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religious debate


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#1 Ploper

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 01:35 AM

One thing that comes into play almost every day in my life is religion, mostly because I'm atheist, and people just won't tolerate it.
I just kinda wanted to start a debate where we all talk about our religions and well, show why we chose that religion, and just kind of talk about religion in general.
Anyone with me? :D
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#2 unreality

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 06:52 PM

sure :D
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#3 Ploper

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 07:02 PM

all right
but once we get our first complaint from someone, then we'll stop the thread
well, I know you're atheist unreality... So we need some theists for this to work better...
Hey! you! yeah, the theists that are reading this thread!
Help us out and debate with us!
... we kinda need you to start...
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#4 Writersblock

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 01:07 AM

I've usually found that atheist/theist discussions are completely worthless. Usually the most productive discussions are between atheists, who discuss the reason others believe, or between theists, who discuss the nature of God.

The problem with the atheist/theist discussion is that you have no common ground with which to discuss anything. If you disagree there is a God, then how can I possibly get you to relate to my experience that tells me there is? How can you tell me there is not when I have experienced things that tell me there is? Usually the only way is for the non-believer to test the beliefs. Most are completely unwilling. It doesn't work for the believer to "unbelieve" because that is tantamount to trying to prove the non-existence of something, which is impossible in our finite existence. The only way to get any traction is for the non-believer to give a honest test to the experience of the believer - and I have NEVER found a single athiest willing to do so.

If you are, or you can think of some other frame for the discussion, I am ready and willing to discuss.

Here's my opening to you: I KNOW there is a God. I have felt his presence and have experienced personal, sacred things from outside my own psyche that tell me He IS. Those experiences have led me to explore and discover the nature of His will. The more I explored, the more I became convinced. Now as an atheist, how do you dispute my personal experience? It's not only folly, but arrogance to try to do so. How can you, without having experienced what I have, tell me that my experience was somehow fake, contrived, or willed? Where do you go from there?
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#5 Ploper

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 01:50 AM

okay, I understand your point, I wasn't really out to have a discussion where we proove or disproove the existence of a god
because I knew, prior to this, that it is impossible to do.
Much like a china teapot circling around our galaxy (from The God Delusion)
Or a Flying Spaghetti Monster, who created us all after drinking heavily (The theories of pastafarianism, a parody religion)
there is realy no way to proove to someone that it is, or is not true

I KNOW there is a God.


please try not to be biased about this
I have never said that I KNOW there isn't a God,
because, like I said, you just cannot proove it.
I won't try to convince you that the things you felt were willed etc. because I know I cannot proove it
but don't try to convince me that they weren't willed etc. because you cannot proove it.
so let's just say something like "firmly believe" from now on. Deal?
but now I'm just repeating myself... let's move on

I don't believe in any gods, or follow any religions, but that doesn't mean I'm TOTALLY against religion
I do like that part of every religion is a set of moral values
and that following these values can help individuals find a bit of direction in life.
but they won't at all bring about world peace, or come close.
Because there are so many different religions, with differences in beliefs.
So a bit of self-segragation ensues, and the religions are mostly separate from each other.
(note: I'm using many terms VERY lightly, and I'm probably wrong, so I hope I do not offend anyone who knows otherwise)
and then extremists from some religions take well... extreme actions.
which adds to violence.

maybe this is a bit of ground for (maybe debate was the wrong word for me to choose) conversation.
Ya know, the usual
people proving me wrong
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#6 unreality

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 02:33 AM

Well I agree with everything Ploper just said :D

Also, Writersblock, I'm not going to dispute you saying "I know there is a god" cuz I know there isnt- or if it is, it cant be proved, EITHER WAY, but I'm not going there.

What I am asking is this:

how do you know the god you 'connected with' is the Christian God? What if its Buddha? or Zeus? Sure you felt a connection to "Him" as you said, but does that mean that it must be abraham's god? What about other gods?
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#7 Ploper

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 02:40 AM

thank you

how do you know the god you 'connected with' is the Christian God? What if its Buddha? or Zeus? Sure you felt a connection to "Him" as you said, but does that mean that it must be abraham's god? What about other gods?


wow I never though about that.
that's a pretty good point.
like I said, there are many religions
so these 'connections' could be with any of their gods
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#8 carlosn27

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 05:30 AM

as a Christian, my first point would be to say that I do NOT have 100% faith.
Even Jesus, on the cross, questioned God; how can I say that I have more faith than Him?

Yes, I believe with all my heart that there is a God, a loving and good God that created us (via evolution, be it macro or micro-evolution, I do believe in evolution); but my brain, which is very scientific in nature, does have a seed of doubt due to the lack of any recent evidence, the ethno/male-centric and plain stupidity of the church, and the inegalitarian attitude of the elite at the top.

Anyway, all this to say this simple suggestion:
Jesus would not mind being used as insurance.
If a theist believes in God and dies, s/he can go to heaven if s/he was right, or absolutely nothing happens and s/he ceases to exist if s/he is wrong.
If an atheist doesnt believe in God and dies, absolutely nothing happens and s/he ceases to exist if s/he was right, or s/he can go to hell if s/he is wrong.

which one would you rather be? :o

(even if you do it simply for the insurance by confesing your sins and trying to believe in Jesus [the existance of the man Jesus is part of the history of many religions and historical writers, making a leap of faith after that is not that hard]).
just think about it. ;)
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#9 Writersblock

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 08:35 AM

When I assert I KNOW there is a God, I again refer to experiences I have had that I associate with something outside of "me." I am not being biased at all, I am merely telling you where I start the conversation. "Bias" would infer that we are trying to come to some understanding without using pre-existing personal knowledge. Such is dramatically not the case. If you want to run circles trying to prove or disprove God, then let's go there. It's futile, but that would be the only non biased discussion possible. Otherwise we need to talk of faith and experience which are deeply personal and sacred things. Again, as much as I know anything in life, I KNOW there is a God. You are right, it might not be the God that anyone else believes in. However, many of the things I associate with this experience are also associated by others to the Devine. In the same way, you cannot tell if you are seeing the exact same color I see when I interpret "blue" but we can associate enough of a common experience to talk about the color. Trying to talk to someone who had never seen "blue" would be tough. The only thing I could do is flounder, or tell them to go look at blue. Just don't try to tell me that I've never seen blue when you've never looked. (That sounds harsher than I mean it. So please take no offense to anything I write here. Imagine me saying it all with an honest smile of friendship.)

You assume that I am talking about the God of Abraham, but I never said such. As to the "identity" of my God and why I believe the way I do - that is a personal journey of thought, prayer, logic, and honest seeking that took me many years. I have studied many different religions and I am still on that journey, so to speak, but have come to several ideals that "feel" right to me. I am as settled in my beliefs as I believe a mortal can be, though if anything else comes along that makes more sense, I will embrace it. The core of my beliefs are thus: that all TRUTH is the stuff of Gods, regardless of where it is found. Nothing else makes sense to me.

You are 100% correct that I can never "prove" or "logically deduce" that I am right. Such is not the stuff of faith and faith is the domain of God. Not for His sake, but for ours. This is the whole gist of my original post. There is no "proof" here, but merely a discussion of personal experience and thought. Nothing else makes any sense to talk about.

If you want to follow my journey, I am happy to lead the way - just ask where I started and be respectful. Remember the nature of things sacred. If you want to go a different direction, then pose a question or something to start us down a path.

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#10 Writersblock

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 08:40 AM

Just a note: I am not out to get anyone to confess their sins, or say a special prayer or anything of the sort. I suggest that this is not the proper forum for such. I am here only to explore the corners of thought in search of those precious kernals of TRUTH - such as they may be found.
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