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

excreationist

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Ah. You dont believe in science (QM and relativity being amongst the best proven theories of science) and you are not entirely sure there is no hell...
I said:

"I don't think some of Einstein's theories and quantum physics "computes" - but that doesn't prove it is false"

So I'm saying those things are not false (i.e. I still believe in them) - I just don't understand them. (it doesn't "compute")

About God having perfect love while sending people to hell - I disagree with this but I'm saying that lots of people, including very intelligent people think that makes sense.
 

excreationist

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No, but this is a better question for believers. Surely many of them often wonder why the god they believe in isn't actually around.
See:
http://talkfreethought.org/showthre...-to-reveal-himself&p=5971&viewfull=1#post5971

- - - Updated - - -

About God sometimes intervening but mostly not:

From Futurama's "Godfellas":

GOD
Bender, being God isn't easy, if you do too much, people get dependent. And if you do nothing, they lose hope. You have to use a light touch, like a safecracker or a pickpocket.

BENDER
Or a guy who burns down the bar for the insurance money.

GOD
Yes, if you make it look like an electrical thing. When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

From "Bruce Almighty":
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0315327/quotes

GOD
Parting your soup is not a miracle Bruce, it's a magic trick. A single mom who's working two jobs, and still finds time to take her son to soccer practice, that's a miracle. A teenager who says "no" to drugs and "yes" to an education, that's a miracle. People want me to do everything for them. What they don't realize is *they* have the power. You want to see a miracle, son? Be the miracle.
 

Angry Floof

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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.....
It's even more normal for human minds. Oh, you got some demons all right. They just don't exist outside of your head. We all have them. It's just a little cognitive twisty that makes us want to create something outside of ourselves to explain our suffering, confusion, and uncertainty.

Magical thinking has lost its evolutionary usefulness. Get over it. There's better, more humane and sane things you can do with those neurons.
 

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I said:

"I don't think some of Einstein's theories and quantum physics "computes" - but that doesn't prove it is false"

So I'm saying those things are not false (i.e. I still believe in them) - I just don't understand them. (it doesn't "compute")

No you werent, you actually said that eInsteins theories doesnt compute, not that you fail to make compute. But I accept your explanation.


About a lot of intelligent people believing in hell: a lot of intelligent people gas been seriously wrong before. Facts are no matter of democracy.
 

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If you don't think the conclusion is perhaps mistaken then what is your major problem with the conclusion?
My problem is the way you achieved the conclusion. You're afraid of Hell, but you're absolutely ignorant of any of the alternatives. That's a poor method to conme to any conclusion.
I have heard of Poseidon and read a bit about him and saw a character based on him in a movie. Do you expect me to know everything about Poseidon?
If you're going to say 'disbelieve in Poseidon has no major consequences,' i would expect you to be able to say how you came to that conclusion.
I'd expect you to know the consequences of any religion you're going to dismiss by hand-waving away.
You're nowhere near well-enough educated to support your assessment of the risks.
I don't think it matters how much I know about Poseidon.... what matters is whether my conclusion is correct.
But even if your conclusion is correct, the way you got to it, you're only correct by coincidence. You're trusting your soul (should one exist) to a rather biased and self-serving analysis.
If you think my conclusion is incorrect then you ARE saying that maybe the lack of belief in Poseidon is a threat.
I think it's correct. But only because you got lucky, not because you actually knew what the hell you were talking about.
So i have to ask how you decided to ignore the consequences of every other afterlife you're not interested in.
Let's say I claimed that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light (though I know of some people who would disagree). Would you object to me stating that? After all I haven't done any experiments or learnt the math behind that. I want to know.
Like the Cheetah, i think you would need to phrase it better to show that you are actually understanding it, and not simply parroting a phrase you don't understand fully.
Yes after I posted that I realised I was talking about land speed. BTW by pointing that out you demonstrated how easy it is to disprove me - just show one counter-example.
But my intention wasnot to disprove you. My goal was to point out that you don't know shit about afterlives other than the one you were raised with, a couple of stories, and maybe Clash of the Titans.
On the other hand for me to prove my statement I would have had to investigate every animal.
No. you can just find references of people who have done the research, just be more careful about how you state it, to show you understand their reference. 'fastest animal' doesn't begin to say 'fastest at what?' Travel? Reproduction? Investment gains? Healing?
Either way, without SOMEONE doing the research, your statement's pretty much worthless.
You see I only thought about a few animals and decided that they weren't faster than a cheetah. I had considered birds but assumed that maybe they weren't faster than a cheetah.
And, wow, gosh, Wiki could have fixed that for you.
The burden is STILL on you to support your statements.
The burden is not on your critics to support or disprove your statements.
If you ever defend your thesis formally, the guys at the desks CAN ask: How do you konw this to be true? without being called upon to produce countering evidence.
The way you got to your conclusions is at least as important as your conclusions.
I guess I could have done proper research and looked up the speeds for birds. So you're saying I should investigate 3000+ religions or gods or whatever.... but similar to the cheetah example it is far easier for you to just provide ONE counter-example
Why should i give a fuck what's easier for YOU?
YOu're the one making the claim. If you can't be arsed to make it a decent claim, with support, then it's just going to be 'this thing excreationist said' that can be dismissed as easily as most of our Senate.
If you don't know of any counter-example, what is your objection?
Your ill-prepared to make the claims you have made. I simply asked 'how do you know' and your reaction has taken this thread way off course. Which is fine by me. But if you had any sort of goal with this thread? compare where you expected to go with where you went. And see just how much of it could have been avoided if you had come up with a reference or the result of some time spent in reasearch.
You're just saying maybe I'm wrong.
No. I'm saying there's no reason to think you're right.
But unless you can provide some evidence then your words aren't very helpful.
Awwww. The 'EVIDENCE' I'm showing you is that you were unprepared for the statement about Poseidon. You're further unprepared for any questions about Japanese gods, Roman gods, Norse gods, Australian gods, Allah... That's your problem.
It's like you saying "maybe you're wrong about the cheetah" and not giving an example of a faster animal. It is just annoying.
Okay.
Then again, when you make claims that there's hardly any consequence to ignoring Poseidon, when you clearly don't know what consequences there are, that's a little bit annoying.
When you try to defend your ignorance because actually being able to answer the question would be hard, and it would take time.... That's really annoying.
If you don't think I'm wrong then what is your problem with that statement? If my statement is true then it means that Poseidon doesn't send nonbelievers to hell.
If your statement about Poseidon is true, then you got lucky. It's not a statement made from knowledge.
Are you sure you can get lucky 3000+ more times?
 

Keith&Co.

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Ok.... well over the years I've learnt about different religions.
From more movies?
I think in Tibetan Buddhism
Reference, please.
Muslims believe in many levels of hell I think well-behaved non-believers aren't punished very severely.
Reference, please.
Anyway one of the last times I went there I was talking to a guy studying theology and he said that Christianity is the only religion which believes that all people are inherently bad and deserve to go to hell
Is that the same as saying that only Christainity has hell? And is your reference: this guy i met that claims he studies?
. It is only a belief in Jesus that saves them from hell. He has been studying theology a lot and should be knowledgeable about that.
Fine, what is his name? His degree? Does he have an actual answer to the question you've been ducking?
I've also watched a Christian video
I've seen Christain videos. They're usually big on the message, low on the support. Did they offer a bibliography in the end credits?
They said that people who believe that there are many paths to Heaven are wrong - even though many Christians believe that.
Reference, please.
I have discussed this type of thing a few times and no-one has ever said that there are other religions that believe all non-believers go to hell.
Have you discussed it with someone who has a degree in comparative theology?
So basically as far as I know only a few religions believe in hell.
Well, that's the point. You're going by 'as far as i know' and a few references that may not stand up to scrutiny and don't really directly answer the question.
In many of them it isn't eternal. As far as I know Christianity is the only religion that says that ALL people deserve to go to hell.
Which is not the same as saying that Christainity is the only religion that has eternal torment.
I haven't come across anyone else saying that there are other religions that also believe that everyone deserves eternal punishment.
You're kinda shifting, here. Backing down from 'only Christainity has a hell' to 'only Christainity says we all deserve Hell.'
Do you think there are other religions that believe that EVERYONE deserves eternal punishment.
Not a question i'm interested in. It's not the question that's spun you into such a tizzy.
 

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I'm jumping in late to this discussion, so apologies for ignoring everything that's been said thus far.

I never really prayed for God to reveal himself. When I was younger and convinced that God existed, I used to pray that God would present me with proof that I wasn't going to hell. That's the irony. I believed in God, and with that belief came my belief in hell. I never had any proof that I was forgiven of my sins. I never had any any assurance of salvation.

I didn't stop believing in God. I stopped believing in hell. After that, I stopped caring about God, since his threats of eternal damnation were not longer effective.
 

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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.

I'm not actually convinced that "suffer eternally in hell" is really a part of Christianity. Biblical analyses like this make some interesting points.
 

Tom Sawyer

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I'm not actually convinced that "suffer eternally in hell" is really a part of Christianity. Biblical analyses like this make some interesting points.

Well, if modern Christians believe it then it really is part of Christianity, regardless of what the Bible may or may not say about it. It's the same as how gender equality and opposition to slavery and Christian positions despite those being directly in conflict with what the Bible says on the matters.
 

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You can only serve one God. (well at least according to God http://biblehub.com/exodus/34-14.htm ).
But that verse is only taken seriously be those who already believe the Bible is the word of God and that passages like that are true.

If you are already a believer, then what's the point of this thread?

If you aren't already a believer, then why are basis an argument on religious scripture you don't believe in?
 

Unbeatable

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Well, if modern Christians believe it then it really is part of Christianity, regardless of what the Bible may or may not say about it. It's the same as how gender equality and opposition to slavery and Christian positions despite those being directly in conflict with what the Bible says on the matters.

Sure, that's certainly one way of defining the word "Christianity". I'd say that Christianity is a vast umbrella of often mutually-exclusive beliefs encompassing both scripture and whatever the latest fashion is, since it is after all all just make believe.

But if the so-called "Christian God" did exist, then I think for it to be meaningful to even call this entity the "Christian God", it would have to actually correspond to some Christian conception; somebody's beliefs about it would have to actually be correct. The question of the Christian God's policy with regards to the fate of people after death would have to be a truth-apt question. So within the vast umbrella that is Christianity, there are a variety of beliefs concerning the answer to that question, and a method would be needed to distinguish the incorrect answers from the correct one.

If one maintains that scriptural support for a given answer is no more valid as evidence of the Christian God's policies than the beliefs of a modern Christian (which could be based upon ignorance/misinterpretation of scripture, random speculation, clinical delusion, rationalization, or any other sorts of biases and errors in reasoning), then that seems equivalent to a position of agnosticism with regards to the question(or a position that each mutually-exclusive concept which happens to go by the name "the Christian God" is to be treated as its own separate option in the context of the wager), and undermines the practice of restricting the field of options in the wager to merely those religions which already exist.

The fact that some person or group of people actually believes a given uninformed/biased/speculative idea doesn't seem to imbue it with any more epistemic justification than all the ideas that nobody actually believes, or the ideas that nobody has considered yet. This widens the field of options to be considered in pascal's wager to an infinite degree, rendering the wager unwinnable, since it would include not just the gods of human religion, but also the gods of every fictional religion and every thought experiment that anybody could possibly come up with. But excreationist for some reason wants to exclude Scientology from the wager, so I'm not sure he'd agree to that.
 

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The fact that some person or group of people actually believes a given uninformed/biased/speculative idea doesn't seem to imbue it with any more epistemic justification than all the ideas that nobody actually believes, or the ideas that nobody has considered yet. This widens the field of options to be considered in pascal's wager to an infinite degree, rendering the wager unwinnable, since it would include not just the gods of human religion, but also the gods of every fictional religion and every thought experiment that anybody could possibly come up with. But excreationist for some reason wants to exclude Scientology from the wager, so I'm not sure he'd agree to that.

What he said. I was going to introduce my new religion, in which Sucky the Super-dog condemns to eternal torment not only those who regard Pascal's Wager as a valid argument, but also their friends, relatives, and descendants till the end of time. But Unbeatable has beaten me to it, so to speak.
 

excreationist

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"So basically as far as I know only a few religions believe in hell."

....not the same as saying that Christainity is the only religion that has eternal torment...

....Backing down from 'only Christainity has a hell' to 'only Christainity says we all deserve Hell.'...

I NEVER said "only Christainity has a hell" or "Christainity is the only religion that has eternal torment".

....You're going by 'as far as i know' and a few references that may not stand up to scrutiny...

This thread is about people's experiences and opinions. I never claimed that I would convince people that people should try and pray to God.

My "evidence" comes from word of mouth, movies, some readings. This is not a formal debate where I have to "prove" things. You might think it is but sorry to disappoint you but that's not what I intended in this thread.

To turn it back to you, where is your PROOF that I said those two things about hell I just quoted you on saying?
 

excreationist

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....But excreationist for some reason wants to exclude Scientology from the wager, so I'm not sure he'd agree to that.
As far as I'm aware, Scientologists don't believe that all non-believers suffer eternally... apparently they believe in reincarnation - in that case I thought they'd only be aware of one lifetime of suffering at a time. (unless they can remember previous lifetimes) As far as I'm aware the suffering in Scientology isn't as severe as that in Christianity.
 

excreationist

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"You can only serve one God. (well at least according to God http://biblehub.com/exodus/34-14.htm )."

But that verse is only taken seriously be those who already believe the Bible is the word of God and that passages like that are true.

If you are already a believer, then what's the point of this thread?

If you aren't already a believer, then why are basis an argument on religious scripture you don't believe in?
If you're considering to be a believer then the Bible tells you about God.
 

Rhea

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Well large number of theologians and Christians can accept it.
BTW in this video the pastor is saying eternal damnation makes God great and glorious:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzynfCuJRBY

I don't think some of Einstein's theories and quantum physics "computes" - but that doesn't prove it is false. (on the other hand I don't really believe in hell personally)


Well lots of Christians believe in eternal damnation but think God has a perfect love for us.

None of which changes how believable it is for me by one jot or tittle. I know lots of folks who believe stuff that I find them idiotic to believe. I know they believe it. In many cases, I know _how_ they believe it. And I can't believe they are so gullible. Their "belief" is not convincing. Think how many kids believe in the tooth fairy. I mean, seriously. It doesn't make the tooth fairy one iota more believable to me.

And sorry, I can't watch videos. My belief that I should have high speed internet has nevertheless failed to manifest as actual high speed internet.

- - - Updated - - -

I said:

"I don't think some of Einstein's theories and quantum physics "computes" - but that doesn't prove it is false"

So I'm saying those things are not false (i.e. I still believe in them) - I just don't understand them. (it doesn't "compute")

About God having perfect love while sending people to hell - I disagree with this but I'm saying that lots of people, including very intelligent people think that makes sense.

Einsteins stuff does make sense to me. Hell stuff does not. It contradicts itself. I cannot force myself to believe it.
 

excreationist

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"If you're considering to be a believer then the Bible tells you about God."
Circular...
Whether God exists or not, the Bible tells you about him. In the same way whether Harry Potter exists or not, the books tell you about him.
 

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"If you're considering to be a believer then the Bible tells you about God."

Whether God exists or not, the Bible tells you about him. In the same way whether Harry Potter exists or not, the books tell you about him.
This is at the heart of what I think is so insane about religious belief. Anything you or I might call God must be experienced. Anything told to you about anything is a story. A story can never be the experience. Yet religious believers cling to a story, and fight about a story, and try to get others to cling to the story, as if a story could ever be your experience of anything. No one else can possibly create an experience in you that you yourself could subjectively articulate as divine. Do you understand this?

It's fucking insane, and this bypassing of experience for ideology enables the most inhumane of actions and words based in belief.
 

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"You can only serve one God. (well at least according to God http://biblehub.com/exodus/34-14.htm )."
If you're considering to be a believer then the Bible tells you about God.
No. If you're considering a particular minority religion on Earth (Christianity which comprises 2 out of 7 billion people) then the Bible tells you about God. And even then most Christians of that minority don't believe in the literal truth of that particular set of books they're meant to believe in (which they don't).

You appear to be equating belief in God with belief in Christianity with belief in the truth of the Bible. I don't think you've thought any of this stuff through at all.
 

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As far as I'm aware, Scientologists don't believe that all non-believers suffer eternally... apparently they believe in reincarnation - in that case I thought they'd only be aware of one lifetime of suffering at a time. (unless they can remember previous lifetimes) As far as I'm aware the suffering in Scientology isn't as severe as that in Christianity.

Yes it's Scientology dogma, as explained by Hubbard. It's called Spinning In. According to Hubbard, when we die, we reincarnate. But each cycle of the length of our possible lives shortens each time we do so. Most of us are down to 47,000 cycles, we are spinning in. In the end, we wwill lose the ability to recycle and reincarnate within these cycles. We will eventually become insensate, having no more thinking ability for our thetan than a rock. Locked forever in this dead end. EXcept of course eventually for Scientologists who will eventually reclaim their true omnipotent free living near omnipotent thetan abilities.

Hell for unfortunate wogs Hubbard style.

"Help me Elron! i don't wanna spin in! Here's my wallet and my money, take it all, Just don't let me spin in! He'p me Elron!
 

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To turn it back to you, where is your PROOF that I said those two things about hell I just quoted you on saying?
Oh, that's adorable.
You misstate my position for post after post, and hand-wave away responsibility for it, but throw a tantrum if your statements are misrepresented.
Very amusing, ExC. Even hilarious.
 

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"If you're considering to be a believer then the Bible tells you about God."

Whether God exists or not, the Bible tells you about him. In the same way whether Harry Potter exists or not, the books tell you about him.

But then the ONLY reason to beleive in what the bible says is the bible...

Compare this with science books which gives you tools to actually test for yourself.
 

excreationist

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Oh, that's adorable.
You misstate my position for post after post,
That's because I wasn't understanding you. Eventually it seems like your point is that you want me to PROVE what I'm saying.

and hand-wave away responsibility for it, but throw a tantrum if your statements are misrepresented.
Very amusing, ExC. Even hilarious.
Well you think you are entitled to demand me to give proofs (when I never claimed to be 100% certain of anything I was saying) and then I just asked for you to give proof for two simple sentences and you won't.

- - - Updated - - -

But then the ONLY reason to beleive in what the bible says is the bible...
No there is a lot of archaeological evidence, etc, that shows that at least many of the places are real, etc.
 

excreationist

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....You appear to be equating belief in God with belief in Christianity with belief in the truth of the Bible.
Some of my sentences have flaws like that but in reality I know that not all believers in God are Christians and not all Christians believe a lot of the Bible.

I don't think you've thought any of this stuff through at all.
I disagree. But anyway this thread is about other people's opinions on the subject. I just offered mine to encourage others to share their own views on the topic too.
 

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No one is demanding you prove anything. They're pointing out the underlying assumptions in your statements that you seem to be unaware of until after someone pointing it out.

Of course, you are free to not question your own assumptions, but that doesn't stop anyone else questioning. :diablotin:
 

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No there is a lot of archaeological evidence, etc, that shows that at least many of the places are real, etc.
You are kidding, arent you? What archeology shows is that most of the Bible is blatantly false. There were no glorious king David. There were no exodus from Egypt. etc.
 

excreationist

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No one is demanding you prove anything. They're pointing out the underlying assumptions in your statements that you seem to be unaware of until after someone pointing it out.
Yes I need them pointed out.... rather than giving clues like "check out the 3000 religions/gods".

Of course, you are free to not question your own assumptions, but that doesn't stop anyone else questioning. :diablotin:
It helps if their questions are more specific - e.g. what about this verse where Islam punishes all believers - vs

....Your argument depends on being able to identify and dismiss every one of the gods above, most of the natural forces given faces, some of the more judgmental First Men, and the various demigods that stand as intercessors between us and the judges.

You're not anywhere near capable of supporting this argument, are you?
 

excreationist

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You are kidding, arent you? What archeology shows is that most of the Bible is blatantly false. There were no glorious king David. There were no exodus from Egypt. etc.
Well the pastors and theology students I talk to sometimes are sure of the opposite. They would have a lot of reasons for their opinions. I'm not convinced of it either but they must know some of what they're talking about - after all for a lot of them their faiths would be strengthened in their studies. Or maybe the apologetics is just really good.
 

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Well the pastors and theology students I talk to sometimes are sure of the opposite. They would have a lot of reasons for their opinions. I'm not convinced of it either but they must know some of what they're talking about - after all for a lot of them their faiths would be strengthened in their studies. Or maybe the apologetics is just really good.
You are a real sucker for authorities! Get over it.
Call their bluff.


http://www.truthdig.com/report/item...rcheology_shows_bible_full_of_errors_20140208
 

excreationist

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You are a real sucker for authorities! Get over it.
Call their bluff.


http://www.truthdig.com/report/item...rcheology_shows_bible_full_of_errors_20140208
I can see you're not a sucker for authority since this is about 2 archeologists rather than large numbers of them. It's a pity the video that was viewed by 15,000 people is only 240p in resolution.

You do know that research can often contradict other research and you need to investigate it thoroughly....

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct...ble-accuracy-abraham-anachronistic-camel.html
Two recent academic papers written by evangelical scholars—Konrad Martin Heide, a lecturer at Philipps University of Marburg, Germany; and Titus Kennedy, an adjunct professor at Biola University—both refer to earlier depictions of men riding or leading camels, some that date to the early second millenium BC.

Among other evidence, Kennedy notes that a camel is mentioned in a list of domesticated animals from Ugarit, dating to the Old Babylonian period (1950-1600 BC).
So that undermines your example that "archeology shows is that most of the Bible is blatantly false"
 

Juma

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I can see you're not a sucker for authority since this is about 2 archeologists rather than large numbers of them.
Yes! You really dont get it, do you? You should weight the importance by its supporting arguments not the number of supporters...
 

excreationist

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Ok look at the link I gave...
....All they really tell us is that at that particular place where they were working they found some camel bones that they interpreted as in a domesticated context between the ninth and 11th centuries BC," Kennedy said. "It doesn't tell us that camels couldn't have been used in other nearby areas earlier than that."...
 

Juma

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So that undermines your example that "archeology shows is that most of the Bible is blatantly false"
No. It doesnt. There are still no trays of any exodus, king david or solomon. The legend of Moses is, myth.
And there are no trace of use of camels in that area at that time.
 

Keith&Co.

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That's because I wasn't understanding you. Eventually it seems like your point is that you want me to PROVE what I'm saying.
Nope.
Just support it. Just demonstrate the method by which you came to the conclusion you did. Just demonstrate that your comparison between any two religious threats isn't completely myopic self-serving christain arrogance.
Well you think you are entitled to demand me to give proofs (when I never claimed to be 100% certain of anything I was saying)
100% isn't the problem, ExC.
You still don't understand. You made a claim. Can you support it, by 100% evidence or 10% or 'i knew this one guy who said' or 'i found on wiki' or 'God told me' or 'i had a dream?' Something? Anything?
No there is a lot of archaeological evidence, etc, that shows that at least many of the places are real, etc.
So, if every Zane Grey western novel takes place in a real town, if when he describes a boulder at the side of a road, that boulder can be found, is that some amount of evidence that the novel is a historical story?
How about if the city exists, but the Books says that God will destroy the city and no one will ever live in it again? Is that evidence FOR or AGAINST the Books?
 

Rhea

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That's because I wasn't understanding you. Eventually it seems like your point is that you want me to PROVE what I'm saying.


Well you think you are entitled to demand me to give proofs (when I never claimed to be 100% certain of anything I was saying) and then I just asked for you to give proof for two simple sentences and you won't.

No. He never asked you to prove what you said, certainly not 100% proof.

Here's what he did say, "How do you know?" Which can be translated as "what convinced you?"

This question can be asked of anyone, even a child who is telling you about the tooth fairy. The answer from the child might be "because my auntie told me" it might be, "because money always appears under my pillow and I call that behavior fairy-like," it might be, "because I saw someone talk about it on a TV show," and it might be, "I don't really know how I came to the understanding that tooth fairies exist. It feels like I just always knew."

THOSE are answers to the question, "how do you know." None of them constitutes proof, certainly not 100% proof. But they do demonstrate understanding of the question, "what convinced you - how do you come to know what you know?"

If you ask a child how they know about the tooth fairy and they tell you, "You look it up!" it's kind of a dead end in cognition, you know?


No there is a lot of archaeological evidence, etc, that shows that at least many of the places are real, etc.

LOL. Think about what you just wrote. Think about how many fictional books and movies are based on real locations. Is every Tom Clancy novel real, then, by that logic? The animated movie "up" is real because Brasil exists? Moses parted the sea because Cairo exists? Really? The bible is not about locations. It's about what happened in those locations. And there is no evidence for that.
 

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Well the pastors and theology students I talk to sometimes are sure of the opposite. They would have a lot of reasons for their opinions. I'm not convinced of it either but they must know some of what they're talking about - after all for a lot of them their faiths would be strengthened in their studies. Or maybe the apologetics is just really good.
Muslims, Scientologists, Orthodox Jews, homeopathists, holocaust deniers, etc. are all "sure" of the opposite of the truth. They would have a lot of reasons for their opinions, after all a lot of them their faiths would be strengthened by their studies.

What exactly is so special about Christians and their faith, studies, etc. that you are so obsessed with defending them with this half-baked chain of reasoning that doesn't apply to any other idiotic belief system? I'm not interested in the fact that there are more Christians than than any other belief system (there are more non-Christians than Christians so that line of logic is tragically flawed to begin with) or how Christianity has the nastiest hell. I'm specifically asking what is compelling about the fact that Christians are sure of their beliefs that isn't compelling about the fact that other stupid beliefs have devout followers who are sure of their beliefs and who have read the literature and studied it and are convinced of whatever thing it is they believe despite how wrong it is.
 

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or how Christianity has the nastiest hell.
Jesus loves me, this i know,
'cause the fires burn down below.

I'll repent mistakes i'm makin'
As my flesh pops just like bacon.

It doesn't help to not believe,
God's love still won't let me leave.

God the Son gave me the chance,
To avoid that combustion dance.

But i'm doomed because God's plan,
Made me out a skeptical man.

The Faithful plan to look down from above,
Singing hymns about infinite love.

And yet....despite the compelling logic of an omnibenevolent being sending even one person to infinite torture, somehow it still seems like the sadistic fantasies of a seriously unbalanced mind...
 

dx713

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Sorry for being late to the party.
hum...

So, like, my answer to the OP is that I can't understand the question. If you're not a believer, why would you pray an non-existent entity for something that is bound not to happen? I know humans aren't always logical, but to this point...

The closest I can relate is cursing god for not existing.
In my defence, I'm imaginative enough to curse a non-existent or inanimate entity, and I only knew, at the time, the Christian god through the "all loving" propaganda from my grandmother, not having read the bible yet.
 

dockeen

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One other note about "biblical archaeology". The process for too many here was to say, " The bible says there should be a town here, we dug and found one, therefore the bible is validated".

- - - Updated - - -

Sorry for being late to the party.
hum...

So, like, my answer to the OP is that I can't understand the question. If you're not a believer, why would you pray an non-existent entity for something that is bound not to happen? I know humans aren't always logical, but to this point...

The closest I can relate is cursing god for not existing.
In my defence, I'm imaginative enough to curse a non-existent or inanimate entity, and I only knew, at the time, the Christian god through the "all loving" propaganda from my grandmother, not having read the bible yet.

Many non-believers did a tour of duty as either a believer, or as a searcher. That is the context I (possibly wrongly) gave it.
 

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And yet....despite the compelling logic of an omnibenevolent being sending even one person to infinite torture, somehow it still seems like the sadistic fantasies of a seriously unbalanced mind...
excreationist has linked to a video in support of his position where some twit talks about how the existence of hell is proof of how magnificent and glorious god us. If failing to live up to God's glory means eternal burning in the lake of fire, then god must be fucking AWESOME if that's the punishment for failing to live up to his awesome standards. I can only assume excreationist finds something worthy about that argument given that he linked to it.

As it is, I really have no idea what he's getting at. It's like he's choosing and picking the worst apologetics imaginable to defend a religion he says he doesn't believe in.

Christianity apparently has the following things that make it an attractive religion to join:
  • There's more Christians than any other religion therefore it's more likely to be true.
  • If Christianity is true then you're going to suffer the worst punishment imaginable for not being a Christian, therefore you should be a Christian.
  • Lots of Christians really really really believe what they believe even when they study Christianity therefore there's likely to be some truth behind it.
  • Some of the places mentioned in the Bible have the quality of having existed therefore it's compelling to believe that the entire thing and all the fantastical tales told within is true.
  • Various Christians he's talked to like a pastor and some dude on a message board have offered the usual half-baked apologetics for why they believe what they do.
  • The Bible says various stuff about God and that's evidence that the stuff is true about God because apparently the fact of merely stating something is supporting evidence that it is true.
  • The above point is reinforced by the fact that people believe the Bible to be true which makes it more likely to be true.
You could write an essay detailing what's wrong with the above arguments.

It seems like an exercise in trying to convince himself that there's something compelling about Christianity.
 

excreationist

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"Eventually it seems like your point is that you want me to PROVE what I'm saying."
Nope.
Just support it. Just demonstrate the method by which you came to the conclusion you did.
I had experiences throughout my life and when I posted in this thread I said things that *seemed* to be true at the time.

Just demonstrate that your comparison between any two religious threats isn't completely myopic self-serving christain arrogance.
I didn't claim to not be arrogant or focus too much on Christianity.

100% isn't the problem, ExC.
You still don't understand. You made a claim. Can you support it, by 100% evidence or 10% or 'i knew this one guy who said' or 'i found on wiki' or 'God told me' or 'i had a dream?' Something? Anything?
Like I said I talked to a theology student. So that's something. The focus of this thread is about praying to the God that just about everyone in my life wants me to pray to. In my life there is no-one from any other religion that is trying to get me to convert. Even when I had strongly Buddhist friends they never tried to convert me. That explains why I was focusing on Christianity.

BTW about archaeological evidence for the Bible - I don't really believe in it so I think it is meaningless for me to partly defend Christian friends who are convinced of the evidence.
 

excreationist

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excreationist has linked to a video in support of his position where some twit talks about how the existence of hell is proof of how magnificent and glorious god us. If failing to live up to God's glory means eternal burning in the lake of fire, then god must be fucking AWESOME if that's the punishment for failing to live up to his awesome standards. I can only assume excreationist finds something worthy about that argument given that he linked to it.
I find the video amazing. I mean I can't believe the pastor thinks eternal extreme punishment for all non-believers makes God great and glorious.

As it is, I really have no idea what he's getting at. It's like he's choosing and picking the worst apologetics imaginable to defend a religion he says he doesn't believe in.
Maybe when I'm using the worst apologetics maybe I'm attacking that religion rather than defending it - have you thought of that?

Christianity apparently has the following things that make it an attractive religion to join:
....
You could write an essay detailing what's wrong with the above arguments.
Well I don't find those reasons compelling enough to cause me to convert though Christians I know use some arguments like those.
 

Archimedes

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Maybe when I'm using the worst apologetics maybe I'm attacking that religion rather than defending it - have you thought of that?
If that's what you're doing, you're doing a bad job of it. It's unclear exactly what your motivation is.

Why would someone who wants to attack a religion argue that the religion has archeological support, support from the Bible, is worth considering because of terrible the consequence of not believing it are, that people who believe in it and read the literature still continue to believe in it, etc.

It certainly looks like you're trying to defend Christianity as being more worthy of considering than any other religion. What exactly are you doing?

Well I don't find those reasons compelling enough to cause me to convert though Christians I know use some arguments like those.
And? Are you putting them forth as good arguments or bad arguments or are you simply enumerating a bunch of things that Christians say about Christianity.
 

excreationist

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"Maybe when I'm using the worst apologetics maybe I'm attacking that religion rather than defending it - have you thought of that?"
If that's what you're doing, you're doing a bad job of it. It's unclear exactly what your motivation is.
I think I'm exploring the subject without being too strongly committed to any particular conclusion. I'm not claiming that my position has definite proof - I originally believed that Christianity was the only religion that sent all non-believers to hell, etc.

Why would someone who wants to attack a religion argue that the religion has archeological support,
I'm acknowledging that it seems like there is a lot of archeological support. Though like I said it is somewhat meaningless for me to discuss that since ultimately I'm skeptical that Christianity is 100% factual.

support from the Bible,
Well if you're talking about characters in the Bible (e.g. praying to God) you should be knowledgeable about what the Bible says about those characters. I mean not receiving proof from God is expected, it doesn't 100% prove that God doesn't exist.

is worth considering because of terrible the consequence of not believing it are,
Well my friends and relatives tell me this and I take their strong opinions into account.

that people who believe in it and read the literature still continue to believe in it, etc.
I take friends and relatives somewhat seriously though on the other hand I can also find some of it ridiculous.

It certainly looks like you're trying to defend Christianity as being more worthy of considering than any other religion.
Well it is the religion that friends and relatives want me to follow. They think the other religions are false. Also I used to be a believer and was never really convinced of the other religions - except for a New Age type of philosophy for a while.

What exactly are you doing?
I'm exploring the subject. I'm learning about things I didn't plan - e.g. about Islam and the fate of its non-believers.

"Well I don't find those reasons compelling enough to cause me to convert though Christians I know use some arguments like those."
And? Are you putting them forth as good arguments or bad arguments or are you simply enumerating a bunch of things that Christians say about Christianity.
Yes I'm enumerating a bunch of things. Perhaps with the feedback I receive I'll tell those Christians about it too.
 

excreationist

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"Well what matters is the evidence, and "supported by a lot of Bible verses and preaching" is a form of evidence"
But do you think it's a good form of evidence that any of it's true? If you think so, then why aren't you a believer?

The context was whether there was more evidence that Poseidon's punishment for unbelievers would be as extreme as the Christian God's. I think there is some evidence that Christianity is true. There is a lot of archaeological evidence and people like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Strobel Lee Strobel claimed to be an atheist but then converted after investigating the evidence. I have many theological issues though.

So now Lee Strobel counts as evidence? Again, do you think it's good evidence? If you do, you should be a believer. If you don't think it's good, why bring it up?

You keep appealing to these types of evidence that are very, very weak forms of evidence. Why should Strobel's conversion impress you? People convert for all sorts of reasons, they don't have to convert for rational reasons. If you've read any of Stroebel, you would know he gives horrible reasons for belief.

And your OP is a bit confusing since you've said you were a believer, which means apparently god was shown to you in some way such that you believed. When preachers talk about praying for god to reveal himself, that's all it means, that you end up believing in some way, in exactly the same way you once believed. You've already done what you are asking about here. Taking your word at face value, you later came to believe that your belief about god was mistaken. So, what is the point of your thread? You are unsure of your disbelief now? Or is this all a ruse?
 

excreationist

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So now Lee Strobel counts as evidence? Again, do you think it's good evidence? If you do, you should be a believer.
Well at some point I was becoming convinced of his arguments about Jesus's resurrection I think but then I looked at counter-arguments and lost faith in that.

If you don't think it's good, why bring it up?
Well he must have converted for some reason and apparently a major reason was due to the "evidence" he looked at.
BTW see also:
http://talkfreethought.org/showthre...-to-reveal-himself&p=6344&viewfull=1#post6344

You keep appealing to these types of evidence that are very, very weak forms of evidence.
Well I haven't 100% ruled them out yet. I'm an agnostic not a strong atheist.

...If you've read any of Stroebel, you would know he gives horrible reasons for belief.
Yes a lot of his reasons aren't convincing but some apologetics authors are to some extent - depending on the subject.

And your OP is a bit confusing since you've said you were a believer, which means apparently god was shown to you in some way such that you believed. When preachers talk about praying for god to reveal himself, that's all it means, that you end up believing in some way, in exactly the same way you once believed. You've already done what you are asking about here.
This thread involves asking a question of non-believers.

Taking your word at face value, you later came to believe that your belief about god was mistaken. So, what is the point of your thread? You are unsure of your disbelief now? Or is this all a ruse?
The point of this thread is for people to share their opinions and experiences. It isn't all about me.
 
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