its said that the person who makes the claim bears the burden of proof. I believe this to be true, however doesnt the person objecting to the claim also share some burden? afterall, can a profitable and fruitful conversation actually take place if only 1 person shares why they believe what they do? when both parties share the burden, then the real conversation can begin and progress can be made. How do you see it?
In the world of religious debates, it's impossible to prove something doesn't exist. You can't go looking in every crevice of the known universe looking for Santa Claus before you can say with some confidence that you don't find a reason to believe that Santa is real. I don't have to definitively prove that bigfoot doesn't exist before saying I don't believe in him.
I lack a belief in a god. If I were to make the claim "no god exists" I would assume the burden of proof for that claim. It's a positive claim, even with the word "no" in it, and it should be verifiable with evidence. What kind of evidence would you expect from someone who lacks a belief in something that would contribute to the conversation? Do you have an assumed burden of proof if you lack a belief in leprechauns or unicorns? What kind of evidence would you present? What would your burden of proof be in those circumstances? Asking an atheist to assume some of the burden of proof for a claim that they're not making seems a bit intellectually dishonest (not you, personally, but the debate in general).
I like this article on the burden of proof, personally: http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php? … n_of_proof
as an example (from the article)
In the United States legal system, the burden of proof in most criminal trials is on the prosecution (claimant) to prove to a judge or jury that the defendant is guilty (the claim) beyond a reasonable doubt, because there is a presumption of innocence (thus presuming the claim to be false) going into the proceedings.
Again in the United States, in most civil trials the burden of proof is on the plaintiff (claimant) merely to "tip the scales" in their favor, so that their claim is "more likely true than not" (also known as preponderance of the evidence or balance of probabilities). In this case, there is much more "symmetry" between the two sides of the case, and yet in the unlikely case of a "tie" — complete parity between the two cases presented — judgment must be in favor of the defendant.
And I also like the quote by Hitchens "that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence"
As always, I enjoy our discussions, and look forward to more of them. You are always respectful, you don't resort to name-calling or insults, and you have reasonable, intelligent things to say. these are all qualities that I appreciate.
i agree you cant prove something doesnt exist. so, maybe burden of proof is the wrong term here. I feel most people have reasons for why they do or dont believe something. For the person who does not, I feel like could really add to the conversation if they give their reasons for why not. Then both people know where each other stands and for what reasons. I also feel like both should give their reasons because sometimes it seems as if someone is only stating what they believe or dont, and never gives reasons for the belief. this leads me to believe they havent thought much about their belief and have only been pre-conditioned to say certain things or have never been willing to listen to another view point.
Maybe the burden of proof is the wrong term. Let me phrase it in a different way.
If I accuse you of being a murderer, is it up to you to prove that you're not, or is it up to me to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are? How would you go about proving that you've never killed anyone?
Those things don't really correlate do they?
You accuse me of murder...
I assert that God is real and that He loves us.
Obviously the examples are different, yes, but I'm wondering how the action of you accusing and me asserting are even similar.
I made no effort to correlate the two. The op said that the burden of proof may be the wrong term when I responded to him, and I'm attempting to clarify his original position.
I think this is where I most disagree with the Atheists on the forum, and it was my first point on this thread.
If I am accused of murder, you look at me and tell me to prove that I did not. Why? Because it is an illegal act and if there is any doubt of my innocence, I must defend myself or I might be imprisoned.
I believe in God, I believe the Bible is true, I believe He sent His son to give life and give it more abundantly to those who would place their faith on Him... if you do not believe, will I be imprisoned? No, I'm far more likely to be imprisoned for speaking those words, if not in this country, in others. I know why I feel a personal burden... b/c of love for those who do not believe... however, how do you see this as a burden? If you are open to the idea, you might say "prove it". If you are closed to the idea, you might say, "____ off." Where do you see the burden? Does this mean you're open to the idea?
Umm.. She is saying that if you are accused of Murder...It is on the Accuser to prove that you did it...Not that you have to prove you didn't...
So to claim there is a God...The claimee must provide the proof...Not the listener...
So her point is only that she disagrees with the Op who thinks if it is more of a mutual discussion, a better conversation will be had? Ok, I see.
I don't know if she agrees with the OP or not...But that is what she was attempting to say to you. But I would say that judging from the conversation...the thought is...maybe "burden of proof" is not the correct term to use for what was being attempted by the OP.
I hadn't thought about the OP since I first read it, I was thinking more on what had been written most recently and I couldn't understand what her post had to do with anything, however when I went back and read the OP after reading your "translation" her post made sense to me. I think she had even mentioned responding to that op a few posts back.
- what if God was invisible
and only y o u can sense him…
God is not provable to others. End of story.
However, it is perfectly fine to discuss the matter, as God is real to those who have felt his presence and have been guided by his invisible hand.
If there is something only you can sense that means there is something wrong with you......
But Buddinsense is right. The god that is only detectable by you is not real. You may imagine it, you may intuit it, you many feel it, but none of that makes it real. It is simply your perception that is out of whack with reality that makes you think the god is actually there.
Then, that God would be relevant only to you and no one else. The world would be atheist and you would be the lone theist alone with your God.
How would you know your in the presence of God when He's invisible? How would you know an invisible hand is guiding you?
I think sometimes (mostly due to indoctrination) people get confused when they here their own inner voice think and decide that inner voice must be coming from elsewhere.
Sometimes? Only sometimes?
As near as I can tell, all of us have the same inner voice speaking to us. Some call it "God", some call it "conscience", or "intuition" or even "reason" some of the time, but that's the only real difference. We just name it differently.
By sometimes I mean the ones that think that inner voice is from God. All of don't, so only some of us do. Even some who believe in God don't think that inner voice is from God.
Maybe - I don't think I've ever met a believer who doesn't think god speaks to them. That still, small voice, whether verbal, feeling, or just a conclusion drawn from seeing something outside us, it is there in all believers that I know.
I just spent a few minutes reading someones lesson on how to learn to listen to God. It occurred to me that it's something we all do, but we just give it different names. It basically said that if the voice is looking out for yours and others best interest it's from God, but if it's destructive in nature it's from Satan. Don't we all do that anyway, the difference is they are taught to be obedient to the Good voice where as I don't need that lesson. If my inner voice is telling me to do something that will harm me or others I just don't do it and understand those thoughts came from me. When I make good decisions I also understand that I made them by myself. It must be strange to never take credit or blame for actions.
This is the conclusion I have come to also. For 25 odd years I variously decided that those 'still small voice' instances were either God speaking to me, a hunch, intuition, or subconscious thought processes. Some Christians claimed God spoke to them continually and others barely mentioned it. I asked several people over the years how God spoke and short of supernatural audible voices, what people described was exactly the same as an atheist's hunch. Some claimed visions but I always thought a vision was supposed to be like watching a cinema screen, so I concluded that these people were just imagining things. I've noticed that as I'm tending towards agnosticism the nature and frequency of the 'still small voice' instances hasn't changed. Only the other day I got the sense that I shouldn't leave my mobile on my desk as i went to a meeting, which i ignored and thus missed two phone calls from my wife.
Of course you are right - we all have that "still, small voice" and just assign differing origins to it. Some recognize it as being from their own neurons, some think an outside force moved those neurons around. Or opened gates and switches, whatever.
Well, a comforting feeling that doing evil is not your fault of course, but I would miss the pride and good feeling when something is done right.
No. The burden of proof is always on the one making a positive claim ("Something is"), in most cases. The only time a negative claim ("Something isn't") must be given the same treatment is when the negative claim conflicts with concrete facts (e.g. "Gravity doesn't exist").
If your claim is "God exists," then it's all on you to provide proof that God does, indeed, exist. You're going to need some pretty strong tangible evidence to prove that a massive all-powerful deity resides within the clouds of our troposphere (which, need I remind you, is where the Bible says God dwells), or anywhere at all.
Im not against the one making the claim to provide proof or reasons. I just think the conversation goes nowhere when the person objecting the claim does not give reasons for their disbelief. for example. i say i believe in God because...then i give 1 or 2 reasons. then the other person says i dont believe because... and give 1 or 2 reasons. now we both know where each other stands and some type of respectful conversation can progress. so many times however i see or hear "thats not evidence" or something of that nature that takes the conversation nowhere. im not just talking with me either. i notice this on tv and radio with so called professionals. also lets not get carried away with a religious discussion. i know its difficult to not think thats what im referring to directly with my name. im just talkin with debates and discussion in general.
The burden of proof goes to a person making an assertion (i.e. that something is true, is linked, is important etc). The burden does not go on the negative claim (i.e. that it is not).
A person making a claim can tell us why they believe what they believe, but that doesn't substantiate the claim in any way. The person making the claim needs to provide hard evidence to substantiate the claim before a discussion can take place. No progress can be made until the evidence is produced.
The proof that is the burden is in evidence-- convincing evidence, preferably that can be observed, tested, etc.
Things that don't exist don't leave evidence behind of their non-existence.
"its said that the person who makes the claim bears the burden of proof. I believe this to be true"
The burden is only placed on someone by their desire to convince others of the truth of their claim. "Proof" is a necessary aspect of that interaction because of the nature of human beings (human minds cannot directly experience other minds, as far as we know). If convincing others is irrelevant to someone, then proof is not a burden they have to carry. They are literally free of the burden of proof.
Moreover, assuming someone does want to convince others of the truth of their claim, available evidence (or lack thereof) only has a bearing on how well someone is able to convince others of the truth of their claim, not the actual truth of the claim.
True, although you need to add the concept of proof to ones self as well. Some of us care that what we believe has a high probability of being true; that is has been "proven" and proven with evidence generally acceptable to others rather than with an opinion or "feeling" that it is right.
I'm not so sure. If we genuinely think we have experienced something and there is no categorical evidence to the contrary then, even if it's extraordinary, belief can form based on that experience (or apparent experience). I think that's because the assumption our senses are working correctly increases our chances of survival. So we are effectively genetically programmed to give a high value to experience, even over reason. A lack of evidence may make some people reluctant to share beliefs based on experiences they cannot prove, but I'm not sure it would cause them to disbelieve it themselves.
Absolutely experience will produce a belief that it was true. You just don't know if the belief is correct or not until you prove it - a simple experience is seldom proof of any kind.
Example - you see a UFO and declare it is an alien craft. You know this because you see it floating in the sky and it is round. True? Unlikely in the extreme.
Or you see your lamp go off and back on, deciding a ghost did it. You saw it, after all! True? Unlikely in the extreme; before you can actually decide it was a ghost you really should prove it to yourself.
Because even if you actually try to disprove our beliefs (and few people will), ignorance (lack of knowledge of anything that might disprove it) is not proof it is true. The constant refrain from theists everywhere is a wonderful example of this: "If you can't prove my god does not exist then it is there!". It doesn't work, of course.
Belief is not knowledge, no matter how much we would like it to be. Without knowledge we cannot tell truth from lie.
If a belief is true, it is correct and vice versa, as true and correct are synonymous. What we don't know is whether the experience that belief is based on was genuine rather than an illusion, hallucination etc. In the absence of anything suggesting otherwise, people default to assuming an experience (however extraordinary or unlikely) is genuine, because of the high value we assign to experience. That's one of the reasons there are people who genuinely believe they have been abducted by aliens. The likelihood of that experience being genuine may be low, but their apparent experience is enough for them to form the belief. They maintain that belief even though they are unable to prove it satisfactorily to anyone else.
They don't have a burden of proof to others (unless they want to convince others of their belief) and they don't have a burden of proof to themselves, as they assume the experience that lead to the belief was genuine.
I didn't make myself clear.
While it is true the experience can be false to fact, we do indeed trust our senses there and rightfully so. It's all we have, after all.
I was referring more to the conclusions we tack onto our experiences. Seeing a UFO should not give rise to a belief in aliens, but it does - the conclusion is drawn from the experience of seeing an unidentified flying object and deciding to believe it is of alien manufacture rather than natural causes or man made.
It is those conclusions, then, that need corroboration by other proof before being accepted as truth. Not so much the observation/experience itself (although that can sometimes be recognized as needing more, too) but the conclusion drawn.
I see. Thanks for the clarification. Yes there is a difference between seeing a UFO and jumping to the conclusion it was an alien, and believing you have genuinely experienced an alien first hand. The former is a reasoning fault. The latter results from trusting our senses. Going back to the subject of burden of proof, I think those people in the latter case would only have the burden of proof if they wanted to convince someone else. They may be reluctant to share their belief because they can't prove it to anyone else, but they wouldn't need to prove it to themselves. Their apparent genuine experience serves as the only proof they need, such is the power of experience.
With few exceptions I would agree.
Seeing an alien while drunk on your a$$ should probably not be taken at face value, nor an out-of-body experience while oxygen starved to the point of death. Our senses thus provide the proof we need, even though perhaps not enough for someone else.
But normally we trust our sense and for good reason. We simply cannot require that everything we see, hear, touch, etc. be independently verified somehow.
Hense we see many homeless people talking to people who are not there.
But our life long history has provided verification (where appropriate) that our senses are correctly tuned and so can be relied upon.
Where this is not the case (e.g. color perception by the color blind) people do indeed seek verification before reaching certainty about something's color--because they know their sense are not accurately perceiving the shared objective reality.
Not seeing the "but" here. We agree, it looks to me, in that normally our senses are the proof we need. Only in exceptional cases should we not trust them - the case of color blind, or drunk, or something else that tells us that those sense cannot be relied on at the moment or for that particular task.
I agree, but you have to accept that some aren't looking for discussion. They want debate. If you expect to engage in reasonable dialogue they will disappoint.
It occurs to me that no one needs to validate a claim in order for it to be made. You can speak about your faith freely and if no one agrees, that changes nothing. Either what you share is true or it's not. They want to prove that it's not, but they can't, they can only argue. So these are the choices as I see them.
Do you want to share your faith? Yes or no?
Do you want to defend it? Yes or no?
You can do the first alone or you can do both. The choice is up to you.
i would disagree that it changes nothing. what could change is someones view in a certain area. sure anyone can claim anything they want. without proper validation though, why should anyone take it seriously?
You could change someone's viewpoint with anything you say... so should we never say anything? I don't mean believers, I mean mankind. We do not control others, and if we do, something's wrong... both with the speaker and the listener.
Who says you have to take it seriously? View points are to be heard, considered and then they either teach you something you didn't know or you dismiss them.
So how would anyone ever change their minds? There are dozens of examples of people either coverting to a different faith, or moving from theism to atheism. Did they just wake up one morning and spontaneously change their minds? Of course not. They talked to people. They researched and investigated. If it wasn't possible to reach anyone regardless of what you say, what is the point of having conversations at all? I'm here because I enjoy the conversation. You have repeatedly stated that you're here to tell people about jesus (regardless of the fact that everyone knows). If you don't think anything you say can have an effect, what's the point of saying anything? Isn't it worthless, in which case everyone should go elsewhere?
I don't believe you read my post at all... not sure what happened there. I said in the very first sentence that we could change someone's mind with literally anything we say, from a new favorite restaurant to encouraging them to break up with a spouse.
Where's the break down of communication here?
I could have sworn that you said "you could never change someone's mind with anything you say".
I must be imagining things. My bad.
Burden of proof is so subjective when dealing with things that have no established rules for what constitutes proof.
In the case of most religions/philosophies, it boils down to each person's personal requirements of "proof" . To someone like Julie, for example, proof of God might be him showing up and personally bending the scientific laws with no other explainable cause but his presence.
To another poster, proof may be that rainbows are pretty.
So any conversation where one must "prove" the presence of God basically means the speaker must prove it to the level of burden of proof of the listener. Since the speaker doesn't know what that level is, good luck with that.
That's why these conversations go so far adrift and end up in so much irritation. Person A is trying to convince Person B with evidence that doesn't meet Person B's personal burden of proof.
But no, person B has no requirements to prove that they don't believe. It would help the conversation along if they said "Show me this. This is what I need to have presented before I believe."
But what fun would that be?
But honestly, I don't KNOW what kind of proof it would take. Nothing I have ever seen up until now has been new or convincing, obviously.
I don't require God's drivers license, but if God does exist, he knows what I would need to believe in him.
I have no problems explaining why I stopped believing or why I'm an atheist. It does improve conversation, I agree.
If God is real and he interacts with the physical world, there should be something demonstrable to use as evidence. I haven't seen any.
See I have seen evidence that meets my burden of proof.
The specifics of which I'll not be sharing.
I am aware that it wouldn't meet your personal burden of proof, because I know you
But you want something demonstrable. That's awesome. It's likely not going to happen, but you DO know what it would take. You want something that physically happens and is reproducible with no other explanation than a deity. Yes?
Mine burden of proof is more internal. Which is fine, I think.
It is absolutely fine, IMO. UNTIL you expect someone else to accept it as proof - at that point the normal requirements of science should be used. Not those of the religious community (I assume you aren't trying to convince a believer that god exists), the scientific community.
That's another issue I have a problem with, the thought that it's religion vs. science.
There are, I'm sure, atheists that have the scientific knowledge of a beaver. Their standard of proof would be based on something completely different.
Not all atheists are scientists, not all Christians are not.
Not necessarily. Something happening that seemingly cannot be explained without a deity is like the argument from ignorance. Just because I may not know how to explain it now does not mean it cannot be explained. For example, lightning and Thunder were thought to be a god because no one at the time could explain it. We can explain it now.
People claim to have divine experiences all the time. It should be easy to give those experiences to every one in the world at the same time. That's just an example, and I'm not even sure that would work.
Please don't feel Im condescending, cause I know you and I do not seem to connect, I just wanted to say, I enjoyed reading everything you just wrote so much.
OK, I get that.
So each person having their own version of a divine experience (since all of these experiences are somewhat different) at the same time may or may not convince you but might.
Cool enough. But that's not likely to happen while having a conversation on theology. So is basically what you are saying is that nothing that any person could say could convince you?
Again, I don't know. They haven't said it yet, or i'd be convinced. I'm sorry I can't give you a cut and dry answer, but I can't imagine what evidence would wien for me. I can't even imagine it. But an all knowing god would know.
You have put the burden of proof on God... someone who says we will be saved by faith. Quite a quandary.
The only claims that can attributed to a god are those written by men in any given set of scriptures. So far, no gods have made any claims, no burden of proof from them is required.
If God wants me to love and believe in him (as the Bible says he does) and he created me to think and question, he would know what I would need in order to believe. Paul was blinded on the road. The disciples walked and talked with Jesus. Thomas touched his wounds - did none of them have faith?
I'm not sure that an all-knowing God is trying to convince you. Within the limits of this thread, it is what evidence another person could provide to convince you. To meet your burden of proof. It seems like the answer is none, which is completely fine.
But it would make conversation go a little easier if you stated that to the person who is trying to convince you.
I am willing to examine evidence open mindedly each time it is presented, biblically or otherwise. If I wasnt willing to be convinced, I wouldn't ask for evidence.
Until I hear it and consider it, how would I know if it was convincing or not? I've changed my mind on things before (clearly, since I went from a theology student and missionary to atheist) I'm not so arrogant to think that I can't possibly change my mind again if I'm convinced. Should I just shut someone down before they say anything because I think they're unlikely to succeed? What if, by miracle or by other means, that person I ignore could have opened my eyes and shown me the truth.
I don't remember if you answered this before or not when I asked, but if you don't know what you're looking for as evidence, then how can you know for sure If you've seen it, especially considering that you don't want to use the argument from ignorance?
Because if I had seen or heard something that was convincing, I would be convinced. I'm not going to see convincing evidence and ignore it because I'm a closed minded atheist. Every time I ask for proof, I have to make sure that I have an open mind, otherwise there's no point in asking.
Even if I had proof, I wouldn't automatically worship the deity that was proven. I can think of a lot of horrible deities in the past several thousand years that I would refuse to worship at all costs. Having proof that a god exists does not automatically mean that God is one that I would choose to worship. And that's what I don't understand about the free will argument. Knowing that a god exists does not remove my free will. I would still have to decide if I would follow it. You can know for certain that a god exists and refuse to obey (like Satan. Traditionally) or you can be given an undeniable experience and choose to obey - unless you say that Paul did not have free will after damascus
So... you just said even if you had the proof, you would still have to decide if you wanted to follow or not. You have shared often about your extensive knowledge about God... so what would there be left to decide? Does this mean... if any one of us could actually come up with the proof you need, that God is an absolute and everything we say about Him is 100% true, you still might not put your faith in Him? Do you understand that this attitude comes across when you speak? This means that our conversations are totally fruitless. This is why I have asked so many times why you come. Again, please don't be insulted, certain things just don't make sense to me, and I am just trying to make sense of them.
Because if I'm wrong, I want to know. I want to believe as many true things as possible, so if it's true that a god exists, I could no longer honestly say that I'm an atheist.
But no, I don't think I could worship or love the biblical god as he is portrayed, if my knowledge of his claims and scripture is correct. I could be wrong about him, but again, I have seen no evidence that I am.
Then do you feel that your presence here is simply to harass those who believe? Again, I'm not attacking, this just makes sense to me.
Having conversations, sharing information and debating on a subject that I enjoy equates to harassment to you?
Christiananrkist - do you think that I harass you?
No, I mean... asking ppl to produce evidence to convince you that even if they were able... you might still deny God. You sound to me like a woman with her mind made up. That makes me think that from your perspective, there is very little from the Christian side that matters to you. More like this is an open opportunity to chip away at someone else's faith. I may be wrong, that's just what I'm hearing. Anyway, it was a good conversation. I felt heard this time and I really appreciated the tone you took. Gotta go to the store, take care.
If someone presented you with undeniable evidence that the biblical god didn't exist and, instead, baal was real, and he demanded that you sacrifice your children to him in order to worship him properly, would you do it?
I'm sorry, but you don't know me, my position or my thoughts at all, so you can't possibly understand them. If that's what you got out of me being as open, honest and respectful as possible, I see little hope of that changing.
If I'm wrong about a god existing, then it stands to reason that I could be wrong about the claimed nature of that God. Therefore, a Christian would have to demonstrably prove their God existed, and then prove that my understanding of the Bible was incorrect and that God was deserving of worship and love and devotion.
I never claimed to know you. I thought we were just having a conversation... and I thought this time it had gone well. Oh well.
beth, you told me in no uncertain terms that since it was unlikely I would change my mind and I would have to make the decision whether or not to worship any god that could be proven that talking to me was worthless. You also told me that in your opinion, it looks like i'm only here to harass believers and chip away at their faith. If you can't understand how insulting those two statements are, I can't really help you.
Additionally, you never really answered my question. Lets move away from the personal comments, and focus on a hypothetical. If the Christian god was proven conclusively to be false, and another god was deemed true by irrefutable evidence that could not be ignored, would you automatically worship that god? What if your understanding of what that god's holy book said went against your sense of morality, and it required that you do horrible things in order to satisfy its wishes for worship. Would you do them without question? Or would you decide that, although that god had proven to be true, you could not agree to worship it?
I understand clearly where JF is coming from. Why are you so surprised that someone might choose not to worship God if he was unequivocally proven to exist? Automatic unconditional worship is not the reasonable thing to do. Proving God exists is just the first step, as important is proving the nature of God. Now if we believe the OT we would be compelled to believe God sanctioned and commanded genocide of the Canaanites. Is that the behaviour of an ideal God? Should we follow a God that institutes in law sexual inequality and the exploitation of foreign nationals? Should we worship a God who wilfully sets people on fire for eternity, sits there watching them burn, and all the while blames their Christian former friends for not telling them?
Until Jews Christians and Muslims can present a loving God, who's unconditional everlasting love doesn't come with conditions or expiry dates, then do not be surprised if people do not worship that God.
I didn't say I was surprised did I? I have heard the arguments the Atheists have provided concerning their inability to understand God and the Old Testament. What I commented on was the fact that JM has shared many times about knowing the Bible well. So if she already has her mind made up about who God is... (and if it is extremely unlikely that there is anything we can say to prove His existence to her)... then it seems her mind is fully made up. So her purpose to be here, would not be to learn or discuss really, but, and this is just my addition, to try and prove others wrong. Essentially to chip away at our belief/faith. I don't know her, as she said, I can't read her mind, or her motives... this to me is a matter of 2+2=4. Again, I'm not trying to offend or be unkind. I apologize if I come across that way.
Interesting Beth, is your mind made up? Is your purpose here to learn from Atheists? Are you questioning her reasons to be here while understanding your motives to be the same?
You seem to think we are here to learn from you while you are not here to learn from us.
For sure Radman. My mind is made up and though there is nothing you could say to change my mind, my motives are simple. 1) I am here to defend my faith. I hate to see God's name maligned. 2) The opportunity to share my beliefs in the hopes that someone might hear something that sparks their interest in further pursuing truth. That's about it really.
I would add that I come 99% of the time in response, but yes, you're right... I do not really come to learn from Atheists. I hope that is not offensive to you. It has nothing to do with you as a person and everything to do with being fully assured of my beliefs.
Right, so please don't accuse others of not wanting to learn from you if you are unwilling to learn from others.
so because you're not willing to change your mind, and you're not willing to even listen to a discussion with an open mind and the ability to learn, grow and change, does that make talking to you pointless? Does that mean that further conversations with you from anyone who disagrees with you should be avoided? What makes you any different than atheists, then? And if atheists are pointless to talk to because you don't feel like it's worth it, why do you continue to engage us? Why do you respond to our forum topics, or respond to the posts that we make in others? And if you decide that talking to all atheists is pointless and you have the one scrap of information that can change somebody's mind but refuse to engage with them, isn't it YOUR FAULT that they are ultimately condemned to an eternal hell?
Do you ONLY talk to people who you feel you have the possibility to convert? Not judging by your forum posts all over HP. How can you ever hope to grow or learn if you don't look at the subject with an open mind, willing to accept the possibility (however slim) that you may be wrong? I'm more open minded than you in that regard. At least I'm honest enough to admit that I don't know everything and that I could be wrong.
I would assume that you would think talking to me is pointless... did I say that talking to you was pointless? Why do you want to fight? If you want to discuss, why not try it without assuming we're at war... let your guard down and be friendly. If I offended you, I apologize. Maybe I shouldn't have brought it up, we've never been able to discuss anything at all before so it was foolish of me to speak openly. I'm sorry... Ill move on.
Hey, Beth. I have to commend you. You did very well in your conversation. I don't think you meant any offense in what you were saying.I can see where it went wrong, but you did very well for as long as it did go.
I don't know why you think that I'm insisting on fighting. I'm asking questions, and I'm trying to understand where you're coming as respectfully as possible. I don't assume that we're at war, although I don't think we'll ever see eye to eye (apparently on anything). Some of your comments were slightly insulting, but I did my best to see past them and continue the conversation respectfully by asking more questions and looking for clarification. I'm sorry if you saw it differently.
You do like to fight... unless its just me...lol
Can't dig in Canada. Too cold. Shovel keeps breaking.
What's this shovel thing of which you speak of eh? We dig with our hands, just like everyone else.
I thought you all trained your beavers to do that.
They use scoopier things than hockey sticks. They make Michiganders (aka, Canadians-In-Training) use those.
Hockey sticks are a sacred thing up here. I personally own at least twenty five and one would never think of using one to dig anything other than a hockey puck out of a snow bank.
I like to debate with people who are armed enough to fight back. Like you, for example. I don't like to debate/fight/argue with people in general.
I don't look at this stuff as debate. If one has enough information along with an understanding of the style of others, it becomes a good discussion , IMO because both sides are confident enough in where they stand to take emotion out of the equation
I hate debating. With an unholy passion. But I love conversation. I unplug the instant a conversation crosses the line to a debate. That's how I keep friends.
And that's how I lose them.. I discuss when they want to debate...lol
My biggest issue is that the minute a debate starts, it becomes necessary that someone be the winner. Eventually, the debate becomes about nothing except winning...and so many of the important elements of the topic get trampled under all the runners knocking each other down to win the race. IMO.
Don't misunderstand...I have seen an heard a good number of fascinating debates. But only when the participants keep in mind that it's the audience who determines the validity of each side-not the flowery words, not the best researched and best organized, and certainly not the one who can throw the heavier stones.
Why is it that you insist on asserting that atheists (and, I might add, all believers of other faiths) misunderstand the portrayal of god in the bible by not accepting it, when really they just see something different than you do?
I will admit that when I first started in the forums, you did come across in a manner that rubbed me the wrong way. I felt that you weren't listening to what I was trying to say regarding my beliefs. I'm not sure why though. But after a while, I started understanding you and atheism more, which gave me the chance to adjust my approach in dealing with you
lol. harass? i look forward to our discussions. we dont always agree, and almost never on religious discussions, but i always come away learning something, or at least pondering something for the next week.
Do you mind sharing that sentiment with some of your fellow believers? Lol
Okay so there's the question of if God exists as well as if he is how the bible portrays. The first will take care of the atheism, but the second determines whether you return to Christianity. Do I have it right?
absolutely. I think that the idea of only deeming it worthy to converse with those that either agree with you or those whose minds you have a possibility to change is abhorrent. Nothing can be learned if you enter into a conversation with those qualifications.
Nor can anything good come out of a conversation where one is trying to convert you.
I think most of the conversations on these forums are basically:
I'm trying to convert you. vs. I won't ever believe in your God, no matter what you say.
If both parties would be honest about it, then we could actually have meaningful conversation.
It's not close-minded to say that you've heard all the arguments and your mind is set. Nor is it chipping away at anyone else's beliefs to question their ideas. If that chips away at their beliefs, then they didn't really believe it in the first place.
I just wish we could move past the failed conversion attempts and actually have a conversation of some worth on these boards. It happens sometimes, but not frequently enough...
(and only about 5 words of that reply were actually directed at you JM, I was blathering)
I completely agree with you.
If I'm honest about it, I'm completely repelled from the idea of the Christian god by the behavior that I see constantly exhibited by a lot of his followers - on HP and elsewhere.
I have heard the same arguments over and over and over and over again. It gets tiring, but that doesn't mean that I'm not willing to listen to them. There have been several instances where I learned something new that I hadn't heard before - even though it was couched in a repetitive argument. That's the whole point of these discussions for me. Sometimes there are little nuggets of intelligence and information buried beneath the repetitive rubble. That's what I enjoy. If that means I have to slog through pages and pages of crap to find it, it's worth it to me.
I wish more people could move away from the "I must convert you" which is completely off-putting and focus on discussing ideas with people of different beliefs. That's where the growth and the knowledge is. Challenging someone's ideas and beliefs is not an attack, and it's not personal. When someone challenges my ideas, I'm able to grow and further understand them. In my opinion, it's only those whose "faith" is shaky to begin with who are threatened by the exchange of different ideas or the challenge of their core beliefs.
I can see that. If someone goes into a conversation with the goal of conversion and they meet a lot of questions they can't/won't answer to the convertee's (yes I know it's not a word) satisfaction, they are going to become frustrated because of their epic failure. Yet they keep trying.
Conversations about different beliefs are interesting as hell, and they really do help with tolerance and understanding... however it has to be acknowledged that they are stating their own personal beliefs. This "I have the truth" crap is a conversation stopper.
However, saying I have MY truth, should be acceptable. It's not all the time but that's another conversation.
very well said. its funny i can almost copy and paste what you just said as to why i like discussing thing with atheist and why i listen to atheist radio shows and podcast. i pretty much hear the same things for the most part, but that doesnt mean i havent learned and even had my faith strengths in the process. however it also doesnt mean i have an answer to everything....yet. lol
I just like the debate. Is there a God, isn't there a God? I know no one will listen, but it rather fun to attempt to present logic and watch people twist out of it. Would they do that for any other reason?
LMAO, they haven't figured out the power of the all-great word "So?" I agree my beliefs are illogical. Now, that being said... lots of things everybody does, thinks and/or believes are logical. Once you make peace with that the attacks on logic are actually humorous.
Oh I agree. Logically we don't need or should want sex except to produce babies. Sometime we need to through logic out the window.
This senctence here is what im talking about. "I have no problems explaining why I stopped believing or why I'm an atheist. ". this is why i think you and I have had good productive conversations. although your technically not obligated to give reasons according the the burden of proof rule, you do obviously have your reasons and are willing to present them.
- the responsibility of proof is to be assumed by anyone who wants to be taken seriously. To flat out state that another's supposition is "silly" is rude, disrespectful and unfriendly.
IMHO if two parties are not both willing to learn from each other, the conversation is completely pointless. That doesn't mean you need to be willing to change you mind, just that you are genuinely interested in what other people think and want to understand it better.
I believe there is a difference in being interested in what someone says and being willing to learn something from them. When it comes to matters of faith, I don't want to open myself up to their teaching... in any other matter, I'm happy to open myself up.
thats why i asked the question thank you. how are we to gain an understanding if it basically ends up being a 1 sided discussion
You're right. The forums are discussions not debates. In formal debates, I don't often see it as winning or losing, and its completely ambiguous depending on the audience perception.
To clarify, let me correct my statement. I don't intentionally pick fights or argue for the sake of arguing. I like to discuss things in depth, and in order to do that, you have to be able to crack the surface layer and get to the meat. A lot of people take issue with that and choose to get offended by it, rather than going with the flow in order to get to the point of meaningful conversation. It's just easy to cry foul as soon as you feel uncomfortable, throw accusations at the other person and run away. You never get to the meat or deeper understanding when you play that way, and it makes people look insecure.
YES, I DO BELIEVED THE BURDEN ARE LEFT BEHIND OF THEIR NON-EXIXTENCE AND TESTED TO A DEGREE; THAT'S LIFE FOR YOU. OBSERVED AND WATCH YOUR SURROUNDING.
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