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What do you think of this?

  1. profile image0
    SirDentposted 3 years ago

    Truth?  or not?

    https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1.0-9/1560715_10151992985652740_802719321_n.jpg

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      A few complaints:

      Few atheists have a belief that god does not exist; atheists profess no belief at all.

      I don't understand the phrase "But with God Everything is fine" in the atheist section.  The phrase "the more you have the happier you will be" doesn't seem true, either.

      Other than that, rather cute.

      1. tsadjatko profile image88
        tsadjatkoposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        "Few atheists have a belief that god does not exist; atheists profess no belief at all." ? So your position is that atheists have no belief at all?
        An atheist is defined as a person who denies the existence of a supreme being or beings, not that they "profess no belief at all."
        Atheists have beliefs just like everyone else - they believe that God does not exist just as they probably believe the earth is round. "that God does not exist" is a belief, not a fact as it can not be proven so it requires faith to say god does not exist. Faith is belief.
        Atheists display the same form of everyday faith that everyone does.
        Atheists undoubtedly do that, but they also—at least normally—display faith at the core of their religious lives, with the very beliefs that make one an atheist. It is common today for atheists to say, “I can’t prove that there is no God—but I think it highly unlikely that he exists, or at least I haven’t seen convincing proof of his existence, so I don’t believe in him.”

        Whether they think it highly unlikely that God exists, or whether they just have not been presented with proof they consider sufficient, they are adopting a belief without certain proof.  In other words, they are exercising faith.

        They are in the same position as the ordinary Christian who holds the existence of God despite his acknowledgement that he does not have conclusive proof of this.

        And atheists exercising faith in this way are doing so regarding the central belief of atheism—the non-existence of God.

        http://s1.hubimg.com/u/8895666_f248.jpg

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          "World English Dictionary
          atheist  (ˈeɪθɪˌɪst)

          — n
          1.    a person who does not believe in God or gods

          — adj
          2.    of or relating to atheists or atheism

          While it may suit your purposes to make up your own definition, the modern dictionary definition of the word does not include a belief system.  It does your credibility no good to pretend that atheists follow the tracks of the believers, in choosing to believe without evidence.

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Atheism is a chosen belief with the same lack of evidence. If it wasn't a belief, there'd be a definitive answer. There isn't. There's no proof one way or the other. It really is that simple. No need to over-complicate it.

            1. JMcFarland profile image89
              JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              What do I as an atheist believe in,  headly?   That I have in common with all other atheists everywhere?   If it's a belief,  this answer should be simple for you.

              1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                It is simple. You believe reality as is can and does exist without being the deliberate creation of a creator.

                1. JMcFarland profile image89
                  JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  I'm not entirely sure that's accurate,  and I typically don't appreciate people who don't really know me telling me what I do our don't believe.   I don't believe in reality.   I live in reality.   I know you think there is evidence of a creator,  but I'm not convinced.   If you have to use philosophy as evidence,  it doesn't really work for me.

                  I don't believe that it is the deliberate creation of anything,  but I don't believe it isn't either.   I don't know.   That's not a belief.   Nothing I have seen or read has been conclusive for me.   I'm not going to dishonestly claim to know something that I don't.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    It's not a matter of whether or not I know you. If you label yourself as an "atheist", this is what that means. Holding no belief is not an "atheist". An "atheist" is a particularly chosen stance on the matter. A definitive, defined, stance. Yes, we all live in reality. And because reality exists, it requires explanation for existing. So you have chosen one answer over another where that explanation is concerned.

                2. PhoenixV profile image80
                  PhoenixVposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Its the atheist song and dance without a stance gig. A turnip also has a no belief, belief system. The honest intellectual default stance is " I dont know". Which is agnosticism.

                  1. profile image0
                    Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I thought I saw in a previous post that she, in fact, calls herself an atheist agnostic.  At this point, does not believe in God, does not know for certain, and hasn't adopted a definitive "stance" one way or another.

                    Maybe I was reading something different than you were.

                3. oceansnsunsets profile image87
                  oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  To JM, do you disagree with the above?  Do you think it's possible for the reality we are in to be explained by an intelligence/creator?  Perhaps you are more agnostic than atheist, which I did see you put in too, with another post.  Generally though it seems by what you have said that you are an atheist.  Is that not true?

                  1. JMcFarland profile image89
                    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Atheism addresses a belief.   Agnosticism addresses knowledge.   I do not know for certain one way or the other,  and have not been convinced by evidence,  therefore I do not believe.   

                    Thank you,  ocean,  for actually asking for clarification.   I appreciate that.

                    I am agnostic on the origins of the universe.   I don't know for certain,  and since I have not examined it much,  I cannot assert knowledge or belief in the subject.

                    To specifically address your question,  sure it may be possible that a god created the universe.   It's also possible that no God created the universe.   It's also possible that universe creating pixies created the universe.   Possibilities do not equal belief in one over the other.   Anything is possible.   Belief comes one it has been sufficiently proven.

                4. profile image0
                  Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  See, I read that differently, Headly.  I would say that she simply hasn't yet been convinced that there is indeed a creator, under which circumstances, she isn't comfortable acknowledging something as a fact when she hasn't seen it unquestioningly demonstrated as one.

                  I'm a total "agnostic" in terms of things like evolution.  Things evolve, without doubt.  Organisms adapt and change.  You and anyone else can show me that.  Where I don't "know" is how that evolution is sparked and how it all began.  I believe there is a creator...but I wasn't there when things got started and can't tell you how it all began or continued, or for what original purpose.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    That particular response was in response to her asking what belief all atheists had in common. This is the belief all atheists musts have in common. That reality, which is real and therefore requires explanation, does not require a God as an explanation for it to exist as it does. That is a common, unsubstantiated  belief, that all atheists must share.

              2. oceansnsunsets profile image87
                oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Is a better answer, that you all lack a belief in god or gods?  Don't all atheists believe that?

            2. oceansnsunsets profile image87
              oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Even with taking out the word belief, and using Wilderness' definition of atheist,

              "  — n
                  1.    a person who does not believe in God or gods."

              Headly's point stands.  The atheists have chosen a view, no one forced them. People align with the lack of belief in gods, view. Atheism.  They hold that view that they chose.  Now, take the view of Christians, they don't lack a belief in gods. They choose that view.  Does one of those sides have more evidence for it than the other? 

              Does taking the word that caused all of this disagreement out, successfully make "null and void" what Headly said near the beginning? 

              I am addressing these original comments, because this is where things went a little haywire, imo.  By haywire, it kind of turned into something I think it wasn't actually about.

              Especially in light of what followed, with the very soft views of atheism being tossed about and no one really knowing for sure, etc

          2. Venkatachari M profile image83
            Venkatachari Mposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            A person who does not believe in God is equal to a person having belief that there is no God. So, the atheist believes that there is no God. Atheist is also a believer just like theist but in the opposite direction.

            1. JMcFarland profile image89
              JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              That's like saying if you believe in God,  you believe in all gods.   

              That is to say,  it's not at all true.   Not believing in something does not equate to a positive belief of the oposite.

              1. Venkatachari M profile image83
                Venkatachari Mposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                There is no such thing as all Gods. God is one whatever name or attribute you may give him. And as far as I know atheists do not believe in God. They say there is no God as such.

            2. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Do you believe there is a nickel coin in my pocket?  Or do you have insufficient information to formulate a belief whether there is one there or not?

              Now apply that concept to a belief in a god.  The lack of such belief merely means there is insufficient evidence to formulate a belief at all, not that there is a belief there IS no god.

              1. profile image0
                Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                What would you do if I said a nickel didn't exist? You are comparing apples to oranges with that example.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Prove you were incorrect, assuming I HAD a nickel to do it with.  I make the claim there IS a nickel in my pocket - you say there is no such thing as a nickel whereupon I either put up or shut up.  Same with a god.

                  1. profile image0
                    SirDentposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    God did put up.  Look to the cross.

              2. Sed-me profile image82
                Sed-meposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Now if you told me there was a nickle in your pocket, I'd be more likely to believe. I wonder if that's not why believers go to such an effort here on this forum.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  But why would you believe?  Because I have an honest (avatar) face?

                  1. Sed-me profile image82
                    Sed-meposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    No, but I wouldn't assume you were lying either.
                    And not for nothing, but I wouldn't spend my days trying to prove you didn't. wink

                2. profile image0
                  Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes, they are gullible. They believe what they are told and they stick to it regardless of the evidence. BTW, I have some great Florida land for sale, very cheap.

                  1. Sed-me profile image82
                    Sed-meposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    "they" meaning believers?
                    Isn't that a banning offense? I wonder if you have to say, "In my opinion Believers are gullible."
                    Or maybe you have to personalize it and say "I knew a Believer who was gullible." Other wise it seems kind of insulting don't you think?

              3. Venkatachari M profile image83
                Venkatachari Mposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                The question is regarding theist and atheist. Theist believes in existence of God and an atheist not believes in His existence.  So, it is unnecessary wastage of time in trying to make them believe. That is all I wanted to say.

                Comparing existence of nickel in your pocket with God's existence is a silly point. If you say nickel is in your pocket, anybody will believe immediately. But if you say there is God, it requires some innate feeling and belief and even experience. But ultimately one has to accept to this sooner or later as there is no other way to explain things. This is what I feel. You are at right to refuse it

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  "But if you say there is God, it requires some innate feeling and belief and even experience."

                  No it doesn't.  It takes a fear of death.  Or perhaps a desire for a father figure, someone/something to apply guidelines to our life.  But it certainly does NOT require any experience with a god, as no one has every been able to show that such a thing happens at all.  Feelings - sure, we all have feelings, but it does not require a feeling there is a god to believe.  Just that desire that there be one.

                  "But ultimately one has to accept to this sooner or later as there is no other way to explain things. This is what I feel. You are at right to refuse it"

                  Of course there are other ways to explain things - you even know some of them.  You just don't like them and prefer the one you've made up in your own mind.  That you "feel" that your explanation is the true one doesn't make it so - it doesn't provide one iota of evidence that you are correct.  You are correct that there isn't much reason to try and convince an atheist that your feelings are the one and only reality we all live under, though - the large majority of atheists require more than "feelings" from someone else to form a belief of their own.  It's why they are atheists, after all; no one can provide anything but their own opinions and feelings without ever having actual evidence to support those opinions and feelings.  It isn't enough for the atheist.

                  1. Cat333 profile image77
                    Cat333posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    My relationship with the Lord has nothing to do with fear of death (love drives out fear), I don't desire a father figure (I've unfortunately failed to even really embrace this aspect/benefit of faith based on my own distaste for "father figures") and in the natural I HATE guidelines/rules (as INFP types generally do).

                    Our personal knowledge, our "first-hand faith" and our relationship with the Lord all require our EXPERIENCE with him. This personal experience has nothing to do with our ability to PROVE this to you or anyone else. It's OUR experience and it REVEALS TO US. We may give testimony of it to you, but UNTIL YOU EXPERIENCE IT, it means little to nothing to you.

                    Still, some events are pretty difficult to dismiss even before you've personally experienced the Lord yourself. A great example is found in Sed-me's post to you.

        2. JMcFarland profile image89
          JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          the 'strong' atheist position is "no gods exist".  I know very few atheists who fall into that category.

          The overwhelming amount of atheists have a "lack of belief" in a god.  I'm an atheist agnostic, because I do not have a belief in a god, but I cannot know with certainty either way. 

          It seems that you just want to make up your own definitions to fit your preconceptions about atheists, which is a bit disingenuous since you're not one and you're not in a position to say, don't you think?

          1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
            oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            The view is filled with beliefs however, and I point them out often on debates when I see an atheist express them.  It's filled with ideas, views , and all are chosen.  If you asked an atheist on a given day, "do you believe in a god or gods?"  They might say  "no I don't believe in a god or gods." 

            The straining at the emphasis of trying to avoid the word "belief", is so strong that it's worth noting.  It adds unneeded confusion to try and avoid the obvious.  No one needs to say something like "I have a lack if a belief the universe had a beginning," unless they are trying hard to avoid an obvious conflict inherent in ones  views.  Without thinking that through the definition sounds great.  I respect it though because they are holding to it.

            If someone doesn't want what comes with their view naturally, (like illogic, etc), THIS us one way to get to keep the desired view but be able to wiggle out of the tight spots that come from the view when things get fleshed out.  It's like it was written by a lawyer.  I see this.

            1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
              MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I think your post completely misses that the distinction is important. That's very telling.

              You assume that it is to "wriggle" out of something, which is also telling. I view it more as an important distinction... one that you obviously don't like for some reason.

              1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
                oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I have always respected  the distinction, which can be seen in how I always refer to them.  I always say "lack of a belief in god or lacking belief I god", etc. 

                The idea that it's ok for some to point things out but others can't, is not a view that I hold or think is really fair.

                1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
                  MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't think that anyone is saying that you can't point things out... We're just saying you're wrong. Point incorrectly all you like smile

                2. profile image62
                  idealisticposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  But lacking a belief in God is not the same as believing there is no God.

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    But does not rule out believing there is no god.  Which may be why "atheist" is the best terminology - it encompasses both the lack of belief (either way) AND the belief there is no god.

            2. JMcFarland profile image89
              JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              No,  I don't think you understand.   There is nothing illogical about saying you don't believe in something for any reason.

              Atheists may hold many beliefs in many different topics,  but they don't necessarily stem from atheism.   They're separate issues.   I accept evolution,  not because I'm an atheist,  but because I accept that it has been scientifically proven to happen.   I would accept evolution with or without atheism.   My atheism is not dependent on evolution.   My acceptanceof evolution is not dependant on my atheism. They're completely separate issues.   

              I think you're trying to turn a discussion about labels and definitions into a wide sweeping polemic about atheism in general,  and it's not going to work.  At least not with me.

              Do atheists have beliefs?   I'm sure they do.   I have beliefs.   They're not related directly to the fact that I'm an atheist and more than your acetylene that the earth is round is dependant upon your theism.   Atheists are individuals,  and their beliefs vary on almost every topic.   Just like Christians.

          2. oceansnsunsets profile image87
            oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            In the first few sentences of your first post, you were speaking about atheism in general, and in this Quote from your next one you asked about all atheists specifically,

            "What do I as an atheist believe in,  headly?   That I have in common with all other atheists everywhere?"

            This is another point where it shows the original points and the later defense of the points took a big turn.  The Iisue taken with the answer to your question, countered by the finer details of your personally held view.  I say to clarify my earlier points.

      2. oceansnsunsets profile image87
        oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Going back to Wilderness' post that made the point initially, I just wanted to make a comment. I believe it is true that if you asked an atheist if they professed any belief in a god or gods, they would say no.  I do think they have beliefs and many of them, about all kinds of things as we see in other threads on HubPages.  But of course you won't PROFESS a belief.  It doesn't claim to be a religion or anything of the sort. 

        My first search on "belief definition" turns this up, the first definition under the word too..., lol

        "be·lief
        noun \bə-ˈlēf\

        : a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true."

        I found that rather curious.

      3. profile image0
        SirDentposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        You know, after thinking about it, that phrase is used by some atheists in the forums here, not pertaining to themselves but to believers.  They say, at times, that believers can do anything they want and everything is fine.  Just a possible explanation. 

        It was very clever of the person who wrote it.

    2. oceansnsunsets profile image87
      oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      A couple little things could be said on either side I am sure, but considering how very clever this is, that isn't bad!  Being able to read it through, then backwards on up was too weird.  When I am not so tired I may have more critique of it, lol. smile  Thanks for sharing, never saw anything like it.

    3. JPB0756 profile image60
      JPB0756posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Cute trick, for certain! As neither, nor Agnostic.."Huh, what?..", I am merely amused, and thank you, btw,for that in such a "discussion" on vaporous non-facts!  Look inside yourself and forget anything and everything you've "absorbed;" only the truth will remain. DO IT.

      1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
        oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I thought so too!  The latter part of your post intrigued me.  The latter part of your comment has me wondering what you think truth is.  Do you mind my asking?  What do you think the truth is?

    4. Nabil Ansari profile image61
      Nabil Ansariposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I have been an Atheist and trust me, I was never comfortable with these kind of thoughts. This might sound crazy, but I wasn't able to sleep at night thinking that there is no God and I will surely wake. Where in reality, nothing is in your own hands.

    5. profile image0
      Mklow1posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Very creative and original. Whoever wrote it was talented and an outside of the box thinker.

  2. psycheskinner profile image79
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    My core beliefs are not "chosen" like an apple from a basket of fruit.  They are fundamental intuition that come from my essential nature and every life experience I have ever had.  I could not "chose" to belief differently.

  3. oceansnsunsets profile image87
    oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago

    I think what we are seeing is some of the struggles of the atheistic worldview.  There are multiple ways anyone can deal with those facts, we are observing some I think.  Wanting to distance some seems natural to me.  I hope it encourages others to see the inherent problems with the view.

    1. JMcFarland profile image89
      JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      No,  what we're seeing is the problems in slapping preconceived assumptions on labels that other people have to define themselves.   This has nothing to do with my "worldview"  What does someone who does not believe in any God?   An atheist.   What do you call someone who doesn't think it's possible to know one way or another?   An agnostic.   What do you call someone who neither believes or knows?   An atheist agnostic.   It says nothing about the position itself,  and I think telling anyone else that their label doesn't work and they need to use something else is silly and arrogant.   Who would know better than the person themselves?   A stranger on the Internet?   Almost all of the atheists I know use the same definitions. I am not alone,  and headly knows that.

      If the label Christian meant that non believers would automatically associate you with the Westboro Baptist Church,  and their views,  would you not argue against that and try to clarify your own position?   Would distancing yourself from that one group demonstrate problems with your worldview? Would you be okay with everyone just assuming what you meant by Christian, then using those preconceived ideas to judge you?

      I just read another post of yours from another thread,  oceans,  in which you said "Also, why do you share all this with me, as a lot of it, the majority of it I actually agree with.  Perhaps you are assuming I have views I do not."  So it would seem that you do counteract this type of thinking when it comes to your Christian beliefs.

  4. profile image62
    idealisticposted 3 years ago

    A common misconception and misunderstanding that is taught in religious circles is the definition of atheism. Christian circles teach that theism is belief that God exists and atheism is belief that God does not exist. These definitions are incorrect. THEISM is having a BELIEF, whether positive (God exists) or negative (God does not exist) in God. Theism is the black and white stance of yes or no. Atheism is a lack of belief. IT is a point of neutrality in the BELIEF scale (as opposed to agnosticism that speaks to knowledge). An atheist simply states that since there is no evidence one way or the other of God's existence, an atheist does not hold an belief one way or the other.


    This is separate from being agnostic. Agnostics simply do not know if God exists or not. Gnostics claim knowledge of whether God exists or not and presumably have evidence to prove one or the other.

    An individual can hold a position of belief and of knowledge. You can have Theist agnostics, theist gnostics (which many believers claim), atheist gnostics, and atheist agnostics.

    As far as beliefs vs knowledge, you can have people confined to one group, but it really isn't as black and white as theists try to force some things to be

    1. PhoenixV profile image80
      PhoenixVposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Is that a fact or your infallible opinion? Petitio principii.  I think the absolute truth is reality is a product of Agency, based upon logical conclusion of the information available. I reject the notion of debating anyone that would make such a flawed assumption or has a philosophy of "i dont know". Now what?

      1. profile image62
        idealisticposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Well, if you refuse to debate someone that has the stance of "I don't know", my advice to you would be not to debate someone like that. It's that simple. You choose what debates to get into and not to.

        Edit- But why debate anything? Who not have a simple discussion?

        1. PhoenixV profile image80
          PhoenixVposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          What would be the point anyway? And why debate anyone that assumes the premise of an argument?

  5. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago

    Look, my intent here is not to step on anyone's toes or insult anyone's beliefs. I'm just trying to keep the goalposts where they need to be to keep the conversation as unconvoluted as possible.

    A title like "agnostic atheist" is redundant. That would be like me calling myself a "Christian Theist". Agnostic, in and of itself, also means you don't hold a belief in a God and it explains why. The only reason one would need to adopt the title "agnostic atheist" would be if everytime you introduced yourself as "agnostic", if the next question was always "so does that mean you believe in God, yet acknolwedge there's no way of knowing that for sure?" Because that is not the case, the title is unnecessary. And attempting to shame other people into acknowledging and adopting this change in definition only results in discussions like this that are otherwise totally unnecessary and resolved by simply using the titles as defined.

    1. PhoenixV profile image80
      PhoenixVposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Another alternative is that they have no knowledge of whether they themselves are atheist or not.  Or perhaps they have no agnostic belief, of they dont know?

      Edit: I see no difference between the belief system and an Abbott and Costello routine.

    2. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I'm only responding to the redundancy issue...Muslims are theists.  Jews are theists (sometimes).  Christians are theists.  Not many Christians align their beliefs with Muslims or Jews.  What about a Mormon theist, as opposed to a Catholic theist, as opposed to a PAN-theist.

      See where the distinctions become important?

      1. JMcFarland profile image89
        JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        What I don't understand is why someone would tell someone else what they do or don't believe in,  to the point of telling the person who had adopted a particular set of labels that their labels are WRONG and then say they didn't mean to step on any toes,  when if the same was done to then,  they'd be up in arms.

        If I told you,  for example. That your label of Christianity automatically meant you were aligned with the Westboro Baptist Church,  I don't imagine that you would agree or accept that assumption.   Hence all of the arguments we see about "true" Christians,  negating the purpose of the label Christian completely.

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I think the issue is really with labeling to begin with.  Like Melissa said earlier, it's its own means of stereotyping and a lazy way to interact.

      2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, I do. Unless you're atheist. How many people do you know claim to be Agnostic, yet hold theistic beliefs?

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Personally?  Lots.  Most of them are living or deceased members of my family. I'm personally one of the still living ones (I think).  wink

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Well, in my experience, most people who label themselves agnostic do not hold a belief in God.

            1. profile image0
              Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              No, people who believe in God may very well admit that they could be mistaken.

  6. JMcFarland profile image89
    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago
  7. oceansnsunsets profile image87
    oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago

    What is a common ground view then for atheists?  It seems there is at least the belief in no beliefs, is that fair at least? If they do have them what are they?

    Moving the goalposts is still just that, IF it is what is going on.  I tried to agrees why it might be seen as a way to go when that situation arises.

    1. JMcFarland profile image89
      JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      All atheists do not have a belief in any God.  No atheist believes in a god.    That is the only thing we all have in common.   Everything else is up for grabs,  as the belief or non belief is the only question atheism addresses.   Look at the link I posted.   It explains it better than I can.

      Here it is again,  in case you missed it.  http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php? … ._agnostic

      As far as moving the goalposts,  lacking a belief in something is nothing of the sort.  You lack a belief in Thor.  Should you be expected to provide evidence as to why you lack that belief,  or is it up to the person who DOES believe in Thor provide evidence for his resistance?   String atheists who say there are no gods should have evidence to conclusively prove their claim.   I'm not considered a strong atheist.   I just don't currently hold a belief in any God.   What is my burden of proof in that?   How do you prove what you don't believe?   Is like asking a Christian to provide proof for Allah,  when they don't believe in Allah.

    2. JMcFarland profile image89
      JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Let me clarify.   For those that adopt the term atheist,  that is the case.

      Christians are atheists for all other god claims.   So are Muslims.   People that call themselves atheists just take it one God further.

      Since Christians do not believe in Thor or Zeus,  or Allah,  they are atheistic towards those gods.   Does that make sense?

    3. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      What are the common ground beliefs for theists?  And I don't mean to sound flip.

      1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
        oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Theists believe in one god at least.  Not too different from lacking a belief in a creator or being for the majority of atheists.  These are ideas they each hold (usually), in our shared reality.

        1. JMcFarland profile image89
          JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Right,  and that's exactly my point.   The commonality between theists ends at the answer to the one question that theism addresses: a belief in God.   Atheism is the lack of a belief in a god, and that's all it addresses,  just like that's all the question addresses in theism.

        2. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          One God at least.  What about Romans who labeled Christians atheists because they didn't accept the Roman pantheon?

          1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
            oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            What about them?

            1. profile image0
              Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              So in the first century, were Christians theists or atheists?  See where applying a very general label doesn't encompass specific qualities of belief?  And, just so you know, I love this conversation, and I'm paying attention to who is posting this time because it caught my very personal interests.  smile

              1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
                oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                How does that all apply in this particular conversation exactly? 

                The Romans were right or wrong, that if you believed in only one god, you were an atheist. 

                It's the people switching up the definitions that ought to be the ones that need to defend why they do so.  Defending the problems a view brings on itself, by shielding it with more  palatable view is still just that if and when it's done.  It just ceased to be the thing being talked about, and got real wriggly.

                A wiggly fish can escape a grasp but no one should deny the wiggle itself when it happens.  No one can fairly get mad when someone sees the wriggling and points it out.   On this case wriggling can save a fish but the view has to own it's stuff or else it ceases to be.

                1. JMcFarland profile image89
                  JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  How exactly do you consider it wriggling for an atheist to clarify a misconception on a label that they have given themselves.   Do you conversely see yourself wriggling when attempting to clarify your views on Christianity,  or is that different somehow,  so you get a pass?  I have owned and explained my atheism and my Agnosticism,  so I guess by your words that means it's safe.   Thanks for the concern.

                  1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
                    oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    In answer to your first question or sentence, I don't.

                2. profile image0
                  Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Not at all my point.  My point is that your understanding appears to be that all atheists believe there is no God.  A) that is not the case.  The just don't believe in gods period.  Most do not claim 100% with certainty that a god or gods does/do not exist. B) what we label TODAY as a theist was labeled originally as an atheist.  So...leaving every other thing aside, what is a Christian?  And what is an atheist?  Are there common understandings among those in each respective groups?  Yes.  But I'm hard pressed to find commonalities of belief.  Possibly DISbelief, but it's sorta like having oodles of denominations among Christians.  There are oodles of denominations among atheists, and no ultimate ruling body.  Like, you and I might agree that the Christian God is a trinity.  I know of two Christians on this forum who DO NOT, and make it very clearly known when they discuss the issue.

                  1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
                    oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I actually don't talk like atheists believe, because I have seen over the years their severe distaste for the word in relation to their views. 

                    Someone maybe not using a preferred  word in this case, didn't change the actual views held by JM.  Yet this backlash, which I find telling.

            2. PhoenixV profile image80
              PhoenixVposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Hey Ocean, I am a devout believer in any and all beliefs that believe that reality is the product of agency.  Some of my favorites are AUM, HUNAB-KU, and Tetragrammaton, even though I know almost absolutey nothing about the former two. I just like them. To claim I am an atheist to all other Gods is an ontological error, what about you, are you an atheist to any beliefs that believe that reality is the product of agency?

      2. profile image62
        idealisticposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        A belief in at least one deity. That's about where it ends for some.

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          A deist can have that too.  So what makes the difference between a theist and a deist?

          1. profile image62
            idealisticposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Where their belief stems from. A deist looks at nature and reason but rejects supernatural causes. Deists also believe that God created the world then walked away. Theists believe in supernatural revelation as evidence for a God. They also believe that their God still takes an active role in their creation

            1. profile image0
              Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              How can a deist believe these two contrary things: that there is no supernatural cause, but a GOD created natural processes?

              1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
                MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                A deeper question is why we automatically want to link creation with religious beliefs. They aren't the same question. One answers a belief in God, the other answers a belief in how we/stuff got here. That's where the label thing fails. We are assuming that the answer to one question answers questions that are unrelated. Stereotyping.

                1. JMcFarland profile image89
                  JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  That's exactly true,  and exactly my point.   Headly told me quite plainly that as an atheist,  I have to believe that no God had to create the universe,  and that it all happened naturally.   I don't have a belief either way and don't claim to know,  but origins of life have nothing to do with atheism. Telling me I'm an agnostic and not an atheist because I don't know what started life is infuriating because they're not the Anne issues.   Equating the two just to further stereotypes and biases is dishonest.

                2. profile image0
                  Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Possibly. I personally don't think belief is now, or has ever been, meant the address the question of how, but rather WHY.  Some people get over the why pass of questioning before they hit first grade.  Others of us continue to seek the answers to the why questions.

                  And we can educate ourselves out the ass, but every single fact that we ever learn will lead us to the ultimate FACT that there's a helluva lot we just don't know.  Stephen Hawking will have to face that, Billy Graham will have to face that, I will have to face it, and so will every human being on the planet.  Do we stop learning?  No.  Do we maybe have to stop being convinced that we know EVERYTHING?  I think so.  And one thing we still haven't figured out through religion, philosophy, science, and humanities studies is why....some people need to or want to know.  Others don't care.

              2. profile image62
                idealisticposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Maybe I didn't word it correctly. A deist believes that God created the world, but does not believe that God interferes day to day with the world. As I stated, a deist just thinks God created everything and walked away from it. They do not believe in a Holy spirit like theist (Christians) do



                http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/deism

                1. profile image0
                  Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Fair enough.  What kind of spirit then do they believe in?  A supernatural realm made only of evil?  No supernatural realm at all, which would mean no immortality of any sort since everything natural eventually dies?  If God's not supernatural, then is he natural, and if so, when did/will his existence end?

                  1. profile image62
                    idealisticposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I don't know. I only have the most basic understanding of deism that is limited to the dictionary term. But I do have a project to read up on. Thanks

                    Edit- The reference to spirit was more of an example of the supernatural that is rejected

  8. MelissaBarrett profile image60
    MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago

    Well, for me it is because I believe that a God does exist. Creation has absolutely nothing to do with my faith, therefore intrinsic is obviously an inappropriate word. There are religions that center around fire, volcanoes, animals, really smart guys, war, death... you name it. Sometimes religions are created to explain the origins of everything... SOMETIMES. Sometimes religions touch on it, but that's not the reason for the faith. Sometimes there is absolutely nothing in the religion about creation. Sometimes there are explanations for the universe that have nothing to do with God.

    No one ever denied that some people believe in Gods. That's the only point you've successfully made. I'll also give you that some people believe God made everything.

    You are trying to connect creation and God in every single case... that's not happening. You are also implying that knowing that there are other possible reasons for the Universe means not believing in God... it doesn't. You are also implying that believing in God means that you must believe he created the Universe... it doesn't mean that at all.

    The two questions are unrelated. You are trying to force them to be related. Here's the acid test...

    Can a Christian say that the BBT is completely plausible scientific theory and still be a Christian? If your answer is yes, then your implied association fails. If it is no, then you are in the vast vast minority of people who believe that way.

    1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
      HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      You're acting like creation vs. evolution isn't a thing because of exactly what I'm talking about. Why do you think it is that Darwin was concerned about how believers would take his theory? Because God is tethered to our origin. This isn't new. This isn't something I'm doing. This is why science and God are often said to be at odds with one another. Because science offers explanations for things that were always attributed to God.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        "Why do you think it is that Darwin was concerned about how believers would take his theory?"

        Because the church was well known for it's intolerance of actual knowledge and he had a very real fear for his life and liberty.  Certainly not because he thought that a god created us; that would have pleased the church a great deal and he could still have presented his new learning to the world.  (He repeatedly reiterated that his theory or "Origin of Species" did NOT include thoughts on origin of life.)

        1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
          HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          My point being that the origin of the universe and the natural world and the concept of a God are tied together. Melissa is acting like I'm making this up. But your comment about the churches intolerance of actual knowledge isn't exactly accurate. Not that I'm a fan of organized religion, I am not, but that's not accurate. The beginnings of science are tethered to the church. Many people who make claims like you just did will often refer to Galileo being put under house arrest as a heretic by the church. But what they'll often leave out is that the pope at the time invited Galileo to do a presentation about his finding of a sun-centric universe. Not exactly something in line with your statement. He only got in dutch with the church when he insisted on publicly giving his own take of biblical scripture where the sun was concerned. The church felt like they were the authority on what biblical passages meant.

      2. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Creation vs. evolution is very much a thing... a silly and asinine thing, but a thing nonetheless... However belief in God vs. Non-belief is not the same thing as creationism vs. evolution.

        I've noticed you want to do this a lot... wrap all sorts of topics up as one single question. It doesn't work like that for most people. Separate topics require separate conversations. If one single theist acknowledges evolution and believes God... then the belief that they are the same question is logically flawed.

        In addition, evolution does not address creation. It never has. So that point is also moot.

        1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
          HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          They are tied together because belief in God goes hand in hand with an explanation for the natural world. Without that you also lose the explanation. If the one responsible for creation is believed to not exist, then out the window also goes the explanation for creation. The natural world to the believer is the creation of God. That's why it's referred to as "creation". Remove God, or adopt a viewpoint that doesn't include God, and reality still requires an explanation.

          1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
            MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            No, it doesn't. That's what I'm trying to explain. It ONLY goes hand in hand for a very specific group of believers in a very small handful of religions (mainly the Abrahamic religions).  Most Christians don't group the two concepts, certainly most Jews don't either... Muslims are split. Buddhists certainly don't. Hindus tend not to. Atheists don't. Pagans REALLY don't.

            Creationist Christians, Jews and Muslims. That's what you got. The rest of the world keeps the issues quite separate.

            You are basically saying that a belief in God (A) equals a belief in creationism (B). A does not equal B. It may for you, but it doesn't for the majority of the world.

            In addition, evolution (C) does not equal the origins of the universe (D)...

            You are trying to say that A = B= C = D.

            They are all separate concepts.

            In addition, you are saying that by default a non-belief in a deity means that one has explain the origins of the universe and everything in it with evolution and the BBT (which you have erroneously grouped).

            1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
              HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              "It ONLY goes hand in hand for a very specific group of believers in a very small handful of religions (mainly the Abrahamic religions)."

              You mean the three largest religions whose followers make up over half the world's population? Just those?

              "You are basically saying that a belief in God (A) equals a belief in creationism (B). A does not equal B. It may for you, but it doesn't for the majority of the world.

              In addition, evolution (C) does not equal the origins of the universe (D)...

              You are trying to say that A = B= C = D."

              I'm not sure if you've noticed, but this is very similar to the stance of a majority of atheists I've talked to. (C - evolution) plus (D - origins of the universe) mean God isn't real. Clearly these issues are not as separate as you seem to be trying to make it sound.

              "In addition, you are saying that by default a non-belief in a deity means that one has explain the origins of the universe and everything in it with evolution and the BBT (which you have erroneously grouped)."

              I never said evolution and BBT specifically in regards to non-belief. All I said is that existence clearly exists, and with a rejection of belief in God also comes a lack of an explanation for existence existing. This can and often is replaced by evolution and BBT, but I didn't say that.

              In fact, I never said one has to explain the origins of the universe. One just must believe without doubt that existence as is is possible without a God. Otherwise, how could one disbelieve in God if they didn't believe existence could exist without a God?

              1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
                MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                "You mean the three largest religions whose followers make up over half the world's population? Just those?"

                Yes, only a small handful of creationists within those three religions. I.E. not every Christian, Jew, and Muslim believes that God created everything... according to polls, less than half of Christians do. Jews even less (they discounted Genesis decades ago). Muslims are about half and half.

                Once again, you can't separate religion from the origins of everything.

                "I'm not sure if you've noticed, but this is very similar to the stance of a majority of atheists I've talked to. (C - evolution) plus (D - origins of the universe) mean God isn't real. Clearly these issues are not as separate as you seem to be trying to make it sound."

                Nope, evolution plus BBT just mean that God doesn't have to be involved... not that he wasn't. It's a really simple concept, I'm not sure why you aren't understanding.  Look at it this way, say I have a cake sitting on my counter... just because a baker has the ability to make that cake doesn't mean I didn't. What about that is hard to get?

                "I never said evolution and BBT specifically in regards to non-belief. All I said is that existence clearly exists, and with a rejection of belief in God also comes a lack of an explanation for existence existing. This can and often is replaced by evolution and BBT, but I didn't say that. "

                My foot clearly exists. With a rejection of Unicorns comes a lack of explanation for my foot existing. This can and often is replaced by a belief in human anatomy.  That sentence is no different-logically-than your sentence. My knowledge of human anatomy (at least to the point of knowing that feet exist-and how they get there) has absolutely no bearing on my belief or non-belief in Unicorns.

                What you are essentially saying is that an atheist is going to lack the belief that God created the universe. Which is peachy. I am a Christian, I also lack the belief that God created the Universe. (Largely because I don't care enough to form a belief. Seriously, not a rat's behind is given)

                So how does that work in your labeling of "Worldviews"? I mean an atheist and a Christian both lacking the same belief.  So now are you going to say I don't believe in God... or that the Atheist does. You have to do one or the other for your "connection" to hold true.

                The only question, the only question that the label of atheism answers is whether there is a belief in God present. That's it. Anything else you think it means is purely conjuncture and assumptions.

                "In fact, I never said one has to explain the origins of the universe. One just must believe without doubt that existence as is is possible without a God. Otherwise, how could one disbelieve in God if they didn't believe existence could exist without a God"

                I know, without a doubt, that the BBT is a scientifically sound, completely plausible explanation for how a universe could have come into being. That knowledge has absolutely nothing to do with my faith. Like I said, just because something COULD have happened one way, doesn't mean that's how it happened. You would find the idea ridiculous in any other aspect of your life... why are you so stuck on it when it comes to faith?

                1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                  HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  "Yes, only a small handful of creationists within those three religions. I.E. not every Christian, Jew, and Muslim believes that God created everything... according to polls, less than half of Christians do. Jews even less (they discounted Genesis decades ago). Muslims are about half and half.

                  Once again, you can't separate religion from the origins of everything. "

                  Show me. Show me the polls. All three religions are built around the books of Moses, which in themselves begin by explaining that this God did in fact create everything. The whole concept of a day of rest is built around this.


                  "Nope, evolution plus BBT just mean that God doesn't have to be involved... not that he wasn't. It's a really simple concept, I'm not sure why you aren't understanding.  Look at it this way, say I have a cake sitting on my counter... just because a baker has the ability to make that cake doesn't mean I didn't. What about that is hard to get?"

                  Well then you haven't been paying very close attention. For one thing, NO, that doesn't mean God doesn't have to be involved. Everything that made this universe what it is already existed in essence within the singularity. The entirety of the universe inflated forth from this "seed" into what it is now. The origin of this "seed" is still unaccounted for. Until that happens, you can't say what does or doesn't have to be involved for the universe to be.

                  "My foot clearly exists. With a rejection of Unicorns comes a lack of explanation for my foot existing. This can and often is replaced by a belief in human anatomy.  That sentence is no different-logically-than your sentence. My knowledge of human anatomy (at least to the point of knowing that feet exist-and how they get there) has absolutely no bearing on my belief or non-belief in Unicorns."

                  If you see no logical difference in my statement and that one, then it makes way more sense that you seem to be so unable to comprehend the simplest of points. And if you continue to put the blame on me, and refuse to recognize your own broken logic, you'll be unable to fix it. Acknowledgement is the first step.

                  "What you are essentially saying is that an atheist is going to lack the belief that God created the universe. Which is peachy. I am a Christian, I also lack the belief that God created the Universe. (Largely because I don't care enough to form a belief. Seriously, not a rat's behind is given)"

                  Okay, so you apparenty think beliefs have to be consciously formed. Maybe that's part of the problem. So, maybe you can explain how you, as a Christian, reject Genesis? Jesus often referred to the stories of Genesis as if they were historical fact. How does that work?

                  "The only question, the only question that the label of atheism answers is whether there is a belief in God present. That's it. Anything else you think it means is purely conjuncture and assumptions. "

                  That's all I need to know to make the statements I made true.

                  "I know, without a doubt, that the BBT is a scientifically sound, completely plausible explanation for how a universe could have come into being. That knowledge has absolutely nothing to do with my faith. Like I said, just because something COULD have happened one way, doesn't mean that's how it happened. You would find the idea ridiculous in any other aspect of your life... why are you so stuck on it when it comes to faith?"

                  You're the one that keeps talking about the BBT. The statements I made that started all of this did not once refer to the big bang. I simply referred to the natural world existing as it does. You're the one that started injecting the big bang theory into it.

                  1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
                    MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Start here: http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publ … evolution/

                    I'll give more and answer the rest of your post when I have time. This much reading/typing has been very painful and I need to go lay down now. That should give you plenty of time to come up with reasons that the above link is inapplicable to what you are saying.

          2. JMcFarland profile image89
            JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            why does anyone who is not interested in the origins of the universe or the big bang theory or in-depth evolution of species HAVE to explain the origins of the universe, whether they believe in a god or not?  It's not a topic that interests me.  I can sit here and pretend to explain it without any evidence (because I haven't studied it in depth) which you will reject because there's no evidence, or I can simply say "I don't know", leave it at that, and find the topics that I'm actually interested in.  I'm not required to explain anything that I don't want to.  I don't currently believe in a god.  Like it or not, that makes me an atheist.  That doesn't mean that I have an opinion on the nature of reality.  It means I have withheld judgement - possibly forever - since it's not a topic that interests me.  Is it possible a god created the earth?  Sure.  Is it possible that no god was required?  Sure.  Is it possible that universe creating pixies created the earth?  Sure.  I don't care either way.  It's not a subject that I want to study or care to investigate personally.  That's it.  That's all I've been telling you from the beginning.

            1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
              HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              "why does anyone who is not interested in the origins of the universe or the big bang theory or in-depth evolution of species HAVE to explain the origins of the universe, whether they believe in a god or not?"

              I never said anything about having to explain it. In fact, the stronger your belief that existence can exist without God as an explanation, the less inclined you'd feel to need explanation. So it only makes sense that you would/could lack interest. It's not a question that requires answering for you. Because of the strength of your belief.

          3. profile image0
            Dr McLovenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Reality may require an explanation to those who want one, but there is no need to simply make one up.

            You seem to have a very narrow view of what god is. If gods exist they may not be as described in the bible at all. Perhaps the watched to beginning of the universe, but didn't start it themselves, kind of like watching waves on a beach. Perhaps they live and die and have families like ourselves, some were once interested in us, but lost the interest.

            That I think would be a better explanation than the bible as one doesn't have to struggle with the living for ever and always there alone thing and it explains why we don't see evidence in any Gods.

            1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
              HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I suppose that could be an explanation. But far from the best explanation, in my opinion. I don't necessarily think it's a "struggle" with the living so much as a necessity. The main component to the story is free will. By that I mean a will apart from God's. In the context of Genesis, the creation account illustrates how all of existence, whether animate or inanimate, behaved exactly according to God's will. Then in chapter 2 God created two beings that that story clearly illustrates are able to behave contrary to God's will. From that point forward in the story, anyone 'of Eve' could do the same. They were capable, unlike anything else in the natural world, to behave in ways that are contrary to God's will. One could say it's a central theme to the overall story. This is what would require God's interaction. Because with free will existing in the world, there is an element that exists that is not under God's total control. Us. If we were not able to behave of our own free will there'd be no need for judgement, no need for commandments, forgiveness, any of it.

              But free will, as the story illustrates, is a volatile element. Not one easily created, but one well worth being created. That's the best explanation in my mind. The explanation Genesis gives. God created this environment in order to create beings with their own minds and their own wills. This universe, where nothing is permanent, is the perfect place to create beings with free will and to allow them to live with it and learn how to wield it responsibly.

              1. profile image0
                Dr McLovenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                What a wonderful story, but any Gods could have created us, you like your version because you like the story. Plus thinking ones self is not restricted to humans and according to the bible it's not restricted to those on earth. Seems Satan has some will of his own.

  9. profile image0
    SirDentposted 3 years ago

    Well, this was totally unexpected.  I was away all day today starting at 7 Am and didn't get home until 10 PM. 

    I now have a headache from trying to read all the posts.  Will try and read more tomorrow.   Sleep well.

    Psa 4:8  I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

    1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
      oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Sleep well Sir Dent, have a good night

  10. JMcFarland profile image89
    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago

    Okay, this is ridiculous.

    It is arrogant beyond belief to tell someone without a belief in god that they necessarily have to believe something or disbelieve something in order to correctly have the label that they use for themselves.

    Let's make an analogy.   Can you imagine telling a lesbian that she's not really a lesbian because she doesn't hate men?   Would you have the audacity to say that to someone?   Just because you think that being a lesbian automatically includes hating men?   I think not.   I doubt anyone here would think that's acceptable,  but apparently telling an atheist that they're not an atheist despite their attempts to clarify is perfectly fair and acceptable.   It's absurd.

    If you want to deny that I'm an atheist, fine.  Go right the heck ahead.  Whatever helps you sleep at night.  Whatever labels you want to throw on me to make me fit into your narrow little box of worldviews, that's fine.  That doesn't change my reality and how I define and understand myself.  If you want to sit on the high horse and think you're superior or fairer because of it, knock yourself out.  I'd like to see how you would like it if the tables were turned and somebody started telling you that you weren't a Christian because you didn't accept this or that doctrine, or because you don't believe this or that. 

    I'm done with these stupid little games on this thread.  Think whatever you'd like.

    1. profile image0
      Dr McLovenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Reality works against me. I'd like to think I'm over 6 feet tall and 2 hundred pound of muscle and look like a young Mel Gibson, but sadly thats not the case. While I'm only 5'11" and just under 200 lbs of muscle I look nothing like a young Mel Gibson, I unfortunately look like a young Paul Newman. Life is so unfair.

    2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
      HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I really don't understand your reaction. I'm not sure how you don't agree with this, actually. You keep referring to your lack of care or interest in the origin of the universe or the origin of life. That is completely irrelevant. My point is very simple. If you are able to lack belief in the existence of a God, then you believe without doubt that the natural world can and does exist as it does without a God. How could you lack a belief in God if you didn't believe the natural world could exist as is without a God? I'm sorry, I don't mean to offend or anything. This is just a simple fact of the matter. Obviously, if your worldview lacks any reason to think a God exists, then clearly it includes the belief that the natural world does not require a God to exist as it does. If you did lack this belief, then you wouldn't be so able to disbelieve in God. All I can figure out is that you're so opposed to acknowledging that you hold a belief of any kind that you're not allowing yourself to hear the simple logic of this. Seriously, I don't mean to offend. In fact, if I remember correctly my reply was in direct response to a question I was asked, by you I believe, about what beliefs all atheists hold? Something along those lines. I'm simply trying to answer the question asked directly of me.

      Found it ...

  11. oceansnsunsets profile image87
    oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago

    What I see as the biggest struggle going on here in this thread, is that several people are acting like opposing views regarding the existence of God (Atheism, Theism, and Agnosticism) or some combination of them, can be true at the same time,

    IF

    You have an agnostic stance say on evolution, or big foot, origins, etc.

    On any other normal day they would admit this and discuss like we all know this is true.  That is what this is all about, one group seems to be trying  trying to force a view we all already know doesn't work. 

    This would have to be the case if these arguments even can be made in the first pace, before e can even see if they work.

    Having a stance on God's existence is not the same as all the possible information on all a persons views, their character, personality, and what their favorite ice cream is.  Its seems a true shell game going on.  People are digging in their heels in order to be right, but reality doesn't work that way.

    1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
      MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Having a stance on God's existence means exactly that. That's all atheism, agnosticism or theism does.  Look it up. Really. It doesn't indicate the answer to any other question. Don't you think it might be hypocritical to imply that it does and then say that a "worldview"  "is not the same as all the possible information on all a persons views, their character, personality, and what their favorite ice cream is."

      Maybe you should take your own advice.

      The reason why you think people are holding opposing views on atheism/agnosticism/theism is that you are comparing their view on God to a completely different question. That's why you are so confused.

      The only conflict is coming from you assuming the answer to an unrelated question (orgins of stuff) just from someone's belief/lack of belief in a deity. That's the reason things aren't making sense to you. Try to work on it.

      Maybe if you stop trying to force a view we all already know doesn't work, things might go easier. Any other day, people wouldn't try to use the answer of one question to answer a completely unrelated and separate issue. They would admit that two different questions would have no reason to have the same answer. I guess those people are digging in their heels to deny something that we all know is true. If they would stop, we could discuss it.

      1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
        oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        This whole thing came about because someone said atheists don't believe in God, and believe the universe they live in came about some other way. (Paraphrase- see recent quotes or pg 1.)  Unless any atheist KNOWS how the universe came to be, she indeed lives in a universe without known origins AND lacks a belief in a god.  None of you has shown how that is not the case.

        The stance against that commonly held atheistic view has taken a very strange course.  Had it been any other atheist maybe they could have agreed to lacking a belief in god and thinking they live in a universe that has something other than a god to explain its existence.

        JM was the one that first to use the terminology like "all atheists and "the overwhelming amount of atheists", etc.  She gave a rebuttal with views from an opposing worldview AS the reasoning people were wrong in what they said about atheism.  (Purposeful, or knowingly, I can't know.)  That is a logical fallacy.  If not purposeful at first, later it seems to be because of how plainly it was laid out.) 

        Equivocation was done by a few here, using the word agnosticism in this discussion.  Using the same word different ways, with different meaning.  A true self proclaimed agnostic is one thing,  and an atheist with an agnostic view of say evolution (an ex. Mo gave) is ANOTHER kind of use of the word.  You guys were using the word agnostic interchangeably. We all get that many christians and atheists are agnostics in regards to big foot, etc.  The thing is, when the word agnosticism being used in THAT minor sense, is being then offered AS the reasoning using the major meaning of agnosticism to defeat another persons point about atheism, that isn't fair.  Its cheating.  I don't think it was set out to be done at first, and she might have backed herself into a corner so to speak, and stuck to her guns.  Now that its been pointed out repeatedly,we now know that you guys expect people to TRULY buy a bad argument even when its been shown wrong. 

        In all sincerity, I can't imagine JMcfarland even REALLY wants people to do that for her.  What true benefit would that be to her?  I just know I wouldn't want it. 

        Weary of seeing the people take the victim route, and shaming OTHERS as if they have done something wrong in these kinds of cases.  (Where things got very turned around.)  I don't buy it.  We all want to be right.  I know you guys are just trying to back her, support her. Help her to ACTUALLY do so with the tools people use to prove things like logic, reason, and facts.  To me, this drama stuff is for the birds. The coming alongside to encourage a poor argument, could be seen as possibly giving a false sense of security (that she is right)  I care about JM and all here, and to anyone showing such an argument, I think what I am doing shows I care more, than if I just said, "oh, you are right, I am sorry."  Even when it doesn't feel like it.  Especially not in a forum meant to do this very thing. No one has to believe me, but if people are here for ear tickling they will probably not like me nor want to discuss with me.  I can actually understand that and will respect it by keeping a quiet distance myself. 

        I don't think anyone here actually really cares if JM's personal views are really so different from most other atheists after all, or where they are the same.  I know I don't and can move forward with the new found information.  Clearly she is very well liked by many.  I just am glad to know WHAT her views are now.   They just can't be used to be a reason to COUNTER people when they share a key common view held by atheists world over, which was the original topic when she came in. Not in the areas where they differ anyway.  Its not a forcing of an opinion, its people's location, this universe, and that they lack a belief in god.

  12. The Examiner-1 profile image78
    The Examiner-1posted 3 years ago

    Suppose that you are neither a Christian nor an atheist and still believe in God?

    1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
      oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Kevin, I bet that fits a lot of people in the world now and in history, in terms of their view.  Are you speaking of yourself, if you don't mind my asking?

    2. Zelkiiro profile image83
      Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Those are called "Deists."

  13. oceansnsunsets profile image87
    oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago

    This could all be solved so simply.  The group supporting JM's syance in this discussion need to find just one atheist that DOESNT lack belief in a god and thinks that god could have created the universe. 

    This solves the whole page one dilemma.  The over complicating and changing the debate doesn't change what this is about.

    It's the stubborn supporting of an incoherent and indefensible view that is the problem here, not other peoples reading comprehension or education.

    1. profile image0
      Dr McLovenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Haven't you been reading my posts?

      I don't believe any gods currently exist, but that doesn't rule out that it's possible gods did once exist. Therefore I am the one person you are looking for.

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I will bet you a dollar to a doughnut that the response will be that you aren't an atheist.

      2. profile image0
        SirDentposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        What, in your opinion, may have happened to these gods that once existed?

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Two possibilities

          1)  If a construct of man, they cease to "exist" as man learns better and his knowledge base grows. 

          2) if actual, living beings, they die.  We have only made up attributes and, possibly, the word of the gods they are immortal; neither is necessarily true and everything dies.  Even non-living things (stars, planets, etc.) "die" in a sense of the word and certainly everything living will die.

        2. profile image0
          Dr McLovenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Perhaps they died, just like everything else that we know of has a beginning and an ending. There have been many descriptions of gods with beginnings and endings.

          1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
            oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Without good reasoning given, I find no reasons to consider these finite gods coming into being and dying and find it a little odd such gods could be given so much credence by atheists in the first place, unless it's just to defend a view.

            Before remotely considering, it would need to be established how a finite god could qualify for creating a finite universe.

      3. oceansnsunsets profile image87
        oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        The "all atheists everywhere" comment is for those self described as lacking a belief in a god.  That is the atheists view.

        You don't lack the same belief based on what you said.  Unless you are suggesting equivocation sometimes works just to win an argument.  The current status of the god you believe in doesn't mean you don't believe in it. 

        Further you need to show why it's more reasonable that an eternally existing into the past god would cease to exist over not reasonable.  You can skip that second part for now but that was never established. 

        You don't count because of how your self described views include a belief in a god to make your point.  The current status of that god doesn't negate your belief in a god.  Semantics and equivocation, and twisting.

  14. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago

    Is that not still a belief in a God or gods? As far as I know there isn't a "currently" qualifier in the definition of atheist. If you believe a God or gods played a role in the creation of the universe, then you hold a belief that a God, or gods, were once real and played a role in creating the universe.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I want to throw out a reflective question about this particular statement.  If there is no "currently" status attached to an atheist's (any atheist) lack of belief in a God, then does that mean that there is also the same caveat for Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or had those people always been believers?

      People, thoughts, ideas, and beliefs change and are fluid.  I hold beliefs and have discarded beliefs that are entirely different now from when I began my faith journey.  Do we allow absolutely NO ROOM for, forgive this choice of words, the evolution of humanity and ideas?

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        No, the "currently" isn't in regards to what beliefs one currently holds. What Dr McLoven is saying is that he believes a God or gods existed in the past that created the universe, but are no longer around. So, his concept of the natural world includes a creator God. That is still a belief in a god, even if he doesn't believe this god still exists "currently".

        1. profile image0
          Dr McLovenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          An atheist doesn't belief any gods exist. The definitions says nothing about what once existed. I said anything is possible, I didn't say I believe gods created the universe.

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            If one believes that at some point in the past our existing was the result of a God creating us, then that's a belief in a God. If one believes that God no longer exists, then the belief is a belief in a God who created the universe, then ceased to exist. That is still a belief in a God.

            1. profile image0
              Dr McLovenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I'll try once again, as you keep putting words in my mouth.

              If you acknowledge the possibility of aliens, it doesn't necessarily mean that you believe aliens exist?

              Exist,
              1.  have objective reality or being.
              2.  live, esp. under adverse conditions

              Where in that definition does it say anything about something that no longer is alive?

              If we can have any kind of dialogue we need to stick with what words mean, rather than make us stuff.

              1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I'm not assigning these beliefs to you. That's why I made sure to use the pronoun "one". That doesn't mean you specifically. Just if a hypothetical "one" believes this, then this.

                'Where in that definition does it say anything about something that no longer is alive?"

                1.  have objective reality or being.

                Reality in this universe includes anything that's happened from the very beginning to now. Especially if the deity in question played a role in everything existing. Then that God is part of that reality as reality would not have been what it is if that deity had never existed. So, that deity, even if it no longer exists, is part of reality.

                1. profile image0
                  Dr McLovenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  So you are claiming that an atheist can claim to be an atheist if they are open to the possibility that any gods once existed even though that thinking follows the very definition of being an atheist?

                  Strange.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    What? I'm not sure I'm following you. If one is open to the possibility, but doesn't hold any specific beliefs, then one can be an atheist.

    2. profile image0
      Dr McLovenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      No, I didn't say I believe anything, only that I don't know how the universe started, but I don't think any gods currently exist. What happened before now, I can't say, but the possibilities are endless.

      1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
        oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        With respect, sometimes it sounds like all possibilities could potentially be on the table, but one, lol.  Anything else "could" be considered.  I could be wrong, bit it's an observation of mine nonetheless.

  15. oceansnsunsets profile image87
    oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago

    I guess we can add a "theist atheist" to the list of things to make support for JMs stance on page one, correct.  If only the uneducated (like me) could see how illogical things actually worked.

  16. profile image0
    SirDentposted 3 years ago

    Honestly, what you write in these forums shows what you believe or don't believe.  Jesus said, "What goes in the mouth does not defile a man but what comes out defiles a man.  For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."  The same goes for what is typed in a forum.

    Peter was accused of being a follower of Jesus; Mat 26:73  And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
    Mat 26:74  Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

    He lied to those who accused him out of fear.  His speech still gave him away.

    1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
      oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, when we share thing in here we are sharing out views and so much more.  I'm always surprised at the manner in which people act shocked that you can know them to some degree by what had been shared.

  17. oceansnsunsets profile image87
    oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago

    People really want what they want, over what is reasonable and true sometimes.   Truth and reality never really conform to our wants, preferences and desires.  They just "are."  When we try and force what we want to be true through other means, it won't work.  It's much better to struggle through the reasons we want views that don't work, and then maybe reassess.

    After all that we all still choose, but we get what comes with our choices whether good or bad.  Like you can't win in a debate or discussion with a poor idea, not even with numbers and tactics.  Not even when people can't figure out exactly what's being done, the idea still flies or fails. 

    Blaming others for poor views and arguments usually shines a brighter light on the failings in the end.  So whatever we think we "win" for siding with or believing in poor ideas is never really "free."  It's the nature of truth I think. We aren't picking toppings in a pizza here.

    1. profile image0
      Dr McLovenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Perhaps you missed the post where HeadlyvonNoggin admitted that I was right. It's possible to be an atheist and still be open to the possibility that gods may exist or have existed.

      1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
        oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Yes I did miss him saying you were right, but I don't know how even if he did, that it changes anything I said there about good views, truth or reality.   To be clear, this was by no means directed at just one person.

    2. MelissaBarrett profile image60
      MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Boy... the thought that YOU may be the one who is using bad definitions and misunderstanding/lacking knowledge has just never occurred to you, has it?

      LMAO.

      Even when things are linked/pointed out/given defintions... you just ignore them in favor of what headly says. Not what YOU say... because you haven't had a thought of your own since you started typing. You just repeat what Headly says.... and then say that we are being stubborn/wriggling because we disagree with his "wisdom"

      Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and discount everything you say from now on. When I am curious about your opinion I'll ask Headly what it is.

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        The very same thing could be posed back to you ...

        "Boy... the thought that YOU may be the one who is using bad definitions and misunderstanding/lacking knowledge has just never occurred to you, has it?"

        1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
          MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I'm willing to accept that I might be completely wrong.

          Just post one single link from a reputable source that backs any of your points up.

          Of course by this point, your points have changed so many times I can't count... so if you would like to write the point you are trying to make then give a link supporting it... that would be great.

          If you are supported by anybody/institution/organization that isn't like "Bob's theology school" then a link should show that... yes?

          I mean the other people telling you that your assumptions are wrong have given links. You haven't.

      2. oceansnsunsets profile image87
        oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Incorrect.  I do welcome people pointing out how my definitions or lack if knowledge, anything I say could be wrong. Many of us here seem to think it better to show how and where that happens with things other than sheer denials or dismissals, or assertions, etc. 
        just show how.  Like point me to something within a link that shows what I am saying us wrong.  No one gets a pass on anything FOR showing a link. 

        This was beyond mere disagreements about definitions and that was something I keyed in on and showed how and why.

        Part of that included referring back to Headly's and JM's points as often as it got away from that or was needed.   That post there was all mine.   No need to copy others.  As for who I tend to agree with often, that goes to whoever is being reasonable, fair, giving facts, not resorting to tactics and more I'm sure.  That COULD be you or JM or whoever else does it. That part is out of my hands though and in yours and others.

  18. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago

    "None of those verses say that God exists outside of time or the universe. You realize that... right?"

    Genesis 1:1 does when it says that God created the heavens and the earth. How could God only exist within a universe He is the creator of?

    How else does it make sense that God perceives time so differently than us? How else could it be possible that 1000 years would be like a day to Him? The point is, how He's described by these people who did not have the knowledge we do now, is consistent with a being who exists apart from time/space as we now understand both to be products of this universe.

    What's wrong with what I said about birds? They did come from the oceans, did they not? They did evolve from dinosaurs, did they not? You can knit-pick the finer points that you don't want to accept all you want, the fact is what's described lines up quite well with what one would actually observe if able to observe it from the specified point of view, from the surface ...

    Day 1: Verses 1 through 5 - Hadean Eon - Age when oceans formed and atmosphere became translucent

    Day 2: Verses 6 through 8 - Archaen Eon - Age when water cycle and oxygenated atmosphere were established

    Day 3: Verses 9 through 13 - Proterozoic Eon - Age when continents formed; Paleozoic Era - Plantlife on land

    Day 4: Verses 14 through 19 - Paleozoic Era - Age when continents moved from beneath planet to between poles

    Day 5: Verses 20 through 23 - Mesozoic Era - Age when life from the sea thrived ultimately leading to birds

    Day 6: Verses 24 through 31 - Cenozoic Era - Age when modern mammals and humans developed

    1. tsmog profile image82
      tsmogposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I have discovered this thread to be interesting and presenting opportunity for thought. I liked this presentation and went on a tour of the web rather than books. I found this you may like to read. It shares two biblical accounts for creation. I was not aware and now ponder. I share this only as you may have interest too. Nothing more or less.

      https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/Genesis_texts.html

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Thank you for this. This is a good resource. It's important in deciphering what's what in Genesis to understand that it's pieced together from multiple sources. Some bits written in one form, some in another. Point of view changes and story telling style shifts make way more sense when you understand where one piece ends and another begins. It also really helps clarify what's being read. This is good information to have. Thank you for sharing.

        1. tsmog profile image82
          tsmogposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          You are welcome smile Thank you for inspiring me to look. I learned enough to know I know very little regarding the approach(s) of a biblical scholar. That article alone changes perspectives all across the board for me.

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            It's this information that first inspired me to focus in on the first 11 chapters of Genesis. The various source texts that link refers to comes from an overall assessment of the books of Moses known as the Documentary Hypothesis ....

            Yahwist source (J) : hypothetically written c. 950 BCE in the southern Kingdom of Judah.
            Elohist source (E) : hypothetically written c. 850 BCE in the northern Kingdom of Israel.
            Deuteronomist (D) : hypothetically written c. 600 BCE in Jerusalem during a period of religious reform.
            Priestly source (P) : hypothetically written c. 500 BCE by Kohanim (Jewish priests) in exile in Babylon.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentary_hypothesis

            What I find absolutely remarkable about those first 11 chapters is that these stories were very well known in that region. In fact, two of these four sources were so similar that they were actually edited together. The Sumerians also spoke of a once universal language being confused into many, about a great flood survived by one man who built a boat, and quite a few others parallels, but their stories are much older than the dates proposed by the documentary hypothesis. There are many today who take this to mean the writers of Genesis borrowed these themes from the Sumerian stories, suggesting their made up. But, if these stories actually happened like Genesis describes, the Sumerians would have been the population that existed in the region as these events were happening. So it makes sense that their stories would share such commonality. This would mean the Sumerian stories actually add legitimacy, rather than take away from.

  19. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago

    That was in response to this comment... "[atheism] certainly doesn't mean you have to think a certain way about the origin of the universe."

    My response - "Except that the origin of the universe could have actually happened without the help of a God."

    1. oceansnsunsets profile image87
      oceansnsunsetsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      When I looked again I saw that and realized.    Out of context it looked strange, thanks.

  20. Sed-me profile image82
    Sed-meposted 3 years ago

    I have shared this story before. You will try to minimize it, but that doesn't change the truth.

    My friend was without child. They had lost a baby years before. They had been trying for 15 years to have a child, but remained barren. At a prayer meeting, I heard the Lord speak to my heart. He told me April (April or May, I don't remember now.) I knew I was supposed to tell my friend this month, but I was afraid. I thought if it was my own thoughts, it would be cruel to raise her hopes and I surely did not want to say I was speaking for the Lord if I wasn't. So I tried to suppress the leading all night. I asked the Lord not to make me share this with my friend, but He didn't let me off the hook. So I came to the point where I asked Him to only let it be from Him, and not to let me speak my own words. Finally, at the end of the meeting, I went up to her and told her I felt the Lord had told me to tell her "April". We talked a bit and I prayed for her and we went home. That night she couldn't sleep so she went to Walmart at 4 or 5 am and bought a pregnancy test. After 15 years, she was pregnant. She had a little boy (in April or May) she named him Samuel, just like my son. I have had many stories like this in my life... I have known ppl who have had many stories like this. We have all the proof we need. We share our stories in hopes that you will one day know the truth that we know.

 
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