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Thread: Why don't you believe in God

  1. #1 Why don't you believe in God 
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    Well?


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  3. #2 Re: Why don't you believe in God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibelieve
    Well?
    There is no reason to.


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    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.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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  4. #3  
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    1: There is as much evidence for God as there is for Santa clause.
    Santa is not real.. neither is God.
    2: Why would a 'good' God allow disease and sickness into the world? Why would he not show his face and stop the raping and pillaging of African children?
    3: If God is more complex than the universe and if God does not need a creator, why does the universe?
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    "back in the 50's or 60's Nicky Criuz was a gang leader who met David Wilkerson in New York City. After much discussion over months or years, i forget how long, Wilkerson's wife became pregnant. one day Cruz decides to test God, he basically prayed--God if you are real let the baby be born a boy-- it was a boy. "
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    There's simply no good reason to believe in any of the gods of humanity. I noticed you didn't specify which god. Do you believe in Quetzacoatl? Zeus? Mithra? Lenny? Why or why not?

    But keeping the discussion within the forum guidelines for the scientific study of religion, the universe behaves and appears exactly as we might expect if the there were no gods in it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    But keeping the discussion within the forum guidelines for the scientific study of religion, the universe behaves and appears exactly as we might expect if the there were no gods in it.
    Perhaps this is the illusion God wanted to create?
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibelieve
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    But keeping the discussion within the forum guidelines for the scientific study of religion, the universe behaves and appears exactly as we might expect if the there were no gods in it.
    Perhaps this is the illusion God wanted to create?
    But why? So only gullible people can get into heaven? So good, honest and compassionate non-believers and geographically challenged (because that largely determines your religious convictions) people can rot in hell, FOREVER?
    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.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  8. #7  
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    Perhaps this is the illusion God wanted to create?
    As Kalster said, what would that achieve? Surely there has to be a reason for such an illusion to exist; you can't argue that there's an illusion for simply no reason.
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  9. #8  
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    [quote="Liongold"]
    Surely there has to be a reason for such an illusion to exist;
    Why? Reasoning is a human quality that exists to help us draw conclusions, but there doesn't need to be a reason for everything. Perhaps more intelligent beings can live without reason, who knows.
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  10. #9  
    Ron
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibelieve
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    But keeping the discussion within the forum guidelines for the scientific study of religion, the universe behaves and appears exactly as we might expect if the there were no gods in it.
    Perhaps this is the illusion God wanted to create?

    Another moving of the goalpost. How far will believers go to defend a bad idea? Apparently so far as to imply a God that is willing to trick us into not believeing in him and then sending us to Hell for it.

    Anyway, let's assume for the moment that it is an illusion. Then, what else is an illusion? If God can be "deceitful" in the creation of the universe, then perhaps we are deceived in other ways as well. How can we trust ANYTHING that we think we know? A mischievous God (besides being a silly concept) is not one worthy of praise or admiration.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron
    [A mischievous God (besides being a silly concept) is not one worthy of praise or admiration.
    Ron
    Surely you must realise this is just your opinion?
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibelieve
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron
    [A mischievous God (besides being a silly concept) is not one worthy of praise or admiration.
    Ron
    Surely you must realise this is just your opinion?

    Yes. Do YOU think that a mischievous and deceitful God is worthy of praise and admiration? If so, why? And how can you trust someone who has already tricked millions upon millions of non-believers throughout history into eternal torture?

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    Maybe's and perhaps's are all well and good, but they need to be followed up with evidence if anyone's going to care about them
    The wise man believes half of what he reads. If he knew which half to believe, he'd be a much wiser man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibelieve
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    But keeping the discussion within the forum guidelines for the scientific study of religion, the universe behaves and appears exactly as we might expect if the there were no gods in it.
    Perhaps this is the illusion God wanted to create?
    Perhaps. But this would be pure conjecture and not worth the time of discussion in a science forum (which this is). Moreover, such a god would be a liar and certainly not worthy of my worship. Indeed, if it is posited that this god is the same god of biblical mythology (you never specified which of the thousands of gods humans have created), then it is an immoral god and definitely not worthy of respect much less worship. *I* am more moral than that god.

    So, rather than slip into speculations and a priori acceptance of any particular god, lets treat your question scientifically and bring it back to what good reason would there to believe in a god?
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    Why? Reasoning is a human quality that exists to help us draw conclusions, but there doesn't need to be a reason for everything. Perhaps more intelligent beings can live without reason, who knows.
    Why can't there be a reason for everything? How do you argue that there cannot be a reason for everything? Surely there is a reason you must have stated so; I would merely like to know your reasoning behind this particular conclusion.

    Further, I'd like to contend that reasoning isn't necessarily a human quality. Rats, when faced with a pile of food in front of them and an even greater pile of food next to the first pile, can reason enough to choose the larger pile.

    If you are referring to abstract thinking, it would be an illogical step to conclude that humans are the only ones capable of it. Other animals may be capable of it; we simply haven't been able to devise a way to conclusively prove or disprove the existence of abstract thinking in other animals. That is not any basis on which to conclude in favor of a certain position.

    And supposing that more intelligent beings can live without reason is baseless; we are not talking about more intelligent beings, but God, who cannot possibly be more intelligent than us, for otherwise aspects of the universe should exist that are incomprehensible to us. That no such aspect exists does point to the conclusion that God is no more intelligent than any creature capable of understanding his work.

    Incidentally, why have we even digressed like this?
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    All these arguments about a good god, bad god, flawed god, etc. are irrelevent.

    There is no evidence for a god anymore than there are for leprechauns, talking Kool-aid jugs or flying reindeer with red noses.

    Leprechauns do not exist...their existence or not has nothing to do with any positive or negative attrbiutes we contribute to them.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptordigits
    All these arguments about a good god, bad god, flawed god, etc. are irrelevent.

    There is no evidence for a god anymore than there are for leprechauns, talking Kool-aid jugs or flying reindeer with red noses.

    Leprechauns do not exist...their existence or not has nothing to do with any positive or negative attrbiutes we contribute to them.

    The question was asked, "Why don't we believe in God"? It may be necessary to point out inconsistencies, or illogical character traits in God as some of the reasons why it simply doesn't make sense to believe in such a being.

    PS - I think I'll start worshipping the Talking Kool-aid Jug. At least he doesn't threaten punishment if we drink other juices! :-)

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    I'd rather have flying reindeer with red noses than a God. They bring you presents with no strings attached
    The wise man believes half of what he reads. If he knew which half to believe, he'd be a much wiser man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron
    Quote Originally Posted by raptordigits
    All these arguments about a good god, bad god, flawed god, etc. are irrelevent.

    There is no evidence for a god anymore than there are for leprechauns, talking Kool-aid jugs or flying reindeer with red noses.

    Leprechauns do not exist...their existence or not has nothing to do with any positive or negative attrbiutes we contribute to them.

    The question was asked, "Why don't we believe in God"? It may be necessary to point out inconsistencies, or illogical character traits in God as some of the reasons why it simply doesn't make sense to believe in such a being.

    PS - I think I'll start worshipping the Talking Kool-aid Jug. At least he doesn't threaten punishment if we drink other juices! :-)

    Ron
    Illogical character traits or inconsistencies mean nothing. 'If' they were all consistent, etc. it would not be a reason to believe in a god. There is no evidence of a god and therefore no actual inconsistencies or non-logical variables are necessary.

    There are no leprechauns. Some inconsistency is not necessary to not believe in them....they guard a pot of gold in one story but a pot of silver in another. The onus is to prove there is a leprechaun...not for the sceptic to point out contradictions.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibelieve
    Perhaps this is the illusion God wanted to create?
    That is a possibility. But it seems more likely to me that a god simply does not exist than that he exists but tries to fool us into thinking he doesn't exist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    But why? So only gullible people can get into heaven? So good, honest and compassionate non-believers and geographically challenged (because that largely determines your religious convictions) people can rot in hell, FOREVER?
    Whether or not a god exists and whether or not he's moral/worthy of worship are unrelated questions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    But why? So only gullible people can get into heaven? So good, honest and compassionate non-believers and geographically challenged (because that largely determines your religious convictions) people can rot in hell, FOREVER?
    Whether or not a god exists and whether or not he's moral/worthy of worship are unrelated questions.
    It was a question in response to his statement that God might of made a universe that can operate without His help by our estimations.

    My answer to the original question was that there is no reason to believe in Him.
    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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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptordigits
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron
    Quote Originally Posted by raptordigits
    All these arguments about a good god, bad god, flawed god, etc. are irrelevent.

    There is no evidence for a god anymore than there are for leprechauns, talking Kool-aid jugs or flying reindeer with red noses.

    Leprechauns do not exist...their existence or not has nothing to do with any positive or negative attrbiutes we contribute to them.

    The question was asked, "Why don't we believe in God"? It may be necessary to point out inconsistencies, or illogical character traits in God as some of the reasons why it simply doesn't make sense to believe in such a being.

    PS - I think I'll start worshipping the Talking Kool-aid Jug. At least he doesn't threaten punishment if we drink other juices! :-)

    Ron
    Illogical character traits or inconsistencies mean nothing. 'If' they were all consistent, etc. it would not be a reason to believe in a god. There is no evidence of a god and therefore no actual inconsistencies or non-logical variables are necessary.

    There are no leprechauns. Some inconsistency is not necessary to not believe in them....they guard a pot of gold in one story but a pot of silver in another. The onus is to prove there is a leprechaun...not for the sceptic to point out contradictions.


    I grok. But my points serve to further illustrate how silly the notion of a God is. Sometimes pointing out the non-logicals goes further in convincing believers than simply saying, "you haven't proved there is a God." Good point though.

    Ron
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    Also gods and religion were created to explain the natural workings of the universe, however, now that scientists have studied and proven things like things are made up of atoms and that the Earth travels around the Sun we no longer need religion to explain these things.
    "I don't know what weapons will be used in World War Three, but World war four will be fought with sticks and stones."
    -Albert Einstein

    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"
    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    http://www.religiouscartoons.net/dis...album=4&pos=10
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  25. #24  
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    This is an interesting paper: http://bit.ly/42NPT4

    The Neural Correlates of Religious and Non-Religious Beliefs.

    It might even deserve its own thread.
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  26. #25  
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    Woah man! Science in the "Scientific Study of Religion" forum... I think I just had a religious experience
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    But why? So only gullible people can get into heaven? So good, honest and compassionate non-believers and geographically challenged (because that largely determines your religious convictions) people can rot in hell, FOREVER?
    Whether or not a god exists and whether or not he's moral/worthy of worship are unrelated questions.
    Existence, as Kant pointed out, is not a predicate, by which we mean it is not a characteristic of an entity. Either an entity exists or not, but to talk about it we must have some characteristics to talk about.

    So what are the characteristics of "god"? The only one that is apparently universal across all cultures (at least that I've been able to see) is "a being worthy of worship", ergo the notion of the existence of "god" may be integrally tied up with the idea of "a being worthy of worship".

    (Edited for typos)
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  28. #27  
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    But even that definition is not universal. For example some Buddhists believe in various Gods, but do not worship them. In striving to become Godlike, many religions forsake worshiping any and all things, and claim that all beings are Godly and thus worthy of worship, but this does not mean we SHOULD worship them. It is almost like they believe: those who worship others do not realize their own divinity, and those who do not worship others do.

    In Hinduism it is said that Religiosity, IE, worship, is a trait of the human world of passion, not the divine world: inhabited by those who live in service, not necessarily worship. There is a difference in meaning when one says "I worship Krishna" and "I serve Krishna"

    You can worship something, but not act in accordance to it's will. Religiosity is known by it's outward rituals, whereas service is only known through the will or spirit behind one's actions, which is unnoticeable to outside observers.

    This is the lesson common to religious reformers, that it is not the ritual that is important, but the will or spirit of the ritual.

    The difference is most obviously noticeable when comparing: the person who worships one day a week, and maybe a couple times a day; and the person who serves all day every day.

    To paraphrase "Man was not made for the law, the law was made for man."

    While it is definitely more common to find religious people who worship in recognizable ways; there is a fringe of religious observers, who are not outwardly religious. They seek to learn from all religion and non-religions, what is worthy -- not of worship -- but of service: These people devote their lives to service of what they believe, even though they often lack recognizable rituals, the will to serve is nonetheless present.

    At one point, this is what I believe the state of all religions were, before being interpreted and popularized by those with political agendas.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    In Hinduism it is said that Religiosity, IE, worship, is a trait of the human world of passion, not the divine world: inhabited by those who live in service, not necessarily worship. There is a difference in meaning when one says "I worship Krishna" and "I serve Krishna"
    In some forms, ues. In general, with regard to Krsna, the word used is "Bhakta" or to refer to the person, a "Bhakti", which means someone whose life is devoted to (entirely emotionally enslaved to, if you will). This is not a term that can be logic-chopped in English translation.

    More importantly, if there is no single piece of common ground between various interpetations of the notion "god", then it is entirely meaningless to talk aboutt eh existence or otherwise of one entity called god. Define a specific god and I will tell you why I do not 'believe in' the existence of this animal.

    You can't have it both ways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    So what are the characteristics of "god"? The only one that is apparently universal across all cultures (at least that I've been able to see) is "a being worthy of worship", ergo the notion of the existence of "god" may be integrally tied up with the idea of "a being worthy of worship".
    Usually when people talk about "god" they mean a very powerful supernatural being. Many of the Greek and Roman gods were (according to their mythology) not particularly moral beings. It was still a good idea to respect them, but only because they might use their divine power to smite you otherwise.

    In any case, if you want to define god in that way then fine, go for it. But realize that you're probably not using the same definition of "god" as the guy in the OP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    In any case, if you want to define god in that way then fine, go for it. But realize that you're probably not using the same definition of "god" as the guy in the OP.
    I don't believe in god(s) I was mearly putting some arguments forward that I've had thrown at me. It is really interesting trying to put arguments forward for something you don't believe in at all and seeing how people react.....
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  32. #31  
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    indeed, it is an interesting sort of logical fallacy
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    Kalster wrote:

    My answer to the original question was that there is no reason to believe in Him.
    What Kalster meant to say was that HE has no reason to believe in God. There are many who share that view. Yet there are far more who believe in God and think they have reason to do so.

    When those who believe see such things as the idea that the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days; those of the canary in 14 days; those of the barnyard hen in 21 days; the eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days; those of the mallard in 35 days; the eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days and notice, they are all divisible by seven, the number of days in a week, we see an orderliness established by God. Those who do not believe see coincidence which occurs for no reason other than that is the way things are.

    This is not a cause, but rather an effect. We each see what we see based on what we believe.

    My point is that one does not "need a reason" to believe in God, but once one does believe in God, he sees things which he feels validate that belief. As I have said here before: while non-believers come from a position of seeing is believing, believers come from a position of believing is seeing.

    While, as above, non-believers seen inconsistency in the God of the Bible, believers see absolute consistency. We see a long suffering (but not forever suffering) God waiting sometimes centuries in the Old Testament to mete out judgment. We still see a long suffering (but not forever suffering) God withholding judgment. (Remember, in the Biblical sense, suffering means allowing.)

    Not everything in human experience is objectively quantifiable. Belief in God may be one of those things. It might just be that those who believe in God do so because it is the only thing that makes sense to them.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    actually, we try to figure out what is CAUSING them to be divisible by seven days

    for example, quarterly lunar cycles
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When those who believe see such things as the idea that the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days; those of the canary in 14 days; those of the barnyard hen in 21 days; the eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days; those of the mallard in 35 days; the eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days and notice, they are all divisible by seven, the number of days in a week, we see an orderliness established by God. Those who do not believe see coincidence which occurs for no reason other than that is the way things are.
    And what about all the growth cycles that don't follow this nice orderly pattern? When you see more animals that don't follow the pattern than do, it makes it seem as if it most certainly IS a coincidence, and not by design
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When those who believe see such things as the idea that the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days; those of the canary in 14 days; those of the barnyard hen in 21 days; the eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days; those of the mallard in 35 days; the eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days and notice, they are all divisible by seven, the number of days in a week, we see an orderliness established by God. Those who do not believe see coincidence which occurs for no reason other than that is the way things are.
    And partridges are 23 days. And flamingos are 30 days. And macaw parrots are 26 days. And barn owls are 32 days.

    Wow, it's almost as if there's a wide range of incubation times for different birds, and you just cherry-picked some to create a pattern. And since most goose eggs hatch after 30 days, you didn't even do that right. Also, the number of days it takes a duck egg to hatch (and I suspect most other kinds of birds, but I only know about ducks for sure) depends on the temperature.

    But hey, whatever...I know we don't want any real-world facts getting in the way of your numerical voodoo.
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    Daytonturner do you believe in a god?
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    ibelieve asked:

    Daytonturner do you believe in a god?
    Daytonturner believes in the everlasting God, YHWH, who created everything that exists, including human beings in order to have fellowship with them and sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to repair a breach which had developed in that fellowship and to ensure their place in His eternal kingdom.

    I believe this because it makes more sense to me than the idea that the universe came from, well, I dunno where atheists think it came from. And I believe we were created with a purpose and that we have an eternal spirit which survives physical death and spends eternity either in the presence of the holy creator God or in some existence devoid of God's presence.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I believe this because it makes more sense to me than the idea that the universe came from, well, I dunno where atheists think it came from.
    Do you also believe that thunder and lightening during a rainstorm are god bowling and hitting a strike... because that "makes more sense to you?"


    Reality has no requirement to make sense or be easy to understand. At least most of us are willing to say, "I don't know," rather than pretending to have some truth based on a bronze aged fairy tale written by barely literate tribal peoples who thought that goat sacrifices caused them to have healthy babies. ... People who had no concept of germ theory and didn't know anything about electromagnetism or basic geology.
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    "Why don't you believe in god?"

    Because I'm educated and I'm not an idiot. Or a hypocrite.
    Genesis likes this.
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    At least some of us don't baselessly assault beliefs when we ask someone what they believe, and wait for them to impose those beliefs upon us, if they even do. inow, ibelive, if you are the same person, you would do well to abandon your life in this forum, as it seems your sole goal here is to attack the beliefs of others. Great way to start a discussion.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    "Why don't you believe in god?"

    Because I'm educated and I'm not an idiot. Or a hypocrite.
    argumentum ad hominem. You assume the belief that there is a creator lends one to be an idiot? Why? Why is it necessary for one to be either an idiot or a hypocrite to believe that there was something that created the universe (I'm not saying christian God, or any other religion's god, but simply a 'god' or 'creator')?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    At least some of us don't baselessly assault beliefs when we ask someone what they believe, and wait for them to impose those beliefs upon us, if they even do. inow, ibelive, if you are the same person, you would do well to abandon your life in this forum, as it seems your sole goal here is to attack the beliefs of others. Great way to start a discussion.
    It's frustrating how the religious always pivot to persecution or diversion when instead they could simply provide evidence for why their beliefs are worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind... that they are not solely the product of indoctrination.

    I imagine you don't care, but I'm not that other guy, FWIW.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    It's frustrating how the religious always pivot to persecution or diversion when instead they could simply provide evidence for why their beliefs are worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind... that they are not solely the product of indoctrination.
    And instead of asking that question, "Why is it you believe x, y, and z?" you attacked his beliefs. He even stated it seems more reasonable to him, in place of the explanation ('We don't know') offered by science. What's wrong with this? You made an outright assault on his ability to reason and his intelligence. Again, great way to start a discussion.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    inow asked:

    Do you also believe that thunder and lightening during a rainstorm are god bowling and hitting a strike... because that "makes more sense to you?"
    No, I don't believe anything about thunder and lightning. I know it is caused by pools of negatively charged particles which, if the pool becomes large enough, is attracted to positively charged particles which may exist either at a higher portion of a cloud or on the ground. The negatively charged particles then discharge toward the positive charged particles creating what is, in essence, an arc which makes the light we call lightning. This arc, traveling through the air, heats in and causes it to expand. The air then suddenly cools and slams back together sort of like one clapping one's hands together, making a sound which we call a clap of thunder.

    This moving of electrical charges is a necessary part of our world and know such, God is responsible, though not through the process of bowling.

    Inow continues:
    Reality has no requirement to make sense or be easy to understand. At least most of us are willing to say, "I don't know,"
    I did not ever say "I know God exists." I said, "I believe God exists" and I told you at least some of why I believe that. You, admitting that you do not know, seem to make fun of those who believe something, even though you have expressed no reason as to why you do not, apparently, believe. My belief is not based on bronze age mythology, but a 20th Century acceptance. What other people may have believed or practiced had no bearing on my adoption of this belief. I do not believe in God because some ancient people had a symbolic act involving a scapegoat. Are you a non believer because some ancient non believers practiced baby sacrifices? At least my God's people no longer practice sacrificing a scape goat, but the current non believing population continues to practice sacrificing babies.

    I think you are incorrect in the idea that what we believe need not make sense. My thinking is that if there is something that does not make any sense to us, we do not believe it. We of the human persuasion tend to accept that which makes sense to us while rejecting those things which do not seem to add up to us.

    I think you would counter my explanation with an explanation that the existence of God does not make sense to you. After which I would ask, So what does make sense to you concerning the origin of the Universe and the beginning of life? And do you think there is any reason for us to be here? Or are we just immaculate blobs of protoplasm doomed to exist only momentarily on the time clock of the Universe?

    If reality has no requirement to make sense, what keeps you from believing in a God, a belief that seemingly makes absolutely no sense to you? My belief in His existence no more proves His existence than your "I dunno," dismisses Him.

    If I did not know whether or not God exists, I should think I would want to get it figured out so that I actually believed one way or the other rather than just hoping God does not exist. If God does exist, and He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then it might behoove you to figure out how to get to know him.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    You, admitting that you do not know, seem to make fun of those who believe something, even though you have expressed no reason as to why you do not, apparently, believe.

    <...>

    I think you would counter my explanation with an explanation that the existence of God does not make sense to you.
    No, it makes perfect sense, because I understand how the human mind works. That doesn't make it true, and it is the lack of evidence which causes me to reject it. I remain open to evidence, but there simply is none, despite millenia of searching.


    I don't believe in god for the same reason I don't believe in Thor, Apollo, leprechauns, the easter bunny, and the tooth fairy. The more rational position is to assume non-existence until unassailable evidence to the contrary is presented.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If I did not know whether or not God exists, I should think I would want to get it figured out so that I actually believed one way or the other rather than just hoping God does not exist. If God does exist, and He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then it might behoove you to figure out how to get to know him.
    You've basically just presented Pascal's wager... essentially, your point is that since we don't know, it's safer to believe. Well, that can apply to anything whatsoever, including all of the arrogant deities laying dead in the graveyard of human mythology.

    Others have already done the leg work on shredding this particular, "But, what if you're wrong?!?" logic. I'll let you peruse them yourself if you're interested.

    http://saintgasoline.com/2008/12/28/...f-youre-wrong/
    http://philpapers.org/browse/pascals-wager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    You made an outright assault on his ability to reason and his intelligence.
    I think you're continuing to confuse me with that other poster. I may swing a sharp rhetorical sword, but I assaulted nobody. If you'd like to engage a certain point, or ask me to clarify a specific position, then please do so. Until then, I hope you will try to avoid this continued oversensitivity to offense and persecution (again, I wonder if maybe you're just confusing me with that other poster).
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    Inow and daytonturner, I'm pretty sure this was a forum asking why atheists don't believe in religion not about the beliefs of some theists. Also we know why there is thunder, you don't have to insult our intelligence by explaining it to us. Finally, and I think I speak on behalf of most atheists, we don't believe in gods, goddesses, nirvana, brahma etc., because we don't have proof in scientific experiments. If you can give me cold hard evidence that can be proven time, and time again that any religion is true then I will go to that church, temple, whatever, everyday for the rest of my life.
    "I don't know what weapons will be used in World War Three, but World war four will be fought with sticks and stones."
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    Are you confusing me with a theist, or am I just misunderstanding your post?
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    inow said:

    they could simply provide evidence for why their beliefs are worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind..
    .

    The evidence is that we believe and many of us have rational, reasonable minds. Unless, of course, you believe that only seven percent of the people are capable of rational, reasonable thought. That, as one of the latest polls points out, is the number of people who do not believe at all.

    and


    that they are not solely the product of indoctrination.

    I just don't know how long you guys are going to keep citing this proven fallacious argument promoted by Dawkins. There are alarming statistics showing that, depending on the denomination, 60 to 90 percent of youths brought up in Christian churches abandon the church upon leaving the home of their youth. So much for the effectiveness of indoctrination!!!!

    What eventually brings them back to the church is finding the shallowness and meaninglessness of a Godless life. I would think most of you know someone who was an atheist who is now a believer. You might ask that person why.

    You don't know me and would probably find it difficult to believe that I used to be one of you. I scoffed at God, laughed at people who believed, ridiculed what I thought they believed until it suddenly dawned on me that I was wrong and God was right.


    mobc said:

    I think I speak on behalf of most atheists, we don't believe in gods, goddesses, nirvana, brahma etc.,
    I have, over a long period of time, learned that none of us really ever speaks for an entire group and effectively represents the entirety. I will agree that what all atheist have in common is that they are far better capable in telling what they don't believe than in what they do believe.

    I agree that the OP seems to asks atheists why they don't believe but when ibelieve asked why believers do believe, it broadened the scope of the thread and so I responded that it makes more sense to me that God exists and is responsible for creating the Universe than does the idea that God does not exist and the Universe "just happened."

    You demand "proof" of God. Show me scientific proof that the Universe "just happened" for no reason and with no causation.

    mobc also said:


    Also we know why there is thunder, you don't have to insult our intelligence by explaining it to us.
    Uhh, I believe it was one of yours who intimated that believers still think thunder comes from God bowling. We do not believe that. But I thought I would head off the normal request for proof by providing it ahead of time -- that we do know what causes lightning and thunder. Actually, as far as I can tell, neither did ancient Hebrews believe thunder was God bowling.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    inow said:

    they could simply provide evidence for why their beliefs are worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind..
    .

    The evidence is that we believe and many of us have rational, reasonable minds. Unless, of course, you believe that only seven percent of the people are capable of rational, reasonable thought. That, as one of the latest polls points out, is the number of people who do not believe at all.
    Well, first... to clarify... I know a great number of theists who are VERY rational and reasonable people. That's not the issue here, nor did I state that I felt otherwise.

    The point is that... on the subject of belief... there don't seem to be any rational or reasonable reasons or evidence to hold them. That was my point (if you look again, I think my words bear this out).

    I asked for what evidence is available to make these beliefs worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind. I notice you were not able to provide any, and instead diverted to oversensitivity to persecution and dodged immediately into the tactic of evasion.

    My question was clear. What evidence is there which makes these beliefs worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind?


    Also, your metric of 7% is wrong. Roughly 15.2% of the worlds population identify themselves as non-religious, and that number is growing with each day as people realize it's safe to be open about their atheism in a world otherwise dominated by theists.

    http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    that they are not solely the product of indoctrination.
    I just don't know how long you guys are going to keep citing this proven fallacious argument promoted by Dawkins.
    I don't follow. My sense is that people hold these beliefs due almost entirely to indoctrination (since evidence for the object of their belief is entirely lacking). What Dawkins has to do with this, or how this is being described as somehow fallacious is beyond me.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    What eventually brings them back to the church is finding the shallowness and meaninglessness of a Godless life.
    There are far more people leaving religion than coming back to it, and the data supports this. Atheism is the fastest growing group with which people self-identify when asked about their beliefs and worldview.

    Thousands of examples of precisely this are available here: http://richarddawkins.net/convertsCorner


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I would think most of you know someone who was an atheist who is now a believer. You might ask that person why.
    No. I don't know any people like that.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    You don't know me and would probably find it difficult to believe that I used to be one of you. I scoffed at God, laughed at people who believed, ridiculed what I thought they believed until it suddenly dawned on me that I was wrong and God was right.
    God is little more than an ambiguously defined three letter word. You have not offered which definition you are using... And, right about what, exactly? All you have is faith, not evidence, hence my suggestion that this is not worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind.
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    The question was "why don't you believe",
    and I gave my honest answer.

    People who live in North America all have access to science. There is no excuse to believe in a god except through the naivete of youth or mental inability.

    All the others who have a good enough brain in their heads, that could learn the answer to these pressing questions from the most reliable and verifiable source, yet refuse to - IDIOTS. It's a harder thing for those brainwashed into religion since youth, but science is still there. They still could have learned the results science has found in all the major fields to show how the universe exists without a god, Earth formed without a god, and life appeared and evolved without a god.

    Yet they instead choose to follow the doctrine and "teachings" of books written by man in the bronze age.
    With glaring errors in them.

    Hey, I call 'em as I see 'em.
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    inow said:

    Also, your metric of 7% is wrong. Roughly 15.2% of the worlds population identify themselves as non-religious, and that number is growing with each day as people realize it's safe to be open about their atheism in a world otherwise dominated by theists.
    There is a difference between considering oneself non-religious and one being a non believer. I would not consider myself "religious" in the classic sense of the word. There is a trend among today's believers to disassociate themselves from organized religious movements.

    If you were to question people of yesteryear, you would probably find that Thomas Jefferson, who strongly believed in a supreme being, was far from being a "religious" person. One of the more recent polls says 92 percent believe in God ( http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/artic..._13_Ameri21583 ).

    I do not put all my stock and trade in the exact numbers of any specific poll, but taken in an aggregate, they can provide fairly reasonable approximations. One of the reasons more recent polls show fewer non-believers is because rather than asking people if they had some "religious" affiliation, they directly asked them if they believe in a supernatural being.

    inow said:

    God is little more than an ambiguously defined three letter word. You have not offered which definition you are using... And, right about what, exactly? All you have is faith, not evidence, hence my suggestion that this is not worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind.
    The problem here is that you insist on having physical evidence of that which is not physical, material evidence of that which is not matter in motion. Faith IS the evidence but your complete focus on material things renders it virtually impossible for you to consider or understand that which is not material.

    The two interact only tangentially. It is perhaps similar to asking me to "prove" mathematics via sociology. While the two can interact, you do not use one to prove the other.

    I think I have made it fairly clear in my few years here, as well as already in this thread, which God I recognize as the creator of the Universe -- that being the Biblical God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    I think, however, the answer to you plea for "proof" is far too complex and would take far more space than one post could suffice. I am attaching a link to an article by Greg Koukl, a noted apologist, addressing the issue in an article headlined, "Is It Rational to Believe in God?" http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5523

    inow claimed

    daytonturner wrote:
    I would think most of you know someone who was an atheist who is now a believer. You might ask that person why.
    No. I don't know any people like that.
    Do you know ANY Christians? I am told there are only two reasons people are not Christians. One is that they have never met a Christian. The other is that they have. Which is it for you?

    Ohhhh, as to the relevancy of Dawkins -- his writings seem heavily imbued with the idea that religion would not survive were it not for indoctrination. Even if you have never read and Dawkins, you could hardly avoid being influenced indirectly. Sort of like, having never read Communist Manifesto, wondering how Karl Marx has influenced world politics.
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    C_Sensie said:

    Hey, I call 'em as I see 'em.
    Well, as long as we are calling them as we see them, I call your post wrong.

    C_Sensie says:


    People who live in North America all have access to science. There is no excuse to believe in a god except through the naivete of youth or mental inability.
    Here you seem to be equating belief to lack of intelligence. This is not a relevant comparison. Intelligence and belief have nothing to do with each other. I would suggest your position indicates a degree of naivete on your part as to the demo-graphical makeup of the collective group of people who are believers.

    You seem to be suggesting that the opposite of knowledge is faith. They are not opposites. The opposite of knowledge is not faith, it is ignorance. The opposite of faith is not knowledge, it is nonbelief.

    You somehow think that religion and science are at odds -- but that is only among those whose focus in on only science or religion. Other than what or Who is responsible for the Universe and the beginning of life (which science does explain very well at all), I am not aware of any significant conflicts between science and the Bible other than those contrived by men either through a misunderstanding of science or the Bible -- by both believers and non-believers.

    C-Sensie's misunderstanding of what the Bible says and what religious people think and do is no more excusable than those who have little or no understanding of science.

    First of all, the Bible is not a book of science and does not attempt to express any scientific theories or make any scientific expositions. Nor does it deviate from the knowledge of its day which was shared by other peoples. They knew what they knew and that was the only language they could use to express their thoughts. I have no idea what Ezekial's "wheel within a wheel" was. Those were the only words he could find to picture what he was trying to describe. I have no idea why anyone could expect people who lived two and three milennia ago to express things in terms of modern language or culture. The base knowledge of the people who wrote things which now make up the Bible were no more primitive or advanced than their contemporaries.

    I can think of a number of places where objections arise such as, say, the "worldwide" flood. While science does not substantiate that there was ever a "worldwide" flood all at the same time, science does substantiate that virtually every land mass on earth has, at sometime or another, experienced huge, massive region-wide floods. So what was true in Noah's world, would have also be true elsewhere. And if it were the result of glacial melting, the timing of such events would be contemporaneous on a geological scale.

    When you say, "Well, in my world . . .," do you really mean the entire world or do your really mean only that part of the world with which you are familiar? It is not necessary to think of Noah's "world" as being the entire world.

    C_Sensie said:

    All the others who have a good enough brain in their heads, that could learn the answer to these pressing questions from the most reliable and verifiable source, yet refuse to - IDIOTS. It's a harder thing for those brainwashed into religion since youth, but science is still there. They still could have learned the results science has found in all the major fields to show how the universe exists without a god, Earth formed without a god, and life appeared and evolved without a god.
    Well, actually, science has not quite done that. It has dismissed God by merely saying, "This could have happened without God." Science does not quite explain how it happened or why it happened.

    It would be helpful if C_Sensei could elucidate a little more on what the pressing questions are and what these reliable and verifiable sources are that those of faith seem to be missing or ignoring.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The problem here is that you insist on having physical evidence of that which is not physical, material evidence of that which is not matter in motion. Faith IS the evidence
    Faith, by definition, is belief in the ABSENCE of evidence, and hence cannot be used itself to satisfy the evidentiary requirement.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Do you know ANY Christians? I am told there are only two reasons people are not Christians. One is that they have never met a Christian. The other is that they have. Which is it for you?
    Two words for you. False dichotomy. Example - Maybe they were brought up Jewish. I mean... come on... seriously? You're making this almost too easy.

    And, to answer your question... Yes, I know a great many christians, and the fact that they are otherwise really bright an intelligent people does not add any validity or reasonability to their religious beliefs.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Ohhhh, as to the relevancy of Dawkins -- his writings seem heavily imbued with the idea that religion would not survive were it not for indoctrination.
    Well, the concept of religion might survive, but your particular set of beliefs absolutely would not... not without the indoctrination aspect. Religion is (more or less) just a set of stories, and stories don't get passed on unless they are told and repeated to future generations.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, actually, science has not quite done that. It has dismissed God by merely saying, "This could have happened without God." Science does not quite explain how it happened or why it happened.
    Science doesn't tend to bother with "Why." Science focuses mostly on "how," and despite your claim to the contrary, the how question has been consistently and robustly addressed. I'm not trying to say we know everything, just that your claim that "science does not quite explain how it happened" is plainly false.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    At least some of us don't baselessly assault beliefs when we ask someone what they believe, and wait for them to impose those beliefs upon us, if they even do. inow, ibelive, if you are the same person, you would do well to abandon your life in this forum, as it seems your sole goal here is to attack the beliefs of others. Great way to start a discussion.
    What are you talking about? Read back over the thread, you'll find I did not attack anyone and no i am not inow..
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    inow said:

    Faith, by definition, is belief in the ABSENCE of evidence, and hence cannot be used itself to satisfy the evidentiary requirement.
    That might be an aspect of the definition of faith, but it is certainly not the aspect Christians would emphasize. We would emphasize the first part of the definition which says "Confidence or trust in a person or thing; loyalty; fidelity to a person, promise, or commitment." We would also rely on the Bible definition in Hebrews 11:1 -- "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (KJV) The word "substance" is alternately translated, "being sure of," "confidence in" an "assurance of," in other translations.

    The aspect of faith which you emphasize does not comport to Christian application of the term. As with many words in the English language, the word faith expresses several concepts and nuances. The one you cite does not describe Christian faith -- at least to Christians.

    Having a non-believer try to tell a believer what faith is seems similar to someone who has never had chemo therapy trying to tell someone who has gone through it what it is like.

    Faith is an experiential thing which defies any scientific explanation or quantification. Faith is our confidence in the hope that God is who He says He is and that by believing in salvation found in his Son, we will spend eternity in His holy and righteous kingdom. Why do you object to that? How can that offend you other than when we remind you that, as a nonbeliever, you cannot have that hope?

    inow said:


    And, to answer your question... Yes, I know a great many christians, and the fact that they are otherwise really bright an intelligent people does not add any validity or reasonability to their religious beliefs.
    Does it ever occur to you that maybe these "otherwise bright and intelligent people," are right and you are wrong? And that they think of you as an atheist or agnostic who is otherwise bright and intelligent -- but lost?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    inow said:

    Faith, by definition, is belief in the ABSENCE of evidence, and hence cannot be used itself to satisfy the evidentiary requirement.
    That might be an aspect of the definition of faith, but it is certainly not the aspect Christians would emphasize. We would emphasize the first part of the definition which says "Confidence or trust in a person or thing; loyalty; fidelity to a person, promise, or commitment."
    But, you are attempting to use it as evidence of that thing... that person... ergo your logic is circular and my point remains.

    You have no evidence, and... despite your claims to the contrary... faith itself is not evidence either.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    We would also rely on the Bible definition in Hebrews 11:1 -- "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (KJV) The word "substance" is alternately translated, "being sure of," "confidence in" an "assurance of," in other translations.

    The aspect of faith which you emphasize does not comport to Christian application of the term.
    TBH, I don't really care how it's used. You are the one who offered your faith as evidence. I am simply showing the fallacious nature of that particular argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Having a non-believer try to tell a believer what faith is seems similar to someone who has never had chemo therapy trying to tell someone who has gone through it what it is like.
    My point stands. Faith, by definition, is belief in the absence of evidence. No amount of mental gymnastics will allow you to circumvent this very basic point.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Faith is an experiential thing which defies any scientific explanation or quantification. Faith is our confidence in the hope that God is who He says He is and that by believing in salvation found in his Son, we will spend eternity in His holy and righteous kingdom. Why do you object to that?
    I think you are forgetting the context of this discussion. Let me briefly remind you.

    I asked for what evidence is available to make these beliefs worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind.

    You cited faith.

    I have demonstrated that faith itself cannot be evidence, hence (not only have you completely failed to address the central point to which you were responding, but also) you are arguing with circular logic.

    My question remains, as your mention of faith is really little more than a reinforcement of my point. There is no evidence available for these beliefs, and until there is, these beliefs are not worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    How can that offend you other than when we remind you that, as a nonbeliever, you cannot have that hope?
    I was not offended, brother. I was simply pointing out your poor logic and inability to address my question.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    inow said:


    And, to answer your question... Yes, I know a great many christians, and the fact that they are otherwise really bright an intelligent people does not add any validity or reasonability to their religious beliefs.
    Does it ever occur to you that maybe these "otherwise bright and intelligent people," are right and you are wrong?
    Well, that's certainly possible, however, in the absence of evidence, I don't bother wasting a whole lot of time with it.

    Does it ever occur to you that maybe the Muslims are right and YOU are wrong? Does it ever occur to you that maybe the Hindus are right and YOU are wrong? Does it ever occur to you that any of the other countless deities laying dead in the graveyard of human mythology are right and YOU are wrong?

    No... I don't bother wasting a lot of time with that. If you're right, then show me something tangible, as faith is NOT evidence... by definition.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    And that they think of you as an atheist or agnostic who is otherwise bright and intelligent -- but lost?
    More ignorant arrogance, but frankly, what these people think of me is trivial and inconsequential. They cannot defend their position with anything reasonable... hence my point:

    There is no evidence available for these beliefs, and until there is, these beliefs are not worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind.
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    inow said:

    There is no evidence available for these beliefs, and until there is, these beliefs are not worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind.
    Well, we have definitely come full circle and you are back at your materialistic starting point. You seek a materialistic explanation for that which is not materialistic. I don't have one because there is none.

    You seem to agree that there are many intelligent, rational human beings who believe in a supernatural being who created the Universe, but you do not understand why they believe that. I think you answered your own question earlier when you said science is not concerned with the question of why.

    I cannot tell you what the basis of anyone else's belief in God may be. As I stated at the outset, my reason is that it makes more sense to me that someone or something caused the Universe to be formed than that it happened by some freak of, well, whatever. There is also the matter of my own personal experience of salvation and my faith that the experience was real. These have no basis in materialism and will not satisfy your request for materialistic evidence.

    There is a non-materialistic part of your being with which you have not made contact. That is why this non-materialistic stuff does not make any sense to you. It is not that one of us is irrational or unintelligent, it is more that we have different awarenesses.

    I don't think I can say any more on the topic without retracing the same steps again.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    You seem to agree that there are many intelligent, rational human beings who believe in a supernatural being who created the Universe, but you do not understand why they believe that.
    Quite the contrary. I understand why they believe what they do rather well, and I reject it for absence of rationality and for its lack of reason.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    As I stated at the outset, my reason is that it makes more sense to me that someone or something caused the Universe to be formed than that it happened by some freak of, well, whatever.
    All this means is that you are not familiar enough with the actual science. I posit that what "makes sense" is the rational point of view. I posit that by assuming a god, you have not answered the question, but simply stopped asking it... You have displaced your search and satisfied yourself with a non-answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    There is a non-materialistic part of your being with which you have not made contact.
    Yes, I told the tooth fairy she was a whore and to stop coming around.
    I told the leprechauns that they made me look crazy and that they needed to leave me alone.
    I told the unicorns that I could not ride them anymore.

    Non-materialistic? Really? You seem to assume that it's some sort of strength to accept something which is not based in reality, and to do so despite it's blaring lack of evidence.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    That is why this non-materialistic stuff does not make any sense to you.
    Again, quite the contrary. It makes perfect sense to me... in much the same way that imaginary friends in children make sense to me... That does NOT mean I find the reasoning underlying the belief to be compelling, and hence I reject it as not worth of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I don't think I can say any more on the topic without retracing the same steps again.
    Yes, I agree. You have been talking in circles, and completely evading the central question because you don't have an answer to it that is not self-referential and circular.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Are you confusing me with a theist, or am I just misunderstanding your post?
    no, i'm not. theism is the belief of a creator "god", thus a theist is someone that believes in a creator "god".
    i'm not tring to slander your beliefs. i was just saying that this was a forum asking why an atheist doesn't believe in religion, and the thing about the insulting our intelligence... that was just something my teacher used to say and I haven't been able to use it till now.
    "I don't know what weapons will be used in World War Three, but World war four will be fought with sticks and stones."
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    Okay, I still don't follow, but I'm not too concerned. I'll clarify where I can if you'd like to ask specific questions.
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    It has dismissed God by merely saying, "This could have happened without God."
    WRONG. Your god is disproven with science saying "This HAS happened WITHOUT a god". The only 'merely' applicable is your manipulation of language to try and make the conclusions of science alot smaller and less significant than they are. Go play politics with other less intelligent people who will not catch the manipulation you are attempting.

    Science does not quite explain how it happened or why it happened.
    WRONG. Science does explain quite well how it happened. You mistake the current inability to give a definite, solid, ironclad answer (as your god appears to on the surface - which satisfies weak thinking) translates into a future inability. The approximations of science gets closer and closer to what is actually happening. Your fantasy of a being that transcends all is simply an excuse to stop probing the moment our universe began. ('moment' itself is a misnomer, given that we have a very clear picture well into the decimal places of ONE SECOND.)

    It is the religious answer to SHUT DOWN their thinking and say "gahhhhhd!"
    Go ahead and claim that isn't being mentally deficient.
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    It is the religious answer to SHUT DOWN their thinking and say "gahhhhhd!"
    I'm carl sagan, just how old is our planet. Scientists believe this world is HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD. Scientists have determined the universe was created by a GAAAHHHHHHHDDDDDD big bang. If you look at the bones of a JESUSaurus rex. It's clear by the use of carbon dating MOUNTAIN DEW IS THE BEST SODA EVER MADE.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Ug-dJrdmc
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    "back in the 50's or 60's Nicky Criuz was a gang leader who met David Wilkerson in New York City. After much discussion over months or years, i forget how long, Wilkerson's wife became pregnant. one day Cruz decides to test God, he basically prayed--God if you are real let the baby be born a boy-- it was a boy. "
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    It has dismissed God by merely saying, "This could have happened without God."
    WRONG. Your god is disproven with science saying "This HAS happened WITHOUT a god". The only 'merely' applicable is your manipulation of language to try and make the conclusions of science alot smaller and less significant than they are. Go play politics with other less intelligent people who will not catch the manipulation you are attempting.
    First, C_Sensei... Chill out, dude. You really don't do your argument any favors by using big bold text and yelling that people are wrong.

    Second, science has NOT disproved god. That's somewhat impossible... much like we cannot disprove that the farts of purple unicorns cause erections in leprechauns.

    I appreciate that you are frustrated with how religious people often misrepresent and try to minimize science, but you don't help when you yourself misrepresent it, too. Further, personal vitriol such as yours above flattens the strengths of your points and distracts from the actual merit in your point.

    With that said, what science has shown is that... yes, all of this could have been done without the hand of some cosmic dictator. It has demonstrated that we do not need to invoke Thor or Apollo to explain the richness of life... so, despite the fact that daytonturner's central argument is contrary to the reality, this particular point of his is accurate. Yes... Science shows that this could have happened without god.



    Quote Originally Posted by C_Sensei
    It is the religious answer to SHUT DOWN their thinking and say "gahhhhhd!"
    Go ahead and claim that isn't being mentally deficient.
    Now, I tend to agree with this, but would be cautious to make an exception... and say "most" religious people, not "all" religious people. The moment you phrase your argument in the absolute, you destroy its merit. Enjoy.
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    The moment you phrase your argument in the absolute
    So you're saying that only inductive arguments matter and deductive arguments don't matter? You need to take a logic class pal. (Deductive arguments are encompassing within the absolute)
    "Democracy is a problem because it treats everyone as equals." - Betty Fischer

    "back in the 50's or 60's Nicky Criuz was a gang leader who met David Wilkerson in New York City. After much discussion over months or years, i forget how long, Wilkerson's wife became pregnant. one day Cruz decides to test God, he basically prayed--God if you are real let the baby be born a boy-- it was a boy. "
    - Logic of a creationist

    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur
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    Good grief. Sure, I could have said that better.

    Allow me to clarify... Try to avoid phrasing arguments in the absolute, primarily when the subject of your argument is not absolute at all. When doing so, you make yourself look foolish and leave yourself open to attack in debate.

    Quite right. I should take a logic class... You know, or maybe just finish my first cup of coffee prior to posting.
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    Back to what we were discussing earlier and Inow's plea for a materialistic explanation of a non material question.

    Humor me for the moment and suppose you lived in a country with a king who always remained in his castle but was willing to meet with a subject if he filled out the proper paper work and came into the castle. And while it was not your desire to actually meet with the king, you wanted to personally verify his presense in the castle. The only evidence you have is others who claim to have met with him.

    Now then, you take a position that if the king would come out of the castle and show himself to you, you would condescend to acknowledge his existence. How much success do you think you would have in getting the king to accede to your wishes rather than you acceding to his established procedure?

    This is sort of what you are demanding of God -- that He reveal Himself to you on your terms rather than on the terms He has established. On that basis, you will never have any evidence of God. He does not play your silly little game, you have to play His silly little game before you will have anything other than word of mouth evidence.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Isn't that my point, though? Based on your own argument he hasn't "revealed himself" to you either, so you've got nothing but faith... NO good reason to believe it to be true. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. All you've got is that you WANT to believe it, or you've been TAUGHT to believe it... not that there is any good reason to do so.

    Faith is not a good reason for a belief to be accepted in a rational and reasonable mind, especially since the same logic can be used/applied to people who believe in Apollo, Poseidon, Zeus, Thor, Baal, the FSM, or any of the other human conceits which have been worshiped through the ages.

    You may as well be worshiping unicorns. There truly is no difference since you've got nothing to substantiate your beliefs.
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    daytonturner, a question. In what way would a God that resides entirely in your imagination not be able to do for you what the God you believe to be real does?
    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.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Humor me for the moment and suppose you lived in a country with a king who always remained in his castle but was willing to meet with a subject if he filled out the proper paper work and came into the castle.
    Did this king commit genocide multiple times? If yes, is assassination an option?

    Edit: Btw, have you seen the show Jeremiah? It's about an apocalyptic future where all the adults died and the kids had to fend for themselves.. Now when they are all adults, order still isnt restored to the world. Well, there is a guy (cant remember his name atm) who is the ruler of a fascist order that is quickly rising. Well, it turns out that the leader DOESN'T EXIST. But people follow him anyway. The people who created him were a group of scientists. One of which, was a brainwashing specialist. Now the comparison lies with the council and priests. Could it be that they made this God concept up because it was a way to brainwash people? Knowing this, are you willing to allow yourself to be continued to be brainwashed Dayton?
    "Democracy is a problem because it treats everyone as equals." - Betty Fischer

    "back in the 50's or 60's Nicky Criuz was a gang leader who met David Wilkerson in New York City. After much discussion over months or years, i forget how long, Wilkerson's wife became pregnant. one day Cruz decides to test God, he basically prayed--God if you are real let the baby be born a boy-- it was a boy. "
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    Well, you see, God has revealed himself to me and to others but not in the materialistic way you want Him to reveal Himself to you.

    You continue to feel that God must reveal himself to you (and others) the way you think He should. You continue to expect God to live up to your expectations rather than considering that it is you who must live up to His expectations.

    In doing so, you set yourself up as greater than God, thus becoming your own God. That might be good enough for you, but it is not good enough for me.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  74. #73  
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    verzen asked:

    have you seen the show Jeremiah? It's about an apocalyptic future where all the adults died and the kids had to fend for themselves.. Now when they are all adults, order still isnt restored to the world. Well, there is a guy (cant remember his name atm) who is the ruler of a fascist order that is quickly rising. Well, it turns out that the leader DOESN'T EXIST. But people follow him anyway. The people who created him were a group of scientists. One of which, was a brainwashing specialist. Now the comparison lies with the council and priests. Could it be that they made this God concept up because it was a way to brainwash people?

    No, I don't think I saw that show which sounds like a take off on Lord of the Flies.

    Hmmmm. Scientists resorted to this tactic? Don't tell me! Where were the Christian kids who should have been doing the brainwashing indoctrination? What? There were no Christians in the story?

    Sounds a lot like Communist USSR. You want a society without God -- there was one. They had to place guards at the border to keep people in while countries in the Christian dominated Western civilization are the destination of choice for people who escape such repressive regimes.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, you see, God has revealed himself to me and to others but not in the materialistic way you want Him to reveal Himself to you.
    Yes, he has revealed himself to you in the exact same way that a pink elephant reveals itself to someone who has eaten too much LSD.

    You are basically here asking every single one of us to take... as valid... your own personal, unsupported, biased conclusions about your own personal, biased, and subjective mental experiences. That's simply not good enough.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    You continue to feel that God must reveal himself to you (and others) the way you think He should. You continue to expect God to live up to your expectations rather than considering that it is you who must live up to His expectations.
    Which god? Which expectations? I think you'll find that those instructions were written by men... men who JUST like you had no evidence, no nothing which suggested it was anything more than a delusion.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    In doing so, you set yourself up as greater than God, thus becoming your own God.
    I think that, by definition, each and every one of us is "greater" than something which has no proof of it's existence, but YMMV. In short, your comment is completely meaningless to me, as I don't believe in god, so it's rather impossible for me to "set myself up as greater," or "become my own."
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, you see, God has revealed himself to me and to others but not in the materialistic way you want Him to reveal Himself to you.

    You continue to feel that God must reveal himself to you (and others) the way you think He should. You continue to expect God to live up to your expectations rather than considering that it is you who must live up to His expectations.

    In doing so, you set yourself up as greater than God, thus becoming your own God. That might be good enough for you, but it is not good enough for me.
    That is not what I meant. I know what inspiration a god can be to a person. As you'd recall, I used to be a Christian myself and even went through a very intense religious period. I am not talking about God making a car fly or something like that. What I mean is, in what ways are what you are experiencing of God different to someone that passionately believes in something that is only in his mind?

    In other words, do you think it is entirely impossible for someone to experience what you do when his God only exists in his imagination to tend to his need for inspiration, need for solace, need for encouragement, need for a source of strength, need to believe in purpose, need to be led and stand for something worthwhile, need to believe in an agent of retribution, someone that would punish those we cannot, etc? These are things that we all need (even C_Sensei :P ). Do you think an imagined agent personified for all these needs could not invoke the kind of comfort and surety that you are experiencing?
    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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    inow said:

    You are basically here asking every single one of us to take... as valid... your own personal, unsupported, biased conclusions about your own personal, biased, and subjective mental experiences. That's simply not good enough.
    Well, if the few of you can't take my word for it (and I see no reason you should take my word alone), ask the millions and millions of other Christians if God has revealed himself to them. You, of course, prefer the testimony of the few thousands who say such an experience is impossible because they have not experienced it for themselves. Chronic stress disorder does not exist because I have never experienced it nor have most of my friends. And for those who do claim to have had it, it was really only in their mind.

    If I were the only person on earth who had ever made such a claim, I think you would be justified in calling me a nutcase (not that you did).
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Truth comes not from popularity.

    If a billion people believe that they can travel at the speed of light, that won't make it any more possible.

    The same applies here.
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    I really don't know, Kalster. In theory, and without a lot of deep thought on the matter, I would say a lot of things can take place in the mind which reflect both that which is real and that which is unreal.

    Certainly, phobias are completely mental. Schizophrenia, meanwhile is an actual physical thing. People experience all sorts of mental phenomena under the influence of LSD or other hallucinogens. But I have also heard it said of people that they are just "naturally high."

    However, when people are delusional, they usually claim to have had unique experiences. So, I guess what you suggest would be possible. However, if we labeled that a "false" assurance, I don't that it would negate "true" assurances. The question then becomes: If there is a God, which of the nominees is (are) the correct one(s). If there really is no god, then all well being experience via "knowing" God(s) is false.

    I think people who claim to have experienced alien abduction really believe they were abducted. I do not know anyone who actually and truly believes in the flying spaghetti monster, but I suppose one who did could proclaim a very saucy relationship.

    I have discussed "salvation experience" with many other Christians and while God seems to have revealed Himself to us in many different ways, there is this one common assurance of the presence of God. Unfortunately, I do not know how Muslims explain their relationship with Allah or how they become aware of him.

    Can one feel a sense of well being and contentedness through believing in a god who does not really exist? Well, I'm not sure even the real God provides that. So, perhaps if someone does feel safe and secure in this world, he is probably not hooked up with the right God anyway.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Hmmmm. Scientists resorted to this tactic? Don't tell me! Where were the Christian kids who should have been doing the brainwashing indoctrination? What? There were no Christians in the story?
    Your logic is faulty. For one, you dont know that those scientists weren't Christians. For two, I was making an analogy. Those scientists could be the same as priests. Priests could of done the same exact thing since it falls under the same MO.

    Sounds a lot like Communist USSR. You want a society without God -- there was one. They had to place guards at the border to keep people in while countries in the Christian dominated Western civilization are the destination of choice for people who escape such repressive regimes.
    And yet, Japan is the second *iceland the first* biggest atheistic society known today... Yet, we dont hear of any regimes going around slaughtering people.
    Correlation does not equate to causation. Stop saying atheism is the cause when it wasn't.
    "Democracy is a problem because it treats everyone as equals." - Betty Fischer

    "back in the 50's or 60's Nicky Criuz was a gang leader who met David Wilkerson in New York City. After much discussion over months or years, i forget how long, Wilkerson's wife became pregnant. one day Cruz decides to test God, he basically prayed--God if you are real let the baby be born a boy-- it was a boy. "
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    inow said:
    If a billion people believe that they can travel at the speed of light, that won't make it any more possible.
    The problem with this comparison is that there are probably not even 1,000 people who believe they can travel at the speed of light -- that is if they have even a rudimentary understanding of the Theories of Relativity.

    But I do agree with you that the numbers of people who believe something does not make it true.

    Today we are embroiled in (a worldwide) controversy over global warming and its causes. Some seem to think it is a natural cycle of the earth's heating and cooling processes. Others seem to think it is the result of man-made causes. The numbers of people who take whichever side does not determine which is the correct position.

    My neighbor believes GW is a completely natural phenomenon and there is no action which mankind can take which will stop it. There are some who suggest that the current global warming is not the precursor of the earth becoming too hot to sustain life, but rather the precursor of another ice age due to changes in ocean currents.

    The numbers who congregate on either side of the issue will only determine what, if any, actions we take but only hindsight will show us was what, if any, action should have been taken.

    According to today's newspaper, 25 percent of the world's population is now Muslim. That makes them no more or less the truth than Christianity. If it is any consolation to you atheists and agnostics, I would much rather deal with you than with Muslims. All you and I do is argue about whether there is a God and if He is the God of the Bible. And, at least, you are not threatening to kill me because I don't agree what you believe. And you are not suicide murdering innocent people and piloting airplanes into skyscrapers.

    But I would rather you actually realized where the real threat to your freedom of thought an expression really is. Did you know that John Calvin (a huge lumenary in the Christian reformation) was the author of the first government charter (in Geneva) which effected the concept of separation of church and state?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    verzen said:

    And yet, Japan is the second *iceland the first* biggest atheistic society known today... Yet, we dont hear of any regimes going around slaughtering people.
    I am not exactly sure what your "iceland the first" symbolism represents, but it is accurate that Japan is mostly non-religious with about 70-75 percent expressing no religion in a poll reported in 2006.

    http://www.christianpost.com/article...pan/index.html

    I would not expect everybody to run to that link, but it does have some interesting things to say. First of all, one must realize that these people did not abandon Christianity -- rather they apostatized from Buddhism and Shintoism. The article points out that while the normal Christian population has been about one percent, the recent poll found that six percent of the young people in Japan now profess Christianity.

    Also of interest:

    Delving into more specific attitudes, the poll also found a note of hopelessness in the responses to questions related to morality, spirituality and general views about life.
    "And there is little evidence of eternal hope, although a considerable number do believe in some form of life afterlife," noted Gallup. And "there is little belief in 'absolutes,' and this is true across the all-generational groups."
    In comparison to teens in the United States, Japanese teens showed a pessimistic outlook on life. Previous studies found that 85 percent of teens in Japan wondered why they existed while 22 percent of U.S. teens had the same thought. Additionally, 13 percent of Japanese teens always see a reason for their being on Earth compared to 76 percent of teens in the U.S, and 11 percent of Japanese teens wished they had never been born while 3 percent of U.S. teens wished the same.
    I dunno which society (of the two) you would rather have your teenager live in, but I think only a fool would choose Japan. I guess maybe the Christian dominated U.S. is the worst place in the world to live, if it wasn't for everyplace else.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    But I would rather you actually realized where the real threat to your freedom of thought an expression really is.
    Okay... again, you seem to have lost the context of the thread, a bit.

    I asked for evidence, and suggested the lack of evidence makes acceptance of the god concept inappropriate for a rational and reasonable mind.

    You said your faith was your evidence.
    I shot that down, primarily since faith (by definition) is belief in the absence of evidence.

    You then cited that god had revealed himself to you as evidence... evidence worthy enough to cause the idea to be accepted by a rational and reasonable mind.

    I demonstrated that your revelation was no different than an acid trip, is subject to your own biases, and that it wasn't good enough for you to suggest that your perceptions alone should serve as evidence... evidence which is worthy enough to to cause the idea of god to be accepted by a rational and reasonable mind.

    You then stated that you were not alone in your belief... you were not alone in your revelation... and that millions of people believe the same thing.

    I reminded you that this was the argumentative fallacy of appeal to popularity, that it still wasn't evidence and still didn't have any impact on it's truth or non-truth, and provided the example of people believing that a non-massless object (an object with mass) could travel at the speed of light doesn't make that true or serve as evidence either.

    Again... you evade the issue, and start talking about muslims and global warming and freedom of expression. This is silly, as is your acceptance of a make believe entity as somehow real.

    I think the biggest threat to our freedoms is when an otherwise intelligent person such as yourself accepts as real this ambiguously defined three letter word called "god," changing your way of life and following instructions from men who claim to be acting on his behalf... all without stopping to realize that there is nothing there and no reason other than indoctrination to accept this rubbish.


    Now... as per societies without religion, they do better on practically every single metric than societies where religion is prominent. More on that here if you care to explore the reality in which you exist:


    http://www.salon.com/books/review/20...man/index.html
    In "Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment," he tells of a magical land where life expectancy is high and infant mortality low, where wealth is spread and genders live in equity, where happy, fish-fed citizens score high in every quality-of-life index: economic competitiveness, healthcare, environmental protection, lack of corruption, educational investment, technological literacy ... well, you get the idea.

    To a certain jaded sensibility, what makes Scandinavia particularly magical is what it lacks. "There is no national anti-gay rights movement," writes Zuckerman, "there are no 'Jesus fish' imprinted on advertisements in the yellow pages, there are no school boards or school administrators who publicly doubt the evidence for human evolution ... there are no religiously inspired 'abstinence only' sex education curricula ... there are no parental groups lobbying schools and city councils to remove Harry Potter books from school and public libraries ... there are no restaurants that include Bible verses on their menus and placemats, there are no 'Faith Nights' at national sporting events ..."

    Not to put too fine a point on it, there's no God. At least none that would pass muster with evangelical Americans. As few as 24 percent of Danes and as few as 16 percent of Swedes believe in a personal deity. (In America, that figure is close to 90 percent.) In Scandinavia, belief in life after death hovers in the low 30 percent range, as opposed to 81 percent in America. Some 82 percent of Danes and Swedes believe in evolution, while roughly 10 percent believe in hell. Their rate of weekly church attendance is among the lowest on Earth.

    "The notion that religious belief is childish, that earnest prayer is something that only children engage in, and that faith in God is just something that one dabbles with in childhood, but eventually grows out of as one becomes a mature adult, would strike most Americans as offensive," writes Zuckerman. "But for millions of Scandinavians, that's just the way it is."

    To speak true, Zuckerman's research boils down to 149 formal interviews, conducted entirely in Denmark and Sweden (and mostly in English), and his convenience-sample methodology -- talking "to whomever I could in whatever social situations I found myself" -- greatly limits his ability to extrapolate from his findings. Still, in his own impressionistic fashion, Zuckerman (who has explored the sociology of religion in two previous books) has managed to show what nonbelief looks like when it's "normal, regular, mainstream, common." And he's gone at least partway to proving the central thesis of his book: "Religious faith -- while admittedly widespread -- is not natural or innate to the human condition. Nor is religion a necessary ingredient for a healthy, peaceful, prosperous, and ... deeply good society."

    This will come as a surprise to cultural conservatives, who for a long time have pointed baleful fingers at the atheist dictatorships of Albania, North Korea, China and the former Soviet Union. But as Zuckerman argues, there is a significant difference between imposing atheism from above and absorbing it from below. The majority of Scandinavians, he writes, "stopped being religious of their own volition." It may be they never started. Although Christianity was first introduced to Sweden and Denmark in the 800s, it took centuries to become fully entrenched, and given that this process was shaped less by missionary work than by royal fiat, Zuckerman questions whether Danes and Swedes were ever truly as devout as some of their European brethren.

    As for faith being the cornerstone of personal morality, Zuckerman would remind us that Scandinavians rank near the top in charitable giving to poor nations, that their murder rate is among the lowest in the world and that the safety net they've created for their poorest citizens puts the U.S. welfare state to shame. And all this has been accomplished without God breathing down anyone's neck.

    Indeed, the baldly secular outlook Scandinavians take toward their own deaths rivals Zeno for stoicism. "I think we will be earth, you know," a Danish woman tells Zuckerman. "I don't think anything will happen." "It is as it is," says a 75-year-old Stockholm publisher. "You just have to live every day," says a 43-year-old father of two, "and make nice days."

    And to judge from Zuckerman's reportage, there's nothing but nice days in Scandinavia. A simple walk through a Danish town becomes a romp through Arcadia: "I saw beautiful women and handsome men walking about. I saw children holding hands and chatting with one another ... I noticed a few seagulls fluttering above an expressive mural of a colorful mermaid painted on the side of an old building ... The water was calm, moving steadily out to the nearby harbor and then on into the sea."

    Even the water, apparently, is calmer. Zuckerman isn't quite so eager to bring up the dark undercurrents of Scandinavian life: dismal weather, a heavy tax burden, low fertility, high alcoholism, a suicide rate twice that of America. (Maybe godlessness has its downsides?) Nor does he spend a lot of time wondering how the placidity of Scandinavia's insular and homogenous societies will bear up under the influx of highly religious non-Western immigrants.

    As for the Nordic worldview that Zuckerman describes variously as "gentle agnosticism" ("No, I don't believe in God ... but I do believe in something"), "benign indifference" and "comfortable blankness," I see a rather profound incuriosity. To judge from Zuckerman's dispatches, Scandinavians are not so much agnostic or atheistic as congenitally skittish around the topic of religion. "You can do whatever you want," says one Danish man, "just you keep it to yourself." "In Denmark," a pastor remarks, "the word 'God' is one of the most embarrassing words you can say. You would rather go naked through the city than talk about God."

    One needn't be a Christian to wonder: Are Scandinavians really in the vanguard of religious thought? Or have they simply sealed themselves off from it? I can certainly understand wanting to step inside their bubble -- or else have some of it blow across the Atlantic. Imagine living in a nation where presidents don't sprinkle rhetorical holy water on their wars, where the average citizen declines to believe that Noah's Ark is a historical event, where the term "intelligent design" can be entirely expunged from civilized discourse.

    Well, we'll have to imagine it because America will never be that country. And Zuckerman has come up with some good reasons why: our Puritan ancestry; the increased religiosity associated with immigrants and the poor; the mad proliferation of faiths that forces churches to compete for worshippers.
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    re Inow's quoted clip.

    Well, what I get from this is that you give more credence to the interviews of 149 Scandinavians by a noted anti-religious sociologist than you do to the testimony of 2.1 billion Christians. All I can say is, WOW!

    Did you also read the info I posted concerning the difference in the mental health of non-religious Japanese teens as compared to more religious American teens which study resulted from a notedly less likely to be biased Gallop poll?

    As to the health of Scandinavians, I think it probably has more to do with their diet and clean environment than it does with their religious status. Now if you could show that the non-religious people of Sweden and Denmark generally have these better lives in higher percentages than those who retain some religious affiliation, that would be significant.

    Your reliance on Zuckerman's study flies in the face of the 100s of articles you will uncover suggesting that those who are religious or attend religious services generally live longer and better lives than those who don't. Merely Google "life expectancies of religious"

    Not being a statistician, I am not sure what the plus or minus accuracy of a .00001 (149 subjects/about 14.5 people) percent sample is, nor how random one can consider his sample when he says it was with people he met in various social settings which probably did not include any of the local churches or known religious gathering places. What percent of the people he interviewed claimed to have any religious affiliation? Not a given.

    So far you have ruled any justifications of my belief, as well as the belief of another 2.1 billion people, in God and His Son Jesus Christ as irrelevant and untrustworthy because we speak only from experience. However, you are more than willingly to accept as relevant the interviews of 149 (probably) non-religious persons by a noted anti religious sociologist who are also speaking from their experience.

    Somehow, i doubt you will see the inconsistency in your value system.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Sigh... You're still evading the central question, and now by giving me a hard time for not wanting to get further side tracked and making the decision to only share one of the many studies showing how secular nations do better on pretty much every metric of well-being than religious nations.

    However, since data is so important to you, here's another in support of my points:


    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...icle571206.ece
    In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

    The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.

    <...>

    The study concluded that the US was the world's only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries. The US also suffered from "uniquely high" adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates, the study suggested.

    Mr Paul said: "The study shows that England, despite the social ills it has, is actually performing a good deal better than the USA in most indicators, even though it is now a much less religious nation than America."

    He said that the disparity was even greater when the US was compared with other countries, including France, Japan and the Scandinavian countries. These nations had been the most successful in reducing murder rates, early mortality, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion, he added.
    I mean... seriously... I'm sharing actual data confirming my points, and you're sharing nothing. All you've got is "this is what I think," or "I don't think that's true." You've got nothing more than your own personal biases and misunderstandings. Don't you have to concede that you're the participant here with the weakest position? I mean... come on, man... Show some basic academic integrity, will ya?


    Regardless, I note that you still have not addressed the central question, and will also inform you (since you brought it up above) that religious peoples well-being and life expectancy has been shown to come from the social aspect of their practice and not the spiritual.
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    Inow, in his request for a reasonable and rational answer to his question as to why one should believe in a spiritual God, continues to fail to comprehend the lack of reasonableness and rationality in the qualifications he places on what evidence he will accept.

    Let me pose the opposite question with the same unreasonable limitations. Explain to my why I should not believe in a spiritual God, but you cannot use any references to the physical materialistic world or anything that has anything to do with matter in motion, nor can you use any experience or lack thereof you may have had.

    It is perhaps similar to attempting to make a four dimensional figure with our three dimensional limitations. We can use three dimensional concepts to represent a four dimensional object but we cannot actually make one.

    I cannot answer your question on your terms and you cannot accept my answer on your terms. God is Spirit; He is not matter in motion and cannot be described in those terms.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    So, to summarize, you believe despite there being no reason. You find me silly for not believing, even though there is zero reason to. Got it.


    I fail to understand how you find a request for evidence prior to accepting a concept to be "unreasonable." I'll tell you what...

    There is a pink unicorn underneath your chair. It's there. You can't see it. It exists outside of time and space, and is not material, but it's there. You need to believe in it because if you don't it will shower down rainbows of death on you and you will suffer for eternity at the point of it's horn.

    What's wrong with you for asking me for evidence? You're being unreasonable. It's there, and your request for evidence shows how far from grace you've fallen. You will be made to suffer, because you are trying to make yourself more important than the unicorn. I can't believe how unreasonable you are being, and how rigid you are for expecting actual evidence of my claim.


    Sounds silly, right? Sounds completely batshit crazy, right?

    That's how you sound to a non-believer.


    There is NOTHING unreasonable about expecting evidence prior to accepting a concept or entity as real. What IS unreasonable is accepting said entity with nothing but bronze age fairy tales and mass delusion to go on... not to mention that if you were born on the other side of the planet, you'd have been brought up to believe in a different god altogether. You're already an atheist regarding 99% of the worlds gods. I just go one god further.
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  88. #87  
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    Has mitch quit his post? Seems things are bit more hostile than he usually permits
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  89. #88  
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    Mitch hasn't posted in 2 months, me thinks a new moderator may be necessary
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    Marcus, I don't think anyone is being hostile but Inow and I do seem to be having a little trouble getting on the same page and being able to differentiate between physical things and spiritural things. If you folks believed in the spiritual side of life, I would say it has been a spirited exchange.

    But I hold no animosity toward Inow. He has said nothing that offended me.

    But, as with most atheists/agnostics, Inow does not seem to accept that God does not operate on the physical rules of evidence which some humans may put forth. A/As are usually looking in the wrong place, in the wrong way, for the wrong thing.

    If one does not believe there is anything other than matter in motion, one will not experience or accept that there is anything beyond that realm. Inow has a reasonable position from that base line. It is the narrowness of his baseline that separates us, or perhaps that something exists beyond his perception.

    I don't know how many ways I can point out that God is not a physical entity and, as such, can only be approximated in physical terms. One interacts with a spirit on a spiritual level, not a physical level. If one chooses not to attempt to operate on that level, that is one's choice, but that choice does not mean no one else operates on that level. Nor does it prove that such a level in non-existent. It only shows that what some people say exists is rejected by other people.

    If atheists and agnostics could just get to the point of admitting that if there were a spirtual realm, it would probably be different from the physical realm. Surely, if there were a fourth dimension world, we could accept that it would be vastly different from our third dimension world.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Dayton - considering that Japan is the most technologically advanced society on Earth currently. I would choose Japan.

    Inow does not seem to accept that God does not operate on the physical rules of evidence which some humans may put forth
    How convenient.
    "Democracy is a problem because it treats everyone as equals." - Betty Fischer

    "back in the 50's or 60's Nicky Criuz was a gang leader who met David Wilkerson in New York City. After much discussion over months or years, i forget how long, Wilkerson's wife became pregnant. one day Cruz decides to test God, he basically prayed--God if you are real let the baby be born a boy-- it was a boy. "
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    What does "spiritual" mean for your experience, other than meaning that God would talk directly to your mind? What does "spiritual" mean, other than it is something that speaks directly to the intangible hidden part of yourself? Do you think it is impossible for a human to exist as it does without a spiritual part, i.e. that we are nothing more than intelligent animals?
    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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  93. #92  
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    verzen said:

    Dayton - considering that Japan is the most technologically advanced society on Earth currently. I would choose Japan.
    I think the question concerned where would you like to raise your teenage children. Personally, I would not choose Japan: I do not speak Japanese. Sayounara.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    spirituality is just one part of psychology, not an insignificant part either
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    spirituality is just one part of psychology, not an insignificant part either
    This is not some absolute which applies across all humans. What you have stated depends on the person, and does (in fact) vary rather considerably across individuals.

    For example, spirituality is not only an insignificant part of my own psychology, but through education and awareness of self it has become a completely non-existent part.

    Empty platitudes really don't help your case in these matters, nor does posting rhetorical shorthand using terms like "spirituality." It's so vague and fuzzy of a concept that it's almost entirely meaningless and without utility.
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    but the purpose of spirituality is "awareness of self"

    spirituality isn't something that you have, but a process we all go through, albeit a simple one that some go through at different rates, and in different ways: nonetheless it is not something we achieve either, it is never over, since it's a process of self discovery, and our selves are always changing
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    but the purpose of spirituality is "awareness of self"

    spirituality isn't something that you have, but a process we all go through, albeit a simple one that some go through at different rates, and in different ways: nonetheless it is not something we achieve either, it is never over, since it's a process of self discovery, and our selves are always changing
    You can call that spirituality if you want. My question has do to with what it means when he says God is spiritual. Does he mean non-physical? What does non-physical even mean? Does God enter your mind, like being talked to telepathically? I don't think he means it like that, so how then? Does he feel a sense of safety etc when he looks inside himself? Does he feel an extra presence when he prays or talks to God, either verbally or in his mind? Does he simply sense a being that caters to our spiritual (the way you mean it) needs?

    Dayton: I wanted to add something, which is that those needs that I quoted are universal among humans. That is why billions of people believe in a being that can cater to those needs. It is natural for humans to serve higher beings, whether it is kings, celebrities, personal heroes or how better than the most powerful one of all? Better yet, one other people claim to serve as well and one you can only serve by resigning over a bit of yourself to that being? Bits that lessen the burden of life. Is it possible for humans to invent this creature out of thin air and really believe he/she/it exists? IMO, most certainly.
    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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    Sorry, I need to remember to say who I'm talking to

    My post about spirituality was for inow in response to him saying that spirituality is a non-existent part of his psychology.

    The point was that he has simply chosen a different definition of spirituality, to be something that he doesn't possess, so that he can consider himself different from others in the fact that "they" are spiritual, and "he" is not, making "them" archaic, and "him" refined.

    You can frame anything to create opposition, that is all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    My post about spirituality was for inow in response to him saying that spirituality is a non-existent part of his psychology.

    The point was that he has simply chosen a different definition of spirituality, to be something that he doesn't possess, so that he can consider himself different from others in the fact that "they" are spiritual, and "he" is not, making "them" archaic, and "him" refined.
    No, I am simply more precise with my language and descriptions since spirituality is such a meaningless catch all bucket into which practically anything can be thrown. Further, we are now far removed from the context in which "spirituality" was first brought up. This is what daytonturner said:


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    God is Spirit; He is not matter in motion and cannot be described in those terms.
    <...>
    [We] seem to be having a little trouble getting on the same page and being able to differentiate between physical things and spiritural things.
    <...>
    One interacts with a spirit on a spiritual level, not a physical level.
    I mean, seriously folks... Do you truly feel I'm being unreasonable to ask WTF that even means?


    It reminds me a bit of someone discussing food... let's say your grandmother. She makes a pie, and you want to understand how. Is it really going to be all that helpful if all she says is, "It's made with lots of love."

    Oh... good. Lots of love. Is that 4 ounces or 6? Did you have to heat it up first? Can I go grab that over on aisle 7? I mean, it's meaningless and unhelpful in the context of the question, and is nothing more than a rhetorical short-hand to describe her attention and effort and focus while making it... not to mention that it completely fails to address the root of what was being asked.

    It's much the same with spirituality. WTF are you even talking about? As you can see in just the few short posts since it was brought up, 4 different people have 4 different concepts of what that word means. It's rubbish.


    I could ask how dayton knows that the existence of god is on a spiritual level, but I can't because a) the question is meaningless, b) spiritual level is term so vague as to be almost completely absent of value... nothing more than a term without clear definition or parameters, and c) there is nothing informing dayton's assertion other than his own desire to believe.


    So, I fall back to my previous points. There is no good evidence or logic for the god concept to be accepted in the mind of a reasonable and rational person, in much the same way that the existence of leprechauns should not be accepted in the mind of a reasonable and rational person.

    I remain open to something worthy of my consideration regarding the existence of this human conceit people call "god," but thousands of years of searching has failed to turn up anything of utility, in the much the same way that these last several pages of thread haven't turned up anything of merit on that point.


    You know... unless "spiritual level" and "revelation" are good enough for you as evidence (and, if it is, why doesn't the same hold true for allah, thor, zeus, apollo, the tooth fairy, the easter bunny, or anything else). :?
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  100. #99  
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    Well, we have had many discussions here concerning the potential differences and similarities and existences of soul, spirit and flesh.

    Since we can see and touch and in other ways physically come into contact with the flesh, there is little argument as to its existence and to quantify it.

    When it comes to the concepts of soul and spirit, there are many different opinions as to whether such things exist. And among those who believe they exist, there are differences of opinions as to what they are and how they function.

    Some think spirit and soul are the same, some thing they are different. But I think one common belief would be that they are not physical.

    So, to that aspect of Inow's and Kalster's questions, I would say that Christians, at least, generally believe that spirit and/or soul exist on some level other than physical and are separate from the physical being but somehow reside there while a person has physical life. Most Christians would believe that this spirit (soul), however, is not dependent upon the physical body and survives the physical death of the body.

    Inow does not seem to understand that I generally agree with him that there is no physical evidence which exclusively points to a spirit world. Anything that believers might site that could be considered physical evidence can also be viewed as only evidence of its physical aspect.

    For example, believers might feel that "The heavens declare the glory of God." But to the non-believer, that is not even the slightest iota of evidence of God.

    One of Kalster's questions was, is it possible for man to invent God. Well, Voltaire provided the best answer to that question many years ago when he said, "If God did not exist, man would have invented him."

    Adding to that: If there is but one God in the universe and men are worshipping several, then those who are not worshipping the one real God, are worshipping gods that have been invented by mankind.

    Kalster's original question
    , way back, was:
    In other words, do you think it is entirely impossible for someone to experience what you do when his God only exists in his imagination to tend to his need for inspiration, need for solace, need for encouragement, need for a source of strength, need to believe in purpose, need to be led and stand for something worthwhile, need to believe in an agent of retribution, someone that would punish those we cannot, etc? These are things that we all need (even C_Sensei Razz ). Do you think an imagined agent personified for all these needs could not invoke the kind of comfort and surety that you are experiencing?
    Kalster's questions are always so maddening because he seems to be able to ask about several things in one sentence.

    OK, so could a person believing in a false God experience the same "benefits" that a person believing in the "real" God experiences. I don't know. Is it possible that a person believing in the "real" God might not experience all those things? I see churched people all the time who do not seem to be experiencing the same things.

    Most of the needs you cite can be satisfied by a spouse, a parent, a child or some other human figures. Some people seem to not need any external support in those areas, being almost internally self sufficient. Yet, for others, it seems there is nothing which can satisfy those needs including a (real or imagined) experience with God.

    As to Inow, I would say if believing in God does not make any sense to you, that is a good reason not to believe in God. But that does not make you any more correct in that belief than does my belief in God make me correct.

    But when someone asks me what I believe and why and then I tell them and then they come back and suggest that I am an inferior intellect because of that belief, I can only suggest that it is probably their own intellectual insecurity which leads them to that accusation.

    (Edited to insert word "not" in fourth paragraph.)
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  101. #100  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When it comes to the concepts of soul and spirit, there are many different opinions as to whether such things exist. And among those who believe they exist, there are differences of opinions as to what they are and how they function.
    Which makes them rather unuseful when trying to communicate with others, since communication hinges on a shared understanding of the terms and vernacular. Instead of clarifying what you mean by spirit, you've only further muddied the waters by adding another ambiguously defined term to the mix with your introduction of the soul concept.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    So, to that aspect of Inow's and Kalster's questions, I would say that Christians, at least, generally believe that spirit and/or soul exist on some level other than physical and are separate from the physical being but somehow reside there while a person has physical life. Most Christians would believe that this spirit (soul), however, is not dependent upon the physical body and survives the physical death of the body.
    What informs these beliefs? What reason (other than pure indoctrination) do these people have for holding them?


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Inow does not seem to understand that I generally agree with him that there is no physical evidence which exclusively points to a spirit world.
    I appreciate you noting this explicitly. My question remains, though. Why do you accept this ill-defined concept of a spirit world when you've conceded yourself you have no good reason to? That's really my central point.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Adding to that: If there is but one God in the universe and men are worshipping several, then those who are not worshipping the one real God, are worshipping gods that have been invented by mankind.
    This is rather circular. You have essentially declared by fiat that your god is the one true one, and dismissed all others as false and invented by man. Yet, you have yet to supply ANY valid evidence or reasoning why you a) accept god and b) why your god is the only true one.

    In essence, you are comfortable rejecting the god of others in precisely the same way that I am comfortable rejecting yours. I'm just consistent in my rejection, and I wonder why you find it acceptable to hold and apply such double standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    OK, so could a person believing in a false God experience the same "benefits" that a person believing in the "real" God experiences. I don't know. Is it possible that a person believing in the "real" God might not experience all those things?
    Again, you have done little more than declare yours as the "true" god, all the while providing nothing to support that declaration. I could just as equally declare the Flying Spaghetti Monster as the one true god, and dismiss yours as a human invention. If I did so, you would realize that my argument was hollow. baseless, and completely without merit.... Yet, that's exactly what you are here doing with the rest of us.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    As to Inow, I would say if believing in God does not make any sense to you, that is a good reason not to believe in God. But that does not make you any more correct in that belief than does my belief in God make me correct.
    I take slight offense to your suggestion of equivalence between my non-belief and your belief. My lack of belief is informed by reason and rationality... it is reinforced by the fact that there is zero evidence in favor of the god hypothesis, in much the same way as there is no evidence in favor of Allah, Thor, Zeus, or even leprechauns. My dismissal is grounded in reality.

    Your belief, however, is not grounded at all... As you've admitted yourself, you have nothing but your own faith... You have no evidence, and you really have no good arguments justifying your belief to others (at least none which you've presented here to me in this thread). For that reason, your suggestion of equivalence between my lack of belief and your acceptance of belief is flawed.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    But when someone asks me what I believe and why and then I tell them and then they come back and suggest that I am an inferior intellect because of that belief, I can only suggest that it is probably their own intellectual insecurity which leads them to that accusation.
    Who did any such thing? I surely didn't, and yet you're suggesting intellectual insecurity?

    My question was plain... perhaps difficult to address, but plain nonetheless. What makes the god concept worthy of acceptance in a rational and reasonable mind? Your responses have been non-answers, and often little more than off-topic evasions and irrelevant non-sequiturs.
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