This Forum is primarily for a discussion between myself and Chris Neal (and anyone else who wants to join) about the nature of his personal experiences with what he claims to be god - and how those experiences relate to proof. For a critical (not criticizing) examination, discussion and discourse.
This is so strange to me, the way you and several others here spend your time. Not to sound overly critical at all... I just don't understand. For instance, I don't believe aliens are real. Never have, never will. I love a good sci-fi movie... but it wouldn't even occur to me to start a thread on aliens. I know there are ... who knows... millions of ppl who may believe in aliens... yet I don't feel even slightly compelled to prove them wrong. I mean if we were already having a conversation, i might put my two cents in, but I'd hate to offend them, I might even think it pointless to try and prove them wrong... after all, what skin is it off my nose if they believe in aliens? And yet, this forum is FULL of ppl starting disrespectful threads, taking pot shots, day after day showing up here to tell a bunch of ppl that their faith is total bs. I just don't understand the point of it.
Aliens have not caused the same atrocities as religions. They aren't here to tell us we are all going to hell.
Yes, we know.
You should have said "Christians don't understand the point of it." Saying *I dont understand the point of it is personal. How dare you sir!
@ATM, Hasn't any decent Christian told you yet that hell is a Christian made myth?
I agree with you fully Beth.
I do not and have never believed in aliens. However I am not to judge anyone who does. IF that is their belief so be it.
Crop circles have been proven to be false quite awhile back actually. There was a documentary about crop circles.
I will say this though, it sure does not take one long to believe in aliens and such and yet because they cant see God they say he is non existence.
Well we dont see aliens or have real proof of their existence yet they believe.
They will also believe that "criss angel" who thinks he is Gods gift to woman actually walks across water. Jesus must of taught him how to do so.
However everyone has different opinions, and they may not agree with mine so I really dont care what others believe. In our hearts we have the right to believe what we want I guess.
I agree with you fully Beth.
I do not and have never believed in aliens. However I am not to judge anyone who does. IF that is their belief so be it.
Crop circles have been proven to be false quite awhile back actually. There was a documentary about crop circles.
I will say this though, it sure does not take one long to believe in aliens and such and yet because they cant see God they say he is non existence.
Well we dont see aliens or have real proof of their existence yet they believe.
They will also believe that "criss angel" who thinks he is Gods gift to woman actually walks across water. Jesus must of taught him how to do so.
However everyone has different opinions, and they may not agree with mine so I really dont care what other believe. In our hearts we have the right to believe what we want I guess.
I couldnt agree more.
How have I started disrespectful threads, and when have I ever told someone that their beliefs are BS? Why don't you seem to understand that, with a background in biblical theology, years of study and an upbringing about biblical teachings, its a subject that I'm knowledgeable about and I like the dialog? What is the problem with open discussion between people that believe different things and examining those differences openly?
You can take out the words "disrespectful and bs" if they don't suit you.
To say you are not daily trying to discredit a person's faith seems like an ostrich hiding its head in the sand... but do as you please. I wish I could say it doesn't concern me, but I spose it does to some extent.
I am trying to do nothing more than have a conversation with believers. If you spent over fifteen years studying aliens, you would probably enjoy discussing it, even if you don't personally believe in them. When you're spent the majority of your life involved in a topic of study, its natural to want to discuss it. If you find it disrespectful our you don't like it, then why continue to post in these topics? No one its forcing you to participate, yet here you are. Then you must be interested in discussing it just like everyone else, so you clearly understand the very topics that made you question my motivations in the first place.
Yes, I spose I do question your motives...
No matter how simply you would like to make it sound, it comes across with intentions that don't always seem honorable for the reasons I mentioned. It is usually those from your camp who say "why not let it be?" It seems you are the instigator. Maybe you have some unresolved issues.
Or, as I said, I just like debating, discussing and exploring the topic because I have well over fifteen years of study under my belt. Question my motives all you want, but your perception does not define any reality but yours. In an open forum, people are free to discuss anything. People who don't want to participate don't have to. Its simple.
i don't question your right to.
When a person turns their back on a belief system, they seldom go back to stew in it.
For instance, I am an alcoholic. I wouldn't hang out in the bar asking ppl why they drink.
I would know why they drank. If you have the knowledge of one who was a Christian, than what is it you are hoping to gain with this daily discussion? Do you understand what Im asking?
What knowledge do you not have that you are hoping to gain?
I know this question was not directed at me, but I feel like throwing my two cents in.
The knowledge of why any grown person would still believe in fairy tales? If you can answer that I'll leave you alone for a while.
Who said I wanted you to leave me alone?
And the answer of course would be because God is only a fairytale to you.
Cause you are the one titling it a fairy tale dude.
You saying it, doesn't make it a fact.
But, it meets all the requirements to be titled a fairy tale.
Fairy tale; a children's story about magical and imaginary beings and lands.
Do you have evidence that it's not a fairy tale? It comes in the form of a book, there's magic and giants, invisible spirits and no evidence that there is any truth at all in the stories.
Unless you have some evidence that it's not just a simulation of the mind?
You meet all the requirements of my disillusion too.
I can't see you, I can only read your written word.
I can't touch you, I can only respond when I know you call me.
I don't know what you look like, I have to take your word for it.
As a matter of fact, the only things I know about you are the things you have told me thru the written word... you could be 100% made up by someone seeking to fool me... however...
I take you at your word. I believe you are who you say you are and I am forming a relationship with you albeit way less personal than the one I have spent a lifetime on with God.
But you are actually interacting with someone here. Others can witness and confirm the interaction. You have no evidence to support that your God exists outside of your own mind. Just like a fairy tale.
You have not witnessed what my friends and I have witnessed. Healings and answers to prayers... I tried to explain a small taste of it in that hub... I wrote that for you... but nothing I can say or do will ever be enough. You have your mind set. There really is no point, you enjoy debate. I don't know what else to tell you.
Everyone seems to have stories of healing and miracles, but whenever they are questioned no evidence is produced. As I say, if Christian prayer worked we'd see evidence of it in cancer wards.
Ok... I will explain it once again.
Man hardened his heart against God.
He chose sin over righteousness.
So God gave this world over to Satan's rule.
The world is sinful and dark, as you can see.
We can reach out to God. That is His desire.
He wants us to ask for help and healing.
He wants to reveal His light in a dark and dying world.
He also has a will for each and every person.
We must submit ourselves to that will no matter what... He is God, not our personal genie.
All that being said. I shared stories in that hub, "Ive heard God's voice" concerning miracles, but you just said they do not exist. How would I know to tell a woman she was pregnant down to the date of the childs birth, especially when they had been barren 15 years or something like that?
Im not looking to debate this again. All Im doing is answering your questions. Either accept these as my answers to your questions or don't.
But you're just giving me stories, which only support my belief.
Here's the thing. If I attribute a miraculous event to my invisible purple dragon, would you believe me? Let's not even go that far. Say that I prayed to zeus because my friend had cancer. When they go back to the Dr, they're in complete remission for no apparent reason. Does that prove to you that zeus exists? Does me relating a story with no evidence whatsoever other than my own word make a story true? That's what you're asking us to do, and you don't understand why we're skeptical of your claims.
See, but youre asking for my claims. Do you understand that?
I can only offer you my personal experience. You play games and say, 'Show me the Polaroid!"
Well, if that's what it's going to take for you to further your investigations, I can't help you.
And if you, JM, say that you at one time knew, believed and loved God with all your heart and you had a change of heart and mind, then I don't even know the point of trying to prove things to you. Either you saw something real and true that caused you to believe or you were, as many say, just indoctrinated and actually had nothing real with God. If that is the case, I am truly sorry.
Or, she used logic to get rid of the simulation her brain was running. That's what I did. It works, you too can take back your mind.
Insulting Radman, but if you feel Im incapable of free thought so be it.
How on EARTH is that insulting to you? I'm starting to think that you're just possibly over sensitive
How is that insulting? You're always telling us about God and about how to believe in him, I'm not insulted by that, why should you be insulted by me explaining how one becomes an atheist?
I started thinking about what I was being told. I wanted to be a better Christian, so I started studying it - only to realize that the claims it makes are either gross exaggerations, misinterpretations, errors our even blatant lies. I starred using the brain that you claim your god gave me, only to find that there was no proof at all, and everything I was told was a lie. Sure, the people that taught me believed it, but that doesn't make something true.
You didn't answer my question. If I prayed to zeus and then my friend was healed of cancer for a treason that was not immediately known, would you a) accept that zeus was real and b) accept my claim in the first place, just because I said it?
If Zeus were real, and you prayed to him to heal your friend and your friend were healed, what would it matter what I believed? Because Zeus was real.
My point over and over has been, your doubt and my belief do not make God real. He either is or He isn't. You ask for proof. As far as nature and history, we have the same proof, we see it differently, so all I can offer you is experience, which you say is not enough. So unless you use your lifetime to seek truth, you will remain where you are. If you are ok with that, then I offer my love and prayers. I am definitely ok with where I am. I have no doubt.
But the only thing (it seems from your posts) is that you're certain because you want it to be true. You cannot definitively say that your god healed anyone. You prayed, and you got what you perceive to be an answer to that prayer. It doesn't mater if that prayer was answered by Jesus, zeus, Krishna or any other deity, and you cannot point to a source. I have spent my life thus far looking for answers. I'm not certain that no god exists. I just don't believe in one. There is no way to tell. In the end, a god is real, our he isn't, but I don't get how anyone goes from that simple equation to absolute certainty that not only does a god exist, but their specific god exists - when they have no more proof or identity of that deity than any one in any other faith, or no faith at all.
I'm sorry, but I'm not going to let this go. It is irrelevant whether or not zeus really exists. Would you believe my claim, based on nothing but my word that zeus healed my friend of cancer, yes or no? If the answer is no, which I suspect that it is, how do you expect anyone to take you at your word when you claim all of these miracles with no proof, records, information our anything else? That's the point.
It's funny how God only seems to grant miracles to people in developed countries(especially Americans)while He allows poor people in Third World countries to just live wretched lives, then die a miserable death from starvation. He also allows their children and infants to starve to death as well.
Clearly it's because everyone in those countries are worshippers of Satan. Clearly.
Lol its like Sam Harris has said in a lot of his lectures "god must love me, he curred me of my eczema." Meanwhile, children are dying of starvation by the minute and are met with complete indifference.
I'm sure Beth will have a satisfactory explanation for this conundrum when she returns.
Hi person I don't know.
You have created an idea of who God should be if He was real, no?
This is an extremely common practice for many atheists, I have found, and it is actually their undoing.
"God should cure diseases. God should never let anything bad happen to children. God should not allow ppl to be poor or hungry. God should never allow disease or natural disasters. God should give us the things we need when we ask for them. etc, etc."
What you have created in this situation is a perfect utopia. However, we do not live in that realm. God created that realm with Adam and Eve, but they sinned and sin entered the world and now we live in a fallen world.
Much of the horrors of the world fall on us. For instance, there is enough food and money in the world to provide for those starving, but the richer nations hoard it. We are to blame for many illnesses.
Some are societal like the fact that if we didn't let our kids play violent video games and sit in darkened rooms with porn, maybe there would be fewer school shootings and rape?
Some of the disasters are natural, like tsunamis and commits grazing the earth. Life must end in death or the world would be over populated... this is the world we live in... blame God or deny Him... but don't create a fake god and then say the real God has failed. Get to know the real God and then you will begin to understand truth.
What a ridiculous response. After you talk of the miracles that this God has done in your life and the lives of people you know, you then go on a say He basically just allows these horrible things to happen to these other poor souls. Why? Because that's just the way things are? Your beliefs are nothing but ego driven, as you see yourself more important than those poor suffering, dying children in Africa. To say your statements are callous would be a gross understatement.
If He doesn't help those children, why is it that He works miracles in your life? Why is your insignificant life any more important to this silly partial God than the lives of these innocent children?
What an arrogant and childish depraved religion.
1) You should use your manners.
2) Maybe you missed my first quote.
"You have created an idea of who God should be if He was real."
Yeah, and you should have more respect for the poor dying children of the world. And stop thinking that the Creator of this universe favors you over someone else who is probably more deserving of a miracle than you.
I didn't missed your point. I've been saved since I was 10, so I'm sure I was taught who God was by the same bible and religious systems that you were taught. So I speak with the authority of a Christian. The whole premise is absurd. The God that you have created is one that has no power at all, but you say that He is all powerful. It is not me who has created an illogical God, it's the bible. You just excused him right out of any responsibility. It seems that the only thing your psychotic God wants is to be slavishly worshiped, while doing absolutely nothing in return, except things that would have happened by chance anyway.
It is confusing when believers assert that they serve an all powerful God, but then go on talking about what this God won't do. Oh...but He works all these great miracles with the right people. Please stop trying to trick yourself. You're certainly not tricking me. Your God is worthless if He only does miracles for certain people, then only miracles that would have happened by chance anyway, or that are just outright fabrications.
"And stop thinking that the Creator of this universe favors you over someone else who is probably more deserving of a miracle than you."
This is not my belief. For some reason you have assumed it was. I believe as the bible says, that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. My life has been a bit sh*tty for the past 6 years. I have seen starving and dying children in Africa first hand. I have held many orphans. God adores them He did not give them up. If you have 72 cents in your pocket, there is a child in Africa whose life could be spared if you would share it. Do you understand? God has given us the resources. *We hoard them. If we did what God intended us to do, there would be no starvation. It is *us who don't care, not God.
"God adores them"
That's got to be the most fraudulent thing that I have ever heard. He adores them, but He lets them die miserable horrible deaths, unless I send My 72 cents. What a great way to wield this ultra power He has.
Why does your God need me to do His work? Do you understand, now, just how incompetent your God is? I'm not all powerful, but you want me to do His work. Then, like a bully, He wants me to turn around and give him the credit for my hard work. What you have here is not an explanation, but just more abject nonsense.
BTW, God can just stop humans from hoarding food from these orphans. He did, in fact, part the Red Sea for the Israelites didn't He? Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, and fed many with magic. Why did He do all this stuff but now can't even feed the most helpless of His creation? Your God is a figment of your imagination...and makes absolutely no sense.
You are obviously 12 and don't understand the English language so concepts are completely wasted on you. Just address the others. Im done here.
No, the is the utopia believers create for themselves when they make outrageous claims of faith healing and other such nonsense.
That is a fairy tale for children.
And, we also take credit where credit is due as opposed to giving credit to a god.
Have I missed something aren't Jerusalem and Rome and other regions mentioned in the bible real places and not fairy-lands? That aside you have the right to your belief system as we all do but why always throw down the gauntlet? The first part of this forum was about how one hub member wanted to discuss their theories with another. If this is true why not have a "private" discussion.This sounds like more ego then theology to me. Having an extensive background on a certain subject is fine but having to prove you are knowledgeable about a subject ergo your opinion on faith is substantial enough to support or dispute another someone else's is ludicrous. Faith is emotionally based not academic. I have an extensive background in horticulture but that doesn't give me the right to tell other people what to plant. Why am I joining this discussion then...because its entertaining. Trying to stop a person from having faith is like rolling a boulder up a hill and I enjoy how those that believe in nothingness sweat to get their "points" across. Just my two cents!
You do know that your question was actually addressed in the Bible? I mean, the words "fairy tale" weren't even coined yet, but the concept was certainly covered.
Because in this country, christianity influences everything. throughout western history, christianity has influenced things that it has no place in. Presidents are saying that atheists should not be considered citizens. We go to war because bush said god told him to.
Additionally, You do not have to believe in something in order to be interested in discussing it. I've seen you talk about atheism, but you don't believe in it. By your own standards, you should have nothing to say. Same with other religions. I'm not hopping to gain anything. I'm hoping to have a conversation with people who think differently than me. Just like you do.
I'm taking JM at her word that this is not about ripping apart my beliefs.
His experiences count as proof. No one has to believe it, or badger him. It is personal proof. Just as others have personal proof which has led them to their beliefs. Attempting to debate (or, more aptly, badger) others into validating your belief by agreeing with you points to one of two things. Either you aren't secure in your belief or you are seeking converts.
"I agree. So why do you have a problem with possibilities? Calling someone deluded for believing something you don't doesn't sound like someone open to possibilities.
Are you averse to the idea of freedom of conscience?"
I think I love you.
Figures there would be four pages here before I even knew it existed!
Okay, I've read the first two pages of this forum and I need to say this right now, I had expressed reservations before about this being about just ripping apart my beliefs and simply waiting for the moment to pounce, psychologize everything to death and belittle me. So far, JM (the person who I am here for,) has been pretty good but if Rad and Zilk and others are just going to play pop-Freud with a baseball bat, I already get that on other forums. I'm perfectly aware that stating what I believe and what my experiences are makes them fair game, but they've been fair game other places and I can just as easily go back to them for abuse.
Plus, my experiences are not the sum total of my belief. In case some have forgotten (or came in late and just never knew) I actually built a small reputation among both believers and some non-believers as a guy who actually thinks about this stuff and makes every attempt to be honest, fair and respectful. With the exception of one person, I still do that. Talking about my experiences made them the centerpiece of every conversation an fodder for those who were simply looking for reasons to say, "Ah ha! I knew he was delusional!" or even more disparaging, anti-Christian things. In that way the prediction of one hubber who no longer haunts these forums has come true, that it did not "end well" for me. But I'm about more than simply some sort of psuedo-Charismatic chasing after experiences.
I'm game for discussion. And as long as most of the people here keep it on that level I'm in.
You've got an always had my respect. I will not comment on any discussions you are having with JM here.
Being biased toward physical reality in regards to a hypothetical creator of physical reality is illogical.
Being biased towards physical reality in regards to a hypothetical creator which can not be show to exist is logical.
I have no faith in your existence, no faith in your understanding of what existence means. In a billion years, your existence will have even less merit than it has now, no?
there are so many squares in that box I cant even tell whose side youre on.
I am on the side of witnessing truth to the best of my ability
Personal experience is proof of the existence of a God only for those who have gone through the experience and those who share the same beliefs. The reality of the matter is that nobody can convince you to believe in or agree with the personal experience because you do not have the same mindset or perspective as another person. This is why it's called PERSONAL experience. it is only experienced by one person. People can have go through the same thing but have a different experience with it.
The only thing that PERSONAL experience can truly accomplish is to reinforce the PERSONAL belief of the person going through the experience. It is pointless to try to debunk personal experience as false.
I'm not trying to debunk it. Chris claims that his personal experiences are proof and he wants to discuss them. Therefore I'm open to listening to what he has to say. He says that they're never been critically examined, only criticized, so I want to give him the opportunity to explain them and relate them to what he equates to proof.
I'm sorry.. I wasn't accusing you of trying to debunk them.. I was speaking generally on the subject.
I already laid out an outline. I thought there was going to be a series of questions that I would answer.
I am curious to your outline. Can you link me?
So did I, and then my own forum ran away with me.
Start with your first experience. I believe that your hub stated that it happened while you were visiting your future wife's church, but it didn't go into much (or any) detail. Can you expand on what you experienced and how you came to understand that experience?
Its actually just your own thread, not your own forum.
Ok, Ive begun addressing the alien folk. Ive decided if faith isn't off limits, nothing is.
I'm not ignoring the question, I'm thinking about it. I also lost the link to it in my email so I had to find it again. Eek!
I’m trying to walk the fine line between too much info in the response and not enough.
There’s not a whole lot of detail to give about that specific, really. As I said in the hub, I don’t know how many times I actually visited the church when I felt it. I know it wasn’t that many, but nobody who knew me at the time (and certainly not myself) would have described me as leaning any closer to becoming a Christian at the time. What I remember is sitting in the pew, I had been listening to Pastor Fred but I was becoming more and more distracted. At some point I was tuned out of it altogether, just looking out the window and jiggling my knee (I do that a lot or at least I used to.) After it was over I realized that it felt like something had been drawing me away from listening to the sermon (I don’t even remember what the sermon was about.) And Lisa told me that “the call” had been given right about the point that I was completely tuned out.
It just felt different from other times that I tuned people or things out. I was twenty, so not unlike a lot of twenty-year olds I was pretty good at it, but this was different.
Lisa and I discussed it some after the evening service that Sunday I decided to kneel down in the parking lot and accept Jesus.
Had that been an isolated experience I would probably have forgotten about it fairly quickly and moved on in life. And by the same token, if I’d had experiences like that with any frequency before that time I would probably have simply moved on to the next one. Stability and consistency were not my strong suits.
She bought me a Bible and I started reading it and although there were parts that confused me or that I had trouble getting my head around I felt something while reading it, like a connection to the Holy Spirit. So my initial understanding of the experience became reinforced by that continued experience with the Bible and God.
That specific is a little hard to explain and I'm sorry if I'm light on detail. If you have any more questions about that one please, ask. Or any other questions you have.
That was beautiful, thanks for sharing that Chris.
It is an amazing thing what a simple parking lot and a couple of knees can accomplish. I agree with Beth, its a beautiful story. I can hardly believe that you are so generous to share such a personal experience.
Personal experience is anecdotal evidence, and anecdotal evidence is not concrete evidence. Anecdotal evidence is taken seriously by no one.
So if somebody robbed you of cash at gunpoint, and you had no witnesses, nor could prove you were ever in possession of the cash, did it not happen? It was your personal experience, but there is only your word that it happened, (anecdotal evidence by your reckoning), so nobody should take you seriously regarding it. Correct?
bBerean has a point here. If you experience something there is no objective evidence for, aren't you entitled to believe it?
You can believe you experienced something in your own mind. That doesn't make the experience factual outside your own mind. Schizophrenic's hear and see things that others don't. I'm not suggesting believers are schizophrenic, only demonstrating the power of the mind.
"You can believe you experienced something in your own mind. That doesn't make the experience factual outside your own mind."
I agree, but just because you experienced something in your own mind does not mean the experience is not factual either.
"schizophrenic's hear and see things that others don't. I'm not suggesting believers are schizophrenic, only demonstrating the power of the mind."
Schizophrenia is a physiological disorder, so someone with that disorder is unable to rely on their experience. As you say it's unlikely that all believers are schizophrenic so they are as entitled as anyone else to form beliefs grounded in apparent genuine experiences, as we all do.
You are entitled to believe whatever you want to believe, but that does nor make it true. In the scenario described, if you went to the police and had no proof that you ever had the money and no corroborating evidence to support you, there would be little that could be done.
Agreed, which is exactly what we often see. You as the victim, however, will never forget it nor will you ever doubt it happened. You "are a believer" because you know it is true, even if you can't prove it to anyone else.
The human brain is higly susceptible to illusions. It constantly tries to create patterns and relate new information with old. If you're brought up in a religious society you are influenced by religion and if you are looking for religion at some point you will find something that might justify that quest of yours and translate it to a revelation from god.
David Hume posed this question responding to the case of miracles:
"Which is more likely; that the laws of nature have been suspended, and in a manner of your choosing, or that you quite simply made a mistake?"
But to the deluded religious mind, odds and probabilities don't really exist.
To the deluded atheist mind possibilities are too scary to ponder.
I would think that most atheists, certainly, do embrace the concept of infinite possibilities.
I agree. So why do you have a problem with possibilities? Calling someone deluded for believing something you don't doesn't sound like someone open to possibilities.
Are you averse to the idea of freedom of conscience?
Just because there are an infinite amount of possibilities doesn't mean any nonsense stated is probable. Are you saying that EVERYTHING should be accepted, since there is no way to prove anything impossible? If I ever murder someone I hope I get 12 jurors with that mindset. I'll just tell them an invisible dragon committed the murder, after he tied me up. I would expect to be completely exonerated. But....wait.....they would also have to accept the prosecution's argument against me too, because that fits into the infinite possibilities model as well.
But are you not aware that there is something called mental illness? There are also experiences that happen while under the influence of narcotics, or while suffering from sleep disorders. If I told you that I was a TREE in a forest in South Carolina, would you believe me or would you conclude that what I think I'm experiencing is a serious delusion? Would it help me if you just accepted this as a possibility, or would it be more reasonable if you got me some professional help?
Apples and oranges, my friend. Apples and oranges. Try again, or better yet, have some respect for the beliefs of others. That is, if you expect anyone to respect your belief.
Respect and agree are two different things. I respect Chris and his beliefs, I understand he means no harm and only wants the best for all those involved, but we are allowed to disagree.
But if you told him he was delusional because he didn't agree with you, that would not be a sign of respect for his beliefs.
I don't agree with either the atheist stand or the believer stand, but I would step to the line in defense of your right to believe what you want, as long as your beliefs don't infringe on my rights. Many here claim that belittling the beliefs of others isn't rude behavior. I disagree with that statement. Which was the only point in my post to gotitwrong.
Religious freedom is a given, so is freedom of speech, as long as it's not hate speech.
You apparently have a problem with me exercising the right you have pointed out others have. Any reasons why I should be excluded from these freedoms?
Radman, what is your Canadian family doing while you're on here?
I just watch a movie with my lovely wife and thought I'd check my email, she want to watch reno stuff. My two oldest are at a friends house hanging, but should be home soon. My youngest is avoiding homework and playing ps3. My children are older now and don't need or want my attention.
I wasn't criticizing, just curious. Im in the same situation.
I hope things are going better with the hubby? fingers crossed for you.
Which doesn't quite explain the point of your first two comments, but OK.
How is being told you're delusional a respectful thing to say?
Similarly, how do you tell someone they are an alcoholic?
Right, I forgot that you are a qualified and degreed psychiatrist with many years of practice and diagnosis and a textbook or two under your belt.
Or your a clown with delusions of grandeur (ah, the irony) who's self-righteousness (again, the irony!) makes you feel you have carte blanche to say whatever you want to people because, obviously, you're right and everyone who doesn't agree with you is wrong.
If the former, point me to your research and papers. It takes me a bit but I can decode these things.
If the latter, well, your armor has proven impervious so far so I don't really expect a little decency let alone anything like reasonableness.
It's amazing how you can ask for proof of my credentials, while this very thread was started just for YOU to provide proof that your personal experience is valid proof, which you have not done.
Furthermore, it does not take a degree in psychology to recognize a glaring mental disorder. It only takes a basic understanding of the workings of the laws of nature and reality. The closest disorder that I can distinguish is delusion. Do you have a better term?
de·lu·sion noun \di-ˈlü-zhən, dē-\
Definition of DELUSION
b : a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also : the abnormal state marked by such beliefs
Actually, it's the delusion itself that offers no respect in the first place, hence doesn't garner any, either.
Is it the delusion itself that offers no respect? or is it how people utilize the delusion that offers no respect?
Oh no, we can go right to the source of the delusion and observe it's disrespect in all it's glory.
Which source in particular would you be referring to?
Ok.. Thanks for clarifying for me.. Just wanted to see where you were going with this one.. (And people say you don't provide answers...LOL).
I certainly agree with how you could see how the scriptures would leave that impression of offering no respect.
Ah, of course. The evasion.
You're not quite as easy as getitrite but you certainly are funny as well!
I have never told anyone that they were delusional just because they disagreed with me. I tell people they are delusional, because......they are delusional.
I guess unlike me, YOU have taken the moral high ground, though
How mighty nice of you.
If respecting the views of others is the moral high ground, I hope I am guilty, most of the time. But I do believe in the when in Rome philosophy also. I will give your delusions no more respect than you give the delusions of others.
How's that? You delusional atheist.
What would you tell someone that goes around the internet making psychological diagnoses to people they have never met in person? What would you tell someone that goes around the internet making psychological diagnoses to people, even though you are pretty dang sure they are not qualified?
Would they be crazy in your professional opinion, or just plain stupid?
Adults believing in imaginary Gods are delusional. What is it, about this true statement, that you do not understand? And don't think I don't recognize your angry passive/aggressive garbage. Comically tragic.
Delusional and angry passive/aggressive, Doctor?
Where is your indisputable evidence to the contrary? Reality and observers of reality and the ability to interpret that information I think is a reasonable inference of an intelligent cause.
Yeah, but it's not reasonable to just make up an intelligent being. That's called dishonesty.
Its not reasonable to call or imply people are delusional because they think an intelligent cosmological model is possible. Especially if they are unqualified in psychiatry, unqualified in metaphysics and unqualified in cosmology.
There you go again, attacking someone's qualifications, as if you know them. I see where you just did the same thing to JM. Why don't you just show that your beliefs deserve the respect that you so adamantly assert? You can do that by introducing me to your God.
This whole thing can be settled if you could just do that. You won't have to launch anymore personal attacks, or resort to all kinds of other angry Christian tactics. Thanks
You imply people are delusional yet you are the victim. Provide your credentials in psychiatry and your indisputable evidence to the contrary.
Says the person who has zero evidence of his claims of a God.
Please provide evidence of your God, or I'm gonna believe that you are just throwing garbage at me to distract from your inability to do what you know you can't possibly do. Whether or not I have a degree is psychiatry pales in comparison to your claims.
The onus is upon you since you claimed that people were delusional based upon belief despite indisputable evidence to the contrary.
Provide your credentials in psychiatry and your indisputable evidence to the contrary.
I don't need to provide you with any credentials, since you are not the authority on who can challenge your silly beliefs or not. Good try though. You expect me to acquiesce with you, and assume that someone needs a degree in psychiatry in order to discern that your beliefs are nonsense.
I think he gave you the definition of delusion and you belief fits perfectly into the definition.
Very true. I watched a fascinating documentary once, where researchers were able to induce visions of some kind of being in the subject's bedroom - which was interpreted as an alien or a ghost or an angel depending on the subject's background. The subjects were totally convinced of the reality of their experience. I think they used some kind of electrical or magnetic field, from memory.
I wonder what it would take for you to believe, though. If a friend told you that they were mugged while walking after dark in New York City, you would probably take them at their word, depending on how much you trust them. Someone you just met, you might feel pity for but pretty much accept their assertions. Would you believe, however, that not only an acquaintance was mugged - but that they were held up by aliens, abducted and taken to their mother ship? What would it take for you to believe this claim, even if they're convinced that they experienced it?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If a friend was mugged, you would urge them to follow up with the police - but the police cannot act without evidence. Don't you agree?
"You are entitled to believe whatever you want to believe, but that does nor make it true."
And a lack of objective evidence does not make something false either.
"In the scenario described, if you went to the police and had no proof that you ever had the money and no corroborating evidence to support you, there would be little that could be done."
Sure, but the police can only say there is a lack of evidence, they can't say the incident didn't happen. Just because the person is unable to provide sufficient evidence to convince someone else, does not mean the incident didn't happen.
You made decent points. The points that you've made are points that atheists hold to. Yes, there are some that make the absolute statement that God does not exist, ut there are some (namely Rad Man, JM, and Getit, to name a few) that simply state that there is a lack of evidence to convince them. They are not totally close minded to the possibility, just that they are searching for proof.
I'm sorry to point this out, since you seem fairly level headed. But the names you chose to associate with those comments is a bit of a stretch. I have seen each call believers delusional, for belief. That, in and of itself, refutes your claim that the impetus behind their participation is merely a search for proof.
Seriously, if proof were the desire; what sane person would attempt to find it on an online forum? Do you think, perhaps, you are being overly kind (and a little blind) in this assessment?
Not entirely, Emile. I also have seen them call believers delusional (and I know they disagree with my beliefs as well). But on the other hand, The conversations that I have had with them have been different than ones they have had with other believers and each of them have told me themselves that this is their position on belief. My reply is based on actual conversation with the three of them. Them discussing things on an online forum is merely another avenue for search. You'd never know what you may learn even in an online forum. I've learned a lot in my few months on HP.
Never apologize for pointing out what you see as a contradiction. This furthers dialogue (or debate depending on how you present it)
If this is overly kind, then I can live with that. But I can understand your position considering that you have not been in on discussions that I have had with them myself. But I assure you that in this, I am not blind in my assessment (but we may just have to agree to disagree on this one)
Well, I'm afraid people being courteous and agreeable with me doesn't cause me to not notice repeated behavior patterns that are not in line with that. Being overly kind isn't always a good thing. It can be argued that turning a blind eye is overly unkind to others, on some levels. I suppose it is up to us, as individuals, to determine what motivates our behavior. I tend to agree with atheists, while I abhor the arrogant assumptions that drive the behavior of the most aggressively outspoken. We are all deluded, in one way or another. Pot/kettle thing to throw the accusation out. I've never encountered any evidence that any of the three are open to dialogue...unless it is a cheering session for their particular views. Which I find to be little different from the religious views offered. Dogmatic, unsupportable; but tenaciously held, just the same.
Huh... I just called you that. Now it looks like I can't come up with appropriate words on my own. <hangs head in shame.>
There is no such thing as original thought. But, I appreciate you thinking I'm level headed. I try to be, although I wouldn't think many would agree that I am.
To be honest that's probably the most reasonable position anyone can hold, unless they have some subjective experience they attribute to a deity which causes them to believe otherwise. There simply isn't any categorical, objectively verifiable evidence either way. I wonder if it would be more fruitful to acknowledge the pluralistic nature of society and focus on ways we can live more harmoniously, instead of spending our time trying to convince others they are wrong and we are right.
It is highly unlikely any given religion would ever capitulate to being wrong or not telling others they are wrong.
You can't really refer to people who subscribe to a particular religion as single, homogenous lump. There is often a disconnect between religious doctrine, and how proponents of a religion actually behave. Only the most Orthodox proponents of a religion tend to follow every aspect of doctrine. In fact that's one of the criticism of religions especially when it comes to tenets like "love thy neighbour", but it works both ways. For example I do not know a single Catholic who hasn't used some form of birth control at some point in their lives. Perhaps that says more about me and the people I know, but I think it's reasonable to draw a general conclusion from that and other anecdotal evidence, that people's behaviour is often not solely determined by the doctrine of the religion they identify with. Their religious doctrine may not be able to accommodate the notion of their belief being "wrong", but people (the most important part of a religion) do tend to able to accommodate the notion that acceptance that others have different beliefs is not the same as agreement with those beliefs.
Sure, if you're of the mind of jumping to irrational conclusions whenever something is not made evident to you.
That's not true. Statisticians and scientists do pay attention to anecdotal evidence. They don't take it as the sum total of assessment, they look for more, but it's not like intelligent and educated people always dismiss anecdotal evidence out of hand.
But, an intelligent and educated person would not draw conclusions based on anecdotal evidence, real, hard evidence is required for that.
True. But only if I am trying providing my experience to you as evidence. However that is not what we do. We are saying the evidence is a personal experience of God. If you want the evidence you can have the experience it too, provided you follow some rules.
God is healing some people in the western world but a lot of children are left to die of starvation elsewhere. How is it that the only conclusion that can be drawn from this be that God does not exist?
Belief in God is not only based on the happening of miracles. That is just one way you can know that He exists.
If you prayed to zeus and your friend was healed I may believe that zeus exists. But further test is required to find if that zeus is the real God.
To the next part of your question ("would you take my word for it") I would answer like this. No I would not take your word for it. Rather I would study and test him.
Neither are we asking you to take our word for it.
Okay, I think your statement is a little contradictory of itself. You say firstly that belief in god is not solely reliant on miracles. Then you say that miracles are one way that you can know that a god exists. How else do you know he exists if not for the miraculous? If you do experience miracles, how do you know which god caused them? Do you card god when he does something for you, or do you assume that since you prayed to a specific god, that god must be true if you get what you asked for? What if a different god answered your prayer to try to help you out? What if NO god answered your prayers, and things just worked out that way for another reason? If you're looking for confirmation that your god exists and then something happens that you can't explain, you chalk it up to that god. How much do you truly examine those unexplained things to try to uncover what else could have caused them? How much do you question them?
So you wouldn't believe my claim that zeus cured my friend of cancer, you would study and test zeus to try and determine whether or not he was real. Lets test your claims then.
So, what has 20 centuries of "testing" revealed about your God?
I think my biggest issue with proof in personal experience is the fact that all personal experience is not considered equality.
For example, we are expected to believe that just because someone has a personal experience of God, that He exists. Yet it is these same people that insist that if one is homosexual that one has CHOSEN that path, regardless of the "personal experience" (and therefore, for the sake of this discussion - proof) of those who are homosexual being that it is not.
Why is it that in the existence of God, personal experience is insisted to be ENOUGH proof, but in the case of sexuality and choice - it is not? It is this that bothers me most about it - it seems one is good for one person, but if s/he doesn't agree with something (like homosexuality) then it's not good enough for anyone else.
Now, I do not want to turn this into homosexuality debate, so give complete permission to JM to delete this as she wishes.
bBerean had asked a valid question. You however did not get the point. So I have a question for you.
If you were indeed abducted by an Alien and taken to a mother ship and then let out out of it, an you do not have any evidence for it. Did it happen? Yes or No? What would you do if your friends told you that you were just hallucinating? Would you agree with them?
According to NASA there are at least 176 BILLION galaxies out there and each galaxy is estimated to have approximately 100 BILLION solar systems.
I'll grant you half of the galaxies I mentioned and this still means an immensly huge percentage of potential for alien life to exist.
Not only intelligent alien life is a possibility but it is almost a certainty.
The concept of a god is not measurable in the natural world in any way.
You cannot make assumptions about a divine entity based on observations of the physical world.
Thus I could justify to myself an alien abduction easier than I would a revelation from god.
In both cases, however, I would much more consider the fact that there might be something wrong with the frontal lobes of my brain(the region responsible for consciousness) rather than the fairly improbable possibility that intelligent alien life chose to abduct me personally, and then put me back to earth, or the almost completely improbable possibility that a divine entity chose to reveal itself to me while I'm alone.
Are you confident enough to believe that if you thought something as supernatural as a god revelation happend to you, you would be convinced it were indeed true without first considering the fact that you're a biological machine that operates and functions under certain physical conditions and if these conditions get compromised you might be dysfunctional and create misapprehensions?
Why? Because all you know about *human life lends itself to that conclusion? What if all you know about human life is incomplete? To some of us, we hear the size of the universe and we think "how could there not be a God?"
It is amazing how small some ppl think, when they feel so assured it is they that have an open mind.
If my friends told me I was hallucinating I'd have myself checked out by an expert. Wouldn't you?
Your post has not answered my question. But since the question was not directed at you, I will not make a case of it.
The attempt is always to show us as people who have blind beliefs (without evidence). You too are taking the same path. But I will show you how your faith and understanding is as absurd as you claim ours to be.
You have absolutely no evidence for this. You are just taking their word for it, because they are credible in your sight.
Obviously, God does not belong to this natural world.
On the basis of your blind belief on NASA, yes you can.
In other words, your understanding would even lead you to suspect your sanity!! Which would also mean that any experience would never make you suspect your understanding!
Here's the thing.
Either a god (or gods) exist or no god exists. Can we agree that those are the only possibilities?
if a god exists, then it either interacts with the natural world, or it doesn't. If it doesn't interact with the natural world, then it is indiscernible from a god that doesn't exist. If it does interact with the natural world, then there should be evidence of it within the natural world. You can't have it both ways. you claim that obviously god is outside of the natural world, but you claim that god also interacts with people, which means he interacts inside of the natural world which should leave evidence behind of his presence. SO where is it?
OOH OOH.. Can I play???
Yes we agree
Good point, But still does not negate the total existence of God.. Explanation below...
Here is the fun part... For some people, natural disasters, the changing seasons, (basically a lot of things that science explains) are the evidence of God's interaction with the natural world because only God's hand can cause these things to occur. Now, In God's interaction with people, Since he is outside of the natural world, there is still (according to a lot of believers) the spiritual world. A lot of Christians are guided by the holy spirit that dwells within us. The only people that cannot share in this experience are those who (such as a lot of atheists) deny their spiritual selves in favor of their natural selves and this shut off access to hearing the voice of God and the essence of his spirit..
(NOTE: these are in no way, shape, or form reflective of my OWN actual thoughts at this point in my life. This is what I used to think a long time ago)
You're right, Deepes - and I'm not saying at all that the absence of evidence is evidence of absence. If there is a god that is truly undetectable, that doesn't mean that deistic god doesn't exist. It means that there's no way to know.
Attributing natural disasters to god is a several thousand-year old practice. I expect it from the greeks or the romans. But now we know what triggers these disasters. In a lot of cases we can predict them coming from a mile away. We know what makes them happen. The holy spirit is a fine argument, but it doesn't explain cross-cultural experiences. If you start studying religious experiences across the globe (like I did at one point) the one thing that I was completely blown away by was how similar these experiences are to each other. Pentecostals, for example, often become "slain in the spirit" and they claim that these experiences are a direct result of being overwhelmed by the presence of the holy spirit and they temporarily enter a trance-like state (and we can if you wish get into what pastors are taught in regards to certain music and certain repetitive phrases that can actually INDUCE that state in their flock). Then you study the whirling dervishes that twirl in the worship of a deity and enter a similar trance. You have people all over the world who all share similar experiences, but they all attribute them to a different understanding of god - or a different god altogether. These people are raised in different cultures and different religions. Their lives are totally different from each other, but they all describe similar experiences and similar results. What do they have in common? They're human beings. My question to these people is to try to find out WHY they attribute it to a god, and not something that is inherently human. The similarities between SO MANY of these experiences is remarkable. It really is a fascinating study. I guess that's why I'm so interested in the argument from personal experience because it's fascinating to me to see it. I want to understand it (even if that understanding is ultimately impossible). I want to know what makes people think that a god is giving them these experiences, and how they know where these experiences are coming from.
It's interesting that if a Muslim has a religious experience, 99% of the time, they're going to attribute it to Allah. If a Christian does, they're going to attribute it to Jesus or the Holy Spirit. If a Hindu has it, they're going to attribute it to Vishnu or Krishna. Only RARELY do these experiences transcend the bounds of culture or religion. So rarely in fact that it seems to be a given in itself. Does that mean that these similar experiences are a direct result of the god that they believe in, which would make all of those god claims appear to be true? What makes one "truer" than any other - especially when they're describing something so similar that it's indistinguishable from an experience had by someone of a different faith? I accept that it's impossible to tell without having either experience myself. But it still interests me, which is why I was so excited about having this discussion with Chris in the first place.
Wow, I talk a lot. Sorry. Didn't mean to turn that response into a huge diatribe.
Now it would appear that we are sliding into the realm of agnosticism. There are some areas of the Bible (Based on my limited understanding) that would suggest that we were pretty much given the ability to look after ourselves and left to our own devices. But we don't know for sure.. That's why I look at possibilities. Not everything that can't be proven is out of the realm of possibility. I'd go more into that line of thinking with you, but I doubt you'd be interested in my special brand of delusion (that both atheists and believers find nuts)
Agreed. Science has provided a good explanation of the cause of the natural disasters
Pentecostals... I've had a Pentecostal "experience". A pastor was preaching and laid hands on me and basically pushed me to the floor while whispering for me to receive the spirit and lie down under his breath (which was so bad that it did almost "slay" me...LoL). Basically, A lot of what is shown at these churches is purely for entertainment.. theatrics make a good show
The funny thing about that of course is that I imagine the possibility that there is actually one God. Not the "Christian" one, nor the "Muslim" god (actually considering the fact that Allah is arabic for God that it is basically one and the same), nor "Hindu" Gods... etc.. I think that basically the only difference is in how each religion views this God and the name (or names) they give Him as well as how they worship him/her/it (If there is one)
You don't talk too much. Besides, the important thing isn't about talking a lot, it's having something worthwhile to say. I actually enjoy conversing with you.
And this is why I classify myself as an agnostic atheist - or atheist agnostic. I don't have a belief in a god, but I don't deny the possibility that one might exist. I don't think that there's any way to know for absolute certain that a god does or doesn't exist, and falling in one category or another is extremely dishonest.
You're not the only person I've encountered that thinks that all gods across time and culture may be the same actual thing, just with different names/attributes/requirements. I don't think it's crazy - I just don't also think that it can be proven - especially when no god has been proven to exist at all for thousands and thousands of years.
If there were a god, I would imagine that god would be so superior to human emotions and attributes that it would be nothing like anything that humans have created. If a god truly created the universe and the world, we would be less than ants to it. I don't require ants to worship me just because I'm bigger. I think any god that majestic and/or powerful wouldn't give a crap about worship or sacrifice or adoration. It wouldn't require things from us because it was so far above us. I imagine that god would be on to bigger and better things than petty human worship/praise/sacrifice. I mean, why bother?
I have a problem with any god claim that "requires" things of its subjects/creation. A god that enjoys the scent of burning flesh, however, and blood sacrifice is not something that I'd consider to be godly. In the modern age, we look down upon primitive people like the Aztecs who sacrificed human beings constantly and ripped out their still-beating hearts to appease their god. Their god didn't help them when it came to extinction. How much better are we now, though?
I apologize, my vision is not so good anymore and for some reason I was thinking you were a guy named Jim.
I also believe that its possible that God has made Himself aware to many cultures. The Mayans for example have a Temple of the Foliated Cross, Father and Son hieroglyphs, unusual or similar circumcision-like rituals etc. I also think the Hindus have some ancient beliefs that are interesting and comparative.
yes, and Jesus is remarkably similar to other characters that predate him. Of course the early church fathers claimed that was Satan's foresight - and nothing more than a temptation to the "real" savior.
Are you talking about alleged myths where they were carved out of rock or born from an almond -and somehow that equates to them being born of a virgin? Or how they all had 12 disciples, yet that cant be sourced or how they were all born on the 25th of December, and that cant be sourced either, nor is it even scriptural? If so, thats one of the most embarrassing of atheist claims.
how would you expect something from another belief system to be found in your "scriptures" in the first place? There are lots of messiahs out there from numerous faiths, and their followers found them just as compelling as yours. I don't find it embarrassing - I find it humorous - especially if your claim is that the Christian version is "sourced" properly and based in something more reliable than any of the others out there. If you think that these earlier traditions cannot be sourced, then you probably have a problem with the fact that the early church writers mentioned them when trying to converse with pagans or other christians. Clearly they were known at the time. I lost the reference i had, but I think it was Justinian that mentioned a few. I'll have to go back through my books and look that up, but I don't have the time at the moment.
What I am talking about and what I thought you were vaguely alluding to is the various claims of Jesus or Christianity being a copy cat. These bogus claims will say Christianity is a copy cat because some alleged myth claim "their myth guy was born on the 25th of December too" , for example.
1 the myth never says that
2 scripture never claims Jesus was born on the 25th so its a bogus claim to begin with.
These bogus claims will say Christianity is a copy cat because some alleged myth claim "their myth guy was born of a virgin.
If you know the myth or investigate it, the claim that the myth story is about a guy born of a virgin is complete fiction.
YOU CLAIMED yes, and Jesus is remarkably similar to other characters that predate him.
That there were a few surface similarities between Christianity and some other religions that predated it is not in doubt, but that's what they are, surface. Again, it's been pointed out that the original Persian story of Mithras changed in Rome to more closely resemble Christ. And the significant differences outweigh the similarities. I once had someone point out to me the "reborn god" story of a pair of twins from Aztec religion. So I read the story and you have to be stretching BIIIIIIG to make the comparison. Yeah, the twins died and were reborn, and that's exactly the extent of the similarity. They were violent gods and they died violently and then exacted retribution violently and their story was a good story (I guess) but had absolutely zero to do with salvation of any kind at all, physical or spiritual. Yet some people maintain that because of that one point, Christianity is not only not in any way unique but is a big rip-off of other religions. It doesn't logically follow.
I was originally speaking in general terms, that bits and pieces of the story of jesus were found in other religions before he ever came into the picture - not that he was a carbon copy of anyone. He's not. Yes, roman mithrism was adapted from the original pagan form, nor does horus share all of the details even before that. I was simply pointing out that certain things in the jesus story had been previously found - a belief that was well known and well established in the early christian church because they were quick to point out the similarities as they were conversing with others. I really have to look up that reference, I could have sworn it was justinian or origin who said something about he devil putting these false saviors into place prior to jesus' life...something. I have too many books and too much reference material to be able to find it at the drop of a hat.
Understood. It might have been Origen, I could be wrong but I think he was the one who wrote the letter asking why Christians are persecuted when so many other religions have similar elements.
Most of the time when people point out the elements, they are using it to say that Christianity has nothing to offer because it's all found in a previous religion. If you weren't, then I apologize for jumping to a conclusion.
that wasn't what I was getting to at all, although it's easy to see in retrospect how that assumption was an easy one to make. Clearly. Since you and my new best friend both made it simultaneously. I'm not saying that nothing in christianity is different and that it's all an extrapolation from pagan beliefs and worship. I'm saying that some characteristics are similar, and that the early church was aware of these similarities - more than aware of them - and spoke about them pretty regularly.
Modern scholars point out that many of the claims that "predate" Jesus were actually retrofitted (like Mithras) to make the original myth more in line with the growing Christian message.
And many of the others have one or two points that may seem like they're similar until you actually start looking at the whole. One or two points is not enough.
Why do you focus on December 25th? That is nowhere but nowhere in the Bible. Church historians are more than happy to point out that the early church, after it became the official religion of the Roman Empire, coopted Saturnalia because people kept right on celebrating that one anyway. But most people who study such things say that Jesus was definitely not born in December, let alone on the 25th.
I brought up the 25th stuff, when McFarland said- Jesus is remarkably similar to other characters that predate him.
I asked McFarland if she were alluding to the goofy copy cat stuff online.
Apparently Jesus can not have any similarities with anything from thousands and thousands of years of history. Also, apparently, the so called similarities, don't have to be even similar or true.
when have I ever focused on the 25th? It's clearly and widely known that the Reason Jesus' birth was celebrated on the 25th is to fit it into already established pagan traditions, to make the national religion of christianity easier for the current pagans to understand/accept. Just like Easter - which still bears the name of the Pagan goddess Ostara. the celebrations have nothing to do with whether or not these previous claims are true - they're just church retro-fitted to combine two different celebrations into one, just like All Hallows Eve, etc...
You used December 25th in both of those "illustration" stories, so forgive me but it was an easy mistake to make.
That current Easter celebrations are shot through with pagan practices is one of the worst kept secrets in history. People who have no interest in Christianity one way or another write stories every year about it. But the Easter celebration is about the Resurrection and that is not a pagan practice. If you are in the evangelical church, many of them go to pains to not have Easter Eggs or Easter Bunnies or other pagan fertility symbols in the church, whether the individual worshippers go home and make that choice for themselves or not.
All Hallow's Eve? Aren't you reaching a bit there? The purely pagan intent of Halloween is also not exactly a big secret, and I don't know about "mainline" churches but evangelical churches don't celebrate it. Ever since I became a Christian I didn't like it. And pulling some of the true superstition of the past out is not proof that Christianity itself, especially the Easter (or Resurrection Sunday if you prefer) celebration, is bogus.
the very name EASTER is from a pagan faith, not a christian one. You agree with that, yes? Easter has become a celebration of jesus' death and resurrection, but that's not what it originally was.
All Hallows eve has turned into a catholic celebration in response to Samhein, the day of the dead where the veil between the worlds is thin. Trick or treating, masks, pumpkins, costumes - all of these stem from earlier druidic practices in Celtic lore. the church countered this devilish practice by celebrating all saints day following it, allowing the pagans to keep their lore and turning it into something else.
In 96 AD. John receives a prophetic vision, It is said that some of these events described has already happened and some are currently happening and the others are soon to begin their fulfillment.
One of these things that is said to SOON come to pass is that a “New Religion” will rise up. It will teach things that are close enough to the truth that many true followers will be convinced of its authenticity. It is said that this NEW religion is given authority to persecute all who doesn’t believe what it teaches. These teachings also change just a little bit over time.
Kinda like the path of an archer’s arrow, Just a little off perfection for 1 second and from 50 feet away still hits the bulls eye missing the center by an inch. Almost perfect. BUT as time passes and the arrow continues on its original trajectory, it misses the mark by quite a lot, enough so that the target is out of sight. But this does not prove that the bulls eye isn’t there.
I was unaware that Catholics still celebrated All Hallow's Eve. I know about Samhain.
That's why I like you.. we are not so far apart in some of the way we think. I'm not sure if I'm right or not (and I'm ok with this) but based on my understanding of part of what I've read, God (if he exists out of respect) gave us the ability to do things for ourselves and not have to call on him for nearly as much as some believers call out to him for
It certainly can't be proven.. I admit that.. I was simply stating "what if".. But the funny thing is that none of the religions would ever consider such a thing
I agree with this assessment. Which is specifically why I question how much of this worship mentality is really God's desire and how much was again the inspiration of what the writers of the Bible think he should be . Something that, as you pointed out, is so powerful that he should be worshipped and sacrifices should be made to appease him...
Did that make sense?
I thought you claimed to have went to Bible College and read the Bible cover to cover many times?
We are not ants, we were made in God's image. Did Jesus walk amongst men as an ant sent from God? Are ants given eternal life? Do ants become Children of God?
Worship and praise are things YOU need, if they are true and honest feelings and not defined concepts that you choose to take exception to.
On Sacrifice. Its abundantly clear you have no working knowledge of the Book of Hebrews and Psalms.
I thought you claimed to have went to Bible College and read the Bible cover to cover many times?
Are you still sticking to that story?
I also want to point out another thing. Ants are part of God's creations too. You compare to disparage, but I will defend the ant as well. Ants have been around for 150 million years. Where were you? They live all over the world and live for the benefit of each other as opposed to individuals. They communicate with each other and can solve problems. I think they can lift 6 times their own weight.
you can doubt me and my past all you want, but if you can't even be respectful then there's no point in having a conversation with you. I'm done. Believe what you want about me - it doesn't make it true.
I have addressed you point for point. You have a tendency to just throw stuff out there and hope noone notices you never back anything up. I do not see any Biblical knowledge that would suggest a Bible College or a reading of the Bible cover to cover multiple times. In my opinion, it seems you barely have a beginners atheist understanding of scripture. What one could find off the internet if one was prone to confirmation bias. I am point blank and direct. I find it disrespectful that others are not that way with me. So I guess we both stand offended.
if you say so :-) I don't care if you doubt me, but to call my past a "story" and ask if I'm still "sticking with it" does nothing to strengthen your case. It's a cheap shot, and I'd rather discuss things with people who are willing to actually discuss them, and not make a straw man case out of my background and tell me that I basically don't have any idea of what I'm talking about. If that's what you're going to focus on, then I'd rather have a conversation with others. You're free to keep commenting and I'm free to ignore you and not take you seriously. I guess it's just the way that it goes. Peace.
I appreciate and respect that.
And I'm holding you to it!
I read your description of your experience. I have questions, but I also want to take care to make sure that I'm respectful of something that you clearly hold so dear to yourself. I'm not sure how being distracted in church when, at the time, you didn't even have a belief in what the pastor was saying becomes something deliberately pulling you away from the message. And I don't understand how that in itself was enough to convince you that jesus was real - enough for you to kneel down in a parking lot and accept him before you had ever studied or learned anything about him. I'm not sure how those two were connected for you.
I'm going solely based on what you said in your post. Lisa told you that you became distracted at the exact moment of the alter call. Did she tell you that satan was pulling you away? That distraction wasn't a human expression of boredom? That any of that meant something else? I guess I'm just failing to see the connection that you obviously made, and how it was enough to convince you of anything - let alone to give your life to a god that you admittedly at the time knew little about.
Well, Lisa told me that the call had been given while I was distracted. The timing of when I became fully distracted is not known, I just know that I wasn't checked in when it came.
I don't know. It felt different. That's all I can really say. That plus the timing. I'd sat through calls before and felt nothing.
And again had this been a single incident, whatever I did at the time would not have had the lasting effect that it has had.
If that were true you would have addressed the points, rebuttals and claims you make.
Who were these people that were remarkably similar to Jesus that predate him?
Do you disagree with Psalms and Hebrews eg God did not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
Did you know that easter was coined by Bede in the 8th century and was admitted by him to be just his personal invention and personal opinion despite the general consensus?
Out of curiosity, What does this scripture mean to you?
In context with the discussion is was a reply to the notion that we are just ants to a god. I still find that an odd description or analogy to anyone that is well versed in the Bible.
What that verse means to me personally, geez. Thats a toughy.
I think that God, created mankind as a procreation. To create a being that could have relationship. I have to speculate somewhat on the motivation.
I think you missed what JM was actually saying with this comment. I can understand why you made the response based on what you saw as a comparison, But JM's implication wasn't so much that we were nothing but ants.
But what specifically does knowing that you were made in God's image mean to you? What specifically comes to mind?
I ask this question, not to be mocking or critical, I've asked this question before and am truly curious as to how others interpret this scripture
In regards to ants and god, sacrifices, worship etc, I honestly have the perception that I am being offered tired, amateurish, atheist arguments. What I was expecting was a formidable opponent vastly more knowledgeable in scripture than I. A formidable opponent vastly more knowledgeable in apologetics than I. Someone that would know verses backwards and forwards. Someone that would be able to anticipate any possible apologetics and offer an answer. Someone that would understand the OT and NT in its complete context, not cherry picked google searched versions,or atheist versions of contextual understanding. That aint even remotely happening. Whats up with that?
Now, when I think of made in God's image, the thing that comes to my mind is God is procreating beings that can have relationship in somewhat of an autonomous way that is possible.
So you think God wants us to be independent, but has given strict laws to do so? Kind of defeats the purpose don't you think? Kind of like telling your child to make up his own mind, but if you don't do as I say I'll punish you forever. Makes no sense.
As for the other part of your post. Why argue scripture with an Atheist who thinks the scripture is garbage? What not discuss ethics instead? Does scripture supply good sound ethics? Is it ethical to suggest others are less qualified then you? Is it narcissism ethical?
1. When I say autonomous I am speaking about determinism. The inescapable, relentless, determinism you reside.
2. Said atheist promotes themselves as much more qualified than I am to discuss scripture. But in my opinion, they do not possess that depth. I guess it does not matter, it is what it isnt.
Easy to judge when you waltz right in on a conversation already in progress, ask a few questions and pass judgment on the atheists credentials personally before the conversation has much of a chance to progress our even begin and so shut down any further discussion between the two of us. Sure, I could photocopy and email my degree, but I don't really care if you believe me or not. I don't owe you anything. You're a stranger, and there are a multitude of people here to talk to who don't take the road that you chose to travel with me. Chris and I agree on very little, but we still communicate (mostly) respectfully. You just jumped the gun and as a consequence you lost out on that potential. I have nothing more to say to you.
Displaying narcissistic tendencies. It's best to stay away.
Show me a photocopy of your license to practice psychiatry. Wait better yet, show us you are at least knowledgeable. That I will buy.
You think I need to practice psychiatry to recognize a narcissus? My father in law is a narcissus, I know how to recognize one and I know how to deal with one. It's actually very easy to upset a narcissus. Just disagree and they will being with insults, then they will secretly isolate the person who disagrees with them, but you can't do that here can you? You see everyone can see what's said. Your next step should be to personally insult or discredit me. Wait, you've already tried that with JM.
Surrounded by a pack of Chihuahuas made me think of being surrounded by a pack of Tecates.
So you've decided to belittle us along with him/her?
I find this tendency of ganging up on someone childish. I believe Phoenix V is capable of handling him/herself. But hypocrisy is beneath us rad man. Don't you think?
They slander whole groups of people by calling them delusional, passive aggressive, narcissistic, then crybaby about how they are the victims.
I've never call a group of people passive aggressive or narcissistic. That would be silly. Why do you use the term "they"?
Oh wait, this is where you try to isolate me and talk about me behind my back to make others agree with you. But here I can see what your doing.
Sure, I agree, but I wasn't ganging up on anyone. You could be accused of doing the same, by joking that we are small pathetic dogs. I may be small and pathetic, but I'm not a dog. Did you see his last post?
What I saw was you accusing him of doing somethingto JM. Is he incapable of posting a response? In need of protection? You guys do conduct yourselves similar to a pack. Jumping in to attack for no better reason than you appear to take everything personally. I chose chihuahuas because they can't do anything other than nip at your heels. But they aren't pathetic. Neurotic, definitely. And maybe delusional. It's hard to tell what they are yapping at sometimes. I think they see things that simply aren't there.
Poodles are the second most intelligent dog behind the boarder collie. They in fact do hear and smell stuff we don't and recognize we don't so try to alert us.
I love it when you come to help someone because you don't think I shouldn't help someone. JM is obviously much more capable than I. I do the little I can.
"In regards to ants and god, sacrifices, worship etc, I honestly have the perception that I am being offered tired, amateurish, atheist arguments. What I was expecting was a formidable opponent vastly more knowledgeable in scripture than I. A formidable opponent vastly more knowledgeable in apologetics than I. Someone that would know verses backwards and forwards. Someone that would be able to anticipate any possible apologetics and offer an answer. Someone that would understand the OT and NT in its complete context, not cherry picked google searched versions,or atheist versions of contextual understanding. That aint even remotely happening. Whats up with that?"
Aren't you doing to Rad now what you accused me of doing so someone else in another forum thread??
Yes, she comes to help and then tells me I'm supposed to do the same. It's the funniest thing. She then agrees we are us a bunch of pathetic little yappy dogs, even after I said his/her next step would be to put me down. And the funniest thing is I like her anyway.
I like you too rad man. Yappiness and all. But, I do still believe there is a double standard you are blind to.
Of course. Interesting thing is that we rarely see in ourselves how our actions might mirror what we accuse others of at times
The thing to remember is that you attacked the person you ate referring to. Somewhat . I asked rad man a question. See the difference?
Interesting how we attempt to justify our actions by making faulty comparisons.
Interesting how I can make a general statement and get a defense from someone whom the statement may or may not have applied to. I Guess a hit person will holler.
Hmm.. I missed the question in calling Rad a chihuahua. I wasn't even referring to the actual question that you asked (which wasn't a bad question in itself). Interesting how we expose ourselves when addressing an incorrect reference
You jumped in to defend Phoenix from Rad, who was apparently defending JM, who you asked if she was "incapable of posting a response". I ask you the same thing you asked Rad. Is Phoenix incapaple of posting a response for himself? Then on top of that Phoenix calls them a pack of dogs (which is an attack) and you jump in calling them a different pack of dogs (followup attack). You accused Rad and JM of having a pack mentality, then turn right back around and do the same thing you lodged an accusation of..
I asked a question of rad man. You are referring to two different things. My initial post and his subsequent posts between us where he was questioning my conversation with Phoenix.
See, usually, when the three of you start a conversation talking about me, I let it stay where it belongs. Virtually, behind my back. I don't jump in, insulted. I let you enjoy the immature camaraderie it appears to instill. If you need to be insulted and comment, that's OK too. But, we are different in that regard.
I have never specifically started a conversation about you.. I entered this conversation because I noted you doing something that you accused me of doing once before..
But hey.. Whatever you want to tell yourself or others to justify being able to call someone else a dog is on you..
It would be beneficial to your peace of mind to remove the chip from your shoulder. It is a burden to no one but yourself. I find a great deal of humor in your selective memory loss.
As I find great humor in how quickly you go from attacker to victim when called out on your attacks.. Thank you for providing me with my daily laugh.. I leave you and this particular conversation to enjoy the rest of my day.
I don't think so. But, I always accept the possibility that I could be wrong.
you must be prophetic. You should write that shtick down, bury it in dirt for 2000+ years, and in the future someone may worship you.
Ha, no thanks, I'm not narcissistic, I've just been around way too many. No delusions of grandeur here.
Remember when you said the forum got away from you?
If you go to my profile, I think you can click on "email me" because numerous people have done it in the past. I'm a tad reluctant to post my email address here - for obvious reasons.
Maybe it's because it's so late but I can't find where to email you. I would suggest trying the same with me because people find me. I don't know. I'll try again later or watch for your email.
What? You going to make a threat to go along with the calumny?
Emile, what does my comment have to do with the pack mentality? Both you and I defend people when we see an injustice, I've seen enough narcissism to know how destructive it can be if it's not understood. Please read back at his dialogue. I've given the heads up to both believers and non-believers.
Uhm, I am not your Father In Law, nor do I have any intention of, or desire to "secretly isolate you" mostly because I am not even sure what that means. Is being "secretly isolated" by someone, something you experienced in childhood or life?
This point I will leave between you and JM because this is the communication that I am noticing between the two of you. Both of you are making a lot of relevant points for yourselves, but not giving the other one what they are looking for in terms of response. In my discussions with JM, I find her knowledge of the Bible and apologetics to be pretty extensive. I simpy think that there is a disconnect that basically at this point has left you two at a state of not even wanting the discussion anymore because you both feel as if you are being insulted by the other
Thanks for your response to this
Well, your personal recommendations do carry weight. I can always reevaluate anything.
On the other- image- thing- you seemed to be fishing, and I can only offer what I actually think and I can assure you I am not withholding anything. I am really cut and dry like that. If someone were to ask me to describe a cat. I would say he is black or gray. I might add a detail like - he has a tail.
I assure you that I wasn't fishing for anything other than how others interpret specific scriptures. no ulterior motives nor looking for anything to try to debate or poke holes in. Just simple curiosity
I meant no negative connotation to fishing. It just seemed like you were looking for more.
Oh ok. I kinda was. It seemed like there might have been more to that. it seemed like the opening to a more expansive response.
I think reality is deterministic. Doesnt matter if someone is a believer or a non believer. I think reality is deterministic.
In that deterministic reality, we see things like creativity, perseverance, courage, patience, concept of freedom, idealism, dreams and hope.
We, beings inside that deterministic reality are doing that.
Can you imagine a more meritorious endeavor? I cannot. Why with all my imagination can I not imagine anything more meritorious? It just happens once in awhile, and I am to be satisfied with an inexplicable answer?
Ok. I understand what you mean. I erroneously was looking for a longer explanation where there was none. Now that I look at it again it makes more sense in its simplicity
We see - creativity, perseverance, courage, patience, concept of freedom, idealism, dreams and hope.
We see ourselves and others self actualizing.
When you see a bunch of notched out logs and saws, and hammers and nails - all laying out in a clearing amongst the woods, one does not need to be an Einstein to figure out someones building a cabin. I think Abe Lincoln said something similar like that.
***Either a god (or gods) exist or no god exists.***
False dichotomy. Our understanding of existence, especially the nature of a hypothetical creator of reality is incomplete. For instance your own existence comes and goes does it not? Yet you would insist that is a reasonable example of the concept of what it means to exist. The False dichotomy is that if a hypothetical god exists, it must exist as you illogically or incompletely define existence or somehow by default, it does not exist at all?
***if a god exists, then it either interacts with the natural world, or it doesn't****
False dichotomy. If God created reality, it does not necessarily have to to interact linearly or spatially. Its like saying - I threw a frisbee, it must be true that I am continuously spinning it in flight, because I say so.
**there should be evidence of it within the natural world.***
False dichotomy. False dichotomy. False dichotomy.
Reality exists regardless or what you observe as proof. Reality does not depend on your observation.
It would seem that some would claim that anything outside of their personal observation does not exist.
If anything is out of phase with our reality, it may have more claim to existence than we do.
I was not here 50 years ago. In 50 years I will be gone. ( or 15 billion years ago or 200 billion in the future) To insist that anything or everything else should fall within those temporal spatial parameters or to insist that if anything and everything does not fall into those parameters-just dont count- because I wish it to be true - is illogical.
You're extremely quick to point out a "false dichotomy fallacy" but you haven't sufficiently proven that there are other options.
If you say that either there is a god (or multiple gods) or there are no gods, I don't see this as a false dichotomy. What other options are there that don't fit into these categories?
Additionally, if a god appears in the natural world, there should be evidence of it within the natural world is not a false dichotomy either - because I'm not limiting things to one of only two options. I said it SHOULD be evident in the natural world. Not that it has to. If you can't see it in the natural world, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. It means that it's not detectable. If it's not detectable, then what standing do you have to say that it exists at all? That would seem to be more like a deistic approach to god, which was addressed earlier in the statement that a god that does not interact with the natural world is indistinguishable from a god that does not exist. I'm not saying that god doesn't exist - I'm saying there's no possible way to tell - which is a true statement at all. I think you're confused on what a false dichotomy fallacy is.
Either a virtual particle exists or there are no virtual particles= false dilemma.
Petitio principii to false dilemma.
You use the term of existence as if you know what it means. Therein is your error.
Compare to what you wrote earlier:
Either a god (or gods) exist or no god exists. Can we agree that those are the only possibilities?
If you say that either there is a god (or multiple gods) or there are no gods, I don't see this as a false dichotomy.
Either a god (or gods) exist or no god exists. Can we agree that those are the only possibilities?
You are trying to change your own premise. But it does not change anything because you immediately try to apply the original eg proof, interaction, evidence.
Reality is like you are a woolly mammoth frozen in the arctic. You have some self awareness. You look around you see ice. You do not see jungles, entire oceans, mountains or deserts. They exist, you just are incapable of observing them. Its because you are frozen in the temporal spatial ice. And even then for a short temporal period.
Your premise and claim is that not only should God appear before you, but He should appear to you as ice.
The only way you are ever going to see God, is if it behooves Him to dig you outa the ice.
That is the possibility- to assume otherwise is an assumption.
I rephrased, but both phrases have the exact same meaning. What is the third option. A false dichotomy reduces things to two possibilities when there are truly more options - so what are they? What's another option to either gods exist our they don't?
Answer one simple question for me Mr. McFarland.
How does your physicalism philosophy turn out in the end? How does your self aware existence play out?
I find your claim to existence to be false, based upon what I know, upon what you have to admit.
I agree, your version of me being a Mr doesn't exist.
What makes you think that I'm a materialist?
My existence does not rely on you believing I exist, thankfully. If I don't exist like you suggest, though, then who is talking to you?
You could not answer one simple question?
How does your self aware existence play out?
I live and I die and then whatever it is that makes me ME stops existing, and I'm gone. I don't understand what more you're looking for.
Your existence comes and goes? Is that your standard for existence? Sometimes? But mostly not?
Just because something cannot be seen, does not mean it isnt in existence
Sometimes in life we just have to use the faith that God gave us rather the rely on scientific facts that do not coincide with our beliefs..
Here are Gods words actually
..For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20).
1 Timothy 1:4
4 and occupying themselves with myths and endless genealogies. These myths and genealogies raise a lot of questions rather than promoting God’s plan, which centers in faith.
I am just saying
I'm pretty sure that those are Paul's words, actually - not gods.
I'm not saying you can only believe in things that you can see with your own eyes at all. I know that wind and gravity exist because I see their effects. No faith required.
Mind the sword, mind the people watch, mind the enemy, too many mind
I would think that exist means all the time, not sometimes.
Because sometimes existing and sometimes not existing, does not equal existing in my mind.
Johnny has a 20 dollar bill
Sally sometimes has money.
How much does that total exactly?
Personally, I would not want to count on Sally's finances.
Interesting... You define existence as something always being in existence. Therefore my dog doesn't exist? My keyboard doesn't exist. Na. that make zero sense.
Please don't make promiscuous assumptions of what my intentions are. I never judged you or implied anything about anyone.
The definition of the word "faith" is acceptance of a statement or a situation in the absence of evidence. When you say that you "believe in" god it's a given that you accept something without evidence.
According to the bible, faith is:
"the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
In other words your faith substitutes the evidence. So the attempt you just mentioned doesn't come from me or any other atheists. It comes from the very scriptures which constitute the foundations of your faith.
This, however, is not at all the case with science. The beauty of the scientific method is that it can be tested by anyone. For example, if a scientist claims that water boils at 60 celcius and freezes at 25 celcius you can be at any part of earth and all you need is a thermometer to find out that water boils at 100 celcius and freezes at 0 and disprove him with providing your data. This is why I prefer to trust NASA and any other similar scientific institution that provides such measurable data.
God revelations and alien abductions aren't usual everyday phenomena.
If such thing had happened to me yes I would very much doubt my sanity and ask for expert help. If you go to a psychiatric clinic and roam around the corridores apart from the doctors and the nurses you will also see people who DO NOT doubt their sanity.
To make a clarification about your question:
1.If in this hypothesis the person who formulated the hypothesis can gurantee to me that I was indeed abducted by aliens and it wasn't just a subjective experience of mine then yes. It happened and I don't have the evidence to prove it. You do realize though that in a real-life situation there won't be someone to gurantee anything and this is why in this case the hypothesis proves nothing.
2.If, however, this hypothesis implicates that I just experienced with my senses an alien abduction, then there can't be a "yes" or "no" answer to this and both this and my previous reply are very much valid to your question.
I hope you can understand the difference between those two premises.
Wow a strawman cartoon from an atheist. Let me count the ironies.
Are you implying atheists are straw men? I thought you said you were tolerant of other people's views?
I am saying a cartoon about logic should not include a logical fallacy. You are in error to suggest that I am intolerant or that I have ever said I was tolerant.
Tolerance suggest political correctness that I do not ascribe to. Political correctness enables stupidity.
Political correctness prevents minorities from being bullied, it's a way for forcing politeness. Otherwise one could come across as a sexist, racist, homophobic, intolerant bully.
The flaw there is "who gets to decide" who gets to be forced into politeness as you say. Being impolite is not a crime that has to be subjectively and arbitrarily dictated by a person or group. Political correctness becomes a tactic to silence opinion by people that cannot take honest criticism or truth.
It's both. Having been alive long enough to see this, there are many times I can't help thinking that both sides of the debate can play out sort of like the French Revolution in microcosm, where the peasants, who had been downtrodden and oppressed for centuries and treated little better than cattle (actually, often not as well) just went insane with revenge when they got the upper hand. A genuine desire to correct a genuine wrong, in this case the treatment of minorities, can and sometimes does lead to a sort of tyranny of ideas where expressing genuine concern about something, even if your idea is unpopular, becomes a reason to shut the person up by almost any means. It also becomes an opportunity for some to game the system, even if that's not what they think they're doing (I'm thinking here about the story I heard of a pastor in Canada who expressed concern about Muslims handing out Koran's near public schools and was forced to serve community service in an Islamic center for his "crime." I know where I heard the story but I can't find the specifics of it.)
I can still remember the first time I heard that phrase, "politically correct." I was hanging out at MIT (no, I never attended) with some friends and one of them made an ironic statement about needing to make sure they buy their food at the "most politically correct grocery store." We were all liberal teenagers or young twenty-somethings and I lived in NYC and I'd never heard the phrase before. Everyone else laughed.
Interesting story Chris, and I agree. Who forced the paster to do community service for expressing his concern? That doesn't sound like Canada. I'd like to find out about that? We just had three youths close to where I live convert to islam and move to north Africa. 2 are dead and one is in jail. I think it's becoming less politically correct to oppose Islam. Or is that more politically correct?
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/201 … tania.html
Oh my word, I hate my job. (sigh)
Ok... we can resume programming... I just had to get that off my chest.
Even though one should be used to it, it still always amazes me that people would rather put others down than to rationally and reasonably discuss ideas between each other. Based on my observations, this occurs when someone really challenges someone's ideas or assertions with good ideas or logical ones. I guess it is what we do when challenged that makes the difference.
Anyone can put others down, that is easy. It takes a much stronger person and one with character to look at an issue head on and discuss things fairly.
Call me crazy, but I truly think it is better for each of us to be willing to look inward at what we are "putting out there" in the way of ideas, and what we choose to put our beliefs in. That is the other big surprise, that so many people really put their faith in something, a lot of it, when it comes down to it. That is fine, but it isn't so fair to take issue with another for having faith in something that often turns out to have more merit anyway. Incredibly ironic.
Narcissistic means something in particular, as does the word delusional. If someone is going to actually call people "names" like those, they need to at the very least point out exactly how. Otherwise, there is no merit. From what I have seen, neither has been established, and far from it. It is also a well known fact, that it is all to easy to just throw things like that out. It isn't a good reason for doing so.
For another group to observe pack mentality that kinds of gangs up on others, is also something in particular, and we see this on HubPages on a regular basis. Many that engage in it likely do not realize how juvenile it looks, and the distraction from the real discussions is likely a side benefit. It is not a good tactic, and a form of waving a white flag of surrender in debate.
I look at it like discussing great ideas, spirals down to where some get behind the nearest rock and begin to throw dirt clods at the opposing side. Its just goofy, and just because you might have more throwing dirt clods on your "side", will never mean that you have a winning argument or idea. The facts of matters, what is most reasonable, logical, and moral wins out in the end. If any of us holds onto an idea that doesn't hold its weight when critiqued, we have no one to blame but ourselves, and what comes with that. Getting upset, putting down, or ganging up on the opposing "team" doesn't help your idea become any better for that reason. Consider, the frustration is to be had with oneself perhaps, for holding on to a bad idea as a good or great idea. Our preferences on all kinds of things in life never translate automatically into good ideas for us and others. This is what is wrong with our country currently.....many people voting the same way.....yikes.
haha, you two are killing me. Im glad you stopped making this your own personal chat room though before ATM got to you. He would have given you what for!
Nah. ATM has no use for replying to my posts. I haven't been upbraided by him since a month after I got here. But, DM might have had a post or two to respond to.
Nah. I was realistically done with this particular conversation.. It was fun while it lasted, but it was becoming a tennis match. I never enjoyed tennis much... I actually like you Emile ( well, I like everyone here in one form or another). You provide good conversation and debate and your hubs are interesting.
Funny, because I like you too. I agree with most of your posts. I think we are similar, somewhat in the middle; but our sympathies are at odds.
I can agree with that to a degree. Our sympathies aren't too far different from one another either. just where we place them at times...LOL
See? This is why I like HP. exchange of ideas. and philosophy.. outside of the occasional tennis match of arguing from perspective, everyone can ultimately reach some type of respectful common ground (more or less)
It's a clue because claiming God helped you make the perfect sandwich or saved you from tripping over a rock, but fails to help starving people from a painful death makes no sense at all.
Oooh, theology! At last!
It does, if you look at larger context.
Now, don't get me wrong, I think a lot of people are too quick to credit God with small things, but that's largely because they're slow to credit Him with big ones. Or they only credit Him with small things and debit him the big ones (your example of God helping someone making the perfect sandwich while allowing multitudes to starve.) This is one of the reasons I believe in free will, at least to an extent. People do often make their own choices. Now, the natural response here is to say, with some degree of anger, that a poor Somali stuck in the middle of Darfur has no real choice in a drought. And I agree that most of those people don't have much choice in terms of their physical surroundings because often going to a camp is preferable to staying in the starvation zone but is still not optimal. But they can make the choice of whether they commit themselves to God or not, and their eternal soul does depend on it. And so often what we tend to assume is that the other option would automatically be some kind of earthly paradise, but we don't know that. It might be something even worse than what they are enduring. We humans tend to simplify things in favor of the POV that we already have. I'm certainly not free from that bias. But it is a bias, because we often cannot see things that God can and because we are finite we never will.
Are you saying that those starving or critically ill babies all over the world only need to give themselves to God to get saved? The cancer wards have Christians well represented, but people open tell us the little things that God did for them. Does that make any sense? He does and can interfere and have conversations with us, but won't give a starving child a piece of bread.
This only made sense when we look at the individuals who make these claims as God only existing for them.
This statement reminds of a saying I've heard.. The bible says long ago God created man in his image and ever since then man has been trying to return the favor
Your argument goes back to my point about people simplifying things according to their bias. And that goes both ways, some people wanting to make everything an act of God, while others wanting to make out like nothing at all is an act of God. The fact is that the persons who are manning the camps or taking in the bread are also performing acts of God, sometimes directly because they feel called by God (directly or indirectly) to perform these acts. Sometimes they don't conceive of themselves as doing anything in the name of God, but it is God who gets the help to the people. Even that is really painting it simplistically, but I'm pointing out that there are not just two options. It isn't all or nothing, either God does every single thing to the point where humans are really off the hook regardless (a version of universalism that is certainly not supported by the Bible) or God being so removed that even if He did exist He would be powerless.
This is exactly what I've been saying, somehow people get what they need. There are those who's psyche needs a loving, guiding forgiving father figure and that's just what they get. They can go on doing stuff that God tells them is clearly against the rules because of the forgiving part. I just think it interesting that some think their God interacts and gives them things, but can't see the countless starving or ill people who really need him. Don't you?
There has to be a grey area, because God is different for everyone, that's the point.
Yes and no. It's true to an extent that God is "different for everyone" but that does not mean that God is not the same. I'm different for you than I am for getitrite than I am for JM than I am for Beth than I am for Mark and yet I'm still me.
Basically, you are still who you are, but everyone interprets your actions and words differently?
Partly. I also treat different people differently. You are not interested in having the same conversation (or lack thereof) as getitrite. And you and I don't relate the way I and Rad do. And whatever antagonism exists between me and ATM, there have been ups and downs in it that have never existed with getitrite. Situations are different and people act and react differently, and interpret differently, but the person who exists at the center of it is still the same person.
Boy the nasty things that Christians say. And why? Just because people ask questions and expect answers, they are lacking in the art of conversation? How dare getitrite ask questions and, then, actually expect answers.
Thanks again for reminding me of why I just can't possibly stoop to the juvenile level of believers.
DM is also not as predictable, humorless or flat out funny as you.
Should I be flattered or insulted?? Was that a compliment?
I'm very sorry, Chris, that you have lost every debate that you have ever had with me. It is rather sad that you have stooped to this level of bullying and trying to assassinate my character. And using outright lies to do so.
Just accept that you have no basis for your beliefs, and stop trying to debate with people who hold your feet to the fire for the truth, because it is clear that what you are asserting is not the truth, as you have not provided anything to satisfy the OP.
In other words, don't try to assassinate my character over being a sore loser Bro.
I don't know if he so much assassinated your character as he said your not funny.
But that could be considered an assassination of his character if he believes he is funny.
If this particular post was the only attack...yes that could be inferred, however, the most blatant attack was the first one I responded to, which is just outright bullying, by isolating me, then telling a lie about me to generate prejudice against me.
I'm sure God is very proud of his children.
Now if I had no sense of humor, I would not have laughed at that.
Having no sense of humor and not being funny are two different things..
Refresh my memory, which lie did I tell about you? If I actually lied about you I will apologize because I have never said something that I know to be untrue about you.
You have no idea what his sense of humour is like. For all we know he's laughing his head off all day long. I personally get a chuckle out of his comments from time to time.
He is laughing his head off all day.. I see it in more than 98% of his responses to believers on HP
You read more of them than I do. I really and truly am only dealing with the ones he's directed at me and a smattering of others. In all that time, he's never showed the slightest actual ability to see irony or other subtle humor. Maybe in real life he's a relaxed guy and a good conversationalist, and maybe in other conversations here on the forums he's actually pretty witty. He's just not that way with me.
And if I've said things about him that are not true although I truly believe them to be, and I'm wrong, and his feelings are hurt, then I'm sorry but maybe, just maybe, he now can empathize a little.
Character assassination, at least within HP forums, is obviously in the eye of the beholder. I did say he was funny, but I also said he was humorless. I wonder if he thinks some of the rough things he says about me amount to character assassination or if he simply thinks he's "telling it like it is."
I haven't lost any debate that I've ever had with you.
But really, if it makes you feel better, keep on believing that.
Maybe someday we can actually have a debate, or better still, a conversation. I would genuinely enjoy that. You seem like a pretty smart person. You just seem to suffer from what many on both your side and my side suffer from, a certain rigidity. That's why I have said (on more than one occasion) that you're so easy. Pushing your buttons is just too easy and, I say without the sheepishness that I probably should be feeling, too much fun. I don't even have to work hard at it. And that's sad, because I know from experience what you miss out on in life by being like that.
Like I said, if you ever want to actually talk, I would enjoy that.
This is a new side of you Chris? You must be aware that you're rather sensitive as well? I'm not used to seeing you attack another's character.
In other words even after you seen them, and smelt them and heard them and experienced the pain of what they did to you, if your friends told you that you were hallucinating you would have yourself checked?
So we have a red man and a rad man or am I hallucinating?
You are British, yes?
Oh, India... that makes sense.
Tell that to someone with schizophrenia. They hear, smell, talk and fell things that aren't there all the time.
And yet how quick are we to ascribe a serious mental disorder to someone based solely on our own bias, without any real understanding of them or their situation?
Hint, the forums are a great place to find that.
I didn't say any of you have schizophrenia. I'm merely pointing out the power of the mind.
No, but unless I've misread you, you have said that believers are delusional. It's one thing to say the mind is a powerful thing and another to claim that another person has lost touch with reality.
I've been told many many things here Chris, I don't take it personal.
Look at it this way, you believe there is a God, I do not, if you are right then I'm delusional, if I'm right, you are delusional. I believe I'm right, and if I believe I'm right I must believe you are delusional. I can back it up with psychology, science and a lack of evidence for a God. I don't blame you or think less of you as a result. Clearly evolution had a role to play in this, so perhaps I'm the unlucky guy who got himself isolated from the clan and eaten by a lion because I didn't believe.
What tells me that my God exist is my experience with Him. I can experience His presence and I can hear Him and I can speak to Him.
Since I have a personal walk with Him I know that there are no other gods other than HIM. We are not dumb fools who just look for random happenings and connect it to God. He specifically gives me things I ask for and sometimes reveals to clearly that I do not require somethings that I already possess.
You can prove that you have conversations with God to me by doing one very simple thing. The next time you're having a walk on the beach with God ask him the name of the street RAD MAN lived on in 1980. Post the answer here and if it's correct you will make a believer out of me. That simple.
Your understanding of how/why God speaks to us is so off target.
God is not a parlor trick. He's the Creator of the universe and He holds our destinies in His hand.
That is highly offensive, why do you say such mean things?
He just said he has conversations with God. I believe these conversations are only in his head, but if they are real conversations then why not ask God to supply some information to make a believer out of an Atheist? People ask God for stuff all the time and some claim he gives them stuff, while he allows children to die and starve to death. It's because it make no sense at all that I bring this up. Of course the answer is always... God doesn't work that way. It's always that way because the conversations are only in his/hers head.
I really do want to understand. Why do you come here everyday in an attempt to tear down another human beings faith? I just don't understand the draw. Surely it consumes you for the time you spend on it. You don't post on any other threads. Not one that I can see. What drives you?
Why do you see skepticism as "attempting to tear down another persons faith"? Faith cannot be diminished by simple questions. If it can, then its not very strong faith to begin with.
I didn't say you could tear down my faith. I said you attempt to.
What is it that you want, Beth? You want to have the freedom to be able to talk about your own personal beliefs, but you don't want people that disagree with you to be able to share their opinions about your beliefs? You want religious discussions to only exist between like minded believers, while no one else can participate? You think that religion gets a free pass to say whatever it wants whenever it wants to, without any opposition at all, because someone may be offended?
I'll say it again - if discussions were limited to topics that no one could possibly find offensive, no one would ever discuss anything. you were offended by the church of the flying spaghetti monster for goodness sake. What aren't you offended by?
It's not that JM, I just have a hard time understanding the motive. Excuse me, sometimes I think out loud. I can tell you if we discussed homosexuality, I would tread softly. The idea of hurting someone especially if we were talking about something precious or very personal to them, is kind of loathsome to me. It is just so hard for me to comprehend mocking and blasting as some do... but whatever. We're all different I spose.
There is such a big difference between mocking and asking difficult questions.
I hate it when I see atheists being rude and agressive, because it gives all atheists and agnostics a bad name. However that doesn't mean I think anyone should keep quiet when they see believers (of any faith) making statements which sound illogical or unsubstantiated.
HubPages is an open forum, so if I see someone making statements that don't make sense, I have every right to question them, and the poster has no right to object. Debating is a rigorous process and participants can't expect to be tiptoed around - a question is a question. Besides, asking difficult questions isn't "tearing down someone's faith" - if a question makes a believer feel uncomfortable, then they obviously haven't examined their faith enough in the first place.
Again, not saying that rudeness or aggression is excusable - it's not. Unfortunately there are fundamentalists who love to press atheists' buttons and get them riled in one thread - which, all too often, means they go and take it out on the next believer in another thread, even if he or she doesn't deserve it. It's human nature and I'm sure I've been guilty of it myself, but we really need to learn not to!
I've answer that question from you about 4 times. I actually don't spend much time here. I read a few posts and move on. At first I wanted to understand the psychology behind these delusion. Now that I understand it I want to confirm it.
Why would someone think the internal dialogue in ones head isn't in their head? So many claims, no one supplies evidence.
Let me know when you get evidence that supports your claim.
And if I don't provide what you're looking for... you will just keep asking on a daily basis?
It sounds to me like you are searching.
I'm also interested in seeing if you can see your delusions for what they are?
If you have not yet understood... I have no delusions. I can't help you see what you cannot. I wish there were something I could do.
But there is something you can do. Ask yourself why your God can't supply you with any knowledge that you don't have. This is an indication that he is you.
Absolutely. God should demand faith from people only after He has proven that you don't need to have faith. That makes perfect sense.
There is something to looking critically at faith. It prevents you from getting taken.
But you weren't advocating looking at it critically, you were advocating out of hand rejection. For some people the two may be synomymous but they really aren't.
I'm saying to look critically. My opinion is irrelevant to yours.
So maybe you can guess Rad Man's address from 1980.
And I'm looking at this critically, as I haven't concluded yet that you can or you can't. That will be decided after the final result.
You twist. I have a great amount of knowledge of God. I have all of the Bible, my own experience and so much testimony from a world of believers, past and present... it is you who says that is not enough for me to make a decision about God. No matter how much of this knowledge I share with you, you will always say it is not enough. It is enough for me. That is faith, that is conviction.
Sorry, but you have no more knowledge about God than anyone else who has read the Bible.
You have not shared any knowledge of God to me. I know it's enough to you, but nothing is not enough for me.
If literally every thing I have said to you concerning God equals zero then I cannot imagine that I will ever have anything to offer you that you will find valuable. I guess I should not try. Maybe someone else will.
What do you think of my perception of reality? Do you think I may have a point that there is no God?
Your reality is a reality that is the best fit for you at this point in your life
I do not. Ive told you I have no doubt in His existence.
Right, you reject my evidence as I reject yours. It doesn't only work one way.
My evidence are the stories of generations of ppl who have experienced God. Historical ppl who were recorded in the annals of kings. My evidence is personal experience. My evidence is science, astronomy, math, mankind and nature, the same evidence which you claim is a picture without a creator. Your argument seems to be, "Prove it." That is not evidence. That's badgering the witness, of which ATM does nothing but. I answer all your questions, but you don't acknowledge them. You don't even have to agree, you could just act as if you've heard me on some level. Instead the first thing you guys seem to be doing is stopping an actual conversation and deflecting.
I say "What motivates you to mock someones faith JM?"
Her response is always, "Why are you so sensitive?! It is silly to be sensitive!"
You say to me, "Prove there is a God, Beth."
I say, "I wrote a hub just to share with you a few of my experiences with God RM."
You respond, "When are you going to prove it?
I say .... oh forget it... Im not even gonna do my impression of ATM, but you get my point I hope. There seems to be a disconnect in these conversations.
there's a psychological principle at play here.
Psychology dictates that if you do something and one person refuses to listen to you, there may be something wrong with that person. If you do the same thing and NO ONE listens to you, it's likely that the disconnect is on your end - not everybody else that has the same reaction to you.
Why are you so eager to point the finger at all of us without examining the fact that it may be on your end.
I've told you repeatedly why I have these discussions. It's not to "mock" anyone or "remove their faith". Sure, sometimes I poke fun, but so do you. So does everyone else. It seems to me like the only time that you have a problem with it is when someone does it to YOUR religion, but not at all when christians do it in reverse. Don't you see that as a problem? You've called certain people names for genitalia. You've called them other names too, but you justify that because they were "mocking" your belief first - when realistically the large majority of us are only having a discussion. Do you think your behavior is christ-like or acceptable? The whole "turn the other cheek and pray for those who "persecute" you thing? Not that you're being persecuted. Your beliefs are being challenged, and when you put your beliefs out there in a public forum, you have to expect that it's going to be challenged.
So should I behave like Christ or is there no Christ?
Then maybe the world is a better place if I believe in Christ.
Maybe some of us are so foul that were it not for our belief in God, the rest of you would be soiled by our very presence. An interesting thought. So it seems "religion" has some good points then.
the "there is no morality" without god argument doesn't work. I'm an atheist. I don't believe in god, but I'm not out there murdering, raping or pillaging the neighborhood. I pay for my groceries, I don't steal them. It's your religion that teaches you that you're foul to begin with. They tell you that you're sick and then hand you the cure like snake oil to make you feel better about the horrible things that they taught you about yourself.
If you're going to be a "christian" I would expect you to act like the person that the religion is named after. You know the guy. The one who was perfect and powerful, yet allowed himself to be ridiculed by human beings and then supposedly died to save them. The one that valued humility and meekness above piety and judgment, although if what you say about him is true he was in a position to judge. The one that hung out with the outcasts of society and railed against the righteously religious. That guy.
I don't think I used that argument. You just now brought it up.
Maybe you know a lot of Pat Boone Christians... Im not one of them. I am flawed. I am a sinner. I have nothing good in me that didn't come from Christ. Without Him, I'd probably be calling all y'all some kind of foul name, but b/c I am a work in progress, I have good days and bad days. I'm pretty sure that makes me somewhat like you and most ppl. Good days... bad days. I'm human.
You have constantly misunderstood me concerning my curiosity concerning the motives of a lot of the folks who spend their days on here bashing ppl's faith, but that's ok. It's ok to be misunderstood sometimes. Im pretty sure no one on these "religious" threads are listening to each other anyway.
why are you projecting? "you constantly misunderstand me" "they want to bash people's faith" "they want to ridicule, taunt, etc". What about you? Do you not do the exact same thing to non-believers - oh, that's just because you're flawed and human, right? But we don't get that consideration when we occasionally get upset?
The only reason I ever bother is because I know there are a lot of people reading who never chime in. Be it for their entertainment, or edification, they read these forums. I do enjoy the interaction with folks on both sides of the issues as well, but have no illusion that among the contributors I will change anyone's mind, no matter what I say or provide. Besides, I've made some friends in here even though some aren't the ones you'd expect, and I appreciate that.
We aren't even instructed to reach out to atheists, as believing there is a god, (even if you don't yet know who the true God is), is the scriptural litmus test to determine if folks are even slightly receptive. I could provide verses, but they are ones that offend folks, so unless people really want them... Still though, since I frequently only have time to post short bits anyway, and it is with time I have available while doing or waiting for other things, I figure "why not?"
Maybe the cisco wholesale guy will get something out of the effort.
He looks strangely like Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory. It seems suspicious.
Religion will only advance your morality to the "don't do something because you might get caught level" and that's not very far. But if that's what you need the go for it. I don't need that to be good. Why are you here telling me what I need?
Im sorry, I thought we were having a conversation. Far be it from me to tell you what to do. You have a free will.
How is me talking about God the same as me telling you what to do?
So if I write a story and tell you about it cause Im excited about it, does that mean I'm telling you to go write a story too? You talk about my God constantly. You all start threads about Him over and over and over again. You name us by name asking us to discuss our beliefs at great lengths in great detail so we do then you tell us to quit pushing Him on you... total disconnect.
No, in this case it's you telling me to stop bashing God remember? I'm showing you it works both ways and I'm not bashing God because.... there is no God.
Hi Beth. I think the thing to remember is they are bashing their idea of what God would be. If your understanding of God is not theirs, they aren't bashing your God. Unfortunately, most atheists driven to post on this site are not interested in your idea because their idea is too loathsome to rise above.
This is a common argument for religion - that if we didn't have religion, we would be horrible people with no regard for our fellow man.
I find that a scary idea and certainly hope it isn't true. Speaking for myself, I'd feel guilty if I didn't do the right thing - not because of fear of God's retribution but because it would feel morally or ethically wrong - and that's enough to keep me on the straight and narrow. Am I unusual in that? I'd like to think most people had that sense of inner integrity but sometimes I do wonder.
There is only a disconnect if we don't agree with you. You just seem to want us to agree with you, but we don't.
Sorry, but that is not evidence, that is merely unsubstantiated talk.
No, that is not your evidence because you have shown to be incapable of understanding those topics and have only ever used scriptures or your own personal beliefs as support for your unsubstantiated talk.
No, that is not badgering, that is asking you to prove that your claims are more than just unsubstantiated talk, which is what we all do.
Not true at all, the focus is entirely on your answers, but if your answers are nonsense, then they are acknowledged as such.
ATM, just so you know. I don't even read your responses about 90% of the time. Maybe you can get me banned for that one.
It is a mystery as to why you're even here, you get upset at everything and everyone who doesn't agree with you, complaining and whining about being personally insulted when no one is saying anything about you personally.
It does not appear as if public forums are the place for you.
Except God does not jump through hoops for people. He may do it and He may not. You've read the Bible, you should know better than that.
Yes, and nowhere in the Bible does it talk about hoop jumping.
That's the same response I get when I confront someone who says they interact with God. Don't drink the cool aid.
I'm not following your logic. How is what I said the same as "don't drink the Kool Aid?"
Blind faith is what lead to people drinking the poisoned cool-aid. Blind faith is a lack of critical thinking.
So, and I want to be clear about this because sometimes I misunderstand and sometimes I just lose the thread of what we were talking about, are you accusing me of blind faith?
I think all believers are accused of having blind faith since there is no physical evidence of the existence of God and our source (other than our experiences) is a book written 2,000 years ago by people who had no access to the technology we have today.
Isn't faith in God in itself blind? Can you think of anything other than God that you/we have faith in without physical, measurable evidence of? Gravity, higgs particle, dark matter, dark energy, time?
Logical inference is not blind faith. To say people just have blind faith is a strawman argument. There are many things such as qualia that does not have measurable evidence.
a. The act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true.
b. The act of reasoning from factual knowledge or evidence.
The concept of God is not a logical inference. You see, one needs evidence or factual knowledge to reason. Your evidence can not be demonstrated. Your claims of having Gods inside knowledge have not yet been demonstrated.
Qualia is of course measurable and testable as we are having this conversation.
Good thing the world wasnt depending on you to ever invent anything or to understand algebra.
Does your religion teach you to insult and belittle people?
Just making a point that one can make logical inference despite the existence of unknowns.
Inference requires evidence of which you have none. You can pretend you do, but for others to believe you, you need to show your evidence. You claim to talk and ask God for things and you claim he delivers things you require, but when we ask you to ask him for simple information you tell me to ask him for information I already have. I'm not gullible enough to take your word for it, you'll have to supply evidence. Name the street I lived on in 1980 and you'll have my complete attention.
How much hope do I have that you will ever figure out, exactly?
Are you really asking me if I have proof of God or not? I mean, that satisfies my as to His existence?
No, I'm saying your faith is blind because of the lack of evidence.
Okay, except that you're wrong.
I don't really want to ignite that conversation again (except with JM) but the assumption that your inability to grab hold of my proof equates to my not having any is faulty.
I am going to respond to your email, Chris but there's a lot going on this week and have other considerations to make.
I want to make sure to express myself correctly and be respectful while still asking the questions that I want you to answer so I want to make sure that I don't just jump to a response without thinking it through carefully. I hope you understand.
All you have to do is show me the evidence. I'd much rather think there is an afterlife, but I also prefer reality.
I've gotta ask or this will eat me up.. Let's say that for giggles and grins Augustine were to actually have come back with the correct answer to what you are asking. If you're saying that this will make you a believer that he talks to God, would this also serve as evidence for you that God exists? I'm asking this question because if a correct answer convinces you that he talks to God, then that should serve as an acknowledgment of the existence, right?
Right. I've asked a specific question that even if he googled me, he wouldn't find that info.
Ok.. Just asked. Just gauging what would it take to prove the existence of God to some people.
It by itself wouldn't prove anything until looked at a little closer. For all I know the guy is a detective, but it would open my eyes to the possibility.
Ok. that was what I was asking. I asked if he was able to give you the answer wod it provide evidence that God exists since it would be an acceptance that he talks to God. so it opens up a possibility, but still not a certainty?
Yes we can
Yes He does.
The point is that evidences do exist but you just don't accept them. Some evidences you can see are changed lives and cured diseases. But those are only some effects that everybody can see. Then there are strong evidences that a believer can experience.
If I ever saw evidence, I would examine that evidence on it's own merit. I've met dozens of believers who claimed that god healed them - while ignoring the fact that they sought medical treatment and the medication is what led to them getting better - not god.
I've known atheists with terminal conditions who got better without any understandable reason - without ever praying a single prayer. I've known believers that have died horrible, lingering deaths where no amount of praying made any bit of difference at all.
Healing stories are world-wide. It doesn't matter what religion you attribute them to. Each person prays to the god that they believe in, and some get better and some don't. How do you account for that?
It's all too easy to be sick, and then claim that god healed you when you get better. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to take a complete stranger's word for it. Provide the evidence for your miracle. Saying it happened just isn't enough. That's not evidence. That's testimony - and that's completely subjective and unreliable.
Why would someone think the internal dialogue in ones head isn't in their head? So many claims, no one supplies evidence.
If you were to hear a voice in your head that gives you information that you would otherwise have NEVER known, and that information turns out to be true? And this happens on numerous occasions You should give "some" credit where credit is due. You may say to yourself, maybe this is what those crazy believers are calling God? or is it a source of knowledge which is outside of myself which I am unaware of? OR was I much more intelligent than I think I am? Is there a vast amount of knowledge within my own head that I am seldom able to tap into?
Maybe there is a great divide within our heads that separate us from untaped knowledge and abilities AND WE NEED TO BUILD A BRIDGE ?
Even if I were able to accomplish such a feat ? People are going to think I am crazy for listening to that which they can not hear. I think that If I were able to build such a bridge .. I will have gained enough knowledge to know that no one will believe me. So I should not rock their boat ... and just keep it to myself.
I say “let the pot call the fork black”.
Radman is going to tell you he guessed the winning lottery numbers twice.
You can tell me you have been given information that you could never known until the cows come home. Prove it. What was the name of my street in 1980.
Where is the question mark in that statement.
You can tell me you have been given information that you could never known until the cows come home.(?) ...... Did I say that (!)
I make a long post asking a number of questions and all you see is "if" that voice in peoples heads tell them information they would not have known otherwise, where did that information come from? You immediately make an accusation of "You can tell me "such and such" prove it!! Did you even see the question?
Prove it. What was the name of my street in 1980.
= - = -
Now that would be a magic trick wouldn't it.? And even if I could do magic, which I never claimed to be able; you still wouldn't believe anything that I said or anything that you "thought" I said. Cause that ain't the way the game is played.
When push comes to shove, the answer is always the same. Anyone can claim God gives them knowledge, but they have to prove it. Can you prove it? There's the question mark.
Did I say that he did? NO I didn't say "That"
You did say he gives you knowledge that you couldn't have had?
"If you were to hear a voice in your head that gives you information that you would otherwise have NEVER known, ..."
You read that post how many times to see if you were correct ???
Where in that sentence did I say that this happened to me?
Your brain thought that it already knew what you were about to read and assumed thai I said that this happened to me. You believed that I said that this happened to me when I didn't say that.
I then said "You might ask YOURSELF ..... (those questions ...}"
People do the same thing when they read many things especially prophesy , our presumptions over power our ability to read that which is actually written. It's OK ... everyone does it sometimes.
Why don't you just be honest next time. You implied something only to try to mess with someone.
But it matters not because the fact that some do hear voices and have discussion with something in their head is what we were discussing.
I truly didn't do that on purpose. and .. I wasn't focusing on that part about "me or you" hearing voices but about the posability of there being a hidden wealth of knowledge juuustt out side of our reach lying right there in our head.
BUT ... after .. I saw that you did misread what I wrote, I saw a perfect example to show how everyone misreads that which they are reading sometimes ... especially when it comes to prophesy of scripture. Our minds are already predisposed to see that which we are expecting to see cause we have been taught what it says when it isn't at all what is written.
There has been a whole lot of that going on for a long, long time.
Even in science one starts of with a belief or faith. That is inevitable. Before starting off with any scientific study one believes (without evidence) that something is there that can be found. For example all of the inventions that scientists have made.
The knowledge of God begins with faith. Later as we go we find evidence.
My question was simple and clear. You seem to have a ting towards complicating simple things.
If you were abducted by some alien into a ship and then were left back, and you don't have evidence for it, DID IT HAPPEN?
There are churches where the members do not take medicines or visit doctors. They are always healed through prayer. May be you just have not met such a group.
And again I am telling you healing is not all the evidences there is.
It does not make sense to you because you do not understand how God works, the mind of God and His nature. You know nothing about God. That is why this does not make sense to you.
why do you assume that atheists know nothing about god? Do you assume that we are all atheists from birth and that since we deny religious beliefs in our own lives we always have - and we've never taken the time to study what it is that we don't accept? That's a hugely arrogant assumption for you to make - and one that certainly is unfounded.
Perhaps you can enlighten me on why the God you worship would supply something small you pray for and leave starving ill children alone to die?
No one knows aliens do exist. But my question was this. ....IF..... you were really abducted by an alien (which would mean that when that happens you will know and have evidence that they do exist) and did some tests on you and sent you back. You don't have any evidence to show anyone that this happened. The question was DID THIS HAPPEN?
Either you are evading to answer this question because doing so will crash your logic. Or you just don't have the brains to understand such a simple question as this.
That was very simple indeed. At your request I did ask God that question. This is what He told me "Your job is not to prove Me to people. Your job is to just point people where evidence lies. If they need evidence, they need to ask Me."
how convenient. But as you wish.
god, whichever name you really go by and whichever religion you belong to - please give me the name of the street that Rad Man lived on in 1980. If you truly wish for everyone to come to know you and you're all-powerful, this should be an easy task - and you can make a self-admitted atheist question what it is that they believe. Oh, and can you also let me know what god you are, so I can examine any answer I get rationally - with the brain that your followers claim that you gave me? Thanks! Eagerly awaiting your reply.
How long is this supposed to take?
I know you know the bible. It could be awhile.
"John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."
if god only hears the prayers of believers, then how do you account for miracles for atheists (which theists are ready to take credit for) and how would anyone ever be saved? The man said that god told him (conveniently) to ask him ourselves. I was simply following his rules. Guess it was all pointless, then.
Off the top of my head... kidding. I lifted this off a site.
The people of Nineveh prayed that Nineveh might be spared (Jonah 3:5-10). God answered this prayer and did not destroy the city of Nineveh as He had threatened.
Hagar asked God to protect her son Ishmael (Genesis 21:14-19). God not only protected Ishmael, God blessed him exceedingly.
In 1 Kings 21:17-29, especially verses 27-29, Ahab fasts and mourns over Elijah's prophecy concerning his posterity. God responds by not bringing about the calamity in Ahab's time.
The Gentile woman from the Tyre and Sidon area prayed that Jesus would deliver her daughter from a demon (Mark 7:24-30). Jesus cast the demon out of the woman’s daughter.
Cornelius, the Roman centurion in Acts 10, had the apostle Peter sent to him in response to Cornelius being a righteous man. Acts 10:2 tells us that Cornelius “prayed to God regularly.”
God does make promises that are applicable to all (saved and unsaved alike) such as Jeremiah 29:13: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” This was the case for Cornelius in Acts 10:1-6. But there are many promises that, according to the context of the passages, are for Christians alone. Because Christians have received Jesus as the Savior, they are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace to find help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). We are told that when we ask for anything according to God's will, He hears and gives us what we ask for (1 John 5:14-15). There are many other promises for Christians concerning prayer (Matthew 21:22; John 14:13, 15:7). So, yes, there are instances in which God does not answer the prayers of an unbeliever. At the same time, in His grace and mercy, God can intervene in the lives of unbelievers in response to their prayers.
Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/unbeliever- … z2Q1XU7pv5
No offense, but why is God so obsessed with destroying whole cities? Do Christians just not see that there is something wrong with this? Seriously.
I would assume then that Christians would be vastly unrepresented in cancer wards? Wait no evidence there. All these claims of prayers being answered have left no statistical evidence. Here's a real eye opener, have a walk through the cancer FLOOR at a children's hospital. My cousin has a 7 year old son in one of those beds. I've done this and let me tell you you'll come out a different person.
The world is full of atrocities. I have seen my share. We process it differently I guess. I see them and think how much a lost and dying world needs God, you look at it and see the lack of God. It's similar. Both are the refusal to welcome Him into our world.
Regarding miracles, who prayed for them? Only atheists? That seems odd. As for being saved, anyone sincerely seeking God will be heard. Mocking and taunting God...not so much.
I hate to say it, but I suspect he too, was mocking God, although I do not believe it was his intent to do so.
Okay, I have an example in mind. One of my friends who is an atheist was in dire financial straights. They were waiting on a payment from their insurance company that was delayed. They didn't tell ANYONE what they were going to, because they didn't want any prayers on their behalf reaching any god. They instead waited, and within a week they received a completely different payment for something that got them through until the payment they were waiting for came through. When they told everyone their story, however, their family members who were believers pointed to god and said "see god provided for you" when no prayers were said at all.
I didn't mock god with my prayer. I asked genuinely for the proof that the poster said I should turn to god for. Of course, I failed to ask how augustine KNEW that god told him to ask him himself. It sounds like something the voice inside of all of our heads (ourselves) would say when faced with the opportunity to fail to provide the proof we said we could provide.
I will say, however, that I heard a voice in my head at the same question which was unmistakeably from the flying spaghetti monster who told me "how dare you ask for such trivial details from my noodly appendages. I have sauce to fling - go bother someone else". Now who can prove that the flying spaghetti monster DOESN'T exist. maybe that's who augustine was praying to, since they sound so incredibly similar in their responses.
I love the fact that they reply, as you said the same way a voice inside their heads would say when faced with the opportunity to fail. Looking from the outside is obvious, but little simulated God won't let them see it.
It's always the same,
God answers prayers and saves Christians. (no evidence supplied)
I talk with God all the time, he gives me information I couldn't have had.
Okay, prove it?
God doesn't work that way.
But look above you just told me he does.
I have to say I preferred the soul man dancing image. I made me want to just get up and dance to a little Jonny Clegg
When's the real you gonna show up?
There hasn't been a hepcat around since like 1950. I wasn't even born til the end of the following decade. It's not even possible for me to talk to you.
My mother in law used to say to me after my third plate of pasta "what's the matter you no like"
What neither of you realize is that the funniest man on earth is Jim Gaffigan.
WOW, and you're walking right into that one with your eyes open?? Your discernment must have been turned off
But I did ask, but found nothing because there is nothing there. You know you didn't tell the truth right? Some prophet.
Did your God just tell you to tell me to ask him what was the name of the street I lived on in 1980? I already have that answer. I was hoping you could impress me with the answer. You see that little voice in your head is in fact in your head. You are the believer with a supposed relationship with God, and he tell you to tell me to ask a question I already have the answer to?
The very fact that one is an atheist shows that one knows nothing about God. You may have studied the Bible you may have studied theology. But you have not know God on a personal level. If you had you would never have become an atheist. So you know nothing about GOD.
you have no basis for that claim. I know what I believed, and I know what I felt at the time. You cannot possibly claim to make that assertion unless YOU are god, and you were aware of my heart at the time.
This is a very bold judgment to make. How could you possibly know what is or was in another's heart? You have not walked in the shoes of another, therefore you cannot possibly judge someone else's struggles.. Looks like Matthew 7:1-8 missed you completely huh?
Sorry, but there isn't anything you know more about your God than anyone else who has access to the Bible. Claiming you "know God on a personal level" is a complete fabrication.
Probably you will never get a reply, because you do not believe in Him and your prayer is nothing but waste words.
No, you do not know what you believed. I need not be God to know this but I can tell you this as I know God. I know that that those who have a relationship with Jesus Christ can never become what you are.
that's just patently absurd. You have people like Frank Templeton who was a part of the ministry with Billy Gram - now an agnostic. You have Matt Dillihunty who was headed for seminary when he became an atheist. You have David Smalley who was active in his church until he studied the bible and became an atheist. You have Dan Barker who was an Evangelical Pastor who became an atheist. I think it makes you feel better to tell yourself that no one who was a "true" christian ever becomes an atheist, but it's just not true. You just discount anyone who is now an atheist as never "truly" saved because you're uncomfortable with the fact that a lot of people of faith lose it along the way and start disbelieving in what you want to be true. Your assertion does not make it true, and I'm genuinely sorry that you have such a skewed view of atheists as a result.
Just empty words, huh? I did EXACTLY what you told me that god told you to do, but of course your god isn't going to answer because I don't already believe in him? That's circular logic. So if god doesn't hear the prayers of people who don't believe in him, how is anyone ever saved? The ball falls back into your court. You believe in him - you get the name of the street. Now you're going to repeat what "god" told you, that we should ask him ourselves but when we do it's just empty words. You've set yourself up a handy "get out of jail free" card that gives you NO responsibility without having to provide any "proof" for your claims at all - which all boils down to the fact that you can't prove it. Just admit it and we can all move on.
Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
Oooh <claps hands> a parlor trick! Tell me what street I lived on in 1980. It would be impressive cause I can't remember what state I lived in in 1980.
Hey, I had a dream I met you the other night. I can't remember it yet though.
The monster under my bed, from childhood, must be real then, if I am to "logically" have any faith. And I don't mean blind faith.
He was. Thing of it is that once you get to be a certain age, monsters get reassigned to other children
n. pl. ig·loos
1. An Inuit or Eskimo dwelling, especially a dome-shaped winter dwelling built of blocks of packed snow.
2. A dome-shaped structure or building.
adjective \ˌä-prē-ˈȯr-ē, ˌa-; ˌā-(ˌ)prī-ˈȯr-ˌī, -ˌprē-ˈȯr-ē\
Definition of A PRIORI
a : deductive
b : relating to or derived by reasoning from self-evident propositions — compare a posteriori
c : presupposed by experience
a : being without examination or analysis : presumptive
b : formed or conceived beforehand
Are igloos contingent upon Eskimos ?
/kənˈtɪndʒənt/ Show Spelled [kuhn-tin-juhnt] Show IPA
dependent for existence, occurrence, character, etc.,
Well, maybe in origination, but surely not in continuation.
v. o·rig·i·nat·ed, o·rig·i·nat·ing, o·rig·i·nates
To bring into being; create: originated the practice of monthly reports.
To come into being; start
Barring any Eskimo Demolition Companies...
I wonder if Eskimos carry around blueprints or is the experience of building igloos just passed down from generation to generation.
1. The apprehension of an object, thought, or emotion through the senses or mind:
Unfortunately, igloo construction is down do to the economy.
n. pl. e·con·o·mies
a. Careful, thrifty management of resources, such as money, materials, or labor: learned to practice economy in making out the household budget.
b. An example or result of such management; a saving.
a. The system or range of economic activity in a country, region, or community: Effects of inflation were felt at every level of the economy.
b. A specific type of economic system: an industrial economy; a planned economy.
3. An orderly, functional arrangement of parts; an organized system: "the sense that there is a moral economy in the world, that good is rewarded and evil is punished" (George F. Will).
4. Efficient, sparing, or conservative use: wrote with an economy of language.
5. The least expensive class of accommodations, especially on an airplane.
6. Theology The method of God's government of and activity within the world.
If its a matter of construction materials, I could float them a loan of some water.
/ˈmætər/ Show Spelled [mat-er] Show IPA
the substance or substances of which any physical object consists or is composed:
You could float me a loan if you were so inclined. I accept pennies... just ask HP's.
1. (postpositive; often foll by to) having a disposition; tending
2. sloping or slanting
No problem. I keep my water for loan in lakes.
verb (used without object)
to spring clear of the ground or other support by a sudden muscular effort; leap:
1 /leɪk/ Show Spelled [leyk] Show IPA
a body of fresh or salt water of considerable size, surrounded by land.
You asking me to jump? That's an odd request for the internet.
Definition of REQUEST
: the act or an instance of asking for something
: something asked for <granted her request>
: the condition or fact of being requested <available on request>
: the state of being sought after : demand
I was being generous. I can float you a loan of some water because they are my liquid assets. Are you sure you can handle the interest? I would hate for you to get in over your head.
Definition of ASSURED
: characterized by certainty or security : guaranteed
I don't want to be a wet blanket but a person could drown in the bad puns floating around here.
All right, all right, but I figured you needed to see the definition because you clearly didn't understand the word you used.
IDK. I figure Phoenix is a woman over 70 and I still had to take a cold shower after that exchange.
Wow, that exchange got you going? I have to display my rock hard six pack to get my wife to give me a second look. Maybe I should just send her an email?
Funny, you saying rock hard six pack was probably more exciting than the pic would be for me. Im a word person. I think I need a therapist.
Beer doesn't stay in a Canadian's freezer long enough to freeze.
Surely you scrabble. I have yet to meet a canadian that doesn't scrabble... maybe that's why you are on this forum.
I'm a dyslexic buffoon. I can't spell s*^t, I had to look up the word buffoon. I sometimes play at the cottage, but I hate loosing to 10 year olds. I do enjoy poker.
lol. You were probably adopted by a kindly canadian couple... you were most likely born in CA. don't feel bad. You still have a rock hard six pack.
Well, about that six pack...
I do have a bunch of relatives in southern CA. We keep in touch with FB. I enjoy seeing them wearing a sweater with shorts.
You missed my point again. A "true" (for want of a better word) Christian is one who has experienced a personal relationship with God and have known Him. How can such a person then become an atheist? Let me illustrate this with an example. You know that gravity exists. You threw a stone up into the air and tested it out. After this will you ever change your mind and start doubting gravity? Then if you hear of someone who knew about gravity before, but now claims that gravity does not exist, what would you make of him? You will know for sure that he had not understood gravity properly in the first place. All the people you have mentioned have not known God personally.
This itself shows that you do not have the basics of Christian faith.
Exactly. That is the problem with those who ask for proof. Let me explain.
With the world...
You first get evidence then you believe
You first believe then you get evidence
Lots of people, as I offered evidence of, know that they're believers. They still become atheists. You can assert all you want that me and everyone like me were never "true" believers that had a relationship with Jesus all you want, but your assertions are wrong - and there's no way you can prove them. People walk away from or lose faith all the time. You would rather assume that they were never believers in the first place than deal with the fact that people walk away from your religion. That's on you - not on anyone else.
Why would you believe something to begin with without evidence? The world and reality does not work that way. That's like saying "i've heard of bigfoot, so I'm going to believe he exists because that's the only way he's going to show himself to me" instead of going out into the swamp/forest with a camera hoping to capture him on film so you CAN believe in him. It's backwards.
JM. You would know better than anyone about your relationship with God, but I wonder about it. Imagine if you could see God with your eyes and touch Him with your hands. You would have been in a relationship with Him. Walking with Him, talking with Him, following Him, trusting Him with your life and trusting Him with the world as a whole.
Then one day, you looked at Him and said, "You know? I can't see you anymore."
Either you had a relationship with Him and then convinced yourself you never did. Or you had one and then rejected Him.
For someone to love someone then deny their existence is a pretty big leap. If you did have a relationship with Him, there must have been some circumstance that caused you to lose heart. That's how it would be in any relationship. Most ppl don't fall out of love unless something goes wrong. Rejecting someone makes more sense to me cause once you love someone, it's pretty hard to go from that point to saying they don't exist. Anyway, like I said, you would know better than anyone.
as I recently posted in another forum, my experience was a long, hard process. I did not wake up one morning and realize that I was an atheist, nor did I just decide to not believe overnight. I fought with it. I struggled with it, and I stayed up for more sleepless, terrified nights than I can properly count. If you want to know more about what caused me to turn away from my faith - and my career path actually - i'd be happy to tell you, but I'm not sure that this is the right forum for it.
Yes, that's nice wishful thinking, but that has never happened to anyone, hence it is nothing more than ones imagination running amok.
Good morning ATM, you didn't follow my point either. JM says she was once in a relationship with God, so you'll have to take that up with her... as for the seeing Him part, that was just to make a point.
It's a slow painful process. It starts with just a tiny bit of doubt and honesty that leads to many sleepless nights. You begin to realize that this relationship you think your in is with someone you can't touch or smell or hear. This love you feel for him is actually for yourself. This love you feel you get is from you. You wake up one morning and realize that person next to you is not there and never was, but you are finally whole.
I know this is a point of contention for you and want to be respectful, but also ask that you hear me out. You state that you had a relationship with Jesus, like many do, yet claim He was/is not God and in fact wrote a hub espousing it is likely Jesus never existed at all. You also believe nobody, including you, has ever had evidence to support a god existing. You can't have it both ways. At best, you can say you thought you had a relationship with Jesus but were mistaken, and therefore project that onto all others who make that claim saying they too, must be mistaken. You cannot say you had a relationship with Jesus and then say He never existed.
I have this same issue with all the folks who do not understand what being born again is all about, and claim to be saved without it. Many people follow Christ's teachings to varying degrees, and call themselves Christians. Jesus made it clear you must be born again to be saved, and that is an event you don't wonder about. Either it has happened, or it has not. I spent a great many years fancying myself "saved" and a Christian, also discounting the "born again" part. When it finally did happen, when I finally understood, my life changed instantly. My perspective and understanding changed, and all the studying I had done previously started to fit together and make sense. In any case, there is no way I can deny it happened or ever go back to not believing or not being sure. I can't replay these events for you or anyone else so this is my proof, and it is unquestionable for me. I could never become an atheist now, nor do I believe anyone having been born again could.
I don't know how else to say this. When I was a Christian, I believed I was a Christian. I prayed, I worshipped, I ministered, I laughed I cried. I believed what I was taught and what I read. I believed that god was talking to me, but I was wrong. Everything I experienced had alternate explanations, down to the feeling of the "holy spirit" to laying hands on people to special revelation. I had someone telling me what I was experiencing and I believed them with all my heart, until I actually made efforts to be a better Christian and study it for myself.
As I said before, it wad a long and difficult road for me, and I agonized over it. Sometimes its still hard. That doesn't mean I was never truly saved. Maybe I wasn't, according to you, but I was in my heart and nobody is in a position to judge that. Saying I was never "saved" is just an easy way out of an uncomfortable reality. Believers are uncomfortable with the fact that atheism is growing, and church attendance is falling. Again, whatever helps you sleep at night.
I am sure you can see how confusing it is to have you say on one hand that nobody can tell you that you weren't truly saved while on the other hand you seem to work tirelessly to say nobody,(and that would include you), has ever been truly saved because there is nothing to be saved from. You have stated many times you don't even believe in sin.
As for the growing apostasy and delusion, including atheism, that was totally expected considering Jesus himself eluded to how few genuine believers there would be at this time. Although I do wish it were different, far from being a discouragement, as a sign of the times it is a further validation and encouragement.
I don't see what's confusing. I'm hardly the only atheist who was once a Christian. What annoys me is simply being dismissed and belittled by a believer asserting that I'm an atheist because I was never a true Christian at all. Christians do it to each other all the time, and its solely for their own self righteous indignation, nothing more.
Accept it, or not. She has a point. By denying understanding, you basically call her experience a lie. I don't think there is a person on this site who isn't aware that you believe your experience to have been a lie; but it doesn't logically follow that your experience negates hers or anyone else's.
Doesn't it work both ways. Both sides thinking the others side is in denial?
Definitely. However, it's a have your cake and eat it too stand by JM. It's actually humorous. First we had Christians saying other Christians weren't true Christians. Now we have an atheist saying they aren't because she lost faith so therefore all faith is a lie. As an agnostic, I'm almost prone to say none of you are Christians. Just for the fun of it.
It appears to me that people are telling her that she was not a Christian because any real Christian could not become an Atheist? Are you agreeing with those who say she couldn't have been a real Christian?
I have never been saved. To be honest, I gag when I deal with these people in person. I don't believe it, but my disbelief does not mean it didn't happen. People lose faith. I get that. And, I can understand how it happens. But my understanding does not mean that bberean hasn't had an experience that would make loss of faith impossible.
My point is that from bberean's perspective, if true, is true and makes JM's a lie. But, JM's can't necessarily make bberean's lie. Because JM is insisting that her experience must be accepted as universal truth for all. Bberean appears to be saying hers was unique, and if others had the exact same experience they would feel the same.
JM can't possibly know what bberean has experienced, but proceeds to call it a lie. Bberean is simply saying that had JM had a similar experience she would understand. And if she doesn't understand, she must not have had the same experience.
Whoa, nowhere ever did I call bberean's experience (or anyone else's) experience a lie. I was speaking solely about my own.
No. You don't state "You are a liar" to anyone. But, that is the gist of your testimony. Which is your right. But, is it right?
You were taught that the spirit could move within you. You had experiences which led you to believe the spirit moved within you, correct? You read, you thought, you learned and you came to the conclusion that the spirit does not exist? You are here to impart that knowledge. Correct?
The atheist stand is, in and of itself, a belief that believers delude themselves. They lie to themselves.
Correct me where I'm wrong, please. Because I don't believe my experiences which have led to any conclusions on the question of God can definitely answer the question. I don't believe I can look inside others and quantify their experiences. I just don't get the atheist surety. How can you reach a level of conviction enough to state, as you have in these forums, that since you decided your conclusions are wrong on the subject, those within the faith structure you were raised in must also be wrong? Across the board?
We have two people telling their experiences. You claim to be indifferent yet your words don't reflect that.
I disagree. One of us is wrong, or not articulating well. My only point is that JM appears to be saying my experience is your experience. Bberean appears to be saying my experience was not yours.
Have you ever done anything and had someone insist they had done the same? No matter how much detail you were willing to give? And their details didn't match yours, but they continued to insist they had done the same? And called you self righteous when you simply stated that the experiences were not completely similar?
He is telling her her experience of being a Christian was a lie because she changed her mind. So he is calling her a liar. He is saying she couldn't have experienced what he and MILLIONS of others have if she changed her mind. She is not saying he's not a Christian, don't you see?
I don't know if one of you is trying to articulate this, but one thing to remember is that two people could share the same occurrences, but have different experiences with the occurrence. On the one hand, you have someone whose experiences in life and with what they believe and understand led them to be a believer then with further prayer and study cemented that belief. On the other hand, you have another person whose experiences also led them to be a believer, but with study and prayer changed their view from belief to a lack thereof. The important thing is that although we unconsciously do it (me included), we are in no position to judge others experiences to be false because we are not that person and do not know their whole story.
Yes, and no. We sometimes are in a position to judge others experience as being false. He you ever been a witness to a direct lie? I'm not say either person here is lying, I'm saying one is calling the other a liar, but without that witness of the direct lie.
Like what's his name telling everyone that God responds to his wishes, but can't supply evidence. And further states that his reach to far to save the starving and ill children. One of two things are happening here, he's either lying or he is completely delusional. I think the later.
haha, that's cute... one person is calling the other person a musical instrument. at least its a biblical instrument.
But there is a difference between being a liar, being delusional, and having a possible misinterpretation of how things work.
Of course, I wouldn't consider a deluded person who thinks they are telling the truth a liar. A liar is someone who knows the truth but tell you something else.
Fair enough, But unless I misunderstood some of your posts, it could be concluded that sometimes you have presented scientific evidence as proof that God does not exist because the evidence gives a more logical explanation of a specific occurrence.. Then again the scientific information you have provided could have been used to contradict what some would offer as proof of God. maybe there was a difference I missed (I do that sometimes).
So If I'm right and you have been using some things to disprove the existence of God, then it could be reasoned that for a some believers who are still asserting the same things that they would in fact be lying and not merely delusional
Agreed.I also think a problem is that we tend to overthink things. A limited experience is just that. But, people build entire philosophies, or accept them, due to one experience. Feeling 'The holy spirit' doesn't validate any teachings of any religion, in and of itself. Just as not feeling it doesn't invalidate them.
Maybe there was more to the conversation than I saw. I didn't notice bberean insisting all who align with Christianity are all the same. Or, that anyone wasn't Christian. Just that his experience was unique enough to forever allay doubt. For him.
His only claim that started my posts was that the experiences between himself and JM were not similar. While JM appeared to be arguing that her experience was indicative of anyone claiming a relationship with Christ.
The fact that you don't realize how confused you are is confusing.
Sorry, but no one has had personal relationships with gods, you nor anyone else.
Sorry, but we all can experience gravity, hence your illustration is pointless.
That is exactly how crackpots and cranks operate with pseudoscience. It is false.
I'm somewhat familiar with Templeton's story and when he started having doubts he enrolled in Princeton Theological Seminary, one of the most liberal and doubt-riddled seminaries in the country even back in the 1950's. But at the end of his life he talked about missing a relationship with Jesus, even though he couldn't bring himself to believe in Him.
That was not a judgement at all. It is simple logic. If you knew God atleast a little bit, you would know that he exists. By knowing about God I do not meant reading in the scripture and hearing from someone. I meant knowing him personally. For eg. I know many things about Michael Jackson. But personally I do not know him. In fact without knowing him personally, if I say anything about him from what I have read or heard about him then I am being judgmental. By this logic it is you are being judgmental about God.
Well because I ask Him.
Clearly you are not answering my question.
are you claiming then that none of the starving, hungry and tortured children around the world who are dying by the hundreds have NEVER asked god for help or to save them ? That's absurd.
If your logic was sound, then no christian would ever be in a hospital, and we know that isn't true.
We know from research like the Templeton prayer study that prayer has no discernible affect when compared to people who were NOT prayed for. In fact, it's possible that knowing that you're being prayed for makes complications worse.
I see all you have to do is ask. Well ask him the name of my street in 1980.
I would question my sanity. Wouldn't you? That was my answer.
God's way is that you need to believe in Him first and then He will provide you ask for. But you want it your way. You want evidence first. It does not work that way.
If you believe you have a personal relationship, I guess that is good. But you can't judge others because their conclusions aren't yours. If God exists, the same evidence is used to embrace, or deny, His existence. If He exists, all evidence is a part of Him. So, it isn't really saying He doesn't exist as much as it is defining the nature of His existence differently.
Most of your argument is difficult to believe and comes across as wishful thinking wrapped in a fair amount of ego. I think we have ample evidence that this type of understanding of the nature of existence isn't real. So, I am going to pose a question. Could it be argued that your particular brand of faith is more a denial of God's existence than most of the understandings which belong to those debating you here?
can you think of anything else in your entire time on earth that you believe BEFORE you have evidence of it?
It is very easy to judge anyone who claims to have a personal relationship with God is, and call him a lier. That does not help anyone.
So you're saying that if God has not chosen to make himself known to me personally, then I can never see the evidence you speak of?
It doesn't make sense to me that if I pretend to believe (which is all I can do, considering all I'm being told is that I should believe), then God will provide the evidence?
I can't fall in love with someone just because I'm told I should be in love with them. I can't believe in a God just because you tell me I should. So how does it work?
Claiming to have a relationship with gods is a blatant lie and only serves to cause conflict.
I agree. The personal walk of the believer is difficult to describe sometimes and cannot be replicated by another. Have you ever read JI Packer's "Knowing God?"
Why do you alway act dumb? Obviously no one would tell you to ask God to show you something you already know. I was talking about evidence of God and I thought you understand that much.
You do not know God personally and yet you have judged He does not exist.
Note: I am assuming here that you are an atheist. If your not one, then the "being judgmental" part of my post does not apply to you. Just ignore it.
Deepes is a christian, and now your assertions are being made about people that believe in your god as well as people that don't. This is a prime example of the point I've been trying to make. Just because you assert something doesn't necessarily mean that you're right and your assertions are true.
Thanks for demonstrating my point with evidence and proving it nicely :-)
Your assumptions are as wrong as your statements.
You have assumed incorrectly. I am not an atheist.
Being indoctrinated and having a relationship are two completely different things.
And could someone *please tell RM the name of his freaking street in 1980!
You are most certainly correct. You can't have a relationship with a non existent identity. That's what I'm trying to tell you. You're having a relationship with yourself, plus it would be kind of creepy thinking someone is watching you all the time. Creepy.
Or at least that's what you think, but you're incorrect... oops, here we are back at a standstill.
Don't you see Beth, this guy claims to have a personal relationship with a God. He claims he can ask and get anything, but can't get a simple street name. Why? Because the information he is using is in his own head. He can fool himself, but not me. Don't let me make a fool out of you ether.
Lots of people, as I offered evidence of, know that they're believers. They still become atheists. You can assert all you want that me and everyone like me were never "true" believers that had a relationship with Jesus all you want, but your assertions are wrong - and there's no way you can prove them. People walk away from or lose faith all the time. You would rather assume that they were never believers in the first place than deal with the fact that people walk away from your religion.
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These are the key words. away from "religion". I would guess there are a very small percentage of those people who purposfully walk away from religion that yjat do not still believe in their God on a personal basis.
And many times their Faith in a higher power is stronger. Kinda like If I were to go to a dating service. And I were to meet the woman of my dreams, fall in love. It is possible to loose faith in the dating service while maintaining my love for the woman of my dreams. I can loose faith in that dating service, but I can't say that it didn't work for me. Church is kinda like that for me.
It is like this. The problem is not with the way God is, but the problem is they way you are. If you sincerely want to know God all you need to do is to ask Him to show Himself to you. But the problem with you is that you believe that He does not exist. Therefore you cannot ask Him with a sincere heart.
that's the problem. You think that because I'm an atheist, I believe that god does not exist. That's not true. I do not "believe" that god does not exist, I do not have a belief in god because no evidence SHOWS that he exists. I have a lack of a belief.
On this note, I do appreciate you and the others clarifying some things regarding atheism with me. I used to think that it was a black and white thing. Either you believed there is a God or you didn't. I was so used to dealing with atheists that simply declared that there is no God at all. I never met an atheist that simply stated they do not have enough evidence and would love to get proof.
Thanks JM, Rad, Getit, ATM, And others
Well I don't understand this. Could you explain?
Well what kind of evidence?
Could you make the question a bit more clear. I really can't make out what you are asking here.
We all have eyes to see. We all view reality and think "That's interesting. How did that happen?" And then follow a course of discovery. Making conclusions along the way.
Most of our evidence that arguments such as yours are wishful thinking is because you can't back up your statements. We simply are expected to accept them. Anytime anyone of this type has attempted to prove anything, they are shown to be a farce.
So, if God exists, and your expressed beliefs always result in lies; you couldn't know God. Knowledge is truth, yes?
My assertions are right as I have used simple logic which you don't seem to understand. If you know a friend personally how can you later on say that, that person does not exist?
And there is no way you can prove I am wrong.
The fact people walk away from my religion does not mean anything as there are lots of people walking into my religion as well.
That is the problem, with your way of thinking. Everyone believes first and sets out to work. When anyone sets out on a research to invent something, first believes that he is going to find something. Belief is his motivating power.
Here arises another problem. You believe that this world is all the reality there is. In fact there is much more to reality than meets the eye.
Let me ask you something. If you already believe that a big foot does not exist, why bother to go out looking for him with a camera? Also is it not just a belief that the big foot does not exist?
Are you sure that they asked Jesus? Have they accepted Jesus as their savior? You need to come under His domain and then He will give you what you ask for, otherwise He can't. For example the president of United States is a powerful man and can do many things if you the people. But can he do anything for people of another country? No, because it is out of his domain and someone else is in charge over there.
No that is not so. There are reasons why Christians are in hospitals. All does end with one becoming a Christian. No one said Christian life is a bed of roses. Once a person becomes a Christian there are lot many changes that has to happen in his life. There are rules that become applicable. When violations happen then there are also punishments as well.
Such studies make no sense at all. The results of such research can also not be trusted. Were those research done by hardcore Christian believers? If so the result would have been different. I do not trust such researches.
This rather demonstrates the fact that you do not read the posts properly before commenting. I have mentioned in it that I am assuming that He was an atheist. I have also mentioned that if he is not an atheist my response does not apply to him. Please read the post properly before accusing anyone.
It is beliefs such as yours that give belief a bad name. If God can do, and does do for some; denying help to others in more need...what good is he? He can't even rise to the level of the good samaritan Jesus used as an example?
This statement undermines and contradicts all of the instances in the bible where Jesus helped and healed people who did not specifically ask for his help nor believed that he was the savior of mankind.. The idea that God will only help those who come under his domain basically contradicts the idea of God being a God full of Grace and mercy for all people.
Please look at the news. Our country has been sending help to other countries for years between food, money, and even military assistance.. Just ask Iraq, Kuwait, Africa, Well pretty much most countries around the world.
If I'm understanding you correctly, this statement is saying that Christians that are in the hospital are there because they are being punished for something. Is that what you are saying? Please clarify this statement
So the only studies and researches you trust are those that are only done by Hardcore Christian believers? How do you define hardcore?
I think the accusation came in because you responded to me while working under an incorrect assumption (which I didn't take offense to, by the way) instead of asking to make sure your response was truly warranted as written. But no worries.. we all do it or have done it sometimes (even me).
I disagree with some of the points that you have made here. these statements, in my opinion, reveal a strong bias towards non-Christians that ultimately leads to a more judgmental stance that may rub some people the wrong way and reflects negatively on a majority of people who consider themselves Christians. As it has been pointed out before, it is difficult to judge another person's walk or to say who was or was not ever a believer if you have not had that person's experiences.
Prove it! God answers your prayers, but you don't pray for anything useful? How Christian of you.
So are you saying that an all powerful being is powerless to help us unless we acquire a certain mindset? That doesn't sound like an all powerful loving being to me. It does, however, sound like some made up nonsense.