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religious debate


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#31 Martini

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 10:49 PM

What don't you understand about "End of discussion about this!"? This is the second time I'm having problems with your attitude, the first resulted in your post being deleted in another forum. You are the only one who has brought sarcasm and hostility into this thread. Do not respond in this thread if you can't do so without the high level of sarcasm.

End of discussion about this!!!!

Any other further discussion or questions - PM me!
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#32 Scraff

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 10:54 PM

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

You tell us. You couldn't seem to stop yourself from posting.


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.

And until you show evidence for Bernard F. Cunningham, there's no good reason to believe he exists.


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

No, all were not atheists. But that doesn't matter. Their atrocities weren't done in the name of atheism. NO atrocities have been done out of a non-belief in God. Atrocities HAVE been done by religious extremists in the name of religion. That's a pretty big difference you don't seem to get.


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. Quit pretending you are atheist because of some intellecutal virtue you possess that religious folks lack.

You're telling Martini why he's an atheist? I'm an atheist for the same reasons. We're not atheists because we disbelieve in God. We're labeled as atheists because of that. We're atheists because we require extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims and so far there hasn't been any for God.


Yet again, the atheist compares the beliefs held sacred by the religious person to some ridiculous, nonsensical idea. Not even an attempt at respectful discourse.

"I wish to discuss certain foolish, asinine ideas with everyone who believes them." Great idea, guys. You'll probably get lots of conversation with that line.

No one has to respect the idea of God existing. I see more evidence for the possibility of flying pigs then I do for an omniscient, omnipotent God. Stop being offended by the belief or reasons for non-belief of others.
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#33 spoxjox

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 11:25 PM

And until you show evidence for Bernard F. Cunningham, there's no good reason to believe he exists.

Do you believe the same about George Bush? Usama bin Laden? Tom Hanks? Yet I bet you haven't met any of those men. Do you actually believe there are over six billion people on the planet? Have you met them?

The fact is that you accept the testimony of others that those people are real. Yet there are literally billions of people on the planet who testify that God exists, and a large portion of those people claim to have had personal experience with him. This does not mean you have to accept their testimony, of course; but it does suggest that you should not simply dismiss it out of hand.

No, all were not atheists. But that doesn't matter. Their atrocities weren't done in the name of atheism.

Of course they were. Hitler didn't exterminate the Jews because he disliked their wardrobe.

NO atrocities have been done out of a non-belief in God. Atrocities HAVE been done by religious extremists in the name of religion. That's a pretty big difference you don't seem to get.

It's a difference that has no relevant meaning, except (apparently) in the minds of the atheistic.

You're telling Martini why he's an atheist? I'm an atheist for the same reasons. We're not atheists because we disbelieve in God.

Yes, in fact, you are. It's a definition. That's what the word means.

We're labeled as atheists because of that.

This is definitional hair-splitting. If I say that you "are" thin because your height-to-weight ratio is large, you may respond, "I'm not thin! That's just a label!" Well, whatever. You are (or are "labelled") an atheist because you disbelieve in the existence of any gods. I am (or am "labelled") a theist because I believe in God's existence.

We're atheists because we require extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims

If this were true, I would be an atheist, as would any number of religious people. Since I and they are not atheistic, that disproves your thesis.

and so far there hasn't been any for God.

Writersblock claims that he has received such extraordinary evidence. I claim the same. So the fact that you haven't found such evidence does not mean such evidence doesn't exist. It just means you haven't found it.

No one has to respect the idea of God existing.

No, but those engaged in mutual conversation ought to respect the beliefs of those they're conversing with. If you talk with someone who believes the grass over his mother's grave is sacred, do you wipe your feet on it or pee on it? Even if you don't consider such things sacred, the fact that other do is reason enough to treat them with respect by honoring their beliefs.

I see more evidence for the possibility of flying pigs then I do for an omniscient, omnipotent God. Stop being offended by the belief or reasons for non-belief of others.

I am not offended by anyone's belief or reasons for non-belief. I am offended by offensive things, like mischaracterization, name-calling, and mocking of another's beliefs.
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#34 Scraff

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 11:45 PM

Do you believe the same about George Bush? Usama bin Laden? Tom Hanks? Yet I bet you haven't met any of those men.

I have sufficient evidence for the existence of those two people. I have none for God.

Yet there are literally billions of people on the planet who testify that God exists, and a large portion of those people claim to have had personal experience with him. This does not mean you have to accept their testimony, of course; but it does suggest that you should not simply dismiss it out of hand.

I haven't dismissed it "out of hand" I've dismissed it by learning about reasons why people believe in God and learning that none of it is done because of evidence.

Of course they were. Hitler didn't exterminate the Jews because he disliked their wardrobe.

Nope, not because their wardrobe:

“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
( Adolf Hitler, from John Toland [Pulitzer Prize winner], Adolf Hitler, New York: Anchor Publishing, 1992, p. 507. )

http://www.stephenja...tes_hitler.html

It's a difference that has no relevant meaning, except (apparently) in the minds of the atheistic.

It has a HUGE relevant meaning. An atheist killing someone because of his non-belief in God is not an indictment of atheism. Likewise, a theist killing someone for reasons other than theism is not an indictment on his belief. A theist killing in the name of God on the other hand...


Yes, in fact, you are. It's a definition. That's what the word means.


This is definitional hair-splitting. If I say that you "are" thin because your height-to-weight ratio is large, you may respond, "I'm not thin! That's just a label!" Well, whatever. You are (or are "labelled") an atheist because you disbelieve in the existence of any gods. I am (or am "labelled") a theist because I believe in God's existence.

Are you really arguing about this? My point is people are atheists for reasons, not "Because" they don't believe in God. You're telling Martini that he was wrong for his reasons for being an atheist was plain wrong. His reasons for being an atheist are HIS reasons.


If this were true, I would be an atheist, as would any number of religious people. Since I and they are not atheistic, that disproves your thesis.

No, it doesn't. Most theists are theists because of "faith" Others because old scientifically inaccurate 'evidence', such as 'proof' that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. I've yet to see any compelling evidence for God and unless I do, lack of evidence will be my reason for being an atheist.


No, but those engaged in mutual conversation ought to respect the beliefs of those they're conversing with. If you talk with someone who believes the grass over his mother's grave is sacred, do you wipe your feet on it or pee on it? Even if you don't consider such things sacred, the fact that other do is reason enough to treat them with respect by honoring their beliefs.

Apples and oranges. No one here has done anything analogous to peeing on your mother's grave. People should respect people; no one should have to respect another's belief and labeling that belief as "sacred" does not give it special protection.
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#35 spoxjox

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 12:05 AM

I have sufficient evidence for the existence of those two people. I have none for God.

I haven't dismissed it "out of hand" I've dismissed it by learning about reasons why people believe in God and learning that none of it is done because of evidence.

So you claim to have talked with every religious person in the world and found each reason to be insufficient? If not, then your reason ("none of it") is insufficient.

“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
( Adolf Hitler, from John Toland [Pulitzer Prize winner], Adolf Hitler, New York: Anchor Publishing, 1992, p. 507. )

http://www.stephenja...tes_hitler.html

Surely you jest. Hitler brazenly used religion as a pretext for his megalomania. According to Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich, page 96:

"The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?"

The fact that evil men use religion as a pretext for killing is not indictment of religion.

Are you really arguing about this? My point is people are atheists for reasons, not "Because" they don't believe in God. You're telling Martini that he was wrong for his reasons for being an atheist was plain wrong. His reasons for being an atheist are HIS reasons.

You are mistaken. I was not "telling Martini that he was wrong for his reasons"; I was pointing out that his reasons were not, as he claimed, an intellectual framework. As I've said several times now, if his (and your) reason for atheism were that you require extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims, then I, too, would be atheist, as would a great many theists.

No, it doesn't. Most theists are theists because of "faith"

Prove this.

I've yet to see any compelling evidence for God and unless I do, lack of evidence will be my reason for being an atheist.

This is much different from your previous claim, that you are atheist because you require extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims.

And, to reiterate, the fact that you have failed to secure compelling evidence for God's existence does not mean that I, or anyone else, has likewise failed.

Apples and oranges. No one here has done anything analogous to peeing on your mother's grave.

Yet I just said you did. Are you now instructing me what I do or do not feel?

People should respect people; no one should have to respect another's belief

What do you suppose it means to treat another with respect, if not to show respect for his differences of belief?
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#36 Scraff

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 12:33 AM

So you claim to have talked with every religious person in the world and found each reason to be insufficient? If not, then your reason ("none of it") is insufficient.

Nonsense. I don't have to talk to every person in the world that believes in leprechauns for me to be without belief in them. Nor do you have to do the same to be without belief in the countless other gods you don't believe in.


The fact that evil men use religion as a pretext for killing is not indictment of religion.

I never said it necessarily was. But religion HAS been the reason for much killing and the Bible DOES command to kill homosexuals, those who work on the Sabbath, etc., and Christians have killed for those reasons.


You are mistaken. I was not "telling Martini that he was wrong for his reasons"

Yes, you did. You quoted his giving a reason and you next said "False". His reasons for being an atheist are not false and your saying so was not only rude, but blatantly incorrect.




As I've said several times now, if his (and your) reason for atheism were that you require extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims, then I, too, would be atheist, as would a great many theists.

Sorry, but my reason for being an atheist IS because I require extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims and your saying that that's not doesn't change the fact for why I have no belief in any god's existence.


This is much different from your previous claim, that you are atheist because you require extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims.

No, it's not.



And, to reiterate, the fact that you have failed to secure compelling evidence for God's existence does not mean that I, or anyone else, has likewise failed.

Goody for you. No one that claims to have this evidence has been able to share it with me. Stop telling me lack of evidence isn't my reason for being an atheist. IT IS!


Yet I just said you did. Are you now instructing me what I do or do not feel?

Sigh. I never told you how to feel. Get a frickin' clue.


What do you suppose it means to treat another with respect, if not to show respect for his differences of belief?

See this.

I'm going to drop out of this conversation now. I've had to correct the same old theist misunderstanding about atheism too many times on too many message boards and frankly, I'm tired of it.

For anyone who's interested in learning more, check out the links Martini posted. The Richard Dawkins website is pretty good.

Peace.
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#37 unreality

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 12:57 AM

I will tell you why I am an atheist. I am not sure if this is the same reasons as Ploper, or Martini, or Scraff, but this is why I am an atheist: (btw cool new board, Rookie)

I have examined religion, I have been to church- different churches- I have seen and talked to religious people and heard their beliefs. Many of them have been brainwashed by religious organizations and assume that 'their way is the only way'. Whether or not you want to call it "brainwashing" is a fine point, but it's similar. They believe the teachings from a book. A book! A book that is known to have many discrepancies, controversies, wrong facts, outlandish claims, contrary 'evidence' and facts with no evidence to back it up, put together by MANY people over MANY years with MANY differing opinions and many of them are just that- opinions

And yet people worship this book. It doesnt have to be the bible, it could be the quran, or whatever. The fact is, people are told, over and over again, by convincing good speakers, that this book is cold, hard, unarguable fact. Yet many religious scholars themselves know that most of the bible is fiction. YES, FICTION. I dont mean to sound rude, but it is INSANE that people believe that a WORLDWIDE FLOOR with enough water to COVER MT EVEREST happened at some point. This is plain impossible, but also, we would definitely have evidence now, and we know when all the major extinctions have been as well, and there has been no mass extinction during humans' lives on earth. Yes, the Greeks have a legend about a flood in which only few people survived and the japanese have a similar myth. It shows that Floods were a dangerous natural disaster for early civilizations. Anyway I'm gonna debate the outrageous fact of a Worldwide Floor, it's just plain false, same with people walking on water, with people parting oceans, with people resurrecting from the dead (and I never did understand how Jesus saved everyone by dying, they left that fuzzy), same with angels, and demons and devils, and heaven and hell... those are pretty extraordinary claims, as others have said, and require extraordinary evidence.

Also, religion started as a replacement of science. People made up gods and stuff to explain things that back then, couldn't be explained, such as volcanoes and lightning bolts and earthquakes and floods and diseases. Today, these are all easily explained. Religious people understand that lightning is static electricity and that earthquakes are caused when two tectonic plates collide. Any spiritual evidence that you may have now... what if that is explained by science as we move on? Just another thing to think about

Another thing that makes me laugh about religious people is that they assume that THEIR religion is correct. That goes to show, they believe in whatever church they or their family goes to. I respect Buddhism and its openness a lot though.

The thing about atheism is: freedom, free will. We marvel at the beauty of our world- and how it's just one planet. I always hated how religion acts like Earth is "special" in some way. Maybe we are, maybe we aren't, as of now we have only found primitive life on other planets and moons, but life nontheless. But I'm not gonna debate this. Whether Earth is "special" or not is a matter of personal opinion.

Anyway I could go on, but there is just no reason that anyone should believe in any god or outside spiritual force. Since there is no proof and never has been, instead of religious people grilling atheists on "whats your proof that god doesnt exist" it should be the other way around. We atheists 'should' grill theists about why they think that god does exist, since THAT is the contrary arguement that goes against ALL evidence. Yet we atheists don't usually care about what the theists think. It's their own business. I don't honestly give a damn if someone believes in God. If it gives them hope and morals and stuff, well good for them. I find hope and morals in myself, not in any god.

On a final note... I forgot what I was gonna say. lol, sorry. Maybe I'll think of it later :D
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#38 spoxjox

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 01:09 AM

Nonsense. I don't have to talk to every person in the world that believes in leprechauns for me to be without belief in them.

No, but you do have to talk with every leprechaun believer in order to truthfully claim that there exists no compelling reason to believe in them.

and the Bible DOES command to kill homosexuals, those who work on the Sabbath, etc., and Christians have killed for those reasons.

So what? The Bible does not command Christians to kill for those reasons, or for anyone outside the particular community to whom it was given.

Yes, you did. You quoted his giving a reason and you next said "False". His reasons for being an atheist are not false, and your saying so was not only rude, but blatantly incorrect.

Rude? Perhaps. If so, I apologize to Martini. I recognize that I am often too blunt.

Not false? This is getting a bit ridiculous. I am surprised you are unable to understand what I'm saying. Let me give you an example of a false "reason":

I am a theist because I have brown hair.

Whatever Martini's (and your) reason for being atheistic, it is not because you require extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims, any more than I am a theist because I have brown hair.

Sorry, but my reason for being an atheist IS because I require extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims and your saying that that's not doesn't change the fact for why I have no belief in any god's existence.

No, it doesn't, you are correct. Rather, my saying that that is not your reason is simply a recognition of insufficient cause.

Stop telling me lack of evidence isn't my reason for being an atheist. IT IS!

I have never made any such claim. I do not doubt for a moment that lack of evidence underlies your atheism. It would be truthful for you to say, for example, "I am atheist because I perceive no evidence of the existence of God or gods."

On the other hand, it is false to say, "I am atheist because I have brown hair" or "I am atheist because I require extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims."

Sigh. I never told you how to feel.

You told me what is and is not offensive to me. You were incorrect.

Get a frickin' clue.

I find this interesting, given your previous criticism of me for being "rude" to Martini.

I'm going to drop out of this conversation now. I've had to correct the same old theist misunderstanding about atheism too many times on too many message boards and frankly, I'm tired of it.

I can understand how you feel. It's like when I point out logical flaws in the arguments of others, and in response they engage in ad hominem rebuffs without ever addressing the content of my argument.

For anyone who's interested in learning more, check out the links Martini posted. The Richard Dawkins website is pretty good.

The Dawkins website is indeed interesting, but the particular links posted by Martini were definitely not the best works on the site.

Peace.

Is that before or after I get a frickin' clue? ;)
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#39 spoxjox

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 01:35 AM

I have examined religion, I have been to church- different churches- I have seen and talked to religious people and heard their beliefs. Many of them have been brainwashed by religious organizations and assume that 'their way is the only way'. Whether or not you want to call it "brainwashing" is a fine point, but it's similar.

Do you have any recognized credentials for determining whether a person is "brainwashed"?

They believe the teachings from a book. A book!

Do you believe the teachings from Serway's Enhanced College Physics? (Warning: It's a book.)

A book that is known to have many discrepancies, controversies, wrong facts, outlandish claims, contrary 'evidence' and facts with no evidence to back it up, put together by MANY people over MANY years with MANY differing opinions

So...the fact that a book contains errors is sufficent cause to dismiss it outright?

Yet many religious scholars themselves know that most of the bible is fiction. YES, FICTION. I dont mean to sound rude, but it is INSANE that people believe that a WORLDWIDE FLOOR with enough water to COVER MT EVEREST happened at some point.

How do they "know" this? Did God tell them?

Are you qualified to judge insanity, as well? Such a belief may be ignorant or naive, but it does not strike me as insane.

Anyway I'm gonna debate the outrageous fact of a Worldwide Floor, it's just plain false, same with people walking on water, with people parting oceans, with people resurrecting from the dead (and I never did understand how Jesus saved everyone by dying, they left that fuzzy), same with angels, and demons and devils, and heaven and hell... those are pretty extraordinary claims, as others have said, and require extraordinary evidence.

So the fact that you have not recieved that evidence therefore means that no one else has, either?

Okay, I've been cutting back on my response, but I can't get it under the minimum number of allowed quotes, so I'll break it into two parts.
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#40 spoxjox

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 01:35 AM

[Part 2]

Also, religion started as a replacement of science. People made up gods and stuff to explain things that back then, couldn't be explained, such as volcanoes and lightning bolts and earthquakes and floods and diseases.

Your statement that religion was a replacement for science is demonstrably false, since science itself shows that religion vastly predates science.

How do you know why people "made up gods and stuff"? Because other atheists claim it's so?

Another thing that makes me laugh about religious people is that they assume that THEIR religion is correct.

Not sure why honesty makes you laugh. Clearly, if an honest person assumed their religion was incorrect, they would not take part in that religion.

I always hated how religion acts like Earth is "special" in some way. Maybe we are, maybe we aren't

If you concede it might be true, then why do you hate the idea?

I am sure you would hate me, since I go even further and think that my home and family are special.

as of now we have only found primitive life on other planets and moons, but life nontheless.

Please elaborate. I know of no instance throughout history that life of any sort has (yet) been found on another planet, unless you're talking about the astronauts walking on the moon.

Anyway I could go on, but there is just no reason that anyone should believe in any god or outside spiritual force.

Clearly, many billion people disagree with you. There are in fact a multitude of reasons.

Since there is no proof and never has been

Yet people have claimed on this very thread that such proof exists, while atheists go on affirming its non-existence.

We atheists 'should' grill theists about why they think that god does exist, since THAT is the contrary arguement that goes against ALL evidence.

Please name a piece of evidence -- just one will suffice -- that God does not exist.
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