Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
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14-08-2011, 10:36 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Terri Schiavo

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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14-08-2011, 12:37 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Perhaps it would help for you to take a firsthand look at the thoughts and feeling of a Christian who knew he was going to die soon. You can start by clicking on this link:

http://www.christiandoctrinediscussion.c...ng-me.html

It is a blog entry by someone who had just learned he was suffering from a fatal condition. If you read this entry and those which follow it you will have a good picture of what he was experiencing during this time. He continued this blog until the end of his life and the final entry is by his wife, describing the end of his life.

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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14-08-2011, 03:57 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(14-08-2011 09:21 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Mark.

Quote:...intellect, your bravery and your integrity.

That's some straight up bullshit. You have the audacity to justify your bullying as an act of respect and then you launch a disgusting ad hominem like this. For shame, Mark. Shame!

Hi ghost, fancy hearing from you! You accuse me of "bullying" only because you don't agree with what I'm saying. Theophilus accused me on not reading the Bible in the appropriate way (ie the way he approved of). I corrected him about his obvious misconception, and pointed out how and why I think he is not reading his Bible in a rational fashion.

If you had accused me of being patronising, you would have had a point. Yes, I patronised him on this occasion, because he has patronised me and others by not addressing the questions we raise and then preaching unsubstantiated facts about the Bible for which he provides no rational evidence. He does that on the "THINKING ATHEIST'S" forum. I don't think that's appropriate.

Theophilus, if you feel "bullied", spit it out and say so. If anyone else thinks I have "bullied" him please tell me too.
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14-08-2011, 04:13 PM (This post was last modified: 15-08-2011 10:41 PM by Ghost.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Starcrash.

All analogies do fall short because they're saying, by definition, that X is analogous to Y, not that X=Y. So you can rip apart any analogy for not being the thing it's analogising, but what's the point? I even said it wasn't perfect. I was trying to get a point across. You glossed over that point. Which is what it is.

I wasn't talking about cheating; I was talking about how people thought things should be. I meant people should be all for the thing that gets them what is better, not all for cheating. You took the analogy to a place that has nothing to do with death whatsoever.

I didn't ask if 6 > 5. I said 6 > 5. I asked if 6 devalues 5. Does 6 make 5 into 0? Without value. I'm saying that life has value that the greater value of Heaven can't take away, regardless of its betterness. If you go for the greater, you LOSE the lesser, which if it is valueless is fine but if it does have value, as LIFE does to Christians, then it's not at all rational when you can have BOTH.

Quote:When we talk about seeking death, is there a consequence?

YES!

You lose your life. That's the whole point. To believe for a second that Christians would be fools not to scream joyfully towards death, you have to believe that life holds no value to them. Which is ridiculous. This whole line of thought, that Christians are hypocrites for mourning the dead and that it's evidence that they don't actually believe in the afterlife, is preposterous and spits in the face of both reason and facts.

Jeeze louise, I'm worked up.

People should just say, "Christians are stupid dumb poopie faces," and be done with it instead of pretending that some cockamamie idea is somehow rational.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

--

ON EDIT:
Mark.

No. I accused you of bullying because I thought you were treating another human being like shit.

If you want to interpret what Theo said as an insult, more power to ya. But don't you dare invoke the shield of "this is the Thinking Atheist" when you were attacking another human being. Not their ideas. Them. As a person. That's what's called an ad hominem attack. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with rational discourse.
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14-08-2011, 08:10 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(14-08-2011 04:13 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Starcrash.

All analogies do fall short because they're saying, by definition, that X is analogous to Y, not that X=Y. So you can rip apart any analogy for not being the thing it's analogising, but what's the point? I even said it wasn't perfect. I was trying to get a point across. You glossed over that point. Which is what it is.

I wasn't talking about cheating; I was talking about how people thought things should be. I meant people should be all for the thing that gets them what is better, not all for cheating. You took the analogy to a place that has nothing to do with death whatsoever.

I didn't ask if 6 > 5. I said 6 > 5. I asked if 6 devalues 5. Does 6 make 5 into 0? Without value. I'm saying that life has value that the greater value of Heaven can't take away, regardless of its betterness. If you go for the greater, you LOSE the lesser, which if it is valueless is fine but if it does have value, as LIFE does to Christians, then it's not at all rational when you can have BOTH.

Quote:When we talk about seeking death, is there a consequence?

YES!

You lose your life. That's the whole point. To believe for a second that Christians would be fools not to scream joyfully towards death, you have to believe that life holds no value to them. Which is ridiculous. This whole line of thought, that Christians are hypocrites for mourning the dead and that it's evidence that they don't actually believe in the afterlife, is preposterous and spits in the face of both reason and facts.

Jeeze louise, I'm worked up.

People should just say, "Christians are stupid dumb poopie faces," and be done with it instead of pretending that some cockamamie idea is somehow rational.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

--

ON EDIT:
Mark.

No. I accused you of bullying because I thought you were treating another human being like shit.

If you want to interpret what Theo said as an insult, more power to ya. But don't you dare invoke the shield of "this is the Thinking Atheist" when you were attacking another human being. Not their ideas. Them. As a person. That's what's called an ad hominem attack. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with rational discourse.

Mate, you're right...you are worked up. I was going to point this out to you. Please understand...I'm not belittling you or patronising you....but in most of your posts (many of which make very good very interesting points) you sound like an angry bull in a cage. Why don't you cool your jets a little? Life just ain't that serious.

Your anger at me ( as implied with words like "bullshit" and "shit" and "bullying" and "don't you dare") is an example of your over emotional response. Theophilus doesn't feel bullied by me, or if he does he hasn't said so. He's chuffing along in his own world happily regurgitating standard Christian arguments. I think he's absolutely unflustered, safely cucooned in his own belief system. You, however, are obviously very flustered, but you haven't made it clear why. Let's call a spade a spade...it is not just about me and Theo, is it?

Hey...here's an idea. I would much rather discuss things with you than with Theo. He's saying nothing new, and he more or less ignores or deflects mine (and other's)arguments. You don't, and you obviously see the world differently to me. That means we can learn from each other. How about you tell me why you disagree with me, cut out the personal attacks, and we discuss real issues? I won't "bully" Theo anymore as we obviously can't engage.

I will lay my cards on the table. I'm a dyed in the wool atheist. I believe Christianity has seriously damaged our world and continues to do so. It has its good points, but they are far outweighed by the lies, by the wars, by the suppression of women and homosexuality and science that is an integral part of the Christian agenda. I'm trying to do something about it in a way that still respects the integrity and right to free speech of Christians. I'm trying to do my bit to make the world a better place.

Where exactly do you stand? Time and again you "come to the rescue" of the Christian position, and sometimes, in my opinion, you make good points. But you are very very emotional. Why is that? I think somewhere you or someone else has labelled you an agnostic. Is that right? Would I be correct in assuming there there is a part of you that has some emotional attachment to Christianity? I suspect this because it is a common characteristic of anxious Christians or "closet Christians" to start firing bullets at others when their worldview is challenged. It is one way of dealing with cognitive dissonance. If so, I am genuinely interested to hear about it and why you still feel that way.

I have an uncle who is a Catholic priest, and I love him. I will not, however, be lectured to by him about Jesus and the church, like he used to do when i was a kid. He knows that and we usually get on fine. I mention this to prove to you that I am not afraid or ashamed or embarrassed to say who I am and what I believe in and where I come from. I would like to hear the same from you.
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14-08-2011, 10:23 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
So that's it eh? You just look for any old thing to snap up and you base your entire theory on it? I was worked up about the idiocy of an idea and its widespread support among very intelligent people who are smarter than that. It's like when Metallica released the Black Album. It was frustrating because they are capable of so much more.

Believe me, when I was responding to what you were doing, I was stone sober.

Quote:But you are very very emotional.

You don't know me, Jack. Sorry.

For the record, I swear because I love the way they sound and I relish how expressive they are and because I don't like to avoid things for etiquette's sake and because I used to be in the army and it made me foul mouthed. If you really prefer me to say, "I thought you were treating another human being like the simply didn’t matter, “or, "I call shenanigans on what you just did," well, it ain’t gonna fucking happen. Just plug in something more pleasant and Disneylike when I swear.

Quote:Where exactly do you stand? Time and again you "come to the rescue" of the Christian position, and sometimes, in my opinion, you make good points.

There's no conspiracy here. I stick up for whoever I want, whenever I want. Christians get my support from time to time because I'm allowed to give them my support. Because they're human beings. And I don't have to be a Christian or have an emotional attachment to Christianity to do it.

I come to the rescue of reason and I call out BS when I see it (and I have a special disdain for irrationality that is trumpeted as rational). If an Atheist says some shit about a Theist in particular or about Theism in general, I call them out on it. It has nothing to do with any affiliation to Theism, just like me calling out a Theist when they slag an Atheist has nothing to do with any affiliation to Atheism.

I am an Agnostic and, as with anyone, assumptions have led you astray. Closet Christian? Sorry, brother, but that's rich.

Lastly, I think the implication that I'm afraid to say who I am, what I believe in and where I'm from is about as far from reality as you can possibly get.

Look, I will talk with anyone, anywhere about anything. It's one of my favourite things in life. You got a head on your shoulders so yeah, talking to you is a gas. That being said, my bullshit threshold is low. If I think you're treating someone poorly, I'm gonna say something. Not because anyone is an Atheist or a Theist, but because I think it’s important. If you don't wanna believe it, that's your prerogative. But if you wanna call a spade a spade, yup, it was just about how I thought you were treating Theo.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must return to my Fortress of Seriousness to rant and rave like a lunatic about the trivial.
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15-08-2011, 12:50 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(14-08-2011 10:23 PM)Ghost Wrote:  So that's it eh? You just look for any old thing to snap up and you base your entire theory on it? I was worked up about the idiocy of an idea and its widespread support among very intelligent people who are smarter than that. It's like when Metallica released the Black Album. It was frustrating because they are capable of so much more.

Believe me, when I was responding to what you were doing, I was stone sober.

Quote:But you are very very emotional.

You don't know me, Jack. Sorry.

For the record, I swear because I love the way they sound and I relish how expressive they are and because I don't like to avoid things for etiquette's sake and because I used to be in the army and it made me foul mouthed. If you really prefer me to say, "I thought you were treating another human being like the simply didn’t matter, “or, "I call shenanigans on what you just did," well, it ain’t gonna fucking happen. Just plug in something more pleasant and Disneylike when I swear.

Quote:Where exactly do you stand? Time and again you "come to the rescue" of the Christian position, and sometimes, in my opinion, you make good points.

There's no conspiracy here. I stick up for whoever I want, whenever I want. Christians get my support from time to time because I'm allowed to give them my support. Because they're human beings. And I don't have to be a Christian or have an emotional attachment to Christianity to do it.

I come to the rescue of reason and I call out BS when I see it (and I have a special disdain for irrationality that is trumpeted as rational). If an Atheist says some shit about a Theist in particular or about Theism in general, I call them out on it. It has nothing to do with any affiliation to Theism, just like me calling out a Theist when they slag an Atheist has nothing to do with any affiliation to Atheism.

I am an Agnostic and, as with anyone, assumptions have led you astray. Closet Christian? Sorry, brother, but that's rich.

Lastly, I think the implication that I'm afraid to say who I am, what I believe in and where I'm from is about as far from reality as you can possibly get.

Look, I will talk with anyone, anywhere about anything. It's one of my favourite things in life. You got a head on your shoulders so yeah, talking to you is a gas. That being said, my bullshit threshold is low. If I think you're treating someone poorly, I'm gonna say something. Not because anyone is an Atheist or a Theist, but because I think it’s important. If you don't wanna believe it, that's your prerogative. But if you wanna call a spade a spade, yup, it was just about how I thought you were treating Theo.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must return to my Fortress of Seriousness to rant and rave like a lunatic about the trivial.

Re "So that's it eh? You just look for any old thing to snap up and you base your entire theory on it?" You lost me mate...what are you referring to?

Re "I was worked up about the idiocy of an idea and its widespread support among very intelligent people who are smarter than that. It's like when Metallica released the Black Album. It was frustrating because they are capable of so much more.

Believe me, when I was responding to what you were doing, I was stone sober."

Fine, that's ok. I didn't suggest you were drunk, and it wouldn't bother me if you were.

Re "You don't know me, Jack. Sorry.

For the record, I swear because I love the way they sound and I relish how expressive they are and because I don't like to avoid things for etiquette's sake and because I used to be in the army and it made me foul mouthed. If you really prefer me to say, "I thought you were treating another human being like the simply didn’t matter, “or, "I call shenanigans on what you just did," well, it ain’t gonna fucking happen. Just plug in something more pleasant and Disneylike when I swear."

You're dead right...I don't know you. I would like to though. We all make assumptions about each other on this forum. I have a story about "you" in my head and vice versa, and probably both stories are a long way from reality. That's why I'm inviting you to tell me a little more about yourself.

I don't have a problem with swearing per se. I do it myself

Re"I am an Agnostic and, as with anyone, assumptions have led you astray. Closet Christian? Sorry, brother, but that's rich."

Mate, i don't know where you sit...was just asking you, that's all. You shouldn't be offended I thought you may be a "closet Christian" unless you feel there is something wrong with being one (I don't).

Re "Lastly, I think the implication that I'm afraid to say who I am, what I believe in and where I'm from is about as far from reality as you can possibly get."

Mate, I didn't mean to imply you were afraid of expressing yourself at all. I was just saying it is hard for me to understand you sometimes ( possibly because you have views not easily labelled ). Ok, well, I now have heard it from you that you are an agnostic. Thanks for sharing that. Would you care to tell me what sort of a god you might believe in and why? I am genuinely interested...I'm not asking you so we can have an argument. Is it the same god as Theo's? Would you care to say why you believe there might be a god?

Ok. I was treating Theo poorly. Theo can read that and so can you. You are right.

Shall we move on?
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15-08-2011, 10:15 AM (This post was last modified: 15-08-2011 10:36 PM by Ghost.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Mark.

Quote:Ok. I was treating Theo poorly. Theo can read that and so can you. You are right.

Not quite an apology, but like AA says, admitting there's a problem is the first step.

Quote:I was just saying it is hard for me to understand you sometimes ( possibly because you have views not easily labelled ).

Aint it cool Cool

Quote:Would you care to tell me what sort of a god you might believe in and why? I am genuinely interested...I'm not asking you so we can have an argument. Is it the same god as Theo's? Would you care to say why you believe there might be a god?

Short version:
-I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist, but an Agnostic
-I believe that the essential quality of any God is that they are supernatural
-The supernatural, by definition, should it exist, is "super" to the natural, meaning it is not governed by the natural, it governs the natural
-Naturalism, the belief that everything is controlled by the natural laws of the universe, is an assumption, not a proven fact
-I believe that given the complexity of existence, the possibility of "existence" outside of our universe (space-time), the knowledge of an act of creation, the possibility of multiple-universes with different natural laws (both in type and value) and the knowledge that the laws of the universe are not absolute because they break down WITHIN our universe as we approach a singularity, that the question, ‘is there something beyond the natural laws of the universe’ is a reasonable question
-Because the supernatural is, by definition, beyond the governance of the natural laws we use to measure phenomena, no empirical data for or against the supernatural can ever exist
-There is no evidence for or against the existence of the supernatural because there can never be
-As Thomas Henry Huxley said, "Agnosticism is not a creed but a method, the essence of which lies in the vigorous application of a single principle... Positively the principle may be expressed as in matters of intellect, do not pretend conclusions are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable."
-The existence and non-existence of the supernatural are neither demonstrated nor demnostrable
-Because they are neither demonstrated nor demonstrable, one must believe in neither
-I neither believe in the existence of God(s) nor disbelieve in the existence of God(s)
-I believe that the essence of Theism is belief in the existence of God and that the essence of Atheism is disbelief in the existence of God; hence, I am neither
-The Schrödinger cat in a box experiment suggests that something can simultaneously be and not be until observed
-Since there will never be evidence for or against the supernatural, it will never be observed; therefore, I believe that it simultaneously exists and does not exist
-I believe that God(s) simultaneously exist and do not exist and that that will be their state in perpetuity
-I believe that the God question is beyond the which religion(s) is(are) correct question

Long version with subsequent 17 pages of argument about why it's impossible for me to believe... what I believe... I still don't know how that one works.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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15-08-2011, 11:53 AM (This post was last modified: 15-08-2011 12:40 PM by cufflink.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Whether I identify myself as an atheist or an agnostic depends crucially on what you mean by “God.” I’m an agnostic with respect to some definitions and an atheist with respect to others.

Nowhere is it more important to define your terms clearly than in debates about religion. Two people can each say “I believe in God” and think they’re in agreement, without realizing they’re using the term “God” in totally different ways. For example, theists like to point out that Einstein believed in God, as evidenced by such famous statements of his as “God doesn’t play dice with the universe.” What they don’t understand—or, more likely, deliberately fail to mention—is that Einstein’s conception of God was non-personal and totally unlike theirs. He said so many times and very explicitly: “The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve.” And, “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”

If your idea of God is simply some kind of supernatural being who created the universe, I’m happy to call myself an agnostic with respect to that God. Call this God God1. I don’t know if God1 exists. For various reasons it seems unlikely to me, but I acknowledge the possibility.

But God1 is not the God people care about, because all of the following possibilities are compatible with such a God:

*He (or she or it) set things in motion but then stepped aside. He does not intervene in the workings of the universe. In particular he does not intervene in human affairs or communicate with humans. He simply observes the workings of his creation.

*He is evil and derives pleasure from watching his creatures suffer.

*He created our universe but then forgot about it, going off to create other ones.

*He created our universe and then died.

What people actually care about is what’s been called an “interested” God or “the God of popular theism” or the “triple-omni God”: the God who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omni-benevolent; who “has the whole world in his hands” and knows when every sparrow falls; who is morally perfect; who loves us, cares about every one of us, and has only our best interest in mind; who hears our prayers and answers them. That’s the God that matters to people. Call him God2 .

With respect to God2 I’m an atheist. The problem of human suffering shows me that God2 doesn’t exist. You know the drill: If God sees the suffering of a 6-year-old with cancer but can’t stop it, he isn’t omnipotent. If he sees it and can stop it but refuses to, he isn’t good. If he doesn’t see it, he isn’t omniscient.

So tell me what you mean by God and I’ll tell you if I’m an agnostic or an atheist.

Of course people have proposed other definitions of God. The theologian Paul Tillich defines God as “the ground of all being,” whatever that means. With respect to that definition of God I don’t know what the hell I am.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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15-08-2011, 06:36 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
I'm on the same page as you, cufflink.

I am much more in 'support' of god like beings or energies, but not a grand creator god that is very much vested in humans and omniscient and all of that.

For a personal omniscient creator god, I'm a rock solid atheist.

For god like beings or energy... agnostic atheist. It's untestable, but going off the information provided, I don't believe.

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