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Non-believers - Ever prayed really hard for God to reveal himself?

excreationist

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Hi I am a non-believer but while in high school I believed in young-earth creationism. I was also the "dux" (top) of my grade 12. Near the end I prayed that I would know the truth, no matter how bad it made me feel. At that time I also felt a tingling feeling. With the help of Ed Babinski, an ex-creationist, I gave up belief in young-earth creationism and since I believed that the foundation of the Bible is in the literal truth of Genesis I also became an atheist. Since that time I have had brief times of belief in some form of god/God.

But I haven't tried praying hard to God for him to reveal himself though Jesus said "seek and you will find" - that doesn't mean that the search would necessarily be easy.

So for other non-believers, what about you? I know there have been atheists that have tried praying but what about you?
 

excreationist

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BTW there aren't many consequences about whether you are correct in your belief about whether Poseidon exists or not. On the other hand there is a slight (non-zero) possibility that you will suffer eternally in hell if you are incorrect about whether the Christian God exists. Assuming it is a non-zero possibility and the punishment is infinite in size (since it is infinite in duration) then it matters to some degree whether you're right about God and one way to find out is to seek him out in prayer. (just playing devil's advocate)
 

excreationist

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I found this:

Jeremiah:29:13 - And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

BTW it doesn't say pray hard it says "search for me with ALL your heart".
 

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BTW there aren't many consequences about whether you are correct in your belief about whether Poseidon exists or not. On the other hand there is a slight (non-zero) possibility that you will suffer eternally in hell if you are incorrect about whether the Christian God exists. Assuming it is a non-zero possibility and the punishment is infinite in size (since it is infinite in duration) then it matters to some degree whether you're right about God and one way to find out is to seek him out in prayer. (just playing devil's advocate)

Most religions promise some sort of unpleasantness in the afterlife if you don't follow their tenets.

Threats don't make things true.
 

excreationist

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Yes hell isn't proven but I think it is a slight possibility. Also following the tenets of most religions to avoid unpleasantness just involves being good rather than bad. I think Christianity may be the only religion that threatens eternal extreme punishment (not just "some sort of unpleasantness") for everyone that isn't a sincere believer.
 

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Oh ya, there have been times when I've really wanted God to be real and I prayed that he give me a sign.

Then a frost giant showed up and I had to kill him myself, so alas, I had to conclude that Odin was fictional. This is a true story and I don't want anybody to be saying that it wasn't a frost giant but just the mailman like the stupid police were trying to tell me. :mad:
 

rousseau

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Yes hell isn't proven but I think it is a slight possibility. Also following the tenets of most religions to avoid unpleasantness just involves being good rather than bad. I think Christianity may be the only religion that threatens eternal extreme punishment (not just "some sort of unpleasantness") for everyone that isn't a sincere believer.

Call me overly skeptical, but some 'magical fiery place' that exists only to torture dead human beings for all eternity sounds like something with a zero probability to me. For one it defies the laws of physics and so its existence necessitates some alternate reality besides the one which we know exists (extremely unlikely). Two, its existence necessitates that the Christian God is actually a real thing (also extremely unlikely). And three, it presumes that somehow humans go on existing after they die (basically completely illogical).

And so: extremely unlikely + extremely unlikely + completely illogical = zero probability (and extremely unlikely is a vast under statement)

As for praying, I think I legitimately prayed once when I was 10 or 11. Shortly thereafter I wondered why I did that, and stopped doing it.
 

excreationist

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rousseau:

Zero probability is different to a googol zeroes and then a 1. For some reason there are some very intelligent believers that don't have significant problems with it. As far as alternate realities go I think a very large proportion of theoretical physicists believe in the multiple worlds interpretation of quantum physics (though that is unrelated). BTW the Bible says that the path to Heaven or God is very narrow. BTW the Bible says that hell was made for the devil and his angels. I believe in "conditional immortality" (see the link in this youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzynfCuJRBY ) - assuming the Bible is true - that humans would burn up after a while.

From 1 Corinthians 1:
"the foolishness of God is wiser than men" "but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise"

I personally know a lot of very intelligent people who have become very strong believers...
 

excreationist

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.....sounds like something with a zero probability to me.
What it sounds like to you doesn't prove it is in fact a zero probability.

For one it defies the laws of physics
God is supernatural and isn't bound by the laws of physics!

Two, its existence necessitates that the Christian God is actually a real thing (also extremely unlikely).
Yet billions of people believe in it - some were non-believers originally. And many are highly intelligent.

And three, it presumes that somehow humans go on existing after they die (basically completely illogical).
Yet apparently this is what a lot of the Greeks believed and their philosophers were experts on logic. So it isn't "completely" illogical. (I think that is true - based on a website that says universal immortality was a Greek idea) I don't think the Bible says that everyone will live forever - only those who eat of the fruit of the tree of life and/or have their names written in the book of life. But many/most Christians would believe that it is logical that everyone lives forever because God made souls that way.
 

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And of course, xtians seem to have noticed that NDE tales are for some reason compelling, so they are selling hard the "23 minutes in hell can save you 15% on car insurance" type horror stories.

In answer to the OP, yes, I did. Now, I get told that only those whose seek him that fervently and faithfully every day of their lives, without "giving up" have any chance of seeing him before judgement day.
 

excreationist

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rousseau:

BTW in some ways the cosmic speed limit being the speed of light is illogical. So is some aspects of quantum physics. That doesn't prove they are false. Also in Einstein's thought experiments he worked out that matter can be converted into energy and that time can slow down due to gravity. There is also the idea that the universe is like the surface of a sphere - it is limited but has no end. Some of those things could be considered to be breaking the laws of physics or at least Newton's laws.
 

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If the Christian God exists and he wants me to believe in him, he's capable of providing me with the evidence I need to do so -- which is a damn sight more than a 'tingling feeling'. Since he hasn't done that, I can only conclude that if he exists, he doesn't want me to believe in him, and I'm happy to oblige. And of course if he doesn't exist I shouldn't believe in him either, so I'm covered both ways.

But seriously, do you really think that if the Supreme Ruler and Head Honcho of the entire universe existed and wanted you to believe in him, you would have any choice in the matter? An ant or a grain of sand can make you believe in it, just by showing up: are they more powerful than this hypothetical God?
 

excreationist

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Another verse:

http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/4-29.htm
"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul."

It looks like you might also need to seek him with all of your soul as well as your heart...
 

jonJ

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Another verse:

http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/4-29.htm
"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul."

It looks like you might also need to seek him with all of your soul as well as your heart...

Then why bother? If he wants to play hide and seek, let him get on with it. I've got more interesting things to do.
 

excreationist

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If the Christian God exists and he wants me to believe in him, he's capable of providing me with the evidence I need to do so -- which is a damn sight more than a 'tingling feeling'. Since he hasn't done that, I can only conclude that if he exists, he doesn't want me to believe in him, and I'm happy to oblige. And of course if he doesn't exist I shouldn't believe in him either, so I'm covered both ways.

But seriously, do you really think that if the Supreme Ruler and Head Honcho of the entire universe existed and wanted you to believe in him, you would have any choice in the matter? An ant or a grain of sand can make you believe in it, just by showing up: are they more powerful than God?
What about this analogy - there are lots of children that are starving to death. Do you want them to starve to death? If not, why aren't you helping solve that problem? Though God is infinite (if he exists) he has a history of not intervening a lot. BTW when Satan was tempting Jesus, Jesus said "do not put the Lord to the test".

Matthew 7:13-14
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

According to Christians people deserve to go to hell because they can't meet God's perfect holy standards. Salvation is a gift, not something everyone deserves.
 

excreationist

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Then why bother? If he wants to play hide and seek, let him get on with it. I've got more interesting things to do.
To save your soul from the slight chance of hell being real. If it is real you'd be regretting your life choices for an eternity. Or perhaps you'd just suffer with no regrets.
 

DrinkMoreGuinness

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Pascal's - My father fully embraces this concept. He told me he was attending church more regularly and when I asked why he said, "Just hedging my bets." Sound pretty much like what you are advocating, excreationist.

Me personally - I think praying to Jesus sincerley is a pretty goofy catch 22. You can't really do that unless you are already a True Believer, so of course you'll get the answer you want straight out of the depths of your own consious/unconsious desires. You'll suddenly be able to interpret the slightest silliness as confirmation (tingling, voices in yer head, etc)

So Im with jonJ - God knows my mind better than me, once he sees the sincere desire (or whatever his requirments are), he'll let me know. If he doesn't and punishes me for it later on - then he's just a dick and not worthy of my belief/worship anyway.
 

rousseau

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What it sounds like to you doesn't prove it is in fact a zero probability.


God is supernatural and isn't bound by the laws of physics!


Yet billions of people believe in it - some were non-believers originally. And many are highly intelligent.


Yet apparently this is what a lot of the Greeks believed and their philosophers were experts on logic. So it isn't "completely" illogical. (I think that is true - based on a website that says universal immortality was a Greek idea) I don't think the Bible says that everyone will live forever - only those who eat of the fruit of the tree of life and/or have their names written in the book of life. But many/most Christians would believe that it is logical that everyone lives forever because God made souls that way.

If it isn't a zero probability, it is an astronomically low enough probability that I'm completely comfortable assuming it is untrue.

Also, lots of people believing that something is true doesn't make the thing any more likely to be true. Lots of those same people disbelieve evolution, which actually is true, so that says something. If there's anything the study of science and psychology has shown me it's that usually people aren't rational, and they especially aren't rational about things that have become world-wide, normalized memes.
 

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I used to. The last time it was less like a prayer and more like giving the Bible god a rain check. Something like, "All right, I'll believe in you when you do your part and show up in a non-ambiguous way".
 

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I find it interesting that people who advocate a probabilistic argument for belief don't really understand the implications of a probabilistic analysis of god's existence. I always want to point out that every time someone prays and is not spectacularly answered (pillars of fire and whatnot), the global probability of god's existence goes down. How many times do we suppose that prayer/no answer cycle has repeated?
 

rousseau

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Christianity

  • Some charismatic guy experiences natural or drug induced psychosis, thinks he sees God
  • Convinces small group of uneducated people of his vision
  • Those people start convincing others
  • Religion begins to grow
  • Suddenly a king or powerful person declares his property as a Christian state
  • Everyone is Christian
  • Eventually so many people are Christian that not being Christian is seen as abnormal
  • Christians coincidentally gain power quickly and devote their lives to spreading their religion
  • Suddenly the entire world must be 'saved'
  • Now billions of people believe in Christianity and start passing it down generations
  • Massive churches are erected, rules are enacted to maintain Christian power
  • etc.

Nothing like this has ever happened before.
 

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To save your soul from the slight chance of hell being real. If it is real you'd be regretting your life choices for an eternity. Or perhaps you'd just suffer with no regrets.

There's a reason that Pascal's Wager is considered a logical fallacy and not a decent reason to have a belief in God. It's because it's stupid.

Also, remember that the Koran is very clear about the fact that if you don't submit to Allah, your soul will be cast into the Outer Darkness for eternity. Have you submitted to him just in case the slight possibility that the religion is accurate turns out to be true? If not, why not? It seems to be a terrible risk on your part to gamble with your eternal fate in that way.
 

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But I haven't tried praying hard to God for him to reveal himself though Jesus said "seek and you will find" - that doesn't mean that the search would necessarily be easy.

So for other non-believers, what about you? I know there have been atheists that have tried praying but what about you?
Once I fully shed my faith, no I haven't prayed, but I sure as hell prayed as I was fearfully loosing my faith.

From an old thread on the old site (I think you have to log in):
http://www.freeratio.org/thearchives/showpost.php?p=2739392&postcount=69
funinspace said:
Well, I grew up mainstream Protestant in a family that went to church, but didn't talk about the truly important things in life. I guess it was too scary, never have really figured it out. We didn't about personal faith, sex, and such. Faith was somewhat impersonal, and more about social interaction and today. I saw, in my youthful teenage zeal, what I thought was hypocrisy within my church. As I went into college years I tilting towards a Bible church, since they obviously were trying to be more right with god.

That worked for a while. However, I had never really figured out how to make some of the OT grand miracles fit with reality, but I really didn't' know that much ancient history, so I could let it slide. The rest of the problems with xianity, were covered over with the typical blinders of belief in the guiding hand of god. One time at a small study group we watched a video/"documentary" that tried to explain Noah's Flood, and how it could have worked. It's funny how this movie probably did more to destroy my faith in the long run then anything else. This made me want to understand it better, being the analytical type that I am. For now I thought I had concrete evidence of a viable explanation. So I started looking at some of the ideas presented, and wanted to find detailed work about it. Alas, the reality was it was mostly straw men with nary a shred of actual scientific evidence. But this now left me with questions about intellectual honesty of Xian's. I guess I ignored it for a while, but the little snippets at church that even touched upon ancient times, or the characters of the grand miracles, would force me to think about it. So I finally decided I needed to figure it out for myself. And I started reading the apologetics for the OT, specifically the history 1,000 BC and later. And I started reading archeology of the mideast. The more I read, the more questions of faith I had. This was going the wrong direction, and was greatly bothering me. So I read more, prayed more. It just got worse. This progression took around 1-1.5 years, since I was trying to still have a life. Finally I was at my wits end, and went to the preacher and talked to him about my crisis of faith. I also talked allot with a professor at a Bible college. So I read some of their suggested reading. Damn it felt like I was in college again, I had more books than I'd ever imagined. But it was weird, I could no longer read the apologetics without questioning their intellectual honesty, nor without comparing it to the well articulated counter arguments that they wouldn't mention. Arguments like "Lier, lunatic, or Lord" became laughable. At this point I had read the liberal mainstream attempts to keep it together, archeology, agnostic and atheistic arguments. The preacher was kind of worthless (but nice), he had to admit that I already knew more history than he did, and it was obvious he couldn't keep up on the apologetic arguments. The Bible professor was interesting, but it was just better intellectual spins, not reality. Though he was a literalist/inerrantist, he agreed that the Flood had to be further back in time to not be a lie. So he had it out 20k-30k years. Unfortunately, we went different directions, because I would have liked to have heard him try to explain how that could work.

Anyway, with ideas of an inerrant canon in the trash can, I was still trying to figure out if I could find a faith in Xian modernism. It sure felt like god had abandoned me in my quest. One thing that came to mind several times, was the verse that says god will keep you from being tested beyond what you can bear. Right. With reading Joseph Flavious, Eusebius, Gnostic texts, Augustine, and specifically the history circa 200 BCE - 400 AD, I found I could not except the stories of a savior taking on flesh and dying for our sins to be a reality, nor did I find it validated by OT prophecy. And the trinity is so damn convoluted. There were too many contradictions from the magical birth to the magical resurrection. There were to many things that didn't make sense regarding the Gospels and history. It began to make more sense that this was based on a heretical Jewish sage that was probably killed by the Pharoses. C.S. Lewis found a way to admit the grand miracles to be fabulous, and have the bible start becoming real around the time of King Solomon. I found the same type of problems through out the canon, and no reason to assume it clearer by the time of the NT. It seamed to much like wishful thinking.

Here is another post, where I laid out many of the details of why I find the Bible/Christianity to be make believe:
http://freeratio.org/thearchives/showthread.php?p=3644327&highlight=Noah+Joshua#post3644327
 

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Yes, when I was in the process of deconverting from Christianity, I prayed that God would reveal himself to me. He never did.

For a while, I adopted the attitude: I still believe, but I can no longer share with others because the whole thing is too absurd.

After a couple of weeks, I realized that if something is too absurd for me to share with others, then it would be too absurd for others to share with me. Then I realized, If I wouldn't want to hear it, why would I want to believe it?

I declared myself an atheist a couple of days later.
 

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Hi I am a non-believer but while in high school I believed in young-earth creationism. I was also the "dux" (top) of my grade 12.
Um...what does your grade point average have to do with your beliefs?
We know of plenty of intellectuals that believe in one or more gods. Just not for scientifically or mathematically valid reasons....
But I haven't tried praying hard to God for him to reveal himself though Jesus said "seek and you will find" - that doesn't mean that the search would necessarily be easy.
Easy or not, it's a guarantee that the search would succeed, right? I mean, it doesn't say seek LONG ENOUGH, or seek UNTIL ye find.. SEEK, it says, You WILL find. Because the Books is really big on promises like that.
So followers offer the Lord's Prayer and say it has not been known to fail.
And when it does fail, they can't blame The Lord, so they blame The One Praying. it's his failure, not God's.

So for other non-believers, what about you? I know there have been atheists that have tried praying but what about you?
I was raised Mormon. The whole point of the faith is that one guy was dissatisfied with the faiths offered, and prayed for God to point him to the one that was True.
An angel showed up and said, 'They're all close, but none are as right as they could be. Take these tablets and start your own.'

There's no warning that you hvae to be dissatisfied with all your soul, or that you can only get tablets if you pray hard. Joseph was sincere, Joseph got an answer.
While i still believed in God, but wasn't quite satisfied with the Church i was attending, i did sincerely pray for guidance, on whether to stick it out with the church, change to a different church, change to a different religion, or found my own.
Got bupkes.
Left the church because they offered platitudes rather than answers, and eventually realized everyone offered either platitudes or answers that didn't stand up to scrutiny.
 

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BTW there aren't many consequences about whether you are correct in your belief about whether Poseidon exists or not.
What makes you say that? You have no idea how many times any of us have sailed on the ocean and not tried to propitiate Poseidon. Or that any maritime tragedy isn't directly caused by people not taking the risks into account. Maybe Fukashima wouldn't have had their emergency cooling pump flooded if they'd offered the right sacrifice. Maybe the Korean ferry that's sinking could have made it closer to shore if they'd thrown a virgin over the side at the right time. Poseidon might have been open to holding Flight 370 up atop the waves for a few hours if someone had taken him seriously.
How do you know?
How did you determine the minimal risk of not worshiping Poseidon in all maritime or coastal-area matters? What are your assumptions and how do they affect your calculations?

And then you blithely talk to us about a non-zero possibility of eternal punishment in a Hell designed by a loving god? Wow.
 

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Also following the tenets of most religions to avoid unpleasantness just involves being good rather than bad.
That's kind of a limited view of salvation, isn't it? Just 'be good?'

Is it good to support same-sex marriage? Gay rights? Evolutionary theory? Sex on TV? Rap Music? The Pythagoras theorum? Divorce? Emancipation? Interracial marriage? Desegregation of schools? Gun control? Sports Heroes?

I have seen at least one Christain thumping their sourcebook and proclaiming that God has made it clear that one or more of the above are each threats to America and to the God-fearing citizens of this nation (The Pythagoras theorum's connection to Satan was a bit tortured, but it's there.). Emancipation was the start of the nation's destruction, or rap music, or thongs, or divorce. To 'be good' to them would include fighting real math, good science, and civil rights.

If there's a non-zero possibility that i'll end up in Hell for eternity because i think that treating consenting adults the same way i want to be treated is the right thing to do, but their god thinks i'm wrong, i'd rather be in Hell for honesty and compassion than live forever in Heaven due to supporting hate and bigotry.

But that's just me. I wouldn't want to kneel to a deity i'd be ashamed to be seen in public with.
 

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The concept of Hell turns God from a Mother, Parent to a Master - No mother would ever whip her own son, no father would rape his own daughter but a Master will gladly whip and rape his slaves. Followers turn into Slaves/Servants down on their knees, shaking with fear, begging for mercy - just where these religions want them to be - blind, obeidient followers - no wonder we have had so many mass murders and killings in the name of religion.
FYI - No Hell in Hinduism. Period. God Rama is my Father, not my Master. God Rama is no Torturer. Period.
 

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That's kind of a limited view of salvation, isn't it? Just 'be good?'

Is it good to support same-sex marriage? Gay rights? Evolutionary theory? Sex on TV? Rap Music? The Pythagoras theorum? Divorce? Emancipation? Interracial marriage? Desegregation of schools? Gun control? Sports Heroes?

I have seen at least one Christain thumping their sourcebook and proclaiming that God has made it clear that one or more of the above are each threats to America and to the God-fearing citizens of this nation (The Pythagoras theorum's connection to Satan was a bit tortured, but it's there.). Emancipation was the start of the nation's destruction, or rap music, or thongs, or divorce. To 'be good' to them would include fighting real math, good science, and civil rights.

If there's a non-zero possibility that i'll end up in Hell for eternity because i think that treating consenting adults the same way i want to be treated is the right thing to do, but their god thinks i'm wrong, i'd rather be in Hell for honesty and compassion than live forever in Heaven due to supporting hate and bigotry.

But that's just me. I wouldn't want to kneel to a deity i'd be ashamed to be seen in public with.

These are primitive religions stuck with old, primitive ideas. In the past the one person who had the wealth and power to effect a change was the King & God was made in his image. Subjects who went before the king, got down on thier knees, shaking with fear and begged for his mercy. If pleased, he will let you stay in his kingdom(heaven) or else!(Hell)

Just stuff made up to make themselves happy - it is i scratch your back you scratch mine kinda thing - followers like the idea of getting to enjoy the easy life in heaven just by belonging to x religion and religions are quite happy to tell them exactly that. Amazing such a ponzi-scheme finds willing takers in this day and age. Religion kills brain cells i guess
 

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What makes you say that? You have no idea how many times any of us have sailed on the ocean and not tried to propitiate Poseidon. Or that any maritime tragedy isn't directly caused by people not taking the risks into account. Maybe Fukashima wouldn't have had their emergency cooling pump flooded if they'd offered the right sacrifice. Maybe the Korean ferry that's sinking could have made it closer to shore if they'd thrown a virgin over the side at the right time. Poseidon might have been open to holding Flight 370 up atop the waves for a few hours if someone had taken him seriously.
How do you know?
How did you determine the minimal risk of not worshiping Poseidon in all maritime or coastal-area matters? What are your assumptions and how do they affect your calculations?

And then you blithely talk to us about a non-zero possibility of eternal punishment in a Hell designed by a loving god? Wow.

Then you are stuck with trying to please all Gods, all possibilities. Like a donkey that stands between two bales of hay, couldn't decide which one to eat and so starves to death. If you are saying we should take into account that a loving God will run hell because we did not kowtow to him, then which God will you kowtow to? If it is the christian God, then are you not offending the muslim God & vice versa?

At some point, we need to start depending on good Science, logic and common sense
 

Ramaraksha

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Christianity

  • Some charismatic guy experiences natural or drug induced psychosis, thinks he sees God
  • Convinces small group of uneducated people of his vision
  • Those people start convincing others
  • Religion begins to grow
  • Suddenly a king or powerful person declares his property as a Christian state
  • Everyone is Christian
  • Eventually so many people are Christian that not being Christian is seen as abnormal
  • Christians coincidentally gain power quickly and devote their lives to spreading their religion
  • Suddenly the entire world must be 'saved'
  • Now billions of people believe in Christianity and start passing it down generations
  • Massive churches are erected, rules are enacted to maintain Christian power
  • etc.

Nothing like this has ever happened before.

Basically we all fear death and then in the remote past, life was incredibly difficult - imagine most work was manual labor, imagine no pension or SS, having to work until you died. Medicine was primitive, imagine undergoing an operation while you are still awake. There was little law & order - even today it is difficult to catch murderers or rapists - imagine the field day they had back then

And so naturally people eagerly listened to tall tales of a nice Sugar Daddy God just waiting to make them happy after death - no more work, no more pain or suffeirng, just sit back and take it easy for eternity! But imageine someone laughing at these tall tales - if everyone was rational, things would have been ok but weak people are very dangerous - the guy who laughed at these tall tales was regarded as a trouble maker & the guy telling these tall tales realized the threat this guy poses, so naturally this laughing guy is making God angry & is getting upset, so we need to deal with him

Sadly, so much pain, suffering, mass murders and killings due to our weakness and eagerness to fall for Ponzi-schemes - Heaven is by far the earliest and the biggest
 

jonJ

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According to Christians people deserve to go to hell because they can't meet God's perfect holy standards. Salvation is a gift, not something everyone deserves.

But since -- also according to Christians -- God made people the way they are, with full knowledge that they would fail his 'perfect holy standards', and go to hell as a result, then he's a complete dick, and not worth grovelling to.
 

jonJ

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To save your soul from the slight chance of hell being real. If it is real you'd be regretting your life choices for an eternity. Or perhaps you'd just suffer with no regrets.

But we already know this God is a deceiver -- he pretends not to exist when he actually does. So how can we trust any of the claims that are made by him or on his behalf? Perhaps only atheists will go to heaven. Perhaps only Sagittarians. Perhaps nobody -- because as I pointed out above, this God is a dick and seems to be motivated purely by malice. From 'God's pretending when he does X', there's no way to get to "God really means it when he says Y".

Believers in Poseidon have the advantage here: they know their god is not all-powerful, so they don't have to attribute all the bad things that happen to their god's dickishness. Unless they happen at sea, of course.
 

dockeen

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But since -- also according to Christians -- God made people the way they are, with full knowledge that they would fail his 'perfect holy standards', and go to hell as a result, then he's a complete dick, and not worth grovelling to.

And, according to many xtians, he created these flawed people because he wanted an audience of cheerleaders to see what a great guy he is,
 

excreationist

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Christianity

Some charismatic guy experiences natural or drug induced psychosis, thinks he sees God
.....

I think there are also more important reasons for the success of Christianity:

Matthew 16:25 - "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it."

Many early Christians were willing to suffer and die for their faith - apparently most of the apostles were put to death. People willing to die for a religion makes it intriguing. (unless it is a suicide cult)

Mark 16:15 - "And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."

This involved the rapid growth of the early church and all of the missionaries.
 

Keith&Co.

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Then you are stuck with trying to please all Gods, all possibilities.
No, i'm not.
I'm trying to understand how ex-C can judge the risk of not believing in Poseidon as so small as to be ignored while the risk of not believing in the Christain Deity is something that at least needs to be taken into account.
I don't really see anything to compare between the two that would give me different risk assessments.

What does EC see, or assume as a starting point?

- - - Updated - - -

Many early Christians were willing to suffer and die for their faith - apparently most of the apostles were put to death. People willing to die for a religion makes it intriguing.
And when the Christains ran the Roman Empire, they threw Pagans to the lions because the pagans were willing to die for their faith. How is that any different?
 

excreationist

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BTW I'm aware that what I've been talking about is Pascal's Wager. In the past my problem with it is that I can't choose to believe in God through effort... I can only believe in something if I am convinced of it - if the evidence seems to me to be pointing in a particular direction.
On the other hand if I tried with all my heart and soul to find God I might find some evidence during that deep search and so be able to believe in God.

http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/4-29.htm
"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul."

BTW about a year ago I said to people that I'd believe in God if I got to rent a particular place. It was optimal for several different reasons such as distance to important bus stops, distance to inlaws, number of bedrooms, amount of storage, price, etc. It was the first house we applied for and we got it. I vaguely believed in God then but to the disappointment of others I said it wasn't the Christian God I believed in.
 

excreationist

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I'm trying to understand how ex-C can judge the risk of not believing in Poseidon as so small as to be ignored while the risk of not believing in the Christain Deity is something that at least needs to be taken into account.
I don't really see anything to compare between the two that would give me different risk assessments.
You can only serve one God. (well at least according to God http://biblehub.com/exodus/34-14.htm ) The Christian God involves the highest amount of reward and the highest amount of punishment. Perhaps Poseidon involves some consequences and perhaps the FSM involves some consequences but they are no way near as severe as he Christian God.

And when the Christains ran the Roman Empire, they threw Pagans to the lions because the pagans were willing to die for their faith. How is that any different?
Well while the apostles were being killed they were spreading the word at the same time... the message being censored can make it intriguing.
 

Keith&Co.

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On the other hand if I tried with all my heart and soul to find God I might find some evidence during that deep search and so be able to believe in God .
How do you define 'heart' and 'soul?'
The heart is a muscle for blood circulation.
The soul is an artifact of superstition.
How do you measure ALL of your heart and soul?
By success? What if AMH&S just brainwashes you to convince you that you found a god?
BTW about a year ago I said to people that I'd believe in God if I got to rent a particular place.
Yeah, we all make sucker bets from time to time... I told my coworkers i'd buy into the Christain faith if they could pray and have all STD's around the world cured. Hell, i'd even accept it if they were only cured for all practicing Christains.
My coworkers refused to make such a prayer. One didn't want to tempt God, one felt that if sunrises weren't enough proof for me, nothing would be, and two felt that most people with STD's got it because they were having naughty sex and that God wouldn't cure such people.

I said i'd even settle for the curing of all STDs that were found in children, such as kids with Herpes in their eyes because they were born through an infected birth canal. They temporized, but asked me for much less ambitious terms.
 

excreationist

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....Followers turn into Slaves/Servants down on their knees, shaking with fear, begging for mercy - just where these religions want them to be - blind, obeidient followers - no wonder we have had so many mass murders and killings in the name of religion.

Philippians 2:10 - "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,"

Deuteronomy 6:5 - "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

See also:
http://biblehub.com/matthew/22-37.htm
http://biblehub.com/mark/12-30.htm
http://biblehub.com/luke/10-27.htm

FYI - No Hell in Hinduism. Period. God Rama is my Father, not my Master. God Rama is no Torturer. Period.
That means if people are trying to avoid the possibility of hell they don't need to worry about the possibility of Hinduism being true.
 

Keith&Co.

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You can only serve one God. (well at least according to God) .
That just means he's greedy. Why would i trust his testimony on the matter?

And until monotheism was invented, plenty of people served plenty of gods. My Paladin is devoted to only one, but he makes regular sacrifices to every god in the pantheon. The good ones, anyway. Well, lawful neutral, lawful good and neutral good. The Chaotic Good one, well, she's insane. He pretends she's in a different mythos.
The Christian God involves the highest amount of reward and the highest amount of punishment. .
Exactly how much time have you spent studying the afterlife model of the Greeks?
Perhaps Poseidon involves some consequences .
Perhaps?
You don't KNOW? Then how can you dismiss the consequences if you're not able to assess them functionally?

M involves some consequences but they are no way near as severe as he Christian God. .
Eh, you literally don't know what you're talking about.
But you sure sound certain. I just don't think i can trust your assessment of anything non-Christain, or to compare anything to Christainity. Your assessments are hollow.

- - - Updated - - -

That means if people are trying to avoid the possibility of hell they don't need to worry about the possibility of Hinduism being true.
Really?
If Hinduism is true, and we reject Hinduism, what are the consequences?
 

excreationist

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How do you define 'heart' and 'soul?'
The heart is a muscle for blood circulation.
The soul is an artifact of superstition.
How do you measure ALL of your heart and soul?
It is similar to how some people say they put in 100% (or 110%). BTW in the Bible it seems that the bowels were the seat of emotions:
http://www.adath-shalom.ca/body_metaphors_bib_hebrew.htm
I think the mind also was linked to a body part - but I can't find info about it now.
 

Keith&Co.

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It is similar to how some people say they put in 100% (or 110%).
I didn't ask for an analogy. Can you define the words?
BTW in the Bible
I have to say that i really don't care too greatly about what is or isn't in The Books. I don't know the authors or trust the interpreters so it never really advances too many discussions.
 

excreationist

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....Exactly how much time have you spent studying the afterlife model of the Greeks?
I think they have a kingdom of Hades.... but I think just bad people go there.... not people that don't believe in the correct God. And Hades might not be as severe as hell/the lake of fire. I've heard of stories where people escape Hades though no-one (except Jesus?) escapes hell I think.

Perhaps?
You don't KNOW? Then how can you dismiss the consequences if you're not able to assess them functionally?
I don't "KNOW" just about anything but I've got to rely on probabilistic logic.

I'll finish my reply later.
 

Keith&Co.

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I think they have a kingdom of Hades.... but I think just bad people go there.... not people that don't believe in the correct God. And Hades might not be as severe as hell/the lake of fire. I've heard of stories where people escape Hades though no-one (except Jesus?) escapes hell I think.
::Sigh::
No, ExC, EVERYONE goes to Hades. It's not a terribly fun place, but it's not a terribly bad place, either. Just cold, dark and boring.
But, if you choose to be reincarnated, and live a good life three times, then you get to go to an eternal party in a corner of Hades.

Nothing Above, it's frightening to see how sure you are about things that you really don't know anything about.
were you ever saved by God when he overrode the free will of a tow truck driver?
I don't "KNOW" just about anything but I've got to rely on probabilistic logic.
Probabilistic logic?

Um... You know that 'logic' is only a tool for evaluating ideas, right? Not reality? And with bad assumptions used as the base of your logic, you can have very elegant logic built up on stupidity that gives you stupid results, right? And you just showed that you are quite ignorant about at least one other faith system, so your assumptions that involve a comparison between Christainity and the Greek pantheon cannot possibly be reliable, no matter how good you are at logical evaluations.
 

excreationist

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::Sigh::
No, ExC, EVERYONE goes to Hades....
Then what difference does it make if I believe in Poseidon or other Greek gods? On the other hand if hell is true, it makes a difference whether Jesus is my Lord or not.

...Nothing Above, it's frightening to see how sure you are about things that you really don't know anything about...
What are you talking about exactly? My knowledge of Hades?

Probabilistic logic?

Um... You know that 'logic' is only a tool for evaluating ideas, right? Not reality? And with bad assumptions used as the base of your logic, you can have very elegant logic built up on stupidity that gives you stupid results, right? And you just showed that you are quite ignorant about at least one other faith system, so your assumptions that involve a comparison between Christainity and the Greek pantheon cannot possibly be reliable, no matter how good you are at logical evaluations.
Like I said the possibility of Hades doesn't really much in comparison to hell. Like you said "EVERYONE" goes to Hades anyway (if it is true) My assumptions aren't set in stone - I'm open to them being tested.
 

excreationist

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(Me: ) Perhaps Poseidon involves some consequences and perhaps the FSM involves some consequences but they are no way near as severe as he Christian God.
Eh, you literally don't know what you're talking about.
But you sure sound certain. I just don't think i can trust your assessment of anything non-Christain, or to compare anything to Christainity. Your assessments are hollow.

WHERE - anywhere is there any evidence that a lack of belief in Poseidon or the Flying Spaghetti Monster results in a consequence that is any way comparable to eternal extreme punishment? Massive numbers of Christians believe in hell but is there anyone that believes that there is a similar punishment for disbelief in Poseidon or the FSM?

If Hinduism is true, and we reject Hinduism, what are the consequences?
Maybe I'd still get reincarnated into something pleasant. On the other hand apparently they have no hell so if I'm trying to avoid the possibility of hell I don't need to worry about the possibility that Hinduism is true.
 

excreationist

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It is conceivable that demons are trying to undermine people's faith. That's what my sisters believe and their pastor preaches it. C. S. Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters" is based on that idea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Screwtape_Letters

Also there is the story of Job where Satan asked God if he could make Job suffer to see how strong Job's faith was.

Also this was written by King David: (apparently)

http://biblehub.com/niv/psalms/10.htm
"Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?"

http://biblehub.com/niv/psalms/22.htm
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest."

So if you actually look at the Bible, this kind of behavior is fairly normal for God.....
 

Keith&Co.

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Then what difference does it make if I believe in Poseidon or other Greek gods?
The difference, ExC, is that you're supremely unqualified to say things like "BTW there aren't many consequences about whether you are correct in your belief about whether Poseidon exists or not." Your ignorance about the other faiths offered by human history is clear and your bias blatant.
On the other hand if hell is true, it makes a difference whether Jesus is my Lord or not.
But Pascal's Wager sucks. It's only use is as a rationalization for believers after they choose a religious tradition to follow.
I'd far rather see some reason to believe that a god exists, because piss-poor math isn't compelling.
What are you talking about exactly? My knowledge of Hades?
I'm talking about your confidence in saying things like how belief in God has the greatest importance or the greatest risk. Or how your Hell is worse than anyone else's view of the afterlife. clearly you're not competent to make these comparisons.
Like I said the possibility of Hades doesn't really much in comparison to hell.
But when you said that, you knew bupkes about Hades. So why should i trust ANY assessment you make about how your faith makes more sense, or has less risk?
Like you said "EVERYONE" goes to Hades anyway (if it is true) My assumptions aren't set in stone - I'm open to them being tested.
No, you're clinging to them quite desperately.
 
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