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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: junebug72 on April 06, 2013, 02:19:10 PM

Title: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 06, 2013, 02:19:10 PM
Hello,

For those of you that don't know me, I'm junebug,believer. Nice to meet you. I came to this forum a few months back, don't know why, I typed God in my search engine and this website popped up. So I thought while I'm here I would share my God story with you.  Not to start a new religion but to just simply share.

As long as there is a shred of hope that life after death exists, this is the path I must follow, I long to see my mother again in a land without pain,fear, or sadness.

Do we not owe it to ourselves to give any option that includes eternal existence every opportunity before dismissing it. I owe it to myself I know.
 
Yes I know that most people here have done just that, but until you've heard every story, mine included, how can the investigation be over.

My Momma always said,"You draw more bees with sugar than vinegar!" :laugh:

There are a lot of "good" people believing in God, will you condemn the righteous along with the unrighteous. Sounds familiar I know, seems appropriate here to remind you that it is what, I thought, you all were suppose to be against, unfairness.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: One Above All on April 06, 2013, 02:33:32 PM
To quote House[1]:
Quote from: House
No, of course not. On the other hand, it is communicable and it kills a lot of people.
 1. He was referring to faith, but belief in deities requires faith, so I think it applies here as well.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: shnozzola on April 06, 2013, 02:36:59 PM
   Junebug, IMO, you seem to be much more open to arguments than some theists.  You're beliefs are yours, and who am I to know the truth.  I joined this site based more on the danger of Taliban type beliefs, that inspire people to kill people to spread their beliefs. It has become important to me to try and stop Westboro Baptist Christian types, or Kenyan fundamentalist Christians that are eager to actually light presumed witches on fire.  These religious people are dangerously sincere, and scare me enough to argue with theists.  I am not as smart or well versed as many of the atheists here, but I am learning.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: sun_king on April 06, 2013, 02:40:18 PM
<snip>
Yes I know that most people here have done just that, but until you've heard every story, mine included, how can the investigation be over.

You are aware that this goes both ways, right? How many different gods did you learn about before you chose to believe in the one you do? Did you hear every story?

Preach not, practice not!
Quote
My Momma always said,"You draw more bees with sugar than vinegar!" :laugh:
Are you sure this is in your favor?
Quote
There are a lot of "good" people believing in God, will you condemn the righteous along with the unrighteous.
In general no, we don't. But when someone starts putting it the other way around "Believing in god makes people good" -- we may have a few words to say.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: anthony_retford on April 06, 2013, 03:51:30 PM
I am waiting to hear your God story. What happened to you to cause you to cling to a shred of evidence so you can believe you can see your mother again? I saw no mention of your father so maybe you don't want to see him again. When I hear back I will write to you more.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 06, 2013, 07:50:37 PM
Well, I think this is a little more revealing.

I am sorry to hear about your mother JB. Wish there was something I could say that would help. I havent had to deal with the death of a close loved one yet, and I a definitely not looking forward to it. I lost my maternal grandmother maybe a decade ago but I didnt know my grandmother that well because she had been mentally ill since before my birth. So while it hurt, it wasnt like I lost someone I knew intimately because that person was long gone. My paternal grandmother died when he was 16, about 4 years before I was born. From what I understand she was quite the character. I'd like to have been able to know my grandmothers and I wish there was a way to.

About a year ago one of my good friends lost his mother and I'd say that was the closest Ive been to a close loss because I felt his pain in losing his mother and I was extremely choked up and sad, and I cried at her services... which is something I didnt do at my grandmother's funeral so I can only imagine if it were mine.

So the prospect of life after death is appealing, and I understand that. However appealing it may be, it doesnt factor into its plausibility. Personally, what I have done is spend more time appreciating the loved ones I still have time with, so that when the inevitable happens and all the crying is done, I can look back or they can look back and smile at the good times.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Quesi on April 06, 2013, 08:30:42 PM
You know Junebug, I have an aunt who genuinely believes that her mother and my grandmother are standing in heaven in front of some celestial stove, stirring the sauce and getting ready to serve up a great feast to my grandpa and my uncle and other long dead loved ones, who are sitting in the next celestial room, playing cards or watching the ballgame. 

She assured me after my father's death that he was there too.  My sweet father was always an outcast in my mom's extended family household.  So if he is there, sitting with the men in some celestial lazy-boy, I have to imagine him reading Bertrand Russell while the other men watch the game.  My aunt, I assume, would put my mom in the kitchen with the other women, in a subservient role she only took on when she was in her parents' home.  I cannot imagine an uglier fate for my smart, competent, trend setting mom, who broke so many rules in life, but who fell into a traditional role in her parents' home. 

My aunt imagines that the Sunday suppers of her youth are going on for all eternity in the afterlife, and that some day, she will join the feast with her loved ones. 

She finds comfort in this belief.  And as much as I would enjoy being reunited with all of these people who I loved during their lifetimes, I find my aunt's images more than a little disturbing.  But I can't deny that I envy the comfort she must find when she imagines this eternity.  I miss my mom and my dad so much.  I would love to believe that they are waiting for me, looking down on me and my daughter, watching her grow, and preparing for all of us to spend an eternity together. 

But I don't believe it.  The impact that my beautiful, amazing parents had on planet earth continues to reverberate.  Sometimes I see my daughter make a gesture that looks just like my dad's common gestures.  She never knew my sweet gentle father.  And even though I don't recognize those gestures as my own, they must come from me. 

My beliefs, my temperament, my passions and motivations, so much of who I am is a continuation of the people who loved me and raised me.  And although my sweet daughter is not genetically related to any of us, I know that my parents' influences live on through her.  She knows that I grew up in a household with two people who loved books, but who treated those beloved books differently.  My father read straight backed at a desk, never bending the books, leaving each one brand new.  My mother curled up with books and spilled food on them and folded the pages over rather than using a book mark.  When my daughter touches a book gently, with reverence, she says she is being like my father.  When she bends the page down on a book she is reading in bed, she says she is being like my mother.  They live on.  In so many ways.

I find comfort thinking about the ways they live on.  Their impact is so wide spread.  So many lives are richer because my beautiful parents lived their lives here on planet earth, during a time of change and upheaval. 

And I also find comfort thinking about the nature of the universe.  I've posted this video several times before I think, and I'll probably post it again.  But when Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks about time and space and matter, I share his feeling of connection with the universe and time and space.   

http://youtu.be/6RjW5-4IiSc
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Tonus on April 06, 2013, 10:28:41 PM
As long as there is a shred of hope that life after death exists, this is the path I must follow, I long to see my mother again in a land without pain,fear, or sadness.

This is the source of many people's search for god, the understandable pain of loss.  It is an emotional reaction, and a desire borne of a wish to have things as they once were.  And anyone who has seen suffering, either up close or through reports of it, longs for a better world where these things do not happen.  I think that this is why religion has survived and even thrived over the past few centuries.  As science progressed and knowledge of the world grew, religion went from being something that explained the world around us, to something that answered the questions that still remained.  Why do we suffer?  Why do we age and die?  And ultimately, what purpose does our existence serve?  To come up with an answer that did not provide a happy ending was unacceptable, and religion was already there in a form that required some modification to bring it out of the past ages when our knowledge was so limited.  So that's what it became, and that's what its primary purpose is today-- to answer the questions that torment some people and bring them comfort.

Ironically, I think that one of the reasons that I am at peace with myself is because of religion.  Having left religion and god behind once I realized that they weren't the truth, I have never felt that fear of death, or concerns over whether life has a purpose or meaning.  It has the meaning that I give to it, and it has the purpose that I find in it.  Instead of being burdened by those thoughts, I find that I feel very free.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Dante on April 07, 2013, 12:14:44 AM
Her eyes are the color of cool water reflecting warm sunshine, of blooming meadows giving way to snowcapped mountains, of supernoavae and stardust. They are the color of the universe, and they are beautiful.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: dloubet on April 07, 2013, 05:50:07 AM
junebug72 wrote:
Quote
There are a lot of "good" people believing in God, will you condemn the righteous along with the unrighteous. Sounds familiar I know, seems appropriate here to remind you that it is what, I thought, you all were suppose to be against, unfairness.

If people are good, they are good despite believing in a god. The problem is that the righteous enable the unrighteous. They swell their numbers, and the unrighteous are the loudest.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Seppuku on April 07, 2013, 07:05:20 AM
To be honest JB, I think it depends.

In many cases it can and has been a bad thing. Yet, there are many God-believers out there who don't do people harm and are not harmed by their beliefs and in some instances it seems they find something reconciling about faith, that perhaps helps them gain confidence or help them get their head straight. People generally put down such positives things to God and Him giving them strength, I don't, I put it down to people's individual strength. Of course, it may bring hope, it may not necessarily bring truth. I say one of the hard things about being somebody who doesn't believe in life after death is dealing with the death of a loved one. But I've found my way of dealing with it, however, I'm not about to criticise somebody's way of reasoning behind how they're dealing with grievance (I would rather them deal with it and get their head straight rather than to be right). But I don't think faith in God is a necessity, I think many people have proven you don't need a religion[1], of course, I have no quarrel with the religious so long as they are doing no harm based on their faith.

For me, the real outrage is when religion tries to affect my life and the lives of others, when it tries to get involved in politics, when it promotes and acts on various intolerances, it's when people are discriminated against, even violently, it's when the dark side of the bible is on display and people acting on its more violent and wrathful laws. It's not just the bible but the Koran and other holy texts. It's an outrage for the innocent lives lost, the innocents who have suffered because somebody felt it was the righteous thing to do in the name of their Lord. I also am outraged when people try to defend such outrageous acts or sweep it under the rug because they don't want to accept the darker side to their own religion or people who give them special privelidges to be bigoted because it's down to their religious beliefs and they're only defending their religion. Which I think is unfair, for example, there's a Muslim at work who disagrees with homosexuality and isn't fan of it, he also think it's wrong to kill and eat animals, but at no point does he force it on anybody nor does he act in a homophobic fashion, we've got a gay guy on our team and they get along great. So, I have no problem with the guy, he knows what it means to be tolerant. Tolerance isn't agreeing with somebody, it's accepting them when you don't agree with them (if you agree, then what exactly are you tolerating?) I'm not giving him special privelidges because he's religious, he's got my tolerance for not being intolerant or for doing anything to harm anybody else.


There's one good thing in the Catholic Church, it's confession, whilst the damage is for some that it means they may feel cleansed and read to recommit a sin and for others I feel it can be a great way of getting a weight off of your shoulders, because you're going in to not be judged and you can speak of what you feel guilty or bad about to somebody who isn't going to make you feel bad for it. At least this was the inspiration for the organisation called 'Samaritans', which is a secular service started by a priest who could see an advantage to confession some people may not have access to. They get to speak to a volunteer who isn't going to judge them, but allow people the proper place to clear their minds. This organisation helps a lot of people, particularly potential suicide cases. Of course, it's also proof you don't need to lean on faith to straighten yourself out, to make sense of things and to bring yourself to happier and more confident state. Still, I recognise in some instances, it's where the church can potentially help somebody. As much as I dislike the church, I feel I should still be able to recognise its qualities as well as its pitfalls.
 1. Which I feel is the message behind such slogans as "You don't need God to be good" as opposed to suggesting people shouldn't believe in God, which people on the other side seem to suggest.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 07, 2013, 09:39:40 AM
Quite right, Seppuke. The real problems with religion is when is gets in the way of nonbelievers - something it has no need to do but somehow manages anyway.

For example, if a religion has rules about gay people, abortions, family planning - then fine, I'm sure the members of that religion will follow the teaching, What is wrong is for them to try and get their religious rules incorporated into the law the nonreligious have to keep.It is entirely the affair of the nonreligious whether they want these things or not. No religion should force its teachings on those who do not accept that religion.

Secondly, I, personally, object to the money religion gets from the state, In the UK where I live, religions are charities by definition and pay no tax. Then they are allowed to claim back the income tax paid by those who support them as well. This amounts to a lot of tax not paid. Then religions run schools, in some cases they have admitted the main reason is to try and indoctrinate the children who come to the schools. Yet a government 20 years ago stopped making the religions pay something towards running the schools so they get exceptions from  various laws  allow them to choose staff and ignore all the rules of fair treatment in employment.

That's what I really object to with religions.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: shnozzola on April 07, 2013, 10:49:03 AM
Junebug, these actions by the Taliban (read believers) yesterday are precisely, sadly, why theism has become so dangerous.  Precisely why websites where atheists can safely argue against theists are so important.

Quote
ISTANBUL (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday railed against the "cowardly" terrorists responsible for the attack that killed five Americans in Afghanistan, including a "selfless, idealistic" young diplomat on a mission to donate books to students.



Kerry, in Turkey for meetings with the country's leaders, said 25-year-old Anne Smedinghoff of Illinois had assisted him when he visited Afghanistan two weeks ago. She served as his control officer, an honor often bestowed on up-and-coming members of the U.S. foreign service.

At a news conference with Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, Kerry described Smedinghoff as "a selfless, idealistic woman who woke up yesterday morning and set out to bring textbooks to school children, to bring them knowledge."

"Anne and those with her," Kerry said, "were attacked by the Taliban terrorists who woke up that day not with a mission to educate or to help, but with a mission to destroy. A brave American was determined to brighten the light of learning through books, written in the native tongue of the students she had never met, whom she felt it incumbent to help."

Kerry said Smedinghoff "was met by a cowardly terrorist determined to bring darkness and death to total strangers. These are the challenges that our citizens face, not just in Afghanistan but in many dangerous parts of the world — where a nihilism, an empty approach, is willing to take life rather than give it."
http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20130407/Kerry-Afghanistan/

Why should the anger of atheists be surprising?

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Betelnut on April 08, 2013, 07:03:41 PM
Yes, there are many wonderful believers whose lives have enriched this earth.  But I still feel and believe that irrational belief is, ultimately, dangerous and does more harm than good.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Petey on April 09, 2013, 08:10:30 AM
Not to start a new religion but to just simply share.

FYI, this would be one of the worst places possible to try starting a new religion.  ;)

As long as there is a shred of hope that life after death exists, this is the path I must follow, I long to see my mother again in a land without pain,fear, or sadness.

Do we not owe it to ourselves to give any option that includes eternal existence every opportunity before dismissing it. I owe it to myself I know.
 
Yes I know that most people here have done just that, but until you've heard every story, mine included, how can the investigation be over.

Yes, many of us have done just that.  Repeatedly.  After a while, you begin to realize that stories are just that.  We're looking for observable, repeatable, falsifiable evidence.  This type of evidence permeates our lives in every facet imaginable, yet fails to show itself in regard to existence after death.  Curious.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 09, 2013, 08:51:15 AM
if a religion has rules about gay people, abortions, family planning - then fine, I'm sure the members of that religion will follow the teaching, What is wrong is for them to try and get their religious rules incorporated into the law the non-religious have to keep.
I would ask non-Catholics to imagine that the Catholic Church could say what sort of services you could have and how your places of worship should be decorated. Religions influence governments and thus I get what the religious say I should have. The religious make their decisions on the basis of old folk tales filled with superstition and magic, not by being rational.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 09, 2013, 09:45:15 AM
You know Junebug, I have an aunt who genuinely believes that her mother and my grandmother are standing in heaven in front of some celestial stove, stirring the sauce and getting ready to serve up a great feast to my grandpa and my uncle and other long dead loved ones, who are sitting in the next celestial room, playing cards or watching the ballgame. 

I think this is where believers in that kind of an afterlife show an appalling lack of thought.  Because how many generations are they planning on fitting into that back room?  I've traced my family tree back to the 1700s, and already I'm looking at ten generations back.  That's over a THOUSAND relatives to cook for, for starters.  The ones who died in the 17 and 1800s won't be watching a ball game, they'll be trying to burn the Demon Box that shows pictures.

Will all thousand of them get along?  Will they all WANT to live together in one big old house?  And remember that the 500-odd great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents will also be the 8GGPs of umpteen other families - that's thousands more "family" to fit round the table.  Aunt Bessie is going to have to cook a whoooooole lot of her famous mashed pertaters!

And, as you've said, what about the folks that don't get along?  With a couple thousand people invited to dinner, odds are that there will be a few hundred at least who have the hump with someone else.  If son doesn't get on with grandfather, who does father sit next too?  Bad enough at a small family dinner - but what if sitting round that one table you've got the Hatfields AND the McCoys AND the Montagues AND the Capulets....AND the Borgias as well?  With a couple hundred 8GGPs, that's quite possible!

Which makes the questions like
As long as there is a shred of hope that life after death exists, this is the path I must follow, I long to see my mother again in a land without pain,fear, or sadness.

Do we not owe it to ourselves to give any option that includes eternal existence every opportunity before dismissing it. I owe it to myself I know.
so laughable.  The afterlife, if there is one, could be horrific, an eternal dinner party with relatives you hate.  You could be forced to see people who like you (but who you can't stand) for ever.  Unless you can actually say, for definite, that there IS an afterlife, and be able to say with certainty that THIS is what it is like, then it is quite as reasonable to shy away from anything that may offer an afterlife as it would be to embrace it.

Or, to put it another way, if the mystery box could contain a scorpion, or a thousand dollars - and the only information you have is "what you would like to be in there", then it is JUST as sensible to keep your hands well away as it is to shove them blindly in.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 09, 2013, 11:20:07 AM

My worst thought for an afterlife is that, in eternity, the is no passing of time. So, I arrive at 5 mins before the wine and dinner is served but then it is 5 mins too early - for ever!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 09, 2013, 06:48:04 PM

My worst thought for an afterlife is that, in eternity, the is no passing of time. So, I arrive at 5 mins before the wine and dinner is served but then it is 5 mins too early - for ever!
On the plus side, without any sort of gradient available for processing thought, you won't notice :)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 10, 2013, 04:03:50 AM
If you really want to see a struggle with belief and faith check out the posts and blogs directed at and about the recent suicide of Matthew Warren, the son of Paster Rick Warren.   Talk about seeing the extremes of the best and the worst come out in people...   I don't shock easily but I actually "dropped my mouth" at some of the hateful comments some people had the balls to spew at a man who just lost his son.  There has also been an outpouring of love and support.  For me it just reinforces my ongoing fury at the lack of help available for the mentally ill.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 10:14:25 AM
To quote House[1]:
Quote from: House
No, of course not. On the other hand, it is communicable and it kills a lot of people.
 1. He was referring to faith, but belief in deities requires faith, so I think it applies here as well.

hI ONE, Faith don't kill people, people kill people. If there is 1 point that I can make on this forum it would be this; practicing Christians,Muslims, and Judaism, with an inaccurate understanding of God can be dangerous. The solution IMO is not to take God away, but rather, by example show them God's true purpose,Love. Love is the key.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 10:35:04 AM
   Junebug, IMO, you seem to be much more open to arguments than some theists.  You're beliefs are yours, and who am I to know the truth.  I joined this site based more on the danger of Taliban type beliefs, that inspire people to kill people to spread their beliefs. It has become important to me to try and stop Westboro Baptist Christian types, or Kenyan fundamentalist Christians that are eager to actually light presumed witches on fire.  These religious people are dangerously sincere, and scare me enough to argue with theists.  I am not as smart or well versed as many of the atheists here, but I am learning.

Hi Shno,

Thanks for your thoughts. I know the taliban scares me too. I just don't think killing God is the way to go about it. Throughout history when the Church evolved it was due to other God believers that pointed out the "wickedness" of their actions. The first one of these people being Jesus. He was very much against the Robes, the judging, and trading at the Temple. Jesus made belief/faith simple. It's not complicated,Believe in God and Love one Another. That's all it takes to get into Heaven, that simple! A lot of the false doctrine involves the dangers of belief. Throughout history believing or not believing could get you dead! Still going on today in the 21st century. Unbelievable! The other problem is greed. Mankind steadily uses God to put $$$ in his pocket,i.e Jim Baker etc.... Therefor, religion has been twisted to suit the needs of politicians and greedy preachers and what that has done is basically exclude God from religion.


You seem very bright to me.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Dante on April 11, 2013, 10:41:03 AM
Jesus made belief/faith simple. It's not complicated,Believe in God and Love one Another. That's all it takes to get into Heaven, that simple!

Why does faith have equal importance to love, JB?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Aaron123 on April 11, 2013, 10:51:36 AM
I just don't think killing God is the way to go about it.

"Killing" god?  Not believing in god amounts to "killing" him, do I have this correctly?  Seems like an overtly dramatic choice of words.


Quote
Jesus made belief/faith simple. It's not complicated,Believe in God and Love one Another. That's all it takes to get into Heaven, that simple!

Jesus also said to obey the commandments found in the old testaments.  Many of those commandments involves punishment by death (usually stoning).  How do we "love one another" when we're required to kill for minor transgression?  (such as picking up sticks on the wrong day)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 10:59:42 AM
<snip>
Yes I know that most people here have done just that, but until you've heard every story, mine included, how can the investigation be over.

You are aware that this goes both ways, right? How many different gods did you learn about before you chose to believe in the one you do? Did you hear every story?

Preach not, practice not!
Quote
My Momma always said,"You draw more bees with sugar than vinegar!" :laugh:
Are you sure this is in your favor?
Quote
There are a lot of "good" people believing in God, will you condemn the righteous along with the unrighteous.
In general no, we don't. But when someone starts putting it the other way around "Believing in god makes people good" -- we may have a few words to say.

Hi Sunny,

I have studied Shintoism, Buddhism, 6 different Christian Doctrines,Atheism, Greek Mythology, different ancient beliefs, Native American, and the list goes on. My enlightenment was that God is the same no matter what you call Him. Another thought I felt interesting was how mankind's understanding of God evolves throughout history. 

I do believe that when an Atheist discovers God's Love he/she can be a POWERFUL WEAPON against religion.

As far as my Mother's advice, it works very well thank you. She wasn't referring to "actual" bees.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 11, 2013, 11:00:48 AM
To quote House[1]:
Quote from: House
No, of course not. On the other hand, it is communicable and it kills a lot of people.
 1. He was referring to faith, but belief in deities requires faith, so I think it applies here as well.

hI ONE, Faith don't kill people, people kill people. If there is 1 point that I can make on this forum it would be this; practicing Christians,Muslims, and Judaism, with an inaccurate understanding of God can be dangerous. The solution IMO is not to take God away, but rather, by example show them God's true purpose,Love. Love is the key.
Sounds like a solution would be to establish an accurate understanding of god.  Got any means of doing that by chance?
The concept of faith just seems so counter-productive to trying to establish some degree of accuracy in understanding god.  If I try to understand, I dunno, any other aspect of reality, through faith, I wouldn't stand much of a chance at getting any sort of accurate understanding of that aspect of reality.  If I want to get an accurate understanding of the nature of the moon, it doesn't help, at all, for me to simply have faith that the moon is made of green cheese.  And so it goes with god; I can have all the faith in the world that god wants me to <do something/believe something/behave in some way>, but in what way can I, or anyone else, evaluate if that is accurate or inaccurate?  How is the concept of faith anything but a detriment in getting an accurate understanding of god?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 11, 2013, 11:01:18 AM
Faith don't kill people, people kill people.

Yes, faith does kill people.
http://whatstheharm.net/religiousfundamentalism.html

And faith makes people make stupid decisions, believe stupid things and attempt to implement stupid policies.

The problem with faith is even when faithheads are wrong, they will not relent, no matter what the evidence against them.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 11:07:27 AM
Jesus made belief/faith simple. It's not complicated,Believe in God and Love one Another. That's all it takes to get into Heaven, that simple!

Why does faith have equal importance to love, JB?

Faith is important, but I'm not sure that it's equal. God wants us to believe in Him, that's faith. God Loves us whether we believe or not, so I would have to say Love is the most important. There are people with faith that have no Love and people with Love that have no faith. God can forgive us for lacking faith but I'm convinced that those without Love will face some consequences for the lack thereof.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Dante on April 11, 2013, 11:21:34 AM
God can forgive us for lacking faith but I'm convinced that those without Love will face some consequences for the lack thereof.

So you're ok with all us atheists getting to heaven if we've loved one another?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 11:26:55 AM
I am waiting to hear your God story. What happened to you to cause you to cling to a shred of evidence so you can believe you can see your mother again? I saw no mention of your father so maybe you don't want to see him again. When I hear back I will write to you more.

Hi Anthony,

I'm not merely clinging to a shred of evidence. I completely embrace God. I have more than a shred of evidence to justify my belief and of course I want to see my father, I feel terrible for excluding him in that statement.

I was raised Fundamental Baptist. By the age of 13 I had been molested 3 different times by three different men. My parents were divorcing and I was very troubled. All the false doctrine I had been taught started to reveal itself and I became angry with God at first, even practiced Atheism for several years but I never could reconcile our existence to the Big Bang and Evolution.  I had no choice but to revisit Creationism. It took a few years but I discovered God's Love. God is Love, and anything anybody tells you that contradicts that is not God!!!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 11, 2013, 11:39:16 AM
Hi Anthony,

I'm not merely clinging to a shred of evidence. I completely embrace God. I have more than a shred of evidence to justify my belief and of course I want to see my father, I feel terrible for excluding him in that statement.
Evidence?  Oh ye of little faith...
Quote
I was raised Fundamental Baptist. By the age of 13 I had been molested 3 different times by three different men. My parents were divorcing and I was very troubled. All the false doctrine I had been taught started to reveal itself and I became angry with God at first, even practiced Atheism for several years but I never could reconcile our existence to the Big Bang and Evolution.  I had no choice but to revisit Creationism.
How does one go about practicing atheism?
Quote
It took a few years but I discovered God's Love. God is Love, and anything anybody tells you that contradicts that is not God!!!
God is Hate, and anything anybody tells you that contradicts that is not God!!!
At least one of these statements displays an inaccurate understanding of god.  Any thoughts on how to evaluate them?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 11:43:37 AM
Well, I think this is a little more revealing.

I am sorry to hear about your mother JB. Wish there was something I could say that would help. I havent had to deal with the death of a close loved one yet, and I a definitely not looking forward to it. I lost my maternal grandmother maybe a decade ago but I didnt know my grandmother that well because she had been mentally ill since before my birth. So while it hurt, it wasnt like I lost someone I knew intimately because that person was long gone. My paternal grandmother died when he was 16, about 4 years before I was born. From what I understand she was quite the character. I'd like to have been able to know my grandmothers and I wish there was a way to.

About a year ago one of my good friends lost his mother and I'd say that was the closest Ive been to a close loss because I felt his pain in losing his mother and I was extremely choked up and sad, and I cried at her services... which is something I didnt do at my grandmother's funeral so I can only imagine if it were mine.

So the prospect of life after death is appealing, and I understand that. However appealing it may be, it doesnt factor into its plausibility. Personally, what I have done is spend more time appreciating the loved ones I still have time with, so that when the inevitable happens and all the crying is done, I can look back or they can look back and smile at the good times.

Hi Gawd,

Just because I believe in Heaven doesn't mean I don't cherish time here on earth . Heaven is home for our Spirit when it separates from our flesh. I know it won't be the same in Heaven as it is on Earth. The best part of believing that's where my parents are and I'm going is my Mom suffered for about 15 years with various medical issues. The worst being knee damage. My dad died from liver disease and no He wasn't an alcoholic. Mom had no health insurance and could not afford knee replacements on her humble income, so she suffered. Dad had insurance but his death was painful as well. I imagine my parents checking out the universe, but mostly I'm glad they're suffering manifested into something beautiful instead of just seeing them dead.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 11:51:29 AM


How does one go about practicing atheism?

The same way you practice at anything you try and try and if you don't get it, it's probably not for you ;D

Quote
God is Hate, and anything anybody tells you that contradicts that is not God!!!
At least one of these statements displays an inaccurate understanding of god.  Any thoughts on how to evaluate them?

I'm not sure what you mean by that one.  :? 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 11, 2013, 11:55:40 AM
Well, while I'm sorry to hear about your parents and their unhappy medical problems, I do rather think that some of your religious ideas stem from 'wishful thinking'. I'm sure there are lots of people like you who feel the world has been unjust to them, their relatives and their friends and they want things to be put right. In this, they are no different from some of the Psalmists who complained that the righteous seem to suffer while the evil people get away with it and prosper. It was probably the reason that Judaism started to believe in a serious afterlife (before they though people just ended up in a gloomy place) where the wrongs of the earthly life were put right in a spiritual one after death.

The thing is, we want this so much that we start to believe it might be true. Yet common sense tells us that the brain with all its wired connections and so on is where 'we' are located and that there isn't a way to collect all that 'data' and to put it onto a spiritual body so that what is us carries on. No, common sense says the brain dies taking all that was us with it. We rest in peace but we don't know we are doing it.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 12:09:50 PM

My beliefs, my temperament, my passions and motivations, so much of who I am is a continuation of the people who loved me and raised me.  And although my sweet daughter is not genetically related to any of us, I know that my parents' influences live on through her.  She knows that I grew up in a household with two people who loved books, but who treated those beloved books differently.  My father read straight backed at a desk, never bending the books, leaving each one brand new.  My mother curled up with books and spilled food on them and folded the pages over rather than using a book mark.  When my daughter touches a book gently, with reverence, she says she is being like my father.  When she bends the page down on a book she is reading in bed, she says she is being like my mother.  They live on.  In so many ways.

I find comfort thinking about the ways they live on.  Their impact is so wide spread.  So many lives are richer because my beautiful parents lived their lives here on planet earth, during a time of change and upheaval. 

And I also find comfort thinking about the nature of the universe.  I've posted this video several times before I think, and I'll probably post it again.  But when Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks about time and space and matter, I share his feeling of connection with the universe and time and space.   

Hi Quesi,

That was very pleasant to read thank you for sharing. I don't think life in Heaven is anything like life on earth. If it was I wouldn't want to go at all. Heaven is the spirit realm, and I bet your Mom and Dad do look in on you occasionally. :)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 11, 2013, 12:17:10 PM
How does one go about practicing atheism?
The same way you practice at anything you try and try and if you don't get it, it's probably not for you ;D
That doesn't seem coherent.  I took your use of the word 'practicing' in a similar vein as someone being a 'practicing' Catholic, which typically means they do the whole go to church thing, pray to god thing, participate in sacraments, etc.  A non-practicing Catholic is one who associates themselves with being Catholic, but maybe only does the 'go to mass at Christmas' thing.  With that sort of definition, what are the differences between a 'practicing' atheist and a 'non-practicing' atheist?

If it's another definition of 'practice', similar in vein to 'practicing' the piano, could you expound further as well?  I'm not certain how one practices at having a 'disbelief'.  Can you practice 'not believing in the existence of wormholes?
Quote
Quote
God is Hate, and anything anybody tells you that contradicts that is not God!!!
At least one of these statements displays an inaccurate understanding of god.  Any thoughts on how to evaluate them?

I'm not sure what you mean by that one.  :?
Sorry, it was a follow up reference to an earlier post I made in this thread to you.  But I still think what I'm saying is clear: you are claiming that god has a particular characteristic - that god is love.  I have claimed a contradictory characteristic - that god is hate.  How do you determine which, if either, of those claims, are correct?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 12:30:01 PM
As long as there is a shred of hope that life after death exists, this is the path I must follow, I long to see my mother again in a land without pain,fear, or sadness.

This is the source of many people's search for god, the understandable pain of loss.  It is an emotional reaction, and a desire borne of a wish to have things as they once were.  And anyone who has seen suffering, either up close or through reports of it, longs for a better world where these things do not happen.  I think that this is why religion has survived and even thrived over the past few centuries.  As science progressed and knowledge of the world grew, religion went from being something that explained the world around us, to something that answered the questions that still remained.  Why do we suffer?  Why do we age and die?  And ultimately, what purpose does our existence serve?  To come up with an answer that did not provide a happy ending was unacceptable, and religion was already there in a form that required some modification to bring it out of the past ages when our knowledge was so limited.  So that's what it became, and that's what its primary purpose is today-- to answer the questions that torment some people and bring them comfort.

Ironically, I think that one of the reasons that I am at peace with myself is because of religion.  Having left religion and god behind once I realized that they weren't the truth, I have never felt that fear of death, or concerns over whether life has a purpose or meaning.  It has the meaning that I give to it, and it has the purpose that I find in it.  Instead of being burdened by those thoughts, I find that I feel very free.

Hi Tonus, Nice to talk to you again. I have left religion behind as well. You might have left God and that's okay, but He will never leave you. There is a very distinct difference between God and religion. Without all that religion God is simply the Creator of planet earth.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 11, 2013, 12:32:35 PM
God wants us to believe in Him,

why?  How do you know?

suppose you made some microbes - bacteria - completely from scratch.  You kept them in a little jar with mini ecosystem for them to continue living.  And you wanted them to love one another.  Would you really care whether they believed you existed?  Would you destroy them if the didn't?  Would you really love them?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 12:38:17 PM


If people are good, they are good despite believing in a god. The problem is that the righteous enable the unrighteous. They swell their numbers, and the unrighteous are the loudest.

That's because God is inside us all whether you believe in Him or not. I believe I'm going to need an explanation of the rest.True righteousness will squash unrighteousness, i.e slavery. Thanks for your input.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 11, 2013, 12:47:30 PM
now I am not sure exactly who your god is, June, but if he is anything like the Ot god, well, he was in favour of slavery - in multiple quotes. Even Paul has no problem with slavery in the NT. That's why the Southern States in the USA Civil War argued for slavery based on their bibles. What won out with the leaders in the north who were, pretty much to a man, deists believing in only  vague idea of a god who started the universe and went on an extended lunch break.

The fact is, June, that the idea of a god in everyone is all very well until we look harder at it. Then we see that the god each person espouses somehow always manages to agree with the person. On never finds a believer who doesn't agree with their own god. That's why, in the Civil War, the Southerners agreed with their god that slavery was OK.

Of course, if you think that this god inside everyone is something separate and apart from the person and not just an effect of their own subconscious mind, then we would need to see how you conclude this as evidence would seem to be in short supply. After all, how would a Catholic like Hitler do what he did 'with a god inside him' unless he thought he was a god, or course?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 12:48:28 PM
To be honest JB, I think it depends.

I totally agree.

MODERATOR EDIT:  Trimmed long quote.  JuneBug, when you're responding to a post, please try to keep quoted material to the minimum amount necessary.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 12:56:07 PM
Junebug, these actions by the Taliban (read believers) yesterday are precisely, sadly, why theism has become so dangerous.  Precisely why websites where atheists can safely argue against theists are so important.

Quote
ISTANBUL (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday railed against the "cowardly" terrorists responsible for the attack that killed five Americans in Afghanistan, including a "selfless, idealistic" young diplomat on a mission to donate books to students.



Kerry, in Turkey for meetings with the country's leaders, said 25-year-old Anne Smedinghoff of Illinois had assisted him when he visited Afghanistan two weeks ago. She served as his control officer, an honor often bestowed on up-and-coming members of the U.S. foreign service.

At a news conference with Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, Kerry described Smedinghoff as "a selfless, idealistic woman who woke up yesterday morning and set out to bring textbooks to school children, to bring them knowledge."

"Anne and those with her," Kerry said, "were attacked by the Taliban terrorists who woke up that day not with a mission to educate or to help, but with a mission to destroy. A brave American was determined to brighten the light of learning through books, written in the native tongue of the students she had never met, whom she felt it incumbent to help."

Kerry said Smedinghoff "was met by a cowardly terrorist determined to bring darkness and death to total strangers. These are the challenges that our citizens face, not just in Afghanistan but in many dangerous parts of the world — where a nihilism, an empty approach, is willing to take life rather than give it."
http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20130407/Kerry-Afghanistan/

Why should the anger of atheists be surprising?

Hi Shno,

I totally agree. The battle over religion does need to stop. I know we just met but I have said several times here I totally understand where you're anger comes from. You can take this or leave it but I believe you beat it with Love not anger.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 01:04:04 PM
Well, while I'm sorry to hear about your parents and their unhappy medical problems, I do rather think that some of your religious ideas stem from 'wishful thinking'. I'm sure there are lots of people like you who feel the world has been unjust to them, their relatives and their friends and they want things to be put right. In this, they are no different from some of the Psalmists who complained that the righteous seem to suffer while the evil people get away with it and prosper. It was probably the reason that Judaism started to believe in a serious afterlife (before they though people just ended up in a gloomy place) where the wrongs of the earthly life were put right in a spiritual one after death.

The thing is, we want this so much that we start to believe it might be true. Yet common sense tells us that the brain with all its wired connections and so on is where 'we' are located and that there isn't a way to collect all that 'data' and to put it onto a spiritual body so that what is us carries on. No, common sense says the brain dies taking all that was us with it. We rest in peace but we don't know we are doing it.

Hello Wheels,

I do not feel like my faith is wishful thinking. It is something I have developed over many years of studying and contemplating. It is not some rash decision made during the grieving process. My faith was already starting to mature by the time I lost my parents. I believe in God because I believe it took intelligence to have such a complex planet.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 01:15:08 PM
How does one go about practicing atheism?
The same way you practice at anything you try and try and if you don't get it, it's probably not for you ;D
That doesn't seem coherent.  I took your use of the word 'practicing' in a similar vein as someone being a 'practicing' Catholic, which typically means they do the whole go to church thing, pray to god thing, participate in sacraments, etc.  A non-practicing Catholic is one who associates themselves with being Catholic, but maybe only does the 'go to mass at Christmas' thing.  With that sort of definition, what are the differences between a 'practicing' atheist and a 'non-practicing' atheist?

If it's another definition of 'practice', similar in vein to 'practicing' the piano, could you expound further as well?  I'm not certain how one practices at having a 'disbelief'.  Can you practice 'not believing in the existence of wormholes?
Quote
Quote
God is Hate, and anything anybody tells you that contradicts that is not God!!!
At least one of these statements displays an inaccurate understanding of god.  Any thoughts on how to evaluate them?

I'm not sure what you mean by that one.  :?
Sorry, it was a follow up reference to an earlier post I made in this thread to you.  But I still think what I'm saying is clear: you are claiming that god has a particular characteristic - that god is love.  I have claimed a contradictory characteristic - that god is hate.  How do you determine which, if either, of those claims, are correct?

Dawg,

I think it's silly for you to pick apart the word "practice", you know what I meant from the beginning. I was Atheist for 8/9 years. I absolutely did not believe in God. I changed my mind and I'm so glad I did.

Let's see, let's compare the evidence. The planet is beautiful, we have all that we need to survive and our bodies are mostly comfortable.
God Is Love or else things could be a lot worse. He could have put our face where our butt is, that would be hateful. :laugh:
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Aaron123 on April 11, 2013, 01:20:14 PM
junebug, any comments on this post of mine?

Quote
Jesus also said to obey the commandments found in the old testaments.  Many of those commandments involves punishment by death (usually stoning).  How do we "love one another" when we're required to kill for minor transgression?  (such as picking up sticks on the wrong day)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 01:34:43 PM
God wants us to believe in Him,

why?  How do you know?

suppose you made some microbes - bacteria - completely from scratch.  You kept them in a little jar with mini ecosystem for them to continue living.  And you wanted them to love one another.  Would you really care whether they believed you existed?  Would you destroy them if the didn't?  Would you really love them?

Do you have kids? Do you want them to know who you are?Would you still Love them if they didn't?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 01:44:17 PM
junebug, any comments on this post of mine?

Quote
Jesus also said to obey the commandments found in the old testaments.  Many of those commandments involves punishment by death (usually stoning).  How do we "love one another" when we're required to kill for minor transgression?  (such as picking up sticks on the wrong day)

Hi Aaron,

Big fan of Jesus, and you will have to give me book and chapter where Jesus said this because I do not recall Jesus saying this. I know Jesus was against stoning and killing. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. I remember the story of the prostitute, the crowd around wanted to throw stones and Jesus said,"let the first man here without sin throw the first stone." Jesus also denounced the Old Testament law of the Sabbath by asking the Pharisee if your Ox is stuck in the ditch will you wait until the next day to get him out? That's what got Him crucified!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 11, 2013, 01:48:57 PM
Dawg,

I think it's silly for you to pick apart the word "practice", you know what I meant from the beginning. I was Atheist for 8/9 years. I absolutely did not believe in God. I changed my mind and I'm so glad I did.
I did not mean to be disingenuous.  I genuinely, truly, did not understand what you meant by 'practice'.  What you just described to me is that you did not believe god existed for 8/9 years.  Fine.  We can just leave it at that then.
Quote
Let's see, let's compare the evidence. The planet is beautiful, we have all that we need to survive and our bodies are mostly comfortable.
God Is Love or else things could be a lot worse. He could have put our face where our butt is, that would be hateful. :laugh:
Other evidence:
Starving children
Floods
Earthquakes
Hurricanes
War
Rape
Murder
Hell
Calvinism
Cancer
Mental illness
Suicide bombing
The Holocaust
Witch hunts
Denial of human rights
Complete lack of god either address these issues or clearly explaining why they happen
Torture
Car accidents
Chernobyl
Poverty
People drowning their children in the name of god
People shoving planes into buildings in the name of god
People beheading witches in the name of god
People jailing bloggers in the name of god
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 11, 2013, 02:05:04 PM
God wants us to believe in Him,

why?  How do you know?

suppose you made some microbes - bacteria - completely from scratch.  You kept them in a little jar with mini ecosystem for them to continue living.  And you wanted them to love one another.  Would you really care whether they believed you existed?  Would you destroy them if the didn't?  Would you really love them?

Do you have kids? Do you want them to know who you are?Would you still Love them if they didn't?

We're not talking about children.  Children are little versions of us that will eventually grow into mature versions of us.  We are not children of yhwh.  We will never grow into gods. 

yhwh is the alpha and the omega.  The omnipotent creator of the universe. 
Perfect. 
Eternal. 
Unchanging. 

yhwh manufactured you.  You are its product.  We are less complicated to it than a bicycle is to us.  Comparing people to bateria does not even come close to describing how much greater yhwh is than us. It is completely alien to us and our understanding. 

To say that you are the offspring of that entity is hubris in the extreme.

So please, answer my questions rather than ask one you like better.



edit: that --> than
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Petey on April 11, 2013, 02:11:46 PM
God wants us to believe in Him,

why?  How do you know?

suppose you made some microbes - bacteria - completely from scratch.  You kept them in a little jar with mini ecosystem for them to continue living.  And you wanted them to love one another.  Would you really care whether they believed you existed?  Would you destroy them if the didn't?  Would you really love them?

Do you have kids? Do you want them to know who you are?Would you still Love them if they didn't?

Yes, yes, and yes.  The main difference is that I wouldn't hide from them and purposely design an environment which shows no sign of my existence.  I also wouldn't have someone else write some obscure, self-contradictory text before they were born and expect them to believe in me or love me based on it.

Let's take the example of a remote tribe of people who have no previous notion of "god", and no communication with the rest of the world.  Barring a human visitor from outside their tribe, how exactly are they supposed to know about it?

Oh, and your views on atheism need some adjustment.

1. It isn't capitalized.  For the same reason theism isn't.
2. You don't practice it.  For the same reason that you don't practice not collecting stamps.
3. It isn't a choice, at least not in the most common use of the word choice.  It's not like choosing what to have for lunch.  It's more akin to "choosing" whether or not to believe in Santa Claus after reaching the age of reason.  If I gave you a story about how Santa has had a profound influence on my life, and how he helped me through some extremely tough times, would you believe in him?  Really, truly believe?  How about fairies?  Leprechauns?  The Invisible Pink Unicorn?

As for getting you through tough times...the belief itself is what got you through, not some mysterious invisible entity.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Aaron123 on April 11, 2013, 02:34:47 PM
Big fan of Jesus, and you will have to give me book and chapter where Jesus said this because I do not recall Jesus saying this. I know Jesus was against stoning and killing. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. I remember the story of the prostitute, the crowd around wanted to throw stones and Jesus said,"let the first man here without sin throw the first stone." Jesus also denounced the Old Testament law of the Sabbath by asking the Pharisee if your Ox is stuck in the ditch will you wait until the next day to get him out? That's what got Him crucified!

Matthew 5:17-20
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.  Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.



This sounds like he's saying that the old testament laws are still valid.

Even pushing this aside, there's still the idea that god and Jesus are one and the same (at least for those that follows the idea of the trinity).  So when god commanded those death penalty laws in the old testaments, it was really Jesus making those commands.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: nogodsforme on April 11, 2013, 02:58:26 PM
junebug72, it is very annoying to have people claim, with no evidence, stuff like "god is inside all of us".

That does not mean anything at all. It is the same as saying Thor, a tiny blue smurf or a magic invisible apple pie is inside all of us. You may as well say Lassie the wonder dog is inside all of us, with the exception that there actually was a real Lassie.

What is this god inside? What is it made of? Is it just one god in everyone, or a different one in each person? How do you know it is inside everyone? (It may be only inside some people, but not 2-year old children,  people who never heard of god, people who don't believe in god, people who are severely developmentally disabled, people in comas, people with dementia, mass murdering sociopaths.) 
 
Where exactly is the god inside? In the brain? Somewhere else? 

When exactly does god get inside us? At conception? At implantation? When the fetus has a heartbeat? At birth? Sometime later? Or was god always "there" floating around the sperm and egg?

When the person dies, where does the god inside go?

How would you possibly test this idea? If you can't test or prove this, what is your belief based on?

You have get at least this far-- establishing that clearly there is a supernatural being inside each and every human and this is how we can tell.  Then you have to explain how you understand the nature of the god inside-- good, knowable, eternal, powerful, or whatever.

And it has to be more than "because I think so."

How is what you are saying here different from WINC?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDvO5PZ-3FE
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 11, 2013, 03:21:15 PM
Do you have kids? Do you want them to know who you are?Would you still Love them if they didn't?

Yes. Yes. And this is just nonsense. At best, I could love the idea of them. I couldn't love them, they would be strangers to me.

To look at this from the other side: I'm adopted and have never met either of my biological parents. Based on the limited information I have available to me, and my own experiences as a parent and a human, my biological mother does NOT love me in the way you are using the word. It's impossible - she doesn't know me, or anything about me. She may very well "love" the infant she gave up for adoption but that infant is not me, and hasn't been me for more than 40 years. Further, I don't believe it's possible to love someone you don't know; if you claim you do, what you are really saying is you love YOUR version of that person - who may have nothing in common with the idealized person you've created in your head.

I can assert that I "love" my fellow man, but what I actually mean is that I have compassion for, and a shared sense of identity with, these unknown people. That's a stretch of the word "love" to me, but YMMV.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 11, 2013, 03:22:48 PM
Dear Junebug, you cannot convince someone who does not want to believe to believe.  As the resident flaky, doubtful theist, I am here not to convert, but to coexist.  When I express my views it is for exhibition, not out of any expectation that anyone will change their minds.  This is not a site where people come looking for God.   I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith.  I care very deeply for people in general and try to show it through my actions.  I feel that is the main thing Jesus teaches me.  But if I stop believing in Him tomorrow I will still be a caring person. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Dante on April 11, 2013, 03:29:43 PM
Dear Junebug, you cannot convince someone who does not want to believe to believe. 

Absolutely false. Most, if not all of us here would believe given evidence of god's existance.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 11, 2013, 03:38:20 PM
Dear Junebug, you cannot convince someone who does not want to believe to believe. 

Absolutely false. Most, if not all of us here would believe given evidence of god's existance.

I am not trying to start an argument.  Let me add that you cannot present evidence that is not accepted by those whose standard of evidence does not allow the evidence you are presenting.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Petey on April 11, 2013, 03:58:51 PM
I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith.

I think you'd find that most of the members here who used to be theists would not attribute their deconversion to anything even close to that.  What you will find is that they were enlightened by pursuit of truth and learning to think critically.  But don't take my word for it (though that is the case for me), ask around.  I recall a few past threads discussing that very topic.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 11, 2013, 03:59:53 PM
Dear Junebug, you cannot convince someone who does not want to believe to believe. 
I'm just going to agree with Dante on this one.
Quote
As the resident flaky, doubtful theist, I am here not to convert, but to coexist.  When I express my views it is for exhibition, not out of any expectation that anyone will change their minds.  This is not a site where people come looking for God. 
Mostly true, but a few do show up determine to make us agree that he's real.
Quote
I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith. 
THIS is the part I object to - many of us have stated quite clearly how we came to be atheists, yet you continue to dismiss OUR explanations about how we drew our conclusions, in favor of your own.
Quote
I care very deeply for people in general and try to show it through my actions.  I feel that is the main thing Jesus teaches me.  But if I stop believing in Him tomorrow I will still be a caring person.
And this is why we continue to assert that GOD is NOT required for people to be decent human beings.

I believe you when you indicate that IRLTM you are a decent, compassionate person who tries hard to "live and let live". What I don't quite know how to reconcile is your persistent belief that we don't know our own lives.

Edited for punctuation error
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Quesi on April 11, 2013, 04:18:44 PM
God wants us to believe in Him,

why?  How do you know?

suppose you made some microbes - bacteria - completely from scratch.  You kept them in a little jar with mini ecosystem for them to continue living.  And you wanted them to love one another.  Would you really care whether they believed you existed?  Would you destroy them if the didn't?  Would you really love them?

Clearly you have never played The Sims  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sims

Over the past decade or so, I've certainly created hundreds of little fictional sims, and I have to say, I've loved them all.  I created them, micromanaged their little lives, married them off, got them jobs, sent them on vacation, made them have baby sims, watched the little baby sims grow up.  And I loved them all.  Some more than others, of course. [1]  And I'm sure they would love me too, if they knew I existed.  And if they were real.

God is the same way.  Only backwards.  I'm real, but my sims aren't.  God isn't real, but I am.  And if God were real, he would love his microbes as much as I love my sims. 

It makes a lot of sense.   If you don't think about it very much. 
 1. Sort of like God and Abraham.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 11, 2013, 04:47:27 PM
Sorry if this whole thing looks like a big quote..


Quote
I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith. 
Quote
THIS is the part I object to - many of us have stated quite clearly how we came to be atheists, yet you continue to dismiss OUR explanations about how we drew our conclusions, in favor of your own.

I'm sorry if anything I said indicated I was dismissing any explanation you may have given.  I don't see it and it was entirely unintentional.  But when I see high emotion and drama (as I see in how vigorously some people attack the people they disagree with) I see pain, that I why I assume, apparently wrongly that people have been hurt.  -lpa


Quote
I believe you when you indicate that IRLTM you are a decent, compassionate person who tries hard to "live and let live". What I don't quite know how to reconcile is your persistent belief that we don't know our own lives.

Edited for punctuation error

Again, I don't see where I indicated any any way that anyone doesn't know their own life.  Generally I stay out of serious conversations and surf around and make jokes since some people tend to become very easily offended and attack every comment that comes from someone whose beliefs or lack of them doesn't coincide with theirs.  Also I suck at inserting comments into quotes. I fricken give up.  -lpa
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: ParkingPlaces on April 11, 2013, 04:59:30 PM
God wants us to believe in Him

If he wants to be believed in, he needs to be believable.

You know, like science is. To a lot of us, anyway.

If he is real, and you believe in him, jb, then he is partially successful. But if he is real and I don't believe in him, then he's doing a pretty lousy job of being a deity. I'm not dead set against gods or anything, I just don't see even one iota of evidence that even just kinda, sorta hints that maybe, just maybe, he might be at least a little tiny bit real.

There are many religions, many writings, many variations, many excuses, but none combine their various tidbits of information into a story that I can accept, or even just suspect might be true. None of the old stories (and that's all we've got, documentation-wise) match with the reality I live in, and hence I reject them carte blanche.

Yep, if he wants to be believed in, he needs to be believable. The stories of his glory, etc. need to match reality and experience. For everyone. Or else, as you can see, some of us are going to remain mighty suspicious of the whole thing.

If I'm wrong about being an atheist, it is some gods fault, not mine.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: HAL on April 11, 2013, 05:06:30 PM
If he wants to be believed in, he needs to be believable.

Genius!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: ParkingPlaces on April 11, 2013, 05:08:03 PM
I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith.

I can't speak for the others, but I want to you to know that it is possible to be an atheist without being a victim of some horrid theist or by suffering religion in any other uncomfortable way. I have never been hurt by a religious person (if you don't count the ordained minister who stole five grand from me, but I'd been an atheist for over 35 years at that point). And I never felt unfulfilled by faith, whatever that means. I was told there was a god when I was young, I believed it, then I got old enough to give it some serious thought and came to the conclusion that all religion is bunk. There was nothing traumatic about it. That was in 1962, and I've never looked back or suffered emotionally because of it.

Just wanted to give you some comfort in knowing that not all of us are mental cases.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 11, 2013, 05:08:32 PM
I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith.

I think you'd find that most of the members here who used to be theists would not attribute their deconversion to anything even close to that.  What you will find is that they were enlightened by pursuit of truth and learning to think critically.  But don't take my word for it (though that is the case for me), ask around.  I recall a few past threads discussing that very topic.

I am not normal in that way.  My pursuit of truth allows for acceptance of the unknown.  I am sort of a morphing of a critical thinker (which is necessary for my profession as a nurse) and a throwback to the hippies (which helps my caring nature survive in an unkind world.)  I guess I am semi-tolerated around here because I am pretty tolerant myself, generally intelligent and usually fun.  I compartmentalize areas where logic fails if I have to to preserve the amount of sanity I need to function.  I works for me in it's own way...
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 11, 2013, 05:12:34 PM
I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith.

I can't speak for the others, but I want to you to know that it is possible to be an atheist without being a victim of some horrid theist or by suffering religion in any other uncomfortable way. I have never been hurt by a religious person (if you don't count the ordained minister who stole five grand from me, but I'd been an atheist for over 35 years at that point). And I never felt unfulfilled by faith, whatever that means. I was told there was a god when I was young, I believed it, then I got old enough to give it some serious thought and came to the conclusion that all religion is bunk. There was nothing traumatic about it. That was in 1962, and I've never looked back or suffered emotionally because of it.

Just wanted to give you some comfort in knowing that not all of us are mental cases.

Good for you.  Many in no way means all.  Being hurt does not make one a mental case.  I was told there was a Santa Claus when I was young.  I believed it, then Ricky Nelson (not the famous one) said it was a lie.  I asked my parents.  They confirmed it.  I ceased to believe.  I was a little bummed for a while.  But I didn't seek out everyone who still believed and call them idiots and try to trash their belief as some do.  I realize the huge difference in seriousness between Santa and God.  I'm just sayin'...
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 11, 2013, 05:41:12 PM
LoriPinkAngel, I'm responding to post #59 here rather than carry the messy quoting along, ok?

This - I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith - is a misrepresentation of our often-stated position.

The point I was trying to make is that when you speak on behalf of atheists here, by making statements like that, you could do us the courtesy of at least sticking to what actual atheists here have said. Claiming that "I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith" is rather dismissive of our repeated assertion that we've reach our conclusion due to a lack of empirical evidence. You are a nurse, and thus educated as appropriate about matters of science - you know what empirical evidence means.

You self-identify as "the resident flaky, doubtful theist", which leads me to think of you as a "regular" - you don't post a lot, and neither do I, but we both hang out here, and read. So you know you are presenting an opinion that is in conflict with what we have repeatedly said ourselves. You're certainly entitled to your opinion, and even to share it publicly, just like I'm entitled to call you out on it if I think it's wrong.

FTR, I don't think you're just tolerated here; in fact, I rather like you, insofar as one can "like" stranger on the internet. You express your doubts and opinions, you engage in conversation and I can't recall you ever threatening anyone here with eternal damnation. I sincerely hope you stick around and keep participating, whether you join us in our disbelief or not. But I think it's reasonable to expect that if you are going to speak on our behalf you'll do so in a manner consistent with what we've said. You ARE familiar with it, if for no other reason that your ongoing exposure to it.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 11, 2013, 07:32:29 PM
Wait, Lori isnt atheist (http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0yndrxfpz1qcb0g8.gif)

hmmm.....

Anyways, I cant say that I was ever "hurt" by anyone in the church. Many of the kids I grew up with in the church are my good friends today. I still like the adults that were there to oversee me grow up. I do however, feel disappointed, because I think some of them had to know they were lying to kids, which I find deplorable. But I cant point to anyone and say that they hurt me.

I think something theist have a difficult time with is that the bible has some truly horrendous teachings, and because we (atheists) arent trying to justify a belief in it, we see no need to ignore those ugly verses. And when someone in real life lives like or carries out those very clear instructions in the bible, we likely see it as someone actually adhering to the book which they claim to believe in.

Furthermore it is unclear to me why, since christians already disregard most of the book, why they just dont admit it and make up their own thing without all the evil stuff.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Azdgari on April 11, 2013, 08:32:39 PM
I was told there was a Santa Claus when I was young.  I believed it, then Ricky Nelson (not the famous one) said it was a lie.  I asked my parents.  They confirmed it.  I ceased to believe. ...

How do you think you would have dealt with it if one or both of your parents had reacted by telling you that your new position on the matter meant you were earning eternal hellfire for yourself?

How would it make you feel about Santa-believers if others throughout your life re-iterated that opinion?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: JeffPT on April 11, 2013, 08:45:44 PM
I was told there was a Santa Claus when I was young.  I believed it, then Ricky Nelson (not the famous one) said it was a lie.  I asked my parents.  They confirmed it.  I ceased to believe.  I was a little bummed for a while.  But I didn't seek out everyone who still believed and call them idiots and try to trash their belief as some do.  I realize the huge difference in seriousness between Santa and God.  I'm just sayin'...

It's actually a lot less serious than you think.  If that had happened with God instead of Santa Claus, you would have stopped believing in God too. 

Just think about it.  The main reason you stopped believing in Santa Claus was because a few people you trusted told you that it wasn't true.  Then, later on in your life, you didn't run into people who told you Santa Claus was real.  Easy.  Imagine if God was the same way.  Imagine that at an early age, another child came up to you and said God isn't real.  You go to your parents and they confirm it.  It's over right there.  But in reality your parents DON'T confirm it.  They DENY it.  And you keep on believing because you trusted your parents implicitly not to lie to you, and later on, you were surrounded by adults who continued to believe that God was real as well. 

What if it played out that way with your father and mothers generation?  With their father and mother?  What if that same scenario played out for generations before you?  Would that not explain exactly the way things are today?  Millions of believers still pushing the same idiocy, 2000+ years later because so few people realized that mom and dad don't know everything?     

Why is there an uptick in atheism lately?  If you ask me, one reason is because of the easy access to information that everyone has on the internet now.  The internet has become Gods' Ricky Nelson, Lori.  And people are realizing that Santa and God are equally untrue.  They're getting their information from places other than mom and dad.  And that's a big blow to the theist camp. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 08:47:53 PM
Dawg,

In response to post 47, that list you displayed it has truth, it surely does. Most of that list is man made issues. Nobody wants a peaceful planet more than I do. I am trying to make the point that taking God away is not the way to peace.

I want you to know, I do get your point and I completely understand how you feel.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 11, 2013, 08:55:37 PM
Re #66 I love the Crabman but this image doesn't ring a bell.  Please clarify.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 11, 2013, 08:58:31 PM
now I am not sure exactly who your god is, June, but if he is anything like the Ot god, well, he was in favour of slavery - in multiple quotes. Even Paul has no problem with slavery in the NT. That's why the Southern States in the USA Civil War argued for slavery based on their bibles. What won out with the leaders in the north who were, pretty much to a man, deists believing in only  vague idea of a god who started the universe and went on an extended lunch break.

The fact is, June, that the idea of a god in everyone is all very well until we look harder at it. Then we see that the god each person espouses somehow always manages to agree with the person. On never finds a believer who doesn't agree with their own god. That's why, in the Civil War, the Southerners agreed with their god that slavery was OK.

Of course, if you think that this god inside everyone is something separate and apart from the person and not just an effect of their own subconscious mind, then we would need to see how you conclude this as evidence would seem to be in short supply. After all, how would a Catholic like Hitler do what he did 'with a god inside him' unless he thought he was a god, or course?

My God is The Creator, Master of the Universe. God is in us all, not everybody listens.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: JeffPT on April 11, 2013, 09:06:20 PM
Big fan of Jesus, and you will have to give me book and chapter where Jesus said this because I do not recall Jesus saying this. I know Jesus was against stoning and killing. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. I remember the story of the prostitute, the crowd around wanted to throw stones and Jesus said,"let the first man here without sin throw the first stone."

That story never happened. Jesus never actually did that.  It was a later account that was added by scribes.  Here is a quote from the book "Forged" by Bart Ehrman to back up what I'm saying, why he says it, and why so many scholars agree with it.  Page 268 to 269.

Quote
This is the account in which Jesus delivers one of his most famous sayings: “Let the one without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.” The story, however, is not found in the oldest manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Moreover, the writing style (in the Greek) is significantly different from the writing style of the rest of the Gospel. In addition, the story breaks the flow of the narrative of John 7–8, where it is found. In other words, if you take the story out of John, the context makes much better sense, as the story immediately before the account flows better directly into the story immediately after it. For these and numerous other reasons there is virtually no debate among New Testament scholars that this story, as wonderful, powerful, and influential as it is, was not originally part of the New Testament.  It was added by a scribe.

Sorry to burst your bubble.  This is why it's important to study this stuff. 

My God is The Creator, Master of the Universe. God is in us all, not everybody listens.

You're just stating this as if it's a fact.  I'm now going to counter your statement with an equal amount of evidence.

No, he's not Junebug.  Your God isn't real.  It's not there.  He's not the master of the universe and he's not inside everyone. 

There, has that moved the conversation forward?  No, it hasn't.  You can't just say it and expect people to accept it.  You have to face the fact that your statement is either one that's true, or one that's false, and in the absence of your ability to prove it's true, and given the infinite number of things that we can claim about the universe with no evidence, and the very few things that are ACTUALLY true, it's vastly more likely that you're just wrong. 


Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 12, 2013, 03:36:36 AM
God wants us to believe in Him,

Do you have kids? Do you want them to know who you are?

And here is a big problem.  You assert that your god wants us to believe in him - I'm presuming that your meaning here is "accept that he exists", rather than "believe without any evidence", because of your previous assertion that you have all the evidence you need.

So okay then.  Your god wants us all to accept he exists.  Well, there are many, many ways that could have been accomplished.

1) Ensure that all religious texts, throughout history, carried the same message about the same god.  (On that subject, I'd be interested to hear how your "research" of multiple faiths - some of which portray multiple deities, some of which proclaim theirs is the only one - led you to believe they were all talking about a single one.  But perhaps that is for another thread.

2) He could answer when he is called.  Not in a "give me this, help me with that", but in a "here I am, let's talk" kind of way.  You know....the way if your kid called you, you would answer directly and immediately, because you love them.

3) He could have made a world where his existence is as obvious as the existence of the earth beneath our feet.  We can touch it, smell it, taste it (ick!)....pick it up, throw it around, build things form it.  Earth is THERE, undeniably.  Your god isn't.

That's just a couple, off the top of my head.  If your god really wants us all to believe, he is doing an appaling job of showing it.

I have kids.  I want them to know who I am.  So I am a direct and obviosu presence in their lives.  Yet I've seen your god as often as I have seen Reginald Warburton.  Who's he?  I have no idea, because he's never done anything to give me the slightest idea he exists.  If he was my father, then he has done NOTHING to show me that - exactly like your alleged god.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 12, 2013, 05:48:52 AM
I am trying to make the point that taking God away is not the way to peace.
But neither is it the way to war. In fact, whether there is a god or not, makes no difference whether good or bad things are done. We can say from this that God adds nothing to an equation - He may as well not be there.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 07:11:56 AM

We're not talking about children.  Children are little versions of us that will eventually grow into mature versions of us.  We are not children of yhwh.  We will never grow into gods. 

yhwh is the alpha and the omega.  The omnipotent creator of the universe. 
Perfect. 
Eternal. 
Unchanging. 

yhwh manufactured you.  You are its product.  We are less complicated to it than a bicycle is to us.  Comparing people to bateria does not even come close to describing how much greater yhwh is than us. It is completely alien to us and our understanding. 

To say that you are the offspring of that entity is hubris in the extreme.

So please, answer my questions rather than ask one you like better.



edit: that --> than

I could never truly identify your scenario with mankind's relationship to God. As a believer I can only imagine what inspired God to create our world. My conscience tells me it was a necessity. Kind of like the cycle of life on a bigger scale. My intellect is no comparison to God's. I believe God does Love us, with the most perfect kind of Love, God is empathetic to our struggles, but we must fix this mess ourselves! Instead of using so much time to hate, try loving your enemy, understanding him,make him your friend and come together to achieve a common goal; WORLD PEACE!

When I use the terms child/children I do not mean it in the literal human term. It is to me however, the best way to describe our relationship to our Creator.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 12, 2013, 07:17:07 AM
Sorry, June, but I still don't understand where you got this knowledge from about your god. if there is a god she is very quiet and fails to contact or appear to anyone so I really don't know how you can know anything about her..
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: naemhni on April 12, 2013, 07:20:02 AM
As a believer I can only imagine what inspired God to create our world. My conscience tells me it was a necessity.

That can't be it.  An omniscient and omnipotent being cannot "need", or even want, to do anything.  By definition, it would be complete in and of itself.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 12, 2013, 07:35:56 AM
As a believer I can only imagine what inspired God to create our world.

What evidence do you have?

My conscience tells me it was a necessity.

What evidence do you have?

I believe God does Love us, with the most perfect kind of Love,

What evidence do you have?

God is empathetic to our struggles

What evidence do you have?

Perhaps, like the Red Queen, you find it easy to believe six impossible things before breakfast.  Most of us here, however, like to see some kind of evidence before making a decision.

Is there ANY evidence you have, for ANY of your beliefs, that you can share?  That would not equally be valid as "evidence" for any god I may choose to make-up out of my own imagination?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 12, 2013, 07:47:41 AM
I could never truly identify your scenario with mankind's relationship to God.

Then you have an incoherent view of god.  You said god was "The Creator" and the "Master of the Universe".  It is not our father, and we are not its children, as you like to think.  If it were so, then it could not be the creator or master of the universe. These are mutually exclusive ideas.

My conscience tells me it was a necessity.

That's not your conscience.  Your conscience is a metaphorical "sense" that describes how our understanding of morality and feelings of guilt guide our behaviors.  So it was your imagination telling you it was a necessity.  Unfortunately, fantasy is not fact.  I wish it were.  I'd be a Jedi.

I believe God does Love us, with the most perfect kind of Love,

yeah, yeah yeah.  That is because of your particular life experiences.  I am trying to get you to understand that a god that is so big and awesome and powerful is unlikely to even notice us or think any more of us than it does mosquitos.  Thus the questions I asked three posts ago, which you have completely ignored.

God is empathetic... WORLD PEACE!

I get the feeling I am not partcipating in a conversation here.  You quote my post and then write whatever is on your mind, no matter how disconnected from the words I wrote.

It is to me however, the best way to describe our relationship to our Creator.

Yeah, metaphors.  I know.  I pointed out how terrible a metaphor it is.  I explained in detail why it does not work.  We are not in any way like children of god.  There is no reason to think a god would love us like its children.  Except conceit.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 12, 2013, 07:58:04 AM
Dawg,

In response to post 47, that list you displayed it has truth, it surely does. Most of that list is man made issues. Nobody wants a peaceful planet more than I do. I am trying to make the point that taking God away is not the way to peace.

I want you to know, I do get your point and I completely understand how you feel.
So a few things:
1) Well, what about that list of non-man-made issues like floods and earthquakes?  Does that simply not deserve any sort of response?
2) Even in regards to man made issues: what's the deal there?  Is god powerless to prevent war?  Does he not want to?  Is god powerless to prevent a mugging?  Does he not want to?  Is god powerless to prevent a rape?  Does he not want to?  If someone were about to be raped before your very eyes; if you had the ability to stop it - would you bear any responsibility if you did not stop it and it happened?  Would you describe yourself as 'loving'?  Would others describe you as 'loving'?
d) While flattering, I do not think I would have the power or ability to take god away if s/he/it were real.  I'm not trying to take god away, I do not think that god exists.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 09:21:51 AM

Matthew 5:17-20
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.  Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.



This sounds like he's saying that the old testament laws are still valid.

Even pushing this aside, there's still the idea that god and Jesus are one and the same (at least for those that follows the idea of the trinity).  So when god commanded those death penalty laws in the old testaments, it was really Jesus making those commands.

Oh yes, the sermon on the mount. Thanks for the reference. We are both aware that most scripture is interpreted according to the reader. First of all Jesus had to chose His words wisely as to not bring on His death before the Passover. The scribes and pharisees were constantly asking Him tricky questions to try and slip Him up. By telling the multitude to be more righteous than the pharisee not only in their teaching, but by example as well, He is denouncing the "OLD WAYS."  The message of forgiveness, do unto others as you would have done unto you; these are all attempts to change the 'old' ways. Af far as Jesus and God being one, I believe they are, how else could He have found the courage to give His life so easily so that others may live.

The "Ten Commandments" are God's laws. Don't see anything there so bad, and If mankind actually followed them, the World would be at peace.

1.Thou shalt have no other God before me.
2.Thou shalt not worship idols.
3.Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain.
4.Honor the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy
5.Honor thy Father and Mother
6.Thou shalt not Kill
7.No adultery
8.No stealing
9.No lying
10.Do not covet

I see nothing harmful here at all. Moses goes on to distort God's Commandments, which I believe is the "real" reason Moses was not allowed into the Promised Land. That is if this story is true. This story was my first indication that the Bible had man's footprint all over it. No way would an intelligent , powerful God make such obvious contradictions.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: penfold on April 12, 2013, 09:26:06 AM
As a believer I can only imagine what inspired God to create our world. My conscience tells me it was a necessity. Kind of like the cycle of life on a bigger scale. My intellect is no comparison to God's. I believe God does Love us, with the most perfect kind of Love, God is empathetic to our struggles, but we must fix this mess ourselves! Instead of using so much time to hate, try loving your enemy, understanding him,make him your friend and come together to achieve a common goal; WORLD PEACE!

When I use the terms child/children I do not mean it in the literal human term. It is to me however, the best way to describe our relationship to our Creator.

Hi Junebug

I have been following this thread with interest. Incidentally I agree with your initial premise, that believing in God is not a bad thing (in itself, at any rate); and certainly the impression I get is that your brand of Christianity is a healthy one. It seems that it has allowed you to overcome struggle and grief in your own life; you seem to have a sense that Jesus’ message is about reaching out to others in love regardless of who they are. However there are a couple of points that I would add from the perspective of someone who does not have faith in God.

Firstly it seems to me, from my own experience, and the experiences of others, that healthy-mindedness and happiness are not exclusive to Christians. There are many people, I would include myself, who find happiness and are able to take life seriously without belief in God. While you have not stated it explicitly you seem to hold an assumption that somehow because belief in God ‘fixed’ you, so it will for everyone else. I would suggest that the evidence is against you here; it seems to me that a person’s attitude to the complex questions raised by their existence can be positive or negative whether they are religious or not. Just because you require God does not mean we all do.

Secondly you also seem to be offering arguments for why a belief in God is reasonable; you have mentioned necessity of belief in an intelligent creator to explain existence.

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I do not feel like my faith is wishful thinking. It is something I have developed over many years of studying and contemplating. It is not some rash decision made during the grieving process. My faith was already starting to mature by the time I lost my parents. I believe in God because I believe it took intelligence to have such a complex planet.

Here we strongly part ways. I have no wish to offend, you come across as a good person, but I find this notion that the only explanation for the apparent design of the universe is an intelligent being breathtakingly arrogant. The universe and our existence is the deepest and most fascinating question we can ask, and your assertion that there is an obvious answer (based as it is upon ancient text and the received wisdom of a largely ignorant age) represents a serious failure of imagination.

Peace etc...
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Mrjason on April 12, 2013, 09:31:33 AM
The "Ten Commandments" are God's laws. Don't see anything there so bad, and If mankind actually followed them, the World would be at peace.

1.Thou shalt have no other God before me.
2.Thou shalt not worship idols.
3.Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain.
4.Honor the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy

5.Honor thy Father and Mother
6.Thou shalt not Kill
7.No adultery
8.No stealing
9.No lying
10.Do not covet

...

I disagree. The first 4 commandments promote conflict if the whole of mankind does not adhere to one particular flavour of deity.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 12, 2013, 09:34:45 AM
June,

Actually, you have missed a few commandments out from your list. The Torah (the first 5 books of the bible) has 613 commandments. It includes ones relating to sacrifice which cannot be followed as there is no temple if Jerusalem. However, there are still plenty after that. One cannot pick and choose which of the commandments to follow and which to ignore. Equally valid commandments, followed by Jesus in his lifetime, where all the various festivals during the year including, of course, Pesach which he is said to have partaken in as his last meal on earth.

Then again, there are rules and regulations about keeping slaves - you are careful not to beats yours to death aren't you? No? You don't have any slave? Why not, the whole bible supports keeping slaves and some of the commandments relate to just. How do you pick out 10 from the total and then decide that, say, the rules relating to slavery are wrong?

Then again, do you like pork and bacon? the Ot bans then altogether as well as shellfish and a variety of other possible food sources. of course Jesus, whilst confirming that all the commandments are still valid still managed to say that eating banned food was OK.

Things are getting confusing at this point but I would love to know why you only pick 10 of the 613 commandments to tell us about.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 09:53:35 AM
What is this god inside? What is it made of? Is it just one god in everyone, or a different one in each person? How do you know it is inside everyone? (It may be only inside some people, but not 2-year old children,  people who never heard of god, people who don't believe in god, people who are severely developmentally disabled, people in comas, people with dementia, mass murdering sociopaths.) 
 
Where exactly is the god inside? In the brain? Somewhere else? 

When exactly does god get inside us? At conception? At implantation? When the fetus has a heartbeat? At birth? Sometime later? Or was god always "there" floating around the sperm and egg?

When the person dies, where does the god inside go?

How would you possibly test this idea? If you can't test or prove this, what is your belief based on?

You have get at least this far-- establishing that clearly there is a supernatural being inside each and every human and this is how we can tell.  Then you have to explain how you understand the nature of the god inside-- good, knowable, eternal, powerful, or whatever.

And it has to be more than "because I think so."

How is what you are saying here different from WINC?

Those are some very challenging questions No..  I base my opinion, and that's all it is an opinion, on the human spirit.  When the human spirit is nurtured, good things happen, when it is used and abused they do not. Does the body not release the spirit when it passes. I know it does, I have felt it. I'm sure you believe that it was some chemicals from my brain, and who's to say that's not possible, I'm aware that it is, I would just have to believe that was part of God's design. 

I'm not trying to say I believe God's physical form lives inside, but rather His spirit, which does stay with us after death. I'm much too humble to think I could prove anything to you. All I have is my testimony, my story, and I know I would not have come this far had it not been for the Grace of God.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 10:06:34 AM
Dear Junebug, you cannot convince someone who does not want to believe to believe.  As the resident flaky, doubtful theist, I am here not to convert, but to coexist.  When I express my views it is for exhibition, not out of any expectation that anyone will change their minds.  This is not a site where people come looking for God.   I think many of the members here have been deeply hurt by religious people and possibly by unfulfilled faith.  I care very deeply for people in general and try to show it through my actions.  I feel that is the main thing Jesus teaches me.  But if I stop believing in Him tomorrow I will still be a caring person.

Hi Pink,

Thanks for the wise words. I just came to share my story;give God some credit. To show an unbeliever that not all believers are hateful and judgemental. That's all.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Aaron123 on April 12, 2013, 10:13:02 AM
The scribes and pharisees were constantly asking Him tricky questions to try and slip Him up. By telling the multitude to be more righteous than the pharisee not only in their teaching, but by example as well, He is denouncing the "OLD WAYS."  The message of forgiveness, do unto others as you would have done unto you; these are all attempts to change the 'old' ways.

What are these "old ways" you speak of?  The laws of the old testaments?  If so, why did god set those up instead of the love & peace stuff in the first place?


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Af far as Jesus and God being one, I believe they are, how else could He have found the courage to give His life so easily so that others may live.


God and Jesus are one and the same.  Ok, we've got that established.  Now, if Jesus is all about love & peace, why did he prescribe death for so many offenses in the OT? (including trivial nonsense, such as picking up stickes on the wrong day)


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The "Ten Commandments" are God's laws. Don't see anything there so bad, and If mankind actually followed them, the World would be at peace.


What you've listed are not the ten commandments.  They are:

1) Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God
2) Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices
3) Do not make any idols
4) Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread
5) The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock.
6) Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.
7) Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year.
8 ) Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Festival remain until morning.
9) Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.
10) Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk

That's all exodus 34, the only place where those sets of rules are specifically called "the ten commandments".  The ones in bold are what matches your list.  Only a 30% match.

Oh, and apparently, god's real name is "Jealous".  How strange.


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1.Thou shalt have no other God before me.
2.Thou shalt not worship idols.
3.Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain.
4.Honor the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy
5.Honor thy Father and Mother
6.Thou shalt not Kill
7.No adultery
8.No stealing
9.No lying
10.Do not covet

I see nothing harmful here at all.


The first four are junk.  They're nothing more than Mr. Jealous' self-centerness.  The rest are decent, but could be improved on.  How about "do not rape", "do not molest children", or "help the poor"?


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Moses goes on to distort God's Commandments, which I believe is the "real" reason Moses was not allowed into the Promised Land. That is if this story is true. This story was my first indication that the Bible had man's footprint all over it. No way would an intelligent , powerful God make such obvious contradictions.

What part of the bible is about Moses "distorting" god's commandments?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 10:33:15 AM

If he wants to be believed in, he needs to be believable.

You know, like science is. To a lot of us, anyway.

If he is real, and you believe in him, jb, then he is partially successful. But if he is real and I don't believe in him, then he's doing a pretty lousy job of being a deity. I'm not dead set against gods or anything, I just don't see even one iota of evidence that even just kinda, sorta hints that maybe, just maybe, he might be at least a little tiny bit real.

There are many religions, many writings, many variations, many excuses, but none combine their various tidbits of information into a story that I can accept, or even just suspect might be true. None of the old stories (and that's all we've got, documentation-wise) match with the reality I live in, and hence I reject them carte blanche.

Yep, if he wants to be believed in, he needs to be believable. The stories of his glory, etc. need to match reality and experience. For everyone. Or else, as you can see, some of us are going to remain mighty suspicious of the whole thing.

If I'm wrong about being an atheist, it is some gods fault, not mine.

This is why I say it is not easy to believe in God. Perhaps your purpose in life is to challenge mans definition of God. You and I are on the same mission in that respect. You know I can tell when I view religious programming these days, that the Atheist has been an influence on doctrine. I learn so much from you guys about my own beliefs, it's incredible! Like you ask me questions I have not thought to ask myself, not all your questions, I have asked myself some of the same questions you all ask, and in my modest attempt to answer them for you I answer them for myself also. I would view this as God's work and evidence as to believability, but I do understand that you all being who you are it will take much more.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 12, 2013, 10:41:47 AM
Sorry for being a little late on this thread.


Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing

It depends on what you mean by "bad".  As W. K. Clifford said:  "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."



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As long as there is a shred of hope that life after death exists, this is the path I must follow, I long to see my mother again in a land without pain, fear, or sadness.

What has your desire to survive death got to do with a god?  Why can't you simply hope for seeing your mother again after death?  Why is a god required?

 If you accept the fact (and I hope you do) that we humans are a part of the evolutionary tree of life which has evolved in the last 3.5 billion years on this 4.5 billion year old planet, please explain why you would believe that we survive death somehow.







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Yes I know that most people here have done just that, but until you've heard every story, mine included, how can the investigation be over.

Ironically, it is the theist who has declared the investigation "over".


Faith does not give you the answers; it just stops you asking the questions.  (Frater Ravus)



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There are a lot of "good" people believing in God, will you condemn the righteous along with the unrighteous.

Again, ironically it is the theist who has historically been in the "condemning" role.  We're not condemning anyone, just placing wild, supernatural claims & assertions under critical, rational and honest scrutiny to see if they hold up; you know, to see if they're true or not.  I care more about what is true over what might be comforting; I respectfully suggest that you develop the same appetite.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 12, 2013, 10:43:12 AM
Those are some very challenging questions No..  I base my opinion, and that's all it is an opinion, on the human spirit.  When the human spirit is nurtured, good things happen, when it is used and abused they do not. Does the body not release the spirit when it passes. I know it does, I have felt it. I'm sure you believe that it was some chemicals from my brain, and who's to say that's not possible, I'm aware that it is, I would just have to believe that was part of God's design. 

I'm not trying to say I believe God's physical form lives inside, but rather His spirit, which does stay with us after death. I'm much too humble to think I could prove anything to you. All I have is my testimony, my story, and I know I would not have come this far had it not been for the Grace of God.
Your use of the words 'opinion' and 'know' is a bit convoluted.  Actually, it's really just the use of the word 'know'...perhaps you mean to say something like:
"Does the body not release the spirit when it passes.  I think it does, I have felt it."
That jives a little better with a "I base my opinion, and that's all it is an opinion" view.

Thanks for the wise words. I just came to share my story;give God some credit. To show an unbeliever that not all believers are hateful and judgemental. That's all.
I'm uncertain about others here, but I pretty much assume that the vast majority of believers are not hateful and judgmental.  What I assume is that all believers are making claims regarding objective reality, the same objective reality that we all share, that do not appear to be true.  Now, when it comes to the existence of god, I readily admit I could be wrong and god does exist.  Hell, if I had to put together a list of all the crap I thought I know and was wrong about over the years, I'd run out of hard drive space.  But how am I supposed to correct my errors in understanding of reality if I don't talk through and argue about it with those who disagree with me?  How do we, as a society, increase our understanding of anything if we do not engage each other with our disagreements on reality?

Look, junebug72 and LoriPinkAngel - I get the whole 'coexist' thing.  Really, I do.  I'm a fan of peace and with people getting along.  I'm a fan of people respecting other people.  But let's face it; we're a bunch of anonymous people on the interweb talking over a forum.  Very, very, very little risk that anything but four letter words and insults being tossed around.  I just don't see any harm in starting arguments.  I get that you're not here to convert, and I respect that, but look...I, as well as most everyone else, has a vested interested in reality.  A good, accurate understanding of reality is pretty beneficial to navigating through reality.  You are both expressing claims about objective reality that seem false.  If they are not false, that means that I am believing incorrect things about objective reality, and I would like to be corrected.

When I participate in this forum, it isn't to win or anything like that.  It is simply a part of my never-ending search for understanding reality.  Even aside from all of the socio-political ramifications of 'belief vs. non-belief' and all that jazz, I just kind of want to know if god exists in the same way that I just kind of want to know if neutrinos, the Higgs boson, white holes, Atlantis, and the Emperor of Mexico exist.  Refusing to argue about it just seems to...devalue truth - yes, strong words and I have no other reason to believe that you value truth any less than I do, but that's just the way it seems.

Basically, I'm just personally not a fan of this ecumenical "let's all just let everyone believe what they want to believe and not argue about it" thing.  Again, big fan of people getting along, big fan of people not hurting each other or being mean to each other, but not a big fan of "well, someone might disagree so let's not engage and attempt to further our understanding of the world around us so that we can hopefully make better decisions about how reality affects us and every sentient creature around us" thing.

So let's go ahead and argue.  No need for any mean-spiritedness or anything, but let's put our disagreements about reality on the table and see if any truth falls out of arguing our positions.  You're not interested in converting anyone?  That's fine; I respect that.  But if god does indeed exist, then I'm interested in converting me.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 12, 2013, 10:45:46 AM
The first four are junk.  They're nothing more than Mr. Jealous' self-centerness.  The rest are decent, but could be improved on.  How about "do not rape", "do not molest children", or "help the poor"?

Don't own people.
Don't be a judgmental jerk.
Don't presume to know what god wants.
...

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 12, 2013, 11:04:22 AM
just a thought, June, but I wondered if there is a sense in which hoping for a life after death where one meets people one has known is really such a healthy thing. I'd love to meet again people I have known in the past - parents included - but even if I thought this had a realistic chance of happening, I would not consider it a priority.

At 64, I have lived quite a lot of my life now and who knows how long I have to go. I've even spend nearly half my life sat in a wheelchair too though that's a side issue. What I am concerned about is what I am going to do now and into the future until I die. Now the last thing I want to do is to believe a whole load of things based on the premise I might meet family and friends in the next life. The reason for this is that I have family and friends here and now and I have a life to lead and useful things to do for all sorts of people. Rather than get bogged down in what happens after I die I want to enjoy and be useful NOW.

Ok, even if one is a Christian who know which way one might go after death? Who knows where one's family is - heaven or hell? So even if we all go on to another life we might still not meet the people we want to. That's why I say to live for now. I've been trying to do it for 30 years and it seems to work fine! Leave ideas of what might happen after we die for that time - after all no one knows what will happen though the smart money is on death ebing the end of our existence.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 11:20:32 AM
I've been busy reading all the replies to my post and I will have to say that you guys raise incredibly valid points. I do not disagree that religion can be dangerous. I guess that's why I get defensive when someone calls me religious. I don't feel very dangerous. :) IMO The difference in you and me is I see it all as mankind's failure to God, you see it as God's.

I don't think any of this mess is God's will. I guess that's why I can believe He loves us when you can not even believe God's real and use the pain and suffering in the world to promote that belief.

The point I was trying to make in the beginning of this thread is that God is not religion. That there are people out there like myself that are spiritual with no attachments to "organized religion."  Furthermore, that all religious types are not extremist, but rather hard working, loving people just trying to live a meaningful life. Not to say not being religious or spiritual makes you all's life less meaningful. I'm just saying they mean just as well as you do.

May I ask you all a question? Guess I just did, since God doesn't exist and He's not going to save us,because He's not there,  How did we get in this mess and How are we going to get out? Two Questions, sorry. :D

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 12, 2013, 11:36:42 AM
I guess that's why I get defensive when someone calls me religious.

You are very religious, but you do not conform to an organized religion.

I don't feel very dangerous.

Alone, you aren't.  Just like one family that refuses to get their children vaccinated is not dangerous.  In herds, however, the religious are the second most destructive force in society.  The first most destructive force being stupidity.  And religion promotes stupidity.

The difference in you and me is I see it all as mankind's failure to God, you see it as God's.

You have fundamentally misunderstood every point made to you.  We do not see it as god's failure.  God is imaginary, so god cannot be said to be at fault for anything.  When we raise points about x, y, or z being god's responsibility, we are speaking from your perspective, pointing out how, if god is real, then he's not as good or competent as you think.  We try to explain to you that if god exists, there are the logical conclusions you have not grasped.

I don't think any of this mess is God's will.

But if there is an all powerful god, it must be.  Because if he willed it otherwise, it would be so.

How did we get in this mess and How are we going to get out?

What mess? 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Dante on April 12, 2013, 11:38:14 AM
IMO The difference in you and me is I see it all as mankind's failure to God, you see it as God's.

No June, we don't. We don't believe your god, or any gods exist at all. When we talk about the failures of your god, we are suspending our disbelief just for the sake of conversation.

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May I ask you all a question? Guess I just did, since God doesn't exist and He's not going to save us,because He's not there,  How did we get in this mess and How are we going to get out? Two Questions, sorry. :D

What mess? Life?  :?

We got here because a sperm fertilized an egg. We get out when we die.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 12:39:10 PM
Sorry for being a little late on this thread.

Hi star, You're not late, you're just in time. :)


It depends on what you mean by "bad".  As W. K. Clifford said:  "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."

No harm has ever come to anybody because I believe in God.

What is insufficient to you is not to me. When we talk about evidence I have these thoughts; the Amazingness of it all. Like I was watching a documentary called, "How the Earth Was Made", it was explaining how the earth's atmosphere protects the Earth from harmful radiation from the sun. I believe we all can agree this is a fact. I can't reconcile that is coincidently there, it is there out of necessity. Without it we could not survive on this planet. Without God, to me, it seems like it's all just a big coincidence. God gives me purpose, a reason for it all.

God does not solve every mystery of the universe for me. There is a lot of mystery that comes with believing in God. You don't just say well I believe and leave it at that, at least not in my case, it is a journey, a quest if I may.

What has your desire to survive death got to do with a god?  Why can't you simply hope for seeing your mother again after death?  Why is a god required?

 If you accept the fact (and I hope you do) that we humans are a part of the evolutionary tree of life which has evolved in the last 3.5 billion years on this 4.5 billion year old planet, please explain why you would believe that we survive death somehow.

God is required because God created it. Without God there is no heaven?

These are the facts that led me away from Christianity and revealed the Bible for what it is to me, work of man.

Ironically, it is the theist who has declared the investigation "over".

Faith does not give you the answers; it just stops you asking the questions.  (Frater Ravus)

Again, ironically it is the theist who has historically been in the "condemning" role.  We're not condemning anyone, just placing wild, supernatural claims & assertions under critical, rational and honest scrutiny to see if they hold up; you know, to see if they're true or not.  I care more about what is true over what might be comforting; I respectfully suggest that you develop the same appetite.

I will have to disagree with you on that star. Like I said earlier, for me, it poses it's own questions. Self discovery is all any of us here seem to be after, I know that is my motivation. That is a never ending journey.

I will agree fer sure that Christians do way too much judging. Jesus tells these people not to and they do it anyway. I don't get it either.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 01:27:10 PM

Your use of the words 'opinion' and 'know' is a bit convoluted.  Actually, it's really just the use of the word 'know'...perhaps you mean to say something like:
"Does the body not release the spirit when it passes.  I think it does, I have felt it."
That jives a little better with a "I base my opinion, and that's all it is an opinion" view.

Yo dawg,  You most definitely have the right to not believe I experienced something spiritual and beautiful at the passing of my loved ones. Those were all very significant experiences in my life, and I think it most cold hearted of you to belittle it this way. You know I could take your sentences move some words around and twist it. I meant to say I know, and I stand by that.

I'm uncertain about others here, but I pretty much assume that the vast majority of believers are not hateful and judgmental.  What I assume is that all believers are making claims regarding objective reality, the same objective reality that we all share, that do not appear to be true.  Now, when it comes to the existence of god, I readily admit I could be wrong and god does exist.  Hell, if I had to put together a list of all the crap I thought I know and was wrong about over the years, I'd run out of hard drive space.  But how am I supposed to correct my errors in understanding of reality if I don't talk through and argue about it with those who disagree with me?  How do we, as a society, increase our understanding of anything if we do not engage each other with our disagreements on reality?

I think it's going to take more than arguing. Have we not argued enough already. Does there never come a time when we can just agree to disagree and that be okay?Words are the most powerful force. I live by the philosophy "Be Impeccable With Your Word." It has been a while, but it is based on ancient Toltec knowledge. The book is called "The Four Agreements...A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)" This book changed my life more than the Bible ever did.


Look, junebug72 and LoriPinkAngel - I get the whole 'coexist' thing.  Really, I do.  I'm a fan of peace and with people getting along.  I'm a fan of people respecting other people.  But let's face it; we're a bunch of anonymous people on the interweb talking over a forum.  Very, very, very little risk that anything but four letter words and insults being tossed around.  I just don't see any harm in starting arguments.  I get that you're not here to convert, and I respect that, but look...I, as well as most everyone else, has a vested interested in reality.  A good, accurate understanding of reality is pretty beneficial to navigating through reality.  You are both expressing claims about objective reality that seem false.  If they are not false, that means that I am believing incorrect things about objective reality, and I would like to be corrected.

Basically, I'm just personally not a fan of this ecumenical "let's all just let everyone believe what they want to believe and not argue about it" thing.  Again, big fan of people getting along, big fan of people not hurting each other or being mean to each other, but not a big fan of "well, someone might disagree so let's not engage and attempt to further our understanding of the world around us so that we can hopefully make better decisions about how reality affects us and every sentient creature around us" thing.

So let's go ahead and argue.  No need for any mean-spiritedness or anything, but let's put our disagreements about reality on the table and see if any truth falls out of arguing our positions.  You're not interested in converting anyone?  That's fine; I respect that.  But if god does indeed exist, then I'm interested in converting me.

At this point I really think we, I mean the world, should try and focus on what we can agree on not so much what we can't.  I certainly don't think arguing with someone that pays more attention to how something is written instead of the content is going to help anybody. The only thing you proved with your twist of vocabulary is how insulting you can be. :(

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 12, 2013, 01:45:03 PM
Quote
No harm has ever come to anybody because I believe in God.

Point being?  You seem to feel that it is only if harm is done, then that validates a “belief” being untenable. I suggest that you are quite wrong about that.  Sure, you could live your entire life holding false and delusional beliefs without harming anyone, but shouldn’t that be viewed as a colossal waste?  I also suggest that you spend some time reading here:

http://whatstheharm.net/




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What is insufficient to you is not to me.

Well, if you are in possession of good evidence of this invisible father figure of yours, please……do tell, for the entire scientific community would love to know.




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When we talk about evidence I have these thoughts; the Amazingness of it all. Like I was watching a documentary called, "How the Earth Was Made", it was explaining how the earth's atmosphere protects the Earth from harmful radiation from the sun. I believe we all can agree this is a fact.

The amazingness of it all is not evidence for a god.  It is merely you finding it all amazing.  You’re engaging in the same error that all theists do, you’re starting with your conclusion, and then going from there.  This is backwards.  It reminds me of the adage:  “Gods are the finish line which are drawn at the start.” What one needs to do is start from a completely neutral starting point, and go from there.  If there is good evidence to support a god belief, then that’s fine, but when you do start from that neutral starting point and only hold god belief when it is a confirmed observation, you will never wind-up with god belief, because there is no evidence for a god or gods.  Gods were primitive mans "first guess" at his own existence and the world around him.  We now know better.




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I can't reconcile that is coincidently there, it is there out of necessity.

Again, you are looking at it backwards.  The reason the people on Neptune aren’t wondering about their existence is because they don’t exist; and they don’t exist because the conditions for life have not occurred there.  The conditions for life did come together here (and it is all just chemistry), and here we are, along with disease, infections, plagues, and even worse….country music.

We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher' answer, but none exists. (Stephen Jay Gould)




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Without it we could not survive on this planet.

I agree. What is your point?



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Without God, to me, it seems like it's all just a big coincidence.

And what’s wrong with that?  Unlikely events happen every day.

“Human life is the result of a glorious evolutionary accident".  (Stephen J. Gould)






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God gives me purpose, a reason for it all.

What such a belief does for you is irrelevant.  I suggest that if you did not hold god-belief, you would continue in your life as the loving, compassionate person that you likely are.  Supernatural nonsense is not required.  Please understand that I was once in your shoes.  I was born & raised in a Christian home, and was a very real Christian until my mid-twenties.

“If someone were to prove to me, right this minute, that god, in all his luminousness, exists, it wouldn't change a single aspect of my behavior.”  (Luis Bunuel)



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God is required because God created it. Without God there is no heaven?

Why?  If you can’t fathom the universe or a heaven without some sort of creator, then you must also apply that to your god – what created him/it?



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These are the facts that led me away from Christianity and revealed the Bible for what it is to me, work of man.

What criteria did you use to determine what is true and what is false?  Feelings?  Intuition?  Or evidence?




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Jesus tells these people not to (judge) and they do it anyway.

No.  There’s not one thing that anyone can know what the Jesus character ever might have said. Everything that was placed upon his lips was written decades after his alleged life. (Yes, that’s right, it’s quite possible that Jesus never actually existed, but that’s a whole other topic).
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 12, 2013, 02:01:25 PM
Junebug72 -

I'll properly respond what you've said to me later on when I have more time, but reading this has irked me quite a bit, because I do not feel I have, at all, belittled, insulted, or summarily dismissed you in any way.  I'd actually like to ask some of the others here if I'm just blind to what I'm saying and have done any of those things.  LoriPinkAngel, particularly, I'd like to know if you feel I've been insulting, belitting, or disingenuous at all as you probably view posts a little more closely to the way junebug72 sees things (compared to some of the other members here I guess).

If I had been, I earnestly apologize.  But I just don't see how I was.


Your use of the words 'opinion' and 'know' is a bit convoluted.  Actually, it's really just the use of the word 'know'...perhaps you mean to say something like:
"Does the body not release the spirit when it passes.  I think it does, I have felt it."
That jives a little better with a "I base my opinion, and that's all it is an opinion" view.

Yo dawg,  You most definitely have the right to not believe I experienced something spiritual and beautiful at the passing of my loved ones. Those were all very significant experiences in my life, and I think it most cold hearted of you to belittle it this way. You know I could take your sentences move some words around and twist it. I meant to say I know, and I stand by that.

I'm uncertain about others here, but I pretty much assume that the vast majority of believers are not hateful and judgmental.  What I assume is that all believers are making claims regarding objective reality, the same objective reality that we all share, that do not appear to be true.  Now, when it comes to the existence of god, I readily admit I could be wrong and god does exist.  Hell, if I had to put together a list of all the crap I thought I know and was wrong about over the years, I'd run out of hard drive space.  But how am I supposed to correct my errors in understanding of reality if I don't talk through and argue about it with those who disagree with me?  How do we, as a society, increase our understanding of anything if we do not engage each other with our disagreements on reality?

I think it's going to take more than arguing. Have we not argued enough already. Does there never come a time when we can just agree to disagree and that be okay?Words are the most powerful force. I live by the philosophy "Be Impeccable With Your Word." It has been a while, but it is based on ancient Toltec knowledge. The book is called "The Four Agreements...A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)" This book changed my life more than the Bible ever did.


Look, junebug72 and LoriPinkAngel - I get the whole 'coexist' thing.  Really, I do.  I'm a fan of peace and with people getting along.  I'm a fan of people respecting other people.  But let's face it; we're a bunch of anonymous people on the interweb talking over a forum.  Very, very, very little risk that anything but four letter words and insults being tossed around.  I just don't see any harm in starting arguments.  I get that you're not here to convert, and I respect that, but look...I, as well as most everyone else, has a vested interested in reality.  A good, accurate understanding of reality is pretty beneficial to navigating through reality.  You are both expressing claims about objective reality that seem false.  If they are not false, that means that I am believing incorrect things about objective reality, and I would like to be corrected.

Basically, I'm just personally not a fan of this ecumenical "let's all just let everyone believe what they want to believe and not argue about it" thing.  Again, big fan of people getting along, big fan of people not hurting each other or being mean to each other, but not a big fan of "well, someone might disagree so let's not engage and attempt to further our understanding of the world around us so that we can hopefully make better decisions about how reality affects us and every sentient creature around us" thing.

So let's go ahead and argue.  No need for any mean-spiritedness or anything, but let's put our disagreements about reality on the table and see if any truth falls out of arguing our positions.  You're not interested in converting anyone?  That's fine; I respect that.  But if god does indeed exist, then I'm interested in converting me.

At this point I really think we, I mean the world, should try and focus on what we can agree on not so much what we can't.  I certainly don't think arguing with someone that pays more attention to how something is written instead of the content is going to help anybody. The only thing you proved with your twist of vocabulary is how insulting you can be. :(
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 12, 2013, 02:11:59 PM
.....reading this has irked me quite a bit, because I do not feel I have, at all, belittled, insulted, or summarily dismissed you in any way.  I'd actually like to ask some of the others here if I'm just blind to what I'm saying and have done any of those things.  LoriPinkAngel, particularly, I'd like to know if you feel I've been insulting, belitting, or disingenuous at all as you probably view posts a little more closely to the way junebug72 sees things (compared to some of the other members here I guess).

If I had been, I earnestly apologize.  But I just don't see how I was.


Jdawg70, you must realize that in this day & age of political correctness, people’s feelings & beliefs are more tender, delicate and sensitive than ever, and when their baseless assertions are scrutinized and found lacking in evidence, taking offense is all they've got left.  The Muslims have this down to an art-form with their hair-trigger claims of offence.  This of course is a recipe for being lost in a sea of whatever one wants to believe, and embracing a raft of delusional nonsense.

No great thinker was ever celebrated for his unbelievable ability to 'respect' everyone’s awful ideas and defer to those who held them. The highest respect one can pay to another’s idea is to scrutinize it and explain what might be wrong. This is what 'respect' means in the intellectual domain."  (Spencer Mulesky)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 02:20:15 PM

You are very religious, but you do not conform to an organized religion.

Why must you insult me? Have I hurt you in some way? I am spiritual and if you would look that up you would see the difference. I do not worship, I do not organize. It is my own "private" thoughts I share with. Quite frankly I'm growing tired of the word game. I think I know better who and what I am than you do.



Alone, you aren't.  Just like one family that refuses to get their children vaccinated is not dangerous.  In herds, however, the religious are the second most destructive force in society.  The first most destructive force being stupidity.  And religion promotes stupidity.

I will disagree with you on that, the most dangerous force in society is greed. Greed is a lot more dangerous than stupidity. Greed is what has turned religion into the cesspool we're both familiar with.


You have fundamentally misunderstood every point made to you.  We do not see it as god's failure.  God is imaginary, so god cannot be said to be at fault for anything.  When we raise points about x, y, or z being god's responsibility, we are speaking from your perspective, pointing out how, if god is real, then he's not as good or competent as you think.  We try to explain to you that if god exists, there are the logical conclusions you have not grasped.

But if there is an all powerful god, it must be.  Because if he willed it otherwise, it would be so.


What mess?

Oh you know what I mean. Poverty, violence,etc...

I give that right back to you screw. You're the one missing the point. The fact that you insist on proving me to be religious is evidence of that. I have no traditional ties to what your concept of a believer is, well not all of it, these questions you all keep asking me does not prove God doesn't exist to me. To me there is really only way to prove it's not possible and by then none of us are able to speak because we're dead. I see the value in faith, you don't, and that's okay with me. I am certainly not going to use that as a reason to insult you, or think that I'm better than you because I got it all figured out, I know I don't have it all figured out. I try to be humble and when I fail I feel guilty. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Azdgari on April 12, 2013, 02:31:43 PM
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What is insufficient to you is not to me.

Well, if you are in possession of good evidence of this invisible father figure of yours, please……do tell, for the entire scientific community would love to know.

She's not saying she has evidence you don't.  She's saying she has really shoddy standards for what to believe.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: naemhni on April 12, 2013, 02:42:27 PM

You are very religious, but you do not conform to an organized religion.

Why must you insult me?

How is that an insult?

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I am spiritual and if you would look that up you would see the difference.

Saying that you're "spiritual, but not religious" is kind of like saying that you're a lawyer, but you're not an attorney.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 12, 2013, 03:02:38 PM
junebug, I think it would be could for you to define your terms "religious" and "spiritual".

To me, the word spiritual drives me bonkers.  With its root word "spirit", it implies that one believes that we have a "spirit" (or soul).  There is no good evidence or reason for holding this belief.  We are part of the animal kingdom, and the idea that we are separate from it is based on ignorance and/or ego.  If one doesn't believe that we have "spirits", then the word is meaningless.

But what I find that most people really mean when they say "spiritual" is that they lean towards being sensitive, compassionate, loving, kind etc.  These are good attributes that I also aspire to, but no supernatural nonsense is required.

 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 03:23:29 PM

Point being?  You seem to feel that it is only if harm is done that validates a “belief” being untenable. I suggest that you are quite wrong about that.  Sure, you could live your entire life holding false and delusional beliefs without harming anyone, but shouldn’t that be viewed as a colossal waste?  I also suggest that you spend some time reading here:

No that's not my point. My point is simply, I'm not dangerous and believing in God is not dangerous.  I checked out the website and I didn't see my name there star. I didn't see spirituality there either.

If that belief of mine motivates me to help others and love people with all my heart, no I don't see my life being a colossal waste.

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Well, if you are in possession of good evidence of this invisible father figure of yours, please……do tell, for the entire scientific community would love to know.

The amazingness of it all is not evidence for a god.  It is merely you finding it all amazing.  You’re engaging in the same error that all theists do, you’re starting with your conclusion, and then going from there.  This is backwards. 

It is not hard evidence it is circumstantial, and there is quite a bit of that, IMO.

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Again, you are looking at it backwards.  The reason the people on Neptune aren’t wondering about their existence is because they don’t exist; and they don’t exist because the conditions for life have not occurred there.  The conditions for life did come together here (and it is all just chemistry), and here we are, along with disease, infections, plagues, and even worse….country music.

Prove it. Have you seen any of these things with your own eyes? Why here and not Neptune? We are so lucky that our little planet landed right exactly in all that space where it needed to be. That's not chemistry, that's miraculous.

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We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher' answer, but none exists. (Stephen Jay Gould)

I've never seen a fish turn human. You ask me to believe this stuff and yet you're so adamantly convinced I'm wrong. You seem to believe as blindly as you accuse me of.

I do feel we both are critical thinkers, and I get the point how a lack of it no matter what you believe can turn something that at it's core is meant to be good into something that's not.





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I agree. What is your point?

That the atmosphere, and all the miracles of life, are not coincidental accidents. That it is the result of intelligent Creation.





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“Human life is the result of a glorious evolutionary accident".  (Stephen J. Gould)

unbelievable

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What such a belief does for you is irrelevant.  I suggest that if you did not hold god-belief, you would continue in your life as the loving, compassionate person that you likely are.  Supernatural nonsense is not required.  Please understand that I was once in your shoes.  I was born & raised in a Christian home, and was a very real Christian until my mid-twenties.

It may be irrelevant to you, but it's certainly not to me.

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“If someone were to prove to me, right this minute, that god, in all his luminousness, exists, it wouldn't change a single aspect of my behavior.”  (Luis Bunuel)

There is no way such an experience would not change the way we think, feel, all of it. Just no way. For one as far as Atheists are concerned it would certainly change your mind about God's existence, which would change everything you all ever thought to be true.

For every man woman and child there would be no more doubts, and you will probably not convince me that the wicked hearts would not turn away from their evil with God standing before them.

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Why?  If you can’t fathom the universe or a heaven without some sort of creator, then you must also apply that to your god – what created him/it?

There lies the mystery I mentioned earlier. I do believe this knowledge is withheld for a very good reason. I don't believe that mankind could be trusted with such incredible knowledge.


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What criteria did you use to determine what is true and what is false?  Feelings?  Intuition?  Or evidence?

All of the above. I used all tools in my arsenal of tools.

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No.  There’s not one thing that anyone can know what the Jesus character ever might have said. Everything that was placed upon his lips was written decades after his alleged life. (Yes, that’s right, it’s quite possible that Jesus never actually existed, but that’s a whole other topic).

Valid point, but something certainly happened in that time period that definitely changed the course of history.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 03:27:28 PM

Saying that you're "spiritual, but not religious" is kind of like saying that you're a lawyer, but you're not an attorney.

Yal just call me what ever you want to, it's not worth arguing over anymore. potato, po-tat-o. I know who I am.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 12, 2013, 03:44:16 PM
Junebug72 -

I'll properly respond what you've said to me later on when I have more time, but reading this has irked me quite a bit, because I do not feel I have, at all, belittled, insulted, or summarily dismissed you in any way.  I'd actually like to ask some of the others here if I'm just blind to what I'm saying and have done any of those things.  LoriPinkAngel, particularly, I'd like to know if you feel I've been insulting, belitting, or disingenuous at all as you probably view posts a little more closely to the way junebug72 sees things (compared to some of the other members here I guess).

If I had been, I earnestly apologize.  But I just don't see how I was.

I let that one get to me and that's my fault. It's just that statement you tore apart, is sensitive material, it left me vulnerable, because it is so personal. I felt that spirit I mentioned at the passing of my cherished loved ones deathbeds and to me for you to make fun of it was disrespectful.

I understand you were just making your point and was not so much aware that I was speaking of the loss of my entire family.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: sun_king on April 12, 2013, 03:53:49 PM
Saying that you're "spiritual, but not religious" is kind of like saying that you're a lawyer, but you're not an attorney.

Sadly SBNR exists http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_but_not_religious

It is pointless to argue with the SBNR, they make up their own rules, concepts and a lot of other stuff that has a meaning only in the individual's mind. It is almost like saying that I am a fan of soccer, but I dont follow any club/country/series, I just love the design of the balls[1]
 1. Soccer balls
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 12, 2013, 03:56:04 PM
I've never seen a fish turn human.

Recommended book:

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Inner-Fish-Journey-3-5-Billion-Year/dp/0307277453/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365800091&sr=1-1&keywords=your+inner+fish





*I don't have the time right now to address the other bankrupt statements you've made.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Morgan on April 12, 2013, 04:11:40 PM
Junebug, I see most of your issue is caused by atheists shitting on religion - understandably you then apply this gracious gesture to yourself. The key here is making the difference between the individual and religion. I assume you are a good person until proven otherwise. It would be horribly rude and condescending to do otherwise. I have no idea whether you murder, rape and then eat babies with a side dish of kittens. If you do, you should probably stop that.  :([1] You probably try to minimize the suffering caused to others and strive to make a positive difference in their lives, which is commendable. Your deity of choice may or may not play a role in this, but the effects may be a net positive to yourself and society.

Religion, on the other hand is quite different. It does not rely on objective analysis of the world we live in, preferring sacred texts and unverifiable subjective personal experience. Some people might observe the natural world, then say "This is definitely the work of Lady Morgan, Queen of the Living and Unliving, born of Storm and Flame". His views may be distorted by reading her holy books before of after his observation. But this should be absolutely meaningless if he cannot supply enough empirical evidence in defense of his claims. His subjective reasoning might be shared of others - in various proportions. Some might beg to differ, saying Lady Morgan only rules over the Living while her consort and avatar among mortals, Thun'der Snoeflayke of Buttlover is Lord of the Unliving. Many others would disbelieve altogether, citing lack of evidence for either scenario. This, in my opinion is the best attitude to have regarding the supernatural - I mean no offense here, but what is definitely real to you sounds like a crappy fantasy novel to me.

There are many atheists who are spiritual. Not to say they believe in the supernatural, but rather have a feeling of wonder when they look at the world around them with a dash of poetry, pretty words and feelings in the mix. While I wouldn't describe myself as such, whenever I look at the night sky and think about the sheer size of our universe and how we came to be on this planet I feel both small and large. Small because I'm just a meaningless mammal that will die in a few decades best case scenario. My entire lifespan isn't worth a damn when taking into account our planet, let alone the universe. The cosmos didn't give much of a damn when I was born and it will continue doing so way past the day I die. All that I am - my thoughts, determined by past experiences and a crapshot at the genetic lottery - is ultimately meaningless in the grand scale of things. However, each atom in my body came from the great furnaces of the stars themselves. They were here when the big bang happened. The oxygen in my bloodstream might have entered the lungs of famous persons, the carbon essential to my biological existence is guaranteed to have been part of multiple previous organisms which may or may not have been humans. I am part of a long evolutionary chain which could be traced back to abiogenesis and although I have chosen not to have children, I am the result of a struggle for existence which has been going on for the past ~3.5 billion years, from the simplest self replicating RNA molecules to my parents and grandparents. After I die, the elements that constitute my body will continue existing, following the same cycle. As I decomposed either thermically or by the action of bacteria, the ecosystem's primary producers will recycle them and it will all start over again. This is what I believe makes me great.

My apologies for rambling, I tend to do that quite a lot. I'll steer this wall o' text and death into a more relevant direction, that of religion.

I won't beat around the bush - it's harmful. As I said, you are probably a positive influence in the lives of others, which I'll continue to call 'a good person' despite the horrible subjectivity of good and evil. Bear with me for the sake of ease in writing.  :-[

In my country, the church is a financial behemoth. Earning more money than McDonald's[2] from their comercial activities and tax exemption, they still receive hefty financial aid from the state. While hospitals shut down due to the lack of funding, new churches are always built using state funds. The overwhelming majority of priests drive expensive cars and live in lavish houses. The few charities they do, help is always given with a good dose of proselytism. Religion classes are optional, but opt-out instead of opt-in and the few students that are aware might be stonewalled by the bureaucratic mess required, obtuse secretaries and principals who might even deny their requests unless threatened with higher authority. The classes themselves are taught either by an Orthodox priest or someone who has studied Orthodoxism. You can be sure the curriculum isn't structured on comparative analysis of different religions and philosophical debate. Politicians and the priests are so closely intertwined, the Patriarch can literally bitch to the Parliament about the laws he dislikes and they'll be changed - this is what happened last time we tried to take the church out of schools. He literally wrote a letter of complaint and it miraculously happened. Recently a member of the Parliament suggested that we maybe shouldn't cart so much money over to the church and follow the German model of a portion of people's taxes going to either their church of choice or NGOs. Of course he got shat on even by his own party by daring to suggest we should respect the constitution outlining us a secular state. People are encouraged to vote on socially regressive legislation which limits freedom and rights, hold intolerant views and discriminate Because the preacher God Almighty(TM) said so. This is only part of what goes on in the piece of paradise known as Romania, and I'm not even going near the classics such as religious wars, the Inquisition, child molesting priests and the violent murder of non believers.

You might have said to yourself "What the fuck, slow down, that's only organized religion! Some people keep it to themselves, isn't that a-ok?"

No, it's not ok. As I said, religion by itself is not based on objective, empirically measurable data. Combined with a high percentage of the population holding such views  it becomes the norm. I'll latch onto the previously given example of Santa - when not only mom and dad but also many people believe in him, kids are less likely to question it. Some might do so and come to a conclusion quite different than their parents. They would either come to terms with their non belief and the fact that they risk being ostracized or rationalize themselves back into the fold desiring security and acceptance. Problem is, they will grow up. Santa's sleigh will take some of their taxes, which will seem like bullcrap. His followers would deny them rights and infringe upon their freedom. Nonsensical commandments laid out in The Ancient Holy Book Of Ho Ho Ho will be seen by his peers as a reasonable basis of morality. All while he fails to receive any substantial evidence of bloody Santa's existence.

As long as believers believe, they latently support organized religion which (by intention or not) works to bring civilization backwards. For each act of benevolence there's many more acts of hate, discrimination, mindless greed and lust for power. All the benefits of religion can be obtained by secular means. They might not be perfect, but they noticeably lack many of the nastry side effects.

I am an anti theist. I fight for not only the abolishment of religion, but also promote skepticism and rational thinking. Sure, there'll always be the metaphorical village idiot rolling around in the dirt hoping he'll produce bacon like his pigs, but I believe that the age of information we live in can help us leave behind old superstitions and work towards a better society and future.

This might all seem like pompous, condescending conjecture but I have to fall back on the basic request: empirical proof. What you stated in this thread about souls and whatnot is all personal anecdote which cannot be verified. Replace "God" with "Queen Morgan" and "soul" with "ley lines of Beer". Or with anything you want, really. The amount of evidence stays the same: 0. Not a good number to base such massive socio-economical influences on.
 1. The only proper side dish to babies is potatoes, naturally
 2. http://www.capital.ro/detalii-articole/stiri/patriarhia-romana-profit-mai-mare-decat-mcdonalds-romania-169214.html No English link, sorry :(
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Quesi on April 12, 2013, 04:59:17 PM

I let that one get to me and that's my fault. It's just that statement you tore apart, is sensitive material, it left me vulnerable, because it is so personal. I felt that spirit I mentioned at the passing of my cherished loved ones deathbeds and to me for you to make fun of it was disrespectful.

I understand you were just making your point and was not so much aware that I was speaking of the loss of my entire family.

Junebug- Respectfully, there is nothing more painful than the loss of a loved one.  And those of us who have lost loved ones have a lot of triggers that re-ignite the pain at unexpected times. 

I do not doubt the profound impact of the pain that you feel when you think about your loved ones deaths.  But, again respectfully, I cannot help but feel[1] that you are being a bit emotionally manipulative here. 

Let me recap what I saw.  And you tell me if there is something that I am missing here.  Jdawg expressed a concern with your use of the word "know." 



Your use of the words 'opinion' and 'know' is a bit convoluted.  Actually, it's really just the use of the word 'know'...perhaps you mean to say something like:
"Does the body not release the spirit when it passes.  I think it does, I have felt it."
That jives a little better with a "I base my opinion, and that's all it is an opinion" view.

And then you responded with anger.  And then, after receiving what appeared to me to be a genuine apology, you responded as if you had been victimized. 

Now you come to an atheists forum, claim to KNOW stuff, that you admit can be supported only by your testimony, and then when someone calls you on the use of the word "know," and suggests that you are describing your belief or opinion, you act as if you had been attacked? 

I've seen attacks on this forum.  Some of them are pretty ugly and relentless.  Some more subtle.  There is no doubt that you have put up with a lot of folks dissecting your statements and asking you to defend your statements and asking you for evidence, and you have had a surprising amount of stamina.  In all honesty, I think that there were other posters here who came down on you much harder than Jdawg.  I genuinely don't know if the "know" question was really a huge trigger for you, whether his analysis was just the straw that broke the camel's back, or whether you have decided that the death of your loved ones is too taboo to discuss on these forums.  Or whether you just put up with a whole lot of people ganging up on you, (and you have!) and you decided to see if you could evoke some sympathy.  I really don't know.   

And do you mind if I ask a question for clarification? 

Are you offended that there are those of us here who do not consider the "knowledge" that you have of spirits, to be valid facts that cannot be questioned?   

We all have our taboos.  And those of us who have suffered pain have our triggers.  But may I suggest that if there are subjects that are so sensitive to you, (such as the death of a loved one or your understanding of their spirits) it might be best to not bring these subjects up on an atheist forum, where you will certainly encounter people who do not consider your testimony to be satisfactory evidence. 
 1. Feel - not know.  I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 12, 2013, 05:31:50 PM
  :([1]
 1. The only proper side dish to babies is potatoes, naturally

This is why such a large % of this country is obese.  What about the vegetables?  And I mean fresh or frozen not canned!   :o
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Morgan on April 12, 2013, 05:56:25 PM
This is why such a large % of this country is obese.  What about the vegetables?  And I mean fresh or frozen not canned!   :o
Here in Europe we just use lots of horse meat. While animals are tasty and I wholeheartedly support eating them, my long years studying the heathen baby eating arts cannot agree with such an abomination.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 12, 2013, 07:00:27 PM
I let that one get to me and that's my fault. It's just that statement you tore apart, is sensitive material, it left me vulnerable, because it is so personal. I felt that spirit I mentioned at the passing of my cherished loved ones deathbeds and to me for you to make fun of it was disrespectful.

I understand you were just making your point and was not so much aware that I was speaking of the loss of my entire family.
I am more than happy to dismiss this particular line of conversation in favor of a 'fresh-ish start' to discussion if you'd be interested in that.  I do want to be very clear about something: I was in no way intending to 'make fun' of your feelings regarding a sensitive topic.

If there is a particular topic related to this thread thus far that you'd like to have a discussion about, we can do that.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 12, 2013, 07:19:57 PM
This is why such a large % of this country is obese.  What about the vegetables?  And I mean fresh or frozen not canned!   :o
Here in Europe we just use lots of horse meat. While animals are tasty and I wholeheartedly support eating them, my long years studying the heathen baby eating arts cannot agree with such an abomination.

If God didn't want us to eat animals (and I suppose that extends to babies) He wouldn't have made them out of meat.  ;)
But in order to be Heart Healthy you should follow the divided plate plan.  1/2 veggies and/or fruits;  1/4 starch;  1/4 protein (meat, babies, legumes...)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wright on April 12, 2013, 07:23:17 PM

I've never seen a fish turn human. You ask me to believe this stuff and yet you're so adamantly convinced I'm wrong. You seem to believe as blindly as you accuse me of.


Hi, junebug. The bolded is a bit of a trigger for me, so please forgive me getting a bit off topic.

I hope you were joking; such things can be difficult to judge across the wilderness of the internet. You do realize that is a creationist parody of how evolution actually works? You never will see anything like that, nor has anything like that been observed in nature. If it were, it would be evidence against evolution as it's currently constituted and for special creation.

Star Stuff and others have given you some excellent references on what evolutionary theory actually says; please pursue them when you have time.

That said, I find your particular take on Christianity far less threatening than the would-be Taliban here in the US. Like the folks who keep pushing at the Constitutional barriers between religious and governmental power. This is an ongoing issue, and I'm glad it concerns you too, because the wanna-be Christian theocrats do not reflect well on religion in general and Christianity in particular.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 12, 2013, 07:28:16 PM


I've never seen a fish turn human.


She clearly never saw Splash.   :D
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 12, 2013, 08:17:12 PM
  :([1]
 1. The only proper side dish to babies is potatoes, naturally

This is why such a large % of this country is obese.  What about the vegetables?  And I mean fresh or frozen not canned!   :o

A mixed greens salad and a side of steamed veggies are a far better choice than a potato. But it's hard to fight tradition  ;)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 12, 2013, 08:58:04 PM
You are very religious, but you do not conform to an organized religion.

Why must you insult me?

I didn't.  I am sorry you look at it that way.  You believe in god.  Thus, by the definition of the word "religious" you are in fact religious. All that fluff about being spiritual is fine.  But you are religious.

I think I know better who and what I am than you do.

In some regards, I am sure.  When it comes to whether you are religious, not so much.

I will disagree with you on that, the most dangerous force in society is greed.

Nope.  Stupidity. The Fifth Basic Law of Human Stupidity:
A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.
http://cantrip.org/stupidity.html


Oh you know what I mean. Poverty, violence,etc...

I did not know what you meant.  There is no way out except to die.  We call it "the Human Condition".

You're the one missing the point. The fact that you insist on proving me to be religious is evidence of that.

I don't have to prove it.  You admit it.  You just call it something else. 

Sorry.  gotta go.  I'll get to the rest tomorrow.  sleep tight junbug.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 13, 2013, 07:28:52 AM

Sadly SBNR exists http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_but_not_religious

It is pointless to argue with the SBNR, they make up their own rules, concepts and a lot of other stuff that has a meaning only in the individual's mind. It is almost like saying that I am a fan of soccer, but I dont follow any club/country/series, I just love the design of the balls[1]
 1. Soccer balls

Well Sunny ya got the first part right. The second not so much. :)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 13, 2013, 07:41:27 AM

I didn't.  I am sorry you look at it that way.  You believe in god.  Thus, by the definition of the word "religious" you are in fact religious. All that fluff about being spiritual is fine.  But you are religious.

Hello, yes ya did. I just got done saying it offends me;that I get defensive;and you just went ahead and did it anyway. Argue with that.

I think I know better who and what I am than you do.

Quote
In some regards, I am sure.  When it comes to whether you are religious, not so much.

That is a very arrogant thing to say screwey.



Quote
Sorry.  gotta go.  I'll get to the rest tomorrow.  sleep tight junbug.

Wow that's the nicest thing you've said all day! :laugh:

Good Morning!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 13, 2013, 07:43:41 AM


I've never seen a fish turn human.


She clearly never saw Splash.   :D

lmao :laugh:
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Dante on April 13, 2013, 07:53:39 AM
The real question here Junebug, is whether or not you are willing to seek the truth. The truth about evolution, the truth about the origins of life, the truth about reality. If you are, that's great. If not, that's fine too. There are many who dont.

So which is it? Truth, or blinders?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 13, 2013, 07:58:45 AM

I've never seen a fish turn human. You ask me to believe this stuff and yet you're so adamantly convinced I'm wrong. You seem to believe as blindly as you accuse me of.


Hi, junebug. The bolded is a bit of a trigger for me, so please forgive me getting a bit off topic.

I hope you were joking; such things can be difficult to judge across the wilderness of the internet. You do realize that is a creationist parody of how evolution actually works? You never will see anything like that, nor has anything like that been observed in nature. If it were, it would be evidence against evolution as it's currently constituted and for special creation.

You guys are right I don't know as much about science as you all, I've studied God. So yal can be the scientific experts, and I'll be this humble little ole gal from the Appalachians that knows a little bit about God.


Quote
That said, I find your particular take on Christianity far less threatening than the would-be Taliban here in the US. Like the folks who keep pushing at the Constitutional barriers between religious and governmental power. This is an ongoing issue, and I'm glad it concerns you too, because the wanna-be Christian theocrats do not reflect well on religion in general and Christianity in particular.

My "take" on God is wider and deeper than Christianity. Sometimes I think that it's all the dividing of beliefs that keep us from our full potential.  If you take all the bad stuff from all the thousands of beliefs out there what you're left with is something , chills,speechless,Utopia!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: JeffPT on April 13, 2013, 08:05:00 AM
I've been busy reading all the replies to my post and I will have to say that you guys raise incredibly valid points. I do not disagree that religion can be dangerous. I guess that's why I get defensive when someone calls me religious. I don't feel very dangerous. :) IMO The difference in you and me is I see it all as mankind's failure to God, you see it as God's.

Religion is used by people for all sorts of reasons.  That's why Christianity is so popular.  Want to justify killing your enemies?  Christianity.  Want to justify loving your enemies?  Christianity.  Want to justify slavery?  Christianity.  Want to justify no slavery?  Christianity.  That's what you have to start understanding Junebug.  Religion is what people use to support what they already think.  You use your religion to support the belief that love is great and that people should help each other out.  Other people use it for other things.  It's all still religion.  You think your religion is good for everyone.  Everyone else does the same thing. 

I don't think any of this mess is God's will.
That's nice, but how do you know?  And what mess are you specifically referring to? 

I guess that's why I can believe He loves us when you can not even believe God's real and use the pain and suffering in the world to promote that belief.
You are practicing cognitive dissonance.  It makes you uneasy to see the suffering in the world around us and pair that with the idea that God loves everyone.  So you excuse it away with irrational stuff like 'this mess isn't God's will', when that is clearly an illogical stance.  Do you really sit there and imagine God is crying about what's going on down here?  If it's not his will, why doesn't he fix it?  Are you saying the horrors that would come from FIXING the problems with the world are so bad that God would rather leave us alone?  That God would cry MORE if he stopped kids from starving? 

The point I was trying to make in the beginning of this thread is that God is not religion.

Belief in God, IS religion. 

That there are people out there like myself that are spiritual with no attachments to "organized religion."
And that's just wrong.  You appear to be a Christian, and you just use your religion for what you see as doing good for the world.  Other people use it for other things.  You rail against the people who use the same religion as you for bad things.  That's fine.  But call it like it is.  There was a scene from 'A Few Good Men' that comes to mind.  When Jack and Danny were talking at the bar and Jack says, "Don't lump me in with people like Jessup just because we wear the same uniform."  You wear the same uniform as other Christians, you're just different in the way you use it. 

May I ask you all a question? Guess I just did, since God doesn't exist and He's not going to save us,because He's not there,  How did we get in this mess and How are we going to get out? Two Questions, sorry. :D

What mess are you talking about?  I love this world. I have a great life.  I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

The only way to fix the things about this world that are a mess is with thinking people coming up with new ideas and abandoning ancient superstitious nonsense.  Accepting that the world is the way it is, is the first step in solving the problems we face. Putting our hands together and bowing our heads to telepathically communicate with an invisible sky man doesn't seem to be working.

Like you, atheists think that the problems of the world need to be solved by humans.  We think this because we think there's nothing out there that's going to help us.  You, on the other hand, think there IS something out there that COULD help us, but chooses not to.  Let me use an analogy to show you what its like...

What if I believed there was a person that walked around behind you all day that sometimes helped you out and sometimes didn't, but really, really loved you and wanted to keep you safe.  I kept telling you that I see this person behind you, but every time you look for it, you can't see it.  So you tell me there's no person and I tell you there is.  One day, we're walking down the street and you fall into a hole and break your leg.  You look up at me from the hole and ask why the person didn't stop you from walking into the hole, and I tell you that 'it wasn't his will that you fell into the hole', and that 'he's crying about you falling into the hole' and that 'the world would be much worse off if you hadn't fallen into the hole'.  Is that a respectable answer?  Seriously... is it?  This is what you tell us with your God. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Azdgari on April 13, 2013, 09:17:17 AM
Hello, yes ya did. I just got done saying it offends me;that I get defensive;and you just went ahead and did it anyway. Argue with that.

Maybe that's something you ought to work on, then.  If you're going to keep holding such strong religious beliefs, then the least you could do would be to accept the label when people observe this about you.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 13, 2013, 09:37:50 AM
You guys are right I don't know as much about science as you all....

Science isn't something to "know about" (like cars), it's a method of knowing & understanding....well....everything.  It is the best tool we've got, and it is open to any & all observable phenomena.  The reason why god does not come up on the radar of any scientific inquiry is that a god (especially the cartoon character of the Abrahamic god) doesn't exist.  Gods were and are humanity's first guess as an explanation.  This guess was and is born out of ignorance and superstition.



Quote
I've studied God.

I don't mean to be abrasive when I say this, but I really wish you could see and appreciate just how vacuous that statement is.  Allow me to change just one word of your three-word statement:  "I've studied Zeus"  "I've studied Superman"  "I've studied astrology"  "I've studied Voodoo magic"  "I've studied Santa Claus"  "I've studied unicorns".  You get the picture.  I'm reminded of another saying:  "Being a theologian is like being a professional air guitarist."

How did you go about "studying" this god of yours?



Quote
So y'all can be the scientific experts, and I'll be this humble little ole gal from the Appalachians that knows a little bit about God.

And that's it?  You're not prepared to move any further than that?  That is the epitome of being closed minded.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69TOuqaqXI



If you live in the Appalachians, I'm going to suggest that because you live in a part of the States which is steeped in Christianity, that the idea of proclaiming to not having god belief for you is somewhat frightening.  Is there any truth in that?

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 13, 2013, 11:35:36 AM

We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher' answer, but none exists. (Stephen Jay Gould)

I've never seen a fish turn human. You ask me to believe this stuff and yet you're so adamantly convinced I'm wrong. You seem to believe as blindly as you accuse me of.

I do feel we both are critical thinkers......

Oh my, Junebug, you DO make me laugh!  "Never seen  fish turn human"....no, nobody has.  I REALY hope that that was you being silly, and that that wasn't your real understanding of evolution.

Still, "never seen a fish turn human", so you don't believe it happens.  Cool.  Yet.....did you see your god create man?  Create ANYTHING?  No, of course not.  And nor do you have any evidence it did.  But there is a LOT of evidence for evolution....you just choose not to go look at it.

Still waiting for your evidence for all those statements you made the other day.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 13, 2013, 12:06:27 PM


You guys are right I don't know as much about science as you all, I've studied God. So yal can be the scientific experts, and I'll be this humble little ole gal from the Appalachians that knows a little bit about God.

I am really disappointed in that. There is no reason why you should not learn more facts and explanations about the world; there is nothing to be pleased or even satisfied about if you do not know how things work and why things happen.

I don't see you as "humble"; I see you as someone who has not yet reached her potential.

Quote
My "take" on God is wider and deeper than Christianity. Sometimes I think that it's all the .  If you take all the bad stuff from all the thousands of beliefs out there what you're left with is something, Utopia!

It is not "the dividing of beliefs that keep us from our full potential" it is belief itself. If you admit there is a problem with belief, and if you are a believer, then you are a part of the problem that you describe.

If you have kids and you teach them about magic and "Pie in the sky when you die." You are preventing them from knowing how the world really is and, they lose a little of the true beauty that is around us.

The Utopia that you describe is one free of religion, free of preachers who do nothing but take your money and feed you fairy tales, free of idiot beliefs (auras, crystal healing, aromatherapy, etc.) and one where we understand each other. This is atheism.

Why not join us for a better world?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 13, 2013, 12:18:22 PM
It is not "the dividing of beliefs that keep us from our full potential" it is belief itself.

Indeed.

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite."  (Bertrand Russell)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 13, 2013, 01:57:47 PM
To the OP - Bullshit it's not. And this ties quite nicely into screwtape's link about the basic laws of human stupidity, by the way.

Here's why: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/religion-society/two-women-papua-new-guinea-tortured-and-beheaded-alleged-witchcraft

This is being discussed in another thread: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,24721.msg549590.html#new
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 13, 2013, 02:04:34 PM
The real question here Junebug, is whether or not you are willing to seek the truth. The truth about evolution, the truth about the origins of life, the truth about reality. If you are, that's great. If not, that's fine too. There are many who dont.

So which is it? Truth, or blinders?

I am willing to explore other ideas. I'll start studying more science if you'll flatter my idea. Like I've always thought the answer will be found by the joining of the scientific mind and spiritual mind.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 13, 2013, 02:27:30 PM
I am willing to explore other ideas. I'll start studying more science if you'll flatter my idea. Like I've always thought the answer will be found by the joining of the scientific mind and spiritual mind.

At the risk of sounding rigid, No No No!  Please don't deceive yourself that the touchy feely idea of "meeting in the middle" leads one to truth.  There is no such thing as a "spiritual mind" any more than there is a "healing crystal mind".  Yes, we will listen to anything you have to say, but if it is asserted without good evidence, it may be dismissed.  While science draws conclusions from the evidence at hand, you seem to prefer to find evidence for a conclusion.  As I've said before, that is a backwards approach to understanding the world & reality.


When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.  (Richard Dawkins)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 13, 2013, 02:28:20 PM
Hey guys and gals, I can see you care as much about me as I care about you.

Let me really try to explain.

My mind was so sad. I didn't have that happy little childhood. I lived most of my life wishing I had never been born. I tried not believing in god, and no it wasn't scary, that didn't help. Learning how to trust in god calmed my mInd, gave  me peace within.

I did not need him to come down here and show himself; I felt his presence there.

Oh don't worry I had no problem finding g other strays and we looked out for each other. :)

Tried therapy too. What a joke.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 13, 2013, 02:32:14 PM
One more thing, I'm not as scientifically illerate as yal think. I'm really not. Anything concerning origins intrigues me.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 13, 2013, 02:35:47 PM
My mind was so sad. I didn't have that happy little childhood. I lived most of my life wishing I had never been born. I tried not believing in god, and no it wasn't scary, that didn't help. Learning how to trust in god calmed my mInd, gave  me peace within.

I did not need him to come down here and show himself; I felt his presence there.

Oh don't worry I had no problem finding g other strays and we looked out for each other. :)

Tried therapy too. What a joke.

Allow me to change just one word in that, and see how it sounds:



My mind was so sad. I didn't have that happy little childhood. I lived most of my life wishing I had never been born. I tried not taking heroin, and no it wasn't scary, that didn't help. Learning how to trust in heroin calmed my mind, gave me peace within.


Oh don't worry I had no problem finding other users and we looked out for each other.

Tried therapy too. What a joke.

----------------------------------------------------


You seem to be saying that god-belief was/is useful, and there's no way anyone can argue against that; it can & does provide for a sense of belonging & community which we social humans crave, but this has got nothing to do with its truth factor, which is what we here are concerned about.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 13, 2013, 02:38:24 PM
It is not "the dividing of beliefs that keep us from our full potential" it is belief itself.

Indeed.

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite."  (Bertrand Russell)

There's an old Tanya Tucker song called "Strong Enough to Bend", love the philosophy behind the song.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 13, 2013, 02:51:01 PM
I looked at the lyrics as I'd never heard the song. To summarise, it says, "be reasonable". You don't need gods to exist to be reasonable.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 13, 2013, 03:12:10 PM
Quote from: Star Stuff link=topic=24709.msg549598#msg549598

Allow me to change just one word in that, and see how it sounds:

My mind was so sad. I didn't have that happy little childhood. I lived most of my life wishing I had never been born. I tried not taking heroin, and no it wasn't scary, that didn't help. Learning how to trust in heroin calmed my mind, gave me peace within.


Oh don't worry I had no problem finding other users and we looked out for each other.

I've never done heroin Starship.I had a son to raise.You contradicted yourself anyway. You can't say heroin did not help the heroin did help. That's like saying I said I tried atheism and it worked. That is not what I said.

----------------------------------------------------

Quote
You seem to be saying that god-belief was/is useful, and there's no way anyone can argue against that; it can & does provide for a sense of belonging & community which we social humans crave, but this has got nothing to do with its truth factor, which is what we here are concerned about.

That is what I'm saying. There is reason we all have different interest and study different things. It could be that we did come from the scientific explanation and still have a spiritual purpose to our lives.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 13, 2013, 03:33:06 PM
Tanya Tucker - Strong Enough To Bend Lyrics 

Send “Strong Enough To Bend” Ringtone to your cell



 
There's a tree out in the backyard
That never has been broken by the wind
And the reason its still standing
It was strong enough to bend

For years, we have stayed together
As lovers and as friends
What we have will last forever
If we're strong enough to bend

When you say something that you can't take back
Big wind blows and you hear a little crack
When you say "Hey well I might be wrong"
You can sway with the wind till the storm is gone
Sway with the wind till the storm is gone

Like a tree out in the backyard
That never has been broken by the wind
Our love will last forever
If we're strong enough to bend

When you start thinkin' that you know it all
Big wind blows and a branch will fall
When you say "Hey this job takes two"
We can sway with the wind till the skies turn blue
Sway with the wind till the skies turn blue

Like a tree out in the backyard
That never has been broken by the wind
Our love will last forever if we're strong enough to bend
Our love will last forever if we're strong enough to bend.

Cowboylyrics.com

This song is clearly about a relationship that was successful because they were "Strong Enough to Bend".

The tree still stands because it's "Strong Enough to Bend".
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Aaron123 on April 13, 2013, 03:50:31 PM
One more thing, I'm not as scientifically illerate as yal think. I'm really not. Anything concerning origins intrigues me.

This contradicts

Quote
I've never seen a fish turn human. You ask me to believe this stuff and yet you're so adamantly convinced I'm wrong. You seem to believe as blindly as you accuse me of.

Exacty what do you think evolution is?  This gets me thinking of a fish "popping out" legs and walking on land.  Is that close to what you imagine it is?  If so, you really need to read a science book on the subject.  Go to the libaray, reseach online, buy a book off of amazon.com.  It's so easy nowadays to research this subject.


(as an aside, am I suppose to imagine a texan accent with your voice?  the "yal" in your posts gets me thinking of that)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 13, 2013, 03:57:03 PM
(as an aside, am I suppose to imagine a Texan accent with your voice?  the "yal" in your posts gets me thinking of that)

*See post #124 above.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Quesi on April 13, 2013, 06:41:12 PM

Science isn't something to "know about" (like cars), it's a method of knowing & understanding....well....everything.  It is the best tool we've got, and it is open to any & all observable phenomena. 

Star Stuff - I love this definition/description of science.  I even looked at Webster's and Wikipedia, and you exceeded the clarity of the go-to sources. 

I'm sorry to go off topic, but I found myself thinking about this today, and concluding that the problem that we have in the US with science education is that, for the most part, this is NOT what is taught.  It is not what I was taught. 

But my daughter is in a really fabulous school, and I *think* this is what she is being taught. 

I kind of yawned at the beginning of the year when I found out that the first science topic in first grade was the 5 senses.  That seemed like a pre-school topic to me. 

But then they used that first topic to build on everything else they did.  The next topic was solids, liquids, gases.

In the late fall, they had a science curriculum night in her first grade classroom.  Parents and kids came in together, and the kids got to show the parents what they were learning.  The night before curriculum night, my daughter announced that we were going to have root beer floats in class for curriculum night.  6 year olds often misunderstand, and I tried to explain to her that we were not going to have root beer floats during our curriculum night activity. 

But I was wrong.

Each kid got a scoop of ice cream, and while it was being scooped, discussed whether it was a solid or a liquid.  They were asked to speculate what they thought would happen when the root beer was added to the ice cream.  Then the root beer when it.  Liquid.  It turned some of the ice cream liquid, but some remained solid.  The carbonation caused bubbles, and the students really experienced the concept of "gas."   

The students then had to write down what they observed.  What was sold, gas, liquid?   What did they see?  Hear?  Smell?  Taste?  Feel?  The teachers wandered from table to table, looking at what the 6 year olds were writing down.  She then asked them to share their observations with their classmates as they enjoyed consuming their root beer floats.  What changed?  When did it change?  Why did it change? 

And the 6 year olds got into a lively debate about the ice cream itself.  It was a solid at first, they all agreed.  Then some of it, (sometimes all of it) became liquid.  What are the characteristics of a solid?  Of a liquid?  The kids stirred their floats with long spoons and straws, and examined the ice cream and genuinely debated the blurred lines between a liquid and a solid.  They defended their positions passionately.  The teachers did not "give the right answer."  Instead, they let the students explore the ambiguity, and asked them to support their interpretations.  "It is a liquid!  It is dripping  You can pour it!  You can pour liquids so it is a liquid!"  "No!  It is still a solid!  Look.  That is a big solid lump in the middle!"  The teachers nodded and agreed that they were accurately describing the characteristics of solids and liquids, and accurately describing the characteristics of their ice cream, and that it was possible to defend each interpretation.  "Good observation!"  The teachers would say.  "Write that down." 

I thought it was an amazing activity.  Ask a question.  Hypothesize.  Test it.  Record the data you observe.  Report back.  Defend your interpretations of the data.  Compare your results with the results of others who conducted the same experiment.  Were the results the same?  What factors impacted on the slight variation in results?  (Some consumed the root beer float so fast that the ice cream had little time to melt.)  Was your hypothesis correct? 

It was the scientific method, in an activity that was engaging and appropriate for 6 year olds.  And they have been doing experiments over and over and over all year.  At this point in the school year, they need to write down their hypothesis first, before conducting the experiment, and then write down their observations.   By the end of first grade, the scientific method is going to be second nature for these kids. 

And that is science. 

@Junebug - I apologize for going so far off topic in your thread.  And I am sorry that you have had so much pain in your life.  I am certain that there are many online communities where you will find members who with sympathize and empathize and provide you with support. 

You are welcome here, but you are not going to find many here who respond to you with sympathy or empathy.  You will find a lot of people who challenge you, and ask you to defend your beliefs with evidence. But if you feel like folks are ganging up on you, alert a guide or a mod or post your concerns in the Shelter.   

 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 13, 2013, 07:00:31 PM
@Junebug:   I am sorry that you have had so much pain in your life.  I am certain that there are many online communities where you will find members who with sympathize and empathize and provide you with support. 

You are welcome here, but you are not going to find many here who respond to you with sympathy or empathy.  You will find a lot of people who challenge you, and ask you to defend your beliefs with evidence. But if you feel like folks are ganging up on you, alert a guide or a mod or post your concerns in the Shelter.

I don't think that's true. If there's a thread where that is the focus, I suspect that she'll get lots of sympathy & empathy, but if the focus is extraordinary supernatural claims, then that ought to be the focus.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Quesi on April 13, 2013, 07:23:12 PM
@Junebug:   I am sorry that you have had so much pain in your life.  I am certain that there are many online communities where you will find members who with sympathize and empathize and provide you with support. 

You are welcome here, but you are not going to find many here who respond to you with sympathy or empathy.  You will find a lot of people who challenge you, and ask you to defend your beliefs with evidence. But if you feel like folks are ganging up on you, alert a guide or a mod or post your concerns in the Shelter.

I don't think that's true. If there's a thread where that is the focus, I suspect that she'll get lots of sympathy & empathy, but if the focus is extraordinary supernatural claims, then that ought to be the focus.

I stand corrected.  A lot of members have sought and found support here.  And the Personal Help, Advice and Support section is there just to meet that need! 

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 14, 2013, 12:44:52 AM
I've studied God. So yal can be the scientific experts, and I'll be this humble little ole gal from the Appalachians that knows a little bit about God.

Cool.  Always interested in people who have studied, and who know things.

So go ahead please - post what you KNOW about your god, and how you KNOW it, wth the evidence please, and your workings.  Until then, all you are posting is your happy little wishing fantasies, which - while they may be nice and help you in YOUR life - are worthless to anyone else.

I suppose it depends what you want to do, or what you want to be here.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 14, 2013, 08:20:55 AM

Religion is used by people for all sorts of reasons.  That's why Christianity is so popular.  Want to justify killing your enemies?  Christianity.  Want to justify loving your enemies?  Christianity.  Want to justify slavery?  Christianity.  Want to justify no slavery?  Christianity.  That's what you have to start understanding Junebug.  Religion is what people use to support what they already think.  You use your religion to support the belief that love is great and that people should help each other out.  Other people use it for other things.  It's all still religion.  You think your religion is good for everyone.  Everyone else does the same thing.


Used by people, not by God. God does not control what we do, that is very obvious. We were created with a conscience to help us decide right from wrong. It is up to us to master the art of being human, and so far we've done a shotty job as far as eliminating poverty and violence.

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That's nice, but how do you know?  And what mess are you specifically referring to?

Poverty and violence!!! 


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You are practicing cognitive dissonance.  It makes you uneasy to see the suffering in the world around us and pair that with the idea that God loves everyone.  So you excuse it away with irrational stuff like 'this mess isn't God's will', when that is clearly an illogical stance.  Do you really sit there and imagine God is crying about what's going on down here?  If it's not his will, why doesn't he fix it?  Are you saying the horrors that would come from FIXING the problems with the world are so bad that God would rather leave us alone?  That God would cry MORE if he stopped kids from starving?
 

I understand how you would interpret my spiritual beliefs as cognitive dissonance. You lack the faith and understanding in God to perceive it any other way. I understand that what you would want in a God is one that controls us,that saves us. I don't like the idea of being a robot, but we would be perfect. You just can't have it both ways Jeff. We can either have free will, or only have it when children aren't starving,or being raped, tortured and murdered etc.. Some people use their free will to do marvelous things, others well, they use theirs to reek havoc. The question is, how do we unite the 'marvelous' to put an end to the havoc?




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The only way to fix the things about this world that are a mess is with thinking people coming up with new ideas and abandoning ancient superstitious nonsense.  Accepting that the world is the way it is, is the first step in solving the problems we face. Putting our hands together and bowing our heads to telepathically communicate with an invisible sky man doesn't seem to be working.

Accepting the world as it is means accepting a spiritual world. 

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Like you, atheists think that the problems of the world need to be solved by humans.  We think this because we think there's nothing out there that's going to help us.  You, on the other hand, think there IS something out there that COULD help us, but chooses not to.  Let me use an analogy to show you what its like...

If God interferes on such a large scale, it would abolish free will. That would truly mean God gives up on us, that God no longer has faith in mankind to achieve peace,harmony,etc...



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What if I believed there was a person that walked around behind you all day that sometimes helped you out and sometimes didn't, but really, really loved you and wanted to keep you safe.  I kept telling you that I see this person behind you, but every time you look for it, you can't see it.  So you tell me there's no person and I tell you there is.  One day, we're walking down the street and you fall into a hole and break your leg.  You look up at me from the hole and ask why the person didn't stop you from walking into the hole, and I tell you that 'it wasn't his will that you fell into the hole', and that 'he's crying about you falling into the hole' and that 'the world would be much worse off if you hadn't fallen into the hole'.  Is that a respectable answer?  Seriously... is it?  This is what you tell us with your God.

That's just not how free will works Jeff. Free will means that you are responsible for keeping yourself up off the ground. I don't know about you but I've had some pretty good times not doing what I was supposed to, I suffered the consequences and learned from them. What you're saying is it would have been better that my puppeteer jerked his string and kept me on the straight and narrow? I've learned that what I do and how I think affects it all, that I'm part of something much greater than myself. I am a part of you and you me and so on and so on... see by myself I'm a tiny little speck, but when united with my 'friends' we get pretty darn big. :D
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 14, 2013, 08:26:10 AM
The difference between religion and spirituality can thus be summarized as follows:

Religion focuses on dogmas and rules followed by a particular sect or group of people, whereas spirituality focuses on the soul that dwells within you.
It can be said that religion focuses on the outside; spirituality focuses on the within.
Religion comes from outside whereas spirituality comes from within.
Religion shapes the character of the individual whereas spirituality aims at shaping the individual himself.
Religion makes a person disciplined, whereas spirituality makes a person strong by mind.
Religion aims at building faiths and customs, whereas spirituality aims at building the strength of the soul.  It makes the person ready to combat any situation in life.

http://www.differencebetween.com


Just Saying! :)
Read more: http://www.differencebetween.com
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Azdgari on April 14, 2013, 08:57:21 AM
That is not what "religion" means when people here use the word "religion".
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 14, 2013, 09:09:20 AM
JB, you are failing in a few areas...

A) showing that your "god" actually exists
B) distinguishing between your "god's" inaction and its non-existence
C) showing how you came to conclusions about your "god"
D) you claim to be non-religions, but the more you post it sounds like Christianity based upon the bible with the usual ignoring of the messy stuff; how is your religion different?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 14, 2013, 09:45:07 AM
You guys are right I don't know as much about science as you all....

Science isn't something to "know about" (like cars), it's a method of knowing & understanding....well....everything.  It is the best tool we've got, and it is open to any & all observable phenomena.  The reason why god does not come up on the radar of any scientific inquiry is that a god (especially the cartoon character of the Abrahamic god) doesn't exist.  Gods were and are humanity's first guess as an explanation.  This guess was and is born out of ignorance and superstition.

God didn't come before superstition, according to you God is superstition. 

Basically God is the respect our early ancestors gave to the "Wander" of it all. Imagine how humble they must have felt, inexperienced and small. See no matter how we prove this planet and life came to be; that is God. That's why you can't get rid of God. If our origin is certain gases combining in such a way that life was created then that power is God.



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I've studied God.

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I don't mean to be abrasive when I say this, but I really wish you could see and appreciate just how vacuous that statement is.  Allow me to change just one word of your three-word statement:  "I've studied Zeus"  "I've studied Superman"  "I've studied astrology"  "I've studied Voodoo magic"  "I've studied Santa Claus"  "I've studied unicorns".  You get the picture.  I'm reminded of another saying:  "Being a theologian is like being a professional air guitarist."

No! I do not allow you to change my words. make your words yours and my words are mine. Anybody can do that change people's words and make them mean whatever they want them to mean. I don't change your words they're yours to have may I pretty, pretty please have mine!!!
With the exception of Santa Claus-cool guy, unicorns-beautiful creatures,and superman-great movie. Any theory concerning our spiritual health is welcome.

To be honest it's quite an annoying way to argue. I hope you don't do other people that way.



Take a man that is physically and intellectually strong but has no spirit, a man that has spirit but no physical strength and third a man that has both physical-intellectual strength and spiritual strength, which man is best equipped? No matter what task you give the man that has both He is more likely to be able to accomplish greater things. To be an example and inspire others. That's the kind of Leaders we need. Someone like that gets a chance and hope will have not been in vain!



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How did you go about "studying" this god of yours?

I'm sure you know how people study starry skies.



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And that's it?  You're not prepared to move any further than that?  That is the epitome of being closed minded.

The only person closed minded in this conversation is you. I respect the science, fascinating stuff, I encourage it. That is origin science, don't care so much for the science that creates nuclear weapons and decimate our planet, ie, petroleum based energy!

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If you live in the Appalachians, I'm going to suggest that because you live in a part of the States which is steeped in Christianity, that the idea of proclaiming to not having god belief for you is somewhat frightening.  Is there any truth in that?

Trust me when I say this,my favorite Star, what I believe and Christians "practice" are two different things. The only thing we have in common is Creation. That there is a magnificent power in the universe that deserves respect and there we go our separate ways.

Nobody's threatened to burn me at the stake or behead me. They think I'm crazier than you do!lol :laugh:
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 14, 2013, 10:11:26 AM
God didn't come before superstition, according to you God is superstition.

Like much of what you say, I don't understand that.

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Basically God is the respect our early ancestors gave to the "Wander" (wonder) of it all. Imagine how humble they must have felt, inexperienced and small.

Nonsense.  They didn't have a clue about the universe as we do thanks to our science and exploration.  They invented their gods as an explanation for their existence and the worlds existence.  We KNOW that they were 100% wrong on both counts.


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See, no matter how we prove this planet and life came to be; that is God. That's why you can't get rid of God. If our origin is certain gases combining in such a way that life was created then that power is God.

Wow, what a mess.  I don't have time right now to untangle that.



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No! I do not allow you to change my words. make your words yours and my words are mine. Anybody can do that change people's words and make them mean whatever they want them to mean.

Ugh.  It's a thought exercise to help you see how your thinking is flawed.






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Take a man that is physically and intellectually strong but has no spirit, a man that has spirit but no physical strength and third a man that has both physical-intellectual strength and spiritual strength, which man is best equipped?

What does "no spirit" mean or look like?  This "spirit" word leads you down a road of fantasy and baseless assertions.  Your thinking is so highly flawed.



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No matter what task you give the man that has both He is more likely to be able to accomplish greater things. To be an example and inspire others. That's the kind of Leaders we need. Someone like that gets a chance and hope will have not been in vain!

And therefore your god is real?  Sorry, fail.



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I'm sure you know how people study starry skies.

What?



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The only person closed minded in this conversation is you.

I can see that you didn't watch that video I posted on "Openmindedness".  I highly recommend it.



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I respect the science, fascinating stuff, I encourage it.

No, you're a cherry picker.  You like it when it supports your pre-existing beliefs, but dismiss it when it displays (http://www.amazon.com/God-Failed-Hypothesis-Science-Shows/dp/1591026520/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365952103&sr=1-1&keywords=god+the+failed) that your supernatural beliefs are false.





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Trust me when I say this, my favorite Star, what I believe and Christians "practice" are two different things. The only thing we have in common is Creation.

That wasn't my point at all.  My point is that you know darn well that to "come out" as a non-believer in god in your neck of the woods would most certainly come with a cost - no?

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 14, 2013, 10:36:13 AM
One more thing, I'm not as scientifically illerate as yal think. I'm really not. Anything concerning origins intrigues me.

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This contradicts

Do you own a masters in grammar Aaron? Didn't think so, or you would have recognized a comparative statement to a literal statement. Maybe you should leave the editing up to the experts. just saying.


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Exacty what do you think evolution is? 

The process of adapting to an environment out of necessity for survival.

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(as an aside, am I suppose to imagine a texan accent with your voice?  the "yal" in your posts gets me thinking of that)

Just paying tribute to my southern heritage. It's really more a you-aww.hehe


I'm beginning to think you all got this science stuff down pat but maybe lack in the reading comprehending department. The statement was to prove a point not a literal statement. That you believe it although you haven't seen it, therefore not much different from believing in a Creator, that one hasn't literally seen. There is evidence this phenomena has taken place-"the fish"-and contrary to what you think, there "is" evidence in divine intervention. Catholics and others have been keeping track of "miracles" for thousands of years. There have been unexplained "miraculous" healings, and millions of personal testimonies such as my own.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 14, 2013, 10:47:41 AM
Please watch:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg1fs6vp9Ok
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 14, 2013, 10:48:21 AM
Ok, then June, what you are saying amounts to a respect for 'the creative force' in the universe without being able to point to just what that is. Maybe it's the sheer wonder of nature and all its forms or maybe its the wonder at the universe and the vast numbers of stars at. This is all very well but it is an http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignoranceArgument from ignorance. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignoranceArgument from ignorance.) The vast array of nature causes us awe yet, the theory of evolution explains to us how it came to be. The same goes for the universe which, though very beautiful from earth, has a proper explanation.

Then again, you appeal to spirit that is supposed to be in some people at least. What exactly is that? How could we go about determining if such a thing exists? how do expect people to understand what you say if you don't give some sort of explanation?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 14, 2013, 10:58:41 AM
brilliant video, Star Stuff. I hope June watches it.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Aaron123 on April 14, 2013, 11:00:10 AM
The process of adapting to an environment out of necessity for survival.

A bit more complicated than that, but close.  So why do you think it involves "fish turning into humans"?


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That you believe it although you haven't seen it,

We accept evolution because there is evidence for it.


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therefore not much different from believing in a Creator, that one hasn't literally seen.


We do not accept a creator because there is no evidence for it.


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There is evidence this phenomena has taken place-"the fish"-and contrary to what you think, there "is" evidence in divine intervention. Catholics and others have been keeping track of "miracles" for thousands of years. There have been unexplained "miraculous" healings, and millions of personal testimonies such as my own.

So what are these "mircales" you speak of"  I have a feeling that they're a lot less "miraculous" than you think they are.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 14, 2013, 11:02:24 AM

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Nonsense.  They didn't have a clue about the universe as we do thanks to our science and exploration.  They invented their gods as an explanation for their existence and the worlds existence.  We KNOW that they were 100% wrong on both counts.

I challenge you to prove how you KNOW that's what they were thinking. All I can do is imagine that's what they were Feeling. I try to imagine how I would have felt with no knowledge and a sense of survival. What the first emotional tear was shed over or the first time someone got evil enough to take another man's life? How can you say with all certainty they were ignorant; it's as if you were there; and not more gifted than us. They were able to survive with only mother earth to provide and managed to seed civilization.

God is wherever we come from, no matter where or how that is.








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Ugh.  It's a thought exercise to help you see how your thinking is flawed.

let me change a few words here;

It's a word altering process to help me completely and totally undermine your point.

I'll get to rest later got to get to my first grandbaby's baby shower.








Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: shnozzola on April 14, 2013, 11:04:02 AM
That's why you can't get rid of God. If our origin is certain gases combining in such a way that life was created then that power is God.

Could volcanoes exist without god?
If you boil water on the stove, do you think that could be done without god?
If you use laundry detergent to clean clothing, do you think that could be done without god?

Or are you saying that your definition of god includes absolutely everything in the universe since time began,  so absolutely nothing does not involve god - more a pantheism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheist) definition?

Junebug, would you say that from your time debating here your definition of god has changed?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 14, 2013, 11:06:53 AM
June, here's your answer to your challenge. The following picture is an illustration of the 'universe' created in Genesis and mention in Job.We know this is some time BCE - maybe around 500BCE as some of the story seems to be from the Babylonian creation narrative.

Now, please, point out to me what in the picture is like our present views of the universe.

(http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv118/icedbun/creation.jpg) (http://s675.photobucket.com/user/icedbun/media/creation.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 14, 2013, 11:28:45 AM
I challenge you to prove how you KNOW that's what they were thinking.

You're twisting things around.  I meant that they didn't have as complete or accurate an understanding of the universe and our place in it due to their lack of knowledge.  Our present understanding will become more full, but with your nonsensical question or "challenge" above, you are asking me to know what what we don't yet know.


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All I can do is imagine that's what they were Feeling.

We know that one's feelings come from the thoughts one has.  So you cannot imagine what they were feeling without imagining what they were thinking.  See how you've shot yourself in the foot there?




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God is wherever we come from, no matter where or how that is.

That makes no sense.








Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 14, 2013, 11:47:57 AM
God is wherever we come from, no matter where or how that is.

jb, I'm not picking you out specifically on what follows. The course of this conversation is such that it seems a good time to make this point, and it may be a good point to try to make to you anyway. Please hear it as intended - I'm not trying to hurt your feelings. I posted this elsewhere first, so you were not the original intended audience.

In a nutshell, every major religion starts with a premise we rarely discuss around here, in addition to the ones we do. That is: human beings are "the point" of the universe. In fact, it's so ingrained in their thinking, it's never even directly stated. It's blatantly apparent once one stops and notices it though.

The sheer degree of arrogance required to assume that the entirety of the universe exist exclusively for humans is part of what makes is so fricking difficult to get them to step back and really think about what they believe. It's simply beyond them to consider that outside planet Earth, there's not a single thing in the entirety of the universe that gives a sh!t about us one way or another.


Forgive any harshness of tone jb, but do you see the point I was making?

On a slightly different topic, I have some thoughts that (I think) might help me understand what you are trying to convey. I've been following this topic with a great deal of interest, and I want to commend you for staying with it. I know this has been challenging, and probably somewhat painful in a few places. I'm starting to get a sense that you and I may actually have a similar way of looking at "the world" that may not be obvious on the surface.

We see peoples doing awful things, destructive things, and obviously-harmful-to-others things, and we're saddened and disappointed in our fellow humans. We agree that the problem is people and their actions, attitudes, and behaviors. We may disagree somewhat about their motivations and how best to solve the problems, but there's no question for either of us that change is required for humans to thrive on the only planet we have available to us. We also agree that the only way that change is going to occur is if we humans get our collective a$$es in motion and get to work. Expecting god (of any belief system) to intervene is pointless.

We also share a sense of wonder at the majesty of the natural world. We look at the stars and are profoundly moved by seeing the beauty of the night sky. We watch a sunrise and feel a sense of gratitude. We are delighted at every story we hear, or action we witness that provides a positive outcome, and we work to participate in as many positive outcome oriented things as we can.

The only real difference I find is what we call the part that pleases us. You call it god, and I call it nature.

Does that sound accurate to you? I'm just trying to really understand what you're talking about - your spirituality (your chosen descriptor, correct?) seems very personal and specific to you, and I don't want to make any more assumptions. What I've stated here is what I've pieced together - am I more or less on the right track?

And finally, congrats on the (pending?) new addition to your family! My first grandbaby arrived at the end of January, and she's an absolute delight!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 14, 2013, 02:47:49 PM
This song is clearly about a relationship that was successful because they were "Strong Enough to Bend".

The tree still stands because it's "Strong Enough to Bend".

Really! I thought it was about a tree! Perhaps an advert for someone to buy trees if they live somewhere that is windy...

What has this got to do with believing in God?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Quesi on April 14, 2013, 02:57:51 PM

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Nonsense.  They didn't have a clue about the universe as we do thanks to our science and exploration.  They invented their gods as an explanation for their existence and the worlds existence.  We KNOW that they were 100% wrong on both counts.

I challenge you to prove how you KNOW that's what they were thinking. All I can do is imagine that's what they were Feeling. I try to imagine how I would have felt with no knowledge and a sense of survival. What the first emotional tear was shed over or the first time someone got evil enough to take another man's life? How can you say with all certainty they were ignorant; it's as if you were there; and not more gifted than us. They were able to survive with only mother earth to provide and managed to seed civilization.


Actually, the advent of literacy allowed people to share their thoughts with the generations that followed.  So we know quite a bit about what people were thinking.  Across the globe, people were looking up at the sky and trying to figure out what the sun and the moon and the stars and the planets were.  Each civilization made up its own stories. 

Also, people from every corner of the globe spent a lot of time thinking about the weather and how it would impact on their crops.  They had no concept of weather patterns, so they came up with various explanations for life altering events such as droughts and floods or late frosts or any unusual weather pattern that could drastically impact on their food sources.  Many early civilizations thought that an angry deity or deities were responsible for the weather that threated their crops or their homes, and many civilizations tried to appease angry deities, often with sacrifices of cattle or goats[1] or virgins or slaves or children.  Other civilizations accepted that the hunger they were experiencing this season was a result of evil that they had committed in a previous life.  Still other civilizations believed that poor weather and famine were a result of failing to adequately honor their dead ancestors.   

Wheel's picture shows a lot about what the people of that time and place were thinking. 

I think it is unfair to say that they had "no knowledge."  Most ancient people knew a great deal about the particulars of their immediate environment and ecosystems.  What they didn't know, was the greater context in which their immediate environment existed. 
 1. the ot has goat sacrifices, as I'm sure you know
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 15, 2013, 03:39:44 AM
I've studied God. So yal can be the scientific experts, and I'll be this humble little ole gal from the Appalachians that knows a little bit about God.

Cool.  Always interested in people who have studied, and who know things.

So go ahead please - post what you KNOW about your god, and how you KNOW it, wth the evidence please, and your workings.  Until then, all you are posting is your happy little wishing fantasies, which - while they may be nice and help you in YOUR life - are worthless to anyone else.

I suppose it depends what you want to do, or what you want to be here.

Any answer yet Junebug?  Anything concrete you have to share, or just the little wishes and dreams that you really, really want to be true?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 05:03:32 AM
Why is a personal witness not evidence?

You didn't witness a deity creating the universe or this planet.  We know how this planet formed, and we know that for the first 1 BILLION years (that's a thousand million), it was a nasty, hostile place inhospitable to life.  We know that about 3.5 BILLION years ago, life cooked up in a most simple biochemical way, and has evolved to where we are now.  ALL of the evidence (and there's mountains of it) supports this.

Please watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8nYTJf62sE




Quote
The fact that this planet is here is evidence.

You're doing it again; coming to your conclusions first.


Science seeks to draw a conclusion from the evidence at hand, while religion seeks to find evidence for a conclusion at hand.  (Steven J. Hurlin)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 15, 2013, 05:30:42 AM
Well, June, we do take personal witnesses in court and hear their evidence but there is a key difference. In court, a witness has to describe what they saw / heard. With luck, someone else saw/heard the same event and adds to the testimony. What a witness is not allowed to do is to give evidence on what goes on in their head and what they think goes on in someone else's head either.

Now you may experience something you call god in your head but this is not accessible to anyone else and so has no chance of being confirmed by another witness. Moreover, neither of us know whether what you experience is a real, actual god or the effect the sub-conscious brain popping ideas into the conscious brain. That is something neither of us would be able to distinguish. So it is for that reason that you personal testimony don't count as evidence of a god.

Finally, that things exist is not evidence for a creator but is only evidence that things exist. Science is still working on explaining the origin of the universe but we are fairly clear how natural forces came together to form our star, the sun, and then form our planetary system. Our planet happened to get lucky and be in the right place and had an atmosphere - though not like our present one. We are close to explaining how life began, quite naturally, and from there we can account for the development of the planet to where we are today - and no creator was required!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 15, 2013, 05:43:35 AM
I've studied God. So yal can be the scientific experts, and I'll be this humble little ole gal from the Appalachians that knows a little bit about God.
So go ahead please - post what you KNOW about your god, and how you KNOW it, wth the evidence please, and your workings. 

Good Morning Ang. You know all this talk about evidence has got me thinking. Why is a personal witness not evidence? It's certainly used in our justice system. It may not be the evidence you want, but it is evidence. The fact that this planet is here is evidence. Like I said earlier God is where we came from no matter how science proves it happened. There is a power in the universe that creates life. That power is God. It is my choice to respect and honor that power.

Ignoring for the moment the fact that - rather than actually GIVE your evidence, you have chosen a tangent instead.....

"Why is a personal witness not evidence?"  Because it is demonstrable that eye-witnesses will contradict each other, will change and embellish their stories, and can entirely make things up.  You can add to that the fact that a lot of "god-experience" comes as "feelings", and while you can indeed say that "in this circumstance, I felt this", to do say says nothing about any truth or otherwise about what made you feel that way.

And quite apart from all that, if YOUR "personal witness" says one thing, and my "personal witness" another - and a third person's something else - then how do you determine which (if any) "personal witness" was actually correct in what they saw?  To relate it to the justice system, if one witness says "person A shot her", and the next one says "no, person B shot her", then where do you go from there?  Answer is, you look at the physical evidence - the gunpowder residue, blood spatters, or whatever.

And THAT is what I was hoping I'd get from you, Junebug, when you said you had "studied god" - something more than your "feelings".

But once again, off you go with your unsubstantiated assertions.  "There is a power in the universe that creates life. That power is God".  Really?  Says who?  What DO you have to back that assertion up?

The other reason I ask is to try to get you to define what the heck it is you actually believe.  You bounce from an anthropomorphic deity that cries and values free will, to some vague and floaty "power" that just gives "life" (somehow), through this power being the creator of the universe.  I was hoping that as someone who has "studied god" you'd be able to be a little more specific about this "god" that you KNOW exists.

So I'll ask again.  Post what you KNOW about your god, and HOW you knowit, with the evidence please, and your workings.

Because at the moment, all I'm getting from you is "I feel it is this way, so it must be true".  Which, frankly, requires no more rebuttal than "well, I feel it is this way, so your way must be false". 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 06:31:55 AM

I am really disappointed in that. There is no reason why you should not learn more facts and explanations about the world; there is nothing to be pleased or even satisfied about if you do not know how things work and why things happen.

I don't see you as "humble"; I see you as someone who has not yet reached her potential.

First of all "i ain't got time for that", second if we all were studying the same things;we'd all know a lot about one thing. There is a reason we all have different interests. There'd be only doctors or only lawyers or only you get the point; don't you? I have no desire whatsoever to be a scientist. It's not because I'm not smart enough; that's not my destiny. I'm going to take my placement test this morning to get a certificate in ophthalmic assisting. That is my passion my dream. I LOVE EYECARE. Worked in the lab for 15 years, got laid off recently and my faith in God has seen me through. Now it's time to move on, and when I feel insecure;GOD;through my spirit inside gives me strength. I know it's easier to believe when you feel it for yourself, but do you have to see someone murdered to believe that someone else did. There is a dead body, but that person could be lying about who they saw pull the trigger.

You could use that same logic, with anything you have believed only with second hand accounts. For instance, did you do the experiments, did you see any of this stuff you believe first hand, or is it the result of someone else's thoughts,study's, etc..Sure you may own some of what you "know" to be true but there was a seed there, a thought planted by another mind.


Quote
It is not "the dividing of beliefs that keep us from our full potential" it is belief itself. If you admit there is a problem with belief, and if you are a believer, then you are a part of the problem that you describe.

It is not the "belief" that causes problem's. Some people don't truly believe. I've heard that said here several times. That people don't "really" believe. That's another difference between being spiritual and religious. Some believe and foolishly seek leaders that do not, or twist the words of great teachers, like Jesus, to suit their own wants and desires. If they truly "had respect" for God they wouldn't do these things.


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The Utopia that you describe is one free of religion, free of preachers who do nothing but take your money and feed you fairy tales, free of idiot beliefs (auras, crystal healing, aromatherapy, etc.) and one where we understand each other. This is atheism.

Why not join us for a better world?

That statement there makes me think you will never achieve your Utopia because you can not understand others; why we need God/Respect for our Origin.

Gotta go get ready now. Test time!

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 15, 2013, 06:35:59 AM
Good luck with the test, June!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Mrjason on April 15, 2013, 06:40:47 AM

You could use that same logic, with anything you have believed only with second hand accounts. For instance, did you do the experiments, did you see any of this stuff you believe first hand, or is it the result of someone else's thoughts,study's, etc..Sure you may own some of what you "know" to be true but there was a seed there, a thought planted by another mind.


The thing about experimentation is that it can be replicated. If I don't believe someones results I can check them for myself.
This can not be done with faith as it is anecdotal.

Good luck with your test BTW. I hope you can replicate the established results of others findings  ;D

Seriously I hope you do well.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Dante on April 15, 2013, 06:47:41 AM
There is no reason why you should not learn more facts and explanations about the world; there is nothing to be pleased or even satisfied about if you do not know how things work and why things happen.

First of all "i ain't got time for that",

Yet, you have time to "study" gods.

Brilliant.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 15, 2013, 08:18:01 AM
I'm going to take my placement test this morning to get a certificate in ophthalmic assisting. That is my passion my dream. I LOVE EYECARE.

Have you ever asked god why he built the eye in such a cack-handed way, with its backwards retina and nerve fibres running in front of the photoreceptors to create a blind spot?  HE got it right with squid, why screw it up for humans?  Next time you are helping deal with a detached retina, just remember that had god not screwed up the design of the eye, that person would still have their sight.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 15, 2013, 09:20:43 AM
Hang on there - I had a detached retina and it was put back beautifully a couple of days later whilst I listened to the surgeon describing what he was doing to two students! I can see very well indeed from it now!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 15, 2013, 09:26:36 AM
Oh you know what I mean. Poverty, violence,etc...

I didn't know what you meant so I wanted clarification. 

To answer your question, I do not think there is any way out.  It is the nature of our species.  The interests of the individual organism will always be in some conflict with the interests of the group.

You're the one missing the point.

I don't think I am.

The fact that you insist on proving me to be religious is evidence of that.

I am sorry if that word bothers you, but that is a fact and you should get used to it.

I have no traditional ties to what your concept of a believer is,

No, you exactly fit my concept of a believer.  You have constructed a set of beliefs about a god - that is, a religion - out of ideas that suit you.  They are based on your personal situation, your experiences and your needs.  You do not believe the same things that most believers I have known have believed.  But the specifics of your beliefs are not the root of the matter.  No two believers' beliefs are identical.  The root of the matter is belief itself.  So in that regard, you are no different.

... these questions you all keep asking me does not prove God doesn't exist to me.  To me there is really only way to prove it's not possible and by then none of us are able to speak because we're dead.

You are saying there is nothing that could change your mind.  Then your idea of god is completely irrational.   You are entitled to it, but please do not behave as if it is anything but irrational.




Hello, yes ya did.

No, I didn't.

I just got done saying it offends me;

No, you didn't.  You said:
I guess that's why I get defensive when someone calls me religious.

Defensive is not the same as offended.  I was trying to explain to you why you should not be defensive because by definition you are relgious.

That is a very arrogant thing to say screwey.

I can see how it would seem that way.  However, it is often true that other people have better perspective on our own views and lives.  We are so deep "in it", that we cannot see clearly.  In your case, you  seem to be very concerned with not being associated with an established religion.  So much so that the very word "religion" is anathema to you, despite how it is defined in the English language.  The former, I get.  The latter, I don't.  It seems to be a bit of denial on your part.

But whatever.  I think I've made my point.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 15, 2013, 10:12:55 AM
Why is a personal witness not evidence?

You didn't witness a deity creating the universe or this planet.  We know how this planet formed, and we know that for the first 1 BILLION years (that's a thousand million), it was a nasty, hostile place inhospitable to life.  We know that about 3.5 BILLION years ago, life cooked up in a most simple biochemical way, and has evolved to where we are now.  ALL of the evidence (and there's mountains of it) supports this.

Please watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8nYTJf62sE




Quote
The fact that this planet is here is evidence.

You're doing it again; coming to your conclusions first.


Science seeks to draw a conclusion from the evidence at hand, while religion seeks to find evidence for a conclusion at hand.  (Steven J. Hurlin)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 15, 2013, 10:46:51 AM
jb, this was originally written for someone else on the same general topic. It seems a good fit for you as well; the question I address is - if everything has a beginning and an end (a contention I don't agree with, BTW), then how could the Universe be an exception? What follows is my explanation of the origins of the universe with no god involved. (This is not original to me, my son planted the seed of it over lunch one day)


Ok, key points:
1.   Time is a concept, an idea, an abstract. It doesn’t exist in the way people often speak of it; for instance, no one ever “ran out of time”. At worst, one could run out of life, but time continues to pass, regardless of any individual’s participation, or lack thereof. It’s not an actual thing; it’s a way of explaining other things.
2.   Earth is a planet in the Milky Way galaxy, which is one galaxy of many (no, seriously, MANY) in the universe. For this conversation, we’re not going to include such theories as the multiverse – this one is enough for now.

So:
If we can agree for the purposes of this conversation that black holes exist, and  function as described by science (very generally: given enough time they absorb whatever is in their path), then follow that as far as it can take you.

Given enough time (and yes, I do take for granted that the universe is at least billions of years old), even black holes will be sucked in to other black holes.  Eventually, all matter that exists in the entirety of the universe gets sucked into a single immeasurably dense/intensely pressurized/mind-bendingly squished teenytinydot.

Can you guess what would happen next?

A big frickin’ bang, that’s what.

The universe is not an exception, you’re trying to force the whole existence of it into a concept, time, that only exists to allow us to communicate about things related to it, like “yesterday”, or “next month” or “in ten years”. Or “many millions of years ago”. Or “one hundred twenty seven light years away”.

It’s a measure of distance more than anything else, just not necessarily physical distance.


So, the central point is that the universe could quite easily have always existed, based on what we know about black holes. What we think of as "eternity" is just the most recent expansion of matter since the last big bang from the single black hole that contained everything for a time. Essentially, this has been happening forever and will continue to do so. We humans are just a single example of what matter can gather into, given enough time, along with everything else in the whole universe. Next time, things will probably shake out differently and the alignment of newly created stars and planets will form different galaxies and solar systems than the ones in this ... incarnation.

Let's set aside the "does god exist" question for a moment - does what I said above make sense to you as a possibility?

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 15, 2013, 10:52:05 AM
I know this doesn't go with the flow of the conversation, but I just saw this on the 'net, and recalled the comments on page 4 of this thread:


(http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t172/Paddywacked/SBNR_zps146adf47.jpg) (http://s160.photobucket.com/user/Paddywacked/media/SBNR_zps146adf47.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Aaron123 on April 15, 2013, 11:02:06 AM
First of all "i ain't got time for that", second if we all were studying the same things;we'd all know a lot about one thing. There is a reason we all have different interests. There'd be only doctors or only lawyers or only you get the point; don't you? I have no desire whatsoever to be a scientist. It's not because I'm not smart enough; that's not my destiny. I'm going to take my placement test this morning to get a certificate in ophthalmic assisting. That is my passion my dream. I LOVE EYECARE.

Now, I'm no expert on ophthalmology, but I'm pretty sure becoming an ophthalmic assistant requires some amount of scientific knowledge.  At the very least, I'd imagine you'd need some basic idea of how the eye operates, how to explain the workings of the eye to someone, etc.  Plus, the person you'll be working with will have graduated from a medical school (meaning he/she'll be very science-trained).

So why claim that you have no interest in science, or that you "ain't got time for that"?  By studying how the eye works, you are applying science.



Quote
Gotta go get ready now. Test time!

Best of luck!   :)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 15, 2013, 11:45:35 AM
Gotta go get ready now. Test time!

Missed this the first time, and you'll be done by the time you read this so.....I hope it went well!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 15, 2013, 11:53:50 AM
Now, I'm no expert on ophthalmology, but I'm pretty sure becoming an ophthalmic assistant requires some amount of scientific knowledge.  At the very least, I'd imagine you'd need some basic idea of how the eye operates, how to explain the workings of the eye to someone, etc.  Plus, the person you'll be working with will have graduated from a medical school (meaning he/she'll be very science-trained).

So why claim that you have no interest in science, or that you "ain't got time for that"?  By studying how the eye works, you are applying science.
I don't think junebug72 expressed a lack of interest in science; just a lack of interest in being a scientist.  One need not be a career scientist to practice and appreciate the scientific method.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Truth OT on April 15, 2013, 12:19:02 PM

As long as there is a shred of hope that life after death exists, this is the path I must follow, I long to see my mother again in a land without pain,fear, or sadness.

Do we not owe it to ourselves to give any option that includes eternal existence every opportunity before dismissing it. I owe it to myself I know.
 

If your hope is to find eternal life/existence and you employ God belief as the method of achieving that goal, then there are some problems you will face. The biggest problem is that the faith method is not testible and its adherents have no way of knowing that it works until it's too late (at death) to try some other method.

Faith typically positions itself as an all or nothing singular solution to the mortality problem mankind faces. It's formula is (belief + obedience = eternal life) or something to that effect. This formula excludes and usually forbids the pursuit of other solutions as pursuing other things like SENS Research for instance would constitute a lack of faith in one's religion's deity. Faith in gods has a way of stunting progress and silencing the voices of those who wish to pursue other means that question the foundations and stances of the faith (see the stem cell research contraversy as a current example).
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Aaron123 on April 15, 2013, 01:04:17 PM
I don't think junebug72 expressed a lack of interest in science; just a lack of interest in being a scientist.  One need not be a career scientist to practice and appreciate the scientific method.

Thing is; she appearently rejects the theory of evolution, and doesn't wish to understand what it is.  That's what I'm getting at.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 15, 2013, 02:27:53 PM
I don't think junebug72 expressed a lack of interest in science; just a lack of interest in being a scientist.  One need not be a career scientist to practice and appreciate the scientific method.

Thing is; she appearently rejects the theory of evolution, and doesn't wish to understand what it is.  That's what I'm getting at.
Being careful to not speak for junebug72 (and apologizing to you jb if I got it all wrong)
Except I'm not sure that's quite right either. I've sort of gotten the impression that she might accept it to a point - as in she doesn't exactly deny the mechanisms, she just believes that evolution is the process by which God did it. But I could be misreading that completely.

I sincerely hope jb returns and clarifies this.

Edited for clarity
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 02:28:47 PM
That is not what "religion" means when people here use the word "religion".

Talk about arguing with a sign post. I'm saying there's a difference-a very critical difference-and now that I've proven it to "you all" ,you want to say it can mean something else. How convenient for you. &)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 15, 2013, 02:29:57 PM
Hi jb, you posted while I was posting. Before we get back into the weeds, how did your test go?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Azdgari on April 15, 2013, 02:38:52 PM
Talk about arguing with a sign post. I'm saying there's a difference-a very critical difference-and now that I've proven it to "you all" ,you want to say it can mean something else. How convenient for you. &)

People here are using a dictionary definition.  You're using another one, probably also in dictionaries.  I was highlighting that miscommunication was taking place.  And you decided to take offence.

You know, it's not always a good decision to take offence.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 02:39:22 PM
JB, you are failing in a few areas...

A) showing that your "god" actually exists
B) distinguishing between your "god's" inaction and its non-existence
C) showing how you came to conclusions about your "god"
D) you claim to be non-religions, but the more you post it sounds like Christianity based upon the bible with the usual ignoring of the messy stuff; how is your religion different?

A]I have given you my personal testimony
B]I have explained free will
C]By putting it to action in my own life with positive results
D]How about some quotes that sound like Christianity...aka proof!  Just because I know the ten commandments, so do you! I guess you're just as religious as I am.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 03:04:56 PM

What does "no spirit" mean or look like?  This "spirit" word leads you down a road of fantasy and baseless assertions.  Your thinking is so highly flawed.

Come on Star you know what human spirit is. Athletes, soldiers, and people all around the world use spirit energy when their physical energy is all used up. The stronger that spirit is the stronger the will to fight. You have a strong spirit Starry Skies. ;D



Quote
I can see that you didn't watch that video I posted on "Openmindedness".  I highly recommend it.

I don't see how a video could change the def. of closed-minded. I know what it means and since you, are closed to the idea that there is God, you are being closed-minded. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Quote
No, you're a cherry picker.  You like it when it supports your pre-existing beliefs, but dismiss it when it  that your supernatural beliefs are false.

So far science has not contradicted the existence of God, science confirms it.

You will have to try and understand what I said earlier if there's even a hope that you will understand that one!




Quote
That wasn't my point at all.  My point is that you know darn well that to "come out" as a non-believer in god in your neck of the woods would most certainly come with a cost - no?

50 years ago you probably would've been right, but it's really not that big a deal these days. Church parking lots aren't half full. There is a few large, successful churches in town, but for the most part, not so much.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 15, 2013, 03:12:29 PM

So far science has not contradicted the existence of God, science confirms it.
?????
Quote
You will have to try and understand what I said earlier if there's even a hope that you will understand that one!

I'm trying quite hard to follow along with you jb, so could you point me toward what you said earlier about this? I'm willing to try to understand what you're getting at.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 15, 2013, 03:18:39 PM
Come on Star you know what human spirit is. Athletes, soldiers, and people all around the world use spirit energy when their physical energy is all used up. The stronger that spirit is the stronger the will to fight.

What you're describing is nothing more than brain activity, personality and drive.  All fully natural terms.  You do not use the word spirit in these terms, you assert it in supernatural terms. Please stop moving the goalposts.




Quote
I don't see how a video could change the def. of closed-minded.

What?  Again, you're not making sense.  Did you watch the video?


Quote
I know what it means and since you, are closed to the idea that there is God, you are being closed-minded.

Wrong again.  I am completely open to believing in a god, I simply require evidence.  There is none however.


Quote
So far science has not contradicted the existence of God, science confirms it.

Wrong.  Dead wrong.  You need to understand that something like 95% of the members of the Academy of Science (truly the elite of the elite in science) are atheists.

Doesn't it seem odd that the "evidence for the existence of god" is completely hidden from the greatest human minds who spend their professional lives exploring how the universe functions, yet it is perfectly clear to uneducated simpletons who have access to internet-linked terminals?






Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 15, 2013, 03:19:51 PM
June, I am as open minded as anyone but that doesn't mean anything can filter into my mind and stay there. I am quite open to new ideas, to changing my mind when new evidence pops along and so forth. So let's look at this question of the god that you think we should all examine.

My current position is that I have no evidence of any god existing though, of course, plenty have been proposed (http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_myth_gods_index.htm). Now for theists who come along to this forum, they usually believe in one god, hence denying the existence of all the other ones. (We don't get many supporters of Thor here for example!) Now and atheist just takes this a bit further and denies the last one and hence does not believe in any god. This is my present position.

Now, to be open-minded, I need to consider what you have brought along and see whether your god is one I should consider. This is the first problem I have as I can't quite decide which god it is you say you believe in. It sounds like the Christian god yet at other times I'n not quite sure. You claim your god created everything - well many gods have that claim and it doesn't differentiate out your god from anyone else's really. Then you say that the spirit in people is significant. I'm not clear quite how this fits in. So, could you answer the following for me to make sure I am absolutely clear about this -


I'll have a  serious and open-minded think when you reply.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 03:26:55 PM
That's why you can't get rid of God. If our origin is certain gases combining in such a way that life was created then that power is God.

Could volcanoes exist without god?
If you boil water on the stove, do you think that could be done without god?
If you use laundry detergent to clean clothing, do you think that could be done without god?

Or are you saying that your definition of god includes absolutely everything in the universe since time began,  so absolutely nothing does not involve god - more a pantheism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheist) definition?

Junebug, would you say that from your time debating here your definition of god has changed?

Hey shno, Nothing exists without God. God is where it all comes from, whatever, "who"ever, however, whyever. That's God.

Yes it has shno, I understand God better now.

Ok so I looked up pantheism, seems to be a lot nicer than calling me religious! ;D It is however a summary definition and does not reflect details.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: nogodsforme on April 15, 2013, 03:34:23 PM
JB, you are failing in a few areas...

A) showing that your "god" actually exists
B) distinguishing between your "god's" inaction and its non-existence
C) showing how you came to conclusions about your "god"
D) you claim to be non-religions, but the more you post it sounds like Christianity based upon the bible with the usual ignoring of the messy stuff; how is your religion different?

A]I have given you my personal testimony
B]I have explained free will
C]By putting it to action in my own life with positive results
D]How about some quotes that sound like Christianity...aka proof!  Just because I know the ten commandments, so do you! I guess you're just as religious as I am.
A] Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Rastafarians and Scientologists have personal testimony. That means all the gods they believe in actually exist, too.

B] "Free will", invented by the Catholics, just means that you have given your god an excuse for the bad things that happen. Bad things (even earthquakes and bird flu) are caused by humans. When good things happen, you don't have to invoke free will-- that's just god being god. See how god is always good?

C] As shown above, when you get positive results, that's god at work. When you get negative results, you forget that you asked god for the opposite, chalk it up to "life happens", or hang onto your faith even tighter to let god help you through the bad times. Other people get the same or even better results without any belief in supernatural beings.
 
D] If you had been raised in India, your "spiriturality" would sound just like Hinduism. If you had been raised in Thailand, your "spiriturality" would greatly overlap with Buddhism. No surprise that your "spiriturality" seems very Christian-like, if that is what you are exposed to the most.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Petey on April 15, 2013, 03:35:22 PM
Come on Star you know what human spirit is. Athletes, soldiers, and people all around the world use spirit energy when their physical energy is all used up. The stronger that spirit is the stronger the will to fight. You have a strong spirit Starry Skies. ;D

So spirit = adrenaline.  Good to know.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 15, 2013, 03:37:14 PM
Nothing exists without God.

Baseless assertion.


Quote
God is where it all comes from

Baseless assertion.





Quote
Whatever, "who" ever, however, whyever. That's God.

Baseless assertion.  And it explains nothing.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 03:40:51 PM
June, here's your answer to your challenge. The following picture is an illustration of the 'universe' created in Genesis and mention in Job.We know this is some time BCE - maybe around 500BCE as some of the story seems to be from the Babylonian creation narrative.

Now, please, point out to me what in the picture is like our present views of the universe.

Wheels before I do that I'm gonna have to ask you HAVE YOU READ ANY OF MY POSTS, I don't believe the bible is an accurate account of God or our origin. I even got me a Darwin for that. It's my +1.

What challenge are you referring to that this picture answers? The only challenge I remember was something about I'll study more science if you all will flatter my ideas, or something like that. If I remember correctly, the posts I've read so far, I got shot down in flames;told something like meeting in the middle was a bunch of crap, or something like that.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 03:54:45 PM
Good luck with the test, June!

Thanks wheels. I did pretty good. I passed reading comp. very well, pretty good on sentence structure, and I have to take some math before I can enroll in my course. I know that sentence is wrong but oh well. I was only 1 dang point away too. Oh well I like math.  Eyecare is a very mathematical profession;especially eyeglass manufacturing and fitting.
Anyway, thanks for the smile. :laugh:
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 04:13:47 PM

Have you ever asked god why he built the eye in such a cack-handed way, with its backwards retina and nerve fibres running in front of the photoreceptors to create a blind spot?  HE got it right with squid, why screw it up for humans?  Next time you are helping deal with a detached retina, just remember that had god not screwed up the design of the eye, that person would still have their sight.

Our flesh is our temporary home, like the womb for our spirit to learn and grow. Flesh is not perfect, it fails, it goes blind,hungers,gets cancer,it dies. The spirit however, it can not be said with any certainty what happens to the spirit. I would rather believe it is recycled back into life,as a buddhist might believe, or in Heaven, or a combination of it all, than just nothing. Nothing after all this hard work, my patience,my kind-generous ways, nothing! No there is SOMETHING. I'M DRAWN TO IT LIKE A HUMMINGBIRD TO A FLOWER!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 04:25:50 PM

Defensive is not the same as offended.  I was trying to explain to you why you should not be defensive because by definition you are relgious.

Right it's the exact opposite, so it doesn't take Einstein to infer that it offends me, therefor I get defensive.

junebug-2 screwey-0 , sorry don't mean to be mean, but damn. Love ya though!!! :?

Well at least you don't replace the words in my sentences, you just take the focus off the main topic by picking on words.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 04:27:23 PM
Hang on there - I had a detached retina and it was put back beautifully a couple of days later whilst I listened to the surgeon describing what he was doing to two students! I can see very well indeed from it now!

Too Cool! I'm so glad all went well!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 15, 2013, 04:33:53 PM
I don't think junebug72 expressed a lack of interest in science; just a lack of interest in being a scientist.  One need not be a career scientist to practice and appreciate the scientific method.
Thing is; she appearently rejects the theory of evolution, and doesn't wish to understand what it is.  That's what I'm getting at.
I just wanted to throw that out there for clarity.  I will say that it still seems possible to be an avid fan of science but still come away with a misunderstanding of the theory of evolution.

Our flesh is our temporary home, like the womb for our spirit to learn and grow. Flesh is not perfect, it fails, it goes blind,hungers,gets cancer,it dies. The spirit however, it can not be said with any certainty what happens to the spirit. I would rather believe it is recycled back into life,as a buddhist might believe, or in Heaven, or a combination of it all, than just nothing. Nothing after all this hard work, my patience,my kind-generous ways, nothing! No there is SOMETHING. I'M DRAWN TO IT LIKE A HUMMINGBIRD TO A FLOWER!
I would also rather believe that life is eternal.  Any idea how much bearing our desire for such an outcome has on the reality of that outcome?

Other things that I'd rather believe:
1) That I am handsome
2) That I am intelligent
3) That I had $3.2 million in the bank
4) That I would stand a chance at surviving a zombie apocalypse
5) That smoking were not detrimental to one's health
6) That Star Wars Episode I has intelligent, natural dialog

Also, congratulations on the test.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 15, 2013, 04:53:17 PM

You didn't witness a deity creating the universe or this planet.  We know how this planet formed, and we know that for the first 1 BILLION years (that's a thousand million), it was a nasty, hostile place inhospitable to life.  We know that about 3.5 BILLION years ago, life cooked up in a most simple biochemical way, and has evolved to where we are now.  ALL of the evidence (and there's mountains of it) supports this.

I have not said I eyewitnessed creation. The substance of my evidence is of a personal nature that you can refer back to in earlier posts.

Quote
Please watch:

Twinkle,Twinkle, Starry Skies, Thanks for all the videos you've posted for me. I'm sorry to say I have limited data, and must prioritize its use. I'm happy to read a lot, so if you have any readable material I'll try to check that out.

I just want, and ask of you please, to keep in mind that I DO keep up with what's going on in the scientific community. I watched 2-3 min. of that one video, you know, how it began for idiots, and I've seen much more eloquent depictions on national g., science channel, history channel, etc..and it always confirms God's love for us. He gave us photosynthesis, atmosphere, moon, trees, water, so much more that is necessary for our survival. It displays the Awesome Power of God.




Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Razel on April 15, 2013, 05:37:05 PM
He gave us photosynthesis, atmosphere, moon, trees, water, so much more that is necessary for our survival. It displays the Awesome Power of God.

Wrong.  If God created us, then these things are only necessary for our survival because he created us this way.  It's possible for God to create us in a way such that these things aren't necessary for our survival.  Would have been nice if we didn't require food or water.  That would solve the whole "world hunger" problem.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 16, 2013, 02:45:36 AM

Have you ever asked god why he built the eye in such a cack-handed way, with its backwards retina and nerve fibres running in front of the photoreceptors to create a blind spot?  HE got it right with squid, why screw it up for humans?  Next time you are helping deal with a detached retina, just remember that had god not screwed up the design of the eye, that person would still have their sight.

Our flesh is our temporary home, like the womb for our spirit to learn and grow. Flesh is not perfect, it fails, it goes blind,hungers,gets cancer,it dies. The spirit however, it can not be said with any certainty what happens to the spirit. I would rather believe it is recycled back into life,as a buddhist might believe, or in Heaven, or a combination of it all, than just nothing. Nothing after all this hard work, my patience,my kind-generous ways, nothing! No there is SOMETHING. I'M DRAWN TO IT LIKE A HUMMINGBIRD TO A FLOWER!

Whoah - way to dodge the questions!  Seems to be a common theme with you Junebug.  I note you ducked out of the other thread when things got too hard for you.  Sorry, but you are NOT going to be allowed to dodge and prevaricate, not when you keep making assertions of fact.

You have said that god created everything.  Therefore, he created the human eye.  He did a shoddy job.  Did he do a shoddy job deliberately, or was it the best he could do?  Your god created flesh, therefore he created it to be"not perfect, it fails, it goes blind,hungers,gets cancer,it dies".  Sounds like he is either a mammoth screw-up, or he hates us quite a bit.  Where do you get "good" from that sentence, Junebug?

As for the mawkishness at the end.....you know what?  I'd like the afterlife to be all chocolate ice-cream!  As things stand, I have exactly the same amount of evidence of what the afterlife (or its very existence) is like, as you do.  So.....are you going to give MY fantasies the same respect as you demand from us on yours?

And you are still not actually giving any evidence.  I wonder why that is?  Could it be because you know you actually have none?

JB, you are failing in a few areas...

A) showing that your "god" actually exists

A]I have given you my personal testimony

So what?  MY personal testimony is "god does not exist".  John Johnson believes that all the good things that ever happen to him are caused by the mystical powers of his magical talking sock.  Do you actually have anything that an impartial observer would weigh as better evidence than mine?  Better that John's?

Junebug, you have constructed a lovely little fantasy that apparently works for you - provided you don't examine it too closely.  While you aren't hurting anyone with it, that's cool - enjoy.  While you don't bother anyone with it, that's cool - enjoy.

But you have chosen to turn up here and say "THIS is truth, THIS is fact, THIS is the way the universe is".  And if you are going to do that, you need to explain very clearly, with evidence, why we should take the slightest bit of notice of anything you say.

Maybe that's not what you want.  Maybe the role you want here is the one you cherish in reality.  "Oh, that Junebug - she's very spiritual you know, she knows stuff.  She's in tune with the universe, there's a special something about her.  She's an old soul, a strong spirit, a free thinker unchained by The Man."  I'll wager you have a dreamcatcher in your house, that you dress a little bit unconventionally, that you cultivate a personality described as "kooky".  It would not surprise me if your hair is not a natural colour, that you wear earth tones because you feel they bring you closer to the world.

None of that is a problem.  I've had friends who fit right into that pattern, and they are and remain good people.  And socially, that's all good.  But this is NOT a social forum, Junebug.  Its a forum where, if you want to advance an idea, you back it up.  You put up, or shut up.

So stop with the mystical arm-waving - you may get away with that with your friends, but it won't wash here.  Start backing up your assertions, and let's see one single shred of evidence for anything you've said here.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 16, 2013, 06:40:40 AM

What does "no spirit" mean or look like?  This "spirit" word leads you down a road of fantasy and baseless assertions.  Your thinking is so highly flawed.

Come on Star you know what human spirit is. Athletes, soldiers, and people all around the world use spirit energy when their physical energy is all used up. The stronger that spirit is the stronger the will to fight.

This is what we in the civilised world call "will power" or "self-discipline." It is also related to stubbornness. Once physical energy is used up, there is no more energy[1]. All people have some "will power" or "self-discipline", but some have more than others[2]. It is not related to invisible sky-pixies.
 1. You need to know what energy is, how it is created and how it is used. Why not go to a library or look on the net?
 2. which is why we are not all athletes, soldiers, etc.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 16, 2013, 09:42:01 AM
Junebug72 has inspired today's "Quote of the Day".
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Aaron123 on April 16, 2013, 10:13:13 AM
I just wanted to throw that out there for clarity.  I will say that it still seems possible to be an avid fan of science but still come away with a misunderstanding of the theory of evolution.

Hmm, her last post does seem to confirm this.

I will say that, at a minimum, it strikes me as incongruent to say that you enjoy some aspects of science, while dismissing other aspects as "fish turning into humans".
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Razel on April 16, 2013, 10:21:01 AM
Quote
Come on Star you know what human spirit is. Athletes, soldiers, and people all around the world use spirit energy when their physical energy is all used up. The stronger that spirit is the stronger the will to fight. 

If you run out of physical energy, you drop dead, regardless of how much "spirit energy" you have.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 16, 2013, 11:59:03 AM
There are three kinds of people: those who seek the truth as revealed by a higher authority; those who seek the truth as defined by rational enquiry; and the vast majority, who believe whatever they find convenient.
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,7594.0.html

The quote above is but a single gem among the many that Star Stuff posts (once daily) on the thread above.

jb, if I seek out a good primer on evolution, will you read it? I'm willing to spend the time seeking out an appropriate one, but only if you are interested enough to give it a try. I'm trying hard to understand you, will you try to do the same?

Edit: my spelling is fine, but my typing could use some work...
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 16, 2013, 12:32:35 PM
I just wanted to throw that out there for clarity.  I will say that it still seems possible to be an avid fan of science but still come away with a misunderstanding of the theory of evolution.

Hmm, her last post does seem to confirm this.

I will say that, at a minimum, it strikes me as incongruent to say that you enjoy some aspects of science, while dismissing other aspects as "fish turning into humans".
Well, she's doing what you or I would do and that is to dismiss the notion of 'fish turning into humans'.  The difference is that she believes this to be an expected consequence of the theory of evolution, and you and I do not.  And I'll still chalk that up to a misunderstanding of the theory of evolution.

Junebug72:
In this regard to this and Jag's previous post, I'd like to recommend The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier.  I found it to be an overall enjoyable read and it does serve as a primer on a lot of scientific disciplines.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 16, 2013, 12:36:27 PM
In this regard to this and Jag's previous post, I'd like to recommend The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier.  I found it to be an overall enjoyable read and it does serve as a primer on a lot of scientific disciplines.

IMO, I found that book to be quite dull and uninspiring.  I'd suggest this one (http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366133721&sr=1-1&keywords=why+evolution+is+true).
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 16, 2013, 12:43:17 PM
In this regard to this and Jag's previous post, I'd like to recommend The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier.  I found it to be an overall enjoyable read and it does serve as a primer on a lot of scientific disciplines.

IMO, I found that book to be quite dull and uninspiring.  I'd suggest this one (http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366133721&sr=1-1&keywords=why+evolution+is+true).
Can't believe I forgot about the Coyne book!  Junebug72, if evolution is primarily what you want to look into, the book Star Stuff recommends is a better suggestion than mine.  I still suggest The Canon though...I disagree with 'dull', but if you've got a lot of familiarity with the subjects I can see 'uninspiring' as an appropriate adjective.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 06:43:12 PM


Ok, key points:
1.   Time is a concept, an idea, an abstract. It doesn’t exist in the way people often speak of it; for instance, no one ever “ran out of time”. At worst, one could run out of life, but time continues to pass, regardless of any individual’s participation, or lack thereof. It’s not an actual thing; it’s a way of explaining other things.

That's deep Jag. I like it.

Quote
2.   Earth is a planet in the Milky Way galaxy, which is one galaxy of many (no, seriously, MANY) in the universe. For this conversation, we’re not going to include such theories as the multiverse – this one is enough for now

I know it's awesome! I bet that's where Heaven is! Wouldn't it be cool to float around from galaxy to galaxy and really SEE what's out there? Even if I only get that for a few seconds as my body dies, I will die Happy!p.s. Don't believe that's what will happen though.

Quote
If we can agree for the purposes of this conversation that black holes exist, and  function as described by science (very generally: given enough time they absorb whatever is in their path), then follow that as far as it can take you.

It would absolutely be my pleasure to agree with someone for a change. This seems like a good subject. I keep telling yal I know this science stuff.

Quote
Given enough time (and yes, I do take for granted that the universe is at least billions of years old), even black holes will be sucked in to other black holes.  Eventually, all matter that exists in the entirety of the universe gets sucked into a single immeasurably dense/intensely pressurized/mind-bendingly squished teenytinydot.

I'm going to say this about all that, how come scientists and theist always end the "story" with death and destruction? :'(

I believe mankind can have a happy ending, and that the only way that's going to happen is for people to quit being selfish; realize that we are ONE, and when you do something for just one person you do it for us all and so on, and so on. Just do me one favor Jag close your eyes and try to imagine this world. If we lived in this world I think scientists and theists would quit hollerin the sky is falling, the sky is falling!

Is that going to hurt or will it be over with quick. :blank:

 
Quote
Let's set aside the "does god exist" question for a moment - does what I said above make sense to you as a possibility?

Yes it's possible. The universe is full of power!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 06:57:14 PM
Now, I'm no expert on ophthalmology, but I'm pretty sure becoming an ophthalmic assistant requires some amount of scientific knowledge.  At the very least, I'd imagine you'd need some basic idea of how the eye operates, how to explain the workings of the eye to someone, etc.  Plus, the person you'll be working with will have graduated from a medical school (meaning he/she'll be very science-trained).

So why claim that you have no interest in science, or that you "ain't got time for that"?  By studying how the eye works, you are applying science.


Best of luck!   :)

Thanks Aaron. You haven't seen brown sugar on you tube, it's hilarious! "i ain't got time for that" is from that video. Went viral here.
http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=JaAd8O

If I had a real point there it was that I don't have time to go to college and really learn science like that. If I did there'd be one less Opt. Asst. in the world. That we need people with different interests to learn and grow.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 07:13:27 PM
Having connection probs, I'll have to get back to ya later.

Just want to say to the one that said I dodged the other post, that's just not my intention, at all. I've been so busy answering all these questions I haven't had the time. Not hiding, you can always send me a message, and I'll get back to you.

I've been reading, I've got some good stuff for ya. Time's been limited the last couple of days. :)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 16, 2013, 07:37:10 PM
Ok, key points:
1.   Time is a concept, an idea, an abstract. It doesn’t exist in the way people often speak of it; for instance, no one ever “ran out of time”. At worst, one could run out of life, but time continues to pass, regardless of any individual’s participation, or lack thereof. It’s not an actual thing; it’s a way of explaining other things.

That's deep Jag. I like it.
Me too.
Quote from: junebug72
Quote
2.   Earth is a planet in the Milky Way galaxy, which is one galaxy of many (no, seriously, MANY) in the universe. For this conversation, we’re not going to include such theories as the multiverse – this one is enough for now

I know it's awesome! I bet that's where Heaven is! Wouldn't it be cool to float around from galaxy to galaxy and really SEE what's out there? Even if I only get that for a few seconds as my body dies, I will die Happy!p.s. Don't believe that's what will happen though.

Another point we can agree on - this is what I want to see when I die as well. I know it's not what you expect, that's fine. We're doing better than I hoped, quite honestly.
Quote from: junebug72
Quote
If we can agree for the purposes of this conversation that black holes exist, and  function as described by science (very generally: given enough time they absorb whatever is in their path), then follow that as far as it can take you.

It would absolutely be my pleasure to agree with someone for a change. This seems like a good subject. I keep telling yal I know this science stuff.
Yes, you've certainly been in some very intense discussion around here. I'm glad we came back to this post, I hoped you would response, so thank you.
We have been trying to figure out your understanding of science. In our chat leading to the post we're quoting, you indicated that you were not sure if you believed in black holes. That sounds rather anti-scientific. But as I stated in an earlier post, I appreciate the honesty of your reply.
Quote from: junebug72
Quote
Given enough time (and yes, I do take for granted that the universe is at least billions of years old), even black holes will be sucked in to other black holes.  Eventually, all matter that exists in the entirety of the universe gets sucked into a single immeasurably dense/intensely pressurized/mind-bendingly squished teenytinydot.

I'm going to say this about all that, how come scientists and theist always end the "story" with death and destruction? :'(
Well, scientists are trying desperately hard to get humans to take meaningful action to stop us from self destructing, so I get why they might sound highly "death and destruction" focused.

As to why theists do it? I can't answer that without sounding really, really bitchy, and I'm saving that for someone else.  ;)

Quote from: junebug72
I believe mankind can have a happy ending, and that the only way that's going to happen is for people to quit being selfish; realize that we are ONE, and when you do something for just one person you do it for us all and so on, and so on.

junebug, please believe me when I say that you and I may have different motivations that drive our belief in this, but it is a belief we share. I left a high paying industry behind to return to school and get myself positioned to help make that world a reality.

Quote from: junebug72
Just do me one favor Jag close your eyes and try to imagine this world. If we lived in this world I think scientists and theists would quit hollerin the sky is falling, the sky is falling!

Honey, I ain't got time to spend imagining it, I'm busy as hell trying to help create it. And if we all don't get our collective rear ends moving, the sky is gonna fall, metaphorically speaking.
Quote from: junebug72
Is that going to hurt or will it be over with quick. :blank:
Mankind will be long gone before this happens. But not to worry, it's a very long time in the future.
Quote from: junebug72
Quote
Let's set aside the "does god exist" question for a moment - does what I said above make sense to you as a possibility?

Yes it's possible. The universe is full of power!


Thank you. I appreciate that.

jb, do you see that in the alternative I propose,  this is a repeating cycle, not a single event? This isn't the first version of a universe, it's just the current one. This is how I understand the very difficult concept of eternity - the only thing that is actually eternal is the matter that makes up everything in the universe. The forms it assembles into each time the cycle completes are beyond my abilities to even speculate about, I'm just not that knowledgeable about physics.

Cool concept, innit?  ;D
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 08:51:58 PM
If your hope is to find eternal life/existence and you employ God belief as the method of achieving that goal, then there are some problems you will face. The biggest problem is that the faith method is not testible and its adherents have no way of knowing that it works until it's too late (at death) to try some other method.

Faith typically positions itself as an all or nothing singular solution to the mortality problem mankind faces. It's formula is (belief + obedience = eternal life) or something to that effect. This formula excludes and usually forbids the pursuit of other solutions as pursuing other things like SENS Research for instance would constitute a lack of faith in one's religion's deity. Faith in gods has a way of stunting progress and silencing the voices of those who wish to pursue other means that question the foundations and stances of the faith (see the stem cell research contraversy as a current example).

Hey Truth. It's not just about eternal life. It's about the mystery being solved, the questions answered you've asked your whole life. It's about being accountable for your life.

No doubt that is the formula for some people's faith and that is sad. That is faith in man not God, if they had faith in God they would put it in God's hands.  They would be HUMBLE. Speaking of I owe a couple of apologies to screw and aaron. I got a little cocky, Sorry guys. That's why you should be humble, when you offend people with your arrogance it offends you as well.  Impeccable with your word. That book I mentioned, "The Four Agreements..." I'm still a work in progress.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 09:01:48 PM
I don't think junebug72 expressed a lack of interest in science; just a lack of interest in being a scientist.  One need not be a career scientist to practice and appreciate the scientific method.

Thing is; she appearently rejects the theory of evolution, and doesn't wish to understand what it is.  That's what I'm getting at.

Hey A, hope you got that apology I sent your way.

How is it "apparent"? I don't reject science. I keep saying this over and over. The main thing you and I disagree on is God. So can we please put this behind us and move the topic-Believing in God is not a Bad Thing- forward?  Thanks. ;)

Shout out to jdawg.  :)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 09:04:25 PM
Hi jb, you posted while I was posting. Before we get back into the weeds, how did your test go?

Just in case you missed it. I did pretty good. Have to take one prerequisite math class and I'm good to go.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 16, 2013, 09:18:49 PM
^^^Good for you, glad to hear it!

I'm a (middle-aged) college student myself and find a great deal of satisfaction in learning. If I could figure out how to support myself while doing so, I'd go to school and study everything under the sun for the rest of my life. Since that's not an option, I decided to save the world instead.  ;)

Wish me luck!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 09:23:36 PM

God is not a person like you or me. God can be anything, we do not know who or what God is; that's why God is God.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 16, 2013, 09:50:50 PM
Including a construct of the human mind (or in other words, imaginary).
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 09:52:30 PM

So far science has not contradicted the existence of God, science confirms it.
?????
Quote
You will have to try and understand what I said earlier if there's even a hope that you will understand that one!

I'm trying quite hard to follow along with you jb, so could you point me toward what you said earlier about this? I'm willing to try to understand what you're getting at.


Seems to me you're getting me just fine Jag.

See that's what you're left with when you take away all the, messy stuff (to simplify), and still believe in God. You have to ask yourself;where did God come from? How do I define God? And so many more. My brain is constantly contemplating the matter. I guess that's why I spend so much time here. It's an outlet to get all these thoughts out of my head, to test my own faith. I don't mean test by way of converting you into Christians, that's the last thing I want to do. More like practicing patience, kindness, UNDERSTANDING, practice my Four Agreements. I find when I do these things I feel...safe. Protected by God, the power of the universe at my disposal.

Please guys that is called creative writing, so please don't ask me to poof out a planet or two. :laugh:

It is like trying to explain an unexplainable emotion. One that is so overwhelming it leaves you breathless. Wanting more!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 16, 2013, 09:57:34 PM
While I don't agree with your belief, I'm starting to make better sense of how it lines up for you. If we can ever drag this back to the title of this topic, I might be able to help you understand why we, in general, don't agree with the words, and how we might be closer than it appears in sentiment. And more importantly to the rest of this community, why we think it really, really matters.

I'll hold off a bit longer and let you get caught up.

Edit: holy shit, did I really type "more better" and then posted without correcting it? Eek, fixed THAT.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 10:01:50 PM
While I don't agree with your belief, I'm starting to make more better sense of how it lines up for you. If we can ever drag this back to the title of this topic, I might be able to help you understand why we, in general, don't agree with the words, and how we might be closer than it appears in sentiment. And more importantly to the rest of this community, why we think it really, really matters.

I'll hold off a bit longer and let you get caught up.

Thanks Jag, I'm almost to page 8.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 10:18:14 PM
Nothing exists without God.

Baseless assertion.


Quote
God is where it all comes from

Baseless assertion.





Quote
Whatever, "who" ever, however, whyever. That's God.

Baseless assertion.  And it explains nothing.

Baseless to you star, baseless to you, baseless to you star, baseless to you, and It would explain more if you would put your anger away and start listening. You don't have to start believing in God to make sense out of what I'm saying. All you have to do is be nice. Then you have more brain capacity to comprehend. I am not your enemy.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 10:32:17 PM
I would also rather believe that life is eternal.  Any idea how much bearing our desire for such an outcome has on the reality of that outcome?

Awful bad waste of space if it has no bearing on our future free of our physical form. Who knows what's behind death's mysterious door, but I'm going to be ready for anything! If you're right and I'm wrong I haven't lost anything, My belief in God made my life complete, I didn't sacrifice anything. I've lived my life to make me happy, not stepping on others to get there,it made my life good. If I'm right and you're wrong well I guess you get to come back and try again. Who knows? Who really knows? I believe in being prepared. That's just the way I am.

I understand evolution just fine and I wonder at God's amazing intelligence. I also have a lot of respect for the minds that figure this stuff out. They are so smart.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 10:43:00 PM
He gave us photosynthesis, atmosphere, moon, trees, water, so much more that is necessary for our survival. It displays the Awesome Power of God.

Wrong.  If God created us, then these things are only necessary for our survival because he created us this way.  It's possible for God to create us in a way such that these things aren't necessary for our survival.  Would have been nice if we didn't require food or water.  That would solve the whole "world hunger" problem.

Hey Razel,

It's possible that God knows much more about how life works than we do. Learning how to share would solve that problem. He gave us plenty of food and water, it's just not evenly distributed. It is not respected. It is polluted by greed.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 16, 2013, 10:46:51 PM
Baseless to you star, baseless to you, baseless to you star, baseless to you

No, the vast majority of your statements are fully baseless, supernatural assertions, offered up without a shred of evidence.  You're so used to doing it that you're don't seem to be aware of what you're doing.  It's a habit, and it's a bad one.

Your statements would be less bankrupt and less painful to us reading them if you would at least preface your baseless assertions by saying something like "I believe that God is this, or God is that", instead of "God is" as though you know it to be so when you clearly don't and can't.


Quote
...and it would explain more if you would put your anger away and start listening.

a) I'm not angry.  What does cause me to possibly appear angry is when people like you make truckloads of baseless assertions with that cock-sure attitude.  You love the facade of the airy-fairy lovey-dovey can't-we-all-just-get-along pap, but it's meerly a veneer for your utter arrogance that you think you know something when you don't.  You believe it.  You have faith; and only lies require faith.

b) Listening.  There's a good example of your arrogance in disguise.  You're asking me - a 50 something yr old individual who was born & raised in Christianity - complete with church summer camps, youth groups, witnessing, prayer meetings, bible studies, being baptized etc etc, and having read more books on the subject than you can imagine, and having intensely looked very very carefully at this topic in a critical and intellectually honest manner for the last 7 years, including well over 12,000 post in this and other forums..........all to have you waltz in and smugly suggest that I haven't been listening?!!!

I've been listening to you quite attentively, and frankly, I've been biting my tongue so much I think it's swollen.  You seem to be under the illusion that being kind & sweet is all that matters, and that somehow that'll lead us to truth & understanding, when all it does is keep some people (like you) in a fog of delusional BELIEFS.



Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 16, 2013, 11:14:46 PM
Whoah - way to dodge the questions!  Seems to be a common theme with you Junebug.  I note you ducked out of the other thread when things got too hard for you.  Sorry, but you are NOT going to be allowed to dodge and prevaricate, not when you keep making assertions of fact.



And you are still not actually giving any evidence.  I wonder why that is?  Could it be because you know you actually have none?
[/quote]

Nobody's dodging or prevaricating Anf. I'm right here. It takes a long time to answer all these questions.

I'm giving you my word, I will take a lie detector test if that will help, that God has helped me in my life. That does not make me a bad person, it makes me better, and that's the point I'm trying to make that believing in God is not a bad thing.

Think about it like this, if our bodies did not give up and die how would we take our Heavenly FLight? This is where you have to have respect for God to understand these things. Respect the ultimate wisdom of the universe,God.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 12:03:17 AM
Baseless to you star, baseless to you, baseless to you star, baseless to you

No, the vast majority of your statements are fully baseless, supernatural assertions, offered up without a shred of evidence.  You're so used to doing it that you're don't seem to be aware of what you're doing.  It's a habit, and it's a bad one.

Your statements would be less bankrupt and less painful to us reading them if you would at least preface your baseless assertions by saying something like "I believe that God is this, or God is that", instead of "God is" as though you know it to be so when you clearly don't and can't.


Quote
...and it would explain more if you would put your anger away and start listening.

a) I'm not angry.  What does cause me to possibly appear angry is when people like you make truckloads of baseless assertions with that cock-sure attitude.  You love the facade of the airy-fairy lovey-dovey can't-we-all-just-get-along pap, but it's meerly a veneer for your utter arrogance that you think you know something when you don't.  You believe it.  You have faith; and only lies require faith.

b) Listening.  There's a good example of your arrogance in disguise.  You're asking me - a 50 something yr old individual who was born & raised in Christianity - complete with church summer camps, youth groups, witnessing, prayer meetings, bible studies, being baptized etc etc, and having read more books on the subject than you can imagine, and having intensely looked very very carefully at this topic in a critical and intellectually honest manner for the last 7 years, including well over 12,000 post in this and other forums..........all to have you waltz in and smugly suggest that I haven't been listening?!!!

I've been listening to you quite attentively, and frankly, I've been biting my tongue so much I think it's swollen.  You seem to be under the illusion that being kind & sweet is all that matters, and that somehow that'll lead us to truth & understanding, when all it does is keep some people (like you) in a fog of delusional BELIEFS.

I'm really sorry you feel that way star.

So the world wouldn't be a better place if people were kind? If people really did unto others as they would have done to them, that would be  a bad thing? No it would not be a bad thing because nobody wants bad things to happen to them, so they wouldn't do bad things to others. That's why I keep saying greed is mankinds strongest enemy, greed is the ultimate enemy. Greed creates these desperate people and desperate people do desperate things. Lonely isolated people, hurt people they do bad things,  when I say bad, I mean bad,bad. Second to that is ego, everybody has to be right, everybody wants to be the richest, the fastest, the strongest, the smartest and yes people like that do enrich our world, but they should be humble about it and not mock someone that isn't as...

Another point I want to make about God belief and I'm going to defend a couple of Christian attributes here but if they didn't have that religion to keep their "spirits"up with scriptures like the parable of the rich man, they would not have any spirit left. They find joy without money and try to be thankful for the free things God gives and not worry so much about the things man's money buys.



I'm sure you are a very wise person for all your hard work, I've worked hard too. I've been in the gutters of life, I've paid my dues, i'm not that much younger than you, 40 something, and we'll leave it at that.

I'll get back tomorrow got to get some shut eye. Good nite all!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Astreja on April 17, 2013, 12:46:36 AM
Junebug, kindness and the Golden Rule belong to humanity... Not to gods.  I don't think that we have to have moral sensibilities supernaturally inserted into our psyches before we can do the right thing; I think that we learn such behaviour in our early years, from our parents and other caregivers.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 17, 2013, 02:22:51 AM
I note you ducked out of the other thread when things got too hard for you.  Sorry, but you are NOT going to be allowed to dodge and prevaricate, not when you keep making assertions of fact.

And you are still not actually giving any evidence.  I wonder why that is?  Could it be because you know you actually have none?

JB, you are failing in a few areas...

A) showing that your "god" actually exists

A]I have given you my personal testimony

So what?  MY personal testimony is "god does not exist".  John Johnson believes that all the good things that ever happen to him are caused by the mystical powers of his magical talking sock.  Do you actually have anything that an impartial observer would weigh as better evidence than mine?  Better that John's?

.....you have chosen to turn up here and say "THIS is truth, THIS is fact, THIS is the way the universe is".  And if you are going to do that, you need to explain very clearly, with evidence, why we should take the slightest bit of notice of anything you say.

.....so stop with the mystical arm-waving - you may get away with that with your friends, but it won't wash here.  Start backing up your assertions, and let's see one single shred of evidence for anything you've said here.

Just want to say to the one that said I dodged the other post, that's just not my intention, at all.

Glad to hear it!

Nobody's dodging or prevaricating Anf. I'm right here. It takes a long time to answer all these questions.

I'm giving you my word, I will take a lie detector test if that will help, that God has helped me in my life.....<snip>

And oh dear.  Yet another dodge, and a total failure to answer the question.

See all those words in bold in my question?  EVIDENCE

I'm not denying that your belief there is a god has helped you.  I'm sure it has.  John's belief in his magical talking sock helped him too.  And you have gicen us exactly the same amount of evidence as John has.

Last chance Junebug, before I go all mod on you for dodging questions.  You have made repeated assertions of fact about your god.  Now is the time to provide evidence for those facts..
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 07:55:48 AM
Whoah - way to dodge the questions!  Seems to be a common theme with you Junebug.  I note you ducked out of the other thread when things got too hard for you.  Sorry, but you are NOT going to be allowed to dodge and prevaricate, not when you keep making assertions of fact.

I just wanted to let you know I checked out that other thread and I don't see what you're problem with me leaving that conversation is. I answered all the difficult questions. That thread inspired me to start this one.

Let's take any significant experience in your life, let someone tell you it's not a fact that it happened. Would that make you feel good, or would you think that person was arrogant to say that you don't know what has happened in your own life. Since when has a person's honest account of their own life not a fact? I'm not making this stuff up. God really exists in my life. God has helped me. God has comforted me.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: naemhni on April 17, 2013, 08:01:39 AM
I'm giving you my word, I will take a lie detector test if that will help, that God has helped me in my life.

Lie detector tests are notoriously unreliable.  However, even if they were 100% accurate, it would make no difference.  If you believed you were telling the truth, the test would report that you were telling the truth, even if you were honestly mistaken, as people sometimes are.  If you were to administer such a test to a Birther, for example, and you asked him whether Obama was born in Kenya, the machine would report that the Birther was telling the truth when he said "yes".
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 17, 2013, 08:07:09 AM
Whoah - way to dodge the questions!  ..... Sorry, but you are NOT going to be allowed to dodge and prevaricate, not when you keep making assertions of fact.

Let's take any significant experience in your life,......

And yet another dodge.  This is getting very tiresome.  Do you have any EVIDENCE of any claim you have made about your alleged god?

- - - - -


Let's take any significant experience in your life, let someone tell you it's not a fact that it happened. Would that make you feel good, or would you think that person was arrogant to say that you don't know what has happened in your own life. Since when has a person's honest account of their own life not a fact?

Fine.  So you agree that everything that John Johnson attributes to his magical talking sock really happened?  Because thus far there is NOTHING you have said that makes your claims any more reasonable than his.  Indeed, his claims are slightly MORE believable: I can actually see the sock if I want to.

EVIDENCE, Dodgebug.

God really exists in my life. God has helped me. God has comforted me.

I repeat: EVIDENCE, Dodgebug. 

And stop being disingenuous, as well.  We are NOT just talking about your happy little claims of being comforted by some mystical woo-force.  You've made specific and definite claims about this alleged being, assertions about afterlife, about creation, about its desires and abilities and actions - and without being prepared to offer a shred of evidence for any of them.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 08:13:33 AM

What does "no spirit" mean or look like?  This "spirit" word leads you down a road of fantasy and baseless assertions.  Your thinking is so highly flawed.

Come on Star you know what human spirit is. Athletes, soldiers, and people all around the world use spirit energy when their physical energy is all used up. The stronger that spirit is the stronger the will to fight.

This is what we in the civilised world call "will power" or "self-discipline." It is also related to stubbornness. Once physical energy is used up, there is no more energy[1]. All people have some "will power" or "self-discipline", but some have more than others[2]. It is not related to invisible sky-pixies.
 1. You need to know what energy is, how it is created and how it is used. Why not go to a library or look on the net?
 2. which is why we are not all athletes, soldiers, etc.

Spirit is life itself, that's why it can not die. Don't you feel your own spirit? The real you, under all that skin. Look past what you see in the mirror, that's your spirit!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 17, 2013, 08:14:05 AM
I'm really sorry you feel that way Star.

So the world wouldn't be a better place if people were kind? If people really did unto others as they would have done to them, that would be a bad thing? No it would not be a bad thing because nobody wants bad things to happen to them, so they wouldn't do bad things to others. That's why I keep saying greed is man kinds strongest enemy, greed is the ultimate enemy. Greed creates these desperate people and desperate people do desperate things. Lonely isolated people, hurt people they do bad things,  when I say bad, I mean bad, bad. Second to that is ego, everybody has to be right, everybody wants to be the richest, the fastest, the strongest, the smartest and yes people like that do enrich our world, but they should be humble about it and not mock someone that isn't as...

Another point I want to make about God belief and I'm going to defend a couple of Christian attributes here but if they didn't have that religion to keep their "spirits" up with scriptures like the parable of the rich man, they would not have any spirit left. They find joy without money and try to be thankful for the free things God gives and not worry so much about the things man's money buys.


WTF???!!!  Did you even read my post?  What you're now rambling on about has NOTHING to do with what I said!  Do you have the ability to focus on anything?  I agree with you about having our moral compass pointed in a kind, loving, compassionate direction, but god belief is not required.  I have a challenge for you:

List one moral action, or kind thing said by a god-believer that could not be done or said by a non believer in gods.

In case you don't understand that, here's a picture for you.  For our exercise, the man in the photo is an atheist:


(http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t172/Paddywacked/Morality_zps565974d0.jpg) (http://s160.photobucket.com/user/Paddywacked/media/Morality_zps565974d0.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 08:27:37 AM
I just wanted to throw that out there for clarity.  I will say that it still seems possible to be an avid fan of science but still come away with a misunderstanding of the theory of evolution.

Hmm, her last post does seem to confirm this.

I will say that, at a minimum, it strikes me as incongruent to say that you enjoy some aspects of science, while dismissing other aspects as "fish turning into humans".

Aaron I can't believe you're still using that phrase against me. I'm not going to waste anymore of my time defending a comparative; not literal, statement.  And really I haven't seen a fish turn human have you? That is literally. I haven't, I haven't seen a fish turn human. Saw a fish fly one time, never seen a fish turn human. If I had you wouldn't believe me anyway because I wouldn't have any evidence!  If I said, you guys aren't going to believe what happened yesterday, I saw a fish turn human, you'd say I was crazy! Seems I'm caught between a rock and a hard place with you.

I really hope we can move past this now and get the conversation back on track; Believing in God is not a Bad Thing.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 08:29:41 AM
Quote
Come on Star you know what human spirit is. Athletes, soldiers, and people all around the world use spirit energy when their physical energy is all used up. The stronger that spirit is the stronger the will to fight. 

If you run out of physical energy, you drop dead, regardless of how much "spirit energy" you have.

The "spirit" does not die, IMO. You must shed the physical body to set your "spirit" free!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 17, 2013, 08:34:03 AM
The "spirit" does not die, IMO. You must shed the physical body to set your "spirit" free!

Yet another baseless, supernatural assertion.

Junebug72, you need to cease this terrible habit.  As I said earlier, at least say "I believe..." before such wild statements, and then follow with evidence for your claims & assertions.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 17, 2013, 08:35:45 AM
The "spirit" does not die, IMO. You must shed the physical body to set your "spirit" free!

Yet another baseless, supernatural assertion.

Junebug72, you need to cease this terrible habit.  As I said earlier, at least say "I believe..." before such wild statements, and then follow with evidence for your claims & assertions.

Dodgebug apparently believes that if you wear the magical talking socks of John Johnson it will increase your spirit tenfold.  I have no idea where she gets these ideas from, they sound ridiculous to me, but I guess it must have happened - Dodgebug put on the magical socks, and she was immediately filled with their power.  Don't ask how, just believe her.  The Magical Socks are Real.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 17, 2013, 08:39:55 AM
I would also rather believe that life is eternal.  Any idea how much bearing our desire for such an outcome has on the reality of that outcome?

Awful bad waste of space if it has no bearing on our future free of our physical form. Who knows what's behind death's mysterious door, but I'm going to be ready for anything! If you're right and I'm wrong I haven't lost anything, My belief in God made my life complete, I didn't sacrifice anything. I've lived my life to make me happy, not stepping on others to get there,it made my life good. If I'm right and you're wrong well I guess you get to come back and try again.
I recommend that you Google for Pascal's Wager.

And where did the 'guess I get to come back and try again' bit come from?  I do not subscribe to reincarnation.
Quote
Who knows? Who really knows? I believe in being prepared. That's just the way I am.
If everything about what you are preparing for is an unknown, in what manner do you actually prepare?
Quote
I understand evolution just fine and I wonder at God's amazing intelligence. I also have a lot of respect for the minds that figure this stuff out. They are so smart.
Your 'never seeing a fish turn to a human' comment from earlier in this thread had suggested otherwise, which segues nicely...

Aaron I can't believe you're still using that phrase against me. I'm not going to waste anymore of my time defending a comparative; not literal, statement.  And really I haven't seen a fish turn human have you? That is literally. I haven't, I haven't seen a fish turn human. Saw a fish fly one time, never seen a fish turn human. If I had you wouldn't believe me anyway because I wouldn't have any evidence!  If I said, you guys aren't going to believe what happened yesterday, I saw a fish turn human, you'd say I was crazy! Seems I'm caught between a rock and a hard place with you.

I really hope we can move past this now and get the conversation back on track; Believing in God is not a Bad Thing.
So I guess I'm just confused, so please clarify:
If the theory of evolution is true, would you expect to ever see a fish turn into a human?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 17, 2013, 08:45:07 AM
I understand evolution just fine .....

Really?  But YOU said.....

The explosion, huh? Evolved from monkeys?  .....  How could an explosion create a body that is so complex.  ..... If we evolved from monkeys why are they still here? And how does that explain different races?

That bit in bold is a classically ignorant question that demonstrates the person asking it does not have the faintest idea about what evolution is. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Mrjason on April 17, 2013, 08:48:48 AM
Spirit is life itself, that's why it can not die. Don't you feel your own spirit? The real you, under all that skin. Look past what you see in the mirror, that's your spirit!

No it isn't. Life is life it's self.
I am aware[1]. I understand that awareness is a profound state of being but do not attribute this to a supernatural force. 
Instead I am in awe of, for want of a better word, nature.

I believe my existence is due to millions of years of trial and error[2]

A belief in god would undermine my awe of life. That we can and do exist in a capricious universe, to me is more marvellous than living in a gods kindergarten.

 1. I think I am anyway
 2. and the fact that I once beat 40 million+ other competitors in the most important swimming competition in my life
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Razel on April 17, 2013, 09:01:43 AM
Quote
Believing in God is not a Bad Thing.

That may be true, but you're not an example of that.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 09:16:46 AM
There are three kinds of people: those who seek the truth as revealed by a higher authority; those who seek the truth as defined by rational enquiry; and the vast majority, who believe whatever they find convenient.
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,7594.0.html

The quote above is but a single gem among the many that Star Stuff posts (once daily) on the thread above.

jb, if I seek out a good primer on evolution, will you read it? I'm willing to spend the time seeking out an appropriate one, but only if you are interested enough to give it a try. I'm trying hard to understand you, will you try to do the same?

Edit: my spelling is fine, but my typing could use some work...

I believe I have been rational Jag. Life is a mystery. If I wasn't a rational thinker I would have not seen the contradictions of religion and still believe the earth and all that is was created in 6 days.  That is because I have not dismissed scientific discoveries but rather embrace the knowledge. I see it as a blessing from God. If you truly wish to understand me you have to give up the idea that I'm scientifically illiterate.

It would be arrogant of me to say I know you, but I will reveal to you what I understand about you, about Atheist. You're angry with man's representation of God. You do not understand why God didn't create us with godly powers. Look at what man has accomplished w/o them, for the good and the bad, could you imagine that on a scale of godly proportions.  I see life as a right of passage into deserving that kind of knowledge and freedom!

I think that you care a lot about the world we live in and that's why you're so frustrated with religion. I'm saying it's better to Love and understand them, rather than being frustrated or angry. That those emotions cloud our judgement and it's not the path to rational thinking. Those are the exact same emotions that create chaos.

Google want let me misspell a word. I just mispelled misspell.lol ;D

By the way I'd be more than happy to check out any new breakthroughs, but I don't care to be re-schooled on evolution. I know it and understand it.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 17, 2013, 09:24:39 AM
By the way I'd be more than happy to check out any new breakthroughs, but I don't care to be re-schooled on evolution. I know it and understand it.
Junebug72, based on what I saw from Anfauglir's post where you are quoted as saying:
Quote
The explosion, huh? Evolved from monkeys?  .....  How could an explosion create a body that is so complex.  ..... If we evolved from monkeys why are they still here? And how does that explain different races?
Between that and the 'fish to human' thing, it would seem that you do not know and do not understand the theory of evolution.  To be clear: I am not saying that you are lying when you say that you understand evolution.  I am saying that you are mistaken when you say that.

If that quote of yours no longer applies, and the 'fish to human' thing does not represent how you understand evolution, well then disregard.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 09:33:49 AM



jb, do you see that in the alternative I propose,  this is a repeating cycle, not a single event? This isn't the first version of a universe, it's just the current one. This is how I understand the very difficult concept of eternity - the only thing that is actually eternal is the matter that makes up everything in the universe. The forms it assembles into each time the cycle completes are beyond my abilities to even speculate about, I'm just not that knowledgeable about physics.

Cool concept, innit?  ;D

I didn't say I don't believe in black holes, what I said was How protected I feel from those black holes because I believe God protects us from them. An example of God's Love.

That is a very deep concept. Even in this scenario the matter that is "us" is transposed into something else, it continues.  Our spirit is more than just matter. But yea that really is a mind boggling challenge.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 09:46:06 AM
^^^Good for you, glad to hear it!

I'm a (middle-aged) college student myself and find a great deal of satisfaction in learning. If I could figure out how to support myself while doing so, I'd go to school and study everything under the sun for the rest of my life. Since that's not an option, I decided to save the world instead.  ;)

Wish me luck!

Good luck Jag. I'm with you on that one. I wish I could spend my life doing the same thing. I guess that's why people say to use your time wisely. Speaking of, I got to get some housework done today. Looks like a tornado hit this place. 

I'm very lucky to have a loving partner, and I hope to find employment soon. There's no way I could get by on unemployment living alone. Online courses really makes learning more convenient.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Mrjason on April 17, 2013, 10:00:39 AM

I didn't say I don't believe in black holes, what I said was How protected I feel from those black holes because I believe God protects us from them. An example of God's Love.
...

I'm sorry I don't really understand this. If god is protecting you from black holes is he also protecting you from say gunfire.
What happens if you get shot or the earth slips into a black hole? Is that when god stopped protecting you?
Why would he do that?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 10:03:02 AM
Junebug, kindness and the Golden Rule belong to humanity... Not to gods.  I don't think that we have to have moral sensibilities supernaturally inserted into our psyches before we can do the right thing; I think that we learn such behaviour in our early years, from our parents and other caregivers.

Hey Astre, so what makes some people choose to turn bad experiences into strength and wisdom, and others turn  it into violence and hatred? If it belonged to mankind we would all possess it. It would be imbedded into our DNA as a species. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Petey on April 17, 2013, 10:05:57 AM
Based on JB's last 8-10 posts, I'm calling Poe.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Astreja on April 17, 2013, 10:25:04 AM
Hey Astre, so what makes some people choose to turn bad experiences into strength and wisdom, and others turn  it into violence and hatred?

Differences in upbringing and personal experiences.

Quote
If it belonged to mankind we would all possess it. It would be imbedded into our DNA as a species.

Behaviours do not code to DNA, although differences in endocrine responses and brain structure can probably be inherited.  These things inform behaviour through resilience to stressors, and the severity of the fight-or-flight response.  The rest of our behavioural differences are cultural/environmental, as traits like narcissism and psychopathy develop in early childhood.

I re-assert that gods have nothing whatsoever to do with the way humans behave, and that it is 100% biological and cultural in origin.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 17, 2013, 10:34:56 AM



jb, do you see that in the alternative I propose,  this is a repeating cycle, not a single event? This isn't the first version of a universe, it's just the current one. This is how I understand the very difficult concept of eternity - the only thing that is actually eternal is the matter that makes up everything in the universe. The forms it assembles into each time the cycle completes are beyond my abilities to even speculate about, I'm just not that knowledgeable about physics.

Cool concept, innit?  ;D

I didn't say I don't believe in black holes,

Apologies. That specific reference to uncertainty about black holes was directed to to the original poster for whom I wrote the post. I should have proofed better before re-posting here and removed that - my bad.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 10:47:17 AM
I'm giving you my word, I will take a lie detector test if that will help, that God has helped me in my life.

Lie detector tests are notoriously unreliable.  However, even if they were 100% accurate, it would make no difference.  If you believed you were telling the truth, the test would report that you were telling the truth, even if you were honestly mistaken, as people sometimes are.  If you were to administer such a test to a Birther, for example, and you asked him whether Obama was born in Kenya, the machine would report that the Birther was telling the truth when he said "yes".

I know I'm telling the truth. Does that count for anything here? The truth being; faith in God helps me to understand life, purpose. That belief in and of itself is not a bad thing. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 10:52:10 AM
Quote
Believing in God is not a Bad Thing.

That may be true, but you're not an example of that.

Why is that? My belief done something to hurt you or someone you know or someone you don't know. What an unfounded thing to say.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 10:57:59 AM

I didn't say I don't believe in black holes, what I said was How protected I feel from those black holes because I believe God protects us from them. An example of God's Love.
...

I'm sorry I don't really understand this. If god is protecting you from black holes is he also protecting you from say gunfire.
What happens if you get shot or the earth slips into a black hole? Is that when god stopped protecting you?
Why would he do that?

God does not control man. The earth has not slipped into a black hole. I would hope to forgive the person that shot me and feel compassion for the circumstances in his/her life that brought them to such desperate behaviour.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 11:00:08 AM
Well I'm off to get some chores done. I will get back later.

Have a good day all.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Mrjason on April 17, 2013, 11:13:04 AM
...The earth has not slipped into a black hole.
Yet... I'm chalking that up to immense distances and a bit of luck  :D

I would hope to forgive the person that shot me and feel compassion for the circumstances in his/her life that brought them to such desperate behaviour.
I would also hope to do the same irrespective of religion.

Difficult if its a fatal shooting though & still doesn't explain why god stopped protecting you.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Aaron123 on April 17, 2013, 11:31:16 AM
Aaron I can't believe you're still using that phrase against me. I'm not going to waste anymore of my time defending a comparative; not literal, statement.  And really I haven't seen a fish turn human have you? That is literally. I haven't, I haven't seen a fish turn human. Saw a fish fly one time, never seen a fish turn human. If I had you wouldn't believe me anyway because I wouldn't have any evidence!  If I said, you guys aren't going to believe what happened yesterday, I saw a fish turn human, you'd say I was crazy! Seems I'm caught between a rock and a hard place with you.

I really hope we can move past this now and get the conversation back on track; Believing in God is not a Bad Thing.

At this point, I think some clarification is needed.  What is your understanding of the process of evolution?  Does the 'fish into human' line reflects your understanding of it?  If it doesn't, or no longer reflects your thinking, then perhaps I jumped the gun.

I'm not trying to be a hardass (or at least; I hope that's not how I'm coming off), but I am a little confused what your stance is here.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 17, 2013, 11:37:59 AM
I know I'm telling the truth. Does that count for anything here? The truth being; faith in God helps me to understand life, purpose. That belief in and of itself is not a bad thing.
Given that the birther also 'knows' he's telling the truth about Obama being born in Kenya, I have to say that it doesn't really count for much.

Let me point something else out to you.  "faith in God helps you to understand life, purpose".  That may well be true for you (in the sense you believe it's true), but it is not a universal truth.  That, I think, is the point that others have been trying to get across to you.  Furthermore, your belief, your faith, can actually be a handicap that holds you back.

Let's say a lonely child creates imaginary friends to help cope with their loneliness.  It's a good thing, it helps them to deal with not having friends.  But it also holds them back, because those friends are and always will be imaginary.  They won't ever exist outside the child's mind, and they might actually make it harder for that child to reach out and make real friends.

So, yeah.  Your belief in your god isn't necessarily a bad thing.  But that doesn't mean it's a good thing.  By relying on your belief to help you understand life and your purpose, you're holding yourself back from being able to understand life on your own terms, from being able to decide on your own purpose rather than the one you think your god wants you to have.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 17, 2013, 12:05:03 PM
Your belief in your god isn't necessarily a bad thing.  But that doesn't mean it's a good thing.

This. All day long, this.

jb's beliefs are comparatively harmless. Relative to what is done in the name of god, any god, jb's beliefs are not leading her to act in a willfully harmful manner. I think we can all agree on that.

We've gotten a very long way from the OP, and have gotten into some of the minutia of jb's beliefs. That was likely necessary in order to address the OP, but it seems unlikely that we'll end up anywhere useful by arguing about science and whether or not spirit exists. I don't think we're doing a very good job of explaining why we disagree with jb's original statement.

For lack of a better way to say this, we're not speaking the same language. I don't believe that it's impossible to get jb to at least understand why we disagree with her premise, but a good place to start getting back there might be to observe that we seem to be using the word "God" to mean very different things.

Most of us arguing against the god of the bible (which she has already stated she does not believe in), and jb seems to be using the word to describe something much more amorphous. I often hear pagans refer to "the source" and based on what jb has written so far, it appears that she is using the word god in the same way.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Quesi on April 17, 2013, 01:13:11 PM
I've given you all the "evidence" I got. 

The evidence you have provided is nothing more than your feelings and personal opinions.  I'm pretty sure that you have made no attempt to provide any evidence that is relevant to anyone else. 

Do you ever question claims that other people make?  If someone says that he was abducted by aliens, and provides testimony, do you just accept it?  If someone says she had a dream that her husband was possessed by demons, would you believe it?  If someone tells you that god told her to murder her children, would you defer to her personal relationship with her deity and let her do it?  If someone warns you that there are ghosts in Walmart, who sprinkle aborted fetus powder all over the produce, would you stop buying peaches at Walmart? 

Or would you expect a little bit of evidence beyond the personal testimony provided by these folks? 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 17, 2013, 01:44:16 PM
To be fair, most people with religious really don't  have a ot of evidence in the usually accepted sense.They join a religion for a variety of reasons from being born into it to being taken along by a work colleague or a spouse.  They settle into the ways of the religion and become part of it, They probably believe that there is a god helping them or protecting them or whatever (or angels if one is a Catholic) and even extensive study of holy books and scholarly works does no more than re-enforce what the belief is rather than provide evidence.

I do wonder whether people ought to try another tack with religion, though, and act in a similar way we act. Like any scientist who hears of a new hypothesis, we try to disprove a religion or religious belief. Of course that can't be done, as far as logic is concerned, but, frankly, there are enough seeds of doubt surrounding and inside holy books to convince any jury that the belief is unfounded. Maybe that would be a better way of looking at things.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 02:05:39 PM
...The earth has not slipped into a black hole.
Yet... I'm chalking that up to immense distances and a bit of luck  :D

I would hope to forgive the person that shot me and feel compassion for the circumstances in his/her life that brought them to such desperate behaviour.
I would also hope to do the same irrespective of religion.

Difficult if its a fatal shooting though & still doesn't explain why god stopped protecting you.


God doesn't protect me from man's deeds because man has free will. There are some earlier post where I try to explain free will. A shooter has the free will to shoot me if that's what he choses to do. He will answer to God for the decisions he makes. Far as I know black holes do not have free will.

That's free will. You chose to be forgiving, it's not shoved down your throat it's your choice.   
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: sun_king on April 17, 2013, 02:06:23 PM
I've given you all the "evidence" I got.

Adding to what Quesi said...

One aspect of "evidence" is that it should be accessible to the other parties for their scrutiny. Your thoughts, assumptions and beliefs are not accessible to anyone else.

For example, in an aviation forum, I can make the statement that the F-15 Eagle is the greatest fighter aircraft ever built and it will be immediately contested by followers of other aircraft. At this point I can support my claim with the fact that the Eagle is unbeaten in air combat (its primary role, versions A/B/C/D). Now my fair opponents have something they can inspect and in this particular topic, it is a formidable claim. Since the kill count is accessible to everyone, it has  to be considered and countered[1]if they are to argue about my claim. I am not treated nicely in such forums if I back up my statement with the "evidence" that I think the Eagle is cool and looks awesome in gray[2]

Which was the "evidence" you gave?
 1. They say that the Eagle's victims are usually weak - aging MiGs flown by less than supreme pilots . They would say the Mustang would have raked more kills if flown against WW1 biplanes-  - the downside of giving accessible evidence
 2. It is!.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 02:44:13 PM
One aspect of "evidence" is that it should be accessible to the other parties for their scrutiny. Your thoughts, assumptions and beliefs are not accessible to anyone else.

Which was the "evidence" you gave?

Yes they are. You can do anything to me you want and see if it doesn't bring me closer to God.  I don't blame anybody here for putting my evidence under scrutiny, I wouldn't expect nothing less, but I think it's irrational to say I've given none.

God helped me through painful situations I could not have gotten through w/o my faith. That's what happened and that's what I'm telling you. I trust God. I am a better person for having respect for God in my life. These are definitely facts that are accessible. You can put what I've said to the ultimate test by trying it in your own life to see if we draw the same conclusion.


Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: One Above All on April 17, 2013, 02:50:16 PM
Yes they are. You can do anything to me you want and see if it doesn't bring me closer to God.  I don't blame anybody here for putting my evidence under scrutiny, I wouldn't expect nothing less, but I think it's irrational to say I've given none.

God helped me through painful situations I could not have gotten through w/o my faith. That's what happened and that's what I'm telling you. I trust God. I am a better person for having respect for God in my life. These are definitely facts that are accessible. You can put what I've said to the ultimate test by trying it in your own life to see if we draw the same conclusion.

Epic fail, junebug72. Most of us were once christians like yourself[1]. We respected your god and believed in it just as you do now. We didn't draw the same conclusions you did. Mind explaining that?
 1. Or whatever you want to be called. I call you a christian because... well, quod erat demonstrandum.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 17, 2013, 02:52:17 PM
You can put what I've said to the ultimate test by trying it in your own life to see if we draw the same conclusion.

.....I think it's safe to say that many of the posters here have done so, and arrived at a different conclusion. And they've been saying THAT for 10 pages.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 03:02:45 PM
I've given you all the "evidence" I got. 

The evidence you have provided is nothing more than your feelings and personal opinions.  I'm pretty sure that you have made no attempt to provide any evidence that is relevant to anyone else. 

Do you ever question claims that other people make?  If someone says that he was abducted by aliens, and provides testimony, do you just accept it?  If someone says she had a dream that her husband was possessed by demons, would you believe it?  If someone tells you that god told her to murder her children, would you defer to her personal relationship with her deity and let her do it?  If someone warns you that there are ghosts in Walmart, who sprinkle aborted fetus powder all over the produce, would you stop buying peaches at Walmart? 

Or would you expect a little bit of evidence beyond the personal testimony provided by these folks?

Yes I question the claim, there is no God. I don't think it is at all irrational to think there is intelligence behind our existence. You don't believe in aliens? That is possible. It is possible that someone was abducted by aliens. It is possible for a woman to "dream" her husband is possessed by demons. If someone told me God told them to kill their child, I would definitely be concerned. I would explain that's not how God works. Try to understand how she came to believe this awful thing is God's will. I don't like to shop at Wal-Mart anyway. :) It's probably chicken poop. >:(
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 17, 2013, 03:03:48 PM
God doesn't protect me from man's deeds because man has free will. There are some earlier post where I try to explain free will. A shooter has the free will to shoot me if that's what he choses to do. He will answer to God for the decisions he makes. Far as I know black holes do not have free will.

That's free will. You chose to be forgiving, it's not shoved down your throat it's your choice.
Couple o' questions come to mind:
a) What about your free will as a victim of a shooting?  Where is the violation of free will if the shoot exercises his/her free will to murder you, but at the last instant before the bullet tears apart your insides, god made the bullet disappear, deflect, or otherwise do no harm to you?
b) Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes - why doesn't god protect people (including you) in that circumstance?  What potential free will issue exists there?  Yes, I recognize that you haven't been killed by a tsunami, but a lot of good, decent, and even some god-fearing folk, did die (and potentially suffered while doing so).  This relates to an earlier question I had for you in this thread.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 17, 2013, 03:06:11 PM
Yes I question the claim, there is no God.

Once again, you're seeing it all bass-ackwards.  Atheism is not a "claim" that there are no gods.  It is nothing more than a response to the claim that there are.  There's a massive difference.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 17, 2013, 03:20:37 PM
Hi junebug.

My green text means I'm taking a role as a moderator.  I'm not here to beat you up.  I'm here to try to help.

There is a major disconnect between what you consider evidence and what everyone else here does. sun_king, wheels and Quesi have all tried to help you with that.  You have...resisted, unfortunately.

In many cases you have given us your subjective experience.  You tell us how you feel.  I understand that for you, that counts.  But we do not have those experiences and they are not things you can demonstrate to us.  So, if you want to persuade us, you need to use other means. 

I am a mechanical engineer, so I can speak of evidence from my perspective.  If I were to say to someone, "gravity on Earth accelerates all objects at a rate of 9.81 m/s2", she might ask why she should believe me.  And she would have a good point. I could not say "I just believe it is true" and expect to be taken as credible. 

But, I could design an experiment that measures the position of a falling object at different time intervals.  I could plot those data and find the underlying equations. I could show her my data.  I could give her instructions for recreating the experiment and validating it herself.  And if she got different answer, we could compare and see who is right, if anyone, and where we went wrong.  Anyone would have the opportunity to look for flaws in my method and improve on it.  That is evidence.  That is what would make my claim credible. 

Evidence is how you know a claim is true.  When you said "Nothing exists without God", Star Stuff said that was a baseless assertion.  He was saying you have no evidence of this.  I understand you feel this is true.  But how do you know it is true?  Why should he, or I, believe you?  If there were some experiment you could do, some data you could collect, that would be it.  But as it stands, we have no way of knowing whether your statement is true or false.  It is as valid as saying "Yetis have spots."

Do you understand what we are looking for?

Everyone else, please hold off on junebug until we can get this sorted out.  Thanks
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 03:47:28 PM
You can put what I've said to the ultimate test by trying it in your own life to see if we draw the same conclusion.

.....I think it's safe to say that many of the posters here have done so, and arrived at a different conclusion. And they've been saying THAT for 10 pages.

Jag what I've heard for ten pages is that you all tried Christianity. That when the religious practices let you down, you gave up. If you're going to duplicate my experiment with philosophy you have to understand Christianity i not a part of it. I would be curious to know if anybody here that has gone through Christianity tried to keep their belief and further define it. I know it wasn't an easy experience for anybody, having gone through it myself.  I would like to really understand. I know my mom quit going to church because of gossip. It hurt her feelings so bad, she was good to those people. She just quit going to church though, she never quit believing in God. I almost wish you could have been there when :'( , me and my mother waited by my brother's death-bed for him to take his last breath. That's the first time I felt God. I mean I really,really felt a presence there.  That through forgiveness, a quality of my trust in God, my family was able to heal. There was an article in the Asheville Citizen Times by Susan Rheinhart, Oct.13/14 2002. Imagine how much more painful losing a son would have been for my mother and father if I had held on to that anger. My daddy was pitiful :'(, it was the Love I learned from God that healed my family. During that whole chapter of my life, I struggled within myself. I had a lot of anger towards my brother, He molested my baby boy when he was four. I caught it quick but it did happen 3-4 times according to my son. Oh let me tell you, it was hard. He plead guilty and was sentenced to around 40 years. He died in a prison hospital from pancreatic cancer at 32.  So I struggled I yelled at God, I wanted to die. I said God if your not going to make my life worth while take me on home please,I beg you. Every time God would remind me how much I love my son and how badly he needs me. That I can use my pain in a positive way or a negative way. I'm speaking of thoughts in my head now yal, I'm not hearing voices.

 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 17, 2013, 03:59:28 PM
Hi junebug.

My green text means I'm taking a role as a moderator.  I'm not here to beat you up.  I'm here to try to help.

There is a major disconnect between what you consider evidence and what everyone else here does. sun_king, wheels and Quesi have all tried to help you with that.  You have...resisted, unfortunately.

In many cases you have given us your subjective experience.  You tell us how you feel.  I understand that for you, that counts.  But we do not have those experiences and they are not things you can demonstrate to us.  So, if you want to persuade us, you need to use other means. 

I am a mechanical engineer, so I can speak of evidence from my perspective.  If I were to say to someone, "gravity on Earth accelerates all objects at a rate of 9.81 m/s2", she might ask why she should believe me.  And she would have a good point. I could not say "I just believe it is true" and expect to be taken as credible. 

But, I could design an experiment that measures the position of a falling object at different time intervals.  I could plot those data and find the underlying equations. I could show her my data.  I could give her instructions for recreating the experiment and validating it herself.  And if she got different answer, we could compare and see who is right, if anyone, and where we went wrong.  Anyone would have the opportunity to look for flaws in my method and improve on it.  That is evidence.  That is what would make my claim credible. 

Evidence is how you know a claim is true.  When you said "Nothing exists without God", Star Stuff said that was a baseless assertion.  He was saying you have no evidence of this.  I understand you feel this is true.  But how do you know it is true?  Why should he, or I, believe you?  If there were some experiment you could do, some data you could collect, that would be it.  But as it stands, we have no way of knowing whether your statement is true or false.  It is as valid as saying "Yetis have spots."

Do you understand what we are looking for?

Everyone else, please hold off on junebug until we can get this sorted out.  Thanks


Hi screw, I took a minute to look up evidence in wiki. I thought this legitimized my evidence from wiki evidence come in many forms, such as documentary, DNA, forensic and report evidence or from a scientist or forensic pathologist. from Scot's Law. Especially "report evidence" I have given you report evidence. If you need to verify I will produce character witnesses. Do you want me to get signed statements and post them for you. I can do it.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 17, 2013, 04:24:03 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_law)

That quote you made refers to the Scottish legal system.  I don't think that's what screwtape is asking for, junebug.

I'd recommend you look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence#Evidence_in_science (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence#Evidence_in_science).
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 17, 2013, 05:19:21 PM
Jag what I've heard for ten pages is that you all tried Christianity. That when the religious practices let you down, you gave up.

Wrong.  This is precisely what the "believer" wants to think or hear from the de-converted - that their de-conversion was due to being hurt, let down, rebellion, or a preference to lead an immoral life.  That way, the theist doesn't have to think.  They don't have to consider the possibility that their cherished "beliefs" might actually be in question.  The other favourite impoverished line from the theist camp, is that the person never was "a true christian".  I think we've heard that once or twice around here.

Speaking for myself Junebug, that wasn't the case at all.  As a person who cares more about what is true over what is comforting, familiar or indoctrinated, the cognitive dissonance simply became too loud for me, and over a period of time, the beliefs just fell away as I woke up from the sleep of faith.  Life has been much much better ever since.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Azdgari on April 17, 2013, 05:21:26 PM
Everyone else, please hold off on junebug until we can get this sorted out.  Thanks

^^ Folks, I think you're missing something here...
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 17, 2013, 08:05:26 PM
Hi screw, I took a minute to look up evidence in wiki.

I appreciate the effort.  I assume it is this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence

If not, please correct me.  The bulk of that article is pertinent to the legal system, which is reflected in your post.  This is not a trial (though at times it is trying).  jaime was right in pointing out the section regarding scientific evidence.  At the end of that section it talks about anecdotal evidence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence) and bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias#In_judgment_and_decision_making).  You should follow those links because they specifically pertain to peoples' "experiences" with what they call god.

In science you must have a hypothesis that can be falsified. To keep with my previous example of gravity, a hypothesis such as "gravity accelerates objects toward each other" would be a falsifiable hypothesis.  If the data of a falling object showed that it traveled at a constant speed, then it does no accelerate and the hypothesis may be falsified.

Your statement "nothing exists without god", is not a falsifiable hypothesis.  You cannot prove it right or wrong. That was the point I was making about its truth value being the same as "yetis are spotted".  So, not only does it lack evidence, it lacks any way to establish evidence.  You should avoid making those kinds of statements.


I have given you report evidence.

Indeed you have.  However, it falls under the category of anecdotal evidence.  If you were making claims such as "I ate spaghetti for dinner" that would probably be sufficient.  But your claims have been much more extraordinary than that.  Your claims are about the nature of the universe and all being.  For that to stand, you need to provide something more substantial.  Otherwise you are asking us to rely on your say so.   

Does that help?

If you need to verify I will produce character witnesses. Do you want me to get signed statements and post them for you. I can do it.

Thank you for the offer, but that won't be necessary.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: nogodsforme on April 17, 2013, 10:18:23 PM
We atheists do not experience any gods, junebug.

Whatever you feel when you look at nature, or inner strength to get through a tough time, you experience that as the presence of a god-like being. We atheists have the same feelings about nature, and have the same inner strength, etc. People of every religious belief and no belief at all experience awe in the natural world, and manage to survive tough life experiences.

But atheists know that what all people are having is a normal human experience. It does not come from a supernatural source. Here is some evidence that the god-feeling does not come from any real gods:

Scientists have hooked people up to machines and made them have "god-being" experiences by doing things to their brains. They can tell you what chemicals make you feel god's presence. Someday, there will be a pill anyone can take to "experience god" by making that chemical reaction happen. 

What will happen to people who think that there really is a god-being out there somewhere when anyone who takes a particular pill can "feel god" and the feeling goes away when the pill wears off. Do you, junebug, think that god will be showing up when people take the pill and disappearing when the pill wears off? Or will you finally realize that the god-feeling is a chemical reaction in the brain?

This is probably too hard for you to take in. You think that you have survived the horrible things that have happened to you because a nice god-being has been helping and protecting you. In reality, you are far stronger than you think, because all this time you have been helping and protecting yourself.  :)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 17, 2013, 10:25:37 PM
In reality, you are far stronger than you think, because all this time you have been helping and protecting yourself.  :)

^^^This cannot be said enough jb. I'm not sure that you're ready to hear it, but it should be said regardless. You are far more self-sufficient that you believe yourself to be. All this time, the strength and endurance has been YOU.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: nogodsforme on April 17, 2013, 10:33:36 PM
People are capable of the best and worst actions, all by themselves. No gods or devils needed.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 17, 2013, 11:00:29 PM
You think that you have survived the horrible things that have happened to you because a nice god-being has been helping and protecting you. In reality, you are far stronger than you think, because all this time you have been helping and protecting yourself.

That, and, what I find that doesn't occur to christians is what actually gets them through tough times is the comfort, help and company that they receive from other people.  yet somehow, this invisible god character gets all the credit.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 18, 2013, 03:07:47 AM
I really don't understand why you keep saying I haven't given any evidence when I have. I haven't dodged one single question,not one!

Very well.  Here is a specific question that you have not answered, that goes to the heart of everything we have been saying for the last few pages:

(Do) you agree that everything that John Johnson attributes to his magical talking sock really happened?

And if not, why do you doubt his word?

Here is one that you have dodged:

If someone warns you that there are ghosts in Walmart, who sprinkle aborted fetus powder all over the produce, would you stop buying peaches at Walmart? 
I don't like to shop at Wal-Mart anyway.

But I believe this sums up exactly where the disconnect comes.

I am a better person for having respect for God in my life. These are definitely facts that are accessible......I have given you report evidence. If you need to verify I will produce character witnesses.

I do not doubt that you can find umpteen people that will be prepared to say "Junebug is a better person since she says she found god".  Nor am I disputing that you are a better person since you believed god was in your life.  Neither of those are claims that we require evidence of.

What we are asking for evidence for, is how you can demonstrate that these changes in your life happened as the result of an external force that you label god, as opposed to a combination of internal feelings and thoughts that you misidentified as an external force.

Or, to return to my trivial-sounding question, whether there is any way you can demonstrate that you becoming a better person was due to "god", as opposed to John Johnson's Magical Socks.

That's the first part of evidence we are asking for - NOT evidence that you are a changed person, but evidence that supports your assertion as to the cause behind that change.  And to clarify further: we are not asking for evidence that you believe there is a god that has helped you - we are versed enough in psychology to understand the placebo effect, and that belief in something that is in fact nonexistent can nevertheless lead to positive results.  What we are asking for is if you have ANY evidence to support there actually being an external force that instilled changes in you?

The second part is, unfortunately, again something that you have dodged when responding to Screwtape by talking about "report evidence".  You have also gone on record as saying that your god created everything; that it has desires and wishes; that there is an afterlife.  But so far as I can tell, the ONLY evidence you have put forward for any of those is "I believe god told me these things".

I honestly do not believe I can make it any clearer as to what we mean when we say "evidence", Junebug.  If there is anything above that you do not understand, please ask.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 06:14:22 AM
Hi screw, I took a minute to look up evidence in wiki.

I appreciate the effort.  I assume it is this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence

If not, please correct me.  The bulk of that article is pertinent to the legal system, which is reflected in your post.  This is not a trial (though at times it is trying).  jaime was right in pointing out the section regarding scientific evidence.  At the end of that section it talks about anecdotal evidence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence) and bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias#In_judgment_and_decision_making).  You should follow those links because they specifically pertain to peoples' "experiences" with what they call god.

In science you must have a hypothesis that can be falsified. To keep with my previous example of gravity, a hypothesis such as "gravity accelerates objects toward each other" would be a falsifiable hypothesis.  If the data of a falling object showed that it traveled at a constant speed, then it does no accelerate and the hypothesis may be falsified.

Your statement "nothing exists without god", is not a falsifiable hypothesis.  You cannot prove it right or wrong. That was the point I was making about its truth value being the same as "yetis are spotted".  So, not only does it lack evidence, it lacks any way to establish evidence.  You should avoid making those kinds of statements.


I have given you report evidence.

Indeed you have.  However, it falls under the category of anecdotal evidence.  If you were making claims such as "I ate spaghetti for dinner" that would probably be sufficient.  But your claims have been much more extraordinary than that.  Your claims are about the nature of the universe and all being.  For that to stand, you need to provide something more substantial.  Otherwise you are asking us to rely on your say so.   

Does that help?

If you need to verify I will produce character witnesses. Do you want me to get signed statements and post them for you. I can do it.

Thank you for the offer, but that won't be necessary.

Thanks screw. I'll be more careful.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 07:07:17 AM
We atheists do not experience any gods, junebug.

Whatever you feel when you look at nature, or inner strength to get through a tough time, you experience that as the presence of a god-like being. We atheists have the same feelings about nature, and have the same inner strength, etc. People of every religious belief and no belief at all experience awe in the natural world, and manage to survive tough life experiences.

I'm sorry nogod, but when you experience this feeling yourself it is very difficult to shrug it off as adrenaline. Regardless, my point is it's not a bad thing to believe it comes from God. God is real to me because I define God as "The Source" of life. God is not a character, a person like you or me.


But atheists know that what all people are having is a normal human experience. It does not come from a supernatural source. Here is some evidence that the god-feeling does not come from any real gods:

Scientists have hooked people up to machines and made them have "god-being" experiences by doing things to their brains. They can tell you what chemicals make you feel god's presence. Someday, there will be a pill anyone can take to "experience god" by making that chemical reaction happen.

That sounds scary, like some horror sci-fi movie. I don't think you can make someone have a 'god-like' feeling. That to me right there falsifies that experiment. That is completely unnatural. That's just not how it works, IMO. In my life God is with me always, no matter what my brain chemmies are doing.


 

What will happen to people who think that there really is a god-being out there somewhere when anyone who takes a particular pill can "feel god" and the feeling goes away when the pill wears off. Do you, junebug, think that god will be showing up when people take the pill and disappearing when the pill wears off? Or will you finally realize that the god-feeling is a chemical reaction in the brain?

This is probably too hard for you to take in. You think that you have survived the horrible things that have happened to you because a nice god-being has been helping and protecting you. In reality, you are far stronger than you think, because all this time you have been helping and protecting yourself.  :)

That's right, you have to do things for yourself. What I'm saying is I gained strength and wisdom through my belief in God. I want to live a life that pleases God and that motivates me, and many others, to be a loving, kind, humble person. I don't think that's a bad thing. IMO, that it's not the belief that hurts society its bad teaching. People that lead understand how impressionable humans can be and they use it to their own advantage.



Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 18, 2013, 07:08:48 AM
Thanks screw. I'll be more careful.

It's not about being careful.  It is about everybody understanding what the expectations are.  Do you feel like you understand what we mean by "evidence" now?  Can you provide what we are asking for?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 18, 2013, 07:25:07 AM
I don't think you can make someone have a 'god-like' feeling. That to me right there falsifies that experiment.

Not quite.  Her statement - that "spiritual" experiences have been recreated in labs - is a falsifiable claim.  That is, it can be proven wrong.  She could provide a link or a source to relevant studies or articles.  But she didn't.  However, she is correct:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_helmet
http://www.bumc.bu.edu/len/religion/the-neuroscience-of-religious-experience/
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/gilbert05/gilbert05_index.html
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.11/persinger.html

That is completely unnatural. That's just not how it works, IMO.

Well, I am happy to provide you with new information (links above).  Your opinion is wrong.  It is natural and that is exactly how it works.

In my life God is with me always, no matter what my brain chemmies are doing.

This is the king kind of statement I'm talking about.  How do you know this is true?  How would you know if it were untrue?  You are using your emotions to try to sort out what the objective facts are.  But emotions cannot do that.
 
What I'm saying is I gained strength and wisdom through my belief in God.

You said it right there.  It was your belief in god is that did it, not god.  Belief in god does not mean there is a god.

IMO, that it's not the belief that hurts society its bad teaching.

Bad teaching is certainly a problem.  But what we are getting at is that magical thinking - believing in supernatural beings, irrational thought, faith - is a very destructive thing.


edit - king --> kind
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Mrjason on April 18, 2013, 07:30:08 AM
Bad teaching is certainly a problem.  But what we are getting at is that magical thinking - believing in supernatural beings, irrational thought, faith - is a very destructive thing.

Yes!

magical thinking facilitates bad teaching as you can teach what you like if you don't have to prove it
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Mrjason on April 18, 2013, 07:35:51 AM
Far as I know black holes do not have free will.

neither do bullets.

Guns don't kill people rappers do.[1]
 :P
 1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vX4ETlCr4A (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vX4ETlCr4A)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 08:07:09 AM

God doesn't protect me from man's deeds because man has free will.

Want to clarify the underlined  statement. I think God protects us by giving strength and wisdom. Wisdom is truly a powerful weapon.
Thanks screw. I'll be more careful.

It's not about being careful.  It is about everybody understanding what the expectations are.  Do you feel like you understand what we mean by "evidence" now?  Can you provide what we are asking for?

How about I rephrase the statement, "Nothing exists without God," to "I believe nothing exists without God." Will that be okay? God's existence is not the topic, It's whether or not believing in God is a bad thing. I do believe if we get back to that idea we won't have any more issues. I will not state beliefs as fact.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 08:09:40 AM
Your belief in your god isn't necessarily a bad thing.  But that doesn't mean it's a good thing.

This. All day long, this.

jb's beliefs are comparatively harmless. Relative to what is done in the name of god, any god, jb's beliefs are not leading her to act in a willfully harmful manner. I think we can all agree on that.

We've gotten a very long way from the OP, and have gotten into some of the minutia of jb's beliefs. That was likely necessary in order to address the OP, but it seems unlikely that we'll end up anywhere useful by arguing about science and whether or not spirit exists. I don't think we're doing a very good job of explaining why we disagree with jb's original statement.

For lack of a better way to say this, we're not speaking the same language. I don't believe that it's impossible to get jb to at least understand why we disagree with her premise, but a good place to start getting back there might be to observe that we seem to be using the word "God" to mean very different things.

Most of us arguing against the god of the bible (which she has already stated she does not believe in), and jb seems to be using the word to describe something much more amorphous. I often hear pagans refer to "the source" and based on what jb has written so far, it appears that she is using the word god in the same way.

OMG jag you get me. That really makes my day. Thanks so much. ;D
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 08:20:42 AM
Jag what I've heard for ten pages is that you all tried Christianity. That when the religious practices let you down, you gave up.

Wrong.  This is precisely what the "believer" wants to think or hear from the de-converted - that their de-conversion was due to being hurt, let down, rebellion, or a preference to lead an immoral life.  That way, the theist doesn't have to think.  They don't have to consider the possibility that their cherished "beliefs" might actually be in question.  The other favourite impoverished line from the theist camp, is that the person never was "a true christian".  I think we've heard that once or twice around here.

Speaking for myself Junebug, that wasn't the case at all.  As a person who cares more about what is true over what is comforting, familiar or indoctrinated, the cognitive dissonance simply became too loud for me, and over a period of time, the beliefs just fell away as I woke up from the sleep of faith.  Life has been much much better ever since.

Hey Star, that's just what I've been told here. My point is that is was the Christianity, the religion, that is at fault not the person that put their trust in it. That your belief when you believed it was not a bad thing.

I'm very happy that you have happiness in your life.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 08:24:43 AM
In reality, you are far stronger than you think, because all this time you have been helping and protecting yourself.  :)

^^^This cannot be said enough jb. I'm not sure that you're ready to hear it, but it should be said regardless. You are far more self-sufficient that you believe yourself to be. All this time, the strength and endurance has been YOU.

Hey jag you're right I did it. My point is the way I got there. You don't have to believe in God to believe that it was the belief that motivated me and give me strength. Therefor making it a positive consequence rather than a negative one.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 18, 2013, 08:27:18 AM
How about I rephrase the statement, "Nothing exists without God," to "I believe nothing exists without God."

That is much better.  But people are still going to ask for explanations and evidence.  

God's existence is not the topic, It's whether or not believing in God is a bad thing. I do believe if we get back to that idea we won't have any more issues.

Very good point.  Just so you know, especially since this is your thread, you may request people stay on topic.  If they do not, ask moderators to get the discussion back on topic.  Use the "Report to moderator" link on the posts that are off topic.

I will not state beliefs as fact.

Excellent.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 18, 2013, 09:15:06 AM
To get back on the topic, JB, belief is bad, but doesnt necessarily lead to bad results.

belief is unfalsifiable. So if your belief in god leads you to murder your child (which does happen) then it is a bad thing. If your belief in god leads you to discriminate against people it is a bad thing. Sure enough some people's belief in god leads them to do good as well.

However, let us use an analogy. Let us use pure water to represent the good that belief does, and urine to represent the bad that belief does. We have already shown that belief can influence us to do either. So we have a mixed bag of results from belief. In essence we have three options to quench our thirst... Pure water, urine, and water mixed with urine... My suspicion is that you want no parts of drinking water mixed with urine, which is exactly what belief is in this instance.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 09:42:14 AM
I don't think you can make someone have a 'god-like' feeling. That to me right there falsifies that experiment.

Not quite.  Her statement - that "spiritual" experiences have been recreated in labs - is a falsifiable claim.  That is, it can be proven wrong.  She could provide a link or a source to relevant studies or articles.  But she didn't.  However, she is correct:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_helmet
http://www.bumc.bu.edu/len/religion/the-neuroscience-of-religious-experience/
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/gilbert05/gilbert05_index.html
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.11/persinger.html

That is completely unnatural. That's just not how it works, IMO.

Well, I am happy to provide you with new information (links above).  Your opinion is wrong.  It is natural and that is exactly how it works.

In my life God is with me always, no matter what my brain chemmies are doing.

This is the king of statement I'm talking about.  How do you know this is true?  How would you know if it were untrue?  You are using your emotions to try to sort out what the objective facts are.  But emotions cannot do that.

I define God as "the source" of life. I don't think God is a person like you or me. 
 
Quote
You said it right there.  It was your belief in god is that did it, not god.  Belief in god does not mean there is a god.

I'm not trying to to convince you there is a God.

Quote
Bad teaching is certainly a problem.  But what we are getting at is that magical thinking - believing in supernatural beings, irrational thought, faith - is a very destructive thing.

It's kind of like a gun isn't it? It really depends on who's holding it. I believe it is irrational to say  "every" single human that believes in God has caused destruction.  Some believers have changed society in a positive way. After all it's been around for thousands of years and yet mankind continues. If anything nuclear war will be the end of mankind which will be a combination of bad religion and science.  Maybe the world don't need science either. See I look at things like this. I don't think it's rational to use words like "every and all" when it comes to human behavior. You can't say "all" scientists are bad because some use it for the betterment of mankind some use it for death and destruction. The same thing goes for believers.

How has my belief been destructive? From what I understand about atheist beliefs is , that destruction would happen whether people believe in God or not. Therefor strengthening my point that it is not the belief that is destructive.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 18, 2013, 11:52:02 AM
Now that we have gotten back to the point, I'm quite excited to resume that part of the conversation. I'm on campus right now, but will be back home later today and will write the post I promised a couple of days ago, hopefully by the end of the day today.

jb, I really do think I've got a pretty good handle on what you believe, more or less. I'm almost certain that we can find more common ground if we continue to be patient with each other. Thanks for hanging in there, I know this has been challenging.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 18, 2013, 12:30:55 PM
Junebug72 -

Do you feel that belief in god is rational or irrational?  If irrational, some of your posts seem to indicate that you feel being irrational is a bad thing, though I'm unsure if that is indeed how you feel.  If belief in god is rational, then I'd like to know the rational basis for god-belief.

Insofar as the OP is concerned, I feel that belief in the existence of god is irrational, and that irrational beliefs are, in general, detrimental.

From my perspective, the OP's question can be more generalized as:
"Not all irrational beliefs are bad."

But I may be overgeneralizing or focusing on the wrong points.  Thoughts?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 01:29:14 PM
God can forgive us for lacking faith but I'm convinced that those without Love will face some consequences for the lack thereof.

So you're ok with all us atheists getting to heaven if we've loved one another?

I'm super ok with that.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 01:32:12 PM
Now that we have gotten back to the point, I'm quite excited to resume that part of the conversation. I'm on campus right now, but will be back home later today and will write the post I promised a couple of days ago, hopefully by the end of the day today.

jb, I really do think I've got a pretty good handle on what you believe, more or less. I'm almost certain that we can find more common ground if we continue to be patient with each other. Thanks for hanging in there, I know this has been challenging.

Thanks Jag. I'm too excited to read your post.

I've been through worse. ;)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 18, 2013, 01:43:19 PM
God can forgive us for lacking faith but I'm convinced that those without Love will face some consequences for the lack thereof.

So you're ok with all us atheists getting to heaven if we've loved one another?

I'm super ok with that.

M'r:16:16: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

So you're saying Jesus is a liar?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 01:51:21 PM
To get back on the topic, JB, belief is bad, but doesnt necessarily lead to bad results.

belief is unfalsifiable. So if your belief in god leads you to murder your child (which does happen) then it is a bad thing. If your belief in god leads you to discriminate against people it is a bad thing. Sure enough some people's belief in god leads them to do good as well.

However, let us use an analogy. Let us use pure water to represent the good that belief does, and urine to represent the bad that belief does. We have already shown that belief can influence us to do either. So we have a mixed bag of results from belief. In essence we have three options to quench our thirst... Pure water, urine, and water mixed with urine... My suspicion is that you want no parts of drinking water mixed with urine, which is exactly what belief is in this instance.

Gawd,

I would argue that even scientist agree that people hearing thoughts like that are schizophrenic or something so it is not actual belief that is the problem, it's a brain chemical malfunction. Mental disorders has a lot more to do with the problem than belief does,IMO. I mean rather lack of affordable, good treatment. See I see a problem there. Good psychiatric care is expensive and most people with mental disorders are poor and have to rely on second rate care that is overwhelmed with patients. They try to mask symptoms with pills. I wonder if a utopian world would cure mental disease, if it is a result of social imperfection or is it non-related. Really it makes sense to me that some are and some are not.

I still say it's not the actual belief. If you mix good water with good water it's still good water. If it was the actual belief it would poison everybody that drank it.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 18, 2013, 02:00:19 PM
Gawd,

I would argue that even scientist agree that people hearing thoughts like that are schizophrenic or something so it is not actual belief that is the problem, it's a brain chemical malfunction. Mental disorders has a lot more to do with the problem than belief does,IMO. I mean rather lack of affordable, good treatment. See I see a problem there. Good psychiatric care is expensive and most people with mental disorders are poor and have to rely on second rate care that is overwhelmed with patients. They try to mask symptoms with pills. I wonder if a utopian world would cure mental disease, if it is a result of social imperfection or is it non-related. Really it makes sense to me that some are and some are not.

I still say it's not the actual belief. If you mix good water with good water it's still good water. If it was the actual belief it would poison everybody that drank it.

Here, you want to discern between "good" and "bad" thoughts through your use of "thoughts like that." There is no difference between whether theyre good or bad when determining whether they are actually voices from god or just your subconscious. The difference is if you understand that it is your subconscious youre hearing, you are more apt to understand that the voice may be wrong or at least questionable. If one thinks theyre hearing god, then if you think "god" is always right and you must obey then you end up with drowned kids.

That is why god belief has to be falsifiable, and once falsified, it needs to be recognized. What people will discover once they recognize that the god hypothesis has been shown to be false, and that literally nothing changes except you realize everything is in your own hands and ALWAYS has been. This enables you to be even better.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 02:04:12 PM
God can forgive us for lacking faith but I'm convinced that those without Love will face some consequences for the lack thereof.

So you're ok with all us atheists getting to heaven if we've loved one another?

I'm super ok with that.

M'r:16:16: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

So you're saying Jesus is a liar?

I don't see what that has to do with the subject Gray, but no I did not say that Jesus is a liar and there is a forum for that discussion. Don't make me go mod on you. :D

Don't worry I wouldn't do that. :P

Seems to me the moderators are the ones that keep getting off subject. By the way I was wondering are there any believer mods here?

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 18, 2013, 02:11:54 PM
God can forgive us for lacking faith but I'm convinced that those without Love will face some consequences for the lack thereof.

Quote
So you're ok with all us atheists getting to heaven if we've loved one another?

Quote
I'm super ok with that.

M'r:16:16: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

So you're saying Jesus is a liar?
[/quote]

Quote
I don't see what that has to do with the subject Gray,

Well you say that good atheists go to heaven, but Jesus says they don't.

Quote
but no I did not say that Jesus is a liar and there is a forum for that discussion.

Yes, and this is the forum. The statements you make in support of "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" are all relevant. You can't just say you're a Christian and then opposes what Christ said.

I mean, how can you claim that good atheists go to heaven? And believing that they do is unchristian.

You see, believing in God (in the strange way that you do) has caused difficulties - you have one idea, Christians have another and atheists have a third.

Quote
Seems to me the moderators are the ones that keep getting off subject. By the way I was wondering are there any believer mods here?
Moderators do try to keep on subject and make sure that nobody (Believer or not) makes wild statements.

And,no, there are not any believer mods here.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 02:14:17 PM
Gawd,

I would argue that even scientist agree that people hearing thoughts like that are schizophrenic or something so it is not actual belief that is the problem, it's a brain chemical malfunction. Mental disorders has a lot more to do with the problem than belief does,IMO. I mean rather lack of affordable, good treatment. See I see a problem there. Good psychiatric care is expensive and most people with mental disorders are poor and have to rely on second rate care that is overwhelmed with patients. They try to mask symptoms with pills. I wonder if a utopian world would cure mental disease, if it is a result of social imperfection or is it non-related. Really it makes sense to me that some are and some are not.

I still say it's not the actual belief. If you mix good water with good water it's still good water. If it was the actual belief it would poison everybody that drank it.

Here, you want to discern between "good" and "bad" thoughts through your use of "thoughts like that." There is no difference between whether theyre good or bad when determining whether they are actually voices from god or just your subconscious. The difference is if you understand that it is your subconscious youre hearing, you are more apt to understand that the voice may be wrong or at least questionable. If one thinks theyre hearing god, then if you think "god" is always right and you must obey then you end up with drowned kids.

That is why god belief has to be falsifiable, and once falsified, it needs to be recognized. What people will discover once they recognize that the god hypothesis has been shown to be false, and that literally nothing changes except you realize everything is in your own hands and ALWAYS has been. This enables you to be even better.

Or even worse! Would that effect not work both ways? Good people would be better; bad people will be worse. We both agree that the woman that killed her kids did not hear God. Other people with schizo. have other voices telling them to do things and they do not refrain either. It is not the voice it is the disease. The disease causes the voices; the disease makes it difficult to discern right from wrong. That is why they can't ignore the voices, they have no sense of right and wrong.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 18, 2013, 02:16:51 PM
So who are these people who say that when they pray, "God speaks to them."?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 18, 2013, 02:37:25 PM

Or even worse! Would that effect not work both ways? Good people would be better; bad people will be worse. We both agree that the woman that killed her kids did not hear God. Other people with schizo. have other voices telling them to do things and they do not refrain either. It is not the voice it is the disease. The disease causes the voices; the disease makes it difficult to discern right from wrong. That is why they can't ignore the voices, they have no sense of right and wrong.

Well, no, it wouldnt work both ways. Good people could be better in that when they normally wouldve prayed and waited for god to do something, instead they would just do it or try. People that were "bad" have already made their choice to disregard orders to "be good" the only thing in question would be if they would go to heaven or not, if their god existed.

Now, you want to classify anyone who "hears god" and does what we consider wrong as a schizo. Again,  you cannot parse between the types of actions. What would classify them would be the hearing of voices, not the following action. If someone cannot discern between right and wrong that is a problem in itself whether or not they hear god talking to them.

We both agree the woman who claims god told her to kill her kids did not hear god's voice, this is true. But we agree because of different reasons. I dont think she heard gods voice because god doesnt exist, you dont think she heard gods voice because you dont think god would do that. In order for you to hold such a belief you have to disregard the testimony of those who claim they hear god here in the present (and in the bible). Which is the very "evidence" you want us to accept from you, despite you disregarding others identical evidence.

Hopefully you see the problem...
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 02:51:26 PM

Well you say that good atheists go to heaven, but Jesus says they don't.

Who knows what changes have been made to what Jesus taught. That one sounds manmade to me.Once the romans took it over. I'm curious Graybeard, have you read the Agnostic  Gospels.  You know the ones that aren't in the bible? I need to get me a copy of that because I'm curious if anything like that was said in those Gospels. I read part of it once, never finished it.


Quote
Yes, and this is it. The statements you make in support of "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" are all relevant. You can't just say you're a Christian and then opposes what Christ said.

I mean, how can you claim that good atheists go to heaven? And believing that they do is unchristian.
I Love Jesus Christ. I think what He did for mankind should be forever remembered and honored and so far it has been, to an extent. I think that some Christians dishonor Christ when they do the things they do. That has a lot to do with why I left the religion. 

Quote
You see, believing in God (in the strange way that you do) has caused difficulties - you have one idea, Christians have another and atheists have a third.

Somebody here said there were over 4,000 religions, then there are spiritual people like myself unattached to religions, individuals interpretation of their religion and so on and so on....

It doesn't cause difficulties for me.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 18, 2013, 03:02:29 PM
Who knows what changes have been made to what Jesus taught.

and then this:

Quote
I Love Jesus Christ. I think what He did for mankind should be forever remembered and honoured....



(http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t172/Paddywacked/Granny.gif) (http://s160.photobucket.com/user/Paddywacked/media/Granny.gif.html)


Does anyone else see the problem here?


Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Samothec on April 18, 2013, 03:07:08 PM
Or even worse! Would that effect not work both ways? Good people would be better; bad people will be worse. We both agree that the woman that killed her kids did not hear God. Other people with schizo. have other voices telling them to do things and they do not refrain either. It is not the voice it is the disease. The disease causes the voices; the disease makes it difficult to discern right from wrong. That is why they can't ignore the voices, they have no sense of right and wrong.

Sorry but much of this is incorrect.

"bad people will be worse" - Depends upon why they were bad. People like those of the Westboro Baptist Church are bad because of their god and religion so some of them would be better after losing both. (Some would still be vile disgusting pieces of crap in human form.)

"the disease makes it difficult to discern right from wrong" - No, the schizophrenia makes it difficult to distinguish what is real. Because she believes in God when her altered reality presents her with God talking to here she accepts that it is real and obeys. If she did not believe in God then she probably would have been able to understand that the voice was not real and she should ignore it. God/religion did cause those deaths, indirectly.

"That is why they can't ignore the voices, they have no sense of right and wrong." - Wrong. Please read up on schizophrenia.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 03:11:51 PM

Well, no, it wouldnt work both ways. Good people could be better in that when they normally wouldve prayed and waited for god to do something, instead they would just do it or try. People that were "bad" have already made their choice to disregard orders to "be good" the only thing in question would be if they would go to heaven or not, if their god existed.

Now, you want to classify anyone who "hears god" and does what we consider wrong as a schizo. Again,  you cannot parse between the types of actions. What would classify them would be the hearing of voices, not the following action. If someone cannot discern between right and wrong that is a problem in itself whether or not they hear god talking to them.

We both agree the woman who claims god told her to kill her kids did not hear god's voice, this is true. But we agree because of different reasons. I dont think she heard gods voice because god doesnt exist, you dont think she heard gods voice because you dont think god would do that. In order for you to hold such a belief you have to disregard the testimony of those who claim they hear god here in the present (and in the bible). Which is the very "evidence" you want us to accept from you, despite you disregarding others identical evidence.

Hopefully you see the problem...

I don't believe you should wait for God to do things for you.

I did not say all people that hear God is schizo. I was talking about the scenario you provided, a woman told to drown her kids by god. I'm saying a person with that kind of disorder would have heard another kind of voice in a world w/o God; that belief has nothing to do with it. Matter of fact I bet there are more people in prison that don't believe in God than do. I'm gonna do some research on it and get back to you on that one. A lot of prison reform does occur when the prisoner accepts God into his/her life, supporting the claim that believing in God is not a bad thing.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 03:17:30 PM
Who knows what changes have been made to what Jesus taught.

and then this:

Quote
I Love Jesus Christ. I think what He did for mankind should be forever remembered and honoured....



(http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t172/Paddywacked/Granny.gif) (http://s160.photobucket.com/user/Paddywacked/media/Granny.gif.html)


Does anyone else see the problem here?

Do you have any intelligent thoughts to bring to the topic. hehe

Try as you may to anger me it's not going to happen. I'm as cool as a cucumber. I'm also not going to degrade myself be reporting this nonsense to mods. It's mods that keep doing this.

Maybe what I should say is atheist are mean, therefor atheism is a bad thing!!!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 18, 2013, 03:21:36 PM
I'd like to repeat something I said before - junebug's belief isn't necessarily a bad thing, but that doesn't mean it's a good thing.

What ultimately matters in life is what people do, not what they believe or think or use to rationalize their actions.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 03:30:07 PM
"bad people will be worse" - Depends upon why they were bad. People like those of the Westboro Baptist Church are bad because of their god and religion so some of them would be better after losing both. (Some would still be vile disgusting pieces of crap in human form.)

"the disease makes it difficult to discern right from wrong" - No, the schizophrenia makes it difficult to distinguish what is real. Because she believes in God when her altered reality presents her with God talking to here she accepts that it is real and obeys. If she did not believe in God then she probably would have been able to understand that the voice was not real and she should ignore it. God/religion did cause those deaths, indirectly.

"That is why they can't ignore the voices, they have no sense of right and wrong." - Wrong. Please read up on schizophrenia.

Well you all are talking about a minute minority of the population.  My heart goes out to people suffering from the disease. I still say it is the disease that causes the irrational behaviour not the belief. There are people with mental disorders that do not believe in God, they do not hear God speak, and they behave violently. I just don't see how this is a good example of belief being a bad thing.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 03:34:37 PM
I'd like to repeat something I said before - junebug's belief isn't necessarily a bad thing, but that doesn't mean it's a good thing.

What ultimately matters in life is what people do, not what they believe or think or use to rationalize their actions.

I really like that statement to a point. I will argue that belief in my life has been a very positive experience for me and for the people I've encountered. I definitely agree with the rest. You chose what to believe, who to believe and you base those judgements on what your morality is.

Good One!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 03:49:05 PM
I just want to take a second to say Darwin's are so immature. That my desire to please God allows me to overlook this childlike behaviour, to care about the individuals participating, therefor once again supporting my statement, belief is not a bad thing.  :)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Samothec on April 18, 2013, 03:55:57 PM
Well you all are talking about a minute minority of the population.  My heart goes out to people suffering from the disease. I still say it is the disease that causes the irrational behaviour not the belief. There are people with mental disorders that do not believe in God, they do not hear God speak, and they behave violently. I just don't see how this is a good example of belief being a bad thing.
When you have a mental illness that distorts your view of reality, the further from reality you start (like believing in someone/something that doesn't exist) the more difficult it is to determine what is and is not real. If you believe bigfoot exists then bigfoot appears you will react as if it is real because of your belief. If you don't believe in bigfoot and bigfoot appears then you will try to react as if it's not there since you know it can't be there.

Yes, it is a small portion of the population and an extreme example. But consider for a moment that if belief allows someone with a mental illness to more readily react with violence rather than resisting the violence, doesn't that suggest the same is possible with someone who isn't mentally ill?

And history shows that this is indeed the case. Take a group of believers and get them riled up for a cause they believe is just (even if it is not) then you have willing fighters for your cause. Fighters as in combatants willing to kill. Like with 9-11.

If all believers were resistant to violence then belief would not be the big problem it currently is. You have remained fairly calm in this thread with only minor moments of exasperation. I wish all believers were more like you in this respect. Things would be so much better.


As for the Darwins - at least people's names are on them.      (Eliminated the redundant portion.)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 18, 2013, 03:57:49 PM
I just want to take a second to say Darwin's are so immature. That my desire to please God allows me to overlook this childlike behaviour, to care about the individuals participating, therefor once again supporting my statement, belief is not a bad thing.  :)
LOL

on another site i frequent... not one about religion. they have "rep" and I hold a opposite stance as the largest group on the board and my "rep" suffers tremendously. Its just one of those thangs, nah mean
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: sun_king on April 18, 2013, 04:01:31 PM
I just want to take a second to say Darwin's are so immature. That my desire to please God allows me to overlook this childlike behaviour, to care about the individuals participating, therefor once again supporting my statement, belief is not a bad thing.  :)

Sadly this just proves the opposite. The Darwins have a purpose and you choose to overlook it dismissing it with a personal opinion. I am not sure why god will be pleased if you overlooked a Darwin, it was meant to be looked into.

Belief is a bad thing if it diverts you from what should be done.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 04:13:02 PM
So who are these people who say that when they pray, "God speaks to them."?

I don't know any personally. In my life it is through my soul,my heart, not through my ears. I feel it I don't hear it. I don't know if I believe people actually hear God. In my experience  people making such claims have an alterior motive, and it's not to teach people about God. And that is my opinion.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 18, 2013, 04:13:52 PM
Who knows what changes have been made to what Jesus taught.

and then this:

Quote
I Love Jesus Christ. I think what He did for mankind should be forever remembered and honoured....



(http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t172/Paddywacked/Granny.gif) (http://s160.photobucket.com/user/Paddywacked/media/Granny.gif.html)


Does anyone else see the problem here?

Do you have any intelligent thoughts to bring to the topic. hehe

Try as you may to anger me it's not going to happen. I'm as cool as a cucumber.

I'm not trying to anger you, I'm pointing out your sloppy thinking.

In one breath you state that we can't know what this Jesus character said or taught, and in the next breath you say that you love what he did.  Please admit how messed up that is.

Being cool as a cucumber doesn't make you correct, clever, intelligent, or any other desirable attribute.  In fact, it's starting to look like while you have this facade of peace & love and can't we all just get along, you're more mule-headed than anyone else here.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 04:48:10 PM
I just want to take a second to say Darwin's are so immature. That my desire to please God allows me to overlook this childlike behaviour, to care about the individuals participating, therefor once again supporting my statement, belief is not a bad thing.  :)

Sadly this just proves the opposite. The Darwins have a purpose and you choose to overlook it dismissing it with a personal opinion. I am not sure why god will be pleased if you overlooked a Darwin, it was meant to be looked into.

Belief is a bad thing if it diverts you from what should be done.

Did science not prove evolution, space travel, and the list goes on and on and on...If you're going to change the heart of man you must do that by example. You all have said it here many times that we do what we do because we do it.

You know the future might find itself without God, but for now people want to believe. They want to. Not everybody but a whole whole lot of people want to believe. As long as there is mystery to life and there will be until we can look past death with our eyes to see what is behind that cold dark door, people will want to believe.IMO. To me it's harmless it is not a bad thing.

I just want to point out that I've been a victim of religious prejudice, that is not a good thing, but it isn't the core of belief that causes them to be prejudicial, they would be prejudice whether they believed or not because that is what's in their hearts. That my desire to please God motivates me to forgive those prejudice people, therefor making it not a bad thing.

Sorry I even brought the Darwin thing up.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: nogodsforme on April 18, 2013, 05:06:45 PM
Matter of fact I bet there are more people in prison that don't believe in God than do. I'm gonna do some research on it and get back to you on that one. A lot of prison reform does occur when the prisoner accepts God into his/her life, supporting the claim that believing in God is not a bad thing.

Sorry, junebug, but the facts don't bear this out. Very few atheists commit crimes. And belief in god does not make people behave. The vast majority of US prisoners are god-believers. Also, lower income folks are much more likely to believe in god and to end up in jail. Correlation, but not necessarily causation.....

There are many reasons people in jail "take god into their hearts" but in my experience the main ones are: even with the cutback in social services like drug treatment and anger management to prisoners, religious groups (like bible study) are still offered; going to religious services is one way to get out of your cell for an hour or two; regular attendance at religious services looks good at parole hearings; bibles, Qurans and other religious books are freely available and unrestricted by law.

So, it may not be that god caused the prisoner to reform. But humans who think that god caused the prisioner to reform are more likely to let him/her out of jail. The high re-arrest and re-incarceration rates suggest that god needs to try a bit harder with prisoners.

Or maybe god should just stay out of it. The regions of the US with the highest levels of belief in god have the highest crime rates and largest prision populations. Also the highest teen pregnancies, divorce rates, family violence rates, unemployment and poverty rates.[1]

The same thing holds around the world. The countries with the lowest levels of god-belief, regardless of religion, are the safer, nicer places to live with the lowest crime rates, highest education rates, best health care stats, lowest infant mortality rates, etc. Japan and Denmark are two examples of very successful countries where almost nobody believes in any gods.
 1. And the highest internet porn consumption! Forbidden fruit and all that.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: magicmiles on April 18, 2013, 05:22:06 PM
The regions of the US with the highest levels of belief in god have the highest crime rates and largest prision populations.

Such as the southern states?

Belief in God does not equate to a life transformed by Christ.

My friend moved to the southern USA for work. He told me he attended more than a dozen church services before he found a church where the service amounted to more than repeated shouts of 'Hallelujah', and where the bible was actually taught and discussed.

(Insert the usual "One true Christiantm " joke at your leisure. It never stops being funny)

 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 18, 2013, 05:33:15 PM
The regions of the US with the highest levels of belief in god have the highest crime rates and largest prision populations.

Such as the southern states?

Belief in God does not equate to a life transformed by Christ.

My friend moved to the southern USA for work. He told me he attended more than a dozen church services before he found a church where the service amounted to more than repeated shouts of 'Hallelujah', and where the bible was actually taught and discussed.

(Insert the usual "One true Christiantm " joke at your leisure. It never stops being funny)

Yes, the One True Christian argument fits here...

but instead, doesnt Westboro Baptist teach the bible?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: magicmiles on April 18, 2013, 05:39:11 PM
^^ From what I've seen, extremely small sections of it and extremely poorly.

Have you had a chance to re-consider those verses yet?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: sun_king on April 18, 2013, 05:52:30 PM
<snip>
I just want to point out that I've been a victim of religious prejudice, that is not a good thing, but it isn't the core of belief that causes them to be prejudicial, they would be prejudice whether they believed or not because that is what's in their hearts. That my desire to please God motivates me to forgive those prejudice people, therefor making it not a bad thing.
<snip>

The bolded statement above brings to doubt if your forgiving is from your own choosing. For me, it seems that you are forced to forgive, which implies that its not a true act. Sorry if I am blunt, it seems to be a selfish act, your forgiving is just an instrument to gain approval from your deity. Imagine if you said "I forgive them because I want to, I know that it makes me a better person to understand and accept the failings of others".

As I said earlier, it is still a bad thing if your belief does not let you be what you can be. Forgiving someone because you can is a lot different from forgiving someone because you should. One is driven by noble thoughts, the other is pure business.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 18, 2013, 06:22:10 PM
^^ From what I've seen, extremely small sections of it and extremely poorly.

Have you had a chance to re-consider those verses yet?
I responded to you in the other thread...

You took my post out of context. And of course interpreted it wrong.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: magicmiles on April 18, 2013, 06:23:45 PM
^^ From what I've seen, extremely small sections of it and extremely poorly.

Have you had a chance to re-consider those verses yet?
I responded to you in the other thread...

You took my post out of context. And of course interpreted it wrong.

Is that a serious answer?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 18, 2013, 06:39:44 PM
^^ From what I've seen, extremely small sections of it and extremely poorly.

Have you had a chance to re-consider those verses yet?
I responded to you in the other thread...

You took my post out of context. And of course interpreted it wrong.

Is that a serious answer?
Yes. Is it serious when Christians use it?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: magicmiles on April 18, 2013, 06:44:21 PM
Yes. I demonstrated how the passage you brought up did not mean what you said it meant. (that's what i thought you were saying, anyway)

Now, you seem to be suggesting you may have meant something else. Can you clarify how I mis-understood you?

(we should probably contunue this back in the relevant thread)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 18, 2013, 07:05:34 PM
Yes. I demonstrated how the passage you brought up did not mean what you said it meant. (that's what i thought you were saying, anyway)

Now, you seem to be suggesting you may have meant something else. Can you clarify how I mis-understood you?

(we should probably contunue this back in the relevant thread)

Well, 1st you have to try to know me in your heart and love me. By doing that you will have to accept that it is impossible for me to be wrong. If it still appears to seem that what I said is wrong, you should then just accept it as correct, but mysterious. It is through that lens that you must read my every post. Then it will all make sense.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: magicmiles on April 18, 2013, 07:19:29 PM
Hilarious, certainly, but you're overlooking the fact that I have not suggested that you consider my understanding of the verse because of those things. I asked that you consider my understanding based on the context of the passage. I don't mind if you aren't interested in doing that. Just say so.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 18, 2013, 07:26:05 PM
Hilarious, certainly, but you're overlooking the fact that I have not suggested that you consider my understanding of the verse because of those things. I asked that you consider my understanding based on the context of the passage. I don't mind if you aren't interested in doing that. Just say so.
But if you would consider what I just posted, about it being impossible for me to be wrong, doesnt that make your post automatically wrong if it does not coincide with my post? Thus you should re-evaluate your post and change it accordingly to fit in with what I said, no?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 18, 2013, 08:30:46 PM
Quote
I haven't dodged one single question, not one!

Sure you have.  I asked you this yesterday and you fully ignored it:


List one moral action, or kind thing said by a god-believer that could not be done or said by a non believer in gods.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 10:06:18 PM
Well you all are talking about a minute minority of the population.  My heart goes out to people suffering from the disease. I still say it is the disease that causes the irrational behaviour not the belief. There are people with mental disorders that do not believe in God, they do not hear God speak, and they behave violently. I just don't see how this is a good example of belief being a bad thing.
When you have a mental illness that distorts your view of reality, the further from reality you start (like believing in someone/something that doesn't exist) the more difficult it is to determine what is and is not real. If you believe bigfoot exists then bigfoot appears you will react as if it is real because of your belief. If you don't believe in bigfoot and bigfoot appears then you will try to react as if it's not there since you know it can't be there.

Yes, it is a small portion of the population and an extreme example. But consider for a moment that if belief allows someone with a mental illness to more readily react with violence rather than resisting the violence, doesn't that suggest the same is possible with someone who isn't mentally ill?

And history shows that this is indeed the case. Take a group of believers and get them riled up for a cause they believe is just (even if it is not) then you have willing fighters for your cause. Fighters as in combatants willing to kill. Like with 9-11.

If all believers were resistant to violence then belief would not be the big problem it currently is. You have remained fairly calm in this thread with only minor moments of exasperation. I wish all believers were more like you in this respect. Things would be so much better.


As for the Darwins - at least people's names are on them.      (Eliminated the redundant portion.)

If your mental illness distorts reality, how can they unreality state be contributed to anything but the source of that break with reality. I don't think a violent mental pt. has a choice. That's why they are not held accountable for their crimes. I just don't think we should be using hypothetical actions of a mentally I'll person to judge how belief works ina stable mInd.!

Harder to type on this phone. Sorry guys.:
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 10:14:21 PM
Quote
I haven't dodged one single question, not one!

Sure you have.  I asked you this yesterday and you fully ignored it:


List one moral action, or kind thing said by a god-believer that could not be done or said by a non believer in gods.

Of course you would say I dodged it. I didn't see it. I do the best I can.

To answer your question, pray. A nonbeliever can not pray.  Prayer comforts.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 18, 2013, 10:24:09 PM
Goodnight everybody.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 18, 2013, 10:24:12 PM

Of course you would say I dodged it. I didn't see it. I do the best I can.

To answer your question, pray. A nonbeliever can not pray.  Prayer comforts.

Looking back at post #239, I fail to see how you didn't see it.  I even made the text bold.

You didn't answer my question:

List one moral action, or kind thing said by a god-believer that could not be done or said by a non believer in gods.

Praying is not a moral action or thing said.  It is merely talking to the air, or an imaginary friend.  Now you're really dodging.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 18, 2013, 10:27:55 PM

Well, no, it wouldnt work both ways. Good people could be better in that when they normally wouldve prayed and waited for god to do something, instead they would just do it or try. People that were "bad" have already made their choice to disregard orders to "be good" the only thing in question would be if they would go to heaven or not, if their god existed.

Now, you want to classify anyone who "hears god" and does what we consider wrong as a schizo. Again,  you cannot parse between the types of actions. What would classify them would be the hearing of voices, not the following action. If someone cannot discern between right and wrong that is a problem in itself whether or not they hear god talking to them.

We both agree the woman who claims god told her to kill her kids did not hear god's voice, this is true. But we agree because of different reasons. I dont think she heard gods voice because god doesnt exist, you dont think she heard gods voice because you dont think god would do that. In order for you to hold such a belief you have to disregard the testimony of those who claim they hear god here in the present (and in the bible). Which is the very "evidence" you want us to accept from you, despite you disregarding others identical evidence.

Hopefully you see the problem...

I don't believe you should wait for God to do things for you.

I did not say all people that hear God is schizo. I was talking about the scenario you provided, a woman told to drown her kids by god. I'm saying a person with that kind of disorder would have heard another kind of voice in a world w/o God; that belief has nothing to do with it. Matter of fact I bet there are more people in prison that don't believe in God than do. I'm gonna do some research on it and get back to you on that one. A lot of prison reform does occur when the prisoner accepts God into his/her life, supporting the claim that believing in God is not a bad thing.

You are disregarding other people's experience with god by saying they are hearing something else other than god, when they are saying god is speaking to them or communicating with them through feelings. Again, that is the EXACT "evidence" you want to offer us. And WE keep telling you that perhaps you are hearing or feeling something else. If you want us to accept your anecdotes, it would go a long way if you were willing to accept the same evidence from others... even if it goes against what you believe. When you dont accept it that makes it seem like you are under the impression that you cant be wrong.

Also, the Jesus who you said you appreciated so much doesnt exist anywhere outside of holy books that all include the story of Abraham being told to murder his son by god. So when you say you dont think god would do that it appears that ALL of the evidence goes against you, including the same evidence you want us to accept from you.

Perhaps you can explain why I should believe you and not Abraham, the father of 3 faiths.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 18, 2013, 10:37:36 PM
I beg to differ, junebug.  Prayer does not differ from meditation except that the person praying believes that something is listening to their prayers (which does not mean that something actually is listening to them).  Meditation also comforts and soothes, for example.  Every tangible benefit that one person can get through prayer, another can get through meditation.  In other words, it isn't something that can be done by a believer but not by a non-believer.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Hierophant on April 18, 2013, 11:08:46 PM
Oh no... no. Meditation is much harder than prayer. And I have had gains from meditations, but never from prayer.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: magicmiles on April 18, 2013, 11:19:07 PM
I beg to differ, junebug.  Prayer does not differ from meditation except that the person praying believes that something is listening to their prayers (which does not mean that something actually is listening to them).  Meditation also comforts and soothes, for example.  Every tangible benefit that one person can get through prayer, another can get through meditation.  In other words, it isn't something that can be done by a believer but not by a non-believer.

I have no doubt this will amuse you all:

My wife drove our kids to school this week and my 8 year old told her he was being bullied by a certain boy. My wife told him she would pray that this wouldn't happen that day.

Coversation at afternoon tea time:

My wife: So, did X bully you today?

My Son: No.

My wife: That's excellent! Make sure you thank God!

My son: (deadpan) It wasn't God. I went and hid in the library.

It is admittedly impossible most of the time to know how our prayers are answered. Easy prey for skeptics.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Hierophant on April 19, 2013, 12:44:23 AM
If there is no difference between prayer not being answered and prayer being answered, then you're literally saying nothing meaningful at all.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 19, 2013, 03:13:30 AM
"Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" is the proposition - a pretty bald statement.

It means in effect that a person who believes in god will act in a better way as a result, I suppose.  That's the way I will presume the statement is to be taken - that belief improves that person's life, and/or improves the world as a result.

Unfortunately, that is pretty easily falsifiable.   We've looked at people who have killed their children because of their belief.  The followers of Westboro believe in their god wholeheartedly.  In Africa, children are killed for being witches, because of the widespread belief in god.

The answer that:

I still say it is the disease that causes the irrational behaviour not the belief.....(or).....it isn't the core of belief that causes them to be prejudicial, they would be prejudice whether they believed or not because that is what's in their hearts.

Does not work - it is essentially saying "people would be bad no matter what they believed", which means, at best, that for "bad" people, belief in god brings no benefit.  We therefore cannot say that "belief in god is a GOOD thing, as it brings no benefit to all those people.

So what you are saying is that belief will make good people "gooder"?  Possibly.....but deeply, deeply insulting to everyone who does NOT believe.  Which means that the statement "belief in god is a good thing" will, for a quarter of the world's population, cause varying degrees of anger, resentment, and unhappiness.  That alone is enough to falsify the bald statement.

Sorry, junebug, but the facts don't bear this out. Very few atheists commit crimes. And belief in god does not make people behave. The vast majority of US prisoners are god-believers. Also, lower income folks are much more likely to believe in god and to end up in jail. Correlation, but not necessarily causation.....

Nogodsforme points out that believers are disproportionately represented in the justice system than atheists.  Which seems pretty clear that belief in god is NOT, automatically, a good thing.  Unless you are going to start playing the card that "they did not really believe", or "they did not believe in the RIGHT god".

Magicmiles is quite correct when he says that:

Belief in God does not equate to a life transformed by Christ.

...and it may possibly be possible to define "god" in such a way that the statement "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" become valid (subject perhaps to the causation of unhappiness mentioned above).  But, it DOES require firstly that that god be pretty clearly defined - something that Junebug certainly has not done.  I would suggest that before we can legitimately discuss whether "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing", Junebug first needs to clearly define "god".

Because otherwise, we can use whatever definition of "god" we may wish, and swiftly and mercilessly prove the OP statement to be false.  Example: I posit that the ONLY thing we know for sure about "god", is that it commanded us that "...if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even..."  Is that good, Junebug?  Are you prepared to accept that because belief in that god is a Good Thing?

I sincerely hope not!  But I say to you "THAT is god", believing in that is a Bad Thing.  For you to show I am wrong (and hence not to concede the point of the OP), you have to do two things.

Firstly, you must clearly define what your god is, and how it differs from the god I have posited there.

And secondly, you must be able to demonstrate that your definition of god is correct, and my definition is wrong.  And - sorry to say - to do that, I rather suspect you will need to show some evidence.....
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 07:18:59 AM

I'm not trying to anger you, I'm pointing out your sloppy thinking.

Only sloppy thinking around here is your own, and here's why. When you condescend, make fun, of something that is of importance to someone you're being provocative. I would imagine you receive immense pleasure from making "fun" of Christians, although there are many different types of belief, you do pick on Christians. You were blessed with much intelligence, guess that don't leave much room for courtesy.

This still has nothing to do with the topic.

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In one breath you state that we can't know what this Jesus character said or taught, and in the next breath you say that you love what he did.  Please admit how messed up that is.

Look it's like this starry skies; there were too many people in Jerusalem not to know if Jesus actually died on the cross. Even Muslims do not deny His existence. However unless I read the original copies of the gospels, I can not literally know what is real and what was put there by leaders, church and government. It's my belief that God guides me when I study. That's why I do things like thank God for my wisdom because I believe God blessed me with it.


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Being cool as a cucumber doesn't make you correct, clever, intelligent, or any other desirable attribute.  In fact, it's starting to look like while you have this facade of peace & love and can't we all just get along, you're more mule-headed than anyone else here.

Dang star haven't you ever watched Bruce Lee, a philosopher, or studied anything about the effects of clouded judgement. How letting emotions rule your thinking leaves you at a disadvantage. I love the scenes in martial arts movies when the student puts on the blindfold, love it! The only emotion I want others to see is JOY, PEACE and LOVE.

It doesn't make me wrong either, but it does help me stay calm when I'm being bombarded! I'm sorry star but you're acting no better than the society you claim to be against.

Do you even have a purpose for being here other than getting a good laugh at others expense.  Is this really what you want to see society turn into? You are practicing prejudice star, you hate a group of people, and I'm sorry but prejudice is something I'm strongly against. You seem to not have any interest at all in making the world a better place and that sucks!   

If you want to know if you're pleasing God, just look and see if the person beside you is wearing a smile.IMO. :D
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 08:00:57 AM
"Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" is the proposition - a pretty bald statement.

It means in effect that a person who believes in god will act in a better way as a result, I suppose.  That's the way I will presume the statement is to be taken - that belief improves that person's life, and/or improves the world as a result.

That's not what that statement means. It means that it's not believing that causes problems, it is the decision of a person what to believe, making the person responsible for their own actions. In other words these same people that use belief to disgrace God, they are responsible not the belief itself. I hope that clears it up for you.


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Does not work - it is essentially saying "people would be bad no matter what they believed", which means, at best, that for "bad" people, belief in god brings no benefit.  We therefore cannot say that "belief in god is a GOOD thing, as it brings no benefit to all those people.


So what you are saying is that belief will make good people "gooder"?  Possibly.....but deeply, deeply insulting to everyone who does NOT believe.  Which means that the statement "belief in god is a good thing" will, for a quarter of the world's population, cause varying degrees of anger, resentment, and unhappiness.  That alone is enough to falsify the bald statement.

I would really appreciate it if you would ask me what I'm saying if you don't understand. It is not appropriate to say that I've said something I have not said. You're giving you're interpretation which is not the same as me saying it. PLease.

And no that is exactly the opposite of what I'm saying.  "Gooder" is your word not mine. I'm saying it doesn't make a person bad to believe in Intelligent Creation"-God. That a person would display the same behaviour with or without belief. The only difference being, there's no God to blame it on.

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Nogodsforme points out that believers are disproportionately represented in the justice system than atheists.  Which seems pretty clear that belief in god is NOT, automatically, a good thing.  Unless you are going to start playing the card that "they did not really believe", or "they did not believe in the RIGHT god".

I think God is very misunderstood!

Since I never said that I'm not going to comment any further on it.


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...and it may possibly be possible to define "god" in such a way that the statement "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" become valid (subject perhaps to the causation of unhappiness mentioned above).  But, it DOES require firstly that that god be pretty clearly defined - something that Junebug certainly has not done.  I would suggest that before we can legitimately discuss whether "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing", Junebug first needs to clearly define "god".

For the purpose of this discussion God is Creator. In other words-Believing in Intelligent Creation is not a bad thing. I hope that clears it up for ya Anf.

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And secondly, you must be able to demonstrate that your definition of god is correct, and my definition is wrong.  And - sorry to say - to do that, I rather suspect you will need to show some evidence.....

That is a subject for another thread. I believe you use this evidence thing as a shield. If we're really going to do scientific experiments we need a controlled environment. I think the only way to know God is through your soul. I believe the fact that we are sitting here talking on this forum 
is evidence of intelligence versus luck. I'm not here to prove to you God exists, that's up to you to decide. I'm here to say it's not a bad thing if ya do!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 08:07:50 AM
If there is no difference between prayer not being answered and prayer being answered, then you're literally saying nothing meaningful at all.

Prayer in and of itself is an act of Love therefore it is a moral thing to do for another. The question was not what moral things can God do, but what moral act can man do.

It is still an off topic reply.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 19, 2013, 08:19:36 AM
"Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" is the proposition - a pretty bald statement.

It means in effect that a person who believes in god will act in a better way as a result, I suppose.  That's the way I will presume the statement is to be taken - that belief improves that person's life, and/or improves the world as a result.

That's not what that statement means. It means that it's not believing that causes problems, it is the decision of a person what to believe, making the person responsible for their own actions. In other words these same people that use belief to disgrace God, they are responsible not the belief itself. I hope that clears it up for you.

Thank you - I believe it does.  But that seems to be a radically different statement to the one you made.  You now appear to be saying that "Not Believing in God is a Bad Thing".  Would that be correct?

That may be what you intended to say all along - but it is an ENTIRELY different question to address. 

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...and it may possibly be possible to define "god" in such a way that the statement "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" become valid (subject perhaps to the causation of unhappiness mentioned above).  But, it DOES require firstly that that god be pretty clearly defined - something that Junebug certainly has not done.  I would suggest that before we can legitimately discuss whether "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing", Junebug first needs to clearly define "god".

For the purpose of this discussion God is Creator. In other words-Believing in Intelligent Creation is not a bad thing. I hope that clears it up for ya Anf.

No.  I'm afraid not.  Because (in light of what you appear to have said above), what you are really saying here is "Not Believing in Intelligent Creation is a Bad Thing".

Explain why, please?  How - precisely - is not believing in Intelligent Creation a bad thing for me?

I believe you use this evidence thing as a shield. If we're really going to do scientific experiments we need a controlled environment. I think the only way to know God is through your soul. I believe the fact that we are sitting here talking on this forum is evidence of intelligence versus luck. I'm not here to prove to you God exists, that's up to you to decide. I'm here to say it's not a bad thing if ya do!

I use "this evidence thing" as a simple test to see whether the person I am talking to has the slightest rationale for any of the dribble that comes out of their mouths.  As I've said to you several times now - and as you have avoided answering - what makes your statement "Not Believing in Intelligent Creation is a Bad Thing" any more worthy of consideration than the statement "Not Believing in John Johnson's Magical Sock is a Bad Thing". 

Unless you can provide ANY kind of evidence that means your statement has more substance behind it than John Johnson's, there is no more reason to address it or give it one iota more consideration.

But by all means ignore - again - any request to back up what you are saying.....though if you have no intention of demonstrating the proof of your claims, I am rather at a loss as to why you are so concerned in getting us to agree with the benefits of accepting them.  But sure - let's stick with the hypothetical claim that "not believing in the unproven concept of Intelligent Creation is a bad thing" (because that is what you are asking.

So I repeat:  how - precisely - is not believing in the unproven concept of Intelligent Creation for me?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 19, 2013, 08:27:36 AM
And secondly, you must be able to demonstrate that your definition of god is correct, and my definition is wrong.  And - sorry to say - to do that, I rather suspect you will need to show some evidence.....

That is a subject for another thread.

Just to clarify: are you saying that you ARE prepared to demonstrate your definition of god is correct, and provide evidence to support it, in another thread?  If so I would be more than happy to discuss it with you in the debate room: the benefit to you there is that you would only be discussing it with me, and not have to field umpteen questions from several other participants.

Shall I request that a debate be set up for us Junebug?  Or are you, perhaps, using "this is not the thread to discuss evidence" as a shield.....?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 19, 2013, 08:29:41 AM
My son: (deadpan) It wasn't God. I went and hid in the library.
I don't find it amusing at all.  First off, nobody should be bullied in the first place, and second, he shouldn't have to hide to avoid it.  I also don't think your wife's prayer had anything to do with it, because hiding from bullies (in a place they don't normally go or can't easily get to) is a very common reaction to being bullied.

You see, the bullying didn't actually stop.  Your son just wasn't around to be bullied.  The bullies will just harass others and wait for him to show up again.  Unless the bullies themselves change, or your son can figure out how to keep them from targeting him, it won't stop, and praying won't help.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 19, 2013, 08:32:20 AM
It is still an off topic reply.
Junebug,

Mods will decide what is off-topic and what is not. Please reply and explain cogently. If you feel that a post is off-topic, then you should report it. However, the tradition at WWGHA is one of great tolerance when it comes to questions within any topic; we find that this prevents question dodging and irrational statements.

GB Mod
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Razel on April 19, 2013, 08:32:35 AM
Only sloppy thinking around here is your own, and here's why. When you condescend, make fun, of something that is of importance to someone you're being provocative.

1. Respect has to be earned, not demanded. 
2. Attacks on your position or beliefs are not personal attacks against you, or Christians.  If we're not allowed to do that, then we may as well not debate.

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You're giving you're interpretation which is not the same as me saying it. PLease.

That's ironic, considering this thread's premise is based on a misinterpretation you had on the people here.

Quote
That is a subject for another thread. I believe you use this evidence thing as a shield. If we're really going to do scientific experiments we need a controlled environment. I think the only way to know God is through your soul.

I think you missed the entire point of this place.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 08:35:11 AM
Matter of fact I bet there are more people in prison that don't believe in God than do. I'm gonna do some research on it and get back to you on that one. A lot of prison reform does occur when the prisoner accepts God into his/her life, supporting the claim that believing in God is not a bad thing.

Sorry, junebug, but the facts don't bear this out. Very few atheists commit crimes. And belief in god does not make people behave. The vast majority of US prisoners are god-believers. Also, lower income folks are much more likely to believe in god and to end up in jail. Correlation, but not necessarily causation.....

There are many reasons people in jail "take god into their hearts" but in my experience the main ones are: even with the cutback in social services like drug treatment and anger management to prisoners, religious groups (like bible study) are still offered; going to religious services is one way to get out of your cell for an hour or two; regular attendance at religious services looks good at parole hearings; bibles, Qurans and other religious books are freely available and unrestricted by law.

So, it may not be that god caused the prisoner to reform. But humans who think that god caused the prisioner to reform are more likely to let him/her out of jail. The high re-arrest and re-incarceration rates suggest that god needs to try a bit harder with prisoners.

Or maybe god should just stay out of it. The regions of the US with the highest levels of belief in god have the highest crime rates and largest prision populations. Also the highest teen pregnancies, divorce rates, family violence rates, unemployment and poverty rates.[1]

The same thing holds around the world. The countries with the lowest levels of god-belief, regardless of religion, are the safer, nicer places to live with the lowest crime rates, highest education rates, best health care stats, lowest infant mortality rates, etc. Japan and Denmark are two examples of very successful countries where almost nobody believes in any gods.
 1. And the highest internet porn consumption! Forbidden fruit and all that.

I did say I was going to do some research on it. I did find less than 1% atheist prison population. It wasn't the best thing I've said, that's fer sure.

I think God is staying out of.

You know I would give God up if I thought it would bring the world to peace, I just don't think it will.  People should be allowed to follow where their heart leads or else we have no freedom left and w/o freedom you can't have peace. That's why I stress to you I strongly feel the way to a more peaceful existence is to change hearts, not minds.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: JeffPT on April 19, 2013, 08:42:17 AM
If there is no difference between prayer not being answered and prayer being answered, then you're literally saying nothing meaningful at all.

Prayer in and of itself is an act of Love therefore it is a moral thing to do for another. The question was not what moral things can God do, but what moral act can man do.

It is still an off topic reply.

Why can't an atheist pray? We can say and wish for the exact same things as you.  We just don't do it because we know it doesn't do anything. And when it comes to 'acts of love' it can certainly be argued that an atheist is far more likely to do something which has actual benefit, because we know prayer is useless while you don't.

If you're in a car that starts to skid off the road, who do you want in the car... The person who says Jesus take the wheel, or the one who try's to steer it back on the road? Yeah, I thought so.

Please God cure cancer. There, I prayed. Useful, eh?

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 08:43:57 AM
It is still an off topic reply.
Junebug,

Mods will decide what is off-topic and what is not. Please reply and explain cogently. If you feel that a post is off-topic, then you should report it. However, the tradition at WWGHA is one of great tolerance when it comes to questions within any topic; we find that this prevents question dodging and irrational statements.

GB Mod


okie dokie GB, i'm not going to report anybody to a mod though.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 09:02:39 AM
Only sloppy thinking around here is your own, and here's why. When you condescend, make fun, of something that is of importance to someone you're being provocative.

1. Respect has to be earned, not demanded. 
2. Attacks on your position or beliefs are not personal attacks against you, or Christians.  If we're not allowed to do that, then we may as well not debate.

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You're giving you're interpretation which is not the same as me saying it. PLease.

That's ironic, considering this thread's premise is based on a misinterpretation you had on the people here.

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That is a subject for another thread. I believe you use this evidence thing as a shield. If we're really going to do scientific experiments we need a controlled environment. I think the only way to know God is through your soul.

I think you missed the entire point of this place.

That's the impression I was left with after long, long discussions. My impression of atheists was actually better before I entered into this forum. I have met a few nice people but for the most part I find you most intolerant of a person with a different perspective than your own and you use scientific "evidence" as a shield. God is not something science can experiment on, God is found inside in our souls. Do you really think if there is God that you could reach God through scientific experiments? If there is a force that powerful in the universe it would not come at our beckon call. You have to earn the right to meet God. All my opinion.


So what is the point? I mean that sincerely.

I think the point is to try and make people feel stupid for believing in God. That if you just show people how stupid they are they'll come to their senses and stop the irrationality of it all.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Dante on April 19, 2013, 09:03:06 AM
  People should be allowed to follow where their heart leads or else we have no freedom left and w/o freedom you can't have peace.

Yeah? What if peoples hearts are filled with false, irrational, violent misconceptions? Then what?

How about if people followed the truth? How about if people used more logic and reason? Does that impair freedom? Does that impair peace?

No, it does not. Silly beliefs, and irrational thought, and ignorance impair peace.

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That's why I stress to you I strongly feel the way to a more peaceful existence is to change hearts, not minds.

Heart transplants all around! Yay!  :D

We think with our minds, JB. It's a fact. Education is the key to peace. Knowledge. Rational thought. You know, all those things humans are no good at.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 19, 2013, 09:10:59 AM
When you condescend, make fun, of something that is of importance to someone you're being provocative.

I wasn't insulting you, I was describing you.


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I would imagine you receive immense pleasure from making "fun" of Christians, although there are many different types of belief, you do pick on Christians.

I'm not "making fun" of christians, I'm merely asking questions, requesting evidence, and pointing out errors.  If, in the process, the christian looks like a fool, then they have the choice of altering their position and dropping their false beliefs, or holding them in spite of their bad reasons.  Life is a series of choices.

The reason why we are discussing christianity (or "picking on" them as you so impoverishly state), is that it is the dominant religion in North America.  It would very odd for me feel compelled to debate Shintoism now wouldn't it?


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You were blessed with much intelligence, guess that don't leave much room for courtesy.

Please watch:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPAC_cGVnUg






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...there were too many people in Jerusalem not to know if Jesus actually died on the cross.

Yet, there was not one word mentioned about it at the time.  Your "logic" is equivalent as follows:  Let's pretend that I make the claim that aliens landed in Bangkok in 1972, leaving a book with the secrets of the universe.  And what is my evidence for this claim?  Well, there's just so many people there at the time, there's no way they couldn't have noticed!

If you see how my reason & evidence is flawed, hopefully you will also see that flaw in yours.


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It's my belief that God guides me when I study. That's why I do things like thank God for my wisdom because I believe God blessed me with it.

Yes, everyone believes that they have their own secret decoder ring.  Unfortunately, all you're doing is projecting yourself as god.  It is so incredibly arrogant and smug, yet you're not even aware of it.

Isn't it ironic? One of the favorite themes of the Christian Conversion Corps is that, if we don't worship a deity, we must be worshiping ourselves.  Yet it seems that this is precisely what, in fact, the theists themselves are doing.  They worship a god with the same views, ideals, even personality traits as themselves - the god in the mirror.  (Rosa Williams)

Looking for Jesus in history is like looking down a well: You see only your own reflection.  (Albert Schweitzer)







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...letting emotions rule your thinking leaves you at a disadvantage.  The only emotion I want others to see is JOY, PEACE and LOVE.

I'll give you a few minutes to see if you see something wrong with that statement.  (I'll help by underlining it).





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Do you even have a purpose for being here other than getting a good laugh at others expense?

Yes.  I'm doing my miniscule little part in opposing supernatural religious beliefs.  I think humanity will do much better without it.  That's why.




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Is this really what you want to see society turn into?

Free of false, supernatural beliefs?  Yes.



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You are practicing prejudice star, you hate a group of people, and I'm sorry but prejudice is something I'm strongly against.

It appears that now you've completely abandoned rational thought.  I don't hate you or any group of people, I'm merely discussing your wild, fantastical assertions about reality on a public forum specifically designed for that.  See how quickly y'all play the victim card?



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You seem to not have any interest at all in making the world a better place and that sucks!

As already explained, making this world a better place is my prime reason for being here.



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If you want to know if you're pleasing God, just look and see if the person beside you is wearing a smile.

My wife has nearly a permanent smile, and my friends smile a lot when around me, but perhaps that's not because I'm pleasing your god, but for some other naturally explained reason.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 19, 2013, 09:17:56 AM

That's the impression I was left with after long, long discussions. My impression of atheists was actually better before I entered into this forum. I have met a few nice people but for the most part I find you most intolerant of a person with a different perspective than your own and you use scientific "evidence" as a shield. God is not something science can experiment on, God is found inside in our souls. Do you really think if there is God that you could reach God through scientific experiments? If there is a force that powerful in the universe it would not come at our beckon call. You have to earn the right to meet God. All my opinion.

Its a shame that you feel that way, June. On the whole people want to understand why you think the way you do about god and about this spirit that you say is inside each of us. Most people here have tried religion - often for a long time - and have concluded that there is not a god and that there is not a soul / spirit in each of us. understanding how you think could help not only you, if there really is not a god, or us, if there is actually a god.

As for being able to measure or detect a god, well, I think, in principle, it is doable. it all depends what we tackle. A study or two has been done into prayer and the effects of prayer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy_of_prayer) and recently this (http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html). Of course, if a proposed god has effects on matter - even the matter of the brain - then in principle one ought to be able to determine firstly that it had happened and how the energy to do it arrived in the brain. It would be a fiddly experiment to undertake and quite expensive but the fact os that in principle it could be done.

Quote
So what is the point? I mean that sincerely.

I think the point is to try and make people feel stupid for believing in God. That if you just show people how stupid they are they'll come to their senses and stop the irrationality of it all.

No, I disagree with you. The purpose here is to engage in discussion and exchange of ideas. Sure there are always some who abuse this sort of interaction and it can amount to maing peopl look stupid but that is not the agenda of most people here.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 09:24:55 AM
If there is no difference between prayer not being answered and prayer being answered, then you're literally saying nothing meaningful at all.

Prayer in and of itself is an act of Love therefore it is a moral thing to do for another. The question was not what moral things can God do, but what moral act can man do.

It is still an off topic reply.

Why can't an atheist pray? We can say and wish for the exact same things as you.  We just don't do it because we know it doesn't do anything. And when it comes to 'acts of love' it can certainly be argued that an atheist is far more likely to do something which has actual benefit, because we know prayer is useless while you don't.

If you're in a car that starts to skid off the road, who do you want in the car... The person who says Jesus take the wheel, or the one who try's to steer it back on the road? Yeah, I thought so.

Please God cure cancer. There, I prayed. Useful, eh?

I don't think you shouldn't be testing God when you pray, then you're prayer is for yourself.  Just saying. :D

If you're referring to the Carrie Underwood song I think you missed the meaning of it. She only asked Jesus to take the wheel because she ran out of steam. She's saying it's too much for me, I need you and she was all alone. There wasn't a second person in the car to take the wheel, she was on her own except her belief that He was by her side, so she doesn't feel so alone and powerless.

Not much different from my own story. I was so alone and it was there that I started to develope my faith.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Petey on April 19, 2013, 09:29:47 AM
I think the point is to try and make people feel stupid for believing in God. That if you just show people how stupid they are they'll come to their senses and stop the irrationality of it all.

There's a difference between making a person look stupid and making a belief look stupid. 

Generally speaking, any arguments or evidence presented won't make a dent in the believer's worldview.  There is, however, the hope that a fence-sitter following along will realize the "irrationality of it all", and not adopt false beliefs in the first place.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: shnozzola on April 19, 2013, 09:33:32 AM
Junebug,
   I believe I understand where you come from in your view of christinity.  It may be similar to the  view I grew up with that my mom and sisters still share.   The teachings of Jesus, such as the parable of the good Samaritan, are basically the main theme of the christianity I grew up with. I will be first to claim it as SPAG, rejecting the inconsistencies and keeping the parts our family liked.  Hell, the resurrection isn't important to my family.  Blasphemy, I tell you!   ;D  Anyway, that form of christianity seems pretty harmless IMO, since my christian sister's marriage to  my atheist brother in law seems to work just fine.

However, don't feel your belief in a god should be somehow spared here at WWGHA.  This is the internet, and that would be boring -  atheists are tired of being kicked around (and killed) by the many kind and loving christians.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 09:43:58 AM
Star Stuff,

This is my response to reply #363. Whether or not you have been insulting is up for me to decide. I interpret how your words make me feel.

Just more insulting stuff. I am not your victim starry skies because you're hurting yourself not me.

Words of Jesus's sacrifice have been passed down for 2013 years and counting as they should be.

Taunt, taunt and more taunting.

Nope don't see nothing wrong with it at all. When you put them together with the rest of the sentence it makes perfect sense to me.

You're doing a fantastic job as an oppostioner.

I do not think I've got anything wrong? That's how you come across to me. You care more about what you believe than you care about people.

I think you're coming up short in that department.

Okay.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 09:51:17 AM

That's the impression I was left with after long, long discussions. My impression of atheists was actually better before I entered into this forum. I have met a few nice people but for the most part I find you most intolerant of a person with a different perspective than your own and you use scientific "evidence" as a shield. God is not something science can experiment on, God is found inside in our souls. Do you really think if there is God that you could reach God through scientific experiments? If there is a force that powerful in the universe it would not come at our beckon call. You have to earn the right to meet God. All my opinion.

Its a shame that you feel that way, June. On the whole people want to understand why you think the way you do about god and about this spirit that you say is inside each of us. Most people here have tried religion - often for a long time - and have concluded that there is not a god and that there is not a soul / spirit in each of us. understanding how you think could help not only you, if there really is not a god, or us, if there is actually a god.

As for being able to measure or detect a god, well, I think, in principle, it is doable. it all depends what we tackle. A study or two has been done into prayer and the effects of prayer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy_of_prayer) and recently this (http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html). Of course, if a proposed god has effects on matter - even the matter of the brain - then in principle one ought to be able to determine firstly that it had happened and how the energy to do it arrived in the brain. It would be a fiddly experiment to undertake and quite expensive but the fact os that in principle it could be done.

Quote
So what is the point? I mean that sincerely.

I think the point is to try and make people feel stupid for believing in God. That if you just show people how stupid they are they'll come to their senses and stop the irrationality of it all.

No, I disagree with you. The purpose here is to engage in discussion and exchange of ideas. Sure there are always some who abuse this sort of interaction and it can amount to maing peopl look stupid but that is not the agenda of most people here.

That is my impression. You can't really exchange ideas when you're censored by evidence. I feel like you only want to hear what I can prove and care less about how I feel. Luckily thanks to belief in my life I'm not hurt. I really feel more empathy than anything.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 09:55:48 AM
I think the point is to try and make people feel stupid for believing in God. That if you just show people how stupid they are they'll come to their senses and stop the irrationality of it all.

There's a difference between making a person look stupid and making a belief look stupid. 

Generally speaking, any arguments or evidence presented won't make a dent in the believer's worldview.  There is, however, the hope that a fence-sitter following along will realize the "irrationality of it all", and not adopt false beliefs in the first place.

Well for some reason I feel more rational now than ever and no there's not.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 10:05:16 AM
Junebug,
   I believe I understand where you come from in your view of christinity.  It may be similar to the  view I grew up with that my mom and sisters still share.   The teachings of Jesus, such as the parable of the good Samaritan, are basically the main theme of the christianity I grew up with. I will be first to claim it as SPAG, rejecting the inconsistencies and keeping the parts our family liked.  Hell, the resurrection isn't important to my family.  Blasphemy, I tell you!   ;D  Anyway, that form of christianity seems pretty harmless IMO, since my christian sister's marriage to  my atheist brother in law seems to work just fine.

However, don't feel your belief in a god should be somehow spared here at WWGHA.  This is the internet, and that would be boring -  atheists are tired of being kicked around (and killed) by the many kind and loving christians.

Shno really? I don't have a form of Christianity.

Spared? sounds like I'm being prepared for slaughter.

I believe I'm going to have to ask you to back that statement up dude. that's far out. i'm not going to respond w/o collaboration.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Petey on April 19, 2013, 10:18:41 AM
You can't really exchange ideas when you're censored by evidence.

That's the first sig-worthy sentence I've seen in a while.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 10:34:57 AM
"Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" is the proposition - a pretty bald statement.

It means in effect that a person who believes in god will act in a better way as a result, I suppose.  That's the way I will presume the statement is to be taken - that belief improves that person's life, and/or improves the world as a result.

That's not what that statement means. It means that it's not believing that causes problems, it is the decision of a person what to believe, making the person responsible for their own actions. In other words these same people that use belief to disgrace God, they are responsible not the belief itself. I hope that clears it up for you.

How in the world do you come up with this stuff? Could somebody please help me out here! Just because I say BIGINABT, doesn't mean I'm saying Not believing is. I mean really come on now!!!

Quote
Thank you - I believe it does.  But that seems to be a radically different statement to the one you made.  You now appear to be saying that "Not Believing in God is a Bad Thing".  Would that be correct?

NO!NO!NO! it's is not correct.


Quote
No.  I'm afraid not.  Because (in light of what you appear to have said above), what you are really saying here is "Not Believing in Intelligent Creation is a Bad Thing".

Explain why, please?  How - precisely - is not believing in Intelligent Creation a bad thing for me?

I think you should explain how you come up with this stuff. That's why I don't ass-u-me things.

Quote
I use "this evidence thing" as a simple test to see whether the person I am talking to has the slightest rationale for any of the dribble that comes out of their mouths.  As I've said to you several times now - and as you have avoided answering - what makes your statement "Not Believing in Intelligent Creation is a Bad Thing" any more worthy of consideration than the statement "Not Believing in John Johnson's Magical Sock is a Bad Thing". 

Unless you can provide ANY kind of evidence that means your statement has more substance behind it than John Johnson's, there is no more reason to address it or give it one iota more consideration.

But by all means ignore - again - any request to back up what you are saying.....though if you have no intention of demonstrating the proof of your claims, I am rather at a loss as to why you are so concerned in getting us to agree with the benefits of accepting them.  But sure - let's stick with the hypothetical claim that "not believing in the unproven concept of Intelligent Creation is a bad thing" (because that is what you are asking.

So I repeat:  how - precisely - is not believing in the unproven concept of Intelligent Creation for me?

I have offered many occasions where belief is not a bad thing. What on earth are ya talking about Anf? I believe that after all my replies to your questions that is an off based accusation. Are you wanting evidence that belief exists?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 19, 2013, 10:36:16 AM
I hope everyone has a Great Day!

Gotta go for now.

Still waiting on you Jag.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 19, 2013, 10:42:47 AM
With all due respect, junebug, you can call your beliefs whatever you want, but they are Christian beliefs because you believe in Jesus Christ.  You just belong to a specific sect of Christianity - population 1.

Regarding some of your other posts, what does it matter that the stories of the Gospels have been passed down for nearly 2000 years[1]?  The story of the Iliad and the Odyssey are hundreds of years older than that.  If a story is mythical or fictional to begin with, it remains so no matter how old it is.

And another thing.  You challenged Star Stuff for being more concerned with beliefs, rather than people.  Yet, you are trying to give your concern for people a religious spin - you're doing it because you think it pleases your god, rather than because it's a good thing to do in and of itself.  You write threads like this, arguing that particular beliefs are not bad.  You yourself are giving beliefs a higher priority than people.

If people are more important than beliefs, then why are you worrying about your beliefs to begin with, let alone trying to spread them?
 1. by the way, the stories of the Gospels are not yet 2000 years old - you cannot date them based on the Christian calendar or the presumed birth of Jesus, you have to base them on when they were first told
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 19, 2013, 10:57:12 AM
I hope everyone has a Great Day!

Gotta go for now.

Still waiting on you Jag.

Yes jb, and I apologize for not getting to this yet. I've got a lot of homework demanding my attention, but will work on a post on the side. I'll try to get it done still today, but I'm unwilling to commit to that. As soon as I can, I promise.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: shnozzola on April 19, 2013, 11:06:22 AM
Quote
However, don't feel your belief in a god should be somehow spared here at WWGHA.

I believe I'm going to have to ask you to back that statement up dude. that's far out. i'm not going to respond w/o collaboration.

When I say spared, I mean not spared from scrutiny and debate.  Maybe we both need to stand in each other's shoes. I had hoped my post had shown I am trying to stand in your shoes. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 19, 2013, 11:24:48 AM
And secondly, you must be able to demonstrate that your definition of god is correct, and my definition is wrong.  And - sorry to say - to do that, I rather suspect you will need to show some evidence.....

That is a subject for another thread.

Just to clarify: are you saying that you ARE prepared to demonstrate your definition of god is correct, and provide evidence to support it, in another thread?  If so I would be more than happy to discuss it with you in the debate room: the benefit to you there is that you would only be discussing it with me, and not have to field umpteen questions from several other participants.

Shall I request that a debate be set up for us Junebug?  Or are you, perhaps, using "this is not the thread to discuss evidence" as a shield.....?

I repeat the question.  Shall I request that a debate on the evidence for your god be set up for us Junebug?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: DumpsterFire on April 19, 2013, 11:59:16 AM
You know the future might find itself without God, but for now people want to believe. They want to. Not everybody but a whole whole lot of people want to believe. As long as there is mystery to life and there will be until we can look past death with our eyes to see what is behind that cold dark door, people will want to believe.IMO. To me it's harmless it is not a bad thing.

I just want to point out that I've been a victim of religious prejudice, that is not a good thing, but it isn't the core of belief that causes them to be prejudicial, they would be prejudice whether they believed or not because that is what's in their hearts. That my desire to please God motivates me to forgive those prejudice people, therefor making it not a bad thing.
Hello June, I'm a bit late in the thread, but I thank you for your continued input.

I agree that a belief in and of itself does no actual harm, provided it remains internal to the believer. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case when it comes to religious belief. It is not the belief in god that causes harm, it is the belief that one knows god's will and then tries to enforce god's "intentions" on others. And it doesn't have to be of the overt smack 'em with the Bible and condemn 'em to hell or carry a sign that says "god hates fags" at a funeral sort, either.

If you have (and I'm not saying you have, these are just examples) ever thought to yourself that Muslims shouldn't be allowed to build a mosque near the WTC site, or that you wouldn't vote for an atheist political candidate, or that god is unhappy about abortion or school prayer, then your religious belief is affecting you in potentially harmful ways.

You do come across as a fairly reasonable and dogmatically unencumbered believer, and I commend you for that. Nevertheless, you have stated things such as
Quote
You have to earn the right to meet God.
which means, whether you realize and admit it or not, that you view those (which would presumably include the majority on this forum) who have not achieved whatever criteria you deem necessary to "meet god" as inferior to those who have.

Quote
If you want to know if you're pleasing God, just look and see if the person beside you is wearing a smile.
All this indicates is that the person sitting next to you is pleased smiling.

Quote
If you're referring to the Carrie Underwood song I think you missed the meaning of it. She only asked Jesus to take the wheel because she ran out of steam. She's saying it's too much for me, I need you and she was all alone. There wasn't a second person in the car to take the wheel, she was on her own except her belief that He was by her side, so she doesn't feel so alone and powerless.
You are correct that the main point of the song is to trust in god, but the last line of the first verse literally says "she threw her hands up in the air" when her car was skidding out of control[1]. Hopefully no one in a similar situation will follow suit.

edit: grammar
 1. sorry, years spent analyzing and critiquing song lyrics have made me very nitpicky on the subject
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 19, 2013, 12:07:50 PM
"Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing" is the proposition - a pretty bald statement.

It means in effect that a person who believes in god will act in a better way as a result, I suppose.  That's the way I will presume the statement is to be taken - that belief improves that person's life, and/or improves the world as a result.

That's not what that statement means. It means that it's not believing that causes problems, it is the decision of a person what to believe, making the person responsible for their own actions. In other words these same people that use belief to disgrace God, they are responsible not the belief itself. I hope that clears it up for you.

How in the world do you come up with this stuff? Could somebody please help me out here! Just because I say BIGINABT, doesn't mean I'm saying Not believing is. I mean really come on now!!!

After a hell of a lot of head scratching, I think I've twigged where where the problem lies.

When you said "It means that it's not believing that causes problems", I read that as "it is unbelief that causes problems".  You meant "its not the belief that causes problems".  I really hope I've got that right this time?

So I'll try again:  your point is that "it isn't the belief in (a) god that causes the problems, its the people that cause the problems".  "Don't blame the belief, because its the person that is at fault, not the belief".

I think I've got that right, because you said that

a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief.

Have I grasped what you are saying?  Honestly, I'm trying hard to get your drift.

It's hard because - assuming I HAVE got it right so far - the sentence

a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief.

presumably applies both to those who do bad, and those who do good.  A person who is going to do good "(will) display the same behaviour with or without belief" also.  Which means that if we accept the premise that "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing", it also means that "Believing in God is Not a Good Thing"- simply, that "Believing in God has no effect on a person's behaviour".

But no - that can't be right, because you have asserted over and over again that Believing in God changed your behaviour quite dramatically, for the better.  So clearly somene who believes in god WILL change dramatically for the better, as a result of that belief. 

But.....you said that " a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief", because people are people.

But then you can't have changed as a result of your belief.....and you reinforce that up there:

.....a person who believes in god will act in a better way as a result, I suppose.....belief improves that person's life

That's not what that statement means

Can you see why I am confused, Junebug?  I truly, honestly do not understand what you are saying, because you so often say things that contradict other things that you have said.

Can you spell it out for me please?  Does belief in god change a person, yes or no?  Will people behave the same way whether or not they believe in god, yes or no?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Astreja on April 19, 2013, 12:22:57 PM
I have met a few nice people but for the most part I find you most intolerant of a person with a different perspective than your own and you use scientific "evidence" as a shield.

After the catastrophic effects that religion has had on this planet over the past several thousands of years, durned tootin' I'm going to ask for evidence rather than rely on someone's subjective touchy-feely religious woo-woo say-so.

Quote
God is not something science can experiment on, God is found inside in our souls.

If your god were real, we should be able to find it.  Ditto for "souls" -- No evidence that a "soul" is anything more than a mind operation that ponders things like love, purpose and other emotional abstractions.

Quote
Do you really think if there is God that you could reach God through scientific experiments?

Yes.  Absolutely.

Quote
If there is a force that powerful in the universe it would not come at our beckon call.

Why should it have to come to us?  If it's that powerful, we should be able to detect it.  Why is there no physical trace of it anywhere the instrumentation of humanity can reach?  Even if it were hiding in "another" universe, in order for it to affect us in any way it has to have at least one point of contact with this universe.

There is no such point of contact identified; at least, we have yet to find such.  There is no unexplained energy imbalance where a god is piping in "miracles" and otherwise disturbing the laws of physics.

Quote
You have to earn the right to meet God. All my opinion.

How, um, very convenient.  If it can't bother to reveal itself to humanity, particularly to people who are at this very moment crying out to it for help with an emergent life-threatening situation, I think we should just dismiss it as undependable and get on with our lives.

The bottom line, Junebug, is that your subjective spiritual experiences do not hold the same value for us as they hold for you.  That does not necessarily alter their value to you, unless of course your happiness is somehow dependent on a consensus of uncritical yes-men.  If that is indeed the case -- If you actually feel diminished because we are not nodding our heads and saying that we believe you, I think that is vastly more damaging to your god hypothesis.  Please give this serious consideration.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 19, 2013, 12:31:03 PM
I think at this point it's clear and worthwhile to point out that JB loves her "beliefs" more than anything else.  Michael Shermer has written a book on this, and while I haven't read it, from what I gather from the reviews, it sheds a lot of light on this.

Linky. (http://www.amazon.com/Believing-Brain-Conspiracies---How-Construct-Reinforce/dp/1250008808/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366392438&sr=1-1&keywords=the+believing+brain)


Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 19, 2013, 12:47:38 PM
Anfauglir:  What she wrote was confusing, I definitely agree there.

Reading it as "it isn't believing that causes problems" would also do the trick.

I hope that she realizes just why the words are so important now.  Just by putting the contraction in a different spot ("it's not believing" vs "it isn't believing") can change the whole meaning.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 19, 2013, 02:18:24 PM
Ok jb, here’s the long-promised post. I am in no way going to try to talk you out of your belief in God. I’m simply going to try to frame this so it makes more sense to you – I want you to understand why we don’t agree, hopefully in a way that may be easier for you to relate to.

I want to begin with a couple of observations that had to be considered in order for me to go forward.

Much of the disputing seems to be at least in part over semantics:
1.   Your position (I think from the beginning) is that your belief in God is not a bad thing, and – this is important – that you mostly agree that organized religion is not what you are talking about. If I’m correct about that (?), I actually agree with you (more on that later – there are qualifiers). But your post is titled “Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing”, and it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to find agreement here; I’m quite certain that you’ve noticed. It’s because you didn’t specify that you are only referring to yourself (I assume).
2.   You’ve also indicated that you do not consider yourself a christian, and I’m not going to argue the semantics of that with you; I understand what I think you mean – you do not chose to attach yourself to the organized practice of Christianity, so you reject that term in application to yourself. I can accept that as well, again after noting that from a semantic view, technically, you are. I understand the line you are drawing and will leave it where you have placed it.

I want to start with your premise that your belief is not harmful to you. As I stated above, I do agree, for the most part. However, it really does bother me that you are selling yourself short, because you believe in God. You’ve certainly indicated that you don’t believe God is directly intervening in your life, and that you perceive God as a source of strength for you in trying times. I wish you could believe that all the strength and endurance, and yes, even the feelings of joy and gratitude are from you yourself, from your internal fortitude, without any God whatsoever in the background. Again, I don’t think it’s actually doing you much real harm. I wish you had as much faith in yourself and your own abilities to trust in you, but that’s not really harmful so much as it could be limiting. It always bothers me when people place unnecessary constraints on themselves - I believe in you, more than you believe in yourself, and that is troubling to me. The world needs all of us working on real solutions to real problems, and belief in a god is all too often the excuse for not taking action.

I think it’s vitally important to take the long view. My goal is to help you see why.

For example, let’s consider climate change, again with a qualifier. I think the term itself has become so laden with political baggage that it gets in the way of incredibly important discussion required for meaningful action. Instead of climate change, let’s call it pollution, because that’s really what the root of the problem is. Regardless of if one accepts that climate change is real, it’s impossible to say that pollution is not. I will provide proof if you require it.

So what this have to do with God beliefs? Here’s a real world example:  Rep. John Shimkus is standing by a controversial comment that global warming isn't something to worry about because God said he wouldn't destroy the Earth after Noah's flood.
The Illinois Republican running for the powerful perch atop the House Energy and Commerce Committee told POLITICO on Wednesday that his understanding of the Bible reaffirms his belief that government shouldn't be in the business of trying to address rising greenhouse gas emissions.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44958.html#ixzz2QvrqsW37

Just in case you don’t completely understand why that freaks me right out, let me point out the amount of power we’re really talking about here. The House Energy and Commerce Committee does more than guide policy. In effect, they actually have the power to strongly influence, or even determine to a point, which potential issues will ever get far enough along in the political process to even be considered for policy action. Do you see the ramifications of that?
(Another link with other details: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1328366/John-Shimkus-Global-warming-wont-destroy-planet-God-promised-Noah.html)

The US is a global leader, like it or not. We’re also among the worst offenders (China is kicking in quite a significant share as well). If we don’t step up and take the lead, it isn’t going to be addressed at all. And the whole world will suffer for it together. There are places where people will simply not survive if action is not taken - real people, real deaths, and all potentially preventable if we just drop the "God will take care of us" crap and get our collective shit together for the good of all humankind.

Another example that you may relate to as an adult female is the Quiverfull movement, among many other patriarchal religious movements. They are a horror for women from beginning to end. I’m not going to give you a full-blown primer on that, just hit a few highlights.

[For much more from someone with first-hand experience, I strongly encourage you to read Libby Ann’s blog at Patheos: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/# . Under the heading near the top, she has a section for “Background” – please see the posts tagged Quiverfull here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/christian-patriarchyquiverfull . Also see the posts here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/tag/created-to-be-his-help-meet for her review of a book that is, in essence, the “Bible” of the Quiverfull movement, created entirely by one man (who quite frankly comes off as a childish, insecure, petty asshole in a book written by his wife and, get this, approved by him before he allowed her to publish). Be prepared to be shocked and disgusted, by the way; it’s incredibly offensive to anyone with a shred of humanity and decency. I believe you have both.]

That movement disturbs me on a lot of levels. But the worst in my eyes is that it forces women into very tightly prescribed roles, with no consideration whatsoever given to the idea of a woman as an autonomous human being with the right to self-discovery, self-expression, or even a decent education. Women born into this movement (and make no mistake, there are a LOT of them!) have almost no chance of even being permitted to think, at all. All decisions are deferred to the father, as the head of the family. It matters not one bit if he is making shit decisions that will cause him family harm, he is never to be disagreed with, no matter what. He can bankrupt the family, but woe betide the wife who speaks against it. I wish I was joking. Beating are an accepted matter for children and wives. Hell, that vile book in the review posts I link to even provides instruction, per the biblical interpretations of the movement founder.

What would it do to a girl's perception of her own capabilities and her value as a human being to grow up like that? How could she ever break away from that kind of conditioning, foisted onto her at birth? Her entire existence is only for the purpose of producing babies and serving her husband, so her early life is spent in training for that eventual role. If she's an older siblings, she will be responsible (as a child herself, and a sibling as well) for the care, and often the discipline, of the younger children. She absolutely won't be permitted to have friends outside the movement, and she may not even have friends in it, depending on her specific family. She doesn't attend school outside the home, she is only permitted to read limited religious texts, and is essentially completely shielded from any independent interaction with people outside of her family's faith. With no opportunity to ever know that alternative exist, she's trapped in this situation in almost every way imaginable.

If every believer had the same view that you do, there would be much less for atheists to protest. But that’s not the case. The ones who follow oppressive interpretations also are the ones who are taking political actions, and trying hard to undermine the civil legal grounds put in place to stop exactly the kind of shit they are trying to force on the rest of us.

The worst of the harm you insist is not happening is impossible to separate from these God beliefs. Make no mistake about it – if they have their way, we will live under the equivalent of Sharia law here. I’ll fight to my last breath to stop that from happening, and any believer who doesn’t want it to happen should damn well be standing right alongside me doing the same damn thing.

I’m not JUST trying to protect myself and other non-believers from a being forced to follow laws based on religious belief, I’m also protecting people who do believe in God, but not the version being pushed by fundamentalists. Too many of them are not paying attention to the realities being played out right under their noses, and are heading for quite a shock if they don’t start seeing what is happening.

THAT is where it becomes a bad thing – all too often, the moderate believers, the “respectful of others” believers, the “believe what you chose, it’s a personal decision” , THEY ARE NOT FUCKING GETTING OFF THEIR ASSES TO SPEAK UP AND TAKING ACTION IN OPPOSITION TO THE CRAZY FUCKERS!

I concede that you are not doing active harm to anyone, other than potentially to yourself. But I also contend that you are possibly doing passive harm by not taking action (if you are not), or by letting your beliefs set limits on your options, or by sitting passively and not noticing the damage being enacted into law by other who are believers. That is still harmful, if only by association.

I think you are a good person with a good heart. But I also think you are wrong that belief is not a bad thing. I see a lot of awful embedded in it. There’s much, much more than I’ve shown you in this post.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: magicmiles on April 19, 2013, 02:48:59 PM
My son: (deadpan) It wasn't God. I went and hid in the library.
I don't find it amusing at all.  First off, nobody should be bullied in the first place, and second, he shouldn't have to hide to avoid it.  I also don't think your wife's prayer had anything to do with it, because hiding from bullies (in a place they don't normally go or can't easily get to) is a very common reaction to being bullied.

You see, the bullying didn't actually stop.  Your son just wasn't around to be bullied.  The bullies will just harass others and wait for him to show up again.  Unless the bullies themselves change, or your son can figure out how to keep them from targeting him, it won't stop, and praying won't help.

Yes. We are addressing the issue in very practical ways. Discussions with his teacher, etc.

FYI, when our kids are unwell they see a doctor.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 19, 2013, 03:10:29 PM
junebug:  To expand a little bit on Jag's point, I'd like to point out that many of those Christians are perfectly okay with taking away the rights of people who have different beliefs.  And they justify those actions with their beliefs.  That is a situation where Belief in God is a Very Bad Thing, because that belief empowers their decisions and makes them think that they are perfectly and righteously justified in doing what they think their god wants them to do, no matter what it costs others.

If every Christian were okay with alternate beliefs, and just focused on their personal relationship with their god, it probably wouldn't be that big of a deal.  The problem is that there are literally millions of Christians who are practically obsessed with dictating what other people say, do, and even think, and it is because of their beliefs.  They wouldn't be capable of nearly as much harm if they didn't believe their god was standing behind them approving of everything they did.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 19, 2013, 04:22:52 PM
^^^One step at a time. We're trying to shake her world view up a bit, and if we do too much at one time, we risk losing the message in sheer volume.

I apologize if that sounds like a rebuke, that is not my intent. For some reason, I seem to have developed personal interest in getting junebug72 to see this from our perspective - not to change her mind but to change her self-imposed limits (no offense intended at all jb). I think we, as atheists who are representing ourselves as decent human beings on par with believers, are better served in this case by slowing down and taking things in small doses. We risk blowing an good opportunity to be seen as we see ourselves if we get overwhelming again.

I won't be the least bit offended if you tell me to stuff it and mind my own business. My investment in the outcome I seek certainly isn't yours, and I sincerely hope I haven't offended you.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 19, 2013, 04:26:43 PM
I'm just trying to reinforce your point a bit.  I had more I wanted to say, but I decided to expound on it elsewhere because it made better sense there.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 19, 2013, 04:36:33 PM
Thank you.

Seriously, I hope I wasn't rude. I sort of feel like I've got a fish on the line, and I'm hoping that jb can incorporate what we're talking about into her world view. I'm trying to be very careful to not threaten her beliefs, while still insisting that she needs to see a bigger view of god beliefs. She can keep her beliefs intact while still seeing the need for action in place of, or in addition to, prayer.

I shouldn't let myself get invested in the outcome, but there is a kind heart in her, and I want very much to find common ground. Moving believers to see the harm can only serve to get more people involved in solving problems. If I have to do it one person at a time, so be it.  ;D
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 04:31:53 AM
And secondly, you must be able to demonstrate that your definition of god is correct, and my definition is wrong.  And - sorry to say - to do that, I rather suspect you will need to show some evidence.....

That is a subject for another thread.

Just to clarify: are you saying that you ARE prepared to demonstrate your definition of god is correct, and provide evidence to support it, in another thread?  If so I would be more than happy to discuss it with you in the debate room: the benefit to you there is that you would only be discussing it with me, and not have to field umpteen questions from several other participants.

Shall I request that a debate be set up for us Junebug?  Or are you, perhaps, using "this is not the thread to discuss evidence" as a shield.....?

Before we continue with that discussion, I must ask what your qualifications are. Are you an expert scientist ready to conduct experiments and if so what kind of experiments are we going to do? My "report"evidence was dismissed by screwey as legal evidence not scientific, but I am more than happy to cooperate with any expert scientist with knowledge and equipment. Maybe WE could solve the mystery once and for all!

I'm not the one dictating what a person can say and what they can't. This is a major reason I wouldn't want to live in an atheist environment, no freedom of speech.

The only experiment I have ever conducted is trying the philosophies I have mentioned in my life with very successful results. It would be my pleasure to share with you Anf.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 05:26:05 AM
With all due respect, junebug, you can call your beliefs whatever you want, but they are Christian beliefs because you believe in Jesus Christ.  You just belong to a specific sect of Christianity - population 1.

Regarding some of your other posts, what does it matter that the stories of the Gospels have been passed down for nearly 2000 years[1]?  The story of the Iliad and the Odyssey are hundreds of years older than that.  If a story is mythical or fictional to begin with, it remains so no matter how old it is.

And another thing.  You challenged Star Stuff for being more concerned with beliefs, rather than people.  Yet, you are trying to give your concern for people a religious spin - you're doing it because you think it pleases your god, rather than because it's a good thing to do in and of itself.  You write threads like this, arguing that particular beliefs are not bad.  You yourself are giving beliefs a higher priority than people.

If people are more important than beliefs, then why are you worrying about your beliefs to begin with, let alone trying to spread them?
 1. by the way, the stories of the Gospels are not yet 2000 years old - you cannot date them based on the Christian calendar or the presumed birth of Jesus, you have to base them on when they were first told

I am not going to get into another debate about what I am. I know who I am and that matters most to me. I'm only disappointed you can not see the difference.  I believe in God, I study Jesus. I believe Jesus died on the cross and showed the Greatest act of Love known to man. His death started the process of turning Romans from paganism to Catholicism. I don't believe Iliad or Odyssey have nations that celebrate their birth or respect the day of their deaths.

I really don't know what to say about that. I have been as "nice" as I could be. It is not in my moral fibre, and if you take a better look back through this thread I apologized for what little bit of attitude I did get. I have been taunted to death. I have kept my cool. What more do you want?  :?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 05:39:07 AM
Quote
However, don't feel your belief in a god should be somehow spared here at WWGHA.

I believe I'm going to have to ask you to back that statement up dude. that's far out. i'm not going to respond w/o collaboration.

When I say spared, I mean not spared from scrutiny and debate.  Maybe we both need to stand in each other's shoes. I had hoped my post had shown I am trying to stand in your shoes.

I don't have an iota of a problem with scrutiny and debate, my problem is with censorship. I feel I'm being told If I can't prove it I can't say it here. That doesn't leave much room for a debate. The same people determine what is evidence and what is not.  This is way too important to me to get kicked out, so I must be very, very careful.

Thanks for meeting me in the middle Shno, you have earned more of my respect.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 05:41:43 AM
And secondly, you must be able to demonstrate that your definition of god is correct, and my definition is wrong.  And - sorry to say - to do that, I rather suspect you will need to show some evidence.....

That is a subject for another thread.

Just to clarify: are you saying that you ARE prepared to demonstrate your definition of god is correct, and provide evidence to support it, in another thread?  If so I would be more than happy to discuss it with you in the debate room: the benefit to you there is that you would only be discussing it with me, and not have to field umpteen questions from several other participants.

Shall I request that a debate be set up for us Junebug?  Or are you, perhaps, using "this is not the thread to discuss evidence" as a shield.....?

I repeat the question.  Shall I request that a debate on the evidence for your god be set up for us Junebug?

I already answered this one. Patience is a virtue.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 06:24:02 AM

Hello June, I'm a bit late in the thread, but I thank you for your continued input.

Your welcome Dump.  that's funny. :laugh: I think I'll nickname you Fire!


Quote
I agree that a belief in and of itself does no actual harm, provided it remains internal to the believer. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case when it comes to religious belief. It is not the belief in god that causes harm, it is the belief that one knows god's will and then tries to enforce god's "intentions" on others. And it doesn't have to be of the overt smack 'em with the Bible and condemn 'em to hell or carry a sign that says "god hates fags" at a funeral sort, either.


You do come across as a fairly reasonable and dogmatically unencumbered believer, and I commend you for that. Nevertheless, you have stated things such as
Quote

Thanks for getting the point.




Quote
which means, whether you realize and admit it or not, that you view those (which would presumably include the majority on this forum) who have not achieved whatever criteria you deem necessary to "meet god" as inferior to those who have.

I've never seen God either. I don't even know if that's possible in our physical form. That's not what I meant by that. On the contrary, I said I thought you only have to be kind to others. That you do NO HARM to others. I said I think God understands why you don't believe and loves you still.


Quote
All this indicates is that the person sitting next to you is pleased smiling.

What I mean by that is if the person next to you is smiling, then you haven't done anything to offend them.

I went to the store yesterday to pick up some dinner, and I was pleased at all the smiles I got. Such a simple gesture, but it means so much. :)

Let's say you blare up the radio on your cell phone and your smiling neighbor is trying to have a convo with her husband about picking up the kids and your loud radio disturbs her convo making her irritated and her smile turns upside down. small scale ex.

The point is if your actions causes another grief I believe you are not pleasing God. That is why I don't want to be a Christian. They do cause a lot of grief to others.

Quote
If you're referring to the Carrie Underwood song I think you missed the meaning of it. She only asked Jesus to take the wheel because she ran out of steam. She's saying it's too much for me, I need you and she was all alone. There wasn't a second person in the car to take the wheel, she was on her own except her belief that He was by her side, so she doesn't feel so alone and powerless.

Quote
You are correct that the main point of the song is to trust in god, but the last line of the first verse literally says "she threw her hands up in the air" when her car was skidding out of control[1]. Hopefully no one in a similar situation will follow suit.
 1. sorry, years spent analyzing and critiquing song lyrics have made me very nitpicky on the subject
edit: grammar

It does say "Out of Control." I do believe she survived that crash because she asked for help. Here's the lyrics:

 Jesus, Take the Wheel
(James/Lindsey/Sampson)

She was driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas Eve
Going home to see her Mama and her Daddy with the baby in the backseat
Fifty miles to go and she was running low on faith and gasoline
It'd been a long hard year
She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention
she was going way too fast
Before she knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass
She saw both their lives flash before her eyes
She didn't even have time to cry
She was sooo scared
She threw her hands up in the air

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel

It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder
And the car came to a stop
She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat sleeping like a rock
And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way
I've been living my life
I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on

Ooh, Jesus take the wheel
Ooh, I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
From this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel
Ooh, take it, take it from me
Ooh ooh wah ah ooh ooh ooh


This song gives me chills.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 06:29:35 AM
Anfauglir:  What she wrote was confusing, I definitely agree there.

Reading it as "it isn't believing that causes problems" would also do the trick.

I hope that she realizes just why the words are so important now.  Just by putting the contraction in a different spot ("it's not believing" vs "it isn't believing") can change the whole meaning.

thx Jaime. I do a lot of proofreading and I can see how someone could misinterpret.

I never underestimate the power of words!!!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 20, 2013, 07:15:16 AM
It does say "Out of Control." I do believe she survived that crash because she asked for help. Here's the lyrics:

 Jesus, Take the Wheel
(James/Lindsey/Sampson)

She was driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas Eve
Going home to see her Mama and her Daddy with the baby in the backseat
Fifty miles to go and she was running low on faith and gasoline
It'd been a long hard year
She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention
she was going way too fast
Before she knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass
She saw both their lives flash before her eyes

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
[…]
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel
[…]
Ooh ooh wah ah ooh ooh ooh

This song gives me chills.

It should give you the chills,

1.   Jesus hasn’t got a drivers’ license.
2.   If we consider a car to be an “iron chariot”, God is terrified of cars (J'g:1:19: And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.)
3.   The driver of the car was an idiot. She could easily have killed innocent people “She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention/ she was going way too fast.” If Jesus had had a drivers’ license, he would have driven her straight into a tree and killed her.
4.   “she was running low on faith” Jesus hates people of weak faith, “Re:3:16: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

I suggest that you consider that this song was written to make money by appealing to those with minimal critical thinking skills.

How many accidents in the US each year? How many deaths? Jesus seems to be slacking on the job (or I'm right and He can't drive.)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 08:04:05 AM
#384

Hey Jag,

Seems to me we 're basically on the same team, we just have different ideas about how to go about "saving the world". I believe we are starting to move in the right direction. 

Those politicians are using  people's beliefs to promote their own greedy agenda. They don't have me fooled one little bit. I will say that as a believer in God it must upset me more than you, because they make God look bad to people like you. It utterly breaks my heart. I would argue that politicians being bought by large corps. is worse for us than believing and we should start there by getting everybody we know to say enough of that. We want regulations in Washington to put an end to it. Really can any man not get corrupted by power? I don't think it's possible. Take a fast food mng. A lot of them are jerks. Just that little tiny bit of power goes straight to the head. Oh Lord it's hard to stay humble!! :D

I just believe there is a better chance of convincing people that God is better than that, than it would be to convince them that God does not exist. That's why I'm here. Sometimes you have to give the people what they want as well as what they need to move forward. 

I really respect what atheism has done for God. It really points out the contradictions of Christianity. I believe atheists have done a lot more for God than Christians. I'm looking for other folk like me, but I'm having a difficult time, as you can imagine.

Maybe my population is just 1. Working on it.

I appreciate the vote of confidence Jag. It was very nice of you to say. I really don't see how giving credit to God takes anything away from me. God only helps the ones that help themselves. I want to help myself, I do help myself. I definitely do not believe in waiting for God to answer prayer. God knows what we need. I believe we should be careful what we ask God for. God is not a genie in a bottle that grants our wishes and desires.

I hate pollution as much as you do!! I watch a lot of documentaries on the subject and even worse than what it's doing to mother earth it kills people now. I ball my eyeballs out when they start showing pictures of the children that have died from cancer from the effects of coal mining and fracking. The refineries, aw man, very disturbing. 

Seems unconstitutional to me to even bring up religious beliefs in an election. I don't know what his beliefs are but I wish I had voted for Ralph Nader.  Didn't know who he was until after the election. Just starting to get to know the political system the past 8/9 years. The Independent Candidates need to make more noise.

As far as did I mean the post personally yes and no. I don't think believing in "intelligence vs. luck" is a bad thing in general, I think greedy egotistical people use it to take advantage of the masses which gives the "appearance of believing" but it's not actually believing. You can also believe in God and not care if you please God. It's not the belief, it's what you chose to do with it.

I will check out that link and get back to ya on it.

Always a Pleasure, 

JB
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 08:30:21 AM

It should give you the chills,

1.   Jesus hasn’t got a drivers’ license.
2.   If we consider a car to be an “iron chariot”, God is terrified of cars (J'g:1:19: And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.)
3.   The driver of the car was an idiot. She could easily have killed innocent people “She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention/ she was going way too fast.” If Jesus had had a drivers’ license, he would have driven her straight into a tree and killed her.
4.   “she was running low on faith” Jesus hates people of weak faith, “Re:3:16: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

I suggest that you consider that this song was written to make money by appealing to those with minimal critical thinking skills.

How many accidents in the US each year? How many deaths? Jesus seems to be slacking on the job (or I'm right and He can't drive.)

Oh my this stuff does make me smile. Let me give you a little hint, all that stuff that has worked on Christians is just not going to work on me. The sooner you figure that out; we can stop wasting our valuable time on this stuff. I am not here to defend the Bible.  These contradictions you speak of should tell you the same thing it tells me, that it wasn't written by God. To me it's a historical document of how misunderstood God has been, especially the Old Testament. I think Jesus tried to get them to see the error of their ways and it got Him crucified as predicted.  It is my belief that all the restraints put on mankind by church and gov. as to what to believe by means of death or public humiliation, has dictated beliefs up until now. Freedom of religion is now starting to reveal what is wrong with the picture. I have witnessed the beginning of this revolution and I truly have faith now that our generation,(60's and 70's) is starting to move up the food chain, so to speak, we'll start seeing more, and more of this spiritual growth.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: JeffPT on April 20, 2013, 08:41:35 AM
I don't think you shouldn't be testing God when you pray, then you're prayer is for yourself.  Just saying. :D

I'm praying to end cancer.  How is that for myself again?  I don't have cancer. 

If you're referring to the Carrie Underwood song I think you missed the meaning of it. She only asked Jesus to take the wheel because she ran out of steam. She's saying it's too much for me, I need you and she was all alone. There wasn't a second person in the car to take the wheel, she was on her own except her belief that He was by her side, so she doesn't feel so alone and powerless.

I was using a line from the song, not the song itself.  If you're crashing in a car, do you want someone who prays, or someone who tries to straighten the car out? 

Not much different from my own story. I was so alone and it was there that I started to develope my faith.

When Tom Hanks was alone on the island, he developed a relationship with Wilson.  A volleyball.  So much so that when the volleyball started to float away later, he cried and apologized to it. 

The reason that it was somewhat believable is because we all know that people's minds do strange things when the chips are down.  How would you think the rest of the public would have responded to Tom Hanks character if he came back with the volleyball and continued his relationship with it?  That's what you're doing with your God.  The only thing that saves you is that a lot of other people have relationships with their volleyball as well. 

You turned your life around all by yourself by creating a relationship.  You're fine now.  Let go of the volleyball. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 20, 2013, 08:53:04 AM
I am not going to get into another debate about what I am. I know who I am and that matters most to me.
If you believe in Jesus Christ, you are a Christian - a follower of Jesus Christ and his teachings.  That's what the word Christian means.  That does not mean you follow the doctrines of any particular Christian sect.  It isn't an insult - this is how I and others see you.

Quote from: junebug72
I'm only disappointed you can not see the difference.  I believe in God, I study Jesus. I believe Jesus died on the cross and showed the Greatest act of Love known to man. His death started the process of turning Romans from paganism to Catholicism. I don't believe Iliad or Odyssey have nations that celebrate their birth or respect the day of their deaths.
Actually, the Iliad and the Odyssey are famous epics by the Greek poet Homer.  The Iliad covers the Trojan War, and the Odyssey covers the travels of Odysseus (a major participant of the previous epic) as he attempted to return to his home in Ithaca.  Both of them have some truth to them, but both are also heavily influenced by mythology.  For example, Odysseus was the great-grandson of the god Hermes, and he constantly had to deal with gods and monsters who either 'helped' him or attempted to get in his way.  Compare this to the Gospels, where Jesus was the son of a god, traveled throughout Judea, had awesome divine powers, had to constantly deal with attempts to trap him (both supernatural and by men), and then came back from the dead after his enemies finally managed to capture and kill him.

My point is that the Gospels are an epic, told from four perspectives.  Because Paul is the one who actually spread Christianity, the Gospels could have been entirely fictional, describing a man who never lived in the first place, and it wouldn't have mattered one bit.  He wasn't around in any of them, and he never met Jesus "in the flesh", let alone witnessed any of his miracles; he was converted by having a vision of Jesus.

Quote from: junebug72
I really don't know what to say about that. I have been as "nice" as I could be. It is not in my moral fibre, and if you take a better look back through this thread I apologized for what little bit of attitude I did get. I have been taunted to death. I have kept my cool. What more do you want?  :?
I'd appreciate an answer to the question I posed to you.  "If people are more important than beliefs, then why are you worrying about your beliefs to begin with, let alone trying to spread them?"  Bear in mind, I don't have a problem with your own personal beliefs.  I just don't understand why, if you're more concerned with people than beliefs, you're emphasizing your beliefs here, on this site.  Many Christians have come here and done the same thing, in attempts to convert the atheists here or at least convince them that they have the right of things.

Do you see the problem?  To many people here, you're coming across as just another Christian.  Nicer and less authoritarian than most, but you're still pushing your beliefs on us in an attempt to get validation for them.  Or at least that's how it seems.  If your belief in God and Jesus has helped you out, that should be all the validation you need, right?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 20, 2013, 08:54:51 AM
His death started the process of turning Romans from paganism to Catholicism. I don't believe Iliad or Odyssey have nations that celebrate their birth or respect the day of their deaths.

(http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t172/Paddywacked/Facepalm.jpg) (http://s160.photobucket.com/user/Paddywacked/media/Facepalm.jpg.html)

What's that old saying about a "little bit of knowledge"?

You obviously haven't the first clue how the small cult of christianity became what it is today.  Start with Constantine, and see what you find.


More stuff:

http://www.bandoli.no/nooriginaljesus.htm



.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: shnozzola on April 20, 2013, 09:08:39 AM
God only helps the ones that help themselves. 
If I only had a penny for every time....
                          * Who helps the ones that don't help themselves?
I want to help myself, I do help myself.
That's it, young lady - you do, and you need to recognize how strong you are.  If only you would see it.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 20, 2013, 09:27:19 AM
JB,

You say you are not a Christian, but then applaud "Jesus" for what you say he did. The ONLY media where they teach about this "Jesus" fellow are The Bible and the Qu'ran. If you are accepting the stories about this "Jesus" based on these books, then you have two options, A) to accept the books as a whole, including the parts where "Jesus" massacres people under his pseudonym "Yahweh" or B) demonstrate how to reasonably discern between the true scriptures and the false scriptures.

Keep in mind that according to the ONLY writings that tell you about Jesus, he believed and worshiped the terrible character that is the god of the old testament that is demonstrably NOT love, and that has consistently been the driving force behind atrocities. Belief in such a god allows the believers to be manipulated to do evil (as has been demonstrated over and over again). Thus belief IS bad.

I left Judaism out earlier because Jews dont think the Jesus mentioned by the other two faiths is the one who their text refers to.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 20, 2013, 09:36:29 AM
"god only helps those that help themselves"

(http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Disturbing%20Truths/starving_child-sudan2.jpg)

HELP YOURSELF KIDDO!! Yahweh says to...
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 09:47:14 AM
After the catastrophic effects that religion has had on this planet over the past several thousands of years, durned tootin' I'm going to ask for evidence rather than rely on someone's subjective touchy-feely religious woo-woo say-so.


Religion is not belief. It is the dividing of belief. I'll help you get rid of religion anyway I can, I will not help you get rid of God.

Quote
If your god were real, we should be able to find it.  Ditto for "souls" -- No evidence that a "soul" is anything more than a mind operation that ponders things like love, purpose and other emotional abstractions.

Why should it have to come to us?  If it's that powerful, we should be able to detect it.  Why is there no physical trace of it anywhere the instrumentation of humanity can reach?  Even if it were hiding in "another" universe, in order for it to affect us in any way it has to have at least one point of contact with this universe.

There is no such point of contact identified; at least, we have yet to find such.  There is no unexplained energy imbalance where a god is piping in "miracles" and otherwise disturbing the laws of physics.

You do realize we are talking about the most powerful force in the universe don't you. In your mind it may seem possible to track God down on some radar device, but in my mind it is not possible.

It would make things alot  easier wouldn't it? Well, maybe it's not supposed to be easy. Maybe it's supposed to be hard as hell. That's why I believe there is a gift behind death's door. A gift that makes it all worthwhile!

Quote
How, um, very convenient.  If it can't bother to reveal itself to humanity, particularly to people who are at this very moment crying out to it for help with an emergent life-threatening situation, I think we should just dismiss it as undependable and get on with our lives.

The bottom line, Junebug, is that your subjective spiritual experiences do not hold the same value for us as they hold for you.  That does not necessarily alter their value to you, unless of course your happiness is somehow dependent on a consensus of uncritical yes-men.  If that is indeed the case -- If you actually feel diminished because we are not nodding our heads and saying that we believe you, I think that is vastly more damaging to your god hypothesis.  Please give this serious consideration.

I'm going to say again, that i think: God is not a man you can meet. God is the "SOURCE of All Life".  I don't think God's hiding from any of us, some people just don't see.  Maybe you have to go through enough life cycles, I don't know, I've never claimed to have all the answers. I am willing to share my heart and soul with you, so that you have something to judge belief on besides what you have seen so far. That's all.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 20, 2013, 10:33:14 AM
Wow, I'm really close to being "white light and fluffly bunnies"-ed to exhaustion on this.

junebug, I'm not sure if you caught the actual point of my post. The examples I gave you, two out of MILLIONS I could have used, show quite clearly that BELIEF IN GOD IS THE FORCE BEHIND THESE CHOICES. AND THESE CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR OTHER PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE THE SAME OPTIONS OR OPPORTUNITIES TO CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES. BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE HAS IMPOSED THEIR PERSONAL GOD BELIEFS ON THE VICTIMS OF THE OUTCOMES. There are victims, real human beings who's lives and opportunities to make choices are taken away from them by people who sincerely believe they are doing god's will. That's HARMFUL, no matter how you look at it.

Yes, it's the people who are actually doing the harm, I've never disputed that. BUT, the point you keep not seeing is that yes, believing in god(s) can be a VERY BAD THING INDEED when it causes people to harm others. Denying it because you personally are not oppressing anyone does not make it so.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 20, 2013, 10:39:24 AM
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into.  (Jonathan Swift)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 20, 2013, 10:52:38 AM
"It's like being beaten to death with feathers." (Rand al'Thor ;) )
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 11:09:42 AM
Jeff,

To pray means to, "ask God for help," in the spiritual arena does it not? I will say voting and contacting politicians that vote on behalf of corps. vs. pollution is a good start.

I still think the song is about; God is there when no one else is.

I don't think the character thought the volleyball was God.

Jaime,

I understand how you would feel that way about it. I follow many teachings and philosophies, Christians would call that blaspheme. I refuse to believe the Bible is the word of God. This condemns me to hell. Oh you know I'm a lesbian too. Although I am aware the Episcopalians have accepted the LGBT community. See I try and stay away from religious beliefs because I find it clouds your judgement.

I am not trying to shove anything down your throat. I have said several times here that I don't see anything wrong with your beliefs. I haven't the first time insulted you for being different from me so I don't know where you're coming from here.

Star,

I'm sure you can find several versions of how that happened.


Gawd,

We are supposed to help the helpless. Not by throwing money at it but really get rid of poverty. Get rid of greed.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 20, 2013, 11:50:01 AM
Wow, I'm really close to being "white light and fluffly bunnies"-ed to exhaustion on this.

junebug, I'm not sure if you caught the actual point of my post. The examples I gave you, two out of MILLIONS I could have used, show quite clearly that BELIEF IN GOD IS THE FORCE BEHIND THESE CHOICES. AND THESE CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR OTHER PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE THE SAME OPTIONS OR OPPORTUNITIES TO CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES. BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE HAS IMPOSED THEIR PERSONAL GOD BELIEFS ON THE VICTIMS OF THE OUTCOMES. There are victims, real human beings who's lives and opportunities to make choices are taken away from them by people who sincerely believe they are doing god's will. That's HARMFUL, no matter how you look at it.

Yes, it's the people who are actually doing the harm, I've never disputed that. BUT, the point you keep not seeing is that yes, believing in god(s) can be a VERY BAD THING INDEED when it causes people to harm others. Denying it because you personally are not oppressing anyone does not make it so.


I do see you're point. It can be a bad thing. I don't see how it can be belief itself if it does not affect us all the same.  There's something wrong indeed, I just don't think it's belief.

Here I'm gonna say something mean just for fun. Kiss my grits! :laugh:

Gotta go been at this awhile now.



Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 20, 2013, 12:07:25 PM
I don't see how it can be belief itself if it does not affect us all the same.  There's something wrong indeed, I just don't think it's belief.

I could have sworn that's exactly what I just explained.

It most certainly is belief. Because people believe what they want to believe, and then use "GOD" to justify it. That's show it works jb - people are really f'ing irrational that way. Of course it doesn't affect everyone the same way - if it was that simple, we the human species wouldn't have so many different versions of god beliefs in the first place! And we sure as shit wouldn't be willing to kill each other over them.

YOU may not be moved to do awful sh!t in the name of your god, but plenty of other people do it every single day. I provided links to demonstrate exactly how.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 20, 2013, 12:10:53 PM
And secondly, you must be able to demonstrate that your definition of god is correct, and my definition is wrong.  And - sorry to say - to do that, I rather suspect you will need to show some evidence.....

That is a subject for another thread.

Just to clarify: are you saying that you ARE prepared to demonstrate your definition of god is correct, and provide evidence to support it, in another thread?  If so I would be more than happy to discuss it with you in the debate room: the benefit to you there is that you would only be discussing it with me, and not have to field umpteen questions from several other participants.

Shall I request that a debate be set up for us Junebug?  Or are you, perhaps, using "this is not the thread to discuss evidence" as a shield.....?

Before we continue with that discussion, I must ask what your qualifications are. Are you an expert scientist ready to conduct experiments and if so what kind of experiments are we going to do? My "report"evidence was dismissed by screwey as legal evidence not scientific, but I am more than happy to cooperate with any expert scientist with knowledge and equipment. Maybe WE could solve the mystery once and for all!

I'm not the one dictating what a person can say and what they can't. This is a major reason I wouldn't want to live in an atheist environment, no freedom of speech.

The only experiment I have ever conducted is trying the philosophies I have mentioned in my life with very successful results. It would be my pleasure to share with you Anf.

I'll take that as a "yes" then - I'll get the debate set up.  Looking forward to it.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 20, 2013, 12:21:05 PM
Anfauglir:  What she wrote was confusing, I definitely agree there.

Reading it as "it isn't believing that causes problems" would also do the trick.

I hope that she realizes just why the words are so important now.  Just by putting the contraction in a different spot ("it's not believing" vs "it isn't believing") can change the whole meaning.

thx Jaime. I do a lot of proofreading and I can see how someone could misinterpret.

I never underestimate the power of words!!!

So, have I now correctly understood what you wrote, Junebug?

When you said "It means that it's not believing that causes problems", I read that as "it is unbelief that causes problems".  You meant "its not the belief that causes problems".  I really hope I've got that right this time?

So I'll try again:  your point is that "it isn't the belief in (a) god that causes the problems, its the people that cause the problems".  "Don't blame the belief, because its the person that is at fault, not the belief".

I think I've got that right, because you said that

a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief.

Have I grasped what you are saying?  Honestly, I'm trying hard to get your drift.

It's hard because - assuming I HAVE got it right so far - the sentence

a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief.

presumably applies both to those who do bad, and those who do good.  A person who is going to do good "(will) display the same behaviour with or without belief" also.  Which means that if we accept the premise that "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing", it also means that "Believing in God is Not a Good Thing"- simply, that "Believing in God has no effect on a person's behaviour".

But no - that can't be right, because you have asserted over and over again that Believing in God changed your behaviour quite dramatically, for the better.  So clearly somene who believes in god WILL change dramatically for the better, as a result of that belief. 

But.....you said that " a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief", because people are people.

But then you can't have changed as a result of your belief.....and you reinforce that up there:

.....a person who believes in god will act in a better way as a result, I suppose.....belief improves that person's life

That's not what that statement means

Can you see why I am confused, Junebug?  I truly, honestly do not understand what you are saying, because you so often say things that contradict other things that you have said.

Can you spell it out for me please?  Does belief in god change a person, yes or no?  Will people behave the same way whether or not they believe in god, yes or no?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 20, 2013, 02:35:14 PM
Sometimes I'm just too damn stubborn for my own good. This appears to be one of those times.....

Ok, trying again. jb, on the question of why it doesn't have the same impact on everyone, I offer this: people who, like yourself, are interested in the betterment of mankind are not the same people who are drawn to an oppressive expression of their god beliefs. They are far more likely to follow a belief system that is similar to your.

There are lots of other people in the world who are insecure, uncertain of their worth, and maybe even somewhat lost. Those people can and do easily fall prey to the worst kind - the exploiters.

Whether or not the exploiters actually believe in God is beside the point. The exploiters are very skilled, usually innately, in playing on people's fears and manipulating others for any number of reasons. And they use God beliefs to encourage others to take actions they would not otherwise take without that encouragement.

I know a lot of people who I think are generally very decent, who are completely irrational on the topic of homosexuality. And they use their God beliefs to excuse their oppressive actions against gay people. I live in Minnesota, and there was a ballot measure last year seeking to change our state constitution to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman. Some of the flat out lies told by ban supporters in their campaign literature were so transparent and idiotic that you'd think any dipsh!t with two critical thinking cells to rub together to form a spark would see through them. Turns out, I was underestimating how much people will buy into any stupidity that confirms their existing bias. It's either that, or there's a lot of people out there Hatin' for Jesus. Take your pick.

Since at present, the Supreme Court is dragging their feet trying to avoid making any decision at all, States are left to decide on their own. I volunteered to make voter calls in the  months leading up to the election, advocating to vote against the change (it would have been step one of two to a permanent ban on gay marriage in MN). Most of the people I spoke with were in agreement already, as MN tends to be somewhat liberal on civil rights issues. I was also making most of my calls in the metro area, and there's a lot more liberals there.

The (comparative) few who took the "ban it" side, IN EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE cited God beliefs as their primary reason. I sh!t you not, they voted to legalize discrimination because they firmly believe that God wanted them to. How does that NOT demonstrate my point? I'm as heterosexual as the day is long, and I find that beleif appalling - love is love, and why would we be discouraging it?. That people actually believe that God wants them to single out a group of people and treat them as somehow "less than" just leaves me exhausted, and sometime tearful.

For the record, I simply thanked them for their time and hung up. It didn't happen all that often, but it was extremely disheartening to hear it from anyone.

I honestly don't understand how you don't see the harm, I really don't. And I'm dead-certain that it's not from a lack of effort on my part.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 20, 2013, 05:13:42 PM

Gawd,

We are supposed to help the helpless. Not by throwing money at it but really get rid of poverty. Get rid of greed.

Well, that kid isnt going to live (truthfully he's probably dead by now) to see the end of greed, or poverty. He may have been the person to help with that problem had he EVER been given a chance at life... this is our fault as humans. But your god couldve snuck him a sandwich when no one was looking.  Coulda did the fish and bread trick that he did before (you can find that story in the bible).

Also, it is impossible to end poverty... why? Because Jesus said the poor would always be with us. So, since he said it, it either has to happen OR Jesus is a liar. Which is it JB; Jesus is a liar, or he forced poverty onto people by speaking it into existence?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Astreja on April 20, 2013, 08:03:09 PM
You do realize we are talking about the most powerful force in the universe don't you. In your mind it may seem possible to track God down on some radar device, but in my mind it is not possible.

I say again:  If it's the most powerful force in the universe, physical traces of its existence should literally be everywhere.  If we can see long-ago-exploded supernovas with the naked eye, why can't we see the manifestation of your god's power as it interacts with the physical universe?

Quote
Well, maybe it's not supposed to be easy. Maybe it's supposed to be hard as hell. That's why I believe there is a gift behind death's door. A gift that makes it all worthwhile!

And maybe your god just isn't there, and struggling to find something that never existed is just a waste of precious time.

If it's all the same to you, Junebug, I'm going to concentrate on this life rather than hoping against hope for another one.  I don't think there's anything behind death's door except death.  I have a strong conviction that there is no such thing as life after death, and that at best the molecules of our body may eventually find other gigs in other life forms. 

Quote
I am willing to share my heart and soul with you, so that you have something to judge belief on besides what you have seen so far. That's all.

Junebug, I think it's an extraordinarily bad idea for you to "share heart and soul" (and am also concerned that you might expose your innermost feelings to substantial ridicule, or at very least an intractably unsympathetic audience).

I have chosen evidence-based living over belief/faith for a reason... A very good reason.  I have found it to be more dependable, more satisfying, and on the whole a safer and more genuine way of living, than viewing reality from a faith point of view.

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: DumpsterFire on April 20, 2013, 11:41:03 PM
Your welcome Dump.  that's funny. :laugh: I think I'll nickname you Fire!
The only message boards I'd participated in prior to joining WWGHA were sports related, and I habitually used the same screen name. It works well on the sports boards as a reference to something that is just uncontrollably awful[1], but in retrospect it might have been wiser to choose something a little less goofy for this site. But I suppose its good for some LULz, and I'm not someone who digs being serious all the time, so I guess I'll hang on to it. Feel free to call me whatever variation of it you wish, although "Fire" is probably the most flattering of them :), and "Dump" the least. Oh well.
 1. example: "When we won our first 3 games I thought we were Super Bowl contenders, but then Johnson blew out his knee, we lost 5 in a row, and the season turned into a total dumpster fire."
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 21, 2013, 12:27:29 AM
I honestly don't understand how you don't see the harm, I really don't. And I'm dead-certain that it's not from a lack of effort on my part.
I do.  People think in representative symbols.  For example, the people you talked to who supported that marriage amendment for religious reasons?  To them, "homosexuality" is symbolic.  It represents Original Sin (disobedience to the dictates of God) to them, in addition to being something that God hated so much that he nuked a town to get rid of it.  As long as they have the symbolic meaning fixed in their heads, rational arguments won't really work that well.  They just bounce off of their mental armor, because they can't see how it (in this case homosexuality) could be anything but what they already know it is.

The key is to get them to realize that a symbol can have multiple meanings.  The meaning they have in their minds is not going to apply to everyone.  Not everyone is capable of doing this, though.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 21, 2013, 02:24:04 AM
The only message boards I'd participated in prior to joining WWGHA were sports related, and I habitually used the same screen name.

This made me giggle a bit. My name came from a sports forum as well, as a social experiment. It's actually kind of a joke that stuck.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 21, 2013, 02:33:51 AM
I honestly don't understand how you don't see the harm, I really don't. And I'm dead-certain that it's not from a lack of effort on my part.
I do.  People think in representative symbols.  For example, the people you talked to who supported that marriage amendment for religious reasons?  To them, "homosexuality" is symbolic.  It represents Original Sin (disobedience to the dictates of God) to them, in addition to being something that God hated so much that he nuked a town to get rid of it.  As long as they have the symbolic meaning fixed in their heads, rational arguments won't really work that well.  They just bounce off of their mental armor, because they can't see how it (in this case homosexuality) could be anything but what they already know it is.

The key is to get them to realize that a symbol can have multiple meanings.  The meaning they have in their minds is not going to apply to everyone.  Not everyone is capable of doing this, though.

I think I'm going to have to walk away from this one. I've got too much school-related work as the semester winds down, and I'm clearly still not getting through. Time to be done.

You make a very good point. I also got an accidental neuro-linguistic anchor out of that by misreading mental as metal, and then catching my error. It blurred into a sort of cartoon suit of armor in my minds eye that is now linked to a certain type of believer. I'm not sure if that's going to serve me well or not, but it's amusing me right at the moment!

There's no denying the power of symbolism. I like the way you think.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 21, 2013, 05:17:58 AM
Wow, I'm really close to being "white light and fluffly bunnies"-ed to exhaustion on this.

junebug, I'm not sure if you caught the actual point of my post. The examples I gave you, two out of MILLIONS I could have used, show quite clearly that BELIEF IN GOD IS THE FORCE BEHIND THESE CHOICES. AND THESE CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR OTHER PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE THE SAME OPTIONS OR OPPORTUNITIES TO CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES. BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE HAS IMPOSED THEIR PERSONAL GOD BELIEFS ON THE VICTIMS OF THE OUTCOMES. There are victims, real human beings who's lives and opportunities to make choices are taken away from them by people who sincerely believe they are doing god's will. That's HARMFUL, no matter how you look at it.

Yes, it's the people who are actually doing the harm, I've never disputed that. BUT, the point you keep not seeing is that yes, believing in god(s) can be a VERY BAD THING INDEED when it causes people to harm others. Denying it because you personally are not oppressing anyone does not make it so.

I really do not see what you're so upset with  Jag. All the bold capital letters give me the impression of anger. I think the only thing we disagree on is the cause of it all. I say it is religion. That you have less of a chance to have a "genuine" relationship to God, that it is religion that divides us not belief. Belief is the 1 thing they all have in common. At the birth of belief it's only belief, religion is what dictates all the disagreements. It is my purpose in life to get these people to realize that God created us all, Loves us all, and would really appreciate it if we'd quit bickering over religion. I'm telling you that it was only after I gave up religion I started to understand God. It's been a long time now but when I was a girl in church 1 of the only sermons that has stayed with me through the years is the 1 on religion. It's in the bible. I'll see if I can find it. It's in 1 of those letter books.  It's Galatians chapter 1 and James 1:26,27. I looked that up in my Dad's bible and those vs. are still highlighted from that sermon. Had a moment there. Matter of fact caught several good messages from Paul to his students that have been blatantly ignored throughout the years. I especially liked the one about the "wicked tongue".  That's the same philosophy I read about and use in my own life in the "Four Agreements." 

That's why I throw feathers, because I understand the power of words. The Bible does touch on the subject but I've never seen it put as eloquently as it was in that book.

See that's the kind of leader I want to see lead. It's going to take a courageous person. I thought Obama might get the job done but it seems we're more divided than ever!(you won't convince me it has nothing to do with skin color and money) He needs to get his butt out there and talk to the people in this country. Bring us together. State Governments, city and county, they all need to do some "soul searching." Lead people Lead. I don't see much of any of them; only segments on the news where they seem to just add more controversy. Matters that concern the air we breathe, water we drink and food we eat should be voted on by "we the people."

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 21, 2013, 05:35:17 AM
I think the only thing we disagree on is the cause of it all. I say it is religion. That you have less of a chance to have a "genuine" relationship to God, that it is religion that divides us not belief. Belief is the 1 thing they all have in common. At the birth of belief it's only belief, religion is what dictates all the disagreements. It is my purpose in life to get these people to realize that God created us all, Loves us all, and would really appreciate it if we'd quit bickering over religion.

So you have a tenet (god created us all), a specified desire of that god (that it loves us all), and an instruction from that god (stop bickering).  How is what you are trying to get people to accept NOT a religion?

Jag is saying that the people he spoke to have tenets (god did not create homosexuality), a specified desire of that god (that nobody is homosexual), and an instruction from that god (do what you can to prevent homosexuality).  You claim that all that is a religon, not a belief.  How does it differ from the class of things that YOU have taken as your purpose to get people to accept?

You have created a religion just as much as any other Junebug.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 21, 2013, 05:44:15 AM
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into.  (Jonathan Swift)

I am not unreasonable. Quite the opposite star. Quite the opposite. I looked it up and my picture was there!!! lol Along with Aristotle and a few others!!!

Boy you are a real smarty pants! :o
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 21, 2013, 05:50:24 AM
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into.  (Jonathan Swift)

I am not unreasonable. Quite the opposite star. Quite the opposite. I looked it up and my picture was there!!! lol Along with Aristotle and a few others!!!

Boy you are a real smarty pants! :o
[/quote
the quote doesnt insinuate that you are an unreasonable person, but this thing about god you didnt come to through reason (it was faith of sorts) so being that you did not come to it through reason and in spite of reason, its likely that using reason to get you out will be ineffective.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 21, 2013, 06:16:35 AM
It is my purpose in life to get these people to realize that God created us all, Loves us all, and would really appreciate it if we'd quit bickering over religion.

And do you not think that this is what every leader of every mad cult says? "Quite bickering and agree with me!"

As a side note, nowhere in the Bible does God say He loves us all.

Quote
Matters that concern the air we breathe, water we drink and food we eat should be voted on by "we the people."

Do you really want mob rule by those who cannot understand science and listen to the tribal god of the Israelites?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 21, 2013, 06:28:49 AM
I say again:  If it's the most powerful force in the universe, physical traces of its existence should literally be everywhere.  If we can see long-ago-exploded supernovas with the naked eye, why can't we see the manifestation of your god's power as it interacts with the physical universe?

It is Astre, It is!!! I would think God is composed of all the elements!

I think seeing that neutron star, I hope I got that right, is the Power of God.

Quote
And maybe your god just isn't there, and struggling to find something that never existed is just a waste of precious time.

I've got Peace, Joy and Wisdom, How have I wasted my time?

Quote
If it's all the same to you, Junebug, I'm going to concentrate on this life rather than hoping against hope for another one.  I don't think there's anything behind death's door except death.  I have a strong conviction that there is no such thing as life after death, and that at best the molecules of our body may eventually find other gigs in other life forms.

I do not feel informed enough to give up my precious "hope."

Quote
Junebug, I think it's an extraordinarily bad idea for you to "share heart and soul" (and am also concerned that you might expose your innermost feelings to substantial ridicule, or at very least an intractably unsympathetic audience).

I have chosen evidence-based living over belief/faith for a reason... A very good reason.  I have found it to be more dependable, more satisfying, and on the whole a safer and more genuine way of living, than viewing reality from a faith point of view.

I do not believe you are unsympathetic.

I am glad you have chosen a way of life that makes you happy.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 21, 2013, 06:32:47 AM
Be back in about 20-30 mins.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Ambassador Pony on April 21, 2013, 06:53:18 AM
Hey, Junebug, what's the illuminati, and are they real?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 21, 2013, 07:09:50 AM
So, broadly, June, your go is the entirety of the universe is it? In which case why not just call it the universe as we do and eliminate teh word god altogether?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 21, 2013, 08:47:26 AM

So, have I now correctly understood what you wrote, Junebug?

When you said "It means that it's not believing that causes problems", I read that as "it is unbelief that causes problems".  You meant "its not the belief that causes problems".  I really hope I've got that right this time?

So I'll try again:  your point is that "it isn't the belief in (a) god that causes the problems, its the people that cause the problems".  "Don't blame the belief, because its the person that is at fault, not the belief".

I think I've got that right, because you said that

Have I grasped what you are saying?  Honestly, I'm trying hard to get your drift.

It's hard because - assuming I HAVE got it right so far - the sentence

a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief.
Quote
presumably applies both to those who do bad, and those who do good.  A person who is going to do good "(will) display the same behaviour with or without belief" also.  Which means that if we accept the premise that "Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing", it also means that "Believing in God is Not a Good Thing"- simply, that "Believing in God has no effect on a person's behaviour".

But no - that can't be right, because you have asserted over and over again that Believing in God changed your behaviour quite dramatically, for the better.  So clearly somene who believes in god WILL change dramatically for the better, as a result of that belief. 

But.....you said that " a person (will) display the same behaviour with or without belief", because people are people.

But then you can't have changed as a result of your belief.....and you reinforce that up there:

The change happened when I gave God my trust, not my belief. I do trust because I have belief.

.....a person who believes in god will act in a better way as a result, I suppose.....belief improves that person's life

That's not what that statement means

Quote
Can you see why I am confused, Junebug?  I truly, honestly do not understand what you are saying, because you so often say things that contradict other things that you have said.

Can you spell it out for me please?  Does belief in god change a person, yes or no?  Will people behave the same way whether or not they believe in god, yes or no?

Yes it can.

Yes.

I did not properly articulate my thoughts clearly enough, but I think to use the word "often" you should provide at least 3 examples.



Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 21, 2013, 08:56:28 AM
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into.  (Jonathan Swift)

I am not unreasonable. Quite the opposite star. Quite the opposite. I looked it up and my picture was there!!! lol Along with Aristotle and a few others!!!

Boy you are a real smarty pants! :o
[/quote
the quote doesnt insinuate that you are an unreasonable person, but this thing about god you didnt come to through reason (it was faith of sorts) so being that you did not come to it through reason and in spite of reason, its likely that using reason to get you out will be ineffective.

I have spent 25 years reasoning. It don't go faith then belief, it's belief then faith.



Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 21, 2013, 09:00:45 AM
Hey, Junebug, what's the illuminati, and are they real?

The only time I heard of illuminati is from the movie "The Davinci Code."
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 21, 2013, 09:08:17 AM
So, broadly, June, your go is the entirety of the universe is it? In which case why not just call it the universe as we do and eliminate teh word god altogether?

Not quite wheels, to me God is the source of the universe. God knows why and how all things are. I love to call God; Master of the Universe.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 21, 2013, 09:33:32 AM
Sometimes I'm just too damn stubborn for my own good. This appears to be one of those times.....

Ok, trying again. jb, on the question of why it doesn't have the same impact on everyone, I offer this: people who, like yourself, are interested in the betterment of mankind are not the same people who are drawn to an oppressive expression of their god beliefs. They are far more likely to follow a belief system that is similar to your.

There are lots of other people in the world who are insecure, uncertain of their worth, and maybe even somewhat lost. Those people can and do easily fall prey to the worst kind - the exploiters.

Whether or not the exploiters actually believe in God is beside the point. The exploiters are very skilled, usually innately, in playing on people's fears and manipulating others for any number of reasons. And they use God beliefs to encourage others to take actions they would not otherwise take without that encouragement.

I know a lot of people who I think are generally very decent, who are completely irrational on the topic of homosexuality. And they use their God beliefs to excuse their oppressive actions against gay people. I live in Minnesota, and there was a ballot measure last year seeking to change our state constitution to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman. Some of the flat out lies told by ban supporters in their campaign literature were so transparent and idiotic that you'd think any dipsh!t with two critical thinking cells to rub together to form a spark would see through them. Turns out, I was underestimating how much people will buy into any stupidity that confirms their existing bias. It's either that, or there's a lot of people out there Hatin' for Jesus. Take your pick.

Since at present, the Supreme Court is dragging their feet trying to avoid making any decision at all, States are left to decide on their own. I volunteered to make voter calls in the  months leading up to the election, advocating to vote against the change (it would have been step one of two to a permanent ban on gay marriage in MN). Most of the people I spoke with were in agreement already, as MN tends to be somewhat liberal on civil rights issues. I was also making most of my calls in the metro area, and there's a lot more liberals there.

The (comparative) few who took the "ban it" side, IN EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE cited God beliefs as their primary reason. I sh!t you not, they voted to legalize discrimination because they firmly believe that God wanted them to. How does that NOT demonstrate my point? I'm as heterosexual as the day is long, and I find that beleif appalling - love is love, and why would we be discouraging it?. That people actually believe that God wants them to single out a group of people and treat them as somehow "less than" just leaves me exhausted, and sometime tearful.

For the record, I simply thanked them for their time and hung up. It didn't happen all that often, but it was extremely disheartening to hear it from anyone.

I honestly don't understand how you don't see the harm, I really don't. And I'm dead-certain that it's not from a lack of effort on my part.

Jag first of all let me thank you for your time. You have not spent it in vain. I have tried to tell you that I cry over the same things as you do. I do not understand how people can think God wants gay people banished or black people enslaved or women burnt at the stakes. What I do know is that it's my belief that tells me they're dead wrong.

I think, hope, that we can agree on a summary such as this one.

That belief can be bad, because it can make a person vulnerable to conniving, devious, bad people.

That belief can be good when used for good.

So we're both right and we're both wrong.

I would really like to get past this part into how we can together help our world with our beliefs intact.  We are all good people here and I simply wanted you all to see that not all believers are the same. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 21, 2013, 10:54:14 AM
Wow, I'm really close to being "white light and fluffly bunnies"-ed to exhaustion on this.

junebug, I'm not sure if you caught the actual point of my post. The examples I gave you, two out of MILLIONS I could have used, show quite clearly that BELIEF IN GOD IS THE FORCE BEHIND THESE CHOICES. AND THESE CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR OTHER PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE THE SAME OPTIONS OR OPPORTUNITIES TO CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES. BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE HAS IMPOSED THEIR PERSONAL GOD BELIEFS ON THE VICTIMS OF THE OUTCOMES. There are victims, real human beings who's lives and opportunities to make choices are taken away from them by people who sincerely believe they are doing god's will. That's HARMFUL, no matter how you look at it.

Yes, it's the people who are actually doing the harm, I've never disputed that. BUT, the point you keep not seeing is that yes, believing in god(s) can be a VERY BAD THING INDEED when it causes people to harm others. Denying it because you personally are not oppressing anyone does not make it so.

I really do not see what you're so upset with  Jag. All the bold capital letters give me the impression of anger.

You're reading too much into the formatting if you think the bolded words indicate anger - they are meant to draw attention to specific words.

I think the only thing we disagree on is the cause of it all. I say it is religion.

Which stems from god beliefs (with a few exceptions such as Buddhism). Religions causes people to act "in the name of God". See the connection between them yet?

See that's the kind of leader I want to see lead. It's going to take a courageous person. I thought Obama might get the job done but it seems we're more divided than ever!(you won't convince me it has nothing to do with skin color and money) He needs to get his butt out there and talk to the people in this country. Bring us together. State Governments, city and county, they all need to do some "soul searching." Lead people Lead. I don't see much of any of them; only segments on the news where they seem to just add more controversy. Matters that concern the air we breathe, water we drink and food we eat should be voted on by "we the people."

jb, you  don't even see that you are unwittingly making my point for me.

You're still sitting here waiting for someone else to step up and lead. So are almost all the other people on the planet, as near as I can tell. And far, far too many of them do nothing because they are waiting for someone else. And far, far too many of them believe  that the someone else they're waiting for is God.

In your case its apparently up to Obama to "bring us all together" even though "we're more divided than ever!(you won't convince me it has nothing to do with skin color and money)". So, what? You gonna wait another four years for it to be someone else's turn to do a job that is impossible by your own observation*? <---*emphasis to point out double standard you employed right there.

What are you waiting FOR jb? What are you and all the other believers waiting for? I don't give a sh!t if you pray, but then get up off your knees and do something of practical use - you claim repeatedly that you don't think God is going to intervene, so just what in the hell are you waiting for? How is your claimed purpose (demonstrating that god beliefs are good) best served by arguing with us about whether or not god exists, but just doesn't want to help because <whateverwhatever into perpetuity>. Lots of us are well informed people who take action in the real world to improve real world outcomes.These troops here are already rallied, as it were. It appears to be believers who are standing in the way of progress.

If you really want us to agree that god beliefs are good things, well honey, actions speak louder than words.

I simply can't make it any more clear than that.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Ambassador Pony on April 21, 2013, 12:42:55 PM
Hey, Junebug, what's the illuminati, and are they real?

The only time I heard of illuminati is from the movie "The Davinci Code."

hmm. One more question: have you ever been prescribed medication for mental illness of any kind?

I am aware of the stigma concerning mental illness, and it is completely understandable if you choose not to respond to that question. However, I think it may have some bearing on this discussion.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 21, 2013, 02:38:07 PM
junebug, here's something to consider.  Let's take two people who do the same thing - say, feeding a starving child, for the sake of argument.  One does it because they believe that's what their god wants them to do, and the other does it because they want to ease the suffering of a fellow human being.  Which one was morally superior?

There's no 'gotcha' in this question.  I simply want to know what you think the answer is.  Once you've answered, I'll elaborate.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 21, 2013, 04:25:12 PM
I would really like to get past this part into how we can together help our world with our beliefs intact.  We are all good people here and I simply wanted you all to see that not all believers are the same.
Why are beliefs so important to you, or at least important enough to want to keep them intact?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 22, 2013, 03:36:31 AM
Can you spell it out for me please?  Does belief in god change a person, yes or no? 
Will people behave the same way whether or not they believe in god, yes or no?

Yes it can.

Yes.

Those two sentences appear to be mutually exclusive.  Can you explain how belief in god changes a person - but that they will still stay the same?

Your get-out seems to hinge on the "it can" part.  Your get out is that some people will believe in god, but not change their attitudes as a result.  But then, you are saying that belief in god can have NO effect on a person at all.  It is therefore hardly correct to say that "belief in god is not a bad thing" if it is possible to believe, but continue to be a bad person.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 05:44:44 AM

Gawd,

We are supposed to help the helpless. Not by throwing money at it but really get rid of poverty. Get rid of greed.

Well, that kid isnt going to live (truthfully he's probably dead by now) to see the end of greed, or poverty. He may have been the person to help with that problem had he EVER been given a chance at life... this is our fault as humans. But your god couldve snuck him a sandwich when no one was looking.  Coulda did the fish and bread trick that he did before (you can find that story in the bible).

Also, it is impossible to end poverty... why? Because Jesus said the poor would always be with us. So, since he said it, it either has to happen OR Jesus is a liar. Which is it JB; Jesus is a liar, or he forced poverty onto people by speaking it into existence?

This child needs a home, Love, and food to be saved. This child obviously has no one. He could also be referring to orphans and disabled.  I am also sure that He said to take care of them right after. There are several Christian Ministries around the world feeding and sheltering children such as this one. 100's of millions donated, Bill Gates and other Atheists and there's still these pictures. How, How in the world? It has become a business, that's how. If we ever get all those kids fed, they don't get any more moolah!! That's why I continuously say you have to get rid of GREED. Greed is the enemy not belief. 

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 05:52:57 AM
Hey, Junebug, what's the illuminati, and are they real?

The only time I heard of illuminati is from the movie "The Davinci Code."

hmm. One more question: have you ever been prescribed medication for mental illness of any kind?

I am aware of the stigma concerning mental illness, and it is completely understandable if you choose not to respond to that question. However, I think it may have some bearing on this discussion.

So now I see where the mods get it from. Your sarcasm is more successful at making you look bad. Perfect example of how bad leadership can spoil the whole bunch. How is what you're doing here ANY different from what you claim to be against. Talk about a double standard!

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 06:10:17 AM
You're reading too much into the formatting if you think the bolded words indicate anger - they are meant to draw attention to specific words.


Which stems from god beliefs (with a few exceptions such as Buddhism). Religions causes people to act "in the name of God". See the connection between them yet?


jb, you  don't even see that you are unwittingly making my point for me.

You're still sitting here waiting for someone else to step up and lead. So are almost all the other people on the planet, as near as I can tell. And far, far too many of them do nothing because they are waiting for someone else. And far, far too many of them believe  that the someone else they're waiting for is God.

In your case its apparently up to Obama to "bring us all together" even though "we're more divided than ever!(you won't convince me it has nothing to do with skin color and money)". So, what? You gonna wait another four years for it to be someone else's turn to do a job that is impossible by your own observation*? <---*emphasis to point out double standard you employed right there.

What are you waiting FOR jb? What are you and all the other believers waiting for? I don't give a sh!t if you pray, but then get up off your knees and do something of practical use - you claim repeatedly that you don't think God is going to intervene, so just what in the hell are you waiting for? How is your claimed purpose (demonstrating that god beliefs are good) best served by arguing with us about whether or not god exists, but just doesn't want to help because <whateverwhatever into perpetuity>. Lots of us are well informed people who take action in the real world to improve real world outcomes.These troops here are already rallied, as it were. It appears to be believers who are standing in the way of progress.

If you really want us to agree that god beliefs are good things, well honey, actions speak louder than words.

I simply can't make it any more clear than that.

I am doing what I can Jag. I mean think about what you're saying. I don't possess the right anything to be taken seriously as a local candidate much less President of the United States. I have changed the minds of my family, and trust me that has not been an easy task, and others that I have encountered in my life. So Forgive if I'm offended by that remark. There are a lot of believers out there doing, not waiting on prayer. Perhaps your judgement has been clouded by your hatred for belief. Do you really need some links to see all the action, if so I'll get you some. You're so focused on seeing belief as bad that you don't see the good.

I'm going to say here again that GREED is the enemy not BELIEF. Greed is what manipulates religion for profit. Greed causes poverty, poverty causes desperation, desperation causes violence. Greed is the enemy.

GREED IS A BAD THING.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: wheels5894 on April 22, 2013, 06:18:30 AM
"GREED IS  ABAD THING"

Then there's a lot to change about US politics, June!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 06:23:20 AM
I would really like to get past this part into how we can together help our world with our beliefs intact.  We are all good people here and I simply wanted you all to see that not all believers are the same.
Why are beliefs so important to you, or at least important enough to want to keep them intact?

I am preparing my spirit for the afterlife. I want to know why I am here. You know the reason for it all. I have said before I would give it up if I thought it would save mankind but I believe quite the opposite. I believe mankind needs to realize we need to evolve our knowledge of God and that we can't rely on 1 book to do that. That our chances of understanding will be increased 100 times if we combine our energy instead of divide it with religions.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 06:28:51 AM
"GREED IS  ABAD THING"

Then there's a lot to change about US politics, June!

Hey Wheels, good morning!

You Got That Right! Sure Got That Right!

I'm going to agree with suggestions that I've heard on Link and FSTV. We need to start with campaign contributions. This is where it all begins!

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 22, 2013, 06:36:03 AM
"GREED IS  ABAD THING"

Then there's a lot to change about US politics, June!

We need to start with campaign contributions. This is where it all begins!

Yeah?  But:

.....It has become a business, that's how. If we ever get all those kids fed, they don't get any more moolah!! That's why I continuously say you have to get rid of GREED. Greed is the enemy not belief. 

If we ever get "those guys" elected, they don't get any more moolah.....your solution to the problems involved in giving money appear to be ..... giving money to someone else.  Have I missed something? 

I've got money to give.  What makes the people you want me to give money to a better option than the people you DON'T want me to give money to?  What makes one a better option than the other?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 06:50:58 AM
Can you spell it out for me please?  Does belief in god change a person, yes or no? 
Will people behave the same way whether or not they believe in god, yes or no?

Yes it can.

Yes.



Those two sentences appear to be mutually exclusive.  Can you explain how belief in god changes a person - but that they will still stay the same?

Your get-out seems to hinge on the "it can" part.  Your get out is that some people will believe in god, but not change their attitudes as a result.  But then, you are saying that belief in god can have NO effect on a person at all.  It is therefore hardly correct to say that "belief in god is not a bad thing" if it is possible to believe, but continue to be a bad person.

Nobody's trying to get out. It's an honest answer. It can. Believing doesn't make you good or bad, that's why I keep saying it's not the belief. It's like anything else you own, you chose what to do with it. Some people chose to do good, some bad. Even the ones that chose bad do so out of fear, ie sacrifice, condemning people to hell,protesting at the funerals of dead soldiers,etc., all out of fear for their own soul.  Taking belief away will just make them more afraid, more desperate, and the worst of all hopeless as well as it's an impossible task. So shall we say FEAR is a bad thing. 

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Mrjason on April 22, 2013, 06:56:07 AM
Agreed JB, fear is a bad thing but its still no reason to make stuff up.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 22, 2013, 06:56:20 AM
Nobody's trying to get out. It's an honest answer. It can. Believing doesn't make you good or bad, that's why I keep saying it's not the belief. It's like anything else you own, you chose what to do with it. Some people chose to do good, some bad. Even the ones that chose bad do so out of fear, ie sacrifice, condemning people to hell,protesting at the funerals of dead soldiers,etc., all out of fear for their own soul.  Taking belief away will just make them more afraid, more desperate, and the worst of all hopeless as well as it's an impossible task. So shall we say FEAR is a bad thing.

Then the statement "believing in god is not a bad thing" is meaningless, given what you have said here.

"Believing doesn't make you good or bad."
"Some people chose to do good, some bad."

Means that the two statements:
.     Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
and
.     Believing in God is Not a Good Thing
are equivalent.  One could summarise them by saying that
.     Believing in God is Neither a Good nor a Bad Thing - it is an Irrelevant Thing
at least according to what you have said here.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 06:59:05 AM
"GREED IS  ABAD THING"

Then there's a lot to change about US politics, June!

We need to start with campaign contributions. This is where it all begins!

Yeah?  But:

.....It has become a business, that's how. If we ever get all those kids fed, they don't get any more moolah!! That's why I continuously say you have to get rid of GREED. Greed is the enemy not belief. 

If we ever get "those guys" elected, they don't get any more moolah.....your solution to the problems involved in giving money appear to be ..... giving money to someone else.  Have I missed something? 

I've got money to give.  What makes the people you want me to give money to a better option than the people you DON'T want me to give money to?  What makes one a better option than the other?

No that's not what I'm saying at all. Try reading it again. I say we fix nothing with money, money is the problem.  That to get politicians to start voting for "we the people" that there needs to be an end put to campaign contributions or any of the "fringe benefits" offered by lobbyist.

Who have I asked you to give money to?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 22, 2013, 07:03:15 AM
No that's not what I'm saying at all. Try reading it again. I say we fix nothing with money, money is the problem.  That to get politicians to start voting for "we the people" that there needs to be an end put to campaign contributions or any of the "fringe benefits" offered by lobbyist.

Who have I asked you to give money to?

Many apologies - I misunderstood.  I thought you wanted us to give campaign contributions to a particular party that you thought would lead us forward (as you hoped Obama would do).

Give no money to anyone - gotcha.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 07:04:50 AM
Nobody's trying to get out. It's an honest answer. It can. Believing doesn't make you good or bad, that's why I keep saying it's not the belief. It's like anything else you own, you chose what to do with it. Some people chose to do good, some bad. Even the ones that chose bad do so out of fear, ie sacrifice, condemning people to hell,protesting at the funerals of dead soldiers,etc., all out of fear for their own soul.  Taking belief away will just make them more afraid, more desperate, and the worst of all hopeless as well as it's an impossible task. So shall we say FEAR is a bad thing.

Then the statement "believing in god is not a bad thing" is meaningless, given what you have said here.

"Believing doesn't make you good or bad."
"Some people chose to do good, some bad."

Means that the two statements:
.     Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
and
.     Believing in God is Not a Good Thing
are equivalent.  One could summarise them by saying that
.     Believing in God is Neither a Good nor a Bad Thing - it is an Irrelevant Thing
at least according to what you have said here.

I don't think it's meaningless at all. To say it's neither good or bad is a very progressive idea. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 07:09:53 AM
No that's not what I'm saying at all. Try reading it again. I say we fix nothing with money, money is the problem.  That to get politicians to start voting for "we the people" that there needs to be an end put to campaign contributions or any of the "fringe benefits" offered by lobbyist.

Who have I asked you to give money to?

Many apologies - I misunderstood.  I thought you wanted us to give campaign contributions to a particular party that you thought would lead us forward (as you hoped Obama would do).

Give no money to anyone - gotcha.

Anf, I don't care what you do with your money. I'm just trying to make the point that it's not a cure.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 22, 2013, 07:24:51 AM
I love to call God; Master of the Universe.
Ah, one of [wiki]The Masters of the Universe[/wiki] and just as real! Is God American?

Of course God doesn't love us all:

(http://www.hoax-slayer.com/images/pulitzer1994-kevin-carter.jpg)

He hates African children but He helps you find your car-keys...
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Dante on April 22, 2013, 07:41:01 AM
I don't think it's meaningless at all. To say it's neither good or bad is a very progressive idea.

Progressive? In what way?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 07:46:15 AM
I don't think it's meaningless at all. To say it's neither good or bad is a very progressive idea.

Progressive? In what way?

That at the beginning I only saw good, Anf saw only bad, now we have progressed our thinking. We can both see Good and bad.


I love to call God; Master of the Universe.
Ah, one of [wiki]The Masters of the Universe[/wiki] and just as real! Is God American?

Of course God doesn't love us all:

(http://www.hoax-slayer.com/images/pulitzer1994-kevin-carter.jpg)

He hates African children but He helps you find your car-keys...

God has never helped me find my car keys. You show me these pictures and I say to you I see mankind's failure to God.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 22, 2013, 07:47:10 AM
Gotta go for now. Have a Wonderful Day!!! :)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 22, 2013, 08:10:39 AM

Then the statement "believing in god is not a bad thing" is meaningless, given what you have said here.

"Believing doesn't make you good or bad."
"Some people chose to do good, some bad."  

Means that the two statements:
.     Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
and
.     Believing in God is Not a Good Thing
are equivalent.  One could summarise them by saying that
.     Believing in God is Neither a Good nor a Bad Thing - it is an Irrelevant Thing
at least according to what you have said here.

I don't think it's meaningless at all. To say it's neither good or bad is a very progressive idea.

It is a meaningless statement because those two red statements MAKE it meaningless.  You've said that belief has no effect on what a person does - hence belief is meaningless.  Not just on god, no matter WHAT the belief is, it is meaningless.  If "belief in the Great Green Arkleseizure" has zero effect on a person, that whether or not they believe is a matter of complete indifference - and hence there can be no value statements made about that belief.

It would be progressive if I actually agreed with it - I don't.  I strongly disagree with the statement.  What I was trying to get you to grasp is that if you believe - as you have stated here - that "Believing doesn't make you good or bad", that believing does not change a person.....then the statement you made in the OP has no validity, makes no sense, is not worth making.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 22, 2013, 09:39:48 AM
Why are beliefs so important to you, or at least important enough to want to keep them intact?

I am preparing my spirit for the afterlife. I want to know why I am here. You know the reason for it all. I have said before I would give it up if I thought it would save mankind but I believe quite the opposite. I believe mankind needs to realize we need to evolve our knowledge of God and that we can't rely on 1 book to do that. That our chances of understanding will be increased 100 times if we combine our energy instead of divide it with religions.
And if god does not exist, how beneficial is that use of energy in evolving our knowledge of god?

What I take issue with is when you say that you want to keep your beliefs intact.  Wouldn't it be better to, rather than keeping beliefs intact, striving to assure what you believe is true?  It just seems a little backwards to me is all; if I have belief X, do I try to hold onto belief X, or do I try to continually determine if it makes sense to have belief X?

I think I finally have an answer to your original question based on this.  If 'believing in god' in anyway enables you to ascribe an inherent virtue in belief then it is a bad thing.  There is virtue in being able to believe things; there is virtue in allowing others to have other beliefs; there is no virtue in a belief itself.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 22, 2013, 09:43:59 AM
God has never helped me find my car keys. You show me these pictures and I say to you I see mankind's failure to God.
Just so we're clear -

If I'm standing next to a woman being raped and I just sit there browsing the interweb on my phone, you would take no ethical issue with me?  What is the lesson taught in the story of the Good Samaritan - that the priest and the Levite had no moral obligation and it was totally cool for them to walk by a dying man?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 22, 2013, 01:11:10 PM
I am doing what I can Jag. I mean think about what you're saying.
I AM thinking about what I'm saying jb, and all indication are that you are not. I've put several hours of my time into researching and writing the posts I've contributed to this topic. And you appear to have dismissed almost all of it with  "boohoo, people are mean but it's not their beliefs that make it so" - in what other circumstances would you try to say something so blatantly stupid? What is it you think motivates people, if not their beliefs? The bolded statements are for emphasis jb, not anger. And the last is a question I actually want you to answer please.

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I don't possess the right anything to be taken seriously as a local candidate much less President of the United States.
I'm not sure what you are trying to suggest here. but I'm going to go with - so what? You don't need to be the president to get out of the way of progress on human rights, and you will be taken as seriously as your ideas merit. If everyone contributes baby-step sized contributions, that's still progress.

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I have changed the minds of my family, and trust me that has not been an easy task, and others that I have encountered in my life. So Forgive if I'm offended by that remark.
If you are offended, you missed my point entirely. Again.

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There are a lot of believers out there doing, not waiting on prayer. Perhaps your judgement has been clouded by your hatred for belief. Do you really need some links to see all the action, if so I'll get you some. You're so focused on seeing belief as bad that you don't see the good.
There are also a lot of non-believers out there, not waiting on anything, myself among them. I'm well aware that believers do good things, I do volunteer work with lots of them. I don't have anything against believers - provided that their beliefs are not being imposed on other people. You will do well to learn to distinguish anger at situations caused by people and their mistaken ideas and anger at individuals. I freely admit to the first, and reject the second, at least in relation to this topic. You are not "hearing" me; you are filtering my words to fit your ideas, not the other way around.

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I'm going to say here again that GREED is the enemy...

Qualified agreement, as already explained repeatedly.

Quote
... not BELIEF. Greed is what manipulates religion for profit. Greed causes poverty, poverty causes desperation, desperation causes violence. Greed is the enemy.
Greed would have far less influence if believers didn't keep getting the message that they are the special-est special snowflake of all, especially since they all seem to think that the special-est special snowflake label only applies to others who share their exact same beliefs.

If you truly fail to grasp basic human nature so completely, I really wonder how you have survived to adulthood. The depths of your naivete are astounding.

Quote
GREED IS A BAD THING.

Well, duh.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 22, 2013, 01:29:23 PM
God has never helped me find my car keys. You show me these pictures and I say to you I see mankind's failure to God.

I have heard this callous argument 1000s of times. "Ooo God loves everyone. He wouldn't let African children die." But He does, doesn't he? Parts of Africa have more christians per head than the USA - but God still hates them.

So what does God do? I mean, what's his purpose? Why, despite prayers of crying mothers, do children die like this in their hundreds? And you believe in that god?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 22, 2013, 01:34:11 PM
Yes, the world appears exactly as it would if there were no god.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Jag on April 22, 2013, 03:04:34 PM
Since our junebug seems to believes that her subjective and baseless opinions deserve more credit that experts in their field, I respectfully submit the following link: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/21/study-finds-belief-in-free-market-economics-predicts-rejection-of-science/

And here is the link to the abstract of the study being referenced: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/03/25/0956797612457686.abstract

Now jb, please go take a look and then come back and tell me again that beliefs are not the root cause of the problems we've been discussing. God beliefs do not get a separate special and distinct consideration that defies every study ever conducted on how people behave and why, just because you want to keep your utterly subjective world view intact. Hold on to your belief that God is treating you well, but for the love of truth, stop insisting that those beliefs doesn't cause all kinds of problems because it doesn't seem to have that exact effect on YOU.

You are not representative of the entirety of believers, you represent a portion of them. YOUR beliefs may be mostly harmless to others, but that's been repeatedly demonstrated to be a false idea when you try to apply it to all other believers.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 04:44:07 AM
junebug, here's something to consider.  Let's take two people who do the same thing - say, feeding a starving child, for the sake of argument.  One does it because they believe that's what their god wants them to do, and the other does it because they want to ease the suffering of a fellow human being.  Which one was morally superior?

There's no 'gotcha' in this question.  I simply want to know what you think the answer is.  Once you've answered, I'll elaborate.

I think they are equal. It doesn't matter what motivates you to do moral deeds, it's that you do them that counts!

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 05:02:44 AM
Agreed JB, fear is a bad thing but its still no reason to make stuff up.

Have you ever been afraid for your life? I would argue that fear causes people to do all kinds of crazy things. I mean just look at Dooms Day Preppers 1 time, those people practice drinking pee just in case. I would think most studies on the subject will back up what I'm saying here. 

I think it is obvious that we all handle our fears in different ways. Some people overcome them, others succomb.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 05:21:17 AM

Then the statement "believing in god is not a bad thing" is meaningless, given what you have said here.

"Believing doesn't make you good or bad."
"Some people chose to do good, some bad."  

Means that the two statements:
.     Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
and
.     Believing in God is Not a Good Thing
are equivalent.  One could summarise them by saying that
.     Believing in God is Neither a Good nor a Bad Thing - it is an Irrelevant Thing
at least according to what you have said here.

I don't think it's meaningless at all. To say it's neither good or bad is a very progressive idea.

It is a meaningless statement because those two red statements MAKE it meaningless.  You've said that belief has no effect on what a person does - hence belief is meaningless.  Not just on god, no matter WHAT the belief is, it is meaningless. 

It would be progressive if I actually agreed with it - I don't.  I strongly disagree with the statement.  What I was trying to get you to grasp is that if you believe - as you have stated here - that "Believing doesn't make you good or bad", that believing does not change a person.....then the statement you made in the OP has no validity, makes no sense, is not worth making.

That's a matter of opinion. It's not meaningless to me. I have no trouble "grasping" your words, I just don't agree, I think you know how that feels, you don't agree with me either.

I think it proves that it's not belief that is at the root of human suffering, so your time might be better spent fighting GREED, the real enemy.  We don't have to agree on beliefs to work together to fight Greed!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Mrjason on April 23, 2013, 05:28:54 AM
I think it proves that it's not belief that is at the root of human suffering, so your time might be better spent fighting GREED, the real enemy.  We don't have to agree on beliefs to work together to fight Greed!

Do you think that people will be less inclined to fight greed if they believe that everyone will get what's coming to them in the end via the "judgement"?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 05:45:08 AM
God has never helped me find my car keys. You show me these pictures and I say to you I see mankind's failure to God.

I have heard this callous argument 1000s of times. "Ooo God loves everyone. He wouldn't let African children die." But He does, doesn't he? Parts of Africa have more christians per head than the USA - but God still hates them.

So what does God do? I mean, what's his purpose? Why, despite prayers of crying mothers, do children die like this in their hundreds? And you believe in that god?


I think it's mankind doing the hating. It is mankind's responsibility to change. Mankind needs to learn from the mistakes we make.

I think God keeps balance in the universe and protects Mother Earth. God's purpose I would describe as Life. God has given us free will along with that life in order to deserve the knowledge and freedom that's offered in the afterlife.

Here's a question for you. Would you really prefer to not have free will and be just a puppet on a string, every choice, every action dictated by God?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Ambassador Pony on April 23, 2013, 06:05:41 AM
Hey, Junebug, what's the illuminati, and are they real?

The only time I heard of illuminati is from the movie "The Davinci Code."

hmm. One more question: have you ever been prescribed medication for mental illness of any kind?

I am aware of the stigma concerning mental illness, and it is completely understandable if you choose not to respond to that question. However, I think it may have some bearing on this discussion.

So now I see where the mods get it from. Your sarcasm is more successful at making you look bad. Perfect example of how bad leadership can spoil the whole bunch. How is what you're doing here ANY different from what you claim to be against. Talk about a double standard!

None at all. I feel it is not fair for people with diagnoses of mental illness to be treated in all situations, such as this one, as if they did not have a disability. They should be treated according to their pathology, fairly. Differentiation is key. I think people may be being to hard on you because they are not aware of a crucial element. Your misunderstanding is understandable because of the stigma attached to such illnesses. If you have a disability beyond your control, I do not think it makes you look bad, I think it has the potential to make those arguing with you look bad, however. 

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 06:17:18 AM
Why are beliefs so important to you, or at least important enough to want to keep them intact?

I am preparing my spirit for the afterlife. I want to know why I am here. You know the reason for it all. I have said before I would give it up if I thought it would save mankind but I believe quite the opposite. I believe mankind needs to realize we need to evolve our knowledge of God and that we can't rely on 1 book to do that. That our chances of understanding will be increased 100 times if we combine our energy instead of divide it with religions.
And if god does not exist, how beneficial is that use of energy in evolving our knowledge of god?

What I take issue with is when you say that you want to keep your beliefs intact.  Wouldn't it be better to, rather than keeping beliefs intact, striving to assure what you believe is true?  It just seems a little backwards to me is all; if I have belief X, do I try to hold onto belief X, or do I try to continually determine if it makes sense to have belief X?

I think I finally have an answer to your original question based on this.  If 'believing in god' in anyway enables you to ascribe an inherent virtue in belief then it is a bad thing.  There is virtue in being able to believe things; there is virtue in allowing others to have other beliefs; there is no virtue in a belief itself.

Have I not said I would give up belief to help my fellow man. Would you?Could you? You believe something too. Will you give up your belief? You can't just give up belief. I would give it an honest try but I wouldn't believe it. I could try but for some reason I don't think I could believe myself. Have you ever tried to lie to yourself, I bet it doesn't work very well. Maybe we needed just a little bit more of something during that Big Blast. Maybe the Big Blast should have made us more alike, more giving, more aware of where we come from, then we'd all get along. Either way we have free will to do with our thoughts and feelings what we want. Heck we're lucky we got a conscience and any intelligence at all, what more do you want. I mean this is just a big accident, right?

See this is what I mean when I say belief "can" help. When you have trust in God it makes sense and it "can" bring you peace of mind. Belief gives me hope in mankind in contrast to Luck. I do not like to leave things up to "luck." I am not a lucky person. I've had to work for everything I got and I'm not just talking about material things. I am Thankful for what I got, why would I feel thankful if there's noone to thank? 

Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 06:33:31 AM
Hey, Junebug, what's the illuminati, and are they real?

The only time I heard of illuminati is from the movie "The Davinci Code."

hmm. One more question: have you ever been prescribed medication for mental illness of any kind?

I am aware of the stigma concerning mental illness, and it is completely understandable if you choose not to respond to that question. However, I think it may have some bearing on this discussion.

So now I see where the mods get it from. Your sarcasm is more successful at making you look bad. Perfect example of how bad leadership can spoil the whole bunch. How is what you're doing here ANY different from what you claim to be against. Talk about a double standard!

None at all. I feel it is not fair for people with diagnoses of mental illness to be treated in all situations, such as this one, as if they did not have a disability. They should be treated according to their pathology, fairly. Differentiation is key. I think people may be being to hard on you because they are not aware of a crucial element. Your misunderstanding is understandable because of the stigma attached to such illnesses. If you have a disability beyond your control, I do not think it makes you look bad, I think it has the potential to make those arguing with you look bad, however.

First of all I do not have mental illness. I am perfectly sane. Insulting comments make you look like a jerk no matter who the recipient is; it's just worse when it is directed at someone who is ill, which I am not. The nerve of some of you people, I will say I will never ever ever be one of you. You are more obnoxious than any Christian I've ever met!!!

Oh yea don't call me crazy again!!! Name calling is for CHILDREN!!!
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: The Gawd on April 23, 2013, 06:52:34 AM
the worst thing democracy has done is to make people think their OPINIONS are actually worth something. It makes people think their ignorance on a topic is equal to someone elses KNOWLEDGE, because theyre entitled to their opinion. JB,  the statement in red Anfauglir is referring to is not a statement of opinion any more than 2+2 = 4 is a statement of opinion. You have to understand that if we are going to get anywhere here.

The statement as written makes belief in god worthless in that belief has no effect what-so-ever. The statement was YOUR statement. Now if you disagree with your own statement then you should clarify that and say what you meant to say, but dont forget to provide evidence for whatever your stance is. Your opinion isnt evidence, as various people have shown through studies that your opinions have been wrong, and thus opinions on statements of fact are of little value.

You may have the opinion that 2+2=5, just because its your opinion doesnt make it right, nor do I even have to entertain or respect the notion.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 06:55:14 AM

[/quote]
I am doing what I can Jag. I mean think about what you're saying.
I AM thinking about what I'm saying jb, and all indication are that you are not. I've put several hours of my time into researching and writing the posts I've contributed to this topic. And you appear to have dismissed almost all of it with  "boohoo, people are mean but it's not their beliefs that make it so" - in what other circumstances would you try to say something so blatantly stupid? What is it you think motivates people, if not their beliefs? The bolded statements are for emphasis jb, not anger. And the last is a question I actually want you to answer please.

I am not crying Jag I'm just calling it like I see it and the people I'm talking about is you and your friends. The only emotion I have for you is empathy. Maybe you should do some research on me before you make such accusations.

Greed and fear. Greed and fear.

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I don't possess the right anything to be taken seriously as a local candidate much less President of the United States.
Quote
I'm not sure what you are trying to suggest here. but I'm going to go with - so what? You don't need to be the president to get out of the way of progress on human rights, and you will be taken as seriously as your ideas merit. If everyone contributes baby-step sized contributions, that's still progress.

How about you get out of my way!!!

Quote
I have changed the minds of my family, and trust me that has not been an easy task, and others that I have encountered in my life. So Forgive if I'm offended by that remark.
Quote
If you are offended, you missed my point entirely. Again.

Oh well! You have missed my point as well.

Quote
There are a lot of believers out there doing, not waiting on prayer. Perhaps your judgement has been clouded by your hatred for belief. Do you really need some links to see all the action, if so I'll get you some. You're so focused on seeing belief as bad that you don't see the good.
Quote
There are also a lot of non-believers out there, not waiting on anything, myself among them. I'm well aware that believers do good things, I do volunteer work with lots of them. I don't have anything against believers - provided that their beliefs are not being imposed on other people. You will do well to learn to distinguish anger at situations caused by people and their mistaken ideas and anger at individuals. I freely admit to the first, and reject the second, at least in relation to this topic. You are not "hearing" me; you are filtering my words to fit your ideas, not the other way around.

Make up your mind.

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I'm going to say here again that GREED is the enemy...
Quote

Qualified agreement, as already explained repeatedly.

ditto

Quote
... not BELIEF. Greed is what manipulates religion for profit. Greed causes poverty, poverty causes desperation, desperation causes violence. Greed is the enemy.
Quote
Greed would have far less influence if believers didn't keep getting the message that they are the special-est special snowflake of all, especially since they all seem to think that the special-est special snowflake label only applies to others who share their exact same beliefs.



If you truly fail to grasp basic human nature so completely, I really wonder how you have survived to adulthood. The depths of your naivete are astounding.

If you wonder how I survived to adulthood you are failing to understand human nature as well, I would argue that I understand it better than you do.

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GREED IS A BAD THING.
Quote
Well, duh.

If you agree then why are you making your focus belief. It is Greed that is our enemy not belief.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 06:58:42 AM
the worst thing democracy has done is to make people think their OPINIONS are actually worth something. It makes people think their ignorance on a topic is equal to someone elses KNOWLEDGE, because theyre entitled to their opinion. JB,  the statement in red Anfauglir is referring to is not a statement of opinion any more than 2+2 = 4 is a statement of opinion. You have to understand that if we are going to get anywhere here.

The statement as written makes belief in god worthless in that belief has no effect what-so-ever. The statement was YOUR statement. Now if you disagree with your own statement then you should clarify that and say what you meant to say, but dont forget to provide evidence for whatever your stance is. Your opinion isnt evidence, as various people have shown through studies that your opinions have been wrong, and thus opinions on statements of fact are of little value.

You may have the opinion that 2+2=5, just because its your opinion doesnt make it right, nor do I even have to entertain or respect the notion.

I'll have to get to this later. gotta go for now.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Graybeard on April 23, 2013, 07:04:38 AM
God has never helped me find my car keys. You show me these pictures and I say to you I see mankind's failure to God.

I have heard this callous argument 1000s of times. "Ooo God loves everyone. He wouldn't let African children die." But He does, doesn't he? Parts of Africa have more christians per head than the USA - but God still hates them.

So what does God do? I mean, what's his purpose? Why, despite prayers of crying mothers, do children die like this in their hundreds? And you believe in that god?

I think it's mankind doing the hating. It is mankind's responsibility to change. Mankind needs to learn from the mistakes we make.

I happen to agree with you that it is the result of mankind's negligence. The parents of that child gave birth to him although the land would not support his survival.  Jesus, however, thought differently:

M't:10:29: Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
M't:10:31: Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Lu:12:6: Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
Lu:12:7: But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Apart from the fact that the market price of sparrows has fallen, see how it is suggested that God values us more than sparrows. Was Jesus lying or is there no god?

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I think God keeps balance in the universe and protects Mother Earth.

Well how come He is not "protecting 'Mother Earth' (whatever that is)? Instead he seems to be causing droughts, doesn't He?

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God's purpose I would describe as Life.

That is so vague that it means nothing. What do you mean "Life"? Do you mean He's the one who gave life to rattlesnakes, wasps and the AIDs virus?

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God has given us free will

It is now the 21st century. 100 years ago, you could, credibly have claimed that there was free will - unfortunately, today, it has been shown that there is no such thing as "free will", merely the illusion of free-will.

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along with that life in order to deserve the knowledge and freedom that's offered in the afterlife.

The afterlife?! So, have you been dead so that you know there is an afterlife? Have you spoken with dead people? Don't you deserve the knowledge that forces us to realise that once we are dead, we are dead, and that is the end?

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Here's a question for you. Would you really prefer to not have free will and be just a puppet on a string, every choice, every action dictated by God?

For me, that is a silly question - there are no gods and there is no free will. My future is laid out but neither I nor anyone else (and that includes any gods) can possibly know what it is in the long term. However, that 'laid-out' future has absolutely nothing to do with a god, if it did, the gods would know what I was going to do and, if, for example, they knew I was going to be a mass-murderer, it would have been them that chose my path, wouldn't it? In that circumstance, could I be blamed?

If , on the other hand, the gods did not know everyone's future, how could they make things happen? How could Romans:9 be true?

Ro:9:21: Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Ro:9:22: What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Ro:9:23: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

Here, it is being said that God makes some people so they can stoke the fires of Hell, and others so they can go to heaven.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 23, 2013, 08:09:39 AM
I mean just look at Dooms Day Preppers 1 time, those people practice drinking pee just in case.

that's what they say, but I think some of them do it because they like it.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 23, 2013, 08:20:33 AM
First of all I do not have mental illness.

He didn't say you did.  He asked the question.  You did not answer.  He explained why it was relevant.

I am perfectly sane.

Let's not get carried away.

Insulting comments make you look like a jerk no matter who the recipient is;

You may have taken that as an insult, but he was not insulting you. He was actually showing compassion. Suppose there were a member who was mentally ill - we've had several come through here, by the way.  And suppose everyone treated this member as if she were not mentally ill.  Would that be right?  No, it wouldn't.  A mentally ill person needs to be treated differently.  Similarly, a 9 year old should not be treated the same way here as an adult member.  So Pony was asking because your answer would indicate how people should treat you.
 
Oh yea don't call me crazy again!!! Name calling is for CHILDREN!!!

Settle down.  No one called you crazy.  He only asked the question.  Stop looking to find offense where none is intended.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jaimehlers on April 23, 2013, 08:25:59 AM
the worst thing democracy has done is to make people think their OPINIONS are actually worth something. It makes people think their ignorance on a topic is equal to someone elses KNOWLEDGE, because theyre entitled to their opinion. JB,  the statement in red Anfauglir is referring to is not a statement of opinion any more than 2+2 = 4 is a statement of opinion. You have to understand that if we are going to get anywhere here.
That has nothing to do with democracy, it has to do with freedom of speech.  Given the choice of having to deal with uninformed opinions, and having to deal with a government which punishes people if they say the wrong thing, I'll take the former any time.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Petey on April 23, 2013, 08:27:24 AM
I've got Peace, Joy and Wisdom, How have I wasted my time?

2 out of 3 ain't bad.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Mrjason on April 23, 2013, 08:28:18 AM
Agreed JB, fear is a bad thing but its still no reason to make stuff up.
...
I think it is obvious that we all handle our fears in different ways. Some people overcome them, others succomb.

This is true. However I would argue that belief in an intangible entity that is looking out for you and will save you from death is succumbing to fear.
Or at the very least denying the inevitable.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 23, 2013, 08:43:57 AM
And if god does not exist, how beneficial is that use of energy in evolving our knowledge of god?

What I take issue with is when you say that you want to keep your beliefs intact.  Wouldn't it be better to, rather than keeping beliefs intact, striving to assure what you believe is true?  It just seems a little backwards to me is all; if I have belief X, do I try to hold onto belief X, or do I try to continually determine if it makes sense to have belief X?

I think I finally have an answer to your original question based on this.  If 'believing in god' in anyway enables you to ascribe an inherent virtue in belief then it is a bad thing.  There is virtue in being able to believe things; there is virtue in allowing others to have other beliefs; there is no virtue in a belief itself.

Have I not said I would give up belief to help my fellow man. Would you?Could you? You believe something too. Will you give up your belief? You can't just give up belief. I would give it an honest try but I wouldn't believe it. I could try but for some reason I don't think I could believe myself. Have you ever tried to lie to yourself, I bet it doesn't work very well. Maybe we needed just a little bit more of something during that Big Blast. Maybe the Big Blast should have made us more alike, more giving, more aware of where we come from, then we'd all get along. Either way we have free will to do with our thoughts and feelings what we want. Heck we're lucky we got a conscience and any intelligence at all, what more do you want. I mean this is just a big accident, right?

See this is what I mean when I say belief "can" help. When you have trust in God it makes sense and it "can" bring you peace of mind. Belief gives me hope in mankind in contrast to Luck. I do not like to leave things up to "luck." I am not a lucky person. I've had to work for everything I got and I'm not just talking about material things. I am Thankful for what I got, why would I feel thankful if there's noone to thank?
Well, you also said (bolding what I felt was the relevant):
Quote
I would really like to get past this part into how we can together help our world with our beliefs intact.  We are all good people here and I simply wanted you all to see that not all believers are the same.
The implication was that you wanted to hold onto some set of beliefs for some reason.  Now you mention that you are willing to let go of your beliefs if that will help the world.  Which is good.  Now, would you be wiling to let go of a belief that is untrue?

I still have no idea what you mean when you say belief can "help".  You describe a big laundry list of hopes and wishes, and then you say "See, that's what I mean when I say belief can "help".  Has this thread really just been one giant semantic misunderstanding?  Do you mean 'hope' or 'wish' whenever you say 'belief'?

Why would you feel thankful when there is no one to thank?  I dunno - does feeling grateful always need a sentient to point to as responsible?  How about feeling resentful?

And I really hate the whole 'this is a big accident' trope.  Reality is what it is.  Why must reality have intent?  Why bother subjecting yourself to referential mania?

And exactly who here wants to leave it up to luck to get anything accomplished?  I don't understand that part of your response.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: jdawg70 on April 23, 2013, 09:14:53 AM
I think it's mankind doing the hating. It is mankind's responsibility to change. Mankind needs to learn from the mistakes we make.
So what mistake did mankind do to cause a tsunami killing thousands?
Quote

I think God keeps balance in the universe and protects Mother Earth. God's purpose I would describe as Life. God has given us free will along with that life in order to deserve the knowledge and freedom that's offered in the afterlife.

Here's a question for you. Would you really prefer to not have free will and be just a puppet on a string, every choice, every action dictated by God?
Please describe this freedom you allude to.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 23, 2013, 09:56:21 AM
Then the statement "believing in god is not a bad thing" is meaningless, given what you have said here.

"Believing doesn't make you good or bad."
"Some people chose to do good, some bad."  

Means that the two statements:
.     Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
and
.     Believing in God is Not a Good Thing
are equivalent.  One could summarise them by saying that
.     Believing in God is Neither a Good nor a Bad Thing - it is an Irrelevant Thing
at least according to what you have said here.

It is a meaningless statement because those two red statements MAKE it meaningless.  You've said that belief has no effect on what a person does - hence belief is meaningless.  Not just on god, no matter WHAT the belief is, it is meaningless. 

That's a matter of opinion. It's not meaningless to me. I have no trouble "grasping" your words, I just don't agree.

Fine.  Then please can you try explaining why I'm wrong in what I have written here.

How is it that "Believing doesn't make you good or bad" - but believing is nevertheless a positive thing?  If it has no effect, how can it be a positive thing?  Or are you now switching back and saying that believing DOES change a person?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Anfauglir on April 23, 2013, 10:02:08 AM
None at all. I feel it is not fair for people with diagnoses of mental illness to be treated in all situations, such as this one, as if they did not have a disability. They should be treated according to their pathology, fairly. Differentiation is key. I think people may be being to hard on you because they are not aware of a crucial element. Your misunderstanding is understandable because of the stigma attached to such illnesses. If you have a disability beyond your control, I do not think it makes you look bad, I think it has the potential to make those arguing with you look bad, however.

First of all I do not have mental illness. I am perfectly sane. Insulting comments make you look like a jerk no matter who the recipient is; it's just worse when it is directed at someone who is ill, which I am not. The nerve of some of you people, I will say I will never ever ever be one of you. You are more obnoxious than any Christian I've ever met!!!

Oh yea don't call me crazy again!!! Name calling is for CHILDREN!!!

I think this says a lot about your predjudices against people with mental illness - that you feel that simply asking the question is an insult.  As has been said, we HAVE had people here with mental illnesses - and, as is quite correct, we make appropriate allowances.

But you can't make assumptions - I think you were quite forceful about that? - and so, when one of the Admin team believes there is a chance a person has a mental illness, we ask.  Its not an insult, its not a means of belittling you.

You could have said "no", and left it at that.  What I find quite revealing is the extreme reaction you had to a reasonable question.  Like I say, that speaks volumes about your own attitudes to people with mental illness.

For what it is worth, I DON'T think you have any mental health issues, which is why I'm not holding back when speaking to you.  If I thought you did, I would be treating you in a completely different way.  Its called making reasonable adjustments - but we can't do it if we don't know there is a problem.  Hence, when we suspect there may be one, we ask.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 23, 2013, 10:04:46 AM
JB, do you think that delusional people know that they are delusional?
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 10:42:15 AM
Since our junebug seems to believes that her subjective and baseless opinions deserve more credit that experts in their field, I respectfully submit the following link: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/21/study-finds-belief-in-free-market-economics-predicts-rejection-of-science/

And here is the link to the abstract of the study being referenced: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/03/25/0956797612457686.abstract

Now jb, please go take a look and then come back and tell me again that beliefs are not the root cause of the problems we've been discussing. God beliefs do not get a separate special and distinct consideration that defies every study ever conducted on how people behave and why, just because you want to keep your utterly subjective world view intact. Hold on to your belief that God is treating you well, but for the love of truth, stop insisting that those beliefs doesn't cause all kinds of problems because it doesn't seem to have that exact effect on YOU.

You are not representative of the entirety of believers, you represent a portion of them. YOUR beliefs may be mostly harmless to others, but that's been repeatedly demonstrated to be a false idea when you try to apply it to all other believers.

Politicians don't say they don't accept climate science because they believe in God. They are doing it out of Greed. They represent special interest groups, like say oil industry. Maybe you should check out where I get my info. Try "Shadows of Liberty" or American Greed or the documentary on The Koch Brothers. Then tell me our problem isn't greed. Greed takes advantage of belief. Belief is not the problem it is greed.

Yea and you know what my opinion matters. I know several believers and they all believe in climate change. They recycle and believe we should keep our planet clean out of respect for God.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 10:49:12 AM
Then the statement "believing in god is not a bad thing" is meaningless, given what you have said here.

"Believing doesn't make you good or bad."
"Some people chose to do good, some bad."  

Means that the two statements:
.     Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
and
.     Believing in God is Not a Good Thing
are equivalent.  One could summarise them by saying that
.     Believing in God is Neither a Good nor a Bad Thing - it is an Irrelevant Thing
at least according to what you have said here.

It is a meaningless statement because those two red statements MAKE it meaningless.  You've said that belief has no effect on what a person does - hence belief is meaningless.  Not just on god, no matter WHAT the belief is, it is meaningless. 

That's a matter of opinion. It's not meaningless to me. I have no trouble "grasping" your words, I just don't agree.

Fine.  Then please can you try explaining why I'm wrong in what I have written here.

How is it that "Believing doesn't make you good or bad" - but believing is nevertheless a positive thing?  If it has no effect, how can it be a positive thing?  Or are you now switching back and saying that believing DOES change a person?

Why can't you understand that it, being belief, is what you make it. Belief don't think and act on it's on it is conducted by the owner, not the other way around.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 10:54:36 AM
the worst thing democracy has done is to make people think their OPINIONS are actually worth something. It makes people think their ignorance on a topic is equal to someone elses KNOWLEDGE, because theyre entitled to their opinion. JB,  the statement in red Anfauglir is referring to is not a statement of opinion any more than 2+2 = 4 is a statement of opinion. You have to understand that if we are going to get anywhere here.

The statement as written makes belief in god worthless in that belief has no effect what-so-ever. The statement was YOUR statement. Now if you disagree with your own statement then you should clarify that and say what you meant to say, but dont forget to provide evidence for whatever your stance is. Your opinion isnt evidence, as various people have shown through studies that your opinions have been wrong, and thus opinions on statements of fact are of little value.

You may have the opinion that 2+2=5, just because its your opinion doesnt make it right, nor do I even have to entertain or respect the notion.

I'll have to get to this later. gotta go for now.

And that is your opinion not mine. 
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 10:58:03 AM
JB, do you think that delusional people know that they are delusional?

This makes you look very desperate.  &)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: Star Stuff on April 23, 2013, 11:10:56 AM
I was hoping you would be able to give a straight answer to a straight question.
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: screwtape on April 23, 2013, 11:13:03 AM
Politicians don't say they don't accept climate science...

What about voters?  Afterall, pols are not the only climate deniers.

I think part of the issue was nailed by TheGawd - Americans think that because they are entitled to opinions that all opinions are equal.  They are not.  Another part of the problem is the illusions of competence and knowledge.[1] 


I know several believers and they all believe in climate change. They recycle and believe we should keep our planet clean out of respect for God.

That's great.  But you have misunderstood the point of the article.  Of course not everyone is going to be exactly the same way.  The point is belief is a good indicator, not a perfect one.  Your friends are exceptions.
 1. numbers 3 and 4 here: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,21893.msg496911.html#msg496911 (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,21893.msg496911.html#msg496911)
Title: Re: Believing in God is Not a Bad Thing
Post by: junebug72 on April 23, 2013, 11:14:45 AM
None at all. I feel it is not fair for people with diagnoses of mental illness to be treated in all situations, such as this one, as if they did not have a disability. They should be treated according to their pathology, fairly. Differentiation is key. I think people may be being to hard on you because they are not aware of a crucial element. Your misunderstanding is understandable because of the stigma attached to such illnesses. If you have a disability beyond your control, I do not think it makes you look bad, I think it has the potential to make those arguing with you look bad, however.

First of all I do not have mental illness. I am perfectly sane. Insulting comments make you look like a jerk no matter who the recipient is; it's just worse when it is directed at someone who is ill, which I am not. The nerve of some of you people, I will say I will never ever ever be one of you. You are more obnoxious than any Christian I've ever met!!!

Oh yea don't call me crazy again!!! Name calling is for CHILDREN!!!

I think this says a lot about your predjudices against people with mental illness - that you feel that simply asking the question is an insult.  As has been said, we HAVE had people here with mental illnesses - and, as is quite correct, we make appropriate allowances.

But you can't make assumptions - I think you were quite forceful about that? - and so, when one of the Admin team believes the