Why I Believe
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07-04-2017, 01:09 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 12:42 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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.
I have to assume Christianity is true because I am trying to see if I can tear it down. If I assume Christianity is not true, then I ask myself why I assume it isn't true. Assuming Christianity is true forms the basis for my subsequent research.

(07-04-2017 12:42 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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?
I don't believe in immortal souls

(07-04-2017 12:42 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  If such claims are unfalsifiable, you should ask yourself why they are.
Any argument that is not falsifiable is evidence the argument is weak

(07-04-2017 12:42 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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.
It tells me it's getting more difficult for Christians to uphold their belief system in a world of ongoing scientific discoveries.

(07-04-2017 12:42 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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.
This is the way I see things too, at least more or less. I ask myself, couldn't we have been given a different plan of salvation?

“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, 01:12 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Look at how big reality is. Almost all of it is lethal to us. We're effectively glued to a rock, unable to explore anything but the tiniest slither of our surroundings.

The idea that this was made "for us" is absurd. Humans are just used to thinking of themselves as the center of reality; the high point. We're not. Cosmically speaking, we're nothing, and we will only be here for a blink of an eye.

Religions are a load of bullcrap stories, designed to make ourselves feel important, plug gaps in knowledge, provide comfort in imaginary friends, and to control people through fear of intangible threats and rewards that will never come.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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07-04-2017, 01:16 AM
RE: Why I Believe
SeaJay, you're still mucking around with silly contradictions I see.

Let's say for the sake of argument that there are no unresolvable contradictions in the Bible. Please tell me, on what basis do you conclude that there's a God?

Or, it seems you're susceptible to Pascal's wager. Let's pick it apart:
"If there is a God, and I don't believe, then I will go to hell when I die. Otherwise, I will go to heaven. Conversely if there is no God I lose nothing by believing in God."

Let's just think about this for a second. Firstly, what kind of two-bit cheap ass deity uses *belief* as the criterion? (Hint, a made-up one where the priest desperately doesn't want you to look behind the curtain.)

Secondly, are you sure you've got the right God? *Every* religion promises their true believers loadsa intangible things which they get when they're dead. What makes Christian God believable and all the others not?

Thirdly, do you really lose nothing by believing in God if he's not real? Really? All those wasted hours spent praying, all that money tithed to the church so that Pastor Joel Osteen can have a nice reward in *this* life for serving God - notice how pastors get their reward now, and believers get their reward in heaven? To say nothing of poor decision making based on wishful thinking? I think the cost of belief without evidence is huge.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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07-04-2017, 01:21 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 12:57 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  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.
Hi Smile

Thank you for the welcome and for reading the thread

(07-04-2017 12:57 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  1. Are you seeking reasons to retain or strengthen your religious belief (or to school atheists)?
No to all three questions. I'm here to test what I believe, to question what I might have taken just because someone told me. I reasoned that if anyone was to give me a different perspective on Christianity, it would be atheists and ex Christian atheists.

(07-04-2017 12:57 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  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?
This is where I am coming from. But above and beyond all that, I want to know the truth (or at least know if it is untrue).

(07-04-2017 12:57 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  3. Or you're here just seeking a place of reasonable discourse in fields other than religion (except this thread argues against that)?
I love to discuss and use logic and reason (believe it or not). For the record, I am really interested in philosophy so I would have to say I seek a place that makes me think about things.

(07-04-2017 12:57 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  4. Or other?
I think that's about it

(07-04-2017 12:57 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  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.
I'm not here to preach to anyone, I am here to question my beliefs. It's 8:19am I have been awake since 5am. Since then I have been on the Atheist Republic site, downloading atheist pics (you know the type, ones with quotes from folk such as Sam Harris, etc). I've also been posting here for a long part of it too.

(07-04-2017 12:57 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  My apologies if this question was already answered somewhere in this thread (and if so maybe say which post #).
No need to apologies, I thank you for the questions. I think the question might have been addressed a few time but I don't know the post numbers, sorry.

(07-04-2017 12:57 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  Meanwhile, welcome again.
Thank you very muchThumbsup

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07-04-2017, 01:22 AM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2017 01:33 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 01:09 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  This is the way I see things too, at least more or less. I ask myself, couldn't we have been given a different plan of salvation?

That assumes that salvation is itself necessary.

While I appreciate your honesty, I do have to tell you that you are operating upon a layer of unfounded assumptions. You are doing your best to figure out why the house is sinking from studying how slanted all of the picture frames are relative to your level, while everyone else in the house is trying to convince themselves that everything is still square, and it is you that is askew.

Meanwhile the rest of us are outside and across the street, noting how the house was built upon a foundation of quicksand that simply cannot support the weight of the structure placed upon it. Your perspective will always be very limited, so long as you never leave the house.

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07-04-2017, 01:24 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 01:12 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Look at how big reality is. Almost all of it is lethal to us. We're effectively glued to a rock, unable to explore anything but the tiniest slither of our surroundings.

The idea that this was made "for us" is absurd. Humans are just used to thinking of themselves as the center of reality; the high point. We're not. Cosmically speaking, we're nothing, and we will only be here for a blink of an eye.

Religions are a load of bullcrap stories, designed to make ourselves feel important, plug gaps in knowledge, provide comfort in imaginary friends, and to control people through fear of intangible threats and rewards that will never come.
I've thought about this a few times in the past

“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, 01:31 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 01:16 AM)morondog Wrote:  SeaJay, you're still mucking around with silly contradictions I see.
Ok, but if you think I am doing so to preach, that isn't correct. I was in a discussion and questions were asked. I said I did not want to reply and give my explanation as to why I had that explanation, in fear it would be seen as preaching. I apologise if that's not what you are implying (I'm just getting a little paranoid Smile )

(07-04-2017 01:16 AM)morondog Wrote:  Let's say for the sake of argument that there are no unresolvable contradictions in the Bible. Please tell me, on what basis do you conclude that there's a God?
This is a great point. Even if the writings in the bible had no ambiguities, it wouldn't be evidence of anything than a well written book

(07-04-2017 01:16 AM)morondog Wrote:  Or, it seems you're susceptible to Pascal's wager. Let's pick it apart:
"If there is a God, and I don't believe, then I will go to hell when I die. Otherwise, I will go to heaven. Conversely if there is no God I lose nothing by believing in God."

Let's just think about this for a second. Firstly, what kind of two-bit cheap ass deity uses *belief* as the criterion? (Hint, a made-up one where the priest desperately doesn't want you to look behind the curtain.)
I am now of a mind that Pascal's Wager isn't a realistic view to hold to.

(07-04-2017 01:16 AM)morondog Wrote:  Secondly, are you sure you've got the right God? *Every* religion promises their true believers loadsa intangible things which they get when they're dead. What makes Christian God believable and all the others not?
True. If I had been born in Kuwait I'd be a Muslim perhaps.

(07-04-2017 01:16 AM)morondog Wrote:  Thirdly, do you really lose nothing by believing in God if he's not real? Really? All those wasted hours spent praying, all that money tithed to the church so that Pastor Joel Osteen can have a nice reward in *this* life for serving God - notice how pastors get their reward now, and believers get their reward in heaven? To say nothing of poor decision making based on wishful thinking? I think the cost of belief without evidence is huge.
Trust me, I've thought about this one and it makes me really question it all.

“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, 01:33 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 01:22 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(07-04-2017 01:09 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  This is the way I see things too, at least more or less. I ask myself, couldn't we have been given a different plan of salvation?

That assumes that salvation is itself necessary.

While I appreciate your honesty, I do have to tell you that you are operating upon a layer of unfounded assumptions. You are doing your best to figure out why the house is sinking from studying how slanted all of the picture frames are relative to your level, while everyone else is trying to convince themselves that everything is still square, and it is you that is askew.

Meanwhile the rest of us are outside and across the street, noting how the house was built upon a foundation of quicksand that simply cannot support the weight of the structure placed upon it. Your perspective will always be very limited, so long as you never leave the house.
But how do I learn to leave the house?

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07-04-2017, 01:34 AM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2017 01:37 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Why I Believe
I don't think you're here to preach. Honest back and forths are totally fine. It's just people who ignore what we say and keep on spouting their own stuff that is unacceptable.

It seems to me that when you're offering what you feel are the standard religious responses to objections, you're starting to see the gaping holes in them.

The idea of "salvation" is mental. What are we being saved from? God. We're being saved from God fucking us up in hell. So he's "saving" us from himself, by ordering us around. Or rather, people are ordering other people around, claiming God told them to do it.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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07-04-2017, 01:39 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 01:33 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  But how do I learn to leave the house?

As of right now, the only thing holding you back is that you seem to unaware that you can leave that house, that it is indeed an option available to you.

Really, it's fine. You can come out and examine the house without needing to be inside it. That doesn't mean you need to get into someone else's house either (Judaism, Islam, paganism), you can just stand on the street and rubberneck with the rest of us heathens. Wink

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