Author Topic: List of points against religion  (Read 1184 times)

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Offline Jonny-UK

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List of points against religion
« on: December 03, 2013, 07:54:39 AM »
How about a list of simple points that have played a part in leading people (or confirming if already atheist) that religion is man made.
I would like to set the ball rolling with-

Despite probably millions of prayers from religions all over the world, cancer is still here and still taking lives.
"Do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" - pinhead

Offline Mrjason

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 08:05:29 AM »
Errr a total lack of falsifiable evidence to support the claims made by religions

edit to add falsifiable
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 08:08:37 AM by Mrjason »

Online Nam

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 10:25:11 AM »
Here you go:


FUCK YOU HOLY SPIRIT YOU MOTHERFUCKING CUNT!












Yep, still here.

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

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Online jynnan tonnix

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 10:33:18 AM »
To be fair, Nam, I'm not entirely sure that one's not supposed to kick in until after you die. ;)

Just that even if you were to accept Jesus this very second and devote the rest of your life to him, it wouldn't do you any good. Because, after all, that's a far worse thing to do than, say, mass-murder.


Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 10:44:30 AM »
Perhaps the fact Nam has not been struck by a bolt of lightning from the heavens could again count as lack of evidence.
Hang on, Nam Are you still with us?
"Do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" - pinhead

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 10:45:21 AM »
Perhaps the fact Nam has not been struck by a bolt of lightning from the heavens could again count as lack of evidence.
Hang on, Nam Are you still with us?

Yep.

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

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Online Nam

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 10:46:35 AM »
To be fair, Nam, I'm not entirely sure that one's not supposed to kick in until after you die. ;)

Just that even if you were to accept Jesus this very second and devote the rest of your life to him, it wouldn't do you any good. Because, after all, that's a far worse thing to do than, say, mass-murder.



What's the point? My body would already be cremated.

;)

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

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 10:46:54 AM »
Perhaps the fact Nam has not been struck by a bolt of lightning from the heavens could again count as lack of evidence.
Hang on, Nam Are you still with us?
Yep.
-Nam
Lack of evidence it is then. ;)
"Do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" - pinhead

Offline Hatter23

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 11:50:24 PM »
Lots of old books have strange tales of Gods, Monsters, and Magic. What makes you think you got the right one?
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.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2013, 11:53:12 PM »
To be fair, Nam, I'm not entirely sure that one's not supposed to kick in until after you die. ;)

Just that even if you were to accept Jesus this very second and devote the rest of your life to him, it wouldn't do you any good. Because, after all, that's a far worse thing to do than, say, mass-murder.

I don't quite get waht you're saying here - could you clarify?
Go on up you baldhead.

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 12:17:51 AM »
To be fair, Nam, I'm not entirely sure that one's not supposed to kick in until after you die. ;)

Just that even if you were to accept Jesus this very second and devote the rest of your life to him, it wouldn't do you any good. Because, after all, that's a far worse thing to do than, say, mass-murder.

I don't quite get waht you're saying here - could you clarify?

If Hitler[1] accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour right before he died, and meant it with all his heart and soul he would go to heaven while a person like me, who isn't a mass murderer but told the Holy Spirit to fuck itself, would go to hell even if I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, and meant it with all my heart and soul.

The Bible basically states that one can damn Biblegod and/or Jesus but damning the Holy Spirit, well, that's just going too far.

-Nam
 1. on the predication he wasn't already a Christian
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline magicmiles

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2013, 12:37:32 AM »
To be fair, Nam, I'm not entirely sure that one's not supposed to kick in until after you die. ;)

Just that even if you were to accept Jesus this very second and devote the rest of your life to him, it wouldn't do you any good. Because, after all, that's a far worse thing to do than, say, mass-murder.

I don't quite get waht you're saying here - could you clarify?

If Hitler[1] accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour right before he died, and meant it with all his heart and soul he would go to heaven while a person like me, who isn't a mass murderer but told the Holy Spirit to fuck itself, would go to hell even if I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, and meant it with all my heart and soul.

The Bible basically states that one can damn Biblegod and/or Jesus but damning the Holy Spirit, well, that's just going too far.

-Nam
 1. on the predication he wasn't already a Christian

If that is what JT means then it looks like there is mis-understanding[2] of what it means to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

It isn't a matter of childishly saying a few swear words. As always, cnsider context. I will allow Matt Slick to explain:

http://carm.org/what-blasphemy-holy-spirit-can-christian-commit-it

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is simply incompatible with being a Christian.
 2. insert magic decoder ring joke here
Go on up you baldhead.

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2013, 04:27:56 AM »
That's carm's magic-decoder ring, not yours. You just agree with it.  And, in context with what it says and with what I say, my version still makes a lot of sense because I am not a believer.

Get it?

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

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2013, 06:14:45 AM »
To be fair, Nam, I'm not entirely sure that one's not supposed to kick in until after you die. ;)

Just that even if you were to accept Jesus this very second and devote the rest of your life to him, it wouldn't do you any good. Because, after all, that's a far worse thing to do than, say, mass-murder.

I don't quite get waht you're saying here - could you clarify?

If Hitler[1] accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour right before he died, and meant it with all his heart and soul he would go to heaven while a person like me, who isn't a mass murderer but told the Holy Spirit to fuck itself, would go to hell even if I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, and meant it with all my heart and soul.

The Bible basically states that one can damn Biblegod and/or Jesus but damning the Holy Spirit, well, that's just going too far.

-Nam
 1. on the predication he wasn't already a Christian

If that is what JT means then it looks like there is mis-understanding[2] of what it means to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

It isn't a matter of childishly saying a few swear words. As always, cnsider context. I will allow Matt Slick to explain:

http://carm.org/what-blasphemy-holy-spirit-can-christian-commit-it

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is simply incompatible with being a Christian.
 2. insert magic decoder ring joke here


It's fuckin' funny how so many Christians accept the stupid Noah's Ark story at face value, but over-interpret this . . .
 
"Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” -Mark 3:28-29(NIV)

 . . . to mean anything but what is clearly stated.



There are plenty of different interpretations coming from all sorts of Christians, and not one of these interpretations is the obvious one. Not one.

And we know why too. They would never accept that if someone they loved blasphemed the Holy Spirit when they were "young and dumb" or "not yet Born Again", there is no use in trying to save them because it's too late.





Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is simply incompatible with being a Christian.
So . . . mass murder is simply compatible?






I will allow Matt Slick to explain.
Matt Slick? Some brainwashed and/or brainwashing bitch? Nah. I think I'll just read it myself and see what it says.






As always, cnsider context.
Here's the context:

Ancient men made up some far-fetched, contradictory bullshit. Not just in the Middle East, but all over the fucking world. Imagine that.

Or, God simply hardened my heart, gave me the wrong interpretation, gave me the wrong context, and now I'm simply fucked. And so is Nam.
Enough with your bullshit.
. . . Mr. Friday . . . that post really is golden.

Online jynnan tonnix

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2013, 07:37:57 AM »
Yes, MM, Nam correctly explained what I was trying to say.

I read the link you posted, and I have to say that I couldn't make the least bit of sense out of it. Maybe it's just early and my coffee has not kicked in, because generally I can at least understand where apologetics of this sort are coming from even if I don't agree with them, but, honestly, just could not make head or tail of the argument at all.

As Lotanddaughters just said:

Quote
It's fuckin' funny how so many Christians accept the stupid Noah's Ark story at face value, but over-interpret this . . .
 
"Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” -Mark 3:28-29(NIV)

 . . . to mean anything but what is clearly stated.


There are plenty of different interpretations coming from all sorts of Christians, and not one of these interpretations is the obvious one. Not one.

And we know why too. They would never accept that if someone they loved blasphemed the Holy Spirit when they were "young and dumb" or "not yet Born Again", there is no use in trying to save them because it's too late.


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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2013, 11:14:30 AM »
Some things that absolutely killed it for me at a young age were:
  • Why all other religions were false, but "ours" (Judaism) was "true".[1]
  • Prayer. We kept praying for the end of wars and famine and nothing happened.[2]
  • The bible contains contradictions and absurdities that even a child can see.[3]
  • That people killed each-other over the "true" religion whilst the "true" caring, loving, all-powerful god looked on and didn't whistle, then shout "Oi, over here!".[4]
  • Later, I came to better understand that Jews, Christians and Muslims apparently worshiped a different version of the same god, yet this same god still stood by and let them go at it hammer and nails.[5]
  • That no-one; my parents, my teachers, the assistant Rabbi, or even the Rabbi, could give me an answer that didn't end up with something along the lines of "you'll understand this better when you grow up", "it's true because the bible says it's true", or the absolute killer argument of "both versions are true".[6]

Here's an Onion articles that pretty much sums up how I felt about the whole "same god, different name" nonsense. Linky

Memo to self: write an introductory post.
 1. Ironically, at that time I only knew of the [Jewish,] Greek, Roman, Norse and Egyptian mythologies. It wasn't until a later age that I got to find out that Christians were supposed to believe even stranger stuff.
 2. That there were constant appeals for money and gifts told even this child that something didn't quite add up.
 3. Perhaps being a child is what "allowed" me to ask questions that adults didn't dare to consider.
 4. Seriously, WTF is that about? I love you so much that I'm going to stand by whilst people kick the shit out of each other just to prove who is loved more and by whom?
 5. This seemed even more absurd than the similarities between the "false" Greek and Roman gods.
 6. The age of the earth (Billions vs 6000 years). Dinosaurs. Evolution. Planets. Stars. Galaxies. You know. Real stuff that just isn't covered in that "perfect" book. Oh, and please don't get me started on how Noah's Ark was absolutely and literally a true story.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 11:35:53 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 skeptic54768

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2013, 02:34:46 AM »
Here you go:


FUCK YOU HOLY SPIRIT YOU MOTHERFUCKING CUNT!












Yep, still here.

-Nam

That's not blasphemy.

Blasphemy is not believing in Christ as the Savior, and/or attributing Jesus' miracles to Satan like the Pharisees did.

I thought you said you knew a lot about Christianity?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2013, 02:40:30 AM »
That's not blasphemy.

Blasphemy is not believing in Christ as the Savior, and/or attributing Jesus' miracles to Satan like the Pharisees did.

I thought you said you knew a lot about Christianity?

Wrong:

Quote
"Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” -Mark 3:28-29(NIV)

Proving my point yet again.

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

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline skeptic54768

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2013, 02:45:14 AM »
That's not blasphemy.

Blasphemy is not believing in Christ as the Savior, and/or attributing Jesus' miracles to Satan like the Pharisees did.

I thought you said you knew a lot about Christianity?

Wrong:

Quote
"Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” -Mark 3:28-29(NIV)

Proving my point yet again.

-Nam

Exactly, nam.

That was said right after the Pharisees accused Jesus of having Satanic power. The Pharisees blasphemed the Ghost.

Might be time to dust off that Bible.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2013, 02:47:25 AM »
That's not blasphemy.

Blasphemy is not believing in Christ as the Savior, and/or attributing Jesus' miracles to Satan like the Pharisees did.

I thought you said you knew a lot about Christianity?

Wrong:

Quote
"Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” -Mark 3:28-29(NIV)

Proving my point yet again.

-Nam

Exactly, nam.

That was said right after the Pharisees accused Jesus of having Satanic power. The Pharisees blasphemed the Ghost.

Might be time to dust off that Bible.

You said it yourself: the ghost. Not Jesus.

Proving my point with your own comment!

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

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline skeptic54768

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2013, 02:55:51 AM »
You said it yourself: the ghost. Not Jesus.

Proving my point with your own comment!

-Nam

The Holy Ghost works through Jesus as the wind of life.

Pharisees blasphemed, Nam!
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2013, 03:06:49 AM »
Here, Henry_M_MorrisWiki says,

Quote
The unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture. It is unequivocally clear that the one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (John 3:18; 3:36). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible. 'My spirit shall not always strive with man,' God said long ago (Genesis 6:3).

Not exactly as what you state but still: what I state above that you object to is the equivelant to deny Jesus--which I do both.

It's not the same as saying, "You can blaspheme the Ghost just not Jesus." It's an equivalent as in, "Blaspheming the Holy Ghost is equal to blaspheming Jesus." -- which, to this guy, either one will do.

He was a YEC, so, you can't disagree.

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

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline bertatberts

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2013, 03:14:29 AM »
How about a list of simple points that have played a part in leading people (or confirming if already atheist) that religion is man made.
I would like to set the ball rolling with-

Despite probably millions of prayers from religions all over the world, cancer is still here and still taking lives.
This was posted up here by MrFriday. In June 2008. http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=272.0
   
Quote

    * There is not one iota of unequivocal evidence that any God exists.
    * God cannot explain all that exists because God itself cannot be explained. This claim just gratuitously swaps one mystery for another.
    * Religions do not explain any mechanism or process whereby God created everything. It is effectively an appeal to magic.
    * Religious faith is generally indistinguishable from gullibility. Trust and faith, as human concepts, are normally based on experience and reason. Religious faith is necessarily based on belief in unproved and unknowable things.
    * A god or anything that exists outside the realm of natural reality is necessarily unknowable, unintelligible and incoherent. It is therefore irrational to believe in something that is supernatural.
    * Religious scripture:
          o is man-made
          o contains many translation and interpretation errors
          o is often self-contradictory
          o often contradicts known facts
          o promotes conversion by violence
          o calls for punishment and death to unbelievers
          o contains virtually no specific and unequivocal predictions
          o contains only vague predictions beyond its own time
          o contains many failed prophecies, predictions and unfulfilled promises of God
    * Scripture contains too much that is vague, metaphorical and symbolic to be instructions from a divine being to humans. A perfect being would be expected to be able to communicate much better than that.
    * In order to render most of scripture useful, it must necessarily be interpreted. This makes it easily twisted to support nefarious purposes.
    * The problems with scriptures outweigh any good messages they may contain. If read at all, they should be considered opinion and philosophy and taken with a grain of salt.
    * Morals are based on human sympathy and empathy, not on divine guidance. Establishing moral codes based on theism is unnecessary, riddled with contradictions, and fraught with danger.
    * Religion is divisive in that it pits groups of otherwise indistinguishable people against one another. There are already more than enough differences for humans to fight over. And religion is the most intransigent of such divisions because many people feel it is a divine duty to revile those who believe differently than they do even if they don't see the reason in it.
    * Religions are generally intractable when it comes to substantive compromise with other religions or belief systems.
    * All suggested ways to perceive God rely on internal mechanisms that are subject to personal desires, suggestion, and mistakes. On the question of communicating with God, religion insidiously asks us all to deceive ourselves.
    * People are animals. We are only special due to our more developed brain. (We share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees)
    * Abrahamic religions teach that the earth is only about 6000 to 10000 years old. All claims of a young earth are refuted by volumes of clear and mutually corroborating evidence in multiple scientific disciplines as well as a host of mutually confirming dating techniques that are not subjective or rationalized.
    * Every culture that has existed has had God myths and other superstitions. This is often used as an argument for the existence of God. Rather than indicating that there is a true God, this indicates that people are simply attracted to the idea.
    * Goodness, truth, wisdom and all other purported attributes of God are human concepts. When applied to a presumed entity so completely different in kind as to be supernatural, they are meaningless. The idea of God is thus incoherent.
    * Infinity is a concept humans cannot comprehend except in a limited mathematical sense. If God is infinite, this also renders him unintelligible.
    * Belief in an afterlife is insidious and detrimental to social responsibility and mental health. It demeans actual life and frequently leads to the notion that killing someone is, at least conceivably, doing them a favor.
    * Organized religion wastes untold amounts of money and resources that could be used to care for people, promote real knowledge, and advance the human race.
    * Theism puts God above people thereby making people subservient, unimportant and expendable.
    * Religion relies on guilt, fear and outlandish promises to gain obedience.
    * Theism generally precludes any possibility of testing God or questioning his existence substantively. It is something like the wizard of Oz saying, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."
    * The methods used in proselytizing for religion bear an unmistakable resemblance to the methods of confidence men. But the scriptures consider this the great commission of mankind.
    * There are many good rational and logical arguments against theism but not one argument in favor of it that doesn't rely on a fallacy or assumption.
    * There are so many Gods put forth by thousands of religions that no one could ever be certain of picking the correct one, assuming that one exists.
    * Prayer is totally subjective and cannot be shown to have any more efficacy than pure chance.
    * There is no discernable difference between believing in God and having an imaginary friend.
    * People generally rely on facts and evidence in every human endeavor except religion.
    * Unequivocal miracles do not occur.
    * God supposedly speaks directly to the human spirit. This must be, at least partly, the same concept as mind. People who receive messages in their minds are invariably delusional.
    * There is no positive correlation between belief in God and being a moral person.
    * Populations that are predominantly theistic are almost invariably poor and undereducated. The converse is almost invariably true of populations that are predominantly atheistic.
    * Populations that are predominantly theistic almost invariably have higher general crime rates, higher violent crime rates, higher murder rates, higher infant mortality rates, more disease and starvation as well as inadequate healthcare. The converse is almost invariably true of populations that are predominantly atheistic.
    * Belief in religion has spawned uncounted cults that draw people in by appealing to the concept of faith without proof and the promise of prophets to come. Some examples are: Jim Jones and the People's Temple, David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, Marshal Applewhite and Heaven's Gate. These groups had religious followers who were convinced to brutalize, mutilate and kill themselves and their children on the basis of this kind of blind faith.
    * Religion has an extremely violent history that includes such things as crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts, genocide, terrorism and holy war. Untold millions have died in the name of religious icons and for religious beliefs.
    * Religions have a long history of misogyny.
    * Religion can be and has been used to support the concept of slavery.
    * Religious dogma is practically immune to the incorporation of new facts. The best it can do is strained reinterpretation.
    * The argument that God cannot be proven not to exist is irrelevant when one considers that to do so requires that the concept of a supernatural God be intelligible and coherent, which it is not.
    * There is a well known argument commonly called "The Problem of Evil". It basically says that if an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God exists, unnecessary or gratuitous evil would not exist in the world. Thus if God sees this type of evil and does nothing he is either not omnibenevolent because he doesn't care or not omnipotent because he is unable to stop it. There are many counter-arguments that have been used. However the only one that really could defeat the Problem of Evil is if one says that we cannot apply human standards to decide what is or is not gratuitous evil. This may well be true, but that argument renders God unintelligible and meaningless to humans. Either way, the concept of God seems to be highly doubtful.
    * Theists claim that God has given humans free will. However, this free will is anything but free. The choices are forced on pain of death and eternal suffering. It is equivalent to having a slave and saying something like: "I grant you your freedom to leave at any time. But if you do, I will torture you mercilessly and kill you as slowly as possible."

It kind of covers it all.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 03:16:14 AM by bertatberts »
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Online Nam

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2013, 03:24:06 AM »
That's a lot to read.

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

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2013, 03:30:51 AM »
Great list.
Thanks for the link bertatberts
"Do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" - pinhead

Offline penfold

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2013, 04:44:23 AM »
That's not blasphemy.

Blasphemy is not believing in Christ as the Savior, and/or attributing Jesus' miracles to Satan like the Pharisees did.

I thought you said you knew a lot about Christianity?

Wrong:

Quote
"Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” -Mark 3:28-29(NIV)

Proving my point yet again.

-Nam

Exactly, nam.

That was said right after the Pharisees accused Jesus of having Satanic power. The Pharisees blasphemed the Ghost.

Might be time to dust off that Bible.

Just to stick my oar in...

The quote in question appears in various forms:

Luke 12:10: And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. (trans. NIV)

Mark 3:28-9: Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin. (trans. NIV)

Mat 12:31: And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (trans. NIV)

Gospel of Thomas Ch 44: Jesus said, "Whoever utters blasphemy against the father will be forgiven. And whoever utters blasphemy against the son will be forgiven. But whoever utters blasphemy against the holy spirit will not be forgiven - neither on earth nor in heaven." (trans. Layton)

Early Christian History scholar Helmut Koester says that the general consensus using textual analysis is that Luke probably represents the earliest form of this saying. I will be following this assumption. He also points out that its appearance in 4 texts imply it is an early saying, and thus more likely to be authentic (ie spoken by the historical Jesus)

Some point to make:

They key words in original Greek are: blasphemia - blasphemy; pneumatos tou hagiou - holy spirit; huiou tou anthropou - the son of man.

blasphemia - this does indeed as Nam suggests mean to speak ill of. As far as I can find there is no evidence in scripture of the word being used in some special sense. To blaspheme is different from 'sinning against' it is contains a specific meaning of spoken slander.

pneumatos tou hagiou - the idea of the "Holy Spirit" as an entity in itself is one that really emerges after the gospels. It is by no means certain that Jesus thought of the Holy Spirit as an entity in itself. It is far more likely that for Jesus the Holy Spirit is simply a term for the divine - if anyone doubts this try to find a passage in the synoptic gospels where Jesus' use of Holy Spirit only makes sense as an independent entity - I contend that you won't be able to.

huiou tou anthropou - the use of 'son of man' as a title for Jesus is almost certain to have been retrospective. It seems likely that in this saying the 'son of man' was not intended to refer to Jesus himself. It is notable that the holy text of Jesus' time (the OT) uses Son of Man over a hundred times, never to refer to a divine person, but to humans. It is very unlikely that Jesus would have used it differently.

It is only in the the later versions (Matthew and Thomas) that the saying is fleshed out to include the 'world to come' (Mat) and the Trinitarian divisions (Thomas) - in other words this saying went through a process of Christianizing, this might make us wonder if the strange conclusion (that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is different from blasphemy against other parts of the Trinity) is as a result of this process. Perhaps then there is a simple message here which has been disguised by later theology...

Conclusions:

i) Blasphemy is, as Nam suggests, verbal slander;
ii) Holy Spirit is probably a generic name for the divine;
iii) Son of Man is probably a simple reference to humans in general.

It seems to me that a plain reading (that is a reading which is not coloured by subsequent Christian theology such as ideas of Trinity) is as follows:

Verbal slander of men can be forgiven, verbal slander of the divine cannot.

This makes clear sense when you realize that this was standard Jewish orthodoxy of Jesus' time - verbal slander of God was indeed an unforgivable sin in the eyes of most Jews. Jesus is not then saying anything particularly radical but, as is often the case in the Gospel stories, showing the Scribes how he is more righteous (orthodox) than them.

The original message is simple and traditional; if you verbally slander God you can't be fogiven, if you verbally slander other men you can be. It is only the later Christian theology that turns it into some crazy Trinitarian rule...

So Nam is correct that his sweary tirade is unforgivable according to Scripture; however this rule would also apply to swearing about God in general.



« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 04:53:27 AM by penfold »
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline Quesi

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2013, 08:24:36 AM »
Think about all of the religions that have existed since the beginning of recorded human history. 

What do they have in common? 

A lot of stuff, actually.  Each religion served to explain what the people of that time and place did not understand.  Each and every religion has a creation story.[1] That is the heart of every religion.  How did the world/universe/my village/my people come to be? 

The creation stories are wonderful stories, and they reveal a great deal about the culture that embraces them.  Many creation stories are based on the understanding of reproduction, with eggs or seeds or grains appearing miraculously, and starting all life.  Others are based on communities of gods, who created us and toy with us or help us, according to their whims.  Still others have us coming to life from mud.  In the monotheistic religions, we have a patriarchal father figure who created us, and looks after us, rewarding us when we are good and punishing us when we are bad.

Each of these stories made sense for the people who created them.  People who believed they lived on a flat earth, who wondered at the stars, completely unaware of the fact that our sun is yet another star.  People who were certain that floods and droughts and storms that impacted on their livelihood were caused by a deity or deities,  because they had no understanding of weather patterns. 

But now we KNOW the sun is a star.  The horizon is not the edge of the earth.  We track weather patterns with satellites, and we know the factors that contribute to hurricanes and monsoons and droughts.   

But we love our stories.  They are good stories.

So instead of abandoning our stories, we alter them, just a little bit, each time our understanding of the nature of our planet and the nature of our universe increases.  We alter the stories just a little bit.  So we can keep our beloved stories. 

Or, if we really don't want to alter our stories, we pretend that expanding human understanding of the nature of our planet, and of the universe, is just an attack on our beliefs and traditions.  But as the generations go by, finally almost everyone has to admit that the earth is round, and that weather patterns exist, and that the earth orbits a star we call the sun. 

It is a silly dance.   
 1. Perhaps with the exception of Buddhism

Offline penfold

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2013, 09:53:55 AM »
....  Each and every religion has a creation story.[1]
 1. Perhaps with the exception of Buddhism

And Taoism.


Lovely post. Can I ask, how far do you think the scientific story (I do not mean that in a derogatory way) can or does fulfill the same needs?

For example, as I am not a professional cosmologist (bad life decision...), my knowledge of the standard cosmology is basically that of a narrative.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline Quesi

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Re: List of points against religion
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2013, 02:05:50 PM »
Can I ask, how far do you think the scientific story (I do not mean that in a derogatory way) can or does fulfill the same needs?

For example, as I am not a professional cosmologist (bad life decision...), my knowledge of the standard cosmology is basically that of a narrative.

Interesting question. 

I think that the "search for answers" that the ancient clergy engaged in, often overlapped with the scientific research of the ancient societies.  In fact, many clergy were also healers who studied herbs and balms and treated the sick or injured, or they tracked the movements of the lights in the night sky, or they advised the farmers when to plant and when to harvest.  They were looking for answers.  The creation stories were attempts at providing those answers.  And the scholars who created the creation stories were, often the earliest scientists. 

It seems that the scholars of abrahamic religions focused more on the social sciences more than the "hard sciences."  After god created the heavens and the earth and humans and then had them name all of the animals, the focus really strayed from the heavens and the earth and the animals and whatnot, and went straight into the fascinating attempts to create a fair and just social system, with all kinds of rules about family structures, and how to treat travelers, and what to do when your goat eats your neighbor's crops, and how to treat prisoners of war, and just gobs of social justice questions that we, as a society still struggle with today.  I think the Books of Moses are amazingly sophisticated attempts at creating a set of just social systems. 

I'm probably in the minority here on this forum, but I really don't see religion as the antithesis of science, or any scholarly pursuits.  I kind of see religion as an early stab at science and philosophy and the rest of the social sciences.    The clergy WERE the scholars of their era.  But that certainly isn't the case today. [1]  Instead, the clergy are mostly responsible for ensuring the survival of their religion.

Contemporary scholars have HUGE advantages over their predecessors.  The ancient scholars depended on oral histories and were limited by geographic isolation.  Stories changed, and knowledge was not shared across time and space. Some of the earliest recorded the most important events and discoveries on stone, and later rare and valuable papyrus or bark.  Each generation lost much of the knowledge of the previous generation.  The scientific method did not, could not, exist.  Today, we can build on the research of previous generations.  We can test our assumptions, and more importantly, anyone can test or challenge them. 

Contemporary scholars are put up to a scrutiny that their predecessors never faced.  And it is not until one tiny part of a story has survived the scrutiny of experimentation and peer review, that it becomes part of our scientific narrative.  And later, if more evidence disproves a previously accepted theory, (the sun revolves around the earth, blood-letting is good for sick people, the universe is infinite in size) theories are revised or replaced, and our scientific narrative changes. 

So no.  I don't think that our scientific narrative is ALL THAT DIFFERENT from the early narratives.  It is just a lot more sophisticated, because it builds on existing knowledge, and faces ongoing scrutiny.  There may be times that a devastating drought ended immediately after virgins were sacrificed, or grandma said the rosary every night for a month, or an entire congregation doubled their tithes in hopes of rain.  But no scientist is going to cite virgin sacrifice or rosary recitation or tithing as a strategy for increasing local rainfall. 

I suspect that a few thousand years from now, future scientists will continue to use what we now call the scientific method, but that they will look upon our beliefs and understanding as primitive.  Perhaps in the same way we look upon the various creation stories. And we can only pray that these future scholars will not be plagued by segments of the population who try to discredit them in order to maintain adherence to primitive beliefs.   
 1. With a few exceptions.  I think there are some clergy who are genuine scholars. But that is another debate/discussion.