You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
October 19, 2018, 09:22:00 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement  (Read 12881 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Noisekick

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #75 on: March 12, 2017, 02:49:26 PM »
You saying that I am supposedly dishonest doesn't make me so. I speak here with full honesty.

What is your problem? Because I never stated I believe in the supernatural or in any god.

And you do not seem to get it. Being an atheist doesn't automatically make you smart or superior. A lot of young people think it makes them smart or superior. And stop using words you are clearly abusing such as "pseudophilosophical". What you are, are just a plain ol' missionary. Someone who has to belittle others because they have different views than him and tries to guilt them to think like him.

I am tired of your condescending attitude and I am not going to respond anymore, if you keep on being a dick about it.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 02:56:31 PM by Noisekick »

Offline Mathim

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #76 on: March 12, 2017, 03:20:20 PM »
You're still claiming that faith is compatible with science and using a completely dishonest definition to justify this after I've called you out on it. Both claims are false (painfully obviously so) and you've failed to either acknowledge this or give a defense for them. If this is not a criteria for dishonesty, then I honestly don't know what is. If you'd care to give a reasonable explanation of why faith is not incompatible with science, I might change my mind. But I sincerely do not believe you can provide one.

I never asserted that you believe in the supernatural or god. Do not put words in my mouth. I am questioning your seemingly unnecessary idolization of the Jesus character as a role model when this is an objectively absurd thing to do given his character flaws and the appalling nature of the stories surrounding him. I understand why the adherents who do purport to believe in both the story as truth and claims of divinity as truth do base their lives around it because they are indoctrinated in almost all cases and given a false image and are taught not to question it. But I do not understand someone who doesn't believe in the underlying myths and yet still uses it as a basis for morals and/or philosophy without such excess theological baggage. It makes no sense to me to cling to it without the 'bells and whistles' as Edward Norton put it in Death to Smoochy. If you could explain why that makes a difference between it and simply secular moral philosophy without appeal to any figurehead, that might help me understand where you are coming from because-cards on the table-it does sound quite a bit like you are simply unwilling to let completely go of a belief system you abandoned.

I never said being an atheist makes someone smarter than another because that would be an objectively, demonstrably false claim. I used the word 'irrational' specifically because of its distinction between that and simple stupidity. Besides which, atheism is the incorrect term to use anyway, as you would be more likely referring to a rationalist and/or skeptic. By definition something irrational doesn't MAKE SENSE. My explanation of what your sort of worldview sounds like to my ears should demonstrate that I see it as irrational. I am questioning why you would make a virtue of basing your life around something irrational. If it is not in fact irrational and you can explain how that is, I will recant my misunderstanding.

Perhaps we both misunderstood each other and I provided a clear enough basis for why I'm unable to accept your claims at face value or accept that they are rational and/or reasonable. That we had to keep dancing around each other does try my patience very quickly and when it comes to this area of discourse, my attitude adjusts towards indignation when I perceive dishonesty, particularly if it seems intentional.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 03:23:22 PM by Mathim »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #77 on: March 12, 2017, 03:40:24 PM »
About your previous reply, that sounds like an incredibly disingenuous use of faith as an equivalency to an actual rationally justified belief. Like, literally insulting in the highest degree that you would say that a person has faith in science. I reject the definition provided. You wouldn't say you had faith in science AFTER it had proved itself to be completely reliable, only before you could verify this. It saddens me that this act of dishonesty, whether in ignorance or genuine disregard for truth, is what is keeping this conflict from ever being resolved. Pretending there's not a problem when there very obviously is not only does not help, but it makes the side doing that look like the bad guy.

The bolded language is unnecessary an uncalled for. I know many nontheists in debating circles feel attacked by language like Noisekick's, but this is not the appropriate response on these forums.

Science is founded on empiricism. What you perceive with your senses, and what you can deduce logically from those observations. Which is to say, 'not faith', by definition. That is all you need to say.

You don't need to belabor the point, or worse, attack people over it. Nothing Noisekick has said was intentionally deceptive, and it is not conducive to healthy discourse to accuse them of such.

People are going to be wrong about things. Throughout their lives. This is not the same as lying.

If you genuinely feel someone is trolling, use the report button.

Offline Mathim

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #78 on: March 12, 2017, 03:47:56 PM »
Not trolling per se but it's such a common misconception it really needs to be nipped in the bud. It's not quite one of the religious trigger words that really get to me but I honestly don't appreciate when the two different things are equated. Perhaps I overreacted, though I do feel slighted when I hear the comparison.

Offline Noisekick

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #79 on: March 12, 2017, 03:58:23 PM »
Imagine, religion being an addiction, just like cigarettes. Like with cigarettes, some people cannot quit cold turkey, so they need therapy. Jesuanism is like cessation therapy. It takes an element of the religion just as something symbolic to help people towards humanism. This symbol can be someone else. However the picture targets solely people coming from Christianity. It practically is just humanism with a slight christian undertones. That actual faith of it lies in altruism, it glorifies altruism. I personally live below the poverty line but still help people with what I can. The part where faith and science don't contradict is where the faith I am talking about is not the conventionally understood faith. It idolizes a certain kind of behavior and not necessarily a person, the person is only involved for above mentioned reasons. And of course Jesus had flaws, as no one is without flaws. Looks into psychology a bit more, maybe the picture would become clearer to you then.

If you are wondering what books (outside of manga) I read, it is usually Karl Popper, Friedrich Nietzsche, Proudhon, Susan Haack and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

If you still don't understand why it is that way, you do not need to continue. Otherwise just stop and I will stop too.

PS: I must add, I am not very profound (in the sense of cognitively) when it comes to verbal communication. It may be so much that it poses as an inability to articulate myself correctly, which leads to common misunderstandings. For many it may not be noticeable on a conscious level, but may occur subconsciously. You first know there was a misunderstanding when it is too late. While this conversation was frustrating and exhausting, I tried my best to keep my cool. It gets worse for me with oral communication compared to written communication, however in written communication it can be just as bad, just not as common.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 04:07:38 PM by Noisekick »

Offline Kythia

  • My smile is like a breath of spring, My voice is soft like summer rain
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • And you can not compare with me: Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #80 on: March 12, 2017, 04:34:40 PM »
Out of curiosity, noisekick, do you feel explicitly religious discussions about Jesus are relevant to your...struggles for a word...errr...worldview?

To take a pretty easy to discuss example;  There are some Christians who believe Jesus is the Son of God, some who believe he was a divinely inspired prophet.  While, obviously, you don't believe either of those positions yourself, it would be possible for those sorts of conversations to "spill over" in to your own practice.  For example, those denominations that believe in a reduced or non-existant divinity of Christ have various theological structures for why he is still worthy of veneration which would seem pretty easy to co-opt in to your own worldview with minor changes.  Do you follow/have any interest in that sort of explicitly religious examination of Jesus?

I'm genuinely not sure how clear that question was!

Offline Mathim

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #81 on: March 12, 2017, 05:26:11 PM »
I get the addiction therapy standpoint but I still don't understand how you can accept that, flawed a character as Jesus is, he's still worthy of emulation or veneration in any degree whatsoever. You could easily substitute any other exemplar of good ethics and cognition. Just seems like asking for trouble to choose something that made it so easy to justify exterminating the Jews. Every time someone mentions the name I'm like, "Do you even know what that was all about?" They say you should never meet your heroes and I'm sure that's true. I would bet Stan Lee can be a huge asshole if you know him but I love the stuff he's created. I can separate the person from the stuff attached, but when it comes to Mr. J, that becomes nearly impossible for anyone. Putting anyone on that kind of pedestal is a huge mistake and look where it's gotten the world keeping one there. That's why I'm so puzzled by how that particular figurehead could possibly be considered the 'right' sort of thing to use in this supposed emancipating process. If people were genuinely honest about the truth behind their myths and mythical figures, things would be a lot different; we'd have no choice but to acknowledge that the Abrahamic faiths worship a bloodthirsty demon with no love for humanity and no common sense. Which is why I addressed both the necessity AND desirability of having any connection to a figure from that mythology. I wouldn't be able to remain connected in any way to that tainted story or anyone involved in it without either hating myself for it or lying to myself so severely I'd probably develop some sort of disorder. But that's just me.

But if there's one thing I'm grateful to my mom for in being her usual half-assed and neglectful self about, it's how she indoctrinated me, which is to say she never really put much effort into it and so I couldn't have been fully brought into it and subsequently easily made my escape. But I was always a natural skeptic so it probably wouldn't have taken anyway. Still, it took a good long while before I comprehended that Noah's Ark was a story about Yahweh murdering the entire planet because he didn't like that we were enjoying the genitalia he installed and programmed to dominate the majority of our impulses. Maybe that's how it is for the majority of the rest of the atrocities in the bible, people just have that severe of tunnel vision about it. But I never really got familiar with many bible stories so I spent most of my pre-20's life not hearing about half the crap in there that would have traumatized me if I heard about it when I was younger.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 05:28:11 PM by Mathim »

Offline Noisekick

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #82 on: March 13, 2017, 01:15:47 PM »
Kythia, no. Even everyday conversations can be troubling for me. And I don't regularly discuss my religious views, this is the second time in twelve months where such a discussion coming from different POVs has occured. I rarely discuss my views as is. The difficult communication part may come from my autism or rather is has been indicated that it is a factor why I was diagnosed with autism.

Mathim, it was already explained why Jesus (I am not going to explain it again). Plus it is people who screwed up and killed people in his name. If people killed in the name of Stan Lee, you wouldn't go around saying Stan Lee is an evil person would you? You would condemn the maniac who murdered people.

My dad is agnostic and my mom is Catholic but never attends church. My direct family is actually very liberal, my extended family is however rather conservative.

If you don't understand it, then you just don't understand it. No human can understand everything. Everyone has weak spots.

Offline Kythia

  • My smile is like a breath of spring, My voice is soft like summer rain
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • And you can not compare with me: Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #83 on: March 13, 2017, 01:49:19 PM »
I actually meant "conversation", "discussion", etc in a broader way - maybe reading about or thinking through or whatever.  Dialogue and engagement more than a face to face conversation.  Regardless, I think you've probably answered my broader question anyway.

If I might venture a follow up - how do you feel about Jesus as a role model for areas of life not directly connected to morality?  For example, he was circumcised, he probably ate Kosher, etc etc etc.  Is there any benefit to following those examples?

Offline Noisekick

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #84 on: March 13, 2017, 02:50:58 PM »
Pretty much just altruism. Bible is in my fictional/fantasy section of my bookcase.

Offline HannibalBarcaTopic starter

  • Defiant General of Hopeless Causes * Henry Rollins for President campaigner * Mako-phile * Uncle Iroh in shades * Disciple of Dr. Cornel West * Roy Batty lives! *
  • Lord
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Location: At large, am tall. “I will either find a way, or make one.” -- Hannibal Barca
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #85 on: March 13, 2017, 06:12:48 PM »
It took me a while to shake free of the 'Jesus was a great man, even if he wasn't the Son of God' concept.  When I realized that the concept of Hell as a punishment was not in the Old Testament, but introduced by Jesus, I stopped thinking of him as a communist hippie type.  He had some good ideas, some mediocre ones, and some terrible ones.  Treating people with respect is a good idea.  Taking no thought for the future is a bad idea.  Taking care of the homeless, imprisoned, and sick is a very good idea.  Loving your enemies is a very bad idea.  Saying that people who didn't believe in him as the Messiah should be tortured for all eternity--that is one of the sickest, most evil ideas in history.

Offline Missy

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #86 on: March 14, 2017, 12:01:44 AM »
Actually it's considered much more likely that the concept of hell originated from Germanic/Norse Mythology (research "Hel" with only one l to learn more).

Another curious note which may or may not be accurate is according to Mormon theology the Catholic church made some significant changes to the form, nature and practice of Christian doctrine over a period of a few hundred years.

In any case it's entirely possible that such accreditations to Jesus Christ constituted later edits to the Christian scripture, as was and still is exceedingly common. It's considered common knowledge and strongly argued by some that the original text of the Bible is long since lost.

Offline Kythia

  • My smile is like a breath of spring, My voice is soft like summer rain
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • And you can not compare with me: Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #87 on: March 14, 2017, 01:15:42 AM »
Actually it's considered much more likely that the concept of hell originated from Germanic/Norse Mythology (research "Hel" with only one l to learn more).

Another curious note which may or may not be accurate is according to Mormon theology the Catholic church made some significant changes to the form, nature and practice of Christian doctrine over a period of a few hundred years.

In any case it's entirely possible that such accreditations to Jesus Christ constituted later edits to the Christian scripture, as was and still is exceedingly common. It's considered common knowledge and strongly argued by some that the original text of the Bible is long since lost.

The Bible predates Norse mythology by several hundred years.  Your source refers to the English word "Hell" not the concept and specifically states that it too predates any contact with the Norse.  Hell is nothing to do with Norse mythology, the concept came from Greek and Jewish mythology - while Hannibal is correct that the concept of the place as one of punishment doesn't appear in the OT, it was common in Jewish thought long before Jesus' birth.

Further, while I'm not entirely certain what you mean by the original text of the Bible being lost, we have a pretty strong idea what the very early Bible looked like.  After all, we have fragments of text dating from within a few years of their being written. 

That's all by the by though.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #88 on: March 14, 2017, 03:46:11 AM »
Regardless of the source, I think we can agree that a place of infinite punishment for finite crimes is inherently immoral...especially if all you have to do to get there is not worship a specific God. It's not only immoral, but petty and a gross abuse of power in the first place, and I would seriously question the character of any Deity who deigned to create such a place, or at least to allow its continued existence.

I mean, even the worst mass murderer on the planet is only ever going to hurt a finite number of people in his lifetime, so obviously his punishment - however harsh - should eventually end, no? Infinite punishment for a finite crime is wrong. And let's not even touch on the fact that this place of eternal torment was supposedly created by an all loving Being....

Offline Noisekick

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #89 on: March 14, 2017, 10:55:23 AM »
Like I said, the Bible is under fiction for a reason. It is a book written 2000 to 3500 years ago that may have been modern at the time it was written, but nowadays any angry redneck with a flipflopping moral compass could have written it. It has some good advice and a lot of bad advice.

"Loving your foes." Is more of an archaic translation and in meaning it means to be forgiving, especially if your foe shows regret.

Also if you ever read the poetic Edda, there are some parallels to Pauline Christianity.

Also most Jesuans believe the bible to generally be a lie as the parts about Jesus weren't written by the man himself and because the bible contains so much supernatural bullshit. Their views are based more off of the core view of Jesus as an altruistic person and socialistic principles. If you don't get LaVeyans you wont get Jesuans (a lot of Jesuans I know get along with Laveyans well because the selfishness of Laveyan Satanists can ultimately lead them to be altruistic to fulfill their own desires. It sounds like a paradox that selfishness can lead to selflessness).

Kythia, actually Norse mythology in its oral form predates the New Testament. And why are we talking about hell when I already said that all the supernatural stuff is hooey?

But I think we may be going too far off topic and should go back to the original topic of the thread.

Offline Kythia

  • My smile is like a breath of spring, My voice is soft like summer rain
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • And you can not compare with me: Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #90 on: March 14, 2017, 02:21:42 PM »
Kythia, actually Norse mythology in its oral form predates the New Testament. And why are we talking about hell when I already said that all the supernatural stuff is hooey?

Of course we'll never know precisely how long oral traditions lasted, but this is incredibly unlikely to the best of my knowledge.  Do you have anything to support this?  It's not a claim I've heard before and I can't find anything to suggest it is the case. And we're talking about Hell because Hannibal brought it up.

But you are probably right that we're off topic.

Offline Noisekick

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #91 on: March 14, 2017, 05:56:02 PM »
In wikipedia, it says Norse mythology is a part of Germanic mythology which exists since the Proto-Germanic period or pre-Roman bronze age which is 5th to 1st century BC, making it 200 to 600 years older than the new testament.

Offline Mathim

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #92 on: March 15, 2017, 12:10:37 AM »
According to some of AronRa's videos, Zoroastrianism is actually where a lot of the ideas in Judaism were plagiarized from, including a proto-example of a hell-like afterlife.

What I took away from the conversation is that there's just no getting around the hypocrisy no matter how distant a person gets from the mythology. If you're not all the way out, there are compromises that have to be made that are going to inevitably be irrational. If a person is comfortable with that, whatever, but try not to use word games to make it sound like something it's not, I guess would be the most reasonable thing I could ask after all's said and done.


Offline Kythia

  • My smile is like a breath of spring, My voice is soft like summer rain
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • And you can not compare with me: Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #93 on: March 15, 2017, 01:12:38 AM »
In wikipedia, it says Norse mythology is a part of Germanic mythology which exists since the Proto-Germanic period or pre-Roman bronze age which is 5th to 1st century BC, making it 200 to 600 years older than the new testament.

Ah, I see.  You're conflating two things here.  Germanic Mythology exists since then, Norse mythology doesn't  (again to the best of my understanding, this isn't my area).  It'd be like saying "Elliquiy is on the Internet which dates back to the seventies.  Hence Elliquiy was started in the seventies".  Norse mythology dates to the age of migration in around the five hundreds and didn't take a recognisable form to us today until the nine hundreds.

And yes, you can see traces of Zoroastrianism across the oldest parts of the Old Testament.  I think "plagiarised" is putting it a little, errrr, aggressively (was Rock 'n' Roll "plagiarised" from Jazz?) though.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 01:33:23 AM by Kythia »

Offline Noisekick

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #94 on: March 15, 2017, 01:43:51 PM »
Bad analogy on your part. Norse mythology is a part of Germanic mythology, it is actually pretty much the same just with other names for gods and places. Also "exists since the pre-Roman bronze age" means that it sprung up in that time, not anywhere before or after. That period was 5th to 1st century BC which means even if it is borderline in that period to the next, it still means it is older than the New Testament.

To your analogy, the internet is current and has been for about 40 years now. However we do not live in the pre-Roman Bronze Age.

Germanic mythology developed out of a possible Indo-European religion of which Roman mythology and Zoroastrianism possibly also stem from. Christianity however is a hybrid of semitic religion (specifically Judaism) and Roman mythology with other Indo-European influences (such as a virgin mother of the reincarnate of a deity which is also found in the ancient Kemetic religion, Hittite mythology, Roman mythology, Greek mythology, Hinduism (see Maya) etc.). It is Indo-European religion that actually influenced Christianity.

PS: The earliest written document about the Germanic beliefs is "Germania" by Tacitus, written in the year 98 AD. It is also an ancient book that is published even in the modern era and can be bought online and at book stores (of course translated).
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 02:15:21 PM by Noisekick »

Offline Kythia

  • My smile is like a breath of spring, My voice is soft like summer rain
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • And you can not compare with me: Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #95 on: March 15, 2017, 04:32:40 PM »
A lot of this is incorrect, noisekick, but we're dragging this thread further and further off topic.  Shall we take it to PMs?

Offline Noisekick

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #96 on: March 15, 2017, 09:06:01 PM »
Nah, I am tired and exhausted. I don't want to dwell on this for too long really.

Offline Tick

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #97 on: March 20, 2017, 10:07:04 AM »
I'm responding directly to the opening post and have not caught up in the conversation. I wanted to just say:

This is a rather well written post which I appreciate as it defines every relevant term. Coming from a debate background it is very, very nice.

Now, these definitions are not how I was taught and kinda messed with me a bit. I am not going to say you are wrong in the slightest, definitions and terms vary by who is defining them.

According to the definitions provided, I am a weak Atheist(Agnostic Atheist)  and have been since I was twelve. Now, I always was under the understanding I was agnostic by how I was taught. The way I was taught it:

Athiest: someone who doesn't believe, is equivalent to someone who doesn't believe there is a higher power/place after death.
Agnostic: Someone who doesn't know, is equivalent to someone who doesn't know if/or which god or place after death there is.

Now, your definitions are add more subcategories and are cleaner in a certain light.

I feel like if(which I probably will since they are clean and logical and I like those qualities) I start using these classifications for myself, I will have to explain this every time.

I appreciate this post, and thank you again for having such clean definitions and explanations.

Offline LostInTheMist

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #98 on: March 21, 2017, 02:44:15 AM »
I had an experience five or six years back that convinced me that God exists. I've always believed to one level or another, but I heard people talking about experiencing God directly, hearing his voice, whatever, and kinda chuckled. The God I believed in didn't get involved in human affairs. But then I had my Experience, capital "E" is appropriate. It wasn't a voice, or a light, or an angelic choir, or anything like that. It was just a warm blanket of absolute, unconditional love and safety. A comfort that you might feel as a small child in your mother's arms.

I am sure someone can come up with a million scientific or chemical reasons for it, but I can tell you that I was traveling on a Greyhound bus at the time, so my feeling of absolute love and security certainly didn't come from the people around me. I don't think there's anything special about me, please don't think I'm saying that. I'm just saying that I had an Experience, for which I personally have no scientific explanation.

I would point out that in the tenets of MOST Protestant Churches (I can't speak for every splinter branch) man is saved through faith alone. Just like in the Athiest pledge there in the first post, I do good things, not because I hope to be rewarded or I fear punishment, but because they are the right thing to do.

But the thing is that I am very much not an evangelist. I believe God exists, and the body of evidence (my Experience) has convinced me that God exists. It works for me. But I am NOT a bible-thumper, nor someone who believes that non-believers will go to hell. (I don't believe in hell... the two don't necessarily go hand in hand.) I have certainly met people who believe that way, but I have a significant problem with a God who sends good people to hell (eternal and endless torture) simply because they don't believe in him. I believe in God. Most of my friends don't. I don't pray for their souls or pray for them to see the light of God or anything like that. That always felt like the height of arrogance to me, along the lines of the people who "know" that they'll be taken into heaven "when the rapture happens." (There's no reference to the rapture in the Bible. But the Bible does say "Pride goeth before a fall.")

I digress.

Please also allow me to point out that my belief in God does not mean that I am ignorant or that I abandon logic/reason. I do NOT believe in the absolute truth of the Bible. Science is my guiding principal in the physical world, the world around me that can be observed and measured and tested. Faith and Science occupy two different realms in my world view, and never the twain shall meet. I cannot prove the existence of God even to myself, so I cannot prove the existence of God to anyone else. I believe, and I believe that I have a strong reason to believe, but that's all.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Ask an Atheist--An Opportunity for Engagement
« Reply #99 on: March 21, 2017, 05:47:08 AM »
I'm just saying that I had an Experience, for which I personally have no scientific explanation.

I swear to Hitchens here, I am not trying to be mean. But isn't that just the "Argument From Ignorance" Fallacy? "I don't know, therefore God?" I mean, you had this Experience. Cool. But...what evidence do you have that it was a God of some description? I'm only asking because obviously, your own personal subjective, unverifiable experience is not going to be particularly good evidence to convince somebody else, so...do you have anything that would prove that this happened the way you remember it, or that a God was responsible?

I mean. Obviously if there's a deity out there I want to know about it, so...if you have some evidence, that would be awesome!


I believe in God. Most of my friends don't. I don't pray for their souls or pray for them to see the light of God or anything like that.

So, since you obviously don't take the Bible literally, would you mind defining what you mean when you say "God," since it obviously isn't the God of The Bible. Or is it some kind of mesh of that and your own ideas on divinity?


Science is my guiding principal in the physical world, the world around me that can be observed and measured and tested.

Not to be rude - I swear - but then...does that mean that you are open to the possibility that you are wrong about your experience? Because a one off experience is not exactly overwhelming, undeniable evidence, y'know? At least, not to me.


Faith and Science occupy two different realms in my world view, and never the twain shall meet.

What you're talking about is the Twin Magesterium, and I have to say that I disagree. If you believe in a Deity that gets involved in this "plane" of existence, if there are more than one plane, then his/her/it/zhers effect can be seen and measured and tested, and then Faith and Science do not stay separate. The thing is that the Scientific Method and Faith are directly opposed; one relies on demonstrable, repeatable evidence and one...well, doesn't. Why do you apply your scientific rigour and logical structure to everything but God? Why is God in this special box that logic and science cannot touch? Surely if there is a deity, an all powerful creator (assuming for a moment that that is your definition of God), then that is the BIGGEST possible question about all of reality...so obviously, Science can't help but be interested.


I cannot prove the existence of God even to myself, so I cannot prove the existence of God to anyone else.

If you can't prove his existence - or even his probability - then why do you believe it? And that isn't me being snarky, it's a genuine question.