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Actually, skeptic, the reason for that particular bit of scripture is to encourage rich people who are believers to donate their money to the church, which will presumably spend it to help the poor and such.  In reality, money donated to the church mostly gets spent to benefit church officials.  They didn't talk about the clergy living in palaces for nothing, and that practice continues even today, except they're called 'mansions' now.

This doesn't apply to all clergy, of course, but it doesn't have to.  It only takes one to give clergy in general a really bad name, and there's a lot more than one who live like this.
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In my mind, atheism has always meant "No God" and agnosticism always meant, "maybe, not sure either way."

This new age type of thinking by the new atheists trying to redefine atheism as "agnostic atheism" is poorly constructed in my opinion.

Sure you may say, "I don't see any evidence for God so I'm not going to believe there is one." But, this is not atheism. Atheism specifically says "No God." Plus, you run into problems with this mindset because we didn't discover black holes until recently. So, was someone justified in thinking black holes didn't exist until we found the evidence?

The minutiae of labels has little value. That I am unfortunate enough to live on a planet where many people claim many gods means that I'm forced in to taking a stand against their nonsense. I consider myself an atheist, though I sometimes question whether or not the Sulu high god Unkulunkulu may in fact be real. So in that case, I'm willing to call myself an agnostic. But on average, I'm an atheist.

But whatever we humans think/believe/accept, the first thing we have to accept is that we are not likely right about many things. Religion or otherwise. If a few people get blindsided every time there is a new discovery in science, so be it. Thats what folks get for being positive about unknowns. People have been wrong since the beginning of humanity, and they will continue to bat less than 1000% until the last person dies. Each of us has to make up the world because none of us has enough information to be sure that we are right about anything.

However, it is often easy to tell when someone else is wrong. People who say that the earth is flat or that kids shouldn't be vaccinated or that capitalism is the best form of government ever and should never be challenged or changed, they are wrong. They base their conclusions on either false information or no information at all, and they have little business making factual proclamations when they don't value truth in any sense of the word. Ignorance, selfishness and fear are lousy teachers, and anyone who thinks that they have a PhD in life just because they just had a half-assed thought is automatically wrong. But sadly, it is impossible to tell such people that they have erred. They are too good at it to be corrected.

So if a person believes something and yet their beliefs don't seem to vie with reality ("I pray to jesus every day, but I still haven't won the lottery", or "People of other races are inherently inferior, so why is it my boss is of a different race and I'm just the janitor?"), they are doomed to draw errant conclusions at every turn.

However, in the case of scientific thoughts and discoveries, one can could have come to the conclusion that there are no black holes and later find out that they were wrong without ever having to delve in to the belief business. In that case, people look at available information, make conclusions, and accept that they might be wrong. Because they know that they might be. Now a layperson might reach similar conclusions, based on a show they saw on the Discovery Channel or something, and indeed come up with a belief about black holes or bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster and end up having their beliefs dashed by new information. But that doesn't count.

Because as a general rule, if a person hasn't used their brains to reach a conclusion, then it is a belief. And always subject to questioning. Sadly though, only by others.
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Christians follow Jesus. 

Jesus said, Mark 10:25
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

There's the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. 

The rich man that asked Jesus how to have eternal life, he said give up your riches and follow me. 

Now that sounds pretty cut and dry to me.  You can not be rich and be Christian.
There's a big problem here:

Assume I have $1billion.

I see 1,000 poor people and give them each $1million - I have effectively created 1,000 rich people who will not get into heaven.

However, you suggest that if I keep the money, I do not go to heaven... problem... Or is it?

The solution is simple: you get your lawyer to draw up a will that says that 1 minute before your death, all your wealth went to your family. And they have the same will for the time when they die.

Thus, on death, you die without a penny and thus go to heaven - more than that, you have saved 1,000 poor people from the fires of Hell and so your place in heaven is well-deserved.

That has always been the problem.

Jesus didn't intend for the rich to get poor and the poor to get rich. That's a nonsensical never-ending loop.

What matters is how you spend your riches. If a person has millions of dollars but laughs at poor people or stops his car and beats them up for kicks while flashing his money, then you will never see Heaven. Donating the money to charity or helping people get their life on track is a valid use of the money. Giving a homeless person 50 million dollars isn't going to help them. They will just spend it all and be homeless again. Using the money while physically helping people is what Jesus wants us to do.

Having 50 million dollars and using it to get high and drunk all day every day while watching netflix is not how to make it to Heaven.
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In my mind, atheism has always meant "No God" and agnosticism always meant, "maybe, not sure either way."

This new age type of thinking by the new atheists trying to redefine atheism as "agnostic atheism" is poorly constructed in my opinion.

Sure you may say, "I don't see any evidence for God so I'm not going to believe there is one." But, this is not atheism. Atheism specifically says "No God." Plus, you run into problems with this mindset because we didn't discover black holes until recently. So, was someone justified in thinking black holes didn't exist until we found the evidence?
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General Religious Discussion / Re: biblegod's justice
« Last post by skeptic54768 on Today at 03:29:51 PM »
I posted a question on IGI, asking theists to provide me with any biblical examples of Yahweh acting in a just manner.  I listed out several counterexamples, that is, examples of what I see as UNjust behavior (A&E, Jesus' "sacrifice," the existance of hell, others).  I also specifically stated that "somone saying 'god is just' (as in most Psalms) is not what I'm looking for."  And that anyone who could convince me that my counterexamples were acutally an example of justice, rather than being unjust, I'd welcome it.

so far, after 2 days, only one theist has responded with a non-sequitur and an example of someone saying god is just in the bible (Romans, I think).

Any takers on this site??  Original thread is here if anyone cares.

First I want to say that it's good to be back on the forum. I have been absent from the forum the past week or so. I have been busy with personal and work life.

First we must clarify what standard of judgment you are using when analyzing unjust behavior. Is it just your personal opinion? If so, then you run into a problem when someone's personal opinion differs from yours. What's the tiebreaker procedure?

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Forum Questions & Suggestions / Re: what happened to you tube?
« Last post by Nam on Today at 03:02:01 PM »
Dear God Nam...are you trying to get yourself banned!  :police:

There goes some minutes I'll never get back...sigh.



-Nam
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Forum Questions & Suggestions / Re: what happened to you tube?
« Last post by jetson on Today at 02:12:09 PM »
Dear God Nam...are you trying to get yourself banned!  :police:

There goes some minutes I'll never get back...sigh.
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Forum Questions & Suggestions / Re: what happened to you tube?
« Last post by Nam on Today at 01:36:58 PM »
You have to remove the security from the link. Instead of https://youtube remove the "s" from https and add "www" in front of youtube.



Quote the post and see how I did it.

-Nam
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The opposite of impossible is definite. Think of a medical test. Bacteria or no bacteria.

I'm not trying to quibble here but there is an important distinction I think. You are misusing language b/c the opposite of definite is not impossible. It is indeterminate or undetermined.

The only difference between us now is this definition of opposite. I am referring to the event, not to knowledge about the event. In a medical test bacteria are either there or not there and I am using the words definite and impossible for these situations. So bacteria are either definitely there or impossibly there. The bacteria cannot be maybe there, they are either there or they are not. The same with a god. It is either there or not there. Our knowledge about the bateria or the god can be undetermined even though the existence must itself be definitely the case or definitely not (impossibly) the case.

This is why I was noting the misuse of language. "Impossibly there" doesn't make any sense, and seems highly confusing. It is true that either there is some alleged 'thing' called "God" which is there or not there (within independent existence or not). But the opposite of "definite" is "indefinite" (i.e. - not definite). It is not "impossible", since the opposite of "not possible" is "possible". Those are true dichotomies (some-thing vs. not some-thing). This applies to both the fact of the either/or dichotomy as well as our attempts to gain knowledge about it (since we are using language to discuss what is capable, or not, of being known or justifiably believed given certain circumstances).


For example, in a laboratory that is testing for a specific bacteria (though I think this example is off topic a bit) the researcher either finds the bacteria or he/she does not. The true dichotomy here is "found/not found; there/not there". This dichotomy would pertain to an aposteriori finding (which pertains to epistemology; i.e. - whether or not he/she had knowledge of the finding). The fact of the matter in this example is that it was either possible or not possible for both the researcher to find the bacteria he/she was looking for and for the capacity of said bacteria (perhaps it was one not yet known by humans) to exist at all.


-"Is it possible that this new bacteria exists somewhere?"
-"Well, we don't know b/c we don't have all of the data to know (i.e. - enough data)."

In the case of a deity, we find a similar scenario. It is either possible or not possible for said X deity to exist and/or be found. However, in this example we do not have examples of previous demonstrated deities, unlike with bacterias. Thus, it is unknown as to whether or not said deity would even be possible of existing (i.e. - have the capacity given certain definitions) - 1) b/c we do not currently have a rational/coherent definition and 2) b/c even granted certain definitions we have been given no good reason for thinking that such an alleged 'thing' is even possible given the state of existence (unlike things like new bacterias or the Higgs Boson for example).


The OP pertains to an epistemological question (i.e. - knowledge of not being able to disprove X deity vs must we admit that X deity has the capability of existing). It is referring to our knowledge and/or our capacity to ascertain a reasonable amount of certainty as to whether or not the lack of being able to disprove X deity is sufficient for saying that X deity might possibly exist. My argument here has been that just because we may not be able to disprove the existence of X said deity does not necessitate that X deity has the capability of existing, since we do not have all of the relevant factors in order to determine whether said deity has that capability/capacity.  Thus, given that we cannot now disprove some proposed deities (given by some people) the alleged possibility, or impossibility, of those X deities independent existence is unknown.
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Aren't words fun?  ;D

The test for an infection you mention Foxy isn't quite that clear cut, really. Yes it might return a result that there are bacteria but it never comes up with there on definitely no bacteria. Instead the result might be no bacteria detected which is a rather different thing. Some bacteria are quite good a t hiding and just don't show up on demand to our test.

However, in the grander scale of gods and stuff, surely we have either

1. the definition of the god is impossible because the definition makes its features impossible
OR
2. The definition of the god means that it is possible that it exists but we would have to start looking to see if it really exists.

The definite concept can only apply when we have a test for a god that an actually show that the god exists which we don't presently have though who knows what we might invent in the future. Such a tool would have to be very special, though, if it could also show that a god definitely doesn't exist. However we would only use this tool once we had found a  god defined in such a  way that its existence was at least possible. This hasn't happened yet.

So we are only at the possible / impossible stage and possible does not mean something exists.
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