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Thread: ' Why do I care ?.'

  1. #1 ' Why do I care ?.' 
    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
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    The subject of religious faiths and doctrines of belief is of some significant importance to me. That I have a want to guide to the scientific method. The scientific Principal must be upheld. To be able to challenge and question. To ask for proofs that are demonstrable and stand the scrutiny of test.. repeatedly. That my pursuance of this subject has gotten me into argument with the faithful, I make no apology for.
    I ask for proofs and find none..
    ~ What is it about the human mind that so willingly is receptive of what can not be true.
    Is this a weakness of the human mind. I often face the question and statement. It must be part of a constructed plan.
    Nature could not have engineered the Universe so.. Only a creator could have done this..( with obligatory arm waving..)
    I do not think my insistence for scientific revue is un reasonable.. You want me to 'believe' then show me why I might find it as truths when not a single case of fact is found. I throw on the table things like heaven, God, the spirit realm,.
    Find me a way of verification of such and I will only ask for scientific revue.. Tests and challenges..
    My view is driven by the want for humanity to step away from the dark ages of medieval beliefs..


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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    The subject of religious faiths and doctrines of belief is of some significant importance to me. That I have a want to guide to the scientific method. The scientific Principal must be upheld. To be able to challenge and question. To ask for proofs that are demonstrable and stand the scrutiny of test.. repeatedly. That my pursuance of this subject has gotten me into argument with the faithful, I make no apology for.
    I ask for proofs and find none..
    ~ What is it about the human mind that so willingly is receptive of what can not be true.
    Is this a weakness of the human mind. I often face the question and statement. It must be part of a constructed plan.
    Nature could not have engineered the Universe so.. Only a creator could have done this..( with obligatory arm waving..)
    I do not think my insistence for scientific revue is un reasonable.. You want me to 'believe' then show me why I might find it as truths when not a single case of fact is found. I throw on the table things like heaven, God, the spirit realm,.
    Find me a way of verification of such and I will only ask for scientific revue.. Tests and challenges..
    My view is driven by the want for humanity to step away from the dark ages of medieval beliefs..
    A question like this must be between a god and yourself, this forum hence is not the right place.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    A question like this must be between a god and yourself
    Non-sequitur.
    As he has no reason to believe in a god, why would he be asking the very thing he has no belief in for guidence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    this forum hence is not the right place.
    This is the only place he can ask such questions. As he must ask men of faith to explain. he not going to get an answer anywhere else, is he.

    Kind of a moot statement Rob.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    A question like this must be between a god and yourself
    Non-sequitur.
    As he has no reason to believe in a god, why would he be asking the very thing he has no belief in for guidance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    this forum hence is not the right place.
    This is the only place he can ask such questions. As he must ask men of faith to explain. he not going to get an answer anywhere else, is he.

    Kind of a moot statement Rob.
    Well how can't a man like you answer him then? In fact I believe I did answer his question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    The scientific Principal must be upheld.
    In *all* aspects of life?! You don't sit down in a restaurant or pop a bag of chips or put your tongue in someone's mouth with this stern imperative. Neither should it apply to weddings, funerals, picnics... Dude, science has its place like every other human construct.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    The subject of religious faiths and doctrines of belief is of some significant importance to me. That I have a want to guide to the scientific method. The scientific Principal must be upheld. To be able to challenge and question. To ask for proofs that are demonstrable and stand the scrutiny of test.. repeatedly. That my pursuance of this subject has gotten me into argument with the faithful, I make no apology for.
    I ask for proofs and find none..
    ~ What is it about the human mind that so willingly is receptive of what can not be true.
    Is this a weakness of the human mind. I often face the question and statement. It must be part of a constructed plan.
    Nature could not have engineered the Universe so.. Only a creator could have done this..( with obligatory arm waving..)
    I do not think my insistence for scientific revue is unreasonable.. You want me to 'believe' then show me why I might find it as truths when not a single case of fact is found. I throw on the table things like heaven, God, the spirit realm,.
    Find me a way of verification of such and I will only ask for scientific revue.. Tests and challenges..
    My view is driven by the want for humanity to step away from the dark ages of medieval beliefs..
    The difference between asking this question on the forum and asking God would IMO be about three words.
    "O Lord" at the beginning and "Amen" at the end.
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    It must be part of a constructed plan.


    How so if there's no proof that there is any plans and if you are considering the Bible then look around you and look at what is going on in the world, wars, famine, strife, greed and and on.

    What is it about the human mind that so willingly is receptive of what can not be true.


    Because some people are great bullshit artists and can remove your coat right off of your back without you knowing it.

    Nature could not have engineered the Universe so


    Why not? Can you provide any facts that prove it didn't?

    I do not think my insistence for scientific revue is un reasonable


    Why don't you provide evidence that a supernatural being created everything. So far science can't find this fellow, do you have some factual leads?

    I throw on the table things like heaven, God, the spirit realm,


    Which science cannot find any evidence of so you want people to believe in something that has absolutely no physical evidence ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post

    The difference between asking this question on the forum and asking God would IMO be about three words.
    "O Lord" at the beginning and "Amen" at the end.
    I would 'Like' this if I could...
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    It must be part of a constructed plan.


    How so if there's no proof that there is any plans and if you are considering the Bible then look around you and look at what is going on in the world, wars, famine, strife, greed and and on.

    What is it about the human mind that so willingly is receptive of what can not be true.


    Because some people are great bullshit artists and can remove your coat right off of your back without you knowing it.

    Nature could not have engineered the Universe so


    Why not? Can you provide any facts that prove it didn't?

    I do not think my insistence for scientific revue is un reasonable


    Why don't you provide evidence that a supernatural being created everything. So far science can't find this fellow, do you have some factual leads?

    I throw on the table things like heaven, God, the spirit realm,


    Which science cannot find any evidence of so you want people to believe in something that has absolutely no physical evidence ?
    Why do you use so large a font.. It's like you are shouting at us..me.. and I do trust you see my point from a 180 deg view..
    I am 100% Atheist and ask these questions only to test the resolve of the faithful.. a challenge is made and not answered.. empty words 'soup'.. slops and rubbish.. a plenty.. As a proponent of the sciences I demand proofs testable.. There are none.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ... Why do you use so large a font.. It's like you are shouting at us..me.. and I do trust you see my point from a 180 deg view..
    I am 100% Atheist and ask these questions only to test the resolve of the faithful.. a challenge is made and not answered.. empty words 'soup'.. slops and rubbish.. a plenty.. As a proponent of the sciences I demand proofs testable.. There are none.
    I like this too. You sound like someone from the OT, possibly from the story of Job demanding proof. (Not that I haven't read Job for a very long time, so I might be wrong about that.)
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    It's like you are shouting at us..me
    Sorry, I'll try to remember that next post. I'm going deaf it seems so all the help I can get is great.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    It's like you are shouting at us..me
    Sorry, I'll try to remember that next post. I'm going deaf it seems so all the help I can get is great.
    If you said you were going blind, I'd agree with you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    The subject of religious faiths and doctrines of belief is of some significant importance to me. That I have a want to guide to the scientific method. The scientific Principal must be upheld. To be able to challenge and question. To ask for proofs that are demonstrable and stand the scrutiny of test.. repeatedly. That my pursuance of this subject has gotten me into argument with the faithful, I make no apology for.
    I ask for proofs and find none..
    ~ What is it about the human mind that so willingly is receptive of what can not be true.
    Is this a weakness of the human mind. I often face the question and statement. It must be part of a constructed plan.
    Nature could not have engineered the Universe so.. Only a creator could have done this..( with obligatory arm waving..)
    I do not think my insistence for scientific revue is un reasonable.. You want me to 'believe' then show me why I might find it as truths when not a single case of fact is found. I throw on the table things like heaven, God, the spirit realm,.
    Find me a way of verification of such and I will only ask for scientific revue.. Tests and challenges..
    My view is driven by the want for humanity to step away from the dark ages of medieval beliefs..
    If you are looking for a "way of verification", then a recent homily might be helpful to you.

    The message of the homily was that God can only be understood through relationship.

    That is because God's ways are "not our ways".

    That has been my experience.

    The little bit of understanding that I have came from seeking and depending on God.

    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    The subject of religious faiths and doctrines of belief is of some significant importance to me. That I have a want to guide to the scientific method. The scientific Principal must be upheld. To be able to challenge and question. To ask for proofs that are demonstrable and stand the scrutiny of test.. repeatedly. That my pursuance of this subject has gotten me into argument with the faithful, I make no apology for.
    I ask for proofs and find none..
    ~ What is it about the human mind that so willingly is receptive of what can not be true.
    Is this a weakness of the human mind. I often face the question and statement. It must be part of a constructed plan.
    Nature could not have engineered the Universe so.. Only a creator could have done this..( with obligatory arm waving..)
    I do not think my insistence for scientific revue is un reasonable.. You want me to 'believe' then show me why I might find it as truths when not a single case of fact is found. I throw on the table things like heaven, God, the spirit realm,.
    Find me a way of verification of such and I will only ask for scientific revue.. Tests and challenges..
    My view is driven by the want for humanity to step away from the dark ages of medieval beliefs..
    If you are looking for a "way of verification", then a recent homily might be helpful to you.

    The message of the homily was that God can only be understood through relationship.

    That is because God's ways are "not our ways".

    That has been my experience.

    The little bit of understanding that I have came from seeking and depending on God.

    Good luck.
    That is very nicely put and obviously there is a lot more to the story, your story, hidden in the words "seeking and depending on God".
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    ~ and I would retort that the voice you imagine, is yourself. That you lac the stand alone mentality is a fault of the indoctrinated beating of a lifetime.. feel comforted in that many people share this fault. It's still a fault and can be shown and proven as false.
    ~ If by scientific revue you can bring forward proofs of Gods, please do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ and I would retort that the voice you imagine, is yourself. That you lac the stand alone mentality is a fault of the indoctrinated beating of a lifetime.. feel comforted in that many people share this fault. It's still a fault and can be shown and proven as false.
    ~ If by scientific revue you can bring forward proofs of Gods, please do.
    In no way can the view I expressed be proven false.

    Also, my view is not the result of indoctrination. Growing up, I was introduced to religion, not indoctrinated.

    Thus, my view of religion for most of my life was very superficial and mostly based on Pascal's wager eg. "If there is a God, then I certainly would prefer that He be on my side." Theologically, that is a very immature view.

    Only when I chose to seek God on my own did things change.

    It is not possible to scientifically prove or disprove the existence of God between people who do not seek God. The reason for this can be understood theologically.

    However, you can use your scientific training as an asset if you choose to seek God to determine if what you learn is true. For me, what I learned in the Bible and from scholarly theological teaching turned out to be true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ and I would retort that the voice you imagine, is yourself. That you lac the stand alone mentality is a fault of the indoctrinated beating of a lifetime.. feel comforted in that many people share this fault. It's still a fault and can be shown and proven as false.
    ~ If by scientific revue you can bring forward proofs of Gods, please do.
    In no way can the view I expressed be proven false.

    Also, my view is not the result of indoctrination. Growing up, I was introduced to religion, not indoctrinated.

    Thus, my view of religion for most of my life was very superficial and mostly based on Pascal's wager eg. "If there is a God, then I certainly would prefer that He be on my side." Theologically, that is a very immature view.

    Only when I chose to seek God on my own did things change.

    It is not possible to scientifically prove or disprove the existence of God between people who do not seek God. The reason for this can be understood theologically.

    However, you can use your scientific training as an asset if you choose to seek God to determine if what you learn is true. For me, what I learned in the Bible and from scholarly theological teaching turned out to be true.
    So you're challenging Astromark to run his own experiment?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ and I would retort that the voice you imagine, is yourself. That you lac the stand alone mentality is a fault of the indoctrinated beating of a lifetime.. feel comforted in that many people share this fault. It's still a fault and can be shown and proven as false.
    ~ If by scientific revue you can bring forward proofs of Gods, please do.
    In no way can the view I expressed be proven false.

    Also, my view is not the result of indoctrination. Growing up, I was introduced to religion, not indoctrinated.

    Thus, my view of religion for most of my life was very superficial and mostly based on Pascal's wager eg. "If there is a God, then I certainly would prefer that He be on my side." Theologically, that is a very immature view.

    Only when I chose to seek God on my own did things change.

    It is not possible to scientifically prove or disprove the existence of God between people who do not seek God. The reason for this can be understood theologically.

    However, you can use your scientific training as an asset if you choose to seek God to determine if what you learn is true. For me, what I learned in the Bible and from scholarly theological teaching turned out to be true.
    So you're challenging Astromark to run his own experiment?
    Of course.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    In no way can the view I expressed be proven false.
    Is it objective or subjective, as it is the latter, it is false until proven true. If it were the former it would be true by default. The burden is and will always remain yours
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Also, my view is not the result of indoctrination. Growing up, I was introduced to religion, not indoctrinated.
    And how were you introduced. was it when you were able to discern exactly what was being taught to you, say around the age of 12/13, or was it introduced at a much earlier age. Say shortly after you were born, like in a christening.
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    For me, what I learned in the Bible and from scholarly theological teaching turned out to be true.
    Yes it did for you and you alone. Try to understand, if you want others to believe it you will need to bring something objective into the mix.
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    However, you can use your scientific training as an asset if you choose to seek God to determine if what you learn is true.
    See reply below.
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Of course.
    Then I repeat what I said to Robbity in post three

    Non-sequitur.
    As he has no reason to believe in a god, why would he be asking the very thing he has no belief in for guidance.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    ...Then I repeat what I said to Robbity in post three
    Non-sequitur.
    As he has no reason to believe in a god, why would he be asking the very thing he has no belief in for guidance.
    I'm thinking it should be possible for AstroMark (AM) just to be open to the possibility, see what happens, and for him to analyse the results (if any) into random chance or real effect.

    I never suggested he should believe, but to explore the possibility by firstly turning the OP request into a prayer by adding 3 words. He then can compare the results. If he does he get an answer himself or through the thread? Which makes more sense?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    ...Then I repeat what I said to Robbity in post three
    Non-sequitur.
    As he has no reason to believe in a god, why would he be asking the very thing he has no belief in for guidance.
    I'm thinking it should be possible for AstroMark (AM) just to be open to the possibility, see what happens, and for him to analyse the results (if any) into random chance or real effect.
    Lol! How can he be open to the possibility? You're just not getting it. There is no good reason to be open to it. He would only be taking it on faith, not a good premise to start an investigation/search/inquiry etc. You need evidence to be able to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbitybob1
    I never suggested he should believe, but to explore the possibility by firstly turning the OP request into a prayer by adding 3 words.
    How can he do that without first having some belief in what he is investigating?
    Quote Originally Posted by Robbitybob1
    He then can compare the results.
    How can he verify the result? What solid basis/foundation does he have to compare it too? you're really making no sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robbitybob1
    If he does he get an answer himself
    He wont! The best he'll get is his own voice/thoughts in his head, something he will not be able to differentiate from his imagination.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    ...Then I repeat what I said to Robbity in post three
    Non-sequitur.
    As he has no reason to believe in a god, why would he be asking the very thing he has no belief in for guidance.
    I'm thinking it should be possible for AstroMark (AM) just to be open to the possibility, see what happens, and for him to analyse the results (if any) into random chance or real effect.

    I never suggested he should believe, but to explore the possibility by firstly turning the OP request into a prayer by adding 3 words. He then can compare the results. If he does he get an answer himself or through the thread? Which makes more sense?
    From my perspective you seem to be purveying that there are only two options: Option A.) There is a God and he will answer Astro's prayer or Options B.) Astro will not get an answer to his prayer.

    This is incorrect because there is no reason to believe that the Judeo-Christian God is the right God. What if Astro prayed to Zeus, Thor, or Osiris? Should he pray to every God individually and wait for an answer from one of them? To an atheist like myself there is nothing that makes your God anymore real than the Olympians or the Gods of ancient Egypt. Also how is he supposed to determine if his prayer was effective? Does he hear a voice in his head, get a tingling feeling or what? There is no way to verify this.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    ...Then I repeat what I said to Robbity in post three
    Non-sequitur.
    As he has no reason to believe in a god, why would he be asking the very thing he has no belief in for guidance.
    I'm thinking it should be possible for AstroMark (AM) just to be open to the possibility, see what happens, and for him to analyse the results (if any) into random chance or real effect.

    I never suggested he should believe, but to explore the possibility by firstly turning the OP request into a prayer by adding 3 words. He then can compare the results. If he does he get an answer himself or through the thread? Which makes more sense?
    From my perspective you seem to be purveying that there are only two options: Option A.) There is a God and he will answer Astro's prayer or Options B.) Astro will not get an answer to his prayer.

    This is incorrect because there is no reason to believe that the Judeo-Christian God is the right God. What if Astro prayed to Zeus, Thor, or Osiris? Should he pray to every God individually and wait for an answer from one of them? To an atheist like myself there is nothing that makes your God anymore real than the Olympians or the Gods of ancient Egypt. Also how is he supposed to determine if his prayer was effective? Does he hear a voice in his head, get a tingling feeling or what? There is no way to verify this.
    I know all that but if he started his request "O Lord" AM will not be directing his request to any particular God, will he? It is just an open invitation to whomever. If there is some change that AM perceives he then is in the best position to decypher what is going on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    ...How can he do that without first having some belief in what he is investigating?

    .... He wont! The best he'll get is his own voice/thoughts in his head, something he will not be able to differentiate from his imagination.
    Thanks Pavlos, all good points and I agree it will be difficult for AM to run this experiment.
    As I was reading your reply I thought it will be like cooking, you taste something and say I think it could do with some spice. You don't know if it will but you are willing to try it out.
    As to your second part I'd say it could be like when you take drugs, you know that the side effects weren't just your own imagination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    From my perspective you seem to be purveying that there are only two options: Option A.) There is a God and he will answer Astro's prayer or Options B.) Astro will not get an answer to his prayer.

    This is incorrect because there is no reason to believe that the Judeo-Christian God is the right God. What if Astro prayed to Zeus, Thor, or Osiris? Should he pray to every God individually and wait for an answer from one of them? To an atheist like myself there is nothing that makes your God anymore real than the Olympians or the Gods of ancient Egypt. Also how is he supposed to determine if his prayer was effective? Does he hear a voice in his head, get a tingling feeling or what? There is no way to verify this.
    I know all that but if he started his request "O Lord" AM will not be directing his request to any particular God, will he? It is just an open invitation to whomever. If there is some change that AM perceives he then is in the best position to decypher what is going on.
    I understand the point you're trying to make. I also want to just state that I respect your beliefs, in case I sounded rude earlier. However, the problem with this "experiment" is that it has no way to actually pinpoint whether or not it was effective. For all we know advanced aliens could be observing Astro and decide to answer his prayers while remaining anonymous. I have a hypothetical for you Robitty: Lets assume I am depressed, my life is seeming to fall to pieces. My parents are getting divorce, and the motor on my car blows. I pray an open prayer for things to get better (like you mentioned that could apply to any diety). Within a few weeks of repeating this prayer, things start to get better, my parents work things out, I find a replacement motor for an affordable price, etc. Was this the result of praying, and if so which deity do I turn to? Do I assume it was the christian God, or the Olympians? Or is it not more likely that things snowballed all at once deepening my despair and making me see things as worse than what they really were and that given time these problems would have gotten resolved anyways? My point is that there is no way to discern whether the prayer really had any effect at all.

    As a side note, I used to be an extremely religious Catholic. I used to think any hardships or suffering that I endured was penance for sins that I may have committed or that they were tests. As I learned and read more, I found inconsistencies in the Bible and when I asked my local priest, he offered that the Bible wasn't meant to be taken literally and that most of the stories were probably exaggerated or never happened at all and that they were only there to draw lessons from. At this time I also started to question these "tests" that God was giving me and came to the conclusion that I had done nothing to warrant them as penance and that no loving God would allow that to happen to his "children." So for a while I became angry with God, then I realized that the more likely scenario is that God either doesn't exist or that he is incapable/unwilling to interact with the world. I decided to shape my own future and to live life as a good person because that's how I wanted to be known. I figure that if there is a God/Goddess(s) and he/she is going to condemn me because I didn't join his/her fan club, then he/she is not worthy of my worship anyways.

    Sorry for the rambling post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    My point is that there is no way to discern whether the prayer really had any effect at all. .... Sorry for the rambling post.
    No that's fine. I'm not in a fan club either.
    I don't really differentiate much between thought and prayer, so is there any point in thinking about a problem? Does thinking about a problem have any effect?

    Your thoughts can't change the problem but you could still come up with an idea to solve the problem. But a prayer seems to be a way of making someone else think of your problem. Does that make sense? I can only relate that to an incident that happened to me, I needed 200 liter drums, and I said "I need drums" and a few days later a truck pulls up with 200 X 200 liter drums on it.
    Well what made the driver pull up at my house uninvited? 25 years later it still baffles me. From the drivers point of view he was just looking for an opportunity to get rid of his drums.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    I know all that but if he started his request "O Lord" AM will not be directing his request to any particular God, will he? It is just an open invitation to whomever.
    But why would he do it? What good reason would there be for him to do it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    If there is some change that AM perceives he then is in the best position to decypher what is going on.
    And again how could he know whether it was a god or his own imagination?
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    As I was reading your reply I thought it will be like cooking, you taste something and say I think it could do with some spice. You don't know if it will but you are willing to try it out.
    Poor analogy! You cant compare a personal preference to food with a possible imaginary conversation with a god. You can share your food, but you cant share something that is solely in your head.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    As to your second part I'd say it could be like when you take drugs, you know that the side effects weren't just your own imagination.
    And you still have the same problem. He knows we get side effect from drugs, but he has nothing to compare a chat with a god. It is all purely subjective.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    But why would he do it? What good reason would there be for him to do it? ...
    And again how could he know whether it was a god or his own imagination?
    Why would he do it? Because he wants to know. So he would be willing to explore and to experiment.
    How would he know? If it was beyond your normal imagination, like drugs without taking drugs, if you know what I mean.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    From my perspective you seem to be purveying that there are only two options: Option A.) There is a God and he will answer Astro's prayer or Options B.) Astro will not get an answer to his prayer.

    This is incorrect because there is no reason to believe that the Judeo-Christian God is the right God. What if Astro prayed to Zeus, Thor, or Osiris? Should he pray to every God individually and wait for an answer from one of them? To an atheist like myself there is nothing that makes your God anymore real than the Olympians or the Gods of ancient Egypt. Also how is he supposed to determine if his prayer was effective? Does he hear a voice in his head, get a tingling feeling or what? There is no way to verify this.
    I know all that but if he started his request "O Lord" AM will not be directing his request to any particular God, will he? It is just an open invitation to whomever. If there is some change that AM perceives he then is in the best position to decypher what is going on.
    I understand the point you're trying to make. I also want to just state that I respect your beliefs, in case I sounded rude earlier. However, the problem with this "experiment" is that it has no way to actually pinpoint whether or not it was effective. For all we know advanced aliens could be observing Astro and decide to answer his prayers while remaining anonymous. I have a hypothetical for you Robitty: Lets assume I am depressed, my life is seeming to fall to pieces. My parents are getting divorce, and the motor on my car blows. I pray an open prayer for things to get better (like you mentioned that could apply to any diety). Within a few weeks of repeating this prayer, things start to get better, my parents work things out, I find a replacement motor for an affordable price, etc. Was this the result of praying, and if so which deity do I turn to? Do I assume it was the christian God, or the Olympians? Or is it not more likely that things snowballed all at once deepening my despair and making me see things as worse than what they really were and that given time these problems would have gotten resolved anyways? My point is that there is no way to discern whether the prayer really had any effect at all.

    As a side note, I used to be an extremely religious Catholic. I used to think any hardships or suffering that I endured was penance for sins that I may have committed or that they were tests. As I learned and read more, I found inconsistencies in the Bible and when I asked my local priest, he offered that the Bible wasn't meant to be taken literally and that most of the stories were probably exaggerated or never happened at all and that they were only there to draw lessons from. At this time I also started to question these "tests" that God was giving me and came to the conclusion that I had done nothing to warrant them as penance and that no loving God would allow that to happen to his "children." So for a while I became angry with God, then I realized that the more likely scenario is that God either doesn't exist or that he is incapable/unwilling to interact with the world. I decided to shape my own future and to live life as a good person because that's how I wanted to be known. I figure that if there is a God/Goddess(s) and he/she is going to condemn me because I didn't join his/her fan club, then he/she is not worthy of my worship anyways.

    Sorry for the rambling post.
    Actually, your post is very interesting.

    I recently saw a video by a You Tuber named Father Barron on evangelization. Father Barron's point was that Catholics need to have an effective argument to the false perception of God as "the bully in the sky". I did not realize that this perception is actually a major reason why people leave the faith.
    On a religious forum, the last former atheist post I saw was about how distressed he was about his previous testimony against religion, and whether he could be "forgiven". He must also have previously subscribed to the "bully in the sky" myth.

    Father Barron's point was that the correct perception of God should be that of a loving father who helps his creation become the best version of themselves to the extent people will allow Him to act in their lives. Thus, God is not an observing judge, but a Father / friend / mother who walks along side us, aids us in our growth, and protects us from harm.

    The second perception of God has been my experience.

    What I am wondering if there is an experiment to test this hypothesis among atheist volunteers. The hypothesis is that the perception of God can change with religious practice from "complete denial of God's existence" to "God exists and is a benevolent God".

    The experiment would require some theologically correct instruction for the volunteers to follow in seeking God. The study would use Christian theology since the only two groups represented here are Christians and nonbelievers.

    The volunteers keep a journal of their activity, and perception.

    What we would be looking for is: Is there a change in perception among the study group?

    Did any of the volunteers come to believe in God? What is the perception of the volunteers about the nature of God? Specifically, do the volunteers perceive God as the "bully in the sky", or the "benevolent, forgiving, protecting, savior?

    Now, this experiment would not conclusively prove that God exists; however, it could create interesting data.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    But why would he do it? What good reason would there be for him to do it? ...
    And again how could he know whether it was a god or his own imagination?
    Why would he do it? Because he wants to know. So he would be willing to explore and to experiment.
    How would he know? If it was beyond your normal imagination, like drugs without taking drugs, if you know what I mean.
    Why would he do it?

    There could be many reasons.

    Curiosity is enough of a reason.

    Also, if God exists and He is the type of God that helps you realize the best life you can possibly live, then why wouldn't a person want to find out if such a God exists?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Also, if God exists and He is the type of God that helps you realize the best life you can possibly live, then why wouldn't a person want to find out if such a God exists?
    The evidence is that he doesn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post

    I understand the point you're trying to make. I also want to just state that I respect your beliefs, in case I sounded rude earlier. However, the problem with this "experiment" is that it has no way to actually pinpoint whether or not it was effective. For all we know advanced aliens could be observing Astro and decide to answer his prayers while remaining anonymous. I have a hypothetical for you Robitty: Lets assume I am depressed, my life is seeming to fall to pieces. My parents are getting divorce, and the motor on my car blows. I pray an open prayer for things to get better (like you mentioned that could apply to any diety). Within a few weeks of repeating this prayer, things start to get better, my parents work things out, I find a replacement motor for an affordable price, etc. Was this the result of praying, and if so which deity do I turn to? Do I assume it was the christian God, or the Olympians? Or is it not more likely that things snowballed all at once deepening my despair and making me see things as worse than what they really were and that given time these problems would have gotten resolved anyways? My point is that there is no way to discern whether the prayer really had any effect at all.

    As a side note, I used to be an extremely religious Catholic. I used to think any hardships or suffering that I endured was penance for sins that I may have committed or that they were tests. As I learned and read more, I found inconsistencies in the Bible and when I asked my local priest, he offered that the Bible wasn't meant to be taken literally and that most of the stories were probably exaggerated or never happened at all and that they were only there to draw lessons from. At this time I also started to question these "tests" that God was giving me and came to the conclusion that I had done nothing to warrant them as penance and that no loving God would allow that to happen to his "children." So for a while I became angry with God, then I realized that the more likely scenario is that God either doesn't exist or that he is incapable/unwilling to interact with the world. I decided to shape my own future and to live life as a good person because that's how I wanted to be known. I figure that if there is a God/Goddess(s) and he/she is going to condemn me because I didn't join his/her fan club, then he/she is not worthy of my worship anyways.

    Sorry for the rambling post.
    Actually, your post is very interesting.

    I recently saw a video by a You Tuber named Father Barron on evangelization. Father Barron's point was that Catholics need to have an effective argument to the false perception of God as "the bully in the sky". I did not realize that this perception is actually a major reason why people leave the faith.
    On a religious forum, the last former atheist post I saw was about how distressed he was about his previous testimony against religion, and whether he could be "forgiven". He must also have previously subscribed to the "bully in the sky" myth.

    Father Barron's point was that the correct perception of God should be that of a loving father who helps his creation become the best version of themselves to the extent people will allow Him to act in their lives. Thus, God is not an observing judge, but a Father / friend / mother who walks along side us, aids us in our growth, and protects us from harm.

    The second perception of God has been my experience.

    What I am wondering if there is an experiment to test this hypothesis among atheist volunteers. The hypothesis is that the perception of God can change with religious practice from "complete denial of God's existence" to "God exists and is a benevolent God".

    The experiment would require some theologically correct instruction for the volunteers to follow in seeking God. The study would use Christian theology since the only two groups represented here are Christians and nonbelievers.

    The volunteers keep a journal of their activity, and perception.

    What we would be looking for is: Is there a change in perception among the study group?

    Did any of the volunteers come to believe in God? What is the perception of the volunteers about the nature of God? Specifically, do the volunteers perceive God as the "bully in the sky", or the "benevolent, forgiving, protecting, savior?

    Now, this experiment would not conclusively prove that God exists; however, it could create interesting data.
    In recent years the Catholic church has went through with a lot of change to get rid of the bully in the sky idea. An example is that Catholics no longer say "Forgive me father for I have sinned" when confessing. It's now "Bless me father for I have sinned" or a variant thereof. The Catholic church is also big on trying to split itself from all the fundamentalists/creationists. Last I heard the Catholic church stood firmly behind evolution. Part of why I don't mind still going to church with my parents for like Christmas Mass and Easter. The things that got me questioning religion and God was the Church's stance on abortion (I'm pro-choice), condoms (I enthusiastically support these), birth control, and stem cell research (I'm a big supporter). As for the bully in the sky, I see that with Seventh Day Adventists more than Catholics. The bishops and priests that I knew basically said that God doesn't care if you're Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Jewish, etc as long as you live a good life he will let you in to heaven. They weren't big on the fire and brimstone.

    I've been an atheist now for 8 years, if actual scientific evidence came up that supported the existence of God(s) I would reevaluate my beliefs accordingly. Otherwise I view all Gods and Goddesses as equally unlikely. So I would not be game for being in an experiment like that, I would see it as a waste of my time. Time I could be using to do things productive. When I was religious I saw too many people only being good people because of the fear of hell and the reward of heaven. Their mentality seems to be "How can you not be a murderer without being kept in a cage?" I know a lot of people that view atheists as deplorable, baby eating, devil people. I like to befriend these people and let them get to like me then reveal that I'm an atheist, just to show that we're not evil and whatnot. I personally feel that if God(s) were to exist he would be like a scientist, start the universe off then sit back and watch how things go, never intervening, just observing.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
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    "Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    But why would he do it? What good reason would there be for him to do it? ...
    And again how could he know whether it was a god or his own imagination?
    Why would he do it? Because he wants to know.
    Are you a troll. I repeat what good reason would there be for him to do so?
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    So he would be willing to explore and to experiment.
    What evidence is there to spur him on?
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    How would he know? If it was beyond your normal imagination, like drugs without taking drugs, if you know what I mean.
    You must be a troll. Again how would he know it was beyond his normal imagination? Why wouldn't he think it was anything more than hallucination? How could he tell the difference?
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Why would he do it?

    There could be many reasons.
    What logical reason are there, please do explain?

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Curiosity is enough of a reason.
    What logical basis does he have to be curious

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Also, if God exists and He is the type of God that helps you realize the best life you can possibly live, then why wouldn't a person want to find out if such a God exists?
    There lies your problem. " if " without a solid factual basis what good reason is there to, other than a flight of fantasy? And what does it matter whether the reported info about this god says it is good/loving etc.. Without actual proof it is merely hearsay. And as such unworthy of research.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post

    I understand the point you're trying to make. I also want to just state that I respect your beliefs, in case I sounded rude earlier. However, the problem with this "experiment" is that it has no way to actually pinpoint whether or not it was effective. For all we know advanced aliens could be observing Astro and decide to answer his prayers while remaining anonymous. I have a hypothetical for you Robitty: Lets assume I am depressed, my life is seeming to fall to pieces. My parents are getting divorce, and the motor on my car blows. I pray an open prayer for things to get better (like you mentioned that could apply to any diety). Within a few weeks of repeating this prayer, things start to get better, my parents work things out, I find a replacement motor for an affordable price, etc. Was this the result of praying, and if so which deity do I turn to? Do I assume it was the christian God, or the Olympians? Or is it not more likely that things snowballed all at once deepening my despair and making me see things as worse than what they really were and that given time these problems would have gotten resolved anyways? My point is that there is no way to discern whether the prayer really had any effect at all.

    As a side note, I used to be an extremely religious Catholic. I used to think any hardships or suffering that I endured was penance for sins that I may have committed or that they were tests. As I learned and read more, I found inconsistencies in the Bible and when I asked my local priest, he offered that the Bible wasn't meant to be taken literally and that most of the stories were probably exaggerated or never happened at all and that they were only there to draw lessons from. At this time I also started to question these "tests" that God was giving me and came to the conclusion that I had done nothing to warrant them as penance and that no loving God would allow that to happen to his "children." So for a while I became angry with God, then I realized that the more likely scenario is that God either doesn't exist or that he is incapable/unwilling to interact with the world. I decided to shape my own future and to live life as a good person because that's how I wanted to be known. I figure that if there is a God/Goddess(s) and he/she is going to condemn me because I didn't join his/her fan club, then he/she is not worthy of my worship anyways.

    Sorry for the rambling post.
    Actually, your post is very interesting.

    I recently saw a video by a You Tuber named Father Barron on evangelization. Father Barron's point was that Catholics need to have an effective argument to the false perception of God as "the bully in the sky". I did not realize that this perception is actually a major reason why people leave the faith.
    On a religious forum, the last former atheist post I saw was about how distressed he was about his previous testimony against religion, and whether he could be "forgiven". He must also have previously subscribed to the "bully in the sky" myth.

    Father Barron's point was that the correct perception of God should be that of a loving father who helps his creation become the best version of themselves to the extent people will allow Him to act in their lives. Thus, God is not an observing judge, but a Father / friend / mother who walks along side us, aids us in our growth, and protects us from harm.

    The second perception of God has been my experience.

    What I am wondering if there is an experiment to test this hypothesis among atheist volunteers. The hypothesis is that the perception of God can change with religious practice from "complete denial of God's existence" to "God exists and is a benevolent God".

    The experiment would require some theologically correct instruction for the volunteers to follow in seeking God. The study would use Christian theology since the only two groups represented here are Christians and nonbelievers.

    The volunteers keep a journal of their activity, and perception.

    What we would be looking for is: Is there a change in perception among the study group?

    Did any of the volunteers come to believe in God? What is the perception of the volunteers about the nature of God? Specifically, do the volunteers perceive God as the "bully in the sky", or the "benevolent, forgiving, protecting, savior?

    Now, this experiment would not conclusively prove that God exists; however, it could create interesting data.
    In recent years the Catholic church has went through with a lot of change to get rid of the bully in the sky idea. An example is that Catholics no longer say "Forgive me father for I have sinned" when confessing. It's now "Bless me father for I have sinned" or a variant thereof. The Catholic church is also big on trying to split itself from all the fundamentalists/creationists. Last I heard the Catholic church stood firmly behind evolution. Part of why I don't mind still going to church with my parents for like Christmas Mass and Easter. The things that got me questioning religion and God was the Church's stance on abortion (I'm pro-choice), condoms (I enthusiastically support these), birth control, and stem cell research (I'm a big supporter). As for the bully in the sky, I see that with Seventh Day Adventists more than Catholics. The bishops and priests that I knew basically said that God doesn't care if you're Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Jewish, etc as long as you live a good life he will let you in to heaven. They weren't big on the fire and brimstone.

    I've been an atheist now for 8 years, if actual scientific evidence came up that supported the existence of God(s) I would reevaluate my beliefs accordingly. Otherwise I view all Gods and Goddesses as equally unlikely. So I would not be game for being in an experiment like that, I would see it as a waste of my time. Time I could be using to do things productive. When I was religious I saw too many people only being good people because of the fear of hell and the reward of heaven. Their mentality seems to be "How can you not be a murderer without being kept in a cage?" I know a lot of people that view atheists as deplorable, baby eating, devil people. I like to befriend these people and let them get to like me then reveal that I'm an atheist, just to show that we're not evil and whatnot. I personally feel that if God(s) were to exist he would be like a scientist, start the universe off then sit back and watch how things go, never intervening, just observing.
    Unfortunately, there may be sound theological reasons why it is scientifically not possible to test for God -- without seeking God.

    For example, in Christian theology before the fall of man, ~ 1/3 of the angels chose to follow Lucifer and rebel against God.

    Obviously, these angels knew God existed, yet they did not know God.

    It is not logical or reasonable to think that an all powerful God would choose to let the same thing happen again and again by letting people "know of Him" and not "know Him".

    Thus, the only way to have proof that God exists is through relationship with God. Then He proves His existence to the seeker.

    Your comment about "sitting back and watching how things go, never intervening, just observing" is interesting because it is another misperception of God. If people believe that God is just watching and keeping score, then seeking God is just one more burden for them to carry.

    However, if God directs our paths and helps us avoid the wrong career, the bad marriage, the catastrophic injury, and helps us become the best version of ourselves and live the best life we could possibly live -- then seeking God is very important.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Thus, the only way to have proof that God exists is through relationship with God.
    Which constitutes no sort of "proof" whatsoever.

    Your comment about "sitting back and watching how things go, never intervening, just observing" is interesting because it is another misperception of God.
    To claim it as a "misperception" is an assumption on your part: you don't know either way.

    However, if God directs our paths and helps us avoid the wrong career, the bad marriage, the catastrophic injury, and helps us become the best version of ourselves and live the best life we could possibly live -- then seeking God is very important.
    And again, there is no evidence thus far is that this happens.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    ...You must be a troll. Again how would he know it was beyond his normal imagination? Why wouldn't he think it was anything more than hallucination? How could he tell the difference?
    It must be you for the logical answer is the one I gave before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post

    Unfortunately, there may be sound theological reasons why it is scientifically not possible to test for God -- without seeking God.

    For example, in Christian theology before the fall of man, ~ 1/3 of the angels chose to follow Lucifer and rebel against God.

    Obviously, these angels knew God existed, yet they did not know God.

    It is not logical or reasonable to think that an all powerful God would choose to let the same thing happen again and again by letting people "know of Him" and not "know Him".

    Thus, the only way to have proof that God exists is through relationship with God. Then He proves His existence to the seeker.

    You're assuming the Bible is correct and depicts the truth. Also you can't use the Bible as evidence to prove that it is correct. The Quran, Torah and Talmud, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and any other religious writing are all just as likely to be true or untrue. You seem to be entering that false dichotomy that there are only two options, that there is a God or that there isn't a God.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo
    Your comment about "sitting back and watching how things go, never intervening, just observing" is interesting because it is another misperception of God. If people believe that God is just watching and keeping score, then seeking God is just one more burden for them to carry.

    However, if God directs our paths and helps us avoid the wrong career, the bad marriage, the catastrophic injury, and helps us become the best version of ourselves and live the best life we could possibly live -- then seeking God is very important.
    You have misunderstood me. You think that is how I view the Christian God. I said that "if God(s) were to exist he would be like a scientist, start the universe off then sit back and watch how things go, never intervening, just observing," I did not say that if the Christian God was real. Clearly what I said about him being an observing scientist does not agree with any religion, it is just my take that if I were to believe in God, that is what I would believe. I see no reason to believe in the Bible. Why would seeking God be more of a burden under that belief? If I were to believe that, there would be no motivation to seek God because I would believe that he only observes and is not going to try and help me. Finally if God is directing our lives and in order for him to direct us to the best life the person has to seek him, then how do explain all the successful and happy atheists in the world? I've done quite well in the 8 years that I've been an atheist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Thus, the only way to have proof that God exists is through relationship with God.
    Which constitutes no sort of "proof" whatsoever.

    Your comment about "sitting back and watching how things go, never intervening, just observing" is interesting because it is another misperception of God.
    To claim it as a "misperception" is an assumption on your part: you don't know either way.

    However, if God directs our paths and helps us avoid the wrong career, the bad marriage, the catastrophic injury, and helps us become the best version of ourselves and live the best life we could possibly live -- then seeking God is very important.
    And again, there is no evidence thus far is that this happens.
    The evidence is given to the person who seeks it. I have experienced enough evidence to convince me. However, one person's anecdotes cannot convince another.

    In the experimental design proposed, we could have a record of the experiences of several volunteers.

    That would carry more weight, and could lead to ideas for further investigation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post

    Unfortunately, there may be sound theological reasons why it is scientifically not possible to test for God -- without seeking God.

    For example, in Christian theology before the fall of man, ~ 1/3 of the angels chose to follow Lucifer and rebel against God.

    Obviously, these angels knew God existed, yet they did not know God.

    It is not logical or reasonable to think that an all powerful God would choose to let the same thing happen again and again by letting people "know of Him" and not "know Him".

    Thus, the only way to have proof that God exists is through relationship with God. Then He proves His existence to the seeker.

    You're assuming the Bible is correct and depicts the truth. Also you can't use the Bible as evidence to prove that it is correct. The Quran, Torah and Talmud, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and any other religious writing are all just as likely to be true or untrue. You seem to be entering that false dichotomy that there are only two options, that there is a God or that there isn't a God.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo
    Your comment about "sitting back and watching how things go, never intervening, just observing" is interesting because it is another misperception of God. If people believe that God is just watching and keeping score, then seeking God is just one more burden for them to carry.

    However, if God directs our paths and helps us avoid the wrong career, the bad marriage, the catastrophic injury, and helps us become the best version of ourselves and live the best life we could possibly live -- then seeking God is very important.
    You have misunderstood me. You think that is how I view the Christian God. I said that "if God(s) were to exist he would be like a scientist, start the universe off then sit back and watch how things go, never intervening, just observing," I did not say that if the Christian God was real. Clearly what I said about him being an observing scientist does not agree with any religion, it is just my take that if I were to believe in God, that is what I would believe. I see no reason to believe in the Bible. Why would seeking God be more of a burden under that belief? If I were to believe that, there would be no motivation to seek God because I would believe that he only observes and is not going to try and help me. Finally if God is directing our lives and in order for him to direct us to the best life the person has to seek him, then how do explain all the successful and happy atheists in the world? I've done quite well in the 8 years that I've been an atheist.
    You can do very well in the material without religious instruction.

    However, you also don't know what you are missing in areas more valuable than the material.

    I cannot say that I have achieved anything close to that level of understanding.

    Many saints have though, and they have walked away from great wealth, because they found something much better.

    I will say that over 90% of the self improvement instruction that I have had, came from religious leaders.

    I can also say that often achieving material goals, or even accomplishing goals associated with worldly success, often only leads to brief feelings of joy from my experience.

    The better feelings have come from when I was able to help someone else as opposed to achieving something myself.

    That is consistent with religious instruction.
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    This is great. That so many have expressed a view as mine ( or very near to it ) It would seem only the contributor 'dedo' has a issue with my thinking. The scientific view is taking me down a road that does not have a god in it. It is perplexing and interesting to me that we can still find a person who knows God.. Yet can not in a manor that is accepted by scientific revue show us any proofs of this belief.. Not cycle clips, not black ties and white shirts, not people with satchels and awake leaflets.. or any number of other traits be defined as fair proofs.
    Most of you judge me well.. Without good science, tested and challenged. I find no Gods.
    ~ Some of you know my history but, for those who don't I will explain, briefly.. Born in China to a English mother who was teaching just out of Haicheng. Lived in Beihai ( Southern China ) until the death of my parents at the hands of Cambodian rebels. I was taken in by a group of monks where I lived until a Aunty in New Zealand found me.. I have not been a religious person at all and find religious beliefs troubling in detail of facts unknown.. That I have lived in NZ since 1969.. and am self educated. Given my history it is no surprise I find religions as unfounded..
    ~ That I come to this forum and this subject is testament to my quest for 'why' religions find willing acceptance of what can not be true.. ~ Oh and I did see a question posed as why would I prey..Well yes, I will not. That voice I hear is my own minds experience.. or is it common sense.. screaming at me.. ~ back to another point made. Yes at a time while with the monks I did want for answers as to my life and situ., I could not find a logical truth in religious doctrines. Any of them.. and now as I near 63 nothing has changed my resolve.
    I do care because I want to understand the gap of logic that must exist to make religions tolerable.. As I studied the sciences and astronomy It became clear, No gods did this.. and by 'this' I mean all of the Universe. That as I delve deeper into astronomy and astronomical cosmology I have not found a need for Gods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    This is great. That so many have expressed a view as mine ( or very near to it ) It would seem only the contributor 'dedo' has a issue with my thinking. The scientific view is taking me down a road that does not have a god in it. It is perplexing and interesting to me that we can still find a person who knows God.. Yet can not in a manor that is accepted by scientific revue show us any proofs of this belief.. Not cycle clips, not black ties and white shirts, not people with satchels and awake leaflets.. or any number of other traits be defined as fair proofs.
    Most of you judge me well.. Without good science, tested and challenged. I find no Gods.
    ~ Some of you know my history but, for those who don't I will explain, briefly.. Born in China to a English mother who was teaching just out of Haicheng. Lived in Beihai ( Southern China ) until the death of my parents at the hands of Cambodian rebels. I was taken in by a group of monks where I lived until a Aunty in New Zealand found me.. I have not been a religious person at all and find religious beliefs troubling in detail of facts unknown.. That I have lived in NZ since 1969.. and am self educated. Given my history it is no surprise I find religions as unfounded..
    ~ That I come to this forum and this subject is testament to my quest for 'why' religions find willing acceptance of what can not be true.. ~ Oh and I did see a question posed as why would I pray..Well yes, I will not. That voice I hear is my own minds experience.. or is it common sense.. screaming at me.. ~ back to another point made. Yes at a time while with the monks I did want for answers as to my life and situ., I could not find a logical truth in religious doctrines. Any of them.. and now as I near 63 nothing has changed my resolve.
    I do care because I want to understand the gap of logic that must exist to make religions tolerable.. As I studied the sciences and astronomy It became clear, No gods did this.. and by 'this' I mean all of the Universe. That as I delve deeper into astronomy and astronomical cosmology I have not found a need for Gods.
    Thank you Mark for sharing that, for there must have been truly sad moments when you wrote out your history. I cannot say why God is so hidden, I thought it might be as simple as saying/writing a prayer, but if such things are beyond you, and I know what that is like, to vow to never do something.
    It is more important to keep your vows than to say a prayer even if it was just a matter of adding a couple of extra words.
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    I like to put God to the test by uttering something blasphemous and sticking 2 fingers at the sky. I remain intact.
    Yet on the day after an Englishman was beheaded by the faithful in IS after going to Syria to help the afflicted, my belief that religion is a poisonous ideology that has killed hundreds of millions has again been reinforced. If you do not believe that figure then just look at the number killed when some guy set himself up as the 'rebirth' of Jesus in China (Taiping Revolt). This could have killed as many as 100 million.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    The evidence is given to the person who seeks it. I have experienced enough evidence to convince me. However, one person's anecdotes cannot convince another.
    Exactly.
    If it's entirely subjective it's not evidence.

    In the experimental design proposed, we could have a record of the experiences of several volunteers.
    And again, you're ignoring the FACT that the evidence shows it not to be true.
    Experiments have been done with regard to the "effectiveness" of prayer, result: nothing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Experiments have been done with regard to the "effectiveness" of prayer, result: nothing.
    Unless you are a cancer patient like me who has even been told by medical professionals to pray. After 7 years I'm still alive without prayer. So it's not down to prayer, but rather the treatments I've been given. It makes me want to puke whenever I hear of someone who has put their survival down to 'God' while quietly ignoring the fact that they have had medical treatment.
    If prayer worked then none of us would die but all of us will for absolute certain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Unless you are a cancer patient like me who has even been told by medical professionals to pray. After 7 years I'm still alive without prayer. So it's not down to prayer, but rather the treatments I've been given. It makes me want to puke whenever I hear of someone who has put their survival down to 'God' while quietly ignoring the fact that they have had medical treatment.
    If prayer worked then none of us would die but all of us will for absolute certain.
    ^
    Like.
    (And commiserations/ best wishes: I was fortunate in that my cancer rejected me).

    I'm somewhat dubious about 1 medical professionals who exhort people to pray.
    If they were aware that the patient is religious then I can see that it provides some personal comfort (i.e. the "holistic" thing) but otherwise... yeesh, if any doctor of mine suggested prayer I'd be switching to another medical practice.


    1 That is, not dubious that they said, but that they did say it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    . yeesh, if any doctor of mine suggested prayer I'd be switching to another medical practice.
    I have to second the Duck on that. If my doctor told me to just go pray, I would walk out and go seek a new doctor. Also I would make sure there was an inquiry into his medical practices. My brother once had a doctor that suggested Nature walks, meditation, and herbal tea when he went in for breathing problems. Changed doctors, had some tests done turned out he had asthma. Also best wishes Ox!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post

    I have to second the Duck on that. If my doctor told me to just go pray, I would walk out and go seek a new doctor. Also I would make sure there was an inquiry into his medical practices.
    Any doctor that did that might expect to be struck off surely??? Isn't that an unrealistic scenario?

    What if a doctor suggested prayer as a complement?

    I can't see that that would be a good idea either but if the patient had confided to the doctor that he was already doing a lot of praying it would seem cruel to me to tell him or her that he was wasting his time.

    I think I might be tempted to to lie to such a patient that I was praying for them(though to just tell them I would be thinking about them would be more honest as well as more effective probably - the alternative being that the patient thinks they have an uncaring doctor)
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post

    I have to second the Duck on that. If my doctor told me to just go pray, I would walk out and go seek a new doctor. Also I would make sure there was an inquiry into his medical practices.
    Any doctor that did that might expect to be struck off surely??? Isn't that an unrealistic scenario?

    What if a doctor suggested prayer as a complement?

    I can't see that that would be a good idea either but if the patient had confided to the doctor that he was already doing a lot of praying it would seem cruel to me to tell him or her that he was wasting his time.

    I think I might be tempted to to lie to such a patient that I was praying for them(though to just tell them I would be thinking about them would be more honest as well as more effective probably - the alternative being that the patient thinks they have an uncaring doctor)
    The bold and underline are mine. I meant this as the doctor told me to pray and did not give me any sound medical treatment or advice other than just praying that I get better. Like the example of my brother's previous doctor that did not give any actual medical advice and would not run tests. She only gave out the holistic advice despite that she was a registered doctor working in a regular hospital and clinic and not in one of those alternative/holistic places. If I wanted holistic quackery I would visit one of those alternative medical clinics, not an actual scientific one. If the doctor was already doing everything he could medically, and also suggested prayer, I would not be offended.

    If was a doctor and I knew my patient was religious and believed in the power of prayer, in addition to doing whatever I can for the patient medically, I would also lie and say I was praying for them.

    Sorry for causing you some confusion over what I meant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    The evidence is given to the person who seeks it. I have experienced enough evidence to convince me. However, one person's anecdotes cannot convince another.
    Exactly.
    If it's entirely subjective it's not evidence.

    In the experimental design proposed, we could have a record of the experiences of several volunteers.
    And again, you're ignoring the FACT that the evidence shows it not to be true.
    Experiments have been done with regard to the "effectiveness" of prayer, result: nothing.
    Wrong, for numerous reasons.

    First, it may not be evidence for a physical chemistry study or whatever your background involves.

    However, the world is not black and white, and the few studies on human behavior that I have read do involve interviews about past experiences (anecdotes) guided by a formal study design and an interview instrument.

    Then the researcher looks for patterns in the anecdotes.

    Such studies can be very valuable to society since human behavior has far more effect on human well being than most studies in the physical sciences.

    Nevertheless, human behavior is not my specialty either.

    The study proposed would be prospective, just as the prayer studies you mentioned were prospective.

    However, the prayer studies could also be repeated in a more theologically correct fashion such as adding "community" to the prayer groups e.g. pray at the same time / location etc.

    The last religious leader I heard who asked for a prayer movement to prevent conflict did invoke the community variable "temporal community" by asking for prayer on a certain day to prevent an armed intervention.

    If you are going to study God, following theology is critical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    This is great. That so many have expressed a view as mine ( or very near to it ) It would seem only the contributor 'dedo' has a issue with my thinking. The scientific view is taking me down a road that does not have a god in it. It is perplexing and interesting to me that we can still find a person who knows God.. Yet can not in a manor that is accepted by scientific revue show us any proofs of this belief.. Not cycle clips, not black ties and white shirts, not people with satchels and awake leaflets.. or any number of other traits be defined as fair proofs.
    Most of you judge me well.. Without good science, tested and challenged. I find no Gods.
    ~ Some of you know my history but, for those who don't I will explain, briefly.. Born in China to a English mother who was teaching just out of Haicheng. Lived in Beihai ( Southern China ) until the death of my parents at the hands of Cambodian rebels. I was taken in by a group of monks where I lived until a Aunty in New Zealand found me.. I have not been a religious person at all and find religious beliefs troubling in detail of facts unknown.. That I have lived in NZ since 1969.. and am self educated. Given my history it is no surprise I find religions as unfounded..
    ~ That I come to this forum and this subject is testament to my quest for 'why' religions find willing acceptance of what can not be true.. ~ Oh and I did see a question posed as why would I prey..Well yes, I will not. That voice I hear is my own minds experience.. or is it common sense.. screaming at me.. ~ back to another point made. Yes at a time while with the monks I did want for answers as to my life and situ., I could not find a logical truth in religious doctrines. Any of them.. and now as I near 63 nothing has changed my resolve.
    I do care because I want to understand the gap of logic that must exist to make religions tolerable.. As I studied the sciences and astronomy It became clear, No gods did this.. and by 'this' I mean all of the Universe. That as I delve deeper into astronomy and astronomical cosmology I have not found a need for Gods.
    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your parents.

    The fact that few posters have issues with your thinking is because of the environment that exists on TSF. Most people here are nonbelievers since people with similar views tend to be comfortable around one another.

    If you want a different perspective, then a religious forum would be a better choice. Also, there are You Tube videos that deal with the interaction between religion and science such as Father Barron.

    I have heard stories from atheists on a Catholic forum that describe their conversion experience. Usually, they are lead to church by a significant other who is a believer.

    Then, through religious practice a change of perception occurs.

    They become transformed -- sometimes from militant campaigners against religion to believers.

    I also once heard of a conversion experience of a militant atheist that occurred after his wife died. His wife was a devout Catholic who prayed for her husband's conversion throughout their marriage. The prayer was answered when conversion occurred after she died.

    There is solid theological grounds for being unable to understand God from a pure scientific or logical perspective. One explanation is the theology of the fall of the angels who knew of God, but did not know God.

    Also, the Bible explains that God's ways are not our ways as his ways are far above ours. If a being had power to create the universe and write the physical laws that bind creation, this certainly would be true. Understanding such a being with logic alone would be impossible.

    However, you could understand how such a being treats you.

    For example, people without large families often love their dog as much as someone else loves a child and the dog loves them back. The dog cannot logically discern the details of the master's life; however, the dog can understand if the master is kind to the dog.

    The God I have experienced is kind.

    Experiencing God in a world that is full of evil is not something you can do from a distance.

    You need to move closer.

    My own history involves deciding to "seek God" because of a feeling of "something missing" in my life and intense curiosity.

    The theological method I used to seek God began with prayer, especially a regular prayer of repentance. This is critical since repentance is the primary antidote against pride, and we know from Christian theology that pride is the main characteristic of the devil. In fact my understanding of the theology of the Catholic Church is that refusal to repent up to the moment of death is the "unforgivable sin" that leads to hell. Prayer also accepted Jesus Christ as savior. This sort of prayer is invoked at the end of almost every Protestant service on television. Community was used by attending weekly services and attempting to follow the instruction of the Catholic Church. Finally, I read the Bible regularly if not daily and used periodic educational services from theological scholars (CD's etc.)

    Then a change in perception occurred, and I became able to better see God acting in my life.

    I would never want to go back to where I was before the change in perception occurred.

    However, from observing the lives of the saints, I know that there is much more ground for me to cover.
    Last edited by dedo; October 5th, 2014 at 06:32 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Wrong, for numerous reasons.
    Nope.

    However, the world is not black and white, and the few studies on human behavior that I have read do involve interviews about past experiences (anecdotes) guided by a formal study design and an interview instrument.
    Then the researcher looks for patterns in the anecdotes.
    And those studies will tell you more about the psychology of humans than they do about any "real experience".

    The last religious leader I heard who asked for a prayer movement to prevent conflict did invoke the community variable "temporal community" by asking for prayer on a certain day to prevent an armed intervention.
    And what was the result?
    If the result was "positive" how do you know that the result was due solely to prayer and not other factors?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Wrong, for numerous reasons.
    Nope.

    However, the world is not black and white, and the few studies on human behavior that I have read do involve interviews about past experiences (anecdotes) guided by a formal study design and an interview instrument.
    Then the researcher looks for patterns in the anecdotes.
    And those studies will tell you more about the psychology of humans than they do about any "real experience".

    The last religious leader I heard who asked for a prayer movement to prevent conflict did invoke the community variable "temporal community" by asking for prayer on a certain day to prevent an armed intervention.
    And what was the result?
    If the result was "positive" how do you know that the result was due solely to prayer and not other factors?
    My recollection of the "day of prayer and fasting" involved a day of prayer for peace in Syria requested by the Pope at a time when a U.S. attack on the government of Syria was being discussed. The attack did not occur; however, Syria remains in a state of civil war.

    Few areas of human behavior are black and white or cut and dry. It was intriguing that the Pope called for prayer and fasting to be linked by temporal community "day of prayer" as opposed to "just pray".

    Of course, if God exists then you would expect that preventing human conflict without God would be impossible.
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    Dedo is right when he says -

    There is solid theological grounds for being unable to understand God from a pure scientific or logical perspective. One explanation is the theology of the fall of the angels who knew of God, but did not know God.
    Think of it this way. We are ants and God leaves no scent trails.Therefore, to our limited comprehension He cannot be. Man does not follow scent trails. His gift is Reason. God is beyond reason just as He is beyond any trail an ant can sense. Why does He choose to be so? I am one of you, not God, so I do not know.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    My recollection of the "day of prayer and fasting" involved a day of prayer for peace in Syria requested by the Pope at a time when a U.S. attack on the government of Syria was being discussed. The attack did not occur; however, Syria remains in a state of civil war.
    So, still no indication whatsoever that prayer had any effect at all.

    Of course, if God exists then you would expect that preventing human conflict without God would be impossible.
    Um, if god exists then, according to the Bible (at least) doesn't he have a plan?
    Doesn't praying for a different outcome go against that plan?
    Or, perhaps, fit exactly into that plan (i.e. whatever is prayed for would have happened anyway)?
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    The day of prayer was called in apparent reaction to the planned U.S. attack on the government of Syria because of the Syrian use of chemical weapons.

    The U.S. attack did not occur, and shortly after this episode, the Syrian government agreed to cooperate in the disarming of its chemical weapons stockpile. Thus, your assertion of "no effect whatsoever" is not correct. You could reasonably argue that a massive effect occurred.

    Also, again we cannot compare God to a human, and try to understand His plan according to human logic.

    We can understand theologically what is good and what is a bad practice.

    Prayer, especially prayer in community, is a good practice. Unfortunately, this is becoming more "counter cultural", and this may be our final undoing.

    The world is not black and white.

    We really don't know what the effect would have been if there had been several "days of prayer" etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    your assertion of "no effect whatsoever" is not correct. .
    Where is that quote from ? Is it just a quote in your head?
    If (and I can't see it)it is meant to represent D's argument then it is misleading if he did not actually say it whilst the quotation marks seem to say he did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ;598833
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    My recollection of the "day of prayer and fasting" involved a day of prayer for peace in Syria requested by the Pope at a time when a U.S. attack on the government of Syria was being discussed. The attack did not occur; however, Syria remains in a state of civil war.
    So, still no indication whatsoever that prayer had any effect at all.

    Of course, if God exists then you would expect that preventing human conflict without God would be impossible.
    Um, if god exists then, according to the Bible (at least) doesn't he have a plan?
    Doesn't praying for a different outcome go against that plan?
    Or, perhaps, fit exactly into that plan (i.e. whatever is prayed for would have happened anyway)?
    Excuse me friend duck, but this is exactly what I mean. Sometimes, you haven't a clue as to what you're talking about. Yes, God has a plan, but it has not been revealed to us in the Bible or anywhere, as far as anyone knows. Some may think they know God's plan, but any one who says they know is a fraud and a liar. Certainly The Lord offers us instruction: "Love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your might, and love your neighbor as you love yourself." However, He never says where all this is leading although it does have certain implications.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Thus, your assertion of "no effect whatsoever" is not correct.
    Um, try reading.
    There is no indication that prayer was the cause of something not happening.
    UNLESS you can eliminate all other possible causes (and bear in mind that the the attack that didn't happen was, in your own words merely "being discussed").

    You could reasonably argue that a massive effect occurred.
    But until you eliminate all other (rational) possibilities you can't "reasonably" argue that prayer was the cause of that effect. (Especially given the other, numerous and multiple, failures of prayer to produce any discernible effect).

    Also, again we cannot compare God to a human, and try to understand His plan according to human logic.
    In other words, "god" is fundamentally incomprehensible to humans.
    The advice here, then, should be "If that's the case you can't say ANYTHING about him/ her/ it and expect to be taken seriously, so shut the f*ck about the subject".

    We can understand theologically what is good and what is a bad practice.
    Yes.
    You can say that about the practise.
    But that says nothing whatsoever about the object of that practise.
    I.e. it's the community, the belief, the mutual support that provides the benefits, NOT "god".
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Excuse me friend duck, but this is exactly what I mean. Sometimes, you haven't a clue as to what you're talking about.
    Really?

    Yes, God has a plan
    How do you know?
    Isn't this just another unfounded claim?

    but it has not been revealed to us in the Bible or anywhere, as far as anyone knows.
    So how do you know there's a plan?
    How do you know that the "day of prayer" wasn't part of that plan and the outcome weren't ALSO part of the plan (i.e. pre-ordained and as inevitable as each other)?

    IF there's a plan then it is (by definition - omniscient, omnipotent etc...) an infallible one.
    So either there's no need to change it (simply because some people decide to pray about one particular part of the proceedings) OR that "change" was part of the plan anyway (and thus the prayer didn't alter things).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Excuse me friend duck, but this is exactly what I mean. Sometimes, you haven't a clue as to what you're talking about.
    Really?

    Yes, God has a plan
    How do you know?
    Isn't this just another unfounded claim?

    but it has not been revealed to us in the Bible or anywhere, as far as anyone knows.
    So how do you know there's a plan?
    How do you know that the "day of prayer" wasn't part of that plan and the outcome weren't ALSO part of the plan (i.e. pre-ordained and as inevitable as each other)?

    IF there's a plan then it is (by definition - omniscient, omnipotent etc...) an infallible one.
    So either there's no need to change it (simply because some people decide to pray about one particular part of the proceedings) OR that "change" was part of the plan anyway (and thus the prayer didn't alter things).
    Nope. You're just not getting it. I can know there is a plan without knowing what it is. I have explained this already, but you did not want to know. I do not know about this Day of Prayer of which you speak, and I don't see what it has to do with my topic: you don't know what you're talking about. I guess it's your previous ongoing conversation.

    Hold on. I'll get back to you.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    From my perspective you seem to be purveying that there are only two options: Option A.) There is a God and he will answer Astro's prayer or Options B.) Astro will not get an answer to his prayer.

    This is incorrect because there is no reason to believe that the Judeo-Christian God is the right God. What if Astro prayed to Zeus, Thor, or Osiris? Should he pray to every God individually and wait for an answer from one of them? To an atheist like myself there is nothing that makes your God anymore real than the Olympians or the Gods of ancient Egypt. Also how is he supposed to determine if his prayer was effective? Does he hear a voice in his head, get a tingling feeling or what? There is no way to verify this.
    I know all that but if he started his request "O Lord" AM will not be directing his request to any particular God, will he? It is just an open invitation to whomever. If there is some change that AM perceives he then is in the best position to decypher what is going on.
    I understand the point you're trying to make. I also want to just state that I respect your beliefs, in case I sounded rude earlier. However, the problem with this "experiment" is that it has no way to actually pinpoint whether or not it was effective. For all we know advanced aliens could be observing Astro and decide to answer his prayers while remaining anonymous. I have a hypothetical for you Robitty: Lets assume I am depressed, my life is seeming to fall to pieces. My parents are getting divorce, and the motor on my car blows. I pray an open prayer for things to get better (like you mentioned that could apply to any diety). Within a few weeks of repeating this prayer, things start to get better, my parents work things out, I find a replacement motor for an affordable price, etc. Was this the result of praying, and if so which deity do I turn to? Do I assume it was the christian God, or the Olympians? Or is it not more likely that things snowballed all at once deepening my despair and making me see things as worse than what they really were and that given time these problems would have gotten resolved anyways? My point is that there is no way to discern whether the prayer really had any effect at all.

    As a side note, I used to be an extremely religious Catholic. I used to think any hardships or suffering that I endured was penance for sins that I may have committed or that they were tests. As I learned and read more, I found inconsistencies in the Bible and when I asked my local priest, he offered that the Bible wasn't meant to be taken literally and that most of the stories were probably exaggerated or never happened at all and that they were only there to draw lessons from. At this time I also started to question these "tests" that God was giving me and came to the conclusion that I had done nothing to warrant them as penance and that no loving God would allow that to happen to his "children." So for a while I became angry with God, then I realized that the more likely scenario is that God either doesn't exist or that he is incapable/unwilling to interact with the world. I decided to shape my own future and to live life as a good person because that's how I wanted to be known. I figure that if there is a God/Goddess(s) and he/she is going to condemn me because I didn't join his/her fan club, then he/she is not worthy of my worship anyways.

    Sorry for the rambling post.
    Your words mirror much of the view of religion I have, I was also indoctrinated Catholic at birth. Mom wasn't pushy on it, dad cared little, so my subjective view came relatively easy.
    I was present during a discussion with some colleagues about religion vs atheism. As the discussion continued it evolved to the atheist telling a ghost story. That was when I couldn't contain my opinion, I can't understand how someone can believe in the immortal soul, and not God.
    I am not a member of a fan club either, I have, within myself, prayed for those I love (was alone with my sister when she succumbed to cancer). I have had family and friends tell me ghost stories, I don't believe they have reason to lie to me, or impress me, and I am not qualified to judge their sanity. I have never had any supernatural experiences, I have , however been very close to a lot of deaths of people close to me. I have prayed (not from words out of a book) within myself, hoping that the power of my thoughts would enforce their thoughts (I believe in the power of the mind to heal the body).
    Perhaps my efforts where wasted, but the effort was very small compared to the benefit it may have achieved (if only for my peace of mind).
    My bottom line question is, if an atheist tells a ghost story is he/she a hypocrite?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Nope. You're just not getting it. I can know there is a plan without knowing what it is.
    Nope, it's you that's not getting it.
    You don't (and can't) know that there's a plan.
    But what you can do is believe there is one.

    I have explained this already, but you did not want to know.
    Possibly because your "explanation" was nothing more than a statement of unsupported belief.

    I do not know about this Day of Prayer of which you speak, and I don't see what it has to do with my topic: you don't know what you're talking about. I guess it's your previous ongoing conversation.
    Hold on. I'll get back to you.
    If you'd bothered to read the thread (including the posts by me that you replied to (and those by Dedo that referred to the "day of prayer") then you'd know about as much as I do about it.
    Regardless, UNLESS you can show conclusively that no other factors were involved then the claim prayer stopped the attack is just that: a claim.
    And you'd also have to show that the attack not happening was also not part of the plan.
    (Which, by your own words, you can't do: "it has not been revealed to us in the Bible or anywhere, as far as anyone knows" - if the plan hasn't been revealed then it's not possible to claim that X happening or not happening wasn't part of the "plan" all along).
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    No, no no. You don't get it a t all. It's not for God to stop wars or end human suffering. That's our job! It's like like the joke about the priest and the rabbi watching a boxing match. Just as the round one bell rings, one of the boxers blesses himself. The rabbi asks the priest what it means - that crossing gesture that the boxer makes- the priests says, 'Not a damn thing if he can't box.' It's up to us to make the world a better place. God does it through us, and if we aren't up to it...
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    No, no no. You don't get it a t all. It's not for God to stop wars or end human suffering. That's our job!
    Oh right.
    So this "plan" isn't so much a plan it's a hope (by "god").
    And the way we stop it is by... praying and thereby making "god" intervene and stopping wars supernaturally. Rather than doing something ourselves.
    Stunning!

    I note you've carefully ignored the rest of my comments.
    Does this mean you accept that you don't know there's a plan?
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    No, no no. You don't get it a t all. It's not for God to stop wars or end human suffering. That's our job!
    Oh right.
    So this "plan" isn't so much a plan it's a hope (by "god").
    And the way we stop it is by... praying and thereby making "god" intervene and stopping wars supernaturally. Rather than doing something ourselves.
    Stunning!

    I note you've carefully ignored the rest of my comments.
    Does this mean you accept that you don't know there's a plan?
    No. I never said anything about praying. That's your baby. I ignore the rest of what you say because it's such drivel. Your diatribe against prayer has nothing to do with the side discussion you and I were having. And you seem to have missed entirely that you and I were never discussing prayer. No idea why you keep bringing it up.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Unless you are a cancer patient like me who has even been told by medical professionals to pray. After 7 years I'm still alive without prayer. So it's not down to prayer, but rather the treatments I've been given. It makes me want to puke whenever I hear of someone who has put their survival down to 'God' while quietly ignoring the fact that they have had medical treatment.
    If prayer worked then none of us would die but all of us will for absolute certain.
    ^
    Like.
    (And commiserations/ best wishes: I was fortunate in that my cancer rejected me).

    I'm somewhat dubious about 1 medical professionals who exhort people to pray.
    If they were aware that the patient is religious then I can see that it provides some personal comfort (i.e. the "holistic" thing) but otherwise... yeesh, if any doctor of mine suggested prayer I'd be switching to another medical practice.


    1 That is, not dubious that they said, but that they did say it.
    Ah, thank you duck.
    Another experience I had a few weeks ago. I went to see the hospital specialist. I am a bit sceptical about this man so I checked out his website. What it said on his personal profile was this:
    I am a great believer of principles 'law of karma' and 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'.

    I take that to mean my cancer has to be put down to my karma. What complete cobblers! Now it could be down to cause and effect as when I developed it I was working in a toxic environment, but that I will never know for sure. Chances are it was down to more than one thing. I was always asked if I had smoked and the answer I gave was 'never in my life', which is true. I drink hardly any alcohol but my diet is a bit unhealthy. Even so my BMI is perfect at 22.

    From Falconer: My brother once had a doctor that suggested Nature walks, meditation, and herbal tea when he went in for breathing problems. Changed doctors, had some tests done turned out he had asthma. Also best wishes Ox!
    Thank you. I also have chronic asthma which I have had all my life. They used to send me to sanatoria (even to the Swiss Alps). Of course it didn't work. What did work was an inexpensive looking small inhaler which I still take and it gives me a life. I walk, jog, cycle, climb, golf, do at least an hour of aerobics a day. Quite often all in one day! I am fitter than most for my age. Meditation? What has that ever cured?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I take that to mean my cancer has to be put down to my karma. What complete cobblers!
    Absolutely.
    If karma is true that's essentially claiming that all the sh*t that happens to you (or anyone else) is entirely deserved.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    My bottom line question is, if an atheist tells a ghost story is he/she a hypocrite?
    To me the answer is yes they are a hypocrite. I have never believed in any of the supernatural. I don't believe in ghosts, astral projections, telekinesis, demons, bigfoot, etc. There is no more evidence for any of them than there is for the Easter Bunny. Eyewitness testimony has been proven to be horribly unreliable, so having a friend or relative that "witnessed" something supernatural doesn't even sway my beliefs. Was it bigfoot? It's more likely that it was a bear.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
    - Yagyu Munenori

    "Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    My bottom line question is, if an atheist tells a ghost story is he/she a hypocrite?
    Apparently you don't know what "atheist" means.
    It's a lack of belief in god(s).
    All else is up for grabs.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    I ignore the rest of what you say because it's such drivel.
    I suppose that's one way of not addressing the point.

    Your diatribe against prayer has nothing to do with the side discussion you and I were having.
    The "side discussion" you've just opted out of by dismissing my "drivel"? That one?

    And you seem to have missed entirely that you and I were never discussing prayer.
    About as much as you've missed entirely the fact that that's exactly how this started...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Thus, your assertion of "no effect whatsoever" is not correct.
    Um, try reading.
    There is no indication that prayer was the cause of something not happening.
    UNLESS you can eliminate all other possible causes (and bear in mind that the the attack that didn't happen was, in your own words merely "being discussed").

    You could reasonably argue that a massive effect occurred.
    But until you eliminate all other (rational) possibilities you can't "reasonably" argue that prayer was the cause of that effect. (Especially given the other, numerous and multiple, failures of prayer to produce any discernible effect).

    Also, again we cannot compare God to a human, and try to understand His plan according to human logic.
    In other words, "god" is fundamentally incomprehensible to humans.
    The advice here, then, should be "If that's the case you can't say ANYTHING about him/ her/ it and expect to be taken seriously, so shut the f*ck about the subject".

    We can understand theologically what is good and what is a bad practice.
    Yes.
    You can say that about the practise.
    But that says nothing whatsoever about the object of that practise.
    I.e. it's the community, the belief, the mutual support that provides the benefits, NOT "god".
    Since when in any discipline involving human behavior is "eliminating all other possibilities" a requirement to study something?

    It is apparent that your scientific education is in physical sciences, not human behavior that is much more ambiguous. Thus, your remark about "read something" must be a joke, unless you really want to start comparing what posters have "read" in human behavior disciplines relevant to the thread including: theology, psychology, foreign policy etc.

    Anyway regarding the "day of prayer":

    What we know is that two events were temporally linked:

    1. The Pope called for a day of prayer and fasting in response to U.S. plans to attack Syria.

    2. The attack did not occur and a major political victory did occur involving an agreement to remove chemical weapons from Syria.

    Establishing an indication of causation would require more examples, not "eliminating all other possibilities".

    Finally, we have a study proposal involving atheist volunteers who are willing to seek God according to some theologically sound method:

    An example could include: prayer involving repentance and accepting Christ as savior, daily Bible study. joining and attending a local church, listening to some theology scholars. You could also add prayer for the participants on their journey if volunteers could be found to do that.

    The participants keep a record of their perception and experiences.

    The results are analyzed by the investigator to look for patterns.

    This is similar to the procedure I followed with dramatic results.

    The results involved a perceptual change, not a feeling of being holier or superior to anyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Finally, we have a study proposal involving atheist volunteers who are willing to seek God according to some theologically sound method:

    An example could include: prayer involving repentance and accepting Christ as savior, daily Bible study. joining and attending a local church, listening to some theology scholars. You could also add prayer for the participants on their journey if volunteers could be found to do that.

    The participants keep a record of their perception and experiences.

    The results are analyzed by the investigator to look for patterns.

    This is similar to the procedure I followed with dramatic results.

    The results involved a perceptual change, not a feeling of being holier or superior to anyone.
    I think that most atheists have already tried that. That is why they are atheists. They know that there is no theologically sound method. But even that is not quite true. The method employed by all faiths is THEY WANT YOUR MONEY. In return you are promised riches in heaven.
    In many cases the reverse is true. People who enter the monastic life can find loneliness, despair, bullying.
    Like I said previously the best thing about attending church is the coming back out into the fresh air and light. Seeing the canopy of the sky, the birds singing, the oxygenated air, away from the darkness inside. That makes you feel good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Since when in any discipline involving human behavior is "eliminating all other possibilities" a requirement to study something?
    It's quite simple.
    You cannot definitively say "X is the cause" UNLESS all other options have been eliminated.

    It is apparent that your scientific education is in physical sciences, not human behavior that is much more ambiguous.
    It's even more apparent that you're assuming and that you're making excuses.
    In fact I have studied the "social sciences" (University of Lincolnshire & Humberside) and that degree course was actually more recent than the physical science courses I've taken (20001 vs. 1980s).
    Human behaviour being ambiguous is one of the major problems with such studies: the fact that eliminating extraneous factors is difficult does NOT mean that that's not the ideal and the goal striven for.

    Thus, your remark about "read something" must be a joke
    My remark about "try reading." was an exhortation for you to read what I'd written. As opposed to inventing your own "reply" from me.

    Anyway regarding the "day of prayer":
    What we know is that two events were temporally linked
    Yup.
    And so was the Sun rising, me having a cup of coffee and a cigarette and someone, somewhere doing a bad Homer Simpson impression.
    In other words the conclusion that the one caused the other is unsupported.

    1. The Pope called for a day of prayer and fasting in response to U.S. plans to attack Syria.
    2. The attack did not occur and a major political victory did occur involving an agreement to remove chemical weapons from Syria.
    Establishing an indication of causation would require more examples, not "eliminating all other possibilities".
    Great!
    Now can you show that the attack would have taken place if the "day of prayer" hadn't happened?
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    [QUOTE=Dywyddyr;598948]
    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    My bottom line question is, if an atheist tells a ghost story is he/she a hypocrite?
    Apparently you don't know what "atheist" means.
    It's a lack of belief in god(s).
    All else is up for grabs.

    TY for clearing that up for me, I still think if the mere human has an immortal soul, an atheist would be a hypocrite not to believe there is a supreme being.
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    I still think if the mere human has an immortal soul, an atheist would be a hypocrite not to believe there is a supreme being.
    "Immortal soul" neither means nor implies "supreme being".
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    I still think if the mere human has an immortal soul, an atheist would be a hypocrite not to believe there is a supreme being.
    "Immortal soul" neither means nor implies "supreme being".
    Gets close though don't you think?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    I still think if the mere human has an immortal soul, an atheist would be a hypocrite not to believe there is a supreme being.
    "Immortal soul" neither means nor implies "supreme being".
    So, if there are immortal souls, do you think there is a domain for them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    I still think if the mere human has an immortal soul, an atheist would be a hypocrite not to believe there is a supreme being.
    "Immortal soul" neither means nor implies "supreme being".
    So, if there are immortal souls, do you think there is a domain for them?
    Did Dywyddyr say immortal souls exist? No! It is totally foolish to think such a thing exists.

    All that is you, is dependant upon the function of your brain. Disrupt the brain enough with drugs or abuse, damage it with a trauma or a stroke, and the stuff that makes up your mind will cease to be.

    And no robittyBob it isn't close enough. only if you consider black to be close to white.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    So, if there are immortal souls, do you think there is a domain for them?
    IF immortal souls exist and IF they are (as per claims) somehow "attached" to us (our bodies) then the "domain" in which they operate must be the one we inhabit, neh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    So, if there are immortal souls, do you think there is a domain for them?
    IF immortal souls exist and IF they are (as per claims) somehow "attached" to us (our bodies) then the "domain" in which they operate must be the one we inhabit, neh?
    I personal have never told a ghost story, I did mention that I have heard ghost stories from people with belief in god. My assertion was, I find it hypocritical from an atheist to believe in ghosts. I never said Ducky believed in ghosts. Also if the immoral soul inhabits our person and we are mortal, where would it go when we evict it?
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    My assertion was, I find it hypocritical from an atheist to believe in ghosts.
    I'm intrigued.
    How is it hypocritical to believe in ghosts simply because one has declared a lack of belief in god(s)?

    Ghost aren't (to the best of my knowledge) claimed to be gods.
    Nor, as I said, does the existence of a soul 1 (immortal or otherwise) mean that god(s) must exist.

    I know of atheists that believe in ghosts, bigfoot, alien visits, crystal healing, tarot, PSI... but they're firm about their lack of belief in god(s).
    Declaring it to be hypocritical is almost like claiming a non-chess player is hypocritical for liking brussel sprouts.


    1 If indeed that's what ghosts "are".
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    Ghosts stand alone from the other things you mentioned, pertaining to the question I am posing. In most religions, the soul (ghost) is the part of human being that is promised a place, in heaven, karma, or wherever else God resides. For an atheist to believe, we have a soul (ghost), is not an absurdity, but to claim it is immortal is.
    One can say that soul is wandering the earth because it is troubled, lucky bastard gets to live forever, cause if you are at peace you just dissolve into dirt. Who decides which of us will get to be a ghost and which will fall into oblivion?
    Perhaps, since you know so many atheists, you could find from them what happens, and how I can manage ghosthood.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    For an atheist to believe, we have a soul (ghost), is not an absurdity, but to claim it is immortal is.
    How so?
    Since a soul is in and of itself woo why not go the extra step and declare that they're immortal as part of their "nature"?

    Perhaps, since you know so many atheists, you could find from them what happens, and how I can manage ghosthood.
    I try to avoid atheists (and anyone else) that firmly believes in ghosts.
    To me they're as much woo as god(s) and all the other stuff I mentioned.
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    I believe in talking ducks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    For an atheist to believe, we have a soul (ghost), is not an absurdity, but to claim it is immortal is.
    How so?
    Since a soul is in and of itself woo why not go the extra step and declare that they're immortal as part of their "nature"?

    Perhaps, since you know so many atheists, you could find from them what happens, and how I can manage ghosthood.
    I try to avoid atheists (and anyone else) that firmly believes in ghosts.
    To me they're as much woo as god(s) and all the other stuff I mentioned.
    Because nothing in the universe lasts forever, except God. Right?
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    Way back there I did open this thread with a " Why do I care?" and as often the case the thread has 'evolved' and that's fine;
    I with deliberate honest intent did try to show that I care that seemingly educated people still find what can not be true and real, believable.. It gets worse.. some of them will argue over what 'they' believe without proofs..
    ~ But I can see a point being made and perhaps missed by some.. " Generally " speaking ( always a risk ) any person that draws the conclusion of scientific revue and it's processes would or should arrive at a atheist view.. ( It would be disappointing if you all agree..)
    That if you apply the same set of rules to all what can not be proven.. Ghosts and souls have a issue claiming a foothold that is scientifically viable.. The same set of criteria has drawn me to conclude that No ghost, No spiritual being has or can be shown as real..
    I do not find the myths of culturs as real unless good testable and able to stand the scrutiny of examination.. challenge me with proofs and listen I will. I will always respect and be tolerant.. of views not as mine. mark.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    Because nothing in the universe lasts forever, except God. Right?
    Uh what?
    I'll try again.
    IF someone is delusional enough to believe in souls and/ or ghosts what's to stop them also being delusional enough to believe they're "immortal"?
    If theists can claim (with zero evidence) that "god" lasts forever what's to stop atheists (or anyone else) claiming that souls/ ghosts do?
    Either way it's an unsubstantiated claim about the "attributes" of, er, another unsubstantiated claim.
    Or maybe you have a confirmed list of "properties" of things that (so far) haven't haven't been shown to exist and souls/ ghosts don't have the "immortal" box ticked?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    How is it hypocritical to believe in ghosts simply because one has declared a lack of belief in god(s)?
    Duck, I'm sorry if I fed him by saying that as an atheist I find it hypocritical of other atheists to believe in that other supernatural junk. I should clarify a little. I find it hypocritical, because generally the atheists that I encounter that do believe in all that woo nonsense have a sense of superiority over the religious. "I don't believe in a jewish zombie, therefore I'm smarter than you." This is entirely hypocritical because they claim to not believe in fairy tales because there is no evidence, yet cling to irrational beliefs of ghosts and other woo that have no evidence as well. I guess what I'm saying is that it's hypocritical to reject God(s) on the lack of evidence while believing in Santa Claus.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    I guess what I'm saying is that it's hypocritical to reject God(s) on the lack of evidence while believing in Santa Claus.
    Ah, understood.
    Then again, humans manage to rationalise so much... "This is what I believe, therefore it's not irrational".

    (Much like keeseguy's comment "Ghosts stand alone from the other things you mentioned", as if ghosts were any more, or less, woo than crystal power, tarot, etc.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post

    (Much like keeseguy's comment "Ghosts stand alone from the other things you mentioned", as if ghosts were any more, or less, woo than crystal power, tarot, etc.)
    Hey, don't go picking on crystal power! There's some real stuff behind that.... You just have to be super stoned in order for it to kick in. Or so the attendees of the local Barter Faire tell me.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

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