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Posted: 1/21/2002 9:20:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2002 9:24:37 AM EDT by ARlady]
after having read the plethora of religious-tinged topics posted recently, i've come to 2 conclusions. the first being that no side has made any progress in convincing anyone of anything, but both feel they are right. of course, i'm not surprised with this one. talk about stating the obvious. the second being that all sides rely on nothing more than faith for their opinion, despite what some would claim. i find it odd that non-believers ridicule believers (believers in any religious/supreme being) for relying on faith alone for a belief in God, yet feel that they are justified and extremely rational and logical in their faith (cuz that's what it is) that there isn't any God. i don't say this to stir things up, but it's always been funny to me to hear "there's no proof of God and you're silly (ridiculous) for relying on nothing but faith to believe in Him". yet the reality is that there's no proof (nope, not even a single shred of evidence) that a supreme being does NOT exist. so using same logic, aren't non-believers just as silly for relying on their faith (since that's all they have) that one doesn't exist? in case anyone is interested...being trained in the hard sciences for all of my academic career, my scientifically thinking mind has trouble with the idea of a supreme being, given that there [i]isn't[/i] any evidence of one. but knowing that a supreme being is bound to be beyond human comprehension, it doesn't seem all that odd to me we don't have proof one way or the other. i mean, who says we would recognize it as such anyway, if it were here. so we all make our choices to believe one way or the other, [i]and have faith that our choice is the right one[/i].
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 9:22:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 9:23:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer: I have complete faith that this is one topic that will never be settled.
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me too. but this adds a new dimension, doncha think? [;)]
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 9:26:56 AM EDT
[argue] Hi, my name is satcong. Can we agree to disagree?
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 9:29:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 9:35:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2002 9:38:08 AM EDT by ARlady]
Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1: ARlady, I refuse to argue this one way or the other, but I have a scientific bent to my mind also, and when I look around, especially in the outdoors, at the nearly infinite intricacy and balance of all things in our world, it is difficult to comprehend all of this happening "by accident" or through "random mutations." It sure seems to my finite mind that [i]something[/i] had to impart order of the magnitude demonstrated by all that surrounds us. I hope I someday settle these things in my mind. I am very, very gradually creeping back toward a devout belief in God. Nothing else makes sense to me.
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yeah, i can see that. but again, our measly little human comprehension would necessarily pale by comparison next to that of a supreme being. so who's to say that what we see as random and accidental isn't by HIS design? since we have no evidence of HIS existence, and therefore no inclination of HIS intentions, could it be that it only looks random and accidental to us? i guess i should say no inclination of his machinations, since some would say we do know what HE is thinking. to which i say we can't possibly know ALL that HE is thinking. and wham! we're still back to square one. fwiw, i think it's silly to debate the issue since there isn't a way to "prove" it. i think it's sillier that some seem to think their line of thinking is superior. satcong, i'm not so sure we really disagree.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 9:36:39 AM EDT
stated another way - The basic premise that those who don't beleive in God base their non-BELIEF on is that "My human mind cannot comprehend Him, therefore there cannot be a God." Talk about whacky - since a human can't understand God, therefore God doesn't exist????? Now THAT, my friend, is whacky. AT least as whacky as choosing to believe that God DOES exist. At LEAST as whacky. Prolly more so. My beef is NOT that people don't believe in God, but the arrogant, condescending attitude they spew as those who do. Granted, the theists may fire back at them sometimes, but I have SELDOM see the same condescending arrogance in my theist freinds that I see in SOME atheists round here. But like the Beer Assassin [:D] said, this one will never be settled. And even I am beginning to wonder of the value of engaging in these little tiffs.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 9:42:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2002 9:43:09 AM EDT by satcong]
One of my feeble attempts to joke,,,,[smoke]
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 9:44:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: But like the Beer Assassin [:D] said, this one will never be settled. And even I am beginning to wonder of the value of engaging in these little tiffs.
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I beg to differ.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 9:46:18 AM EDT
As "someone" just pointe out and then deleted their post, the question of God WILL ULTIMATELY be settled. I should have indicated that, it prolly won't be settled IN THIS FORUM. But it will be settled. Even the [devil]will eventually beleive and tremble.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 9:55:33 AM EDT
To put it simply, my beef is not with what people believe, but how they maintain themselves in the discussion. I agree with you, ARLady, in that the existence or non-existence of god is beyond proof. However, it's never been about that in these arguements. It *is* about whether people can agree or not, and what judgements are made about those we disagree with. I have simple rules: don't PREACH at me, and I might listen. Start the holy rollin', or the judgements and you've lost me. Act like a hypocrite, and I might start flaming you. Treat others and their ideas or beliefs with respect, and we'll get along great. I am open to, and learn the most from people who are secure and confident in their beliefs, and can articulate them without insisting I believe what they do. Now what are we going to argue about? [:D] Happy MLK day!
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:04:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ARlady: after having read the plethora of religious-tinged topics posted recently, i've come to 2 conclusions. the first being that no side has made any progress in convincing anyone of anything, but both feel they are right.
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I have never tried to convince anyone of anything. My goal isn't to change minds. I speak my own thoughts in the form of discussion. Convincing anyone, like I said isn't my intent.
the second being that all sides rely on nothing more than faith for their opinion, despite what some would claim. i find it odd that non-believers ridicule believers (believers in any religious/supreme being) for relying on faith alone for a belief in God, yet feel that they are justified and extremely rational and logical in their faith (cuz that's what it is) that there isn't any God. i don't say this to stir things up, but it's always been funny to me to hear "there's no proof of God and you're silly (ridiculous) for relying on nothing but faith to believe in Him".
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No, actually, a non-belief in "god" doesn't amount to "faith". It requires no more "faith" to not believe in a "god" than it does to not believe in the toothfairy, or Isis, or Oden, bigfoot or any other mythology. It's a matter of intelligent observation and the rejection of that which defies logic and proven facts about the world we live in. Sorry if you don't like hearing it characterized that way. I call it like I see it.
yet the reality is that there's no proof (nope, not even a single shred of evidence) that a supreme being does NOT exist. so using same logic, aren't non-believers just as silly for relying on their faith (since that's all they have) that one doesn't exist?
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When a claim of supernatural existance is suggested, it's not the job of the listener to prove it's existance. It's the job of those that claim a supernatural entity exists. Faith plays no role in my lack of belief of a "god". My lack of belief is based on first hand observations in relation to the claims made about the sort of "god" that they claim exists. Little if anything jives with the descriptions of the "god" they often believe in. Second, I base my lack of belief on the world of science and those that have devoted their lives to it for generations. If faith plays any role in what I believe or don't believe it is based on what has been proven to be factual, not emotional. Should we need "faith" to reject the assertions of a lunatic talking about whatever his/her mind creates? No we don't. We just need common sense. Though I don't believe that the "believers", for the most part are lunatics, I do believe that their claims of a "god" are outrageous, and certainly justify some sort of proof or fact when brought in to an intellectual arena. What other area would anyone, ever, suggest faith as a reasonable explanation for anything, particularly the supernatural. Did faith justify a fear of Thor is his day? Did faith justify a fear of witches in their day? No. Faith doesn't justify anything. It might make the faithful feel good, but doesn't prove or define anything logical.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:04:55 AM EDT
(cont.) Some here assert that it's "whacky" to think that since my human mind can not comprehend something, it doesn't exist. Wrong. There is a LOT of things that my/our minds can not comprehend....for now. Rather than rushing to the least likely scenario to explain those things, I am content with the process all humans have had to go through, and that is the logical examination of that which we do know to be true. Faith in the supernatural, in my opinion, is nothing more than emotional salve to address those painful grey areas that so many can not live without an explanation for.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:11:44 AM EDT
To shamelessly copy a previous response (my own): Rights are, much like money and government, an idea. They are a collective delusion, an agreed upon mental condition of the masses. Look back through history for the illustration of this. Abortion, gun rights, and even the [b]existence God[/b] are the same when it comes to this. Perhaps that's why we have so much fun (and so much anger) playing with them. Whenever the collective delusion loses its overwhelming majority in any society, that society is at risk. (Whatever happened to Baal, anyway?) The question is, will we figure it out peacefully, or will the SHTF? Judging from this forum, I think we'll "all agree to disagree" for right now, and remain peaceful. After all, we have the example of the middle-east, if we really need one, for what happens when the discussion becomes - um, "heated"? But I'm sure we'll keep dragging them out to play with, because it's so much fun!
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:13:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By M4: (cont.) Some here assert that it's "whacky" to think that since my human mind can not comprehend something, it doesn't exist. Wrong. There is a LOT of things that my/our minds can not comprehend....for now. Rather than rushing to the least likely scenario to explain those things, I am content with the process all humans have had to go through, and that is the logical examination of that which we do know to be true. Faith in the supernatural, in my opinion, is nothing more than emotional salve to address those painful grey areas that so many can not live without an explanation for.
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Problem is, by the time the human mind DOES figger it all, you and I will BOTH be dead. And if the theists are right, you'll have paid the ultimate price for your non-belief - ETERNITY separated from God in the palce of sufferring God has so designated as Hell. Personally, I ****DO NOT ***** want you to go there. And you're wrong. My beleif in god has NOTHING to do with emotional salve. You can choose to not beleive that, but I'm pretty sure I know me better than you do. The REAL emotional salve is in choosing to NOT beleive in what makes you uncomfortable. And trust me, certain aspects of the existence of God DO make me uncomfortable. They make ALL of us uncomfortable.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:17:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: Problem is, by the time the human mind DOES figger it all, you and I will BOTH be dead. And if the theists are right, you'll have paid the ultimate price for your non-belief - ETERNITY separated from God in the palce of sufferring God has so designated as Hell.
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No, that wouldn't be the "theists" being right, that would be the CHRISTIANS being right. In case you forgot, there ARE other theists around. But Christians who throw Pascal's Wager around ALWAYS seem to forget they aren't the only, nor the biggest religion in town.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:25:30 AM EDT
As a footnote..... I'm done with this subject for now. It's been fun, but really, it's like the 10th thread on a similar subject and it's like running around for hours in a small circle. I have no disrespect for those that choose to "believe", my mother, who I love more than anything is one of you. If my posts have come across as disrespectful, that was not my intent. Like I told ARLady in another thread, it's difficult and sometimes impossible to judge true intent and personal character when scrutinizing a text based, faceless world such as the net. I'd be willing to bet that if I were to meet some of you "believers" outside this "box", you'ld find me to be a very good person and likely a friend. Yup, even I have friends who are devout believers, and again, believe it or not, they really do like me despite my one way ticket to eternal torment.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:30:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: that wouldn't be the "theists" being right, that would be the CHRISTIANS being right. In case you forgot, there ARE other theists around. But Christians who throw Pascal's Wager around ALWAYS seem to forget they aren't the only, nor the biggest religion in town.
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If that be so, then it is the atheists that have created the problem. You see, when atheists decide to go on a God-bashing rant, almost without exception, the ONLY God they bash is the God of the Christians. They don't bash Ba-al, or Vishnu, or Buddha, or Ashteroth, or any other God. Just Jehovah. Accodingly, based on their actions, to me a theist is BY DEFINTION a beleiver in the so-called "Christian" God. You'll just have to forgive me for not giving a rats hind end about any other "god" out there. [}:D] Like I've said before, I invite EVERY other God out there, other than Jehovah the Almighty, to strike me dead. Bring it on, Vishnu, Buddha or whatever you are calling yourself these days. [}:D] Hit me with your best. [:D] Besides, scripturally, anything other than Jehovah is merely a manifestation of Satan. Accordingly, the only way you can be a theist is to believe in Jehovah. Semantics, semantic, RikWriter. [:D] But thanks for bringing it up.....[:D]
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:40:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: If that be so, then it is the atheists that have created the problem. You see, when atheists decide to go on a God-bashing rant, almost without exception, the ONLY God they bash is the God of the Christians. They don't bash Ba-al, or Vishnu, or Buddha, or Ashteroth, or any other God. Just Jehovah.
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No, Mark...that would be because we are living in a majority-Christian nation. If this were an Islamic nation, Islam would catch just as many barbs. Hey, if you want to debate the merits of Islam, we can do that too. I think very little of the Islamic religion...less than I do Christianity. BTW, Buddhism isn't necessarily a theistic religion. And I haven't heard of too many people still worshipping Ba'al or Ashteroth lately. Maybe you meant to say Ahura Mazda and Mithras...
Accodingly, based on their actions, to me a theist is BY DEFINTION a beleiver in the so-called "Christian" God.
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No, it is neither by my definition or any other real definition. It is simply your conceit.
You'll just have to forgive me for not giving a rats hind end about any other "god" out there.
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I can forgive you...but if you're wrong, when you die, Ahura Mazda will send you to the fiery pit...
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:52:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: I think very little of the Islamic religion...
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Well mark it down - the date and time. WE AGREE ON SOMETHING!!!!!!!!
I can forgive you...but if you're wrong, when you die, Ahura Mazda will send you to the fiery pit...
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Well, like I said, I wecome the Mazda god to try. As well as the Ford, Chevy, Nissan and Maserati god as well. [:D]
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:52:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer: I have complete faith that this is one topic that will never be settled.
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As I see it.....this only proves that there IS a GOD.......since so much time and boardspace is consumed......where we are supposed to be discussing....instuments of death..........[argue]
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 11:07:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: Well, like I said, I wecome the Mazda god to try. As well as the Ford, Chevy, Nissan and Maserati god as well. [:D]
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And somehow, your version of God has yet to throw the lightning my way...
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 11:10:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2002 11:11:34 AM EDT by The_Macallan]
If anyone actually posted anything different than what they already posted in other similar threads, I would probably join in [u]THIS[/u] conversation. But I haven't heard anything different, novel or particularly insightful in this thread. So I'll just stay out and not post.[^] [b]DOH!![/b][:(!]
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 11:41:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Originally Posted By garandman: Well, like I said, I wecome the Mazda god to try. As well as the Ford, Chevy, Nissan and Maserati god as well. [:D]
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And somehow, your version of God has yet to throw the lightning my way...
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Actually, He sent me to tell you of His love for you in sending His Son jesus Christ to die for your sins, and rise again. I've never really thought of myself as lightning, but....[:D]
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 11:44:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: [Actually, He sent me to tell you of His love for you in sending His Son jesus Christ to die for your sins, and rise again.
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Don't arrogate yourself. I have heard all this before, since the time I was born. All you do when you repeat it here is sound annoying.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 11:47:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Originally Posted By garandman: [Actually, He sent me to tell you of His love for you in sending His Son jesus Christ to die for your sins, and rise again.
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Don't arrogate yourself. I have heard all this before, since the time I was born. All you do when you repeat it here is sound annoying.
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Then you also know that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." And besides, I'm playing to a much larger audience that just one person. At least, that is what my e-mails are telling me. [:D]
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 11:51:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: And even I am beginning to wonder of the value of engaging in these little tiffs.
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I've decided to stay away. They are usually a loosing battle and a setup to try and make you and your beliefs look ignorant anyway, so why bother? I'm done.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 12:00:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: Then you also know that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."
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I know that's what your holy book says. For me, really reading the Bible with an open mind was what caused me to give up Christianity.
And besides, I'm playing to a much larger audience that just one person. At least, that is what my e-mails are telling me.
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I know, I know...the lurkers support you via email...old, old story.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 12:02:33 PM EDT
Words are cheap, and come easy to some. I would never consider someone ignorant if they are fairly consistent in their ideas, present themselves with some dignity, and treat others with respect. If they act like an ass, however, *nothing* they say will have any credibility- and they more they open their mouths, the more of a disservice they do to their cause.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 1:33:21 PM EDT
Just to reply to the point ARlady was making at the beginning of this thread...I disagree somewhat. I don't feel that I have any faith in anything supernatural. I don't "believe in" atheism...although I know there are atheists that do. I don't insist positively that there is no divine creator. I do say that I do not believe that a literal reading of the Bible or any other human-written holy book can be correct, for logical, scientific and historical reasons. However, if you want to say that certain passages are meant to be read allegorically, then I would say there is a possibility that any or all of these books could hold some truth. However, it all comes down to this: I see no reason why ANY of these various beliefs should govern my inner life. I see no reason why I should spend time praying to Jesus, Allah, Jaweh, Ahura Mazda, Vishnu or anyone else, for favors, forgiveness, whatever. I see no reason why I should waste time worrying about an afterlife that I don't even know exists, and have good reason to think doesn't. It comes down to this: yes, it would take faith to say unequivocally that no Supreme Being exists. It does NOT take faith, however, to simply say "I don't believe that any human religion has the truth about that Supreme Being, assuming it exists."
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 1:42:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: It does NOT take faith, however, to simply say "I don't believe that any human religion has the truth about that Supreme Being, assuming it exists."
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Actually, it does. IM notsohumble O. [:D] It takes faith in YOURSELF that your own human reasoning is (1) aware of sufficient data to make such a statement, and (2) your mind has sufficient capability to to process said data logically enuf to to issue the statement... "I don't believe that any human religion has the truth about that Supreme Being, assuming it exists." To say "I don't believe..." is in essence a belief system. Stated another way, to say "I don't believe we have sufficient knowledge to make a determination about God" is in reality a belief system unto itself. Which I beleive was ARLady's point.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 1:51:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: It takes faith in YOURSELF that your own human reasoning is (1) aware of sufficient data to make such a statement, and (2) your mind has sufficient capability to to process said data logically enuf to to issue the statement...
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I never said I had no faith in ANYTHING...I said early on in my post that I had no faith in anything SUPERNATURAL.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 3:17:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ARlady: after having read the plethora of religious-tinged topics posted recently, i've come to 2 conclusions. the first being that no side has made any progress in convincing anyone of anything, but both feel they are right. of course, i'm not surprised with this one. talk about stating the obvious. the second being that all sides rely on nothing more than faith for their opinion, despite what some would claim.
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I agree with you but when people come up with totally ignorant theories or are inconsistent I will point that out. You cannot change people’s opinions in this matter but you question their reasoning. -Velveeta
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 3:25:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: stated another way - The basic premise that those who don't beleive in God base their non-BELIEF on is that "My human mind cannot comprehend Him, therefore there cannot be a God." Talk about whacky - since a human can't understand God, therefore God doesn't exist?????
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But is that any different than the basic premise that some have “My human mind cannot comprehend how all this could be without a God, therefore there must be a God”? Since some human minds cannot comprehend the nonexistence of God there must be a God? Most (all?) cultures have developed religion. You argument works equally well to defend those religions as well. Does that mean their God(s) exist as well? -Velveeta
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 3:52:27 PM EDT
Garandman, Please correct me if I am misinterpreting your earlier posts on this thread but, are you saying that you believe only Christians will enjoy heaven?
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 4:07:31 PM EDT
velveeta, [i]thank you[/i] for keeping on topic. i'd have to agree with you on that "totally ingorant theory" thing. there's a middle road here than i didn't mention, but it's called blind faith. the kind of blind faith that by necessity excludes all other rational thought and logical, intelligent decision making. i've seen it on both sides, though probably more so from believers. i think it's the exhibition of this blind faith that starts the name calling and childish school yard behavior on these types of threads. for instance, we have the believer in the Christian God who denies anything that even remotely appears to contradict the words of the Bibel [i]without[/i] so much as even thinking about the topic and analyzing it himself. on the otherhand, we have the non-believers/atheists (two different beasts but similar enough for this point) who require proof of something before they even begin to judge its merits, let alone start to believe in it. forgetting that the very nature of a religious/supreme being wouldn't play by the rules of science and can't be minimalized down to that level.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 4:33:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ARlady: velveeta, [i]thank you[/i] for keeping on topic. i'd have to agree with you on that "totally ingorant theory" thing. there's a middle road here than i didn't mention, but it's called blind faith. the kind of blind faith that by necessity excludes all other rational thought and logical, intelligent decision making.
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I have a lot of respect and patience for someone who has blind faith in his or her religion. A person that has faith and truly believes in his or her religion does not have to try to prove scientifically that their faith is justified. They do not have to rationalize. I could have scientific proof in my hand that God does not exist. I know this proof to be correct and accurate, but if I have blind faith in my God that should not matter. If I have true faith I do not need the justification of scientific proof. I do not have to try to prove or rationalize my faith to anyone. I am not after trying to “win” by proving other people wrong. I am comfortable in that my belief is justified.
i've seen it on both sides, though probably more so from believers. i think it's the exhibition of this blind faith that starts the name calling and childish school yard behavior on these types of threads.
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I agree. The problem is that the people who claim to be faithful to their religion here are not representatives of all in their faith. I see them “gang-up” on people who do not believe with them and even support another of their faith with the only rationalization I can see is that they have both professed to be of the same faith. This behavior in itself seems to be counter to their professed faith.
for instance, we have the believer in the Christian God who denies anything that even remotely appears to contradict the words of the Bibel [i]without[/i] so much as even thinking about the topic and analyzing it himself.
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We also have at least one who professes that it is impossible to follow all of the teachings in the Bible so why bother. WTF? So you are a Christian who does not have to be faithful? But others should?
on the otherhand, we have the non-believers/atheists (two different beasts but similar enough for this point) who require proof of something before they even begin to judge its merits, let alone start to believe in it. forgetting that the very nature of a religious/supreme being wouldn't play by the rules of science and can't be minimalized down to that level.
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Yes, I agree totally with this. Through God all things are possible. That should work for both sides but it never will. -Velveeta
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 4:44:31 PM EDT
The degree of faith varies with the complexity of the belief system. If it were a simple matter of comparing "God exists" with "God doesn't exist", then both sides would be supporting a single, unprovable proposition. In reality, though, there are vanishingly few theists whose belief in the supernatural ends with "God exists". The usual pattern is for a long, long string of additional propositions to be attached to the first. Such as: 1) God exists. 2) God cares about what we do. 3) God loves us. 4) We have souls. 5) God will judge our souls after death. 6) We have a good idea of how God will judge. Et cetera. Many theists take it for granted that if God exists, then all of their other religious beliefs are also true. But the other beliefs do not follow logically; they are just more items of faith stacked atop the original one.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 5:13:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ARlady: after having read the plethora of religious-tinged topics posted recently, i've come to 2 conclusions. the first being that no side has made any progress in convincing anyone of anything, but both feel they are right. of course, i'm not surprised with this one. talk about stating the obvious. the second being that all sides rely on nothing more than faith for their opinion, despite what some would claim. i find it odd that non-believers ridicule believers (believers in any religious/supreme being) for relying on faith alone for a belief in God, yet feel that they are justified and extremely rational and logical in their faith (cuz that's what it is) that there isn't any God. i don't say this to stir things up, but it's always been funny to me to hear "there's no proof of God and you're silly (ridiculous) for relying on nothing but faith to believe in Him". yet the reality is that there's no proof (nope, not even a single shred of evidence) that a supreme being does NOT exist. so using same logic, aren't non-believers just as silly for relying on their faith (since that's all they have) that one doesn't exist? in case anyone is interested...being trained in the hard sciences for all of my academic career, my scientifically thinking mind has trouble with the idea of a supreme being, given that there [i]isn't[/i] any evidence of one. but knowing that a supreme being is bound to be beyond human comprehension, it doesn't seem all that odd to me we don't have proof one way or the other. i mean, who says we would recognize it as such anyway, if it were here. so we all make our choices to believe one way or the other, [i]and have faith that our choice is the right one[/i].
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ARLady, here's to you [beer] If your beauty is a mere shadow of your wisdom, I daresay the flowers of spring blush at your passing.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 4:28:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Renamed: The degree of faith varies with the complexity of the belief system. If it were a simple matter of comparing "God exists" with "God doesn't exist", then both sides would be supporting a single, unprovable proposition. In reality, though, there are vanishingly few theists whose belief in the supernatural ends with "God exists". The usual pattern is for a long, long string of additional propositions to be attached to the first. Such as: 1) God exists. 2) God cares about what we do. 3) God loves us. 4) We have souls. 5) God will judge our souls after death. 6) We have a good idea of how God will judge. Et cetera. Many theists take it for granted that if God exists, then all of their other religious beliefs are also true. But the other beliefs do not follow logically; they are just more items of faith stacked atop the original one.
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Renamed, these are all excellent points that I have never thought of before. I do not think this will be addressed on this board but you may be called stupid for making such a good point. I think we should look at WHY some people are religious. I believe some people are truly pious and believe in their religion but do not feel the need to force it upon other people (Well unless that is their religion!), of course you do not hear from them much. I also believe there is a group that is not religious because of their belief but to be part of some “gang” to intimidate and control other people. To feel better about themselves by joining a group that will finally accept them. It is not about the religion but about themselves. Have you ever been somewhere and a team just wins a big game? Have you ever seen a guy shoot his fat butt up out of his chair and scream “WE WON! WE WON! WE KICKED THEIR A$$!”? What do you mean YOU won? THEY won! All you have contributed to this victory is about 3 gallons of drool and stuffing your face with food for three hours. Try not to have a heart attack during your celebration dance fatty! I see that a lot here, except for gang colors or team jerseys they wear a cross. -Velveeta
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 5:08:52 AM EDT
I think we should look at WHY some people are religious.
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Before we do that, let's define "religion". Religion is ritualized devotion to a higher power to give life a transcendant meaning. One thing I've noticed is that while only a few religious people have a "holier than thou" attitude, they all feel that they have at least a fair shot at some sort of reward. I can't think of any folks who "keep the faith" while expecting to wind up in eternal hellfire. [;)]
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 5:51:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Renamed: Before we do that, let's define "religion". Religion is ritualized devotion to a higher power to give life a transcendant meaning.
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I agree with that. But theoretically it should not have to be a higher “power”. Theoretically it could be a lesser power that has nothing to offer but a good outlook on how to live your life. But it just never is, is it? [;)]
One thing I've noticed is that while only a few religious people have a "holier than thou" attitude, they all feel that they have at least a fair shot at some sort of reward. I can't think of any folks who "keep the faith" while expecting to wind up in eternal hellfire. [;)]
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Well Duh! I am not going to spend my whole life singing someone else’s praises and bossing people around if there is nothing in it for me! [;)] -Velveeta
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 5:56:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2002 5:58:02 AM EDT by The_Macallan]
Originally Posted By Renamed: The degree of faith varies with the complexity of the belief system. If it were a simple matter of comparing "God exists" with "God doesn't exist", then both sides would be supporting a single, unprovable proposition. In reality, though, there are vanishingly few theists whose belief in the supernatural ends with "God exists". The usual pattern is for a long, long string of additional propositions to be attached to the first. Such as: 1) God exists. 2) God cares about what we do. 3) God loves us. 4) We have souls. 5) God will judge our souls after death. 6) We have a good idea of how God will judge. Et cetera. Many theists take it for granted that if God exists, then all of their other religious beliefs are also true. But the other beliefs do not follow logically; they are just more items of faith stacked atop the original one.
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Interesting take on it [b]Renamed[/b]. But I think all the subsequent propositions you mention are necessary to "define" what God is when one says they believe in God. They are describing in more detail [u]what[/u] they believe in besides simply saying "God" and leaving it at that. To say "I believe (or disbelieve) in God" but can't tell you ANYTHING more about what "God" is other than I believe in "it" seems utterly illogical. Good post though, thanks. [b]Velveeta[/b], your comparison of armchair quarterbacks and Christians bearing their cross is quite a stretch and not at all accurate. In the Christian faith, Christians [u]ARE[/u] the team players on the field. You are [i]somewhat[/i] correct though in you statement that it's "not about the religion but about themselves". Christianity is a very [u]personal[/u] journey of faith to stay close to God. If the "religion" itself were the focus of Christian's lives, Christianity would be more like a cult. In a cult the "religion" itself is the most important aspect of the belief system, and members give up their own personal importance to sustain IT.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 6:31:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: To say "I believe (or disbelieve) in God" but can't tell you ANYTHING more about what "God" is other than I believe in "it" seems utterly illogical.
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Actually it seems utterly logical to me...after all, God, if that being exists and created everything in this universe, must exist OUTSIDE this universe. And it stands to reason that something born in this universe (us), and unable to discern anything beyond our universe, could not possibly understand anything outside it. Even if there were proof positive that this universe were created (say the scenario from the book "Contact" where "God made this" was encoded into the formula for pi) that would not mean we knew ANYTHING about that creator. After all, there is speculation that at some point in the far future, humans might be able to create new universes by causing the collapse of black holes artificially. A closed universe is, by definition, a singularity, and since singularities occur inside every black hole, it is possible that inside each black hole is another universe. If that's true, it wouldn't take a supernatural being to create our universe, just some sufficiently advanced being from outside our own universe. Now that obviously wouldn't fit many people's mental image of God, but that's just the point...we CAN'T know anything about God. We can believe that the creator gave us word of himself in one or another holy book, but that is not a matter of proof, it's a matter of faith. And if one isn't disposed to have faith in anything without some sort of evidence to back it up, it might make perfect sense to say "I believe there's a God" while simultaneously saying "I have no idea what that being is like."
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 6:59:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: Interesting take on it [b]Renamed[/b]. But I think all the subsequent propositions you mention are necessary to "define" what God is when one says they believe in God. They are describing in more detail [u]what[/u] they believe in besides simply saying "God" and leaving it at that. To say "I believe (or disbelieve) in God" but can't tell you ANYTHING more about what "God" is other than I believe in "it" seems utterly illogical.
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It does not matter if it is logical or illogical it is belief that counts. That is where the “faith” comes from. I do not think the points made by Renamed are necessary to define what God is. God is God no matter what you believe him to want from us or even if he notices us. I assume that God is much more complex than anything we could emote. To me it might be worse than an amoeba trying to describe humans. It may be just plain beyond our ability.
Good post though, thanks. [b]Velveeta[/b], your comparison of armchair quarterbacks and Christians bearing their cross is quite a stretch and not at all accurate. In the Christian faith, Christians [u]ARE[/u] the team players on the field.
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But where in the bible does it say that it is a competition? It says to spread the word of God, not to beat people into submission with it or tell them how to live their lives. If God wanted that he would not give us free will. I do think that in some cases the gang analogy holds up well.
You are [i]somewhat[/i] correct though in you statement that it's "not about the religion but about themselves". Christianity is a very [u]personal[/u] journey of faith to stay close to God.
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I agree, but it is rarely kept personal.
If the "religion" itself were the focus of Christian's lives, Christianity would be more like a cult. In a cult the "religion" itself is the most important aspect of the belief system, and members give up their own personal importance to sustain IT.
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I am not sure that is the case. Some die for their beliefs and some are killed for their beliefs it seems no matter what the religion. David Koresh was a Christian, were the Branch Davidians(sp?) a Cult? At one time even Christians would have been considered a cult by your definition because they did hold the religion above themselves. They were persecuted and killed and risked everything for their religion. Of course it is not necessary now and they are not generally considered a cult. -Velveeta
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 8:10:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2002 8:11:02 AM EDT by BenDover]
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Link Posted: 1/22/2002 8:21:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2002 8:22:28 AM EDT by Nekkid80]
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Link Posted: 1/22/2002 8:54:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: To say "I believe (or disbelieve) in God" but can't tell you ANYTHING more about what "God" is other than I believe in "it" seems utterly illogical.
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Actually it seems utterly logical to me...after all, God, if that being exists and created everything in this universe, must exist OUTSIDE this universe. And it stands to reason that something born in this universe (us), and unable to discern anything beyond our universe, could not possibly understand anything outside it. Even if there were proof positive that this universe were created (say the scenario from the book "Contact" where "God made this" was encoded into the formula for pi) that would not mean we knew ANYTHING about that creator.
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the answer to that, of course, at least for Christianity, is that God has told us what He is. you're right in that as humans we cannot inherently know what God is. yet Christians do know because God told them so. of course, i doubt that you would agree with this because you find it impossible to believe that the Bible is God's word. suffice it to say that you don't believe. but that doesn't make you right on the issue of whether or not the Bible is God's word. but belief in God (the Christian one) and in the Bible are both taken on faith, which is where you seem to have the problem, isn't it?
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 9:14:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ARlady: of course, i doubt that you would agree with this because you find it impossible to believe that the Bible is God's word. suffice it to say that you don't believe. but that doesn't make you right on the issue of whether or not the Bible is God's word. but belief in God (the Christian one) and in the Bible are both taken on faith, which is where you seem to have the problem, isn't it?
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I have no problem with faith...I simply have no faith in anything supernatural. I don't consider it a problem.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 9:33:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BenDover: [img]http://www.templeofblackjesus.com/othergraphics/black_jesus_speaks.gif[/img] [img]http://www.templeofblackjesus.com/othergraphics/useful_images/celestial_black_standing2.gif[/img] [url]http://www.templeofblackjesus.com[/url]
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Or you could take a bath with Jesus: [url]http://www.jesus.com[/url] -Velveeta
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 10:16:45 AM EDT
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