"What would it take?"
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18-08-2012, 09:46 PM
"What would it take?"
As a preface, I tried various searches to see if this thread had been started, but always came up with nothing (it seems unlikely that nobody has made a thread in this vein, so my apologies for beating what is likely to be a dead horse).

As a bit of background, this is really what started to lead me out of religion for good. I always felt very uncomfortable with the whole thing, but since I was told that it was true as a child, I thought that it must have been, and my problems with it were just things that were wrong with me. But as I got older I started to have these thoughts every now and again where I said to myself "I am more moral than god (the christian god), because god seems to be a real bastard, who does things that he forbids, and does things that I consider to be immoral, and that I wouldn't do, therefore I am morally superior to god." (I don't think that this is the best argument against religion, but it was what got me started on a better path) I of course would feel quite bad about these thoughts after having them, and would pray for forgiveness, but over time the thoughts became more frequent, and then one day I realized "I don't believe this shit anymore, and I haven't for a long time." And somehow I found a whole bunch of atheist YouTubers, and podcasts, and have heard a lot of opinions, and learned a lot of good information, and I am now a much happier person.

I am an atheist, so this is not a thread to try to convince anyone of anything, but merely to put out my take on the question; "What would it take to convince you there was a god?"

My answer is the same as many, "Any omniscient, omnipotent, (etc.) being would know what it would take to convince me, even if I don't, therefore you should pray to your god to give you the perfect argument to convince me." or some other answer along those lines.

But here is where I differ from any of the answers that I have heard from any atheists whom I have heard speak on this issue:

Even if you could convince me that a god existed, that DOESN'T mean that I would worship that god, and in fact, every god that I have heard of/read about sounds to me to be quite immoral, and not worthy of worship. So while i could possibly be convinced that a god existed, in all likelihood I would never worship that god (or gods if it came down to it).

Perhaps this is the way that most people feel, and it's just not spoken, but I was curious to see if anyone else has thought the same sort of thing. It just seems to me that a lot of people who don't believe in a god say that they wish they could believe in a god, but that they don't think there's any evidence. That's all well and good, but it kind of pisses me off that it [i]seems[/] like people are saying that they would automatically follow a god if they were convinced of its existence, regardless of the supposed attributes of the god(s).

Am I just getting the wrong end of the stick? I am curious to hear your opinions.

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18-08-2012, 10:05 PM
RE: "What would it take?"
Nothing is worth submission of freedom or will to. Nothing.

Leviticus does not justify stupidity, but it is more than enough to define corruption of the human mind.

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18-08-2012, 10:15 PM
RE: "What would it take?"
Why hello, I think your answer is pretty much spot on, an all knowing creature would know what it would take to convince you, me or anybody else, and how to go about it.

Truth be told very rarely I am one of those people you describe, those who hope a god exists.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't bend my knee at the first piece of evidence and I'd definitely weight it up morally, but, when I die I would love to get some answers to some questions I have...

Although at the rate science is progressing all my questions might just be answered before I go! Big Grin

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19-08-2012, 05:01 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2012 05:27 AM by Seasbury.)
RE: "What would it take?"
My answer...

http://centersolid.blogspot.com/2012/04/...n-god.html

What would it take to believe in god?

Several months ago I posed a question to religious believers: What kind of proof would be required for them to leave their faith. The question wasn't intended to drive people from their beliefs, but to see if people have fairly assessed their faith and have come up with a metric for evaluating their faith against evidence that would otherwise contradict their belief system. Very few took me up on the question - Some may have thought it blasphemous to consider...

Turning that on its head, I get the same question thrown my way - what would it take for me to believe in Christianity again? Since many of my friends are non-believers, I'll throw the question to you as well - Easter seems like an appropriate day to hypothesize...

I suppose, based on biblical dogma, that if the rapture actually took place and millions of people just flat out disappeared and I was "left behind" facing the world of the Antichrist, I would have serious reservations about taking the "mark of the beast." Faced with the options, I'd probably make a "Repent" sign and go stand on a corner somewhere.

Now, I think the odds of something like that happening are longer than the Wizards winning the NBA championship (much longer...).

Absent an apocalyptic event, I think I'd require a direct intervention from god himself - and not just on a personal level, but one that could be verified by thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. If god revealed himself only to me, it could far to easily be chalked up to a hallucination - even if I never have done acid in my life! Solo revelation, which happened all too often in the bible, is not only unverifiable, but just an opportunity for someone to claim "special status" of god's favor. I'd prefer something along the lines of god perching atop the Washington monument in the middle of the Mall, then hurling a thunderbolt at Congress driving the "whores" away, then telling America, in a voice that could easily be heard from Atlanta to Boston, they haven't done a good job of following his teachings.

Yes, I'm being nationalistic here - if god showed up in Albania, or Nigeria, or Fiji, it just would lack the same effect.

It would be cool if god announced he'd return the next day, allowing people from all over the opportunity to gather, maybe take some questions (Oprah could host).

Something along those lines would certainly make me reevaluate my lack of belief. Some will say that god doesn't work like that, but my response would have to be: who are you to put limits on the creator of the universe? If god is god, god can do anything! God could cure cancer, god could ensure his creation doesn't starve to death, god could make sure the Broncos win the next 100 Super Bowls (I understand god loves football!).

So god could do those things, but if he exists, he obviously chooses not to do so. Some chalk that up to god not wanting to interfere with "free will," yet that doesn't preclude millions for praying for just such divine intervention on a daily basis - then claim that god's hand was involved for whenever good things happen. Asking god for something good to happen, then having it happen, seems more to me about random chance than divine intervention. At least that's my take on these things - doesn't necessarily make me right about it, but I am confident in my view.

I know I've set the bar pretty high, but it does leave me open to the possibility of god. Where do you put your bar?

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19-08-2012, 06:14 AM
RE: "What would it take?"
(19-08-2012 05:01 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  My answer...

http://centersolid.blogspot.com/2012/04/...n-god.html

What would it take to believe in god?

Several months ago I posed a question to religious believers: What kind of proof would be required for them to leave their faith. The question wasn't intended to drive people from their beliefs, but to see if people have fairly assessed their faith and have come up with a metric for evaluating their faith against evidence that would otherwise contradict their belief system. Very few took me up on the question - Some may have thought it blasphemous to consider...

Turning that on its head, I get the same question thrown my way - what would it take for me to believe in Christianity again? Since many of my friends are non-believers, I'll throw the question to you as well - Easter seems like an appropriate day to hypothesize...

I suppose, based on biblical dogma, that if the rapture actually took place and millions of people just flat out disappeared and I was "left behind" facing the world of the Antichrist, I would have serious reservations about taking the "mark of the beast." Faced with the options, I'd probably make a "Repent" sign and go stand on a corner somewhere.

Now, I think the odds of something like that happening are longer than the Wizards winning the NBA championship (much longer...).

Absent an apocalyptic event, I think I'd require a direct intervention from god himself - and not just on a personal level, but one that could be verified by thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. If god revealed himself only to me, it could far to easily be chalked up to a hallucination - even if I never have done acid in my life! Solo revelation, which happened all too often in the bible, is not only unverifiable, but just an opportunity for someone to claim "special status" of god's favor. I'd prefer something along the lines of god perching atop the Washington monument in the middle of the Mall, then hurling a thunderbolt at Congress driving the "whores" away, then telling America, in a voice that could easily be heard from Atlanta to Boston, they haven't done a good job of following his teachings.

Yes, I'm being nationalistic here - if god showed up in Albania, or Nigeria, or Fiji, it just would lack the same effect.

It would be cool if god announced he'd return the next day, allowing people from all over the opportunity to gather, maybe take some questions (Oprah could host).

Something along those lines would certainly make me reevaluate my lack of belief. Some will say that god doesn't work like that, but my response would have to be: who are you to put limits on the creator of the universe? If god is god, god can do anything! God could cure cancer, god could ensure his creation doesn't starve to death, god could make sure the Broncos win the next 100 Super Bowls (I understand god loves football!).

So god could do those things, but if he exists, he obviously chooses not to do so. Some chalk that up to god not wanting to interfere with "free will," yet that doesn't preclude millions for praying for just such divine intervention on a daily basis - then claim that god's hand was involved for whenever good things happen. Asking god for something good to happen, then having it happen, seems more to me about random chance than divine intervention. At least that's my take on these things - doesn't necessarily make me right about it, but I am confident in my view.

I know I've set the bar pretty high, but it does leave me open to the possibility of god. Where do you put your bar?

god loves Tebow Rolleyes, and he's with the Jets now. Not even god can help them win a pre-season game, let alone a Super Bowl.

My bar is in my kitchen so the ice cubes are convenient.

Other than that, yeah - what you said. But I'd want it on video, too. And date-stamped along with the GPS coordinates. And notarized.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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19-08-2012, 10:04 AM
"What would it take?"
I'll go along with Seasbury's burden of proof for a god. My response is going to depend totally upon what that god is offering vs. threatening. If I'm being threatened by a very real Christian hell, sure I'll bend the knee to avoid eternal torture. That doesn't sound fun at all. Of course, the deity will have to understand there is no love involved. Just fearful acquiescence. If the god threatens Annihilation, I'll probably reject that deity since that's what I believe will happen to "Me" after I die anyway. If the deity offers unlimited orgying and feasting, I may consider giving it my full worship. Consider

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19-08-2012, 10:19 AM
RE: "What would it take?"
Your question kind of falls along with the reason I say there is no god (or there are no gods): even if the god (any of them) came down and created a universe in my hand that I could control (making me a "god") I would still view them as some highly advanced alien race, that others just happen to call a god. I would acknowledge that the "god" exists as they view it, but I would not consider it a god. The main reason is there isn't really any proof that could be provided that might not just be a greater understanding of the universe than we have.


Even after death, and there was a heaven/hell--would I even know the difference from that and a dream? There is nothing conceivable that could happen or be shown to me that couldn't potentially be explained by a reason other than it's, well a god as is currently viewed (all the "omni" things). I know that if we took a laser capable of burning with a portable power supply, put it in a bag and built a time machine to go back to even the biblical days (maybe take some sensors to detect earthquakes to monitor volcanoes too--plus with just knowing which ones would explode and when), we could start fires from afar with "magic" and predict death and fire from above--we'd be gods ("no sex or else I will destroy your town! *wait a day for the volcano to go off* you disobeyed now feel my wrath!" *volcano goes off*). Just because someone could bring the dead back to life doesn't mean they're a god, it could be common and normal practice for them. Even the ability for a god to know the future, it doesn't mean they know everything, they could just go through time, or something else.

Now this isn't to say that I might not be presented with a "god" that I may highly respect if it (they) come down and explain or do things. But as far as the main ones people seem to like, not so much.
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19-08-2012, 10:20 AM
RE: "What would it take?"
They'd have to start from scratch with me.

1. How did an "eternal" god get pissed off, and stay pissed off, and become such a jerk, and why he/she decided the only thing that would be good enough was a human sacrifice, and why does all that NOT defile the concept of "eternal".
2. Explain why any "being", who made 600 sextillion stars, gives a shit about what goes on, on some backwater planet, in a boring star system, out on the arm of a very average galaxy.
3. Explain why he/she would be paying attention, or need "worship" from a bunch of very pathetic creatures,
4. Explain how why he/she is not busy with other multiverses, and cares about the likes of this one.

Since all of Christianity is built on known misinterpretations of known ancient myths and myth systems, I guess they could start all of human history over again, and this time NOT screw up the development process, and next time, be sure and keep it secret, so I wouldn't find out it was all a crock, cooked up by fairly stupid men.

In short, nothing would take me back, that I can imagine.

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19-08-2012, 10:20 AM
RE: "What would it take?"
Testable experimentation or the probably of a specific god's existence being more likely than not.

Unlike many atheists, I would happily worship a god who actually existed. Who cares if that god is moral or not? I only value secular morality over any god's alleged morality because of that god's nonexistence. If such a god existed and had ultimate control over my fate, I would value its happiness over that of society. In the meantime, I'll stick with morality that benefits society rather than an illusory deity.

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19-08-2012, 10:23 AM
RE: "What would it take?"
(19-08-2012 10:20 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  They'd have to start from scratch with me.

1. How did an "eternal" god get pissed off, ad stay pissed off, and become such a jerk, he'she decided the only thing that would be good enough was a human sacrifice, and why does all that NOT defile the concept of "eternal".
2. Explain why any "being", who made 600 sextillion stars, gives a shit about what goes on, on some backwater planet, in a boring star system, out on the arm of a very average galaxy.
3. Explain why he/she would be paying attention, or need "worship" from a bunch of very pathetic creatures,
4. Explain how why he/she is not busy with other multiverses, and cares about the likes of this one.

Since all of Christianity is built on known misinterpretations of known ancient myths and myth systems, I guess they could start all of human history over again, and this time NOT screw up the development process, and next time, be sure and keep it secret, so I wouldn't find out it was all a crock, cooked up by fairly stupid men.

In short, nothing would take me back, that I can imagine.

You're answering the question of "What would it take to believe in Yahweh?", to which my personal answer is "Nothing. While I can't disprove that there is a god, there's plenty of evidence against this specific god."

The questions you're posing aren't necessarily true about any god that a person could come up with.

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