Research on Belief in God

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Tank Engine said:
Hope you liked it. I'm not holding my breath for a post on Wales and Jacek Dukaj.
Wait a minute. You actually speak Polish?:eek:

I mean I heard stories that these people exist somewhere, but I never actually believed them ( I mean non natives who managed to learn the language).
 
Oct 8, 2011
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IF God exists, and I am a believer, does it really matter where He came from?
I just don't know the answer to questions like this, not sure it is possible to know. It is not really possible to know anything from a long time ago 100% whether we are talking religion or science.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Descender said:
Then again, there are luckily few faith-heads on this forum, or they are hidden and quiet. As well they should.
Careful - thats the sort of thing I was talking about earlier :D
 
Jun 16, 2009
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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.
Its an interesting question to think about this: If people were born with no religious influence and only had the concept (of any particular religion) introduced to them when they were.. say.. 20yrs old, would any religions exist after a few generations?

If not, what would?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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TeamSkyFans said:
Why are there no dinosaurs in the bible :confused:
Noah left them off the ark. Miscommunication with the sail time, a standard problem in that sort of situation. The Tyrannosaurus Rex would not have fit anyway, but that's another story. In the end, Noah decided it was easier to not mention the dinosaurs instead of explaining the mistake.

He also neglected to mention that he dropped off half the dangerous animals on a big, cursed island in the far far south.
 
TeamSkyFans said:
Why are there no dinosaurs in the bible :confused:
Popular question in the forum it looks like, TSF. Extinct by then? I dunno. Someone mentioned Leviathan. But there is also a Behemoth mentioned with a description:

Job 40:15-17
15 “Look at Behemoth,
which I made along with you
and which feeds on grass like an ox.
16 What strength it has in its loins,
what power in the muscles of its belly!
17 Its tail sways like a cedar;
Sounds like a large creature. But Dino?

Here's an interesting thought. BroDeal mentioned no T-Rex cos he would have been too big. Well, how about young creatures that were far from full grown? They would have taken up less space, and would have needed less to eat.
 
Oct 11, 2010
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If one died and went to hell, wouldn't the devil reward him/her for their work on earth as opposed to torturing them for all of eternity? The idea of burning in hell or whatever never made any sense to me. Especially for satanists
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Altitude said:
If one died and went to hell, wouldn't the devil reward him/her for their work on earth as opposed to torturing them for all of eternity? The idea of burning in hell or whatever never made any sense to me. Especially for satanists
Maybe the fires of hell are propaganda by the god faction. It could be like Las Vegas.

The devil has never had the chance to tell his side of the story.
 
Jul 20, 2011
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Altitude said:
If one died and went to hell, wouldn't the devil reward him/her for their work on earth as opposed to torturing them for all of eternity? The idea of burning in hell or whatever never made any sense to me. Especially for satanists
Never thought of that. good point. would make sense if there was no satan i.e. if you are bad God will send you to hell to be punished.

maybe Satan was introduced as a concept later to avoid some of the 'why does god keep testing me' sort of questions

am sure someone who actually understands this stuff can explain where satan fits in.

feel better now i know i will spend eternity in Vegas baby
 
Oct 8, 2011
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Altitude said:
If one died and went to hell, wouldn't the devil reward him/her for their work on earth as opposed to torturing them for all of eternity? The idea of burning in hell or whatever never made any sense to me. Especially for satanists
I don't believe the Bible does teach eternal torture for eternity for the wicked. Rather death is the punishment of God for sin, enternal life is the reward for faithfulness.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Altitude said:
If one died and went to hell, wouldn't the devil reward him/her for their work on earth as opposed to torturing them for all of eternity? The idea of burning in hell or whatever never made any sense to me. Especially for satanists
Yea, you have a point, imagine the energy costs to keep the fire going forever, no way can Satan keep that flame going forever. Unless he came up with a way of doing that, which we should really find out so we can solve the Earth's energy crisis! If Satan can solved such a problem he probably isn't such a bad entity? Quite the problem solver. Then if he's always torturing it means he's giving you some solid one on one time.

Meanwhile in heaven there's no fire, how are the people in heaven keeping warm? We all know its cold up in the clouds, then all the wind. Then you never hear that ghod is doing anything once you get up there, do they even see ghod? I doubt it some guy Peter lets you in and then its all angles doing all the work... sound rather like indentured servants to me. That is definitely not covered in the brochure... :confused:
 
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.
What you talk about here, in several ways, is allied to what I brought up several pages ago: that is, building a core religious identity, with all its subsequent articulations.

At a certain point, in the Western tradition (with its Near Eastern affiliates - which means having its roots in the Classical World and the Ancient Roman Empire), the society abandoned its pagan origins and became molded under the sway of orthodox Christianity. Now this represented a change in world view and hence identity.

The process was not, of course, immediate, but rather developed over many centuries and, as such, so to was there a gradual transformation in the style of Western architecture and the arts.

I think to a great extent that Christian beliefs found, because they needed to find, an appropriate expression in the religious buildings and sacred art in the culture; because it was within this context that the new tradition, with its beliefs and values, was going to transform society and build its new identity and ideology.

How was the Christian faith thus going to replace the old culture, as far as the official art and architecture of the public spaces of the cities in the Western and Near Eastern worlds? The Near East found its solutions in the buildings and glittering, gilded mosaics of Byzantine orthodoxy, whereas the Catholic West in Europe found them in various stylistic movements over time, among which was the Gothic era in the Late Middle Ages and its cathedrals like Chartres, which even a non-believer like myself (like you) can appreciate as an architectural masterpiece, not just of a religion, but of a civilization.

This is why, while I do not personally find any need for religion, and in fact have a natural distaste for belief and dogma in general, I can nonetheless find value in the inspired culture that religion actually gave us in the realms of architecture and the arts.

These things were also the propaganda and the glue that, following the demise of tha ancient Roman world, has given the West its most rooted identity down to post-modernity and globalizzation. What might be called its canon.
 
Descender said:
And faith and science are intrinsically related.
Huh? Wrong ! That's actually the basis of the whole atheist lie in order to discredit the Christian religion as old-fashionly stupid.

So of course, the "burden of proof" is also completely wrong.
 
Mar 8, 2010
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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.
What a nice written piece.
That's the proof that English can be used to form artful sentences and thoughts. Practiced too rarely in the internets.
Thank you. It was hard, but worth reading it.

Todays limerick ? :D
 
Echoes said:
Huh? Wrong ! That's actually the basis of the whole atheist lie in order to discredit the Christian religion as old-fashionly stupid.

So of course, the "burden of proof" is also completely wrong.
I find it hard to reply to a post that has been edited by someone else as the original poster but allright...

Religion, let's take Christian religion, makes claims that directly affect science. To name some, the idea that someone was born without previous sexual intercourse, that he rose from the dead and that he could heal the sick at will. That is contrary to all scientific evidence. If anybody believes in that, then they are questioning science, and science and faith clash.

The universe would be much different with the Christian God than without it, one cannot make science the same way irrespective of one's faith.

And yes, the burden of proof is most certainly on the theist's side. It is theists that make the extraordinary claim that there is a magical being in the sky that created everything, reads our minds and will reward us or punish us when we die. If you're going to make that kind of claim, you better have some good stuff to back it up.

If I believed in the boogeyman, it would be ridiculous for me to go about saying it's the other people's turn to prove that the boogeyman doesn't exist, not my call to prove that he does.
 

oldborn

BANNED
May 14, 2010
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Science and faith do not necessary clash IMHO.
Materialist Science in state of mind do.
Marx is example;"Religion is the opium of the people" as I learned in High school at Marxism while reds on power:)
 
Dec 7, 2010
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When I talk to God I'm like "Hey guy, how do I know where the parmesan ends and the wax begins? And should I get pec implants?" God's a bro.
 
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.
I find this argument very hard to accept - you seem to be saying that if you give zero monkeys zero typewriters they will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare.

Whatever caused the creation of the universe is totally beyond our comprehension and even if we understand it fully in the future will only lead to "But what caused that?" questions - probably ad infinitum.

That a god created the universe seems to me to be as plausible as any other explanation - the (too big) jump for me is then saying that the universe was created by an omnipotent, omniscient god who judges our behaviour and punishes/rewards us in an afterlife. It's just as likely we were created by a god as an afternoon's entertainment or a school science project or by a wholly evil god etc.

All I know is from what I've seen of the world's religions none of them can convince me that their version of events is even close to the truth.

If this makes me an agnostic or an atheist I don't know:confused:
 

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