Why I Believe
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06-04-2017, 10:47 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:40 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 10:22 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I have a phobia about hell. It terrifies me and I've posted about it (therapy, medication, intrusive thoughts, images etc). I am a Christian with a very shaky faith and I am trying to see if I can destroy my faith because that's the only way I can see of getting out of this dark period I am in.

If I can come to the knowledge that, "Hey, wait a minute, this verse has been changed, and this one was added at a much later date, and this person never actually said this!" then I can safely say I don't believe anymore.

Here you go, 6 Passages That Weren't in the Original New Testament

Here's another interesting video, he shows how this gospel was manufactured for theological reasons and not a factual retelling of historical events:





So what do you do with this information? Admit there are some threads on these stories that you can pull on and they unravel? Or run off to gotquestions to relax in the comforting arms of the huckster apologists?
No, I watched the video you posted for me yesterday (Who Wrote the Bible) and I will watch the above one too.

Thank you for the link

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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06-04-2017, 10:49 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:14 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I'm sorry you feel the way you do, I really am.

I apologize for my impatience.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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06-04-2017, 10:50 AM
RE: Why I Believe
SeaJay:

Sit down with the bible and read it. Literally read it, page for page, word for word, and just make a note of anything you think it stupid. The bottom line is: it's either ALL true, or non of it is. You can't pick and choose.

And RE: Hell - Think about it logically. What is the point of Hell and who lives there? Answer: To punish the wicked, and of course it's Satan himself. But think about this, if Satan is evil and the mortal enemy of god...why would he be punishing any body FOR the big man himself? Doesn't really make sense.

As far as I am aware, the bible only mentions "the lake of fire" and the "blazing furnace", which obviously sounds bad......but how big is hell? Is it like the size of america? If so, 1 lake and furnace isn't going to do anything.

As others have said, you have a phobia of something, but really try to understand what you're afraid of. You're afriad of what people TELL you. If you read the bible, barely anything is in there.....and in the Hebrew bible the word HELL isn't even in it, If I have my facts right.

You might as well be scared of Disney Land mate, at least thats a real place.

I don't want Fop, goddamn it! I'm a Dapper Dan man!
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06-04-2017, 10:57 AM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2017 11:01 AM by mordant.)
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:24 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  If you want to try and dispel your faith, you're going to have to become more critical of it. Giving it (like the Bible for instance) any benefit of the doubt as a container of truth isn't being critical.
I would like to point out that "critical" and "skeptical" are dirty words in Christianity and are often specifically taught against as synonymous with "the sin of doubt" which, apropos of SeaJay's personal struggle, is often equated with the Unpardonable Sin.

For SeaJay's benefit: skepticism is a virtue, not a vice. It is not being negative just to be ornery, it is not assiduously trying to avoid possibilities, or anything like that.

Skepticism derives from the scientific method, which attempts, not to prove scientific hypotheses, but to DISprove them. If a hypothesis can't be disproven by several independent attempts by different people, then the possibility is entertained that it IS proven.

The reason for skepticism as a default is not to rain on anyone's parade, but to carefully counter the well-known propensity of people to engage in confirmation bias -- to see patterns where there aren't any, to see evidence where there isn't any, to believe what we want to believe rather than what is justified. It is not an arrogant out-of-hand dismissal of a proposition, it is a humble admission that it's far easier to be wrong than to be right, and therefore, we are going to try to DISprove the thing. Because if we cannot disprove it, it is far more likely to be true and we might be able to afford belief to it.

Until you stop regarding skepticism or engaging in criticism of ideas as a negative thing, you will find it well-nigh impossible to have a neutral stance about ANY of your pet ideas (we all have them).

Now -- religion always starts with a conclusion (e.g., "my god exists") and then gathers "evidence" to support the conclusion (e.g., god appeared to me in a dream and gave me instructions, therefore god exists). This is called post hoc rationalization. I put "evidence" in scare quotes because it's almost never real evidence. For example a dream about god is far more likely to be just a dream than any actual communication. As much as you might want it to be god, we know enough about dreams to know how they arise and even what the symbolism in them generally represents. Discarding what is known about dreams and replacing it with what you hope about your specific dream is just confirmation bias.

By contrast, science works very hard to assume an initially neutral stance and then follows the evidence where it leads -- even if it leads to conclusions one doesn't like. As evidence accumulates, the preponderance of that evidence helps one determine that a thing is or is not likely to be true, and THEN one forms one's beliefs based on that. In other words evidence is the starting point in science, and beliefs the end point*. Whereas in religious faith, belief is the start point and evidence the end point (if it is considered at all). Put simply, it's "bass ackwards".

So "being critical of" or "being skeptical of" your faith (or anyone else's faith, or anyone's assertions) is actually the correct starting point. It doesn't preclude an initially neutral belief position, in fact it encourages it. But evidence an quickly cause you to form a belief that an assertion or article of faith or whatever is, or is not, likely to be true.

What religious faith confuses with a hard-hearted bias against faith, actually reflects the rapidity with which one finds the assertions of religious faith to be unsupported (often, unsupportABLE) and therefore highly unlikely to be true. But that is just religion shooting the messenger. We can't help it there's a paucity of evidence in favor of typical religious faith assertions, and quite a bit of evidence against it. That is why we always just shrug and ask theists to present their evidence -- which, invariably, they never do. They present their intuitions, feelings, and personal subjective experiences and campfire stories, but never any actual evidence.

* The evidence may also be inconclusive, in which case the default is to admit "I don't know" and to await / seek further evidence to try to clarify, rather than to resort to what you want / hope / would like to be true. Sitting with uncertainty is a learned discipline, and something that theists are notoriously intolerant of. The whole value proposition of most religions is really to provide certitude (along with to pump up anxiety and fear about the unknown).
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06-04-2017, 10:57 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:46 AM)Vera Wrote:  Apparently, you were told a whole lotta things. And I've been told I remind someone of a sunset. Both sound equally bullshitty to me.

"I was told" sounds like the ultimate cop-out. Do YOU believe it? Not the person who "told" it to you. You, personally, what do YOU think (because, obviously, we cannot talk about "knowing" here, can we?)
I suppose I just accepted it without really thinking about it. Them being more knowledgeable than myself, I trusted them to be right.

(06-04-2017 09:31 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I was told that God inspired men to write the text, so whilst it is God's word, it was penned by fallible men. They were inspired to put down what they felt inspired to put down. Something like that.

(06-04-2017 10:46 AM)Vera Wrote:  Why? If/When you have a child, do you raise them by leaving cryptic messages around the house, written down by someone who doesn't speak your language?
No

(06-04-2017 10:46 AM)Vera Wrote:  If not, how does it make sense for an all-knowing, all-loving god figure to the same?
Good point

Quote:For this one, I was told that it would throw out the need for faith. I am sure there's a verse that says without faith it is impossible to please God. So we are to live our life by faith and in doing so, show God that we are prepared to trust Him.

(06-04-2017 10:46 AM)Vera Wrote:  What's so great about faith? That's a serious question and I would like an answer.
Faith shows you trust another person. To gain the trust of another person isn't easy and when it's given it's not a trivial thing. Why it is so great concerning the bible is because there's a verse that mentions it's impossible to please God without faith. Or something like that. I just want to point out I am not trying to preach I am just trying to answer your question honestly as I can

(06-04-2017 10:46 AM)Vera Wrote:  And why should we trust something that we have never ever seen? And you do know that trust (and respect, and love for that matter), are EARNED, right? Why exactly should I trust a god who's never even had the decency to show his face?
I have no answer to that question sorry

(06-04-2017 10:46 AM)Vera Wrote:  And he still could have at least told our ancestors not to rape and not to treat women as property, no? Oh wait, he was too busy drowning all the babies and pregnant women and kittens in the world that one time, because he got cranky we weren't genuflecting vehemently enough Dodgy
Point taken

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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06-04-2017, 10:59 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:49 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 10:14 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I'm sorry you feel the way you do, I really am.

I apologize for my impatience.
No need to apologise, I can understand why some folk might get suspicious and irritated

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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06-04-2017, 11:05 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:57 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 10:24 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  If you want to try and dispel your faith, you're going to have to become more critical of it. Giving it (like the Bible for instance) any benefit of the doubt as a container of truth isn't being critical.
I would like to point out that "critical" and "skeptical" are dirty words in Christianity and are often specifically taught against as synonymous with "the sin of doubt" which, apropos of SeaJay's personal struggle, is often equated with the Unpardonable Sin.

For SeaJay's benefit: skepticism is a virtue, not a vice. It is not being negative just to be ornery, it is not assiduously trying to avoid possibilities, or anything like that.

Skepticism derives from the scientific method, which attempts, not to prove scientific hypotheses, but to DISprove them. If a hypothesis can't be disproven by several independent attempts by different people, then the possibility is entertained that it IS proven.

The reason for skepticism as a default is not to rain on anyone's parade, but to carefully counter the well-known propensity of people to engage in confirmation bias -- to see patterns where there aren't any, to see evidence where there isn't any, to believe what we want to believe rather than what is justified. It is not an arrogant out-of-hand dismissal of a proposition, it is a humble admission that it's far easier to be wrong than to be right, and therefore, we are going to try to DISprove the thing. Because if we cannot disprove it, it is far more likely to be true and we might be able to afford belief to it.

Until you stop regarding skepticism or engaging in criticism of ideas as a negative thing, you will find it well-nigh impossible to have a neutral stance about ANY of your pet ideas (we all have them).

Now -- religion always starts with a conclusion (e.g., "my god exists") and then gathers "evidence" to support the conclusion (e.g., god appeared to me in a dream and gave me instructions, therefore god exists). This is called post hoc rationalization. I put "evidence" in scare quotes because it's almost never real evidence. For example a dream about god is far more likely to be just a dream than any actual communication. As much as you might want it to be god, we know enough about dreams to know how they arise and even what the symbolism in them generally represents. Discarding what is known about dreams and replacing it with what you hope about your specific dream is just confirmation bias.

By contrast, science works very hard to assume an initially neutral stance and then follows the evidence where it leads -- even if it leads to conclusions one doesn't like. As evidence accumulates, the preponderance of that evidence helps one determine that a thing is or is not likely to be true, and THEN one forms one's beliefs based on that. In other words evidence is the starting point in science, and beliefs the end point*. Whereas in religious faith, belief is the start point and evidence the end point (if it is considered at all). Put simply, it's "bass ackwards".

So "being critical of" or "being skeptical of" your faith (or anyone else's faith, or anyone's assertions) is actually the correct starting point. It doesn't preclude an initially neutral belief position, in fact it encourages it. But evidence an quickly cause you to form a belief that an assertion or article of faith or whatever is, or is not, likely to be true.

What religious faith confuses with a hard-hearted bias against faith, actually reflects the rapidity with which one finds the assertions of religious faith to be unsupported (often, unsupportABLE) and therefore highly unlikely to be true. But that is just religion shooting the messenger. We can't help it there's a paucity of evidence in favor of typical religious faith assertions, and quite a bit of evidence against it. That is why we always just shrug and ask theists to present their evidence -- which, invariably, they never do. They present their intuitions, feelings, and personal subjective experiences and campfire stories, but never any actual evidence.

* The evidence may also be inconclusive, in which case the default is to admit "I don't know" and to await / seek further evidence to try to clarify, rather than to resort to what you want / hope / would like to be true. Sitting with uncertainty is a learned discipline, and something that theists are notoriously intolerant of. The whole value proposition of most religions is really to provide certitude (along with to pump up anxiety and fear about the unknown).
About all I can add to your post is that science is never afraid to say "we don't know" and more telling, "we were wrong"

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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06-04-2017, 11:30 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:45 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  It seems I messed up here by posting the above verses. Some posters think I have done so to preach, but all I can say is I absolutely never did and it never entered my mind to do so.

I posted them hoping they'd be shot down (for the record, I think I have been more or less). That's just the truth of it all.

Yesterday was awesome here. People were very supportive and welcoming and I felt hopeful, but today because of my posting I've actually angered some of those people. I can understand why some would think like this, I can understand Christians have come here and started preaching - but I did not have that intent.

I apologise

There are some here who call theists idiots too quickly IMO. Don't take it personally. Try to realize that most times, people are responding to the question and not the poster.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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06-04-2017, 11:31 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:45 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  It seems I messed up here by posting the above verses. Some posters think I have done so to preach, but all I can say is I absolutely never did and it never entered my mind to do so.

I posted them hoping they'd be shot down (for the record, I think I have been more or less). That's just the truth of it all.

Yesterday was awesome here. People were very supportive and welcoming and I felt hopeful, but today because of my posting I've actually angered some of those people. I can understand why some would think like this, I can understand Christians have come here and started preaching - but I did not have that intent.

I apologise

Why would you jump to the conclusion that you "messed up"?
Has someone "told you" that any uncomfortable situation, for which you have no knowledge, is bad and that you are the cause of this discomfort?

Why would you think that you have angered others? Others can be angry or not, with or without your help.
Has someone "told you" that if others appear angry, that you are the cause of any discomfort that may occur thereafter?

Why would you apologise? You have done nothing to apologise for.
Has someone "told you" that if there is a problem it is because of you?
*****

I think most here see that there is no problem with you at all - you seem fairly usual.
I say most ... but of course, we all know that there is one person here who seems to have a problem with you. Pretty sure I underlined it a couple of times. Shy
****

My previous post addressed the rational mind.
You might want to read it again and if you have questions, please do ask.

Some of us don't give a shit nor a rat's ass about "scripture" or what anyone thinks about it. It is all just a fucking distraction to keep you trapped and away from something more important. It is shit which has nothing to do with YOU.


There, I underlined it again. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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06-04-2017, 11:34 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:57 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 10:24 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  If you want to try and dispel your faith, you're going to have to become more critical of it. Giving it (like the Bible for instance) any benefit of the doubt as a container of truth isn't being critical.
I would like to point out that "critical" and "skeptical" are dirty words in Christianity and are often specifically taught against as synonymous with "the sin of doubt" which, apropos of SeaJay's personal struggle, is often equated with the Unpardonable Sin.

For SeaJay's benefit: skepticism is a virtue, not a vice. It is not being negative just to be ornery, it is not assiduously trying to avoid possibilities, or anything like that.

Skepticism derives from the scientific method, which attempts, not to prove scientific hypotheses, but to DISprove them. If a hypothesis can't be disproven by several independent attempts by different people, then the possibility is entertained that it IS proven.

The reason for skepticism as a default is not to rain on anyone's parade, but to carefully counter the well-known propensity of people to engage in confirmation bias -- to see patterns where there aren't any, to see evidence where there isn't any, to believe what we want to believe rather than what is justified. It is not an arrogant out-of-hand dismissal of a proposition, it is a humble admission that it's far easier to be wrong than to be right, and therefore, we are going to try to DISprove the thing. Because if we cannot disprove it, it is far more likely to be true and we might be able to afford belief to it.

Until you stop regarding skepticism or engaging in criticism of ideas as a negative thing, you will find it well-nigh impossible to have a neutral stance about ANY of your pet ideas (we all have them).

Now -- religion always starts with a conclusion (e.g., "my god exists") and then gathers "evidence" to support the conclusion (e.g., god appeared to me in a dream and gave me instructions, therefore god exists). This is called post hoc rationalization. I put "evidence" in scare quotes because it's almost never real evidence. For example a dream about god is far more likely to be just a dream than any actual communication. As much as you might want it to be god, we know enough about dreams to know how they arise and even what the symbolism in them generally represents. Discarding what is known about dreams and replacing it with what you hope about your specific dream is just confirmation bias.

By contrast, science works very hard to assume an initially neutral stance and then follows the evidence where it leads -- even if it leads to conclusions one doesn't like. As evidence accumulates, the preponderance of that evidence helps one determine that a thing is or is not likely to be true, and THEN one forms one's beliefs based on that. In other words evidence is the starting point in science, and beliefs the end point*. Whereas in religious faith, belief is the start point and evidence the end point (if it is considered at all). Put simply, it's "bass ackwards".

So "being critical of" or "being skeptical of" your faith (or anyone else's faith, or anyone's assertions) is actually the correct starting point. It doesn't preclude an initially neutral belief position, in fact it encourages it. But evidence an quickly cause you to form a belief that an assertion or article of faith or whatever is, or is not, likely to be true.

What religious faith confuses with a hard-hearted bias against faith, actually reflects the rapidity with which one finds the assertions of religious faith to be unsupported (often, unsupportABLE) and therefore highly unlikely to be true. But that is just religion shooting the messenger. We can't help it there's a paucity of evidence in favor of typical religious faith assertions, and quite a bit of evidence against it. That is why we always just shrug and ask theists to present their evidence -- which, invariably, they never do. They present their intuitions, feelings, and personal subjective experiences and campfire stories, but never any actual evidence.

* The evidence may also be inconclusive, in which case the default is to admit "I don't know" and to await / seek further evidence to try to clarify, rather than to resort to what you want / hope / would like to be true. Sitting with uncertainty is a learned discipline, and something that theists are notoriously intolerant of. The whole value proposition of most religions is really to provide certitude (along with to pump up anxiety and fear about the unknown).

I can't give this enough likes. Very well said.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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