Research on Belief in God

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Jan 27, 2013
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This 'debate' is so funny; atheists and fundamentalists deserve each other. Surface scratchers arguing over gnats.

When did man stop being an ape? When did man become rational? Who said man is rational? Science tried...and failed. We are emotional beings that create (imagine, in the image of God) theories that create patterns to explain the chaos to ourselves, for ourselves. God is a personal being? That's personification, idolatry.

I find it all amazing that we can even explore these concepts as apes. I also don't see major contradictions between science and religion but then I don't think God is a personality in the sky. Pure potential? OK. An emanation, like a ubiquitous sonic wave? OK. The All? OK. Atman is Brahma? OK. I think the Indians, Advaita Vedanta specifically, cuts to the quick. That is, as humans, all we can conceive of in our LIMITED ape shape. We can imagine more than we are - for better and worse. We arrive from nothing and nowhere and that's where we return, in fact we never left. We get to be 'me' for a while...dance and sing if we're lucky but it's all temporary like a dream within a dream.

I think Pythagoras, Plotinus, Spinoza, Ramana Maharshi and Jesus would have got along just fine but then they all understood their exploration - the razor's edge. As the Sufis call it as-sirat. Heaven and hell are in this world...never mind the next.

“I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind...
Albert Einstein
 
hrotha said:
Hitch's point still stands even if you bother to reword it in more accurate terms. At which point during evolution did a non-human primate give birth to a fully human, soul-endowed primate?

Granted, this point doesn't work on Bible literalists. It's for the more reasonable religious folks out there.
Does secular science teach this (the idea of a non-human primate developing into a human) as fact or theory? If as theory, then even in your eyes wouldn't it be perfectly fine for a "biblical literalist" to believe in another theory? If they teach it as fact, where is the physical evidence for this phenomena?
 
Jul 16, 2011
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Echoes said:
Nowadays, the "truths" that should be taken on face value, which you hardly may counter are those that are opposite to those I'm sharing here. At least in my country. You have to accept all of the Church's "tiranny" and "obscurantism". You may not question that reading grid. We are taught about it at school, in MSM, in most successful books and indeed in films... So don't reverse roles.
It seems though that you present a mirror image of such a position. There is not simply a choice between "You have to accept all of the Church's "tiranny" and "obscurantism"" and "You have to reject all of the Church's "tiranny" and "obscurantism"..". The truth about human nature and religion is more complex than that.

Echoes said:
If you don't trust me, then just documentate and we talk, you have the whole Internet for this (and I'm sure that most won't even do it). Beside if you want to ruin my reasoning by just pointing out that Amistad is not that recent, it's pretty poor... It's a detail that does not change anything to the rest of my reasoning (yes it's the one I had in mine) and compare to Gone with the Wind, it's pretty recent. :D
You might have missed my reasoning with links to the relevant pages. It was a few pages back. Here is the relevant section. I haven't seen Amistad, so I can't comment, but the comments on "12 years a slave" fit in to the general argument.

Tank Engine said:
Spielberg directed "Amistad", but hardly recently. The film came out in 1997. The most recent high profile about slavery was "12 years a slave" directed by Steve McQueen (a British film director, not to be confused with the American Actor of the same name).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_McQueen_(director)

Certainly, the nastiest of the slave owners quoted a lot from the Bible, often in justification of his power over his slaves and punishments. The film is based
on the autobiography of the main character, Solomon Northup. As such, the film is a pretty accurate depiction of the story given the confines of the medium of film, see

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/24q2b5/how_historically_accurate_is_the_movie_12_years_a/

Hence, the film aims to give a slave's view point on slavery, which you might call the (in my opinion highly justified) agenda of a black director. It's not a historical critique of slavery, but a personal critique and, as such, and on this scale is certainly not "an obvious distortion of the truth".
Echoes said:
More generally speaking, when I see how even Maarten is talked to, so condescendingly. So much smugness (I thought it was against the rules to refer to someone's username?). It's kind of disgusting. If it's with me, okay, I'm rather impulsive, so it's understandable, but he's harmless and would even always respond to these attacks with calm and dignity. It's just unbearable to see...
With regard to Maarten, I agree with you, which I stated in my pre-Christmas message.
 
Jspear said:
Does secular science teach this (the idea of a non-human primate developing into a human) as fact or theory? If as theory, then even in your eyes wouldn't it be perfectly fine for a "biblical literalist" to believe in another theory? If they teach it as fact, where is the physical evidence for this phenomena?
No, secular science doesn't posit this exactly - I'm changing it slightly to accommodate religious views, i.e. using "non-human" to mean "soulless" and "fully human" to mean "soul-endowed". From a scientific point of view, there's no single point when a living being that would be classified as a certain species gives birth to a different one. Incidentally, this is why there's no "missing link" - everything is an intermediate link between two given species, the classification of which is a bit arbitrary.

But that's not your underlying question. Your real question is, is evolution a fact? The answer is, yes it is. It is a theory in the scientific sense, not in the colloquial sense of "basically a guess". I'm not going to try to educate you any further because it'd be pointless, but you can read up about it yourself.
 
Jspear said:
The simple answer is: Cancer, death, and all the evil we see in the world is a result of sin. Man sinned and these are the consequences. There will always be pain in this world. There is the gospel which can save your soul and that is the most important aspect of this life because it is the eternal. Irrational things happen because man is often irrational. :)
So god DID murder that guy, that left 3 daughters under 3??


A 2 year old has no sin. Killing a 2 year old because 'some' feel the parents are 'full of sin', is poopycock. Very religious church parents, beyond reproach, have small, young, babies in fact, that get very sick, are in much pain and in fact, die.

God then is mean, intolerant, vindictive. Why not make everybody love him, if he dislikes sinners so much? 'I'm not worthy', type crap..I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees.
 
Bustedknuckle said:
So god DID murder that guy, that left 3 daughters under 3??


A 2 year old has no sin. illing a 2 year old because 'some' feel the parents are 'full of sin', is poopycock. Very religious church parents, beyond reproach, have small, young, babies in fact, that get very sick, are in much pain and in fact, die.

God then is mean, intolerant, vindictive. Why not make everybody love him, if he dislikes sinners so much? 'I'm not worthy', type crap..I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees.
God doesn't force us to sin...it is a choice we make. Even young children, though they are not as responsible for their sin, sin. We are conceived sinful and it just continues to show more as we get older. Since children are born into a world of sin they are going to feel the effects of sin.

God isn't mean....he is just in that (like any good judge) he must punish sin. But this is perfectly complimented by his mercy and grace which He extends out to us freely if we will receive it with faith.
 
Jspear said:
God doesn't force us to sin...it is a choice we make. Even young children, though they are not as responsible for their sin, sin. We are conceived sinful and it just continues to show more as we get older. Since children are born into a world of sin they are going to feel the effects of sin.

God isn't mean....he is just in that (like any good judge) he must punish sin. But this is perfectly complimented by his mercy and grace which He extends out to us freely if we will receive it with faith.
He may not force us, but by being omnipotent he is responsible.

He may not want to use his power and let us act freely, but he has that power and he has created us able to do certain things. That makes him responsible. It's only if he really isn't omnipotent and can't stop us from sinning that he isn't responsible.
 
Aug 4, 2011
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Jspear said:
If you take this position then you must doubt everything that took place in antiquity.
My position is in context with the subject matter in hand.

Hitch , if you do your due diligence and looked at 911 you would in fact see the factual evidence that 911 was a black/false
flag operation. A&E for 911. pilots for 911 and fireman for 911 all know the truth. The NIST report is full of holes and lies.
Scientist Judy wood even took legal action for scientific fraud. 4 members of Bush's own cabinet resigned due to the fact that the Bush government new well before about the attacks. There was clever use of misinformation. Susan Lindauer a former CIA asset tried to blow the whistle. If you check her amazing story out, She confirms that 911 was known about in advance she also tells of how explosives were put into the building. These are facts. She was only the 2nd ever person to be charged under the patriot act. Family members are still looking for the truth. Here is one example of a lie.
How did the reports come out that the hijackers had box cutters? well we are told that this information came from Barbra Olson the wife of US Solicitor General Ted Olson [bushs government] who was on board flight 77 . She called her husband from the plane and said it had been hijacked and the hijackers had box cutters.
US Solicitor General Ted Olson told this story quite a few times and that's is how we know the hijackers had box cutters
Problem is at that time no cell phone call could connect at the altitude they were flying at.
US Solicitor General Ted Olson then changes his story and said she called on a onboard plane phone.
American Airlines confirmed that there was no such phones on the plane.
It was then confirmed that Barbra olson did try to make a call on her cell phone but it never connected.
This has since been added to the official report.
Ted Olson US Solicitor General Lied about the phone call. So how did we know the hijackers had box cutters?
Hitch look at A&E for 911.look at the evidence. I recommend you to watch a film called Anatomy of 911,,,it will open your eyes


Sorry for going off topic.
 
Oct 25, 2009
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Jspear said:
God doesn't force us to sin...it is a choice we make. Even young children, though they are not as responsible for their sin, sin. We are conceived sinful and it just continues to show more as we get older. Since children are born into a world of sin they are going to feel the effects of sin.

God isn't mean....he is just in that (like any good judge) he must punish sin. But this is perfectly complimented by his mercy and grace which He extends out to us freely if we will receive it with faith.
So we need some all-seeing dictator to "judge" us and our "sin"? And he will charitably grant us "mercy and grace" if we agree to get down on our knees and submit to him? Please, what a load of horse-bleep. By the way, there is no evidence for either, so believing in this sort of tripe is nothing more than witchcraft.

So were all the kids in Newtown slaughtered for their sins? Where was God's "mercy and grace" that day? and on all the other days of slaughter, mayhem and destruction? How many of those people in their moment of terror and impending death cried to God for help and mercy, only to get NOTHING.

What a crock, God is completely manmade. Thinking like yours about sin is the most dangerous thing in this world today.
 
Jspear said:
God doesn't force us to sin...it is a choice we make. Even young children, though they are not as responsible for their sin, sin. We are conceived sinful and it just continues to show more as we get older. Since children are born into a world of sin they are going to feel the effects of sin.

God isn't mean....he is just in that (like any good judge) he must punish sin. But this is perfectly complimented by his mercy and grace which He extends out to us freely if we will receive it with faith.
I'm sure a 2 year old deserves to suffer and die because of the unfeeling drivel you just wrote. Must Punish Sin?? Where does mercy enter into it? For this defenseless child? Grace and mercy even tho that little girls' parents are as holy as you?

Besides, you think evolution is bunk..Adam and Eve? Their children?? All people from that? I guess incest was OK?

People like you scare me.

All man-made, for power, money, control, passing out guilt. It's the bane of human existence, this zealotry, people like you. Not the other way around.

'Kill que_r for Christ"...type drivel.
 
Jul 16, 2011
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The Hitch said:
If Heaven does exist then it makes no sense for an omnipotent benevolent god to even put anyone on earth to begin with.
Just put everyone in heaven to begin with and let everyone enjoy life for ever after.:eek:
There is a clear answer to this: we could never discuss the meaning of life, the universe and everything ;)
 
Jspear said:
God doesn't force us to sin...it is a choice we make. Even young children, though they are not as responsible for their sin, sin. We are conceived sinful and it just continues to show more as we get older. Since children are born into a world of sin they are going to feel the effects of sin.

God isn't mean....he is just in that (like any good judge) he must punish sin. But this is perfectly complimented by his mercy and grace which He extends out to us freely if we will receive it with faith.
Punish Hitler, not a 2 year old. A baby does not sin, nor does that bunny that gets run over by a car. But punished nonetheless.

A good judge is fair and just. Killing children isn't how I would see fair and just.
 
Bustedknuckle said:
I'm sure a 2 year old deserves to suffer and die because of the unfeeling drivel you just wrote. Must Punish Sin?? Where does mercy enter into it? For this defenseless child? Grace and mercy even tho that little girls' parents are as holy as you?

Besides, you think evolution is bunk..Adam and Eve? Their children?? All people from that? I guess incest was OK?

People like you scare me.

All man-made, for power, money, control, passing out guilt. It's the bane of human existence, this zealotry, people like you. Not the other way around.

'Kill que_r for Christ"...type drivel.
I'm not attempting to write "unfeeling drivel." I'm sorry you feel that way and I'm sorry that I scare you. I'm a human, I know what it is like to lose people I love...I've felt the "evils" of this world. I don't right as some emotionless human that is living the high life with no issues.

If there is no God, does that help with all the tragedies in this world? Does that make them go away? It doesn't...all it does is make things even more hopeless. I said a two year old is born a sinner, but isn't as responsible because they don't understand yet. I believe that 2 year old will go to heaven because they weren't old enough to make a decision on their own to believe in God...that should give a parent WAY more hope then just, "oh yes they suffered in this life and now they are nothing." How about this..."yes, it was a tragedy what happened to that child - but now he/she is in heaven where everything is perfect, no more pain no more sorrow. Oh and you can be there to...it's a choice you make."

That is real hope.
Humans can't reject God and then go on to blame, ridicule, and mock him for all the evil in the world. It's a sad mindset to have. I look at all the evil in the world and I know that saying or wishing that there is no God won't make the pain go away....all your ranting won't change anything. You could decide to believe in God...it would make a lot more sense out of this world than not believing in him. Christianity gives hope...there is an afterlife free of pain, sorrow, and sin.
 
Tom T. said:
So we need some all-seeing dictator to "judge" us and our "sin"? And he will charitably grant us "mercy and grace" if we agree to get down on our knees and submit to him? Please, what a load of horse-bleep. By the way, there is no evidence for either, so believing in this sort of tripe is nothing more than witchcraft.

So were all the kids in Newtown slaughtered for their sins? Where was God's "mercy and grace" that day? and on all the other days of slaughter, mayhem and destruction? How many of those people in their moment of terror and impending death cried to God for help and mercy, only to get NOTHING.

What a crock, God is completely manmade. Thinking like yours about sin is the most dangerous thing in this world today.
I do believe that they were slaughtered by a very troubled human...
 
Aug 4, 2011
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Jspear said:
I'm not attempting to write "unfeeling drivel." I'm sorry you feel that way and I'm sorry that I scare you. I'm a human, I know what it is like to lose people I love...I've felt the "evils" of this world. I don't right as some emotionless human that is living the high life with no issues.

If there is no God, does that help with all the tragedies in this world? Does that make them go away? It doesn't...all it does is make things even more hopeless. I said a two year old is born a sinner, but isn't as responsible because they don't understand yet. I believe that 2 year old will go to heaven because they weren't old enough to make a decision on their own to believe in God...that should give a parent WAY more hope then just, "oh yes they suffered in this life and now they are nothing." How about this..."yes, it was a tragedy what happened to that child - but now he/she is in heaven where everything is perfect, no more pain no more sorrow. Oh and you can be there to...it's a choice you make."

That is real hope.
Humans can't reject God and then go on to blame, ridicule, and mock him for all the evil in the world. It's a sad mindset to have. I look at all the evil in the world and I know that saying or wishing that there is no God won't make the pain go away....all your ranting won't change anything. You could decide to believe in God...it would make a lot more sense out of this world than not believing in him. Christianity gives hope...there is an afterlife free of pain, sorrow, and sin.

Yours is a world that lives in fear of a fictional deity.
Yours is a world that believes it can justify your all powerful gods lack of intervention when people suffer in the most horrific conditions by saying god has a reason to let these things happen. That's such a weak argument for someone who you say created everything yet lets such awful things happen to people of all different make up.

I really think and I am not trying to scare you that you seem to have no idea about how big the universe is. I don't think you realise the scale of time.
I don't think you have any idea how insignificant in time and space the human existence is. You can only think about it in a very small context that makes sense to your beliefs and revolves around a book of fairy tales.
To think the way you do IMO shows a real lack of imagination and limits the possibility of creativity because you are limited by your beliefs.

I don't blame god when a typhoon or hurricane kills hundreds of people because I don't believe in god.
When their are people killed for such things as apostacy I don't blame god because I don't believe in any supernatural being but they are suffering and paying the consequences for being brought up in a religious and fearful controlled upbringing.
 
Oct 25, 2009
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Jspear said:
I do believe that they were slaughtered by a very troubled human...
Exactly, and God had nothing to do with it......because there is no God. If God is as you and other believers say, then shouldn't he have done something about this? Surely, if anyone deserves divine protection it's a bunch of innocent elementary school children about to be slaughtered by a madman. What more proof do you need there is no God?

But by your claim that God judges and punishes us for our sins, in your world isn't it plausible these kids were punished for their sins? The belief that people must be judged and punished for their sins is the root of much of the evil in this world. As Christopher Hitchens says "religion poisons everything".

You said in a response to Bustedknuckle that "Humans can't reject God and then go on to blame, ridicule, and mock him for all the evil in the world. It's a sad mindset to have. look at all the evil in the world and I know that saying or wishing that there is no God won't make the pain go away....all your ranting won't change anything. You could decide to believe in God...it would make a lot more sense out of this world than not believing in him. Christianity gives hope...there is an afterlife free of pain, sorrow, and sin."

That's not what we're saying at all, I can't blame something that doesn't exist. And it's extremely offensive to say that the world would make more sense if I believed in some half-baked fairy tale about some manmade, all-seeing dictator. An afterlife free of pain, sorrow and sin? While the rest of us burn down here in hell after the believers rise up in the rapture? Isn't that what you believe? Think about that, what drivel. I prefer to dwell in reality and don't need belief in some fake deity to know how to live well, treat others well and behave morally.
 
To be fair to Jspear, he isn't judging us for our beliefs (or non-beliefs), he is only trying to explain the basis for his own beliefs. Whether or not we agree with him, he is entitled to believe what he wants as long as he doesn't harm anyone else. I get the impression he is a pretty upstanding person, hopefully I am right! In any case, my point of view is that being a good (or bad) person has no relation to being religious or not.

Having said that, I have a lot of trouble buying into the whole God thing. An all knowing creator who builds-in sin into his creations then indiscriminately punishes some innocents including young children for the sins of others - it requires a huge disconnect from rational thought to make this work. Then there is the whole getting into heaven or not thing. Sounds more like a great way to manipulate (and scare) the masses into buying into the dogma.

A while back someone posted links to some humourist's takes on religion. A couple of them were excellent in ripping apart the story telling that forms much of the formal basis for religion.
 
Jul 16, 2011
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Jspear said:
You could decide to believe in God...it would make a lot more sense out of this world than not believing in him.
With regard to the idea of "making sense out of this world", there are two possible interpretations, just as in the question "why are we here?". One interpretation of this question is "finding meaning in the world" (or "how should we live?") and the second is "understanding how the world works" (or "how did we come to be here?"). I would take the second interpretation as my starting point (which admittedly to a large part results from my profession).

From the fossil records and what we know about the enormity of the (our?) universe and the distance that light travels to us from the farthest stars indicate that our world is very old. The argument that god created a world that looked old is, to me, highly disingenious.

Secondly, given the time that the universe has been here and how DNA and natural selection work, given that life based on DNA started somewhere, then it seems perfectly natural that "higher" forms of life will evolve. One incredible thing about DNA is how it expresses itself based on the environment. I think it was in Fisher's book "Genetical Theory of Natural Selection" that I read that on average that in the 1930s second generation descendents of Japanese immigrants were on average 7cms taller than their contemporaries in Japan. This agrees with

The writer, Tooru Kanazawa, also claimed that the second generation had grown “straight, taller, and better formed than their parents,” which allowed them to take up Western garb rather than the customary Japanese dress.[18] This may have been a strategy of The Courier to congratulate the Nisei that their efforts to assimilate to the dominant ideology were paying off socially and, more incredibly, physically.

from http://depts.washington.edu/depress/japanese_american_courier_americanism.shtml

According to Richard Wrangham (Catching fire: How Cooking Made us Human), the use of fire to cook had huge effects on the evolution of humans (over a longer period). Since food was easier to digest, the alimentary tract became less energy consuming and more energy could be supplied to the brain, which as a result expanded. So the human form changed radically and that could result from very minor changes in their DNA code.

These are of course minor details in a huge process.

I conclude that young earth creationism is untenable. The biblical creation myth does speak about the human condition, but in the sense of the writer(s?) observing the human condition (our imperfection, mortality, the pain of child birth, the "need to work") and writing a story around that, rather than historic events that explain the human condition. The process of natural selection (both of biological and cultural traits) is a much more convincing description of how we came to be what we are.

None of this proves or disproves the existence of god, or answers the question posed in the form of "how to find meaning in the world". But for me it is a much more reasonable approach to base my search for meaning on why the universe looks like it does, rather than the other way round, which the creationist approach does.

As far as I see, belief in the god of the creationists (or more generally, any theistic/non-deistic concept of god, but that's a longer argument) makes a lot less sense of this world.
 
Tom T. said:
Exactly, and God had nothing to do with it......because there is no God. If God is as you and other believers say, then shouldn't he have done something about this? Surely, if anyone deserves divine protection it's a bunch of innocent elementary school children about to be slaughtered by a madman. What more proof do you need there is no God?

But by your claim that God judges and punishes us for our sins, in your world isn't it plausible these kids were punished for their sins? The belief that people must be judged and punished for their sins is the root of much of the evil in this world. As Christopher Hitchens says "religion poisons everything".

You said in a response to Bustedknuckle that "Humans can't reject God and then go on to blame, ridicule, and mock him for all the evil in the world. It's a sad mindset to have. look at all the evil in the world and I know that saying or wishing that there is no God won't make the pain go away....all your ranting won't change anything. You could decide to believe in God...it would make a lot more sense out of this world than not believing in him. Christianity gives hope...there is an afterlife free of pain, sorrow, and sin."

That's not what we're saying at all, I can't blame something that doesn't exist. And it's extremely offensive to say that the world would make more sense if I believed in some half-baked fairy tale about some manmade, all-seeing dictator. An afterlife free of pain, sorrow and sin? While the rest of us burn down here in hell after the believers rise up in the rapture? Isn't that what you believe? Think about that, what drivel. I prefer to dwell in reality and don't need belief in some fake deity to know how to live well, treat others well and behave morally.
You seem to think that believers are just "lucky" that they are going to heaven. It's a choice that individuals have to make - what I mean is that those who don't go to heaven have only themselves to blame.

Religion poisons everything? You do realize that is just as "offensive" as anything I have said. Christianity has done SO much when it comes to helping the poor, third world countries, relief after natural disasters....I'm not personally offended...I'm quite used to being the "minority" when it comes to these discussions...just thought I'd point out that the strong statements run both ways.
 
Jspear said:
You seem to think that believers are just "lucky" that they are going to heaven. It's a choice that individuals have to make - what I mean is that those who don't go to heaven have only themselves to blame.

Religion poisons everything? You do realize that is just as "offensive" as anything I have said.
Not in a million years.

You claim that half the forum are worse than rapists and deserve to burn in hell for the next 60 billion zillion years, because they were born into families that don't follow whatever wackjob baptist church it is you believe possesses the sole truth of the whole universe.

You said little children deserve to get hurt and die becuase they are "born in sin".

Saying religion poisons everything is worse than that? lol.

PS the title for the book was chosen by the publisher.
 
The Hitch said:
Not in a million years.

You claim that half the forum are worse than rapists and deserve to burn in hell for the next 60 billion zillion years, because they were born into families that don't follow whatever wackjob baptist church it is you believe possesses the sole truth of the whole universe.

You said little children deserve to get hurt and die becuase they are "born in sin".

Saying religion poisons everything is worse than that? lol.

PS the title for the book was chosen by the publisher.
You're accusations as to what I said are simply wrong. Sorry you feel that way.
 

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