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Thread: toldailytopic: Which requires the greater faith, atheism or theism?

  1. #61
    Over 6000 post club PureX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps82 View Post
    Oh ... so wavering and being non-commital about the truth is the way to go?
    Or perhaps we could just be honest about ourselves, our limitations, and our beliefs.

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    TOL Legend Ktoyou's Avatar
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    There are believers who embrace, and believers who fear; those who embrace will love God, those who fear, will turn to hatred.

    Few are actually not believers; they live out their lives with empty hearts, eventually, they feel it would be better that they were never born, as it is written.
    So, what?

    believe it!

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    Over 6000 post club rexlunae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    I think you've nailed it here. Not that there isn't a matching stridency from some atheists as well, so that it all ends up an endless loop with both militant parties using the same methods to generate heat instead of light.
    I can't really deny that. I wish it weren't so.

    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    The sad part is that those Christians who engage in that kind of destructive witness are betraying more than just an idea or a viewpoint, but the God in whose Name they do these things.
    It certainly doesn't tempt me to come around to their point of view. Maybe it works sometimes, but it's hard for me to imagine.
    Global warming denialists are like gravity denialists piloting a helicopter, determined to prove a point. We may not have time to actually persuade them of their mistake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rexlunae View Post
    There is something I don't understand about this whole question though. Christianity considers faith to be an inherent good. Read the 23rd Psalm, Luke 17, The Book of Job...there's just a ton of the Bible that praises faith, a lot more than I care to list. So what interest do Christians have in making it seem that atheists have more faith? It seems that either it's a pure troll, seeking to push buttons rather than provoke honest reflection or engage in genuine evangelism, or it is motivated by an attitude toward atheists so invidious that it is willing betray the ideals that it aims to serve out of spite.
    I think the phrasing of the OP was poor. That said, add "blind faith" to the title and it works. Orthodox Christianity has always been opposed to fideism. Really it is the same old, "Which is more reasonable, atheism or theism?"

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    TOL Legend annabenedetti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rexlunae View Post
    It certainly doesn't tempt me to come around to their point of view. Maybe it works sometimes, but it's hard for me to imagine.
    I don't imagine it would, and I'm sorry for that... sorry for the lost opportunities here as a result of our imperfect reflection of an infinitely perfect Love.

    It's easy to see how faith can seem illogical to a very rational mind, and yet it's possible to get from there to here with grace.

    I hope rex, that some day that right conversation will happen here for you.

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    Over 6000 post club rexlunae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    I think the phrasing of the OP was poor. That said, add "blind faith" to the title and it works. Orthodox Christianity has always been opposed to fideism.
    That's an interesting distinction. I think that it causes some problems for some of the traditional arguments in favor of Christianity or theism in general, as they do have rather large areas of faith that must be fairly blind. Take the Cosmological argument, for example. It implies that God created the Cosmos by some special capability that he has by virtue of his nature, but it does leaves unanswered and fundamentally unanswerable how that might work. To me, that hides most of the relevant question behind a leap of faith which is, if not blind, then at least visually impaired.

    At the core, I think all Cosmological arguments for the existence of a God boil down to asking if the Cosmos requires some special bootstrapping process, and answers in the affirmative. It seems to me that once you have crossed the bridge of introducing special rules, you've almost given up the scientific process, because there is basically no way to examine or understand them, and thus you have left yourself with only blind faith.

    Obviously, there are more examples to give, but I think in the interests of being brief, I'll leave them off in the hopes that you see what I'm getting at.
    Global warming denialists are like gravity denialists piloting a helicopter, determined to prove a point. We may not have time to actually persuade them of their mistake.

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    Over 6000 post club rexlunae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    I don't imagine it would, and I'm sorry for that... sorry for the lost opportunities here as a result of our imperfect reflection of an infinitely perfect Love.
    In this case, I don't know that there's much of a missed opportunity. I just have to question the motivation behind the approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    It's easy to see how faith can seem illogical to a very rational mind, and yet it's possible to get from there to here with grace.
    Well, I'll have to take your word for it, I suppose. I also know that the reverse transit is possible, and the outcome can be quite satisfying. I suppose it depends a lot on who you are and what appeals to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    I hope rex, that some day that right conversation will happen here for you.
    Well, given the amount of time that I've spent with ministers in the past week, if it were going to happen, I would think it would be now. But I seriously doubt that it will. As much regard as I have for some religious people, these included, I can't get over the fact that I'm quite sure that they're fundamentally wrong. But I do appreciate the thought in the spirit that it was offered.

    Global warming denialists are like gravity denialists piloting a helicopter, determined to prove a point. We may not have time to actually persuade them of their mistake.

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    Over 4000 post club gcthomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps82 View Post
    There is more evidence in nature that there is a creator who pre-existed the creation and designed it ... than there is that there supports an evolutionary process where things evolved on their own with nothing initiating it.
    That's an argument from ignorance for a god of the gaps. "i don't know how it happened so it was god". In these cases it is better to accept you don't know than to be falsely certain of one possible answer.
    We wunt be druv.

    Self appointed representative of the reality based community. [Send complaints to /dev/null.]

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    Quote Originally Posted by gcthomas View Post
    That's an argument from ignorance for a god of the gaps. "i don't know how it happened so it was god". In these cases it is better to accept you don't know than to be falsely certain of one possible answer.
    So, you were really there and know exactly and for sure how it happened?

    I think we just disagree... and that's okay. I'm not fretting over what you believe... just joined in this topic to expressing my thoughts and decisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PureX View Post
    Or perhaps we could just be honest about ourselves, our limitations, and our beliefs.
    I'm glad to hear that you believe that you might be limited in what you understand about your beliefs.However, I am not unsure about mine.

    Due to my personal experiences, which you will probably not accept, I know that God is real, alive, and even knows what is going on in my life. I know that he is willing to have a personal relationship with me.

    Over many years (30+) I've had dreams that came true, warnings of impending danger, an open eyed vision, heard my name called audibly, and witnessed that the door to the understanding scripture was opened to me.

    I base my faith on this personal relationship with the living God, and because of these super-natural experiences I have been comforted through life in good times and difficult times. Because I know that he is real ... I can have faith that he will and is able to do for me the things he has promised. When my own body and time reminds me that I am on a slippery slope toward death ... I have the hope that following this first physical death is life abundant - full of peace and joy.

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    Over 6000 post club PureX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps82 View Post
    I'm glad to hear that you believe that you might be limited in what you understand about your beliefs.However, I am not unsure about mine.

    Due to my personal experiences, which you will probably not accept, I know that God is real, alive, and even knows what is going on in my life. I know that he is willing to have a personal relationship with me.

    Over many years (30+) I've had dreams that came true, warnings of impending danger, an open eyed vision, heard my name called audibly, and witnessed that the door to the understanding scripture was opened to me.

    I base my faith on this personal relationship with the living God, and because of these super-natural experiences I have been comforted through life in good times and difficult times. Because I know that he is real ... I can have faith that he will and is able to do for me the things he has promised. When my own body and time reminds me that I am on a slippery slope toward death ... I have the hope that following this first physical death is life abundant - full of peace and joy.
    Certainty becomes it's own form of revelation. But unquestioned revelations are a doorway to madness.

    To fear doubt is to fear truth. Because the truth is that certainty isn't part of the human condition. Faith is. And faith that pretends to be certain isn't really faith at all. It's just pretense pretending to be faith.

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    TOL Legend annabenedetti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rexlunae View Post
    Well, I'll have to take your word for it, I suppose. I also know that the reverse transit is possible, and the outcome can be quite satisfying. I suppose it depends a lot on who you are and what appeals to you.
    What appeals to me is the idea that life doesn't stop at material death, that there's something waiting beyond to give purpose and meaning to the things that happen in this life. The idea that when I die I cease to exist in any way is an awful thing to contemplate.

    Well, given the amount of time that I've spent with ministers in the past week, if it were going to happen, I would think it would be now. But I seriously doubt that it will.
    How did you come to spend so much time with ministers in the past week?

    As much regard as I have for some religious people, these included, I can't get over the fact that I'm quite sure that they're fundamentally wrong. But I do appreciate the thought in the spirit that it was offered.
    Was there a time when you believed in God, or have you always been an atheist?

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    Over 6000 post club PureX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    What appeals to me is the idea that life doesn't stop at material death, that there's something waiting beyond to give purpose and meaning to the things that happen in this life. The idea that when I die I cease to exist in any way is an awful thing to contemplate.
    Why?

    There are many admonitions to face down this "horror" within ourselves in eastern thought and religious tradition. I think their idea is that it's our egos that are so horrified by the idea of our ceasing to exist (of itself ceasing to exist), and that until we finally break our egocentric fear of death (as oblivion), we will never be able to fully appreciate the gift of life, or have the courage to live it fully. Perhaps Christianity is just kind of masking that fear by providing a false sense of invincibility, and is thus feeding the ego, instead of gaining mastery over it.

    I'm not trying to start a fight or anything, just posting an alternative view, which you are of course free to debate, reject, or ignore.

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    TOL Legend annabenedetti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PureX View Post
    Why?

    There are many admonitions to face down this "horror" within ourselves in eastern thought and religious tradition. I think their idea is that it's our egos that are so horrified by the idea of our ceasing to exist (of itself ceasing to exist), and that until we finally break our egocentric fear of death (as oblivion), we will never be able to fully appreciate the gift of life, or have the courage to live it fully. Perhaps Christianity is just kind of masking that fear by providing a false sense of invincibility, and is thus feeding the ego, instead of gaining mastery over it.

    I'm not trying to start a fight or anything, just posting an alternative view, which you are of course free to debate, reject, or ignore.
    I'll come back to this PureX, I don't have time to answer it at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PureX View Post
    Certainty becomes it's own form of revelation. But unquestioned revelations are a doorway to madness.

    To fear doubt is to fear truth. Because the truth is that certainty isn't part of the human condition. Faith is. And faith that pretends to be certain isn't really faith at all. It's just pretense pretending to be faith.
    Hi PureX,
    Thank you for reading my thoughts and responding.

    I told you that you would dismiss my experiences... and that's okay.
    You can believe what you want, but I know that I know.

    I regret that you embrace doubt and fear truth. I agree with you that certainty is not part of the human condition, but the faith we are discussing regarding a creator and savior pertains to things unseen ... not "worldly things." A human may not have certainty in this life, but there is a promise for such in the next life.

    The truth is that for more than 60 years I have been perfectly sane and normal... retiring comfortably from a long time career. My experiences have not hindered my marriage nor any part of my life in any way, but rather gave me peace and strength to get through some of life's rough uncertain times. If you choose to dismiss my experiences, that's fine. I'm not looking to you for salvation and comfort. I know in whom I believe and trust.

    Have a blessed day.

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