Why I Believe
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 3 Votes - 3 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
07-04-2017, 06:59 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 06:47 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Having a bit of a moment here, feeling a bit anxious :/

I worry I might have said something bad about Christianity in this thread so I went back through every one of my posts. Seems the worst I did was agree with folk about a few things. Like, if the bible is created by an all powerful being, then its message should perfect and clear.

That's how it is with me. I keep getting panicky, I'm like "What have I done/said what have I done/said!"

It's been like this since 2010 November. And it is really rough on times

You are nervous but you know what? Life will go on. You are having these thoughts but you know what? You will go to bed and get up tomorrow and life will go on. Many of us have been there and understand. It is hard to ponder a world where there is no big brother who knows your thoughts. It took me years to get out. It is rough and hard to process at first but it does get easier. I am sure this is a real shocker to you reading what you are reading but like I said previously, education demystifies and the fear will subside over time. Just know you are not alone and certianly not crazy.

"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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like The Organic Chemist's post
07-04-2017, 07:19 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 01:16 AM)morondog Wrote:  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.

And don’t forget MD the part where you say you believe but you really don’t and all you are doing is paying lip service just in case because an all-knowing god would never be able to tell you were lying. Dodgy

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Full Circle's post
07-04-2017, 07:51 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 06:59 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  
(07-04-2017 06:47 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Having a bit of a moment here, feeling a bit anxious :/

I worry I might have said something bad about Christianity in this thread so I went back through every one of my posts. Seems the worst I did was agree with folk about a few things. Like, if the bible is created by an all powerful being, then its message should perfect and clear.

That's how it is with me. I keep getting panicky, I'm like "What have I done/said what have I done/said!"

It's been like this since 2010 November. And it is really rough on times

You are nervous but you know what? Life will go on. You are having these thoughts but you know what? You will go to bed and get up tomorrow and life will go on. Many of us have been there and understand. It is hard to ponder a world where there is no big brother who knows your thoughts. It took me years to get out. It is rough and hard to process at first but it does get easier. I am sure this is a real shocker to you reading what you are reading but like I said previously, education demystifies and the fear will subside over time. Just know you are not alone and certianly not crazy.
I guess

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-04-2017, 08:12 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:47 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  I posted this on another site (more or less)

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

I came to this thinking about 10 minutes ago
Let me suggest that written communication is not particularly unambiguous. It can still be misunderstood in a thousand ways. While I totally agree with you that a divinely inspired holy book containing critical information could be way more explicit and unambiguous than the Bible is (or, indeed, than holy books are generally*), there is no way for a deity to provide foolproof revelation to brains as flawed / sloppy / error prone as ours that I can think of, other than for said deity to "bake in" to each newborn brain full knowledge and correct understanding of the deity itself, the deity's demands / claims on us, and the correct way to understand and act on those claims. And probably to have an open channel to update that data to cover new situations that arise. That way every human would be on the same exact page, working from the same revelation and the same understanding. Apart from that, I see no way to guarantee that it would be both correctly communicated and correctly received.

As it is, we have this situation:

GOD ==> Inspired author ==> author's cultural bias / context and mental understanding / level of literacy ==> manuscript ==> scribe ==> inevitable copying errors ==> many generations of copies ==> translator ==> translator's cultural bias / context and mental understanding ==> reader ==> reader's cultural bias / context and mental understanding and level of literacy

Actually it was even worse for most of human history, given that most humans ever born were functionally illiterate AND could not afford their own copy of the scriptures and so at most heard snippets read aloud from a pulpit now and then, quite possibly not even in their mother tongue. What most people throughout most of human history actually knew of Holy Writ is what the local priest claimed it said / meant. And prior to the invention of the printing press, and really for some time thereafter, books were so expensive and rare that access was a problem even when literacy wasn't. Our twenty-first century perspective with cheap books, widespread literacy and the Internet invariably forgets that we're just a very recent blip in human history and it's way better for us than it has been for nearly all of recorded history.

So you see, written revelation is nowhere near so impressive as Biblical inerrantists would have you believe, even if it worked as they claimed it works.

* Holy books are always written in an "extra vague" fashion. That is what makes them "timeless" and easy to apply to any situation. So-called prophetic writings are the extreme example. Not a single alleged prophecy ever is written along the lines of, "Behold, in the Two-Thousand and Sixteenth year as reckoned by the not-yet-invented Gregorian calendar, in the eleventh month of the year, a man called Do-Nald shall rise up and take the throne of a country to be known as the United States of America, and turn everything to shit". Actually even that is a little vague but at least there's no question whether it's fulfilled or not -- we have a sufficiently specific date, a name, and a nation. But no, it would be something more like, "Lo, in the Last Days there shall be wars and rumors of wars and totalitarian dictators and much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth". The latter could seem to apply to virtually any era from the time it was written to today. And -- voila! -- you have "fulfilled prophecy".
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like mordant's post
07-04-2017, 08:20 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 07:51 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(07-04-2017 06:59 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  Just know you are not alone and certianly not crazy.
I guess

Imma disagree with TOC. You're fucked in the head Smile Just like the rest of us Tongue At least you're not alone Wink

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
07-04-2017, 08:27 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
Your attempt was pretty good actually.

Look up "The Problem of Evil" (I prefer to call it the Problem of Suffering, but that is what you will find the philosophical argument under). It basically works like this:

1) God is supposed to be all loving, all powerful, and all knowing.
2) If god is all loving, god cannot stand by and permit suffering
3) If god is all powerful, he is able to prevent / remove suffering without breaking a sweat
4) If god is all knowing, he is not ignorant of suffering
5) Therefore god is not all loving, all powerful AND all knowing, because suffering exists.

Attempts to counter this argument are known as a "theodicy". In attempting to construct theodicies, apologists almost invariably resort to some version of a free will argument -- that humans must have free will, that humans chose sin and its consequences, and that god cannot violate that free will without making us "robots".

But that is just kicking the can down the road. In the future heaven posited by most Christians, we ARE robots -- we HAVE no free will because no one will ever sin, and will worship god 24/7. Why and how is THAT not a problem, but "violating" free will is a problem now? If god, thousands of years ago in the garden of eden, had foreknowledge of all the human suffering that would result, why did he make us capable of sinning in the first place, and then set us up for guaranteed failure? If sin is intolerable to god, why did he allow it to come into existence and then punish people for what he himself allowed? If god is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" then why to this day does he allow 95% of the children born into this world to die in their sins and, by the teaching of most Christians, suffer eternally for it?*

* I can provide backing for this figure if you want it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like mordant's post
07-04-2017, 08:30 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 01:09 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  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.
You do not HAVE to assume anything. You can be neutral about whether Christianity is true and you SHOULD be neutral about any truth claim you investigate. If you assume it's correct as a starting point, you probably will succumb to confirmation bias because that is how your brain has evolved to function.

That is how your assumptions should start. However, again because of confirmation bias, you should set about proving something by attempting to DIS-prove it, which you are sort of doing here, and that's good.

If you and many others have been able to demonstrate religious faith claims to be highly unlikely then you are justified in not affording belief to it. That still allows you to avoid unwarranted knowledge claims for or against.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like mordant's post
07-04-2017, 08:50 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 06:17 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(07-04-2017 05:54 AM)unfogged Wrote:  No. Stop. You are doing it wrong. You already know that a consistent story does not mean that it is anything more than a well-written story. Stop trying to show that there are holes in the plot and start trying to show that the story is a record of reality.


Why not assume Greek mythology is true? How about Egyptian mythology? Maybe Aesop's fables are the best starting point?

It isn't that you have to assume that Christianity is not true, it is that you have to start with what is demonstrably true and see how well Christianity aligns to that. You can think of Christianity as a hypothesis that has been handed to you and your job is to determine if it is true or not without assuming either position at the outset. Now your job is to see if the claims of Christianity are supported by scientific evidence from biology, geology, paleontology, and other areas and if the predictions made by Christianity are reliable.
Duly noted

> How do you define God? Do you believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-04-2017, 09:33 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 08:50 AM)Gwaithmir Wrote:  
(07-04-2017 06:17 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Duly noted

> How do you define God? Do you believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent?
I do

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes SeaJay's post
07-04-2017, 09:57 AM
RE: Why I Believe
What I find perplexing is continued religious belief by the thoughtful who do seek rationality. It seems to me that as general knowledge increases the absurdities of religious belief would eventually become so untenable such beliefs would erode away. That's how I came to my own atheism: the accumulated absurdities dissolved in the solvents of deeper understanding.

Why has that not yet happened in your case? What aspects of your religious belief still appear rational - particularly since you've expressed an interest in reaching truth without requiring the truths you find be religious?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Airportkid's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: