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20-01-2012, 04:08 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
Well, it's the Christian belief that the Christian (I use this as an identifier - I realize the term didn't come around until after Jesus) God has been around since eternity and that pagan religions are based on Him from the oral traditions of the elect that God revealed Himself to.

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20-01-2012, 04:21 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
I think the idea of a god has been so persistent for this long has more to do with fear than anything else. More so than the comfort blanket it gives people. Fear is more of a motivator.

It drives people to believe for fear of repercussion. As time went by and we started to understand the world better the tool used for fear was less of the immediate god smiting thing and the more effective and harder to prove eternity in hell. Super effective. Survival remember, it's the catalyst for change, for evolution. It's affected everything including religion.

I think that all religions tend to have very good PR people, and I think that is because those very PR people become attracted to tools that can be used for manipulation. What better tool than a fear so strong it will actually cause people to commit genocide?

Yes there are good things that can come from religion (none that can't be achieved without it) but I think of the good things as an accidental byproduct much like having two families join together and become friends after having met due to their relatives being killed in the same car accident.

I don't believe for one second that religion has survived for so long because of some innate truth. It's there still simply because it is a very effective tool. We don't throw away our hammer until one of two things happens. The hammer breaks, or we find a newer better one.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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20-01-2012, 04:32 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
If what you say is true then that presents another set of questions that are most likely unanswerable.

The first all relate to time. The universe is ~13 billion years old, the Earth (and our solar system) are ~4.56 billion years old, but modern man has only been around for ~100,000 years (a minimum estimate). This means that God made everything, and then sat around until ~100,000 years ago before he (I use the masculine term out of habit) decided to finally reveal himself. Even that is probably not accurate since even the Pagan myths do not necessarily (or likely) go back to the very first instance we consider the "birth" of mankind. Why reveal himself at all? Why wait so long before making man? I don't know of any answers to these questions that make more sense than there not being a god and that everything is the result of nature. Using that as an answer negates the questions I asked because they are irrelevant. What do you think the answer to them is?

The other question is one you probably hear much more often but here it goes anyways. If god revealed himself in such a way to these earlier peoples, why does he not do so now? They were given divine evidence of his existence at a time when we understood nothing of science and math but now that we know, he is content to sit back and say nothing? We are supposed to take it on faith that he exists now when he gave proof to our ancestors? If that is true, then it is like telling your firstborn son everything you know and then taking your 2nd born son and your first son's diary and dropping them off in the middle of nowhere and expecting them to just believe it for no reason and survive.

I can see how a personal experience can seem powerful enough to cause one to change ones mind (or cement ones opinion) but the above reply just seems hokey. Personal experiences are one thing since the fact that they are not evidence of anything is obvious but the above claim is based on what evidence? Even the above claim negates the bible as evidence because it condemns the pagan myths and looks at them with contempt as opposed to looking at them as the ancestral foundation to Christianity. They are viewed not as a basis for chirstianity but as an incorrect alternative. And why so many modern day religions? They all seem to be descended from early myths, but they all changed in to very different forms of it. How does one discern which one is right? A lot of people on this planet have looked for answers like you did and have read other texts and found the same comfort you found in the bible in another book.

Sorry to flood you with such a lengthy reply but I can't apply my logic to your answer and these are the thoughts that spiraled out of it.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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20-01-2012, 05:51 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(20-01-2012 12:04 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(19-01-2012 01:02 PM)Reactor Wrote:  Why you think this is not a ghost or a "bad" god or just an other supernatural creature that is playing with your mind and by making you read all these staff to waste your time just to satisfy itself? How you are so sure that it's this one God that you believe in and not some sick supernatural joke that's happening to you?

Good question.

There is, of course, no way to answer that; however, isn't that reality relative to my own perception?

If I'm convinced that it's the Christian God leading me, then whether or not it's malevolent is irrelevant; since, I know no differently and/or will never know differently. My perception is that the god is good, so therefore, it is good even though it may be bad. The only way it can become bad to me is if my perception is changed. If the god decides to guise itself as good for my earthly life, then it is good because I can't perceive it any differently.

I am really sorry but i think I made a critical mistake in the question. Undecided
I used present simple instead of past simple. I wanted to know what where your thoughts back then when you started thinking the supernatural was the cause. How you ruled out all the other possible supernatural causes?
If your answer remain the same this lead me to the conclusion that you didn't tried a lot to find an answer but you rather picked the one you was more familiar and fitted better with you.
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20-01-2012, 11:01 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
My question: Do you think I'm going to hell? I'm an atheist btw.

I'm a morally upstanding citizen as well.
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20-01-2012, 11:14 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
I wish to add a question as well. Hopefully this one hasn't already been posted, but of course with 49 pages to this topic, I can't be certain. Anyway, one thing I've come to wonder about, is why would a loving and merciful god sentence sinful or unsaved souls to eternal punishment in hell? When you think about it, the earthly equivalent to that would be a child steals from a store or something and his parents decide to beat him with a pointed stick until he's in an old age home, stopping every few days only to run him over with their truck! Of course even that doesn't begin to cover it because our poor guy in this outlandish example will eventually escape by dying. A soul of course cannot die however, so eternal punishment really does mean forever. I've so often thought that as humans we have a hard time truly comprehending what forever would be like.

It seems like overkill, I know to punish your own child for his whole life for one mistake, so why shouldn't we assume the idea of hell is overkill too? I'll be blunt and honest here, I'd have a very hard time, seeing a god who can punish forever as loving. Why, in your opinion, would he not still take the "good" children to heaven, but simply destroy the rest quickly and humanely? He wouldn't have to deal with them ever again, but also there would be no eternal torment either.
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20-01-2012, 11:36 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
As you enter the 50th dimension (hocism) let me contratulate you and thank you.
All this and on an atheist,albeit thinking one, forum.
Undoubtedly, you are one of the annointed cosmic Generals. Rolleyes
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21-01-2012, 12:51 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(20-01-2012 11:36 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  As you enter the 50th dimension (hocism) let me contratulate you and thank you.
All this and on an atheist,albeit thinking one, forum.
Undoubtedly, you are one of the annointed cosmic Generals. Rolleyes

Well, thank you! This is very much appreciated! It has been quite a challenge, but I'm still up for it.

Just got done watching Moneyball (awesome movie), so I will get to the remaining questions maybe tomorrow... no promises, though. Weekends get pretty busy and such.

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24-01-2012, 09:56 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(20-01-2012 04:32 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  The first all relate to time. The universe is ~13 billion years old, the Earth (and our solar system) are ~4.56 billion years old, but modern man has only been around for ~100,000 years (a minimum estimate). This means that God made everything, and then sat around until ~100,000 years ago before he (I use the masculine term out of habit) decided to finally reveal himself. Even that is probably not accurate since even the Pagan myths do not necessarily (or likely) go back to the very first instance we consider the "birth" of mankind. Why reveal himself at all? Why wait so long before making man? I don't know of any answers to these questions that make more sense than there not being a god and that everything is the result of nature. Using that as an answer negates the questions I asked because they are irrelevant. What do you think the answer to them is?

You're right. I can't answer that. I don't know why God chose to reveal Himself in the way He did or why He waited so long.

Quote:The other question is one you probably hear much more often but here it goes anyways. If god revealed himself in such a way to these earlier peoples, why does he not do so now? They were given divine evidence of his existence at a time when we understood nothing of science and math but now that we know, he is content to sit back and say nothing? We are supposed to take it on faith that he exists now when he gave proof to our ancestors? If that is true, then it is like telling your firstborn son everything you know and then taking your 2nd born son and your first son's diary and dropping them off in the middle of nowhere and expecting them to just believe it for no reason and survive.

God revealed Himself to the earlier believers because the purpose of the Holy Spirit had not come to fruition. After the death of Jesus, God gave us the Holy Spirit as a constant revelation. The HS is "God in us".

Quote:I can see how a personal experience can seem powerful enough to cause one to change ones mind (or cement ones opinion) but the above reply just seems hokey. Personal experiences are one thing since the fact that they are not evidence of anything is obvious but the above claim is based on what evidence? Even the above claim negates the bible as evidence because it condemns the pagan myths and looks at them with contempt as opposed to looking at them as the ancestral foundation to Christianity. They are viewed not as a basis for chirstianity but as an incorrect alternative. And why so many modern day religions? They all seem to be descended from early myths, but they all changed in to very different forms of it. How does one discern which one is right? A lot of people on this planet have looked for answers like you did and have read other texts and found the same comfort you found in the bible in another book.

It may be hokey, but it is what it is (I hate that saying). The truth is that there is no conclusive evidence for one way or another, so my faith in my religion shapes my personal view just like your lack of religion shapes your view. That is the most honest answer I can give you.

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24-01-2012, 09:59 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(20-01-2012 11:14 PM)AstralMystic Wrote:  I wish to add a question as well. Hopefully this one hasn't already been posted, but of course with 49 pages to this topic, I can't be certain. Anyway, one thing I've come to wonder about, is why would a loving and merciful god sentence sinful or unsaved souls to eternal punishment in hell? When you think about it, the earthly equivalent to that would be a child steals from a store or something and his parents decide to beat him with a pointed stick until he's in an old age home, stopping every few days only to run him over with their truck! Of course even that doesn't begin to cover it because our poor guy in this outlandish example will eventually escape by dying. A soul of course cannot die however, so eternal punishment really does mean forever. I've so often thought that as humans we have a hard time truly comprehending what forever would be like.

It seems like overkill, I know to punish your own child for his whole life for one mistake, so why shouldn't we assume the idea of hell is overkill too? I'll be blunt and honest here, I'd have a very hard time, seeing a god who can punish forever as loving. Why, in your opinion, would he not still take the "good" children to heaven, but simply destroy the rest quickly and humanely? He wouldn't have to deal with them ever again, but also there would be no eternal torment either.

Just another of the "mysterious ways his wonders to perform".

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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