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Offline Star Stuff

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Christians, please explain
« on: February 08, 2016, 09:14:37 PM »
In the past I have posted various graphics which illustrate how - according to Christianity - God's "revelation" of himself to us was limited to one single pin-prick on earth geographically, and in time, but this animated graphic I recently saw really drives this home.  Please watch the whole thing, it really is amazing:

http://www.vox.com/2016/1/30/10872878/world-population-map

Now, Christians, can you please explain why your god would do the absolute worst job possible at revealing himself as he did?  I mean I don't actually accept/believe that your cartoon character of a god exists, or that the evolved & imagined character of Jesus actually existed, or if he did, he was just some eccentric nut-case, but if your god does exist, and Jesus is his representative, why did he fully ignore the vast majority of humanity - the very people he was trying to reach?

This was one thing that always bothered me when I was a Christian, and the lack of a good explanation played a role in my awakening from the drunken stupor of faith.  I hope & trust that you too will wake up from said false beliefs, and abandon them, accepting instead a purely naturalistic world view.  We dearly need more rational people on this planet.













« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 10:27:55 PM by Star Stuff »
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 09:33:15 PM »
As a JW kid, it worried me a lot that we would never reach everyone before Armageddon. I knew there were not nearly enough of us and we were not convincing hardly anyone. Our rate of conversion was, like 1% if that. All that house to housing for such a tiny return.

Now I think this was a crazy idea to even put in a child's head. I wish I could go back in time and, as a 10 year old tell every adult JW: "If Jehovah God wants everyone in the world to know his good news, don't you think he is much better equipped to tell it than we are?"  :angel:
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2016, 10:35:26 AM »
God knew eventually the Romans would accept Jesus,spread Christianity through Europe. God knew the Spanish and Europeans would spread it to the new world. God however was not concerned about the trail of a few hundred million dead,just a cost of spreading the word. God,you must remember is not shy about killing things to get his message out. Does that about cover the Christian response?
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Offline Boots

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2016, 12:31:35 PM »
bm (to check the movie later)
...religion is simply tribalism with a side order of philosophical wankery, and occasionally a baseball bat to smash...anyone who doesn't show...deference to the tribe's chosen totem.

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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2016, 02:28:43 PM »
Now, Christians, can you please explain why your god would do the absolute worst job possible at revealing himself as he did?

This does bring to mind the related question of The Salvation Gap - what of the people after the Fall and before the resurrection of Jesus?  Having any gap in time between the Fall and the offer for salvation seems to be a poor decision on par with this geographically limited revelation issue.  But GotQuestions response to the salvation gap issue might lend some insight into the geographical question:

Quote from: The Imaginations of Others Who Do Not Wish to Think Too Hard About Stuff
God's requirement of what must be believed is based on the amount of revelation He has given mankind up to that time. This is called progressive revelation.
http://www.gotquestions.org/before-Jesus.html

Basically, as far as I can tell, slow revelation is apparently part of The PlanTM.  According to the silly, silly people over at GotQuestions, what's necessary for salvation is faith, and the thing to have faith in is god.  The way you have faith in god is to believe god.  What god says - that is, the content of belief - changes over time.

I suppose I shouldn't knock the silly, silly people over at GotQuestions too much on this one though.  I stand to benefit from such a view.  After all, I utterly and completely believe absolutely every single bit of communication god has given to me.  I have not once disbelieved a single thing that god has told me.  My faith is strong.  The fact that 'progressive revelation' looks indistinguishable from "different people making different shit up at different times in different places" should be no cause for concern.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2016, 03:50:22 PM »

Now, Christians, can you please explain why your god would do the absolute worst job possible at revealing himself as he did? 

Could you kindly elaborate? What did God do, or what did He fail to do, that you deem it to be the "absolute worst job possible?"

Quote
This was one thing that always bothered me when I was a Christian, and the lack of a good explanation played a role in my awakening from the drunken stupor of faith.  I hope & trust that you too will wake up from said false beliefs, and abandon them, accepting instead a purely naturalistic world view.

Perhaps if you made a list of the things that naturalism is unable to presently explain, you may realize just how questionable it is as a worldview. In order to view it as thee worldview, you must assume that it is capable of answering significant questions, such as how the universe began, how life began, consciousness, reason, logic, morals.... and on and on and on and on the list goes. It is, in large part, nothing more than a science-of-the-gaps position to hold.

"Contrary to the basic assumptions of naturalists, naturalism is a matter of one’s belief. To argue, for instance, that ‘there is no God’ or that ‘the material universe is all that there is’ are statements that cannot possibly be empirically verified; science is not equipped to discover that nature is all there is or ever will be. So, contrary to their own rules of thinking regarding science, they make statements that are far beyond the realm of testable science. Their views and methodology are self-contradictory." http://allanturner.com/magazine/Moyer014.html


Quote
We dearly need more rational people on this planet.

There is certainly nothing irrational about a belief in God if that is what you are implying. The fact that you and others decline to share in that belief does not make it irrational. In fact, the lack of a naturalistic worldview to explain so much is, in itself, a contributing factor for God to be a rational belief.



Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2016, 04:08:16 PM »
In the past I have posted various graphics which illustrate how - according to Christianity - God's "revelation" of himself to us was limited to one single pin-prick on earth geographically, and in time, but this animated graphic I recently saw really drives this home.  Please watch the whole thing, it really is amazing:

http://www.vox.com/2016/1/30/10872878/world-population-map

Now, Christians, can you please explain why your god would do the absolute worst job possible at revealing himself as he did?  I mean I don't actually accept/believe that your cartoon character of a god exists, or that the evolved & imagined character of Jesus actually existed, or if he did, he was just some eccentric nut-case, but if your god does exist, and Jesus is his representative, why did he fully ignore the vast majority of humanity - the very people he was trying to reach?

This was one thing that always bothered me when I was a Christian, and the lack of a good explanation played a role in my awakening from the drunken stupor of faith.  I hope & trust that you too will wake up from said false beliefs, and abandon them, accepting instead a purely naturalistic world view.  We dearly need more rational people on this planet.






I like this point a lot.  Not only did he reach out to only one small segment of the world, but he ascended to heaven very quickly.  He could have stayed on earth and reached out to many generations in Israel and the Middle East - and that might have solidified people's beliefs over time.  It's very odd he would ascend to heaven quickly and leave it up to humans to convince people, and, as you say, not even do that much in the overwhelming majority of the world.  It's a huge red flag, but when you want to believe, it's so hard to let go, and you'll do anything to keep believing.  I was there myself, and I guess many others on here were there as well.  What so many Christians don't understand is that we don't view them that much differently from a cult like The People's Temple.  We see now that religions are basically cults to some degree, though some are way more restrictive than others, and have much fewer followers.

Offline jetson

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2016, 04:09:03 PM »
BS.

A case was presented, to which you seemingly cannot answer. Instead, you attempt to turn it around as though any discussion critical of a god or gods has no more merit. You are of course very wrong if you truly think this is the case. Gods have been proposed for centuries of human existence, none of which have any basis in reality as demonstrated by the very absence of anything remotely resembling a god or gods.

Mythical stories, regardless of their origin, or their persistence among humans have nothing to show beyond the stories. Nothing.

Your little act and set of questions is pretty childish. It also shows you know little to nothing about the mythologies you seem to think have a basis in reality outside of delusional belief.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2016, 04:47:30 PM »
BS, can you address the main points of the OP instead of giving a wordy version of the schoolyard, "Oh yeah? Well, you can't come up with anything better, so that means I am right. So there!"

I may not know how to cure leprosy. But I do know that praying over them, touching them and sprinkling a dead bird's blood on them won't work.  BS, you are saying that if I can't cure leprosy I should be fine with the bird's blood thing. I may not know what the square root of 4,777,996,321 is. However,  I can tell you right now that it is not 2. But you are saying the equivalent of "Nah, nah, the answer is so 2, and if it is not 2, what is it and if you don't know what it is, how can you say it is not 2?"  :?

So, no, scientists, atheists, whoever, may not be able to tell you everything there is to know about the universe and give you all the answers to life's persistent questions. But none of that means that we have to default to the god of the bible. So far, no answers to anything have come from anyone's idea of god.

Actual unknown information about the world: factual descriptions of the solar system, instructions for how to invent new things, real factual useful information about the future (like dates of tsunamis or earthquakes so people can leave the day before), even the basics of how to avoid germs to prevent disease transmission--god neglected to explain any of that to people in all of the overly long sacred texts.

God did not even tell people anywhere that there were other inhabited continents on the other side of the globe from them. Both the Old World and the New World were surprised to encounter each other, not to mention the people of the Pacific. Maybe because he did not know any of that info himself?

Nah, had to be another really important and good reason for not explaining about washing hands and boiling water and keeping mosquitoes away from kids in malaria regions. Had to have a good reason for no heads up on the earthquakes. Would have saved millions of people from easily prevented suffering and death, but god must have had his reasons. He wanted to do things the best possible way. That has to be it.

Back to the OP: Is there a good reason for an all powerful, wise and loving god-being spending all his time and doing all his interactions with humans in that tiny area of the world? Why is it that god is so geographically confined as to avoid all world's the major population centers of the time? Is it wise or loving for god to completely ignore most of Europe, Africa, Asia and all of the Americas and the Pacific for over a thousand years?

It is a strange coincidence that gods (every god, not just yours, BS) can only travel as fast and as far as the contemporary transportation and communication technology developed by humans. Doesn't that seem a bit curious to you? I would love to have a sensible answer to why gods can't climb mountains or cross oceans without human help.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2016, 05:08:39 PM »
I do not know the value of x, therefore it is rational to believe that x = 4.
The value of x cannot be flobort, therefore it is rational to believe that x = 4.
Fluid dynamics fails to provide an answer for the cube root of pi, therefore it is rational to believe that underwater basket weaving can provide an answer.

BibleStudent, I suspect that you can quite readily see what is wrong with the above statements.  What I don't think you understand is, at least from my perspective, your god-belief looks no different than those above statements.

Naturalism does not know the explanation for x, therefore it is rational to believe that the explanation for x is god.

I know, I know...the above doesn't capture it.  The "naturalism doesn't explain everything" bit is only a part of your god-belief.

Perhaps, BibleStudent, you should consider making a list of all the reasons why you have this god-belief, and see just how many of those reasons to the form of "because otherwise I cannot explain x, therefore god as an explanation for x is rational."  Give it a whirl.  Doesn't have to be here.  It's really just for your own edification.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2016, 08:56:42 PM »
BS, considering your god said that anyone who doesn't worship it "Correctly" is damned to eternal torture, I do hope you can figure out what it did wrong in announcing itself to ignorant men in one tiny area.

You know, why was this god so stupid not to use "mass communication"?  And then blame humans for its omniscien/omnipotent failure? 
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2016, 09:18:37 PM »
Could you kindly elaborate? What did God do, or what did He fail to do, that you deem it to be the "absolute worst job possible?"

Sure, I'd be happy to elaborate, although I find it odd that further elaboration should be required, as it's painfully clear.

According to one of the foundational tenets of Christianity, getting "saved" (a purely nonsensical, superstitious, infantile concept) and getting into "heaven" (a purely childish, superstitious concept), require accepting God's "son" (what is this - Bonanza?) as your personal lord & saviour.  It's clearly spelled out in your bible (that ridiculous book you've been hypnotized by): John 14: 6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

So it is unambiguously clear that knowing of, believing in and accepting as personal lord & saviour this Jesus character is the ONLY way to get a ticket into eternal bliss and avoiding eternal torture, yet, your god fully ignored giving this option to the majority of humanity because they were born at the wrong place & time.  So either your god is completely inept, insane, or imaginary, take your pick.



Quote
There is certainly nothing irrational about a belief in God if that is what you are implying.

Yes there is.



Quote
The fact that you and others decline to share in that belief does not make it irrational.

That is true. It is irrational all by itself.  The fact that a whole bunch of people hold this belief does not make it rational either, this logical fallacy is known as "argumentum ad populum", but I'm sure you know that already.


« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 12:56:20 PM by Star Stuff »
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2016, 09:48:40 PM »
I do not "decline to share" in god-belief. I am incapable of sharing in it.

Just like I am incapable of sharing in a belief in Bigfoot, alien abduction, ghosts, the mummy's curse, demons, Klingons, chubacabras, Tinkerbell, bakas, genies who live inside of magic lamps and grant wishes, departed spirits who speak through Ouija boards, psychic healers who pull diseased organs out of people with their bare hands, horse whisperers, or beanstalks with castles and giants at the top. I am not able to believe in things that are blatantly untrue or have no evidence whatsoever to support them.

To say that I "decline to share" in religious belief makes it sound as if there is a real god is sitting there, Yoda-like, clearly visible and large as life, floating in front of me like a turkey on a giant platter.  Everyone around me can also see and hear him-- other people, no matter what religion, all describe god the same exact way as I see him.

He is tells me all these marvelous things about the universe, like how to predict earthquakes, and how to develop a vaccine for malaria. I create the vaccine and warn people about upcoming earthquakes. And so on. Millions of lives are saved. I thus have plenty of concrete, convincing evidence that he is the real deal. And after all that, I walk away, shaking my head at this very obvious, visible, incredibly knowledgeable god person, saying, "No thank you, god. I see you and I hear you. I know that you have proven to me that you are the real deal. But because I am arrogant, stubborn and like to sin, I decline to share in believing in you."

That is such a silly scenario that it was actually hard for me to type it out. There is nothing like that wise, useful god that everyone can see and hear clearly. There is no evidence or proof. There are only imaginary stories in old books, wishful thinking, complicated nonsensical arguments, occasional coincidences, plus the human ability to pretend that things are real when they are not.

I am supposed to agree to the existence of a invisible powerful magical being because it says so in a book, and because it would be nice if it was real? I would rather believe in Aladdin's genie or Tinkerbell, then. To my knowledge, neither ever advocated slavery or genocide.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2016, 10:03:14 PM by nogodsforme »
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2016, 10:56:42 PM »
In addition, I would want to point out that the video linked in my OP begins at just over 2000 years ago, so it doesn't even show or account for all of the millions (billions?) of humans who lived before that over a very long period of time all over the planet.  Reflect on the fact that there were humans on the Australian continent 50,000 years ago!


« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 12:15:12 AM by Star Stuff »
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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2016, 12:06:22 AM »

Now, Christians, can you please explain why your god would do the absolute worst job possible at revealing himself as he did? 

Could you kindly elaborate? What did God do, or what did He fail to do, that you deem it to be the "absolute worst job possible?"

Quote
This was one thing that always bothered me when I was a Christian, and the lack of a good explanation played a role in my awakening from the drunken stupor of faith.  I hope & trust that you too will wake up from said false beliefs, and abandon them, accepting instead a purely naturalistic world view.

Perhaps if you made a list of the things that naturalism is unable to presently explain, you may realize just how questionable it is as a worldview. In order to view it as thee worldview, you must assume that it is capable of answering significant questions, such as how the universe began, how life began, consciousness, reason, logic, morals.... and on and on and on and on the list goes. It is, in large part, nothing more than a science-of-the-gaps position to hold.

"Contrary to the basic assumptions of naturalists, naturalism is a matter of one’s belief. To argue, for instance, that ‘there is no God’ or that ‘the material universe is all that there is’ are statements that cannot possibly be empirically verified; science is not equipped to discover that nature is all there is or ever will be. So, contrary to their own rules of thinking regarding science, they make statements that are far beyond the realm of testable science. Their views and methodology are self-contradictory." http://allanturner.com/magazine/Moyer014.html


Quote
We dearly need more rational people on this planet.

There is certainly nothing irrational about a belief in God if that is what you are implying. The fact that you and others decline to share in that belief does not make it irrational. In fact, the lack of a naturalistic worldview to explain so much is, in itself, a contributing factor for God to be a rational belief.

Absolutely none of this answers the criticism of your flavor of "God".

Many variants of god could choose not to reveal themselves at all, and a naturalistic look at the world, shows a god who doesn't reveal itself.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

Offline Astreja

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2016, 12:35:08 AM »
I do not "decline to share" in god-belief. I am incapable of sharing in it.

I am also incapable of sharing in it.  My rational mind tells Me that it is absurd and primitive, the work of humans who did not yet possess the tools and knowledge to come up with better answers to questions like "Where did lightning come from?"  "What are those speckles of light in the night sky?"  "Why did my grandmother die after eating that plant?"

God-based hypotheses explain nothing worthwhile with any rigour or demonstrable accuracy.  They merely pin us to our own ignorance and impede our discovery of the universe.
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Offline Basset Hound

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2016, 01:49:36 AM »
Because the Bibble God, and the Crosstian god and the Mohammer Mud god and variants, are mere versions of a little Canaanite demon-god called Yahooey.  the last and least of the sons of Elyon the Shitter.

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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2016, 09:42:02 AM »
God-based hypotheses explain nothing worthwhile with any rigour or demonstrable accuracy.  They merely pin us to our own ignorance and impede our discovery of the universe.

God-based hypotheses seem to, more often than not, conflate explaining with labeling.  A theist will label a phenomenon or set of phenomenon as 'work of god' and mistake that for an explanation of a phenomenon or set of phenomenon.

I suspect that some theists - and I would guess BibleStudent is one of them - would imagine that some people believe that 'dark matter' is an explanation of something.  It isn't.  It is a label for something that is currently unexplained.  We have the label dark matter to reference a particular set of phenomenon that we've observed and are exploring.  God-based hypotheses do the labeling, but forget to do the exploring part, which happens, I think, because of the aforementioned conflation of explanation and label.
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Offline stuffin

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2016, 03:33:33 PM »
Once again, the lack of an explanation for everything is proof the is a god.    :angel:
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2016, 06:43:41 PM »
^^^And god remains the thing that does not need any explanation..... :?
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline kcrady

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2016, 10:13:52 PM »
Shorter Bible Student: "SQUIRREL!"

Perhaps if you made a list of the things that naturalism is unable to presently explain, you may realize just how questionable it is as a worldview. In order to view it as thee worldview, you must assume that it is capable of answering significant questions, such as how the universe began, how life began, consciousness, reason, logic, morals.... and on and on and on and on the list goes. It is, in large part, nothing more than a science-of-the-gaps position to hold.

There's a Great Big Difference between "god of the gaps" and "science of the gaps:" science has a long and astonishingly successful track record of filling in gaps of knowledge with actual, demonstrably valid knowledge.  In fact, filling in gaps of knowledge is what science is for.  No other proposed way of knowing even comes close.  Can you list ten things any religion has discovered about "the supernatural" in the last thousand years?  You guys still can't even provide a meaningful definition of the word.  I trust that, given the fact that we're communicating via a global computer network, you'd admit that science has made numerous advances in knowledge within that period. 
 
"God of the gaps" on the other hand, is a thought-stopper.  Let's say you're confronted by some gap in knowledge:

Q: "Why can't the Chicago Cubs win a World Series?"

A: "God doesn't want them to win."

Great, we're all done here, right?  Explain that, naturalism!  Except...you haven't learned a single thing about baseball, the Cubs, or anything else.  Nor can you now make any useful predictions about what will happen with the Cubs or the World Series in the future.  If the Cubs win the next World Series, you'll just say, "Well, God changed His mind!"  If you were the Cubs' coach or the owner of the team, you couldn't propose any method that would increase the likelihood of your team winning a World Series.  You can't even actually show that Yahweh or any other deity doesn't want the Cubs to win a World Series, such as by inviting the deity to interview on ESPN.  All throwing "God" into a knowledge gap does is paper over your ignorance and let you pretend you've got an answer.

Let's take that list of "inexplicables" you offered and show how invoking Yahweh doesn't actually provide answers:

How the universe began: Christians either just borrow scientific cosmology lock stock and barrel (like William Lane Craig), or claim that ancient fanciful tales are Da Troof.  Either way, nothing is learned about cosmic origins.  Furthermore, Christianity just punts: this "finely tuned" abode for life just came from another ("supernatural") "finely-tuned" abode for ("supernatural") life, "Heaven."  Where did that come from, and how did it get to be "fine-tuned" for divine and supernatural life?  LA LA LA LA LAAAA, CAN'T HEEAAARRR YOUUUUU, MOVE ALONG!"

How life began: Same thing: either borrow scientific evolution (WLC) or propose a miraculous super-evolution, a few hundred "kinds" evolving into millions of species in a thousand years or so (Answers in Genesis) to paper over a giant hole in an ancient flood myth.  Ultimately, life supposedly came from....other ("supernatural") life, and let's not ask where the "supernatural" life came from.

Consciousness: No actual explanation, consciousness is "just there" in the person of Yahweh, even if the particular sort of anthropomorphic consciousness he's supposed to have makes no sense in the context of a being that is supposedly non-anthropomorphic (he couldn't actually be fitted for a business suit, could he?) and by nature metaphysically solitary.

Reason, logic: No explanation.  Either these things apply to Yahweh (in which case, he cannot serve as their explanation; they're ontologically prior to him), or he invented them.  If the latter: what were things (including Yahweh) like before, when there was no such thing as reason or logic?

Morals: Same as above.  Either morals apply to Yahweh (he's "good" according to some standard), or he invented them.  If the former, then morality is ontologically prior to Yahweh.  If the latter, then they're arbitrary (he could just as easily have said that eating beef was "an abomination unto the Lord" as eating pork, etc.) and subjective.

"Contrary to the basic assumptions of naturalists, naturalism is a matter of one’s belief. To argue, for instance, that ‘there is no God’ or that ‘the material universe is all that there is’ are statements that cannot possibly be empirically verified;

Bollocks.  Both statements explain and predict how reality actually behaves.  Sure, a philosopher or theologian could argue that Apollo could be living in a little Greek temple on a planet orbiting Aldebaran or something (and no one can disprove that), but when it comes to living in reality we're all pretty safe acting on the premise that there is no Apollo, until he actually shows up in one way or another.[1]  You profess to believe in an omniscient, all-powerful deity who wuvs you oooooooh, sooo much.  But, should you start feeling pains in your chest or abdomen (appendix region) you will behave exactly like an atheist: call an ambulance, instead of expecting an angel to show up.  Sure, you'll pray to Yahweh and ask him to "guide the hand of the surgeon," but you know better than to suggest that people who make such prayers actually get better outcomes from surgery (that would be statistically measurable).

You live in the same godless Universe we do.  Whether you like it or not.  Yahweh can't ever be more than a collection of thoughts in your head.

science is not equipped to discover that nature is all there is or ever will be. So, contrary to their own rules of thinking regarding science, they make statements that are far beyond the realm of testable science. Their views and methodology are self-contradictory." http://allanturner.com/magazine/Moyer014.html

"Nature" is just a label we use for "all that stuff out there."  You add another label ("supernatural") for other stuff you say is out there (Yahweh, angels, etc.), while denying that the superdupernatural, the hypernatural, the trans-supernatural etc. exist.  Notice how those last three are just multisyllabic chatter with no actual content?  "Supernatural" is the same. 

Let's say you're confronted with something beyond current understanding, like a flying saucer that can make 90-degree turns at supersonic speed while engaging in (apparently) reactionless propulsion (it doesn't have to shoot or push something in one direction in order to move in the opposite direction).  Is it "supernatural?"  Or is it "natural," but behaving in accordance with physics beyond our understanding?  Electric lights and microwave ovens would have looked like supernatural sorcery to any Biblical prophet.  How could you tell if it's "supernatural" or not?

Or, imagine that Lucifer decides to land on the White House lawn tomorrow.  Being in a good mood, he allows scientists to examine him, and does his best to help them in their inquiries.  Since he has to work in some way (he's "Lucifer" rather than Parvati or Ma'at or the Tao or Yahweh or Freya or Hephaestus or Lady Gaga), and has a particular nature (there are things he can and can't do, etc.), let's say the scientists eventually figure out how he works.  They discover that he's made of interacting pico-vortices of Spirit-Plenum (or whatever), and they write equations that explain its behavior.  Is Lucifer still "supernatural?"

There is certainly nothing irrational about a belief in God if that is what you are implying. The fact that you and others decline to share in that belief does not make it irrational.

Nope, our unbelief is not what makes "belief in God" irrational.  The fact that it is not consistent with how reality behaves and can't be used to make useful predictions, is.

In fact, the lack of a naturalistic worldview to explain so much is, in itself, a contributing factor for God to be a rational belief.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.  It looks like you're saying, "If you don't have a naturalistic worldview that actually explains so much, believing in Yahweh seems rational."  The fact of the matter is, we do have a naturalistic worldview that "explains so much," so, in the words of Laplace, we have no need of that (Yahweh) hypothesis.
 1. The cool thing about being rational skeptics is, we can change our minds and update our understanding of reality if something like that ever happens.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2016, 11:46:35 AM »
Could you kindly elaborate? What did God do, or what did He fail to do, that you deem it to be the "absolute worst job possible?"
Isn't it obvious?  Every single thing your god supposedly did in the Bible - not counting grandiose claims made by people trying to figure out how the world came about - happened in a tiny section of the world.  There are states in the US which cover more geographical area than YHWH did.  So while Star Stuff's statement might be a bit hyperbolic - it wasn't the absolute worst job possible - it is quite clear that YHWH really, really sucks at this whole "being a god" schtick.  I think some humans could do a better job at being gods than YHWH did.

Quote from: BibleStudent
Perhaps if you made a list of the things that naturalism is unable to presently explain, you may realize just how questionable it is as a worldview. In order to view it as thee worldview, you must assume that it is capable of answering significant questions, such as how the universe began, how life began, consciousness, reason, logic, morals.... and on and on and on and on the list goes. It is, in large part, nothing more than a science-of-the-gaps position to hold.
Nice attempt to turn the "god of the gaps" argument around, but unfortunately for you, it still backfired.  It's certainly true that science hasn't explained everything, or even close to it, but it's done a better job at explaining things than anything else humans have come up with, which includes the encapsulated ignorance collectively known as "gods".  It's kind of like the old saying about democracy, how it's the worst system of governance, except for everything else that has already been tried.

It may be that someone, in the future, will come up with a better way to explain things than science and the scientific method, but that does not justify buying into an ancient belief system which worked so poorly at explaining the world that its own adherents kept trying to kill each other off when they came up with alternatives that one group or another wasn't willing to accept.  No amount of quibbling over what science can't yet explain will change the fact that it has explained countless things which your own belief system never did, and never could, and that it has done so in a way which allows us to use those things to our own benefit, rather than simply living in fear of them.

Quote from: BibleStudent
There is certainly nothing irrational about a belief in God if that is what you are implying. The fact that you and others decline to share in that belief does not make it irrational. In fact, the lack of a naturalistic worldview to explain so much is, in itself, a contributing factor for God to be a rational belief.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is fundamentally irrational to believe that a god - any god - worshiped by people who lived thousands of years ago can serve as an explanation for things which science has not yet explained, considering that this same god failed to explain all of the things that science has in fact explained.  Every time science explained something that religion had come up with a pseudo-explanation for, such as lightning or disease, it was a body blow to the power and prestige of religion.  It is no accident that the power of religion in the world started declining at the same time that scientific methodology was devised.  And whether you like it or not, it will continue to decline, because science is far, far better at explaining things than religion ever will be, because religion was not invented to explain things in the first place.

Even you, who has stated that you will never give up your religion until science has explained every last thing that you do not understand, still rely on science rather than your religion for most things in your life.  Because despite your unwillingness to admit it, you know deep down that your religion can't explain those things either.  But facing that is so threatening that you can't even think about it, and so you focus your attention on what science has not yet explained in an attempt to avoid having to deal with it.  That's why you keep coming back here to argue with us, I bet.

If you were truly satisfied that your religion explained the things that science does not yet explain, you would be able to use the religious explanations rather than having to question the scientific ones.  Yet you never do that, and indeed, when someone challenges you to give a religious answer, you say something superficial and then change the subject.  Sometimes you don't even do that much.  And that's why I feel sorry for you.  It's like you have an itch that you can't scratch, but you aren't willing to let us scratch it either, and when we try to call you on it, you try to pretend that you don't have an itch at all.
Nullus In Verba, aka "Take nobody's word for it!"  If you can't show it, then you don't know it.

Offline median

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2016, 01:20:11 PM »
In the past I have posted various graphics which illustrate how - according to Christianity - God's "revelation" of himself to us was limited to one single pin-prick on earth geographically, and in time, but this animated graphic I recently saw really drives this home.  Please watch the whole thing, it really is amazing:

http://www.vox.com/2016/1/30/10872878/world-population-map

Now, Christians, can you please explain why your god would do the absolute worst job possible at revealing himself as he did?  I mean I don't actually accept/believe that your cartoon character of a god exists, or that the evolved & imagined character of Jesus actually existed, or if he did, he was just some eccentric nut-case, but if your god does exist, and Jesus is his representative, why did he fully ignore the vast majority of humanity - the very people he was trying to reach?


I predict the apologists here (and elsewhere) will just shirk-off the notion that god ignored the vast majority of humanity. What they will do (and this is what they ultimately always do), when apologetic arguments do not suffice, is pedal back to quoting the bible, paraphrasing the bible, or inserting bible type inspired notions while pretending they were their own original ideas. We see this all the time when debating with apologists at Balboa Park in San Diego. When a subject such as this is raised they will ultimately wind up reverting back to things like the following:

Why did this alleged god completely ignore nearly all of humanity?

Oh, god didn't ignore anyone. Just look around you. Look at your hand. Look at the trees. Look at a baby in the womb! Everything is so clearly designed. You just refuse to acknowledge it b/c you want to be your own god and not be held accountable for your actions. Humans have always known about god. It couldn't have come from nothing.

TAKEN FROM...
Quote
Romans 1 -

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.


And why should we accept Paul's words as authoritative, as they clearly have? Well, b/c their interpretation says so of course. But science and religion have clearly different starting points, with conflicting agendas. Science begins with observations and questions, working toward demonstrable and/or predictable results while continually updating and seeking to falsify hypotheses or theories that don't fit the data. Religion starts with it's conclusion (or multiple conclusions) and works backwards towards confirmation of the desired result, since it's faith is fixed on basically unchanging old books that claim infallible divine authority. The two approaches couldn't be further apart and yet when challenges such as these arise the person of faith uses the first approach only in so far as it does not conflict with his/her foregone conclusion (thus practicing a double standard). And instead of simply admitting "I don't know", when the evidence isn't conclusive one way or the other, he/she must have the answer right now. And thus the process of bible quoting or paraphrasing starts over since it is this initial presumption upon which their entire outlook rests.

-Always watch for the subtle, or not so subtle, religious text insertions (along with personal interpretation of course). The belief in it's magical powers nearly always bring about it's quotations or paraphrasing in one form or another.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 01:23:32 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2016, 02:35:55 PM »
I decided long ago that it was much better for me to make my decisions based on whether God had been revealed to me.

As in: Am I certain God is real? Yes. Are there things about God I find confusing, and sometimes extremely disconcerting? Yes. Do I have confidence that, despite this, God is worthy of my worship? Yes.
It's good to know the door can still be open wide.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2016, 04:10:14 PM »
I decided long ago that it was much better for me to make my decisions based on whether God had been revealed to me.

As in: Am I certain God is real? Yes. Are there things about God I find confusing, and sometimes extremely disconcerting? Yes. Do I have confidence that, despite this, God is worthy of my worship? Yes.
Did it ever occur to you that these revelations may be imagined by you?
One thing I do when discussing this topic with my delusional mother is ask her to ask a question in real time, like when her MacBook wasnt working, told her to ask yahweh how to get it to work. Close personal relationships work that way, I have an actual conversation with my dad a few times a week.

She took the MacBook to the Apple Store. Seems yahweh doesn't know much about Apple products.

Get what I'm sayin MM?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2016, 04:12:39 PM »
^^Which is all well and good, but why then doesn't your god simply reveal himself to everyone?  It would take away the uncertainty and the doubt, and would leave people better informed and able to make more effective choices as to whether he was worth worshiping.  As it stands, the situation is almost farcical.

What is the point of asserting that you're certain when you have nothing you can show to anyone else?  How is that any different from a person who is certain that his god told him to shoot up an abortion clinic, or a person who is certain that her god told her to drown her children?  Or the people who are certain that their god told them to fly airliners into buildings, or those who are certain that their god told them to strap explosives to their bodies and blow up "the enemy"?

It's easy for a person to be certain...but certainty is not the same as knowledge.
Nullus In Verba, aka "Take nobody's word for it!"  If you can't show it, then you don't know it.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2016, 04:16:38 PM »
I decided long ago that it was much better for me to make my decisions based on whether God had been revealed to me.

So this "god" would reveal itself to you and not others?  I'm wondering if you see a problem with that.



Quote
As in: Am I certain God is real? Yes.

Perhaps your "certainty" about something which you simply cannot be certain about, paves the way for your other flawed conclusions.


Quote
Are there things about God I find confusing, and sometimes extremely disconcerting? Yes. Do I have confidence that, despite this, God is worthy of my worship? Yes.

Replace the word "god" with the word "Mithras" and see if you still have the same sense that it is worthy of your worship.
God is an Imaginary Friend for Grown-ups

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2016, 04:22:05 PM »

What is the point of asserting that you're certain when you have nothing you can show to anyone else? 

In this instance, it was really just to confirm that I don't have the answers you all desperately seek about why God did/didn't, should/shouldn't etc. My certainty that God is real and is GOD means I can live with not knowing everything.

It's good to know the door can still be open wide.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Christians, please explain
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2016, 04:27:51 PM »
My certainty that God is real and is GOD means I can live with not knowing everything.

But what you fail to grasp is that when it comes to "god", you don't "know" anything about him/it, you simply believe, and perhaps believe strongly, but believing isn't knowing.
God is an Imaginary Friend for Grown-ups