For the people out there who do not believe in God and you are entitled to your opinions but I am looking for answers from people who actually do believe in God.
For those who do believe, if we get people who write anti-God stuff, let's not respond to it and just focus on supporting each other.
Probably when A Troubled Man said there was no God. That didn't clinch it for me; but it made me realize there might be something to belief.
I've gone through different experiences and challenges that bonly when i said let me trust God i saw a difference
I first knew that I believed in God when I was five. I kept having the same dream about God over and over again and it comforted me.
About the same for me. Somewhere as a small child, around 5 or 6. It was comforting, my parents said it was so (and parents never lie) and all my friends knew it, too.
Around 10 or so I grew out of it just as I did Santa - most kids come to understand that their make believe friends aren't real and the God gambit is no different.
I don't recall ever not knowing that God was real.
I had credible sources that I observed and learned from.
That would be my parents.
Then when I went to the altar and received Christ as my Savior, that confidence that I had always had in my parents' wisdom and faith was confirmed as I felt the Holy Spirit come into my heart and life.
It's a legacy in a way. While no one can have faith FOR you, nor choose for you, their steadfastness and proven relationship with the Lord can be a powerful confirmation of the written word of God as well as the Holy Spirit.
its only when one cames to the end of trusting His ability and wisdom that one can begin a journey of seeking God
I know God exists like I know the sun exists. He is very real to me.
Funny how all of us can see the sun but we can't see your God. Is He playing hide and seek?
Prove that I have not seen God.
You have no idea what I've seen, smelled, heard and felt. God manifests to people in many different ways. I've been lucky. But I think most people just refuse to see God. It can be frightening.
Describe Him. His appearance, smell, texture and color of "skin", pitch of voice, etc.
Do it, in a blind study, with 99 other people making the same claim. If the descriptions match within reasonable limits you have proved your point that you have seen Him; if not the statement is probably a lie. Probably, but not certainly - the other 99 people may be lying and you could be the only person on earth that has actually seen Him.
I'm pretty sure everyone sees God in a different way. I've only seen God once, in feminine aspect, black hair like smoke, small, frail, black eyes.
Smell is a spicy, flowery or rosy smell. Like cinnamon and roses.
I've felt electrical feelings, physical euphoria, spontanious mudras, things I can't explain because they aren't totally physical.
Heard a male voice several times, inside and outside of my heard.
This is a problem. Most, if not all, of the time when people look at the same thing (or nothing at all) and report such radically different images we write it off to imagination, hallucination, insanity or something similar (including, of course, an outright lie). When you add such things as telepathy (hearing things inside your head) the same reaction is even more pronounced.
How did you test the truth of these "hallucinations"? What did you do to verify it was the creator of the universe, to rule out other possibilities? Can you repeat the experience on demand or especially show it to anyone else? Did a camera or sound recorder show anything? Did you take samples of the air for analysis (smell) or detect electrical anomalies with instrumentation?
Beyond trying to prove the phenomena as God to others, what did you do to verify it for yourself? To be perfectly honest, this sounds like more of the same 'ol, same 'ol. Christianity has carefully defined their God in such a away as to make it impossible to verify; your description and comments follow that same line.
Said it many times, I don't need to prove anything. My experiences are real, they're mine. You can worry about proof all you want. You won't get it. There's a reason for that. It has to do with faith.
Sorry, I didn't make myself very clear.
I am interested in your thought process, how you get from an experience to your conclusion. The question, then, is what you did to "prove" the vision to yourself? Seeing a vision, what makes you conclude it was God?
If all you have is faith, a belief because you like the conclusion, that's fine. It means that I'm not particularly interested as I try to be as objective as possible in my own beliefs and conclusions and question everything, but if it's what you want then there is nothing wrong with making such a call.
Unless, of course, you are also one of the Westboro idiots, a radical muslim or some other group attempting to force those conclusions on others. You're not, or at least don't seem to be from these forums, so making conclusions based on faith and desire is perfectly fine for you.
It's hard to explain. When it happens, you just "know" it's God. Through intuition.
Occasionally I wonder if I'm actually crazy, and I take antipshychotics to function in life. That feeling quickly passes for me though, when I remember such things as how perfectly the solar system is created, with the Earth and Moon fitting perfectly into a squared circle. I have notebooks of what is evidence TO ME, stuff I've either figured out or gleaned from other sources. I know this is not "evidence" in the true sense of the world. I am intelligent, with reasonable reasoning capabilities. I can understand how I look loony. It's ok, I've been dealing with that for years now, I just have to live with it, and that I am different.
The opening poster experiences something she attributes to a deity. You think it is unlikely that experience is attributable to a deity. If her goal is to persuade you and everyone else that a deity exists, then not being able to offer objectively verifiable evidence is indeed a "problem"; But if that's not the goal, then in what way is her experience and what she believes about it, a problem?
But my post was not directed to the OP, it was directed to a prior post from Janesix.
It is a problem only to the searcher looking for truth, not to Jane. Jane's experiences are not such that be considered evidence at all, and she later goes on to state that. Her experiences are evidence ONLY to her, are 100% subjective and with no rationale for believing them to be true. Her pre-existing faith tells her they are true, but that is unavailable to anyone else and they will deny the truth of her conclusions as a result.
Even then I don't think it's a problem. If according to the theory of knowledge they subscribe to, only beliefs supported by objectively verifiable evidence can be considered truth, then Jane's experiences don't meet that criteria plain and simple.
I think the problem occurs only when Jane thinks her beliefs can be accepted as the truth by others on the grounds of her experience, or when the 'searcher' decides Jane isn't entitled to believe what she believes on the grounds that they have not experienced what she has, or attribute her experiences to something else.
That's when conflict arises, which may cause a problem. Otherwise it's no more than a difference of opinion.
Some people do not think a person is entitled to personal beliefs. They refute a person's personal experiences and call the person a liar and that makes those people just as bad as religious zealots trying to convert people.
Lol, no one is stopping your from holding irrational beliefs.
But, it's nice to see you admit religious zealots are bad.
Actually, I don't find that to be true. Those "some people" seem to take exception to the believer expressing those beliefs as truth and knowledge, with an implicit message that others should accept them that way, too.
We are all entitled to beliefs, just not to lie about them and claim them as truth without ever even trying to prove their validity.
Why should they take exception? Someone may say their beliefs are true because they genuinely believe it. So it's up to the 'searcher looking for truth' to decide whether they accept something as true based on whatever criteria they adopt for evaluating knowledge? If they don't except it they are entitled not to believe it.
First, understand than any opinion given as fact, without basis in reality, is a lie. The person is intentionally presenting that opinion as fact; a presentation that they know very well is false. Whether the opinion is, in fact, reality is immaterial; it is the presentation as reality without even trying to verify it that makes it a lie.
Most people do not appreciate people wandering around, shouting lies on the street corners. Most of us have some level of concern about our neighbors and loved ones; sucking them into a lie is not appreciated.
Beyond that, though, are the lies that believers produce as inescapable truth and then demand that everyone else accept them as truth to be followed under threat of jail. It is here that it really becomes obnoxious.
Deliberately presenting something as reality without verification may be a 'lie' according to your evidentialist theory of knowledge, but some people also subscribe to another theory of knowledge, namely divine revelation. You don't accept that theory, which is fine, but they are as entitled to accept divine revelation as a theory of knowledge, as you are to reject it.
For those people 'knowledge' is based on criteria other than objectively verifiable evidence. Just because that doesn't meet your criteria for knowledge, that doesn't mean it doesn't meet theirs, and it doesn't mean you can call them a liar. The most you can say is that you do not accept what they believe is knowledge, because it doesn't meet the criteria for knowledge you subscribe to.
As for believing something on threat of going to jail. The same can be said for those who are required not to believe in something on threat of going to jail.
I fully understand what you're saying, that believers use a different "method" of gaining "knowledge". I just don't swallow the results OR the implication that their "knowledge" is anything of the sort even to them.
Believers know very well the difference between opinion, belief and knowledge; they just don't choose to recognize that difference when it comes to religious beliefs. They know quite well that there are alternative possibilities for the source of their "knowledge" but choose a source that satisfies them.
I have, in fact, been saying for a long time that this very thing is one of the biggest reasons that believers and non-believers have such a difficult time communicating on the subject of religion. Both sides know quite well that the word "know" means a different thing to their listener, but proceed as if it didn't.
I think you've hit the nail on the head there. Someone saying they 'know' how god wants them to be, is not the same as someone saying they 'know' water boils at 100c. One is based on the assumption that knowledge can be gained through divine revelation, the other on the assumption that knowledge is gained through empirical evidence. These two are not mutually exclusive. Someone can accept either or both of these sources of knowledge. The problem, as you say, is when one person is referring to knowledge based on divine revelation, while another is referring to knowledge based on empirical evidence. It gets even worse when people try to use one to prove/disprove something based on the other. This doesn't usually work because knowledge based on divine revelation is meaningless to anyone who doesn't accept the idea of divine revelation, and empirical evidence related to fundamental metaphysical questions (e.g. god exists) is meaningless to anyone who doesn't accept that empirical evidence can address such questions.
"just not to lie about them and claim them as truth".....so you are judging someone's beliefs and calling them a liar. A person does not have to prove their beliefs are true. It is their personal belief; keep your nose out of their beliefs. What's it to you? Question: Is wilderness and A Troubled Man the same person?
No, it is only when they offer blatant lies.
That's because they can't.
The degradation and division of society and mankind.
Anyone that presents an opinion or a feeling as inescapable truth and reality is lying. Whether the tale is true or not, the simple presentation as real without any effort to verify it makes it a lie. And yes, we all judge opinions, at least when it is perceived as opinion and not an honest effort to present fact. Even when it is an honest effort to describe reality we still question and judge it, just under different standards.
If a believer doesn't want other noses in their beliefs, keep it out of the face of the non-believer. Shove it in the face of a non-believer and they have every right (and duty sometimes) to judge what is being shoved in their face.
Answer: no, Wilderness and ATM are not the same person. They don't know each other and have not even interacted very much on these forums.
"opinion given as fact, without basis in reality, is a lie"....fact and opinion are two different things and what is seen as a fact is debatable too. A person can believe in God even if they do not have the 'facts' behind it and that does not make them a liar. Just because you don't believe doesn't mean something does not exist. Proof to one person is not proof to another. Some people don't believe proof even when it is shoved in their faces. What it comes down to is a person is allowed to believe in God if they want to; you are not the dictator of the world. A believer can talk about their beliefs just like non-believers are allowed to talk about their lack of belief. Discussing beliefs on a public forum is not shoving anything into a non-believer's face. I was asking for the opinions of believers. It was your choice to visit this Forum. Nobody twisted your arm. Nobody made you participate. It sounds like you are trying to silence people from expressing their beliefs just because you don't agree. It ain't gonna happen.
What is seen as fact is indeed debatable; that is what most religious debates are about. Truth must be discerned and can be agreed upon, but only when both sides offer fact and truth rather than opinion.
Proof to one is indeed not proof to the other; the question is why not? Usually because opinion is being offered as fact. When only fact is offered it can be checked and tested, opinion and belief cannot - the obvious answer is to offer only fact, testable and repeatable, as proof. Leave the belief and opinion at home and proof isn't so hard to find.
No - I would not try to forbid anyone from expressing belief OR opinion. Just don't proclaim it as fact or truth when you do. There are gullible people everywhere, including impressionable children, that will believe nearly anything if presented properly.
You're falling into your own trap. There is a big difference between truth and fact. Truth is individual and subjective and fact is rationally irrefutable.
The distinction is why you can't be charged with perjury for giving you account of a crime even if it isn't factual. Because you are still telling the truth.
I'm sorry, Melissa, truth is NEVER subjective any more than fact is.
What a person perceives as truth may be wrong but that does not make a mistake or mis-perception the truth. Your court example; if two people speak the truth as they see it, and those recollections vary, only one can be truth. Truth and fact are one and the same.
Truth becomes a lie (as opposed to mistake or error) only when it is intentionally misleading. Giving opinion or belief as truth or fact, in full knowledge that it is nothing more than belief, makes it a lie even when it turns out to be factual because that belief is intentionally being presented as something it is not.
A lie, then, is a matter of ethics, not reality. True or not, factual or not, when an intentional attempt is made to mislead it becomes a lie.
*disclaimer* And all of this is from the dictionary of Wilderness. It is opinion and personal definition, not necessarily truth or fact as perceived by others.
You are correct... sort of. I'm not making myself well understood... let's try this one.
I love my husband. That is the truth. It is not, however, a fact.
It can't be proven. There is no way to test it or verify it. But it is indeed the truth and I would be ripe pissed if someone told me it wasn't.
To me, truth has always applied more to non-tangible things. Facts are tangible by their nature. Am I making any sense?
Hmm. Sort of. Semantics again raises its ugly head.
Because we could prove you loved your husband - a DNA test will do that. Of course, that's not the "love" you refer to.
I used "true", or "truth" in the logical sense, where any fact is true and any falsehood is not.
Still, I do understand what you are saying. I just disagree. A fact needs not be provable; most of the "facts" we know are not absolutes but merely of very high probability. That a feeling is there (God's existence) can be very true even if the subject of that feeling is false and therefore not "truth".
All semantics, and what makes communication so difficult.
Institutions are filled with folks who claim to experience deities.
If by 'institutions' you mean mental health hospitals, such places also contain people who do not believe in a deity. Also, the staff of those institutions consist of people with a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. So people who believe in the existence of a deity will undoubtedly also be part of the staff. What does any of that demonstrate?
It's obvious, isn't it? A belief in gods is very different than claiming to see and talk with gods.
I think you'll find that many christians do not simply believe in god, but profess to have a relationship with god. As I understand it such a 'relationship' is a fundamental part for many denominations of christianity and for other religions. They may not all be about visions etc. but that relationship includes 'talking' to god (commonly called prayer), 'listening' to god (sometimes called contemplation) and 'experiencing' god in a variety of other ways (feeling loved, feeling forgiven etc). So yes, if a doctor in a mental health hospital is a christian, or jewish or islamic etc, chances are s/he is talking, listening and potentially 'experiencing' what s/he believes to be a deity in various ways. Again, what does that demonstrate?
That's interesting how you see God. Thank your for sharing The biblical God I see is male. Some people don't like the bible because man was created before females and God and Jesus are males and Moses was male. There were incredibly strong females too in the bible.
I am reading the bible and the ten commandments make sense to me. I've seen so much cruelty in the world. I grew up with around some people who had no moral compass and wanted to live life by their own cruel rules. We had no bible. I dreamed of God and never even heard of a bible. Life was hellish, full of misery. As a child I remember being in such pain and even Church people let me down because when I got older, there was this church group. I was getting beat up and the Minister just watched and didn't help me. He just gave me a sad smile so I knew that God wasn't Church. Too many people in Church were cruel (not all of them). I read about Jesus and was comforted. He helped the children. He said that children would be the greatest in heaven.
Ever since I was a child, I believed in God, but never knew who He was until about a year ago. Undieing, unfailing, unconditional perfect love.
This poor woman is trying so hard just to have a conversation with other believers and for some reason there are a few antagonists who refuse to leave her alone.
Can you imagine if she was disabled and she asked ppl to talk about being confined to a wheelchair, and several able-bodied ppl told her that she didn't face any challenges that every one else didn't face?
Or if she asked ppl to share memories of their bar/bat mitzvah and a bunch of gentiles ganged up on her, telling her she was a fool and the time she spent studying was wasted?
What if she was a young black woman and asked ppl to share their experiences growing up as a minority and a group of whites mocked her and told her she was a liar and her sob story was exaggerated?
This is nothing but discrimination by those who have not shared similar experiences as those with faith. If a thread is started asking ppl to debate faith vs. atheism, fine, but when a thread is started by someone with the desire to discuss a topic close to their heart, with like minded ppl, it's prejudice to allow assailants to harass and mock without even a word of rebuke.
I didn't think you had Emile.
Wilderness, "allowed" is not the term I'm looking for. Respect is. There are things that ppl know from being raised with manners that should and should not be done. Not that I am one to teach on manners, believe me, I like a sharp tongued joke more than any one I know, but not at the expense of a gentle heart. "Should" is more the point I'm trying to make. "Should" I say such a thing to someone whose life experience is different than mine? "Should" I say something hurtful, just because I am physically able, or does that make me a bully?
Saying religion should possibly not be a subject for this forum, is not only censorship, it's ludicrous. For one, they have an entire heading sectioned off exactly for this topic. So unless you are in the position to make those kinds of changes here at HP's, the point is moot.
Having the right doesn't make something the right thing to do. But, even behavior considered rude won't be considered rude across the board. Wilderness has a point. If you are going to post in a public forum you have to accept that anyone with a desire to do so will post. You can't censor them. If you don't let your emotions overshadow your reason, we can all learn something. Even if it is only something about one another.
Discussion is awesome. What ATM does is not discussion, it's mockery. If you want me to cut and paste the constant purple dragon comments, I will.
Again, if a different minority were posting, ppl would think the criticism was made by those who had not yet reached full maturity, but b/c it is a matter of faith, the antagonists have full reign. It's not right and what's happening to this one person of faith, trying so hard to discuss a topic close to her heart with others, is grossly uncalled for.
Forgive them, for they know not what they do
Going down the route of name calling makes you just as bad as ATM.
Christ never called anyone a pig.
Matt 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
When you try to prove God, your belief and faith to these determined unbelievers. You open a gate for them to bash our Father making YOU guilty when you should of known better just to ignor them in the fisrt place. It is not name calling. They are spiritual swine that have cold hearts therefor will not know what love is capible of. So the next time you decide to debate with an atheist about God's existance, remember that you are just as guilty for allowing them the chance to say what their hearts desire to say.
Christ wasn't calling anyone a pig. It was a metaphor.
Allowing them to say what they want? Everyone has the right to thier opinion, even athiests.
The metaphor was intended for the gentiles who did not believe in the God of Abraham, yet Christ even called the Pharisees who had a right to their opinion hypocrites and vipers. Don"t give me dirrection as to what words I must use and not use. I am not under your authority friend.
I will say whatever I please, thanks. If you don't like it, you know where the door is.
You are no better than the athiests who bully the believers it appears.
Spiritual swine? Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? That is hateful, even with all of the tap dancing you've done in an attempt to justify the comment.
Nothing hateful about it. I do not hate the athiest. With that said, Athiests have no bussiness coming on Christian posts attacking our God and beliefs. I encourage all Christians to avoid debating God with athiests. It is a waste of time.
I am not offended by anything you say about us or our God. All you are to me when you come on these posts are a distraction. I have athiest friends and the never behave with me as the athiests do with Christians on these forums. those athiest friends of mine leave me to believe what I believe and therefor are NOT spiritual swine.
I'm not an atheist. Nor do I think I have corresponded with you at any juncture in a less than courteous manner. I have nothing against Christians, except when they embarrass themselves by posting comments whose sole purpose is to insult and antagonize. Holier than thou BS is, first and foremost, BS.
It is the stereotype that Christians hound the aethiests and nag them to believe but it seems aethiests do the same thing in reverse. Why do they care what Christians believe anyway? I wouldn't hound someone on a Santa or Leprechaun site. Why bother.
So what is the problem? I wasn't talking about you, I was talking about ATM, and I meant what I said. I do not hate him. I have asked him nicely to feel welcome not to leave a comment on my posts, but being the person he is, insists on bashing my God and my belief. He doesn't have the decency nor respect to leave well alone, and most of you encourage him to continue his bashing. Having to defend my actions to Christians just makes him laugh even more. Stop casting pearls before him.
So, you wonder why anyone would comment when you were directing insults at someone else? Why do you use my post to respond to, to hurl your insults? I'm afraid it doesn't matter whether you were referring to ATM or the man in the moon. You do understand that they are still insults? Or, are atheists so far beneath you that they are not to be afforded the same courtesy as the rest of us?
You know, by referring to your comments as pearls; you show your ego. To refer to your comments as casting pearls; you showcase that you are not interested in dialogue, but want to talk at us. By referring to anyone as swine; you show that you don't show respect..so therefore aren't in a position to request respect. Is any of this getting through?
Not a problem em, I,m outa here. have fun defending your belief among the heathen.
Using one fantasy to compare another fantasy is perfectly acceptable. Lots of folks use them here.
The maturity level is shown by those who toss out personal insults.
Yes, it is right, sorry you disagree.
It almost seems that the forum is an excuse for them to hit someone with their beliefs or unbelief's. I could give a dam about a thread written by an atheist about Christian faith or any religion for that matter, so why do they insist in interfering with our beliefs and thoughts? It's almost pathetic.
I don't look at this as an "us against them", I look at this as right and wrong. We know it's wrong to harass someone just b/c they have a different belief system than we do. We have heard MLK jr speak, we have read our history books, we are in a place in time where there is no excuse for mocking someone for their faith, or b/c they are in a minority.
Beth, cyberbullying is for the weak minded.
No one is being harassed, please stop lying.
No, you have not read history books, that is obvious by so many of your posts.
Sorry, but mocking a religion has nothing to do with minorities, that is entirely false.
Sorry, you're off track. The OP asked for the beginnings of faith, and I respected that and answered the question. That I went on to mention the loss of faith...well...it's as I also said later - if all you want is a particular answer then go someplace where that is all you'll get instead of a public forum.
Personally I don't post in these forums to have my words repeated back at me. I don't post to ask someone to reinforce my beliefs with platitudes of their own. I expect dissenting views and welcome them. If all you want is reinforcement, a tape recorder works wonders; you can hear the same thing 100 times without one scrap of opposition.
Well that was a condescending comment, but ok. I don't think I asked why *you specifically came to these forums or what *you expected out of them... that's a distraction tactic. *My point was that her right to post a topic about faith without being mocked should be an assumed right in respectable circles.
I didn't think your post was rudest thing I'd ever read, not by far. I just think when a group of people who believe the opposite of the op begin posting, it can become kind of overwhelming and hurtful to be the recipient of those remarks. Maybe you can handle a plethora of disparaging remarks, but maybe some ppl would leave the forum never to return. That's called bullying. Maybe we should be careful about such treatment.
But, Beth, I didn't mock her. It takes a very silly comment to be mocked by me and sandcastle didn't do that. I didn't even mock the comment that sandcastle knows God exists the same as the sun, as silly and ridiculous as that comment is.
Same thing, though - if you don't want to see dissenting views, (not talking about mocking here) take it to a private forum where they won't happen. Ask for comments in private, where you know the people that are allowed to comment and where ONLY those folks can post.
To go public and ask for comments, but only comments that you want to hear, is never going to work out too well. I know - I've received my share of disparaging comments and didn't like it. Nevertheless, it is a part of posting in public forums; if you can't stand to see comments that you disagree with it might be best that they leave public forums and stick to private ones.
Bullying - yeah, a few people around here constantly denigrate and "bully" others in their beliefs. That, too, is a part of being on a public forum as distasteful as it might be. We either learn to live with it or leave.
Wow, the hypocrisy is massive. You personally and continuously insult others but are bleating "bullying" from others who do nothing more than stay on topic.
You personally insult others all the time. Are you saying you don't? Do you want a long list of insults you've posted here?
The believer doth protest too much.
You try and censor others, yourself, and yes, that is ludicrous.
It has been my experience that if you want a feel-good group with everyone patting each other on the back and reinforcing specific beliefs, a public forum is probably not the best place to post.
Maybe form a FB group, where anyone that doesn't agree with you is not allowed to post at all. Or G+ community - somewhere that the voices of dissension or differing views are not allowed. If it's about religion maybe a private home, a church or mosque. Not a public street corner like a forum.
That is a blatant lie, these are public forums. If someone wants to have a private conversation, they can do so offline.
That is utterly ridiculous and not even remotely similar.
No, it is not prejudice, please stop lying.
Good points Beth. Some people think being cynical is best. Doubting Thomas wanted proof. He didn't take things at face value and Jesus didn't put him down for that. But atleast Thomas believed when he saw Jesus after he rose again. Some people still wouldn't believe.
Ok, so maybe just to drag this train back on the tracks...
Sand castles... I remember when I was around 3 years old, I had learned in church that God never sleeps or slumbers. So when I prayed that night, I remember telling God, that I knew He didn't sleep, but I told Him He should rest a bit... just lay down. lol
I felt very close to Him at that moment and Ive never forgotten it. I don't really remember a time not believing in Him.
I was brought up to believe that God was real from a very young age. However, when I reached the age of 10, I began to question many of the things that I'd been taught. By the time that I reached 18, I was pretty certain that God and religion essentially just existed inside people's minds. Nothing has happened to change my opinion in any major way since then and I am now 47.
I always believed in God, we were brought up catholic, not that it matters but old skool parents right, being catholic then was believing in God.
As for my self I never questioned God I would always pray, when i needed an answer to something God would always supply my answer, either by a bang or whatever way he knows the person he is dealing with knows best. A song on the radio, feathers.
Actually he is doing something for me now, well its completely his work his finished.
I never once doubted that God can do anything. It amazes me that people believe Jesus rose the dead (so do I)only way to be saved is through Jesus, the truth. However no one seems to believe in Gods wrath, so if he can raise people from the dead he can move a city with one finger.
I have a friend that is saved well a few, and this one girl told me the other day that she didnt even realize about punishment or Sodom and Gomorrah, or what God did to those that disobeyed. She would just read the good parts in the bible I guess.
I said to her, I told you long ago, God works both ways, but she just dismissed it. Why is it so many do not want to believe in his wrath. I love it and if your saved then there is no need to worry about his wrath.
So with that said, I have always believed in God for as long as I can remember
I think the idea that there is a God can be pretty scary for many people. People can't understand endlesslessness of space but it exists. Outer space is mind boggling in itself. A black hole is hard to comprehend. The fact that there are all these planets spinning around and stars; where did they come from? Where did matter come from to begin with? It just is? And how can space be endless like a bottomless pit? How come there is no other life than we know of? Earth just happens to be in the right position, the only planet with substantial amounts of water (3/4 water). No water, no life as we know it. Why is everything so beautiful and why does it work the way it does? How come we heal when we cut ourselves. Scientists can not explain how our bodies heal, only that they heal. There is so much that we don't understand. And the spiritual realm; does it exist? Do demons exist? I've had experiences with demonic forces. I lived in a house that was owned by Satanists. We found a room with a hexagon and weird pictures. That house was scary. Maybe as an Asperger person I was more sensitive to the vibes. I was literally pinned to my bed by an invisible force on several occassions. My step father starting acting like they guy from Amityville Horror. His eyes were wild. I remember starting to read the bible again, a little one. On the bus, I hid it and read bits with my head down because I didn't want anyone to know what I was reading. I didn't want to be labeled Jesus freak-you know, I was a teenager. That's a good way to get teased bad, bring bible onto the bus and start singing hymns. So I'm reading this little New Testament bible and a stranger suddenly approaches me and says, "So your reading the bible eh? Why are you doing that?" There's no way they could have seen what I was reading. There are forces we don't understand out there.
You should refer to yourself when making a claim of not understanding the world around you because others do understand.
They've never been shown to exist and are only found in myths and superstitions.
It's funny when you believers make stuff up, which sounds exactly like a movie script.
Sure, there is, you just didn't notice. There are no forces shown to exist that scientists are not aware. Sorry.
I struggle actually with this. I just feel it, experiential and phenomenological evidences I can't supply any.
The feelings are real and I know there is that "God".
When someone who doesn't believe in God keeps arguing with someone who does believe in God and tells them that their beliefs are nonsense, that is a form of hounding. The forum asked for people who do believe in God to comment. The forum didn't seek out answers from people who do not believe in God. Those who do not believe in God (some) are seeking out the forum to criticize. That is hounding.
actually, since this is an open forum on an open site, anyone with something to say who abides the hubpages' terms of conduct and forum rules are more than free to comment on anything they so choose. You cannot pick and choose who comments on what, and you do not get the final say in who's allowed to participate. If that's what you're looking for, then maybe you should seek out an only-christian website where others are banned, deleted, censored or not allowed to post at all. :-) It is not hounding to present a difference of opinion. Believers comment on atheist forum topics all the time - it's called freedom of speech.
Additionally, didn't you state that if anyone posts anti-god stuff you should just not respond and ignore it? That was you, right?
No, it isn't. You are not being victimized.
No, it is criticism.
Hounding: Harass or persecute (someone) relentlessly.
You are not being persecuted, so don't lie about it.
I am not responding to anyone one person directly. I was wrong; people should be able to say what they want on an open forum. After reading these comments I certainly don't want to be a control freak who won't let others express themselves. So people can say what they like and so can I.
thank you. I have no problem with dissenting opinions, and 'm not an atheist who is prone to say that people are delusional out of turn. I do enjoy discussing those beliefs and having intelligent conversations about them, but not because i just like to make fun of people. It's about sharing ideas, opinions, etc. I don't understand why a lot of religious people think that religion or beliefs should somehow be immune to criticism or opposing points of view - nothing else is.
I don't even like religion because I wasn't allowed to question anything. That is a horrible way to exist. I just don't like people calling my beliefs nonsense or calling me a liar when I share my experiences. To say, "I think you are lying" is preferable to calling me a liar because who made them God? How do they know what I lived? I'm not good at debating but it is mind expanding. It is something I have to work on. I've had pretty terrible church experiences because I asked why. I didn't understand why Jesus had to die on the cross. Why such a horrible death? Why did animals need to be sacrificed; why all the blood? I like the commandments, proverbs, and the many parts of the bible about living a good life (especially the teachings of Jesus). I believe in God but there is so much I don't understand. I did feel squelched at Church because I asked questions. I didn't like the angry looks and the peer pressure to simply accept. I would ask a question and the minister would say, "We'll cross the road when we come to it" instead of giving me a direct answer. But I don't need that minister to know God.
you sound like me when i first began my journey to atheism. Our experiences sound similar - at least partially. I was raised incredibly strictly in a southern baptist, missionary home. Questions were not encouraged, and I was basically told to just shut up and have faith. After returning home from the mission field with my parents, I was on my way to a christian college and began my education in theology and biblical literature. As I continued to read the bible, I realized that there were things in there that weren't really taught in church - things that I couldn't understand. Things that I couldn't agree with. So I started studying the bible more in depth in order to figure out where it came from. As it turns out, a lot of things that are taught as "fact" in churches are anything but - and some things are downright lies. As I began to read the bible in the original languages (and even as an atheist, I still read it today in order to expand my knowledge) I realized that I just couldn't accept it as the infallible word of god anymore. The god described within it was nothing like the god I was taught about. He was cruel, vindictive, jealous, angry, bloodthirsty and more. In other words, he sounded like a human on a bad day. Then I started to study the evidence for Jesus - or rather the lack thereof. I started studying the early church and their practices, and the more I learned, the more I realized that it went against everything I was taught to believe. Eventually (and rather recently, considering the time I spent as a believer) I came out as an atheist. It was a long journey, but a worthwhile one - at least for me.
Thank you for sharing your experiences. It was interesting to read. God does come across as vindictive when he is not obeyed; he punished people big time. He flooded the entire world sparing only Noah and his family. It is scary to think that someone like this is in charge right? Follow me or I'll smite you. Thankfully I do believe in his teachings. The ten commandments make sense to me and I have a lawfulness likes rules. Just because God is vengeful does not mean that he does not exist. In the bible, in my opinion, God kept trying to get his chosen people to do what he wanted and most kept disobeying him. They worshipped Baal and threw their kids into the fire (as a sacrifice to Baal). I also think Satan exists. According to the Jewish belief, Satan isn't evil but is simply a guy doing his job (tempting us to sin). Christian belief says Satan is evil and isn't working for God but against him. I personally belief that the devil is evil; he wants us to fall. He doesn't care what we do as long as we don't do what God wants. I think Satan hates the world, the animals, and all people.
To many God seems like a dictator but that doesn't mean he isn't real. If a person has a overbearing boss they can't simply close their eyes and decide that the boss does not exist. They can choose to get another job though.
I think for many the choice between God and Satan is a rock and a hard place and many decide not to choose at all. They don't want God or the devil and his fire pit. I can see how it would be frightening to think that there are only two choices.
In the bible (I think it is in Jeremiah) God says false prophets preach the lovey dovey stuff but God makes it clear that those who do not follow him will be punished. God makes it clear that he is wrathful. It is his way or the highway to hell.
For me, I don't have a problem with a bossy God because what he stands for makes sense to me. I don't want humans in charge. Look what they do. At least God has the power to back up his words unlike humans who want all the power without the qualifications.
We need rules. I don't like all the suffering in the world. What if everybody followed the ten commandments? Wouldn't the world be a better place? Look at all the heart ache when people cheat. Look what lust does to the world. What if people guarded their thoughts. What if people recognized it when they began to covet and before they spread gossip due to envy they stopped themselves. How many lives have been ruined because of slander?
I want a bossy God to end the suffering. I would like a bossy God to stop the world's suffering. I don't want a nice God who says, "To each his own". People only like that mindset when their rights are not being violated. What about the Boston bombing? Do we treat those two gently even though their bombs lead to the death of an 8 year old child and blew off people's legs? Would someone who truly followed the ten commandments have set off those bombs? The bible talks about not lying in wait and spilling innocent blood.
The slipperly slope world scares me. Some people even argue that there is no right or wrong. Some people even say that a serial killer is just exercising his right to make his own choices making him a superman, someone who determines his own destiny. I see how philosophy can be crazy making to the point where people can not even say when something is wrong anymore.
I know that people can choose to follow the ten commandments without following God. But without a universal set of wrongs and rights, everybody is free to hurt whom they please if they feel like it. Without law, a person could murder somebody and get away with because there would be no law against murder. *Yes people get away with murder via loop holes. But what if there was no law at all? There would be no protection at all. The people who don't like laws usually change their minds when someone steps on their toes. They are going to the police, the courts, the lawyers. Of course people need to be discerning. Some laws are wrong. People need to have the freedom to question. Abraham questioned God. He argued with him regarding the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and God listened to Abraham. At least you can talk to him. You can reason with him. Try reasoning with a psycho boss.
But, God has provided a universal set of so-called 'wrongs and rights' which have failed miserably. That's why we as humans create our own set of morals and ethics that works much better.
Exactly, but the flaw in the argument is that the vast majority of people will not intentionally harm others in any way, it is only a very small minority of folks that cause the vast majority of criminal and violent acts. Most people are sickened even with the thought of violence, let alone carrying out the act.
@JMcFarland; It seems to me that the following is the basic core of your entire post above ..... "As I began to read the bible in the original languages I realized that I just couldn't accept it as the infallible word of god anymore".
"The god described within it was nothing like the god I was taught about. . In other words, he sounded like a human on a bad day. I started studying the early church and their practices, and the more I learned, the more I realized that it went against everything I was taught to believe".
= - = - = -
ME … There are many who still believe in the God of Abraham and Jesus as the Messiah, who would agree with the basic core of your statement. Church can be a good thing and a bad thing !!
If I believed the Church only teaches the infallible word of God? I would soon be worshiping the church.
I think that the bible and the church can give us direction … but we should NOT take a nap in the back seat, lazily awaiting the arrival of the destination?
You are literally one step away from becoming a non-believer.
I believe in God but I don't believe everything that has ever been written about him. Especially when there are so many denominations each having different "Interpretations" of the same verses.
Interpretations acheive a life of their own after they have been preached for any number of centuries.
At this point the interpretations we have come to trust overpower our minds when we read the scriptures themselves to the point that we do not see the words which are actually written.
It is kinda like .... I know that Elvis Presly did exist ... but I don't believe everything everyone in every one of his fan club's says about him.
Yes, so you selectively decide what you want to believe.
Not to worry, Christianity does not have a monopoly on hypocrisy and contradiction, other religions have it in abundance, too.
Making them worthless.
But, we can understand the truth about Elvis because he wasn't an invisible super being, he was human.
Your arguementive shills have reached an all time high with this post. Hands down you have won the debate, You have convinced me of these facts
Everyone decide what they want to believe
Yes hypocracy can be found across the globe among every nationality and race. No one has a monopoly cause everyone on the face of the earth has a portion of it.
Yes private interpretations are somewhat worthless to humanity as a whole.
Yes, you can believe everything everyone has to says about Elvis if you decided to?
Except, you must not say personal things about others. Anything else pretty much goes.
It is strange to me that I can say * I *, although did not make myself, my stomach or my brain. Something else made my body. It was formed by nature, evolution, chance and apparently random acts of sex throughout time.
Yet * I * am in this body and * I * operate it.
Furthermore, my consciousness is invisible.
No one can see it; only the evidence of it.
(My keyboarding is evidence of my invisible consciousness.)
Some people say that God doesn't exist because you can't see him or hear him or physically touch him. Who cares if you can do any of those things? You also can't see love or hear it or physically touch it. But you know it is real because you "feel it" emotionally, not physically. So if you can believe in love, why not in God?
I have always believed in God, but through experiences, I have come to "know" that He exists. As I get older, my belief becomes stronger because of what I see in the world around me. When I look at the universe, theories and random explanations make less sense than believing in a creator. Some people are confused because of Biblical translations. The Hebrew word for "Create" also means to "Organize". While it may be hard to believe that God performed some sort of magic and created our universe out of nothing (which I don't believe), it is very logical to see the evolution of the earth as guided and directed by a supreme overseer who is much smarter than we have become. It is certainly more logical to me that somebody made the universe happen than that it was just a bizarre series of coincidences. So how do you explain dinosaurs and the existence of an earth that contains materials billions of years old? To me it seems logical. To organize means to pull things together into a structured format. To take what is already in existence and organize it into a workable universe means that there is no conflict between science and the bible; there are just scientific facts that haven't yet been matched up to religious understanding. I believe that when science and religion are both fully understood, they will be one and the same.
Lol, sorry but love is an emotion which is "physically" tied to our human bodies. Gods are myths.
Argument from ignorance.
Argument from incredulity.
It's called evolution.
There are no structured formats.
Lol, no they are completely on opposite sides of the spectrum, the bible is myth and superstition while science is facts and evidence. Sorry, that you don't understand that.
That is baloney.
That would only be stated by one who has no clue what entails science.
So if love is a human emotion and you can feel it, what makes feeling God's love any different? What makes loving God any different?
To those who don't believe, if you are wrong, I am sorry for you. If you are right, I haven't lost anything. If death is a big black hole, at least I went there happily. If death is the great judgment day, you've got a lot to worry about.
Sorry but I think that optimism is better than pessimism. I have personally spoken to God and had prayers answered. You don't believe it? Your problem. Nothing you say will change my mind. God is as real to me as the people standing next to me. The only thing that could change my mind is waking up and finding out there is nothing after death. But if there is nothing after death, I won't be waking up to find out, will I? I respect your right to have your own view. But I do find it dismal and depressing.
that's the pascal's wager fallacy. I'm sorry to tell you, but it's been debunked.
"It's been debunked"; that's a good passive sentence that doesn't mean anything. Some people have criticized the pascal theory; so? I believe in God too so "na na nana na'. A person doesn't have to wait until everyone agrees with them before they have an opinion or believe something, "Do I like the colour blue, hmmm, let's see, I'd better check and see what everyone else likes first. Oh, somebody doesn't like blue, I better think this out again".
No one is going to stop you from having, embracing and sharing a ridiculous and childish opinion.
And you wine when someone calls you a name.
You mean like you did when you called us all swine?
We are not swine, no matter how much you really, really, really want to believe that. The fact that we are far more intelligent, logical and rationale than you must really, really, really, annoy you such that you would resort to that name calling.
Your problem is you take it literally, I meant it as an anology. But, what ever.
I agree; many do wine. Some people can't take what they dish. They cry personal insult while simulataneously attacking others with personal insults. It is hypocrisy really.
okay, I was trying to be brief (and assumed that you would research the rebuttals if you were curious), but if you insist:
The Wager and it's Arguments
For those unfamiliar with the principle, Pascal’s wager is one of the fundamental, go-to arguments used by Christians in conversations with non-believers. Simply put Pascal’s wager states:
There are two possibilities. Either a god exists, or a god does not exist. If there’s a 50% chance that god does exist, it is more beneficial to believe in him to avoid the possibility of going to hell. In other words, you’d better believe in (insert theist’s god of choice) or else you’ll be sorry.
Even more simply, if a non-believer claims that they do not believe in a god, the theist often asks “what if you’re wrong?” This is especially valid when dealing with pre-suppositional apologists, who like to ask if you can truly know anything - and if not, then somehow "therefore god" comes into play. Dealing with some of these people can be infuriating, and often leads to a complete derailing of the debate process, rendering further communication practically impossible.
Problem 1: Pascal’s wager fundamentally fails when you consider one of the most basic logical fallacies which is referred to as “begging the question”. The initial problem with the wager is that it assumes certain qualities and traits about the god that the theist is trying to promote. It assumes, for example, that their god is not only real, but that an eternal heaven exists only for people who believe in him and that an eternal hell exists for people who don’t.
If you accept the fact that it begs the question in the most basic sense, then you no longer have a limit on what you have to believe for no reason. In order to be logically consistent you would have to behave in a manner based on mental probabilities – to receive reward and avoid punishment with no basis for believing in either one.
Problem #2: The second problem with Pascal’s wager is that is uses emotion (primarily fear) to manipulate the minds of non-believers. All human beings would rather not suffer. Very few (if any) people actually enjoy suffering, and I would go so far as to say that NO human being enjoys suffering enough to willfully choose to go to hell for eternity.
Pascal does not present any evidence to prove that this supposed hell exists – or that the god that would send countless people there exists either. Fear is a powerful motivator, and that’s the key to this whole wager. If a believer can make you afraid, you may not need evidence or logic or reason to believe. When it comes right down to it, however, they manipulate and brainwash through fear because they don’t HAVE any of those other things.
Problem #3: Not only are the two problems already listed practically insurmountable but the third problem – the creation of a false dichotomy – goes even farther. A Christian that resorts to Pascal’s wager in a conversation with an atheist or non-believer is ignoring the glaring inconsistency. The question itself is part of the problem. The theist in question has already applied critical thinking to every other religion in the world, past, present and future. They have either not learned about them or discarded them outright because they agree with the one they currently believe in. While it may be childish to turn the question around and ask the theist “what if you’re wrong” instead, it is indeed a tempting possibility.
The idea is that the believer has decided (probably based on fear, like they’re trying to impose on you) that their particular god is the true god, and has therefore indirectly decided that other god claims are false. If they believe in their god because they want to avoid his eternal punishment, what precludes them from fearing all the punishments found in other religion?
It is not about deciding between Christianity and flat-out atheism. There are hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of different religions throughout the world and just as many gods. By deciding to believe in the Christian god, you’re excluding all the other religions – that have their own versions of hell, the afterlife and punishment. It’s not a true 50/50 percentage. In actuality, there is a 50% chance that there is no god – and there’s a fraction of a percentage that every god that exists in the world exists. Therefore, there is a higher probability that atheism is true, and that ALL god claims are not, especially considering the lack of evidence for ANY of them.
The equation would look something like this:
If there is a 50/50 shot that a god does exist, each god claim would lay claim to a fraction of the affirmative 50%. Since there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of god claims throughout history and into the present, the likelihood of the Christian (or any other theist) being right is miniscule at best. So while the atheist still has a 50% chance that there is no god at all, the theist of any particular faith now has an (estimated) .0005134697 chance that their deity is the correct one out of thousands of options. So no, it is not better to believe in that god and risk offending any of the other possibilities. 50% is much better than a fraction of a single percentage point. It’s impossible to believe every deity claim out there. For survival purposes, most of them are mutually exclusive. Therefore, you’re probably going to offend someone, somewhere. Non-belief, on the other hand, offends no one – unless the particular deity is so egotistical (like the god of the bible, for instance) that the mere notion of someone not believing in him, despite having no compelling evidence to confirm its existence, would be sufficient to damn them to hell – eternally.
Problem #4: The last problem with Pascal’s wager is that it assumes (incorrectly) that believing in a god to avoid eternal punishment has absolutely no cost, while a lack of belief can somehow end up costing you everything.
It’s never good to accidentally believe a lie, let alone believing a lie willfully. When faced with the abject lack of evidence or confronted with opposing evidence, your fear demands that you ignore it and continue on, regardless of whether or not your beliefs are true.
Most Christians pay a high cost for their faith. They go to church and spend a lot of time doing church-associated events. They tithe as dictated by scripture and pay money to support their church. They subscribe to a belief system with a bloody past and an intolerant present and future. They vote to enact laws that discriminate against others because it goes against their belief on morality, etc. They close their minds to what truth could be and cease to question or view things skeptically. A willful belief in god mandates that you no longer search for knowledge which could eventually lead to truth based on evidence – not dictated by your emotions.
Conclusion: I would say that one more thing needs to be taken into consideration. Since Pascal’s wager is usually a main-stream Christian phenomenon, you need to consider their claims about god as well. Fundamentally speaking, a god who would damn people to eternal hell for using the brain that he allegedly gave them is not a god that is worth believing in. If the bible is true, and god did all the things that the book says he did, that is not a moral god. It is a totalitarian dictator that puts Hitler to shame. It’s an egomaniac with a fragile ego that flies off the handle at any sign of disobedience. It condones immoral acts like slavery, genocide and murder and believes that the only solution is to offer a sacrifice of himself to himself because of his lust for blood. No deity of this caliper deserves worship or adoration. Furthermore, this "god" who created hell and sends everyone who disagrees with him there seems more egotistical than god-like.
Julie, that is the best breakdown on Pascal's Wager that I've seen. +1000
Out of curiosity, do you know of a really good online concordance? I have both Catholic and Protestant bibles in the house, but I would prefer one that covers the Apocrypha as well.
These are still just opinions and it doesn't debunk anything not that I subscribe to pascal theory anyway. And your comment: "A willful belief in (G)od mandates that you no longer search for knowledge which could eventually lead to truth based on evidence – not dictated by your emotions". No, believing in God does not mandate that I no longer search for knowledge and there is more than one type of evidence. You are presumptious in assuming that my belief in God is dictated by my emotions. I have personal evidence that God does exist. It is narrowed minded and bigoted to assume that everyone who believes in God is fearful, emotional and ignorant.
Wait, wait wait... Did you just call me a narrow-minded bigot?
ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO
The irony here is SO absurd and SO ludicrous that I'm laughing too hard to be offended.
How did you know she was talking about you JM?
Because she was directly responding to my post and addressing me. In a similar way to how I know I was NOT addressing you
Lol not at all. If you go back and look at the whole exchange, its very clear. I'm still laughing too hard to be touchy
And I was under the impression you were smart. A sense of humour is another thing you lack as well. Oh well.
Good point SwordoManticorE. Believe it or not, nonbelievers and atheist can be narrow-minded so chortle away JM.
Lol but you don't know me. I fight alongside a lot of Christians for their right for the freedom of religion. I'm one of the most open minded people I know, and anyone that knows me in real life would tell you that. I think its absurd to take a few forum posts from a complete stranger and make a determination of their whole character because of it. Its hilarious, so thanks for my comic relief if the day
I suspect that you are not really laughing. And I didn't say that you were a bigot, I said your statement was narrow-minded and bigoted. I don't know you so I can't comment on the totality of your personality. You are making assumptions. And if you fight alongside Christians for their right to worship God do you also tell them, "It’s never good to accidentally believe a lie, let alone believing a lie willfully. When faced with the abject lack of evidence or confronted with opposing evidence, your fear demands that you ignore it and continue on, regardless of whether or not your beliefs are true". Do you say that to them as you fight alongside of them? It seems that you are making assumptions about all Christian people. Not all Christian people are the same. Everyone is an individual. Not all are against gay rights for example. And how are the 10 commandments bad? And the teachings of Jesus are very thought provoking. Jesus didn't gleefully stone people. He encouraged people to question, "You mean you wouldn't save someone on the sabbath? You wouldn't look for a lost sheep on the sabbath?" He ate and didn't symbolically wash his hands just because it was tradition. He befriended people that the order of the day shunned.
Okay...you mocked me when I told you that pascals wager had been debunked because I didn't expand on it. So I went back, and pasted my hub on the topic, and now you're saying that my hub is narrow minded and bigoted - even though that's what you wanted me too do. What would make you happy at this point? I have no idea what you want?
Just because I don't believe in god does not mean I wouldn't stand up for a believer if their rights were being threatened. Human decency does not adhere to religious boundaries. Not usually, anyway. It seems to sometimes from the theist side.
No I didn't mock you about Pascal, I stated my opinion. It was a vague comment that didn't mean anything. You complain when you think people are telling you your reality yet you try to tell me mine. I didn't ask you to expand on Pascal. I simply said it was a vague comment because just because people criticize something does not mean it is debunked or disproved. What do I want? I don't want someone telling me what I think and that my beliefs are based on irrational emotion.
Funny, cause I went back and reread the whole thing, and that's not how it seems to me at all. Whatever. If that's what you want to take from it (although I haven't whined or complained, justpointed out things I consider to be competing rather than complimentary) you're free to. I find it ironic, however, that my comment wasto someone else, not you - and a Christian commented that it was the best breakdown of the wager that they've seen. It doesn't appear to be that narrow minded our bigoted to her. To each their own, I suppose.
Marlon Brando doesn't quite compare to Jesus but it's a cool picture but where's his beard and long hair? Jesus has way more strength than Marlon.
http://www.scenicreflections.com/media/ … Wallpaper/
What about this guy?
While that is somewhat contradictory considering Jesus made it very clear as to what Christians are supposed to believe and how to live their lives. It is non-negotiable, lest a seat by the fire be saved for anyone who doesn't abide.
So, the question is begged as to how and why some Christians are against gay rights and others are not? What differentiates their views so radically as to come to such a contrasting division?
There are many throughout history that have offered thought provoking teachings. So what?
There are plenty of folks that act that way and don't believe in Jesus. So what?
It is extremely important those two statements are coupled together and resolved. At the very least, it will be revealed whether or not the 'personal evidence' does not just match the 'opinions' of others, they far exceed them as to be convincing, considering the opinions (based on evidence and math) are very convincing.
We await the personal evidence. I tingle.
That's true, but even those who don't get emotional and are not ignorant of facts or emit arrogance, still carry with them the psychological baggage of fear, still clinging on years later.
Here's a thought. Why not just take out all the supernatural mumbo jumbo and lay everything else on the table. You know what, you'll find a whole lot more willing, accepting and thinking converts.
And, don't think for a second the fact that you didn't even attempt to refute JM's very thoughtful post escaped our attention.
I understand what you are trying to do, but I don't think you have done it.
Problem 1: the argument does not assume the Christian god exists, it merely states that this is either true or untrue, and outlines one set of potential consequences if it is.
Problem 2: just because someone considers an argument manipulative, that doesn't mean we can reasonably conclude the argument is false. The argument that "this argument is manipulative, therefore it is false" is itself a fallacy, a non sequitur.
Problem 3: the likelihood of you existing as you do is around 10^2,685.000 (a 10 with 265,000 zeros after it). Likewise the likelihood of matter being more dominant than antimatter in the first moments of the universe are infinitesimal. By your reasoning it is therefore safe to conclude on paper, that neither you nor the universe exist. Both those conclusions are demonstrably wrong. The problem is that the likelihood of something's existence tells us nothing about the actuality of something's existence. It merely allows us to say whether something is likely or unlikely. The jump from "existence is unlikely" to "therefore does not exist" is a non sequitur also. Applying that fallacy is useful within the realm of everyday life (it helps us filter our assumptions) but it is a fallacy nevertheless. Another quirky result of this fallacy is the fact that, according to your argument, there is a greater probability that the Christian god-claim is true, than there is that you and the universe actually exist.
I am so proud of you. I think this is the first time I have ever noticed you open up a discussion instead of shutting one down by just calling someone a liar. Good job.
Someone at Harvard with way too much time on their hands.
https://blogs.law.harvard.edu/abinazir/ … d-be-born/
Phooey! You had me going there - I though someone has done a realistic and serious analysis of the probability of chemicals in the primordial soup combining.
This is just a fun numbers game based on the religious and philosophical assumptions and comparisons that have nothing to do with reality. Funny, not serious.
It's no less scientifically robust than the claim JMcFarland made a few posts back that Christians have a .0005134697 chance of being correct about god, but that's irrelevant. The point is this, the conclusion something is not actual does not follow on from the premise that something is improbable. That's a non sequitur. An argument that cites logical inconsistencies as a reason Pascal wager fails, is less effective if the argument itself includes logical inconsistencies; And it leads to the question, why is logical inconsistency not acceptable in Pascal's wager, but acceptable in criticism of Pascal's wager?
Wow, JM... Trying to figure out how I feel about this one
The rest of it was cool
Deepes, I think what she may have meant is a willful, blindly obedient belief in God. Which in truth, if you ask me, usually means an unquestioning literal take on Scripture and blind obedience to the leaders of one's church. I don't believe that she's speaking to Christians such as you, me and others who are not fundamental Evangelicals.
I could be wrong, and I don't want to attempt to speak for JM, but I don't believe there is any reason to take offense to what she said.
you're correct, Mo.
Keep in mind, that I just copied and pasted this post from a hub of mine, and i wrote that hub over 6 months ago - and I've adjusted my position to include Christians that do not fit the typical mold that I was accustomed to before coming to hubpages. Being raised in a strict, fundamentalist Baptist house and being surrounded by that type of people for all of my childhood and adolescence took it's toll on me.
*hugs* That's awesome. I think the only fight we had was on that point
Okay.. Thanks for clarifying for me.. I just wasn't sure about it and didn't want to reply to what could be an incorrect understanding.
since I was at work at the time, I didn't have the time or capability to rewrite portions of the hub to fit in line with things that I've learned from conversing with you, Mo, Melissa and others. I apologize for that - in retrospect, it did seem like a mass-blanket statement, and it was unfair. I'm sorry if you took offense to it.
I appreciate the apology.. No harm done and I didn't take offense to it. It was more of something that was out of character for you (for the most part) so I was more confused than anything. That's why I said I didn't know how to feel about it.
The problem with it, even if JM wasn't referring to you is that it was said in the first place. It's a broad stroke condemnation without the benefit of anything other than JM's assumption. It's as ridiculous as someone insisting you are going to hell because they think they know what someone thinks.
Edit. The arrogance involved in thinking anyone can crawl inside another person's head and condemn their thought processes is amazing.
Frankly, I didn't take offense to it. I don't care if she meant to refer to me directly. Did you read what she had to say about it after? It was copied and pasted from a hub she wrote six months ago....she admits that her thought process has changed some since then.
Eh. I think the biggest problem with every single one of us in these forums is a tendency to condemn each others' thought processes quite regularly. I seem to not be able to say a whole lot these days that doesn't get picked apart by someone or other on just about every side of every issue. And what you see here IS my thought process. I think out loud - or in this case, in black and white.
Criticism isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is clarifying points and I clarified that I was not judging JM's character. It is okay to pick things apart; better than everybody being too scared to say anything, which is often the case, especially in person when people fear retaliation and have to play politics. My point was that just because someone criticizes a theory does not mean that theory is debunked. People often say, "prove God exists" and when you give them your proof most disregard the proof anyway and call you a liar. Can they prove that God does not exist? No they can't. They can give their opinions. They can say, "I think".
The problem is that you can't prove a negative. Can you prove that unicorns don't exist or that the invisible, purple dragon living in my garage isn't real? No, you can't - even though both of those suggestions seem ridiculous. If you converse with god personally, and he gives you answers, works miracles or help you find your car keys, however - or at least you CLAIM to - you should be able to provide evidence. By evidence, we mean real evidence. Not stories of miraculous healing with no names and no verifiable accounts. Not third, fourth or fifth hand miracles. Not miraculous vacation plans that could be explained a multitude of other ways. We mean testable, duplicatable evidence - and as yet, no believer has been able to provide it.
When I say debunked I mean debunked:
Expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief).
Pascal's wager has been debunked - as in, the falseness or hollowness of its principles have been exposed.
I can converse with God personally. I don't like how you write CLAIM-you are calling me a liar and yet you claim that I am judging you. I don't need to convince you of anything. I know my own experiences are real; why should you believe them? Your definition of evidence is not the only type of evidence. And people dismiss facts all the time; they see what they want to see. Personal evidence isn't necessarily testable but that doesn't make it less valid. You can say debunked all you like; just because you say it does not make it so. There is so much evidence that God exists; research it. And so many personal accounts from people and I'm sure there are 'facts' as well but people say, 'coincidence'. And can science explain everything anyway? No it can't.
For someone who seems to complain so vehemently about being mocked, you certainly don't mind mocking others.
People can not prove that God does not exist and people can not prove to anyone's satisfaction that God does exist. So it comes down to one's own experiences and not allowing anyone to make you doubt your own perceptions and your own reality. Just because someone does not believe you does not mean that your experiences are 'debunked'.
I find your tone disrespectful and intolerant.
Personal accounts are only evidence to the person who has them. No one else.
I say claim because you are a stranger on the internet and there is no reason for me to just accept everything you say at face value. You could be a habitual liar. How should I know? I don't know anything about you. Calling something a claim means recognizing a claim for what it its - and it will remain only a claim until it can be proven. If you infer that it automatically means that I'm calling you a liar, that's your choice, but that's on you - not on me.
By the definition of debunk that I provided, what I said fits that criteria. You don't have to accept it.
I don't particularly care how you find my tone. Many, many others - Christians and atheists alike - disagree with your assessment, and as a complete stranger, your opinion of me doesn't really matter to me. Although I do find it ironic that the person calling my tone disrespectful and intolerant is the same person who inferred that I was a narrow minded bigot.
"Personal accounts are only evidence to the person who has them. No one else". So?
You don't know me just like I do not know you. You could be a psycho.
No; proof is relative. And capitalizing claim is calling someone a liar. Again you show how you are sensitive to how you think people are perceving you yet have no qualms about judging others.
It seems to be you just want to win not have a discussion. It seems you just want to get the last word and say, "ha, ha debunked it is".
Because for you to say that my beliefs and experiences are not worthy unless I can convince you with proof that you approve of is intolerance. I do not have to prove anything to you.
And I am not lying about my experiences (believe me or not-whatever). Why should I? Why in the world would I want to make up stuff about God? It doesn't make sense.
I have meaningful, in-depth conversations with Christians all the time. We disagree and we get along because we both respect each other. That is clearly not the case between us, so be it. I don't care what you think of me. If you find me so offensive, just ignore me. Continually responding and telling me how intolerant and disrespectful I am doesn't make it true, and it just shines a negative light on you. Everyone can see our entire convo and judge it for themselves. I'm happy with what I've said, and I stand by it. Let the chips fall where they may.
Well, JM, I can understand Sand's reaction. Sometimes the tonne of your responses do come across as strong to the sensibilities of some and your word choice seems aggressive as well. I took a communication course and in my class, there was a lesson on avoiding trigger words. For some believers, the word CLAIM is a trigger word because of the implication it carries (as sand mentioned before) that they are lying.
What else should a claim be called?
Have you looked at the entire exchange between me and sand? I tend to respondin the manner I'm approached, and I feel as though sand initially approached me aggressively.
I will take your comment to Heart, friend
It's not always a matter of calling something anything. You and I both know that a claim and an assertion are what they are, but there is often a negative connotation attached to using those phrases for some. This kinda goes back to our other conversation on Mo's thread about respect and I mentioned understanding values even though you disagree.
Yes, I looked at the entire exchange. Please keep in mind that I didn't say I thought you were wrong for what you said. From the outside looking in, the conversation started off easily enough with Sandcastles addressing your comment that Pascal's wager had been debunked. I also saw where you replied and mentioned the word CLAIM (in all caps). That's where I think it went south..
I'm not taking sides here and as I said, I didn't say that you were wrong, simply that I understood where and why she was upset. I can also see where you could say she was aggressive with you. I was addressing you for two reasons: 1) Given the respect that we have for one another and given our interactions, I figured that I can explain it to you using our communication language, and 2) because you stated that it wasn't your problem if Sand took something you said personally because you didn't mean it that way. On the flip side, Sand might not have meant any harm with her initial comments toward you before you mentioned her claim, but you took it as a sign of aggression. So would that make it not her concern that you took it as a sign of aggression? it goes both ways in this situation, my friend since we all would like to be respected in the forums
I agree that it goes both ways, and that was part of the point that I was trying to make. I know that she didn't explicitly say that I myself was a narrow-minded bigot, but that my post was. I made no such remarks towards her.
I get your point about the word claim and/or assertions, I've never really thought of it that way before you pointed it out, but I'm a very direct person and I don't know how else to refer to them. I could invent a word that means claim/assertion indirectly, like schclaim - but as soon as people get what that means, they'll be offended by that word as well.
I think the bottom line is that people are offended by what they choose to be offended by - and you and I have had that conversation before as well - no matter what you say, there's a potential of someone to be offended by it. It's practically inevitable. My main point was that just because someone chooses to take offense to something ( and I didn't actually take offense to the inference of being called a bigot, I thought it was hilarious, given what I know about myself) does not mean that there was something inherently wrong with the statement that was made.
Overall, I think that I can learn to not stoop to other people's levels. If I feel that someone is being aggressive, I don't have to start being more aggressive in return. I can be the bigger person, and just keep things into perspective more - and that's a lesson that I need to learn for myself. Thanks for breaking it down for me, I appreciate it.
I agree, but then again, you didn't explicitly say that she was a liar, but your stressing (and capping) the word claim definitely carries that implication (especially considering your religious views.)
I totally agree with you. People will take offense to whatever they choose to take offense to, but that doesn't mean there is wrong with the statement. On the other hand, the presentation is what can taint the statement.. It's like cooking a wonderful meal then going outside and grabbing the lid off a garbage can and using it as a plate. There might not be anything wrong with the food at first sight, but it is contaminated by the bacteria of the presentation.
No problem, love..
Sometimes it isn't about being the bigger person.. Sometimes it's more about not compromising your own principles. Like you said yourself how someone reacts reflects on them, but how you respond reflects on you. Very few people remember the first shot in a fight, but they remember the parting shot.
Holy Moly-not to be rude but you don't seem to acknowledge your tone at all. You are responding to me too you know. You decided to comment on my comment to Mowtown 2. Just forget it. I think you are defensive and can't take what you dish in my opinion. It is like you are blind to what you say. What chips? P. S. You don't have to respond to me.
Really, because I find you incredibly defensive as well.
As for my tone, I am not intending it to be rude, and I know my own intentions when I post. If you want clarification, then ask me for it. If you don't and just assume I mean it disrespectfully, that's not really my problem.
I am more than capable of admitting when I'm wrong. I've done it multiple times in this forum and others. So that assertion its a bit off the mark.
In addition, i would like to throw in a brilliant quote:
"Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them. I always say: Look, when you guys were in charge, you didn't argue with us, you just burned us at the stake. Now what we're doing is, we're presenting you with some valid arguments, points and some challenging questions, and you complain" A.C. Grayling
do you see what I did there? Lost? Cause I'm an atheist...
nevermind. I should not try to make jokes after afternoon margaritas, a lazy day in the pool and the survivor season finale.
Yeah that shot over my head.. Pain does that to me..
Recurring pain from a car accident in 2008.. My spine is out of alignment in two places. I also have an issue with sciatica. This weekend has been a rough one.
*hugs* i'm truly sorry to hear that. My wife and I will keep you in our thoughts.
Thanks, JM. in one region my spine is shifted to the side. In the region directly below it is shifted to the front. I also have a disc protrusion..Fun fun
have you seen a chiropractor? I'm assuming yes, since this happened so long ago. What did they recommend? Are you facing surgery to correct it?
Yes I did. I just underwent Physical therapy at that time until I reached MMI. I have to at some point I'm going to have to go back and have it checked out again
yeah, i hear you. The insurance nightmare is not an easy one.
Total and complete.. It does feel like it's degenerating some more. I know at some point surgery might have to be done.. Just scares the heck outta me
understandable. I've had to have a few surgeries in my day, and they're not fun. I was terrified when I had to have my gall-bladder removed, and I only had a three day window I could take off of work. It made recovery even more difficult. I feel your hesitation all the way, and I get it.
Tell me about it.. I've hat a couple myself.. In may 2010, I barely made it to the hospital before my appendix burst. I was really scared about that because I heard about what happens when an appendix bursts
yikes. I know the pain associated with a gall-bladder attack, and that was bad enough. It was completely debilitating. I can't imagine what an appendix in the process of bursting feels like. It gives me shivers, honestly.
Bummer dude. I'll sacrifice a chicken tonight in your honor.
I'm sorry to hear that.
I saw my Mom go through awful back pain from sciatica for decades. And a brother of mine undergo several back surgeries that still didn't take care of his pain either. I feel for anyone who has to deal with it.
My point was that not all Christians are fearful and unthinking. Not all Christians are manipulated and brainwashed.
I didn't take total offense to it.. It's just that some atheists don't see the difference between the evangelicals and those like you, me and others as it pertains to blind belief in God since there is no proof of God.. I simply wasn't used to seeing a statement like this from JM.. I'd have expected this from others. So I wasn't sure how I felt about it yet.
What does this mean: a blind belief in God. Either you believe or you don't believe. Those who believe in God have faith. Those who need proof: God coming down from the clouds and shaking your hand for example-isn't that agnostic: One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.
A blind belief is actually redundant.. Belief and faith in God is in itself blind because it is accepting something without proof. Looking for God to come down and shake your hand isn't agnostic, it is atheist because until that happens or there is some other proof then there is no belief in God. Agnostics simply do not know and some of them simply aren't looking. They are secure in not knowing.
agnosticism speaks to knowledge, while atheism/theism speak to belief.
Personally, I'm a bit of a hybrid - I'm an atheist agnostic. I don't believe that it is possible to know for certain whether or not god exists - or identify which one, and since I don't know, I do not believe in a god. My atheism is a lack of belief in god, while my agnosticism recognize that it's impossible to know either way.
And I'm on the other hybrid side.. I'm more of an agnostic Christian. I don't know for sure one way or the other and won't know for sure until I die or until Christ comes back. The difference for me is that with some of what I've read along with dictionary to get different definitions has allowed me to find points that make sense enough to me contextually to where my belief is reinforced.. But no matter what, I still admit that I could be wrong and also try to live the best life I know how because ethics dictate that I should do good because it is good.
and that honesty is part of the reason that I admire and enjoy conversing with you so much :-)
That and we share half a label :-P
And, of course, I have a secret crush on you.
Thank you for your reply Deepes Mind. It was easy to understand your points. I hope you feel better soon.
There's no such thing as love from a god.
Oh no, it's the believer who has the most to worry about, considering they have chosen a god to worship, meanwhile all the other gods are lining waiting patiently for that believer to judge harshly as to why he didn't choose any of them.
No, you haven't. That is a fabrication.
No one is stopping you from believing you talk to gods, although some recommendations for getting professional help would be in order.
If reality is dismal and depressing for you, it's little wonder why you need to escape into a world or religious fantasies.
Again, seek some professional help for that problem.
Did you really laugh at what you said cause if so... I find it beyond depressing that you lack faith *and a sense of humor.
Those are excellent points Deaf Dialogues. When someone says 'prove to me that God exists or you are a liar', there is no way you could prove it to them anyway because the person will ignore or refute the proof; they have already made up their mind.
That is a lie. No one has made up their minds and no one have provided any proof.
I once believed in God. This was around the same time that I believed in Santa Claus, voting mattered, and that America was the greatest country on Earth.
You two are hilarious, it's like the scene in the Lethal Weapon 3 where Gibson and Russo are comparing scars.
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