What made me give up on God?

Sent in by JG

First... please, please, please (!!!) read Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World." He does such an excellent job explaining the difference between science and religion. This book is so incredible.

Okay, and now...

I am getting lots of emails from people wanting to know THE one thing that made me ''give up on God''. They read my blogs about why I deconverted, but still wanted to know what the final blow was. I hate to disappoint, but there wasn't one simple thing that did it. I wasn't mad at ''God'', I wasn't mad at other Christians, there wasn't a prayer that wasn't answered, and no one died in my family. Giving up on a belief in a god for emotional reasons seems immature to me.

Of course, I mention science and philosophy as major players, but, as my wife and I were talking about it the other day, it seems THE reason that guided me to where I am at is my passion to know THE truth of our world and existence. Now I can hear some of my old Christian friends objecting, saying that they too love the truth. But I would have to disagree. And here is why...

In all my years as a Christian it seemed that all those that claimed to be searching for ''God'' were already convinced of what they believed. I knew people who claimed to be looking for greater things in ''God'' when they church-hopped, but what they really were doing was looking for people who already agreed with what they believed. They may have heard some preacher that was saying something that appealed to their emotions or beliefs, but they never dug very deep for real solid evidence on anything. Faith was enough. If it felt right, it must be the truth. To me, that's just too shallow. I wasn't happy with what felt right or made sense, I wanted the truth, no matter how ugly, regardless of how much it may have contradicted beliefs I already firmly held and was convinced of.

I think that's how I could go from Methodism to Charismaticism, from Charismaticism to Word-of-Faith, from Word-of-Faith to Messianic Judaism, from Messianic Judaism to Orthodox Judaism... to Noachidism, and finally to Atheism.

Regardless of what some people may say about me now as an atheist, I truly sought to know ''God''. There was no greater passion for me. I really tried to find ''His heart''. I poured myself out in every way to know and understand ''His ways''. I studied countless hours searching through mountains of information, and prayed myself dizzy. I had a passion for THE truth. I still do.

If you really say you have the same passion to know the truth of life, you are going to have to be willing to question ALL your presuppositions. You can take NOTHING for granted, you can assume NOTHING. You have to be humble enough to admit you might be wrong even on statements as grand as the existence of your ''God'' and the truthfulness of your religion.

Again, let me recommend Carl Sagan's book. And if you are willing to be intellectually honest, then do some research. Study it out for yourself, and don't take my word for it. The truth can be found, are you willing to consider that something outside your religion may be what reality really is?

I did, and I am a better person for it. Life is precious and so fragile. We only have one shot, what do you want to really make of it?

To monitor comments posted to this topic, use .

69 comments:

Bill said...

The real reason I became an atheist is because I love porn. When I belonged to a church, the guilt I felt was overwhelming. I decided I would do all I could to separate myself from the guilt and the church, so I choose atheism and I now watch porn all day long guilt free.

Now that really is something a typical Christian would believe that we choose to be atheists because we didn't want to obey the laws of God.

No seriously like you said JG, I was in search of the TRUTH, and when everything was laid out on the table and I took a real objective look at both sides, there wasn't even much thinking to do. Religion doesn't have a leg on which to stand once you start reading a bit of science and how everything in the world could be accomplished without any God let alone the Christian God.

In the end we don't choose our beliefs, our beliefs choose us.

healtheland said...

Bill:

"Religion doesn't have a leg on which to stand once you start reading a bit of science and how everything in the world could be accomplished without any God let alone the Christian God."

OK, so science has explained how consciousness develops? How an organic being "awakes" and "becomes aware"? I am not talking about merely living: viruses and such live (although that in and of itself would be hard enough), but rather becoming a conscious individual unique being. Sure, saying that it evolved over billions and billions of years as a result of random mutations and natural selection would cover it (it would cover just about ANYTHING don't you admit?) but it leaves one wanting for specifics, details, or a how - to guide. So, I must have missed that edition of Scientific American. Or maybe it was in the New England Journal Of Medicine? But surely you have the link to it. Could you provide it to me? Or maybe you can give me a synopsis right now.

Wes said...

>>OK, so science has explained how consciousness develops?

No; not entirely - but is sure beats the answers provided by your mystic book of ignorance. At least science strives for those answers the best it can, as opposed to "God Did It!".

That was about the only part of your post that was worthy of any kind of response, really. The rest, well, just dripped so rich with sarcasm that I'm not going to waste my time. -Wes.

Wes said...

"healtheland".

Ummm.. What's wrong with the land by the way?? -Wes.

Wes said...

Ugh. Reminds me of Robin mark...

Astreja said...

Hi, JG! I'm also a fan of The Demon-Haunted World. (And the invisible dragon in my garage says 'hi'.)

As for you, 'healtheland', I sense a pathological unwillingness to tolerate ambiguity and incomplete answers. Science is all about making educated guesses and then testing them so as to make better guesses. Scientists do not wave Erlenmeyer flasks in the air and chant the Periodic Table. Theories do not spring, Athena-like, full-grown from their foreheads.

They are willing to spend their entire lives looking for the second, third and nth right answers rather than resorting to the comforting stupidity of "I don't understand; therefore goddidit."

Here, then, is your synopsis: "We don't know. Yet. But if we give up now and let religion 'answer' for us, we may never know the truth."

Lance said...

Great post JG. You really hit the nail on the head. My christian friends can't seem to get this through their thick skulls. They don't really understand the concept of seeking the truth. They don't seek the truth, the shore up or celebrate what they already think is truth.

My friend says his christian truth can stand up to any analysis, but all he really does is stand in front of his "truth" and deflect any logic or reason that comes his way.

I try to explain that to seek truth you can't assume you already have it. You have to lay the facts and data before you and use the integrity of your own mind to see where they all point. But that is the real problem. They don't trust the integrity of their own minds. Bummer.

Telmi said...

healtheland,

What are your own thoughts on consciousness, to be precise, human consciousness?

Please elaborate.

Dave8 said...

Healtheland: "OK, so science has explained how consciousness develops? How an organic being "awakes" and "becomes aware"?"

Healtheland, why don't you define "consciousness", as there are many different ways to do such, and I'll see if you are rational for me to give a rational reply to.

If you suggest the consciousness is equitable to a soul, or some supernatural/extra-terrestrial link via a worm-hole, then... I'll have to suggest that no answer I provide will suffice for you. I'm stuck here in this natural universe, and my answers would reflect such.

JayBird's Joint said...

"I try to explain that to seek truth you can't assume you already have it. You have to lay the facts and data before you and use the integrity of your own mind to see where they all point. But that is the real problem. They don't trust the integrity of their own minds. Bummer."


We can't trust the integrity of our own minds? Human minds are limited, as is our language; however, God's nature is infinite beyond all space and time, all powerful, all knowing, and all present. Why trust ourselves when we as human can't even take care of ourselves. Look at our history. If we put our faith and trust in Christ, when we check out of here, there will be perfection waiting.

Boy, its been a while since ive been in here....Hi all!

Spirula said...

Boy, its been a while since ive been in here

Have to break it to you Christobot, you haven't been missed. I see you're still sermonizing about you fantasy-daddy and the eternal picnic for zombies.

TheCapetonian said...

Hey JG,

Isn't it interesting how people are so eager to know what the THE one thing is that drove you to your senses? I find that I experience the same issue with everyone I meet and tell them that my position has changed. I'm no longer a Christian. In not having a one particular reason, it seems to throw them off any sort of argument that they may want to have. You're not angry, you're not mad and the answers to your prayers are irrelevant. You just plain woke up and put the pieces to the puzzle that your Christian beliefs are nothing different than the fables told to you in kindergarten. Way to. Enjoy your new-found freedom, I know I do.

TheCapetonian

eel_shepherd said...

JayBird's Joint (you chirped, my tit?) wrote: "...Human minds are limited, as is our language; however, God's nature is infinite beyond all space and time,.."

And, by the same token, so are its motives; if it has any (and why would it?). Think it has any active interest in your obeisance?

Further BS (that would be BirdSong) included: "...Why trust ourselves when we as human can't even take care of ourselves. Look at our history..."

Certain periods in history are more guilty of this than others; such as the Middle Ages, when religion reigned supreme over everything, including (especially)reason and honest inquiry.

Bob said...

I disagree with your take on history. Middle ages was the period of a perfect Christian order - regerdless whether God does exist, or not. Then, that order was disturbed by Jews conspiring to take over the power (read: wealth) from nobles. Their usury of 32% on brrowed money started Inquisition. Their French Revolution, bloody "Reign of Terror", chopped the heads of clergy and royals, kicked religion out of state and closed all churches, established centralized governemnt with its newly created ...Homeland Security and public Education Departments, and established the, so called, Cult of (Jewish) Reason with books we are imposed to read till today.
Jews repeated their takeover success in Russia known as Bolshevik Revolution. That has only inreased the amount of victims up to (official) 145 million of heads gone with sadistic tortures before ritual murders. Who do you think were "interrogation contractors" working on prisoners at Abu Ghraib? (By the way, why there is not a sigle Museum of the Communist Holocaust?) Under Jewish success now extended to US, we have nothing but their media, taxes, movies, institutes, gov officials, pseudo-science, and literature like the one of Carl Sagan's.
My question is: living and being "educated" in this Jewish world, is it possible to discuss God? What do we know about Him NOT coming from the Jewish Bible and/or other god-mocking sources? Do we have anything available of a non-Jewish point of view?

AtheistToothFairy said...

Bob wrote:
Middle ages was the period of a perfect Christian order - regerdless whether God does exist, or not. Then, that order was disturbed by Jews conspiring to take over the power (read: wealth) from nobles. Their usury of 32% on brrowed money started Inquisition
-------
Bob,

I will say right up front that I'm far from being an expert on the history of the Middle Ages.
I will also say that I'm not Jewish (as if that mattered anyway).

While your writing skills make it challenging to follow along with your intended points, I'm going to TRY and respond to you.

My first impression of you (and perhaps it's wrong) is that you are one who loves conspiracy theories?

It wouldn't surprise me in the least, for you tell us next that the Jewish Holocaust never happened? I say that, because something about the 'style' of your arguments here, very much remind me of the holocaust deniers style.
Would my guess be correct here?
Well, regardless of your view on that, lets move on.


REF:
The information in italics I use below, came from this site...
http://www.remember.org/History.root.classical.html


First let's see what it said about the Crusades:

Crusades
The Catholic Church launched a series of nine holy wars from 1096-1272. The purpose of these wars was to march to the Holy Land of Palestine and liberate it from Moslem "infidels." Along the way, the crusaders massacred all "infidels" in their path who refused to be baptized on the spot to Christianity. Thousands of Jews were massacred in Germany and France.


Now you makes the statement that the "Middle ages was the period of a perfect Christian order"
Not for nothing, but please tell us, 'perfect' for WHOM?
You surely can't believe that your xtian god told them to go kill of these 'infidels' who wouldn't convert to your xtian way of thinking?

Today we have Muslim sects who state, that we either convert to their religious beliefs, or have our heads chopped off. I wonder where on earth they might have gotten that idea, in the realm of history, hmmm.

Next you state:
"Then, that order was disturbed by Jews conspiring to take over the power (read: wealth) from nobles. Their usury of 32% on brrowed money started Inquisition"

I have no idea which part of history you are speaking about, where the Jews did all this conspiring, so please be more specific with your assertions?

A google search on the topic of this 32% interest on borrowed money, came up empty, so again you'll have to provide more information if you want to impress anyone with this knowledge.

Now as far as an Inquistion. Exactly WHICH Inquistion do you mean here?
Do you mean the one by the Catholic church in Rome or the Spanish one?
In any case, here is info on both for you and our readers here.
The Inquisition (Church of Rome)
The Inquisition was a tribunal established in the Middle Ages (13th Cent.) by the Catholic Church in Rome designed to suppress heresy. In 1233, Pope Gregory IX formally established the papal Inquisition and sent Dominican friars to South France and Northern Italy to conduct inquests. The Dominican order had set as one of their goals the conversion of Jews to Christianity. This aim, backed by the power of the Inquisition, brought on a wave of persecution.
Torture was not an approved method of extracting confessions of guilt from heretics, yet it was practiced and finally approved by Pope Innocent IV. The goal of the Inquisition was not the destruction of the heretics but rather their repentance. Burning at the stake was not common. The ordinary penalties were penance, fines and imprisonment. Penalties were often carried out by the local government, especially the death penalty. Because the fines extracted and the property of the accused were turned over to the local government which often returned a portion to the Church, graft, bribery and blackmail were common.


Now the Spanish Inquistion info:

Spanish Inquisition:
"The purpose of the Spanish Inquisition was to discover and punish converted Jews (and later Muslims) who were insincere. However, all Spaniards began to fear its prying eyes. The death penalty was used more often than in the Roman Inquisition, and rules that condemned one for heresy were far stricter, often outlawing things the Roman Church approved.


Okay, so exactly where are you placing blame on the Jewish people in either of these two inquisitions, Bob?????
Seems to me they were the victims here, which makes your assertions very much lacking, 'my friend'.


>>Under Jewish success now extended to US, we have nothing but their media, taxes, movies, institutes, gov officials, pseudo-science, and literature like the one of Carl Sagan's.

Perhaps you aren't making yourself very clear (in fact, I know you aren't...lol), but are you saying that the jews brainwashed everyone with pseudo-science?
Are you saying that Carl Sagan's writings were what, sanctioned by the jews in order to what, destroy Christianity?

You do realize that your assertions here sound no different than many conspiracy theories we hear about, right Bob?
Where is your verifiable evidence to support your extraordinary claims here, huh Bob?


>>My question is: living and being "educated" in this Jewish world, is it possible to discuss God? What do we know about Him NOT coming from the Jewish Bible and/or other god-mocking sources? Do we have anything available of a non-Jewish point of view?

Excuse me while I stop shaking my head, at whatever it is you're trying to say here Bob.
Are you saying this is a JEWISH WORLD today?
Well, if you live in Israel and consider that "this world", then you'd probably be right, but if you mean the USA etc., you again have a lot of proving to do with that assertion.

What knowledge here are you suggesting is being suppressed by the Jews?
You seem to have this odd-duck idea that everything available in the media, is all filtered through some jewish world interest, or something.

Bob, you sure make it sound like the jews are to blame for everything, when it comes to the downfall of your xtian religion?

Let me toss out another theory to you, that makes a whole lot more sense than your own theory.
How about some of us just got a little bit wiser and escaped your xtian brainwashing, by looking around this world at reality, instead of living inside some very biased xtian god bubble. How about we took notice that your jesus hasn't a leg to stand on, when it comes to proving he ever existed.

Let me guess: Bob here would say that we used to have lots of history about christ's life, but the jews burned it all, way back when, just to try and kill off his memory.

Really Bob, for the life of me I can't tell where the heck you're coming from, as you seem to make some pretty grandiose claims here, but they are instantly thwarted by not only your poor writing skills, but your seemingly outlandish suggestions you also make.

So yeah, do come back and TRY to not only explain yourself better, but also come back with some evidence to back whatever your claims might be, m'kay


ATF (who has a gut feeling Jim Arvo will have a field day with this conspiracy theory, that Bob presents here)

stronger now said...

I see what you mean ATF. I find it difficult to believe that someone could really think this way. I wonder if Bob is what some people would call a poe? I'd be much happier if he were a poe than if he actually believed the things he wrote.

It's bad when you hope someone is making stuff up for his own amusement, because the alternative is much worse.

Bob said...

Your lineup of (Jewish) slogans and stage no. 2 of (Jewish) defense: Personal attacks, only prove how much correct I was saying that you have grown up in Jewish environment right here in America. To take you outside of your stuporous bubble, plenty of non-Jewish documents would have to be reviewed, what you will never do. But, maybe it would help you if I started some thinking process of you by asking a simple and your own question: "Who made you give up on God?"

.:webmaster:. said...

Bob,

Your antisemitism is apparent, but blanket, unsupported accusations of the sort you are making are at the very least irritating. If you have any verifiable evidence that we can examine to support your paranoid conspiratorial thinking, please specifically delineate those items. If, however, all you have is a general racial hatred you feel compelled to propagate, this isn't the place for that.

I hope I've made myself clear.

InteGR7 said...

Wow... lots of thoughts floating around... from way back in April nonetheless. Very cool =)!

One thing that I'd have to point out is that while this started off as a discussion atheism and truth... bob's comments actually reflect a view that I would hope that the majority of Christians do not believe. Ie. that the Jews, who we believe were God's chosen people, are responsible for half the upheaval of the Middle ages... (believe that antisemitism (sp?) is quite vile... and I do regret that some Christians forget what we're meant to be living for... and take it out on the "oppressors" of Christ... *sigh)

However to get back to the original topic, and because I'm studying this at the moment as part of my job, I thought I'd try my hardest to answer some of the comments that have been made here.

Firstly in regards to all of the comments to healtheland. While I don't know what he/she was asking exactly, I can ask the same question.

Evolution, by its very nature, believes that all of nature evolved, through the betterment of the following generation to the next, into the world that we have today. However by its very nature, Evolution MUST have a starting point at which to begin their process. (Also known as the Origin of Life). Thus the question, where did consciousness, or LIFE, (the thing that causes us to live AND reason) come from?

Evolutionist (scientist or not) will tell you that they do not have a concrete or agreed upon theory for WHAT exactly this origin of life is. Nor do they have a clear theory on how the physical world (gravity, laws of thermodynamics) came to be.

While you may say that Christians are dogmatic (and I would be inclined to agree with you, I AM fairly stubborn a lot of the time). I would have to point out that believing that the answer is out there, though not found, requires equally, if not MORE faith than Christianity, which already has an answer.

And to say that "God did it" is truly what we believe. However even if you don't believe in the existence of a God who you can not see, I would challenge YOU to reconsider your own pre-conceptions. You believe in a history that you never witnessed, a globe that only a very few people have seen (and taken pictures of true), a universe who none of us truly can understand.

Can you not also take that skepticism and turn it around? As a Christian I have searched for the truth for a long time. While I do admit there are some times where I do not know the answer... the search for the truth is just that, a continuous search, following the path that I have chosen based on the facts at hand... and I continue to re-assess the facts, as Christians are supposed to do (it's in the Bible).

Hmm, that was fairly long... perhaps I'll stop here. If anyone has any questions, drop me a message or comment in any of my blogs.

AtheistToothFairy said...

InteGR7 wrote:
Evolutionist (scientist or not) will tell you that they do not have a concrete or agreed upon theory for WHAT exactly this origin of life is. Nor do they have a clear theory on how the physical world (gravity, laws of thermodynamics) came to be.
---
InteGR7,

Why is this such a problem for you?
How many things have been discovered, that were once upon a time, unknowns?
Yet, the human race survived without knowing what yet was to be discovered.

While most of us have a curiosity to seek answers to things unknown, not all of us are so determined to come up with ANY answer, that we have to invent a god being to be the answer to those unknowns.
Some of us are okay in waiting till the answer comes from research, or even by chance alone.

God used to be the pat-answer to many little mysteries of our human past, yet one-by-one, we discovered god wasn't involved.
e.g. We no longer think lightening bolts are being thrown by a god in the clouds (well, most of us anyway).

Whether we figure something out in our lifetime or not, there is no reason to jump to a conclusion that some god-did-it.


>>While you may say that Christians are dogmatic (and I would be inclined to agree with you, I AM fairly stubborn a lot of the time). I would have to point out that believing that the answer is out there, though not found, requires equally, if not MORE faith than Christianity, which already has an answer.

I'm quite sure most of the answers are 'out there', and will one day be discovered.
However, it could be true that some things may never be solved, but again, that doesn't point to a god as an answer, for if it did, that would raise even more questions about this god's existence instead.


>>And to say that "God did it" is truly what we believe. However even if you don't believe in the existence of a God who you can not see, I would challenge YOU to reconsider your own pre-conceptions. You believe in a history that you never witnessed, a globe that only a very few people have seen (and taken pictures of true), a universe who none of us truly can understand.

Believing in documented history or that the earth is a globe, doesn't take a leap of faith, as a god belief would.
There is nothing extraordinary about the fact that we live on a globe, versus a biblical flat earth, nor does the non-god basic human history employ a need for an extraordinary beliefs either.
Such things as these, are far easier to verify and frankly swallow, than something un-natural, such as ANY god being.
So I think your comparison here is greatly well, lacking, don't you agree?

>>Can you not also take that skepticism and turn it around? As a Christian I have searched for the truth for a long time. While I do admit there are some times where I do not know the answer... the search for the truth is just that, a continuous search, following the path that I have chosen based on the facts at hand... and I continue to re-assess the facts, as Christians are supposed to do (it's in the Bible).

What you fail to see my friend, is that most of us here once had that turned-around skepticism that you presently have.
I once was very skeptical that evolution was valid, for instance.
I once was skeptical that the universe could exists without a god who made it.

So I've been on both sides of this 'coin', but have you?

Until I see some darn good evidence to support the bible god existence, then I have to go with the majority of evidence which clearly indicates such a being is man-made and only lives in the minds of those who wish a god to exist.

In the search for 'truth', why would you feel it's valid to take a path that defies any natural explanation?
Why would you chose to ignore the lack of evidence for your god/jesus.
Why doesn't it bother you that outside your bible, you have no means to verify this jesus lived the life the bible makes claim to?
Such a god-on-earth should and WOULD, have volumes written about him from secular history, but alas, does not.

Any god being worth his/her salt, would be still doing miracles today that would defy human explanation, but no such miracles ever occur in our modern times.
To compensate for this problem, xtians will spread rumors of such miracles, yet if they indeed were of reality, the news media would be reporting them daily I should think.

So sure, if you wish to believe in this god on faith alone, then be my guest.
However, until you have more than emotions for evidence of your god, then don't expect us to follow in your chosen path.
For those who have a critical way of thinking and seek real evidence before making conclusions, we can never believe in things unseen/unproven without at least some circumstantial evidence on the table.
Alas, your bible god has clearly chosen not to provide any evidence of his existence, outside the mind of a xtian believer.

So you can feel sorry for all of us here, but keep in mind that we also feel sorry for you to, for you have chose a path in life that we see as foolish. A quest that is no better than the old horse and carrot trick, where the horse will never reach that carrot, but doesn't know it and so keeps trying to get it.
You'll keep trying to reach your god, but the only thing you'll touch of your god, is all an illusion that your own mind develops to make you feel good.

One last thing, please keep in mind that all of us once held the god belief that you presently do. In our god days, we would have been just as stubborn as you are about this god's reality to.
If I were in your shoes, I'd certainly be wondering what discovery we all made that made us realize we were living a lie for your imaginary god.

If you really are trying to discover the truth of reality, then you'll start looking outside your faith to see if your god exists in every realm one can search through.
i.e. Try reading a history of where your bible came from, followed by a hunt to prove your jesus every walked this earth and that's just for starters.


ATF (Who thinks this xtian has a long long way to go in their search for truth, just as we once all did)

.:webmaster:. said...

"ATF (Who thinks this xtian has a long long way to go in their search for truth, just as we once all did)"

Yeah, been there -- done that.

I think what finally helped me see through the Creationism rhetoric was understanding that regardless of my lack of knowledge or comprehension of the theory of evolution, the discussion isn't an either/or proposition. In other words, even if evolution could be shown to be completely false, Creationism doesn't become true by default. Creationism isn't proved true by poking holes in a layman's understanding of evolution. Creationism needs to compete by offering evidence in support of its claims.

Evidence is not, "Look around! How could everything be the way it is unless it was created by an intelligent being. Oh, and by the way, the Bible tells us that intelligent being's name."

"Evolution is weird, therefore God exists," is terrible logic.

The other thing that helped me was finally wrapping my head around the fact that saying "God did it" didn't provide any real answers. Since God is presented as existing outside of known reality, then anything HE did was outside examination. If "God did it" then whatever "it" was would remain outside of our ability to ever comprehend it.

So, in other words, the answer "God did it" is materially the same as "I don't know." God knows, but I don't, and I can never know, because God and His ways are unsearchable.

Evidently "I don't know" is anathema to many people; they prefer "God knows." In the end those people still don't personally know anything more than the honest "I don't know," but it feels better for them to think that someone very powerful out there knows what the heck is going on. It's like a parent in the sky for the scared little child inside.

InteGR7 said...

Hey ATF, webmaster

It's interesting that you both should say what you have. You know, my goal here, is not to attempt to convert you to Christianity over the internet, as amazing as that might seem to you. I know that it's impossible, as finding Christ isn't through logic alone.

What I'm trying to show you is nothing more than this. You say that Christians believe that "god did it" as an answer to not knowing, or not being able to explain. My simple answer is that IF that is true, you should afford us the same weight to our arguments that you give yourself.

ATF wrote:
"Why is this such a problem for you?
How many things have been discovered, that were once upon a time, unknowns?
Yet, the human race survived without knowing what yet was to be discovered."

Webmaster wrote:
"I think what finally helped me see through the Creationism rhetoric was understanding that regardless of my lack of knowledge or comprehension of the theory of evolution, the discussion isn't an either/or proposition. In other words, even if evolution could be shown to be completely false, Creationism doesn't become true by default."

Might this not also apply to Christianity? If you don't understand evolution, it doesn't mean Christianity is true... that's absolutely correct... however if you don't understand Christianity, it doesn't make it inherently wrong either.

This "God delusion" that you seem so fond of pointing out... truly we can not comprehend a God that vast or that big... much like a tree can not comprehend a human, nor an ant understand the complexities of a civilization. However just because that is so "impossible" now, doesn't mean that it's not possible. Similar to what you were saying, before lightning was discovered, people thought that it was the work of gods. Now science has explained that it comes from electrons. To the greeks, they had no comprehension of electrons. Anyone in that day would would have suggested something like that would have been denounced as a lunatic.

Similarly science today can only show a certain amount of evidence, only prove so much. Could it not be that one day we become so advanced that we discover God? While I don't believe that... you almost have to... based on your current line of thinking. Thus you can't discount him so easily.

Secondly... regarding history.

ATF wrote:

"Believing in documented history or that the earth is a globe, doesn't take a leap of faith, as a god belief would."


Do you know how "documented" history truly is? Has your search for the truth taken you to the archeological sites, or to research the veracity of history itself? Have you researched the number of non-biblical references there are to Jesus? Did you know that there are more than the number of total references to Alexander the Great? (I'm talking about documents with accepted academic veracity). History itself is so slanted, polarized and biased, that almost everything we know about the past is accepted purely on faith. A faith in the unseen and unknown. Just because god is unseen and unknown doesn't mean that we can't consider the possibility that he might exist. You might say that history (ie the things that have happened in the past) are completely ordinary and plausible. Well in conjuncture with what we known NOW, is not God as equally plausible? Does not faith combined with the current miracle of creation suggest (I don't even say demand) that there is a God? I don't even mean the God of the Bible... I'm just talking about a god, or an intelligent design. See if you can't even accept THAT possibility, that I would say that you, not I am being more dogmatic and blind in your rejection of truth.

Lastly... regarding miracles.

ATF wrote
"Any god being worth his/her salt, would be still doing miracles today that would defy human explanation, but no such miracles ever occur in our modern times.
To compensate for this problem, xtians will spread rumors of such miracles, yet if they indeed were of reality, the news media would be reporting them daily I should think."

If you truly were a Christian, you would know the answer to this statement. However I'll explain it to those of you who don't.

If God showed up on earth, send miracles, or anything of that nature... what would happen? The world would turn to him, because they have seen the wonders of the God's power. Out of fear, out of wonder, out of greed... for whatever reason. However if that were to happen, then (I believe) that God would have just created man to live like that anyway. We would be born without free will and would serve God from the moment of our birth.

That defeats the reason that (I believe) God created us. He wants us to choose him willingly, out of love... he doesn't want robots. (The debate on why to then create us is a completely different one that I can answer, but it's a bit late)

Now while you might not believe what I believe... that does answer the question... why do we not see miracles day in day out? Because God won't impose himself on people who do not genuinely desire to see him move. If you don't believe me, I urge you to try it out. If you really want to search for the truth, ask him to reveal himself to you... and if you truly are seeking for the answer and the truth of this life (see "not sarcastic, close minded or already decided")... I promise that he will.

.:webmaster:. said...

Integr7,

Bible God has become the God of the Gaps. As science finds natural explanations for things like lightening, thunder, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, floods, disease, etc., God has had to retreat into the gaps of our ignorance.

As long as we remain ignorant of some things, Bible God will have a place to retreat.

Webmaster wrote:
"I think what finally helped me see through the Creationism rhetoric was understanding that regardless of my lack of knowledge or comprehension of the theory of evolution, the discussion isn't an either/or proposition. In other words, even if evolution could be shown to be completely false, Creationism doesn't become true by default."


Integr7 wrote, "Might this not also apply to Christianity? If you don't understand evolution, it doesn't mean Christianity is true... that's absolutely correct... however if you don't understand Christianity, it doesn't make it inherently wrong either."

Bad comparison. What you should have written is "If Creationism is shown to be false, that doesn't make Evolution true by default. And with that, I'd agree. Neither stand s by default because the other falls. Each must demonstrate its veracity with testable evidence.

Creationism is as possible or reasonable an answer for our ignorance as any other, but is it the most plausible or likely answer? Since so many mysteries once attributed to deity have been discovered to be the results of natural, mindless forces, it seems quite likely many more of the world's mysteries will revealed by science and relegated to the natural world.

If science one day discovered "God," then "God" would no longer be supernatural. Only the natural can be discovered by science. And if you say you can discover the supernatural, you're deceived. You are natural, and all you can hope to connect with is the natural. You can believe the emotions, feelings, visions, or ecstatic experiences are supernatural, but in reality they all have physiological explanations. If your brain were removed from your body, you'd have no spiritual experiences at all. All "spiritual" experiences occur within the brain.

You also said God doesn't want robots. I challenge you to quote the Bible verse that supports that position. If you are correct that God doesn't want robots, what he apparently does want is billions upon billions of hapless human beings suffering in everlasting torment for the horrific sin of unbelief.

It's a funny myth, but I believed it myself for years. Now it all seems so silly.

Astreja said...

Integr7: "you should afford us the same weight to our arguments that you give yourself."

Uh, no. I see no reason for giving your religion's creation-fairytale equal weight with science because you simply don't have the data to justify your position.

How would you like it if *I* insisted that the Norse creation myth should be put on an equal footing, too?

"Yes, folks... When the frost melted, a cow named Audhumla licked the first man out of a block of ice..."

Not! As much as I love and honour My ancestors, I think I'll look for My answers in physics, chemistry and biology.

stronger now said...

"Just because god is unseen and unknown doesn't mean that we can't consider the possibility that he might exist."

Considering a possibility, is a far cry from believeing in it. One can consider the possibility of there existing an alien life form that will come to earth someday to give us all the sex and beer we could ever want. Believeing that it will happen is another matter. It would be impractical to believe it and make descisions based on this belief.

Wouldn't you agree? If so, please explain why you agree.

"Because God won't impose himself on people who do not genuinely desire to see him move."

Given the current news story of a little girl who died while the parents genuinely desired god to impose/move, it seems that he won't impose/move no matter what one desires or how genuine and urgent their desire is. Why is that again?

Could it be that a god doesn't exist?

Or perhaps they were praying to the wrong one. Or they weren't praying the proper way. Or(insert typical religious dogmatic responses here). My point is to show you how very quickly a god belief turns to dogmatic assertions and excuses to cover for "his" non-movement in reality. As in, the whole "genuine desire" cop-out. If one doesn't get a god imposed "move" in his or her life it's always easier to claim they didn't desire it enough or with enough faith or something else that gets your claim of a god off the hook.

Another thing that you seem to have forgotten, christian, is that the biblegod had NO problem imposing his will according to the bible. Egypt, the ten plagues, remember? Also in that fancy little tale we see god "hardening the heart" of the pharaoh just as he was about to relent and do what moses asked. But noooo! Your god couldn't stand for pharaoh making up his own mind so he put the smack-down on his free will, just so he could screw with everyone a little bit longer, really make 'em suffer.

"If you don't believe me, I urge you to try it out."

I, for one, genuinely desired the biblegod's imposition in my life when I was a christian and needed it. Your promise failed before you even made it.

AtheistToothFairy said...

InteGR7 wrote:
Hey ATF, webmaster
Might this not also apply to Christianity? If you don't understand evolution, it doesn't mean Christianity is true... that's absolutely correct... however if you don't understand Christianity, it doesn't make it inherently wrong either.

----
Integr7,

I'm not really sure what you mean by "however if you don't understand Christianity"
That statement would imply that we didn't understand Christianity when we were xtians, or at least, thought we had at the time.

The real problem though, is that Christianity is impossible to understand, if one uses the only book available to learn about it; The Bible.
If this were not true, then we wouldn't have 30,000 sects all disagreeing what those Scriptures are suppose to mean.

Each sect, each person, develops their own understanding of what they believe the bible say's.
For this very reason, you most likely will not be in harmony with another xtian on this website, as we've seen demonstrated time and time again. Right MARC?

What YOU believe the bible say's is your own interpretation of it.
Therefore, even if your xtian god does exists, he's not concerned enough to give us a current update of your babble book, nor does this Holy Spook of his, provide any harmony with the answers it is claimed to give every saved xtian.

In a nutshell, it's a totally hopeless situation, to reconcile your trusted bible book.

>>To the greeks, they had no comprehension of electrons. Anyone in that day would would have suggested something like that would have been denounced as a lunatic.

There is a natural progression in new discoveries. Meaning, huge leaps in knowledge are quite rare. Baby steps are the norm in us gaining knowledge of how things work.

The Greeks would have been skipping several necessary science-acquisition-steps to assert such an electron possibility. They didn't have the technology in other area's to prove/disprove electrons.

While the Greeks would have had no means to verify an electron theory, the relatively huge step here for them to assert a theory for those electrons, would have been microscopic in comparison to your assertion of a god being who created the entire huge universe and all it's life forms.
i.e. If they had made such an assertion for electrons, it would have been a mere tiny inch in jumping forward in discovery, while something like your god would be more like thousands of miles, on the same scale.

>> Could it not be that one day we become so advanced that we discover God? While I don't believe that... you almost have to... based on your current line of thinking. Thus you can't discount him so easily.

Of course, we will never discover YOUR god, in my opinion here.
Frankly, we shouldn't have to 'discover' your god, if he's real.
He should be making himself known without question in MY opinion, and until he decides to stop playing his childish hide&seek game with his creation, then I have no logical reason to just ASS-ume he's of my reality.
Therefore, I greatly discount this god of yours, for those reason plus many many others to.

>>Do you know how "documented" history truly is? Has your search for the truth taken you to the archeological sites, or to research the veracity of history itself?

One person cannot do every bit of research one would have to do in verifying every piece of common knowledge. We have to put some trust in those who make it their expertise to discover such knowledge.
However, if a piece of accepted history turns out to be incorrect, then how large is the affect on humanity from such an error.
We might have to re-write some history books if some fact is shown to be in error.
We might even have to change the credit we give to certain figures of history, but such error corrections won't change the big picture of things.

Again, history talks about things from non-mystical and very explainable events, versus your bible, which makes claims to things that are both mystical and clearly from the supernatural.


>>Have you researched the number of non-biblical references there are to Jesus?

Yes indeed, I have done that and recently to.
The FEW lame references that exist, greatly fail to prove your jesus was a living breathing person, let alone a god on earth.
More so, it's the huge lack of secular references that speaks loud about your jesus having been a figment of someone's over worked (or mushroom drugged) imagination.


>>Did you know that there are more than the number of total references to Alexander the Great? (I'm talking about documents with accepted academic veracity).

We've heard this before, as this is a common plea from your run-of-the-mill xtian apologist.
We've had xtians come in here trying to show us all this evidence, yet they never bring forth anything that can't be EASILY shot down.
Perhaps you have some special historical knowledge that you can produce to us, to show your jesus was REAL????


>>History itself is so slanted, polarized and biased, that almost everything we know about the past is accepted purely on faith. A faith in the unseen and unknown.

Even if you convinced me that half of all history we think is true today, was proven flawed, it would not prove your jesus was real, now would it.
I have a feeling that you are also prone to conspiracy theories to, aren't you?
(Just a hunch)


>> Just because god is unseen and unknown doesn't mean that we can't consider the possibility that he might exist.

I think Stronger Now explained this fairly well already to you.
If I go with this theme of yours here, then I would land up accepting thousands of unproven things that might be possible.
If you want anyone here to buy into your god, you'll have to do far better than this line of reasoning I'm afraid.


>>You might say that history (ie the things that have happened in the past) are completely ordinary and plausible.

Yes, I most certainly would agree with history being 'ordinary', which is why I won't buy into something like a magical Atlantis continent either.

>>Well in conjuncture with what we known NOW, is not God as equally plausible?

Absolutely NOT!!
In fact, our science knowledge today would make your god even far less likely than in our human past of ignorance.

How could such a being exists throughout all time, throughout the infinite space of the universe, and contain an infinite amount of knowledge, energy, and know what will occur on every date in the infinite future?
As Boomslang has pointed out countless times now (and very well I might add), there is a huge contradiction in having a god who has infinite power and the ability to foresee any future event.
Need I explain this to you?


>> Does not faith combined with the current miracle of creation suggest (I don't even say demand) that there is a God?

What 'miracle' of creation do you speak of here?
If you mean US, and our universe, then just because we don't know all the details about where it/we came from, doesn't automatically designate some god being, now does it.

>> I don't even mean the God of the Bible... I'm just talking about a god, or an intelligent design. See if you can't even accept THAT possibility, that I would say that you, not I am being more dogmatic and blind in your rejection of truth.

No, I can't accept such a possibility without at least some evidence to back it up.
Obviously, your bible book is not worthy of being counted as evidence to us here.
Perhaps you have some external evidence then?


ATF wrote
"Any god being worth his/her salt, would be still doing miracles today that would defy human explanation, but no such miracles ever occur in our modern times.
To compensate for this problem, xtians will spread rumors of such miracles, yet if they indeed were of reality, the news media would be reporting them daily I should think."

>>If God showed up on earth, send miracles, or anything of that nature... what would happen? The world would turn to him, because they have seen the wonders of the God's power. Out of fear, out of wonder, out of greed... for whatever reason. However if that were to happen, then (I believe) that God would have just created man to live like that anyway. We would be born without free will and would serve God from the moment of our birth.

Okay, let's take the idea of god showing his face to the population of earth, off the evidence table then.
If god provides evidence to his xtian believers, by answering at least some of their prayers, by healing the sick etc., then such actions should be very evident when studies are done on prayer.
Yet, if anything, such studies show praying for the sick actually has an adverse effect on them.
Also, if god will cure some cancer patients who ask him to, then why does he ignore other xtian cancer patients at the same time. Why does he ignore so many innocent children as well. Why does he NEVER restore a torn off arm or leg from ANY xtian victim?
Why doesn't he seem to heal any of his great xtian human leaders?
(A topic we once covered here in detail btw)


>>He wants us to choose him willingly, out of love... he doesn't want robots. (The debate on why to then create us is a completely different one that I can answer, but it's a bit late)

Okay, let's go with your robot idea here for shits and giggles.
Are the angels he created robots or do they have free will?
Given that Satan and his band of demons rebelled, I would assume they were given free will, yes?
So that means your god already had created some company for himself, in the form of angels who also happen to have the same free will you claim god gave us.

Answer me this then.
What does you bible say about why god felt it necessary to create corporal beings of matter and put them on a planet?
What purpose do we serve to god, that his angels couldn't have provided him?
If we are all going to become spirits after we die (in heaven or hell), then god will land up with spirit angels and spirit x-humans, right.
Am I to suppose that humans are vastly more coveted than angels are, to your god, and if so, WHY is that?

Why wouldn't your god be happy with robots. Robots who would never defy him?
Why does he need a free-willed being to worship him in the first place.
Does your god FEED off this worshipping of him, like some aliens do that we see in various sci-fi movies?
If we stop worshipping him, will your god die?

Please, explain to all of us why your god has ANY need in the first place, let alone a need to be worshipped.
If god has all those attributes you xtians cite him with, then it would make no sense that he would have a weakness to be worshipped by us lowly humans, right?

>>Now while you might not believe what I believe... that does answer the question... why do we not see miracles day in day out? Because God won't impose himself on people who do not genuinely desire to see him move.

Hey, I'll settle for indisputable proof that he takes ACTION for you xtians, in your own lives.
No, I don't mean things you could have done under your own steam, but things that only a supernatural being could have accomplished.
Got any of that kind of proof, perhaps?

>> If you don't believe me, I urge you to try it out. If you really want to search for the truth, ask him to reveal himself to you... and if you truly are seeking for the answer and the truth of this life (see "not sarcastic, close minded or already decided")... I promise that he will.

Been there, Done that, as have most of us here.
Alas, your silly god decided to snooze instead.
-OR-
Gee golly gosh, could it be, we were praying to empty space all along, hmmmm?

Tell you what, you are sure your god exists, right.
I'm willing to bet that you believe in this god for two main reasons.
1. Because you can emotionally FEEL him.
2. Because certain events in your life seem beyond random chance to you, so naturally, god-did-it.

Other than those two things my fine feathered friend, you really got ZIP to show for your efforts in your god belief.
Oh, but I'm sure your wallet is a bit lighter huh.

Face it, all your arguments here are nothing but a set of excuses you've been taught to use, or thought up yourself.
Xtians should get an award for the most excuses ever used, to bolster some supernatural claim.
For other than these excuses, your god evidence basket, is nothing but a perfect vacuum.


ATF (Who thinks this xtain should debate our other xtians, so we can finally see who has the real 'truth' about jesus)

InteGR7 said...

Wow… that was crazy! I post up one comment, and I get 3 (sorry 4) well thought out responses, that go for 10 pages (depending on font) in Word… TEN pages! I had to get my 2nd computer out to cope with my reply… I am indeed truly (and I’m certainly not being sarcastic here) honored that you would spend so much time on responding to my dissertations.

To very quickly answer some of your points

Stronger now – In reference to your Pharaoh claim. Things changed with the New Testament. The OT showed us that even with the power of God always present (I mean check out the miracles that are in our “Bible Book”) the people didn’t follow God. So, he showed us the 2nd part of plan (after illustrating WHY we needed a second part.) We (the “xtians” as you guys like to type) were meant to show the love and grace of God through our very lives… Of course that doesn’t always work… as they are a lot of “Christians” that aren’t really. It’s a sad but true fact of life. How can I make that claim? Well there are some things in the Bible that aren’t really open to interpretation, ie that we should love God and love others… or not be hypocritical.

ATF – In response to your comment about the 30,000 or what not sects: Humans aren’t the most perfect of beings… or have you not noticed that? Christians are humans too… and often let their own desires “re-interpret” the Bible. It’s not that God doesn’t care enough to correct us… but rather that people will often “ignore” the clear truth (ie the important things that I mentioned before)… and then teach others to do so as well. Plus, most of the sects are not in disagreement about the basis of our salvation … that God sent his son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. They generally nitpick over other stuff.

Also could I ask you to show me exactly what “science knowledge today would make [my] god even far less likely”?

I know the apparent contradiction between omnipotence and omniscient. Do you want me to explain to you how it works though, because surely you’ve heard the answer but simply choose not to believe it?

Lastly to respond to everyone’s comment re: Free Will, human robots and such.
I honestly don’t know why God would choose to make humanity, knowing full well that we would sin, and already having planned out how to bring us back to him. I know that he gave us the will to choose to sin (in Genesis, giving Adam and Eve a single command of what NOT to do), and that shows, to me anyway, that he didn’t create us to be robots. He wanted us to choose him, other wise our worship would be hollow. Why? I really don’t know… but that’s ok right?

However you know what I’ve realized? You guys are missing my point. Sure you’ve got good answer to many of my questions, and just by reading the ways that the four of you have answered my questions, you have similar points of view etc. What I’m really trying to show you is this. You are guilty (if you will excuse the harsh and loaded term) of the same attitudes that you accuse me of.

- You ask for concrete evidence of a supernatural God, yet you can accept a lack of evidence for the origin of life or the creation of the physical world
- Astreja, you demanded “data” to justify my position… could I see yours?
o I think we’ve already determined a distinct LACK of hard data showing how the earth came into existence… but that’s alright correct? According to Web and ATF anyway.
- You come at me with emotive and critical language, seeking to ridicule my point of view. I merely am trying to show you that what you believe is based on your PERCEPTIONS and INTEPRETATION of the facts rather than on the facts themselves. I.E. a faith.
o I have no need to convince you that I’m correct… I just want to open your own eyes to the truth… that what you believe is ALSO based on just that, belief.
o If you disagree, show me three straight out facts that prove that you’re right. Please. (That’s what I meant in my comparison Webmaster)

See, you think that I’ve coming at you from a completely “Christian” perspective. You’re actually a touch off. While most of you were once “Christian” and have seen the light… I was once like you, a Christian who had de-converted. I didn’t believe the Bible, I even had a theory for proving it false. I didn’t agree with church… I didn’t like most Christians. So don’t get me wrong… I completely understand where you guys are at, otherwise I wouldn’t be spending so much of my time trying to hold a conversation with an ever increasing number of people! = )

What changed for me, what drew me back to God, was NOT the Creation vs. Evolution debate. It wasn’t the pros vs cons of Jesus vs. Atheism, it wasn’t “feeling” God or being swept along in worship. Sure eventually I discovered all those things… and I still believe that my positions are plausible and indeed true (and we could discuss those until Jesus returns for all I know). However that’s never going to convince you that God exist. You can not find God with your mind, for he is, as someone said, not a natural being.

If you can not accept the possibility of something beyond what you can touch and see, hear or taste, feel or even sense, then that’s fine. I’m not asking you to put your minds to sleep while you come to God. I just want you to believe the very same things that you’re asking me to accept. If you can’t explain something, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be true. I’m not asking you to “therefore” believe in God. Heck no… I just want to establish that base.

I apologize for not being able to respond to everything… 10 pages is a bit tough to do in 30 - 45 minutes, and I do have a full time job plus all my church volunteering activities (it’s Sunday)… so I hope you understand. I’ll check again tonight and tomorrow though.

Integ7 (Who thinks that people should take the plank out of their own eye before pointing out the speck in their brother's)

.:webmaster:. said...

Intgr7,

If you cannot find God with your mind, then must God be found without using your mind?

Is that really what you mean? That God must be found without using the mind?

InteGR7 said...

Heh, you know very well that I'm not saying that. God is spirit, as you said supernatural, thus to find him takes more then JUST reason alone. It takes faith :)

But please do not detract from my main point.

stronger now said...

"Stronger now – In reference to your Pharaoh claim. Things changed with the New Testament."

As I said before, the dogmatic excuses just keep comeing. I offered an example of how the biblegod screws up the notion of free will by imposing his will and you're claiming that he doesn't do that anymore? You're avoiding the problem I pointed out by averting attention to something else.

To reiterate:

If, as the bible says, your god never changes and he is the same god spoken of in the old and new testament, how do you reconcile your claim that god doesn't impose upon our human free will when the example I gave you clearly shows that he does?

.:webmaster:. said...

Intgr7,

What exactly is "faith?" Isn't faith simply belief in the absense of evidence or in spite of evidence to the contrary?

Seriously! If faith exists somewhere outside of cognition, then where does it reside?

People make a decision to either believe the gospel message or not, based on individual reasoning. The idea of faith is just a way for people to admit they don't really have a good reason for believing in magical extra-dimensional entities, but they have chosen to believe in these things anyway.

Regardless of the individual conclusion drawn, all conclusions are drawn by the natural brain using the ability to reason.

The only real discussion is whether or not any of our individual reasoning is flawed.
I don't care if yours is flawed, but you seem intent on correcting mine. So, show me exactly how my reasoning is flawed in being skeptical of ancient hearsay accounts of magical events in real time and space.

InteGR7 said...

Hi Stronger,

If you read over that little paragraph again, carefully, you'll notice that I covered why exactly our God, who indeed is unchanging, changed his plan... to show us why we needed to change the plan. Otherwise we would be whining about why he doesn't show these miracles to us all the time now... as indeed many people are.

As to the hardening of his heart, Pharaoh made his choice to reject God. He had several opportunities to listen and obey... yet in the face of several miracles, he hardened his heart. So God made sure that he received the punishments for his actions, since he was proud and did not repent.

Web,

I'm not pointing out that your logic is flawed in accepting "I don't know" as your answer. There are seriously plenty of things that I don't know regarding Christianity and God.

I'm just saying that in accepting "I don't know" as your answer... you are exhibiting faith... in something that you don't know. Belief in absence of facts.

While you may tell me that I'm "believing in magical extra-dimensional entities" based on faith... and I partially am... but you're believing in "something yet to be discovered" based on the very same faith. That's all I'm trying to say really.

boomSLANG said...

Intgr7... God is spirit, as you said supernatural, thus to find him takes more then JUST reason alone. It takes faith :)

For our benefit, would you please tell us once and for all - preferably in concise language - exactly what a "spirit" is?

Mind you, if, whatever this "thing" is, it is metaphysical(as "supernatural" implies), then where is the material evidence that substantiates the existence of this immaterial "thing" you speak of?... and what apparatus or "senses" do you use to detect the existence of said "thingie"?

(And notice, this isn't an inquiry to learn what "spirit" is not..i.e.. "God is not of this world".."God does not interfere with our free will" etc,. yada, yada)

Intgr7 adds...But please do not detract from my main point.

If your main point is "Faith", then you literally have no point, except where personal, individual beliefs are concerned. This is because, with "Faith", there is an infinite list of things that can be accepted as "True", that is, if "Faith" means believing even in lack of evidence; believing in spite of being uncertain. After all, that is the whole premise of "Faith".

If "Faith" has some other definition that I'm not aware of, I'm eager to learn what it "really" means, as is the Webmaster, which, I suspect is why he asked you as well.

Waiting.

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boomSLANG said...

Intgr7...I know the apparent contradiction between omnipotence and omniscient. Do you want me to explain to you how it works though, because surely you’ve heard the answer but simply choose not to believe it?

Yes, yes!..please do explain---because if you can do so and still be consistant with logic, then you have solved an age-old enigma.

Better yet, let's make it easy for you. I'll be convinced if you would please just reason through the following hypothetical senario, a senario where we'll presume you are both "omniscient", and "omnipotent". Here it is:

As of this very second, and for an infinite time previous to this second, you have, and have had, the precise knowledge that next Monday at 3:00 in the afternoon, you will be having coffee with your best friend, and giving him/her some advice that you "know" they'll need. 'Follow? Okay, to be clear---again, you'll be meeting and having coffee at that precise moment, because you have "decided", based on your knowledge of the future set of ALL events("omniscience"), that that's what you will do. 'Still with me? Any objections?

Okay, then we should further be able to agree that this decision is ultimately what you will(must) do, because if it were negotiable, then obviously, you didn't "know" for certain what you would ultimately do in a situation that was predetermined, right?(rhetorically asked)

Thus, if it's non-negotiable, then you are obviously powerless to change your mind, which, remember, is a position that was/is based on your alleged "knowledge" of the future. In other words, you are NOT a being with "free will".

Bottom line: You cannot have it both ways, and neither can your biblegod(assuming, of course, that said being exists)

InteGR7 said...

Hi there boomslang, I've heard a little bit about you, good to see that you've dropped in to chat.

I believe, if you read over my point regarding spirit (about 2 of my posts up) I did mention that you can't really use your material senses to understand a immaterial God... and I re-iterated my point in the passage that you quoted... so I don't really see much of a point of repeating myself... however because I'm nice...

You can not sense God through your five sense, nor through material "apparatus". Sure I could "claim" that I feel God, that he speaks to me, that I hear his voice through his Word etc etc... however that's not what you're looking for it is? How bout this then? I don't have hard material evidence to back up an immaterial God. Happy? I mean why would I even need it? I don't know exactly what spirit is... does that mean I'm delusional or illogical? Or merely like yourselves, who don't have all the answers.

However that is where I'm asking you not to detract from my main point... which is indeed faith. I really wish people who replied to my posts would actually read them, so I don't have to repeat myself. All throughout this entire conversation every single person (who sides against us Christians) has said that "just because we do not know the answer, does not mean that "god has done it" " So I say in response merely this... if you can accept that there are areas in your belief that you just "don't know" ... does that not make what you believe equally a faith?

No one has yet to answer that point... they seem content to pick holes in my lack of facts... which is the same as your lack of facts. See? We both have a faith = )

Ok, now in response so your 2nd post about the double omni's... your example was fairly specific, and somewhat complicated, but I totally get your point. However I would answer it in two ways.

A: In order for this paradox TO exist, we must accept that fact that omniscient and omnipotence are beyond what we can rationalize... because we do not have those traits ... which is sorta like how a tree can not rationalize the thoughts or minds of a human.. for example. However I'm aware that this might not satisfy you, so I'll try a slightly, if incomplete, logical answer.

B: In said situation, you are not powerless to change your decision, rather omniscient is not merely knowing what WILL happen... but what CAN happen, and what can happen as a result. Thus I know what will happen if I give the advice, however I know what will happen if I don't, so the choice is still open to me, and I already know what choice I will make, I merely do not choose to take it. It's not about being powerless, but choosing to consciously limit myself to the choice that I have made before.

However there are still holes in that, and thus I stand by my point A: Unless you're omniscient and omnipotent yourself, I don't see how you could possibly tell me that it's impossible. It's like trying to comprehend eternity... your head literally starts to hurt sometimes.

Anyway, could I please make a plea, to all of you, to read my point regarding faith carefully. I would very much like to hear what you have to say about your own faith. Thanks, hope you've had a good weekend... mine was pretty cruddy... *sigh.

boomSLANG said...

Intgr7...Hi there boomslang, I've heard a little bit about you..

Marvelous!... so then you know that while I generally consider attempts at dimplomacy a good thing, dimplomacy, itself, does not a good argument make. If you didn't hear that part "about me", you know it now.

Intgr7...good to see that you've dropped in to chat.

Okay, thanks, but actually, it's quite the contrary--you have "dropped in" here; you are the "guest" here on this website, a website which as been set-up and designated for people who formerly believed "Christianity".

Intgr7...I believe, if you read over my point regarding spirit (about 2 of my posts up) I did mention that you can't really use your material senses to understand a immaterial God...

Okay, thanks. But as of right now, what do you mean by the word "understand"? Does that imply a material "connection" of some sort? Or is it intuition("gut instinct")? In any event, I believe you are being equivocal here. And when you say that you "can't really" do this, that, or the other thing, this too, is equivocation, in my book.

Look, either you can somehow detect a meta-physical realm with your limited physical senses(in which case, hard, physical evidence is possible); or you cannot detect said meta-physical realm(in which case, your only alternative is "faith")

This, IMO, is the crux of issue, and it is one that needs to be cleared-up from the onset of these discussions, because in my experience, the "faithful" inevitably want to have it both ways. You seem to be trying this right now, in fact.

You said...You can not sense God through your five sense, nor through material "apparatus".

you then said...

Sure I could "claim" that I feel God, that he speaks to me, that I hear his voice through his Word etc etc

Yes, yes, of course...and likewise, I could "claim" that I still keep in touch with my invisible playmate from my childhood, and/or, that I have a magic horseshoe that brings me good luck. In either, or both cases, I'd wager that you'd require some type of evidence from me before you could accept such things as "truth", yes?

You reluctantly concede... I don't have hard material evidence to back up an immaterial God. Happy?

Actually, no, not until I read an equally unequivocal admission that your views on the metaphysical, namely, your religious views, are purely opinion. To be honest, I'm doubtful that you will. We'll see.

Intgr7...I mean why would I even need it[evidence]? I don't know exactly what spirit is...

You evidently know enough about a "spirit" to seek/desire others to conform to, and/or, adopt your beliefs about said "thing". And if so, that sufficiently answers your first question in the above-quoted.

Intgr7...does that[lack of evidence] mean I'm delusional or illogical? Or merely like yourselves, who don't have all the answers

Again, to interject the fact that no person has "all the answers" sets up, and attacks, a strawman. Existence exists. That is a mind-independent reality. The current most reliable method for determining what is consistant with this reality, is the scientific method, which, is self-correcting, BTW. If you assert that "faith" is a better or equally sufficient way for determining what is consistant with this reality, then you are implicitly letting people who I'm quite certain you would determine are "delusional", determine reality. See the conflict? Again, "faith" is the culprit.

Intgr7...if you can accept that there are areas in your belief that you just "don't know" ... does that not make what you believe equally a faith?

*By your own logic, you cannot know for certain whether "Allah", or any other "spiritual" exists, or not. And let's remember, people believe in said being on "faith".

So honestly, you "don't know"; you CAN'T "know", which is a form of agnosticism. 'Fair enough?

Okay, if so, then to answer your question---the one that you claim everyone keeps dodging---do you, Intgr7, exercise "faith" to deny the existence of "Allah", or any other "spiritual" god throughout history? Answer that honestly, then you have the answer to your question.

Intgr7...No one has yet to answer that point... they seem content to pick holes in my lack of facts... which is the same as your lack of facts. See? We both have a faith = )

Um, no, that "tit-for-tat" argument is fallacious reasoning. Reread *here, above.

you attempt...A: In order for this paradox TO exist, we must accept that fact that omniscient and omnipotence are beyond what we can rationalize... because we do not have those traits ... which is sorta like how a tree can not rationalize the thoughts or minds of a human.. for example. However I'm aware that this might not satisfy you, so I'll try a slightly, if incomplete, logical answer.

Well good, then. We agree that explanation "A" is lacking. Actually, it fails quite miserably. You are merely speculating that the impossible can be possible some other way than "logically".

Let's see what you have for "B"....

Intgr7...B: In said situation, you are not powerless to change your decision, rather omniscient is not merely knowing what WILL happen... but what CAN happen, and what can happen as a result.

Yes, yes, a given....i.e..you know the potential list of possibilities. However, that is IRRELEVANT, because you also KNOW, a priori, what the ultimately final result will be, per your "omniscience". If not, then you didn't know the outcome to begin with.

Intgr7...I already know what choice I will make, I merely do not choose to take it.

Forgive me, but that statement is utterly non-sensical.

Intgr7...It's not about being powerless, but choosing to consciously limit myself to the choice that I have made before.[bold added]

This is contradictory. If you are limited in ANY capacity, then you forfeit your "omnipotence". Good grief...'that error was pretty blatant.

Intgr7...However there are still holes in that, and thus I stand by my point A: Unless you're omniscient and omnipotent yourself, I don't see how you could possibly tell me that it's impossible. It's like trying to comprehend eternity... your head literally starts to hurt sometimes.

Explanation "A" is as equally inadaquate as explanation "B", for the reasons explained. You are simply taking the dilemma/conflict out of its context, and asserting that the impossible becomes possible because the alleged "omnipotence" makes doing the impossible possible. That's like me asserting that square circles exist on some other planet that we "might not" know about. That is a cop-out.

Intgr7...Anyway, could I please make a plea, to all of you, to read my point regarding faith carefully. I would very much like to hear what you have to say about your own faith.

I would like to make a plea to you, too. Please stop telling us that non-belief, and/or, a position of neutrality, is a "faith". It is not. Non-belief is not the counter-part to "faith-based" religious convictions, as you evidently would love for us all to believe. Thanks.

.:webmaster:. said...

Integr7 wrote, "I'm just saying that in accepting "I don't know" as your answer... you are exhibiting faith... in something that you don't know. Belief in absence of facts."

I'm sorry, but that's just stupid. "I don't know" is a statement of fact.

For instance, is this statement true or false: "In algebraic number theory, these commonly understood integers, embedded in the field of rational numbers, are referred to as rational integers to distinguish them from the more broadly defined algebraic integers."

If I were honest here, I'd have to answer, "I don't know!"

Get it? When you don't know something, it is not a "belief" that you don't know, you just honestly don't know.

I don't have a faith in "I don't know," it's simply the truth. And the truth of the matter is, NO ONE KNOWS how the universe began if it even did begin! NO ONE! Not even you!

To claim that GOD DID IT provides absolutely no insight into how the universe began and adds the assumption into the mix a god, for which there is no evidence.

We once didn't know what caused thunder and lightning, so we attributed those things to a god. Now we know better. Right now we don't know how the universe began, so people are attributing its supposed beginning to a god. As I stated earlier, God keeps retreating into the recesses of our ignorance. As we accumulate more knowledge (which is the actual opposite of "I don't know" instead of faith or belief as you are saying) God is routed from his roost and has to find another dark cave of ignorance in which to camp out.

I do not believe in "something yet to be discovered." I don't know if we'll ever ferret out all the mysteries of the universe, but in the face of mystery, merely retreating into superstition which offers no advancement to understanding, and in fact tells us we can never, ever understand because everything only exists thanks to a meta-natural cast of characters beyond all comprehension (though how any of us could be talking about this at all if it is beyond comprehension) is just plain infantile.

I went to bed Christmas Eve and when I woke up, presents were under the tree. Therefore, Santa exists!

stronger now said...

"If you read over that little paragraph again, carefully, you'll notice that I covered why exactly our God, who indeed is unchanging, changed his plan.."

O.k. There's some good fodder for the question cannon right there.

But this seems a little bit more interesting if not disingenuous:

"As to the hardening of his heart, Pharaoh made his choice to reject God."

While it does say in the bible that the pharaoh did harden his own heart from time to time, it also states quite clearly that god did it for him on several occasions.

Exodus 10
"1And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him..."

Your god did indeed disregard the pharaoh's free will and not just once...

...So, if your god does want people to disobey him on occasion, and makes sure he will be disobeyed by thwarting the free will of humans, he has been culpable for human sin. And not just once.

Not that I believe in any of that. But to try and make sense of it and paint your god in the greatest light ever, is silly.


Re-read that story over again. Only, this time, how about you actually read what it says without the rose colored goodie god glasses.

Your either being dishonest with us and yourself, or you honestly don't realize what the bible really says about your god.

Oh, and you still haven't explained why you think your god doesn't still screw with people's free will. Where is that explained in the "new plan"(NT) again?

AtheistToothFairy said...

InteGR7 wrote:
ATF – In response to your comment about the 30,000 or what not sects: Humans aren’t the most perfect of beings… or have you not noticed that? Christians are humans too… and often let their own desires “re-interpret” the Bible. It’s not that God doesn’t care enough to correct us… but rather that people will often “ignore” the clear truth (ie the important things that I mentioned before)… and then teach others to do so as well
--------
Integr7,

First, about the (too) many xtians sects we have today.

If god created every human life (as I assume you believe he does?), did he not realize that he would need to 'compensate' his written words for these human shortcomings you pointed out?
I would think he would have known a method to accomplish that feat, or is he not OMNI-everything anymore?
Perhaps god should have hired a really good lawyer to help him write his words, so he would have a far better chance of being crystal clear to us, in his writings?

As far as having the ability to understand these god-words, without adding a personal flavor to them, let me say this.

Many of us here can tell you, that we've had so many 'true-xtians' come in here that I've lost count now.
Each so called 'true-xtian' is certain that all the churches pollute god's word and that they alone have discovered the correct and unique understanding of what god intended the bible to say to us.

So I have to assume that you have been given some unique understanding of the bible, that disagrees with most/all major xtian sects, yes?

I have to wonder two things then:
1. How would you fare in a debate against the other true xtians who have come in here, assuring us heathens that they alone also know the correct version of god's word?
2. Why would god provide YOU with this unique understanding, all while ignoring the vast majority of other xtians who worship him?

In the end, how would we know with any certainty that your interpretation of bible scripture was correct, versus what the other true xtians would proclaim to us?
Unless your god desires to make himself known to us in other credible way's, then what we have is your idea's pitted against the many other true xtians, right.

Frankly, I think if your god exists, then he's not being very forthcoming about his true messages to his creation.
Personally, this god should at least provide us with an update of his bible, don't you think?
I mean heck, the darn thing is 2000 years old already.
It's long overdue, without a doubt.


Then later you added......

"In order for this paradox TO exist, we must accept that fact that omniscient and omnipotence are beyond what we can rationalize... because we do not have those traits ... which is sorta like how a tree can not rationalize the thoughts or minds of a human"

So if I said that this tree can't rationalize the mind of an alien being from another planet, does that then mean that this alien being actually exist now?

What you're doing here is creating a fictitious being, then rendering it with some supernatural attributes that are deemed to be beyond human comprehension.
Then you're saying we should believe this being now exists, solely on the grounds that we can never comprehend said being.

The problem here is that you convinced yourself (somehow) that such a super being exist, all without a shred of evidence to show it's existence; even to yourself.
Like all xtians do, when it's pointed out to you that your being's super powers have a built in limitation, you pull out the xtian joker-card that say's we can't comprehend this god's abilities.

This is like Carl Sagan's example of the invisible dragon a man keeps in his garage.

The dragon of course is invisible, so no one can see it.
The dragon breathes fire, but no one can't detect this fire, nor the heat from it.
The skeptic in the story keeps trying to find evidence for this dragon, but each time the owner of the dragon assigns a new attribute to his dragon, that makes it even more undetectable, yet all the while, insisting the dragon really exists.

Your god is much the same as this dragon story.
Anytime we use reason or logic to paint this god into the non-existence corner, xtians will once again pull out that joker-card and say we can't possible understand this quality about god.

There really is a very simple reason why god needs all this buffering from xtians and that is because your god can't exists, as advertised by your bible book.

You would do well to find evidence for your god, instead of just assuming he's of reality.
You said you had done that once before in your life, but I find it difficult to believe that you used any significant rationale to reach that non-god conclusion.
I think instead, that you just emotionally decided that god didn't exist and later something changed in your life where you 'needed' god to be real again, so he became so.

In both cases here, you formed your opinion without evidence to back it up.
Both these opinions, god vs no god, were made for emotional reasons alone.

If you really did conclude the no-god option using your head, then please tell us what your former reasoning was that let you reach this no-god conclusion you once held.
Frankly, I have yet to see any ex-xtian or atheist who made their conclusion from logic and reason, ever go back to having faith again in your god.
This for me, would indeed be a first.


ATF (Who has to go feed the invisible dragon now, before it burns down the house with it's undetectable fire)

InteGR7 said...

*sigh... you guys are somewhat frustrating. Heh, not because you don't agree with me... that's totally cool. However you accuse Christians of being dogmatic and narrow minded... yet all I read from the vast majority of your answers is a complete inability to even consider another person's view, weigh it and decide its validity. You claim that you look for truth, yet you are equally religious in your denunciations of my "religion". Most of the time is feels that you don't even try to extrapolate on what I'm saying... you know because I don't have all the time in the world to respond to 4 different (yet similar) arguments.

Stronger - I'll answer your questions first, since you deal with the Bible.

Did you not read what I wrote? Obviously God hardened Pharaoh's heart... it's right there in the Bible... did you notice how he didn't do it first? Pharaoh did it several times... all on his own... and so had to pay the punishment for that. Then God hardened Pharaoh's heart to ensure that the full measure of God's glory would be displayed... not because he was interfering with free will, but because Pharaoh had already made the choice. Free will isn't some unlimited chances pass... it says in Revelations that there will come a time where people will WANT to become Christians... but it will be too late. They will have had their choice... had plenty of opportunities to see the light... but they will choose to reject God.

I do read the Scriptures carefully, and I do have God glasses... but they aren't rose colored, they are quite analytical.

Also regarding the New Testament - I've never said that God doesn't "screw" with people free will NOW... cause he never did. As I said before ... and please don't make me repeat myself, free will is not an unlimited free chance pass. By sending his Son, Jesus, God created a way that we can all have relationship with him. That's the new plan. No longer would God be an outside force, but he would live in our hearts. - but most of you guys don't believe that... so please feel free to ignore it... I just was telling Stronger how the New plan was different than the old.

Now Web -

Yes... you don't know. Yet you still go on living. Whether subconsciously or not you have placed your beliefs in something unseen and unknown to understand why you're here... how this earth came to be. Not knowing is not a position of neutrality... it's merely believing something other then what currently IS known.

And I've said before, I shouldn't need evidence for a God if you refuse to provide evidence that he doesn't exist... or even that there is an alternative... I'd take that too. Once you guys start providing me with those facts, I will start providing you with mine ;)

ATF and Boom... sorry I have an appointment atm, I'll be back to respond to you guys later this afternoon.

.:webmaster:. said...

Intgr7 wrote, "However you accuse Christians of being dogmatic and narrow minded... yet all I read from the vast majority of your answers is a complete inability to even consider another person's view, weigh it and decide its validity."

Intgr7, many of us here were Christians for quite some time before coming to our present position in life. Those of us who were Christians not only carefully considered the Christian viewpoint, we had fully accepted the Christian viewpoint. At some point later on in life, we weighed that viewpoint again and found it wanting in substance.

I would ask you, have you read anything of note that contradicts your viewpoint? If so, I'd love to know the authors' names.

Intgr7 wrote, "Whether subconsciously or not you have placed your beliefs in something unseen and unknown to understand why you're here... how this earth came to be. Not knowing is not a position of neutrality... it's merely believing something other then what currently IS known."

That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. You have no idea what I am thinking or what goes in my subconscious. That is apologetic clap-trap and makes you sound like stupid.

Let me illustrate: Your beliefs in a magical daddy in the sky, Intgr7, belie a deep-seated psychological problem with your father. His love or his approval eluded your grasp, or perhaps he abused you, and you deeply need to think that the world is orderly, controlled and that someone up there really loves you in the way you want your father to love you.

There, now you've been psychoanalyzed with the same approach you used on me. Stupid approach, isn't it?

I once had religious beliefs. I no longer hold to any. I don't know how the universe came to be. I would like to know. I don't like having unanswered questions in life, but guess what kid, life is full of unanswerable questions. That's just the way it is. It doesn't mean I secretly believe something about it one way or the other. You'd do better if you would accept at face value what people say rather than projecting what you want them to say onto their words. Projecting shuts down communication because the projector is no longer listening. When the projector talks, he or she only hears what ge or she expects to hear. And if all you expect to hear is your own projected ideas, you'll interpret everything the other person says as confirmation of what you expect to hear. In other words, no communication.

Now, I have clearly stated I don't know how the universe began. You say you have a belief on how the universe began. Please present some convincing evidence that your belief is the correct belief and we can all move on down the road.

You are only frustrated with this discussion because you have been fed a fallacious presuppositional apologetic which frames all the world into a nicely wrapped Christian box. Everyone already believes in something, everyone secretly knows Jesus is really god, everyone is trying to find meaning outside of themselves, etc., etc., etc. I lapped up that foolishness for years myself. Now I realize it's all just silly.

InteGR7 said...

Now boomslang,

Firstly, what's "dimplomacy?" Something tells me that it's a subtle jibe at my attempts at being polite (clearly not the style here)... but I wouldn't want to jump to conclusions... especially not here, where 20 people would be happy to jump at my next mistake.

Ohh and yes I'm aware that this is your domain, however do you really think that it is necessary to be so pedantic? I mean honestly, you'd think this is a life and deathmatch of some sort where you need to take every opportunity to point out my flaws... most people would take that as a sign of nervousness/weakness... I'd appreciate you not start picking at things intended as small talk ;)

So now, we get to the tough question of spirit. Clearly my previous attempts at communicating the essence of God have failed, due obviously to my assumption of far too much prior knowledge... which we Christians are famous for.

Ok... so here it is. God is spirit, ie a being comprised of some force that is undetectable by the 5 human senses. Thus, as I've said before, there can not be any physical evidence of his being. However, that doesn't mean that God hasn't left other evidence. You ask me how I can detect/know a meta-physical or supernatural being through my limited human senses? Ok I shall endeavor to explain.

Humans were created Spirit, soul and body. You will disagree with me ... so please don't bother pointing that out... I already know. However I wonder if you truly have evidence that can disprove presence of the human soul? Some psychiatrists(or is it psychologists) will tell you that the soul exists, others will say that it's all just chemicals in the brain. However if people who study this for a living (both Christian and Non-Christian) have not come to a conclusion, I do not see how you could either.

With the part of us that is spirit, that is how we are able to detect the spirit of God.

However it goes beyond that. God has left plenty of other sign posts for us in the physical world, it's simply that many people choose to ignore them, or do not accept them. Some examples are, the wonder and complexity of Creation, the human conscience, the Word of God (which is a debate that I will not enter into because plenty of people have tried and failed to disprove the validity of the Bible publicly) and Christians (who have the Spirit of God living in them). Unfortunately for the last, a lot of Christians, my self included, have a long way to go before we can truly reflect Christ's love.

Now, back to the question I have asked you. You're obviously trying to dodge it again... I mean you didn't even answer it... you asked me another question (although Jesus did dodge several questions in his time)... but I'd appreciate plain answers.

In answer to your question, no, I don't exercise the same faith to deny the existence of Allah (as taught by the Koran and Islam) or the existence of any other taught spiritual being... Simply put, there are plenty of logical reasons why the God of this Universe must indeed by the one taught in the Bible. I'll list some here.

- God must be Trinitarian (the God of the Trinity). Islam teaches that Allah created men to worship him... that Allah is alone yet all powerful. Yet if that is the case, than Allah can not be all powerful, for he created men to worship him, he requires their love as a need, nor is he capable of loving without having another to love. Yahweh (our biblegod as you love to write) is not an alone God, but rather a being that exists in the relationship of the Trinity, and thus sufficient within himself.

- Similarly religions that teach of multiple gods are indeed self defeating as well, merely because a god can not be omnipotent and yet share his power with others... Where as the God of the Bible is one single entity with three separate beings, existing together in perfect harmony and unity.

- Lastly, any religion that has yet to be discovered or known would make little sense, because an all powerful god who did create the world would indeed have left ways for us to find him... and indeed ours has, through his Word and his Church.

Now to cover your point regarding reality and existence. Yes, existence does exist. My point is not that "no one has all the answers..." I indeed I have answers, otherwise I wouldn't be here. Whether my answers are correct or not, that is irrelevant, for you believe I'm wrong, and I believe I'm right. That's not what I'm trying to say though.

existence exists. That is a mind-independent reality. The current most reliable method for determining what is consistant with this reality, is the scientific method, which, is self-correcting

Ok, I agree with you. I honestly do. Now straight up, without fancy words, describe to me, in detail, exactly what is the answer that the scientific method has discovered for these two questions.

- How did we all get here?
- How did the physical universe get here?

I'll await your answer before I keep going with that... however I'd appreciate if it you don't bury it in lines upon lines of padding text. Thanks.

Now to respond to your Omnipotence response...

Actually it merely comes down to your definition of omniscience and omnipotence. If you're walking down the street, knowing that you're going to turn right at the next intersection, and do indeed turn right... did you still have the power to turn left? Yes, you did... did you exercise it? Nope... you instead chose to turn left. That's actually what I was trying to say with the statement that you called non-sensical, but yeah it was late and I was about to sleep... my apologies.

In essence what I'm saying is that in limiting himself, God does not lose his power, but rather chooses not to exercise it.

However my statement A: isn't actually as miserable as you say... I'm not speculating... I'm merely stating the fact that logic to an infinite mind is different than logic to our minds... THAT makes sense.

So wrap up, please answer my question... then I will explain to you how non-belief or a position of neutrality is indeed the same as faith... though obviously not related to religion, something that I never claimed.

InteGR7 said...

Now to ATF,

Of course God knew the heart of man... but to 'compensate' would be to violate free will. Plus, if he has used a lawyer, we probably would understand the Bible a lot less. He did the best possible under the parameters that he set down himself.

I actually agree with the majority of Christians about the important issues... ie that there is a God, that he sent his son Jesus to die for the forgiveness of our sins. That the Holy Spirit has been left to empower us... I don't know why you would assume that I have some unique understanding of the Bible... I don't know who normally comes in here... but my views are quite comparable to a large number of Christians who I know from all over the world. While there are differences, I believe in the philosophy "major on the majors and minor on the minors..." Different people do have different viewpoints, but I trust to God to work out the minor differences.

Obviously when dealing with the Bible and inter Christian activities, I do believe that God exists ; )

Web,

Firstly I'd like to apologize, that came out with a bit more force than I expected. I was trying to point out how several of the authors who are responding in this thread are simply repeating their objections to my own, resulting in me having to repeat myself. It would be helpful, time wise, if they could read my thoughts and actually remember them, instead of ignoring what I wrote.

Also, I wasn't attempting to project my thoughts on what you were saying. I do not presume to know your subconscious mind. I do believe, and I do stand by my statement, that by choosing to no longer believe in God, you have put your beliefs in something else. There is no such thing as a position of neutrality. My comment was not directed at understanding your subconscious thoughts, but rather to illustrate that we all have made a choice, even if you don't see it that way. Of course you could say that's my personal opinion... which is fine...

But let me ask you a question. By rejecting God, yet hoping for something else to answer your questions, do you think that constitutes a belief in something that you can't prove?

As for presenting my own evidence... I'm pretty sure lots of Christians have before me. Most of the ex-Christians here have declaimed it as inconsequential, inconclusive, silly and what not. While it's enough for many people, who haven't been fed the gift wrapped Christianity all their lives, to come to Jesus, it doesn't seem to be enough for the people here, and thus I will refrain from wasting your time further.

Oh and once again, I'm actually just frustrated that I have to repeat myself, that's all... it takes up time.. and once the week starts again, I won't be able to spend much time on this.

Jim Arvo said...

To InteGR7,

First, do you have a brother named InteGR8? Or maybe a sister named DifferenTI7?

Now, on to more important matters (please forgive my intruding here). You said

"Humans were created Spirit, soul and body. You will disagree with me ..."

I disagree with that dogmatic assertion, yes. I've seen nothing to indicate the existence of immaterial "spirits" of any sort.

You continued "...I wonder if you truly have evidence that can disprove presence of the human soul?"

Of course not! How could one, even in principle, "disprove" such a thing? That's nonsense. If you don't see that, please try to disprove that my cat is actually the reincarnation of Tutankhamen (pretending to be a cat, of course). Be honest, now. You cannot, right? Must we therefore entertain that as a serious possibility?

You also said "Some psychiatrists(or is it psychologists) will tell you that the soul exists,..."

Sure. Some take alien abductions seriously too. You can find folks in every profession who believe all sorts of nonsense. The question is on what basis do they assert the existence of a "soul"?. Do they have objective well-thought-out evidence, or is it an irrational belief? I've only seen the latter. Can you provide some examples of the former?

Finally, you said "However if people who study this for a living (both Christian and Non-Christian) have not come to a conclusion, I do not see how you could either."

Here is where I think you are most seriously confused. What "conclusion" are you imagining, and what do you think that entails? Do you think that I, as an atheist, claim that there is empirical evidence of the non-existence of souls? I hope we've now established that that is complete nonsense, right? To be clear, here is what I do assert: I have never seen a shred of credible evidence for disembodied/supernatural/invisible conscious beings of any kind, therefore I have no reason to believe they exist. My position with respect to such things is analogous to yours with respect to my cat and Tutankhamen--you've no reason at all to believe such a fantastic assertion (unless I were to provide copious evidence), yet you cannot garner to tiniest bit of evidence to show it isn't so.

Does that make sense to you?

Jim Arvo said...

InteGR7 said "several of the authors who are responding in this thread are simply repeating their objections to my own, resulting in me having to repeat myself.

Yes, that can be frustrating. It's frustrating for us as well. It would also help the discussion if you could remember that positive claims bear the burden of "proof" (actually, evidence). If you claim that X exists, it's entirely your responsibility to provide some evidence of it. (Remember my cat.) On a related note, if you claim that X has property Y (e.g. god is merciful), then once again you bear the burden of showing that there actually is an X; failing to do so is to commit the existential fallacy. For some reason, 99% of Christian visitors here cannot seem to grasp either of those concepts, and it makes for some rather unproductive conversations.

InteGR7 said "...I do stand by my statement, that by choosing to no longer believe in God, you have put your beliefs in something else. There is no such thing as a position of neutrality."

Nonsense. Please tell me, is the Riemann Hypothesis true or false? Is there life somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy? I'm certain that there are people who claim to "know" the answers to these questions, but I'm equally certain that they do not know. We currently have no way to answer these questions, so the honest and informed position on these is to admit ignorance. Agree or disagree?

Jim Arvo said...

Don't make me bring up my turtle, Fred.

.:webmaster:. said...

IntGR7,

Thanks for the apology.

You wrote, "I do believe[...] that by choosing to no longer believe in God, you have put your beliefs in something else. There is no such thing as a position of neutrality. [...] Of course you could say that's my personal opinion... which is fine..."

Well said. That is your belief and your opinion and nothing more. Unless you can clearly demonstrate that non-belief is the same as belief in this or any circumstance, you are simply presenting an unsubstantiated argument. Please reference Jim Arvo's clear and precise posting.

"But let me ask you a question. By rejecting God, yet hoping for something else to answer your questions, do you think that constitutes a belief in something that you can't prove?"

Huh? First of all, I haven't rejected your god. I simply no longer think it exists. I haven't rejected UFOs, but I don't think they exist either.

Now, I hope that one day cancer is cured. Does this "hope" of mine constitute a belief in something I can't prove? Uhm... No.

I'm sorry, IntGR7, your line of reasoning here makes absolutely no sense to me. I am not sure that cancer will be cured. I do not have absolute faith that cancer will be cured. I hope it will be cured, but I can hardly base any decisions about my life on that. Now, I know that there are doctors. I know there is medicine. I know that smart people are working on the problem. I know that some measure of success has been realized with some types of cancer. I have seen people recover from cancer and live long full lives. I have every reason to hope that medicine will continue to progress. But I hardly think that the kind of hope I enjoy much compares to your hope that magical, invisible, meta-natural, spirit creatures that live between the pages of a book or in the minds of active imaginations actually exist in reality.

You wrote, "As for presenting my own evidence..."

Just face it, IntGR7. You have no evidence. It's not that we'll dismiss it. It's that there is none. At least be honest with yourself. You believe in your god, but it has nothing to do with evidence, outside of hearsay evidence. I'm going to guess that you believed first, and then as time went on you found things that you could use to bolster up that belief. And that's what you are calling evidence. However, I'm just guessing here -- I could be wrong. But until you present your evidence, I'll have to assume there is none.

As to the rest of your assertions regarding reality, please read Jim Arvo's postings. He covered things nicely.

Oh, and you still haven't answered my question. I asked earlier if you had read anything of note that contradicts (or is critical of) Christianity. If you have, I'd love to know the authors.

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boomSLANG said...

InteGR7...*sigh... you guys are somewhat frustrating.

InteG7,

If you are becoming frustrated and/or agitated by the responses you're receiving, the remedy is at your immediate disposal: Simply navigate away from this site at once; you under no obligation to read, or post here.

You continue...Heh, not because you don't agree with me[that we're "frustrating"]... that's totally cool. However you accuse Christians of being dogmatic and narrow minded... yet all I read from the vast majority of your answers is a complete inability to even consider another person's view, weigh it and decide its validity.

Gee, if it's "not" because we don't agree with you, then I wonder what you base the conclusion that we have an "inability" to see other points of view, on(?)

Again(and please take note):

Many of the people here have spent great portions of their lives - I'll wager that in many cases, that's even more time than you've been alive - believing precisely what you are telling us right now. Did you get that? Again---we've not only "considered" your POV, but we believed the same exact things you believe, for most of the same reasons. As Web/Dave told you, we've simply reevaluted what and why we "believed", and we've changed our minds.

So yes, we've "considered"; we've "weighed"; and we've "decided" that your beliefs..i.e.. the "Christian Faith", to be INvalid. So, you are mistaken in your assessment, because I *can*, and have, decided your argument's "validity": Invalid.

You said...You claim that you look for truth, yet you are equally religious in your denunciations of my "religion".

Frankly, your attempts at leveling the playing field are becoming tiresome. And the quotations around the word "religion"?...that is indicative of what, exactly? What?... that following and promoting the Christian doctrine, as well as worshipping its figurehead doesn't fall under "religion"?

You said...Most of the time is feels that you don't even try to extrapolate on what I'm saying... you know because I don't have all the time in the world to respond to 4 different (yet similar) arguments.

You are evidently finding the time somewhere, aren't you?(rhetorically asked) And "extrapolate"? There's evidently a difference of opinion on the difference between "fact" and opinion.

You ask..what's "dimplomacy?" Something tells me that it's a subtle jibe at my attempts at being polite

You have clearly read into my comment. At face-value, I simply meant that remaining civil is always nice, but at the end of the day, it boils down to the argument(s) that one formulates. That said, I don't see good, sound arguments coming from you. Instead, I see logical fallacies out-the-kazoo, appeals to emotion, and an over-flux of defensive, irrelevant "fluff".

You said...(clearly not the style here)["politeness"]...

I implore you read the site's disclaimer, if you haven't already. I have no more obligation to be polite to you, than a recovering alcoholic has to be polite to a drunk who is shoving a can of malt liquor in their face.

You said...but I wouldn't want to jump to conclusions...

Really? That's odd, to the best of my recollection, you've already concluded that we cannot consider other points of view, or "weigh" evidence objectively. Remember?

You said...especially not here, where 20 people would be happy to jump at my next mistake.

Well, if you readily admit that there are mistakes in your reasoning, then I'm really at a loss as to why you'd find it so astonishing that we, as EX-christians, would point those mistakes out to the guest Christians who come here. Good grief, this is debate, for cryin-out-loud. Perhaps you are too thin-skinned for this, yes?

You said...I mean honestly, you'd think this is a life and deathmatch of some sort where you need to take every opportunity to point out my flaws... most people would take that as a sign of nervousness/weakness...I'd appreciate you not start picking at things intended as small talk ;)

I'd appreciate you foregoing the "small talk", altogether, and instead, focusing on the crux of the matter, preferably with arguments backed with good, sound reasoning. Personally, I see the small talk as dancing around the issue(s) Perhaps a sign of "nervousness/weakness"? ;)

You said...So now, we get to the tough question of spirit. Clearly my previous attempts at communicating the essence of God have failed, due obviously to my assumption of far too much prior knowledge... which we Christians are famous for.

Nah, actually, this admitted failure is pretty much due to the very simple fact that you don't have any objective, credible evidence to support your beliefs.

You said...Humans were created Spirit, soul and body. You will disagree with me ... so please don't bother pointing that out... I already know. However I wonder if you truly have evidence that can disprove presence of the human soul?

No, I don't have any such evidence. Do you by chance have any evidence that purple invisible fairies don't rule the universe, deep from beneath the surface of Uranus? No, of course you don't. And I would be a complete idiot to ask you to "disprove" me.

Are you getting this, yet? You are shifting the burden of proof, which is fallacious reasoning in this case.

Notwithstanding, if there exists this "mind"/"body" duality, as you assert, then what say you about infants that are born with only a brain stem? Why will they spend life(if they survive) with the sentience/intelligence of a brussel sprout, if their "soul" presumably operates independently of a physical brain? Please, do elaborate.

You said...Some psychiatrists(or is it psychologists) will tell you that the soul exists, others will say that it's all just chemicals in the brain. However if people who study this for a living (both Christian and Non-Christian) have not come to a conclusion, I do not see how you could either

Some scientologists "will tell you" that lizard-men from Mars ocassionally shape-shift into humans, and come to earth in an attempt to conspire against the human race. People discuss it, and it is "inconclusive". Is it therefore plausible? Must we entertain that notion, simply because we cannot offer conclusive evidence, one way, or the other? Think hard.

You said...God has left plenty of other sign posts for us in the physical world, it's simply that many people choose to ignore them, or do not accept them. Some examples are, the wonder and complexity of Creation...

So, let me see if I have this straight---"complexity" demands a "Creator", is that correct? Okay, surely the "Creator of the Universe" is complex, yes? Yes, of course...so who, or what, "Created" this complex "Creator"? If you simply posit that this "Creator" is self-existing, then I'll simply posit that the Universe is self-existing, and has always existed in one form, or another. YOU are the one who is adding extra "baggage". See "Occam's Razor".

You said...the human conscience[is a "sign" of God's existence]

Unfounded assertion.

You said...the Word of God (which is a debate that I will not enter into because plenty of people have tried and failed to disprove the validity of the Bible publicly) and Christians (who have the Spirit of God living in them).

Once again, this is fallacious, apologetic rhetoric.

Can you "disprove" the Book of Mormon? Can you "disprove" the Holy Qu'ran? MILLIONS say NO, that you cannot. It is one book of "revealed knowledge" against another; it is "Faith" vs "Faith". What's both interesting and revealing, is that all religious adherents say belief in a Creator takes "Faith"; that they don't need evidence for the "spiritual", yet, they turn right around and use their respective "Holy Books" as evidence that they worship the "right" deity. Again, a perfect example of the religious setting up double-standards.

You said...Unfortunately for the last, a lot of Christians, my self included, have a long way to go before we can truly reflect Christ's love.

You mean, Christ's conditional "love"??? If so, you're better-off to not "reflect" such a thing, as you would be making a mockery of the word "love".

You said...Now, back to the question I have asked you. You're obviously trying to dodge it again... I mean you didn't even answer it... you asked me another question (although Jesus did dodge several questions in his time)... but I'd appreciate plain answers.

Yes? yes? YES!?!?!? Is there a new question now? To my understanding, *THIS was the original question:

You...All throughout this entire conversation every single person (who sides against us Christians) has said that "just because we do not know the answer, does not mean that "god has done it" " So I say in response merely this... if you can accept that there are areas in your belief that you just "don't know" ... *does that not make what you believe equally a faith?

No one has yet to answer that point... they seem content to pick holes in my lack of facts... which is the same as your lack of facts. See? We both have a faith = )
[bold added]

To review, my full response was...

"By your own logic, you cannot know for certain whether 'Allah', or any other 'spiritual' exists, or not. And let's remember, people believe in said being on 'faith'.

So honestly, you 'don't know'; you CAN'T 'know', which is a form of agnosticism. 'Fair enough?

Okay, if so, then to answer your question---the one that you claim everyone keeps dodging---do you, Intgr7, exercise 'faith' to deny the existence of 'Allah', or any other 'spiritual' god throughout history? Answer that honestly, then you have the answer to your question."
[italics added]

Here, let me spell it out for you: NO, my NON-belief is NOT a "Faith", much in the same way that your lack of belief in all those "other" gods isn't a "Faith". 'Got it now? You know, sometimes analogy is the best way to make someone see a point. It's not exactly unheard of. It just so happens that I made an analogy in the form of a question, and I thought that it was implicit that it answered your question.

You continue...

Simply put, there are plenty of logical reasons why the God of this Universe must indeed by the one taught in the Bible. I'll list some here.

- God must be Trinitarian (the God of the Trinity). Islam teaches that Allah created men to worship him... that Allah is alone yet all powerful. Yet if that is the case, than Allah can not be all powerful, for he created men to worship him, he requires their love as a need, nor is he capable of loving without having another to love. Yahweh (our biblegod as you love to write) is not an alone God, but rather a being that exists in the relationship of the Trinity, and thus sufficient within himself.

- Similarly religions that teach of multiple gods are indeed self defeating as well, merely because a god can not be omnipotent and yet share his power with others... Where as the God of the Bible is one single entity with three separate beings, existing together in perfect harmony and unity.

- Lastly, any religion that has yet to be discovered or known would make little sense, because an all powerful god who did create the world would indeed have left ways for us to find him... and indeed ours has, through his Word and his Church.


See bare assertion fallacy; non-sequitur; existential fallacy, and circular logic. You commit every one of those, and possibly more.

To go over just one of those(for economy of space)---where did you get the above information? The alleged "Written Word" of your claimed deity, right? And what?...this "Trinitarian" deity is itself, but simultaniously, it is two other "entities" as well, because why? Why, because of course, the bible says so. And the bible is true, because "God" says so; and what "God" says is true, because the Bible "says so".

Honestly, are you tellng me that you cannot see the cirularity in that?

you continue... Whether my answers are correct or not, that is irrelevant, for you believe I'm wrong, and I believe I'm right. That's not what I'm trying to say though.

It's not about "correct answers"; it's about proffering evidence for your fantastic claim in the affirmative, that is, that a "God" exists, and that said "God" is none other than the Christian biblegod, "Yahweh", or "El", or whatever you'd like to call him today. To that extent, yes, it is "relevant"---that is, unless you are prepared to make an admission that your "answers" are merely your opinion. And mind you, this would be coming from a person who already admits that they don't have any objective evidence to substantiate their position. Well?(my second attempt to get this admission, BTW)

You said...Now straight up, without fancy words, describe to me, in detail, exactly what is the answer that the scientific method has discovered for these two questions.

- How did we all get here?


I assume you don't mean the obvious, as in, our respective biological mothers and fathers had sexual intercourse, and we are the product of that process. I presume you mean how life came from non-life, in which case, the current scientific theory is abiogenesis.

You ask...- How did the physical universe get here?

The current scientific theory is of course, the "big bang", or singularity. Mind you, science doesn't claim to know, absolutely, either of the two. That's because science doesn't deal in absolutes. You see, scientists have no problem admitting when they don't know something. Conversely, religious convictions, such as yours, claim absolute certainty. Such convictions are not self-correcting, because of course, "Faith" ultimately trumps any and all new knowledge that conflicts with its respective doctrines. Do you see the difference between the two, now? yes or no?

To admit we don't know the facts doesn't require "Faith", nor is such a "religion". To imply either, is ridiculous. It simply means we don't know. Is that "unpadded" enough for you?

You said...Actually it merely comes down to your definition of omniscience and omnipotence

Oh, I see...so now you will equivocate on word meanings? Why? Why is that we cannot take things at face-value?..why must Christians "customize" word-meanings to make an argument cohesive? It's very telling, IMO.

You continue...If you're walking down the street, knowing that you're going to turn right at the next intersection, and do indeed turn right... did you still have the power to turn left? Yes, you did... did you exercise it? Nope... you instead chose to turn left.

Strike three. Again, you are either forgetting, or intentionally circumventing the dilemma that is found in the concept of simultanious "omniscience", and "omnipotence"....that is, if the former means a knowledge of all future events, including decisions, and if the latter means limitless "free will".

This will be the last attempt at explaining it, and I'll even use your own analogy:

If you're walking down the street "knowing that you're going to turn right", but at the last second, you use your "free will" to "turn left", then you evidently did NOT "know" that you would "turn right", because you DIDN'T turn right. Duh? Knowing that you will "turn right", and knowing that you want to "turn right", are not mutually inclusive.

You...In essence what I'm saying is that in limiting himself, God does not lose his power, but rather chooses not to exercise it.

Goodness gracious. Okay, I have to wonder---as you type, do you ever ask yourself if what you're writing actually makes sense? Do you ever proof-read it?

You wrote, "in limiting himself"[bold added]

Limit, limit, limit, limit, limit, limit, limit, limit...::yawn::...limit! limit! limit! limit!....LIMIT!

Or wait, let me guess, "limit", in "God's Understanding" means either limited, or limitless.....whichever is applicable the time. Am I close?

You close with...So wrap up, please answer my question...

I answered it this time, and I answered it the first time.

you continue...then I will explain to you how non-belief or a position of neutrality is indeed the same as faith...

You will? You'll explain it? Let me save you some time, because if it's anything like your "explanation" for your biblegod's alleged "omniscience/omnipotence", you may as well not bother. But of course, I know that won't stop you; so go ahead---explain away, all you'd like.

Before you treat us to this explanation, I'll try to penetrate your skull-cap once more, by analogy:

Do you know my middle name? No, of course you don't. Now, how much "faith" did you employ to admit that you simply don't have knowledge of my middle name? If you are intellectually honest, you will answer "none". If I am wrong, include an explanation to that in your forthcoming reply.

And here's another point I'd like to bring up(while I'm at it):

When you attempt such tit-for-tat "non-belief is Faith too!" arguments, what do you hope to accomplish? Are you saying that to have "Faith" is shakey logic?.. and that it's something that should ultimately be avoided? Because if so, I'd like to know how that bolsters your own position---a position that you admittedly claim rests on "Faith".

Do you think that you could be consistant for a change?

stronger now said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stronger now said...

"Obviously God hardened Pharaoh's heart... it's right there in the Bible..."

If god hardened his heart he was stopping him from exercising his free will.

"did you notice how he didn't do it first?"

Inconsequential. Whether he(pharaoh) did it last, first, most, or better, your god still screwed with his free will.

"Then God hardened Pharaoh's heart to ensure that the full measure of God's glory would be displayed..."

Again, incosequential. Why your god did it is irrelevant to the issue. The "fact" that he did it at all is the important point. Why can't you see that.

"not because he was interfering with free will, but because Pharaoh had already made the choice."

If you'll remember, the pharaoh had chosen to relent and do as instructed when your god hardened his heart and change pharaoh's mind, i.e. screwed with his free will.

"Free will isn't some unlimited chances pass..."

What does this have to do with whether or not your god screwed with the pharaoh's free will? However since you brought it up... I'll just say that if your god is unchangeing and in his dealings with humanity in this life, he forces his will AT ANY TIME, human free will is still unattainable under the christian god BECAUSE he doesn't let us use it as many times as we wish IN THIS LIFE. No matter how you cut it, you're still wrong.

"it says in Revelations that there will come a time where people will WANT to become Christians...but it will be too late."

Non-comparable situations. In one the man's will is being taken away by god, in the other the man's choices are solidified by a time limit.(like death)I'm specifically speaking of a time whithin a man's life that god overturned the man's choice by imposeing his(god's) own will.

"They will have had their choice..."

Giving an example of when your god will NOT intervene in the will of humans does NOTHING to undermine the account of the time when your god DID intervene. Deal with the issue please.

boomSLANG said...

...::crickets::

Yup, that's what I thought.

InteGR7 said...

Hi there guys,

Apologies for my absence without saying anything... as I thought might be possible the last two weeks were crazy at work and at church... well both are the same to me anyway, since I do work at a church lol.

Anyway, I've realized that while I'd love to maintain this dialog, I can't, especially in light of my upcoming travels, retreats and still crazy work load. I'm sorry that I am retreating from the discussion, and I do have a lot of respect for you guys (boomSLANG in particular) for being so concise and analytical in your arguments.

I actually wrote two more posts, on April the 3rd, but forgot to post them in the mad rush. I've put them below.

***

Hi Stronger,

I believe that you're looking at free will slightly different than I am. God gave Adam and Eve free will to choose to sin in the garden of Eden. They had one chance though. Their free will was in the rejection of his commands (by eating the fruit), they then had already made their choice.

Similarly Pharaoh had the free will to choose to let the Israelites go, however, even after witnessing 5 plagues, real, honest to goodness miracles, he would harden his own heart. Thus his choice was made, his free will was used up, he was out of the garden. While God is a loving God, evidenced by the numerous times that he came to Israel's aid after they spurned him, or by sending his Son to die for our sins, and all throughout the Bible... he is also a just God, and he brought justice against those who did evil.

***

Hi there Jim,

Actually my name is designed to be read both as "integrate" (my corporate role) and and "integrity" (the spiritual characteristic I need to work on). Obviously the 8 makes it easier to say the first one... but it just takes a bit of imagination... however I don't suppose we're here to debate my name, correct?

So the crux of your argument, is that you believe that I should bear the burden of proof, both to prove God and to prove the existence of the spirit. I am surprised that this hasn't come up sooner, and to that, I have no answers. I can not prove, unequivocally, the existence of God using evidence that you will accept, I wish I could, although I know that even if I could do amazing miracles, some people would never come around... and never believe me.

So I ask you this... if I'm the positive "having to prove the existence of God." Then my first answer would be creation. How did creation come about? Where did we come from? Similarly your questions regarding that theory of some galaxy are really not the same... true you can plead ignorance because you truly don't know... there isn't existing evidence one way or another... however creation is the first piece of evidence that God exists...

Ultimately though, the existence of God and spirit is determined by each individual based on their own experiences, conclusions and choice. My faith in God is a personal choice. I do no claim to have all the answers, nor do I claim to know all there is to know about God. I know many of the "standard" answers of Christianity, and I keep the ones that make sense from a logical perspective, but also those that I have experienced myself.

In the end, I am a Christian for so many reasons, both small and large, that I can't even begin to write them all down. To highlight some examples, I've had people prophesy the future over me (and be right =), I've seen money appear when I was in need, I've personally experienced miracles of that nature, and I've seen people's lives changed by the power of God. Friends who have no reason to lie to me have seen people healed of blindness, cancer, raised from the dead...

However I can't come in here and expect you guys to A: believe me and B: not be cynical... heck I'm skeptical of many other Christians all the time... it's part of being an analytical person.

So I do submit, to you all, that indeed I've never claimed to have evidence for the existence of a spirit realm that you would accept. I just pray that somehow you would come to an understanding of God... for as I have been reading a lot lately, it's not my job to convince you that you need God... but that job of the Holy Spirit. Christians are here to merely show love to humanity, and sadly we've been rather lax on that, becoming judgmental and hypocritical instead. Thankfully, I believe that there is a growing movement towards coming back to the heart of what God wants for his church ..

Ohh and if you have questions about Christianity or are in Seattle, there's a great church there called "Mars Hill" led by Mark Driscoll, an amazing teacher who shares straight up about Jesus without all the added trappings that a lot of Christians, including myself sometimes will attach. http://www.marshillchurch.org/

***

Hopefully you could get something from that. If you wish to contact me further, drop a comment at which ever blog is on my profile page.

Thanks for chat.

- Josh

Jim Arvo said...

Josh said "So the crux of your argument, is that you believe that I should bear the burden of proof, both to prove God and to prove the existence of the spirit. I am surprised that this hasn't come up sooner,..."

I'm surprised that you're surprised. Positive claims carry the burden of proof; or, as I pointed out earlier, evidence. If you understood the analogy with my cat, you see why that makes sense.

Josh said "...I can not prove, unequivocally, the existence of God..."

Nobody is asking for "unequivocal proof". I'm asking for credible evidence. That's all. Stop twisting a very reasonable request into something absurd.

Josh continues "...using evidence that you will accept,..."

You have absolutely no idea what evidence I will accept. What evidence do you have? Let's start there.

Josh said "...my first answer would be creation. How did creation come about? Where did we come from?"

Pardon me for pointing out the obvious, but you asked me two questions rather than answering mine. Surely your "proof" does not depend on my answers to those questions, right? What is your evidence? That's a simple question.

Josh said "Similarly your questions regarding that theory of some galaxy are really not the same... true you can plead ignorance because you truly don't know... there isn't existing evidence one way or another..."

Exactly. Now, is there some evidence one way or the other for your god? If you claim that my example is different, then SHOW me that it's different by producing some evidence.

Josh continues "...however creation is the first piece of evidence that God exists..."

So where is your evidence that "creation" (by which I assume you mean the universe) was deliberately formed by a thinking being? You seem to have brushed right past that little detail. I have no problem admitting that the universe exists; I hope we can agree on that much. You seem to think you know how it came to be. My question is, ON WHAT EVIDENCE?

Josh said "...I do no[t] claim to have all the answers, nor do I claim to know all there is to know about God."

I don't think anybody suggested that you did. Again, the question is very simple: What evidence do you have of your god, or any invisible being for that matter?

Josh gives a list of "miracles" that he has witnessed and said "...Friends who have no reason to lie to me have seen people healed of blindness, cancer, raised from the dead..."

Is it possible, Josh, that they are not lying, yet what they claim is not true? Think about it.

Josh: "So I do submit, to you all, that indeed I've never claimed to have evidence for the existence of a spirit realm that you would accept." (emphasis added)

Please stop using that excuse. Do you have ANY evidence? Sheesh.

Josh, you are playing the same word games that most Christian visitors here play. We ask you for evidence, yet you think we demand proof and dismiss it, or claim that we just won't accept it. If you have no evidence, then please explain why we should adopt your beliefs. You are quite welcome to believe anything you like on "faith". Most of us here prefer ideas that have some support. Okay?

AtheistToothFairy said...

InteGR7 wrote:
I believe that you're looking at free will slightly different than I am. God gave Adam and Eve free will to choose to sin in the garden of Eden. They had one chance though. Their free will was in the rejection of his commands (by eating the fruit), they then had already made their choice.
--
Wow, imagine if all we parents were to give our kids, only ONE chance to do their homework and if they failed to do so, we would kick them out of our homes.

An even better example might be; if your teenager gained some XXX rated knowledge because they disobeyed your standing orders to stay out of your sock-drawer and then found your penthouse magazine stash.
They now have discovered some knowledge of human "evil", so we as their parents, of course now have no choice but to send them packing.

You know what Integr7, your Garden of Eden story is so clearly a fable, that a young child could see through it's many flaws.

I continue to be amazed how some like yourself, can so easily put up a barrier between your cognitive brain and your preacher-injected god brain.
You swallow such ridiculous tales of old, because it's part of the god-package that includes the wonderful 'benefit' of making your god brain writhe with good feelings about your illusion of a god connection.

May reason one day shut down your god brain long enough, for you to see what's real and what's mere illusion.


ATF (Who has to go move his Penthouse, ummm "articles", from his sock drawer now)

boomSLANG said...

InteGR7 is back, with...I don't suppose we're here to debate my name, correct?

No, of course not; we're here to debate the evidence for the existence of "God", specifically, the Christian biblegod. And evidently, you, like all Christian Theists who stumble in here, have what amounts to the same ol' same ol'....i.e., the same anecdotal stories; the same tired, misinformed apologetics; the same logical fallacies(see here*, below), and the same inability to make cohesive, the myriad philosophical inconsistancies found in your religious doctrine.

*...however creation is the first piece of evidence that God exists..."

Okay, then by that logic, "thunder" is the "first piece of evidence" that Thor exists.

Now, do you see the fallacy of both arguments? Or do you see only the fallacy of the one that doesn't line-up with your chosen deity? I'll put my money on the latter.

That said, when you come back from your "retreat", might I recommend that you take some time off from "praying" for us, and investigate what it means to "compartmentalize". You're doing it right now, and all throughout this discussion.

May reason find you.

stronger now said...

"I believe that you're looking at free will slightly different than I am."

Well, are we in agreement that "free will" is the ability to make your own choices and act on them? If so then we see free will as the same thing. The problem lies with your eagerness to overlook the obvious.

You seem to think that free will can be taken away by the biblegod, and yet you're still unable to accept it.

Poor thing.

If free will can be "used up" then the biblegod is stomping all over it. If the biblegod makes people do as he wants, then there is no need for you to worry about us anymore. Perhaps he is making us not believe in him after we "used up" all of our chances. If this is so, it is not in our ability to choose him now, or ever again for that matter.


"he is also a just God, and he brought justice against those who did evil."

If you define evil as going against god's will then you must understand that several times the pharaoh was doing god's will by NOT letting "his people" go...because god forced him to NOT let them go. So...how can your god be upset at the pharaoh for not doing what god wanted him to do, and them force him to do what he wanted him to do, if what the paharaoh did and what god made the pharaoh do... were the same thing? And how can you possibly call that just?(or sane?)

I don't think a just god would order genocide, endorse to killing of children and babies, and force his own child to be murdered.

If I were to set up a torture chamber for my own kids, to be used when I felt they deserved it, would you call me just?



Excuse me. If free will can be "used up" then it can be/will be/has been... taken away.

Thanks for agreeing with me.

AtheistToothFairy said...

stronger now wrote:
If free will can be "used up" then the biblegod is stomping all over it
---
Oh Stronger,

Didn't you know that god gives us a tank full of this free-will stuff when we are conceived.
Alas, it's a very small tank and you can't 'drive' your free will very far on it.
It's probably similar to the game of baseball, 3 strikes and you're out ....of free will that is.

Well that sure explains why all these fundies can't get us to believe in their god again.
God just refuses to re-fill our free-will gas tanks.

See, so to all you fundies out there, it's really NOT our fault, it's your god's.


ATF (Who wonders if Free-Will comes in 87 or 93 octane?)

InteGR7 said...

Heh, morning all.

Well I've got a couple hours extra hours until my Saturday Prayer Meet...

Jim,

Ok, you want evidence?
- The complexity of life on earth
- The complete integration of the ecological/climate systems of our planet (much of which is unbiological and can't "evolve".
- The precise composition of this earth required for life to exist.
- The complexity of Life itself
- The fact that life exists

These phenomenon, to me anyway, seem to be above what is possible through random chance (for the first 3 points) and even through evolution. (For the other 2)

That's my credible evidence... now I'd appreciate if you could provide evidence that shows that these occurrences do not constitute some sort of intelligent design. Of course you can ignore my evidence... doesn't bother me.

Jim says "Is it possible, Josh, that they are not lying, yet what they claim is not true? Think about it."

What about the miracles that I've witnessed? I've also healed a woman of a chronic stomach disorder before, just last week actually.

Evidence of the Spirit

- I've been in places where there was so much demonic oppression that I couldn't think straight at all... yet when I left those certain places... my mind returned in all its clarity.
- I've seen Christians who have asked for deliverance (from demons)... never having known what it was like before... and they manifested (or displayed signs of) the demon who was being cast out. Really meek and mild people suddenly got violent, started swearing, started jumping around the room.
- I've seen people's lives transformed by the power of the Spirit... going from being selfish, snobby and mean to radically passionate for the Kingdom of God, loving, kind, patient, self - sacrificial..

I wonder if you will accept this evidence though? My faith isn't based on nothing, however I just don't know what you would consider as credible evidence... that terms allows you to exclude anything that you don't want to consider = ).

ATF,

Your example is a bit off, but close, cause while God has the knowledge of evil, he doesn't commit sin by having that knowledge. The sin of Adam and Eve was rather the disobedience, which you did cover.

However to answer your question about sending them packing (the homework one doesn't constitute sin) Yes, that exactly what I'm saying. God is a Holy Holy Holy God... meaning that he hates sin... and his anger does burn against those who do sin. We all, as sinners, deserve the fact his wrath and judgement which would ultimately result in our deaths and consignment to hell.

Yet because God is also merciful, loving and kind, he created a singular solution to save us from those sins. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God himself, entered into human history, became a being who was created, who was sinless, perfect and divine, and died for our sins... thus expunging (or removing) the sins of those who accept his free gift of Salvation.

I'm surprised as an ex-Christian you didn't know that. It's the core of our faith. We all deserve death, but God gave us life. I don't actually see these many clear flaws in the story of the Garden.

Boomslang,

I know who Thor is, but thanks for the link. I've actually studied Norse, Greek and Roman mythology, so it's cool that you should mention it.

Ok, so though we do know where thunder comes from now, let us assume that we weren't so scientifically advanced and we didn't. Thor is an un-viable deity in so many other ways. If you look up at one of my previous comments, I stated why I believe that the God who created this Universe must be a singular God, yet who also maintains community (within the Trinity). Thor is nothing like that.

Furthermore Thor was created to explain natural events... where as God, in his wisdom, never claimed to be directly responsible for the natural events that we couldn't explain at the time. He created the world, a supernatural event that by all common forms of what consider natural, would be impossible. (ie matter and life coming from where there was none.)

I also do know what it means to compartmentalize... except I don't believe that I do that... however if I agree to research it, and test if I do, would you also?

Stronger,

Actually I do agree, free will can indeed be taken away by God, who is after all sovereign and all powerful (although some would find that hard to accept) =). Free will isn't the ability to make your own choices and act on them... but rather the freedom to choose to turn to God or reject him. That's what I'm talking about when I discuss free will. I'm not saying that God can't impose his Will on someone, but rather that he chooses not to.

stronger now says "If free will can be "used up" then the biblegod is stomping all over it.

That's a bit emotive, and not entire accurate. Let me give an example.

A school's computer administrator sit at his computer and keeps tabs on all the sites that the students visit. Now there are rules for what sites these kids can't visit, but there are no filters or automatic blocking software. So one day the admin notices that some kids are accessing a gambling site, and he sends them a message to stop. However the next day, they are at it again. So, because he is a compassionate person, he sends them another message, telling them to stop, and warning them of the consequences. However they keep doing it, for a month straight... therefore he locks down their computers and deletes their IDs.

Now did these kids have free access? Sure! Did the admin have the power to take away that freedom of access. Yes. Did he? Well yes. Why? Because he got frustrated with their inability to listen and obey. He got angry.

God has no problems getting angry with sin... because he is Holy Holy Holy.

As for the Pharaoh story... God didn't want him to sin, that's absurd. Pharaoh had already chosen to sin (I believe I've said that before) and thus God, kept him on that path. As I've said several times before, Pharaoh had already made his choice (ie exercised his free will), and God was holding him to that choice.

But if look on, it's kinda obvious that there is a point at which your free will is used up. When we've died and stand before God's judgement seat... even if people want to choose him then, it'll be too late.

I don't actually define evil as going against the Will of God, cause God is sovereign, and if he wants something to happen... it will. Evil is disobeying God, or going against his nature. God in his justice will never force someone to do something they haven't already chosen do to.

So to summarize. Yes, God can override a human's free will. He generally chooses not to. However sometimes (very few in the Bible anyway) he does, for his own purposes and for his own glory. In most cases though, (all the others in the Bible that I can think of) he continues to let us do what we please. He's patient and kind and he's waiting.

Oh, and Jesus was not forced to be killed. He chose to come down, a willing sacrifice.

Lastly, I'm not fundamentalist... I'd appreciate not being labelled as such.

Astreja said...

Integr7: "Thor is an un-viable deity in so many other ways."

*ahem* I'll thank you not to diss My little brother.

"I believe that the God who created this Universe must be a singular God, yet who also maintains community (within the Trinity)."

First of all, why would community be important to a universe-creating god? If it is somehow necessary, why stop at three? Why not go to full-blown polytheism?

Secondly, I find it interesting in the Norse version of the creation myth that the universe was "just there", with no overseer-god in visible attendance. (I suppose it's possible that the mythologists of that earlier day were Deists of some sort.)

Come to think of it, the accounts given in the Eddas are a reasonably good fit with the Big Bang theory and the idea of an eleven-dimensional universe.

Accordingly, the various Scandinavian god-archetypes, the Aesir and Vanir and possibly the giants as well, make a lot more sense as human mentors than as gods. They don't create the universe but concentrate on making it into a decent place for humans to live.

.:webmaster:. said...

Intgr7 wrote, "Ok, you want evidence?
- The complexity of life on earth
- The complete integration of the ecological/climate systems of our planet (much of which is unbiological and can't "evolve".
- The precise composition of this earth required for life to exist.
- The complexity of Life itself
- The fact that life exists

These phenomenon, to me anyway, seem to be above what is possible through random chance (for the first 3 points) and even through evolution. (For the other 2)


None of what you've listed would be considered anything beyond a type of inference on your part. All you are saying is, "I just can't imagine any other answer to these questions besides 'God Did It!' Therefore, that must be the correct answer." You are assuming the existence of God and then sighting some mysteries you don't understand as the evidence of the god you've already assumed exists. Further, you are saying that complexity is evidence of a creative intelligence. In fact, you are implying that complexity DEMANDS a creative intelligence. Yet, you fail to realize that if that supposition is true, then your god, which one would suppose to be extremely complex, would also have need of its own creator. And that creator, being even more complex, would need its own creator -- and on and on. If you claim that your "God" is without the need of a creator regardless of its great complexity, then you disavow your premise that complexity demands a creator!

When the people here speak of evidence for claims, they are frequently if not usually thinking of scientific evidence. Perhaps it would be profitable to familiarize or re-familiarize yourself with the concept.

Your other "evidence" amounts to anecdotal stories without corroboration. In other words, this woman you "healed": How do you know she was ill and how do you know she got better? Because she told you? Was her illness diagnosed by a physician prior to the healing? Did a doctor re-examine her after the healing?

You further said that evil is disobeying God. So, if God asked you to kill every man, woman and child in a village, would disobeying that command be evil? In other words, are certain actions evil only because they are deemed so by a deity, or are certain actions inherently evil regardless of a god's opinion on the matter? Said another way, is there a standard of right and wrong that even deity must answer to, or is good and evil only determined by the pronouncements of deity?

Disobeying Hitler in WWII Germany had dire consequences. IN WWII Germany, Jewish people were subjected to genocide. Disobeying the commands of your god supposedly has dire consequences. Most of humanity will be subjected to everlasting horrific torment, a sort of spiritual genocide. If good and evil are determined only in a dictatorial way by a "sovereign," I think a comparison between these two characters would be apt.

1 Sweet Rock said...

Integr7,

Where is your irrefutable evidence of this everlasting maker of all?

Please show us fact based evidence
to support your claim that god(s) are making and interacting with- all natural phenomena in the known universe -AND- us folks on this here planet!

People have been working hard to discover ways of answering that question for centuries! Don't break your brain on it, but be honest.

I am open to possibilities, but
not so much to impossibilities.

As I read your offered assumptions,
it seemed as if the universe in
your view is like a battle for supremacy.

One of galactic proportions, with a supreme being at the throne making life and death decisions for something to do in his spare time, while moving planets with his
hands and passing gas to fill
a void or a black hole.

Does this cosmic high leader just sit around all alone, carrying
out his big cosmic thoughts and judgments for fun? Is it his magic wand or his easy button, that gets the job done!

Which you will probably claim that you are unable attain knowledge of!

Exactly what are the specific mechanisms you have observed and why is a mythical god your answer to not having a valid answer.

Maybe, it's a unidentified super alien? Who knows, really?

You see, man made primitive gods and the ancient men who worshiped them are not factual pieces of evidence to support extraordinary claims, such as you proposed above.

The "gods" invented by men from antiquity do not compare or
even equate to being a possible explanation for the vastness of space and time.

It doesn't jive.
Mythology and theology can not provide those answers factually.

In study, they are found to be completely inaccurate and much of the their text's contains mostly
dated lunacies of superstitious tribal nomads and their cults of domination.

The universe in my view, is beyond that. It appears to be self sustaining, but I don't pretend to have the answer or the knowing of where or how or why it all started. I have some possibilities, but those can change.

I am mindfully enjoying the fact that I can observe and learn from the life that is on this planet, for now. I have love and comfort, and that is more than enough.

All things change, as nature evolves and climates evolve, and planets evolve and galaxies evolve, so to does life here- of plants, animals, and humans, viruses and bacteria. Evolution is observable.

Hundreds of millions of years worth of valuable unbiased evidence that support the mechanisms of adaption are found all over the world and even in our cosmos.

In one nano second, that too, could change and maybe we humans don't survive it. That is a fact of life.

Look, I think many people no longer fear the truth of reality, as we have to be accepting of that fact that we are living "IN" the indifference of raw nature.

We should appreciate natures wonder for what it is because, well, we can't control it but we can't live without it. We can learn from it and survive- until oblivion comes.

Don't provide an answer first,
like god did it- and then go looking for some things to support your unsupportable answers.

Start with a question, and then go looking for ways to build up your understanding of life and nature- and ultimately, of yourself and others.

The answer becomes more about furthering our understanding, and less about possessing exclusive knowledge to gain superiority.

I think that is why we all find ourselves here on this blog, talking about it.

We have no control on the grander scheme of things. Yet, we know that human history shows us what some ideologues will do to exert power and authority over others.

Fear begets fear, until we shrug off the heavy burden of trying to prove the non-question of gods.

stronger now said...

"I'm not saying that God can't impose his Will on someone, but rather that he chooses not to."

Then:"Yes, God can override a human's free will. He generally chooses not to."

"However sometimes (very few in the Bible anyway) he does..."

"God in his justice will never force someone to do something they haven't already chosen do to."

So...are you saying that the biblegod generally never, but sometimes, chooses to force people to not do as they and he wish?

This is absurd.


There is a difference between sometimes and never.

"Pharaoh had already made his choice (ie exercised his free will), and God was holding him to that choice."

If you'll remember the pharaoh did choose to relent and the biblegod forced him not to. So your god didn't hold him to his own choice. The biblegod made the choice for the pharaoh and held him to it.

The pharaoh had chosen to obey, then god stopped him from it, and therefore god had chosen to make the pharaoh disobey god by taking away his free will, thereby making it impossible for the pharaoh to do what he intended to do. Pharaoh intended to let them go, as god wanted, but god stopped him from it, as god wanted.

Here is a better analogy:

A group of students in computer lab decide to look at porn sites on the web. So they do, and the administrator asks them not to several times. Eventually the kids decide for themselves to not visit those sites anymore. But by this time the administrator is fed up with the kids making their own choices so he decides to MAKE them visit the porn sites.

That'll teach 'em!

And please explain how the biblegod doesn't screw with free will when he takes it away.

stronger now said...

Oh. One more thing.

This discussion about free will got started when you made the claim that:"...God won't impose himself on people who do not genuinely desire to see him move."

I was simply trying to show you that your claim was in error.

"I'm not saying that God can't impose his Will on someone..."

Where did I ever state or imply that? This is missleading. I wasn't saying anything about what(according to the bible) the biblgod couldn't do, I was talking about what the biblegod DID do.
It was never my argument that the biblegod couldn't impose his will.

However, and since you brought it up, I cannot think of a single thing, in reality, that the biblegod could or couldn't do that an imaginary friend, myth, and/or fairytale, could or couldn't do as well.

Why is that?

boomSLANG said...

Integr7: Well I've got a couple hours extra hours until my Saturday Prayer Meet...

Here's a suggestion: If such spare time should arise in the future, I would encourage you to opt for the extra prayer(i.e.."Divine begging"), instead wasting our time, and your time, here on this website.

You go on to ask...Ok, you want evidence?

Seriously, are you just now figuring that out? Good grief, if you are seriously that reading-comprehension-challenged, then I suspect that getting you to see any POV other than your own, may be entirely futile.

You list the following as "evidence" for "God":

- The complexity of life on earth

Yes, yes, 'got it---"complexity" demands a "creator", ad nauseam.

Okay, for the objective-minded, the obvious question arises, and that is who or what created the "creator"? Now, surely you won't suggest to us that the "creator" is somehow less complex than the "creation", will you? Nah, you would never do that---that would be illogical; additionally, it would create a double standard.

*So then, we can logically assume that the "Creator" is super-complex - or at least, equally complex - and thus, by your own argument, this "Creator" MUST HAVE BEEN "Created". And this, of course, creates an infinite regress.

You...- The complete integration of the ecological/climate systems of our planet (much of which is unbiological and can't "evolve".

Uh huh....source, please?

- The precise composition of this earth required for life to exist.

If the "Creator" of the Universe used super-nature means to create "life", then really, we shouldn't be impressed in the least bit that "earth" can sustain "life". After all, said being could have "created" life ANYWHERE. Hell, hypothetically, "God" could've created "life" on the surface of the sun. But what we see seems to completely contradict that hypothesis, being that mere over-exposure to the suns rays actually threatens "life".

Clearly, we have "adapted" to the earth, not the other way around.

- The complexity of Life itself

Please review the refutation to the "complexity" argument for god's existence, here*(above)

- The fact that life exists

We can hopefully all agree that existence exists. However, by merely stating this obvious fact, you have not shown how it's wise, and/or, reasonable, to infer that "life" came about by supernatural means.

You...These phenomenon[the above "evidences"], to me anyway, seem to be above what is possible through random chance (for the first 3 points) and even through evolution. (For the other 2)

You seem to be ignorant of the fact that "selection" - as in natural selection - is NOT "random". In fact, random/selection is an oxymoron.

You..... now I'd appreciate if you could provide evidence that shows that these occurrences do not constitute some sort of intelligent design.

Oh, cutts!......this bullsh*t again? You're not grasping this, are you?(no)

AGAIN, it is IMPOSSIBLE to "disprove" such a thing as a disembodied, supernatural "mind". Let's back up to "Thor" for a minute---can you provide some conclusive evidence that "Thor" isn't responsible for the phenomenon of thunder? I understand and concede that science can explain the phenomenon in this day and age, however, we cannot prove, absolutely, that "Thor" isn't responsible for the very processes/reactions that lead to the phenomenon, itself. 'Get it now? In other words, we can no more prove that "Yahweh" isn't responsible for "existence", than you can prove that "Allah" isn't responsible for existence......or, again, that "Thor" isn't responsible for "thunder"; or that gremlins aren't responsible for stealing people's car keys, etc. Good grief, if you're going to keep coming back, it would be preferable if you'd stop repeating the same fallacious arguments over, and over, and over. 'Pretty-please? Thanks.

- I've seen Christians who have asked for deliverance (from demons)... never having known what it was like before... and they manifested (or displayed signs of) the demon who was being cast out.

Did you know that Muslims, too, have "seen" such things as "demons" cast out? They swear by it. But I'll wager that you will dismiss such things, out-of-hand, as the embroidering of natural events, or delusional thinking altogether, won't you?

- I've seen people's lives transformed by the power of the Spirit...

WHAT "Spirit"? Are you talking about a specific "Spirit"? Or spirits in general? I suspect the former, in which case, AGAIN, there's MILLIONS of personal instances where people will testify that "The Almighty Allah" has "transformed" them for the better.

I wonder if you will accept this evidence though?

Let's review your previously stated "evidence":

"- The complexity of life on earth."

- "The complete integration of the ecological/climate systems of our planet (much of which is unbiological and can't 'evolve'."

- "The precise composition of this earth required for life to exist."

- "The complexity of Life itself."

- "The fact that life exists."


Tell me, will you acknowledge that MILLIONS of devout Muslims would enter the same "evidence" as you, yet, they attribute it to "Allah", instead of that mythical Christian god, "Yahweh"? Will you accept their "evidence"? Of course you won't.....so there's your answer...NO, I don't accept your "evidence". Why?...because it's not objective.

My faith isn't based on nothing..

No, not based on "nothing"...but based on your presupposition that "God" exists, and that this "God" is none other than the god of the Christian bible. In which case, why "Faith" in the first place? You don't see the immediate problem, do you?(Rhetorical)

Okay, you have "Faith" that a "God" exists at all, but yet, you "know", with certainty, that this "God" is the Judeo Christian biblegod. It's quite a conundrum. Can you solve it?..preferably with sound, cohesive explanations? 'Listening.

however I just don't know what you would consider as credible evidence...

Let's see...non-anecdotal, testable/falsifiable/repeatable, for starters.

that terms["convincing"] allows you to exclude anything that you don't want to consider = ).

Techically, you're right. However, we can logically infer that many people are genuinely UNconvinced, simply due to the fact that the topic is up for debate in the first place. In other words, find me a website where the topic of debate is the existence of "gravity", or "electromagnetism".

Bottom line: The existence of "God" is not evident.

You said...Ok, so though we do know where thunder comes from now, let us assume that we weren't so scientifically advanced and we didn't.

Why must we "assume" such a thing, when it's evident that in a distant past, mankind was ignorant on that subject, and many others?

You...Thor is an un-viable deity in so many other ways. If you look up at one of my previous comments, I stated why I believe that the God who created this Universe must be a singular God, yet who also maintains community (within the Trinity). Thor is nothing like that.

Oh, heavens-to-betsy, thanks-so-much for that irrelevant bit of disclosure. Are you f%cking serious? You seem to be saying that one deity is "un-viable", and the foundation for that, from what I can see, is that you merely start making assertions about the "deity" that you believe has a referent in reality. It appears you either missed, or intentionally circumvented, the POINT of the "Thor" analogy.

I'm saying that the evidence between the two, from an objective standpoint, is really no different; I'm saying that primitive man was ignorant as to the natural explanation for thunder, thus, he employed the "God of the gaps" argument. I posit that you are doing the same, now. I couldn't give a crap less whether you "believe" that "Yahweh" is a "three-in-one" deity, or not. The point is, you are employing a supernatural explanation for something that could have a perfectly natural explanation, the same way primitive man invented "Thor" in lack of a natural explanation.

You continue....Furthermore Thor was created to explain natural events[bold added]

YES!..PRECISELY! Hello?

...where as God["Yahweh"], in his wisdom, never claimed to be directly responsible for the natural events that we couldn't explain at the time.

Bingo, again! "Yahweh" surely "never claimed" any such thing, because like "Thor", "Yahweh" has no referent in reality. It is MAN who is making these claims.

You...He["Yahweh"] created the world, a supernatural event that by all common forms of what consider natural, would be impossible. (ie matter and life coming from where there was none.)

Yes! yes! YES!...the ol' "something from nothing" argument, ad nauseam. Of course, "God" violates this "law" right away, presumably because "God came from nothing". Again, the double-standard.

You...I also do know what it means to compartmentalize... except I don't believe that I do that... however if I agree to research it, and test if I do, would you also?

Firstly, if you know what it means, then why would you have to research it? Secondly, you dismiss any and all supernatural claims that don't coincide with your worldview; I merely dismiss them all. You are the one showing a lack of consistancy, and in order to do that, you must.....well, never mind, you already "know".

AtheistToothFairy said...

InteGR7 wrote to ATF:
God is a Holy Holy Holy God... meaning that he hates sin... and his anger does burn against those who do sin. We all, as sinners, deserve the fact his wrath and judgement which would ultimately result in our deaths and consignment to hell.
----
Josh,

First off, after just now reading through the Webmasters and Boomslang's comments to you, I can't imagine how any xtian can make an argument for your god, based solely on the 'mysteries of the universe', that you cite to us as "evidence" for such a being.

Because this 'evidence' you offered has now been shown as being erroneous, I'm going to take a different approach, based on your comment to me above.

Did you really mean to demonstrate here, that your perfect god has HUMAN EMOTIONS?

You say your god "HATES" sin.
You say we deserve god's "WRATH"
You say his "ANGER" does burn....

Don't you find it quite odd that an entity who had the power to create the entire universe, along with every life form within that universe, would have the weakness of dealing with these emotions you mention here?

Please explain to me how a god who knows the endless future, and in perfect detail, could ever be taken by-surprise by our human sinful actions towards him?
I say "by-surprise" here, because how could such a fantastic being, be surprised by anything and if one is never surprised by an upcoming event, then why would one feel anger or hate, when that event finally comes to pass?

Examples now:

If you knew from the time you were born, that your girlfriend would cheat on you 3 days from this moment in time, it would then be fully expected to happen, and thus, would you really feel anger when what you already knew all this time, came to pass?

If you knew millions of years in advance (or more) that you would create an Adam and Eve (and all the humans that would descend from them) and of course you knew they would SIN, would you feel anger and wrath when the day came and they did AS FULLY EXPECTED?

Going beyond these two examples, does it make sense for such a perfect, all powerful, all knowing god-being, to have the weakness of our uglier emotions?

If we then add to these emotions you speak about, the 'NEED' for your god to create humans to keep him company (or to have around for play-toys), then this 'need' characteristic is yet another emotional weakness that your god clearly would exhibit.

Josh, the god of the bible that you worship so blindly, behaves far more like humans, than he does of any god-like-being that would be worthy of being worshipped.

In fact, you would have a far better case to make here, if you changed your god theory into one of some advanced alien being who happen to take an extended vacation on this earth, a few thousand years ago and decided to ACT like a 'god' to the primitive minds of those ancient era's.
At least it would make vastly more sense for even an advanced alien to have these emotions you speak about, than for a god-being to have the same.

You also insist that your god is "HOLY".
By who's standards do we measure what this word "HOLY" means?
Seems to me that saying god is "holy", is a form of circular reasoning.

First you invent an unproven god being, and then you give him the attribute of being holy.
When asked how we know what "holy" means, you would then point to your god and say "holy" is what god is.
i.e. God is holy because he can't be otherwise to you.

If your god turned out to be vastly different in his disposition than you believe him to be now, would god still be considered "holy"?
What if the bible god decided one day to change himself into a very different type of god, would he still be "holy"?

(BTW..If you will tell me that god never changes, please show evidence for this, as it's clear that he indeed did change, as we move along in your bible story book)

So really, while you say your god is "HOLY", your definition of what "HOLY" is, has everything to do with the fact that you are applying this special word, to your god.
It wasn't like this word was defined FIRST, and then just happened to fit the god you believe to exist.
Frankly, if the Devil has god-like powers, how do you know the devil isn't HOLY as well?

Therefore, this word "HOLY" is actually a very meaningless trivial word, isn't it Josh?

It should be becoming slowly OBVIOUS to you by now, that your god is far too human in it's very nature, to not have been created by the emotional mind of 'man'.
Your god gets angry like us, he gets jealous like we do, he throws temper tantrums like a 2 year old child.
He had no problem in wiping the planet of all life from his ANGER and perhaps also his disappointment in us.
I do believe to feel "disappointment" would also be a human emotion to?

Worse though, even with the infinite knowledge your god has going for him, even with knowing his faulty plan for us would fail (numerous times), he still gets angry when the very expected results of his plan, actually come to pass.

Perhaps I'm being shortsighted here about god's plan, so let's project this god plan out to a more long-term type god plan, to see if anything changes.....

You might say that his wiping the planet of all life, was really part of the bigger picture he had planned for this earth.
If that is the case, then his long term plan clearly included the need to 'allow' every failure of humankind to happen, as it did.
He thus knew well in advance that he would have to do all the killing he later did, yes?

So instead of your 'delightful' god forming an alternate plan that would offer success (but without all the human pain, suffering, and god-killing), he chose instead to stick to this evil first plan he conjured up for humanity.

So it seems to me that your god is powerless to change his first plan that came to his mind. Once he thinks of a plan, he seems to have no choice but to carry it out, no matter what.
Oh, and while he's carrying out this faulty plan, he pretends to get super angry and jealous and then hand out his wrath to us.

MOST humans evidently, are smarter than your great god.
If we form a plan and notice it's not working out, we scrub that plan and form a new plan.
While we might feel disappointed that our first plan didn't work out, we would still form a new plan in hopes it would realize the goals we had desired.

Even if your god hadn't known that Adam and Eve would fail (impossible according to your bible), then he should have been WISE enough to scrub that plan by removing the first couple from the picture and making a new first couple to put in his magical garden.
Oh, but of course, not even your great god could change his first plan, once he decided to go forward with it.
The god wheels were set in motion and there just was no stopping them from turning, right Josh?

In the end Josh, if your god really does have all these human emotions, then he is NO GOD at all.
At best, your god would be some immortal life form who is far ahead of us technologically, but has not advanced one iota when it comes to overcoming the weakness of human emotions.

It is clear that your bible god's attributes you render upon him, form nothing but a huge contradiction in terms.
It's so easy to the logical mind, to realize that such a god could never exist, in any universe.
Your god is made up of all opposing attributes.
To insist that he's all these things you xtians claim him to be, would be like insisting that Josh is an Atheist-Christian.

Your bible god cannot exist, just in principle. His existence (per the bible), is highly illogical and contradictory.
If we then add in some other factors to the 'mix', no non-brainwashed person would ever make a claim for such a god.

Factors, such as no verifiable miracles are ever seen, especially the grander type that the bible story is chock full of.

Factors, such as virtually zero evidence to support god's son jesus ever walking this earth and having a massive following and performing many great miracles in front of the masses, yet this same jesus was totally ignored by the scholars of the day.

Factors, such as xtians do not benefit from god's hand, beyond what folks of other faiths (or no faith) receive from their own god; or receive from no god in the case of atheists.

Factors, such as evolution is a most viable and accepted explanation to account for how we came from lower life forms. In contrast, there is zero evidence to support that god created man as-is one happy day a few thousand years ago.

Factors, such as god's holy spirit not only malfunctions in keeping xtians from doing criminal acts, but this spirit can't seem to get it's own facts straight, in what it transmits to all the xtian believers, hence, we land up with thousands of xtian sects instead of just the ONE we would expect to see, if this god were of reality.

Factors, such as god chose not to write the bible himself, but instead 'hired' MANY human writers to pen his words, for him. I guess god broke his writing hand and he takes a long long to heal such an injury?

Factors, such as jesus promised to return shortly after he left the planet, but after 2000 years we are still waiting for said return of this mythical being.

Josh, you can let your 'heart' lead your brain around, as if your brain was nothing more than something to be kept-in-tow, but you will waste most (if not all) of your life chasing after a dream that has no more credible evidence to exist, than the Wizard of Oz has.
All the many lost opportunities you might have had in your life, will go by the wayside.

If you die with this god faith intact, you will never know you were wrong, but if say 20 years from now you wake up and discover (like we did) that god is imaginary, just think how angry you will be at yourself for having wasted that large portion of your one and only life, away.

I think I can safely say, that the folks here on Dave's blog, are trying HARD to save you from the mistakes that we once made, where some mythical god is concerned.
Alas, we can only bring you to the water of reality, but we can never make you drink from it.

At the very least, you truly need to take a few steps back and see the bigger picture of life.
You are TOO close to this god illusion to realize your brain has been fine-tuned to see the world only through the god filter, that some-how was injected into you.
While you believe yourself to have an analytical mind, such that you've concluded you can't be easily fooled, you couldn't be more mistaken.

You have been very coyly fooled by these religious types, who are more than happy to have you amongst their DYING flock.
The religious know their days are numbered and they are now grasping at any straw they can, especially a straw that shows intelligence, but yet at the same time, is still susceptible to brainwashing by their dogma and false promises of an afterlife and god.
You would make a fine gullible 'straw' to their collection and they love having you around.

I often wonder how someone like yourself, who is obviously intelligent, can so easily ignore all the god counter-evidence, that everyone here has discovered.

Either all of us here have truly found reality, a reality where no xtian god can be possible, or your god has chosen to totally ignore everyone of us, for some unexplainable reason.

Which is more likely Josh?
A conclusion where we need some god being of incomprehensible power, to explain our very existence, or a conclusion that uses non-mystical evidence; that shows itself to us in within the very natural world that we also happen to exist within.

Instead of digging hard for god-evidence within your own wishful fantasy of such a god, why not use that same determination to look OUTSIDE THE GOD BOX, to see if this god could be nothing more than one more human myth of a god being, added to the many myths that already had been created throughout the eons of human time.


ATF (Who really hates to see someone intelligent, get fooled so badly)

boomSLANG said...

Oh, and then there's this nonsense:

InteGR7......free will can indeed be taken away by God, who is after all sovereign and all powerful (although some would find that hard to accept) =).

Yes, hard to accept.

Please listen closely---between what "God" wants(i.e.."God's will"), and what man wants(i.e.."man's will"), either one, or the other, ultimately takes precedence. In other words, in the end, either your hypothetical deity gets its desires, requests, and wishes, etc., met....or man does, via his own "free will". You cannot have it both ways. If you are going to sit there and be adamant that your hypothetical biblegod wants certain things, blah, blah, yada, yada...but yet, does not/will not interfere with our "free will", then clearly, said "being" has set boundaries..e.g..limits, on what it will, and won't, do. Thus, said hypothetical being is evidently not "limitless". Whether said being has "the power", or not, is irrelevant, if, in the end, man's puny will precedes "God's Almighty Will".

InteGR7...Free will isn't the ability to make your own choices and act on them... but rather the freedom to choose to turn to God or reject him.

Um, what?!? Is not the latter one's own "choice"? Good grief...equivocate much?

InteGR7...That's what I'm talking about when I discuss free will.

Frankly, I don't think you have a clue what you're talking about. If you do, your words certainly don't reflect it.

InteGR7...I'm not saying that God can't impose his Will on someone, but rather that he chooses not to.

Right, you are simply defining "God" by what it is not, and what it won't, or doesn't, do. How convenient. Let's see, Lucky the Leprechaun isn't going to interfere with your free will to choose Cheerios over Lucky Charms. It's not that he doesnt exist.

Bottom line, if "he['God'] chooses" not to impose or exercise its alleged "free will", then "he" is letting man's "free will" take precedence; "he" is putting limits on how "he" will inforce/employ its own "free will", thus, "he" has limited its own supposed "will". Whether he "could" intervene, but "chooses not to", is immaterial to the fact. This is precisely what I was alluding to above.

stronger now said...

O.k. I have taken a couple of days and reconsidered the statement(s) I made:

"Where did I ever state or imply that? This is missleading. I wasn't saying anything about what(according to the bible) the biblgod couldn't do, I was talking about what the biblegod DID do.
It was never my argument that the biblegod couldn't impose his will."

I realized that you weren't trying to insert a false argument(again) but were trying to clarify your point.(whatever that may have been)

I can only say in my defense that this conversation with you has been confusing. Take this sentence for example:

"Free will isn't the ability to make your own choices and act on them... but rather the freedom to choose to turn to God or reject him."

So, free will isn't the ability to make your own choice about rejecting or turning to god....and then acting on that choice?

Archived Testimonial Pageviews this week: