Author Topic: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?  (Read 22851 times)

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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #667 on: January 18, 2014, 10:29:57 PM »
Ahh, okay.

As for the debate, all i can say is that by default, an atheist has one less delusion on average.

Which more or less could result in slightly more sense on the atheist side.
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Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #668 on: January 18, 2014, 10:41:50 PM »
Bert, I have to disagree with you.  Skeptic is right, you used the "No true Scotsman" logical fallacy.
Where!
Someone could very well be an atheist for nonsensical reasons (maybe they're angry with their former god,
The he isn't an atheist.
maybe they didn't really understand theism,
Then, has he really become atheist.
maybe they left their church so they thought they were an atheist,
Then they were only imagining they were atheist.
maybe they redefined the word atheism).
Which would not make them atheist(without god), would it. Excuse me, But I'm shocked, it seems as an atheist you do not actual understand what atheist means.


Okay fine.

What if a theist stops believing in gods (becoming an atheist) because they think they are living in the Matrix.  That would be nonsensical right?


My point is, just because someone is an atheist doesnt mean they are sensible.  A person actually has to be sensible to be sensible.

Jaimehlers understands my point.
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #669 on: January 18, 2014, 10:48:58 PM »
How did we end up here?
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #670 on: January 19, 2014, 12:01:24 AM »
How did we end up here?
Didn't make a left turn at Albuquerque.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline Nam

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #671 on: January 19, 2014, 01:01:02 AM »
How did we end up here?
Didn't make a left turn at Albuquerque.

Dude, I thought we were in Seattle? Did I get left behind again? It ceases being funny after the hundredth time...at least for me.

;)

-Nam
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #672 on: January 19, 2014, 02:56:00 AM »
Quote
If you were an atheist and are not now, you never were an atheist...

This confuses me.  A person is a theist and then decides there are no gods so, by definition, is an atheist.  At some point later in that person's life a situation happens and they decide there is at least one god after all. 

How come the person was never an atheist?

Confused but willing to learn,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Nam

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #673 on: January 19, 2014, 12:01:27 PM »
Quote
If you were an atheist and are not now, you never were an atheist...

This confuses me.  A person is a theist and then decides there are no gods so, by definition, is an atheist.  At some point later in that person's life a situation happens and they decide there is at least one god after all. 

How come the person was never an atheist?

Confused but willing to learn,

OldChurchGuy

Anne Rice said she was an atheist then her mother died and now she's back being a Catholic. Does that make sense to you?

Were they ever really an atheist if it just takes one action to get them to go back to religion in their lives?

I had a friend (she ended the friendship based on what I said to her) who told me she hates god and that's why she's an atheist. I told her that she wasn't an atheist because an atheist can't hate something they don't believe in.

This is not to say an atheist can't decide to believe in god but one has to take certain things into account to determine if they ever really an atheist to begin with.

Just like so many Christians out there are probably not actually Christian.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #674 on: January 19, 2014, 01:47:53 PM »

If you were an atheist and are not now, you never were an atheist...

I disagree. First there's the type of atheism was all have when we are born. Then there are those  that arrived to adult atheism via faulty reasoning. Sort of doing the math wrong but arriving to a correct answer. Then there are those that have damaged their brain though chemicals or accident. Fourth, those that abandon rationality in extreme emotional distress.

A common example might be someone who lived a dissolute lifestyle who never really paid attention to priests and church, viewing them as yet another authority figure of no value, hit rock bottom, then 'find Jesus'

If you are referring to the majority of those here, who arrived at atheism via rational consideration, then yes, you are right(except type 3 and 4). I could no longer stop being an atheist than I could stop believing a stage magician is using tricks and not real magic.

In fact I suspect that when dying I might abandon rationality and atheism, because I would be scared beyond the ability to think logically. However, that would not make me right, just scared stupid.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 01:51:42 PM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #675 on: January 19, 2014, 03:34:45 PM »
Quote
If you were an atheist and are not now, you never were an atheist...

This confuses me.  A person is a theist and then decides there are no gods so, by definition, is an atheist.  At some point later in that person's life a situation happens and they decide there is at least one god after all. 

How come the person was never an atheist?

Confused but willing to learn,

OldChurchGuy

Anne Rice said she was an atheist then her mother died and now she's back being a Catholic. Does that make sense to you?

Were they ever really an atheist if it just takes one action to get them to go back to religion in their lives?

I had a friend (she ended the friendship based on what I said to her) who told me she hates god and that's why she's an atheist. I told her that she wasn't an atheist because an atheist can't hate something they don't believe in.

This is not to say an atheist can't decide to believe in god but one has to take certain things into account to determine if they ever really an atheist to begin with.

Just like so many Christians out there are probably not actually Christian.

-Nam

If I am understanding you correctly, the logic is this:

Should a theist becomes an atheist that is acceptable. 

Should an atheist becomes a theist they were never truly an atheist to begin with.

Correct?

As always,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #676 on: January 19, 2014, 03:36:06 PM »
Sorry, but we seem to have settled on the One Tue Atheisttm argument.
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #677 on: January 19, 2014, 03:47:51 PM »
Sorry, but we seem to have settled on the One Tue Atheisttm argument.

Similar to the one true Christian Theist argument?

Grinning at the possible irony,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #678 on: January 19, 2014, 04:10:04 PM »
This "one true atheist" thing doesn't fly with me. If a person, at a particular point in their life, does not believe in god, then at that point they are atheist. If, at another point, they believe in the goddess then at that point they are pagan. If, at another point, they believe in the biblical god, then at that point they are christian.

I think one of the few constants with human behavior is that people change.
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #679 on: January 19, 2014, 04:16:58 PM »
This "one true atheist" thing doesn't fly with me. If a person, at a particular point in their life, does not believe in god, then at that point they are atheist. If, at another point, they believe in the goddess then at that point they are pagan. If, at another point, they believe in the biblical god, then at that point they are christian.

I think one of the few constants with human behavior is that people change.

For what my opinion is worth, I agree.  We humans are funny that way. 

Inconsistent and proud of it (usually),

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Nam

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #680 on: January 19, 2014, 04:20:51 PM »
If I am understanding you correctly, the logic is this:

Should a theist becomes an atheist that is acceptable. 

Should an atheist becomes a theist they were never truly an atheist to begin with.

Correct?

As always,

OldChurchGuy

That's not what I said. I said: you have to take their situation into account. Do you believe that all Christians are actually Christian? Of course not (unless you do) because just like in strict, penalty of death, societies like many Islamic countries, going against the status quo could cost ones life figuratively or literally. This also happens in secular societies. Not everyone who says they are a Christian is a Christian, not everyone who says they are a Muslim is a Muslim, and not everyone who says they are an atheist is an atheist.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #681 on: January 19, 2014, 04:31:33 PM »
If I am understanding you correctly, the logic is this:

Should a theist becomes an atheist that is acceptable. 

Should an atheist becomes a theist they were never truly an atheist to begin with.

Correct?

As always,

OldChurchGuy

That's not what I said. I said: you have to take their situation into account. Do you believe that all Christians are actually Christian? Of course not (unless you do) because just like in strict, penalty of death, societies like many Islamic countries, going against the status quo could cost ones life figuratively or literally. This also happens in secular societies. Not everyone who says they are a Christian is a Christian, not everyone who says they are a Muslim is a Muslim, and not everyone who says they are an atheist is an atheist.

-Nam

Please know I am not trying to put words in your mouth nor am I trying to skew the logic.  Thanks for the clarification. 

I am a point in my life that I think the determination of who is a Christian and who is not is up to God.  There are some Christians I have much trouble understanding or accepting (Westboro Baptist in Kansas comes to mind). 

How does one determine if an atheist is a genuine atheist? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Nam

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #682 on: January 19, 2014, 04:56:10 PM »
I don't feel there's a "genuine" anything if one bases it on what is known and what isn't. Take Strong atheists. They say they know, 100%, there is no god. What's their evidence? At the end of the day, a lot of facts and theories on many subjects but all resting upon one specific thing: their opinion. Same with theists (without the knowable facts); they believe it so strongly that there is a god no matter what anyone says. Dependent on the individual person. Some gods could be proven not to exist but never definitively because that's the power of the unknown, or the unknown at this time. However, if all it takes is one action to make someone deny one thing and accept another, one wonders where there mentality actually was from the beginning, no?

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Offline DVZ3

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #683 on: January 19, 2014, 04:59:26 PM »
Atheists seem to simply ask more questions about things. Even new discoveries make atheists ask more questions in the search for truth. Theists seem to accept certain things they are told from others without thinking or doing their own homework sort of speak.

I've also found that theists seem to have a very strong emotional investment in the idea of god, an afterlife, a personified god that answers prayers etc... It's difficult to separate emotion from what may or may not be true but lack of evidence doesn't keep theists from promoting it.

Many atheists on this very site have been asked what it would take to believe and the answer seems quite simple when you think about it. But still, there is nothing that looks like god magic was involved in anything at any time.

Also, I personally cannot accept that just because we don't know or understand something yet suddenly leaves the hole to let Christians fill it with their personified god.

Lastly and somewhat most importantly, there really is no money in atheism. You cannot easily get rich in proclaiming to be an atheist, writing books etc... Quite the opposite is true proclaiming to be Christian. I personally think many people promote theism because it helps fill their pockets. Starting a church avoids government taxes etc...

Whenever there is a lot of money to be made and/or saved always just makes me start to ask questions.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #684 on: January 19, 2014, 06:50:17 PM »
This "one true atheist" thing doesn't fly with me. If a person, at a particular point in their life, does not believe in god, then at that point they are atheist. If, at another point, they believe in the goddess then at that point they are pagan. If, at another point, they believe in the biblical god, then at that point they are christian.

I think one of the few constants with human behavior is that people change.
I agree with you for the most part. I think people can and do change. But  for myself I can't imagine the mental gymnastics and the disconnect it would take to go back to theism (especially something like fundamentalist Christianity) after having really looked in depth at the inconsistencies and contradictions, after having pondered the problem of "sin" and of worshiping a deity who sends countless souls into eternal torment (to say nothing of the viewpoint claiming he blithely creates them for that end).
I will admit that, as a person with a horrific fear of the cessation of thought that comes with death (and a bit of a hypochondriac on top of it!) there are times at which I find myself wishing that it was easy - that it was possible - for me to believe in a conscious afterlife through which I could at least keep up with all the things I might have left behind. But as much as it would be nice to just let go and embrace that belief, I just know too much about the actual workings of the world to be able to do that. It would be great to listen to the apologetic arguments and be able to tell myself that they make just as much sense and are just as feasible as the scientific ones, but the fact is that they don't hold a candle.
I'd love to be able to believe, but when I look at the people who manage to close their minds enough to all the evidence to do it, I just can't imagine being one of them. I can't imagine being the sort of person at whom I look with frustration at their inability to see reason.

Maybe there are atheists out there who are still capable of making that switch, but I can't imagine what it might take to get me to that point. The most I could probably manage would be some sort of cherry-picking deist/pagan/pseudochristian/new life approach. But I'd have a hard time looking at whatever I'd cobbled together at that point and not keel over laughing at the sheer SPAG of it.

Offline Traveler

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #685 on: January 19, 2014, 07:20:40 PM »
I  agree wih you, J, with respect to fundamentalist christianity. I know people, however, who've gone from atheism to paganism or buddhism. That kind of leap is a lot easier for me to understand.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #686 on: January 19, 2014, 07:44:44 PM »
I  agree wih you, J, with respect to fundamentalist christianity. I know people, however, who've gone from atheism to paganism or buddhism. That kind of leap is a lot easier for me to understand.

Yes, definitely. Especially given that Buddhism doesn't even demand a theist approach. I've always said that if I were forced to choose a religion, I'd probably go with Buddhism. As long as I could still eat meat at least once in a while :)

Offline Jesuis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #687 on: January 19, 2014, 09:58:55 PM »
not what I am looking for. You know what I am looking for. And you know you do not have it. I have established that already. Nice try on a cover up, but franckly it is still dodging the single question I asked. And don't ask me what the single question is. It might have been erased by another so rude and with power to be rude. So thanks but no thanks.

Fine.

42

There's your answer.  I'm glad this forum could help you find that.  Now go forth and tell others!  No more need for you to waste time here!.
I was looking for something like "Is that really necessary? Good Lord. The interference pattern in the fracture...The motion of the wave through the molecular structure...I’ve been looking at it all wrong. I can’t consider the electrons as particles. They move through the graphene as a wave. It’s a wave!"
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #688 on: January 19, 2014, 10:05:12 PM »
I was looking for something like "Is that really necessary? Good Lord. The interference pattern in the fracture...The motion of the wave through the molecular structure...I’ve been looking at it all wrong. I can’t consider the electrons as particles. They move through the graphene as a wave. It’s a wave!"



Do not question it.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #689 on: January 19, 2014, 10:05:57 PM »
Jesuis, you were just watching big Bang weren't you! lol That episode just ended here about a half hour ago. Still love the ball pit scene.  ;D
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #690 on: January 19, 2014, 10:12:03 PM »
Jesuis, you were just watching big Bang weren't you! lol That episode just ended here about a half hour ago. Still love the ball pit scene.  ;D

Bazinga! *disappears*
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Offline Jesuis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #691 on: January 19, 2014, 10:54:35 PM »
Jesuis, you were just watching big Bang weren't you! lol That episode just ended here about a half hour ago. Still love the ball pit scene.  ;D
I was. However, I was told not to watch TV. I cannot learn anything from it.
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #692 on: January 19, 2014, 10:57:51 PM »
I was. However, I was told not to watch TV. I cannot learn anything from it.

Can you learn anything from anything?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #693 on: January 19, 2014, 10:58:20 PM »
I was looking for something like "Is that really necessary? Good Lord. The interference pattern in the fracture...The motion of the wave through the molecular structure...I’ve been looking at it all wrong. I can’t consider the electrons as particles. They move through the graphene as a wave. It’s a wave!"
And just how was anyone supposed to know that?  We aren't mind readers, and you refused to tell anyone just what that question you asked actually was.

By the way, electrons act like both particles and waves, similarly to photons.

Offline Jesuis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #694 on: January 19, 2014, 11:08:00 PM »
I was. However, I was told not to watch TV. I cannot learn anything from it.

Can you learn anything from anything?
I can - just coming on here teaches me a lot. Wherever I put my attention there is learning going on.
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Offline Jesuis

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #695 on: January 19, 2014, 11:12:00 PM »
I was looking for something like "Is that really necessary? Good Lord. The interference pattern in the fracture...The motion of the wave through the molecular structure...I’ve been looking at it all wrong. I can’t consider the electrons as particles. They move through the graphene as a wave. It’s a wave!"
And just how was anyone supposed to know that?  We aren't mind readers, and you refused to tell anyone just what that question you asked actually was.

By the way, electrons act like both particles and waves, similarly to photons.
Thanks to Sheldon, Michu Kaku, Jim Al Khalili and Morgan Freeman I can say something intelligent for you. I make no claims of my own. Just an observer.
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