Research on Belief in God

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Dec 30, 2011
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Descender said:
How?

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Indeed I read the quote wrong and in retrospect I would admit that any religions or sects who do practice such principles such as unquestioning faithulness are truly foolish themselves and do not have any moral basis to stand on.

Religious discussion within religion and from outside is indeed vital to the religion as it keeps the religion in check and prevents it from transforming into the epitome of what it was set up to to eradicate.

Furthermore it is near impossible that one can believe in God without understanding at least the principles of what he is rather than just being told to believe in him and in doing so I agree entirely that religions would be defeating their entire purpose, but as I wrote before that is the major problem facing the primary relgions nowadays due to poor leadership in some areas and a divergence of the principles which the religions were founded on
 
Jul 10, 2011
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mastersracer said:
If you are suggesting this is a reply to Hitch's question, it is a very bad one. God is defined as omniscient and omnipotent. The answer is that such an entity would be able to instantaneously compute these problems. To say that there were 2 billions years of life prior to humans because of the complexity of some computation is a non-answer.

The rest of your arguments are variations of Paley's argument from design and have been thoroughly dismantled.

For the scientific response to arnot's post, see Krauss, A Universe from Nothing. Positing a divine entity to set the initial conditions for the universe is not required by contemporary cosmology. Or here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo with Dawkins introducing him
I was hoping to answer Hitch, since he asked, to the time schedule of our Earth. I agree that God is most definitely omniscient and omnipotent and certainly could just start us anywhere at any point in time but why did we come along when we did. Beers' explanation was good, with the information that we have.

As for Dawkins, some time ago, I visited his website when one of his books with an outrageous title was being advertised, I had to see what he was about. I believe that he works very hard to discredit God, why do you think this is? Oh yeah, there is an entity, an x-angel among us, with his great lies, that would very much like God to be a non-entity.
 
Aug 2, 2012
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what has 'God' Ever done for Yourself

remember the World around You is Nothing More than a Figment of Your Imagination

if there is a God...............it's You
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Froome19 said:
Of course it does, such a generalisation is truly foolish..
What are the demonstrabeable standards? (Serious question)

/edit: Sorry, just read your previous answer
 
Froome19 said:
Indeed I read the quote wrong and in retrospect I would admit that any religions or sects who do practice such principles such as unquestioning faithulness are truly foolish themselves and do not have any moral basis to stand on.

Religious discussion within religion and from outside is indeed vital to the religion as it keeps the religion in check and prevents it from transforming into the epitome of what it was set up to to eradicate.

Furthermore it is near impossible that one can believe in God without understanding at least the principles of what he is rather than just being told to believe in him and in doing so I agree entirely that religions would be defeating their entire purpose, but as I wrote before that is the major problem facing the primary relgions nowadays due to poor leadership in some areas and a divergence of the principles which the religions were founded on
But what are the principles of what he is? How do we know what they are?

That is what was being meant: as long as you base a claim on faith, then anything goes.

A hypothesis that explains anything, in fact explains nothing.
 
bikebottles said:
Your poster is not checkmate:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/how-to-answer-why-would-god-allow-evil-68390/

My favorite point is #5 because none of us are without evil in our hearts.
Mittelberg told The Christian Post recently that in fact, it was the issue of evil that initially led the renowned author and scholar C. S. Lewis into atheism. However, upon further reflection, Lewis began to see that if there is no God, then there is no such thing as evil either.

"Evil can only be known and measured against a standard of good. Apart from God and the morality that flows from Him there is no standard – and therefore no evil either," he explained. "But we know in our hearts – it's inescapable – that evil is real."

"For example, when we hear about someone being raped or murdered we don't just think, 'I'd prefer that people wouldn't do such things.' No, we say, 'that was wrong' – especially if the crime was against somebody we knew. But when we say such things we're betraying the fact that we know there is a higher standard – one that goes beyond people's preferences of even society's self-imposed laws," Mittelberg illustrated. "This innate knowledge of morality standards points to the existence of a Moral Lawgiver."
Those three paragraphs are full of non-sequiturs. Why would the fact that "there is a higher standard [of morality], one that goes beyond people's preferences of even society's self-imposed laws" have to "point to the existence of a Moral Lawgiver"?

First of all, what is evil? We define evil as that which is wicked and immoral. Saying "there is no evil without God" is like saying "there is no morality without God". A proposition which I vehemently challenge.

The best definition of morality I have ever found goes more or less like this: "moral is that which maximises the well-being of conscious creatures". Immoral, thus, is that which fails to maximise the well-being of conscious creatures, or to put it another way, that which makes them suffer.

How, then, can we possibly say that there cannot be an objective morality without a God? Let us assume for one second that God indeed does not exist. Would we then then not have good, objective reasons to say that raping someone isn't moral? Rape is immoral because it fails to maximise the well-being of conscious creatures. Period. Not because the celestial daddy says it is immoral. It just is.

Now, as to the seven "points of light" mentioned in that article:

First point of light: the world is as Jesus predicted
Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble;" it's good to know that we follow a Savior who really gets it – who sees this fallen world for what it is, and who (contrary to many other religious leaders) tells us the truth about it.
Really?? What is so special about that statement? Wouldn't any sane human being at any point of history be able to recognise that people are going to have trouble in this world?

Second point of light: evil was not created or caused by God
The Bible is clear: God is not the author of evil. But he did create us as real human beings with the ability to love and follow him … or not. Unfortunately we chose the "not," and brought sin and evil into the picture.
First, quoting the Bible is a non-argument. One would have to prove first that the Bible is something more than an ancient book in order for it to have any authority.

Secondly, the author is saying we humans are to blame for evil because we chose evil, in a direct reference to the original sin principle and the Genesis story where Eve eats from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

That story seems extremely problematic and cruel to me. God basically baits Adam and Eve, then punishes them (and their entire species, including all the billions of unborn individuals!!) for doing something wrong despite the fact that they did not know what they did was wrong.

It's like punishing a two-year-old kid for breaking a valuable china vase. You might have told him a thousand times not to touch anything, he is still a kid who doesn't know it's wrong to break things and can't comprehend it. It would be therefore wrong to, say, take away all his toys. The Genesis story is exactly the same.

Thirdly, once again, if God is omnipotent, then he could have chosen not to create evil.

Third point of light: the cause behind most suffering is human
While it doesn't remove the pain, it can be important to remind people who are tempted to shake their fists at God for the suffering in the world that the vast majority of human pain has been inflicted directly or indirectly by other humans.
That is irrelevant. Atheists don't refer to this kind of suffering when bringing up the argument of evil.

Fourth point of light: we live in a fallen world
There is also suffering due to what some call "natural evil" – pain that results from events and disasters that are not caused by humans. The Bible shows, however, that these are the result of the curse we live under due to human sin – see Genesis 3 and Romans 8.
This is probably the most twisted theistic argument I have ever heard...

Even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that humans are to blame for the existence of evil, how to explain then that there are children in many places of the world with a parasitic worm inside their eyeballs that slowly and painfully eats their eye out and leaves them forever blind? Is that child to blame for that? Are their ancestors to blame (and somehow he has to pay for it)? Couldn't God, who is almighty, have prevented that child from going blind in such a cruel way? This is just an example of many.

We somehow have to accept that a good, compassionate God cursed the entire human species to eternal suffering in the form of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, viruses, cancer, tsunamis, tornados, hurricanes... What kind of twisted version of good is that??

Again, if God is able to prevent that and not willing, then he isn't good. If he is willing but isn't able, then he isn't almighty.

Fifth point of light: God will finally judge evil
Some people criticize God (or those who believe in him), saying, "A good God would eradicate evil." My question for those folks is, "Okay, are you ready to be eradicated, since you – like me – are to some degree evil?" Seriously, I'm glad that, although God will judge and wipe out evil, he's chosen not to yet, out of patience for us and for our friends (2 Pet. 3:9).
Lol wut? And this is supposed to be your favourite argument?

If God eradicated evil, he would eradicate evil, not evil and.

There might be evil in me, but there is also good. You might as well say "if God eradicated good, then he would eradicate you, since you -like me- are to some degree good".

If there's some rotten apples together with some good ones in one bag, you don't throw the whole bag away, do you?

Sixth point of light: God suffered too
It's easy to forget that the Holy God of the universe chose, out of love, to humble himself, become one of us, and ultimately to suffer in ways none of us every will (or ever could imagine) in order to purchase our redemption (Phil. 2). As a result, he can not only forgive our sins and freely give us salvation, but also sympathize with all we're going through (Heb. 4:14-16).
Again, an unfounded claim, and also a wicked one.

That's like the abusive father who hits their kids because he wants them to suffer like he has.

If someone has suffered a lot, then he should have all the more reason to try and prevent others from going through the same suffering, since he knows first hand how bad it is.

Seventh point of light: God can bring good out of bad
Though this truth is often bantered about in ways that are insensitive to the person who is suffering, it is still true that while bad things happen to God's people, he promises that he'll bring good – sooner or later – out of everything we experience (Rom. 8:28).
Why not bring good to begin with and save us all the pain and suffering then?

Once again, though, a completely unsupported claim that doesn't even make sense.

As Hitch famously said, and this applies to the whole article, "that which is claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".
 
Jul 10, 2011
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We make our choices

Descender said:
Those three paragraphs are full of non-sequiturs. Why would the fact that "there is a higher standard [of morality], one that goes beyond people's preferences of even society's self-imposed laws" have to "point to the existence of a Moral Lawgiver"?

First of all, what is evil? We define evil as that which is wicked and immoral. Saying "there is no evil without God" is like saying "there is no morality without God". A proposition which I vehemently challenge.

The best definition of morality I have ever found goes more or less like this: "moral is that which maximises the well-being of conscious creatures". Immoral, thus, is that which fails to maximise the well-being of conscious creatures, or to put it another way, that which makes them suffer.

How, then, can we possibly say that there cannot be an objective morality without a God? Let us assume for one second that God indeed does not exist. Would we then then not have good, objective reasons to say that raping someone isn't moral? Rape is immoral because it fails to maximise the well-being of conscious creatures. Period. Not because the celestial daddy says it is immoral. It just is.

Now, as to the seven "points of light" mentioned in that article:



Really?? What is so special about that statement? Wouldn't any sane human being at any point of history be able to recognise that people are going to have trouble in this world?



First, quoting the Bible is a non-argument. One would have to prove first that the Bible is something more than an ancient book in order for it to have any authority.

Secondly, the author is saying we humans are to blame for evil because we chose evil, in a direct reference to the original sin principle and the Genesis story where Eve eats from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

That story seems extremely problematic and cruel to me. God basically baits Adam and Eve, then punishes them (and their entire species, including all the billions of unborn individuals!!) for doing something wrong despite the fact that they did not know what they did was wrong.

It's like punishing a two-year-old kid for breaking a valuable china vase. You might have told him a thousand times not to touch anything, he is still a kid who doesn't know it's wrong to break things and can't comprehend it. It would be therefore wrong to, say, take away all his toys. The Genesis story is exactly the same.

Thirdly, once again, if God is omnipotent, then he could have chosen not to create evil.



That is irrelevant. Atheists don't refer to this kind of suffering when bringing up the argument of evil.



This is probably the most twisted theistic argument I have ever heard...

Even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that humans are to blame for the existence of evil, how to explain then that there are children in many places of the world with a parasitic worm inside their eyeballs that slowly and painfully eats their eye out and leaves them forever blind? Is that child to blame for that? Are their ancestors to blame (and somehow he has to pay for it)? Couldn't God, who is almighty, have prevented that child from going blind in such a cruel way? This is just an example of many.

We somehow have to accept that a good, compassionate God cursed the entire human species to eternal suffering in the form of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, viruses, cancer, tsunamis, tornados, hurricanes... What kind of twisted version of good is that??

Again, if God is able to prevent that and not willing, then he isn't good. If he is willing but isn't able, then he isn't almighty.



Lol wut? And this is supposed to be your favourite argument?

If God eradicated evil, he would eradicate evil, not evil and.

There might be evil in me, but there is also good. You might as well say "if God eradicated good, then he would eradicate you, since you -like me- are to some degree good".

If there's some rotten apples together with some good ones in one bag, you don't throw the whole bag away, do you?



Again, an unfounded claim, and also a wicked one.

That's like the abusive father who hits their kids because he wants them to suffer like he has.

If someone has suffered a lot, then he should have all the more reason to try and prevent others from going through the same suffering, since he knows first hand how bad it is.



Why not bring good to begin with and save us all the pain and suffering then?

Once again, though, a completely unsupported claim that doesn't even make sense.

As Hitch famously said, and this applies to the whole article, "that which is claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".
I am heartened that you gave the article a chance, reading it and giving it your thoughts.

Eve knew what she was doing. She was tempted and then made the choice to go against Gods' command.

My take on evil. Even the angels are given free will, the choice of good and evil. When Satan, who was once an angel went against God, he was driven out of heaven.

Our intellect understands evil and we are expected to make choices that we either accept evil or fight it. We must have the kind of faith that even when all is going against us, we don't give up on God. It is all a test.

The more knowledge we have, the more we are accountable. The Bible says that we are given the knowledge of right and wrong. Even primitive people know right from wrong.

Things are not always fair and the Chapter of Job is an example of this, a man who suffered greatly but didn't lose his faith. This was a test, a challenge from Satan.

So, if you don't want to believe in God, it is your choice. This is the point of our lives, to make the choice to live for God, giving Him our worship and thanks. Or live for Satan.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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It's all pretty simple . You either believe in the existence of god or you don't.

It cannot be evidence based because there is NO evidence.
I don't believe and it makes absolutely no difference to my capacity to be good or indeed bad.
And history and the present confirms belief in god makes no difference whatsoever to believers capacity for good or bad either.

Conclusion . Why bother? Essentially belief in god is for people who want to transfer/ project responsible.
Thankfully sanity prevails and " god made me do it " is no defence for a murderer but just might get the defendant put in the nut house.
 
bikebottles said:
I am heartened that you gave the article a chance, reading it and giving it your thoughts.

Eve knew what she was doing. She was tempted and then made the choice to go against Gods' command.

My take on evil. Even the angels are given free will, the choice of good and evil. When Satan, who was once an angel went against God, he was driven out of heaven.

Our intellect understands evil and we are expected to make choices that we either accept evil or fight it. We must have the kind of faith that even when all is going against us, we don't give up on God. It is all a test.

The more knowledge we have, the more we are accountable. The Bible says that we are given the knowledge of right and wrong. Even primitive people know right from wrong.

Things are not always fair and the Chapter of Job is an example of this, a man who suffered greatly but didn't lose his faith. This was a test, a challenge from Satan.

So, if you don't want to believe in God, it is your choice. This is the point of our lives, to make the choice to live for God, giving Him our worship and thanks. Or live for Satan.
Oh, so if I don't believe in God, I live for Satan? And then people wonder why secular people are so harsh with religion...

You are accusing me and millions like me of worshiping evil incarnate and living for it, on the basis of a myriad of completely unfounded and unsupported beliefs rested upon one of the many ancient books that claim to be the word of the creator of the universe.

Accusing someone of worshipping evil is reprehensible as it is, but doing it while pulling the reasons for doing it out of your a$$ is even more reprehensible.

I'm disappointed to see you didn't address any of my points though.
 
May 18, 2009
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Descender said:
Oh, so if I don't believe in God, I live for Satan? And then people wonder why secular people are so harsh with religion...

You are accusing me and millions like me of worshiping evil incarnate and living for it, on the basis of a myriad of completely unfounded and unsupported beliefs rested upon one of the many ancient books that claim to be the word of the creator of the universe.

Accusing someone of worshipping evil is reprehensible as it is, but doing it while pulling the reasons for doing it out of your a$$ is even more reprehensible.

I'm disappointed to see you didn't address any of my points though.
I'm trying to figure out why you are even having a discussion with this dude.
 
Aug 2, 2012
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with My Last Breath

I can see it now.................I'm Gasping My Last Breath

My One Regret will be that the Devil Never sent Enough Temptation My Way

that's Life............it's Tough..............I'm so Dull I Lived under His Radar
 
Jul 17, 2009
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I know it works because I cured my ghayness praying it away

now i am trying to pray away the poor people
 
Animals

One of the most ignored aspects of the debate over religion and whether it is bad or good, is its effect on animals.

The position of the monotheistic religions on animals is backward to start with for obvious reasons since they come from a time before evolution was known.

But what I am talking about mostly is the cruelty to animals that happens in the name of religion. The most famous example is of course halal meat, or kosher in the case of judaism - the belief that the animal needs to be slaughtered in a special, painful way, in order to make it holy.

In the UK, halal butchers are exempt from a law that says one must stun animals first before killing them.

Anyway I am reminded of this now unfortunately as the Hindu religion celebrates its festival of lights "diwali". This "celebration" involves buying up every firecracker in the country and spending 10 hours a day for a week just setting them off. one after the other after the other. The louder the better. Every family does their own show.

Of course there are other reasons for firework displays, but what makes Diwali here so notable is that its not about the display (as say new years is, where some special fireworks that look really good get used for 10 minutes) but about the process itself, so it lasts forever.

It starts at about 5 pm and from then on until 1am an entire area of around 5 square miles lives to the sound of continuous unbroken machine gun fire.

As annoying as it is to humans, at least we know its just some idiots who will stop in a few days. animals on the other hand, to quote the Times of India, "have a heightened sense of hearing so the jolts and loud noises cause many animals to flee in search of safe haven" Unfortunately this is the fate of Sisyphus, since there is no safe heaven to find, the fireworks come from all areas and its hours and hours of running a gauntlet.

The article mainly focuses on pets, since Diwali and Guy Fawkes night (English fireworks "celebration" which fortunately is slightly more controlled with single park displays favoured over the every family for themselves approach) are by far the most common periods for pets to run away causing owners pain, and it happened to me as a child so i know how it feels.

But besides the pets who live in a state of shock for hours, woodland animals like squirrels and birds also suffer and their plight is ignored. They also live in fear for hours and often in their flight in search of a haven, end up away from their nests or even habbitats. More over the fireworks themselves often cause the animals burns or worse.
 
The Hitch said:
But what I am talking about mostly is the cruelty to animals that happens in the name of religion. The most famous example is of course halal meat, or kosher in the case of judaism - the belief that the animal needs to be slaughtered in a special, painful way, in order to make it holy.
How is that cruel(ty)?

Lots of myth regarding halal...
 
Netserk said:
How is that cruel(ty)?

Lots of myth regarding halal...
Cutting an animal's carotid artery and let all the blood drain while he is still alive, and ''only'' after that decapitate him is outrageous cruelty.

This is an interesting thread. I do not believe in god and it makes me crawl up the walls knowing some people do - no offence. Religion is product of one's fertile imagination and the only reason it still stands up is because of people living in fear over the ages on going to hell.
 
BigMac said:
the only reason it still stands up is because of people living in fear over the ages on going to hell.
imho people are more scared of disappearing for good. They need to think there's more, because they can't find satisfaction in this life.
 
Eshnar said:
imho people are more scared of disappearing for good. They need to think there's more, because they can't find satisfaction in this life.
Which is stupid because what they ought to be more scared of is not disappearing for good.

Believing an afterlife would be pleasant is like thinking your football team will win because you want them to.

Humans in the modern era, due to massive strokes of luck and centuries of painful development, are the only creatures, bar some of our pets maybe, on this planet for whom it is possible to enjoy life.

Every other creature to ever inhabit the earth has lived in a constant struggle with hunger, fear (of predators), tooth aches etc until a grim end, and this includes 99% of the humans to ever inhabit the earth.

What is it about the few decades these people have spent in this universe that makes them think eternal life will be anything but constant suffering?

Netserk said:
I dare say that >98% of all halal have been stunned in Denmark. There's practically no difference for the animal whether it's halal or conventional slaughtered, in Denmark.
So? Even if what you say is true, thats one small European country. And I clearly pointed out that Britain, a larger country with a larger muslim population, expempts Halal meat from the law that says animals should be stunned.

From the article

They are granted an exemption to the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995, which stipulates that creatures such as cows, goats and chickens be stunned first.
Religious groups say that doing so would be against their interpretation of religious texts.
 
Eshnar said:
imho people are more scared of disappearing for good. They need to think there's more, because they can't find satisfaction in this life.
There is no soul, only your brain. I feel sorry for people who think like that, for they won't live their life properly. Humans went from the basic need to survive, back when we were as hairy as chimps, to the need of having an accomplished and prosperous life. I see and can only agree with your point.

Since there is no such thing as an other life, only a permanent blackout, people (discounting those who can't due to natural or forced reasons) should start thinking of having a different perspective to life. For example, no religion can save you from the near end of the planet because of immature and irresponsible behavior of humans towards nature.
 

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