Why I Believe
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06-04-2017, 11:02 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:56 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 10:49 PM)Aliza Wrote:  HugHugHug

Why don't you narrow down the subject a little or select a particular verse that you can't poke holes through on your own and we can start a group discussion about it? There are plenty of people here to pick the Christian bible apart and expose it for what it is.
That is what I wanted to do when I posted those contradictions. I'm hesitant to do so again in case they are seen as preaching and I get banned.

The truth is, I am testing my faith and it isn't standing up to scrutiny. This forum is, basically, my chance at finally breaking free from discovering if I have been brainwashed into taking certain claims at face value. If I am prevented from posting here, then I'd lose access to the help here. I don't mind admitting that's a scary scenario.

I don't know what contradictions you're referring to. I can speak on some Jewish to Christian contradictions, but there are internal Christian contradictions that I just don't know enough about to add my two cents anyway.
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06-04-2017, 11:15 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:47 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  The bible is supposed to be the word of God. But now I can't help think that if that is the case, the message should be clear with no ambiguities. After all we are talking about an omnipotent and omniscient being. If I am saying the errors are down to man, then how can I distinguish the bible from all the other man made books out there? I can't, it is unfalsifiable and that only shows a weakness of any argument why the bible has errors in it. Saying the bible has ambiguities in it because of man seems like an excuse to brush aside those ambiguities

Let's for a second ignore all of the reasons why no claims made by any 'holy' book should be taken at face value.

Just look at what the Bible presents, and contrast that about what you know about the state of reality. Given the assumptions presented in the Bible, and others commonly taken on as part of mainstream Christian interpretation, our world should be vastly different than the one we actually live in. The fact that the logical extrapolation of the Bible so wildly diverges from reality is precisely why the field of apologetics exists; it is there explicitly to attempt to explain away the incongruity between what the Bible says and the reality we live in.

You don't even need a maximal deity to get there. Any god who both cared and had the power to do something, would do something.

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"Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes, or he doesn't care to, or he doesn't exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely." - Sam Harris

Atheists, and especially those who are former Christains, have just concluded that the imaginary position best explains the world we observe and makes the least amount of unnecessary assumptions. It conforms to Occam's Razor, and solves the mutual exclusivity claims of competing deities (as they too are imaginary).

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06-04-2017, 11:43 PM
RE: Why I Believe
I would like to comment on the above post but I'm worried it might be seen as preaching. It isn't preaching, it's just a theory that allegedly explains why bad stuff occurs in the world.

If I am able to post that I will, but I don't want to risk bugging anyone

“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, 11:45 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 11:43 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  I would like to comment on the above post but I'm anxious it might be seen as preaching. It isn't, it's just a description of one explanation that allegedly explains why bad stuff occurs in the world.

If I able to post that I will, but if not, I won't. I don't want to risk upsetting anyone

You're not going to upset anyone. Honest back and forth we appreciate. It's the copy-paste drive by preachers, or those operating on a one way street of explicit proselytization, that end up getting our ire (and almost inevitably the boot).

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07-04-2017, 12:23 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Ok and that's fair enough

The reason there is so much bad in the world is because sin entered the world when Adam and Eve transgressed. Earthquakes, floods, flash fires, rape, murder, pedophilia, cancer, jealousy, robbery, you name it.

The problem I have with this argument is that I don't know how to refute it. Let me try

Premise: Suffering occurs because Adam and Eve disobeyed in the Garden of Eden
Conclusion: Suffering happens because bad stuff happened thousands of years ago.

Is this flawed circular reasoning? Sounds like it

Also, it's a way too inconvenient hand wave of the entire situation. "Sin entered the world and that's why we have suffering."

It's an explanation (the machine broke down and that's why it isn't working right now - it has to be fixed), but I don't think it is fair. Everyone (theist and atheist) seems to be punished for something that happened thousands of years ago.

Then I hear "but we are sinners ourselves". Ok, but aren't I 'sinner' because of someone else's disobedience thousands of years ago?

I can't help think that an omnipotent and omniscient creator could have done things differently. I'll bet somewhere down the line I'd hear "Sure, but if we are given the solution to all our problems then what have we learned?" To which I might reply "Nothing. But you are arguing from the viewpoint that we are suffering from a transgression in the garden of Eden. I am asking couldn't all mighty creator have created a bajillion other realities in which we might grow and learn, and not suffer cancer, suffering, rape, and burning in agony forever?

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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07-04-2017, 12:40 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 12:23 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Ok and that's fair enough

The reason there is so much bad in the world is because sin entered the world when Adam and Eve transgressed. Earthquakes, floods, flash fires, rape, murder, pedophilia, cancer, jealousy, robbery, you name it.

The problem I have with this argument is that I don't know how to refute it. Let me try

Premise: Suffering occurs because Adam and Eve disobeyed in the Garden of Eden
Conclusion: Suffering happens because bad stuff happened thousands of years ago.

Is this flawed circular reasoning? Sounds like it

Also, it's a way too inconvenient hand wave of the entire situation. "Sin entered the world and that's why we have suffering."

It's an explanation (the machine broke down and that's why it isn't working right now - it has to be fixed), but I don't think it is fair. Everyone (theist and atheist) seems to be punished for something that happened thousands of years ago.

Then I hear "but we are sinners ourselves". Ok, but aren't I 'sinner' because of someone else's disobedience thousands of years ago?

I can't help think that an omnipotent and omniscient creator could have done things differently. I'll bet somewhere down the line I'd hear "Sure, but if we are given the solution to all our problems then what have we learned?" To which I might reply "Nothing. But you are arguing from the viewpoint that we are suffering from a transgression in the garden of Eden. I am asking couldn't all mighty creator have created a bajillion other realities in which we might grow and learn, and not suffer cancer, suffering, rape, and burning in agony forever?

What exactly is the justification that Christians give for this original sin stuff? It's certainly not native to the Jewish theology. It was introduced to Christianity much later after they had branched off.
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07-04-2017, 12:42 AM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2017 12:46 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 12:23 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Ok and that's fair enough

The reason there is so much bad in the world is because sin entered the world when Adam and Eve transgressed. Earthquakes, floods, flash fires, rape, murder, pedophilia, cancer, jealousy, robbery, you name it.

The problem I have with this argument is that I don't know how to refute it. Let me try

Premise: Suffering occurs because Adam and Eve disobeyed in the Garden of Eden
Conclusion: Suffering happens because bad stuff happened thousands of years ago.

Is this flawed circular reasoning? Sounds like it

Also, it's a way too inconvenient hand wave of the entire situation. "Sin entered the world and that's why we have suffering."

It's an explanation (the machine broke down and that's why it isn't working right now - it has to be fixed), but I don't think it is fair. Everyone (theist and atheist) seems to be punished for something that happened thousands of years ago.

Then I hear "but we are sinners ourselves". Ok, but aren't I 'sinner' because of someone else's disobedience thousands of years ago?

I can't help think that an omnipotent and omniscient creator could have done things differently. I'll bet somewhere down the line I'd hear "Sure, but if we are given the solution to all our problems then what have we learned?" To which I might reply "Nothing. But you are arguing from the viewpoint that we are suffering from a transgression in the garden of Eden. I am asking couldn't all mighty creator have created a bajillion other realities in which we might grow and learn, and not suffer cancer, suffering, rape, and burning in agony forever?

Well, you are partially on the right track.

First off, why assume the claims of Christianity are true? Why should you assume that the claims of souls and original sin are true? Other faiths don't adhere to the Christian ideas of souls or sin.

Even assuming that sin or souls actually exists, then what are they? How do they interact with us or the world? What are they composed of? How much do they weigh?

If such claims are unfalsifiable, you should ask yourself why they are. Have you read the Old Testament? According to the ancient Hebrew, God was a man up in the clouds (if you take the works literally, at their word; it's by no means a mainstream view). Climb a sufficiently high enough ladder or tower, and you could meet him personally. He manifested himself on Earth, and even cheated in wrestling matches. That god was falsifiable, as were the ones who lived atop Mount Olympus. How come the Christian god is always one step ahead of falsifiability? How come the more we learn about the world and how the universe works, the further back Christians have to hide their god? Currently they need to hide him outside of the perceptible universe, so fearful are they of falsifiability; and that aught to tell you something.

Even assuming all that, the fact that your average 6 year old has more compassion and can come up with a better plan than god is also a pretty good indication just how ignorant were the writers speaking on behalf of their imagined god. Of course a god who cared could do better than reality, and both of us can think of a better world in under a second. Eliminate cancer, and net suffer diminishes, resulting in an objectively better world. Remove material needs, and everything gets better. How come we need to eat, instead of having our needs magically fulfilled? A god who cared and had the power wouldn't needless make people suffer from starvation. We're all sinful? Does such a god lack the power to simply forgive transgressions from beings it created who are entirely unable to inflict harm upon god in any way whatsoever? Of course it could, showing you one again how the relative compassion of your average 6 year old trumps the supposed creator of the universe.

It is a house of cards, propped up tradition and the hope you won't look too closely at it.

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07-04-2017, 12:47 AM
RE: Why I Believe
If there is/was some sort of creator, the chances of it being remotely like any of the ludicrous, all-too-human characters presented in any of the religious texts is negligible. The chances that it is even aware of us is negligible. The chances that it would give a fig about anything we do is negligible upon negligible. The most coherent hypothesis is that this is some sort of experiment, for which we are an insignificant cog in the calculation machine.

If one of the cartoon character Gods did show up, they'd have to announce, "Hi, I'm contradiction man! I'm constradiction man. I'm a regular deity who was bitten by a logical absurdity!"

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07-04-2017, 12:49 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 12:40 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(07-04-2017 12:23 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Ok and that's fair enough

The reason there is so much bad in the world is because sin entered the world when Adam and Eve transgressed. Earthquakes, floods, flash fires, rape, murder, pedophilia, cancer, jealousy, robbery, you name it.

The problem I have with this argument is that I don't know how to refute it. Let me try

Premise: Suffering occurs because Adam and Eve disobeyed in the Garden of Eden
Conclusion: Suffering happens because bad stuff happened thousands of years ago.

Is this flawed circular reasoning? Sounds like it

Also, it's a way too inconvenient hand wave of the entire situation. "Sin entered the world and that's why we have suffering."

It's an explanation (the machine broke down and that's why it isn't working right now - it has to be fixed), but I don't think it is fair. Everyone (theist and atheist) seems to be punished for something that happened thousands of years ago.

Then I hear "but we are sinners ourselves". Ok, but aren't I 'sinner' because of someone else's disobedience thousands of years ago?

I can't help think that an omnipotent and omniscient creator could have done things differently. I'll bet somewhere down the line I'd hear "Sure, but if we are given the solution to all our problems then what have we learned?" To which I might reply "Nothing. But you are arguing from the viewpoint that we are suffering from a transgression in the garden of Eden. I am asking couldn't all mighty creator have created a bajillion other realities in which we might grow and learn, and not suffer cancer, suffering, rape, and burning in agony forever?

What exactly is the justification that Christians give for this original sin stuff? It's certainly not native to the Jewish theology. It was introduced to Christianity much later after they had branched off.
I'm really not sure. I think the reasoning goes something like, when sin entered the world it changed Adam and Eve in a way that we now inherit their sinful genes/dna. Or something

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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07-04-2017, 12:57 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Hello SeaJay & I'll add my welcome. I haven't gone thru every post in this thread but it appears you are genuinely thoughtful, which is refreshing (in any milieu, religious or irreligious). What I'd be interested to know is why you're here.

1. Are you seeking reasons to retain or strengthen your religious belief (or to school atheists)?

2. Or is your religious belief wavering and you're seeking firm secular ground that relieves you of the fear you described in your OP?

3. Or you're here just seeking a place of reasonable discourse in fields other than religion (except this thread argues against that)?

4. Or other?

We can shred religious tenets on the rocks of reason and reality all day every day (and this place is crammed with threads that do that) but it's wasted effort if your principal reason for being here is #1.

My apologies if this question was already answered somewhere in this thread (and if so maybe say which post #).

Meanwhile, welcome again.
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