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Question time!

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by Taleswapper, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. JoeyArnold

    JoeyArnold Well-Known Member

    Some of the people here are overlooking the hypothetical question in if God wasn't real. My response is that if there is no God then I'd still choose to love thy neighbor as myself & I don't exactly need God (to tell me that, to care for others, for morality, etc) in order to live a good life. I mean, of course I need Christ, but hypothetically if there is no Christ then it means I did it all by myself without the help of Christ (hypothetically speaking) I have nothing to lose & I'm still helping people joyfully, abundantly, etc.

    A hypothesis is a stab towards a different perspective on things. It doesn't mean that there is no god but for the sake of arguing "What if there was no god?" Not everybody here answered that question. Instead they just went to the side to say "Of course God is real" confusing to take a step of faith into a different point of view. But the question is asking for an alternative. The question is asking you if morality has purpose apart from a deity.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
  2. GA777

    GA777 Newbie

    For example this is a misunderstanding of the bible. Jesus, who did all the good works said himself that God is the only one who is good (The Holy Father). God knows exactly that we may fall to sin a lot of times because he gave us a free will and we ~always think about our own benefit to that of God who we cannot see. That's why he sent his only son for us. To make it a lot easier by just loving Jesus and valuing his commandments. He looks at us every time because he loves us and cares a lot about us and wants to find the right ways to guide us when we fall. Jesus and the bible described him as a merciful and just GOD and these are the 2 most important references sent by God because they know GOD infinitely more than any of us may. And God isn't a monster without any emotion so he won't simply send most of us to hell after death. He wants all of us to be with him, and fortunately most people go there even though some my have done some seriously evil acts. I looked at the old testament, and analyzed it without referring to the bible but by referring to my own logic and had a bad picture of God like you did but that isn't true because the God of the bible has all the characteristics described by the bible and not by our interpretation. Jesus told us to call him "father" so we mean to God as his children. If you had your own children and really loved them, you'd always want to look after them to see what they are doing and to help them. God could have easily ignored us if he didn't love us and sought his own pleasure. If he judges, it doesn't mean that he is looking to judge, but maybe to help and because we seriously mean to him and he wants nothing but our happiness by going to live with him
    in heaven.

    The bible explained that no man can be sinless and that the best of us does lots of sins. And even if you killed 1 million Christian then repented and felt really sorry, you'd be forgiven. So everything you do can be forgiven as long as you ask for forgiveness (except for blaspheming the holy spirit maybe). And personally, I don't believe many will "burn in hell". And by that , I mean not more than 1000s who committed some unimaginable sins and led many people astray.

    And believe me, you can try every religion and you'll realize

    There problem is that you can't looking at a very complex life without thinking of a very intelligent designer. (How the body works, and its components and how it is made..) but people tend to ignore that to have fun in this life and to do what they please to (alcohol-sex-lust-greed-fame-gain money-show off....). I've seen that a few supposed atheists (Some who even had miracles happening: One who had a grandmother experiencing a Near Death Experience seeing heaven, Jesus etc.. ) but didn't want to become Christian to continue his lust. Many others always pointed that they don't even want to know if God exists because they want to live the life they are living now.

    I've convinced a few of praying, who prayed for the first few days and felt the presence of the holy spirit, then stopped praying and returned to their own ways of lust showing a great indifference for God. They want to sin without being reminded that someone is watching them wanting them to stop from having their own Earthly pleasure
  3. JoeyArnold

    JoeyArnold Well-Known Member

    The Bible says that believing in Christ will only feel illogical until you do it.
  4. Taleswapper

    Taleswapper Singing songs, righting wrongs, and kinging kongs.

    In Relationship
    I was thinking more along the lines of, what if God set the world in motion and let evolution take its course until He arrived at creatures capable of loving Him. So if God didn't create man Himself, he mustn't actually be a god?
    Is that a play on the half-shekel tax? ;)

    I know that Christians have a certain set of beliefs that are relatively unchanging, I just mean the faith itself is rather versatile since it accounts for many differences of opinion while still remaining the same faith. What are the "non-negotiables" you're referring to? Also, are you just referring to Evangelicals/Baptists here or all of Christians?
    Not entirely. I would like to believe in a kind and loving god who cares about me. But I can't decide to believe that against my own mind. It's not like flipping a switch. I'd need to be convinced for that to happen.
    I first heard them explained between Christians to understand why God would have anyone read such things. I don't think these verses offer much in the way of an argument for or against God's nature.
    I think I meant to ask if you, as a Christian, value the truth enough to risk your happiness, since it might potentially lead you away from God. I know you don't think it does, but I want to know if you value the truth to that extent in that hypothetical situation.
    I don't understand what you mean by special protection and rights. Are you saying they have equal rights as it is?
    I understand your position on upholding your morality, I think, but your question "Why not the Judeo-Christian view" just seems like you think the Biblical moral code should be upheld by the government. Wouldn't that be unfair to people who don't follow the Bible? It's a little dangerous to assume the Bible is true without examination by all affected by it, especially since it would then apply to non-Christians who don't believe in it.
    I said this before as well, but I think the examples I used were bad. I didn't want to make this an issue of abortion, but rather an issue of how to uphold Biblical morality. I was asking if it is God's will that we enact these punishments prescribed in the Bible today, and the answers I've gotten have been more than adequate.
    I also said I was an ex-Christian.
    You are projecting.
    As I said, I would like to believe, but it's not something I can decide for myself unless I am convinced.

    I have to go to work, I'll get to the rest of you guys later. Thanks again!
  5. GrayAngel

    GrayAngel Senior Member

    The Bible must be understood as a whole. If God breathed it, then He inspired every word of it, both OT and NT.

    All of the law is derived from the two greatest commandments: to love God and to love others as ourselves. This is why Jesus could perform miracles on the Sabbath Day, which was technically a violation of one of the Ten Commandments. It's also why Jesus said that hate is equal to murder, and why lustful looks are equal to idolatry. It's the heart that matters, not the act.

    Some of the laws are given to a specific society. For example:

    Exodus 21:20-21 - "Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property."

    Taken out of context, one can easily misinterpret this passage. But knowing knowing the Bible as a whole gives this insight. We know from elsewhere that slavery is not God's ideal for His children, but He wants all of them to be free. We also know from a parable that God will judge the master the same as he treats his slave, because we are all God's slaves/servants.

    This passage of Exodus was given to this society for the protection of slaves. It does not justify slave-beating, as we can see that similar rules apply for if one free man harms another free man. It does not suggest that slavery is good, but it was delivered to a society where it was a reality.

    What is does suggest is that the life of a slave is not worth less than the life of a free man. Killing a slave is murder. From the context of the passage, we also know that permanent injury to one's slave must be repaid with freedom. The debt of the slave for which they were enslaved is forgotten.

    What is this law's application for today? Nothing. We don't have slaves. But if we did, we would have to treat them as human beings, not like subhumans as our Western ancestors are guilty of reducing the black people to.

    Given that it is impossible to study the supernatural with the natural, this is a silly question. No one can prove whether God exists or not, unless God decides to prove Himself, which He has done for me on more than one occasion.

    See what I said about the law above. There are two laws. Every other law comes from those two laws. The greatest commandments have to do with the heart, and the other laws tell us how to act accordingly.

    I don't care one way or another towards the theory of evolution. It doesn't threaten my faith. I believe that the Genesis creation story was never meant to be a textbook on how the world came into being.

    It tells us that there is one God who created everything, as opposed to the Pagan beliefs that there was a god for water, a god for earth, a god for the moon, etc..

    Mankind was God's favorite creation. It was only after creating them that God said His creation was "very good." We were not an accident of evolution. If we did come from evolution, it was because God had intended for it to happen. The Bible teaches determinism and predestination, which means that everything that happens was intended to happen from the beginning. We even have reason to believe that the plagues on Egypt, and even the burning bush, could have been natural occurrences, leading inevitably from one to the next. This wouldn't mean that God wasn't involved, but just the opposite. It suggests that He fine-tuned the world from the start, knowing where every particle would end up, and He designed it all very intentionally.

    So in short, it doesn't matter to me. If we evolved, we were predetermined to come into existence.
  6. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral emiTfoecroForceofTime

    This might be possible and an interesting interpretation of God's rest on the seventh day.

    If I understand you correctly, I would find this to be true.

    However, If I go by what you said prior, it would seem as if you [would] say that God set evolution (this now becoming the creative power) in motion and waited (no longer played an active role in creation) until man (capable of loving God) was created (as a byproduct of evolution) to herald God's resumed participation in the affairs of evolution's creations.

    If this is the case, I would find this idea interesting, yet very problematic to the point of rejection.

    Oh, very nice catch!:) Have a good day! :wave:
  7. Taleswapper

    Taleswapper Singing songs, righting wrongs, and kinging kongs.

    In Relationship
    I think I understand what you are saying. Mostly I was wondering whether, if you were presented with this evidence, you would scrutinize it even if you thought it had a chance of seriously challenging your faith. From what you say I think the answer is yes. Again, I know you are a true believer and you would need some very compelling evidence, but I like that you would not ignore evidence even in that case.
    OK, to tell you the truth I was answering everything that had a question mark just so I could be sure to get everything. :)
    I think it's the best explanation we have to explain how the Universe behaves as it does on the macro scale. It does make conceptual sense that the Universe, if it expands, should have been much smaller in the past, and with the way we know spacetime to behave, it would make sense that if all matter and energy were pressed into a singularity, time would come to a stop, which explains quite a bit. It's not a perfect theory, nor does it answer all our questions, but it does seem to be at least mostly accurate.
    Just so we're clear, it's a scientific theory. I know some people (not necessarily you) think "theory" just means "idea" or "best guess," but in science it's actually a model that's been tried and tested, and found to be most likely true (i.e., the Theory of Gravity explains how gravity works, the Germ Theory of Disease explains that micro-organisms cause disease, etc.). So if serious evidence came along that disproved the Big Bang Theory, I would abandon it, as I think anyone should. Similarly if someone could actually show that another theory better explains the origin of the Universe, I would probably adopt that new theory.
    If a husband dies and leaves in his will everything he owns to his wife, his will will be carried out with relative certainty. In a civil union, it's more difficult for that to happen since they're not "married." There's a significantly higher chance that relatives can sue and have the court comply discount the will.
    There's an act, (I think it's called the Family Medical Leave Act) in the US would allow a husband or wife to take sick leave to care for their spouse, but in a civil union this right is denied, again, because they're not a family by the state's definition.
    Civil unions are also state-specific in the US. If a same-sex couple have a civil union in one state, and then decide to move to another, or another country, that state may not recognize the civil union at all or recognize it differently, creating an additional tax burden, among other things, legal confusion not least among them. With a marriage, this doesn't matter, even if they immigrate from another country, they will have all the rights afforded to them as a married couple.
    You mean like everything in the OT? ;)
    I've come to understand from this thread that exactly who God addresses is important in this situation. I mostly had a problem with these regulations because they just seemed silly for a god to command, but I think razeontherock's analogy about the ball game makes a little bit of sense. They still seem silly to me, but at least it's somewhat consistent.
    (snipped to the point I'm addressing, kept the context as best I could)
    I know this now, but I always worried so much about being judged as a kid or displeasing God that it just bothered the heck out of me. When I first started having doubts, I thought the doubts themselves were damning me to Hell to begin with because I've denied the Holy Spirit in my mind, which in keeping with the teachings of Jesus is tantamount to having denied Him outwardly as well.
    I'm aware now that this was probably in error. As I understand it, modern Christianity holds that God can and does forgive any sin if asked for forgiveness through Jesus.
    I think that disagrees with Matthew 7:13-14, but I don't know what denomination you ascribe to, so I don't know what your views are on the Bible itself.
    I'm not sure if this is true throughout Catholicism, but I was raised to believe that, rather than being forgiven for all my sins, the more major violations would be "burned off" in Purgatory.
    That is a very odd state to be in. But I wouldn't call these people atheists because they don't disbelieve, they're just indifferent Christians.
    Your grandfather who had a NDE, I don't think his wanting to continue his lust actually affected his belief. Maybe he didn't care enough about God to call himself a Christian, but as I've said before in this thread, I don't think belief is something that can be chosen, like flipping a switch. His belief in God would be contingent on whether he is convinced of His existence. Following God is a different matter.

    Suppose some supernatural evidence, then. It's just a hypothetical question; would you examine evidence if it challenged what you believe? Again, I'm asking if you would value a pursuit of truth over a pursuit of happiness here.

    I never thought of it that way. Very interesting, though unlikely.
    The idea that God used evolution as a tool to create man, or that God withdrew Himself from the process of creation, letting evolution take over, as such, until man came about?
  8. JoeyArnold

    JoeyArnold Well-Known Member

    If I found out that God was a sham then I'd leave God hanging & pursue the truth because joy or happiness doesn't exist in worshipping a god that isn't real. I would leave my idol statues behind when moving on with my life but I would still make room in my bags for the ten commandments & the golden rules & other nice things like that, etc., that are light enough to take with me on my journey to discover the truth as oppose to turning my brain off in a world of religion, of following whatever that the preacher says, etc.
  9. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral emiTfoecroForceofTime


    Your choice of the article 'a' here should really be replaced with 'the,' for the sake of accuracy and continuity to your idea; but my answer is, "Yes".

  10. salida

    salida Veteran

    Its ashame your getting different interpretations because there is a correct way to do this. The bible interprets itself.

    2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

    A Short Guide to
    Biblical Interpretation
    by Andrew S. Kulikovsky B.App.Sc (Hons)
    The Consequences of the Fall and the Depravity of Man According to the Letter to the Romans

    There is more to it than just letting people sin but its against the will of the people.
    Can you explain to me why this gay marriage thing is getting shoved down our throats? I don't shove the bible down your throats.
    70% Americans Oppose Gay Marriage, Poll Says | This is Marriage
  11. Taleswapper

    Taleswapper Singing songs, righting wrongs, and kinging kongs.

    In Relationship
    How does that bear out? Does 2 Peter 1:20 actually preclude there being multiple interpretations, or are some Christians just completely wrong when they give a different answer?

    The problem is that a big reason so many people don't like these activities is because it goes against their religious beliefs. So for these people, going against the will of their god goes against the will of the people.

    Who's shoving gay marriage down your throat? It's other people who want to get married, I don't think it has much at all to do with you. If two other people get divorced, are they trying to shove divorce down your throat?

    Also, I know that public opinion doesn't really matter as to whether something should or shouldn't be legal, but here's a more recent Gallup poll showing the majority of Americans support same-sex marriage: http://www.gallup.com/poll/147662/First-Time-Majority-Americans-Favor-Legal-Gay-Marriage.aspx
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  12. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    I would say the interpretation is not ALWAYS different. There are many differences, after all there are 20,000 Christian denominations! Not all of those are based upon a different interpretation of scripture, but many of them are.

    SOMETIMES atheists do this. There are Rules for Interpretation. These apply to ALL texts:
    Apologetics research resources on religious cults and sects - The Eight Rules of Bible Interpretation
    Apologetics research resources on religious cults and sects - Bible Interpretation

    Why do you say those need "additional interpretation"? Numbers 31:18 is simply the standard rules for warfare at the time. Now, is it something God commanded or is it something the Hebrews wanted to do and rationalized it by having God command it? Exodus 21:20-21 gives some of the rules for how to treat servants.

    I think you need, like most atheists need to do, to distinguish between Biblical literalists and Christians.

    And why do you think we haven't? If there is the faintest possibility that God is real, isn't it worth it to you to try to find out? :) Sauce for the goose.

    In a PM to me, you said: "I'm curious, what is your definition of "religion?" What you said about atheism can be applied to everything from the Theory of Gravity to not being sure if you put on matching socks this morning. There has to be more to it than that. Atheism is just a response to the question of God. I don't think a God exists, so I'm an atheist."

    First, I never said atheism was a "religion". I said it was a faith. There are some technical aspects to the definition of "religion" that atheism may not meet. That said, I also should add that, as the years go by, atheism is acquiring more and more of the characteristics of religion. It has its own dogma (more on that later), for instance. Also, if you go to www.worldofdawkins.com you will find an area of "testimonials" where people can provide testimony of how Richard Dawkins brought them to atheism. :) Wow. Talk about "religious"!

    Now, about that dogma. Look at what you said: " I don't think a God exists" Let's take this apart a little bit. What is the difference in this context between "think" and "believe"? And what is the difference between "I don't think a God exists" and "I believe a God does not exist"? That second is definitely a statement of faith. Which brings me back to dogma. A very central dogma of atheism for many (but not all) atheists is that atheism is not a faith. :)
  13. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

  14. GA777

    GA777 Newbie

    That's not what modern Christianity teaches but what the bible does

    He was talking about the road, which means the process, and not about heaven or hell which is the end point coming after the process. Of course he said that one road leads to life and the other to destruction, but that doesn't mean that they will go to the destruction or to life (Not sure if you understand my point). Those who find that road are Saints, very pure. I am not Catholic but have a ~certainty that Catholicism is the closest to the truth although no denomination has all its beliefs as true. And I know that God does that if you forgot some sins, but if you truly confess your sins, all your past sins confessed or not will be removed and they will never be remembered again not even in purgatory. But sinning after the confession, and maybe blaspheming the holy spirit may cause some time in purgatory I think and the more they are in numbers or severity, the longer the time will be spent there.

    It's not my grandfather but my friend's grandmother. ( my friend is an atheist)

    That doesn't seem so for you, but I'm 99% certain that this is the case for him because of his actions and words proving so. I won't go into details with this because it will go out of subject but trust me on this. I even had some conversations on the pc but I won't copy them of course.
  15. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    Some of the laws in the OT are in the context of the time. Human ability to understand morality and what is "moral" changes over time. It also changes with technology. For instance, up until 1850 it was moral to kill someone with a penetrating abdominal wound (like a gunshot). Why? Because peritonitis would invariably set in and the person would suffer a very painful, lingering death. Killing him/her quickly was mercy. Since the discovery of antibiotics, killing someone with a penetrating abdominal wound is immoral.

    The 10 Commandments transcend the context of the time and represent some basic morals.

    Absolutely important. The data for evolution is so strong that it is impossible to deny it. However, I see you also have the misconception: evolution = atheism. Listen carefully: EVOLUTION IS NOT ATHEISM. Instead, evolution is HOW God created. See the second quote in my signature.

    Creationism (and Intelligent Design) is an alternative HOW that God created. God, in His Creation, tells us that these alternative how's are wrong. God did not create that way.

    Now, creation of the universe is different from evolution. Evolution is about the diversity of living things. Originally, the Hebrews did not need God to create the universe in order to be God. They had already seen God create Israel "out of nothing". So they knew Yahweh as "Creator" -- creator of Israel. We are somewhat more demanding. So, no, one way to falsify God would be to show that God did not create the universe. That, to my knowledge, has not been done. Science has come up with several hypotheses for alternative creators of the universe besides God. See my thread:

    Thus, science remains agnostic.

    That's absolutely wrong. Have you ever heard of deductive logic or science? What science does ALL the time is "prove a practical negative" or disprove hypotheses. The only absolute statements in science are the negative ones:
    1. The earth is NOT flat. Proved the negative, didn't we?
    2. Proteins are NOT the hereditary material. (that was a hypothesis around 1900) Again, proved the negative.
    3. The sun and planets do NOT orbit earth. Again, proved the negative.

    So, it's not that we CANNOT prove a negative, it's just that we haven't been able to prove THIS negative. Which is part of what makes atheism a faith. It's also one of the reasons atheism can be so dangerous to science. In the interests of your faith, you are sabotaging the basis of science. You are saying that we can't do what science does every day.

    Let's make this very specific. Turok proposed a theory call "ekpyrotic" for the origin of our universe.
    C Seife, Big bangs's new rival debuts with a splash. Science 292: 189-190, Apr 13, 2001
    Dr. Neil Turok, Cambridge, A Cyclic Model of the Universe

    IF ekpyrotic is correct, then God is not Creator of the universe. As it turns out, ekpyrotic predicts different gravity waves than Big Bang. We don't have a gravity wave detector. Yet. When we do, then we'll see. But obviously, I have investigated it, as the references demonstrate.

    That is pretty crappy investigation on YOUR part. You really are going on faith, aren't you?

    What this would lead you to is: "I don't KNOW if God exists or not." But what you said is "I don't THINK God exists". What did you base that "think" on?

    Correct. Gay couples are not demanding that ministers marry them. Instead, marriage is a secular institution, as witness that justices of the peace can marry people.

    So you stopped believing because you had a mistaken idea of Christianity. Well, that fits your crappy record at investigation. At least you are consistent in your failure to investigate things.

    So this has nothing to do with "truth" or objctive reality, but on what you feel. Nice to know.

    There is a very big difference between deism and atheism. But, with your lack of investigation, I would guess you didn't find it.

    And THERE is the basic statement of faith of atheism: natural = without God. Tell me, what evidence did you have this is true?

    1. Did it ever occur to you to investigate how theists falsified other versions of deity? And why they think Judeo-Christianity is NOT falsified. Yeah, yeah, another bit of evidence of your inability to investigate.
    2. Define "valid". You see, that qualification lets you deny anything you don't want to believe. BTW, it's exactly what creationists do with evolution. They say there is no "valid" evidence for evolution or an old earth. It's also the excuse for people who deny the moon landings, that Obama was born in the US, and flat earthers. Congratulations on belonging to such a fine club!
  16. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    Ah, I see. I agree with you about the "versatility" of the Christian worldview. Its appeal is very wide-ranging spanning cultures, personalities, philosophies and times.

    The non-negotiables would be those things the Bible unequivocally declares to be central to the Christian worldview:

    1. The existence of a transcendent, personal, supremely powerful, all-knowing, and causeless Creator-God.
    2. The desire of God to be in direct relationship with His creatures.
    3. The holiness of God.
    4. The worthiness of God to receive our praise and worship.
    5. The Triune nature of God. (Father, Son, Holy Spirit.)
    6. The sinless God-man Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God, sent as the Redeemer of humanity from the death sentence of Sin, who accomplished our redemption through his blood sacrifice and death on a cross.
    7. The sole means of salvation being by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.
    8. The terrible jeopardy of eternal punishment in hell awaiting the unrepentant sinner who dies.
    9. The joy of an eternity in heaven awaiting those who have accepted Christ as their Saviour.
    10. The necessity of the Resurrection to the believer's salvation and sanctification.
    And so on.

    A Christian is literally a "little Christ" or a follower of Christ. Being a Christian isn't a function of one's denominational affiliation. There are plenty of people in every denomination who claim to be followers of Christ but who in reality are not. The standard for what does and doesn't constitute a Christian is found in the Bible. It is God's Word that identifies the marks of a genuine Christian, not the Pope or the President of the Southern Baptist Convention. So, when I refer to "Christians," I am not referring only to those within my denomination, or even within evangelical Christianity, but to those who meet the biblical criteria for being a follower of Christ.

    Really, I'm not sure. Quite frankly, I think atheism, if it is followed to its logical conclusion(s) is unliveable. It is because this is so, that I have yet to meet any atheist who lives in perfect consistency with what atheism actually means philosophically for those who hold to it. I don't think I would want to embrace the emptiness, futility, and meaninglessness of the existence that follows logically from atheism. I would do as all the atheists I know do, and insulate myself from the utter futility of living that atheism entails with comfortable, subjective illusions of meaning - in my case one that includes God. ;)

    As far as I'm aware, except for the right to marry, all the fundamental human rights I'm accorded in Canada are also accorded to any and all homosexuals. The right to marry is not extended to polygamists, or pedophiles who want to marry children, or people who want to marry their sibling or parent. Why should it be extended to homosexuals then? Since homosexuality is not congenital, homosexuals have no more grounds upon which to apply for the right to marry than any of these other aberrant examples.

    This can be turned around, can't it? Why should I be forced to adhere to a moral code that is not Judeo-Christian and may, in fact, run quite contrary to what I hold to be moral? If it's not fair to force my biblical ethics and morality on others, isn't it unfair to have unbiblical ethics and morality forced upon me?

  17. JoeyArnold

    JoeyArnold Well-Known Member

    Our desire for the existence & possibility of God is proof in & of itself.
  18. GrayAngel

    GrayAngel Senior Member

    I think Obama finally released his birth information to the public shortly after the execution of Bin Laden. I could be wrong, though.
  19. Taleswapper

    Taleswapper Singing songs, righting wrongs, and kinging kongs.

    In Relationship
    It was a bit of hyperbole on my part. Obviously, there must be a few Christians who have the same ideas about Scripture and God. I'm saying there's a lot of diversity, I would say more so than any other religion of which I'm aware.

    I've come to understand that lately in this thread. Thanks for the articles, though. Hopefully having a more centralized view on these rules will be more useful.
    I think I intended this question to apply to Biblical literalists, but I imagine Christians themselves must have to deal with such passages at some point or other, unless they believe that the Bible was at least slightly edited for other reasons.
    When I say "additional interpretation," I mean to invoke the standard by which Christians, when reading these passages (assuming they believe them to be indicative of God's nature), judge them to be not as straightforward as, say, the feeding of the multitude. I'm wondering if they are teasing apart the "good" passages, like the miracles of Jesus, from the "iffy" ones like many of the rules in Leviticus, using morals they've derived from elsewhere.
    It's a hypothetical question. To answer yours, my being here is a testament that it is worth it to me.
    It's a quibble, but you said the fact that atheists profess uncertainty puts atheism into the category of "religion" or "faith." Again, quibble, trivial, doesn'treallymatter.
    People being brought to atheism by some prominent figure does not bring it closer to a faith or religion. Tolkein brought me to high fantasy. Bill Nye brought me to science. Heck, Mr. T brought me to play WoW. This, in particular, cannot be said to be an aspect of religion so much as an aspect of any popular movement. Celebrities have a lot of reach, that's just the way the world works.
    I don't see the point you're trying to make. Why are you invoking "I believe a God does not exist," a statement I didn't make? To be clear, I lack a belief in God. I do not have positive belief that He does not exist, I just don't currently believe He does.
    Where does dogma enter the question? Are you saying many atheists dogmatically believe that they have no dogma?
    Also, an answer to the first question in this paragraph: "think" means the view I hold at the moment, "believe" was not given a context so I don't know in what sense you mean it. If you mean "belief" as in belief in God, then belief is simply whether I assert God exists. (The second question is answered below, in my reply to your next post)

    From the bottom of the article:
    The article is based in Princeton, NJ. Not the poll, which was nationwide.

    I meant that's the current view from many modern Christians of what the Bible teaches.
    I guess I can understand that. Purgatory was never really explained to me as well as it was probably explained to you, though. I had no idea it had anything to do with whether you'd confessed your sins. I actually read the Bible with Purgatory in mind because I wanted to know more about it, since I thought that was the place I would most certainly go after death. I couldn't find anything, so that just bothered me more. (Also I was pretty sure I'd skipped over it in among all the "begats"...)

    I'm not sure the onset of antibiotics was the reason behind that becoming immoral, but you may be right. Of course, killing anyone now for any reason other than necessary defense is immoral, or at the very least highly contested.
    Some of the 10 Commandments have little to do with basic moral values, "I am the Lord your God" and "remember the Sabbath day" being examples. The ones about covetousness are also arguable because they're thought crimes, but God's law is not human law so I guess I can't completely disagree.
    Aah, you need to give me more credit! I said earlier in this thread at least twice that evolution is not important at all to my atheism. I do not suffer this misconception, I just asked this question of the forumgoers here to see whether they thought so.
    High-fives, totally agree.
    The person I was addressing in the post you're talking about here told me that you can't disprove a negative, therefore you can't introduce doubt that God exists. I meant to appeal to that sort of negative, i.e., something does not exist. "Practical negative" was the way wrong term to use because practical negatives exist all over the place in science. Prove 2+2 does not equal 5, prove my leg is not a planet, etc.
    You really should give me more credit. This is starting to get tedious.
    I can get behind that. I really do appreciate that you would investigate any doubt you had. If you were to discover that God did not create the Universe, would that fundamentally change your belief in Him?
    This is a point you raised in your previous post, as well. I split my response accordingly.
    To answer your last question: I mean that I don't hold the position that God exists.
    The two statements are not the same, but the second implies the first. If I don't think God exists, I necessarily must not know that He does. This does not mean I think He doesn't.
    Saying "I don't know" is crappy investigation? Do you think the onus is on me to decide for myself a belief on what caused the creation of the Universe, before I can say I don't believe something completely different occurred?
    Say you were to ask me if I prefer football or baseball, and I've never seen or played either sport. I don't think football is better, nor do I think baseball is better. I do not have to do any research to make this determination, nor do I need faith. Do you see where this line of reasoning falls apart?
    Also why the fixation with accusing me of having faith?
    I was 12 at the time. In Canada, that means after 3 years it goes off my record. :)
    I fell out, ultimately, with the realisation that there's no real reason for me to think God exists aside from anecdotes. That's where I stand now. I'm operating from a position of negative belief, with the burden of proof on the religion, which is why I haven't re-converted. As I said, belief isn't like flipping a switch for me. Otherwise I would have come back as soon as I realized I was wrong in some areas about what I believed, back when I believed it.
    Quit picking on child version of me! He didn't do nobody no harm!
    Deism and atheism both result in a universe that operates without the intervention of a god. It's a very, very small leap in my mind between the two in terms of faith.
    The part you quoted was from the middle of my explanation of why pantheism, deism and atheism seemed very similar in my mind. I said it was because all three result in "a Universe that acts independently of a god." (Pantheism, where the Universe is god, has the Universe acting independently, at any rate) That being said, where the heck did you get the idea I said natural = without God? I didn't say pantheism, atheism or deism were natural or supernatural or any -natural.

    1. Yes, it did, and I have. Many theists I've met haven't falsified other versions of a deity other than by simply having faith in their god. Many said that it was because Christianity was based on faith alone whereas the other religions and deities require works/deeds. There are a plethora of other reasons I've heard that are not relevant to this discussion.
    2. Valid means evidence that's relevant, verifiable and non-anecdotal. I don't know where this accusation comes from. Is it wrong in your mind to use the term "valid evidence?" If you have a problem with my definition, let me know, at any rate.

    In conclusion to lucaspa, yes, I stopped believing for shoddy reasons, but I had shoddy reasons for believing in the first place. My falling out happened about a decade ago now and I'm well past the mindset I had back then. I feel as if you're judging me based on the actions of other atheists, or something like that? I've been defending myself against accusations that I have faith of some kind or other (which is just weird because I haven't denied that), that I can't investigate properly (when the burden of proof is not on me), and that I'm downright dishonest (that I'll deny anything I don't want to believe). I feel like these are attempts at manipulation because they're so accusative, odd and out of left field for me. You're ascribing a lot of traits to me and I have no idea where you're getting them from.
    Ah, well, I guess I'll find out more next time you post.

    Looking forward to hearing from you guys again. Replies might be a little slower because it's midterm season.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  20. JoeyArnold

    JoeyArnold Well-Known Member

    You're agnostic?