Why I Believe
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08-04-2017, 05:26 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 04:08 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  A little thought experiment for you! Maybe it will help.

Imagine you meet up with me, and I've never heard anything about Christianity, or any religion. Your job is to convince me that "hell is a real place".

How would you go about this? How convincing do your arguments sound?
Going through it in my mind, not very.

Where is exactly? We're not told

How can death, a state, and the grave (hades), a location, be thrown into a lake of fire if the lake of fire is literal? We're not told

How would you cope if you knew friends and/or loved ones were in hell?
I'd go insane. Literally insane.

All Christians believe God is infinitely more loving and merciful than we are, so where does an eternal torture chamber fit into all this hell idea?
It can't. It makes no sense.

My trouble is, my severe anxiety. It clouds rational reason to the point, I can't do much about it. It's almost like it is seared into my brain.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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08-04-2017, 05:31 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Why does fire hurt us ?

It hurts because it's destroying cells and that cell destruction causes nerves to fire, which in turn create an electrical impulse sent to the brain.

If you believe that you have an immortal body after death that cannot be destroyed, then that means it cannot be hurt by anything.

No destruction = no pain
No pain = no hell

There is no evidence that immortal bodies exist.

If you had one, you wouldn't ever be able to be unconscious. You would always be able to sense the universe even if your body was unconscious.
But this isn't the case, is it.

The fact that you can become unconscious could very well be evidence that souls don't exist.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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08-04-2017, 05:43 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 05:31 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Why does fire hurt us ?

It hurts because it's destroying cells and that cell destruction causes nerves to fire, which in turn create an electrical impulse sent to the brain.

If you believe that you have an immortal body after death that cannot be destroyed, then that means it cannot be hurt by anything.

No destruction = no pain
No pain = no hell

There is no evidence that immortal bodies exist.

If you had one, you wouldn't ever be able to be unconscious. You would always be able to sense the universe even if your body was unconscious.
But this isn't the case, is it.

The fact that you can become unconscious could very well be evidence that souls don't exist.
I like this thinking, it makes sense to me. One thing though, I don't believe we have immortal souls, only that in the resurrection the body is turned into something immortal. Still, your point is valid nevertheless

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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08-04-2017, 05:47 AM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2017 06:07 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 05:19 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(08-04-2017 03:50 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  

My mind is a little bit blown by the video.

I mean, isn't that probably the greatest evidence that Monotheistic Christianity has been constructed by the ancients? That Yahweh was just one of multiple gods and not even the main god? I'm not sure what to do with this information.

I mean, at first glance this seems like very strong evidence that it was all constructed purely for political reasons, for controlling the masses. Surely if this is true, then there is no point trying to figure out if the behemoth in Job was a sauropod, or if the Hebrews believed the sky to be a hard dome (snowglobe theory), or that there's no resurrection mentioned in the first gospel of Mark. Does it?

See? That's checking the foundation from outside the house. Welcome to the street. Expect your name-tag and membership card to arrive in the mail in 3~5 weeks. Wink


(08-04-2017 05:19 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  The very first verse in Genesis, the bible, and everything after it is, all built on a religion created by Israel and Judah's political history?

It appears that way. The earliest records show evidence of being edited by later groups, who's linguistics tie them to time periods with particularly aligned political motivations.


(08-04-2017 05:19 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Can't be as easy as that. Why aren't knowledgeable Christian academic certified scholars mentioning this? For that matter, why are no knowledgeable Christians talking about this, why not the media?

They do, but not often enough. Any pastor who has attended a half-way decent (i.e. not a fundamentalist or evangelical) seminary in the last three decades, has been exposed to this evidence and these theories. Mainstream opinion on the Jewish patriarchs (Moses, Jacob, Noah, etc.) started to shift in the 70's, and the opinion that they are mythical has been mainstream for quite some time.

So when a fresh young pastor get up in front of their congregations on Sunday and commits the lie of omission by not informing his congregation of these facts, you have to ask yourself 'why?'. It depends on how that person squares that particular circle. Some think that the belief itself is more important than truth, some don't want to disillusion their flocks, other's are perfectly okay with lying for Jesus, some are just cynical charlatans (such as prosperity preachers like Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, and Benny Hinn). Still other emerge as de facto atheists, but go on to lie because that's how they keep their job. If the congregation doesn't like what they hear, pastors can be replaced. There are a good number of atheists behind the pulpits who do known, but who don't share, because losing that job would lose the healthcare they need for their wife's cancer treatment. Or it's quite literally the only job they have any training for. Perhaps they don't want to disappoint their family and be the community pariah. Not every region of the United States is atheist friendly.

See Also: The Clergy Project and former pastor Jerry Dewitt.





The saying that 'the quickest way to make an atheist is to study the Bible' is not just a catchy provocative statement. In seminaries, it's a truism. Just ask our resident seminary student, Bucky Ball.


Bart Erhman basically guts the resurrection of Christ in 30 minutes using mainstream scholarship. Erhman considers himself an agnostic, last time I checked.






(08-04-2017 05:19 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  This info is out there, it's too easy for anyone to look at and comment on. I'm not saying it's not true (or true), the point I'm trying to get across is that the content seems to me to be extremely damaging to the claims of Judaism, Christianity, and the rest, and it is so easily accessible I cannot believe nobody hasn't rebuffed this. But then, how would you do that?

What's the catch, what are Christians saying about this?

Fundamentalists ignore it, sticking to Biblical literalism and ignoring any contradictory evidence provided by literary criticism or archaeology. They are not mainstream in academia, but hold out sized influence in public. Less extreme positions will have various justification and rationalization for not sharing this information at the pulpit, ranging from self preservation to cynically lying for Jesus.

But this information has been there, and known, for quite some time; a century at least. The advent of the internet has made access to that information easier than ever, but it's also made it easier to spread lies and bullshit that cover it up. If you are not looking to challenge the validity of your beliefs to see if they are factually accurate, it's all to easy to type 'proof for Noah's flood' into Google and find pages upon pages of uncritical and factually inaccurate bullshit that agrees with your established belief.

Reinforcing ideas is easy, challenging them is hard. Is it any wonder that those who care enough to study it honestly are proportionally more likely to come away as agnostics and atheists? Anyone can be an ignorant preacher on the bully pulpit, but the rigors and standards of academia requires a desire for knowledge and enough of an open mind, that many come away with their faith altered, if not irrevocably shattered.


But yeah, at the end of the day, your pastor (if he was sufficiently educated) most likely knew all this, but didn't share it with you.


Like I said before, this is what looking at the house's foundation is like from the outside. Thumbsup

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08-04-2017, 06:33 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 11:26 PM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  
(07-04-2017 06:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  Pay close attention: there is no evidence of a deity.

You claim there is a deity, present evidence. You bear the burden of proof for your claim.

For what it's worth it seems Carl Sagan is attributed with the quote "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" referencing his Cosmos.

I believe that rereading my post you will see I did not make the claim that there is a deity. I did state that I was seeking answers as to the thinking processes using logic and reason as to how atheists support their position that there is no God and how they justify that claim.
I will state I do believe as a theist in the Creator God and that to do so is not irrational nor without grounds for belief.

And your statement of a belief in the existence of a deity is based on no evidence and is therefore irrational.

And saying that your belief is not a claim of existence is a making a distinction without any clear difference.

Quote:I also acknowledge mordant did an excellence job of rationalizing the claim "deities do not exist" while lacking the ability of "proof" of the same.

I am not asking for proof, just evidence.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-04-2017, 06:36 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(07-04-2017 11:55 PM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  I would argue that you have presented a false premise to draw the conclusion you have presented. Your premise is that what one is taught from birth determines truth rather than applying known facts.

Wrong. He is saying what you believe is based on what you are taught.

Quote:

And you

Quote:Following this premise it would also be true that had you been raised from birth in a faith that treated the FSM or the Invisible Pink Unicorn with the same undeserved reverence as Yahweh or Allah you would be defending your belief of Pastafarianism.Consider

Yes.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-04-2017, 06:37 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 05:43 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(08-04-2017 05:31 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Why does fire hurt us ?

It hurts because it's destroying cells and that cell destruction causes nerves to fire, which in turn create an electrical impulse sent to the brain.

If you believe that you have an immortal body after death that cannot be destroyed, then that means it cannot be hurt by anything.

No destruction = no pain
No pain = no hell

There is no evidence that immortal bodies exist.

If you had one, you wouldn't ever be able to be unconscious. You would always be able to sense the universe even if your body was unconscious.
But this isn't the case, is it.

The fact that you can become unconscious could very well be evidence that souls don't exist.
I like this thinking, it makes sense to me. One thing though, I don't believe we have immortal souls, only that in the resurrection the body is turned into something immortal. Still, your point is valid nevertheless

It is, it is turned back into stardust.

Our bodies are made of remnants of stars and massive explosions in the galaxies, authors say.

"We are stardust," Joni Mitchell famously sang in "Woodstock." It turns out she was right, wasn't she?

Iris: Was she ever! Everything we are and everything in the universe and on Earth originated from stardust, and it continually floats through us even today. It directly connects us to the universe, rebuilding our bodies over and again over our lifetimes.

That was one of the biggest surprises for us in this book. We really didn't realize how impermanent we are, and that our bodies are made of remnants of stars and massive explosions in the galaxies. All the material in our bodies originates with that residual stardust, and it finds its way into plants, and from there into the nutrients that we need for everything we do—think, move, grow. And every few years the bulk of our bodies are newly created.”

“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
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08-04-2017, 06:40 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 12:05 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(07-04-2017 03:56 PM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  Wow! What a thread. Hello SeaJay all I can say is your OP has truly opened the door to many responses. I too am new to the forum and as a Christian I too came here seeking answers and although somewhat different to yours I am seeking answers just the same - mainly the thinking processes using logic and reason as to how atheists support their position that there is no God and how they justify that claim.

Theist are charged with using circular reasoning to defend their position. Their accused of being closed minded to any other possible explanation of our existence. It is stated as fact that their belief is due to indoctrination. It is these ideas and more that I would like to explore in the coming days as to what is true and can we really know it.

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

As time permits I would also like to go back to previous responses, many which are quite compelling and some not so much.
Hello A-Thinking-Theist

Interesting quote by Mr Sagan

And an incomplete one. The complete statement is inconvenient to his position.

Sagan goes on to point out that the absence of evidence that should be present is, in fact, evidence of absence.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-04-2017, 06:41 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 05:43 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(08-04-2017 05:31 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Why does fire hurt us ?

It hurts because it's destroying cells and that cell destruction causes nerves to fire, which in turn create an electrical impulse sent to the brain.

If you believe that you have an immortal body after death that cannot be destroyed, then that means it cannot be hurt by anything.

No destruction = no pain
No pain = no hell

There is no evidence that immortal bodies exist.

If you had one, you wouldn't ever be able to be unconscious. You would always be able to sense the universe even if your body was unconscious.
But this isn't the case, is it.

The fact that you can become unconscious could very well be evidence that souls don't exist.
I like this thinking, it makes sense to me. One thing though, I don't believe we have immortal souls, only that in the resurrection the body is turned into something immortal. Still, your point is valid nevertheless

> There is no hell, because there is no God.

> As far as supporting the position that the Christian God does not exist, see post #211 in this discussion.
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08-04-2017, 06:44 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(08-04-2017 01:39 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  The bible is precisely what you would expect from a group of people trying to make sense of their surroundings at the time. who pissed in their own water supply.

Big Grin

“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
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