Why I Believe
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15-04-2017, 05:44 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(15-04-2017 01:22 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I agree you can certainly try to get yourself to believe something (or not to believe it). But I'm talking about actually flipping the switch on cue. I think that would be an extremely rare and dangerous ability. Such a person would probably end up dead or in jail quite quickly I expect.
Or end up as president of the United States.
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15-04-2017, 06:37 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(14-04-2017 06:16 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  So it seems to me people cannot consciously alter their beliefs. I've had a couple of people claim they can, but I didn't believe them as they didn't make a good case. It makes sense from an evolutionary point of view. Choosing to stop believing that walking off a cliff is a bad idea would be very much detrimental to survival.

That's where Pascal comes in. He didn't really argue that people should pretend to believe to fool the god, he was arguing that you should go through the motions and pretend to believe to fool yourself and that eventually it would sink in and you would believe. He was a "fake it 'til you make it" proponent.

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15-04-2017, 06:41 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(15-04-2017 02:51 AM)JesseB Wrote:  Actually I have put a lot of time and energy into understanding "how I think" but this is mostly because EVERYONE I FUCKING MEET in my life says I don't think like a normal person. I can' never figure out what the fuck they mean, it drives me crazy. I'm starting to feel like they say it just to drive me insane. Then again they are all Theists with some of the most factually wrong ideas a person could possibly have.....

They are right, you don't. You don't accept claims from authority and you don't simply go with what feels good despite evidence to the contrary. That's "normal" for large areas of the US and I'd take the statement that you don't think like a normal person to be a compliment.

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15-04-2017, 08:37 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(14-04-2017 03:00 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  Is it possible to believe but not want to worship?

As far as labels go (atheism etc) is concerned, what would that be called?

I think I was about 16 when I posed this question to my Dad (career Southern Baptist minister); I had just finished reading the bible cover-to-cover for the second time, and it began to occur to me that the OT god was a real jerk, and I began questioning that if THAT was God, then why was a devil even necessary? I wasn't sure I wanted to "worship" something like that.

"So what do you call somebody who believes in God, but doesn't want to worship him?"

"Son, that would be a SATANIST!"

No shit ...that's what he told me! This was in the days of the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" panic too, with speakers (presentations mostly) at our church telling us about how they had infiltrated the music industry and all levels of the government (a satanist hiding under every bed). Needless to say ...that little talk stayed in the back of my mind for ages, and even made me start looking into the idea of paganism and even reading about the real "Satanism" because I thought in the back of my mind that I might be one.

The correct answer was of course, a deist, or even apatheist ...but I guess you don't scare your kid onto the straight and narrow with answers like THAT.

Amusing anecdote: One of the things I learned about Satanism was that they hid REALLY well; it took years before I ever actually met a practicing Satanist (I say "practicing" but more in the self-centered philosophical sense; he didn't sacrifice goats, wear weird robes or anything), and he was an older 60's burn-out kind of guy who cared more about Ayn Rand than Anton LaVey (which I find no small amount of amusement in how the only people I've ever met who were more into Ayn Rand than that guy was, are Bible-thumping Republicans).
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15-04-2017, 08:51 AM
RE: Why I Believe
I found this on this Christian website and they admit that Christians are in trouble if they believe Moses did not write the first five books.

http://www.apologeticspress.org/apconten...rticle=857

Old Testament

“And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord” (Exodus 24:4).

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write these words…’ ” (Exodus 34:27).

“Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the Lord” (Numbers 33:2).

“So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests…” (Deuteronomy 31:9).


New Testament

Also, there are numerous people in the NT who also say Moses wrote the Pentateuch:

“The law was given through Moses” (John 1:17)

“And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them [His disciples] in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself ” (Luke 24:27)

“For Moses from generations of old hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath” (Acts 15:21)

“For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them’ ” (Romans 10:5, cf. Leviticus 18:5)

2 Corinthians 3:15 Paul wrote: “Moses is read.” The phrase “Moses is read” is an example of the figure of speech known as metonymy (when authors are put for the works which they have produced). Today, we may ask someone if he has read Homer, Virgil, or Shakespeare, by which we mean to ask if he has read the writings of these men.

“They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them” (Luke 16:29)

Both Jesus’ disciples and His enemies recognised and accepted the books of Moses.

Philip (I believe) said “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45).

New Testament Sadducees considered Moses as the author: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother” (Mark 12:19 cf. Deuteronomy 25:5).

Even Jesus Himself claimed, “the Law” came from Moses.

In Mark 7:10 Jesus quoted from both Exodus 20 and 21, attributing the words to Moses.

In the gospel of Mark, Jesus asked the Sadducees, “Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ ” (12:26)

The most convincing passage of all is found in John 5:46-47 where Jesus said: “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”.

The truth is, by claiming that Moses did not write the books of the Pentateuch, one essentially is claiming that Jesus is not God. As M.R. DeHaan explained in his book, Genesis and Evolution:

Prove that Moses did not write the books of the Pentateuch and you prove that Jesus was totally mistaken and not the infallible Son of God he claimed to be. Upon your faith in Moses as the writer of the five books attributed to him rests also your faith in Jesus as the Son of God. You cannot believe in Jesus Christ without believing what Moses wrote. You see, there is much more involved in denying the books of Moses than most people suppose (1982, p. 41).

Indeed, believing that Moses wrote the Torah is very important. It is not a trivial matter that we should discuss frivolously while suggesting that “it really doesn’t matter.” It matters because the deity of Christ and the integrity of the Bible writers are at stake!


Wow. There it is. A Christian website that admits if Moses never wrote the Pentateuch then Christianity falls down.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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15-04-2017, 09:03 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Interesting! Well, there's no credible evidence Moses was even a real person. He's mainly believed to be fictional (outside of religion of course).

I have another little experiment for you Seajay, in case it's any help Smile

Let's assume there is/was a creator of this reality. Now write down a list of things that are good evidence that the creator designed this reality specifically for humans. Then write down things that are good evidence that it wasn't designed for us at all.

I predict that the second list will be considerably longer, if there's even anything at all on the first list.

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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15-04-2017, 09:43 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(15-04-2017 09:03 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Interesting! Well, there's no credible evidence Moses was even a real person. He's mainly believed to be fictional (outside of religion of course).

I have another little experiment for you Seajay, in case it's any help Smile

Let's assume there is/was a creator of this reality. Now write down a list of things that are good evidence that the creator designed this reality specifically for humans. Then write down things that are good evidence that it wasn't designed for us at all.

I predict that the second list will be considerably longer, if there's even anything at all on the first list.
It's funny you should mention this Rob, as earlier today I watched this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdPwDwK0dBA

Which is all about proving the bible wrong using science and logic. The list for a universe not finely tuned for life greatly out scores a universe fine-tuned for life by 99.9999% to 0.0001 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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15-04-2017, 09:46 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(15-04-2017 01:28 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(14-04-2017 06:47 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  For what it's worth, as a theist, I agree with you on this line of thought. There's a big difference between professing a belief and actually having a belief. I could say right now I was an atheist, but that would be an outward profession, but not necessarily an inward truth for me.

A friend and I were just chatting on Facebook about a Catholic site we both go to, and I used to mod on. No less than three former members ended up becoming atheists, each of them citing how the forum there would batter away at their beliefs bit by bit. It's not like the tried to stop believing; I think, from the conversations, that one day they just realized that they didn't any more.

Conversely, one could argue, I think, the same with belief. I can't tell you when I began to believe or why. But often enough, emotional highs can be linked to the spiritual highs in my own life. Sometimes these were natural, sometimes they were man-made, as it were, or if you care to use the term, due to indoctrination. Baptist summer camp being the main example that comes to mind. Take a bunch of campers for a week, keep them from the world, maybe six hours of sleep if they're lucky, multiple sermons a day, prayer before every activity, all music is Christian in nature and aimed at glorifying God. Throw in emotionally manipulative things like washing people's feet beneath the stars, or being told to try and wander through fog machine fog and counselors standing there still like a zombie to "find your way through the world" and then ask afterwards why you didn't try to "reach the lost". Etc.

Belief is something subconscious, at least in my opinion, and while we can try to influence whether it occurs or not, it's still going to be something developed or lost on an individual basis.

Thanks very much for your reply, it's most interesting Smile

I've tried very hard over my time on forums to understand the theist perspective, and it's good to know I'm reasonably near the mark.

I used to think to myself people could just stop believing in religious stuff "because it was dumb". I've since realized that was a naive and rather insulting way of thinking about it. Believers can't just stop any more than I can just start. We can both stop to re-evaluate our beliefs from the ground up, and that may or may not produce a change, but we can't simply toggle them because we want to.

PS, general comment: Say I make a statement of fact to a person and they consider it and decide where they are on my scale. Can they then immediately consciously choose to be somewhere else on the scale instead, without gathering any further evidence? I don't think they could, in general. They could profess it, but I don't think it would be honest.

A rather fair point I think. And don't think you're that far off the mark at all; personally my view lies around a combination of what you and Girly have posted on the issue of free will, indoctrination, and our subconscious (and its influence by the world around us). Smile But that's just my two cents.

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15-04-2017, 09:58 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(15-04-2017 08:51 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I found this on this Christian website and they admit that Christians are in trouble if they believe Moses did not write the first five books.

http://www.apologeticspress.org/apconten...rticle=857

Old Testament

“And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord” (Exodus 24:4).

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write these words…’ ” (Exodus 34:27).

“Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the Lord” (Numbers 33:2).

“So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests…” (Deuteronomy 31:9).


New Testament

Also, there are numerous people in the NT who also say Moses wrote the Pentateuch:

“The law was given through Moses” (John 1:17)

“And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them [His disciples] in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself ” (Luke 24:27)

“For Moses from generations of old hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath” (Acts 15:21)

“For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them’ ” (Romans 10:5, cf. Leviticus 18:5)

2 Corinthians 3:15 Paul wrote: “Moses is read.” The phrase “Moses is read” is an example of the figure of speech known as metonymy (when authors are put for the works which they have produced). Today, we may ask someone if he has read Homer, Virgil, or Shakespeare, by which we mean to ask if he has read the writings of these men.

“They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them” (Luke 16:29)

Both Jesus’ disciples and His enemies recognised and accepted the books of Moses.

Philip (I believe) said “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45).

New Testament Sadducees considered Moses as the author: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother” (Mark 12:19 cf. Deuteronomy 25:5).

Even Jesus Himself claimed, “the Law” came from Moses.

In Mark 7:10 Jesus quoted from both Exodus 20 and 21, attributing the words to Moses.

In the gospel of Mark, Jesus asked the Sadducees, “Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ ” (12:26)

The most convincing passage of all is found in John 5:46-47 where Jesus said: “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”.

The truth is, by claiming that Moses did not write the books of the Pentateuch, one essentially is claiming that Jesus is not God. As M.R. DeHaan explained in his book, Genesis and Evolution:

Prove that Moses did not write the books of the Pentateuch and you prove that Jesus was totally mistaken and not the infallible Son of God he claimed to be. Upon your faith in Moses as the writer of the five books attributed to him rests also your faith in Jesus as the Son of God. You cannot believe in Jesus Christ without believing what Moses wrote. You see, there is much more involved in denying the books of Moses than most people suppose (1982, p. 41).

Indeed, believing that Moses wrote the Torah is very important. It is not a trivial matter that we should discuss frivolously while suggesting that “it really doesn’t matter.” It matters because the deity of Christ and the integrity of the Bible writers are at stake!


Wow. There it is. A Christian website that admits if Moses never wrote the Pentateuch then Christianity falls down.

Wait...... but we know who wrote the first Tora and it was NOT Moses......... It's even in that documentary I linked.

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15-04-2017, 10:01 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Seajay: Awesome, I'll have to check that out! Yeah, life has just managed to scrabble into existence in tiny pockets, and has fought tooth and nail to survive. The theistic mindset is often fixated only on our planet and doesn't consider the huge amounts of dead toxic space making up most of reality.

Shai: Thank you Smile It's been interesting delving right into a discussion about beliefs again. I came up with an analogy today for how things seem to me:

The subconscious is in the driver seat. It's in control.

The conscious part is a back-seat driver. It's watching, describing what is happening, and trying to tell the subconscious what to do. But the subconscious only does what the conscious part tells it to when it was going to do it anyway. In other words, the back seat driver has no say at all, but likes to think it has.

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