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dinosaurodon
July 27th, 2011, 11:18 PM
I saw a thread like this on another forum so I will borrow it.
What are your views on god? Do you think he/she/it is the the highest of beings? Do you think there is one, or many? Do you think god is ancient mans perception of aliens? Or do not believe in a supreme being at all, and think we all just are? please discuss, oh and be civil and respect other peoples views.

HarrisonH
July 27th, 2011, 11:22 PM
My view of a god in general: There's no evidence of one, and as such I have no belief in one.

As for my view of the god of the Old Testament, I'll have to agree with Richard Dawkins:
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Windox
July 27th, 2011, 11:37 PM
All myth is based on some truth, that being said religon, beliefs w/e you want to call it is subjective and shouldnt be force fed to people or be argued to who is right. Everyone is entitled to believe without fear of judgement. I personaly enjoy the idea that aliens helped acient civilizations accomplish alot of those amazing feats. Thats just me tho!

G-Virus
July 27th, 2011, 11:40 PM
I am Christian, but aside from faith I do have other reasons to believe in Him.
Acts 14:17 says, "Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
Aside from the fact that He provides for our needs (even if you don't believe in Him), creation clearly shows that there was and is a Creator. Everything in the universe is to well perfectly placed and balanced and everything on our planet is to well designed for it to have been a random cause of a random explosion. Even simple celled organisms are amazingly designed.
I don't believe God is cruel, but I do believe He is strict, just, but fair and merciful. He is also loving. Heck, He sent His only Son Jesus (which basically means God Himself died for usas God is Jesus and Jesus is God. Dont ask for an explanation, cause even I dont get it) to die for us, if thats not a demonstration of love, then I don't know what is.

*I apologize for any typos, I'm typing this from my iPhone*

Gymnotide
July 27th, 2011, 11:44 PM
I am 60% sure that this thread exists somewhere already. However, I'll answer it regardless.

In my personal view of deities, I am atheistic. This means that I do not believe in the existence of a god or gods. I feel this way because there is no sound proof that convinces me otherwise. In addition, most of the qualities attributed to deities feel anthropomorphized; most religions explain this by stating that god(s) created man in his/her/its/their likeness, but this is outweighed by the amount of un-compelling answers about deities that are provided time after time. Again, personally, based off of prior education, I believe that gods arose from man's desire for explanation of the natural realm. Before science, it was commonplace to explain aspects of life in terms of the supernatural; without science, even the most basic of things, like air and fire, can be astounding. As a result, this is why deities in ancient times unambiguously embodied the primal elements (as well as things so fundamental as emotion).

I cite this time and time again, but--We have Thor, the god of strength whose enchanted hammer becomes a lightning bolt when thrown, Zeus, the sky-god of the Greeks whose ability to cause rain was renowned across the Mediterranean, Izanagi and Izanami, once lovers turned agents of creation and death, Set, the god whose likeness embodied the darkness and storms of deserts, among others. It's no coincidence that every culture worldwide had deities who embodied the elements, which leads me to strongly suspect that they not only controlled the elements, but were the elements, deified. Thor is lightning, Zeus is rain, Izanagi and Izanami are life and death, and Set is desert plague. Eris is strife, Kvasir is inspiration, Ereshkigal is the passage between life and death, Pluto is Greed, Persephone is springtime, Cybele is nature. It's as simple as that.

However, once enough lore comes about, it makes sense that more and more gods arise out of story-crafting. The reason why Cerberos exists is because Hades needed a watchdog. The reason why Lif and Lifthrasir exist is because they needed to become the next human race after Ragnarokr. Following this, all cultures, in Greek / Roman mythos in particular, have a trend of combining aspects of gods together. We originally had Athena, goddess of war prowess, and Nike, goddess of victory--the two slowly fused identities and became one deity. We had Venus, goddess of beauty and love, and Cloacina, an Etruscan goddess--the Romans ultimately opted to combine the two of them.

Therefore, my view of the monotheistic-common God of modern day is that He is the combination of many different gods together. It's absolutely no coincidence that he carries the traits of many Western deities, and the stories in the Bible closely correlate to seemingly unrelated cultures.

G-Virus
July 27th, 2011, 11:50 PM
^ Of course, the only reason we humans have done those things is because we are wired to worship something. People who didn't know the true God always looked for an answer because thats the way we are made. Even if yoi dont believe in God, or in anything like that for that matter, youre going to idolize something.

HarrisonH
July 27th, 2011, 11:58 PM
I am Christian, but aside from faith I do have other reasons to believe in Him.
Acts 14:17 says, "Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
Aside from the fact that He provides for our needs (even if you don't believe in Him), creation clearly shows that there was and is a Creator. Everything in the universe is to well perfectly placed and balanced and everything on our planet is to well designed for it to have been a random cause of a random explosion. Even simple celled organisms are amazingly designed.
I don't believe God is cruel, but I do believe He is strict, just, but fair and merciful. He is also loving. Heck, He sent His only Son Jesus (which basically means God Himself died for usas God is Jesus and Jesus is God. Dont ask for an explanation, cause even I dont get it) to die for us, if thats not a demonstration of love, then I don't know what is.

*I apologize for any typos, I'm typing this from my iPhone*
99.99999999...% of the universe is deadly to humans. Over 70% of the Earth's surface is inhabitable by humans. I'm not quite sure where this "obvious design" or "balance" is. This quote explains it well:

Right now, it is raining methane on Titan. The planet Uranus, apparently trying to live up to it’s name, is orbiting the sun sideways, while Venus spins backwards. There are stars exploding, black holes gorging, galaxies colliding.

And here we sit, on a planet pock-marked by collisions, rocked by earthquakes, shaken by storms. A planet doomed to be fried in radiation as it’s magnetic fields collapse, until finally the sun grows into a red giant and leaves nothing of the Earth but dust.

Here we sit, glasses on our noses, inhalers in our pockets, braces on our teeth, waiting to die as our heart muscle expires, our cells decide to grow forever, or a blood vessel just pops, and sometimes in unnatural ways, too.

Here we sit, and some of us say, behold, look at the order of it all.

Pretty much everything you said is a faith-based assumption, not grounded in any sort of observable facts. In fact, the observable facts contradict everything you said. It all comes from your faith that everything that the Bible says is true, which is only said... in the Bible.

You say you don't believe that your god is cruel, but the Bible itself contains much cruelty from god.

Exodus 4:23
Exodus 13:15
Exodus 20:5
Isaiah 14:21
Joshua 24:19
Jeremiah 14:12
Deuteronomy 32:39-42
Numbers 11:1
Micah 5:15
Leviticus 26:29

I could go on and on and on and on. There's a massive list here (http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2008/12/richard-dawkins-god-of-old-testament.html), which is in relation to the above video.

G-Virus
July 28th, 2011, 12:21 AM
Balanced as in the sense of stuff like our planet being the perfect distance away from the sun to support our life on earth. The universe was never meant to be colonized by humans, and nor are the other planets we know of. Our other solar system's planets are there influence the balance of our planet so we wont go all over the place (and for our own amusement for that matter).

Exodus 4:23 is stating that Israel as a nation is God's "firstborn son" or in other words his people. God had given pharaoh numerous chances to release Israel from his opression (the Israelites were in slavery under pharoh). Because pharaoh refused to obey God, justice had to be done. I don't think God meant firstborn son as in an actual biological son but Pharohs kingdom.

Exodus 13:15- Yes. Did you also know that the Egyptians killed the Israelite's firstborns to prevent them from growing in number? That's justice for you there!

Exodus 20:5- I do believe that God says he will show mercy and love those who obey Him keep His commands after He says He will punish those who don't. Is not punishment necessary for those who break the law?


I don't feel like analyzing the whole list you put, but I hope I've made it clear that God has a just reason fir punishing and what now or doingthe things He does.

Gymnotide
July 28th, 2011, 12:30 AM
^ Of course, the only reason we humans have done those things is because we are wired to worship something. People who didn't know the true God always looked for an answer because thats the way we are made. Even if yoi dont believe in God, or in anything like that for that matter, youre going to idolize something.

The main difference between modern worship and ancient worship is that modern worship tends to idolize an intangible being, while ancient focuses on the readily observable. This is a big enough difference to say that worship isn't the same at all. A lot of ancient religions weren't about how humans were made (or even why humans are the way they are), but the essence of being itself, i.e. primal cosmology straight down to the elements and actual composition. Modern religion is more morally engrained (though that's not much consolation for me).

"True God" seems a bit blunt.

The Void
July 28th, 2011, 12:31 AM
I'm Roman Catholic and believe in God, and stand strong by that belief. I believe in Jesus and the Holy Spirit, therefore I believe in the Holy Trinity. My belief stands strong no matter how much proof of atheism I read or hear.

I respect other beliefs, don't worry. I have a Mormon and half Muslim friend and I respect them. So no need to worry about me converting you whatsoever. I'm here to talk about Pokemon, not to convert XD

Gymnotide
July 28th, 2011, 12:34 AM
I'm Roman Catholic and believe in God, and stand strong by that belief. I believe in Jesus and the Holy Spirit, therefore I believe in the Holy Trinity. My belief stands strong no matter how much proof of atheism I read or hear.

I respect other beliefs, don't worry. I have a Mormon and half Muslim friend and I respect them. So no need to worry about me converting you whatsoever. I'm here to talk about Pokemon, not to convert XD

Nitpicking: Atheism isn't something one "proves" because you can't prove a lack of belief.

G-Virus
July 28th, 2011, 12:39 AM
@Gymnotide: If by readily observable you mean worshiping a statue, then that's because it was man made. Jehovah God actually revealed Himself to the Israelites in pillar of fire and clouds. He even does it now, except not in the spectacular way as before, cause then we'd believe cause we saw instead of by faith. Before you say I contradicted myself there, most of the Israelites had faith that the God they followed and worshipped was real (they hadn't seen Him yet), which then God showed God power to them, as He does now with the ones who believe in Him.

HarrisonH
July 28th, 2011, 12:51 AM
Well, I was about to go to bed, then I saw you replied.

Balanced as in the sense of stuff like our planet being the perfect distance away from the sun to support our life on earth. The universe was never meant to be colonized by humans, and nor are the other planets we know of. Our other solar system's planets are there influence the balance of our planet so we wont go all over the place (and for our own amusement for that matter).
Apparently you know nothing about astronomy or physics.

Earth is not the "perfect distance away from the sun". Earth is at its nearest point to the sun in early January, and at its furthest point in early July. The difference in the distance from the sun at these two points? Over three million miles.

The thought "our other solar system's planets are there influence the balance of our planet so we wont go all over the place" is absolutely laughable. The other planets have such a small pull on our Earth that were they to suddenly disappear, Earth would continue orbiting the Sun just as it has been.


Exodus 4:23 is stating that Israel as a nation is God's "firstborn son" or in other words his people. God had given pharaoh numerous chances to release Israel from his opression (the Israelites were in slavery under pharoh). Because pharaoh refused to obey God, justice had to be done. I don't think God meant firstborn son as in an actual biological son but Pharohs kingdom.

I'll give you this one.


Exodus 13:15- Yes. Did you also know that the Egyptians killed the Israelite's firstborns to prevent them from growing in number? That's justice for you there!

What about "Turn the other cheek"? If Jesus was god (as you said earlier), he'd be contradicting himself. He'd have changed, which completely goes against the concept of the "perfect" god that he is supposed to be.


Exodus 20:5- I do believe that God says he will show mercy and love those who obey Him keep His commands after He says He will punish those who don't. Is not punishment necessary for those who break the law?

I'm trying to see how that's related at all to the verse, which states that God would punish the children (4 generations down the line! Great-great-great-grandchildren!) for the sins of the parents.

As for "Is punishment necessary": Yes, as long as it fits the crime. Punishing someone who does not believe in a being with absolutely no evidence for existing with torture for eternity is not a fitting punishment.


I don't feel like analyzing the whole list you put, but I hope I've made it clear that God has a just reason fir punishing and what now or doingthe things He does.
No, you haven't.

Also, fun fact while we're on Exodus: The book of Exodus has absolutely no standing as historical fact. Most biblical scholars don't even consider it fact, instead they see it as just a story that tells of a god's ways.

Freedom Fighter N
July 28th, 2011, 12:52 AM
I don't really care if god exists or not. Hmm, I'll go with:
"What can be asserted without proof, can be discounted without proof." -Christopher Hitchens. (Not sure if I remember the name correctly).

Dr.Kotov
July 28th, 2011, 01:57 AM
Always go with Pascal's Wager when it comes to this. That's me at least.
But my view of god is obstructed by a gigantic goddamn tree with a sign that says 'logic'.

FreakyLocz14
July 28th, 2011, 02:04 AM
I believe that God is the creator of the universes, and the creator of all things.

Blue Nocturne
July 28th, 2011, 02:19 AM
I have a Mormon and half Muslim friend and I respect them.

How can you be half a religion?

I don't believe in any kind of God, the idea of one just doesn't add up to me, historically or scientifically. Having said that, if anyone wants to show me any kind of concrete evidence that a God exists, go ahead.

See HarrisonH's posts for my general attitude to religion, though I keep my opinions quite unless the subject is debate or someone annoys me.

Black Ice
July 28th, 2011, 04:57 AM
If there's a god that created the universe then he probably would not be meddling with one tiny little planet in a little galaxy in the tiniest corner of the universe. I don't believe in divine intervention. Laws of the universe don't change for some infinitesimal speck.

But I don't see the need to prove or disprove this god. He's not going to do anything about us. But I still doubt such a one would exist.


Should I be amazed that this thread has already started a debate?

Sodom
July 28th, 2011, 05:15 AM
I don't believe in any God. I've yet to see one shred of valid evidence that any of them exist.

But if he did exist, my view of him would be some disgustingly prejudiced and contradictory old being who created a universe and gave people natural instincts and impulses for the sole purpose of testing how well they can resist them. The prize for those successful? Eternal life!

lahishendeeir
July 28th, 2011, 08:15 AM
i think there is only one god.
& that your religion or belief is just a different of reaching him.
(:

G-Virus
July 28th, 2011, 09:06 AM
@HarrisonH: Yet the earth is still the right distance away to keep life alive. I don't know what to say about the planets though, it's been a while since I've looked at that stuff.
Starting with Exodus 13:15 quote, I'm going to number them in order of descension to make it easier.

1. Yes, I do believe that God "turned the other cheek" for about 50 years or so.

2. Was actually reading about this a while ago. You say that those people don't know God, but how can you hate or love someone you don't know? Those who have seen God's goodness and deliberately reject Him are pretty much saying, "Who cares? We don't need you!" and pretty much bring the judgement on themselves. I'm not sure what "visiting the iniquity" part means to be honest. One more thing, if the parent' do those things, then I'm pretty sure the children will as well. Maybe it means that He will see the influence of the parent's evil.

3. Then it's sad to know that even biblical scholars know squat. That's probably because they have 't read Israel's history. Pretty much every celebration at Passover has to do with the Exodus (which means large movement I believe). They went into the "Promised Land" which is where they are now and now live in it.



Anyways, I can tell that no matter how long we debate about this, you're not going to change your thoughts (which is what you guys normally do anyways). Changing your thought's and hearts is God's job, not mine anyways.

deoxys121
July 28th, 2011, 09:34 AM
I believe there probably is some sort of God out there. I consider myself a non-denominational Christian because I can't find a branch I 100% agree with. I don't believe every word the Bible says, but I do believe in God. I respect those who don't believe in God as long as they respect me. Please do not quote this saying something like "But there's no proof!" because I will take that as disrespect. I'm not quoting and countering anyone here, I'm just stating my opinion.

HarrisonH
July 28th, 2011, 09:43 AM
@HarrisonH: Yet the earth is still the right distance away to keep life alive. I don't know what to say about the planets though, it's been a while since I've looked at that stuff.

"Here we are, therefore God" is a completely silly argument.



Starting with Exodus 13:15 quote, I'm going to number them in order of descension to make it easier.

1. Yes, I do believe that God "turned the other cheek" for about 50 years or so.

So then he completely changed and exerted wrath? Again, if he changed, that goes against the belief that God is "perfect". If he exerted wrath, that goes against the claim that God is "loving". Hell, being wrathful is one of the seven deadly sins.

Speaking of those, here are the ones that God himself as described in the Bible, if he exists, is guilty of: Greed (He wants everyone in the world to worship him), sloth (he has the power to make the world perfect, but he sits back and does nothing instead), wrath (pretty much every single quote I pointed out), envy (being jealous of the worship of other gods/idols), and pride (he is the only who can bring you to salvation, he is the only one worthy of worship, etc).



2. Was actually reading about this a while ago. You say that those people don't know God, but how can you hate or love someone you don't know? Those who have seen God's goodness and deliberately reject Him are pretty much saying, "Who cares? We don't need you!" and pretty much bring the judgement on themselves. I'm not sure what "visiting the iniquity" part means to be honest. One more thing, if the parent' do those things, then I'm pretty sure the children will as well. Maybe it means that He will see the influence of the parent's evil.

How are you supposed to know something that has no physical being, or no proof of its supernatural being? Here's the answer: You can't.

As for "Who cares? We don't need you!", you seem to be making the assumption that everyone believes in god, but do not worship him. That's not the case at all. I do not believe in God, or any god for that matter, because there is absolutely no proof of the existence of one. If evidence of one came out then I'd have to believe in one. "The Bible says" does not count as evidence to anyone with a sense of rationality.

Nice assumptions on the children, by the way. What about "innocent until proven guilty"? With your logic, I could argue that all Christians are intolerant murderers, based on historical events such as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, many executions of freethinkers over the years, the list goes on and on. After all, if the parents did it, the children probably will as well.



3. Then it's sad to know that even biblical scholars know squat. That's probably because they have 't read Israel's history. Pretty much every celebration at Passover has to do with the Exodus (which means large movement I believe). They went into the "Promised Land" which is where they are now and now live in it.

There is absolutely no historical evidence that the Exodus ever occurred. Here's why:

1. There would have been a massive population drop (and subsequent collapse of the economy) in Egypt had a mass of slaves left all at once. There wasn't.
2. As a result of moving to Canaan, there would have been a massive population increase there. Again, there wasn't.
3. 600k people is a lot of people. Just how many? If they marched 10 people across, they'd still form a line 150 miles long.
4. All archaeological evidence we have points to the origin of Israel not being from a single mass of slaves from Egypt, but from indigenous people. Again, there is absolutely no evidence of an Exodus at all.
5. The Exodus story is not correct for the time it is meant to occur, which in Judaism is accepted as 1312 BCE. The Stations on the route to Israel that have been identified all date to 800-600 BCE. In short, they did not exist when the Exodus is said to occur.

That's enough for now.


Anyways, I can tell that no matter how long we debate about this, you're not going to change your thoughts (which is what you guys normally do anyways). Changing your thought's and hearts is God's job, not mine anyways.
Unlike you, I am open to having my beliefs changed. However, also unlike you, I expect there to be some sort of evidence to cause that change. Your arguments do not provide any sort of evidence, and as such have zero chance of causing change.

Livewire
July 28th, 2011, 09:45 AM
A god, in the sense of a supreme, omnipotent being, is beyond the comprehension of a mere mortal. A supreme being would not be bound by time and space, basically the fabric of our universe. Which renders most of this discussion pointless.

HarrisonH
July 28th, 2011, 09:54 AM
A god, in the sense of a supreme, omnipotent being, is beyond the comprehension of a mere mortal. A supreme being would not be bound by time and space, basically the fabric of our universe. Which renders most of this discussion pointless.

But if people actually believed that, there'd be nothing to debate! :P

marz
July 28th, 2011, 10:02 AM
Another God thread huh..

Atheism is a funny thing. I think people now are finding it cool and controversial to be atheists, and with the more people doing it that's just enabling more to become atheists. And I can understand why people choose to believe in it: it's based on fact. But atheism can neither prove that there is no God. So keeping in mind that no belief actually proves anything, I prefer to keep an open mind about a higher force up there. And especially when you consider how tiny the earth is, and how insignificantly small we are, it's strange to think that there is no God. We think we're so important simply because we have consciousness but we're really not. It would surprise me if there weren't other life in the Universe, and it really would surprise me if there wasn't a higher power in the Universe. So I do choose to believe in God. Which one, I don't know. But I find it more compelling to live my life with the thought of a higher power existing, just to contemplate what it is and how it works.

However, that does bring destiny and faith into the mix, and as Neo said, I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my own life. So it's a tough one. But I'd rather not follow along blindly with all the atheists these days.

Aorio
July 28th, 2011, 10:50 AM
Another God thread huh..

Atheism is a funny thing. I think people now are finding it cool and controversial to be atheists, and with the more people doing it that's just enabling more to become atheists. And I can understand why people choose to believe in it: it's based on fact. But atheism can neither prove that there is no God. So keeping in mind that no belief actually proves anything, I prefer to keep an open mind about a higher force up there. And especially when you consider how tiny the earth is, and how insignificantly small we are, it's strange to think that there is no God. We think we're so important simply because we have consciousness but we're really not. It would surprise me if there weren't other life in the Universe, and it really would surprise me if there wasn't a higher power in the Universe. So I do choose to believe in God. Which one, I don't know. But I find it more compelling to live my life with the thought of a higher power existing, just to contemplate what it is and how it works.

However, that does bring destiny and faith into the mix, and as Neo said, I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my own life. So it's a tough one. But I'd rather not follow along blindly with all the atheists these days.
Atheists don't go around blindly. There is no evidence of a God existing -- the world revolves as if there isn't one. I don't see how being atheist is cool or controversial or why someone would become atheist based off that, isn't that kind of.. stupid? I wouldn't become a Christian just because "everybody else is doing it." I don't believe in God. That's it.

2Cool4Mewtwo
July 28th, 2011, 11:04 AM
I believe there is a God. I just do.

Patchisou Yutohru
July 28th, 2011, 11:18 AM
How can you be half a religion?
Easy. Some people like to identify with something. A title that they can give others, which aligns with their beliefs. Since some people don't exactly identify with one religion, and have various other beliefs that are outside of one religion, they feel they identify better with saying that they're part of something. It's what makes up who they are, like one's nationality.

I believe there is a God. I just do.
This is an enlightening post.

2Cool4Mewtwo
July 28th, 2011, 11:22 AM
This is an enlightening post.
I just simply believe there is no need to "prove" that God exists in order to believe in God.

Bela
July 28th, 2011, 01:59 PM
Atheism is a funny thing. I think people now are finding it cool and controversial to be atheists, and with the more people doing it that's just enabling more to become atheists. And I can understand why people choose to believe in it: it's based on fact.
Atheists don't go around blindly. There is no evidence of a God existing -- the world revolves as if there isn't one. I don't see how being atheist is cool or controversial or why someone would become atheist based off that, isn't that kind of.. stupid? I wouldn't become a Christian just because "everybody else is doing it." I don't believe in God. That's it.
Really, anybody can become something blindly--whether they be Christian or Atheist. If you follow a "thing" others are doing purely and simply because you think it's cool to do so, you're not doing so based on the merits of the "thing" in question.

But atheism can neither prove that there is no God.
This is proving a negative.

Tooth Fairy deniers can't prove that there is no Tooth Fairy. Can you prove that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist? Would you be persuaded with that argument to think that the Tooth Fairy can exist?

So keeping in mind that no belief actually proves anything, I prefer to keep an open mind about a higher force up there.

But keeping an open mind would mean you also are open to the idea that such a higher force doesn't exist. And I think it's quite the opposite in most homes; the close-minded household that one typically thinks of in the United States is one which dictates to its children that there is a God and there is no questioning that. It doesn't really strike me as something that happens in the reverse anywhere near as often (There is no God and you won't question that, Billy!)

And especially when you consider how tiny the earth is, and how insignificantly small we are, it's strange to think that there is no God.

Actually I think it's strange to think, based on that information, that one would think that there IS a God. What about our size in comparison to the universe should imply anything about the existence of God?

We think we're so important simply because we have consciousness but we're really not.

Your argument is perplexing, given that you believe in a God and make this point. This is the sort of remark that most atheists would make to those who believe in God who feel that there's some afterlife they're going to--and one that strictly humans are going to, as most Christians don't believe animals have souls.

Rather, it is the argument of an atheist to say that it is the religious person who is self-centered and self-important to feel that they are entitled to an afterlife, or that there is a higher intelligence that created the universe (and man) in His own image.

It would surprise me if there weren't other life in the Universe, and it really would surprise me if there wasn't a higher power in the Universe.

Why would it be more surprising that there wasn't a higher power in the universe? Wouldn't it be the opposite, that the fact that we exist on this planet implies that life can exist elsewhere, but our lack of an ability to demonstrate that "He" exists makes His existence less plausible?

So I do choose to believe in God. Which one, I don't know. But I find it more compelling to live my life with the thought of a higher power existing, just to contemplate what it is and how it works.

Okay, although why exactly you arbitrarily decide to believe in God is a mystery.

Where did God come from? Was he always here, or did He arise out of nothing? As Carl Sagan said, why not save a step and say the Universe was always here, or came from nothing?

What exactly is reassuring about the existence of a higher power, anyway?


However, that does bring destiny and faith into the mix, and as Neo said, I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my own life. So it's a tough one.

But if there is some higher power as you believe, would you not think He had some power or control over your life? Why would He not have the power to do so?

If He can't intervene in human affairs or establish in any way that He exists, then why presume that He exists at all? And of what need that He exists is there, again?

But I'd rather not follow along blindly with all the atheists these days.

I think this explains the reason for the similarities in arguments to those of secularists. It sounds like the mentality of an anti-conformist who doesn't want to be "just one of those atheists." It sounds to me like you more have a problem with populism than you do with not believing in a God. And if that's the case, then you should know that there are way more people believing in a God in the world than there are atheists. So if you have problems with looking like a conformist, you're in with the "wrong" crowd.

Gymnotide
July 28th, 2011, 02:21 PM
Alright, since this thread is going somewhere where it really shouldn't, I'm just going to say this once:

In order to prove something, you must adhere to the principles of Logical Positivism and the Falsifiability Principle. The former states that something is true if you can find solid evidence of it in observational data. The latter states that something is not true if you can find evidence against it in observational data. Since God, god, or gods cannot be verily observed, we can't strictly prove OR disprove them. That's why religion is a belief system, not a science.

You can't prove that something doesn't exist because you can't observe it. You can only infer it (in an educated manner) based on lack of evidence. Don't go around saying "you can't prove that God doesn't exist." That's immaterial and doesn't change the fact that you can't prove He does.

You are also referring to atheism as though it was a religion when it's not. At all.

twocows
July 28th, 2011, 03:29 PM
I am atheist. However, I think there is some credence to the Hindu belief that all things, living and non-living, are manifestations of a supreme being or consciousness. I believe if there is some such concept, that would be its most likely form. Specifically, I believe that if there is a higher power, we and it are one and the same.

Sodom
July 28th, 2011, 03:54 PM
Atheism is a funny thing. I think people now are finding it cool and controversial to be atheists, and with the more people doing it that's just enabling more to become atheists.

I'd rather not follow along blindly with all the atheists these days.

Ah yes, I remember the day I became an atheist. I remember it well.

I was a devout Catholic who attended church not only every Sunday, but also every Tuesday and Thursday. I would carry my rosary beads everywhere I went talked to my parish priest about everything. He wasn't just my priest, he was like my best friend, you know? Zyggy was his name - well, it wasn't his real name but he asked us to call him "Father Zyggy" because he was Polish and had a name too long and difficult to pronounce. But I digress.

One evening I was watching television by myself - young and impressionable tyke I was, just sixteen years old - when I came across one of those debate shows. My mother had always turned these shows off in the past, telling me that they weren't something I needed to see. I was home alone, so I decided to watch. It was a little thrilling, to be honest. It was like being an eleven-year-old accidentally discovering pornography. You know you shouldn't watch it, you know you'd get in trouble if you were caught, but that's what makes it that much more appealing, isn't it?

I don't remember the exact question they were debating, but it was heavily into religion and the belief in God. On the affirmative side there was a Catholic Archbishop, a Lutheran minister and a Mormon mother of seven. On the negative team there were three atheists. On the left there was a psychologist, in the middle there was an evolutionary scientist, and on the right was the coolest guy I have ever seen.

I became enamoured with him. When it was finally his turn to talk, he spoke with such passion and such logic, I could barely control my excitement. He was just so cool. So my becoming an atheist had nothing at all to do with the fact that the entire negative team made valid and coherent arguments while all the affirmative team could muster was "no, you're wrong, bcos Jesus." No, it was all due to this guy. My entire thought process completely shut down while he spoke. The only thought that entered my head was "Wow, I wish I could be as cool as that guy."

Then it hit me. I could be as cool as that guy! All I had to do was throw in my faith in my rosary beads and cease believing in God! It was that simple! Immediately, I called the Atheism Hotline (1-800-ATHEIST or 1-800-284-3478 for those of you who might be interested) and requested a starter kit. One week later, a box came in the mail...

Excitedly, I cut the tape and opened the box. Inside, there was a Holy Bible taped to a box of matches for my rite-of-passage Bible-burning ceremony, a step-by-step guide on how do to the 'cool guy' atheist handshake, three bottles of acid to pour into Holy Water at church so that it actually does something, a cap to wear backwards, a laminated membership card and this T-shirt:

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01478/t6_1478818a.jpg

I chose that T-shirt over the one that said "Thank God I'm An Atheist" because the latter seemed a little too on-the-nose. Also, this one brings out my eyes.

Now that I'm an atheist, I truly feel way cooler than I ever could have hoped to be as a believer. But you know, when I became an atheist, the funniest thing happened. I didn't feel like I was "following along blindly", I felt like I had finally stopped following along blindly. And that, my friend, was the coolest thing of all.

Gold warehouse
July 28th, 2011, 04:13 PM
I feel it would be arrogant to try and assume anything about a potential higher being or life force. There is nothing that has convinced me there is a single omnipotent & omniscient consciousness, so in that sense I don't believe in a God.

I also feel it would be arrogant to assume everything in the universe, vast as it is, exists just for the sake of existing. I feel it's likely that there is more to it all than meets the eye (or in this case, the comprehension of the human mind). The closest label I can slap on to my belief is pantheism.

I tend to just say I am agnostic for convenience, I think it's the most logical standpoint to make seeing as humanity is still so naive about the universe. Nobody really knows anything, they just make guesses based on what they're told and their own personality.
My mind says agnosticism (leaning on atheism); but humans aren't robots and my heart says that there's something more.

G.U.Y.
July 28th, 2011, 04:28 PM
I believe that the existence of God can not be proven or proven false. I believe most people realize that as well, but it's really just a matter of faith.

I am a very scientific person, I base everything on facts not faith. Facts don't say there is no God, which is why I don't say there isn't God.

I just don't see the point in living in fear (and that's what most religions are - living in fear of punishment) of something I am not sure is even there. I'll just live a good life and treat people how I'd like to be treated - and if there is a God, I highly doubt that it cares whether or not your believe in it. That seems like such a petty thing to do, punish people for not believing. I'd think an all perfect being would be above such immature things. ಠ_ಠ

Being good is all that matters. Anything else put into the equation would make me think God just contradicts the belief of an all loving being.

Another God thread huh..

Atheism is a funny thing. I think people now are finding it cool and controversial to be atheists, and with the more people doing it that's just enabling more to become atheists. And I can understand why people choose to believe in it: it's based on fact. But atheism can neither prove that there is no God. So keeping in mind that no belief actually proves anything, I prefer to keep an open mind about a higher force up there. And especially when you consider how tiny the earth is, and how insignificantly small we are, it's strange to think that there is no God. We think we're so important simply because we have consciousness but we're really not. It would surprise me if there weren't other life in the Universe, and it really would surprise me if there wasn't a higher power in the Universe. So I do choose to believe in God. Which one, I don't know. But I find it more compelling to live my life with the thought of a higher power existing, just to contemplate what it is and how it works.

However, that does bring destiny and faith into the mix, and as Neo said, I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my own life. So it's a tough one. But I'd rather not follow along blindly with all the atheists these days.

Saying that Atheists can't prove there is no God is quite possibly the dumbest excuse to use. Religion can't prove there is one. No one can prove anything regarding the existence of God, so that argument has no basis.

Also-

YAY I FIND IT SO COOL TO BE THE LEAST TRUSTED MINORITY, IT'S JUST SO FUN TO HAVE PEOPLE LOOK AT ME LIKE I'M A SATAN WORSHIPER! HURRAY!

ಠ_ಠ Seriously? Have you ever just thought that maybe, just maybe, people are Atheist because they don't believe in a god? I know, crazy thought huh?

Lilith
July 28th, 2011, 05:16 PM
I believe there is a God. It doesn't matter if you love him or Him~

FreakyLocz14
July 28th, 2011, 05:22 PM
Atheism is circular reasoning in action.
"I don't believe in faith, only things that can be proven. So I'm going to positively believe in the nonexistnce of God even though that cannot be proven, either."

abnegation
July 28th, 2011, 05:26 PM
I don't believe in "God" in any traditional sense. But my definition would be that there would have needed to be an introductory power in this universe to begin it, or maintain it, and I believe that this power would be God. I have no spiritual link to one right now. I believe in the progression of the human race by relying on humanism, as I do not believe we can rely on an intermediary being. However I don't think it suits the human mind that we are the sole race in this universe, that nothing is watching over us. However, I simply don't believe in any spiritual presence, but the presence of something more powerful than everything, is something I do believe in. And that is the closes thing to God I know.

HarrisonH
July 28th, 2011, 05:32 PM
Atheism is circular reasoning in action.
"I don't believe in faith, only things that can be proven. So I'm going to positively believe in the nonexistnce of God even though that cannot be proven, either."

Cool misconstrued definition of "atheist", bro. I've come to expect no less from you.

Atheism is not "believing there is no god", atheism is "not believing there is a god". It is the lack of belief, it is not a belief.

Kyoko
July 28th, 2011, 05:36 PM
I wasn't raised religious, so therefore for me, I don't have any ties to a specific way of looking at god. However, I do believe there is a higher being. Whether or not that being had profits or wrote books or is the sole reason behind the creation of anything is beyond me. I do find religions to be fascinating, so I love learning about what different religions believe and I find myself agreeing with certain aspects of different ones, but I don't believe enough to be completely religious myself...if that makes sense. Even though I do believe in a higher being, I still consider myself agnostic because I don't know what to believe about the higher being.

FreakyLocz14
July 28th, 2011, 05:43 PM
Cool misconstrued definition of "atheist", bro. I've come to expect no less from you.

Atheism is not "believing there is no god", atheism is "not believing there is a god". It is the lack of belief, it is not a belief.

All atheists I know personally believe that there is no God. Perhaps you are confusing pure atheism with agnostic atheism.

abnegation
July 28th, 2011, 05:47 PM
All atheists I know personally believe that there is no God. Perhaps you are confusing pure atheism with agnostic atheism.
Actually, Atheists reject any belief from anyone, in any god. Including themselves, as you say, but Atheists don't have a belief, secularists have the belief, atheists have a "truth".

Livewire
July 28th, 2011, 07:02 PM
The root of this all arguement is the fact that we realy know nothing, if you think about it. Modern humans have been around for only 50,000 years - a geologic blink of an eye. We came up with organized religion, and science, as a way to understand the unknown. There are many things in the world we don't understand, and may never will. User Penatrait wins the thread so far - Our universe is so vast, deep and complex, that there may very well be some sort of greater force, whatever that may be, pulling the strings. Or not, it may all be a random assortment of events and happenstances.

Myles
July 28th, 2011, 07:10 PM
All atheists I know personally believe that there is no God. Perhaps you are confusing pure atheism with agnostic atheism.

I don't know many atheists that consider themselves gnostic atheists. I'm sure there are some, but they're in the minority, because as you said, it's kind of ridiculous. And gnostic atheists can be called hard, positive, strong or explicit atheists, but not pure. Since atheism by itself is the lack of belief in gods. Nowhere is the definition believes there are no gods.

marz
July 28th, 2011, 07:25 PM
Atheists don't go around blindly. There is no evidence of a God existing -- the world revolves as if there isn't one. I don't see how being atheist is cool or controversial or why someone would become atheist based off that, isn't that kind of.. stupid? I wouldn't become a Christian just because "everybody else is doing it." I don't believe in God. That's it.

You're implying every atheist necessarily blindly believes in atheism.

Tooth Fairy deniers can't prove that there is no Tooth Fairy. Can you prove that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist? Would you be persuaded with that argument to think that the Tooth Fairy can exist?

You're dumbing down the issue at hand incredibly using this argument. The tooth fairy has nowhere near the same gravity as would a God if it were to exist. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the Boogeyman are all children's tales.

But keeping an open mind would mean you also are open to the idea that such a higher force doesn't exist. And I think it's quite the opposite in most homes; the close-minded household that one typically thinks of in the United States is one which dictates to its children that there is a God and there is no questioning that. It doesn't really strike me as something that happens in the reverse anywhere near as often (There is no God and you won't question that, Billy!)

Yes, and I've been an atheist. I've once believed that there is no God, based on all the arguments you atheists love to use. But I gradually changed my mind, just like I'm sure you did because you weren't an atheist from birth, and became Agnostic. That's what I would consider myself to be now. And, well (a) I'm not American, and (b) how do you know? With atheism rising so much these days, maybe we don't have families who are like that but we may very well see some that are. Atheism is a belief, just as religion is. If you're truly an atheist who revokes anyone else's beliefs (just like you are doing me), you would probably tell your son to not believe in a God. Atheists can be closed-minded too, you have to realize that. Just because you go against the norm doesn't mean you're immediately a Liberal.



Actually I think it's strange to think, based on that information, that one would think that there IS a God. What about our size in comparison to the universe should imply anything about the existence of God?

Use your imagination, buddy. Science can only tell you what we have access to now. We haven't been able to fly past the moon. This may be a bad argument because I'm implying ants and other bugs have a consciousness, but if they did, do you really think they could imagine who we are to them? Or even smaller than that, bacteria? We would be Gods to them. We would be the higher beings that are changing their habitats. When I was a kid, I would always plug ant-holes for fun. If they were conscious enough to contemplate that something did that, then don't you think they would come up with the same type of rationalization? There must be some sort of higher power.



Your argument is perplexing, given that you believe in a God and make this point. This is the sort of remark that most atheists would make to those who believe in God who feel that there's some afterlife they're going to--and one that strictly humans are going to, as most Christians don't believe animals have souls.

Rather, it is the argument of an atheist to say that it is the religious person who is self-centered and self-important to feel that they are entitled to an afterlife, or that there is a higher intelligence that created the universe (and man) in His own image.

You seem to think I'm of a religion. I'm not, I just believe what I do. I'm an agnostic.

Why would it be more surprising that there wasn't a higher power in the universe? Wouldn't it be the opposite, that the fact that we exist on this planet implies that life can exist elsewhere, but our lack of an ability to demonstrate that "He" exists makes His existence less plausible?

Simply because of the vastness of the Universe. I'm accepting beings and existences that can live without our natural restrictions. We live off of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen mostly, some Nitrogen. Who says that our periodic elements are all that exist in the world? That's what exists on Earth sure, but prove to me that there is not more in the Universe. You don't know the composites of a greater being, neither do I. How can you deny a deity? I can't.

Okay, although why exactly you arbitrarily decide to believe in God is a mystery.

Where did God come from? Was he always here, or did He arise out of nothing? As Carl Sagan said, why not save a step and say the Universe was always here, or came from nothing?

What exactly is reassuring about the existence of a higher power, anyway?

I find it juvenile you ask me those questions knowing full well I can't answer them.

Dunno, what's more reassuring about believing in no God?

But if there is some higher power as you believe, would you not think He had some power or control over your life? Why would He not have the power to do so?

If He can't intervene in human affairs or establish in any way that He exists, then why presume that He exists at all? And of what need that He exists is there, again?

Oh, sir, you have all the right questions don't you. As I said, it's a tough one. But you gotta take the good with the bad. If there is a higher power, you can't deny that your life is really for nothing. That you have no control over it. I may believe in some sort of higher power, doesn't mean I'm content with the possibility 100%. Not everything is black and white.

I think this explains the reason for the similarities in arguments to those of secularists. It sounds like the mentality of an anti-conformist who doesn't want to be "just one of those atheists." It sounds to me like you more have a problem with populism than you do with not believing in a God. And if that's the case, then you should know that there are way more people believing in a God in the world than there are atheists. So if you have problems with looking like a conformist, you're in with the "wrong" crowd.

haha, I can see how that sounded that way. It was honestly just a remark I was making, something that I was noticing. I don't not believe in atheism just because I don't want to follow a trend. Of that, I assure you.

Saying that Atheists can't prove there is no God is quite possibly the dumbest excuse to use. Religion can't prove there is one. No one can prove anything regarding the existence of God, so that argument has no basis.

Not really. It's still true, no matter how "dumb" of an excuse it may be. And don't you think that, if you're a true believer in a religion, that the belief in the religion proves the God within itself? It may not be true for everyone, but, as you can plainly see from this thread, religion is a very personal thing. It does not matter of what belief you're from, if the next guy truly believes in something, that's all the proof he needs.

Myles
July 28th, 2011, 07:44 PM
I don't see how teaching your kids atheism is an equivalent to teaching them a religion. One has no dogma, it's not really anything, it's a lack of something. 'Teaching atheism' is actually 'teaching that religion is false'. The evidence tends to point in that direction. Obviously not all of it, since some parts of religion are unfalsifiable. But science teaches us to ignore things that are unfalsifiable, since there is physically no way to know if they're true or not.

Regardless, a lot of atheists actually suggest that teaching kids directly atheism, removes the ability for a child to learn to think critically for themselves. Instead that it's a better idea to teach critical thinking skills and let that logically flow into them becoming atheists by themselves. Religion is only so effective because they are taught it at a young age, before they develop the ability to think critically. I realise there are some adult converts, but not nearly as much of the influence as the indoctrination of children.

FreakyLocz14
July 28th, 2011, 08:13 PM
Teaching kids "religion is false" and "there is no God" is teaching positive, gnostic beliefs. Saying "there is no proof that x religion is not true" or "there is no proof of the existance of God" is agnosticism. Atheism is a relogion.

Myles
July 28th, 2011, 09:07 PM
Saying "there is no proof that x religion is not true" or "there is no proof of the existance of God" is agnosticism.

It is also atheism (at least the second one). I think your definition of atheism and/or religion is skewed from the general standard somewhat.

atheism n.
1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God
2. a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods

religion n.
1. a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his faith but not his morality"
2. an institution to express belief in a divine power; "he was raised in the Baptist religion"; "a member of his own faith contradicted him"

These two words are simply not compatible.

Black Ice
July 28th, 2011, 09:14 PM
Does it matter if atheism is religion or not...? It's a belief that no higher beings exist. Or a non-belief. What is the difference, and why does it matter?

HarrisonH
July 28th, 2011, 09:15 PM
Does it matter if atheism is religion or not...? It's a belief that no higher beings exist. Or a non-belief. What is the difference, and why does it matter?

Religions have a set of dogma attached to their beliefs, a worldview that goes along with them. Atheism does not. It is only having no belief in any gods, and nothing more.

Black Ice
July 28th, 2011, 09:19 PM
Seems like this particular argument is more nitpicking than anything, though.

Anyway, I'm done with this thread. Already wrote down my thoughts and I'm not getting sucked into a pointless argument.

HarrisonH
July 28th, 2011, 09:21 PM
Since my last post was deleted...

Teaching kids "religion is false" and "there is no God" is teaching positive, gnostic beliefs. Saying "there is no proof that x religion is not true" or "there is no proof of the existance of God" is agnosticism. Atheism is a relogion.

Atheism is not a religion, and it's nothing more than misinformation to attempt to state that it is. Atheism is just having no belief in any gods, and nothing more. "A/gnostic" is a statement of knowledge, and has nothing to do with belief.

Gnostic atheist: "I believe there is no god."
Agnostic atheist: "There is no evidence of a god, so I do not believe in one."

Now, there are religions in which one can be an atheist, but again, atheism is not the religion. There are Buddhist atheists, Hindu atheists, pagan atheists, Jain atheists, Confucian atheists, Jewish atheists, etc.

"If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby"


By the way, next time instead of deleting my post, just PM me. I would have willingly edited my post.

ArcanineGaming
July 28th, 2011, 09:23 PM
I believe in The Great Spirit, But I don't think it's a Religion more so a Belief system.

Myles
July 29th, 2011, 12:15 AM
Most people believe religion is about faith. Doesn't faith require letting critical thinking subside?

That teaching critical thinking thing is just one of the ideas I've found people have around the atheist community.

Soari
July 29th, 2011, 03:46 AM
I was born and raised as a Muslim. I've been practising Islam throughout my whole life. I am still learning a lot as I go. Yes, I believe in the existence of God/Allah who is the creator and sustainer of the universe since that is a core tenet of Islam. I don't really need any scientific evidence or proof for that matter because the Holy Quran itself is a message from Allah to the humanity and half of the book mainly focuses on Tauheed: unity and oneness of Allah and his attributes. Moreover, it also tells about the miracles that the prophets received from Allah. Without any doubt, the holy book is still authentic as it was 1400 years ago. What more evidence do I need? Just think about it, Who is controlling this huge and complicated universe? How come the sun, moon, planets, etc are functioning properly? Who created human beings and all other creations? Obviously, nothing can come into existence by accident or out of magic. There has to be some sort of a higher power somewhere that binds us, right? If there was no god, everything would be meaningless without any ultimate purpose and nothing would carry any significance. For me, Islam has taught me what is the purpose of life. This life is nothing but just a test from God. If anyone had ever seen god, how could they be in a fair test? Having said that, it's not necessary to have any scientific reasoning or logic to prove the existence of God, you can always use your common sense.

Katalyst
July 29th, 2011, 04:04 AM
I am seeing this become another God vs. God (or non-God) thing...

My view of God? The creator. Simple as that. I don't follow any religion, but following the laws of physics themselves, all the universe can't simply appear from nothing.

I'll just leave it this way, for I don't want to be a Nazi and telling people what to believe in.

Freedom Fighter N
July 29th, 2011, 04:42 AM
Having said that, it's not necessary to have any scientific reasoning or logic to prove the existence of God, you can always use your common sense.
I see. A respectable amount of Earth's population lack common sense.

Just think about it, Who is controlling this huge and complicated universe? How come the sun, moon, planets, etc are functioning properly? Who created human beings and all other creations? Obviously, nothing can come into existence by accident or out of magic. There has to be some sort of a higher power somewhere that binds us, right? If there was no god, everything would be meaningless without any ultimate purpose and nothing would carry any significance.
...
I don't want to reply to that. I'm going to pretend I never read that.

One last thing, god bless atheism!

Massacre.
July 29th, 2011, 08:28 AM
I say not possible. I mean, wouldn't he stop all these nasty wars, change my username, etc?

Soari
July 29th, 2011, 09:58 AM
I say not possible. I mean, wouldn't he stop all these nasty wars, change my username, etc?

So you blame God for all the nasty wars, evil tragedies and so on? you know, there is a thing called free-will? Of course, God has given us a freedom of choice to choose between what's right and what's wrong. Like I said in my previous post, this life is merely a test, nothing more than that. When humans commit evil or major sins, they are failing in their test. They are misusing their abilities that God has entrusted them with. The duty to strive against evil in this world is a duty that is entrusted to human beings as a test. We have been given free will so we can make good use of it and to follow and search for the right path. If we deviate from the path of righteousness, Satan would be doing one heck of a job. Here's a quote from the Quran: "Evil has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds, etc) that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return in repentance. (Surah Ar-Rum, 30:41)

FreakyLocz14
July 29th, 2011, 03:24 PM
Atheism is a religion because it is faith-based. If you believe that there is no God, yet you have no evidence to prove that, your belief is based on faith.

Cherrim
July 29th, 2011, 03:43 PM
This "is atheism a religion" argument is kind of off-topic and has nothing to do with "your view of god". Someone already posted a dictionary definition that proves both sides so can we get back to talking about god and personal beliefs regarding one rather than atheism vs religion? Specific debate and discussion about atheism (the exact opposite of this thread :P) can go in this already existing thread (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=256554) about atheism.
I say not possible. I mean, wouldn't he stop all these nasty wars, change my username, etc?
If there is a god, maybe it's an apathetic one, or one who wants destruction rather than salvation for everyone. (Or one who doesn't like name changes.) ;P I don't think that's a reason to discount the existence of one, but it may be a reason for you to discount the existence of a good god.

HarrisonH
July 29th, 2011, 11:56 PM
Atheism is a religion because it is faith-based. If you believe that there is no God, yet you have no evidence to prove that, your belief is based on faith.

Repeating the same thing over and over again doesn't make it true, case in point (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?p=6700501#post6700501). Take the time to read the other posts clearly explaining why atheism is not a religion, and stop repeating the same tripe.

FreakyLocz14
July 30th, 2011, 02:44 AM
Repeating the same thing over and over again doesn't make it true, case in point (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?p=6700501#post6700501). Take the time to read the other posts clearly explaining why atheism is not a religion, and stop repeating the same tripe.

OK. Let's just agree to disagree and get back on topic.

~*!*~Tatsujin Gosuto~*!*~
July 30th, 2011, 12:44 PM
What are your views on god?
Lets just say that I do not believe in God for my personal reasons

Do you think he/she/it is the the highest of beings?
No, But I believe that I am lol

Do you think there is one, or many?
None, I have my reasons

Do you think god is ancient mans perception of aliens? Or do not believe in a supreme being at all, and think we all just are?
I think we all just are


:t354:TG

twocows
July 31st, 2011, 12:23 PM
Atheism is circular reasoning in action.
"I don't believe in faith, only things that can be proven. So I'm going to positively believe in the nonexistnce of God even though that cannot be proven, either."

All atheists I know personally believe that there is no God. Perhaps you are confusing pure atheism with agnostic atheism.
Perhaps you should have specified what sort of atheism to begin with. The term "atheism" by itself says nothing of certainty, only of a general belief in the non-existence of a higher power.

I find people who believe anything with 100% certainty to be unwise (for lack of a better term). I believe nothing in the universe happens with 100% certainty. That said, I think most atheists do not certainly believe in the non-existence of a higher power like you say. I do not believe in a higher power because I do not believe that there is a statistically significant likelihood that such an entity exists. I think this is the standard that most atheists base their beliefs on (though surely not all). That and the idea doesn't make any logical sense to me, and I place a great deal of importance on logic.

I also believe that even if there is a higher power, it's probably not the kind seen in Christianity. There are tens of thousands of different religions out there and I see no reason why one is any more credible than another.

However, as I mentioned earlier, Hinduism holds a certain appeal to me personally; I like the idea that if there is a higher power, that it and all of us (and all things, for that matter) are one and the same.

XxSweetDreamsxX
July 31st, 2011, 07:33 PM
I avoid these conversations because people are very attached to their beliefs

If you avoid them, why are you commenting on here...?


Anyways, my views of God are mixed. I use to believe in one when I was younger, but now I have my doubts. I don't know what to believe in, and therefore I don't believe. People keep trying to guide me back to Christianity, but I feel as if everything they tell me are...lies.

I don't connect with a spiritual being. I'm just thankful that I'm living period, and that I'll continue to live for many more years to come. No one thinks that's good enough...my friends have literally been forcing me to believe in a God, lately. Help?

Seуmour
August 4th, 2011, 03:42 AM
I view God as an entity or superset of entities that others believe in. When this entity/ies or its belief is pushed onto me through religious force feeding, it vexes me.

keoni
August 4th, 2011, 06:40 AM
My view of a god in general: There's no evidence of one, and as such I have no belief in one.

As for my view of the god of the Old Testament, I'll have to agree with Richard Dawkins:
ovWs8JQN7FE

I must agree.... I also think a good reference if you want more of a comedic standpoint is George Carlin.... R.I.P.

Esper
August 4th, 2011, 11:01 AM
I don't have any personal belief in any god, goddess, non-gendered spiritual being, plural or otherwise. But if I did...

The most reasonable and likely view I'd have would be one where there is a general originating energy - nothing personalized - for the universe and the force behind the structure of everything. However, I think it would be more fun to believe in personalized beings, in a way similar to those pantheon religions of ye olde days, only maybe without so much blood and sacrificing, but still some way to call 'em up if you needed help with anything. It would be nice to have someone whose job it was to watch over all the different aspects and affairs of us wee mortals. You'd know you had someone specific to call and that'd be comforting, I suppose.

Åzurε
August 6th, 2011, 05:33 AM
What are your views on god?
Christian Fundamentalist. I believe in God as described in the Bible, the all-knowing, all-powerful, extradimensional and eternal one who created mankind and has been watching and speaking and helping ever since to save anybody who would come and obey from separation. I believe in Christ as the Son and Word of God, entirely divine and entirely human in nature, who had to be sacrificed to overcome the barriers between God and humanity. On a more specific note, I believe God enjoys using harmony in his designs and messages- different sounds, positions, thoughts, all speaking to one truth.

Do you think he/she/it is the the highest of beings?
Mmm...yup.

Do you think there is one, or many?
One God, who has revealed himself to humanity in 3 ways- God the Father to the Hebrew nation, God the Son whose message applies to all people, and God the Holy Spirit to the whole world through the teachings of Jesus.

Do you think god is ancient mans perception of aliens?
Take a guess. I'll give you 3 chances.

Or do not believe in a supreme being at all, and think we all just are?
In my eyes, that's quite silly to even consider. I've yet to see scientific evidence proving any occurrence of macroevolution, which is more or less essential to any naturalistic cause of the existence of mankind. And don't get me started on a naturalistic origin of the first lifeforms. From there, the Christian God has provided the best (not an opinion, in my opinion) answers for how we are to live, which resonate with mankind's real nature, which is also, coincidentally, revealed through the Bible.

You wanna chat with me a bit, SweetDreams? I'm always willing. Your choice. ;o


I find people who believe anything with 100% certainty to be unwise (for lack of a better term). I believe nothing in the universe happens with 100% certainty.
If I may, how then do we conduct science? If you test under one set of circumstances multiple times, you expect the same result. If there is a variance, don't you look for changes in the conditions under which it occurred? What reason have we to believe that gravity and laws of motion only apply 99.9% of the time? I believe we decided to call them laws for a reason.

I also believe that even if there is a higher power, it's probably not the kind seen in Christianity. There are tens of thousands of different religions out there and I see no reason why one is any more credible than another.
Truth aligns with truth. If something doesn't resonate with reality it is, for all intents and purposes, false. I see Christianity and my God as resonating with the truth of reality.

twocows
August 6th, 2011, 07:55 AM
If I may, how then do we conduct science? If you test under one set of circumstances multiple times, you expect the same result. If there is a variance, don't you look for changes in the conditions under which it occurred? What reason have we to believe that gravity and laws of motion only apply 99.9% of the time? I believe we decided to call them laws for a reason.
Nothing happens at a 100% certainty. This is the essence of the field of statistics. Whether it's because as you're dropping your object to test gravity, someone comes along and kicks it before it hits the ground, or for some other reason, nothing happens for certain. The reason things are called laws is because we have determined these formulas as things that explain a certain outcome provided there is no interference (in other words, an ideal environment, which is something that never exists in our universe).


Truth aligns with truth. If something doesn't resonate with reality it is, for all intents and purposes, false. I see Christianity and my God as resonating with the truth of reality.It seems like you're saying no other religion makes sense and that Christianity does (though perhaps I'm misunderstanding, given your unusual wording and seemingly irrelevant tautology). If that's the case, surely you must have an understanding of every other religion that exists (or even every other major religion)? Perhaps you could tell me the basic ideas behind them, for instance?

I can tell you right now that Christianity is no more credible than any other religion. I find it especially laughable that any Christian would outright reject Islam as implausible when it is to Christianity what Christianity is to Judaism. If you believe in Christianity, so be it, but don't try to pawn it off as somehow more credible than other religions. That's just foolish. Besides, one of the main ideas in Christianity is "faith." If there was evidence, there would not need to be faith; to a believer, evidence should be irrelevant. If you want to convince people, you should try to show them that the ideals of Christianity are better (which I argue they are not; I find Hinduism to have the most agreeable ideals).

HarrisonH
August 6th, 2011, 09:23 AM
I've yet to see scientific evidence proving any occurrence of macroevolution.

Then you haven't looked hard enough. (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html)


And don't get me started on a naturalistic origin of the first lifeforms.


Abiogenesis, anyone? (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/)


As for you reaching out to Sweetdreams, I think you missed the point that she doesn't want to be pressured to believe in a god, which is exactly what it seems like you would do.

Livewire
August 6th, 2011, 11:55 AM
If I may, how then do we conduct science? If you test under one set of circumstances multiple times, you expect the same result. If there is a variance, don't you look for changes in the conditions under which it occurred? What reason have we to believe that gravity and laws of motion only apply 99.9% of the time? I believe we decided to call them laws for a reason.


"Nothing is always absolutely so"

Nothing is foolproof, notice Sturgeon's Law. You cannot say for sure which way or the other, becuase we simply as mere mortals could not possibly begin to fathom the powers of a god, or omnipotent being. According to most scripture, of many religeons, to say that you're capable of understanding God's motive's or its plans,nature,ways, etc, would surely be blasphemous, putting yourself on par with an all powerful being. This is where philosophically and logically, religion's argument for itself begins to sputter.

Åzurε
August 6th, 2011, 04:17 PM
Then you haven't looked hard enough. (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html)

Abiogenesis, anyone? (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/)
Ohhh, I called it, didn't I?

I've not had time to consider thoroughly on the articles you presented, but I'll get back to you in a day or so. EDIT: maybe not. It's Monday and I haven't had a chance to read through them. I've seen that site before, I believe... After a quick read over one of the abiogenesis articles (Lies, Damned Lies, etc.), they state that they don't know how probable it is that life would form, and that it all comes down to as-of-yet unstudied biochemistry. I wonder if they've closely considered the conditions such a self-replicating molecule would have to exist and persist in, or how the chemicals necessary for it's formation would themselves come to be in the ocean.

As for you reaching out to Sweetdreams, I think you missed the point that she doesn't want to be pressured to believe in a god, which is exactly what it seems like you would do.
No pressure. I only want to help, as much as I could from the other side of the internet. She said the things her friends are saying feel like lies, and lies need to be broken, wherever they stem from. I think you and I could both agree on that.



"Nothing is always absolutely so"

Nothing is foolproof, notice Sturgeon's Law. You cannot say for sure which way or the other, becuase we simply as mere mortals could not possibly begin to fathom the powers of a god, or omnipotent being. According to most scripture, of many religeons,
Name "many religions", preferably with a small sampling of their scriptures.
to say that you're capable of understanding God's motive's or its plans,nature,ways, etc, would surely be blasphemous, putting yourself on par with an all powerful being. This is where philosophically and logically, religion's argument for itself begins to sputter.

According to the Bible, man is made in God's image. A little page-flipping shows that God calls himself invisible, having no physical form. So, what is immaterial about a human? The soul. The innermost being is created like God's own, although noticeably downsized. God relates with members of our lowly race multiple times throughout Biblical history, making promises and giving advice and ultimately circumventing the division between the two parties through the sacrifice of a man inspired of God's Spirit. He's called Father and Brother and Counselor and Friend. We can begin to understand through our similarities, and approach closer with the proper attitude, but we'll never comprehend the entirety of His plans by virtue of being fundamentally inferior to Him.

As for Sturgeon's Law, what proves THAT to be true? It sounds like everybody sort of said "Well, I like that little maxim!". What reason have I to honestly believe that? I'm of the opinion that events stem from other events, even if it doesn't appear that way without very close inspection (Note that this opinion isn't the result of worldly knowledge, though- I understand they're considering truly random movement on the atomic and(/or?) subatomic scales, but I haven't taken much interest in that so far). The universe appears to reveal increasingly infinitesimal facets of order as we conduct research, and it generally seems to be turtles all the way down.

Mariah Carey
August 6th, 2011, 04:43 PM
What are your views on god?
I'm Agnostic, I've always had a confused 'relationship' with God, or gods, as it may be. I've counted myself as Catholic, Protestant and Atheist over the years but I always return to insecurity (I guess) of not knowing if there is a god. In all honesty, I'd like to say that I don't want to know the answer to if God/god's exist or not, but I do. It would answer a lot of questions I've asked over the years, why I've felt abandoned, but sometimes the feeling of something watching over me. I think what it comes down to though is that I am scared of completely denying the existence of God/god's, lest I be wrong, or even worse, lest I be right. I don't believe humanity can handle not having a higher power to believe in, something to keep us in line. I think humanity would be lost without religion, as much strife and anger it causes. If you take away religion, what do people put faith in? Some people would put it in themselves, sure, but some of us just need someone or something to guide them

Do you think he/she/it is the the highest of beings?
no that's leonardo di caprio NEXT QUESTION

Do you think there is one, or many?
I've never been able to wrestle the idea into my head that there is only one god, it's too massive a concept for me to comprehend. It seems that there is just too much in this world, the universe in fact, for one being to be lord and creator of. But saying that, I guess thats what the almighty power of being a god is.
I've always toyed with the idea of polytheism, especially the most famous example, the Greek gods. It seems more... efficient to give many aspects of nature and life to many different gods, such as eg: Apollo being god of the sun, Artemis being goddess of virginity, the hunt and so forth. Actually, touching on Apollo, I'd like to point out that Apollo being god of the sun was man's way of explaining the phenomenon of the sun being, well, the sun. I just find that interesting.

Do you think god is ancient mans perception of aliens?
Have you played Assassins Creed? I'm assuming that's the source of this question, haha. No, I don't believe that god is the ancient mans perception of aliens. Forgive me for being childish, but thanks to modern society, I can't get past alien meaning anything other than 'little green men' or being foreign, particularly Mexican.

Or do not believe in a supreme being at all, and think we all just are?
I'd like to think that we were more than just a chance creation of the big bang, which I guess is the fundamental aspect of all religion, having something to have faith in, something which we can believe in that that makes us think we aren't just a random assortment of atoms, something that lets us believe that we were meant to be. But, as I said in the beginning of this post, I'm Agnostic and am not sure whether I want to believe in something or not.

Spidey
August 7th, 2011, 04:07 AM
My view of a god in general: There's no evidence of one, and as such I have no belief in one.

As for my view of the god of the Old Testament, I'll have to agree with Richard Dawkins:
ovWs8JQN7FE
^ Exactly this.

I don't believe in any kind of 'higher power' or whatever you want to call it. There's no evidence at all, to me it's just a made up story, and some of the things in the bible are just ridiculous and are things that could never happen.

twocows
August 7th, 2011, 05:25 AM
The universe appears to reveal increasingly infinitesimal facets of order as we conduct research, and it generally seems to be turtles all the way down.
You clearly haven't studied science at a professional level. Statistical error is always part of the results. Every single scientific experiment in today's world includes a section on expected error values. Randomness is inherent to the nature of science. Science hasn't used a strictly determinist model in many, many years.

Åzurε
August 7th, 2011, 01:04 PM
You clearly haven't studied science at a professional level. Statistical error is always part of the results. Every single scientific experiment in today's world includes a section on expected error values. Randomness is inherent to the nature of science. Science hasn't used a strictly determinist model in many, many years.

People make allowances for flaws and variables in the environment? Okay. So far I've gathered that humans are imperfect at doing science, and that there are minuscule changes between one instance of an experiment and the next. But that's not what I'm talking about.

Do the principles (the principles themselves- how one chemical reacts to another, or the effects of applying a certain amount of heat to a substance) at work in a given experiment change depending on observed results? Are they uncertain?
A degree of change is expected- a facet of nature, a "law" suddenly not applying is unheard of. That's what I mean when I question Sturgeon's Law.

I certainly hope I'm communicating my thoughts effectively.

Bluerang1
August 7th, 2011, 02:54 PM
I believe God is real. He's existence, unexplainable. Made the universe. Madeus.

Åzurε
August 11th, 2011, 03:43 PM
Whoops, I missed a chunk of text intended for me. I tend to take silence as surrender, and while I can't always respond to everything, I have the opportunity to respond to this.

It seems like you're saying no other religion makes sense and that Christianity does (though perhaps I'm misunderstanding, given your unusual wording and seemingly irrelevant tautology). If that's the case, surely you must have an understanding of every other religion that exists (or even every other major religion)? Perhaps you could tell me the basic ideas behind them, for instance?
Well, pardon the redundancy, but I trust that you can make that particular sentence out. I don't believe I said "no other religion makes sense", although it is my stance that Christianity makes sense, practically, spiritually and historically. Most of my knowledge of other systems of living pertains to secularist thought and worldviews. I'll admit to not having intimate knowledge about other religions, but I know internal contradiction and ignorance of reality when I see them. Buddhism is more in tune with Christianity in terms of conduct, and I don't have evidence against it at the current time.

I can tell you right now that Christianity is no more credible than any other religion. I find it especially laughable that any Christian would outright reject Islam as implausible when it is to Christianity what Christianity is to Judaism. If you believe in Christianity, so be it, but don't try to pawn it off as somehow more credible than other religions. That's just foolish.What reason have I to believe if it's not more credible than anything else I know? Truth is harmonious with truth, regardless of anyone's opinion on it.

What is so immutably incredible about the faith of Christ that you pass it off like you do? Unless your position is that Christianity is on par with all other religions, in which case I direct you to the Greek pantheon, as an example of a religion concerned with the physical world whose assumptions were found to be fundamentally flawed, and thus rendered untrustworthy. Christianity has yet to be so deeply disproved that people cannot trust it's core tenants.

Besides, one of the main ideas in Christianity is "faith." If there was evidence, there would not need to be faith; to a believer, evidence should be irrelevant. If you want to convince people, you should try to show them that the ideals of Christianity are better (which I argue they are not; I find Hinduism to have the most agreeable ideals).I'll never know where this stuff stems from. Faith is not belief without precedent. It is Biblically defined as assurance of the things not seen. I can sit in a chair and have faith that it will hold me up, because I can see that it's strong enough to do so. In the same vein, we have records of the existence of the core of our faith and no true reason to doubt them, and the visible effects of applying the teachings of Jesus Christ in our lives speaks to their power and harmony with reality. Evidence is never irrelevant- Every shred of God's designs, natural or personal, we can use to bring Him glory is worth it's existence and a credit to our faith.

Of course, you do have a point- structure and background doesn't mean much if I can't show people something else, but agreeableness is a selfish standard. It has effects on a person's life- changing them for the best, providing real freedom from guilt and giving the passion and cause to continue the rest of their lives in the way, and to spread it around. It's a religion of the mind and the heart.

twocows
August 12th, 2011, 04:28 AM
Whoops, I missed a chunk of text intended for me. I tend to take silence as surrender, and while I can't always respond to everything, I have the opportunity to respond to this.


Well, pardon the redundancy, but I trust that you can make that particular sentence out. I don't believe I said "no other religion makes sense", although it is my stance that Christianity makes sense, practically, spiritually and historically. Most of my knowledge of other systems of living pertains to secularist thought and worldviews. I'll admit to not having intimate knowledge about other religions, but I know internal contradiction and ignorance of reality when I see them. Buddhism is more in tune with Christianity in terms of conduct, and I don't have evidence against it at the current time.

What reason have I to believe if it's not more credible than anything else I know? Truth is harmonious with truth, regardless of anyone's opinion on it.

What is so immutably incredible about the faith of Christ that you pass it off like you do? Unless your position is that Christianity is on par with all other religions, in which case I direct you to the Greek pantheon, as an example of a religion concerned with the physical world whose assumptions were found to be fundamentally flawed, and thus rendered untrustworthy. Christianity has yet to be so deeply disproved that people cannot trust it's core tenants.

I'll never know where this stuff stems from. Faith is not belief without precedent. It is Biblically defined as assurance of the things not seen. I can sit in a chair and have faith that it will hold me up, because I can see that it's strong enough to do so. In the same vein, we have records of the existence of the core of our faith and no true reason to doubt them, and the visible effects of applying the teachings of Jesus Christ in our lives speaks to their power and harmony with reality. Evidence is never irrelevant- Every shred of God's designs, natural or personal, we can use to bring Him glory is worth it's existence and a credit to our faith.

Of course, you do have a point- structure and background doesn't mean much if I can't show people something else, but agreeableness is a selfish standard. It has effects on a person's life- changing them for the best, providing real freedom from guilt and giving the passion and cause to continue the rest of their lives in the way, and to spread it around. It's a religion of the mind and the heart.
So you're saying other religions are "ignorant of reality" and "self-contradictory" and that Christianity isn't? Boy, have I got some news for you (https://encrypted.google.com/search?sclient=psy&hl=en&site=&source=hp&q=contradictions+in+the+bible&btnK=Google+Search). How exactly was Greek tradition found to be "fundamentally flawed?" And who found that? Why is it more flawed than Christianity? How does Christianity make sense "practically and historically?" According to some "Christian scientists" (ha), the world is no more than 6000 years old. That's absurd! Even the most conservative scientific estimates put the age of the world tens of thousands of years older than that!

My point was that Christianity is no more believable than any other religion. Not sure what you have against the Greek mythos, but surely you can't pass off Islam, which has just as much evidence as Christianity (it even accepts Christ as one of the prophets of God, and all of our records show that pretty much everything that happened in the Koran is historically accurate). And Hinduism, which is one of the oldest religions still practiced? It's no more implausible than Christianity; quite the contrary, I find it infinitely more relevant to modern life.

I don't care what people believe in so long as they don't push it on others or use it to the detriment of others, but if you think for a second I'm going to let you get away with calling your religion more credible, you've got another thing coming.

Phantom
August 12th, 2011, 03:51 PM
OK, so I'm new, so shoot me in the head should I say something that's already been said.

There is no god. That is my view. I was born and raised Roman Catholic, and now I'm Atheist. Go figure. One of the things that get's most debates started with me is the idea of blind faith. I believe it's dangerous, and wrong.

If anyone wants to argue it with me go ahead.

Åzurε
August 12th, 2011, 07:27 PM
So you're saying other religions are "ignorant of reality" and "self-contradictory" and that Christianity isn't? Boy, have I got some news for you (https://encrypted.google.com/search?sclient=psy&hl=en&site=&source=hp&q=contradictions+in+the+bible&btnK=Google+Search).
Ah, the Google search. While I obviously cannot respond to each individual objection raised by your careless response, I will tell you that I was once directed to a page full of that sort of thing, and it was all easily explained. Many of the objection were taken out of context, or frankly just stupid. If you don't think it worthwhile to show me what your objections are, I won't bother working through them.


How exactly was Greek tradition found to be "fundamentally flawed?" And who found that? Why is it more flawed than Christianity?
Their pantheon was so wrapped up in the physical universe, when modern observation and science developed there was no reason to believe in Zeus' lightning or Hephaestus' forges. The gods had no power. Christianity's core isn't concerned with physical phenomena. It's concerned with the human condition.

How does Christianity make sense "practically and historically?" According to some "Christian scientists" (ha), the world is no more than 6000 years old. That's absurd! Even the most conservative scientific estimates put the age of the world tens of thousands of years older than that!
So it's simply absurd. That's not a rebuttal, that's an opinion. And would it be beyond God's ability to create a planet that shows signs of being aged upon creation? Certainly not. You also missed the practical side of the issue. It has improved the quality of life for a vast amount of people, be they adherents themselves or people who have come into contact with them. In the case of followers (not merely believers), they have the avenue to become the best person they can be, through wholehearted service to the God who cares, and who has a perfect understanding of human existence.

My point was that Christianity is no more believable than any other religion.
You have yet to effectively communicate that point.

Not sure what you have against the Greek mythos, but surely you can't pass off Islam, which has just as much evidence as Christianity (it even accepts Christ as one of the prophets of God, and all of our records show that pretty much everything that happened in the Koran is historically accurate).
One little link (http://www.gotquestions.org/errors-Quran.html), which admittedly isn't my favorite. My favorite is the page where the Qur'an is quoted as saying the Torah, Psalms, and Injil are flawed, that the Qur'an is infallible by virtue of being the words of Allah, and that Allah gave humanity the Torah, Psalms and Injil. Historical inaccuracy is the tip of it, it's the content that has the worst issues.


And Hinduism, which is one of the oldest religions still practiced? It's no more implausible than Christianity; quite the contrary, I find it infinitely more relevant to modern life.
Have you read the New Testament for it's messages? The principles in place are very much relevant. What do you think is irrelevant about it?

I don't care what people believe in so long as they don't push it on others or use it to the detriment of others, but if you think for a second I'm going to let you get away with calling your religion more credible, you've got another thing coming.
Why would I bother with this if I wasn't convinced it was credible? If you think I'm just going to be quiet about a message directed at me undermining the value of my religion, you're the one who is mistaken.

Myles
August 12th, 2011, 08:09 PM
Ah, the Google search. While I obviously cannot respond to each individual objection raised by your careless response, I will tell you that I was once directed to a page full of that sort of thing, and it was all easily explained. Many of the objection were taken out of context, or frankly just stupid. If you don't think it worthwhile to show me what your objections are, I won't bother working through them.

I think twocows gave that link because the way you phrased it, it sounded like you were saying no one had even made objections before. There are lots of contradictions. The most famous ones are probably:

Premise I: God is real
Premise II: God is omniscient (all knowing)
Premise III: God is omnipotent (all powerful)
Premise IV: God is omni-benevolent (all good)

When you're talking about infinity (i.e. infinitely knowing, powerful and good), there are lots of issues. Firstly, logic problems. "Can God create a rock so heavy he can't lift it?" Either yes or no would mean he is not omnipotent.

The most famous one is, with these premises, evil cannot exist. The most frequent counter is freewill. But freewill fails for multiple reasons:

- "Can God create freewill that doesn't have evil?" If no, he is not omnipotent. If you use the no true Scotsman fallacy and say 'true freewill'. Then "Can God create true freewill that doesn't have evil?" If no, he is not omnipotent.
- "Does God have freewill?" If he does, then you can have freewill without evil.
- "Is there freewill in Heaven?" If so, then you can have freewill without evil because there is no evil in Heaven.
- "Can freewill exist with omniscience?" This is an interesting discussion. Either way it doesn't matter because of the earlier points.
- "If freewill can't exist without evil, can freewill exist with omni-benevolence?"

And if you believe the KJV is the one true bible (I think it's Catholics that do, although I'm not completely sure on that one), this quote from the bible violates omni-benevolence:


I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Context (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2045&version=KJV)

In newer translations this is usually translated differently:


I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.

Context (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2045&version=NIV)

TheUltimateSacrifice
August 12th, 2011, 10:31 PM
God to me is like when you've got a few people around the campfire exchanging tales and memories and when it's your turn you just smile in silence because you know the best things in life can't be explained, to even try would wreck the perfection.

HarrisonH
August 12th, 2011, 10:48 PM
Their pantheon was so wrapped up in the physical universe, when modern observation and science developed there was no reason to believe in Zeus' lightning or Hephaestus' forges. The gods had no power. Christianity's core isn't concerned with physical phenomena. It's concerned with the human condition.



And now there's no reason to believe in Yahweh's creation of the earth, Yahweh's creation of humanity, animals, and everything. Your argument can easily be turned against you. Try again.


So it's simply absurd. That's not a rebuttal, that's an opinion. And would it be beyond God's ability to create a planet that shows signs of being aged upon creation? Certainly not.


This is silly. Why would he do that? Of course, the only answer you'll come back with is "God works in mysterious ways" or "It's to test our faith". Those aren't rebuttals, those are opinions.

Using the definition "wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate", a young earth is absolutely absurd. We have an insane amount of evidence that backs up the estimates that the Earth is 4.54 billions years old. To think that it's younger than that because a book says so is nothing but absurd.


You also missed the practical side of the issue. It has improved the quality of life for a vast amount of people, be they adherents themselves or people who have come into contact with them. In the case of followers (not merely believers), they have the avenue to become the best person they can be, through wholehearted service to the God who cares, and who has a perfect understanding of human existence.


This is the "argument from utility" and it completely contradicts your arguing that God is real. See here (http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2011/08/the-santa-delusion.html) for a wonderful response.

If it's tl;dr for you: That argument makes it completely irrelevant whether or not God is real, since a belief in him helps people. It serves nothing to support the statement "God is real".



One little link (http://www.gotquestions.org/errors-Quran.html), which admittedly isn't my favorite. My favorite is the page where the Qur'an is quoted as saying the Torah, Psalms, and Injil are flawed, that the Qur'an is infallible by virtue of being the words of Allah, and that Allah gave humanity the Torah, Psalms and Injil. Historical inaccuracy is the tip of it, it's the content that has the worst issues.


One little link (http://www.answering-christianity.com/abdullah_smith/historical_errors_in_the_gospels-3.htm), which admittedly isn't my favorite, though it's written by Muslims about the Bible, which I feel is a good counter to yours written by Christians about the Quran.

And as a side note, your link had not one argument that could be turned against the Bible. Claimed inerrancy, being passed down orally before being written down, being modified by the person who put it together, grammatical flaws in the original manuscripts, fulfilled prophecy, scientific insights, historical inaccuracies. The Bible has the exact same problems.



Have you read the New Testament for it's messages? The principles in place are very much relevant. What do you think is irrelevant about it?


Wonderful. Relevance doesn't constitute fact. See above, "argument from utility".



Why would I bother with this if I wasn't convinced it was credible? If you think I'm just going to be quiet about a message directed at me undermining the value of my religion, you're the one who is mistaken.
As to its credibility, I can respond to this using a quote from yourself:

You have yet to effectively communicate that point.

Phantom
August 12th, 2011, 11:48 PM
There are so many contradictions in the Bible I remember making a song about it. Sadly I don't remember the song. I should dig that up sometime.

Now before you go arguing about my credibility. Let me find what I posted on another forum about this topic since I am too lazy to repost it on this forum, go figure on that. Here we go, and hopefully this will shed some light on other topics, I don't know, maybe.

About my learning, I was raised a devout member of the Roman Catholic Church. I went to Private Catholic school since I was in kindergarten. (Graduated from a school of the LaSallian rite, meaning I was taught by Christian Brothers) (graduated in 2009) Which meant I took a minimum of two theology classes a year, for 13 years, aside from a life of religion. Two relatives are priests, my grandfather is a respected member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and one of my best friends is joining the priesthood. I was an alter server for twelve years, received four of the seven sacraments. I also took a theology class in college as well as three philisophy classes..... I've also taken a World Religions course (Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Judaism) and a class on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I wanted to major in theology in college, before I was forced to quit. And I'm atheist.

Now first off the Bible cannot be perfect, and contradicts itself so many times I won't bother to put more than a handful here.

The Bible is imperfect because humans have been trying to "perfect" it for centuries. Chapters have been removed, even entire Gospels.... For example the Gospel of Judas. (look it up)

In fact certain points contradict each other for example:

There are two versions of the creation story, Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.

First (Genesis 1:1-2:3)

(Humans were created after the other animals.)

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image.... So God created man in his own image.

Second Account (Genesis 2:4-25)
Genesis 2:18-19

(Humans were created before the other animals.)

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

First Account (Genesis 1:1-2:3)
Genesis 1:27

(The first man and woman were created simultaneously.)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.


Second Account (Genesis 2:4-25)
Genesis 2:18-22

(The man was created first, then the animals, then the woman from the man's rib.)

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them.... And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Moving to the Gospels and later:

Where was John the Baptist while Jesus was in Galilee?
John the Baptist was in prison when Jesus went into Galilee. Mark 1:14 John was not in prison when Jesus went into Galilee. John 1:43 & 3:22-24

Can one pray in public?
Matthew 6:5-6 Jesus condemned public prayer.
1 Timothy 2:8 Paul encouraged public prayer.

If we decide to do good works, should those works be seen?
Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works."
1 Peter 2:12 "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that ... they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."
This contradicts: Matthew 6:1-4 "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them…that thine alms may be in secret." Matthew 23:3-5 "Do not ye after their [Pharisees'] works ... all their works they do for to be seen of men."

When was Christ crucified?
Mark 15:25 "And it was the third hour and they crucified him." John 19:14-15
"And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour; and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your king…Shall I crucify your king?" John 19:14-15.

Has anyone ascended up to heaven?
Elijah went up to heaven: "And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." 2 Kings 2:11
"No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man." John 3:13

Is scripture inspired by God?
"all scripture is given by inspiration of God." 2 Timothy 3:16
"But I speak this by permission and not by commandment." 1 Corinthians 7:6, "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord.", 1 Corinthians 7:12, "That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord" 2 Corinthians.

Edit something a thousand times and it will never have the same meaning. Belief in the Bible is nothing but circular logic.

We are all atheists in respects to Zeus and Thor. Their faith that their people had for deities were as strong as any faith or belief now with the God of Abraham. How could people with such faith toss away this faith and instead worship another? Proof that faith is fleeting.

I believe that religion, especially this blind faith, is dangerous. Millions have died in religious conflict, in the name of their respective gods. Isn't killing still killing whether or not it is in the name of a deity? Is it still wrong to believe that killing is bad? Should I walk over to my neighbor who is Muslim and shoot him, and when the police question me I say it was because he was a non believer? It sounds wrong because it is. Yet millions have died in the same conflict for the sake of faith and religion. The Crusades, the Spanish Conquistadores, the Inquisition, the French Wars of Religion, Protestants vs. Catholics, Thirty Years War, Taipeng Rebellion, the Islamic notion of Jihad, the Jewish Milkhemet Mitzvah, the Christian Milites Christi, the Holocaust,the Reconquista, and many more.

There have been 123 wars considered to be purely religious, 66 of them involving Islam. That doesn't include the numerous conflicts, such as Terrorism and the issues between the warring tribes in Iraq, ro even the squabbles between warring tribes in Africa.

Åzurε
August 13th, 2011, 11:38 AM
And now there's no reason to believe in Yahweh's creation of the earth, Yahweh's creation of humanity, animals, and everything. Your argument can easily be turned against you. Try again.
I understand your point. I just don't believe the assertions.

This is silly. Why would he do that? Of course, the only answer you'll come back with is "God works in mysterious ways" or "It's to test our faith". Those aren't rebuttals, those are opinions.By what authority do you presume to give my opinion for me?

Using the definition "wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate", a young earth is absolutely absurd. We have an insane amount of evidence that backs up the estimates that the Earth is 4.54 billions years old. To think that it's younger than that because a book says so is nothing but absurd.I certainly don't know all of the ins and outs of creating a planet suitable for life, but God, being omnipotent and extratemporal could have produced Earth however He pleased. If He required that it be aged or given the appearance of age He could have made it so, it's not hard to understand. For today, I lean towards the created Earth having some kind of physical oldness to it, rather than Young Earth Creation. Not that the how and why of the Creation is a matter of doctrine anyhow.


This is the "argument from utility" and it completely contradicts your arguing that God is real. See here (http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2011/08/the-santa-delusion.html) for a wonderful response.

If it's tl;dr for you: That argument makes it completely irrelevant whether or not God is real, since a belief in him helps people. It serves nothing to support the statement "God is real".I didn't exclude the question of God's existence once. I said "historically and practically", twocows addressed "historically", and I mentioned that he didn't address "practically".

One little link (http://www.answering-christianity.com/abdullah_smith/historical_errors_in_the_gospels-3.htm), which admittedly isn't my favorite, though it's written by Muslims about the Bible, which I feel is a good counter to yours written by Christians about the Quran.I'll give you this- A couple of these puzzle me. I have a feeling that they're going to stick in my mind until I reach a conclusion about them.

And as a side note, your link had not one argument that could be turned against the Bible. Claimed inerrancy, being passed down orally before being written down, being modified by the person who put it together, grammatical flaws in the original manuscripts, fulfilled prophecy, scientific insights, historical inaccuracies. The Bible has the exact same problems.We have our history covered for the time being, but a few of these confuse me as to what you mean.

As to its credibility, I can respond to this using a quote from yourself:
]You have yet to effectively communicate that point.
Ain't you a charmer.

HarrisonH
August 13th, 2011, 12:33 PM
I understand your point. I just don't believe the assertions.

Why do you believe the assertions that lightning is from a static buildup in the clouds then?


By what authority do you presume to give my opinion for me?

Having dealt with these sorts of arguments before, I'm pretty much able to guess the responses.


I certainly don't know all of the ins and outs of creating a planet suitable for life, but God, being omnipotent and extratemporal could have produced Earth however He pleased. If He required that it be aged or given the appearance of age He could have made it so, it's not hard to understand. For today, I lean towards the created Earth having some kind of physical oldness to it, rather than Young Earth Creation. Not that the how and why of the Creation is a matter of doctrine anyhow.

In other words, "God works in mysterious ways". Also could be read as "I don't know".


I didn't exclude the question of God's existence once. I said "historically and practically", twocows addressed "historically", and I mentioned that he didn't address "practically".

The argument from utility completely excludes the question of his existence, as it's basically saying "Belief in it is good, so it doesn't matter if it's true or not".


I'll give you this- A couple of these puzzle me. I have a feeling that they're going to stick in my mind until I reach a conclusion about them.

:)


We have our history covered for the time being, but a few of these confuse me as to what you mean.

History covered? Not quite (http://www.theskepticalreview.com/tsrmag/982front.html). There's more too. Somewhat related, the Gospels don't even agree with each other on some points.

Explain the ones that confuse you, and I'll go into detail.

Also, don't skip over Phantom and Myles, they're worthy of responses as well.

Phantom
August 13th, 2011, 01:20 PM
Somewhat related, the Gospels don't even agree with each other on some points.

Hell we can't even figure out who wrote them. Something interesting to further clarify your point here.

Of the four Gospels in the New Testament; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Three of them, Matthew, Mark and Luke, are called the synoptic gospels. This is because they agree moderately well on the life and teachings of Jesus, although each is a little different from the other two.

The Gospel of John is a different matter. Some scholars believe that John was originally written in a Gnostic community and was subsequently edited to remove some of the more clearly Gnostic material, although the gospel still has similarities with the Gnostic ways.

John differs from the synoptic Gospels because it is not just listing events in the life of Jesus. John is more thematic in nature and less chronological, and provides more theological discourse on the person and work of Christ.


Also, don't skip over Phantom and Myles, they're worthy of responses as well.


I was remembered! :D

dinosaurodon
August 13th, 2011, 01:23 PM
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image.... So God created man in his own image.

And God said, Let US make man in OUR image

Alright, I thought this was kind of weird because if there is one god wouldn't what he say be singular? This IMO means that A-there is more than one god or B- god didn't create us, aliens did.

yup, i believe that aliens genetically altered our ancestors DNA and made us human(over millions of years of course)

this might have been a typo but of all places the bible?

Åzurε
August 13th, 2011, 01:40 PM
Why do you believe the assertions that lightning is from a static buildup in the clouds then?
Scientific evidence and reproducible conditions, however I don't believe that people are perfect at pinning down the rules of reality and as such am willing to believe anything that proves itself more plausible than what I now know. And I've found faith in Christ to be quite reasonable, even if reason is only part of the whole.

In other words, "God works in mysterious ways". Also could be read as "I don't know".If you wish to read it that way it's not a major stretch, although it does dumb down the original comment considerably. How about "I know it happened without knowing the details of how"? Or, "I don't know, but to be frank it's not going to cause the whole system of thought to come crashing down". I'll admit they don't roll off the tongue.

The argument from utility completely excludes the question of his existence, as it's basically saying "Belief in it is good, so it doesn't matter if it's true or not".I never basically said that. The nearest I can tell, you saw similarities between my words and the argument, and jumped to accuse me of using it. Not once did I claim that the faith should go unchallenged because of it's usefulness.

History covered? Not quite (http://www.theskepticalreview.com/tsrmag/982front.html). There's more too. Somewhat related, the Gospels don't even agree with each other on some points.

Explain the ones that confuse you, and I'll go into detail.I'm sure you will. :P In particular, oral tradition, grammatical flaws and alteration by the compiler. Your article isn't loading for me at the moment, some issue with server response.

Also, don't skip over Phantom and Myles, they're worthy of responses as well.I prefer to speak to one person at a time. Should this burn out or tone down I'll consider responding to them, but I'm only one voice on the internet.

Phantom
August 13th, 2011, 01:45 PM
And God said, Let US make man in OUR image

Alright, I thought this was kind of weird because if there is one god wouldn't what he say be singular? This IMO means that A-there is more than one god or B- god didn't create us, aliens did.

yup, i believe that aliens genetically altered our ancestors DNA and made us human(over millions of years of course)

this might have been a typo but of all places the bible?

Nope not a typo (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=genesis+1%3A26). Shows how interesting the Bible can be.

HarrisonH
August 13th, 2011, 02:41 PM
Scientific evidence and reproducible conditions, however I don't believe that people are perfect at pinning down the rules of reality and as such am willing to believe anything that proves itself more plausible than what I now know. And I've found faith in Christ to be quite reasonable, even if reason is only part of the whole.

You mean the things that are used to support every scientific claim, including evolution?


If you wish to read it that way it's not a major stretch, although it does dumb down the original comment considerably. How about "I know it happened without knowing the details of how"? Or, "I don't know, but to be frank it's not going to cause the whole system of thought to come crashing down". I'll admit they don't roll off the tongue.

You know it happened, but don't know how it happened? How do you know it happened, when there's absolutely no reason or evidence to support that viewpoint? A better way for that to have been phrased is that you believe it happened, in spite of all the faulty and silly arguments that support it, and the evidence that contradicts it.


I never basically said that. The nearest I can tell, you saw similarities between my words and the argument, and jumped to accuse me of using it. Not once did I claim that the faith should go unchallenged because of it's usefulness.

You're arguing that a belief in god is practical, which is the same as useful. Which makes whether or not that god exists completely irrelevant.


I'm sure you will. :P In particular, oral tradition, grammatical flaws and alteration by the compiler. Your article isn't loading for me at the moment, some issue with server response.

Sure!
Oral tradition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_tradition_and_the_historical_Jesus#Oral_tradition) Wikipedia, but Wikipedia always cites its sources
Grammatical flaws and alteration by the compiler (http://www.religioustolerance.org/inerran6.htm) (This is a bit of a read, and covers a lot more than just that).

It also mentions the many books excluded from the bible (http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/bible/outside.stm). There's also a list linking to the texts of the excluded books, which you can find here (http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/bible/noncanon.stm).

(=Nemesis=)
August 13th, 2011, 03:04 PM
Macro-evolution is reproducible..?

HarrisonH
August 13th, 2011, 03:22 PM
Macro-evolution is reproducible..?

"Macroevolution", as you're using it, isn't a scientific term :P But speciation is reproducible, in a sense, and has (http://www.biology-online.org/articles/study_illustrates_diversification_speciation.html) been observed (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080421-lizard-evolution.html) multiple times (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html#part5).

(=Nemesis=)
August 13th, 2011, 03:31 PM
"Macroevolution", as you're using it, isn't a scientific term :P But speciation is reproducible, in a sense, and has (http://www.biology-online.org/articles/study_illustrates_diversification_speciation.html) been observed (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080421-lizard-evolution.html) multiple times (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html#part5).

That's all right, I'm sure none of the scientists here mind as long as I explain the difference.

"Speciation" is where one species is split into two locations, and over time they develop in different ways so that they no longer recognise each other well enough to breed. This has been observed and repeated, done to death.

"Macro-evolution" is where a species adapts to an environment so extremely that it develops a new complex system where the intermediate stages of development seem to rely on continued commitment to an eventual advantage in spite of the fact that current status of the new system is minimally helpful or, at worst, a direct liability. Although there are some moderately plausible explanations for how this can occur, it cannot be actually demonstrated at all, unless you've a few hundred thousand years to spare.

While we're at it, ":P" isn't a scientific term either, matey.

HarrisonH
August 13th, 2011, 03:45 PM
That's all right, I'm sure none of the scientists here mind as long as I explain the difference.

"Speciation" is where one species is split into two locations, and over time they develop in different ways so that they no longer recognise each other well enough to breed. This has been observed and repeated, done to death.

"Macro-evolution" is where a species adapts to an environment so extremely that it develops a new complex system where the intermediate stages of development seem to rely on continued commitment to an eventual advantage in spite of the fact that current status of the new system is minimally helpful or, at worst, a direct liability. Although there are some moderately plausible explanations for how this can occur, it cannot be actually demonstrated at all, unless you've a few hundred thousand years to spare.

While we're at it, ":P" isn't a scientific term either, matey.

I'm impressed :D Someone actually knows the proper definition for macroevolution. I had assumed that you were using it in the context most commonly seen in the creation/evolution debates, which is as a replacement for speciation.

Myles
August 13th, 2011, 07:16 PM
Actually scholars have ideas about the history of the bible too.

The various dialects and word usage used in the law books suggest multiple sources and revisionism. It's thought that Yahweh (the god of the bible) was part of polytheistic myths where different countries had different gods. Yahweh was the god of war and became Israel's god. And then they were revised when Deuteronomy (the last law book) came about to make it monotheistic.

Which explains the massive amount of holy wars in the law books, the fact that there are various phrases indicating multiple gods. Why Yahweh/Moses were so against worshipping of other gods and why Yahweh is consistently referred to as 'the LORD your God'.

Similar things to the Jesus story had been done again and again before Jesus and it's thought that it was reused by the authors of the Gospels. Virgin births, three day resurrections, saviours and similar phrases like "Horus the Child" come from the Egyptian myths about Horus.

There is some evidence to suggest that the genesis creation story (namely the first chapter), existed before the book Genesis did. And was part of a polytheistic religion. Hence the leftover of:

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Context (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=gen%201&version=NIV)

There is also evidence of lots of civilisations (China, etc.) being older than Noah's flood.

(=Nemesis=)
August 14th, 2011, 03:37 AM
Actually scholars have ideas about the history of the bible too.

The various dialects and word usage used in the law books suggest multiple sources and revisionism. It's thought that Yahweh (the god of the bible) was part of polytheistic myths where different countries had different gods. Yahweh was the god of war and became Israel's god. And then they were revised when Deuteronomy (the last law book) came about to make it monotheistic.

Which explains the massive amount of holy wars in the law books, the fact that there are various phrases indicating multiple gods. Why Yahweh/Moses were so against worshipping of other gods and why Yahweh is consistently referred to as 'the LORD your God'.

You do remember that before that point, the Israelites were kept in Egypt for generations where the pervasive polytheistic practices had a lot of time to influence their attitudes, right? It's similar to the modern day, and consumerism. Consumerism runs in the opposite direction to God's directives (you cannot worship both God and Mammon (and please, that's not polytheism, that's the encapsulation of a concept into an abstract entity, which although related to polytheism, is not the same thing)), and yet many Christians are at least partially preoccupied with consumeristic demands. See: Christmas, king of all that is corrupted by consumerism.

All this stuff about Yahweh being the god of war, based on the recounting of war waged between the Israelites and other nations, is a little over the top. Most of these battles were fought because the Israelites were seeking passage through to Jericho (I would explain exactly why they took Jericho, but it's somewhat irrelevant and long-winded - to be brief, you can feel sorry for them if you like, but many nations around that time were into human sacrifice and/or cannibalism - traits that have most recently existed in isolated tribal african communities, with sacrifices famously practised by the Aztecs) and the nations they were trying to get passage through took the Israelites to be poorly equipped (which they were), exhausted from their exodus from Egypt (which they were) and a future threat (which they were). So the Israelites were attacked quite a lot at that point. When they established Judea, they were quite often at war with the Philistines (Palestine), much like today. But one does not today come to the conclusion that the Israeli armies fight their neighbouring countries "because Yahweh is a god of war". If you look at it, nations like Lebanon, Iran, even Egypt, have been trying to wipe out the modern state of Israel pretty much because their own religion dictates the wholesale slaughter of Jews.

Similar things to the Jesus story had been done again and again before Jesus and it's thought that it was reused by the authors of the Gospels. Virgin births, three day resurrections, saviours and similar phrases like "Horus the Child" come from the Egyptian myths about Horus.

I have heard this one before, and although I don't remember exacting details, I'm fairly confident that there is nowhere near enough similarity to draw anything from it. A quick Wikipedia search shows that Shed (a form of Horus?) was a "saviour" in a very superficial way, being the rough equivalent of a Roman/Greek god of healing. O Shed, save us from this bout of common cold, etc. As for your other details like virgin births and whatnot, I have no idea where to even start looking. Perhaps you might oblige.


There is also evidence of lots of civilisations (China, etc.) being older than Noah's flood.

Kind of off-topic, isn't it? In any case, there are plenty of reasons for this. Mankind was well spread out at that point, even though the worldwide population would be considered tiny. Many believe the flood to have been absolutely global, which may or may not be technically possible. I think it's more likely that the immediate region was flooded, wiping out populations within... a few hundred, or a few thousand, miles.


There is some evidence to suggest that the genesis creation story (namely the first chapter), existed before the book Genesis did. And was part of a polytheistic religion. Hence the leftover of:



Context (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=gen%201&version=NIV)


Your musing of polytheism stems entirely from the "let US make man in OUR image". That's an interesting take on it. I'd never thought of it. Because God already has some canonically recognised "conversation partners" if you like, whose creation is not documented, but whose influence is frequent and resoundingly well recognised. I am of course referring to the Angels.

To understand what God meant by "in our image", you only have to consider what God, Angels and Mankind all had in common at that point that other life, as far as we know, does not.

They are all imaginative, ambitious, and capable of envisioning possible futures or events which may be completely impossible.

I'm going to go a little further here and add a detail about why the idea of a mortal meatbag having this spark of soul is so important to God and so repugnant to Satan in particular. God and the Angels, etc., are probably non-dependent on the passage of time, which is probably how the universe turned out so improbably well. Being largely unaffected by time does wonders for your attitude. When you make up your mind about something, you're probably going to know every relevant fact to support or contradict your conviction. Mortals, such as ourselves, are within the relentless grip of time, and as a result are absurdly unstable. If you were to look at a timeline of your whole life, your shifting personality trends and everything else considered, where can you put your finger and say "that's the real me, right there"? To be mortal is to be in flux, and that's why God's creation of so many little temporal mini-Gods running around inventing and conquering and creating is so lovely, or so repugnant, depending on who you ask.

I've already written more than I intended so I'll leave it at that for now.

Myles
August 14th, 2011, 04:41 AM
I know why the wars were sanctioned (the Israelites were chosen and so were more special for some reason). That doesn't mean they weren't still wars. God of war comes from phrases in the Hebrew bible like Yahweh Sabaoth (meaning Yahweh God of Armies). The ridiculous amount of wars approved by God in the Old Testament is just a reaffirming factor. There is a remnant of this in English translations:


David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.


Context (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel%2017&version=NIV)

The poltheism comes from more than just the bible. There is archaeological evidence and stuff too. It's thought that at the time countries in the area had 'national gods'. Israel had Yahweh, hence the 'God of Israel'. Most of the reference to polytheism are thought to have been revised out by Second Isaiah (the unnamed author responsible for writing the second half of Isaiah). There are plenty of references remaining though:


Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:7
Exodus 12:12, 15:11, 18:11, 20:3, 20:5, 22:20, 22:28, 23:13, 23:24, 23:32, 34:14
Numbers 33:4
Deuteronomy 3:24, 5:7, 6:14-15, 10:17, 28:14
Joshua 24:2, 24:14, 11:24
1 Samuel 6:5, 28:13
1 Chronicles 16:25
Psalm 82:1, 86:8, 96:4, 97:7, 135:5, 136:2
Jeremiah 1:16, 10:11, 25:6, 46:25
Zephaniah 2:11


Some highlights:


Exodus 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
Exodus 18:11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them.
Exodus 23:32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.
Psalm 96:4 For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.


As for the virgin birth. Isis gave birth to Horus through parthenogenesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis) after her husband had died.

(=Nemesis=)
August 14th, 2011, 10:04 AM
I know why the wars were sanctioned (the Israelites were chosen and so were more special for some reason). That doesn't mean they weren't still wars. God of war comes from phrases in the Hebrew bible like Yahweh Sabaoth (meaning Yahweh God of Armies). The ridiculous amount of wars approved by God in the Old Testament is just a reaffirming factor. There is a remnant of this in English translations:



Context (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel%2017&version=NIV)

I'm not denying that there were wars. I'm saying that being a god involved in war doesn't make you a God Of War. Whether or not God is referred to as the God of War doesn't really imply polytheism as he had not only been called that, but the God of many other things too... you've pointed at ways in which it might be interpreted that Yahweh may not have been the only Hebrew deity, but it means nothing unless you have some positive indication of other Hebrew gods being mentioned.

I believe you have a distorted view of the number of wars the Israelites were involved in. We are talking about the span of thousands of years. In the last hundred years alone, how many wars has the USA been involved in? I count six from the top of my head, and I know there must be a number more. When history comes to judge us, who will have had the most "ridiculous" number of wars? The Israelites will hardly figure.

The poltheism comes from more than just the bible. There is archaeological evidence and stuff too. It's thought that at the time countries in the area had 'national gods'. Israel had Yahweh, hence the 'God of Israel'. Most of the reference to polytheism are thought to have been revised out by Second Isaiah (the unnamed author responsible for writing the second half of Isaiah). There are plenty of references remaining though:

<snip>

I think the point was that you can shout till you're blue in the face that everyone elses' gods Aren't Real Gods, but people, being generally thick, aren't going to pay a lot of attention. My God's Better Than Your Tin God probably did the trick better. It's not a very strong argument, no, but my earlier point applies. If you can point out a reference to a Hebrew god that isn't Yahweh, you have an argument. At the moment this looks like guesswork.

I will say, though, it looks sort of interesting as a concept. You have God 1 creating the earth, and sorting out early civilisation, acting as humanity's guide up to Abraham and then wandering off while God 2 takes over with an opening ceremony in a burning bush.

However, a closer look shows that both God 1 and God 2 were interested in establishing the Israelites for whichever reason they may "both" have had, had a similar interest in theatricality, and were both pretty jealous of their people. There are far too many similarities in reported behaviour and not enough differences.

That said, Moses started the Bible off, so who's to say he didn't ret-con history to suit God 2's power-grab from God 1? Well it doesn't make sense. If you're going to write the foundation of the Bible pretending there's one God, it makes absolutely no sense to drop all the polytheist references you purport to find. Secondly, the fact that the Bible was largely written in Moses' time should give us an excellent reason for the "Yahweh vs All Them Other Gods" peculiarities. Without the Bible, the Israelites wouldn't be particularly aware of God's opinions on whether other gods exist, and many would probably have gone along with the idea that many gods do exist, and that you can just make one up if you like (and they did exactly that after escaping from Egypt, as you may recall).

There, I thought there was a good reason.


As for the virgin birth. Isis gave birth to Horus through parthenogenesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis) after her husband had died.

So, technically, in the original virgin birth story where a virgin who gave virgin birth wasn't actually a virgin?

I'm not going to press you on that, but I will say it sounds less similar than Zeus'... activities, which I think involved impregnating a woman with rainfall. Since that was adopted into Roman mythology, and the Romans were occupying Judea at the time of Christ's birth... if the circumstances of his birth were copied from anywhere, I don't think it would have been wholesale from Egypt. And if you say that all of Christ's life can be explained away through mythological tradition, it would still not be the case. The Jews expected (and largely, still do expect) The Messiah to come down to Earth with dramatic aplomb, and beat up their oppressors with Holy Fists of Smiting. That would sort of be in line with mythological precedent. What happened instead is that Jesus declared himself the saviour of Jews and Gentiles, and didn't smite anyone at all; that ticked off the religious leaders to the point where they killed him, unwittingly making him the flawless sacrifice for all mankind. That's nothing like any other mythology that exists. The closest thing I can think of, is probably Neo in The Matrix (and its awful sequels), sacrificing himself so that all mankind can be released from their false lives (sound like an allegory to sin at all?). I'm fairly confident to say that I think Jesus was the inventor of the super-heroic sacrifice.

HarrisonH
August 14th, 2011, 10:29 AM
I'm not going to bother quoting because that's a lot to cut out, but:

The is pretty much no evidence that a mass exodus from Egypt ever occured (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exodus#Historicity_debate).

As for the argument "the flood could have been local", then why would god make Noah go through the hassle of building an ark and getting 2 of every animal on earth? Couldn't god have just said "Hey, take a vacation for a bit"?

As for the things about Horus and other gods being the sources for parts of the Jesus story, I beg you both to take a look here (http://conspiracies.skepticproject.com/articles/zeitgeist/part-one/).

(=Nemesis=)
August 14th, 2011, 11:55 AM
I'm not going to bother quoting because that's a lot to cut out, but:

The is pretty much no evidence that a mass exodus from Egypt ever occured (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exodus#Historicity_debate).

That's totally irrelevant unless you mean to say that the Israelites had no dealings with polytheistic cultures pre-Moses. I don't even know what your point is.

As for the argument "the flood could have been local", then why would god make Noah go through the hassle of building an ark and getting 2 of every animal on earth? Couldn't god have just said "Hey, take a vacation for a bit"?[/quote

Technically, it wasn't two of every animal on Earth. Depending on who you ask, it was two of every kind of animal, or two of every kind of animal deemed unfit for food, and seven of every other kind. A "kind" of animal could be considered analogous to an animal family; for instance, cheetahs and panthers would easily be of the same "kind". That's just being technical and pedantic though. I'm sure you weren't making a serious argument there. As for your suggestion that Noah should have taken "a vacation", tell me, how far can a man walk in a year? About 10,000 miles? That doesn't sound too bad initially. Until you make practical considerations. Would people have followed along behind him, thus defeating the point? Would he be ambushed along the way by bandits? How much effort would it take, versus building an awesome ship? The way I see it, neither option seems more resoundingly obvious than the other. I can only put your refreshingly blasé view of the situation down to an imagining of Noah and the family hopping into the ol' station-wagon and cruisin' down Route 66. Now that's an alternative I wouldn't object to.


[QUOTE=HarrisonH;6804184]As for the things about Horus and other gods being the sources for parts of the Jesus story, I beg you both to take a look here (http://conspiracies.skepticproject.com/articles/zeitgeist/part-one/).

Thank you, that was rather informative. I didn't know people had gone to so much trouble to make all those peculiar (and in some cases, completely absurd) connections, and I didn't know some other people had gone to so much trouble to break them again.

HarrisonH
August 14th, 2011, 12:41 PM
That's totally irrelevant unless you mean to say that the Israelites had no dealings with polytheistic cultures pre-Moses. I don't even know what your point is.

It was referring to this post of yours (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=6803618&postcount=101). Since the Israelites were not in Egypt, then most of your argument in that post falls to pieces.



Technically, it wasn't two of every animal on Earth. Depending on who you ask, it was two of every kind of animal, or two of every kind of animal deemed unfit for food, and seven of every other kind. A "kind" of animal could be considered analogous to an animal family; for instance, cheetahs and panthers would easily be of the same "kind". That's just being technical and pedantic though. I'm sure you weren't making a serious argument there. As for your suggestion that Noah should have taken "a vacation", tell me, how far can a man walk in a year? About 10,000 miles? That doesn't sound too bad initially. Until you make practical considerations. Would people have followed along behind him, thus defeating the point? Would he be ambushed along the way by bandits? How much effort would it take, versus building an awesome ship? The way I see it, neither option seems more resoundingly obvious than the other. I can only put your refreshingly blasé view of the situation down to an imagining of Noah and the family hopping into the ol' station-wagon and cruisin' down Route 66. Now that's an alternative I wouldn't object to.

The "kinds" argument is silly.

Anyways, my argument about the vacation was really to bring up that God, being all powerful, could have done it any other way that didn't involve the gruesome murder of countless people through drowning. God could have easily just snapped his fingers to kill them all off, instead of creating a scenario that requires jumping through multiple hoops to rationalize later on.


Thank you, that was rather informative. I didn't know people had gone to so much trouble to make all those peculiar (and in some cases, completely absurd) connections, and I didn't know some other people had gone to so much trouble to break them again.
I'm not just an atheist, I'm also a skeptic. If a claim doesn't have evidence to back it up, then it's just silly to propagate it.

Yoshikkko
August 14th, 2011, 04:24 PM
I don't believe in God. I might believe in a god though, without a particular form, as a higher energy, but I'm not sure. I think the idea of God was made up, because people needed someone to blame the bad events on, to give them reason. Almost everyone has once asked themselves 'why is this happening', and I think that when someone asked themselves this, they might have answered it with the fact that e.g. earthquakes couldn't just be happening without a reason, and thought of a reason. I'm not saying the people who supposedly made it up were lying - they undoubtedly believed in their God, they made it up because it seemed like the only possible reason to them for events such as earthquakes.

The reason I think this idea is still around, is because everyone, needs a 'god' (I will just be referring to a higher power as a 'god'). Everyone needs someone that is higher in the hierarchy than they are, because people need an example, someone to look up to. "Every man may meet his match", that is what I believe in, and so I believe that is the reason that people created such a higher power. It is because people can not live with the fact that they are alone on this world, without anyone watching over them. It's the idea of loneliness and isolation, that scares people. These feelings have a lot to do with the situation, because the top spot, is the loneliest, and people don't want to feel that they are alone at the top, people can't handle that feeling of power, so they need someone that is even higher then they are, everyone needs this guidance. This is how I think the idea of God was created, and why so much people resort to this idea, and believe in it.

Like I said, I'd like to believe that there exists such higher power, but I am cynical, and can't believe in that, it would be too good to be true. I believe we are alone, in the end, we are all alone, in religious situations, at least.

Myles
August 14th, 2011, 05:43 PM
I'm not denying that there were wars. I'm saying that being a god involved in war doesn't make you a God Of War. Whether or not God is referred to as the God of War doesn't really imply polytheism as he had not only been called that, but the God of many other things too... you've pointed at ways in which it might be interpreted that Yahweh may not have been the only Hebrew deity, but it means nothing unless you have some positive indication of other Hebrew gods being mentioned.

I believe you have a distorted view of the number of wars the Israelites were involved in. We are talking about the span of thousands of years. In the last hundred years alone, how many wars has the USA been involved in? I count six from the top of my head, and I know there must be a number more. When history comes to judge us, who will have had the most "ridiculous" number of wars? The Israelites will hardly figure.

I would suggest that any wars sanctions by an omnipotent, omnibenelvolent god were ridiculous. Especially considering they were the ones that started the wars just because they wanted land. They weren't in defense. God should be doing better than what America can do anyway. Everyone knows America has a violent past. And it's at most a thousand years. Exodus occurs in 1491 BCE. (http://www.biblestudy.org/beginner/timelineot.html)

I think the point was that you can shout till you're blue in the face that everyone elses' gods Aren't Real Gods, but people, being generally thick, aren't going to pay a lot of attention. My God's Better Than Your Tin God probably did the trick better. It's not a very strong argument, no, but my earlier point applies. If you can point out a reference to a Hebrew god that isn't Yahweh, you have an argument. At the moment this looks like guesswork.

I will say, though, it looks sort of interesting as a concept. You have God 1 creating the earth, and sorting out early civilisation, acting as humanity's guide up to Abraham and then wandering off while God 2 takes over with an opening ceremony in a burning bush.

However, a closer look shows that both God 1 and God 2 were interested in establishing the Israelites for whichever reason they may "both" have had, had a similar interest in theatricality, and were both pretty jealous of their people. There are far too many similarities in reported behaviour and not enough differences.

That said, Moses started the Bible off, so who's to say he didn't ret-con history to suit God 2's power-grab from God 1? Well it doesn't make sense. If you're going to write the foundation of the Bible pretending there's one God, it makes absolutely no sense to drop all the polytheist references you purport to find. Secondly, the fact that the Bible was largely written in Moses' time should give us an excellent reason for the "Yahweh vs All Them Other Gods" peculiarities. Without the Bible, the Israelites wouldn't be particularly aware of God's opinions on whether other gods exist, and many would probably have gone along with the idea that many gods do exist, and that you can just make one up if you like (and they did exactly that after escaping from Egypt, as you may recall).

There, I thought there was a good reason.

It's thought that when the Israelites left their home when Isaiah was being written, that the people weren't taking the idea of putting Yahweh above all gods very well. So they rewrote all the other gods out of the picture. And merged a few gods too (like Yahweh and El Elyon). Which explains the multiple names given to God throughout the bible.

Went
August 15th, 2011, 06:05 AM
I have heard this one before, and although I don't remember exacting details, I'm fairly confident that there is nowhere near enough similarity to draw anything from it. A quick Wikipedia search shows that Shed (a form of Horus?) was a "saviour" in a very superficial way, being the rough equivalent of a Roman/Greek god of healing. O Shed, save us from this bout of common cold, etc. As for your other details like virgin births and whatnot, I have no idea where to even start looking. Perhaps you might oblige.


Sorry, but it just happens I'm reading a nice book, El catolicismo explicado a las ovejas (Catholicism explained for sheep), by Juan Eslava Galán (ed. Planeta), whose main purpose is analyzing the Bible from a logical/scientific/historical point of view and showing the hundreds of incoherences it contains. One of the chapters (Chapter 6, Los antecedentes de Jesucristo (Jesus Christ's precedents), pag. 66), shows a list of all religions that included a version of Jesus's history. And I just had to quote it.

"According to the historian E. Royston Pilke, several religions, including the Persian, Egyptian, Syrian, Greek, Roman, Aztec and Hindi ones, celebrated the birth of of the Sun God, son of the Virgin of Heavens, around the end of December.

"Several Mystery Religions had a god, born among men, who would die and then resurrect some time later, in rites that would freed the followers from the fear of death.

"According to the historians Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, the Indo-Iranian god Mitra was born in the Winter Solstice (December 25th), son of a Virgin and a God. Three sheperds who were in the zone are witnesses to the event, his followers called him "the Saviour" and "Son of God", and are told to be baptized to join him, turns water into wine in a wedding, and dies in Spring to freed men from their sins, sinks to the underworld, but, three days later, comes back to life and then goes to Heaven, he'll judge men once the world ends, and his followers remember him by eating bread and drinking wine to represent his body and his blood.

"But that's not all. 6 of his sacraments are the same ones Jesus used hundreds of years later. Holy Communion, specifically, already appears in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. That was to be taken by the followers who had previously taken the catechism. After the communion, 12 priests would dance around the new follower (12 people, did I hear that somewhere?).

"The followers of Mitra would originally be baptized with blood from a bull. But, due to the obvious inconveniences, it was later changed to sacred water instead.

"Mitra is first heard of in the Vedas, the Indian Sacred Books, around 2500 years before Jesus was born. During the following centuries, the cult spreaded to Persia. Then, in the year -1200, Zoroaster was born from yet another virgin, in the modern Afghanistan. He was baptized, had impressive religious knowledge even when he was a kid, was tempted by the Devil after staying in the desert for some weeks, had a revelation from God that moved him to create a religion (Mazdeism or Zoroastrianism) and wrote a sacred book following God's orders. He was helped by 12 disciples, did several miracles, healed ill people, and his existence was celebrated in ritual feasts.

"In his sacred book, you can find the history of Adam and Eve, the Ark, a sacred Trinity (Ahura Mazda, Mitra and Anahita, mother of Mitra).

"Dyonisus was also born from a Virgin and a God, was known as the Saviour, turned water into wine, his symbol was a lamb, considered himself "a god that had taken a human form". When he was arrested, he told Penteo, the political leader who ordered it, that he couldn't 'do anything that hasn't been already arranged'. His followers used a cross to represent him. He dies in Spring, and his mother, Semele, ascended to heaven with him.

"Lastly, the Egyptian god Osiris was born the 25th of December, from a virgin, in a manger, he's baptized, preaches, brings peace to the people, dies on a cross, comes back to life three days later, and, finally, is known as "Keristo" (the anointed) in Latin. His life is written in the Temple of Serapis, in Sakkara, where Jewish priests lived during their time in Egypt."

Sorry if there are any problems in the text, I just translated it myself. If you want more specific bibliographic references, just ask.

HarrisonH
August 15th, 2011, 06:15 AM
Sorry, but it just happens I'm reading a nice book, El catolicismo explicado a las ovejas (Catholicism explained for sheep), by Juan Eslava Galán (ed. Planeta), whose main purpose is analyzing the Bible from a logical/scientific/historical point of view and showing the hundreds of incoherences it contains. One of the chapters (Chapter 6, Los antecedentes de Jesucristo (Jesus Christ's precedents), pag. 66), shows a list of all religions that included a version of Jesus's history. And I just had to quote it.

"According to the historian E. Royston Pilke, several religions, including the Persian, Egyptian, Syrian, Greek, Roman, Aztec and Hindi ones, celebrated the birth of of the Sun God, son of the Virgin of Heavens, around the end of December.

"Several Mystery Religions had a god, born among men, who would die and then resurrect some time later, in rites that would freed the followers from the fear of death.

"According to the historians Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, the Indo-Iranian god Mitra was born in the Winter Solstice (December 25th), son of a Virgin and a God. Three sheperds who were in the zone are witnesses to the event, his followers called him "the Saviour" and "Son of God", and are told to be baptized to join him, turns water into wine in a wedding, and dies in Spring to freed men from their sins, sinks to the underworld, but, three days later, comes back to life and then goes to Heaven, he'll judge men once the world ends, and his followers remember him by eating bread and drinking wine to represent his body and his blood.

"But that's not all. 6 of his sacraments are the same ones Jesus used hundreds of years later. Holy Communion, specifically, already appears in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. That was to be taken by the followers who had previously taken the catechism. After the communion, 12 priests would dance around the new follower (12 people, did I hear that somewhere?).

"The followers of Mitra would originally be baptized with blood from a bull. But, due to the obvious inconveniences, it was later changed to sacred water instead.

"Mitra is first heard of in the Vedas, the Indian Sacred Books, around 2500 years before Jesus was born.The cult spreaded to Persia. Then, in the year -1200, Zoroaster was born from yet another virgin, in the modern Afghanistan. He was baptized, had impressive religious knowledge even when he was a kid, was tempted by the Devil after staying in the desert for some weeks, had a revelation from God that moved him to create a religion (Mazdeism or Zoroastrianism) and wrote a sacred book following God's orders. He was helped by 12 disciples, did several miracles, healed ill people, and his existence was celebrated in ritual feasts.

"In his sacred book, you can find the history of Adam and Eve, the Ark, a sacred Trinity (Ahura Mazda, Mitra and Anahita, mother of Mitra).

"Dyonisus was also born from a Virgin and a God, was known as the Saviour, turned water into wine, his symbol was a lamb, considered himself "a god that had taken a human form". When he was arrested, he told Penteo, the political leader who ordered it, that he couldn't 'do anything that hasn't been already arranged'. His followers used a cross to represent him. He dies in Spring, and his mother, Semele, ascended to heaven with him.

"Lastly, the Egyptian god Osiris was born the 25th of December, from a virgin, in a manger, he's baptized, preaches, brings peace to the people, dies on a cross, comes back to life three days later, and, finally, is known as "Keristo" (the anointed) in Latin. His life is written in the Temple of Serapis, in Sakkara, where Jewish priests lived during their time in Egypt."

Sorry if there are any problems in the text, I just translated it myself. If you want more specific bibliographic references, just ask.

I'd like the sources, because of this (http://conspiracies.skepticproject.com/articles/zeitgeist/part-one/#mithra).

Went
August 15th, 2011, 06:36 AM
The major part of the history of Mitra comes from The Jesus Mysteries, Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy, the book that is disputed in your link.

Other sources (Mitraism is not the only cult I mentioned, by the way) are:
Última noticia de Jesús el Nazareno, Lluís Busquests i Grabulosa
Jesús, 3000 años antes de Cristo, Claude-Brigitte Carcenac Pujol & Llogari Pujol
History of the Synoptic Tradition, Rudolf Bultmann
Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God?, Morton Smith

wcdaily
August 16th, 2011, 05:07 PM
I know this is a little far back in the thread but...
Another God thread huh..

Atheism is a funny thing. I think people now are finding it cool and controversial to be atheists, and with the more people doing it that's just enabling more to become atheists. And I can understand why people choose to believe in it: it's based on fact. But atheism can neither prove that there is no God. So keeping in mind that no belief actually proves anything, I prefer to keep an open mind about a higher force up there. And especially when you consider how tiny the earth is, and how insignificantly small we are, it's strange to think that there is no God. We think we're so important simply because we have consciousness but we're really not. It would surprise me if there weren't other life in the Universe, and it really would surprise me if there wasn't a higher power in the Universe. So I do choose to believe in God. Which one, I don't know. But I find it more compelling to live my life with the thought of a higher power existing, just to contemplate what it is and how it works.

However, that does bring destiny and faith into the mix, and as Neo said, I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my own life. So it's a tough one. But I'd rather not follow along blindly with all the atheists these days.
It's that same reason that gives proof their is no god, if god was real and really wanted to create us in his image, (as it's said in Christianity) we would be a lot more important, but we are not.

Mr Cat Dog
August 17th, 2011, 07:47 AM
I saw a thread like this on another forum so I will borrow it.
What are your views on god? Do you think he/she/it is the the highest of beings? Do you think there is one, or many? Do you think god is ancient mans perception of aliens? Or do not believe in a supreme being at all, and think we all just are? please discuss, oh and be civil and respect other peoples views.
I don't care. That's not to say that I'm atheistic or agnostic or any variant. I just don't care about God. If whatever's up there is up there, then great! If nothing's up then, also great. I just wish other people would be as apathetic as me when it comes to stuff like this...

Livewire
August 17th, 2011, 07:30 PM
I always assumed it woefully obvious that Christianity borrowed many, if not all, its chief material from previous religions, just like all the others. Also, there is historical evidence that suggests that a major flood occurred sometime before 1600 B.C.E that inspired all the Indo-European flood myths.

DowntownDumpling
August 27th, 2011, 07:56 AM
I was raised in a Unitarian family, but am atheist now. I've never believed in much of a chance that a deity exists, although I used to believe that there might be an afterlife, kind of like what Buddhism describes.

YuDaMan
August 27th, 2011, 02:11 PM
I wish I could believe in a God, but I don't think that is possible, yet. I go to a Christian college, however, I was raised in a Buddhist family, but being in the college for 3 years now, I have become more open minded instead of staying closed off from others' views. I'm pretty sure I fall in the category of agnoticism...

The main reason why I don't think Christianity is as strong as it should be is because of all the different denominations. They constantly dispute amongst each other about the differerent interpretations of the Bible while the secular world sits back with their stereotypical view of the average Christian. I don't believe the statistics true about how many Christians there are. Too many people call themselves Christians without knowing the true meaning. Yea that sounds hypocrytical from someone who isn't Christian right? Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't take one to know one.

Also, I find it very annoying for Christians to defend the existence of God by citing verses from the Bible. Isn't it's integrity that is on debate anyways? It's like asking someone to define a vocabulary word without using the word itself.

TornZero
August 27th, 2011, 10:22 PM
I was raised Christian by my parents, but I grew up not believing in any of it. I don't believe in God, because there's no proof going for Him. But I can't exactly say there is no God, as there's still a possibility until He is undeniably unproven.

Now, if I did believe in Him (and even while I don't), my view wouldn't exactly be anything life-changing or super-powerful. He may have caused the universe to be created, and given it matter, anti-matter and dark matter, and allowed chemical mutation to take effect instead of just watching asteroids fly around. It's like saying, "Ah, this is boring. Let's make something cool happen!" He may still be watching over us now, yet doing nothing BUT watching. Yeah... watching on a movie theater-sized HDTV that we won't get to use for another hundred years.... Maybe sprouting a hundred arms and eyes just to play a fifty games on every console at once. (Dang that would be awesome!)

As for Him being only one or being many, it's possible for either to be true, and both to be true at once. Considering God is able to create a universe, He should be able to split Himself into weaker entities in separate self-images, or He could have originally been many entities that merged into a single God. In the case of the former, being one and many at any one point in time is possible, while the latter progresses from being many to becoming one.

Timbjerr
August 31st, 2011, 09:14 PM
I was raised in a Catholic family, and while I believe in the basic aspects of Catholicism, I think I'm technically more Deist about it.

I believe in a creation deity and I believe that Jesus Christ was his earthly avatar, but I don't believe he intervenes with human affairs directly very often. Given how immense the universe is, he's probably more busy looking at the grand scheme of things instead of micro-managing every planet with sentient life on it. XD

As for the Bible, its historical credibility is dubious at best given the manner by which it was compiled and how many times it was edited and retranslated over the course of human history. Yes, there are some parts that are spiritually enlightening, but it's by no means infallable

Musician of Literature
September 3rd, 2011, 07:13 PM
Hm, hm, hm. Religion. I like to go back to ancient cultures for this. Ok, so i believe that many gods were involved in creation of the earth, and other planets. Ok. But I believe everything was created by one god, and creation is supported by other gods. Now these other gods are aliens who had superior technology to humans. They probably lived on Mars, which I believe at one point supported life. So my belief is that aliens governed earth, altered our ancestors genes, and then fled the solar system to find a new home in replacement of Mars, which heated it's core. Aliens with amazing technology still governed earth from the new location. Ok, and I believe that the gods are aliens because EVERY ancient religion is polytheistic. That clearly explains the gods traveled all around the world, or possibly altered the genetics of apes in Africa before our great civilization, then helped with the pyramids then left.

[Ghost]
September 3rd, 2011, 07:23 PM
I don't believe in basing my life around a book that I roll joints out of.

Atheist 'nuff said. <3


.,:;'`Ghost'`;:,.

Bolanboy
September 4th, 2011, 06:29 AM
I'd like to believe there is a God, or some supernatural all-being higher power that doesn't necessarily have a plan but just for a comforting reason. But I don't like to think that there is only a Human race and that's it, that would blow me. I'd also say I'm more agnostic, whereas when I was younger I'd say I was atheist because AW YEA I'M YOUNG ATHEISM IS COOL LOL. I also hate that evolution and religion can't co-exist for a simple few words that read "And He made us in His image". If I was a God and making a few new universes, I'd like to create the species as low-down as possible to see the evolution and the path they take, as opposed to "Here's a world, have fun! Don't eat apples!".

dinosaurodon
September 5th, 2011, 08:42 PM
Hm, hm, hm. Religion. I like to go back to ancient cultures for this. Ok, so i believe that many gods were involved in creation of the earth, and other planets. Ok. But I believe everything was created by one god, and creation is supported by other gods. Now these other gods are aliens who had superior technology to humans. They probably lived on Mars, which I believe at one point supported life. So my belief is that aliens governed earth, altered our ancestors genes, and then fled the solar system to find a new home in replacement of Mars, which heated it's core. Aliens with amazing technology still governed earth from the new location. Ok, and I believe that the gods are aliens because EVERY ancient religion is polytheistic. That clearly explains the gods traveled all around the world, or possibly altered the genetics of apes in Africa before our great civilization, then helped with the pyramids then left.

It's as if you took the words out of my mouth.

poopnoodle
September 19th, 2011, 02:13 PM
"god" is an abstract concept i struggle to grasp because i was raised given simplistic, concrete explanations. i'm religiously non-religious, you could say, but i'm on a lifelong spiritual journey and i aim to understand existence, possibly by using ancient religious concepts to guide the construction of my perception.

Hiroshi Zaiaku
October 3rd, 2011, 05:08 PM
I am my own religion. so technically, i believe everyone religion's gods and satans are to be doomed for their death too.
im not atheist, but you can attack that statement if you like. but even if God/Gods are real and "omni-,"
just remember, we're talking about nonexistence eye things.

assassinjay1229
October 4th, 2011, 06:35 PM
Hmmm, My views are this I do not believe in any religions God(s), but I do believe something made earth and everything on it. So I guess my God is known as the big bang :P.

Rucario
October 11th, 2011, 01:27 AM
I am a Roman Catholic and probably always will be. I do struggle with the belief of God, because a lot of terrible things have happened to me. Yet, that should only strengthen my belief. I believe that Atheism is more common now because God isn't present in as much anymore. You can't find him in anything, much like the music or the television.

Guillermo
October 11th, 2011, 06:53 AM
Honestly I'm surprised this thread is still open and there hasn't been any name-calling. Members these days must be mature. (;

Religion, in my opinion, is an incredibly silly topic to discuss because a) if someone is so sure that there is an almighty saviour up there, you aren't going to change their mind and b) especially on a Pokemon forum. That's life. I've seen countless documentries and interviews with people that've died and been given a second chance at life, and of course these kinds of things can't really be used as a reliable source due to bias as anyone that's died and come back to life can then try tell people something that happened based on what they believe. For example, a Christian would tell people that God or Jesus came around and said, "yo, welcome to heaven, but it's not your time yet so you've gotta go back to your body. Keep it real." But in saying that, 90% of these people all spoke of the same thing like a bright light and a feeling of warmth and seeing people that have been dead for years.

Personally I do believe Jesus exsisted, and I believe he was a prophet and he had teachings he shared with his pupils. People probably looked up to him and thought, "ah this guy is amazing, he is saaa smart srsly" and wrote a book about him. I do not however believe he brought people back from the dead, cured blind men, turned water into wine and all that other crap. If you do that's fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Pretty much there is something bigger than us out there, whether it's God or your soul or whatever the hell it is.

lx_theo
October 12th, 2011, 01:26 PM
( Disclaimer: In My Opinion)

Religion and God are a manifestation of humanity's tendency to feel bigger than themselves. People see the entire world and how insignificant they really are (just saying that a person with little power in the world, or so much, can be driven to want something more. You may even call it greed) , and feeling that there is something out that that is beyond everything else and has a plan for you, no matter how good or bad for them, can be comforting for many who want some help dealing with life itself. It also means it is a very subjective treatment of the subject. Its very personal, and humanity also has trouble with others having different core beliefs than them. You can imagine (and see in history) where major rifts in belief have the lead to.

It is great and horrifying in the same stroke.

femtrooper
October 12th, 2011, 07:30 PM
I do not believe in a God at all. Religion is something created by man as a result of fear of the unknown. Religion has caused so much damage to the human population throughout time. It has controlled the masses, justified slavery, justified polygyny, sexism, racism, homophobia, and taken away the independent thinking mind. I realize that there are religious people on this forum and I am not trying to insult, but I really don't like religion and what it stands for. It has held back the human race far too long.

Lalapizzame
October 12th, 2011, 07:45 PM
I am inclined to disagree with femtrooper. It's not just religion that did all those things femtrooper lists as her grievances, but religion is easily a good scapegoat for many. I also have no clue how it deprives us of independent thought whatsoever; I believe this is due to a mind with a weak constitution rather than religion. However, I have no intention of tampering with her beliefs.

Religion was one of the greatest creations of man. It endears men to one another, it unifies, it comforts, it restrains, it encourages, it vilifies, it supports. Religion was one of the parents of education, but also one of its murderers. It is a scapegoat, it is indeed the culprit. Any man can create it, no man can destroy it. There is no other aspect of life as flexible and long-lasting as religion except for humanity. Now, as for myself, I'm not particularly religious, nor do I worship Jesus Christ or your God. Instead, I am a Buddhist. As such, I worship Buddha, I practice a limited amount of Buddhism, I accept his teachings. However, whereas I embrace Buddhist principles I do not accept Buddhist stories. They're nice to read, like the story of Odysseus, but I do not believe them.

papps101
October 15th, 2011, 09:28 AM
i do not belive he is real but i would change my mind if someone gave me a reason to belive or prof that he exists

daigonite
October 15th, 2011, 09:33 AM
I do not believe in a God at all. Religion is something created by man as a result of fear of the unknown. Religion has caused so much damage to the human population throughout time. It has controlled the masses, justified slavery, justified polygyny, sexism, racism, homophobia, and taken away the independent thinking mind. I realize that there are religious people on this forum and I am not trying to insult, but I really don't like religion and what it stands for. It has held back the human race far too long.
Religion is more of a way for people to help explain why certain things happen and as a cultural unity than necessarily bad things. Of course, people can use religion as an excuse to do bad things but religion (most of the time) in of itself is more of an internal belief than a way for people to hate each other.

That being said, as a Reform Jew I view "God" as a force of nature, a sort of electrical current powering the cogs of the universe. He (or rather "It") is more of just what makes everything "go" and "start" than necessarily a being of a human nature with traits like hatred and benevolence. This is perhaps why anything can happen to anyone and some horrible people can get away with horrible things, while good people can suffer and die early. Of course, the good, even if they die young, will understand a better higher meaning in their lives than those who were not, and would be in a sense closer to God, which essentially is the goal of mankind anyhow. But I typically don't think of the afterlife, just making the best of this one you know...

I guess in a way God is almost like science, and the more we understand about the universe the more we understand about God.

Remember, a text does not have to be taken literally. Believe what works for you.

papps101
October 15th, 2011, 10:15 AM
how does that work its confusing

daigonite
October 15th, 2011, 10:26 AM
God doesn't have to be like you and me.

God could be just energy. Or a force we don't understand yet.

I think a humanization of God is not the most realistic thing to view Him as (although preferable to many because its easier to associate with something with human-like qualities), since He existed before humans. One could argue that humans were created in the likeness of God as said in religious texts, however, this may rather mean that humans have the capability to even fathom the idea of a God.

If God is energy, or a force we don't understand, that runs the universe, this means that God doesn't have to conflict with science, but rather is science. And to understand the world is really what all people want to do. Think about it, the more you know about the world the more you can use it to make it more of a world that you want it to be. God might be just that one thing that is truly untouchable in terms of manipulation but by at least attempting to understand Him will bring some sort of happiness, like as if someone discovered a new species or other scientific discovery.

God doesn't necessarily have to be benevolent, but rather probably represents a neutral force (like gravity instead of goodwill). This is likely why He created free will in the first place, because it was generated and allowed for the most number of outputs, as God perhaps wanted. Of course one could ignore God and pass Him under a rug, but that's knowledge that you're refusing to know about. Ignorance is not bliss, after all. Throwing away morals to go do horrible acts against society works the same way - ignoring the rules and love for others makes you ultimately alone, and thus unhappy.

All in all God does exist but in a forme that doesn't represent some dude hanging out in the sky, but rather a force (or forces) that keeps everything running that we have yet to fully understand. I respect God in the same way that I respect the sun, or the rain, or the wind, or the earth, in that its a natural force that keeps me alive but could kill me at any moment as well... if the force that God suddenly helped mutate that one cell, I could die in months due to cancer. Of course most deaths are caused by external action (radiation causing cancer for example) but underlying everything as a trigger is that unifying thread that's God.

papps101
October 15th, 2011, 10:54 AM
wow your smart how do you know that though

daigonite
October 15th, 2011, 11:11 AM
Knowing and Believing are two separate things.

You can know that the world exists but you can only believe how it got there, since you weren't there to see it. You can formulate an educated guess based on all sorts of evidence to support your beliefs but you'll never truly know how.

papps101
October 15th, 2011, 11:17 AM
yeah i think i know what your saying

Digimon Kaiser
October 16th, 2011, 10:19 AM
Religion is the opium of the people.

^I'm sorry, but I agree with this guy.

Carter
October 16th, 2011, 10:55 AM
i perceive God's existence or non-existence as claims. i accept them based upon the evidence. should additional evidence surface that causes the claims to be modified, or even debunked, or proved, i will accept those on the same basis.

abnegation
October 24th, 2011, 12:27 PM
^I'm sorry, but I agree with this guy.Ah yes, the Karl Marx argument. Being a follower of his work myself, I would normally agree with his sentiments. However, quite the broad assumption on his part. Such a cynical view on what Religion represents.

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world.So basically what Marx is outlining is that Religion is an escape to those who cannot find their own way in life, divulge their own path, but instead need to follow a set one because they do not have the confidence in them to do so. Whereas this this contradicted by some of the most successful people on the planet becoming Christians after they've in fact found their way in life, reached their epitome and who simply look to Religion due to faith and a sense of spirituality.

Man is the world of man—state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.This however, I do agree with. I feel that a lot of what we see in Religion is man made, perceived by humanity by those who had placed it before future generations. And I'm implying that if Christianity or Religion in general is correct in its teachings, a lot of what we see today is still quite heavily edited by man. Parts of the original Bible collections have been stripped out, such as the accusations of Jesus being kissed by Mary Magdalene, amongst other passages lost and edited in time.

So I'll agree with Marx in saying that a lot of what we see in Religion today is our own creation. But it is not possible to determine any fact of truth when it comes to the existence of Gods or higher beings in terms of Religions, so Marx cannot state Religion to be a man made thing.

It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Again Marx goes back to the point that Religion is a reasoning for what we cannot explain, and he says that is why people follow it (except his own views of course). He shows how Religion is the people's only access to any "spiritual aroma" and is a distraction from the real world.

Again, I kind of have to take his point here, but it all comes from the basis that Religion would need to be proven to be a falsely trusted belief, which yet, it still has not gained enough evidence to apply to that argument. Claiming that one's Religion is a "distraction from the real world", is without substance also, given that some people's Religion is a way of life, and they firmly believe that way of life to be the one and only and it is not a matter of avoiding what is out there. The prime example is Islam, which is believed to be a way of life and not just a Religion.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the haloHere, Marx is both sympathetic, and speaking in a somewhat positive light about Religion, saying it is almost like a breath of fresh air in world of ashes. But saying that abolishing Religion in exchange for "real happiness" is a completely outlandish statement. Marx is forgetting his own argument. If Religion as taken over so much as he has noted, it has more of a bearing on just the negative side of things. Communities, families, charities, ecumenism, so much of it is built around Religion. You will not find that when you lift the halo of faith people have that they will finally see this metaphorical real happiness. Religion is no mask, Religion is a foundation for so many things, but perhaps not the correct answer, and without that correct answer Mankind is not going to be happy. So what Marx failed to offer was a supplementary piece of guidance to those who would take upon his word and believe it as gospel. The criticism of Religion criticism of faith. Marx can call it what he will, but faith is all people have in Religion, and if faith is "that vale of tears of which religion is the halo", then we may as well stop having faith that rain is going to be wet, that the sky is going to be blue and that we will wake up in the morning. None of those are given as fact, neither is Religion; thus, Marx could not logically back up that final statement.

I'm not religious either, coming from a secular humanist who follows his work, I don't necessarily believe he had it all figured out as some do.

NcTheory
October 25th, 2011, 02:33 PM
This can often times be a difficult question to discuss openly. That declaration isn't due to the question of whether there is, or isn't, but the statements of those that do, and don't believe.

The world has just changed so radically. We're all running to catch up. Not to jump to any conclusions, but God and Homo sapiens are often depicted as two separate entities, but suddenly and recently thrusted in the mix together. How could you have the faintest idea what to think?

According to the public, a verdict is still to be reached and often individuals will come to their own. In the scientific community, however, which is comprised of the brightest minds on this planet, and perhaps beyond, the verdict is in. There isn't enough evidence to support the idea that we live in a Universe that has, or even needs a God to exist. There are too many holes in religious text and human mind that starting to make religious thoughts come out of the woodwork – what causes people to think in that manner.

Everyone has their own reason for belief. Everyone has their own version of their own god in their mind, even if that god shares the same name as one written down by a primitive and unintellectual man. I say unintellectual considering the gravity of knowledge we have today, and the lack of knowledge in all religious texts from across the globe and gods. They are clever, albeit unintellectual ideas, but none have stood up to the test of time when tested.

So, my conclusion is the same conclusion that reality seems to present, as well as evidence: There is no God. There is no need for a god for any reason what so ever. To those that want to believe, they can put their own morality and immorality into themselves and call it Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, or God, but that is their own belief and is not shared among anyone else on a personal perspective. That alone shows me how brittle the God Hypothesis truly is.

God is the Homo sapiens ego.

MurkMire
October 27th, 2011, 12:03 PM
Honestly, the idea of God(s) intrigue me. When I was younger, I was raised Christian. But after watching some philosophy videos and videos about opposing views, I realize I don't really know if there is a God or even multiple gods.

To put it simply, my view of God, if there was one, would be a Creator and a Supporter. A Supporter, meaning that you would have a personal relationship with that God. It's interesting, I'm actually going over the philosophy of God.

XEL
November 1st, 2011, 07:17 PM
I wouldn't say I'm an atheist. I wouldn't say I'm agnostic either. I believe in "God," whatever that is, but not religion. I think religions are the most damned things to ever happen to mankind and forever will be. It's caused some of the biggest genocides in history. People are afraid, thus people need answers. People piss me off. I will say up front that I am Buddhist, though I consider it more a way of life rather than a religion. I don't believe in these random "Gods," such as members of the Trinity, Allah, etc. running around. I would post more but I'm gonna limit myself as to not make you guys read a research paper..

cr4y
November 1st, 2011, 11:58 PM
I'm catholic but refer to myself as Christian because my beliefs are combinations of alot of different denominations of christianity. I'm very open to certain practices and beliefs of other religions like Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism etc.

I try to pray almost every day and always look to God for strength because he has gotten me through so much and always listened when I needed him.

HelterSkelter
November 2nd, 2011, 07:14 AM
I don't believe in God, or follow any religion. I would never say that a God or Gods don't exist though, who am I to say something like that?

Seki
November 3rd, 2011, 04:54 AM
I do not believe in God except the God of Fortune (LOL, I am money-faced). In my opinion, a God wouldn't want to be called and worshipped as a God.

Nash Bandicoot
November 13th, 2011, 03:40 AM
I believe in God, and that he had a God and He had a God, and so on and so forth. Everyone has the potential to become a God if they live a worthy life. (I am a Mormon)

Charlie Kelly
November 13th, 2011, 04:54 PM
To quote Epicurus:Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?Sums up my feelings/beliefs pretty well.

Though, I can't really get into the whole "Big Bang" thing, either, but that's another conversation.

BryGuy Shinigami
November 13th, 2011, 05:14 PM
I am Catholic, but use to be an atheist and an agnostic. I believe in a just God and accept his son as my my savior. I respect all beliefs, regardless if I believe their canon or not. I have friends of all faiths and friends who are atheist or agnostic. I myself believe he is omnipotent and omnibenevolent. A lot we won't know until either the Apocalypse or death/afterlife. Apocalypse doesn't actually mean 'end of the world', it's Greek word meaning 'lift the veil'. All we need to know will be either then or when we die. I read and study Revelation and I attend a Christian College.

shenanigans
November 13th, 2011, 05:27 PM
I believe in a single God because I simply want to. I don't care about the apparent lack of evidence or the quotes, some of which have appeared in this thread, against Him. I just choose to believe that He exists.

Why do I believe in a God? That's a bit of a different question really. I actually grew up in a household, tbh extending almost into an entire community, of atheists, so I was as surprised as anyone when I recently found myself contemplating the idea of the existence of God.

...Or rather, I grew up in a household of people who reject the Bible. That, to me, is a different matter; while I believe in a God, I don't follow any sort of holy text or what have you. As He didn't write it, I don't think anyone can say that it's representative of what He should be like. So, I guess that's why I find it easier to believe that He exists. To take the above quote for example,
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
I'm assuming that God himself hasn't told Epicurus that he is omnipotent; if he had, then it would be instantly proven that God exists. So we must assume that Epicurus was told by a person. Who is a person to say what God is and is not? The way I see it, arguments for and against religion which are made with respect to the qualities of God (for example, omnipotency) are generally flawed since I don't believe we can know what God should be like. I'm not saying that every argument against God is invalid, as there are plenty of arguments which I can't really find a fault with. I'm just saying that I find it hard to listen to people calling the idea of God out because there is evil in the world when we have very little evidence that God was intended to stop evil. Not saying that God is evil, ofc, but if the life on His world goes down certain paths which cause evil to exist, is it his 'job' to clean it up? I don't really think it is, and I don't believe that it is unless someone who was told by God himself can tell me otherwise.

I personally don't take comfort in believing that God will resolve my problems when I ask him to or whatever as I don't think that this should be expected of Him. In a world of 7 billion or so people where every single one of us probably has problems of one sort or another, it'd be impossible to correct them all, even if he was able or willing to do so! I just like the idea of there always being someone there to at least hear me. He may not act on it or may not respond, but I'd like to think that He hears me regardless. So that's why I choose to believe in Him. To me, it's no big deal.

I'd like to state, btw, that I'm not trying to attack anyone's opinion here, especially not Charlie Kelly's; I was simply using the quote in his post as an example. This is just my perception of God and, according to common religious practices, it's pretty terrible and certainly out of the ordinary. But that's just how I am, I guess!

Deadrocks
November 13th, 2011, 07:13 PM
100% Christian here. My views would be closest to Baptist, but technically I'm non-denominational. :)

Melie11
November 13th, 2011, 11:33 PM
I believe in God. He is the inventor of the whole wide world and the things present in it. He is the highest of beings. I know God is there and the evidence is all around us. Just because you can't see, feel or hear him, it doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

Yoshikkko
November 14th, 2011, 09:10 AM
GOD IS NOTHING... he doesn't exist
That's what you say. I'm sure a lot of people would gladly disagree. Also, I don't believe in God myself, but I do believe that he exists in the minds and hearts of people, and serves as something to rely on and a feeling of trust.

I believe in God. He is the inventor of the whole wide world and the things present in it. He is the highest of beings. I know God is there and the evidence is all around us. Just because you can't see, feel or hear him, it doesn't mean he doesn't exist.
Well it doesn't also necessarily mean that he does. It works both ways.

2Cool4Mewtwo
November 14th, 2011, 01:10 PM
For some time I've just drifted in and out of this thread to see what people thought, and for some reason just now I really want to tell what I believe.

America is one of the most developed and successful countries in the world. Guess what?

http://placeofdirection.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/in-god-we-trust.jpg
http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/in-god-we-trust_large1.jpg

United States Pledge of Allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


Let's look at many communist states. Communist East European States promoted atheism. Look what happened:
http://jspivey.wikispaces.com/file/view/stalinfallen_bp.jpg/34438055/stalinfallen_bp.jpg
http://www.worldofstock.com/slides/MES1659.jpg
http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB293/wall%20coming%20down.jpg

If you're still not convinced, because above, along with all of this (http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html) are supposedly complete coincidence, what a complete bogus. There probably is more chance of God "existing" than all above to be 100% coincidence and naturally happening.

Religion was one of the greatest creations of man. It endears men to one another, it unifies, it comforts, it restrains, it encourages, it vilifies, it supports. Religion was one of the parents of education, but also one of its murderers. It is a scapegoat, it is indeed the culprit.

I'd agree with this completely. Some just have to be ultimate pessimists and only find the negative aspects of religion, when there is much more to it.

I'd throw in quotes from the bible to try to "persuade non believers," but what is there to prove when not everybody follows the Bible?

However, at the end of the day, it's only faith that separates believers from atheists. I could go bit further on this issue if I felt like it, but again, atheists don't believe in much of the bible, so it's useless trying to argue.

Volcanix769
November 14th, 2011, 01:24 PM
My view is that he is real. But he hides up in the Heavens, watching our every move, and he lets us see him if we are destined to. I'm Christian, so is my family.

Mr. Tommy
November 18th, 2011, 09:39 PM
1st of all, I believe in science, reason, and logic. Next, I would like to inform everybody that I am an atheist. I don't believe in a deity/god/sky daddy/supreme being since there's no scientific and logical proof for one. I believe in the Big Bang theory rather than creationism.

By the way, if I'm asked about my view on the Christian god, I would say that the Christian god is quite confusing. Let's do a simple math first. What's the answer in the equation below?

1 + 1 + 1 = N

Well, if we're going to use simple math, the answer is 3.

1 + 1 + 1 = 3
1 + (1 + 1) = 3
(1 + 1) + 1 = 3

But according to Christianity, particularly those who believe in the Trinity:

1 + 1 + 1 = 1
1 + (1 + 1) = 1
(1 + 1) + 1 = 1

Other thing is that the Christian god, especially during the Old Testament times, is a very cruel and rude god. He even commanded to kill gays. (See Lev. 20:13)

That's my view on god. Thank you.

twocows
November 19th, 2011, 10:22 PM
I'm generally pretty tolerant of religious folk, but this really set me off. I feel like this is very destructive in the sense that it's very single-minded.
For some time I've just drifted in and out of this thread to see what people thought, and for some reason just now I really want to tell what I believe.

America is one of the most developed and successful countries in the world. Guess what?

http://placeofdirection.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/in-god-we-trust.jpg
http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/in-god-we-trust_large1.jpg

United States Pledge of Allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The "under God" section of the Pledge of Allegiance was added in the mid 20th century. It was not initially part of the Pledge. However, I can buy the argument that the US was initially a Christian nation (though it no longer is nor should be; secularism is a good thing). Still, I fail to see your point. So what if the US was a Christian nation? I can name plenty of empires that lasted longer, reached farther, and influenced much more than the US and weren't Christian. The first Roman empire, for example. Or the Egyptians. Or the Greeks. Or Persia. The Chinese at multiple points in history. The Yamoto. And, as you cover below, the Russians (both pre- and post-Bolshevic Revolution). Some of these are empires that lasted thousands of years, not just a few hundred, and spanned the majority of the known world. And, I might add, were not Christian.


Let's look at many communist states. Communist East European States promoted atheism. Look what happened:
http://jspivey.wikispaces.com/file/view/stalinfallen_bp.jpg/34438055/stalinfallen_bp.jpg
http://www.worldofstock.com/slides/MES1659.jpg
http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB293/wall%20coming%20down.jpgCommunist Russia fell because of an inherent flaw in Communism, not because they didn't believe in God. And are you really, really arguing that Christianity hasn't done things far worse than Communist Russia? What about the Crusades (and "chivalry" in general)? How about the Catholic Church's policy of non-involvement during the Holocaust? What about one of the things listed as a cause for the Protestant Reformation: the selling of indulgences (basically, paying money to the Church to be able to sin)? And don't forget, some of the first people to leave for America did so because of the religious intolerance and bigotry of Christians. Oh, and those Westboro folk I'm sure everyone here loves so much are also Christian. Oh, and since your knowledge of history seems so limited, there was one other empire in recent years that was very strongly Christian. They were known as the National Socialists, or the Nazis, and they were very, very strongly Christian. As were all of the Axis powers in WW2 (excluding the USSR, which, I might add, became an Allied power once betrayed by their Christian ally).

The point isn't that Christians are bad people because for the most part, they're not. The point is that there are good and bad people in any group and that pointing out one failure associated with atheism does not make any atheist philosophy an automatic failure. Don't just cherry pick one or two things from history to justify your position.

If you're still not convinced, because above, along with all of this (http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html) are supposedly complete coincidence, what a complete bogus.Please don't make me go out and post fifteen thousand links to people who spent many pages making counter-points to stuff like this. I've got a project I'm supposed to be doing. If you look for the opposing argument, you'll find just as many justifications and counter-points to that sort of thing.
There probably is more chance of God "existing" than all above to be 100% coincidence and naturally happening.Let me present to you the "God dilemma," as I call it. It's not even an atheist argument; it's just an argument against any particular religion. Why is your religion more right than any of the 80 thousand others in existence? What about Judaism? Islam? Hinduism? What about things that are somewhat religious-based, like Buddhism and Taoism? Why are they any less justified than Christianity?

First of all, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that, in our infinitely large universe, there happened to be a chunk of rock the right size and and distance from a star to support life. In fact, the wonderful people at NASA have found dozens of planets similarly suited to sustain life. And if that's possible, the justifications our scientists have made regarding the origin of species are not that far-fetched either. Maybe right, maybe wrong, but still a reasonable possibility.

Believe what you will, but don't for a second try to tell me that (a) a conclusion we've reached purely through logical analysis of the world is completely bogus and that (b) a conclusion reached through building up logic around an ages-old story makes perfect sense. Either you can be a skeptic and say that both are probably wrong or you can say that either is a possibility but one makes more sense. Don't just flat out deny anything that goes against your worldview. Refusing to consider different possibilities pushes science and the world as a whole back into the dark ages. Expand your mind a bit and you might find that things aren't always black and white.

Black Ice
November 19th, 2011, 11:16 PM
For some time I've just drifted in and out of this thread to see what people thought, and for some reason just now I really want to tell what I believe.

America is one of the most developed and successful countries in the world. Guess what?

http://placeofdirection.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/in-god-we-trust.jpg
http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/in-god-we-trust_large1.jpg

United States Pledge of Allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


Let's look at many communist states. Communist East European States promoted atheism. Look what happened:
http://jspivey.wikispaces.com/file/view/stalinfallen_bp.jpg/34438055/stalinfallen_bp.jpg
http://www.worldofstock.com/slides/MES1659.jpg
http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB293/wall%20coming%20down.jpg

If you're still not convinced, because above, along with all of this (http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html) are supposedly complete coincidence, what a complete bogus. There probably is more chance of God "existing" than all above to be 100% coincidence and naturally happening.



I'd agree with this completely. Some just have to be ultimate pessimists and only find the negative aspects of religion, when there is much more to it.

I'd throw in quotes from the bible to try to "persuade non believers," but what is there to prove when not everybody follows the Bible?

However, at the end of the day, it's only faith that separates believers from atheists. I could go bit further on this issue if I felt like it, but again, atheists don't believe in much of the bible, so it's useless trying to argue.

This here, folks, is what we call confirmation bias.

so it's useless trying to argue.

Pretty much. Until you realize religion has a major impact on American culture and politics when compared to pretty much every other modern economically developed country.

Hassan_Abdillah
November 20th, 2011, 05:39 AM
Let me present to you the "God dilemma," as I call it. It's not even an atheist argument; it's just an argument against any particular religion. Why is your religion more right than any of the 80 thousand others in existence? What about Judaism? Islam? Hinduism? What about things that are somewhat religious-based, like Buddhism and Taoism? Why are they any less justified than Christianity?


Well some proponents of religious worldviews argue, that their religion is not based on faith alone. Rather they adopted their worldview because it is justified on rational grounds. If you are willing to give a benefit of doubt, then the answer to said dilemma appears in sight. Because with that assumption we have a criterion to tell true religions apart from false ones.

Details of the assumptions are however way beyond the scope of this discussion, or even this forum.

twocows
November 20th, 2011, 04:56 PM
Well some proponents of religious worldviews argue, that their religion is not based on faith alone. Rather they adopted their worldview because it is justified on rational grounds. If you are willing to give a benefit of doubt, then the answer to said dilemma appears in sight. Because with that assumption we have a criterion to tell true religions apart from false ones.

Details of the assumptions are however way beyond the scope of this discussion, or even this forum.
"Scientific" justifications of religion (at least the ones I've seen) argue about creation theory. I haven't seen any arguments that would really exclude other religions.

Barbie Jean
November 20th, 2011, 06:12 PM
The Big Bang Theory is a theory that really makes no sense at all, and really can't be proven. Same as the scientists who are trying to make us believe that we came from Monkeys, which is really not true, there might be similarities, but we are not monkeys.

I'll stand firm with my christian beliefs, rather than believe false theories that are out there.

TeRex
November 20th, 2011, 07:08 PM
Well, I was raised and baptized in 2 religions, However I have my doubts that god exists. However if he does my view on him would be nothing. I don't care. He is the almighty the Creator. He is what he is. But my view on his existence well like i said i'm highly doubtful, but we cant prove he exists or doesn't so until science tells me otherwise its up for grabs

Livewire
November 20th, 2011, 07:35 PM
The Big Bang Theory is a theory that really makes no sense at all, and really can't be proven. Same as the scientists who are trying to make us believe that we came from Monkeys, which is really not true, there might be similarities, but we are not monkeys.

I'll stand firm with my christian beliefs, rather than believe false theories that are out there.
You're misconstruing what the word theory means in scientific terms. Scientific theory = accepted fact until more research proves otherwise. We are primates, and The Big Bang has been scientifically observed.

aspie3000
November 20th, 2011, 08:01 PM
Communist Russia fell because of an inherent flaw in Communism, not because they didn't believe in God. And are you really, really arguing that Christianity hasn't done things far worse than Communist Russia? What about the Crusades (and "chivalry" in general)? How about the Catholic Church's policy of non-involvement during the Holocaust? What about one of the things listed as a cause for the Protestant Reformation: the selling of indulgences (basically, paying money to the Church to be able to sin)? And don't forget, some of the first people to leave for America did so because of the religious intolerance and bigotry of Christians. Oh, and those Westboro folk I'm sure everyone here loves so much are also Christian. Oh, and since your knowledge of history seems so limited, there was one other empire in recent years that was very strongly Christian. They were known as the National Socialists, or the Nazis, and they were very, very strongly Christian. As were all of the Axis powers in WW2 (excluding the USSR, which, I might add, became an Allied power once betrayed by their Christian ally).

The point isn't that Christians are bad people because for the most part, they're not. The point is that there are good and bad people in any group and that pointing out one failure associated with atheism does not make any atheist philosophy an automatic failure. Don't just cherry pick one or two things from history to justify your position.



Okay, how is people being payed money to sin, and "bigotry" worse than killing than killing 150,000,000 people. That's the estimate of how many people Communism's killed. That is the most people killed by one group by a long shot.

And I'm tired of people whining about the crusades. Have you even read about them? The Turks were murdering Christians in brutal fashion in the Holy land. Heck, they conquered that land. I might also add that the Ottoman empire was trying to conquer the world at the time.

And Hitler only used Christianity as a propaganda tool because most Germans were Christians. In reality he hated Christianity. Some of the things that were taught to the youth in schools were as followed.

Christianity and Communism go hand in hand.

The New Testament is a Jewish plot.

Jesus was a Jew.

Jesus died whining on the cross.

Christianity does not differentiate between the white man and the negro.

He said during a speech something to the effect of, "Out of all the religions that Germany could have had, why did it have to be Christianity? Why couldn't we have the religion of the Japanese who worship the state?"

Mussolini was a similar case kissing the Catholics rear end because that was what Italy's main religion was. During his days giving lectures, he used to dare God to strike him dead where he stood if he existed. Then he'd give a whole speech on why God didn't exist.

And the Japanese's religion was Shinto.

miltankRancher
November 20th, 2011, 08:32 PM
Well, if I am to be asked, I live in a very devout country (Philippines). we, generally view God as the Almighty Being. However, I don't quite get it. The concept of a higher being doesn't really sounds good to me so no. I don't believe in His existence. But I respect other's ideas as well.

twocows
November 20th, 2011, 10:24 PM
Okay, how is people being payed money to sin, and "bigotry" worse than killing than killing 150,000,000 people. That's the estimate of how many people Communism's killed.
Citation needed. That sounds like propeganda to me.

And I'm tired of people whining about the crusades. Have you even read about them?
Yes, I've read and researched them extensively. I don't feel like arguing about history, I've got better things to do than screencap things on Wikipedia and posting giant red circles pointing to the relevant sections saying "IT'S RIGHT HERE."
The Turks were murdering Christians in brutal fashion in the Holy land.
True or not (correct answer is "not"), that is completely besides the point. The fact remains that Christians committed great atrocities in the Middle East during the Crusades. Two wrongs do not make a right, and their actions are unforgivable, both in the eyes of a Christian and in the eyes of anyone with a shred of decency.

And Hitler only used Christianity as a propaganda tool because most Germans were Christians. In reality he hated Christianity.
Oh, how convenient.

While you're really not citing anything in the claims you make after this, let's take it for granted that they're true (something I highly doubt). Even then, you've still completely missed my point. My point is that people do good and bad things in the name of any religion. There have been positive examples of Christians doing great things for the world, and there have been negative examples of Christians doing horrible, unforgivable atrocities. The person I responded to was making it seem like Christians can do no wrong and everything anyone has done in the name of Christianity was just the greatest thing ever. That's just plain wrong and you know it.

And the Japanese's religion was Shinto.
My mistake. I meant the west Axis powers. Though Japan does have a significant Christian population.

Jay_Foxx
November 22nd, 2011, 04:52 AM
I'll make this short and sweet, since I have no desire to involve myself in a long, protracted argument about whether God in fact exists. I believe in what I can see with my eyes, what I can hear with my ears, what I can taste with my tongue, what I can smell with my nose, and what I can touch with my fingers. I find it a complete waste of time attempting to ascertain whether or not there is a life-form other than us which might be superior. Given statistical probability, I presume that such a creature does exist. But its existence does not mean that being is a "god." It is only human fear of death that causes us to create a mythology to reassure ourselves that even after physical death, we continue to live on.

I do not believe in God, or even that there is a God. I long ago gave up believing in invisible, imaginary friends.

NidoJosh
November 22nd, 2011, 04:59 AM
Well I am a Lutheran but I do believe in evolution
So yeah I basically disregard the majority of the old testament (particularly Genesis) as being literal.
There is simply to much proof to disregard evolution. It is very evident.

I doubt I'd ever give up my faith and I am searching into theistic e volution (creationism/evolutionist) views

Pokemon Trainer Touko
November 22nd, 2011, 05:34 AM
I'm an atheist and I will never believe in god.
The evolution theory is the way to go. o/

Hassan_Abdillah
November 22nd, 2011, 05:09 PM
"Scientific" justifications of religion (at least the ones I've seen) argue about creation theory. I haven't seen any arguments that would really exclude other religions.


I don't understand what you are trying to say here, are you saying "scientific" (sic) justifications go as far as proving creationism and that's where it ends? And so this doesn't resolve the God dilemma since multiple religions have creationism (albeit narrows it)?

twocows
November 24th, 2011, 05:42 PM
I don't understand what you are trying to say here, are you saying "scientific" (sic) justifications go as far as proving creationism and that's where it ends? And so this doesn't resolve the God dilemma since multiple religions have creationism (albeit narrows it)?
A "sic" is used when there is a deliberate grammatical mistake you're trying to preserve from the author's original writing. That implies I made a mistake there, which I didn't (unless you're really picky about quotes, which I used to imply that their science is more like pseudoscience).

And yeah, that's pretty much what I was saying. I think. I had too much to drink with my relatives at Thanksgiving, so I'm a bit out of it right now. I'm pretty sure what I meant was that the arguments for creation science have all been given to try and prove the existence of a higher power, not really to prove one religion over another. Of course, that's just what I've seen argue. I tend to not really get into religious arguments too much, it usually ends up just making everyone mad and more convinced that they're right; nobody ever really listens.

Charlie Kelly
December 3rd, 2011, 08:23 PM
Well I am a Lutheran but I do believe in evolution
So yeah I basically disregard the majority of the old testament (particularly Genesis) as being literal.
There is simply to much proof to disregard evolution. It is very evident.

I doubt I'd ever give up my faith and I am searching into theistic e volution (creationism/evolutionist) viewsJust curiosity on my part, not criticizing your beliefs, but how does that work? That is, believing in/following part of the sacred book of your religion? I mean, I have absolutely no problem picking and choosing beliefs that sit best with you. Do you really consider yourself a Lutheran, or was that just what you've always been, so you stick with it?

Misheard Whisper
December 3rd, 2011, 09:11 PM
Regarding the original question, my view of God is that he does not exist. He is a fabrication of mankind. I believe in what I can see, what I can hear, touch, taste and smell. Nothing else. Occam's Razor works both ways. Perhaps God is the simplest answer at a basic level, but at the same time he raises an infinite number of further questions.

Minishcap
December 3rd, 2011, 11:24 PM
I'm agnostic, leaning towards "God(s) may or may not exist, I won't change my life regardless".

I am however, extremely opposed to organized religion since in my opinion they're just like informercials. They promise alot of crap and exaggerate the importance of it, ofcourse for a price. Trying to get monopoly on God(s) just says it all.

Personal religious beliefs - whether one calls oneself Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Norse worshiper etc - is a important aspect for many people and should not be invaded upon by any state or organization. I very much enjoy reading religious texts and discussion theology, without the "God does not exist, you're retarded hahahahaha".

Houndoomed
December 4th, 2011, 12:52 AM
Hello all,

I was born into a Greek Orthodox family with very devout grandparents. My parents however, due to various life experiences, have what I would describe as a silently agnostic view of god and an afterlife. They never spoke of religion in our home for no other reason than it did not seem important enough to discuss. I remember realising at a young age, being aware that religion existed that I have opportunity to believe whatever I wanted with no fear of judgement or retribution from my mother or father. Which was a much different way of life compared with cousins, friends and the Children at the Private Catholic school I attended (due to convenient location and quality of education,not religion to be clear) As a consequence, I have what I like think as a truly indiscriminate view of religion based on my opinion of course and research I have done. I am aware of my born faiths beliefs as well as most of the other main denominations around the globe.

Having said that, I truly believe that all religions are conspired corrupt manmade creations set upon the masses by the currently located hierarchy’sto control the way people behave and to install some kind of order to society. That being said as a general statement which could be made about most races and countries back until the dawn of scripted history. I also believe that it all began with good intentions, however not unlike most governments and police forces where there is opportunity to gain wealth by exploiting a position of power it will happen, it is human nature and I can say assuredly that it is occurring right now some where some place.

I am also aware that this may seem sceptical, cynical and possibly conspiracy theorist but I write this as a genuinely honest response without any blame laying or malice. Also, to be honest I was actually really excited to be able to give my opinion to what seems to be a very intelligent and non discriminate group of people. I find these conversations tend not to go as well in real life.I have adopted my parent’s tactic of keeping what I think to myself as religionis not something that I practice at all. It exists, I respect the rights of others to believe in it, and that’s where it leaves my thought process. I see it pointless to argue the fact of something that never enters my head unless mentioned by others. It neither annoys nor interests me.

My opinion is that this world came into being at some point by some random universal anomaly, much like many other things that happen allaround you every day. Medical, biological and geological findings clearly disprove many of the writings of religious scripture yet people choose to believe what they say in opposition to the fact that science provides the replacement explanation for happenings that were previously blamed on monsters and deities in stories.

In closing I believe we are on our own from the moment weare born and then die, spiritually, It might be sad to think about and I understand that it helps people to have faith in something whatever it may be,but I find simply not being burdened with it appears to me as an outsider a muchless stressful way to live.

Thanks for letting me have my say. No offence intended to anyone.



Zeus

zoo3891
December 4th, 2011, 05:11 PM
For background, I was an extremely hateful Atheist (or anti-christian) about a year and a half ago. I now consider myself Agnostic, and still a bit bigoted towards Christianity.

Anyway, I can see that the world doesn't need a god to have come this far. I can see how evolution, and human accomplishments could have gotten us this far.

I do however believe there was a creator of some sort. I don't believe it interferes with humans, as we are just another animal living in this insanely large universe. But something had to cause the universe to come into existence, and that something is our creator.

Whether it did it intelligently, or it just happened is not something I can determine.

In short, I don't believe in afterlife, prayer, or anything like that. But it's pretty obvious we had a creator of some sort.

lx_theo
December 4th, 2011, 05:28 PM
For background, I was an extremely hateful Atheist (or anti-christian) about a year and a half ago. I now consider myself Agnostic, and still a bit bigoted towards Christianity.

Anyway, I can see that the world doesn't need a god to have come this far. I can see how evolution, and human accomplishments could have gotten us this far.

I do however believe there was a creator of some sort. I don't believe it interferes with humans, as we are just another animal living in this insanely large universe. But something had to cause the universe to come into existence, and that something is our creator.

Whether it did it intelligently, or it just happened is not something I can determine.

In short, I don't believe in afterlife, prayer, or anything like that. But it's pretty obvious we had a creator of some sort.

Sounds like your beliefs would be more categorized as Deism. Basically its the belief that there is a creator to everything that walked away afterwards and let the creation flourish to its own existence. Its an intriguing approach on religion that manages to keep theism and science meshed together quite well. While I can't say I believe it, I'd suggest you'd look it up to see if your beliefs do in fact go along with it.

Zet
December 4th, 2011, 05:43 PM
1st of all, I believe in science, reason, and logic. Next, I would like to inform everybody that I am an atheist. I don't believe in a deity/god/sky daddy/supreme being since there's no scientific and logical proof for one. I believe in the Big Bang theory rather than creationism.

By the way, if I'm asked about my view on the Christian god, I would say that the Christian god is quite confusing. Let's do a simple math first. What's the answer in the equation below?

1 + 1 + 1 = N

Well, if we're going to use simple math, the answer is 3.

1 + 1 + 1 = 3
1 + (1 + 1) = 3
(1 + 1) + 1 = 3

But according to Christianity, particularly those who believe in the Trinity:

1 + 1 + 1 = 1
1 + (1 + 1) = 1
(1 + 1) + 1 = 1

Other thing is that the Christian god, especially during the Old Testament times, is a very cruel and rude god. He even commanded to kill gays. (See Lev. 20:13)

That's my view on god. Thank you.
I don't even know where to begin with this ignorant post, but I guess I'll start with your "maths" dilemma . The Trinity is a scared mystery of the Christian faith being that God is made up of three different people. The father, the son and the holy spirit all being eternal, omnipotent, kicking your ass at air hockey etc etc. A quick google search would even give you that exact result and call you an idiot for even comparing it to simple maths that isn't even remotely relevant at all. Second of all, God does not hate the gays and wants them dead; he loves them like he loves everyone else regardless if they are of a different faith and even atheists and ignorant people who don't know anything about religion such as yourself. And that line you quoted could be translated to anything in another language since the bible isn't 100% translated correctly.

I'm an atheist and I will never believe in god.
The evolution theory is the way to go. o/
What if God created evolution? :P

Jay_Foxx
December 4th, 2011, 05:46 PM
What if God created evolution? :P

What if evolution created God?

Zet
December 4th, 2011, 05:51 PM
What if evolution created God?
That is the right kind of thinking good sir!

FreakyLocz14
December 4th, 2011, 05:53 PM
What if evolution created God?

That's impossible. Nothing existed before God did.

Jay_Foxx
December 4th, 2011, 05:59 PM
That's impossible. Nothing existed before God did.

How are you so certain?

Here's another thought: What if the universe itself is God, and every atom, every molecule, every cell is a tiny part of one entity?

FreakyLocz14
December 4th, 2011, 06:01 PM
How are you so certain?

Here's another thought: What if the universe itself is God, and every atom, every molecule, every cell is a tiny part of one entity?

The universe was created by God.

How am I so sure? I'm not. No one can be sure either way. This, my friend, is called faith.

Misheard Whisper
December 4th, 2011, 06:21 PM
And the very nature of faith is that you are believing in something without proof or good reason. If there was a solid reason to believe in God, the need for faith would be removed.

Jay_Foxx
December 4th, 2011, 06:30 PM
The universe was created by God.

How am I so sure? I'm not. No one can be sure either way. This, my friend, is called faith.

Then it's appropriate to insert the words "I believe" before your statement "The universe was created by God." By not using those two words before your statements is equal to stating a verifiable fact, which you acknowledge you cannot do.

All belief is prejudiced and is affected by our own point of view. Belief rarely reflects reality. Another word for faith is hope.

Houndoomed
December 4th, 2011, 08:43 PM
I have noticed some repeated themes in this discussion. The most disturbing of which to me is that a lot of people believe that in order for something to be created it must have therefore had a “creator” This is just simply not the case. Many things come into being via various scientific methods e.g. photosynthesis, but have no designated “creator”.

Also I think the fact that no one has had a documented legitimate encounter with any beings claiming to be god or otherwise in the last 2000 years would be proof enough for what I believe to be an educated society. Also ironically if it ever did happen to anyone, they would be labelled as a blasphemer by at least one if not all the major religions and dismissed as insane.

You can never win, this argument will be raging long into the future as it has in the past. And until any hard evidence is presented I’m not buying it.

Minishcap
December 4th, 2011, 09:56 PM
Also I think the fact that no one has had a documented legitimate encounter with any beings claiming to be god or otherwise in the last 2000 years would be proof enough for what I believe to be an educated society. Also ironically if it ever did happen to anyone, they would be labelled as a blasphemer by at least one if not all the major religions and dismissed as insane.


Actually, there are numerous people who have claimed that they have seen God or recieved messages from him, but they have been dismissed as lunatics/psychos by the fellow communities (ironically usually religious communities).

"How many must believe in the same imaginary friend for it to be tax exempt?"

Houndoomed
December 4th, 2011, 10:46 PM
Actually, there are numerous people who have claimed that they have seen God or recieved messages from him, but they have been dismissed as lunatics/psychos by the fellow communities (ironically usually religious communities).

"How many must believe in the same imaginary friend for it to be tax exempt?"


That’s exactly what I meant, you reiterated what I had said. I stated that no LEGITIMATE one has occurred, legitimate referring to something that everyone agrees on to be true and undisputed around the world. For example no one would deny that Japan suffered an earthquake because it was experience by enough people and documented. Unfortunately these “sightings” have never happened to a large enough group of people to be considered tangible. Funny that.

I agree with your last quote also.

Zeus

SV
December 5th, 2011, 02:07 PM
I'm iffy on the subject. I follow no religion and don't have any ties with any church or other place of worship. But I'm not convinced there's nothing beyond what we know. That being said, I'm not convinced there IS anything beyond either. I lean towards the idea that there might be, but I'm not sure if any of us, including religious and atheists alike, truly knows what it is.

Mr. X
December 5th, 2011, 02:22 PM
The problem I have with religion is this...

Which one is correct? The first ever created religion, or the most recently created religion? Or is is some version in between the above two? I've tried a few, Luthren, Baptist, and Methodist. Im Agnostic now and that is, really, the most neutral belief to ever exist.

Also, that quote is the funniest thing I heard all day. So I might as well add another.

"When I talk to God it's called prayer. When God talks to me it's called Schizophrenia."

FreakyLocz14
December 5th, 2011, 02:30 PM
I believe that the universe was created by God. I believe that those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will go to Heaven. I believe that those who do not will burn in Hell.

Those are my beliefs. None of them can be either proven or disproven.

Mr. X
December 5th, 2011, 03:08 PM
Im sorry, but that is the exact reason why I have a issue with Christianity.

Basicly, if you don't believe in him then you will be sent into a pit full of fire and pain where you will suffer for ever and ever until the end of time. But, he loves you.

Is it just me or does it seem that pain is a strange way to express love? Unless you get off on pain, its not really a good showing of love.

shenanigans
December 5th, 2011, 03:10 PM
Im sorry, but that is the exact reason why I have a issue with Christianity.

Basicly, if you don't believe in him then you will be sent into a pit full of fire and pain where you will suffer for ever and ever until the end of time. But, he loves you.

Is it just me or does it seem that pain is a strange way to express love? Unless you get off on pain, its not really a good showing of love.

Ngl this is a thought I often have. It's one of the reasons why I prefer to think that a God exists, but we can't claim to know anything about how He works or what He expects of us.

Perhaps if, hypothetically, something similar to what Freakylocz14 was talking about happened, it's His way of showing us that the way of the Lord will bring happiness, and therefore could be seen as an expression of love anyway? Idk just taking guesses here. I think it'd make sense.

FreakyLocz14
December 5th, 2011, 03:13 PM
Im sorry, but that is the exact reason why I have a issue with Christianity.

Basicly, if you don't believe in him then you will be sent into a pit full of fire and pain where you will suffer for ever and ever until the end of time. But, he loves you.

Is it just me or does it seem that pain is a strange way to express love? Unless you get off on pain, its not really a good showing of love.

Christ's love was expressed in his act of dying to atone for your sins. This atonement is what saves believers. Those who don't believe are rejecting the free gift of forgiveness.

Zet
December 5th, 2011, 04:27 PM
Im sorry, but that is the exact reason why I have a issue with Christianity.

Basicly, if you don't believe in him then you will be sent into a pit full of fire and pain where you will suffer for ever and ever until the end of time. But, he loves you.

Is it just me or does it seem that pain is a strange way to express love? Unless you get off on pain, its not really a good showing of love.

Why are you just pointing out Christianity? if you don't follow x religion then you will go to hell. Jehovah's Witnesses say only a select few of believers will go to paradise while everyone else is stuck on earth suffering the apocalypse.

KingCharizard
December 5th, 2011, 05:21 PM
People just need something to believe in, its like Santa Clause for kids... While I am certain there is no god, everything has a beginning. Most people have faith, they believe if its here something must have created it So it must be GOD. However I don't see it that way. But take for instance this Bulletin Board, someone created it. If you never visted PC and a friend told you about it would you believe it(Have Faith)? or try to prove it exists. What if you could not find it(Your friend gave you the wrong web address)? Does that mean it doesn't exist? Obviously no. But this is a material thing it exists inside the realm of possibility. However GOD does not. Even if you wanted to prove he existed how would you? Can anyone really part a Sea just cause they have the power of GOD on their side? This is why it's hard to prove he exists because if he does then he would live in the realm of possibility and therefore cannot do impossible(Supernatural)things that defy gravity, law of physics etc.. People will have their faith and continue to support GOD and follow their beliefs, but why shouldn't they? If he does exist then their probably going to heaven after death. If he doesn't then it doesn't matter. God is a way for people to cope with the unexplainable the strange and death. There is no doubt that weird things can happen. But one thing I do not believe in is GOD, GHOSTS, GOBLINS or anything Supernatural...

Oh and the commandment I. Thou shalt have no other god before me
This never sat well with me, how could a loving god be so selfish. How can you demand people to love and worship you and if they don't they go in an eternal pit of fire.. Doesn't seem quite fair. Then again Is this even the case? Were't humans made before hell? I know the answer is yes, because the story of Lucifer began because he didn't wanna be our servants. Although I don't think not believing in God makes you go to directly to hell. I believe its something to do with if you don't believe your not pure and therefore Lucifer gets your soul or some junk like that... But if you believe hell exists then why not believe in heaven... Ugh its complicated issue that will always raise more questions than answers and that to me is why I cannot believe in heaven because it seems like one big lie to scare kids into being good that got outta control...

jpp8
December 5th, 2011, 05:38 PM
People need a reason to live. Their raison d'etre. Most people find theirs in a belief in the afterlife: that after they die physically, they will still be able to live on in another existence. Their concept of the afterlife changing depending on denomination, but usually resulting in a paradise like state that is only accessible when one's life is committed to good acts in the name of their denomination.

My reason for living is the Internet, anime, and other silly worldly desires. Being a former Catholic, I've accepted that there is no afterlife, and if there is, purgatory/hell can't be that bad since I have already died and thus have no need for mortal concepts such as "feel". Thus, I do not feel any kind of spiritual connection with any kind of god. Besides, if he is truly all forgiving as his second testament claims, then I should have no worries if I've seen the errors of my ways. Of course, I'm not going to let a "if" after I die hold me back in how I live my life now. Of course, this doesn't mean I am without morals. Because, you know, it's called not being a dick?

Zet
December 5th, 2011, 06:57 PM
People need a reason to live. Their raison d'etre. Most people find theirs in a belief in the afterlife: that after they die physically, they will still be able to live on in another existence. Their concept of the afterlife changing depending on denomination, but usually resulting in a paradise like state that is only accessible when one's life is committed to good acts in the name of their denomination.

My reason for living is the Internet, anime, and other silly worldly desires. Being a former Catholic, I've accepted that there is no afterlife, and if there is, purgatory/hell can't be that bad since I have already died and thus have no need for mortal concepts such as "feel". Thus, I do not feel any kind of spiritual connection with any kind of god. Besides, if he is truly all forgiving as his second testament claims, then I should have no worries if I've seen the errors of my ways. Of course, I'm not going to let a "if" after I die hold me back in how I live my life now. Of course, this doesn't mean I am without morals. Because, you know, it's called not being a dick?
If I recall correctly all we need to do is ask God for forgiveness before we die and then we'll go to heaven.

Also; if we do go to hell, we do feel pain. I'm not sure how it works but it sounds pretty serious business.

twocows
December 5th, 2011, 10:17 PM
If I recall correctly all we need to do is ask God for forgiveness before we die and then we'll go to heaven.
I don't know about others, but I won't do this. I would be betraying myself and what I believe in. I'll be atheist until the end.

Archer
December 9th, 2011, 03:46 AM
If I recall correctly all we need to do is ask God for forgiveness before we die and then we'll go to heaven.

I think that's a bit of a cop-out. Firstly, I think ignoring something your whole life and then expecting full benefits for jumping on it at the last minute is selfish. Secondly, a certain percentage of people aren't going to know when they'll die.

If people are going to treat it like insurance, then there should be a waiting period (between signing up and being covered).

Agnosticism is probably the best word for my belief. I don't think we can say either way, as there's no proof or argument that can persuade me either way (assuming you can't disprove the existence of something if any location is possible). As such, I work on the theory that there isn't and I am not remotely superstitious.

That said, I do envy (not the right word at ALL, lol) those people with a sense of belonging and higher purpose from religion. I also respect any beliefs that other people may have.

Broken_Arrow
December 9th, 2011, 04:44 PM
i never had a view of God TBH..but when i try to think God gave us love..so i see god in the love between people..god wants us to be honest to each other..so i see god in every truth i say..god always care about me and give me strength..i saw God in every weak poit i reach and every hard time i face also God,forgive us so i have to forgive too....God gave us lots of good beautiful things..while we keep doing the bad things by ourselves...we made war,lies hatred and evil..these by human...so God is Happiness and peace ^^

Jay_Foxx
December 10th, 2011, 05:39 PM
Just read this story, and it perfectly illustrates why I have such disdain for organized religion:

Officials: Calif. parents outsourced beating of son
By The Associated Press

IRVINE, Calif. -- Authorities say a California couple who suspected their 15-year-old son of smoking turned to a man relied on in their church to violently discipline children.

San Bernardino County sheriff's spokesperson Cindy Bachmann said Saturday that the Irvine parents asked 39-year-old Paul Kim to discipline their son after finding a lighter in the teen's possession, and they dropped the boy off at Kim's Chino Hills home with permission for the beating.

Bachmann says Kim hit the child with a metal pole, causing severe bruising.

Kim was arrested Tuesday and released Thursday after posting bail.

Bachmann says the district attorney's office was reviewing the case and will decide whether to charge the teen's father. It wasn't immediately known whether the father was present at the time of the beating.

A belief in God can be a healthy thing in a person's life. However, like most things, too much can cause real harm. It's people like these who use their religion to justify their need to dominate others.

Believe in a God if you must, but the moment your belief becomes fanatical, that's when you become dangerous to society.

FreakyLocz14
December 10th, 2011, 05:49 PM
Just read this story, and it perfectly illustrates why I have such disdain for organized religion:



A belief in God can be a healthy thing in a person's life. However, like most things, too much can cause real harm. It's people like these who use their religion to justify their need to dominate others.

Believe in a God if you must, but the moment your belief becomes fanatical, that's when you become dangerous to society.

Way to use one extreme example to stereotype billions of people around the world!

The same can be with every religions including atheism.

Phantom
December 10th, 2011, 05:50 PM
A belief in God can be a healthy thing in a person's life. However, like most things, too much can cause real harm. It's people like these who use their religion to justify their need to dominate others.

Believe in a God if you must, but the moment your belief becomes fanatical, that's when you become dangerous to society.

So true; but I take it a step further. I say blind faith is dangerous.

Jay_Foxx
December 10th, 2011, 06:07 PM
Way to use one extreme example to stereotype billions of people around the world!

The same can be with every religions including atheism.

Note my criticism was with people who take their religion to such an extreme that they can cause harm to another, such as a child, for the sake of their beliefs. Note also I was careful to separate those who believe in God from organized religion, which are two completely separate concepts. If you read that I was critical of people who believe in God, you read it wrong.

Oh, and to clarify, atheism, contrary to your assertion, is NOT a religion. To quote George Ricker:

"Atheism is the absence of god-belief. All else is embellishment. Atheism has no dogma, no rites, no holy books, no places of worship and no clergy of any description. It offers no moral guidance, no political opinions and no world view. It is not a religion."

Mothman
December 10th, 2011, 06:08 PM
Ever since I left my Christian high school, I've been exposed to evidence provided by professors in college that support all kinds of religions and theories. With evidence popping up in every sect, I have no clue what to believe. And I don't care any longer.

FreakyLocz14
December 10th, 2011, 06:42 PM
Note my criticism was with people who take their religion to such an extreme that they can cause harm to another, such as a child, for the sake of their beliefs. Note also I was careful to separate those who believe in God from organized religion, which are two completely separate concepts. If you read that I was critical of people who believe in God, you read it wrong.

Oh, and to clarify, atheism, contrary to your assertion, is NOT a religion. To quote George Ricker:



Atheism is a religion because it is faith-based. There is no evidence that God does not exist, so to believe so without evidence is a belief based on faith. Agnosticism the complete absence of dogma.

Phantom
December 10th, 2011, 07:01 PM
Atheism is a religion because it is faith-based. There is no evidence that God does not exist, so to believe so without evidence is a belief based on faith. Agnosticism the complete absence of dogma.


It is not a religion. Seriously, it's not. And you're wrong about agnosticism. Here this might help. (http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/ath/blathm_rel_religion.htm)

Atheism is NOT a religion. It is NOT faith based. How can it be faith based when it is a LACK of faith? Just because most religions require faith does not mean all forms of faith are associated with religion. I have faith that my mother will buy me a birthday present; does that mean that it's a religion? No this is merely based off of previous experiences.

A religion, as stated


Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply a refusal to deny the obvious.


Now, Mr. Harris is a little blunt, mind.



Here is a list of what makes a religion... religion...

Belief in supernatural beings (gods).
A distinction between sacred and profane objects.
Ritual acts focused on sacred objects.
A moral code believed to be sanctioned by the gods.
Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred objects and during the practice of ritual, and which are connected in idea with the gods.
Prayer and other forms of communication with gods.
A more or less total organization of one’s life based on the world view.
A world view, or a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein. This picture contains some specification of an over-all purpose or point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into it. (note this and the next to can be manipulated into anything... when I see a Pokemon religion I will have given up on humanity.)
A social group bound together by the above.
Last time I checked, atheists don't go to church or pray to invisible friends.

Also the definition of atheism:
disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

aspie3000
December 10th, 2011, 07:54 PM
Just read this story, and it perfectly illustrates why I have such disdain for organized religion:



A belief in God can be a healthy thing in a person's life. However, like most things, too much can cause real harm. It's people like these who use their religion to justify their need to dominate others.

Believe in a God if you must, but the moment your belief becomes fanatical, that's when you become dangerous to society.

Fanatical is not the right word. Distortion is more like it. Martin Luther King was a civil rights fanatic. Fanaticism can be a good thing and IS a good thing if you follow Jesus's teaching to the letter. All the "Christian" atrocities that people mention are admittedly by atheists people who blatantly disobey God's word. Thou shall not commit murder for instance. They distort the word of God, and do blatant unchristian things in his name. That is NOT Christianity, that is sin.

Now, as for proof of God, it is this. Einstein's theory of relativity which has been proven to the fifth decimal says that time, space, and matter came into existence at one time. In other words EVERYTHING came into existence in one instant. Scientists have called this the big bang. The problem is that if space, time, and matter suddenly existed in one instant what was there to explode?

Energy? Nope, because there was no space. There was NOTHING without space and time. However there is a logical answer to this. There is a higher being that created time, space, and matter. That being is God. Besides explosions are an instrument of destruction not creation.

Mr. X
December 10th, 2011, 08:26 PM
Fanaticism can be a good thing and IS a good thing if you follow Jesus's teaching to the letter. All the "Christian" atrocities that people mention are admittedly by atheists people who blatantly disobey God's word. Thou shall not commit murder for instance. They distort the word of God, and do blatant unchristian things in his name. That is NOT Christianity, that is sin.


God says let not a homosexual live (as in, kill them), Jesus says love each other and treat each other like how you want to be treated.

God says thou shalt not kill, but also says to kill homosexuals?

Am I the only one whose brain just went boom after trying to figure out which part God wants us to follow?

As for God/Jesus, didn't God say to worship no one else before me? And don't most people worship both Jesus and God? (Usually Jesus first, then God)?

...
...
...
...
...
...

Sorry, my brain just blew up... again.

Now do you see just why I am NOT a Christian? I'd follow the faith if God/Jesus/Bible would say something and not change views a couple hundred pages later.

Actually, explosions are both destroyers and creators.

Sure, it destroys whatever was (previously) there. But you know what else it does? It creates a crater. Or a scorched plot of land. Or a field of rubble.

aspie3000
December 10th, 2011, 08:59 PM
God says let not a homosexual live (as in, kill them), Jesus says love each other and treat each other like how you want to be treated.

God says thou shalt not kill, but also says to kill homosexuals?

Am I the only one whose brain just went boom after trying to figure out which part God wants us to follow?

As for God/Jesus, didn't God say to worship no one else before me? And don't most people worship both Jesus and God? (Usually Jesus first, then God)?

...
...
...
...
...
...

Sorry, my brain just blew up... again.

Now do you see just why I am NOT a Christian? I'd follow the faith if God/Jesus/Bible would say something and not change views a couple hundred pages later.

Actually, explosions are both destroyers and creators.

Sure, it destroys whatever was (previously) there. But you know what else it does? It creates a crater. Or a scorched plot of land. Or a field of rubble.

The bible NEVER says to kill homosexuals to my knowledge. And the word for "kill" in the thou shalt not kill commandment is ratsach which has many meanings. The most likely meaning for its usage is murder.

As for why Jesus is worshiped as God? He was God made flesh; it says that very clearly in the bible.

A crater, a scorched plot of land, and a field of rubble aren't creations, they are the aftermath of destruction. Plus, in order for a crater, a scorched plot of land, or a field of rubble to be there, something had to exist before hand which in the case of the big bang, even atheists agree nothing existed. That is their flaw, if nothing existed, how did the big bang occur?

Edit: Actually, the homosexual part is in the old testament but as a law for Israel. That was part of the religious law of Israel. When Jesus came, a lot of the things in the law were abolished.

twocows
December 10th, 2011, 09:02 PM
Atheism is a religion because it is faith-based. There is no evidence that God does not exist, so to believe so without evidence is a belief based on faith.
That's absurd. First of all, there's plenty of evidence even that there is no higher power, let alone the Christian God. Second, those of us who consider ourselves "agnostic atheists" (as opposed to "gnostic atheists") are not blindly believing anything. We're pretty much saying "this makes the most sense, but as with anything, the possibility exists that we're wrong."

Mr. X
December 10th, 2011, 09:15 PM
The bible NEVER says to kill homosexuals to my knowledge. And the word for "kill" in the thou shalt not kill commandment is ratsach which has many meanings. The most likely meaning for its usage is murder.

As for why Jesus is worshiped as God? He was God made flesh; it says that very clearly in the bible.

A crater, a scorched plot of land, and a field of rubble aren't creations, they are the aftermath of destruction. Plus, in order for a crater, a scorched plot of land, or a field of rubble to be there, something had to exist before hand which in the case of the big bang, even atheists agree nothing existed. That is their flaw, if nothing existed, how did the big bang occur?

Edit: Actually, the homosexual part is in the old testament but as a law for Israel. That was part of the religious law of Israel. When Jesus came, a lot of the things in the law were abolished.

Point stands. Not clear enough. If im going to follow something, then I want it to always be clear, precise, and to the point. I don't want it to be filled with vague statements that can easily be interpreted in many ways.

If Jesus is God then why do they have different names? Different names symbolize different people/beings.

I'm going to stay away from that comment. I dislike thinking deep into that particular subject as it usually results in giving me a migraine that lasts for days.

And when were the Ten Commandments first mentioned? Old Testament. When was the law mentioned? Old Testament. Point still stands.

Still, the Bible isn't trustworthy. Know why? Humans are imperfect. Humans translated it. Imperfect beings messed with perfection. The Bible, therefor, is no longer perfect as it has been tainted with the touch of imperfect beings. I could argue the same point about the first chapters in the new testament, being told from the POV of imperfect beings.

Scientifically, if it can't be proven to exist or not exist then you have to go with it doesn't exist. After all, its accepted that Space Ponies don't exist even though their existence or nonexistence can't be proven.

Bluerang1
December 10th, 2011, 09:22 PM
Point stands. Not clear enough. If im going to follow something, then I want it to always be clear, precise, and to the point. I don't want it to be filled with vague statements that can easily be interpreted in many ways.

If Jesus is God then why do they have different names? Different names symbolize different people/beings.

I'm going to stay away from that comment. I dislike thinking deep into that particular subject as it usually results in giving me a migraine that lasts for days.

And when were the Ten Commandments first mentioned? Old Testament. When was the law mentioned? Old Testament. Point still stands.

Still, the Bible isn't trustworthy. Know why? Humans are imperfect. Humans translated it. Imperfect beings messed with perfection. The Bible, therefor, is no longer perfect as it has been tainted with the touch of imperfect beings. I could argue the same point about the first chapters in the new testament, being told from the POV of imperfect beings.

Scientifically, if it can't be proven to exist or not exist then you have to go with it doesn't exist. After all, its accepted that Space Ponies don't exist even though their existence or nonexistence can't be proven.

Jesus is God's son, God himself. Made to be a sacrifice for us so we could live and still have a chance to make heaven.

EDIT: What an awesome 2000th post. Thank you God! :)

aspie3000
December 10th, 2011, 09:22 PM
Now, as for proof of God, it is this. Einstein's theory of relativity which has been proven to the fifth decimal says that time, space, and matter came into existence at one time. In other words EVERYTHING came into existence in one instant. Scientists have called this the big bang. The problem is that if space, time, and matter suddenly existed in one instant what was there to explode?

Energy? Nope, because there was no space. There was NOTHING without space and time. However there is a logical answer to this. There is a higher being that created time, space, and matter. That being is God. Besides explosions are an instrument of destruction not creation.

This is the proof. This and the the fact that the numbers involved in the universe and life coming about by itself are off the scale astronomical. If you aren't convinced by this you can't be convinced. Good bye and God Bless you and I don't mean that sarcastically.

Mr. X
December 10th, 2011, 09:27 PM
Again, as I've said before, I'm Agnostic. The space ponies comment was directed to freaky and twocows little discussion.

aspie3000
December 10th, 2011, 09:38 PM
Again, can you give me solid evidence that God exists? And by solid, I mean something other then "You can't prove it false or true so it must be true."

That is solid evidence. Nothing but God could create something out of literally nothing. To say anything else is a logical fallacy.

Also, if everything came together in a instant, wouldn't that mean God did too? After all, nothing existed at all before then. If nothing existed, then that means neither did God. And if something did exist before, then that means that the argument about being the creator of everything is false.

Space, matter, and time does not include God. He is above it all. When I say everything, I mean everything except God. God created the space, matter, and time. Now if you're arguing against Einstein that everything did NOT come into existence in an instant math would disagree with you.

KingCharizard
December 10th, 2011, 11:19 PM
Again, can you give me solid evidence that God exists? And by solid, I mean something other then "You can't prove it false or true so it must be true."
Seriously, you did exactly what they said not to do
That is solid evidence. Nothing but God could create something out of literally nothing. To say anything else is a logical fallacy.

Who say's only god could create something outta nothing? What proof do you have to back up this theory? because without solid evidence this is just an idea. The greeks believe in many gods and they too believed only their gods could create a world such as the one we live in, so what makes your god superior to theirs?

Theory of relativity. Look at the first word of this statement. A theory is a conclusion based on evidence they have found to fit the idea. According to the evidence the big bang theory is said to be correct. How do we know for certain? There could have been another way the universe started. Also as you know from either the news or the new planet found thread another planet was found in a different galaxy or universe. What created that one? A big bang? or was that there first? or were we? We just don't know. We go by what we do know, the facts we can find to fit the evidence. So far no Evidence has proven god to be real or fake, he simply just is an idea. Some people to chose believe in that idea while other dismiss the idea, but it doesn't change the facts...

FreakyLocz14
December 10th, 2011, 11:21 PM
Protip: EVERY theory on the origin of the universe is just a theory.

KingCharizard
December 10th, 2011, 11:36 PM
Protip: EVERY theory on the origin of the universe is just a theory.

yupp I think people should read this http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-famous-scientific-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-wrong.php

theories are proven wrong shattered everyday. Even things we thought we knew about dinosaurs are proven wrong when a new fossil is discovered...

you know people believed the earth was once flat...

Mr. X
December 10th, 2011, 11:41 PM
And even ideal's thought true based on biblical interpretation's can be/are wrong.

Earth being center of our solar system?
How about this planet only being ~5k years old?

These were, at their time, religious based ideals that were backed up with the bible and yet later proven false with science.

And although it seems that way, this post isn't anti-god. Its anti-religion.

FreakyLocz14
December 11th, 2011, 12:04 AM
And even ideal's thought true based on biblical interpretation's can be/are wrong.

Earth being center of our solar system?
How about this planet only being ~5k years old?

These were, at their time, religious based ideals that were backed up with the bible and yet later proven false with science.

And although it seems that way, this post isn't anti-god. Its anti-religion.

The funny thing is that, the Bible doesn't say that the earth is only 5,000 years old or that the earth is the center of the solar system.

Mr. X
December 11th, 2011, 12:09 AM
Yes, but the point was that humans used the bible to back up those claims.

Its basically meant to show that humans can and have corrupted religion for their own whims.

FreakyLocz14
December 11th, 2011, 12:19 AM
Yes, but the point was that humans used the bible to back up those claims.

Its basically meant to show that humans can and have corrupted religion for their own whims.

Those people tried to use numbers used in the Old Testament to calculate the age of the planet. What they failed to realize is that many of the numbers used in the Bible and symbolic and not literal.

Mr. X
December 11th, 2011, 12:22 AM
Which does nothing but prove my above point.

Intentional or not, they still manipulated Religion for their own gain.

Livewire
December 11th, 2011, 12:25 AM
Protip: EVERY theory on the origin of the universe is just a theory.

You don't know what the word means in a scientific context.

Jay_Foxx
December 11th, 2011, 04:25 AM
Atheism is a religion because it is faith-based. There is no evidence that God does not exist, so to believe so without evidence is a belief based on faith. Agnosticism the complete absence of dogma.

Atheism is not a religion. I offer this website to help clarify it for you:

http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutatheism/p/AtheismReligion.htm

The bible NEVER says to kill homosexuals to my knowledge.

I quote from Leviticus:

Leviticus 20:13 (New International Version): If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

KingCharizard
December 11th, 2011, 07:43 AM
Leviticus 20:13 (New International Version): If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Yeah I hate the new bibles... this crap is absurd, and i'm not even a homo i have a very beautiful family.. my point is the old bible supported beating women etc... they changed that thing for people

TRIFORCE89
December 11th, 2011, 07:52 AM
Leviticus 20:13 (New International Version): If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
That's from the old testament. It's largely rejected by most churches and organized faiths. Fanatics obey that, I hope most people of faith don't.

It's the old testament. Being put to death was a punishment for everything. ...working on Saturday (sorry Wal-Mart door greeters), eating pork, being of other religions. Basically, everyone would be put to death.

Jay_Foxx
December 11th, 2011, 08:45 AM
That's from the old testament. It's largely rejected by most churches and organized faiths. Fanatics obey that, I hope most people of faith don't.

It's the old testament. Being put to death was a punishment for everything. ...working on Saturday (sorry Wal-Mart door greeters), eating pork, being of other religions. Basically, everyone would be put to death.

And yet, as a gay man, it's just one of the verses I have to contend with all the time. You would be surprised the number of people who use the old testament to condemn the LGBT community. They use Leviticus a lot, as well as Genesis, specifically Genesis 19.

The point is though, religion can be a source of great good, but it can also be used to commit unspeakable atrocities. I have always felt religion is supposed to be a personal thing, a way of thinking to guide us to a better life. But religion has been perverted into a vehicle by which people seek to impose their beliefs on others. "Believe as I do or you're going straight to hell" is a classic example of this kind of mentality, where the person who is of a particular faith views themselves as superior to those without, and so use this threat in an attempt to make them conform. It's bullying behavior and I reject it.

lx_theo
December 11th, 2011, 08:46 AM
Protip: EVERY theory on the origin of the universe is just a theory.

You do realize that being a scientific theory only means that it doesn't have decisive proof that every single detail is correct. In order to be a scientific theory to begin with, there basically has to be a ton of evidence in the first place. In fact, something being a scientific theory probably makes it just as if not more reliable than something you read in a history book.

Jay_Foxx
December 11th, 2011, 08:52 AM
You do realize that being a scientific theory only means that it doesn't have decisive proof that every single detail is correct. In order to be a scientific theory to begin with, there basically has to be a ton of evidence in the first place. In fact, something being a scientific theory probably makes it just as if not more reliable than something you read in a history book.

Provided that history book isn't written in Texas, of course. ;)

KingCharizard
December 11th, 2011, 09:10 AM
You do realize that being a scientific theory only means that it doesn't have decisive proof that every single detail is correct. In order to be a scientific theory to begin with, there basically has to be a ton of evidence in the first place. In fact, something being a scientific theory probably makes it just as if not more reliable than something you read in a history book.

which is why i've said this awhile back

Theory of relativity. Look at the first word of this statement. A theory is a conclusion based on evidence they have found to fit the idea. According to the evidence the big bang theory is said to be correct. How do we know for certain? There could have been another way the universe started. Also as you know from either the news or the new planet found thread another planet was found in a different galaxy or universe. What created that one? A big bang? or was that there first? or were we? We just don't know. We go by what we do know, the facts we can find to fit the evidence. So far no Evidence has proven god to be real or fake, he simply just is an idea. Some people to chose believe in that idea while other dismiss the idea, but it doesn't change the facts...

twocows
December 11th, 2011, 11:00 AM
Protip: EVERY theory on the origin of the universe is just a theory.
Gravity was just a theory for the longest time. Being a theory doesn't say anything significant about its credibility other than there is at least some skepticism within the scientific community.

FreakyLocz14
December 11th, 2011, 11:10 AM
You're right. The Bible doesn't say to kill people for being homosexual.

Jay_Foxx
December 11th, 2011, 11:57 AM
You're right. The Bible doesn't say to kill people for being homosexual.

Depends on which one you follow. There are over a hundred different translations of the bible, and for each one of those there is a denomination that claims their version is the closest accurate translation. The Catholic church uses a version that differs from the Baptists; the Baptists use a version that differs from the Protestants... and so on.

But one thing is for certain, most of these organized religions condemn a segment of the population for being born different. The Catholics call homosexuality a disorder, ignoring the fact that there isn't a single reputable psychological organization willing to classify it as such. The Baptists consider homosexuality a choice, ignoring the many studies that have been conducted indicating that being gay is an immutable trait.

This is the problem with belonging to an organized religion. You have to act a certain way and believe in a certain belief in order to belong.

When Canada first proposed amending the law to allow gays and lesbians to marry their partner of choice, the Catholic church and other denominations loudly condemned the idea. The Catholic church went as far as to threaten any Catholic politician who voted to allow same-sex couples to get married with Excommunication or not allow them to receive the Eucharist.

Thankfully, the politicians at the time, specifically the Prime Minister, told the Catholic church in no uncertain terms to butt out of state business, and did so using some very strong language I might add.

Any time a person who believes in God becomes associated with a particular religious denomination, certain expectations are placed on a person, including the altering of their beliefs. No one should have to do that.

As I mentioned before, religion should be a personal thing, with the only restrictions those that we place on ourselves according to our beliefs, not those placed upon us by someone claiming superiority over us.

FreakyLocz14
December 11th, 2011, 12:16 PM
Depends on which one you follow. There are over a hundred different translations of the bible, and for each one of those there is a denomination that claims their version is the closest accurate translation. The Catholic church uses a version that differs from the Baptists; the Baptists use a version that differs from the Protestants... and so on.

But one thing is for certain, most of these organized religions condemn a segment of the population for being born different. The Catholics call homosexuality a disorder, ignoring the fact that there isn't a single reputable psychological organization willing to classify it as such. The Baptists consider homosexuality a choice, ignoring the many studies that have been conducted indicating that being gay is an immutable trait.

This is the problem with belonging to an organized religion. You have to act a certain way and believe in a certain belief in order to belong.

When Canada first proposed amending the law to allow gays and lesbians to marry their partner of choice, the Catholic church and other denominations loudly condemned the idea. The Catholic church went as far as to threaten any Catholic politician who voted to allow same-sex couples to get married with Excommunication or not allow them to receive the Eucharist.

Thankfully, the politicians at the time, specifically the Prime Minister, told the Catholic church in no uncertain terms to butt out of state business, and did so using some very strong language I might add.

Any time a person who believes in God becomes associated with a particular religious denomination, certain expectations are placed on a person, including the altering of their beliefs. No one should have to do that.

As I mentioned before, religion should be a personal thing, with the only restrictions those that we place on ourselves according to our beliefs, not those placed upon us by someone claiming superiority over us.

That's incorrect. You don't have to follow the denomination's views 100% to be a member. Plenty of Catholics hold views and do thing that Church wouldn't approve of.

Mr. X
December 11th, 2011, 12:23 PM
That's from the old testament. It's largely rejected by most churches and organized faiths. Fanatics obey that, I hope most people of faith don't.


So basically churches and faiths are allowed to reject the words of the bible as they please?

Im sorry. But the Bible is made up of two books, not one. You can't follow some things from one and some things from other. You either follow all of one, all of the other, or all of both. And if you disregard one for another, then you can't start bringing up ideals that are a part of the one you disregarded.

Also, do reread Leviticus 20:13. It does. But as with all religions, you only have to follow some of the words... Right?

Leviticus 20:13, from NIV Bible: If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

20:13, from KJV Bible. If a man also lieth with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have commited an abomination : They shall surely be put to death ; their blood shall be upon them.

The NIV bible is newest version of the bible, correct? And its disregarded by most. The KJV is older, yet accepted by most. Does this mean that the older version of something is correct? Then why do we not follow the older religion and instead follow a newer one? I can't see much difference between these verses, other then NIV is using newer language. Essentially, NIV is to our time what KJV was to King James time.

However, I don't see how religious people can have a problem against women who lieth with each other. It doesn't mention them. Know what this means? God was male and he likes to watch lesbian sex It means that if you follow the bible and do not attempt to interpret its words for you own use then you should have nothing against lesbianism.

All you saying that religion changed certain ideals for people, for the times... Think of this. Perfection requires no changes. And perfection can not be created from something that is imperfect.

Jay_Foxx
December 11th, 2011, 12:32 PM
That's incorrect. You don't have to follow the denomination's views 100% to be a member. Plenty of Catholics hold views and do thing that Church wouldn't approve of.

Granted, a lot don't, but by the same token, those that don't don't exactly advertise that fact to the church. The moment they do, however, the church reacts strongly to pull them back in line by threatening certain sanctions, as was the case with our politicians, and those in the U.S. who went against the church, including one Catholic nun, who was a member of the Phoenix Catholic hospital's ethics committee, and who was excommunicated and reassigned for her role in allowing an abortion to take place at the hospital, even though doing so saved the mother's life.

TRIFORCE89
December 11th, 2011, 01:33 PM
So basically churches and faiths are allowed to reject the words of the bible as they please?
Umm... yes? That's why there's something like 30000+ Christian denominations. They're all different interpretations with their own rules, ideals, and beliefs.

Catholics also have the catechism, in addition to the Bible. And it says the following on homosexuality:

They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.

Perhaps not a glowing endorsement (what would be just discrimination?). But, it's far from "off with their heads!".

The Catholic Church also accepts the big bang theory and evolution.

The thing to remember is that these holy books were written in a time before modern science. Before we had answers to very large and existential questions that humans ask. The books were written my man. A transcription of both history and oral tradition. Implicit in this are the ideals of the time and the writer. A lot of the New Testament contradicts the Old Testament. I haven't read the Qur'an, but since it's basically "The Torah: Part III", it probably contradicts stuff from the Old Testament and New Testament too. Things change.

I consider myself a Catholic. I believe the tenants of the Apostles' Creed.

1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and life everlasting.

But, where science had provided an answer to life's questions... I gotta go with science.

Sheep
December 11th, 2011, 03:26 PM
There is no evidence of a supreme being so I stand neutral. I do lean much more towards science though, but with there being no proof on God existing or not existing, I'm still open to the latter.

The point isn't whether God actually exists or not either - it's about giving religious people that sense of hope and security, making their short stay on earth a good one. At least I think so.

twocows
December 11th, 2011, 04:50 PM
So basically churches and faiths are allowed to reject the words of the bible as they please?

Im sorry. But the Bible is made up of two books, not one. You can't follow some things from one and some things from other. You either follow all of one, all of the other, or all of both. And if you disregard one for another, then you can't start bringing up ideals that are a part of the one you disregarded.
Actually, you're wrong here. Read up on the New Covenant. It more or less voids a lot of the Old Testament fire and brimstone type stuff. There is a lot of stuff in Leviticus especially that people pretty much disregard nowadays, like never shaving your beard or never mixing meat and dairy.

As for the New Testament, the only solid reference to homosexuality is in here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_to_the_Corinthians), where Paul names some laws from the Torah which are critical of homosexuality. However, what he says to start with is that as long as you're a good Christian and follow the word of Jesus, the laws from the Torah that he later talks about do not apply to you. Since Jesus didn't say anything direct in regards to homosexuality, it's perfectly possible to be a good Christian and a homosexual. That in itself is also telling; if it had been an issue that God thought important, surely his only son would have had something to say about it.

Just a thought from your friendly neighborhood atheist.

Mr. X
December 11th, 2011, 05:25 PM
And perhaps Jesus never addressed that subject because it has already been addressed in the Old?

Phantom
December 11th, 2011, 08:47 PM
Actually, you're wrong here. Read up on the New Covenant. It more or less voids a lot of the Old Testament fire and brimstone type stuff. There is a lot of stuff in Leviticus especially that people pretty much disregard nowadays, like never shaving your beard or never mixing meat and dairy.

As for the New Testament, the only solid reference to homosexuality is in here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_to_the_Corinthians), where Paul names some laws from the Torah which are critical of homosexuality. However, what he says to start with is that as long as you're a good Christian and follow the word of Jesus, the laws from the Torah that he later talks about do not apply to you. Since Jesus didn't say anything direct in regards to homosexuality, it's perfectly possible to be a good Christian and a homosexual. That in itself is also telling; if it had been an issue that God thought important, surely his only son would have had something to say about it.

Just a thought from your friendly neighborhood atheist.

You're friendly neighborhood atheist who needs to do more research.

Just because the New Testament says something in the Old is wrong, doesn't mean there are those that do not still call the Old Testament 'cannon'. In fact, the first five books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deut.) are still crucial and followed in Judaism.

In fact you have heard of Judaism right?

TRIFORCE89
December 11th, 2011, 09:09 PM
You're friendly neighborhood atheist who needs to do more research.

Just because the New Testament says something in the Old is wrong, doesn't mean there are those that do not still call the Old Testament 'cannon'. In fact, the first five books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deut.) are still crucial and followed in Judaism.

In fact you have heard of Judaism right?
And you know Mr. X was talking about the Bible right? Meaning he wasn't referring to Judaism. So, twocows was correct in his statement.

Phantom
December 11th, 2011, 09:16 PM
However, I don't see how religious people can have a problem against women who lieth with each other. It doesn't mention them. Know what this means? God was male and he likes to watch lesbian sex It means that if you follow the bible and do not attempt to interpret its words for you own use then you should have nothing against lesbianism.



Noticed this as well... the world is run by men, who cares about women? That's why it's not mentioned... it's like an unwritten rule.

Also, that quote from the Catechism... way to be selective! Let me pull out my old one from high school;




2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.

twocows
December 11th, 2011, 09:38 PM
And perhaps Jesus never addressed that subject because it has already been addressed in the Old?
Well, there was one point where he said some pretty nice things about a homosexual couple. Still: New Covenant. The word used in the text itself is "obsolete," which is exactly what the Old Covenant (and by extension, a whole lot of the Old Testament) became.

You're friendly neighborhood atheist who needs to do more research.

Just because the New Testament says something in the Old is wrong, doesn't mean there are those that do not still call the Old Testament 'cannon'. In fact, the first five books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deut.) are still crucial and followed in Judaism.

In fact you have heard of Judaism right?

See:


And you know Mr. X was talking about the Bible right? Meaning he wasn't referring to Judaism. So, twocows was correct in his statement.
He was talking about Christianity and so was I. Also, I somehow doubt that anyone calls the Old Testament an "artillery piece." I think you've got the wrong form of "canon" there, friend.

TRIFORCE89
December 11th, 2011, 09:50 PM
Also, that quote from the Catechism... way to be selective! Let me pull out my old one from high school;
Thank you. It was meant to be. For two reasons:

1) Freaky was talking about how you don't need to follow everything. Case in point.
2) I was showing the contrast between that and that homosexuals should be put to death as stated in the old testament.

I alluded to the rest where I said it wasn't a glowing endorsement, but the rest doesn't mention killing gays anyway. So, my point still stands.

Phantom
December 12th, 2011, 12:24 AM
I wasn't arguing your point?

KingCharizard
December 12th, 2011, 06:06 AM
I wasn't arguing your point?


**BOOM** I just blew up this thread no more argueing, lmao!!!

Obviously as people can see this is a never ending topic there is no right or wrong answer its all about what you believe and what you chose to follow.