Two sides of a coin
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14-12-2011, 10:55 AM (This post was last modified: 14-12-2011 11:06 AM by robotworld.)
Two sides of a coin
So, I just had another theological discussion with a group of theists, with regards to questions I have. Well, they answered them nicely, and shared with me their experiences with God. Here's what I have heard.

1) For the dying, those with a religion usually die the most peaceful death. The inverse happens for those without a firm faith in a supernatural being.
2) It's a lot easier to look at things in a simpler, positive way, in which we ask ourselves, do such a phenomena show the possibility of the existence of a God?
3) Appreciate the world with a child's innocent mind. Instead of, "Flowers, what marvellous products of natural selection and adaptation for millions of years that led to what they are today", but this "Flowers, how wonderful such a creation is, created by a wonderful God"
4) Before you delve into the depths of any theological discussion, consider this most important question - "Is there a God or not?"
5) Suffering in the world today is man-made. Natural disasters are due to humans altering the natural landscape, such as destruction by tsunamis due to removal of mangrove swamps. Man-made disasters are well... man-made. Even so, God may have wanted this so that we can learn something from every suffering we face.
6) God gave us free will to choose what is right and what is wrong. God created the angel which was to become Satan. The angel utilised his free will to challenge God, and thus was banished.
7) With regards to conflicting viewpoints with the Bible. If the Bible was written by people inspired by God, maybe those viewpoints were written by people inspired by Satan, to confuse us.
8) Everything should have a cause.
9) You have to experience God yourself. You have to place faith in Him to embrace God.
10) People with no religion usually feel a sense of emptiness. Their desire to fill this gap has led to problems such as smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks to achieve euphoria.
11) The different Gods different religions have? They are different interpretations of the same God. The other minor "Gods" are parallel to the angels.

They gave me some reading materials too Smile
Gifford Lecture Series
Confessions of St Augustine

On one hand, I started to feel how wonderful such a life is, but on the other hand, my inner skeptic is screaming WHAT THE F, THINK CRITICALLY, DON'T LET EMOTIONS OVERWHELM YOU.

Hence, the title of this post, Two sides of a coin. Within these 3 months before I get my results back, I hope to seek the final truth, and to answer the question once and for all...

Is there a God?

I hope to hear from "the other side of the coin", to have better decision making. As they told me, cross-check your sources.

PS: By the way, regarding the evidence that they found in the bottom of the Red Sea (chariot wheels and human bones), is it really true? Can't find a site which says otherwise.

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Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
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14-12-2011, 11:13 AM
RE: Two sides of a coin
(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  So, I just had another theological discussion with a group of theists, with regards to questions I have. Well, they answered them nicely, and shared with me their experiences with God. Here's what I have heard.

1) For the dying, those with a religion usually die the most peaceful death. The inverse happens for those without a firm faith in a supernatural being.
Theists seem to have a much greater fear of death than atheists.
Quote:2) It's a lot easier to look at things in a simpler, positive way, in which we ask ourselves, do such a phenomena show the possibility of the existence of a God?
Yes, it's a lot easier - so theists are lazy? It's easier to read one book than many?
Quote:3) Appreciate the world with a child's innocent mind. Instead of, "Flowers, what marvellous products of natural selection and adaptation for millions of years that led to what they are today", but this "Flowers, how wonderful such a creation is, created by a wonderful God"
Again, what an ignorant and lazy attitude.
Quote:4) Before you delve into the depths of any theological discussion, consider this most important question - "Is there a God or not?"
No, before you have a theological discussion, use reason to determine that there is no God, therefore no theology.
Quote:5) Suffering in the world today is man-made. Natural disasters are due to humans altering the natural landscape, such as destruction by tsunamis due to removal of mangrove swamps. Man-made disasters are well... man-made. Even so, God may have wanted this so that we can learn something from every suffering we face.
This is just ridiculous. Earthquakes and volcanoes are not man-made, and there were no mangrove swamps in Japan.
Quote:6) God gave us free will to choose what is right and what is wrong. God created the angel which was to become Satan. The angel utilised his free will to challenge God, and thus was banished.
So, we shouldn't use our free will to think but God gave us free will? Really?
Quote:7) With regards to conflicting viewpoints with the Bible. If the Bible was written by people inspired by God, maybe those viewpoints were written by people inspired by Satan, to confuse us.
Maybe the Bible was written by fallible humans, and is a collection of the oral traditions of pre-literate superstitious, bronze age, herding tribes.
Quote:8) Everything should have a cause.
If so, what caused God?
Quote:9) You have to experience God yourself. You have to place faith in Him to embrace God.
Circular reasoning and assumes the existence of God without evidence.
Quote:10) People with no religion usually feel a sense of emptiness. Their desire to fill this gap has led to problems such as smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks to achieve euphoria.
OK, this is just insulting.
Quote:11) The different Gods different religions have? They are different interpretations of the same God. The other minor "Gods" are parallel to the angels.
Sure. And where do pixies, faeries, and unicorns fit in?
Quote:They gave me some reading materials too Smile
Gifford Lecture Series
Confessions of St Augustine

On one hand, I started to feel how wonderful such a life is, but on the other hand, my inner skeptic is screaming WHAT THE F, THINK CRITICALLY, DON'T LET EMOTIONS OVERWHELM YOU.

Hence, the title of this post, Two sides of a coin. Within these 3 months before I get my results back, I hope to seek the final truth, and to answer the question once and for all...

Is there a God?

I hope to hear from "the other side of the coin", to have better decision making. As they told me, cross-check your sources.

For the other side more fully, read the works of Daniel Dennet, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Sam Harris, Victor Stenger, et al.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-12-2011, 11:32 AM (This post was last modified: 14-12-2011 11:35 AM by Malleus.)
RE: Two sides of a coin
(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  So, I just had another theological discussion with a group of theists, with regards to questions I have. Well, they answered them nicely, and shared with me their experiences with God. Here's what I have heard.

1) For the dying, those with a religion usually die the most peaceful death. The inverse happens for those without a firm faith in a supernatural being.

False: Most Christians are terrified of death due to the perpetual possibility of hell. Nothing peaceful about that. They are in no hurry to die even when they are terminally ill and they hold on to this life as long as scientifically possible.

Atheists compare the experience of after death to the experience from before birth. Nothing scary about that. I personally witnessed both types when they died. I saw Christians scared shitless and I saw atheists reading philosophy as long as they still have vision and dying with a smile. I'm not saying that all Xians die scared and all atheists die peacefully. I just say that there is no rule either way.

Quote:2) It's a lot easier to look at things in a simpler, positive way, in which we ask ourselves, do such a phenomena show the possibility of the existence of a God?
It's a lot easier to drink/snort/smoke/inject all the way to the end of your life. that way you don't have to deal with anything. It doesn't make it a good choice.
Quote:3) Appreciate the world with a child's innocent mind. Instead of, "Flowers, what marvellous products of natural selection and adaptation for millions of years that led to what they are today", but this "Flowers, how wonderful such a creation is, created by a wonderful God"
Flowers are beautiful without the god strings attached. And the natural selection part is actually a real explanation which does nothing to damage the experience. If anything it makes it very interesting to understand.

Quote:4) Before you delve into the depths of any theological discussion, consider this most important question - "Is there a God or not?"

I don't know. And neither do you. All of you. And since nobody *really* knows, if there is such a thing as a god, he/she/it doesn't really care about a relationship with us or, more likely doesn't exist.
Quote:5) Suffering in the world today is man-made. Natural disasters are due to humans altering the natural landscape, such as destruction by tsunamis due to removal of mangrove swamps. Man-made disasters are well... man-made. Even so, God may have wanted this so that we can learn something from every suffering we face.

Some suffering is man-made, but a lot less suffering happens since man invented science. We live longer, we have more food, less disease and better treatment. The problem is that some people listen to god and multiply as if they are re-populating after flood. The world is over-populated, that is our worst problem and that is in a great degree because of religion.

Quote:6) God gave us free will to choose what is right and what is wrong. God created the angel which was to become Satan. The angel utilised his free will to challenge God, and thus was banished.

We never established that there is such a thing as god, let alone satan. But if that story is true, god handled it miserably. He did not help satan turn back, he did not mercifully un-create satan. He instead created a horrible torture place where he and most of us can burn for all eternity. That is sadistic to a degree that we cannot even comprehend.
Quote:7) With regards to conflicting viewpoints with the Bible. If the Bible was written by people inspired by God, maybe those viewpoints were written by people inspired by Satan, to confuse us.
Bullshit. And we have no way to discern between god authorship and satan authorship. For all we know the bible can be inspired entirely by satan. Maybe there is no god, but just a twisted sadistic devil toying with us. That makes more sense than the gods we know and love
Quote:8) Everything should have a cause.
Maybe. We know some causes and we call the ones we don't know "god". That's stupid. The answer is "We don't know all causes but we are trying to find out and we had some success since we started doubting god and looking for a real explanation"
Quote:9) You have to experience God yourself. You have to place faith in Him to embrace God.

Fine. Then there is no point in us talking. Next time I want to hear straight from god and until I do, I am right to believe that there is no such thing"

Quote:10) People with no religion usually feel a sense of emptiness. Their desire to fill this gap has led to problems such as smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks to achieve euphoria.

Bullshit. I don't have a hole. I don't fill it with anything and losing religion was the best change I experienced. My life is much fuller now than it ever was. All I did was I removed god. Otherwise, my lifestyle is identical to the one I used to have as a christian if not better.
Quote:11) The different Gods different religions have? They are different interpretations of the same God. The other minor "Gods" are parallel to the angels.

I agree. All gods are the same to me. Fairy tales.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it. (Chas)

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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14-12-2011, 11:50 AM
RE: Two sides of a coin
None of these arguments even attempt to prove God, just prove that believing in God would be more desirable or improve your life.

Is it possible that your life would be better off believing in God? That's a question of opinion (because everyone has different scales to weigh what makes life "better") but in my opinion, having been a Christian before and an atheist now, is that my life is better as an atheist. There's no doubt that it comes with freedom as opposed to the legal system imposed by Christianity. Plus it's nice not to be obligated to tithe weekly.

You may feel differently. There are undoubtedly atheists in the pews, because there's a sense of community and belonging that comes with organized religion. That's why we try to create a sense of community here, so that no one feels alone in their unbelief. But if you think your life would be better as a theist, go for it. I'd just kindly ask that you not to drag your kids into it (if you have any), as the "choice" they have isn't a real choice, because they'll probably believe it based solely on your belief.

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14-12-2011, 12:03 PM
RE: Two sides of a coin
Quote:3) Appreciate the world with a child's innocent mind.

There it is, right there. Be three years old for ninety years, then die.
Only, don't forget to have guilt-ridden sex somewhere along the line, to make more innocents for God.)

Quote: Instead of, "Flowers, what marvellous products of natural selection and adaptation for millions of years that led to what they are today", but this "Flowers, how wonderful such a creation is, created by a wonderful God"

How sweet! No penicillin, no wheat, no long underwear. Make that 35 years.

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14-12-2011, 12:23 PM
RE: Two sides of a coin
"By the way, regarding the evidence that they found in the bottom of the Red Sea (chariot wheels and human bones), is it really true? Can't find a site which says otherwise."
No, its an utter crock. There's a reason you don't find other sources for this, its pure misinformation. In fact, the opposite is true. Israeli archeologists, searching for their 'title deeds' even had to give up the whole idea of the exodus from egypt. It didn't happen, theres no evidence (of which alot is expected, so this isn't an argument from ignorance).

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

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14-12-2011, 03:37 PM
RE: Two sides of a coin
My two cents. Only picking a few points.

(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  1) For the dying, those with a religion usually die the most peaceful death. The inverse happens for those without a firm faith in a supernatural being.
I don't think so. Can only talk from my experience. I had two experiences when I nearly died. And both times - one before, one after I lost faith in God - I was very calm and simply accepted.
Of course I am happy I didn't die Wink

(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  3) Appreciate the world with a child's innocent mind. Instead of, "Flowers, what marvellous products of natural selection and adaptation for millions of years that led to what they are today", but this "Flowers, how wonderful such a creation is, created by a wonderful God"
The state of mind that is drawn here is the mind of a very young child. Not older than 4 or 5. Children are very curios and they do want to know everything all the time. If you make them stop asking and tell them everytime "God did it" it is not satisfying for the child at all. Though of course if you just do that long enough during the critical period they will stop asking and thinking.

(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  5) Suffering in the world today is man-made. Natural disasters are due to humans altering the natural landscape, such as destruction by tsunamis due to removal of mangrove swamps. Man-made disasters are well... man-made. Even so, God may have wanted this so that we can learn something from every suffering we face.
Sounds very general to me. Things like tsunamis, volcanos, tidal waves, earthquakes are not man made at all. The earth had that and much worse things even before we (people) were crawling around. I have to think about George Carlins' "It's all about plastic" here Wink
But of course there is man made suffering like wars, corruption, money, rape, religion, and many more.

(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  6) God gave us free will to choose what is right and what is wrong. God created the angel which was to become Satan. The angel utilised his free will to challenge God, and thus was banished.
Just for the sake of the argument let's assume that's true. A God who creates a being, knowing it will be a rebell, just to kick it out of heaven, creating a special place for it to burn and suffer.... Very perverted in my opinion. Sounds more human than anything else to me, sorry.

(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  9) You have to experience God yourself. You have to place faith in Him to embrace God.
If I don't believe in a god I can't start out with a leap of faith, sorry. I need some prove first, and that has to be real prove and not "I had an experience" or "look at the human eye".

(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  10) People with no religion usually feel a sense of emptiness. Their desire to fill this gap has led to problems such as smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks to achieve euphoria.
Oh, I don't feel empty. I am feeling very well without all the dogma and rules and rituals of religions. Btw I can get very euphoric from a glass of water if I am with the right people Wink And there are enough religios people who smoke, drink, take drugs.



cheers
Leela

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14-12-2011, 04:10 PM
RE: Two sides of a coin
(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  5) Suffering in the world today is man-made. Natural disasters are due to humans altering the natural landscape, such as destruction by tsunamis due to removal of mangrove swamps. Man-made disasters are well... man-made. Even so, God may have wanted this so that we can learn something from every suffering we face.
6) God gave us free will to choose what is right and what is wrong. God created the angel which was to become Satan. The angel utilised his free will to challenge God, and thus was banished.

I don't see how either of these arguments answers the question of "Why does suffering exist if an omnipotent and loving god exists?" Regardless of whether these disasters are man-made (which is quite a stretch to begin with), why would God have created a world in which suffering is even possible? The argument that your friends seem to be making is that human free will choosing to go against God's plan was the cause of suffering. But why is the free will impossible without suffering, and why is free will necessary for meaning to life? Both these assumptions seem to place God under the jurisdiction of the laws and logic of our universe. If God is supernatural and omnipotent, above the laws and logic of our universe, why did he not create a universe in which the laws permit meaning without free will or free will without suffering?
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14-12-2011, 06:15 PM
RE: Two sides of a coin
(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  1) For the dying ... Within these 3 months before I get my results back, I hope to seek the final truth, and to answer the question once and for all...

Yeah, they were nice. Let me translate: Here's two months of reading materials to take your mind off the situation. And they got to fulfill the terms of their contract in their pyramid scheme - matt 1424 - they got to feel good about themselves. And they got right back to work, nattering like a bunch of frickin' hens, pontificating among themselves the mortal sins of everybody else. Until they start to feed off themselves, and form more sect.

Is there a God? Other than Gwyneth, no.

How about Satan? Like, I get some scratch, I get some actors; I make a dramatic videotape. I set your favorite aunt up in the Luxor for a week, tell her it's a surprise.

I mail you the tape. You get a call. I have your aunt. I need twenty four grand by Tuesday. Or she comes by post Wednesday.

See this? PS: By the way, regarding the evidence that they found in the bottom of the Red Sea (chariot wheels and human bones), is it really true? Can't find a site which says otherwise. Remember Fox Mulder, poster of the UFO on his wall, with the caption - I WANT TO BELIEVE - that is what your parting sentence is shouting. You are a market factor - demand in their supply chain - all they see in you is an enhancement of their beliefs. They will sell you any miracle you desire if it "glorifies god."

Are we not similar to the Christians who enter here? Is there not a fight for the attention of the believer, if only for a moment's validation of the moral sense of self? We're not better than them, we're angry at them; what we do differently, is get over the anger. We don't need Christians to be defined; Christians, however, will make enemies among themselves if such cannot be found in the environment. Are you an enemy of yourself? You say: WHAT THE F, THINK CRITICALLY, DON'T LET EMOTIONS OVERWHELM YOU.

Like how "supposedly" Moses was chased across the Red Sea; and now there's chariot wheels in there? That's gotta mean something... yeah, it meaans that they saw you coming. How long does it take to dash across the Red Sea? Couple of days, if you're packing the masses. Now the question you failed to ask: How long does it take Moses to get lost in the desert? Oh, forty years! And not the tiniest glimmer of an Exodus anywhere, between the Red Sea and the promised land, ever. In all the archaeology.

They were probably Canaanites to begin with, the Hebrews: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/bib...crets.html

And what the hell do they matter for anyway? Isn't it, you, that matters? If it is your will to question the universe about god - following the sheep is going in the opposite direction - there is one individual whom you must berate and rake over the coals until it gets sorted - that would be you. God can only be the answer when you are the question. They'll tell you that the night before you make Cardinal. We just skipped ahead. You get you sorted, you'll see the fucking nine.

beyond the threshold of eternity is beauty for all

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14-12-2011, 06:46 PM (This post was last modified: 14-12-2011 08:59 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Two sides of a coin
(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  I hope to hear from "the other side of the coin", to have better decision making. As they told me, cross-check your sources.

So you want to hear from the other side of a double-sided coin. Alright, there ain't no fucking coin, there's only bullshit and not bullshit.

(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  1) For the dying, those with a religion usually die the most peaceful death. The inverse happens for those without a firm faith in a supernatural being.

And that's bullshit. I watched both my devout Baptist maternal grandparents die. There was nothing peaceful about it and they were scared shitless. And they weren't afraid of going to hell, they were scared shitless because that was the first time they had seen the abyss and considered what it might mean not to be. I think they both realized they had been duped at the end. Best to recognize you're being duped sooner rather than later.

(14-12-2011 10:55 AM)robotworld Wrote:  ... I hope to seek the final truth, ...

Yeah, you need to let go of that quixotic quest bullshit too. There ain't no such beast.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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