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This is kind of the thing I'd wish more people did. Honestly the thing I am against are the actual religious groups. You can believe in God if you want, after all we don't know one way or another. If you feel strongly about it (just as I feel strongly about there being no God) than it's totally fine, neither of us are wrong because neither of us know.

 

Do you also feel this way about other unknown information about the physical world?

 

What causes the force of gravity? Cause I'm going to claim that it is tiny tiny men who have telekinetic powers. Nobody knows so theres no problem with my claim.

I might not think your claim is right, but I don't see a problem with it.


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This is kind of the thing I'd wish more people did. Honestly the thing I am against are the actual religious groups. You can believe in God if you want, after all we don't know one way or another. If you feel strongly about it (just as I feel strongly about there being no God) than it's totally fine, neither of us are wrong because neither of us know.

 

Do you also feel this way about other unknown information about the physical world?

 

What causes the force of gravity? Cause I'm going to claim that it is tiny tiny men who have telekinetic powers. Nobody knows so theres no problem with my claim.

 

All I'm saying is that I don't see a problem in believing in a God or higher power. I don't believe in one myself (I think it is a silly and outdated concept) but I can't prove anyone right or wrong.

 

I'm not going to answer the stupid question anymore because I don't know what a good answer is. I'm Atheist, I don't believe in any of this.

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I think that the intellectual who adheres to a religion (specifically) likely believes in the existence of a God, and chooses a specific religion based on whatever morality they can relate to best. For example, there are certain things about the bible that make a lot of sense - indeed I think almost everyone (atheists included) would agree that there are very many good lessons and morality imposed there.

But how many of these lessons are also compatible with a simple, yet unreligious belief in humanity? What lessons are there in the Bible that humanity couldn't already have figured out on its own?

 

It's almost like those old logic charts we used to do at primary school, with lots of variously coloured vehicles which we were told to sort into 'Blue', 'Cars' and 'Both'. I realise the majority of religious people don't make this assertion, but sometimes when you talk to people, they don't accept that there's a 'Both' option between 'Religious morals' and 'Unreligious morals'; everything in the 'Both' section HAS to have been dictated by what is written in the Bible.

 

The classic one I hear is "Thou shalt not kill". Notwithstanding that murders continued to happen after the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, surely this known already? I'm not going to assert where such morality would come from, if not God, but to me there doesn't seem to be any correlation between the Church saying, "Oh yeah, that's a bad thing," and people suddenly developing a conscience that stopped them from doing it. They already regulated themselves, perhaps via a belief in a different religion, but also because they themselves had developed a personal conscience that believed it was the wrong thing to do.

 

Personally, I believe that people, no matter who they are or what they believe, like to think their morals are somehow better than someone else's, and if being religious is a good excuse for saying that, then some people will use it. Even so, as far as I'm concerned, being agnostically atheist doesn't mean I'm about to run into the street and kill people, nor does it stop me from appreciating the societal role that religious leaders have in our modern day lives.

 

As I implied in my first post on this topic, my morals are based on a belief in humanity, others are based on a belief in God. So long as we use those morals for good and not evil, I don't see how one is better than the other.

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I'm not totally sure how good of an example communist Russia is in terms of an atheist society. Of course it's kind of hard when it really is the only example, and it's also sort of difficult when there are a lot more people who adhere to some religion than who are atheist. Finding a good test sample without having a dictatorship-like level of censoring free religion (or lack of it) is difficult and impossible currently.

 

Well, it's not the only example, merely the best one. I personally think it states volumes, however, that every atheist society we've ever know (however few there have been) has turned out terribly.

 

An interesting point that's been brought up is a rebuttal to Dawkin's and Hitchen's assertions that "Religion is child abuse". Child abuse, of course, is a terrible thing, and one that is illegal and punished appropriately. The implication of this comparison is that religious education to the young is something that is terrible and should be punished, which, oddly enough, is exactly what soviet Russia instituted under Stalin. In this way it's possible to argue that it's a logical conclusion that a truly atheist society cannot be free at all.

 

That being said I don't think that Religion should be totally gotten rid of more so than some societies need to place less of an emphasis on it. I don't think the US, for example, should place such an emphasis on Christianity. Yes, you can practice (or not practice) whatever religion you want here; but if you were to be running for president you damn well better be Christian. Of course this is more of a public view thing than anything else, I think that some of the more... outspoken members of religions need to understand that while good morals can come from religion it also is not the only place they come from.

 

Well, the public emphasis, of course, comes from the number of people who feel strongly about the issue.

 

The morality question is an interesting one - I don't think anyone will deny that morals can come from religion. The question to the contrary is: Where else and how else do morals come from?

 

This is kind of the thing I'd wish more people did. Honestly the thing I am against are the actual religious groups. You can believe in God if you want, after all we don't know one way or another. If you feel strongly about it (just as I feel strongly about there being no God) than it's totally fine, neither of us are wrong because neither of us know.

 

What I don't like are groups who use religion as a means to scare people into acting right or as a means to shun those who are different than them. (either by being homosexual or of a different religion). I just think that you should believe what you believe in and not be so fixated on one version or ideal of "God" or what your religion tells you is right or wrong. I firmly believe that people are good natured without being instinctively threatened by the ever-looming thought of a "hell". I just wish that people would follow their own moral compass rather than one laid out for them by a religion.

 

When you follow a religion, of course, you follow a certain morality. Belief in God has certain logical consequences, such as behaving a certain way. If God exists, and he put us on this earth in an (obviously) temporary form, it stands to reason that our existence here as intelligent beings must be some sort of test or preparation.

 

The "scare people into acting right or as a means to shun those who are different from them" is also interesting. You talk as if "scaring people into acting right" is such a terrible thing - yet society only functions by doing so. We scare people into not committing murder by punishing them with prison, or the death penalty. It is logical that immoral action (or illegal action) should have consequences, otherwise there is no desire to behave in a moral way.

 

Religion, like any other powerful force or entity, can be used for bad or god. Religion (now I speak only of Christianity, as I am largely unfamiliar with the intricacies of other religions) preaches honest, love, caring and acceptance, for we are all children of God, created equally in his image. Therefore, when religion is used to condone immoral action, the fault lies not with religion itself, but with the manipulators and corruptors of it who attempt to use it as an excuse for immorality.

 

Indeed, many of the typical atheist arguments against religion serve only to prove this point. Whenever immorality has occurred in the name of religion, it can quite clearly be shown that by the very moral doctrine of the religion used to commit immorality, eternal punishment would be rewarded. Of course, many of these arguments create a false representation of the actual events, but for example we could look at something often brought up: killing in the name of religion.

 

A quote from an famous atheist (whose name I do not recall) goes something along these lines: "Getting a bad person to do bad deeds is easy. Getting a good person to do good deeds is easy. Getting a bad person to do good deeds is easy. Getting a good person to do bad deeds takes religion." It's a bit of straw man, because, in fact, any good, religious person who somehow finds religion to be a justification for immoral action either does not have a proper understanding of religious doctrine or has chosen to ignore part of it. For example, to be considered a martyr in Christianity, dying for your faith must occur. However, the morality of this action is instantly nullified if immoral action has been undertaken to achieve it - such as the murder of innocents. In this way, Christian morality has been ignored and broken, so that the church's doctrine would say that a person who would be a martyr for their faith would in fact go to hell for their sin.

 

You speak also of the Christian stance towards homosexuality, which is commonly misunderstood. Christians do not preach hate, or the shunning, or murder, or anything else against homosexuals. Christians merely believe that homosexual activity is immoral.

 

I'll provide a parallel. I believe that drug abuse is immoral. Perhaps you do as well, or I'm sure you know many people (non-religious) who share my views. Does this instantly mean that I am discriminating against them? Would you call me a bigot, or call me hateful? It's entirely possible to find an action immoral without any sort of negative behavior towards those who participate in it. "Hate the sin, not the sinner".

 

At any rate, I apologize for the tangent.


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You speak also of the Christian stance towards homosexuality, which is commonly misunderstood. Christians do not preach hate, or the shunning, or murder, or anything else against homosexuals. Christians merely believe that homosexual activity is immoral.

 

And in some cases shun them. I'll counter your example with my own: my relatives in Indiana work with their church, and their church works closely with the community. A gay couple recently moved in the area and wished to attend their church, but given the church community's views of the bible, have since been prevented from attending their church after an Elders meeting decided that it was an affront to the Lord to have them worship in their church. Are they exactly working within the Christian belief? That's debatable. All these misinterpretations are what we deserve by relying too heavily on the written Word exactly. But that couple was shunned all the same and last I heard they're actually considering moving again because of this.

 

Not all Christians are cut from the same cloth.


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You speak also of the Christian stance towards homosexuality, which is commonly misunderstood. Christians do not preach hate, or the shunning, or murder, or anything else against homosexuals. Christians merely believe that homosexual activity is immoral.

 

And in some cases shun them. I'll counter your example with my own: my relatives in Indiana work with their church, and their church works closely with the community. A gay couple recently moved in the area and wished to attend their church, but given the church community's views of the bible, have since been prevented from attending their church after an Elders meeting decided that it was an affront to the Lord to have them worship in their church. Are they exactly working within the Christian belief? That's debatable. All these misinterpretations are what we deserve by relying too heavily on the written Word exactly. But that couple was shunned all the same and last I heard they're actually considering moving again because of this.

 

Not all Christians are cut from the same cloth.

 

Yet your example only furthers my point - these people clearly acted against the core beliefs of the church. Now, of course I can't speak for the various Christian religions, and really only for Catholicism specifically, but if we are all children of God then we must be accepted and treated as equals. This is a belief that is central to all Christian faiths per my understanding. In this way, that behavior is contrary to the very teachings of the church.

 

Of course not all christians are cut from the same cloth, but if the beliefs are followed properly it is very hard to see ill being done from such.


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Well, the public emphasis, of course, comes from the number of people who feel strongly about the issue.

 

The morality question is an interesting one - I don't think anyone will deny that morals can come from religion. The question to the contrary is: Where else and how else do morals come from?

 

Funny you say this, with Animism (the belief that nature is filled with unseen spirits that should be worshiped) morality does not come through religion, as there is no reward or punishment for living a good or evil life. I would say that the Native Americans were mindlessly raping/stealing/killing from their own tribes.

 

Morality from them comes from shame, if an action brings you shame or makes other people feel shame for you then it is wrong.

 

Stealing makes me feel shame so it is wrong

If I dont feel shame for stealing but the victim feels shame for that action it is wrong

If neither me nor the victim feel shame for the action of stealing it is not wrong.

 

Morality does not necessarily need to be from religion, plenty of cultures had morality without a reward or punishment religion (like christianity/judaism/Islam), it was enforced by people wanting to be accepted by their peers rather then the fear of an eternal hell.

 

 

 

 

Here is a Runescape example, nowhere in the bible does it say using a bot to level your character (as long as you dont lie to people about your achievments of course) is wrong. So why do people choose not to bot? Certainly religion isnt the root of peoples morality in this example, people choose not to bot because they want to be accepted by their peers and fear a worldly punishment (B& Hammer) instead of eternal hell.

 

I realize its just runescape but this works with everything, something Ive noticed, every religion has the same moralities - from buddhism to Christianity. They all say, dont over indulge in pleasures (sex, food, gambling, etc.) and dont be selfish (aka holding a door open for a girl cause it can get you laid instead of just doing it to be nice). Maybe just maybe this inclination isnt divinely driven but rather people have the natural potential for morality because they are a being who evolved in the wild and recognize an individuals over indulgence and selfishness are a direct threat to a groups longterm survival. My evidence for this is in the tribes of people who have no concept of life after death believing in morality because being immoral causes conflicts within the groups and could eventually lead their demise.

 

Another example is why doesnt an athiest go on a rampage and break every law ever made? Simple, we recognize that being selfish will have bad consequences (even if it doesnt involve hell) and even if we wanted to, the fear of Jail is worse then enjoying doing things that will send you ther.

 

 

Yes I know you already identified me as an [wagon] athiest but I do hope you reply to this.

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I might not think your claim is right, but I don't see a problem with it.

 

So everyone is free to just think whatever the hell they want to think about reality. Okay, great.

 

 

All I'm saying is that I don't see a problem in believing in a God or higher power. I don't believe in one myself (I think it is a silly and outdated concept) but I can't prove anyone right or wrong.

 

I'm not going to answer the stupid question anymore because I don't know what a good answer is. I'm Atheist, I don't believe in any of this.

 

Same as above. People are allowed to just believe whatever the hell they want to believe about reality? If not, then why is "god" the exception?

 

I just see no reason to hold religion to any exception. If someone hears voices in their head they get committed, but if someone hears God in their head they've had a religious experience. I hate the fact that the god theory is a protected delusion just because it is god.


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Funny you say this, with Animism (the belief that nature is filled with unseen spirits that should be worshiped) morality does not come through religion, as there is no reward or punishment for living a good or evil life. I would say that the Native Americans were mindlessly raping/stealing/killing from their own tribes.

 

Not sure why it's relevant - if morality does not come through this religion then the same questions still apply.

 

Morality from them comes from shame, if an action brings you shame or makes other people feel shame for you then it is wrong.

 

Stealing makes me feel shame so it is wrong

If I dont feel shame for stealing but the victim feels shame for that action it is wrong

If neither me nor the victim feel shame for the action of stealing it is not wrong.

 

Morality does not necessarily need to be from religion, plenty of cultures had morality without a reward or punishment religion (like christianity/judaism/Islam), it was enforced by people wanting to be accepted by their peers rather then the fear of an eternal hell.

 

Morality comes from shame? Does this mean that if I feel no shame something is not immoral?

Do you think every criminal feels shame for what they do? I highly doubt it.

 

 

I realize its just runescape but this works with everything, something Ive noticed, every religion has the same moralities - from buddhism to Christianity. They all say, dont over indulge in pleasures (sex, food, gambling, etc.) and dont be selfish (aka holding a door open for a girl cause it can get you laid instead of just doing it to be nice). Maybe just maybe this inclination isnt divinely driven but rather people have the natural potential for morality because they are a being who evolved in the wild and recognize an individuals over indulgence and selfishness are a direct threat to a groups longterm survival. My evidence for this is in the tribes of people who have no concept of life after death believing in morality because being immoral causes conflicts within the groups and could eventually lead their demise.

 

Another example is why doesnt an athiest go on a rampage and break every law ever made? Simple, we recognize that being selfish will have bad consequences (even if it doesnt involve hell) and even if we wanted to, the fear of Jail is worse then enjoying doing things that will send you ther.

 

Tribes of people having no concept of life after death? I'm curious to see your sourced example.

 

Why doesn't an atheist go on a rampage? Precisely because they're afraid of the consequences put in place by man (even if they don't believe in the consequences made by God. The only evidence we have of atheist society quickly becomes an every man for themselves, murderous dictatorship.

 

 

At any rate, follow the rules of debate you yourself posted on this very thread and I'll be glad to continue responding as long as I feel you're actually open to being persuaded and actually in search of objective opinions(which personally I've never really felt with you).


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To be fair, delusion is defined by the Oxford Medical Dictionary (7th ed, 2007) as: "a belief that is held with unshakable conviction, cannot be altered by rational argument, and is outside the person's normal cultural or subcultural belief system [...] The abnormal pathology lies in the irration way in which the person comes to the belief."

 

For instance, it would be thinking I'm gonna get murdered because a blue car passed my house today. There's a difference between rational belief (the universe is so complex, someone of higher intelligence must have made it) and irrational conviction (the USSR was evil and godless, so God must exist).

 

There's also a difference between rational and truthful.

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To be fair, delusion is defined by the Oxford Medical Dictionary (7th ed, 2007) as: "a belief that is held with unshakable conviction, cannot be altered by rational argument, and is outside the person's normal cultural or subcultural belief system [...] The abnormal pathology lies in the irration way in which the person comes to the belief."

 

For instance, it would be thinking I'm gonna get murdered because a blue car passed my house today. There's a difference between rational belief (the universe is so complex, someone of higher intelligence must have made it) and irrational conviction (the USSR was evil and godless, so God must exist).

 

These two seem equally rational (equally irrational?) to me. The argument for God that you just listed is nothing but an argument from personal incredulity. It is a complete logical fallacy. Calling a theory that is based on logical fallacies "rational" doesn't seem to make sense.

 

Also, I'll go ahead and respond to each part of the definition you posted:

"a belief that is held with unshakable conviction," Okay- its probably true that not all theists are unshakably "certain" of God, but I hear this all the time. ("I know theres a god" and such statements..."I have complete FAITH that there is a god")

 

"cannot be altered by rational argument," Well. If it could, then they wouldn't be god believers unless they just haven't heard the arguments against it

 

"and is outside the person's normal cultural or subcultural belief system [...]" I would say that it is in most peoples' culture that we should answer questions about the physical world using scientific methods. Insisting upon making an exception for God seems that God-beleif agrees with this definition

 

 

"The abnormal pathology lies in the irration way in which the person comes to the belief." Again, belief in God is irrational. The only arguments that can be made for existence are logical fallacies. Unless someone has any arguments they would like to make that I haven't heard before...So I'll say that at least every argument for God that I'm aware of is irrational.

 

 

At any rate, follow the rules of debate you yourself posted on this very thread and I'll be glad to continue responding as long as I feel you're actually open to being persuaded and actually in search of objective opinions(which personally I've never really felt with you).

 

Are you saying that you have stopped responding to my questioning because I have done something wrong? Or that I am not open to persuasion? I would be perfectly willing to be persuaded if I hear a valid argument.


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No, I've stopped responding to you because of your incredible use of ad hominem and straw man arguments.

 

What really did it for me is when you said you can't believe in God and be a real physicist.

 

I've repeatedly linked you to books with relevant articles, and instead of bothering to refute them, you've made idiotic, irrelevant claims like "anyone can write a book".


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To be fair, delusion is defined by the Oxford Medical Dictionary (7th ed, 2007) as: "a belief that is held with unshakable conviction, cannot be altered by rational argument, and is outside the person's normal cultural or subcultural belief system [...] The abnormal pathology lies in the irration way in which the person comes to the belief."

 

For instance, it would be thinking I'm gonna get murdered because a blue car passed my house today. There's a difference between rational belief (the universe is so complex, someone of higher intelligence must have made it) and irrational conviction (the USSR was evil and godless, so God must exist).

 

There's also a difference between rational and truthful.

I've never claimed the state of the USSR is proof for the existence of God. What it IS proof for is that atheism may not be the best thing for society.


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No, I've stopped responding to you because of your incredible use of ad hominem and straw man arguments.

 

What really did it for me is when you said you can't believe in God and be a real physicist.

 

I've repeatedly linked you to books with relevant articles, and instead of bothering to refute them, you've made idiotic, irrelevant claims like "anyone can write a book".

 

It is true: anyone can write a book. Using these books as any sort of argument for the existence of God is just making an argument from authority. If the books have evidence for god, just tell me what that evidence is.

 

I also don't recall ever making ad hominem arguments. I'm sure I have written some straw man arguments but these may have been in response to other ridiculous arguments to demonstrate the fact that the arguments are ridiculous. If you think you have a logical objection to any of my arguments then simply respond to me and demonstrate how my argument is flawed, just like what I did to you.

 

I also would like you to quote when I said "You cannot believe in God and be a real physicist." Don't recall ever writing that.

 

I've never claimed the state of the USSR is proof for the existence of God. What it IS proof for is that atheism may not be the best thing for society.

 

I don't know nearly enough about the USSR to determine whether or not it is a good thing to look at to determine the success of an "atheist" state. It sounds to me like we just have another example of correlation...the USSR happened to be atheistic and it happened to fall. You'd need to demonstrate that the atheism actually had anything to do with the failure of the society. Hell, otherwise I could just say "A soceity existing on Russian soil might not be the best idea for soceity." The two might have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

 

Also, I don't even care about atheism being "good" or "bad" for society. What is good or bad for society has nothing to do with what is true about the physical world. Why bring it up?


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I might not think your claim is right, but I don't see a problem with it.

 

So everyone is free to just think whatever the hell they want to think about reality. Okay, great.

 

Pretty much. I don't know why one would restrict free thought. I mean its fine that you want people to side with you, but it doesn't mean you have to be against people who don't.


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Of course not all christians are cut from the same cloth, but if the beliefs are followed properly it is very hard to see ill being done from such.

 

How is it that you're certain that your understanding of the bible is more correct than any other? This is what I mean by relying too heavily on the written Word.


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It is true: anyone can write a book. Using these books as any sort of argument for the existence of God is just making an argument from authority. If the books have evidence for god, just tell me what that evidence is.

 

I'm not using books as an argument for the existence of God. I'm saying that the topic is complex enough that one must read a book in order to fully understand it. If you had any desire to be neutral and objective I'm sure you'd be willing to read books by theist authors. However, you've repeatedly expressed your desire to the contrary, which is why I don't think you've any desire to be persuaded whatsoever.

 

And before you ask - yes, I read books written by atheists. I've read God Is not Great, snippets of "letter to a christian world", "the God delusion", and others. I plan to buy the God Delusion once I finish reading the material on my to do list.

 

 

I also don't recall ever making ad hominem arguments. I'm sure I have written some straw man arguments but these may have been in response to other ridiculous arguments to demonstrate the fact that the arguments are ridiculous. If you think you have a logical objection to any of my arguments then simply respond to me and demonstrate how my argument is flawed, just like what I did to you.

 

I also would like you to quote when I said "You cannot believe in God and be a real physicist." Don't recall ever writing that.

 

If anyone is claiming that God does exist, there is simply no possible way that this person is well-versed in experience with making scientific claims or defending scientific arguments.
http://forum.tip.it/topic/285390-religion/page__view__findpost__p__4711423

 

Stuff like "this post is ridiculous" and "this is creationist babble" , "go back to school and pay attention in biology class" are ad hominem arguments. So is your "anyone can write a book" argument. If there's something wrong with what the book says - prove it. Don't mindlessly discredit the author.

 

 

I don't know nearly enough about the USSR to determine whether or not it is a good thing to look at to determine the success of an "atheist" state. It sounds to me like we just have another example of correlation...the USSR happened to be atheistic and it happened to fall. You'd need to demonstrate that the atheism actually had anything to do with the failure of the society. Hell, otherwise I could just say "A soceity existing on Russian soil might not be the best idea for soceity." The two might have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

 

Also, I don't even care about atheism being "good" or "bad" for society. What is good or bad for society has nothing to do with what is true about the physical world. Why bring it up?

 

I'm not talking about it failing. I'm talking about the enforced genocide of anyone who had the slightest inkling to be religious. I have better things to do then quote chapters of history books but basically, the atheism of communist Russia ended up with the most brutal dictatorship in the existence of mankind, and ultimately also led to its failure as a society. This book explains it quite well, if you're interested: http://www.amazon.com/Rage-Against-God-Atheism-Faith/dp/0310320313/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297809199&sr=8-1

 

I've never used the state of the USSR as proof of existence of a God. I do use it to show why atheism may not be the best thing for the world, which is an argument in itself regardless of the existence of God.

 

By the way, if you'd like me to read any sort of atheistic literature in an attempt to prove your point, I'll be glad to do so. As I've already said, I have several other books to read first but I'll certainly do so when I have the time.


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Of course not all christians are cut from the same cloth, but if the beliefs are followed properly it is very hard to see ill being done from such.

 

How is it that you're certain that your understanding of the bible is more correct than any other? This is what I mean by relying too heavily on the written Word.

 

I never said my understanding of the bible had anything to do it. My understanding of catholic theology (taught to me, by the way, by a parent with a masters degree in the subject) quite clearly shows that this action is immoral. (the shunning or vilification of a homosexual).


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I never claimed you did think the USSR was proof of God...

My apologies then. What I DO think is that it's a potent example of how an atheist society could be worse than a Christian one.


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Stuff like "this post is ridiculous" and "this is creationist babble" , "go back to school and pay attention in biology class" are ad hominem arguments. So is your "anyone can write a book" argument. If there's something wrong with what the book says - prove it. Don't mindlessly discredit the author.

 

Those aren't really quite ad hominem, they just aren't really very good arguments.

 

 

I don't feel like going back through however many pages, so I'll ask a question of you:

 

Do you accept that the biological diversity we see today is a result of gradual change in organisms over billions of years, and that most organisms have a common ancestor?


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I don't feel like going back through however many pages, so I'll ask a question of you:

 

Do you accept that the biological diversity we see today is a result of gradual change in organisms over billions of years, and that most organisms have a common ancestor?

 

Yes, that seems to be fairly reasonable. What I don't accept was that this was necessarily completely unguided.


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I don't feel like going back through however many pages, so I'll ask a question of you:

 

Do you accept that the biological diversity we see today is a result of gradual change in organisms over billions of years, and that most organisms have a common ancestor?

 

Yes, that seems to be fairly reasonable. What I don't accept was that this was necessarily completely unguided.

 

What evidence is there, in your mind, that it was guided? Is it simply that you can't accept it? An argument from incredulity doesn't fly.


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I'm not using books as an argument for the existence of God. I'm saying that the topic is complex enough that one must read a book in order to fully understand it. If you had any desire to be neutral and objective I'm sure you'd be willing to read books by theist authors. However, you've repeatedly expressed your desire to the contrary, which is why I don't think you've any desire to be persuaded whatsoever.

 

What is there to understand? What is there for me to read in these books? Claims? Pretty pictures? What is it? Give me a good reason why it wouldn't be a waste of my time and I'll read it. If its just going to be a bunch of philosophy and arguments from incredulence, then why should I read it? Am I really supposed to expect that all reasonable arguments for God are somehow contained only in these reccomended books? What reason do I have to read these books? Other than the fact that I could hear the same arguments said by different people.

 

And before you ask - yes, I read books written by atheists. I've read God Is not Great, snippets of "letter to a christian world", "the God delusion", and others. I plan to buy the God Delusion once I finish reading the material on my to do list.

The God Delusion is a really great book. Not just because I agree with its stance on God but because I feel the writing is very elegant.

 

 

Stuff like "this post is ridiculous" and "this is creationist babble" , "go back to school and pay attention in biology class" are ad hominem arguments. So is your "anyone can write a book" argument. If there's something wrong with what the book says - prove it. Don't mindlessly discredit the author.

 

These aren't really arguments. I'm not saying "You are wrong because this is creationist babble." Or "You are wrong because you can't even pay attention in class." These comments are just my linguistic embellishments.

 

"Anyone can write a book" is my way of saying "You're making an argument from authority - just because the book exists doesn't mean anything for your case." I see now that you are saying you aren't just trying to use the existence of books as support for your case, so don't worry about that now.

 

I'm not talking about it failing. I'm talking about the enforced genocide of anyone who had the slightest inkling to be religious. I have better things to do then quote chapters of history books but basically, the atheism of communist Russia ended up with the most brutal dictatorship in the existence of mankind, and ultimately also led to its failure as a society. This book explains it quite well, if you're interested: http://www.amazon.com/Rage-Against-God-Atheism-Faith/dp/0310320313/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297809199&sr=8-1

 

Interesting. Again I have very little understanding of this branch of history, so I had no idea where you are going with that.

 

However, I still insist that this has nothing to do with atheism. Atheism is not a particular doctorine or school of thought. Theres no immediate claim that these bad things happened BECAUSE of atheism. If the leaders were anything besides atheist, perhaps there would have been a different genocide.

 

I've never used the state of the USSR as proof of existence of a God. I do use it to show why atheism may not be the best thing for the world, which is an argument in itself regardless of the existence of God.

 

I agree. It may not be. As long as we're both on the same page that this doesn't influence the validity of theist claims for reality, then I don't have anything I want to discuss here. I understand that this is an important philosophical discussion to have, but I'm just limiting my involvement in this thread to representing the atheist standpoint on the physical world. I am not about to start writing about my views on whether or not it would be right to have people believe X Y or Z if they may or may not be true.

 

By the way, if you'd like me to read any sort of atheistic literature in an attempt to prove your point, I'll be glad to do so. As I've already said, I have several other books to read first but I'll certainly do so when I have the time.

 

I don't really make arguments based on books that I have read, so other than the literature I have written in the many pages of this thread I can't say I can reccomend any readings to further your understanding of my arguments. If you have any personal curiosities about atheist discussion, check out some videos on YouTube from the show called "The Atheist Experience". From the episodes I have seen, they do a pretty good job at explaining what atheism has to say about common theist concerns (they take calls from theists).

 

 

Yes, that seems to be fairly reasonable. What I don't accept was that this was necessarily completely unguided.

 

Nobody is saying that evolution, by necessity, needs to be unguided. The idea is that there is no evidence to support that it was guided and therefore it isn't included in the theory.

 

I actually agree that the idea of an intelligent overseeing force is comforting and "reassuring" in a way. In fact I will give you that philosophical reasons, I wish there WAS a god. I would love to be rewarded for living a good life and to have scumbags get what they deserve. But I just have no reason to believe that this is a reality.


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What evidence is there, in your mind, that it was guided? Is it simply that you can't accept it? An argument from incredulity doesn't fly.

 

Hence the arguments I've been making about the supposed randomness of evolutionary creationism. I could certainly accept it if it convinced me.

 

 

 

 

What is there to understand? What is there for me to read in these books? Claims? Pretty pictures? What is it? Give me a good reason why it wouldn't be a waste of my time and I'll read it. If its just going to be a bunch of philosophy and arguments from incredulence, then why should I read it? Am I really supposed to expect that all reasonable arguments for God are somehow contained only in these reccomended books? What reason do I have to read these books? Other than the fact that I could hear the same arguments said by different people.

 

These books contain exactly what any book attempting to argue a topic contains - well thought out, sourced arguments for the existence of God.

 

These aren't really arguments. I'm not saying "You are wrong because this is creationist babble." Or "You are wrong because you can't even pay attention in class." These comments are just my linguistic embellishments.

 

"Anyone can write a book" is my way of saying "You're making an argument from authority - just because the book exists doesn't mean anything for your case." I see now that you are saying you aren't just trying to use the existence of books as support for your case, so don't worry about that now.

 

Fair enough to the second point. Your linguistic embellishments, however, don't help your case, and are unnecessary.

 

 

Interesting. Again I have very little understanding of this branch of history, so I had no idea where you are going with that.

 

However, I still insist that this has nothing to do with atheism. Atheism is not a particular doctorine or school of thought. Theres no immediate claim that these bad things happened BECAUSE of atheism. If the leaders were anything besides atheist, perhaps there would have been a different genocide.

 

Perhaps, yes. But I think it's quite telling that every atheist state in history has failed, and not even that - been a brutal dictatorship. I do wish to reiterate, however, that this certainly isn't any kind of proof for the existence of God.

 

 

I don't really make arguments based on books that I have read, so other than the literature I have written in the many pages of this thread I can't say I can reccomend any readings to further your understanding of my arguments. If you have any personal curiosities about atheist discussion, check out some videos on YouTube from the show called "The Atheist Experience". From the episodes I have seen, they do a pretty good job at explaining what atheism has to say about common theist concerns (they take calls from theists).

 

I did watch the one posted on this thread. I'll watch some more.

 

 

Nobody is saying that evolution, by necessity, needs to be unguided. The idea is that there is no evidence to support that it was guided and therefore it isn't included in the theory.

 

I actually agree that the idea of an intelligent overseeing force is comforting and "reassuring" in a way. In fact I will give you that philosophical reasons, I wish there WAS a god. I would love to be rewarded for living a good life and to have scumbags get what they deserve. But I just have no reason to believe that this is a reality.

 

Yes, but that's precisely the argument i'm trying to present to you.

 

If evolution is not unguided, then some kind of creationary force (not necessarily a god as we envision) must have guided it.

 

The idea of God is both comforting and difficult. Comforting, because of the points you made. Difficult, because it dictates you must live your life in a difficult way. You must be selfless, and work towards an ideal greater than oneself. This attitude is very hard to prescribe to - which is precisely why true religion cannot be populist.

 

Has it occurred to you, I wonder, that some theists perhaps wish there is NO God? I don't believe in God because it comforts me, I believe in God because through logic and reason I have come to the conclusion that God must exist. I sometimes think life would be easier if God did not exist. However, just as you are unwilling to take a reassuring path for something you do not believe, I too refuse to take a reassuring path for something I do not believe.


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"It's not a rest for me, it's a rest for the weights." - Dom Mazzetti

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