My seed of doubt

Sent in by Johnny

I was sitting with my pastor at the seminary I was attending for development in Christianity program, and we were talking about one of the finer points in Calvinistic dogma, that being predestination. This was the moment, after 20 years of Christian living, that would instill the mustard seed of doubt into my mind, which would eventually lead to my leaving of Church, of the faith, and eventually any notion of God.

I was raised in a Christian home, by Christian parents. I was taught all of the same teachings that every Christian has heard thousands upon thousands of times. I was pulled out of secular middle school to be home schooled with a Christian curriculum. I had science classes that taught against evolution. I had writing classes with exercises that were always Christianized in theme. I had math classes that had me adding and subtracting problems, with Bible verses on the sides of the page.

I went to Church every Sunday. And youth group every Tuesday. And I had Bible study every Wednesday. And in high school I led a Bible study with jr. High students every Thursday night. I lived and loved in the Church. It was, completely and wholly, my life. My doubts were brief, my emotions high, and I remember praying every night before bed...begging God not to judge me for the sins I still committed against him.

But here I was, 20 years old, at a seminary...never having anything that could be called "a crisis of faith" up until this point, and here speaking to my pastor...I could not accept the idea of God punishing people.

The idea of hell had always bothered me. Why had Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, yet only Christians got into heaven? Why would a god that ultimately is supposed to love us as we are created in his image...why would he throw us into hell? Why would that place even exist? The old phrase, "why do bad things happen to good people?" but on a larger and more eternal playing field.

And with the idea of predestination, came the idea that I made no life choices. I had no free will. While the belief in predestination is not one the whole of Christianity, or even a majority of it, accept as fact...the point was still hitting me on a daily basis at this point that I had no free will. God was so big and powerful that his plan was formed and written millions of years ago (figuratively), and there was nothing I could do to change anything.

My life suddenly felt dark and empty. My pastor even told me that I never accepted Jesus into my life. I was so dead in sin, that Jesus chose to save me. The pivotal moment in my life as a Christian...and it didn't even matter. I had done nothing. And it made me question, why go out and mission to people, when they are already chosen? If God made his mind up at the beginning, why should I try and save anyone?

That was my seed of doubt.

Then college came. I lived in the dorm my first year away for college, and my roommate was chosen randomly. He was, as it turned out, a former Christian who now studied philosophy. Over the course of the year me and him had many discussions about the way of life, the way things used to feel for us as Christians, and my doubt in the faith began to grow the more I read on things in the field of science. Things I had never learned in high school. I was taught about the lies in evolution, and now I was finding out that it was actually my book that had been lying. I learned about philosophy. I learned more about art. And every night I would talk to my roommate, and he would continue to answer my questions about things away from faith.

The last night of my Christian life, the last time I would identify myself as a Christian, I asked Robbie, my roommate, if he thought he was still happy without God in his life. I was so scared that I was going to be lonely and miserable without Him. I thought without Church, and Christ I was going to live a sad life.

Robbie didn't even answer with words. He just sat there and smiled. And that smile warmed me more than the smile of any pastor I had heard or seen in my life. It was a smile of comfort in life, with no mysticism. A life of just...life. No afterlife to worry about, no sins to atone for.

I was 20 years old, and I in that moment in my dorm, I stopped calling myself a Christian. It took me another year before I could fully stop believing in any version of a god, and a year after that until I could argue my points with all the friends I had that were Christians. And most of them still are, sadly.

I am 25 now, and I am more happy now than I ever was as a Christian. I don't have this huge guilt that I am a bad person hanging over my head. I don't constantly feel like I am this evil creature. I don't go about my life worrying about heaven or hell, but just the only life I have in front of me. Now, in addition to grad school and work, I work with people in my own community to help others escape from Christianity in the heart of the belt buckle.

I cannot believe how long it took me to get out, but I am thankful that I have the rest of my life to help others try and get out earlier. You don't have to live a lie. You don't have to live a life away from science and facts, from true enlightenment. You can be free to accept the world as a flawed place, and work on making this world, this earth a better place, rather than just hoping for a good afterlife.

There is hope, after faith.

141 comments:

Telmi said...

Welcome, Johnny.

You have discovered early what some others had discovered much later in their lives. And that's a big plus for you. Congrats.

xrayman said...

Hey Johnny,

Beautiful, simply beautiful. What I wouldn't have given to be completely whitewashed of God belief at 25. My life was much different than yours for I was never a devout Christian, but a totally religiously confused individual for the first 43 years of my life. I was in religious limbo my entire life. I never really found Jesus, yet I often feared it was because I was unworthy, and I often feared Hell. I always wondered why I couldn't have this wonderful religious experience/life so many professed. I wanted it so bad.

Well I guess looking back at my life I guess deep down inside my subconscious mind was always an atheist, and would never allow me to fully buy into religous bullshit. It only took me a couple days of reading on sites like this to completely free myself from God belief two years ago. At 45 I am a very vocal loudmouthed strong atheist.

So Mr. Johnny please tell us how you relate to your family at this point in your life..........

billybee said...

Hi Johnny,

Your testimony of de-conversion is another great example of people who tried and tried and tried to believe, but were unable to stop their common sense from doing its job.

Peace of mind comes when you stop trying to force the square peg of faith into the round hole of truth.

You wrote ".... Now, in addition to grad school and work, I work with people in my own community to help others escape from Christianity in the heart of the belt buckle..."

I would be very interested in what this entails...maybe you'll write a piece on it...?

Thanks for your inspiring letter that proves that people can break free. I hope your influence and example will be the door to a new life for those are searching for their way out of confusion and fear.

hi to xrayman & ryan.

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

I have always had a problem with the hyper-calvanist and calvanist doctrines, especially predestination and total depravity mainly because the calvanists also claim that god is just and fair - depriving humans of free will is unjust and unfair. I think the main reason for the formation of the doctrine of predestination is to give creedance to the idea of omniscience because how could a being know what will happen in the future if he can not control all aspects of the present [this is also why they beleive that we have no free will]? Who ever thought this doctrne up is an idiot anyway, because the creator can still have perfect future knowledge if humans have free will - simply by knowing every possibility [and consequence of the effect of freely willed action]in the present implies perfect knowledge of what will happen in the future anyhow. The doctrine of predestination is quite rediculous and even dangerous because it absolves people of any moral responsibility for their actions - in other words, since things were already planned eons ago, why should a person in the future be held responsibile for breaking the law?

Anonymous said...

Nicely written, Richard.

Your article made me realize that the Christian faith makes no sense, no matter how you look at it.

If one lives in a Christian environment where God is portrayed as judgmental and abusive, then the image contradicts the message of a loving, caring God.

If one lives in a Christian environment of love and understanding, then the image of a punishing, vindictive God makes no sense at all.

Magick1369 said...

Congratulations Johnny on your choice to reject the fear, guilt, and shame of Christian dogma. I am like everyone else here...I wondered what was wrong with me. I went to church and never felt anything. I'd pray to Jesus and would feel and receive nothing. Now the answer is obvious...A historical Jesus never existed...there isn't a shred of evidence for him. Christianity is merely a rehash of pagan god-man myths. Good luck bro.

Boe said...

Bravo! What a wonderful testamonial. I am an athiest, brought up by athiest parents. The only thiests knocking around in my wider family have been an aunt and her mother - my grandmother, who were/are Plymouth Bretheren. They have been off the scene since my early childhood - non association with the wicked.
Even from this perspective I find religion scary, so I can't imagine what it's like for someone freeing themselves from a whole life of indoctrination. For this reason I have a huge respect for peolple such as the members of this site.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Johnny the OP said:
I had math classes that had me adding and subtracting problems, with Bible verses on the sides of the page.
----
Johnny,

Congratulations on popping the xtian bubble they had you trapped inside of !!
Wonderful Testimony you wrote.

Now about these bible verses on the side of your math problems:

On the division pages, did they perhaps insist in those verses, that 22 / 7 = 3 ?

On the geometry pages, did they show a picture of a flat earth circle, for a sphere?

I have to wonder what algebra class might have been like.
What might have the bible verses showed for a possible solution to this algebraic word problem :...

God leaves heaven for Earth at exactly 3:00 PM (trinity time), traveling at 3X light speed (trinity speed).
The Devil leaves Earth at 6:16 PM to stop god from arriving and is traveling at 666X light speed.
[Note to student: Please ignore the illusion that the Devil is faster than god in this problem]

Student: Calculate which false god in the vastness of space, the two will eventually meet up at.

Bonus points will be given if the student can also calculate the winner.
Show all work, including any crayon sketches you drew as a visual aide.


ATF (Who wonders if the science books also contained nuggets of biblical science to?)

Anonymous said...

Johnny,
Welcome to the world of reason. I bailed out of Christianity 28 years ago, at about the same age as you - never regretted it.

It's funny how when you start studying Christianity you find out how untenable it really is.

resonate11 said...

Fabulous testimony, Johnny! Thanks for helping others "escape from Christianity." How do you go about this praise worthy task?

ManateeClaw27 said...

yep...doubts in college, me too. and fear of being alone without a God of some sort, yes I have that.
thank you for your story, Richard. I found it awesome that you got to come up with your own common sense and truth, not predigested rules.

although I think I consider myself to be a liberal christian, I don't believe in hell other than a state of mind caused by a feeling of separation from the rest of the world (which I felt when I was 8, ironically, when I was trying to convert people like my mom did). I remember telling her a couple years ago, around age 25, "weeping and gnashing of teeth? but we're doing that now!"

Brainwashing, yes, I either brainwashed myself as a kid by wanting to follow all the rules, or my church and church-school did, or both. That said, I know people who went to the same church and school and did not experience the same disastrous internal effects that I did, possibly because of my temperament to begin with.

I took it literally. Not all of them did. The ones who didn't take it literally I thought were lazy, or hypocritical, or indulging in wishful thinking so they could have fun (Imagine that!).

The worst-case scenario was always the correct version, in my mind.

Oops.

That said, I feel like I'm "advertising for the competition" whenever I express anger at the form of (evangelical) christianity I was brought up with. the lurking fear is that it might be true, and guess what, I'm leading people astray. that was my greatest fear as a young kid and young adult...it's okay if I don't want to believe in the literal resurrection and take the consequences, but who am I to jeopardize others (!) by not converting them or putting on a good show for them. boy am I a powerful character. Haha.

what a lot of pressure.

Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

ATV,

The answer to your math problem is, of course, Jesus.

Calvanist predestination is the inevitable conclusion a person must draw when they accept the premises that God is omnipotent, that he created everything, and that all things occur for a reason (All the most basic tenents of Christian faith). Any Christian who claims anything less is not being intellectually honest. But then again, that's about par for the course.

shay said...

I love this site. I really liked the fact that it just hit you and you were able to walk with it until you got out. I hope that it doesn't ever come back to haunt you. It did to me but I still plug away at what I know is true.
Shay

shay said...

I love this site. I'm just so glad you were able to take your first revelation and walk with it until you got out and over to the other side. I hope it doesn't come back to haunt you. I did me but I just keep towing the line becuz I know it's the truth not to "Believe" etc.
shay

Trancelation said...

Welcome, Johnny, and thank you for sharing your story.

The details of your eventual deconversion really shine a light on the narrow-mindedness of religion. Religious individuals can't see beyond the world as it is defined in their religion - and that is so sad, because life is so beautiful. When something doesn't mesh with the answers they've been given, they have to ostracize it. As you continue to find meaning without religion, and find happiness, the religious will continue to deny that you are happy or posses meaning. Prove them wrong. Welcome to freedom and reality!

aggiesoccer said...

Talking about the close mindedness of Christians, there are a long line of great thinkers who were Christian: CS Lewis, JR Tolkien, along with many of the renaissance scientists.
I take the bible as God's showing of himself to mankind. There is grace and truth, Heaven and Hell, predestination and free will and without a doubt the most beautiful story of sacrifice and love. When I was 18 and decided that I wanted to believe in Christ I did so on the premise of historical comparison to other religions and also that there must be a God because of everything around us (the universe, the earth, mountains, waterfalls, vast oceans, atoms that have enough power locked in them to power a city for weeks). If there is no God (which I am fully open to) then what an incredible accident! If there is a God and he has not revealed himself to us then God is cold and to me is not someone worth knowing. Its seems most logical that if God created all this then he would find a way to make himself known. There are stuggles and weights in being Christian which not associatated with being non-Christian. There is a general weirdness about a lot of churches and people in churches. On the flipside there is richness and joy in praying and learning about God which I never find in anything else in life. There is something that changes in my heart and mind and I am more motivated to love others, love God, and enjoy all the little things in life. And life is beautiful.

But in the end what matters is what is true. It’s not about what we want to believe. Its about digging and seeking truth.


Would love to hear back.

aggiesoccer said...

Forgot to add MLK along with Bono to the list of great thinkers

AtheistToothFairy said...

aggiesoccer wrote:
Talking about the close mindedness of Christians, there are a long line of great thinkers who were Christian: CS Lewis, JR Tolkien, along with many of the renaissance scientists
---
Aggie,
Where on earth do you get the idea that CS Lewis is some "great thinker"?
(He's more like a con-man/comedian, in my mind.)
Sure, he knows how to do PR, but so do most actors and I doubt we would classify most actors as 'great thinkers'.

What a pity that you seem to idolize such a con man !!

>I take the bible as God's showing of himself to mankind.

I would much rather this god of yours, pays me a visit instead.
Heck, I'll even cook him dinner, if he can find time in his busy schedule?


>There is grace and truth, Heaven and Hell, predestination and free will and without a doubt the most beautiful story of sacrifice and love.

The key word in your sentence here was STORY.
I suppose one can find grace and truth in a 'story', but it's still nothing but a story in the end.

FYI......if you believe in predestination, then what's the point in trying to change ourselves for this god being?
My fate is already written in stone, right.


>When I was 18 and decided that I wanted to believe in Christ

And there is your whole reason in a nutshell....You WANTED TO BELIEVE the fable, see?


> I did so on the premise of historical comparison to other religions and also that there must be a God because of everything around us (the universe, the earth, mountains, waterfalls, vast oceans, atoms that have enough power locked in them to power a city for weeks).

So you're saying that things of beauty or complexity, are evidence for this god being?
So let me ask you then, who created the ugly things in this universe then?
Let me guess, the devil?

As far as YOU being awed by complexity, doesn't add one iota to any evidence that a god being had to create it.
It only means, your mind won't accept what it can't understand, without introducing god as the answer to the problem.

> If there is no God (which I am fully open to) then what an incredible accident! If there is a God and he has not revealed himself to us then God is cold and to me is not someone worth knowing.

That pretty much sums it all up....COLD.
If there are any god type beings out there, they are not concerned about this tiny earth, nor it's inhabitants.
If you have evidence to the contrary, we'd be happy to weigh it?


> Its seems most logical that if God created all this then he would find a way to make himself known.

First you ASSUME a god had to create all this, then you assume he would make himself known to us.
Do much assuming for other things in your day to day life?
I think you MUST.


> There are stuggles and weights in being Christian which not associatated with being non-Christian.

Yeah, it's called letting one's mind be brainwashed by foolishness.
Although, I have my doubts that it's much of a struggle for some, to allow such brainwashing.


>There is a general weirdness about a lot of churches and people in churches.

Noooo, say it isn't so?
Weirdness, you say.
Maybe they are weird because your god is also WEIRD?


>On the flipside there is richness and joy in praying and learning about God which I never find in anything else in life.

I never ever found any 'richness' or 'joy in praying. In fact, quite the opposite.
Praying felt like an act of begging that was all too futile. Much like one would feel asking a rock to cure their sore throat.
As far as learning about god, nothing could have been more boring to me when I was a boy.


> There is something that changes in my heart and mind and I am more motivated to love others, love God, and enjoy all the little things in life. And life is beautiful.

Trust me, it wasn't any god who changed your heart or made life seem beautiful to you.
You talked yourself into seeing things that way, all because you wanted to and found a way to trick your own mind into believing it was possible to do so.

>But in the end what matters is what is true. It’s not about what we want to believe. Its about digging and seeking truth.

Exactly !!
However, in order to know something is 'true', one has to have evidence and facts to support it being true.
I'm very sure you have no evidence or facts, that would prove your god exists, right?
What you do have, I'm betting, are feelings that god is real, along with a clever way of skewing things of chance in your life, to make them appear to point to a non-existent god having influenced your life's course.
I can do the same type of thing by asking my pet rock to help my life along and anytime something positive happens, I thank my pet rock for it's divine help.

You also WILL always find remarkable events in your life that occur.
While they may seem mystical because they seem to be long-shots, such things MUST happen to all of us, and DO in fact.
The difference is that folks who lack a belief in the supernatural will not assign such things of rare chance to some god being, while god believers enjoy doing just that for some reason.

>Would love to hear back.

Okay, so I took the time to fulfill your request here.
Now fulfill my request of providing REAL evidence for the existence of your god, or anything supernatural for that matter, okay?


ATF ( Who thinks the coward god hides himself away, because he lacks [soccer] balls )

aggiesoccer said...

One question, just want to hear feedback on. How do you rationalize the big bang and the appearance of billions upon billions of complex atoms powered toward the end of the still growing universe without some force behind it? Do you hold faith in future scientific discovery?
Thanks for your reply.

aggiesoccer said...

Also fulfill my request of providing REAL evidence for there not being the existence of God, or anything supernatural for that matter.

I think we are just going to come to the conclusion that everyone believes what they want and nobody is really for sure.

resonate11 said...

"I think we are just going to come to the conclusion that everyone believes what they want..."

So, aggiesoccer, the question really is, Why do you want to believe in the Biblical gods or, if you prefer, the Christian God? Surely you know, having read your bible, how heinous they were or He was.

boomSLANG said...

aggie...I take the bible as God's showing of himself to mankind.

I take the bible as a dusty old outdated, outmoded, 2000 yr-old book of myths, much of which was plagiarized from earlier belief-systems.

aggie...There is grace and truth[in the bible]...

What is "grace"? And as for "truth", find me a domestic ass that speaks hebrew.

aggie...Heaven and Hell[in the bible]..

Yes, yes..of course---"reward"... and "torture"(notice, I don't say "punishment", because technically, punishment ends)

aggie...predestination and free will[in the bible]

Um, did you happen to notice that "free will"/"predestination" is an oxymoron? In other words, if someone's fate is predetermined, then their "free will" is utterly usless; they only have the illusion of "free will", at best.

aggie...and without a doubt the most beautiful story of sacrifice and love.

Did you say "love"? What "love"? What "sacrifice"? Is not "Jesus" in our midst? Is "Jesus" not "alive"? If he is alive and supposedly in our midst, then there was no "sacrifice". Furthermore, if "Jesus" only accepts those who reciprocate his "love", then that "love" is certainly conditional, which makes a mockery of the word "love".

aggie continues...Also fulfill my request of providing REAL evidence for there not being the existence of God, or anything supernatural for that matter.

Please fulfill my request of providing REAL evidence that invisible fairies don't live under my refrigerator, and from there, they control the Universe.

Astreja said...

Aggiesoccer: "How do you rationalize the big bang and the appearance of billions upon billions of complex atoms powered toward the end of the still growing universe without some force behind it?"

Physics.

"Do you hold faith in future scientific discovery?"

Science is far from perfect, but the scientific method allows us to improve upon our knowledge simply by being emotionally detached and careful in our measurements and observations.

Religion fails that test on two counts: One, it is emotionally involved; and two, there doesn't yet seem to be any way of objectively identifying, observing and measuring a "god".

"Also fulfill my request of providing REAL evidence for there not being the existence of God, or anything supernatural for that matter."

Due to the difficulty of conclusively proving a negative assertion, the burden of proof rests with the person making the positive assertion. Therefore, it's up to you to prove that gods and the supernatural do exist.

In the meantime, I'm going to chat with the fairies under boomSLANG's fridge.

Dave8 said...

Aggiesoccer: "Also fulfill my request of providing REAL evidence for there not being the existence of God, or anything supernatural for that matter."

First of all, no one is obligated to "prove", that your imaginative expression of "supernatural", etc., lacks a referent in our common reality.

The burden of proof is on you, to show a connection between your imaginative expression(s), and the common reality we share - good luck.

AtheistToothFairy said...

aggiesoccer wrote:
Also fulfill my request of providing REAL evidence for there not being the existence of God, or anything supernatural for that matter
----
Aggie,

It's already been explained to you that the one making the extraordinary claim is the one who is obligated to provide the extraordinary evidence.
If that wasn't a 'rule', then society would have to accept every crazy claim that anyone presented to it, right?
In other words, we would spend all our time chasing after fictitious 'ghost', instead of putting our efforts and thoughts into legitimate endeavors of discovery.

In addition, it's very difficult to 'prove a negative', if not impossible.
If a thing doesn't exist, it's a whole lot more difficult to prove it doesn't, rather than if it did.
If I told you that I had an invisible and undetectable huge dog in my garage, how would you prove that I was lying and that this dog didn't exist?
You have to admit, you would be hard pressed to prove I was lying, wouldn't you?

So to prove a non-existent god being doesn't exists, is also a difficult matter to do.
On the other hand, if such a god does exists, it shouldn't be hard at all to prove it's existence, especially if such a god is interacting with this earth and it's life forms, right?

Now if by chance, there is some god being out-there somewhere, but this god does not interact with our earth and us, then what value would such a god have to our lives?
Therefore, the only situation where such a god being would be of value to us humans, is if it has some interaction with us, yes?

Now, can we discover if this god interacts with us; assuming it does in fact exist.
We can indeed, if we know what to look for.
If one insist that the bible god is THE god of the universe and the bible tells us the truth about this god, then we have the means to discover it's existence, based on the attributes the bible tells us about this god's behavior towards humankind.

If the bible claims this god causes supernatural things to occur, then we should be able to detect those things in our lives, should we not?
If we can not, then what value would such supernatural actions have for us?

The bible claims that god has performed all kinds of miracles, both grand and small scale.
Of course, the grander miracles have never been seen in modern times, so one has to take it on faith that such ancient grand miracles actually took place.
Alas, outside of your bible story, history is silent about such grand miracles, so we have to look for smaller scale miracles in modern times.

What might such miracles be then.
Well the bible makes it very clear that god answers prayer, does he not?
Now he might be a bit choosy about what prayers he answers, but I think we can safely assume he would answer SOME, no?
After all, if he answers no prayers, then again what is the point of having such a god in our lives?

If we were to do a study to see how many prayers are answered, what do you think we should expect to see?
Would you expect a success rate of 100%, 50%, 10% or just a measly 1%?

Let's take a look at prayers used to heal people. Would you expect at least a 10% success rate in healing people for medical problems that could never heal themselves?
Is asking 10% of your god, too much or too little?

Now here's the problem.

When we do such studies, we find that the surgical patients who were prayed for, do NO better than the patients who were not prayed for.
In fact, in the last study, the one's being prayed for did WORSE in their recovery times.

If we now add to these statistics, the fact that your god never restores missing limbs from even the most earnest of xtians, then what does that say about the chances of your god existing as advertised by your bible book?

As far as other things of the supernatural goes, such evidence has been sought after for as long as I can remember, yet with the plethora of folks who have tried to prove it's existence, we have yet to have any verifiable evidence to support anything beyond our physical existence.
No one has ever proved that ghosts exist on this earth.
No one has shown a positive repeatable ability for ESP or telepathy.
Not a single person has every levitated an object, without using trickery to do so.


If one could prove ghosts were real, then we might have a reason to start looking for your god. If one could show that we have souls inside us that live on after our bodies die, then again, we would have a reason to start searching further.
There is plainly no evidence for such souls and believe me, so many have tried to find that proof and all have failed in their quest to do so.

The list of supernatural beliefs is very long and yet not a single item from that list has been proven to be more than folks being deceived into such false beliefs.

If YOU are so inclined to believe that things supernatural exist, that some god(s) exist, then that is your right to do so. However, realize that your belief is nothing more than a personal decision based on blind faith and emotions, and has no place in reality as we understand it.

As a final note, let me say this to you......
You may WISH for many things to exist in this world, but wishing for them to exist, does not make them pop into existence.
I keep wishing for 6 million dollars, but so far it has yet to materialize on my doorstep.


ATF (Who just knows the bible god shipped that money to him, as he typed this comment)

Dave8 said...

Aggiesoccer: "Talking about the close mindedness of Christians, there are a long line of great thinkers who were Christian: CS Lewis, JR Tolkien, along with many of the renaissance scientists."

Just an open-minded observation about self-proclaimed Christians in general, whether they be intellectually gifted, or not.

Religion does not generate intellectually gifted people; people are "born" with their gifts, regardless of religion. Therefore, "religion" is not to be "credited" for producing "intelligent" people.

While religion does seem to have provided a "focus" for many intellectually gifted people throughout history; it can only be honesty observed that the "products" of such gifted intellectuals, were literary "entertainment", and/or scientific research, that did not "once" validate the Christian concept of God.

If anything, such intellectuals should be credited for "secularizing" Christianity, and "not" for establishing a single authoritative element of Truth, to "validate" the doctrine of Christianity as a deity’s writing.

Cousin Ricky said...

aggiesoccer wrote: “One question, just want to hear feedback on. How do you rationalize the big bang and the appearance of billions upon billions of complex atoms powered toward the end of the still growing universe without some force behind it?”

The laws of nature. Quantum mechanics and relativity drove the big bang, and led, inexorably, to the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets. On at least one planet, the laws of chemistry led to self-replicating molecules. A process of ratcheting, called natural selection, honed these molecules into successful living species. No magic, no improbable fluke, just orderly processes.

aggiesoccer wrote: “Do you hold faith in future scientific discovery?”

Historically, it’s the only reliable route to knowledge that we have—and it has been spectacularly successful in explaining things.

aggiesoccer wrote: “Also fulfill my request of providing REAL evidence for there not being the existence of God, or anything supernatural for that matter.”

Are you kidding??? Please look up Russell’s teapot to understand the absurdity of your request.

My observation is that everything proceeds according to immutable natural “laws.” There are no exceptions (“miracles”); all alleged miracles have plausible explanations that do not violate our uniform experience of how the world operates.

While this doesn’t prove that the supernatural doesn’t exist, it is overwhelming evidence that, if it does exist, it plays no role in our lives. God, if he exists, behaves precisely as if he doesn’t. True, that could all change starting next Tuesday, but i have no cause to believe that it will.

aggiesoccer wrote: “I think we are just going to come to the conclusion that everyone believes what they want and nobody is really for sure.”

Not here. While admitting that i could be wrong (making me oh-so-very slightly agnostic), i believe according to what my senses, my experience, and my learnings tell me. My initial learnings were of (one of the many flavors of) Christianity. My recent learnings tell me that what i was taught earlier collapses under scrutiny. I could not continue to believe without forcefully dismissing the new information—i.e., lying to myself. Atheism isn’t what i wanted to believe; it was the inevitable conclusion that i faced, based on the data available to my brain.

aggiesoccer said...

Thanks for all the replies. Its been a pleasure reading through them all.

I didn't grow up in a Christian home. I started searching when I was 18 after many failed attempts to fulfill myself throughout high school with drugs, skateboarding, doing all the right things and nothing worked. There was always something missing. Something knawing at me. At 18 I had not stepped into a church for 11 years. I went to a christmas candlelight service with my aunt and something just began to tug at me. I started going to a church for a while but thought it was boaring.
Late one night it all came together when I was studying at a library on the university in my city. Two guys walked past me went ahead about 100 feet and then turned around and ran back toward me. They were two guys from a church in town and for the following 45 minutes they proceeded to share the gospel with me. I felt a feeling during that time that I had never felt before. A feeling of warmth and peace deep within my soul. Afterwards I was pretty much speechless. I didn't believe right there but 3 months later (after much investigation and soul searching) I did.

After reading many of your responses, it seems like a few of you have angst towards the church or the way you were raised within the church. Also evil in the world seems to be topic and how can there be so much evil and a God who is everywhere.

These to me are matters of the heart. When I read about particle physics or relativity or I see pictures of massive galaxies I see the hand of God in such things. And I don't think I am alone in this as Einstein was known to have the ideal that the order of the universe was that of an intelligent being because its order and complexity. There are many who are proponents of this within the scientific community but often their views are pushed off to the side. I believe this is rightly so as science deals with matter. Science does not dabble in ideology and things that have no substance. Science will never come to the conclusion of an intelligent being because they cannot wrap their fingers around it or view it in a telescope. There is no scientific method that will prove the existence of something you can't see.

There are changed lives though, the majority of charity organizations in the world are Christian. You see men like Martin Luther King walk in faith knowing that his prayers against the injustice of the African American community will not go unanswered. You have Bono who is spurned on through love to wipe out poverty in the entirety of Africa. You have Mother Teresa who became a example of how to serve the poor all over the world. Then you have me..giving up my career as a civil engineer in order to serve students and the poorest of the poor in Argentina.

aggiesoccer said...

The conclusion..
We all are unsure..you could be right or I could be right. Science will never prove one way or the other. The question is what is in your heart.

Dave8 said...

Aggiesoccer: "There are changed lives though, the majority of charity organizations in the world are Christian."

It is the "charity" of the people, who form organizations that are "charitable" - regardless, of how the bible teaches, how to be "uncharitable". Aggie, would you create a torture chamber, and torture billions of children for not submitting to your wishes - your God concept, as dictated in the Christian Bible did.

If you have charity, it isn't "because" of your "religious" doctrine - it's because you are not "practicing" your religion, based on your doctrine.

Aggiesoccer: "You see men like Martin Luther King...Bono...Mother Teresa..."

All of whom, behaved according to their own moral principles; "not" found or established by the God of the Christian Bible. Would you "kill" your son, because you happen to make a mistake? Your God of the Christian Bible did, or he did it on purpose (murder).

I suppose, what this means... is that the there is no "causal" factor between the Christian God of the bible, and the charity of "anyone" human, regardless of their cognitive position/belief.

On Albert E., he used the term God metaphorically, in a quote, "God does not play dice" with the Universe, to make a physics point... that "everything" in Nature, functions according to pure deterministic principles."

http://www.hawking.org.uk/lectures/dice.html

As well...

"A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man's actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God's eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it undergoes.

Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death."

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/einsci.htm

Aggiesoccer: "We all are unsure..you could be right or I could be right. Science will never prove one way or the other. The question is what is in your heart."

Interesting, that you continue to posture scientists, etc., for support, but then suggest that science will never provide the answers we seek... that seems to presume you understand my questions that are meaningful to me.

"My" questions can be answered by science and "my" experience(s), and while I do not discount the qualitative nature of my experience while in reality... I experience them as "natural", and "real" - not, "supernatural" or "surreal".

"Your" questions can never exceed the existence that you drew them from. Your answers, reside in the exact same place, your questions were created. If you have questions, without answers, it's because you have failed to make the appropriate connection(s), between your existence and the reality in which you reside.

AtheistToothFairy said...

aggiesoccer wrote:
You have Mother Teresa who became a example of how to serve the poor all over the world
---
Aggie,

Perhaps you didn't happen to read the Time Magazine report a few months ago, on Mother Teresa?
While the article focused on her huge lack of faith in your bible god, others have noted that she was anything but a good example for someone like you to use to bolster your religion.

Go to this page and search on 'mother teresa' to see more opinions about her not-so-blessed life
http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2007/09/christian-significance.html

ATF (Who wonders why god was so silent, to someone so famous, of a bible religion)

AtheistToothFairy said...

aggiesoccer wrote:
When I read about particle physics or relativity or I see pictures of massive galaxies I see the hand of God in such things
---
Aggie,

First, I'd like to point out that you did NOT reply to my point about praying to god, not being at all effective. If it is effective, is there some hidden reason you can cite to us, that it doesn't show up as being effective in all the many studies that have been done on the matter?
Perhaps your answer might be that the devil skews the results every time, on purpose, just to keep us heathens in the dark about your god?


>I felt a feeling during that time that I had never felt before. A feeling of warmth and peace deep within my soul.

Once again, the offer of proof for this god, is all about someone's FEELINGS and nothing else. Have your feelings ever been wrong in your life, about anything?
Just because you got a warm fuzzy feeling inside you during that moment, doesn't offer a shred of evidence that some god was in contact with you, now does it?
Really, if the only benefit this god of yours offers us, is warm fuzzy feelings, then I'm sure I can find those feelings by other earthly methods that don't assume anything supernatural.

Are you aware that every single xtian that comes in here to prove god to us, always talks about their feelings. Beyond feelings, we sometimes get hearsay stories of some miracles, but never anything that can be backed up or demonstrated to us.

So I guess this life critical decision of yours, was made 100% on some warm fuzzy feeling you had, yes?


>When I read about particle physics or relativity or I see pictures of massive galaxies I see the hand of God in such things.

Again, you don't actually 'see' this god, but assume instead that god-did-it.
Why...because you wish to believe that some god made it all and so you assume he must have.
Beyond that wishful thinking though, you have zip.


Also, could you please explain to me why these billions of "massive galaxies" were made by your god?
Wouldn't that be just a wee bit of an overkill, just to find a home for his pet humans, that he wants to worship his very needy god self?

>There is no scientific method that will prove the existence of something you can't see.

That is only true if your childish god continues to play his game of hide and seek.
If instead, your god is actually intervening in the course of human existence, then such intervening would be not only obvious, but demonstrable to even the casual observer.
Again, given that your bible claims that god will do various things for his followers, right up to performing miracles, we have yet to see any such actions from your god, outside of those warm feelings you cite to us.

Gosh, I have to wonder why your god behaves so childish, as well as him reneging on his biblical promises to his followers.
Could it be, that your bible god is a work of fiction, made up by men of long ago to control the masses....Yeah, I think so and so should you.

Now, you are young yet, and your life is of course, your own.
Think about how you would feel if in 10 or 20 years, you realize we were right and there is no bible god.
Think about this NOW, and follow a course in your life that you won't regret, if that time should come that you lose your faith in this imaginary god being.
If you don't, I promise you that you will be as sorry about what you missed out in life, as many of us here came to be, because we got caught up in the web of religion.


ATF (Who really hates to see someone so young, go down that same blind path that many of us did, once upon a time)

Astreja said...

Aggiesoccer: "There is no scientific method that will prove the existence of something you can't see."

Putting aside for the moment such matters such as physics and microbiology... Science is not about 'proof' or 100% certainty. Rather, it's a process that analyzes evidence. Data is collected, hypotheses formed, and possible explanations tested. We can use these theories to great advantage without bothering to perfect them, exchanging them for better ones as they arise.

ATF: "That is only true if [aggiesoccer's] childish god continues to play his game of hide and seek... If instead, your god is actually intervening in the course of human existence, then such intervening would be not only obvious, but demonstrable to even the casual observer."

Yes, a god that affects any form of matter or energy should leave some sort of tangible physical trail that unexpectedly vanishes at the "god boundary".

Specifically, I hypothesize that any transcendent being acting upon the physical universe would probably cause an apparent breakdown of cause and effect (detectable as violations of Newton's Third Law) as viewed from the mortals' side of the barrier.

boomSLANG said...

aggiesoccer...We all are unsure..you could be right or I could be right.

To say one "could be right" implies possibility/ies. That, however, says nothing of plausibility. They are two entirely different things; "apples & oranges". Moreover, if the subject or concept in question has attributes that contradict, both logically and philosophically, then we can conclude that said subject is not only implausible, but impossible. A being - ANY being - who is claimed to have both limitless "free will"(omnipotence), and limitless knowledge of the future(omniscience) is an impossibility. This would include the Christian biblegod; "He" is not exempt.

*And no, I'm not being "dogmatic", nor does my pointing out the philosophical inconsistancies in a given concept make me a "militant Atheist".

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Boomslang said: A being - ANY being - who is claimed to have both limitless "free will"(omnipotence), and limitless knowledge of the future(omniscience) is an impossibility. This would include the Christian biblegod; "He" is not exempt.

--Let me play devils advocate here - its not impossible to have perfect future knowledge as well as infinite free will - because if one was the creator, then he would know ALL of the possibilities in creation, and thus knows all of the possible outcomes perfectly without infringing on the creations free will - the creator just leaves it up to the free willed to do as they please, and judgement becomes justified because of this. Its a possitive paradox really - to know all of the possibilities is to know every outcome, but for there to be possibility, the creator would have to NOT control the subjects...Its kind of like being an experiment in a controlled environment, where the scientist knows every possible outcome, but watches to see which one the subjects will choose and then continues on with the experiment accordingly.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Stephen_Richard_Webb wrote:
Its a possitive paradox really - to know all of the possibilities is to know every outcome, but for there to be possibility, the creator would have to NOT control the subjects...Its kind of like being an experiment in a controlled environment, where the scientist knows every possible outcome, but watches to see which one the subjects will choose and then continues on with the experiment accordingly.
----
Stephen,

I had previously considered the very point you bring up here in this matter, but I spotted a flaw that I wish to point out now.

If we have a deck of 52 playing cards, and we are being dealt 1 of those cards, we know it MUST be one of the 52 in that deck. So unless we have perfect ESP, we may know all the 52 possibilities but we can't be sure which 1 card out of 52, will be the one we're dealt.

God on the other hand, would not only know the same 52 possible outcomes, but he MUST know which 1 card, will be the one dealt to us.

While from our human playing field, it might seem as if we have millions of possible life-paths we could follow, this all-knowing god would have to know the ONE and ONLY outcome that we will have in our lives.

If god only knows all the many possible outcomes, and not the one we will take, then he can't be all-knowing.
To be all-knowing, he would have to know the exact outcome of our lives, regardless of the choices that might have seemed possible for our lives.

So the end problem is the same. If god knows the outcome with 100% certainty, then can god change that outcome or is he powerless to do so?
If he can change the outcome at any time, then his ESP of our future was flawed, as he didn't realize he would change the outcome himself.

As Boomslang has pointed out MANY times, you can't have it both ways, so you have to pick one.


ATF (Who see's many such god paradox examples. that would preclude such a god from existing, as advertised)

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

AthiestToothFairy wrote:
So unless we have perfect ESP, we may know all the 52 possibilities but we can't be sure which 1 card out of 52, will be the one we're dealt.

God on the other hand, would not only know the same 52 possible outcomes, but he MUST know which 1 card, will be the one dealt to us.

I was playing devils advocate you know [pun intended] -- But one thing did jump out at me, when you mentioned "Unless we had perfect ESP" - is that not the very nature of omniscience? After all, I believe that the
"Divine Mind is like a perfect sphere, the circumference of which is NOWhere, and the center everyone. - Exists without place, as it is the space in which all things exist." Just like space itself, it has no boundary, and therefore its center be everywhere...

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

**I meant "Center everywhere" [not Center everyone - although that would be included as well.]

boomSLANG said...

Stephen Richard Webb...--Let me play devils advocate here - its not impossible to have perfect future knowledge as well as infinite free will - because if one was the creator, then he would know ALL of the possibilities in creation, and thus knows all of the possible outcomes perfectly without infringing on the creations free will[emphasis added]

Hello,

While I understand where you have attempted to take this, I must point out right away that the "creations free will" - or in the possessive case - the creation's "free will", is not in the equation. Again, it is the "free will" of the hypothetical creator that would be limited, that is, if, as you hypothesize, the creator "knows all of the possible outcomes perfectly". If the latter is true; if the "creator" knows the outcome of all future events, then said future must be solidified. In such a case, the creator knows all of its future choices, thus, said being does not have "free will" like you and I(the "created") have it... thus, said "creator" cannot "act" as a personal being. If it knows the future set of events, including our choices, etc., then there's nothing to deliberate on; everything is "planned", so-to-speak.

So, again, said "creator" might have perfect knowledge of the future(omniscience), but if so, its "free will" is limited, thus, it cannot have unlimited "free will"(omnipotence)

Best,

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

For me, the goal in life is to realize [understand the implications of] my own infinite potential - some would say that there is no such thing as infinite potential, but if the future represents infinite possibility, then so too must the present possess infinite potential for you can not have one without the other. - Knowing that things could have been different in the past had I chosen to act differently still doesn't change the fact that the Divine Creator knew perfectly the possibility of it from the inception of cosmos - I beleive that the Divine travels with us, and therefore also knows perfectly well what we will do as well all of its infinite possible outcomes.

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

I think the argument is over the definition of omniscience in light of absolute omniscience...I know, omniscience is omniscience, but think about the gift of free will given from the Creator to the created - that gift is a partial sacrifice of omniscience for the sake of elevating some men, and demoting others dependant on their deeds [to be just] by deciding NOT to control man and solidify his actions, the Creator has just created an ENTIRE REALM of possibibilty, as opposed to just having created a single pointless "thread" of reality. couple the idea of mans free will contained within a cosmos that IS PRE-DETERMINED and now you have an idea of where the whole "shebang" ends up anyhow. After all, I don't think that the free will of man is going to determine how the universe will end [if it even will end for that matter]. Just some devil food for thought...SRW

AtheistToothFairy said...

Stephen_Richard_Webb wrote:
I was playing devils advocate you know [pun intended] -- But one thing did jump out at me, when you mentioned "Unless we had perfect ESP" - is that not the very nature of omniscience?
----
Yes Stephen, and that was indeed my point, that if he is all-knowing, he would have to have perfect ESP and thus always know the 'fixed' outcome, from the many that might-have-been.

> After all, I believe that the "Divine Mind is like a perfect sphere, the circumference of which is NOWhere, and the center everyone. - Exists without place, as it is the space in which all things exist." Just like space itself, it has no boundary, and therefore its center be everywhere...

I'm not sure what this has to do with two of god's powers being in contradiction with each other, but I will of course agree that if god is, as the bible advertises him to be, then what you say would follow "suit" ---to re-use those playing cards once again here.

Of course, that makes one wonder how such a single minded entity, could be so vastly large, as to encompass the entire universe(s) and all the infinite space beyond it/them.
Just to try and comprehend our own known universe, is a mind boggling task, let alone multi-universes as some believe exist, so how can we account for a god being that exists everywhere at the same time, that knows everything of the past, present and future-- in every speck of the universe(s), and has an infinite amount of power besides.
Oh, then we add in that this god wasn't created at all, but somehow just always existed throughout all time.

Funny how such a being with all THAT going for him, would be so darn elusive to make contact with, and at the same time, insist that it gives a hoot about us mere mortals--- and of course, needs us to worship it.

Just blows my mind, that I ever swallowed all this hyperbole at one time in my life.


ATF (Who wonders how god lost track of where Adam and Eve were hiding, in HIS garden)

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Doesn't a free willed creator imply that it might not want absolute control over the creation, only part of it? After all, that is a choice. And what if the choice in sacrificing absolute perfect future knowledge ended up creating a realm of infinite possibility, thus increasing or even creating an infinite wealth of knowledge for itself? So by sacrificing part of its own pefect future knowledge and control, it in turn has created an infinite source of knowledge and power for itself...Kinda makes humanity really important. As far as the Perfect Sphere mystery is concerned, it attempts to explain present awareness everywhere [omniscience & omnipresence], and even physics [the omnipotence]in a metaphor.

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Even though we have free will, our free will must comply with predetermined forces [physics] - that is omnipotence. If we exist in a pre-determined cosmos [which is evidently supported by physics] then the creator is still concidered omnipotent - and if its mind is like a perfect sphere, the circumference of which is nowhere and the center everywhere, that would explain omniscience and omnipresence. As it would know everything, everywhere, all of the time.

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Sorry about all the separate posts. But, if neuro-biology is currect in stating that our minds and therefore actions are determined by our nature, and we are evolved from nature, would that imply that all of our actions are already determined by the cosmos anyhow? Just another viewpoint from yours truly.

Dave8 said...

If one wants to break the restriction of a Christian context; then, hypothetically speaking, a hypothetical, omnipotent God with ultimate "free will" could force themselves to be blind to the future; the entity would still hold an omniscience capability, exercising the omnipotence - but not be necessarily "apprised" of, or influencing human affairs, etc.

Of course, I am using my "imagination" to proffer this "hypothesis", and there seems to be no end to one's imagination - that's why paradoxes exist.

Now, let's put this in the Christian context.

An omnipotent God who prepared us post-transformation domains; Heaven and Hell.

The "ultimatum", is a demand forced upon us; we do not have the "freedom of will" to "escape" the ultimatum.

Thy kingdom come, thy "will" be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

When someone flips a coin and it has heads on both sides, is the outcome going to be any different on the flip - consider Heaven and Hell to be on both sides of a coin that represent the Christian God’s “will”.

Someone with infinite potential has the capacity to "form" or "create" options - not conform to the "will" of a second agent :-)

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

I don't think that the future even exists - it is infinite void, [if there were anything therein, the present would smash into it and everything would explode] So why then does omniscience even have anything to do with knowing exact future events? Again, if one is aware of everything, everywhere, all of the time and knows the physics of its created cosmos, then thats all thats matters concerning omniscience.

boomSLANG said...

Dave8..If one wants to break the restriction of a Christian context; then, hypothetically speaking, a hypothetical, omnipotent God with ultimate "free will" could force themselves to be blind to the future; the entity would still hold an omniscience capability, exercising the omnipotence - but not be necessarily "apprised" of, or influencing human affairs, etc.

Yes of course; agreed. However, if a "God" existed in non-personal context; if it held, simultaniously, those two attributes, it would be as useful to us, as a motorcyle is to a trout. In other words, defeating the purpose.

Dave8 said...

Boomer... :-) :-)... yes, I would agree, suppressing one's capability invites one to ponder the “intent” of a self-imposed sterility of sorts – why a hypothetical God would take the form of a trout, when they could be riding a Harley is beyond me, perhaps they like the fertility symbolism ;-)

Well, since we are using our imaginations, let's say that this hypothetical God has a self-imposed erectile dysfunction and a wooden leg, now we have a celibate God who hobbles with ultimate power ;-)

AtheistToothFairy said...

Dave8 wrote:
..let's say that this hypothetical God has a self-imposed erectile dysfunction and a wooden leg, now we have a celibate God who hobbles with ultimate power
---
Dave,

But ummm, isn't that the very kind of xtian god, the xtians have going for them these days?


ATF (Who thinks god must be a pirate, in search of worship, rather than gold)

Dave8 said...

I suppose, omnipotence suggests omniscience by default, can one be truly omnipotent by definition, and not have the capacity to don omniscience at will?

In reverse, does an imaginary God with omniscience necessarily have to be omnipotent? Not by definition, omniscience doesn't provide us enough contexts to know if such a hypothetical God is "The" Ultimate Power in a Universe. However, omniscience does exceed the capability of humanity.

If there exists an omnipotent God (who by default, can conjure omniscience at will), then we are "bound" by its "cause", whatever that cause be.

If one wants to take this further; a God who is "omniscient", sees the future... if such a God chooses to involve their self omnipotently - we are bound by its cause. If a God chooses to "not" involve their self omnipotently - we are bound by its cause.

It is the omnipotence, made operational by omniscience, and the "freedom of Ultimate will", that prevents humanity from any "free will", if... one actually believes in an omnipotent God concept.

Dave8 said...

ATF: "But ummm, isn't that the very kind of xtian god, the xtians have going for them these days?"

:-) Yes, I do believe the Christian God is some type of unmarried pirate, who is into submissive relationships.

The fact Christians believe their God concept to be omnipotent, forces humanity to be submissive... in a "submissive" relationship, one only has the "freedoms", allowed them - to include "choice".

Dave8 (who can imagine the Christian God, with a patch over one eye, and a pet believer on one shoulder :-)

Dave8 said...

Playing devil's advocate...

If a God chooses to "not" be involved with humanity or if a God chooses to be involved with humanity is likely a distinction without a difference, in the context of humanity's "free will".

The sheer "existence" of an omnipotent God concept, demands that we be "bound" to its "cause"; even if the God is Christian, and sticks its head in the cosmological sand in order to escape its nature.

Can an omnipotent God strip itself of its own omnipotence, removing "causal" dominance in the Universe, and still remain God?

Well, perhaps... if one is willing to accept a non-omnipotent entity as a God, and... believe that this Universe was "not" created by said God.

As, the Universe, would logically carry the "causal" fingerprints of said God; continuing to "bind" us to its original "causal" factors, creating an ongoing "submissive" relationship that we would still not be able to "escape" - unless we imagine humanity reaching a level of omnipotence equal to such a God concept.

If one wants to imagine a transcendent & omnipotent God; exemplifying an apathetic non-creator God concept; then we would have to ascertain whether we accept its "silence" as causal "concurrence".

In my opinion, it really doesn't matter where a person places their god concept, if such a god concept is omnipotent; it "adopts" "causal responsibility", and "causal dominance".

So, BoomSLANG... it appears you are correct; I can't imagine a logical way, that an omnipotent God, can escape causal dominance, forcing humanity to be inherently "bound" in its "freedoms" of "will", etc.

However, I do believe I could come up with a whole herd of "illogical" and "irrational" God concepts that would give humanity "free will", while claiming an omnipotent God concept ;-)

Have a great one.

boomSLANG said...

D8...So, BoomSLANG... it appears you are correct; I can't imagine a logical way, that an omnipotent God, can escape causal dominance, forcing humanity to be inherently "bound" in its "freedoms" of "will", etc.

Well, frankly D8, this whole subject has become a bit convoluted. To recap, Theists, namely Christians, believe in a deity "who" is not only "Divine", but also, presumably a personal "being"(like you and I). In other words, a "being" who can freely exercise its alleged "Free Will", or in biblegod's case, exercise its alleged "grace", "mercy", "justice", yada, yada, blah, blah, when it feels like it. Well, in effect, all I'm saying is that any being "who" is claimed to be able to do such, cannot know the set of future events; something must "give", one way, or the other. If biblegod knows the future, a priori; if it knows the entire set of future events, then in also knows how it will "act", in accordance with people's "free will"(which BTW, is an illusion, under predetermination).

To illustrate, hopefully more thoroughly, if a given mortal needs to be granted "mercy" on such and such day in the future, then biblegod knows this in advance, per its "omniscience". Thus, it must forfeit some of its alleged "free will", because it already knows the outcome; there is nothing to deliberate on, thus, deliberation is obsolete, or else it never knew the future in the first place. I hope I did a better job of illustrating it this time.

D8...However, I do believe I could come up with a whole herd of "illogical" and "irrational" God concepts that would give humanity "free will", while claiming an omnipotent God concept ;-)

Again, I don't want to beat a dead horse, but my argument doesn't concern itself with the "free will" of humanity; it deals with the philosophical conflict that's created when a personal "being", Divine, or otherwise, is claimed to have the simultanious attributes of omniscience and omnipotence.

Best,

Dave8 said...

BoomSLANG, thanks for expounding. Does the following sum up your argument?

-God is Omniscient
-Omniscience elicits predestination
-Predestination precludes autonomy
-Autonomy elicits freedom
-Freedom elicits power
-Therefore, an Omniscient God precludes Autonomous Power (Omnipotence)

Omniscience creates a paradoxical conflict with Omnipotence.

Another old paradox comes to mind; "Could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it?"

I followed the path of causality, which elicits another paradox of sorts. Thanks for the refreshing dialogue.

Regards,
D8

boomSLANG said...

D8...Does the following sum up your argument?

-God is Omniscient
-Omniscience elicits predestination
-Predestination precludes autonomy
-Autonomy elicits freedom
-Freedom elicits power
-Therefore, an Omniscient God precludes Autonomous Power (Omnipotence)


Yeah, that about sums it up.

See ya around.

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Boomslang repeats:
D8...Does the following sum up your argument?

-God is Omniscient
-Omniscience elicits predestination
-Predestination precludes autonomy
-Autonomy elicits freedom
-Freedom elicits power
-Therefore, an Omniscient God precludes Autonomous Power (Omnipotence)

Yeah, that about sums it up.

See ya around.

-Ugh, yeah this has become a bit convoluted and the horse has been dead for millenia but there are still people beating it into lebanon belogna [my mom used to call that stuff horse meat...] but Omniscience does not necessarily include perfect [set in stone] future knowledge if you believe that the "Divine Creator" is a being that moves "as" the present [and exists as the void space of the future] - in other words, since the future doesn't exist, neither does any knowledge concerning it except infinite possibility [which is the result of the infinite potential of the present], so why would an omniscient "god" have to possess knowledge of the future if the future doesn't even exist [it very well may be an area within the Divine Mind that is ready to entertain the idea of the present, which is dependant upon the actions of beings with a free will - and that free will is in part determined by the natural laws of cosmos]? Now here's another kicker - since the future doesn't exist, it must be undefinable and without limit or boundary, which is the very nature of the "Void", and in my training this is synonymous with the "Divine Mind" - the future is the void space into which all things move, but "present" space is also boundless and without form, so it too is concidered the Divine Mind - so the Creator has partially allowd the creation to determine what the creation will be - we are thus, in part; the Creator.

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

"We are thus, in part, the Creator" - to deny that a Creator exists is to deny that WE exist, because our actions, in part, "Create" the future, and as you can obviously see, the future recieves the present.

stronger now said...

"... lebanon belogna [my mom used to call that stuff horse meat...] "

If youve ever had Seltzer's you wouldn't care if it was made from a rats anus. That stuff is wicked good!

http://www.seltzerslebanonbologna.com/

Dave8 said...

SRW: "...but Omniscience does not necessarily include perfect [set in stone] future knowledge..."

Omniscience: "2. infinite knowledge. 3. (initial capital letter) God....1. One having total knowledge."
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/omniscience

Infinite: "3. unlimited or unmeasurable in extent of space, duration of time, etc.: the infinite nature of outer space.
4. unbounded or unlimited; boundless; endless: God's infinite mercy."
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/infinite

SRW, the "finite" mind, can't logically explain the limits of anything "infinite"; including "knowledge" and the “capability” of an omniscient being. It is only logical to accept that an omniscient being, is unlimited in knowledge, and aware of our destiny – a priori.

A Priori: “2. existing in the mind prior to and independent of experience, as a faculty or character trait.”
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/a%20priori

And... I'd like to clarify, since we seem to be continuing this discussion.

Omniscience Syllogism:
-God is universally Omniscient
-Universal Omniscience elicits universally unlimited “A Priori” Knowledge
-Universally unlimited “A Priori” Knowledge elicits Universal Predestination
-Universal Predestination precludes Autonomous Freedom – Universally
-Therefore, an Omniscient God lacks Autonomous Freedom

Omnipotence Syllogism:
-God is universally Omnipotent
-Universal Omnipotence elicits unlimited Power
-Unlimited Power elicits unlimited Autonomous Freedom
-Therefore, a universally Omnipotent God has unlimited Autonomous Freedom

Analysis; if a God is claimed to be both “Omniscient” & “Omnipotent”, they have the chore of de-conflicting the divergent conclusions, from the above syllogisms.

boomSLANG said...

All involved,

Just an observation, but in philosophical discussions such as these, particularly, discussions centered around religious/epistemological philosophy/ies, if we cannot, or will not, limit the terms to their most common connotations, then we risk the discussion only becoming even more convoluted.

For example, "omniscience"(as referenced by D8) means a comprehensive, unlimited knowledge of past, present, and future. Christian, Jewish, and Muslim theists assert that their respective "personal deities carry this attribute, and go so far as to even offer this as evidence that their deities are real(i.e.."Prophecy"). It is in this context that the "omniscience"/"omnipotence" hypothesis fails. We are not debating whether the future exists, or not. Whether the future exists to a non-Divine "being", or not, is not the issue; that is a different discussion, altogether.

Another example is the word "Creator"(uppercase "C"). Yes, we non-Divine, mortal beings "create" many things, including our own "futures". Notwithstanding, again, that is out of the realm of this religiously-based discussion, a discussion where the word "Creator" is used interchangably with "God", who, again, is claimed to be both "omniscient", and "omnipotent".

The crux of my argument is that to carry both those atributes, simultaniously, is not possible in that context.

Best,

mike56 said...

Predestination = John 3:16. God never meant for anyone to go to hell that violates free will. He does not punish for just any reason. You obviously know the Word but the Word was never in you. Being in Church does not make you a Christian any more than being in a barn makes you a cow.


Michael

.:webmaster:. said...

"God never meant for..."

Ah, poor, weak, pathetic god. He just can't seem to get control of his big bad creation. Poor fella.

AtheistToothFairy said...

mike56 said
Being in Church does not make you a Christian any more than being in a barn makes you a cow
--
Mike56,

So who wants to be a "cow"?

Mike also said, "He does not punish for just any reason."

No Mike, you have that backwards.
If your god exists, then your god punishes for NO JUST REASON; just because one can't simply 'know' or accept, your childish hidden god.

Grow up mike !!


ATF (Who prefers to stay in that 'utter' cow barn, called REALITY)

sin1timeone said...

omg i am going throught this.. i just dont want to give up.. but i am going throught all of this. its barely been a month.. that i havent gone to church at all.. i am 18. bleh.. lets see what the next days bring me

mike56 said...

AtheistToothFairy and being an athiest tooth fairy is not childish. We will see who will need to be doing the growing up in the end. Good luck to you and your foolish ways.

mike56 said...

.:webmaster:. said...
"God never meant for..."

Ah, poor, weak, pathetic god. He just can't seem to get control of his big bad creation. Poor fella.

AND YOUR GOD IS STRONG, OH WAIT YOU HAVE NO GOD. I AM SO SORRY.

mike56 said...

.:webmaster:. said...
"God never meant for..."

Ah, poor, weak, pathetic god. He just can't seem to get control of his big bad creation. Poor fella.

AND YOUR GOD IS STRONG, OH WAIT YOU HAVE NO GOD. I AM SO SORRY.

webmdave said...

Mike,

I have no god and you have a pretend god.

Which of us appears more ridiculous?

AtheistToothFairy said...

mike56 wrote:
AtheistToothFairy and being an athiest tooth fairy is not childish

Think about it mike.

If even a 'tooth fairy' (that exists in the world of make-believe), can't buy into your make-believe god's existence, then why should any mortal being?

> We will see who will need to be doing the growing up in the end. Good luck to you and your foolish ways

Oh, I just love when you xtians threaten us with your invisible 'floating axe head' god.
I suppose that next you'll be telling me that jesus is due at ANY moment now to, right?

Perhaps you can sell season passes for his vindictive encore upon humanity?

Better yet Mike, instead of assuming (as you clearly do) that we would be afraid of your godly threat, you might instead try providing some evidence that this god you worship, is a bit more real than Zeus or Poseidon ever was.

As far as being childish goes, if you ever watched a 2 year old toddler throw a temper tantrum, then you've already seen how your god behaves towards his creation.
So, if your goal is to fashion yourself after that god, then I'd say it's pretty clear about who is prone to childish ways.


ATF (Who wonders if mike still believes in Santa to, and if not, WHY NOT?)

aggiesoccer said...

One last question:
Where did the atom come from?

ATF-I remember you asking me a couple more questions but I searched through and was unable to find them. Can you send them to me again.

aggiesoccer said...

thanks

Dave8 said...

"In natural philosophy, atomism is the theory that all the objects in the universe are composed of very small, indestructible building blocks - atoms.[citation needed] Or, stated in other words, that all of reality is made of indivisible basic building blocks.[citation needed] The word atomism derives from the ancient Greek word atomos which can be parsed in to a-tomos (not cuttable) - tomos being a form of the Greek verb temnein (to cut) - meaning that which cannot be cut into smaller pieces."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomism

Aggiesoccer, your question is ambiguous.

The concept "atom", came from Greece.

The application of the term "atom" to physical material has been provided by scientists.

However, the term "atom" was applied to material clusters that were "not" indivisible. What we know today, as termed by science, as "atoms", are divisible into smaller quantum components.

So, where do "atoms" come from... the assembly of "Quantum Matter".

However, your ignorance of science and history likely have you believing that you are actually asking... "Where did "Matter" come from?"

Here's the answer: "Existence"

Now, I have a question for you.

"Where does Existence come from?"

And, a follow-on question; what makes you an "Authority" on Existence?

Thanks for all of the intelligent wisdom you can provide.

AtheistToothFairy said...

aggiesoccer wrote:
ATF-I remember you asking me a couple more questions but I searched through and was unable to find them. Can you send them to me again.
-----
Aggie,

I've copied out the questions/comments themselves and listed them here, but I would highly suggest you read through all my comments to you, again, so you can get a better picture for why I asked these questions to you in the first place.
---
ATF QUESTIONS:

So you're saying that things of beauty or complexity, are evidence for this god being?
So let me ask you then, who created the ugly things in this universe then?
Let me guess, the devil?

-----

I would like your comment on what I had written as follows:

I'm very sure you have no evidence or facts, that would prove your god exists, right?
What you do have, I'm betting, are feelings that god is real, along with a clever way of skewing things of chance in your life, to make them appear to point to a non-existent god having influenced your life's course.
I can do the same type of thing by asking my pet rock to help my life along and anytime something positive happens, I thank my pet rock for it's divine help.
----
Another Question now:

If a thing doesn't exist, it's a whole lot more difficult to prove it doesn't, rather than if it did.
If I told you that I had an invisible and undetectable huge dog in my garage, how would you prove that I was lying and that this dog didn't exist?
You have to admit, you would be hard pressed to prove I was lying, wouldn't you?

On the other hand, if such a god does exists, it shouldn't be hard at all to prove it's existence, especially if such a god is interacting with this earth and it's life forms, right?

If the bible claims this god causes supernatural things to occur, then we should be able to detect those things in our lives, should we not?
If we can not, then what value would such supernatural actions have for us?
---
If we were to do a study to see how many prayers are answered, what do you think we should expect to see?
Would you expect a success rate of 100%, 50%, 10% or just a measly 1%?

Let's take a look at prayers used to heal people. Would you expect at least a 10% success rate in healing people for medical problems that could never heal themselves?
Is asking 10% of your god, too much or too little?

When we do such studies, we find that the surgical patients who were prayed for, do NO better than the patients who were not prayed for.
In fact, in the last study, the one's being prayed for did WORSE in their recovery times.
----

Perhaps you didn't happen to read the Time Magazine report a few months ago, on Mother Teresa?
Go to this page and search on 'mother teresa' to see more opinions about her not-so-blessed life
http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2007/09/christian-significance.html
----

Once again, the offer of proof for this god, is all about someone's FEELINGS and nothing else. Have your feelings ever been wrong in your life, about anything?
Just because you got a warm fuzzy feeling inside you during that moment, doesn't offer a shred of evidence that some god was in contact with you, now does it?
So I guess this life critical decision of yours, was made 100% on some warm fuzzy feeling you had, yes?
----

Also, could you please explain to me why these billions of "massive galaxies" were made by your god?
Wouldn't that be just a wee bit of an overkill, just to find a home for his pet humans, that he wants to worship his very needy god self?



ATF (Who is still quite curious why you base your life critical choice on nothing but warm fuzzy feelings?)

aggiesoccer said...

Dave, be respectful man. I'm no idiot like you make me out to be...I graduated in structural engineering and have started on my master's degree in the field.
I've been respectful all I ask the same of you.

Why I will never be an atheist-It will always fail at the foundations. Atoms(protons, nuetrons, electons, quarks, the neucleus, quantum mechanics). Where did the design of these come from?

I don't claim to be an authority on "existence". All I did was search and dig to find what was most historically accurate. For me Judeo-Christianity was that.

ATF QUESTIONS:

So you're saying that things of beauty or complexity, are evidence for this god being?
So let me ask you then, who created the ugly things in this universe then?
Let me guess, the devil?

God created all things.
-----

I would like your comment on what I had written as follows:

I'm very sure you have no evidence or facts, that would prove your god exists, right?
What you do have, I'm betting, are feelings that god is real, along with a clever way of skewing things of chance in your life, to make them appear to point to a non-existent god having influenced your life's course.
I can do the same type of thing by asking my pet rock to help my life along and anytime something positive happens, I thank my pet rock for it's divine help.

You have every right to do that. The beginnings of the universe is where I always have problems with atheism(as does much of the world)
----
Another Question now:

If a thing doesn't exist, it's a whole lot more difficult to prove it doesn't, rather than if it did.
If I told you that I had an invisible and undetectable huge dog in my garage, how would you prove that I was lying and that this dog didn't exist?
You have to admit, you would be hard pressed to prove I was lying, wouldn't you?

On the other hand, if such a god does exists, it shouldn't be hard at all to prove it's existence, especially if such a god is interacting with this earth and it's life forms, right?

If the bible claims this god causes supernatural things to occur, then we should be able to detect those things in our lives, should we not?
If we can not, then what value would such supernatural actions have for us?

I believe when he sees fit he steps into nature and does something supernatural. I will go back to my argument on the beginning of the universe as something supernatural.
---
If we were to do a study to see how many prayers are answered, what do you think we should expect to see?
Would you expect a success rate of 100%, 50%, 10% or just a measly 1%?

Let's take a look at prayers used to heal people. Would you expect at least a 10% success rate in healing people for medical problems that could never heal themselves?
Is asking 10% of your god, too much or too little?

When we do such studies, we find that the surgical patients who were prayed for, do NO better than the patients who were not prayed for.
In fact, in the last study, the one's being prayed for did WORSE in their recovery times.

The question is whether suffering is a gift or not. Is it possible there is purpose in suffering. Here's something out of Romans: and we know that suffering produces perserverance, perserverance character, and character hope, and hope does not disappoint. Suffering helps us learn and once it is finished the brightness of everything that we once enjoyed seems even brighter and more joy filled.
----

Perhaps you didn't happen to read the Time Magazine report a few months ago, on Mother Teresa?
Go to this page and search on 'mother teresa' to see more opinions about her not-so-blessed life
http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2007/09/christian-significance.html
I will read it after writing.
----

Once again, the offer of proof for this god, is all about someone's FEELINGS and nothing else. Have your feelings ever been wrong in your life, about anything?

Yes

Just because you got a warm fuzzy feeling inside you during that moment, doesn't offer a shred of evidence that some god was in contact with you, now does it?

Yes

So I guess this life critical decision of yours, was made 100% on some warm fuzzy feeling you had, yes?

not totally, refer to above
----

Also, could you please explain to me why these billions of "massive galaxies" were made by your god?
Wouldn't that be just a wee bit of an overkill, just to find a home for his pet humans, that he wants to worship his very needy god self?

I don't know why he made such a large universe, only he knows. Maybe seeing amazing galaxy after galaxy and star after star is what some people need to believe in God..from Romans..For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they (all men) are without excuse.

adios

Dave8 said...

Aggiesoccer: "Dave, be respectful man. I'm no idiot like you make me out to be...I graduated in structural engineering and have started on my master's degree in the field."

Then, it would seem you need to ask questions that are more discrete. Language, isn't as precise as numbers, wouldn't you say. Albeit, numbers are metaphors we apply to existence...

Aggiesoccer: "I've been respectful all I ask the same of you."

Aggie, logic doesn't require respect, really... I'm just focusing on the words in front of me, the words as they apply to you as a person really have no interest to me at the moment.

Aggiesoccer: "Why I will never be an atheist-It will always fail at the foundations."

Based on your "statement", you are implying 'atheists' are categorically 'reductionist'.

I am not a reductionist; your statement reflects a stereotype that is patently false.

For instance, atheism as a "general" term, since you are speaking in "generalization" has the common attribute; lack of belief in a god or gods.

Atheist beliefs on philosophy, etc., are as diverse as this planet has to offer, with the single "exception"; lack of belief in a god or gods.

Now, an equally offensive stereotype towards all Christians, could be; Christians are "Trinitarian" and can't figure out if 1 is 3, or 3 is equal to 1?

Do you suspect, for me to come to the conclusion, that all Christianity is "false" or "incorrect", because of my "stereotypical" statement?

The "general", or abstracted generalization that captures Christianity by Doctrine is; "The belief in Jesus, as the Living Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament".

Now, it would be less than logical for me to suggest that a Christian isn't really a True Christian, unless they are Trinitarian, right.

Aggiesoccer: "Atoms(protons, nuetrons, electons, quarks, the neucleus, quantum mechanics). Where did the design of these come from?"

You say design... that suggests a standard; can you provide a standard that is absolute to suggest a "design"? How do you explain radioactive decay?

Aggiesoccer: "I don't claim to be an authority on "existence"."

However, you ask questions about matter. You study matter, and have a degree on material structures; and are continuing to become more educated on matter.

Now, is "matter" what you consider "existence"? Or, is existence more to you than "matter". I mean, your questions about "atoms" are of a "material" nature, right.

Aggiesoccer: "All I did was search and dig to find what was most historically accurate."

Historically accurate regarding immaterial "beliefs"?

Aggiesoccer: "For me Judeo-Christianity was that."

What, the single immaterial belief system, out of thousands that you accepted?

Can I ask, what was the question that drove you to find such a solution as opposed to so many "other" equally plausible immaterial beliefs?

aggiesoccer said...

I took your term "existence" as meaning that you believed that there was something behind the universe. I took that as what you call God.

boomSLANG said...

'Hope no one minds terribly if I jump in...

aggiesoccer...Why I will never be an atheist-It will always fail at the foundations. Atoms(protons, nuetrons, electons, quarks, the neucleus, quantum mechanics). Where did the design of these come from?

I thought the same thing when I was a Theist. I am now an Agnostic Atheist. Never say "never".

As for "foundations", I take it you are employing the Causation argument, which, in your mind, will prevent you from ever becomeing an Atheist. Marvelous. Fine. But if you are an "engineer", or sorts, then you see the problem with the reasoning that if all that exists demands a "Designer", then the "Designer" demands designer, too... and on, and on, and on..i.e..an infinite regress. If you hypothesize that "The Designer" can exist uncaused, then you have opened the floodgates to the notion that other "things" can exist uncaused, as well.

And BTW, even if you are granted that a "Designer" exists for sake of argument, you still have the burden to prove that said designer is the Christian biblegod, as opposed to "Allah", or some other "god".

aggiesoccer...God created all things.

Again, which "God" would that be? Whichever "god" you refer to, if "it" "created all things", then it also created "evil". And oddly, in the christian biblegod's case, that is the very problem it seeks to have solved.

I don't know, but that doesn't sound indicative of a very "Intelligent" designer, nor an "omniscient" one.

aggiesoccer...The beginnings of the universe is where I always have problems with atheism(as does much of the world)

The beginning of this alleged "Creator of the Universe" is where I now have problems with Theism(as does an ever-growning section of the world's population. And we're not going away, BTW)

aggiesoccer...I believe when he["God"] sees fit he steps into nature and does something supernatural. I will go back to my argument on the beginning of the universe as something supernatural.

Go back to your argument all you'd like. You have not one scrap of objective evidence to substantiate it.

aggiesoccer...The question is whether suffering is a gift or not.

How convenient. Rather than admit that it just does not appear that an "omnibenevolent", "omnipresent", "omnipotent", and "omniscient" being is looking out for us, you instead choose to believe that human suffering likely has a "purpose". Uh huh......again, how convenient.

aggiesoccer...I don't know why he made such a large universe..

Existential fallacy....nor do you know that "he" did make one.

Dave8 said...

Aggiesoccer, I realize you didn't answer any of the questions I posed.

Aggiesoccer: "I took your term "existence" as meaning that you believed that there was something behind the universe. I took that as what you call God."

When I used the word "Existence", I used a capital letter, meaning "Universal" in context. In other words, are you, or do you have an "Authority" (Universal Authority) that can provide "Universal" answers to "Universal" questions.

You responded with a "lower" case "existence", which means, your "subjective" and "individual" existence, of which you should at least claim to be the authority (small case - individual) over.

When you start speaking of words like "God", they are "Universal"; I was asking 'you', who was the "Universal" Authority, by which you have come to a Universal Understanding. Because, if you have a Universal Understanding such that you "Understand" a "God"; then of course... you have become Universally Knowledgeable yourself, and well... that would make you a God of sorts.

In short, you should logically claim... you are not a God, and therefore, you have no "Authority" by which to declare a "Universal" Truth - regarding a God. You are making capital letter declarations from a lower case position.

Now, can you provide some insight into the question(s) that drove you to accept the supernatural/immaterial belief system you hold, as opposed to the many others that exist?

Dave8 said...

Hey BoomSLANG, great points, hopefully Aggie does more than a one liner response ;-)

AtheistToothFairy said...

aggiesoccer wrote:
All I did was search and dig to find what was most historically accurate. For me Judeo-Christianity was that.

Ohhhhh, please tell me what research you did to conclude that the Judeo-Christian history was the most accurate?
The most accurate of WHAT exactly?

Frankly, while it may have some historical events that are valid within it's pages, much of it's so called 'history', is made up of events that have no verifiable sources outside this bible.
Can you for instance, show that the mass exodus of the Jews from Egypt, as shown in the bible, was an actual event as described in the bible?

There is a long list of bible events that have no records outside the bible itself, so I really don't know why you concluded it is so accurate.
If you ask me, I think you believe they are true, on faith alone.


Aggie:God created all things

Then why did god create beings like the Devil, whom he must have known would turn against him in a really BIG way?

Of course, that then begs the question, why did he let the devil live after he rebelled and why did he put the devil in a place where he could be in contact with humans?

Seems to me, your god keeps creating life forms, angels and humans, that tend to rebel against his authority. One would think an all powerful god could do a better job of it, yes?

>ATF:I can do the same type of thing by asking my pet rock to help my life along and anytime something positive happens, I thank my pet rock for it's divine help.

Aggie: You have every right to do that.

It's not about having a 'right' to do anything. It's about testing if one's beliefs stand up scrutiny. If praying to a pet rock has the same results as praying to any god being, then what advantage does praying to a god have for us?

Aggie: I believe when he sees fit he steps into nature and does something supernatural. I will go back to my argument on the beginning of the universe as something supernatural.

So are you saying that god's last supernatural act, was when he created the universe?
How long should we wait till his next act?

Seems to me, your own bible makes promises that your god will heal people, and many other miraculous things as well. Are you saying the bible is wrong on this?

Aggie: The question is whether suffering is a gift or not. Is it possible there is purpose in suffering.

So I guess you're saying that when young innocent children suffer horribly with bone cancer and/or die, that this is actually a GIFT from god?
Thanks, but no thanks, on such a gift.

Aggie: I don't know why he made such a large universe, only he knows. Maybe seeing amazing galaxy after galaxy and star after star is what some people need to believe in God

Up until quite recently in human history, no one had the ability to see (or know about) all those millions of galaxies out there.
So how much need would there have been to place them all there, if we only now are beginning to be able to see them?
If god had made only 5% of these galaxies, there still would have been more than enough for the purpose you cite here, so why make so many EXTRA then?


ATF (Who thinks Aggie made this important life choice, on emotions alone; as nothing else mattered to her)

aggiesoccer said...

ATF,
What do you believe?
Matt

boomSLANG said...

D8...Hey BoomSLANG, great points, hopefully Aggie does more than a one liner response ;-)

Okay, thanks. And yes, I was hoping for the same, yet, evidently, our hope was fruitless. = )

Raul said...

>great thinkers who were Christian: CS Lewis, JR Tolkien
Those are writers for children,no wonder they liked fairy tales.

boomSLANG said...

...great thinkers who were Christian: CS Lewis..

"Great thinkers", or not....these types of books are geared to reinforce the beliefs of the already convinced; they are not convincing to the unconvinced, anymore than if I tell a Theist that I have a magic tree that produces one hundred dollar bills(when no one's looking, of course)

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Concerning C.S. Lewis, I don't even really think that he had a great mind - he could sell books and tell a story [which I really never liked anyhow] but in "Mere Christianity" he tries to explain away examples that describe various religious beliefs as well as his own - one example he gives talks about christianities differnt view of god compared to the pantheist's view. He claims that pantheists think that the universe is god and that he animates it just as you an I animate our bodies, C.S. then claims that the pantheists think that god made the universe like man makes a picture and then goes on to use the "a man is not a painting" analogy to "prove" his point. The only problem is that his example would contradict his own personal views on god, because being a christian necessarily implies that one believes in an omnipresent god - that is, he would believe that both painter and picture would possess the very essence of the one god. So getting back to C.S. Lewis being a "Great Thinker", Great Thinkers usually don't step on their own toes by giving examples to shoot down other philosophies, as well as their own. Another point to be made about the christian view of evil [and I've said this before]- If your christian god is perfectly good and is omnipresent, where the HELL DOES EVIL EXIST? If evil and good can not exist in the same place at the same time, then how can a christian beleive in a perfectly good omnipresent god and any form of evil anywhere?

mike56 said...

It is amazing how much response there has been after a Christian get on and starts to get involved in some conversatioin. That is so cool. I could'nt imagine life without God and I really feel bad for you who believe that there is no God, because you cannot prove He exists. You cannot prove that He doesn't. If you can then do it. That is the ultimate challenge, prove that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords does not exist. Good luck becuase you will need it.

webmdave said...

I beg, plead and cry out to HIM in the name of his beloved HOLY SON, to have mercy on us poor sinners and shut down this website today. I, as the webmaster of this website, ask in Jesus name that HE extend this one mercy and immediately shut down this site.

And when he shuts down this site TODAY, then I will give my life fully to HIM and devote all my energy to PROVING that Jesus Christ is LORD of LORD and KING of KINGS to the Glory of God the Father.


















Waiting...


























Waiting...

mike56 said...

Becarefull what you wish for Mr. Dave. I want to share this with you all: Although the term atheism originated in the 16th century, based on Ancient Greek ἄθεος "godless, denying the gods, ungodly"[1] and open admission to positive atheism in modern times was not made earlier than in the late 18th century, atheistic ideas and beliefs, as well as their political influence, have a more expansive history.


Bible Time Line - Part 1
4000 B.C. - 2343 B.C.
B.C.
Antediluvian Age
Creation: Six days
4000 BC
1st day: Sunday - Earth / Night / Day
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void; darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light; God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. [Gen 1:1-5]
The sun, moon, and stars were not created until the 4th day.

The Bible being the Word of God has a timeline which dates back to 4000 b.c. If the Bible dates back to 4000 b.c. and athiest did not even begin to scratch the surface until 16th century, then their conversion would be like buying a Yugo over a Cadillac. Sounds nice and all but there is no stability in either Athiesm nor The famous Yugo which did not last long at all. You have a right to believe as you wish but it is like selling your spiritual real estate to the devil himself for nothing at all.

mike56 said...

I believe that God is the only reason that you even still breathe Mr Dave. He is giving you a chance to return to Him. YOu know what you must do you showed me just now. You want evidence seek His face and not His hand. Seek God for who He is and not for what you have made Him out to be. THat is a spirit of rebellion and that will always go against God. In the begining the spirit of rebellion came in the form of the serpent denying and causing people to rethink the commands and promises of God. If you are new to this site turn and run now because this site is full of people who once doubted like you and now are enduldged in athiesm. It is not real and it does not exists becuase like everything else Satan experiments with it is a lie. He is not a creator and he cannot create but he is a liar who puts these doubts that God does not exist into your heads so that you can fall into his trap and be damned to hell forever. There will come a day when you will see the truth and if you do not turn your backs on this filthy excuse to not be a Christian then you will find out that God is real.

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

You say that satan does not create, and yet there is evil - and you claim that god is good - perfect even, and therefore his creation must also be perect as a perfect being can not create an imperfect thing - so where did the evil come from then? And don't tell me its the absence of good like cold is the absence of heat, because you say that your god is omnipresent which means that there is no absense of the good anywhere, so my question to you mr mike56, is where then did evil come from? and where does it exist? can you show us evil? how can you be sure it is evil without knowing the whole truth?
Go peddle your harassment somewhere else.

mike56 said...

I feel bad for you when you really get harrased. You are singling me out based on what others have told you or what you have percieved as God, good and evil. I thought all you athiest knew it all and so therefore figure out where evil comes from yourself. Your asking me as if I don't know thats a joke. You do not need to nor will you ever convinve me to believe the way you do. Why because you have no garuntee that you will go anywhere after death. THat seems like lifelessness and if you want to keep on then you choose to recieve what you get Mr Dave.

mike56 said...

THis is a public forum Stephen it seems to me that your the one that is uncomfortable. You don't know who you are and where you are going. I bet that you were a Christian once and because you did not get what you were asking for you decided to drop out of the race as well as these others. I am not here to harass you but to tell you that God is awaiting you to leave your fullish ways and to completely give your life back over to Him. You know where evil comes from PRIDE. Lucifer was proud and tried to become like God and he was thrown out of heaven into the world. After the Creation of Man God told man to eat from any tree in the garden, but not the tree of knowledge of Good and evil. The rest is history and till this day man deals with the consequence from what took place on that very day. Sin entered the the heart of man that day and it would take bloodshed from a righteous man to restore to humanity what was lost. Access to a true relationship with God. That man came His name is Jesus. He was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life. After 33 years of life he laid down his life so that the world could live with the Father in heaven. Unfortunately people like yourself reject the life that Jesus brings for death and that is where we are at Stephen. Instead of making you read the scriptures I decided to give you an overview and I pray that you make the right decision by choosing Jesus and asking Him into your heart and repent of your wrong doings and He will make you a new person by wiping away all of your sin. Anyone reading this can do this as well and please let me know if you do so that other people can see that God does still do miracles even today. Thanks

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

LOL. First of all, I was never a christian, and I am not one now - I do believe in a Divine Creator, but your religion is full of holes. I'm not uncomfortable here either; but after having read your posts, I sense that you have the intention of threatening people who challenge your beliefs which shows me how childish you are. I can tell you what I beleive, but never will I shove it down your throat with empty threats based on the illusion of hell like you do. You should do yourself a favor - and everyone else as well, just keep it to yourself man, you can't force change - that is the source of resistance, you don't even know how to properly evangelize. You'll never "win any souls" with your attitude and zealous "holier than thou art" position.

mike56 said...

Thanks for the homeletics gesture but I know how to evangelize properly. Hell is not an illusion it is a real place. I am not shoving my religion down anyones throat if you do not like what I have to say move on and read someone elses column. I am not here to play patty cake with athiests nor any other religion. There are very few that will even listen to what I say and I know that but I continue for those few. As for the change your looking for vote for Obama and lets see if he can give you what you need. Thanks

mike56 said...

I am not Holy but I believe in Jesus Christ who is Holy. If I sound concieted it is called confidence in who I believe in. Try it sometime.

Mike

mike56 said...

Stephen I respect your opinion and I have been very Childish and I have not displayed God's love and I am sorry to you and everyone that I have offended. I will still post my beliefs on this website but I will show you God's love. God does work in mysterious ways. Thank Stephen I appreciate you input.

Mike

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Confidence? Sounds more like pride, which you said is the root of evil. Seems to me that you need to take a personal inventory. Its not a sin to question [your religion]- you should try that sometime, if you stick around you will get honest answers I assure you that.

Dave8 said...

mike56 is back once again, making demands with zero authority - a real evangelico wannabe.

Again, as stated on previous posts; you have not earned "trust" from me - and I don't extend "trust" credit or loan "trust".

If you actually want to be taken seriously, establish "your" authority by "proving" your own comments.

I know, you are really into the "submissive" relationship thing, where you want to "demand" everyone "prove" your statements - that's the religious way, right. Make proclamations from a position of self-appointed authority, and "demand" that others prove your statements for you.

Parker Palmer: "...We distort things...because we are trained neither to voice both sides of an issue nor to listen with both ears...It is rooted in the fact that we look at the world through analytical lenses. We see everything as this or that, plus or minus, on or off, black or white; and we fragment reality into an endless series of either-ors. In a phrase, we think the world apart." [The Courage To Teach]

Mike56, why don't you attempt to figure out how to understand life, without having to dismantle it into Heaven/Hell, God/Satan, Sin/Salvation, OT/NT, Genesis/Revelation, Torah/Gospels, Jews/Christians, Messiah/messiah, El/YVHV, believers/non-believers, Rabbi/Pope, Trinitarian/Non-Trinitarian, Predestination/Free-will, etc.

Mike56: "1st day: Sunday - Earth / Night / Day In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Okay, Mike56, you not only lack "trust", you have now earned "distrust". You use Genesis, which has "two" accounts of how creation happened, pick one.

(Humans were created after the other animals.)

Genesis 1:25-27: "And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image.... So God created man in his own image."

(Humans were created before the other animals.)
Genesis 2:18-19: "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof."

While... we are on the most Holy of bibles.

II Kings 18:27: "But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?"

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

I must have missed that passage in the past...ugh how disgusting. I've heard of some peoples burning camel dung after the camel ate marijuana to get high - and some people in certain various shamanic traditions drink the urine of the shaman after he ingested mushrooms [the kidneys filter out some toxins], but I'm sure the bible isn't referring to that practice...

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave8 said...

Ezekiel 23: 19-21: "Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses."

Mike56, care to explain the Holy Stallion moral... one harlot doting on "horse sized" (flesh of asses) genitalia - fully loaded with high pressure horse "sperm" (issue of horses)?

Mike56, want to know another either-or, categorical conflict I find a lot.

Most "all" Christian parents I know have no problem letting their young daughter "profess" their "faith" in Christianity, which is founded on the Holy Bible.

However, these same parents are too "ashamed", or "ignorant" to actually "teach" their young daughter(s), about the Holy value of Stallion Genitalia, and sperm shot with the force of a horse.

How does a "normal" parent with just a modicum of intelligence, honesty, and morality - proclaim with "pride", that their child has accepted "faithfully" a religious belief; because it was founded on the Power that inspired Holy Porn?

boomSLANG said...

God is awaiting you to leave your fullish ways

Enuff sed.

Dave8 said...

Hi, Stephen, I know what you mean. I can't say that I really read the bible in its entirety, when I was a Christian.

I was more a cultural/secular Christian, and never a Doctrinal Christian ;-) I suppose if Sunday school lessons were actually "lessons" on the "entirety" of the bible, I wouldn't have really needed to read the bible by myself :-)

Dave8 said...

Hi BoomSLANG, yep, nail on the head!

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Fullish - Fullishit if you ask me.

webmdave said...

Hey Mikey boy!!!

I'm still waiting!

Why oh why won't your omnipotent, wrathful, sin-judging heavenly farter answer my prayer!

OH GOD! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, in the name of thy holy child, grant my prayer and close down this website before the day ends!

PLEASE!!!

PLEASE!!!






Waiting...

























































































Waiting...








































































Still waiting...




















Hmm.

webmdave said...

"THis is a public forum Stephen..."

No, Mick, it's a privately owned website. You're shitting on private property.

Oh, and BTW, still waiting for the Almighty to act.












Waiting...

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Doesn't it say somewhere in the old testament that the sin of the father will not be visited upon the son? So why then does humanity have to suffer the sin of adam? I guess the all knowing god changed his mind after he kicked adam and eve off of earth...err eden?

Dave8 said...

Ezekiel 18:20: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."

SRW, the bible does in fact suggest that ancestral sin is not "passed" to the next generation ;-) The phrase "original sin", does not exist in the bible, it was adopted as a traditional buzz-word among the early "evangelists".

However, the bible contains conflicting passages, or passages that are not in harmony. For instance...

Deuteronomy 23:2: "A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD."

Damn the bastards, sayeth the LORD!!

mike56 said...

Dave that passage in Ezekiel is talking about what shall happen after the redemption of Christ takes place. Ezekiel being a prophet was speaking of what was to come. Another words Jesus would come to break any generational curses from past generations.

mike56 said...

Dave you have experience in poohing on other peoples property as well so don't go there. I am sure the owner of this site loves it.

Mike

mike56 said...

Dave he won't answer your prayer if it is not a sincere prayer. Good luck. I would try getting right with Him first and then try praying that prayer.

mike56 said...

Dave I don't lack trust, please stop using the Bible as if you have faith in it. Your trying to condemn me with something you have no faith in. You sound like a ex Christian trying to justify your point with God's word. What side are you on. Keep it real. This to me is hypocracy.

Mike

webmdave said...

Micky, my good son.

If my prayer is insincere, then perhaps you can make a sincere prayer to the blessed Lord of Hosts and bring down this wicked site. Surely your loving Heavenly Farter will grant this one simple prayer for you!

"Dave you have experience in poohing on other peoples property as well so don't go there. I am sure the owner of this site loves it."

Listen you stupid son-of-a-bitch, the point I was trying to get into your pointed head was that THIS IS NOT A PUBLIC WEBSITE.

You're inane blathering has only been tolerated thus far because it offers a bit of entertainment and in several ways exemplifies the laughable nature Christian delusional thinking.

I'll tell you what, Mick. When you graduate from high school, come on back. In the mean time, you're just making a fool out of yourself. And your spelling is atrocious. Don't they teach anything at that school?

Finally, your godlett won't answer anyone's prayer to close down this website because HE/SHE/IT doesn't exist.

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Thanks dave8, I knew it was somewhere in there. Another question for mike56: If Adam and Eve did not have any knowledge of good or evil, right or wrong BEFORE they ate the apple, then how where they to know that eating the apple was wrong, or evil? Oh, and one more thing - god did say that Adam would die if he ate the apple right? How the hell would was Adam supposed to know what death was since it didn't even exist - and how was he supposed to know that death was evil? So many questions, so little time...

AtheistToothFairy said...

aggiesoccer wrote:
ATF, What do you believe?
Matt

---
Matt,
First I have to say that until now, I thought you were female, just from my experience with the name 'aggie' in my life. So, sorry about calling you a 'her' at times in my comments to you.

You ask me, what do I "believe".

First you must realize that some things in life are 'outside' the realm of belief alone.
I don't need faith/belief to know that when I turn on a light, that the photons will bounce off of objects and back to my eye's, right.

I know a rock will drop to the ground when I release it; based on the Theory of Gravity.
We may not understand all the details about how gravity works, but we are sure it exists and it doesn't require any belief or faith.

Likewise, based on the mountains of overwhelming evidence, I do not need to 'believe' that the evolution of life took place on this planet. The "Theory of Evolution" tries to offer explanations to how it all took place, not whether it did or not, as it's clear it did.
One could 'believe' in a particular theory in some detail(s) of how it occurred, but that is where 'belief' ends.

In general, to 'believe' in something, means that one isn't able to prove it, but yet one FEELS it to be true, or has at least SOME evidence to favor that belief.
Once the evidence becomes strong and undeniable, then faith or belief isn't in the picture anymore.

In science, a thing must be testable and falsifiable.
That means we can't test or prove false, some pink unicorns living on the far side of the sun's surface.
In this case, I would say I 'believe' such unicorns couldn't exist there, based on some known facts, but again, we can't prove they aren't there.
To insist that I have a belief that they do live there, would be foolish at best.

I can't prove that a ghost or demon isn't roaming the earth, but that given there is no credible evidence to support such an assertion, I'd be foolish to have a belief in such.
While one can debunk the so-called 'evidence', item-by-item, that these ghost hunters come up with, in the end we haven't proven that a ghost can't exists.
In this case, I have every reason to believe they don't exist, from having a huge lack of supporting evidence, but I can't say with 100 percent certainty that they do not.

Now just because I can't disprove them with 100 percent certainty, doesn't mean I should automatically assume that they do exist, just because I might have some emotional desire to have them exist.
Alas, many people do just this, in that they believe something is real because they wish it to be. Hence, we have many people chasing ghosts around the planet, but never finding one.

Until someone provides proof-positive that a ghost(s) is roaming this earth, I will have to say I do not have any reason to believe such non-corporeal creatures exist here.

Many believe that aliens helped build some physical structures that we see from ancient civilizations, that once thrived on this earth.
Some believe that these aliens are still paying us frequent visits, even kidnapping us from our beds while we sleep (not to mention all those sexual experiments they are fond of doing).

Other than the stories and speculation though, we have zero evidence to point to, that would indicate such aliens have arrived here.
Until we see such evidence, should I just assume that such aliens are of my reality?
I have to believe no aliens are here and for many good reasons, but I have no evidence that can totally disprove their existence here.
Oh, but again, to believe without a shred of evidence, is a foolish game to play.

As far as human souls go, there again is no evidence to support such a concept.
Any so called 'evidence' brought forth to date, is circumstantial, at best.
In contrast, the vast research done that has tried to prove the existence of a soul, always comes up 'empty'. In fact, anything remotely testable for the qualities/actions of a soul, based on what folks believe to be true of souls, always leads to dead ends.

Astral traveling never offers enough proof to show that part of a person (soul) ever left their body and went elsewhere.
Reincarnation has a similar problem, in that every claim where one professed to have lived a previous life and still carries those old memories, falls apart upon close inspection.

In a nutshell, we have no positive proof for ghosts, souls, angels, or demons, who reside on this earth. We have no real proof for UFO's with aliens aboard. No proof that humans ever walked with dinosaurs.
No proof, of anything supernatural in fact !!
All we ever get is hearsay evidence and/or total fabrications; with willful intent to deceive us for money, fame and glory.

Over the course of human history, we've had thousands of so called 'gods' that were worshipped or that we held in awe.
Of all those many gods, how many of them were ever proven to actually exist?
Isn't it odd that humans have been finding all these gods throughout the ages, building statues of them, bowing down to them, yet not a single god has revealed itself in such a manner where there would be no denying it's own existence and/or power?

Then we come to your bible god, which to me, is just another god in a LONG line of god beings, that humans have created in their history.
Once again though, very little evidence survives, other than hearsay stories from an old book, that would show your god was of reality.
The evidence you have is really NO better than we have for many of the other popular gods of our history.

Your god didn't create something so extraordinary that it couldn't have been made on this earth by natural or human means. If he had, maybe many more folks would believe as you do.
Your god/jesus didn't provide even a single piece of advanced knowledge, that couldn't have possibly been known in those era's of old.

Every piece of knowledge your god provided us in your bible book (or elsewhere), wasn't so unique or ahead of it's time, to make it clear that it had come from some god being.
Instead, all that was written clearly was very natural for humans writing in those time periods.

To make up for this mundane knowledge revealed to humanity by your god, the bible writers inserted so called prophesies and stories of miracles, so their words to us would seem far more authoritative.
The problem is that these scripture writers forgot to bribe the historians of their day, so those historians would confirm these miracles and prophesies as actually taking place.
Oops!!

So what we are left with is nothing external from your bible story book, to confirm any of these miracles or any prophesies being made BEFORE the event took place.
Yes, sometimes prophesies seemed to be legit, but only because it had been easy for someone to read such a prophecy and them force it to occur, making it seem to have come from the divine.

If this god/jesus or yours had common sense about him, he would have made sure that his words were recorded in the time he walked this earth, not a hundred or so years after the fact.
While he was here, he would have had MANY people recording the miracles he is claimed to have done, even making sure the enemies of the Jews also knew about them as well.

He would have made sure that Roman history was filled with records of these odd events, but for some strange reason, god failed to do any of this and assumed putting it down in writing long after jesus death, and by only one 'group' of people, would be sufficient to convince the world of his authority.
Heck, the Romans didn't even bother to record his demise on the cross....WHY?

For the more global type miracles of your god, the only record of them is contained in your bible and no where else...WHY?
If the sun stood still (a bad concept in itself) then why is the bible the only record of it?

Who else recorded an earthquake when jesus met his end?
Where are the records of the 500 folks who were raised up from the dead?
Why did only one passage in the bible speak of this huge miracle?

Why didn't their descendants hand down all kinds of stories about them coming back to life?
Where are the details of their resurrections?

Why don't we see interviews with any of these revived souls?
You can't tell me that folks back then weren't just as curious to know stuff like this, as we are today, so shouldn't we have all kinds of stories surrounding that huge event?

Why did jesus not float back to heaven, in front of hundreds of witnesses?
It's kind of odd that such a feat was more a private matter.
Perhaps this god jesus was afraid of the news media...LOL.

Why is the bible filled with great miracles throughout it's pages, yet no great miracles ever take place today. The best anyone can cite are small events that they claim were from god. Events, that could just as easily have happened without a god involved.

So no, I have zero reason to believe in any god beings that are in contact with us earthlings, let alone such a god, being the one of your bible book.
The negative evidence is far too strong against your god being real, to even believe in the possibility.

Your own personal standards for the weight of evidence, are obviously much lower than my own. I could never form even a 'belief' about a god being, based on warm fuzzy feelings of joy, coupled with a wonder of how the universe might have come about.
To use only those two things for evidence, could just as easily let one assume the existence of ANY god that one let themselves desire to believe in.

How do you KNOW it wasn't Zeus or Thor that put those warm feeling in you?
How do you know Zeus wasn't the one who made the entire universe?

Maybe the Indian legends have it right, and the earth is sitting on the back of a giant turtle.
If we never had made it into outer space, then that story might be just as viable as your own god creation story.

You have to take into account Human Nature here, which you seem to ignore in forming your beliefs.
Humans have a desire to discover and to want answers.
When those answers aren't obvious and forthcoming, we tend to fill in the blanks of that knowledge with some made-up explanations.

People throughout time, have wondered what comes after we die, how did we get here, where did the universe come from, what is the purpose of life etc..
Those are tough questions to answer and folks have a huge need to know, so doesn't it make good sense that some individuals in any era, would dream up some explanations for those who craved them.
Such answer givers, would become popular, not to mention, rich to.

Moreso, those with the answers also have a huge potential to control those around them, if not to rule them completely.
What better incentive to offer up such explanations, than for such control, popularity, and riches.
This human behavior continues even today in fact, which is why we see cults spring up all the time across the globe.

If folks would demand real evidence from those making grand proclamations, then these soothsayers wouldn't be able to thrive and feed off the innocent.

So Matt, I've said all I can really say here.
If you still wish to insist on keeping your head buried in god-sand, then so be it.
I can't instill reason into your brain, only YOU can do that.
Until you do, well, enjoy the ride that religion has placed you upon, but sooner or later, the ride comes to an end.

Hopefully, you'll jump off that bad ride, before you waste too much of your life away!!!


ATF (Who can only say so much to make someone open their mind)

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

ATF said:
No proof, of anything supernatural in fact !!

Yeah, if we had proof it wouldn't be supernatural.

Great article ATF.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Stephen_Richard_Webb wrote:
Yeah, if we had proof it wouldn't be supernatural.
Great article ATF

----
Thanks Stephen !!

While I've heard it said many times before, that it wouldn't be supernatural if we had proof, I don't really think that's all together true, at least as far as human **perception** goes.

If there is some supernatural entity/force that exists and is demonstrating it's power over common matter/energy, then there has to be an in-between state of "knowing"; where we see and know the results/actions of this force, but still are without an understanding how this force could possibly function in our natural world.

For instance, if it were shown that ghosts actually exist, then sure, technically they must be part of our nature, but at the same time the mechanism of their being would still seem un-natural (or supernatural) to us.

So when *I* use the word 'supernatural', I don't necessarily mean something that is totally removed from our natural environment, but rather something that seems to greatly defy our present understanding of how nature works.

If we take something like the Bermuda Triangle legend, where planes and ships suddenly vanish without a trace, and it is discovered that these objects really do vanish before human eye's into another dimension (as some suppose), then I would consider such events to be 'supernatural' myself. Meaning, our normal everyday world doesn't include dimensions that open up and swallow planes and ships every day, so this rare occurrence and the mechanism behind it, would be extraordinary and have the sense of being supernatural.

Yes, I realize that I'm expanding the technical definition of 'supernatural', but I'm doing so, such that even these types of strange events (if verified) would be enough for ME to look beyond the normal natural world (as most of us view it) and start to wonder what else of the supernatural might also exists.

Alas, with all my years of reading about anything and everything of the supernatural, I've yet to see ANY CLAIM of such that is verifiable, that would then open a doorway for me to start considering that nature isn't all there is to our lives.

For the time being, those who desire to believe in such things, must do so on faith alone and if you ask me, it's a very BLIND faith indeed.


ATF (Who is still waiting for the 5 famous planes of Triangle legend, to make their return to our common dimension...LOL)

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

Very interesting point of view ATF, I've never quite heard anyone put it like that. I must say that I agree with you. But then again, I am a theist [not athiest that is] and I take the physical world as evidence of a creative force - but then again that doesn't make this force supernatural either. I think that in science, omnipotence can be found in the laws of physics - the laws can not be denied or broken and they govern all things, and omnipresence can also be thrown in there too because the laws of physics apply everywhere - the center of space is everywhere, because it has no boundary as well. The only "omni" that science can not claim to have is the one that bears the most likeness to its name - omniscience, mainly because of the "fools paradox" which indicates that no one [or construct] can ever know the full truth, because no matter how much knowledge is gathered, it will always be incomplete. Science, as a rule will always be incomplete because by its very nature, it is defined by the knowledge that it gathers.

Dave8 said...

SRW: "But then again, I am a theist [not athiest that is] and I take the physical world as evidence of a creative force - but then again that doesn't make this force supernatural either."

SRW, you're describing a panentheistic belief.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheism

Here's some food for thought. The "general" essence of what it means to be a theist is counter to the "general" essence of what it means to be an atheist; e.g., the "acceptance" (as opposed to lacking) of a belief regarding a God or gods.

From "my" perspective... most "all" theists, including panentheists, have a "belief" regarding a Universal statement, namely a God or the Universe in General.

It is in the making of Universal Truth statements that brings about discussions regarding credibility, possibility, and potentiality.

For instance, a Pantheist believes the terms Universe/Nature and God are synonymous.

A Panentheist believes that the term "God" represents that force/entity that is "greater" than the Universe/Nature itself, e.g., God becomes the "supreme affect and effect" of our Universe.

In short, a panentheist would likely believe that the Universe/Nature is moving in accordance with a God's Will - which is "greater" than the sum independence of a collective Universe/Nature.

A Pantheist would conclude that the Universe/Nature is its self a revelation of a God's Will & Nature… but then the word God is a mere metaphor for Nature, giving no greater capacity nor direction for the Universe/Nature.

In any case, and besides the fact that you are making Universal declarations from a "finite" position... do you believe your self to be a Pantheist or Panentheist?

I left out Deism, as... you seem to suggest that you can "know" your description of a God via science, and... Deists believe, from what I infer, that their God concept is Transcendent from this "interconnected" Universe/Nature, and... the "afterlife" exists for us mortals.

aggiesoccer said...

ATF,
You make ton's of assumptions in your post. Please, with an open mind, read your posts.

Something I see in your statements is that because there is only some evidence it is foolish to believe in what that evidence supports. The whole mode of discovery/ science works off of SOME evidence. For you do reject this evidence every time it pops up is equally as foolish as insisting that it is true. You take the exact same leap of faith. To fall within these two would be the most logical choice.

You also assume a lot about the the bible, the gospel, the church because there is only some evidence. You take these evidences and then skew them to how you want to skew them.

You believe what you want to believe.
And the sad part will be when you face the one that created all of this(existence) and who created you and your answer will be you only gave me SOME evidence.

Also you do believe in science. You believe in something that is incomplete. You believe that all current scientific facts are correct and that future scientific discovery will fill in the gaps which make up your world view.

Matt

aggiesoccer said...

And i'm done.. I'm letting this go after this post. I usually don't do blogs ( or write very much) but ATF for some reason my heart goes out to you. But honestly I'm tired of the backhanded comments like this:

If you still wish to insist on keeping your head buried in god-sand, then so be it.
I can't instill reason into your brain, only YOU can do that.
Until you do, well, enjoy the ride that religion has placed you upon, but sooner or later, the ride comes to an end.

Hopefully, you'll jump off that bad ride, before you waste too much of your life away!!!


ATF (Who can only say so much to make someone open their mind)

Just because you don't believe in God does not mean in any way that you are superior or that you have all the answers.
Peace.

boomSLANG said...

Here is a repeat of some of the last counter-arguments I made to aggiesoccer. They are here for him to challenge, or again, completely ignore.....

(my responses are in bold)

aggiesoccer...Why I will never be an atheist-It will always fail at the foundations. Atoms(protons, nuetrons, electons, quarks, the neucleus, quantum mechanics). Where did the design of these come from?

"As for 'foundations', I take it you are employing the Causation argument, which, in your mind, will prevent you from ever becomeing an Atheist. Marvelous. Fine. But if you are an 'engineer', or sorts, then you[should] see the problem with the reasoning that if all that exists demands a 'Designer', then the 'Designer' demands designer, too... and on, and on, and on..i.e..an infinite regress. If you hypothesize that 'The Designer' can exist uncaused, then you have opened the floodgates to the notion that other 'things' can exist uncaused, as well.(including the Universe)"

And BTW, even if you are granted that a 'Designer' exists for sake of argument, you still have the burden to prove that said designer is the Christian biblegod, as opposed to 'Allah', or some other 'god'."


aggiesoccer...God created all things.

"Again, which 'God' would that be? Whichever 'god' you refer to, if it 'created all things', then it also created 'evil'. And oddly, in the christian biblegod's case, that is the very problem it seeks to have solved.

I don't know, but that doesn't sound indicative of a very 'Intelligent' designer, nor an 'omniscient' one."


aggiesoccer...The beginnings of the universe is where I always have problems with atheism(as does much of the world)

"The beginning of this alleged 'Creator of the Universe' is where I now have problems with Theism(as does an ever-growning section of the world's population. And we're not going away, BTW)"

aggiesoccer...I believe when he["God"] sees fit he steps into nature and does something supernatural. I will go back to my argument on the beginning of the universe as something supernatural.

"Go back to your argument all you'd like. You have not one scrap of objective evidence to substantiate it."

aggiesoccer...The question is whether suffering is a gift or not.

"How convenient. Rather than admit that it just does not appear that an 'omnibenevolent', 'omnipresent', 'omnipotent', and 'omniscient' being is looking out for us, you instead choose to believe that human suffering likely has a 'purpose'. Uh huh......again, how convenient."

aggiesoccer...I don't know why he made such a large universe.

"Existential fallacy....nor do you know that 'he' did make one."

aggiesoccer said...

I was going to just reply to boomslang but its not possible as you can not reply personally on this blog.
I believe you are saying that the universe has always existed, continually collapsing and reorganizing itself and then exploding outwards. You have a faith that is greater than mine. What a coincidence that that just happened (and will continue to happen by your hypothesis). I think most of us would agree that Stephen Hawking is one of the prominent physicists of our time:
http://www.hawking.org.uk/lectures/bot.html
Open up your mind!
Last post. Maybe.

aggiesoccer said...

The main point is that your view contradicts the second law of thermodynamics.

boomSLANG said...

Aggiesoccer is back, with..The main point is that your view contradicts the second law of thermodynamics.

This is one of the more pop'-fundamentalist arguments for a "Designer". I'm actually not too shocked to see it, considering.

Okay, firstly, the second law of thermodynamics speaks of closed systems. The earth isn't a closed system; living systems are not closed systems.

Aside from that, the best thing you've got going for you is Anthropic Principle, which, roughly speaking, postulates that the constants to support life were "fine-tuned"(by an "Intelligent Designer"). This amounts to question-begging. One, because who says that only human life makes the Universe special? Two, if the "Designer" is omnipotent, it could create life anywhere it damned-well chooses; the "conditions" are secondary to a "God" who can presumably "do anything".

And finally, aggie, even if we give benefit of the doubt and grant you an "Intelligent Designer", you have the burden to show that this "Designer" is none other than "Yahweh", the three-in-one deity of the Christian bible. I previously pointed this out to you, but evidently, you choose to ignore it.

If "A" = a "Designer", and if "Z" = "Yahweh"...then show us all the letters in between; show us the link.......show us "THE MONEY".

webmdave said...

aggiesoccer: Boom will undoubtedly answer for himself, but even if science had NO answers to ANY questions, the default answer doesn't automatically revert to GODDIDIT.

The default answer in any question that cannot be sufficiently answered is "I don't know."

Besides, retreating into the "GODDIDIT" answer actually answers nothing. God did it tells us absolutely nothing about HOW it was done? To say "God did it" is to accept eternal ignorance, saying we can never understand anything about it because God is beyond comprehension.

GOD DID IT is neither revealing nor helpful toward puzzling out the mysteries of the universe. GOD DID IT is hiding of the head in the sands of ignorance and deceiving ourselves into thinking a head full of sand is knowledge.

You believe GOD DID IT, but can you tell us anything about IT beyond GOD DID IT? You are arguing from ignorance, pointing at ignorance and using ignorance as if it were verifiable and objective evidence that your magical deity exists.

You are preaching the god of the gaps. Wherever there are gaps in human understanding, that's where you find god. God throws thunderbolts, until static electricity is understood. Then god retreats to another bastion of ignorance. Currently god has retreated to the genesis of the universe. That should be far enough away and in the past to keep him safe.

Don't get me wrong, aggie. I've been on your side of the fence. Faith is a great comfort, but so is a teddy bear and a special blanket and a binky.

AtheistToothFairy said...

aggiesoccer wrote:
Hawking is one of the prominent physicists of our time:
http://www.hawking.org.uk/lectures/bot.html

The conclusion of the Hawking's article is as follows:

The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago. The beginning of real time, would have been a singularity, at which the laws of physics would have broken down. Nevertheless, the way the universe began would have been determined by the laws of physics, if the universe satisfied the no boundary condition. This says that in the imaginary time direction, space-time is finite in extent, but doesn't have any boundary or edge. The predictions of the no boundary proposal seem to agree with observation. The no boundary hypothesis also predicts that the universe will eventually collapse again. However, the contracting phase, will not have the opposite arrow of time, to the expanding phase. So we will keep on getting older, and we won't return to our youth. Because time is not going to go backwards
---
Now Matt,
There is presently an ongoing controversy as to whether our present universe will continue to expand until meets a "DEATH BY ICE", or whether it will reverse it's direction (via gravity) and collapse into a single point again, which would be considered "DEATH BY FIRE".

There is presently NOT enough data to know either way, to know which is the fate of OUR universe.....Ice or Fire.

Keep in mind both these theories are speaking about our own known [one] universe and do not attempt to address a multi-verse universe scenario, where we would have many complete universes in existence, each having come from it's own singularity.

If our universe contracts back into a singularity and then expands at a later time into a brand new universe, this would not defy the second law of thermodynamics.
The common laws of physics simply do NOT apply when we are talking about things like singularities, or even black holes for that matter.

All this said now, you still have no evidence that god made this singularity that then expanded into space to form our universe; or that god created many of such singularities that then turned into multiple universes.

By what [imagined] process could we even account for some universe creator god being, having come about before any [or many] universe were created?
Worse, your bible insist that god existed eternally in reverse time, not that it came about from some previous expansion of a singularity.

You would do better with your god hypothesis if you made a claim that god came about as a result of a previous universe, having predated our own, and somehow managed to survive the great destruction of that previous universe.


ATF (Who would still wonder why this god remains so silent, if it did exists)

AtheistToothFairy said...

aggiesoccer wrote to ATF:
But honestly I'm tired of the backhanded comments [from ATF, which see].......Just because you don't believe in God does not mean in any way that you are superior or that you have all the answers
----
Matt,

I realize you probably won't return to answer the MANY questions posed to you by several members here, but perhaps you're still reading this anyway.

I'm sorry that you seem to be taking some of my comments personally and "to heart".
They weren't meant to do anything more than to get you to use REASON and THINK, nothing more.

In regards to your assertion that I am 'superior' or "have all the answers", I'll answer this way.
I do not infer to be some 'god', nor do I make any claims to having been given some 'divine' knowledge, that would then make me feel 'superior' by having such special 'god-transmitted' knowledge.
The latter, would clearly be the attitude that we find most xtians who visit us here, will exhibit to us in their attempt to bring us lost-sheep back into their fold.

It's not a matter of whether my assertions/claims have the sense of feeling 'superior', but rather whether they 'hold water' or not. If they are incorrect, then by all means please show me why they are.

When I say, for instance, that you have your head in 'god sand', it simply means you have been blinded by the dogma of your beliefs and can't see beyond that dogma.
I know such a condition exists, because most of us here have been in that condition in our lives, so I feel quite qualified to call a spade, "a spade", when I sense one.

If you believe my assessment of your attitude towards a evidenced reality is wrong, feel free to demonstrate where I went wrong, ok.

I'm quite SURE many xtians feel "superior" to us lost sheep, as they see us as destined for hellfire, while they feel themselves to be special in god's eye, just because they assume they have a direct phone line to this god of theirs and will surely find themselves in heaven one day.

Becase they feel superior to us heathens, they have no problem in acting in a manner that makes them very disagreeable to our standards of respectable human behavior.

For one of MANY examples of how some xtians act towards us, take a look at this testimony page:

"Sent parents home without dinner"
http://exchristian.net/testimonies/2008/05/sent-parents-home-without-dinner.html?showComment=1211136360000#c4389420196706470874

The following comments also are pertinent to this form of xtian behavior:

freedy wrote:
The backstabbing,polictical exclusion,meaness,lies and corruption was endless.
I could write a 200 page book on the negative experiences I had in ministries and churches


I Broke Free wrote:
Christians always expect a double-standard for themselves. Unlike the rest of us they don’t have to be polite, civil, or hold themselves to a promise when their cult is involved

[Thanks to Broke Free and Freddy for these useful comments !!]

I will say that because we once were stuck inside the god-bubble that you presently are confined in, but managed to claw our way free from it, we would now claim to have a far better understanding of the two opposing realms. Those being, a life where the bible and it's god ruled our lives and opinions, and a life where we came to realize that this god was just another common god-myth of old.

Once you have been on BOTH sides of this fence, it's so easy to see how one was fooled into believing all this religious dogma etc.. We all know, NOW, that it was our emotions, coupled with some clever, but twisted forms of reasoning, that kept us from escaping the prison of this god bubble.

You Matt, have never really been on our side of this god fence, at least not by any cognitive choice, and visiting our side with a don't-care kind of attitude, just doesn't count for much.
For the important things in life, one should have some solid reasoning to back up their choices with.

So while you surely feel that most of us are missing out on your personal great god discovery, you are failing to realize that the majority of us once stood where you are right now in your beliefs of this god.
The fact that we later found those god beliefs to have overwhelming shortcomings, should certainly give you "reason for pause".

Contrary to xtian popular opinion, most of us didn't reject your god because we got angry at him one Hot-August-Day. I know that I personally NEVER felt anger towards this xtian god in my life, but rather he faded away from view, as the evidence I found against his possible existence grew stronger and stronger. At a point in time, one can no longer keep the god blinders on anymore and the hard truth becomes apparent, regardless of any emotional desire to continue to believe in this god of yours.

Now let's look at your other set of return comments to me:

>You make ton's of assumptions in your post. Please, with an open mind, read your posts.

Okay, I re-read my post to you, per your request.

While it would have been highly impractical to "write a book" about each assertion I made to you, I have no reason to back down from anything I asserted.
If you wish to explore any specific assertion I made, with me/us, then by all means, bring forth your evidence and I'll bring forth my own, okay.
Until then, making a general objection to my claims, has about as much value as a wooden nickel to a bank teller.

>Something I see in your statements is that because there is only some evidence it is foolish to believe in what that evidence supports. The whole mode of discovery/ science works off of SOME evidence. For you do reject this evidence every time it pops up is equally as foolish as insisting that it is true. You take the exact same leap of faith. To fall within these two would be the most logical choice.

Matt, it is pertinent and quite necessary, to weigh the evidence of both sides of an issue to reach a conclusion.
Sometimes we can't totally dismiss a certain piece of evidence for one side, but when the other side has mounds of counter-evidence, then it's only logical to choose the side with the mounds.

When I reject hearsay or circumstantial evidence for anything supernatural, I do so because of two reasons.

1. Hearsay and circumstantial evidence is at best, weak evidence.

2. When researchers have combed through the mountains of provided "evidence", by those who lay a claim for some supernatural event, and find the majority of such evidence to be frivolous or greatly flawed in the technique used to acquire such evidence, then using WHAT form of reasoning would one choose the hearsay/circumstantial evidence instead?

Can you provide us with any legit experiment or event, that science has determined to be clearly something from the supernatural realm?

Researchers like James Randi and Mike Shermer (and many others) have spent decades trying to verify ANYTHING that would be considered supernatural and have yet to find even a single instance of it.

Most who have made claims to having some supernatural ability, have fooled themselves by creatively skewing the results that they perceive of their 'abilities'.
They tend to ignore all their failures and cement the successes into their memory.
This is why, for example, when folks who claim an ability for ESP are tested, they not only fail in that quest, but are shocked by the results; usually then making up some lame excuse for their failures.

So no Matt, my dismissal of anything supernatural is not by any means, some "act of faith", at all !!
It is based on the 100% consistent failure rate of anyone to demonstrate any supernatural ability/event to a skeptical mind.

Now if you know of someone (yourself included) that is totally sure they can prove anything from the supernatural, by all means, bring it to the publics attention and rest assured, such a person will be both famous and rich.
Until such evidence is provided to us, I have nothing but good reasons to dismiss such claims, based on the horrible track record of such claims.

As far as science only have "some" evidence:
I have a feeling that you don't place much credence in the methodology of science, yes?

While science never makes a claim to be always right (unlike god believers do about their god's existence and dogma), science is self correcting and admits when it makes a mistake. However, most of those mistakes are made at the Hypothisis level and NOT the later Theory level. It is a very rare day when a long existing "Theory" is tossed out as complete trash.

Also, unlike your emotional evidence you provided us, as proof of your god's existence, science would NEVER allow such emotional evidence into it's court room.
Things of science have to be testable, including the ability in that test to falsify a considered hypothesis.

Therefore, I see nothing wrong here with my rejection of your personal evidence for this god.
We cannot test your god, nor falsify it, nor does science really care to try.
However, it's quite easy to detect if your god is interfering with the events of this earth and it's life forms.
The fact that we never see anything outside of chance going on, clearly indicates that your god either doesn't exists, or is off on vacation somewhere.

If you know of ANYTHING where it's clear that god has intervened in human life and its something that can be verified, then by all means, bring it to public attention.
However, until you or someone like you can do that, please don't tell me that I'm the one who is going on "faith" in my opinions.
My opinions reside with the provable or the most likely, not with what my emotions wish them to be.

>You also assume a lot about the the bible, the gospel, the church because there is only some evidence. You take these evidences and then skew them to how you want to skew them.

Okay, but once again you fail to cite an example(s) of where I did this, for our inspection.
You really can't make such global statements without providing specific evidence of such, okay.


>You believe what you want to believe.

Negative, I do not believe what I WANT to believe. That is what I USED to do when I was a xtian and supernatural believer.

I now believe what I do, based on the evidence-- or lack thereof, nothing more.
It really has nothing to do at all, with my **feelings** on such matters.

>And the sad part will be when you face the one that created all of this(existence) and who created you and your answer will be you only gave me SOME evidence.

First off, you accuse me of making unsupported assertions, but then you turn right around and make the grandest unsupported claim of all, GOD.
At least for my assertions, there is quite a bit of data to back them up, but for your god, you have zero data in your court and yet, you are sure god exists.

However, let's assume you are right about this god, just for argument sake here.

If one day I do meet this all knowing, all mighty god of yours, I will have no problem telling him that he was acting very immature and childish when he decided to keep himself hidden away from our view, and YET, expected me to just believe in him, as I might have believed in any of his competing god beings throughout our human history.

If your god has a real desire/need for the average human to find/believe in him, then he surely needs to provide a bit more evidence for his existence than the rest of the human god's have provided to us.
How such a god being can punish a person for desiring evidence of this god, that such a god would then be the xtian god, just doesn't make any logical sense, AT ALL.

Why that makes good sense to YOU Matt, defies explanation !!

>Also you do believe in science. You believe in something that is incomplete. You believe that all current scientific facts are correct and that future scientific discovery will fill in the gaps which make up your world view.

What I believe is that science continues to learn and continues to advance.
I do not foresee any time in the future, where science will conclude it has learned all there is to learn. That would be a foolish statement for me to make.

While science makes it's share of oops, I'm pretty darn sure that it won't one day discover that it had been severely wrong, and that some god being had made our universe and it's life, all without evolution having a hand in that process.

After all the years humans have believed in things supernatural and have put in countless time and dollars into trying to prove that realm exists in some shape or form, I'd say the chances of it showing itself are slim to none now.
It's not like the idea of the supernatural is something brand new to us and we've been ignoring it all through the centuries, right?

The truth is that thousands of books have been written on the subject, millions of people have had a belief (or claim) of that realm and after all this time and research we have yet to have a single piece of verifiable evidence for such a realm.
So it's not like science and researchers have been sitting on their butts in trying to verify such a realm.

One just has to conclude that after all this effort, that if nothing at all has come out of it, then what are the chances such a realm exists?

I'm putting my money on the 'pony' that trots in our natural world, not the headless horseman pony of the supernatural.


ATF (Who once again, awaits any credible proof of god or a supernatural realm)

boomSLANG said...

Continued.....

I[Aggiesoccer] believe you[Boom'] are saying that the universe has always existed..

To recap---I made that suggestion, hypothetically, in response to your "Intelligent Designer" hypothesis, which implicitly suggests that the "Designer" has always existed, and is uncaused. If the "Designer" can be uncaused and unintentional, then it's possible that the singularity can be UNcaused and UNintentional.

Aggiesoccer...You have a faith that is greater than mine.

As pointed out to you, it takes zero "faith" to say "I don't know". I don't know how everything came into existence, and guess what?.... neither do you, or anyone else. On the other hand, I do know that ideals/philosophies crumble when they are founded on concepts that have internal inconsistancies/internal contradictions. In other words, "square circles" cannot exist in concept, thus, they cannot exist in reality. Your religious philosophy, i.e..the "Christian" worldview, is one such impossible concept. This is where "faith" presumably "helps" you, despite that you remain, to a degree, invincibly ignorant.

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

To Dave8:

Until today, I have never even heard about Panentheism, and I thank you for guiding to this new knowledge - and I must say I was quite shocked by what I read, for it perfectly explains most of my own personal views. I was pleasantly surprised - thank you. In fact, one thing I like to meditate on, is what I call the mystery of the Divine Mind - Which I beleive is like a perfect circle, the circumference of which is nowhere and the center everywhere - even at the center of our minds. To me, the Creator exists within, throughout, and beyond cosmos. Of course, I don't have any proof to provide, but by using my intellectual faculties, I have discovered for myself that a Creator exists - my discoveries, I am sure; are not the result of "warm" feelings or fears and insecurities. Thanks again Dave8.

Dave8 said...

Aggiesoccer (Matt), just curious... are you a "practicing" Christian, per your Holy Bible, or... are you just a fan of Christianity, who sits in a building and pays for box seats?

The general essence of what it means to be Christian is the belief that Jesus was the Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament.

However, the only way to reach the verdict that Jesus was the Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament, is to have "faith" in the biblical doctrine, as authored by God/Yahweh as the source of Christian Truth.

Now, if a person has total "faith" in the Christian Bible, e.g. Doctrine... enough so, that they accept Jesus as Messiah, then... they should adhere to the "rest" of the Doctrine as well - else, they are "insincere" in their "faith", and are not; at least to me - True Christians.

For example; Peter claims that Deuteronomy 18:18-19 refers to Jesus, saying that those who refuse to follow him (all non-Christians) must be killed per Acts 3:23.

If a person has enough "faith" to believe a book, that tells them Jesus was The Jewish Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament, and they are "sincere" in their faith, then we should easily be able to spot "real"/True Christians, who practice their "faith", as opposed to those who are members of the Christian "fan-club" who support Christianity on Sun-Days in the pew stands.

One of the "many" reasons, I dropped Christianity, is because I wanted to be "sincere" in my belief/"faith" system, and that meant being "loyal" to the Doctrine that gave me the belief in Jesus (Christianity).

Once I read the bible, and did a little research, I realized my morality and humanity would not allow me to become a "sincere" practicing Christian.

What has been offered in the place of "sincere" (True Christianity), by pretty much everyone that graces this site and offers alternative denominations, positions, etc., is a myriad of different forms of Christian "apostasy".

In other words Matt, it is "illegal" to be a practicing Christian, according to U.S. law these days... what we have left, are non-practicing, Christian apostate denominations... seeking "fans"... and the irony, is watching the different Christian "apostate" organizations, argue over who is more apostate than the other.

Now, I know... some really wired Christian is going to step up to the plate, and suggest that there is a "gray" area, and perhaps, I'm being dogmatic in this binary approach. However, let's explore the facts of what the essence of atheism is; a person either lacks a belief in a god/s, or they don't and they are theist.

You see, you either are, or you aren't, atheism is the "counter" to theism, there is no "gray" area. And, there is no "gray" area in terms of Christianity; a person both “accepts” the bible as Authoritative Divine Doctrine, and Jesus Christ as the Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament, or they don't.

The validity of a person claiming to be a Christian or an atheist for that matter is in the manner in which their actions support their belief statements.

Matt, are you a "practicing" Christian, who has "total" faith in the bible, such that you accept Jesus as your Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament? If so, when is the last time you murdered a non-believer?

Now, if you can't or don't want to answer the questions, then, the lack of your face on the FBI's ten most wanted fugitives list, gives us an indication of your commitment to your "beliefs". And, if you aren't willing to be totally "committed" to your "beliefs", then why do you have a problem with others who just happen to be a little “less” committed than you?

Yes, Matt… while you ignore the thousands of gods that came before and after your Yahweh, I lack belief in just one more than you. And, what we have in common as well, is likely the fact that we don’t totally adhere to all aspects of the Christian Doctrine… the only difference, is that you don’t reject as much of your bible as I do.

If you want to take this conversation further, then be prepared to establish yourself as an “authority” figure for True Christianity, per your life actions that give you that credibility per the standard of evaluation; The Christian Bible.

AtheistToothFairy said...

To: aggiesoccer (Matt)

Gosh Matt, you sound just like crickets as of late.

ATF

aggiesoccer said...

ATF,
All right this has got to be the last time..
I read the article and it is right on. That's sad. I have met many people in churches like that who just seem like they have never been moved by God in the depths of their hearts. "He who is forgiven little, loves little." Often these people are caught up in their religion and their own righteousness instead of the centrality of a relationship with God and being at the mercy of his forgiveness.

I feel like we are going in circles argumentally. Almost all the evidence falls in between there being a God and there not being a God-you run to the atheist sand just as quickly as I run to the God sand.

As a parting I'm just going to throw out a few resources on why I came to accept Christ at the age of 18, after being atheist and believing that all Christians were sticking their head in the God sand.
Of course I didn't have these resources 9 years ago as my family did not have a computer. But I researched through libraries, articles, and whatever I could get my hands on.

I continue to point to "existence" as supernatural because it is something we can all look at and connect on. We can all look at our desks and think about the billions upon billions of atoms. We can look at the stars and see (depending on where we live) a small part of our galaxy which is 1 in billions.

Ro 1:20
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

These other topics are a couple that brought me to the point of becoming a Christian..
A short article on the extra biblical evidences of Christ:
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mark_eastman/messiah/sfm_ap2.html

9 years ago I was reading stories about amazing things happening in the unreached parts of China. Now in Islamic nations that are closed to any type of sharing of faith other than Islam many are having dreams about Christ:
http://www.brokenmasterpieces.com/archives/000347.html

Christianity in comparison to other religions and postmodern thought, this is a rather long speech given by Dr of Philosophy and social scientist Os Guiness:
http://www.veritas.org/media/talks/72

I enjoyed the conversation and all the good words. At the end of the day both sides of the argument hold water. For me though when I see such things as this:
Conclusion to Stephen Hawking's Lecture:
The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago. The beginning of real time, would have been a singularity, at which the laws of physics would have broken down. Nevertheless, the way the universe began would have been determined by the laws of physics, if the universe satisfied the no boundary condition. This says that in the imaginary time direction, space-time is finite in extent, but doesn't have any boundary or edge. The predictions of the no boundary proposal seem to agree with observation. The no boundary hypothesis also predicts that the universe will eventually collapse again. However, the contracting phase, will not have the opposite arrow of time, to the expanding phase.
-The beginning of matter, time, energy, motion and the breaking of physical laws all without cause, all without something behind them without some external agency outside of time and matter for me is a very big reach.

Thanks again for the conversation,
Matt

boomSLANG said...

Aggiesoccer is back, with...-The beginning of matter, time, energy, motion and the breaking of physical laws all without cause, all without something behind them without some external agency outside of time and matter for me is a very big reach.

Aah, 'still harping on the same ol' circular arguments; the same ol' double-standards, I see.

Again, the following points are where your arguments break down:

- To contemplate; to decide; to "Design" something, are ALL temporal activities. To suggest that an atemporal "being" did any or all of the former-mentioned activities, and it did these activities "before time existed", is an illogical and nonsensical notion. Further, you have a rather blatant presupposition that it is human life that makes the Universe "special". In other words, if homosapiens did not exist, the implication is that the Universe would be pointless. This is derivative of the belief that humankind is at the center of 125 billion galaxies.

- The argument that existence cannot exist without "cause", and without "intention", is a "Law" that is immediately violated when you posit that a self-existing and unintentional "being" exists. Is "God" intended to exist, or not? If not, then by your "logic", God is pointless. On the other hand, if "God" exists intentionally, then who or what intended for "God" to exist???(in my view, if a "God" can exist unintended, so can an "atom")

- While you posit that a self-existing, unintentional, disembodied, infinitely intelligent, personal being exists, and said being "Designed" the entire Universe and all in it, you have not given any objective evidence that said being is none other than "Yahweh" & Co.

Have fun with these!(or completely ignore them, per usual)

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
resonate11 said...

Awesome points, Boomslang!

boomSLANG said...

Thanks...

I noticed one other thing that I simply must address...

Auggiesoccer/Matt...Almost all the evidence falls in between there being a God and there not being a God-you run to the atheist sand just as quickly as I run to the God sand.

Firstly, is this an admission that you have your "head in the sand"???

Secondly, I not "running" anywhere. Personally, I'm waiting right here to see if you can improve upon your past arguments, and frankly, that doesn't appear to be the case.

Lastly - and in any event - once again, you are attempting to level the playing field between belief, and lack of belief. Your above-quoted statement erroneously suggests that the lack of evidence for the existence of something, and the lack of evidence against the existence of something, carry equal weight...i.e.."50/50" 'Dead, wrong.

Let me ask you, or any Theist who buys into your theories on "existence, since there is a lack of evidence for the existence of werewolves, and also, a lack of conclusive evidence against them, does that mean that there is therefore a 50% chance that they exist? Does one have their head in the sand if they disbelieve in werewolves? I don't think so.

Dave8 said...

Aggiesoccer(Matt): "I feel like we are going in circles argumentally. Almost all the evidence falls in between there being a God and there not being a God-you run to the atheist sand just as quickly as I run to the God sand."

First, BoomSLANG's points are spot on in response to your rationalized opinions.

The previous post, I questioned your "loyalty" to Christendom, and you didn't respond. However, I note you make an attempt to show loyalty in "some" manner, by quoting Ro 1:20.

I will say however, that whether you realize it or not; your arguments started out moving from a particular Christendom position, to the conclusion that there must be a particular God - Yahweh.

In your last post, you make a "general" appeal to justify "theism", and would then try to work down to a particular God - Christendom's Yahweh.

I see a whole lot of words, and techniques being used to promote your God... but, arguing from the general to the particular, or the particular to the general "still" requires some evidence.

I see you use the word "supernatural" in a loose sense... the word "supernatural" means "not" natural", or "beyond" natural.

The word "supernatural" and the word "nothing" have something in common - they both have no meaning by themselves. Nothing requires "something" to give it meaning, but the advent of "something" logically disproves "nothing".

The word "supernatural" has no meaning by itself. Something "supernatural" requires something "natural" to give it meaning, the fact that you are a "natural" entity Matt, establishes a "natural" link to everything you "think", "feel", and "do", thus, you "naturally" connect to "everything" you experience.

I'd like to hear your argument that logically supports your ability to "escape" your natural "being", in order to experience something "supernatural".

Thousands of years ago, the use of Transcendence was an explanation, and it sucked as much back then, as it does today. How does one "Transcend" their own natural "being", so they can offer "Transcendence" as a logical explanation for something beyond "Natural Reality".

Getting back to your Holy Bible, which you have yet to show yourself as a "practicing" authority for... let's look a few verses down from the one you posted.

Ro 1:26 - "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

Ro 1:27 - "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."

The "character" Paul of this book, attacks homosexuality.

Lev.20:13 - "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

Again, Matt... When is the last time you went out and did Glory for your God by killing a homosexual?

The point here Matt, is that you have said a lot, and have shown no "behavioral" act that would give anyone reason to accept that you are a 'Christian'. If you believe the Holy Bible to be worthy of your "trust", such that you accept the "name" of a person who is "proposed" to have lived a few thousand years ago (Jesus) as “your” savior and a savior to humankind... then your "loyalty" to that "book" gives us a measure of your "faith" or "sincerity" to said character Jesus.

Regarding your suggestion that atheists have their heads stuck in the sand... that is a patently false assertion, made from a position that "believes" they wield authority - but obviously may not be aware of the implications of their statements.

First of all, not "all" atheists believe the same things; they happen to hold a common mental “position” - it is the position where one exhibits (explicitly/implicitly) a "lack" of belief in a god or gods.

Let me demonstrate my point... Let's say, we honestly start out in life as "lacking in belief" towards "everything", as we have no knowledge to base a belief.

You one day make a statement as a fact - "I believe Santa Clause exists."

Your statement, no matter how "elevated" your opinion is of "your self", does not "demand" that everyone must either side with your statement or be condemned with your given title - head in the sand.

The reason I pointed out your lack of authority in regards to your own beliefs, strips you of any "credibility" to suggest everyone around you has their "head anywhere". The day you walk the walk, like you talk the talk, will be the day you have a position of credibility; per the standard of "your" bible.

Mind you; if you did walk the walk of the bible's talk; I'd lack a moral reason to engage you.

Just so this doesn't get missed; an "atheist", is a person who "lacks" a belief in a god or gods. It is "the" general prospect that links "all" atheists together.

So, Matt, if you are going to "address" your comments to "all" atheists, you need to accept, that a "general" observation, that "many" people have a "lack of belief" in a god or gods, doesn't substantiate anything "specific" beyond that notion - to include sticking heads in sand.

You might as well say all "atheists" are Caucasian, because they can't disprove - your "unproven" statement(s).

While it is true... you may sucker someone who is ignorant into believing that you actually have some credibility or authority; that demands they "first" accept your "presupposition" as "fact", you're not going to get that from someone who is "educated".

Your "presupposition" is not a "fact", it's a "presupposition".

Just because many people refuse to accept your "presupposition" as a "fact", because you lack credibility or authority, doesn't mean they have their "heads in the sand", it means they are educated enough to describe what they are being "shown" - a "presupposition".

Now, on the other hand, I think it is fair to suggest that those who "promote" presuppositions as "facts", have their head in the sand - either out of ignorance, pride, agenda, etc., but I'll make such observations on a "case-by-case" basic.

I'll say this though; Christianity does not tool any individual person by doctrine, to assist them from making ignorant, prideful, arrogant, agenda driven, etc., statements... Paul himself, stole the Orthodox/Rabbinical Jewish Tanakh, and used it as a "weapon" against the Orthodox/Rabbinical Jews.

He did this, by appealing to the Jews; telling them... he was speaking the "Real Truth" as he bend the words of the Jewish Tanakh/Old Testament to his will, and that the Jewish "Authority", who "authored" the Jewish Tanakh, had their heads buried in the sand.

You see Matt, what you present is nothing new; you are more Pauline than you know, unfortunately for you, and not so much for the character Paul - "mass communication", has crippled the con-man. Every Christian is "convicted" of their own belief - a horde of convicts no less.

Dave8 said...

Aggiesoccer(Matt): "I feel like we are going in circles argumentally. Almost all the evidence falls in between there being a God and there not being a God-you run to the atheist sand just as quickly as I run to the God sand."

First, BoomSLANG's points are spot on in response to your rationalized opinions.

The previous post, I questioned your "loyalty" to Christendom, and you didn't respond. However, I note you make an attempt to show loyalty in "some" manner, by quoting Ro 1:20.

I will say however, that whether you realize it or not; your arguments started out moving from a particular Christendom position, to the conclusion that there must be a particular God - Yahweh.

In your last post, you make a "general" appeal to justify "theism", and would then try to work down to a particular God - Christendom's Yahweh.

I see a whole lot of words, and techniques being used to promote your God... but, arguing from the general to the particular, or the particular to the general "still" requires some evidence.

I see you use the word "supernatural" in a loose sense... the word "supernatural" means "not" natural", or "beyond" natural.

The word "supernatural" and the word "nothing" have something in common - they both have no meaning by themselves. Nothing requires "something" to give it meaning, but the advent of "something" logically disproves "nothing".

The word "supernatural" has no meaning by itself. Something "supernatural" requires something "natural" to give it meaning, the fact that you are a "natural" entity Matt, establishes a "natural" link to everything you "think", "feel", and "do", thus, you "naturally" connect to "everything" you experience.

I'd like to hear your argument that logically supports your ability to "escape" your natural "being", in order to experience something "supernatural".

Thousands of years ago, the use of Transcendence was an explanation, and it sucked as much back then, as it does today. How does one "Transcend" their own natural "being", so they can offer "Transcendence" as a logical explanation for something beyond "Natural Reality".

Getting back to your Holy Bible, which you have yet to show yourself as a "practicing" authority for... let's look a few verses down from the one you posted.

Ro 1:26 - "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

Ro 1:27 - "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."

The "character" Paul of this book, attacks homosexuality.

Lev.20:13 - "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

Again, Matt... When is the last time you went out and did Glory for your God by killing a homosexual?

The point here Matt, is that you have said a lot, and have shown no "behavioral" act that would give anyone reason to accept that you are a 'Christian'. If you believe the Holy Bible to be worthy of your "trust", such that you accept the "name" of a person who is "proposed" to have lived a few thousand years ago (Jesus) as “your” savior and a savior to humankind... then your "loyalty" to that "book" gives us a measure of your "faith" or "sincerity" to said character Jesus.

Regarding your suggestion that atheists have their heads stuck in the sand... that is a patently false assertion, made from a position that "believes" they wield authority - but obviously may not be aware of the implications of their statements.

First of all, not "all" atheists believe the same things; they happen to hold a common mental “position” - it is the position where one exhibits (explicitly/implicitly) a "lack" of belief in a god or gods.

Let me demonstrate my point... Let's say, we honestly start out in life as "lacking in belief" towards "everything", as we have no knowledge to base a belief.

You one day make a statement as a fact - "I believe Santa Clause exists."

Your statement, no matter how "elevated" your opinion is of "your self", does not "demand" that everyone must either side with your statement or be condemned with your given title - head in the sand.

The reason I pointed out your lack of authority in regards to your own beliefs, strips you of any "credibility" to suggest everyone around you has their "head anywhere". The day you walk the walk, like you talk the talk, will be the day you have a position of credibility; per the standard of "your" bible.

Mind you; if you did walk the walk of the bible's talk; I'd lack a moral reason to engage you.

Just so this doesn't get missed; an "atheist", is a person who "lacks" a belief in a god or gods. It is "the" general prospect that links "all" atheists together.

So, Matt, if you are going to "address" your comments to "all" atheists, you need to accept, that a "general" observation, that "many" people have a "lack of belief" in a god or gods, doesn't substantiate anything "specific" beyond that notion - to include sticking heads in sand.

You might as well say all "atheists" are Caucasian, because they can't disprove - your "unproven" statement(s).

While it is true... you may sucker someone who is ignorant into believing that you actually have some credibility or authority; that demands they "first" accept your "presupposition" as "fact", you're not going to get that from someone who is "educated".

Your "presupposition" is not a "fact", it's a "presupposition".

Just because many people refuse to accept your "presupposition" as a "fact", because you lack credibility or authority, doesn't mean they have their "heads in the sand", it means they are educated enough to describe what they are being "shown" - a "presupposition".

Now, on the other hand, I think it is fair to suggest that those who "promote" presuppositions as "facts", have their head in the sand - either out of ignorance, pride, agenda, etc., but I'll make such observations on a "case-by-case" basic.

I'll say this though; Christianity does not tool any individual person by doctrine, to assist them from making ignorant, prideful, arrogant, agenda driven, etc., statements... Paul himself, stole the Orthodox/Rabbinical Jewish Tanakh, and used it as a "weapon" against the Orthodox/Rabbinical Jews.

He did this, by appealing to the Jews; telling them... he was speaking the "Real Truth" as he bend the words of the Jewish Tanakh/Old Testament to his will, and that the Jewish "Authority", who "authored" the Jewish Tanakh, had their heads buried in the sand.

You see Matt, what you present is nothing new; you are more Pauline than you know, unfortunately for you, and not so much for the character Paul - "mass communication", has crippled the con-man. Every Christian is "convicted" of their own belief - a horde of convicts no less.

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