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Thread: I guess that about wraps it up for god?

  1. #1 I guess that about wraps it up for god? 
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    doing a bit of research into current religous thinking.
    Whenever i ask around my school the same old argument against god is.
    if he is omnipotent why do bad things happen? blah blah
    this seems unoriginal.
    what are the latest arguments from the athiest/ non believers?


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    Well from my point of view, religions actually underestimate the extent of an all knowing, infintely wise being. If god truely was as described, he would know better than even the sinners themselves exactly why they turned out the way they did. Actually, concidering the fact that they did turn out the way they did, means that it could not have happened any other way. If He truely was omnipotent, he could not sentence ANYONE to eternal hellfire. But that would not do a good job of keeping people in line, would it? So religious leaders assigned human values and norms to their fictional creator, whether or not they believed him to exist in the first place. That is why things like slavery, gender inequality, sanctioned genocide etc exists in the bible.


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    Search the forum. There's lots of discussions about that kind of stuff.
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    I've never been able to appreciate the apparent smack down argument that why does evil exist with an omnipotent, benevolent God is supposed to be.

    Evil is sinning which is turning away from God, according to Christianity anyways. Poor old bambi getting nailed in the forest by a tree struck by lightening isn't evil, it's unfortunate for the deer sure and tweaks our emotions but a completly natural occurrance nevertheless.



    Before you enter into a debate about God's existence it pays to settle on a definition of the word God. You may pull out what you think is an awesome against argument just to have your fellow debater state that that argument is not applicable against their God.
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    my main reasons for thinking there's no god :

    - i don't have any personal experience of god
    - in the world i inhabit there's no need for a god in order to get through life
    - most claims about god are either inconsistent or contradict other evidence
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    my main reasons for thinking there's no god :
    - i don't have any personal experience of god
    - in the world i inhabit there's no need for a god in order to get through life
    - most claims about god are either inconsistent or contradict other evidence
    This is the neatest summation of the Thoughtful British Atheist position I have seen.
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    Since there's no explanation for God, God is a fallacy. A paradoxial concept which solves nothing, and is therefore not required by anyone unless they seek to use that concept in order to corrupt the hearts of men for the sole purpose of power and destruction.

    Is that a strong argument?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Since there's no explanation for God...
    Do we need to go over the lack of explanation for "reality" again?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Do we need to go over the lack of explanation for "reality" again?
    That's a red herring, isn't it? :? Besides, I don't think there's a lack of explanation for reality. I think we covered most of it in the Meaning, Purpose thread.
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  11. #10 Re: I guess that about wraps it up for god? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacketate
    doing a bit of research into current religous thinking.
    Whenever i ask around my school the same old argument against god is.
    if he is omnipotent why do bad things happen? blah blah
    this seems unoriginal.
    what are the latest arguments from the athiest/ non believers?
    Although I am not an atheist, I will answer that question for you.

    My GOD is Nature because it teaches us much more than the bible that is in all probability created to answer a 'childs' question of 'where did we come from'?

    In Nature, there is no evil that is done without reason to serve ones self. The evil predators that kill, do so for food.
    This is the 'crave' sites for burying the lame, aged and etc to keep any creatures from suffering needlessly. Also, this eliminates the carcuses from smelling up the atmosphere.

    I am sorry I had to say this but Nature is a more merciful GOD than what our human leadership promotes.

    Also, Nature made no Laws since the only evil done is to eat. So in this case, no laws are needed.

    Cosmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    A paradoxial concept which solves nothing...
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Do we need to go over the lack of explanation for "reality" again?
    That's a red herring, isn't it? :? Besides, I don't think there's a lack of explanation for reality.
    I don't know about a red herring but I do think that having an explanation for reality is a pretty pathetic reason for believing in God, because I agree with Obviously about God being a paradoxical concept and utterly useless for the purpose of being an explanation for anything except perhaps a personal experience with the divine. But, of course, what has the atheist any need for such an explanation? For them them the explanation that people like Jesus, St. Francics, Mother Terisa, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King are all just evil and insane seems to be enough for them.
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    When you consider the subject of "God" you generally run into two problems.

    1. God, be definition, can't be proven by conventional scientific means.

    2. No one can come to you with physical proof that God exists.

    But what is the statement that "reality is reality?" Or "we exist because we exist." Or the ever-popular "I know reality exists because I can touch it."

    These are all a waste of time. They are not answers, they're escapes. They are a convenient way of ignoring the difficulty of the issue at hand.

    I think the best answer I've ever heard for someone not believing, was from a person who said that since he didn't know what to believe in, he chose not to believe, because he can't believe in something he doesn't understand. It's an escape itself, but far more elegant than "reality because of reality."
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    doing a bit of research into current religous thinking.
    Whenever i ask around my school the same old argument against god is.
    if he is omnipotent why do bad things happen? blah blah
    this seems unoriginal.
    what are the latest arguments from the athiest/ non believers?
    Why should there be new arguments?? Nope, same thing as always; there's just no evidence for it. In fact, the evidence suggests that it is far more likely that religion is simply a human establishment, and God is just a construct of the human imagination.
    Although I am not an atheist, I will answer that question for you.

    My GOD is Nature because it teaches us much more than the bible that is in all probability created to answer a 'childs' question of 'where did we come from'?

    In Nature, there is no evil that is done without reason to serve ones self. The evil predators that kill, do so for food.
    This is the 'crave' sites for burying the lame, aged and etc to keep any creatures from suffering needlessly. Also, this eliminates the carcuses from smelling up the atmosphere.

    I am sorry I had to say this but Nature is a more merciful GOD than what our human leadership promotes.

    Also, Nature made no Laws since the only evil done is to eat. So in this case, no laws are needed.
    Cosmo
    Cosmo: it seems to me that your views are quite atheistic. . . what is the significance of assigning nature the status of God. This seems, to me, quite superfluous indeed. Why not just call it nature and say that we can learn from it? God, in most cases, is understood to be a supernatural being, and it doesn't seem to me that you are asserting anything supernatural. To say that nature is God, as do pantheists, is somewhat misleading and as I said unnecessary. It is just like giving nature an extra name, but that is all it does, so Occam's Razor should kick in there. Perhaps of course I am misunderstanding you, or there is more to it; I am just going off of what you said. So if I am making false assumptions forgive me.
    "I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."

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    Yeah, you are misunderstanding him. :P

    He basically seems to ascribe to the idea that God doesn't have to be as many religions in the world define God to be. In short, why does God have to be this personable being? Why can't this subjective phenomenon humanity is perceiving, be the universe itself.
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    Rationalist:

    Why do you look to the bible as a teacher?

    I promote Nature as GOD because a picture (Nature) is much more
    informative.
    Nature teaches you about the '6th sense' as well that the animals exhibit.
    This can be an example of spirit.

    Like they say, a picture is worth a 'thousand' words.

    Besides, the bible is a man made product. So it can be prone to err.

    Cosmo
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  17. #16 Re: I guess that about wraps it up for god? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacketate
    doing a bit of research into current religous thinking.
    Whenever i ask around my school the same old argument against god is.
    if he is omnipotent why do bad things happen? blah blah
    this seems unoriginal.
    what are the latest arguments from the athiest/ non believers?
    Religions are simply organized cults.

    Children are indoctrinated into these cults by their parents and church leaders in which they have the final say in biology and cosmology. This vicious cycle is what keeps those cults operating and is "forcing" an evolutionary change in how humans think and act.
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    Rationalist:

    Why do you look to the bible as a teacher?

    I promote Nature as GOD because a picture (Nature) is much more
    informative.
    Nature teaches you about the '6th sense' as well that the animals exhibit.
    This can be an example of spirit.

    Like they say, a picture is worth a 'thousand' words.

    Besides, the bible is a man made product. So it can be prone to err.
    If you were asking me why I look to the Bible as a teacher, I don't. Maybe you meant "why would one look to the Bible as a teacher" though. . . Anyway, I am trying to get a grasp on what exactly your basic beliefs about this are, and I am interested. . . Now, you mentioned a "sixth sense", which can be an example of spirit. If you wouldn't mind, could you define this sixth sense, and explain what a spirit is in the sense that you are concerned. It seems to me that you are speaking of something more or less paranormal, since I know of only five senses and I don't know of any spirits (in the sense I have heard them defined before). Are you postulating the existence of something outside of nature itself? I'm not getting too clear of a picture yet, so I would like to get a better one before I comment fully.
    "I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."

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    (Discoverer of DNA)
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    I think he means a Gaya of sorts?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Actually its either Gaia or Gaea.. depending on the culture.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    But, of course, what has the atheist any need for such an explanation? For them them the explanation that people like Jesus, St. Francics, Mother Terisa, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King are all just evil and insane seems to be enough for them.
    Who ever made the claim that those individuals are "evil and insane?" That certainly doesn't sound like a common atheist thought to me.
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    There's been a few threads in the forum that have centered around the idea that you can take a highly interpretable subject (such as the Bible or the life of Jesus) and twist it in any number of ways. One of those ways is, obviously, evil. Some have used these arguments in their crusade against religion...even though you can interpret anything to be evil.
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    Those people arn't evil and insane.... Wow dude, I'm actually offended at your misconception of athiests.

    Pope Urban II was evil
    Bloody Mary was evil
    Mary's sister elizabeth were evil.


    Why? Urban started the crusades
    Blood Mary killed off alot of protestants
    and elizabeth, in turn, killed off alot of catholics

    And of course the INQUISITON was VERY evil.

    They would rip your tongue out if you didn't confess....
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    Actually its either Gaia or Gaea.. depending on the culture.
    Yeh, that. skinny
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Isn't that the "worship" of "mother earth," not nature as a whole?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Who ever made the claim that those individuals are "evil and insane?" That certainly doesn't sound like a common atheist thought to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Those people arn't evil and insane.... Wow dude, I'm actually offended at your misconception of athiests.
    I know very well that all atheists do not make the claim that religion is evil and/or insane, but the number of those posting in this forum that do make this claim is rather large. It is clear that this part of what I said was not the gist of my comment, but surely you can forgive this well deserved dig at the nutters.

    The implications of the irrational claims of some people are certainly embarassing. Religion was what these people were all about. Looking at their example is what inspires people to follow in their footsteps. Therefore if religion is evil what other conclusion can you have but that the people who lead the way and inspire people to religion must be evil and/or insane?

    Sure there are people who use religion as a pretext to take what other people have, but surely it is clear that without one excuse they would and certainly do find another. Isn't it usually enough that they speak a different language, wear different clothes, eat different food, live on a different piece of land, or are called a different name by your people. Religion creates a common bond between people with such differences and says that treating others evily is not acceptable. And because people do not always listen to this message or find a way around it, the nutters irrationally say that religion is bad.

    Do some of the "religious" make their religion about power and the manipulation of others? Yes they do. But is this the nature of religion or the nature of people? And are these the people that inspire others to religion?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rationalist
    Cosmo: it seems to me that your views are quite atheistic. . . what is the significance of assigning nature the status of God. This seems, to me, quite superfluous indeed. Why not just call it nature and say that we can learn from it? God, in most cases, is understood to be a supernatural being, and it doesn't seem to me that you are asserting anything supernatural. To say that nature is God, as do pantheists, is somewhat misleading and as I said unnecessary. It is just like giving nature an extra name, but that is all it does, so Occam's Razor should kick in there. Perhaps of course I am misunderstanding you, or there is more to it; I am just going off of what you said. So if I am making false assumptions forgive me.
    To begin with:
    I consider the bible to be evil, because it promotes sexism with woman as sinners and the lion as a chauvinist dominating male,
    separation of day and night as racist,
    the one god concept with the 1st 3 commandments and genocide as punishment
    and the jews portraying themselves as gods chosen people .

    now to get back to the 'sixth' sense.
    Yes, I believe that there is a Universal Mind (UM) as I have learned from past experiences.
    We are all interconnected by 'feelings' and mind.
    To be aware of this, you use the Law of Probability to link two events together. I hsve becaome aware of such events that defy the Law of Probability.

    But be aware that this could make you aware of aniimosity between your family and friends. So you must be tolerant of such conclusions and accept them.

    Cosmo
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    Do you asked yourself days for what else?
    Do you asked yourself Why is upset in your grief and pain and discomfort and safety?
    Do you asked yourself why the memory stability and tranquillity?

    Do you find answers to these questions in your book of the Bible ... that Army

    ... Because he falsified book and the guide .. Is briefed on the Koran, the Muslim holy book prepared each and every one of you that will be the happiest man on earth
    If read, and then briefed by the security
    Here taking your hands on this link

    http://mp3quran.net/eng/
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Islam girl
    Do you asked yourself days for what else?
    Do you asked yourself Why is upset in your grief and pain and discomfort and safety?
    Do you asked yourself why the memory stability and tranquillity?

    Do you find answers to these questions in your book of the Bible ... that Army

    ... Because he falsified book and the guide .. Is briefed on the Koran, the Muslim holy book prepared each and every one of you that will be the happiest man on earth
    If read, and then briefed by the security
    Here taking your hands on this link

    http://mp3quran.net/eng/
    So, your not actually here to discuss anything, only to preach and fill posts with Islamic propaganda?
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    Why are you angry Sir ??????
    I apologize to you that you have caused my inconvenience
    But on the right, I want to tell you that I still have an opportunity to renew your life ...
    Wanted to be knocked out will do, but you should know that I will Debates on the Day of Judgement to guide you prevent me from the people to the right
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    Quote Originally Posted by Islam girl
    Why are you angry Sir ??????
    I apologize to you that you have caused my inconvenience
    But on the right, I want to tell you that I still have an opportunity to renew your life ...
    Wanted to be knocked out will do, but you should know that I will Debates on the Day of Judgement to guide you prevent me from the people to the right
    No one is angry with you Islamgirl. They want you to discuss with what you have instead of propagating your religion. I dont think its a proper way to propagate according to Islam.

    Create a topic on your own about Islam and then discuss with us.


    i hope you understand

    thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Islam girl
    I will Debates on the Day of Judgement to guide you prevent me from the people to the right
    In other words, you'll waste your whole life spouting religious nonesense.
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Islam girl
    Why are you angry Sir ??????
    Simple. You're an evangelist, here to preach and propagate your cults beliefs. You insult our intelligence.

    I apologize to you that you have caused my inconvenience
    But on the right, I want to tell you that I still have an opportunity to renew your life ...
    And you have the opportunity to use your brains to think and understand that you've been indoctrinated into a violent cult. You might even take back your life.

    Wanted to be knocked out will do, but you should know that I will Debates on the Day of Judgement to guide you prevent me from the people to the right
    Okee dokee.
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    You insult our intelligence.
    Since you acknowledge you are intelligent. Why not you deal problems with Intelligence? If shes annoying then honestly IGNORE her. I don't think its moral to Bad-mouth anyone's Religion.
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    Ignorance doesn't solve problems, it let's them thrive.
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    now to get back to the 'sixth' sense.
    Yes, I believe that there is a Universal Mind (UM) as I have learned from past experiences.
    We are all interconnected by 'feelings' and mind.
    To be aware of this, you use the Law of Probability to link two events together. I hsve becaome aware of such events that defy the Law of Probability.

    But be aware that this could make you aware of aniimosity between your family and friends. So you must be tolerant of such conclusions and accept them.
    This seems very vague to me. I would be interesting to hear an example of this Law of Probability, and more on this vague concept of interconnection of 'feelings' and mind. I can't really comment unless I have a good understanding of what you're saying. Are you saying that I am somehow connected by mind or feelings to someone in Ethiopia, and if so, do we have some kind of effect on each other or something??? What does it all mean. Could you define the UM for me? What is the nature of this UM?
    "I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkafil
    You insult our intelligence.
    Since you acknowledge you are intelligent. Why not you deal problems with Intelligence? If shes annoying then honestly IGNORE her. I don't think its moral to Bad-mouth anyone's Religion.
    Yes but that sense immorality is a part of your religion and therefore cannot be rationally expected of a non-believer. We can equally say that we don't think it is moral to impose your personal idea of morality on others, for in our view it is only what the the group agrees is moral that can rationally be expected and in forums like this one, the standard is found in the guidelines posted under General discussion, to which you implicitly agree by posting here.

    Don't get me wrong. I also don't buy into this "go away and don't bother me" posture of some of these posters, because it is quite clear that no one as made them read the posts in the religion topic. Clearly they they come here to satisfy some need to ridicule and thus are here to "bother" others quite as much as she. In any case, the posture is rather ridiculous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Clearly they they come here to satisfy some need to ridicule and thus are here to "bother" others quite as much as she.
    And nobody can stop us! Bwhahaha!
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    Thank you for your words, gentlemen because they tell me the level of mental, social and Kim and I helm despite all this
    Sigh selecting a specific topic and will discuss it with all the clarity and seriousness
    I wish you well
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkafil
    You insult our intelligence.
    Since you acknowledge you are intelligent. Why not you deal problems with Intelligence? If shes annoying then honestly IGNORE her. I don't think its moral to Bad-mouth anyone's Religion.
    You are a liar. I did not bad mouth anyones religion.

    Islam Girl asked a question and I answered it. What is your problem?
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    Mr. (Q) perhaps not intended by mkafil
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    You are a liar. I did not bad mouth anyones religion.
    Please do not accuse people of lying unless it is incontrevertibly the case (and in those circumstances I should prefer you not do it in public). Accept that incompetence, incomprehension, poor memory, bad English, etc are more probable explanations for inaccuracies.

    You did say
    "And you have the opportunity to use your brains to think and understand that you've been indoctrinated into a violent cult."

    Since this is pretty much the sort of thing I would choose to say if I wished to badmouth someone's religion I rather think that what you have done, consciously or unconsciously, is to badmouth their religion. I would rather you did not do that either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I would rather you did not do that either.
    Why? Do you think religions deserve respect?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    now to get back to the 'sixth' sense.
    Yes, I believe that there is a Universal Mind (UM) as I have learned from past experiences.
    We are all interconnected by 'feelings' and mind.
    To be aware of this, you use the Law of Probability to link two events together. I hsve becaome aware of such events that defy the Law of Probability.

    But be aware that this could make you aware of aniimosity between your family and friends. So you must be tolerant of such conclusions and accept them.
    This seems very vague to me. I would be interesting to hear an example of this Law of Probability, and more on this vague concept of interconnection of 'feelings' and mind. I can't really comment unless I have a good understanding of what you're saying. Are you saying that I am somehow connected by mind or feelings to someone in Ethiopia, and if so, do we have some kind of effect on each other or something??? What does it all mean. Could you define the UM for me? What is the nature of this UM?
    I will post an article on the UM tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Why? Do you think religions deserve respect?
    Religion in general deserves respect as having been instrumental in the emergence of civilisation and in its pragmatic contribution to the early development of the sciences. It deserves further respect for its cohesive role in cementing cultures together and in providing a platform, or skeleton on which a natural suite of ethics and related moral guidance may be built.

    It is appropriate to be dismayed by the use to which it is put by demagogues in pursuing policies of hatred, violence and oppression. Such abuse reflects far more on innate characterisitcs of humans than on any deficiencies in religion.

    Doubtless you will have heard of swings and roundabouts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I would rather you did not do that either.
    Why? Do you think religions deserve respect?
    people deserve respect
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    people deserve respect
    Ditto.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    people deserve respect
    Had I been here before you I'd say exacly the same! (Sounds a bit presumptious... Ah, well^^) You don't have to have respect for religion, but you can respect the induvidual following it even if you don't respect their religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Religion in general deserves respect as having been instrumental in the emergence of civilisation and in its pragmatic contribution to the early development of the sciences.
    The sciences would most likely developed much earlier if not for the religious superstitions and myths that kept civilizations ignorant for ages. Religion has and always will impede the progression of science and man.

    It deserves further respect for its cohesive role in cementing cultures together and in providing a platform, or skeleton on which a natural suite of ethics and related moral guidance may be built.
    Now you're just being silly.

    It is appropriate to be dismayed by the use to which it is put by demagogues in pursuing policies of hatred, violence and oppression. Such abuse reflects far more on innate characterisitcs of humans than on any deficiencies in religion.
    Hogwash. The abuse reflects almost entirely on religion. Mankind's nature has evolved to be compassionate and caring so as not to do harm to others. Religion has twisted and corrupted mankind's innate morals and ethics, to accept the irrational and improbable as fact and divide all mankind.

    Doubtless you will have heard of swings and roundabouts.
    Sure, but I don't agree. Mankind would be so much further ahead had it not been for the anchor of religion holding it back. It is a plague to mankind.
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    It seems that problems arise when religion becomes authority. Whenever religion gains power; violence, ruin and destruction will surely follow. It has been a pattern for decades. Perhaps religion wouldn't be so bad if it was induvidual. We are all different, that's why problems arise when we group up for a common goal, because not everyone want's the same goal.
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    I think religion is an aspect of life that requires a modicum of sense, consideration, and moderation, like many other things in life.

    Religion can serve two purposes. One, it can act as a guide for building ones life. Two, it can act as a tool for exploring faith (and the questions thereof). When you take it for that, it can be a very powerful and positive aspect of life. When you take it blindly, without sense, consideration, and moderation, it can easily go very wrong.

    If you look into most religious teachings, there's probably sections in most of them that say things like "don't steal," "don't murder," "don't cheat on your wife," etc, and I think most will agree those are good things, right? Are those not good things to teach?

    Then you get to that passage that says "kill your neighbor if he doesn't follow your religion." Now at this point, you probably should be going "now wait a second...that doesn't sound right..." Especially if that is coming from someone's interpretation of the religion.

    For me, the religions of the world are essentially all part of a great big library on an enormous subject. If you go to a library, you don't just read one book, and you don't determine everything from just one author. Individually the books are useful, but their worth pales in comparison to the whole. If you take things for granted, it's very easy to get led down the wrong path, but even if you choose to go with a particular path, you're still supposed to engage your brain.
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    Religion can serve two purposes. One, it can act as a guide for building ones life. Two, it can act as a tool for exploring faith (and the questions thereof). When you take it for that, it can be a very powerful and positive aspect of life. When you take it blindly, without sense, consideration, and moderation, it can easily go very wrong.
    What the is "exploring faith"?!; what kind of questions are we dealing with in that realm? Just what questions should religion be in charge of answering anyway?
    If you look into most religious teachings, there's probably sections in most of them that say things like "don't steal," "don't murder," "don't cheat on your wife," etc, and I think most will agree those are good things, right? Are those not good things to teach?

    Then you get to that passage that says "kill your neighbor if he doesn't follow your religion." Now at this point, you probably should be going "now wait a second...that doesn't sound right..." Especially if that is coming from someone's interpretation of the religion.
    One of the many problems of this are that people are not always sensible when deciding which values to teach. The good will always come along with the bad. Where do we get our morals from anyway? If we look through a holy book and we can pick and choose which is good and bad, then we already had independent criteria that we used for the choosing, so why not just go with that source of morals, and if we do not have that independent criteria for morals, and our morals are to come from these books, then there is no way to discriminate in the first place, so everything in the book goes, including kill you neighbor, kill homosexuals, and feel free to have slaves. . . ect. I think that if a purpose of religion is morals that it has failed miserably, and by its absolutist nature, may always be doomed to fail.

    The point of your post seemed to be that religion serves x,y, and z, in life, and should be approached sensibly. But religion just isn't very sensible. If anything about its past is clear it is that. I think that any purpose that religion may serve, is better served by other more sophisticated, intelligible philosophies.
    "I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."

    -Dr. James Watson, American biologist
    (Discoverer of DNA)
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Sure, but I don't agree. Mankind would be so much further ahead had it not been for the anchor of religion holding it back. It is a plague to mankind.
    I can see the next great experiment in this new century like those of America and Communism where Q shall establish a society that proves that his theory is more than hot air. LOL LOL


    Others only need to look at history.
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    For me, the religions of the world are essentially all part of a great big library on an enormous subject
    Part of the problem of religion is unravelling what exactly is religion about and what could be better separated under other categories such as politics and ethics.

    For example, don't steal, kill is good social theory regardless of the inclusion of religion. The divine right of kings is an area where the boundary between political theory and religious theory is blurred.

    Stewart Guthrie in his book Faces in the Clouds makes the argument that religion is any ideological system that includes Gods. Whilst this definition of Guthrie's does not cover all aspects of religion and thus fails as a definition of religion, it does act as an important part in trying to figure out what exactly religion is about.

    Communism, as i've mentioned elsewhere on this board, can be awefully like a religion. It contains prophecy, a cosmic battle between the prolateriat and the capitalist, and worships the leader. Yet it is clearly a political ideology, not a religious one. Though many religious people will attempt to blur communism into being a religious ideology, indeed, it could be an interesting question in itself as to whether communism is a religious theory or a political theory.

    Religion is only one aspect of peoples lives. A fundamental aspect for those that are religious for sure, often acting as the lynchpin to their political, moral and social ideologies but religion is a distinct category of human knowledge itself.

    To conclude, for me, the Religions of the world are one particular category in the grand encyclopedia called human cultural knowledge. As we travel through time some of this encyclopedia becomes obsolete and is replaced with more up-to-date cultural knowledge. The reason religion survives is because the boundaries between what is religion and what is not religion is often blurred and religious thinking arises through certain inescapeable pyschological features of the human brain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain

    I can see the next great experiment in this new century like those of America and Communism where Q shall establish a society that proves that his theory is more than hot air.
    Why would anyone use Communism, a failed cult ideology, almost identical to current organized religions?

    Are you saying mankind would have not developed without religion?

    Others only need to look at history.
    http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/history-of-religion.html
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    Not sure why, but I sense I'm dealing with someone who's already got a closed mind to the subject already, but whatever...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    What the is "exploring faith"?!; what kind of questions are we dealing with in that realm?
    What's is faith? What is the nature of faith? What does faith mean? What are the answers to life, death, meaning? If there is faith, how is life effected by that faith? What are the aspects of faith in relation to its bearings on life? Where exactly does faith focus, and what is that focus? How do you determine the source, so as to determine the differential between your faith and that source? What part (if any) does religion play in faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Just what questions should religion be in charge of answering anyway?
    Did I say religion was in charge of something? Not sure where I did. I think I used words like "can" and "tool," but whatever.

    If we assume religions form around people's desire for faith, then religions essentially become a collective of ideas and ideals towards that end. On that note, the best place to go when exploring a subject is a place where there are people exploring the same subject. If you want to discuss physics, go to a physics forum. If you want to discuss the aspects of faith, you don't go to a physics forum.

    What is the meaning of life? What happens when we die? What is the purpose? Where did we come from? Is there a plan for it all?

    Science, at least within it's current capabilities, tells us that when the body dies, it decays and that's it. Others choose to believe that there is something more to life, and something more in death, because otherwise the whole of existence is meaningless and without purpose. Some people aren't okay with voiding their existence. The questions people seek to answer can't be found in a mathematics textbook. This doesn't mean science doesn't play a part, because we all know science isn't just poking things in test-tubes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    One of the many problems of this are that people are not always sensible when deciding which values to teach.
    I don't think that was a problem, I think that was my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    The good will always come along with the bad. Where do we get our morals from anyway? If we look through a holy book and we can pick and choose which is good and bad, then we already had independent criteria that we used for the choosing,...
    Where do we get our morals from? Our family? The State? The Ethics Committee? Where exactly do the morals of our society come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    ...so why not just go with that source of morals,...
    Not everyone believes that the Bible is the only thing to read. Oddly enough, it's when people shut out all other aspects of life, that religious texts have the greatest ability to influence a person, good or bad. This is one reason why my whole life isn't devoted to religion, and also why I don't follow any one particular religion. Individually you have a greater risk of getting only one facet of a larger picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    ...and if we do not have that independent criteria for morals, and our morals are to come from these books...
    Then we could assume that the morals in those books are the morals of others who are attempting to pass these morals along. Given the influence of human interpretation and the effects of society on such works, only a fool would believe all such works would be flawless in character and design.

    As for the heavier stuff, you'll find there are some religious sects who follow the religious texts word for word and run out and do it, and others who choose a less reactionary approach. I haven't seen any local religious organizations form any murderous mobs, and the last time I checked, the Pope in Rome hasn't told anyone to buy a slave or burn someone alive, lately...

    Apparently something isn't uniform across all religious people, although they apparently are to be condemned so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    I think that if a purpose of religion is morals that it has failed miserably, and by its absolutist nature, may always be doomed to fail.
    According to what?

    I had a religious upbringing, and so far I neither have, nor have the intention to, kill anyone, own a slave, or strap a bomb to my back. I haven't called anyone infidel, I've tried my best to always view things evenly, and I have never come thumping the Bible telling people what's what because of some text alone. I've seen the value of religion, though I do not claim to be a part of any particular sect of it. Moreover, I'm not alone.

    My life has been "tainted" by religion, and according to your theory, my life has been ruined. You'll have to do some more convincing on that one...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    But religion just isn't very sensible.
    As a whole, taking the good along with the bad? Or just the parts that were added, removed, changed, and otherwise altered according to world situations or misinterpretations? Do we sum up the tiny little one-liner subject of religion based on some dumb parts? Or do we take all religions, label them as exactly the same, with the exact same content, and under the guarantee that they are preached by the exact same people, with the exact same dispositions, and judge them then?

    When you say "religion just isn't very sensible" what are you referring to, that is universal across all religions and religious-people?

    And, sensible compared to what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    If anything about its past is clear it is that.
    Good point. And after we abolish all governments, human emotions, creativity, business, and everything else that has ever applied a taint to humanity, we'll be better off.

    Get started. I'm in a hurry, and I can't wait for that utopia to arrive. I want to look out my window and know that the world is better, as every social figure and leader is branded a certified and qualified representative, every citizen is equal because they have the exact same thoughts and situations as everyone else. Anyone with differing ideas will be immediately stamped out. I want to see the rules, that all humanity has agreed on equally, engraved on the pillars of society. The rules will be glorious, as they will be the answer to everything, hold all truth, and the rules will free humanity from the need to think, and the burden of curiosity.

    Whew, getting all excited...

    I think we can start with this forum. There's been some bad ideas in here. Evil. The lot of it. Admins, close the forum.

    I think our next target should be schools...they've never been consistent in their teachings. Down with schools!

    Should we go after the governments of the world next? There's been more than a fair share of bad apples in that group! Okay, yeah, we get rid of any group that attempts to form some sort of organization around influencing humanity based on an ideal.

    Crap, guess we're nixed too. Darn, I was really hoping for that utopia...

    </sarcasm>

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    I think that any purpose that religion may serve, is better served by other more sophisticated, intelligible philosophies.
    Such as?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    now to get back to the 'sixth' sense.
    Yes, I believe that there is a Universal Mind (UM) as I have learned from past experiences.
    We are all interconnected by 'feelings' and mind.
    To be aware of this, you use the Law of Probability to link two events together. I hsve becaome aware of such events that defy the Law of Probability.

    But be aware that this could make you aware of aniimosity between your family and friends. So you must be tolerant of such conclusions and accept them.
    This seems very vague to me. I would be interesting to hear an example of this Law of Probability, and more on this vague concept of interconnection of 'feelings' and mind. I can't really comment unless I have a good understanding of what you're saying. Are you saying that I am somehow connected by mind or feelings to someone in Ethiopia, and if so, do we have some kind of effect on each other or something??? What does it all mean. Could you define the UM for me? What is the nature of this UM?
    I will post an article on the UM tomorrow.

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    I have just posted the Universal Mind. See it
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Are you saying mankind would have not developed without religion?
    No that is not what I was saying.



    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Why would anyone use Communism, a failed cult ideology, almost identical to current organized religions?
    Communism like America was a great experiment, but yes one that failed. Which of these two shall the experiment of Q be like? Completely unrealistic ridgid ideology based on a total incomprehension of the nature of man and society, pretentions of being scientific but really just reactionary and filled with hatred -- yes I know which one that resembles.



    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Are you saying mankind would have not developed without religion?
    No. But I will say it now. Mankind would not exist without religion. Mankind cannot exist without religion. You are, in fact, an excellent example of this.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Not sure why, but I sense I'm dealing with someone who's already got a closed mind to the subject already, but whatever...
    No, this is not the case. Perhaps I can clarify. . . .and if you are to accuse me of having a closed mind perhaps you can cite some examples so I can at least clear up any misunderstandings. . . instead of jumping to conclusions. This way your statement means something to those who are reading. . .in the least, me.
    What's is faith? What is the nature of faith? What does faith mean? What are the answers to life, death, meaning? If there is faith, how is life effected by that faith? What are the aspects of faith in relation to its bearings on life? Where exactly does faith focus, and what is that focus? How do you determine the source, so as to determine the differential between your faith and that source? What part (if any) does religion play in faith?
    Perhaps I misunderstood the definition of faith you were using. I recently posted about faith in the philosophy section, so you can see where I am coming from by that post, and maybe give me some feedback. Perhaps you were meaning faith as in "someone's faith", or, religion. In that case yes, all the questions you mentioned would be explored, and I imagine we could make a debate out of each one.
    Did I say religion was in charge of something? Not sure where I did. I think I used words like "can" and "tool," but whatever.
    No, you may not have mentioned it. . . what is your point??? It was simply a question I asked, and I believe it is quite appropriate given the discussion. When we are discussing the purpose of religion it would make sense to ask just which questions is religion most qualified to answer, and whether religion does a good job of suffiently answering any of the questions. And what is this "whatever" business. . . I mean, is this the rhetoric you use to bolster your point or something? I take it as you being smug and rude, which I find quite distasteful.
    Where do we get our morals from? Our family? The State? The Ethics Committee? Where exactly do the morals of our society come from?
    Yes, that was my question. The only point I was trying to make was that they weren't coming from the Bible, because if we can pick and choose what to accept in the Bible then it is obvious that we have some independent criteria with which we have done the choosing. So to accept something in the Bible as immoral (killing people. . .ect) we are invoking those other morals, and to accept something is to reinforce something we already knew was acceptable or positive.
    Not everyone believes that the Bible is the only thing to read. Oddly enough, it's when people shut out all other aspects of life, that religious texts have the greatest ability to influence a person, good or bad. This is one reason why my whole life isn't devoted to religion, and also why I don't follow any one particular religion. Individually you have a greater risk of getting only one facet of a larger picture.
    I understand that you are promoting the taking of morals and influences from a number of sources. . . I agree. . . this makes someone less likely to think in a restricted manner.
    I had a religious upbringing, and so far I neither have, nor have the intention to, kill anyone, own a slave, or strap a bomb to my back. I haven't called anyone infidel, I've tried my best to always view things evenly, and I have never come thumping the Bible telling people what's what because of some text alone. I've seen the value of religion, though I do not claim to be a part of any particular sect of it. Moreover, I'm not alone.
    Are you saying that I am implying that all religious morals teach people to do those bad things??? Certainly some do, but I simply said that they were absolutist in nature, because it is declared by the authority of GOD that such and such is good or bad, and that religion has yet to put out a consistent, coherent piece on morals. That preachers choose bits and pieces to talk about on Sunday is fine, that sounds terrific, but one only has to look a little deeper, or read some of the religious texts to find the contradictions and absurdities. Religion also, by its nature, makes it possible to form a logical path to horrific actions. When God is of the most importance, and one interprets God as having said "kill some infidels", then it follows that to kill infidels is morally acceptable. Try finding a logical path like that from something like secular humanism.
    As a whole, taking the good along with the bad? Or just the parts that were added, removed, changed, and otherwise altered according to world situations or misinterpretations? Do we sum up the tiny little one-liner subject of religion based on some dumb parts? Or do we take all religions, label them as exactly the same, with the exact same content, and under the guarantee that they are preached by the exact same people, with the exact same dispositions, and judge them then?

    When you say "religion just isn't very sensible" what are you referring to, that is universal across all religions and religious-people?

    And, sensible compared to what?
    Religions are not exactly the same, but in spite of their great differences they have many ubiquitous similarities, like the fact that they are almost all businesses built on superstitious, unfounded and antiquated beliefs. Sensibility is built by critical thinking, reason, logic, evidence. . .ect, something most religions seem to be uncomfortable with. Religion isn't about a forum for discussion, it is someone (or a holy text) preaching the truth, and it is absolute because it was set forth by a supernatural, omnipotent creator God. There are always moral, and sometimes sensible people within religions, but as a whole religions are not sensible, and by its nature, the people that follow the religions are at least rejecting reason, logic, evidence. . . in some aspect of their life (i.e. they submit to supernaturalism and other religious fanciful ideas).
    Good point. And after we abolish all governments, human emotions, creativity, business, and everything else that has ever applied a taint to humanity, we'll be better off.

    Get started. I'm in a hurry, and I can't wait for that utopia to arrive. I want to look out my window and know that the world is better, as every social figure and leader is branded a certified and qualified representative, every citizen is equal because they have the exact same thoughts and situations as everyone else. Anyone with differing ideas will be immediately stamped out. I want to see the rules, that all humanity has agreed on equally, engraved on the pillars of society. The rules will be glorious, as they will be the answer to everything, hold all truth, and the rules will free humanity from the need to think, and the burden of curiosity.

    Whew, getting all excited...

    I think we can start with this forum. There's been some bad ideas in here. Evil. The lot of it. Admins, close the forum.

    I think our next target should be schools...they've never been consistent in their teachings. Down with schools!

    Should we go after the governments of the world next? There's been more than a fair share of bad apples in that group! Okay, yeah, we get rid of any group that attempts to form some sort of organization around influencing humanity based on an ideal.

    Crap, guess we're nixed too. Darn, I was really hoping for that utopia...

    </sarcasm>
    I understand you were trying to make a point with this very long bit of caustic sarcasm. However, I don't think it is worth responding to. . . maybe if you dropped the sarcasm a little and tried some reasonable (non-obnoxious) arguments. I don't think that straight sarcasm is necessarily a way to base an argument, and it doesn't really accomplish a whole lot. I mean come on, two hundred and fifty words of sarcasm, that is an emotional response, not a reasonable one. Or maybe (as it may be reasonable for me to conclude), you were simply trying to offend. . .good job. . . I appreciate that. (there's your well applied sarcasm )
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  60. #59  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Yes, that was my question. The only point I was trying to make was that they weren't coming from the Bible, because if we can pick and choose what to accept in the Bible then it is obvious that we have some independent criteria with which we have done the choosing. So to accept something in the Bible as immoral (killing people. . .ect) we are invoking those other morals, and to accept something is to reinforce something we already knew was acceptable or positive.
    Well, they do and they don't. Alone, the Bible (or any religious text) is not adequate as a first introduction. Instead, it's a guide. The first lessons in morality likely don't come from the Bible, but they can be reinforced in it. They can also be changed by it. When exploring one's faith, through the glass of religion, one might ask "well what does God think I should be like? What kind of person does God want me to be?" You won't get those answers elsewhere. At the same time, a person's first experiences in the subject of morality are probably very basic, and the Bible can be used to explore more complex themes. In a really bad analogy, it's like putting an English dictionary in a baby's hands and expecting them to learn English. Without guidance, it's pretty easy to get screwed up. Then again, with the wrong guidance, you start asking people if they "wan' fies wif dat."

    Then there's also the issue of who's set of morality is right? How do you make the determination of whether your morality system is right, over someone else's?

    I'll be the first to admit, though, that the current state of the Bible is hardly easy to decipher. Even the modern English translations can be annoyingly light on details and sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    but one only has to look a little deeper, or read some of the religious texts to find the contradictions and absurdities.
    True, and how we should view those, and where they came from, is still an ongoing subject. Maybe you'll agree that the overall point of a text is greater than the sum of its individual bits? Or that, given the nature of the subject, the translator and teacher is the most fundamental aspect, and therefore the lesson conveyed is reliant on the "stability" of that person? If such is the case, then perhaps religion is not so much different from any other aspect or object in life, which can have multiple meanings or uses. Not to use a really bad cliche of debate, but is the gun the murderer, or the person? Does the hammer smash the thumb, or the idiot using the hammer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Religions are not exactly the same, but in spite of their great differences they have many ubiquitous similarities, like the fact that they are almost all businesses built on superstitious, unfounded and antiquated beliefs. Sensibility is built by critical thinking, reason, logic, evidence. . .ect, something most religions seem to be uncomfortable with. Religion isn't about a forum for discussion, it is someone (or a holy text) preaching the truth, and it is absolute because it was set forth by a supernatural, omnipotent creator God. There are always moral, and sometimes sensible people within religions, but as a whole religions are not sensible, and by its nature, the people that follow the religions are at least rejecting reason, logic, evidence. . . in some aspect of their life (i.e. they submit to supernaturalism and other religious fanciful ideas).
    Unfounded? What would constitute firm ground? An equation leading to God's door? A picture? A sound? A bolt of lightning on demand? We of logic and reason know that such expectations are absurd considering the subject.

    Superstitious? It looks different on the outside than it does on the inside, perhaps.

    Once again, is there no sensibility in something if it cannot be touched? Why are we so quick to disband something that, by its very nature, we may not even be capable of understanding?

    And what about sensibility anyway? I tend to believe that I have at least glimpsed faith, but I'm not religious. My reason and my logic tells me that God probably doesn't want me to spend the day regurgitating phrases that don't mean anything to me. Am I less worthy of God's love because I don't go to church? No. Because if I follow what I believe to be true, then God is always with me whether I am in a church or not, and he would rather hear ME, than another repeated statement from a book. Further, as I explore faith, and religions, I cannot see how the religious explain away science, nor can I see how science explains away faith. So, I continually use my reason and logic to figure out what the actual purpose and meaning COULD be, without violating the two things I feel are true (science, and faith).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    I understand you were trying to make a point with this very long bit of caustic sarcasm. However, I don't think it is worth responding to. . .
    Too late. :P

    From what I gathered, you were trying to say that if we find an aspect of humanity that has in itself detrimental aspects, we should abolish it. My point was that if we follow that line of logic, we can dispense with virtually everything known to humanity.

    Love, for instance, has had both good and bad effects on society throughout time. Yet we haven't abolished or attacked that yet. Why not?

    Governments, from dictatorships on through democracies, have had good and bad effects on society. Yet we haven't abolished or attacked people who follow or support governments. Why not?

    Get where I'm heading?

    I've seen many attacks on religion as a whole, and many of them I see as pure hypocrisy. How can such enmity and hate be directed towards one aspect of humanity, and not equally upon another that could easily fall under the same hammer if similarly judged?
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    Then there's also the issue of who's set of morality is right? How do you make the determination of whether your morality system is right, over someone else's?
    There will never be universal agreement with this. I guess there may be basic ideas that people may all feel are important, but when it really comes down to it people will always have different ideas with regards to morality.
    True, and how we should view those, and where they came from, is still an ongoing subject. Maybe you'll agree that the overall point of a text is greater than the sum of its individual bits? Or that, given the nature of the subject, the translator and teacher is the most fundamental aspect, and therefore the lesson conveyed is reliant on the "stability" of that person? If such is the case, then perhaps religion is not so much different from any other aspect or object in life, which can have multiple meanings or uses. Not to use a really bad cliche of debate, but is the gun the murderer, or the person? Does the hammer smash the thumb, or the idiot using the hammer?
    Yes, the overall point is probably greater than the individual bits. I don't know how when it comes to these religious texts that we will determine exactly what the overall point is. We may have an idea of what we want it to be, or what we think it should be, but who knows. Usually these texts are written, or at least translated/edited by numerous people who probably felt different about the different issues. So, then, the person who is teaching may have a great effect. . .yes. You are correct, this is a very big deal.
    Unfounded? What would constitute firm ground? An equation leading to God's door? A picture? A sound? A bolt of lightning on demand? We of logic and reason know that such expectations are absurd considering the subject.

    Superstitious? It looks different on the outside than it does on the inside, perhaps.

    Once again, is there no sensibility in something if it cannot be touched? Why are we so quick to disband something that, by its very nature, we may not even be capable of understanding?

    And what about sensibility anyway? I tend to believe that I have at least glimpsed faith, but I'm not religious. My reason and my logic tells me that God probably doesn't want me to spend the day regurgitating phrases that don't mean anything to me. Am I less worthy of God's love because I don't go to church? No. Because if I follow what I believe to be true, then God is always with me whether I am in a church or not, and he would rather hear ME, than another repeated statement from a book. Further, as I explore faith, and religions, I cannot see how the religious explain away science, nor can I see how science explains away faith. So, I continually use my reason and logic to figure out what the actual purpose and meaning COULD be, without violating the two things I feel are true (science, and faith).
    A firm ground would include positive, reasonable evidence for the existence of the creator. There is no sensibility in that which has no evidence. We are quick to disband that which we may not be capable of understanding because there is nothing there to understand in the first place. You say that you feel both science and faith are true. . .is this tantamount to saying that science and religion are both true? Is that to say that they are more or less two sides of the same coin, rather than clashing worldviews?
    From what I gathered, you were trying to say that if we find an aspect of humanity that has in itself detrimental aspects, we should abolish it. My point was that if we follow that line of logic, we can dispense with virtually everything known to humanity.

    Love, for instance, has had both good and bad effects on society throughout time. Yet we haven't abolished or attacked that yet. Why not?

    Governments, from dictatorships on through democracies, have had good and bad effects on society. Yet we haven't abolished or attacked people who follow or support governments. Why not?

    Get where I'm heading?

    I've seen many attacks on religion as a whole, and many of them I see as pure hypocrisy. How can such enmity and hate be directed towards one aspect of humanity, and not equally upon another that could easily fall under the same hammer if similarly judged?
    No, I am not saying we should abolish it because it simply because it has bad effects, if that were so, then your logic would certainly follow and we may as well abolish everything. I am saying we should abolish beliefs that have no reasonable, evidential basis. Unnecessary, superfluous ideas should not be kept around, because they are vacuous.
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  62. #61 Morality 
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    There seems to be a question raised here about morality.

    The bible is not the right source that teaches morality.

    To find out about which is the right morality, you have to look to Nature!

    Since the main function in Nature is the 'reproduction of life', than that means only one thing and that is the love between man and woman (human) or male and female in Nature.

    That is the only morality to follow.

    But in spite of this function, Nature also created 'death' with the natural diseases, poison plants and the predators.
    In the oceans and seas, there is wholesale 'post abortions' with the food chain (newborns and the others) to mantain some balance within the species.

    All the land predators commit 'post abortions' by consuming their offspring on occasions with the males as the most likely to do so.

    So amongst our human species, I believe fetal abortions should be legal because of the prevalence of post abortions in nature.

    So I endorse 'family planning', whether natural or artificial.

    Those are my views on religious morality.

    Cosmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Communism like America was a great experiment, but yes one that failed. Which of these two shall the experiment of Q be like? Completely unrealistic ridgid ideology based on a total incomprehension of the nature of man and society, pretentions of being scientific but really just reactionary and filled with hatred -- yes I know which one that resembles.
    You should. But your ridiculous and fallacious argument of communism and america are... well, it's really hard to tell where you're going with this one as it makes no sense. Pointless ramblings to change the subject perhaps.

    No. But I will say it now. Mankind would not exist without religion. Mankind cannot exist without religion. You are, in fact, an excellent example of this.
    Clearly, you're off your rocker or you're most certainly a deluded Christian to make such a ridiculous claim that mankind cannot exist without religion. We can't exist without, ignorance, lies, oppression and abuse. Too much. hehe

    For a self-proclaimed physicist, you sure know how to make coffee flow through ones nose.
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  64. #63 Re: Morality 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    There seems to be a question raised here about morality.
    Yes. While we are on this topic. Let me share some of my own conclusions on this topic.

    The argument from morality or ethics (for the existence of God) seems to be very popular among Christians and other religious groups. C. S. Lewis used a version of this argument in his book, "Mere Christianity". But I don't think this is valid. In fact, I don't even like implications.

    The English Franciscan friar, William of Ockham, who produced significant works on logic, physics, as well as theolgy -- famous for the methodological procedure known as Occam's Razor, posed the question, supposing that God is the source of our ethical principles, then where did He get them? Are these based on neccessary or objective truths that God is knowledgable about or are they just a product of God's own decisions. The latter supposition has become known as "Occamism" or "Nominalism" but which I also like to call "divine relativism".

    You see the problem is that the argument from morality requires this divine relativism, because if ethics are based on neccessary or objective truths then these like the laws of logic and mathematics are in principle discoverable, which means that the atheist is quite capable of coming up not only with some basis for moral principles but, in fact, is capable of coming up with the correct moral principles. Which I do believe even has Biblical support in Romans 2:14.

    The problem with divine relativism is that it renders claims like "God is good" completely meaningless. It may work for the indoctrinated Christian but for the Christian who is converted from a non-religious backgroud, it is quite ominous, like a moral blank check. You see unlike what a lot of deluded Christians might think, a great many non-religious people DO have moral and ethical standards, and the idea of trading their moral compass in for obedience alone is rather apalling - irresponsible even.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    To find out about which is the right morality, you have to look to Nature!

    Since the main function in Nature is the 'reproduction of life', than that means only one thing and that is the love between man and woman (human) or male and female in Nature.

    That is the only morality to follow.

    But in spite of this function, Nature also created 'death' with the natural diseases, poison plants and the predators.
    In the oceans and seas, there is wholesale 'post abortions' with the food chain (newborns and the others) to mantain some balance within the species.

    All the land predators commit 'post abortions' by consuming their offspring on occasions with the males as the most likely to do so.

    So amongst our human species, I believe fetal abortions should be legal because of the prevalence of post abortions in nature.

    So I endorse 'family planning', whether natural or artificial.
    See, this is a standard of sorts, for morality that did not require a belief in God, even if it is not what I would consider a very good one. But the point is, that it is certainly possible to construct a moral standard without a belief in God. AND in my experience MOST atheists have done a considerable better job than Cosmo here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mckain
    See, this is a standard of sorts, for morality that did not require a belief in God, even if it is not what I would consider a very good one. But the point is, that it is certainly possible to construct a moral standard without a belief in God. AND in my experience MOST atheists have done a considerable better job than Cosmo here.
    You are wrong. I do believe in GOD.

    Atheists do not believe in spirit, generally speaking.

    The god of humanities originated from human thoughts or interpretations of nature and the sky objects.
    So these are all human fabrications.

    Nature is not a human fabrication and is our greatest teacher because all the religions are based on the physical nature or the biological (creatures) lifeforms around them.

    So nature preceeded all human gods and thoughts.

    The animals do not need the bible or the popes to tell them what to do.

    Cosmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo

    The animals do not need the bible or the popes to tell them what to do.
    Theists require guidance, as they are unable to understand what the right thing is to do, so they turn to their so-called 'Golden Rules.'

    We are to wonder, in complete bewilderment, of course, how they manage to follow so many Golden Rules with so many variances that contradict each other. Instead, the build walls between them and have wars to decide who is right and who is wrong, sorry... who is "good" and who is "evil."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    You are wrong. I do believe in GOD.
    I may indeed be wrong about a great many things. But since I did not say that you do not believe in God, I could hardly be wrong about that now could I?

    Even if you identify nature as God this does not invalidate what I said because not everyone uses the word God for nature and for a great many people nature is just nature and the claim that nature is God did not play any part in your argument for a moral standard in your post.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    Atheists do not believe in spirit, generally speaking.
    I am not sure what you mean. Do you mean that this is the case for atheists that you have met? You know of course that this has nothing to do with the definition of atheism.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    The god of humanities originated from human thoughts or interpretations of nature and the sky objects.
    So these are all human fabrications.

    Nature is not a human fabrication and is our greatest teacher because all the religions are based on the physical nature or the biological (creatures) lifeforms around them.

    So nature preceeded all human gods and thoughts.

    The animals do not need the bible or the popes to tell them what to do.
    So you don't like being called an atheist. How about a naturalist? a humanist? a pantheist? a panentheist? or perhaps you just like "a believer in the Universal Mind"?
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    Rationalist,

    I am saying we should abolish beliefs that have no reasonable, evidential basis.
    How pray tell do you plan on abolishing peoples beliefs? Burn the books that contain them? Burn the people that spout them?



    mitchellmckain,

    Agree with you in regards to ethics and God. God either decided the moral norms himself, which makes him a tyrant, or God is following an objective moral code, which makes God not God.



    Cosmo,

    You appear to believe in a pantheist version of God. Nature is not a teacher. It is our interpretations of nature that teach us things. Nature just is.

    Generally atheists don't believe in Gods. Including pantheism and any other form of theism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip McWho
    Agree with you in regards to ethics and God. God either decided the moral norms himself, which makes him a tyrant, or God is following an objective moral code, which makes God not God.
    This is a rather peculiar statement. Particularly the part which says "makes God not God" and the reason is not because the question, "what make God, God?" is not a reasonable question but because you are presuming an answer to such a question in a statement which offers two alternatives about the nature of God. The result is a circularity that begs the question, and the logical conclusion of this statement would be that you believe in a God who is a tyrant. I am not sure if that is your intent but that would most certainly not be in any sort of agreement with my post at all. In the question, "what makes God, God?" the word "God" is both subject and predicate and so to answer this question you must first explain what this predicate means and then give the requirement that the question asks for.

    For example, a rather common simple minded approach is to say that the predicate means that the being who is called God must be obeyed. And a typical statement of requirement is that God created us. However, I do not believe that this typical simple minded approach is valid. I repudiate both predicate and requirement. I repudiate the predicate because I do not think our relationship with God is all about obedience. I repudiate the requirement because I do not think that being one's creator entitles one to obedience or to being called God. Mary Shelly's novel, "Frankenstein" is a rather eloquent illustration of this. Oh and the film "Blade Runner" addresses this question too. It is easy to think of many example of a similar nature.

    In my view the meaning of the predicate God, which best captures the universal religious meaning of what it means to call something God, is that the being called God is worthy of worship. And in my view the most fundamental requirement of such a predicate must be that God is the ultimate good, such that no righteous cause can properly stand against Him. In other words, any cause against God must be based on lies or misunderstandings that are no fault of His. It seems to be that only such a being could possible be worthy of worship.

    But perhaps you can see now why your statement does not hold up from my point of view. Saying that God follows a objective moral code rather than contradicting the requirement I have stated, actually affirms and uphold it. And this is why I reject of Occamism to affirm that the source of the ethical principles which God teaches is NOT a product of His decisions but are derived from necessary priciples of which He has knowledge.

    However to be frank, I don't think even the first part of your statement necessarily follows. Even if the ethical principles which God teaches are a product of His decisions, I don't think it follows that he is a tyrant, for suppose these decisions include things like the freedoms of religion and speech. This would hardly make Him a tyrant. No I stand by my claim that the real problem is that Occamism leaves us unable to see any meaning in calling God good, for this means there are no neccessary principles to even give such a description of God any meaning. But if God cannot meaningfully be called good that would fail the requirement for God to be God, in my view, meaning that I cannot think that such a God would be worthy of worship.
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    McKain:

    Since you portray yourself as being so knowledgeable, will you post your definition of the word 'god' and the word 'atheist'?

    Cosmo
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    Rationalist,

    Quote:
    I am saying we should abolish beliefs that have no reasonable, evidential basis.


    How pray tell do you plan on abolishing peoples beliefs? Burn the books that contain them? Burn the people that spout them?
    Flip McWho: Come on. I would hope you could at least think of something better than that. . . How about education? If we raise people's consciousness, and expect them to provide reasonable justification for their beliefs, we may encourage them to embrace a clear worldview that is free from absurdities that have no reasonable evidential basis. Nonsense like astrology, alchemy, and all sorts of mysticism simply cannot stand when in the face of reason and evidence and critical thought. I know that's a lofty goal, but that is beside the point. The point is that if we want people to be educated, critical thinking, reasonable skeptics we have to educate them. That is the only way I can think of. I don't like the implication that I would ever suggest that a form of censorship (or murder!) should be implemented.
    "I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."

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    mitchellmckain,

    I shall clarify my statement. When I use the term God I am often using it to refer to the God of the Abrahamic religions. A God that is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, perfectly good, worthy of worship and revealed in their respective scriptures. This Gods moral laws is thus given through the respective scriptures.

    Now, either this God created these moral laws or God did not. If God did create these moral laws then what were the reasons for its invention? Because it helps humans reach their potential? It leads to human happiness? To appease God? It appears clear to me that the moral code revealed in the Abrahamic scriptures exists largely in order to appease God. To boot, large swaths of these moral laws seem contrary to any other yardstick by which to measure the reason for Gods moral laws, such as human happiness, and instead only exist because it makes God pleased. This to me is what makes that God a tyrant. So the first part of my statement should instead run like:

    "[The Abrahamic God] either decided the moral norms himself, which makes him a tyrant [because as revealed they exist only to appease this God through abasing humans]"


    The second part of my statement:
    "or God is following an objective moral code, which makes God not God."

    God in the typical Abrahamic sense is understood as the creator of the moral code. So, for this God to be found using an objective moral code instead of one created by the Abrahamic God wouldn't make God, God in the typical Abrahamic way that I am using the word God to designate. So the second part should run as:
    "or [the Abrahamic God] is [instead] following an objective moral code, which makes [the Abrahamic God[, not [the Abrahamic God][because the Abrahamic God is found not to be worthy of worship and part of what makes the Abrahamic God the Abrahamic God is being worthy of worship].



    I agree with your reasoning that a God that does not create the moral laws would be a superior God, and be more worthy of the name God to one that did.











    Rationalist,

    Sometimes I get caught up in the semantics of a posters post rather than thinking what the poster may instead mean. For example I didn't take abolish to mean educate out of the populace (not that it will ever be total) beliefs with no reasonable/evidential basis. I usually associate the term abolish with a rather harsh methodology in enforcement. My apologies for considering you may be implying that form of censorship.
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    Cosmo,
    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    Since you portray yourself as being so knowledgeable, will you post your definition of the word 'god' and the word 'atheist'?
    First "atheist", my definition is: a person who says they do not believe in any God.

    Since I do not identify myself as an atheist, a definition of this on my part is simply a matter of categorizing people according to their beliefs and since my knowledge of what people believe is necessarily limited to what they say, this really must be defined according to the things that people say.

    Second "God": Actually I have just given my most fundamental definition in my post dealing with the question of "what makes God, God", where I explained that calling something God means that you deem it is worthy of worship and that the most important qualification is that this being represents the ultimate good. This serves the most important task of a definition to identify what one means by the word. The only thing to add to this is my personal theology, which is a description of those attributes which I think are applicable to the God I believe in.

    Accordingly, God is a self-existing (uncaused) infinitely (with no limitations) perfect intellegent personal being who is therefore omnipotent and omniscient within the limits of logic (both the obvious ones of which we are aware and others which we may not be aware). God being complete in Himself without any need of any kind is naturally and purely motivated by the desire to give of His infinite abundance to another and therefore He set out create other beings apart from Himself with which He could have a relationship and to which He could give without limit. First He created the angels who would act according to rules independent of His will, but these being designed by Him were limited by the very nature of their creation, and so God went a step further to create beings whose very existence was based upon rules operating independent of His will and this is the nature of the physical world which made it possible for God to create beings not by design but by relationship with living entities that participate in the process of their own creation. In this God create finite beings with infinite potentiality and which were suitable for an eternal relationship with Him in which He could give of Himself without limit.

    Thus God nurtured life in this world and raised up a creature who had the capacity for communication and He adopted two of these, Adam and Eve, to be a parent to them and to teach them that they were persons, and bringing to life the human mind, just as human parents have done with their children ever since. But because Adam and Eve refused to be responsible for their actions when they disobeyed God but instead sought to blame God, He removed Himself from their lives for their own good. The Bible tells this story and the continuing efforts of God in the role of teacher and parent, to help His children, human beings, realize the infinite potential within them. Finally He came to earth in human form, known by the name of Jesus, to reveal Himself most fully in a way that had the capacity, for those who are willing, to pierce the lies and delusions which inundate our lives, in order that we may have the kind of personal relationship which Adam and Eve had with Him, so that in this relationship God could more fully continue His parental role in helping us to grow in spirit and to receive (as we become ready to recieve them) the neverending gift that He has been waiting to give us.

    Furthermore, in identifying myself as Christian I accept the rulings of the fourth century eccumenical councils in defining what it means to be a Christian, and this includes among other things the doctrine of the Trinity.



    Quote Originally Posted by Flip McWho
    I agree with your reasoning that a God that does not create the moral laws would be a superior God, and be more worthy of the name God to one that did.
    Thanks, that does indeed clear up what you were trying to say immensely.
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    Mitchell:

    Sounds like you are a believer in the bible with some Greek mythology mixed in.

    Are you a Morman? I came to this conclusion from your location.

    First of all, the bible is an 'evil' book because of the evils it teaches

    The Romans kicked the Jews out of the holy land because they have insulted the woman of the world as sinners. They have since returned after being absent for milleniums.

    They (Romans) portray the woman as holy with their promotion of 'mother and child' that nature teaches.
    My psychological evaluation of this religious conflict. Their is another issue, but that is not that important.

    So the Romans promote a function of Nature that is the central issuie to the current conflict here in the US.
    I agree with this issue but do believe in limiting this population explosion that the bible, the popes, Islam and the Mormans are contributing to that is destructive to Nature and its habitats.

    FYI, the current dollar democracy that drives our economy is a big factor in this destruction as well. So from this point of view, the dollar is a surrogate god with the dogs as representatives.

    The subliminal psychology here is that 'fangs and claws (chauvinist lion)
    represents the capitalists waging war on 'HANDS' (apes as workers), that create the real tangible goods we have.

    This is the current way I see the problems in our US today from both an economic and religious point of view.

    I thought this might be of interest to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The only thing to add to this is my personal theology, which is a description of those attributes which I think are applicable to the God I believe in.
    Hence the problem. Why do you call yourself a Christian when you have your own personal agenda? You cherry pick whatever suits your fancy and discard the rest? You believe this about Christianity but not that?

    Is that why there are so many sects of Christianity? Kinda like so many flavors of ice cream or so many variety of viruses?

    Accordingly, God is a self-existing (uncaused) infinitely (with no limitations) perfect intellegent personal being who is therefore omnipotent and omniscient within the limits of logic (both the obvious ones of which we are aware and others which we may not be aware). God being complete in Himself without any need of any kind is naturally and purely motivated by the desire to give of His infinite abundance to another and therefore He set out create other beings apart from Himself with which He could have a relationship and to which He could give without limit. First He created the angels who would act according to rules independent of His will, but these being designed by Him were limited by the very nature of their creation, and so God went a step further to create beings whose very existence was based upon rules operating independent of His will and this is the nature of the physical world which made it possible for God to create beings not by design but by relationship with living entities that participate in the process of their own creation. In this God create finite beings with infinite potentiality and which were suitable for an eternal relationship with Him in which He could give of Himself without limit.

    Thus God nurtured life in this world and raised up a creature who had the capacity for communication and He adopted two of these, Adam and Eve, to be a parent to them and to teach them that they were persons, and bringing to life the human mind, just as human parents have done with their children ever since. But because Adam and Eve refused to be responsible for their actions when they disobeyed God but instead sought to blame God, He removed Himself from their lives for their own good. The Bible tells this story and the continuing efforts of God in the role of teacher and parent, to help His children, human beings, realize the infinite potential within them. Finally He came to earth in human form, known by the name of Jesus, to reveal Himself most fully in a way that had the capacity, for those who are willing, to pierce the lies and delusions which inundate our lives, in order that we may have the kind of personal relationship which Adam and Eve had with Him, so that in this relationship God could more fully continue His parental role in helping us to grow in spirit and to receive (as we become ready to recieve them) the neverending gift that He has been waiting to give us.
    You actually believe this? Seriously? No, really?

    Then, as a self-proclaimed teacher of physics, please describe the Law of Virgin Birth and the Theory of Resurrection? The Theory of Resurrection, imsc has recently been upgraded to include Zombification.

    Furthermore, in identifying myself as Christian I accept the rulings of the fourth century eccumenical councils in defining what it means to be a Christian, and this includes among other things the doctrine of the Trinity.
    And yet you single out what suits your agenda and ignore the rest, right? How does that identify you as a Christian?

    Could I take a single tenet of Christianity, make it my own, and identify myself as a Christian?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    Sounds like you are a believer in the bible with some Greek mythology mixed in.
    LOL There is a difference between Greek mythology and Greek philosophy. And even Greek philosophy is not a think to believe in but something to learn from, for the voices of Greek philosophy were legion. I do like Aristotle but despise Plato, and beside these where the Sophists, the Pythagoreans, the atomists, the skeptics, the Epicurians, the Stoics, and others. But also like the existentialism of Kierkegaard and Camus, and the pragmatism of Pierce.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    Are you a Morman? I came to this conclusion from your location.
    No and you would have known this if you had followed the sniping between me and Q. The Mormons are a pseudo-Christian new religion that has re-written the gospel and has made a Protestant immitation of the Catholic church.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    Mitchell:

    Sounds like you are a believer in the bible with some Greek mythology mixed in.

    Are you a Morman? I came to this conclusion from your location.
    Cosmo has you pegged, Mitchell.

    A Pseudo-Christian, perhaps?

    A Wannabe-Christian?

    A Semi-partial-piecemeal-sliced-portioned-Christian?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    LOL There is a difference between Greek mythology and Greek philosophy.
    Yes, but there is no difference between Greek mythology and Christian mythology. They are both mythologies.

    In fact, Christian mythology is based on earlier mythologies.

    No and you would have known this if you had followed the sniping between me and Q. The Mormons are a pseudo-Christian new religion that has re-written the gospel and has made a Protestant immitation of the Catholic church.
    Yes, and the distinctions between them can be equated to the distinctions between what you believe and what is espoused from Christianity.

    Can I get an Amen?
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    ...no reasonable, evidential basis.
    I love these kinds of statements. I really do. Probably because they're pointless, and in that, I wonder why they are even committed to a thread...

    Reasonable. Reasonable to WHO? To you? To me? For anyone who believes in God, believing in God is reasonable, and not believing is unreasonable. What is the basis for reason, since it is certainly not universal? And, to what amount does the concept of reason in one group, effect those who follow a different set of reason?

    Evidence. Just what evidence would you have if such a being as God existed? This isn't about a group of people looking for a toad in a jungle, or a chemical for better rubber. If we assume that God exists, it also follows that God is not like anything we experience around us. It is ludicrous to assume that such a being would be so evident as to leave the same physical tracks as the physical world. Do people honestly think that if God existed, that he would be some guy we could drive to and visit? By definition God is not a rock, an atom, a fungus, or whatever, so why must people insist on demanding the same sorts of results in their hunt for God, as when they're looking for something in the physical world?

    Why are so many so quick to judge something that doesn't obey the rules of this world, by the rules of this world?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Evidence. Just what evidence would you have if such a being as God existed? This isn't about a group of people looking for a toad in a jungle, or a chemical for better rubber. If we assume that God exists, it also follows that God is not like anything we experience around us. It is ludicrous to assume that such a being would be so evident as to leave the same physical tracks as the physical world. Do people honestly think that if God existed, that he would be some guy we could drive to and visit? By definition God is not a rock, an atom, a fungus, or whatever, so why must people insist on demanding the same sorts of results in their hunt for God, as when they're looking for something in the physical world?

    Why are so many so quick to judge something that doesn't obey the rules of this world, by the rules of this world?
    Because that is the way God wants it. He provides sufficient evidence for those who choose to believe but not so much evidence that anyone who chooses not to believe would feel compelled to believe anyway.


    Hows that for a typical Godidit explanation. LOL
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    If we assume that God exists, it also follows that God is not like anything we experience around us. It is ludicrous to assume that such a being would be so evident as to leave the same physical tracks as the physical world. Do people honestly think that if God existed, that he would be some guy we could drive to and visit? By definition God is not a rock, an atom, a fungus, or whatever, so why must people insist on demanding the same sorts of results in their hunt for God, as when they're looking for something in the physical world?
    I think you have it backwards. We will first look for the evidence, and then if we find it we will say that God exists. You want to assume his existence, then declare by fiat "well, we don't have to justify God the way we do everything else. He is excluded from that sort of thinking because he's not like those other physical things we're so used to." Isn't that so easy; a wonderful way of escaping criticism. Just say that they don't apply!!! Brilliant!
    Because that is the way God wants it. He provides sufficient evidence for those who choose to believe but not so much evidence that anyone who chooses not to believe would feel compelled to believe anyway.
    Wow, it's just so easy.
    Evidence. Just what evidence would you have if such a being as God existed? This isn't about a group of people looking for a toad in a jungle, or a chemical for better rubber. If we assume that God exists, it also follows that God is not like anything we experience around us. It is ludicrous to assume that such a being would be so evident as to leave the same physical tracks as the physical world. Do people honestly think that if God existed, that he would be some guy we could drive to and visit? By definition God is not a rock, an atom, a fungus, or whatever, so why must people insist on demanding the same sorts of results in their hunt for God, as when they're looking for something in the physical world?
    Wolf, I don't see why it is so ludicrous that God would leave physical tracks here on the earth. . . .HE CREATED IT!!! He is a supernatural, all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent ruler and creator of the universe, that supposedly interacts with people and events that occur in the world, and yet, he is so obscure. I think it is incredibly reasonable to think that he should leave some evidence of himself, unless he is purposely trying to hide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Wolf, I don't see why it is so ludicrous that God would leave physical tracks here on the earth. . . .HE CREATED IT!!! He is a supernatural, all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent ruler and creator of the universe, that supposedly interacts with people and events that occur in the world, and yet, he is so obscure. I think it is incredibly reasonable to think that he should leave some evidence of himself...
    Not ludicrous at all, He left His mark all around us - the evidence is everywhere. I see it clearly. It is like the evidence of love - if you don't believe in the love, the evidence isn't there. No this is not like science at all. The methodology of science defines what is physical, for it is a matter of mathematical law that is utterly impersonal and uncaring. But God is spirit and He gives us a choice. Therefore since you choose not believe, you are free to do so. In fact, God does not want you to believe in Him, because He knows that in your case, it is better that you do not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    ...unless he is purposely trying to hide.
    YES in a sense that is exactly what He is doing. He is hiding from those who it is better that they do not see. This is why I can see Him clearly and you do cannot. Does that make me better than you? No. Its not about that at all. It is about choice. You choose differently than I do. That is all.
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    Not ludicrous at all, He left His mark all around us - the evidence is everywhere. I see it clearly. It is like the evidence of love - if you don't believe in the love, the evidence isn't there. No this is not like science at all. The methodology of science defines what is physical, for it is a matter of mathematical law that is utterly impersonal and uncaring. But God is spirit and He gives us a choice. Therefore since you choose not believe, you are free to do so. In fact, God does not want you to believe in Him, because He knows that in your case, it is better that you do not.
    Testosterone, estrogen, oxycontin, dopamine, vasopressin. . . . yeah, I believe in love just fine, the evidence is all over. . . but apparently I don't share this spiritual, mystical, superfluous explanation for it. Just like I don't believe in the spiritual, supernaturalistic, superfluous concept of God that you have. And why is it better I don't believe in this God. . .would he not like my analyses of him? I would probably say he is evil if anything. Just look at the way life works. . . .the circle of life if you will. . . life sustains life by brutally killing other life and consuming life. It is a kill or be killed nature and a struggle just to survive. Like a big circle of death actually. If that's the best God can do then shame on it, and if that's what it likes. . . . shame on it. . . . .oh, but I forgot, it's my fault as a human. . . or maybe it was eve because she was deceived by a talking snake and ate some fruit off a tree. . . .get real. . . . but this was a bit of a tangent. Of course, you may not explain it like that; I'm not trying to misrepresent your position, just mentioning one of the explanations I've heard.
    YES in a sense that is exactly what He is doing. He is hiding from those who it is better that they do not see. This is why I can see Him clearly and you do cannot. Does that make me better than you? No. Its not about that at all. It is about choice. You choose differently than I do. That is all.
    It means you are better at using your imagination than I am. You can imagine all the evidence you want, and try to shield it from criticism by personalizing it, but that doesn't validate your position.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    And why is it better I don't believe in this God. . .would he not like my analyses of him? I would probably say he is evil if anything. Just look at the way life works. . . .the circle of life if you will. . . life sustains life by brutally killing other life and consuming life. It is a kill or be killed nature and a struggle just to survive. Like a big circle of death actually. If that's the best God can do then shame on it, and if that's what it likes. . . . shame on it.
    Yes, that is exactly it. If God is just going to be a scapegoat to blame everything on, then it is better that you do not believe, but instead take responsiblity for your own life, and make of it what you can.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    It means you are better at using your imagination than I am.
    That may be. In fact, if this is true, it is quite possible that this makes me the better scientist. For I can not only write down the mathematical solutions describing the electron orbitals of an atom, but I can imagine them as well. I can not only write down and maniplate the equations for the Lorentz transformation but I can also imagine a spaceship approaching the speed of light according to what they tell me.

    Just because I imagine that which you do not or cannot, does not mean that what I imagine is not real. But let us be clear that just because you call it my imagination, also does not make so. I call it perception, which is that faculty which takes the data of the senses and makes sense out of it. It is the process by which I perceive (call it imagination if you like) that there are other subjectively conscious persons out in the world that are like myself.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    You can imagine all the evidence you want, and try to shield it from criticism by personalizing it,
    But I do not sheild it from criticism. I am here exposing myself to your criticism, aren't I. I do not even deny the validy of your criticism. It is simply that your criticism is irrelevant to me. A philosopher can talk to till he is blue in the face arguing that my hand is not real but a figment of my imagination, and whether or not I can dispute his arguments or not is ultimately irrelevant, for he cannot change the fact that I see my hand and see it work, and therefore it real to me no matter how much this philosopher maligns it by calling it imaginary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    but that doesn't validate your position.
    Of course, for you it would not. Is that not what I just said in my previous post? It is a matter of choice, for the evidence that I see that God does exist and the evidence that you see that God does not, is simply not of a scientific nature, that it can compell either of us to acknowledge the evidence that the other person perceives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    A Pseudo-Christian, perhaps?

    A Wannabe-Christian?

    A Semi-partial-piecemeal-sliced-portioned-Christian?
    Tis' better than a marching automaton parotting the things he has heard said by those who do his thinking for him.
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    Yes, that is exactly it. If God is just going to be a scapegoat to blame everything on, then it is better that you do not believe, but instead take responsiblity for your own life, and make of it what you can.
    There is a difference between making someone a scapegoat and making someone take responsibility for their actions. If there was a God, and it blessed us with life within the circle of death, then it should be held responsible for forming life as such. The circle of death probably isn't something to be proud of. But worship away if you will.
    But I do not sheild it from criticism. I am here exposing myself to your criticism, aren't I. I do not even deny the validy of your criticism. It is simply that your criticism is irrelevant to me. A philosopher can talk to till he is blue in the face arguing that my hand is not real but a figment of my imagination, and whether or not I can dispute his arguments or not is ultimately irrelevant, for he cannot change the fact that I see my hand and see it work, and therefore it real to me no matter how much this philosopher maligns it by calling it imaginary.
    YOU MAKE MY POINT RIGHT HERE!!! Oh, no ones criticisms will ever mean anything because you believe it is real and that's that. Because you see it, and others just choose not to see it. . . and God likes it better that way. . . .it's real because you feel it. . . no amount of arguing is going to change your mind it seems, because you use this sort of ultimate argument from personal experience. This ultimate argument from subjectivity. And that is what I am talking about. You demonstrated it right there yourself! You use your personal experience argument, your argument from feelings, and you say that the criticisms are irrelevant. You just know it's real. Thank you for making that clear.

    You talk of all this evidence that you see, but I choose not to see. Just what evidence are you talking about? Why do you believe??? You just feel it or something. Do you think your perceptions are not open to criticism?! I haven't heard anything from you that couldn't be used to justify belief in the invisible pink unicorn. And I imagine your generic subjectivity argument only works for. . . the Christian God I suppose? How about Brahma, or Allah. You must have specific arguments that pinpoint your God as the correct and the others as. . . false? Or maybe we're all talking about the same God. . . .or maybe your God is only yours, and everyone else is talking about something completely seperate.????
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    If an omnipotent being/ God wanted me to know that it existed, then i would know but i dont know. Therefore, there either is no God or God would rather observe human existence rather than be a part of it or be acknowledged or worshipped by humans.
    So, i'm playing it the way God seems to want it, by NOT acknowledging God or worshipping God. When God wants to change my view he/she/it is more than welcome to change it but no human can. It isn't a smite against God it just seems to be fair, dont you think?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    You talk of all this evidence that you see, but I choose not to see.
    Wait a minute, I don't recall ever saying that I see evidence that you choose not to see. I said believing in God is a choice. I did not say that perception was a choice. However, it is a well known fact that belief alters perception. So I said that having chosen to believe in God, it is quite often the case that evidence of God is revealed to one in all of its overwhelming abundance everywhere around us.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Just what evidence are you talking about?
    Everything in my life, from the stars I see and the people I know, to the physics and philosophy I have studied. There is no end to it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Why do you believe??? You just feel it or something.
    I know it. I know it like I or anyone else knows anything. And this is not a matter of proof. Certainty is a lie that people tell to themselves and others. Uncertainty is the basic human condition. Faith is the basic means by which human beings manage to live their lives in the face of this unalterable fact. Faith is a mutifaceted response to uncertainty which includes choice, belief and action. It is by acting on the things we have faith in that make them knowledge. This role of faith is greater in some things than others, like in love for example. But faith ultimately plays a role in all knowledge even science.

    The faith is blind when it refuses to see inconsistencies and insists on acting on something which proves itself to be unhelpful or even harmful. Thus a healthy faith gives rise to knowledge which is provisional and willing to adjust to that which is learned in life. This is certainly a lesson which science has taken to heart.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Do you think your perceptions are not open to criticism?!
    My perceptions are open to my criticism in the process by which I determine what to believe. But no, neither you nor anyone else is invited to participate in that process or act like they have the authority to judge what my beliefs should be.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    I haven't heard anything from you that couldn't be used to justify belief in the invisible pink unicorn.
    If I saw myself surrounded by pink unicorns that no one else could see, doing things in the world that others explained by other means, then yes I would probably say the same thing about them. Would I be certifiable? Well that depends on whether the pink unicorns interfered with the effective living of my life in order to make me a danger to myself or others. If however the pink unicorns actually made my life more effective even if only by the delight and amusement they made me feel, then I think the answer is no. Sanity is more a matter of management and adustment to the requirement of life than about any uniformity of perception.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    And I imagine your generic subjectivity argument only works for. . . the Christian God I suppose? How about Brahma, or Allah. You must have specific arguments that pinpoint your God as the correct and the others as. . . false? Or maybe we're all talking about the same God. . . .or maybe your God is only yours, and everyone else is talking about something completely seperate.????
    You are missing the point. There is no argument here. There is only experience and perception. I don't have to make a rational argument that my hand exists, just as I don't have to make a rational argument that my mind exists. I know they exist. Whether you choose to believe that these things, which you cannot see, exist or not is up to you. In the case of my hand, you could take my word for it when I say that I have two hands, or you could conceivably try to get some evidence to back up my claim or like some other person on this forum you could just call me a liar. However, the only difference to me would be the amount of amusement I feel at your choice. But in the case of my mind or God, if it is not already apparent to you that these exist then I cannot imagine that I could produce any evidence that you would have to accept.

    I post a lot on apologetics.com shooting down the arguments for the existence of God, because I don't think any of them are valid. Of course you would not think those proofs are valid, because you don't believe God exists. But I do believe God exists, I just don't think that any of these proofs are valid. I cause these Christians the same consternation as I cause you because I get in their way of proving something they think can be proven. You are really no different than they are, for you cannot prove that God does not exist any more than they can prove that God does exist. The burden of proof is on the person that insists that other people agree with them, since I insist on no such thing, I have no such burden.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    If an omnipotent being/ God wanted me to know that it existed, then i would know but i dont know. Therefore, there either is no God or God would rather observe human existence rather than be a part of it or be acknowledged or worshipped by humans.
    So, i'm playing it the way God seems to want it, by NOT acknowledging God or worshipping God. When God wants to change my view he/she/it is more than welcome to change it but no human can. It isn't a smite against God it just seems to be fair, dont you think?
    I think you have got exactly the right idea.
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    However, it is a well known fact that belief alters perception. So I said that having chosen to believe in God, it is quite often the case that evidence of God is revealed to one in all of its overwhelming abundance everywhere around us.
    So I think I will believe in the invisible pink unicorn, then that belief will alter my perception, and, subsequently, I will be convinced of her existence with the overwhelming evidence I will see. Glad to hear it's like this. . .so we can all just believe whatever we want and it's all justified!
    Everything in my life, from the stars I see and the people I know, to the physics and philosophy I have studied. There is no end to it.
    I'd love to hear more.
    And this is not a matter of proof. Certainty is a lie that people tell to themselves and others. Uncertainty is the basic human condition.
    We certainly agree here.

    Faith is the basic means by which human beings manage to live their lives in the face of this unalterable fact. Faith is a mutifaceted response to uncertainty which includes choice, belief and action. It is by acting on the things we have faith in that make them knowledge. This role of faith is greater in some things than others, like in love for example. But faith ultimately plays a role in all knowledge even science.
    I'd like to see how you define faith.
    My perceptions are open to my criticism in the process by which I determine what to believe. But no, neither you nor anyone else is invited to participate in that process or act like they have the authority to judge what my beliefs should be.
    Let me quote myself. . . . "and try to shield it from criticism by personalizing it, but that doesn't validate your position." If you can't see what I mean by now then I don't know what to tell you.
    You know, I don't know why you come here to this forum and post in the religion section. You come in here with your two cents when you openly deny the ability of anyone to say anything about your beliefs. . .excuse me, anything that you will actually listen to or consider. You refrain from putting out any specific evidence for what you believe, and instead post this vague personal experience nonsense, then say we wouldn't understand anyway because it is all about you and what you are going to personally believe no matter what. This is a science forum. You are a scientist. However, it seems that you aren't very good at acting like it. You are great with language. Great at arguing. Great at evading and avoiding having to validate your position or offer a rational argument for it. . . I know, you don't have to. . . . fine. You come off as this perfectly reasoned individual, and I'm sure you are in most facets, but when it comes to religion you play by your own rules. Keep hiding with these tactics, and keep being vague and evasive. But then there is no sense in talking to you about it, and with such a close minded position it would probably be better you didn't engage others in discussion, as it is highly meaningless. . . . who's gonna make a point? Just you? You are going to believe what you want anyway. . . . So there's really no sense in talking to you about it all. (don't bother to point out that I am still talking to you about it, therefore, I have no sense, though it would be a nice retort)

    Again, If I set the rules like you, and used your same arguing techniques I could easily feel justified with believing in the invisible pink unicorn. You could almost make that belief look good. . . .really. . .guess that's a compliment, but then. . . . maybe not.

    I know you only care if your position is validated by you. . . . but that doesn't make your position valid. It seems you have the great capacity for compartmentalization in your mind. You act like a scientist in one aspect of your life, but then it comes to faith and spirituality and all that goes out the window?

    Could anyone, anyhow, ever convince you that God does not exist???
    "I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."

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    Mitchell, if you are so content with what you believe I don't see why you feel the need to post here in the religion section, or post at the apologetics forum. You feel like it's ok to criticize others beliefs using reason, while at the same time denying anyone's ability to criticize yours the same way. . . .there is something wrong with this picture.
    "I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    A Pseudo-Christian, perhaps?

    A Wannabe-Christian?

    A Semi-partial-piecemeal-sliced-portioned-Christian?
    Tis' better than a marching automaton parotting the things he has heard said by those who do his thinking for him.
    Like Sun Myung Moon, for example?

    As a self-proclaimed teacher of physics, you of all people should understand that one is able to reproduce experiments and witness the results themselves.

    And, why have you not yet explained the Law of Virgin Birth and the Theory of Resurrection? We await your sage explanations on these topics for which you must be an authority.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Like Sun Myung Moon, for example?
    Why do you keep talking of this moon guy, you a moonie or something? Are you a korean perhaps? That would explain a lot. They are all nuts. Kind of like of you. Those koreans think the world revolves around that little country of theirs. News flash: As far as I know nobody here cares about this wacko that thinks he's the second coming of Christ.



    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    As a self-proclaimed teacher of physics, you of all people should understand that one is able to reproduce experiments and witness the results themselves.
    You are so wierd. The only one proclaiming that I am a teacher of physics is you. Are you trying to be my publicist or something? I don't need one. And ..uh.. what experiements are you talking about?



    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    And, why have you not yet explained the Law of Virgin Birth and the Theory of Resurrection? We await your sage explanations on these topics for which you must be an authority.
    Never heard of them. Are these some new ideas of yours. Definitely not physics. I think you are a really confused person.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Faith is the basic means by which human beings manage to live their lives in the face of this unalterable fact. Faith is a mutifaceted response to uncertainty which includes choice, belief and action. It is by acting on the things we have faith in that make them knowledge. This role of faith is greater in some things than others, like in love for example. But faith ultimately plays a role in all knowledge even science.
    I'd like to see how you define faith.
    I just did, but if you insist that I repeat myself, oky doky (if this was verbal I would speak more slowly for you): Faith is a mutifaceted response to the reality of uncertainty which includes choice, belief and action.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    My perceptions are open to my criticism in the process by which I determine what to believe. But no, neither you nor anyone else is invited to participate in that process or act like they have the authority to judge what my beliefs should be.
    You come in here with your two cents when you openly deny the ability of anyone to say anything about your beliefs. . .excuse me, anything that you will actually listen to or consider.
    Huh? You ought to pay attention to what you do. Uh... you are saying things about my beliefs in all these posts you are writing in response to mine.

    What? You think I ought to be letting you tell me what to believe? What planet are you from? zombie world?

    I am sorry if you don't think I am giving your gems of wisdom the praise and adoration that you think they deserve, but oh well, that's life.

    ...And you don't have to read what I write. Nobody is forcing you.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    I know you only care if your position is validated by you. . . . but that doesn't make your position valid. It seems you have the great capacity for compartmentalization in your mind. You act like a scientist in one aspect of your life, but then it comes to faith and spirituality and all that goes out the window?
    Yeah unlike some people around here I know the difference between science and religion, and between the methods of science and the methods of rhetoric. You go ahead and pretend that everything you do is science, but the only person you are fooling is yourself.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Could anyone, anyhow, ever convince you that God does not exist???
    I doubt it. In fact, nothing special about my belief in God in that respect for the same goes for many topics. Generally the only one who can convince me of anything is me. I don't know what crowd you have been mixing in, but that is generally true of most intellegent people. They look at the evidence, ideas and arguments themselves, then think about it and then make up their own mind. I hope that you can use in your life too.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Mitchell, if you are so content with what you believe I don't see why you feel the need to post here in the religion section, or post at the apologetics forum.
    Just because I am not overwhelmed by your particular contribution does not mean that I am not learning a great deal from my discussions on the internet. I am constantly talking to my pastor about topics in philosophy and theology and he asks me, "did you learn that at seminary?" I say, "no, from discussions on the internet." Around 80% of what I learn comes from doing my own research to answer questions that arise. Thus for the remaining 20% I can offer thanks to all those people (some of whom are regular posters in this forum) in the various discussions that had something to say and made me aware of things that I had never understood before. I haven't kept track of who said what, but maybe I should.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    You feel like it's ok to criticize others beliefs using reason, while at the same time denying anyone's ability to criticize yours the same way. . . .there is something wrong with this picture.
    For the most part I criticize posts not beliefs, however...

    There are three kinds of beliefs:

    1. Beliefs about matters of fact, like what science says about a certain topic.

    2. Beliefs that are a matter of choice because there simply is no conclusive objective evidence on the matter.

    3. Beliefs about other people which are really just ignorant prejudices.

    My response to these three kinds of beliefs are very different:

    Type 1: I feel free to correct people on these beliefs when my expertise has a bearing. Otherwise I file this away for further investigation if my interest in it arises.

    Type 2: I love to hear these kinds of beliefs regardless of whether I share them for I rejoice in the diversity of man as a beautiful creation of God and exploring this practically infinite variety has a lot of the same kind of fascination for me as astronomy and biology.

    Type 3: I feel free to trash these types of beliefs with all the rhetoric, sarcasm, innuendo, and contempt that I can muster.

    As a result when I am criticized on my belefs of these kinds, my response is:

    Type 1: Grateful and apologetic for my mistake.

    Type 2: Mostly dismissive, for that is all the consideration that their opinions are really due.

    Type 3: Provided that the criticism can make it through my own thick skull and get past my automatic defenses and self-rationalizations, then I am truly and profoundly grateful for someone who has been a help to my own efforts to become the kind of person that I want to be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Like Sun Myung Moon, for example?
    Why do you keep talking of this moon guy, you a moonie or something?
    You were, before you took up Christianity.

    Did Moon ever make any moves on you?

    The only one proclaiming that I am a teacher of physics is you.
    It says so in your profile.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    And, why have you not yet explained the Law of Virgin Birth and the Theory of Resurrection? We await your sage explanations on these topics for which you must be an authority.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Never heard of them. Are these some new ideas of yours. Definitely not physics. I think you are a really confused person.
    These are hard core tenets of Christianity, which would not exist as a religion without them.

    How do you explain them, as a Christian and a physicist?
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    And, why have you not yet explained the Law of Virgin Birth and the Theory of Resurrection? We await your sage explanations on these topics for which you must be an authority.

    Never heard of them. Are these some new ideas of yours?
    These are hard core tenets of Christianity, which would not exist as a religion without them.
    This sounds like a belief system you once had. ... and "hard core" too? my my my.... how embarassing.



    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    You were, before you took up Christianity.
    What were you before you took up atheism? A fundamentalist or something like that? Haven't changed much, have you.



    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    It says so in your profile.
    Your profile says absolutely nothing. Is that what you are? I wouldn't ask except that you are making such a big deal about it, that I must wonder what that is all about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    I think you have it backwards. We will first look for the evidence, and then if we find it we will say that God exists. You want to assume his existence, then declare by fiat "well, we don't have to justify God the way we do everything else. He is excluded from that sort of thinking because he's not like those other physical things we're so used to." Isn't that so easy; a wonderful way of escaping criticism. Just say that they don't apply!!! Brilliant!
    That's not what I was getting at, at all.

    Why do we assume that we can deal with something that is a god, the same way as we deal with a rock or some animal? The scientific processes remain, but by definition we can't poke God with a thermometer, or pour some into a test tube, can we?

    The context of evidence changes. When people cry for evidence, they're often crying out for someone to bring them some physical chunk of God or whatnot. That isn't likely going to happen.

    There can still be a search for evidence, but we have to determine what that evidence will be. It's not going to be the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    Wolf, I don't see why it is so ludicrous that God would leave physical tracks here on the earth. . . .HE CREATED IT!!!
    Why does that necessarily mean there should be any physical remains left behind?

    It's a valid point, but it gets pretty deep.

    If you assume that God directly created everything on Earth, what kind of marks would a divine being leave behind? When you paint a picture or write a computer program, what evidence of the creator is left behind? If there's no signature of fingerprints, no comments or header captions, how do you know if the work was created by me, you, or anyone? What are the criteria for evidence?

    If you assume that God played a more indirect roll, such as designing the conditions of the universe and starting it into motion, with Earth and humanity being a byproduct of that initial construction, what evidence would there be? It could very well be that the evidence (if physical) is within the answer of what is life, or at the root of the subject of matter and particles. And that would be assuming that the evidence is still, somewhat, within the realm of the physical, as well as currently beyond our capabilities.

    There's also a third option. That being what if we, as humans, as the creations of God, simply do not have the power to detect the remnant evidence of God's creation of things? It's a valid possibility, although there are some among the community who believe such "failings" in humanity are impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    He is a supernatural, all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent ruler and creator of the universe, that supposedly interacts with people and events that occur in the world, and yet, he is so obscure.
    Funny you should mention that, because that is in fact one of the very questions the theist and religious try to explore. There have been a fair share of answers and dead ends, both good and bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist
    I think it is incredibly reasonable to think that he should leave some evidence of himself, unless he is purposely trying to hide.
    Why do you think any evidence should exist at all? Perhaps a god can work without the threat of contamination, or contamination the subject creation can detect?

    Or, if there is evidence, what is that evidence likely to be? We can probably rule out finding God's fingerprints or tissue samples laying around, so we have to look for a different kind of evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Not ludicrous at all, He left His mark all around us - the evidence is everywhere. I see it clearly. It is like the evidence of love - if you don't believe in the love, the evidence isn't there.
    Maybe so, but for some people, that's not enough. Myself included.

    If we take that viewpoint, then people are either born believers, or born non-believers, and there can be no change.

    But that is clearly not the case. People on both sides of the issue are actively switching. So what is happening? Barring those who are switching simply out of pressure or desire, what is the evidence and how is it conveyed? How do we exchange with it, study it, determine it, use it? What IS the evidence?

    Like you say, what is love in this same question? Apart from sexual and chemical responses, there still remains this aura of "love" that we can't explain. So why are people so readily able to ignore the subject of love, yet not the subject of God? Perhaps it is because, unlike love, the subject of god is broader reaching and determining. You can choose to ignore an aspect of your life, but you can't ignore the subject of your entire existence. Whether you believe or don't, it has a significant impact on your life as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    But God is spirit and He gives us a choice. Therefore since you choose not believe, you are free to do so. In fact, God does not want you to believe in Him, because He knows that in your case, it is better that you do not.
    And now we get into the subject of interpretation. What is the true nature of God? Is it as you say, or as someone else says?

    If it is as you say, then what is the evidence for God? What is the reason? Why would God accept such a take on things? What is the purpose of that neglect?

    If I write a bit of AI to run bots (NPCs) in a video game, what would be the point in giving them the ability to choose to play the game or not? And, consequently, what would I do with those who chose not to play? What is their worth? And why allow them to occur at all? It opens a lot of questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    YES in a sense that is exactly what He is doing. He is hiding from those who it is better that they do not see. This is why I can see Him clearly and you do cannot. Does that make me better than you? No. Its not about that at all. It is about choice. You choose differently than I do. That is all.
    This is more or less the opposite of my intentions on this subject. My belief is that, if God does exist, the evidence is either impossible for us as part of this world to find, or the evidence is something radically different from what we are normally accustomed to (thereby requiring different thinking). Hiding evidence is a bit unusual of an approach, not only for the reasons I stated above, but also because it would assume that God is actively altering the lives of people, based on their choices. By that, I mean, if someone chooses not to believe in God today, then by you statement, God removes all possibility for them to one day believe. The evidence, the existence of God, is removed for that person, and if removed, how can it come back?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Maybe so, but for some people, that's not enough. Myself included.

    If we take that viewpoint, then people are either born believers, or born non-believers, and there can be no change.
    What??? People are born the same. They choose differently. Since it is a matter of choice, they can change their mind.



    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Hiding evidence is a bit unusual of an approach, not only for the reasons I stated above, but also because it would assume that God is actively altering the lives of people, based on their choices. By that, I mean, if someone chooses not to believe in God today, then by you statement, God removes all possibility for them to one day believe. The evidence, the existence of God, is removed for that person, and if removed, how can it come back?
    I didn't say He was hiding any evidence, I said He is hiding from those who it is better that they do not see. And all this means is that He provides no objective evidence, so that those who choose will not see any evidence of His existence, for the only evidence is of a subjective nature. Thus Job and the religious man looks at the world and sees the work of God all around Him, but the atheist sees only impersonal forces. It is like looking at a painting and either seeing the character of the painter or seeing only different colors of paint. Perception relies on the operation of the mind and on thus upon our beliefs, for if the painting is not of anything we recognize then all we see is the colors. But the atheist can always look at the guy who says he sees the character of the painter in the painting and say that the guy is just making stuff up.
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    If God exists. And assuming from a scienfitic point of view that He is omnipotent, the notion that 'bad' things happen, is a relative standpoint on what we base as 'bad'. It may not be bad in the long term, short term or any other term. We against God assuming He exists and assuming He knows all, are very weak in our knowledge to judge what is right and what is wrong. That is like having to try and make MS OS1.0 run Call Of Duty 4, I don't think so. Does anyone understand what I mean?

    EDIT: The only thing we can understand is why some people might invent the notion of God and then can it be explained.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    I think there is no such thing as good or bad, only consequences.
    Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    What??? People are born the same. They choose differently. Since it is a matter of choice, they can change their mind.
    What is the evidence which causes them to change their minds?

    If there is no outward evidence, then all the evidence would be internal, and thus it could follow that people are either born a certain way, or they're not. So either I was born with the disposition to make the choice that I did, or there is a combination of internal intuition and external evidences that cause alterations in my choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I didn't say He was hiding any evidence, I said He is hiding from those who it is better that they do not see.
    Why? Why change the evidence at all?

    This is kinda like going to a supermarket and looking for ketchup. You go and look, but you don't see any, so you think the supermarket doesn't have any. The supermarket manager, detecting that you don't think the supermarket has any ketchup, runs and removes all the ketchup you may have overlooked, so that you won't find any ketchup.

    Wouldn't it be better to just leave the ketchup there, and have the person one day visit the supermarket and find the ketchup?

    Unless you're assuming that the presence of evidence is based on the position of the person's choice, and that that choice is unlinked to the evidence. At which point, what causes a person to switch between one choice or the other?

    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    The only thing we can understand is why some people might invent the notion of God and then can it be explained.
    What's interesting is the number of things that are taken for fact, that don't really have any foundation at all, and those that are taken as false, which stand no different.

    In history, I can create some works of writing, and have that as my only evidence that I existed at all, and I'll be considered to exist. Moreso, I can make someone up completely, like a pen-name, create this person and create writings by that person, and people will believe that person existed. And yet when it comes to religious texts, people are automatically already of the disposition towards falsity, even when the subject concerns the earthly.

    How do we know that half the people we consider to exist, actually did, when all we have as proof that they existed, are writings? Think of all the Greek historians that exist only as names and works of text. We believe they existed, yet except for some words on paper, we have no physical evidence that they existed at all.

    That's perhaps not evidence for the divine, but certainly a point for the existence of figures in religious texts whom, for no other reason than their lack of physical remains and only the existenece of written name alone, we consider false.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    I think there is no such thing as good or bad, only consequences.
    In the strict view of choices, probably not, but in the effectual sense, there are. It's how we determine the choices to make. Live, or die; they're both consequences, but if you're trying to determine what to do next, one may be bad and one may be good.
    Wolf
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