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CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-03-2011, 02:34 PM
Here's something I don't understand:

Why do the New Atheists--of the Dawkins, Wilbur variety--want to aggressively taken on, assault and eventually abolish religion? Why are they so concerned with what others believe? Why are they so aggresive in their anti-theism?
There are many atheists, including some here, who have a Live and Let Live attitude, and I appreciate that, and respect it--It's the way I as a theist feel too. We can have a world which has both atheists, and theists. However, the New Atheists disagree, and want to see a world only composed of Atheists.

But I worry that if all Atheism follows the way of New Atheism--the aggressive "Destroy religion!" path, that religion will be destroyed, and if any New Atheists gain power, that religion will be outlawed as we've seen in Atheist/Communist regimes. That it won't be considered acceptable to believe in a god or higher power.

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 02:44 PM
From the perspective of a New Atheist, faith is something in total oppositio to Reason, which they believe has the power to fully structure and explain reality.

New Atheists tend to put an extreme amount of emphasis on rationality, and the way they conceive of rationality places faith as some stain on the orderly picture of understanding. They see faith as nothing more but an inability to think something through, they feel that faith is just taking leaps over rationality, and posing a threat to a rational self. However, there are fundamental irrational aspects of the human experience that cannot be explained through the lense of New Atheism.

However, this has already been addressed long ago by religious (Christian) thinkers. G. K. Chesterton writes at length about rationality, madness, and faith in Orthodoxy, from the perspective of a Christian, and personally I think he understood the mechanisms of Reason far better than the so-called New Atheists do today.

If you consider yourself part of the New Atheist ilk, my advice is to think about the Self. Metaphysics, ontology, neuroscience, psychology. There is something missing there in that picture.

From the perspective of the New Atheist, problems of Free Will, the grounding of knowledge and self-knowledge produce terrible contradictions, which are actually paradoxes if viewed from another perspective.

New Atheists view faith as something just left over, a relic of a time when rationality and empirical science were not enough to explain reality, and with enough rational work and empirical data one could rid oneself of making the faithful leap. However, that's just not true. Faith is more of a symptom of reason. That is to say, faith may appear contrary to reason, but you cannot begin to use rationality without this "stain" of faith. If you take away the faith, all of rationality collapses.

Read Chesterton.

noonwitch
03-03-2011, 02:56 PM
If an atheist is very hostile toward religion, my guess is that his response is emotional rather than intellectual. If someone rejects religion for intellectual reasons, he's not going to get all emotional and hateful toward those who still choose to follow a religion or faith.

There are people who read the Bible and say that it just doesn't make sense to them scientifically or historically. It's not a personal thing to them, just a choice.

Then there are the people who reject religion and want to walk around in some kind of bubble that protects them from ever hearing other people talk about their faith or beliefs, or see any type of religious symbol, and so on. That's not intellectual, that's totally emotional.

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 02:58 PM
CITM based on your comments about your religious interests I suggest you looking into Leo Tolstoy, if you haven't already. Extremely well known writer, some consider the best of all time. He has very interesting views about religions, some that I think would jive very well with your emerging interest in Eastern spirituality and he even brings those sentiments back home to Christianity, so you can see Christianity in a way that recognizes the eastern views of Self.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolstoy#Religious_and_political_beliefs


Tolstoy believed that a true Christian could find lasting happiness by striving for inner self-perfection through following the Great Commandment of loving one's neighbor and God rather than looking outward to the Church or state for guidance.[citation needed] His belief in nonresistance (nonviolence) when faced by conflict is another distinct attribute of his philosophy based on Christ's teachings.[citation needed] By directly influencing Mahatma Gandhi with this idea through his work The Kingdom of God is Within You (full text of English translation available on Wikisource), Tolstoy has had a huge influence on the nonviolent resistance movement to this day.

obviously you won't agree with everything but I think there's enough in there that matches your interests that you would gain a lot from it.

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 03:05 PM
If an atheist is very hostile toward religion, my guess is that his response is emotional rather than intellectual. If someone rejects religion for intellectual reasons, he's not going to get all emotional and hateful toward those who still choose to follow a religion or faith.

There are people who read the Bible and say that it just doesn't make sense to them scientifically or historically. It's not a personal thing to them, just a choice.

Then there are the people who reject religion and want to walk around in some kind of bubble that protects them from ever hearing other people talk about their faith or beliefs, or see any type of religious symbol, and so on. That's not intellectual, that's totally emotional.

I think New Atheists are more concerned with protecting their imaginary ideal of themselves as rational thinkers. Any time they perceive a gap in rationality (and they see Faith as that gap) they scramble to fill in that gap, believing that if they can fill in all the gaps of rationality, that faith would just go away. However, faith isn't just what is left when there is a gap in rationality, faith is a sort of the background of rationality.

It's like the saying "the exception which proves the rule". Rationality becomes the Rule, but New Atheists don't realize that you need an exception to prove the rule, otherwise it is no longer a rule. You cannot have a rule without it's own exception, it carries it like a shadow.

New Atheists are obsessed with ridding themselves of the shadow because the nature of the shadow appears contrary to the nature of their Rule. They are trying to protect their rule but they don't understand that if they succeeded in ridding themselves of faith their rationality would close in on itself and they would become mad with delusions.

Novaheart
03-03-2011, 03:05 PM
If an atheist is very hostile toward religion, my guess is that his response is emotional rather than intellectual. If someone rejects religion for intellectual reasons, he's not going to get all emotional and hateful toward those who still choose to follow a religion or faith.

There are people who read the Bible and say that it just doesn't make sense to them scientifically or historically. It's not a personal thing to them, just a choice.

Then there are the people who reject religion and want to walk around in some kind of bubble that protects them from ever hearing other people talk about their faith or beliefs, or see any type of religious symbol, and so on. That's not intellectual, that's totally emotional.


If I were to sign up for a science course at college, and the first day the professor opens his book and says, "5771 years ago, there was the word......"

Should I stay in that class?

Arroyo_Doble
03-03-2011, 03:10 PM
I subscribe to the Mad Jack philosophy on this issue: I don't give a damn how a man prays; there's enough room in Hell for all of us.

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 03:12 PM
If I were to sign up for a science course at college, and the first day the professor opens his book and says, "5771 years ago, there was the word......"

Should I stay in that class?

I will agree though that Religious Fundamentalism is pretty dumb. people who claim evolution isn't real or the earth is 6000 years old are just silly.

however there is a world of difference between religious fundamentalism and other forms of religious practice. New Atheists tend to lump all these groups together.

You can be both educated and faithful, and not all faith is fundamentalism (in fact I consider fundamentalism a lack of faith, but that's just my own opinion)

wilbur
03-03-2011, 03:14 PM
Here's something I don't understand:

Why do the New Atheists--of the Dawkins, Wilbur variety--want to aggressively taken on, assault and eventually abolish religion? Why are they so concerned with what others believe? Why are they so aggresive in their anti-theism?

There are many atheists, including some here, who have a Live and Let Live attitude, and I appreciate that, and respect it--It's the way I as a theist feel too. We can have a world which has both atheists, and theists. However, the New Atheists disagree, and want to see a world only composed of Atheists.


CITM - why does it bother you so much when an atheist expresses their opinions? What's wrong with them voicing their disagreement?

Seems like if an atheist does anything but shut up sit down in the corner where he can't be seen, you consider it an assault. Get over it.




But I worry that if all Atheism follows the way of New Atheism--the aggressive "Destroy religion!" path, that religion will be destroyed, and if any New Atheists gain power, that religion will be outlawed as we've seen in Atheist/Communist regimes. That it won't be considered acceptable to believe in a god or higher power.

Good lord - relax dude. Insane paranoia.

Arroyo_Doble
03-03-2011, 03:16 PM
But I worry that if all Atheism follows the way of New Atheism--the aggressive "Destroy religion!" path, that religion will be destroyed, and if any New Atheists gain power, that religion will be outlawed as we've seen in Atheist/Communist regimes. That it won't be considered acceptable to believe in a god or higher power.

That would be impossible without an amendment to the United States' constitution. Probably to the constitutions of the Several States as well (I have not read them all).

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-03-2011, 03:17 PM
CITM - why does it bother you so much when an atheist expresses their opinion and beliefs? What's wrong with them voicing their disagreement?

Seems like if an atheist does anything but shut up sit down in the corner where he can't be seen, you consider it an assault.




Good lord - relax dude. Insane paranoia.

There's a great difference between expressing your opinion and going on a crusade. You know that. Don't pretend you'd love if religion disappeared off the face of the Earth.

wilbur
03-03-2011, 03:24 PM
There's a great difference between expressing your opinion and going on a crusade. You know that. Don't pretend you'd love if religion disappeared off the face of the Earth.

So what if an atheist wants to go on a crusade? If you believe religions are false, and you see people on crusades to spread these false beliefs, why on earth would you NOT want to stop it?

Your whole philosophy of celebrating all this plurality of belief, for the sake of diversity or what-have-you is the pinnacle of postmodern PC bullshit. There's no good reason for it, except so that you can self-righteously pat yourself on the back for feeling so accepting, worldly and open minded. It's one thing to look at other points of view to possibly enrich your own - its another to sit here and say its positive that so many contradictory (and necessarily false) belief systems guide the lives of the people on this planet. And really, I'd hazard a guess that what drives it all... is typical approval seeking.

I DON'T think its good that so many differing groups of people operate according to mutually exclusive, incompatible worldviews that probably are false. I WANT people to have true beliefs. You're essentially saying truth is worthless (or perhaps, that it doesnt even exist).

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-03-2011, 03:30 PM
So what if an atheist wants to go on a crusade? If you believe religions are false, and you see people on crusades to spread these false beliefs, why on earth would you NOT want to stop it?

Your whole philosophy of celebrating all this plurality of belief, for the sake of diversity or what-have-you is the hight postmodern PC bullshit. There's no good reason for it, except so that you can self-righteously pat yourself on the back for feeling so accepting, worldly and open minded. It's one thing to look at other points of view to possibly enrich your own - its another to sit here and say its positive that so many contradictory (and necessarily false) belief systems guide the lives of the people on this planet. And really, I'd hazard a guess that what drives it all... is typical approval seeking.

I DON'T think its good that so many differing groups of people operate according to mutually exclusive, incompatible worldviews that probably are false. I WANT people to have true beliefs. You're essentially saying truth is worthless (or perhaps, that it doesnt even exist).

Ok Stalin.

wilbur
03-03-2011, 03:34 PM
Ok Stalin.

I see a gulag in your future if you don't repent of your faith, and salute the gods of atheism!!

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-03-2011, 03:36 PM
I see a gulag in your future if you don't repent of your faith, and hail the gods of atheism!!

Yah, atheism is like, so cool, life is meaningless and we all came from nothing. we're just flesh and bodily fliuds and that's all. yah meng. 2011. whoo.

Communist piece of shit.

wilbur
03-03-2011, 03:40 PM
Yah, atheism is like, so cool, life is meaningless and we all came from nothing. we're just flesh and bodily fliuds and that's all. yah meng. 2011. whoo.

Communist piece of shit.

I know what you mean! Like, if we really arent ethereal specters from another dimension that wear human bodies like meatsuits, we're totally worthless and pointless! Immaterial, smoky wispy stuff is so much better than atoms and molecules!

Lager
03-03-2011, 03:46 PM
I DON'T think its good that so many differing groups of people operate according to mutually exclusive, incompatible worldviews that probably are false. I WANT people to have true beliefs. You're essentially saying truth is worthless (or perhaps, that it doesnt even exist).

It's amazing how many different concepts that liberals can find objective. Morals? Depends on your culture and point of view. Character? Depends on your personal beliefs. Many things can be defined as relevant or ambigous to many modern liberals. In many facets of their thinking, there is no right or wrong, those are just arbitrary terms. But without a doubt, the religious believer is incorrect, and must be dissuaded of their views.

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 03:47 PM
Yah, atheism is like, so cool, life is meaningless and we all came from nothing. we're just flesh and bodily fliuds and that's all. yah meng. 2011. whoo.

Communist piece of shit.

lol boop beep boop we're all robots no emotions no life no essence beep beep boop

FBIGuy
03-03-2011, 03:48 PM
From the perspective of a New Atheist, faith is something in total oppositio to Reason, which they believe has the power to fully structure and explain reality.

New Atheists tend to put an extreme amount of emphasis on rationality, and the way they conceive of rationality places faith as some stain on the orderly picture of understanding. They see faith as nothing more but an inability to think something through, they feel that faith is just taking leaps over rationality, and posing a threat to a rational self. However, there are fundamental irrational aspects of the human experience that cannot be explained through the lense of New Atheism.

However, this has already been addressed long ago by religious (Christian) thinkers. G. K. Chesterton writes at length about rationality, madness, and faith in Orthodoxy, from the perspective of a Christian, and personally I think he understood the mechanisms of Reason far better than the so-called New Atheists do today.

If you consider yourself part of the New Atheist ilk, my advice is to think about the Self. Metaphysics, ontology, neuroscience, psychology. There is something missing there in that picture.

From the perspective of the New Atheist, problems of Free Will, the grounding of knowledge and self-knowledge produce terrible contradictions, which are actually paradoxes if viewed from another perspective.

New Atheists view faith as something just left over, a relic of a time when rationality and empirical science were not enough to explain reality, and with enough rational work and empirical data one could rid oneself of making the faithful leap. However, that's just not true. Faith is more of a symptom of reason. That is to say, faith may appear contrary to reason, but you cannot begin to use rationality without this "stain" of faith. If you take away the faith, all of rationality collapses.

Read Chesterton.

All of which will be completely irrational if god exists.

FBIGuy
03-03-2011, 03:55 PM
I know what you mean! Like, if we really arent ethereal specters from another dimension that wear human bodies like meatsuits, we're totally worthless and pointless! Immaterial, smoky wispy stuff is so much better than atoms and molecules!

You prove his point. You are an atheist and as far as I can tell you are about the most worthless, pointless individual I've encountered during my travels on on the internet. Your only purpose in life seems to be to argue with people and to be a shinning example to others that even a person with only a rudimentary grasp of critical thinking concepts can make it to the ripe old age of 16.

Rockntractor
03-03-2011, 03:59 PM
lol boop beep boop we're all robots no emotions no life no essence beep beep boop

This is the most intelligent thing you have said to date! It won't be long and you will be walking upright.

noonwitch
03-03-2011, 04:01 PM
If I were to sign up for a science course at college, and the first day the professor opens his book and says, "5771 years ago, there was the word......"

Should I stay in that class?


It depends on the school, how important the class is to your major, and whether the prof has a sense of humor or not.

Really, if you are majoring in a non-science field, the biblical story of creation is a lot less technical than the scientific one. It's probably an easier A in that class. :o

Novaheart
03-03-2011, 04:04 PM
All of which will be completely irrational if god exists.

Every effort I have ever seen to prove with logic, because there is no evidence, that a god exists ultimately becomes a circular argument.

It's much harder to be an atheist/areligionist or even a Buddhist. Being a member of an established doctrinal religion means all you have to do is accept that you accept and you can pretty much leave the details to the priests. Being an atheist or a Buddhist means that you have to sort out what is moral or immoral organically, through a personal process.... and then you have to accept that even though you are making your very best effort to be a good person that your personality will cease to exist and you will blend into the oneness or nothingness on your demise. It's much easier to believe in a god, even one with so many conflicting descriptions, and that somehow you are going to end up on a water vapor divan fanning yourself with beams of divine fabulousness.

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 04:04 PM
It depends on the school, how important the class is to your major, and whether the prof has a sense of humor or not.

Really, if you are majoring in a non-science field, the biblical story of creation is a lot less technical than the scientific one. It's probably an easier A in that class. :o

It depends on whether you want to get a piece of paper with your name on it to get a job or if you actually want an education. Many college students want the former, and in my opinion they shouldn't even be in college they should just go to a trade school.

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 04:11 PM
Every effort I have ever seen to prove with logic, because there is no evidence, that a god exists ultimately becomes a circular argument.

It's much harder to be an atheist/areligionist or even a Buddhist. Being a member of an established doctrinal religion means all you have to do is accept that you accept and you can pretty much leave the details to the priests. Being an atheist or a Buddhist means that you have to sort out what is moral or immoral organically, through a personal process.... and then you have to accept that even though you are making your very best effort to be a good person that your personality will cease to exist and you will blend into the oneness or nothingness on your demise. It's much easier to believe in a god, even one with so many conflicting descriptions, and that somehow you are going to end up on a water vapor divan fanning yourself with beams of divine fabulousness.

What an excellent point.

There is an old phrase "if God is dead then everything is permitted", which speaks to the fundamentalist fears that without using God (within established religion) as your moral foundation, then you would be left to do anything without guilt or guidance, and people would just end up killing and raping left and right because they don't see it as wrong.

That's not true though, the truth is actually the opposite: If God is dead then everything is prohibited.

Without having something solid to base your morality on, you have to take every situation and make decisions with only limited knowledge. Religious people accept that they have limited knowledge but their faith in God (who is not limited) lets them not have to formulate their own morality in every situation or think too hard about the consequences.

That's not to say that religious people don't have moral conundrums, but those moral conundrums do not go beyond "what does God want me to do?", for a nonreligious person the conundrum goes to the very core of what rightness and wrongness, good and bad, actually mean. If you have no God, and you are forced to weigh every decision based on your limited knowledge, you are put into a position where you must make moral decisions without knowing the full consequences of your decision. You must live knowing that your moral system is incomplete and so is your knowledge and your actions then become dominated by the power of your own superego. It's a very difficult place where you must shoulder the burden of your own guilt because you do not have an absolute moral code to ease your anxieties. If you are religious and you follow your religious code then you're all good no need to worry about it. If you are atheist then everything becomes a potential source of moral conflict, everything falls on your own thoughts and actions.

FlaGator
03-03-2011, 05:13 PM
Every effort I have ever seen to prove with logic, because there is no evidence, that a god exists ultimately becomes a circular argument.

It's much harder to be an atheist/areligionist or even a Buddhist. Being a member of an established doctrinal religion means all you have to do is accept that you accept and you can pretty much leave the details to the priests. Being an atheist or a Buddhist means that you have to sort out what is moral or immoral organically, through a personal process.... and then you have to accept that even though you are making your very best effort to be a good person that your personality will cease to exist and you will blend into the oneness or nothingness on your demise. It's much easier to believe in a god, even one with so many conflicting descriptions, and that somehow you are going to end up on a water vapor divan fanning yourself with beams of divine fabulousness.

There is not direct evidence of a lot of things people hold to be true. If we had required empirical proof before anything was considered true then a lot of science would be left out of textbooks. I can use a rational argument and make a good case for the existence of God much like a evolutionist can make a good case for the reality of macro-evolution but both lack the hard evidence to win the day.

I use to be a Taoist which is an offshoot of Buddhism. There is no god in Buddhism and reality as we know it is an illusion. To reach Nirvana is the goal... to become nothing, to cease to exist. Souls get recycled until they become good enough to become nothing. That just makes not sense. How is that different than atheism..

My call to faith was a direct and personal one. No human evangelized me. No one preached to me and and gave me cause to change my mind and become a Christian. God worked a miracle in my life. One that had no rational explanation other than God. One that has astounded every one who knew me before. I needed no more proof of his existence, but I have read everything that I can get my hands on pertaining to Christian theology, philosophy, the science of consciousness, quantum physics, atheism, psychology and anything else that can help me get closer to God.

My main goal in life is to understand God the best I can and to do whatever he calls me to do. My faith, instead of closing my mind to the world around me, opened my eyes to the complexity that the Creator build in to existence. Christianity has given me the desire to learn everything about everything because I see God in all things.

The Night Owl
03-03-2011, 05:16 PM
Being an atheist or a Buddhist means that you have to sort out what is moral or immoral organically, through a personal process.... and then you have to accept that even though you are making your very best effort to be a good person that your personality will cease to exist and you will blend into the oneness or nothingness on your demise.

Anticipating the dissolution of the self is something Christians should have in common with Buddhists. If you were a Christian, your goal would be to become not like Novaheart, but rather like Christ. So, in Christianity, the best possible outcome is for you not to exist at all.

FlaGator
03-03-2011, 05:19 PM
Accepting the dissolution of the self is something Christianity has in common with Buddhism. If you were a Christian, your goal would be to become not like Novaheart, but rather like Christ. So, in Christianity, the best possible outcome is for you not to exist at all.

Do you enjoy being completely wrong about all your Christian notions?

CueSi
03-03-2011, 05:20 PM
If an atheist is very hostile toward religion, my guess is that his response is emotional rather than intellectual. If someone rejects religion for intellectual reasons, he's not going to get all emotional and hateful toward those who still choose to follow a religion or faith.

There are people who read the Bible and say that it just doesn't make sense to them scientifically or historically. It's not a personal thing to them, just a choice.

Then there are the people who reject religion and want to walk around in some kind of bubble that protects them from ever hearing other people talk about their faith or beliefs, or see any type of religious symbol, and so on. That's not intellectual, that's totally emotional.

This . It's all about this.


Anticipating the dissolution of the self is something Christians should have in common with Buddhists. If you were a Christian, your goal would be to become not like Novaheart, but rather like Christ. So, in Christianity, the best possible outcome is for you not to exist at all.

Reductio ad Absurdum. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum) :rolleyes:


~QC

Gingersnap
03-03-2011, 05:23 PM
If I were to sign up for a science course at college, and the first day the professor opens his book and says, "5771 years ago, there was the word......"

Should I stay in that class?

You could if your college was some kind of privately funded operation and your Department head okayed that particular direction but then your students would have enrolled precisely because that kind of course was offered so I don't see how it would be a problem.

Your example is extreme. noonwitch was making a valid point which is that hostility to religious views, religious observation, religious practice, or mention of religious history or topics in ordinary life is an emotional reaction, not an intellectual position.

obx
03-03-2011, 05:25 PM
Anticipating the dissolution of the self is something Christians should have in common with Buddhists. If you were a Christian, your goal would be to become not like Novaheart, but rather like Christ. So, in Christianity, the best possible outcome is for you not to exist at all.

Since you know nothing of Christian beliefs, you may want to refrain from commenting.

FlaGator
03-03-2011, 05:29 PM
Since you know nothing of Christian beliefs, you may want to refrain from commenting.

I was going to correct him but I realized that he still wouldn't understand.

The Night Owl
03-03-2011, 05:30 PM
New Atheists view faith as something just left over, a relic of a time when rationality and empirical science were not enough to explain reality, and with enough rational work and empirical data one could rid oneself of making the faithful leap. However, that's just not true. Faith is more of a symptom of reason. That is to say, faith may appear contrary to reason, but you cannot begin to use rationality without this "stain" of faith. If you take away the faith, all of rationality collapses.

In a way, you're arguing that good math is made possible by bad math. I think that's really wrong.

The Night Owl
03-03-2011, 05:34 PM
Do you enjoy being completely wrong about all your Christian notions?

So, explain it to me. If the best possible outcome for Novaheart is to become like Christ then what is the point of Novaheart? What is the point of individuality if all individuals are like Christ?

FlaGator
03-03-2011, 05:40 PM
So, explain it to me. If the best possible outcome for Novaheart is to become like Christ then what is the point of Novaheart? What is the point of individuality if all individuals are like Christ?

You become like Christ in his perfection not in his personality. You keep your personality and identity. At the resurrection you will be given a new body but you will still be you. Novaheart would still be Novaheart but he would be eternal and would not be subject to sinful behavior.

Gingersnap
03-03-2011, 05:53 PM
What is the point of individuality if all individuals are like Christ?

What's the point of individuality is all individuals become rapidly forgotten piles of compost? :rolleyes:

As FlaGator has pointed out, the goal of Christians is to become the kind of being we would have been if we had not rejected God in the first place. That being isn't a Christ-clone. That being is in perfect alignment with the will of God.

The Night Owl
03-03-2011, 05:58 PM
You become like Christ in his perfection not in his personality. You keep your personality and identity. At the resurrection you will be given a new body but you will still be you. Novaheart would still be Novaheart but he would be eternal and would not be subject to sinful behavior.

In Heaven, you keep the parts of your personality which are in alignment with God, which means that everyone there is in perfect alignment with God, which means there isn't anything there to disagree about. If there isn't anything to disagree about then personality and identity are useless. We're all just a big God consciousness.

The Night Owl
03-03-2011, 06:02 PM
What's the point of individuality is all individuals become rapidly forgotten piles of compost? :rolleyes:


There is no point to individuality and Christianity celebrates this.

wilbur
03-03-2011, 07:09 PM
There is no point to individuality and Christianity celebrates this.

Its basically the uber bizarre mix of modern american individualism and capitalist values with Christianity..

Forget giving up all your earthly possessions and desires to become a monk or something like that... somehow the best way to live as selfless as Christ is to be a rugged individualist concerned with his own rights and destiny above all and to seek economic prosperity... yea... ok.

And of course, Christ is a huge fan of our economic system, which is a basically a gigantic temptation engine which rewards the most bold, best and ambitious tempters with riches and wealth and/or fame.

obx
03-03-2011, 08:10 PM
wilbur--see post # 31.

MrsSmith
03-03-2011, 09:08 PM
Every effort I have ever seen to prove with logic, because there is no evidence, that a god exists ultimately becomes a circular argument.

It's much harder to be an atheist/areligionist or even a Buddhist. Being a member of an established doctrinal religion means all you have to do is accept that you accept and you can pretty much leave the details to the priests. Being an atheist or a Buddhist means that you have to sort out what is moral or immoral organically, through a personal process.... and then you have to accept that even though you are making your very best effort to be a good person that your personality will cease to exist and you will blend into the oneness or nothingness on your demise. It's much easier to believe in a god, even one with so many conflicting descriptions, and that somehow you are going to end up on a water vapor divan fanning yourself with beams of divine fabulousness.
It is easy to believe in God, especially after you've met Him. It's far harder to believe that the Big Bang happened from purely natural causes, that life came from dead material without supernatural assistance, that RNA and DNA "just happened," that the extremely complex cell built itself, or any of the other myths "Rational" people believe.

MrsSmith
03-03-2011, 09:10 PM
What an excellent point.

There is an old phrase "if God is dead then everything is permitted", which speaks to the fundamentalist fears that without using God (within established religion) as your moral foundation, then you would be left to do anything without guilt or guidance, and people would just end up killing and raping left and right because they don't see it as wrong.

That's not true though, the truth is actually the opposite: If God is dead then everything is prohibited.

Without having something solid to base your morality on, you have to take every situation and make decisions with only limited knowledge. Religious people accept that they have limited knowledge but their faith in God (who is not limited) lets them not have to formulate their own morality in every situation or think too hard about the consequences.

That's not to say that religious people don't have moral conundrums, but those moral conundrums do not go beyond "what does God want me to do?", for a nonreligious person the conundrum goes to the very core of what rightness and wrongness, good and bad, actually mean. If you have no God, and you are forced to weigh every decision based on your limited knowledge, you are put into a position where you must make moral decisions without knowing the full consequences of your decision. You must live knowing that your moral system is incomplete and so is your knowledge and your actions then become dominated by the power of your own superego. It's a very difficult place where you must shoulder the burden of your own guilt because you do not have an absolute moral code to ease your anxieties. If you are religious and you follow your religious code then you're all good no need to worry about it. If you are atheist then everything becomes a potential source of moral conflict, everything falls on your own thoughts and actions.

In simpler terms, if you reject God and His wisdom, you then feel empowered to be god yourself, despite knowing that you are far too ignorant to decide anything correctly.

Gingersnap
03-03-2011, 09:19 PM
In Heaven, you keep the parts of your personality which are in alignment with God, which means that everyone there is in perfect alignment with God, which means there isn't anything there to disagree about. If there isn't anything to disagree about then personality and identity are useless. We're all just a big God consciousness.

Gee, I missed this in Sunday School and a number of years of college-level Christian theology.

You see conflict as an inherent component of "self". I don't. Conflict isn't how I define my own consciousness. I can be in complete agreement with another and still retain a personal and highly individual framework of response and reflection.

I guess you can't. That's sad.

megimoo
03-03-2011, 09:32 PM
Gee, I missed this in Sunday School and a number of years of college-level Christian theology.

You see conflict as an inherent component of "self". I don't. Conflict isn't how I define my own consciousness. I can be in complete agreement with another and still retain a personal and highly individual framework of response and reflection.

I guess you can't. That's sad.Under the owl's concept heaven must be a very boring place,It sounds a lot like North Korea ?

Gingersnap
03-03-2011, 09:35 PM
Under the owl's concept heaven must be a very boring place,It sounds a lot like North Korea ?

I guess - that or Applebee's. :p

wilbur
03-03-2011, 09:50 PM
It is easy to believe in God, especially after you've met Him. It's far harder to believe that the Big Bang happened from purely natural causes, that life came from dead material without supernatural assistance, that RNA and DNA "just happened," that the extremely complex cell built itself, or any of the other myths "Rational" people believe.

Actually, its much harder to believe that some eternal uncaused force with a perfect mind exists and creates universes... than it is to suspect that some eternal natural uncaused mindless force exists that produces universes. Really, the difference between theism and atheism comes down to one question - Does the necessary ground of existence have a mind, or is it mindless?

Probably no mind - mindlessness indifference explains this universe far better than does mindful intention. Hell, as far as we can tell so far, minds actually require universes to exist - a mind cannot exist without one. No universe, no mind.

The Night Owl
03-03-2011, 10:11 PM
Forget giving up all your earthly possessions and desires to become a monk or something like that... somehow the best way to live as selfless as Christ is to be a rugged individualist concerned with his own rights and destiny above all and to seek economic prosperity... yea... ok.

Indeed. There are no rugged individualists in Heaven. After all, Satan was cast out for his rugged individualism!

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-03-2011, 10:14 PM
Indeed. There are no rugged individualists in Heaven. After all, Satan was cast out for his rugged individualism!

In Christian theology, Satan was cast out of Heaven for wanting to BE God, to take his throne...Not for having an individual consciousness/being or disagreeing with God. In fact, Lucifer is shown in Job being in Heaven and doing just that--disagreeing with God over Job.

However, of course, the whole Lucifer thing is a question of what brand of Christianity you subscribe to. There are some who feel Lucifer and Satan are two different entities, or, that Lucifer isn't some rebellious demonic enemy of God but actually an ally of God, whose job is to tempt mankind, to test them.

wilbur
03-03-2011, 10:18 PM
Indeed. There are no rugged individualists in Heaven. After all, Satan was cast out for his rugged individualism!

Yep - in fact, one staple of many Christian theologies is that the unbeliever refuses heaven precisely because of his pride... pride that compels him to preserve his personal autonomy - which one must give up in order to join God in heaven.

The Night Owl
03-03-2011, 10:19 PM
Gee, I missed this in Sunday School and a number of years of college-level Christian theology.

Sunday School? Well, there is your problem. The purpose of Sunday School is not to get students to think critically about scripture but rather to frighten them into obsequious servitude.

CueSi
03-03-2011, 10:25 PM
Sunday School? Well, there is your problem. The purpose of Sunday School is not to get students to think critically about scripture but rather to frighten them into obsequious servitude.

What Sunday School did you attend? Unless you have attended every Sunday School in every church...you can't say that for certain. Sunday school was about discussion and sharing information and even mild debate where I went to church. So...yeah.

~QC

wilbur
03-03-2011, 10:26 PM
Under the owl's concept heaven must be a very boring place,It sounds a lot like North Korea ?

"[Religious belief] is a totalitarian belief. It is the wish to be a slave. It is the desire that there be an unalterable, unchallengeable, tyrannical authority who can convict you of thought crime while you are asleep, who can subject you - who must, indeed, subject you - to total surveillance around the clock every waking and sleeping minute of your life - I say, of your life - before you're born and, even worse and where the real fun begins, after you're dead. A celestial North Korea. Who wants this to be true? Who but a slave desires such a ghastly fate?

-Christopher Hitchens

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 10:26 PM
Anticipating the dissolution of the self is something Christians should have in common with Buddhists. If you were a Christian, your goal would be to become not like Novaheart, but rather like Christ. So, in Christianity, the best possible outcome is for you not to exist at all.

My interpretation of Christianity is similar. it requires a sort of self-sacrifice, where you empty your Self of all substance and the pure Void of being is filled with the Will of God, and, being selfless, you can become an instrument for His Will

Without a selfish nature, one is spontaneously loving towards his brother, towards his enemy, and towards God.

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 10:28 PM
Actually, its much harder to believe that some eternal uncaused force with a perfect mind exists and creates universes... than it is to suspect that some eternal natural uncaused mindless force exists that produces universes. Really, the difference between theism and atheism comes down to one question - Does the necessary ground of existence have a mind, or is it mindless?

Now this is getting interesting. This is the good stuff.




Probably no mind - mindlessness indifference explains this universe far better than does mindful intention. Hell, as far as we can tell so far, minds actually require universes to exist - a mind cannot exist without one. No universe, no mind.

I don't spontaneously have a response to this but I like this kind of posting.

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 10:34 PM
In simpler terms, if you reject God and His wisdom, you then feel empowered to be god yourself, despite knowing that you are far too ignorant to decide anything correctly.

But that's not a power anyone wants to have. Rejecting God and His wisdom doesn't mean you are then your own God, it means you are a limited, faulty, incomplete, ignorant being who has nothing to hold onto for absolute certainty - that is hardly a Godly position.

This lack of absolute certainty means that one must be faithful all of the time, because he does not have the assurance of an Absolute moral authority to designate his place in the world. He must make decisions knowing full well that he is limited of his knowledge and therefore must make moral decisions without knowing the outcome.Not only must one make moral decisions without knowing the full consequences of their actions (this alone is a terrible burden), but your actions cannot then be attributed to a higher cause. You take a shot in the dark with every moral action, not knowing fully what may happen or what is the right course to make, and you must also take full responsibility for the consequences of these actions.

A believer can say they do not know the full weight of their actions, but they can rest assured that God does, that even though they themselves cannot know the full risk of their actions, there is someone who's "got it all under control". An atheist doesn't have that comfort.

Wei Wu Wei
03-03-2011, 10:39 PM
In a way, you're arguing that good math is made possible by bad math. I think that's really wrong.

That's not wrong at all.

Example: the square root of -1.

for a long time that expression was considered an absurdity, a number that doesn't exist and thus one you cannot even reference. however, by incorporating the imaginary number i to signify this impossible operation, one is able to use that "bad math" in order to work out far more complicated math problems.

in this sense, the "bad math" of using the impossible imaginary number i makes "good math" (like calculus) possible. those equations are not bad or wrong because they depend on an impossible imaginary number, and using this number allows for math functions that are not possible without it.

in this sense, good math is dependent on bad math.

Gingersnap
03-03-2011, 10:41 PM
Sunday School? Well, there is your problem. The purpose of Sunday School is not to get students to think critically about scripture but rather to frighten them into obsequious servitude.

Thanks for elucidating the real reason behind my religious education. It's good to know that an uneducated atheist has such a penetrating insight into my social and academic relationships. I'm looking forward to your thoughts about the biblical criticism classes I had in college. Maybe you can sift through my experiences involving my own culture too, while you're at it. I'm sure your insights into Scandinavian life trump my own experience of actually living there and everything. :rolleyes:

The Night Owl
03-03-2011, 11:05 PM
Thanks for elucidating the real reason behind my religious education. It's good to know that an uneducated atheist has such a penetrating insight into my social and academic relationships. I'm looking forward to your thoughts about the biblical criticism classes I had in college. Maybe you can sift through my experiences involving my own culture too, while you're at it. I'm sure your insights into Scandinavian life trump my own experience of actually living there and everything. :rolleyes:

I don't know much about Scandinavian life but I do wonder why someone who identifies with foxes would want anything to do with a religion which likens people to sheep. Sheep aren't exactly known for their rugged individuality. Just the opposite, they're known for their flocking behavior and herd mentality.

Gingersnap
03-03-2011, 11:13 PM
I don't know much about Scandinavian life but I do wonder why someone who identifies with foxes would want anything to do with a religion which likens people to sheep. Sheep aren't exactly known for their rugged individuality. Just the opposite, they're known for their flocking behavior and herd mentality.

Thanks for using my avi to totally illuminate my personal and political inclinations. That's some real sharp interpersonal insight, there. I can't wait for your thoughts on my wardrobe and food preferences.

You seem to have a rare gift for utterly misfocusing on superficial discernment. I'm eager to learn more about myself from your penetrating analysis.

noonwitch
03-04-2011, 08:57 AM
In Christian theology, Satan was cast out of Heaven for wanting to BE God, to take his throne...Not for having an individual consciousness/being or disagreeing with God. In fact, Lucifer is shown in Job being in Heaven and doing just that--disagreeing with God over Job.

However, of course, the whole Lucifer thing is a question of what brand of Christianity you subscribe to. There are some who feel Lucifer and Satan are two different entities, or, that Lucifer isn't some rebellious demonic enemy of God but actually an ally of God, whose job is to tempt mankind, to test them.


So, Lucifer is like Mr. Slugworth in Willy Wonka? And the Everlasting Gobstopper is a metaphor for a person's soul, maybe?

The Night Owl
03-04-2011, 09:16 AM
So, Lucifer is like Mr. Slugworth in Willy Wonka? And the Everlasting Gobstopper is a metaphor for a person's soul, maybe?


The Bible does not name the devil as Lucifer. The use of this name in reference to the devil stems from an interpretation of Isaiah 14:3-20, a passage that does not speak of any fallen angel but of the defeat of a particular Babylonian King, to whom it gives a title that refers to what in English is called the Day Star or Morning Star (in Latin, lucifer).[2] In 2 Peter 1:19 and elsewhere, the same Latin word lucifer is used to refer to the Morning Star, with no relation to the devil. It is only in post-New Testament times that the Latin word Lucifer was often used as a name for the devil, both in religious writing and in fiction, especially when referring to him prior to his fall from Heaven.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer

In scripture, the term Morning Star is used as figurative descriptions of Jesus and Satan. One of those descriptions is probably meant to be sarcastic.

That reminds me that I've been meaning to compile a list Bible verses which employ sarcasm.

Novaheart
03-04-2011, 09:23 AM
What Sunday School did you attend? Unless you have attended every Sunday School in every church...you can't say that for certain. Sunday school was about discussion and sharing information and even mild debate where I went to church. So...yeah.

~QC

I thought it was about getting the kids out of the church before the sermon so the priest could talk about grown up stuff. But that's Episcopal church. God only knows what the Lutherans (I pronounce this Loo- thair' nz ) do. I drive by on Sunday in the morning and they are already there, and in the afternoon they are still there. It must suck to be a husband or child Lutheran.

Novaheart
03-04-2011, 09:33 AM
It is easy to believe in God, especially after you've met Him. It's far harder to believe that the Big Bang happened from purely natural causes, that life came from dead material without supernatural assistance, that RNA and DNA "just happened," that the extremely complex cell built itself, or any of the other myths "Rational" people believe.

It doesn't matter if you believe in a creator god or Big Bang, ultimately you cannot explain how something came from nothing. Creationists answer immediately that God is and always has been, but they aren't really making a point, it's simply saying "I believe because I believe". If you are having a concrete reality based discussion, then you MUST explain where God came from, how something came from nothing. It's no different that the realist having to explain how the black hole or whatever came to be from nothingness. Simply restating over and over that some aspect of your belief is eternal is a mental trick one plays on oneself.

Having said that, the idea that a Stone Age people came up with the belief that all life and matter in the world originated with a thought, is astounding. After that, it sort of went downhill, but the intelligence of such an abstract thought is stunning for primitive people. It really is light years ahead of some of the old belief systems.

Phillygirl
03-04-2011, 09:59 AM
What Sunday School did you attend? Unless you have attended every Sunday School in every church...you can't say that for certain. Sunday school was about discussion and sharing information and even mild debate where I went to church. So...yeah.

~QC

The one and only time I went to Sunday School we made bunny rabbits out of paper and cotton balls. The adults overseeing the work praised me so intensely for my work that I assumed I was in the wrong group of kids and that I must have somehow joined either the really young or really slow group, and that was why they were so impressed.

I thought it was pretty cool that the Protestant kids didn't have to sit quietly, without fidgeting, through a 60 minute Mass and instead got to go down to the basement and do crafts. My parents didn't view that as a good enough reason to convert from Catholicism. Probably just as well, as the Protestants didn't have the altar boys, and I really thought they were rock stars! :D

Novaheart
03-04-2011, 10:19 AM
The one and only time I went to Sunday School we made bunny rabbits out of paper and cotton balls. The adults overseeing the work praised me so intensely for my work that I assumed I was in the wrong group of kids and that I must have somehow joined either the really young or really slow group, and that was why they were so impressed.

I thought it was pretty cool that the Protestant kids didn't have to sit quietly, without fidgeting, through a 60 minute Mass and instead got to go down to the basement and do crafts. My parents didn't view that as a good enough reason to convert from Catholicism. Probably just as well, as the Protestants didn't have the altar boys, and I really thought they were rock stars! :D

Episcopal churches have altar boys too. I wanted to be one, and went to the meeting once. At this particular church (which we eventually stopped going to because it was so strange and almost pentecostal) the altar boys was run like Lords Of Discipline. Older boys ran it like a military school with hazing and humiliation, order and discipline. I joined the choir. All I really wanted to do was wear the robes and not sit with my family. Eventually, I learned to smoke. All smokers sit in the back of the church, so they can step out for a cig.

Of course, Catholics have been at this longest and have the best tricks. Episcopalians are stunned when they see Catholics sneak out after communion. It's like Logan's Run.

FBIGuy
03-04-2011, 10:21 AM
Episcopal churches have altar boys too. I wanted to be one, and went to the meeting once. At this particular church (which we eventually stopped going to because it was so strange and almost pentecostal) the altar boys was run like Lords Of Discipline. Older boys ran it like a military school with hazing and humiliation, order and discipline. I joined the choir. All I really wanted to do was wear the robes and not sit with my family. Eventually, I learned to smoke. All smokers sit in the back of the church, so they can step out for a cig.

Of course, Catholics have been at this longest and have the best tricks. Episcopalians are stunned when they see Catholics sneak out after communion. It's like Logan's Run.


They aren't called alter boys (they're are girls too). They are called Acolytes.

Phillygirl
03-04-2011, 10:34 AM
Episcopal churches have altar boys too. I wanted to be one, and went to the meeting once. At this particular church (which we eventually stopped going to because it was so strange and almost pentecostal) the altar boys was run like Lords Of Discipline. Older boys ran it like a military school with hazing and humiliation, order and discipline. I joined the choir. All I really wanted to do was wear the robes and not sit with my family. Eventually, I learned to smoke. All smokers sit in the back of the church, so they can step out for a cig.

Of course, Catholics have been at this longest and have the best tricks. Episcopalians are stunned when they see Catholics sneak out after communion. It's like Logan's Run.

I once sat through an entire funeral mass at an Episopal Church without knowing that it wasn't a Catholic Church. Something seemed "off" and I thought it was due to my lengthy absence. It's definitely Catholic-lite.

Novaheart
03-04-2011, 10:35 AM
They aren't called alter boys (they're are girls too). They are called Acolytes.

I don't think they were letting girls do it yet when I was 13. But thanks for reminding me of the word, I had actually forgotten it.

wilbur
03-04-2011, 10:39 AM
It doesn't matter if you believe in a creator god or Big Bang, ultimately you cannot explain how something came from nothing. Creationists answer immediately that God is and always has been, but they aren't really making a point, it's simply saying "I believe because I believe". If you are having a concrete reality based discussion, then you MUST explain where God came from, how something came from nothing. It's no different that the realist having to explain how the black hole or whatever came to be from nothingness. Simply restating over and over that some aspect of your belief is eternal is a mental trick one plays on oneself.


The whole thing is really a false dilemma to begin with. The only two options are not "God" or "nothingness". Something (that is not a thing we would call God), might have always existed. Pure nothingness might even be impossible. The existence of some thing may actually be necessary.

If one assumes the premise that nothingness to be more fundamental than existence, then yea, it seems like one must explain how something came from nothing, whether your theist or atheist. Neither God nor quantum fluctuations can get you out of that pickle - and it really seems like that situation might be fundamentally unexplainable.

But there actually is no law of life, the universe, or everything that states that nothingness is more fundamental than existence. In fact, I don't know of any real compelling reason to actually believe that premise at all, other than we seem to intuitively favor it for some reason.

So at the very least, our options include: "Something that is God" and "Something that is not God".

Novaheart
03-04-2011, 10:49 AM
The whole thing is really a false dilemma to begin with. The only two options are not "God" or "nothingness". Something (that is not a thing we would call God), might have always existed. Pure nothingness might even be impossible. The existence of some thing may actually be necessary.

If one assumes the premise that nothingness to be more fundamental than existence, then yea, it seems like one must explain how something came from nothing, whether your theist or atheist. Neither God nor quantum fluctuations can get you out of that pickle - and it really seems like that situation might be fundamentally unexplainable.

But there actually is no law of life, the universe, or everything that states that nothingness is more fundamental than existence. In fact, I don't know of any real compelling reason to actually believe that premise at all, other than we seem to intuitively favor it for some reason.

So at the very least, our options include: "Something that is God" and "Something that is not God".


The picard knows.

The Night Owl
03-04-2011, 11:28 AM
Having said that, the idea that a Stone Age people came up with the belief that all life and matter in the world originated with a thought, is astounding. After that, it sort of went downhill, but the intelligence of such an abstract thought is stunning for primitive people. It really is light years ahead of some of the old belief systems.

And how lucky are we that the very nature of reality was revealed to Iron Age desert wanderers!

noonwitch
03-04-2011, 12:40 PM
The one and only time I went to Sunday School we made bunny rabbits out of paper and cotton balls. The adults overseeing the work praised me so intensely for my work that I assumed I was in the wrong group of kids and that I must have somehow joined either the really young or really slow group, and that was why they were so impressed.

I thought it was pretty cool that the Protestant kids didn't have to sit quietly, without fidgeting, through a 60 minute Mass and instead got to go down to the basement and do crafts. My parents didn't view that as a good enough reason to convert from Catholicism. Probably just as well, as the Protestants didn't have the altar boys, and I really thought they were rock stars! :D



My parents chose our church to some degree based on the fact that Sunday school for kids was held at the same time as the service. When we moved to Grand Rapids, we tried several churches. We started with the local UMC church, as that was my dad's backround. My mom didn't like the people there and thought they were rude. Then we went to an Episcopalian church, which was my mom's backround, but they didn't have Sunday School during services, and my dad didn't like the kneelers. Then we went to a PBUSA church for about a year, and they decided to only offer a nursery during service and my parents said no way are we sitting with our kids during the service. So that's when we started going to the UCC church, which to this day still has Sunday School during the service.

I remember going to mass with my friends and asking why they didn't have Sunday School. They complained that they would rather have their cat prison classes during mass than during the week.

MrsSmith
03-04-2011, 07:41 PM
It doesn't matter if you believe in a creator god or Big Bang, ultimately you cannot explain how something came from nothing. Creationists answer immediately that God is and always has been, but they aren't really making a point, it's simply saying "I believe because I believe". If you are having a concrete reality based discussion, then you MUST explain where God came from, how something came from nothing. It's no different that the realist having to explain how the black hole or whatever came to be from nothingness. Simply restating over and over that some aspect of your belief is eternal is a mental trick one plays on oneself.

Having said that, the idea that a Stone Age people came up with the belief that all life and matter in the world originated with a thought, is astounding. After that, it sort of went downhill, but the intelligence of such an abstract thought is stunning for primitive people. It really is light years ahead of some of the old belief systems.
Do you have difficulty understand the meaning of big words, like eternal? Eternal means forever, no beginning, no ending. God has always been, and always will be.

In contrast, the idea that the Big Bang happened without His help is really trying to explain how something came from nothing. We know the universe had a beginning, and will have an ending. The universe is not eternal.

It is astounding that Moses, who was raised and educated in a culture that worshipped the sun, would write that light was spoken into existence before the sun was made. Of course, when you get your information from the only eyewitness to events, it does help. :D

MrsSmith
03-04-2011, 07:45 PM
But that's not a power anyone wants to have. Rejecting God and His wisdom doesn't mean you are then your own God, it means you are a limited, faulty, incomplete, ignorant being who has nothing to hold onto for absolute certainty - that is hardly a Godly position.

This lack of absolute certainty means that one must be faithful all of the time, because he does not have the assurance of an Absolute moral authority to designate his place in the world. He must make decisions knowing full well that he is limited of his knowledge and therefore must make moral decisions without knowing the outcome.Not only must one make moral decisions without knowing the full consequences of their actions (this alone is a terrible burden), but your actions cannot then be attributed to a higher cause. You take a shot in the dark with every moral action, not knowing fully what may happen or what is the right course to make, and you must also take full responsibility for the consequences of these actions.

A believer can say they do not know the full weight of their actions, but they can rest assured that God does, that even though they themselves cannot know the full risk of their actions, there is someone who's "got it all under control". An atheist doesn't have that comfort.

Exactly. You act as though you are god, and take for yourself the right to make moral decisions despite knowing full well that you are incapable of the job. No wonder atheists are so angry at god, as time goes by and they see how poorly they do, they must get very angry at themselves.

Lanie
03-04-2011, 07:47 PM
If an atheist is very hostile toward religion, my guess is that his response is emotional rather than intellectual. If someone rejects religion for intellectual reasons, he's not going to get all emotional and hateful toward those who still choose to follow a religion or faith.

There are people who read the Bible and say that it just doesn't make sense to them scientifically or historically. It's not a personal thing to them, just a choice.

Then there are the people who reject religion and want to walk around in some kind of bubble that protects them from ever hearing other people talk about their faith or beliefs, or see any type of religious symbol, and so on. That's not intellectual, that's totally emotional.

Werd. To add to that, I've found that most of the "angry" atheists are more upset with the religion of their culture than of others. I would call that emotional.

MrsSmith
03-04-2011, 07:49 PM
Actually, its much harder to believe that some eternal uncaused force with a perfect mind exists and creates universes... than it is to suspect that some eternal natural uncaused mindless force exists that produces universes. Really, the difference between theism and atheism comes down to one question - Does the necessary ground of existence have a mind, or is it mindless?

Probably no mind - mindlessness indifference explains this universe far better than does mindful intention. Hell, as far as we can tell so far, minds actually require universes to exist - a mind cannot exist without one. No universe, no mind.

And exactly how did the mindless force happen to produce a universe so full of things that can be discovered through careful, rational science? How did this mindless force "create" the laws of physics...and make them actually work? It is far harder to look at the rational foundation of the universe and believe it all "just happened." It's too carefully constructed to be an endless series of accidents. Not to mention the truly incredible odds against it.

Lanie
03-04-2011, 07:51 PM
So, explain it to me. If the best possible outcome for Novaheart is to become like Christ then what is the point of Novaheart? What is the point of individuality if all individuals are like Christ?

Being like Christ, as in having his loving and forgiving attitude. Preferably not sinning as he never sinned.

It doesn't mean you can't be an individual.

MrsSmith
03-04-2011, 07:53 PM
Yep - in fact, one staple of many Christian theologies is that the unbeliever refuses heaven precisely because of his pride... pride that compels him to preserve his personal autonomy - which one must give up in order to join God in heaven.

A human has two choices, enslavement to God or enslavement to sin. The only major difference is that enslavement to sin never brings any freedom, while enslavement to God allows not only personal freedom and autonomy, but also a wellspring of joy in all circumstances. I guess that's one of those Christian things your "extensive education" seems to have missed. :D

MrsSmith
03-04-2011, 07:55 PM
Sunday School? Well, there is your problem. The purpose of Sunday School is not to get students to think critically about scripture but rather to frighten them into obsequious servitude.

Been going to mosques again, I see.

The Night Owl
03-04-2011, 08:07 PM
In contrast, the idea that the Big Bang happened without His help is really trying to explain how something came from nothing. We know the universe had a beginning, and will have an ending. The universe is not eternal.



The known universe had a beginning. That doesn't mean there wasn't something before it.

The Night Owl
03-04-2011, 08:08 PM
Being like Christ, as in having his loving and forgiving attitude. Preferably not sinning as he never sinned.

It doesn't mean you can't be an individual.

Why would anyone want to give up sin? Sinning can be fun as long as no one gets hurt.

Lanie
03-04-2011, 08:16 PM
Why would anyone want to give up sin? Sinning can be fun as long as no one gets hurt.

So can purposely annoying atheists.

Name a sin that can do no harm.

The Night Owl
03-04-2011, 08:18 PM
So can purposely annoying atheists.

Name a sin that can do no harm.

Lust!

Lanie
03-04-2011, 11:17 PM
Lust!

It depends on how far you take that lust. If you lust somebody's wife, you may think it's all in your head and therefore harmless. However, what happens if that woman's husband or your wife realizes that you're lusting for her? That can hurt somebody.

On another note, I don't really see anything wrong with the idea of lusting an unmarried person. I guess many here would disagree with me.

Rockntractor
03-04-2011, 11:23 PM
On another note, I don't really see anything wrong with the idea of lusting an unmarried person. I guess many here would disagree with me.

I don't think you have the plumbing he likes.

Lanie
03-04-2011, 11:25 PM
I don't think you have the plumbing he likes.

Well, since he's a married man, it makes a nevermind. lol.

Rockntractor
03-04-2011, 11:29 PM
Well, since he's a married man, it makes a nevermind. lol.

I didn't know Hootie had a mate.

CueSi
03-05-2011, 12:31 AM
It depends on how far you take that lust. If you lust somebody's wife, you may think it's all in your head and therefore harmless. However, what happens if that woman's husband or your wife realizes that you're lusting for her? That can hurt somebody.

On another note, I don't really see anything wrong with the idea of lusting an unmarried person. I guess many here would disagree with me.

I don't know. Lust can warp how you view another person. It's not just appreciating their physical attributes, it's kind of stripping them of their personhood and thinking about them in terms of your pleasure and desires. Rape is about power over another. Lust is about placing your own pleasure above another.

<kanye shrug>

~QC

Lanie
03-05-2011, 11:05 AM
I don't know. Lust can warp how you view another person. It's not just appreciating their physical attributes, it's kind of stripping them of their personhood and thinking about them in terms of your pleasure and desires. Rape is about power over another. Lust is about placing your own pleasure above another.

<kanye shrug>

~QC

I never thought about it that way. Thanks.

MrsSmith
03-05-2011, 11:50 AM
The known universe had a beginning. That doesn't mean there wasn't something before it.
There was something before it...or rather, SomeOne. :D

MrsSmith
03-05-2011, 11:56 AM
I don't know. Lust can warp how you view another person. It's not just appreciating their physical attributes, it's kind of stripping them of their personhood and thinking about them in terms of your pleasure and desires. Rape is about power over another. Lust is about placing your own pleasure above another.

<kanye shrug>

~QC

Very true. It also makes it easier to actually go through with actions that you know are wrong. I'm sure most broken homes can be traced back to lust, that has done immense damage to huge numbers of children. And there is no doubt the rates of HIV, STDs and the cancer they cause can be traced back to lust.

CueSi
03-05-2011, 01:36 PM
I never thought about it that way. Thanks.

You're welcome. It's my favorite of the deadly sins after all.

~QC

The Night Owl
03-05-2011, 02:13 PM
Now, that we've covered lust, here is an example of another harmless sin: blasphemy.

Lanie
03-05-2011, 03:05 PM
Now, that we've covered lust, here is an example of another harmless sin: blasphemy.

Well, if you have a relationship with God, then it's hurtful to invoke his name for the bugger of it. If you don't have a relationship with God, but he does exist, then he'd get mad about that.

What if I started heavily debating somebody on here and I suddenly yelled out "Night Owl!" or "Owl Damn You!" or "Night Owl on a Cross!" What would be your reaction?

Novaheart
03-05-2011, 03:10 PM
Well, if you have a relationship with God, then it's hurtful to invoke his name for the bugger of it. If you don't have a relationship with God, but he does exist, then he'd get mad about that.

What if I started heavily debating somebody on here and I suddenly yelled out "Night Owl!" or "Owl Damn You!" or "Night Owl on a Cross!" What would be your reaction?

Why would a being as advanced as God must be, give a flying fook what I say when I stub my toe?

Sonnabend
03-05-2011, 05:28 PM
Wilbur and Owl and others like him ARE religious, and not atheists at all. They worship at the Church of Mother Gaia, and they proselytise their faith of Global Warming to all and any., Those who do not "believe" are "deniers" or "heretics"...listen to any of them, the first thing they will ask is "do you believe"

AGW is a cult, a church, a religion, substituting the "faith of Mother Nature" for God.

Sonnabend
03-05-2011, 05:30 PM
What if I started heavily debating somebody on here and I suddenly yelled out "Night Owl!" or "Owl Damn You!" or "Night Owl on a Cross!" What would be your reaction?

No one knows, as any time you are in a debate you have this tendency to turn and run like hell when you are confronted by FACTS.

FlaGator
03-05-2011, 05:38 PM
Now, that we've covered lust, here is an example of another harmless sin: blasphemy.

Yep, Jeffery Dalmer's lust was pretty harmless. And what about Ted Bundy? He sure had a gentle way of expressing his heart felt desires of women.

Novaheart
03-05-2011, 05:58 PM
Yep, Jeffery Dalmer's lust was pretty harmless. And what about Ted Bundy? He sure had a gentle way of expressing his heart felt desires of women.

Calling Dalmer and Bundy's ultimate crimes "lust" is like saying William Tell gambled a bit.

Novaheart
03-05-2011, 06:00 PM
Wilbur and Owl and others like him ARE religious, and not atheists at all. They worship at the Church of Mother Gaia, and they proselytise their faith of Global Warming to all and any., Those who do not "believe" are "deniers" or "heretics"...listen to any of them, the first thing they will ask is "do you believe"

AGW is a cult, a church, a religion, substituting the "faith of Mother Nature" for God.

For the record, one of my favorite epithet strings is to call someone "damned granola crunching Sedona pothead Quaker hippie commie."

I call our local Quaker festival "Commiefest". Which gives me a chuckle since my people are some of the original Quakers in the US.

The Night Owl
03-05-2011, 06:02 PM
No one knows, as any time you are in a debate you have this tendency to turn and run like hell when you are confronted by FACTS.

I've never known Lanie to run from debate. If you don't like her answers to your questions, that's your problem, not her's.

FlaGator
03-05-2011, 07:25 PM
Calling Dalmer and Bundy's ultimate crimes "lust" is like saying William Tell gambled a bit.

Their crimes started as lust. All things have a beginning somewhere. TNO said that lust was a harmless sin. There are no harmless sins.

Lanie
03-05-2011, 08:08 PM
Why would a being as advanced as God must be, give a flying fook what I say when I stub my toe?

Well, the next time I have some pain, I'll go online and say "Novaheart fucker!" to see how you react. :p

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 08:12 PM
Well, the next time I have some pain, I'll go online and say "Novaheart fucker!" to see how you react. :p

That won't work because you're replacing mother with Nova, not god with Nova.

Gingersnap
03-05-2011, 09:38 PM
Cursing is culturally dependent, not some bizarre religious expression. Having grown up in a decidedly non-cursing household, I have no cursing habit today. While I can use salty language for effect, it's deliberate, not involuntary.

When a wasp stung my foot right before guests were scheduled to show up for a huge garden party, no cursing naturally erupted from me. Screaming and incoherent vocalizing but no cursing. My husband laughed at me and said that it wouldn't have hurt so much if I'd let loose with a few choice words.

*shrugs*

PoliCon
03-05-2011, 09:45 PM
Cursing is culturally dependent, not some bizarre religious expression. Having grown up in a decidedly non-cursing household, I have no cursing habit today. While I can use salty language for effect, it's deliberate, not involuntary.

When a wasp stung my foot right before guests were scheduled to show up for a huge garden party, no cursing naturally erupted from me. Screaming and incoherent vocalizing but no cursing. My husband laughed at me and said that it wouldn't have hurt so much if I'd let loose with a few choice words.

*shrugs*

I take it that you refer to all expletives/vulgarities generically as curse words?

I have an aunt who is religious and rather hypocritical who goes NUTS if anyone uses the F bomb in front of her but throws around "damn" very casually. She got seriously pissed off at me one day when I pointed out to her that while she may find the term fuck vulgar - it is not actually a "curse word" while the term damn actually IS a "curse word" And when the bible speaks of swearing it's not referring to vulgarities but rather to casual oaths thrown out intending to impress and add weight to a claim.

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 09:46 PM
C
When a wasp stung my foot right before guests were scheduled to show up for a huge garden party, no cursing naturally erupted from me. Screaming and incoherent vocalizing but no cursing. My husband laughed at me and said that it wouldn't have hurt so much if I'd let loose with a few choice words.

*shrugs*

I wince and than brutally murder the culprit.

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 09:47 PM
I take it that you refer to all expletives/vulgarities generically as curse words?

I have an aunt who is religious and rather hypocritical who goes NUTS if anyone uses the F bomb in front of her but throws around "damn" very casually. She got seriously pissed off at me one day when I pointed out to her that while she may find the term fuck vulgar - it is not actually a "curse word" while the term damn actually IS a "curse word" And when the bible speaks of swearing it's not referring to vulgarities but rather to casual oaths thrown out intending to impress and add weight to a claim.

Are you able to shut off the vulgarities when you teach school?

The Night Owl
03-05-2011, 10:19 PM
Their crimes started as lust. All things have a beginning somewhere. TNO said that lust was a harmless sin. There are no harmless sins.

Nonsense. What you're arguing would be true only if lust always leads to action. But it doesn't. Sometimes, lust begins and ends in the mind.

Rockntractor
03-05-2011, 10:22 PM
Sometimes, lust begins and ends in the mind.

So you are saying lust is an impossibility for you.

The Night Owl
03-05-2011, 10:22 PM
Well, the next time I have some pain, I'll go online and say "Novaheart fucker!" to see how you react. :p

"I think, mind you, that vulgarity is a sign of strength." - Winston Churchill

MrsSmith
03-05-2011, 10:38 PM
Now, that we've covered lust, here is an example of another harmless sin: blasphemy.

wow, i really feel sorry for you when you die. :(:(

PoliCon
03-05-2011, 10:52 PM
Now, that we've covered lust, here is an example of another harmless sin: blasphemy.

You don't even bother to read other peoples posts do you. :rolleyes:

The Night Owl
03-05-2011, 10:52 PM
wow, i really feel sorry for you when you die. :(:(

Thanks... I think. :p

Lanie
03-05-2011, 10:54 PM
Cursing is culturally dependent, not some bizarre religious expression. Having grown up in a decidedly non-cursing household, I have no cursing habit today. While I can use salty language for effect, it's deliberate, not involuntary.

When a wasp stung my foot right before guests were scheduled to show up for a huge garden party, no cursing naturally erupted from me. Screaming and incoherent vocalizing but no cursing. My husband laughed at me and said that it wouldn't have hurt so much if I'd let loose with a few choice words.

*shrugs*


I guess I just don't see cussing the same as blasphemy. Who came up with the idea of what words were "bad?" So I just assume that blasphemy is about invoking God's name into stuff that shouldn't be invoked.

Novaheart
03-05-2011, 11:13 PM
Thanks... I think. :p

I feel sorry for you when you die too, but for different reasons.