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A society that is nascent would presumably require some direction. A prophet figure would be the channel of Divine revelation to the masses in was it could be understood. I am pretty sure that there were many "prophets" claiming Divine knowledge at the same time as the Bible was revealed. those that were false would confuse the message. At the time, the punishments were not as enlightened as those handed out today. Just my opinion.

If you read religion carefully, God is served by serving humanity. If that concept has been messed up, it is due to the short-sightedness of believers.

 

Thank you for that reasonable opinion mate.

 

 

Each society needs rules. Tacitus writing about First Century A.D. Germany mentioned the rules that the largest tribes had to moderate extremes of behaviour. Most of them advocated death for those that showed any deviancy from the acceptable, verbally articulated norm. When religious authorities do the same, they are criticised but remember that they also have to regulate societies and unite them by a common belief system.

 

Some religious and non-religious people are despicable. I cannot comment on something or somebody whose words I have never heard.

 

If I had to summarise my views, I would state:

1. Religion suffered from having a privileged class called priests. Individual peccadilloes became justified under the flag of religion unjustly.

2. A study of Rome in the times of Caligula and Tiberius will tell you that excesses of deviancy have always existed in society. human nature tends to be cruel.

3. Institutionalisation of religion has led to perversion of the original message in some cases.

4. Science and religion should not be totally opposed to each other. Science is a way of finding objective truth and should be embraced by religion. However Science needs to be objective and follow the conclusions of the Science to a logical end and not to support atheistic motif.

5. Human societies have always needed rules and the rules sometimes (or most of the times) have led to the death of those who showed extremes of behaviour.

 

All the above are my personal opinions as a follower of the Abrahamic God.

 

 

 

Jimmy, you claim numerous times that the word of your god has been corrupted or misused in some way, you state the commandments are a good guide to civilized life yet four of them only deal with how to worship god, the others are not unique to the abrahamic religions at all and are in fact simply rip off of things like the code of Hammurabi. I'd have been impressed a bit more if it had included things like maybe not owning other humans, or giving women equal rights, or possibly not committing genocide (like god demanded several times), respecting others who are different, possibly telling men not to be racist or sexist or homophobic. No it simply states the same old tired codes thought up by bronze age savages with a huge dose of who to worship and how.

 

Then you go on to at least imply that what other christians are doing is not for you to criticize yet they are are attempting to destroy our civilization by trying to impose those same horrific biblical values and knowledge we spent centuries trying to get away from. A return to the time of religious power would be insane at this juncture. It always spirals out of control because men always twist religion, or any other arbitrary power system for that matter, to serve their own needs.

 

Religion is especially vulnerable because it's adherents seem to always take the attitude that they cannot judge the religious values of others (of the same religion of course) yet once one religion gains power the first thing they do is persecute the people of other denominations or sects or what ever it is called. You see it in every religion, not just the christian one. when they don't have power they protect each other, when they do they persecute each other. It's a power game, nothing more and I for one will not play it or allow it to gain power through my own inaction..

 

Each society needs rules. Tacitus writing about First Century A.D. Germany mentioned the rules that the largest tribes had to moderate extremes of behaviour. Most of them advocated death for those that showed any deviancy from the acceptable, verbally articulated norm. When religious authorities do the same, they are criticised but remember that they also have to regulate societies and unite them by a common belief system.

 

This is simply wrong, it doesn't really matter who does it, it's still wrong. My morals come from humanistic values, are they perfect? of course not but they are a damn sight better than this or the bible.

 

If I had to summarise my views, I would state:

1. Religion suffered from having a privileged class called priests. Individual peccadilloes became justified under the flag of religion unjustly.

 

So work to reform it, do not allow it to regain power, BTW you sound like a neo pagan here!

 

2. A study of Rome in the times of Caligula and Tiberius will tell you that excesses of deviancy have always existed in society. human nature tends to be cruel.

 

Why is this meaningful? Do we not have the right to see this for what it is.. WRONG! It wrong Jimmy, it's wrong, all sane people agree this is wrong, why do you try to use it as an excuse for religion?

 

3. Institutionalisation of religion has led to perversion of the original message in some cases.

 

Again fix it, don't try to make excuses for it...

 

4. Science and religion should not be totally opposed to each other. Science is a way of finding objective truth and should be embraced by religion. However Science needs to be objective and follow the conclusions of the Science to a logical end and not to support atheistic motif.

 

But they are opposed to each other Jimmy, by definition they are opposed to each other, one is based on belief the other is based on evidence. Science does not support the atheistic anything, atheism looks to reality, science defines reality, if religion looked to reality there would be no problem but it does not... again by definition..

 

5. Human societies have always needed rules and the rules sometimes (or most of the times) have led to the death of those who showed extremes of behaviour.

 

Yes, and basing those rules on some arbitrary justice system that advocates killing unruly children or killing homosexuals or people who work on the sabbath, or who plant two crops in the same row or any one of 613 arbitrary rules is wrong! We see it as wrong, I am betting you see it as wrong. I think your morals are better than your gods morals... I know mine are...

 

All the above are my personal opinions as a follower of the Abrahamic God.

 

And there in lies the flaw, you follow something that is completely arbitrary, has no evidence of it's existence, has no reason why it should be followed and not some other god or pantheon of gods... and it's why I am a humanist but more importantly I base my morals on the potential harm my actions have on others.

 

I am a social being, my actions must not harm the greater good or the personal good of other individuals short of allowing them to harm me or others. It's quite simple... Religion does not in anyway adhere to the benefit of mankind, as a whole or individually, it benefits religion and the power it craves..

 

 

A society that is nascent would presumably require some direction. A prophet figure would be the channel of Divine revelation to the masses in was it could be understood. I am pretty sure that there were many "prophets" claiming Divine knowledge at the same time as the Bible was revealed. those that were false would confuse the message.

 

Jimmy how do you tell who is a false prophet and who is not? How do you know what the message is if it's so easily corrupted?

 

Some religious and non-religious people are despicable. I cannot comment on something or somebody whose words I have never heard.

 

Sticking your head in the sand doesn't become you Jimmy...

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Yes; they were. Because none of them did anything to stop the cruelty of those barbaric beliefs.   How could anyone be in a position to say "actually folks- let's stop persecuting people for no goo

Hard for me to agree with your last point. Christianity is often cultural more than theistic. Same with Judaism, and likely a number of others.   That's why there are cultural Christians and cultur

Not sure what you are referring to. Personally, I never disagreed that it would still be the case that there would still be conflict in the world if religion disappeared, but merely emphasized as my o

QUOTE: "..finding objective truth..... not support atheistic motif"

 

 

That's the thing though - science doesn't care about atheism or religion... it points out what we have found to be true to the best of our tests and knowledge.... and that truth points to there being no god (not the Abrahamic one anyway, or any of the world religions)... in fact it kind of ridiclues the idea. This isn't atheistic agenda, it is just the findings of science, the looking at reality and accepting it for what it is rather than being fooled by a work of fiction.

 

I wonder if that is true though. For example, IMO, I believe that the Big Bang was an act of Creation which created the Laws of Physics that we see around us today. Moreover, there is plenty of evidence for the Big Bang from Red Shift from galaxies flying away from us to Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Science point out these supporting pieces of evidence I think. I then consider the distance of the Earth from the Sun in its Goldilocks position (not too hot, not too cold) and the Ozone layer which forms a protective coat around the Earth. The high and anomalous heat potential of water and I think that these factors are not sheer coincidence or the outcome of a random event followed by random events in a chain of diminishing possibilities. Of course, in your position you consider that a series of chance events occurred to make the Earth and then develop life. I respect your view but I~ would also state that I have evidence of an act of Creation which implies a Creator as a first Mover if you will

.

 

I believed in the same God for many many years.... but when you are true to your self and make your decision based on evidence rather than fear or pier pressure then the idea does seem real stupid. Looking back I cannot see how I ever believed all of the lies and contradictions at all.... I was always sceptical of the many priests with their varied and differing views from different denominations... I kept my own personal relationship with God - looking back I was either crazy or brain washed or deceived because I really believed it at times in my life. I have seen some 'miraculous' things.

 

I am against the organisation of a priesthood in any religion due to the inequity and influence that a priest can bring to bear on the innocent. However, I see nothing wrong with a personal relationship with an amazing Intelligence.

 

Regards

 

Best wishes.

 

 

Jimmy, you claim numerous times that the word of your god has been corrupted or misused in some way, you state the commandments are a good guide to civilized life yet four of them only deal with how to worship god, the others are not unique to the abrahamic religions at all and are in fact simply rip off of things like the code of Hammurabi. I'd have been impressed a bit more if it had included things like maybe not owning other humans, or giving women equal rights, or possibly not committing genocide (like god demanded several times), respecting others who are different, possibly telling men not to be racist or sexist or homophobic. No it simply states the same old tired codes thought up by bronze age savages with a huge dose of who to worship and how.

 

Yes Moontanman, but you and I are twentieth century people. Things have changed in 2 millennia including women now not being chattels (personal property) of their husbands as in the "enlightened" times of the Roman Empire. Yes there is killing and condemnation of the homosexual act and some early misogyny. I cannot answer WHY these were featured more than to thousand years ago but I cannot see that as a widespread feature amongst religious folks today, I truly don't.

 

Then you go on to at least imply that what other christians are doing is not for you to criticize yet they are are attempting to destroy our civilization by trying to impose those same horrific biblical values and knowledge we spent centuries trying to get away from. A return to the time of religious power would be insane at this juncture. It always spirals out of control because men always twist religion, or any other arbitrary power system for that matter, to serve their own needs.

 

I do not follow what Christian movements are doing in America. I tend not to read about these guys. I am not in a position to debate this point. As a country/continent where religion is separate from the legislative, executive and judicial functions of Government, you guys need not to follow any ruling of a religious order. I don't see what the fuss is about.

 

Religion is especially vulnerable because it's adherents seem to always take the attitude that they cannot judge the religious values of others (of the same religion of course) yet once one religion gains power the first thing they do is persecute the people of other denominations or sects or what ever it is called. You see it in every religion, not just the christian one. when they don't have power they protect each other, when they do they persecute each other. It's a power game, nothing more and I for one will not play it or allow it to gain power through my own inaction..

 

It is a power game when religious people allow a priesthood to have power over them rather than giving their power to God. I have to agree. But religious I have to say again: a truly religious person is tolerant, compassionate and moderate with a thirst for knowledge and ready to help out others regardless of faith. I have met these people. They exist. They have never persecuted anyone else of a different religion. This is not a general behaviour of religious people. It is the general behaviour of a select order of priests/ministers etc...

 

Again fix it, don't try to make excuses for it...

 

The Church, Mosque and Synagogue authorities would have to dismantle their institutions and sack all their priests, imams and rabbis and we as religious people would have to start from scratch.

 

But they are opposed to each other Jimmy, by definition they are opposed to each other, one is based on belief the other is based on evidence. Science does not support the atheistic anything, atheism looks to reality, science defines reality, if religion looked to reality there would be no problem but it does not... again by definition..

 

I have answered this to Dr P's post

 

 

 

Jimmy how do you tell who is a false prophet and who is not? How do you know what the message is if it's so easily corrupted?

False prophets did not bring Divine Revelations to bear to the people. A passage has been quoted earlier how false prophets who asked people to worship other gods should be treated.

 

 

Sticking your head in the sand doesn't become you Jimmy...

Moontanman, like yourself, I have a worldview. It is there, like it or leave it, but I do try to say it as I see it.

Edited by jimmydasaint
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A society that is nascent would presumably require some direction. A prophet figure would be the channel of Divine revelation to the masses in was it could be understood. I am pretty sure that there were many "prophets" claiming Divine knowledge at the same time as the Bible was revealed. those that were false would confuse the message. At the time, the punishments were not as enlightened as those handed out today.

 

This "channel of Divine revelation" would be in the same boat as the so-called false prophets, only having their claims and no evidence or sound reasoning to back them. The only direction the first four commandments seem to help lead the society is toward alienation and persecution of other religious groups and groupthink, and that's not even taking into account scriptures which justify persecution.

 

The punishments are enlightened in what sense? That the Catholic church, for example, does not execute apostates or sinners? This enlightenment certainly does not have biblical origins.

 

You also never answered my question: How does one twist a passage prescribing death to a false prophet that is potentially gathering followers when they command the execution of said prophet? It wasn't rhetorical.

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QUOTE: "..finding objective truth..... not support atheistic motif"

 

 

That's the thing though - science doesn't care about atheism or religion... it points out what we have found to be true to the best of our tests and knowledge.... and that truth points to there being no god (not the Abrahamic one anyway, or any of the world religions)... in fact it kind of ridiclues the idea. This isn't atheistic agenda, it is just the findings of science, the looking at reality and accepting it for what it is rather than being fooled by a work of fiction.

 

I wonder if that is true though. For example, IMO, I believe that the Big Bang was an act of Creation which created the Laws of Physics that we see around us today. Moreover, there is plenty of evidence for the Big Bang from Red Shift from galaxies flying away from us to Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Science point out these supporting pieces of evidence I think. I then consider the distance of the Earth from the Sun in its Goldilocks position (not too hot, not too cold) and the Ozone layer which forms a protective coat around the Earth. The high and anomalous heat potential of water and I think that these factors are not sheer coincidence or the outcome of a random event followed by random events in a chain of diminishing possibilities. Of course, in your position you consider that a series of chance events occurred to make the Earth and then develop life. I respect your view but I~ would also state that I have evidence of an act of Creation which implies a Creator as a first Mover if you will

.

 

I believed in the same God for many many years.... but when you are true to your self and make your decision based on evidence rather than fear or pier pressure then the idea does seem real stupid. Looking back I cannot see how I ever believed all of the lies and contradictions at all.... I was always sceptical of the many priests with their varied and differing views from different denominations... I kept my own personal relationship with God - looking back I was either crazy or brain washed or deceived because I really believed it at times in my life. I have seen some 'miraculous' things.

 

I am against the organisation of a priesthood in any religion due to the inequity and influence that a priest can bring to bear on the innocent. However, I see nothing wrong with a personal relationship with an amazing Intelligence.

 

Regards

 

Best wishes.

 

 

Jimmy, you claim numerous times that the word of your god has been corrupted or misused in some way, you state the commandments are a good guide to civilized life yet four of them only deal with how to worship god, the others are not unique to the abrahamic religions at all and are in fact simply rip off of things like the code of Hammurabi. I'd have been impressed a bit more if it had included things like maybe not owning other humans, or giving women equal rights, or possibly not committing genocide (like god demanded several times), respecting others who are different, possibly telling men not to be racist or sexist or homophobic. No it simply states the same old tired codes thought up by bronze age savages with a huge dose of who to worship and how.

 

Yes Moontanman, but you and I are twentieth century people. Things have changed in 2 millennia including women now not being chattels (personal property) of their husbands as in the "enlightened" times of the Roman Empire. Yes there is killing and condemnation of the homosexual act and some early misogyny. I cannot answer WHY these were featured more than to thousand years ago but I cannot see that as a widespread feature amongst religious folks today, I truly don't.

 

Then you go on to at least imply that what other christians are doing is not for you to criticize yet they are are attempting to destroy our civilization by trying to impose those same horrific biblical values and knowledge we spent centuries trying to get away from. A return to the time of religious power would be insane at this juncture. It always spirals out of control because men always twist religion, or any other arbitrary power system for that matter, to serve their own needs.

 

I do not follow what Christian movements are doing in America. I tend not to read about these guys. I am not in a position to debate this point. As a country/continent where religion is separate from the legislative, executive and judicial functions of Government, you guys need not to follow any ruling of a religious order. I don't see what the fuss is about.

 

Religion is especially vulnerable because it's adherents seem to always take the attitude that they cannot judge the religious values of others (of the same religion of course) yet once one religion gains power the first thing they do is persecute the people of other denominations or sects or what ever it is called. You see it in every religion, not just the christian one. when they don't have power they protect each other, when they do they persecute each other. It's a power game, nothing more and I for one will not play it or allow it to gain power through my own inaction..

 

It is a power game when religious people allow a priesthood to have power over them rather than giving their power to God. I have to agree. But religious I have to say again: a truly religious person is tolerant, compassionate and moderate with a thirst for knowledge and ready to help out others regardless of faith. I have met these people. They exist. They have never persecuted anyone else of a different religion. This is not a general behaviour of religious people. It is the general behaviour of a select order of priests/ministers etc...

 

Again fix it, don't try to make excuses for it...

 

The Church, Mosque and Synagogue authorities would have to dismantle their institutions and sack all their priests, imams and rabbis and we as religious people would have to start from scratch.

 

But they are opposed to each other Jimmy, by definition they are opposed to each other, one is based on belief the other is based on evidence. Science does not support the atheistic anything, atheism looks to reality, science defines reality, if religion looked to reality there would be no problem but it does not... again by definition..

 

I have answered this to Dr P's post

 

 

 

Jimmy how do you tell who is a false prophet and who is not? How do you know what the message is if it's so easily corrupted?

False prophets did not bring Divine Revelations to bear to the people. A passage has been quoted earlier how false prophets who asked people to worship other gods should be treated.

 

 

Sticking your head in the sand doesn't become you Jimmy...

Moontanman, like yourself, I have a worldview. It is there, like it or leave it, but I do try to say it as I see it.

 

 

 

So all I get are non answers? How do you know what your god wants? Why did god allow the horrors for thousands of years ago, when did god say to stop?

 

How do you know Jimmy? I have read and continue to read the bible, modern christian is not the result of god changing anything, it's due to humans realizing what god demanded was wrong..

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Moontanman, these are the best answers I can give from my knowledge and my knowledge is definitely lacking. Our society has evolved to become different although the murder rates around the world suggest that human nature/behaviour has not changed. I cannot apologise for what God said or why. But at least I am trying to be bloody honest friend. I think that we are now at the point here t which my answers are exhausted and we will go round and round to a standstill. I cannot answer fr God because I don't have the viewpoint of a Creator. I have the limited view and limited knowledge of a creation. Religious people have a different view of God than atheists do, it is a certainty because we are not tied to the material but the spiritual.

 

When I looked into the face of my children when they were born, I did not think "ah, sentient meat without a soul" I saw a soul and a spark in their eyes. The love I felt for them did not come from a temporary chemical imbalance, I felt it in my gut to my soul.

 

I am sorry I could not answer your questions friend. Maybe I have to read a bit more.

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Moontanman, these are the best answers I can give from my knowledge and my knowledge is definitely lacking. Our society has evolved to become different although the murder rates around the world suggest that human nature/behaviour has not changed. I cannot apologise for what God said or why. But at least I am trying to be bloody honest friend. I think that we are now at the point here t which my answers are exhausted and we will go round and round to a standstill. I cannot answer fr God because I don't have the viewpoint of a Creator. I have the limited view and limited knowledge of a creation. Religious people have a different view of God than atheists do, it is a certainty because we are not tied to the material but the spiritual.

 

When I looked into the face of my children when they were born, I did not think "ah, sentient meat without a soul" I saw a soul and a spark in their eyes. The love I felt for them did not come from a temporary chemical imbalance, I felt it in my gut to my soul.

 

I am sorry I could not answer your questions friend. Maybe I have to read a bit more.

 

 

If you come across anything let me know, when my children were born I thought of what a beautiful thing I had helped do, but it is true that feelings are electrochemical in nature, doesn't make them any less real to me. The feelings I had were very deep and profound but the need to attribute them to something supernatural isn't in me...

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Religious people have a different view of God than atheists do, it is a certainty because we are not tied to the material but the spiritual.

 

And what about religions without any god, or a god so different as to be incomparable to the Abrahamic god? And atheists who claim to have a rich spiritual life for that matter. Theism does not own a monopoly on spirituality (whatever the term may mean).

 

When I looked into the face of my children when they were born, I did not think "ah, sentient meat without a soul" I saw a soul and a spark in their eyes. The love I felt for them did not come from a temporary chemical imbalance, I felt it in my gut to my soul.

 

I often see this sense of awe and reverence cited as a reason for believing in a creator god, but i just can't understand it. Surely by saying this numinous thing you are experiencing is only possible through the grace of god you have separated yourself from that experience: no longer is it a direct experience that one part of the universe is feeling for another part, but is something you have to outsource to some other super being for validation.

 

I can also never understand the 'merely' implied in '...sentient meat without a soul'. That one part of the universe (you) can experience such things for another (your child) is truly awe inspiring in itself - why the need to invoke anything else between that experience?

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And what about religions without any god, or a god so different as to be incomparable to the Abrahamic god? And atheists who claim to have a rich spiritual life for that matter. Theism does not own a monopoly on spirituality (whatever the term may mean).

 

 

I often see this sense of awe and reverence cited as a reason for believing in a creator god, but i just can't understand it. Surely by saying this numinous thing you are experiencing is only possible through the grace of god you have separated yourself from that experience: no longer is it a direct experience that one part of the universe is feeling for another part, but is something you have to outsource to some other super being for validation.

 

I believe in a supreme Creative intelligence for a number of reasons, one of which is as follows:

For example, IMO, I believe that the Big Bang was an act of Creation which created the Laws of Physics that we see around us today. Moreover, there is plenty of evidence for the Big Bang from Red Shift from galaxies flying away from us to Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Science point out these supporting pieces of evidence I think. I then consider the distance of the Earth from the Sun in its Goldilocks position (not too hot, not too cold) and the Ozone layer which forms a protective coat around the Earth. The high and anomalous heat potential of water and I think that these factors are not sheer coincidence or the outcome of a random event followed by random events in a chain of diminishing possibilities. Of course, in your position you consider that a series of chance events occurred to make the Earth and then develop life. I respect your view but I~ would also state that I have evidence of an act of Creation which implies a Creator as a first Mover if you will,

Secondly when you or I view a sport or a visual event, who sees the event in the brain? Is it a posited mind-body state or is it easier to believe in a soul? Furthermore, when I move my arm, who is it that actually moved my arm? Is it an intangible spirit or is it a mind-body state. Either could mediate an event through electrochemicals but I choose to believe that a soul made the difference.

 

I can also never understand the 'merely' implied in '...sentient meat without a soul'. That one part of the universe (you) can experience such things for another (your child) is truly awe inspiring in itself - why the need to invoke anything else between that experience?

 

I suspect, Prometheus, that you have read these debates before in the same way as all the contributors to this thread and that all the arguments here have gone round and round as they have in this thread. I believe from some points of evidence: philosophical (cosmological principle), scientific (Big Bang theory with evidence) and a number of other scientific and non-scientific factors that there is a God, a creative principle that is my choice based on my limited reasoning. f you replace the word God by Nature then I respect your choice. Let's agree to disagree. My head hurts...

 

 

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I believe from some points of evidence: philosophical (cosmological principle), scientific (Big Bang theory with evidence) and a number of other scientific and non-scientific factors that there is a God, a creative principle that is my choice based on my limited reasoning. f you replace the word God by Nature then I respect your choice. Let's agree to disagree. My head hurts...

For now let me not get involved in all of the aspects of this discussion apart from highlighting this specific part of the previous post. For me it makes sense to replace God with Nature or to equate God to Nature...but to seriously consider any one of the Abrahamic God versions (which one?) as a contender for the ultimate divine power who created and who still manages nature, as well as getting personally involved with a particular species on one small planet at a specific time in (evolution) history to a point of conjuring up this strange sequence of events in order for them to worship God (and hope it is the right one) so as to qualify for eternal life in heaven opposed to eternal damnation in hell as a result of same intervention...seems all very nonsensical.

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Let's agree to disagree. My head hurts...

Mine too, but it's fun and interesting to chat with you anyway.

 

 

 

I believe that the Big Bang was an act of Creation which created the Laws of Physics that we see around us today. Moreover, there is plenty of evidence for the Big Bang from Red Shift from galaxies flying away from us to Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Science point out these supporting pieces of evidence I think

 

I agree the evidence supports the notion of a big bang. You cite God as an uncaused cause. I would ask but what caused God. The standard reply is that God is and always will be - he himself is uncaused; never begun, never ending.

 

Why not simply do away with the concept of God and just say existence is a stream that never begun and will never end. It's the exact same argument for God being the uncaused cause, except we have made it a little simpler by removing God.

 

The dichotomy between creator and created is false. We are the big bang, still happening in a manner of speaking.

 

I then consider the distance of the Earth from the Sun in its Goldilocks position (not too hot, not too cold) and the Ozone layer which forms a protective coat around the Earth. The high and anomalous heat potential of water and I think that these factors are not sheer coincidence or the outcome of a random event followed by random events in a chain of diminishing possibilities. Of course, in your position you consider that a series of chance events occurred to make the Earth and then develop life.

 

Again, i agree that the specific chances of life existing on Earth are tiny. But it only implies some special, perhaps divine, intervention if there were the only draw from that lottery. But there are countless worlds in existence, and it becomes probable that some of them will have suitable conditions for life.

 

By analogy, consider the chances of you winning the lottery - very small. But consider the chance of anyone winning the lottery - very probable.

 

By focusing on Earth's chances alone you are already treating it as somehow special. Consider the whole universe, and it is not so surprising. No less beautiful though.

 

 

Secondly when you or I view a sport or a visual event, who sees the event in the brain? Is it a posited mind-body state or is it easier to believe in a soul? Furthermore, when I move my arm, who is it that actually moved my arm? Is it an intangible spirit or is it a mind-body state. Either could mediate an event through electrochemicals but I choose to believe that a soul made the difference.

 

The ghost in the machine. I think we can agree that if there is a spirit behind all our actions, then at some point it has to interact with matter. If it interacts with matter, then it is within the remit of science to investigate. As far as i am aware, no evidence of such a spirit exists.

 

I find it simpler to think of my body and mind as one thing, rather than 2: one is simpler than two.

 

 

 

 

 

All your above arguments are equally valid for Allah (and many others): i'd be interested to know whether you view Allah as the same God you believe in, and if not why not.

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Can't change my name in the above quotes which did say jimmydasaint, on 04 Aug 2016 - 11:46 PM, said: when i posted: quite annoying. Nevermind.

 

Edited by Prometheus
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If I'm being too personal, Jimmy, just tell me so.

But were you religious before the tragic events happened in your life ?

 

I was raised R. C. but decided I have no need for it .

You, on the other hand, may have been looking for answers, the 'why' if you will, of the tragedy which put your life in turmoil.

We don't have answers for such tragedies, and I believe most of us here would be searching for some spiritual comfort if something similar happened in our lives.

Even as people get sick or older, and become concerned with death, they often seek spiritual comfort. I don't think it's my place ( or anyone else's ) to deny people in need, that comfort. Even if some might call it a 'crutch'.

 

As to your point concerning the effect of religion ( any kind ) in helping to establish an ordered society...

We are basically animals. Natural instincts tell us to take advantage of those with less power than us. We see it in a pride of lions with a dominant male. We see the wildebeest sacrifice the young, old and sick/weak to the lion so that the others may survive.

But religion has always taught us to take care of our fellow human beings, and the message was strong enough to overcome our natural instincts. So I would agree, it has helped to shape our civilization.

 

A few of us, however, are still ruled by those base instincts, and will take advantage of our fellow humans. Structured groups, like governments, religions, cults, etc. make this easy for unscrupulous people, and the structured group ( religion ) gets tarnished as a result.

 

Most of these guys trying to 'sway' you will argue that its not Islam's fault that a few idiots are misinterpreting a religion of peace to spread terror through the Middle East and the world ( and they'd be right ), but in the same breath, will tell you that the fault of Christianity lies in the religion, not the unscrupulous people who use it to their own ends.

But that's OK, I still like them. :)

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Most of these guys trying to 'sway' you will argue that its not Islam's fault that a few idiots are misinterpreting a religion of peace to spread terror through the Middle East and the world ( and they'd be right ), but in the same breath, will tell you that the fault of Christianity lies in the religion, not the unscrupulous people who use it to their own ends.

Which ones? What you presented does not characterize my view of Islam at all. There are passages in both the Bible and Quran which moderate Christians and Muslims do not adhere to, and their lack of adherence may have no biblical or quranic justification such as their treatment of apostates. That is to say there isn't a contradictory passage which corresponds to their actions. I would never say that Islam is a religion of peace or inherently evil, and I would likewise not characterize Christianity in such a way; they contain all sorts of beliefs consistent or otherwise with their respective sacred texts which may or may not be "peaceful."

Edited by andrewcellini
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Jimmy Dasaint, that is an unbelievable amount of obscurantism and flat out dismaissal of thousands of years of barbarism, violence, and lies committed by religion you are doing in order to convince yourself (and attempt to cinvince us) that your position is justified. I could justify the 911 hijackers if I just excused all the planning, preparation, beliefs, intent, and the acts themselves, but my dismissal and denial of the hard facts and reality would be plain for all to see and my euphemisms wouldn't fool anyone.

Edited by Tampitump
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Well Andrew, there's an example in the above post by Tampitump.

"thousands of years of...committed by RELIGION"

 

It wasn't the hijackers who committed 9/11, it was Islam.

It wasn't Torquemada that brought about the Spanish Inquisition, it was the Catholic church.

 

Why don't we stop blaming the institution, which has the purpose of bringing hope to desperate people, for the acts of a few demented individuals who use that institution to gain power/property ( some popes ), exact revenge on others ( hijackers or inquisitors ) or take advantage of others ( tele-evangelists ).

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You're right John.

Next time we see Pakistanis burning American flags and calling the West 'Satan',we should bomb them because they support terrorism.


Look, all I'm really saying is, I don't have a problem with religion.

It has its purpose, and some people need it.

 

This very need is what makes these people easy targets for unscrupulous others, who use the institution to take advantage of the needy people. Somewhat akin to cancer patients who will grasp at any straw, or unproven treatment, pushed by unscrupulous hucksters, in an effort to survive.

 

I have no need for religion currently.

I hope I, nor anyone else ever need it.

And I will not deny it to those who are unfortunate enough to need it.

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Well Andrew, there's an example in the above post by Tampitump.

"thousands of years of...committed by RELIGION"

Are you denying that these individuals had religious beliefs which led and were used to justify their actions? That's evidently false.

Edited by andrewcellini
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No, I'm saying those evil people would have used any other means to perpetrate their crimes. even if religion hadn't been available.

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You're right John.

Next time we see Pakistanis burning American flags and calling the West 'Satan',we should bomb them because they support terrorism.

 

Maybe we should ask them why we think that the West is Satan?

My guess would be that

(1) They have been told this by their religious leaders and also

(2) because we cat like Satan.

 

If wed stopped doing 2 we might make it harder for 1 to work.

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Maybe we should ask them why we think that the West is Satan?

My guess would be that

(1) They have been told this by their religious leaders and also

(2) because we cat like Satan.

 

If wed stopped doing 2 we might make it harder for 1 to work.

 

 

Just exactly how does satan cat?

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Well Andrew, there's an example in the above post by Tampitump.

"thousands of years of...committed by RELIGION"

 

It wasn't the hijackers who committed 9/11, it was Islam.

It wasn't Torquemada that brought about the Spanish Inquisition, it was the Catholic church.

 

Why don't we stop blaming the institution, which has the purpose of bringing hope to desperate people, for the acts of a few demented individuals who use that institution to gain power/property ( some popes ), exact revenge on others ( hijackers or inquisitors ) or take advantage of others ( tele-evangelists ).

Because you are forgetting that those "few demented individuals" are not "demented" at all. Most of them are perfectly sane, even well educated individuals with professional degrees (as in the case of 9/11). The only difference is that these people are so convinced of the validity of their religion that they are following its prescriptions to the letter.

 

You also grossly misunderstood what I was saying. I was not blaming 9/11 fully on all of Islam. I was saying that I could engage in the same type of obscurantism to excuse the acts of the hijackers by forgetting everything they did. That is what Jimmy Dasaint is doing with religion in general. Every time you try to link religion to years of blood shed and death, you get these people saying "well, you can't blame it on religion, its more just politics and a few bad apples who did it." You can have crusades, inquisitions, and all sorts of other barbarism that fully aligns with what the holy book teaches, and people will fully dismiss all the brutal things religion influences and claim that religion is still positive and good. I'm saying, yes, its good when fully take away all the crap that it has influenced and just focus on the small amounts of positive things it has influenced. This is classic obscurantism and flat out denial that there is any link between the doctrines and the acts. My point was to show that I could do that with the 9/11 hijackers if I just forgot about all the stuff they did. Nothing I said had anything to do with blaming anything on Islam, so your argument IN ITS ENTIRETY did not even remotely address what I said in the slightest. You're addressing an argument I did not make.

 

Besides, even if most of these things weren't due to religion, religion still does not help things. They are debunked beliefs, based on debunked books, with debunked principles. You have to split hairs to find any teachings in them that are even useful or positive to modern civilization. Even the good parts are nothing special and don't offer any teachings that we don't already know or couldn't have derived from some other source or just through living and learning.

Edited by Tampitump
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Look, all I'm really saying is, I don't have a problem with religion.

It has its purpose, and some people need it.

The same can be said of pedophelia. Interestingly, it's often the most pious who do that sort of thing.
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No, I'm saying those evil people would have used any other means to perpetrate their crimes. even if religion hadn't been available.

I'm saying this to degrade you, but you just don't know what you're talking about. I'm not sure if you've ever been down here to the American south, but if you haven't, you should make a trip down here sometime. The people here believe some very hateful things about minority groups like homosexuals, and still harbor a very patriarchal and medieval view of society wherein white Christians are the only ones who should have human rights in their view. Their policies regarding minorities are utterly degrading and oppressive to entire groups of people, and they see no problems with their actions at all. That's because their religion justifies and promotes these views. Sure, their power has been in decline for many years, but their beliefs still exist and these people would go straight back to their old ways if just given the authority to do so. These people are not evil, they are just duped into centuries of poisonous beliefs that tell them what their values should be. They are not insane people, they are religious people.

 

Now, map that onto Islam. The fundamentals of Islam are slightly different than Christianity. You can't really get around many of the violent prescriptions in the Quran or the Hadith, where Christianity and Judaism have certain reasons they can use to disregard the barbaric passages. The people who commit suicide bombings and other terrorist acts have been shown not to be insane or even particularly evil people. They are religious people who fully believe in the validity and truth of what their books are telling them. Why are there no Jain suicide bombers? No Christian suicide bombers? No Jewish suicide bombers? No Buddhist suicide bombers? No Hindu suicide bombers? I submit that its because the metaphysical belief in martyrdom as a means of going to heaven are not in these other religious books. But they are an Islamic belief. There is really no other reason for someone to walk into a crowd of people and blow themselves and everyone else up. This is not the type of crime that would be committed in staggering amounts of cases by people who are disgruntled from poverty or politics. They align perfectly with what the Hadith says. The people who committed 9/11 were not oppressed or uneducated people. They were very sane, smart, and well-educated men.

 

Again, I don't believe these people are insane or evil. They are religious. Religion is what you need if you want to make otherwise good people do evil things.

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