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Research on Belief in God

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Descender said:
I agree of course, but that doesn't constitute 100% proof. Not that it matters to me, but that's the way it is. There will always be a loophole.
Whats the loophole?
god lied?

well then he isnt benevolent, again.

That there is 100% proof that the Christian God doesn't exist. God could still exist, and have had a son called Jesus, and Moses could still have freed the Isralites and killed the Mennenites and the Hittites etc, but the above proves the bible isnt the word of God.

Or if it is hes lying. In which case one of the major aspects of Christian religion - God is good, FAILS.

One way or another the Catholic belief system falls right there.

There is no way out without acknowledging that some of the keystones of the Christian faith are wrong.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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jordan5000 said:
To suggest that theists have a burden of proof is ridiculous. Most theists will acknowledge that their is no definitive proof and therefore beliefs are to be based on faith. I've also yet to see evidence in favor of atheists, yes they point out evolution and creationism can fit together(I'll explain if anyone asks, too long to do so right now) and I've always questioned where the circumstances that allowed for the big bang would have come from.
Extraordinary claims require extra extraordinary proof.

You cannot prove that something does not exist. You can prove something does exist. The burden of proof is absolutely on those who believe there is a magical being.
 
Sep 1, 2011
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The idea of a creator is not extraordinary in my mind since it ha always been my opinion and since it makes the most sense to me.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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jordan5000 said:
The idea of a creator is not extraordinary in my mind since it ha always been my opinion and since it makes the most sense to me.
The belief in sasquatches that juggle kittens by moonlight while smoking Lucky Strikes is not extraordinary in my mind. I don't expect other people to believe in them unless proof can be provided. I certainly don't equate those who believe in such foolishness with those who don't believe but cannot prove that feline juggling chain smoking bigfoots do not exist.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I find it odd that people can accept god(s) with no proof. Yet when someone says they believe in alians (ET type) or unseen animals they are laughed at. Do these people even think?

Can't wait till UFO followers apply for the same tax breaks. :rolleyes:
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Boeing said:
The Devil is Real according to many a poster in the LA thread
Ghod can never defeat Evil and Satan, the biggest ignored fact about Ghod. So who's the supream power?
 
Mar 8, 2010
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Ok, just some short and wild thoughts.

I can tell you something.
When your life is really in danger, and I mean really in danger, then you start praying and believing in god at the latest. I bet that works for everyone who knows the word "god".

For me, god is not a person or something. He's just in the heads, and for the heads. He is, and often was, the answer for everything that is not explainable, for everything that is above our limits or power.
In early years, he was the master, the explanation and the creator for just everything. :D
Mankind is more clever right now, while religion is no more really essential for life.

I think you can believe in something like a god without beeing member of any religion, faith community or sect.

Most of the most powerful churches, religions etc. just abused god, or Jesus, Mohammed etc., to gain power and control, or to start wars and force the people to follow special rules.

Well, about those creator-, big bang- and material-things..........for me, it works, that you just have to accept that "nothing" is "something", too.
Without "0" there could be no "1".

It's the answer to all the questions. :D
The other explanation might be "some girls are bigger than others" by theSmiths. It's as simple as that.
 
Aug 31, 2011
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Correct...if

BroDeal said:
Extraordinary claims require extra extraordinary proof.

You cannot prove that something does not exist. You can prove something does exist. The burden of proof is absolutely on those who believe there is a magical being.
they are trying to convince you to believe in the magical being. It it's their Faith, there is no such burden.

There is a choice to be made by you. Believe in magic, or don't believe.

Organized religion has made many very defensive about these issues when there is nothing to be defensive about at all. It's a shame.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Cobblestoned said:
Ok, just some short and wild thoughts.

I can tell you something.
When your life is really in danger, and I mean really in danger, then you start praying and believing in god at the latest. I bet that works for everyone who knows the word "god".
Then when you fail at something, you say... "ghod damnit". Its all common words/phrases you hear so you say them as well. Jump from a high place and people yell... "Geronimooooo!!!" or "Wooooo Hooooo" what does that say?

If movies changed these phrases in those situations people would also change their phrases in those circumstances.
 
Mar 8, 2010
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ElChingon said:
Then when you fail at something, you say... "ghod damnit". Its all common words/phrases you hear so you say them as well. Jump from a high place and people yell... "Geronimooooo!!!" or "Wooooo Hooooo" what does that say?

If movies changed these phrases in those situations people would also change their phrases in those circumstances.
No, it's true, it's different and has nothing to do with movies.
 
May 14, 2010
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The Hitch said:
Who created the creator?
God, is the creator of the whole universe, and time.
So he is not limited by the time dimension and there is no beginning in time There is no cause for him cos there is no beginning.

And now you should ask;"Who created that idea?" (or dogma)
 
I must say that, as an atheist, I always found the "who created the creator?" argument a very weak one.

Surely if the creator is almighty, he could create itself in a way we can't grasp, or twist time in a way we can't grasp.
 
The Hitch said:
Whats the loophole?
god lied?

well then he isnt benevolent, again.

That there is 100% proof that the Christian God doesn't exist. God could still exist, and have had a son called Jesus, and Moses could still have freed the Isralites and killed the Mennenites and the Hittites etc, but the above proves the bible isnt the word of God.

Or if it is hes lying. In which case one of the major aspects of Christian religion - God is good, FAILS.

One way or another the Catholic belief system falls right there.

There is no way out without acknowledging that some of the keystones of the Christian faith are wrong.
I sense a fellow Catholic kid, grown up. :D;)
 
Jul 27, 2010
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Descender said:
I must say that, as an atheist, I always found the "who created the creator?" argument a very weak one.

Surely if the creator is almighty, he could create itself in a way we can't grasp, or twist time in a way we can't grasp.
And this is why gods can be truly impossible to disprove. They say that you cannot prove that something doesn't exist but that isn't really true. One could say "I have put video cameras on every square inch of the planet and have can see that there are no magical horse-like creatures with a horn on their head; therefore, unicorns do not exist." That is enough to prove that they don't exist on Earth. However, in the case of a god, someone could say something like "But that is not what a unicorn is. We don't know what a unicorn looks like or what it does." It is impossible to disprove a being that is so loosely defined and anything can be explained away by saying the god is omnipotent.
 
Descender said:
I must say that, as an atheist, I always found the "who created the creator?" argument a very weak one.

Surely if the creator is almighty, he could create itself in a way we can't grasp, or twist time in a way we can't grasp.
Its not an argument as much as a rebuttal. The righteous say that they cant fathom how the world can create itself from nothing ergo creator did it. I, or we say that we can't fathom how a creator can create himself from nothing.

The idea that a creator created himself is what's weak.

Its far more likely that nothingness slowly produce something which produced more something and over an imeasurable ammount of time created atoms and matter, and eventually life.

The alternative - that God created himself, does not involve billions of trillions of millenia, but rather a instantaneous moment.

The religious often use this boeing 747 argument, related to Aquinus watch argument, which is worth mentioning because Dawkins book, "the blind watchmaker" is a clever rebuttal in 3 words.

The idea, as you no doubt know, goes that, the world creating itself from nothing is as probable as a wind sweeping across a scrap yard and putting together a Boeing 747 plane.

So I propose, using the Boeing analogy that the 2 choices are the following.

1 if you give the wind and the scrapyard billions and billions of centuries, eventually it will put together a boeing 747 plane. - Our universe was slowly created from nothing.

2 You give the wind 1 chance to put together the plane. - God created himself and all his magical powers, from nothing.
 
Jul 16, 2011
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Martin318is said:
a much larger percentage of people will say, "I'm a Catholic/Mormon/Muslim/Jew/etc". In thoe cases, the people have grown up with the labelled religion since birth.
I know that I'm taking this sentence out of context, but it links in with a point I wanted to make which also relates to the IQ^2 debate that the Hitch posted. Often, religious labels get attached to people because of the families or countries they were born in. Why is the UK a christian country? I guess because in the past 1,500 years Christianity has been the most prominent religion there. Many people there would probably describe themselves as Christians although their religious observance is limited to at most carol singing at Christmas.

Firstly, religion should be the choice of an individual and not some form of cultural osmosis. A year or two ago I read a book of interviews with around 20 Polish atheists and agnostics. One thing that rang a bell with me was that one of them said that many people treated him as if he were missing something like a limb. People could not understand that his atheism was a positive choice rather than a lack of belief.

Secondly, I watched the first two speakers of the IQ^2 debate. The proposal was "This house believes we would be better off without religion", which can be seen as a question of opinion and so even if they argued until the end of the solar system, there would still be holes in the arguments. Hitchens described the religious background to many conflicts. One problem with his argument (as I touched on above) is that religion interacts with other factors like nationality (and politics). For centuries, being Catholic would have been seen by Polish or Irish nationalists as part of their identity in opposition to say "British Protestantism" or "Russian Orthoxody", even if that Catholic identity did not involve any real religious belief. That is to say that religion is tied up with tribalism, which is a necessary precursor to institutionalised religion. On the other hand, it is true that religion (or at least religious labels) is used in perpetuating "tribal divisions". For example, in the Western media (unless there was a particularly in depth article, which did not occur very often) Serbs were Serbs (not Orthodox), Croatians were Croatians (not Catholic), but Bosnians were Muslim.

With regard to Dr. Smythie, who was the first to oppose the proposal. True, religious feelings have been foremost in the creation of beautiful temples. I couldn't help but feeling awe at the beauty of Chartres Cathedral. However, I also wonder about what lengths common men were put to, in order to build such monuments, since the church's power was huge. Also, a lack of religion certainly does not mean a lack of appreciation of beauty or the creative arts. I find the vast majority of religious art to be formulaic (possibly because there is so much of it) and arguably the greatest (and my favourite by a long way) from that genre is Caravaggio, who definitely was not one of the church's most beloved sons.

Smythie also argued that the proposal was senseless, since by nature we are all spiritual. My impressions are that the spirituality of many (possibly the majority of) people is a minor aspect of their lives and results in many cases from the fact that religious observance or allegiance results from the social acceptance of such acts. He seemed to argue that religious observance led to social cohesion. However, it also promoted tribalism and social control. Enough for now.
 
The Hitch said:
Its not an argument as much as a rebuttal. The righteous say that they cant fathom how the world can create itself from nothing ergo creator did it. I, or we say that we can't fathom how a creator can create himself from nothing.

The idea that a creator created himself is what's weak.

Its far more likely that nothingness slowly produce something which produced more something and over an imeasurable ammount of time created atoms and matter, and eventually life.

The alternative - that God created himself, does not involve billions of trillions of millenia, but rather a instantaneous moment.

The religious often use this boeing 747 argument, related to Aquinus watch argument, which is worth mentioning because Dawkins book, "the blind watchmaker" is a clever rebuttal in 3 words.

The idea, as you no doubt know, goes that, the world creating itself from nothing is as probable as a wind sweeping across a scrap yard and putting together a Boeing 747 plane.

So I propose, using the Boeing analogy that the 2 choices are the following.

1 if you give the wind and the scrapyard billions and billions of centuries, eventually it will put together a boeing 747 plane. - Our universe was slowly created from nothing.

2 You give the wind 1 chance to put together the plane. - God created himself and all his magical powers, from nothing.
Wait, it just hit me. I would be better off not saying this, but it just happens that I have JUST noticed that your username refers to Christopher Hitchens and that your avatar is, in fact, a picture of him.

I will now proceed to read your post and add my comments here. I just wanted to get that out of the way. :eek:

EDIT:

But you are trying to grasp God, which is, according to Christianity, ultimately ungraspable.

Again, we can agree that the God hypothesis is much more improbable and ridiculous than the scientific one, but the theist might say that we don't, can't know how God works (God works in mysterious ways), so our attempt at attributing probabilities to him is useless.

Why are we arguing?
 
The Hitch said:
Its not an argument as much as a rebuttal. The righteous say that they cant fathom how the world can create itself from nothing ergo creator did it. I, or we say that we can't fathom how a creator can create himself from nothing.

The idea that a creator created himself is what's weak.

Its far more likely that nothingness slowly produce something which produced more something and over an imeasurable ammount of time created atoms and matter, and eventually life.

The alternative - that God created himself, does not involve billions of trillions of millenia, but rather a instantaneous moment.

The religious often use this boeing 747 argument, related to Aquinus watch argument, which is worth mentioning because Dawkins book, "the blind watchmaker" is a clever rebuttal in 3 words.

The idea, as you no doubt know, goes that, the world creating itself from nothing is as probable as a wind sweeping across a scrap yard and putting together a Boeing 747 plane.

So I propose, using the Boeing analogy that the 2 choices are the following.

1 if you give the wind and the scrapyard billions and billions of centuries, eventually it will put together a boeing 747 plane. - Our universe was slowly created from nothing.

2 You give the wind 1 chance to put together the plane. - God created himself and all his magical powers, from nothing.
But you are trying to grasp God, which is, according to Christianity, ultimately ungraspable.

Again, we can agree that the God hypothesis is much more improbable and ridiculous than the scientific one, but the theist might say that we don't, can't know how God works (God works in mysterious ways), so our attempt at attributing probabilities to him is useless.

Why are we arguing?
 
Jul 16, 2010
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The Hitch said:
Its not an argument as much as a rebuttal. The righteous say that they cant fathom how the world can create itself from nothing ergo creator did it. I, or we say that we can't fathom how a creator can create himself from nothing.

The idea that a creator created himself is what's weak.

Its far more likely that nothingness slowly produce something which produced more something and over an imeasurable ammount of time created atoms and matter, and eventually life.

The alternative - that God created himself, does not involve billions of trillions of millenia, but rather a instantaneous moment.

The religious often use this boeing 747 argument, related to Aquinus watch argument, which is worth mentioning because Dawkins book, "the blind watchmaker" is a clever rebuttal in 3 words.

The idea, as you no doubt know, goes that, the world creating itself from nothing is as probable as a wind sweeping across a scrap yard and putting together a Boeing 747 plane.

So I propose, using the Boeing analogy that the 2 choices are the following.

1 if you give the wind and the scrapyard billions and billions of centuries, eventually it will put together a boeing 747 plane. - Our universe was slowly created from nothing.

2 You give the wind 1 chance to put together the plane. - God created himself and all his magical powers, from nothing.
Here is an argument made by Anselmus of Canterbury. It's quite famous.

That God truly exists

Therefore, Lord, you who give knowledge of the faith, give me as much knowledge as you know to be fitting for me, because you are as we believe and that which we believe. And indeed we believe you are something greater than which cannot be thought. Or is there no such kind of thing, for "the fool said in his heart, 'there is no God'" (Ps. 13:1, 52:1)? But certainly that same fool, having heard what I just said, "something greater than which cannot be thought," understands what he heard, and what he understands is in his thought, even if he does not think it exists. For it is one thing for something to exist in a person's thought and quite another for the person to think that thing exists. For when a painter thinks ahead to what he will paint, he has that picture in his thought, but he does not yet think it exists, because he has not done it yet. Once he has painted it he has it in his thought and thinks it exists because he has done it. Thus even the fool is compelled to grant that something greater than which cannot be thought exists in thought, because he understands what he hears, and whatever is understood exists in thought. And certainly that greater than which cannot be understood cannot exist only in thought, for if it exists only in thought it could also be thought of as existing in reality as well, which is greater. If, therefore, that than which greater cannot be thought exists in thought alone, then that than which greater cannot be thought turns out to be that than which something greater actually can be thought, but that is obviously impossible. Therefore something than which greater cannot be thought undoubtedly exists both in thought and in reality.
 
El Pistolero said:
Here is an argument made by Anselmus of Canterbury. It's quite famous.

That God truly exists

Therefore, Lord, you who give knowledge of the faith, give me as much knowledge as you know to be fitting for me, because you are as we believe and that which we believe. And indeed we believe you are something greater than which cannot be thought. Or is there no such kind of thing, for "the fool said in his heart, 'there is no God'" (Ps. 13:1, 52:1)? But certainly that same fool, having heard what I just said, "something greater than which cannot be thought," understands what he heard, and what he understands is in his thought, even if he does not think it exists. For it is one thing for something to exist in a person's thought and quite another for the person to think that thing exists. For when a painter thinks ahead to what he will paint, he has that picture in his thought, but he does not yet think it exists, because he has not done it yet. Once he has painted it he has it in his thought and thinks it exists because he has done it. Thus even the fool is compelled to grant that something greater than which cannot be thought exists in thought, because he understands what he hears, and whatever is understood exists in thought. And certainly that greater than which cannot be understood cannot exist only in thought, for if it exists only in thought it could also be thought of as existing in reality as well, which is greater. If, therefore, that than which greater cannot be thought exists in thought alone, then that than which greater cannot be thought turns out to be that than which something greater actually can be thought, but that is obviously impossible. Therefore something than which greater cannot be thought undoubtedly exists both in thought and in reality.
Ah yes, the Ontological Argument.

Many philosophers have rebutted it in the past, of them I'd like to single out Kant, who pointed at the most clear fallacy of it: the assumption on Anselm's part that existence is (must be) more perfect than non-existence.
 
Descender said:
Wait, it just hit me. I would be better off not saying this, but it just happens that I have JUST noticed that your username refers to Christopher Hitchens and that your avatar is, in fact, a picture of him.
Well that surprising. I though you knew when you posted this .

The Hitch said:
Obviously there is someone I would credit ahead of Harris and Dawkins;).
Descender said:
Both of them are great. Hitchens is also good, but not nearly as good as Harris, Dawkins or Dennett.
Seems like a funny coincidence now.

Why are we arguing?
Because you said Hitchens was worse than Dawkins and Harris. :p

Nah jj, because its good to argue about these things. I enjoy it anyway.



Tank Engine said:
I know that I'm taking this sentence out of context, but it links in with a point I wanted to make which also relates to the IQ^2 debate that the Hitch posted. Often, religious labels get attached to people because of the families or countries they were born in. Why is the UK a christian country? I guess because in the past 1,500 years Christianity has been the most prominent religion there. Many people there would probably describe themselves as Christians although their religious observance is limited to at most carol singing at Christmas.

Firstly, religion should be the choice of an individual and not some form of cultural osmosis. A year or two ago I read a book of interviews with around 20 Polish atheists and agnostics. One thing that rang a bell with me was that one of them said that many people treated him as if he were missing something like a limb. People could not understand that his atheism was a positive choice rather than a lack of belief.

Secondly, I watched the first two speakers of the IQ^2 debate. The proposal was "This house believes we would be better off without religion", which can be seen as a question of opinion and so even if they argued until the end of the solar system, there would still be holes in the arguments. Hitchens described the religious background to many conflicts. One problem with his argument (as I touched on above) is that religion interacts with other factors like nationality (and politics). For centuries, being Catholic would have been seen by Polish or Irish nationalists as part of their identity in opposition to say "British Protestantism" or "Russian Orthoxody", even if that Catholic identity did not involve any real religious belief. That is to say that religion is tied up with tribalism, which is a necessary precursor to institutionalised religion. On the other hand, it is true that religion (or at least religious labels) is used in perpetuating "tribal divisions". For example, in the Western media (unless there was a particularly in depth article, which did not occur very often) Serbs were Serbs (not Orthodox), Croatians were Croatians (not Catholic), but Bosnians were Muslim.

With regard to Dr. Smythie, who was the first to oppose the proposal. True, religious feelings have been foremost in the creation of beautiful temples. I couldn't help but feeling awe at the beauty of Chartres Cathedral. However, I also wonder about what lengths common men were put to, in order to build such monuments, since the church's power was huge. Also, a lack of religion certainly does not mean a lack of appreciation of beauty or the creative arts. I find the vast majority of religious art to be formulaic (possibly because there is so much of it) and arguably the greatest (and my favourite by a long way) from that genre is Caravaggio, who definitely was not one of the church's most beloved sons.

Smythie also argued that the proposal was senseless, since by nature we are all spiritual. My impressions are that the spirituality of many (possibly the majority of) people is a minor aspect of their lives and results in many cases from the fact that religious observance or allegiance results from the social acceptance of such acts. He seemed to argue that religious observance led to social cohesion. However, it also promoted tribalism and social control.
Enough for now.
Poland and Hitchens. i dont think ive ever seen a post more made for me.
 
The Hitch said:
Well that surprising. I though you knew when you posted this .





Seems like a funny coincidence now.



Because you said Hitchens was worse than Dawkins and Harris. :p

Nah jj, because its good to argue about these things. I enjoy it anyway.





Poland and Hitchens. i dont think ive ever seen a post more made for me.
I didn't know, and in fact now that I think about it I was a bit put off by your saying you credited someone ahead of Dawkins and Harris (I thought, "am I supposed to know who?" :D).

I know, I enjoy it as well, otherwise I wouldn't have opened this thread. It is just odd that we're discussing each other given our shared views.

- Then again, there are luckily few faith-heads on this forum, or they are hidden and quiet. As well they should.
 

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