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Author Topic: Elliquian Atheists  (Read 35622 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #400 on: October 29, 2012, 12:38:02 PM »
Belief is just a matter of convenience, and organized religion is just a means of controlling a population.

Even I don't totally buy that. An organized religion gaining that much control on it's own? Nope. People want it. Some people NEED it. The two sides pull at each other. Always have, and probably always will :/

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #401 on: October 29, 2012, 12:38:31 PM »
Well, first I would like to put emphasis on the fact that reading my posts while awake is certainly preferred to being half-awake when responding to them.  Nowhere did I state that God changed the rules, but I did state that we learn about those rules as we go forward.  Our understanding of ethics and treatment of people matures as we go forward.  Some faiths believe that as we continue on our journey in life that our souls grow, but perhaps not just our souls but the collective of humanity does the same.  The words of the Bible along with the words of various faiths were written by the hand of men, interpreted by the minds of men. 

Poetry is an attempt by mankind to communicate complex feelings, emotions and personal states of being to one another through words.  Language is used to invoke those same feelings in someone else.  Music does something similar as well using notes and sounds.  Even then the message is lost often times or confused as the person struggles to convey.  I can only imagine the struggle an infinite being might have making such communication to a human, how much would be lost as they attempt to unveil some truth.  As I pointed out, the most efficient way might have been to give words and meanings that through time evolve as we do.  Children cannot understand complex issues of morality and must go through phases of growing up, building on upon the other so that a complete understanding can be obtained.

Our ethics and such do change; I completely agree with you there, as I did with Ironwolf. This wasn't my point. I was simply pointing out the context here. Comparing the idea of God's absolute laws to that of the Consitution or any manmade law doesn't work is what I was simply showing; the Constitution is nothing like God's law, as that'd imply that the Constitution was written by one person beyond reproach, who could enforce his moral system onto everyone else in the country, regardless of what anyone said (which surprisingly is the exact opposite of the Constitution, to my knowledge - the pursuit of happiness and freedom to all). I can't buy the idea that a supreme being who can create all life can make a species in his own image who're so seperate from him that he can't communicate with them; that's the same logic that a watchmaker can make a watch so basic, that's he's just -too damn good- a watchmaker to ever figure out or fix his own design. The Bible also contradicts this in the multitude of times where God does, infact, come straight down face to face with prophets and tells them his intentions and his wants. "I want you to sacrifice your son to me, Job. Lol! Just kidding" is very hard to misinterpret.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #402 on: October 29, 2012, 01:05:30 PM »
“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is from the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson, not from the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

My point in bringing up the Constitution is that the document was deliberately meant to evolve as the country evolved.  Amendments and institutions to enact those amendments were put forward so that the document can find itself applicable.  So there is precedent for the notion of a living document, as in one that continues to be relevant and grow as the people reading the document grow.  The Constitution certainly had a point of view on morality and on the way a system of government was intended to function, as is the point of the document.  Through time the system and morality have expanded to suit the journey of the people.

The watch maker comparison is not really a good one since the watch does not have understanding.  To date we have not created anything that can comprehend or communicate back to us with original thought.  I would say that means that God, often compared to a great architect or inventor, has made something quite complex and worthy of praise.  As for those times in the Bible where God said to do something and then later said stop, wouldn’t that lead toward the idea that perhaps God was not understood properly?  That God stepped in to stop something because it was not intended.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #403 on: October 29, 2012, 01:19:36 PM »
“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is from the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson, not from the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

My point in bringing up the Constitution is that the document was deliberately meant to evolve as the country evolved.  Amendments and institutions to enact those amendments were put forward so that the document can find itself applicable.  So there is precedent for the notion of a living document, as in one that continues to be relevant and grow as the people reading the document grow.  The Constitution certainly had a point of view on morality and on the way a system of government was intended to function, as is the point of the document.  Through time the system and morality have expanded to suit the journey of the people.

The watch maker comparison is not really a good one since the watch does not have understanding.  To date we have not created anything that can comprehend or communicate back to us with original thought.  I would say that means that God, often compared to a great architect or inventor, has made something quite complex and worthy of praise.  As for those times in the Bible where God said to do something and then later said stop, wouldn’t that lead toward the idea that perhaps God was not understood properly?  That God stepped in to stop something because it was not intended.

Except in the case of the Bible, as far as my readings have ever gone, this is not the case. Remember, God is the absolute moral authority. These are my Commandments, you shall follow them. If I recall, there is a mention that God's law will not change until the passing of the new covenant, or something like that, but don't quote me; not sure how the verse was worded and Google ain't being kind to me. It still doesn't explain why God, who created the concept and act of rape (and made rape be a horrible thing) could then go 'Whoops, my bad, I guess making lasting mental trauma and sexual assault is a bad thing. It's not okay anymore!', which is such an alien concept to me. If it's bad, and God created it, and God creates good and bad, surely he must know it's good or bad, right? Or is God just throwing things together to see what sticks?

And if that was his intention, then this version of God is an idiot. He's the perfect example of Finangle's Law, except on a much more scary scale. If God made something so complex, that he can't get his message across to us (You know, the message to save us from eternal damnation and suffering for the crime of existing), then he is an imbecile. He's blaming people for plugging a toaster in backwards and electrocuting themselves, rather than blaming himself for making a toaster that can be plugged in backwards in the first place.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #404 on: October 29, 2012, 01:32:25 PM »
You're really waving your Apologist flag here Pumpkin...

Quote
My point in bringing up the Constitution is that the document was deliberately meant to evolve as the country evolved.  Amendments and institutions to enact those amendments were put forward so that the document can find itself applicable.  So there is precedent for the notion of a living document, as in one that continues to be relevant and grow as the people reading the document grow.

And no one would deny it is an inspired idea. Doesn't make The Bible a 'self evolving text', it's just another spin your reaching for.

Quote
The Constitution certainly had a point of view on morality and on the way a system of government was intended to function, as is the point of the document.  Through time the system and morality have expanded to suit the journey of the people.

And once again, you're trying to compare the DoI to the Bible, and I've yet to see a single example. Unless you intend to show us how the Bible was intended to function like the DoI, then this is just a spin tactic.

Quote
The watch maker comparison is not really a good one since the watch does not have understanding.  To date we have not created anything that can comprehend or communicate back to us with original thought.  I would say that means that God, often compared to a great architect or inventor, has made something quite complex and worthy of praise.

How on Earth do you make that kind of mental jump? :/ Yet another spin. You've taken "Humans can't have been designed" to "What a marvelous design!" Another Apologist staple.

Quote
s for those times in the Bible where God said to do something and then later said stop, wouldn’t that lead toward the idea that perhaps God was not understood properly?  That God stepped in to stop something because it was not intended.

And here we are. I knew it was coming. This train right here is never late. Just like the wife making excuses for the black eye her husband gave her, God was merely misunderstood. He didn't tell you something that was wrong, you just misheard him, that's all.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #405 on: October 29, 2012, 02:42:39 PM »
Even I don't totally buy that. An organized religion gaining that much control on it's own? Nope. People want it. Some people NEED it. The two sides pull at each other. Always have, and probably always will :/

The Egyptian Faraoh was a God-king, who had to have his seat sanctioned by the priesthood to gain any kind of legitimacy. The same went with the Romans through-out its history including the Republic Era (which were mindbogglingly religious). Any civilization or nation from the ancient times and onwards (though with reduced frequency as with the existence of separation of church and state in some countries) which had organized religion could NEVER have a ruler that which did not have, or didn't even seek legitimacy from the priesthood or any kind of favour from the gods. The coronations of monarchs to this day carry the tradition of a religiously sanctioned right to rule as they always feature a priest.

If people want to be ruled, then it is because that brings stability and safety. If they want to be ruled by a religiously acknowledged or anointed ruler, then that is because the clerics of the land has done such a good job letting everyone know that the country that is not ruled with the sanction of the gods is doomed to ruination.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #406 on: October 29, 2012, 02:48:42 PM »
Once more Vanity, I do not contend that God altered the rules.  My contention is that our understanding has shifted and moved throughout the ages.  Making the argument that God created rape is also another subject entirely because then you call into question free will and if God is responsible for acts committed by people.  As in, are people responsible for their behavior or is every act simply God’s will.

I will also make the statement that being an Apologist should not be considered a negative.  I do not consider myself one, but since an apologist is one that defends their beliefs then that is what most people in a debate are.  Sabby is using the title like a talking head in a political debate uses the word socialist and communist in poor rhetorical fashion to ridicule and demean another person’s arguments.  Also, I will not tolerate being compared to an abused house wife because of a belief in God. 
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 03:06:03 PM by Pumpkin Seeds »

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #407 on: October 29, 2012, 03:01:51 PM »
No, I'm using it to reflect your methods. You're a Kirk Cameron. A Ray Comfort. You twist words and put spins on statements to try and align them and build a stairway to what you believe is the truth. That is not how discussions work Pumpkin. If I see a passage in the Bible where God says something and does another, then I say it is inconsistent. You say it is the readers fault. You go on to try and bury the flaw, and make it look like a step in a divine plan, like damage control.

I'm sorry if this offends you, and you don't have to agree with me, but I feel like I'm talking to Ray Comfort when I talk to you, and I won't sugarcoat that. I also won't drag it through the rest of the chat and disrupt the discussion any more, so you're free to call me whatever you wish in PM.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #408 on: October 29, 2012, 03:03:00 PM »
Seriously?  Religious Christians trying to defend their religion by using faulty logic? I see why you are surprised Sabby, that never ever happens.

Okay. The bible and Christianity hinge on the idea that god is somehow infallible. That whole construct in and of itself cannot be true. god proves that himself by the great flood. First he decides that makind was a mistake, and destroys them all except one guy a wife and his sons and daughers in law. Then decides that was a mistake and promises never to do that again. Why?

If god is all powerful and all knowing he'd have seen that coming, if he's not infallible then how can we know that following his rules is the best thing to do?

Another question is this. If god is an all knowing all powerful being, why would he care a flying fuck whether we would believe in him? I mean what does he need us for?

Religion is nothing more than human arrogance. People can not accept we are just a fluke of nature, a genetic cul de sac that seem to have some measure of inteligence and self awareness. And so they need a reason for their existence to have meaning. And then there are other people who found that providing those reasons gives them power.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #409 on: October 29, 2012, 03:06:06 PM »
I might also point out that the title of the thread is 'Elliquian Atheists'.  Not 'Is Atheism a valid belief system'.  Arguing the existence of God in this thread is a bit like walking into a BBQ cook-off and passing out flyers for adopting a vegan lifestyle.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #410 on: October 29, 2012, 03:09:42 PM »
Why does God cause the Deluge?

Because the Hebrews nicked the idea from the Babylonians, because the story was such a god-damned good one. Though with some alterations, like the Gods caused the flood because mankind had grown too numerous and caused too much noise as a result of it and the gods decided to get rid of them. But one god decides to warn a dude and his family to build a boat, etc etc, and the raining lasts for 7 days.

Besides the deliberate change, it's kinda like the fisherman's stories about that one big fish he almost caught. Right afterwards it's 3 feet long. A couple of years later, it was a bit longer than 3 feet. 10 years later, it is 4 feet, and 25 years later it was almost 5 whooping feet long! Christ, that was a big fish!
The writers of the Old Testament did a damned good job of stealing and re-writing the already existing myths in the ancient middle-east.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #411 on: October 29, 2012, 03:10:47 PM »
Once more Vanity, I do not contend that God did not alter the rules.  My contention is that our understanding has shifted and moved throughout the ages.  Making the argument that God created rape is also another subject entirely because then you call into question free will and if God is responsible for acts committed by people.  As in, are people responsible for their behavior or is every act simply God’s will.

I never said that God caused the acts of rape - I said he created the act. Rape exists, therefore, God must have made it. Just like everything else in the world, correct? I'm with Sabs in that I don't take the Apologist angle too seriously (Though, I'm not implying or assuming you are or are not an Apologist, just that the arguement is, as Sabs pointed out, a staple of Apologist debate). I can't find any way to legitimately argue that people went 'Oh, well when God said rape was wrong and we shouldn't do it, what he -meant- was that rape is fine and women should be sold to the rapist' and that it took 'centuries of learning and wisening' as a species before we could understand the knowledge that brutally, sexually assaulting a woman wasn't a good thing. Even marathon games of Chinese whispers don't warp a message -that- far, especially when you consider the open-endedness elsewhere (I can understand people debating heavily over 'Thou shalt not kill').

Offline Xenophile

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #412 on: October 29, 2012, 03:11:32 PM »
I might also point out that the title of the thread is 'Elliquian Atheists'.  Not 'Is Atheism a valid belief system'.  Arguing the existence of God in this thread is a bit like walking into a BBQ cook-off and passing out flyers for adopting a vegan lifestyle.

That's a good idea.

... But what are we supposed to be talking about again?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #413 on: October 29, 2012, 03:11:43 PM »
Sabby, I seriously doubt I need lessons in how to hold a discussion from you.  Also, please stop telling me to send you a private message.

If this thread is meant for Atheists to converge, congregate and discuss amongst themselves then that is well and fine.  I would recommend moving the thread to one meant for socializing instead of debate.  That being said, I will gladly step back so that the atheists can have their floor.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #414 on: October 29, 2012, 03:20:53 PM »
ehmI think that there is no reason why pumpkin should not be allowed to voice her opinions here, nor any other religious person. Yes, this is a thread for atheists, but the whole reason atheists exists is because they do not follow doctrine without proof. So, we can not shy away from anyone trying to challenge us, or we would be as bad as the religious groups we say are closeminded.

I admire Pumpkin's effort, even though I do not agree with her views, nor her logic, but she should be allowed to voice her opinions. And have them reacted to in a serious manner. A little humor is okay, but don't bash her just for believing differently

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #415 on: October 29, 2012, 03:22:03 PM »
Arguing the existence of God in this thread is a bit like walking into a BBQ cook-off and passing out flyers for adopting a vegan lifestyle.

Actually, I don't think we can discuss the rejection of theism without analysing theism itself. We don't just magically become Atheists because it's in our soul or something. I don't find it as intrusive or as annoying as a barbecue crashing Vegan. At least the Vegan brings REAL tofu, that we can taste, and tell them it's disgusting, and we have bacon here that is demonstrably delicious.

The presence of the tofu only helps us to show the neighbours why they should get bacon!

Sabby, I seriously doubt I need lessons in how to hold a discussion from you.  Also, please stop telling me to send you a private message.


Sweety, that was my way of telling you I won't be talking to you in public discussions any more... I guess I had to say it a bit more plainly.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #416 on: October 29, 2012, 03:23:51 PM »
ehmI think that there is no reason why pumpkin should not be allowed to voice her opinions here, nor any other religious person. Yes, this is a thread for atheists, but the whole reason atheists exists is because they do not follow doctrine without proof. So, we can not shy away from anyone trying to challenge us, or we would be as bad as the religious groups we say are closeminded.

Whoops, just saw this. Was a post too late to quote, but I agree.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #417 on: October 29, 2012, 03:28:33 PM »
Whoops, just saw this. Was a post too late to quote, but I agree.

+2 to this statement.

It's a shame this thread in its form doesn't have her blessing, but I wouldn't be so callous to boo her out.

I would have added a smiley in there but I'm trying to cut back.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #418 on: October 29, 2012, 05:31:49 PM »
For an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent deity, god sure does make a lot of mistakes.

In the immortal words of Christopher Hitchens: "What could be more obviously man-made?"

The trouble with apologetics is that you can always make religion conform to reality. You can always find some way of excusing god's behavior, or explaining away some fact about reality. When you start with the premise "God exists", anything becomes possible by definition. There's nothing intellectually honest about it. If we were honest about it, religion would've died a death by a thousand cuts a long, long time ago.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #419 on: October 30, 2012, 09:03:04 AM »
Actually, I don't think we can discuss the rejection of theism without analysing theism itself. We don't just magically become Atheists because it's in our soul or something. I don't find it as intrusive or as annoying as a barbecue crashing Vegan. At least the Vegan brings REAL tofu, that we can taste, and tell them it's disgusting, and we have bacon here that is demonstrably delicious.

The presence of the tofu only helps us to show the neighbours why they should get bacon!

hmmmm BAACOOONNNN!!!

Offline Braioch

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #420 on: November 01, 2012, 09:59:07 PM »
Mmm, been gone awhile, I do hope everyone has been behaving themselves, especially you Sabs, you lose your pants too often you floozy you.

:P

On the topic of course I find that the concept of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and infallible creator of the universe and all existence is really just a lack of imagination on someone's part. Let's take a slight bit of a page from D&D, I would never accept that God is Lawful Good, however, were there a good, I would accept that God is Pure Neutral. That's easier to swallow and back in my Wicca days, was the basis of my belief, or at least echoed of the concept. Can't really say "hey God is pure good because he made this really pretty flower."

Yeah, God also made malaria and cancer, so....yeah...

A moot point really as I don't believe in God, an afterlife and I have a rather bitter taste in my mouth about Religion in general. (Religion, not faith, note that folks) But you know, just what I think to be an interesting tidbit to share.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #421 on: November 01, 2012, 10:24:21 PM »
Mmm, been gone awhile, I do hope everyone has been behaving themselves, especially you Sabs, you lose your pants too often you floozy you.

:P

I'm clothed now... Just some people really know how to yank my pants off :p

...this analogy is not working :P

Offline Braioch

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #422 on: November 01, 2012, 10:27:18 PM »
Clothed for now maybe, and no, the analogy really isn't working.

Long story short, you get naked for cheap. :P

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #423 on: November 03, 2012, 01:24:00 AM »
My contention is that our understanding has shifted and moved throughout the ages.

Then surely god must accept some responsibility in not making him/herself clear.  Unless you are willing to cede some of god's power.  If god is not omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent then we have a completely different ballgame.  However, it would not be the god I was ever sold in Catholic school.

Is it really such a stretch to imagine the bible is written by bronze-age man with a limited understanding of the world around him, humanity 'matures' and now struggles to justify those bronze-aged ideals?  Not only does this explain god's apparent attitude adjustment, but also easily explains conflicts between currently held scientific understanding of our world and explanations offered in the bible. 

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #424 on: November 03, 2012, 05:17:39 AM »
Then surely god must accept some responsibility in not making him/herself clear.  Unless you are willing to cede some of god's power.  If god is not omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent then we have a completely different ballgame.  However, it would not be the god I was ever sold in Catholic school.
Yeah, the value of a flawed god is somewhat lessened. It'd be like a used car salesman going: Oh it's a nice car, but you only get five miles to the gallon, and it leaks oil everywhere. Somehow it doesn't add to the salespitch

Is it really such a stretch to imagine the bible is written by bronze-age man with a limited understanding of the world around him, humanity 'matures' and now struggles to justify those bronze-aged ideals?  Not only does this explain god's apparent attitude adjustment, but also easily explains conflicts between currently held scientific understanding of our world and explanations offered in the bible. 

How can it be a steretch? The bible says so itself. It points to the people writing it. It's not the Quran which claims to have been written by god.