factors that contributed to my very early rejection of religion.

Having asked various friends a similar question, it seems that most simply have a set of rehearsed answers. However, they are so rote that they rarely examine them for consistency, or content. They then retreat to "mystery" when forced to consider why their answers don't actually make sense or even answer the question. By the way, I get similar responses from my New Age friends too.

Perhaps two of the most honest answers I received were: "You know, I don't think I've ever thought about why I believe what I believe, it's just how I was brought up" and "it doesn't matter, my preacher says that even if the stories in the bible weren't always accurate, or that the characters were fiction, it's the message that matters" (go with it for a moment). Both went on to say that they'd continue believing anyway because, well, that's what they believed. When I pointed out that was inherently circular and allowed for any arbitrary belief, both of their brains exploded - well, they decided they needed to disagree and they'd rather not talk about it any more.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool -- Richard Feynman
You are in a maze of twisty little religions, all alike -- xyzzy

Offline Anfauglir

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6198
  • Darwins +407/-5
  • Gender: Male
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #33 on: July 19, 2013, 04:12:53 AM »
The get our of Jail card for theists and the religious is simple.  God works in mysterious ways.  .....  So ask a religious believer, Why did god let that baby die, they can answer "because there was a purpose we can not understand at this moment." 

But again (and maybe its just me), even that fails to address any of the points I've been making here.  If there were a god who was utterly good and godly, there would BE no "mysterious ways".  His goodness and godliness would be clear and visible to all.

- - -

Additionally - "a purpose we can not understand at this moment"....implies what? 

Is it that "there is knowledge we do not have that would make everything clear?"  In which case, why is this good godly god not sharing that knowledge with us now?  This answers implies that god is deliberately withholding information in order to make himself seem less godly.  I cannot fathom why a good god - especially one who purportedly wants us all to come to him and love him - would want to deliberatly obscure his goodness.

The alternative is "there is knowledge that makes everything clear that is currently available, but that we do not understand yet".  This causes similar problems to the above.  A true godly god, particularly who created everything, is solely responsible for how that universe operates.  This answer implies that his universe was designed so that most, if not all, people would not be capable of understanding his goodness - which gives the same issues as above.

Ultimately, "mysterious ways" is simply a cop-out.  When asked the question "here is what this being does, is it a good being or a bad being", it gives the answer "despite it doing bad things, I will choose to describe it as good because that's what it says it is". 

It's an attitude to which I always think "well, good luck with that", as I hope that (a) they never get a job in law enforcement or social services ("well, despite the repeated bruising and broken bones, I accepted the father's story that the boy just kept tripping over"), and (b) urge them strongly never to open the door, or read any emails ("but he was a Nigerian Prince who just wanted £1000 and access to my bank account!").  It's an attitude that in any other circumstances would lead to terrible consequences for them, and (hopefully) a short sharp learning curve.  Perhaps the tragedy of religion is that there IS no god to take advantage of the unevidenced belief, and so those short sharp shocks of realisation just do not happen.
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?

Online xyzzy

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Darwins +48/-0
  • "Nothing happens"
    • xyzzy
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #34 on: July 19, 2013, 05:17:59 AM »
But again (and maybe its just me), even that fails to address any of the points I've been making here.  If there were a god who was utterly good and godly, there would BE no "mysterious ways".  His goodness and godliness would be clear and visible to all.

I seriously doubt that it's just you. But to a believer being unable to explain why a perfectly loving, honest, just god, would purposely cause confusion and hide himself from the very people he supposedly wants to love him, tends to "mystery" or "faith". After all, the most obvious answer of nonexistence isn't an option at that point.

Those positions though just seem to make matters worse. Now we have people who may even claim a "relationship" with an entity that is both accessible and inaccessible, as well as being understood with perfect clarity whilst equally being an ineffable mystery - and potentially all at the same time. That's some seriously awesome mixed up behavior.

It's like bizzaro world on steroids. Yet, when it's questioned, the self-reinforcing excuses and thought stopping techniques seem to serve to head-off what could result in some Olympic-worthy cognitive dissonance.

For me, it was more of the stuff that I was told I'd understand when I was older. What those people missed, though, was that I already understood the answer. Emperor, meet clothes, so to speak.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 05:20:37 AM by xyzzy »
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool -- Richard Feynman
You are in a maze of twisty little religions, all alike -- xyzzy

Offline junebug72

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1999
  • Darwins +71/-80
  • Gender: Female
  • "Question Everything"
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #35 on: July 19, 2013, 06:29:23 AM »
If there was a truly good and godly god, it would be clear.  No nagging doubts, no endless arguments.  It would be clear and obvious to all.  The fact that it isn't may not necessarily mean there isn't a god out there.  But it sure makes it clear that there is something seriously wrong with the picture.

But that's their "out", isn't it?

The whole of the new testament rams home the notion of faith in what can't be seen. It's such a common theme with the gospels of MMLJ. Have faith and you can move mountain, believe I am who I say I am, etc... With this repetitiveness, it's almost as though the fundie expects things NOT to be clear because they have to have faith to gain their heavenly riches.

I can see where they are coming from - but again, it's shading my point.  A super-loving godly god, worthy of being called GOD, would not require any apologetics, any mystery, any twisty thinking.  It would just be, end of.

I can see what Paul was heading towards in his point about the obviousness of god in everything there is, and I absolutely agree: we SHOULD be able to see god, in everything, all the time, without thinking or faith or "yes with an if or no with a but", as the good Rev.Lovejoy said.  But the trouble is that we do not.  No "proper" god is as clearly evident in everything as it ought to be. 

Like....imagine the best interior designer in the world.  If you walked into one of his houses, you'd see how every single thing fit together.  Every piece would match, every colour perfectly complement it all.  There would be no jarring colours, no unfinished bits, no live wires hanging out - it would all be 100% right.  Not the best analogy, but I hope its clear what I mean.

God doesn't need apologetics; religion does.

Maybe if we all followed the path of LOVE the smoke would clear.  Get rid of religion not the "magic" and all the confusion that comes with it.  You know wipe the slate clean use the knowledge we have accumulated over time and see where it takes us.  Out with the old in with the new. 


Our existence is magical.  It is a gift.  Even with all the crap we put on each other, to see a sunrise or set, to hold a newborn baby in your arms, to see a drug addict recover, medical breakthroughs that save lives. The day we stop using fossil fuels. There is a lot to be thankful for and a lot we can improve if we just Love one another.  I believe in Love.

When I look around the universe, this planet, it does fit together amazingly.  Love is amazing!!!  The rest is up to us.
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 The Gawd

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 883
  • Darwins +78/-5
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #36 on: July 19, 2013, 07:02:56 AM »
God doesn't need apologetics; religion does.

Maybe if we all followed the path of LOVE the smoke would clear.  Get rid of religion not the "magic" and all the confusion that comes with it.  You know wipe the slate clean use the knowledge we have accumulated over time and see where it takes us.  Out with the old in with the new. 


Our existence is magical.  It is a gift.  Even with all the crap we put on each other, to see a sunrise or set, to hold a newborn baby in your arms, to see a drug addict recover, medical breakthroughs that save lives. The day we stop using fossil fuels. There is a lot to be thankful for and a lot we can improve if we just Love one another.  I believe in Love.

When I look around the universe, this planet, it does fit together amazingly.  Love is amazing!!!  The rest is up to us.

none of that requires magic. As a matter of fact, there is no magic.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1200
  • Darwins +124/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm Your Nurse, Not Your Waitress...
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #37 on: July 19, 2013, 09:19:20 AM »
^^^^Atheists, and others on this board feel pretty strongly about giving straight, honest answers to direct questions. Even if the straight honest answer is "I don't know", "I'd rather not say", or "I haven't thought about that".

This was my answer too many times.  But when only logical answer appeared to be "because god is really being an asshole."  That is what lead me to where I am now.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 09:23:15 AM by LoriPinkAngel »
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.

Offline SkyWriting

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
  • Darwins +9/-75
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2013, 02:00:51 PM »
If there was a truly good and godly god, it would be clear.  No nagging doubts, no endless arguments.  It would be clear and obvious to all.  The fact that it isn't may not necessarily mean there isn't a god out there.  But it sure makes it clear that there is something seriously wrong with the picture.

You hit the nail on the head.
1. God walked with Adam in the Garden.
2. Adam was removed from the Garden and the gateway was set with guards.
3. You were born outside of the garden where God walked.

You were born into a world where God does not walk.  Setting up a communication
channel is hard work, mentally speaking.  This fits your observations to a tee.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 02:02:50 PM by SkyWriting »

Offline Mooby

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1142
  • Darwins +66/-23
  • So it goes.
    • Is God Imaginary?
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2013, 12:59:30 PM »
I've found that when I do give a simple, direct answers, atheists tend to not accept them because they're not the answers they were looking for, and they keep asking more convoluted questions to get the answer they want until the answers become convoluted as well.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1200
  • Darwins +124/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm Your Nurse, Not Your Waitress...
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #40 on: July 20, 2013, 01:29:30 PM »
I've found that when I do give a simple, direct answers, atheists tend to not accept them because they're not the answers they were looking for, and they keep asking more convoluted questions to get the answer they want until the answers become convoluted as well.

When you believe and have faith - I believe and I have faith is the answer; but it is deemed unacceptable.
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.

Offline Mooby

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1142
  • Darwins +66/-23
  • So it goes.
    • Is God Imaginary?
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #41 on: July 20, 2013, 01:34:47 PM »
Then the issue is not that Christians refuse to answer a direct question with a simple, direct answer; the issue is for those asking a question where they already know they won't accept the most simple, direct answer as true.

The same issue arises when creationists ask a direct question about evolution and are given a simple, direct explanation of evolutionary principles, but reject the answer because they don't accept evolution.  The issue is not with the person answering; the issue is that the person asking has already predetermined they will reject the simple, direct answer.  In this case, it is misplaced to then ask why simple, direct (acceptable) answers are not given.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6218
  • Darwins +783/-4
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #42 on: July 20, 2013, 02:56:52 PM »
I've found that when I do give a simple, direct answers, atheists tend to not accept them because they're not the answers they were looking for, and they keep asking more convoluted questions to get the answer they want until the answers become convoluted as well.

You are an exception, Mooby. I have found that you do give simple, direct (if not easy to understand) answers. But your answers don't jibe with the answers we get from other Christians, and are not what some of us were taught growing up as Christians of whatever stripe. Since your answers don't have any more basis in reality than the others, they have to be guesses based on how you interpret the bible, right? How do you know that you are right?
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 Anfauglir

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6198
  • Darwins +407/-5
  • Gender: Male
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2013, 03:05:47 AM »
If there was a truly good and godly god, it would be clear.  No nagging doubts, no endless arguments.  It would be clear and obvious to all.  The fact that it isn't may not necessarily mean there isn't a god out there.  But it sure makes it clear that there is something seriously wrong with the picture.

You hit the nail on the head.
1. God walked with Adam in the Garden.
2. Adam was removed from the Garden and the gateway was set with guards.
3. You were born outside of the garden where God walked.

You were born into a world where God does not walk.  Setting up a communication
channel is hard work, mentally speaking.  This fits your observations to a tee.

Unfortunately, none of that gels with a god who - we are told - (a) loves us, and (b) desperately wants a relationship with him.  Anyone I want a relationship with, I will not kick out of my house and set guards on the door for starters. 

But more importantly - and I hate to break this to you - but I am talking about a GOD.  Not someone with a couple superpowers and a nifty hat, but a GOD.  A being who is above all the petty laws of existence, a being for whom reality conforms to his wishes.  Such a being would be so clear, so obvious, that there would be no argument.  Such being could - if it chose - be in constant communication, simultaneously, with every being in its creation.
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 William

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3564
  • Darwins +92/-2
  • Gender: Male
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #44 on: July 21, 2013, 03:25:07 AM »
You were born into a world where God does not walk.

Does not walk but can walk?  Or absolutely can't walk?
I thought this God is Almighty  :?

What a pathetic God full of quirky foibles - like self-limiting Himself to just the one Son as well.
It's all nonsense folks  :police: - and theists are making it up as they go along  &)
Git mit uns

Offline Anfauglir

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6198
  • Darwins +407/-5
  • Gender: Male
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #45 on: July 21, 2013, 03:31:55 AM »
Although there's not been a lot of response from believers to this thread, the general answer seems to be "yes we do!  We answer all questions directly first time!"

I am really looking forward to going back out there to the forum and seeing my questions answered that way.  Clearly my perceptions have been wrong all this time.....   :P

I've linked to this thread in my signature though - just in case I need to refer anyone to it in future.....
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 03:34:50 AM 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 Anfauglir

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6198
  • Darwins +407/-5
  • Gender: Male
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #46 on: July 21, 2013, 03:44:01 AM »
Then the issue is not that Christians refuse to answer a direct question with a simple, direct answer; the issue is for those asking a question where they already know they won't accept the most simple, direct answer as true.

Hmmm.  I'd appreciate being told if I'm misrepresenting myself here......

When I get answers, the issue is not necessarily whether I believe the answer is true - it is whether I believe the answer to be coherent, and/or supported.

For example: "What colour is your car?" "My car is red".  Direct answer.  I may not believe it is a true answer, but it was a direct answer.  I have the information on what colour the believer says his car is, and although I may not believe it, at least I have clear information.  Sadly, I am far more often involved in conversations that - to me - seem to go like this.....

"What colour is your car?"  "Cars are beloved by god."  "Yes, but what colour is your car?"  "I once had a bicycle"  "Yes, but what colour is your car?"  "My car could be said to be red".  "Sorry, what does that mean?" "Many Christians have cars".    "Yes, but what colour is your car?"    "My car is normally red"    "What do you mean, normally?" "Cars help you travel around"     "Yes, but what colour is your car? What did you mean by normally?" "My car is often blue".  "Wait - you said normally red and now often blue.  I don't understand.  Please tell me what colour your car is"........and so on, ad nauseam.

It is very rare I experience the first conversation.  Far more often, I experience the latter.
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 neopagan

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1161
  • Darwins +86/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #47 on: July 21, 2013, 09:11:30 AM »
A baptist could tell you his car is red... it's the catholics, methodist, presbyterians, etc who have their colors/colours all screwed up...   &)
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline junebug72

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1999
  • Darwins +71/-80
  • Gender: Female
  • "Question Everything"
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #48 on: July 21, 2013, 09:24:30 AM »
^^^^Atheists, and others on this board feel pretty strongly about giving straight, honest answers to direct questions. Even if the straight honest answer is "I don't know", "I'd rather not say", or "I haven't thought about that". Because it is frustrating that we get so many convoluted, illogical, made-up-on-the-spot or regurgitated unthought-out non-answers, mainly from the religious folks who come here.

When we insist on real answers, and refuse to back down, some get offended and accuse us of hating religious people. &)

1 against many is a hard spot to be in.  Saying things like "take a long walk off a short pier" is pretty hateful.  The name calling, it's beneath you all.  So they run away feeling pretty darn good about being christians cause they're not calling you stupid.  They come here because they care about you even if you don't believe their way , they're here because they care and you all call them stupid and say some mean things. 

You, yourself might not be guilty NoGods, but you should go read the last post Anfauglir left for me.  If that's not a believer hater I don't know what is.  I tried my ass off to make peace with that man and the only way that was going to happen was for me to accept his version of how the world is. 

Go see how Ponytail and star stuff taunted me in my first thread. 

I really shouldn't be trying to help atheist because I strongly disagree that it's best for the world and I should continue giving you the proverbial "rope" but we do need  challenges to the religions that plague our world.  This website does an excellent job at that.  It has taught me a lot.  I have, I think, a better understanding of God now than I did when I first came here. 

I give Anfauglir direct answers and still got told I was dodging.  I really don't think it's possible to answer his questions even when you answer them.  I could not have made a more honest attempt to answer him and every body else on that thread.  Our answers seem irrational to you but that doesn't give you a free pass to be insulting.  You can point out your disagreements w/o calling people irrational, stupid, or mentally ill.

Sometimes your questions aren't as direct as you might think they are. 

It's just perspective from the other side.

Talking about the origins of life is much deeper conversation than the color of a car or socks or car keys. 

There are no direct answers.
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 SkyWriting

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
  • Darwins +9/-75
  • User posts join approval queueModerated
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #49 on: July 21, 2013, 11:47:30 AM »
If there was a truly good and godly god, it would be clear.  No nagging doubts, no endless arguments.  It would be clear and obvious to all.  The fact that it isn't may not necessarily mean there isn't a god out there.  But it sure makes it clear that there is something seriously wrong with the picture.

You hit the nail on the head.
1. God walked with Adam in the Garden.
2. Adam was removed from the Garden and the gateway was set with guards.
3. You were born outside of the garden where God walked.

You were born into a world where God does not walk.  Setting up a communication
channel is hard work, mentally speaking.  This fits your observations to a tee.

Unfortunately, none of that gels with a god who - we are told - (a) loves us, and (b) desperately wants a relationship with him.  Anyone I want a relationship with, I will not kick out of my house and set guards on the door for starters. 

But more importantly - and I hate to break this to you - but I am talking about a GOD.  Not someone with a couple superpowers and a nifty hat, but a GOD.  A being who is above all the petty laws of existence, a being for whom reality conforms to his wishes.  Such a being would be so clear, so obvious, that there would be no argument.  Such being could - if it chose - be in constant communication, simultaneously, with every being in its creation.

You are describing the original creation as the scriptures tell it.  Then then came a time where
man was banished from the garden and guards were stationed at the gate.  Anyone born after that was born into a sin world.  Sin is separation from God, so the two cannot be the same.

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6218
  • Darwins +783/-4
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #50 on: July 21, 2013, 01:11:32 PM »
I hear you, junebug. You are very frustrated with the responses that you get from some people on this board. Your final sentence is the source of the problem: "there are no direct answers".

If that is so, then there is not much that religious, god-believers or theists of whatever stripe can say to us. They all should stop telling us that we like sinning or just don't understand reality or hate god, or are stupid or arrogant or going to hell, etc. They should stop preaching and proselytizing. They should stop passing laws that discriminate against us. Because if there are no direct answers to our questions, there can't be any wrong answers, either.

We are as right as you are--maybe more right than you are because we at least have scientific facts and observed reality on our side instead of fleeting personal feelings, ancient magic stories and superstitions that can't be true.

When societies base their policies on gods, magic and feelings, people live until 45 and die of easily preventable causes. When societies apply rational science and reality-based ideas, everyone is far better off. We have the global evidence to prove it--just compare life in "godless" Japan or Sweden to life in god-heavy Bangladesh or Afghanistan.

So, we are pretty darn frustrated, too. Most of the progress that human beings have achieved is because some people were brave enough to ignore the ancient magic books and superstitions. We have to live in a world where the answers to many of the world's problems are clear, but we are surrounded by people who say, "there are no direct answers".

But who still benefit every day from the direct answers produced by people like us. :P
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 jaimehlers

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4626
  • Darwins +511/-12
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #51 on: July 21, 2013, 02:17:19 PM »
^Indeed.  Junebug, you have to remember that people like Anfauglir have been dealing with theists who have stated that they know "the truth" for years.  Yet they haven't actually been able to articulate any details about that truth, anything that would support it.  Indeed, when they try, it degenerates into a mess of beliefs, rationalizations, and subjective feelings.

But you'd be wrong to call them "believer haters".  I get some of that from a person who I argue with in comment threads relating to the local newspaper - he keeps saying I hate him because I strongly disagree with what he says, disapprove of much of it, and get frustrated with his intransigence.  To him, the mere fact that I disagree, disapprove, and get frustrated 'proves' that I hate him - he takes my comments and attributes a personal spin to them, which he interprets as hatred.  That sounds an awful lot like what you're saying about Anfauglir and others.

Offline neopagan

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1161
  • Darwins +86/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #52 on: July 21, 2013, 02:58:20 PM »
I see no place for name calling, but then again calling someone a "sinner" or a "murderer" is pretty offensive too... even if it's baby faced Kirk Cameron doing it with a banana in his hand.

However, I have only been here a short time and I am amazed at how patient some of the long timers are at times from hearing the same old tired arguments and logical fallacies from some of the drive by theists. 
I am impressed by some of the longer term theists on here who stay at it too despite being the  minority
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Online xyzzy

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Darwins +48/-0
  • "Nothing happens"
    • xyzzy
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #53 on: July 21, 2013, 04:55:02 PM »
Sometimes your questions aren't as direct as you might think they are. 

It's just perspective from the other side.

Talking about the origins of life is much deeper conversation than the color of a car or socks or car keys. 

There are no direct answers.

Do you have any answers though? You have beliefs, I'd love to hear your answers. It's probably not a good time right now (how are you doing?), but do tell us what your view is.

Also, I just wanted to pick up on a couple of things you said. Now, this is just an example of how we can hear different things. It's not commentary on your answers as such.

You were talking about questions not being direct, yet you've also given a short, perhaps one-word sentence, reply "it's that simple" which is pretty direct but lacking in detail. Perhaps you could help out and let people know why the question isn't as simple as it sounds. I'd appreciate it, it's nothing personal.

Now, back to "it's that simple" and I pick on that because I am sure to you, it's that simple. And that phrase is "spiritual but not religious". When you say that, I have absolutely no idea what you mean. None at all. Lori kindly gave an example along the lines she interpreted. Perhaps never having been a believer, I have no reference. I did appreciate much better your likely stance from her post, but I still don't know if that's how you see the world or not.

Also, I have many friends to whom "spiritual but not religious" means totally different things. Those with Buddhist leanings say one thing, the new-agers give me others from "communicating with native American Spirits via drumming" to deepities concerning Quantum nonsense where I absolutely understand every individual word in the sentence, yet, together they are an incoherent mess. My Yoga instructor friends (also new age) give me a slightly different slant and in the middle, or a common thread, is the Capital U - Universe. Then, of course, those that came from a previous religious position, take it as something else.

None of them agree on the origin of the universe or, indeed, The Universe, yet they also don't disagree. When pressed, they change the subject or say that I can't understand the answer because I don't believe as they do. That sounds like a circular visit to cop-out city, frankly.

So, your point is well made, JB. But please understand that when some of us ask "but what does that mean?" perhaps it could be better phrased as "well, what does that mean to you ?" Perhaps you can't answer, then do say so, but that would just get me asking "OK, then, how did you get there?" because I still won't know what you mean, and I'm trying to understand your meaning, and not assume it's the view of someone who is sitting crossed-legged on the floor, surrounded by joss sticks, and talking to a rock.

Above, you is a hypothetical poster, it's not referring to the JB you.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 05:09:34 PM by xyzzy »
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool -- Richard Feynman
You are in a maze of twisty little religions, all alike -- xyzzy

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6218
  • Darwins +783/-4
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #54 on: July 21, 2013, 05:20:48 PM »
We have a disconnect, I think, because many non-atheists (what do you call all the various kinds of god/spirit/religious believers?) say they "know" stuff that they cannot possibly. They feel a certain way about something and interpret that as knowledge. But that is not the kind of knowledge you can transmit to anyone else.

For example, I like the colors red and orange better than gray and purple. I cannot explain why I feel what I do about these different colors. I just do. It is not objective, although you could map how my brain responds to these colors and even maybe discover some psychological reasons for my preferences. I would never say that red and orange are better than gray and purple, or that something is wrong with people who prefer different colors.

It seems to me that non-atheists are talking about things that do have factual basis, like the origins of the earth and why people get sick, as if it is the same as color preferences: "I don't know why, but I feel that there must be something out there. And that something made everything in the universe, except the bad stuff. It loves us, cares about us and wants us to worship it."

Well, it would be nice if there was some evidence for any of that. And, besides the nice feelings we get when looking at puppies and rainbows (ignoring the bad feelings we get from seeing tornadoes and face-eating bacteria) you know this how? Just from hoping and wishing it was so?
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 Mooby

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1142
  • Darwins +66/-23
  • So it goes.
    • Is God Imaginary?
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #55 on: July 21, 2013, 05:27:35 PM »
You are an exception, Mooby.
I get this response quite often when I call out atheists who make negative generalizations about Christianity.  It seems I am posting in the state of exception.  I wonder if this makes this site's atheists sovereign?  That would explain a lot, actually...

Regardless, I have far too often seen internet atheists insist on buying the fake and selling what's real in discussions with Christians (I've even had atheists tell me that if I'm a Christian I must necessarily be a Young Earth Creationist, despite YECs being a minority of Christians.)  Perhaps it's easier to melt plastic than metal.  Sometimes I think this site is a microcosm of a Buggles song.

And that isn't even me being convoluted.  Pic unrelated.



Quote
Since your answers don't have any more basis in reality than the others, they have to be guesses based on how you interpret the bible, right?
No.  Basing one's theology on one's own interpretation of the Bible is a product of the Protestant Reformation, and I am not a Protestant.

Quote
How do you know that you are right?
I don't.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6218
  • Darwins +783/-4
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #56 on: July 21, 2013, 06:29:15 PM »
I would not try to tell you what you believe or what kind of Christian you are. What makes you the exception is that you have a linear, logical way of presenting yourself that many theists I have encountered lack.  You tend to say what you mean, and try not to say more or less than that.  Like I said before, Mooby, you give direct and straightforward answers free of excess mystical woo.

But it is still not clear what you mean by your " theology",  where it comes from if not the bible, or why exactly you believe your religion is true.
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 Mooby

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1142
  • Darwins +66/-23
  • So it goes.
    • Is God Imaginary?
Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #57 on: July 21, 2013, 06:31:28 PM »
Is this the thread to get into those things?
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.