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5 Main arguments of god


Off-Topic Discussions

401 to 450 of 556 << first < prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | next > last >>

LilithsThrall wrote:

Of course you could have skimmed it and saw that it was well enough organized to provide the needed information BEFORE you criticized it for being an abstract.

You COULD have done that. But, it provided evidence in support of prayer, so you were compelled to judge it before even reading it.

Posting an abstract that other readers do not necessarily have access to is bad.

Posting a 'scientific' study in support of your argument is bad. The entire purpose of a study is to provide something falsifiable (how quaint in the current context) and any respectable practitioner of science should cringe at the thought of a study being played as winning an argument.

I have reprimanded your foil, BNW, for exactly this, so please don't accuse me of holding this principle merely to support a side in your petty semantic quibble.

Good day, sir.


Sissyl wrote:

The study gave a slight positive correlation for FACE TO FACE prayer. Otherwise put: placebo works, just as it always has. What a surprise. I liked the heart patient study better, it actually showed something interesting. It had a control group, it was randomized, and it checked how people reacted when prayed for with and without their knowledge. Not knowing about it did not help anything, but if you were told about it, it hurt you a little. It opens up a whole new field of income for the churches...

"The doctors say you are not doing well. I represent a whole congregation... And we could be persuaded NOT to pray for you... For a price, of course..."

It's unwise to extrapolate. It could be any aspect of prayer, including social interaction, that accounts for the slight positive effect noted. It needn't be a mere placebo — studies on bedside manner would seem to corroborate the effects.

But as I have said previously, it's best to let the study speak for itself. I don't really think it has any place in this conversation, and we denigrate the process by pretending that studies should be used in contexts such as this.


My point is merely that unless you can properly randomize and control a trial for placebo, any results you find will be explainable by placebo. That direct interaction could affect things stands to reason, of course. The actual reason does not in itself matter, though.

I don't see why you consider referring to studies as arguments would denigrate the process of science, though. It's a pissy way to argue, though, and it's even more painful if the study you refer to doesn't actually say what you want it to.

Shadow Lodge

Evil Lincoln wrote:
Posting a 'scientific' study in support of your argument is bad. The entire purpose of a study is to provide something falsifiable (how quaint in the current context) and any respectable practitioner of science should cringe at the thought of a study being played as winning an argument.

There's no reason people can't provide evidence for their claims, particularly when a number of posters will cry foul if you link something like wiki (which is IMHO 'good enough' for a message board discussion)

There is a vast difference between posting a study that supports your position and posting a study that happens to have keywords that relate to your discussion.

And much like gotham, i deserve a better class of villian...


Yes, but doing a google scholar search to find a relevant study that supports your already-expressed claims is disingenuous. Studies are for advancing the science, not for settling arguments. A study wants holes poked in it. You provide the methods not only so that people can snark away things they disagree with, but so that the results can be reproduced. What we do here is totally not in that spirit.

Don't get me wrong, the impulse to verify your claims is laudable! But there's such a thing as abusing the literature.

Note that even my reading the study was turned into a point of argument upthread.

Shadow Lodge

Evil Lincoln wrote:
Yes, but doing a google scholar search to find a relevant study that supports your already-expressed claims is disingenuous.

...how on earth do you reach THAT conclusion?

I'm not saying that's ALL you should do to demonstrate a conclusion, but if someone calls one of my ideas insane, false, or un evidenced its not like i can make every single piece of evidence i used to reach that conclussion available on an internet forum .

Quote:
Studies are for advancing the science, not for settling arguments. A study wants holes poked in it. You provide the methods not only so that people can snark away things they disagree with, but so that the results can be reproduced. What we do here is totally not in that spirit.

Ideas do trickle down into the general population. This is a good thing.

Quote:
Don't get me wrong, the impulse to verify your claims is laudable! But there's such a thing as abusing the literature.

There is, but you've mistakenly identified what constitutes abuse. Mis attributing a statement that the article doesn't say is abuse (and very common) , but not using it isn't. Its a study, not an icon.

If a study is being used like a known fact on a subject that's still controversial then someone else can Google another study showing the opposite.

I'm curious how you think people should prove their points.

Quote:
Note that even my reading the study was turned into a point of argument upthread.

Some people don't like facts.


Klaus van der Kroft wrote:

Love God, love your Neighbour, and love Yourself always works pretty good for me as a baseline. But being religious doesn't mean you scrap your critical thought; much on the contrary, you apply it to your faith. We are supposed to question it constantly. As John Paul II said, you cannot know if you really believe in something unless you put your faith to the test.

As for my personal reasons for believing in God, I guess I just feel He exists (might be psychosis too, though. I always keep my options open); if I ever stopped feeling that, I guess I would stop believing in God (though probably would try and look out for it again). The three or four years through which I underwent a severe crisis of faith were essentially a time I didn't feel Him anymore. What made me relapse? I'm not sure, as I don't think it was a thing in particular, just more like a series of experiences.

I've always felt we are not supposed to try and find proof about God to teach unto others; we should just act in accordance and let people discover Him by themselves. If they do, maybe they'll believe in Him, or maybe not.

It’s statements like this that really confuse me.

First you say critical thinking should be applied to faith and that said faith should be put to the test but then you say the reason you believe in God is because you feel his presence and if you didn’t you would stop believing in him.

There are question marks floating around my head right now. What happened to the results of you applying your critical thinking skills to your faith, one way or another?

When I sat down and took an honest look at whether the existence of the Christian God made sense I found that while an argument might be made for the idea that he COULD exist there wasn’t a rational argument in all the world for him ACTUALLY existing(although, prove me wrong if you like, I would like that, remember, I want God to exist.).

All the arguments for God I’ve ever heard are smoke and mirrors paper thin rubbish that can’t even survive a cursory inspection from someone as uneducated as I.

If you are subscribing to the argument for desire, I understand. Just because something is rubbish doesn’t mean it can’t be awesome, life affirming fun for you that is, for all intents and purposes, real but at that point you should acknowledge that what you are doing isn’t the result of a rational, well thought out process and is just the result of you doing whatever the f&@# you want(and there is nothing wrong with that, it is pretty much all I ever do myself=D).


Speaking as someone who grew up a regular churchgoer (with multiple preachers on both sides of my family) I was always told that any scientific evidence of the existence of God would be circumstantial at best. This was from people with unshakeable faith.


Principia Discordia wrote:

A PRIMER FOR ERISIAN EVANGELISTS by Lord Omar

The SOCRATIC APPROACH is most successful when confronting the ignorant. The "socratic approach" is what you call starting an argument by asking questions. You approach the innocent and simply ask "Did you know that God's name is ERIS, and that He is a girl?" If he should answer "Yes." then he probably is a fellow Erisian and so you can forget it. If he says "No." then quickly proceed to:
THE BLIND ASSERTION and say "Well, He Is a girl, and His name is ERIS!" Shrewedly observe if the subject is convinced. If he is, swear him into the Legion of Dynamic Discord before he changes his mind. If he does not appear convinced, then proceed to:
THE FAITH BIT: "But you must have Faith! All is lost without Faith! I sure feel sorry for you if you don't have Faith." And then add:
THE ARGUMENT BY FEAR and in an ominous voice ask "Do you know what happens to those who deny Goddess?" If he hesitates, don't tell him that he will surely be reincarnated as a precious Mao Button and distributed to the poor in the Region of Thud (which would be a mean thing to say), just shake your head sadly and, while wiping a tear from your eye, go to:
THE FIRST CLAUSE PLOY wherein you point to all of the discord and confusion in the world and exclaim "Well who the hell do you think did all of this, wise guy?" If he says, "Nobody, just impersonal forces." then quickly respond with:
THE ARGUMENT BY SEMANTICAL GYMNASTICS and say that he is absolutely right, and that those impersonal forces are female and that Her name is ERIS. If he, wonder of wonders, still remains obstinate, then finally resort to:
THE FIGURATIVE SYMBOLISM DODGE and confide that sophisticated people like himself recognize that Eris is a Figurative Symbol for an Ineffable Metaphysical Reality and that The Erisian Movement is really more like a poem than like a science and that he is liable to be turned into a Precious Mao Button and Distributed to The Poor in The Region of Thud if he does not get hip. Then put him on your mailing list.


thejeff wrote:
Principia Discordia wrote:
...

Seriously dude, were we separated at birth?


meatrace wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Principia Discordia wrote:
...
Seriously dude, were we separated at birth?

Not according to my mother. And I think she'd know.

Besides doesn't everyone quote the Principia?


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thejeff wrote:
meatrace wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Principia Discordia wrote:
...
Seriously dude, were we separated at birth?

Not according to my mother. And I think she'd know.

Besides doesn't everyone quote the Principia?

I wish. These boards would be a lot more fun.

And also, if your mother is my mother then she's been lying to me all along as well. So why would you believe HER?

Qadira

BigNorseWolf wrote:

A spin off from a thread thats spun off from.. well you know how it goes.

Aretas wrote:

1) The cosmological argument – the universe came from something rather than nothing.

-Everything came from something... except god (for some reason). Nothing can be eternal... except god (for some reason). An unintelligent force cannot have created the universe.. for some reason.

The argument is completely arbitrary and its own special pleading undermines its case.

2) The teleological argument – the complexity in the universe presents the case for an intelligent designer.

Then what designed the designer?

3) The moral argument – true morality comes from God.

Horribly circular. You need to argue that morality is something beyond what it is (respect for living thinking beings), that it is somehow "higher" than that. That higher level then requires a god.

Evolutionary biology provides a LOT of insight as to the benefits of a social species being moral.

4) The resurrection of Jesus – the evidence of the resurrection has not been refuted.

The short argument is that you don't have enough evidence for something that bizarre.

The slightly longer argument is that other religions and supernatural events in history have much if not more evidence for them as the resurrection. Once you prove the supernatural other than jesus, then jesus' evidence becomes meaningless: it doesn't verify his divine origins, only supernatural ability.

** spoiler omitted **

...

So where does my yellowdingo argument fall?

String Theory invalidates religion and evolution. All life is a super-positional organism that created the universe from outside. The Universe is debris of change in possibility, time is continuous change in possibility, and the singularity is the moment of change in possibility.

Incomprehensibly right?

Shadow Lodge

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Quote:
So where does my yellowdingo argument fall?

Right under the giant rock, sandwiched between a pile of birdseed and an ACME rocket.

Grand Lodge

Meep! Meep!


yellowdingo wrote:
String Theory invalidates religion and evolution. All life is a super-positional organism that created the universe from outside. The Universe is debris of change in possibility, time is continuous change in possibility, and the singularity is the moment of change in possibility.

I'd really kind of like to believe that.

Or what this guy said once.
Which I interpret the same way as this Faint song.

Nonetheless, as an eternal skeptic, I reserve judgement.


yellowdingo wrote:

So where does my yellowdingo argument fall?

String Theory invalidates religion and evolution. All life is a super-positional organism that created the universe from outside. The Universe is debris of change in possibility, time is continuous change in possibility, and the singularity is the moment of change in possibility.

Incomprehensibly right?

Nah. That's not incomprehensible.

This is incomprehensible.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I knew what that link was to before I even touched my mouse to check.


thejeff wrote:
yellowdingo wrote:

So where does my yellowdingo argument fall?

String Theory invalidates religion and evolution. All life is a super-positional organism that created the universe from outside. The Universe is debris of change in possibility, time is continuous change in possibility, and the singularity is the moment of change in possibility.

Incomprehensibly right?

Nah. That's not incomprehensible.

This is incomprehensible.

WTF is that nonsense?


thejeff wrote:

Nah. That's not incomprehensible.

This is incomprehensible.

W to the TF sir.


How many of my friends here would identify themeselves as cultural Marxists?


That guy is a crock of s~++. He's ignoring the other 2,073,596 simultaneous days that occur every day.


Aretas wrote:
How many of my friends here would identify themeselves as cultural Marxists?

Does someone have to be your friend to be a cultural Marxist? Or do they have to be a cultural Marxist to be your friend?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Aretas wrote:
How many of my friends here would identify themeselves as cultural Marxists?

Can you provide a definition? I've been called a Marxist by all kinds of loons, but most wouldn't know Groucho from Karl.


What's a cultural Marxist?


So much friendly post, Somebody start an arguent with somebody!


Nicos wrote:
So much friendly post, Somebody start an arguent with somebody!

PIE>CAKE

NINJAS>PIRATES


meatrace wrote:
Nicos wrote:
So much friendly post, Somebody start an arguent with somebody!

PIE>CAKE

NINJAS>PIRATES

Now we only need somebody to fanatically disagree.


Speaking as a Pirate Ninja (I've stolen a boat and broken into an apartment building by scaling 4 floors on the outside): cake

triple-chocolate flourless torte to be precise


meatrace wrote:
What's a cultural Marxist?

Here's a good starting place.


PIRATES > NINJAS! ARRRRRR!

But the cake is a lie, so, I agree with you that PIE > CAKE.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
meatrace wrote:
What's a cultural Marxist?

Here's a good starting place.

I believe he was a product of the far, far Right attempting to eliminate the decaying effects of cultural Marxism from Europe Anklebiter.


I am not suggesting that he is a cultural Marxist.

1.1 Opposition to Cultural Marxism


Sorry I've been gone for 6 pages; I've been out clubbing communist homosexual baby seals . . . for Jesus.

Actually, I'm working on an Excel character sheet for PF that'll handle regular, gestalt, and prestige class character. And I just got non-class skills to grey out with no ranks and class skills to change color and get larger.

meatrace wrote:

I guess I just believe too much in there being an objective reality to believe that god exists BECAUSE you believe him. I believe in things which are rationally convincing, and I've furthermore never felt the presence of any supernatural phenomena.

I've had no particular difficulties leading what I would call a moral life without the belief in god/gods, but then I've also decided for myself what constitutes morality.

I did not argue that anyone should believe *because* I believe. In fact, what I wrote was

Mykull wrote:
Subjective “proofs” of God are not good ways to convince a non-believer anymore than “because the Holy Bible tells me so” is a good reason (that's circular!).

What I did do was offer a logical argument for God. I am interested in your statement, “. . . I've furthermore never felt the presence of any supernatural phenomena.” It seems that you're saying that I shouldn't believe in God just because you haven't experienced Him. That seems to be what you accused me of, just the other way around.

I never claimed that non-believers cannot be moral without believing in a higher power. And as for the last, I would like to ask how you decided. I mean, what did sources did you evaluate? Who influenced you? What were your criteria? But I won't because that would probably be a threadjack.

meatrace wrote:
@Mykull: you're thinking far too linearly. You're trying to apply the things which we know (read: perceive) about time and causality on the scale at which we can perceive them to the universal and quantum levels. Things just behave very differently on those scales.

My argument did not require causes to precede effects. I grant that is implied by my use of verb tenses. But the cosmological argument only argues that the universe is an effect and that, as such, has a cause. Nothing in the argument requires it to fall in any particular linear time order.

Aside: And as God created time, He wouldn't be bound by His creation anymore than one's character can force the player to do anything.

meatrace wrote:
Then you're saying that god is the original cause. First you have to show that god exists, rather than redefining something to be god. God is a sentient entity that created the universe as well as life itself.

Yes, the cosmological argument leads to an original cause. I (and others) name that original cause, God. I can't show you God anymore than you can show me Alexander the Great. The scientific method requires repeatable experiments. We can't repeat Alexander the Great. We have good reasons to believe that he did; but no one can show him to me. I have good reasons to believe God exists, but I cannot show Him to anyone. But just because I can not do so does not invalidate God anymore than it invalidates Alexander the Great.

I've defined the original uncaused cause as God. What am I redefining? What was the prior definition of the uncaused cause that I am defining again?

meatrace wrote:

Also, why doesn't your argument apply to god?

1)Everything that exists has a cause.
2)God exists. (Well, we disagree here, but for the sake of argument...)
3)Therefore god was created.

I addressed this in my first post, repeated here:

Mykull wrote:
If it turns out that there was a cause that produced the effect called God, I would say that what I thought was God wasn't God, but whatever it was that caused what I previously thought of as God, was really God (the uncaused causer).
meatrace wrote:
NO. We don't. Stop LYING to support your beliefs.

ad hominem

meatrace wrote:
We simply DON'T believe in gods. That's not the same as BELIEVING that they don't exist.

I submit that the difference in those statements is so infinitesimal as to be non-existent. In both of your sentences the verb in use is 'believe.' It is your belief that there are no gods. You do not believe in gods. It amounts to the same thing. Both require a belief. Either a belief that gods don't exist or believing that not believing in gods is the best course in life.

meatrace wrote:
Where are all the atheists missionaries around the world? Where are all the atheist politicians? Where are the atheist colonists, beating natives to death with ideas about atheism?

Klaus van der Kroft addressed this quite well. I was speaking in a broader sense and I wasn't targeting anyone on this board. My use of quotes supports that. If I meant some one specifically or a group, I would have used their names.

Klaus has given several specific examples. Generally speaking, I think that several million Christians killed by secular atheist communists in China and the former U.S.S.R. might meet your criteria. Or Madalyn Murray O'Hair (founder of the American Atheists, Inc.) working so hard to have prayer in school banned back in the sixties. I still think that violates the First Ammendment. Prohibiting me from being able to pray in school because I might offend a non-believer keeps me from exercising my freedom of religion. I'd say that qualifies as an atheist belief pushed on believers.

My question stems from what I've generally encountered from atheists which is the touting of all of the evils that religions have caused throughout history. They tend to ignore the good that religions have done. They also tend to push the “evils of religion” as though they were the only source; as though atheism was pristine. Which it isn't. People have used science to commit heinous acts, so have they used politics, fame, and wealth. And others have used these for good.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Everything [was assembled into its present form from previous parts]

I provided the definition of exist from thefreedictionary.com

Merriam-Webster defines exist as to have real being whether material or spiritual.
Oxford online defines exist as having objective reality or being.
These are only the first definitions, but your's does not appear at any time on any of these lists and I do not recognize your authority to redefine words. Unless you can submit your credentials to do so, I think we would all be better off sticking with definitions as found in reputable dictionaries.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Effects preceeding causes in zero time, Another dimension where time runs backwards. Giant superstrings vibrating and creating the universe out of the nothingness of subspace, completely unknown physical laws that explain how the allegedly impossible things can happen.

Again, as I pointed out above to meatrace, at no time did I argue that causes had to precede effect, only that the cause of the effect of the universe does exist. If we're talking “before” the Big Bang, then we're talking about when time doesn't yet exist, which would allow the effect of the universe to occur “before” God because when the universe begins, so does time, but God exists outside of time because its a creation of God, part of the universe He created. Okay, I should probably erase that, because as I re-read it, I'm reminded of Blink (“time is more of a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey . . .” “That sentence sorta got away from you.” “Yeah, it did.”) But, oh, well, I'll let it stand. I'm rushing because I'm leaving on vacation; it makes sense in my head and I recognize that I'm doing a poor job of explaining it; which doesn't mean that it can't be. But I don't have time to noodle it out right now.

But what caused the giant vibrating superstrings to vibrate in the first place? Your attributes of the cause of the universe (being timeless [zero time], existing outside of space [out of the nothingness of subspace] are the attributes of God.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
And gobs of chemicals were supposed to be incapable of forming in such a way as to produce the intricate wing of a bat, the eyes of an eagle, or our marvelously screwed up human brains… but that’s exactly what happened: very simple rules allowed for some incredibly complex results.

Biochemist Michael Denton, in his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis poses, “Is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which – a functional protein or gene – is complex beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis or chance, which excels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man?”

Cambridge-trained philosopher of science Stephen Meyer elaborates, “Consider what you'd need for a protein molecule to form by chance. First, you need the right bonds between the amino acids. Second, amino acids come in right-handed and left-handed versions, an you've got to get only left-handed ones. Third, the amino acids must link up in a specified sequence, like letters in a sentence. Run the odds of these things falling into place on their own and you find that the probabilities of forming a rather short functional protein at random would be one chance in a hundred thousand trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion. That's a ten with 125 zeroes after it! And that would only be one protein molecule – a minimally complex cell would need between three hundred and five hundred protein molecules . . . To suggest chance against those odds is really to invoke a naturalistic miracle.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

BigNorseWolf wrote:

of course faking your death with bc teck is preposterous, but so is the idea of magic, and so is the idea of the son of god who is god. You cant just take three preposterous ideas, rule the first two preposterous, and hen conclude it ZMUST be the third option.
Quote:
. So if we're talking about Jesus' resurrection, then we're accepting for this argument, that the Christian God exists. If we don't agree with that much, for this argument, then we have nothing to debate about this.
Hmmm I don’t know if we’re missing each other or if you’re not that familiar with the argument from historicity.
You cannot assume that the Christian god exists to argue for a resurrection that shows that the Christian god exists.
The argument from historicity says that the only (or at least best) explanation for the new testament is that it actually happened as described.
Mykull wrote:

OP #4 Jesus' Resurrection

This, too, by itself is not an argument for the existence of God.

We were talking about Jesus faking his death and resurrection, so we were at the point in the discussion where Jesus was alive and walked Earth. I was going from there, not using it to make the point the God exists (a point I'd made in my first post).

Many people have posted that they've had bad experiences with Christians. And that oft times seems to be a reason for their atheism. I submit that that, too, is a subjective argument. But I doubt any atheist on this board would say that if their experience with Christians had been positive, they'd be Christian.

I apologize (not in the apologetics way, but in the “I regret that it happened”) for their poor behavior. Any belief, being unprovable (whether for or against deities) puts people on unsteady ground. Easier to brow-beat, kill, or rabidly convert everyone to one's beliefs so as to not have to listen to dissenting opinions and thus question oneself. To those of you who've been mistreated by Christians, for what its worth, I apologize.

I would certainly DM you in my games. I'd play in your games. Though, I'd probably play a cleric. A particularly devout cleric. A particularly devout cleric who roars, “It will be a [INSERT DEITY HERE] world, or no world at all!!!”

I have many more pages to pore through, but no time. I'm leaving in seven hours so I have to sleep (I'm the sole driver). I think I've got to the ones that apply to me specifically. I'll check back later.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Mykull wrote:
meatrace wrote:

Also, why doesn't your argument apply to god?

1)Everything that exists has a cause.
2)God exists. (Well, we disagree here, but for the sake of argument...)
3)Therefore god was created.

I addressed this in my first post, repeated here:
Mykull wrote:
If it turns out that there was a cause that produced the effect called God, I would say that what I thought was God wasn't God, but whatever it was that caused what I previously thought of as God, was really God (the uncaused causer).

But we can apply that same argument to the cause that produced God as well (which for awesomeness sake I'll refer to as Supergod).

1)Everything that exists has a cause.
2)Supergod exists.
3)Therefore Supergod was created.

It's turtles all the way down, friend.


Mykull wrote:

meatrace wrote:

We simply DON'T believe in gods. That's not the same as BELIEVING that they don't exist.

I submit that the difference in those statements is so infinitesimal as to be non-existent. In both of your sentences the verb in use is 'believe.' It is your belief that there are no gods. You do not believe in gods. It amounts to the same thing. Both require a belief. Either a belief that gods don't exist or believing that not believing in gods is the best course in life.

No, the different is enormous.

It's not that I BELIEVE there are NO GODS. It's that I have a lack of belief IN them. In other words: I don't know, I don't pretend to know, I don't claim to know, the jury is out.

Imagine this scenario. I flip a coin and hide the result from you. I ask you "are you of the belief that it has landed heads?" Your answer would be "no". Lack of belief in one thing, is not belief in its opposite, as saying "I don't believe it landed heads up" DOESN'T mean "I believe it has landed hands down."

And that distinction, between not knowing or claiming to know, and claiming to know and it being the opposite, is one that you fail to grasp on any level and shows why you're not really ready for this kind of conversation.

As for the rest of your shenanigans, your reasoning still stands as "everything exists must have been caused. except god cuz he's magic".


Furthermore I never suggested that my lack of experience of the supernatural should cause you to lose belief in it. Merely to point out that it is indeed purely subjective. Subjective experiences can't reasonably be used as evidence when you're trying to prove or argue something empirically.


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Communism and atheism get maliciously conflated all the time by theists.

The problem with this is that communism is a severely authoritarian, utterly collectivistic AND TRANSCENDENTAL movement, with a dogmatic core written in one book. (Which book varies, usually on which country you're looking at.)

Yes, folks, it's a religion.

When you start looking at it, you find that the transcendental element of communism is a crucial part of the whole. It's the belief in The Classless Society, in True Communism (it's always a good idea to check which words a group puts in caps) that justifies all the slaughter, suffering and horror that communist countries have committed. And while you could claim that this state of things was meant to occur in this world, well, the ephemereality of the time scale involved meant that it was nothing more than a theoretical construct.

For comparison, then, consider the atheist movement today. It has a very loose structure, it's typically individualistic, considers human rights as paramount or at least central, it's anti-authoritarian and depends far more on debate and discussion than any sort of dogmatic text, and it rejects ANY sort of transcendental component.

Now don't do it again.


Mykull wrote:
Many people have posted that they've had bad experiences with Christians. And that oft times seems to be a reason for their atheism. I submit that that, too, is a subjective argument. But I doubt any atheist on this board would say that if their experience with Christians had been positive, they'd be Christian.

That's utter b~&#%+~*.

As a matter of personal experience I went to Catholic school for years as a child. Two schools. I had very different experiences as them. The first one it just seemed like kids being kids but using religion as a wedge to ouster other kids rather than looks or fashion or whatever.

My second school was largely positive, other than the science teacher being grossly incompetent.

In my day to day life I've met some really nice christians, some of which I call my friends. If I'm being honest I've never met any people who were unkind to me in their capacity as a christian (i.e. not shouted down for being satan's spawn or something) but as about 80% of the general population identifies as christian I have to imagine that 80% of the dicks I have met just happened to be christian.

For the record, I think all the major religions are pretty equally a load of hogwash, though I have a grudging respect for Daoism and Buddhism.


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xn0o0cl3 wrote:

This is a mostly-related post a friend just made. I decided to share, cuz it's damn funny:

AC wrote:

Dear Kirk Cameron,

If bananas fitting perfectly in our hands is evidence of God's existence, then certainly pineapples are evidence that there is no god.

A**hole.

Bananas are not divinely ordained for human consumption.

Wikipedia
Bananas are not a seed bearing fruit. In cultivated varieties, the seeds are diminished nearly to non-existence; their remnants are tiny black specks in the interior of the fruit
thanks wiki

genesis 1:29
I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Therefore off the menu, no matter how well designed, they are forbidden fruit

RAW


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If I'm being honest I think the single important event that lead to my status as atheist was my mom deciding not to baptize me as a baby. I knew I wasn't baptized and it was because my mom wanted me to choose my own religion rather than being indoctrinated.

That very idea, that religion was a choice and not part of your family or cultural identity as it was for every other child, influenced me more completely than you can imagine. Imagine being on the outside your whole life, watching religion(s) happen all around you, never really being able to participate, but even as a child having a sort of detached curiosity about it.

As an adolescent, going to Catholic school, I was under immense pressure from my peers and the clergy to get baptized, take communion, etc. But knowing from birth I had been imbued with this ability to choose made me hold out. Made me look into alternatives. Made me ask questions no one around me would or perhaps could.

It also helps that my parents both came from academia, and my mother being a paleontologist, I learned that I could dismiss out of hand religions that refused basic scientific precepts like the fossil record. Wasn't a religion supposed to espouse things that YOU believed? Not the other way around, you don't adopt a religion and then change your beliefs to fit them, you find one that purports to feel the way you do.

But none did or do. Clearly my religion was none of the above.

I think another thing was going to a Catholic school where the other kids talked about feeling god touch them, or speak to them, or feeling the presence of the holy spirit. Really? I don't. Am I defective? No, in all likelihood what I was witnessing was social comportment.

Looking for evidence of god, a god, gods, goddess, goddesses, spirits, leprechauns, unicorns, etc. has lead me to find none. Because there is none. Now maybe there is a god. Maybe there's a monster in my closet. But without any evidence of their existence, it seems silly on my part to carry on as if there were.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My bad experiences with religion didn't start until I was in my early twenties, by which time I was already an atheist and had already concluded there was little to nothing good about religion.

But boy did I ever hate churches as a kid. I don't recall any time I was in one that wasn't intensely alienating, except for a few in Europe that were historical theme parks instead. The whole atmosphere is just poison. It's like camp without the irony that makes camp fun. Instead one has to be ridiculous and artificial and then pretend one is not.

I think I have allergies to reverence and piety in themselves. At rare family gatherings someone would insist on a prayer before eating. My reaction was always to roll my eyes and think something to the effect of f%%+ that noise. Rude bastards, too. I was almost always already eating when they'd get up and do their little show. They ought to put it down in etiquette books that if you insist on a prayer before the meal, you go do it in the bathroom or something so you're not bothering other people who are, after all, trying to do what they're at the table for in the first place.

Also I can never decide if most depictions of Jesus have him heavily sedated, stoned, or were meant to capture the expressiveness of a particularly bad wax sculpture. And I've seen a lot of them.

But no, nobody beat me up or harangued me about religion to any significant degree. Occasional noise from my mother's family, but by the time I figured out it was actually about religion and not just some meaningless cant they occasionally fell into because of severe brain damage (and severe brain damage would be a big step up for most of this lot, except for the one that did, in fact, have severe brain damage). My first specifically anti-religious thought was in response to a brief discussion of the maximum length a human could live. I thought around 110-120 was the record. My mother's sister promptly hauled out Methuselah.

Me: *Nine hundred odd years sounds extremely unlikely, given how few bust 100.* "Well where's he from?"
Her: "The Bible."
Me: "So how do you know he lived that long?"
Her: "The Bible."
Me: *twelve year-old brain briefly short-circuits as it knows there's something very, very wrong with that argument but can't quite place it*
Me a bit later: "What the hell is wrong with her?"


Seen the classic painting of Adam and Eve? They have belly buttons...


meatrace wrote:
For the record, I think all the major religions are pretty equally a load of hogwash, though I have a grudging respect for Daoism and Buddhism.

I still remember discovering — after a long and happy dalliance with the Tao te Ching — that there was such a thing as a "taoist god". Many of them, in fact. I was crushed, because until that day I had only really read the Tao te Ching, and I had thought it a weird species of mystic atheism.

Then I came to understand that the "gods" of asian understanding are quite a bit different, but furthermore that "Taoism" is not a managed brand name but a collection of thousands of provincial beliefs that share tenets of naturalism and balance.

Then I further came to understand that Christianity is the same — a book poetic book with some solid contributions to culture and philosophy (and some patronizing nonsense) that has been mutated over the centuries by exposure to various practical influences (most notably the roman empire and the various converted cultures).

Beware the romance of eastern mysticism. The Bible is a pretty compelling document to those who have never seen it before — especially if they have a weak understanding of western history. So too is any mystic document, plucked from its context and taken at face value.

All that said, I do much prefer disorganized religions, and Taoism certainly counts for that.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Mykull, so you seem like a bright person who is going through some pretty epic contortions to avoid the elephant in the room: That there is no empirical evidence supporting your central claim (God exists).

I'm an atheist, but I don't particularly care what you believe. What I can about is when logic and semantics are abused in an effort to craft the appearance that the belief in a higher power doesn't bear an attendant burden of proof. It does.

In short: Believe what you like, but if you're going to try to argue your position is a rational, you're going to need to start by acknowleding that the burden of proof rests with the theist.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
meatrace wrote:
For the record, I think all the major religions are pretty equally a load of hogwash, though I have a grudging respect for Daoism and Buddhism.

I still remember discovering — after a long and happy dalliance with the Tao te Ching — that there was such a thing as a "taoist god". Many of them, in fact. I was crushed, because until that day I had only really read the Tao te Ching, and I had thought it a weird species of mystic atheism.

Then I came to understand that the "gods" of asian understanding are quite a bit different, but furthermore that "Taoism" is not a managed brand name but a collection of thousands of provincial beliefs that share tenets of naturalism and balance.

Then I further came to understand that Christianity is the same — a book poetic book with some solid contributions to culture and philosophy (and some patronizing nonsense) that has been mutated over the centuries by exposure to various practical influences (most notably the roman empire and the various converted cultures).

Beware the romance of eastern mysticism. The Bible is a pretty compelling document to those who have never seen it before — especially if they have a weak understanding of western history. So too is any mystic document, plucked from its context and taken at face value.

All that said, I do much prefer disorganized religions, and Taoism certainly counts for that.

I find it sad what christianity has devolved into. One of Jesus's primary complaints was that the Jewish church leaders had started to dictate faith rather than lead discussions about it, because it allowed them to amass power and wealth. And now look at "his" monolithic beast :'(


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My five main arguments with God:

Fist Argument– Why can’t I have sex with more than one person at a time?

God responded to this argument through my wife, and she made very many compelling arguments as to why I cannot have what I want. And even though I conceded, many years ago, that she was right, and that her arguments were valid, I still argue with God about it. It’s just that he is pretty quiet about it these days. Now please don’t misunderstand the argument. It is not, “why can’t other people have sex with more than one person at a time?” As I know full well, that many people do, it just seems that I cannot.

Second Argument – Why do I have to tell the truth, and yet all around me are people who get to lie, and get away with it?

God responds to this argument with a blank stare and then, usually, fills my head with the statement, Are you f**!ing kidding me? You lie like a dog.” To this I argue, “Yes, but I lie about stupid s+#*, and get no benefit from it. Why can’t I lie like other people do? They seem to prosper from their lies.” God then allows me to stew on that assumption, and then, usually after a minute or two, I get distracted by a fantasy involving having sex with two women.

Third Argument – It doesn’t make sense that it seems to me that people want the same things, will work hard to get them, and be satisfied when they do get them, but be outraged if someone else does the same thing.

God has always shrugged his shoulders whenever I presented this argument, and then if pressed about it, he will usually fill my head with the words, “Well, f*%%, what do you want me to do about it.” And this, sadly, is far too hard a question for me to answer. He will stare intently at me, not accepting my failure to answer his question, until I begin to fantasize about having sex with two women at the same time, at which point, he rolls his eyes and changes the subject.

Forth Argument – If it tastes really good, for some stupid ass reason, I’m not supposed to eat it, and that just shows a lack of good design analysis.

God does not like it when I raise this argument. He has struggled with type 2 diabetes himself, and has a predilection for ‘pecan sandies’ and hot chocolate, but just as he does not accept my failure to answer his direct question from argument number three, I press him on this one, and most often he will try to think about how this situation came to be. He tries, no really, he does, but when it becomes obvious he isn’t getting anywhere in his explanation, he will typically ask me if I remember seeing the movie “Wild Things” and you can guess where that leads to.

Fifth Argument – How come, when I look back on my life, it is far easier to remember how many mistakes I made, and far harder to remember how many times I was happy?

To this argument God is very open and forthcoming. He likes to try and explain to me why this is more my fault than his, but I don’t buy it. I usually start to cry when we have this argument. When it begins to look like there isn’t any way I will see his side of the argument, that I am hard on myself because I have chosen to want to be a better person, and it seems like I am stuck believing I am not a good person, he reminds me that I am loved, and even if I had the chance to sleep with two women at the same time, I would probably still not believe that I am loved as much as I really am.

So those are my five main arguments with God.

Wait, was that the question?

Nevermind


Sissyl wrote:

Communism and atheism get maliciously conflated all the time by theists.

The problem with this is that communism is a severely authoritarian, utterly collectivistic AND TRANSCENDENTAL movement, with a dogmatic core written in one book. (Which book varies, usually on which country you're looking at.)

Emphasis added.

Ten Marxist Classics as recommended by Doodlebug Anklebiter

Spoiler:

1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. If Das Kapital is like a rock opera, with four volumes, a million footnotes and formulas for chrissake!, then The Manifesto is a punk rock single, short, sharp and shocking.

2. The Civil War in France by Karl Marx. About the Paris Commune uprising of 1871, the first successful workers revolution in history that held power for, like, a month before being drowned in blood by the French bourgeoisie. The Communards, it turns out, were too nice.

3. The Origin of the State, Private Property and the Family by Frederick Engels. I kinda doubt this one holds up to much scientific scrutiny today, but it was Engels's attempt to bring Marxism up to date in state of the art (1890s) anthropology.

4. What Is To Be Done? by V.I. Lenin. Turns out the answer is to start a newspaper, sell it outside the factory gates, and build a revolutionary vanguard party. I agree.

5. The Permanent Revolution by Leon Trotsky. Wherein it is discovered that the answer to all mankind's problems is, and say it with me class, INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAN SOCIALIST REVOLUTION.

6. The State and Revolution by V.I. Lenin. After the international proletarian socialist revolution, the working class must form a dictatorship of the proletariat, a worker's state, in order to smash the remnants of the old state into little bitty pieces. After that, everything will be okay and the state will wither away and there will be nothing but rainbows and lollipops and unicorns. It's true!!

7. Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed. An American journalist's account of the seizure of power by the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Bolshevik) in October 1917. Warren Beatty made a movie about it called Reds which I also highly recommend.

8. The History of the Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky. How he did it, in three volumes.

9. The Revolution Betrayed by Leon Trotsky. How it all went wrong and a prediction that it would only end in tears. The model for Immanuel Goldstein in 1984

10. The Foundations of Christianity by Karl Kautsky. I wouldn't normally place it in the top ten, but it's apropos, so, there.

Vive le Galt!!

Shadow Lodge

Mykull wrote:
Sorry I've been gone for 6 pages; I've been out clubbing communist homosexual baby seals . . . for Jesus

Well I hope you got a nice coat out of it.

.

Quote:

Everything [was assembled into its present form from previous parts]

I provided the definition of exist from thefreedictionary.com
Merriam-Webster defines exist as to have real being whether material or spiritual.

1)As stated, the dictionary is inadequate. You are treating it as if it were some platonic manifestation of truth rather than agreed upon general meanings of words. Also you are treating it as if there were only one definition per word.

2) the dictionary does not define your PHRASE ev en though it defines every word. Hair of the Dog that bit you is not hair nor does it come from a dog.

This looks like a dodge. Instead of answering the objection you’re questioning my ability to make it: an argument doesn’t rest with me it rests with the argument itself.
What you have here is a large amount of equivocation between different ideas of what it means to begin. We have never seen anything begin to exist ex nihlo: so
1) We have never seen anything begin to exist (exnihlo)
2) Therefore the universe did not begin to exist it was made out of something else

Quote:
Again, as I pointed out above to meatrace, at no time did I argue that causes had to precede effect, only that the cause of the effect of the universe does exist. If we're talking “before” the Big Bang, then we're talking about when time doesn't yet exist, which would allow the effect of the universe to occur “before” God because when the universe begins, so does time, but God exists outside of time because its a creation of God, part of the universe

Dragons exist

Dragons are defined as red scaley reptile like creatures that breathe fire , eat knights and kidnap princesses
That wagon is red
Therefore it is a dragon.
- Calling the thing that created the universe god does not make it one. It could have been made by itself, or by some un understood natural and non sentient force. Its no differen tthan defining zues as the thing that causes lightning then asserting Zeus’s existence as a metaphor.
.
Quote:
Biochemist Michael Denton

Is wrong. Seriously, utterly, objectively , completely, and foolishly wrong. Arguing against evolution is at this point not that much different than arguing against the heliocentric model of the solar system. You can’t tell me that you have any respect for science on the big bang and then turn around and try to deny evolution.

Quote:
“Is it really credible that random processes …

Funny thing is that the processes are not entirely random/ There are rules to the universe that build on themselves in wonderfully complex ways to produce emergent properties. Biology derives from chemistry which derives from physics, but physics can’t predict population shifts in a wildlife species. Life forming at random WOULD be impossible… IF chemicals acted in an utterly random fashion: they do not. They adhere to the rules of chemistry.

Quote:
Cambridge-trained philosopher of science

I burn popper in Effigy

Hey meatrace , beginning to see where the dislike comes from? 

Quote:
Many people have posted that they've had bad experiences with Christians. And that oft times seems to be a reason for their atheism. I submit that that, too, is a subjective argument. But I doubt any atheist on this board would say that if their experience with Christians had been positive, they'd be Christian.

I think it’s a reason you see a lot of argument from the atheists, not the reason they’re atheists in the first place. For me it was “A kind and loving god that drowned the entire planet … including the animals that didn’t have a ticket” when I was about 8.

Quote:
I I would certainly DM you in my games. I'd play in your games. Though, I'd probably play a cleric. A particularly devout cleric. A particularly devout cleric who roars, “It will be a [INSERT DEITY HERE] world, or no world at all!!!”

Hey, I’ve dmed for evil pcs before…. 

Quote:
I have many more pages to pore through, but no time. I'm leaving in seven hours so I have to sleep (I'm the sole driver). I think I've got to the ones that apply to me specifically. I'll check back later.

Drive safe. Stay caffinated


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

While Myrkul's beliefs and religion are not my own, I disagree he is 'avoiding the elephant in the room'. The arguments posted for G-D on the first page do not make any mention of this, and he has tried to explain his own position on each one, whether he believes they are arguments for G-D or not.

In response he's been called a liar, told that his statements are B.S. because they don't match up with someone else's experiences and whatnot.

I'm not sure where the hostility is coming from, because he's presented himself as the most reasonable and even tempered guy on the religious side of things.

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