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Troublemaker
September 16th, 2008, 06:48 PM
It is very hard for me to believe anyone could not believe we have a creator.
I just think they are all lying, and if they are not lying don't they have a surprise coming!!
Any thoughts out there.
I am a newbie, I am sure this subject has been talked to death.
But I would like to know what everyone is thinking.

Zeus
September 16th, 2008, 06:57 PM
Atheists definitely exist. I saw one in the woods when I was camping. I tried to get close but she scampered off.

spider
September 16th, 2008, 07:05 PM
sigh... seriously?

Look, for one thing, saying "zomg, how can you not think that you were created" is quite a few big leaps and bounds away from "...and the creator is clearly Yahweh of the Bible, who sent his son to earth as a blood sacrifice for our sins that were set in place when our ancestors Adam and Eve ate a fruit that they were told not to eat and if people don't acknowledge or accept that blood sacrifice, they go to a place of eternal torment." etc. So you can disbelieve that anyone could not see there is a Creator, but you're also going to be incredulous or at least just as pitying of poor non-believers who believe in other different Creators. It's just not as simple as believing you have a Creator, any Creator.

For another, when I walk outside, I look around and think "Yeah... I can see how people thought the earth was flat. It does look that way. I guess a bit of inspection reveals that wrong, but intuitively it seems like common sense". Now, I'm not saying Christians or theists haven't inspected things enough to see there isn't a Creator - obviously they have - but it doesn't necessarily follow that intuition will be correct and that some people, upon inspection, will decide a creator is not necessary for their existence. The Appeal to Incredulity doesn't really cut it.

Maybe there is a creator. Maybe it's a deist god. I'm pretty sure it's not biblegod, or korangod or even Vishnu. I count deists as atheists, because theirs is not a theistic god, therefore they are without-theism - a-theist. So I'm not an atheist because I think I know there is absolutely no god nor creator. I'm an atheist because I have seen no evidence to make the truth claim that there is a god and to define that god in a theistic fashion.

Zeus
September 16th, 2008, 07:36 PM
There you are, spider. :wave:

Nice to see you again. Please do not scamper off.

Ps82
September 16th, 2008, 07:53 PM
Yes, they exist - just as thorns can wind up in the flesh... just as tares can be in a wheat field... just as yeast can permeate dough...

Yes, they do believe in their own god-less theology ... and they waste their time, without realizing it, by coming to boards like this instead of going to sites where everyone thinks like them. That, however, would not satisfy them, because they come to TOL and other sites like this to make fun of God and Christians ... because they find it a form of entertainment ... and this mocking type of activity feeds their feelings of superiority.

There may have been one or so over the years, who have found that God exists by coming to Christians sites ... because of the persistence of hopeful Christians ... but most of them just don't care to know the creator.

Please, if there are Christians out there with testimonies of how atheists came to know God and Christ on TOL... share them... so I can change my opinion.

Thanks

Coteaz
September 16th, 2008, 07:54 PM
No, I don't exist.

...

I just think they are all lying, and if they are not lying don't they have a surprise coming!!
Do you have any evidence to support your statement?

Ps82
September 16th, 2008, 07:57 PM
No, I don't exist.

...

Do you have any evidence to support your statement?

Will you please prove to me that there is no creator?

Granite
September 16th, 2008, 07:57 PM
Nope. I am making myself up.

Ps82
September 16th, 2008, 07:59 PM
Nope. I am making myself up.

Please prove this for me. Otherwise, I do not accept what you have said.

Zeus
September 16th, 2008, 08:02 PM
Yes, they do believe in their own god-less theology ... and they waste their time, without realizing it, by coming to boards like this instead of going to sites where everyone thinks like them. That, however, would not satisfy them, because they come to TOL and other sites like this to make fun of God and Christians ... because they find it a form of entertainment ... and this mocking type of activity feeds their feelings of superiority.

Thanks

Would you be surprised if spider told you she is also a member of a few atheist boards? And at these boards, posters who claim to be Christian -- come to ridicule, critisize and verbally abuse atheists? Would you be surprised to hear that at the atheist boards there is endless debate about whether to treat theists respectfully or return the abuse?


Does spider strike you as someone who is out to sass Christians? I see her as a very calm and repectful lass who likes to debate and express her view point.

fool
September 16th, 2008, 08:07 PM
Tell us Troublemaker, how did you get from thinking there was a Creator to wearing a Christian tag?

spider
September 16th, 2008, 08:42 PM
Harro, GZeus. :Party:

The Berean
September 16th, 2008, 08:54 PM
Atheists definitely exist. I saw one in the woods when I was camping. I tried to get close but she scampered off.

IJjUt2sXo5o

Ps82
September 16th, 2008, 09:12 PM
Would you be surprised if spider told you she is also a member of a few atheist boards? And at these boards, posters who claim to be Christian -- come to ridicule, critisize and verbally abuse atheists? Would you be surprised to hear that at the atheist boards there is endless debate about whether to treat theists respectfully or return the abuse?


Does spider strike you as someone who is out to sass Christians? I see her as a very calm and repectful lass who likes to debate and express her view point.

Then I'd guess that those people probably are not Christians anyway. I personally would never dream of visiting an atheist board to harass any of them. I do not yet know spider ... I hope she is as kind as you say.

I will admit that, lately, the moderators at TOL have done a great job encouraging more respectful behavior here. I just can't help but remember all those years of running across atheists, who persistently mocked Christians and interfered with Christians trying to explore their faith with each other.

spider
September 16th, 2008, 09:45 PM
True Christians don't ridicule, criticise and verbally abuse atheists? Are you sure? They seemed pretty genuine to me. Some calmed down, some started okay but became frustrated later, and I'm certainly not going to pretend that it's only Christians that do it. Every forum of any ilk is going to get its trolls and trouble-makers (not referring to you troublemaker but to trouble-makers in general) and just generally hostile people. What you believe in won't always change how you are with confrontation.

Rusha
September 16th, 2008, 10:01 PM
It is very hard for me to believe anyone could not believe we have a creator.

Are you stating you never had a moments doubt as a child about how the world began, and how a creator came into existence?


I just think they are all lying, and if they are not lying don't they have a surprise coming!! Any thoughts out there.

I think that you *have to claim* they are lying because you are not sure of your own beliefs.


I am a newbie, I am sure this subject has been talked to death. But I would like to know what everyone is thinking.

I think it is highly arrogant, dishonest and rude to accuse others of lying about not believing in your deity. That is what I think.

Persephone66
September 16th, 2008, 10:13 PM
I'm a figment of my own imagination

Rusha
September 16th, 2008, 10:15 PM
I'm a figment of my own imagination

In that case, I am responding to your imagination.

:crackup:

Ps82
September 17th, 2008, 03:03 AM
True Christians don't ridicule, criticise and verbally abuse atheists? Are you sure? They seemed pretty genuine to me. Some calmed down, some started okay but became frustrated later, and I'm certainly not going to pretend that it's only Christians that do it. Every forum of any ilk is going to get its trolls and trouble-makers (not referring to you troublemaker but to trouble-makers in general) and just generally hostile people. What you believe in won't always change how you are with confrontation.

My point was that so called Christians, who seek out atheists on their own boards have an agenda other than being a Christian - and may not be Christians anyway.

I was not trying to say that posters on Christian boards, who defend themselves and try to rid themselves of rude interruptions from non-believers, are not Christians.

Coteaz
September 17th, 2008, 05:08 AM
Will you please prove to me that there is no creator?
Fortunately, the burden of proof does not lie on my shoulders. You are the one who claims that there is some supernatural Creator despite not having physical evidence for its existence.

MrRadish
September 17th, 2008, 06:13 AM
D'you know, I think OP might be classically trolling.

TomO
September 17th, 2008, 08:05 AM
D'you know, I think OP might be classically trolling.

With a name like "Troublemaker"?.....Nah, couldn't be. :nono:

Granite
September 17th, 2008, 08:25 AM
Please prove this for me. Otherwise, I do not accept what you have said.

:chuckle:

Nope. You need to have faith.

Troublemaker
September 17th, 2008, 12:15 PM
For one thing I didn't think much about God when I was young. But as I got older I started thinking and reading about how everything began. No I am not perfect I have at times started to think is there really a God. Then I know how foolish of me to even go there.
Just think about how complex the human body is. Could that really have happen by chance, from pond scum?
As for the atheist how do you think everything began?
I guess I am very naive I have never talked to an atheist.
I feel very sorry for them.
Look at nature, birds lock their feet around a tree branch to take a nap so they can't fall off. They have a perfect designer.
Look at all the different animals, mammals,insects did this just happen?
I just think everyone deep down MUST believe in a creator.
If you don't, you have to have a huge void in your life. How lonely you must be.

Punisher1984
September 17th, 2008, 12:30 PM
It is very hard for me to believe anyone could not believe we have a creator.

It's not hard for me - when I look at the world I see nothing but causality in action. If there was a "creator" of some kind and it gave a damn about us I'd expect to see a very different world (one without plagues, overpopulation, religious fanatics, etc...).


I just think they are all lying, and if they are not lying don't they have a surprise coming!!

1. Why would we lie? What do we have to gain from denying the existence of something we *really* know to exist? It's as stupid as denying gravity.

2. How do you know that we have *anything* coming? Has it occured to you that you may actually be the one in for a surprise?

touched
September 17th, 2008, 12:30 PM
Would you be surprised if spider told you she is also a member of a few atheist boards? And at these boards, posters who claim to be Christian -- come to ridicule, critisize and verbally abuse atheists? Would you be surprised to hear that at the atheist boards there is endless debate about whether to treat theists respectfully or return the abuse?


Does spider strike you as someone who is out to sass Christians? I see her as a very calm and repectful lass who likes to debate and express her view point.

i use to be an athiest that pretended to be a christian and harrassed other athiests to make them hate christian so iwouln't loose my friends then i realized hey thats what the devil does so God must be real cause you cant have one without the other

Rusha
September 17th, 2008, 12:39 PM
i use to be an athiest that pretended to be a christian and harrassed other athiests to make them hate christian so iwouln't loose my friends

You must get really bored ... seriously.

Punisher1984
September 17th, 2008, 12:42 PM
i use to be an athiest that pretended to be a christian and harrassed other athiests to make them hate christian so iwouln't loose my friends then i realized hey thats what the devil does so God must be real cause you cant have one without the other


What???

TomO
September 17th, 2008, 12:53 PM
2. How do you know that we have *anything* coming? Has it occured to you that you may actually be the one in for a surprise?


:nono: Not possible; if you are right then we won't be anything.....Much less surprised. :idunno:

TomO
September 17th, 2008, 01:02 PM
i use to be an athiest that pretended to be a christian and harrassed other athiests to make them hate christian so iwouln't loose my friends then i realized hey thats what the devil does so God must be real cause you cant have one without the other

:confused:

Punisher1984
September 17th, 2008, 01:13 PM
:nono: Not possible; if you are right then we won't be anything.....Much less surprised. :idunno:


This position assumes a false dichotomy - that Christianity and Atheism are the only competing schools of though. How do you know that you won't end up before Osiris to have your heart weighed against a feather, take up a job in the kingdom of Hades or be reborn as a cow?

Since you make a positive claim concerning the afterlife, you must point out why your claim is real and all other afterlife claims are false. Since I make a negative claim regarding an afterlife (no reason to believe it's real), the same burden doesn't apply to me as I have nothing to prove.

Troublemaker
September 17th, 2008, 05:20 PM
It's not hard for me - when I look at the world I see nothing but causality in action. If there was a "creator" of some kind and it gave a damn about us I'd expect to see a very different world (one without plagues, overpopulation, religious fanatics, etc...).

1. Why would we lie? What do we have to gain from denying the existence of something we *really* know to exist? It's as stupid as denying gravity.

2. How do you know that we have *anything* coming? Has it occured to you that you may actually be the one in for a surprise?


Do you think you would become a believer if God performed miracles.
Read the New Testament Jesus did all kinds of Miracles and he was
killed. Do you think we would be any different.

1) I think you are a very unhappy person and you are looking for someone to blame and hate. You can lash out at God.
I am sorry for your pain.

2) Because I believe what God has told us and we will ALL be judged.
He has left so much for us if we open our eyes and hearts to him.
How about finding sea shells on the tops of mountains. (from Noah's flood)

fool
September 17th, 2008, 06:40 PM
For one thing I didn't think much about God when I was young. But as I got older I started thinking and reading about how everything began.
How did everything begin?


No I am not perfect I have at times started to think is there really a God. Then I know how foolish of me to even go there.
There's nothing wrong with examining your beliefs and perceptions, this can only cause growth.


Just think about how complex the human body is. Could that really have happen by chance, from pond scum?

Do you look at a snow flake and think it impossible that it was formed by chance from water vapor?


As for the atheist how do you think everything began?
I'm still looking into it.
Hope to have it all figured out by this weekend :chuckle:


I guess I am very naive I have never talked to an atheist.
There's lots of different kinds, not all good, I'll be happy to talk with you about my Atheism.


I feel very sorry for them.
They'll be fine, feel sorry for the helpless and weak, maybe even do something.



Look at nature, birds lock their feet around a tree branch to take a nap so they can't fall off. They have a perfect designer.
That would be cool, I can't do that, was my designer not as perfect?


Look at all the different animals, mammals,insects did this just happen?
Been happening for quite some time, humans just showed up recently.


I just think everyone deep down MUST believe in a creator.
Does God believe someone made him?


If you don't, you have to have a huge void in your life.
I wish I had a void, a little empty space is good for new projects.



How lonely you must be.
We've got you to keep us company.
You and the six billion other people on the planet.
But they're not all logged on to TOL with a cool handle like Troublemaker.

Welcome to the forum.

Punisher1984
September 17th, 2008, 06:49 PM
Do you think you would become a believer if God performed miracles.

Define "miracle" - such things as "faith healing" or "prophecies" are commonly reported and can be easily faked, so I rule out reports of such things automatically


Read the New Testament Jesus did all kinds of Miracles and he was killed.

Assuming of course that the NT is actually a reliable historical document - a claim that's all too easy to dispute...


1) I think you are a very unhappy person and you are looking for someone to blame and hate. You can lash out at God. I am sorry for your pain.

1. I'm not in pain - in fact, I'm happier now than I ever was as a Christian.

2. How do I blame an entity I have no reason to believe exists for my troubles? That's like you blaming Thor for striking your pet cat with lightning!


2) Because I believe what God has told us and we will ALL be judged.

According to what? Blind obedience to an ideal? Application of reason in life? The ability to bake cakes? What?!?


He has left so much for us if we open our eyes and hearts to him. How about finding sea shells on the tops of mountains. (from Noah's flood)

Yeah... Those shells were found in rocks dating back to the earlier geological periods (cambrain, ordivician, devaronian, etc...) that were lifted by collision of techtonic plates - producing thrust folds that formed the mountains.

There's no need for a global flood to explain the shells - plate techtonics does a well enough job explaining that phenomena.

fool
September 17th, 2008, 06:49 PM
How about finding sea shells on the tops of mountains. (from Noah's flood)

How do you know they weren't from the time Vishnu's bath tub overflowed?

Zeus
September 17th, 2008, 09:33 PM
With so much doubt among the faithful -- so many lapsed Catholics and Mellow Mormons, I would not be surprised to learn that most so-called theists waiver much of the time.

Personally, I have no problem with accepting that I do not know how life began. I really question the sincerity of those who claim to know for sure.

Sitamun
September 17th, 2008, 09:39 PM
How do you know they weren't from the time Vishnu's bath tub overflowed?

Man, don't you just hate it when that happens?

and welcome to the forum Troublemaker!

spider
September 18th, 2008, 12:27 AM
i use to be an athiest that pretended to be a christian and harrassed other athiests to make them hate christian so iwouln't loose my friends then i realized hey thats what the devil does so God must be real cause you cant have one without the other

:rolleyes: Sure you did.

Quincy
September 18th, 2008, 08:10 AM
I don't see how I could believe in a supernatural deity that I can find no substantial evidence for. But I can believe in a culmination of sensation, feeling, and emotions that equal a natural spirituality. I just think people read to deeply into it.


peace

icilian fenner
September 18th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Yes, they do believe in their own god-less theology ... and they waste their time, without realizing it, by coming to boards like this instead of going to sites where everyone thinks like them.


If you want intellectual stimulation, you go to adversarial situations.


A thousand yes-men won't explain to me the other point of view.

Ps82
September 18th, 2008, 03:30 PM
Fortunately, the burden of proof does not lie on my shoulders. You are the one who claims that there is some supernatural Creator despite not having physical evidence for its existence.

Who made that a law? You're the one who claims there is not a god. I think it should be easy to prove that God did not exist - if he didn't.

However, non-believers find it hard to prove that HE IS NOT.
It is just like you cannot prove that you ARE NOT ...
Why?
Because YOU ARE, so it can't be denied.
Well, God is ... and that is why you cannot prove that HE is NOT.

I guess atheists just find it really hard to believe that they are of any real significance... other than a puff of dust for a moment in the sun... and they transfer their anger by saying that God does not exist.

Christians have lots more evidence that God does exist and the only thing an atheist can do is this:

With their own minds they just deny deny deny. That just too easy! I don't think you even deserve any credit for coming up with your theory about a non-existing God... for your theory is based on nothing.

My opinion is that it would be a sad life not to be a believer. Sad to believe that you are a mere puff of dust for a moment. Why don't you cheer up and try being a believer saved for eternity IN CHRIST?

Ps82
September 18th, 2008, 03:33 PM
If you want intellectual stimulation, you go to adversarial situations.


A thousand yes-men won't explain to me the other point of view.

You know what? That's fine with me... now you certainly may go join your fellow non believers on another board ...

Unless you just find believers more interesting.

What is it Icilian ... are we more interesting to you or more fun to mock?

Ps82
September 18th, 2008, 03:35 PM
:chuckle:

Nope. You need to have faith.

Sorry, don't care to place faith in NOTHING. That would be ridiculous: however, you place all your faith in - NOTHING.

Ps82
September 18th, 2008, 03:39 PM
If you want intellectual stimulation, you go to adversarial situations.


A thousand yes-men won't explain to me the other point of view.

Well, on behalf of all believers posting here I will say thanks for the compliment. I am glad that you find us stimulating. Most atheists I've talked to in the past have said that they find us humorous. It is refreshing to hear another perspective.

I wonder why our beliefs are so stimulating to you? Could it be that the real God is calling to you?

eveningsky339
September 18th, 2008, 03:40 PM
Yes, people who do not believe in God exist. A few even post on this forum.

Do you get outside often? :rain:

icilian fenner
September 18th, 2008, 03:44 PM
You know what? That's fine with me... now you certainly may go join your fellow non believers on another board ...

Unless you just find believers more interesting.

What is it Icilian ... are we more interesting to you or more fun to mock?

More interesting. What about my answer didn't you understand - I want debate in which I encounter opposing points of view. Why on earth would I want to discuss things relating to religious belief with people who agree with me already? I don't need a pat on the back about how right I am - that's not near so useful to me as opposition.

I'm not about to hang out with people and discuss how little we believe. I've learnt more on TOL about critical thinking (go on, fundies, rib away about how I'm not applying it ;)) over the past couple of years than anywhere.

TOL is a good pass-time for me. Just hasn't brought me any closer to God. That does not = mocking.

Ps82
September 18th, 2008, 09:38 PM
Hi Icilianfenner,
You asked:

More interesting. What about my answer didn't you understand

While trying to play catch-up with replies... I replied to one of your posts before I read your last one for me.

You said:

I want debate in which I encounter opposing points of view. Why on earth would I want to discuss things relating to religious belief with people who agree with me already? I don't need a pat on the back about how right I am - that's not near so useful to me as opposition.

So, I was right you are seeking God and perhaps not coming to mock Christians?


TOL is a good pass-time for me. Just hasn't brought me any closer to God. That does not = mocking.

These are fair answers ... I'll will read further posts by you with interest.

icilian fenner
September 19th, 2008, 12:53 AM
Hi Icilianfenner,
You asked:


While trying to play catch-up with replies... I replied to one of your posts before I read your last one for me.

So, I was right you are seeking God and perhaps not coming to mock Christians?


I think, personally, that this is a bit of a false dicotomy - I only want to believe in what is true. If God exists, then I want to know - but I'm not looking to believe untill I am convinced. I come here more because it exposes me to the thought that lies behind what motivates and what logic is behind people who have vastly different world views to my own. I want to find out what makes people tick, and learn more about myself and the world as i do it..

I have mocked people before, but that was not because of their christianity, more because of their cookiness - see Just Tom par example.


These are fair answers ... I'll will read further posts by you with interest.

:D Hope they live up to your expecations.

DoogieTalons
September 19th, 2008, 02:25 AM
Athiest exist, I'm one.

I don't believe a creator exists. I can say with the same certainty that santa does not exist that I have enough evidence not only to say "I don't believe in God" but to say "I believe there is no God"

I think all religions have something to offer, but answers on the real genesis of life and indeed it's meaning are not among them.

Ps82
September 19th, 2008, 06:41 AM
Athiest exist, I'm one.

I don't believe a creator exists. I can say with the same certainty that santa does not exist that I have enough evidence not only to say "I don't believe in God" but to say "I believe there is no God"

I think all religions have something to offer, but answers on the real genesis of life and indeed it's meaning are not among them.

I'd like to hear your explanations of there being no God. Some proof, please.

Coteaz
September 19th, 2008, 10:37 AM
Who made that a law? You're the one who claims there is not a god. I think it should be easy to prove that God did not exist - if he didn't.
I only live as though gods do not exist, due to a complete lack of reliable evidence. I have never claimed to 'know' that such beings are nonexistent.


However, non-believers find it hard to prove that HE IS NOT.
It is just like you cannot prove that you ARE NOT ...
Why?
Because YOU ARE, so it can't be denied.
Well, God is ... and that is why you cannot prove that HE is NOT.
Likewise, believers find it hard to prove that HE IS.


I guess atheists just find it really hard to believe that they are of any real significance... other than a puff of dust for a moment in the sun... and they transfer their anger by saying that God does not exist.
Only the truly arrogant believe themselves to be something more than an insignificant speck in the universe. Do you know how pathetically small our planet is when compared to the rest of space?


Christians have lots more evidence that God does exist
You have a book. Wow.

Scientology has a book, too.


and the only thing an atheist can do is this:

With their own minds they just deny deny deny. That just too easy! I don't think you even deserve any credit for coming up with your theory about a non-existing God... for your theory is based on nothing.
Likewise, you simply believe, believe, believe. Any doubts floating around with all of that blind faith?


My opinion is that it would be a sad life not to be a believer. Sad to believe that you are a mere puff of dust for a moment. Why don't you cheer up and try being a believer saved for eternity IN CHRIST?
I'd rather not waste my life devoting myself to a highly improbable religion. I have better things to do.

Ps82
September 19th, 2008, 10:42 AM
Hi Coteaz,

You said:

I'd rather not waste my life devoting myself to a highly improbable religion. I have better things to do.

So, why are you here wasting your life?

fool
September 19th, 2008, 10:45 AM
So, why are you here wasting your life here?

He's here discussing religion, politics, and just about everything else.
(read the marquee sometime why don't ya)

Granite
September 19th, 2008, 11:26 AM
The better question might be really doubting that people exist who think talking snakes, levitating deities, resurrected dead men, and non-existent history are all things to take on faith.

Coteaz
September 19th, 2008, 01:49 PM
So, why are you here wasting your life?
Entertainment. I enjoy discussing/debating issues with others, especially those who have radically different views than I do.

Ps82
September 19th, 2008, 02:37 PM
Entertainment. I enjoy discussing/debating issues with others, especially those who have radically different views than I do.

Hmmm... I think I've just recently heard that answer already. What a safe response! I guess atheists have learned something by coming to Christian boards after all.

I can remember the day when many of them gloated about how much fund they got by annoying believers. Because of this, I find it hard to trust atheists. I guess I will see over time whether things have really changed on TOL.

See you around so to speak. :wave2:

Ps82
September 19th, 2008, 02:39 PM
He's here discussing religion, politics, and just about everything else.
(read the marquee sometime why don't ya)

Maybe

Granite
September 19th, 2008, 02:40 PM
Hmmm... I think I've just recently heard that answer already. What a safe response! I guess atheists have learned something by coming to Christian boards after all.

I can remember the day when many of them gloated about how much fund they got by annoying believers. Because of this, I find it hard to trust atheists. I guess I will see over time whether things have really changed on TOL.

See you around so to speak. :wave2:

"How much fund"? Is there a heathen IRA I'm not aware of?:think:

Ps82
September 19th, 2008, 02:45 PM
"How much fund"? Is there a heathen IRA I'm not aware of?:think:

Now, wouldn't that be interesting if atheists had gotten funds for ridiculing us? :ha:

I guess you have the intellect to realize I made a typing error... if not I've explained - fun instead of fund. Sorry. :D

Coteaz
September 19th, 2008, 03:55 PM
Hmmm... I think I've just recently heard that answer already. What a safe response! I guess atheists have learned something by coming to Christian boards after all.
I've always posted online for that reason, no matter the forum. Don't think so highly of yourself or your religion - I certainly haven't been humbled by the Power of Holiness that you think radiates from this board.


I can remember the day when many of them gloated about how much fund they got by annoying believers. Because of this, I find it hard to trust atheists. I guess I will see over time whether things have really changed on TOL.
Trust me, I am very entertained by fundies' raging replies to some of my harsher posts.

Ps82
September 19th, 2008, 04:35 PM
Hi Coteaz,

You said:

Trust me, I am very entertained by fundies' raging replies to some of my harsher posts.


See, I was right anyway... not much change after all.
Well, I've enjoyed these moderate remarks between myself and your buddies, but I will go on to write about what interests me. I hope you and the rest of the atheists coming here learn a lot on TOL - or move on to other sites, which you find more entertaining.

Troublemaker
September 19th, 2008, 06:53 PM
Nope, I still don't believe in atheist. How can you convince me???
Just because you say doesn't make it so.

Sitamun
September 19th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Answer me this Troublemaker. I am without a doubt an atheist. A person who doesn't not believe there is an all powerful god watching everything we do. Now, if what you say is correct that I'm really just angry at god and hate him please tell me why I consider Ave Maria one of the most beautiful songs ever composed and am actually listening to it while I type this out. If I'm angry and spiteful shouldn't I scorn this song?

Rusha
September 19th, 2008, 09:45 PM
Nope, I still don't believe in atheist. How can you convince me??? Just because you say doesn't make it so.

Ah, and there is the irony. Unlike you, Atheists and other nonbelievers are secure enough in our beliefs that we don't need to convince you.

If you believe, good for you. If you don't, good for you. I really think what you are having trouble with is convincing yourself that you are actually right.

fool
September 20th, 2008, 09:42 AM
Nope, I still don't believe in atheist. How can you convince me???
Just because you say doesn't make it so.

Troublemaker;
You've been given some thoughtful responses in this tread and then you come back with this?
I don't think you're genuinly interested in discussing this.
Perhaps you should change your name to "wasteoftime"

Troublemaker
September 20th, 2008, 09:45 AM
Answer me this Troublemaker. I am without a doubt an atheist. A person who doesn't not believe there is an all powerful god watching everything we do. Now, if what you say is correct that I'm really just angry at god and hate him please tell me why I consider Ave Maria one of the most beautiful songs ever composed and am actually listening to it while I type this out. If I'm angry and spiteful shouldn't I scorn this song?

I still have a hard time believing you DON'T believe in a creator.
I don't think I will ever come to grips with that. How empty. Yes, I have to say it again you have a void.

Anyway about your taste in music, I think that just shows you appreciate good music.
There are a couple of songs of Elton John's I like to hear but that does not make me like him.
I think his lifestyle is sinful and I really dislike the man.
Can I ask what do you think of the Bible?

Troublemaker
September 20th, 2008, 09:49 AM
Troublemaker;
You've been given some thoughtful responses in this tread and then you come back with this?
I don't think you're genuinly interested in discussing this.
Perhaps you should change your name to "wasteoftime"

Sorry you think that way. But I think some of the responses are a waste of time.

icilian fenner
September 20th, 2008, 11:18 AM
I still have a hard time believing you DON'T believe in a creator.
I don't think I will ever come to grips with that. How empty. Yes, I have to say it again you have a void.


Why do you find it hard to believe? I think you forget that what makes you feel incomplete may well not be the case for someone else. Just because you feel incomplete without something, doesn't mean I will.

Think about this. A man is happy because his wife amazes him with tenderness and loving companionship everyday. Another man is happy because he gets to stay in his dusty room, surrounded by the paintings he's slaved over for years, and with each one his love for art increases.

The first man is bewildered by the pleasures of the first, and cannot fathom that he could possibly be happy without such a wonderful spouse. The second man wonders in disbelief how, without art, can his neighbour be so content.

Does it mean either of the men are unhappy?

Troublemaker
September 20th, 2008, 01:45 PM
I don't think we are talking about the same thing. This is a worldly issue. I am talking about the difference between heaven and hell and I ask you where would you rather be?

Your question had to do with earthly pressures.
How we feel and conduct our lives in this world has nothing to do with atheism.


Are we concerned with a fraction of a second in time living a life of sin and damnation, or an eternal never ending life of happiness with God our Savior.

An atheist is like a person setting on a barbed wire fence. Who must sooner or later decide which side to get off on. Now if you get off on the correct side you will happily live forever with God our Saviour. If you get off on the wrong side you will still live forever, BUT do you really want to shovel coal for eternity.

Sitamun
September 20th, 2008, 03:50 PM
.
Can I ask what do you think of the Bible?

I think it's a nice work of historical fiction.

icilian fenner
September 20th, 2008, 04:51 PM
I don't think we are talking about the same thing. This is a worldly issue. I am talking about the difference between heaven and hell and I ask you where would you rather be?

Actually, you weren't adressing that at all. What you were saying is that those people who don't believe in a creator have a void in their lives. What I was telling you is that just because if you didn't believe in a creator you would have a void, doesn't mean other people will.

If that's the sum total of your logic, then you're projecting your feelings onto other people who may not share your emotional needs.



Your question had to do with earthly pressures.
How we feel and conduct our lives in this world has nothing to do with atheism.


My question has to do with different people being satisfied with different things - just because you would not get pleasure, satisfaction or happiness from the things that I do, does not mean I don't. Equally, those things that would trouble you may not nessercarily trouble others.

So like I said, while you may feel you'd be missing something not believing in a creator, doesn't mean that other people do.



Are we concerned with a fraction of a second in time living a life of sin and damnation, or an eternal never ending life of happiness with God our Savior.

An atheist is like a person setting on a barbed wire fence. Who must sooner or later decide which side to get off on. Now if you get off on the correct side you will happily live forever with God our Saviour. If you get off on the wrong side you will still live forever, BUT do you really want to shovel coal for eternity.

Now you've really jumped a gun. You have two situations:

A) Your God exists

B) Your God doesn't

IF: A is true, then there is a choice to be made between those two realities - heaven or hell

BUT IF: B is true - then there isn't.

If I have no belief in your God, why would I think that there's a choice to be made?

Troublemaker
September 20th, 2008, 05:22 PM
On my original post I was speaking to a heavenly issue.
You came back answering me on a worldly issue.
You and I were not talking apples to apples.

I am not going to debate this with you here on earth. But when I get to heaven I will call you loooong distance.

Those of you that do not believe have no idea the pleasure of a saviour.
How sad for you..
It really does hurt my heart.

Adios

icilian fenner
September 20th, 2008, 06:37 PM
On my original post I was speaking to a heavenly issue.
You came back answering me on a worldly issue.
You and I were not talking apples to apples.

We were both talking about the beliefs of people.



I am not going to debate this with you here on earth. But when I get to heaven I will call you loooong distance.


Then don't ask the questions. ;)



Those of you that do not believe have no idea the pleasure of a saviour.
How sad for you..
It really does hurt my heart.

Adios

so you do believe in atheists? ;)

You're just here to gloat, aren't you? No real desire to debate at all..

Coteaz
September 20th, 2008, 08:38 PM
Those of you that do not believe have no idea the pleasure of a saviour.
How sad for you..
False hopes are worthless. I may be a pathetic, weak speck of dirt, but I don't need to grovel on my belly to some (unproven) high-and-mighty 'saviour' in order to feel better about myself.

I wouldn't trust it anyways.


It really does hurt my heart.
Whereas you hurt my brain.

freelight
September 23rd, 2008, 05:21 PM
~*~*~

Greetings all,

Anything that is perceivable can be said or accepted to 'exist' no matter its contextual spectrum, invisible or visible. Existence itself is recognized as a subjective reality, reflected back to the sentient being...mirroring whatever that one is meditating upon or exposed to in the field of vision (however reflected in one's perception).

For those who don the label of 'atheist' of one brand or another, such is based on their own qualifications of such a 'position', with varied reasons to doubt so called 'proofs' for 'God', however conventionally or metaphysically defined by theists and spiritualists alike.

Existence itself IS, and many things exist by virtue of our perception of them (immaterial or material). Some recognize the Supreme ISness of BEING or LIFE as 'God', the Matrix from which all springs,...call it whatever you will. Others see no reason for 'God' as traditionally defined,...however no matter,...the One Supreme Reality of Life, that Which Actually IS, is ever radiant as BEING. (one may doubt this or quibble over definitions, but so it IS).

So,...enjoy all dimensions of Life, in its existential and experiential aspects....for this is All there IS, as the One Absolute, with all relativities and multiplicities arising within the One INFINITY :)

The Tao continues, never exhausted......



pj

Granite
September 24th, 2008, 06:44 AM
Yes, people who reject fairy tales and bogus hick theology exist. Yes, people who question and who think for themselves really exist.

There. Simple!

DoogieTalons
September 24th, 2008, 09:23 AM
I'd like to hear your explanations of there being no God. Some proof, please.I do not need to prove anything to you.

I believe there is no God.

As I am not asking you to believe there is no God, I have no need to prove a thing.

If you wish me to believe in your God, then I require proof.

bodkyn
September 24th, 2008, 10:17 AM
I do not need to prove anything to you.

I believe there is no God.

As I am not asking you to believe there is no God, I have no need to prove a thing.

If you wish me to believe in your God, then I require proof.

Solid reply. Kudos.

Troublemaker
September 24th, 2008, 04:44 PM
Christians are right and have EVERYTHING, but if we are wrong we don't lose anything.
Atheist have everything to lose.

MrRadish
September 24th, 2008, 04:53 PM
Christians are right and have EVERYTHING, but if we are wrong we don't lose anything.
Atheist have everything to lose.

:yawn:

It's called Pascal's Wager. It is an old, OLD argument, and terribly terribly boring. And entirely irrelevant, a false dichotomy, and presents completely the wrong reasons for converting even if you were taken in by it.

Rusha
September 24th, 2008, 05:43 PM
Christians are right and have EVERYTHING,

I disagree. I have known too many Christians who lived unhappy lives ... being happy and fulfilled IS having everything, IMO.


but if we are wrong we don't lose anything. Atheist have everything to lose.

When I hear or read comments such as what you just said, it really makes me question the sincerity of your beliefs. It sounds like you only believe and follow because of your own fear and wanting a "get out of hell free" card.

So let me ask you ... do you believe in OSAS and if so, what do you believe is your responsibility after the fact?

Do you believe that you need to set an example with your own life?

Coteaz
September 24th, 2008, 05:47 PM
Christians are right and have EVERYTHING, but if we are wrong we don't lose anything.
Atheist have everything to lose.
No, being wrong could cause you to reincarnate as a pariah. Or a cockroach.

Christianity isn't the only religion in the world, pal.

chestertonrules
September 25th, 2008, 01:50 PM
It is very hard for me to believe anyone could not believe we have a creator.
I just think they are all lying, and if they are not lying don't they have a surprise coming!!
Any thoughts out there.
I am a newbie, I am sure this subject has been talked to death.
But I would like to know what everyone is thinking.mar


Chesterton said that if there was no God there would be no atheists.

We don't have aUnicorns or aMartians.

Zetetic
September 25th, 2008, 09:26 PM
Chesterton said that if there was no God there would be no atheists.

We don't have aUnicorns or aMartians.An atheist is one who believes there is no deity. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheist)

I am one who believes there are no unicorns. If we believe Chesterton and our dictionary, that not only makes me an aUnicornian, but it also means unicorns do exist.

It's a very interesting proof. If Chesterton is a reliable source, I'd take this one to your local university and see if you can't be funded for a safari.

-J

Zetetic
September 25th, 2008, 09:40 PM
:yawn:

It's called Pascal's Wager. It is an old, OLD argument, and terribly terribly boring. And entirely irrelevant, a false dichotomy, and presents completely the wrong reasons for converting even if you were taken in by it.

This is like saying a song is terrible simply because you've heard it played too often. The truth is that the quality of the song is not related to its airtime. Likewise, the quality of an argument does not diminish because someone gets bored with it. I don't like Pascal's Wager either, but I think it is an interesting idea. You may be bored with it, but that doesn't make it a boring idea. It makes you easily bored.

Pascal's wager is interesting to me. I believe it sends the message that it is much more important to be right in your atheism than it is to be right in your theism. Engineers make choices all the time that are only necessary if a very unlikely event happens. They do this because it is much better to spend effort and money on something probably useless than risk hundreds of lives on the belief that the unlikely event will never occur.

I agree that god is unlikely to appreciate your devotion when you view him entirely like an insurance policy. However, the concept has driven many people to pursue god, and in so doing they found more reasons to believe than merely hedging their bets. They found faith lurking inside themselves that they didn't expect. This is the usefulness of the argument.

-J

Zeus
September 25th, 2008, 10:12 PM
Pascal's wager is interesting to me. I believe it sends the message that it is much more important to be right in your atheism than it is to be right in your theism. The problem is that this assertion is really very flimsy. By believing in a particular god, it only ups your chances a small amount, given the number of man's notions of god that have been rejected. You actually share a large component of common risk with the atheist. So many viscissitudes that both reject.

And, if there is only our one life on earth and you have chosen to adhere to a religion that is incompatible with your fulfilment (for example sexual/emotional satisfaction -- the MaryContrary and Just Toms), you have lost a wager of a different sort.

Maybe Pascal's wager is a boring concept because it is meaningless, not because it is repeated.

Zetetic
September 25th, 2008, 11:32 PM
The problem is that this assertion is really very flimsy. By believing in a particular god, it only ups your chances a small amount, given the number of man's notions of god that have been rejected. You actually share a large component of common risk with the atheist. So many viscissitudes that both reject.

And, if there is only our one life on earth and you have chosen to adhere to a religion that is incompatible with your fulfilment (for example sexual/emotional satisfaction -- the MaryContrary and Just Toms), you have lost a wager of a different sort.

Maybe Pascal's wager is a boring concept because it is meaningless, not because it is repeated.
Firstly, it is a small subset of world religions that offer infinite reward for belief, infinite punishment for disbelief, and exclusivity with respect to other religions. You talk as if each religion offers the same risk.

Second, and this in a way eclipses my first point, Pascal never included the totality of world religions into his wager. He was comparing a belief in the Christian god to belief in no god whatsoever. Pascal had already come to believe that among religions, only Christianity could be true. He simply felt that he couldn't know for sure if the truth was Christianity, or no gods at all. He felt he had no choice but to wager and framed his wager in the way we all know so well. He also knew better than to think that this was all that was needed to please god. Are you sure you're familiar with Pascal? I haven't directly read anything of his, but it seems you are only vaguely familiar with his ideas.

Finally, your mention of a "wager of a different sort" sounds a great deal like one of Pascal's two scenarios - I'm not sure what you're calling 'different'. The whole point of Pascals Wager is that all your earthly sadness regarding the many things you abstained from will not amount to anything when stacked against eternity with god. Speaking of abstaining from sin, are these the kinds of things you think men regret on their deathbeds? You think they wish they'd had more sex, harmed people, been more selfish?

-J

icilian fenner
September 26th, 2008, 08:50 AM
The problem is that this assertion is really very flimsy. By believing in a particular god, it only ups your chances a small amount, given the number of man's notions of god that have been rejected. You actually share a large component of common risk with the atheist. So many viscissitudes that both reject.

And, if there is only our one life on earth and you have chosen to adhere to a religion that is incompatible with your fulfilment (for example sexual/emotional satisfaction -- the MaryContrary and Just Toms), you have lost a wager of a different sort.

Maybe Pascal's wager is a boring concept because it is meaningless, not because it is repeated.

Agreed - whilst parciular beliefs sit well with some people, others struggle under their burden. If that belief is wrong, it doesn't matter if you believe it and it makes you happy. But what if you feel way less than you could be? :think:

There is also the possibility that there is a higher power who is un-revealed to us, that appreciates atheists more than theists. It's a risk you run, in this religion business.. :chew:


Pascal's wager has been thoroughly debunked before now, and nothing's changed since then..

Zeus
September 27th, 2008, 08:25 PM
Firstly, it is a small subset of world religions that offer infinite reward for belief, infinite punishment for disbelief, and exclusivity with respect to other religions. You talk as if each religion offers the same risk.

Should we just adhere to the religion that threatens us best?

Se
cond, and this in a way eclipses my first point, Pascal never included the totality of world religions into his wager.
That's why it is so lame. False dichotomies never impress.


Speaking of abstaining from sin, are these the kinds of things you think men regret on their deathbeds? You think they wish they'd had more sex, harmed people, been more selfish?

Harming people, more selfish definitely not. More sex - the number one regret!

Zetetic
September 27th, 2008, 10:08 PM
Should we just adhere to the religion that threatens us best?Most creatures pay attention to the most significant threat. Those that don't are less likely to pass on their genetic traits. Pascal is saying that if we judge purely by a cost-benefit analysis, investigating Christianity is a prudent decision. The issue of whether God is fair or nice is another matter completely.

That's why it is so lame. False dichotomies never impress.Pascal argued in his other works that if any religion was correct, it must be Christianity. It's not important if you agree with him and I have no idea how well he made those arguments. Nevertheless, the wager is set in a context where there are only two choices. If after reading those other works you still disagree, and believe his dichotomy to be false, then you can't use the wager as it does not apply to your situation. It is a mistake borne of ignorance to say that the wager itself is a false dichotomy and it is arrogance to think that such a man as Pascal would not be aware of the dichotomy he was operating in when he penned that wager - I imagine this is why he defended his dichotomy first.

It is unfortunate that people read a man's writings in a vacuum. I believe it to be a product of our time starved society that people make judgments so quickly. Whatever your excuse, it is still wrong.


Harming people, more selfish definitely not. More sex - the number one regret!
All joking aside, I don't know that I have much to say to this one. Were you expecting a wink and a fist bump?

-J

Zeus
September 27th, 2008, 10:59 PM
Most creatures pay attention to the most significant threat. But, only humans fear an imaginary one.


Pascal is saying that if we judge purely by a cost-benefit analysis, investigating Christianity is a prudent decision. The issue of whether God is fair or nice is another matter completely.
Pascal argued in his other works that if any religion was correct, it must be Christianity. It's not important if you agree with him and I have no idea how well he made those arguments.

It is sort of important to have a basis to collapse the issue to a choice of two. If there are no compelling reasons to do so, then it should not be done. If you do not even know his rationale, I fail to see how you can be defending the wisdom of such a dichotomy at all. I do not care about pascal or exactly how his argument unfolded. I care about evaluating the concept. You don't even care enough about it to find out his rationale and you are his defender.



It is unfortunate that people read a man's writings in a vacuum. I believe it to be a product of our time starved society that people make judgments so quickly. Whatever your excuse, it is still wrong. I suggest you stop doing it as well.



All joking aside, I don't know that I have much to say to this one. Were you expecting a wink and a fist bump?

-J

I am not joking. I truly believe that among people's last thoughts are: I wish a had more sex, higher quality sex, and sex with particular people. I will now scour the internet to find proof.

Zetetic
September 27th, 2008, 11:53 PM
But, only humans fear an imaginary one.A matter of opinion as you know and having little to do with whether or not Pascals wager is boring. I thought your contention was that reacting to a perceived threat (real or imagined) is somehow a mistake. Is a sidetracking insult against theism your way of withdrawing from your position?
It is sort of important to have a basis to collapse the issue to a choice of two. If there are no compelling reasons to do so, then it should not be done.I quite agree. If something has no compelling reason it is unreasonable. Sure.
If you do not even know his rationale, I fail to see how you can be defending the wisdom of such a dichotomy at all.I never said there was wisdom in the dichotomy and am unsure why you accuse me of defending its wisdom. I did say that Pascal tried to explain why the dichotomy must be.

You said it was a false dichotomy simply because there are other religions. Pascal was aware of the other religions and made arguments that resolved the issue to a dichotomy of Christianity or a lack of theistic belief. You have not given us anything as to why you believe Pascals arguments were insufficient and you were unaware he'd made such arguments. I merely advised that you attempt to discredit the dichotomy as presented there, or at least read it, before condemning the wager.

As I've been careful to say, I don't even like the wager much. I think it is certainly an incomplete theological position if that is all a person uses to make their decision! I do find it interesting and I believe that it can be a first step toward faith. One must first find the motivation to seek something before they can hope to find it - even if that motivation is as ignoble as I believe the wager to be. The reason you need to read Pascal and I don't is that you are espousing the opinion that his argument is a conceptual failure while I am merely saying it is a novelty and has limited practical value. Were I to take a more definitive stand, I would feel compelled to learn more about the subject first.
I do not care about pascal or exactly how his argument unfolded.Why are we having this conversation?
I care about evaluating the concept.So...you do care. Look, this concept you care about includes his explanation of the dichotomy. You cannot divorce the wager from the reduction to two choices that precipitates it. You don't have to agree with his reasoning, but to discredit what you haven't read is not a good idea.
You don't even care enough about it to find out his rationale and you are his defender.Again, not his defender. I said I find the idea of the wager to be interesting. I wouldn't presume to say that he is "right" or "wrong" because I haven't done the legwork yet.
I suggest you stop doing it as well.Stop doing what? Are you saying that I made assumptions about Pascals Wager without first looking into it? I'm very sorry if I did that, but I can't very well avoid it in the future if I'm not sure what those assumptions were. I was trying to refrain from making definitive statements about the overall worth of the wager because I don't know much about it. I'll repeat again. I find it interesting and potentially useful if it is the first step toward a search for god.
I am not joking. I truly believe that among people's last thoughts are: I wish a had more sex, higher quality sex, and sex with particular people. I will now scour the internet to find proof.I can only speak for myself as I do not have any hard statistics on subject, but I think that as a man grows in maturity he generally realizes that his sexual drive is one of the worst motivators when it comes to lasting happiness.

If by sex you mean a relationship involving love, trust, transparency, etc. then I may agree with you that people will regret not having more. If by sex you mean the simple pleasure of the act then I would wonder why you esteem it so highly. Most heroin users will attest to the fact that sex can't touch it for the thrill or the pleasure. Why would people regret sex and not heroin? Maybe I'm making a bad assumption here too. Perhaps you'll now argue that one thing people regret more than having too little sex is subjecting themselves to too little heroin.

-J

PyramidHead
September 27th, 2008, 11:59 PM
what..... there are ppl out there w/o my exact opinion out there...??? nawww... they believe the same thing, they just DENY it. what nooblets

Zeus
September 28th, 2008, 10:16 AM
A matter of opinion as you know and having little to do with whether or not Pascals wager is boring. I thought your contention was that reacting to a perceived threat (real or imagined) is somehow a mistake. Is a sidetracking insult against theism your way of withdrawing from your position?

My contention is that reacting on the basis of an unsubstantiated threat is quite foolish. And that choosing a religion on the basis of how scary the consequences within each sect is silly. High pressure sales is always distasteful -- especially when tied to major life decisions.


You said it was a false dichotomy simply because there are other religions. Pascal was aware of the other religions and made arguments that resolved the issue to a dichotomy of Christianity or a lack of theistic belief. You have not given us anything as to why you believe Pascals arguments were insufficient and you were unaware he'd made such arguments. I merely advised that you attempt to discredit the dichotomy as presented there, or at least read it, before condemning the wager.

I talk about Pascal's Wager like I talk about the Pythagorean Theorem. The sum of the areas of the two squares on the legs equals the area of the square on the hypotenuse. You see how the theorem is complete. I don't have to ponder the life's work of Pythagoras to get at it's meaning. It's about the Theorum, not Pythogoras. Same with the Wager. The Wager does not address all three sides of the triangle, and it should. So it is an incomplete or false wager without an analysis of all relevant components.


As I've been careful to say, I don't even like the wager much. I think it is certainly an incomplete theological position if that is all a person uses to make their decision! I am glad you agree.


I do find it interesting and I believe that it can be a first step toward faith. One must first find the motivation to seek something before they can hope to find it - even if that motivation is as ignoble as I believe the wager to be. I have no problem with this -- IF the analysis of Christianity versus other religions can pass the smell test.


The reason you need to read Pascal and I don't is that you are espousing the opinion that his argument is a conceptual failure while I am merely saying it is a novelty and has limited practical value. Were I to take a more definitive stand, I would feel compelled to learn more about the subject first.

I say the Wager is a failure because it has a giant hole in it. I wonder why Pascal's analysis of Xtian versus Others is NOT AT ALL FAMOUS and neither of us know anything about it. Could it be that it is a weak dismissal that centers on Pascal's own personal bias as a Christian?


Why are we having this conversation? I address the Wager because it is presented often by Christians as it was in this thread. And repeatedly the hole in the Wager is not addressed, in fact it is completely ignored. Christians have never referenced Pascal's earlier analysis in forums that I have seen.


So...you do care. I care deeply.


Look, this concept you care about includes his explanation of the dichotomy. You cannot divorce the wager from the reduction to two choices that precipitates it. You don't have to agree with his reasoning, but to discredit what you haven't read is not a good idea. Other people repeatedly foist the Wager in my face without expalining the hole, and I am the one who can't comment until I read the complete works of Pascal?


I can only speak for myself as I do not have any hard statistics on subject, but I think that as a man grows in maturity he generally realizes that his sexual drive is one of the worst motivators when it comes to lasting happiness. I am talking about sex in the context of relationship and NOT. Some people will regret that they hired fewer hookers than they might have, others will contemplate never having had consummated the love of their life. Sex in some form crosses the mind of many people as they contemplate their life choices in the death bed, I am sure you can now agree.

Zetetic
September 28th, 2008, 10:56 AM
My contention is that reacting on the basis of an unsubstantiated threat is quite foolish.And those who believe the threat to be substantiated ought to react to it. It's common sense, right?
And that choosing a religion on the basis of how scary the consequences within each sect is silly. High pressure sales is always distasteful -- especially when tied to major life decisions.This is why you walk out on a doctor who tells you to get an expensive MRI because you might have a tumor. I can't say I agree with your stance on this one.
You see how the theorem is complete. I don't have to ponder the life's work of Pythagoras to get at it's meaning. It's about the Theorum, not Pythogoras.You have to agree on his definition of a triangle, you have to agree with his mathematical conventions. You don't have to read his biography, but if you don't know what a triangle is, you shouldn't comment on Pythagoras' theorem.
I wonder why Pascal's analysis of Xtian versus Others is NOT AT ALL FAMOUS and neither of us know anything about it. Could it be that it is a weak dismissal that centers on Pascal's own personal bias as a Christian?How should I know? If it makes you feel better to consider your speculation to be highly probable, go right ahead. Just understand that it only holds water in your own mind.
I address the Wager because it is presented often by Christians as it was in this thread. And repeatedly the hole in the Wager is not addressed, in fact it is completely ignored. Christians have never referenced Pascal's earlier analysis in forums that I have seen.If I tell you that I think the Dallas Cowboys will play the Giants in the Superbowl this season and that the Cowboys are almost a shoe-in to win, you can weigh in on either the dichotomy or the final outcome. However, to say my argument is useless because it doesn't consider all the other teams is silly. I considered them when I decided who would show up in the big game. You can argue against THAT point if you like, but to imply that I am ignoring the other teams is to be ignorant of all facets of my argument. This is what you are doing to Pascal. It is also what Christians are doing if they insist that Pascal is right without being aware of how he came to his dichotomy.
I am talking about sex in the context of relationship and NOT. Some people will regret that they hired fewer hookers than they might have, others will contemplate never having had consummated the love of their life. Sex in some form crosses the mind of many people as they contemplate their life choices in the death bed, I am sure you can now agree.Well, after seeing your further explanation on this issue I still have to disagree. I can't say that no one does as you say, but I would argue that it is not common and furthermore that it is the product of a shallow existence of regret things that are not central to the human experience. I won't regret not eating more, or not having more sex, or any of the other things that are central to even my dog's life. I will regret not having more uniquely human experiences. I think all people would do well to pursue those higher things, regardless of any religious persuasion or lack thereof.

-J

icilian fenner
September 28th, 2008, 01:21 PM
If a religion with as plausable history as christianity offered salvation or condemnation for you and your loved ones based soley on your decision, would you then convert?

Zetetic
September 28th, 2008, 02:00 PM
If a religion with as plausable history as christianity offered salvation or condemnation for you and your loved ones based soley on your decision, would you then convert?

I would convert if it proved more convincing to both my mind and my spirit/gut/instinct whatever you like to call it.

-J

icilian fenner
September 28th, 2008, 02:27 PM
I would convert if it proved more convincing to both my mind and my spirit/gut/instinct whatever you like to call it.

-J

Why would it be different with the decision between atheism and theism?

Let's raise the stakes - the salvation of the entire world rests on your decision to believe. According to the wager, the higher the stakes, the lower the risk in losing.

Gerald
September 28th, 2008, 02:29 PM
...I find it hard to trust atheists.You should never ever trust atheists!

They'll cut out your heart and eat it if you drop your guard! :DK:

Zetetic
September 28th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Why would it be different with the decision between atheism and theism?

Let's raise the stakes - the salvation of the entire world rests on your decision to believe. According to the wager, the higher the stakes, the lower the risk in losing.I don't see anything wrong with your reasoning here. Granted that you are proposing a far fetched scenario. Does it remind anyone else of The Neverending Story?

Look, if I believed that it was impossible to determine if your proposed threat to humanity was real or imagined, it would make good sense for me try to find it in myself to believe for the sake of everyone else.

I don't know if that answers your question or not. If not you can rephrase it so I can do better on the next attempt!

-J

Zeus
September 28th, 2008, 05:30 PM
And those who believe the threat to be substantiated ought to react to it. It's common sense, right?
No, it is only a gut feeling, not really common sense at all. Most people do not believe in Christ, thus it is not more common. People are free to react to an imaginary threat, a hypothetical threat if they choose to. It doesn't mean that a compelling case has been made.


This is why you walk out on a doctor who tells you to get an expensive MRI because you might have a tumor.

If I went in for some botox, yes! There must be compelling signs and symptoms of a tumor in order to justify an MRI, at least according to insurance companies. I see no compelling data in regard to hell.


I can't say I agree with your stance on this one.You have to agree on his definition of a triangle, you have to agree with his mathematical conventions. You don't have to read his biography, but if you don't know what a triangle is, you shouldn't comment on Pythagoras' theorem.How should I know? If it makes you feel better to consider your speculation to be highly probable, go right ahead. Just understand that it only holds water in your own mind.

This has been a very laborious discussion about semantics. To me "pascal's wager" is just a name for the claim that you should believe in god because of the notion of heaven and hell. That's it. It is an idiomatic dealie here. I do not care about Pascal or anything he said. I am just using shorthand that others have used before me. You hyave attacked the use of the term Pascals Wager, by grounding in history I care nothing about. It has jusyt muddied up the discussion. You win. I will hence forth refer to it as the black and white wager. Satisfied?

I can't say that no one does as you say, but I would argue that it is not common and furthermore that it is the product of a shallow existence of regret things that are not central to the human experience. I won't regret not eating more, or not having more sex, or any of the other things that are central to even my dog's life. I will regret not having more uniquely human experiences. I think all people would do well to pursue those higher things, regardless of any religious persuasion or lack thereof.

I think regret about sexual relationships is as valid as regret about parenting relationships. I'm sure a whole lot more is contemplated. If someone is dying young after a car accident, I am sure that person has regrets about having dieted and quit smoking -- that makes sense to me. Dying at 90 years old might leave someone feeling grateful that they eat well and quit smoking.

Many elderly folks regret sexual decisions they made in the face of their declining potency.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.


That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.


Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry;
For, having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

fool
September 28th, 2008, 10:12 PM
Ahh Pascal's Wager.
Always fun.
So we have an assertation by our new friend Zetetic that Pascal dispensed with all other religions quite handily before laying out the wager between whatever brand of Christanity Pascal believed in and demonstrated the superiority of.
So, first off, much like a math problem if you find a mistake in the begining there's no sence in going any further.
Even if a mistake later on corrects the error and you get the right answer your math is wrong.
If Hinduism is corect then the things I do in this life determine if I'll come back as a dung bettle or Paris Hilton's chihuahua.

Now, having laid down that I'll hypothetically move on to the dilema itself because that's more fun than just not examining it.

Let's say that tommorow they outlaw Atheists and you have to be in some kind of organized religion that has a God under penelty of death.
I'd whip out my baptism certificate and my confirmation certificate and get down to the local United Methodist outpost and present myself as one of their own and how soon can I get my offering envelopes?
I supose after I established myself and got my membership card that kept me from getting killed I would find or even found a church that was a rubber stamp to keep me from geting killed, but you would have the same thing as you have with Pascal's wager, if I don't really believe it then how does going thru the motions change anything?

I'm reminded of an episode of The Sopranos where one of the mobsters has a nightmare about hell and he's worried he's going there, he goes to his Priest and confronts him "I paid my dough! I confessed my sins! I did my Hail Marrys and my our Fathers! I thought you guys had me covered on this!"

If there is a God worth a damn he's not going to care what card you got in your pocket.

He wants a relationship, not a card.

icilian fenner
September 29th, 2008, 12:15 AM
I don't see anything wrong with your reasoning here. Granted that you are proposing a far fetched scenario. Does it remind anyone else of The Neverending Story?

Look, if I believed that it was impossible to determine if your proposed threat to humanity was real or imagined, it would make good sense for me try to find it in myself to believe for the sake of everyone else.

I don't know if that answers your question or not. If not you can rephrase it so I can do better on the next attempt!

-J

It answers it. :)

Quincy
September 29th, 2008, 08:02 AM
Nope, I still don't believe in atheist. How can you convince me???
Just because you say doesn't make it so.
How easy that can be turned against you.


I don't think we are talking about the same thing. This is a worldly issue. I am talking about the difference between heaven and hell and I ask you where would you rather be?
Which ever place has hard rock, drugs, sex, and videogames. I'm thinking Vegas.


Your question had to do with earthly pressures.
How we feel and conduct our lives in this world has nothing to do with atheism.
Of course it does, you're bound to be more liberal when you aren't afraid of eternal damnation.


Are we concerned with a fraction of a second in time living a life of sin and damnation, or an eternal never ending life of happiness with God our Savior.
Your lack of belief in Atheistic worldviews doesn't make any sense. Why would we care about a god or savior?


An atheist is like a person setting on a barbed wire fence. Who must sooner or later decide which side to get off on. Now if you get off on the correct side you will happily live forever with God our Saviour. If you get off on the wrong side you will still live forever, BUT do you really want to shovel coal for eternity.
I'm from coal country, whats new?

Zetetic
September 29th, 2008, 08:42 AM
No, it is only a gut feeling, not really common sense at all. Most people do not believe in Christ, thus it is not more common. People are free to react to an imaginary threat, a hypothetical threat if they choose to. It doesn't mean that a compelling case has been made.

If I went in for some botox, yes! There must be compelling signs and symptoms of a tumor in order to justify an MRI, at least according to insurance companies. I see no compelling data in regard to hell.It seems that you want to resolve many facets of our conversation down to a matter of needing proof. I readily agree with you that we have no compelling evidence out there for heaven and hell. Getting into the particulars of the history of Christianity and whether there is an indication that God may have communicated to his creation through prophets is not appropriate for this thread. Whatever your views on religion generally or Christianity specifically, I don't believe we are supposed to be compelled by evidence into the arms of our creator. What evidence we do have does not compel belief so much as it compels the pursuit of faith for only some of us. Those of us with faith are foolish to accuse those without of being ignorant when the scriptures themselves are clear that faith is something God gives us, not something we choose. The only choice is whether to live the by the faith inside us, if we have it at all.

I don't pretend to understand it all, but for me it is as you say - my gut tells me that there's something to it. You won't find me telling an atheist that he is hiding from what he knows to be true. What an insult! When I reach out intellectually toward God I find myself feeling like I'm getting closer to what is true. However, closer is not the same as being there and I do believe that faith is all we have while we remain in this world. I do not blame people for telling me that faith is not enough for them. I know the feeling, I simply have made a different choice.


This has been a very laborious discussion about semantics. To me "pascal's wager" is just a name for the claim that you should believe in god because of the notion of heaven and hell. That's it. It is an idiomatic dealie here. I do not care about Pascal or anything he said. I am just using shorthand that others have used before me. You hyave attacked the use of the term Pascals Wager, by grounding in history I care nothing about. It has jusyt muddied up the discussion. You win. I will hence forth refer to it as the black and white wager. Satisfied?I think you've hit the nail on the head and I do apologize if it seemed like I was trying to "win" something. What I've been trying to do is drive you to whatever your actual belief was. Like you say, you don't care about Pascal, though your very first comments were specifically about his argument. Now that we have moved on to the real issue, the black and white argument we must decide if we want to continue talking. I'm game if you are, but I don't want to appear overly contentious. Would you like to talk about the black and white argument? I suspect in this area we will agree more than we disagree, but who can say for sure.[/QUOTE]



I think regret about sexual relationships is as valid as regret about parenting relationships. I'm sure a whole lot more is contemplated. If someone is dying young after a car accident, I am sure that person has regrets about having dieted and quit smoking -- that makes sense to me. Dying at 90 years old might leave someone feeling grateful that they eat well and quit smoking.

Many elderly folks regret sexual decisions they made in the face of their declining potency.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.


That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.


Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry;
For, having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.It's such a coincidence that you would use this poem! I haven't heard mention of it since I was in choir in the eighth grade and we sang a song based on it. I still remember the song fondly and it is high on my playlist of shower serenades to my very tolerant wife. I think we can probably leave this argument because we will very soon get into serious semantic problems. I still think we are talking about love, not merely sex, and I suspect that if we were to bat it around a little we'd find that we don't have that much to fight about. Would you say that an elderly man who pursued the love of his life and spent that life with that woman is going to regret not having more sex with her? Even if he does, this is not the kind of sex we read about in Maxim magazine. That sort of sex is talked about as if it is a sport. You work on your foreplay like you work on your golf swing. So yes, semantics is at work in this one as well and I think we're unlikely to get anywhere useful especially as it pertains to the topic of the thread.

I will say that it seems we are both willing to give ground when necessary and I appreciate the diplomatic discussion we've had thus far in spite of the (hopefully) small frustrations we have caused each other.

Kudos,

-J

Zetetic
September 29th, 2008, 08:58 AM
Ahh Pascal's Wager.
Always fun.First off, are you following me? Glad to have you join this one. I think GZeus and I were just resolving our point of contention in a way we can both tolerate.

So we have an assertation by our new friend Zetetic that Pascal dispensed with all other religions quite handily before laying out the wager between whatever brand of Christanity Pascal believed in and demonstrated the superiority of.I must object to the words you're ascribing to me. No sense going on defending myself, just read my carefully phrased statements regarding Pascal to see for yourself what I am and am not asserting. Since I have no intention of defending Pascal's dispensing of other religions I will refrain from giving you a response to all you said to that effect.



Now, having laid down that I'll hypothetically move on to the dilema itself because that's more fun than just not examining it.

Let's say that tommorow they outlaw Atheists and you have to be in some kind of organized religion that has a God under penelty of death.
...
I supose after I established myself and got my membership card that kept me from getting killed I would find or even found a church that was a rubber stamp to keep me from geting killed, but you would have the same thing as you have with Pascal's wager, if I don't really believe it then how does going thru the motions change anything?

I'm reminded of an episode of The Sopranos where one of the mobsters has a nightmare about hell and he's worried he's going there, he goes to his Priest and confronts him "I paid my dough! I confessed my sins! I did my Hail Marrys and my our Fathers! I thought you guys had me covered on this!"

If there is a God worth a damn he's not going to care what card you got in your pocket.

He wants a relationship, not a card.I can't agree more. Again, if you'll go back through the posts you'll find me saying the same thing, though my rendition is not nearly as colorful. I don't believe that the insurance card in your pocket is perceived by god as true belief. I've always said that it is only useful if it motivates the pursuit of belief and culminates in a faith that is independent of the wager. At no time will you hear me say that the wager is "wonderfully sound reasoning" or that any kind of black/white heaven/hell motivation is fully sufficient for a saving faith. Honestly, I think the black/white argument is a bit like Al Gore's lecture on global warming. The shear terror of imagining a worst case scenario will hopefully motivate people to consider whether they should be responsible with their environment. However, if we found a way to keep our civilization from being threatened while still being reckless with nature I don't think we should do it. I think that if Al's talk leads a person to consider the importance of the environment generally and leads eventually to an appreciation of it apart from how it serves my own personal needs, then it is a useful argument. It is useful even if it is founded on false evidence!

-J

Gerald
September 29th, 2008, 09:27 AM
I don't believe that the insurance card in your pocket is perceived by god as true belief. I've always said that it is only useful if it motivates the pursuit of belief and culminates in a faith that is independent of the wager.The problem is that most people never move beyond the "insurance card" stage.

Zetetic
September 29th, 2008, 09:44 AM
The problem is that most people never move beyond the "insurance card" stage.This is so true. Jesus made many statements to the same effect. He essentially accused the organized religion of his day of being little more than a bunch of card carrying fakes. The problem with every form of monotheism, perhaps even every religion, is that of insincerity. Jesus's message was essentially, "Look, I gave you rules so that you would demonstrate your love and loyalty through obedience. Instead, you managed to obey without either and often only put up a pretense of obedience. So forget the rules. Yes, I want you to be good and yes I'm angry when you're not, but more than all of it I've always wanted you to know that I love you and love me in return. I think you've learned the lesson of insincerity and the uselessness of the law in bringing God and man together in love. So here I die and put an end to the system you have known. You are now free to love me without the obligation of obedience. My only demand is that your love and belief be genuine. You can obey all day long but if your deeds are devoid of true devotion I will count them as nothing."

It's only my poor synopsis of the gospel and it is by no means complete in every detail, but you can see that I whole heartedly agree that insincerity is a problem and I hate that so many are content to live there. I like the true atheist! I disagree with him concerning issues of faith, but I like him better than the guy next to me in church much of the time, because often times that guy is less genuine than the atheist. The Bible says as much when it talks about those who are lukewarm. I always laugh when Christians talk as if God hates atheism. God hates pretend believers! Atheists are one step away from faith, the pretenders are two steps away. There it is.

-J

Quincy
September 29th, 2008, 09:53 AM
If anything, the left or right hand desires for a universal paradigm at whatever cost could be theoretically efficient at creating a superficial Utopian community, but deep down it would be a very hollow one. Without the opposition to create the discernment and value each side seeks it would become pointless. So if they did pass laws to state all denizens must profess a faith, most likely in the God of Abraham, most everyone will attempt to do it. In the end it will not be as meaningful or valuable when there is nothing to judge it against. I always find it funny when some righteous fella declares we must defeat unrighteousness, basically leading himself to path of lost identity.

Gerald
September 29th, 2008, 12:10 PM
"Look, I gave you rules so that you would demonstrate your love and loyalty through obedience. Instead, you managed to obey without either and often only put up a pretense of obedience. So forget the rules. Yes, I want you to be good and yes I'm angry when you're not, but more than all of it I've always wanted you to know that I love you and love me in return. I think you've learned the lesson of insincerity and the uselessness of the law in bringing God and man together in love. So here I die and put an end to the system you have known. You are now free to love me without the obligation of obedience. My only demand is that your love and belief be genuine. You can obey all day long but if your deeds are devoid of true devotion I will count them as nothing."

It's only my poor synopsis of the gospel...
Don't sell yourself short: that's the best summation I've seen in recent memory.

Great job! :thumb:

kafir
October 9th, 2008, 02:15 AM
:nono: Not possible; if you are right then we won't be anything.....Much less surprised. :idunno:

What if somebody else is right, and their god is really upset that you chose yours?

Troublemaker
October 9th, 2008, 08:22 AM
Did this all just happen by chance or order out of disorder??

God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs. For example;
-the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
-those of the canary in 14 days;
-those of the barnyard hen in 21 days.
-The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
-those of the mallard in 35 days.
-The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by seven).


-Each watermelon has an even number of strips on the rind.
-Each orange has an even number of segments.
-Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
-Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
-Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even numbe r and the next row an odd number.

-The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.


God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant. The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first. A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first. How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!


I will never believe people don't believe in a creator.
How do you explain all this?

kafir
October 12th, 2008, 11:54 PM
It is very hard for me to believe anyone could not believe we have a creator.
I just think they are all lying, and if they are not lying don't they have a surprise coming!!
Any thoughts out there.
I am a newbie, I am sure this subject has been talked to death.
But I would like to know what everyone is thinking.

I am an atheist. I am not lying. I don't believe we have a creator.

As for the surprise, I assume you're referring to the hell I will go to when I find out there is a creator?

Maybe so. And maybe you are in for a surprise too, because you chose the wrong creator to believe in?

Or maybe we'll both just die, and neither of us will be surprised.

Anyway, that's what I'm thinking. Cheers!

kafir
October 13th, 2008, 08:50 AM
So Troublemaker, regarding your post above which lists a bunch of things that seem too interesting to you to NOT have been designed...

How do you feel about the uninteresting things? The rot and decay that is everywhere. War and death. The things that don't happen to come in sevens, or have orderly arrangements. Our problematic biological systems that cause our bodies to fail in painful and embarrassing ways. The vast majority of the Universe that appears to be instantly fatal to life as we know it.

The human mind has a remarkable ability to find patterns, and there is undoubtedly survival value in that. But the flip side is that the brain also ignores the vastly more things that are not patterns. Otherwise we'd be overwhelmed with processing tasks that aren't important.

So we notice coincidences and good luck, but we ignore the rest. It's called "confirmation bias" and it's what makes people gamble and makes casinos rich.

Troublemaker
October 13th, 2008, 02:36 PM
Hi Kafir,
First let me say, I did not pick that name because I am out to cause trouble. Trouble just seems to fine me, so it just seemed appropriate.

Thanks for your posts.

I am very aware of things around me i.e war and death. I would never blame that on my creator, from the time he created us and gave us free will,
we have abused and misused our bodies and the earth he provided us to live on.
Have you ever read the Bible? It is full of war and death.

We still have beauty all around us if we just let ourselves enjoy the world,
don't dwell on all the ugly around you how depressing.

I am sorry you feel that you are an atheist, don't you ever think you may be wrong? You have to feel so empty nothing to look forward to.

As for the numbers God loves numbers. Believe me I know not everything is in patterns if it were we would be living robots living in a perfect world. I don't even try to explain everything.

I don't live in a the lala land, I had a terrible childhood very abusive, people around me that I love dearly have all kinds of medical issues. No I can not explain it but I don't blame God for it. Do you? Is that why you don't believe in a creator?

kafir
October 13th, 2008, 09:57 PM
The question makes no sense. How could I blame something that I don't believe in?

I really am sorry you had a bad childhood. Maybe if I had gone through what you did, I might feel the way you do. Interesting how our environment shapes us. Those of us born in the US, growing up in a predominantly Christian environment, tend to be Christians. If I had grown up in India I might be a Hindu.

Do I ever think I might be wrong? Sure. Anything's possible I guess. At least I made an effort to live my life with the most integrity I could. If the Great Whatever casts me away because of that, then that's its business.

A more interesting question might be do you ever think you might be wrong? You've chosen one possible god. The other choices are (1) no god, and (2) an infinite number of other possible gods - many of which, if the world's sacred writings are to be believed, are mutually exclusive. You are an atheist with respect to all those other gods. Do you feel empty inside, having rejected all those?

Don't feel sorry for me. I don't feel empty. I'll be honest with you: I used to feel angry, when it first sank in that we get a finite lifetime and then we're gone. But then I realized that even if I could live a thousand years, or a million, or a billion, eventually I'd still be gone.

So why not make the most of the life we have here? Why not try to help other people who are here with us, right now? My life has no meaning defined by some book or supernatural entity. I create my own meaning, and I enjoy it. That's how I roll :)

Prisca
October 13th, 2008, 11:11 PM
How do you feel about the uninteresting things? The rot and decay that is everywhere.
Even these things are part of the order of things. Quite amazing, when you think about them.

War and death. The things that don't happen to come in sevens, or have orderly arrangements. Our problematic biological systems that cause our bodies to fail in painful and embarrassing ways. The vast majority of the Universe that appears to be instantly fatal to life as we know it.
As Troublemaker so eloquently put it:

...from the time he created us and gave us free will,
we have abused and misused our bodies and the earth he provided us to live on.
Think of our amazing immune system. Despite the fact that our environment has become more and more hostile, our bodies are able to fight and resist disease and contamination in incredible ways.

The human mind has a remarkable ability to find patterns, and there is undoubtedly survival value in that. But the flip side is that the brain also ignores the vastly more things that are not patterns. Otherwise we'd be overwhelmed with processing tasks that aren't important.
Could it be that we were created to recognize patterns? God, in His wisdom, created our minds to both recognize patterns and to filter out that which would overwhelm us. Our technology comes from copying that which God has already designed. The better we understand His creation, the more advanced our technology becomes - even when we deny that He designed it first.

So we notice coincidences and good luck, but we ignore the rest. It's called "confirmation bias" and it's what makes people gamble and makes casinos rich.
Mankind has a way of taking advantage of God's creations. Both for good and for bad.

kafir
October 14th, 2008, 08:57 PM
Hm.

Troublemaker, I was hoping for your reply, because my question really was one that I would like you to answer. Answering honestly and reflecting on your answer might give you insight into how some atheists feel.

I said...

A more interesting question might be do you ever think you might be wrong? You've chosen one possible god. The other choices are (1) no god, and (2) an infinite number of other possible gods - many of which, if the world's sacred writings are to be believed, are mutually exclusive. You are an atheist with respect to all those other gods. Do you feel empty inside, having rejected all those?

Prisca
October 14th, 2008, 11:57 PM
Hm.
Troublemaker, I was hoping for your reply, because my question really was one that I would like you to answer. Answering honestly and reflecting on your answer might give you insight into how some atheists feel.

In an earlier post, Troublemaker admitted to sometimes having doubts about his/her beliefs. Every now and then we should stop and take stock of our beliefs to make sure we haven't been led down the primrose path. When I was an atheist, I was always on the lookout for some piece of evidence that I might have missed. I was more interested in truth than I was in thinking I had everything figured out.

Eventually, the evidence against atheism piled up until I realized I could no longer cling to that belief. Now, as a Christian, I do the same thing. I examine what I've learned over the years. I take a look at the evidence and try to poke holes in what I believe. It can be a bit scary to think I might have made a mistake, but I always come away with stronger faith than I had before.

Every time I pick up my Bible and study, I find my fears and doubts to be unfounded. Not only do I have Biblical reinforcement for my beliefs, I have the results of faith in my life as evidence for the truth God has revealed to me. I hope that you approach your beliefs in a similar manner.

Proverbs 2:1-5

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,

and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.

Troublemaker
October 15th, 2008, 09:12 AM
Thank you Prisca,
It is nice to hear from someone that is so wise and once walked in your shoes Kafir.

Of course, I think everyone has doubts ever so often, but the evidence around us as to a creator is overwhelming.
I think why did I even go there, it's because He has giving me free well and free thinking.
He gave me free choice and He is there for the taking.
He is offering us so much.
I do try to read my Bible everyday and it gives me a comfort to know I have made the right choice.

As for the other religions and false gods. Our Lord warns us of false teachers and tells us to search and find the truth.

I think that people without the true God, are still looking for HIM.
but have been lead down the wrong path, and they don't take the time to question or research.
Look at the Catholics they worship the Pope and pray to Mary.
The Mormons have their own Bible not the Bible of God.

You ask me if I am an atheist to them and feel empty, of course not..
I pray for them to find the truth.
It is hard for us to admit when we are wrong but God will welcome us.
I will pray for you that you find your way.

Can I ask you, how do you think we came to be?
The Big Bang or from the sea? I am just curious.
I am not out to attach you, I am just trying to understand.

Shalom
October 15th, 2008, 09:36 AM
Atheists definitely exist. I saw one in the woods when I was camping. I tried to get close but she scampered off.

Hmmmm... If an atheist falls to his death in a forest and no one is there to see it, then did it ever really happen? :D

Although completely illogical little boogers(the atheists), yes I do believe they exist.

Gerald
October 15th, 2008, 01:05 PM
Can I ask you, how do you think we came to be?
The Big Bang or from the sea? I am just curious.
I am not out to attach you, I am just trying to understand.
I don't know about anybody else, but I came from my parents.

Anything beyond that is pretty irrelevant.

kafir
October 15th, 2008, 09:25 PM
I think that people without the true God, are still looking for HIM.
but have been lead down the wrong path, and they don't take the time to question or research.
Look at the Catholics they worship the Pope and pray to Mary.
The Mormons have their own Bible not the Bible of God.

You ask me if I am an atheist to them and feel empty, of course not..
I pray for them to find the truth.
It is hard for us to admit when we are wrong but God will welcome us.
I will pray for you that you find your way.

Can I ask you, how do you think we came to be?
The Big Bang or from the sea? I am just curious.
I am not out to attach you, I am just trying to understand.

I wasn't asking if you were an atheist with respect to all those other beliefs. I was stating a fact: you are an atheist with respect to them, as surely as I am an atheist with respect to yours. Yet you do not feel empty, because you feel you know the truth.

This is how I feel. I once walked in your shoes, and Prisca's. If you or a Catholic or a Mormon wants to label himself a Christian, I will not argue. It's how they want to be identified, and I respect that. So when I explain that I was once a devout evangelical Christian, that statement should not be dismissed lightly. We are all on a journey from somewhere to somewhere else. You have passed through your stages, I have passed through mine.

How do I think we came to be? That is another journey. The Big Bang and the Sea aren't the whole story, though they certainly played their parts. So did the Rift Valley of eastern Africa. We're constantly learning more, and modifying ideas that we once thought were ironclad.

Maybe there is a place for God in that story. Maybe God caused the big bang. Maybe God tweaked some DNA here and there. Maybe God works in the quantum mechanical processes that to us appear to have an inaccessible uncertainty. Who knows.

I do know though (as surely as I "know" anything) that God did not zap the universe into existence ten thousand years ago, with all its light beams just the right distance from us, and all the Earth's fossil strata just so, and all its radioisotopes in just the perfect ratios, to give the deceptive illusion of extreme age. And God did not cause a global flood that wiped out all life on the earth except for the animals and six people that were on board one boat. Toward that god, I am most assuredly an atheist.

If God does work in our world, it is very subtle -- as subtle as completely random chance. In fact, it might as well be random chance. And if that's the case, I'm not going to spend a great deal of effort trying to figure it out.