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Thread: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedness

  1. #1 Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedness 
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    Firstly this is not a thread to get at each others throats.

    I will ask a mod to close it if people start defending their beliefs or their non-beliefs.

    This thread is intended to look at how open peoples minds are to other views in front of irrefutable proof, that is contrary to their beliefs.

    If a god/several gods came to earth, and said that they are the true god/s... they had the angels with the wings the knowledge everything that would make u believe that they were the real deal

    But, they were not of ur faith...i.e. claiming that a 1 religion was right and all the others were wrong and u were in a wrong religion.

    Would you adjust ur faith and beliefs accordingly or say its lies and blasphemous and continue to stick to ur beliefs despite the overwhelming evidence(u could even call it holy evidence) that u are wrong, and whatever the religion that is right says will happen to non-believers u know 100% will happen to u unless u change

    this question can also be applied to non believers(I know many of them have no scientific proof that god exists) and hence refuse to believe in god, this scenario would give them that proof

    the assumption here if its not clear above is the evidence is overwhelming to u personally irrespective of what u previously believed, which means that u have to imagine that the evidence would convince u that this is the true god/s that has come to earth>>> IRREFUTABLE PROOF


    please say what u would do

    and

    Why u would make the decision that u ultimately decide.

    SideNote: I know something like this would change my views of the world...


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  3. #2  
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    I am an atheist, but if confronted with what appeared to be proof that some particular god existed or that some particular religion was correct, I would probably convert.


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  4. #3 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    This thread is intended to look at how open peoples minds are to other views in front of irrefutable proof, that is contrary to their beliefs.

    the assumption here if its not clear above is the evidence is overwhelming to u personally irrespective of what u previously believed, which means that u have to imagine that the evidence would convince u that this is the true god/s that has come to earth>>> IRREFUTABLE PROOF
    I don't believe in irrefutable proof. The closest we come to it are proofs in mathematics. Those are pretty reliable. But I think it is significant that one thing that we can reliably prove is that we cannot prove that mathematics is consistent.


    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    If a god/several gods came to earth, and said that they are the true god/s... they had the angels with the wings the knowledge everything that would make u believe that they were the real deal

    But, they were not of ur faith...i.e. claiming that a 1 religion was right and all the others were wrong and u were in a wrong religion.

    Would you adjust ur faith and beliefs accordingly or say its lies and blasphemous and continue to stick to ur beliefs despite the overwhelming evidence(u could even call it holy evidence) that u are wrong, and whatever the religion that is right says will happen to non-believers u know 100% will happen to u unless u change

    this question can also be applied to non believers(I know many of them have no scientific proof that god exists) and hence refuse to believe in god, this scenario would give them that proof

    please say what u would do
    These are not gods but aliens with a rather peculiar relgion. It would be fascinating and invaluable to discuss their views with them. Theirs would be the first non-terrestrial view encountered. However this assumes that they are honest. Their openness to discussion, for example, will tell us a lot about their morality and intensions.

    If they adopted the same kind of manipulative anti-science nonsense as fundamentialists like archeologists then I would conclude that these aliens studied mankind and adopted this as the best strategy by which to enslave mankind. In this case, their views, being lies, are only of interest in the efforts to defeat their plans, if possible.

    But, let us remember that I have repeatly said that I would be delighted to spend my life in the futile defiance of a god of power who is indistinguishagble in my mind from a gunman in a bank thinking that his gun gives him a right to everyones obedience -- indistinguishable in fact from the "god of the this world" also known of as the devil, the defiance of whom is good by definition as I see it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    Why u would make the decision that u ultimately decide.
    Religion ultimately has nothing to do with an objective observation about the way things are but a subjective decision about who you are. This is perfectly obvious and neccessary for me to see any value in relgion whatsoever because as a scientist it is clear to me that all the objective observation going on with any integrity and intellectual honesty is going on, not in religion, but in science.


    But do not confuse my response here with being close minded. I said I would be willing to talk to them and learn from them. Instead this is an example of that adage which is so popular in this forum that we should be open minded but not so open minded that our brains fall out - in other words, no so much that we are just a bunch of guilable saps.


    I would take it that SkinWalker's response is assuming that he was satisfied that they are not lying and are telling the truth. But is that not a really big IF? Is it not in fact an IF so big that it begs the question?
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  5. #4  
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    I find that the idea of a god many relgious have is very limited and all too human. So if a true god landed on earth, he would have to convince me by other means than simply creating things out of thin air or doing things that are impossible for human beings. Worship itself, to me, is an all too human act/emotion and I simply cannot see an unlimited being, being partial to such a banality.

    But here is were it get's more difficult for me. What would actually differentiate a god from simply a very advanced alien?

    The obvious answer is that if you have requirements for what a god actually is, the being claiming to be one would have to satisfy them and if he does, he must be The true God.

    If you mean the specific god of the bible or another world religion, then I suppose I would not recognise it as being worthy of worship and would simply see it as a technologically advanced, but intellectually limited alien.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  6. #5  
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    Interesting topic

    Knowing is a lot harder than being presented with truth. You have to recognize it as truth as well, which is a personal choice.

    I share MM's attitude. There is just no way to know these beings are what they seem to be, or more precisely, that they are anything more than precisely what they seem to be: Individual beings CLAIMING to be God/s, beckoning angelic like beings, brandishing incomprehensible power. Our powers of comprehension are rather limited, and don't take much to amaze.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    I share MM's attitude. There is just no way to know these beings are what they seem to be, or more precisely, that they are anything more than precisely what they seem to be: Individual beings CLAIMING to be God/s, beckoning angelic like beings, brandishing incomprehensible power. Our powers of comprehension are rather limited, and don't take much to amaze.
    At what point does the distinction between a 'very advanced being' and a 'god' cease to matter? If it seems to know everything and can control reality in any way it wishes, then is it really useful to try to distinguish between whether it's a god or merely a super-advanced being?

    Edit: And either way, are you going to refuse to do it a favor if it asks for one? If a being said, for example, "worship me and I will reward and protect you," and I really thought I would be rewarded and protected, I would probably do it regardless of whether it was a 'real god' or merely a 'super-advanced being'. Assuming its demands weren't somehow repugnant to me, of course.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    At what point does the distinction between a 'very advanced being; and a 'god' cease to matter? If it seems to know everything and can control reality in any way it wishes, then is it really useful to try to distinguish between whether it's a god or merely a super-advanced being?
    I think it does matter, because if they didn't distinguish between the two, they'd be using the weakness of many humans belief in an omnipotent god to influence our perceptions of them. A morally reprehensible position to take IMO.

    If a god/several gods came to earth, and said that they are the true god/s... they had the angels with the wings the knowledge everything that would make u believe that they were the real deal
    In short no. I'd assume they were just very advanced beings. Many time in our own recent history our advanced culture was thought of as a "god" for having control of forces a primitive tribe didn't understand. I remember reading an account of a tribe in New Guinea that still worshiped a crashed WWII airplane. I'd hope in ten thousand years, a blind of an eye in evolutionary terms, we'll possess abilities that even the more rational of us might refer to as "godlike." We're only a hairs breath from developing our own forms of life. If they insisted they were truly omnipotent gods we should worship with absolute devotion while they exercised the authority of the OT god, I'd be more likely to join Lucifer legions and take up arms than kneel in prayer.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    I think it does matter, because if they didn't distinguish between the two, they'd be using the weakness of many humans belief in an omnipotent god to influence our perceptions of them. A morally reprehensible position to take IMO.
    Who even said it has to be an omnipotent god? There are many religions throughout history that didn't imagine their gods to be omnipotent, just very very powerful.

    Also, when you talk about these hypothetical beings "taking advantage of people's belief," are they really "taking advantage" if they really do have the powers they claim to have? It seems to me that for all practical purposes, there is no real difference between having 'godlike powers' and actually being a god. Whether or not something is a god is more or less defined by its abilities. That's just my opinion though, someone else might argue that the only acceptable definition of "god" is "an omnipotent, omniscient being that created and completely controls the universe."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    someone else might argue that the only acceptable definition of "god" is "an omnipotent, omniscient being that created and completely controls the universe."
    That "someone" is the majority of religious humanity, more than half the planet's population.
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    Sure, if the question is "How could a being prove to you that it's omniscient and omnipotent and created the universe," then there's probably really no way to prove that. Especially since I'm not sure the concept of omnipotence really even makes sense. But the OP simply mentioned "a god or gods," which to me seems to lower the bar quite a lot.

    Anyway, my tendency to respect a being is probably going to be proportional to its powers. If it demonstrates that it can do anything it wishes, even in apparent violation of the laws of physics, I'm going to have a hell of a lot of respect for it. If it rewards me for worshiping and obey it, then I'll probably worship and obey it, to the extent that my conscience allows me.
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    Hi everyone great responses, from all posters

    I know there were a few things in the original post that were not 100% clear

    But I wanted the thread to be more orientated towards

    What evidence would u require to be convinced that they were the true god/s (depending on ur particular religion or lack of it)

    and

    would u switch ur current religion to the one their propose is correct, if u were convinced and if so why and if not, why not?
    Just here to Learn =)

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  13. #12 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    Firstly this is not a thread to get at each others throats.

    I will ask a mod to close it if people start defending their beliefs or their non-beliefs.

    This thread is intended to look at how open peoples minds are to other views in front of irrefutable proof, that is contrary to their beliefs.

    If a god/several gods came to earth, and said that they are the true god/s... they had the angels with the wings the knowledge everything that would make u believe that they were the real deal

    But, they were not of ur faith...i.e. claiming that a 1 religion was right and all the others were wrong and u were in a wrong religion.

    Would you adjust ur faith and beliefs accordingly or say its lies and blasphemous and continue to stick to ur beliefs despite the overwhelming evidence(u could even call it holy evidence) that u are wrong, and whatever the religion that is right says will happen to non-believers u know 100% will happen to u unless u change

    this question can also be applied to non believers(I know many of them have no scientific proof that god exists) and hence refuse to believe in god, this scenario would give them that proof

    the assumption here if its not clear above is the evidence is overwhelming to u personally irrespective of what u previously believed, which means that u have to imagine that the evidence would convince u that this is the true god/s that has come to earth>>> IRREFUTABLE PROOF


    please say what u would do

    and

    Why u would make the decision that u ultimately decide.

    SideNote: I know something like this would change my views of the world...
    If a being came to earth claiming to be the creator.......

    he/she/it would have to be infinitely knowledgeable, humble, kind, powerful and just, and It would have to appear to everybody simultaneously throughout the world. As a real human. I could be in awe of something like that.
    But even that could still be a very powerful alien.
    And it also pretty much rules out all gods worshiped on earth today.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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  14. #13 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    Firstly this is not a thread to get at each others throats.

    I will ask a mod to close it if people start defending their beliefs or their non-beliefs.

    This thread is intended to look at how open peoples minds are to other views in front of irrefutable proof, that is contrary to their beliefs.

    If a god/several gods came to earth, and said that they are the true god/s... they had the angels with the wings the knowledge everything that would make u believe that they were the real deal

    But, they were not of ur faith...i.e. claiming that a 1 religion was right and all the others were wrong and u were in a wrong religion.

    Would you adjust ur faith and beliefs accordingly or say its lies and blasphemous and continue to stick to ur beliefs despite the overwhelming evidence(u could even call it holy evidence) that u are wrong, and whatever the religion that is right says will happen to non-believers u know 100% will happen to u unless u change

    this question can also be applied to non believers(I know many of them have no scientific proof that god exists) and hence refuse to believe in god, this scenario would give them that proof

    the assumption here if its not clear above is the evidence is overwhelming to u personally irrespective of what u previously believed, which means that u have to imagine that the evidence would convince u that this is the true god/s that has come to earth>>> IRREFUTABLE PROOF


    please say what u would do

    and

    Why u would make the decision that u ultimately decide.

    SideNote: I know something like this would change my views of the world...
    If a being came to earth claiming to be the creator.......

    he/she/it would have to be infinitely knowledgeable, humble, kind, powerful and just, and It would have to appear to everybody simultaneously throughout the world. As a real human. I could be in awe of something like that.
    But even that could still be a very powerful alien.
    And it also pretty much rules out all gods worshiped on earth today.
    I am not saying that it would have to appear to everyone I was asking personal opinions, so u are saying if I have understood u correctly that if a being rocked up and and could do the things u mention u would become a believer and change ur religious beliefs

    this should be about ur ability to change ur views the answers to the thread should be:

    1. This is what I would personally need in order to believe that this is a true god

    2. I would change my beliefs or I would switch..
    Just here to Learn =)

    Not Thinking is a sign of laziness, everyone has to make a choice at some point in their lives, either they reach a degree of non thinking where being stupid is just easier or they start thinking and enjoy the life they have now
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  15. #14 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    Firstly this is not a thread to get at each others throats.

    I will ask a mod to close it if people start defending their beliefs or their non-beliefs.

    This thread is intended to look at how open peoples minds are to other views in front of irrefutable proof, that is contrary to their beliefs.

    If a god/several gods came to earth, and said that they are the true god/s... they had the angels with the wings the knowledge everything that would make u believe that they were the real deal

    But, they were not of ur faith...i.e. claiming that a 1 religion was right and all the others were wrong and u were in a wrong religion.

    Would you adjust ur faith and beliefs accordingly or say its lies and blasphemous and continue to stick to ur beliefs despite the overwhelming evidence(u could even call it holy evidence) that u are wrong, and whatever the religion that is right says will happen to non-believers u know 100% will happen to u unless u change

    this question can also be applied to non believers(I know many of them have no scientific proof that god exists) and hence refuse to believe in god, this scenario would give them that proof

    the assumption here if its not clear above is the evidence is overwhelming to u personally irrespective of what u previously believed, which means that u have to imagine that the evidence would convince u that this is the true god/s that has come to earth>>> IRREFUTABLE PROOF


    please say what u would do

    and

    Why u would make the decision that u ultimately decide.

    SideNote: I know something like this would change my views of the world...
    If a being came to earth claiming to be the creator.......

    he/she/it would have to be infinitely knowledgeable, humble, kind, powerful and just, and It would have to appear to everybody simultaneously throughout the world. As a real human. I could be in awe of something like that.
    But even that could still be a very powerful alien.
    And it also pretty much rules out all gods worshiped on earth today.
    I am not saying that it would have to appear to everyone I was asking personal opinions, so u are saying if I have understood u correctly that if a being rocked up and and could do the things u mention u would become a believer and change ur religious beliefs

    this should be about ur ability to change ur views the answers to the thread should be:

    1. This is what I would personally need in order to believe that this is a true god

    2. I would change my beliefs or I would switch..
    That was my personal opinion, please note I did say "I could be in awe of something like that.
    But even that could still be a very powerful alien".

    So no, I would not start to believe a god exists, because there is doubt it is a god.

    There is nothing, that could ever make me believe there is s true god, as we could all easily mistake a very advanced alien as a god.

    Thus I would continue with my lack of belief. but yes I would be in awe of such a being/alien.

    You could try to answer a question for me, How would a being prove it was god, in light of all the doubts?
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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  16. #15  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    would u switch ur current religion to the one their propose is correct, if u were convinced and if so why and if not, why not?
    Oh yeah that is a no brainer. If they managed to convince me that their world view was more accurate than mine then yes I would in fact be convinced. This is a tautology of the form "If A then A", which is always true.

    But perhaps what you are really asking is if we think it is possible that we are wrong in some of the things we believe now even a very large portion of what we believe now?

    My answer is yes and no.

    My answer is yes because I am already SURE that I am in fact wrong in a large portion of what I believe now.

    However my answer is also no, and the reason has to do with why Thomas Kuhn's book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" was pure bosh when it comes to the hard science. It has to do with the reason why new scientific theories like relativity and quantum theory don't really overthrow the scientific theories of the past. This is because the FACT is that the very FIRST test which these new theories must pass is to show that they actually AGREE with current theory in those cases where we know it is correct.

    But the same is true with a great deal of my other beliefs. I in fact gave an example of one such belief when I gave my conclusion above concerning my reaction to these aliens trying to confirm the truth of the beliefs of some idiot anti-science cult. I am unable to fathom any reason except diabolical deception for these aliens trying to convince us of a literal interpretation of Genesis contradicting not only the findings of science but everything I see of value in both the Bible and Christianity.

    The same goes in the other direction as well, because as I have said repeatedly religion is primarily about subjective decision not objective observation and so I am not likely to accept their belief that we are nothing more than clever monkeys any more than I am likely to accept a belief on their part that they have the right to eat us.


    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    What evidence would u require to be convinced that they were the true god/s (depending on ur particular religion or lack of it)
    There is only one such evidence I can think of that might come close to convincing, and that is that they would require no such evidence. They would, for example, require no such evidence if they had no need or desire for us to believe what they say anyway. For "true gods", simply being what they are should be all the evidence that is required - in other words, they would know us and they would be what we need, and what reason would be have to resist that?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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  17. #16 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    You could try to answer a question for me, How would a being prove it was god, in light of all the doubts?
    thats the only thing I did not discuss in the thread because of the fact that I might say real angels appear to u....or someone rises from the dead and goes into heaven... or God just appears in front of u....

    I didn't really refer to specific examples because it isn't relevant to the question, I said assume that the proof was there, and each person would likely require different proof depending on their standards

    I am also not religious and would not easily change my views on this point...but I wanted to see what people thoughts were on it and if their views would change and if they are aware of what that change would require

    I use to believe in god, devout Christian....then discovered and started reading about dinosaurs asked my priest a few questions on them and was not happy with the answers that was evidence put forward to change my view away from religion....so if i technically reverse it maybe (this is COMPLETELY hypothetical and I am using christianity here because I know more about that religion than the others) if a whole stack of evidence just popped up saying the earth is in fact only a few thousand years old and dinosaurs dont exist and all the evidence we have on not only the universe and how it operates and evolution and how it operates has been forged, and the truth comes out that the earth was made in exactly the way it is described to be made in the bible which I know is impossible but for discussions sake lets make the leap...

    then I would likely have a new and very different perspective on my current views maybe enough to say well hang on...if their right about this stuff they might be right about a few other things and would probably give religion a second look... and this is all still without any physical being showing up and claiming that their god
    Just here to Learn =)

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    Depends. I view the higher power as an entity of benevolence, a kind of love that we can only describe as unconditional, eternal, and complete. Along with characteristics of omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, any being that showed itself to be of godlike stature but was the antithesis of the prime trait, hate and malevolence instead of love, I would reject that entity.
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  19. #18 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    You could try to answer a question for me, How would a being prove it was god, in light of all the doubts?
    thats the only thing I did not discuss in the thread because of the fact that I might say real angels appear to u....or someone rises from the dead and goes into heaven... or God just appears in front of u....
    I think you misunderstand, doubts. They will still be there regardless of whether an all powerful god, sent angels, changed the colour of the sky, made the moon vanish or turned off the sun, it could still be a very powerful alien, it doesn't prove it was a god by any of this, and a being that intelligent would know that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    I didn't really refer to specific examples because it isn't relevant to the question, I said assume that the proof was there, and each person would likely require different proof depending on their standards
    Do you really think a benevolent being would need or want to prove itself. I dont need my son to know that I'm there for him, I just am.
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    I am also not religious and would not easily change my views on this point...
    Sorry I very much doubt that, because of your OP, and this post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    but I wanted to see what people thoughts were on it and if their views would change and if they are aware of what that change would require
    I use to believe in god, devout Christian....then discovered and started reading about dinosaurs asked my priest a few questions on them and was not happy with the answers that was evidence put forward to change my view away from religion....so if i technically reverse it maybe (this is COMPLETELY hypothetical and I am using christianity here because I know more about that religion than the others) if a whole stack of evidence just popped up saying the earth is in fact only a few thousand years old and dinosaurs dont exist and all the evidence we have on not only the universe and how it operates and evolution and how it operates has been forged, and the truth comes out that the earth was made in exactly the way it is described to be made in the bible which I know is impossible but for discussions sake lets make the leap...
    then I would likely have a new and very different perspective on my current views maybe enough to say well hang on...if their right about this stuff they might be right about a few other things and would probably give religion a second look...
    Yes anybody would take a second look at religion and yes you would consider the bible to be truth, in that hypothetical scenario. but in reality we know differently.
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    and this is all still without any physical being showing up and claiming that their god
    If a being did it would still be doubted.
    the bible has change so much since it was first compiled, and there are so many different versions of it today, how can you know if it right or not. Given the absurdities written within.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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  20. #19 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    You could try to answer a question for me, How would a being prove it was god, in light of all the doubts?
    thats the only thing I did not discuss in the thread because of the fact that I might say real angels appear to u....or someone rises from the dead and goes into heaven... or God just appears in front of u....
    I think you misunderstand, doubts. They will still be there regardless of whether an all powerful god, sent angels, changed the colour of the sky, made the moon vanish or turned off the sun, it could still be a very powerful alien, it doesn't prove it was a god by any of this, and a being that intelligent would know that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    I didn't really refer to specific examples because it isn't relevant to the question, I said assume that the proof was there, and each person would likely require different proof depending on their standards
    Do you really think a benevolent being would need or want to prove itself. I dont need my son to know that I'm there for him, I just am.
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    I am also not religious and would not easily change my views on this point...
    Sorry I very much doubt that, because of your OP, and this post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    but I wanted to see what people thoughts were on it and if their views would change and if they are aware of what that change would require
    I use to believe in god, devout Christian....then discovered and started reading about dinosaurs asked my priest a few questions on them and was not happy with the answers that was evidence put forward to change my view away from religion....so if i technically reverse it maybe (this is COMPLETELY hypothetical and I am using christianity here because I know more about that religion than the others) if a whole stack of evidence just popped up saying the earth is in fact only a few thousand years old and dinosaurs dont exist and all the evidence we have on not only the universe and how it operates and evolution and how it operates has been forged, and the truth comes out that the earth was made in exactly the way it is described to be made in the bible which I know is impossible but for discussions sake lets make the leap...
    then I would likely have a new and very different perspective on my current views maybe enough to say well hang on...if their right about this stuff they might be right about a few other things and would probably give religion a second look...
    Yes anybody would take a second look at religion and yes you would consider the bible to be truth, in that hypothetical scenario. but in reality we know differently.
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    and this is all still without any physical being showing up and claiming that their god
    If a being did it would still be doubted.
    the bible has change so much since it was first compiled, and there are so many different versions of it today, how can you know if it right or not. Given the absurdities written within.
    Hi there geezer I am not asking to be ridiculed on my personal opinions and to accuse me of lying is something I do not appreciate

    On another note u seem to be more focused on criticizing my questions than actually posting answers to the question

    the OP was to see if people weather religious or not would under certain circumstances just change their views

    and

    if they new what it would require to change them and are they aware that that possibility exists

    I made the post to test the human ability to look at new perspectives with new data, I was trying to show that us as scientists(me included) are not as blind as the religious fanatics of our past in looking at new information

    please if u think anything in this thread is religious in any way go ahead and inform a Mod rather than moan in the thread about me being religious or not.

    I haven't looked at religion since I was about 9 when I started asking a priest about dinosaurs etc.....
    Just here to Learn =)

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  21. #20 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    Hi there geezer I am not asking to be ridiculed on my personal opinions and to accuse me of lying is something I do not appreciate

    On another note u seem to be more focused on criticizing my questions than actually posting answers to the question

    the OP was to see if people weather religious or not would under certain circumstances just change their views

    and

    if they new what it would require to change them and are they aware that that possibility exists

    I made the post to test the human ability to look at new perspectives with new data, I was trying to show that us as scientists(me included) are not as blind as the religious fanatics of our past in looking at new information

    please if u think anything in this thread is religious in any way go ahead and inform a Mod rather than moan in the thread about me being religious or not.

    I haven't looked at religion since I was about 9 when I started asking a priest about dinosaurs etc.....
    Looks like you didn't anticipate running into anti-theists who are just as incapable of considering alternatives and possibilities as fundamentalists in religion, demonstrating quite well just how applicable this term "fundamentalist" can be to some atheists as it to many theists. Some people find thought provoking questions so threatening that they lash out quite blindly in response to them.
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  22. #21 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Looks like you didn't anticipate running into anti-theists who are just as incapable of considering alternatives and possibilities as fundamentalists in religion, demonstrating quite well just how applicable this term "fundamentalist" can be to some atheists as it to many theists. Some people find thought provoking questions so threatening that they lash out quite blindly in response to them.
    yeah I was not expecting that at all

    well then I am happy the thread has taught me something new, this is why I am such a big advocate of freedom of the mind rather than the following of any one theory or philosophy or even hard-core fact

    I made op for that purpose to find out if this group existed on the scientic forums and how rigorously this group would defend their views even in front of imaginary evidence rather than look at the alternative

    If u think the thread is pulling off topic...please step in and trash it

    My questions have been answered successfully by many posters who it appears are more open minded than others.... it shows that this forum really has a lot of genuine open minded people on it and for the record I am really enjoying the debates and discussions

    thanks MM for stepping in here to address the degradation of the conversation
    Just here to Learn =)

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    I found your op interesting. I would like to have answered it but I kept stumbling at this point.
    This thread is intended to look at how open peoples minds are to other views in front of irrefutable proof, that is contrary to their beliefs.
    I just can't get my head around the idea of irrefutable proof. It just runs counter to all my ways of looking at the world.

    If you had asked 'how predisposed would you be to accepting an entity as God if he offered some pretty convincing support for his claim?' I could have answered that one. I would likely go along with it as long as he (how comes its a he?) could explain adequately why he had decided to reveal himself now. But I would always have a sneaking suspicion that this was some advanced alien just taking the piss.

    Is that close minded? Maybe, but I rather think the opposite.
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  24. #23 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Always asking
    If a god/several gods came to earth, and said that they are the true god/s... they had the angels with the wings the knowledge everything that would make u believe that they were the real deal.

    [But, they were not of ur faith...i.e. claiming that a 1 religion was right and all the others were wrong and u were in a wrong religion.

    Would you adjust ur faith and beliefs accordingly or say its lies and blasphemous and continue to stick to ur beliefs despite the overwhelming evidence(u could even call it holy evidence) that u are wrong, and whatever the religion that is right says will happen to non-believers u know 100% will happen to u unless u change
    I would be very skeptical, they could be very powerful beings, who could be deceiving me. If they were gods they could make me a believer without ever having to come here. but I think any god worth it's salt wouldn't interfere, as he would know, that a reasonably intelligent being like man, would be skeptical.

    As for openmindedness
    Open or closed mindedness are meaningless concepts outside of specific evidence on a specific topic. The essence of science is being open to 'credibly' presented evidence and dismissing evidence that can't be substantiated(how would these beings prove beyond a shadow of a doubt they are actually gods). Dismissing Santa Claus, Jesus raising zombies from the dead, Leprechauns, etc. is not closed mindedness but Rational thought. Being 'open minded' does not equate with 'willing to take a look at' non-credible evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Looks like you didn't anticipate running into anti-theists who are just as incapable of considering alternatives and possibilities as fundamentalists in religion, demonstrating quite well just how applicable this term "fundamentalist" can be to some atheists as it to many theists. Some people find thought provoking questions so threatening that they lash out quite blindly in response to them.
    Wow your confusing Mitchell!
    Where in the geezers above post is geezer being anti-theist, please elaborate thank you?.
    And it seems someone needs to learn the meaning of certain words.
    do you even know what a Fundamentalist is.
    Where is geezer holding a strict adherence to a set of basic principles or clinging to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies reasoned argument or contradictory evidence, please elaborate 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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  25. #24 Re: Interesting thought on Faith, Religion and Open Mindedne 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Looks like you didn't anticipate running into anti-theists who are just as incapable of considering alternatives and possibilities as fundamentalists in religion, demonstrating quite well just how applicable this term "fundamentalist" can be to some atheists as it to many theists. Some people find thought provoking questions so threatening that they lash out quite blindly in response to them.
    Wow your confusing Mitchell!
    Where in the geezers above post is geezer being anti-theist, please elaborate thank you?.
    And it seems someone needs to learn the meaning of certain words.
    do you even know what a Fundamentalist is.
    Where is geezer holding a strict adherence to a set of basic principles or clinging to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies reasoned argument or contradictory evidence, please elaborate thank you?.
    I am sorry that you are confused. There is a thread discussing the meaning of the word "fundamentalist" and you can see my views there on the topic and that is where you can make your own comments on my views of the matter.

    The evidence for my comment in this thread is found in geezer's rather bizarre reaction to Always.asking where he thinks that the OP asking a hypothetical question is grounds for doubting Always.asking's professions of his own belief. That is an extremely questionable thing to do in first place, and I think simple rationality must require the most substantial of evidence for a claim like that, for how are we to credit his extraordinary claims to know what another person believes?

    The implication that I see is that geezer thinks Always.asking is asking forbidden questions and I am sorry but that sounds EXACTLY like the behavior of the fundamentalist religionist.
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  26. #25  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Had to duck and dive on that one a litte Mitch. :wink:
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    thats the only thing I did not discuss in the thread because of the fact that I might say real angels appear to u
    another reaason you cannot scientifically study religion. thos ethat use the scientific method want to dismiss all the sightings of angels as poppycock yet forget that many of these sightings were done by those who meant to do missionaries harm.

    i know of at least one story where the rebelling tribe were stopped at a missionary's home and did not attack. later they asked the missionaries who were the men on their roof? the missionaries replied, 'what men'. after the tribesmen explained what they saw, the missionaries concluded that those 'men' were angels sent to protect them.

    how is science going to come to any real conclusion if they dismiss experiential and observed data simply because it doesn't fit their personal beliefs? the scientific study of religion is NOT an open-minded endeavor,itis not an objective one either as the the 'rules' are designed to omit alll the data and only deal with thepreference of the ones doing the studying.

    to do a scientific study of religion, you have to be honest, include all data and be open minded or the study is worthless.
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    thats the only thing I did not discuss in the thread because of the fact that I might say real angels appear to u
    another reaason you cannot scientifically study religion. thos ethat use the scientific method want to dismiss all the sightings of angels as poppycock yet forget that many of these sightings were done by those who meant to do missionaries harm.
    On that basis, though, you are saying every religion is corect. Since this cannot be so, we can only assume that none are, untill we see some irrefutable evidence for one over the others.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i know of at least one story where the rebelling tribe were stopped at a missionary's home and did not attack. later they asked the missionaries who were the men on their roof? the missionaries replied, 'what men'. after the tribesmen explained what they saw, the missionaries concluded that those 'men' were angels sent to protect them.
    'Story'. Indeed.

    How about similar stories for other religions? On what basis do you dismiss these?

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    how is science going to come to any real conclusion if they dismiss experiential and observed data
    You mean, stories? Well, because they are just that. They were not from reliable sources, they were not undertaken in controlled conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    simply because it doesn't fit their personal beliefs?
    I.... have no beliefs? So how can anything go against them?

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    the scientific study of religion is NOT an open-minded endeavor,itis not an objective one either as the the 'rules' are designed to omit alll the data and only deal with thepreference of the ones doing the studying.
    Not so. They omit all data which is not verifiable.

    Stories and beliefs are not data.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    to do a scientific study of religion, you have to be honest, include all data and be open minded or the study is worthless.
    There are a great number of christian scientists, yet none of them has yet found even a tiny amount of evidence for their beliefs. Why do you think this is, then? Clearly it does not conflict with their beliefs.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    Hi there geezer I am not asking to be ridiculed on my personal opinions and to accuse me of lying is something I do not appreciate
    Your statement in your OP, ie "and hence refuse to believe in god" is something a religious person would say, not a non religious person. this is why I doubt the sincerity, with your claim of non religious.
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    On another note u seem to be more focused on criticizing my questions than actually posting answers to the question
    Well unless I'm blind I think I answered your question twice in posts 12 and 14, but you did not seem to like those answers and were pushing for some alternate ones. Hence why I said "I think you misunderstand, doubts. They will still be there regardless of whether an all powerful god, sent angels, changed the colour of the sky, made the moon vanish or turned off the sun, it could still be a very powerful alien, it doesn't prove it was a god by any of this, and a being that intelligent would know that." in my last post.
    That was my third time trying to get you to understand my answers, it's not rocket science now is it.
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    the OP was to see if people weather religious or not would under certain circumstances just change their views,
    and I told you what would happen in my case, in posts 12, 14, and 18, and several other members have posted up similar replies throughout this thread but you seem to want your own set of answers, answers that fit your beliefs.
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    I made the post to test the human ability to look at new perspectives with new data, I was trying to show that us as scientists(me included) are not as blind as the religious fanatics of our past in looking at new information.
    By using hypotheticals you failed, new perspectives must be factual, not fiction, hence the fail.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    looks like you didn't anticipate running into anti-theists who are just as incapable of considering alternatives and possibilities as fundamentalists in religion, demonstrating quite well just how applicable this term "fundamentalist" can be to some atheists as it to many theists. Some people find thought provoking questions so threatening that they lash out quite blindly in response to them.
    Where is any of this anti-theist
    "I think you misunderstand, doubts. They will still be there regardless of whether an all powerful god, sent angels, changed the colour of the sky, made the moon vanish or turned off the sun, it could still be a very powerful alien, it doesn't prove it was a god by any of this, and a being that intelligent would know that."
    "Do you really think a benevolent being would need or want to prove itself. I dont need my son to know that I'm there for him, I just am."
    "Sorry I very much doubt that, because of your OP, and this post."
    "Yes anybody would take a second look at religion and yes you would consider the bible to be truth, in that hypothetical scenario. but in reality we know differently."
    "If a being did it would still be doubted.
    the bible has change so much since it was first compiled, and there are so many different versions of it today, how can you know if it right or not. Given the absurdities written within."

    And in regard to being called a fundamentalist, The very idea of a fundamentalist atheist makes no sense. Seriously consider what fundamentalism is supposed to mean. Fundamentalism is about relying on fundamental beliefs. it is problematical because there are no fundamental beliefs for an atheist to be fundamental about. so how can that possibly apply to the atheist?
    This is your prejudice and misunderstandings of atheism showing
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    Hi there geezer I am not asking to be ridiculed on my personal opinions and to accuse me of lying is something I do not appreciate
    Your statement in your OP, ie "and hence refuse to believe in god" is something a religious person would say, not a non religious person. this is why I doubt the sincerity, with your claim of non religious.
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    On another note u seem to be more focused on criticizing my questions than actually posting answers to the question
    Well unless I'm blind I think I answered your question twice in posts 12 and 14, but you did not seem to like those answers and were pushing for some alternate ones. Hence why I said "I think you misunderstand, doubts. They will still be there regardless of whether an all powerful god, sent angels, changed the colour of the sky, made the moon vanish or turned off the sun, it could still be a very powerful alien, it doesn't prove it was a god by any of this, and a being that intelligent would know that." in my last post.
    That was my third time trying to get you to understand my answers, it's not rocket science now is it.
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    the OP was to see if people weather religious or not would under certain circumstances just change their views,
    and I told you what would happen in my case, in posts 12, 14, and 18, and several other members have posted up similar replies throughout this thread but you seem to want your own set of answers, answers that fit your beliefs.
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    I made the post to test the human ability to look at new perspectives with new data, I was trying to show that us as scientists(me included) are not as blind as the religious fanatics of our past in looking at new information.
    By using hypotheticals you failed, new perspectives must be factual, not fiction, hence the fail.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    looks like you didn't anticipate running into anti-theists who are just as incapable of considering alternatives and possibilities as fundamentalists in religion, demonstrating quite well just how applicable this term "fundamentalist" can be to some atheists as it to many theists. Some people find thought provoking questions so threatening that they lash out quite blindly in response to them.
    Where is any of this anti-theist
    "I think you misunderstand, doubts. They will still be there regardless of whether an all powerful god, sent angels, changed the colour of the sky, made the moon vanish or turned off the sun, it could still be a very powerful alien, it doesn't prove it was a god by any of this, and a being that intelligent would know that."
    "Do you really think a benevolent being would need or want to prove itself. I dont need my son to know that I'm there for him, I just am."
    "Sorry I very much doubt that, because of your OP, and this post."
    "Yes anybody would take a second look at religion and yes you would consider the bible to be truth, in that hypothetical scenario. but in reality we know differently."
    "If a being did it would still be doubted.
    the bible has change so much since it was first compiled, and there are so many different versions of it today, how can you know if it right or not. Given the absurdities written within."

    And in regard to being called a fundamentalist, The very idea of a fundamentalist atheist makes no sense. Seriously consider what fundamentalism is supposed to mean. Fundamentalism is about relying on fundamental beliefs. it is problematical because there are no fundamental beliefs for an atheist to be fundamental about. so how can that possibly apply to the atheist?
    This is your prejudice and misunderstandings of atheism showing
    Dont even know where to start with a post like this, u say u answered the original question but all u did was criticize my statement and then go on to say that such a situation I propose will never happen hence no reason to answer the question...unless u cant really comprehend the question in the first place.

    U say its some alien this is not what I was asking for again I seem to be repeating myself and I am just about over it...

    show me where in ur posts u say:

    I would / woundnt switch my beliefs and why

    Under the following circumstances I would switch my beliefs

    I just dont think ur grasping my question properly, I don't ask what they do I ask what would they need to do in order to convince u personally

    where do I say I am religious in the OP, u quote something here then refer to something somewhere else.

    I personally find the bible the most ridiculous book ever compiled.

    My view on religion is simple:
    the wise dont believe in god/gods
    the masses believe in god/gods
    and the leaders find the concept useful

    As for ur comment on fundamentalism, thats where anyone makes a belief in something irrespective of new evidence that proves them wrong
    (In this case hypothetical evidence)

    I could of just as easily made this post 800 years ago in Europe saying hypothetically (and if I was religious)if the earth was billions of years old and dinosaurs existed and the earth was not the center of the universe and it wasnt flat.....etc

    then would u change ur views if faced with evidence to prove that the above stuff was true....I think I would be forced in that hypothetical situation to say well religion doesnt have the answers

    So I guess I just reversed the situation to see if people are open minded to new evidence(and I was targeting the audience that is not religious to test their ability to be open minded)

    All I can guess is u would be one of the people that have an argument along the lines of "this would never happen hence no reason to answer question"

    hence a fundamentalist approach to the things around u
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    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    Dont even know where to start with a post like this, u say u answered the original question but all u did was criticize my statement, and then go on to say that such a situation I propose will never happen hence no reason to answer the question...unless u cant really comprehend the question in the first place.
    Could you show me where in my first post of this thread, I did that, thank you.

    HERE I've posted it up to make it easier for you.

    "If a being came to earth claiming to be the creator.......

    he/she/it would have to be infinitely knowledgeable, humble, kind, powerful and just, and It would have to appear to everybody simultaneously throughout the world. As a real human. I could be in awe of something like that.
    But even that could still be a very powerful alien.
    And it also pretty much rules out all gods worshiped on earth today"


    Can you point out, where the alleged criticism is and where did I say "that such a situation will never happen hence no reason to answer the question" thank you it would be appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    U say its some alien this is not what I was asking for again I seem to be repeating myself and I am just about over it...

    show me where in ur posts u say:

    I would / woundnt switch my beliefs and why

    Under the following circumstances I would switch my beliefs
    After my first post you stated this
    "this should be about your ability to change your views the answers to the thread should be:

    1. This is what I would personally need in order to believe that this is a true god

    2. I would change my beliefs or I would switch..



    You for some reason thought my answer, though it was the same as the other posters, wasn't how you wanted it to be answered.
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    I just dont think ur grasping my question properly, I don't ask what they do I ask what would they need to do in order to convince u personally
    Then I'm in very good company it seem nobody who replied to this thread grasped you questions, or answered the way you wanted them to. See below.

    Post 1 reply by Mitchell Mckain
    "These are not gods but aliens with a rather peculiar relgion. "

    Post 2 reply by Kalster
    "But here is were it get's more difficult for me. What would actually differentiate a god from simply a very advanced alien? "

    Post 3 reply by Marcus Clayman
    "I share MM's attitude. There is just no way to know these beings are what they seem to be,"

    Post 4 reply by Scifor Refugee
    "I really thought I would be rewarded and protected, I would probably do it regardless of whether it was a 'real god' or merely a 'super-advanced being'. Assuming its demands weren't somehow repugnant to me, of course."

    Post 5 reply by Lynx Fox
    " In short no. I'd assume they were just very advanced beings. "
    Quote Originally Posted by Always.Asking
    where do I say I am religious in the OP, u quote something here then refer to something somewhere else.
    You didn't say you were religious you made a statement that only a religious person would say.
    Ie
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    "and hence refuse to believe in god
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    You didn't say you were religious you made a statement that only a religious person would say.
    Ie
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    "and hence refuse to believe in god
    I am sorry geezer but I don't see it.

    This sounds much much more like archeologists declaring right and left that nobody else on the board is a true christian because they don't agree with him on what he thinks is important. I can accept that you don't like that phrase and would avoid it in your atheistic purity but making that the criterion by which you can tell everyone what someone else believes just isn't rational.

    Can you get a confirmation on this judgement from Kalister, SkinWalker (or a couple other atheists) that they too would draw the same conclusions you have, or are Kalister, SkinWalker (and the other athieists on this forum) not good enough to be called atheists either?

    I think that anyone with intellectual integrity would "refuse to believe in" archeologist's anti-science meglamanical god.

    Is there something wrong with the above statement that somehow implies that you can turn that around and say that my use of this phrase, "refuse to believe in", means that I actually believe in archy's god or any other god for that matter. I don't get it. I think you have to rely on my own statement of belief, where I say that although I don't believe in archy's control freak god, I do believe in quite a different God.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    I didn't get that impression from his OP either.
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  34. #33  
    Forum Masters Degree geezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    You didn't say you were religious you made a statement that only a religious person would say.
    Ie
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    "and hence refuse to believe in god
    I am sorry geezer but I don't see it.
    Then perhaps it is just me, perhaps I've inferred to much from what I read, I therefore apologize.

    But I will say in my own defense, I've come across a lot of religious posts over the years, Which do tend to use the denial/refuse argument.

    I never seen it stated by a non-religious person. The non religious lack a belief in the god claims of other, not a refusal of belief.
    You must first have a belief to be able to refuse or deny it.
    If you have no belief in a thing how do you refuse to believe it.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    You didn't say you were religious you made a statement that only a religious person would say.
    Ie
    Quote Originally Posted by always asking
    "and hence refuse to believe in god
    I am sorry geezer but I don't see it.
    Then perhaps it is just me, perhaps I've inferred to much from what I read, I therefore apologize.

    But I will say in my own defense, I've come across a lot of religious posts over the years, Which do tend to use the denial/refuse argument.

    I never seen it stated by a non-religious person. The non religious lack a belief in the god claims of other, not a refusal of belief.
    You must first have a belief to be able to refuse or deny it.
    If you have no belief in a thing how do you refuse to believe it.
    Its chilled No hard feelings...I have to also admit here that I should of made the post clearer...Im a bit of a logic nut for certain things and flying down to earth for me was the only way I could really conceive beings rocking up in a logical way

    I agree I have also come across alot of that stuff lately...I think it was one of those types of threads that got me thinking about this topic in the first place

    I just want to also thank you geezer for the stimulating debate and I think its made the overall topic clearer on what I was asking?

    Lets say it was a team effort to get the forum members to understand me despite my inability to write...lol

    Im the last person on earth to take what people online say 2 seriously

    Have a good one...Keep posting
    Just here to Learn =)

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  36. #35  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    But I will say in my own defense, I've come across a lot of religious posts over the years, Which do tend to use the denial/refuse argument.

    I never seen it stated by a non-religious person. The non religious lack a belief in the god claims of other, not a refusal of belief.
    You must first have a belief to be able to refuse or deny it.
    If you have no belief in a thing how do you refuse to believe it.
    I hear what you are saying but I think it is pretty natural with this these fundie christians in your face demanding that you acknowledge the existence of their god, to say that you refuse their demand to do so.

    They also like to say that you are "rebelling", right? But I don't think even the use of the word rebelling by itself should make you think they are covert theists. After all in many areas these fundie christians are such a domineering majority that you could use the word rebelling to mean the you are rebelling against their social pressure and conditioning, don't you think?

    HOWEVER, the phrase "rebelling against God" might be more of a give away wouldn't it? I might imagine an atheist saying "I rebel against your god" though he would do better to put the word "god" in quotes to express himself more clearly. But lack of clarity and imperfections in self-expression should not be taken as proof of covert theism, especially when a large number of atheists have been raised in some religion and may habitually use phrases that don't express what they believe as well as they could.


    Anyway I am sorry to harp on this. Sometimes I do belabor things I suppose.
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    MM, I just want you to know that I am learning from a lot of the things you say.

    I would be completely willing to change my beliefs if there was anything good to learn.

    How I see it, one's beliefs are a means to an end.

    Pythagoras learned mostly from the Egyptians and then the Phoenicians, but he also learned from many others. He developed his secret society around the collective of knowledge that he gathered and made the most sense according to his principles, which were solely to love wisdom, to live, freely, learning from everything.

    He in no way subjected himself to Egyptian or any other religious devotion, although he considered religion important. This may have been political, but I doubt it. I think he, like many, saw religion as "everywhere, all the same" having traveled, and learning from many different cultures, and their religious mysteries, he was able to see beyond their superficial rituals deep into what those rituals and the religions as a whole, meant to the people who practiced them, and that it is indeed, "everywhere, all the same"

    Individuation is a process that we are all undergoing, and religion, faith, critical thought, science, creativity, freedom: these are tools we are using to grow as much as we can, but it is not completely individualistic, because a part of this growing process is to teach others, a very big part of this process indeed, if not THE biggest part of the process.

    The point of pythagoras' teachings were individuation. I am not a follower of his ways, because they, as all philosophies were of a specific context, that land, in those days, both of which are quite different. But I am a follower of what he followed, and if anyone has something to share, it is not in it's grandeur that we find it's value. A God is not a God because of the powers He/She/It weilds, but because of it's very being. Just as truth is not truth because of how useful it is, or how enlightened it makes us, but because it simply IS. There is much to learn in the many simple things that the few complexities that exist overlook.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    How I see it, one's beliefs are a means to an end.
    You may want to look into the epistemological philosophy called pragmatism, because that sounds like something a pragmatist might say. The way I like to put it is this: the effect of believing something is part of its truth value.

    Pragmatism began a bit like existentialism did as part of an effort at Christian apologetics (by Charles Sanders Peirce), but also like existentialism the ideas were quickly taken up by philosophers with a more secular agenda. Peirce was followed by the psychologist William James, whose "Varieties of Religious Experience" is a must read for anyone who seriously wants to do a scientific study of religion. James was followed by John Dewey, who besides being a philosopher and a psychologist was also an educational reformer.
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  39. #38  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    But I will say in my own defense, I've come across a lot of religious posts over the years, Which do tend to use the denial/refuse argument.

    I never seen it stated by a non-religious person. The non religious lack a belief in the god claims of other, not a refusal of belief.
    You must first have a belief to be able to refuse or deny it.
    If you have no belief in a thing how do you refuse to believe it.
    I hear what you are saying but I think it is pretty natural with this these fundie christians in your face demanding that you acknowledge the existence of their god, to say that you refuse their demand to do so.

    They also like to say that you are "rebelling", right? But I don't think even the use of the word rebelling by itself should make you think they are covert theists. After all in many areas these fundie christians are such a domineering majority that you could use the word rebelling to mean the you are rebelling against their social pressure and conditioning, don't you think?

    HOWEVER, the phrase "rebelling against God" might be more of a give away wouldn't it? I might imagine an atheist saying "I rebel against your god" though he would do better to put the word "god" in quotes to express himself more clearly. But lack of clarity and imperfections in self-expression should not be taken as proof of covert theism, especially when a large number of atheists have been raised in some religion and may habitually use phrases that don't express what they believe as well as they could.


    Anyway I am sorry to harp on this. Sometimes I do belabor things I suppose.
    I take a lot of your points - reasonably as you've made them.

    There are, of course, besides imprecisions of language, however, certain matters that stick in atheists' craws (or perhaps I'm the only one).

    If someone tells me, using the words with precision, that I am refusing to believe, just after I have provided him with an argument for my lack of belief, then that person is taking the stance that my argument is irrelevant, by making it personal to my state of mind. This, to my mind, is an illegitimate tactic in debate - it is deliberately demeaning and reminiscent of the dismissive "You haven't experienced it so you're not allowed an opinion" notion of faith-ists, parents etc.

    If talking of the state of mind itself is a legitimate debating tactic or tool, imagine what would happen to all the "I don't question it - my faith is ineffable"-ists up against a Freudian minded debater - what we would get is the sort of nonsense that has Islamists (and many Christians, alas) going "To criticise my religion is to criticise me personally and that is not allowed".

    Whichever way you look at it, the fundies (at least) seem to wish for a special dispensation to be made for them so that they can make personal criticisms and judgements of others without being subject themselves to the same strictures. Their justification for this? The circular "Because my faith is true and yours isn't".

    While your post points out the many exceptions - language imprecision, social peer-pressure issues and so on - it doesn't obviate the point that for many atheists, the standard debating tools of the faith-ist are deliberately targetted at being personally demeaning. One of the reasons, perhaps (though I don't think the book much cop) I have sympathy for Dawkins' title The God Delusion - it is only paying back the majority of faith-ists in their own coin. (This shot-gun approach - it's just a single book after all and cannot cater to every single religious taste - does tar with the same brush people of faith who are not like that, but thems the breaks, sometimes.)

    Anyway

    Sorry for intruding in this - I shall now slope off back to the philo sub-forum...

    cheer

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    The insights of a mild mannered and intelligent philosopher an intrusion? Never. :wink:
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    There are, of course, besides imprecisions of language, however, certain matters that stick in atheists' craws (or perhaps I'm the only one).

    If someone tells me, using the words with precision, that I am refusing to believe, just after I have provided him with an argument for my lack of belief, then that person is taking the stance that my argument is irrelevant, by making it personal to my state of mind. This, to my mind, is an illegitimate tactic in debate - it is deliberately demeaning and reminiscent of the dismissive "You haven't experienced it so you're not allowed an opinion" notion of faith-ists, parents etc.
    Ah yes, that does explain geezer's reaction and helps to clear up my puzzlement. As a pre-emptive reaction to tired old arguments it is understandable if not quite justified. We all have to be careful about reacting to people as if they were old opponents.


    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    While your post points out the many exceptions - language imprecision, social peer-pressure issues and so on - it doesn't obviate the point that for many atheists, the standard debating tools of the faith-ist are deliberately targetted at being personally demeaning.
    Both sides say the same thing and use the ad-hominem attacks of the other to justify their own. The whole catch-22 no doubts starts off with perceived attacks.


    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    One of the reasons, perhaps (though I don't think the book much cop) I have sympathy for Dawkins' title The God Delusion - it is only paying back the majority of faith-ists in their own coin. (This shot-gun approach - it's just a single book after all and cannot cater to every single religious taste - does tar with the same brush people of faith who are not like that, but thems the breaks, sometimes.)
    Yes, perhaps that goes to show that tolerance cannot work in a legalistic approach to the world, but that you have to be bendy enough to allow things to be tested occasionally.
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  42. #41  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Yes, perhaps that goes to show that tolerance cannot work in a legalistic approach to the world, but that you have to be bendy enough to allow things to be tested occasionally.
    Amen
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