A confused Atheist..
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05-08-2011, 06:45 PM
Smile RE: A confused Atheist..
(05-08-2011 12:10 AM)cufflink Wrote:  The best rejoinder to the "Atheism is a religion too!" nonsense is something I saw recently, I think in a comment to a YouTube video:

"Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel."

Whoops. Just discovered where I actually saw that comment--right here on the Forum, in gaglamesh731's signature. Smile

Credit where credit is due . . .

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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06-08-2011, 01:30 AM
RE: A confused Atheist..
I've always been mystified as to WHY God would allow any kind of evil at all, whether he intends to "make up" for it afterwards or not. If I were all-powerful and all-knowing, I cannot imagine one day deciding it would be a neat idea to create cancer. I also cannot fathom how I would justify to myself the necessity of making parents capable of raping and torturing their infant children or the children of others...whether or not I intend to lift those children up to paradise afterwards, for what possible reason would I allow them to be so horribly abused in the first place? If my plan is to have them born just to kill them a few months later, why wouldn't I have them die peacefully in their sleep, rather than at the hands of sadistic monsters? Especially if I have a choice in the matter. What is acheived through their suffering? To say that God is "testing" our faith by these means allows that he is capable of some truly horrific sadism for a rather frivolous reason (given that the all-powerful creator of everything is rather unlikely to have such a fragile ego). Saying we "can't know" God's reasons is nonsense- there is no acceptable reason for the horrible suffering of children, or adults for that matter. Saying it's free will and God is helpless to stop it, and then saying it's all part of God's plan and we can't know his reasons for allowing it or judge him for it, is extremely contradictory. Either we have free will or we don't; if we do, there is no "God's plan" in force, if we don't, then God is directly responsible for all of our evil actons, because we commit them according to his "plan". You can't have it both ways. Believing God exists, which presumes God has a plan in place, then you have to recognize that he is one heartless, merciless, cold-blooded monster to have conceived a plan that includes rape, torture, murder, disease, famine, war, airplane crashes, etc. It flies in the face of credulity that any all-powerful being would conceive of such things or allow them to happen with our best interests in mind- unless of course our creator actually hates us and does NOT have our best interests in mind, which, if you presume there is a God with a plan, would make a lot more sense in light of the world we live in. Or there is the much more logical and reasonable explanation that there is no God of any kind. In which case, the arbitrary nature of man's evil actions and mother nature's diseases and disasters need no explanation beyond the scientific.

The way to see by Faith, is to shut the eye of Reason. - Ben Franklin
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06-08-2011, 06:06 AM
RE: A confused Atheist..
Well, you know: It hurts Him more than it hurts us, but it's for our own good.
Both ways is exactly how they insist on having morality. Heads, I win; tails, you lose.
I always thought God was created in the image of a particularly sanctimonious bad father. Abraham?

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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07-08-2011, 12:40 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(05-08-2011 10:54 AM)Zach Wrote:  Why? For what reason should we consider God the standard for what is good and evil?
If God created everything then obviously morality is part of his creation.

Quote:You seem to be trying to answer the Euthyphro dilemma both ways. Is God good because he conforms to some standard of morality? Or is whatever God does good just because he's God?
God in infinite and our minds are finite, which means that we can never understand him completely. All we can know about him is what he has chosen to reveal to us. He has revealed that he always does what is right and that he himself establishes right and wrong by what he is. The fact that they seem contradictory is simply a result of the limitations of our intellects.

Quote:The Bible? If we're going to use the Bible to justify anything you're claiming, then is there a reason parents cannot murder their disrespectful children?
The Bible contains universal moral commands and commandes given specifically to particular individuals and groups. Here is something I have written that goes into more detail about this:

http://www.christiandoctrinediscussion.c...ament.html

Quote:Christians cannot agree on what various parts of the Bible are; some people take Genesis literally and others consider it poetry. How do we establish what is what?
The best way to determine whether Genesis is literal is to look at what Jesus said about it.

Quote:
Quote:There are some parts that are hard to understand. Here are some suggestions for how to deal with these parts:

http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showt...t-passages

The post starts off by saying to give it the benefit of the doubt. The burden of proof rests on whoever wants to put forth a claim, not on those skeptical of that claim.
The post isn't talking about the question of whether the Bible is true but telling how to understand what it says.

(05-08-2011 02:03 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  If god is the standard of good and evil by which humanity is expected to judge itself, and god does not set an example we can understand and follow, then, by what criteria are we to decide right action?
We are to base our actions on the commands God has given to us.

(05-08-2011 02:50 PM)myst32 Wrote:  If God is perfect why does "he" need or want to be worshiped? A perfect all knowing being by definition would not "need or want" anything.
He doesn't need our worship; we need to worship him.
Quote:Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.
Psalm 115:4-8 ESV
If those who worship false gods become like the gods they worship, then those who worship the true God will become like him. God doesn't need our worship but because he loves us he wants us to worship him because of the good it will do for us.

(06-08-2011 01:30 AM)hotrodmike Wrote:  I've always been mystified as to WHY God would allow any kind of evil at all, whether he intends to "make up" for it afterwards or not.
I don't understand it either but if he hadn't created the world we live in you would never have existed.

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
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07-08-2011, 01:42 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(07-08-2011 12:40 PM)theophilus Wrote:  
(05-08-2011 02:03 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  If god is the standard of good and evil by which humanity is expected to judge itself, and god does not set an example we can understand and follow, then, by what criteria are we to decide right action?
We are to base our actions on the commands God has given to us.
Ah! Do as I say, not as I do. Faulty parenting.
And then there is the question of to whom, exactly, those commandments were given. Not to me. Possibly to you. There is no 'us'.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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08-08-2011, 07:27 PM
 
RE: A confused Atheist..
(07-08-2011 12:40 PM)theophilus Wrote:  
(05-08-2011 10:54 AM)Zach Wrote:  Why? For what reason should we consider God the standard for what is good and evil?
If God created everything then obviously morality is part of his creation.

If God created everything, then obviously evil is part of his creation.
If God created everything, then obviously suffering is part of his creation.
If God created everything, then obviously sin is part of his creation.
And on, and on we go. Please try a little harder than that.

Morality is simply a concept created by humans. If we assume God exists, then he may also have a morality, but that morality clearly isn't one that we share.

Quote:God in infinite and our minds are finite, which means that we can never understand him completely. All we can know about him is what he has chosen to reveal to us. He has revealed that he always does what is right and that he himself establishes right and wrong by what he is. The fact that they seem contradictory is simply a result of the limitations of our intellects.

God has revealed that he is jealous, spiteful, petty, insecure, and a number of other frankly pathetic traits for an omnipotent being.

Quit trying to come up with a good cop-out and answer the question. You've yet to establish anything, before you attempt to dismiss a question by repeating something about your god try establishing that something first.

Quote:The Bible contains universal moral commands and commandes given specifically to particular individuals and groups. Here is something I have written that goes into more detail about this:

http://www.christiandoctrinediscussion.c...ament.html

I believe Jesus brought up the law I was talking about, criticizing people for not following it. Although it may have just been his way of saying that nobody can actually live by those rules God imposed on everyone. And whether or not we have to follow these old laws right now is irrelevant to whether or not they're immoral or unjust.

Quote:The best way to determine whether Genesis is literal is to look at what Jesus said about it.

That isn't very helpful. Your method for determining whether or not to take something literally is to see what Jesus said about that passage?

Quote:The post isn't talking about the question of whether the Bible is true but telling how to understand what it says.

It tells you how to read the Bible with closed mind: assuming it's right until you've exhausted every means of finding a justification for something written in it. Once you reach that point, assume God knows best and carry on reading.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, I'm going to make one more attempt to engage in a productive line of discussion. Remember: I am starting with no assumptions about God's existence or his character. If you wish to justify something else you say by appealing to God's character or something he did, you need to establish that first. I would very much love to have this conversation, but if you're going to continue what you've been doing there really isn't any point.

Anyway, here are the questions that I've asked and would still like a reply to. Feel free to ignore the above, and I'll answer any of yours as well. Unless it's completely unrelated(Such as asking me to prove a scientific theory, not that I expect you to do that) or an attempt to substitute a challenge to me for an actual defense of your position.

1. What makes God a standard for morality?

I have a feeling you think that no matter what a God is like, the only thing that could make him evil would be him declaring that he is evil.

Remember this part, which you ignored:
Quote:First, that anything God does to us is just fine, not matter what that is. God can send you and all the other believers to an eternal, literal hell while taking the thousand most despicable human beings(*edit: despicable by his objective standards) that have ever existed and granting them eternal bliss in heaven. You're saying that if God did that, it would be right?

The answer to that question would explain your position. A simple yes or no tells me all I want to know.

2. If you replied to #1 by acknowledging that all morality comes from God's arbitrary declarations, then you don't need to answer this one. If you add that he set these standards and they cannot be changed (And he conforms to these moral standards), then this question still applies.

How to we establish that God conforms to whatever morality you wish to propose?

If your answer requires the assumption that he does and any apparent contradiction is just due to our finite minds, you are using circular reasoning. The aforementioned assumption needs to first be established with either a logical argument or some evidence.

If you choose to use the Bible as your evidence, retreating behind that assumption is not a valid reply to why God ordered the massacre of X people in book Y chapter Z verses a-b.

3. Do you plan on proposing that God is outside of logic or does not obey the laws of logic?

The consequence of that proposal is that we cannot establish anything about God, because any claims will ultimately rely on either logic or blind faith. Doing this will render your position indefensible, the only thing we can say about a God not subject to logic is that we can't say anything about him, including whether or not he exists.

So if the answer to this one is yes, there isn't much point to continuing the discussion. Unless of course you think you can explain how to draw valid conclusions about something without logical reasoning, evidence, etc.
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09-08-2011, 09:58 AM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(08-08-2011 07:27 PM)Zach Wrote:  If God created everything, then obviously evil is part of his creation.
If God created everything, then obviously suffering is part of his creation.
If God created everything, then obviously sin is part of his creation.
And on, and on we go. Please try a little harder than that.
God created beings who had free will and could choose whether or not to obey him. Evil, suffering, and sin came about because some of them chose to disobey. He didn't create these things but he did make their existence possible when he created free will.

Quote:Morality is simply a concept created by humans. If we assume God exists, then he may also have a morality, but that morality clearly isn't one that we share.
How do you know we invented it? God made us with an innate sense of right and wrong. That is why you will find similar ideas of morality in all religions and ethical philosophies. Because of the effects of sin on the human race our moral ideas are imperfect and they can be overriden by false teaching from outside but morality is still a gift from God.

Quote:I believe Jesus brought up the law I was talking about, criticizing people for not following it. Although it may have just been his way of saying that nobody can actually live by those rules God imposed on everyone. And whether or not we have to follow these old laws right now is irrelevant to whether or not they're immoral or unjust.
There are two kinds of laws in the Bible. There are universal moral laws that apply to everyone and there are laws that God gave specifically to Israel as a sign of their special relationship with him. Jesus emphasized the moral parts of the laws.

Quote:1. What makes God a standard for morality?
Since he created us he has the right to determine how we should live.

Quote:2. If you replied to #1 by acknowledging that all morality comes from God's arbitrary declarations, then you don't need to answer this one. If you add that he set these standards and they cannot be changed (And he conforms to these moral standards), then this question still applies.
God's declarations aren't arbitrary. They arise from his character. He establishes right and wrong by what he is and his commands all arise from this.

Quote:3. Do you plan on proposing that God is outside of logic or does not obey the laws of logic?
Any form of logic begins with certain premises that are acknowledged as being true and then discovers what conclusions can be reached from them. God's revelation of himself supplies the premises which we must use if we want to know the truth.

Quote:The consequence of that proposal is that we cannot establish anything about God, because any claims will ultimately rely on either logic or blind faith.
There is a third way we can know God; if he reveals himself to us. The existence of God is not an abstract fact that can be proved or disproved by intellectual means alone. He is a person and the degree to which you get to know another person depends in part on how much of himself he is willing to reveal to you. He has promised to reveal himself to anyone who seeks him sincerely and is willing to do his will. Are you prepared to submit to God and serve him if you do find convincing evidence of his existence?

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
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09-08-2011, 01:25 PM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2011 01:52 PM by myst32.)
RE: A confused Atheist..
(07-08-2011 12:40 PM)theophilus Wrote:  
(05-08-2011 02:50 PM)myst32 Wrote:  If God is perfect why does "he" need or want to be worshiped? A perfect all knowing being by definition would not "need or want" anything.
He doesn't need our worship; we need to worship him.

"we need to worship him." Yeah, because if you don't you will burn in hell. As I am so often told.

Matthew 22:35-39

35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

Exodus 20:4-6

4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Luke 4:8

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"

Mat 4:10

10 Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'"

Rev 14:7 

7 and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters."

Rev 22:8-9 

8 And I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
9 And he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book; worship God."


He forces you to love him, promising bad things if you don't. Love and worship are intimately tied together... you worship what you love. "His" first commandment is to love him.... this implies a "need". The fact that people believe that God made us is itself proof, if it was true, God needs\wants something..


BTW Thanks for sticking around... I enjoy reading your post.. even if I do not agree.

“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” Orson Welles
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09-08-2011, 01:32 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(07-08-2011 12:40 PM)theophilus Wrote:  
(05-08-2011 02:50 PM)myst32 Wrote:  If God is perfect why does "he" need or want to be worshiped? A perfect all knowing being by definition would not "need or want" anything.
He doesn't need our worship; we need to worship him.
If god doesn't need our worship, then why would we go to hell for not doing it?

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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09-08-2011, 01:37 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(09-08-2011 01:32 PM)The_observer Wrote:  
(07-08-2011 12:40 PM)theophilus Wrote:  
(05-08-2011 02:50 PM)myst32 Wrote:  If God is perfect why does "he" need or want to be worshiped? A perfect all knowing being by definition would not "need or want" anything.
He doesn't need our worship; we need to worship him.
If god doesn't need our worship, then why would we go to hell for not doing it?

Because the Judeo-Christian god is a jealous vain bully. Thankfully this character only exists on paper.

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