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There's a huge difference between unicorns and God, there's no denying that. This discussion is about religion, not about unicorns. Have you ever seen someone pray to a unicorn?

 

On the subject of praying, there are people that are seriously influenced by their religion, that feel someone is listening to their prayers. I've seen it first-hand. It's not just "Yeah, sure, I believe in God.", but "I feel God is looking over me, protecting me and hearing my prayers." Who are you to dismiss what other people feel?

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What Ginger meant, I think (please correct me if I'm wrong), is that it's unfair to immediately dismiss someone religious for believing in their god, reason being that there's just no definitive answer to give.

 

Believing in a god is personal and is not a science, there's no evidence for either side that there is or isn't a god.

Precisely.

 

I'm not too concerned about whether God does or doesn't exist, I'm more bothered by the process through which people arrive at their own belief. In my eyes, it's fine for someone to state they don't believe in anything that has no evidence, and then say there is no conclusive evidence that God exists, hence they're atheist. The problem is, some people take it further and say there is categorically no God based on no evidence either. It isn't consistent.

 

People try and dress that up by saying, "Burden of proof should go to religious people." That's a cop-out in my eyes. That just says to me neither side has any conclusive evidence.

 

Do you believe in unicorns?

No, because we've already explored every corner of land this planet has to offer and seen no reasonable observations that suggest evidence for unicorns may exist. Except for the insignificant probability they may one day be part of the several thousand new species discovered each year, there is no reason to believe in unicorns.

 

I'm not saying unicorns don't exist, I'm saying the probability that they do has been reduced so far that there's no significant chance of there being one..

 

Likewise, I'm not saying there is no God, just that in my eyes there is no significant reason to believe He exists.

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Saying that a man sleeping with another man is unnatural/wrong is not openly mocking people. Try again.

 

So theres something special about "mocking" that makes the idea discredited? If Pastafarianism said that Christians should be stoned, then youd respect Pastafarianism more? Since it is no longer mocking, but instead hating.

 

You've discredited your own point. In the past - no one educated believes it now.

 

Then imagine you existed 400 years ago. When astronomers said "Wait a minute, theres no reason to believe the Earth is the center of everything" would your defense be "WAIT! Billions of people currently think it is!"

 

If you existed 150 years ago, when Darwin was developing his theories, would you have said "WAIT A MINUTE! Billions of people think man came from God...how can they be wrong?"

 

Hell, 6 months ago, scientists discovered life that is based on cyanide. Would you look at this discovery and say "Wait a minute! Billions of people know that life is only made of carbon!"

 

The defense that billions of people currently think something is not a valid point.

 

Not just "people" - 11 out of the original 12 believers withstood torture and painful deaths, refusing to denounce their testimony, believing and proclaiming what they saw until the very end. This is the same for many of the very early Christians. This shows that it isn't a joke or something that people aren't taking very seriously.

 

You're using a story from the Bible to justify your opinion....this is like saying "Well Noah build that whole damn ark and got all those animals, do you think he did it for no reason?????"

 

 

No, because we've already explored every corner of land this planet has to offer and seen no reasonable observations that suggest evidence for unicorns may exist. Except for the insignificant probability they may one day be part of the several thousand new species discovered each year, there is no reason to believe in unicorns.

 

I'm not saying unicorns don't exist, I'm saying the probability that they do has been reduced so far that there's no significant chance of there being one..

 

Likewise, I'm not saying there is no God, just that in my eyes there is no significant reason to believe He exists.

 

Replace the word "unicorn" with "God" and you have atheism. Atheism does not make any claims, it is the response to a claim.

 

If someone said "Unicorns definitely exist" you would say "Show me the evidence, or else I don't believe you"

 

This is what atheism is. If someone says "There's a god" we say "I don't believe you." Atheism is basically the only belief system that is classified by a lack of belief. The only thing you know about a person when they say "I'm an atheist" is that he does not support the God theory.

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Atheism is an umbrella term for a whole set of beliefs, ranging from, "There is no evidence that God exists, but other supernatural things may," to "There is evidence that nothing supernatural has ever existed."

 

There is a difference between saying, "I don't know for sure, but based on anecdotal evidence I think God doesn't exist," and saying, "I know for sure; I have proof God doesn't exist."

 

I maintain that the strongest statement people on either side of this debate can make is, "I think but I don't know for sure", which doesn't make for great conversation. The interesting bit is that for those who do believe God exists, why they believe other Gods are wrong, but theirs is right.

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Atheism is an umbrella term for a whole set of beliefs, ranging from, "There is no evidence that God exists, but other supernatural things may," to "There is evidence that nothing supernatural has ever existed."

 

There is a difference between saying, "I don't know for sure, but based on anecdotal evidence I think God doesn't exist," and saying, "I know for sure; I have proof God doesn't exist."

 

Yes, there is a difference, but this difference is not accounted for by the term "atheist". An atheist could be someone who firmly and stubbornly denies the possibility of God. Or, and atheist could just be somebody who says "I don't think you're correct" when someone says "There definitely is a God"

 

When you're trying to decide whether or not atheism is justified, the only thing you can look at is what you DON'T believe. An atheistic argument is one that says that your reasons for believing in God are flawed. If someone is constructing an argument that God definitely does not exist, this is not an atheistic argument.

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You've discredited your own point. In the past - no one educated believes it now.

 

Then imagine you existed 400 years ago. When astronomers said "Wait a minute, theres no reason to believe the Earth is the center of everything" would your defense be "WAIT! Billions of people currently think it is!"

Except you're forgetting a key point - "Wait a minute, there is no reason to believe the Earth is the center of everything, and here is my evidence against conventional wisdom.

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You've discredited your own point. In the past - no one educated believes it now.

 

Then imagine you existed 400 years ago. When astronomers said "Wait a minute, theres no reason to believe the Earth is the center of everything" would your defense be "WAIT! Billions of people currently think it is!"

Except you're forgetting a key point - "Wait a minute, there is no reason to believe the Earth is the center of everything, and here is my evidence against conventional wisdom.

 

And so then where is the evidence for God?

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And so then where is the evidence for God?

What do you want me to say, here is a notarized statement from 10 years ago that says God left His mark on this spot of land, along with the signatures of 1000 witnesses, and 25 independent verified video and tape recordings?

 

You've already rejected all the evidence that I have, that has been presented here and elsewhere. "Na na na that's not good enough na na na na I'm not listening na na na na you need better evidence" :rolleyes:

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And so then where is the evidence for God?

What do you want me to say, here is a notarized statement from 10 years ago that says God left His mark on this spot of land, along with the signatures of 1000 witnesses, and 25 independent verified video and tape recordings?

 

You've already rejected all the evidence that I have, that has been presented here and elsewhere. "Na na na that's not good enough na na na na I'm not listening na na na na you need better evidence" :rolleyes:

 

I've not just said "na na na" I've logically refuted your reasons. One of your reasons is that many people believe in Christ. I said, so what? Billions of people don't believe in Christ. Many people also believed in the Nazi cause. What does belief by many have to do with truth?

 

You've also said that the sacrifice of the disciples gives evidence for God. I said that it is ridiculous to use evidence FROM the Bible as proof that the Bible is true. Want to use evidence from the Pastafarian web site to show that Pastafarianism is a real religion? According to its own web site, it is.

 

I'm not saying "na na na" I'm giving you reasons why your evidence doesn't make any sense. This is how a debate works. Then, to defend your point, you can supply new evidence, or tell me why my critiques are invalid.

 

You're the one who just throws out random evidence, then when it is refuted, plugs your ears and pretends that the response never happened.

 

And evidence for God could be any number of things. Video recording of an angel coming down from the sky and saving somebody from getting hit by a bus. Scientific measurement of an energy that is inside somebody's body and then leaves their body to go into the afterlife. It's up to you. Show me the evidence, and I'll tell you what I think of it.

 

Why the hell should a religious person need to give evidence? If he himself is sure that God is guiding him, why do you want to rain on his parade and ask for evidence? Religion isn't a science, it's a personal matter.

 

If someone tells you that he talks to a leprechaun in his back yard who tells him what to do, is that a personal matter also?

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I've not just said "na na na" I've logically refuted your reasons. One of your reasons is that many people believe in Christ. I said, so what? Billions of people don't believe in Christ. Many people also believed in the Nazi cause. What does belief by many have to do with truth?

I never said that, you should reread my previous posts to get an accurate view of what I said.

 

You've also said that the sacrifice of the disciples gives evidence for God. I said that it is ridiculous to use evidence FROM the Bible as proof that the Bible is true.

I'm using historical and verifiable facts as proof that there is something more to Christianity than there is to pastafarianism. Just because something is in the Bible doesn't automatically make it fiction, especially when the events are non-secular.

 

I'm explaining to you why I can hold other religions in such high regard while simultaneously frowning upon other "religions", and I'm using Christianity as an example.

 

And evidence for God could be any number of things. Video recording of an angel coming down from the sky and saving somebody from getting hit by a bus. Scientific measurement of an energy that is inside somebody's body and then leaves their body to go into the afterlife. It's up to you. Show me the evidence, and I'll tell you what I think of it.

If those are the examples you want, look at any modern miracle, especially those used in the canonization of recent saints. Or listen to any tape recordings of exorcisms. In both cases the Catholic Church will exhaust all natural possibilities before jumping to a supernatural conclusion.

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I'm using historical and verifiable facts as proof that there is something more to Christianity than there is to pastafarianism. Just because something is in the Bible doesn't automatically make it fiction, especially when the events are non-secular.

 

So what? If Christianity is more popular, has more history, and has more events that were taken place in its name...SO WHAT? What does this do to strengthen the case that God exists? How is human support of an idea a marker of truth?

 

 

If those are the examples you want, look at any modern miracle, especially those used in the canonization of recent saints. Or listen to any tape recordings of exorcisms. In both cases the Catholic Church will exhaust all natural possibilities before jumping to a supernatural conclusion.

 

I've seen plenty of tape recordings of an exorcism. I see nothing there that is evidence of a supernatural power. What specifically is there that can ONLY be explained by God?

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So what? If Christianity is more popular, has more history, and has more events that were taken place in its name...SO WHAT? What does this do to strengthen the case that God exists? How is human support of an idea a marker of truth?

Versus the nonsense of your noodle thing? Everything. Otherwise I don't know how to answer this question, because it seems all knowledge is based on human testimony, things and accounts that others have witnessed be it in scientific experiments or personal narratives. How do we know that the artifacts coming out of an ancient grave weren't fabricated on the spot, in order to tell a lie? How do we know that scientists viewing into space or walking on the moon weren't hoaxes? We take them at their word

- why do you treat another person's experience with God treated any different?

 

I've seen plenty of tape recordings of an exorcism. I see nothing there that is evidence of a supernatural power. What specifically is there that can ONLY be explained by God?

Speaking in foreign and ancient tongues, super human strength, and a dramatic change in the person after the ritual?

I've listened to Fr. Vince Lampert speak about exorcisms in real life - he's one of twelve officially recognized exorcists in the U.S. You can listen to him here - http://vimeo.com/9704635.

Basically, I don't see the point or purpose of lying about these things.

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Versus the nonsense of your noodle thing? Everything. Otherwise I don't know how to answer this question, because it seems all knowledge is based on human testimony, things and accounts that others have witnessed be it in scientific experiments or personal narratives. How do we know that the artifacts coming out of an ancient grave weren't fabricated on the spot, in order to tell a lie?

 

All sources of scientific knowledge are based on evidence that you can go look at if you want to. Want to see the fossils that were found? Want to test their credibility? You can. You might need to be a scientist do to some things, but you could still do it if you wanted to.

How do we know that scientists viewing into space or walking on the moon weren't hoaxes? We take them at their word

- why do you treat another person's experience with God treated any different?

 

Because I can go look into a telescope for myself and see the things in space...Also you act like one random guy looked into a telescope and out of it came scientific knowledge. Millions of astronomers worldwide are all looking at the same thing and verifying each others claims.

 

Compare this to "religious experiences", which are independent and verified by nobody. Furthermore, "religious experiences" conveniently appear to change depending on what religion the person believes in, which suggests that these experiences are just artifacts of the person's mind.

 

If all people across the world experienced the same religious experience and saw the same God, then I might be more inclined to take the evidence more seriously.

 

It's just like alien abductions. They all have either largely different stores or stories that are congruent with only their personal belief about aliens.

 

Speaking in foreign and ancient tongues, super human strength, and a dramatic change in the person after the ritual?

 

And how is this explained by the person having a soul that is posessed by the devil?

 

First of all, foreign and ancient tongues -- I would like to see conclusive evidence that the person is actually speaking a real language.

 

Second of all, people only use about 30% of their available muscular strength when using it conciously.

 

Thirdly, change in behavior has nothing to do with a spirit. People change their mood when they smoke pot, is pot an exorcist?

 

I've listened to Fr. Vince Lampert speak about exorcisms in real life - he's one of twelve officially recognized exorcists in the U.S. You can listen to him here - .

Basically, I don't see the point or purpose of lying about these things.

 

First of all, nobody is saying that the person has to be lying. An exorcist can be delusional also and actually believe that the things he sees are due to God.

 

Secondly, if he is telling the truth, how can you say that he is correct rather than all of the other spiritual or religious men across the world? I bet I could find you 5 different exorcists from 5 different religions who all have very different explanations for what an exorcism is, what the soul is, and what you need to do to cleanse the soul. Are all of them right?

 

And thirdly, if you seriously think there is no financial motivation to preach about religious success stories then you're missing out. Look at this auditorium that man is speaking at. Do you think he speaks there for free?

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I've listened to Fr. Vince Lampert speak about exorcisms in real life - he's one of twelve officially recognized exorcists in the U.S. You can listen to him here - .

Basically, I don't see the point or purpose of lying about these things.

Secondly, if he is telling the truth, how can you say that he is correct rather than all of the other spiritual or religious men across the world? I bet I could find you 5 different exorcists from 5 different religions who all have very different explanations for what an exorcism is, what the soul is, and what you need to do to cleanse the soul. Are all of them right?

So find 5 different exorcists from 5 different religions. Even if you do, you'll still find a common underlying theme - good and evil exists, and demons exist - all of which is essentially correct.

 

And thirdly, if you seriously think there is no financial motivation to preach about religious success stories then you're missing out. Look at this auditorium that man is speaking at. Do you think he speaks there for free?

He might require for them to pay for his travel expenses, or make a donation to some religious cause. He is a Catholic priest, so I can say without hesitating that he is poor.

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I've listened to Fr. Vince Lampert speak about exorcisms in real life - he's one of twelve officially recognized exorcists in the U.S. You can listen to him here - .

Basically, I don't see the point or purpose of lying about these things.

Secondly, if he is telling the truth, how can you say that he is correct rather than all of the other spiritual or religious men across the world? I bet I could find you 5 different exorcists from 5 different religions who all have very different explanations for what an exorcism is, what the soul is, and what you need to do to cleanse the soul. Are all of them right?

So find 5 different exorcists from 5 different religions. Even if you do, you'll still find a common underlying theme - good and evil exists, and demons exist - all of which is essentially correct.

 

And where is the scientific explanation for this? Where is the soul located? What is the mechanism for how a demon can posess a soul? How do you know that the soul is there? How do you know the demon is there? Where are these things? What are they made out of?

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Fair enough, I misinterpreted what was meant. I thought you meant that religious believers were privy to some information that was worth dying for, that non-believers were incapable of understanding because they weren't religious. The same accusation would have worked the other way; atheists who instantly dismiss believers as irrational simply because they happen to believe in something they personally don't are just as silly.

 

Do people also have the right to believe that the Earth is flat and not be called "irrational"? I mean they just happen to believe in something that you don't believe.

 

No, they don't. We know for a fact the Earth is round and we've known this since the 16th century. We've sailed around it, we've seen it from space and saw that it was, in fact, round. There's simply not a single piece of evidence that says otherwise. Calling them irrational might be a bit unfair, uneducated would match the situation better. But honestly, show me anyone that thinks the earth is flat.

 

What Ginger meant, I think (please correct me if I'm wrong), is that it's unfair to immediately dismiss someone religious for believing in their god, reason being that there's just no definitive answer to give.

 

Believing in a god is personal and is not a science, there's no evidence for either side that there is or isn't a god.

 

First: The Flat Earth Society.

 

Second, and I'll be repeating myself frequently: You can say its personal, and I agree that it should be; but in its current state, no it is not, and it won't be until people realize that not everyone agrees with their claims.

 

There's a huge difference between unicorns and God, there's no denying that. This discussion is about religion, not about unicorns. Have you ever seen someone pray to a unicorn?

 

On the subject of praying, there are people that are seriously influenced by their religion, that feel someone is listening to their prayers. I've seen it first-hand. It's not just "Yeah, sure, I believe in God.", but "I feel God is looking over me, protecting me and hearing my prayers." Who are you to dismiss what other people feel?

 

Kind of random, but without anecdotal evidence of the powers of either Yahweh or Unicorns, and given the legends of suck beasts as Unicorns, one cannot assert that Unicorns and any God are not on-par with one another in terms of power. There is, of course, Holy Books, but if you must use a Holy Book to prove someone wrong, then you have already lost.

 

The argument for unicorns is an example of faith, pure and simple. No one is trying (and if they are, shouldn't be) to equate that as a God figure, and if they are, then they need to realize their mistake and admit they're wrong. The fact is, Unicorns don't exist, but I wouldn't be surprised if some people took it on faith that they do because their Bible told them or because they're stubborn to the fact that they do not exist. [sidetrack]I remember when CrustyGoblinFoot was making the argument for God in terms of being unable to compare Santa because one is a Deity, but unfortunately that doesn't work either, because Deities in and of themselves are a product of human imagination, and a human cannot determine the powers of the deity itself first hand. We make concessions to what a God should be in terms of its super powers and wonder, but that is fallacious in and of itself. Now, I think that was the argument he was using against wep but I could be wrong.[/sidetrack]

 

And who are they to dismiss us, and tell us we'll burn in hell for all eternity for not believing in their particular deity?

 

But even to that degree, no one is trying to degrade anyone. But if they shoot us, does that not give us the right to shoot back? If they tell us, "HEY! you're going to burn because you don't believe, and you need to repent!!" and we tell them no and then fire back, that makes us bad?

 

I agree, people are influenced by faith, but not religion. People can have religion with no Faith, and vice versa to that fact. Faith can be incredibly powerful, and driven by organized religion maybe, but it is truly th faith that drives people. And, by and large, its dangerous. "Faith without evidence is not a virtue, it is gullibility; it is evidence that determines if your perception of reality is reasonable and in conjunction with the world as is." -Matt Dillahunty

 

You can believe that there is a God, fine; no one says you cannot. But don't give me the excuse that I should have faith to believe. Produce logical evidence first and then I'll believe. Otherwise, don't make the claim to me and treat me as a subhuman if I don't accept it.

 

Why the hell should a religious person need to give evidence? If he himself is sure that God is guiding him, why do you want to rain on his parade and ask for evidence? Religion isn't a science, it's a personal matter.

 

Well, first of all, because the burden of proof rests on the person making the claim. That's one reason. You take the personal matter thing for granted quite frequently I see. The thing is, no everywhere is tolerant of an Atheist, or somone of an opposing belief, and some of those people try to indoctrinate and incorporate their belief systems into society. Look at the good 'ol USA, where there are thousands of people who assert these claims and dismiss everything else. In the USA, religion isn't personal, and people need to understand this. I've seen whole relationships destroyed because one friend doesn't believe in God, and the other shuns them for no reason other than that. Fine, that is there prerogative. But, unfortunately, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Don't preach to me that there is one and tell me I must have faith. Show me evidence. That is why they need to produce evidence; not because we think it to be "scientific" but because they make these claims, and one cannot make a claim and no back it up. If you want to keep it personal, as you said, fine; but unfortunately, that is not the prerogative of a lot of powerful religious people.

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I'm using historical and verifiable facts as proof that there is something more to Christianity than there is to pastafarianism. Just because something is in the Bible doesn't automatically make it fiction, especially when the events are non-secular.

 

A lot of the Bible we cannot verify, and that is the problem. We don't know if Jesus was real, and that wouldn't even be his name had he existed (it would be Jeshua AKA Joshua); most of the Gospels were written 60-100 years after the supposed death of Christ at around 30 A.D. or so; most of the Chronicles of Jesus weren't even mentioned in other known recorded history. The Bible itself also has no original copies and has a lot of flaws within places such as the old testament. For example, the Jews being enslaved never happened in recorded history. The Greeks, Romans, nor even the Persians have any histroy of slavery. The Egyptians actually hired paid workers to build the pyramids for them.

 

There are even Gospels that were created but aren't considered "canon" such as the Book of Judas, which we cannot even verify s being true but are excluded anyway due to Church doctrine in conflict with some Gospels.

 

Not just "people" - 11 out of the original 12 believers withstood torture and painful deaths, refusing to denounce their testimony, believing and proclaiming what they saw until the very end. This is the same for many of the very early Christians. This shows that it isn't a joke or something that people aren't taking very seriously.

 

So, basically, why would people die for their belief?

 

Well, why would 918 people drink the poisoned kool-AID at Jonestown?

 

Why would 74 members of a cult fight the US government to the death to defend their Messiah at Waco?

 

Why would 39 people commit suicide for Marshall Applewhite in San Diego?

 

Do the deaths of these people validate their faiths as a truth, or even show that it isn't something that should be taken lightly? I don't think so; it just shows that people are willing to die for their belief, no matter how crazy or mellow they may be.

 

People die in the name of things all of the time.

 

So what? If Christianity is more popular, has more history, and has more events that were taken place in its name...SO WHAT? What does this do to strengthen the case that God exists? How is human support of an idea a marker of truth?

Versus the nonsense of your noodle thing? Everything. Otherwise I don't know how to answer this question, because it seems all knowledge is based on human testimony, things and accounts that others have witnessed be it in scientific experiments or personal narratives. How do we know that the artifacts coming out of an ancient grave weren't fabricated on the spot, in order to tell a lie? How do we know that scientists viewing into space or walking on the moon weren't hoaxes? We take them at their word

- why do you treat another person's experience with God treated any different?

 

Because the argument from personal experience does not validate anything, only that you have had a personal experience with it. We knowi things weren't purposefully placed their to lie--that is nonsense unless you can provide evidence to the contrary, and is a weak argument in that sentiment. We also don't need to take their word for it because we have actual pictures from space and are always studying it, and people who do believe those things are lies--idiots. No nicer way to put it, they are either idiots or don't want to see the truth to hide in their ignorance to remain blissful.

 

Also, Christianity is in decline. Religion in general, actually. But Islam will soon outnumber Christians, which are at 33% of the world population, with the rapid amount of numbers it is obtaining in terms of new believers, and will surpass Christianity by 2035, if I recall correctly.

 

I've seen plenty of tape recordings of an exorcism. I see nothing there that is evidence of a supernatural power. What specifically is there that can ONLY be explained by God?

Speaking in foreign and ancient tongues, super human strength, and a dramatic change in the person after the ritual?

I've listened to Fr. Vince Lampert speak about exorcisms in real life - he's one of twelve officially recognized exorcists in the U.S. You can listen to him here -

Basically, I don't see the point or purpose of lying about these things.

 

The purpose of a lie is to get people to follow you. Simple. I can go out and make my own Religion, like Scientology, with their Thetan level ad all that nonsense.

 

If you can obtain followers by telling them Demons interact with us and possess us, when clearly these people who are "possessed" are mentally ill, and you can tell the masses that you got the demons out and helped the soul, why wouldn't you do it? People lie because of gullibility. People lie to gain prestige and wealth. People lie because people are stupid sheep that need a shepherd. That is why people--especially "exorcists" or people like Pat Robertson--lie.

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Not just "people" - 11 out of the original 12 believers withstood torture and painful deaths, refusing to denounce their testimony, believing and proclaiming what they saw until the very end. This is the same for many of the very early Christians. This shows that it isn't a joke or something that people aren't taking very seriously.

 

So, basically, why would people die for their belief?

 

Well, why would 918 people drink the poisoned kool-AID at Jonestown?

Why would 74 members of a cult fight the US government to the death to defend their Messiah at Waco?

Why would 39 people commit suicide for Marshall Applewhite in San Diego?

Suicides because they're mentally unstable, peer pressure or otherwise. Waco was a massive F-up by the US government, and it is uncertain if the people inside the compound would've "fought to the death" - they died in a fire.

 

The biggest difference between your three examples and the apostles is the apostles death's were not self inflicted, and were proceeded by torture. Early Christians were hunted down by Romans, they weren't killing themselves. Crucifixion also takes a very long time, and is probably the most painful form of death I can think of.

 

 

So what? If Christianity is more popular, has more history, and has more events that were taken place in its name...SO WHAT? What does this do to strengthen the case that God exists? How is human support of an idea a marker of truth?

Versus the nonsense of your noodle thing? Everything. Otherwise I don't know how to answer this question, because it seems all knowledge is based on human testimony, things and accounts that others have witnessed be it in scientific experiments or personal narratives. How do we know that the artifacts coming out of an ancient grave weren't fabricated on the spot, in order to tell a lie? How do we know that scientists viewing into space or walking on the moon weren't hoaxes? We take them at their word

- why do you treat another person's experience with God treated any different?

 

Because the argument from personal experience does not validate anything, only that you have had a personal experience with it. We knowi things weren't purposefully placed their to lie--that is nonsense unless you can provide evidence to the contrary, and is a weak argument in that sentiment. We also don't need to take their word for it because we have actual pictures from space and are always studying it, and people who do believe those things are lies--idiots. No nicer way to put it, they are either idiots or don't want to see the truth to hide in their ignorance to remain blissful.

You know, because Photoshop and CGI don't exist. We still ridicule people with evidence of "flying saucers" even if they do manage to get a photo of it.

 

 

I've seen plenty of tape recordings of an exorcism. I see nothing there that is evidence of a supernatural power. What specifically is there that can ONLY be explained by God?

Speaking in foreign and ancient tongues, super human strength, and a dramatic change in the person after the ritual?

I've listened to Fr. Vince Lampert speak about exorcisms in real life - he's one of twelve officially recognized exorcists in the U.S. You can listen to him here -

Basically, I don't see the point or purpose of lying about these things.

 

The purpose of a lie is to get people to follow you. Simple. I can go out and make my own Religion, like Scientology, with their Thetan level ad all that nonsense.

 

If you can obtain followers by telling them Demons interact with us and possess us, when clearly these people who are "possessed" are mentally ill, and you can tell the masses that you got the demons out and helped the soul, why wouldn't you do it? People lie because of gullibility. People lie to gain prestige and wealth. People lie because people are stupid sheep that need a shepherd. That is why people--especially "exorcists" or people like Pat Robertson--lie.

And the Catholic priest speaking in the video firsthand about exorcisms has no wealth, was very reluctant to take on the job, and has very little prestige outside of the church he serves as a pastor to (unless he is asked to speak, then the people that gather for it remember his name for the 15 minutes after he gets done speaking).

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♪♪ Don't interrupt me as I struggle to complete this thought
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♪♪ And I'm not done
And I won't be till my head falls off ♪♪

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Not just "people" - 11 out of the original 12 believers withstood torture and painful deaths, refusing to denounce their testimony, believing and proclaiming what they saw until the very end. This is the same for many of the very early Christians. This shows that it isn't a joke or something that people aren't taking very seriously.

 

So, basically, why would people die for their belief?

 

Well, why would 918 people drink the poisoned kool-AID at Jonestown?

Why would 74 members of a cult fight the US government to the death to defend their Messiah at Waco?

Why would 39 people commit suicide for Marshall Applewhite in San Diego?

Suicides because they're mentally unstable, peer pressure or otherwise. Waco was a massive F-up by the US government, and it is uncertain if the people inside the compound would've "fought to the death" - they died in a fire.

 

Who are you to say that they are mentally unstable? They are doing what they believed in. According to you we should respect people who have beliefs.

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If ever a thread needed a version of Wikipedia's Three revert rule, it's this one. This is nothing more than two people contesting to see who can shout 'You're wrong!' the loudest.

 

Actually, it's one side yelling "Youre wrong! And here's why..." and it's another side yelling "You're wrong...so there!"

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Who are you to say that they are mentally unstable? They are doing what they believed in. According to you we should respect people who have beliefs.

The bigger point I'm defending, in case you've lost sight of it, is that your pasta parody isn't a religion.

99 dungeoneering achieved, thanks to everyone that celebrated with me!

 

♪♪ Don't interrupt me as I struggle to complete this thought
Have some respect for someone more forgetful than yourself ♪♪

♪♪ And I'm not done
And I won't be till my head falls off ♪♪

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Thread is knocking on the tl;dr size, so i will just reply to the first post :P

 

I am an atheist. Personally hate religion, don't in any way criticise people for being religious, i just personally feel it does less good than bad. I see a lot of things, for example homophobia, being given an "acceptable" status. If i'm a homophobic atheist i would be portrayed as much worse than a homophobic theist, because i am a homophobic without any reasoning. I don't see that as fair, discrimination is discrimination in my eyes. This doesn't just apply to homophobia/Christianity, there are many similar cases where i feel socially unacceptable behavior becomes acceptable when tagged with a religious belief.

 

I don't really feel like there is any sort of evidence available (currently) to prove the existence of any god. Holy balls i have looked, just never had success in finding any. Meh. Pretty much all i have to say :P

 

I'll just leave this here...

As an outspoken atheist I am subjected to an inordinate amount of nonsensical loaded questions with fallacious premises. My beliefs regarding God are also constantly the focus of very strange and unfounded assumptions' date=' often the result of simple ignorance but also quite frequently the result malicious distortions made utterly knowingly by those in positions of authority purportedly derived from the divine.

 

To address all such loaded questions and bizarre assumptions in a single video would be a task too great for any one atheist, even with my "old school" director's account, which enables me to post videos exceeding ten minutes in length. However, there are two recurring bits of abominable miscomprehension that are in dire need of addressing.

 

The first is the misnomer of "non-believer" that we atheists all-too-often hear and all-too-often accept. I daresay many of us wear it as something of a badge of honor, but the term contains within it a tacit admission of a theocentric world. Atheists, like all other people, believe and disbelieve in a great number of things. I personally believe in concepts freedom and truth and beauty and all that jazz. I also believe in concretions like the blueness of the sky or the texture of a stucco ceiling. I disbelieve in concepts like fascism and religion and two wrongs make a right. I disbelieve in purported concretions like Santa Claus and Goblins. I disbelieve in God both as a concept and a purported concretion.

 

So, I am both a believer and a non-believer. It merely depends on the context, the subject, the narrative. If the subject is Santa Claus as a concept, then I am a believer. If the subject is Santa Claus as a purported concretion, then I am a non-believer.

To accept the label of non-believer without any contextual clues or any predefined subject as non-belief in God by default is to give the concept undue credence. By admitting the God question so important that belief or non-belief in him trumps all other beliefs or non-beliefs is to give him undue importance. For "believer" to be the center of a Christian's identity is perfectly sensible and sensical, but for "non-believer" to be the center of an atheist identity is ridiculous outside of the context of debating theists. We are atheists. Atheist is a word which means that we lack a belief in deities—and that's all it should or shall ever mean. Whether or not we are non-believers should always depend on the context of the word and if the word is without context we should not acknowledge it as meaning anything. The next time you are called a non-believer, you're response should be, "A non-believer in what?"

 

The second of the inglorious sophistries I've made this video in hopes of correcting is this silly notion that atheists have rejected God. Now, of course we have rejected God as a concept or an idea, just as most of us with good sense reject communism and dictatorships. We have not, however, rejected God in the sense that one rejects a parent who was never there or a friend who betrayed us. We don't believe in God, and to reject him in that sense, belief in him is an absolute prerequisite.

 

Certain theists believe, even after being corrected on this point, that we are deceiving ourselves—that we genuinely do believe in God, but reject him because we want to be able to free ourselves from his will. In other words, we disbelieve in him so that we can disobey him.

 

This argument holds no water for one simple reason. No idea, regardless of how vile or wicked it might be, has suffered from the idea of being divinely willed. Hitler claimed to be the chosen of God. Albert Fish, who cannibalized children, was a devout Christian who believed that angels would have intervened to save his victims if God had thought his crimes wrong. If we really wanted to do evil, God would not stand in our way—we could make him condone it, just as Christian Scientists make him condone not-treating disease and the Opus Dei sect of Catholics make him condone self-mutilation. God's will is largely controlled, for all practical purposes, by the will of his believers. And if atheists really wanted to do whatever they wanted, they'd not bother with atheism—they would just say that God approved of whatever behaviors they indulged in.

 

We don't believe in God because there is no pressing reason to believe in God. It's really quite simple and requires little in the way of further explanation.[/quote']

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Legalize baby punching. Tax and regulate it. Punch babies erry day.

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It's funny how much the lack of knowledge about religion shows through in atheist manifestos.

 

Firstly - the catholic church is not homophobic. I've made this argument thousands of times and have yet to see it refuted. The official teaching of the catholic church is that being gay has no bearing on whether or not you go to heaven, and indeed we are taught to love all humans regardless of their sexual orientation, as we are all children of God.

 

Secondly - Opus dei doesn't condone self-mutilation. It's heartening to know that watching a fictional novel can tell you all you need to know about the organization. :rolleyes:

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