Email thread with pastor
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24-12-2015, 09:56 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
Quote: So the bible being self-affirming is your best argument for it being the word of God?

I hear this so much from theists. Well, of course it's going to be self-affirming when it was written by humans who wanted it to be true.

There's a wonderful book I read a couple of years ago that you should check out called Why I Believed: The Reflections of a Former Missionary by Kenneth Daniels


http://www.amazon.com/Why-Believed-Refle...0578003880


The author describes his journey from being a firm believer to becoming an atheist and he does it without vitriol towards believers. He writes in detail about the first inklings of doubt and his struggles with nonbelief. It's very well written and he's obviously a very bright man. He used to have a blog but I don't think it's around anymore. I refer to his book when arguing with theists.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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19-01-2016, 02:42 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
His latest reply:

A better way to explain a non-belief being a belief is in reference to God. Obviously a non-element does not make it an element in the broader sense. If I'm understanding you, it seems that the reasons I make for belief in God you've used to arrive at a neutral view of God (though there has been enough sarcasm in some of your comments about God's morality that would betray a neutrality...would it be safe to say that if the God of the bible is proven to you somehow, you won't like him much?). I think taking a position of neutrality about the existence of God is itself a position based in belief. My point is that any position we take about God's existence is a belief that will conceptualize a worldview within which we seek to make sense of our own existence. My point about knowing exactly zero theists was not to say that you (personally) claimed to say it. My 'you' was simply pointing out what you wrote about theists' claim, not of your personal beliefs (if that gives clarity).

I think we differ on the type of evidence we're looking at to prove the existence of God. You have said a couple of times that if you're provided evidence that you can reason with one or all of your fives senses, you would believe in God. That form of verification is an absolute in itself...can you prove to me that I can only believe in a God I can prove with the five senses? I very much want reason to be part of my life of faith. I believe I have a faith that is very reasonable seeking verification through a variety of studies and disciplines. I think I use reason to give explanation to the Bible.

I don't know if you're assuming that I haven't looked at the bible with skepticism or asked honest questions about other religions. Do I have to come to a place of neutrality before I can choose belief in God? How far do I have to travel down a path of another religion to be able to settle on Christianity? How much skepticism is required in my quest of truth? It seems that the school of skepticism believes we can't know things fully, but I think that in itself becomes the new filter (or ruling principle or worldview) for interpretation of life and events. I continue to ask honest questions about life, events, and the Bible. Do I need to repudiate my upbringing in order to gain a clearer sight of reason? At what point am I free to choose what to believe? Also, what determines what evidence is strongest?

Dr. Provine's statement about there being no foundation for ethics, morality, purpose, and life is very intriguing to me. He seems to say even more forcefully what Nietzsche regarding our purpose and wills. From on of you earliest responses to me in answering my question about motivation for living out mundane life, and our interaction regarding morality, (if I am understanding you) you seem to not hold to Provine's conclusion. Simply out of curiosity, what is keeping you from going down the road of ultimate obscurity and purposelessness? In my analytic mind, and if I were an atheist, I don't know what would keep me from agreeing with Dr. Provine completely.

I appreciate William Lane Craig very much and have benefited from his research and writing, but I have no idea why he said that he would still believe in God if God was disproved beyond a doubt. I don't get that one...not having greater context of the comment, on the surface it certainly sounds irrational. Personally, I don't know what type of evidence could be produced that would disprove God beyond a doubt. God can't be proven or dis-proven beyond a doubt. I think Christians don't handle doubt very well. Doubt helps us ask questions in our discovery of truth. There are different layers of doubt for sure, but doubt is helpful in bringing us to a greater understanding of faith.

To your question at the end of your email, have I not already proven what I would do with someone like you? To your eternity (which I believe you will have), the condition of your heart toward God who loves you at the time of your death is something God only has full understanding of. Since you aren't dead yet (thankfully), I will continue to love and respect you while we dialogue in our journey toward truth. I hope and pray I can be a conundrum to you...someone who thinks hard and reasons about things while being fully surrendered to God as my loving Creator and Savior.
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19-01-2016, 02:59 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(18-11-2015 03:23 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(18-11-2015 03:08 PM)NolaToad Wrote:  Here was his reply:
snip

A question that comes to mind is how then to define purpose for life as well as motivation for relationships. You are one of the most dedicated husbands and fathers I know...what's your motivation for that commitment?

I enjoy this already.

This is one of those questions that drive me crazy! Does one actually need to believe in a deity to be compassionate? Does he believe that Buddhists, who don't believe in god are incapable of caring for their families?

Facepalm

I don't think anything about that question implies that.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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19-01-2016, 03:17 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(19-01-2016 02:59 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(18-11-2015 03:23 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  This is one of those questions that drive me crazy! Does one actually need to believe in a deity to be compassionate? Does he believe that Buddhists, who don't believe in god are incapable of caring for their families?

Facepalm

I don't think anything about that question implies that.

Everything about that statement implies that. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-01-2016, 11:51 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(19-01-2016 02:59 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(18-11-2015 03:23 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  This is one of those questions that drive me crazy! Does one actually need to believe in a deity to be compassionate? Does he believe that Buddhists, who don't believe in god are incapable of caring for their families?

Facepalm

I don't think anything about that question implies that.

Only because you are absolutely determined to read his posts in the best light, even if that involves bizarre contortions.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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20-01-2016, 06:36 AM
Email thread with pastor
(19-01-2016 11:51 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(19-01-2016 02:59 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don't think anything about that question implies that.

Only because you are absolutely determined to read his posts in the best light, even if that involves bizarre contortions.

(19-01-2016 11:51 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(19-01-2016 02:59 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don't think anything about that question implies that.

Only because you are absolutely determined to read his posts in the best light, even if that involves bizarre contortions.

Not really, I think it's the other way around. That you folks are likely to read the post in the worst light possible. A possible victim of your negativity bias.

The pastor writes that he is one of the most dedicated fathers he knows, even while not believing in God. So clearly he doesn't believe that you need to be a believer to be a dedicated father.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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20-01-2016, 06:42 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(20-01-2016 06:36 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The pastor writes that he is one of the most dedicated fathers he knows, even while not believing in God. So clearly he doesn't believe that you need to be a believer to be a dedicated father.

And clearly, he is surprised by that fact.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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20-01-2016, 07:01 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(20-01-2016 06:42 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(20-01-2016 06:36 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The pastor writes that he is one of the most dedicated fathers he knows, even while not believing in God. So clearly he doesn't believe that you need to be a believer to be a dedicated father.

And clearly, he is surprised by that fact.

Stop reading what he said in a negative light Sadcryface You poor lost souls Weeping

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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20-01-2016, 07:39 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(20-01-2016 06:42 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(20-01-2016 06:36 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The pastor writes that he is one of the most dedicated fathers he knows, even while not believing in God. So clearly he doesn't believe that you need to be a believer to be a dedicated father.

And clearly, he is surprised by that fact.

Yes, it's a question which he doesn't know the answer to himself, but it's not a question that implies that a belief in God is required to be dedicated to your children. If that where the case then it wouldn't be a question that surprises him.

It's as if someone were to ask how do we make sense of our moral intuition, in absence of a transcendent moral order, because he himself wouldn't know how to make sense of it absent of their being one. He's asking a question in which he doesn't know the answer for, an answer which he has trouble formulating himself. In this is regard, as likely with the pastor's question it's not about a persons belief, but the underlying reality itself.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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