Religion yet again

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Anonymous

Guest
Perun -

Good job! Your work on the historicity of Jesus was very insightful and well written. As an ex-Christian turned atheist, discovered to be a pagan, realizing that I am a pagan who is also an atheist, I still love researching religion, and in particular, Christianity.

Silky; why do you think that if a person does not believe in YOUR God, that he doesn't believe in ANY God?
In addition, denial of Christianity is not automatic support for evolution; but you even have evolution wrong. Evolution simply means genetic change at the species level; evolution has nothing to do with the origin of the universe, the galaxies, of even like. It simply suggests, based on the evidence, what happened after life began.

Maybe a God/Alien/whatever created life and then it evolved? Who knows; but consider this: Do you consider your belief to be based on faith?
If so, then why try to base your faith on 'facts'? Doesn't that in effect cheapen the grace that you believe you were freely given?

To put it into perspective, I love my wife, yet I do not defend my love for her, nor try to find out why I love her; I simply do. If someone doesn't like her (or me), it's cool.

When you try to defend ANY faith using the scientific method, you will certianly prove your ignorance. Read about evolution on wiki, try to avoid Christian literature because they tend to give a very biased view. If you read about evolution, you should not find anyone that states, "You must me an atheist if you believe in evoultion!". yet Christians tend to say this very thing. It is wrong, stupid and ignorant.
 

macunaima

Trooper
[span style=\'font-size:8pt;line-height:100%\']This is a long post. Sorry! But Silky presented a challenging argument that required extensive discussion. I hope no one will accuse me of being closed-minded after this.[/span]

[!--QuoteBegin-Silky+Jan 25 2006, 05:51 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Silky @ Jan 25 2006, 05:51 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Okay, how about this one.  If you don't believe that there is a God, and he created the universe, then you accept that we are currently having this argument as a result of insane odds; that a star of the right temperature would condense in our solar system; that the material left over from this star's creation would become nine planets, one of which had JUST the right position, orbital time, axis and rotary speed to facilitate the growth of particular single celled organisms.  That over time these organims adapted so that they evolved, and eventually the world was populated by dinosaurs and other reptilians.  That a comet/meteorite/other natural disaster of such devastating proportions smashed into earth/occured to wipe out said dinosaurs, which were the main limiting factor on our ancestors, mammals.  That these mammals, by virtue of their small size, were able to survive, and become the mammals of the Pleistocene and other post-Mesozoic eras.  That 2 million years ago, a monkey that it would be a better idea to walk a bit more upright to see stuff better.  That man evolved, and gained sentience, enough to argue over whether a creator existed at all!
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Good. An argument!! I hadn’t seen one of these in a while. But before we get too excited, let’s see if it actually works. The argument seems to be this:

(1) The odds of the universe (as we know it) coming into being by random, unguided processes are astronomically small.
(2) The odds of there being a God who could (and did) create the universe (as we know) it are not astronomically small.
Therefore:
(3) It is more likely that God created the universe than that it arose and developed by random, unguided process.
Therefore:
(4) It is more likely that there is a God than that there isn’t.

[span style=\'font-size:8pt;line-height:100%\']Silky, if this misrepresents what you had in mind, please correct me.[/span]

Let me say a few preliminary things before I turn to evaluating the argument itself.

First, whether this argument works or not, it is not obviously a bad argument and so I don’t think someone who believes it is therefore crazy or stupid. I think that many people who believe in God do so for absolutely absurd reasons (e.g. “mommy said so,” etc.). But if you believe in God for something resembling the reasons embodied in this argument, even if I think you are mistaken in the end, I won’t think you’re crazy.

Second, this argument does not purport to be a proof of the existence of God. Even if the argument is valid and sound, it does not conclusively establish the existence of God. Rather, it shows it to be more likely than the alternative. I don’t think this is a bad thing. A number of people on this thread have insisted that you can’t prove either the existence or the inexistence of God, and they take that to justify them in not bothering to think about the reasons for and against; they think it is therefore just a matter of faith. Most of what we believe, we do not believe on the basis of conclusive and irrefutable proofs, but that doesn’t mean that those beliefs are arbitrary and based on faith. I believe the desk I’m sitting at is made of wood. Can I prove it? No; some mad scientist might be manipulating my thoughts and perceptions causing me to hallucinate. So is it just a matter of faith? No. Though it is a possibility, I have absolutely no reason to think that a mad scientist is making me hallucinate so it would actually be irrational for me to withhold belief on that basis. My point here is simply to get people to see that there is a middle ground between proof and faith. One might have very good reasons for believing something even if those reasons are not conclusive. Faith, as I understand it, is a matter of believing for no reason at all.

Finally, even if this argument works, what it establishes is quite limited. It says nothing about Jesus or the Trinity, or the foundations of morality. At most, what it would establish is that there exists a powerful creator (or creators). For all the argument shows, this creator could be the furthest thing from our conception of God: he might be a perverse deity who created the universe for his own selfish amusement.

Now, on to the argument…does it work? Consider the following case: Suppose I have a large bin with 10,000 white marbles and 1 black one. You close your eyes and I reach in and pull out the black marble. Now I ask you: is it more likely that .A. I reached into the bin blind-folded and randomly selected what turned out to be the black marble, or .B. that I rummaged through the bin and visually selected the black one? Certainly option .B. is more likely and in the absence of any further evidence, it would be most rational for you to believe that I selected the black marble by method .B. Proponents of the argument for the existence of God will want to claim that the cases are perfectly parallel. Just as it is more rational to believe that I selected the black marble by method .B., so it is more rational to believe that the universe came into being by the hand of God. But are the cases really parallel? I think there are reasons to doubt that.

First, how does one compute the odds of there being a God who can create the universe as we know it? The argument relies on the assumption that this probability is significantly larger than the probability of the universe arising and developing randomly. But my worry is that this assumption is not so much false as it is incoherent. We can approximate the probability of the universe arising by chance because we have some knowledge of the starting conditions (i.e. the Big Bang) and of the mechanisms by which those starting conditions could’ve developed into later stages. Given a rough knowledge of all the possible routes such development could’ve taken, we can calculate an approximate probability for the universe as we know it. But on the basis of what do we calculate (even approximately!) the probability of there being a God who created the universe? It’s not that I think the probability is very low; it’s that I don’t think the question even makes sense.

Think of it this way. We live in a universe that appears to be fine-tuned for our existence. The slightest change in the position of the earth or the gravitational constant of the universe and we would never have existed. Such a state of affairs is extremely unlikely to have developed by random chance. What, then, are we to say about this apparently extraordinary state of affairs? Here are some possibilities:

(i) Live with it! Unlikely things happen and don’t require explanation. We can explain the mechanism by which such an unlikely state of affairs came about; but there is no need to explain (or explain away) the unlikelihood of it all.

(ii) God created the universe.

The proponent of the argument we started with will certainly favor (ii) over (i). But (ii) isn’t an explanation of anything. It doesn’t solve the problem of the unlikelihood of our existence. It simply names a solution: something accounts for unlikelihood of our existence, let us call it God. Recall what I said earlier. The concept of God as it figures in this argument, is not the concept we are all familiar with from Sunday School. He is not the father of Jesus, he is not your personal companion, he does not care about he events of your daily life, and he does not lay foundations for morality. Above I said that that he is simply “the creator,” but even that is too strong. All we know about God from this argument is that he is whatever explains away the unlikelihood of our existence. But for all we know, the unlikelihood of our existence may simply be a cold hard fact that has no further explanation. Or, perhaps, the unlikelihood of our existence will be (partly) explained away by a better understanding of physical laws according to which, perhaps, the possible alternate routes from the Big Bang to the present are not as great as the argument supposes.
 

Raven

Ancient Mariner
First off, that quip about Santa Claus was a joke, and an exceptionally bad one at that (sorry [!--emo&:blush:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/blush.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'blush.gif\' /][!--endemo--] )

Macunaima, you interpereted my argument more or less perfectly. Although I wasn't trying to argue for or against the existence of God, I was simply making the point that, as you said, it's very unlikely that we came to be through a random chance.

And, tim, I wasn't saying that evolution and creation are connected. I was simply using evolution as an example of how we are very lucky. I know that eventually a species will adapt to its environment, if it can change fast enough, but the chances that our species would last long enough to become sentient? And what about the rapid growth of mankind. We've only been around a meager two million years, and yet we effectively rule our planet. Why are we so special? I know many atheists would say we're just extremely lucky, but personally I don't believe you can have luck like that.
I'm not sure where you got the bit about me classing all non-christians as atheists. Can you point out the bit where I came across like that?

And I'm not trying to 'prove' my faith with facts. You realistically can't prove faith, it's impossible. What I was trying to do is present a scientifically-orientated argument for God's POSSIBLE existence (I say that because atheists will doubt his existence, so to say god's existence would be to rudely claim I am right). I guessed that any arguments based on the Bible or simply my faith would come under heavy fire, I was simply trying to lend more solidity to the argument. And it got macunaima talking, didn't it?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
[!--QuoteBegin-Silky+Jan 26 2006, 07:53 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Silky @ Jan 26 2006, 07:53 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]it's very unlikely that we came to be through a random chance.
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Still more likely than to have been created in an instant by a being that would be so complex that the complexity of evolution and gene shuffling would appear like a walk in the park.

[!--QuoteBegin-Silky+Jan 26 2006, 07:53 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Silky @ Jan 26 2006, 07:53 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]I was simply using evolution as an example of how we are very lucky.
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Call it luck or coincidence, it certainly wasn't directed. It simply happened. No rhyme or reason.

[!--QuoteBegin-Silky+Jan 26 2006, 07:53 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Silky @ Jan 26 2006, 07:53 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]And what about the rapid growth of mankind.  We've only been around a meager two million years, and yet we effectively rule our planet.  Why are we so special?
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Exponential growth isn't so unusual. Think of the progress made in science and industry in the last little 150 years as compared to the pretty large million years the human species has been around.

What makes us special? Our brain. (It would be too long to explain the difference between a human cortex and that of any other animal, besides I'm no expert.)

[!--QuoteBegin-Silky+Jan 26 2006, 07:53 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Silky @ Jan 26 2006, 07:53 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]You realistically can't prove faith, it's impossible.
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Agreed. It's up to each individual to find the beliefs that suit him/her best and allow him/her to feel comfortable with life. Life is hard enough as it is, and any comfort is always welcome.

[!--QuoteBegin-Silky+Jan 26 2006, 07:53 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Silky @ Jan 26 2006, 07:53 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]What I was trying to do is present a scientifically-orientated argument for God's POSSIBLE existence.
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It's a common mistake that non-scientist believers very often make. The argument doesn't stand faced with scientific facts. If you look at it with enough expertise, the evidence is actually in favour of god's POSSIBLE inexistence.


All it boils down to is a fairly basic scientific principle: when you have several possibilities to explain an observation, the simplest one is systematically the right one (Occam's razor). Evolution is maybe mind-boggling for many people who are not familiar with science, but, as complex as the processes leading to life on Earth as we know it may be or have been, they are much simpler than an infinitely complex being that would have created the whole shebang.

So I'd like to stick to the (very good) parallel of faith and love. Faith cannot be explained or expressed rationally, just like love. I can love someone who has faith in a god I don't believe in, and that never influences my feelings for that person. I know what I feel and I know it's good to feel it. Let faith be the same.
 

Raven

Ancient Mariner
[!--QuoteBegin-Maverick+Jan 26 2006, 07:49 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Maverick @ Jan 26 2006, 07:49 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Still more likely than to have been created in an instant by a being that would be so complex that the complexity of evolution and gene shuffling would appear  like a walk in the park.
Call it luck or coincidence, it certainly wasn't directed. It simply happened. No rhyme or reason.
Exponential growth isn't so unusual. Think of the progress made in science and industry in the last little 150 years as compared to the pretty large million years the human species has been around.

What makes us special? Our brain. (It would be too long to explain the difference between a human cortex and that of any other animal, besides I'm no expert.)
Agreed. It's up to each individual to find the beliefs that suit him/her best and allow him/her to feel comfortable with life. Life is hard enough as it is, and any comfort is always welcome.
It's a common mistake that non-scientist believers very often make. The argument doesn't stand faced with scientific facts. If you look at it with enough expertise, the evidence is actually in favour of god's POSSIBLE inexistence.
All it boils down to is a fairly basic scientific principle: when you have several possibilities to explain an observation, the simplest one is systematically the right one (Occam's razor). Evolution is maybe mind-boggling for many people who are not familiar with science, but, as complex as the processes leading to life on Earth as we know it may be or have been, they are much simpler than an infinitely complex being that would have created the whole shebang.

So I'd like to stick to the (very good) parallel of faith and love. Faith cannot be explained or expressed rationally, just like love. I can love someone who has faith in a god I don't believe in, and that never influences my feelings for that person. I know what I feel and I know it's good to feel it. Let faith be the same.
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Wow. Thanks for the advice (especially the last bit). I see what you mean, and in future I won't try to argue for God's existence anymore, and just accept that some people don't and won't believe in Him. After all, if God exists, then no human argument or scientific formula is going to be able to show his wonder or prove his existence. As good as our science today is, you can't apply it to an omnipotent being who is outside our universe and so cannot be applied to our rules (which, if you believe in Him, He created anyway!). Well, as long as we all agree on our differences and don't start killing each other about them, I don't see a problem with discussions such as this. I don't think I'll post in this thread again (even though I'm probably the most frequent Christian here), as I think I've said all I can say about this and how I feel. I'm glad we've had this discussion-it's made me think about my faith and reanalyse my reasons for believing. Thanks guys!
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
[!--QuoteBegin-Onhell+Jan 25 2006, 02:42 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Onhell @ Jan 25 2006, 02:42 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]For example. if person "A"  is your cardiologist and he tells you your heart has a blocked artery I doubt you'll be like "he's full of shit, he is not credible!"
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If I found out my cardiologist was a creationist, I absolutely would not trust him. I would change doctors as quickly as possible. In my opinion, being a creationist indicates a severe lack of ability to correctly interpret physical data. I don't want a person with that deficiency trying to diagnose me.

However, I have further considered the post I made in the last couple of days and come to the following conclusion:
I'm being a dick again.
In other words, though I feel everything I said was correct, it was not really necessary to post something which was potentially insulting to members of this forum. So in the future, I shall try to refrain from insulting religious believers.

Regarding the issue of "life is due to chance" vs. "intelligent design":
I don't see what's so bad about chance. I don't think that makes life any less meaningful. As Pearl Jam sang, we won the lottery when we were born. (Although PJ meant it differently.) What's so terrible about that?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]it's very unlikely that we came to be through a random chance.[/quote]

As unlikely as that may seem, we do have to bear in mind that it happened. Therefore, although it is, as you say, unlikely, it did, in this case, occur.

Allow me to give an example.

If you drop a penny, it will probably land flat, ie face up or down. It is very unlikely that it will land on its edge, and stay there.

Now, assume I drop said penny, and it does land on its edge. Despite this being very unlikely, it happens. Therefore, it has gone against what was the most likely outcome.

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Back onto the general topic of God and religion. As you may have guessed from the above comments, I am an atheist.

My reason for this can be explained simply.

Religion is largely governed by a certain book. This book will differ from faith to faith, but one notion remains constant: some higher power(s) is(are) responsible for the creation of the universe, and therefore should be worshipped as perfection. Said book will also give strict guidelines as to how followers of this faith are to behave, worship, and live their lives. Almost all faiths have some form of afterlife integrated into their beliefs, and that the ascension to such an afterlife depends on how the person has lived their mortal life.

This is fundamentally wrong.

Science, on the other hand, is based on what we know. Theories such as evolution have cold, hard evidence in favour of them. Now, nothing can ever be proved for sure (as I have previously stated), but one can have enough evidence in favour/opposition of a theory for it to almost certainly be true. Science seeks rational explainations for what happens in our world. It does not simply presume as religion does. In science, there is no afterlife. Science knows that when the body dies, the life-giving organs will also. This means that in death the conscious mind of a person ceases to exist. They are dead. The matter making up their body will decompose, and be "recycled" as some other object, perhaps living, perhaps not. But the key point is that they can do no more. They do not live on. They are dead.

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People who follow a religion of any description believe that their God(s) have mighty, supernatural powers with which they govern the lives of their followers. Here lies another error.

Things which are supernatural are precisely that: not found in, made from or to do with nature. Science knows that this shows inconsistency with facts. Any single "thing" (and I use that word very usely) is either found in nature, or created from what nature provides.

Take a television set as an example. Though one cannot simply "find" one naturally occuring, but all the pieces are created from natural substances on one level or another. The plastic casing is made from oil, which in turn is rotten biomass, changed under massive pressure over millions of years. The glass is made from sand: miniscule pieces of rock, the very material of the Earth, cracked, scraped and ebraded over, again, millions of years. The metal in the wiring is shaped metal, extracted from chemical compounds in the Earth's surface, and shaped to our own needs.

Supernature cannot exist. Gods are believed to be supernatural beings. Therefore, they cannnot exist.

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I shall give another example, this time of either the non-existence, ignorance or impotance of any God, given your personal views.

If you were to take three coins in your hand, and hold them out at arms length, and let go of one, it would fall to the ground. Let's just assure that you agree with this undeniable scientific fact at this point. Yes? Good.

Let go of the second coin. Again, it will fall.

Now, hold out the third coin. Do you think that if you got all the Christians in your town to pray that it would not fall, then it would be so? No. The coin would still fall to the floor. How about all the Christians in your country, your continent, or even the world? The coin would drop, as the other two before it.

Let go of the third and final coin, and watch as it falls to the floor.

This shows that whatever God, creator, higher power or supernatural being you have worshipped, believed in, followed and prayed to is either one of these three things:

Non-existant.
Ignoring you.
Unable to deny the natural laws of physics that govern the actions of your penny.

Now, if you come to the conclusion that the "God" does not exist, then, welcome to Atheism.

If you believe that your God is ignoring you, you can see that this God is not as it should be, and probably doesn't exist. Welcome to Atheism.

Finally, if you accept that your deity cannot oppose such simple natural laws, then it is not as it fundamentally should be: Supernatural, as it is unable to overcome nature. Therefore, it is natural, and is no God at all. Therefore, your belief is false. Welcome to Atheism.

A similar argument is that of whether God can or cannot eliminate evil in the world.

It is an undeniable truth that not everything in the universe is "good," in a religious sense. Therefore, evil must exist. Or at the very least, something very bad.

Doesn't it seem to you that a being of such high importance, power and influence as a God should posses the ability to eliminate a simple thing such as evil? Or is it just that he has the ability, but simply does not.

If God wants to banish evil, but cannot, then he is impotent. He is therefore not the all-powerful being of creation that he is worshipped for, and does not exist.

If God has the ability to banish evil, but does not, he is, himself, wicked. Consequently, he is not the righteous, pure being that he is worshipped for, and does not exist.

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To summarise, there is nothing, nothing, in scientific knowledge to suggest the existence of any kind of controlling consciousness. Billions, however, continue to deny this, and refuse to accept blatant disproof for religion's accuracy.

And finally, welcome to Atheism.
 

Raven

Ancient Mariner
[!--QuoteBegin-Not_Bruce_Dickinson+Jan 28 2006, 04:46 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Not_Bruce_Dickinson @ Jan 28 2006, 04:46 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]
Supernature cannot exist. Gods are believed to be supernatural beings. Therefore, they cannnot exist.

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A God of any religion is believed to be OUTSIDE nature, and therefore does not apply to natural laws.

[!--QuoteBegin-Not_Bruce_Dickinson+Jan 28 2006, 04:46 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Not_Bruce_Dickinson @ Jan 28 2006, 04:46 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Non-existant.
Ignoring you.
Unable to deny the natural laws of physics that govern the actions of your penny.
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Or unwilling to stop the penny and prove His existence? 'Do not test the Lord your God.' All religions are based on faith. And why should a deity prove its existence to a group of unbelievers through such a trivial act? It's similar to the 'If there is a God, he will strike me down for not believing him' argument. Why would He?
Now, if you come to the conclusion that the "God" does not exist, then, welcome to Atheism.

[!--QuoteBegin-Not_Bruce_Dickinson+Jan 28 2006, 04:46 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Not_Bruce_Dickinson @ Jan 28 2006, 04:46 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]A similar argument is that of whether God can or cannot eliminate evil in the world.

It is an undeniable truth that not everything in the universe is "good," in a religious sense. Therefore, evil must exist. Or at the very least, something very bad.

Doesn't it seem to you that a being of such high importance, power and influence as a God should posses the ability to eliminate a simple thing such as evil? Or is it just that he has the ability, but simply does not.

If God wants to banish evil, but cannot, then he is impotent. He is therefore not the all-powerful being of creation that he is worshipped for, and does not exist.

If God has the ability to banish evil, but does not, he is, himself, wicked. Consequently, he is not the righteous, pure being that he is worshipped for, and does not exist.
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There is always evil in the world. Good is not good without something to compare it with which is its opposite. And, arguably, if God created everything, He Himself must be everything he created, i.e. being possessed of Light and Darkness, Good and Evil. Although it is arguable that his 'good' qualities are stronger than his 'evil' ones. Besides, maybe God is unwilling to banish evil? What would be the point of living an easy life with no trials or troubles, where we can walk through life without even looking to God for help? God would rather we sort out our own problems than step in and solve them for us.

[!--QuoteBegin-Not_Bruce_Dickinson+Jan 28 2006, 04:46 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Not_Bruce_Dickinson @ Jan 28 2006, 04:46 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]To summarise, there is nothing, nothing, in scientific knowledge to suggest the existence of any kind of controlling consciousness. Billions, however, continue to deny this, and refuse to accept blatant disproof for religion's accuracy.

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As has been said before, many times, there is nothing to prove the existence of God, nor is there anything to disprove His existence. You just have to make up our own mind based on your personal judgment and the evidence available to you.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Sorry if I mention facts already covered in previous posts, but my eyes glazed over halfway through.
My thoughts on the Bible, religion, Christianity, Jesus and the universe (lol it sounds like a Douglas Adams book)

The Bible-Old Testament
The first section is purely fictional however it is interesting to point out that the sequence of events in Genesis can be compared to the actual creation of the earth but obviously on a much much shorter scale.
Water, evolution of trees and plants which then create oxygen which then causes animal life to appear, first small and microscopic like fish (the ocean is where the first life came from) then these gradually into larger life forms until appears man.
Adam and Eve and the next few generations is rubbish I.M.O
But when you later get into more historic era the bible has mentioned many facts, which have later been proven true.
The Old Testament can be compared to Greek and Roman Myths, a small kernel of truth surrounded by exaggeration and fiction.
As we later get to the New Testament, It can honestly be said that a man called Jesus was born around 2000 years ago and was crucified; there are many roman sources that confirm this. Whether the miracles occurred I can’t say but there’s no smoke without fire, even today there are phenomenon that we cant explain. Example according our laws of physics the bumblebee should not be able to fly yet it does!
Look at the Russian girl with x-ray vision who can diagnose internal illnesses (yes it has been proven this girl can do this but no one knows how) 2000 years ago this would have been considered a miracle.

Even looking today I can see the power of faith and belief around me, and it is those people who inspire me to believe in a higher entity.
Much of the Christian ethos I disregard but looking at Islam, Judaism and Christianity they all worship a "God" and live their lives by a basic sense of Morales and ethics, i.e. thy shall not kill etc.
You don’t have to be religious to follow these guidelines. So I try to live a good life, as I honestly believe there is some higher entity that affects the world in some way.
If there were no "God" at least at the end of my life I would look back and think yes I tried to do some good in the world. If there is well hey a bonus! It is this lack of selfishness that separates us from animals and which marks us out as different

As for the beginning of the universe here is a strange concept:
Everyone has heard of the Big Bang. Most hopefully have heard of the Big Crunch (look it up if not). I feel when the Big Crunch occurs and the universe collapses in on itself, The Big Bang re-occurs instantly so the universe has essentially been creating itself over trillions of years and then dying again.
Even so there must be something to have caused the original Big Bang in the first place.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth"
The "first" Big Bang.


Still it is a theory after all and nobody can prove nor disprove of a higher existence, everyone is entitled to his or her beliefs and I feel people should not put others down for what they believe in. Look at Iron Maiden- the amount of times I have been put down for liking this band and the stereotypes that people associate with it, we all know differently but others may not it’s the same roughly with Christianity or any other type of religion.
I do feel being classed as deluded does really depend on the issue they are branded for, there are many nutters out there who say the world is flat- they obviously ARE deluded as it has been PROVEN that the world is a sphere.
But I could go on all day. Seeing as it’s a maiden forum though ill finish with a few appropriate lyrics

Are we here for a reason?
I'd like to know just what you think
It would be nice to know what happens when we die
.........wouldn't it?

There are some who are wise
There are some who are born naive
I believe that there are some that must have lived before
.........don't you?

As for me, well I'm thinking
You gotta keep an open mind
But I hope that my life's not an open and shut case

Extrasensory Perception
Life after death, telepathy
Can the soul live on and travel through space and time?
 

SneakySneaky

Trooper
[!--QuoteBegin-Legionnaire+Jan 29 2006, 08:20 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Legionnaire @ Jan 29 2006, 08:20 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]
As we later get to the New Testament, It can honestly be said that a man called Jesus was born around 2000 years ago and was crucified; there are many roman sources that confirm this.
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Can you mention at least one source?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
There are at least two, but unfortunatlely I dreged this post from a recollection from a long lost R.E lesson (going back 10-11 years now). I remember the old hag(my teacher- god she was awful) going about various historical sources(mostly roman) as much as I hated her she did know her stuff. Will keep looking though.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[!--QuoteBegin-Not_Bruce_Dickinson+Jan 28 2006, 05:46 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Not_Bruce_Dickinson @ Jan 28 2006, 05:46 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Blah-blah-blah...

And finally, welcome to Atheism.
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Your argument is irrelevant and as pathetic as those of creationist or Bible-thumpers. I feel ashamed to have fellow atheists like you... [!--emo&<_<--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/dry.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'dry.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
[!--QuoteBegin-Not_Bruce_Dickinson+Jan 30 2006, 08:02 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Not_Bruce_Dickinson @ Jan 30 2006, 08:02 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]You mean the whole thing? Or just the last line? Becuase that was meant to be rather silly.
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Yeah... You *are* stupid, aren't you? [!--emo&:huh:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/huh.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'huh.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

national acrobat

Ancient Mariner
[!--QuoteBegin-SneakySneaky+Jan 29 2006, 09:36 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(SneakySneaky @ Jan 29 2006, 09:36 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Can you mention at least one source?
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[!--QuoteBegin-Legionnaire+Jan 29 2006, 11:10 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Legionnaire @ Jan 29 2006, 11:10 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]There are at least two, but unfortunatlely I dreged this post from a recollection from a long lost R.E lesson (going back 10-11 years now). I remember the old hag(my teacher- god she was awful) going about various historical sources(mostly roman) as much as I hated her she did know her stuff. Will keep looking though.
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Are you guys not even gonna bother to read the whole feckin' thread?!
 
whoops: just about time the band that binds you all together got this new DVD out!So everyone on this forum can focus its extra energy on some new levels and start flaming the band for the sound of it or the rendition of the songs instead of this endless "believe it or not" chain of arguments [!--emo&:p--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/tongue.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'tongue.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

national acrobat

Ancient Mariner
[!--QuoteBegin-Not_Bruce_Dickinson+Jan 28 2006, 05:46 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Not_Bruce_Dickinson @ Jan 28 2006, 05:46 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]To summarise, there is nothing, nothing, in scientific knowledge to suggest the existence of any kind of controlling consciousness. Billions, however, continue to deny this, and refuse to accept blatant disproof for religion's accuracy.

And finally, welcome to Atheism.
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When has religion ever been based on science? Religion really sprung out of a lack of scientific knowledge, and a desire for an explanation about how the world came into existence etc.

Religion is about belief, not proof. People believe in God because of faith, whether misguided or not, not because some scientist says, look, there was this chap 2,000 years ago and he did all these miracles and shit, so there must be a higher being.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Nobody gives Maverick two options [!--emo&-_---][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/sleep.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'sleep.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
OH yeah? well I give him two options now: a) he can respond to this post or [!--emo&B)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/cool.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'cool.gif\' /][!--endemo--] he can ignore it and move on. I'm thinking of a third option but that hasn't been done in a while and I said I'd give him two so there. [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

Raven

Ancient Mariner
Heh-reminds me of my dad
*Do you want tea or coffee?*
*Yes.*
[!--emo&:blink:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/blink.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'blink.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

Travis The Dragon

"Set yourself on fire as we remember this forever"
Holy major thread bump Batman!

Something I want to bring up for anyone on here who is a Satanist who believes in the teachings of Anton LaVey. It is said that this is an atheist type of religion where people don't believe in or worship any gods but instead believe in themselves as a higher power. However, some years back, I watched something on Youtube where someone was at the house of a follower of LaVey's teachings and they showed a full ritual and the person who was performing the ritual said "Hail Loki". Well, I looked Loki up and it says that he is the god of fire. So if people of this type don't believe in any gods, why is one being hailed in a ritual? Or is Loki seen as something different?
 
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