?

What is your relgious affilation?

  1. Christianity (Catholicism, Baptism, Evangelicalism, etc.)

    8 vote(s)
    32.0%
  2. Islam (Shia, Sunni, etc.)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Judiasm

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Sikhism

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Buddhism

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Hinduism

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Deism

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Wicca

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Non-Religious/Spiritual Only

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Non-Religious (Atheism, Agnosticism, Igtheism, etc)

    16 vote(s)
    64.0%
  11. Other/Religion Not Listed Above

    1 vote(s)
    4.0%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Miller0700
    Offline

    Miller0700 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    343
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA

    The God Debate

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Miller0700, Jul 10, 2016.

    Based on upbringing, personal experience, knowledge, and insight do you believe a deity or deities exist? Personally I don't believe so, but I'm inclined to hear other people's stances.
     
  2. Earp
    Offline

    Earp Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    179
    No, I don't see any reason for the existence of a deity.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  3. Miller0700
    Offline

    Miller0700 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    343
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Can I ask why?
     
  4. Earp
    Offline

    Earp Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    179
    I'm a rational man, I guess. If God created the universe, but no one created God becausxe he's eternal, it seems to me that Occam's Razor would suggest we should just accept that the universe is eternal, and eliminate the 'God' layer of complexity. To be honest, I'm surprised that religious belief is still as prevalent as it is, though I have no problem with believers. I'm not one of those awful Hitchens-style atheists. I think each of us should explain whatever needs explaining in the way that makes sense to us.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  5. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,332
    Likes Received:
    3,084
    There's no way of knowing whether something that defies all logic and all understanding exists or not.
     
  6. Shattered Shields
    Offline

    Shattered Shields Gratsa!

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Athagora
    I was pre-empted towards Christianity as a child, my parents were Christian, I went to church. I believed in God and followed the word of the Bible like a dutiful Christian.

    But over time, I slowly started to become more and more skeptical. Certain sections of the Bible began to trouble me, and when I stumbled across a verse I had not seen before, one declaring that "homosexuals cannot enter the city of heaven". I was 17, and it floored me. So much of the other teachings I had been able to rationalize. You didn't steal because that was harmful, you didn't commit adultery because that was wrong, you didn't worship an idol because you're a Christian, why worship an idol? But what had homosexuals done? What crime had they committed? I read more, expanded my horizons. Romans and the Christianization of the empire, translations to Aramaic, to Greek, to Latin, to English. All these changes over the current of time.

    I couldn't read the Bible anymore without imagining a Catholic power monger editing the lines as I read them, changing a word here, a word there. All to fit what he thought, or something he could use to gain power.

    Now? I don't believe in the Bible anymore, to me it's no longer sacred. There are bits that I align my personal code of conduct with, but its not a holy book to me anymore. I still believe in God, because of a handful of experiences where I felt his touch, his power, whatever the word is. I won't hold them up as indisputable proof because they are not. Belief systems require a leap of faith, and faith depends on the unknown.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  7. Adenosine Triphosphate
    Offline

    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    943
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    USA
    Atheist where any common religion is concerned, and agnostic atheist about the idea of a God in general. I don't know for certain that he doesn't exist, but I also don't know that about many other hypotheses that cannot easily be tested.

    Speaking idealistically, I hope there is a benevolent God, but also not an omnipotent one. Why? Because omnipotence would make them complicit in a great deal of suffering, and that causes me to fear their nature in general.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
    Oscar Leigh and Megalith like this.
  8. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I agree with Mr. Numbers. You can't prove that something outside the realm of logic and the scientific method exists since we rely on those things as part of the process to prove something. However, there's a strong case to be made that the Christian God, Hindu gods, etc. don't exist.
     
    Oscar Leigh and 123456789 like this.
  9. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Sorry to be the contrarian again, but I don't think any case made in either direction can be called 'strong'. I can make a 'strong' argument that we have a higher probability of being a simulation rather than an actual reality. I can also make' a 'strong' argument that intelligent life doesn't exist on other celestial bodies, but we know the probability of that actually being the case is next to zero. There are some things we can't know without something like or close to a complete understanding of our universe. Something we are still very far away from accomplishing. Maybe then we can solve the riddle one way or the other, but it doesn't seem like anyone's business but your own to make a decision about god's existence. There is no scientific understanding of religion, no way to prove god exists, and that's just fine. Most religions require faith, which makes trying to prove his existence unnecessary. I also want to add that I think religion is very useful for creating and guiding our moral compass, making it a very useful social construction. Sure there are limits, but as the pope opens his arms to the LGBT community, we can see that religion is willing to adapt to the changing times.
     
    Shattered Shields likes this.
  10. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,564
    Likes Received:
    3,561
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    Atheist here. I used to be agnostic but it was pretty much Bill Nye who clarified a few things for me and I felt comfortable calling myself atheist, even though he isn't an atheist activist.

    I've been reading (well, listening to) The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins as of late, and I've really enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone who's perhaps still teetering between atheism and agnosticism, or is interested in another POV regarding religion, faith, and God/gods.

    On a sidenote, I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the atheist blogosphere/vlogosphere. It has started to resemble a religion of sorts where you need to pick a side, like choosing between Catholicism and Protestantism. :bigfrown:
     
  11. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    The problem I have with some intellectuals, like Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris, is they often attack religion at face value. They often question why religious people can cherry pick parts of the Bible and not others. And how religion 'drives' people to do bad things. But if you try and take religion seriously, and by that I mean, reconcile the differences between science and religion, treating them as separate but equal, then you will end up having to cherry pick. The reason I don't have a problem with that, is because text by it's nature is a product of humans.

    There could be misinterpretations or text added in that was not holy. This kind of human error is natural if we have free will, or something like it, even by God's standards.(Free will is a standard for the existence of God; meaning if you believe in a God their is a 99% chance you also believe in free will) The only way God to know what we will do, on all scales of possible power, is if our actions are absolutely determined. Without direct interference, he couldn't ensure others wouldn't mess with his texts, or mistranslate them after their creation.

    Another common attack, "They can't all be right."

    Well if even one can't get it right, much less all of them. But using the same ideas I presented, we can imagine, collecting and comparing all the ideologies and moralities that can be extracted from interpretations of holy text.(This number might already be infinite, but imagine we create a reasonable limit) Then by comparing them, we might find similarities in values shared by every modern religion, that happen to be the ones that have persevered, swallowing up the contradictions, or human errors, to this day.

    I want to be clear that I'm not adding any divine intervention, miracles, or direct interactions with holy entities. When I say text is a byproduct of man I mean that in the most down to earth way you can imagine. So then how is it possible to distinguish holy text from human error within the same book? I say it's rather impossible, but the best method would be the one I'm describing here. If a value is widespread, continues to grow, and shows no sign of declination, then it's possible we got God's message, through the noise of human error; even if you don't believe in God. A practical and possible method of divine communication that we perceive as happenstance. As long as a practical morality can be divined from these ancient text, people will continue to use them as such. I'm strictly talking about a God that wants you to make your own choices for your own reasons, with only a minor influence from the shadows. To this end he is not going to make himself apparent as made obvious, studying our world. Faith seems to be an important factor in many of the religions, yet for some reason people are hellbent on trying to prove it all the time. But faith would only be necessary if God wasn't apparent. And I'm not trying to prove God. I'm simply trying to present an antithesis to the 'strong' arguments presented against God.

    I talked a little bit about free will, but I just want to say, that I don't prescribe to absolute free will. Rather I believe in practical free will. We're moist robots with very special abilities in reasoning. This allows us to live by moral codes that we sculpt through our personal experiences. Religion, simply being one of many.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  12. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I added that last bit in the sentence in my last edit, but I felt I needed to make another post to make clear, what I was saying. If you prescribe to a common morality that happens to be represented in holy text, then although you don't believe in God, his message resonated within you. A God that didn't want to be apparent would be satisfied with this result, even if you are atheist.
     
  13. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,564
    Likes Received:
    3,561
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    @Megalith Are you saying that it's reasonable to think there is god but his/her/its existence and role have been misunderstood and muddled by human interventions and that's why god's existence seems unlikely when you apply logic to the evidence provided in holy texts?

    I haven't finished The God Delusion yet (I'm in chapter 8), but so far it has criticized religion as it manifests itself today and in history, such as how it's taught and discussed, or how people treat it (e.g. they pray for a sunny day -> the sun shines -> God exists).

    It's curious you call -- what I'd call cruticism or challenging of ideas -- "attacks." It's quite a loaded way to put it, considering how calm and collected Harris and Dawkins tend to be when debating god. Maybe someone like Christopher Hitchens could be described as someone who attacked religions as he appeared to be more of an antitheist than atheist. But I guess this is subjective.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  14. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Well a challenge is an attack. It's an attack based in reason, but one none the less, I can see how you see it as loaded, but I can see how some of the things I'm saying are attacks, although they are also based in reason. You bring up a decent point. I didn't get to the different manifestations of religion. But that is all anecdotal, I can come up with as many positive manifestations of religion in recent history as you can negative. And lapses in reasoning with no practical impact in our world don't really count.
     
    Shattered Shields likes this.
  15. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    well holy text are only evidence in so far as they are considered holy. nothing really makes them holy besides a bunch of people believing in them. It's survival and persistence in our society is a testament to it's practicality and possibility. (EDIT TO ADD: From my perspective on the subject of course.)
     
  16. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I just realized I didn't answer the core of your question. "Do I think it's reasonable to think there is a God?" Actually I don't think it's reasonable to believe God exists. Nor do I think that many people believing in one thing somehow validates it. You have to consider many, many, things. And I understand why people believe in a higher power even if my reasoning tells me otherwise. Because their is a limit to my reasoning and what it can accomplish and derive about our world. Sure we can always learn more, but God really won't be found unless he wants to be found, and the question of his existence will always lurk over our incomplete understanding of the universe. The perfect question that proves it shouldn't be a question, but we still can't help but fathom it.

    My point is that because that limit to our reasoning exists, some unanswerable questions are much more important than the FSM. It's their importance to us and those close to us that molds our identity and how we define ourselves. Maybe God absolutely doesn't want to be found or remembered and simply used his guidance to kick-start society and the technological age. If that's the case then his importance will fade into obscurity with moralities origins based around reason rather than Gods. But faith is really important in religion and it's a logic loophole that has existed within it for a very long time and continues to do so without much decline. If our concept of what God can be, changes, but this one thing doesn't, then maybe it's because God does plan to reveal himself one day. Maybe he reveals himself to all of us eventually. Anyways, when you can't prove something to exist or not exist, you can't make any logical arguments for or against it. That combined with the personal importance of the subject matter, helps me by identify myself as an agnostic.
     
    Shattered Shields likes this.
  17. Acanthophis
    Offline

    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    330
    Location:
    Canada
    I was raised an atheist, I despise the notion of a god, and I try to shut it down whenever necessary.
     
  18. Shattered Shields
    Offline

    Shattered Shields Gratsa!

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Athagora
    Thats the thing with religion, is that it depends on the act of not knowing. What were the earliest Gods? Were they not ways to explain the night (Nyx), thunder (Zeus), the waves (Poseidon). Theres a reason why religion is and has always been a leap of faith.

    But it's also a belief system, which means arguing about religion is pointless. There's no definable way one can prove the existence of a God, and theres no definable way the possibility of an intelligent deity can be disproven.

    So lets not have a world war three caliber argument about it eh?
     
    123456789 likes this.
  19. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Kind of makes it impossible to have a debate about it. The only time these things happen is when some jack ass with a PHD becomes delusioned and decides to write a book about intelligent design or something. Sure you can challenge religion really easily, but I don't think that's good enough.

    I actually looked really hard at the flat earth debate. Not because I thought the earth was flat/geocentric, but because I wanted to understand how these people got trapped into this delusion. It was fascinating to hear their side of the story. They believe Antarctica circles the entire flat Earth creating an ice wall at the edge of the World. And they think the Sun is some 3-4 thousand miles away, circling above the flat Earth. They also think the reason things disappear behind the horizon is because they move so far away, they vanish from your perspective. Now some of this makes sense but only if you have a rudimentary understanding of our World. These people are making the same mistake the flat ant does believing he lives in a flat World. The Earth is so huge, from their tiny ant perspective, the world does look flat. Their limited by their digital camera's zoom and bad math. And I watched many people try and debate these flat Earthers and they couldn't get anywhere with them because they denied so many things that were common sense to the opposing side. It always turned to them ridiculing the flat Earther instead of appealing to the flat Earther's lack of understanding and perception. The common avenues were already readily denied to the flat Earther so the debate could never get past the first step. Somehow they thought this was okay. Just let the flat Earther continue being a flat Earther. The problem is that they are growing in number, and this idea is catching a lot of traction, especially as of late. So what we give up and let this implosion of reasoning occur?

    I don't believe it has to be like that. Many of these flat Earthers didn't come across this idea, thinking they would start believing in it. They are sometimes just slightly curious, but then they are dragged into the 'conspiracy web', as I like to call it. They are overwhelmed and end up submitting to the terrible but sound logic of the flat Earther. Even though these people are so open minded that their brains fall out, I believe they can still be reached. I believe that it's possible to convince most of them that this was totally off base and incorrect, but only if you take a step into the delusion they are trapped in. I took my time to do just that and have already snapped a few Flat Earther's out of it. These were people making videos on the subject, so I was quite proud of my achievement.

    This specific individual had made a video about how Flat Earther's are ridiculed for calling a picture posted on Facebook of Antartica from space, to be fake. This flat Earther took a copy of the picture and analyzed it to prove that it was CGI. And it was CGI, really obvious CGI, the source of the photo, NASA, explained it was only a visualization of the Earth. But he went on to explain that there are no pictures of Antarctica from space and that it's all cgi, a cover up, etc. etc. We had a pretty short conversation but he asked me to provide a photo of Antartica from space. Because I had taken the Flat Earthers seriously, I was already prepared with satellite photos that map out all of Antartica, like on Google Earth, from NASA. No cgi, no distortions in the landmass, pretty solid evidence that Antartica isn't a huge landmass circling our entire world on a flat surface. That it does indeed look like all those cgi photos. He didn't have much to say after that. But it wasn't hard, it didn't take very long, because there just isn't enough for flat Earthers to stand on. And the more advanced and available our instruments become, the more obvious this will become to the common man. In that sense, these flat Earthers will eventually kill themselves out, but I don't think that means we should just ignore them.

    Sorry for the long story, but my point is that if you really have something against somebodies beliefs, it's ultimately their choice to believe those things, not whatever you believe the reason is they think those things. and if you want to convince them otherwise then you can't always expect the same methods to work, and ridicule sure as hell isn't going to work. It's like screaming at a breaking dam, expecting it to stop the leaks. Not very effective.
     
  20. Shattered Shields
    Offline

    Shattered Shields Gratsa!

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Athagora
    @Megalith , eh, I dunno if thats enough of a comparison. The Earth is solid, its tangible. We can actively observe it through a wide array of instruments. But there's no barometer for Godness, or maybe his magic dust, something like that. The prospect of a shadowy deity is too intangible for science to really crack down and study.

    Maybe theres nothing there, maybe there is. Can one really study a possibility?

    Edit: Mega, I just realized I kinda parroted you in that last post of mine, funny that.
     
  21. Cave Troll
    Offline

    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    2,396
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  22. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Yes that's a very good distinction that I wanted to talk about but it would have made my post a lot longer. Yes, he is completely intangible, But you know what else is intangible? Consciousness, quilia. Yet as we study neurology we are getting closer and closer to understanding these fundamental concepts about ourselves. Just because it seems impossible now, doesn't mean it will always be, which is why it's important that some people keep a vigilante eye. Because if everyone was like Cave Troll and Acanthophis, we might just miss God right underneath our noses.
     
    Mckk and Shattered Shields like this.
  23. Shattered Shields
    Offline

    Shattered Shields Gratsa!

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Athagora
    Honestly? This wouldn't shock me at all. The leaps science has made in my lifetime...... Who am I or anyone else to say that science may never reach the pinnacle of finding God?
     
    Oscar Leigh and Megalith like this.
  24. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,564
    Likes Received:
    3,561
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    And I'm guessing if we proved god's existence indisputably with the scientific method, religious people wouldn't be like "nah, you can't prove god with science".

    Scientists can't scour every inch of the universe to prove something believers need no proof for. What we can do is make a case, for his existence or for his non-existence, and each individual is free to evaluate them and make up their mind. For me, the case for his non-existence is stronger. I can't even be agnostic because that'd still require me to accept, say, unicorns could exist, we just haven't found them yet, so as I don't know for sure, it's more reasonable for me to accept they can exist for all we know.

    But based on what we do know of evolution, horses, biology etc. it's a reasonable stance, imo, to say "unicorns don't exist".

    That's how I feel about agnosticism. I also don't find it sensical to extend a special courtesy to the existence of god while I'm so firm about the non-existence of unicorns or mermaids.

    This is not to say there aren't things in this universe I haven't seen but could consider possible, like life outside Earth. Microbiologists have replicated the conditions that are favorable to life, NASA has found some basic elements of life in comets and PNe and so on, so even if we never find it, it can be more due to the size of the universe than impossibility of extraterrestrial life (I don't mean little green men, obviously).
     
  25. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Ye, you get @KaTrian

    If we begin objectifying God, it is not going to start in a lab. It will start with philosophy first, and then someone will figure out how to test for God from the corresponding philosophies. Who knows when that will be because philosophy and god have compatibility issues as well. If it turns out to be impossible then we might never get past this first step, but that doesn't mean I'm giving up. Because even if it turns out God doesn't exist, I don't consider it a waste of time looking for him. Part of the reason is because it still has a lot of relevance today, but I think the main reason is because I hope one day I might find something that tells me otherwise.

    lol. I wonder how they would take the news considering that most of the notions we have about God are probably completely wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page