Post Any Evidence For God Here

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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby PLAYER57832 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:37 am

crispybits wrote:Hmmm, wikipedia or the global catholic network, which is more likely to give a full account? I read the whole ETWN articla and it doesn't even mention the change in law about claiming freedom or the approval of mulim slaves.

So I went looking, and rejecting any sources that were worded with only as much detail and in a very similar way to wikipedia (becuase I know a lot of sites will quote it without credit). How about the London School of Economics, where I found this paper:

http://www2.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/R ... eSmith.pdf

Starts on the catholic section towards the bottom of page 7, I'm not going to quote it in here but it's pretty clear that the early catholic church through until after the time of Paul III, while not all endorsing slavery, often failed to condemn it. Others outright allowed it as long as the slave was a heretic.

There is a HUGE difference between what the Roman Catholic church said and says and wha the Bible says. Roman Catholics sometimes like to pretend they are the only Bible followers, the only Christians and certainly the only "true" church, but there are several million Christians who disagree.

So, are you discussing the Bible or the Roman Catholic Church?
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby jonesthecurl on Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:34 am

PLAYER57832 wrote:
jonesthecurl wrote:P.S. whihc secular historians record the price for which Judas sold Jesus?

Why would they have even bothered? Jesus was not considered a great figure except to his followers... still few in number until some time after his death.

As Jesus said, "A prophet in his own land....". Might as well add "in his own time" as well...


PLAYER and others, please stay out of this bit.
All I am doing is picking one of Viceroy's miraculously accurate predictions in the bible, at random, and questioning it.
Here is what he said, or rather quoted... (It was in one of his walls of text which I know people akip over - that's why I'm trying to keep my bit of the conversation down to one bite-size, readable bit)

In the fifth century B.C. a prophet named Zechariah declared that the Messiah would be betrayed for the price of a slave—thirty pieces of silver, according to Jewish law-and also that this money would be used to buy a burial ground for Jerusalem's poor foreigners (Zechariah 11:12-13). Bible writers and secular historians both record thirty pieces of silver as the sum paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus, and they indicate that the money went to purchase a "potter's field," used—just as predicted—for the burial of poor aliens (Matthew 27:3-10).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1011.)
And remember what the poet said – “in booty there is loot, and in loot booty.” Or sump’n like that.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:15 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
crispybits wrote:Hmmm, wikipedia or the global catholic network, which is more likely to give a full account? I read the whole ETWN articla and it doesn't even mention the change in law about claiming freedom or the approval of mulim slaves.

So I went looking, and rejecting any sources that were worded with only as much detail and in a very similar way to wikipedia (becuase I know a lot of sites will quote it without credit). How about the London School of Economics, where I found this paper:

http://www2.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/R ... eSmith.pdf

Starts on the catholic section towards the bottom of page 7, I'm not going to quote it in here but it's pretty clear that the early catholic church through until after the time of Paul III, while not all endorsing slavery, often failed to condemn it. Others outright allowed it as long as the slave was a heretic.

There is a HUGE difference between what the Roman Catholic church said and says and wha the Bible says. Roman Catholics sometimes like to pretend they are the only Bible followers, the only Christians and certainly the only "true" church, but there are several million Christians who disagree.

So, are you discussing the Bible or the Roman Catholic Church?


The quote Tzor responded to that got the response that you responded to was quite clearly and specifically about the catholic church...
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby tzor on Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:52 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:There is a HUGE difference between what the Roman Catholic church said and says and what the Bible says.


Technically speaking the Bible says nothing on racial slavery. Slavery in the time of the Old Testament and in the time of Rome was so vastly different from the African Slave trade that anything written about it in the Bible simply cannot apply to the later invention of racial slavery. No southern slave owner ever followed the "Biblical" laws on the treatment of slaves.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby jonesthecurl on Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:07 pm

jonesthecurl wrote:All I am doing is picking one of Viceroy's miraculously accurate predictions in the bible, at random, and questioning it.
Here is what he said, or rather quoted... (It was in one of his walls of text which I know people akip over - that's why I'm trying to keep my bit of the conversation down to one bite-size, readable bit)

In the fifth century B.C. a prophet named Zechariah declared that the Messiah would be betrayed for the price of a slave—thirty pieces of silver, according to Jewish law-and also that this money would be used to buy a burial ground for Jerusalem's poor foreigners (Zechariah 11:12-13). Bible writers and secular historians both record thirty pieces of silver as the sum paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus, and they indicate that the money went to purchase a "potter's field," used—just as predicted—for the burial of poor aliens (Matthew 27:3-10).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1011.)


So the list of the secular historians is the same as the list of scientists who confirm your claim that the universe is made up of three elements:
i.e. none.

Your impeccable authorities are looking sparse on the ground.
And remember what the poet said – “in booty there is loot, and in loot booty.” Or sump’n like that.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby PLAYER57832 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:54 pm

tzor wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:There is a HUGE difference between what the Roman Catholic church said and says and what the Bible says.


Technically speaking the Bible says nothing on racial slavery. Slavery in the time of the Old Testament and in the time of Rome was so vastly different from the African Slave trade that anything written about it in the Bible simply cannot apply to the later invention of racial slavery. No southern slave owner ever followed the "Biblical" laws on the treatment of slaves.

That is debateable. That is, I essentially agree with you, but I can point to plenty of folks (scholars, I mean) who will disagree. The whole idea of what slavery was back then and today differ. In some ways, slavery back then was not that different from wage employment today. (note, the "in some ways"...), particularly if you refer to the biblical model of slavery, with all its rules for how people should be treated, etc.

However, this was true in the ancient world, in general. Some of what is commonly believed, for example, about Egyptian slavery is not really correct, etc.

That said, in the "dark" ages and the Middle ages, many Europeans thought that "others" were inferior, perhaps not really and truly human and have used that view to justify ill treatment, including slavery. This extended even to "lower" classes of Europeans, who many considered to be designated as inferior by God. The whole "Divine right" and so forth... My point is that your claims that the Roman Catholic church was really arguing against slavery was not entirely accurate, and the responses were not fully accurate, either because what we think of as slavery and what was being discussed back then were not really the same.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:19 pm

Can you clarify what the differences between "modern" race slavery as seen a hundred or two years ago and "ancient" slavery were player? Because it seems to me in both cases (and at the very heart of the matter) is that one human being purchased or otherwise obtained ownership of another human being. This is the fundamental moral point that eventually provided the force for slavery to be abolished around the world (as far as possible, I suspect there are still some modern slaves but on nothing like the scale of earlier eras).

Either "owning" a human being is wrong, or it is subject to cultural interpretation based on the societal values of the time. And the point is that it is a good litmus test for absolute morality itself. If any religion had access to the absolute moral truth, then they should have been outspoken against slavery since day 1. Not as in "Treat your slaves nicely" but "Do not have slaves. Period." Or they should still be saying "Slavery is OK". It can't change if it's absolute. So either there is no absolute moral standard, or religions (and by this I mean mostly the monotheistic abrahamic religions that did endorse slavery at times in history, I havent researched buddhist or hindu views on the matter) did not have access to that absolute moral truth that owning another person is wrong. Either way it looks pretty damning for these particular man-made cults.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby PLAYER57832 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:00 pm

crispybits wrote:Can you clarify what the differences between "modern" race slavery as seen a hundred or two years ago and "ancient" slavery were player? Because it seems to me in both cases (and at the very heart of the matter) is that one human being purchased or otherwise obtained ownership of another human being.

First, as tzor is indicating, many argue that slavery was not racial. Rather, it would be similar groups with slightly different cultures. (I am not arguing either point per se, just saying that I have heard many arguments on all sides of this).

Second, biblical slavery mostly came about in specific situations, someone owed someone money or encrued an obligation of some sort and used their body as a kind of payment. There were other cases, but to think of US slave markets with slaves auctioned on the block is not, perhaps, correct. In fact, it likely was more like someone contracted for someone else's services, in a manner we might call "employment", though employment more at the lower end of the spectrum, or perhaps bond servitude.. remember, that was something into which some people entered essentially willingly.
Some of our views are also tinged by the European ideas. Ironically, serfs were perhaps treated far worse than slaves in the ancient world. Even supposedly "free" peasants and servants were not necessarily really free in the sense we think of today. They might well have envied the treatment of slaves in ancient times.

Earlier slavery was not so much based on an idea of absolute inferiority as a matter of fulfilling some kind of obligation from one person to another -- that might be because the other group lost a war or because of something more immediate like one person somehow owing some other person money. The term of enslavement was a akin to contracted employment (though remember times were very different, so I am saying it was "equivalent" only in very relative manner)
US slavery, and the enslavement of Southern/Northern Native populations, those in some other parts of the world, to contrast, were based on the idea that these other groups really had no basic rights, they were animals who needed to be enlightened or "brought to God", or just plain not worthy of any real consideration. Given how the upper classes thought of lower classes of their own race, it is no wonder that this other, fully foreign and different group was treated so very poorly. But, even the more charitable (some priests, missionaries and the like, some adventurers of various types did come to appreciate natives, but that was looked down upon heavily... "going Native" was a very, very derisive term back then)

crispybits wrote:This is the fundamental moral point that eventually provided the force for slavery to be abolished around the world (as far as possible, I suspect there are still some modern slaves but on nothing like the scale of earlier eras).


Either "owning" a human being is wrong, or it is subject to cultural interpretation based on the societal values of the time. And the point is that it is a good litmus test for absolute morality itself. If any religion had access to the absolute moral truth, then they should have been outspoken against slavery since day 1. Not as in "Treat your slaves nicely" but "Do not have slaves. Period." So either there is no absolute moral standard, or religions (and by this I mean mostly the monotheistic abrahamic religions that did endorse slavery at times in history, I havent researched buddhist or hindu views on the matter) did not have access to that absolute moral truth that owning another person is wrong. Either way it looks pretty damning for these particular man-made cults.[/quote]

Part of this is why I said its important to distinguish between the Bible and what Roman Catholics do or have said about the Bible. The Bible does not endorse slavery in the sense of saying "slavery is a good thing... go ahead and do it". Rather, slavery was a part of humanity at the time. Slavery evolved, came about, not really as an alternative to freedom, rather as an alternative to death. This is why its important to see both parts of the Old Testament and the New Testament as progressions, and to understand more than just a few bits and pieces. At the time you are saying humans are being sold, it was very common, for example for women to be "given" or "sold" into marriage. Certainly, there is no doubt there was a lot of nastiness happening, but there was also marriage, there was family and children and people living happily.

Saying that because money is exchanged these people were sold like goods, like blacks put on the auction block beside cattle (sometimes given less value than cattle or horses!) is like saying that today's sports figures, who get traded, etc.. are being sold on an auction block in slavery. (seriously, in many cases, that is a far better comparison than auctioning off a goat or some such).

As for how the New Testament and Christ dealt with slavery and women's rights, note that he often used similar language and instruction. The giist is that when he was talking to the weak, the enslaved or women, the powerless in that society, he told them to endure, to hold their head up high and show they are basically "the better person", shaming the abuser. In that society, there was little other choice. The only people who really had freedom as we think of it were the wealthy and powerful, most everyone else lived very dictated lives, though men had more freedom than women.

On the other hand, when he talked to the powerful, it was a different message.. it was treat those under you with kindness, be fair, etc, etc, etc.

Overriding all of this were some other concepts, like foregiveness and "judge not".

The fault of Christianity is probably best put by by what may be truth or a fable regarding Ghandi-- someone asked him why he was not a Christian, he replied "I have never met one". he was not saying he had never met anyone who claimed to be a Christian, but that being a"true Christian" is such a high standard he had never met anyone who lived up to the standard. Except.. Christians say that only one man met that model. The rest of us only try, but are forgiven, none-the-less.

Virtually all of your criticisms are about people and people's ideas, not the Bible itself. People are inherently faulty. That is why Christians believe we need Christ.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:23 pm

I'm going to put my response to the slavery section in a hidden box, because while it's an interesting debate I think it's actually a distraction from the main point.

show


The main point is who has access to the actual absolute moral standard? And by what mechanism? Lets assume (and we know better but for the sake of argument) that I wish to bow down to god and worship him and carry out his will for the rest of my life, who should I go to to receive his message?

(and if the answer is simply "read the bible and follow your heart" then I've already done that, and my heart told me to reject christianity and all other organised religion, and therefore all well formed god concepts entirely)
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby tzor on Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:15 pm

crispybits wrote:The main point is who has access to the actual absolute moral standard? And by what mechanism? Lets assume (and we know better but for the sake of argument) that I wish to bow down to god and worship him and carry out his will for the rest of my life, who should I go to to receive his message?


Yes, but for the sake of argument ... someone will come to you.

Mind you, that's just for the sake of argument.

You know there is an entire Old Testament passage about this.

show


Who would have thought?
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:34 am

OK - people have come to me with different messages during the course of my life. I've been approached by catholics, seventh day adventists, jehovahs witnesses, anglicans and others (even non-christians like hare krishnas and some buddhists) and in none of those messages did I feel any sense of revelation at all. If God was in my heart during those meetings (and most of them first happened long before I hardened into my current position on religion) then my heart has always said that these people are well intentioned, but their "truth" does not fit what I have seen as reality.

(That's not to claim that I have any sort of privileged access to an absolute truth about reality btw, just that none of the religious messages I have ever heard have lived up to their own hype - not because the humans are flawed in their actions while trying to live up to it, but because the message itself is flawed)

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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby GreecePwns on Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:29 am

But crispybits, God works in mysterious ways.

Checkmate, atheists.
Chariot of Fire wrote:As for GreecePwns.....yeah, what? A massive debt. Get a job you slacker.

Viceroy wrote:[The Biblical creation story] was written in a time when there was no way to confirm this fact and is in fact a statement of the facts.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby oVo on Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:41 pm

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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:30 pm

crispybits wrote:I'm going to put my response to the slavery section in a hidden box, because while it's an interesting debate I think it's actually a distraction from the main point.

I would disagree. A lot of my criticisms are more relevant to the OT, but not all. There is talk of slavery in the NT also, and in fact Jesus did not say "Don't have slaves", but the NT did say:

Luke 12:41-48 wrote:41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

Actually, this passage refers to someone like a modern foreman, rather than someone sold on the auction block.

Like I said, you want to take the worst image we have of southern US slavery of Africans and say "this is slavery". Instead, you have to look at the alternative. OR, just look at the state of things at the time the King James version was translated. Even today, people in England refer to themselves as "subjects" of the queen. You hear employees all over refer to "Bossman".

crispybits wrote:
Luke 12:41-48 wrote:47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.


Jesus doesn't reject slavery. He doesn't come out and say "that's wrong, free your slaves", he says "if they didnt know they were doing wrong then maybe don't punish them quite so harshly folks", and repeatedly talks of servants and masters and the fact the master owns the servants (they are his possessions).

Really? Show me where you see that these are people who are truly enslaved and not just employed. Is it because the passage refers to beatings?

You rather dismissed this, but look at the actual rules surrounding slaves and slavery in the Old Testament. Note that slaves were to be released, were to be treated in specific manners, consistant with what would be called fair and reasonable treatment in that day. This is much more like employment than US slavery.
crispybits wrote:So either slavery is OK, because the Son of God himself tolerates it and doesn't outright reject it. The defence I have heard that seemed to hold the most power was almost visible in your post. That Jesus did not come to change the politics (freedom meant death given socio-economic conditions), but he came to spread the message to people's hearts and minds and by accepting that message people would find their own ways to turn on the evils of the world (including slavery). But Jesus talks specifically about several other sins, and condemns them and he says they are evil acts.

So you don't think that changing people's hearts and minds will change politics?
Rome, various other societies have toyed with better political rules and conditions. They failed as greed took over. It is greed that kills societies. Christ came out very much against greed and against vengeance, judging others. Those have had a far greater impact than any mere politics. In fact, seems like our Constitution made reference to such.

crispybits wrote:
Matthew 16:15-20 wrote:16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.


He will condemn murder, adultery, fornication, etc, but not slavery? He doesn't need to change the world in an instant with that statement, indeed if he was an aspect of God he would know full well his teachings wouldn't have real political consequences for some time, so he would be perfectly free to condemn anything he wanted to make sure the message was right. But he doesn't. He says "treat them nicely hey folks" and talks of men being other men's possessions.

Like I said earlier, you are calling people slaves that really were not. There WERE slaves in the ancient times, but their state was often better than that of "free" people. That is the reality that Christ saw.

How many people today are really and truly free, for that matter? If you engage in a contract and decide to quit, what happens? You can be thrown in jail or loose property, etc. In truth that is no different than back then. In fact, if you compare conditions of the employers to employees and do so today, you will often find that there is far more difference now than there was back then.

The Roman Catholic Church even held real and true slaves for a time.. but look at the arguments and debates over it. A lot of the debate was over whether these were truly human and what the best way was to bring them to God, essentially into humanity (in the very old style missionary view... a misguided view, but real in some groups)
crispybits wrote:So is the absolute morality, straight from the mouth of Jesus, that men can be owned by other men? Not their future service or time (because that would not be a "possession" but rather a "debt"), but actual human beings being owned by actual human beings.[/spoiler]
If he said that, please show it. So far you have just shown passages that you seem to feel refer to some nefarious slavery, but actually don't.
crispybits wrote:The main point is who has access to the actual absolute moral standard? And by what mechanism? Lets assume (and we know better but for the sake of argument) that I wish to bow down to god and worship him and carry out his will for the rest of my life, who should I go to to receive his message?

(and if the answer is simply "read the bible and follow your heart" then I've already done that, and my heart told me to reject christianity and all other organised religion, and therefore all well formed god concepts entirely)
[/quote]
LOL.. sort of, but not entirely. See, you have to KEEP seeking. Also, based on the above, it seems more like you have read some things some people say about the Bible, but not a wide variety of thinking on the Bible.

At any rate, ultimate, what is truth and what is not comes from within you, or from something inside yourself. I call it God, I believe I listen to God. I cannot tell anyone else how to do that, except to say to pray and keep your mind open for answers that might come.

Here is something else, slightly off topic, but also an answer to the above. An older lady once told me "God always answers prayers, but sometimes the answer is 'no' ". Maybe God did not give you an answer becuase there is some journey, some truth you need to find first. Or, maybe God really did give you an answer, but it was not what you wanted to hear and so you closed your mind and heart to it. Only God could answer that.

And, sure.. if God alone and seeking inside and finding answers were, alone, enough then its doubtful we would have such evil in the world. But, it is in human nature to keep seeking and keep asking... and to believe a times, as well.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:46 pm

On the slavery thing, Jesus referred to men as possesions within one of the quotes within my post (the Luke one). And I'm having trouble thinking of a situation where you will be thrown in jail for quitting your job (and only because you quit your job). Maybe if you're a pilot or train or bus driver and you do it while the vehicle is in motion and it crashes then yes, but that's a hell of a stretch. For 99.999% of cases if you quit your job you cannot be thrown in jail or beaten or whatever for that action.

I went to a catholic school, and believe me I heard their official line on the bible. but it wasn't even just from there, I went to an anglican church for about 2 years too, looking for answers to questions about why the hell I was here and what the whole point was of everything. When I didn't find answers there I fell in with new age happy clappy born again christians (they baptised me all over again in a public swimming pool) but still the answers I was being given did not make sense. Even when you shed off most of the historical tradition and ritual and focused on the message of love from an almighty creator it didn't fit. For several reasons. So I looked outside of christianity, but even in other faiths I didn't get given a convincing explanation. The closest anyone came were the buddhists, but that's not a religion, it's more like a metaphysical philosophy about existence, and it says nothing about "God". I actually find many aspects of it enlightening, but I have problems with other sections so I can't even say I'm buddhist.

See this is why I have such a problem with the message of "open your heart and you will find Him". I have opened my heart, on several occasions. Not from a point of starting with it closed and paying lip service, but from a point of accepting that I don't know what's out there, and believing there is "something" out there, and wanting to connect to it. If it is there, and if it can do a fraction of what most religions say it can do, then I'll be better off for having it with me. Every single time though, without fail, I have tried to genuinely connect with whatever it is through religion, I've found myself looking at.... nothing.

The only time I have ever found myself really believing that I'm connecting with that something has been in quiet times, alone with myself, and talking to it as I'm talking to you now (not through an internet forum obviously). And it's not that it answered or that it demonstrated it's existence or anything like that, but just that all of the ritual, all of the ceremony and obligation that religion entails, it's all completely un-necessary. It's an impedement. If it does exist, it doesn't need me to say certain words, or to be in a certain place, and it certainly doesn't give me the right to demand anything of anyone else, or impose my own standards on anyone else. But even then the doubt remains - there is no proof that I was connected to anything, I didn't come away from those times with any more knowledge or revelation than I had beforehand. I didn't come away from those moments changed in any way. I cannot claim any privileged truth or knowledge for having made the connection.

I still believe there is "something" there, and I still believe it is entirely impersonal, uncaring and oblivious. It cannot be said to have human characteristics, because it cannot be said to be human. It might have, but I've never seen, hard or "felt" any evidence that it does. You could just as easily define it as "the stuff beyond the stuff we know about" as anything else, and the feeling of connection can easily be explained by simple psychology, about the human desire to feel a belonging to something greater than yourself. I'm fully aware that my own personal god concept could be a simple personal delusion.

And this is why I believe that if I have been given a message it is the message that religion is fundamentally wrong. If I haven't been given a message and it's a delusion, if I have done everything asked by the religious and asked nothing except "be with me" and been denied then their definition of God is flawed, because by definition that being would accept that request, by definition it cannot deny that request. So I find that all religions I have ever honestly tried are bullshit and in the absence of any real supernatural authority my natural moral duty as a human being is to spread that rejection of brainwashing, to confront this manipulation and control exercised by mortal men over mortal men and hold the banner up for freedom from this mental, emotional and physical oppression. And if I have been given this entirely personal message from the almighty, then I have just as much of an evangelical imperative to do exactly the same. And that imperative does not extend to forcing my morals over non-religious subjects onto others as all religions do with the fear of God's wrath, but simply to address the religious disease that keeps us in spiritual shackles, bound by the moral opinions of people who I cannot believe have any authority over a relationship with the divine that is entirely personal, and who definitely don't have the authority to use the fear of God's wrath as justification for bending others to their extended secular moral viewpoints.

That's about the most open and honest post you will ever get from me on this subject by the way (thanks to a few beers and a genuine desire to explain my position rather than just bash others' positions). Religion is bullshit. Religion is immoral. Religion is a man made control structure that has been used for political and financial gain, and it has nothing to do with any almighty power, whether that power exists or not. Religious people are victims of the most powerful brainwashing man ever invented, and it is everyone's moral duty, whether those morals come from God or nature, to resist, oppose and attack that offensive, demeaning and morally and spiritually bankrupt slavery of the soul.

(By the way, before you say that I haven't denied the possibility of your God, and that your God could still be God and he's just connecting with me in a different way, then I would ask why he wants me to attack his religious structures, and why an all-powerful all-loving being with the power of personal revelation direct into every human heart even needs any religious structures or authorities at all)
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby PLAYER57832 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:32 am

crispybits wrote:On the slavery thing, Jesus referred to men as possesions within one of the quotes within my post (the Luke one).
No, he did not. He simply referred to consequences of actions. Today, people would be fined or even perhaps put in jail for bad actions toward employes. Back then, beatings and such were common. That doesn't mean it was slavery, it means that things were very different back then.
crispybits wrote:And I'm having trouble thinking of a situation where you will be thrown in jail for quitting your job (and only because you quit your job). Maybe if you're a pilot or train or bus driver and you do it while the vehicle is in motion and it crashes then yes, but that's a hell of a stretch. For 99.999% of cases if you quit your job you cannot be thrown in jail or beaten or whatever for that action.
That doesn't apply to any of the above situations.

But your 99.99% figure is incorrect. Anyone who violates a contract can be fined or otherwise penalized. If you quite a job, you lose benefits.

If I show up just a minute late for my job, I get a "point". If I get too many points, I get fired. Back then, in many situations, being "fired" would have meant starvation. Ironically, not necessarily a lesser penalty at all.
crispybits wrote:I went to a catholic school, and believe me I heard their official line on the bible. but it wasn't even just from there, I went to an anglican church for about 2 years too, looking for answers to questions about why the hell I was here and what the whole point was of everything. When I didn't find answers there I fell in with new age happy clappy born again christians (they baptised me all over again in a public swimming pool) but still the answers I was being given did not make sense. Even when you shed off most of the historical tradition and ritual and focused on the message of love from an almighty creator it didn't fit. For several reasons. So I looked outside of christianity, but even in other faiths I didn't get given a convincing explanation. The closest anyone came were the buddhists, but that's not a religion, it's more like a metaphysical philosophy about existence, and it says nothing about "God". I actually find many aspects of it enlightening, but I have problems with other sections so I can't even say I'm buddhist.

I will speak only of the Bible, but say that many of the qoutes you have given, things you assert very much disagree with what I have not just learned, but read and percieve on my own. I don't claim to be a scholar, but sometimes you just have to read for yourself, and realize that a thousand people can read just about anything other than math and get a several hundred different views
crispybits wrote:See this is why I have such a problem with the message of "open your heart and you will find Him". I have opened my heart, on several occasions. Not from a point of starting with it closed and paying lip service, but from a point of accepting that I don't know what's out there, and believing there is "something" out there, and wanting to connect to it. If it is there, and if it can do a fraction of what most religions say it can do, then I'll be better off for having it with me. Every single time though, without fail, I have tried to genuinely connect with whatever it is through religion, I've found myself looking at.... nothing.

The only time I have ever found myself really believing that I'm connecting with that something has been in quiet times, alone with myself, and talking to it as I'm talking to you now (not through an internet forum obviously). And it's not that it answered or that it demonstrated it's existence or anything like that, but just that all of the ritual, all of the ceremony and obligation that religion entails, it's all completely un-necessary.

I had to stop you here because this IS prayer, it is what I and many Christians experience and feel. Most of the ceremony IS superfulous or rather, it offers a pattern that some people, not all find comforting. Me..there are times when I find it comforting. At a funeral of close family it can be good to have a pattern to fall back upon, something that tells your hand/mouth/body to act when your mind is basically shut down in grief. However, I very much disdain what I see as very excessive ritual in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. On the other hand, I find the more Evangelical to be, well, a bit too much on the other side of things. Too often they exchange a church heirarchy for heirarchy of male family and control of an individual pastor (though that is not always true). Church is where Christians go to meet other Christians and talk about faith. Its not necessarily where all faith is found.
crispybits wrote:
It's an impedement. If it does exist, it doesn't need me to say certain words, or to be in a certain place, and it certainly doesn't give me the right to demand anything of anyone else, or impose my own standards on anyone else.

Christ never demanded this. He simply says where people meet in his name, there he will be.
crispybits wrote:But even then the doubt remains - there is no proof that I was connected to anything, I didn't come away from those times with any more knowledge or revelation than I had beforehand. I didn't come away from those moments changed in any way. I cannot claim any privileged truth or knowledge for having made the connection.
What is proof, except something that you have been taught is true? Faith and belief just take another step. Sometimes, in science, you get to point where you have to make a choice and invest your life/money/time in one route versus another. You hope it proves fruitful.

For many, faith is more.. they see something that leads them down one path or another. But, even the most faithful have times of doubt. Sometimes then you just decide to have faith and go on, but that is a very personnal choice.

crispybits wrote:I still believe there is "something" there, and I still believe it is entirely impersonal, uncaring and oblivious. It cannot be said to have human characteristics, because it cannot be said to be human. It might have, but I've never seen, hard or "felt" any evidence that it does. You could just as easily define it as "the stuff beyond the stuff we know about" as anything else, and the feeling of connection can easily be explained by simple psychology, about the human desire to feel a belonging to something greater than yourself. I'm fully aware that my own personal god concept could be a simple personal delusion.

And this is why I believe that if I have been given a message it is the message that religion is fundamentally wrong.

Actually no disagreement there! Religion, church is a human construct. It is very different from what I refer to as "faith". Many people tie them together, find that their church supports their religion, may even see a particular church as in some way necessary. I said before that Christ did not specify worship in particular places. (some Mennonites, the Amish don't have churches because they believe that constructing a church would lead to in some sense worshipping the building itself). He did, however give us a few patterns, "rituals" if you will. The Last supper/communion. He also accepted Baptism as a affirmation of a new covenent. Its not that he gave us no ritual or "rites". However, for each of these, people have taken it well beyond anything specified in the Bible and that can be a hindrance to many people, even just plain wrong... particularly when, say not having the "right clothes" means someone doesn't feel comfortable going to church or when not being able to drive well or working odd hours means attending services and communion are difficult... etc.

crispybits wrote: If I haven't been given a message and it's a delusion, if I have done everything asked by the religious and asked nothing except "be with me" and been denied then their definition of God is flawed, because by definition that being would accept that request, by definition it cannot deny that request. So I find that all religions I have ever honestly tried are bullshit and in the absence of any real supernatural authority my natural moral duty as a human being is to spread that rejection of brainwashing, to confront this manipulation and control exercised by mortal men over mortal men and hold the banner up for freedom from this mental, emotional and physical oppression. And if I have been given this entirely personal message from the almighty, then I have just as much of an evangelical imperative to do exactly the same. And that imperative does not extend to forcing my morals over non-religious subjects onto others as all religions do with the fear of God's wrath, but simply to address the religious disease that keeps us in spiritual shackles, bound by the moral opinions of people who I cannot believe have any authority over a relationship with the divine that is entirely personal, and who definitely don't have the authority to use the fear of God's wrath as justification for bending others to their extended secular moral viewpoints.

That's about the most open and honest post you will ever get from me on this subject by the way (thanks to a few beers and a genuine desire to explain my position rather than just bash others' positions). Religion is bullshit. Religion is immoral. Religion is a man made control structure that has been used for political and financial gain, and it has nothing to do with any almighty power, whether that power exists or not. Religious people are victims of the most powerful brainwashing man ever invented, and it is everyone's moral duty, whether those morals come from God or nature, to resist, oppose and attack that offensive, demeaning and morally and spiritually bankrupt slavery of the soul.

Religon is often all of those things, because religion is always tinged by humans. Religion is essentially a creation of humanity in this sense. However, believe and faith are not necessarily. AND.. religion doesn't have to be beholden to any pattern or creation of humans. The Bible, anything on Earth is and can be misused by human beings. But it is up to other human beings to see that the tools are turned to good use.

One biblical symbol of this is often the sickle and cythe. They are blades that were used, necessary for harvesting grain.. or they could be a weapon. They were blades of peace, but also could be for war. It is not up to the blade to decide its use, it is up to the weilder.
crispybits wrote:(By the way, before you say that I haven't denied the possibility of your God, and that your God could still be God and he's just connecting with me in a different way, then I would ask why he wants me to attack his religious structures, and why an all-powerful all-loving being with the power of personal revelation direct into every human heart even needs any religious structures or authorities at all)

Well, I, BK Barunt, several others here have very vocally attacked what some percieve to be "the church". IF you were to go back and look at some of what BK Barunt has said on the Roman Catholic church in particular, you would find it not very favorable. 2dimes, a few others have similarly addressed these things without necessarily evicting themselves from Christianity.

As to the last, though.. God actually doesn't really "need" us in the sense you give there. We need him. As to why he doesn't reach in and just give the truth to every person there, it is because if he did, we would be nothing but puppets... and he wants more for us. He created us to be human, for all the good and bad that entails.

It may not be a satisfactory answer. That is OK. Some answers never really get a "good" answer, or any answer. Sometimes just the fact that you are searching is all you can try to demand.

But here is the basic point I have tried to make with you from the beginning. You have every right to criticize whatever and whomever you wish. The issue I have had is that too much of your criticism of God and Christianity are really not criticisms of the whole God, all of Christianity, but very specific teachings you have been given, particularly things I can tell come from the Roman Catholic Church. There are a good many people here who share much of the criticism you voice, and yet we still call ourselves Christian. That doesn't mean you have to share our faith, but it means that if you don't carefully distinguish between criticism of a part and criticism of the whole, then you will find yourself facing paragraphs of explanations as to why your criticism is off base ;) .

Some might consider taking a secular saying and applying it to faith to be disrespectful. It can be, but I think a secular quote answers best what I am saying. The highest form of patriotism is criticism. Sometimes, too, the highest form of faith is allowing oneself to criticize and critique. If someone doesn't, then we all become blind sheep.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:10 am

This is why I consistently say I don't come to attack faith. It would be hypocritical of me to attack the faith of another, their personal relationship with whatever might be out there or their own god delusion depending on the unknown truth of its existence. My attacks have always been against religion and religious hypocrisy. I think you possibly understood this several pages ago though so I'm kinda pointlessly repeating here as I think you get that already.

I would disagree with you about revealing truth nullifying free will. If I were to tell you that every time you roll the dice to attack here on this site on an exact multiple of 10 seconds, you will always win the roll outright, would that remove your choice? You would still have the ability to roll at any time you wish. Just providing information doesn't counter-act free will. And if it exists all divine revelation is in the end is information, access to a truth higher than could otherwise be attained. So God could easily reveal himself, and leave us in no doubt in our hearts to his nature and existence, every single one of us, without removing our ability to turn our backs on him. Instead, every single person who identifies themselves as christian or muslim or whatever is forced to claim the truth comes at least partially from a book written by man. That's not my only objection to religion, but it is a fairly major one, and I have never seen or heard any argument that has convinced me to change my position.

You've actually come the closest to someone I would probably find myself in most agreement with in this debate, more so than some of the other people on the "there is no God" side. At heart I'm not an atheist, I'm an anti-theist agnostic with pantheistic tendencies and a loosely christian moral framework from my upbringing. I have no real evidence or basis for that, which is why I would never try to change anyone's faith, but I got there by critical thinking, by rationalising all the information available to me from both religious and scientific sources, and by making my own determination of what constitutes reality. I don't want to change anyone's faith, I just want them to approach finding it in the same free way without the impedements of being told by anyone else what is really out there or what isn't.

It's like the difference between being told that 2+2=4 in the first year of school, and getting to the point where instead of just repeating by rote you then understand WHY 2+2=4. You understand how numbers relate and interact in mathematical framework. So many people seem to walk through this whole area of belief with their eyes closed, blindly repeating that 2+2=4 because that's what they've been told, without actually opening their eyes and understanding WHY that's the case. Everyone should find their own faith, not be force fed it by their parents or teachers or anyone else, because nobody can claim to have the ultimate answer to dictate to others. The role of mentors should be to encourage critical reasoning and finding these things out for ourselves, not planting a pre-fabricated idea and declaring it ultimate truth.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby PLAYER57832 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:11 am

crispybits wrote:T I would disagree with you about revealing truth nullifying free will. If I were to tell you that every time you roll the dice to attack here on this site on an exact multiple of 10 seconds, you will always win the roll outright, would that remove your choice? You would still have the ability to roll at any time you wish. Just providing information doesn't counter-act free will.

However, if God went into your heart and told you specifically that you had to believe this way or that and behave this way or that... then your will is removed. You can voluntarily essentially give up your will and let God decide, but that can be dangerous becuase sometimes what people think is God is not.

crispybits wrote:And if it exists all divine revelation is in the end is information, access to a truth higher than could otherwise be attained. So God could easily reveal himself, and leave us in no doubt in our hearts to his nature and existence, every single one of us, without removing our ability to turn our backs on him.

People are willing to risk losing a bit of money, even knowing "for sure" that the odds are against them. I visited casinos myself... I put aside x money and figure it no more of a loss than if I were to go to a show or such. It is, to me a kind of show.

Tell people specifically what they must do to be saved, and give them full understanding of exactly what is entailed in a way that they can understand without a doubt and how many people would really and truly choose "other"?

The whole thing of being human involves so many probabilities and chances, so many options its impossible to even fully calculate (yet). I got into this in more depth in the "is there free will" thread and a few others, but without claiming I "have the truth" or any such, it ultimately gets down to part of what it is to be human is to know that we can fail, can hurt, can do real and true evil... and yet, some of us, even facing the most dire harm, choose to "do good".
crispybits wrote:Instead, every single person who identifies themselves as christian or muslim or whatever is forced to claim the truth comes at least partially from a book written by man. That's not my only objection to religion, but it is a fairly major one, and I have never seen or heard any argument that has convinced me to change my position.

You've actually come the closest to someone I would probably find myself in most agreement with in this debate, more so than some of the other people on the "there is no God" side. At heart I'm not an atheist, I'm an anti-theist agnostic with pantheistic tendencies and a loosely christian moral framework from my upbringing. I have no real evidence or basis for that, which is why I would never try to change anyone's faith, but I got there by critical thinking, by rationalising all the information available to me from both religious and scientific sources, and by making my own determination of what constitutes reality. I don't want to change anyone's faith, I just want them to approach finding it in the same free way without the impedements of being told by anyone else what is really out there or what isn't.

It's like the difference between being told that 2+2=4 in the first year of school, and getting to the point where instead of just repeating by rote you then understand WHY 2+2=4. You understand how numbers relate and interact in mathematical framework. So many people seem to walk through this whole area of belief with their eyes closed, blindly repeating that 2+2=4 because that's what they've been told, without actually opening their eyes and understanding WHY that's the case. Everyone should find their own faith, not be force fed it by their parents or teachers or anyone else, because nobody can claim to have the ultimate answer to dictate to others. The role of mentors should be to encourage critical reasoning and finding these things out for ourselves, not planting a pre-fabricated idea and declaring it ultimate truth.

You seem to me to be someone who is questioning, seeking truth. I would suggest that the answer for you is to keep seeking, but also to not exclude answers. If you think you have gone through "it all" and still have no answer, then it might be worth a revisit to see if you missed something. (note, that may mean rereading texts, but it also might mean just sitting quietly and leaving your mind open to whatever answers appear... or likely, a combination).

As for the last, you are absolutely correct, to a point. A parent HAS to give children guidelines. The option is not that they "find their own way", really, the option is that they don't really even understand what guidelines are. I grew up in the 70's, in CA, among a lot of hippies (as well as some pretty conservative folks.. CA is , if nothing else very mixed!). Many of hte kids raised in "freedom" are pretty messed up. To contrast, a lot of outwardly seeming "hippy" or "free living" people were actually pretty conservative in their home life. Their kids brushed their teeth, picked up their rooms.. and absolutely, above all else learned to respect other people. A lot of religion is about how to treat other people, when you get down to it. Its a concept I have a hard time expressing, but I have found people who bear all the outward trappings of church and religion as well as people who eshew all that.. and , I am very thankful not to have been raised in their household, I shudder to think of those people, or their kids, in charge of our society. Then I have been in households that were both conservatively religious and just plain very liberal folks who I could tell were raising kids who would make positive marks on society.

The key is about teaching kids to understand consequences, that the things they do matter and impact other people. Whether that happens in the guise of a particular religion or the parents self-creation is sort of irrelevant. But, I would argue that it does require some kind of religion or belief to really and truly stick. Because, when push comes to shove, sometimes doing "right" means thinking more of someone else than oneself.. most people cannot do that without some outside force or higher cause. There are exceptions, but they are rare... and when you talk to the "exceptions" it often turns out that they are not so much exceptions in a true sense as rejecting a set of models they were brought up within. When they go to raise their own kids, they either adopt another set of religious values or return to the base ones, though with some modifications. An adult can decide, has the ability to analyze and think out all that you have said. A child need something more simple. A child needs rules.

Think of it this way. Every tried to have a conversation with a 2 year old who wanted something? They just plain don't have the mental ability to analyze and think about options. Its "yes" or "no". They can count, sort of to 2... beyond that, they recite numbers, but don't really and truly understand what more than 2 means. In fact, it may be just 1 .. or more than one, ergo "2". Then they get more than 2 or "3 and all the other numbers". So, to a large extent, you want your child to be happy and you give them choices. However, when they get fixated on something they should not have, for whatever reason, you cannot simply say "take this other". You have to either just tel them "no", let them get upset and work themselves out of it... or you maybe distract them. There is no real discussion with them. Parents who try wind up with kids who cannot behave, have far more tantrums, and who are generally unhappy. Far worse, some parents just wind up capitulating and giving in to the child, often in the name of "freedom" and "letting the child decide". Instead, they wind up not valuing anything. Freedom, in some sense only works when you understand it. It also, to a point, only really matters when you actually have something upon which to compare it.

You have to teach your children that there is such a thing as good and bad. Many people find either comfort or just plain necessity in using religion in that mix. That said, I think you are saying that you need to expose children to variety, give them tool so that they can make their own choices. I agree with that, for the most part. However, there are still limits. I would have no problem with my sons becoming Jewish, perhaps even Buddhist, etc. IF they did so faithfully and in a thinking manner (not as so many young people do... "I want to reject what my parents say, so let's try Buddhism, It must be better" ... the kind I would often wind up trying to debate, only to find that I actually knew more about "their" religion than they ..and I don't know that much about other religions). I would be more concerned if they started donning Saffron robes and passing out flowers in airports (but would not reject them). However, if they decided to go to Asia to buy a young girls to abuse for pleasure...I would track them down and do whatever it took to stop the behavior. Does that require religion? Maybe, maybe not. It does require setting clear rules and guidance that at some point are just not negotiable.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:57 pm

Isn't everyone still on a learning quest? Well, everyone rational anyway. Anyone who knows they don't know everything is always looking to learn more, it's human nature. If your God ends up sticking a bible in front of me again in a way he knows I would be receptive to I'll probably look at it, but without denying the possibility of there being something there I missed, I've been down that road many times and found nothing. I would need something to give me reason to believe I missed something in there to convince me to go back and look again. Recently (as in since I turned away from christianity) I've seen nothing that either surprises me or reveals anything new from that philosophy.

You can teach kids right and wrong without ever needing to resort to theology lessons. Until they are old enough to understand what a god concept actually entails then they don't need that concept being put in their heads. We don't teach kids about sex until they are old enough to actually understand the concepts involved, and we start them out slow, with fairy tales about storks and birds and bees and only later, when they have learned a lot more about the universe and everything in it, do we actually talk about penises and vaginas and all that the reality entails.

But when it comes to religion it's somehow fully acceptable to jump straight to eternal heaven and hell and absolute power and all that. I saw a TV clip of a 5 year old in bible belt America not so long ago, talking with very advanced terms about how he had felt he needed "more" in his life and he was thankful that god's grace had saved him and he was going to heaven after he died. That kid is an extreme case, but by inserting those kinds of concepts before their intellect has reached maturity to be able to properly process and critically assess those concepts that's not education, it's brainwashing.

I have seen many times (in real life or on TV) kids of religious people who can't yet properly address the concepts of justice or happiness or pain intellectually (as in they couldn't give you an adult definition of what they are or talk about different aspects of these concepts), but are already completely indoctrinated to the parent's own brand of religious ideology. Until you can process and understand things like justice, happiness and pain then you cannot realistically make a decision about theology based on proper critical thinking and free will. You say that God allowing us all a revelation in our hearts would be violating free will, but these parents are violating it far more effectively like this. They are feeding these kids these concepts before they can ever hope to rationalise them, and then cementing this brainwashing by years of performing rituals (church on Sunday for example).

I consider myself very lucky. Both my parents are some sort of mostly christian theist, though they aren't the church going bible thumping variety. But they never used God as a stick or carrot to try and teach me right and wrong. They simply taught me right and wrong. Many times during my childhood I heard "because I said so" when I asked a question, and now I'm all grown up I know full well they could have explained it so easily by resorting to the god card, but they didn't. When I went out and found religion they were there to explain things and help me out, but they never forced whatever they believe (I'm still not exactly sure to this day) onto me. They let me work it out for myself.

This is another of the many reasons I find that religion fails. Are the religious so insecure in god's power and wisdom and love that they have to remove free will from their own children in this way? If they truly believed in what they were preaching then wouldn't they trust god to do what is necessary to reveal himself effectively to the adult that their kid becomes?

God doesn't need religion to connect to us. We don't need religion to connect to him. Seems to me it's pointless for doing what it's nominally designed for. It does seem very effective for doing a whole bunch of things it's not meant to be able to do, but then I contend in those ways it's actually doing exactly what it was really designed to do.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby tzor on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:29 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:However, if God went into your heart and told you specifically that you had to believe this way or that and behave this way or that... then your will is removed. You can voluntarily essentially give up your will and let God decide, but that can be dangerous because sometimes what people think is God is not.


OK, Let's play with this a little. What if God went into your mind and told you specifically how you can loose 20 pounds in two weeks. Is your will removed? Of course not. People know things and do the opposite things all the time; that is FREE WILL. (I'll admit that God doesn't do this, but a hell of a lot of emails do.)

Now why would you want to loose 20 pounds? Because you will probably feel a whole lot better; do more things; and just be happier.

People get fixated on heaven, but the Kingdom of God is among us now. God's peace is available for anyone who follows God's way; you will feel better; do more things and just be happier.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby tzor on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:45 pm

crispybits wrote:You can teach kids right and wrong without ever needing to resort to theology lessons. Until they are old enough to understand what a god concept actually entails then they don't need that concept being put in their heads.


I have to nit pick here, because I don't think "god" and "sex" are the same things. This isn't to say that small children should be taught "theology" lessons, but they should not be shielded from the idea either.

crispybits wrote:But when it comes to religion it's somehow fully acceptable to jump straight to eternal heaven and hell and absolute power and all that.


I will agree with you here.

crispybits wrote:This is another of the many reasons I find that religion fails. Are the religious so insecure in god's power and wisdom and love that they have to remove free will from their own children in this way? If they truly believed in what they were preaching then wouldn't they trust god to do what is necessary to reveal himself effectively to the adult that their kid becomes?


The answer is no. Properly taught, religion should never remove free will. It provides a framework, which along with all other frameworks provides us guides for how to make our own lives better.

But, frankly, I'm sure the best answer to "Why should I love my younger brother," is "because *I* told you to." It works for some things, not not for everything.

And when you do remove God, you somehow sneak in surrogates to do the same thing. Barney, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, are all just God substitutes.

crispybits wrote:God doesn't need religion to connect to us. We don't need religion to connect to him.


Minor point, God doesn't need theology to connect to us. He needs "religion," or in other words the community of believers that we call the church.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:56 pm

tzor wrote:But, frankly, I'm sure the best answer to "Why should I love my younger brother," is "because *I* told you to." It works for some things, not not for everything.

And when you do remove God, you somehow sneak in surrogates to do the same thing. Barney, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, are all just God substitutes.

crispybits wrote:God doesn't need religion to connect to us. We don't need religion to connect to him.


Minor point, God doesn't need theology to connect to us. He needs "religion," or in other words the community of believers that we call the church.


Most of the rest are either points of agreement or very minor disagreement, but I'll quickly address these before I go out and start getting drunk this fine NYE

The best answer to "why should I love my younger brother" is "because you love your younger brother". There is (or at least there should be) no moral imperative at all to feel a certain way about anyone. Your brother could in theory be a complete douche with no redeeming characteristics whatsoever and you might hate his guts.

We're getting into thought crime down that road, and that's a dangerously slippery slope to get onto.

If you asked "why should I act kindly towards my younger brother" then that's a whole different question and there are entirely secular moral reasons why this is a good thing.

My parents managed to teach me right and wrong without any surrogates. Maybe Santa when I was very little and it was near Christmas, but I was simply taught that this is what right looks like and this is what wrong looks like and you should trust your intelligence and your conscience and be open to guidance (but not command) on these issues from your mentors (parents/teachers/whoever).

Religion is the ritual and the tradition and the buildings and the doctrines and the claims of revelation through books and all that bumph. All you're really saying here is that God needs a community of believers to connect to us, but he doesn't even need us to believe, he just needs us to not wilfully shut him out (and even then we're doing him a massive dis-service because we're saying an all powerful being couldn't break a human will, maybe more accurate would be to say he wants it rather than needs it). Active belief and an open mind are very different things, so I would disagree strongly on this point.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby oss spy on Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:46 pm

If God is omniscient, then there is no free will. You have the illusion of free will - you think you're making the decisions of your future because you do not yet know what the future entails. However, because God is omniscient, he knows exactly what you'll do and you therefore do not have free will because he knows what will happen in the future, even though you do not. You may think you have a choice between tea or coffee, but God can see that you're going to choose the tea and not the coffee.

However, if God cannot see into the future, then his omniscience is limited. Because there is a limit to what he knows, there is something that he cannot have (the knowledge of the future) and therefore he is not omnipotent because he isn't powerful enough to attain it. In this case, what makes him God?


If your God exists as you say he does, then you do not have free will; the alternative is that there is free will but no God. Take your pick.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby tzor on Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:33 pm

crispybits wrote:The best answer to "why should I love my younger brother" is "because you love your younger brother".


I thought we were talking about small children. Hell, your answer would stump a philosophy major. (And you just caused the Vulcan to go into recursive logic shock.)
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby tzor on Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:39 pm

oss spy wrote:If God is omniscient, then there is no free will.


Not exactly. If God is omniscient and if God insists on Free Will, then it follows that God's actions are significantly constrained upon the world. And if you think that's bad enough; if you talk about the Universe which is, and God who also is, then you have to remove all question of time (a property of the space time universe) and even cause/effect from your argument.
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