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Where theists go wrong...

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Boscoe, 10 Jul 2013.

  1. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    I'm technically a christian, I beleive in god but I don't believe I have to go to church to believe in him.

    What makes me smile is that alot of religious people don't believe in evolution.

    The way I look at it is that I think if there is a god he is most likely a scientist and understands how things work and may of actually planted the seeds for evolution.
     
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  2. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Unrepentant Savage

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    Good answer. You have grasped more of Christianity than most people at the end of their lives.

    A simple example is why are we here. Science has no actual reason that we exist-we simply do. It gives us no further significance than that-we are because we are. But faith-the belief that there is something bigger than me, whatever it is-can make us believe that there's more than just existence. I don't even need a belief in an afterlife to think that I should be better to my fellow men than they are to me. I have to have faith that my actions will spread-because scientifically, I have no expectation that it should. Faith says possibly, "I'm here to help others." Or, "I'm here to make the world a better place." Scientifically speaking, there's no real reason I should give two cups of flying damn. But I have faith that there is something better, and maybe others can find something of what I've found.
     
  3. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    I would describe science as a belief system, but based on evidence rather than faith.

    I am an atheist as my beliefs are based on evidence and I see no evidence for a god.

    Show me new evidence and I will reconsider, but that does not make me Agnostic.
    At least any more than accepting the possibility (however small) that one day someone will prove the sky is green and that I am looking at it wrong makes me a "sky colour agnostic".

    I am open to new evidence, but I am not afraid to draw conclusions based on available evidence or lack thereof as I would in any other situation in life.
     
  4. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Unrepentant Savage

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    There will never be a physical proof of a metaphysical entity or event. You keep asking the wrong question.

    There is no way to test for a Creator, no simple kit to check for divine influence. But in that wise, it is completely impossible to disprove-there is no lack of evidence either. Two people with the same set of events may draw two separate conclusions based on their worldviews. Two completely cogent views, for that matter. Belief is not the area of science-it is the area of feelings, of hunches and intuition.
     
  5. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    Generally I don't trust my feelings, hunches or intuition unless they are backed up by my observations and logic.

    Using the fact that something cannot be disproven to support the possibility that it is true is a fallacy. See Russell's teapot.

    I don't think I'm asking the wrong question. It's more that you're not asking a question at all.

    I think for most people faith is a form of internal, subjective evidence that I don't share and that for them is equivalent to physical evidence. I can think this is wrong, but I can't argue against it, because as you say, it is impossible to prove or disprove.
     
  6. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Unrepentant Savage

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    http://www.mercola.com/article/prayer/dossey.htm

    Prayer, a personal relationship with a being one cannot see, touch or smell, but that could somehow influence others has long been a part of the human condition. You use a form of it if you wish for something good to happen. It is the idea that the human psyche has a power over things, or that something exercises power over something at our behest. There is no real way to understand what happened in those tests except by chalking it up to the power of prayer. There are a damn lot of papers out there suggesting there might be something to it, and there are a damn lot out there suggesting there isn't. We have what is to be considered evidence of its effects, but we cannot see, touch, or taste it and we sure as hell can't put it on a bar graph.

    http://files.meetup.com/1242314/wound healing on primates IP.pdf

    Interesting numbers considering bush babies have no concept of prayer and no way to understand that people pray for them.

    If something happens (and it appears it does, sometimes) then there must necessarily be a motivating force. For all we know it's a strange quirk of quantum entanglement. But there are some very interesting studies that show positive effects. I know you can show me ones that didn't show any effect. But not everyone knows that there are real studies with due diligence done that still show effects. Why? Who knows. But something happens. Those with faith take it on said faith that when they pray, someone listens. I haven't seen a better argument given.
     
  7. Quavr

    Quavr Minimodder

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    I used to be a christian as I was brought up as one, but over time I started to doubt my beliefs until eventually a few years ago I decided I no longer believed in god/christianity etc.

    I believe now the things that I have evidence for, so many of my principles are based around science. I am not set in my ways though, if I find suitable evidence for a god then I will change my view to include one(though it wouldn't make me worship such an entity, simply believe) but as it stands at the moment my worldview is complete without one, and the main thing is I am happy with this.

    If your faith makes you happy and helps you through life then I see no reason not to believe, people have experienced different things and so will believe different things, and there is no problem with this, just because I don't believe in god due to what I deem rational evidence doesn't mean that everyone views the evidence in the same way or has had the same evidence shown to them.
     
  8. Boscoe

    Boscoe Electronics extraordinaire.

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    I'm sorry I have to say it, I'm not trying to stir here just use this as an example.

    That's awfully convenient he now planted the seeds for evolution, what happen to creation in six days? Does this mean you think the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or not?

    For me it's things like the creation story. Water, sky, land and vegetation were made on the 2nd and 3rd day however on the 4th day stars were created. We know as fact the heavier elements used to make the water, sky, land and vegetation are a product of stars dying.
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Belief is not 'designed' as such, but it evolved as a cognitive function. At its simplest level it forms the basis for our blueprint or model of How The World Works. We all have a simplified simulation of our world in our heads to allow us to function within it, make predictions and exert influence on it in a planned way. Because our brains are limited and the world complex, we form these beliefs using simple rules of thumb that (usually) work well enough in practice even though they are gross simplifications (when they don't, you may end up seeing a psychologist). Everything about how beliefs work has a survival function --even their stubborn tendency to resist contradiction.

    Religion has six psychological functions:
    - It is a 'catch all' category for events that cannot otherwise be explained, and hence...
    - It gives a sense of control over the uncontrollable
    - It provides an emotional attachment: a sense of safety and feeling that you matter in a cold, dangerous and indifferent universe
    - It gives meaning and purpose to one's existence
    - It provides a shared framework for social cohesion, bonding and cooperation (inc. morals)
    - It provides a shared framework for social hierarchy (as above, so below)

    People are therefore wired for spirituality (make of that what you will). You can't 'get rid' of religion.

    No! Science is based in logic, not axioms!
     
    Last edited: 11 Jul 2013
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Just to play devil's (or God's) advocate here: how would you explain the origins of life to a bunch of illiterate shepherds living 2000 years ago? You're bound to resort to allegory and sacrifice accuracy for understandability --a lot.

    Ian Steward and Jack Cohen, in their popular science books refer to "lies to children". We all teach children very simplified, imprecise versions of how the world works because they cannot understand a more complex truth yet. But in doing so we prepare their mind for being able to conceive that more complex truth later on. This is a stepwise process. How many times have you been told at Secondary school: "OK, forget everything you were told in Primary, this is how it really is...", only to go to University and be told: "OK, forget everything you were told in Secondary school, this is how it really is..."? Exactly.

    There is only a problem when people take the Bible literally. It's time to put childish things behind them and learn what truths are really embedded in it.
     
  11. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    Haven't read all of the above, I've learned to keep out (sometimes)
    But isn't 1 + 1 = 10? (think about it) :D
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    There's two kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don't. :p
     
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  13. Shirty

    Shirty W*nker! Super Moderator

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    I have no problem with faith, as many in the thread have pointed out it's an essential component of our being. We all have faith every day, from small things like the belief that we won't come home to find our partner in bed with someone else, to larger things like whether the sun will rise tomorrow morning.

    Science can help us with some of the larger things, as we now understand the earth's rotational behaviour in relation to the other planets and the sun. This is observable and indeed has even been observed since antiquity.

    The thing that I do have a small problem is theism. Following years of philosophical education with a particular focus on the philosophy of religion in the later years of my schooling and university, my attitudes have morphed and changed but I have always considered myself fundamentally an atheist. When I was a little boy dressed up as a shepherd in the nativity play I thought to myself "this is a nice story, but it's not relevant to my interests", as a 10 year old singing hymns I felt no connection to the words or context, despite understanding the point of faith and religion fully. As a teenager I was one of the ones in assembly who didn't shut my eyes and mumble the words to the Lord's Prayer in monotone, I used the time instead to think about what mirth the rest of the day might offer. My parents tried to be Christians, but I really believe they were as disconnected from it as I was - they had just been brought up that way and had never really dared to question it.

    So I find myself in my 30s increasingly coming from a position of apathetic agnosticism, or apatheism. I understand that in the world I live in, no matter how much debate and conflict might (and inevitably will) occur in the foreseeable future between concerned parties, we will never get any closer to understanding each other's differences. The world will keep on turning, and I will go on living my life with my values, my way. Even if the existence of a deity were proven (thereby officially ending religion as we know it) my stance would not change.

    Theism/faith/religion have existed in myriad forms since the dawn of human civilisation, and even today there are around 20 major world religions, with thousands of smaller subdivisions and minor religions. Who is right? Not everyone can be, and there is a very good chance that nobody is. Which is not to say that religion is wrong per se, but you do the maths. The only reason that there are over two billion Christians in the world is because of our very own European forefathers invading the world over the past couple of thousand years or so and enforcing their beliefs on the local populations over many years. One of the big reasons Hinduism is 95% contained in India and Nepal is that there is very little Hindu evangelism, and relatively peaceful stance in the world through history.

    Your stance on theistic and atheistic beliefs are at least as closely tied to your geographical location, upbringing and life events as they are to anything else.
     
  14. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    FTFY :thumb:
     
  15. veato

    veato I should be working

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    I don't believe that's what your good book says
     
  16. PauloWhysalli

    PauloWhysalli Confused.com

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    I've always enjoyed reading the Bible especially the Old Testament stuff. As long as you treat it like Grimms Tales its an entertaining read :hehe:
     
  17. veato

    veato I should be working

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    I stoned my wife to death when I found out she wasn't a virgin. My neighbour is gay so he had to taste rock too. Finally I decided to rape a woman (incidentaly she was a virgin unlike my now dead wife) but it's ok because I paid her father 50 sheckles and married her.

    And if anyone thinks I'm mental and/or trolling it's all there in the book. I can find the verses if you'd like me to add validity to it.
     
  18. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Unrepentant Savage

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    Take that one to the Jews, that's their holy book. But in addition, if you think that code was rough you should look at some of the other codes of belief in existence at the same time. Baal worship asked for slave sacrifices. Asherah wanted prostitutes (as in it wanted you to give prostitutes, which normally meant your children.) And Moloch required one of your children to be burned alive in public as a sacrifice.

    You keep judging the actions of thousands of years ago with today's ethics (I mean, we had a whole second half of the Bible in the inbetween here) and of course it will come up short, but the comparison is invalid. As time has marched on, we have figured out more, whether you call it divine revelation or just figuring this won't work anymore. It's like saying that UNIVAC sucked because it couldn't play Crysis. The foundation has to be laid for there to be improvements.

    Also, that pretty much is what the book says. Since I speak Hebrew and have studied Hebrew lyric poetry (because that's almost exclusively what the Old Testament is) I would know that Creation was set down almost as a parable-I can't really fathom how it was done, but God did it. And that's the important part-not how, but who, and why. You're hung up on the wrong question again.

    Nexxo outlined it for you-faith is going nowhere. It has been selected for by evolution. Possibly it is the worldview that rejects it that needs to disappear. It's completely full of fallacies.
     
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  19. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    Just because it's in the book doesn't mean that you aren't trolling, of course :D. I think that most people are aware that the Bible isn't literal, it's allegorical, so pointing out examples like those in your post above doesn't add much to the discussion (except to act as potential flame-bait) :)
     
  20. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    Having never read it I wouldn't know.

    I'm a Christian as in I have been baptised, I believe in god, I don't go to church and I am not what you call a practicing Christian.

    I just believe what I believe.
     

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