Apologies in advance for the ultra long post. There was a lot to reply to >.<@LostInTheMist:"And there are two translations. One is "thou shalt not kill", and the other (actually the more correct one) is "thou shalt not murder". Killing is okay; the Bible definitely makes that perfectly clear. Just killing without a reason (presumably justified by God) is not."
As somebody else noted, there are numerous translations, so I'll concede that point. However, it doesn't detract from my point that the bible presents a set of pronouncements rather than a system, and if you go through and start picking and choosing, you're obviously not using the system from the bible because you're using it to pick and choose from the bible itself.I absolutely am justified to believe whatever I want. I'm not harming you with what I believe, am I? So long as it's my own belief and I don't go and declare a Crusade to force you to accept my beliefs (or whatever the modern day equivalent is) I'm not harming you by believing what I believe.
And I'm not trying to say that you're not allowed to hold those beliefs; I'm only trying to say that by my personal standards, the belief isn't justified because there isn't enough evidence. As I said, I'm not trying to tell you to relinquish your beliefs or tell you that you're wrong, but I appreciate that sometimes I can word things a little bit brashly, so if I gave the impression that I was trying to suggest that you were stupid or foolish, then I apologise."Philosophical" was just a word I used for "non-scientific". But since I can tell you're a firm believer that there is nothing beyond science, I'm not going to bother trying to define it for you.
Don't get me wrong, philosophical discourse is invaluable to understanding the shades of grey within human interaction, but philosophical arguments can't be used as evidence per say because all they prove is that the statement itself makes logical sense. That makes no statement on whether the conclusion of said argument is actually true. I enjoy philosophical debate, but I'm also of the opinion that when trying to figure out the nature of the reality we live in, unless it is supported by evidence, logical arguments are just words.The invisible sentient teapot would have a gravitational field. You'd need an incredibly super-accurate tool for measurement, but you could measure its effects. Or you could surround jupiter with a hemispherical shell to determine just what is orbiting it. Yes, you'd destroy all of Jupiter's moons and it would cost a ridiculous amount, but it's a brute force method. Look, all I'm saying is that there IS a way to determine that your teapot is orbiting Jupiter or not.
I didn't say how big the teapot was; it's the size of a teapot, so doesn't necessarily have a gravitational pull strong enough to be detected.
My point was, such a belief isn't justified because I have no evidence of it, not the other way around.On the "Twin Magesterium", or the "Non-overlapping Magisteria", I think you're a Dawkins, and I'm a Gould. I'm gonna put down arguments, all of which you will reject as invalid, because they are faith and philosophy-based statements, but I may as well put them down. (this section; I won't quote all of it)"
1) That presupposes God actually exists. If you claim that he works on the world and then claim that we can't understand how, how can you attribute anything to God because you yourself have just stated that he's ineffable.
2) The "No True Christian" argument? Well...they would claim that you're No True Christian. How do we go about determining who's right?
3) How do you know? Point 1 just stated that God is ineffable, so he could decide that he wanted to prove himself tomorrow...are you saying you can predict what God is going to do now?YHWH (or as you spell it, Yahweh) is the same God as Allah. For all I know, all these Gods are the same person or entity in a different manifestation, something more suited for the various cultures to which He appeared. I don't know that, but I like to think it.
TBH, I used to think a similar way. Not trying to imply something, just thought I'd note that I believed that before I became an atheist. Faith and Science are not mutually exclusive. It is extremely narrow-minded to think that you have to choose one or the other. I tell you that I have faith in the existence of God. That's faith.
You're right, that was overly simplistic of me. What I should have said is that faith in anything precludes investigation or inquiry into that something, so by having faith you are instantly cutting off the only way you could have to actually try and understand this thing. But you're right; I spoke in haste, and I concede that faith does not mean that one cannot follow the scientific method; it only means that you can't follow the scientific method in regards to what you have faith in.Let me try to explain it as simply as I can. And keep in mind that this is just what I believe to be true. I know I can't prove it, and I know that you'll reject it. The world is a duality.... There's the physical world we can perceive around us, the people, the plants, the air, the interactions of matter and energy. This world, the "real world" as most would call it, is the realm of science. Then there's a second world, a world of spiritual energies, of faith, and belief, and power greater than any of us can imagine. This world cannot be perceived, or tested, but it's there all the same. God bridges the divide between these two worlds.
Fair enough, but I doubt you would be surprised if I said that I don't believe in that because of the lack of evidence. There may well be a duality, but for me, the time to start believing that is when there is evidence to support it and not before. But that's just me.By spirituality, I mean some being, entity, or power greater than yourself. But when I say being, I don't mean your mother or any human being, or whale, or whatever. I mean a deity of some sort. And I mean the same thing by power. And like I said, I think it's good to have spirituality, and it helps me, but plenty of people get through life just fine without spirituality.
Ah. Well, I don't have that spirituality. If evidence surfaced that proved God, I would believe (whether I would worship him/her is another matter entirely), and if I die and go and see him/her, I'll say "Welp, I was wrong. Sorry 'bout that." But until then...I don't see a reason to believe. *shrug*The difficulty here is that I believe, and so arguments of spirituality and faith have a place, and are reasonable arguments. Whereas you do not believe, so to you, the arguments that I can present are completely invalid.
That's pretty much the long and short of it. But as I said, I'm not here to deconvert, I just enjoy having these discussions, haha. If I come across as aggressive, then I apologise, since that's not what I intend. But the main thing is that you reject the idea that faith and science can co-exist, whereas I think they can co-exist, since they do co-exist in my life and in my family's life. Either we're more creative than you, or, from your point of view, we're able to entertain cognitive dissonance more easily. So your scientific points are considered, evaluated, and quite reasonable, though they have no bearing on faith or the spiritual world. Meanwhile my arguments are dismissed because, like I said, you have no faith, and you do not believe faith and science can co-exist. Which means that I'm certainly not getting anywhere, and you're certainly not getting anywhere.
As I noted up there ^ , perhaps I was a little brash to say that faith and scepticism cannot coexist...what I should have said is that you cannot have faith in something and then be sceptical about the thing that you have faith in, which I suppose I would class as cognitive dissonance, being sceptical of some things and not others. You have a right to have faith, of course, I'm just trying to explain why I personally don't.@HannibalBarca:
I pretty much agree on most (if not all) points. I went through a very similar progression: Christianity ---> Deism ----> Atheism.@Consortium:
I gave a simplified view of my moral system, so that's on me. No, what you're talking about is moral relativism; humanist morals focus on the welfare and value of human lives balanced with what the current situation demands, and holds that there are some choices which are always bad (for example, if you have a choice between deliberately killing and just incapacitating, you should always aim to incapacitate, but if you fail...well, at least you tried; better to fail doing the right thing than succeed doing the wrong). Whilst I agree that there are many philosophies in regards to morality, I tend to reject most mainstream religions due to their proscriptive nature and inflexibility in a world full of grey. Oftentimes there will be no "right" answer, just "less wrong." It's distasteful, but there you go. However, there are always objective wrongs; for example, you would be hard pressed to give me an example in which rape was acceptable, and it would be a pretty damn exceptional one. Obviously the morals would flip depending on who you asked, but that's the whole point of a moral dilemma; it's not an easy question. But in general, my morals focus on the good vs the bad achieved by my actions, and the relative wellbeing of everybody involved. Religious morality very rarely has that flexibility, at least if you're going by the holy books themselves.@Hurricane:The entire tone of your posts make it clear that you're convinced that you're "right" and that any other position needs to be ridiculed and torn down. Have enough respect for other people to understand that they don't have to believe the same things that you believe, and that doesn't make their beliefs invalid.
Well, the whole point of having an opinion is that you think it's right. But moving on from that, you can call BS all you want, but I've apologised for my tone because that isn't how I meant it, and you can either believe that it's sincere or not. Either way, I've apologised and will try to monitor my tone in future, and that's all I can do.I strongly suspect that you're the kind of person who would argue vehemently for Gay marriage
Yes. Your point? Is that a bad thing?gay sexual relationships are just a tiny minority percentage of the sexual pairings in society.
Again, relevance? Just because they're a minority doesn't mean that their desires or rights should be swept aside dispassionately. So what are you getting at here?Should Gay marriage be denied by society simply because there are less long-term benefits to society by accepting such a union?
No. Who the fuck cares? People should be able to marry whoever the hell they want, and anyway, can you prove that society gets less long term benefits from such a union? Homosexual couples can have children (albeit with a little help), and actually help offer more stable homes. Why should somebodies sex or gender dictate who they are allowed to love? But again, what is the relevance of this comment?I don't care if you don't believe in God, but I do take genuine offense at your tone which seems to be stridently suggesting that belief in God or religion is somehow not "up to snuff" with scientific belief or intelligent thought.
Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, but I stand by my opinion that believing that - for example - evolution is a fact is not in the same league as believing something on faith, and I'm not about to believe something "because it feels good." I'm happy that your faith was enough for you and that it helped you through some dark times, but if you're going to get offended when I say that that's not enough for me and that religion has not - for me - given a good enough justification in believing its claims, then I'm sorry, but I don't know what else to say. It's my opinion. I'm not begrudging you yours, I'm just explaining why I disagree and don't hold the same belief. If that offends you...I don't know what to say.For the record, the Judeo-Christian religious tradition is the basis for all of western society.
No, it isn't. It was
back in the Dark Ages, but since then the laws have evolved and changed to be more inclusive, and more secular. Many of the laws in place in Western Society actively go against many of the rules in the bible.You would dismiss those traditions in favor of a kind of system of "moral relativism". Under your rules anybody could conceivably be justified in doing literally anything at all, given the right circumstances. Out of money? Steal. Sexually frustrated? Rape. Annoyed by somebody you don't like? Murder.
No. That's a strawman. I advocate humanist morals and reasonable situational morality. I explained this in more detail earlier in this post and earlier in this thread. You know what does advocate killing people who disagree? The bible. Rape? The bible. The rape victim marrying her rapist? The bible. Stoning children to death for speaking back? The bible. Please don't strawman me, and please know more about the rules presented in your holy book before claiming that western laws are modelled on the bible when they aren't. They were, once upon a time, but they have since evolved and changed into rules that are more inclusive and fair to almost everybody. We're still working out the kinks, but we're getting there.The core of the Third Reich was a new and unique religion based around Teutonic myth and weird, mis-guided social and pseudo-scientific beliefs and new age mysticism. And that's a lesson to be acutely aware of: religious precepts based on "mortal" foundations have no social staying power.
Hitler was a Roman Catholic and actively worked with the Catholic Church to promote Catholicism in schools.That's why the power of religious tenets is so important - they don't change based on current context.
Which is why they suck
and why the law actively forbids some of the things in the bible. Slavery, for example.And to me, "moral relativism" is even worse.
I don't agree with moral relativism. Look up the difference between relativism and situationalism. There IS a difference.nd before it gets said again, I've heard all the diatribes about the Crusades and the Inquisition before. Those happened a long time ago. To truly be fair in such a comparison, one should stack up the countless good/kind/beneficial deeds that are accomplished by those with religious faith every day against the bad examples and there's no question in my mind that the good massively outweighs the bad.
Spreading AIDS in Africa. Oppressing homosexuals and atheists. Indoctrinating kids with the fear that if they doubt and question, they'll burn for eternity in hell. Trying to shove creationism into schools to replace evolution. Abusing young children and then actively working against the authorities to cover it up. Religion has done a LOT of bad extremely recently. Nothing good that can be done by religion can't also be done by secular means, but much of the bad that has been done by religion could never be carried out by a secular organisation motivated only by the welfare of society and its members.Here's something to think about - the Old Testament of the Bible gave us 10 Commandments. The New Testament gave us only 1 - love each other.
The Hebrew Bible gave us 300 commandments. The New Testament gave us several new ones, and also stated that the Hebrew Bible was still to be obeyed (slavery, genocide, sexism and child-execution and all).This is really upsetting to me. You should get to know some addicts. I mean it - actually get to know them before you write stuff like this. Especially when the person that you're discussing it with tells you that they are an alcoholic and that the program works for them.
In this, you are correct. I chose my words poorly. What I meant was that whilst I am happy that it worked for him, I know several addicts who think that they were harmed by the AA's practices...which I said. I know that the AA helps people, and that's good. However, I find the idea of telling an Addict that they are powerless is a very dangerous thing to be doing. I also disagree with its practices in terms of fudging the statistics and disguising its internal workings from governmental oversight. It can help people, and I'm glad it does...I just think that there are better ways of doing it.You seem to be the worst sort of bigot in that you simply cannot allow other people to hold beliefs or values that don't somehow align with yours. Seriously - try to learn some respect for others.
What part of "I'm not telling you you're wrong, I'm just explaining why I disagree" don't you understand? I'm not demanding that anybody deconvert or renounce their faith. I'm explaining my position just as everybody else is explaining there's and putting forwards their opinion. I agree that sometimes my tone can come across as more aggressive or condescending than I intend, but I have apologised and that is something that I am actively trying to work on.Then why attack those of us with faith by claiming that the positions are untenable?
Not attacking. Debating. There's a difference.Be more honest with yourself - Atheism is a cause.
No it isn't. It's a lack of belief. Nothing more, nothing less. But if religion has a place in your life, jerks come pouring out of the woodwork to tells people of faith that "God can't be proven blah blah blah."
If you voice your belief in a public forum, people have the right to present conflicting opinions. That's how free speech works.I repeat my previous point - how about just having some respect for other people?
I have respect for them. The few times I have been openly insulting or accidentally condescending, I have backed down and apologised. How about you stop trying to make ad hominem attacks?Some people are gay but the vast majority are straight. There's no scientific way to "prove" that they are gay, so should their sexual orientation be ignored or denied? Isn't it enough that they simply say "this is what I am, or what I believe?"
That's a false equivocation. I'm not asking them to prove that
they believe something, I'm asking them to prove that what they believe is true. If somebody says "I'm gay," that's a fairly innocuous claim that I can accept on face value. They could be lying, but why would they? And it's common enough that it could be true, since I know that people can be gay. Saying "I believe in a big invisible sky-daddy" is a bit different. Yes, they believe that - and I have no reason to disbelieve that they believe that - but I don't have to believe that the Sky Daddy exists as well. I can believe that somebody is gay without being gay myself. So...that analogy doesn't work on a fundamental level. Except that we have centuries of social tradition that shows the validity of the Judeo-Christian social traditions, which are religious traditions. Western civilization (and most especially America) would not exist without our particular religious history. To be ignorant of that fact, or to reject the religious history is, in my opinion to put ourselves in danger of losing touch with some of the truly unique characteristics of our country and it's place in human society.
Religion should be studied for its contributions to our history, but longevity makes no comment whatsoever on whether or not the belief is actually true. If you were going with that, the Egyptian religion was around for 6000 years - at least - before Christianity came around, so by your logic the Egyptian mythology is more valid than the Christian mythology. Also, as explained above, the laws have not stayed static for 800 years. They have constantly evolved and changed, which means that they cannot be based on biblical laws, since you yourself have said that the bible has not changed. The laws we live by now are pretty much entirely secular due to their constant evolution throughout human history. In fact, our current code of laws (particularly court-law) has more in common with The Code of Hammurabi - a Babylonian code from about 1772 BCE - than anything in the bible.I was first aware of the presence of God when I got married. The day was powerfully moving and touching in a way that I can't really define any other way. My faith re-asserted itself with the birth of my first child. It was a troubled pregnancy, and the labor was risky. I was almost overwhelmed by the stress, and in a moment of need I found my way to the small chapel in the hospital. I sat in the pews and prayed for a little bit and found a reserve of strength and calm that I have rarely felt before or since. I did the same thing on 9/11 - faced with something so overwhelming and personally overpowering I asked for help from a higher power, and than help was (I feel) granted.
Fair enough. I'm glad that faith got you through those difficult and happy times. It does nothing to convince me of the validity of what you have faith in, but I'm genuinely glad that it gave you some comfort.Sorry, but if you really think that you weren't trying to be insulting then perhaps you should take a long look at your own communication style. I feel that you were trying to be deliberately insulting.
Except I wasn't, so your feeling is wrong. You can take offence all you like, but I stated that I wasn't trying to be insulting, I was trying to make a point through ridiculousness and hyperbole, and you either take my word for it or not. It makes no difference to me. I've already apologised for possibly coming across as insulting and stated that it wasn't my intention. You can call bull all you want, it doesn't make you right.Once again: yes, you are trying to be both aggressive and rude. Check yourself bro...
Once again, I wasn't.There is no explanation for the Big Bang, is there. How do you suppose that happened? What was the state of the universe before the Big Bang? And how about the formation of life on Earth?sigh.
We don't know. What you are getting at is the "Argument From Ignorance" fallacy, as well as the "God Of The Gaps" argument. Just because we don't know doesn't mean you get to insert God. There are a few competing hypotheses, and as for the latter - life on Earth originating - we have demonstrated that it is at least possible for living matter to come from non-living matter, though nothing has been conclusively demonstrated. That does not
mean that you get to step in and claim that God Did It, since you have no
evidence to support that conclusion. As for "miracle," well, define "miracle" for me. Because if you're classifying it as "something really really really unlikely," well, really really really unlikely things happen a lot. But quite frankly, just because we don't know doesn't mean you get to substitute God. Take the Big Bang; we don't know what happened before, or even if "Before the Big Bang" is even a valid statement (since if time started at the beginning, "before" is impossible), but how does God answer it? Where did God come from? How do you answer something complex with something even more complex? You haven't answered anything, you've just shifted it back a step.Aren't there an equal number of charlatans on the "science" side of this argument? I've heard hucksters speaking in the name of "science" claim any number of things that would either cure all my ills or else lead all of society to impending disaster.
And your point is? Yeah, there are charlatans on both sides. That's where scepticism comes in.Sorry, but I think that's oversimplistic. You could say "I prefer not to take anything on faith." But once again, it's entirely possible for a person who pursues science to believe in God.
Already addressed this above.Do your parents love you? Do you love them? Can you prove it? Maybe it's just a hormonal imbalance, or a misfiring neuron or a persistent hallucination...
Again, not asking him to prove that he feels this way. See above. Not retyping it.As to "why Christianity", I have discussed the fact that western civilization is based on the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. Isn't the persistence and growth of Christianity a kind of "social evolution"? The tenets of the faith have persisted for thousands of years. They predate real scientific pursuit.
Again, longevity doesn't equal validity. You know what they also believed for thousands of years? That drilling a hole in your head would cure a headache because it released evil spirits. How long something has been around doesn't make any impact on whether it's actually valid or not, particularly if those tenets - like faith - were so strictly guarded and any protest or argument against them was silenced with execution. It's very hard to dislodge an ideology that has inserted itself at the very top. I'd argue that they are highly evolved social tenets upon which Humans have recognized they can base organized societies that are safe and mutually beneficial.
As touched on above, I'd argue it's because it managed to get into a position of power and silence all opposition, much like Stalin and Mao.Please see the my numerous previous quotes pointing out that your tone is combative and insulting.
Please see my numerous responses where I have apologised and acknowledged that I was more combative than I intended.This is an absurd suggestion, and points to the idea that only science or religion can exist. That hasn't been the case for thousands of years. Only recently is there a strange new "only one can survive" idea surfacing in popular thought, and that notion is (I believe) where you're coming from. And it is what people like me and others react to violently. You can be a person of faith, and a scientist. In fact, if we cannot hold to the foundational principles of our civilization, we may well slip into moral relativism or worse - simple, self-serving convenience. That's an incredibly dangerous path, in my humble opinion.
This, I agree on. I clarified this earlier on in this post.They are the basis for our Bill of Rights, our Constitution and our laws regarding property, inheritance, banking and intellectual rights.
Soooo....."America is a Christian Nation?" No it's not. Most of your founding fathers were deist or even out and out atheists, and the constitution was written purely on a secular basis, with the idea of freedom of and freedom from religion being very important in that document. Go look into the bill of rights and the constitution. America was NOT founded on Christian ideals. Quite the opposite; the founding fathers saw what religion did to Europe, and actively tried to avoid a similar situation. So...no. The USA was deliberately created as a secular nation from the outset, NOT based on religious ideals.Last time, I promise. BS. You were deliberately aggressive and dismissive.
No I wasn't, as I've explained numerous times. Either believe me or don't. At this point, I really don't care.I honestly hope you can find a way to have a slightly more open perspective on the beliefs of other people.
I have an open mind regarding peoples beliefs, but that doesn't mean I'm going to just believe them or let them go past without challenging things I disagree with. If your idea of an open mind is just nodding and agreeing with everything people say, even if they don't have evidence that can convince me, then I'm afraid I can't do that.
If any of this message came across as condescending or aggressive, I am sincerely sorry; it was not how it was intended. It was written in a rush, and it's late. So...yeah. Sorry for any offence caused.