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Religion & Society / Re: Are atheist humanist?
« Last post by junebug72 on Today at 06:47:52 AM »

I can't answer your questions. I have you on ignore. My question was facetious. You seem to not understand that word.


I'm considering a counter-karma to the smite on the above post. As has been pointed out repeatedly, there is a simple solution to all of the dramatics and name calling.

Put Nam on ignore and stop interacting with him.

If he's on your ignore list, all this aggravation just disappears. By continuing to read his posts, you are allowing yourself to be provoked. You don't like him, he doesn't like you, but you continue to read his posts, knowing that you are going to get angry. You are giving control of your emotions over to a random man on the internet that you claim to hate.

You can choose to stop at any time. That power is entirely your own.

I'm just having fun.   He's entertainment.  He shouldn't make remarks in MY threads and then say he ignores me.  That is not rational. 

I would thank you for the advice but it seemed aggressive.  There's no way to tell w/o a smiley.  :)

If we want to call each other names and hate each other that's between us. 

He spoke directly at me.  He should answer the question.  He should not be held to a lesser standard than any body else.  Question dodging is a big time no no here at WWGHA.  You should know.
General Religious Discussion / Re: Determinism vs Free Will.
« Last post by shnozzola on Today at 05:48:46 AM »
  You may despise the method.......

   That may be one of a theist's biggest hurdles.  Understanding that atheism doesn't despise god, or the idea of a god, we just don't see one shred of evidence anywhere for it - ever.  If a corner of the Mediterranean Sea parted tomorrow to help Syrian Christians escape, or maybe the Black sea to help orthodox Ukrainian Christians, and closed on the moderate Russian Christians and anyone other belief trying to cross, then we'd say, "Oh He's back-must be true, and the Jews are out and He likes Ukrainians."

There is a pbs special next week on cancer, I believe it is a Ken Burns production.  We as atheists will see all the work the history of humanity's medical research has put in, and theism will continue to say, "praise Jesus" for the work.  ~sigh~  But theism will still (mostly - yes, some will only chant and throw powder, or anoint) use medical research for the cure.
b.a.worldchanger; Why doesn't your god show up? Why does it not prove its existence beyond any doubt? Why doesn't it simply do whatever we need (not 'want') to have its existence confirmed? Your god wants a personal relationship with us, but it is handicapped in that goal by being imaginary.

No one disbelieves in the Sun's existence, its evidence is there for all to see. That doesn't mean we have to worship it or love it or sing it songs; we have the Sun's existence confirmed with our free will intact.

Why does your god not appear unambiguously to us all?
The oft repeated silliness of "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" has always struck me as a particularly stupid line of argument. Why on earth would someone believe an extraordinary claim with no evidence to support it?
You'll get no argument from me here, Jag.

What factually exists but provide no evidence of it's existence? Made-up stuff, that's what. Things like fairies, unicorns, shoes that fly around your room while you sleep, settling back exactly where you left them before you wake up, leaving no trace of their activity[1]. Dragons, talking animals, Hogwart's, vampires, shape-shifters. All things that the vast majority of reasonable adults in first world nations dismiss as made up.
 1. Hat tip to Hatter for providing one of my favorite analogies
Again, no argument from me.  I, too, dismiss these as made up.

Only deities are granted a special exception of not needing to have any evidence to support their existence, and that leaves theists in an awkward position that they rarely address - even if some sort of god-like entity does, in fact, exist, with no evidence whatsoever, what makes any given theist so smugly certain that the deity they claim to follow is the one? If no evidence is required to believe in one deity, what basis do any of them have for discounting every other diety ever described?
If there is no evidence whatsoever, then it is probably not a deity.  At this point, I would say a no-evidence deity would require true "blind faith".  I don't personally know of any deities that people tend to put blind faith in, it is usually based on something.

The few arguments I've ever seen a theist raise to explain this away are inevitably disproven with little effort. Here's the easiest way to illustrate the central flaw: Religious Diversity Around the World.

Highly credible research, with information that demonstrates the problem, if only you can open your eyes and look at it.

Here are two really easy one to see - geography and number of followers.

Geography - religious diversity tends to have natural boundaries. For some strange reason, the God of Christianity couldn't get himself across the ocean until European captains figured out how to get here. The God of Islam was pretty much stuck in the desert until people started migrating in large numbers during the last 100 years or so. Notice how the beliefs common in Asia are also largely confined to Asia? The Christian God is not a special exception to the geography problem - he was just as local as any other until humans figured out how to safely move across large distances. No god can't get anywhere until his own believers take him with them.
Dominance by numbers: the three Abrahamic traditions combined account for 54.9% of the total global population (details of how thing were categorized and tabulated are included in the article): 31.5% Christian, 23.2% Muslim, and 0.2% Jewish. Jews, while tiny in comparative numbers, MUST be included in the consideration because it's their religion in the beginning - Christianity and Islam are both utterly dependent on Judaism. Overarching observation - the three religions that worship the same god have highly varied dogma.

In very simple terms, Judaism is the foundation, Christianity is at it's core the reinterpretation of Judaism, and Islam is in some respects a reinterpretation of both (this is a very simplistic comparison on purpose). Each tradition is following the same God - and have spent centuries killing each other over their different interpretations of what, exactly, is required by this God from it's followers.

Each tradition has multiple internal divisions, and within those divisions, each sect views every other sect as in some way, following God the wrong way.

So tell me b.a., why would a skeptic think ANY of you have any idea at all of WTactualF you are talking about?

I definitely appreciate your thoughts.  I don't expect you to necessarily agree with mine on this, but all I see this explain is that there are a lot of religious people in the world (majority), and that they hold a lot of varying beliefs.  Of course, there are many points in here that my faith (Christianity) helps to explain, but I know you're not interested in that.  It also contradicts the assertion that we're dealing with the same God, or at least an understanding of that God.  The god of Islam is far different than the God of Christianity.  Jesus also made it clear that those who deny the Son, do not have the Father.  In other words, those same Jews may claim to know God, but Jesus says they actually don't actually 'know' Him, even if they understand He exists. 

But, this isn't really the point, debating which God is right (if any).  The point is people put faith in God, I believe, because there is evidence or reason to do so, or that is my own personal reason.  I don't believe in the tooth fairy because I am the tooth fairy, and Santa Claus, and Harry Potter is just a book.  No one has ever given there life for Harry Potter, at least not on any massive scale.  But, people do that daily all over the world for Christ.  They give up everything.  They give up their lives both literally and metaphorically.  I don't think it's because they believe Jesus is not real.  They are fully convinced.  They may have grown up being taught its true and they simply accepted it.  They may have weighed the evidence and chosen.  They may have experienced something that convinced them God exists.  There are a plethora of reasons, and I'm sure this just represents a small sample.  Some (many?) may be a combination of factors.  Comparing God and the tooth fairy just doesn't hold up for many reasons, but mainly because of two (knowledge and evidence). 

Knowledge - We know the tooth fairy isn't real because we've participated in its falseness.  We've knowingly put the the money under the pillow, or wrapped the presents and put them under the tree.  We willingly and knowingly conspire in these activities as "fun", fantasy, and perpetuate it as false.  On the other hand, Christianity (and other religions) have been perpetuated with the assumption of being true.

Evidence - why varying and debatable, I believe most believers (Christians) believe there is some evidence for their faith.  You're welcome to pick that evidence apart from case to case, but they aren't just putting in "blind faith".  I suppose if you can prove (with reasonable certainty) that the evidence is weak or invalid, you can convince them to abandon their beliefs.  But even 'weak' evidence is different than no evidence.

When you combine these two factors, you end up with a much different scenario than Harry Potter.  From the get go, it is well understood and disseminated by the author, and common knowledge, that Harry Potter is fiction.  That just isn't the case with deities, especially with the "Big 3" religions you mention.  If these deities were well understood from Day #1 to be false or fictional, they would easily be abandoned and discarded like Old St. Nicholas, at least from a worship standpoint.  This would also happen if believers felt there was zero evidence of their existence.
General Religious Discussion / Re: Determinism vs Free Will.
« Last post by Azdgari on Today at 03:19:51 AM »
The devil's in the details, as they say.  If the two positions actually contradict each other, and people borrow from the parts that are in contradiction, then the fusion of the two beliefs is going to be self-contradictory.  To avoid the contradiction, one either needs a third way, or to pick one of those schools of thought exclusively.

Not necessarily.  The schools of thought are not entirely contradictory or at odds with one another.

*cough* Ahem.  Attention to the bolded text, please.
General Religious Discussion / Re: Determinism vs Free Will.
« Last post by b.a.worldchanger on Today at 03:17:44 AM »
If there is a god with all the powers usually attributed to one, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot say that everyone has the free choice to accept the existence of a god, and also say that some (but not all) people get special information from god so that they know for sure that he exists.
Why not?  Your idea of an all powerful God leaves Him rather impotent.  I also didn't assert that all men have free will.  Maybe some do.  Maybe most do.  Maybe none do.  In each of those situations, an all-powerful God is fully capable of administering free will and/or determinism in whatever way he so chooses.

Also, it is contradictory to say that some people have trained their brains to block out or reject knowledge about god. This god is supposedly all powerful and desperately trying to communicate with all of us. Right there the logic has broken down already. This is the being who is said to have made the universe happen in an instant.
Who says an all-powerful God is desperately trying to communicate directly with everyone?  I don't see that in scripture.  I see God having revealed himself in multiple ways and multiple times.  He then left it in the hands of his disciples to continue the work until all nations have had a chance to hear.  He came as a man (Jesus) to deliver the message, and he left it in the hands of men to finish the work.  You may despise the method, but that in no way has any bearing on whether God is all-powerful or not.

Because whatever an all powerful being wants to happen, does happen. That is what all powerful means. If there are people who do not know, or claim not to know that this being is real, this being knows exactly what to do to convince these people. He is not limited by time or money. He can do it in an instant, just like he made the universe in an instant.
On this point we certainly agree.  An all-powerful being can do anything He chooses to do.
General Religious Discussion / Re: Determinism vs Free Will.
« Last post by b.a.worldchanger on Today at 03:01:10 AM »
The devil's in the details, as they say.  If the two positions actually contradict each other, and people borrow from the parts that are in contradiction, then the fusion of the two beliefs is going to be self-contradictory.  To avoid the contradiction, one either needs a third way, or to pick one of those schools of thought exclusively.

Not necessarily.  The schools of thought are not entirely contradictory or at odds with one another.  In addition, there are lots of situations where two things can be true rather than mutually exclusive.  Also, differing ideas surrounding interpretation often add to the richness of thought and discussion on just 'how' things might work, even if they are likely to remain unknowable.
General Religious Discussion / Re: If I could disprove the bible 100%
« Last post by wright on Today at 01:38:50 AM »
^^^Religious belief as a LARP: wonderful comparison. As a roleplayer myself, I quite agree. I even have some nominally Catholic friends who used to LARP; I don't think they'd appreciate the parallel, unfortunately.
Religion & Society / Re: Another GOP presidential candidate
« Last post by skeptic54768 on Today at 01:13:51 AM »
Perhaps you guys are right. The bill shouldn't be passed.
Religion & Society / Re: Another GOP presidential candidate
« Last post by Nam on Yesterday at 11:57:12 PM »
To them: Jesus would discriminate and based on the Bible, though homosexuality is barely mentioned in the NT (but Jesus, as said in Matthew, didn't come to abolish but to fulfill the OT), Jesus too would discriminate against homosexuals.

Jesus, as depicted in the Bible, is not a good and moral person, in my opinion.

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