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Main Discussion Zone => Religion & Society => Topic started by: Samuelke on July 21, 2012, 12:41:52 PM

Title: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 21, 2012, 12:41:52 PM
I am just looking for people's views that do not believe in a God or Gods to share and discuss them.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: HAL on July 21, 2012, 12:43:49 PM
I am just looking for people's views that do not believe in a God or Gods to share and discuss them.

Views on what?

Your question is way too vague to be answered.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: One Above All on July 21, 2012, 12:45:19 PM
Worldviews are impossible to describe in full, as they make up the total sum of how we view the world. That's years of experiences. You should narrow down your search. What exactly were you thinking of?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Barracuda on July 21, 2012, 12:52:39 PM
I am just looking for people's views that do not believe in a God or Gods to share and discuss them.
Share/discuss what about them? That's a very broad statement not quite sure what you were looking for.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Nick on July 21, 2012, 01:08:59 PM
World view:  We have 7 billion people on a small planet running out of resources and clean water.  The planet is going thru climate change and feeding the world will be come more difficult down the road.  Civilizations thru history have come and gone. Many because of their environment (cutting trees down , using up the resources of the land).  We are now doing that on a global scale.

We are born, try to live a life, and die.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Kimberly on July 21, 2012, 01:10:57 PM
Right now my world view is mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of rain.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Quesi on July 21, 2012, 01:15:29 PM
Welcome to the forum Samuelke.  I agree with the others there that your request is rather vague.  But let me take a stab. 

I identify as a secular humanist, and I embrace the concept that every human life is precious because for each of us, this is our one chance at existence.   This is the driving force in my life, and I strive to commit a significant portion of my life helping individuals who have not been born into the (relative) privilege that I enjoy, and striving to promote policies of social and economic justice to better the human condition for all of us.

My focus on human beings does not negate my interest in the general health and sustainability of the planet, and all of its inhabitants.  I love animals and plants and complex ecosystems, and I defer to the scientists to advocate for their well being.  I am better equipped to advocate for those of us who live in the complex urban centers of this era, or those from isolated rural regions. 

I also ascribe to the teachings of Peter Kropotkin, who was a contemporary of Darwin, and also a student of natural selection.  But while Darwin focused on the role of competition as a basis for survival, Kropotkin focused on the role of cooperation as a force for survival of individuals and communities, both in the animal and human world.  Kropotkin's work, both in its literal form, and as a metaphor, inspire me. 

You will find a wide range of skills, interests, and worldviews among the participants in the forum. But that is a little taste of mine. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: IAmFirst on July 21, 2012, 04:08:45 PM
Welcome, Samuelke.

I don't fight, I don't steal, I give fellow human beings the benefit of doubt. The existence of a deity is not necessary for people to be kind to each other. That's not how I learned to be fair.

Let's look at a low scale type of thing. Let's say I haul off a punch someone for no apparent reason/with very good reason. Who have I hurt? Well, the person I punched, obviously, but I also hurt the feelings of his family, friends; MY family and friends. All these people are important.

Respect is a necessary element to our existence, a god certainly isn't. Especially one that murders, contradicts himself and is egotistical. ;)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 22, 2012, 09:41:47 PM
Ok sorry what I mean is where did all this and us come from? What is or do we have purpose? And what happens when you die?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Barracuda on July 22, 2012, 09:51:12 PM
Ok sorry what I mean is where did all this and us come from?
We evolved from other life forms, which arose from matter that was on earth much earlier somehow (idk). As to the question of the origin of the universe, I have no idea.

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What is or do we have purpose?
Very vague question imo, what exactly does that mean? If you are asking what goal there is for us, there really isn't, shit just happens. I can give you descriptions of what life tends to do in general, or even of what people tend to do in general, but that's all I can give you is descriptions. Is there any way a universe in which we did have a purpose would be described differently than one in which we didn't have one?

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And what happens when you die?
I'm sure lots of things will happen after I die. As far as my consciousness goes (or my ego, strange loop, whatever; the thing that I consider "me"), all evidence points that it will be gone.

It'll just be nothing, kind of like all those billions of years that went by before I existed.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: boobatuba on July 22, 2012, 10:04:25 PM
Ok sorry what I mean is where did all this and us come from?

The universe has always existed and will always exist. It only changes states.

Quote from: Samuelke
What is or do we have purpose?

Our purpose is to make plastic so the Earth can have it for itself, absorb it, and form a new paradigm: The Earth + plastic.

Quote from: Samuelke
And what happens when you die?

Nothing else. Ever.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 22, 2012, 10:07:13 PM
To the purpose question I'll clarify by saying is there any meaning to it is our life meaningful does it have value, technically speaking if you do think you life has meaning That is the only way you could ask the question of you consider your question meaningful.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Barracuda on July 22, 2012, 10:26:28 PM
Still don't know what you mean. Is there anyway a universe where our lives have meaning would look different from one in which our lives don't have meaning? If the answer to that question is no, then I don't consider that to be a useful or even meaningful question.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 22, 2012, 11:57:48 PM
This all depends on whether or not you feel if humanity in its whole have done or produced anything at all meaningful. Aside from the bad that we create is there any thing out there we have done have meaning?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on July 23, 2012, 12:27:00 AM
This all depends on whether or not you feel if humanity in its whole have done or produced anything at all meaningful. Aside from the bad that we create is there any thing out there we have done have meaning?

How are you defining "meaningful"?  To whom?


Humans have gone to the moon.  Do you consider that meaningful?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on July 23, 2012, 12:44:17 AM
If you believe in Chaos Theory and/or the "butterfly effect" anything you do can have impact or meaning on things you don't even imagine or realise.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: DumpsterFire on July 23, 2012, 02:56:36 AM
I think it is up to each individual to determine what gives his life meaning. Years ago, I decided that what would make my life meaningful was making music. If I could write a song that would lift people's spirits, or make them feel understood or not alone, or just make them want to let go and have fun or dance, I felt that was a pretty powerful thing. So I put the majority of my efforts into that pursuit, and guess what? It has been a great ride, and I have enjoyed it immensely. Maybe even lifted a few spirits[1] in the process.

I now have a family, and my primary purpose in life is being as good a father as I can be for my children. I pour myself into them. When I came home from work today my wife told me that, after making his first finger-painting, my 3 year-old son said, "Daddy will be so proud of me!". Never will my children doubt that their father loves them. If I can raise a child who grows into a caring, loving, generous, intelligent adult, I think that's a pretty powerful thing. So I am putting the majority of my efforts into that pursuit.

Your problem, Sam, (if I can go out on a limb here) is that you have fallen for the great lie of religion, which has convinced you that this life is just your audition for an eternal afterlife. This is a very shallow view, IMO, and one that cheapens the only life you can know for certain you have. You believe that without the prospect (or is it promise?) of an afterlife that this life is meaningless, but I contend that knowing this is the only shot you get makes this life much more valuable and meaningful. Make the best of it, 'cause its all you've got!

Quote from: George Clooney
I don’t believe in heaven and hell. I don’t know if I believe in God. All I know is that as an individual, I won’t allow this life — the only thing I know to exist — to be wasted.
 1. Its just a figure of speech, people.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: oogabooga on July 23, 2012, 03:14:59 AM
Samuelke, as you can see, you're way to vague for any of us to answer your questions in any detail, because we can only guess what you meant. Why don't you share your own world views so we can see what you're trying to say and understand fully what you're asking. What's your purpose then? What do you think humanity has produced so far, other than evil? What do you hold dear and why are we here in your opinion? After you present your views, we can start figuring out where we differ.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: naemhni on July 23, 2012, 06:11:05 AM
Ok sorry what I mean is where did all this and us come from?

We don't know.  At least not yet.  This does not even remotely begin to point us in the direction of a deity or any other aspect of the supernatural.  Used to be we didn't know where lightning came from, either.

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What is or do we have purpose?

An individual's life has whatever purpose that individual chooses to give it.

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And what happens when you die?

Consciousness ceases completely.

Who says there are no simple answers?  :)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: HAL on July 23, 2012, 06:35:10 AM
Ok sorry what I mean is where did all this and us come from?

I don't know.

Quote
What is or do we have purpose?

I don't know.

Quote
And what happens when you die?

I don't know.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on July 23, 2012, 07:39:47 AM
To the purpose question I'll clarify by saying is there any meaning to it is our life meaningful does it have value, technically speaking if you do think you life has meaning That is the only way you could ask the question of you consider your question meaningful.

Hmm.  Why do you feel it is important for everyone's life to have meaning?  What do you define as "meaning" anyway?

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: The Gawd on July 23, 2012, 08:23:09 AM
To the purpose question I'll clarify by saying is there any meaning to it is our life meaningful does it have value, technically speaking if you do think you life has meaning That is the only way you could ask the question of you consider your question meaningful.
Your life is what YOU make it. If YOU ascribe it meaning and purpose then your life has meaning and purpose.

Where do we come from? Has been answered; previous life forms.
As for the universe, I'm leaning towards 'its always been here' but its not my field.

After we die, we turn back into the earth.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Azdgari on July 23, 2012, 10:19:19 AM
To the purpose question I'll clarify by saying is there any meaning to it is our life meaningful does it have value, technically speaking if you do think you life has meaning That is the only way you could ask the question of you consider your question meaningful.

Whose meaning?  Whose purpose?  Your question is incomplete.  "What is my meaning for my life" yields a different answer from "what is Samuelke's meaning for my life".  If any gods existed, then "what God X's meaning for my life" and "what is God Y's meaning for my life" would also yield different answers.

Please be specific.  Whose meaning are you talking about?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on July 23, 2012, 11:27:12 AM
I, for one, would find no meaning in being created by an Omnicient being who knew how I would act in every situation who knew what situations I would face, therefore how I would act, and punished and rewarded me for taken the actions he programmed to happen, could have changed, but didn't.

It would be like learning you were a character in a play but knowing every line that came out of your mouth and every thought had been written.

Wouldn't that be a pathetic world view?

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on July 23, 2012, 02:14:49 PM
There's another side to this purpose/meaning of life thing that I don't think has been addressed yet.


Assuming that there is a god, and that he gives purpose/meaning to your life, why assume that it's something good?  The assumption here is that god wants you to do something good or beneficial to yourself or to others.  But really, there's no reasons why it couldn't be the opposite.


God: "Ok homeless person, the purpose of your life is to be looked down upon by everyone else as the flea-bitten piece of trash that you are.  Have fun!"

In this case, how is it better than having no purpose in life?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Graybeard on July 23, 2012, 03:10:59 PM
I am just looking for people's views that do not believe in a God or Gods to share and discuss them.
What an amazing coincidence! We are just looking for the views of people who do believe in a god or gods to share and discuss them!

Oh, he seems to have gone...
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 24, 2012, 02:26:41 AM
Sorry I was on a camping trip with my girlfriend that's why I haven't been able to reply but for me Meaning in my life comes from love, different passions and expressions, this whole world around us the people in it and all the life in it, and untill a couple years ago I never truly and fully believed in God but now I do and this is also something that brings meaning to my life. I have awesome parents who are helping me through school to get an elementary education degree and I work at a daycare with that age group. I have a great deal of love for my parents and all my family and also for my job but my job is also one of my passions truly. The girl I'm with I've been with for over two years and I I love her very much as well. I have a lot of passions and interest ranging from writing, reading, learning and teaching, playing basketball, talking and interacting with people, and more but I'll stop. I was 15 when I really started to doubt there was a God and really started having a lot of questions. I'm 22 now I know I'm young but I will always be striving for these things in life because it is only chance we got here and I try to live it to the fullest every day and stay positive and thankful for all the great people and opportunities I have in life. I think that all of us truly have meaning value and worth in this life and respect is due to every person no matter who you are. These are simply my beliefs and I do not wish to impose or force them in any way on anyone. I just enjoy the chance to discuss these things that are important with this awe inspiring world we live in.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on July 24, 2012, 02:33:47 AM
.....for me Meaning in my life comes from love, different passions and expressions, this whole world around us the people in it and all the life in it......I have awesome parents who are helping me through school to get an elementary education degree and I work at a daycare with that age group. I have a great deal of love for my parents and all my family and also for my job but my job is also one of my passions truly. The girl I'm with I've been with for over two years and I I love her very much as well. I have a lot of passions and interest ranging from writing, reading, learning and teaching, playing basketball, talking and interacting with people, and more but I'll stop. ......I will always be striving for these things in life because it is only chance we got here and I try to live it to the fullest every day and stay positive and thankful for all the great people and opportunities I have in life. I think that all of us truly have meaning value and worth in this life and respect is due to every person no matter who you are.....

Excellent stuff, very similar to what I would have written.  The meaning in your life comes from interacting with other people and the world, for what you can give and what they freely give to you.  Great stuff.

.....untill a couple years ago I never truly and fully believed in God but now I do and this is also something that brings meaning to my life.

Something else that gies your life meaning, good for you.  Would your life immediately lose all meaning if you lost your belief in god?  From all you've said above, I doubt it.  So why so curious about how us godless folk can have meaning in our lives?  In that first quote above you've expressed really well what gives meaning to the vast majority of people on this site. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: oogabooga on July 24, 2012, 05:45:38 AM
Sorry I was on a camping trip with my girlfriend that's why I haven't been able to reply but for me Meaning in my life comes from love, different passions and expressions, this whole world around us the people in it and all the life in it, and untill a couple years ago I never truly and fully believed in God but now I do and this is also something that brings meaning to my life.
Do you perhaps think that we don't find meaning in life in all of the above, sans god? I for one love, am passionate about many things, I find comfort and solace in people I love and care about, I feel for those who are less fortunate than I am and I'm doing my very best to make the world a better place for all. The only think lacking in my life is belief in god which has absolutely nothing to do with my feelings for other people and things.

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I have awesome parents who are helping me through school to get an elementary education degree and I work at a daycare with that age group. I have a great deal of love for my parents and all my family and also for my job but my job is also one of my passions truly.
I, too, have amazing parents who love me and have stood by me all these years. They helped and supported me in my education, hobbies and passions. I also love my family and my job. I just don't need god for any of it.

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The girl I'm with I've been with for over two years and I I love her very much as well.
I've been with my partner for 15 years and we're one of those annoying couples who do everything together. We still hold hands wherever we go, and we're still as much in love as we were when we started dating. I'm much happier with him than I ever thought I'd be. In all those years we have never had a single fight. Not one. No need for god in that.

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I have a lot of passions and interest ranging from writing, reading, learning and teaching, playing basketball, talking and interacting with people, and more but I'll stop.
I'm willing to say most people here (and most people in general, believers and non-believers) have different interests.

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I was 15 when I really started to doubt there was a God and really started having a lot of questions. I'm 22 now I know I'm young but I will always be striving for these things in life because it is only chance we got here and I try to live it to the fullest every day and stay positive and thankful for all the great people and opportunities I have in life. I think that all of us truly have meaning value and worth in this life and respect is due to every person no matter who you are. These are simply my beliefs and I do not wish to impose or force them in any way on anyone. I just enjoy the chance to discuss these things that are important with this awe inspiring world we live in.
I was 12 when I had my first encounter with religion and I was probably way too old to be duped by stories that don't make any sense.

I also try to live my life to the fullest, I'm grateful for everything I have, I just don't feel the need to thank an invisible, undetectable, deaf and dumb sky-daddy for it. I am, however, thankful and grateful - to my parents, family and friends who have actually done something tangible for me, even if it was just a pat on the back or a kick in the rump. They are the ones who shaped me into who I am today and I feel pretty good in my own shoes, even though I know damn well there's always room for improvement.

The things you've mentioned as important are just as important to me and probably most people here. Do you perhaps think that god is some type of prerequisite for them? While I somehow understand what you meant by the original post, I'm completely baffled by the fact that you felt the need to involve god or religion. If you wish to figure out what makes us tick, make a list of everything that makes you tick and just cross off god. This would probably be the best answer any of us can give you, and it is probably the most accurate one.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on July 24, 2012, 04:20:53 PM
Sorry I was on a camping trip with my girlfriend that's why I haven't been able to reply but for me Meaning in my life comes from love, different passions and expressions, this whole world around us the people in it and all the life in it, and untill a couple years ago I never truly and fully believed in God but now I do and this is also something that brings meaning to my life.

What is it about your belief in God that gives meaning to your life that you wouldn't otherwise have without it?  From the rest of your post, it seems like you have lots of meaning in your life that has nothing to do with God. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jynnan tonnix on July 24, 2012, 08:36:34 PM
I'm interested in your spiritual "evolution"...You say you were 15 when you started doubting there was a god. What religion were you raised in and what made you start to doubt that the stories were true?

You are 22 now. So over the course of 7 years you began losing your faith (presumably it must have been a bit of a process judging by the way you worded it). How far toward being a non-believer had you come when you began blieving again? What prompted this return? You say you now "truly and deeply" believe in god. How do you see your mindset from whatever period of time it was that you were drifting into atheism or agnosticism? Why do you think you were wrong?

I honestly would like to know.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 25, 2012, 02:25:37 AM
OK, first I'll say that while all these things that I spoke of as having meaning do bring that meaning in their own ways, God brings in a deeper and truer meaning to all parts of my life now.

Before I really found my belief all these same things were what brought me meaning and though I had some rougher days I never quite living life and trying. I've probably made more mistakes in the last 5 years or so than the rest of my life. So my first doubts came from realities in life and thinking that lead to questioning.

I was raised Baptist but, for as long as I can remember, I spent every church service drawing or writing. There were little phases where I would get interested and read the bible some but not for more then a couple weeks. I tried out other churches before I stepped back but I finally came to that point where I said to myself I believed these things because of my parents. I had seen them lose that credibility they have when you’re a kid and you realize that they can be wrong and you witness it. So I decided I wanted to look into things on my own terms and see what I thought. I studied a lot yet I still have much, much more to do to say the very least, but I looked into Islam, Hindu, Judaism, to naturalism, and more - but I know my search is still in the beginning stages.

When I was 18 although I had dated girls already I hadn't been in any serious relationship and would then experienced that for the first time and i thought I was in love. And her saying that back made me think she did but then I found out from someone at her work she was moving to another state to live with a guy she met on vacation.

Maybe a year or so after that one of my youngest uncle whom I was closest to out of my 9 aunts got me a job waiting tables at a place he managed. About 2 and a half months later, he was coming home and stopped for traffic and an 18 wheeler didn't stop and rear ended him. I hadn't lost anyone close to me yet in life at 19 very luckily, but that shook me like no other and left me empty for a long time; I still miss him - he was extremely dear to me.

I didn't make excellent choices through these periods but I truly don't regret anything in life, I still see my mistakes for what they are and focus on what I gained from each. I had heavy periods of doubt through all this and wasn’t taking any belief seriously. But I do remember a few times randomly praying maybe a handful of times and each time saw the answered but still not certain if it was a prayer answered or just by chance.

I came to a point though at which I concluded that if any of these religions that were possible it had to be Christianity. So I decided the only way to truly know for myself if this was it would be to give it my best shot and in meekness read the bible and search for answers and if this God were real that he would reveal himself to me.

And through eventually prayer and a personnel relationship with God he has proven himself to be real and as true as anything can possibly be. It might sound mad to some I understand and I just thank you all for giving me the chance to discuss these things in a respectful way that you all have done.

(GB: Samuelke, I have broken the above into paragraphs for ease of reading, as I think it will help.)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on July 25, 2012, 03:47:21 AM
Ok first I'll say that while all these things that I talked about having meaning all do bring that meaning in their own ways but God brings in a deeper and truer meaning to all parts of my life now.

Like I say, glad that works for you.  But you've once again agreed that everything you had before - and that we have now - gave you meaning.  So why would you be asking us what gives OUR lives meaning?  You already knew the answer, because you've lived in that way.  So I honestly don't understand your purpose in asking the question in the first place.

.....And through eventually prayer and a personnel relationship with God.....

Can I ask you to explain the part I've bolded please?  I have personal relationships with a number of people, and in every case part of that relationship is an immediate and unambiguous two-way communication process.  Does that happen with your relationship?  If not, what does happen?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: sun_king on July 25, 2012, 04:38:36 AM
Can I ask you to explain the part I've bolded please?  I have personal relationships with a number of people, and in every case part of that relationship is an immediate and unambiguous two-way communication process.  Does that happen with your relationship?  If not, what does happen?

You may also want to add that this two-way communication is at times accessible for a third person too. (It implies that another person hears some part of this communications, by accident or by design).
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Zankuu on July 25, 2012, 05:19:30 AM
So I decided I wanted to look into things on my own terms and see what I thought. I studied a lot yet I still have much much more to do to say the very least, but I looked into Islam, Hindu, judaism, to naturalism, and more but I know my search is still in the beginning stages.

I noticed you've investigated all three Abrahamic religions. Why did you choose Christianity over the other two (Judaism and Islam)? Is your girlfriend Christian?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 25, 2012, 10:07:32 PM
Ok first I'll say that while all these things that I talked about having meaning all do bring that meaning in their own ways but God brings in a deeper and truer meaning to all parts of my life now.

Like I say, glad that works for you.  But you've once again agreed that everything you had before - and that we have now - gave you meaning.  So why would you be asking us what gives OUR lives meaning?  You already knew the answer, because you've lived in that way.  So I honestly don't understand your purpose in asking the question in the first place.

.....And through eventually prayer and a personnel relationship with God.....

Can I ask you to explain the part I've bolded please?  I have personal relationships with a number of people, and in every case part of that relationship is an immediate and unambiguous two-way communication process.  Does that happen with your relationship?  If not, what does happen?

Well I see what your asking but do you think that all people who don't believe in a God look at all these things the same way? But also I just am always trying to find ways to eliminate my own bias and understand as much as I can. I'm just interested in all kinds of different beliefs without excluding any and I am always wanting to hear people's and all that is contained within them. Also most forums online that discuss anything like this from either side it is not like this, I see all the time people just throwing mud at each other and I be heard before that when you do that you not only are dirty up your own hands but also the opposing party.
To answer this question I would say yes that's how it works, that's how it works to me anyway. When I was younger I remember praying a good bit but it was always very formal and it was repetitive and I never would have said these things about communicating with God. Now I really just have a conversation with him, now I have never heard him talk aloud to me but that is what it feels like, I can ask him questions and the second after I finish asking I receive a though and a overwhelming feeling that God has answered me through that thought. This is easily I would say the most ambiguous communication I have with God and another way is through when prayers that I ask him for or of something and in which ones are answered and which ones are not. He speaks to me through the world around me and experience each day I see and hear him in everything. For me the number one for communication though is when I am in prayer and asking questions and reading the bible and in this is the least ambiguous way to understand him. In this when I get an answer from him there is zero doubt for me honestly I know what he is try to teach me.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: sun_king on July 25, 2012, 10:28:33 PM
Samuelke, I cannot help but wonder about the nature of the questions you ask. Are you aware that you hold the answers to all the great questions that mankind has? If I were you, I'd start with asking how to make anti-gravity work. Have you ever tried asking for a solution to something that keeps harming humanity? Cancer, for example.

Have you ever asked god about the name of our forum?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 26, 2012, 12:20:57 AM
So I decided I wanted to look into things on my own terms and see what I thought. I studied a lot yet I still have much much more to do to say the very least, but I looked into Islam, Hindu, judaism, to naturalism, and more but I know my search is still in the beginning stages.

I noticed you've investigated all three Abrahamic religions. Why did you choose Christianity over the other two (Judaism and Islam)? Is your girlfriend Christian?

Well I could give a very long answer or the shorter version and I won't do the long since my post are already wordy enough. Starting with Judaism which their holy book is the Torah which is basically the old testemant plus their own additions. For me I see the 40 plus prophecies in the old testament of Jesus And all he did and each came true in the new testament. Yes their has been changes through all the translations while some deliberately tried to mess up the teachings in it yet the main belief and the most imporatant ideas are still there and are the same as to what the disciples believed. The main idea there being jesus is the only way to the father and in knowing him and believing in him is the only way to heaven not good deeds for it says over and over you can have the most good deeds out of anyone ever but it is not ultimately what gets you to heaven. If there was a God to me it makes so much sense for him to send a Jesus like person because how else are we to understand him better then if he sent us a messenger of himself in a human body to relay us his word. It is the ultimate way to relate to us there isn't a better way. And in the bible Jesus gives and explanation of the human heart and human condition that if you have read is corresponding to life itself. I also for as long as I remember I never understood how in Judaism they can believe now that Jesus was a good teacher and prophet but not the messiah, but that would be blasphemy to say because Jesus proclaimed to be God and I'd you don't believe that then you have to take him as a mad man.
So now Islam and i said before that they believe there is no compulsion in religion which basically means you have no choice you must believe Islam or in their countries most of the time the penalty is death. Ravi zacharias who is from India born into the Islamic faith but he say down with a leader in the Islamic political realm and asked the man what he would do if his daughter were to believe in Christianity what would he do. He answered that he would kill her. That is what kind of government has risen from Islam which doesn't give it's people the choice to believe. America while now our government has gone against its constitution but the fact is no other religion in the world could have produced that constitution because it is the only one that gives freedom and equality. The Quran says that there is a degree of equality but it isn't full equality in the sense Allah sees an intelligent person more worthy then one who is isn't. Also any Islamic person will tell you that the Quran is the perfect Word for word revelation from Allah through Muhammad. The true Christian belief whether or not all Christians proclaim it is the bible is not word for word perfect and the opposite simply isn't true. Personally I have a lot of issues with wording language itself is so ambiguous at times. The same issue comes up with how they think he is a good prophet even to a higher degree considering all the claims they make about Jesus.

On a whole different note I can can't one two hands the times I've been to church in the last few years the only one I've been to is non-denominational. Personally I think it is extremely hard to find a good church most of them are currupt and this in the bible is a very great evil.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 26, 2012, 12:27:56 AM
Samuelke, I cannot help but wonder about the nature of the questions you ask. Are you aware that you hold the answers to all the great questions that mankind has? If I were you, I'd start with asking how to make anti-gravity work. Have you ever tried asking for a solution to something that keeps harming humanity? Cancer, for example.

Have you ever asked god about the name of our forum?


Yes in fact I do I almost always in prayer as that God bless all of humanity and help every human. Also I ask him to help me in every way I possibly can to do the most to help this world to all my capacities in all the problems the world faces. There is always room to progress in prayer and in this area and all others I strive every day to improve and try harder to understand what I need to be praying about.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on July 26, 2012, 12:50:58 AM
Now I really just have a conversation with him, now I have never heard him talk aloud to me but that is what it feels like, I can ask him questions and the second after I finish asking I receive a though and a overwhelming feeling that God has answered me through that thought. This is easily I would say the most ambiguous communication I have with God and another way is through when prayers that I ask him for or of something and in which ones are answered and which ones are not. He speaks to me through the world around me and experience each day I see and hear him in everything. For me the number one for communication though is when I am in prayer and asking questions and reading the bible and in this is the least ambiguous way to understand him. In this when I get an answer from him there is zero doubt for me honestly I know what he is try to teach me.

Is there anything in your personal relationship and communication with your God that could not be due entirely to your imagination?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 26, 2012, 12:55:13 AM
Oh and my girlfriend was raised in a somewhat Christian household but much more and for a longer time then me she doubted it all and was agnostic when we started dating. I never tried to get her to believe what I did it just isn't what I ever do. She would ask me question after question though about many things not just Christianity but she has now found her belief in it. But me when we're first started dating I was just getting into reading the bible and building my belief so through many many conversations we helped lead each other to our beliefs and I didn't realize this untill later when I really saw the effect of god in my life and how he brought a lot of things together at the perfect time.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 26, 2012, 01:07:20 AM
Now I really just have a conversation with him, now I have never heard him talk aloud to me but that is what it feels like, I can ask him questions and the second after I finish asking I receive a though and a overwhelming feeling that God has answered me through that thought. This is easily I would say the most ambiguous communication I have with God and another way is through when prayers that I ask him for or of something and in which ones are answered and which ones are not. He speaks to me through the world around me and experience each day I see and hear him in everything. For me the number one for communication though is when I am in prayer and asking questions and reading the bible and in this is the least ambiguous way to understand him. In this when I get an answer from him there is zero doubt for me honestly I know what he is try to teach me.

Is there anything in your personal relationship and communication with your God that could not be due entirely to your imagination?

I believe absolutely not I understand if you see it as that and that's ok. But my imagination is very large I work with kids so I really need that but at the same time I know myself to be logical. Certain events and prayers answered in my life which is only a handful of times this happened but I saw Gods answer so clearly it left me speechless. My imagination didn't show me those things it was actual real life things I saw and there was no way to question if it wasn't him. My faith in God isn't blind like many Christians will tell you, it is a faith simialar to the faith I have in my girlfriend and my best friend Ryan. I trust what they say and that is honest and they will come through for me because they have so many times before. I trust God in a way similar to that he has proven himself true to me over and over again.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on July 26, 2012, 02:11:39 AM
Certain events and prayers answered in my life which is only a handful of times this happened but I saw Gods answer so clearly it left me speechless. My imagination didn't show me those things it was actual real life things I saw and there was no way to question if it wasn't him.

Can you give us an example, please, of an event in your life that demonstrated conclusively that your God was communicating with you and that could not be due to your personal interpretation of the event in question (in other words, due to your imagination)? Obviously, the event's occurrence is not due to your imagination, but your interpretation of the event as a personal relationship with your God is surely a subjective assessment, is it not?

Quote
My faith in God isn't blind like many Christians will tell you, it is a faith similar to the faith I have in my girlfriend and my best friend Ryan. I trust what they say and that is honest and they will come through for me because they have so many times before. I trust God in a way similar to that he has pr oven himself true to me over and over again.

Let's explore this a little. Is your personal relationship with your girlfriend or best friend really similar to your personal relationship with your God or are they completely different? I'll give you some examples to compare.

A personal relationship is a connection between two or more people. With that in mind, suppose a resourceful security agency was looking for a connection between you and your girlfriend. What sort of evidence could they gather to confirm that connection? Well, they could place you and your girlfriend under physical and electronic surveillance for a start. They could take photographs of the two of you together. They could collect emails and text messages and record phone calls between you and your girlfriend. They could bug you and the locations you both frequent and record conversations between you. They could ask others if they have seen the two of you together. They could track you through GPS or cell tower triangulation and note when the two of you are in the same location at the same time. In short, they could amass an enormous amount of solid evidence demonstrating a connection between you and your girlfriend.

Now, if that same security agency looked for a connection between you and your God what would they find? Would they find any of that solid evidence above or would they find absolutely no solid evidence at all? So, is your personal relationship with your God really similar to your relationship with your girlfriend or is it more like the relationship a child has with his or her imaginary friend?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Graybeard on July 26, 2012, 04:11:38 AM
I always want to hear people's  [views] and all that is contained within them.

Now I really just have a conversation with him, now I have never heard him talk aloud to me but that is what it feels like, I can ask him questions and the second after I finish asking I receive a though and a overwhelming feeling that God has answered me through that thought.
Tell me, if you did not believe in God, how would you explain this?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on July 26, 2012, 11:53:26 AM
Well I see what your asking but do you think that all people who don't believe in a God look at all these things the same way? But also I just am always trying to find ways to eliminate my own bias and understand as much as I can. I'm just interested in all kinds of different beliefs without excluding any and I am always wanting to hear people's and all that is contained within them.
This is good - open mindedness.

But you need to be careful; if what you are doing at the end of the day is seeking out the truth, you're going to have to eventually start excluding some beliefs, yes?  Like the untrue beliefs, right?  So this requires some means of distinguishing between reality and fiction...

...and if you are truly trying to eliminate personal bias:
Quote
Now I really just have a conversation with him, now I have never heard him talk aloud to me but that is what it feels like, I can ask him questions and the second after I finish asking I receive a though and a overwhelming feeling that God has answered me through that thought.
Does your above quote sound like you've really segregated your bias in your search for truth?

Quote
Also most forums online that discuss anything like this from either side it is not like this, I see all the time people just throwing mud at each other and I be heard before that when you do that you not only are dirty up your own hands but also the opposing party.
Mudslinging is pretty much an guarantee when you're talking about an interweb forum set up for discussion, debate, and argumentation on topics that have high emotional buy-in.  The important thing is to keep your civility, which so far doesn't seem to be any problem for you.  I do suggest that if you *do* see less than civil discourse on this board that you keep in mind that most everyone posting on this board is human and is bound to, once in a while, spiral down to the 'less than civil' side of the spectrum.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on July 26, 2012, 12:35:12 PM
Hey there Sam.  Welcome to our mostly happy home.

I have a question for you.  Are you aware of the psycholgocial phenomenon in which the human mind is evolved specifically to fill in patterns, even when they're not there?  Like those puzzles/brain teasers that show a partial picutre, and your brain fills in the rest?  This is a well-documented survival response.  It manifests in a lot of ways, and will always mainfest in such a way as to incorporate our expectations and individual experiences.  For example, someone who is very religious may hear a moaning wind through their house and hear god's voice; someone very superstitious re: ghosts may be certain their house is haunted; someone who is a non-superstitous handyman will wonder where the air is leaking in.

Have you explored the possibility that you are answering your own questions during prayer--that you really already KNOW the answers?  (in my experience, lots of folks--self included--already know the answer when they ask for friends' help/opinion/$0.02)  That you're "inserting god" when he may not be there--seeing "his answers" to your prayers when they really are examples of sh1t happening?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 27, 2012, 03:11:42 AM
Certain events and prayers answered in my life which is only a handful of times this happened but I saw Gods answer so clearly it left me speechless. My imagination didn't show me those things it was actual real life things I saw and there was no way to question if it wasn't him.

Can you give us an example, please, of an event in your life that demonstrated conclusively that your God was communicating with you and that could not be due to your personal interpretation of the event in question (in other words, due to your imagination)? Obviously, the event's occurrence is not due to your imagination, but your interpretation of the event as a personal relationship with your God is surely a subjective assessment, is it not?

Quote
My faith in God isn't blind like many Christians will tell you, it is a faith similar to the faith I have in my girlfriend and my best friend Ryan. I trust what they say and that is honest and they will come through for me because they have so many times before. I trust God in a way similar to that he has pr oven himself true to me over and over again.

Let's explore this a little. Is your personal relationship with your girlfriend or best friend really similar to your personal relationship with your God or are they completely different? I'll give you some examples to compare.

A personal relationship is a connection between two or more people. With that in mind, suppose a resourceful security agency was looking for a connection between you and your girlfriend. What sort of evidence could they gather to confirm that connection? Well, they could place you and your girlfriend under physical and electronic surveillance for a start. They could take photographs of the two of you together. They could collect emails and text messages and record phone calls between you and your girlfriend. They could bug you and the locations you both frequent and record conversations between you. They could ask others if they have seen the two of you together. They could track you through GPS or cell tower triangulation and note when the two of you are in the same location at the same time. In short, they could amass an enormous amount of solid evidence demonstrating a connection between you and your girlfriend.

Now, if that same security agency looked for a connection between you and your God what would they find? Would they find any of that solid evidence above or would they find absolutely no solid evidence at all? So, is your personal relationship with your God really similar to your relationship with your girlfriend or is it more like the relationship a child has with his or her imaginary friend?

I'll give this personnel example first and give more later if you all would like sorry I haven't had much time to get on here I worked from 9 to 9 today but the weekend will help with that. There was this night maybe 3 or so years ago when me and my friend were sitting on my roof talking. I was very much doubting at the time and I said something along the lines of what if there isn't any real substantial good or joy for us in life or what if God doesn't really exist. Right as I said that last word as the last waves came out from me, I saw in the night sky the biggest and longest lasting shooting star I have ever seen flashed across for at least 2 or 3 seconds it was just one of the most amazing things I've seen in the beauty of nature. I really thought my friend wasn't looking and didn't see but speechless I looked at him and he said did you see what I just saw? This left me in awe but it was still later on once I found my belief.
Now I'd like to share a segment from ravi zacharias telling the testimony of a friend and it's a little long but this is one of the most compelling things I've ever heard for my belief personally. I copy and pasted from an article sharing his story.

Throughout history, the Old and New Testaments have shown themselves to be reliable and true; they rise up to outlive their pallbearers, if you will. The following story probably stirs my own confidence in the power of God’s Word and His sovereignty more than any other. Let me share part of it with you today.

I was ministering in Vietnam in 1971, and one of my interpreters was Hien Pham, an energetic young Christian. He had worked as a translator with the American forces, and was of immense help both to them and to missionaries such as myself. Hien and I traveled the length of the country and became very close friends before I returned home. We did not know if our paths would ever cross again. Seventeen years later, I received a telephone call. "Brother Ravi?" the man asked. Immediately, I recognized Hien’s voice, and he soon told me his story.

Shortly after Vietnam fell, Hien was imprisoned on accusations of helping the Americans. His jailers tried to indoctrinate him against democratic ideals and the Christian faith. He was forced to read only communist propaganda in French or Vietnamese, and the daily deluge of Marx and Engels began to take its toll. "Maybe," he thought, "I have been lied to. Maybe God does not exist. Maybe the West has deceived me." So Hien determined that when he awakened the next day, he would not pray anymore or think of his faith.

The next morning, he was assigned the dreaded chore of cleaning the prison latrines. As he cleaned out a tin can overflowing with toilet paper, his eye caught what seemed to be English printed on one piece of paper. He hurriedly grabbed it, washed it, and after his roommates had retired that night, he retrieved the paper and read the words, "Romans, Chapter 8." Trembling, he began to read, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. … For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:28,38,39).

Hien wept. He knew his Bible, and he knew that there was not a more relevant passage for one on the verge of surrender. He cried out to God, asking forgiveness. This was to have been the first day that he would not pray; evidently God had other plans.

As it were, there was an official in the camp who was using a Bible as toilet paper. So Hien asked the commander if he could clean the latrines regularly. Each day he picked up a portion of Scripture, cleaned it off, and added it to his collection of nightly reading.

Then the day came when, through an equally providential set of circumstances, Hien was released from prison. He promptly began to make plans to leave the country and to construct a boat for the escape of him and 53 others. All was going according to plan until days before their departure. Four Vietcong knocked on Hien’s door and said they had heard of his escape. He denied it and they left. Hien felt relieved, but at the same time disappointed with himself. He made a promise to God—fervently hoping that God would not take him up on it—that if the Vietcong returned, he would tell them the truth. He was thoroughly shaken when only a few hours before they were to set sail, the four men returned. When questioned again, he confessed the truth. To Hien’s astonishment, the men leaned forward and, in hushed tones, asked if they could go with him!

In an utterly incredible escape plan, all 58 of them found themselves on the high seas, suddenly engulfed by a violent storm. Hien cried out to God, "Did you bring us here to die?" But then he said to me, "Brother Ravi, if it were not for the sailing ability of those four Vietcong, we would not have made it." They arrived safely in Thailand, and years later Hien arrived on American soil where today he is a businessman.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on July 27, 2012, 05:03:52 AM
There was this night maybe 3 or so years ago when me and my friend were sitting on my roof talking. I was very much doubting at the time and I said something along the lines of what if there isn't any real substantial good or joy for us in life or what if God doesn't really exist. Right as I said that last word as the last waves came out from me, I saw in the night sky the biggest and longest lasting shooting star I have ever seen flashed across for at least 2 or 3 seconds it was just one of the most amazing things I've seen in the beauty of nature. I really thought my friend wasn't looking and didn't see but speechless I looked at him and he said did you see what I just saw? This left me in awe but it was still later on once I found my belief.

This is an example of a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Let’s look at the sequence of events. You question the existence of your God. You see a meteor. You imagine it is your God communicating with you. I can only wonder what you would believe right now if, at the moment the meteor sighting occurred, you had been questioning the existence of Santa Claus.

Meteors are common natural occurrences. They are not, per se, evidence of your God’s existence. That you see the coincidence as evidence that your God is real merely suggests that you are easily persuaded to believe something. Do you imagine that every meteor you see is a message from your God or only if you happen to be thinking about your God at the time? In other words, are you succumbing to confirmation bias?

The touching testimonial you used as your second example is more of the same. I immediately began to doubt its credibility when I saw this blatant falsehood.

Quote
Throughout history, the Old and New Testaments have shown themselves to be reliable and true…

Again, is there anything in your personal relationship with your God that could not be due entirely to your imagination?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on July 27, 2012, 07:59:20 AM
.....I was very much doubting at the time and I said something along the lines of what if there isn't any real substantial good or joy for us in life or what if God doesn't really exist. Right as I said that last word as the last waves came out from me, I saw in the night sky the biggest and longest lasting shooting star I have ever seen flashed across for at least 2 or 3 seconds it was just one of the most amazing things I've seen in the beauty of nature. ....

Some serious questions.

1) Are you suggested that - to counter your wavering - god materialised a meteor and caused it to flash down through the atmosphere?  That he engineered a significant change in the nature of reality purely to assist your faith?  If so, see question 1A.

1A) How would you comment on those people here who were also once believers, but who (despite fervert prayer) never got the sign you were given?  Further, you realise that you have just asserted the existence of a being who will make dramatic changes to reality for the sake of some kid's wavering faith.  Given that you assert a directly interventionist god, why famine?  Why child abuse?  Why anything that god isn't keen on?  You don't even have to have him jumping in and taking physical action - if he is so keen on directly observable signs, why not just have something similar when one does something bad?

2) Was the meteor visible to anyone else on the planet?  What if (say) a Muslim was questioning the existence of Allah at just that point?  They saw YOUR meteor, and assumed it was a specific sign from them, so YOUR wavering has led to someone else moving further away from the one true faith.

2a) Why would your god value your faith over that of others?  Why would a god that - allegedly - wants a  relationship with everyone do something so misinterpretable as being the actions of a different god?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Barracuda on July 27, 2012, 08:30:24 AM
Samuelke; How do you explain the absence of such a "sign" or whatever available to others when doubting god's existence? Do you think he wanted you to have proof but not others?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on July 27, 2012, 08:54:10 AM
Now I'd like to share a segment from ravi zacharias telling the testimony of a friend .....

So the best evidence you could think of to post is a glurge about a man you don't know, told by another man you don't know?  Tell me - what checking have you done on the truth behind this story, or did you just accept it wholesale because it matches your preconceptions?

So far as the pieces of Bible go....I find it entirely unsurprising that a secret Christian would leave THAT kind of verse in the camp.  They'd know the sort of things people were thinking about, so would leave that kind of verse to be found.  Nothing mystical about it.

Or ARE you contending that something unusual was taking place?  If so, which of the following best describes what you believe happened in this case?

1) The paper he found was created by Yahweh in the correct spot shortly before he found it.  If so, see 1a.

2) The paper was produced by a human being at Yahweh's direction.  If so, see 2a.

1a)  Similarly to my previous questions - you are asserting a god that directly and physically intervenes in the world, producing physical items out of the ether.  Since this is what you believe happens, then I repeat: why famine?  Why poverty?  Why anything physically bad?  You have asserted a god who will take direct and physical action to change the world....so why restrict himself to little bits of paper?

2a) And again, a similar question.  Knowing what was needed, Yahweh would (at the very least) have had to speak directly to the writer and tell him what to put, and where.  I note that Hien collected all these papers.....thus denying them to any other person of wavering faith in the camp.  What was Yahweh's beef with all the guys there who DIDN'T get left bits of paper?  If he'd go to that much trouble for one, why not the next person?

You can apply similar questions to Hien's decision to tell the guards what was going on.....and you can add to that a further question.  Your assertion is that Yahweh spoke directly to Hien and told him "tell the guards where to meet".  Which begs the question.....if the guards were so crucial to the mission, what if Hien had not done what he was told....if he'd denied the escape again....then 50+ people would have died.  What a chance for Yahweh to take!  Given that Yahweh was quite happy to speak to someone directly about the escape.....why not simply speak to one of the guards and say "just be here at this time...." and pass on the details directly?

See, its such a convoluted story.  On the one hand, you've got Yahweh making specific and detailed plans of what he wants to happen.....then taking the most obscure and convoluted path to make things work out.  Doesn't add up, for a god so happy to pop down for a chat and alter the world to make things work.

Oh, and just one final question.....who was it sent the terrible and violent storm that nearly drowned this poor Christian and his 50-odd friends, hmmm?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on July 27, 2012, 11:35:10 AM
In an utterly incredible escape plan, all 58 of them found themselves on the high seas, suddenly engulfed by a violent storm. Hien cried out to God, "Did you bring us here to die?" But then he said to me, "Brother Ravi, if it were not for the sailing ability of those four Vietcong, we would not have made it." They arrived safely in Thailand, and years later Hien arrived on American soil where today he is a businessman.

I wonder if it would be possible to find some of those other 57 individuals to corroborate the story?  That wouldn't be a bad start to answering the question 'Is this story *true*'?  Google isn't being too helpful in trying to find some answers, but I'm not sure I'd really expect to find anything like news stories or anything like that in this case.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any more details regarding the anecdote.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Graybeard on July 27, 2012, 04:59:52 PM
Throughout history, the Old and New Testaments have shown themselves to be reliable and true;
This is simply not so. The Bible, OT and NT, has consistently been shown to be a mixture of folk-tales, errors and poor chronology and genealogy
Quote
The following story probably stirs my own confidence in the power of God’s Word and His sovereignty more than any other. Let me share part of it with you today.

<snip> someone goes by boat to Thailand.
Do you know, that proved nothing at all, thousands of people left Vietnam by boat, some made it, some didn’t.

Did God kill all the ones who didn’t make it? If so, why?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: wael on July 27, 2012, 06:28:10 PM
      I want you to ask yourself how this complex computer  you're setting on was found, Of course someone had created it , Then how this complex vast universe was created ,should have a creator our god (Allah) mine and yours , for that we are called creatures
  I want to know why you thought that ? Everything around you in the nature is a great evidence on the presence of god controls that universe
     Have you asked yourself before why the sun rises everyday on time & sets on time ,too?
     Have you asked yourself about the integration in the forests and in animal world that never spoils except when the human hands reached it ? I'll tell you why because all the universe moves on the regulations which our god had put except the humans who disobey so there life is always in contradictions .
                                    Have you heard about a Holly Book?
  Of course , but if you think it is the Gospel then you're wrong as there is another holy book came from the sky , It's  The Holly Quran
        I only ask you to read in it and hear what this book says and if you haven't changed your mind then I'd be donkey .
                                             There a small part of Quran listen to 19:03 minute
                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdkgHyrnFDQ
                                                                                                                                         
   52. Say, “Have you considered? If it is from God and you reject it—who is further astray than he who is cutoff and alienated?”

53. We will show them Our proofs on the horizons, and in their very souls, until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. Is it not sufficient that your Lord is witness over everything?

54. Surely they are in doubt about the encounter with their Lord. Surely He comprehends everything.
                                         
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: HAL on July 27, 2012, 06:33:05 PM
     Have you asked yourself about the integration in the forests and in animal world that never spoils except when the human hands reached it ?

Or unless a volcano spoils it or a hurricane spoils it or an asteroid spoils it or a huge wildfire started by lightning spoils it or when an earthquake spoils it.

Otherwise it never spoils, right.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on July 27, 2012, 07:00:51 PM
     Have you asked yourself about the integration in the forests and in animal world that never spoils except when the human hands reached it ?

Or unless a volcano spoils it or a hurricane spoils it or an asteroid spoils it or a huge wildfire started by lightning spoils it or when an earthquake spoils it.

Otherwise it never spoils, right.

You forget blights, insect invasions, and floods
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: HAL on July 27, 2012, 07:06:56 PM
You forget blights, insect invasions, and floods

I sure did! +1 Darwin to you!
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Quesi on July 27, 2012, 07:17:26 PM
Welcome to the forum Wael.  I think you will find some smart people, and some interesting discussions.

Debates here can get heated, and I think you will find that most members expect you to present evidence for your statements. 

Please take a few moments to review the rules, and look for a forum guide if you need some help settling in. 

I look forward to learning more about you, and your beliefs.  And in spite of the fact that I do not share your religious views, I wish you a Ramadan Mubarak. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on July 27, 2012, 09:32:09 PM
      I want you to ask yourself how this complex computer  you're setting on was found, Of course someone had created it , Then how this complex vast universe was created ,should have a creator our god (Allah)                             

We know how computers were built; how the principles leading up to them were discovered, how the parts were manufactured . . .all these are matters of historical fact.

Your retreat to "goddidit" when presented with "how coudl this universe have been created??" is an argument from incredulity.  Any time anyone can answer "I don't know" to a question like this, screaming "GODDIDIT" is the easiest--and laziest--thing in the world.

Science is hard.  It takes time.  And it is eager to find, and fix, its mistakes.

Religion is easy.  It's got all the answers laid out, all punishments and rewards spelled out (even though there are thousands of interpretations of these for every "Holly [sic] Book" out there).  And it cannot accept arguments to the contrary.

I know where I'm putting my money.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on July 27, 2012, 09:53:25 PM
Well ok here's another, I have what's called fibromyalgia and mine is the worst in my back and neck but goes everywhere in my body to my legs and arms and toes and hands. Torwards the beginning I went through tons of doctors and specialist and they all told me it was something different untill a rheumatologist finally got it right. But they all put me on pain killers and for a while I was addicted to them. I've been of them for some time now and feel better off of them, of course I still have my bad days as well. But there were many times that I was ready to throw the towel in and give up, I was asking God why, why me and why now so early in life? But I started to realize soon what he was doing with all this in my life and how he was teaching me through it. I started then to pray for God to give me strength in this and to help me with my pain. Starting then and still to this day I do that and every time I say that prayer to him instantly after I feel relief in the pain and it eases up. This is another incident that happened and still goes on that builds my faith, it isn't just one of any of these so you can't call them each a coincidence because because of the number of them and they all back each other up. If it were not for all the different aspects that have built my faith and belief he would not be as real as he is to me and I wouldn't believe. I will post another here tonight at some time.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Quesi on July 27, 2012, 10:12:43 PM
Well ok here's another, I have what's called fibromyalgia and mine is the worst in my back and neck but goes everywhere in my body to my legs and arms and toes and hands. Torwards the beginning I went through tons of doctors and specialist and they all told me it was something different untill a rheumatologist finally got it right. But they all put me on pain killers and for a while I was addicted to them. I've been of them for some time now and feel better off of them, of course I still have my bad days as well. But there were many times that I was ready to throw the towel in and give up, I was asking God why, why me and why now so early in life? But I started to realize soon what he was doing with all this in my life and how he was teaching me through it. I started then to pray for God to give me strength in this and to help me with my pain. Starting then and still to this day I do that and every time I say that prayer to him instantly after I feel relief in the pain and it eases up. This is another incident that happened and still goes on that builds my faith, it isn't just one of any of these so you can't call them each a coincidence because because of the number of them and they all back each other up. If it were not for all the different aspects that have built my faith and belief he would not be as real as he is to me and I wouldn't believe. I will post another here tonight at some time.

First of all, I am really sorry that you are facing such pain so young in life.  I had no idea that fibromyalgia affected people so young.

Listen, pain management is a complex issue, and a very personal issue.  I would argue that your act of prayer taps into some part of your brain, and you enter a calmer or meditative state as a result of your own actions.  But if it is working for you and you are able to function, I would certainly not try and talk you out of a pain management technique that works. 

But I would like to tell you a story. 

My beloved father suffered from a progressive form of arthritis that hit him fairly young.  He walked with a cane by the time he was in his 30's, and suffered very real pain.  My dad was an atheist, and he had no god to help him.  So he helped himself.  I would watch him sometimes, put himself into a sort of meditative state. 

I also noticed that when he was in a museum, or when he was walking somewhere he really wanted to walk, his pain diminished.  He would walk long and far, and it was clear that he was able to block out the pain.  But when my mom dragged him to the mall, he could not last a half hour.

He wasn't faking at the mall.  It was real.  But when he was in a situation that was unpleasant to him, and it required walking, walking was very difficult. 

You have learned to do a set of tricks on your brain to shut down some of the pain.  I hope that you continue to learn more ways to manage the pain.  But mostly I hope a better treatment is discovered, (by scientists and researchers) sooner rather than later, that will relieve the symptoms. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on July 27, 2012, 10:21:02 PM
@ Samuelke -- if you are able to acheive some pain relief with prayer you may want to look into Reiki.  I don't know whether you are in an area where it is available.  It requires the ability to focus & use positive energy to assist with pain management.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on July 27, 2012, 11:38:44 PM
Starting then and still to this day I do that and every time I say that prayer to him instantly after I feel relief in the pain and it eases up.

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it is known that psychological factors such as stress and anxiety contribute to the severity of its symptoms. It is not surprising then that comforting placebos such as prayer alleviate the symptoms.

Again, your belief that your God is somehow involved is yet another baseless assumption. Show us that this God of yours is real, but please give us something more than misapprehensions and fallacies.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on July 27, 2012, 11:39:30 PM
@ Samuelke -- if you are able to acheive some pain relief with prayer you may want to look into Reiki.

Sure, why not, Reiki (http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/reiki.html) has about the same efficacy as prayer.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on July 27, 2012, 11:55:40 PM
Well ok here's another, I have what's called fibromyalgia and mine is the worst in my back and neck but goes everywhere in my body to my legs and arms and toes and hands. Torwards the beginning I went through tons of doctors and specialist and they all told me it was something different untill a rheumatologist finally got it right.

Fibromyalgia is classically what doctors will say when their diagnosis is something akin to, "I don't know what the hell is wrong with you, so you have fibromyalgia".  The term fibromyalgia actually means 'pain in the muscle fibers'.  It doesn't tell you where it comes from, how you got it, or what is happening.  As you can imagine with such a situation, the symptoms are incredibly diverse for patients with this condition.  You can see all sorts of strange things and doctors will still classify it as fibromyalgia.  I've seen a lot of them as patients in the past.  It's a very common diagnosis.     

But they all put me on pain killers and for a while I was addicted to them.

Sorry to hear that.  I hope you're not addicted now.

I've been of them for some time now and feel better off of them, of course I still have my bad days as well. But there were many times that I was ready to throw the towel in and give up, I was asking God why, why me and why now so early in life?

When we are in difficult situations with seemingly no end in sight, it is human nature to ask for help.  We do it when we are young and our parents come to our rescue.  When we are older, there is nobody there to ask, but we still ask on instinct.  You're just talking to yourself though. 

But I started to realize soon what he was doing with all this in my life and how he was teaching me through it.

So God couldn't teach you things without giving you unbearable pain?  Do you find that pain is a good motivator for learning that you couldn't get through other ways?  What did you learn from it? 

Couldn't it be that you just have a physical condition that is affecting your body and there is no one to blame for it? 

I started then to pray for God to give me strength in this and to help me with my pain.

Why?  If God gave you the pain, it must be good for you, right?  Shouldn't you be asking for more of it? 

Why would you ask him for strength to deal with it instead of asking for it to stop?  And why would God give you strength to deal with it, if he wants you to have it in the first place? 

Starting then and still to this day I do that and every time I say that prayer to him instantly after I feel relief in the pain and it eases up.

I doubt that's the case.  It makes no sense that God would give you strength to deal with a pain he gave you in the first place. 

If I punched my son in the face every time I wanted to teach him something and then I hugged him after he did what I asked him to do, would that make me a good father?  This is what God is doing to you if he exists. 

The other possibility is that you just have physical pain from a condition that you can't seem to get rid of, and that God plays no role in any of it because he doesn't exist. 

This is another incident that happened and still goes on that builds my faith, it isn't just one of any of these so you can't call them each a coincidence because because of the number of them and they all back each other up. If it were not for all the different aspects that have built my faith and belief he would not be as real as he is to me and I wouldn't believe. I will post another here tonight at some time.

Did you know 29,000 children die every single day from starvation?  Millions of people die every year of cancer in horrible ways.  Yet you sit here and think that God makes your pain ease up every time you pray to him.  That's utterly ridiculous.  The pain relief you get is in your mind because you THINK God is there helping you though it.  Your mind is what processes pain, and it's your mind that tells you it's less when you pray. 

It's incredibly narcissistic to think that God favors you with a little bit of pain relief yet lets so many others suffer and die.  Can you stop thinking about yourself for a minute and look around at the world?  If God relieves your suffering, but does nothing for those 29,000 kids, do you really think God is worthy of your worship at all?  Seriously? 

@ Samuelke -- if you are able to acheive some pain relief with prayer you may want to look into Reiki.  I don't know whether you are in an area where it is available.  It requires the ability to focus & use positive energy to assist with pain management.

Don't do that.  Reiki does nothing.  You'd be wasting your money.  All the controlled studies that have been done show no evidence that reiki does anything for people.  Most of the time, the person doesn't even touch you.  They just put their hands a few centimeters above your skin and move them around as if they're doing something. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiki 

Although, if you believe it works, the placebo effect you get by going through the treatment might give you some relief just like your god belief does.  Its not actual benefit though.  Any benefit you might get is in your head. 

There are no great treatments for fibromyalgia, and that's because a lot of times they have no clue what causes it.  The common recommendations are to eat right and exercise, which is no different than the common recommendations that everyone should follow to be healthy. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on July 28, 2012, 12:01:50 AM
@ Quesi - The post above is a perfect example of what I told you in my PM.

@ Samuelke -- I have patients who reported to me that Reiki was effective in their pain management regimen.  I also have patients who did not find it effective.  It is not curative by any means.  Pain relief is in your head.  Neurotransmitters in your brain send signals to the affected areas telling them whether or not to hurt.  Jeff is correct that many Drs use fibromayalgia as blanket dx when they can't pinpoint what exactly is wrong with you.  But knowing that doesn't make it any less painful does it?  If your faith helps you don't throw it away because it didn't help someone else.

Oh boy I'm going to get trashed for this stupid advice.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Azdgari on July 28, 2012, 12:34:04 AM
@ Quesi - The post above is a perfect example of what I told you in my PM.

Which you would have told her in a PM'd reply, except that you want everyone else to know that you're talking about the posting style JeffPT is using, behind his back.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: magicmiles on July 28, 2012, 12:52:54 AM
@ Samuelke -- if you are able to acheive some pain relief with prayer you may want to look into Reiki.

Sure, why not, Reiki (http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/reiki.html) has about the same efficacy as prayer.

I agree with 3sigma Sam. It would be silly for you to try and achieve relief through unlikely sources. Much better to go back to the more likely sources which you know have not helped you.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on July 28, 2012, 12:53:43 AM
@ Quesi - The post above is a perfect example of what I told you in my PM.

Which you would have told her in a PM'd reply, except that you want everyone else to know that you're talking about the posting style JeffPT is using, behind his back.
Apologies to Jeff, my PM was not referring to him specifically, I should have made that clear.  I see I am wrong again.  I'm trying to keep from posting comments & stay out of trouble but since I happen to have experience in pain management I did want to let Sam know an option he may not have tried.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Azdgari on July 28, 2012, 12:56:24 AM
I worded that poorly.  Not so much behind JeffPT's back, specifically, but behind everyone's back who isn't Quesi, collectively.

The problem, Lori, is that now people know that you were discussing that posting style, and have a comment on it.  I for one am curious as to what it is.  But all there is, is you saying to Quesi that it's a perfect example of something.

Picture a pair of guys walking past you.  One of them says to the other, "see, girls like that are exactly what I was talking about".  How would that make you feel?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on July 28, 2012, 01:00:39 AM
I worded that poorly.  Not so much behind JeffPT's back, specifically, but behind everyone's back who isn't Quesi, collectively.

The problem, Lori, is that now people know that you were discussing that posting style, and have a comment on it.  I for one am curious as to what it is.  But all there is, is you saying to Quesi that it's a perfect example of something.

Picture a pair of guys walking past you.  One of them says to the other, "see, girls like that are exactly what I was talking about".  How would that make you feel?
Please see my edit, your response posted before I finished it.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on July 28, 2012, 05:04:36 AM
I only ask you to read in it and hear what this book says and if you haven't changed your mind then I'd be donkey

I have.  Does that mean you are?   ;)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on July 28, 2012, 05:08:18 AM
Well ok here's .....

Actually Samuel, instead of "oh, here's another", how about answering the questions you've been asked about your first couple of stories?

See, I'm worried that you will tell a story, we'll question it, and then instead of responding you'll just go on to another glurge, and another, and another, until we get tired of rebutting points that you will ignore - which you may perceive as us conceding your point.

So how about answering a couple of the questions you've been asked about your first couple tales, hmm?  The meteor, and the Vietnamese boat trip?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 01, 2012, 02:53:40 PM
to the OP: My brother in law summed it up best for me anyway.  "I worship the gods of Logic, Reason, Rational Thought, Critical Thinking, and Empathy."

To me this gets at the core of what I have come to believe over the last few months.  Reasonable, objective, evaluation of scientifically proven facts (and history); while showing care and compassion for my fellow human beings.  I may be a godless heathen, but I'm moral damnit! LOL
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 01, 2012, 03:07:15 PM
... To continue.  I actually feel that my life has significantly MORE meaning now that I no longer believe in God.  This feels like my one shot, there is no eternal life, there is no being in heaven dictating the behavior and attitudes of those around me. WE JUST ARE.  We exist, we have one opportunity in life to make a meaningfully positive impact on the world, or to do x, y, z... whatever you want from your life do it, and let that give you meaning.

IMO "God", just strips a lot of the meaning from life.  Everything is either predestined or at least you were created with God having the knowledge that you would complete xyz in your life.  If that's true, what is the point really?  Do you really have a choice in your life, or do you live in an ant farm that a petulant child can shake up like an etch-a-sketch, or come up and poor water into at any time?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 01, 2012, 10:00:23 PM
Apologies to Jeff, my PM was not referring to him specifically, I should have made that clear.  I see I am wrong again.  I'm trying to keep from posting comments & stay out of trouble but since I happen to have experience in pain management I did want to let Sam know an option he may not have tried.

No need to apologize.  Even if the PM was about me and even if you don't like my personal posting style, I'm not offended by that.  I'd be way more upset if you found the logic and reasoning behind my posts to be lacking.  Did you find anything I said to Sam to be poorly thought out or poorly reasoned?  I'd like to know where, because I'll be the first (well, my wife would be the first) to admit that I'm not right all the time.   

Just be aware that I'm not like this in real life.   I'm a different person outside of this website, as most likely most of us are.  I'm not consumed by distaste for religion in my every day life.  I can't be.  I live in the bible belt.  They don't take kindly to non-believers down here. 

There are hundreds of options Sam probably has not tried.  Homeopathic elixirs, exorcisms, leeching, bleeding, all sorts of fun stuff that won't work either.  I, too, have a good bit of experience in pain management, and I try to give my patients evidenced based treatments and steer them clear of things which are unlikely to help.  As health care professionals we should do our best to encourage those types of treatments, don't you think?  Of course there are always alternative options, and Sam is free to try whatever treatment he wants, but I believe telling him that Reiki might help could be financially draining, and from an evidence stand point, it is on par with telling him to go out and buy some red crystals, some blue crystals, and to go have his palm read, as those might help too.  It would probably be a lot cheaper just to tell him about the miraculous healing power of superficially applied peanut butter. Rub it all over your back, Sam.  Chunky, not smooth. 

If Reiki had scientific research that supported it's use, we would just call it medicine.  Until then, its not medicine.  It's an appeal to the placebo effect.  That's why it works for some people.  Just like sugar pills can work for people who think they're downing a Vicodin.   

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 01, 2012, 11:03:01 PM
I understand that the meteor story is hard to believe or all of them for that matter, but in all my doubt and disbelief at the time I knew he was telling me something and it wasnt just by chance. It is hard for me to consider that even we are here by chance when I read so much science, math, and logic saying its impossible. For instance, just the human enzyme, which is just the building block to the gene and the cell, the probability of that coming about by chance is insane I can't remember the exacts off the top of my head. I am nowhere near adapt enough in all these subjects as many others are but that's why I'm trying to study more about all this but if anyone is interested I recommend looking into Francis Collins, John Lennox, and Ravi zacharias just find some of their videos all of them are much more capable then me at answering all the questions. Also it said in that story about the translator the bible pages were coming from the general of the camp someone had given him that bible as a present and he was using it to wipe when using the restroom.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 01, 2012, 11:57:44 PM
the probability of that coming about by chance is insane I can't remember the exacts off the top of my head.

Beware of apologists when they start spouting that 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance stuff.... you can get pretty lose with how you crunch those numbers in order to get those ridiculously large numbers.  For instance they like to say that things had to happen 'all at once' in order to work, but thats not how chemistry/biology works. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 02, 2012, 12:22:42 AM
the probability of that coming about by chance is insane I can't remember the exacts off the top of my head.

Beware of apologists when they start spouting that 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance stuff.... you can get pretty lose with how you crunch those numbers in order to get those ridiculously large numbers.  For instance they like to say that things had to happen 'all at once' in order to work, but thats not how chemistry/biology works.

I have not heard that from any Christian theology and if some are saying this then that would be going against the belief of the bible really. We can interpret pretty well some of creation from genesis but in ally reality not one of us was there to see so the belief is that only God knows. But we can see very clearly in genesis there are many steps stated that he took to create everything and no where does it say and poof it was all there.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 02, 2012, 05:07:48 AM
I understand that the meteor story is hard to believe or all of them for that matter, but in all my doubt and disbelief at the time I knew he was telling me something and it wasnt just by chance.....

Since you "know" it didn't appear by chance, then you ARE saying that your god "engineered a significant change in the nature of reality purely to assist your faith".  I therefore repeat my follow-on question to that point - as well as the subsidiary question 2.

1A) How would you comment on those people here who were also once believers, but who (despite fervert prayer) never got the sign you were given?  Further, you realise that you have just asserted the existence of a being who will make dramatic changes to reality for the sake of some kid's wavering faith.  Given that you assert a directly interventionist god, why famine?  Why child abuse?  Why anything that god isn't keen on?  You don't even have to have him jumping in and taking physical action - if he is so keen on directly observable signs, why not just have something similar when one does something bad?

2) Was the meteor visible to anyone else on the planet?  What if (say) a Muslim was questioning the existence of Allah at just that point?  They saw YOUR meteor, and assumed it was a specific sign from them, so YOUR wavering has led to someone else moving further away from the one true faith.

2a) Why would your god value your faith over that of others?  Why would a god that - allegedly - wants a  relationship with everyone do something so misinterpretable as being the actions of a different god?

I know that you will find these questions difficult to answer.  They are hard questions for someone who has never really thought about their faith and what they believe....and what that implies.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 02, 2012, 10:03:46 AM


I have not heard that from any Christian theology and if some are saying this then that would be going against the belief of the bible really. We can interpret pretty well some of creation from genesis but in ally reality not one of us was there to see so the belief is that only God knows. But we can see very clearly in genesis there are many steps stated that he took to create everything and no where does it say and poof it was all there.

Sorry, my fault, I was not specific.  I said "all at once".  What I was talking about was that, sometimes, certainly not EVERY time... When you see those huge probabilities they are sometimes saying things like a single cell, or a bacteria, or even something like the phospho-lipid bi layer had to happen "all at once".  The odds of that happening "all at once" is ridiculous enough to be laughable.

Another one of "the odds" I have heard stated (though not directly what you are talking about I understand), is the odds of Jesus, or any other one person completing the number of prophesies stated in the OT.  This however would assume that the person/people who WROTE the NT had no knowledge of the content of the OT, AND would assume that those things actually happened.  Since the former is certainly false alone means that probabilities are useless in this context.

By and large when I hear one of those guys talking probability I would like to hear EXACTLY how they came up with those numbers, over what PERIOD OF TIME are we talking about (ie the odds of something happening in any given second are remote, but the odds of something EVER happening are significantly higher).  Math isn't even something I am terribly strong in, but I know enough that statistics can be manipulated to say pretty much whatever you want them to.  Thats a crime that many people beyond this subject are guilty of.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 02, 2012, 10:35:36 AM
I am nowhere near adapt enough in all these subjects as many others are

So you are not actually qualified to offer an opinion, are you? 

That is a peeve of mine.  When people completely ignorant of a subject feel the right to disagree and dismiss experts in the field without any grounds.  "I don't know the first thing about economics, but I know in my heart that reducing taxes on the rich will create more jobs"

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 03, 2012, 12:33:07 AM
I understand that the meteor story is hard to believe or all of them for that matter, but in all my doubt and disbelief at the time I knew he was telling me something and it wasnt just by chance.....

Since you "know" it didn't appear by chance, then you ARE saying that your god "engineered a significant change in the nature of reality purely to assist your faith".  I therefore repeat my follow-on question to that point - as well as the subsidiary question 2.

1A) How would you comment on those people here who were also once believers, but who (despite fervert prayer) never got the sign you were given?  Further, you realise that you have just asserted the existence of a being who will make dramatic changes to reality for the sake of some kid's wavering faith.  Given that you assert a directly interventionist god, why famine?  Why child abuse?  Why anything that god isn't keen on?  You don't even have to have him jumping in and taking physical action - if he is so keen on directly observable signs, why not just have something similar when one does something bad?

2) Was the meteor visible to anyone else on the planet?  What if (say) a Muslim was questioning the existence of Allah at just that point?  They saw YOUR meteor, and assumed it was a specific sign from them, so YOUR wavering has led to someone else moving further away from the one true faith.

2a) Why would your god value your faith over that of others?  Why would a god that - allegedly - wants a  relationship with everyone do something so misinterpretable as being the actions of a different god?

I know that you will find these questions difficult to answer.  They are hard questions for someone who has never really thought about their faith and what they believe....and what that implies.

Well your hitting a whole lot uh different points here I'll try my best to give a response to all. I'll start with saying yes I do believe he jumps in at certain times to do things but it is only on his limited basis because he can't just always jump in It would end up throwing to many other things out of balance. Now next I'd say that praying is at first for all people hard to understand but I truly believe a thorough reading of the bible will help with this. In the many things it says on prayer one is how the more  doubt you have the harder it is for the prayer to be answered so in turn the more you trust in him the more likely it is. I would also like to hear about some of these believers experiences from what is and how did they come to the belief. In my own experience I've found that it isn't normally asking for him to give you something or do something in your life for you, unless your asking for strength and wisdom those he says ask and you shal receive not material things. The bible teaches us that what we know and what we want are far different then what he knows and what we want. Many many times in my life years have gone by before I realized that God answered a certain prayer because there have been times when I've been looking for a certain answer and blind to what he was actually trying to get through. I can blind myself to it though in many different ways. And really I promise the signs are always there it's just a matter a few things, the absolute best way to understand and interpret these signs is to read the bible, not just prayer and my relationship with him but the combination of that and reading the word more then anything helps me see these signs. Next this world of good and bad or evil, is the only reality that can produce the love that can be found in ours, where people will go out of there community and society and help people they don't know at all and get nothing out of helping them. The free will we have has it's ramifications and without them our reality would be much different.
The second question I'd say yeah I can't discount that possibility of something like that happening but that's all it is a possibility. I also feel though when a close examination is done Christianity among all other religions is the only one I see that is true and coherent, I think it works out logically and if you disagree then we can discuss that.

This was one of many things that assemble my belief into what it is and if you think that Christianity isn't as believable or true compared to other religions what are your reasons why?

I have done a large amount of research into my faith and religions of all types and other views. If you think I haven't that's ok with me. And this is also to another post about how I was saying I'm not the best in all the areas to be the one explaining but I was just referring to the fact that there are many people who have dedicated their lives to understanding these things so obviously they know more then me that's why I reference to them. But I'm on here because over the last seven years learning about all sides of this debate has become a passion a deep one at that, of mine. So I do think that I am capable of doing these things but I don't at all think I'm the best in any way.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on August 03, 2012, 01:35:11 AM
I'll start with saying yes I do believe he jumps in at certain times to do things but it is only on his limited basis because he can't just always jump in It would end up throwing to many other things out of balance.

What does this even mean?


Quote
In the many things it says on prayer one is how the more  doubt you have the harder it is for the prayer to be answered so in turn the more you trust in him the more likely it is.

So how do you verify this?


Quote
Many many times in my life years have gone by before I realized that God answered a certain prayer because there have been times when I've been looking for a certain answer and blind to what he was actually trying to get through. I can blind myself to it though in many different ways. And really I promise the signs are always there it's just a matter a few things, the absolute best way to understand and interpret these signs is to read the bible, not just prayer and my relationship with him but the combination of that and reading the word more then anything helps me see these signs.

How do you verify that this is answered prayers, rather than you using your imagination to tie together unrelated things?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: stuffin on August 03, 2012, 08:05:18 AM
How do you verify that this is answered prayers, rather than you using your imagination to tie together unrelated things?

I'm deviating slightly, but your comment got me thinking;

The only prayers which can be justified statisticlly are the ones god answers.

That sure seems like a xian mindset.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 03, 2012, 12:24:18 PM
In the many things it says on prayer one is how the more  doubt you have the harder it is for the prayer to be answered so in turn the more you trust in him the more likely it is.

You make it sound as if a person's sincerity has power over god.  That is, the more doubt I have in my prayer, the more difficult it is for god to respond to the request, rather than he being more unwilling to respond to the request.

Do I have that right?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 03, 2012, 12:29:21 PM
I'll start with saying yes I do believe he jumps in at certain times to do things but it is only on his limited basis because he can't just always jump in It would end up throwing to many other things out of balance.

What does this even mean?

Haven't you read god's best-selling memoirs?  Every time he steps in to do something he screws something else up.  The g-man can't fix one thing without thoroughly breaking something else (assuming he even fixes the thingie he intended to fix in the first place).  He's kind of like a cheap auto mechanic.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 04, 2012, 03:13:33 AM
I'll start with saying yes I do believe he jumps in at certain times to do things but it is only on his limited basis because he can't just always jump in It would end up throwing to many other things out of balance.

What does this even mean?


Quote
In the many things it says on prayer one is how the more  doubt you have the harder it is for the prayer to be answered so in turn the more you trust in him the more likely it is.

So how do you verify this?


Quote
Many many times in my life years have gone by before I realized that God answered a certain prayer because there have been times when I've been looking for a certain answer and blind to what he was actually trying to get through. I can blind myself to it though in many different ways. And really I promise the signs are always there it's just a matter a few things, the absolute best way to understand and interpret these signs is to read the bible, not just prayer and my relationship with him but the combination of that and reading the word more then anything helps me see these signs.

How do you verify that this is answered prayers, rather than you using your imagination to tie together unrelated things?

First question: it's like a hill and one person goes up while another is coming down, the person gowing up cant ask for it to be down withouthout the other person then having to go up. It's to me slightly like and just slightly hear me out, in movies and what not if somebody goes back in time and changes something when they return to the future it has changed dozens of things. Biblically speaking man made that choice in the beginning to have full free will or knowledge of good and evil, so it would be taking away from our free will and the cause and effect nature of our world if he answered every prayer in the way each person wants him to answer.

2nd: “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (James 1:6-8).

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declared the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

1 Corinthians 13:12 tells us that now we see things dimly, as in a mirror, but someday we will see clearly and understand how God answered our prayers.

3rd: for me ever since the first time I really and truly put my trust in God it's been a daily experience that I see grow more and more and I see the more I trust in him and ask for his forgiveness the more he blesses me in both the good times and I see his grace grow even more through the bad. For me this has been very convincing in the grace and peace he gives me when times are rough and how he helps me see and understand so much more and all more clearly. I've seen struggle grow harsher when I pray with less trust and less passion for God.


Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 04, 2012, 03:38:48 AM
According to the bible for a prayer to be answered one praying must sincerely believe in him and also in Jesus an put all other idols or gods or any thing we put before him material or not, aside and put him first. The you must ask for forgiveness and you see the western world was built on the idea of forgiveness and the east was built on unforgivness, finally you must be praying from the right place meaning not to be asking for more money or anything like that. If that happens god will always answer whether it is the answer we want or not, the bible also says we must wait on answers ask well as they can be difficult to find. It's vital to me to see that in my belief God has created us here but our eternal home is heaven and for me trying to see that eternal perspective, which can be difficult, helps put a lot of the suffering and many questions of life into perspective and understanding for me. It's not harder for god to answer prayers when there is doubt that is just simply how he has made it and how he wants it. I can go more into to detail here but I'll stop for now it's almost five.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on August 04, 2012, 09:32:10 AM
First question: it's like a hill and one person goes up while another is coming down, the person gowing up cant ask for it to be down withouthout the other person then having to go up. It's to me slightly like and just slightly hear me out, in movies and what not if somebody goes back in time and changes something when they return to the future it has changed dozens of things. Biblically speaking man made that choice in the beginning to have full free will or knowledge of good and evil, so it would be taking away from our free will and the cause and effect nature of our world if he answered every prayer in the way each person wants him to answer.

This answer is... muddled.  I'm not sure how to respond to a muddled comment.  But it does comes off more as "excuse making" than anything else.  You keep having to explain why god does nothing that is obvious.  Does that ever bother you?

Also, if god doesn't answer prayers (because of the free will thing), then why even pray?


Quote
2nd: “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (James 1:6-8).

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declared the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

1 Corinthians 13:12 tells us that now we see things dimly, as in a mirror, but someday we will see clearly and understand how God answered our prayers.

Bibles quotes does nothing to answe the question.



Quote
3rd: for me ever since the first time I really and truly put my trust in God it's been a daily experience that I see grow more and more and I see the more I trust in him and ask for his forgiveness the more he blesses me in both the good times and I see his grace grow even more through the bad. For me this has been very convincing in the grace and peace he gives me when times are rough and how he helps me see and understand so much more and all more clearly. I've seen struggle grow harsher when I pray with less trust and less passion for God.

This does nothing to answer my question.  Nothing at all.  I asked for how you verify that prayers were answered.  This... doesn't even relate to the question.


Looking back, I have to give your first answer a bit more credit.  It was something of a muddle, but at least you made an effort with the respond, which is far more than can be said with your following replies.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 04, 2012, 10:41:42 AM
The you must ask for forgiveness and you see the western world was built on the idea of forgiveness and the east was built on unforgivness, finally you must be praying from the right place meaning not to be asking for more money or anything like that.
As a person of Asian decent, should I feel *insulted* by that???

But there can *still* be an *answer* given to a prayer coming from the 'wrong' place, right?  Wouldn't it just be more sensible for god to actually *respond* to my prayer for more money with something like 'No, dude, that's pretty selfish.  You should really be living your life in accordance to kindness to others.  Why don't you try asking for something else?'

Wouldn't scenarios like that be more beneficial towards god's goal of eliminating sin and getting mankind to understand, accept, and revel in god's unconditional love with no impact on the free wills of the beings that god wants to adore and be adored by?
Quote
If that happens god will always answer whether it is the answer we want or not, the bible also says we must wait on answers ask well as they can be difficult to find. It's vital to me to see that in my belief God has created us here but our eternal home is heaven and for me trying to see that eternal perspective, which can be difficult, helps put a lot of the suffering and many questions of life into perspective and understanding for me. It's not harder for god to answer prayers when there is doubt that is just simply how he has made it and how he wants it. I can go more into to detail here but I'll stop for now it's almost five.
For the sake of asking it, let's say it does a lot to help your suffering and many questions of life.  What are the ramifications of your belief structure on the suffering of others?  And that help with those questions of life - how do you know the answers your beliefs provide are true?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on August 04, 2012, 01:13:54 PM
According to the bible for a prayer to be answered one praying must sincerely believe in him and also in Jesus an put all other idols or gods or any thing we put before him material or not, aside and put him first. The you must ask for forgiveness and you see the western world was built on the idea of forgiveness and the east was built on unforgivness, finally you must be praying from the right place meaning not to be asking for more money or anything like that. If that happens god will always answer whether it is the answer we want or not, the bible also says we must wait on answers ask well as they can be difficult to find. It's vital to me to see that in my belief God has created us here but our eternal home is heaven and for me trying to see that eternal perspective, which can be difficult, helps put a lot of the suffering and many questions of life into perspective and understanding for me. It's not harder for god to answer prayers when there is doubt that is just simply how he has made it and how he wants it. I can go more into to detail here but I'll stop for now it's almost five.

So let's see, for a prayer to be answered, you need to be:

1)Sincere

2) Asking for forgiveness (from what?  You listed idols, but there's very little of that these days)

3) Not asking for selfish things


Alright, fine.  So why are there no cases of an amputee being healed by god?  Don't tell me that nobody ever sincerely prayed for the well-being of an amputee.

For that matter, have you ever prayed that god will show himself before us so that we may stop doubting and start believing?  I presume that you sincerely do not want us to go to hell or "walk away from the lord".  Yet, I have never heard even an "hello" from god.  Why is that?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Frank on August 04, 2012, 01:26:38 PM
According to the bible for a prayer to be answered one praying must sincerely believe in him and also in Jesus an put all other idols or gods or any thing we put before him material or not, aside and put him first. The you must ask for forgiveness and you see the western world was built on the idea of forgiveness and the east was built on unforgivness,

Would this be the same "unforgiving" east where Christianity, not to mention, Buddhism, were born? And would it be the same "forgiving" west where the two bloodiest wars in human history were fought? The same west that used nuclear weapons on a civilian population? Wasn't much forgiveness that day.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jynnan tonnix on August 04, 2012, 04:26:27 PM
According to the bible for a prayer to be answered one praying must sincerely believe in him and also in Jesus an put all other idols or gods or any thing we put before him material or not, aside and put him first. The you must ask for forgiveness and you see the western world was built on the idea of forgiveness and the east was built on unforgivness, finally you must be praying from the right place meaning not to be asking for more money or anything like that. If that happens god will always answer whether it is the answer we want or not [bold mine], the bible also says we must wait on answers ask well as they can be difficult to find. It's vital to me to see that in my belief God has created us here but our eternal home is heaven and for me trying to see that eternal perspective, which can be difficult, helps put a lot of the suffering and many questions of life into perspective and understanding for me. It's not harder for god to answer prayers when there is doubt that is just simply how he has made it and how he wants it. I can go more into to detail here but I'll stop for now it's almost five.

So, how, exactly, can one tell whether a prayer was answered if the answer is "no". Could it be, rather, that in this case god decided there was not enough sincerity, faith, etc in the petition?

To say nothing of the possibility that the prayer was not answered since god is, in fact, imaginary...
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: fasi345 on August 04, 2012, 04:27:42 PM
Yes I do believe in God and when we die we will be awarded/punished for our deeds in this world and get endless life in heaven/hell
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: DumpsterFire on August 04, 2012, 04:48:12 PM
Yes I do believe in God and when we die we will be awarded/punished for our deeds in this world and get endless life in heaven/hell

Welcome to the forum, fasi.

One question I have asked several theists here regards the notion of eternal life. Specifically, how deeply have you considered the ramifications of living for eternity? What exactly do you think you will be doing forever? For the sake of argument you may answer under the assumption that your final destination is heaven, although I would welcome your thoughts on eternal hell, as well.

And please, no throwaway stock xtian answers like "I'll be forever happy in the presence of god", but a well considered response in your own words. For example, how do you imagine day 2 in heaven will be different from day 2 million or day 2 billion, et al. ?

I hope you'll take the opportunity to be the first theist to actually respond to this, and I honestly look forward to your answer.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Quesi on August 04, 2012, 05:33:13 PM
Yes I do believe in God and when we die we will be awarded/punished for our deeds in this world and get endless life in heaven/hell

Welcome to the forum, fasi.

One question I have asked several theists here regards the notion of eternal life. Specifically, how deeply have you considered the ramifications of living for eternity? What exactly do you think you will be doing forever? For the sake of argument you may answer under the assumption that your final destination is heaven, although I would welcome your thoughts on eternal hell, as well.

And please, no throwaway stock xtian answers like "I'll be forever happy in the presence of god", but a well considered response in your own words. For example, how do you imagine day 2 in heaven will be different from day 2 million or day 2 billion, et al. ?

I hope you'll take the opportunity to be the first theist to actually respond to this, and I honestly look forward to your answer.

That is a really good question.  And one that I admit I had never really thought about before.

What does one do in the afterlife?  Forever and ever and ever?

I've posted about my sweet aunt, who believes her mom and my grandma are up in heaven cooking for my dad.  Even if you put aside the absurdity of dead people eating, it is not one of my utopian visions. 

I've seen the artistic depictions of deceased loved ones sitting on clouds and playing harps.  And that would be great for a few hours.  Days?  But years?  Millions, billions, trillions of years?

There was a video a while back by some guy who claimed he died and went to heaven, and romped around various different celestial districts, including a "body parts" room, which had all sorts of healthy body parts (livers, kidneys, ears, whatnot) that are sent down to earth to the holy who pray for them. 

So what do these blessed souls do for eternity? 

Reuniting with lost loved ones will be joyous, and will certainly take a while.  Meeting ancestors, quite a while.  Peeking in on loved ones on planet earth would be satisfying.  Music is nice.  Sitting around feeling bliss is nice.  Sitting next to a white haired bearded deity on a throne would be exciting.  Being embraced by a loving Jesus would rock. 

And then what?  Do you get to collect all human knowledge?  Are there books?  Movies?  Or do you just sit there and get celestial knowledge infusions? 

And then what?  After you know all that there is to know?

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your loved ones who ended up in hell?   Can you get passes to visit them?  Or are they wiped from your memory - as if they never existed?

And then what?

I imagine you spend a lot of time meditating and reveling in the goodness of God and whatnot. 

Do you get to take naps?

But forever?  Millions?  Billions?  Trillions of years?

Wouldn't you, eventually, long for an end?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Quesi on August 04, 2012, 05:34:49 PM
sorry- double post
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 04, 2012, 05:42:44 PM
When I believed in such things I just always assumed that God would somehow make it so the whole experience isn't as incredibly boring as it would seem.  I don't know.... a Holy Lobotomy or something.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 04, 2012, 08:26:56 PM
First question: it's like a hill and one person goes up while another is coming down, the person gowing up cant ask for it to be down withouthout the other person then having to go up. It's to me slightly like and just slightly hear me out, in movies and what not if somebody goes back in time and changes something when they return to the future it has changed dozens of things. Biblically speaking man made that choice in the beginning to have full free will or knowledge of good and evil, so it would be taking away from our free will and the cause and effect nature of our world if he answered every prayer in the way each person wants him to answer.

This answer is... muddled.  I'm not sure how to respond to a muddled comment.  But it does comes off more as "excuse making" than anything else.  You keep having to explain why god does nothing that is obvious.  Does that ever bother you?

Also, if god doesn't answer prayers (because of the free will thing), then why even pray?


Quote
2nd: “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (James 1:6-8).

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declared the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

1 Corinthians 13:12 tells us that now we see things dimly, as in a mirror, but someday we will see clearly and understand how God answered our prayers.

Bibles quotes does nothing to answe the question.



Quote
3rd: for me ever since the first time I really and truly put my trust in God it's been a daily experience that I see grow more and more and I see the more I trust in him and ask for his forgiveness the more he blesses me in both the good times and I see his grace grow even more through the bad. For me this has been very convincing in the grace and peace he gives me when times are rough and how he helps me see and understand so much more and all more clearly. I've seen struggle grow harsher when I pray with less trust and less passion for God.

This does nothing to answer my question.  Nothing at all.  I asked for how you verify that prayers were answered.  This... doesn't even relate to the question.


Looking back, I have to give your first answer a bit more credit.  It was something of a muddle, but at least you made an effort with the respond, which is far more than can be said with your following replies.

I am never bothered by it because every single day of my life now God is as obvious to me as the people places and things I encounter everyday. But before I started taking God seriously and was filled with doubt there was not almost anything at all obvious about God. I only started to see and understand what he was saying to me clearly when I put all my belief and whole heart into it. God will only be seen if one genuinely wants to see him, why would he show himself and be obvious to someone who is dead set on him being only a figment of the imagination. 

The evidence in my own life has been more then enough proof for myself for the existence of God now all this information on prayer research only affirms my beliefs I suggest you give these next few links a serious chance since it covers scientific research. I truly believe though that all this only does so much and you and me all of us will truly see the proof when we see him work in our own lives.

http://www.plim.org/PrayerDeb.htm

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/features-the-religion-world/2012/04/26/is-there-scientific-proof-that-prayer-can-heal/

http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/science_investagates_prayer.htm


http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/PDF/fenwick_%208_4_04.pdf
 
http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/headline_health/prayer_healing_power/2012/04/06/443812.html

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-12-15/health/os-doctors-believe-in-miracles-20101215_1_miracles-doctor-physicians

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 04, 2012, 08:27:47 PM
Give me a little time here and I'll be making another post
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Frank on August 04, 2012, 08:44:21 PM
 

The evidence in my own life has been more then enough proof for myself for the existence of God now all this information on prayer research only affirms my beliefs I suggest you give these next few links a serious chance since it covers scientific research. I truly believe though that all this only does so much and you and me all of us will truly see the proof when we see him work in our own lives.


You provide links that prayer works. What kind of faith is that?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: curiousgirl on August 04, 2012, 09:19:36 PM
The evidence in my own life has been more then enough proof for myself for the existence of God

Hi, there. I just wanted to comment that I used to say the exact same thing that you just said. I used to have a pastor who said that the best way to lead someone to Christ was to tell them your own personal story as evidence, and that they cannot argue with that. However, I realize how flawed that was because we all have our own personal testimonies, and some of us feel that they point strongly to the non-existence of any gods. Basically, what seems like evidence to you won't work for everyone because your perspective is subjective, and is not a great argument for claiming that God's existence is objective reality.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 04, 2012, 10:14:06 PM
@Samuelike -
So I perused those links... Note that the ones that mentioned a "miraculous recover" were anecdotal evidence at best, and the ones that were actually scientific in nature showed very little if any correlation between individuals prayed for and those that were not.  As the actual WWGHA document shows (not sure if youve read it or just joined the site), God never does anything that cannot be explained by coincidence... this is a problem...  God doesn't heal amputees, he doesn't heal the mentally handicapped, he doesn't heal those with birth defects, he does not heal people with genetic disorders.

(Further, if God was going to create a world FOR humans, He certainly created a myriad of ways to kill us... one would think 1 or 2 kinds of bacteria/viruses would have been sufficient, with 1 or 2 kinda of genetic or birth defects... no there are millions of variants, many of them (the types of bacteria) do not do a damn thing.... also mosquitoes, wtf?)

As someone who was very recently a Christian, I understand what your view of God likely is (I know, I could be wrong, but bear with me).  I know that when I believed in God, I certainly didn't limit Him to a statistical anomaly.  One would assume that if we are talking about an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and benevolent being any study done in due diligence would always have a positive correlation between prayer and positive recovery.  If God is God, then he is FREAKING GOD.  If He wants to be an object of worship, which the Bible certainly seems to indicate, why would He need to hide behind "small healing". 

I mean, I struggle with this, part of me still thinks "oh shit, I hope im right about this"... I would be lying if I said that I don't think that there is any way that there is a God.  However, look at the evidence.... its simply not there man.  I wasted 32 years of my life believing that there was some being watching over me and protecting me, and answering my prayers.... but if you are really honest with yourself, has God EVERY answered a prayer that could not possibly be explained by coincidence?  Im willing to bet if  you are completely honest with yourself and with the members of this site the answer is "no".

Again Samuel, I'm not here to belittle your beliefs, you are entitled to believe whatever you want.  But if you are a rational human being, you are forced to look at the stark LACK of evidence for any type of deity, and somehow rationalize that lack with what you want to believe... but the evidence certainly does not support such a belief.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: DumpsterFire on August 04, 2012, 10:34:16 PM
I only started to see and understand what he was saying to me clearly when I put all my belief and whole heart into it. God will only be seen if one genuinely wants to see him.

So essentially, Sam, you are reversing the age-old rational, logical assertion of "Seeing is Believing" and saying it is only effective when it becomes "Believing is Seeing." Does it seem in any way disingenuous to you that the only means by which to access the "evidence" of god which would sway one to believe in him is restricted to those who already believe in him? Of course you started "seeing" him once you put all your belief into it, because at that point you already believed! Its amazing how easy it is to "see" god in everything around you when you already believe he exists and that he created it all.

Its called Confirmation Bias, and it is the most oft-employed tactic in the theist's bag-o-tricks.

edit: context
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on August 04, 2012, 11:44:54 PM
I am never bothered by it because every single day of my life now God is as obvious to me as the people places and things I encounter everyday. But before I started taking God seriously and was filled with doubt there was not almost anything at all obvious about God. I only started to see and understand what he was saying to me clearly when I put all my belief and whole heart into it. God will only be seen if one genuinely wants to see him, why would he show himself and be obvious to someone who is dead set on him being only a figment of the imagination. 

The evidence in my own life has been more then enough proof for myself for the existence of God now all this information on prayer research only affirms my beliefs I suggest you give these next few links a serious chance since it covers scientific research. I truly believe though that all this only does so much and you and me all of us will truly see the proof when we see him work in our own lives.

I don't think you've answered my question about prayer verification.

I want to know how do you verify that god did, in fact, answer your prayers.


Maybe I need to give some examples.

Someone losses his keys.  He prays to god to help find his key.  He finds his keys.  Did god answer his prayer, or did he just happen to find what he was looking for?  Either way, how do you determine this?

Someone go to a job interview.  That person later prays that she'll get the job.  A few days later, she got the job.  Did god answer her prayers, or did the HR person simply thought that she was qualified for the job?  Either way, how do you determine this?

Someone has a sick aunt.  She's a sweet lady.  He prays that she recovers from her illness.  She does recover.  Did god answer his prayers, or did she had some chances of recovering anyway?  Either way, how do you determine this?


If those are not good examples of prayers, then provide what would be a good example.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: DumpsterFire on August 04, 2012, 11:54:24 PM
That is a really good question.  And one that I admit I had never really thought about before.

What does one do in the afterlife?  Forever and ever and ever?

It was not something I truly pondered until recent years myself, and I know you and I are not alone in that regard. Most people think of heaven as a perfect place where they will get to see lost loved ones again, maybe hang out with god/Jesus/Jimi Hendrix (some say they're all the same person ;D), and just be happy and free from pain and fear and evil forever. But eternity is not a concept that the human mind can process effectively. Everything we experience, every instinct we possess, every perspective to which we can relate is based on something finite. It is very difficult to wrap our heads around forever.

And then what?  Do you get to collect all human knowledge?  Are there books?  Movies?  Or do you just sit there and get celestial knowledge infusions? 

And then what?  After you know all that there is to know?

And then what, indeed. Those three words sum it up so well.
One of the biggest questions I have is, once you know all there is to know (which is inevitable on an endless timeline), wouldn't that make you a god yourself?

Wouldn't you, eventually, long for an end?

And there you have it. It is very difficult if not impossible to conceive of an eternal afterlife that will not eventually suck like a Hoover. At least, not one where any vestige of humanity is maintained.

Should I (or you Quesi, if you are so inclined) create a new thread on this subject?


edit: clarity
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 05, 2012, 12:41:51 AM
Quick question to all that this relates to in what you have said, how can you say that you have never heard, seen, or understood God or whatever he tries to get through to us if you have never actually taken that first step, in saying ok God I'm gonna trust you are actually here, then do some looking into the bible (or whatever religion you want to know about) and learn exactly what it says about prayer, and then actually give its teachings a fair shot( and for the bible that's Jesus for he said he was the truth, he didn't only say it he lived it, and I can give secular qoutes talking on how only Jesus in all history out of all and any of the teachers and great teachers, only he actually lived such a life that exemplified love and the things he was actually teaching. How if not doing this can you say you know there is no God?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 05, 2012, 09:41:09 AM
Quick question to all that this relates to in what you have said, how can you say that you have never heard, seen, or understood God or whatever he tries to get through to us if you have never actually taken that first step, in saying ok God I'm gonna trust you are actually here

I have to break this up at this comma, because you ran on and on with this sentence. 

First, this isn't the way things normally work Sam.  You've been led to believe by lots of people that god is real.  That may or may not be the case.  In order for that to be the case, you can't START by saying "Ok, God, you're real."  You have to start with the assumption that either of them could be true. 

Why don't you start with the rejection of God as being real and live your life normally.  Or why don't you start with the belief that Allah is real.  Or Thor, or Zeus. 

Do you really think that it's a good move to start with the premise that God is real and make everything else fit into that?  Or do you think it is better to allow the evidence at hand to lead you to your conclusions?  If I said to you that you had to start with the premise that leprechauns were real and try to understand them that way, what would you say to me?  At what point in time can you ever stop saying leprechauns are real if the entire thing depends on believing it's real to start with? 

You've bought into the notion that God is real, and now you can't get out of it.  You're locked in.  No matter how much reality slaps you in the face and tells you that there is no such thing as the Christian God (29,000 kids die every day of starvation, cancer kills millions every year, the holocaust, etc), you are literally forced find ways to explain all of that away because you start with the belief that God is real.  Try not doing that.  Start with the notion of 'could god be real' and let the evidence lead you.  That's all we do different from you. 

, then do some looking into the bible (or whatever religion you want to know about) and learn exactly what it says about prayer

Be careful here.  You're on a website with people who probably know a lot more about your bible than you do.  Most of us have read it.  Most of us have heard all the arguments.  We know exactly what the bible says about prayer.  The fact that reality does not jive with what the bible says about prayer is not lost on us.  It is lost on you.  You are the one forced to find explanations to get around the fact that in many places the bible explicitly says that if you pray for something in Jesus name, you'll get it. 

, and then actually give its teachings a fair shot

What do you mean, give it a fair shot?  Have you ever given any other religion a fair shot?  Why is yours special?  Because you say it is? 

And who's version of the biblical teachings should we trust?  Yours?  Which one of the 38,000 sects of Christianity should we give a fair shot to? 

Do you really think you gave Christianity a 'fair shot' when you started with the premise that it was all true?  That's not fair, it's incredibly biased.  In order to give religion a fair shot, you have to start with the question of whether or not there is any form of deity, and then let the evidence take you where it goes.  The Christian God, however, is not where things end up if you do that.

( and for the bible that's Jesus for he said he was the truth

Do know anything about biblical history?  Like who wrote the gospels, how many copies we have of the originals, etc?  Yes, your bible says Jesus was the truth.  Why do you automatically think he was right?  It's just words in a really old book.  There are words in other really old books that say different things too. 

You are starting with the notion that Jesus was correct.  Why?  Because that's what you've been told to do?   I could say that I am the truth too, you know.  That doesn't make it true. 

, he didn't only say it he lived it, and I can give secular qoutes talking on how only Jesus in all history out of all and any of the teachers and great teachers, only he actually lived such a life that exemplified love and the things he was actually teaching.

Sam Harris, from Letter to a Christian Nation.
"It is true, of course, that Jesus said some profound things about love and charity and forgiveness. The Golden Rule really is a wonderful moral precept. But numerous teachers offered the same instruction centuries before Jesus (Zoroaster, Buddha, Confucius, Epictetus...), and countless scriptures discuss the importance of self-transcending love more articulately than the Bible does, while being unblemished by the obscene celebrations of violence that we find throughout the Old and New Testaments."

You've been brainwashed to think Jesus was the greatest person ever.  A thorough reading of the bible without the Christian blinders on will change your mind on that.  If you look at the actual character in the book, he's not as great as you think he was. 


How if not doing this can you say you know there is no God?

Because the bible is not historical fact.  Because there is no evidence that God or any gods are real.  Because you can't hear, taste, touch, smell, feel or otherwise detect God in any way.  Because we have no idea who wrote the bible stories about Jesus.  Because we have no originals of the bible stories, and all the copies we have, have thousands of differences to them.  Because starting with the notion that god is real is not a proper way to determine whether or not god is real.  Because we have natural explanations for how the universe began, and how we all got to where we are now.  Because millions of people suffer horrible amounts every day.  Because there are no such things as miracles.  Because there is no evidence of the supernatural.  Because there have been thousands of different gods in the history of mankind, and the belief that you are right and everyone else is wrong is foolish.  Because no matter how strongly you think God is real, other people feel just as strongly that their gods are real too.  Because even though some people say they actually can converse with God, no one has ever communicated something that no human being could possibly know without the intervention of a deity.  Because amputees are never healed.  How long do you want me to keep this up? 

God is not real Sam.  Sorry.  You've conjured it in your head. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 05, 2012, 10:02:00 AM
Quick question to all that this relates to in what you have said, how can you say that you have never heard, seen, or understood God or whatever he tries to get through to us if you have never actually taken that first step, in saying ok God I'm gonna trust you are actually here, then do some looking into the bible (or whatever religion you want to know about) and learn exactly what it says about prayer, and then actually give its teachings a fair shot( and for the bible that's Jesus for he said he was the truth, he didn't only say it he lived it, and I can give secular qoutes talking on how only Jesus in all history out of all and any of the teachers and great teachers, only he actually lived such a life that exemplified love and the things he was actually teaching. How if not doing this can you say you know there is no God?

I worked on the assumption that God and Christianity were the way, the truth, and the light for my entire life.  Throughout that time no matter how  devoted I was to my belief NOT ONCE did God do ANYTHING that could not be explained by pure coincidence.  I've heard preachers say in the past to "not limit God", or "ask for the big things".  Well, I bought into that for a long time... Nothing.

As far as Jesus, yeah, if he existed at all (the evidence is kinda shoddy, but thats another thread), was a pretty good dude; but that is only if you believe the Bible as documentation for his life when NONE of it was written while he was allegedly alive.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 05, 2012, 03:53:57 PM
http://www.users.ms11.net/~dejnarde/resurrect.htm

http://www.users.ms11.net/~dejnarde/mocker.htm

http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html

These links show the truth in Jesus, all Christianity could have been shown to be a lie if a body were found, the old testament prophecies said he would bodily rise again as well as the disciples so if that could be disproved, all of it would go with it. This is because of the fact that everything in the bible hinges on Jesus, he is the main message.

You all here have this very clever way of taking bible verses out of context and using them in the way you'd like. Now I know you've heard it a million times the out of context statement but it is part of the truth, it is also very well known in Christian theology that the bible is literal only few times and all the other times( most of the bible) is not literal and a thorough reading and re-reading is needed to dig out all the meanings that lay there. Ask and its given is in the context of asking for things within Gods will, our needs in life for food, shelter, and water are things this Verse refers to.

Sorry about my terrible grammar I know I write a bunch a run ons and what have you. Sorry I will really try my best to improve my grammar on here, I write poetry and stories it is very very rare I write formally so really sorry about that. Thanks everyone though for these conversations really I love every second of it sorry it takes me so long sometimes to respond I've been crazy busy lately and it's gonna get worse cause classes are about to start back, but I'm really enjoying talking with you all I'm gonna work harder to respond more to you all.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 05, 2012, 03:58:14 PM
Quick question to all that this relates to in what you have said, how can you say that you have never heard, seen, or understood God or whatever he tries to get through to us if you have never actually taken that first step, in saying ok God I'm gonna trust you are actually here, then do some looking into the bible (or whatever religion you want to know about) and learn exactly what it says about prayer, and then actually give its teachings a fair shot( and for the bible that's Jesus for he said he was the truth, he didn't only say it he lived it, and I can give secular qoutes talking on how only Jesus in all history out of all and any of the teachers and great teachers, only he actually lived such a life that exemplified love and the things he was actually teaching. How if not doing this can you say you know there is no God?

I worked on the assumption that God and Christianity were the way, the truth, and the light for my entire life.  Throughout that time no matter how  devoted I was to my belief NOT ONCE did God do ANYTHING that could not be explained by pure coincidence.  I've heard preachers say in the past to "not limit God", or "ask for the big things".  Well, I bought into that for a long time... Nothing.

As far as Jesus, yeah, if he existed at all (the evidence is kinda shoddy, but thats another thread), was a pretty good dude; but that is only if you believe the Bible as documentation for his life when NONE of it was written while he was allegedly alive.

Your statements aren't historically factual they were theories but they never were found to be true.

Can I ask in what way did God let you down or what exactly made you stop believing? It's just very interesting to me if you don't mind my asking.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on August 05, 2012, 05:17:17 PM
Samuelke, I'd like to see you respond to post # 105.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 05, 2012, 08:32:54 PM
Your statements aren't historically factual they were theories but they never were found to be true.

Can I ask in what way did God let you down or what exactly made you stop believing? It's just very interesting to me if you don't mind my asking.

What exactly was not historically factual?  We know the gospels were written several decades after Christs life, we know that there are no original documents about his life.  However, doesn't really matter, I still believe that there was a person "Jesus", I just do not believe he was divine.

And, no, that is quite fine.... you have not offended me by asking.

However, it is not going to be the story you were most likely expecting.  There is no story of tragic loss here, or unanswered prayers causing me to lose faith.  It was simply making a real effort to look at my faith subjectively.  I made an attempt to examine Christianity in light of historical facts.  I tried to abandon my beliefs that were based only on what I was told to be true and really looked at the history of it (I have a degree in history btw) how the Bible was written, how it does not stand up to any scientific scrutiny.... and the facts are sorely lacking.  The whole thing is incredibly unlikely.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Astreja on August 05, 2012, 10:12:03 PM
...all Christianity could have been shown to be a lie if a body were found...

I don't actually need to have Christianity shown to be a lie.  It is more than sufficient for My needs that I find it underwhelming and uninspiring, laden with guilt trips, threats, broken promises and nonsensical mythology.

But on the subject of the body, please ponder this:  What's the difference between:


In one case, the resurrection story would be true; in the other, it would be false.  How do you tell one from the other?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 05, 2012, 10:30:04 PM
However, it is not going to be the story you were most likely expecting.  There is no story of tragic loss here, or unanswered prayers causing me to lose faith.  It was simply making a real effort to look at my faith subjectively.  I made an attempt to examine Christianity in light of historical facts.  I tried to abandon my beliefs that were based only on what I was told to be true and really looked at the history of it (I have a degree in history btw) how the Bible was written, how it does not stand up to any scientific scrutiny.... and the facts are sorely lacking.  The whole thing is incredibly unlikely.

I think you meant objectively.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 05, 2012, 10:30:38 PM
I am never bothered by it because every single day of my life now God is as obvious to me as the people places and things I encounter everyday. But before I started taking God seriously and was filled with doubt there was not almost anything at all obvious about God. I only started to see and understand what he was saying to me clearly when I put all my belief and whole heart into it. God will only be seen if one genuinely wants to see him, why would he show himself and be obvious to someone who is dead set on him being only a figment of the imagination. 

The evidence in my own life has been more then enough proof for myself for the existence of God now all this information on prayer research only affirms my beliefs I suggest you give these next few links a serious chance since it covers scientific research. I truly believe though that all this only does so much and you and me all of us will truly see the proof when we see him work in our own lives.

I don't think you've answered my question about prayer verification.

I want to know how do you verify that god did, in fact, answer your prayers.


Maybe I need to give some examples.

Someone losses his keys.  He prays to god to help find his key.  He finds his keys.  Did god answer his prayer, or did he just happen to find what he was looking for?  Either way, how do you determine this?

Someone go to a job interview.  That person later prays that she'll get the job.  A few days later, she got the job.  Did god answer her prayers, or did the HR person simply thought that she was qualified for the job?  Either way, how do you determine this?

Someone has a sick aunt.  She's a sweet lady.  He prays that she recovers from her illness.  She does recover.  Did god answer his prayers, or did she had some chances of recovering anyway?  Either way, how do you determine this?


If those are not good examples of prayers, then provide what would be a good example.
Well taking a second look at that prayer research it seems 50/50 so that was a bad idea on me. It really is a impossible thing for anyone to really prove, it seems to me it has to do with our spirituallity, and I really think its in all of us some people call it something different but we all posses it, I can give a description I will if someone wants me too, but I'll wait on that so I don't get ambiguous with it like I've done a few times and I apologize for that. But I really am a logical person whether you believe me or not I am and even as a kid it was before I was ten I was young, but I became terrified of heaven and eternity and started to talk about as well. That was the first of many, howerever now that same thought is no longer a struggle. They way I verify my own experiences with God is when I think I have an answer from him if I have any question whether it is or is not, any question at all later afterward, any relating to it at all then I know it's not his answer. Only when I can have no question at all on it at any point in time. I can add a little more if you'd like but I'm short on time at the moment.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 05, 2012, 11:23:50 PM
http://www.users.ms11.net/~dejnarde/resurrect.htm

http://www.users.ms11.net/~dejnarde/mocker.htm

http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html

I gave them a quick glance Sam.  It would be fairly simple to go line by line refuting everything those people say and giving you arguments against their position, but that would take a lot more time than I think any of us would want to take to logically dismantle them. Especially since your entire belief system doesn't depend on whether or not those arguments are true; it depends on faith, which isn't logical to begin with.   

These links show the truth in Jesus, all Christianity could have been shown to be a lie if a body were found, the old testament prophecies said he would bodily rise again as well as the disciples so if that could be disproved, all of it would go with it. This is because of the fact that everything in the bible hinges on Jesus, he is the main message.

Those links are from Christians who have everything to gain by saying what they say. 

Alright, though.  You twisted my arm.  I'll give you 3 sentence-by-sentence responses and stop there.  Start with the first sentence in first link:

"The body of Jesus, according to Jewish burial custom, was covered in a linen cloth. About 45 kilos of aromatic ingredients, mixed to form a sticky substance, were placed on the cloth which covered the body."

As a nitpick, it was actually closer to 35 kilos (75 lbs).

First, Jesus was crucified by the Romans as a criminal.  It is entirely possible that Jesus was not afforded a proper Jewish burial because of that.  Here is a link and a quote from the link...

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/peter_kirby/tomb/roman.html

Quote
The information presented on the Roman practice of crucifixion shows that the very act of taking a body down from the cross for burial was, if practiced at all, the exception to the rule. The popular phrase "Food for Crows," the line about the crucified being an "ugly meal for birds of prey and grim scraps for dogs," the response of Tiberius to the request for burial, the comment from Horace, and finally the story from Petronius about the guard who allowed the body to be stolen off the cross all indicate that part of the very shame of crucifixion was the denial of burial rites as a last act of humiliation.

Second, who covered the body in the spices and sticky substances?  If you ask the Gospel of Mark, there was no spice wrap.  If you ask the Gospel of Matthew, there was no spice wrap.  If you ask the Gospel of Luke, it was the women who came with Jesus from Gallilee, but they had to rest on the Sabbath so they didn't get it done that day.  If you ask the Gospel of John, it was Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea who used the 35 kilos of stuff on Jesus body. 
See what I mean? 

Lets move on to the second sentence.
 
"They placed the body in a tomb made of solid rock. with the help of levers they moved a massive block of stone (weighing about 2 ton) and closed the entrance of the tomb."
 
Again it is important to look at the gospel accounts to get a feel for the inherent contradictions to this.  Once you do that, you ask yourself, could a single person do it?  Where does the 2 ton figure come from?  Did they have a scale back then?  How many people rolled the stone?   

If you ask the Gospel of Mark, then Joseph of Arimathea rolled the stone back in place all by himself.  2 tons?  Good luck Joseph.  If you ask the Gospel of Matthew, here again we have Joseph cutting a tomb out of rock by himself and then rolling a 'big' stone in front of it, again, by himself.  If you ask the Gospel of Luke, there is no rock in front of the door.  And in the Gospel of John, Jesus tomb is in a garden, not a cave with a big rock in it. 

Where does it say in the bible that they used levers?  Where does it say how gigantic the stone was?  Where does the 2 ton estimate come from?  Did someone just pull that number out of their ass?  It doesn't say in the bible.

Third sentence:

"A Roman guard composed of strictly disciplined men was ordered to guard the tomb." 

Why would they do that to a criminal they just crucified?  It makes no sense to do that.  There is no reason to think that they would post a guard around Jesus tomb. 

Almost every sentence has another side to it Sam.  The people who write those sites you link are giving you one side of a VERY 2 sided argument.  In order to be fair, you MUST hear the other side of it.   

You all here have this very clever way of taking bible verses out of context and using them in the way you'd like.

Did you ever stop to think that maybe you were the one guilty of that?  That maybe it's you who twists the meaning to suit what you want to see?  For example: take the book of Genesis.  When they talk about evening and morning being the first day, it is common now for Christians to realize that God didn't really create the universe in 6 days (because science contradicts it).  So when they read 'it was evening and morning of the first day', they say something akin to 'it wasn't REALLY evening and morning and the first day, because a day is like a 1000 years for God, and a thousand years like a day'.  This is twisting the meaning.  Who is doing the twisting?  The Christians. All we are doing is interpreting what the book says as if it came from any other book.  This type of thing is constant with you folks. 

When the bible says, 'ask anything in my name, and I will do it', I'm not twisting it around, I'm taking it for what it says.  As if it was a phrase with which I could prove or disprove what he says.  And when I ask something in his name, and it doesn't happen, why am I not allowed to question the truth of the statement?  I mean seriously, if I wrote a book and said that I will do anything you ask, as long as you call out to me when you do it, and then you call out to me and I don't do it, don't you just think I was lying?  Can you not see that this is exactly what's happening with the bible?  You can explain it away all you want with your theology, but the fact remains, 'ask anything in my name' just doesn't work.  Even with food and water as you elude to.

Now I know you've heard it a million times the out of context statement but it is part of the truth, it is also very well known in Christian theology that the bible is literal only few times and all the other times( most of the bible) is not literal and a thorough reading and re-reading is needed to dig out all the meanings that lay there.

You can pull whatever meaning you want out of the bible.  Want to think that God likes to get revenge?  That's in there.  Want to think that God forgives everyone who believes in Jesus?  That's in there.  Want to think eating shellfish is deserving of the death penalty?  It's in there.  Want to hate gays?  It's in there.  Want to own slaves?  It's in there.  Want to love everyone?  It's in there.  Want to sell your daughter?  It's in there.  Want your wife to shut up more?  It's in there. 

Ask and its given is in the context of asking for things within Gods will, our needs in life for food, shelter, and water are things this Verse refers to.

Interesting.  Do you know that on average 29,000 children die every day from starvation?  Do you think not a single one of them prays?  This is a ridiculous statement Sam.  God doesn't always give people what they need in terms of food, shelter and water.  For some strange reason, the people who pray for food, shelter and water, seem to have it or not have it due to their location and social situations.  Almost as if God has nothing to do with food, shelter and water.  I mean, I never pray for any of those and I have them in abundance.  Lots of people pray for them and have none.  What do you make of that?  I'm sure your mind has a ready answer, but no matter what you come up with, the notion that God is not real, and that he plays no part in answering prayers about food, shelter and water IS a valid explanation for why some people have those things and some don't. 

And what if I (or even a football stadium full of the most devout people in the world) were to sincerely pray for food and water for every child in the world.  Do you honestly think that 29,000 kids wouldn't die tomorrow?  You can't really think that, can you? 

Sorry about my terrible grammar I know I write a bunch a run ons and what have you. Sorry I will really try my best to improve my grammar on here, I write poetry and stories it is very very rare I write formally so really sorry about that.

Don't sweat it.  We see it constantly from theists.  I dare say we're used to it.

Thanks everyone though for these conversations really I love every second of it sorry it takes me so long sometimes to respond I've been crazy busy lately and it's gonna get worse cause classes are about to start back, but I'm really enjoying talking with you all I'm gonna work harder to respond more to you all.

Sam, I'm glad you are enjoying yourself, but if you really want to get something out of these conversations, really stop and consider that you might be wrong.  We aren't atheists for no reason.  We don't hate God.  We aren't mean and awful people.  Most of us haven't been physically harmed by worshipers.  I, personally, have had no seriously bad experiences with religion.  When you see the well thought out, logical responses from the people here, we aren't playing games or twisting what you say.  We're just judging things with a critical eye, from both sides of the argument. 

I know there is no Christian God like I know there is no Santa Claus.  It's just not reasonable to believe in it.  It's not the truth.   
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Nam on August 05, 2012, 11:46:15 PM
^I miss making posts like that. Phone is quite limiting, in such regard.

:(

-Nam
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 05, 2012, 11:48:08 PM


I think you meant objectively.

Yup, sure did.  Wow, haven't made that mistake in at least 10 years.  Thanks though.... and seriously thanks, I hate errors like that.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 06, 2012, 12:49:15 AM
Ok so what you have just done with all the examples you have give, is show the bible isn't word for word perfect which the bible itself admits that. It goes a step further in saying that some of its contents are up for scrutiny and corrections, but there are some certain ideas that are set in stone and have been the crucial ideas of the religion since Jesus came. As I said before he is the truth, the way, and the life and only through him can we get to the father. That was preached by Jesus and still is the main point today and hasn't changed. You would have yourself a very stable point if I were a Muslim say because they believe their book is the perfect word of God. But I see that it makes total sense for it not to be perfect just because of how language is so ambiguous and the loss of meaning through time. personally, anytime I read the bible I use a translator to get the Greek and Hebrew word meanings it does help a good bit in my opinion. If you look across the boards the times Jesus spoke in the bible is the most unchanged out of anything else.
To the comment that I get what I want out of it can't be true because I don't always like what's said, for instance it always talks about how life won't be easier when you believe, still gonna struggle just the same, but it will be different. And I have thought that I was wrong about all this many many times but there came a point and I haven't questioned it since. I'm still opened minded but I am strong in my beliefs, I don't think any differently about anyone with differing beliefs then mine, I respect each person the same and that is the same respect I give myself I mean that from the depths of my heart in all encompassing honesty. The bible talks about how even if you don't believe you can very well still be a good person.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on August 06, 2012, 12:51:06 AM
Well taking a second look at that prayer research it seems 50/50 so that was a bad idea on me. It really is a impossible thing for anyone to really prove, it seems to me it has to do with our spirituallity, and I really think its in all of us some people call it something different but we all posses it, I can give a description I will if someone wants me too, but I'll wait on that so I don't get ambiguous with it like I've done a few times and I apologize for that. But I really am a logical person whether you believe me or not I am and even as a kid it was before I was ten I was young, but I became terrified of heaven and eternity and started to talk about as well. That was the first of many, howerever now that same thought is no longer a struggle. They way I verify my own experiences with God is when I think I have an answer from him if I have any question whether it is or is not, any question at all later afterward, any relating to it at all then I know it's not his answer. Only when I can have no question at all on it at any point in time. I can add a little more if you'd like but I'm short on time at the moment.

From the sounds of things, the results of prayer is indistinguishable from the results of non-prayers.

You make prayers, stuff happens, and you assume that god had a hand in it.  You see god's hand everywhere.  That about sums it up, right?

However, what I see are stuff that had some chances of happening anyway.  If someone loses his keys (you didn't label any of my examples as bad prayers, so I'm assuming all of them are fair game), there is usually some chance of him finding them.  People usually have some chance of finding a job, people usually have some chance of recovering from illness, etc etc.  In such cases, I see it as very unlikely that god, or any sort of supernatural beings had involvment, since there is nothing to suggust such a thing.  It seems far, far more likely that prayer is little more than a form of magical thinking.  It might make you feel good, but that's about it.

This is why we ask the amputee question (and other prayers that god doesn't answer).  For humans, the odds of them regrowing a limb is virtually nonexistent.  For this prayer to be answered, it would require that god does something.  It would not be up to "something that could've happened anyway".  If we saw such prayers happening, it would get us talking.  Very fast.  I don't know if it would result in "instant conversion", but it would get us wondering what's going on, instead of wondering why you think magic is happening.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 06, 2012, 01:09:38 AM
Well taking a second look at that prayer research it seems 50/50 so that was a bad idea on me. It really is a impossible thing for anyone to really prove, it seems to me it has to do with our spirituallity, and I really think its in all of us some people call it something different but we all posses it, I can give a description I will if someone wants me too, but I'll wait on that so I don't get ambiguous with it like I've done a few times and I apologize for that. But I really am a logical person whether you believe me or not I am and even as a kid it was before I was ten I was young, but I became terrified of heaven and eternity and started to talk about as well. That was the first of many, howerever now that same thought is no longer a struggle. They way I verify my own experiences with God is when I think I have an answer from him if I have any question whether it is or is not, any question at all later afterward, any relating to it at all then I know it's not his answer. Only when I can have no question at all on it at any point in time. I can add a little more if you'd like but I'm short on time at the moment.

From the sounds of things, the results of prayer is indistinguishable from the results of non-prayers.

You make prayers, stuff happens, and you assume that god had a hand in it.  You see god's hand everywhere.  That about sums it up, right?

However, what I see are stuff that had some chances of happening anyway.  If someone loses his keys (you didn't label any of my examples as bad prayers, so I'm assuming all of them are fair game), there is usually some chance of him finding them.  People usually have some chance of finding a job, people usually have some chance of recovering from illness, etc etc.  In such cases, I see it as very unlikely that god, or any sort of supernatural beings had involvment, since there is nothing to suggust such a thing.  It seems far, far more likely that prayer is little more than a form of magical thinking.  It might make you feel good, but that's about it.

This is why we ask the amputee question (and other prayers that god doesn't answer).  For humans, the odds of them regrowing a limb is virtually nonexistent.  For this prayer to be answered, it would require that god does something.  It would not be up to "something that could've happened anyway".  If we saw such prayers happening, it would get us talking.  Very fast.  I don't know if it would result in "instant conversion", but it would get us wondering what's going on, instead of wondering why you think magic is happening.


So do you have imprearical proof that no man in the history of the world has never had a limb regenerated if you will, by God. There is no way either of us could do such a thing since man predates written history.
So your saying this one question hold the vast majority of the reason for disbelief?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on August 06, 2012, 01:28:21 AM
So do you have imprearical proof that no man in the history of the world has never had a limb regenerated if you will, by God. There is no way either of us could do such a thing since man predates written history.

I can't say with 100% certainly that no one ever had their limbs regenerated by a god being.  However, I can hazard the likelihood of such a thing.  You have not offered an example of such a thing, nor are you offering to make a prayer to that effect.  You yourself said that prayer is "impossible" to really prove.  What typically happens is that the theist will come up with reasons why we will not see an amputee's limb being restored.  I have yet to see someone say "Ok, we'll meet at the hospital tomorrow, and I shall say a prayer in front of an amputee, and we will plainly see his limbs being restored.  Bring your camera along."

Given all of that, and more; I can safely say that the likelihood of god ever healing an amputee is very very very low.


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So your saying this one question hold the vast majority of the reason for disbelief?

Actually, it's more like the bible itself is the reason for disbelief.  JeffPT just gave an example of one aspect of it.  Another aspect is the lack of corroborating evidence for the things metioned in the bible.  The bible said there was a big flood.  There is no corroborating evidence for such a thing.  The bible said that there was once a great, grand, glorious, golden kingdom of Israel.  There is no corroborating evidence for such a thing.  So on and on it goes.  If you had to "boil it down", I would say the reason for disbelief is the lack of corroborating evidence.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 06, 2012, 02:19:44 AM
So do you have imprearical proof that no man in the history of the world has never had a limb regenerated if you will, by God. There is no way either of us could do such a thing since man predates written history.

I can't say with 100% certainly that no one ever had their limbs regenerated by a god being.  However, I can hazard the likelihood of such a thing.  You have not offered an example of such a thing, nor are you offering to make a prayer to that effect.  You yourself said that prayer is "impossible" to really prove.  What typically happens is that the theist will come up with reasons why we will not see an amputee's limb being restored.  I have yet to see someone say "Ok, we'll meet at the hospital tomorrow, and I shall say a prayer in front of an amputee, and we will plainly see his limbs being restored.  Bring your camera along."

Given all of that, and more; I can safely say that the likelihood of god ever healing an amputee is very very very low.


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So your saying this one question hold the vast majority of the reason for disbelief?

Actually, it's more like the bible itself is the reason for disbelief.  JeffPT just gave an example of one aspect of it.  Another aspect is the lack of corroborating evidence for the things metioned in the bible.  The bible said there was a big flood.  There is no corroborating evidence for such a thing.  The bible said that there was once a great, grand, glorious, golden kingdom of Israel.  There is no corroborating evidence for such a thing.  So on and on it goes.  If you had to "boil it down", I would say the reason for disbelief is the lack of corroborating evidence.

Do you really think that if God existed, he would be willing and wanting to attend to every single individual person he created and gave life, and come personally answer every doubt and question we have to convince us that he's there?

Ok so here again your are giving details about the bible not any obstruction to its main them and meaning, when it's not perfect word for word, I think it is more difficult to answer how bible writers knew things like mountain ranges being at the bottom of the ocean? How did they know that there were large streams of currents through the ocean and also in the air? Things that weren't discovered untill far later?

And also just to make sure this is correct, you believe that the universe is here because of time plus matter plus chance?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: natlegend on August 06, 2012, 04:11:57 AM
Samuelke said:
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Do you really think that if God existed, he would be willing and wanting to attend to every single individual person he created and gave life, and come personally answer every doubt and question we have to convince us that he's there?

But god sent you a 'shooting star'. Just what is it that makes you a special little snowflake? Also, god is supposed to be omnipotent, meaning he has All Power, i.e. he can do anything. Who are you to place limits on his abilities?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on August 06, 2012, 06:22:21 AM
So do you have imprearical proof that no man in the history of the world has never had a limb regenerated if you will, by God.

Sorry, but the burden of proof is on the person making the positive claim. Do you have any sound evidence or sound arguments proving your God regrows limbs, answers prayers or even exists in reality? Of course you don’t.

Think about this, Samuelke. No one, in all of human history, has ever produced a shred of sound evidence or a single sound argument to prove your God is real… not once… ever. What does that tell you? It tells atheists there is no sound reason to believe your God or any other god is real. Theists blithely disregard this total lack of evidence and continue clinging to their beliefs.

Why do they do that when it should be obvious to any rational person that such behaviour is unreasonable. I think the main reason people cling to religious beliefs is because they provide emotional comfort and they allow their desire for emotional comfort to override their reason. Basically, most people are insecure enough to want the comforting promises of religions to be true and gullible enough to believe them.

Belief that your God answers prayers is just another manifestation of this. It is nothing more than ritual hand wringing used to assuage fear and anxiety. The problem with those prayer studies you presented is they all produce results that are in the weeds. There is no way to say the results observed are not due to statistical noise or the placebo response.

There is another problem with prayer in general. If prayer did actually work then science would be impossible. No one could ever trust observations or experiments because anyone could have prayed to alter the outcome. If prayer actually worked then we would never see any consistency in the world. When you pray, you are asking your God to perform a miracle. You are asking it to perform some action contravening natural laws because the result you seek differs from the natural outcome. If prayers actually worked, miracles should abound in everyday life, but they don’t, do they? We don’t see miracles occurring regularly. All we see are mundane events such as someone finding their car keys after praying that could have occurred naturally anyway. Even your own testimony of having your fibromyalgia symptoms easing is unremarkable given its psychophysiological nature. People also find their symptoms easing if they meditate or take anti-depressants.

Do you really think that if God existed, he would be willing and wanting to attend to every single individual person he created and gave life, and come personally answer every doubt and question we have to convince us that he's there?

Theists like you apparently think so. You think it helps you whenever you pray to ease your symptoms. You think it sent you the brightest meteor you’ve ever seen in your life as a sign of its existence just because you started having doubts.

Of course, there is a simpler, more reasonable explanation and it is that you are just another religious believer who is insecure and gullible.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on August 06, 2012, 07:26:46 AM



So do you have imprearical proof that no man in the history of the world has never had a limb regenerated if you will, by God. There is no way either of us could do such a thing since man predates written history.
So your saying this one question hold the vast majority of the reason for disbelief?

First, are you remotely aware of what an appeal to ignorance is, and why it is a bad line of reasoning?

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on August 06, 2012, 09:46:05 AM
Do you really think that if God existed, he would be willing and wanting to attend to every single individual person he created and gave life, and come personally answer every doubt and question we have to convince us that he's there?

Seriously?  You're asking this?  You've already claimed to be in a relationship with god.  You've already claimed that god receives prayers and answers them.  You've already claimed that god does personally gives you answers to your prayers.  Now you're saying that we shouldn't expect answers from god?  Make up your mind!  Beside which, if the idea of god as "all-loving and all-powerful" is to be believed, then YES, I would expect god to be willing and wanting to attend to every single individual person.  To do otherwise would mean he is either:

1) Not all-loving

2) Not all-powerful

OR

3) Non-existence

Whichever the case, it would mean that so many christians have it wrong about their viewpoints on god.  It seems to me that before you try to straighten out the godless, christians should straighten out their ideas about god.  Really, how do you expect to win us over if you can't agree among yourself about god?


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Ok so here again your are giving details about the bible not any obstruction to its main them and meaning, when it's not perfect word for word,


This is just sidesteping the whole "lack of corroborating evidence" thing.


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I think it is more difficult to answer how bible writers knew things like mountain ranges being at the bottom of the ocean? How did they know that there were large streams of currents through the ocean and also in the air? Things that weren't discovered untill far later?


I would need to know which sets of verses you're refering to before commenting on this.


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And also just to make sure this is correct, you believe that the universe is here because of time plus matter plus chance?

You're asking me a strawman's version of the origin of the universe.  Nobody, except those trying to invoke god, say "chance didit".
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 06, 2012, 10:14:25 AM
Don't you see how at this point you are just making excuses for God and why he doesn't behave the way the Bible says he will?

God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and benevolent yet you make excuses essentially saying that God doesn't have time to answer everyone's prayers.


One third of Americans (not just Christians mind you), think the Bible is literally true.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/27682/onethird-americans-believe-bible-literally-true.aspx

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:14-17

But you seem comfortable with cherry picking the Bible and believing some of it while disregarding others.  I do at least commend you for going back to Greek when you can, but even that is incomplete and no original copies remain.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 06, 2012, 12:10:52 PM
Do you really think that if God existed, he would be willing and wanting to attend to every single individual person he created and gave life, and come personally answer every doubt and question we have to convince us that he's there?
Assuming that he wants us to know that he exists, then yes.

Is my assumption wrong?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on August 06, 2012, 12:46:43 PM
Do you really think that if God existed, he would be willing and wanting to attend to every single individual person he created and gave life, and come personally answer every doubt and question we have to convince us that he's there?

You haven't read the bible much have you?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 06, 2012, 12:49:41 PM
Interesting.  Do you know that on average 29,000 children die every day from starvation?

I've seen the 29,000 number a couple of times now.  Do you have a citation?
(As long as that number is greater than 0, your argument still applies, but I'd like to get more details on this data point for my own edification.)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 06, 2012, 01:08:12 PM
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Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition.  Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year--five million deaths.  Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which undernutrition is an underlying cause are roughly similar for diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) (Black 2003, Bryce 2005). Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the diseases that cause diarrhea, by reducing the body's ability to convert food into usable nutrients.


Worldhunger.org

That comes up to about 13,500 a day btw (5mill/365).  I have seen the 29k number as well, I want to say it was in the WWGHA but I am not certain.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: naemhni on August 06, 2012, 01:17:17 PM
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Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition.  Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year--five million deaths.  Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which undernutrition is an underlying cause are roughly similar for diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) (Black 2003, Bryce 2005). Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the diseases that cause diarrhea, by reducing the body's ability to convert food into usable nutrients.


Worldhunger.org

That comes up to about 13,500 a day btw (5mill/365).  I have seen the 29k number as well, I want to say it was in the WWGHA but I am not certain.

The one I had heard from the UN was a child every five seconds, which comes out to about 17,000 a day.  It's probably not an exact science.  For example, if a child has been starving, then gets the measles and dies while he still has it, do you count that as a measles death, a starvation death (because a better nourished child would more likely have survived the illness), both, or maybe even something else altogether if there are other factors at work, such as not having access to clean water, which is also depressingly common?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Astreja on August 06, 2012, 01:22:17 PM
So do you have imprearical proof that no man in the history of the world has never had a limb regenerated if you will, by God. There is no way either of us could do such a thing since man predates written history.

I don't see a problem with being unable to prove that it happened or did not happen in the remote past.

I have noticed, however, that it has yet to happen in the present age, where people are suffering due to the loss of limbs and where prayers outside the scope of current medical knowledge are going unfulfilled.

I must therefore conclude at this point that praying to a god for a miracle is a waste of time, unless that prayer provides some psychological benefit such as self-assurance and the ability to successfully navigate a painful, stressful situation.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 06, 2012, 02:54:44 PM


I don't see a problem with being unable to prove that it happened or did not happen in the remote past.



Even if that claim were made (It happened long ago) I dont think anyone would buy it.  Its amazing how much fewer and further between 'miracles' seem to happen in modern times, or at least since the scientific method.  Where an uneducated society sees a miracle, and educated one usually can see a magic trick.  I mean, people in the Middle ages (1500 years AD) believed that among the holy relics of the church was some of Mary's breast milk... yeah... that happened.  Also Christ's foreskin.

Actually, just did some looking, I think many of them still believe they have these relics.  Cause you know... People kept this kind of stuff.

However, I maintain my original comment.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 06, 2012, 09:52:40 PM
Ok you all got the meaning of my question wrong probably because of my wording I'm sure I'm sorry for that. I guess I was trying to get at this idea that I see on this forum, and do tell me if I'm wrong that anyone feels like this, but it seems most of you don't want there to be a God, and no matter the argument or evidence your goal is set to prove it wrong. Why would God, who chose to give life, want to go beyond( the already present evidence of his existence, I'll go further with that in a moment) and try to make one believe who wants and try's to prove he isn't there?

I would like you all to give me your examples that the bible is so contradictory and so false, if I can just get the name of the verses if possible that would help out.
And further if you all can show me your evidence and substantial proof for Jesus not living and his message not true? How only the belief in Jesus and through him is the way to God, that main message has never changed since? Can you show the resurrection did not happen?

This is also a sincere question of mine honestly, because I understand how absurd I seem to some of you but I am, with every single ounce, in the entirety of my being, certain that what I believe is true. But I haven't and I won't tell any of you that you need to do the same as me or believe the same as me.
The question though..... How do you personally define morals in your own life?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 06, 2012, 10:27:58 PM
Ok so what you have just done with all the examples you have give, is show the bible isn't word for word perfect which the bible itself admits that.

If the bible is not perfect, then it's not written or inspired by God.  It's then written by fallible men who can make mistakes and lie. If we openly admit that some of it is a lie, then it opens the possibility that all of it is a lie.  I'm not saying all of it is a lie, but I AM saying that it's possible.  And if it's possible, then which is more likely... they lied about Jesus, or that an invisible man in the sky sent his son (who was himself) down to Earth to live among the people he created, only to have himself tortured and killed to appease God (who was himself) to make up for a mistake that he himself created? 

It goes a step further in saying that some of its contents are up for scrutiny and corrections, but there are some certain ideas that are set in stone and have been the crucial ideas of the religion since Jesus came.

Like what?  Do you have any of the original writings so you can back up your statement here?  I'd like to see them please.  Do you know that early Christians were far more diverse in their beliefs about Jesus than it ever has been since (and that's saying something)? 

As I said before he is the truth, the way, and the life and only through him can we get to the father. That was preached by Jesus and still is the main point today and hasn't changed.

That phrase is from the Gospel of John; the last of the gospels to be written, some 70+ years after he died.  The reason you don't find that phrase in Mark (the first gospel to be written, some 40 years after the supposed Jesus character died), is because Mark's version of Jesus is NOTHING like John's version.  In Mark, Jesus is not the super powerful God man you see in John.  If you don't believe me, then I will show you how to see it for yourself.  First, go read the gospel of Mark from front to back.  Get a feel for Mark's Jesus as he paints him. Don't think of it as part of a larger cannon of biblical text.  Then do the same for John.  You will see the remarkable evolution and transformation of Jesus from a regular guy who was chosen to do good things and given some special tricks (Mark), all the way to God himself (John). 

I guess my point is that you saying Jesus preached that he was the way, the truth and the light from the very beginning is much more likely incorrect than correct. 

You would have yourself a very stable point if I were a Muslim say because they believe their book is the perfect word of God.

We have a point whether you are a Christian, a Muslim or any other religion.  The bigger problem for you is that our points hurt your position very badly and you are running out of counters for it.  Eventually you will dissolve into preaching (which I think has started in this post) and you will become frustrated at losing in every post.  Don't worry though.  If history is any judge, your faith will override your logic in the end.  You will stop coming to this site eventually and you will put your head back into the sand where it's been for so long before. 

But I see that it makes total sense for it not to be perfect just because of how language is so ambiguous and the loss of meaning through time.

So the LACK of perfection makes sense to you?  If the book were perfect, that would make sense to you too, right?  Yeah... Anyway. 

This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about here.  You're twisting it around again.  You see, I sit here as an atheist and say that the imperfections of the bible mean that it's possible that the bible is nothing more than a regular book written by men who make mistakes, and you now see those same imperfections and you shove that reality into your world view and spit out an answer that your brain had to do mental gymnastics to get to.  "Oh yeah!" you say.  "The language is lost over time!" you say, as if that makes everything all better for you.  Well, it doesn't.  The lack of perfection means it's not from God, and that means it's just from men.  Like it or not, that's a large problem for your belief. 

To the comment that I get what I want out of it can't be true because I don't always like what's said, for instance it always talks about how life won't be easier when you believe, still gonna struggle just the same, but it will be different.

Life is a struggle because we are fragile living animals, on a small planet, with undersized brains, looking for limited resources and competing with one another daily for those resources.  Life isn't easy.  This is an observation that anyone can make.  So the bible saying life won't be easy doesn't tell us anything we don't already know.  It's not overly prophesetic to say life won't be easy as a believer when life isn't easy, period. 

And I have thought that I was wrong about all this many many times but there came a point and I haven't questioned it since.

Closing your mind to alternate possibilities eliminates the possibility that you could assimilate new information and thus rethink your stance.  You may want to reopen the case. 

I'm still opened minded but I am strong in my beliefs

No, you just admitted you closed your mind by saying you haven't questioned it since.  And being strong in your beliefs has no bearing on whether or not they are correct. 

Every person who practices a religion thinks their beliefs are strong, and for some reason they are proud of it. 

I don't think any differently about anyone with differing beliefs then mine, I respect each person the same and that is the same respect I give myself I mean that from the depths of my heart in all encompassing honesty.

Well, that's all well and good but not very biblical. 

I don't quite feel the same way.  You see, I respect (100% fully respect) your right to form your beliefs.  Really I do.  But that doesn't mean I have to respect them.  If you believe that your religion entitles you to punch me in the face, I'm not going to respect that.  If your religion entitles you to ram planes filled with people into tall buildings, I'm not going to respect that.  And if your religion tells you that gays should be denied the right to marry, that slave ownership is fine, that selling our daughters into slavery is fine, that cutting off a piece of a baby boy's penis is fine, that denying medical care to pregnant women is fine, that teaching creationism over evolution in schools is fine, then I'm going to have a serious fucking problem with it. 

I can respect your right to have beliefs.  But it's a whole different thing to ask me to respect what you actually do believe.  And I don't respect the Christian belief.  It's not respectable.  It's awful.  And it's untrue.   

The bible talks about how even if you don't believe you can very well still be a good person.

Yeah, you can be a good person and all that, but if you don't believe in Jesus, you're still deserving of eternal punishment in hell. 

But just for effect, lets have a reading of Deuteronomy...

If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods,"... you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him; but you shall kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.... If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell there, that certain base fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of the city, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods" which you have not known, then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently; and behold, if it be true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done among you, you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, destroying it utterly, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword.   DEUTERONOMY 13:6, 8-15

I thought you'd like to see how the bible really views non-believers and followers of other faiths. 

I guess I was trying to get at this idea that I see on this forum, and do tell me if I'm wrong that anyone feels like this, but it seems most of you don't want there to be a God, and no matter the argument or evidence your goal is set to prove it wrong.

No, wrong, definitely incorrect.  This is not right at all.  What we WANT has no bearing at all on what IS.  Personally, all I want is the truth.  If God is real, I want to know.  If God is not real, I want to know that too.

If you really think that all of our arguments come from a lack of desire for God to be real, then that should be evidenced in all of our posts.  Go back and reread some of them.  Are there problems with the logic?  Do we make appeals to our emotional desires for there to be no God in our answers to you?  No, we don't.  We are giving you information Sam.  We're giving you the reasons for our atheism, not our personal desires.  Do with it what you will. 

Do you really think your arguments are good?  Seriously?  Look, the bottom line is that the atheist argument is FAR superior to the Christian one in just about every single situation.  Even if I HATED that fact with an intense passion, it wouldn't change it.  If I HATED the idea that the Earth has a moon, would that change the fact that it does? 

Why would God, who chose to give life, want to go beyond( the already present evidence of his existence, I'll go further with that in a moment) and try to make one believe who wants and try's to prove he isn't there?

Why do you make it sound like God is just a petty human with petty feelings of jealousy and spite?  You want us to think God sits on high and folds his arms like RuPaul saying, "If that man don't want to deal with me, then I ain' gonna deal wit him!"  What sort of God are you worshiping here?  Isn't he supposed to be better than that? 

I would like you all to give me your examples that the bible is so contradictory and so false, if I can just get the name of the verses if possible that would help out.

I gave you one.  Who put the spices on Jesus body after he died?  There are literally hundreds more.  Does anyone have the link to that poster thing with the red lines connecting the contradictions? 


Can you show the resurrection did not happen?

If I said my grandfather rose from the dead after 3 days, would it be on you to disprove it, or on me to prove it? 

The resurrection is a miraculous, supernatural event.  In any situation, is it more reasonable to assume that a supernatural event has taken place, or that an alternate yet natural explanation is more likely?  The latter is always more likely, because that is what reality tells us. 

This is also a sincere question of mine honestly, because I understand how absurd I seem to some of you but I am, with every single ounce, in the entirety of my being, certain that what I believe is true.

So is a Muslim, a Hindu, a Jew, a Taoist, a Native American, etc, etc.  What's your point?  Do you think they are less devout than you?  Do you think they're all wrong and you're right?  Why?  Isn't it possible that you all just suffer from the same sort of delusion in a different cultural form? 

The question though..... How do you personally define morals in your own life?

This is a can of worms best left unopened for now Sam.  You have enough to handle without getting into that battle too.  Save this one for later.  Trust me.
 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Astreja on August 06, 2012, 10:32:03 PM
I guess I was trying to get at this idea that I see on this forum, and do tell me if I'm wrong that anyone feels like this, but it seems most of you don't want there to be a God, and no matter the argument or evidence your goal is set to prove it wrong.

Samuel, you're wrong.  It has very little to do with wanting or not wanting there to be gods, and everything to do with the fact that there's no empirical evidence for gods.  What I want, and what I suspect many other people here want, is to live lives based on reality rather than myth.

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Why would God, who chose to give life, want to go beyond( the already present evidence of his existence, I'll go further with that in a moment) and try to make one believe who wants and try's to prove he isn't there?

Why wouldn't a god want to go beyond?  Didn't Paul of Tarsus supposedly undergo an involuntary conversion that involved him getting blinded and knocked off his horse?

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Can you show the resurrection did not happen?

Based on My knowledge of human physiology, it's so very, very unlikely that I'm satisfied that it didn't happen.  Upon death of the body (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_death), cell breakdown begins and all the critical systems decay almost immediately.  Not even 2012 neurosurgery and pharmacological intervention can restore consciousness to a brain that's been without oxygen for an hour.  Restoration of bodily function after several days?  No.  At that point all you have is a hunk of insentient meat wrapped in winding-cloths and smeared with costly herbs to allay the stink.

If you want to say "Ah, but it's divine magic!" you have to prove that such a thing actually exists.

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The question though..... How do you personally define morals in your own life?

Does it hurt or help another living being?  All the rest is commentary.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 06, 2012, 10:36:55 PM
Ok you all got the meaning of my question wrong probably because of my wording I'm sure I'm sorry for that. I guess I was trying to get at this idea that I see on this forum, and do tell me if I'm wrong that anyone feels like this, but it seems most of you don't want there to be a God, and no matter the argument or evidence your goal is set to prove it wrong.
I think you're misunderstanding the meaning of responses to you: I'm not disbelieving in the existence of god to be stubborn - I disbelieve in god because I am unconvinced that such an entity exists.
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Why would God, who chose to give life, want to go beyond( the already present evidence of his existence, I'll go further with that in a moment) and try to make one believe who wants and try's to prove he isn't there?
Because, apparently:
a) God is all-loving, and therefore would not relegate me to eternal torture (or lack of his all-love or whatever you believe the consequence of missing out on salvation means) simply for being either too stubborn or too stupid to recognize his existence.  You know, sort of like how most people would find a parent to be 'bad' if that parent decided to kick out there 7-year old for not wanting to do math and not being good at social studies.
b) God is all-knowing, and therefore is capable knowing why I do not believe in his existence.
c) God is all-powerful, and therefore is capable of actually convincing me of his existence.

You never answered my earlier question regarding god wanting me to know of his existence, so I'm still going with 'yes, god wants people to know he exists' answer.

Therefore the answer to your question is still 'yes', based on the characteristics that god apparently has.  Is there anything incorrect, illogical, or unreasonable with the all-loving/all-knowing/all-powerful argument that myself and others have made to you?
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I would like you all to give me your examples that the bible is so contradictory and so false, if I can just get the name of the verses if possible that would help out.
And further if you all can show me your evidence and substantial proof for Jesus not living and his message not true?
Tell you what - I'll start putting together substantial proof for Jesus not living sometime after you give substantial proof that Osiris did not or does not live.  Before attempting that, however, you may wish to look into what the phrase 'proving a negative' means.
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How only the belief in Jesus and through him is the way to God, that main message has never changed since? Can you show the resurrection did not happen?
You may wish to look into the history of the protestant reformation.  You may wish to look at the tenants of many of the other monotheistic religions out there.  Talk to a Jehovah's Witness, a Southern Baptist, a Mormon, an Episcopalian, and a Roman Catholic, ask them what 'salvation' means.  Ask a Jew or a Muslim about the relationship Jesus has to god.  Ask a Hindu, a Jain, and a Wiccan what 'god' means.

If you do that and still find the message of the whole 'belief in Jesus and through him is the way to God' to be a consistent, never changed message, then we can continue the conversation.

I'll show you that Jesus' resurrection didn't happen after you show me that Rama was not the 7th incarnation of Vishnu.  Refer to 'proving a negative' again.
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This is also a sincere question of mine honestly, because I understand how absurd I seem to some of you but I am, with every single ounce, in the entirety of my being, certain that what I believe is true. But I haven't and I won't tell any of you that you need to do the same as me or believe the same as me.
So let me ask you this: do you know what being wrong feels like?  If you only pick one of the questions in this post to respond to, I do ask that you answer this one.
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The question though..... How do you personally define morals in your own life?
That is a fairly deep question and I'm uncertain as to how it pertains to the current discussion.  However, at the core of how I personally define morals in my own life, it is in the context and with respect to the feelings, needs, and well-being of other living things capable of having feelings, needs, and well-being.  What I don't do for defining morals is look to a really old book or accept an action as morally righteous because some entity that may or may not have interest in letting me know that he even EXISTS trying to tell me what to do.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 06, 2012, 10:42:47 PM
Its a big mothertrucker.  I originally imbedded it, but out of concern for people on iphones I thought better of it.

Here is a list of Biblical contradictions.  Many of them taken individually are nit-picky, but put all together, not so much.
http://sciencebasedlife.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/biblecontradictions-reasonproject.png (http://sciencebasedlife.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/biblecontradictions-reasonproject.png)

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 06, 2012, 10:49:31 PM
^^Yeah, that's the one.  :)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 06, 2012, 10:50:33 PM
Sam

You seem more reasonable than to think we "want" there to be no God.  The evidence for God is so scant when I look at it objectively, I am surprised there are still Christians.  I know when I started to question my faith I started with the goal of re-affirming my faith... I specifically went looking for proof of God because I wanted to find it.

What I found generally boiled down to God of the Gaps argument, or "faith" - I believe it "just because".
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 02:34:17 AM
Alright when I say it's not perfect I do include word for word perfect, by which I mean there are solid ideas that all Christian theology can agree on. Mainly Jesus and if they don't have that it's no Christian theology. In the difference in the way the writers described Jesus just points to human individuality and where they stood with their own beliefs. I can't remember all the exact verses of this at the moment but I can pull them up if wanted, but it was Jesus who predicted to them they would not understand his truth fully at first but the time would come. You can see this in many places for example when Jesus first tells them about the death he is going to face and they are upset and say no that is not your fate. I believe it was John who at one point said maybe Jesus wasn't the one they were looking for and then job says to God I can only understand wich is verifiably true and tangible in my own reality. God answered him with about 60 questions. Se the bible also so though that God has great dignity in the free will we posses. I don't understand the putting of blame on God, for how the occupants of this earth us human beings are the real the inflictors of almost one hundred percent of all carnage and evil unto ourselves. Yeah we have starvation all over the world and we also have millionaires and billionaires who won't spare a dime for a family member. Ancient man had it in a much different way but we can't be that fragile considering our domination of the entire world now. I think if we take a look at the number one source in all history that caused the most bloodshed is obviously war, can you really blame God for human egotism and greed? God does intervene as much as he can without losing the dignity of our free will in the process. It's often said that God speaks the loudest during suffering it can just be a hard time to listen to it. The gospel teaches to be humble in all aspects of your life and Jesus was the perfect example of that, and at first it seems like a contradiction a man claiming to be the living God yet he spent his entire life dedicated to saving people and showing the lost love and in the end he chose not to save himself. However, there is no contradiction to a God loving his creation so, that he gave his son unto us. The redemption in Jesus has always been the reference point and to see that has never changed says a lot to me.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 07, 2012, 03:13:10 AM
Apologies for the gap in my responses - been away for the weekend.  But coming back, I see that your answers are all over the place.

I understand that the meteor story is hard to believe or all of them for that matter, but in all my doubt and disbelief at the time I knew he was telling me something and it wasnt just by chance.....
Since you "know" it didn't appear by chance, then you ARE saying that your god "engineered a significant change in the nature of reality purely to assist your faith". 

I'll start with saying yes I do believe he jumps in at certain times to do things but it is only on his limited basis because he can't just always jump in It would end up throwing to many other things out of balance..... In the many things it says on prayer one is how the more  doubt you have the harder it is for the prayer to be answered so in turn the more you trust in him the more likely it is.

Okay - so god is restricted in what he can do (!!! - but I'll let that pass), and that when you DOUBT, it is harder for the prayer to be answered.  You confirm this here:

According to the bible for a prayer to be answered one praying must sincerely believe in him and also in Jesus an put all other idols or gods or any thing we put before him material or not, aside and put him first.

But wait!!

.....I was very much doubting at the time and I said something along the lines of what if there isn't any real substantial good or joy for us in life or what if God doesn't really exist. Right as I said that last word as the last waves came out from me, I saw in the night sky the biggest and longest lasting shooting star I have ever seen.....

You were doubting as heavily as you ever were, actually saying "what if there is no god".....and yet there was no problem with god answering you there, was there?  Indeed, you weren't even praying at the point when your god popped along with the miracle - a miracle that would indeed throw a HUGE number of things out of balance.  You reinforce this with the lines:

.....it would be taking away from our free will and the cause and effect nature of our world if he answered every prayer in the way each person wants him to answer.

In the case of your meteor, not only did your god overrule cause and effect (did the meteor appear from nowhere, or did he just alter its course?), but apparently gave you (a doubter!) immediate and obvious proof of his existence.....overruling your free will.

It seems that - despite your protestations that you have thought deeply about these things - that you haven't really considered them at all.  So perhaps you can explain for me in a way that I can understand.

How was it that a god who does not want to overrule free will, does not want to put the universe out of balance, and who has decided he will be less likely to answer the prayers of doubters.....decided to award a unverse-changing, free-will denying, bona fide miracle to someone who was in the depths of doubt, about to renounce him, and who wasn't even praying for help at the time?

EVERYTHING you are saying completely contradicts your claim that your meteor sighting was a god-given miracle.   Are you wrong in everything you have been claiming about the way your god works?  Or are you wrong that the meteor was a miracle, and - in truth - just something that would have happened anyway?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 07, 2012, 03:27:07 AM
Quick question to all that this relates to in what you have said, how can you say that you have never heard, seen, or understood God or whatever he tries to get through to us if you have never actually taken that first step, in saying ok God I'm gonna trust you are actually here, then do some looking into the bible (or whatever religion you want to know about) ......

A very good question.  Since you say you have done a lot of research into religion, you will of course know that there are - at the most conservatire estimate - several dozen basic religions out there.....and literally hundreds of distinct and separate sub-divisions of them.  For example, if I were to examine American faiths, should I go with Kuksu or Lakotan as being correct??

What you are saying is that for "god" to become visible to us, we have to first choose a god; then, look seriously into that faith (to ensure we are doing it correectly); and then put what we have read into practice.

Well, actually, that sounds (almost) perfectly logical - the only way I could see the logic failing would be if the True God were one who was purportedly all-loving, and desirous of a relationship with him....such a god would not sit back passively while I worked my way through all the indigenous tribal religions of Africa....but I digress.

So okay - I'm up for it.  I shall begin with the Advaita Vedantu school of Hinduism....alphabetically seems as good a place to start as any.  Just a couple more quick questions.....

Firstly, you say that it is important that I place my trust in the god of that religion before finding out all about the religion.....well, its a big ask.  What worries me a lot is that with the hundreds of faiths out there, it will be progressively harder for me to place that trust and make the "leap of faith" as I go along.  I worry that if I happen to place the "one true faith" at number 34 (say) on my list, then the succession of 33 failures and wasted effort will make it very hard for me to summon up that trust for the 34th time.....and since you've said that "trust" is so important, it may be that despite giving it my very best shop, I will be simply unable to muster the level of devotion required.

And final question: once I have placed my trust in a particular god, read their holy texts, and determined I am doing everything right....how long should I carry on with that faith's style of devotion before concluding that THAT faith is false?  I'm more than halfway through my lifetime....with hundreds of faiths to try, how long can I afford to devote to any one particular god without success before I should move on to the next?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 07, 2012, 10:43:28 AM
I don't understand the putting of blame on God, for how the occupants of this earth us human beings are the real the inflictors of almost one hundred percent of all carnage and evil unto ourselves. *snip* I think if we take a look at the number one source in all history that caused the most bloodshed is obviously war, can you really blame God for human egotism and greed?

You are right, war is a major cause of bloodshed.  Lets look at a list of wars fought in the name of God that GOD DOES NOTHING TO STOP (for brevity sake I will focus on the Christian version, but may throw in a few other gods for fun):


Albigensian Crusade
Almohad Conquest of Muslim Spain
Anglo-Scottish War (1559–1560)
Arab Conquest of Carthage
Aragonese-Castilian War
Aragonese-French War (1209–1213)
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bearnese Revolts
Bohemian Civil War (1465–1471
Bohemian Palatine War
Byzantine-Muslim War (633–642) (14 separate campaigns)
Castilian Conquest of Toledo
Charlemagne’s Invasion of Northern Spain
Charlemagne’s War against the Saxons
Count’s War
Covenanters’ Rebellion (1666) x3
The Crusades x9
Crusader-Turkish Wars (1100–1146
Crusader-Turkish Wars (1272–1291)
German Civil War (1077–1106)
First Iconoclastic War
Second Iconoclastic War
Irish Tithe War
Lebanese Civil War
Wars of the Lombard League
Maryland’s Religious War
War of the Monks
Mountain Meadows Massacre
Crusade of Nicopolis
Portuguese-Moroccan War (1458–1471)
Portuguese-Omani Wars in East Africa   
Rajput Rebellion against Aurangzeb   
War of Religion (x9)
Roman-Persian War (421–422)
Roman-Persian War (441)
First Sacred War (x3)
Schmalkaldic War
Scottish Uprising against Mary of Guise
Spanish Christian-Muslim War (912–928) (x6)
Spanish Conquests in North Africa
Swedish War
Thirty Years’ War
Transylvania-Hapsburg War
Tukulor-French War



In deed, war is evil.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on August 07, 2012, 11:40:57 AM
However, there is no contradiction to a God loving his creation so, that he gave his son unto us

you sure about that?  Becuase, a few lines up in this same post we have . . .

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Yeah we have starvation all over the world and we also have millionaires and billionaires who won't spare a dime for a family member.
.
I think if we take a look at the number one source in all history that caused the most bloodshed is obviously war, can you really blame God for human egotism and greed?

How is the fact that there is starvation of innocent children NOT contradictng your claim of a loving benevolent god?  If your god created this world, this reality, then he created it the way it is--lumps and all.  You don't think that an omnipotent being could have created a reality that had less (or no) suffering?  One in which we *had* free will, but not have to suffer through the trials of this temporary life before getting eternal life? 

and you'd better believe that if god did create us, I'm sure as hell blaming him for egotism and greed.  If your car blows up due to a design flaw, don't you blame the designer???

It's often said that God speaks the loudest during suffering it can just be a hard time to listen to it.

Yeah. Hard ot hear that imaginary voice over the sound of your own anguished screams, or those of your children.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Astreja on August 07, 2012, 12:15:12 PM
It's often said that God speaks the loudest during suffering it can just be a hard time to listen to it.

I'd find it hard to listen, too, if I were suffering or in danger and a being of limitless power was just standing by with hands in Its divine pockets, trying to chat Me up.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 07, 2012, 12:16:54 PM
I don't understand the putting of blame on God, for how the occupants of this earth us human beings are the real the inflictors of almost one hundred percent of all carnage and evil unto ourselves. Yeah we have starvation all over the world and we also have millionaires and billionaires who won't spare a dime for a family member.
If you put any blame on those millionaires/billionaires for not stepping in to help someone out, then you should automatically understand why I would blame an existing all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing entity for not stepping in to help someone out.

Also, do you know what being wrong feels like?  If you only pick one of the questions in this post to respond to, I do ask that you answer this one.
Be aware that I'm going to constantly ask you this until I get a response.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on August 07, 2012, 01:20:41 PM
I don't understand the putting of blame on God, for how the occupants of this earth us human beings are the real the inflictors of almost one hundred percent of all carnage and evil unto ourselves. Yeah we have starvation all over the world and we also have millionaires and billionaires who won't spare a dime for a family member. Ancient man had it in a much different way but we can't be that fragile considering our domination of the entire world now. I think if we take a look at the number one source in all history that caused the most bloodshed is obviously war, can you really blame God for human egotism and greed?


In short:

1) Humans are often our own worst enemies, and the cause of much of our own suffering

2) We have to get our act together if we want to improve things

3) We cannot blame 'god' for our problems.

That's fine.  I actually agree with all of the above.  There's just one bit of unfortunate implication with the above.  Well, not really a problem for me, but unfortunate for you.

We cannot count on god for anything.

If we really want to improve things, there is no point in praying, worshipping, or otherwise hoping that god will do something.  This is fine for me, since from my viewpoint, god doesn't exist.  But for you, this means your god is completely useless.  Instead of praying, donate blood.  Instead of worshipping, volunteer at a soup kitchen.  Instead of hope/faith in god, give money to the Red Cross (I have done all of those things at least once, BTW).  All of those things, even if you only do them once in your life, will be a million times more productive than a million prayers.  I'm fine with that message, but I'm not so sure you are.


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God does intervene as much as he can without losing the dignity of our free will in the process.

What does "dignity of our free will" even mean?


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It's often said that God speaks the loudest during suffering it can just be a hard time to listen to it.


Again; what does this even mean?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 07, 2012, 01:35:22 PM
I don't understand the putting of blame on God, for how the occupants of this earth us human beings are the real the inflictors of almost one hundred percent of all carnage and evil unto ourselves. Yeah we have starvation all over the world and we also have millionaires and billionaires who won't spare a dime for a family member.

related to this.

If you had the super powers of god, if you had the magic to do anything, would you use them to help people?  Would it be immoral if you did not?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: naemhni on August 07, 2012, 02:00:31 PM
If you had the super powers of god, if you had the magic to do anything, would you use them to help people?

Yes.  The first thing I would do would be to eliminate diseases and disorders such as cancer, polio, and the like.  The second thing would be to give all human beings full control over their fertility simply by choosing whether or not to be able to have children, in just the same way they can decide how to comb their hair.  Hunger would be next on the list.  There are other things as well, of course.  I'd be busy for a while.

This is yet another thing about belief in an omnimax being that I've never understood.  I, as a puny human, can easily imagine how this world could be a far better place than it is, and yet this is supposedly the best that Yahweh can do?

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Would it be immoral if you did not?

Duh.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Astreja on August 07, 2012, 02:12:14 PM
If you had the super powers of god, if you had the magic to do anything, would you use them to help people?  Would it be immoral if you did not?

I'd absolutely use those powers... Preferably by creating teachable moments that would give people the clues to figure things out for themselves and, in effect, develop their own god-like powers for future use.

But in a situation of emergent danger I'd just plain bend the laws of physics or put in an impromptu guest appearance.

And yes, it would be immoral if I didn't help.  If it's My universe and I have the power to control it, I also must bear responsibility for any suffering that occurs on My watch.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jynnan tonnix on August 07, 2012, 02:27:24 PM
Yes.  The first thing I would do would be to eliminate diseases and disorders such as cancer, polio, and the like.  The second thing would be to give all human beings full control over their fertility simply by choosing whether or not to be able to have children, in just the same way they can decide how to comb their hair.  Hunger would be next on the list.  There are other things as well, of course.  I'd be busy for a while.


I might amend that to "I would let people choose whether or not to be able to have children, but would reserve the right to smite anyone with infertility if I knew they were going to abuse or neglect the child"
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 07, 2012, 03:23:42 PM
Yes. ...

Would you hide from people?
Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?

I really want Sam to answer all these questions.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Truth OT on August 07, 2012, 03:34:23 PM
As Mr. Scarface once said in 'Till I Seen A Man Die, "Life has no meaning." In of of itself, I believe life is utterly meaningless. But, because of what life has given rise to, thinking entities like me and presummably you, something called hope has come into existence. It is because of hope that folks like you, me, and great thinkers of our number have dared to dream and reach for possibilities beyond what our mortality reveals to us.

Our greatest hope centers squarely on that which is most innate to us as living creatures, and that is our desire to survive. This hope has led to the formation of religions that promise an afterlife as well scientific breakthroughs which may once day solve the puzzle of our perceived limitations and lead us towards a tomorrow that may in fact never end where we are free to truly give meaning that endures to not only our lives, but the universe we are a part of as well.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 08:51:47 PM
I don't understand the putting of blame on God, for how the occupants of this earth us human beings are the real the inflictors of almost one hundred percent of all carnage and evil unto ourselves. Yeah we have starvation all over the world and we also have millionaires and billionaires who won't spare a dime for a family member.
If you put any blame on those millionaires/billionaires for not stepping in to help someone out, then you should automatically understand why I would blame an existing all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing entity for not stepping in to help someone out.

Also, do you know what being wrong feels like?  If you only pick one of the questions in this post to respond to, I do ask that you answer this one.
Be aware that I'm going to constantly ask you this until I get a response.

I know exactly what being wrong feels like and if you could talk to my gf about it she would verify that. I don't think anyone on earth doesn't know what it feels to be wrong, it's only that some people can't admit to themselves that they are. But for me no one has given strong enough evidence that factually says there is no God and Jesus never walked the earth, I am very willing to give my own presupposition an evaluation but I have seen nothing but you all telling me that in your opinion what I actually believe is my imagination and like that of Santa. But last time I checked there was no world wide religion of people denying themselves and giving the authority of their lives over to Santa. That was very hard for me to do maybe harder then anything about my belief is to really accept this and come to terms with this.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 07, 2012, 09:13:29 PM
I know exactly what being wrong feels like and if you could talk to my gf about it she would verify that. I don't think anyone on earth doesn't know what it feels to be wrong, it's only that some people can't admit to themselves that they are. But for me no one has given strong enough evidence that factually says there is no God and Jesus never walked the earth, I am very willing to give my own presupposition an evaluation but I have seen nothing but you all telling me that in your opinion what I actually believe is my imagination and like that of Santa. But last time I checked there was no world wide religion of people denying themselves and giving the authority of their lives over to Santa. That was very hard for me to do maybe harder then anything about my belief is to really accept this and come to terms with this.

Thanks for the answer, but the problem is that you've just described the feeling of knowing or thinking you're wrong.  The feeling associated with being wrong is exactly the same feeling associated with being right - because the truth of a claim is completely independent of the how you or anyone else feels about the matter.

Last time I checked there were several million people who subscribe to the Hindu faith.  The Hindu faith is very incompatible with your beliefs.  I suspect that there are many members of the Hindu faith that feel just as strongly as you do that they are right.  What's the resolution to this discrepancy?

Insofar as no one giving you sufficient evidence that there is no god, has anyone given you sufficient evidence that there is no Vishnu?  No Thor?  No Mithra?  No Santa?  No leprechauns?  No celestial teapot?  No Flying Spaghetti Monster?

You may wish to look into the meaning of the phrase 'proving a negative'.

Furthermore, have you been given sufficient evidence for the existence of god?  The divinity of Jesus?  After reading Anfauglir's analysis, do you still believe that the meteor you saw before was part of the chain of evidence?  Why or what not?

Look, Samuelke, here's the deal - I totally get it.  I understand how compelling it is to go with your gut when evaluating the truth/lack thereof of claims that impact your world.  In a sense it's how we're wired; my guess would be that if the human mind had to critically examine every piece of sensory input it was receiving it would burn out in no time.  Intuition is a useful cognitive shortcut and it does us well.  But when you're afforded the time and ability to critically analyze a claim, you'd do well to try to be as objective as possible in evaluating the truth value of that claim.  And an objective analysis should not ever include concepts that 'just feel right'.

It takes time...you feel like you're betraying your own intuition and implicitly distrusting yourself.  And that's not a good feeling so I really wouldn't expect you to simply discard your own experiences and intuitions outright.  But I'm not expecting you to do that - but you have got to at least start with accepting that some of the points that have been brought up to you throughout this thread should cause you to question the validity of the very strong gut feeling you have that you're right.  Because logically, objectively, some of the claims that you've laid down as part of your belief structure just do not add up.  If you honestly say to yourself that they really do add up, well so be it.  All I ask is for you to be honest with yourself, that's all.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 09:29:40 PM
Think about how people would then start living their lives if God did the thing you all want him to do. We live In a cause and effect world it sounds like you all want to take the effect out of it, that we all can act however we please and God would just bail us out every time we were in a jam. I think this all is a very delicate subject and we gotta treat it as one, I'll try harder to not use so much of my own opinion I know I have already too much. I am not seeing the strength in the argument of you all saying what you would do as God to try and show there is no God, it's not that all the ideas of God are comforting to me but I believe what I do because I find it to be true, and nothing has proved to me otherwise not because it was all appealing to me. Gods judgement must always go hand in hand with his love and grace, in the old testament when he orders the armies to destroy a city it was because the people their were killing innocent babies and still he asked them to just believe and ask to be redeemed and they would be saved before the attack.

You all really think it would be possible for God to intervene constantly without having any implications on our own lives?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 09:37:34 PM
Ok so this whole time so far I have been defending what I believe now I will continue to do that but I think you all have some of that to do yourself. So then what outside the bible, whether it is another religion, naturalism, or whatever do you believe that you can show as to be the truth, and is coherent and also logically sound? I will still answer your questions like I said I just want to begin getting into this also.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 07, 2012, 09:48:19 PM
I will respond with exactly what I said back on page 3:
My brother in law summed it up best for me anyway.  "I worship the gods of Logic, Reason, Rational Thought, Critical Thinking, and Empathy."

To me this gets at the core of what I have come to believe over the last few months.  Reasonable, objective, evaluation of scientifically proven facts (and history); while showing care and compassion for my fellow human beings.  I may be a godless heathen, but I'm moral damnit!  :)

I actually feel that my life has significantly MORE meaning now that I no longer believe in God.  This feels like my one shot, there is no eternal life, there is no being in heaven dictating the behavior and attitudes of those around me. WE JUST ARE.  We exist, we have one opportunity in life to make a meaningfully positive impact on the world, or to do x, y, z... whatever you want from your life do it, and let that give you meaning.

IMO "God", just strips a lot of the meaning from life.  Everything is either predestined or at least you were created with God having the knowledge that you would complete xyz in your life.  If that's true, what is the point really?  Do you really have a choice in your life, or do you live in an ant farm that a petulant child can shake up like an etch-a-sketch, or come up and poor water into at any time?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 07, 2012, 09:50:17 PM
Ok so this whole time so far I have been defending what I believe now I will continue to do that but I think you all have some of that to do yourself. So then what outside the bible, whether it is another religion, naturalism, or whatever do you believe that you can show as to be the truth, and is coherent and also logically sound? I will still answer your questions like I said I just want to begin getting into this also.

Reality.

Start with a blank slate and build up from there.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 10:03:29 PM
I will respond with exactly what I said back on page 3:
My brother in law summed it up best for me anyway.  "I worship the gods of Logic, Reason, Rational Thought, Critical Thinking, and Empathy."

To me this gets at the core of what I have come to believe over the last few months.  Reasonable, objective, evaluation of scientifically proven facts (and history); while showing care and compassion for my fellow human beings.  I may be a godless heathen, but I'm moral damnit!  :)

I actually feel that my life has significantly MORE meaning now that I no longer believe in God.  This feels like my one shot, there is no eternal life, there is no being in heaven dictating the behavior and attitudes of those around me. WE JUST ARE.  We exist, we have one opportunity in life to make a meaningfully positive impact on the world, or to do x, y, z... whatever you want from your life do it, and let that give you meaning.

IMO "God", just strips a lot of the meaning from life.  Everything is either predestined or at least you were created with God having the knowledge that you would complete xyz in your life.  If that's true, what is the point really?  Do you really have a choice in your life, or do you live in an ant farm that a petulant child can shake up like an etch-a-sketch, or come up and poor water into at any time?

So basically you have just picked and chosen a few things to add together plus opinion and run with it? First do you all not agree that to have compassion for people and respect and value for each others lives makes no sense if there was no God, because it would then truly be our only goal to survive by all means necessary. So why then care for others why does life have value, I'm sorry but it is fact that science can not tell us that because it can not explain everything in life that's just how it is. It was Darwin who said that if what he was proposing was true then the ramifications would be disastrous, and then nietzsche said if we are to do away with God we first must do away with grammar.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 10:04:30 PM
Ok so this whole time so far I have been defending what I believe now I will continue to do that but I think you all have some of that to do yourself. So then what outside the bible, whether it is another religion, naturalism, or whatever do you believe that you can show as to be the truth, and is coherent and also logically sound? I will still answer your questions like I said I just want to begin getting into this also.

Reality.

Start with a blank slate and build up from there.

So all reality which you can see you believe or no what do you mean?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on August 07, 2012, 10:09:34 PM
I happen to be a Christian but I saw an interesting website called "Daylight Atheism".  The author of this site was a pretty mellow atheist.  Simply advocating the reasons that he does not believe there is a god without trashing those who do.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 07, 2012, 10:16:44 PM
Quote
in the old testament when he orders the armies to destroy a city it was because the people their were killing innocent babies


Which of the bible genocides are you referring to here?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 07, 2012, 10:26:32 PM
Think about how people would then start living their lives if God did the thing you all want him to do.

Yeah, my mother wouldn't have had a stroke at 34.  My grandmother would have survived her cancer and my grandfather would be coming to his great grandson's baseball game this weekend.  How awful. 

Think about how much love God would get from us if he DID do the thing we all want him to do. 

The fact is, however, that God doesn't do anything.  We can play hypothetical all day, but the fact is that a good explanation as to why God doesn't step in and help everyone that's suffering is that God isn't real.  That's a pretty good explanation, don't you think? 

We live In a cause and effect world it sounds like you all want to take the effect out of it, that we all can act however we please and God would just bail us out every time we were in a jam.

Last time I checked, all you have to do is believe in Jesus and God effectively DOES bail you out; you just have to wait until you're dead.  You can be a mass murderer, but if you believe in God, you still get to go to heaven. 

And yes, we do live in a cause and effect world.  Completely natural.  There is no outside, intelligent, willful force changing that fact.  Couldn't the reason for that be that there is no God to begin with?

I am not seeing the strength in the argument of you all saying what you would do as God to try and show there is no God, it's not that all the ideas of God are comforting to me but I believe what I do because I find it to be true, and nothing has proved to me otherwise not because it was all appealing to me. Gods judgement must always go hand in hand with his love and grace, in the old testament when he orders the armies to destroy a city it was because the people their were killing innocent babies and still he asked them to just believe and ask to be redeemed and they would be saved before the attack.

The reason for this is because you have been seriously brainwashed to think of God as the ultimate force of good.  In doing that, you can't possibly see anything that God would do as inherently bad.  But that's a severely biased opinion.  And before you accuse me of being biased the other way, I want you to ask yourself a question that's been posed to you a few times in different ways.  If you had the power to help everyone, would you do it?  Better yet, if I had the power to help everyone, and I didn't do it, what would you think of me?  Now, if you first believed I was the ultimate force of good in the universe (if you believed I was God), you wouldn't see me as bad, but since you don't, you'd probably think I was not the ultimate force for good in the universe.  That's all we are doing Sam.  We hear one side say, "God is good and wise and loving", and then we look at reality and see the opposite.  We then form the conclusion that your side is simply wrong about it. 

You all really think it would be possible for God to intervene constantly without having any implications on our own lives?

Which is the worst one here... a God that intervenes to help anyone who needs Him, a God that selectively intervenes when he feels like it, saving those he likes best and ignoring the rest; or a God that doesn't intervene at all.  The first would be wonderful.  The last would, at the very least, play fair, but the middle one is just an ass hole.  He'd be like the doctor who invents a cure for cancer and only gives it out to people he likes.  I don't know how any person could worship that. 

I'm sorry Sam, but helping people is generally considered a good thing to do..  Not helping people is not.  No matter how much mental gymnastics you do, you're not going to get around that.  You can talk smack all day about how it would have implications, and how it would upset free will, or this and that (we've heard all the excuses), but the fact is that God (if we hypothetically say He exists) has the power to help and he doesn't do it.  That's not good. 

But again, keep in mind, one possible reason that God does not interfere in this world is because there is no God. 

First do you all not agree that to have compassion for people and respect and value for each others lives makes no sense if there was no God, because it would then truly be our only goal to survive by all means necessary.

Totally disagree.  You don't need God to have values or to think of other people as important and worthy of respect. In fact, it's highly insulting for you to even insinuate that.  And as humans, historically our best chances of survival hinge around working together with others, not alone.  There is a distinct survival advantage if you're working together instead of working separately. 

So why then care for others why does life have value, I'm sorry but it is fact that science can not tell us that because it can not explain everything in life that's just how it is.

We care for others because there has been a survival advantage involved with working with others that favors it over not working with others.  Do you really not see that if we didn't care for each other, we would all be working on our own and the species would die off when the last person killed the second to last person off?  God didn't give us that.  It's an evolved characteristic.  A survival advantage.

It was Darwin who said that if what he was proposing was true then the ramifications would be disastrous, and then nietzsche said if we are to do away with God we first must do away with grammar.

Evolution does do a major number on religion.  Rightly so.  I have no idea what Nietzsche meant when he said that. 

The world would be better off if nobody believed in the Christian God.  It's trash.  It is a cancer on the world.  Or maybe, they could believe in it, but just keep it in the privacy of their own homes.  Keep it to themselves and it might be fine. 

I happen to be a Christian but I saw an interesting website called "Daylight Atheism".  The author of this site was a pretty mellow atheist.  Simply advocating the reasons that he does not believe there is a god without trashing those who do.

This post has an underlying tone that I want to pull out, just to make sure I'm not the only one seeing it.  Are you trying to say that this entire thread as a personal attack on Sam?  That we are 'not mellow' and are 'trashing him'?  Why?  What are we doing if not advocating reasons that we don't believe in God without trashing Sam?  It may appear as if Sam is getting trashed, but that's only because he's losing.  We aren't calling him names, calling him stupid, or anything like that.  We are giving Sam facts to work with. 

If that was not the intention, then I apologize for jumping to that conclusion, but it sure seems like an accusation is in there. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 07, 2012, 10:37:41 PM
Reality.

Start with a blank slate and build up from there.

So all reality which you can see you believe or no what do you mean?

What I mean is that all that is consistent with objective reality.  That which is inconsistent with objective reality is discarded.  That which has no effect on reality is indeterminate, unknowable, and therefore is something that can be affirmed by me.  Basically, if you're asking what my underlying ideology forms my perception of reality, it is that there exists a shared, objective reality, that my senses are not perfect reflections of objective reality, and that my thoughts and beliefs may not be reflections of objective reality.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 07, 2012, 10:41:23 PM

So basically you have just picked and chosen a few things to add together plus opinion and run with it? First do you all not agree that to have compassion for people and respect and value for each others lives makes no sense if there was no God, because it would then truly be our only goal to survive by all means necessary. So why then care for others why does life have value, I'm sorry but it is fact that science can not tell us that because it can not explain everything in life that's just how it is.

You are making a couple logical fallacies here, there is no reason to nitpick, but the most egregious is you are starting the conversation with the assumption of God and drawing the conclusion that morality is a product of that assumed being.

But to answer your question, no.  I do not think that the human species would have evolved in such a way that morality could not exist without God.  I am not going to go into a long diatribe on this, but I think as I and others have pointed out going to God (or the Judea-Christian version) for moral guidance is like going to Jeffery Dahmer for dietary advice.  When you take the Bible as a whole (not just the good parts) it is not a moral book.  It teaches love, but then it also teaches genocide, rape, and slavery.

Science does not explain everything, you are absolutely correct.  But this is simply the "God of the Gaps" argument, where credit for everything that cannot be explained by science is automatically given to God.  If that is the way you chose to come at the problem so be it, but then your definition of God has shrank dramatically over the last few decades as scientific knowledge increases.

I think than answers your question, but if not let me know.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Astreja on August 07, 2012, 10:42:07 PM
Gods judgement must always go hand in hand with his love and grace, in the old testament when he orders the armies to destroy a city it was because the people their were killing innocent babies and still he asked them to just believe and ask to be redeemed and they would be saved before the attack.

Samuel, in My readings of the OT I don't remember many times at all where the god of the Bible held off the armies and gave the defending side a chance for redemption.

In fact, there are more than a few instances where "innocent babies" were slaughtered.  Exodus 12:29 springs to mind.  Add to that Deuteronomy 2:34, Deuteronomy 3:6, Deuteronomy 20:16-17, Joshua 6:21... Shall I continue?

I also think it somewhat unlikely that all the cities targeted by Biblegod were hotbeds of infant sacrifice.  More likely this was a story that the priests told to the people to get them worked up into a frenzy.

Quote
You all really think it would be possible for God to intervene constantly without having any implications on our own lives?

Yes, I do think it's possible, and quite desirable.  We could apply our life energies to higher developmental stages, rather than struggling to stay alive or to defend ourselves against attack.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 07, 2012, 10:42:17 PM
I happen to be a Christian but I saw an interesting website called "Daylight Atheism".  The author of this site was a pretty mellow atheist.  Simply advocating the reasons that he does not believe there is a god without trashing those who do.

This post has an underlying tone that I want to pull out, just to make sure I'm not the only one seeing it.  Are you trying to say that this entire thread as a personal attack on Sam?  That we are 'not mellow' and are 'trashing him'?  Why?  What are we doing if not advocating reasons that we don't believe in God without trashing Sam?  It may appear as if Sam is getting trashed, but that's only because he's losing.  We aren't calling him names, calling him stupid, or anything like that.  We are giving Sam facts to work with. 

If that was not the intention, then I apologize for jumping to that conclusion, but it sure seems like an accusation is in there.

LoriPinkAngel, I kind of got the same sensation that JeffPT is getting from your post.

Samuelke, should I go with my gut feeling here or should I go back looking through the archives of LoriPinkAngel's posts to see if that interpretation (i.e. my feelings that I am right about her intention) of her post is consistent with her past behavior?
<Don't be insulted by that - I'm using it for illustrative purposes regarding 'feelings of being right'.  If you feel the illustration is invalid please point it out how.>
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 10:46:22 PM
This is from  Norman Geisler’s book, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament

A Moral Problem—the slaughter of the Canaanites (Josh 6, 8, 10).

Israel was commanded by God to completely exterminate the Canaanite inhabitants of the land including men, women, and children. This has been called a primitive and barbaric act of murder perpetrated on innocent lives.

Several factors must be kept in mind in viewing this situation. (1) There is a difference between murder and justifiable killing. Murder involves intentional and malicious hatred which leads to life-taking. On the other hand, the Bible speaks of permissible life-taking in capital punishment (Gen. 9:), in self defense (Exod. 22:2), and in a justifiable war (Gen. 14). (2) The Canaanites were by no means innocent. They were a people cursed of God from their very beginning (Gen. 9:25). They were a vile people who practiced the basest forms of immorality. God described their sin vividly in these words, “I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants” (Lev. 18:25). (3) Further, the innocent people of the land were not slaughtered. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah clearly demonstrates that God would save a whole city for ten righteous people (Gen. 18:22f.). In that incident, when God could not find ten righteous people, He took the four or five righteous ones out of the place so as not to destroy them with the wicked (Gen. 19:15). On another occasion God saved some thirty-two thousand people who were morally pure (Num. 31:35). Another notable example is Rahab, whom God saved because she believed (cf. Heb. 11:31). (4) God waited patiently for hundreds of years, giving the wicked inhabitants of Canaan time to repent (cf. 2 Peter 3:9) before He finally decided to destroy them (Gen. 15:16). When their iniquity was “full,” divine judgment fell. God’s judgment was akin to surgery for cancer or amputation of a leg as the only way to save the rest of a sick body. Just as cancer or gangrene contaminates the physical body, those elements in a society—if their evil is left to fester—will completely contaminate the rest of society. (5) Finally, the battle confronting Israel was not simply a religious war; it was a theocratic war. Israel was directly ruled by God and the extermination was God’s direct command (cf. Exod. 23:27-30; Deut. 7:3-6; Josh. 8:24-26). No other nation either before or after Israel has been a theocracy. Thus, those commands were unique. Israel as a theocracy was an instrument of judgment in the hands of God. (Norman L. Geisler, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1977, pp. 99-100.)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 07, 2012, 10:54:26 PM
You all really think it would be possible for God to intervene constantly without having any implications on our own lives?

Yes, I do think it's possible, and quite desirable.  We could apply our life energies to higher developmental stages, rather than struggling to stay alive or to defend ourselves against attack.

I think I want to turn this around because I really feel like I need more input from Samuelke:
Samuelke, I do not think it would be possible for god to intervene constantly without having any implications on our own lives.  But that's because I do not believe that god exist.

You do believe that god exists - why do you think it wouldn't be possible for god to do so?

Furthermore, isn't it kind of silly to have a problem with god's actions having implications on our own lives?  His very existence is an implication in our own lives.  The only way for him to not have any implications on our lives is for him to not exist.

Why are implications problematic?  Like the effect his whole meteor thing had on you, allowing you to believe that he exists, be saved, give your love and adoration to god and receive it in kind?  Like the implication of god proving himself to exist to all of humanity so that now humanity gets to spend it's time arguing whether or not to worship, love, and adore god rather than bother with arguing about his existence?  Isn't that a little better for the whole 'free will' thing - that I'd have the free will to accept or reject god, rather than being unable to exercise my will to make that choice because I don't think he even exists?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Astreja on August 07, 2012, 11:00:06 PM
So Norman Geisler attempts to justify murder by demonizing the Canaanite people and their culture?  (Springy G shakes Her head in dismay and horror)  The quoted material makes a good case for evicting the Bible permanently from the "morality" shelf.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 11:00:49 PM
Listen i understand truly that you all are genuine in your beliefs and we have done nothing here but discuss the subject matter, and when it is one like this it can be especially hard to not put opinion into it. I know you all have not thrashed me, all have us have just been sharing our own points.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 07, 2012, 11:16:08 PM
This is from  Norman Geisler’s book, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament

A Moral Problem—the slaughter of the Canaanites (Josh 6, 8, 10).

Israel was commanded by God to completely exterminate the Canaanite inhabitants of the land including men, women, and children. This has been called a primitive and barbaric act of murder perpetrated on innocent lives.

Several factors must be kept in mind in viewing this situation. (1) There is a difference between murder and justifiable killing. Murder involves intentional and malicious hatred which leads to life-taking. On the other hand, the Bible speaks of permissible life-taking in capital punishment (Gen. 9:), in self defense (Exod. 22:2), and in a justifiable war (Gen. 14). (2) The Canaanites were by no means innocent. They were a people cursed of God from their very beginning (Gen. 9:25). They were a vile people who practiced the basest forms of immorality. God described their sin vividly in these words, “I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants” (Lev. 18:25). (3) Further, the innocent people of the land were not slaughtered. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah clearly demonstrates that God would save a whole city for ten righteous people (Gen. 18:22f.). In that incident, when God could not find ten righteous people, He took the four or five righteous ones out of the place so as not to destroy them with the wicked (Gen. 19:15). On another occasion God saved some thirty-two thousand people who were morally pure (Num. 31:35). Another notable example is Rahab, whom God saved because she believed (cf. Heb. 11:31). (4) God waited patiently for hundreds of years, giving the wicked inhabitants of Canaan time to repent (cf. 2 Peter 3:9) before He finally decided to destroy them (Gen. 15:16). When their iniquity was “full,” divine judgment fell. God’s judgment was akin to surgery for cancer or amputation of a leg as the only way to save the rest of a sick body. Just as cancer or gangrene contaminates the physical body, those elements in a society—if their evil is left to fester—will completely contaminate the rest of society. (5) Finally, the battle confronting Israel was not simply a religious war; it was a theocratic war. Israel was directly ruled by God and the extermination was God’s direct command (cf. Exod. 23:27-30; Deut. 7:3-6; Josh. 8:24-26). No other nation either before or after Israel has been a theocracy. Thus, those commands were unique. Israel as a theocracy was an instrument of judgment in the hands of God. (Norman L. Geisler, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1977, pp. 99-100.)

I disagree with this primarily because I do not see punishment for the sake of punishment as a moral justification for behavior.  I do not believe in a karmic universe that allows for wrongs to be righted through the suffering of the wrongdoer.

But that's me.

Listen i understand truly that you all are genuine in your beliefs and we have done nothing here but discuss the subject matter, and when it is one like this it can be especially hard to not put opinion into it. I know you all have not thrashed me, all have us have just been sharing our own points.
Thanks for understanding that.  We are all sharing our views, but the issue I'm struggling with is that I'm not sure if you're seriously considering your own, at least not thoroughly.  There are a number of posts behind you that I'd expect you to consider if you are interested in examining your own views and beliefs (Anfauglir post #145 is one I'm particularly interested in).  Now, perhaps you are internally considering them, but I have no idea if that's true or not.

And if I can't trust you to examine your own views and beliefs, I can't necessarily trust you to examine my views or beliefs, and the conversation stops being a sharing of ideas and more of a fanfic writing session.  I've been giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that you do take your views seriously, but the more times you fail to respond to questions on your beliefs the less and less inclined I am to keep giving you that benefit.  I hope that I can continue to assume you take your beliefs seriously; conversations like this are what I do to question and evaluate my own beliefs and it is important to me to be able to continually question those.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 11:17:32 PM
You all really think it would be possible for God to intervene constantly without having any implications on our own lives?

Yes, I do think it's possible, and quite desirable.  We could apply our life energies to higher developmental stages, rather than struggling to stay alive or to defend ourselves against attack.

I think I want to turn this around because I really feel like I need more input from Samuelke:
Samuelke, I do not think it would be possible for god to intervene constantly without having any implications on our own lives.  But that's because I do not believe that god exist.

You do believe that god exists - why do you think it wouldn't be possible for god to do so?

Furthermore, isn't it kind of silly to have a problem with god's actions having implications on our own lives?  His very existence is an implication in our own lives.  The only way for him to not have any implications on our lives is for him to not exist

Why are implications problematic?  Like the effect his whole meteor thing had on you, allowing you to believe that he exists, be saved, give your love and adoration to god and receive it in kind?  Like the implication of god proving himself to exist to all of humanity so that now humanity gets to spend it's time arguing whether or not to worship, love, and adore god rather than bother with arguing about his existence?  Isn't that a little better for the whole 'free will' thing - that I'd have the free will to accept or reject god, rather than being unable to exercise my will to make that choice because I don't think he even exists?


Ok I understand what your saying now let me clarify, the implications I speak about are those of how humans would start behaving knowing that all prayers would be answered. We would then start to think we were all powerful and indestructible. Contrary to what someone else has just said Jesus isn't a bail out or get into heaven free card so you can live life morally to your own likings and it knowing you will ask for forgiveness one day. It is way more complicated I can get into it in another post sorry. But for me I really and truly almost never ask god for things in life or to grant me something or do something for me, I spend most of my prayer in thanks and asking for him to bless others. The meteor story has been taken from what it really is to me and totally has been slaughtered. At the time I was convinced it was God and now I say it very well could have been but maybe not, it holds little weight in what actually has me convinced God is real. Personally I enjoy not living in a perfect world where there was no suffering, not that I enjoy suffering but because we can't appreciate the good in life without experiencing the bad. We would be like robots only programmed to be good. God always intervening would take away learning from our mistakes, it would take away a lot of Good fear we have, and it would totally change the way we acted in a negative way knowing we could always get our way.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: The Wannabe on August 07, 2012, 11:20:20 PM
Samuelke,

Why would Yahweh, being the omniscient and supposedly benevolent deity that he is, predestine the Canaanites to sin and genocide?  What kind of loving god creates a people, and then capriciously wipes them from the face of the earth?   If the god of the bible was truly just in any sense of the word, would he not rehabilitate the Canaanites and maybe command his people to live in harmony with this newly redeemed, indigenous tribe?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on August 07, 2012, 11:21:45 PM
I happen to be a Christian but I saw an interesting website called "Daylight Atheism".  The author of this site was a pretty mellow atheist.  Simply advocating the reasons that he does not believe there is a god without trashing those who do.

This post has an underlying tone that I want to pull out, just to make sure I'm not the only one seeing it.  Are you trying to say that this entire thread as a personal attack on Sam?  That we are 'not mellow' and are 'trashing him'?  Why?  What are we doing if not advocating reasons that we don't believe in God without trashing Sam?  It may appear as if Sam is getting trashed, but that's only because he's losing.  We aren't calling him names, calling him stupid, or anything like that.  We are giving Sam facts to work with. 

If that was not the intention, then I apologize for jumping to that conclusion, but it sure seems like an accusation is in there.

No, that was not the intention.  I was looking for a "worldview" with a primarily positive outlook that also was logical and factual.  The site I mentioned promotes atheism by pointing out the good things about a worldview without a god rather than focusing on the shortcomings and failures of religion.  I wanted to go with something about nature & how so much of nature is beautiful but that is more of an observation the a worldview...
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 07, 2012, 11:28:12 PM
Ok I understand what your saying now let me clarify, the implications I speak about are those of how humans would start behaving knowing that all prayers would be answered. We would then start to think we were all powerful and indestructible.
That only applies if god always answers in the affirmative (or, rather, answers to the behest of the desires of the person praying).  What exactly is the harm in god responding thusly:
Prayer: "God, please grant me the strength to endure this stomach cancer."
God: "No, dude, you've got to learn to live through this hardship to better yourself as a person."
Prayer: "But God, this really really sucks!"
God: <uses infinite wisdom to explain why, in the end, it does not suck, with infinite love so that Prayer does not feel berated or accosted>

The prayer now has the option to endure for the 'not suck' result, or to ignore god and suffer the consequences.  I fail to see how this is less fair, less moral, less supportive of the concept of free will, less effective at teaching lessons on living a moral life, and overall less logical than god playing hide and seek or refusing to try to convince me of his existence because I'm too ignorant to see it.
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Contrary to what someone else has just said Jesus isn't a bail out or get into heaven free card so you can live life morally to your own likings and it knowing you will ask for forgiveness one day.
This might be unfair to ask, but is the difference between existence in heaven and existence here?
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It is way more complicated I can get into it in another post sorry. But for me I really and truly almost never ask god for things in life or to grant me something or do something for me, I spend most of my prayer in thanks and asking for him to bless others. The meteor story has been taken from what it really is to me and totally has been slaughtered. At the time I was convinced it was God and now I say it very well could have been but maybe not, it holds little weight in what actually has me convinced God is real.
Thanks.
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Personally I enjoy not living in a perfect world where there was no suffering, not that I enjoy suffering but because we can't appreciate the good in life without experiencing the bad. We would be like robots only programmed to be good. God always intervening would take away learning from our mistakes, it would take away a lot of Good fear we have, and it would totally change the way we acted in a negative way knowing we could always get our way.
Again, possibly unfair, but I take it that this is not the expect scenario in heaven?  Is there evil in heaven?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 11:46:07 PM
Ok I understand what your saying now let me clarify, the implications I speak about are those of how humans would start behaving knowing that all prayers would be answered. We would then start to think we were all powerful and indestructible.
That only applies if god always answers in the affirmative (or, rather, answers to the behest of the desires of the person praying).  What exactly is the harm in god responding thusly:
Prayer: "God, please grant me the strength to endure this stomach cancer."
God: "No, dude, you've got to learn to live through this hardship to better yourself as a person."
Prayer: "But God, this really really sucks!"
God: <uses infinite wisdom to explain why, in the end, it does not suck, with infinite love so that Prayer does not feel berated or accosted>

The prayer now has the option to endure for the 'not suck' result, or to ignore god and suffer the consequences.  I fail to see how this is less fair, less moral, less supportive of the concept of free will, less effective at teaching lessons on living a moral life, and overall less logical than god playing hide and seek or refusing to try to convince me of his existence because I'm too ignorant to see it.
Quote
Contrary to what someone else has just said Jesus isn't a bail out or get into heaven free card so you can live life morally to your own likings and it knowing you will ask for forgiveness one day.
This might be unfair to ask, but is the difference between existence in heaven and existence here?
Quote
It is way more complicated I can get into it in another post sorry. But for me I really and truly almost never ask god for things in life or to grant me something or do something for me, I spend most of my prayer in thanks and asking for him to bless others. The meteor story has been taken from what it really is to me and totally has been slaughtered. At the time I was convinced it was God and now I say it very well could have been but maybe not, it holds little weight in what actually has me convinced God is real.
Thanks.
Quote
Personally I enjoy not living in a perfect world where there was no suffering, not that I enjoy suffering but because we can't appreciate the good in life without experiencing the bad. We would be like robots only programmed to be good. God always intervening would take away learning from our mistakes, it would take away a lot of Good fear we have, and it would totally change the way we acted in a negative way knowing we could always get our way.
Again, possibly unfair, but I take it that this is not the expect scenario in heaven?  Is there evil in heaven?

Yeah your right and for me heaven was the very first thing I questioned in my faith it actually terrified me. But a more thorough reading of the bible has changed that now, no there will be no evil in heaven, but we will still have free will and this works because of how incredible it will be we will love it so much. So because of that fact it says we will will not choose evil in heaven and that's also only possible because of this life and experiencing the repercussions of evil is the only way there can be no evil in heaven.

And it is a fact that science has proved God does not exist and science has not explained how all this came to be. Yes science has tried but what they have come up with in my opinion takes more faith to believe then God does.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 07, 2012, 11:56:24 PM
Samuelke,

Why would Yahweh, being the omniscient and supposedly benevolent deity that he is, predestine the Canaanites to sin and genocide?  What kind of loving god creates a people, and then capriciously wipes them from the face of the earth?   If the god of the bible was truly just in any sense of the word, would he not rehabilitate the Canaanites and maybe command his people to live in harmony with this newly redeemed, indigenous tribe?

I don't know why you think this because Christian theology doesn't say that God chooses the outcome of peoples lives we do that. Yes we do believe God has a purpose for all of us just a unique as each of us are but whether or not we go that route is all in our hands, he did proclaim himself and give those people a chance to believe in him in every story like this. The ot has many valuable things in it but it is known that the bible is progressive in its revealing of Gods character, we learn more about him the further along you go untill revalations where all the bible is basically summarized and concluded. How could the writers of the bible, people from all over the place, most which had never met and in different times yet they all flow with a harmony. This along with prophecies by the hundred where not even one turned out to be false.Do you see that as a coincidence
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 08, 2012, 12:06:12 AM
Yeah your right and for me heaven was the very first thing I questioned in my faith it actually terrified me. But a more thorough reading of the bible has changed that now, no there will be no evil in heaven, but we will still have free will and this works because of how incredible it will be we will love it so much. So because of that fact it says we will will not choose evil in heaven and that's also only possible because of this life and experiencing the repercussions of evil is the only way there can be no evil in heaven.
Am I unable to choose evil in heaven or will I simply have learned my lessons so thoroughly in life that I'd never, ever, for all eternity choose to commit an act of evil?

If the former, why wouldn't god just make me unable to choose evil now?

If the latter, is there some 'quota' of life-suffering that needs to be reached to get to that state?  Did the 6-year that got killed in the car crash learn enough lessons in life to be admitted to heaven?  Does the 6-year old go to hell?  Is the 6-year old reincarnated to get a chance to learn more?

If I misunderstand god and drown my children, do I get a pass because I really, truly thought I was doing to work of god?  Do I go to hell?  Do I get reincarnated to get a chance to learn more?

How is this better than god, rather than using suffering, using his infinite wisdom and infinite love to teach us?  I hope you're not the kind of person who believes that hitting a child is an ethical way to teach children.

This is kind of one of my major beefs with Christianity (primarily Catholicism but not limited to it): it teaches the lesson that suffering can be good, even in light of other options.  That's pretty reprehensible to me.  On this world, we really should be working towards the reduction of suffering.  When we see suffering, our moral obligation should be to alleviate that suffering.
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And it is a fact that science has proved God does not exist and science has not explained how all this came to be. Yes science has tried but what they have come up with in my opinion takes more faith to believe then God does.
Woah.  HOLD THE PHONE - you're using the word 'fact' incorrectly, seeing as how science has neither proved that god does not exist, is incapable of proving that no god exists (for example, a god that is all-powerful, all-knowing, and desires to not be detected), nor has science tried to prove that god exists.  Science is a methodology for examining objective reality; it is the taking of factual evidence and using those facts to derive models of reality.  Science is a methodology to explicitly try to eliminate human bias, experimental error, and models based on incorrect data.

Who told you that science had an agenda?  Scientific institutions may or may not have agendas, but the scientific method most certainly does not.  It is simply a tool that we can utilize to gain a better understanding of the world we live in and all share.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 08, 2012, 12:15:15 AM
I'm about to respond to the rest of your post but I made an error in my typing as I normally do I ment to say science has not proved there is no God, I know science can't prove that God exist that was a mistake in my typing that post my apologies I realize the falseness in what I originally said and I didn't mean to say that.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 08, 2012, 12:40:22 AM
And no it is a combination of how awe filling heaven will be and our knowledge of evil. I think in my opinion the suffering teaches us but he doesn't want us to suffer it is our own doing. You can not say there is more evil outside of what humans have caused in things like natural disasters and so on. Even cancer most of it comes from something we have done or made, starvation is caused by the political leaders and other people who do that to people. But in this world which we can't change how things work we have good and evil and without that evil good would be the most boring thing on the planet. But this suffering argument would hold more ground to me if it weren't true that meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain, but meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.

And for me I can remember being spanked as a kid like maybe two times. Both my parents were raised catholic and now both are baptist but they never believed in hitting kids like both of their parents did. For me I grew to have this nasty taste for the baptist church and a whole lot of the things they do, it is really almost all the denominations that take the gospel and twist it, the only church that I have been to in the last 7 or 8 years is non-denominational but it is hard to find any good church's now adays that's why I've been 2 or 3 times in the last 4 years. But I also work at a day care with a group of about 60 to 80 elementary age kids. I've worked in daycares the last 3 years I am going to school to teach elementary age kids and no I plan on never hitting my kids I have found many many other solutions to getting through to kids. Children and teaching are two deep passions of mine.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 08, 2012, 01:18:11 AM
I've seen many people say God approves of rape, slavery, child abuse and so on but I think that most cases are stories showing what not to do, because the theme that God is merciful even to his people who are continual sinners because Moses and all the ot prophets were sinners like the rest of us he doesn't expect us to be perfect. But it always tells us God did not approve of what they did, I know you will have some that don't say that and if you all could show me some and I'll discuss them.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on August 08, 2012, 05:48:25 AM
I've seen many people say God approves of rape, slavery, child abuse and so on but I think that most cases are stories showing what not to do, because the theme that God is merciful even to his people who are continual sinners because Moses and all the ot prophets were sinners like the rest of us he doesn't expect us to be perfect. But it always tells us God did not approve of what they did, I know you will have some that don't say that and if you all could show me some and I'll discuss them.

Oh please, enough of this nonsense. You are presenting a one-sided, rose-coloured view of what the Bible says. Not only is the Bible riddled with childish nonsense, it also encourages intolerance, cruelty and violence. Your God is far from merciful. The Bible paints it as being a jealous, petty, vindictive, psychopathic tyrant.

You said in an earlier post (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23300.msg524271.html#msg524271) that your God only ordered armies to slaughter everyone in a city[1] because they were killing babies (this wasn’t the reason in 1 Samuel). Of course, you completely ignore the fact that the most psychopathic, genocidal baby killer in the Bible is your God itself. It slaughtered every single baby on the entire planet[2] in a fit of pique at one point in the story. All creatures great and small, the Lord God drowned them all.

Here are a few of the commandments in the Bible encouraging intolerance, cruelty and violence:

I’d say killing children for cursing their parents classifies as child abuse, wouldn’t you? As for what the Bible says about rape and slavery, look at Deuteronomy 22:23-29 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+22&version=NASB), Numbers 31:15-18 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+31&version=NASB), Leviticus 25:44-45 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+25&version=NASB) and Exodus 21:20-21 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+21&version=NASB).

Now you could try to pass all this off as merely parables or stories that people just ignore, but all you need to do is read the news (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&q=sectarian+violence&oq=sectarian+violence&gs_l=news-cc.3..43j43i400.10760.16244.0.20747.18.4.0.14.14.0.261.779.0j3j1.4.0...0.0...1ac.TYf9O_T5_7c) to see the constant intolerance, violence, misery and death caused by people around the world acting on or motivated by their ridiculous religious beliefs. The worst part about those beliefs is that they are false. People allow themselves to believe that false or unvalidated feelings or ideas are true and then kill each other over who has the better imaginary friend.

Your God is imaginary, Samuelke. If you disagree then produce some sound evidence or sound arguments to prove that it is real. If you cannot establish the truth or validity of your claim then why should anyone believe it?
 1. 1 Samuel 15:2-3 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+15&version=NASB) “…put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”
 2. Genesis 7:21-23 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+7&version=NASB)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Zankuu on August 08, 2012, 05:55:42 AM
I've seen many people say God approves of rape, slavery, child abuse and so on but I think that most cases are stories showing what not to do, because the theme that God is merciful even to his people who are continual sinners [...]

Sam, do you think atheists just make this shit up? Do you think we open up our newspaper or webbrowser and read a story about a recently raped woman and think, "Another woman was raped. That bastard God must love rape"? No, Sam. We get our understanding of God's view on rape from the Bible. Many of us have actually read the damn thing. Your God DOES approve of rape. I guess I'll do your homework for you:

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• Deuteronomy 22:23-24  If a man happens to meet in town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife.

• Deuteronomy 22:28-29 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

• Isaiah 13:11-16 I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. I will make people scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty, in the day of his burning anger. Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, they will all return to their own people, they will flee to their native land. Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives violated.
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In the first passage God wants the raped woman put to death because her screams weren't loud enough. In the second passage God goes over his rules on how a rapist should properly handle rape, which includes paying the father fifty silver pieces for his trouble and then marrying the rape victim as if she were a piece of property. And the last one is a doozie. God gabs on about how he's going to personally rape women. I widened the verses so you can't accuse me of taking anything out of context. So yeah, Sam, that's a real merciful God. Or a rapist. Maybe we can meet in the middle and just call your god a merciful rapist?

This god had every opportunity to include a passage saying "Please don't rape your fellow human beings- it's morally wrong" but instead puts a monetary price on rape. Fuck the traumatized rape victim and her broken psyche and body I guess. There isn't even scripture on how to comfort her or help heal her. This is your disgusting god Sam, not mine. It's embarrassing that you worship such a being. Or more accurately, it's embarrassing that you don't realize you're worshipping such a being because you've been too lazy to read the damn Bible for yourself, cover to cover.

But it always tells us God did not approve of what they did [...]

Sam, all this tells me is that you and your self projection of God don't approve of rapists since scripture is strongly in opposition of your personal views on rape. Which is a good thing. You are more moral than the bronze age, middle eastern god of the Bible.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: kcrady on August 08, 2012, 06:29:47 AM
Yeah your right and for me heaven was the very first thing I questioned in my faith it actually terrified me. But a more thorough reading of the bible has changed that now, no there will be no evil in heaven, but we will still have free will and this works because of how incredible it will be we will love it so much. So because of that fact it says we will will not choose evil in heaven and that's also only possible because of this life and experiencing the repercussions of evil is the only way there can be no evil in heaven.

According to the Christian theology, this is not true.  Lucifer and his angels (a third of the total, according to the Book of Revelation) were not content to live in Heaven, and did not find it so incredibly awesome they did not want to leave.  To the contrary, they started a rebellion despite being outnumbered two to one by their fellow angels--not to mention that the king they sought to overthrow is ostensibly omnipotent, and when it comes to punishment, infinitely vindictive.  In other words, they found Heaven so intolerable that they were willing to risk very high odds of everlasting torment to escape it.  Remember, at the time they made this decision, they were not drooling, hideous bat-winged abominations drenched in lives of Pure Evil, but holy angels welcome in the Celestial Court.   

And that's not all.  The sixth chapter of Genesis tells us of a second angelic rebellion, a mass defection of angels to Earth.  These defectors preferred the prosaic delights of marriage to human women, home, and family to the glories of Heaven.

Isn't it fairly obvious that if you have a regime, where large numbers of residents are jumping over the wall to escape, that it's not all it's cracked up to be?  How do you know you'll be happy in Heaven?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: The Wannabe on August 08, 2012, 06:41:37 AM


I don't know why you think this because Christian theology doesn't say that God chooses the outcome of peoples lives we do that. Yes we do believe God has a purpose for all of us just a unique as each of us are but whether or not we go that route is all in our hands, he did proclaim himself and give those people a chance to believe in him in every story like this. The ot has many valuable things in it but it is known that the bible is progressive in its revealing of Gods character, we learn more about him the further along you go untill revalations where all the bible is basically summarized and concluded. How could the writers of the bible, people from all over the place, most which had never met and in different times yet they all flow with a harmony. This along with prophecies by the hundred where not even one turned out to be false.Do you see that as a coincidence

For one, it is made clear in biblical text that the Christian God predestines the fate of individuals, nations, and even talking snakes.  Roman 9:21 for example:  "Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?"  I think this verse matches up quite nicely with the unfortunate (not to mention "predestined") fate of the promised land squatters in the OT.  Your god created the Canaanite vessels for dishonor and destruction.  The almighty celestial tyrant Yahweh decreed ethnic cleansing and rape in the land of Canaan, is this something a just or merciful god would do?

For two, the bible does not flow with harmony.  The bible is a literary anthology that was authored by several people over several thousand years, while also having been altered and edited numerous times.  There are several themes in the bible that are contradictory, not to mention absurd, and any Christians who claim that biblical prophecies have been fulfilled are either grasping at straws or flat out lying. 

Here's a youtube video that might shed some light on these issues for you:     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg

Thanks for being a good sport, Samuelke.  There's a lot of information in this thread to digest, so take all the time you need to process and gather your thoughts before replying.   :)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: The Gawd on August 08, 2012, 07:27:43 AM
According to the Christian theology, this is not true.  Lucifer and his angels (a third of the total, according to the Book of Revelation) were not content to live in Heaven, and did not find it so incredibly awesome they did not want to leave.  To the contrary, they started a rebellion despite being outnumbered two to one by their fellow angels--not to mention that the king they sought to overthrow is ostensibly omnipotent, and when it comes to punishment, infinitely vindictive.  In other words, they found Heaven so intolerable that they were willing to risk very high odds of everlasting torment to escape it.  Remember, at the time they made this decision, they were not drooling, hideous bat-winged abominations drenched in lives of Pure Evil, but holy angels welcome in the Celestial Court.   

And that's not all.  The sixth chapter of Genesis tells us of a second angelic rebellion, a mass defection of angels to Earth.  These defectors preferred the prosaic delights of marriage to human women, home, and family to the glories of Heaven.

Isn't it fairly obvious that if you have a regime, where large numbers of residents are jumping over the wall to escape, that it's not all it's cracked up to be?  How do you know you'll be happy in Heaven?
This was always an issue I couldnt shake when I was a christian. It just never made sense. Either these "angels" knew that it was possible to beat god, or it was just so horrible that theyd rather burn forever than to be with him forever. It also paints an opposite picture of heaven than the perfection they try to feed us where there is jealousy and if jealousy why not every other negative aspect of emotion... Basically heaven is earth but with a dictator and apparently worse women.

As for sam, I do appreciate him coming back and answering, there are a lot of posts there. And though sometimes the answers are close to preaching it doesnt seem intentional and he doesnt seem to resort to the dishonesty that we see so much. That video above my post is very informative sam, I suggest it.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 08, 2012, 07:45:41 AM
Sam,

would you please answer these questions?


If you had the super powers of god, if you had the magic to do anything, would you use them to help people?  Would it be immoral if you did not?
Would you hide from people?
Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 08, 2012, 10:25:31 AM
I don't know why you think this because Christian theology doesn't say that God chooses the outcome of peoples lives we do that.

Hmm. I thought christian theology said yahweh was all-powerful. You're saying he is ignorant of something, and, thus, not all-knowing.

What else can your deity not do?

Edit: please don't answer my question. I know you have a lot better posts to respond to and limited resources, as you are on your own. Plus, at this stage in a discussion the theist usually leaves.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 08, 2012, 03:34:36 PM
No, that was not the intention. 

Then I apologize for jumping to the conclusion that I did, and I hope you accept it.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 08, 2012, 04:27:13 PM
Some of the issue here seems to be an issue of predestination vs. Freewill.  This actually led to extensive debates among my Bible study back when I was a theist in college.  Essentially some Christians believe one thing, while others believe the other... We could never come to a consensus what was "correct," but the best way I personally came to look at it was that "Maybe we have freewill, but when you are talking about an omnipotent omniscient being and a finite life of a finite being that could be a false choice".  Martin Luther and Erasmus of Rotterdam argued about the same thing in the 16th century, but thats just the history buff in me showing off.  ;)

In any case, its perfectly within Sam's right (and to stay within the bounds of Christianity) to say that the believes that God gives him Freewill to make his own choices.  Im just not sure the "choice" is a choice in the legitimate sense of the word, but at this point we are arguing semantics.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: The Wannabe on August 08, 2012, 06:40:51 PM
Some of the issue here seems to be an issue of predestination vs. Freewill.  This actually led to extensive debates among my Bible study back when I was a theist in college.  Essentially some Christians believe one thing, while others believe the other... We could never come to a consensus what was "correct," but the best way I personally came to look at it was that "Maybe we have freewill, but when you are talking about an omnipotent omniscient being and a finite life of a finite being that could be a false choice".  Martin Luther and Erasmus of Rotterdam argued about the same thing in the 16th century, but thats just the history buff in me showing off.  ;)

In any case, its perfectly within Sam's right (and to stay within the bounds of Christianity) to say that the believes that God gives him Freewill to make his own choices.  Im just not sure the "choice" is a choice in the legitimate sense of the word, but at this point we are arguing semantics.

In my opinion, the theological freewill vs predestination debate is a shut and closed case.  If the Christian, omni-everything creator exists, it logically follows that everything in existence is entangled in celestial puppet strings that reach all the way up to the pearly gates.  To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, yes you have freewill, the boss insists upon it. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 08, 2012, 06:45:16 PM
Yeah, I dont know; and its no longer a subject I care about enough to debate.  I just didn't know to what version of Christianity Sam prescribed.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 08, 2012, 10:13:37 PM
But this suffering argument would hold more ground to me if it weren't true that meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain, but meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.

So we should welcome suffering then as a wonderful gift from God?  Is that what you are saying?  That we should not try to stamp out suffering wherever we come across it?  Should we celebrate that the 29,000 children that died today have learned all the lessons they need?  Should the mothers of those children rejoice for God having taken their child away without their say in the matter?  Am I doing the wrong thing by treating patients in my office and trying to alleviate their pain?  Should I tell them that their pain is good for them and kick them out the door?  Why should humans try to snuff out suffering if the almighty God isn't lifting a finger to do it?  After all, if God wanted suffering to stop, he'd stop it. 

If your child were suffering, what would you do to stop it?  God supposedly loves us all (his children) more than we humans could possibly love anything.  That is either a true statement or a false one.  Given that God does not lift a finger to help people who are suffering, do you really think it's reasonable to say that God loves us more than you love even your own children? 

If God did not exist, what would this world look like in terms of suffering?  It would look exactly like this one. 

Do you really think we need suffering to the extent that we see it in order to know that pleasure is better than pain?  If God took out cancer, would there still be enough suffering for us not to become weary of pleasure?  If he took out starvation on massive scales, wouldn't we still have plenty of suffering for us not to become weary of pleasure?  And if people needed pain in order to understand what pleasure was, wouldn't it be best for God to give each and every person the bare minimum required amount of pain?  That's not what happens though.  Billions of people suffer horrible amounts while billions of others hardly suffer at all. 

The truth is that suffering depends upon natural factors such as location, culture, social status, etc.  If that's the case, then why do you even need to presuppose God exists in order to understand why some people suffer more than others?  Adding the notion of a loving God into the mix only confuses the situation.  It only makes it necessary to do mental gymnastics to explain it all away.  It's far easier to understand that people starve because they don't put enough food into their mouths than it is to say that God is teaching them a lesson by keeping food away from them. 

The argument that suffering is a teaching tool is one of the most disgusting arguments that Christians come up with.  Why would you ever worship a deity who chose that as a method of education?  Especially one that is considered omnipotent, and thus capable of making each person feel exactly enough suffering to teach them that suffering is bad, and pleasure is good. 

You lose a lot of 'human decency' points when you use this argument.  It makes you look really bad.  Your religion is making you say horrible things.  I hope you can see that. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 08, 2012, 10:20:49 PM
^ Made me think of an old song I learned in Sunday school (which, in retrospect is kinda racist), but says something like "red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world".  But... He really does seem to show a particular affinity for white males, preferably in the 20th century or later, generally western, who's parents have sufficient income. ;)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 09, 2012, 01:45:02 AM
http://www.rzim.org/resources/listen/letmypeoplethink.aspx?archive=1&pid=2536

http://www.rzim.org/resources/listen/justthinking.aspx?archive=1&pid=2435

I feel like he makes some very strong points please tell me about those you don't agree with and this is more my starting point I don't have time tonight to give my full response because I'd like it to be as well thought out as possible. But I think these to lectures do a marvelous job at defending the bible, and they each are in parts and all are worth listening . I look for to giving my full response.

I just want to say one thing quickly, many Christians will tell you that you are taking it out of context. Now I give them some slight credit cause at least they told part of truth, but that almost is doing more an injustice then anything at all. This here is it, we must not only take the context of the passages around it in the scripture but also the historical context to which people God originally intended this mesage to and what was going on around these people. Only then can we really understand the bible and it's true meaning which is being blurred.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on August 09, 2012, 06:07:22 AM
http://www.rzim.org/resources/listen/letmypeoplethink.aspx?archive=1&pid=2536

http://www.rzim.org/resources/listen/justthinking.aspx?archive=1&pid=2435

I feel like he makes some very strong points please tell me about those you don't agree with and this is more my starting point I don't have time tonight to give my full response because I'd like it to be as well thought out as possible. But I think these to lectures do a marvelous job at defending the bible, and they each are in parts and all are worth listening . I look for to giving my full response.

Please stop posting links to apologetics web sites and start providing direct and honest answers to the questions you’ve already been asked. Before you continue telling us about your God’s character, what it says and what it wants, please prove to us that it actually exists because if it doesn’t exist then everything else you are writing about it and everything in the Bible about it is just make believe.

Please prove to us that your God is real because if it isn’t then no Christian beliefs that depend on it are worthy of respect. Tell us what, if anything, distinguishes your belief in your God from pure imagination.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 09, 2012, 11:04:00 AM
*snip*

This here is it, we must not only take the context of the passages around it in the scripture but also the historical context to which people God originally intended this mesage to and what was going on around these people. Only then can we really understand the bible and it's true meaning which is being blurred.

This is part of the problem Sam.  Here we get into a situation with SPAG (see other post on the subject), where Hebrews at the time created God in their own image.  Certainly Jews and Christians look at situations of extreme violence and hate in the Bible and say this was a product off the action that needed to be taken at the time. 

The simpler and likely more honest approach is that the Hebrews at the time simply wanted to commit these acts of violence in order to ensure their regional power (we are talking about a bronze-age-tribal society), and created god in their image to allow for such atrocities as morally correct.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 09, 2012, 11:57:48 AM
...the Hebrews at the time simply wanted to commit these acts of violence in order to ensure their regional power

Or, they never happened - at least not that way - and the hebrews were making up stories or exaggerating them to sound totally awesome.  The hebrews never had much regional power.  They were always stuck between superpowers Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 09, 2012, 12:15:13 PM
^ Im aware of that, just saying.

The Bible can easily been seen as a book written by men to give them justification for their actions in seeking power and prosperity.  Historically accurate or not.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: DumpsterFire on August 09, 2012, 12:19:01 PM
And no it is a combination of how awe filling heaven will be and our knowledge of evil. I think in my opinion the suffering teaches us but he doesn't want us to suffer it is our own doing. You can not say there is more evil outside of what humans have caused in things like natural disasters and so on. Even cancer most of it comes from something we have done or made, starvation is caused by the political leaders and other people who do that to people. But in this world which we can't change how things work we have good and evil and without that evil good would be the most boring thing on the planet. But this suffering argument would hold more ground to me if it weren't true that meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain, but meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.

Sam, on another thread started by you, I posted a reply to your assertion that if god diminished suffering it would violate freewill. As it received no response then and you have re-addressed the subject here, allow me to resurrect[1] it now:

None are greater but love can't exist without free will meaning conformity and the forceing of love destroys it. A perfect world would be robotic and programmed. Another thing to consider is pain and why our life would need it. I can't remember the name of this ailment but it cause a person to be completely numb to pain and unable to perspire. But a person with this has to always be watched by someone because of the danger of them not knowing they are bleeding profusely. So we see some reason for pain. <snip>

 It even says once you are a believer you will continue to see and feel pain and or evil and or suffering...

I agree that a world utterly without pain and suffering would not be in mankind's best interest. Pain and suffering alert us to things that are physically or emotionally harmful to us, and this type of mechanism is necessary for the overall growth of the species.

Its the extensive and excessive (and unnecessary) suffering so prevalent in this world to which I refer. It is not a sin, my dear xtian, to be born in an impoverished area, but millions of children suffer every day of their lives for it. Surely the god who the bible says rained manna down from heaven would see fit to provide these folks with some food to eat, right? And it wouldn't even have to be as dramatic as the whole manna thing. Simply 'designing' a new, nutrient-rich crop that could be easily cultivated and thrive in harsh climates would do it. And it wouldn't even violate that precious 'free-will' clause most xtians so desperately cling to. If such a crop existed, we would just accept it as fact and move on. Meanwhile, prolonged human suffering in this world would be greatly diminished.

I know, I know, its the cruel warlords that control the food supply in many of these places, and god can't interfere with free-will in those cases (standard xtian response in other similar threads). But I call BS on that, as well. A nice, strategic heart attack here and there would work wonders in that department:

Mugabe: "OK men, you must go collect the shipments of rice that just arrived from the Red Cross. Do not let any villagers have any, and kill anybody who tries to stop you."

Soldiers on Mugabe's payroll: "Yes, Boss!"

Mugabe: "Actually, you can pretty much kill as many of the locals as you wish, just make sure to bring those rice bundles back her...AAAGH!...chest tightening...arm...numb...hard to...breathe..."<collapses to floor>.

Soldiers: "Boss! Boss! You OK?"

Soldier 1: "I think he's dead!"

Soldier 2: "OMG, what should we do? Should we still seize the rice bundles?"

Soldier 1: "Hell no, that shit's heavy. Let's grab his wallet and get the hell out of here!"


People die of heart attacks all the time, so no one would be the wiser. Of course, god couldn't kill all these bastards the same way or we might be on to him. He would have to get creative and throw in some fatal car wrecks, plane crashes, flesh eating bacteria, who knows? There are plenty of ways to die. God could even make the guy trip and shoot himself with his own gun, wouldn't that be fitting?

The best part of this arrangement would be that xtians would say god is helping us by getting rid of evil people, but we atheists would still say it was just a coincidence and not evidence of god. Suffering is diminished and free-will remains intact.

 1. Pun intended :D

edit: grammar
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jtk73 on August 09, 2012, 03:01:08 PM
the historical context to which people God originally intended this mesage to and what was going on around these people. Only then can we really understand the bible and it's true meaning which is being blurred.
Wait..what? "originally intended"? This is the bible you are talking about. This is the Christian holy text! This is, according to Christian's, the ultimate instruction booklet. If God loves everyone and wants everyone to be able to join him in Good Time Happy Land, the "intended" audience would be EVERYONE THAT HAS EVER OR WILL EVERY EXIST! It needs to be accessible (read comprehensible) to everyone from 2000 years ago, today, even 2000 years in the future. The bible is none of that. It is the absolute worst instruction manual in the universe. If your god inspired/wrote it, he is a bumbling idiot or if he dictated it to men and they screwed it up then he's a bumbling idiot for leaving it up to them/allowing it to become screwed up. It's a fucking instruction manual for "not pissing off a whiny, petty, vengeful god"! It should consist of "Do this", "Don't do this"! No begats. No poetry. No wild acid trip (Revelations). Just simple, straightforward instructions.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Astreja on August 09, 2012, 11:23:33 PM
{A scripture} should consist of "Do this", "Don't do this"! No begats. No poetry. No wild acid trip (Revelations). Just simple, straightforward instructions.

For the most part I agree, with one caveat:  According to what I've read about the human unconscious mind, it's apparently not capable of handling statements phrased in the negative.  (I also think that it deals with images and symbols rather than language, which is why a phrase like "Don't think of a pink elephant" will quickly inflict a herd of rosy pachyderms upon your visual cortex.)

Therefore -- And this is what I did when I wrote My own scripture -- I think it's critical to enumerate only the positive versions of the traits you want reproduced.  If you go around saying "Thou shalt not" to people, the black box of the unconscious filters out the "not" part and installs the "shalt" version of the paradigm.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: kcrady on August 10, 2012, 03:38:04 AM
From the first of Sam's links to RZIM:

Quote
There’s no getting around the fact that there are troubling stories in the Old Testament. What does that say about God and the Christian faith? This week on Let My People think, guest speaker John Dickson takes a look at this important topic.

Now, I'm sure Mr. Dickson can find a way to choke down the genocide and mass-rape stories of the Bible, even if in terms of cognitive dissonance it feels like a horse pill going down sideways."  And since you (Sam) shared the link, apparently you can, too.  I can't listen to the audio where I'm at, but my guess is it's something along the lines of, "Well, those Canaanites sacrificed their first-born children to their gods!  And killing children iswrong!  So the obvious answer is to kill the rest of their children too!  For our god!" 

I'm not so interested in bothering to rebut such mental gymnastics.  What I find curious is, if the Bible is in some sense authored by a superhuman, super-ethical entity, why should there be such "troubling" Biblical stories in the first place?  Note that they are not troubling because they represent such a high moral plane that they make us feel like squirming maggots by comparison, no: they sanction the exact types of behaviors we associate with the very worst human monsters, people like Genghis Khan, Hitler, and Stalin.

Imagine that a gleaming spacecraft were to come down and land in Central Park.  Its occupants profess to come from a society a million years in advance of our own, that became a Crystal Spires and Togas Utopia long ago.  And they have come to share their wisdom and enlightenment with us.  Let us go further and assume that they are also vastly superior to humans in intellectual and emotional intelligence, psychological development, perception, intuition, the whole ball of wax.  Their preschoolers can think like Einstein, compose music like Mozart, write like Shakespeare, and create art like Michelangelo.

Then let's say they handed over a book that contained the very height and apotheosis of their accomplishments.  What sort of things might you expect it to contain?  What sort of things would, if found within, make you think, "Waaaait a minute!  These people aren't an advanced utopian super-civilization!  They're evil space invaders!"
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 10, 2012, 04:56:47 AM
Think about how people would then start living their lives if God did the thing you all want him to do. We live In a cause and effect world it sounds like you all want to take the effect out of it, that we all can act however we please and God would just bail us out every time we were in a jam.....

.....the implications I speak about are those of how humans would start behaving knowing that all prayers would be answered. We would then start to think we were all powerful and indestructible. .....

I love the way you want to twist things to make it out like we are asking for something like:

Prayer: "oh god, I've just missed my bus, please make time go back a few seconds so I can catch it"
Yahweh: "Sure thing, true believer!"

Utter rot.  Nobody is saying that at all.  We're talking about things that actually matter.  Like, for example....

Prayer: "oh god, please stop this gang from raping me - I'm only 14 and I want to go home"
Yahweh: ""

Prayer: "oh god, please take the cancer away from my baby.  She's screaming in pain all the time and doesn't understand what's going on."
Yahweh: ""

Prayer: "oh god, please make it rain just a little.  My crops won't grow and my children are dying of starvation."
Yahweh: ""

Or how's about this?  My collague told me today that his niece has been diagnosed with a form of Tourette's.  It means she will have severre learning difficulties, curvature of the spine....basically, will be severely physically and mentally damaged all her "life".  You can imagine how her parents feel....she's 2 years old.

Prayer: "oh god, please make our little girl well."
Yahweh: ""

Newsflash - your god DOES stay out of things - and look all the bad stuff that happens.  So you answer me honestly: are you REALLY trying to tell me that a world where your god stepped in and answered "big" prayers like the four I listed above would somehow be a worse world than the one where he sits on his cloud and does nothing?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on August 10, 2012, 09:49:43 AM
For the most part I agree, with one caveat:  According to what I've read about the human unconscious mind, it's apparently not capable of handling statements phrased in the negative.  (I also think that it deals with images and symbols rather than language, which is why a phrase like "Don't think of a pink elephant" will quickly inflict a herd of rosy pachyderms upon your visual cortex.)
.
Therefore -- And this is what I did when I wrote My own scripture -- I think it's critical to enumerate only the positive versions of the traits you want reproduced.  If you go around saying "Thou shalt not" to people, the black box of the unconscious filters out the "not" part and installs the "shalt" version of the paradigm.

Too bad the all-powerful diety who created our minds forgot that design flaw and wrote the laws the way he did.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 10, 2012, 09:53:55 AM
maybe the third time is a charm?

Sam, these questions are for you...

If you had the super powers of god, if you had the magic to do anything, would you use them to help people? 
Would it be immoral if you did not?
Would you hide from people?
Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: natlegend on August 14, 2012, 01:35:17 AM
...and Sam's silence speaks volumes...
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 14, 2012, 07:56:54 AM
...and Sam's silence speaks volumes...

I was just thinking that.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Azdgari on August 14, 2012, 08:09:50 AM
And they're yes-or-no questions.  It's not like responding would be a lot of work.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 14, 2012, 08:44:59 AM
And they're yes-or-no questions.  It's not like responding would be a lot of work.

I'm not so sure about that.  If he gives the "human" answers, then he needs to rationalise why he would do something that god apparently doesn't want done.  That takes a lot of time and/or apologetics-searching.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 15, 2012, 12:33:48 AM
Alright I'm gonna try my best here to give an answer to some of these questions, I'm sorry about missing questions I'm not meaning too I promise I just started back to classes and there is just a lot here but I really am gonna try and start being more individual in my answering I really apologize for that.
Ok so I can sit here and go over all the different commentaries on and explanations of these verses at hand and no where does it say that what you all have implied is true. A lot, if not most of the bible is using metaphors, like when Jesus said he was the door he didn't mean it literally he was wooden. What he meant was he was the way to the father, the words spoken are not literal but the meaning of the literary device is literal. So here if you would like I can go further but I think when you really consider everything here, the context and all the bible says you just can't take it all to be literal. And the bible writers were mainly writing to the people of their time, if not only in the fact of the language difference and there is many more here. But thanks to movements like the reformation and such, the bible today is very accurate, what can you say to the fact that the bible is the most documented ancient text out of any like homer and so on? But the main mesage in the bible being Jesus, is still the same today as when it was first preached.

Ok so this is how I see this, our free will is indeed free will but when we take a closer look there is more to it. The bible tells us that sin or evil is a violation of purpose. Like one of you said it is the logical thing to respect one another it is better for all. The word tells us that God has a individual purpose for all of us, unique like our fingerprint. And as we all have this moral sense inside us, God said after the fall of man, here is your free will but I'm giving you these moral boundaries in which to live by which are not only for the better of you but also your neighbor. Just because God knows what will happen doesn't mean we dont have a chance, with every decision we make, to improve and better our lives and others. Because it is clear bad or evil decisions lead to bad things happening, one man thinks he right to kill people and millions suffer greatly. The bible says such bad things about sin because of all the suffering it inflicts, however we have the choice in life every moment as to what kind of person we will be, for some people they are influenced by God to decide and others say they are not. I ask this, the last century or so has seen the largest rise in atheism ever, and in that same time there has been more human bloodshed then all the centuries before combined? Could this this be because denying God denies an absolute moral framework and gives rise to making your own and some do good and the rest not. Alright I'm sorry that's gotta be all for tonight I gotta wake up soon for class I will try to give more answer attempts tomorrow sorry for my lack of post I'm gonna work harder at that.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 15, 2012, 02:31:11 AM
Alright I'm gonna try my best here to give an answer to some of these questions, I'm sorry about missing questions I'm not meaning too I promise....I will try to give more answer attempts tomorrow sorry for my lack of post I'm gonna work harder at that.

Unfortunately, when you DO post, you don't seem able to actually focus on the questions you have been asked.  We're not too worried if you only post once a day - what DOES bother us is when that once-a-day - when it comes - turns into a glurge that avoids all the important questions you have been asked.

Sam, probably the best way to go about things is not to try to give an all encompassing reply that avoids the specific questions you have been asked.  And you have been asked many - for your convenience I list them below.  Yes - there are a lot, unfortunately.

My advice would be to pick one.  Check back and read the full context of the original post to ensure that you "get" the question.  And then answer it.  Be specific.  Then move on to the next question.

Okay - here they are:

If you had the super powers of god, if you had the magic to do anything, would you use them to help people?  Would it be immoral if you did not?
Would you hide from people?
Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?

So you answer me honestly: are you REALLY trying to tell me that a world where your god stepped in and answered "big" prayers like the four I listed above would somehow be a worse world than the one where he sits on his cloud and does nothing?

Then let's say (the advanced aliens) handed over a book that contained the very height and apotheosis of their accomplishments.  What sort of things might you expect it to contain?  What sort of things would, if found within, make you think, "Waaaait a minute!  These people aren't an advanced utopian super-civilization!  They're evil space invaders!"

Am I unable to choose evil in heaven or will I simply have learned my lessons so thoroughly in life that I'd never, ever, for all eternity choose to commit an act of evil?

If the former, why wouldn't god just make me unable to choose evil now?

If the latter, is there some 'quota' of life-suffering that needs to be reached to get to that state?  Did the 6-year that got killed in the car crash learn enough lessons in life to be admitted to heaven?  Does the 6-year old go to hell?  Is the 6-year old reincarnated to get a chance to learn more?

And final question: once I have placed my trust in a particular god, read their holy texts, and determined I am doing everything right....how long should I carry on with that faith's style of devotion before concluding that THAT faith is false?  I'm more than halfway through my lifetime....with hundreds of faiths to try, how long can I afford to devote to any one particular god without success before I should move on to the next?

This god had every opportunity to include a passage saying "Please don't rape your fellow human beings- it's morally wrong" but instead puts a monetary price on rape. Fuck the traumatized rape victim and her broken psyche and body I guess. There isn't even scripture on how to comfort her or help heal her. This is your disgusting god Sam, not mine. It's embarrassing that you worship such a being. Or more accurately, it's embarrassing that you don't realize you're worshipping such a being because you've been too lazy to read the damn Bible for yourself, cover to cover.

And that's not all.  The sixth chapter of Genesis tells us of a second angelic rebellion, a mass defection of angels to Earth.  These defectors preferred the prosaic delights of marriage to human women, home, and family to the glories of Heaven.

Isn't it fairly obvious that if you have a regime, where large numbers of residents are jumping over the wall to escape, that it's not all it's cracked up to be?  How do you know you'll be happy in Heaven?

Guys: let's give Sam a chance.  I know that when he returns he will give a direct answer to one (or more) of the above.  So can we refrain please from asking him any additional questions until he has had a chance to work through these?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: DumpsterFire on August 15, 2012, 02:54:53 AM
A lot, if not most of the bible is using metaphors, like when Jesus said he was the door he didn't mean it literally he was wooden. What he meant was he was the way to the father, the words spoken are not literal but the meaning of the literary device is literal. So here if you would like I can go further but I think when you really consider everything here, the context and all the bible says you just can't take it all to be literal.

OK Sam, I don't think its much of a stretch to assume Jesus was not literally calling himself a door. That one is pretty easy. But who gets to decide how much of the rest of the Bible is literal or metaphor? You? Why is it that so many xtians do not give any credence to the Bible verses condemning the eating of shellfish or the mixing of fabrics, but stand firmly against homosexuality because of the handful of bible verses against it? If you can decide that the shellfish and fabric mixing verses do not represent the modern mindset and are relics of a bygone era, you can decide the same about the 'gay' verses.
Seriously, if some of the things represented as the word of god in the Bible can be easily discarded, why can't all of them?

I ask this, the last century or so has seen the largest rise in atheism ever, and in that same time there has been more human bloodshed then all the centuries before combined? Could this be because denying God denies an absolute moral framework and gives rise to making your own and some do good and the rest not?

I am actually surprised you made this provocative assertion, and I hope you are prepared for the repercussions it will surely bring.

Technological advances in the last century have given man the ability to kill others far more efficiently than ever before. Period. To correlate that with the recent increase in atheism due to the rise of the information age is utterly absurd.
The vast majority of military conflicts in the last 100 years, including the present one in Afghanistan, were waged at the behest of a theist who believed god supported it.

Mankind is no more inclined toward bloodshed now than it has ever been, it is simply far more adept at it.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 15, 2012, 05:49:10 AM
the bible today is very accurate, what can you say to the fact that the bible is the most documented ancient text out of any like homer and so on?

Sam, DO NOT RESPOND TO ME, there are tons of other posts I would rather you address than mine.

So, rhetorically- You do know that just because something is repeated a bunch of times doesn't make it true right? "Obama was born in Kenya" "Obama was born in Kenya" "Obama was born in Kenya" "Obama was born in Kenya" "Obama was born in Kenya" See.... no more true the first time than the last.  Secondly, when the Christian church makes a concerted effort to DESTROY texts that are NOT the Bible, it kinda makes it unfair to compare.  They didn't call the "Dark Ages" "Dark" for nothing.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on August 15, 2012, 05:57:35 AM
I ask this, the last century or so has seen the largest rise in atheism ever, and in that same time there has been more human bloodshed then all the centuries before combined? Could this this be because denying God denies an absolute moral framework and gives rise to making your own and some do good and the rest not.

The answer is no. If you read the news (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&q=sectarian+violence), you will see that much, if not most, of the bloodshed in the world today is caused by people acting on or motivated by their religious beliefs.

Your posts have degenerated into waffling nonsense. You barely attempt to answer anyone’s specific questions. All you are giving us is baseless assertions predicated on your assumption that your God is real. Anfauglir has taken the trouble to list nearly all the questions you’ve evaded. Please try to answer those questions.

Anfauglir missed some of my requests to you. In my last post to you (#202 on the previous page) I asked you to prove to us that your God is real because if it isn’t then no Christian beliefs that depend on it are worthy of consideration. You can waffle on about Jesus and the Bible as much as you like, but if your God isn’t real then Jesus wasn’t its son or your God incarnate and anything written in the Bible about your God is simply make believe. So, if you want us to give any consideration to what you have to say about your God, the first thing you need to do is provide some sound evidence and sound arguments to prove that it is even real.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: willwgp86 on August 15, 2012, 10:37:57 AM
Sam, I ask you this ... you say we have free will and our actions are all destined by God, meaning God has a purpose for each one of us, he knows what we are going to do in our lifetime ... I hate to use this example because it's so inhumane, but it's happening ... millions of unborn children are aborted every year, almost 40 million of them! ... and God says it's all part of "His plan????" What god in their right mind would ALLOW something like that, right now??? This leads me to believe that there IS NO GOD.

You can respond to me or not, I know you have a lot going against you on this thread right now, but it is something to ponder about on your way home tonight.

But to answer your question ... my world views without God make life a whole lot simpler. I can breathe pure oxygen knowing that if I die, I lived a really good life and I'm really happy with what I've done so far, and the intellectual conversations I've had, and the oyster roasts and awesome food I've enjoyed along the way. Life is what we make it, not what some god makes it.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 15, 2012, 09:57:13 PM
Ok I did say sorry about not doing a good job on specific questions I start now on doing better. 


Quote from: screwtape on August 08, 2012, 07:45:41 AM
Quote
If you had the super powers of god, if you had the magic to do anything, would you use them to help people?  Would it be immoral if you did not?
Would you hide from people?
Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?

Well this question is very interesting to me and important in many senses but I have my own questions about the questions themselves. Seeing how I'm human it is basically not possible for me or any of us to say what we would do if we had those powers. Do you mean if I had the same exact mind and conscious I have now what would I do? That just doesn't make much sense to me I dont know for sure if that's what you meant but gaing such powers I think logically would change other things about you or me.

To answer I'd say I would  do as much good as I could without changing and messing up the balance of this world with all the possibilities it makes like the love you can experience and things of that nature.

I think what helped me understand some of this was the biblical story of Balaam, how he keeps saying he gets the same answer from God yet in the end he chooses in multiple situations almost the worst choices possible which God told him not to. And we see God can try and gets things through to us but there comes a point when he respects our free will enough to say fine have it your way.

Now I'll take a story about Jesus, a desciple asked if Jesus would prove what he was saying by a miracle that he could see. Jesus did so and said that it is much easier for those who have seen but the ones who believe and haven't seen that takes more strength. Personally it takes far more faith to believe in anything else whether it's any other religion or naturalism or anything else.

What is a better way for this higher power being of sorts, to reveal and resonate with humans then to send himself to us in human form to try and get his message across.

For me right now in life it is much harder for me to come to terms with not believing this then to believe. you have no proof for many things you stated I would suggest, that God does no good in the world, that he destroys people for not loving him.

To really answer I would do things just the way the God Christ spoke about in the bible. I know you all think the bible says that God approves and does many bad things but I will do my best to show why I think otherwise.

I believe in the bible where it says the God knows more then we will ever know and he is perfect and I believe he can do a better job at what he does then me with these super powers could ever do. God reveals himself to me everyday I haven't given the best examples so far I'll concede that with ease.

For me the best way to start everyday is with God and in the word, now there are many days I don't get to do this but I try and get better with it. For these struggles we face daily in life, emotional and existential  and all the battles we face, and also all the other experiences in life, it is all these things that I promise there Is direct connection there is no way to me in my thinking, it is a coincidence I find his guidance and presence make everything not so much always easier, but it fills me with more love and compassion in a way I used to not experience ever at all. He enables me to see joy and love in places I never thought I could or would see it before.

On another note this is pretty important to me I think we might be able to agree here but we Will see, a lot of the time when wars have been and are fought by people claiming to be divinely just in the bloodshed, what many don't see at first what is really going on here is a radical person claiming this faith both doing the exact opposite of the teachings. Our western media does this lovely deed of naming all islamics like this as radicals, but no such term is used for Christians like this, they just say they are Christians. While some of them may be and some may not be claiming to be but either way what they are doing is against the true Christian theology, Jesus's life and teachings like to love your enemies and instead of fighting showing them love, that is what he used to battle with love and I think the story about the women with the alabaster ointment and all of the ideas it unfolds there. Sorry for getting off topic next I'll move from question to question best I can but while I have put some opinions out there you all have done the same.

edited for readability
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 15, 2012, 10:10:21 PM
Personally it takes far more faith to believe in anything else whether it's any other religion or naturalism or anything else.

Sam, Im sorry.  This is going to sound kind of mean.  This is not my intention... But.... DO YOU HAVE ANY FREAKING IDEA HOW DUMB THIS SOUNDS?!?!?

If I am understanding you correctly, you are basically saying that for you to believe science requires more faith than does for you to believe... your faith.
One is by its very definition based on provable, testable fact
The other is by its very definition, based on faith

I.... I..... I dont know what to say at this point. Otherwise its going to go into a curse filled rant, and as irritated as I am you dont quite deserve that.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 15, 2012, 10:24:31 PM
Ok I did say sorry about not doing a good job on specific questions I start now on doing better. 


Quote from: screwtape on August 08, 2012, 07:45:41 AM
If you had the super powers of god, if you had the magic to do anything, would you use them to help people?  Would it be immoral if you did not?
Would you hide from people?
Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?

Samuelke, why did you quote screwtape's questions if you weren't going to bother to answer them?  This may be less overwhelming for you if you just focus on the questions asked, rather than delve into some uncorrelated-weirdly-shaped-tangentially-almost-related-variant of the questions asked of you?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: wright on August 15, 2012, 10:43:24 PM
Sam, would you please, please, please use more line breaks in your posts! I'm interested in your views, even though I'm not participating in this thread, but to be confronted with such enormous

Walls O' Text

is discouraging.

I appreciate that you are one of the few theists on this forum and admire your civility and patience, but all we can use to judge each other with here are our words. I know it sounds petty, but I'm more inclined to read and consider someone's arguments if that person presents their case a few paragraphs at a time, not as a single citadel-block of print. 

 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 15, 2012, 11:09:33 PM
Personally it takes far more faith to believe in anything else whether it's any other religion or naturalism or anything else.

Sam, Im sorry.  This is going to sound kind of mean.  This is not my intention... But.... DO YOU HAVE ANY FREAKING IDEA HOW DUMB THIS SOUNDS?!?!?

If I am understanding you correctly, you are basically saying that for you to believe science requires more faith than does for you to believe... your faith
One is by its very definition based on provable, testable fact
The other is by its very definition, based on faith

I.... I..... I dont know what to say at this point. Otherwise its going to go into a curse filled rant, and as irritated as I am you dont quite deserve that.

        Ok I see why you would be angry at me for what you have said but let me say this, for me and how I have heard many Christian scientist and non-Christian scientist say that views on science and on the bible don't have to be one or the other unless that is how you'd like it. But I believe in both I wasn't clear about that sorry, I think science is very useful and has many amazing uses and along with history, literature, math these are all things that we all should try our best to learn as much as possible. If any christian is saying they disbelieve in all science I'd say you've got some real problems there. Science is just one of the many tools of understanding if you will, we have to learn about this immensely complex world and intricate life we live. 

   I don't think it is logically possible or consistent to only believe science and that it has all the answers to mans existence and the universes origin. I heard in one debate between a Christian and non-christian and the non-Christian said that he thought from listening to his atheistic friends that they had to have more faith for what they believed then his friends that believe in God and he didnt have enough faith in either one to claim any. I respect that and I respect yours and everyone on here's belief we all should be able to believe in what we think is right and true. Can you show me how science explains all of life's questions better then the bible more specifically Christ?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 15, 2012, 11:25:37 PM
Sam, would you please, please, please use more line breaks in your posts! I'm interested in your views, even though I'm not participating in this thread, but to be confronted with such enormous

Walls O' Text

is discouraging.

I appreciate that you are one of the few theists on this forum and admire your civility and patience, but all we can use to judge each other with here are our words. I know it sounds petty, but I'm more inclined to read and consider someone's arguments if that person presents their case a few paragraphs at a time, not as a single citadel-block of print.

I hear your request and I know I said before I would do better but I will do that from now on my bad it's the years of writing poetry and essays I love writing but I truly and clearly lack just about all possible grammar skills.

But I Will do better at this and put in more line breaks, I understand I'm the same way though to me it's much more reader friendly that way. I knew I wasn't doing a good job with the line breaks but that was just how it was naturally rolling out all big gross and Bulky. I just get so into it every time I respond and let my emotions get the best of me too much and forget totally. And seeing how my normal posting time is about 4 in the morning and waking up from 6 to about 8, so I'm delirious pretty much out of my mind tired and forgetful. So I've been trying and will keep trying to post earlier to have my memory fully intact.

Thank you though for your kind words really, and a big thanks to who posted out the list of questions and then giving me a chance, I really understand it can be hard to do. I feel as though over the last 10 to 20 years there has been a rise in ignorance in Christians, not only they don't know at all how to support their beliefs but they wish to make no effort in trying to support it. And I don't mean to point fingers at anyone I know I have said posted some things that had to much of my opinion in it.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Zankuu on August 15, 2012, 11:29:42 PM
Can you show me how science explains all of life's questions better then the bible more specifically Christ?

How many examples do you require?

On one hand, we have the scientific method which gave us the germ theory of disease; the realistic way of healing the sick by treating them with antibiotics. On the other hand we have instructions on how to sprinkle bird blood on a leper and Jesus casting demons out of people and into pigs; the Biblical way to deal with the sickly.

Science:1
Bible:0

We should keep score.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: wright on August 16, 2012, 12:25:20 AM

        I don't think it is logically possible or consistent to only believe science and that it has all the answers to mans existence and the universes origin. I heard in one debate between a Christian and non-christian and the non-Christian said that he thought from listening to his atheistic friends that they had to have more faith for what they believed then his friends that believe in God and he didnt have enough faith in either one to claim any. I respect that and I respect yours and everyone on here's belief we all should be able to believe in what we think is right and true. Can you show me how science explains all of life's questions better then the bible more specifically Christ?

Bolds mine.

First, thanks for the line breaks; they're appreciated  :D

Sam, the thing about science is that it doesn't require faith. The standardized empiricism we call the scientific method, if done right, ensures that our observations of the world move closer and closer to reality. Religious faith does not offer this.

Religion answers emotional needs that science does not attempt to address (though it is used to investigate their physiological basis). Where religion does science a disservice is when it insists that it is somehow equivalent, "just another way" of looking at and interpreting the world. It is not.

Science can be verified, repeated, reproduced. A hydroelectric generator is unaffected by the faith of the specialists constructing and servicing it. The electricity it produces can light operating rooms or execute convicted murderers; one and the same to the physics involved.

Religion is demonstrably subjective and changes (often radically, as Christianity's example shows) over time. Yes, it has inspired people to do good things. Also utterly appalling things. I put it to you that science has more consistently changed the world for the better far more often and profoundly than religion.
 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 16, 2012, 03:07:07 AM






Ok this is answering to these two post dealing with science the first and the second by wright. You both seem to me( and please explain exatly here how you disagree if you do)are still taking what I'm saying and representing it different then that of what I said exactly. Because I never said they were equal, or anything about denying science and medical advances to be good.

Side note: science describes and learns about the world around us through testing and experiments and of course the scientific method. The bible teaches to forever or constantly search for knowledge and it says there is more wisdom and knowledge to be explored in this world or I'd say creation, and signs of his will in creation then anything else. It teaches to always pursue knowledge and to never stop learning in any area because there are many great devices we have to use to learn by and we should use them.

Personally I'll say that I indeed have a passion for science and I love it, no matter what we say here there are in fact not only non-christian and atheistic scientist there are plenty that are Christians or theist. And while it seems almost common in our times to say the bible contains zero scientific fact. We can discuss verses you think are contradictory to science if you would like I'm alright with that, but we can also discuss verses that agree with modern science far before there was the modern proof of the science.

Finally I'd just ask, how using science can you understand everything, when everything infers ideas not dealing with science? I think we would agree a difference between theory and fact, science does have its facts but it can't tell you how the universe came to be in a factual way. There are theories of how it came to be but they are just theories. Do you have another view other then this all came to be from nothing? Nothing where there is no time or space or anything, a place like that displays zero potential to do anything or make anything at all. We can go further here or if you believe different we can take that elsewhere.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 16, 2012, 06:05:10 AM
Sam,

Cant get into it right now as I have to walk out the door, but just wanted to tell you real quick that "no", I do not think the Bible tells followers to seek "truth", but does tell them to seek "God".  Which is part of the problem.  For centuries Christians (and other religious grps) have stood in stark opposition to scientific advancement for no other reason than new facts contradict old beliefs found no where but the bible... this is a problem.  Further, why would God create a universe, then create a book describing how he created the universe, then make it scientifically look like a complete fairy tale?  I mean, im sure God could have explained the big bang in appropriately flowery language to make it fit the mold of a creation myth.  God could have described any scientific fact in a number of different ways that would have left scientists puzzled as how someone that long ago could have known that without divine intervention.  But do we get that?  NO!  We get woman being created from a mans rib.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 16, 2012, 09:26:45 PM
Sam,

Cant get into it right now as I have to walk out the door, but just wanted to tell you real quick that "no", I do not think the Bible tells followers to seek "truth", but does tell them to seek "God".  Which is part of the problem.  For centuries Christians (and other religious grps) have stood in stark opposition to scientific advancement for no other reason than new facts contradict old beliefs found no where but the bible... this is a problem.  Further, why would God create a universe, then create a book describing how he created the universe, then make it scientifically look like a complete fairy tale?  I mean, im sure God could have explained the big bang in appropriately flowery language to make it fit the mold of a creation myth.  God could have described any scientific fact in a number of different ways that would have left scientists puzzled as how someone that long ago could have known that without divine intervention.  But do we get that?  NO!  We get woman being created from a mans rib.

Well for most of what you have said I would like to see your evidence, for things like the bible says nothing of seeking truth and knowledge and also for your claim on the bible contradicting science and what not. Because I see scientific fact in the bible, like how It describes the wind and ocean currents having certain patterns which we know now is true, plus it spoke of mountain ranges in the depths of the ocean. You can't find these facts in any other source until hundreds of years later, and now we can safely ride through much of the ocean floor and see these mountains.

Ok so of course the account of creation the bible tells us isn't as detail filled as we would like it to be but it does give us so key information I think. It agrees with science by saying there was a beginning to the universe, and like the big bang it says he created the earth and all of space right there at the beginning. There is much more but I'll move on for now.

I've heard many atheist say this but tell me if you disagree, the only absolute argument atheism has against the existence of God they say is there isn't enough, or to them not quality enough, evidence for his existence. This is to anyone I'm just curious about you all's thoughts on that.

Ok now I have a question for anyone who would like to answer. If you were god and you were to reveal yourself to the world how would you go about doing that exactly? How would you choose to get man, your creation, to believe in you?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: natlegend on August 16, 2012, 09:57:47 PM
Quote
Because I see scientific fact in the bible, like how It describes the wind and ocean currents having certain patterns which we know now is true

Please show where.

Quote
Ok so of course the account of creation the bible tells us isn't as detail filled as we would like it to be but it does give us so key information I think. It agrees with science by saying there was a beginning to the universe, and like the big bang it says he created the earth and all of space right there at the beginning.

Just because your book 'agrees' with science, that doesn't make it 'scientific'.

Quote
I've heard many atheist say this but tell me if you disagree, the only absolute argument atheism has against the existence of God they say is there isn't enough, or to them not quality enough, evidence for his existence. This is to anyone I'm just curious about you all's thoughts on that.

Yes, this is the crux of disbelief. Please show your evidence of any god's existence - and you should know by now that holding up the bible as evidence doesn't cut the cheese, as there are many, many other 'holy' texts in the world and they all claim the same thing as yours.

Also, when you say...

Quote
the only absolute argument atheism has against the existence of God

...you need to remember that all atheism requires is a lack of belief in god(s), nothing more.

Quote
Ok now I have a question for anyone who would like to answer. If you were god and you were to reveal yourself to the world how would you go about doing that exactly? How would you choose to get man, your creation, to believe in you?

Easy. All s/he/it needs to do is write on the moon in letters that can be read from the casual observer on earth, something along the lines of "Hi, God here, just a message to let you all know I love you guys" in special words that can be read in any language by everyone on the planet, even those who can't read.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 16, 2012, 10:01:21 PM
Quote from: Anfauglir on August 10, 2012, 04:56:47 AM
So you answer me honestly: are you REALLY trying to tell me that a world where your god stepped in and answered "big" prayers like the four I listed above would somehow be a worse world than the one where he sits on his cloud and does nothing?

Ok so I understand your deep concern here you have definitely asked a very well pointed question and one of, if not the most difficult and troubling question for any theist to answer. I think this is mainly due to the real and harsh way we all experience suffering and evil in our lives constantly to great extremes and it is terribly difficult to come to terms with.

But let me say that I do believe God answers all sorts of different prayers and I think he has good reasons to not answer the ones he doesn't. While I may not totally understand why I believe scincerely think his intellect and understanding is so beyond ours it is incomprehensible. Therefore, I think it is the way it is for good reasons and while this may not be the best of all possible worlds I strongly think, its the best of any other world as the means or way to the perfect and best of any worlds which is heaven.

Ever since I started to really develop this personnel relationship with God and pursue him more seriously, I've seen him answer more and more often as time goes on. There are certain times I go through struggle and pain and some times I get upset and frustrated. The times that are obviously worse and the more harsh of times I get to this place where I start to think I'm on my own with it entirely and there's no way God can bring his grace and love to me in or through this. And every single time now he proves me wrong and gives his grace and love abundantly, and I see that joy fills me in times that at first glance seem to posess any aspect of good and happy.

It isn't like there is nothing at all in my beliefs in God that are daunting or I can fully explain, and I think this shows that this is no kind of crutch for me or something I'm doing because it makes me feel good. I would love it to be at peace and understanding with every last bit of what I believe but to no believe it because of this makes no sense to me when everything in me tells me God is real and the relationship I have with him is and he proves it to me everyday. But God enrichs my life and my being in times of suffering and personally I don't think I would want a life that was just a walk in the park so to say, and void of all suffering. What do you think life would be like if there was zero suffering?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 16, 2012, 10:48:53 PM

Well for most of what you have said I would like to see your evidence, for things like the bible says nothing of seeking truth and knowledge and also for your claim on the bible contradicting science and what not. Because I see scientific fact in the bible, like how It describes the wind and ocean currents having certain patterns which we know now is true, plus it spoke of mountain ranges in the depths of the ocean. You can't find these facts in any other source until hundreds of years later, and now we can safely ride through much of the ocean floor and see these mountains.
*snip*

Ok now I have a question for anyone who would like to answer. If you were god and you were to reveal yourself to the world how would you go about doing that exactly? How would you choose to get man, your creation, to believe in you?

I assume this is what you are talking about?:
Ecclesiastes 1:6
The wind goes toward the south,
And turns around to the north;
The wind whirls about continually,
And comes again on its circuit.

I dont think this kind of knowledge is really all that special, its simply observational, and also VERY general and dependent on where on the Earth you are standing.

Jonah 2:6 (ESV)
6    at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord my God.

Also, super specific and inconsequential.

Contradictions.... really Sam, I believe you are smarter than that.  You have read Genesis, and I know that Theologians try their damnedest to try to make it fit with what really happened, but you reeeeaaaally gotta get creative to stretch that.

The most obvious, the age of the Universe.
Science says 14.6 Billion years
The Bible says 6,000, lets even round up and call it 10,000. Even with generously rounding by 40%, the Universe is still 1.46 MILLION TIMES OLDER than the Bible indicates.

The Bible claims a worldwide flood and depends on one man to gather 2 of every animal from everywhere from the Arctic to Australia.  Millions of species, and thats just the bugs.
No evidence for this exists and is flatly laughable on the surface of it

The Bible paints the picture of a permanent Earth where everything is relatively static as far as what plants and animals existed.
well over 99% of all life the earth has ever seen is extinct.

Depending on where you look in the Bible the earth seems to be flat... some passages can imply spherical, but they always say "circular"  pretty sure God knows there is a pretty big difference between the two.


My point is - if God created the world, and he created us knowing our curious nature is inherent to who we are as a species - there is no logical reason to shroud our origins in mystery.  I have heard Christian apologists say that the Hebrews probably didn't even have a word for "Billion", and I will give you that, but I promise they could have said "many thousands upon thousands".  Later in the Bible there is something about 70,000 x 70,000 (I do not remember the context), but that would have at least lead us in the right direction.

Why say "God created man in a day" when even if he exists he DID NOT CREATE MAN IN A DAY.  Evolution happened, I haven't heard you come down conclusively against this, so I wont beat you over the head with it but its really important.  God could have been honest and said that he crafted humankind over centuries from lower life.  When I did believe in God I never thought that evolution necessarily diminished the wonder that we are here... even now its pretty damn remarkable... but God presumably has no reason to lie to us about our origins, yet seemingly does if you believe the Bible to be true.

If I was God, and I was bent on eternal torture for everyone who did not believe in me.... I would simultaneously appear to every man, woman, and child on earth, speak to them in their language, call them by name.  If they had a question or two, I would answer it.  I would say, hey, sorry I know it seems like I am being a dick, but I swear there is a reason for that.  Peace Out, see you at the Armageddon.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 16, 2012, 11:01:17 PM
I've heard many atheist say this but tell me if you disagree, the only absolute argument atheism has against the existence of God they say is there isn't enough, or to them not quality enough, evidence for his existence. This is to anyone I'm just curious about you all's thoughts on that.

What do you mean by 'absolute' argument against God?  If you are asking us whether or not our main reason to not believe in God is lack of evidence, then for me, yes, that's a big one.  There are countless other arguments against God though.  That's just one argument.  The notion of suffering is really big for me as well. 

Ok now I have a question for anyone who would like to answer. If you were god and you were to reveal yourself to the world how would you go about doing that exactly? How would you choose to get man, your creation, to believe in you?

In order to do that, all you have to do is ask yourself how you would get someone else to believe that you exist.  Now, the methodology may be different from person to person, as some people are blind, some people are deaf, and some people are both.  You wouldn't scream, "I exist!" to a deaf person, and you wouldn't wave at a blind person.  You would have to vary the methodology you used from person to person that way. 

But.... Since I am God, and I know everything, I would know exactly what it would take for each individual person to believe in me, and I would provide that for each of them.  The very last thing I would do, however, would be to hide from everyone and make it appear as if I wasn't there.  Turning myself into a person in an ancient, highly illiterate desert region for a very short period of time and hoping they would take accurate notes that would survive intact over 2000 years is somewhere in between those two extremes; although it seems to me that that strategy would fall into the 'really stupid' range.     

Ok so I understand your deep concern here you have definitely asked a very well pointed question and one of, if not the most difficult and troubling question for any theist to answer. I think this is mainly due to the real and harsh way we all experience suffering and evil in our lives constantly to great extremes and it is terribly difficult to come to terms with.

It's difficult because your belief that God is good is often totally contradicted by our reality.  Suffering is easy to understand if you take God out of the equation.  Just break it down and examine it. 

Fact: Good and bad things happen all the time in our universe. 

Possible theories to explain why this is: 
1. God exists and he loves everyone. 
2. God exists and he hates everyone.
3. God exists and is indifferent to us.

1 and 2 require mental gymnastics to explain the fact that both good and bad things happen all the time.  3 doesn't require any of that, and explains quite well why both can happen.  Since 3 is functionally and measurably exactly the same as no god at all, then in the absence of proof of the God in 1 or 2, no god or an indifferent god are massively more plausible than 1 or 2. 

But let me say that I do believe God answers all sorts of different prayers and I think he has good reasons to not answer the ones he doesn't.

If God answers some prayers like you say he does, then he has the capability of answering all prayers.  And if he picks and chooses who to help, what makes him any better than a doctor who invents a cure for cancer, then only gives it out to the people he feels like giving it to?  Why would you ever worship a deity that picks and chooses who's prayer to answer?  And look at some of the prayers he's chosen to answer 'no' to?  Are you saying that there are good reasons not to answer YES to the paralyzed child in the wheelchair?  If so, you're a morally bankrupt person.   

While I may not totally understand why I believe scincerely think his intellect and understanding is so beyond ours it is incomprehensible.

The other possibility, Sam, is that God isn't real.  That would explain in great detail why some people suffer, others thrive, and it happens as a result of natural occurrences in our universe.  Doesn't it?  I mean, the child in the wheelchair that prays for the use of his legs... He doesn't get his prayer answered because there is no God to answer... that explains why the kid stays paralyzed, doesn't it?   Where does that logic break down for you?  Does that really not make sense?

Therefore, I think it is the way it is for good reasons and while this may not be the best of all possible worlds I strongly think, its the best of any other world as the means or way to the perfect and best of any worlds which is heaven.

I think that's an utterly disgusting thought.  To think that every bit of suffering that God allows is 'for good reasons' is a sick, sick thought.  Your religion makes you say things like this.  It's terrible. 

Let me ask you then... should we feel bad for the little girl who is taken from her family, beaten, raped and killed?  Or should we celebrate that as God's great plan for everything?  Screw that man.  Screw that. 

Ever since I started to really develop this personnel relationship with God and pursue him more seriously, I've seen him answer more and more often as time goes on.

Or maybe it's that you've learned not to pray for the things you know won't likely occur naturally. When was the last time you prayed for someone's limb to regrow?  Or to return from the dead?  Things you KNOW won't happen, no matter how hard you pray. 

Tell you what. Do a little experiment for me, will you?  Every day, pray for the end of cancer, the end of child suffering, and the end of starvation in our world.  Pray for it 50 times a day.  After a month, tell me if you still see him answer more and more often, or whether you're just getting better at praying for things that you know will likely get the results you expect and want.   

There are certain times I go through struggle and pain and some times I get upset and frustrated. The times that are obviously worse and the more harsh of times I get to this place where I start to think I'm on my own with it entirely and there's no way God can bring his grace and love to me in or through this. And every single time now he proves me wrong and gives his grace and love abundantly, and I see that joy fills me in times that at first glance seem to posess any aspect of good and happy.

You mean, when things are really bad, they eventually get better?  Gee, that's very strange indeed.  I'm sure that never happens to the rest of us.   &)

This type of paragraph is just trash, Sam.  It's meaningless.  It's all in your head.  God doesn't do any of that, because God isn't real.  You've conjured it all in your mind. 

Does God give his grace and abundant love to the 29,000 or so children that died today of starvation?  Does He give his abundant grace and love to the mothers of all of those children?  How about to the cancer victims that died today after fighting a long battle with a horrible disease?  What grace and abundant love is he giving them? 

The egoism of the religious mind is staggering.  God loves me, he gives me so much...  Screw that Sam.  Sleep well knowing that you worship a God that makes you feel better when times are bad, but fucks over millions of other people on a daily basis.  Either that, or stop thinking like a child and think like an adult.  Do you really, seriously think, that the most powerful being in the universe gives a crap about you and your rough times, when he doesn't lift a finger to stop the immense amounts of suffering and death of others?  Please man.  Think like an adult here.  Snap out of this. 

But God enrichs my life and my being in times of suffering and personally I don't think I would want a life that was just a walk in the park so to say, and void of all suffering. What do you think life would be like if there was zero suffering?

When you suffer, God knows it.  Before you suffer, God knows you're going to suffer, and does nothing to stop it.  So there is no avoiding the conclusion that he wants you to suffer.  This is the God you choose to worship. 

We don't have to have a life devoid of suffering in order to eliminate a shit load of the suffering we now have, do we? 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 16, 2012, 11:04:09 PM
But let me say that I do believe God answers all sorts of different prayers and I think he has good reasons to not answer the ones he doesn't. While I may not totally understand why I believe scincerely think his intellect and understanding is so beyond ours it is incomprehensible. Therefore, I think it is the way it is for good reasons and while this may not be the best of all possible worlds I strongly think, its the best of any other world as the means or way to the perfect and best of any worlds which is heaven.
If incomprehensible, how do you deem his actions and reasons to be 'good', 'moral', 'worthy of praise', 'worthy of worship', etc.?
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Ever since I started to really develop this personnel relationship with God and pursue him more seriously, I've seen him answer more and more often as time goes on. There are certain times I go through struggle and pain and some times I get upset and frustrated. The times that are obviously worse and the more harsh of times I get to this place where I start to think I'm on my own with it entirely and there's no way God can bring his grace and love to me in or through this. And every single time now he proves me wrong and gives his grace and love abundantly, and I see that joy fills me in times that at first glance seem to posess any aspect of good and happy.
Somewhere, someplace, RIGHT NOW, there is at least one 3-year old child suffering, slowly starving to death.  Would you mind using this personal relationship of yours to kindly ask god to stop showering you with gifts and to save that kid's life?  If his reason is so beyond us (includes you) and incomprehensible, how can you differentiate the response from 'God shall not for a good reason' to 'screw you, I am God.  He's going to suffer.  And I'm a douchenut.' to '<no response because entity does not exist>'?
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It isn't like there is nothing at all in my beliefs in God that are daunting or I can fully explain, and I think this shows that this is no kind of crutch for me or something I'm doing because it makes me feel good. I would love it to be at peace and understanding with every last bit of what I believe but to no believe it because of this makes no sense to me when everything in me tells me God is real and the relationship I have with him is and he proves it to me everyday. But God enrichs my life and my being in times of suffering and personally I don't think I would want a life that was just a walk in the park so to say, and void of all suffering. What do you think life would be like if there was zero suffering?
Zero suffering?  You honestly mean to tell me that striving for a world free from suffering is not a laudable goal?

Or do you somehow believe that in order to learn, grow, and develop as a sentient, feeling creature, you require suffering and the suffering of others?

Are you equating 'suffering' to 'obstacle'?  Like, the suffering of having to figure out how to build an energy distribution system?  That's typically not the kind of suffering I'm referring to - I'm talking about suffering like...a child being raped, an innocent bystander getting shot in the gut, starving societies, disease, famine, turmoil.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: wright on August 16, 2012, 11:15:00 PM
Ok so I understand your deep concern here you have definitely asked a very well pointed question and one of, if not the most difficult and troubling question for any theist to answer. I think this is mainly due to the real and harsh way we all experience suffering and evil in our lives constantly to great extremes and it is terribly difficult to come to terms with.

But let me say that I do believe God answers all sorts of different prayers and I think he has good reasons to not answer the ones he doesn't. While I may not totally understand why I believe scincerely think his intellect and understanding is so beyond ours it is incomprehensible. Therefore, I think it is the way it is for good reasons and while this may not be the best of all possible worlds I strongly think, its the best of any other world as the means or way to the perfect and best of any worlds which is heaven.

Bolds mine.

Sam, if that's true, then it is logically impossible for you to have any kind of "relationship" with god. If something is beyond your understanding, you cannot relate to it in any meaningful way, and it cannot relate to you.

This is an apologetic I see a lot from Christians on this site. Those that use it don't seem to grasp how it's inherently self-contradictory, not to mention self-serving. That is, if confronted with the fact that tragedy happens to people, an apologist says, "It's part of God's plan: His mind is incomprehensible to us but ultimately working for the good."

But the apologist has surrendered their basis for "ultimate good" coming out of god, Sam. In terms of evidence and logic, anyway. Sure, it's a nice emotional refuge if you can ignore the glaring contradiction. I know that well, having done it from 1990 to 2005.

It isn't like there is nothing at all in my beliefs in God that are daunting or I can fully explain, and I think this shows that this is no kind of crutch for me or something I'm doing because it makes me feel good. I would love it to be at peace and understanding with every last bit of what I believe but to no believe it because of this makes no sense to me when everything in me tells me God is real and the relationship I have with him is and he proves it to me everyday. But God enrichs my life and my being in times of suffering

Sam, it's an inherent part of human nature (indeed the nature of all life) to prefer things that feel good and avoid things that feel bad. Without that, living organisms don't get very far at all. Your belief gives you a context that explains pain (physical and emotional); without it you would need to confront the fact that the universe doesn't care about you: a painful prospect indeed. Again, I speak from experience.

and personally I don't think I would want a life that was just a walk in the park so to say, and void of all suffering. What do you think life would be like if there was zero suffering?

What would you think of a parent that could prevent a child from making a mistake that would lead to permanent, life-long disability and pain, and didn't act to prevent it, didn't even bother to explain themselves? Because that is exactly the position you have put your god in. If he's understandable enough to love us and want us to love him, then he should be capable of explaining himself clearly.

You can't have it both ways. Either your god is comprehensible to human beings or he isn't.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on August 17, 2012, 12:59:39 AM

But let me say that I do believe God answers all sorts of different prayers…

And every single time now he proves me wrong and gives his grace and love abundantly, and I see that joy fills me in times that at first glance seem to posess any aspect of good and happy.

…everything in me tells me God is real and the relationship I have with him is and he proves it to me everyday.

I read this and your other posts, Samuelke, and I really have to wonder what sort of person you are. Are you an intellectually honest person or do you use misapprehensions, fallacies and misrepresentations to convince yourself that your God is real? Is your belief based on sound evidence and sound arguments or are the evidence and arguments you use to support your beliefs unsound and not worthy of consideration?

Is your God real or imaginary, Samuelke? Before you say, “It’s real to me” or “I believe it’s real”, that isn’t what I’m asking. I’m asking for facts, not beliefs, because no amount of belief can make something a fact. I’m asking you to tell me whether your God is actually real or merely imaginary? Does it actually exist as a thing or occur in fact—or is your God imaginary and you only believe it is real because your belief provides you with emotional comfort?

Is your belief in your God validated or is it just an unvalidated feeling or idea you have and you are engaging in nothing more than self-deception?

I would be grateful if you could give me some honest and direct answers to those questions.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: natlegend on August 17, 2012, 01:10:03 AM
What do you think life would be like if there was zero suffering?

I reckon it'd be fucking awesome, you horrible little git.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 17, 2012, 01:31:39 AM

Well for most of what you have said I would like to see your evidence, for things like the bible says nothing of seeking truth and knowledge and also for your claim on the bible contradicting science and what not. Because I see scientific fact in the bible, like how It describes the wind and ocean currents having certain patterns which we know now is true, plus it spoke of mountain ranges in the depths of the ocean. You can't find these facts in any other source until hundreds of years later, and now we can safely ride through much of the ocean floor and see these mountains.
*snip*

Ok now I have a question for anyone who would like to answer. If you were god and you were to reveal yourself to the world how would you go about doing that exactly? How would you choose to get man, your creation, to believe in you?

I assume this is what you are talking about?:
Ecclesiastes 1:6
The wind goes toward the south,
And turns around to the north;
The wind whirls about continually,
And comes again on its circuit.

I dont think this kind of knowledge is really all that special, its simply observational, and also VERY general and dependent on where on the Earth you are standing.

Jonah 2:6 (ESV)
6    at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord my God.

Also, super specific and inconsequential.

Contradictions.... really Sam, I believe you are smarter than that.  You have read Genesis, and I know that Theologians try their damnedest to try to make it fit with what really happened, but you reeeeaaaally gotta get creative to stretch that.

The most obvious, the age of the Universe.
Science says 14.6 Billion years
The Bible says 6,000, lets even round up and call it 10,000. Even with generously rounding by 40%, the Universe is still 1.46 MILLION TIMES OLDER than the Bible indicates.

The Bible claims a worldwide flood and depends on one man to gather 2 of every animal from everywhere from the Arctic to Australia.  Millions of species, and thats just the bugs.
No evidence for this exists and is flatly laughable on the surface of it

The Bible paints the picture of a permanent Earth where everything is relatively static as far as what plants and animals existed.
well over 99% of all life the earth has ever seen is extinct.

Depending on where you look in the Bible the earth seems to be flat... some passages can imply spherical, but they always say "circular"  pretty sure God knows there is a pretty big difference between the two.


My point is - if God created the world, and he created us knowing our curious nature is inherent to who we are as a species - there is no logical reason to shroud our origins in mystery.  I have heard Christian apologists say that the Hebrews probably didn't even have a word for "Billion", and I will give you that, but I promise they could have said "many thousands upon thousands".  Later in the Bible there is something about 70,000 x 70,000 (I do not remember the context), but that would have at least lead us in the right direction.

Why say "God created man in a day" when even if he exists he DID NOT CREATE MAN IN A DAY.  Evolution happened, I haven't heard you come down conclusively against this, so I wont beat you over the head with it but its really important.  God could have been honest and said that he crafted humankind over centuries from lower life.  When I did believe in God I never thought that evolution necessarily diminished the wonder that we are here... even now its pretty damn remarkable... but God presumably has no reason to lie to us about our origins, yet seemingly does if you believe the Bible to be true.

If I was God, and I was bent on eternal torture for everyone who did not believe in me.... I would simultaneously appear to every man, woman, and child on earth, speak to them in their language, call them by name.  If they had a question or two, I would answer it.  I would say, hey, sorry I know it seems like I am being a dick, but I swear there is a reason for that.  Peace Out, see you at the Armageddon.

Ok first I just want to say that isn't under question, that the absolute main belief in the christian theology is Jesus and his message and the belief and actual practice of belief is what gets you into heaven. Then I'd say you have to consider christian theology accepts the bible is word for word perfect or anything of the sort, where an Islam will attest their holy book is a perfect revalation as a whole, from Allah.

Also we all accept there is a large amount of the bible that you can not take literally. There is much debate as to the exact numbers stated in genesis about creation. Can we also consider that there have been many attempts of kings in the past that ordered the scribes to try and translate the true meaning out of it. Yet then counters were made like the reformers to get the original meaning back, and it is clear that the main message has not changed on Jesus and his message.

With all this in mind I'm sorry, but I have to qoute a good bit here I got to go to sleep, but I think at least one of these will be hard to shown false, I give you the challenge and I eagerly await you all's response. The first deals with science and the bible, how we don't believe it's a scientific book but I think it is very well shown here, That it does indeed contain scientific fact.

I can speak more tomorrow on the contradictions claimed that it makes but I will say now, much can rationally be explained by the true value in how you should read scripture and it even says never stop reading it because it can be very difficult sometimes to understand the true meaning and many times meaning the text implies literally or through literary devices.

Ok first this article please take the time to read it.

http://100777.com/node/534

Next I just wanna qoute CS  Lewis on the evolution of man in his own lovely way. Sorry again for referring to other sources but I felt these are worthy.

For long centuries, God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. He gave it hands whose thumbs could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all of the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated.
The creature may have existed in this stage for ages before it became man: it may have even been clever enough to make things which a clever archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes where directed to purely material and natural ends.
Then in fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say "I" and "me," which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty, and goodness, and which was so far above time that is could perceive time flowing past. …
We do not know how many of these creatures God made, nor how long they continued in the Paradisal state. But sooner or later they fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become as gods …
– C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, paragraph breaks and emphasis added
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: oogabooga on August 17, 2012, 05:23:47 AM
This will be huuuge, so bear with me, people, please.

Ok first I just want to say that isn't under question, that the absolute main belief in the christian theology is Jesus and his message and the belief and actual practice of belief is what gets you into heaven. Then I'd say you have to consider christian theology accepts the bible is word for word perfect or anything of the sort, where an Islam will attest their holy book is a perfect revalation as a whole, from Allah.
So again we're at the point where the question of who exactly is right comes to light. People who interpret Jesus' wishes in a way that makes them burn thousands on stakes were practising their belief as dictated in the Bible. A mass murderer who believed wholeheartedly will go to heaven while a member of another or no faith who has done nothing wrong in his life will burn forever. That's a question you have been asked before in this thread and haven't answered.

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Also we all accept there is a large amount of the bible that you can not take literally. There is much debate as to the exact numbers stated in genesis about creation. Can we also consider that there have been many attempts of kings in the past that ordered the scribes to try and translate the true meaning out of it. Yet then counters were made like the reformers to get the original meaning back, and it is clear that the main message has not changed on Jesus and his message.
If the Bible is in any way authoritative, there should be no doubt as to which parts of it are literal and which aren't. And there's no place for fairy tales and metaphors in a document that's considered as important as a holy book. The mere fact that there are as many interpretations of the Bible as there are Christians and that there are over 30 thousand denominations of Christianity alone should tell you that there's something severely wrong with god's communication skills.

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With all this in mind I'm sorry, but I have to qoute a good bit here I got to go to sleep, but I think at least one of these will be hard to shown false, I give you the challenge and I eagerly await you all's response. The first deals with science and the bible, how we don't believe it's a scientific book but I think it is very well shown here, That it does indeed contain scientific fact.
I'll go there a bit later. But suffice it to say, you're wrong.

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I can speak more tomorrow on the contradictions claimed that it makes but I will say now, much can rationally be explained by the true value in how you should read scripture and it even says never stop reading it because it can be very difficult sometimes to understand the true meaning and many times meaning the text implies literally or through literary devices.
Read above. Why was it so hard for god to make his message clear so everyone can understand it? If he loves his creation, he should be the one taking care that we all get saved, not just select few - 144 thousand virginal men, to be precise, so being a female I'm doomed anyway.

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Ok first this article please take the time to read it.
http://100777.com/node/534
Took the time, giggled a lot. But let's do this ...

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The pagans said that the earth was supported by a giant man called atlas, while the Greeks had horses, elephants and snakes supporting the planet.
That's actually a gross generalization. Greeks were well aware of the fact that the Earth was spherical at the time when Christians still claimed it was flat. The idea of flat Earth was based on severely limited observational data. The planet is too large to actually see its curvature, therefore it seems flat to us. So what?

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This 'knowledge' was well known and trusted at the time the bible was being written, yet one of the oldest books of the bible declares that:

 "He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing." Job 26:7 (NKJV) "He sits enthroned upon the circle of the earth" Isaiah 40:22*
Earth does not hang on anything and space is not 'nothing'. It's mostly empty of big chunks of matter, but it's chock full of particles. God should know that. He should also know the difference between a circle and a sphere. A circle is two dimensional, while the sphere occupies the whole three dimensions. So the Bible is wrong.

That same Bible also states that the Moon is a source of light (Genesis 1:16), which is scientifically horribly wrong. It also states that space is actually water, the Earth is there to divide them. And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. That one you can read for yourself in Genesis 1:7. That would make god wrong, you know. And it would also produce a bit of a contradiction - does Earth hang on nothing or does it float in a bubble in water?

The next part of the article is some weird drivel that has absolutely nothing to do with its aim, that's why I'll skip it.

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The Scriptures Speak of an Invisible Structure

Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of things that we cannot see; invisible atoms. In Hebrews 11:3, written 2,000 years ago, Scripture tells us that the

 "things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
This is a blatant lie and an actual misquoting of the Bible, which is something I find rather appalling. Hebrews 11:3 states the following:

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

So the unseen things aren't atoms at all. It's god's word. There's a not so subtle difference between the two.

Then the author goes on again on the idea that the Bible reveals that the word is round. See, a circle is round, but it's flat.

Anyway, the Bible also suggests that Eve was created from Adam's rib and that's why men have one rib less than women. It took Christians 16 centuries to admit that's not true. That same scientifically accurate Genesis also puts plants on the planet before their life support was even enacted, living beings in completely wrong and illogical order and so on.

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Matthew Maury (1806-1873) is considered the father of oceanography. He noticed the expression "paths of the sea" in Psalm 8:8 (written 2,800 years ago) and said, "If God said there are paths in the sea, I am going to find them." Maury then took God at His word and went looking for these paths, and we are indebted to his discovery of the warm and cold continental currents. His book on oceanography remains a basic text on the subject and is still used in universities.
Psalm 8 (6-8) states the following:

You let us rule everything your hands have made. And you put all of it under our power - the sheep and the cattle, and every wild animal, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and all ocean creatures.
That's the CEV. KJV is not much different:

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

So stuff passes through seas. What's that got to do with currents and, for that matter, why would currents (if that's actually what the passage refers to) be such a hard concept to grasp? If you stick a boat in the water, the current will push it around and then do it some more in some other direction. It doesn't even have to be a body of water as large as an ocean - a lake would do nicely. That's simple observational data that's not hard to come by. It doesn't make Bible special in any way.


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God asked Job a very strange question in 1500 B.C. He asked,
 "Can you send lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, Here we are?" (Job 38:35).

This appears to be a scientifically ludicrous statement; that light can be sent, and then manifest itself in speech. But did you know that all electromagnetic radiation; from radio waves to x-rays; travels at the speed of light? This is why you can have instantaneous wireless communication with someone on the other side of the earth. The fact that light could be sent and then manifest itself in speech wasn't discovered by science until 1864 (3,300 years later), when "British scientist James Clerk Maxwell suggested that electricity and light waves were two forms of the same thing" (Modern Century Illustrated Encyclopedia).
This is, frankly, bullshit. And a lie. Job 38:35 clearly talks about lightning. CEV is even more dodgy to use in this respect, since it states:

Can you order the clouds to send a downpour, or will lightning flash at your command?

Anyway, that's the part of Job where god boasts what he can do (he can announce his presence by lightning, that's what the verse means, not as means of communication between people) and what Job can't. It's also a bit tasteless to use Job to illustrate the grandeur of god's work, don't you think?

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Three different places in the Bible (Isaiah 51:6; Psalm 102:25,26; and Hebrews 1:11) indicate that the earth is wearing out. This is what the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the Law of Increasing Entropy) states: that in all physical processes, every ordered system over time tends to become more disordered. Everything is running down and wearing out as energy is becoming less and less available for use. That means the universe will eventually "wear out" to the extent that (theoretically speaking) there will be a "heat death" and therefore no more energy available for use. This wasn't discovered by science until recently, but the Bible states it in concise terms.
This statement is scientifically inaccurate because it's proposed explanation is simply wrong. The simplest possible explanation of the second law of thermodynamics actually states that without an external source of energy the temperature of everything eventually equals out. It doesn't talk of destruction or any kind of 'disorder'. If you put a cup of boiling hot coffee on the table, it will eventually cool down to room temperature (it will heat the surrounding air a bit, but since there's a lot more air than coffee, it'll win out at the end). That's what physicists would call a closed system, a system with no external source of energy. But, see, our planet is not a closed system. We get energy from the outside (before you start arguing think about sunburns). Our planet will not die out for lack of energy but because of severe over-abundance of it when the Sun goes nova. The planet will not 'wear out' its energy but will be first scorched and then swallowed by a huge energy source.

The next part on the water cycle is also ridiculous. First of all, not all rivers flow into seas. Second, it's not hard to conclude that the water that falls from the skies does something to water on Earth. The actual idea might not have been scientifically explained, but was well known. People also knew that gnawing on willow bark will reduce fever, inflammation and pain, but the actual effect of acetylsalicylic acid was explained a lot later. So? People who lived at the time the Bible was written were not stupid. They were severely uninformed on certain matters, but stupid they were not, neither were they uniformly blind. They could see that rivers flow into something else, they could see that water levels rise when it rains. A child could figure out some sort of connection without you having to explain it to him.

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The Bible and the First Law of Thermodynamics

The Scriptures say,

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them" (Genesis 2:1).

The original Hebrew uses the past definite tense for the verb "finished," indicating an action completed in the past, never again to occur. The creation was "finished" ... once and for all. That is exactly what the First Law of Thermodynamics says. This law (often referred to as the Law of the Conservation of Energy and/or Mass) states that neither matter nor energy can be either created or destroyed.

It was because of this Law that Sir Fred Hoyle's "Steady-State" (or "Continuous Creation") Theory was discarded. Hoyle stated that at points in the universe called "irtrons," matter (or energy) was constantly being created. But, the First Law states just the opposite. Indeed, there is no "creation" ongoing today. It is "finished" exactly as the Bible states.
Again, scientifically inaccurate because of a false interpretation of the first law of thermodynamics. The first law that actually states that the energy of a closed system is constant. Earth is not a closed system, so the other part of the law comes into play, which states that the internal energy of a closed system is equal to the amount of heat supplied to the system, minus the amount of work performed by the system on its surroundings. All laws of thermodynamics are quite simply explained on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics).

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In Genesis 6, God gave Noah the dimensions of the 1.5 million cubic foot ark he was to build. In 1609 at Hoorn in Holland, a ship was built after that same pattern (30:5:3), revolutionizing ship-building. By 1900 every large ship on the high seas was inclined toward the proportions of the ark (verified by "Lloyd's Register of Shipping" in the World Almanac).
And how many animals would fit on that ship?

But the question that arises when reading that passage is: so what? Someone made up a story about a guy building a gigantic ship and then, centuries later, when technology (which is actually the practical use of science) was advanced enough someone else actually builds such a gigantic ship. Well? People talked about flying for aeons and then they invented implements and machines with which they could do that. So?

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The Scriptures describe a "cycle" of air currents two thousand years before scientists discovered them:

"The wind goes toward the south, and turns about unto the north; it whirls about continually, and the wind returns again according to his circuits" (Ecclesiastes 1:6).

 We now know that air around the earth turns in huge circles, clockwise in one hemisphere and counter- clockwise in the other.
We now know that? No, actually we don't. Air circulates because of change in temperature somewhere else. It doesn't twirl around like a dervish or move about in any kind of orderly fashion. If it did, weather prediction would be ironclad and meteorologists would never, ever be 'wrong'. But they are, because they're trying to predict a chaotic system. Which, I repeat, does not even remotely work that way.

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Jeremiah 33:22 (written 2500 years ago): "As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured."

The Bible claimed that there are billions of stars ("host of heaven" is the biblical term for the stars). When it made this statement, no one knew how vast the numbers of stars were as only about 1,100 were observable. Now we know that there are billions of stars, and that they cannot be numbered.
Actually, almost every single dot on the sky you can see is either a star or a galaxy. At the time the Bible was written there was practically no light pollution so people could see quite a chunk of the milky way, not just 1,100 stars. But claiming that the Bible somehow 'predicted' the number of stars is just ludicrous. There's a lot of grains of sand and an awful lot of dots in the sky. A simile does not a scientific proof make.

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Basic sanitation, such as burying human waste, was not introduced until the 1600s, when it helped to contain the plague. Before then, human excrement was dumped onto the streets, helping to spread many diseases. Some ancient peoples in the near east actually believed that excrement had healing properties if spread on the skin. Yet in 1400 B.C. the Israelites were told to:

"Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement." Deuteronomy 23:12,13
Wrong. Ancient peoples made the connection between human waste and disease. The dumping of it everywhere started when cities started to grow. There were vast civilizations that were far cleaner than the Israelites. Some did make remedies out of human excrement and animal dung. And they didn't even die out, interestingly enough. Ever heard of the idea that peeing on a see jelly sting would relieve the pain? Ever heard of people who believe in treating all sorts of diseases by drinking their own urine? Those ideas are dumb, but they still persevere.

Again, observational data was available, someone made the connection (not to mention the fact that the smell probably bothered people) and that was it. This does not, in any way, imply that the Bible was the first to decree this type of behaviour.

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Another idea that was discovered during the plague was quarantine. In the 1500s, Worried Christians looked to the bible for help and were amazed to find it written so clearly. Nearly 3000 years earlier, The Israelites had been told:

"The person with such a disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, 'Unclean! Unclean!' As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp." Leviticus 13:45-46
<snip>
Communicability of certain diseases is not rocket science. Quite a few cultures figured that out and either isolated, shunned or killed the diseased individuals. Lack of hygiene actually came a lot later, in part even due to Christian beliefs. This post is long enough already, so I won't go into details, but I could if anyone wishes.

The next part is about blood being the 'source of life'. That kind of a statement is kind of ridiculous, because there are quite a few organs you'd die without. Say, brain, lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas and skin, to name but a few. So they're all source of life. But it also doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you die if you lose enough blood. People saw it often enough to figure that one out. The Bible is in no way special by stating that. And it was the Christians who practised bloodletting the longest. Not to mention that only priests were allowed to perform it (most other people who tried to heal someone were burnt at the stakes for witchcraft). How does that compute then?

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Why was circumcision to be carried out on the eighth day? Medical science has discovered that the eighth day is the only day in the entire life of the newborn that the blood clotting element prothrombin is above 100%.
Glaringly wrong. There is no one day when blood clotting is at its peak. At about that time newborns start clotting properly, that's all. And then they clot properly all their lives if they remain healthy. The above statement is a gross distortion of medical fact and an outright lie.


As far as I can see, the rest of the article is a rehash of everything that had already been addressed. All of it is either silly or simply wrong at best, but I have a sneaky suspicion that the author set out to intentionally deceive his readers by distorting evidence and lying, even when quoting the supposed word of god.

Quote
Next I just wanna qoute CS  Lewis on the evolution of man in his own lovely way. Sorry again for referring to other sources but I felt these are worthy.
<snip>

This is a typical case of wishful thinking and distorting facts in order to suit someone's beliefs. Just because CS Lewis said it, doesn't make it true or accurate.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Graybeard on August 17, 2012, 05:54:17 AM
Also we all accept there is a large amount of the bible that you can not take literally.
If this were: Also we all accept there is a large amount of the bible that you can not take literally. is wrong. Then I think we could start a real debate.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 17, 2012, 06:09:46 AM
Also we all accept there is a large amount of the bible that you can not take literally.

This was kinda my point Sam.  Why have mankind write a book about you that doesn't say what it means?  You have admitted that the Bible contains errors (I think that was you, sorry if not).  Why?  Why, if you were God, would you allow YOUR book to have errors.  If some of it is divinely inspired, wouldn't you make damn sure that all of it was? 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 17, 2012, 06:17:29 AM
Quote from: Anfauglir
So you answer me honestly: are you REALLY trying to tell me that a world where your god stepped in and answered "big" prayers like the four I listed above would somehow be a worse world than the one where he sits on his cloud and does nothing?

While I may not totally understand why I believe scincerely think his intellect and understanding is so beyond ours it is incomprehensible. Therefore, I think it is the way it is for good reasons and while this may not be the best of all possible worlds I strongly think, its the best of any other world as the means or way to the perfect and best of any worlds which is heaven.

I've cut the parts where you have ignored the question and decided again to waffle....except for this one line which is directly relevant.

What do you think life would be like if there was zero suffering?

Are you being deliberately obtuse?  I was quite, quite clear in my original question that I was NOT talking about god being the magic fairy who does everything for us.  I asked you to make sure you read the WHOLE posts containing the question extracts so that you understood it, but you have clearly not bothered to do so, otherwise you would NOT have - once again - included that ridiculous misunderstanding of my point.

I want you to be quite clear, Sam.  I said:

We're talking about things that actually matter.  Like, for example....

Prayer: "oh god, please stop this gang from raping me - I'm only 14 and I want to go home"
Yahweh: ""

Your assertion was - is - that if god intervened, the world would be worse than if he stayed out of things.  I want you to explain, clearly and precisely, exactly how that applies in the above situation.   Especially when

he proves me wrong and gives his grace and love abundantly
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Quesi on August 17, 2012, 07:16:32 AM

Somewhere, someplace, RIGHT NOW, there is at least one 3-year old child suffering, slowly starving to death.  Would you mind using this personal relationship of yours to kindly ask god to stop showering you with gifts and to save that kid's life? 

I can't think of a bigger question than this one.  What sort of a deity is up there answering your prayers to get you that promotion you want so badly, or answering your kid's prayers and getting her a Barbie Dream House for her birthday, while that same deity is ignoring the prayers of the mom of that 3 year old who just wants a a few spoonfuls of cornmeal, equal to the amount of cereal that your kid left in her bowl this morning before tying her sneakers and putting on her backpack and running to catch the school bus. 

How does your deity pick which little souls get to be born from the wombs of starving mothers, and which little souls get the designer, high thread count sheets in their cribs? 

When your deity places a little soul into the womb of a woman who lives in a region with a huge infant mortality rate, does your deity know that the kid won't survive for three months?  Or is your god up there waiting to see what the family and community do with their free will and limited options? 

How could anyone worship a deity who creates these disparate realities, and yet uses the same set of standards to judge everyone's actions? 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: DumpsterFire on August 17, 2012, 08:57:39 AM
I, too, checked out the link Sam posted and found its content sorely lacking. I considered crafting a rebuttal myself, but decided it would be way too much trouble. I applaud you (literally, +1 :)) for making the effort.

There is one thing I want to add regarding this:

Why was circumcision to be carried out on the eighth day? Medical science has discovered that the eighth day is the only day in the entire life of the newborn that the blood clotting element prothrombin is above 100%.
Glaringly wrong. There is no one day when blood clotting is at its peak. At about that time newborns start clotting properly, that's all. And then they clot properly all their lives if they remain healthy. The above statement is a gross distortion of medical fact and an outright lie.

Why would god put a foreskin on a baby boy's penis in the first place if he's just going to then tell his followers to cut it off? Seems like pretty poor design to me. I wonder why your loving god wants painful genital mutilation to be one of the first things a newborn will experience. Oh, I guess its OK because he is considerate enough to try and minimize the kid's chances of bleeding to death. Nice.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on August 17, 2012, 10:11:49 AM
What do you think life would be like if there was zero suffering?

Heaven?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 17, 2012, 11:15:57 PM
What do you think life would be like if there was zero suffering?

Heaven?

But according to Sam, zero suffering is a BAD thing!  That means heaven is a BAD place!!
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: natlegend on August 17, 2012, 11:28:36 PM
What do you think life would be like if there was zero suffering?

Heaven?

But according to Sam, zero suffering is a BAD thing!  That means heaven is a BAD place!!

SNAP! I love a good contradiction...  :laugh:
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: shnozzola on August 18, 2012, 10:48:27 AM
How could anyone worship a deity who creates these disparate realities, and yet uses the same set of standards to judge everyone's actions?

You go girl - I can feel the anger and picture the sweat and the blood on your keyboard!  We are lucky to have the internet to get these things said, instead of a WWGHA building in, lets say Alabama.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: kcrady on August 19, 2012, 05:13:39 AM
What do you think life would be like if there was zero suffering?

Heaven?

But according to Sam, zero suffering is a BAD thing!  That means heaven is a BAD place!!

Aha!  Lucifer's rebellion explained at last!

LUCIFER AND HIS ANGELS: There's no suffering here.  This place sucks!  It's boring!  We're outta here.

YAHWEH: You want suffering, do you?  Well, OK...
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on August 19, 2012, 03:37:38 PM

Somewhere, someplace, RIGHT NOW, there is at least one 3-year old child suffering, slowly starving to death.  Would you mind using this personal relationship of yours to kindly ask god to stop showering you with gifts and to save that kid's life? 

I can't think of a bigger question than this one.  What sort of a deity is up there answering your prayers to get you that promotion you want so badly, or answering your kid's prayers and getting her a Barbie Dream House for her birthday, while that same deity is ignoring the prayers of the mom of that 3 year old who just wants a a few spoonfuls of cornmeal, equal to the amount of cereal that your kid left in her bowl this morning before tying her sneakers and putting on her backpack and running to catch the school bus. 

How does your deity pick which little souls get to be born from the wombs of starving mothers, and which little souls get the designer, high thread count sheets in their cribs? 

When your deity places a little soul into the womb of a woman who lives in a region with a huge infant mortality rate, does your deity know that the kid won't survive for three months?  Or is your god up there waiting to see what the family and community do with their free will and limited options? 

How could anyone worship a deity who creates these disparate realities, and yet uses the same set of standards to judge everyone's actions?

This is an excellent question to be asked by a theist.  To an atheist the question is moot.  Life is what it is.  There is no purpose, there is no reason.  Each person is born where they are born by random chance.  You just deal with whatever your life situation is and move on and don't worry about finding any meaning to it because there is none.  It seems so easy.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: One Above All on August 19, 2012, 03:49:02 PM
To an atheist the question is moot.  Life is what it is.  There is no purpose, there is no reason.  Each person is born where they are born by random chance.  You just deal with whatever your life situation is and move on and don't worry about finding any meaning to it because there is none.  It seems so easy.

Wrong. There is no innate or objective purpose for life. Only life can give life meaning. Do not assume that lack of innate or objective meaning means there is no meaning. That's what we call "false dichotomy"[1].
 1. Sort of.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on August 19, 2012, 09:39:34 PM
I should clarify my use of the term "meaning."  I don't want to say    that life appears to have no meaning, but that events and occurances have no meaning behind them, they don't happen for any reason.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on August 19, 2012, 10:05:53 PM
Sam...I know you've been inundated with our impertinent questions, and given the volume I've held off until now. I can only read your evasions and mistakes taken for truths for so long before I must chime in:

In order to show me your god is real, what you have to do is show me some evidence, objective evidence.


Objective evidence that isn't an appeal to ignorance, doesn't involve special pleading, circular reasoning...or any logical fallacy. It isn't proof, it is just evidence.

I give it to you:

(1)Define God. Do not use weasel words or circular definitions.
(2)Prove that that definition is not a logical paradox
(3)Show proof that differs from the other ten thousand dieties man
has worshipped, again without committing a logical error

Until you do those three things....your worship of that deity is the intellectual equivalent a gibbering tribal primitive bowing before their god, UGABUGA.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 19, 2012, 10:11:30 PM
I should clarify my use of the term "meaning."  I don't want to say    that life appears to have no meaning, but that events and occurances have no meaning behind them, they don't happen for any reason.

My wife says that everything happens for a reason.  I agree with her, but not in the way she thinks. The universe is cause and effect.  Everything really does happen for a reason.  Just not a cosmic, ultimate, purposeful reason.  Drop a ball on the ground, if it's made of the right material, it will bounce back up again.  Cause, effect.  Fall off a 10 story roof, person dies.  Cause, effect. 

If there are 250 people on a plane that crashes into the ocean and 249 of them die, there is no meaning or purpose behind the survival of the last one, any more than there is meaning and purpose behind the 249 dead people.  There is, however, a reason.  And the reason could be anything.  Maybe they had their life jacket on.  Maybe they had an oxygen tank in their carry-on.  Or maybe they just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  While the theist may pipe up and say, "No, God is at work behind their survival! Look at the odds that one person would survive!", the reason we don't hear the other 249 people yelling 'fuck you' to that is because they're dead.  And it is so crazy that the Christian will look at the survival of the one passenger and thank God up and down for it, all the while God had the ability save the other 249 and did nothing.  THAT never registers with them, though.  That thought doesn't enter their mind, because it doesn't confirm what they already believe; that God is the ultimate good in the universe.  The lone survivor confirms what they think, so it only adds fuel to the delusion, and the loss of 249 lives is brushed off as a sad, but minor detail.

And believe me, it's far, FAR easier to think of things like that as 'purposeful'.  You have to work hard to remove it from your brain, because when the odds are low like that, our mind wants to attach purpose.  It's very good at that.  In that respect, being an atheist is much harder.  After all,  what is the one thing we know about most people in this world?  They like things to be easy.  God is easy.  That's why the concept has lasted as long as it has, even in the face of everything we know.  Few people want to put in the effort it takes to really understand things.  They're happy in their little world of ignorance.  Sorry, but that's not good enough for me.  I value truth more than that.   
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: DumpsterFire on August 19, 2012, 10:12:32 PM
I should clarify my use of the term "meaning."  I don't want to say    that life appears to have no meaning, but that events and occurances have no meaning behind them, they don't happen for any reason.

OAA is correct in the assertion that life has no intrinsic or objective meaning. Every person has the opportunity to pursue whatever it is they feel will give their lives meaning.

You are correct that events and occurrences (at least those of a random nature) do not have meaning behind them.

Every time someone here asks a "Why would god do this?" question, it is meant to be rhetorical. JDawg and Quesi's point is that it does not make sense that there are such enormous disparities, and disparate levels of suffering, in this world if an all-powerful and benevolent god exists.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 20, 2012, 02:00:51 AM
Sam...I know you've been inundated with our impertinent questions, and given the volume I've held off until now. I can only read your evasions and mistakes taken for truths for so long before I must chime in:

In order to show me your god is real, what you have to do is show me some evidence, objective evidence.


Objective evidence that isn't an appeal to ignorance, doesn't involve special pleading, circular reasoning...or any logical fallacy. It isn't proof, it is just evidence.

I give it to you:

(1)Define God. Do not use weasel words or circular definitions.
(2)Prove that that definition is not a logical paradox
(3)Show proof that differs from the other ten thousand dieties man
has worshipped, again without committing a logical error

Until you do those three things....your worship of that deity is the intellectual equivalent a gibbering tribal primitive bowing before their god, UGABUGA.

Ok very fair questions I will take them one at a time each with great seriousness, they are very well pointed indeed.

You have asked me to define God, that which the bible described, it's a whole lot here I have to deal with let me forewarn you if it gets lengthy but I'll do my best. The bible to me is divinely inspired and i will present the many different ways it does so, but I can't essentially prove that it is to you just show why I think so, and I'll run through these as quickly as I can without distorting anything. First I'd like to point out that the God of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam is in one sense very similar but it others very different. Very much of this comes from the ot and Jewish people have this as their main book, each religion though think differently on very much of the ot.  From the very start in genisis however, you see one after another of prophecies of Jesus and they keep coming up, and the total number just about Jesus alone, not including the many other prophesies of the ot, is 300. So the ot I think we all can agree points to Jesus coming and doing everything he did just like it said , if not we can discuss.

So the Qoran says all the previous abarhamic doctrines(it was the last) were divinely inspired but only the Quran was a perfect miracle and revalation from Allah. But then the Qoran also says Jesus was born a virgin a miracle birth. The Qoran first uses the name Jesus more times then Muhammad, also it uses words to describe him as a messenger of God. But then Islams claim Jesus wasn't crucified it only appeared as he did, that maybe it was one of his followers in place for him. But the historical fact as stated outside the bible in countless places that Jesus did get crucified and died, and since no one has been able to produce his body or his bones to this day, and many have tried to do so and there has even been a tomb found with Jesus's name on one and the rest were his friends and loved ones, all remains we're there but Jesus's tomb was empty.

And I would just note that all the prophets and disciples and Jesus could have made it much harder to prove wrong, by saying Jesus would spiritually rise from the dead, but no they said he would bodily rise from the dead, so they new before all they had to do was find a body afterward, and all Christianity would be falsified. Unlike the Qoran the Bible says only it is the word of the living God, the Bible also states that it itself, the scriptures are living, this is quite the claim but it makes sense. It does because how could God begin to speak to us through something that is dead, we believe them to be written by men who were inspired by God so God didn't write them himself.

But we see in the bible that in the beginning was the word, The Greek translation for word is Logos meaning indwelling logic, the rational order of things. This is also telling us God is indeed eternal and outside of our reality of space and time. The bible tells us God is uncreated he himself is the only eternal being, and in him is the trinity, the whole 3 in one is all eternal. God has relationships within himself. None of creation in genisis conflicts with the bible when you take a look at the real Christian explanation. It gives a supernatural cause to the natural universe.

But I don't understand holy the ot, nt, and the Qoran all point to Jesus but only Christians believe what he really preached. But Christians believe the understanding of Gods nature is progressive from the start we know a less amount and by them end his nature is the most revealed to us mainly through Jesus and everything we understand about him and what he said. So I'll tell you Gods nature in my best understanding of what I just described, first he is righteous and we see it best through Jesus, there are secular sources that state things like no life was ever lived with such ethical purity as Jesus.

Next we see God is giving and merciful, we can see this clearly in the ot where in Jeremiah God is angry with the Isrealites and there is a moment of God making a choice as to whether or not he will save them and he then says yes he will, and he will pay the price not us, so he will give us the gift of forgiveness out of his deep powerful love for us. He gives much more then only that but that itself is very important seeing how it speaks about all throughout. Though he is both righteous and merciful he is also just in judgement. We see he love and justness in his judgement by seeing Jesus surrounding himself his whole life with evil, and only use his love for the people themselves to conquer the evil. In Luke the story about the women with the alabaster ointment I think we see this very well, when Jesus let this women put this ointment on his feet. One person watching said if only Jesus knew who this women was, because she was looked on very low by the religious people at the time like murderers and that kind of people. But Jesus knew exactly who she was and said her story would be preached anywhere the gospels where truly preached. So Jesus thought extremely high of this person who the religious people and phrasees of the time thought the very lowest of.

God we see is extremely merciful to all people and very much so for those who don't believe even though it can be very hard to see.  His dignity for our free will or respect for it, comes from his righteous justness, but I hate I gotta stop here gotta get sleep I'm sorry but I will respond to more tomorrow sorry again I didn't get as far as I'd like but I'm trying my best here to be clear thanks to all of you for reading Any of this.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 20, 2012, 06:53:24 AM
Sam, you didn't get anything done with all that.

I don't think you appreciate what is being asked of you, or, at least, you don't fully understand what Hatter means by logical.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on August 20, 2012, 07:12:34 AM
His dignity for our free will or respect for it, comes from his righteous justness, but I hate I gotta stop here gotta get sleep I'm sorry but I will respond to more tomorrow sorry again I didn't get as far as I'd like but I'm trying my best here to be clear thanks to all of you for reading Any of this.

If this is you striving for clarity, I shudder to think what your posts would be like if you were actually trying to be opaque.

Hatter23 asked you to define your God. Just give us a factual description of your God. Can you do that? Please confine yourself to facts so please leave out all those waffling references to the Bible.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on August 20, 2012, 07:29:58 AM
Sam,

Just referring to this book or that, the Bible or the Koran) is an appeal to authority...and you yourself has stated that it isn't 100% factual. The books themselves disagree with each other, say on the divine nature of Christ. Plus there's the aspect that even the Bible disagrees with itself, such as a being so potent that it can create a universe, but incapable of defeating iron chariots, things like that.

Furthermore, you are using weasel descriptors and appeal to emotions. Please try again.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 20, 2012, 08:07:01 AM
Well this question is very interesting to me and important in many senses

Sam,

this was a rambling, preaching mess that did not come within shouting distance of my questions. Were you drunk when you wrote it?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jtk73 on August 20, 2012, 12:49:49 PM
...it can be very difficult sometimes to understand the true meaning and many times meaning the text implies literally or through literary devices.
Samuelke! Why?!Why would it be "difficult to understand"? This is the instruction book on "How to join God in heaven (and not be tortured in hell for eternity)". Why would the writer ever, ever make it (allow it to be) difficult to read??? Does he secretly hate his creations? That's the only possible explanation that I can see (other than the entire book being complete fiction).

Do you see how you are not applying any logic to this at all?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 20, 2012, 01:09:09 PM
Alright I understand now I see what you all mean and how I can answer your questions here more in the fashion you all have depicted. I will have to give my answer tonight I just got out of class and I gotta go to work now but after I'll reply, and to do so I will have to refer to the Bible maybe a couple times I understand what you want and that is me to do this without the bible so I will only make a couple references, much less then before. It is just there is a very large and enormous body of evidence here and I want to display them as best possible and I concede that some evidence is not as strong, but I think that there definitely is a good amount of strong evidence, more then any other world view. I want to get into the origin of some of this evidences argument and go back and forth between responses given by both sides, theist and atheist. I'm really looking forward to it I'll be back on as soon as I can sorry for the waits.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: nogodsforme on August 20, 2012, 01:18:47 PM
We have yet to get any theist, including Samuelke, who can explain how to correctly interpret the bible. What passage is literal? What is poetic? What is parable? What is metaphor? And why is it so confusing that there can be no clearly agreed upon interpretation?

This is supposedly the book of instructions to save all of humanity. But you have to have the holy spirit magical decoder ring to understand it. Right. 

Imagine directions on a bottle of medicine supposed to cure typhoid that was part metaphor, part poetry and part parable:

"A man named Jor-el had two sons. Each son had typhoid fever. One son loved his sheep more than life itself. The other son took two pills when the sun gave off its last light and the moon danced. The son who loved his sheep was blessed with many gorillas. And the two sons were taken by angels to see the face of the lord. The lord showed his wrath and all the sheep were dashed against rocks."

And then somebody says, "It clearly states that you should take two pills every night until the fever is gone." WTF? You would throw that bottle of medicine in the trash. You would not think the person who wrote those instructions was wise and kind, and loved you and wanted the very best for you. It is either an accident, a mistake or a very bad joke, not to be taken seriously.

Same thing with religious texts.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: naemhni on August 20, 2012, 01:24:17 PM
We have yet to get any theist, including Samuelke, who can explain how to correctly interpret the bible. What passage is literal? What is poetic? What is parable? What is metaphor? And why is it so confusing that there can be no clearly agreed upon interpretation?

It really is strange, and you don't see it in "worldly" disciplines.  There aren't thousands of different camps with wildly differing views on Newtonian mechanics, for example.  You'd think Yahweh could do at least as well if not better.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: nogodsforme on August 20, 2012, 02:46:47 PM
We have yet to get any theist, including Samuelke, who can explain how to correctly interpret the bible. What passage is literal? What is poetic? What is parable? What is metaphor? And why is it so confusing that there can be no clearly agreed upon interpretation?

It really is strange, and you don't see it in "worldly" disciplines.  There aren't thousands of different camps with wildly differing views on Newtonian mechanics, for example.  You'd think Yahweh could do at least as well if not better.

If they could come to some agreement, they could print each type of statement in a different color.....then people could just read the factual, important passages. Would be about one page long. &)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 20, 2012, 05:47:04 PM
Next we see God is giving and merciful, we can see this clearly in the ot where in Jeremiah God is angry with the Isrealites and there is a moment of God making a choice as to whether or not he will save them and he then says yes he will, and he will pay the price not us, so he will give us the gift of forgiveness out of his deep powerful love for us. He gives much more then only that but that itself is very important seeing how it speaks about all throughout. Though he is both righteous and merciful he is also just in judgement. We see he love and justness in his judgement by seeing Jesus surrounding himself his whole life with evil, and only use his love for the people themselves to conquer the evil. In Luke the story about the women with the alabaster ointment I think we see this very well, when Jesus let this women put this ointment on his feet. One person watching said if only Jesus knew who this women was, because she was looked on very low by the religious people at the time like murderers and that kind of people. But Jesus knew exactly who she was and said her story would be preached anywhere the gospels where truly preached. So Jesus thought extremely high of this person who the religious people and phrasees of the time thought the very lowest of.

God we see is extremely merciful to all people and very much so for those who don't believe even though it can be very hard to see.  His dignity for our free will or respect for it, comes from his righteous justness, but I hate I gotta stop here gotta get sleep I'm sorry but I will respond to more tomorrow sorry again I didn't get as far as I'd like but I'm trying my best here to be clear thanks to all of you for reading Any of this.

Bold me.

Samuelke...are...are you actually reading the posts that myself and the others put here?
I just have a hard time believing that, after reading the (many) questions on this subject thrown in your direction, you would have either (a) answered those questions or (b) not bothered to type those statements.

I really was hoping that you took your beliefs seriously.  Really, truly did.  Unfortunately it appears that I am mistaken.

Please prove me wrong.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 20, 2012, 06:41:40 PM
Well this question is very interesting to me and important in many senses

Sam,

this was a rambling, preaching mess that did not come within shouting distance of my questions. Were you drunk when you wrote it?


I'm really sorry you thought that I really hope that this next answer I'll be posting shortly here will do a better job of showing logic and truth. Sorry again I really hope my next answering does more justice for the questions being asked that's what I would like to do.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 20, 2012, 06:44:57 PM
I'm really sorry I have done such a terrible job so far but there ha been so many different questions I just try so hard to answer carefully and then obviously, most of the time I butcher my goal. But I understand the questions much better right now and I'm formulating my response I hope it is a little better then what you all though of my recent postings.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 20, 2012, 06:51:10 PM
I'm really sorry I have done such a terrible job so far but there ha been so many different questions I just try so hard to answer carefully and then obviously, most of the time I butcher my goal. But I understand the questions much better right now and I'm formulating my response I hope it is a little better then what you all though of my recent postings.

The secret, is to keep it simple.  Dont concern yourself with justifications and elaborating on the benevolence of God... we are well familiar with your stance on the topic.  Simply answer the questions posed.  If it takes more than 2 sentences to answer these simple questions you are making them harder than they need be.  Also keep in mind that, even though it can explain your answer to your satisfaction, Biblical quotations cannot be used as a statement of fact. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Azdgari on August 20, 2012, 08:59:44 PM
I'm really sorry you thought that I really hope that this next answer I'll be posting shortly here will do a better job of showing logic and truth. Sorry again I really hope my next answering does more justice for the questions being asked that's what I would like to do.

Keep in mind that they are yes-or-no questions.  Their answers need not be longer than a yes or a no.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on August 20, 2012, 10:24:54 PM
I'm really sorry you thought that I really hope that this next answer I'll be posting shortly here will do a better job of showing logic and truth. Sorry again I really hope my next answering does more justice for the questions being asked that's what I would like to do.

Keep in mind that they are yes-or-no questions.  Their answers need not be longer than a yes or a no.

When answering my questions you don't need to be so brief, however keeping it tight and on topic is needed.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 21, 2012, 03:14:51 AM
Here we go, taking a few steps back, starting off lets look in from the outside, the theist has a decent body of evidence to work with in supporting this case to show that God does exist, the atheist on the other hand has no evidence at all, zero in fact, to show that God does not exist and science has proven the orgin of life, atoms, and molucular processes, including all the laws of nature in chemistry and physics, not in any way. . The main thing you all have used against me is the bible and saying it contradicts itself, most of this comes from misreading and not understanding the full message, in this post I will give links at the bottom of some excellent sources that go through every single one of the claims against the bible and logically makes sense of them.

But in this post I'm going to try my best to show why I'm pursuaded to believe what I do and why I believe it to be rational, In no way can I prove to you all, that you are all wrong or please listen to me your a bad person and I am good one let me show you the way, please dont misunderstand what it is i am actually doing because it is nothing like that. I have no reason to think any of you to be bad people or myself, whether a person is bad or good I repect them and I think they are of individual worth and value. I respect each of your opinions and I just want to really show you why I believe what I do. now I'm not a philosopher or a scientist so if you can please bear with me I try my best to present a large variety of information. I'm gonna start with a more cosmological argument, First I give you this link,
http://www.harvardhouse.com/Scientific_Evidence_for_Beginning.htm, I post this because someone 

has tried to say that the universe could be eternal, and we know that isn't what is going on now. So let's really interact on this, how then if there was indeed a begining of time, matter, and space, how then do you explain a cause for this that existed prior to the singularity? You can't tell me it was a natural something that caused it because that would produce an unending cycle of things that need a prior cause, no abrstract object of sorts can explain this begining, the only logical explanation as I then see it is a supernatural, infinite(uncreated), all powerful being. I don't think it is logical either to say all this in the universe came to be by chance from absolute nothingness. So I'll ask if you can explain the universe and earth and how it came to be without the supernatural involved that is logical?

I know Richard Dawkins has a whole chapter in one of his books arguing mainly this idea, saying that God can't be the solution because the solution can not more complex then that which you are trying to explain. I have put great efforts in eliminating bias, and rationally considering many writtings similar to Dawkins. But everytime I do so, in my best understanding and evaluation these types of logical inconsistent statements pop up many, many times. This is what I see when I read his statement, first logically truth is exclusive, and we can all agree if two intelligent people saw an ancient symbol carved into the rock of a cave, they would both agree the symbol was made by a person with a mind. So there is on good and clear example of the solution or explanation to the symbol lies in the human mind that created it which is far more complex then just the symbol. We have many explanations in physics, Quantum physics, biology, and chemistry and in each the explanations given are far more complex then that which it is explaining. Or in another sense he was saying God is to complex an answer for it to be plausible and true. His statements are self defeating if he believes in science and modern science. This is due to the fact that not only is science and mathematics complex, as time goes further and further both science and mathematics, also grows vastly more complex with time and human progress.

Take gravity alone from newton to Einstein, both who saw science proving more and more to them that because of all that incredibly ordered, magnificent, and beautiful  Complexity that sience and math reveal to us, and actually for newton he believed and science only strengthened his belief and Einstein of course later in life believed but it was science that played a large role in him finding God. That in itself to me is some revealing of how God can work, as to how each had a different personal path to their belief.

Ok so if we look at all of the matter in existence, the whole physical world, and we break one section down into the smallest section we could possibly find. In all these material sections or whatever you would like to call the matter, no natural life or existence of materiel Has the cause of its existence in itself. This, I don't think you can deny but we will see. Now to wrap all this up with quoting from some drawn out arguments on what I'm talking about.

Kalam cosmological argument

The aim of this argument is to show that the universe had a beginning in the finite past. The argument battles against the existence of an infinite, temporal regress of past events which implies a universe that has infinitely existed. This argument implies the existence of a First Cause.

The form of the argument is:

Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Thomistic cosmological argument
What we observe in this universe is contingent (i.e. dependent, or conditional)
A sequence of causally related contingent things cannot be infinite
The sequence of causally dependent contingent things must be finite
Conclusion: There must be a first cause in the sequence of contingent causes

Leibnizian cosmological argument
The argument comes from a German polymath, Gottfriend Wilhelm Leibniz. Leibniz wrote, "The first question which should rightly be asked is this: why is there something rather than nothing?"

The argument runs as follows:

Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
The universe is an existing thing.
Therefore the explanation of the universe is God.
Some atheists object to premise 2 in that God does not have to be the explanation, but that the universe can be what is called a necessary being (one which exists of its own nature and have no external cause). This was a suggestion of David Hume who demanded, "Why may not the material universe be the neccesarily existent being?" (Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, part 9). The Kalam Cosmological Argument is helpful. If Hume (and other atheists) is right in saying that the universe is a necessary being/thing, then this implies that the universe is eternal. This is exactly what the Kalam argument seeks to disprove. Thus, the Kalam is a valuable supplement to the Leibnizian argument.

Ok next I'm going to be talking about morals and what naturalism forces one to do when it comes to morals. As I see it, the postmodernism claim is that truth is relative and there is no absolute truth, now I'm not saying all of you believe in this exact way but just pointing something out. That claim I have stated there, is in itself an absolute truth claim and that is the very concept in which they have stated clearly doesnt exist at all. Now this idea of absolute morality, whether you think they don't exist or you think they are a bi-product of biology and society, neither case gives a good description of reality at all. I say this because I thought we all agreed that rape and murder and things of that nature were in fact bad or just caring for one another because of evolutionary instinct it is better for the survival of humans to care for each other. So first if you agree that those acts I described before we both consider not good, but if morals are relative and not absolute there is no reason to agree or not there is not even the chance either of us could actually be telling the truth. And second, to morals or ethics for evolution and society first I don't understand how you call it caring for one another when we each would only be acting that way, because it aids our own survival, that is actually caring for ones self more then others. And there would be no source of an absolute ethic guide it would differ in societies and lost into another sea of relativism, which relativism makes the absolute truth claim that all truth is relative. Where is the logic in that?

I think God gives us a good example(in my opininion)of how there is an absolute moral law and he is the absolute which we are to refer to. Take one look at the economic crisis that is taking place in most of the world, the cause of just about every last bit of it is due to borrowing an amount in which we can't afford, or printing money with no absolute reference like gold in this case, results in bills that lack any trust, which only the absolute can give. I would love to go more into detail on this which I have borrowed on the economics, but its that time. I'm going to pick up where I left off and hopefully bring together the full piece of work in its whole, and connect all what I'm trying to express here thanks to all of you.

I just throw in this link to this man here who is very well known in the science community just another's perspective on some of these kinds of questions if you care to read his, very intelligent way of pointing certain things.

http://www.starcourse.org/jcp/qanda.html
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on August 21, 2012, 05:40:31 AM
Good grief, Samuelke, are you being deliberately obtuse or can you just not help yourself?

After your last rambling screed, several of us asked you to keep your answers concise and to the point and yet here you are again with another barely coherent post that in no way answers any of our previous questions to you. The only part of that post that was coherent was the portion on the Cosmological Argument. In fact, its uncharacteristic coherence led me to suspect that you hadn’t written it at all so I went looking for it and, sure enough, it appears that you copied and pasted it verbatim from Conservapedia (http://www.conservapedia.com/Arguments_for_the_existence_of_God) of all places. That tells us a lot about you.

Look, let’s start with something simple. Before you start talking about morals and creating things, just give us a factual description of your God. Give us some facts about it. For example, what size is it or what is its mass? If even that is too difficult for you, let’s start with the most basic fact about your God—what is its composition? Is it composed of matter, energy or something else? Please, please confine yourself only to facts. Stick to things that have been proven to be true.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 21, 2012, 06:01:55 AM
Wow Sam.  I honestly had higher hopes for you this time.  You provided an answer to "why you believe god is real" but I dont think that was ever asked.


.... Pretty sure I am done with this conversation at this point.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Azdgari on August 21, 2012, 06:03:06 AM
Keep in mind that they are yes-or-no questions.  Their answers need not be longer than a yes or a no.

 &)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 21, 2012, 07:09:18 AM
Sam,

I applaud the effort and work that must have gone into the last post. I am sorry to say I only read about 1/4 of it and scanned the rest. If it was meant for someone else, great.  But it did not seem to answer my questions, at least not directly.  So, I will try to make this easy for you.  Below are the questions with answers.  All you have to do is quote my post and delete the answers that do not apply.  You do not have to type anything else.  We'll get into explanations later.

If you had super powers that allowed you to do anything, would you use them to help people? 
yes
no
^ delete one

Would it be immoral if you did not?
yes
no
^ delete one

Would you hide from people?
yes
no
^ delete one

Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
yes
no
^ delete one

Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?
yes
no
^ delete one
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jaimehlers on August 21, 2012, 11:07:35 AM
Samuelke:

In your latest post, you mention that a theist has a decent body of evidence to support their case that God does exist, while the atheist has no evidence whatsoever.  Now it's time for you to back up that assertion.  If there really is such a decent body of evidence, it should be no trouble to list a few examples and demonstrate how they unambiguously point to the existence of God.  In short, show the evidence exists, don't just tell us it exists.  We're a bunch of skeptics here, and while showing that evidence might not convince us, not showing it reduces the chances of convincing us to nothing.

You also say that we should really interact on the question of the beginning of the universe; I'm game.  Regarding your question about a cause for matter, energy, and time before the Big Bang singularity exploded, I don't think there needs to be such a thing.  We already know that there are quantum fluctuations that happen all the time, everywhere, which result in matter-antimatter pairs appearing spontaneously (from a single virtual 'point') and then disappearing as they come back together and cancel each other out.  We know this because we can detect a form of radiation that seems to emit from black holes, with the result that the black hole "shrinks".

So we don't have to have a starting singularity at all.  Remember, the Big Bang theory doesn't say that there was a singularity, it says that all matter and energy can be backtracked to a single dimensionless 'point'.  This is practically the same thing as the quantum fluctuations I mentioned earlier, excepting the quantity of matter/energy appearing.  And that isn't really a problem.  When you consider that these quantum fluctuations happen everywhere, all the time, you could say that the amount of virtual matter in the universe far exceeds the amount of actual matter.  And it's all zero-sum.  It doesn't require an input of energy for virtual matter to appear, and its subsequent disappearance doesn't cause an output of energy.  All it requires is something to delay them canceling each other out just long enough for them to have an effect, and they become real.

So, we have a process by which virtual matter can become real matter.  In other words, something from nothing.  And we can tell this happens through observation.  Furthermore, once this process started, it would have acted like a singularity - the gravity of the initial particle-pair would have affected other particle-pairs and caused them to become real, in a chain reaction that would have caused an enormous amount of matter and energy to spontaneously appear from nothing.

Care to respond?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on August 21, 2012, 11:33:01 AM
Sam

This decent body of evidence, where is it?

Secondly, your entire argument is based on an appeal to ignorance and special pleading. Furthermore the argument from ignorance you present is for the Deist god, and  you switch into morality without building any argument that the deist god is an intervention oriented god, the god of the bible essentially.

You failed to meet any of the conditions of my three part challenge:

(1)Define God. Do not use weasel words or circular definitions.
(2)Prove that that definition is not a logical paradox
(3)Show proof that differs from the other ten thousand dieties man
has worshipped, again without committing a logical error

Special pleading, appeals to ignorance and non sequiturs...plus ignoring question one more or less entirely do not meet this challenge
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: nogodsforme on August 21, 2012, 12:14:49 PM
I can't understand how this could be, therefore something else that I do understand must be the case.....

I honestly don't understand how hail--chunks of ice-- can fall from a warm, sunny, clear sky. Therefore, I believe in a giant invisible cosmic refrigerator with an ice maker component. No, I don't have to explain where it came from. The invisible cosmic fridge has always been up there. You can't prove that it doesn't exist. Scientific explanations don't make sense to me. My proof of invisible cosmic fridge is the presence of hail. So, you have to respect my beliefs. &)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Ambassador Pony on August 21, 2012, 02:10:40 PM
I can't understand how this could be, therefore something else that I do understand must be the case.....

I honestly don't understand how hail--chunks of ice-- can fall from a warm, sunny, clear sky. Therefore, I believe in a giant invisible cosmic refrigerator with an ice maker component. No, I don't have to explain where it came from. The invisible cosmic fridge has always been up there. You can't prove that it doesn't exist. Scientific explanations don't make sense to me. My proof of invisible cosmic fridge is the presence of hail. So, you have to respect my beliefs. &)

Looks like you have a good body of evidence for your magic fridge, and I don't have any evidence it absolutely doesn't exist, therefore, praise the magic fridge.

P.S. One time I was thinking of the magic fridge and I saw a meteor. True story.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 21, 2012, 05:26:23 PM
Quote
author=Ambassador Pony link=topic=23300.msg527379#msg527379
P.S. One time I was thinking of the magic fridge and I saw a meteor. True story.

Very interesting...I wonder what it means that you saw a meteor at the exact same time you were dwelling upon the magic fridge? That CANT be a coincidence.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 21, 2012, 05:31:37 PM
Samuelke, until you respond to screwtape's questions properly, I'm pretty much done here.  But I wanted to call out a few points from your last post.  Bolds will be mine.
But in this post I'm going to try my best to show why I'm pursuaded to believe what I do and why I believe it to be rational, In no way can I prove to you all, that you are all wrong or please listen to me your a bad person and I am good one let me show you the way, please dont misunderstand what it is i am actually doing because it is nothing like that. I have no reason to think any of you to be bad people or myself, whether a person is bad or good I repect them and I think they are of individual worth and value. I respect each of your opinions and I just want to really show you why I believe what I do. now I'm not a philosopher or a scientist so if you can please bear with me I try my best to present a large variety of information. I'm gonna start with a more cosmological argument, First I give you this link,
Do you know what 'respect' means?  How am I supposed to believe that you respect my opinion when it seems like you don't even pay attention to it?
Quote
I know Richard Dawkins has a whole chapter in one of his books arguing mainly this idea, saying that God can't be the solution because the solution can not more complex then that which you are trying to explain. I have put great efforts in eliminating bias, and rationally considering many writtings similar to Dawkins. But everytime I do so, in my best understanding and evaluation these types of logical inconsistent statements pop up many, many times. This is what I see when I read his statement, first logically truth is exclusive, and we can all agree if two intelligent people saw an ancient symbol carved into the rock of a cave, they would both agree the symbol was made by a person with a mind. So there is on good and clear example of the solution or explanation to the symbol lies in the human mind that created it which is far more complex then just the symbol. We have many explanations in physics, Quantum physics, biology, and chemistry and in each the explanations given are far more complex then that which it is explaining. Or in another sense he was saying God is to complex an answer for it to be plausible and true. His statements are self defeating if he believes in science and modern science. This is due to the fact that not only is science and mathematics complex, as time goes further and further both science and mathematics, also grows vastly more complex with time and human progress.
Depends on the symbol and context.
Quote
Take gravity alone from newton to Einstein, both who saw science proving more and more to them that because of all that incredibly ordered, magnificent, and beautiful  Complexity that sience and math reveal to us, and actually for newton he believed and science only strengthened his belief and Einstein of course later in life believed but it was science that played a large role in him finding God. That in itself to me is some revealing of how God can work, as to how each had a different personal path to their belief.
You should look into this more to see if this statement is true.  Even though it has no bearing on your argument, I'd hate for you to be misinformed.
Quote
Ok next I'm going to be talking about morals and what naturalism forces one to do when it comes to morals. As I see it, the postmodernism claim is that truth is relative and there is no absolute truth, now I'm not saying all of you believe in this exact way but just pointing something out.
My guess is that you didn't mean to use the word 'postmodern' in here.  Also, the rest of this mishmash you have in the above is, frankly, pretty infuriating at this point seeing as how we keep asking you questions regarding morality and you keep dodging.  Then you bring this s**t up as if no one said a word to you about morality.  Refer to the 'respect' clause above please.

Maybe you really are considering everything that has been spouted to you/asked of you in the last 10 pages of this forum.  But from where I stand, you look like someone who just plain doesn't give a damn whether or not their beliefs are true.  I asked you to prove me wrong earlier; you failed miserably.  I have no reason at this point to believe you will change my mind.

edit: fixed bad quoting
edit2: more quote fixy.  I blame crap interweb connection.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 21, 2012, 06:30:36 PM

Depends on the symbol and context.


Dude, my dogs totally wrote "Cat" with their wet noses on a window last week.  I mean, they spelled it "KAT", but the creators meaning was clear. 

Dog-Butt-Jesus must be appeased! (http://api.ning.com/files/3zAOt4*KFA69TM0uWjIr2spAXwnvqrjYC*o3qS4I*wPOYzrrMdxwAnvh4rlu8Wz5qaXDLXng95wmELUEBFPd4UZDx92Tlwp1/DogButtJesus.jpg?width=325&height=398)


Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 22, 2012, 06:20:29 AM
Alright I understand now I see what you all mean and how I can answer your questions here more in the fashion you all have depicted. I will have to give my answer tonight I just got out of class and I gotta go to work now but after I'll reply.....

Okay - time I think for a Moderator hat.

Sam has had a huge number of questions thrown at him.  I can therefore understand his temptation to try to issue a "collective" answer that addresses them all, rather than get deep-down specific on one or two.

Unfortunately, Sam, this isn't working.  So I would therefore strongly suggest that Sam answers just TWO questions - I've given some notes on these below.  I would like to ask our members to hold off opening any new avenues of inquiry until these queations have been answered.  Sam, please read my "guidance notes" carefully, and try to follow them.  Doing so will reduce the amount of complaints you get from members that your answers do not actually answer the questions posed.

QUESTION 1: SCREWTAPE's QUINTET.
If you had super powers that allowed you to do anything, would you use them to help people? 
Would it be immoral if you did not?
Would you hide from people?
Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?


QUESTION 1 GUIDANCE NOTES. 
To begin with, answer these questions with a very clear "yes" or "no".  If you want to expand on why you have given an answer, that's fine - but make sure that you begin by saying explicitly if your answer is "yes" or "no".



QUESTION 2: HATTER'S DEFINITION OF GOD.
Hatter asked you to "Define God. Do not use weasel words or circular definitions."  There were more subsidiary questions, but let's look at this one first.


QUESTION 2 GUIDANCE NOTES.
Try answering this question as if someone thinks they have seen or experienced your god, but isn't reaslly sure.  How would you define and describe your god so that they would be able to say "ah, yes, that was what I saw" or "no, I saw something quite different".

EXAMPLE: Define "a lion".  Your answer might be "a lion is a large cat-like creature.  It has a mane of hair and large teeth and claws.  It is sandy-brown in colour.  It eats meat and will kill creatures such as deer and antelope.  It lives in a group of around a half-dozen, in which there is usually only one male".  Such a description would be very useful if someone had seen a creature they had never seen before, since they could compare your description to their actual experience and use it to work out if what they had experienced actually WAS a lion, as opposed to (say) a black panther, a wolf, or a snake.
Try to steer clear of lengthy explanations of WHY your god is what he is - if you really feel you must do so, do it in a seperate paragraph AFTER the actual detailed description.

Hopefully this will get us moving and help you to focus on the questions that we are asking.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 22, 2012, 12:50:45 PM
Sam,

I applaud the effort and work that must have gone into the last post. I am sorry to say I only read about 1/4 of it and scanned the rest. If it was meant for someone else, great.  But it did not seem to answer my questions, at least not directly.  So, I will try to make this easy for you.  Below are the questions with answers.  All you have to do is quote my post and delete the answers that do not apply.  You do not have to type anything else.  We'll get into explanations later.


^ delete one


^ delete one


^ delete one


^ delete one


no
^ delete one

Ok yeah I have failed I see that I try again.


If you had super powers that allowed you to do anything, would you use them to help people? 
yes

Would it be immoral if you did not?
yes

Would you hide from people?

no

Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
Ok before I answer this you have to answer this, what exactly are you intending by believing without seeing? Do you not believe in anything you can't see physically, so things like, we can physically see the human brain but many do indeed believe we also have a mind that there is no physical proof for, or I could go on to name many scientific things most believe in without physically seeing like dark matter and dark energy. So I'll further reply upon your reply here.

Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?
I'm going to need clarifaction here too sorry, but I'm wondering if you are asking me this as well, which I'm thinking but let me know if I'm wrong, is maybe if me or you were God and created this and humans, would we love these humans and give them a choice to believe in you or not to, or have no relationship and love with them and just let them live and die or just automatically everyone goes to heaven or whatever other way you can put this? I'll respond after that sorry I just want to be clear about things before I go and get all this muddied up like I already have repeatedly done and for which I seriously apologize I wasnt trying to do that. I really was trying to explain first why I do believe what I do but I realize that's not where you all what to start, seriously I was deliberately being stubborn I just trying to answer the questions and tell you why all at once but I've been over thinking it a lot. But I'm ready to slow down and really try and work through your questions I do hope that I haven't driven everyone away I have enjoyed all of our discussions thank all.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 22, 2012, 01:08:27 PM
Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
Ok before I answer this you have to answer this, what exactly are you intending by believing without seeing? Do you not believe in anything you can't see physically, so things like, we can physically see the human brain but many do indeed believe we also have a mind that there is no physical proof for, or I could go on to name many scientific things most believe in without physically seeing like dark matter and dark energy. So I'll further reply upon your reply here.

It is more broad than that.  In the Magical Sam scenario, you could ostensibly heal people on the other side of the planet without their knowledge of how or why or by whom they were healed. You could do all you healing completely anonymously. In fact, you could use your magical omnipotence to hide yourself perfectly from everyone.  And I could see why you might do it - to avoid being pestered for every trivial problem.  So, supposing you did this, would you still demand people believe in you?
 

Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?
I'm going to need clarifaction here too sorry, but I'm wondering if you are asking me this as well, which I'm thinking but let me know if I'm wrong, is maybe if me or you were God and created this and humans, would we love these humans and give them a choice to believe in you or not to, or have no relationship and love with them and just let them live and die or just automatically everyone goes to heaven or whatever other way you can put this?

No need to apologize.  Honest requests for clarification are welcome. 

Your question jumps ahead a bit and touches on the point of my questions.  But yes, it could be paraphrased as If you were god, would you have a hell?

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 23, 2012, 08:11:04 PM
Would you insist they believe in you without seeing you?
Ok before I answer this you have to answer this, what exactly are you intending by believing without seeing? Do you not believe in anything you can't see physically, so things like, we can physically see the human brain but many do indeed believe we also have a mind that there is no physical proof for, or I could go on to name many scientific things most believe in without physically seeing like dark matter and dark energy. So I'll further reply upon your reply here.

It is more broad than that.  In the Magical Sam scenario, you could ostensibly heal people on the other side of the planet without their knowledge of how or why or by whom they were healed. You could do all you healing completely anonymously. In fact, you could use your magical omnipotence to hide yourself perfectly from everyone.  And I could see why you might do it - to avoid being pestered for every trivial problem.  So, supposing you did this, would you still demand people believe in you?
 

Would you destroy them if they didn't love you?
I'm going to need clarifaction here too sorry, but I'm wondering if you are asking me this as well, which I'm thinking but let me know if I'm wrong, is maybe if me or you were God and created this and humans, would we love these humans and give them a choice to believe in you or not to, or have no relationship and love with them and just let them live and die or just automatically everyone goes to heaven or whatever other way you can put this?

No need to apologize.  Honest requests for clarification are welcome. 

Your question jumps ahead a bit and touches on the point of my questions.  But yes, it could be paraphrased as If you were god, would you have a hell?

Well to answer the first one here I'm gonna say no I would not demand them to believe in that case you have portrayed. But I will go ahead and say I do not think that God is like that, now I'll wait to go any further there though.

Now this next question, if you are still giving the scenario about a completely hidden God my answer is no, I wouldn't destroy them. I think your questions bring up some big points but I don't believe God to be hidden in any sense, we can delve deeper into these ideas if you would like thanks again.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: nogodsforme on August 23, 2012, 08:32:47 PM
Samuelke, you don't think god is hidden in any sense?

Human beings can't measure, see, hear, touch or smell god. People who say they believe in god can't even describe him in a coherent way. Two theists in the same religion cannot agree on exactly what god is like and what he does and does not do. Sacred texts that purport to describe god are contradictory and confusing.

 Seems to me that God is hidden in every sense!
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 23, 2012, 10:04:14 PM
nogodsforme,

I just want to publicly tell you.... you may be my favorite poster on these boards.  You have yet to post anything that I do not agree with completely, and in fact you usually beat me to comments I would have made.  So, kudos.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: nogodsforme on August 23, 2012, 10:32:26 PM
nogodsforme,

I just want to publicly tell you.... you may be my favorite poster on these boards.  You have yet to post anything that I do not agree with completely, and in fact you usually beat me to comments I would have made.  So, kudos.

So, are you saying that the Vulcan mind meld I remotely performed on you worked? Kudos are great. Cash would be better.  :-*
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 23, 2012, 10:35:58 PM
noGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODSforme

(http://biodork.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/kirk-khan1.jpg)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 23, 2012, 11:02:08 PM
Well to answer the first one here I'm gonna say no I would not demand them to believe in that case you have portrayed. But I will go ahead and say I do not think that God is like that, now I'll wait to go any further there though.
I'd like you to go further here.  There are a lot of Christians that explicitly say that my only way to salvation is through belief in Jesus.  Many of those Christians are pretty explicit about no salvation = eternal punishment.  There are also many Christians that proclaim god is punishing the people of the Earth, here and now, with earthquakes, tidal waves, and other horrific tragedies, because they are 'turning away from god'.  That conflicts with what you're saying here.  What's the resolution?
Quote
Now this next question, if you are still giving the scenario about a completely hidden God my answer is no, I wouldn't destroy them. I think your questions bring up some big points but I don't believe God to be hidden in any sense, we can delve deeper into these ideas if you would like thanks again.
I agree with nogodsforme insofar as god appears completely hidden to me.  It is, of course, very possible that I'm simply too stupid to see it.  Is it better to punish the stupid or to educate the stupid?

So, are you saying that the Vulcan mind meld I remotely performed on you worked? Kudos are great. Cash would be better.  :-*
...and now I have to bust out my old tinfoil hat again, though I have no ties that match.  A dilemma is presented to me.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 24, 2012, 05:41:02 AM
.....I don't believe God to be hidden in any sense....

So....if I look for god today, I will find him today?  He will answer me directly and unambiguously?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 24, 2012, 08:27:59 AM


So....if I look for god today, I will find him today?  He will answer me directly and unambiguously?

This part is key Sam.  A dove flying by or some other kind of lyrical BS does NOT count.




btw, I complement you in starting to answer the simple yet difficult questions that have been posed.  You sir are coming around.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 24, 2012, 08:53:17 AM
Samuelke, you don't think god is hidden in any sense?

Human beings can't measure, see, hear, touch or smell god. People who say they believe in god can't even describe him in a coherent way. Two theists in the same religion cannot agree on exactly what god is like and what he does and does not do. Sacred texts that purport to describe god are contradictory and confusing.

 Seems to me that God is hidden in every sense!

Well your statement brings up a lot of questions for me like, if you used that kind of thinking for everything you believe in there are many Other things you would then have to not believe in. For example, you can't measure, see, taste, smell, or touch your memories so how can we trust those? The same goes for emotions, the mind, good or bad, and then if you look at science and how can you really talk about gravity, electromagnetism, and energy to name just a few.

Now will you all answer me this, if you say the best way to understand life and our life is science, first of all that claim itself is self-defeating. Then the rest of the question stems from the above, but what about all things in our lives science will never explain, like existential questions and struggle, never can it explain history, nor will it ever be able to define morality. Not meaning anyone of you can't be and understand morals, just that science will never be able to say something is absolutely wrong it is just relative, so it doesn't matter what anyone says.

To me God is not hidden in any sense, everything in science even to me any many others like newton, Galileo,  and many more. We can discuss further later today after I finish school and work thanks all.

I want to end though with a couple qoutes I think I extremely significant.


Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics): “From the perspective of the latest physical theories, Christianity is not a mere religion, but an experimentally testable science.”

 Antony Flew (Professor of Philosophy, former atheist, author, and debater) “It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”

Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics): “When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.” Note: Tipler since has actually converted to Christianity, hence his latest book, The Physics Of Christianity.


Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Azdgari on August 24, 2012, 09:04:43 AM
What would a hidden god be like for you, Sam?  I want to probe the apparent differences between a hidden and non-hidden god.  Do they look any different from each other?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Dante on August 24, 2012, 09:35:33 AM

Well your statement brings up a lot of questions for me like, if you used that kind of thinking for everything you believe in there are many Other things you would then have to not believe in. For example, you can't measure, see, taste, smell, or touch your memories so how can we trust those? The same goes for emotions, the mind, good or bad, and then if you look at science and how can you really talk about gravity, electromagnetism, and energy to name just a few.

Memories, emotions, and the mind are difficult to measure, but we can experience not only our own, but others as well. And every single person has these. All of us (with the ultra rare exception of the brain damaged and/or extremely mentally ill). We can cross check our memories against others memories, we can experience others minds in that they are communicating with us through audible or written languages. They are demonstrably real. The same cannot be said about your god, Sam.

Gravity, electromagnetism, and energy, can in fact be measured, as well as experienced by everyone. Every person on the planet experiences them. They are not subject to "faith", in as much as one cannot NOT experience gravity or energy. The same cannot be said about your god, Sam.

So again, how is your god not "hidden"? Show us your god. I await with bated breath.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on August 24, 2012, 10:09:37 AM
]

Well your statement brings up a lot of questions for me like, if you used that kind of thinking for everything you believe in there are many Other things you would then have to not believe in. For example, you can't measure, see, taste, smell, or touch your memories so how can we trust those? The same goes for emotions, the mind, good or bad,


These are internal to our skull. They do not impact the real world directly. They do comprise our conciousness, there isn't an equivalent unless you are calling god an illusion with no existence except in our skulls.

]


 and then if you look at science and how can you really talk about gravity, electromagnetism, and energy to name just a few.

All of which are measurable and detectable...which still does not match to your god hypothesis.

]



Now will you all answer me this, if you say the best way to understand life and our life is science, first of all that claim itself is self-defeating.


Now this is a manifold question of deep significance, because it all depends on what you call life. If you are talking about the interaction of human beings, culture and meaning, well no it isn't the best. But, when you are talking about life as in "the universe," yes it is.

I am holding your feet to the fire as to the nebulous term "life"

]

 Then the rest of the question stems from the above, but what about all things in our lives science will never explain, like existential questions and struggle, never can it explain history, nor will it ever be able to define morality. Not meaning anyone of you can't be and understand morals, just that science will never be able to say something is absolutely wrong it is just relative, so it doesn't matter what anyone says.

None of which has to do with the question of whether the is an invisible intantigle superbeing, a god, watching us, who created us, and judges us. None of it. If we are to argue of the relative artistic value of say, a piece of pottery, we first have to determine WHETHER OR NOT IT ACTUALLY EXISTS.

]


To me God is not hidden in any sense, everything in science even to me any many others like newton, Galileo,  and many more. We can discuss further later today after I finish school and work thanks all.


So what if someone learned thought a being existed, not relavent to the question. Particularly Flew, whose conversion after 40 years out of the limelight has more than a few fingerprints of a dubious nature.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on August 24, 2012, 01:25:13 PM
Antony Flew (Professor of Philosophy, former atheist, author, and debater) “It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”

Sam,
you might want to read up on some of the people you're quoting here.  I picked the one above and found this right away:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Flew
It describes in some minor detail his "conversion" such as it was, and the flip-flopping he did in his 80's and the one thing he' still questioned.  It doesn't really lend a lot of credibility to you that you're quoting him--particularl since he specifically says he does NOT believe in "the Christian god."

I intend to look up the others as time permits.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on August 24, 2012, 01:34:54 PM
Interesting blog on Frank Tipler
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2009/01/05/the-varieties-of-crackpot-experience/

Apparently Tipler belives global warming isn't happening, in addition to the fact that he can prove Xianity via physics.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: nogodsforme on August 24, 2012, 01:36:02 PM
Samuelke, you don't think god is hidden in any sense?

Human beings can't measure, see, hear, touch or smell god. People who say they believe in god can't even describe him in a coherent way. Two theists in the same religion cannot agree on exactly what god is like and what he does and does not do. Sacred texts that purport to describe god are contradictory and confusing.

 Seems to me that God is hidden in every sense!

Well your statement brings up a lot of questions for me like, if you used that kind of thinking for everything you believe in there are many Other things you would then have to not believe in. For example, you can't measure, see, taste, smell, or touch your memories so how can we trust those? The same goes for emotions, the mind, good or bad, and then if you look at science and how can you really talk about gravity, electromagnetism, and energy to name just a few.

Well, first off, we can't really trust our memories. Our memories are not like a recording device with exact recall. We forget most of what has happened to us. We remember things that never happened, and remember things differently from the way they actually happened. Eyewitnesses and crime victims finger the wrong guy and report different versions of the same event. Cameras and DNA give more accurate evidence than human memories.

We know this because, using science, instead of "trusting memories", we investigated how memory works and found that our brains construct our memories to help us make sense of the world, to give us closure, to fill in gaps, to give us a coherent past. Not to say that memory is bad or useless, but it is not as reliable a record of the past as we want to think.

I read a book on memory where they tested the supposedly exact recall of traditional tribal storytellers. You know how we have been told that they can orally recite the entire history of the tribe from memory? Oral tradition is the basis of many cultural "histories", including the bible stories, so it is important to know if they are accurate.

Well, when the storytellers were recorded telling the same story several times on tape, the stories were not exactly the same. The people who heard the story could not hear the differences and the storyteller swore that it was the exact same story every time. Imagine how the differences mount up over many, many retellings--the hero is short, then after 100 years he is tall, 100 years later he's a giant, then a giant prince, then a giant king, and after 1000 years he's a god.

Same thing with emotions. Feelings are notoriously unreliable as indicators of reality. Con artists, gold-diggers, gigolos and car salespeople rely on this fact to make a living. We can't just rely on how we feel to know if something is real or not. A white curtain blowing in a dark room scares the be-vishnu out of us if we think it is a ghost. But it is just a sheet, no matter how scared we feel. Sometimes our feelings indicate reality-- that creepy guy who gives you the willies really is bad news. But not always. We remember when our initial feeling is confirmed and forget when it isn't.

I'll give two personal examples: As a teen I sat down next to a fatherly looking middle-aged white man on an overnight bus ride. We had a very nice conversation about my writing and art, his adult daughter's job and other random topics. I felt very safe sitting with him, as if he was a trusted neighbor.  Once the lights were out, however, his hand was on my thigh. Gagh! Yech! After a brief tussle, I moved seats, feeling very betrayed as well as molested.

Another time I had an experience with an employer that led me to assume he was a racist. I felt physically ill in his presence, and could not even eat if he was in the room. I left the job with very negative feelings about the man and the workplace. It was not until years later when I found out that the man was not being racist at all, but we had gotten some generational and cultural wires crossed. For years I had the wrong feelings about this man, based on a mistaken interpretation of something he did. It was actually a pretty nice job, messed up by my feelings.

Experiencing god seems to fall into the same category with memories and emotions. God is: a lovely sunset, a terrible rainstorm, an unexpected death, a difficult but successful birth, a flock of birds overhead, a bolt of lightning striking a tree, a forest fire changing directions and a car trunk opening suddenly.

Really? That was god changing the fire's direction away from your cabin?  Which god was that exactly? The same god who turned the fire towards somebody else's house... 

Experiences of god are not reliable outside of independent corroboration of some sort. And subject to very selective interpretations of facts. We remember the one time that a prayer is answered and forget the millions of times when it was not.[1]
 1. Maybe that is why some religions tell the followers to "pray constantly". Sooner or later something will match up.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 24, 2012, 05:49:24 PM
Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”
Me, the bolding I have done.

I just wanted you to think about what the quote seems to be saying - a mystery as an explanation.

A mystery is that which has no explanation.  Using 'mystery' as a qualifier is equivalent to turning off your brain's bulls**t detector.  Absolutely anything can serve as an explanation that is not demonstrably better or worse than any other explanation.

I read a book on memory where they tested the supposedly exact recall of traditional tribal storytellers. You know how we have been told that they can orally recite the entire history of the tribe from memory? Oral tradition is the basis of many cultural "histories", including the bible stories, so it is important to know if they are accurate.

Well, when the storytellers were recorded telling the same story several times on tape, the stories were not exactly the same. The people who heard the story could not hear the differences and the storyteller swore that it was the exact same story every time. Imagine how the differences mount up over many, many retellings--the hero is short, then after 100 years he is tall, 100 years later he's a giant, then a giant prince, then a giant king, and after 1000 years he's a god.
If you happen to stumble upon the title again, I'd be interested in reading this book.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: nogodsforme on August 24, 2012, 10:22:52 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Moonwalking-Einstein-Science-Remembering-Everything/dp/0143120530/ref=pd_sim_b_3
This book.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 24, 2012, 10:44:39 PM
we can delve deeper into these ideas if you would like thanks again.

First, let me say, thank you for answering my questions.

Second, Yes, I would like to delve a little deeper.

I am glad to see you answered the question in a way I deem most rational and moral.  Were I in possession of the powers of a god, I would help people, expect nothing in return, perhaps not hide myself[1] and I certainly would not destroy them for not believing in me.

But as I see it, you have answered all these questions in exactly the opposite way as yhwh, the god of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Samuelke.  Gratefully, that makes you far kinder, generous, moral and rational than yhwh.  But then, it is not a major feat to be superior to a god that names himself "Jealous". 

To go through my questions one at a time, this god you worship:

1. does not help people.  At least, not in any way that is unambiguous or sensible.  For example, we have people who thank god for the touchdowns their team makes.  Yhwh loves the jets, apparently.  However, yhwh also seems to have overlooked starving children and worse.  Were I a god, I would see to it the jets never, ever won a game from my meddling, but no child would go hungry.  Additionally, I would personally see to it that no child would have to suffer abuse.  What does yhwh do for abused children?  Not a fucking thing.  Your god behaves as if he does not exist.  Why is that?

2. You and many other xians apologize for yhwh's lack of benevolence. You call it "free will", but I do not see how that plays into it.  If you mean yhwh leaves it for us to make our own mistakes, that's fine.  But it fails to explain so much suffering.  Natural disasters.  Accidents.  And the starving children thing.  I fail to see how a just god would allow your or my inaction, our sin, to make the lives of others miserable.  Is that what you would do with godlike power?  I wouldn't. 

3. yhwh hides.  You may feel like you have found him, but I have to tell you, Sam, I've searched and he's eluded me. And that's not just me, but a lot of people.  Even Mother Theresa.  Yhwh has done his best, if he exists, to conceal himself.   If xians are right and his "lives outside space and time", then he is completely inaccessible.

4.yhwh insists we believe in him and yet, many of us find no reason to do so.  You yourself said you would not do that.  So why worship a god who does?  If I had godlike powers and wanted a relationship with people, why hide?  I don't get it at all, Sam.

5.  Depending what flavor xian you talk to, yhwh does indeed destroy or punish infinitely those who do not accept him without evidence. You have said you don't think yhwh does this, but Sam, I cannot find him.  I've looked.  We live in the same universe.  Why is yhwh hiding form me and not you?


 1. I'm a bit of a misanthrope, so avoiding people might be best for all involved.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on August 25, 2012, 12:23:35 AM
Samuelke, you don't think god is hidden in any sense?

Human beings can't measure, see, hear, touch or smell god. People who say they believe in god can't even describe him in a coherent way. Two theists in the same religion cannot agree on exactly what god is like and what he does and does not do.  Sacred texts that purport to describe god are contradictory and confusing.

 Seems to me that God is hidden in every sense!
(bold purple mine)

If I could just weigh in here...  theists may not agree on what god is like because their experience is intentionally unique and personal.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on August 25, 2012, 03:10:20 AM
Samuelke, you don't think god is hidden in any sense?

Human beings can't measure, see, hear, touch or smell god. People who say they believe in god can't even describe him in a coherent way. Two theists in the same religion cannot agree on exactly what god is like and what he does and does not do.  Sacred texts that purport to describe god are contradictory and confusing.

 Seems to me that God is hidden in every sense!
(bold purple mine)

If I could just weigh in here...  theists may not agree on what god is like because their experience is intentionally unique and personal.

Which gives no credence to the concept that this "God" being has an existence that affects the world outside their skulls. In fact, it only serves to reinforce the concept that god is a fictional character. The imagined views of what is the nature of who is Rumpelstiltskin, his looks and actions vary wildly compared to, say, Abraham Lincoln.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Astreja on August 26, 2012, 12:10:50 AM
If I could just weigh in here...  theists may not agree on what god is like because their experience is intentionally unique and personal.

Spirituality does seem to vary widely from person to person, yes.   Assuming for a moment that there is an actual god involved, that raises the question of whether that god is at least partially manifesting within the person having the experience.  It doesn't make sense to have a god out there somewhere, and yet no consistency of experience.

I do think that pantheism or panentheism could explain the subjectivity better than a religion with a discrete, independent deity.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on August 26, 2012, 02:03:39 PM
Samuelke, you don't think god is hidden in any sense?

Human beings can't measure, see, hear, touch or smell god. People who say they believe in god can't even describe him in a coherent way. Two theists in the same religion cannot agree on exactly what god is like and what he does and does not do.  Sacred texts that purport to describe god are contradictory and confusing.

 Seems to me that God is hidden in every sense!
(bold purple mine)

If I could just weigh in here...  theists may not agree on what god is like because their experience is intentionally unique and personal.

Which gives no credence to the concept that this "God" being has an existence that affects the world outside their skulls. In fact, it only serves to reinforce the concept that god is a fictional character. The imagined views of what is the nature of who is Rumpelstiltskin, his looks and actions vary wildly compared to, say, Abraham Lincoln.

Do any two people experience anything exactly the same?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 26, 2012, 02:43:40 PM
^ Rarely. 
However, the scientific method with proper procedures, does produce repeatable results regardless of who conducts the experiment.  God however is ENTIRELY dependent on sociocultural conditions in which they occur. 
My favorite example is speaking in tongues.  One church believes it is God moving divinely and making his spirit known, a block down the road a different congregation talks about how the "crazies" down the street are corrupting the idea of God by saying a bunch of nonsensical phrases.  Who is right?  Who is delusional?  Both.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on August 26, 2012, 05:26:21 PM


Which gives no credence to the concept that this "God" being has an existence that affects the world outside their skulls. In fact, it only serves to reinforce the concept that god is a fictional character. The imagined views of what is the nature of who is Rumpelstiltskin, his looks and actions vary wildly compared to, say, Abraham Lincoln.

Do any two people experience anything exactly the same?

No. However that just is just avoiding my point with misdirection.  People will still very quite a bit on their opinion of Abraham Lincoln, and what he might have done in such and such hypothetical situation. After all they varied enough on those opinions enough to start a war where hundreds of thousands of people died. However there's going to me more agreement on something real as he was than something fictional like Rumpelstiltskin.

The concept, nature, and power of spirits, magic, and God or gods varies completely according to the culture of the speaker. Furthermore when attempted to be tested in a fashion that even attempts objectivity, they all fail. There's nothing to separate them from fiction, other than belief itself.

 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 27, 2012, 01:39:50 AM
Ok let me not this is the first of two responses I'm going to give, this will be more general and the next I will approach some questions individually. I'm doing this because there is a lot being said, and I want to try my best to clear some of this up and I think the only way is one little step at a time, because of the huge amounts of information we are dealing with.

You all have only proven further that there is not a scientific way of proving that not only feelings are real thought and other things as well. To address one persons comments I'm talking only about having a thought or feeling not about if that feeling is credible. One person showed through statistics that feelings are real But math and science are two different disciplines, even though they do mingle with one another doesn't change anything though.

Let me tell you all now my own understanding of God in a few different ways. The scriptures for me comes first and mainly Jesus there, and we will just need a whole different thread on the bibles integrity and the contradictions you all say it has. Then comes my prayer and relationship with God, and then science to me continues to unfold more and more of the mystery of nature. Science continues to show the complexity in the universe, if you are at all scientific you can admit the nature and life of the universe has this perfect underlying balance, some times it seems chaotic others orderly, a little scary but other times extremely beautiful. The laws of nature as well a seem less coherency, to me all these things help me understand God's nature.

To add a little there I just want to say that in mind of all this balance, complexity, and marvelous intelligence we find in the universe, to say that all of it came from nothing and one day it will all be nothing again is a bigger leap of faith. If we are just going to poof out of existence forever When we die, I don't see why there is any reason for us to try and do good and why should we cherish things such as nature and love, because if all things in the cosmos will eventually be totally extinct, then there will be no drop of any memory of anything at all.(the laws of thermodynamics stating the eventual heat death of the cosmos)

I know I have a lot of answering still to do, I just also have many questions for you all as well.

I'm really not trying to beat around the bush or be obtuse or anything like that, I'm really trying to understand where each of you is coming from. I know I have done a slightly poor job, especially some of my very first posts on the site, at being clear and really getting to the real heart of your questions. I'm really sorry again for that, I know I have Said it a lot but I really have not be clear enough a number of times. Part of it was the large amounts of questions all at once, and the other larger portion was me being too broad and giving much too quick of explanations.



But it is through the Bibile, relationship with God, and his revealing of himself through his creation( which is stated throughout the entire Bible) proves to me without a doubt, that God does exist. Now of course I can't prove it for a fact to you all, but I would like to try and show you the rationality behind it but we will see how that goes I guess. But to conclude there, I don't hang my belief on any one thing listed, it is the coherent set of all of them.

The reason I've said a lot of this is because many times in questioning it is portrayed like I'm hanging my faith on one thing, and that's just not it at all. It is going to take me a while to explain everything and maybe even a few different threads.

I find this and many qoutes similar pretty interesting:

“[Reason tells me of the] extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capability of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity.  When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.”
–Charles Darwin, as quoted in his autobiography.



And

“You accept the historical Jesus?”

“Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”

–Albert Einstein, from an interview with the Saturday Evening Post

Finally


“I have looked into most philosophical systems and I have seen that none will work without God.”

“Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing.  We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created.”

–Physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell, who is credited with formulating classical electromagnetic theory and whose contributions to science are considered to be of the same magnitude to those of Einstein and Newton.


“God is a mathematician of a very high order and He used advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.”

–Nobel Prize winning physicist Paul A. M. Dirac, who made crucial early contributions to both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics.

.

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”

“In the history of science, ever since the famous trial of Galileo, it has repeatedly been claimed that scientific truth cannot be reconciled with the religious interpretation of the world. Although I am now convinced that scientific truth is unassailable in its own field, I have never found it possible to dismiss the content of religious thinking as simply part of an outmoded phase in the consciousness of mankind, a part we shall have to give up from now on. Thus in the course of my life I have repeatedly been compelled to ponder on the relationship of these two regions of thought, for I have never been able to doubt the reality of that to which they point.”

–Werner Heisenberg, who was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of quantum mechanics (which is absolutely crucial to modern science).

.
“I believe in God. It makes no sense to me to assume that the Universe and our existence is just a cosmic accident, that life emerged due to random physical processes in an environment which simply happened to have the right properties. As a Christian I begin to comprehend what life is all about through belief in a Creator, some of whose nature was revealed by a man born about 2000 years ago.”

–Antony Hewish,  winner of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of pulsars.

I'll stop  sorry I'm just trying to choose some directed towards the questions, that doesn't mean I'm not going to give my own answers, I will I'm not just depending on other people, simply showing what some, I'll say extremely intelligent people have said.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 27, 2012, 06:03:49 AM
I have GOT to stop reading your posts right before I have to leave!

Real quick though... stop appealing to authority.  It is a logical fallacy for a reason.... its a false way of looking at the world, or at least a false way of divining truth.

Second, we do not worship Charles Darwin, and Einstein was likely an atheist or maaaaaybe a deist, but that may be stretching, you have to really pick and choose to make him look like a theist though. (also, the "historical person", just means that he believed he existed as a man <which there is shockingly little proof for a man who claimed to be God> and says nothing about divinity).
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 27, 2012, 07:02:52 AM
Sam,

you have to look out for religious quotes of scientists. They are taken out of context and used dishonestly by the religious almost 100% of the time.


–Albert Einstein, from an interview with the Saturday Evening Post

"the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

"For me, the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions."

-Albert Einstein, letter to Eric Gutkind
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24598856/



–Physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell,

Died in 1879.  A man of his time, as we all are.  What we know now would make his eyes pop out of his sockets. 


–Nobel Prize winning physicist Paul A. M. Dirac, who made crucial early contributions to both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics.

You'll notice that quote is truncated and does not indicate that it was.  The whole quote:
Quote
It seems to be one of the fundamental features of nature that fundamental physical laws are described in terms of a mathematical theory of great beauty and power, needing quite a high standard of mathematics for one to understand it. You may wonder: Why is nature constructed along these lines? One can only answer that our present knowledge seems to show that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could perhaps describe the situation by saying that God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe. Our feeble attempts at mathematics enable us to understand a bit of the universe, and as we proceed to develop higher and higher mathematics we can hope to understand the universe better.

Another quote by Dirac:

Quote
If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Dirac#Religious_views



Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on August 27, 2012, 11:07:55 AM
To add a little there I just want to say that in mind of all this balance, complexity, and marvelous intelligence we find in the universe, to say that all of it came from nothing and one day it will all be nothing again is a bigger leap of faith.

Seriously, who are these atheists that claims the universe came from "nothing"?

What does "be nothing again" even mean?

Also, even if it is a "bigger leap of faith", why do you consider this a Bad Thing?  Religion is about having faith.  The more, the better.


Quote
If we are just going to poof out of existence forever When we die, I don't see why there is any reason for us to try and do good and why should we cherish things such as nature and love, because if all things in the cosmos will eventually be totally extinct, then there will be no drop of any memory of anything at all.(the laws of thermodynamics stating the eventual heat death of the cosmos)

Nature and love exists now.  That is the reason we cherish them.  We exists now.  We are not living 30 billions years from now (or however long the heat death of the universe is suppose to be).  Beside, does something have to last forever for you to value something?  A house will not last forever, so why bother buying a home?  Marriage will either end with death or divorce, so why bother getting married?  A pet will eventually die, so why bother getting a cat?  The simple answer to all of those is that the time now is what matters.  We have to make use of that time before it's gone.

Also, I doubt there are very many atheists that thinks "well, the universe will be gone someday, so why even bother?".  In fact, the only ones I see making argument are theists.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: naemhni on August 27, 2012, 11:22:26 AM
Nature and love exists now.  That is the reason we cherish them.  We exists now.  We are not living 30 billions years from now (or however long the heat death of the universe is suppose to be).  Beside, does something have to last forever for you to value something?  A house will not last forever, so why bother buying a home?  Marriage will either end with death or divorce, so why bother getting married?  A pet will eventually die, so why bother getting a cat?  The simple answer to all of those is that the time now is what matters.  We have to make use of that time before it's gone.

Peter Beagle examined this question in his novel, "The Last Unicorn".  His characters discuss the nature of beauty and how it relates to immortality vs. non-immortality, and one of his characters even goes so far as to argue that we appreciate beautiful things because we know they won't last, and that in a way, if beauty were eternal, it actually wouldn't be beautiful anymore.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on August 27, 2012, 11:42:18 AM
If we are just going to poof out of existence forever When we die, I don't see why there is any reason for us to try and do good and why should we cherish things such as nature and love, because if all things in the cosmos will eventually be totally extinct, then there will be no drop of any memory of anything at all.(the laws of thermodynamics stating the eventual heat death of the cosmos)

There are few things theists say that anger me more than this.

If you are going to have an eternal bliss after this life, what point is this life???  Are you not smarter to simply kill yourself once you find god and believe your soul is purified (say, after confession)??

Picture this: two people get a nice big juicy bacon-double-cheeseburger fixed the way they want it.  One person is told "after your'e done with this, you're going to get the biggest, most bountiful banquet ever--you'll never get full, you can eat all your favorite foods all you want!"  the otehr is told "this is the only BDCB you'll ever get, there's nothing after this."

Which of these two will cherish their BDCB??
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: nogodsforme on August 27, 2012, 05:37:55 PM
^^^That is why I eat every burger as if it was my last. :D
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on August 27, 2012, 09:27:06 PM
Let me tell you all now my own understanding of God in a few different ways. The scriptures for me comes first and mainly Jesus there, and we will just need a whole different thread on the bibles integrity and the contradictions you all say it has. Then comes my prayer and relationship with God, and then science to me continues to unfold more and more of the mystery of nature. Science continues to show the complexity in the universe, if you are at all scientific you can admit the nature and life of the universe has this perfect underlying balance, some times it seems chaotic others orderly, a little scary but other times extremely beautiful. The laws of nature as well a seem less coherency, to me all these things help me understand God's nature.

Alright, now that you've had your turn, here is another possible understanding of God. 

1.  The scriptures are fictional tales about a man who may or may not have existed.  The bible is loaded with contradictions, errors, absurdities and atrocities, and has been manipulated by scribes and their masters over several hundreds of years. 

2.  Prayer does not work.  Period.  It simply doesn't do anything in a tangible sense.  It provides no statistical benefit to any real life event, and this has been proven out in several large studies.  Every time you perceive prayer to be working, it is nothing more than the way the events played out naturally.  Laws of statistics and probabilities say that uncommon events are going to happen in our lives from time to time, and with millions and millions of believers, at some point, someone is going to pray for an uncommon event to take place and it will. 

3. Your relationship with God is entirely fictional.  It's completely and utterly inside your own head.  And if you don't think it's possible that you could be having a fictional relationship with a non-existent God, then look around the world at the multitudes of other people who have relationships with other gods that you do not believe in, and ask yourself whether or not its possible that all of them are deluded and you're not?  Yes, Sam.  You're all suffering from the same delusion.  I know it feels real, and I know you really want it to be there, but it's not.

4.  Science does not point to God at all.  In fact, a scientific understanding of the universe STARTS and FINISHES with the notion that at no point in time is there an overriding, willful force that can intercede at any moment and change things if it wants to.  It doesn't look at gravity and say, "If you drop that ball 1000 times, it will fall to the ground 1000 times, unless of course God steps in and throws it upward."  Science only works if you remove such foolishness and look at the world the way it really is.  Nature and life is anything BUT a perfect balance.  It's a daily struggle for power.  Life and death hanging by a thread.  The universe is constantly expanding faster and faster, and eventually our sun is going to burn up, thus ending life as we know it on this planet. 

None of that speaks of God UNLESS you first start with the belief that God is real, and plug everything I just said into it.  That is what you are forced to do.  You MUST make sense of it all in your brain, and your entire paragraph that I quoted above is nothing more than the way your mind squares your God belief with the world around you.  It would be the same thing if I believed in a different God than you.  I, too, would be forced to take the supposed characteristics of whatever god I believed in, and mash them together with the reality we see around us.  Don't believe me?  Alright, let's take an evil God for example. 

I am suddenly going to start worshiping Gorthron the evil ice god (just making him up).  Now, Gorthron is evil to the core.  Loves to see people suffer, but has to find a way to keep them alive long enough to do it.  I have this really old book that you say is full of contradictions, but I simply tell you that what you see as contradictions, are nothing more than Gorthron deceiving you.  You take things out of context and constantly misinterpret the book.  I also tell you that my prayers to Gorthron are always answered, as I constantly pray for the death and suffering of millions around the world (which, if you look at reality, all comes true).  But you might respond by saying look how great and wonderful things are, and how beautiful nature is, and I say to you that all of that is done on purpose to make you think things are great.  That way, when Gorthron tortures you, you are that much more of a victim. 

See?  This is the same thing you're doing with you're God.  You are taking theological positions, based on what you believe about God, and saying them as if they were true.  What you don't do, (and neither would a Gorthron worshiper), however, is START by asking yourself whether God or Gorthron exists, and letting the evidence lead you.  The evidence doesn't lead to Gorthron, no matter how much theological wrangling I want to do, any more than it leads to your version of God. 

Fiction, Sam.  All of your God belief is fiction.  All of it.

To add a little there I just want to say that in mind of all this balance, complexity, and marvelous intelligence we find in the universe, to say that all of it came from nothing and one day it will all be nothing again is a bigger leap of faith. If we are just going to poof out of existence forever When we die, I don't see why there is any reason for us to try and do good and why should we cherish things such as nature and love, because if all things in the cosmos will eventually be totally extinct, then there will be no drop of any memory of anything at all.(the laws of thermodynamics stating the eventual heat death of the cosmos)

There are so many problems with this paragraph.  Others have dealt with it, so I'm not going to touch on how bad it is.   

But it is through the Bibile, relationship with God, and his revealing of himself through his creation( which is stated throughout the entire Bible) proves to me without a doubt, that God does exist.

Here are some facts about the bible and Christianity that make that reasoning fall apart completely. 

1.  We have no idea who wrote the gospel stories.
2.  We have no copies of the original works.
3.  There is no contemporary historical record of Jesus and his life outside of the bible.
4.  There were more different sects of Christianity in the early years than there are even today. 
5.  There is not a single thing in the bible that indicates it was written by divine authority. 
6.  There is no evidence of a resurrection anywhere to be found.

That's just a starting point. 

In the bible it does say that God reveals himself through his creation.  That is nothing more than a fancy way of saying creation exists, therefore god did it.  There is no proof in that.  It's a statement that could be either true or not true, and without significant proof, it is simply more likely to be not true.  If I said Gorthron reveals himself through his creation, what would you think of me?  Would you think that was a good argument? 

Now of course I can't prove it for a fact to you all, but I would like to try and show you the rationality behind it but we will see how that goes I guess. But to conclude there, I don't hang my belief on any one thing listed, it is the coherent set of all of them.

And that is one of the reasons it is so difficult to pull you out of it.  Because when we dismantle one of your arguments, you move on to the next one.  And by the time we're done shredding that one, you've already forgotten about the other one we dismantled.  Plus, waiting at the bottom of all of it is your faith that it's all true no matter what anyone else says.  But you really, really could be wrong Sam.  And you really, really are. 

The reason I've said a lot of this is because many times in questioning it is portrayed like I'm hanging my faith on one thing, and that's just not it at all. It is going to take me a while to explain everything and maybe even a few different threads.

It doesn't matter how many reasons you have for your faith in God; if they are all bad reasons, or if there are other, more logical explanations than "God is responsible for this", then you should abandon your faith.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 28, 2012, 01:30:01 AM
To add a little there I just want to say that in mind of all this balance, complexity, and marvelous intelligence we find in the universe, to say that all of it came from nothing and one day it will all be nothing again is a bigger leap of faith.

Seriously, who are these atheists that claims the universe came from "nothing"?

What does "be nothing again" even mean?

Also, even if it is a "bigger leap of faith", why do you consider this a Bad Thing?  Religion is about having faith.  The more, the better.


Quote
If we are just going to poof out of existence forever When we die, I don't see why there is any reason for us to try and do good and why should we cherish things such as nature and love, because if all things in the cosmos will eventually be totally extinct, then there will be no drop of any memory of anything at all.(the laws of thermodynamics stating the eventual heat death of the cosmos)

Nature and love exists now.  That is the reason we cherish them.  We exists now.  We are not living 30 billions years from now (or however long the heat death of the universe is suppose to be).  Beside, does something have to last forever for you to value something?  A house will not last forever, so why bother buying a home?  Marriage will either end with death or divorce, so why bother getting married?  A pet will eventually die, so why bother getting a cat?  The simple answer to all of those is that the time now is what matters.  We have to make use of that time before it's gone.

Also, I doubt there are very many atheists that thinks "well, the universe will be gone someday, so why even bother?".  In fact, the only ones I see making argument are theists.

Ok so to your first statements, I'm not trying to be rude at all I'm really curious that's all, but if you don't believe that all this came from nothing what do you believe? Something like, science hasn't yet found out but it is possible it will find out?

Now your next claims, this is just false I'm sorry but it isn't the Christian belief that the more faith the better, it is the more trust in God. To show that is what we think of faith:

Literally the Greek of Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the reality of things being hoped for, the proof of things not being seen."

Ok I wasn't trying to use that as an argument, I was really curious how you all thought about that idea. But you say nature and love do exist, I agree whole heartily, but for me these are two things I'm greatly thankful for daily. One supports our very physical existence and nature also enriches my life with its beauty and marvel. And then love, which is basically what supports our emotions, thinking, and many different aspects of our lives.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 28, 2012, 01:34:46 AM
I really wasn't trying to argue that because of the eternal or finiteness of life that is why I think there is a God. That was purely out of curiosity. The quotes were not to defend what I'm saying and going to say, but simply hint at some things.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Dante on August 28, 2012, 02:02:02 AM
Sam, we don't yet know where it all came from, but we do know that, so far, everything we have been able to explain requires zero supernatural occurences. Not one. To posit that a god, your god, is responsible for the universe takes more than what you call faith. It takes an unwillingness to seek out the truth, the answers that lie hidden in the cosmos.

To believe your god created all this, created you, takes an arrogance. You think that you have the answer, when in fact your god has been shown to be irrelevant for the great many mysteries that science has already uncovered. We have no reason to believe your god will be the answer to any question asked of reality, solely because its never been required so far.

Your god is not required, my friend, because your god doesn't exist.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: none on August 28, 2012, 02:06:58 AM
Ok so to your first statements, I'm not trying to be rude at all I'm really curious that's all, but if you don't believe that all this came from nothing what do you believe? Something like, science hasn't yet found out but it is possible it will find out?
...
what part of all this needs explanation?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Graybeard on August 28, 2012, 03:09:34 AM
…To add a little there I just want to say that in mind of all this balance, complexity, and marvelous intelligence we find in the universe, to say that all of it came from nothing and one day it will all be nothing again is a bigger leap of faith. …
complexitydifficult, made up of many arguments or parts, hard to comprehend, Difficult for the mind to grasp.

This is religion speaking. “I don’t understand it, so it must be God.”

Religion is the worship of ignorance and lies. It is the denial of mankind’s ability to understand the real cause of events.

Back in the day, thunder, lightning, flood, disease, drought, etc. were not understood and so, in the Bible, all these things are credited to God. “God did it!”

We now know that all the above have a real cause that requires no intervention by God. The more we know, the less ignorant we become and the less need there is for any gods.

Quote
But it is through the Bible, relationship with God, and his revealing of himself through his creation( which is stated throughout the entire Bible) proves to me without a doubt, that God does exist. …
A picture is worth 1000 words – this is what you have just said:
(http://blogforthelordjesuscurrentevents.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/break-the-cycle.jpg)

Moving on to Darwin.

Let us not forget that is a half-truth:
Quote
This neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican parson
So we have a young Darwin who was brought up in a religious household and was to train as a vicar. But nevertheless, deconverted and became an agnostic.”

In court, you are required to tell “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” There is a reason for having to tell the whole truth, and this is it…
Quote
“[Reason tells me of the] extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capability of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity.  When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.”
–Charles Darwin, as quoted in his autobiography.
Yes, this is Ray Comfort who is “quote mining” and telling his followers half-truths and deceiving the gullible so that they believe a lie and you have believed him without looking any further. (Remember what the Bible says about false propets?)

Yes, Darwin did say those words, but he said more and the full quote is somewhat different:
Quote
Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason, and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist. This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the 'Origin of Species;' and it is since that time that it has very gradually, with many fluctuations, become weaker. But then arises the doubt;-- can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animals, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions? May not these be the result of the connection between cause and effect which strikes us as a necessary one, but probably depends merely on inherited experience? Nor must we overlook the probability of the constant inculcation in a belief in God on the minds of children producing so strong and perhaps an inherited effect on their brains not fully developed, that it would be as difficult for them to throw off their belief in God, as for the monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake.
I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.

(More at http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/philosophy/darwin_god_religion_religious_belief.html)

Quote
And

“You accept the historical Jesus?”

“Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”

–Albert Einstein, from an interview with the Saturday Evening Post
But Einstein’s argument is pretty subjective, isn’t it? It’s based on “feeling” rather than fact. Einstein did not “feel” that E=mc2, did he?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 28, 2012, 03:37:06 AM
.....I don't believe God to be hidden in any sense....

So....if I look for god today, I will find him today?  He will answer me directly and unambiguously?

Hallo Samuel - you appear to have missed this direct question from me. 

You said that you don't believe your god to be hidden "in any sense" - your words.  So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?

Once again, its a simple yes or no question Samuel. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on August 28, 2012, 07:24:06 AM
Now your next claims, this is just false I'm sorry but it isn't the Christian belief that the more faith the better, it is the more trust in God. To show that is what we think of faith:

Literally the Greek of Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the reality of things being hoped for, the proof of things not being seen."

Sam,

you seem to misunderstand faith and how it is defined.  This verse you quoted has nothing to do with trust in yhwh.  It has to do with wishful thinking and poetic language.  WTF is the "reality of things hoped for"?  What is the "proof of things unseen"?  What does that even mean?  I hope you can explain it to me, because neither phrase makes any sense to me at all.  If I had to take a stab at it, I would say it is describing blind faith, something xians vehemently deny.



The quotes were not to defend what I'm saying and going to say, but simply hint at some things.

Sam, let us not hint at things.  Let us be explicit and clear and not mince words.  Let us not be distracted by tangential points.  Let us stay focused. 

If the quotes were mainly irrelevant to any point you were making, you should not have posted them.  Because pretty much anything you post will be scrutinized, analyzed and rebutted as necessary.  It is a waste of our time and effort to do that for a throw away comment or quote.  Please do not apologize.  It is okay that you did it, but going forward, just please do not do it again.  Thanks.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 28, 2012, 05:13:15 PM
Ok so to your first statements, I'm not trying to be rude at all I'm really curious that's all, but if you don't believe that all this came from nothing what do you believe? Something like, science hasn't yet found out but it is possible it will find out?
For me, I simply do not know the answer.  I do not know if it is legitimate to ask 'why something rather than nothing' or the like.

As for what I believe?  I believe that making up answers to questions that I do not know the answers to is a poor way to find the real answer.

Which of these two will cherish their BDCB??
New.  Favorite.  Acronym.
I know that, from now on, I will order bacon double-cheese burgers as BDCBs.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 28, 2012, 07:56:12 PM
This has been touched on by others, but to spell it out a little more, excuse the format... its a bit of a combo between sentence fragments listing (ive spent all day grading papers and my brain is fried):

Meteorology- Rain, lightning, thunder, good weather, bad weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, too much rain, not enough rain, rainbows, snow, hail, crop failures....

Astronomy - Movement of the sun, movement of stars, movements of planets, comets, the only planet, one of 9 8, only sun, one of billions of stars, oops billions of galaxies. Tide goes in, tide goes out, ya cant explain that. The Universe is 6000 years old because the Bible tells me so.... Okay, maybe a weeeee bit older.

Biology/microbiology- human/animal reproduction, photosynthesis, "creating" flies from rotten meat, dinosaurs are planted by the devil/a test from God, oh wait they are real but used to exist with humans, locust swarms, simultaneous creation of all life that earth has ever had (over 99% now extinct) how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Medicine- all illnesses of all humans ever. Illness a sign of Gods disfavor/sinful nature, infant/mother death, death in general. Human racial characteristics. Human emotion (kinda) Germ theory, whats that?

Physics and Chemistry - pretty much everything about how everything actually works, not a fairy tale.

Physical/Earth Science and "other" - flood, volcanoes, earthquakes, war, famine, pestilence, ocean currents, sulfur pools, poisonous gas from underground (see oracle at Delphi) human language, fossils (like dinos above) are all sent here by the devil to fool us or by God to test us.


Have I made my point yet?  THIS IS ALL SHIT GOD HAS HISTORICALLY GOTTEN CREDIT/BLAME/PRAISE/WHATEVER FOR THROUGHOUT HUMAN HISTORY WHICH IS NOW ESSENTIALLY ALL EXPLAINED BY SCIENCE.  God is now basically pushed to.... "well, what caused the big bang?" and "what cause the first spark of life?"  Big questions to be certain, but it is pretty shortsighted to say given all the other advancements that humankind has made over the last 100,000 or so years that God is now reduced to.... well... not a hell of a lot.

Do I KNOW there is no such thing as God?  No.  But, again, if he exists he doesn't really do a hell of a lot around here.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 29, 2012, 10:28:40 PM
Sam, we don't yet know where it all came from, but we do know that, so far, everything we have been able to explain requires zero supernatural occurences. Not one. To posit that a god, your god, is responsible for the universe takes more than what you call faith. It takes an unwillingness to seek out the truth, the answers that lie hidden in the cosmos.

To believe your god created all this, created you, takes an arrogance. You think that you have the answer, when in fact your god has been shown to be irrelevant for the great many mysteries that science has already uncovered. We have no reason to believe your god will be the answer to any question asked of reality, solely because its never been required so far.

Your god is not required, my friend, because your god doesn't exist.

I would love to see some evidence for all these empty claims. Go right ahead and believe all that, that's perfectly fine. But untill you can provide me with the actual proof you speak of for God not existing I will remain with my belief. You or science has done nothing at all to show that this world doesn't need a supernatural, what science is doing is showing natures balance and complexity. Science shows us how only a system with such fine tuning and complexity can support life like ours, everything is interdependent and relys on other sources for energy(fort law of thermodynamics energy neither can be created or destroyed) just transferring of high and low quality energy. Basically I'm trying to show you how we agree science hasn't explained the origin of energy and so on, but what I'm trying to ask, how do you then deduce, that science explains some of nature and it's intelligibility and order, but no origin yet,  that therefore there can be no supernatural and the natural will explain its own origin?

Contrary to your claims I do not believe science has made god irrelavent, I think science has done many great things for man, but while it does explain many things very clearly it usually creates more questioning then answering.

Now I admit that can be a very good thing, but in many other senses it can be difficult, for example, certain things in life that we go through demand answers and decisions, which the results most often define our life and who we are. Our worldview, or just the foundations of our minds and thoughts, that work as the roots for all our decisions and choices, in thinking and acting. Personally it hasn't been too long I guess, for 8 years now I have daily struggled with what is true and what is not, but also what also what corresponds best to reality. Now we are really going to have to start a kinda, true or false bible contradictions thread real soon I'm eager to do so.

But please someone tell me if I am incorrect here, right now you all are most concerned with not so much the existence of, but more whether or not this God is even good at all? Let me know if that's wrong though.

One night this week, I will give in length my full answers on the above and whatever else you all add untill then. But one claim I've seen is that it's all just my interpretation of the text, but I would argue against that I think it most often is very obvious when it is speaking figuratively and when it's not. And just to add to that, is that when it does use figurative language to establish a literal truth.

I often talk about my experience with God, just to clarify for me my experience doesn't make God true to me, it's only confirms more to me what I believe to be true. This whole argument that me or any believer of Christ, that we only believe this because of our parents or upbringing. Certain things are true no matter what anyone believes obviously, fire will burn you and you can't defy gravity in the literal sense. We all obviously, as kids believed just about everything our parents said, but for the large majority there comes a time when you want to start establishing some truth on your own. I always will listen and take to heart what my parents say but we are different individuals we don't agree on everything.

Getting to the point sorry, there are many things parents can teach that will stick with you for life, many simple things like the stove can be hot don't touch it. So just because we agree on something with our parents doesn't mean it isn't true, the argument logically breaks down.

Sorry for my slow replying, I'm going to start working on my next reply now though.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: none on August 29, 2012, 10:43:03 PM
here is a proof... I guess...:
Omnipotent has to exist only in the imagination.
If Omnipotent cannot exist only in the imagination then the Omnipotent is not omnipotent.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Dante on August 29, 2012, 10:45:29 PM
No, we're not discussing the attributes of your god. We do not think your god is evil, nor good.

We think your god is imaginary.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 29, 2012, 11:43:16 PM
You or science has done nothing at all to show that this world doesn't need a supernatural, what science is doing is showing natures balance and complexity.
You know, I've always really hated the word supernatural.  These days I don't really process it very well; I can't conceptualize anything about what supernatural actually entails.  It feels kinda like an alternative meds joke:

What do you call alternative medicine that works?  Medicine.
What do you call supernatural phenomena that have any observable effect on reality?  Natural phenomena.

That may not be a fair comparison though.  Do you have a specific definition of supernatural?
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Now I admit that can be a very good thing, but in many other senses it can be difficult, for example, certain things in life that we go through demand answers and decisions, which the results most often define our life and who we are. Our worldview, or just the foundations of our minds and thoughts, that work as the roots for all our decisions and choices, in thinking and acting. Personally it hasn't been too long I guess, for 8 years now I have daily struggled with what is true and what is not, but also what also what corresponds best to reality.
You know, there's a lot of good stuff here, but I notice that in establishing the importance of answers, you neglect to give any thought on a method for obtaining those answers.  Just because the answer to the question:

'Why is a raven like a writing desk?'

is important doesn't mean that I have the answer.

Science seems to provide a pretty robust methodology for answering questions about our shared reality.  I'm certainly game for hearing of other methods though if you've got'em.
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But please someone tell me if I am incorrect here, right now you all are most concerned with not so much the existence of, but more whether or not this God is even good at all? Let me know if that's wrong though.
I'm concerned with the existence of god.  There are claims to this entity's infinite power, infinite wisdom, and infinite love.  The evidence in the world seems to indicate that an entity with those characteristics does not exist.
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Sorry for my slow replying, I'm going to start working on my next reply now though.
No worries - take your time.  Better slow and well-thought out than quick and unconsidered.


edit: more quoting fail from me - fixed
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 30, 2012, 03:37:22 AM
Sorry for my slow replying, I'm going to start working on my next reply now though.

Here's one that will take you all of two seconds to type.

.....I don't believe God to be hidden in any sense....
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?

Once again, its a simple yes or no question Samuel.

Two - or three - keystrokes, plus hitting the enter key.  Takes no time at all.




<<edit - fixed quotes>>
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on August 30, 2012, 06:00:33 AM
I would love to see some evidence for all these empty claims. Go right ahead and believe all that, that's perfectly fine. But untill you can provide me with the actual proof you speak of for God not existing I will remain with my belief.

Did you believe Santa Claus was real when you were a small child, Samuelke? If so, do you still believe Santa Claus is real? Why not? Was it because someone proved to you that Santa Claus is imaginary? Could you prove that Santa Claus is imaginary? Of course you can’t—no one can. So should all the children today who believe Santa Claus is real just continue to believe that into adulthood because no one can prove that Santa Claus is imaginary?

That’s what you are saying when you use this burden of proof fallacy. You are arguing that adults should continue to believe in Santa Claus because no one can prove that he doesn’t exist. Does that seem reasonable and logical to you? If it doesn’t then perhaps you can see why your statement above is equally unreasonable and illogical.

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You or science has done nothing at all to show that this world doesn't need a supernatural…

On the contrary, science is constantly showing that this world doesn’t need a supernatural. Human history is littered with examples of phenomena that were once imagined to have supernatural causes, but science has now shown the causes to be natural. People imagined gods caused thunder and lighting and demons caused diseases. Science has shown those phenomena and many more have natural causes.

Tell us, Samuelke, how many phenomena that were once considered to have natural causes have now been shown to have supernatural causes? Can you name one phenomenon that has been proven to have a supernatural cause? Again, of course you can’t because nothing has ever been proven to have a supernatural cause. All the discoveries have been one way. Science has constantly dispelled the myths and superstitions of the ignorant.

Assuming a supernatural cause is an admission of ignorance and defeat. It is admitting you have neither the intelligence nor the will to investigate any further.

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Contrary to your claims I do not believe science has made god irrelavent…

Please tell us where your God is relevant, Samuelke? Is it relevant in science? No. Mathematics? No. Economics? No. Just where has your God ever been proven to be the answer to anything at all?  As far as I can tell, belief in your God is only ever used to provide emotional comfort to the insecure or as an excuse for intolerance and violence.

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But please someone tell me if I am incorrect here, right now you all are most concerned with not so much the existence of, but more whether or not this God is even good at all? Let me know if that's wrong though.

You claim your God is real, Samuelke. The first task you need to accomplish is to establish the truth or validity of that claim. If you can’t prove your God is real then any discussion of its alleged qualities is no more than worthless speculation. It would be as pointless as discussing the colour of the quidditch shed at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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I often talk about my experience with God, just to clarify for me my experience doesn't make God true to me, it's only confirms more to me what I believe to be true.

This is called confirmation bias. It’s just one of the many ways religious believers deceive themselves into believing their God is real. You already believe your God is real and then you take trivial occurrences or coincidences as confirmation of that belief. For example, you see a meteor—a common natural event—and take that as a sign from your God directed specifically to you because you expressed minor doubts. You must feel so special to have the claimed creator of the entire universe altering the course of a celestial object just to quell your insecurity.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: naemhni on August 30, 2012, 07:47:36 AM
'Why is a raven like a writing desk?'

This was originally supposed to be the quintessential "riddle that has no answer".  Then some smart-ass went and created an answer anyway, which is:

Poe wrote on both.   ;D
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on August 30, 2012, 07:50:02 AM
'Why is a raven like a writing desk?'

This was originally supposed to be the quintessential "riddle that has no answer".  Then some smart-ass went and created an answer anyway, which is:

Poe wrote on both.   ;D

I thought it was "because they both have wings" - I have a writing desk with a door that opens down like a wing, that you then write on.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: naemhni on August 30, 2012, 07:57:14 AM
'Why is a raven like a writing desk?'

This was originally supposed to be the quintessential "riddle that has no answer".  Then some smart-ass went and created an answer anyway, which is:

Poe wrote on both.   ;D

I thought it was "because they both have wings" - I have a writing desk with a door that opens down like a wing, that you then write on.

Never heard that one, but I guess that works, too.

Anyway, where were we?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on August 30, 2012, 08:10:15 AM
Sam, we don't yet know where it all came from, but we do know that, so far, everything we have been able to explain requires zero supernatural occurences. Not one. To posit that a god, your god, is responsible for the universe takes more than what you call faith. It takes an unwillingness to seek out the truth, the answers that lie hidden in the cosmos.

I would love to see some evidence for all these empty claims.

Try looking one post up from this reply, post by Garja.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Graybeard on August 30, 2012, 11:31:10 AM
I would love to see some evidence for all these empty claims. Go right ahead and believe all that, that's perfectly fine. But untill you can provide me with the actual proof you speak of for God not existing I will remain with my belief.
Tell me, what would the proof be that would cause you to stop believing?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 30, 2012, 04:42:11 PM

I would love to see some evidence for all these empty claims. Go right ahead and believe all that, that's perfectly fine. But untill you can provide me with the actual proof you speak of for God not existing I will remain with my belief. You or science has done nothing at all to show that this world doesn't need a supernatural.


Reread my post #331 Could a being have designed the world to work the way it does?  Yes, that certainly is possible.  Is a being necessary for such a world? No.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: writerstephen on August 31, 2012, 02:19:01 PM
Sam, we don't yet know where it all came from, but we do know that, so far, everything we have been able to explain requires zero supernatural occurences. Not one. To posit that a god, your god, is responsible for the universe takes more than what you call faith. It takes an unwillingness to seek out the truth, the answers that lie hidden in the cosmos.

To believe your god created all this, created you, takes an arrogance. You think that you have the answer, when in fact your god has been shown to be irrelevant for the great many mysteries that science has already uncovered. We have no reason to believe your god will be the answer to any question asked of reality, solely because its never been required so far.

Your god is not required, my friend, because your god doesn't exist.

I would love to see some evidence for all these empty claims. Go right ahead and believe all that, that's perfectly fine. But untill you can provide me with the actual proof you speak of for God not existing I will remain with my belief.

I would love to see some evidence for all these empty claims. Go right ahead and believe all that, that's perfectly fine. But untill you can provide me with the actual proof you speak of for God not existing I will remain with my belief. You or science has done nothing at all to show that this world doesn't need a supernatural.


It's not the JOB of science to show that this world doesn't need "a supernatural." Science is not concerned with the supernatural at all. It is concerned with what is observable, testable, repeatable, falsifiable. If it should so happen that science shows, through overwhelming evidence, that "a supernatural" isn't responsible for natural phenomena, then you can choose to accept that or not. You can choose to ignore logic, evidence, and the conclusions they support as you see fit. However, don't presume to judge those who refuse to turn their back on good sense in the name of a god that offers NO evidence to back up his existence.

I find it interesting that you came to this board with your little, innocuous, broad question, and sort of backed your way in to hard core proselytizing. Why did you come to an atheist board anyway? Church project to try and convert a few infidels?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: writerstephen on August 31, 2012, 02:42:04 PM
Very sloppy quote job by me--sorry about that. I'll do better next time.

Meantime, here's what I wrote in response to SamuelK:

It's not the JOB of science to show that this world doesn't need "a supernatural." Science is not concerned with the supernatural at all. It is concerned with what is observable, testable, repeatable, falsifiable. If it should so happen that science shows, through overwhelming evidence, that "a supernatural" isn't responsible for natural phenomena, then you can choose to accept that or not. You can choose to ignore logic, evidence, and the conclusions they support as you see fit. However, don't presume to judge those who refuse to turn their back on good sense in the name of a god that offers NO evidence to back up his existence.

I find it interesting that you came to this board with your little, innocuous, broad question, and sort of backed your way in to hard core proselytizing. Why did you come to an atheist board anyway? Church project to try and convert a few infidels?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Emily on August 31, 2012, 03:21:17 PM
Welcome to the site, writerstephen.

Very sloppy quote job by me--sorry about that. I'll do better next time.

Yeah, that looks pretty bad, but it happens. Just an FYI for the future: posts can be edited for a few hours after the post was made. In the upper right hand corner of the post there's a modify button, if you ever want to edit a post. But as I said it'll only be there for a few hours.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: writerstephen on August 31, 2012, 04:28:37 PM

Yeah, that looks pretty bad, but it happens. Just an FYI for the future: posts can be edited for a few hours after the post was made. In the upper right hand corner of the post there's a modify button, if you ever want to edit a post. But as I said it'll only be there for a few hours.


Yeah, i missed the window on that one, but thanks for the tip  :)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 31, 2012, 09:59:56 PM
Sorry for my slow replying, I'm going to start working on my next reply now though.

Here's one that will take you all of two seconds to type.

.....I don't believe God to be hidden in any sense....
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?

Once again, its a simple yes or no question Samuel.

Two - or three - keystrokes, plus hitting the enter key.  Takes no time at all.




<<edit - fixed quotes>>

Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: none on August 31, 2012, 10:08:20 PM
Sorry for my slow replying, I'm going to start working on my next reply now though.

Here's one that will take you all of two seconds to type.

.....I don't believe God to be hidden in any sense....
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?

Once again, its a simple yes or no question Samuel.

Two - or three - keystrokes, plus hitting the enter key.  Takes no time at all.




<<edit - fixed quotes>>

Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.
so if I look for your god what will I find?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 31, 2012, 10:50:14 PM
I dont know Sam.  During my deconversion process I practically begged God to show himself to me in some kind of unambiguous way.... after a while I even specifically said, "okay, it doesn't have to be completely unambiguous", and I got NOTHING.  Ive prayed, tried to be "a good witness",I had lived the life of a good Christian man for 3 decades.  In a time when I started to really use my brain in place of my heart to look at the validity of God and pleaded with God for some kind of proof, the silence was deafening.

Sam, there is no God.  I'm sorry, there just isn't man.  There is no afterlife, you will not be able to see your grandparents again.  There is no deity looking out for you. You wont be able to hang out with Jesus after you die and ask all those questions you've wanted to ask.  Just live your life, abandon the delusion.  The world makes infinitely more sense once you understand that god is completely imaginary, a construct of pre-modern societies that needed a way to explain the world they saw around them.  "God" provided that explanation, but has done nothing else since.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Azdgari on August 31, 2012, 11:06:23 PM
I dont know Sam.  During my deconversion process I practically begged God to show himself to me in some kind of unambiguous way.... after a while I even specifically said, "okay, it doesn't have to be completely unambiguous", and I got NOTHING.  Ive prayed, tried to be "a good witness",I had lived the life of a good Christian man for 3 decades.  In a time when I started to really use my brain in place of my heart to look at the validity of God and pleaded with God for some kind of proof, the silence was deafening.

This is where Sam, should he choose to answer, claims to know your past thoughts and motivations better than you do.

After all, you really just wanted to deny God so that you could freely sin, right?  You didn't really want to look for a sign, did you?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on August 31, 2012, 11:09:17 PM
I would love to see some evidence for all these empty claims. Go right ahead and believe all that, that's perfectly fine. But untill you can provide me with the actual proof you speak of for God not existing I will remain with my belief.
Tell me, what would the proof be that would cause you to stop believing?

Well honestly, my relationship with God and my relationship with him through jesus and the Bible confirms my belief in him more then anything. I mean I suppose only if someone can prove that I'm completely insane and or psychotic one day, that's the only way I can think of at the moment for that.

Ok so obviously you all know the main arguments the apologist have formed over the years, for me, the strongest ones are the moral argument and the historical evidence for Jesus. Now I'm not saying I don't agree with the others like the cosmological and teleological, over the past few months I've been listening to debate after debate between some of the most intelligent believers and non-believers. Most on all the apologetic arguments, now I've heard many great attempts to disprove, but nothing ever actually disproving.

But I just understand how the others may not be as convincing to some people, however I think the moral and the historical evidence for Jesus stand very strong and I am more then willing to interact on those if you all would like. But to further answer the question these two arguments I have just named, if those were logically, truthfully, and coherently disproved I would have a lot to rethink.

I think that doubts can be a good thing sometimes, whatever your belief may be, I still have moments of doubt, but they can lead us to more understanding. I guess the main thing that would prove to me it wasn't the truth, is if he abondoned me all the sudden in our relationship and he ceased working in my life.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on August 31, 2012, 11:21:23 PM

But I just understand how the others may not be as convincing to some people, however I think the moral and the historical evidence for Jesus stand very strong and I am more then willing to interact on those if you all would like. But to further answer the question these two arguments I have just named, if those were logically, truthfully, and coherently disproved I would have a lot to rethink.


Lets assume for a moment that Jesus did exist, that physically there was a man in that region at that time.  The historical evidence for even that is sketchy, but I will give you that.  I will also give you that if he did exist, his teachings were generally moral.  There are exceptions to that, but largely I would consider the tradition of Jesus to be "moral".

The thing is... at what point does that prove the existence of God?  I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that a man who occasionally goes by the name of Garja online, currently lives in South-Central Ohio, behaves morally, loves his family, teaches children and wants the best for society.  Garja stands in front of a rapt audience 180 days a year for 45 minute sermons 6 times a day.  His teachings are moral, they talk frequently about the sins of those in the past and how men and women can move beyond that while recognizing how those past decisions effect us today.  Garja has spoken with thieves, drug dealers, gang members,rapists and drug dealers and approached them as equals, but equals who lacked the ability to lead moral lives. 

At what point does being moral equate divinity?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on August 31, 2012, 11:42:32 PM
Well honestly, my relationship with God and my relationship with him through jesus and the Bible confirms my belief in him more then anything. I mean I suppose only if someone can prove that I'm completely insane and or psychotic one day, that's the only way I can think of at the moment for that.
Can you explain the nature of this relationship of yours?  And what does 'through jesus' mean?  Do you mean that this 'relationship' exists by proxy through Jesus...Jesus, being the son of god, and also god, so the proxy is with...um...

Yeah I can't pretend to speculate.  If you can clarify how your relationship with god differs from not having a relationship with god I'd be much obliged.
Quote
Ok so obviously you all know the main arguments the apologist have formed over the years, for me, the strongest ones are the moral argument and the historical evidence for Jesus. Now I'm not saying I don't agree with the others like the cosmological and teleological, over the past few months I've been listening to debate after debate between some of the most intelligent believers and non-believers. Most on all the apologetic arguments, now I've heard many great attempts to disprove, but nothing ever actually disproving.
Haven't we been through this 'proving a negative'/'burden of proof'/'invisible dragons' thing already?
Quote
I think that doubts can be a good thing sometimes, whatever your belief may be, I still have moments of doubt, but they can lead us to more understanding.
Sometimes?  When is it bad to doubt that you know something for certain?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: ParkingPlaces on August 31, 2012, 11:55:23 PM
All I can say is that I have been an atheist for half a century and my life is pleasant. I am healthy, I have many friends and family members that I love and that love me. I am a kind, caring individual who is responsible, honest and trustworthy. Many can and do depend on me because I am a decent human being. Without a god. Like Garja, I am pretty darned moral.

I'm nice like a religious person thinks they should be, but without the guilt. It is so much easier this way.

Religion has nothing to add to what I already have. I am very happy that I do not have your POV, samuelke. It would only detract from my life.

(If you think that the afterlife thing would make things better, you're wrong. I am much healthier, mentally, because I don't have a fantasy future to fall back on. This is it folks. And that is a good thing.)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on September 01, 2012, 02:01:20 AM
I dont know Sam.  During my deconversion process I practically begged God to show himself to me in some kind of unambiguous way.... after a while I even specifically said, "okay, it doesn't have to be completely unambiguous", and I got NOTHING.  Ive prayed, tried to be "a good witness",I had lived the life of a good Christian man for 3 decades.  In a time when I started to really use my brain in place of my heart to look at the validity of God and pleaded with God for some kind of proof, the silence was deafening.

This is where Sam, should he choose to answer, claims to know your past thoughts and motivations better than you do.

After all, you really just wanted to deny God so that you could freely sin, right?  You didn't really want to look for a sign, did you?

Well I concede this is a tough one for sure, I'm not going to act like I know him better then he does at all, because I don't that is impossible. Actually it seems you claim to know what I'm going to say before I say it no?

I know how difficult this is and there are many days I struggle with it too. I think the toughest question any Christian or person with belief in God, has to answer is that of evil and suffering. While I do think there are good answers and well thought out and rational ones, but when the suffering is personal the best answers can become obsolete. One idea I will mention here is that whenever this question of suffering is raised, it is being raised by a person, and/or about a person. Now for this to logically make sense to me, every person must have intrinsic value and worth, and in a naturalistic framework this is not possible, sure some naturalist may believe that but those ideas are just relative to them.

Ok I have a question for you all, well for me a transcending mind and intelligence makes complete sense in a universe that makes possible, and let's such a complex and coherent mathematical, and logical consistency work in nature, and it just so happens that us humans can understand that math and logic.  And last there that humans, above all creatures and evm the universe itself, in this sense that we can ask this question, why, why is this all here and why does math and logic work and make total sense, so I'm wondering how you all feel about this?

Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.

To wrap up, I really feel for your situation and I understand to an extent, but I can't fully know your struggle. Now I would like to ask you just a couple of questions about so maybe I can better understand, but this isn't at all me trying to tell you what you did or didn't do or whatever, what you or anyone on here believes or comes to believe is you alls choice, just trying to understand more not force my beliefs onto you. But how much would you say you normally read the bible then? And then how did you come to be a Christian to begin with, was it family or a friend or what that lead you to believe to begin with? And finally did you always, from the beginning and throughout have that sense that God just wasn't making himself known enough to ?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 01, 2012, 04:37:39 AM
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

Wonderful.  Well, I'm looking.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on September 01, 2012, 05:57:58 AM
Well honestly, my relationship with God and my relationship with him through jesus and the Bible confirms my belief in him more then anything. I mean I suppose only if someone can prove that I'm completely insane and or psychotic one day, that's the only way I can think of at the moment for that.

You don’t have to be insane or psychotic for your relationship with your God to be imaginary. Insecurity and gullibility are all you need to account for it. There is nothing to distinguish your so-called relationship from pure imagination, Samuelke—absolutely nothing. There isn’t a single thing in your “relationship” you can point to and say, “I couldn’t have merely imagined God as the cause.”

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Ok so obviously you all know the main arguments the apologist have formed over the years…

Not one apologetics argument has ever proven to be true despite millennia of religious believers searching for one. They are all based on misapprehensions, fallacies or misrepresentations. The only people who are swayed by apologetics arguments are those who are gullible or those who allow their desire for emotional comfort to override their reason.

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I guess the main thing that would prove to me it wasn't the truth, is if he abondoned me all the sudden in our relationship and he ceased working in my life.

Your God has never been with you, Samuelke—other than in your imagination. You are allowing yourself to believe that an unvalidated feeling is true. This relationship you believe you have is just the result of self-deception. If you think your belief is validated then please go to this thread (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23483.msg525000.html#msg525000) and show us. Give us a factual description of your God, provide enough sound evidence and sound arguments to prove beyond reasonable doubt that your God is real or explain cogently what distinguishes your belief and your relationship from imagination.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: naemhni on September 01, 2012, 06:37:46 AM
Well honestly, my relationship with God and my relationship with him through jesus and the Bible confirms my belief in him more then anything.

What this means is that your belief in god confirms your belief in god.  Circular reasoning.

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Ok so obviously you all know the main arguments the apologist have formed over the years

Millennia.   ;)

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for me, the strongest ones are the moral argument

It's very odd, you know... I'm something of an anomaly in the atheist community in that I reject moral relativism, but even so, I regard the moral argument for god as one of the weakest there is.  The moral argument is predicated on the assumption that not only is there a universal moral standard, but all human beings everywhere throughout all of history have instinctively known what it is.  Anyone with even the most casual passing familiarity with history knows that that's breathtakingly wrong.  For that matter, even the bible itself doesn't display a consistent moral standard.  Christians themselves are constantly going on and on and on about how the rules and laws laid out in the old testament don't apply anymore, which could not be the case with an objective moral standard.

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and the historical evidence for Jesus.

Just about the only thing that historians are agreed on is that there was a preacher named Jesus who lived around the time that Christians believe he did, and that he was crucified by the Romans.  Everything else is hotly debated, to put it mildly.

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Now I'm not saying I don't agree with the others like the cosmological and teleological, over the past few months I've been listening to debate after debate between some of the most intelligent believers and non-believers. Most on all the apologetic arguments, now I've heard many great attempts to disprove, but nothing ever actually disproving.

The nonbeliever bears no burden of proof because he is making no claim to prove.  He is merely defaulting to the null hypothesis.

Quote
I guess the main thing that would prove to me it wasn't the truth, is if he abondoned me all the sudden in our relationship and he ceased working in my life.

You probably don't really know that he is working in your life.  More likely, what you're seeing is your own confirmation bias.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on September 01, 2012, 07:23:24 AM
Ok I have a question for you all, well for me a transcending mind and intelligence makes complete sense in a universe that makes possible, and let's such a complex and coherent mathematical, and logical consistency work in nature, and it just so happens that us humans can understand that math and logic.  And last there that humans, above all creatures and evm the universe itself, in this sense that we can ask this question, why, why is this all here and why does math and logic work and make total sense, so I'm wondering how you all feel about this?

So, because we can ask the question?  that's convincing to you?  OK then--what color is Beethoven's 9th Symphony?  What does the Sistine Chapel sound like?  How many gloobs are there in a belblop?

just because a question can be formulated doesn't mean there's an answer to it.  There are very, VERY few things that differnetiate humans from "lower animals:" opposable thumbs, walking upright, and speech are juuuuuust about it.  Once you get speech, you get abstract thought.  Once you get abstract thought, you can start asking all kinds of questions.

we can ask this question because we've evovled to be able to ask the question.

Quote
Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.

You ever see the mating dances of the Birds of Paradise?  Can you tell me that these unintelligent female birds are not making a distinction--probably an aesthetic distinction--between the males that are doing their hugely ostentatious displays?  What purpose do these mating displays serve?  To get the female's attention.  They're a waste of energy, and put the male in danger of predators, so they can look purdy.

Beauty, for beauty's sake, apparently *does* exist in nature.  :-)  Check out the dancing queen!! (it's a male, though, I'm pretty sure the females don't dance)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoXamnNXjDg&feature=fvwrel
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Ambassador Pony on September 01, 2012, 07:44:17 AM
Quote
Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.


I have to ask, do you think that biological evolution is not how the species of the planet came to be?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: The Wannabe on September 01, 2012, 08:35:02 AM
Well I concede this is a tough one for sure, I'm not going to act like I know him better then he does at all, because I don't that is impossible. Actually it seems you claim to know what I'm going to say before I say it no?

While i'm no Garja, i'm gonna respond to your post here because i'm an insomniac and the act of writing this will hopefully tire me out enough mentally so i can get some damn sleep!  ;D

 
Ok I have a question for you all, well for me a transcending mind and intelligence makes complete sense in a universe that makes possible, and let's such a complex and coherent mathematical, and logical consistency work in nature, and it just so happens that us humans can understand that math and logic.  And last there that humans, above all creatures and evm the universe itself, in this sense that we can ask this question, why, why is this all here and why does math and logic work and make total sense, so I'm wondering how you all feel about this?

You've asked some very probing and provocative questions here.  The short answer is, math and logic are cognitive tools that man has evolved in order to interpret reality.  You see, the human abstractions of mathematics, language, and logic are not an intrinsic part of reality; in fact outside of us they don't even exist.  It might be hard for you to contemplate an understanding of the universe outside human experience, but believe me when i say that the reality we filter through our sensory organs and objective reality, while overlapping, are not the same.  There is no god who made some divine dictation that "math and logic work", math and logic were merely the means with which we interpreted (ie. made "sense" of) the fantastic, yet constant behavior of matter and energy. 

Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.

Beauty and art are another example of humanity interpreting reality in a way that would only make sense to, well, a human.  They are cognitive abstractions that hold no meaning or purpose outside our whimsically insignificant primate experience.   You think a dog has any appreciation for Picasso, or Marilyn Manson for that matter?  Of course not!  Your average golden retriever would find a squirrel much more aesthetically pleasing.

From an evolutionary standpoint, beauty and art can be thought of as byproducts of a brain that was designed to aid in the survival of our egocentric genes.  Thanks to some godless miracle, mutations that favored abstraction and inquisitiveness were favored in our species by natural selection.  These traits are what allow us to take artistic pleasure in symmetry and form.  If somehow the history of evolution on this planet was altered so that homo sapiens never came into existence, these abstractions would not exist.  Artistry and beauty are contingent upon human experience, they are not objective realities that exist outside of us.

But how much would you say you normally read the bible then?

At around the age of twelve, I was once in this Christian indoctrination club for youts called Awanas.  I was coerced by flashy badges and sugar to memorize a shitload of scripture.  It was all gibberish to me back then, but i literally read my b-i-b-l-e every day. 

I only really started to read the bible in my later teens.  That's when i began to notice moral and logical discrepancies every which way i turned those gold-guilded pages.

And then how did you come to be a Christian to begin with, was it family or a friend or what that lead you to believe to begin with?  And finally did you always, from the beginning and throughout have that sense that God just wasn't making himself known enough to ?

I was raised in a devoutly religious home.  Both parents were sincere and practicing Christians.  All throughout childhood i was dragged to Sunday school, and was part of the church choir[1].  I was inundated with Christian culture, and i believed with a fervor that only a child can muster. 

The years went by, and i continued to go to church.  I continued to be taught that the earth was only six thousand years old.  I continued to memorize bible versus.  I continued to pray.  I continued to believe. 

When i turned seventeen or so, something which proved to be fatal to this idyllic, childlike faith of mine began take root inside of me.  Curiosity.

I began to question things.  I wanted to know how the world worked.  I began to absorb culture and media outside my little Christian bubble.  I read provocative and dangerous books.  I watched provocative and dangerous films.  I googled stuff.  I started to become aware of the immense suffering and confusion around me. Questions like "If there is a god, why is there evil?" and "Why doesn't he answer my prayers, or anyone else's for that matter?" reared their ugly heads.  My faith started to make less and less sense when juxtaposed onto reality.  The basic tenants of my religion began to ring hollow. 

At eighteen i read the God Delusion, it had a profound effect upon me and my faith never fully recovered.  One year later this forum hammered the final nail in the coffin of my religious beliefs.  In the end, it was curiosity that killed the Christian dogma. 

Why are you here, Samuelke?  Are you curious too?

 1.  I'm still in possession of my family jewels, thank you very much!  ;)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on September 01, 2012, 10:37:06 AM
The bird of paradise example for me is perfectly eloquent enough of a way to explain the situation of beauty in the world, so I wont go into that more.

To touch on the problem of evil that you brought up in your last post.  Pretend for just one moment that you do not think that there is a God.  Now think about the evil and suffering that we see every day.  Does that human condition not make a whole hell of a lot more sense in a world without a benevolent benefactor orchestrating its every move?  You no longer have to make excuses for why suffering exits, you no longer have to think about the "christian struggle" that one has to constantly do battle with in order to willfully delude yourself into believing something that stands in stark contrast to the world around you.  Drop the illusion, and the problem disappears.  Sam, are you familiar with Occam's razor?

Ok I have a question for you all, well for me a transcending mind and intelligence makes complete sense in a universe that makes possible, and let's such a complex and coherent mathematical, and logical consistency work in nature, and it just so happens that us humans can understand that math and logic.  And last there that humans, above all creatures and evm the universe itself, in this sense that we can ask this question, why, why is this all here and why does math and logic work and make total sense, so I'm wondering how you all feel about this?

This is something that I try to work on with a friend of mine who kinda walks the line between deist and atheist.  For some reason he sees all this mystery in how the universe works, but I just see how things have to be.  For example, he talks about how the Earth exists in "the Goldilocks zone", where we are the right distance from the earth for life to have a chance to evolve.  This is quite remarkable until you use your brain to think about it.  If life evolved on Mars for example, that life would have been pissed to find out that its time in the zone was short!  Conversely if life has evolved to human-like forms on a planet around Ceti-Alpha-5 or some such shit do they also think THEY are blessed by God to have been created juuuust the right distance from their sun?  There are billions of stars in our galaxy alone... one could probably assume then that at least a handful of planets would form in this so called "Goldilocks" zone where life has a chance to evolve.

If the universe did not come to exist in the way that we see now there would not have ever been humans present to ask questions like this.  Or if the laws of physics had come into existence in a different way the universe may have caused our evolution in such a way that life would exist, but it would be in a form that none here would recognize.  I dont know, but saying "god did it" is just lazy.

I want you not to think about how the human brain has a tendency to see patterns that aren't there.  The Man on the Moon is the best example, occasionally I think I hear music but in truth it is just an oscillating fan.  My wife commonly reports finding a new shape in our faux marble shower wall, an alien-head one day, a wildebeest the next.  HUMAN BRAINS ARE WIRED TO FIND PATTERNS.  There is an evolutionary advantage to being able to pick out the shape of an animal in a field of grass.  The right animal provides food, the wrong one makes food from you.  When I was in jr. high camping with some friends, we slowly stalked a coyote we saw covered by tall grass in a field.  We took an hour slowly moving around to surround the animal and began to close in... to a fucking bush.  We see patterns that aren't there ALL THE TIME.
 

To wrap up, I really feel for your situation and I understand to an extent, but I can't fully know your struggle. Now I would like to ask you just a couple of questions about so maybe I can better understand, but this isn't at all me trying to tell you what you did or didn't do or whatever, what you or anyone on here believes or comes to believe is you alls choice, just trying to understand more not force my beliefs onto you. But how much would you say you normally read the bible then? And then how did you come to be a Christian to begin with, was it family or a friend or what that lead you to believe to begin with? And finally did you always, from the beginning and throughout have that sense that God just wasn't making himself known enough to ?

I read the Bible periodically throughout my time as a Christian.  Went to a really rather advanced Bible study every week for 3 years in college and helped to lead a more entry level one for Christians.  One member of the study I co-lead is now in the missionary field.  Removing my financial support for his activities was one of the harder decisions in my deconversion.  I like the guy, but no longer feel his work has a net-positive effect on the world.

I formally became a Christian (was baptized) at around age 6 (1986), grew up in a church and felt that I believed in and loved God so made the next step.  I remained tied to those ideas from c1986-2011.  And no, not really. I CANNOT RECALL A SINGLE TIME WHEN I FELT GOD WAS COMMUNICATING WITH ME AND NO ONE ELSE.  If dealing with difficult times personally I would pray and try to randomly flip through the Bible trying to find comfort, trying to get God to lead my hand to SOMETHING that would ease whatever I was going though at the time. NOT. ONE. TIME. Did god ever respond, nor did I ever feel lead to a particular passage in the Bible.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on September 01, 2012, 01:48:47 PM
Quote
How many gloobs are there in a belblop?

just because a question can be formulated doesn't mean there's an answer to it

 :angel:
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: wright on September 01, 2012, 02:02:44 PM
I know how difficult this is and there are many days I struggle with it too. I think the toughest question any Christian or person with belief in God, has to answer is that of evil and suffering. While I do think there are good answers and well thought out and rational ones, but when the suffering is personal the best answers can become obsolete. One idea I will mention here is that whenever this question of suffering is raised, it is being raised by a person, and/or about a person. Now for this to logically make sense to me, every person must have intrinsic value and worth, and in a naturalistic framework this is not possible, sure some naturalist may believe that but those ideas are just relative to them.

It baffles me when Christians claim the bolded section. Do you really think the Golden Rule is somehow stricken from nonbelievers' minds? That we instantly lose the capacity for empathy that allows normal human interactions to take place? The benefits of reciprocal altruism are so enormous that virtually every social species practices it, at times even extending it to species other than their own kind.

With that kind of incentive clear in not only human society but with even a superficial observation of animal behavior, only the most deranged fail to at least pretend to value and respect others. Even those whose brains are damaged to the point where they can't feel empathy can  learn to mimic it; if they don't, they usually end up institutionalized.

So no, Sam. Recognizing the worth of others is not at all a problem with a naturalistic worldview.

But how much would you say you normally read the bible then? And then how did you come to be a Christian to begin with, was it family or a friend or what that lead you to believe to begin with? And finally did you always, from the beginning and throughout have that sense that God just wasn't making himself known enough to ?

I was a Christian from early 1991 to about mid-2006. During that time I read the Bible virtually every day. I deliberately read it all the way through twice; I have seven journals mostly filled with copied scripture. While I'm no scholar, I do have a layman's familiarity with the KJV Bible.

I became a Christian because I was lonely and depressed, and the worship service was contemporary and upbeat. For nearly thirteen years, that was enough to compensate for my church being appallingly fundamentalist.

My SPAG was labeling the rush I got from worshipping as "God", as well as the nudging of my own conscience. That intensely personal feeling (which is what I suspect most Christians call their "relationship" with God) eventually faded, and my conscience made me reject the anti-humanist doctrine of my church. My deconversion was a very gradual process; I don't remember any real "crisis" of faith. Just a final realization that it had always been me, not any god, telling me what I wanted to hear.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: nogodsforme on September 01, 2012, 03:18:54 PM
Samuelke, we human beings are never even aware of most of what you call "nature",  its beauty and so forth. A lot of nature is not detectable to us at all with our senses ie without microscopes, telescopes, infrared, satellites and so forth.

But you maintain that god created nature for human beings to enjoy?[1] Even the parts that have nothing to do with us, like the birds dancing for each other?

Most of the living things on this planet exist for a brief moment, reproduce if lucky, and then die. Are human beings the only exception, the only creature with another life after this one? Isn't that a waste? Why all these other plants, animals, and microbes, most of which have nothing whatsoever to do with human beings? Evolution explains all that--enviromental niches are filled. "God made it all" just leads to more questions. Like "why"?
 1. We don't even need to get into why god created all the parts of nature that are determined to destroy us.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on September 02, 2012, 12:25:50 AM
Ok I have a question for you all, well for me a transcending mind and intelligence makes complete sense in a universe that makes possible, and let's such a complex and coherent mathematical, and logical consistency work in nature, and it just so happens that us humans can understand that math and logic.  And last there that humans, above all creatures and evm the universe itself, in this sense that we can ask this question, why, why is this all here and why does math and logic work and make total sense, so I'm wondering how you all feel about this?

So, because we can ask the question?  that's convincing to you?  OK then--what color is Beethoven's 9th Symphony?  What does the Sistine Chapel sound like?  How many gloobs are there in a belblop?

just because a question can be formulated doesn't mean there's an answer to it.  There are very, VERY few things that differnetiate humans from "lower animals:" opposable thumbs, walking upright, and speech are juuuuuust about it.  Once you get speech, you get abstract thought.  Once you get abstract thought, you can start asking all kinds of questions.

we can ask this question because we've evovled to be able to ask the question.

Quote
Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.

You ever see the mating dances of the Birds of Paradise?  Can you tell me that these unintelligent female birds are not making a distinction--probably an aesthetic distinction--between the males that are doing their hugely ostentatious displays?  What purpose do these mating displays serve?  To get the female's attention.  They're a waste of energy, and put the male in danger of predators, so they can look purdy.

Beauty, for beauty's sake, apparently *does* exist in nature.  :-)  Check out the dancing queen!! (it's a male, though, I'm pretty sure the females don't dance)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoXamnNXjDg&feature=fvwrel

Sorry I wasn't clear enough in what I said, I wasn't saying because we can ask any question, it's because we can ask the hard questions, mainly how and why the universe came to be and what we ought to and ought not to do, things like this is what I meant, the universe or other animals can't do it.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: none on September 02, 2012, 01:00:41 AM
Sorry I wasn't clear enough in what I said, I wasn't saying because we can ask any question, it's because we can ask the hard questions, mainly how and why the universe came to be and what we ought to and ought not to do, things like this is what I meant, the universe or other animals can't do it.
can you put a coherent idea in a sentence?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 02, 2012, 05:10:52 AM
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

Wonderful.  Well, I'm looking.

24 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 02, 2012, 05:19:52 AM
Why also do we have this desire or sense for beauty and art, I don't see how such things are accounted for in a naturalistic framework? Especially if you are putting evolution at much of your foundation, beauty and art seem to have no place in survival.

I think this just shows how little understanding you have of evolutionary theory.

What you appear to be saying is that particular traits or senses can ONLY develop when there is an immediate evolutionary survival need for them.  But this is not the case.  Many traits occur as byproducts of the evolutionary mechanism.  For example: our hands developed allowing us to wield tools such as spears and axes, which gave us an evolutionary advantage.  But at the same time, those evolved hands became able to hold a flute, or wield a paintbrush.  Byproducts, not the necessary end.

Similarly, beauty.....physical beauty is a byproduct of the survival mechanism.  A "perfect" physical form is (generally) more likely to be fertile - so people choosing perfect specimens as procreation partners were more likely to spread their genes.  A simplification sure, but the main point is that perceptions of beauty are, again, a byproduct of the evolutionary process.  Beauty in nature?  A quiet, serene landscape - what we would call a beautiful thing - is more likely one with no predators.  Those "attracted" to serene landscapes lived longer, meaning their descendants would be more likely to be attracted to those serene landscapes.

Byproducts.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on September 02, 2012, 06:43:16 AM
Sorry I wasn't clear enough in what I said, I wasn't saying because we can ask any question, it's because we can ask the hard questions, mainly how and why the universe came to be and what we ought to and ought not to do, things like this is what I meant, the universe or other animals can't do it.

Your clarification does not invalidate my point.  Just because a question can be asked in no way implies that it can be answered!  We may never know why the universe came to be--or we may discover there is no "why."  Defaulting to "goddidit" is, IMHO, arrogant and even cowardly.

And structuring abstract questions is a part of our evolved brain--we can label things, including abstract concepts.  That's really the only reason we can ask questions such as you suggest.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on September 03, 2012, 12:46:02 AM
I know how difficult this is and there are many days I struggle with it too. I think the toughest question any Christian or person with belief in God, has to answer is that of evil and suffering. While I do think there are good answers and well thought out and rational ones, but when the suffering is personal the best answers can become obsolete. One idea I will mention here is that whenever this question of suffering is raised, it is being raised by a person, and/or about a person. Now for this to logically make sense to me, every person must have intrinsic value and worth, and in a naturalistic framework this is not possible, sure some naturalist may believe that but those ideas are just relative to them.

It baffles me when Christians claim the bolded section. Do you really think the Golden Rule is somehow stricken from nonbelievers' minds? That we instantly lose the capacity for empathy that allows normal human interactions to take place? The benefits of reciprocal altruism are so enormous that virtually every social species practices it, at times even extending it to species other than their own kind.

With that kind of incentive clear in not only human society but with even a superficial observation of animal behavior, only the most deranged fail to at least pretend to value and respect others. Even those whose brains are damaged to the point where they can't feel empathy can  learn to mimic it; if they don't, they usually end up institutionalized.

So no, Sam. Recognizing the worth of others is not at all a problem with a naturalistic worldview.

But how much would you say you normally read the bible then? And then how did you come to be a Christian to begin with, was it family or a friend or what that lead you to believe to begin with? And finally did you always, from the beginning and throughout have that sense that God just wasn't making himself known enough to ?

I was a Christian from early 1991 to about mid-2006. During that time I read the Bible virtually every day. I deliberately read it all the way through twice; I have seven journals mostly filled with copied scripture. While I'm no scholar, I do have a layman's familiarity with the KJV Bible.

I became a Christian because I was lonely and depressed, and the worship service was contemporary and upbeat. For nearly thirteen years, that was enough to compensate for my church being appallingly fundamentalist.

My SPAG was labeling the rush I got from worshipping as "God", as well as the nudging of my own conscience. That intensely personal feeling (which is what I suspect most Christians call their "relationship" with God) eventually faded, and my conscience made me reject the anti-humanist doctrine of my church. My deconversion was a very gradual process; I don't remember any real "crisis" of faith. Just a final realization that it had always been me, not any god, telling me what I wanted to hear.

Well I probably wasn't clear enough on what you said first here but I'm not saying that people can't be moral without God, I think that is entirely possible. But that leads to my point, how do you explain where these morals come from, why do we have such value for one another? And I don't understand how you compare human morals to animals morals, yes animals have their own morals but ours are far beyond theirs. Certain animals are more moral in certain ways but humans have the full set of morals unlike any animal. Animals don't go out of their way to help anyone outside their family or social circle I guess for primates, but humans can create things like animals rights groups, the peace corp, soup kitchens, and people travel around the world to help others they don't even know. And then all the jobs that help people doctors and nurses, emt, and firefighters to name only a few. So while some animals are more moral then others none of their morals go anywhere near as far as ours go. One more example of this, I heard this story some may have heard it I know some of it was in the news, but it was about this train wrecking into water, on board there was this couple and their child had cerebral palsy and was in a wheel chair. They immediately picked her wheel chair up over their heads, and when rescuers came they were able to save the child barely because of the parents, but the parents didn't make it.

My point is and sorry for the length, how does a love like that come about by accident, or however you want to put that? I don't understand how evolution can explain that, it goes against all of evolution, because of such deep love. I believe that it because of the fact that you don't have to believe in God to have morals and know every life is worthy of value, that shows there has to be some transcending absolute that has instilled it within all of us. So I ask if you can really give me a rational explanation of where these came from, how there truly are things that are absolutely wrong whether or not someone agrees with it like murder, rape, and things of that nature.

Of course I can't fully understand what you went through, but I know I went through about 5 or 6 years Of time in a simialar way, just asking God the same things you said. And I also had no results, but I came to a point after researching and reading(different religious sources not just Christian and non-religious sources) that truly rationally and logically nothing fit with reality as well as Christianity, mainly the bible not the religion, and more so Jesus the heart of the biblical teaching. Now I'm fully ready to start a thread on all the reasons I believe the Bible is God breathed or Divinely inspired.

For me, and I've heard many others says this, it wasn't untill this kind of two step process of turning to God, and then trusting him, Jesus, and Jesus's mesage. Now that trust was minute compared to mine now in God, But that Bible talks about this, it says that is ok, and it does talk about doubt and how it is normal. It truly was after that though and still to this day, God does prove himself to me. Now I was raised southern baptist, and when I was very young I saw so many hypocrites in the church constantly contradicting themselves. Things like that lead me away from Christianity to explore and research everything. So I promise you all I haven't settled on this or believe it cause it make me feel good or anything like that, I'm very sure in my beliefs but that doesn't mean I have stopped searching and questioning for truth, I will always stay open to ideas.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 03, 2012, 05:49:42 AM
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

Wonderful.  Well, I'm looking.

24 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?

48 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on September 03, 2012, 07:30:49 AM
My point is and sorry for the length, how does a love like that come about by accident, or however you want to put that? I don't understand how evolution can explain that, it goes against all of evolution, because of such deep love. I believe that it because of the fact that you don't have to believe in God to have morals and know every life is worthy of value, that shows there has to be some transcending absolute that has instilled it within all of us. So I ask if you can really give me a rational explanation of where these came from, how there truly are things that are absolutely wrong whether or not someone agrees with it like murder, rape, and things of that nature.

Samuelke, it's actually quite simple to explain via evolution--even though I'm really not qualified to do so; perhaps someone else who is more qualified than me can correct my mistakes.

Evolution's main "goal" (if you can call it that) is NOT repeat NOT the "survival of the individual."  It is the survival of the GENE.  The species.  That's why sex feels so good--evolution made it that way to insure procreation occurs.  Your example above (the parents saving the palsy child) is nothing more than good 'ol parental instinct.  You show me any parent who wouldn't walk through fire for their kid, I"ll show you a phu ktup parent (I know, I'm a parent too).  And I'm not talking about human parents only--ANY animal that has the maternal instinct (most mammals, I believe, and there probably are others) will risk their lives for their offspring.  Ever hear the stories of the mama cat that runs into a burning building repeatedly to save her litter?  Exactly the same thing.

There are documented examples aplenty of cooperation, self-sacrifice, sharing, and other "moral" behavior in the animal world.  Go look for it.

As far as "deep love," may I hypothesize that the combination of a mammal's parental instinct, plus our evolved language that allows us to label and think about abstract things, leads to philosophical topics such as "morals' and "love," and that's all there is to it?  As soon as you get a robust language, you can contemplate things that you can't see.  It's not such a leap to understand that concepts like "love" will evolve naturally from having a robust language, which is simply a product of evolution.

As far as "universal" moral truths--meh.  Too much of a philosophical hotbed and I'm NOT equipped to handle that one.  However, I will point out that morals change with the times--even the most cursory study of history reveals that.

I'd like to point out that your saying "I don't understand how this could be true" is a textbook example of the logical fallacy of "argument from ignorance."  You don't know something, so you reject a belief in it, and you're willing to offer an unprovable assertion that fits your current beliefs/world view ("goddidit") to quell the cognative dissonance, rather than actually go learn about the topic.

Finally, you REALLY need to answer Anfauglir.  REALLY.

Edited: a few spelling mistakes and formatting, and clarified a couple things
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Ambassador Pony on September 03, 2012, 07:31:13 AM
Anfauglir, did you look behind the couch?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 03, 2012, 07:48:05 AM
......Animals don't go out of their way to help anyone outside their family or social circle I guess for primates, but humans can create things like animals rights groups, the peace corp (etc).....

You've accepted that higher primates help in a social circle, so you have accepted that "moral" behaviour DOES exist outside of man?  So your sole "point" is that the greater brainpower a creature has, the more likely it is to help others?  As Boots pointed out, evolution is not about the survival of the individual, but the survival of the gene - of the genetic group. 

Creatures that evolved just to "help themselves" would not last very long...when would they sleep safely, for example?  Fact is, as Boots says again, it is very easy to find footage of creatures helping others - packs of bison, for example, will band together to drive predators away from their targets.

But I think the best thing I can do is offer this example: the cuckoo.  The cuckoo lays it eggs in the nests of other birds, after chucking out some or all of the original eggs.  And the parent birds will raise and feed the cuckoo as if it was their own.

Now....either this is an example of how birds have a complex moral system that means they consciously help other species (which itself destroys your argument).......or creatures can and so evolve so that they will give add to other creatures, whether wittingly or unwittingly (depending on their brain size) - which again destroys your argument that it is impossible to evolve like that.  Humanity is, if you like, just the cuckoo writ large.

Can I ask where your knowledge about evolution comes from, Samuelke, because it seems decidedly lacking in some major respects?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on September 03, 2012, 09:50:24 AM
Sam, you are wrong on much of your post.... there are kernels of fact in there, but then you start to attribute it to God instead of actual verifiable information.  Boots et. al. covered the evolutionary benefits pretty well so I'll leave those stand on their own merits, but a couple other quick points.

First off you mention moral absolutes.  Murder is really the only moral absolute that is cross-cultural and cross-temporal (theft is usually a close second).  All other things, rape included, are dependent on the era and the culture.  The Bible itself ADVOCATES RAPE.

Quote
Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp.  But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle.  "Why have you let all the women live?" he demanded.  "These are the very ones who followed Balaam's advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor.  They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD's people.  Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man.  Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.
Numbers 31:10-18

 
Quote
As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace.  If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor.  But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town.  When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town.  But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder.  You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.
Deuteronomy 20:10-14

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If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.
Deuteronomy 22:28-29

Quote
Thus says the Lord: 'I will bring evil upon you out of your own house.  I will take your wives [plural] while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor.  He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.  You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'
2 Samuel 12:11-12

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They must be dividing the spoils they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man, Spoils of dyed cloth as Sisera's spoil, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil.
Judges 5:30

Quote
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.
Exodus 21:7-11

Quote
Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst.  And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city.
Zechariah 14:1-2

For a moral absolute.  God seems pretty okay with rape my friend.

Murder is a pretty obvious one too as it removes someones genes from the pool.  I am not going to go too much into this because if I have to explain why murder is wrong, we have issues.... but even something like murder God advocates literally thousands if not millions of times over in the Bible.  "The Flood", Genocide, dashing of infants against rocks... ALL advocated by your moral authority Sam.  Its uncomfortable but true.  (this is going to sound dickish, and I apologize beforehand) - By all means, start the thread on the Bible being the God-breathed infallible word, Im sure this community will enjoy it.

If you haven't already, read Anfauglir's point about greater brainpower.  Surely you understand that since our species is capable of abstract thought this lends ourselves to empathy at a greater distance (ie. donating money to AIDS patients in Africa) than other species.


 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on September 03, 2012, 10:05:59 AM
And I don't understand how you compare human morals to animals morals, yes animals have their own morals but ours are far beyond theirs. Certain animals are more moral in certain ways but humans have the full set of morals unlike any animal. Animals don't go out of their way to help anyone outside their family or social circle I guess for primates, but humans can create things like animals rights groups, the peace corp, soup kitchens, and people travel around the world to help others they don't even know. 

Oh yes they do.

http://listverse.com/2010/03/14/top-10-cases-of-animals-saving-humans/

Number 10, 8, and 7, you can argue are about pets in their social circle, and 1 is a trained dog.  However, the rest are about animals helping people, even though there was "no reasons" for them to do so.

http://livingsta.hubpages.com/hub/Remarkable-animals-that-saved-peoples-lives

http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2012/03/why-do-dolphins-save-humans.html

There are many documented cases of dolphins saving a person's life.  Such cases goes back centuries.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on September 03, 2012, 12:08:01 PM
Well I probably wasn't clear enough on what you said first here but I'm not saying that people can't be moral without God, I think that is entirely possible. But that leads to my point, how do you explain where these morals come from, why do we have such value for one another? And I don't understand how you compare human morals to animals morals, yes animals have their own morals but ours are far beyond theirs.
Just a few quick responses:
a) Human beings are animals.  If you're going to make distinctions, labels such as 'animal' and 'not animal' aren't sufficient for your arguments.
b) Beyond is ill-defined in the above, but if by that you mean better or more moral, then I'd have to simply disagree with you.  I can't say for certain, but I'm not aware of any examples in the animal kingdom where torture exists.  There's plenty of things like killing and competing for mates, but I'm unaware of any animal species aside from humans that have every advocated or engaged in torture.  For me, that in and of itself knocks the human species down from the high-horse of moral superiority.  Just because we as a society can recognize morals does not, by default, make us more moral.
c) ...why do we have such value for one another?
And theists think it's the atheists that are emotionless and jaded.  Yeesh.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: wright on September 03, 2012, 01:57:50 PM
Thanks for the reply, Sam. Others have addressed your questions pretty well, so I'll just add and reiterate a few points.

The benefits of helping others in one's social group, even those not directly related, are clear and unmistakable. Fish school to protect each other from predators and find food, the social insects build enormous nests that no individual could, grazing herds trade off feeding and lookout duty, wolf packs can kill the largest moose as a team. So there are all kinds of examples of social cooperation and altruism that we can observe in the natural world, without needing to invoke a god to explain them.

Then you get to us angsty, abstracting primates. As individual predators, we aren't physically impressive: I certainly wouldn't care to take on a buffalo defending her calf with my bare hands. But our ability to cooperate and abstract has made us the most successful "higher" animal in a few thousand years. Again, very clear benefits to treating fellow humans with at least minimal respect and courtesy. Add abstraction and a few millennium of trial-and-error: voila, what we call "morality".
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on September 03, 2012, 08:31:58 PM
Very sloppy quote job by me--sorry about that. I'll do better next time.

Meantime, here's what I wrote in response to SamuelK:

It's not the JOB of science to show that this world doesn't need "a supernatural." Science is not concerned with the supernatural at all. It is concerned with what is observable, testable, repeatable, falsifiable. If it should so happen that science shows, through overwhelming evidence, that "a supernatural" isn't responsible for natural phenomena, then you can choose to accept that or not. You can choose to ignore logic, evidence, and the conclusions they support as you see fit. However, don't presume to judge those who refuse to turn their back on good sense in the name of a god that offers NO evidence to back up his existence.

I find it interesting that you came to this board with your little, innocuous, broad question, and sort of backed your way in to hard core proselytizing. Why did you come to an atheist board anyway? Church project to try and convert a few infidels?

I'm sorry you have missed my intentions very much so, my main goal when I came on here was to learn and expose myself to different ideas, I have many good friends that don't believe the same as me. I enjoy learning about all kinds of people's beliefs whatever those may be, I think it is extremely possible for people of varying beliefs to share those ideas with each other in a respectful matter. I try and read all of what everyone on here says without any bias honestly, I can admit what my bias is and look at things without it I think we all should. So have you heard a lot, little, or none of the evidence believers say there is for the supernatural?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: writerstephen on September 03, 2012, 08:42:05 PM

I'm sorry you have missed my intentions very much so, my main goal when I came on here was to learn and expose myself to different ideas, I have many good friends that don't believe the same as me. I enjoy learning about all kinds of people's beliefs whatever those may be, I think it is extremely possible for people of varying beliefs to share those ideas with each other in a respectful matter. I try and read all of what everyone on here says without any bias honestly, I can admit what my bias is and look at things without it I think we all should. So have you heard a lot, little, or none of the evidence believers say there is for the supernatural?

Samuel, I feel i must apologize for my tone the last time i posted to you; you've been nothing but courteous, and i was a little snarkier than i intended.

That said, I've heard a LOT of the "evidence" for the supernatural, and none of it moves me. In fact, i don't think any of it actually counts as evidence at all. At best, it's anecdotal, not empirical. Near death experiences: Easily explained by science. Jesus' prophetical fulfillments: circular biblical logic. Efficacy of prayer: Zero evidence. Innate moral code: Easily explained by natural selection.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: none on September 04, 2012, 03:05:25 AM
...
I'm sorry you have missed my intentions very much so, my main goal when I came on here was to learn and expose myself to different ideas, I have many good friends that don't believe the same as me. I enjoy learning about all kinds of people's beliefs whatever those may be, I think it is extremely possible for people of varying beliefs to share those ideas with each other in a respectful matter. I try and read all of what everyone on here says without any bias honestly, I can admit what my bias is and look at things without it I think we all should. So have you heard a lot, little, or none of the evidence believers say there is for the supernatural?
good job on improving the communication skills.
I didn't know there was evidence for the supernatural.
from my experience there is only testimony about the supernatural.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 04, 2012, 04:57:25 AM
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

Wonderful.  Well, I'm looking.

24 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?

48 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?

72 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?  I confess, I am beginning to get rather tired looking for - and failing to find - a god that "(is not) hidden in any sense".
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on September 04, 2012, 06:05:52 AM
^ One would assume that an all-loving God who does not WANT human beings to go to hell would be willing to make him/her/its self known with minimal searching.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: 3sigma on September 04, 2012, 07:26:38 AM
72 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?

I’m surprised Samuelke hasn’t yet used one of the excuses I so often hear from Christians in this situation. For example, you have to search for God with an open mind [you have to be gullible]. Or you have to open your heart to God [you have to be driven by your emotion rather than reason]. Or perhaps you lack the spiritual sense Christians use to find their God [their imagination].

I too am eager to hear Samuelke’s explanation for why you haven’t yet found this god that is not hidden in any sense.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on September 04, 2012, 08:02:18 AM
I'm curious about that . . . I'm also curious about how Sam responds to the other answers so far, regarding some of his questions/concerns about evolution/morality/beauty.  I mean, I think there are some very good answers, and I'd like toh ear his take on them--he's been thoughtful and earnest so far.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on September 04, 2012, 11:26:31 AM
I'm sorry you have missed my intentions very much so, my main goal when I came on here was to learn and expose myself to different ideas, I have many good friends that don't believe the same as me. I enjoy learning about all kinds of people's beliefs whatever those may be, I think it is extremely possible for people of varying beliefs to share those ideas with each other in a respectful matter. I try and read all of what everyone on here says without any bias honestly, I can admit what my bias is and look at things without it I think we all should. So have you heard a lot, little, or none of the evidence believers say there is for the supernatural?

Do you have a definition of supernatural?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on September 04, 2012, 05:46:44 PM
Quick yes or no question Sam.

Given:
1.That you have stated that to NOT use your super powers in our hypothetical situation to heal if you could would be immoral.

and

2. You list rape as wrong as a moral absolute, as a behavior that should be condemned.

- Is God immoral?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: mrbiscoop on September 04, 2012, 08:59:31 PM
The bird of paradise example for me is perfectly eloquent enough of a way to explain the situation of beauty in the world, so I wont go into that more.

The video is not of a bird of paradise. It is a Wire-tailed Manakin from the Amazon in South America.

Excessive quoting removed.  --Moderator
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on September 04, 2012, 09:17:59 PM
The video is not of a bird of paradise. It is a Wire-tailed Manakin from the Amazon in South America.

Thank you for the clarification, and I apologize for not doing my homework enough to identify that fact.  My main point stands, though, regardless of my lack of aviary knowledge.  :-)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: oogabooga on September 05, 2012, 03:35:53 AM
Well I probably wasn't clear enough on what you said first here but I'm not saying that people can't be moral without God, I think that is entirely possible.
But your statement seems to imply that while it's entirely possible to be moral without god, it's not really probable. It's a bit insulting, I must say. I'm willing to bet you can't provide any kind of evidence that religious people are more moral than others - and you certainly can't provide any evidence that people who believe in your particular flavour of god are more moral than those who believe in other gods.

The latter is especially complicated. See, people of other religions are absolutely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, convinced that the 'morals', conveyed by their gods, are absolute, perfect and irrefutable. Their claims are identical to yours, and yet their morals often aren't. Which god is right? They feel the same connection to their deity as you do to yours. Which also raises the question what your god is doing about that. Is he intentionally hardening their hearts so they don't feel his love but instead feel the love of another god?

Quote
But that leads to my point, how do you explain where these morals come from, why do we have such value for one another?
This is also a bit insulting, since this very question, posed by you no less, has been answered more than once. You keep rehashing it as if repeating it often enough would somehow force us to concede you're right.

I'll try again: We value one another because we couldn't survive otherwise. Our moral concepts evolved through that realisation. But you also keep forgetting that all is not as peachy as you're portraying it. We, as a species, are perfectly capable of harming one another, and we demonstrate that fact every single day. Believers and non-believers alike.

How does that inherent morality, instilled by god, explain, say, Inquisition, witch hunts, discrimination of women or slavery? All those things were done by deeply religious Christians in the name of their god and the morality he instilled in them. This is a question you still haven't answered. Free will doesn't explain squat, since people who did all that justified their acts with the same Bible that inspires all sorts of 'good' things in you.

Quote
And I don't understand how you compare human morals to animals morals, yes animals have their own morals but ours are far beyond theirs. Certain animals are more moral in certain ways but humans have the full set of morals unlike any animal. Animals don't go out of their way to help anyone outside their family or social circle I guess for primates, but humans can create things like animals rights groups, the peace corp, soup kitchens, and people travel around the world to help others they don't even know. And then all the jobs that help people doctors and nurses, emt, and firefighters to name only a few. So while some animals are more moral then others none of their morals go anywhere near as far as ours go. One more example of this, I heard this story some may have heard it I know some of it was in the news, but it was about this train wrecking into water, on board there was this couple and their child had cerebral palsy and was in a wheel chair. They immediately picked her wheel chair up over their heads, and when rescuers came they were able to save the child barely because of the parents, but the parents didn't make it.
This has been more than adequately explained so far, so I won't delve into the subject at this point. What I would like to do is present the counterpoint: how do you explain people forming associations and groups strictly aimed at harming others? Crime syndicates, hooligans, murderous cults and so on? How do you explain crooked cops, angels of death, medical workers who intentionally kill or harm their patients, firefighters who steal from the homes they are supposed to save or set fires, people who don't care about their children, loved ones, members of their own society and intentionally harm them or let them die, soldiers who indiscriminately rape, steal and pillage on their 'humanitarian' missions - in the very peace corps you seem to care so much about? How do you explain people who in the name of your god decline medical care for their children, resulting in their death or severe disability?

See, that's why we need laws. Not for the majority that instinctively doesn't harm others, but for the minority that does. We set rules and regulations and have been doing since before we were able to speak. Animals have more or less the same rules, they just lack the capacity to tell us in our language what those rules are. But we can observe their direct effect. Those rules are consistent and predictable when observing different groups of the same (or related) species. So are ours. Go figure.

I also have to point out that the mere fact that you don't understand something doesn't mean no one else does. Just because you are not familiar with a certain subject, doesn't, in the least, mean no one else is. But the thing that I find even more troubling is the fact that while you're supposedly willing to debate us, you're not willing to even hear us out. We have answered your questions and addressed your claims at length - and you ignored every single argument we made. You cherry pick questions to which you think you have an answer to and ignore the ones you either can't or won't answer. You ignore information presented to you and keep repeating the same things over and over again.

Quote
My point is and sorry for the length, how does a love like that come about by accident, or however you want to put that? I don't understand how evolution can explain that, it goes against all of evolution, because of such deep love. I believe that it because of the fact that you don't have to believe in God to have morals and know every life is worthy of value, that shows there has to be some transcending absolute that has instilled it within all of us. So I ask if you can really give me a rational explanation of where these came from, how there truly are things that are absolutely wrong whether or not someone agrees with it like murder, rape, and things of that nature.
Everything that has evolved can be said to be an 'accident'. If a new trait proves beneficial (or not harmful) for survival, it persists. If it's harmful, it dies off because the individuals possessing it can't reproduce as efficiently as those who don't.

What we describe as love is a very complex set of chemical reactions that drive us to do certain things. But you also seem to forget that 'deep love', as you call it, can also harm us or others. People commit suicide because of it. They inadvertently harm their children and loved ones, believing they're helping them. They stalk, harass and even kill people, because they feel such deep love for them or others. They harm and kill other people because they love their god so much.

And make no mistake about it - it's love they feel. How do you explain that?

Just because someone doesn't believe in god doesn't mean they don't value life and think that murder or rape are suddenly acceptable. I don't. And I certainly don't believe in god, never have. Neither do my parents and most members of my family - and the rest are all cultural believers at best. We all abhor violence and discrimination. Mind explaining that?

There is nothing 'absolutely' wrong or right, not for any length of time, anyway. Suffering a witch to live was considered immoral, remember? Slavery was considered moral. Murdering children for insubordination was a moral imperative. Punishing adultery by death used to be moral - not just moral, it was law. Spousal abuse used to be morally sound. The same goes for child abuse (spare the rod, remember?). God's law says that a rape victim must marry her rapist. Can you rationally explain why we don't think those acts are moral any more?

I've posed these same questions to you in another topic and you simply avoided them. Not just that - you rehashed the same arguments here without any regard to the fact that you've already been proven wrong. That's rude. Some could even call it morally questionable. It's certainly intellectually dishonest.

While I understand it can be overwhelming having so many people dissect your posts and demanding answers, but so far you haven't answer a whole lot of them, have you? Every now and again you quote something as if you're about to address the subject of the post, but you veer of in a direction you find suitable and avoid 'hard' questions. This may seem harsh, but it's true - you're not contributing to a debate. You're contributing to your own monologues and sermons. Considering the number and length of replies it should be clear to you we're sincerely interested in debating you on the subjects of your own choosing, otherwise we wouldn't bother. Please, be courteous enough to get involved in a debate instead of parroting yourself and other who have been proven to have nothing of substance to say. Thank you.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 05, 2012, 03:46:47 AM
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

Wonderful.  Well, I'm looking.

24 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?

48 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?

72 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke? 

96 hours later.  Nothing found. 

What went wrong, god? 

Samuelke is unwilling or unable to help me out, so perhaps you could give me some clue as to where you are?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 07, 2012, 06:34:54 AM
So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

Wonderful.  Well, I'm looking.

24 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?

48 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke?

72 hours later.  Nothing found.  What went wrong, Samuelke? 

96 hours later.  Nothing found. 

What went wrong, god? 

Samuelke is unwilling or unable to help me out, so perhaps you could give me some clue as to where you are?

120 hours.....well, you get the idea.  Both Samuelke and his god appear to be hiding.  Or at least, they don't want to appear and answer my questions.  To them I say: my door is always open if YOU want to initiate communication.  But I feel I've done my part.  I looked, and could not find. 

So its your move, god of Samuelke.  If you want to talk to me, I'm here.  If I don't hear from you, I'll presume that you aren't interested in a relationship with me.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on September 07, 2012, 09:07:39 AM
I was excited about this Convo. Hopefully Sam is just on break and hasn't abandoned the thread entirely.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: nogodsforme on September 07, 2012, 11:10:10 AM
Yes, that's it. Has to be. Only explanation that makes any sense. Sam's god is not interested in a relationship with Anfauglir. God is standing right beside him, arms crossed, faced turned away. Pouty face.

Actually god is doing that to all of us.

Actually all gods ever imagined are doing that to all of us.

Except Thor. ;)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Boots on September 07, 2012, 11:54:42 AM
Yes, that's it. Has to be. Only explanation that makes any sense. Sam's god is not interested in a relationship with Anfauglir. God is standing right beside him, arms crossed, faced turned away. Pouty face.

Actually god is doing that to all of us.

Actually all gods ever imagined are doing that to all of us.

Except Thor. ;)

Agreed.  Too hard to cross one's arms while holding that bigarse hammer.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jdawg70 on September 07, 2012, 04:09:14 PM
Yes, that's it. Has to be. Only explanation that makes any sense. Sam's god is not interested in a relationship with Anfauglir. God is standing right beside him, arms crossed, faced turned away. Pouty face.

Actually god is doing that to all of us.

Actually all gods ever imagined are doing that to all of us.

Except Thor. ;)

Agreed.  Too hard to cross one's arms while holding that bigarse hammer.
Vishnu will cross some extra arms on Thor's behalf.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Graybeard on September 09, 2012, 08:38:54 AM
I see the topic is “Re: World views with no God.” As God is capitalised, we know that the poster meant the Judeo-Abrahamic god.

We do not have to go far to find out what the “world view” would be without God – India; Japan; China, much of SE Asia, most of Northern Europe, etc. are all bereft of God.

If you think that their lack of God has left many of those countries as shit-holes, then think again  of the countries that have God, and little else – Most of Africa, Central America, Pacific Islands, etc. hardly centres of excellence...

Then there are the countries that have God – Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, The Gulf States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, etc.

Seems to me that a country’s fortunes and “World View” are not at all connected with God, who, once again, does not seem to be there.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on September 13, 2012, 01:18:01 AM

But I just understand how the others may not be as convincing to some people, however I think the moral and the historical evidence for Jesus stand very strong and I am more then willing to interact on those if you all would like. But to further answer the question these two arguments I have just named, if those were logically, truthfully, and coherently disproved I would have a lot to rethink.


Lets assume for a moment that Jesus did exist, that physically there was a man in that region at that time.  The historical evidence for even that is sketchy, but I will give you that.  I will also give you that if he did exist, his teachings were generally moral.  There are exceptions to that, but largely I would consider the tradition of Jesus to be "moral".

The thing is... at what point does that prove the existence of God?  I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that a man who occasionally goes by the name of Garja online, currently lives in South-Central Ohio, behaves morally, loves his family, teaches children and wants the best for society.  Garja stands in front of a rapt audience 180 days a year for 45 minute sermons 6 times a day.  His teachings are moral, they talk frequently about the sins of those in the past and how men and women can move beyond that while recognizing how those past decisions effect us today.  Garja has spoken with thieves, drug dealers, gang members,rapists and drug dealers and approached them as equals, but equals who lacked the ability to lead moral lives. 

At what point does being moral equate divinity?

I think you ask a good question, but I'm going to present a bit of quotes I think are very significant to the topic. I have tried to represent different views But you can give your responses.

“I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrase-mongers, however artful¡¨. He further added: “No man can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. Theseus and other heroes of his type lack the authentic vitality of Jesus.” — Einstein – Scientist and Mathematician

“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.” — Napoleon (French General, Politician and Emperor (1804-14). 1769-1821)

“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” — Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political leader (1869-1948

“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.” — H.G. Wells, British author (1866-1946)

“In his own lifetime Jesus made no impact on history. This is something that I cannot but regard as a special dispensation on God’s part, and, I like to think, yet another example of the ironical humour which informs so many of his purposes. To me, it seems highly appropriate that the most important figure in all history should thus escape the notice of memoirists, diarists, commentators, all the tribe of chroniclers who even then existed.” — Malcolm Muggeridge, British journalist (1903-90)


“Jesus Christ was an extremist for love, truth and goodness.” — Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights leader (1929-68)

Jesus Christ is to me the outstanding personality of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. There is no easy middle ground to stroll upon. You either accept Jesus or reject him. --Sholem Asch


I accept the resurrection of Easter Sunday not as an invention of the community of disciples, but as a historical event. If the resurrection of Jesus from the dead on that Easter Sunday were a public event which had been made known...not only to the 530 Jewish witnesses but to the entire population, all Jews would have become followers of Jesus. --Pinchas Lapide, Orthodox Jewish scholar, Germany (born 1922)

Because Christianity’s influence is so pervasive throughout much of the world, it is easy to forget how radical its beliefs once were. Jesus’ resurrection forever changed Christians’ view of death. Rodney Stark, sociologist at the University of Washington, points out that when a major plague hit the ancient Roman Empire, Christians had surprisingly high survival rates. Why? Most Roman citizens would banish any plague-stricken person from their household. But because Christians had no fear of death, they nursed their sick instead of throwing them out on the streets. Therefore, many Christians survived the plague. --“2000 Years of Jesus” by Kenneth L. Woodward, NEWSWEEK, March 29, 1999, p. 55.

I know the brutality and the cruelties of war better than many people. Now I want to work for peace. But how can mankind achieve a lasting peace? True peace of heart, mind, and soul can only come through Jesus Christ.Mitsuo Fuchida   Navy Captain (Japanese; commanded air strike against Pearl Harbor in 1941)   


Ernst Bloch   German Marxist Philosopher   It wasn't the morality of the Sermon on the Mount which enabled Christianity to conquer Roman paganism, but the belief that Jesus had been raised from the dead. In an age when Roman senators vied to see who could get the most blood of a steer on their togas - thinking that would prevent death - Christianity was in competition for eternal life, not morality.   April, 1996   Newswe

Sir Lionel Luckhoo   Trial Lawyer (won a world-record 245 murder acquittals in a row, making him the most successful lawyer in the world, according to The Guinness book of World Records)   I say unequivocally that the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.   1998   "God's Outrageous Claims" by Lee Strobel

The ordinary group of worshipping Christians, as the preacher sees them from the pulpit, does not look like a collection of very joyful people, in fact, they look on the whole rather sad, tired, depressed people. It is certain that such people will never win the world for Christ... It is no use trying to pretend: we may speak of joy and preach about it: but, unless we really have the joy of Christ in our hearts and manifest it, our words will carry no conviction to our hearers. Stephen Neill (1900-1984)

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
? C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

To the Christian, love is the works of love. To say that love is a feeling or anything of the kind is really an un-Christian conception of love. That is the aesthetic definition and therefore fits the erotic and everything of that nature. But to the Christian, love is the works of love. Christ's love was not an inner feeling, a full heart and what-not: it was the work of love which was his life. Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855

I will finally stop here and talk for a moment about the author of this last quote here I think most of you know him maybe, maybe not. But I won't to show you another quote of his, this is geared to this whole hiddeness of God, and when I said I don't think he is hidden at all, I meant at this point in time for me. Because before he was hidden to me in just about every way possible. I tend to agree with newton when he said god is revealed in two books the Bible, and the book of nature or science. I think God reveals himself in more ways though not restricted to these two, but personally I think it is set up brilliantly by God that we can explore the science, mathematics, logic, and other principles of the universe. In this sense he has hidden himself in the universe, so we can use our intelligence to discover the intellect and truth God displays in the universe. So I believe he reveals himself through the Bible, through personal revelation, or through his creation. I don't see how God could be loving if he forced us to believe in him? I need to start a thread for a few things, one geared towards intelligent design and evolution, one on whether the Bible is reliable or not, and finally one more specifically Jesus and whether or not what he said was true.

God is not like a human being; it is not important for God to have visible evidence so that he can see if his cause has been victorious or not; he sees in secret just as well. Moreover, it is so far from being the case that you should help God to learn anew that it is rather he who will help you to learn anew, so that you are weaned from the worldly point of view that insists on visible evidence. (...) A decision in the external sphere is what Christianity does not want; (...) rather it wants to test the individual’s faith."[13]1847 Kierkegaard

Sorry I know these are older I'm going to respond to newer ones next mainly, the question on animals and humans and how different they are. My next reply will come faster sorry school is starting to pile up.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: oogabooga on September 13, 2012, 02:11:46 AM
Sam, what you did there is known as a logical fallacy called argumentum ad verecundiam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority) or appeal to authority. Just because someone famous said it, doesn't make it true.

Most of the quotes you used are about Jesus being an influence on people. Nobody disputes that. There have been literally thousands of fictional characters throughout history that have made an impact on individuals or groups. I won't name all the gods that we know people used to worship and don't exist. There have been literary characters that made a huge impact on my way of thinking and have greatly influenced my worldview, from Raskolnikov and Mishkin to Demian and Harry Haller, from Maggie the Cat to Zorg, from Captain Ahab to Harry Dresden, from the Selfish Giant to Granny Weatherwax. The story of Jesus has had a huge impact on people and world in general. That doesn't make it true.

What is true is the fact that there is no contemporaneous evidence of Jesus. Romans, for instance, were fastidious chroniclers and most of what we know about the Great Roman Empire comes from their own documents. And yet there is no mention of Jesus in any of the texts that were written in the time of their occupation of Judea, even though he was supposedly a huge thorn in their side. Every single document we have about Jesus was written well after his death and as a second hand account at best. Most just mention the existence of Christians and their beliefs. Nobody has ever questioned those.

The existence of Christians, their holy book and their beliefs is a well established fact. But that fact doesn't prove that their beliefs are based in reality. David Icke and his like-minded group of followers firmly believe in reptilian alien overlords. That's a very well established fact. But their existence doesn't prove their beliefs, however dearly held, are true. Can you see the difference?

A cherry-picked story about Jesus serves as inspiration to many. But so do stories about Spider-Man and Batman and Harry Potter. Just because they're inspirational in one way or another, doesn't mean they're true.

So far there has been no conclusive evidence that Jesus existed, let alone that he was the son of god and god at the same time. At the time of Roman oppression messiahs were probably cropping up all over the place, because they were 'predicted' in the OT. Someone claiming he can deliver people from suffering in an easy way was probably quite popular. If such a person existed (and even if he was simply made-up by hopeful or greedy or power-hungry individuals), the stories about him most likely grew like weeds and by the time they were written, reached ridiculous proportions. Like any story about a supposed champion of the nation. It's not like that has never happened, is it?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 13, 2012, 03:56:11 AM
I think you ask a good question, but I'm going to present a bit of quotes I think are very significant to the topic. I have tried to represent different views But you can give your responses.

<<Other people's views removed>>
I will finally stop here and talk for a moment about the author of this last quote here I think most of you know him maybe, maybe not. But I won't to show you another quote of his, this is geared to this whole hiddeness of God, and when I said I don't think he is hidden at all, I meant at this point in time for me. Because before he was hidden to me in just about every way possible. I tend to agree with newton when he said god is revealed in two books the Bible, and the book of nature or science. I think God reveals himself in more ways though not restricted to these two, but personally I think it is set up brilliantly by God that we can explore the science, mathematics, logic, and other principles of the universe. In this sense he has hidden himself in the universe, so we can use our intelligence to discover the intellect and truth God displays in the universe. So I believe he reveals himself through the Bible, through personal revelation, or through his creation. I don't see how God could be loving if he forced us to believe in him? I need to start a thread for a few things, one geared towards intelligent design and evolution, one on whether the Bible is reliable or not, and finally one more specifically Jesus and whether or not what he said was true.

<<Other people's views removed>>

Sorry I know these are older I'm going to respond to newer ones next mainly, the question on animals and humans and how different they are. My next reply will come faster sorry school is starting to pile up.

Samuelke - please do NOT bother reponding if all you can do is quote the work of others.  Rarely if ever will a quote directly address a quesrtion you are asked - and even if it does, because that quote was not your work you will be unable to answer subsidiary questions about it.  YOU are being asked questions - please can YOU answer them.  If you are incapable of doing that, then I suggest that this site is not for you.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 13, 2012, 04:00:23 AM
.....when I said I don't think he is hidden at all, I meant at this point in time for me. Because before he was hidden to me in just about every way possible.....

Nearly missed this in the morass of quotes above.  A not-very-skilful attempt to dodge your way out of a very specific question that you were asked, because you didn't just say you "didn't think your god was hidden" - you followed it up with the extremely specific and definitive statement below:

So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

It didn't happen, Samuelke.  Why not?  You said, extremely clearly, that I would find clear and unambiguous evidence for your god.  I didn't.  So what went wrong, Samuelke?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on September 13, 2012, 03:43:58 PM
Hey Sam, glad to see you haven't abandoned the site or this thread, I hope school is going well.  Oogabooga essentially covers what I would have said in reply to your post today, so I wont simply re hash it.  I will re ask the question below-

Quick yes or no question Sam.

Given:
1.That you have stated that to NOT use your super powers in our hypothetical situation to heal if you could would be immoral.

and

2. You list rape as wrong as a moral absolute, as a behavior that should be condemned.

- Is God immoral?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Gohavesomefun on September 13, 2012, 07:41:43 PM
Ok sorry what I mean is where did all this and us come from? What is or do we have purpose? And what happens when you die?


Check out Stephen Hawkings Grand Designs (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2203380/), you might enjoy it - I did.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: JeffPT on September 13, 2012, 09:06:14 PM
I don't see how God could be loving if he forced us to believe in him?

There is a ton wrong with the paragraph that this sentence came from, but this part stood out for me.  What do you mean by 'forcing' us to believe in him?  What exactly are you talking about, because I really think you are not using that word to explain what you mean here.  I guess what I am asking is this... How are the following 2 sentences different for you???

I don't see how God could be loving if he forced us to believe in him.
I don't see how God could be loving if he showed us that he exists. 

You chose the first sentence, which gives the impression that God is grabbing us by the collar and yelling in our faces.  Why?  I don't understand it.  If he was an ass hole and did that, then yeah, he might not be thought of as very loving.  But he wouldn't have to do that.  He could certainly show us that he exists in a very nice way and still be very much a loving God, couldn't he?  What part of that do you not 'see'?  If he came down, showed himself to everyone, and then cured cancer with a wave of his hand, couldn't that be seen as loving?  I don't get where your confusion comes from.     

BTW, see Star Stuff's thread on 'Quote of the Day' if you'd like to see a crap load of quotes to counter the ones you posted.  Each side has their quotes, Sam.  You can't look at one side and not open your eyes to the other. 
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Azdgari on September 13, 2012, 09:34:55 PM
I don't see how God could be loving if he forced us to believe in him?

Try this one:

I don't see how your mother could be loving if she forced you to believe in her existence.

Does that make sense to you, Sam?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: jynnan tonnix on September 13, 2012, 10:10:34 PM
Both of the previous two posts pose the most imortant question in Christianity, as far as I am concerned. If god cares so much, and if seeing something is not some sort of brutal force, how would god's making his presense freely observable somehow make it impossible for us to do anything but worship him? We see things around us all the time which don't appeal to us, and thus we don't build our entire lives around them.

And, Gohavesomefun...thanks for that link...Have been looking for something interesting to watch, and those might just fit the bill. Too late to start this evening, but I'll keep them in mind :)
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Ambassador Pony on September 14, 2012, 05:35:59 AM
Samuel, if your god is the creator of the universe, and all powerful, especially all-knowing, then the act of creation itself is the only forcing it ever has to do. It created everything exactly as it wanted everything, including exactly how all of history would play out forever. Admitting any less diminshes your deity in the all knowing department, in which case you would have to start reminding your fellow churchies that their deity is not all powerful.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on September 14, 2012, 08:37:37 AM
I don't see how God could be loving if he forced us to believe in him?

Am I forcing you to believe in me by posting?  Does that make me unloving?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Azdgari on September 14, 2012, 09:02:38 AM
Further, Sam says that YHWH is not hidden to him in any way.  That means that according to Sam's standards, YHWH is forcing him to believe in its existence - because it's not staying hidden.

Is that loving, Sam?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: screwtape on September 14, 2012, 09:08:51 AM
Further, Sam says that YHWH is not hidden to him in any way.  That means that according to Sam's standards, YHWH is forcing him to believe in its existence - because it's not staying hidden.

yhwh is such a bastard.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Hatter23 on September 14, 2012, 09:39:51 AM
I don't see how God could be loving if he forced us to believe in him?

So he was unloving to every person that encountered him in the Bible. Unloving to Adam, Eve, Cain, Able, Abram, Jacob, Solomon, David, Daniel, Moses, Noah,  and Jesus, amongst others.

Hmm, did not know that.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Aaron123 on September 14, 2012, 12:07:51 PM
I don't see how God could be loving if he forced us to believe in him?

Another thing I don't think anyone brought up yet; the alternative (not beliving in god) is apparently, to burn in hell.

Given that, why wouldn't it be loving to 'force us' to believe in him?  Sure, "free will" and all that; but considering the threat of hell, the loss of free will seems like a perfectly acceptable price to pay.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 19, 2012, 02:52:48 AM
Samuelke was active yesterday, but hasn't yet seen fit to offer a response to this question.  I've only asked it 6 or 7 times though, on a daily basis, so I guess its possible he just missed it......

So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

It didn't happen, Samuelke.  Why not?  You said, extremely clearly, that I would find clear and unambiguous evidence for your god.  I didn't.  So what went wrong, Samuelke?
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Samuelke on September 28, 2012, 09:46:18 PM
Hey I'm not gone don't you worry I'm really working on my reply as thorough as possible. school and work and then homework tend to get in the way, I am sorry for the long delay but I should have replied by the end of the weekend. I'm going to try my best to unpack some of this confusion on the hiddeness thought.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Anfauglir on September 29, 2012, 04:09:55 AM
Shouldn't require a particularly long answer.  Frankly, the obviosu one is "I was wrong - god DOES hide".  Or, of course, that there IS no god.

Simple, fits the facts.....just requires some guts to own up to that being the answer.

Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Graybeard on September 29, 2012, 06:38:13 AM
Samuelke was active yesterday, but hasn't yet seen fit to offer a response to this question.  I've only asked it 6 or 7 times though, on a daily basis, so I guess its possible he just missed it......

So if I look for your god today, I will find him today?  Clearly and unambiguously, I will find your particular god?
Ok my answer is yes, I will go into detail after your replys.

It didn't happen, Samuelke.  Why not?  You said, extremely clearly, that I would find clear and unambiguous evidence for your god.  I didn't.  So what went wrong, Samuelke?
No, I think it will take some time to work out an answer that encompasses:

God is to be found by those who seek him
Matt 7:8 / Prov 8:17

God is not to be found by those who seek him
Prov 1:28

God is seen and heard
Ex 33:23/ Ex 33:11/ Gen 3:9,10/ Gen 32:30/ Is 6:1/
Ex 24:9-11

God is invisible and cannot be heard
John 1:18/ John 5:37/ Ex 33:20/ 1 Tim 6:16
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Garja on September 29, 2012, 11:40:29 AM
^ In deed Graybeard.  Because as I have said, I ACTIVELY SOUGHT a reply from God when I actually believed he existed.  I prayed a lot to give me some kind of honest, non-coincidental real proof that God existed.  I got absolutely nothing, not even a coincidence that I could have maybe attributed to god.... I prayed for weeks and got absolutely ZERO proof that God exists.... none.

So the options for me were:
1. The Bible lies, and God distinctly wants to remain hidden for reasons known only to him.
2. The Bible lies, and God does not give a shit if I stop believing in him
3. The Bible lies, and God does not care if I go to hell as a result of my loss of belief.
4. God does not exist.

One of these answers serves as an answer to this questions and all other theological issues over the mysterious ways in which god works. It is also the simplest of the answers which dovetails nicely with the way we know the world works as well as the way that humans seek meaning in their lives, the way that humans fear death, and the need for social control.  The answer is so simple it escapes many because it changes their outlook on the world dramatically. 

Once I accepted the lack of god the world INSTANTLY made infinitely more sense.  Once you acknowledge that the Bible is just a book written by men as a way to both explain and control the world around them things start falling in to place and you can see the world for what it really is instead of living in a fantasy world where we are little more than insects in some sadist's ant farm.
Title: Re: World views with no God
Post by: Strawman on September 30, 2012, 07:14:26 AM
My world view is that we are all part of one family. We should share all we have with each other. No one person should rule over another. We are all equal and free. There is no reason to hate. We must work to serve nature as nature serves us.

Where did all this and us come from? What is or do we have purpose? And what happens when you die?
When we die our bodies are broken down to build new life. No one knows how the universe or life began. Our only purpose and responsibility is to ourselves, each other and nature.