You know when it gets to the point in a debate that you have to start insinuating a lack of respect for your opponent it usually means quite the opposite. It means your opponent is so tough you have nothing else to say.
Junebug, if you mean similar to the way that you put words into other people's mouths and place yourself in the role of a victim, yes I would agree with you. I don't think this discussion will get much further at this rate but I'll try.
Before we get too much further, a suggestion. I would ask that you read this through to the end. Please don't respond to a part and not read the rest. Also, perhaps write your response offline. Read it. Reread it. Throw it away. Then start again.
I think you may be surprised how many people don't use their first drafts. I'm already on round
Speaking about needs. Do you not see that you have constructed a god around what you want to believe to be true? It has been said before, this is a god that is entirely of your own making and it only exists in your world.
I'm sorry to be harsh, but you have no support for your position being anything other than what you would like to be true. We'll get back to that but it's OK to dream, it's OK to wish, it's when you start trying to claim that your beliefs are on par with what we can prove that you get onto slippery ice. If it's this important to you that your god is real, I suggest to you that it's important for you to prove it, not just assert it.
We've heard that this god is possible yet, when asked how we can determine that, you conveniently tell us that that you don't have access to the past or a lab, as if that somehow allows your god to be real yet unchallenged. In your world, maybe. In this place, that's not how it works.
But, yes we do have a time machine, and yes we do have a lab.
The time machine is the universe with the prevailing cosmological theory of the [wiki=Big_bang]Big Bang,[/wiki] we have the [wiki=Cosmic_microwave_background_radiation]cosmic microwave background,[/wiki] we have spacecraft that have now left the
[wiki=Voyager_probe]solar system,[/wiki] we have deep space observations from [wiki=Hubble]Hubble,[/wiki] and much, much, more.
The lab, too, is the universe and all that is around us. Theory has predictive power - it has to - and we can test those predictions. One also can use [wiki=Thought_experiment]thought experiments[/wiki] - just working through a condition asking "If I do x, then what happens? OK, now what?". "Here's what I find - does my theory account for all
that it should? Not just a bit here and there but all that it should?" If it doesn't, then more work needs to be done.
Anything that you propose has to provide clarity above and beyond what we have today. I know that that's a tall order, but I'm not the one claiming that something else is the answer. Nor am I saying that these theories don't provide enough answers.
Now for JB's god, you start off with a conclusion: a loving god who cares about you, has opposite views on sexual orientation to the (same?) god you used to believe hated you, and just generally fits with the fluffy bunny and cute kitten world that you wish we all inhabited; and then, arbitrarily, declare it possible through a series of fallacies and leaps of logic that would astound even Rudolf Nureyev. As far as I can tell, that's all you have. Assertions, your own definitions, and hope. Note, I'm not dissing you - I'm just being clear on the fact that you have consistently not provided anything else of substance.But it's OK to dream.
If it's important to you to believe that there is a heaven waiting, that there is a power looking after you, that's entirely your right. Most of us here have friends who have similar outlooks on life.
My concern comes in when people try to force their beliefs on others, particularly when those beliefs are an impediment to progress or a harmonious society. Now the preceding doesn't apply to you, but I do care when I see people who do themselves a disservice by denying the power that they have within themselves.
When someone thanks "a higher power" for helping them get off drugs, they devalue their own contribution.
When someone says they couldn't have got through a difficult situation without some god's love, they wrongly attribute the origin of their strength. Later, when faced with other adversity, they are now dependent on this belief not realising that they've only just begun to tap their own power. Failure then becomes a personal let down from this god, which can lead to a downward spiral.
When someone tells me that they look forward to a life after this one, I would hate to think that they might miss an opportunity to relish every possible experience that they might have - in the only life we know for certain exists.
You didn't ask, but that's why I care and, even if you doubt it, that's probably why we all care about you.