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Thread: Question for theists.

  1. #1 Question for theists. 
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    First of all, I am an atheist.

    Every time I try to speak with a theist the conversation goes something like this:
    Me: Why do you believe in god?
    Believer: I can't believe that the universe was created out of nothing.
    Me: What if the universe always existed?
    Believer: Then what was before it existed?
    Me: I don't know.
    Believer: So god exists, cause he created the universe.
    Me: Then how was god created?
    Believer: He wasn't created, He has been around for an eternity.
    Me: ...
    So why do they believe god has been here for ever, but the universe not?

    Personally I think they just want an explanation that's easy to visualize,
    wheter it makes sense or not.

    Also who believes the same as me, that religions are just created to keep the people dumb and keep power over them?

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  3. #2 Re: Question for theists. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dispar Vulgo
    So why do they believe god has been here for ever, but the universe not?
    Mostly, I suspect it's just indoctrination. That has a very powerful effect on people's minds, especially when young. As you allude to, they're basically being inconsistent with their logic... "Something cannot come from nothing, but god did."

    I describe this as special pleading, double standards, and basically a blind spot in their mind.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dispar Vulgo
    Also who believes the same as me, that religions are just created to keep the people dumb and keep power over them?
    I would agree that sometimes religions have this effect, but I think your comment misses quite a lot of the complexity involved here and is much too general to be anywhere close to accurate. There is a deep and rich body of work explaining how religions came about. A lot of it ties to social cohesion and group survival. Additionally, we're predisposed to prefer simple solutions over more complex ones, even when those simple solutions are sometimes inaccurate.

    Finally, even before we were much less human in the course of evolution we were organisms trying make sense of the world by piecing together bits of information from observation... most often information which was incomplete and not always related. This results in stories and concepts to help us in our attempt to describe the universe. Some of those stories were more helpful than others, and I suspect the religious stories which grew out of cultures tended more often than not to be beneficial to the group as a whole.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dispar Vulgo
    PS. Why are the quote tags not working?
    Sites like this get hit very hard by spammers trying to direct traffic to a URL or sell some product. One of the mechanisms which helps with this is to disable the tags for new users (so spammers cannot hyperlink and things like that). As your post count grows, you will soon automatically become a member of another "usergroup" wherein the tags become enabled. It won't take long, so just be patient.

    Cheers.


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  4. #3  
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    Also who believes the same as me, that religions are just created to keep the people dumb and keep power over them?
    I think religions started to explain things we could not explain yet.
    For example: Thunder.
    Thousands of years ago people did not know how it worked, so it made sense for them to explain it by a god that made allot of noise, or something like that.

    But I am sure that the world religions like the catholic church or the islam is pure for the power.
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  5. #4 perhaps 
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    that is an interesting question.

    could it be that only something perfect could qualify as being able to exist forever and have no beginning?

    the universe is not perfect in the sense that it changes.
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  6. #5 Re: perhaps 
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    Quote Originally Posted by merachefet
    that is an interesting question.

    could it be that only something perfect could qualify as being able to exist forever and have no beginning?

    The universe is not perfect in the sense that it changes.
    And what is this something perfect, pray tell. Do you really know what the word perfect actually means. Please seriously think about the meaning, before you decide to answer. Thank you.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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  7. #6  
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    It doesn't help... "Where did this perfect thing come from, then?" ... ad infinitum.
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  8. #7 Re: Question for theists. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dispar Vulgo
    So why do they believe god has been here for ever, but the universe not?
    The Catholic Church gets round this one with the help of Leibniz: Why is there something rather than nothing? There you have it. The proof of God. Now how can you possibly argue with that?
    Pseudo logic.
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  9. #8 Re: Question for theists. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    Why is there something rather than nothing?
    I do not understand that, could you explain it?
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    most ppl here r 99.9% athiest in this forum what is the point of asking this question. not balance( how can u debate)
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by transmutation
    most ppl here r 99.9% athiest in this forum what is the point of asking this question. not balance( how can u debate)
    You're very wrong. The above is a preconception, and a false one at that.

    Regardless, debate is not contingent upon ideology, but instead upon the merit and support for ones points.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by transmutation
    most ppl here r 99.9% athiest in this forum what is the point of asking this question. not balance( how can u debate)
    There are no more than one hundred regular members. I am an agnostic, therefore 1% of the active membership is not atheist. Dayton Turner is Christian. That's 2% who are not atheist. In short, you are mistaken.
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  13. #12 Re: Question for theists. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dispar Vulgo
    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    Why is there something rather than nothing?
    I do not understand that, could you explain it?
    Why is the universe there at all? Why does it bother to exist? If we knew that we would know the mind of God, joked Stephen Hawking.
    If we knew a lot, lot more about the nature of time we could maybe start to explain it.
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  14. #13  
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    Ah ok.
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  15. #14 Re: Question for theists. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dispar Vulgo

    So why do they believe god has been here for ever, but the universe not?
    So maybe God didnt exist forever.
    Maybe God evolved.
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  16. #15  
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    grandpa wrote:
    Maybe God evolved.
    Not applicable. For God to evolve following conditions must exist:
    - There are many Gods.
    - Gods replicate.
    - After some time, Gods die.
    - The replication is not perfect, small variation exists.
    - The fitter Gods survive.

    But if we replace 'God' with 'concept about God', then it may be possible to evolve.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
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    neither death nor survival of the fittest is necessary.

    you only need some process of selecting and separating out the ones with the desirable traits



    most cultures thoughout history have believed in multiple gods.
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  18. #17  
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    So, in other words, you agree with prasit in that this applies just to the concept of gods.
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  19. #18 Re: Question for theists. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dispar Vulgo
    First of all, I am an atheist.

    Every time I try to speak with a theist the conversation goes something like this:
    Me: Why do you believe in god?
    Believer: I can't believe that the universe was created out of nothing.
    Me: What if the universe always existed?
    Believer: Then what was before it existed?
    Me: I don't know.
    Believer: So god exists, cause he created the universe.
    Me: Then how was god created?
    Believer: He wasn't created, He has been around for an eternity.
    Me: ...
    So why do they believe god has been here for ever, but the universe not?

    Personally I think they just want an explanation that's easy to visualize,
    wheter it makes sense or not.

    Also who believes the same as me, that religions are just created to keep the people dumb and keep power over them?

    ______________________________
    PS. Why are the quote tags not working?
    The choice then is a god that has been here forever, or a universe that 'popped out of an anomaly that never existed' - this could take some time, can anybody suggest a third option?

    On the one side, for religion, God,Jesus, miracles, omnipresence, 1500yr old human beings, women from a spare rib.......

    On the other,

    Wormholes, Hawking radiation, time travel.....

    On the one hand we have stories passed from generation to generation, by word of mouth, on the other a few scriblings from a patent clerk.....

    I don't think we are quite there yet, suspect the truth is far more exotic than we could concieve of.

    For me the universe started around 75 years ago and will end sometime in the next 500 years when man has finally invented the perfect can opener and found a way to destroy the earth with it.

    Religion is a matter of faith, either you have it or you don't, fact is many many people draw comfort from it and it 'oils' their passage through life, the rest of us sorry bastards believe in science though more and more lately it seems to be the search to prove that all hollywood 'science' is reality.
    "You are only intelligent IF you are surrounded by fools, so don't mock them..." [HOME200]
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  20. #19  
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    I think most people that believe in god are just cowards; afraid to die and accept the possibility that there is nothing after death. It's used as a weapon of fear for the weak and scared. The rest are just morons.

    What really bakes my noodle is when religious fanatics claim UFOs and their occupants are fallen angels here to take our souls... As far as I'm concerned, they can have my imaginary soul - devils or ET.
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  21. #20  
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    What really bakes my noodle is when religious fanatics claim UFOs and their occupants are fallen angels here to take our souls... As far as I'm concerned, they can have my imaginary soul - devils or ET.
    "Bakes my noodle" too, as it does when science fanatics claim UFO's and their occupants are aliens here to take our world.
    I think you've pointed out one of many paradoxes in todays major religions. I believe in logic and science more than religion, but I think the two are not incompatible, at least if you are flexible.

    PS, make that three percent, because I am technically Christian, but I believe what I want to.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickz2020
    I think most people that believe in god are just cowards; afraid to die and accept the possibility that there is nothing after death. It's used as a weapon of fear for the weak and scared. The rest are just morons.
    I don't think anyone's afraid of that. If you don't exist, that's like taking a whole lot of heroine and just going into a coma for a while. It would be nirvana, or at least half of nirvana.

    What they're afraid of is that there is something on the other side, and it isn't nice. So, they prefer to believe that it is nice, and then start speculating as to what kind of rules you have to follow to get there.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  23. #22  
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    Also, religion could give people purpose, so that they are not just sludge, many generations removed. They are supposed to do god's will, not just reproduce. That makes people feel good.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    Also, religion could give people purpose, so that they are not just sludge, many generations removed. They are supposed to do god's will, not just reproduce. That makes people feel good.
    And when "god's will" is to kill and destroy all who oppose the church, how do they feel then?

    I'm not disagreeing with what you said. For some people this is the truth, but there are two scenarios, and the reason for both scenarios is the same: People rely on faith the think for them.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Rickz2020
    I think most people that believe in god are just cowards; afraid to die and accept the possibility that there is nothing after death. It's used as a weapon of fear for the weak and scared. The rest are just morons.
    I don't think anyone's afraid of that.
    Nobody, eh? Not a one?


    Granted, Rick's comment was too extreme to be accurate, as well.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Rickz2020
    I think most people that believe in god are just cowards; afraid to die and accept the possibility that there is nothing after death. It's used as a weapon of fear for the weak and scared. The rest are just morons.
    I don't think anyone's afraid of that.
    Nobody, eh? Not a one?


    Granted, Rick's comment was too extreme to be accurate, as well.
    Well, first you'd have to find a person who believes that.

    Everyone I've ever met who's afraid of death, if I press them to it and ask what they think is going to happen, the answer they give is not total oblivion. How on Earth could anyone be afraid of total oblivion? It's not like you would experience anything.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    How on Earth could anyone be afraid of total oblivion?
    How on Earth could you not be afraid of total oblivion? Brain damage?
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  28. #27  
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    I believe Lovecraft said "There is nothing better than oblivion, for in oblivion there is no wish unfulfilled." When I die I want to go to sleep forever, eventually... I may have some fun in the afterlife beforehand, if it exists. That's why most of us hate getting out of bed on Mondays.
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  29. #28  
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    I am afraid of oblivion. Of losing awareness forever.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
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  30. #29  
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    Why would you ever be afraid of not feeling anything, including fear? Nothing harmful about it, nothing to invoke the primal instincts like predation that usually make us scared... except for the instinct to survive, but I assumed we'd passed over that in this discussion already.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pomegranate Cameron
    Why would you ever be afraid of not feeling anything, including fear?
    I like being.
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  32. #31  
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    Another wonderful philosophical discussion.

    Hence, the move to Philosophy.
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  33. #32  
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    Me too.
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