Author Topic: How to remain Christian  (Read 3992 times)

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Offline Eddie Schultz

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #174 on: May 07, 2014, 06:25:13 PM »
For me, God is that entity that is attempted to be described in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament writings. 

Really? That's it? When you pause and reflect at the global history of homo sapiens (where all of Judaism and Christianity is nothing more than a pin-prick) you feel that the scribblings of pre-scientific, patriarchal desert men from ~2000-3000 years ago in one highly ignorant part of the world, are so robust, that you feel it a good idea to organize your life around it?  I'm sorry OCG, but you're losing my respect for your intellect - as nice a guy as you might be.  I don't know when it occurred, but I think you've been told that this book (likely at a young age) is something to be revered, and I know it's difficult to overcome that, but I think you ought to.

This is why I asked him what made him believe that Jesus is god incarnate, to get to the core of his belief in a god. It worked, and I think he is losing others respect for his intellect as well.

It reminds me of people like WLC, Ray Comfort, and others like them. They're too deep into their belief to dig out, especially when they write books to sell to their followers. If one day any of them admitted to being wrong about the bible, god, Jesus, etc.... what would they tell their followers? That's something I have been thinking about as to why they hold on so tight, they have to keep the lies going to keep their followers.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #175 on: May 07, 2014, 06:46:37 PM »
The trinity is a carryover from pagan polytheism and exists in many cultures. In Hinduism, for example, you have Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Sustainer and Shiva the Destroyer. You could look at the ancient Greeks: Zeus the father, Apollo the son (he is the god of the sun and of light)  and Hades, ruler of darkness and the underworld.

In Christianity, esp. the Catholic version, you have so many magical figures you can't keep up without a scorecard. Father Jehovah, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit Whoever, Virgin Mary, Saint this, Saint that, local patron saints and virgins of all kinds. People pray to all of these different figures, particularly in cultures that were recently polytheistic. If they were all really just the one god, why the need for multiple personalities?

It is puzzling how Christians make such a big deal out of being monotheistic when they clearly are not that attached to the concept in reality. At least Muslims say one god, period. Allah has all the qualities of a dictator-- everything good, bad and indifferent is from him and humans cannot judge; life is a dictatorship and we just need to suck it up.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 06:50:16 PM by nogodsforme »
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 Star Stuff

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #176 on: May 07, 2014, 08:16:21 PM »
This is why I asked him what made him believe that Jesus is god incarnate, to get to the core of his belief in a god. It worked, and I think he is losing others respect for his intellect as well.

It reminds me of people like WLC, Ray Comfort, and others like them. They're too deep into their belief to dig out, especially when they write books to sell to their followers. If one day any of them admitted to being wrong about the bible, god, Jesus, etc.... what would they tell their followers? That's something I have been thinking about as to why they hold on so tight, they have to keep the lies going to keep their followers.

I think that the "investment" factor is huge for most all religious people.  However, OCG is one individual who deserves our respect, patience and gentle prodding (although I might be guilty of seeming somewhat harsh).
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 09:46:56 PM by Star Stuff »
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #177 on: May 07, 2014, 08:26:07 PM »
I think that the "investment" factor is huge for most all religious people.  However, OCG is one individual who deserves our patience and gentle prodding (although I might be guilty of seeming somewhat harsh).

I agree. I think he has shown himself to be a genuine individual who has so far handled the bombardment to his personal beliefs with remarkable poise, politeness and good humor. For that, I hope we can at the very least be able to respond in a similar fashion.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #178 on: May 07, 2014, 08:36:51 PM »


I think that the "investment" factor is huge for most all religious people.  However, OCG is one individual who deserves our patience and gentle prodding (although I might be guilty of seeming somewhat harsh).

Not the first time you'll have heard this I'm sure, but would you agree that the early Christians most definitely had nothing to gain from proclaiming a resurrected Jesus, and a lot to lose? What do you suppose motivated those Christians?

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Offline jdawg70

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #179 on: May 07, 2014, 08:45:10 PM »


I think that the "investment" factor is huge for most all religious people.  However, OCG is one individual who deserves our patience and gentle prodding (although I might be guilty of seeming somewhat harsh).

Not the first time you'll have heard this I'm sure, but would you agree that the early Christians most definitely had nothing to gain from proclaiming a resurrected Jesus, and a lot to lose? What do you suppose motivated those Christians?
Eternal life in paradise with the loving creator of reality?  What do you think they believed would have happened to their eternal souls if they denied god just to save their own hides?

Just speculating here.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #180 on: May 07, 2014, 08:54:16 PM »


I think that the "investment" factor is huge for most all religious people.  However, OCG is one individual who deserves our patience and gentle prodding (although I might be guilty of seeming somewhat harsh).

Not the first time you'll have heard this I'm sure, but would you agree that the early Christians most definitely had nothing to gain from proclaiming a resurrected Jesus, and a lot to lose? What do you suppose motivated those Christians?
Eternal life in paradise with the loving creator of reality?  What do you think they believed would have happened to their eternal souls if they denied god just to save their own hides?

Just speculating here.

So they were motivated by what they truly believed. SS and Eddie seem to believe that Christians only cling on to belief because they have an investment in it, not because they truly believe.
Go on up you baldhead.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #181 on: May 07, 2014, 08:56:34 PM »
For me, God is that entity that is attempted to be described in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament writings. 

Really? That's it? When you pause and reflect at the global history of homo sapiens (where all of Judaism and Christianity is nothing more than a pin-prick) you feel that the scribblings of pre-scientific, patriarchal desert men from ~2000-3000 years ago in one highly ignorant part of the world, are so robust, that you feel it a good idea to organize your life around it?  I'm sorry OCG, but you're losing my respect for your intellect - as nice a guy as you might be.  I don't know when it occurred, but I think you've been told that this book (likely at a young age) is something to be revered, and I know it's difficult to overcome that, but I think you ought to.

I appreciate your concern.  And if my theistic beliefs cause you to think less of my intellect, so be it. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #182 on: May 07, 2014, 09:02:43 PM »
This idea of Jesus as God incarnate and my savior works for me.

Do you think it's possible that the primitive middle-eastern archetype of "scapegoating" - where the tribe would symbolically heap the sins of the tribe onto a goat and drive it into the desert - is an archetype that is still rattling around in the brains of many people (including yourself) which is why the idea of vicarious redemption is so popular?


Assure a man that he has a soul and then frighten him with old wives tales as to what is to become of it afterwards, and you have a hooked fish, a mental slave.  (Theodore Dreiser)

Could be. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #183 on: May 07, 2014, 09:09:12 PM »
For me, God is that entity that is attempted to be described in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament writings. 

Really? That's it? When you pause and reflect at the global history of homo sapiens (where all of Judaism and Christianity is nothing more than a pin-prick) you feel that the scribblings of pre-scientific, patriarchal desert men from ~2000-3000 years ago in one highly ignorant part of the world, are so robust, that you feel it a good idea to organize your life around it?  I'm sorry OCG, but you're losing my respect for your intellect - as nice a guy as you might be.  I don't know when it occurred, but I think you've been told that this book (likely at a young age) is something to be revered, and I know it's difficult to overcome that, but I think you ought to.

This is why I asked him what made him believe that Jesus is god incarnate, to get to the core of his belief in a god. It worked, and I think he is losing others respect for his intellect as well.

It reminds me of people like WLC, Ray Comfort, and others like them. They're too deep into their belief to dig out, especially when they write books to sell to their followers. If one day any of them admitted to being wrong about the bible, god, Jesus, etc.... what would they tell their followers? That's something I have been thinking about as to why they hold on so tight, they have to keep the lies going to keep their followers.

Just to make sure I understand things: because I choose to embrace theism and because I cannot present irrefutable proof of my belief and because you, as an atheist, do not share my belief, and because I do not attempt to persuade anyone that my belief is correct, therefore I am your intellectual inferior.  Correct?

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #184 on: May 07, 2014, 09:17:29 PM »
This is why I asked him what made him believe that Jesus is god incarnate, to get to the core of his belief in a god. It worked, and I think he is losing others respect for his intellect as well.

It reminds me of people like WLC, Ray Comfort, and others like them. They're too deep into their belief to dig out, especially when they write books to sell to their followers. If one day any of them admitted to being wrong about the bible, god, Jesus, etc.... what would they tell their followers? That's something I have been thinking about as to why they hold on so tight, they have to keep the lies going to keep their followers.

I think that the "investment" factor is huge for most all religious people.  However, OCG is one individual who deserves our patience and gentle prodding (although I might be guilty of seeming somewhat harsh).

And I appreciate your patience and gentle prodding. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #185 on: May 07, 2014, 09:18:48 PM »
I think that the "investment" factor is huge for most all religious people.  However, OCG is one individual who deserves our patience and gentle prodding (although I might be guilty of seeming somewhat harsh).

I agree. I think he has shown himself to be a genuine individual who has so far handled the bombardment to his personal beliefs with remarkable poise, politeness and good humor. For that, I hope we can at the very least be able to respond in a similar fashion.

Oh stop!!!!  Yer makin' me blush!!!!

Red faced,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #186 on: May 07, 2014, 09:49:50 PM »
So they were motivated by what they truly believed. SS and Eddie seem to believe that Christians only cling on to belief because they have an investment in it, not because they truly believe.

Not only did I not say that, but belief and investment are not mutually exclusive.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #187 on: May 07, 2014, 10:02:51 PM »
OK, so you accept that Christians are capable of evaluating evidence and genuinely believing that evidence leads to God?
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #188 on: May 07, 2014, 10:09:31 PM »
OK, so you accept that Christians are capable of evaluating evidence and genuinely believing that evidence leads to God?

In your question, they are already a Christian.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #189 on: May 07, 2014, 10:15:23 PM »
OK, so you accept that Christians are capable of evaluating evidence and genuinely believing that evidence leads to God?

In your question, they are already a Christian.

Fair enough, swap 'Christian' for 'person who may or may not have been told God is real, but decides to evaluate the available evidence'
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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #190 on: May 07, 2014, 10:22:11 PM »
Fair enough, swap 'Christian' for 'person who may or may not have been told God is real, but decides to evaluate the available evidence'

What available evidence?
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #191 on: May 07, 2014, 10:54:17 PM »
Fair enough, swap 'Christian' for 'person who may or may not have been told God is real, but decides to evaluate the available evidence'

What available evidence?

the physical universe (present and historical), the documented history of mankind including the bible and other books, the way humans behave compared to the way other species behave.

Along those lines generally.
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #192 on: May 07, 2014, 11:09:20 PM »
the physical universe (present and historical)

The physical universe is not evidence for a god or gods. It is merely the physical universe.



Quote
the documented history of mankind including the bible and other books

The documented history of mankind is a documented history of mankind, not evidence for a god or gods. (BTW, the Bible is not a historical book, it is a faith book, and it is the claim, not the evidence).




Quote
the way humans behave compared to the way other species behave.

The way humans behave is similar to how many other species behave, (we see levels of morality in the various apes for example) but we are a little different due to our evolutionary history, specifically agriculture, civilization, and most of all the development of language.  We homo sapiens weren't always as we are now, it's been a long, slow process.  This is the illusion that many (I suspect) fall victim to - that we are so different - especially now with all of modernity & technology; it really looks like we are separate from the animal kingdom, but we are not.  We are indeed one carbon-based life form on the tree of life which has evolved over the last 3.5 billion years on this particular planet.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 11:10:59 PM by Star Stuff »
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #193 on: May 07, 2014, 11:12:11 PM »
So they were motivated by what they truly believed. SS and Eddie seem to believe that Christians only cling on to belief because they have an investment in it, not because they truly believe.

I would add peer group pressure to that list. If you just found a Bible lying around on a table, and nobody else had heard of it, the chances of you believing it would be very low, IMHO.

Further, if you found a Bible lying around, and everybody else told you that it was disproven hokum, and you couldn't find any peer group that believed it, then the only reason you might believe it would be to go against the crowd.

Some parts of it are plausible, but the real magic ingredient is the peer groups that assure you that you will burn in hell if you don't join their club.
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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #194 on: May 07, 2014, 11:28:11 PM »
Not the first time you'll have heard this I'm sure, but would you agree that the early Christians most definitely had nothing to gain from proclaiming a resurrected Jesus, and a lot to lose? What do you suppose motivated those Christians?

We have no idea of how or who "early Christians" were, or how much any groups were persecuted. The early history is a complete blank or probable fabrication until well after the religion had been formulated. We can't even prove whether the first gospels were written in Hebrew, or not. Scholars are divided on whether St Ignatius was real. We know that some of the prominent Christians, by 150AD were being persecuted (BY OTHER CHRISTIANS), but only by the word of later Christians, around 250AD who didn't seem to be persecuted.

Christianity, during its development phase, spread out into areas where it was not persecuted. Given the vacuum of information, you can make up any story you like about Christians being persecuted.
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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #195 on: May 07, 2014, 11:36:54 PM »
Notice how Paul's letters to his minions aren't: "Gosh, I'm sorry you guys are being attacked every day.". But he does openly admit to attacking another group of Christians who believed other things about Jesus.

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Offline magicmiles

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #196 on: May 07, 2014, 11:37:36 PM »
the physical universe (present and historical)

The physical universe is not evidence for a god or gods. It is merely the physical universe.

It is only 'merely the physical universe' if nobody ever wonders how it came about. But the opposite is true. So it's a starting point. It's possible for somebody to conclude that the physical universe was created, and that it was God who did the creating. It isn't definitive, but it certainly isn't 'just the physical universe'



Quote
the documented history of mankind including the bible and other books

The documented history of mankind is a documented history of mankind, not evidence for a god or gods. (BTW, the Bible is not a historical book, it is a faith book, and it is the claim, not the evidence).

If a person can use the physical universe as a starting point (it exists, where did it come from), it makes sense to examine closely a book that claims God created it. You may not accept that the bible is in any way a reliable historical book, but countless believe it is (without necessarily making the jump to belief in God, mind you). Many, many people of those people have much greater qualification than you (or me) to make the assessment.


Quote
the way humans behave compared to the way other species behave.

The way humans behave is similar to how many other species behave, (we see levels of morality in the various apes for example) but we are a little different due to our evolutionary history, specifically agriculture, civilization, and most of all the development of language.  We homo sapiens weren't always as we are now, it's been a long, slow process.  This is the illusion that many (I suspect) fall victim to - that we are so different - especially now with all of modernity & technology; it really looks like we are separate from the animal kingdom, but we are not.  We are indeed one carbon-based life form on the tree of life which has evolved over the last 3.5 billion years on this particular planet.

Other people, having wondered how the physical universe came about, and having determined that the book which claims it was God has significant historical merit, and in the absence of any other claim as to how the physical universe came about, look at the behavioural differences and determine that mankind appears different because mankind actually IS different...as described in the bible.

I maintain that intelligent people can use those things to believe God is real.

 
Go on up you baldhead.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #197 on: May 07, 2014, 11:42:20 PM »
Notice how Paul's letters to his minions aren't: "Gosh, I'm sorry you guys are being attacked every day.". But he does openly admit to attacking another group of Christians who believed other things about Jesus.

I'm never going to have the time, or even close to the knowledge base, to have a meaningful discussion with you about these things.
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #198 on: May 08, 2014, 12:02:46 AM »
It is only 'merely the physical universe' if nobody ever wonders how it came about.

So incredibly wrong. Wondering how it "came about" doesn't change one aspect of how it came about. The universe doesn't suspect our existence.  What do you think all those scientists/astrophysysists etc have been working so hard for all these years?  They really want to know more about the universe and how it "came about".  It may very well be that it didn't "come about", but that it has always been.




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It's possible for somebody to conclude that the physical universe was created

Sure, conclude on presupposition and ignorance, not evidence.

"Gods are the finish line which are drawn at the start."




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....and that it was God who did the creating.

You mean daddy?  What do you mean when you say "god"?










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If a person can use the physical universe as a starting point (it exists, where did it come from)....

Again, perhaps there is an error built into the question; "come from".  For perhaps it didn't "come from" anywhere or anything.  Dream about gods (father figures) all you want, but it is a primitive, infantile first guess.




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...it makes sense to examine closely a book that claims God created it.

But the thing is, the closer one examines said book, the more painfully obvious it is that it could not be "the word of the creator of the universe, it's got human fingerprints all over every page.



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You may not accept that the bible is in any way a reliable historical book, but countless believe it is

Point being?

http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/appeals/appeal-to-popularity/






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Many, many people of those people have much greater qualification than you (or me) to make the assessment.

Qualified?  How?  Is an astrologer more qualified than me to assess the truthiness of their assertions?  Dude, I used to live & breathe christianity; born & raised in it; bible studies; summer camp; prayer meetings; witnessing; baptized when I was 18.  What more "qualifications" do I need?




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Other people, having wondered how the physical universe came about, and having determined that the book which claims it was God has significant historical merit, and in the absence of any other claim as to how the physical universe came about, look at the behavioural differences and determine that mankind appears different because mankind actually IS different...as described in the bible.

Again, the "came about" question may be inherently erroneous.  I explained how humans are and aren't different - didn't you read that part?  It would be nice if you acknowledge if I make a valid point instead of just more squirming.




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I maintain that intelligent people can use those things to believe God is real.

Sure they can, that's why we have thousands of gods, but that lazy leap is done without a shred of evidence.

 "Believing is easier than thinking, thus so many more believers than thinkers."
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 12:08:51 AM by Star Stuff »
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #199 on: May 08, 2014, 12:41:59 AM »
It is only 'merely the physical universe' if nobody ever wonders how it came about.

So incredibly wrong. Wondering how it "came about" doesn't change one aspect of how it came about. The universe doesn't suspect our existence.  What do you think all those scientists/astrophysysists etc have been working so hard for all these years?  They really want to know more about the universe and how it "came about".  It may very well be that it didn't "come about", but that it has always been.

The key word I challenged was 'merely'. As you clearly agree, we all want to know how the universe came about. We all think about it. I didn't suggest that wondering how it came about leads automatically to 'God made it'. At least, I certainly didn't intend to suggest that. It's a starting point. It exists. It came about.

And if you're willing to contemplate that the universe has just 'always been', which it appears you are, it seems like you shouldn't dismiss any suggestion that God has 'always been'



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It's possible for somebody to conclude that the physical universe was created

Sure, conclude on presupposition and ignorance, not evidence.

"Gods are the finish line which are drawn at the start."

No, conclude on the fact that we have no knowledge of anything, ever, just appearing.



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....and that it was God who did the creating.

You mean daddy?  What do you mean when you say "god"?

I mean the thing we best describe as a deity, an eternal intelligent being, as somewhat described in the bible.

I assume you're a grown man. Saying 'Daddy', even to try and be snide, is just really damn creepy and off.


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If a person can use the physical universe as a starting point (it exists, where did it come from)....

Again, perhaps there is an error built into the question; "come from".  For perhaps it didn't "come from" anywhere or anything.  Dream about gods (father figures) all you want, but it is a primitive, infantile first guess. )

See point above, it is more reasonable to believe that the physical universe came from somewhere/something/someone than otherwise


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...it makes sense to examine closely a book that claims God created it.

But the thing is, the closer one examines said book, the more painfully obvious it is that it could not be "the word of the creator of the universe, it's got human fingerprints all over every page.

Many disagree with your assessment. They aren't automatically wrong, and you right.



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You may not accept that the bible is in any way a reliable historical book, but countless believe it is

Point being?

http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/appeals/appeal-to-popularity/

double edged sword. Unless of course you're happy to accept that a majority of scientists accepting evolution means jack shit.



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Many, many people of those people have much greater qualification than you (or me) to make the assessment.

Qualified?  How?  Is an astrologer more qualified than me to assess the truthiness of their assertions?  Dude, I used to live & breathe christianity; born & raised in it; bible studies; summer camp; prayer meetings; witnessing; baptized when I was 18.  What more "qualifications" do I need? .

Specifically what I referred to here was that there are people highly skilled and qualified in the historical method who accept that the bible is a significant historical document, independent of its faith claims



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Other people, having wondered how the physical universe came about, and having determined that the book which claims it was God has significant historical merit, and in the absence of any other claim as to how the physical universe came about, look at the behavioural differences and determine that mankind appears different because mankind actually IS different...as described in the bible.

Again, the "came about" question may be inherently erroneous.  I explained how humans are and aren't different - didn't you read that part?  It would be nice if you acknowledge if I make a valid point instead of just more squirming.

It's a valid point to make, not necessarily the correct one. There is an alternate explanation.




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I maintain that intelligent people can use those things to believe God is real.

Sure they can, that's why we have thousands of gods, but that lazy leap is done without a shred of evidence.

 "Believing is easier than thinking, thus so many more believers than thinkers."

I submit that you haven't come even close to demonstrating that belief in God has no foundation in evidence.
Go on up you baldhead.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #200 on: May 08, 2014, 01:35:58 AM »
Specifically what I referred to here was that there are people highly skilled and qualified in the historical method who accept that the bible is a significant historical document, independent of its faith claims.

Not really, There is no archeological evidence that King David existed.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/davidjer.html

The Jews just wrote whateva they wanted into it.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #201 on: May 08, 2014, 01:56:08 AM »
Surprising they wrote him up as a murderous adulterer. Crazy Jews.
Go on up you baldhead.

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: How to remain Christian
« Reply #202 on: May 08, 2014, 01:58:21 AM »
I submit that you haven't come even close to demonstrating that belief in God has no foundation in evidence.

Can you provide an example of something that exists that can't be evidence for god?
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire