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religious debate


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#21 Martini

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 07:25 AM

True, just as critics will create them when they don't really exist.


Are you saying the Bible is without contradictions and inconsistencies? It isn't. Critics don't need to go making any up. There are enough real problems with the Bible where we don't need to go making any up. Of course there are some that have a misunderstanding of what the Bible (or some other religious text says), but on the whole most Biblical critics don't go around making things up to criticize. Scientists, historians and reputable scholars in every field start with evidence and work from that to conclusions. If subsequent evidence doesn’t fit, they adjust their conclusions accordingly. Defenders of the accuracy of the bible, however, start with their conclusions (the Bible is inerrant) and invent whatever evidence seems necessary to support them.


I'm not assuming anything. I never said all athiests do this. I am merely stating what I have encountered. Admittedly I only know about 4 staunch athiests, none of whom have ever even so much as read a single sacred text.


I doubt you're correct. I bet your four staunch atheist friends are plenty familiar with the beliefs of a few religions. But even if they aren't, this makes them "pacifist atheists" that are "just kind of resting on some notion that if the evidence was there that "science" would find it"?


I know many others who call themselves such becuase they just don't have any formed beleif structure, but when you get down to it, they are not true athiests.


They're not true atheists? If they are without belief in God/gods, they're TRUE atheists.

I don't agree that a Buddhist must necessarly disbelieve in a God, but I see your point and generally agree.


I never implied they did. That's one of the things that separate Buddhism from religions. Buddhism is more accurately described as a philosophy as their are no rigid set of tenets or necessary belief in a deity that must be adhered to.

and atheists have embraced (almost as a religion) the ever changing and fallable theories of science to the exclusion of all else.


No, not "almost as a religion". Belief in science has zero in common with belief in religion. I embrace science because it works and is the best system of finding truth mankind has yet to find.

As I said in my first post, there is no common ground with which to have any kind of meaningful discussion.


Yes, there is. A search for truth is common ground enough. We don't have to have common ground to debate ideas. We shouldn't have common ground to debate ideas.


You never answered this question:

Can you be more specific? What sort of exploring might lead me to evidence of an intelligent being that is responsible for creating everything, punishes and rewards, has no limits, knows all, etc.?


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#22 Ploper

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 01:16 AM

I asked a girl who happened to sit across from me at lunch today what her views of religion were
I do this to almost everyone I know, I'm trying to take in as much second-hand information as my environment allows.
but I actually heard something that interested me a bit
she said she doesn't know anything about god, or which religion, if any, a god that exists belongs to.
but that she is almost certain that there has to be a god
she said that something cannot create itself, all the atoms that make up our world had do have been brought about by something.
I asked her if there had to be a god to create god
she said she didn't know, but god was probably always there
I said that maybe the atoms were always there too.
this isn't something that I was really sure of,
so I wanted someone here to help me understand what I meant with my own words...
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#23 Martini

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 01:53 AM

I think you'll appreciate the following links:

Arguments From Design, First Cause, Something Rather Than Nothing, Fundamental Constants

Theistic Arguments: First Cause

a) "Something can not come out of nothing" - the first law of thermodynamics
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#24 Ploper

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 03:18 AM

I'm practicing guitar so I didn't really have time to read all of it.
But I'm picking up things from it that help answer my question
can't say definately for sure
I'll read em tomorrow
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#25 spoxjox

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 09:38 PM

Hey! you! yeah, the theists that are reading this thread!
Help us out and debate with us!
... we kinda need you to start...

...said the universe to God...

but isn't there only space in heaven for 14,000 or so people?

Great example of why many religious people refuse to discuss or debate with antireligionists of any stripe.
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#26 spoxjox

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 09:50 PM

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

Another example of why religious people avoid antireligionists. "Your belief in God is equivalent to believing in a china teapot orbiting the galaxy, or a silly cartoon that created everything with his noodly appendage." Not even an attempt at taking the person or his beliefs seriously or respectfully.

Why on earth do you suppose that any religious person would wish to engage in discussion with such a partner?

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.


Of course you cannot prove there is no God. You cannot prove a negative. But you can certainly prove a positive. I may posit the existence of someone named Bernard F. Cunningham, and you may claim that no such person exists. But you cannot prove his nonexistence, while I can prove it by simply showing you the man.

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.


This would work really great in a court of law. "Your Honor, I move that the witness's testimony be stricken from the record, because, well gee whiz, he can't possibly convince us that he didn't just make the whole thing up."

so let's just say something like "firmly believe" from now on. Deal?

So let's see if I understand you correctly. You want to talk to someone who believes in God and ask them, "Why do you believe in God?". Writersblock responds and says, "I believe in God. I believe in him because he has revealed himself to me, so I know he lives." Then you say, "Now, don't go saying you KNOW anything! Just say that you 'firmly believe' it, okay?"

And they wonder why religionists don't like talking with them...

and then extremists from some religions take well... extreme actions.
which adds to violence.


The three greatest, most despicable mass murderers in the previous century were Mao Xedong, Josef Stalin, and Adolph Hitler. All were atheist.

Therefore, atheists are all despicable mass murderers.

Well, no. But we certainly must keep these examples in mind when dealing with atheists, because they demonstrate the atheist mindset. They show what atheism, taken to its logical end, promotes.

What's that you say? No? You disagree? You claim that all atheists ought not be painted with the same broad brush taken from a limited example of a few crazy people?

Wow. Who'da thunk?
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#27 spoxjox

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 09:55 PM

Well I agree with everything Ploper just said

Then all of my replies to him apply equally to you.

Also, Writersblock, I'm not going to dispute you saying "I know there is a god" cuz I know there isnt

This is clearly false. You cannot possibly know there is no God. You are engaging in mere hyperbole, without apparent attempt at rational and truthful discussion. Few religious folks would be likely to continue conversation with someone they perceived to eschew honest discussion. [edited for offensive phraseology]
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#28 spoxjox

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 10:01 PM

I'm an atheist because I require extraordinary evidence to believe in extraordinary claims.

False. I also require extraordinary evidence to believe extraordinary claims, but I am no atheist.

You are atheist because you do not believe in God. You are not atheist because of some intellecutal virtue you possess that religious folks lack. [edited for offensive phraseology]]

There is obviously none for the existence of God/gods.

Yet Writersblock has testified that such evidence does exist, and in fact that he is in possession of that evidence.

So simply saying, "Huh-uh, he's lying!" is not sufficent basis to continue to deny the rationality of the religious experience. [edited for offensive phraseology]

Does this mean there are no gods? No. It means until I'm aware of any sufficient evidence I see no reason for such fantastic beliefs. There may be flying pigs, but until someone brings forth sufficient evidence for them, I'll be without belief in them too.

Here you compare the beliefs held sacred by the religious person to some ridiculous, nonsensical idea, without even an attempt at respectful discourse. [edited for offensive phraseology]

You are not likely to get much conversation by saying, "I wish to discuss certain foolish, asinine ideas with everyone who believes them." [edited for offensive phraseology]
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#29 Martini

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 10:18 PM

spoxjox, the hostility you're bringing to this thread had better stop now! End of discussion about this! Consider this an official warning.
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#30 spoxjox

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 10:34 PM

spoxjox, the hostility you're bringing to this thread had better stop now! End of discussion about this! Consider this an official warning.

I feel no hostility. I am trying to respond rationally and carefully to the claims being put forward here. One complaint made was that (paraphrasing) religious people don't discuss these things. I am simply pointing out reasons why religious people might avoid such discussions.

I do believe there is a considerable amount of hostility being shown to religious beliefs and those who hold them, however. Comparing belief in God to belief in flying pigs strikes me as overtly hostile. And claiming that the reason one is atheist is because one requires extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims very clearly implies that those who are not atheist must not hold this same requirement, which could certainly be considered a hostile assessment.

In short, I agree that there is a lot of hostility on this thread, but I don't think I'm the one bringing it. If pointing out hostility is itself considered a hostile act, then perhaps I am guilty, after all. If this is the case, that I must not point out hostility for fear of being hostile, how do you suggest that I proceed?
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