Theists, I want your best reasoning
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16-12-2014, 02:13 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 02:01 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(03-12-2014 07:02 PM)microterf Wrote:  I would like to hear the best argument that you can give for why YOU believe.

I'm not a theist (nor have I had a chance to read all the pages of this thread yet) but here's an angle that might interest you, if it hasn't already been covered above.

To make the question more interesting and productive, turn it around and ask it of yourself. Why do YOU believe, whatever it is you believe?

It's highly unlikely you will persuade religious believers or they will persuade you. It's probably almost as unlikely either party will learn much from the other that they don't already know. Thus, your question as phrased might be dead end.

However, if you aim the question at your own beliefs, you are in the driver's seat and can take the investigation as deep as you dare to go, without relying on anything anyone else might or might not do.

My guess is that religious believers hold their beliefs for fundamentally the same reason you hold your beliefs (dig below the surface differences) so whatever you learn about your relationship with your own beliefs may give you deeper insight in to why religious people hold their beliefs.

People presented me with extraordinary claims regarding the Bible. I investigated for some months, and as I went on became more convinced of the Bible's accuracy and the reality of the love of Jesus.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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16-12-2014, 02:15 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 02:13 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  People presented me with extraordinary claims regarding the Bible. I investigated for some months, and as I went on became more convinced of the Bible's accuracy and the reality of the love of Jesus.

In other words you didn't like what you heard so you instead ignored it and went on your way of ignorance.

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16-12-2014, 02:32 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 02:13 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  People presented me with extraordinary claims regarding the Bible. I investigated for some months, and as I went on became more convinced of the Bible's accuracy and the reality of the love of Jesus.

Thanks for your reply.

Ok, so whether we are theist or atheist, we can investigate why we went looking for "the answer" and why we accept the authority of the Bible, science, reason etc?

Whatever our beliefs, why do we need an answer? And why do we look to others to provide it?

As to the reality of the love of Jesus, I'm wondering if this depends upon belief. Could such a love be experienced without a belief about where that love is coming from?

If there is a Jesus who loves us all, would he share His love only with those capable of accepting a particular belief system? Is that love?
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16-12-2014, 02:46 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 02:01 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  I'm not a theist

You sure sound like one.

Quote:My guess is that religious believers hold their beliefs for fundamentally the same reason you hold your beliefs (dig below the surface differences) so whatever you learn about your relationship with your own beliefs may give you deeper insight in to why religious people hold their beliefs.

I don't accept any claims I have heard for gods because I haven't seen any evidence to convince me that they should be accepted. Every claim I have been given has been a logical fallacy or is explained at least as well without a god. Most, if not all, end up being an elaborately decorated argument from ignorance. "I don't know" is an honest answer and often the best one.

In a loose sense, I hold a belief that there is no god but that isn't a claim I make. I think it is likely because after thousands of years of people searching for one they haven't demonstrated it. That means either there isn't one or it is hiding from us (or maybe is just disinterested). Whatever the reason, it doesn't affect my life so it is functionally equivalent to there not being a god. When I see evidence to the contrary I will re-evaluate that conclusion.

I don't know why theists believe; I suspect that for some it is fear of death, or of being alone, while for others it is cultural conditioning and not actually ever really considering the question. Still others I expect have other reasons. I don't see that it is necessarily true that people hold beliefs for fundamentally the same reasons.

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16-12-2014, 03:19 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 02:01 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  I'm not a theist

Quote:You sure sound like one.

Hmm, which religious beliefs have I expressed?

Quote:I don't accept any claims I have heard for gods because I haven't seen any evidence to convince me that they should be accepted.

Do you accept the claim that human reason is capable of delivering meaningful theories or conclusions on questions of HUGE scale such as what does or doesn't lie at the heart of all reality?

Why should we accept such a HUGE claim of ability without truly compelling evidence to back that claim up?

It's very easy to make the counter argument.

Human beings are a species who only recently emerged from caves on one tiny planet in one of billions of galaxies. We have thousands of hair trigger nuclear weapons aimed down our own throats, a reality we rarely find interesting enough discuss. That is, we are insane.

This is a species who can answer questions like what does or doesn't lie at the heart of all reality?

Seriously, if it was anybody but us, wouldn't we laugh hysterically at the notion that such a primitive crazed suicidal species can meaningfully address questions of such enormous scale as those presented by religious and anti-religious theories?

Quote: "I don't know" is an honest answer and often the best one.

Aha, I couldn't agree more!

Quote: I don't see that it is necessarily true that people hold beliefs for fundamentally the same reasons.

Person A believes in a God they can't see.

Person B believes a species with nuclear weapons aimed down it's own throat has a command of reason sufficient to debunk religion.

What's the difference?
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16-12-2014, 03:39 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 02:15 PM)Metazoa Zeke Wrote:  
(16-12-2014 02:13 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  People presented me with extraordinary claims regarding the Bible. I investigated for some months, and as I went on became more convinced of the Bible's accuracy and the reality of the love of Jesus.

In other words you didn't like what you heard so you instead ignored it and went on your way of ignorance.

I don't follow your point here--I think I do but I want to respond when I'm sure. Can you please restate your intent here?

Thanks.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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16-12-2014, 03:42 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 02:32 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(16-12-2014 02:13 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  People presented me with extraordinary claims regarding the Bible. I investigated for some months, and as I went on became more convinced of the Bible's accuracy and the reality of the love of Jesus.

Thanks for your reply.

Ok, so whether we are theist or atheist, we can investigate why we went looking for "the answer" and why we accept the authority of the Bible, science, reason etc?

Whatever our beliefs, why do we need an answer? And why do we look to others to provide it?

As to the reality of the love of Jesus, I'm wondering if this depends upon belief. Could such a love be experienced without a belief about where that love is coming from?

If there is a Jesus who loves us all, would he share His love only with those capable of accepting a particular belief system? Is that love?

Yes, theists and atheists can make investigations.

Yes, we don't need "an answer" or even any answers to anything from a relativist's viewpoint. However, I think most atheists are smarter than the pure relativists are. Atheists deal in reality so wishy-washy subjectivity shouldn't come into play IMO.

Yes, I believe people may experience the love of Jesus without knowing it, or as importantly for atheists, while ascribing it to other causes.

I believe Jesus died for everyone. He bled and died for people who mocked Him from those who crucified Him to people who mock Him at TTA. That is motivated by love and not indifference.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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16-12-2014, 03:57 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 03:42 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I believe Jesus died for everyone. He bled and died for people who mocked Him from those who crucified Him to people who mock Him at TTA.

Doesn't that lesson the sacrifice?

I mean, if someone can deny His sacrifice, it's not a very powerful sacrifice, right? Especially from a God that is all powerful... and can't be denied.

How can anyone reject God's sacrifice if it was given to them by the omnipotent, omniscient Godhead?

If that can be denied... doesn't that make Him not omnipotent? Isn't He now subjugated by the whims of a human?

For the sacrifice to be ultimate, perfect, and worthy, shouldn't it be something that can't be denied? Because, again... if denied... how is it ultimate, worthy, and perfect?

I believe in unlimited-limited atonement (sufficient for all/exclusive for some).

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16-12-2014, 04:02 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 03:42 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Yes, I believe people may experience the love of Jesus without knowing it, or as importantly for atheists, while ascribing it to other causes.

Thank you for your reply.

To me, just one opinion, this part...

"experience the love"

is far more important than the part....

"of Jesus"

I do recognize the Jesus part is helpful to billions of people, and being helpful to billions of people is no small matter.

On the other hand, the Jesus part is the obstacle for others, most people.

This may raise the question of what's most important, the Jesus belief, or the experience of love.

I ask because if we say Jesus = Love, and most people just can't accept the Jesus part, that seems to complicate the love message in an unproductive way.

What if the love message was sold directly with no beliefs involved, and if Jesus wants to talk to any of us, well, as a God he surely would know our phone number. :-)
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16-12-2014, 04:17 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(16-12-2014 03:19 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Hmm, which religious beliefs have I expressed?

I didn't say you had expressed religious beliefs. Much of the phrasing you do use around beliefs and faith sound like phrasing often used by theists in my experience. You may be an atheist. You may also be a theist posing as an atheist to try to make some point. I don't know. I do know the impression I get from your posts is the latter.

Quote:Do you accept the claim that human reason is capable of delivering meaningful theories or conclusions on questions of HUGE scale such as what does or doesn't lie at the heart of all reality?

No, I don't. I also do not reject the claim. It is as yet undecided either way.

Quote:
Quote: I don't see that it is necessarily true that people hold beliefs for fundamentally the same reasons.

Person A believes in a God they can't see.

Person B believes a species with nuclear weapons aimed down it's own throat has a command of reason sufficient to debunk religion.

What's the difference?

You are assuming that Person B thinks nuclear weapons are a good idea. The fact that some members of the species are aiming those weapons doesn't mean that other members don't have sufficient command of reason to reject religion.

Even if you identified a particular individual who approved of the nuclear situation AND was an atheist you could, at best, only hope to show that they weren't being consistently rational or that rejecting religion takes less reasoning ability than international politics. I might even agree with that.

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