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So what would it take to shake your belief?
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smacintush
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Dec 16, 2007, 05:07 PM
 
This question goes both ways:

For the believers, what would it take to make you seriously doubt what you believe.

Atheists, what would it take to make you believe?
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Chuckit
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Dec 16, 2007, 05:20 PM
 
It would require a significant problem for which "God" is the best answer. I see it as similar to how a clinical trial has to show that the medicine works better than a placebo. So far, I don't believe religion has managed to pass this test.

Then again, this gets us into the question of "What is God?" As somebody once said, we're all unbelievers when it comes to most gods — atheists just go one god further. So even if a higher being were shown to exist, would I believe this higher being was your god? Probably not. (And when I say "your," I don't mean "smacintush's god," I mean the god of any specific religion.)
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Dec 16, 2007, 06:31 PM
 
Excellent question!

Not as much as I think people think. A simple, confirmable visual would do it.

Though I'm not strictly an atheist, I'm close enough.

When I first got one of my cats (imaginatively named Kitty), there was a time she wasn't expecting me to come in the room (which was dark), and she did that thing that cats do where they puff-out their hair, move their body parallel to you and start crab-walking.

The problem was I had never seen this, except as a still picture. For whatever reason, none of my other cats had ever done this. As I said, it was dark too.

I swear, the thing looked like it was levitating.

I have to say, that was one of the most emotionally painful moments I have ever experienced. My entire universe (as I understood it) came crashing down around me and felt like it landed in the pit of my stomach.

It only took me about five seconds to realize this wasn't what was happening, and I felt like a big maroon.

I'd be lying though if I didn't say I felt like a shaken big maroon.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 16, 2007, 06:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
It would require a significant problem for which "God" is the best answer.
Isn't that what they call a "god of the gaps?"

For me it would be some sort of affirmative evidence. In other words, I want to see him. I know there's a lot of Descartes-ly "can't trust your own senses" talk out there to be had, but for me, it's all about my senses. If I can't detect it with my senses, it might as well not exist, because my senses are the only way I interact with the world.

What about you, 'tush?
     
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Dec 16, 2007, 07:05 PM
 
I want to be in a large group of people where everyone confirms afterwards they saw the same thing. Like if a bunch of us are in the park and see a flying saucer come down and land and everyone is saying "look at that flying saucer"; I want something like that except with a deity. Then I would be more inclined to believe in a god. Basically, something empirical with multiple levels of confirmation by myself and others.
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subego
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Dec 16, 2007, 07:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I know there's a lot of Descartes-ly "can't trust your own senses" talk out there to be had, but for me, it's all about my senses. If I can't detect it with my senses, it might as well not exist, because my senses are the only way I interact with the world.

Totally with you here.

I do believe that one shouldn't trust their senses. Though this may be apocryphal, the best example of this I've heard was about an Australian truck driver who reported almost hitting a 12 foot high kangaroo. Turns out a camel had escaped from the zoo, and the truck driver, who had never seen a camel in the flesh, swears he saw a giant kangaroo.

On the other hand, if it's not dark, and I can walk around something a few times to view it from all angles, yeah, what I see is what it is.

I would have to do this before I would acknowledge the truth of something supernatural. Pity the supernatural won't play ball with me.
     
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Dec 16, 2007, 07:21 PM
 
I think that evidence is what most non-believers want. For me, it would take more than a simple "supernatural" experience that I can't rationally explain. I think I would need strong evidence combined with some sort of profound personal experience. I'm not sure what that would be.

Unless the evidence was something easily recognizable and unmistakable, Jesus appearing in the sky with legions of angels for example. That might do the trick. Of course by that it it's too late…

I think that there are many "levels" of belief and unbelief. For myself I have a really hard time imagining myself ever becoming a "believer" in any kind of personal god.
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Chuckit
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Dec 16, 2007, 07:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Isn't that what they call a "god of the gaps?"
No, that's the opposite. The problem with the God of the Gaps philosophy is that God is the default answer. God is not actually a better explanation than anything else — it's just that, since all every possibility has roughly equal likelihood given the current evidence, God is chosen by default. What I'm talking about is science.

It was a pretty vague answer, but it's hard to be specific without accidentally claiming too much or too little or just being extremely boring. But to give an example: If people from one religion could raise the dead but people who did functionally identical practice and were alike in every way except the specific religion were not able to, I'd be inclined to give that religion's claims some special credence. If I could talk to God and he'd actually talk back in a readily identifiable way (not as a vague, fuzzy feeling or any nonsense like that), that would also sway my opinion.
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Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 16, 2007, 07:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
No, that's the opposite. The problem with the God of the Gaps philosophy is that God is the default answer. God is not actually a better explanation than anything else
I thought god of the gaps referred to things like cavemen and magnetism; just because cave men don't have the slightest notion of how to explain magentism scientifically, doesn't make it supernatural. So in your description, even if there is just plain no other explanation, that might be because we haven't thought of the explanation yet. I would like to add the distinction that whatever it is you're talking about specifically points to God (like you know, meeting him). I don't think something like raising the dead is specific enough.
     
nonhuman
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Dec 16, 2007, 07:54 PM
 
To shake my belief (or lack thereof in my case)? Some event that clearly violated the laws of physics as we know them. If I woke up one day and found myself in 17th century Europe, or saw a man get hit by a car hard enough to be actually dismembered and then miraculously healed that would certainly shake my beliefs. Of course there would also have to be other witnesses and ideally some other sort of documentation to prove that it wasn't just some sort of psychotic break on my part (in the first example it would be sufficient if I still had my iPhone and other people could interact with it to prove that it wasn't a hallucination).

I'm not sure there's anything that could actually convince me to believe in God however. It would certainly be possible (through events such as the two I listed above) to get me to believe in the supernatural, and even in the possibility of supernatural beings such as gods, but I can't think of anything that could ever be sufficient proof of a single, all-powerful God. If it's possible for there to be on being that we would consider a god, it's possible, maybe even likely, that there would be many. And that being the case it's possible that if you only ever encountered one such being who claimed to be the only one that they would be lying for whatever purpose (either because they derive some benefit from having more believers/followers than the others or simply because they enjoy toying with people).

The problem, of course, is that any personal experience can be explained through mental illness or some other sort of personal issue. Any shared experience, while it might prove the existence of forces beyond our knowledge and comprehension, is not necessarily proof of a God or gods no matter what it is; it could merely be that the power to control other people's minds exists and some person is using that to set themselves up as a god for whatever reason. So while it would certainly be possible (though highly unlikely) that something could happen to cause me to question my beliefs, I think it would be virtually impossible for anything to happen that would ever cause me to actually positively believe in something like God.
     
subego
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Dec 16, 2007, 07:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
I'm not sure there's anything that could actually convince me to believe in God however. It would certainly be possible (through events such as the two I listed above) to get me to believe in the supernatural, and even in the possibility of supernatural beings such as gods, but I can't think of anything that could ever be sufficient proof of a single, all-powerful God.

I don't know.

If the existence of the supernatural was proven to me, I'd be a little too chastened by the situation to make any further declarations about the nature of existence.

Proof of the existence of the supernatural has always struck me as an "all bets are now off" type of situation.
     
nonhuman
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Dec 16, 2007, 08:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I don't know.

If the existence of the supernatural was proven to me, I'd be a little too chastened by the situation to make any further declarations about the nature of existence.

Proof of the existence of the supernatural has always struck me as an "all bets are now off" type of situation.
Certainly. However proof of the supernatural would necessarily also be proof that it would be possible to fake the existence of God. Once the supernatural is proven it becomes impossible to know that what your senses tell you is real and furthermore to apply logical reasonings to the events that surround you. It thus becomes impossible to prove anything other than that you perceive things which may or may not be real.
     
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Dec 16, 2007, 08:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I thought god of the gaps referred to things like cavemen and magnetism; just because cave men don't have the slightest notion of how to explain magentism scientifically, doesn't make it supernatural.
Yes. As I said, all possibilities have equal likelihood given the evidence (we could attribute this just as well to God, ghosts, some trick in the structure of the universe, somebody with a very fine string, etc.), so "God" is chosen. No supernatural explanation is actually more likely than any other explanation you could come up with. It's a God by default mentality.

Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I would like to add the distinction that whatever it is you're talking about specifically points to God (like you know, meeting him). I don't think something like raising the dead is specific enough.
No, raising the dead isn't enough — there are many stories about raising the dead that aren't intended to point to any god at all — but that was not the entirety of what I described. If invoking a particular god has the ability to make miraculous things happen, it seems pretty pigheaded to suggest there's not something at work there.
( Last edited by Chuckit; Dec 16, 2007 at 08:38 PM. )
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subego
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Dec 16, 2007, 08:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Once the supernatural is proven it becomes impossible to know that what your senses tell you is real and furthermore to apply logical reasonings to the events that surround you.

     
imitchellg5
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Dec 16, 2007, 08:13 PM
 
I don't think I can be shaken. I've always had very strong faith.
     
smacintush  (op)
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Dec 16, 2007, 08:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
I don't think I can be shaken. I've always had very strong faith.
Really?

Very enlightening.
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Dec 16, 2007, 09:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
To shake my belief (or lack thereof in my case)? Some event that clearly violated the laws of physics as we know them. If I woke up one day and found myself in 17th century Europe, or saw a man get hit by a car hard enough to be actually dismembered and then miraculously healed that would certainly shake my beliefs. Of course there would also have to be other witnesses and ideally some other sort of documentation to prove that it wasn't just some sort of psychotic break on my part (in the first example it would be sufficient if I still had my iPhone and other people could interact with it to prove that it wasn't a hallucination).
A Star Trek Holodeck could do that. But then again, that type of technology would break the laws of physics as we know them currently.

This topic is an interesting thought experiment. What if we could create fully functional alternate worlds and inhabit them. What then becomes "reality"? If I can put myself in Dickens London and the world and my actions in it adhere to the laws of physics then I would consider that real. Of course, then the question becomes, is "reality" what we experience in the external world or our internal, cognitive perceptions of that world? What if I could focus all my mental energies on thinking/acting/behaving as if I *was* living in mid-19th-century London and never left that mental construct? Wouldn't I then, for all intents and purposes, exist in that world? I don't have answers to these questions but they are interesting and intriguing nonetheless.
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Dec 16, 2007, 11:41 PM
 
So what would it take to shake your belief?
I would need to wake up in the morning, to find that I've been in a coma for the last 18 years.
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Cipher13
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Dec 17, 2007, 12:14 AM
 
With all we know right now, I find it amazing that people still believe. If what we currently know doesn't make them change their minds, nothing will.
     
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Dec 17, 2007, 12:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I would need to wake up in the morning, to find that I've been in a coma for the last 18 years.
Why?
     
nonhuman
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Dec 17, 2007, 12:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
A Star Trek Holodeck could do that. But then again, that type of technology would break the laws of physics as we know them currently.
And even if it was physically possible to have a holodeck (which would be the coolest thing ever), that just raises the standard of evidence to prove the existence of the supernatural. The question of whether or not a someone who unknowingly lives in a holodeck (or the matrix, or whatever) is actually experiencing reality just goes to show that we can't necessarily trust our own senses to accurately report the natural world, let alone the supernatural.
     
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Dec 17, 2007, 01:43 AM
 
Christianity is based off of Buddhism anyways.

You know those lost years of Jesus? Studying Buddhism.
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Dec 17, 2007, 02:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Why?
Oh no, I'm not getting caught up in that discussion again!
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Dec 17, 2007, 03:03 AM
 
tease
     
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Dec 17, 2007, 04:44 AM
 
Don't trust people with unshakeable beliefs!

I change my beliefs all the time. It's what makes science so beautiful. Constant new discoveries shape and modify the way I and most people look at the world.

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Kevin
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Dec 17, 2007, 09:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
This question goes both ways:

For the believers, what would it take to make you seriously doubt what you believe.

Atheists, what would it take to make you believe?
That would be I guess like asking a gay man "What would it take to turn you straight?"

Knowing what I know, and experiencing what I have experienced, to deny such a thing would be me living a lie. I simply couldn't do it.

That is why I always believed it is important to treat religious belief or ways of life as important as race or sexual identity. Some believe just because they feel they have no need for religion, that it's somehow not as important to respect. And that is sad.
     
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Dec 17, 2007, 10:39 AM
 
Pretty much the only thing that would shake my belief in God is for Him to reveal Himself to me and say "I don't exist".




wait...
     
Chuckit
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Dec 17, 2007, 11:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
That is why I always believed it is important to treat religious belief or ways of life as important as race or sexual identity. Some believe just because they feel they have no need for religion, that it's somehow not as important to respect. And that is sad.
Are you suggesting that religious beliefs are just a biological imperative that people can't help rather than being an intelligent idea that's supposed to reflect reality?
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Dec 17, 2007, 12:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cipher13 View Post
With all we know right now, I find it amazing that people still believe.
There is nothing we know now that we didn't a thousand years ago that disproves religion Cipher. So your comment is really intellectually dishonest.
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Are you suggesting that religious beliefs are just a biological imperative that people can't help rather than being an intelligent idea that's supposed to reflect reality?
No need to add any words to what I said. As It was clear....

In my life, after all I have been through and seen and experienced, it would be a lie to deny my faith. I would be living a lie.

I am not saying anything is anything. I am just commenting about how it's not possible for me to deny God, while still being honest with myself. It would be a faker.

It would be the same as someone that was homosexual that denied it and lived in the closet.

I would never do that to myself. Nor should anyone ever expect anyone to.
     
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Dec 17, 2007, 01:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
That would be I guess like asking a gay man "What would it take to turn you straight?"
Modifying specific regions of chromosomes 7 and 8, the areas that control male sexuality.
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Dec 17, 2007, 01:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
There is nothing we know now that we didn't a thousand years ago that disproves religion Cipher. So your comment is really intellectually dishonest.
You can't accuse someone of being intellectually dishonest, while simultaneously boasting about disproving something that isn't provable in the first place.

You also can't disprove an invisible pink unicorn isn't controlling all of man's destiny. It's a Russell's teapot argument.
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Dec 17, 2007, 04:03 PM
 
If it's invisible, how do you know it's pink? Faith? Did a bush tell you? Is there a book where I can learn more about this omnipresent unicorn?

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Dec 17, 2007, 04:16 PM
 
If I were a believer (which I am most certainly not ), say a Christian, and the (non Judeo-Christian) god of another religion visited earth and said "I am the one true god," I imagine my beliefs in my own god would probably be shaken. Either that, or I would have to believe that there is more than one god; in which I case I would make the conscience choice to only worship one (my) god.
( Last edited by HackManDan; Dec 17, 2007 at 04:23 PM. )
     
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Dec 17, 2007, 04:19 PM
 
What amuses me to no end is that the Truth® is largely determined by where you're born. Maybe that is all part of the Plan™ as well.

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Dec 17, 2007, 09:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
That would be I guess like asking a gay man "What would it take to turn you straight?"
It would be the same as someone that was homosexual that denied it and lived in the closet.

I would never do that to myself. Nor should anyone ever expect anyone to.
Wait…isn't "denying your own nature" exactly what you and other Christians have suggested homosexuals do? Hate the sin not the sinner and all that?

Knowing what I know, and experiencing what I have experienced
You have alluded to something you have experienced and/or seen many times before, are you gonna cough up a story or not? Cuz if not, it's just more of the same.

That is why I always believed it is important to treat religious belief or ways of life as important as race or sexual identity. Some believe just because they feel they have no need for religion, that it's somehow not as important to respect. And that is sad.
You and most other religious types…in my own personal experience…don't offer that same respect to those of us who don't believe. To most of you, we are ignorant fools in denial yet you expect us to treat you as people who deserve respect for your beliefs? Besides that, it's nothing personal. Hate the religion, not the believer and all that.

There is nothing we know now that we didn't a thousand years ago that disproves religion Cipher. So your comment is really intellectually dishonest.
There have been many things we have learned that flew smack in the face of what the theologists just KNEW about the world and the universe. Their response was to alter their beliefs to fit the new theories. It still goes on. After centuries of being absolutely POSITIVE that man and all the creation are exactly as the creator made us, now the modern Christians are willing to give in to microevolution. Eventually macroevolution will have more proof that the Christians can't effectively refute and the "rock solid" and "eternal" Word of God™ will once again be re-interpreted. It's not that far off.

The willingness to alter their beliefs is exactly why Christianity has survived and thrived like it has. If you were to ACTUALLY follow the words of Jesus you would be barbarians in the modern world.

Besides all that, what we HAVEN'T seen is perfectly relevant as evidence to God's non-existence. In the nearly 2000 years since the death of the supposed son of God we have seen NOTHING whatsoever…nada…zip…zilch…to suggest that anything in the bible is worth anything, beyond the smattering of verifiable historical data that is. That may not mean anything to those who believe but those who are on the fence often need more than; "cuz we say it's true" and "you just wait for the day of judgement and you'll see we're right".
( Last edited by smacintush; Dec 17, 2007 at 09:44 PM. )
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Dec 17, 2007, 09:32 PM
 
If I didn't believe in ghost, I would believe in ghost when I see one.

If I didn't believe in UFO's, I would believe in UFO's when I see one.

If I didn't believe in the Lochness Monster, I would believe it when I see one.

If I didn't believe in Big Foot, I would believe it when I see it.

If I didn't believe Allah is God, I would believe it when I meet Allah.

If I didn't believe in Christ is God, I would believe it when I meet Christ.

If I didn't believe in God, I would believe it when I meet God.

If I didn't believe in multiple Gods, I would believe when I've gotten the chance to meet those Gods.

I believe that there is life on other planets because there are trillions of stars in the universe, and the probability for life is astronomical. I would stop believing in it when we explore every single planet in the universe and found no life.

My beliefs aren't shaken. My beliefs are shaped by what I know and learned.
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Dec 17, 2007, 09:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
Pretty much the only thing that would shake my belief in God is for Him to reveal Himself to me and say "I don't exist".




wait...
Bill Clinton could pull it off so I know a God could…
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Dec 17, 2007, 09:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by HackManDan View Post
Either that, or I would have to believe that there is more than one god; in which I case I would make the conscience choice to only worship one (my) god.
Well, using reason if there was proof of one God then there is a good probably that there are more.

Failing reason, there is always the Bible. God specifically acknowledges the existence other gods.
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Helmling
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Dec 17, 2007, 10:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
This question goes both ways:

For the believers, what would it take to make you seriously doubt what you believe.

Atheists, what would it take to make you believe?
I guess I'd have to witness or see some sort of solid evidence documenting something supernatural.

Not much, really, but unfortunately, the universe seems unwilling to oblige.
     
Helmling
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Dec 17, 2007, 10:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Really?

Very enlightening.
If he's the only representative of the faithful, then it kind of shows you where the intellectual honesty lies.
     
smacintush  (op)
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Dec 17, 2007, 10:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
If he's the only representative of the faithful, then it kind of shows you where the intellectual honesty lies.
I don't think it's completely his fault. He has been, no doubt, taught to completely reject out-of-hand any argument or evidence that would contradict anything he has been told about God or his religion. They are trained NOT to think critically. Only that there is the word and that's it.
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tpl
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Dec 17, 2007, 11:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
There is nothing we know now that we didn't a thousand years ago that disproves religion Cipher. So your comment is really intellectually dishonest.
A good theory is falsifiable... and you're quite correct, there is nothing that disproves the existence of a god. That makes it a crap theory. ^_^

Don't change though, if it weren't for the religious, we'd have fewer people to feel superior to.
     
Shaddim
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Dec 18, 2007, 12:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by tpl View Post
Don't change though, if it weren't for the religious, we'd have fewer people to feel superior to.
this is why this discussion produces such negative reactions on this forum.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Dec 18, 2007, 03:47 AM
 
Wow. Feeling 'superior' based on someone else's belief?

It'd be hard to find a better description of "inferior."

Irony.
     
BRussell
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Dec 18, 2007, 06:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
If I didn't believe in ghost, I would believe in ghost when I see one.

If I didn't believe in UFO's, I would believe in UFO's when I see one.

If I didn't believe in the Lochness Monster, I would believe it when I see one.

If I didn't believe in Big Foot, I would believe it when I see it.

If I didn't believe Allah is God, I would believe it when I meet Allah.

If I didn't believe in Christ is God, I would believe it when I meet Christ.

If I didn't believe in God, I would believe it when I meet God.

If I didn't believe in multiple Gods, I would believe when I've gotten the chance to meet those Gods.

I believe that there is life on other planets because there are trillions of stars in the universe, and the probability for life is astronomical. I would stop believing in it when we explore every single planet in the universe and found no life.

My beliefs aren't shaken. My beliefs are shaped by what I know and learned.
Quite lyrical.

Maybe to sum it up less eloquently, theists' beliefs are not falsifiable, but atheists' beliefs are.
     
Taliesin
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Dec 18, 2007, 08:09 AM
 
What would it take to shake my belief?

I think there is nothing that can. I believe strongly that God created the universe and every single life in it and I likewise strongly believe that some day in the future God will bring the universe to an end and ressurect the dead to be judged upon and to grant them either eternal bliss or eternal despair.

How could this belief be shaken once you are convinced of it?

For me, the existence of even a single atom is a 100%-proof of God's existence, not to speak of the zillion others, and their variations, interactions and combinations.

The macro-manifestations of these atoms, only further underline and illustrate more graphically the underlying reality, and I'm not even speaking about life.

I'm really completely astonished that someone would live in this world, with the abundance of wonders happening every nanosecond, and not believe in God!

Taliesin
     
el chupacabra
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Dec 18, 2007, 09:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Wait…isn't "denying your own nature" exactly what you and other Christians have suggested homosexuals do? Hate the sin not the sinner and all that?

You and most other religious types…in my own personal experience…don't offer that same respect to those of us who don't believe. To most of you, we are ignorant fools in denial yet you expect us to treat you as people who deserve respect for your beliefs? Besides that, it's nothing personal. Hate the religion, not the believer and all that.

The willingness to alter their beliefs is exactly why Christianity has survived and thrived like it has. If you were to ACTUALLY follow the words of Jesus you would be barbarians in the modern world... bla bla and more bla

.

So smac when did you become and atheist? What "shook" your belief?

Maybe I just misread your previous posts in other threads.... As usually I try to just skim through them knowing you aren't really trying to make much sense as much as just starting flame fests.

smacintosh
I do believe that having faith in something is not only a very good and useful thing in life, but a very unavoidable and human thing. We all have faith in something eventually.
     
Sven G
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Dec 18, 2007, 11:18 AM
 
BTW, when I was a kid, I really wished that UFO's took me to their planet - sadly, that didn't happen, of course...

Maybe it's the same with all our pseudo-religious "beliefs": we would rather believe that some other entity - god, the state, business, etc, etc. - did the ethical work for us, instead of making it ourselves, as it should be.

A quick and dirty explanation of religion, maybe...

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Dec 18, 2007, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
That would be I guess like asking a gay man "What would it take to turn you straight?"

Knowing what I know, and experiencing what I have experienced, to deny such a thing would be me living a lie. I simply couldn't do it.

That is why I always believed it is important to treat religious belief or ways of life as important as race or sexual identity. Some believe just because they feel they have no need for religion, that it's somehow not as important to respect. And that is sad.
i thought you people think being gay is a choice not biological?
     
RAILhead
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Dec 18, 2007, 04:29 PM
 
Well, I'm 34 now, and I've been a Christ Follower since I was a young kid. In my teenage years, I delved into spiritualism and the occult, and I've seen and heard things -- first hand and literally -- that most of you enjoy on a TV/movie screen "fright-flick." While I diverged from God's "path" during that time, all it ended up doing was solidifying my belief in a world beyond our own.

Couple those experiences with the more profound and personal things I've seen and known God to do in my life and those around me, and I just know He exists. I know He's part of me, and I am part of Him. I've seen too many lives changed by coming to know Him personally. I've seen too many people benefit from a personal relationship with Him.

What could change that? Dying and having nothing afterward -- but if that were to happen, I wouldn't care, anyway.

So, like these discussions always end up: someone wants proof. Yet, anyone that knows much of anything about God will tell you He's not in the business of proving Himself to anyone.
"Everything's so clear to me now: I'm the keeper of the cheese and you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.
That's why he's gonna kill us. So we got to beat it. Yeah. Before he let's loose the marmosets on us."
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