Why I Believe
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07-04-2017, 04:06 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:41 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 08:24 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  But you don't trust God. You fear God.

That isn't faith. That's terror.
That is why I was asking for a few contradictions and then offering solutions to those contradictions. Not because I wanted to preach, but because I wanted someone with a different perspective to me (i.e. atheists) to help me rethink what I believe by finding holes in my solutions. If someone could prove to me my so called solutions were wrong, then this would move me one step closer to eroding my belief.

This all probably sounds crazy to some people (and they might be right) but I've been, not only scared by all this (therapist said I am traumatised by it). I've tried other ways to lessen my fear but I'm failing. So, I figured the only way out of this was to destroy my faith by seeing if it stands up to scrutiny.

Perhaps it would help you to realize that you don't have faith. You have fear.

You have less faith in your God than I do in my dog. I trust my dog not to bite me, chew my shoes or piss on the carpet. You fear that God will chuck you into a burning lake for all of eternity.

Quote:It's never been about me preaching.

Most of us get that. Don't worry. If your behaviour gets annoying:
- We'll let you know. We are neither shy nor subtle.
- We'll let you know rudely.
- Your Rep will start dropping. Congrats on it being in the green BTW. Few theists manage that here.
- The Mods will fire a warning shot across your bow.

These are the stages most go through on the way to a banning and you typically have to work at earning it by being a jack-ass. You haven't shown any of these signs yet so hakuna matata.

(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?

Actually, that's an easy one. The Bible reads like really bad fiction. The plot is a trainwreck, it flows like a can full of broken glass and it lacks a single likeable character. It reads like a story written by a UN committee where no two members shared a common language. We may be flawed mortals but you'd think that God AllMighty could at least get J.K. Rowling to pen the wretched thing.

Quote: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

It does make you wonder why God needs a bunch of used car salesmen to make excuses for his lousy writing style.

(07-04-2017 12:23 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  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

Good attempt. Try this. Read Genesis 2 and 3 again and as yourself:
- What does God tell Adam and Eve will happen if the eat the forbidden fruit?
- What does the Serpent tell Eve will happen?
- What actually happens?
- Who lied and who told the truth?
- What is the reason that God gives at the end of chapter 3 for expelling Adam and Eve from Eden?

If Original Sin is based on such a flawed story where does that leave the religious guilt trip that is based on it?

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07-04-2017, 04:12 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 03:56 PM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  as a starting point some quotes I find interesting and what some of the members responses might be:
“I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.”
― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence.
Carl Sagan
I completely agree with Dawkins and Sagan. It is a common misbelief that atheists are, in the main, "strong" atheists who take the knowledge position that there are no deities. This allows us to be mischaracterized as "arrogant" -- which is just one of the many ad hominem critiques used against us.

Most atheists (nearly all, really) will, at least when pressed, acknowledge that no one can make a justifiable knowledge claim for OR against the existence of deities. Why? For the simple reason that invisible deities as posited are inherently not falsifiable, and therefore not (dis)provable. What most atheists do, is they do not afford belief to any deities because they think the likelihood of any such thing existing are so vanishingly small. In other words the preponderance of evidence is very much against it.

And that is just our opinion of the concept of deities generically. The more specific you get about a deity (such as, for instance, arguing for your particular one), the more difficult your burden of proof.

This issue cuts both ways; if I cannot disprove your god, neither can you prove it. Gods are the stuff of bare assertions which we are asked to "just believe" via the failed epistemology of religious faith. The burden of proof is squarely on believers, yet their deities are invariably not falsifiable and therefore not provable. Since the burden of proof is not on me, I as an atheist simply await proof that, invariably, never comes -- and is never going to come because as I said, inherently, no justifiable knowledge claim can be made about any deity.
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07-04-2017, 04:21 PM
RE: Why I Believe
Seajay,

You're looking for evidence that the Bible is not God's handiwork.

Nice work so far but the apologists have had centuries to polish their excuses. Those are easy enough to spot from the outside but you aren't there yet. Let's try a different approach.

Why don't you look at what the Bible doesn't have. If it lacks vital information that even the most poorly written tabloid would include might you reasonably conclude that it was not Divinely Inspired?

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07-04-2017, 04:22 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 03:56 PM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  As time permits I would also like to go back to previous responses, many which are quite compelling and some not so much.

A separate thread would be advisable to avoid a conversational trainwreck.

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07-04-2017, 04:24 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 04:12 PM)mordant Wrote:  Most atheists (nearly all, really) will, at least when pressed, acknowledge that no one can make a justifiable knowledge claim for OR against the existence of deities. Why? For the simple reason that invisible deities as posited are inherently not falsifiable, and therefore not (dis)provable. What most atheists do, is they do not afford belief to any deities because they think the likelihood of any such thing existing are so vanishingly small. In other words the preponderance of evidence is very much against it.

Yes, but that is similar to our position on any other knowledge claims we make. I am quite comfortable saying both that my knowledge is incomplete and that I know certain God concepts are logically inconsistent with the evidence, internally contradictory, or otherwise highly improbable. In other words, all knowledge is relative anyway. Only philosophers are fixated on "absolute knowledge."
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07-04-2017, 04:30 PM
RE: Why I Believe
"Those who raise questions about the God hypothesis and the soul hypothesis are by no means all atheist. An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do know to be sure that no such God exist ..."
~ Dr Carl Sagan from Conversations with Carl Sagan

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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07-04-2017, 04:34 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 04:24 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  Yes, but that is similar to our position on any other knowledge claims we make. I am quite comfortable saying both that my knowledge is incomplete and that I know certain God concepts are logically inconsistent with the evidence, internally contradictory, or otherwise highly improbable. In other words, all knowledge is relative anyway. Only philosophers are fixated on "absolute knowledge."
Philosophers and apologists.

I address it this way because the typical claim of theists is that we are making an absolute knowledge claim that we cannot justifiably make. We aren't.

Most other claims made about us are equally pulled out of thin air (or thick air, from a certain place). Such as that we simply want to rebel (when in fact I have yet to meet an atheist whose ethics changed with their beliefs) or that we are being stubborn (nearly pure projection -- guess where the obstinacy actually IS) or that we are ignorant of the true meaning or subtlety of faith (when we regularly demonstrate more knowledge of our faith of origin than most believers -- and when a very large percentage of us, probably most, are actual deconverts rather than lifelong atheists).

I just address them as they come to me.

But you are correct, knowledge is relative and beyond a certain preponderance of evidence against theism, saying we "know" certain things just ain't so is a perfectly legitimate semantic shortcut. The same as a believer saying they "know" there are no such things as leprechauns. Technically they can't know unless they've been everywhere and everywhen, that there isn't a leprechaun hiding under a rock somewhere. But for all practical purposes, having no reason to believe there are leprechauns, they can claim to "know" that there are none and I'm not going to split hairs.

But most of them try to split hairs with me and so I try to get out in front of them.
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07-04-2017, 04:40 PM
RE: Why I Believe
A being would not know if they were omniscient so could easily not be but still think that they were
Also because omnipotence and omnibenevolence restrict each other they are mutually incompatible

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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07-04-2017, 04:51 PM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2017 07:47 PM by mordant.)
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 04:40 PM)surreptitious57 Wrote:  A being would not know if they were omniscient so could easily not be but still think that they were
Also because omnipotence and omnibenevolence restrict each other they are mutually incompatible
A being who does not know just ONE thing is NOT all knowing. So ... a being who doesn't know it's omniscient, is not omniscient by definition.

I would actually say that omnipotence and omniscience are far more overlapping. If you don't know everything, you can't have all power, by definition. Knowledge IS power.

I don't think being all powerful suggests anything other than the ABILITY to do anything, it doesn't get negated by voluntarily DECLINING to do anything.
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07-04-2017, 05:15 PM
RE: Why I Believe
An omnibenevolent being could not also be omnipotent because it would be compelled to only do moral good and so would not be choosing to so
Declining to do moral bad would not be an option available to it for it could not be omnibenevolent if it could do or even think of doing moral bad

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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