One out of every 6.66
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29585222/

I am unsure whether the higher percentage of the nonreligious is due to an actual increase in numbers or because more people are "out of the closet," so to speak.

Either way, kudos to the 15% (of us) who are honest with themselves and unafraid of the dark.
Top
Posted by MCGuy (+59) 12 years ago
I'm an Agnostic at best myself but I have a hard time understanding your hatred for Religion and/or the people that practice it. Not everybody that believes in their own faith is a lunatic about it or "Afraid of the Dark." You push your Atheism stronger than most Mormons push their religion when knocking at my door from what I've seen in your past posts here.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Either way, kudos to the 15% (of us) who are honest with themselves and unafraid of the dark.>



Perhaps...but then again...seems to me there's an awful lot of whistling goin on out there in the dark. If there truly wasn't much to be concerned about (your obvious accountability I mean) we wouldn't have to be preached to by you pagans. Heck...No God..no worries...get it? Your concern for my mental welfare not withstanding.... Relax. I am willing to let you shoot yourself in the foot...if you just let me worship the Creator undisturbed. deal?
Top
Posted by Duncan Bonine (+289) 12 years ago
"Either way, kudos to the 15% (of us) who are honest with themselves and unafraid of the dark."

What is honesty to someone who has no basis for Truth?
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
How is the voicing of my lack of religion an indication of a hatred of religion? There's certainly nothing in my post on this particular thread that would indicate that I hate religion.

Just because I am not for something does not mean I am against something. Life is rarely a zero-sum game.

Would you ask James Lynch why he proclaimed his hatred for atheism by posting his "Prophecy of Amos" thread? Of course not - he said no such thing in his thread and you wouldn't make that leap. You shouldn't make it here, either.

There's no need to go into the reasons I dislike religion or why I find it to be silly on this particular thread as I've expressed my reasons on other ones.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, MCGuy.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
What is honesty to someone who has no basis for Truth?

You believe that morality comes from God. I don't. I believe that honesty is beneficial to humanity as a whole and I believe in "being good for goodness sake." I strive for honesty because I like people to be honest with me. I don't have to label it "Truth" in order for that statment to ring true.

I don't have to be scared into doing the right thing out of fear for punishment, eternal or otherwise. I don't believe that I am damned simply because I had the audacity to be born.

Thank you for inadvertently helping me answer MCGuy's questions, Duncan.

Heck...No God..no worries...get it?

Maybe I just hold humanity in higher regard than you do, Frank. Perhaps I believe that people can do better than to cling to the supersititions that have done little but hold humanity back. And apparently, I'm not nearly as much of a minority as you might wish.

You're more than welcome to worship in any way you see fit. You believe you're right and that I'm doomed to Hell and I believe you're a fool. If you're so threatened by a point of view that differs from your own, then I can't help but think that your faith isn't nearly as rock-solid as you would have us believe.
Top
Posted by MCGuy (+59) 12 years ago
Fair enough Brian. I guess maybe it was how this post and others have come across. It "sounds" like you certainly have a disdain for religion and those that practice it. You've certainly explained that you have no room for it in your life in previous posts and I guess it was your comment about being "Afraid of the Dark" that I see as being offensive to religious people. As I said, I'm an Agnostic at best, but I guess I don't see a reason to prod a bull for no reason.

For what it's worth Brian, we have a lot of views on religion in common. I just choose to keep them to myself.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Maybe I just hold humanity in higher regard than you do, Frank.>

...and maybe not. Perhaps you can enlighten us all as to just where all this dignity comes from that you speak so highly of?? No..I mean ultimately. The slime per Perhaps? The is no higher dignity for any being than to be made in the image of his Creator. ALL of us have that ultimate dignity...from the aborted child to the pilot who landed in the Hudson.

< I believe that people can do better than to cling to the supersititions that have done little but hold humanity back.>

Why? You trying to save the world from superstition are you? My thats awful generous of you. Why don't you just mind your own business and keep your blood pressure in the proper range? Atheist shouldn't have to worry about any of it...right?

<And apparently, I'm not nearly as much of a minority as you might wish. >

Doesn;t make any difference how many agree with either one of us. Counting noses has never been the definition of the truth. Learn that one and you're on your way to a little wisdom.
Top
supporter
Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
Just because I am not for something does not mean I am against something.

Either way, kudos to the 15% (of us) who are honest with themselves

So you're indifferent to 85% of people being dishonest? Is that the morality Father Dawkins teaches?
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
... and maybe not. Perhaps you can enlighten us all as to just where all this dignity comes from that you speak so highly of?? No..I mean ultimately. The slime per Perhaps? The is no higher dignity for any being than to be made in the image of his Creator. ALL of us have that ultimate dignity...from the aborted child to the pilot who landed in the Hudson.

You need dignity from an outside source, Frank? Sad.

Where exactly Everything came from has yet to be discovered. I'm not content to quit the search for actual truth in favor of a barely-plausible story that someone has labeled "Truth."

Why? You trying to save the world from superstition are you? My thats awful generous of you. Why don't you just mind your own business and keep your blood pressure in the proper range? Atheist shouldn't have to worry about any of it...right?

If I didn't give a rip about the betterment of mankind, the world we live in and this life (you know, the only one we have), I'd be a Believer. As far as "minding my own business" is concerned, do you suggest that I follow Christianity's shining example of living and letting live? Methinks not.

I'm perfectly calm, Frank. You're the one getting bent out of shape and defensive. Again, if your faith is so unassailable, you wouldn't be nearly as upset as you now seem to be.

Doesn;t make any difference how many agree with either one of us. Counting noses has never been the definition of the truth. Learn that one and you're on your way to a little wisdom.

Your "Truth" is only labeled as such (with a capital "T") because enough people believed it. A good example of wisdom would be to practice what you preach, Frank.

Besides, you (I believe it was you - correct me if I'm wrong) once accused me of being a nonbeliever only to get attention. There are a lot more people who think as I do than you might think.

So you're indifferent to 85% of people being dishonest? Is that the morality Father Dawkins teaches?

I wouldn't say "dishonesty." I'd say "giving in to the suspension of disbelief." And no, I'm not indifferent. I think I call a spade a spade and what's ridiculous ridiculous.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<You need dignity from an outside source, Frank? Sad.>

I notice you avoid the question...but ok I'll bite..I say mine comes from being made in His image. ...and yours comes from....? Being a really really good guy? Simply Your preference?

< I'm not content to quit the search for actual truth in favor of a barely-plausible story that someone has labeled "Truth." >

I dunno there...sounds to me like you aren't searching very hard. No Phd's needed here...but a little honesty would go a reeeeeal long way. Question is...ya up for it? I didn't think so.


<If I didn't give a rip about the betterment of mankind, the world we live in and this life (you know, the only one we have), I'd be a Believer.>

How do you know that? Why are you for the betterment of mankind?. If there is no ultimate purpose for our lives...who cares who sits at the front of the bus or the back of the bus?

<As far as "minding my own business" is concerned, do you suggest that I follow Christianity's shining example of living and letting live?>

Sure...thats a good start. Don't see me forcing anything on you do you? What are you so afraid of?

<Methinks not.>

Yes i gather that much for sure.

<I'm perfectly calm, Frank.>

Are you now? Thanks for explaining that much.


<Besides, you (I believe it was you - correct me if I'm wrong) once accused me of being a nonbeliever only to get attention.>

Geeze...another victim! Who cares why I accused you (if I really did)? Got your attention didn't it? Question is...was I wrong in my assessment? If not...then stop crying in your beer.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
At this point, I am really jonesing for a conversation with Jimbo.

I'm not going to argue with you, Frank.
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
"I believe that honesty is beneficial to humanity as a whole and I believe in "being good for goodness sake." I strive for honesty because I like people to be honest with me. I don't have to label it "Truth" in order for that statment to ring true.

I don't have to be scared into doing the right thing out of fear for punishment, eternal or otherwise. I don't believe that I am damned simply because I had the audacity to be born."

So I am wondering if you had to teach your son to be naughty. I would doubt it, he probably figured that out on his own. Rather you have to teach him to be "good". Seems to me that there is some moral ethic at work. How do you know that the "right thing" for you is the "right thing" for your son?
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
So I am wondering if you had to teach your son to be naughty. I would doubt it, he probably figured that out on his own. Rather you have to teach him to be "good". Seems to me that there is some moral ethic at work. How do you know that the "right thing" for you is the "right thing" for your son?

Children learn by experience and they're curious about the world around them. Personally, I don't consider curiosity to be naughtiness. Equating curiosity with naughtiness is nothing less than laziness and shortsightedness on the part of the parent. I keep my child out of danger and help educate him the best I can. If there's a lesson to be learned, I try to achieve the lesson through positive - rather than punitive - reinforcement.

It helps that I don't already think of my son as damaged goods cursed by God simply for being born. Maybe that gives me a more optimistic view of him.

What's "good" is what keeps my son safe and helps him to be a kind and caring member of society.

You're making the mistake of thinking that only believers can be moral. Again, if you have to be frightened in order to comply, you're not really being moral in the first place.
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
Well, I think ........

On second thought, I'm staying out of this.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<At this point, I am really jonesing for a conversation with Jimbo.>

Ok.

<I'm not going to argue with you, Frank.>

Rats. Maybe next time.
Top
Posted by derf bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Interesting thread. Sorry I arrived late.

I noticed there was some misinterpretation in the data right from the start. The data referenced in the initial post is the results of the American Religious Identification Survey conducted by Trinity College in Hartford. CT. As such, and as quoted in the MSNBC sound byte, it is a measure of identification with particular organized bodies of believers and not a measure of religious beliefs. The first post in the thread implying that 15% of the population are non-believers is an inaccurate assessment of the data. The survey results actually said that 15% claimed no religious affiliation.

In the overview of the survey results it is noted that "only 1.6 percent of Americans call themselves atheist or agnostic." Let's call that 2 in every 100 since I don't know how to divide a person into six-tenths.

The survey did ask questions and colate data about personal beleifs. It's interesting to note that "based on stated beliefs, 12 percent [could be called] atheist (no God) or agnostic (unsure), while 12 percent more are deistic (believe in a higher power but not a personal God)." In other words, our functional beliefs can differ from our stated affiliations.

I read as much of the survey as I could and found no questions or data concerning "fear of the dark" or "honesty with self."
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
I read as much of the survey as I could and found no questions or data concerning "fear of the dark" or "honesty with self."

http://www.merriam-webste...y/metaphor
Top
Posted by derf bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Either way, kudos to the 15% (of us) who are honest with themselves and unafraid of the dark.

http://dictionary.referen...?qsrc=2888
Top
Posted by derf bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<You're making the mistake of thinking that only believers can be moral.>

Puttin up the ole strawman again, I see. He never said anything about believers being the only ones who can be moral. For the record though.... Christians are capable of the same level of depravity that any atheist is. Thats not the question. The real question is where either of us get our basis for even desiring the good, right and beautiful. Atheists CAN be the most moral people in any given community...its just that Atheism has no basis whosoever for any of it. Only an atheist "wannabe" would extoll any kind of morality. True atheists simply don't worry about it.

<Again, if you have to be frightened in order to comply, you're not really being moral in the first place.>

Thats true in one sense alright..but on the other hand if the God of the universe is really who He says He is..we who live, move and have our being only within His divine will actually do have every reason to treat Him with reverence...and yes...fear. Only a fool would scoff at the One who has your every breath numbered. But of course that stops very few from their scoffing..at least for now.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Richard and I have had enough discussions about this topic that I am pretty comfortable in saying that I knew where he was coming from, Frank.

If you want to worship a god that requires that you kiss his godly behind on a daily basis, go right on ahead. Personally, I don't find such narcissism all that godlike in the first place. Your choice, though.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<If you want to worship a god that requires that you kiss his godly behind on a daily basis, go right on ahead.>

Ok...thank you for your permission. It'll be ok, brian...really it will.

< Personally, I don't find such narcissism all that godlike in the first place. Your choice, though.

Thanks again for your permission. You're easy to get along with...no matter what anyone else says.
Top
Posted by derf bergman (+584) 12 years ago
A narcissistic God would not require anyone to perform that physical act since, by definition, she could perform it quite nicely herself, thank you.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
What is honesty to someone who has no basis for Truth?

What is honesty to someone who is "forgiven" for any transgression he or she may commit?
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
To believe you are forgiven for a transgression you may commit would be antinomianism-- the belief that faith makes you above the law or any moral code. It's been considered heretical for about nineteen and a half centuries.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Has it really, Derf?

So, I guess every single person who has ever "found Christ" in prison ...
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
Brian, I think you're timing is off. I believe Derf is talking about believing you are forgiven BEFORE you commit the crime is heretical.

Frank said: Atheists CAN be the most moral people in any given community...its just that Atheism has no basis whosoever for any of it. Only an atheist "wannabe" would extoll any kind of morality. True atheists simply don't worry about it.

Why wouldn't they worry about it? Atheism just means no belief in a God, right? What does that have to do with morality?

Aren't atheists subject to the same pressure to conform to societal norms that believers are? The reason morality exists outside faith is because it is expected and by following societal custom you are more likely to be successful and get along with everyone. I'm not saying that atheists are insincere, quite the opposite. Everyone is pressured to conform to societal norms. It is expected from birth. The lessons taught by parents have a more lasting effect on one than any teachings of religious faith although your parents' teachings may be based in religious belief.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<What is honesty to someone who is "forgiven" for any transgression he or she may commit?>

Doubt if this will do a whole lot for you...but I gotta try. Seems a lot of your scoffing comes from a misunderstanding of one of two things (or probably both). Either you have never really understood who God is...or you don't know who you are as one infintesmile part of His creation.


What I mean is...God...if he is really God, doesn't have to forgive anyone.....ever. You, as one who has been given all that you have by his mercy...ought to be grateful...but obviously aren't. What would YOU do to someone to whom you had given all that they had (including their very life)...and yet they spit in your face and mocked you day after day and even denied you were real? (this is where a little honesty on your part would pay big dividends.)

What is honesty to someone who had been given everything?? How about being thankful for starters? Don't feel like it? No problem. You won't be denied justice, thats for sure. You will get exactly what you deserve, no more , no less. If you are looking forward to that...you haven't a clue as to what that means.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bill Zook (+497) 12 years ago
I wasn't going to get into this but found it intriguing. I'm reminded of an old debate "saw", define your terms please. I'm not very clear on what, if any, distinction you are making between respect and fear.
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
There's a lot going on in this thread, but I'm actually responding to Wendy. Yes, it's a timing thing. Planning to do something I know is wrong because I beleive I will be forgiven is the problem to which I spoke. It can be both a present tense and future tense issue. I'm saying that the belief that "grace covers everything so I am free to do as I please" is not really, might we say, kosher.
Top
supporter
Posted by Kelly (+2706) 12 years ago
Brian:

Granted I didn't read the whole thread before posting this, but kudos on the pun in your title. Very funny 666!!!
Is that really what the math comes out to be?

Don't answer...I did the math.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Why wouldn't they worry about it?>

Good qestion Wendy. A true atheist is not the least concerned about what anyone else thinks is good or true...unless it affects them personally. A true atheist would recognize anyone elses' worldview as just that...a "view"...one among many. They may well be "good" in the sense of being moral productive citizens....some much more so than many who call themselves Christian. That is not the question.

The question that really needs to be addressed here is not just what folks SAY they believe...but rather the real question is...where does their basis come from for believing anything at all??

For example...I notice that atheists are often at the head of the parade crusading for human rights and human dignity. Now who could fault that mindset? Sounds pretty noble, huh? But think about it. If you care to ask this same atheist where this human dignity and worth ultimately comes from....he has no possible answer other than his personal preference that we do do. If...as common atheist assumptions say...we have merely come from the slime...and our ultimate destiny is to return to that same slime from which we arose...tell me please..where is the "dignity" in that????? If it is true that I come from "nothing" ultimately...and i am destined to return to thatr same nothingness...then have the guts to admit we ARE nothing ultimately. All I ask of any "atheist" is that they quite playing games by giving any "oughts" or "shoulds" to the rest of us....and say it really doesn't matter. That is why I say that atheists may sound really profound and brave as they mock God...but in reality they have both feet planted firmly in midair. They live a daily contradiction.

The ultimate answer for why any of us should treat one another (especially the unborn)with repect or dignity is because we are God's image bearers. Any unjust assault upon another human being is an assault upon God Himself. We know that it is always wrong to violate another human being unjustly...no exceptions.

That is why most who call themselves atheist are really just "wannbe's". They really can't live with the ramifications of what true atheism extolls.




<Atheism just means no belief in a God, right?>

Yes and no. In reality...all people know God exists...no exceptions.
Yes i know what many claim to believe...but again...virtually no atheist I know of ever lives this worldview out completely.It has never been a problem of a lack of information for5 us. The problem has always been we reject the information that is clearly before us 24/7/365/.

<What does that have to do with morality?>

Good point. It has nothing specific whatsoever to do with morality.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<That is why most who call themselves atheist are really just "wannbe's". They really can't live with the ramifications of what true atheism extolls.>

Meant to add that a few have come close. Hemmingway and Nitchze came close.
Top
Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Why are religious folks often at the front of parades crusading against human rights, Frank?
Top
Posted by ABE (+421) 12 years ago
Wannabes? That is what most Christians are anyway. I like to freak out my Christian friends with the fact that when Jesus comes back, if he does for a second time, he will not be a Christian. He will be a Jew, just as he was when he died and just as he was when he came back, the first time.
He He He, makes their heads explode
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
I hope he's a really stereotypical Jewish guy like you see on TV, that'll really get em
Top
supporter
Posted by jeanne m bole (+179) 12 years ago
I hope I am not posting this twice. I just recieved my new bill
from the Denver Post and it was 6.66 a month since the Rocky Mt
News has gone under. I called and asked them to change my rate to
7.77 They changed it and will give it to the person who delivers
it. I also give a tip at Christmas
I am spooked by that number.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Why are religious folks often at the front of parades crusading against human rights, Frank?>

Bob!...what took you so long?? It might be that you are confusing human "rights'..with human "desires"? Think maybe?
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<That is what most Christians are anyway.>

No argument there.
Top
Posted by ABE (+421) 12 years ago
He will be a cross between George from Sienfeld and Mel Brooks.

" What, 2000 years to prepare and this is it."
" No,No, It's fine. It's just you know..2000 years, I've been gone...dead... kaputz...then I come back to find this.....Mehhhh.


But nothing makes me smile more than when we have the "traditional" Easter Ham.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
In reality ... all people know God exists ... no exceptions.

Frank - Please be so kind as to explain why you believe this to be true. I would be happy to read whatever evidence you are willing to provide.

Do not presume that you know why I believe (or do not believe) the way that I do.
Top
Posted by Stephenie (+55) 12 years ago
How do you deny Jesus existed?
Top
Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Uh, Frank. I suppose the right to vote is just a human desire but now I know what side of the fire hose you would have been on. I suppose you immediately assumed I was talking about gay marriage.

I consider myself to be Christian. What I can't stand is your ditto-head version of Christianity. I believe in Jesus, its a lot of his fan club that scares me.
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
It bothers me that this discussion is so Christian-centric, as if it's the only religion with a moral compass. Seems arrogant to me.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
What arrogance you have, Frank!

Your statement, "there is no higher dignity for any being than to be made in the image of his Creator," is nothing more than self-serving pretention. You might as well have stated, "Of course I believe in God, because God is perfect and if I believe in perfection, I'm part of that perfection, too."

I don't know what's more annoying - your misplaced superiority or Richard's self-loathing.

I do not know where Life came from. Here's the thing: no one truly does. You believe you do, and that's fine in and of itself. But where you step wayyyyy over the line is where you presume that because you believe that you've found the one-and-only answer, that there can be only one answer for everyone. I believe in evidence, not conjecture.

I don't believe that a ridiculous answer in the absence of The Definitive Answer is the solution to the question(s) of Life. If you do, that's fine. But don't presume that because you are content with the answer you have found that everyone else has (or should) as well.

Seems a lot of your scoffing comes from a misunderstanding of one of two things (or probably both). Either you have never really understood who God is...or you don't know who you are as one infintesmile part of His creation.

Your presupposition that I actually do believe in God and simply choose to deny His existence is preposterous. I'll make it simple for you: No, I do not understand who God is. I do not have a belief in God. I do not understand this "God" of which you speak. I am an atheist. I suggest you research the definition of the word, "atheist."

I am an infinitesimal (correct spelling, O' Perfect One) of the universe. I won't hesitate to admit that. But I cannot attribute the existence of the universe to the existence of a God or gods, to which there is NO EVIDENCE. Again, I suggest you research the meanings of "evidence" and "conjecture" and "supposition" and "circular reasoning."

Give me evidence and I will believe. I do not - and will not - believe in the absurd without evidence. To paraphrase Ingersoll, give me one fact. Just one solitary fact.

You're convinced that the only reason someone could possibly see the world in a different way than you do is because of some sort delusion or dishonesty on that person's part. Again, what pomposity you have!

Why are you for the betterment of mankind?. If there is no ultimate purpose for our lives...who cares who sits at the front of the bus or the back of the bus?

The purpose of life is to live and be happy in life. It doesn't have to be anything more than that. I don't have to believe in a god to believe in life and happiness. I am here, and while I am here, it is good enough to be here and even better to be happy. I believe that the best way to be happy is to make others happy as well.

For example...I notice that atheists are often at the head of the parade crusading for human rights and human dignity. Now who could fault that mindset? Sounds pretty noble, huh? But think about it. If you care to ask this same atheist where this human dignity and worth ultimately comes from....he has no possible answer other than his personal preference that we do do. If...as common atheist assumptions say...we have merely come from the slime...and our ultimate destiny is to return to that same slime from which we arose...tell me please..where is the "dignity" in that????? If it is true that I come from "nothing" ultimately...and i am destined to return to thatr same nothingness...then have the guts to admit we ARE nothing ultimately. All I ask of any "atheist" is that they quite playing games by giving any "oughts" or "shoulds" to the rest of us....and say it really doesn't matter. That is why I say that atheists may sound really profound and brave as they mock God...but in reality they have both feet planted firmly in midair. They live a daily contradiction.

You have no understanding of what it means to live life without a concept of god. You speak without knowing and you come across all the worse for it. You confuse the words "atheism" and "nihilism." I do not believe in nothing; I do not have a God concept. There is a very definite difference. It's your shortcoming that you cannot recognize the difference.

Here's a "daily contradiction" for you: you believe - and your worldview requires - that dignity comes from an outside source. Yet, your definition is the antithesis of the meaning of the word: self-respect.

You ask that atheists "stop playing games" and "be honest with themselves." How about you be honest with yourself? Without your concept of God, you believe your life would have no meaning whatsoever and your world would shatter. You are afraid to let go of that compulsion and project your fear on to others who believe differently.

That is why most who call themselves atheist are really just "wannbe's". They really can't live with the ramifications of what true atheism extolls.

You do not know what "true atheism extolls" because you do not know the definition of the word, Frank.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
How do you deny Jesus existed?

I don't deny that Jesus existed, Stephenie. I don't believe that I have ever denied his existence. What makes you think that I have?

I simply do not believe that Jesus was anything more or less than what anyone else is: a human being.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Here's an analogy for Frank's line of thinking:

1.) Imagine a dog.
2.) Dogs bark.
3.) The dog is not barking.
4.) Cats do not bark.
5.) The dog must think it's a cat.

Kind of silly, isn't it?
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank - Please be so kind as to explain why you believe this to be true. I would be happy to read whatever evidence you are willing to provide.>

Ok Brian...I can do that.

<Do not presume that you know why I believe (or do not believe) the way that I do.>

The one and only presumption I am making about you at this point is that admitting what you know to be real is not all that important to you. Its pretty low on your list of priorities...(as it is with most of us). Let me explain.

Even though i have never met you I know a lot about you . I know that you know God exists because you live your life proving you know it. Yes I am well aware of how much you adamantly deny that...but anyone can do what you do. Denying is easy.

You, like most people hold the beliefs you do because you picked them up along the way from people you trusted...parents, friends, media...maybe even a zealous college instructor. But...face it..over the years many parents and college instructors have proven themselves to be mistaken. Perhaps you too have fallen for subtle lies? Real deception never looks strange when you are on the inside.

The kind of deception I am talking about isn't the rather unbelievable sort like being mistaken that your left thumb is really an elephant. The more interesting and plausible kinds of radical deception involves the less obvious, even invisible things, like moral standards and rules of reasoning and assu8mptions about how the world works. If you are wrong about these sorts of things, then you can be radically mistaken but go along with the flow of life in the short term without running into any corners. You might only recognize your horrible mistake in the long run, when it starts to fall apart. Then it could be way too late.

Now add to all this the fact that your years here on earth have been actually pretty few. And the time anyone actually spends thinking about these awesome themes is relatively minute when compared to all there is to understand...then maybe...just maybe you are radically decieved about the world? Considering how easy it is for most of us to be deceived (Yes me also)...it doesn't seem like all that wild of a conjecture to suspect that at least one of us is radically decieved.

Here is my main point about what I know about you and what you really do know for sure. Your actions...the way you live your life reveal a lot about the deception you espouse. m (your.."not knowing"). Lets take a simple example. When you go to the store to buy milk you reveal many things about yourself. When you first walk up to the the grocery store, you assume that you and the store are two differenjt things, not one, showing your rejection of most Eastern and New Age religions. When you walk down that dairy isle and select some kind of milk, you assume the world is not chaotic, but orderly, regular and divided into set kinds of things. When you stand in line with others, expecting others to repect your space and person, you reveal your rejection of moral relativism and deep trust in ethical norms. When you calculate your available change, compare the price of milk, and make the exchange with the clerk, you engage in a complex array of thought processes involving nonmaterial rules of reasoning, thus showing your rejection of materialism and evolution.

In fact, when you do something as simple as buying milk, you accept and reject all kinds of views. You act like you reject many popular ideas and claims about reality. In fact, given the sum of what you assume and reject in just buying milk, you act like you live in the world described by Christianity. Why such self deception? Why don't you simply confess what you appear to assume?

You profess non-Christainity...but assume Christianity. You have to. "If there is no God then all things would be permissible" because there would be no basis for any particular thought to be more highly conidered than another....and no one...not even you could live that way for long. Thats why things ideas are so important.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Uh, Frank. I suppose the right to vote is just a human desire but now I know what side of the fire hose you would have been on.>

??

< I suppose you immediately assumed I was talking about gay marriage.>

You know what they say about assumptions, right?

<I consider myself to be Christian.>

REally?

< What I can't stand is your ditto-head version of Christianity.>

...and what version would that be?

<I believe in Jesus,>

AS I understand it...so does Satan...so where does that leave us?

< its a lot of his fan club that scares me.>

Here i thought you were big on tolerance?
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<It bothers me that this discussion is so Christian-centric, as if it's the only religion with a moral compass. Seems arrogant to me.>

Christianity always seems arrogant to those who hate accountability.
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Come on, Frank. Stop giving Christians a bad name.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9197) 12 years ago
Frank, do you understand that apologetics by question-begging isn't a particularly convincing means of evangelism?
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Christianity always seems arrogant to those who hate accountability.

Accountability, hah! What accountability?

Gee, I'm a loathesome human being who would be doomed to Hell simply for being born except that I've accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior because he sacrificed his life to wash away my sin.

How is that accountability? By definition, you believe that someone else got you off the hook.

Weak, Frank! Weak.
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
Frank, I don't hate accountability. I believe in it strongly. I merely think that Christianity is not necessarily required to be moral. Judaism has moral teachings, as does Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism. When it comes to morality Christians don't have a corner on the market. If you think they do, then you commit the sin of hubris.
Top
supporter
Posted by Kelly (+2706) 12 years ago
"Christianity always seems arrogant to those who hate accountability."

Or could it be that Christianity seems arrogant because those who profess it are arrogant?
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
The one and only presumption I am making about you at this point is that admitting what you know to be real is not all that important to you. Its pretty low on your list of priorities...(as it is with most of us). Let me explain.

Even though i have never met you I know a lot about you . I know that you know God exists because you live your life proving you know it. Yes I am well aware of how much you adamantly deny that...but anyone can do what you do. Denying is easy.


This is incredibly tiresome, but simply because I am a very persistent person ...

Frank - your premise that I "know God exists because I live my life proving I know it," is faulty. I don't know God exists. I know that I exist because I am here. Where you are quick to attribute your existence (and my own) to God, I am not.

God is very real to you. Because you lack a certain degree of empathy, you believe that what is real to you MUST be real to everyone else. In your eyes, it would be ludicrous for anyone not to believe as you do because you know in your heart and your soul that what you believe is right. Therefore, if someone says they believe differently, you take it as a personal affront. Only, you take it one step further. Because you identify yourself so strongly with your concept of God, any personal affront is also an affront to God. How dare anyone deny the existence of what you belief in to the core of your being? Because if someone denies your core beliefs, you believe they deny you. You know you exist, so you know God exists. If someone denies God, they deny your existence. And you just can't reconcile that.

Again, this is your shortcoming and lack of imagination.

You do nothing more than a small child does on Christmas morning.

1.) The child wakes up and sees presents under the tree.
2.) There weren't any presents under the tree when the child went to bed the night before.
3.) The child had been told by Mommy and Daddy that Santa Claus comes down his chimney every Christmas to leave presents under the tree.
4.) Mommy and Daddy wouldn't tell me something that wasn't true.
5.) There MUST be a Santa Claus! The presents under the tree prove it.

Your argument for the existence of God based on the existence of the universe has no more substance than the analogy above. The only difference is that you and so many other people have not yet realized that Santa Claus doesn't exist.

You, like most people hold the beliefs you do because you picked them up along the way from people you trusted...parents, friends, media...maybe even a zealous college instructor. But...face it..over the years many parents and college instructors have proven themselves to be mistaken. Perhaps you too have fallen for subtle lies? Real deception never looks strange when you are on the inside.

You weren't born a believer, Frank. You were born an atheist: you had no concept of God. Over time, you were indoctrinated (as was I) by your family, church, etc. into believing that God created the universe (and all that comes after that depending on what religion you believe). But at the start, you had no belief in God whatsoever.

You are the one who still clings to the subtle lies. This is no doubt made more easy for you because of the popularity of the untruths that you believe.

It may interest you to know that I was once a Christian. I once believed as you do. I once argued the points that you have tried to argue to me. Then the day came that I could no longer suspend my disbelief in the face of the incredible. Much like children who finally realize that there is no jolly St. Nick living at the North Pole who delivers presents every Christmas, I stopped believing in that which there is no proof. You continue to confuse the proof of the product for the proof of the producer and process. I don't.

You profess non-Christainity...but assume Christianity. You have to. "If there is no God then all things would be permissible" because there would be no basis for any particular thought to be more highly conidered than another....and no one...not even you could live that way for long. Thats why things ideas are so important.

You attribute morality and order to religion and assume that without them, there would be no order and "all things would be permissible." This is faulty. You presuppose that atheism equals chaos and have built your argument on that premise. Based on your narrow definition of what atheism is to you, you believe that all people (myself included) share that common definition. Clearly, this is not the case.

I don't need a commandment to tell me that I shouldn't kill someone. Why? Because I would not like to be killed. I don't need a commandment to tell me that I shouldn't steal from someone. Why? Because I would not like to be stolen from. I don't need a commandment to tell me that I shouldn't lie? Why? Because I wouldn't like to be lied to. These are simple, virtually universal, concepts that don't have to be dressed up and presented as "Religion" in order to be accurate.

Your milk analogy does little more than illustrate your misunderstanding of evolution. Because you believe that your personal definition of evolution is the only possible (and therefore, correct) definition, you believe that everyone believes the same way. Since I have stated that I don't believe as you do, this leaves only one possible solution that makes sense to you: I must be willfully deceiving myself. Again, your shortcoming (that you can't wrap your brain around any other possible way of thinking than your own) becomes [my] shortcoming because I have the audacity not to agree with you.

Because you have attributed all that's right in the world to Christianity, you believe that everything that is outside of Christianity is wrong. In your eyes, all order comes from Christianity, so anything that exists outside of Christianity must be chaotic. Because I have admitted that I also believe in order, your worldview demands that I must be a Christian (and am just denying it) because to you, there is no other way I could possibly believe in order. This is a flaw in your logic process, not a proof of your hypothesis.

You presuppose that you are right and leave no room for error, adjustment or growth. As a person with some degree of intelligence and experience, you know that which is inflexible breaks, and you cannot stand the thought of what would happen to you if you were actually wrong. I don't blame you for being afraid (again, I once believed in a remarkably similar fashion as you do now). But don't project your fear on me.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Come on, Frank. Stop giving Christians a bad>

Geeze, sounds to me like it already has a pretty bad name here. Can you feel the tension rising too?? :-)) Dang me they ought to take a rope and hang me! I'm not worried about true christians...they can handle it. Its the true pagans that seem to choke on it.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<ccountability, hah! What accountability?>

Exactly my point.

<Gee, I'm a loathesome human being who would be doomed to Hell simply for being born except that I've accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior because he sacrificed his life to wash away my sin.>

Geeze...I do believe you've got it there Brig! Just one caveat. you aren't condemned for being born. You are condemned for lying about God's existence...for starters.

< By definition, you believe that someone else got you off the hook.>

Exactly...good grief...you on on a roll here!!

<Weak, Frank! Weak.>

Yes...thats true...thats what the book says. The truth of God is most certainly foolishness to those who are perishing.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank, I don't hate accountability.>

Really? Do you love it?

< I merely think that Christianity is not necessarily required to be moral.>

I've never argued that.

< that Judaism has moral teachings, as does Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism.>
I've never argued that.

< When it comes to morality Christians don't have a corner on the market.>

I've never argued that.

< If you think they do, then you commit the sin of hubris.>

Hubris is pretty universal here seems to me....oh wait...I sure didn't mean you too..forgive me. :-)(
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<<"Christianity always seems arrogant to those who hate accountability."

Or could it be that Christianity seems arrogant because those who profess it are arrogant?>

It might seem that way to those who want to be free to do their own thing with no accountability to their Creator...but if Christianity is true....and many really will end up separated from God for eternity (but don't want to think about it)...does that make me arrogant? If so...you bet I'm arrogant.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Geeze...I do believe you've got it there Brig! Just one caveat. you aren't condemned for being born. You are condemned for lying about God's existence...for starters.

Who's Brig? Bridgier? If so, Bridgier didn't write that. I did.

So now I'm "lying" about God's existence, Torquemada?

Prove God's existence to me, Frank. I dare you. Give me proof - not conjecture, not question-begging, not supposition, not hearsay - but proof. Give me proof and I'll believe you. That's all you have to do to win this debate.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<This is incredibly tiresome, but simply because I am a very persistent person ... >

Hey...aren't you the one who had other things to do?? I'm not forcing you to be persistent.

< I know that I exist because I am here.>

...and that is all you need to know for sure to know that God exists.
There is NO other explanation for how anyting let alone little4 ole you coujld be here unless there was an ultimately self existing Being who could get the ball rolling. Science tells us that. Logic tells us that. Reason tells us that. Only those folks who hate accountability reject that obvious truth.

< Where you are quick to attribute your existence (and my own) to God, I am not.>

You and I have access to the same information, Brian. If you dare to examine the possibilities (but you wont because you know what is at stake here) the conclusion is clear.

< Because you lack a certain degree of empathy, you believe that what is real to you MUST be real to everyone else.>

no...you have it backwards. First...if something is real...then that means it is true...and it doenn't matter if you agree that it is true. you see ...you count a lot of folks agreeing on a topic before you think it is true. But You need to think for yourself for a change. Again...it something really true for me...then it is true for you also...because truth does not depend upon your (or my)preference. I am not a Christian simply because I have nothing better to do. I dare to ask the hard questions and by God's mercy am able to affirm what is obvious even if I do not particularly like it.... instead of deny it like you folks do.


< Therefore, if someone says they believe differently, you take it as a personal affront.>

nonesense. I am not offended by serious questions and skepticism. I know it has to begin with the basics and follow a logical progression. Bashing one another or one upmanship is pretty much a waste of time.

<Because you identify yourself so strongly with your concept of God, any personal affront is also an affront to God.>

REst assured God does not need any help from me. However...It could just be that he is using me to confront you with your foolishness.

<How dare anyone deny the existence of what you belief in to the core of your being?>

Nonesense. Be as skeptical as you like...but lets not just leave it there. Lets dare to look at the evidcne...and ADMIT it when it shows our line of thiking to be flawed. Ohhhh no...we can't do that...right?

<Again, this is your shortcoming and lack of imagination.>

Nothing wrong with imagination, Brain. We all have a place for it and it CAN be a valuable tool. Even more important than that though is ...honesty about what we actually see and experience.

<You do nothing more than a small child does on Christmas morning.>

Yes..i would hope so. Christ does warn us that we cannot even see the Kingdomj of God unless we become like little children...not childISH mind you...but childlike in honesty and trust.

< The only difference is that you and so many other people have not yet realized that Santa Claus doesn't exist.>

ok..you tell me how you KNOW God does not exist and i wont bother you any further...will i have to wait long??:-))


<You weren't born a believer, Frank.>

True.

< You were born an atheist:>

Yes and no. All of us are born hating God....and that will never change unless God has mercy on us. For sure...a 2 month old baby does not have the mental capacity to articulate a worldview...but from the very first moments of self awareness...the empahsis is always upon our self centered selves...and that will not change unless we are confronted with the obviousness of our utter dependence upon the One who has given us the very breath of life...(and Who will also be the One to take back that life..eventually)


<You are the one who still clings to the subtle lies.>

...and of course that never happens to you....right?

< This is no doubt made more easy for you because of the popularity of the untruths that you believe.>

Pouplar????are you kidding? What is it 5 or 6 to 1 here against a Christian worldview. Time to get real, Brian.

<It may interest you to know that I was once a Christian.>

I think you are mistaken. If you were a Christian at one time..then you still are. If you aren't really a Christian...then you never were...you just thought nice things about Jesus. Don;t you remember the scripture? Jesus promised that He will never forsake us...if we are His. That doesn't mean it never FEELS like we are forsaken....but the objective truth is that He said He will be THROUGH all of our trials with us. So..again its one or 'tuther...and if you never really were a Christian...that does not mean that you cannot become one.

<I once believed as you do. I once argued the points that you have tried to argue to me.>

I think you are mistaken. I don;t think you have really thought these themes through at all. You are too busy talking to listen right now. you show no understanding of who God is...nor who you are as part of His creation.>

< Then the day came that I could no longer suspend my disbelief in the face of the incredible.> You obviously never stopped long enough to actually think about these things.


< You continue to confuse the proof of the product for the proof of the producer and process>

yes and no. You yourself have admitted that you exist for real...and thats all you need for proof of a Creator. You never give any observation or logical reason for the nonexistence of God. you simply scoff.

< You presuppose that atheism equals chaos and have built your argument on that premise.>

Ultimately if there is no God...it simjply doesn;t matter. If you in your world of denial want to be good and moral...by all means go for it....but If someone else wants your wallet...you have NO logical reason to suggest that they shouldn;t be allowed to have it...other than your opinion. You know it...and I know it.

<I don't need a commandment to tell me that I shouldn't kill someone.>

Thats very true.

< Why?>

Because they are written on the conscience of all men....including yours.

<Because I would not like to be killed.>

Ok fine...now try telling someone else they they ought to be nice and not kill you....if they choose to. Do you think your opinion is worth the powder to blow you to hell? You have to have more t6han feelings to determine what is truly right and good. You folks simply choke on that on a regular basis.

<I don't need a commandment to tell me that I shouldn't steal from someone.>

Again..true. Now explain what you will say when the gunman gives you a choice...your wallet in his hands or yoiur brains ontrhe sidewalk? Tell him Brian that you prefer that he not take your moeny!!:-)))) <Why? Because I would not like to be stolen from.>

ooooooh that will impress him wont it?:-)))


<You presuppose that you are right and leave no room for error, adjustment or growth.>

Nonesense. In fact you don't appear to have anywhere to go from here...but up.

<I don't blame you for being afraid (again, I once believed in a remarkably similar fashion as you do now).>

Yes...its true. But thats because i understand clearly that i do not deserve ANY of God's grace>

< But don't project your fear on me.>


Why...you think it might be contagious??:-)) You remember the words don;t you.."The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". I\f thats true Brian...then its time for you to start at the beginning.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Frank, you could have 1,000 monkeys mashing away at 1,000 computer keyboards and make more sense than what you just typed.

If you are God's champion, you have given me even more reason not to believe.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9197) 12 years ago
Man, you make ONE comment out of 60, and suddenly you're lying about the existence of God.

Anyway - Frank: you're question-begging. It's a rhetorical technique that will only convince people who are already convinced of what you're saying. It comes from a reliance on a foundationalist epistimology, and a modernist belief that axioms are capable of conversion. This might work, if everyone agreed that the axioms were axiomatic (or even partially so), but that world (if it ever really existed) has moved on.

As I said before, better apologetics please.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
I think Carl Sagan stated it best:

***

Sagan wrote frequently about religion and the relationship between religion and science, expressing his skepticism about the conventional conceptualization of God as a sapient being. Sagan once stated, for instance, that "The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying ... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity."

Sagan is also widely regarded as a freethinker or skeptic; one of his most famous quotations, in Cosmos, was, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." [...] The quote is also known, under different wording, as the principle of Laplace-attributed to Pierre-Simon Marquis de Laplace (1749-1827), a French mathematician and astronomer: "The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness." Sagan was, however, not an atheist, expressing that, "An atheist has to know a lot more than I know." In reply to a direct question in 1996 about his religious beliefs, "Sagan gave a direct answer: 'I'm agnostic.'"

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sagan
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Other Carl Sagan quotes:

"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe."

"The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the supression of ideas."

And one from Douglas Adams:

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
One of my favorite Douglas Adams quotes:

"There is a theory which states that if ever for any reason anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened."

Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Frank, there are a number of "believers" who are quite comfortable with questions, skepticism, doubt, and uncertainty.

The name of one of the world's people of faith, Israel, means rougly "one who contends, or strives, with God."

And Hebrews says "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) That's something I can't and won't try to prove.

I personally find a faith that is fluid, growing, changing, and alive more satisfying than one that is black, white, judgmental, and "dead" certain.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Sagan wrote frequently about religion and the relationship between religion and science,>

Yes he did. Remember "The Blue marble"?...great stuff. I sort of began doubting his authority though when he was asked what he thought the origin of the universe was. He said that was easy. He said that the universe was simply the result of space+ time+ chance.

Webmaster...what do you think...does that sound pretty profound? Lets look at it one more time. Space+ Time+ Chance = The universe.
What he is actually saying is nothing+nothing+nothing= everything. Now I don't want to labor too long here but even 4th graders can get quite a chuckle out of this! Nothing like very brilliant people making stupid statements...eh?
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<I personally find a faith that is fluid, growing, changing, and alive more satisfying than one that is black, white, judgmental, and "dead" certain.>

ok...so is your "worldview" Christian or is it simply Do unto othersw as you would have them do unto you?
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<As I said before, better apologetics please.>

Hey Brig...hang in there...have to start out slow. Not everyone is as fast as you.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank, you could have 1,000 monkeys mashing away at 1,000 computer keyboards and make more sense than what you just typed.>

By the response i'm getting i'm certain a few of 'em have already replied.
You do like bannana crisp...right?
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<there are a number of "believers" who are quite comfortable with questions, skepticism, doubt, and uncertainty.>

Not concerned with "comfort". Ain't a whole lot of room for "If it feels good it has to be right" in the Cristian worldview.....know what I mean?

<The name of one of the world's people of faith, Israel, means rougly "one who contends, or strives, with God.">

Good point...how can you contend with someone who might not be there?

<And Hebrews says "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) That's something I can't and won't try to prove.>

Yes and Romans chapter one says that all men know that God exists but they all deny it because they do not want God in their minds.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<There is a theory which states that if ever for any reason anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.">

Theories are wonderful aren't they....except that they are supposed to have some logic behind them...otherwise we can have as many "theories" as there are men to think them up. That doesn't seem to hold up in our post modern world though No matter what evidence we now bring to the table it is simply denied by saying 'oh no sir". Awesome...simply awesome.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank: I don't doubt the existence of "God", but I do believe every religion that has ever been created, was written by man for man -- and most likely for the purpose of political power and control.

I also don't think your Sagan quote is exactly correct, but probably close enough. No matter or not, if he was incorrect here or there, then he was simply human -- we're not perfect. He was a vastly intelligent person, who applied simple logic to the complex subjects he spoke and wrote about.
Top
supporter
Posted by Kelly (+2706) 12 years ago
"Yes and Romans chapter one says that all men know that God exists but they all deny it because they do not want God in their minds."

Sounds like you pulling a Bill Clinton on the meaning of "know."
Top
Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Frank almost has himself convinced.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9197) 12 years ago
Well.... if you're going to shorten things, please throw a "d" in there to preserve the sanctity of my pronunciation. "brigier" sounds uncomfortably close to "bugger".

Now - I've really tried to stay out of this thread, honestly I have - I'd much rather spend my time defending the rights of mountain lions to eat the occasional Moon Creekian, but your chosen mode of debate will only convince people who are willing to accept the basic premises upon which you build your argument - premises that have proven to be very susceptible to post-modern critique.

You say - God exists because otherwise nothing could exist.

Brian says: Prove it.

You say - I shouldn't have to, it's an objective reality.

Brian says: Prove it.

You say - Only someone who hates God would deny this.

Brian says: I don't hate God, I don't believe he exists. Prove he exists.

You say... well, etc, etc, etc.

The problem is, God doesn't hold up well to propositional logic, unless you already believe that the propositions are logical. Brian doesn't. There are more and more people like Brian every day. These people are moved less and less by your special pleading. If you want to change this trend, you will have to offer something that is more compelling than Modernists assumptions in a Post-Modern world.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank: I don't doubt the existance of "God",>

Thats good. Can you articulate why you don't "doubt"?

< but I do believe every religion that has ever been created, was written by man for man -- and most likely for the purpose of political power and control.>

Most most certainly have....and of course they all claim to be "the way"...don't they? That does pose a dilema for sure. We know this much for sure....They can't all be right, can they? Theoretically they could all be wrong..if there is no God.....or if reality is not real etc. One point that helps a little is to realize the difference between theology and religion. Religion is nothing more than man's idea of God (or existence in general). Religion may or may not have anything to do with the tr4ue God at all. Theology is concerned not with what we'd like in a "God"...but rather what has he shown Himself to be...His character. Now...the only way to separate the two is to examine this reality and make certain deductions from what is real...or true. However....we can't even begin that enterprize if we will not be honest about what we percieve. We will always be looking for the wisecrack to prove we are not afffected by the truth of these things. In other words we will always be fooling ourselves.

< No matter or not, if he was incorrect here or there, then he was simply human -- we're not perfect.

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on that then. His statement is not mere Fau Pax. It is pure contradiction...and he of all people should have known better.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Sounds like you pulling a Bill Clinton on the meaning of "know.">

Ok I''ll bite...explain to us what "know" means then. Here is your chance for fame...don't blow it now.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank Cory wrote:

> Thats good. Can you articulate why you don't "doubt"?

I don't doubt because I exist, or at least I think I exist, and can gaze into the night sky to view the vastness of space we occupy in our tiny little corner.

Doubting "God", and our own existence, delves into philosophy. I took a course in college where the instructor brought up the following issue:

"How do we know that everything we see and experience is not just but a dream, and that our dreams are not reality."

After a class discussion, he added, "Now write an essay on the topic." I didn't like writing essays.
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
I tire of this.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Well.... if you're going to shorten things, please throw a "d" in there to preserve the sanctity of my pronunciation. "brigier" sounds uncomfortably close to "bugger".>

Ok...sorry. Your dignity will be preserved!

<Now - I've really tried to stay out of this thread,>

oh give it up! You know you enjoy showing us Christian bigots up.

<honestly I have - I'd much rather spend my time defending the rights of mountain lions to eat the occasional Moon Creekian,> I miss Moon Creek a lot sometimes. My Dad was born out there....and i used to hunt there a lot in high school...but I digress.

<but your chosen mode of debate will only convince people who are willing to accept the basic premises upon which you build your argument - premises that have proven to be very susceptible to post-modern critique.>

Yes i am well aware of that. Actually its even worse than that now. The people i hang around with have a new title for our present situation. We don't even call it post modern any longer. Its really neopagan...but i doubt if you are interested in going there.

<You say - God exists because otherwise nothing could exist.>

Yes...but let me expand just a little on that. Slowly now....If there ever was a time when absolutely nothing was the state of affairs...(that is... No space, no time...no matter...and certainly no God)....what does logic tell you could possibly be here right now? The only honest answer is..'nothing"...right? Ok..now...all that that proives is that something has always existed from all eternity. It doesn't prove that God exists...it just proves that someTHING with being has always existed with the ability to be self existent(aseity).....or nothing could possibly..."be". Still with me?

The old axiom for this was expressed thusly.."If something exists now...then something exists neccesarily". That is...this being with "neccesary being" cannot not...be...if there is anyting really real here right now! The logic for believing this is immpecable....because the one and only way for anything to be here right now and NOT come from an eternal being...is for it to come from nothing spontaneously.....and you'd be surprized at how many so called erudite scholars are willing to accept that as a possiblity!!!!! Anything but God!

So again...how do we know that an eternal being exists? We know it simply because something..(doorknobs. pretty girls, ice cream, Japanese Beetles) really do exist for real.



<You say - I shouldn't have to, it's an objective reality.>

No..I HAVE just proven it above. Sure you can deny that it means what it purports to mean...and i can't do any better than what I have just done.



<You say - Only someone who hates God would deny this.>

Absolutely correct....and that "someone" is every last swingin Richard and Rachael of us....from Mother Teresa to the Hillside Strangler.


<Brian says: I don't hate God, I don't believe he exists. Prove he exists.>

Brian hates God. Brian attempts to use "ignorance" as his excuse...but it doesn't wash. You DO know what the root for ignorance is don't you? Its..."ignore",,,not a lack of knowledge or ability to comprehend...but rather an ignoring of the subject...and for a specfic reason. Brian does not ignore what he loves...neither do you or i.

You say... well, etc, etc, etc.

<The problem is, God doesn't hold up well to propositional logic, unless you already believe that the propositions are logical.>

Yes that is true...and he wont express why any of the aqbove is illogical either.

< Brian doesn't. There are more and more people like Brian every day.>

Yes i am well aware of that.

< These people are moved less and less by your special pleading.>

Well...I hoope you ar wrong about that. I don't see any "pleading" going on unless it is to depend upon logic and for admitting what is real.

<If you want to change this trend, you will have to offer something that is more compelling than Modernists assumptions in a Post-Modern world.>

Aint agoin to happen. Thats my best shot. I have no argument for those who simply say "oh no sir".
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<How do we know that everything we see and experience is not just but a dream, and that our dreams are not reality.">

In other words... out with logic...forget reason..and never ever depend upon what we experience. Shame on you! You are most certainly a child of the relativistic post modern world. You can do better, webmaster. If you are not willling to admit up front that at least YOU are real....then then the gulf between us is far to wide to even think of trying to communicate across....But i think you know better.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank Cory wrote:

> In other words... out with logic...forget reason..and never ever depend upon what we experience.

Just the opposite. Where were you a year before you were born?
Top
Posted by Wade Clark (+17) 12 years ago
There are far too many people in the world that lack the capacity to be decent to one another simply for the sake of being decent.
For them there is religion.
For the others - weekends are open...
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
ok...so is your "worldview" Christian or is it simply Do unto othersw as you would have them do unto you?

Frank, I'm not going to argue with you. Can you say ad nauseum?
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Very well stated, Bridgier. Across the board - thanks.

Brian hates God. Brian attempts to use "ignorance" as his excuse...but it doesn't wash. You DO know what the root for ignorance is don't you? Its..."ignore",,,not a lack of knowledge or ability to comprehend...but rather an ignoring of the subject...and for a specfic reason. Brian does not ignore what he loves...neither do you or i.

Like Wendy, I also tire of this.

Frank - allow me respond to your comment with this quote by Simone de Beauvoir:

"I cannot be angry at God, in whom I do not believe."

Let me ask you this: Do you know the name of the person who invented the wheel? No, you don't (and neither do I). You are most likely content to know that the wheel was invented and exists today in myriad forms that makes modern life possible. (Or, maybe not - maybe you believe that God invented the wheel.) I, for one, am happy enough to know that the wheel exists.

But where you might be compelled to give a name to the Unnamed Wheelmaker, attribute the invention of Everything to him (not just wheels) and give him praise for his Universal Creation, I have no such compulsion. If there was evidence proving the name of the inventor of the wheel, I would believe his name to be true. But you, who would have already made up your mind, may or may not.

Am I ignoring the truth of the invention of the wheel? Of course not. Am I ignoring the fact that someone at some point in time invented the wheel? Of course not. Am I choosing to believe a lie because I don't believe that I KNOW the name of the Unnamed Wheelmaker? Again, of course not. By giving a name to the Unnamed Wheelmaker, is it possible that you are the one believing a lie? Be honest with yourself.

Your arguments do not hold water. Again, I ask you for proof. The burden of proof is on your shoulders. If the existence of God is so overwhelming that even atheists know God exists, this should be easy for you. Despite your laughable effort so far, I am still willing to give the opportunity to win me over, Frank.
Top
supporter
Posted by Stone (+1596) 12 years ago
This all comes down to one question. Can an egg be fertilized without sperm?
Top
supporter
Posted by Kelly (+2706) 12 years ago
Just google "fertilize eggs without sperm" and you will see that yes indeed, it can.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Just the opposite. Where were you a year before you were born?>

Is this a quiz?
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9197) 12 years ago
I know lots of people who try the inverse.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<There are far too many people in the world that lack the capacity to be decent to one another simply for the sake of being decent.
For them there is religion.>

Yeah...those religionists like Stalin, Hitler, Pol pot, Kim Jong, etc... (all good Christians, they) They were just misunderstood. They really meant no harm.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank, I'm not going to argue with you.>

I dind't think so.

<Can you say ad nauseum?>

Oh I do ..I do.
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
Neopagan? Do I still get to dance around a fire?
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9197) 12 years ago
Yeah...those religionists like Stalin, Hitler, Pol pot, Kim Jong, etc... (all good Christians, they) They were just misunderstood. They really meant no harm.

Frank, I really think you need to spend some time studying logical fallacies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacies

At the very least, it would make you a more honest debate partner.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Like Wendy, I also tire of this.>

You folks really should turn in earlier. You tire so easily these day.

<Frank - allow me respond to your comment with this quote by Simone de Beauvoir:

"I cannot be angry at God, in whom I do not believe.">

Brain...let me respond with this quote from C.S. Lewis...

" You have never met a mere mortal. Nations, arts, cultures, civilizations....THESE are mortal and are to us as that of a gnat. But it is immortals with whom we work, marry, snub and exploit....immortal horrors or everlasting splendors."

<Let me ask you this: Do you know the name of the person who invented the wheel?>

John Smird?

No, you don't (and neither do I). <You are most likely content to know that the wheel was invented and exists today in myriad forms that makes modern life possible.>

Now you are making ME sleepy, Brian!

<(Or, maybe not - maybe you believe that God invented the wheel.) I, for one, am happy enough to know that the wheel exists.>

You should consider yourself very furtunate then. Most of us would like a little more knowledge than that...but hey its your call.

<But where you might be compelled to give a name to the Unnamed Wheelmaker, attribute the invention of Everything to him (not just wheels) and give him praise for his Universal Creation, I have no such compulsion.>

Me thinks you have missed the whole point Brian. Their could be no wheels nor wheelmakers if there wasn't a Being to bring it all into being. Ad nauseum...is right.

<If there was evidence proving the name of the inventor of the wheel, I would believe his name to be true.>

He has given us a reality and blessed us with uncountable material joys...and then after all of our temper tantrums over simply admitting he is there...he has offered to forgive us of even that...but you will have none of it. What mroe do you want of Him? So be it.


<Am I ignoring the truth of the invention of the wheel?>

The invention of the wheel can't help you, Brain.


<Your arguments do not hold water.>

Of course they do. You haven't logically refuted one statement I've made. All you say is you don;t like my statements.
< Again, I ask you for proof.>

Proof is the last thing you are looking for, Brian. You don;t have to look anywhere, Brian. It isn't hiding.

< If the existence of God is so overwhelming that even atheists know God exists, this should be easy for you.>

Not so...It wasn't me who came to Him....without God's mercy I'd be just like you.

<Despite your laughable effort so far,>

somehow i don't think its laughter I hear.

This ought to do it for now...eh? take care..and hey get some sleep will ya?
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank, I really think you need to spend some time studying logical fallacies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacies>

thanks for your concern..I'll give it some consideration.. There that ought to do it. Yes i do believe I feel better already.

<At the very least, it would make you a more honest debate partner.>

Now, now, now...we were doin pretty fair there...lets not get testy here! Sticks and stones...how does that go...."?
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Neopagan? Do I still get to dance around a fire?>?

Its against the law to dance in Pagan land. It wouldnt be fair since not everyone knows how to dance. They mostly just sit around and congratulate each other for being so tolerant..and loving...clever...and oh yes...so darn intelllectual! Yes we can!!!
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9197) 12 years ago
I must confess, I think the other Frank is funnier.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank Cory wrote:

> Is this a quiz?

Yeah. It's a pretty simple question: "Where were you a year before you were born?" I'm just curious.
Top
Posted by Wade Clark (+17) 12 years ago
<Yeah...those religionists like Stalin, Hitler, Pol pot, Kim Jong, etc... (all good Christians, they) They were just misunderstood. They really meant no harm.>

I was actually going to reference the alternative to a society regulated by religion as being one regulated by a fascist state (Stalin, Pol Pot, et al), but I opt for brevity in my snide little comments.

All things considered - I'd prefer to have to deal with the bumbling, ignorant posturing of the religious class under a religiously controlled society than the fascist system.

At least in an open society I get the luxury of being able to witness an absurd debate like the preceeding.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank almost has himself convinced.>

Gosh bob...i expected a lot more scoffing from you today. Your silence is deafening. Got a nick in your rotator cuff? You got the flu er what? Everyone seems so sleepy today. Guess I'll just shuffle on home and watch he haw reruns. Just remember... The play aint over til the Author walks onstage.... Take care all.
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
It's not against the law to dance in Pagan land. Today's Pagans are just polytheists that believe in the wood emperors are something. There is a lot of fire dancing in Pagan land.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
Oh ok one more and thats it!!!

<@was actually going to reference the alternative to a society regulated by religion as being one regulated by a fascist state (Stalin, Pol Pot, et al), but I opt for brevity in my snide little comments.>

...and here I was thinking I had nothing to be thankful for today!!!

<All things considered - I'd prefer to have to deal with the bumbling, ignorant posturing of the religious class under a religiously controlled society than the fascist system.>

Yeah...for most of us...suffering through a sunday school class beats gas chambers and firing squads most days.

<At least in an open society I get the luxury of being able to witness an absurd debate like the preceeding.>

Yeah i know what you mean. However... The one thing I've learned with atheists is to be patient. Now...don't make me have to repeat this!
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
Brian, Frank is officially better than you.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Frank - Have you ever seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

Consider yourself the Black Knight.

Brian, Frank is officially better than you.

I'll let him believe that, Buck. It's all he has. This whole situation reminds me of an editor's note from an ElfQuest comic. Scoff if you will at the source, but the words contained within are pretty profound (and appropriate for the current situation):

"Realize that you're going to engage in a lot of battles in life. Choose the ones that are important, and make an effort to win those. Learn to recognize which conflicts exist only to waste your time and energy, and "let the wookiee win." One of the most settling bits of advice I ever got came from a novel titled The Immoralist by Andre Gide. A character, who endures frequent attacks by critics who are not half as accomplished in life as he is, notes to a friend that sometimes "... one must allow other people to be right. It consoles them for not being anything else."

- Richard Pini
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Apparently, Frank doesn't want to give up where he was one year before his birth. I'm still curious and genuinely interested in the answer.
Top
Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Warning to all Mormon Missionaries....avoid Frank's house.

If, when Jesus walked the Earth, he constantly acted like a completely arrogant asshole, where would Christianity be today?
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
I ask this again, in all honesty, "Where were you one year before you were born?"

I chatted in-depth with my significant other about this tonight, who is a devout Christian, but she couldn't seem to come up with an answer.

At first she suggested the concept of a finite number of souls (some sort of pool), to which I pointed out the flaw, so after she decided there were perhaps an infinite number of souls, I also pointed out that flaw.

I'm not a theological scholar (by any means), however, I still think my question is pretty simple. Still waiting for an answer.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
"I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit."

- Mark Twain
Top
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 12 years ago
> What is honesty to someone who has no basis for Truth?

A far better question is:

What is honesty -- and goodness -- to someone who uses superstition, mythology and dogma as a basis for truth? (or "Truth", as you laughably put it.)

We actually do know the answer to that question. It includes murdering "witches", arresting researchers, burning them at the stake, crusades against unbelievers, sacrificing virgins, drilling holes in the heads of living persons as offerings to the "gods", flying aircraft into densely inhabited buildings, blood libel, inquisitions, and so forth.

And doing all of the above, and more, with honest, good intent.

Examples of atheists committing atrocities because people would not comply with the atheist position are few and far between. The critical point here is that theists do these things in the name of religion.

It isn't just that they "are" religious and these things happen; they happen because of religion. Theists often counter these historical facts by pointing to the old Soviet Union, noting that the leadership was declared atheist, and state (quite accurately) that said leadership was murderous in the extreme. But it wasn't collective atheism that drove those actions, it was political ideology, paranoia, and megalomania. Atheism is a lack of belief in a god or gods; it contains no drive to "deal" with those who do believe, because there is no atheist agenda.

Contrast this with such gems as:

"Thou shalt save alive nothing that breathest. But thou shalt utterly destroy them..." (OT / Deuteronomy 20)

...and...

"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." (NT / Luke 19:27)

...and...

"Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Satan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Satan..." (Koran / 4.77)

Also, Hindu tradition commends the ideal of the warrior who is prepared to fight in the defense of dharma.

These things are the rule - not the exception. The major exception to dogmatic, pre-programmed violence in religion, it should be noted, is Buddhism.

Consequently, there is every reason to view religions in general with great caution. It has been made very evident by repeated incidents in history, both recent and distant, that religion is in fact extremely dangerous.

Presently, here in the US, we find the daily life very much affected by theists pushing their beliefs (stores must stay closed on Sundays, certain words are censored, reliability in a court is predicated upon swearing on a bible, marriage must comply with multiple religious preconceptions; our money, our national pledge of national allegiance, and even our nation's motto bear nonsensical religious proclamations; significant property and financial advantages are provided to religions that are not available to the common citizen trying to support a family...)

Additionally, deadly outcome religion-driven incidents continue to pop up from time to time in the form of clinic bombings, "exorcisms", deaths from being intentionally kept from proper medication.

All the while, religious hate groups like those led by Fred Phelps keep the pot simmering; ridiculous, brittle stupidity like "creationism" is put forward with the intent of inserting it in the public educational system as if it actually had legitimate scientific standing, when it is, in fact, a compendium of abject nonsense suitable only for propagandizing those who don't understand what the scientific method actually is.

Personally, I really don't care what you believe as long as you maintain a libertarian-like respect for the rights of others and the non-religious role of government; but when repressive laws, physical threats, and terrorist disasters are part of the general signature of the belief systems you proffer, you cannot expect me to take the view "oh well, live and let live, eh?"

So I am, at the very least, wary of these superstitions and the people who state they believe them. And yes, of course: I would be equally wary of atheist folk who might put forth such an agenda, for any reason.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<ask this again, in all honesty, "Where were you one year before you were born?">

You along with every last atom originated in the mind of God. God brings you forth in "your" time...sustains you for a relatively brief period (in relation to eternity, that is) ...and then takes you out...all according to His plan from all eternity.

<I chatted in-depth with my significant other about this tonight, who is a devout Christian, but she couldn't seem to come up with an answer.>

Maybe thats because we know you wont be satisfied with an obvious answer.

<I'm not a theological scholar (by any means),>

You don't have to be a scholar. You just have to admit what you see is real. The rest is a piece of cake.

<however, I still think my question is pretty simple.>

Hope I accomodated your simple question with a simple answer.


As i have labored to explain the Creator of reality is not just the creator of matter. He has also created the rest of reality....space and time. One commonly misunderstood facet of the "how" He has done the actual creation is that we often hear about Creation Ex Nihilo...that is..creation out of nothing. If we could truly define "nothing" it would help clear this up...but you'll have to ax sum'un dat no's mo den i do for that one. "nothing" may well be what sleeping rocks dream of, I'n not sure. At any rate...when theologians (and I am not one either) speak of creation ex nihilo...they do not mean that God has brought reality out of absolute nothingness. Not even God could do that...because that would be a contradiction...a la spontaneous generation. Rather, what He has created "out of"...or "from" is....Himself. That is...from who and what God is..... His self existent being.

To bore you futher I should mention that due to His transcendent character God is not personally affected by any of this reality He has created. He does not quake at nor is He surprised by any shenanigan we pull. If Obama keeps trying to be nice to the Taliban and we end up turning this planet to glass...God will not be affected in the least by our foolishness. I mentioned the Painter/painting analogy last time. It is not a perfect analogy of course...but it serves for our purpose here. A painter has compete control over what He paints...and it is his perogative to do with his creation as he sees fit. The painting never has any input as to the application of paint to canvas...it (the painting) is simply the working out of the painter's will.

Ok...thats a little more than you asked for but i want you to get your moneys worth.
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
"Examples of atheists committing atrocities because people would not comply with the atheist position are few and far between."

Stalin

"It includes murdering "witches", arresting researchers, burning them at the stake, crusades against unbelievers, sacrificing virgins, drilling holes in the heads of living persons as offerings to the "gods", flying aircraft into densely inhabited buildings, blood libel, inquisitions, and so forth"

Does "and so forth" include hospitals, colleges, universities, libraries,the end to government approved slavery, primary education and secondary educations for everyone, origination of movement against unfair labor practices, origination of campaigns against abuse of women and chidren, the temperance movement (chemical dependency), roots of the women's suffrage movement?

And so forth
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
"Examples of atheists committing atrocities because people would not comply with the atheist position are few and far between."

I have to admit, I'm having a little difficulty comparing the atrocities of the Salem Witch trials, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and even 9-11 with the accomplishments of the politicized atheism of Hitler, Mao, and Stalin. Should we compare statistics?
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
These things are the rule - not the exception. The major exception to dogmatic, pre-programmed violence in religion, it should be noted, is Buddhism.

There are billions of people in the world, living quietly and faithfully, who, if pressed, would probably think this statement is an inaccurate description of them. I don't know if I'm quiet, and I struggle to be faithful, but I know it doesn't describe me.
Top
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 12 years ago
Derf, you're being entirely disingenuous. Hitler, Mao and Stalin didn't kill people because atheism told them to. They killed people because they had political agendas. There is no atheist agenda to kill people.

There is, however, a formal, written Christian agenda to kill people, an agenda often obeyed. There is a formal, written Muslim agenda to kill people, an agenda often obeyed. Etc.

The crusades, inquisitions, witch burnings, the 9/11 events, etc. -- these were the products of these explicit written and taught religious agendas.

You cannot blame atheism for the death of anyone, because atheism has no agenda -- it consists of the lack of belief in a god or gods, and nothing more. There is no universal atheist work of instructions that tells the atheist to exterminate anyone. There are such works for Christianity, AKA "The Bible"; there are such works for Muslims, AKA "The Koran." These are the objective facts. You can't deny them without entering into outright delusion.

I am not saying that theism is the only major force for evil, hate and destruction in the world by any means; but I am saying that atheism is not a force for evil. Atheism is also not a force for good. It is not a force for anything.
Top
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 12 years ago
Frank, claiming that a god existed before everything else in a time you have no knowledge of, or evidence for, is as pointless as claiming that an invisible pink bunny armed with lasers sits on your shoulder and guides you. Utterly meaningless words without a single shred of evidence to back them up, nor any experience in the real world.

"The mind of god", indeed. You can't produce evidence of the *pinky* of god. All creation stories are speculative. We weren't there, presuming such a thing even happened; therefore, we can't know. Not the most erudite scientist, and not the most devout believer.
Top
Posted by K. D. (+362) 12 years ago
"I mentioned the Painter/painting analogy last time. It is not a perfect analogy of course...but it serves for our purpose here. A painter has compete control over what He paints...and it is his perogative to do with his creation as he sees fit. The painting never has any input as to the application of paint to canvas...it (the painting) is simply the working out of the painter's will."

So, if I read this correctly, God wants Brian to be an athiest. Way to go Brian, you're off the hook.
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Wow - this is much ado about (nothing/religion) - take your pick. So much in fact that I'm inclined to call it simply much a-dodo.

A few thoughts occurred to me as I read PARTS of this thread (Father forgive me for skipping over vast portions of it).

The Christians are being asked to prove the validity of their religious beliefs - which is impossible because the bedrock beneath those beliefs is faith, and the very nature of faith relies on NOT having any evidence. If evidence of God existed, faith would instantly cease to have any role in religion. Thus the Christians find themselves between a rock and hard place.

The atheists know what they are asking the Christians to do is impossible - thus they are having a blast at the Colisee-um-run.

The funny thing is that if the atheists were asked to perform the same exercise - that is, to prove that God doesn't exist - they would be in exactly the same boat because nobody can prove a negative.

My response to Brian is that I cannot prove the existence of God or meaning or good or evil. I believe in God based on my faith in God, and I believe my life has meaning because of that faith, and I try as best I can to lead a good life based on how I interpret the teachings and ethics exemplified by the life and death of Jesus Christ (and many other children of the God I believe in, which includes all of US -- even Brian!).

I concede Major Pain's point (ouch!) that religion has been the root of much evil, but that fact of HUMAN history does not in any way dull the fervor of my faith in a Higher Power.

My last observation (and then I'm joining Wendy and staying out of this thread) is that everyone on earth - be they atheist or deist - has FAITH in something. My experience is that to be without faith is to live without hope, and to live without hope is to lose the joy of life.

(please don't read any political references into that last statement as none was intended)
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<"The mind of god", indeed. You can't produce evidence of the *pinky* of god.>

Of course i can, major...but of course there's a catch. You have to be able to think 3 or 4 cogent thoughts in a row...and by the looks of your posts i'm afraid you don't seem to be up to the task right now.

<All creation stories are speculative.>

Are they? You speak with such athority. Can you prove they are speculative? Put some substance in place of the hot air for a change.

You don't see gravity...and you can't even begin to describe what energy really is either but we know they are real. We know they are real because of the EFFECTS they cause.....likewise that is how we know God exists......so don't get so bent out of shape just because i don't take you down to 5th and main and introduce you to Him. (Don't think you'd like it very much if i did). There is a reason that we cannot see God as he is...but your mouth is going to fast to allow a stray thought to get to your brain....at least for now.


< Not the most erudite scientist, and not the most devout believer.>

Nonesense. He has created a cogent logical universe and put people in it with the capacity to to USE the logic He has given so that we can thrive and flourish....and give thanks for it all. Its only when we scoff and pretend He does not exist that we run into a dead end.

Relax...if there is no God...don't worry about it. You folks ought to quit being so shrill and just let us ruin our lives worshipping our God. Maybe you just love us so much that you don't want us to waste our time?? Yeah...I think thats it. Think I'm getting a little choked.... Gosh...your concern is touching thats for sure.
Top
Posted by K. D. (+362) 12 years ago
"...take you down to 5th and main and introduce you to Him.

So, where does God live, the Olive or the park? (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
Gee Frank, I don't think you're in any position to be asking anyone for proof of things, in fact proof seems like on of your big turn-offs.

Major Pain, he wants proof - just tell him he's too stupid to see it. You are, of course, far too stupid to see his proof.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<The Christians are being asked to prove the validity of their religious beliefs - which is impossible because the bedrock beneath those beliefs is faith, and the very nature of faith relies on NOT having any evidence.>?

You don't know what you are taking about. No faith is required...just honesty about the reality we experience.


<If evidence of God existed, faith would instantly cease to have any role in religion.>

Again you haven't a clue. Faith is based upon what is seen to reveal what is not seen. If the universe was chaotic and unorganized...no faith would be possible. If we said we had faith in the midst of a random reality...We'd be lying just like you, see? The fact that everywhere we look we see incredible organization and complexity that we cannot begin to duplicate ourselves. Unless you are a sleep at the wheel...that ought to give you a clue that none of what is here ..is here by chance because only intelligence can cause organization.

< Thus the Christians find themselves between a rock and hard place.>

Geeze...three zeros in a row. Not sure this is going to work.

<The atheists know what they are asking the Christians to do is impossible - thus they are having a blast at the Colisee-um-run.>

Yeah...they do remind me a lot like the drunken roman orgies...all sound and fury signifiying nothing in particular.

<The funny thing is that if the atheists were asked to perform the same exercise - that is, to prove that God doesn't exist - they would be in exactly the same boat because nobody can prove a negative.>

Not quite right...(but surely you've figured that out by now). No one can prove anything to those who have their minds made up. You are going to have to appreciate logic a lot more than you apparently do right now.

<My response to Brian is that I cannot prove the existence of God or meaning or good or evil. I believe in God based on my faith in God, and I believe my life has meaning because of that faith, and I try as best I can to lead a good life based on how I interpret the teachings and ethics exemplified by the life and death of Jesus Christ (and many other children of the God I believe in, which includes all of US -- even Brian!).>?

Sounds like you are out of the running then. Your interpretation can't save you...at least not according to Christ. Does the gospel mean anything to you or are you just trying to be a nice guy?


<y last observation (and then I'm joining Wendy and staying out of this thread) is that everyone on earth - be they atheist or deist - has FAITH in something.>

Hey...one out of 5 or 6 aint bad.



(
Top
Posted by K. D. (+362) 12 years ago
"My response to Brian is that I cannot prove the existence of God or meaning or good or evil. I believe in God based on my faith in God, and I believe my life has meaning because of that faith, and I try as best I can to lead a good life based on how I interpret the teachings and ethics exemplified by the life and death of Jesus Christ (and many other children of the God I believe in, which includes all of US -- even Brian!)

Frank's reply: Sounds like you are out of the running then. Your interpretation can't save you...at least not according to Christ. Does the gospel mean anything to you or are you just trying to be a nice guy?

Wow, Frank, you are the shining example of open mindedness. You just have a hard time accepting that you are wrong, because my religion tells me you are wrong, The Fonz says so.

Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Like I said, Frank - much a-dodo.
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
Brian has faith in Brett Favre (or he hates him and loves Elway - but I think that's Rick)

No faith is required...just honesty about the reality we experience.

Frank, I don't know if you said this or if you were quoting someone, sometimes it's a little hard to follow, anyway... Honesty about the reality we experience? Is that like being in awe of the mountains and the creatures because God made them?
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
I used to think that organized religion was indeed the cause of much suffering in the world. As has been mentioned above, there are many instances of genocide in the name of God. However, I have come to believe that it is not religion but how people use religion that is the cause of such violence. Much of it is caused by fear of the different, fear of losing control, political ambition and the desire to maintain one's societal position. Fear of God has been used for centuries to control the masses for political and personal gain. That doesn't make religion the bad guy, just the bad guy who misuses it.
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
OK Wendy. I was gonna follow your lead and stay out of this. But here you are, and here I am -- all because I agree with you!

Atrocities committed by people in the name of their God (or whatever) cannot be laid at the foot of that God. That is why I mistrust people (like Frank) and the churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, etc. that claim that they and they alone understand the text of their Holy Scrit -- and they and they alone know the secret password to enter Heaven, Nirvana, etc. - and that if you don't follow their creed and their creed alone, you'll end up in Hades, Hell, etc. And usually they'll be happy to use a sword or A-bomb to help you get there, thankyouverymuch.

Much harm and very little good usually end up the products of such demagoguery.

I wonder if the Frankophiles are even capable of understanding just how much damage they and people like them in other religions are capable of doing? I doubt it.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank, I don't know if you said this or if you were quoting someone, sometimes it's a little hard to follow, anyway... Honesty about the reality we experience? Is that like being in awe of the mountains and the creatures because God made them?>

Almost Buck...almost. The real awe is directed not toward what He has made (as awesome as nature can be!) but rather toward God Himself. By the way nothing I say here is original with me. I'm not that smart (surprize!!). Much greater minds than ours have considered these ultimate themes and fell on their knees and gave God worship NOT because of any faith they conjured up but rather because God had mercy upon them and GAVE them the very faith to believe thier eyes.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank Cory wrote:

> You along with every last atom originated in the mind of God. God brings you forth in "your" time...sustains you for a relatively brief period (in relation to eternity, that is) ...and then takes you out...all according to His plan from all eternity.

That's still not an answer to my question. To make it clearer, I'm asking for specific biblical references indicating where I was before conception. Are there none? Did I simply not exist at all? Your reply seems to indicate I simply did not exist.

In regards to the atom thing, those weren't created specifically for me. They are just borrowed and arranged in a convenient manner to carry my head around. Matter and energy cannot be created, only transferred from one form to another.

In any case, if I did not exist one year before my birth, then how might it not be possible that I cease to exist one second after my death?

From whence we came, we shall return. Correct?

It seems to me I should be more concerned about where I was before being conceived, rather than where I'm going after I die - since the former may tend to help answer the latter.
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Amen Steve and Windy.

And I also have to say:

Major Pain,

I am far from disingenuous, further from being entirely disingenuous.

Maybe I am misunderstanding your arguments, but you seem to be saying that mass murder, ethnic cleansing, witch hunts etc. are excusable on political grounds but inexcusable on religious grounds. I am stating that they are simply inexcusable.

You seem to be saying that religion of any sort has not had any positive impact on civilization. I am simply saying you might need to do some more study.

You seem to have a clear understanding of the writings of the world religions and what they say. While I can't claim to have more than an elementary understanding of the major religions or their writings, I am saying you might need to read the book before you make the report.

You seem to say that some world views are morally neutral. I am saying that is probably impossible.

You seem to be saying those who disagree with you are deluded. I . . . I think I'll stop there.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<However, I have come to believe that it is not religion but how people use religion that is the cause of such violence.>

I think you are on the right track, wendy. If people would only stop complaining and search for the truth instead of just saying'''oh its soooo hard..no one knows for sure"...and all that cop out stuff. Who can deny that lots of evil has been purpetrated "in the name of" religion....even Christianity. I'm pretty sure Jim Jones had the poor folks thinking they were doing "gods" work there in the jungle. But...even a cursory glance at the holy scripture would show that God would never have anything to do with that kind of depravity. Most here simply do not know what they are talking about when they blame religion in general, I'm sorry. Unless you folks begin to look at the book in earnest and see for yoursleves the wisdom that is there...it looks like the ole message board is going to be the highlite of your existence.

On the other hand...if the scriptures are true...they most certainly are exclusive...and there is no sense in denying it. Jesus Christ was pretty clear when he said.."No one comes to the Father except through me". (you want to hear the atheist howl...just tell them that!!!!) That means Buddha is out. Allah is out. Joe Smith is out. Even worse than that...He specifically warns us not to try to get into heaven by trying to be good enough to qualify oursleves for heaven.

The reason He tells us not to depend upon our goodness may not be clear to some of you. Note..He is not saying "Don't bother with ethics or morality". He is saying just don't think you can be good enough without God's mercy to enter heaven. The reason He says this is because no one of us will ever stand before God....unless we are absolutely perfect. Do I think I am perfect? Hardly....not even close...and I know of no other mortal who is either. Thats what we call the "bad news". If interested I can take this further...but i need to see at least a minimum of intrest...no snese in outting you back to sleep like Steve, Brian...and several others here.
Top
Posted by K. D. (+362) 12 years ago
The reason He tells us not to depend upon our goodness may not be clear to some of you. Note..He is not saying "Don't bother with ethics or morality". He is saying just don't think you can be good enough without God's mercy to enter heaven. The reason He says this is because no one of us will ever stand before God....unless we are absolutely perfect.

Ok, here is question to keep the pot stirred (please Frank, use some open mindedness, here): Say I was born and raised in the mountains, away from civilization. My parents did not mention one word of God to me. I lived and died, never even knowing The word God existed. I lived a good moral life.

By "your" definition, I am bound to end up in hell, just for being born. I don't buy that crap you are trying to spew, and I don't think a whole lot of others are either.

Disclaimer: The Fonz told me to write this.
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
I talked to a street preacher last week.

He told me, "Jesus is the way."

So I answered, "But is he the only way?"

He told me: "Well, for me he is."
Top
Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+398) 12 years ago
I find it takes LESS faith to believe in God than to believe there is no God.

If you take apart your computer down to the molecules and then put them in a box and shake them up, how long until the particles create themselves into a working computer all by themselves. I find this more likely than the idea that human beings just came about all on their own.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<That's still not an answer to my question. To make it clearer, I'm asking for specific biblical references indicating where I was before conception. Are there none?>

Ok...sorry...I didn't understand you wanted scriptural references. Most of the time the bible is considered to be "off limits" because then I am accused of saying I believe it just cuz its in the bible. But since you were interested enough to ask. Here are several references that indicate that you had no existence until you were physically concieved.

Genesis chapter one....details the sequence of the creative act...and no man had physical existence before the 6th day. Where was Adam before the 6th day? ...He did not exist.

However....In Jeremiah 1:5 God tells Jeremiah that He knew him before He formed Jeremiah in the womb.(without any reference to a prior physical existence) The only way God could "know" any physical being before it was created would be to have it "in the planning stage" so to speak...along with the rest of human history.

In Isaiah 49:1...Isaiah is told that God "mentions Isaiah's name (that is...knew him) from the matrix of his mothers womb.

The are several other references to God "knowing" people from the foundation of the world...(that is, before they were concieved physically).

Predestination is a clearly taught doctrine...even though many so called christians do not like it. But thats a different story.

From the above verses there is no other conclusion IMO to come to than to say...you can't be here...unless you are in God's plan from the beginning of reality. (If you are here without being created...then please leave on the next stage out of town!!)



< Your reply seems to indicate I simply did not exist.>

That is correct...not one physical thing, molecule or man had physical exsistence until He distributed the elements by divine fiat.

<In regards to the atom thing, those weren't created specifically for me.>

I'm not sure on that one. Seems to me you get to use a whole lot of atoms while you're here. If they were not "created" you wouldn't be allowed to have any...not even a cold beer.

<They are just borrowed and arranged in a convenient manner to carry my head around.>



Yes...and if something is arranged or borrowed....may we assume an arrangER...or borrowER...?

<Matter and energy cannot be created, only transferred from one form to another.>

Not quite right. No NEW matter or energy can be created. Thermodynamics is quite clear...the USABLE energy is in a continual decline...which of course indicates that there was a time in which it was at a maximum level. Call it big Bang, creation, little pop.....names don't really matter. Its pretty clear...there was a time in which reality was...not.

<In any case, if I did not exist one year before my birth, then how might it not be possible that I cease to exist one second after my death?>

Not sure I follow the question. Christianity, from the scriptures again...is pretty clear on that. Once you become physical...you will exist eternally. No goin back. The options are three as to where you will be at any one moment. But you...as a being (either physical or spiritual) will exist forever.

Thats another very onerous doctrine that makes atheists rage. You see many scoffers would like to think that it wont be so bad for them because they will simply not be around after they die. Its very comforting to them to think.."When yer dead...yer dead"..but again..Jeus warns us that that is not the case at all. Again we all are going to exist forever...its just a matter of where.

<From whence we came, we shall return. Correct?>

Yes and no. None of us came from hell...but as He tells us ...the gate to hell is wide open for ending up there......and I kind of doubt He (Jesus) would have spent so much time warning us about the fact that many really will end up there....if it were not so.

For those whom God has shown mercy the answer is yes...we do return to the One who created us. Thats what Lewis was referring to in the quote I gave...concerning our immortality...."immortal horrors or everlasting splendors".

I hope this helps at least a little.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<I find it takes LESS faith to believe in God than to believe there is no God.>

Exactly.

<If you take apart your computer down to the molecules and then put them in a box and shake them up, how long until the particles create themselves into a working computer all by themselves. I find this more likely than the idea that human beings just came about all on their own.>

Thats true...and everyone knows it too.

When atheists reject the clear fact that nothing but intelligence cause produce organization and complexity just to avoid invoking God...it shows how really deperate they are.

Notice... they never come up with one single possiblity for how anything ikn nature could ever organize or cause itself......they just hate the only alternative left!! Anything but God!
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
< talked to a street preacher last week.

He told me, "Jesus is the way."

So I answered, "But is he the only way?"

He told me: "Well, for me he is.">

Yes i am well aware of that worldview. Its very common. I call it post modern churchianity. People who espouse it simply have never read what they claim to believe. This "preacher" never considered that if Jesus is ANY way at all...then He has to be the ONLY way...because thats what He Himself tells us. So either Jesus is lying or confused...or He meant what He said. We aren't allowed to pick and choose which verses we like...its all or nothing.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
, here is question to keep the pot stirred (please Frank, use some open mindedness, here): Say I was born and raised in the mountains, away from civilization. My parents did not mention one word of God to me. I lived and died, never even knowing The word God existed. I lived a good moral life.

By "your" definition, I am bound to end up in hell, just for being born. I don't buy that crap you are trying to spew, and I don't think a whole lot of others are either.

Disclaimer: The Fonz told me to write this.


RElax KD....take a deep breath. Here is my answer. The quick answer is yes you certainly will end up in hell if you do not admit you are a sinner and ask for forgiveness. There is nothing more certain.

Now....lets back up and explain. First you are making a very foolish assumption. That assumption is that it is possible for you to live a good moral life. Its never been done. Never will be done. So its really a moot point from your standpoint. You have not undertood that in order for God to accept you....you can't just score 70 or better in your "good and moral" life. Your record must be 100. In other words yhou must be perfect. Now..i have no doubt your're a real go getter and pretty fair hand...but even you can see that you are hardly perfect...or even close....right?

So...why is the standard so high? Because that is God's standard. That is His very nature...perfection. He has promised that nothing imperfect will ever live in his presence.....because allowing anything imperfect (like you or I)into His presence would destroy that very perfection that He is and that surrounds him....and he aint agoin to allow that to happen....ever.

I'd call that bad news. It is...except for one fact. He (God) has offered up His perfect Son Jesus Christ to pay for all the trash (sin) you have committed or ever will commit)...which will in effect clear your record of imperfection and make it absolutely perfect so that you really CAN live forever with Him in heaven.

You are wasting your time if you try to be good enough..because "good enough" just isn't.

That will probably make you a little peeved to hear this...but I encourage you to pursue this until you get it straight. you have the rest of your physical life to get this right. Once you step into eternity (perhaps that bridge abuttment at 70 per one of these evenings?) your destiny is sealed...forever.

Can do more if you are interested. At least think about it. Thanks for replying.
Top
supporter
Posted by Kelly (+2706) 12 years ago
Frank:

To borrow a line from Bill Maher, do you believe in a talking snake? If so and evolution doesn't exist, why are there no talking snakes now?

Did the dinosaurs exist at the same time as man? If so, how did they all fit on the ark and not eat one another? Why are there no dinosaurs today?

People are conceived in nature just like animals, since we ARE animals. At what point does the soul enter the body? Why do animals not have souls? Why do we have a soul and animals don't? How is the conception/growth/birth process for humans different that that of animals vis a vis the soul?

btw...didn't answer you "know" challenge because what I said was a JOKE. No further point behind it.
Top
Posted by K. D. (+362) 12 years ago
"RElax KD....take a deep breath. Here is my answer. The quick answer is yes you certainly will end up in hell if you do not admit you are a sinner and ask for forgiveness. There is nothing more certain."

First, I love how you dance around the questions at hand, and try to push your flawed reasoning. Second, I think you need to look up the word moral. Here, I will help you: http://dictionary.referen...owse/moral

My question was (do I need to print slowly for you fully comprehend the question), if you do not know of sin, heaven, hell, God, whatever; becuase your surrondings brought you up like that, do you go to hell for just being born? Does a 1 month old baby that dies of SIDs go to hell because they have no concept of sin, heaven, hell, God, whatever? Does a 12 year old boy locked in the basement of his house because of an abusive father or mother, never seeing or experiencing the outside world, who dies of malnutrition, go to hell for not knowing any better?

My way of thinking (is this a new concept for you), is if I do not get into "your" heaven by leading a moral and/or ethical life, I don't need "your" religion either.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank Cory:

Okay, so I take it the answer to my question is: Before I existed I didn't. There was no before-life, but then a life (no matter how short or long), and then some sort of an after-life for all of eternity.

Sometimes you post long replies, so they are hard to dissect without getting into an essay. In any case, you mentioned:

> The options are three as to where you will be at any one moment. But you...as a being (either physical or spiritual) will exist forever.

I assumed there would be four? (1) Heaven, (2) Hell, (3) Purgatory and (4) Life.

How do you know that we are not in Hell or Purgatory at this very moment? Perhaps Hell is the human condition or perhaps Purgatory is our current state of consciousness. Is that not possible?

Heaven, itself, is another matter. I'm not sure exactly what it is supposed to be, but I assume there would be no suffering? If true, I assume it would be quite pleasurable, but how could that even be measured or realized? Without pleasure, you can't know pain. And without pain, you can't know pleasure.
Top
supporter
Posted by Stone (+1596) 12 years ago
Predestination is the biggest pile of bunk ever created. Not knowing Jesus and ending up in Hell is also a pile of bunk. If that were true then Noah and Abraham are burning in hell right now.
Top
Posted by K. D. (+362) 12 years ago
"How do you know that we are not in Hell or Purgatory at this very moment? Perhaps Hell is the human condition or perhaps Purgatory is our current state of consciousness. Is that not possible?"

I watched a program on MSNBC on this very subject. A preacher said he had a revalation that because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, everyone goes to heaven when we die, and Hell is the life that we choose to lead while we are here. Some of his closest friends, which were other preachers, condemned him for his new belief.

Here is the video (1st half): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...0#14334610 You can search around for the second half, I think it is on Youtube.
Top
Posted by Wade Clark (+17) 12 years ago
There really is only one sure way to settle this debate.

Jim Jones was mentioned a bit earlier.

I'll bring the kool-aid.

Once ya die - you'll know.

If it's a bit too hot - then yep, the misinterpretation of god as depicted in the often mistranslated and manipulated for political purpose and theological digression bible was, unbelievably, accurate. And god really is a megalomaniacal p****k who is intent on dooming the vast majority of what he created because he gave them free will and expected them to worship him based upon scripture that was convoluted, misused, and not even readily available to the majority of his creation and they didn't.

If there's nothing - then the atheists were right.
Top
Posted by Wade Clark (+17) 12 years ago
Webmaster -
I've read a lot of Huxley - and I don't remember if he actually stated it outright - or if somehow the expansiveness on his writings about mysticism implanted the idea into my head - but I started thinking that the whole heaven and hell thing was more about our experience in life. If one were to live a life based on self fulfillment and the satiation of the lower nature then his existence would be hell. Whereas if a person were to sublimate their baser urges (lust, greed, envy, pride, etc.) and try to live a more ascetic and pure lifestyle, then bliss, or heaven, could be achieved.

I'm inclined to think that that's what Jesus was really talking about. The whole believe in me or else nonsense was introduced by Paul and later manipulators and mistranslators as a political device. And the rest - as they say - is history.
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Yes i am well aware of that worldview. Its very common. I call it post modern churchianity. People who espouse it simply have never read what they claim to believe. This "preacher" never considered that if Jesus is ANY way at all...then He has to be the ONLY way...because thats what He Himself tells us. So either Jesus is lying or confused...or He meant what He said. We aren't allowed to pick and choose which verses we like...its all or nothing.

The reader, YOU, did not understand what the preacher, ME, was saying. I can believe that Jesus is the way, and the only way, for me, without ever asaulting others violently with my beliefs.

It IS post-modern Christianity and, I believe, a more healthy form of the faith. We live in a pluralistic society and "Christendom" unofficially ended some time in the last century. Because of this we no longer rely on the culture to prop up what was sometimes a watered down version of the faith that looked away from many of the world's injustices. And the Christian in this brave new world knows what he/she believes and no longer thinks that being a citizen makes him /her faithful. We can live out our distinctive faith, knowing that there may be other ways to live out faith, but this one is "right" for us, and trust that God, and not any human, is the final arbiter.
Top
Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+398) 12 years ago
K.D. that video is very interesting. I have read his book and buy about 70% of it. I think the man is on to something.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Okay, so I take it the answer to my question is: Before I existed I didn't. There was no before-life, but then a life (no matter how short or long), and then some sort of an after-life for all of eternity.>

Correct.

<Sometimes you post long replies, so they are hard to dissect without getting into an essay.>

I'll try to work on that...You mentioend it before...its just that sometimes I remember something that helped me see more clearly when i was asking the same questions and I assume (falsely more often than not maybe) that others will benefit as I did.

In any case, you mentioned:

> The options are three as to where you will be at any one moment. But you...as a being (either physical or spiritual) will exist forever.

I assumed there would be four? (1) Heaven, (2) Hell, (3) Purgatory and (4) Life.>

No...not according to classical Christianity. Purgatory is not mentioned at all in scripture...that is a Roman Catholic addition which is actually anti-christian in its core assumptions. I am aware that that probably offends many Miles Citians and unless you want to go further with that I will skip it for now.

<How do you know that we are not in Hell or Purgatory at this very moment?>
We are not in purgatory because there is no such place as mentioned. If you undestand the gospel...you will see that there is never any need for such a place. WE know we are not in hell right now for several reasons. We can't be in hell because we are still physically alive. No one can be in hell OR heaven until they pass from this physical world. Yes...there are times when we might call our situation "hell on earth" etc just because we are so miserable..but scripture assures us that there will be no doubt in our minds if we really are there because whatever else we may vision it to be...it is a place of unrelenting remorse and increasing hatred for God. By anyones defintion we do NOT want to hear that bird sing.

<Perhaps Hell is the human condition>

As i mentioned...I'm sure it can seem that way at times. What must the jews in Auswitch have thought at the time? What could be more hell like than watching a beloved child die of leukemia? But no...those things are simply the end result of the fall of mankind in the first place. Both physical evil (storms, sickness, floods etc) and spiritual evil (what men do to each other) are the ultimate result of the fall. Do you understand what I am talking about?...don't want to digress roo far and get too wordy here.

<or perhaps Purgatory is our current state of consciousness. Is that not possible?>

Not as i understand it.

<Heaven, itself, is another matter. I'm not sure exactly what it is supposed to be, but I assume there would be no suffering?>

Well scripture does say that no eye has seen nor can one can even begin to comprehend it in our earthly frame of reference. Contrary to the opinion of many atheists...a Christians interest in heaven has nothing to do with going to the "party place" for fun and games. It has everythig to do with being grateful for the mercy of your Creator.

< If true, I assume it would be quite pleasurable, but how could that even be measured or realized? Without pleasure, you can't know pain. And without pain, you can't know pleasure.>

Good questions webmaster and I'm stretchin my limited understanding to accomodate you. All i know for sure is what the book says about it. Its more than simple personal pleasure. I think the most important part of heaven will be the worship we will be giving God for having ultimate mercy upon us. For the first time we will understand who He is and how much we owe him...and begin to appreciate what "salvation" really means. That appreciation will only increase with each passing moment....for eternity. I also imagine it as each of us being given work to do...truly productive enjoyable tasks that glorify HIm more and more unceasingly. For some of us that could mean intense complex research that brings about ever increasing wondrous inventions....for others it may mean something along the line of physical construction where the personal satisfaction of completing that perfect wood project or building which is admired by all. No...no tears...or pain ever. We wont need pain to define our level of pleasure because we will have all knowledge including how it USED to be...which again will only make us more grateful.

Gotta stop..my quarter is about to run out. Hope this makes at least a little sense.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<It IS post-modern Christianity and, I believe, a more healthy form of the faith.>

well..thanks for exposing yourself by being honest about what you believe. I wont argue with you at this time....except to say that the gospel is pretty clear in that no one will get to heaven merely because he thought nice things about Jesus...and that appears to be about as deep as your doctrine goes.
Top
supporter
Posted by Kelly (+2706) 12 years ago
Frank:

Since you are so quick to answer others' challenges to you, I assume you are evading answering me. Do you believe in a talking snake?
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
Frank, I invite you to move to Utah where you can experience the same type of "my way or the highway" attitudes toward salvation that you espouse. If you tell me where you live I'll be happy to send the Mormon missionaries over to educate you about the true way.
Top
Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Why would you do that to those nice boys?
Top
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 12 years ago
Derf:

> you seem to be saying that mass murder, ethnic
> cleansing, witch hunts etc. are excusable on
> political grounds but inexcusable on religious
> grounds.

No, I did say, or imply, anything of the kind. I indicated that religions tend to formally encourage these behaviors, my actual point being this is one of the bad things about religion.

It is also one of the bad things about political and/or ideological grounds other than religion that sponsor such things. Atheism, however, is not such a sponsor.

> You seem to be saying that religion of any sort
> has not had any positive impact on civilization.

No, I did not say, or imply, anything of the kind. I am entirely in agreement that some religions have had multiple and significant positive impacts.

This is not to say that I think this lands religion on the positive side of the social balance sheet, however; in my opinion, the harm done exceeds the good done; Also, I do not accept the proposition that without religion, the same or similar good things would not have been accomplished by other means.

It is my personal opinion that acknowledgment of reality is a considerably more valuable commodity to a society than superstition is, no matter how well intentioned or widespread the latter.

> You seem to have a clear understanding of the writings
> of the world religions and what they say.

A few of the major ones, in any case.

> While I can't claim to have more than an
> elementary understanding of the major religions
> or their writings, I am saying you might need
> to read the book before you make the report.

I have read "the book", if what you mean by "the book" is the OT, the NT, or the Koran (though unfortunately only in English translation, which is not a well accepted path to a valid opinion in the eyes of Muslims.) I am also interested in textual criticism (specifically NT) and have an extensive library of works supporting these interests, all of which I have read. I've also an avid interest in finding some kind of validation for the claimed historicity of Jesus; this has led me on many interesting paths of study.

> You seem to say that some world views are morally neutral.

No, I am not saying that: I am saying that atheism is not a world view.

Atheism is specifically and only the state of lacking belief in a god or gods. It leads nowhere; it carries no instructions, it does not suggest or impose rules to follow, and does not provide moral, ethical or other guidance. There is no universal book of atheism that atheists are bound to, educated from or about, or expected to follow. There is no atheist dogma. This is not a moral issue; nor does it carry any moral connotation. Atheism does not in any way imply a counter-belief, or disbelief; an atheist may, or may not, take such a view, and it is trivial to find an example of an atheist of either view.

Here is a quote that may be illuminating for you:

"If atheism is a belief, then bald is a hair color."

Another idea that may being you some clarity is to note that you do not believe (I presume, of course correct me if I am wrong) in the gods of Norse mythology, and therefore, Norse mythology makes absolutely no contribution to your worldview(s.)

You don't use Thor's attempted lift of Jörmungandr (the Midgard Serpent) as a valid weightlifting standard, for instance.

You are, in a limited but very valid sense, atheist with regard to the gods of Norse mythology.

This lack of belief in no way serves define your morals, your ethics, or inform your worldview.

Specifically because you do not believe, you must look outside Norse mythology for those things.

This is exactly the case for atheism in general; not only does the nominal atheist not look to the lack of belief in Thor or Vár as a moral, ethical or practical guide, there is no call to look to the lack of belief in the Christian god for such guidance either.
Top
supporter
Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 12 years ago
You know what you get when you cross an agnostic, a dyslexic, and an insomniac?

Someone who stays up all night on MC.com arguing about whether there really is a dog.
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
I have two dogs so I KNOW they exist. No need to stay up late arguing about that one. Anyone, including Frank and Brian, who requires physical evidence as proof of the existence of Dog is welcome to come by my house and verify it for themselves. I'll even provide the shovel.

And yes, god is Dog spelled backwards. (intentional inversion)
Top
Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+398) 12 years ago
Show me the evidence, the proof that love exists. You cannot? Then there is no such thing?
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Donna - I believe you're missing the point. Love is a feeling. Feelings are real (and even though we'd probably choose not to do so, the biochemical reactions that produce them can be measured. Most people are content to know that love exists and is Good.)

The difference between the God/Love analogies ("But God is love!!!" - there, I said it, so there's no need to delve into scripture) is that no rational person is saying that love is THE all-powerful and all-seeing Creator.

Apples and a tanker truck full of McDonalds Orange Drink.
Top
supporter
Posted by Jim Brady (+425) 12 years ago
"At this point, I am really jonesing for a conversation with Jimbo."

Brian:

A most excellent bomb-throw. You are truly a master.

Sorry to read that you are jonesing for me, but I wouldn't get involved in this to save my ass.

I have a life.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank:

Since you are so quick to answer others' challenges to you, I assume you are evading answering me. Do you believe in a talking snake?>


Hi Kelly...no i am not avoiding you....theres just a lot more important things to discuss.

Talking snakes? Do i believe in 'em? I guess you are asking do i believe a snake can be made to speak so that humans can understand them? Answer...of course...if its God doing the enabling. Is there a problem? He has caused the Sun to stand still....rivers to stop flowing...men to rise from the dead....and oh yes...a virgin to give, birth among others things. You do understand, don't you,that we aren't talking about your run of the mill slieght of hand magician..don't you? This is the Causer of all that exists. So... Whats a talking snake.....compared to a physical reality??
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank, I invite you to move to Utah where you can experience the same type of "my way or the highway" attitudes toward salvation that you espouse.>

Already done that...and they most certainly are adamant about their belief system thats for sure. You problem seems to be one of intellectual cowardice though. You wont bother to compare what mormonism is about...not because you are so "tolerant" or concerned about a true or false cult...you are simply lazy.

<If you tell me where you live I'll be happy to send the Mormon missionaries over to educate you about the true way.>

I speak with mormons on a fairly regular basis dear...but thanks anyway.
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Frank Hardy,

In your post on this thread
http://www.milescity.com/...fpid=76080 you forgot to mention Frank Cory's discussion group called "Many Pathways but One God." He says it's his way of affirming the plurality of religious beliefs that contribute to the richness of life in post-modern North America.

Afterwards, there is a book signing at Walmart. Major Pain will be available to autograph his new book "Pacifism--the Godly Way of Peace: Studies in the lives of Gandhi, King, Jesus, Buber, and Assaily"
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Major Pain-

There are a couple of clear-cut inconsistencies in your response to me that you might want to clear up before you join the debate team.

First, your assumption that YOUR reality is REALITY is problematic. The only thing you can prove is that YOUR reality is YOUR reality. This does not make it correct or even incorrect. Let's assume you are a raging alcoholic. And everyone knows you are. You practice all the behaviors of an alcoholic. But you deny you are. Does this make you sober? It's only in your mind. And that's YOUR REALITY. You might need to investigate reality further. Try to get a grip on it and once you do, realize it is only YOUR perception of what is real.

Second, you claim to have an understanding of the historical-critical method.I have to admit I was fully expecting you to delve into some the forms of the historical-critical method of Biblical Studies. I braced myself for redaction criticism (redaktiongeschichte), or form criticism (formgeschichte), or even source criticism to attempt to determine the original context of the literature (sitz em leben). Instead, I got proof-texting (bullgeschichte).

Here's how your methodology works:
1. I believe there is no God.
2. I will set about proving it and even use the Bible to do so.
3. I will type "There is no God" into my handy dandy computer concordance.
4. The software will flag something like Psalm 10:4 or Deuteronomy 32:39.
5. I cut out all the contextual references, even the parts of sentences that work against my preconceived notion.
5. If need be, I will use a 400 year old English translation that makes understanding difficult so I can garble the meaning more.
7. I then state the Bible says "There is no God."
8. I have now proven that . . . I know how to proof-text.

You used this convoluted form of enquiry to prove your fringe-belief that Christians and Muslims are commanded to perform violent acts and proof-texted the Koran and the Bible to prove it. You can prove slavery is legal and income tax is not by using the U.S Constitution. If you wish, you can prove Karl Marx was a Christian with careful prooftexting. The only thing you've done is affirmed your own pre-assumptions.

Third, I'm not even going to respond to your attempt at reductio ad absurdum in the Norse Mythology analogy.

Last, you make a statement that is apparently meant to be logical.

"If atheism is a belief, then bald is a hair color."

Huh?

If the belief there is no God is a belief, then bald is a hair color? Bald is a hair color?

Or I could state it:

Atheism and belief are to world view as bald and hair colors are to the human head. Could be.

But I like this one the best.

Some forms of argument are to intelligent conversation as fence posts are to bags of hammers.
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
Sometimes you need your glasses to find your glasses.
Top
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 12 years ago
Derf:

> Huh? If the belief there is no God is a belief

No, Derf. Atheism is not "belief there is no god." Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods. From that position, one might engage in disbelief, or one might not. The issue of proving a negative for which the conditions are entirely undefined usually keeps higher functioning atheists from going there, however.

As for the little flurry of ad hominem you squeezed out in a feeble attempt to malign my nature, no thanks. I've no urge to discuss an entirely imaginary construct of yours. If it makes you all warm and fuzzy to paint such a picture of me, fine. It's your imagination, after all. Frolic away.

With regard to the subject at hand, either address what I actually say, or I'll simply ignore you. There is no shortage of intelligent argument in support of various theist positions; I feel absolutely no need to engage either the intentionally obtuse or the naturally incompetent. Or even to try and discern which one applies to you.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank Cory:

I apologize for back tracking several posts, however you wrote:

> From the above verses there is no other conclusion IMO to come to than to say...you can't be here...unless you are in God's plan from the beginning of reality.

Does that not violate the concepts of free will, randomness and entropy?

If I was in God's plan from the beginning, then where does that leave me? Wouldn't it make everything predetermined?
Top
Posted by Donna Kingsley Coffeen (+398) 12 years ago
Ah, but Brian, have you not read the studies that show people of faith get well faster when others are praying for them? I would say that ranks up there with studies showing that love is real too.
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
MP--

The propositions were all yours. You simply failed to defend or prove them.

If by "obtuse" you mean "blunt," the comparison of your argumentation to a bag of hammers might be descriptive.
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
I've just come to realize that Frank Cory is God
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Uh-oh.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
Webmaster
<I apologize for back tracking several posts, however you wrote:>

no apologies please...i'm just glad to have civil discourse. I do not mind backtracking at all.

> From the above verses there is no other conclusion IMO to come to than to say...you can't be here...unless you are in God's plan from the beginning of reality.

Does that not violate the concepts of free will, randomness and entropy?>

Very astute questions. My answer is that "it depends". It depends upon what you mean by these terms. Defined correctly there is no violation at all.

<If I was in God's plan from the beginning, then where does that leave me?>

It leaves you at a crossroads apparently. If you are willing to examine the situation carefully you will know which road to take by the time we are through.

<Wouldn't it make everything predetermined?>

PLease join your wife and read Ephesians chapter 1 verses 1-12 so that you will know my basis for saying..yes, absolutely.

Here we go..next post
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank: If "God" is all knowing, and everything is predetermined, then how does free will fit into the picture? Without it, would not everything become fate, not faith?
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
Webmaster:

The reason most of us...even those who call themselves christians have a hard time with true Christianity is because of a lack of understanding of the very character of God. Please don't think I am going to give you an exhaustive picture of God...no one could ever do that. However...there are basic facets of His character that simply cannot be ignored and then expect to comprehend anything at all about Him or His purpose. The character traits I am going to list are sine qua non. That is, if any one of these is missing in the object of what we call "God"...then we are not talking about God at all....but rather some vain idol of our imagination.


Soveriengty
Almost everyone who calls themselves Christian will say they belleive that God is soveriegn. When we discuss what that REALLY means however...most Christains give lip service to the sovereignty of God...but really believe in the sovereingty of...MAN.

If God is truly sovereign it means....not one maverick molecule in this universe is outside of His absolute control. Think about the ramifications of that. Lets not shy away. It means that God ordains everything that happens in this reality...from Captain Sully landing his aircraft in the hudson with all walking away.....to the airliners taking out the towers on 9/11 with the slaughter of 3000 people. It means God ordains every sneeze as well as every dying breath. It means He ordains every cowardly act of abortion...to every bridge taken in battle.

What I am saying is that since God is sovereign...not one thing ever takes place "by chance". That is what predestination is all about.....and as you have read in the book...it is CLEARLY taught!!

This is where the howls of protest usually begin in earnest....even by those who consider themselves to be Christian.


Feel free to comment and voice your objections to the above. There is more that can be said as i anticipate your objections.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
Webmaster.....



<Frank: If "God" is all knowing, and everything is predetermined, then how does free will fit into the picture? Without it, would not everything become fate, not faith?>

No...not from our perspective. God knows all..... but we know essentially nothing about the future.....nor how He will work our his predestinated will. We might THINK we know we are going to work tomorrow...but we most certainly do not know it.
We PLAN on it... we ASSUME we will be going to work based upon past experience...but we have no ultimate control over whether or not we will actually arrive at work tomorrow.

Free will...what is it? Free will has an appealing ring to it, doesn't it? We americans love it. It suggests the ability to do whatever we want with no contraints on us. Atheism has made great strides in our culture because even the church has bought into this concept of our rights to choose. But...we need to clarify what "free will" cannot mean...and then what it HAS to mean in relation to a sovereign God.

Webmaster think of this...

To have a perfectly free will would mean that you would make a particular choice...for NO particular reason at all....but

1. we don't ever make any choice without a motive to dtermine them. Remember Alice in wonderland? When she comes to the fork in the road and asks the Chesshire cat.."Which way should I go?...do you remember the dialogue?...:

Alice:.."Which way should i go?"

Chesshire cat: "That depends...where are you headed?"

Alice: "I don't know".

Chesshire cat "Then I guess it doesn't matter!"

I don't want to labor too long here...but We might think Alice has only two choices. She could go to the right...or to the left. but infact she has 4 choices...left, right, back the way she came, or remain there until she perishes. The point here is that no choice we ever make is truly "free" in the sense that we choose for no reason.

In reality every choice we make is "free"...and every choice we make is also determined. But...what we are missing in the mix is that even though our will is "free" to do as we choose...our NATURE (from the fall of mankind)...is NOT! The book NEVER speaks of our "free will" but rather always refers to our wills being "in bondage to sin". Bottom line.... Our will is always controlled by our sinful nature. We are described as being "slaves to sin". Again....even though we are free to do as we desire...we do not desire to know God...and we don;t desire to know Him....FREELY!!

This is why our condition is so serious webmaster. We are lost in sin and can do nothing about it...unless God does something....merciful for us. That is what the song "Amazing Grace' is all about. You might like to read the lines in the hymn to see what I mean.

Is this too hard to follow...or to long??
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Oh, now I get it. Frank, you're right and everyone who ever thought differently from you or conceived of God in a manner different from the way you have described HIM is just plain wrong.

You, Frank, are not only going to Heaven. In fact, it's obvious that you've already been there, met THE MAN, and been appointed head of the Membership Committee.

I and others like me certainly haven't earned a place in Heaven. And you know what - that's just fine by me cuz spending eternity in the place you've described, worshiping GOD as you've defined HIM, and being surrounded day and night by you and others like you - well, you may call it Heaven, but it sure sounds like Hell to me.

I'd much rather go wherever Ghandi ended up ... and dogs.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank Cory:

In regards to the physical universe, if you were a God-like creature, and took a snapshot of the entire thing -- then every single atom could be captured at a specific point in space and time, with a vector and velocity. Given that information, you could then advance or even reverse the snapshot, for any amount of time, and predict and know the outcome. This is the universe that Einstein believed in, as per his quote, something along the lines of "God does not play dice." This is a universe which is predetermined, and nothing you do can change the outcome.

However, if the concept of "randomness" exists, then the above model does not apply, since you cannot predict or undo a random event. The physics of Quantum Mechanics provides the proof in this arena. So as such, the outcome cannot be predetermined, and the universe is one where free will and entropy exists.

If I understand your beliefs correctly, then I would have to take issue with the fact that the outcome of the universe is predetermined. Actually, it is more complex than that, since I tend to believe in a multiverse, parallel dimensions, and every possible scenario existing simultaneously in a vastly expanding tree. This resolves many paradoxes, however that is another discussion.

I appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions, but it hasn't changed my beliefs, and I doubt anything I say will change yours -- if anything I said did, then I would probably go straight to Hell anyway.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<I appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions, but it hasn't changed my beliefs>

Ok webmaster...thank you for taking the time to ask them.

Just as an aside, QM is a fascinating concept but I think you have given far too much credence to what the scientific world has said about it vs what is actually known about it. What do you undertstand "random" to mean?
Top
Posted by K. D. (+362) 12 years ago
"Oh, now I get it. Frank, you're right and everyone who ever thought differently from you or conceived of God in a manner different from the way you have described HIM is just plain wrong.

You, Frank, are not only going to Heaven. In fact, it's obvious that you've already been there, met THE MAN, and been appointed head of the Membership Committee.

I and others like me certainly haven't earned a place in Heaven. And you know what - that's just fine by me cuz spending eternity in the place you've described, worshiping GOD as you've defined HIM, and being surrounded day and night by you and others like you - well, you may call it Heaven, but it sure sounds like Hell to me.

I'd much rather go wherever Ghandi ended up ... and dogs."


"The Gospel According To Frank" kinda has a ring to it. The way Frank talks, he should have his own book in the Bible. I came to the conclusion that how Frank has described "The Way", Frank will be the only one going Heaven (seems kinda lonely to me, but whatever). I just can't believe how closed minded some people can be when it comes to other people's beliefs and ideas.

So, what I am saying is, Frank, you may be wrong in your own self rightous mind. Is that to much for a closed minded person to handle?
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Ah, but Brian, have you not read the studies that show people of faith get well faster when others are praying for them? I would say that ranks up there with studies showing that love is real too.

Donna - People of faith can sometimes heal faster because they believe that they're going to heal faster. The placebo effect has been well known for years.

You've illustrated the existence of belief, something that is also known.

What you haven't done is proven that God was responsible for the healing. The belief in God and the existence of God are two entirely different things.

Love and belief are both biochemical reactions that happen in the brain that have positive effects on mind and body. Thank goodness for both, but that still does not make them more than what they are.

Bridgier mentioned causality earlier in this thread. You would do well to review it.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank Cory wrote:

> Just as an aside, QM is a fascinating concept but I think you have given far too much credence to what the scientific world has said about it vs what is actually known about it. What do you undertstand "random" to mean?

Simply, in the event of something truly random, the outcome cannot be predicted nor can it be undone.

The concept of "randomness" is something I deal with in computer science, and is something that is used to actually help make this web site work -- however, none of it is true randomness -- it is only "fake randomness", or pseudo-randomness, due to the fact a finite machine cannot generate a random result.

A predetermined universe can be thought of as a finite machine. It can be worked forwards, and it can be worked backwards. (Again, this is what Einstein believed, but he was incorrect. He would undoubtedly realize his mistake if he were still alive.)

A singular universe containing a random element, however, can only move forward, not backwards. This is why traveling through time can only progress forward, and not back. (Well, actually you can theoretically move back in a multiverse, however that is an entirely different subject.)

The reason that randomness exists in the universe, is due to the fact the state of an atom and its subatomic particles, can never be precisely determined. Only probabilities can be applied. Without certainty, you end up with randomness.

QM has already been proven through the results of research and development of many companies applying the concepts towards products, such as a "quantum computer". IBM for example, has already accomplished this, although only in a simple and not marketable fashion as of yet.
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
It's been implied on this thread that the idea of free will is a modern construct-- maybe even a modern conspiracy of sorts. Hasn't the idea been around for while? And even in some religious thought for quite awhile?

Also, that whole predeterminism thing has always kind of stumped me. The logic in the statment, "God knows the outcome before it happens, therefore God determined the outcome" somehow escapes me.

Could God know the outcome without determining it?

But here's the real question with which I'd like all of us to struggle. It's been lurking at the edge of my consciousness for days now, but I finally have to give it voice.

Is it possible for me, or anyone, to ask a question that Frank won't, or can't, answer?
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Is it possible for me, or anyone, to ask a question that Frank can't, or won't answer?

The answer is God, Derf. Here are some examples:

Q: What color is the sky?
A: God.

Q: What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
A: God.

Q: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A: God.

Q: What's two plus two?
A: God.

Speaking of which, I saw this quote the other day and thought of Frank:

"Whatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle. Every prayer reduces itself to this: Great God, grant that two plus two be not four."

- Ivan Turgenev
Top
Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
Isn't the name of God "I AM?"

Could that, or some combination of your answer and mine, really be the definitive answer to any question on this thread? (See Wendy's post above)
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<<What do you undertstand "random" to mean?

<Simply, in the event of something truly random, the outcome cannot be predicted nor can it be undone.>

Ok If you are willing I'd like to press you a little on this.

<The reason that randomness exists in the universe, is due to the fact the state of an atom and its subatomic particles, can never be precisely determined. Only probabilities can be applied. Without certainty, you end up with randomness.>

True randomess...or fake randomness?

<QM has already been proven through the results of research and development of many companies applying the concepts towards products, such as a "quantum computer". IBM for example, has already accomplished this, although only in a simple and not marketable fashion as of yet.>

If you say true randomness has been accomplished by the IBM computer...I think you are mistaken webmaster. But I don't want to assume that you mean't TRUE randomness.

Also...one more question...what do you mean QM has been proven?
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank Cory:

> True randomess...or fake randomness?

The physics of Quantum Mechanics provides for "true randomness". As I mentioned earlier, the state of an atom and its subatomic particles cannot be determined, only estimated. Without certainty, you never reach 100%. The remaining portion is random.

A finite state machine provides, only at best, "pseudo randomness" -- which is not random at all. The product is simply a calculation designed to appear random. Given the formula, it can be repeated. And not only repeated, it can be reversed.

> If you say true randomness has been accomplished by the IBM computer...I think you are mistaken webmaster. But I don't want to assume that you mean't TRUE randomness.

I'm not a physics professor, nor have I ever worked at IBM, however, the principles of QM were used by them to create a "quantum computer". If QM isn't real, then I'm not sure how they accomplished that.
Top
Posted by AJS (+220) 12 years ago
To whom it may concern:

The Computer is a dead inanimate object. It has only on and off switches. Programmers write a code to operate it. No electricity and it doesn't work.

But lets get down to basics. Frank in my opinion is trying to tell all who can comprehend, in the simplest language he can use about what the Bible has to say about Jesus.
He doesn't make the law, nor does he want to. He just wants to fulfill it to the best of his ability.

The Bible says that from the beginning there was a creation. I can neither prove or disprove it. It says man was a creation. Woman was taken from the rib of the man. Jesus didn't seem to question it, why should I. The Bible goes back in time more and farther than any book I know of. It covers everything I know of including Blood, which by the way is your lifeline. No blood No life. You do have a obligation to keep it clean and pure as possible. Blood and the Messiah are spoken many times in the Bible from Genesis till Death. Jesus death was an atonement for the sinners of the world. Only Believers by Faith are saved however. That means all CAN be saved. But because they CAN'T or WON'T agree to their REBIRTH they cannot be saved.

YOU ARE REALLY QUITE UNIQUE: I don't believe that everyone born knows just how close you become to being missed. Consider your mother and dad had one chance in a million to create just you. You are not your own. You were created.

Consider this: "From Dust You are and to Dust you will return" This called the life of the five senses, but what about the sixth sense, you know the one that puts doubt in your mind. The Bible calls that the Spirit. The body is born with a soul. Until you are Born Again.
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
not one thing ever takes place by chance

Yeah - it's physics
Top
supporter
Posted by Kelly (+2706) 12 years ago
AJS:

Since Frank didn't answer my questions about dinosaurs and souls, maybe you could answer my questions about the soul. See above. I'm asking you because you spoke about the soul, so I thought you might have more information.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
Webmaster

<The physics of Quantum Mechanics provides for "true randomness".>

I don't think so. True randomness would mean the same thing as an event occuring..by pure chance, that is...without a cause. I do hope you see this as a contradiction...right?

QM certainly is a mystery, no question about that but to cross the line and say "we KNOW that this activity is without a cause" is silly.






< As I mentioned earlier, the state of an atom and its subatomic particles cannot be determined, only estimated.>

No problem there

< Without certainty, you never reach 100%.>

No problem there.

< The remaining portion is random.>

Nonesense...because it doesn't matter what percentage we reach in our level of certainty...there IS a cause...and that cause no matter how mysterious is never......pure chance. we just don't know that that cause is right now.



> If you say true randomness has been accomplished by the IBM computer...I think you are mistaken webmaster. But I don't want to assume that you mean't TRUE randomness.

<I'm not a physics professor, nor have I ever worked at IBM, however, the principles of QM were used by them to create a "quantum computer".>

Webmaster... using the observations of QM is not the same as working with pure chance or randomness.

<If QM isn't real, then I'm not sure how they accomplished that.>

I am not saying that the quantum leap phenomenon is not real. As i said...there certainly is a mysterious thjing going on here What I am saying is that no one is quite sure what IS going on for sure....and there is no call to cross the line as try to say that this event has no cause.

The bottom line is that nothing ever takes place BY chance. When we speak of things happening "by chance"...what we are saying is that we are simply ignorant of what those causes are.

There is a reason why this is so important to understand. I have been dogmatic about debunking the myth that QM has shown that something can come from nothing...because of course if somethng really could come from nothing no God would be needed for creation If things could just pop into and out of existence with no cause....we'd be in serious trouble. If that ever happens then it would be the end of not only God...but of science and any reason or rationality.

IMO people rush to accept any theory that will suggest that no Creator is needed (just like evolution)....but they have overstepped the scientific method in there rush to deny the obvious when they say QM proves pure randomness.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9197) 12 years ago
And there you have it. Schrodinger's God.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
AJS wrote:

> The Bible goes back in time more and farther than any book I know of.

There are books, well if not "books", then written works much older than the bible. At least a thousand years prior.

Also, the "bible" is nothing more than a hand picked selection of stories, written in some cases hundreds of years after the fact. Can you tell me what your g-g-g-g-grandma was doing in 1800, or earlier?

These accounts appear in the old testament and the new, but certain "chapters" were left out, not by God, but by man. Thus the bible is not the work of God, but a work of man.
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank, just read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_Principle>

Webmaster....would you rather i go outside and play? I am quite famiiar with Heisenberg and his indeterminancy principle. The bottom line on it as i have labored to say is that it is a bonefide...mystery at this point. As long as we can say...Something very strange is going on here....Yes it certainly does look like something is coming from nothing...but we know that can't be....there is no problem.

To be able to say that we know there is no cause for this phenomenon would show supreme arrogance on our part because that would be saying we have all knowledge.
Again...if you think that the indeterminancy principle proves true randomness you are mistaken. The Law of Causality of this physical universe is not violated in the slightest by QM.......The ultimate Causer of all reality never intended it to be. That is why His existence is so obvious.

I hope you now see that randomness is in the same category as chance and "nothing"...because none of these have any being. They are merely human language constructs to mean..."we simply don"t know".

Hey... i appreciate your putting up with me. You went a lot further than most care to. I think I'll let you go for now unless you have anything further to say....take care
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Frank to "Webmaster": You went a lot further than most care to.

Larry, I'm not sure whether to applaud you or curse you, but you certainly did go the distance! The discussion was getting to the point where I was even beginning to admire Frank ... which would have been a miracle sufficient to prove the existence of God to even sworn (on the Bible?) atheists. But then Frank's smug and sanctimonious side emerged yet again, and the miracle proved to be just another mirage.

Rats. It was so close....
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Frank Cory: I don't think you read my link. Or at least if you did, you rejected it. Try this quotation and the following link instead. No QM required:

"The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation - well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation." - Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w...modynamics
Top
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 12 years ago
Webmaster,

While a computer CPU that shuffles binary from here to there and convolves binary against binary via gates and tables cannot produce true randomness, it isn't a huge step to attach nonlinear hardware to the computer that creates a stream of random numbers not by binary math, but by monitoring subatomic decay or other measurable processes that are of a random nature. These numbers are then made available to the computer via some variation on standard binary I/O.

Once the computer has this input, decisions and data may incorporate truly random elements.

Not for your average desktop, admittedly, but neither is such a thing out of reach for serious purposes.

Should it turn out that sources of truly random data were required for AI, for instance, it might be useful to broadcast a stream of actual random information which could be acquired by the (relatively) mundane means of a radio / network receiver. Something along the lines of the national atomic clocks, broadcast on 2.5 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz (last I checked.)

Of course, it might get really interesting if those data streams failed.

The question of whether there is actually such a need for AI is still open, of course, and will remain so until the problem is solved. It may be that the performance of a pseudo random stream is perfectly adequate, or perhaps combining such a stream with the timing of external events would serve to make it random enough. Or it may be that randomness isn't doing us any favors in the first place.
Top
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 12 years ago
More on true random sources:

Hotbits: http://www.fourmilab.ch/hotbits/

random.org: http://www.random.org/
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Frank Cory: I don't think you read my link. Or at least if you did, you rejected it. Try this quotation and the following link instead. No QM required:

"The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation - well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation." - Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermodynamics>


I don't get it. Why not simply state your point instead of referring to wikipedia?? The physical laws of entropy have not one thing to do with the philosophical questions cocerning randomness or causality. What has any of this to do with our topic?

Entropy is proven true every second...randomness is never confirmed.
Top
supporter
Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17343) 12 years ago
I really don't have anything to say, and haven't read maybe 1/20th of the posts here. I just wanted to be the 200th poster to this thread.

Today is St. Patrick's Day. Anyone remember the late great Irish guitar player, Rory Gallagher? On an old record of his, which I still have down in the basement, he has a great blues tune....

<cue up Rory's electric slide guitar, all by itself...>

"I...
I could've...
I could've had religion...
I could've had religion, but my little girl wouldn't let me play
She stole my spirit away
She stole my spirit away"

<Begin blues jam, similar to Muddy Waters' Mannish Boy>

That is a great old blues song. Skimming through this thread made me think of it.

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled debate....
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
WooHoo! My little old thread made it to 200 posts (well, 201 now). I'm such a proud papa!
Top
Posted by Frank Cory (+231) 12 years ago
<Larry, I'm not sure whether to applaud you or curse you,>

yes life can be very confsuing at times, huh? Oh go ahead and curse...why break stride now?

< The discussion was getting to the point where I was even beginning to admire Frank>

Well...let me tell you...we can take care of that nonesense in short order!

<But then Frank's smug and sanctimonious side emerged yet again>

I always try harder when I know you are lurking.
Top
admin
moderator
founder
Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 12 years ago
Major Pain: Yes, I agree, but I simply stated a finite machine is not capable of generating a truly random result, only a pseudo random one. You are introducing other elements.

Frank Cory: Just forget about it. The entire discussion of randomness and entropy were only brought up to dispute your opinion that the universe is predetermined. I've got other stuff to do.
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Frank says: "yes life can be very confsuing at times, huh? Oh go ahead and curse...why break stride now?"

Yes, I do sometimes find life confsuing at times, and confusing at others. But I'm surprised to hear that you do because you're posts indicate a sense of total and pure certainty on your part.

Frank says: "I always try harder when I know you are lurking."

Well, it's nice to know I have that effect on at least one person in this world.

On a more serious note, while "true believers" concern me for all the reasons Erik Hoffer identified and then some, it's quite obvious that you have thought long and hard over your beliefs. I admire that. So thank you Frank, for contributing so much to make this an interesting - if exhausting - thread.
Top
Posted by Dillpickle (+34) 12 years ago
Hey,

Anyone want to have an enlightening discussion on religion and faith?

How about politics???


Anyone? anyone?
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Nah - My Mother taught me that if I wanted to be popular, I should avoid discussing politics and religion.

So, on that note, did you notice that the ice broke and the jam has moved on down the river? Yep, the Yellowstone is flowing freely again. Seeing as I live right on the riverbank, I know that I'll be sleeping much easier tonight.
Top