The God Thread

by Waifu

Waifu
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10-05-2015, 11:52 PM
#21447 (26)
(10-05-2015, 11:10 PM)mis Wrote:
(10-05-2015, 10:27 PM)Red Wrote: I'm a catholic.
Why? Well, it's quite a long story.

But take a look at Rt. Rev. Robert Barron's videos, he clears up a lot of misconceptions.
And there's a wealth of literature on the topic (such as the Summa Theologica (PDF), which is very good for beginners).
Personally I found kierkegaard's fear and trembling particularly captivating.


In any case, if somebody has a particular gripe with Christianity (or even with catholicism specifically) I'd be happy to discuss it.

I was born a Catholic and raised in a strong religious household, had to attend Sunday mass, and even went to Sunday school up until high school.

I'm pretty happy with the progressive changes that we as a religion have made, mostly in that we become more tolerant of others and it's less about redemption and more about saving.

What would you have to say to someone who still wants to believe in a higher power, but not in the faith of it? It's pretty hard to keep faith when all you really have to rely on is yourself in the world, yet preachers and followers say to you every single day to "believe in God's work" or "God has a plan for everyone". When you hear about the stuff that happens every day in the world, from disease to conflict, I find myself questioning what this "plan" is for people staring down the barrel of a gun or having their bodies literally torn apart from the inside. Some people live lives without worry, while others fear if they can even survive the day. In other words, why is he so unfair?

In the words of Fry, if God does exist, there can only be one proper response;

“I’d say: ‘Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you! How dare you create a world where there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’ That’s what I’d say.”
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10-06-2015, 12:09 AM
#21449 (27)
(10-05-2015, 11:52 PM)Waifu Wrote: In the words of Fry, if God does exist, there can only be one proper response;

“I’d say: ‘Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you! How dare you create a world where there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’ That’s what I’d say.”

This quote is flawed; a quick read of Genesis 2 and 3 would explain why.

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10-06-2015, 09:46 AM (This post was last modified: 10-06-2015, 09:47 AM by Waifu.)
#21479 (28)
(10-06-2015, 12:09 AM)Saikou Wrote:
(10-05-2015, 11:52 PM)Waifu Wrote: In the words of Fry, if God does exist, there can only be one proper response;

“I’d say: ‘Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you! How dare you create a world where there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’ That’s what I’d say.”

This quote is flawed; a quick read of Genesis 2 and 3 would explain why.

Feel free to explain how the current state of affairs of our world can be justified in any way shape or form under the rule of a presumably benevolent God.
Ultimately either God ignores us ( Apathy ), doesn't exist ( Fantasy ), or he torments us ( Malice ).

The Bible contradicts itself on multiple occasions, so as a source it can also be stated as flawed because, religious or not, discrepancies/inconsistencies must always be met with scrutiny.
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10-06-2015, 09:58 PM
#21589 (29)
(10-05-2015, 11:10 PM)mis Wrote: I was born a Catholic and raised in a strong religious household, had to attend Sunday mass, and even went to Sunday school up until high school.

I'm pretty happy with the progressive changes that we as a religion have made, mostly in that we become more tolerant of others and it's less about redemption and more about saving.

What would you have to say to someone who still wants to believe in a higher power, but not in the faith of it? It's pretty hard to keep faith when all you really have to rely on is yourself in the world, yet preachers and followers say to you every single day to "believe in God's work" or "God has a plan for everyone". When you hear about the stuff that happens every day in the world, from disease to conflict, I find myself questioning what this "plan" is for people staring down the barrel of a gun or having their bodies literally torn apart from the inside. Some people live lives without worry, while others fear if they can even survive the day. In other words, why is he so unfair?

I think it's important to understand that God is not in competition with creation, that is, he himself is not contingent and that by the nature of non-contingent things (of which there can only be one) he is the ground for the contingent universe.
It's also important not to reduce him to a watchmaker who creates things and remains indifferent to them, because this conflicts with the ontological truths about -what- can exist outside of the purely physical.
In fact, I must hold that all other such gods of different religions simply do not cohere with these truths as well as the Christian concept of God does.
So, by the nature of God he is always acting, to say that the unmoved mover can remain indifferent is to say that circles can be squares.
Now to the point, you say "all you really have to rely on is yourself in the world," and I can understand why.

However, God is not a fussy taskmaster, I point to the thought of aquinas to exemplify how serious Christians think about God:
Page 24, article 1: Whether the existence of God is self evident. Reply to Objection 1:
"To know that God exists in a general and confused way is im-
planted in us by nature, inasmuch as God is man's beatitude. For man naturally desires
happiness, and what is naturally desired by man must be naturally known to him. This,
however, is not to know absolutely that God exists; just as to know that someone is approach-
ing is not the same as to know that Peter is approaching, even though it is Peter who is ap-
proaching; for many there are who imagine that man's perfect good which is happiness,
consists in riches, and others in pleasures, and others in something else."
To elucidate, any being and any inference upwards to conscience partakes in God, the only danger is (and this is VERY important) when people become obsessed with scientific fact as means of explanation, because the only choices left for such a person are:
1.) consciousness cannot be defined empirically (that is, it is not composed of matter), therefor it is an abstraction upon the experience of mere self-awareness
2.) consciousness exists, but it exists only because of physical phenomena and nothing more
Both of these lines of thought are jointly and commutatively put to death the is-ought problem and the categorical imperative, and the second view is not even scientifically sound.

So Christianity, is not a club, we don't claim to know the truth, and we don't claim exclusive rights to the truth, it was given to all mankind.
The "divine science" as aquinas calls it (referring to a kind of generalized philosophically-imbued theology) deals in the study of divine revelation, and those who are captivated by it do worship and services, not because it's a rule, but because of a genuine fervor for the truth.

Even in the bible we see the theme of an unintrusive God: "the bush burned and was not consumed," and then we have the Christ who embodies ultimate human unity with God by the chalcedonion (and thereby catholic) definition of hypostatic union.

On the problem of evil, most catholics (including me) believe that worldly unjustness (or what may be perceived as unjust) is a necessary feature of ultimate good.
Now this has more rigorous philosophical basis than I can put forward but this idea is also reflected in scripture (Genesis 50:20, after joseph's brothers wrongfully beat him and sold him, he became the pharoah's right-hand-man after being imprisoned wrongfully) and by the church fathers (Augustine says (Contra Julian. i, 9): "There is no possible source of evil except good." ), and also by aquinas (This quote extends to the end of my post):
"It must be said that every evil in some way has a cause. For evil is the absence of the good, which is natural and due to a thing. But that anything fail from its natural and due disposition can come only from some cause drawing it out of its proper disposition. For a heavy thing is not moved upwards except by some impelling force; nor does an agent fail in its action except from some impediment. But only good can be a cause; because nothing can be a cause except inasmuch as it is a being, and every being, as such, is good.
And if we consider the special kinds of causes, we see that the agent, the form, and the end, import some kind of perfection which belongs to the notion of good. Even matter, as a potentiality to good, has the nature of good. Now that good is the cause of evil by way of the material cause was shown above (Question 48, Article 3). For it was shown that good is the subject of evil. But evil has no formal cause, rather is it a privation of form; likewise, neither has it a final cause, but rather is it a privation of order to the proper end; since not only the end has the nature of good, but also the useful, which is ordered to the end. Evil, however, has a cause by way of an agent, not directly, but accidentally.
In proof of this, we must know that evil is caused in the action otherwise than in the effect. In the action evil is caused by reason of the defect of some principle of action, either of the principal or the instrumental agent; thus the defect in the movement of an animal may happen by reason of the weakness of the motive power, as in the case of children, or by reason only of the ineptitude of the instrument, as in the lame. On the other hand, evil is caused in a thing, but not in the proper effect of the agent, sometimes by the power of the agent, sometimes by reason of a defect, either of the agent or of the matter. It is caused by reason of the power or perfection of the agent when there necessarily follows on the form intended by the agent the privation of another form; as, for instance, when on the form of fire there follows the privation of the form of air or of water. Therefore, as the more perfect the fire is in strength, so much the more perfectly does it impress its own form, so also the more perfectly does it corrupt the contrary. Hence that evil and corruption befall air and water comes from the perfection of the fire: but this is accidental; because fire does not aim at the privation of the form of water, but at the bringing in of its own form, though by doing this it also accidentally causes the other. But if there is a defect in the proper effect of the fire--as, for instance, that it fails to heat--this comes either by defect of the action, which implies the defect of some principle, as was said above, or by the indisposition of the matter, which does not receive the action of the fire, the agent. But this very fact that it is a deficient being is accidental to good to which of itself it belongs to act. Hence it is true that evil in no way has any but an accidental cause; and thus is good the cause of evil."
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10-07-2015, 12:20 AM
#21612 (30)
(10-06-2015, 09:58 PM)Red Wrote:
(10-05-2015, 11:10 PM)mis Wrote: I was born a Catholic and raised in a strong religious household, had to attend Sunday mass, and even went to Sunday school up until high school.

I'm pretty happy with the progressive changes that we as a religion have made, mostly in that we become more tolerant of others and it's less about redemption and more about saving.

What would you have to say to someone who still wants to believe in a higher power, but not in the faith of it? It's pretty hard to keep faith when all you really have to rely on is yourself in the world, yet preachers and followers say to you every single day to "believe in God's work" or "God has a plan for everyone". When you hear about the stuff that happens every day in the world, from disease to conflict, I find myself questioning what this "plan" is for people staring down the barrel of a gun or having their bodies literally torn apart from the inside. Some people live lives without worry, while others fear if they can even survive the day. In other words, why is he so unfair?

I think it's important to understand that God is not in competition with creation, that is, he himself is not contingent and that by the nature of non-contingent things (of which there can only be one) he is the ground for the contingent universe...

First off, thanks for replying in such a civil, yet passionate manner regarding the topic, it's pretty hard nowadays to really discuss religion openly without it devolving to "just read the bible verse John x:xx, you'll be enlightened" or "it's just how God works, you'll understand with faith". You sort of remind me of my own pastor at my church, but addressing my question firsthand really means a lot to me more than just a general homily. (You should make an introduction thread by the way, it'd be nice as a formality to say hello to everyone!)

From what I can get from the gist of it, you're saying that there really cannot be any good without any evil, is that right? Sorry if it looks like I'm simplifying your argument, I just got a bit lost in the message.

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10-07-2015, 10:18 AM (This post was last modified: 10-07-2015, 10:22 AM by Waifu.)
#21633 (31)
(10-06-2015, 09:58 PM)Red Wrote:
(10-05-2015, 11:10 PM)mis Wrote: I was born a Catholic and raised in a strong religious household, had to attend Sunday mass, and even went to Sunday school up until high school.

I'm pretty happy with the progressive changes that we as a religion have made, mostly in that we become more tolerant of others and it's less about redemption and more about saving.

What would you have to say to someone who still wants to believe in a higher power, but not in the faith of it? It's pretty hard to keep faith when all you really have to rely on is yourself in the world, yet preachers and followers say to you every single day to "believe in God's work" or "God has a plan for everyone". When you hear about the stuff that happens every day in the world, from disease to conflict, I find myself questioning what this "plan" is for people staring down the barrel of a gun or having their bodies literally torn apart from the inside. Some people live lives without worry, while others fear if they can even survive the day. In other words, why is he so unfair?

I think it's important to understand that God is not in competition with creation, that is, he himself is not contingent and that by the nature of non-contingent things (of which there can only be one) he is the ground for the contingent universe.
It's also important not to reduce him to a watchmaker who creates things and remains indifferent to them, because this conflicts with the ontological truths about -what- can exist outside of the purely physical.
In fact, I must hold that all other such gods of different religions simply do not cohere with these truths as well as the Christian concept of God does.
So, by the nature of God he is always acting, to say that the unmoved mover can remain indifferent is to say that circles can be squares.
Now to the point, you say "all you really have to rely on is yourself in the world," and I can understand why.

I'm going to respond to certain points that jump at me while I read, since I find it much easier to respond in that manner. If you find that I missed any vital point or if this manner of response omitted an important message you're trying to convey, please tell me.


Quote:For man naturally desires happiness,

I must disagree with this minor point, especially since it seems like a gateway to something bigger. Man desires the ultimate benefit for himself and his 'pack', as is what the most base instincts demand. While this normally is in conjunction with happiness, happiness is simply a byproduct or an indicator that all is well, much in the same way that the brain uses pain to signal that it's vessel is damaged or anger to stand their ground in the face of danger. Most of these emotions are simply indicators to help us navigate these base instincts. However, since our benefit does not always make us happy, I'd like to correct this into man naturally desires his benefit. Believe it or not, the difference is there and is substantial enough to not ignore it.

Quote:To elucidate, any being and any inference upwards to conscience partakes in God, the only danger is (and this is VERY important) when people become obsessed with scientific fact as means of explanation, because the only choices left for such a person are:
1.) consciousness cannot be defined empirically (that is, it is not composed of matter), therefor it is an abstraction upon the experience of mere self-awareness
2.) consciousness exists, but it exists only because of physical phenomena and nothing more
Both of these lines of thought are jointly and commutatively put to death the is-ought problem and the categorical imperative, and the second view is not even scientifically sound.

Again, I must speak up here. When you say 'people become obsessed with scientific fact as a means of explanation', I must throw my hat in due to the fact that, well, I am likely one of those people, so I feel in a good position to put my two cents as a person with that point of view.

First of all, it's difficult to really call it an obsession. Is it an obsession to be determined to call everything that is red 'red'? Is it an obsession to be absolutely certain that all that is wet is 'wet'? These are basic things we all know and agree on and exactly how my archetype views scientific fact. It's not an obsession. We can go about our day fairly easily without thinking about the explanation for everything. Do I dissect nearly everything given to me until it's little more than a hollow corpse I can examine? Absolutely, but only because I wish to understand. That's moreso severe curiosity with everything rather than obsession with scientific fact, especially since my explanations sometimes don't even pertain to scientific structure.

As for your presented thought processes? They are false.

Both they themselves and the implication that they are the only explanation we can come up with and stand by at all times. To anyone who shares my view and has half a brain, we have a much more sane explanation: We don't know.
Consciousness is a very tricky thing to approach, as is most things pertaining to the brain. Anyone who says everything involving can be explained already is completely asinine since it still remains one of the greatest mysteries that we have yet to completely understand. This is where my gripe with certain religious peers comes in as they are not content with that answer and wish to know at all costs (at which point I suppose that is also called obsession). This often comes to the taunting joke of "We do not know, therefor God". Is it a tasteful joke? No, but it exists for a reason, and that's very much the reason.

Given enough time and research, and you'll have to trust me on this one, we'll find out all there is to know about consciousness to a more grounded level. Much the same way that turning oxygen into water would be considered completely impossible but a few years ago and an act of God several centuries ago.

TL;DR "We don't know" is an acceptable answer.

Quote:So Christianity, is not a club, we don't claim to know the truth, and we don't claim exclusive rights to the truth, it was given to all mankind.
The "divine science" as aquinas calls it (referring to a kind of generalized philosophically-imbued theology) deals in the study of divine revelation, and those who are captivated by it do worship and services, not because it's a rule, but because of a genuine fervor for the truth.

While I'm certain you have enough wits about you to not treat Christianity as a club and not claim the truth, please do look around and see your peers, as a good portion of them do exactly that. Were that not true, the Crusades or, in more recent terms, religious discrimination wouldn't exist at all, seeing as how your perception leaves quite a bit of room for compromise. As a result, and I hope this doesn't create any bad blood, your statement is completely false.


I'll have to admit that I completely scratched my head at what tangent you went off of as for good and evil, but I'll throw what I can in there.

Since I'm going to draw out of human instinct again, this means that Good and Evil isn't real, but Benefit and Detriment is. What comes to our detriment and is perpetrated by something tangible (more than often at least) we interpret as evil. What comes to our benefit and is perpetrated by something tangible (again, more than often) we interpret as good. That is why we cannot 'fight' evil, because something will always come to our detriment and why we will always know what good is to us, because we know what comes to our benefit.

The only way for good and evil to exist objectively is with the presence of some God, apparently, and even then it'd still be subjective because God himself is still an individual and, as such, it'd be an opinion rather than absolute fact.

If you'd be so kind as to condense what you mean on that last portion, mayhaps I can come up with a more coherent response.
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Tiny
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10-07-2015, 11:39 AM (This post was last modified: 10-07-2015, 11:46 AM by Tiny.)
#21640 (32)
I was extremely hesitant to even click the thread as I most of the time refuse to touch religion threads with a 9 foot pole, however it seems that the people here are giving their real opinions instead of shit posting about how god is or isn't real and negging everyone who disagrees.

On that note, i'd like to share my personal opinion. You could call me an Atheist along with many other things.. I believe that there is always someone bigger and better in the world, be it aliens or another human, hell a dog. Whatever it may be, theres always someone at the top of the food chain. The idea that it's some "scary" guy who can do anything with the flick of the wrist (pun intended) is beyond me. That whole "why does the wind blow" absolutely drives a train through my head. There is no way theres some magical being that no one can see that is able to control everything and suddenly gave us "free will". What about science, DNA, envirmental data. There is so much in this world to explain why things are happening and us as humans continue to learn about this life that we live, and the world that we live on. I don't see the point, in reading a book that a man wrote, saying it was god's words.

I was raised a Baptist, at a local church in my home town. For years I was dragged to church only to question what was being drilled into my head. My father was catholic but my mother was Baptist. So while us kids got dragged to church, my father refused to go. I can understand having to believe in something because it gives you hope, but basing your entire life on a man made pre-written book is absolute bullshit to me. If you need someone to "pray" to, so you feel safe at night, so be it, but what gets me is when people try to force it on others. There is no reason for anyone to say "your going to hell" just because you don't feel the way they do.

When I was younger, I stopped going to the church my mother went to and started going to another Baptist church with my friend named Luke. It was in a different town, but it was a different church, not like the one I had been raised in. After it peaked my interest and I started learning, I felt like I was watching a fish tank, these people were trapped inside their own bubble, and any thoughts of doubt were exiled from the group. I stopped going to that church, or any church at all for roughly six months. After that six month period, something happened that I am still pretty upset about to this day. One night my mother was working the late shift, I had come home from work around 4PM and didn't expect her until 9-10PM. Roughly 6PM the Baptist church I went to with my friend Luke, showed up at my doorstep. Of course, I liked the people, just didn't believe in what they did, so I invited them in. I figured, I spent some time with these people regardless of their religion, they know how I feel, and I know how they feel. The entire youth group showed up, including my friend Luke. The youth paster brought his little baby daughter in his hands. As they stood in my dining room, they asked me.. "Why have you not come to church?". As I offered them all some water, I told them how I felt, and that I felt I needed to walk a different path. After that, things turned sour. I was told I was going to hell for not coming to church. Fine, ok whatever, that's how you feel. I would really not like you to say those things in the house I help pay for, but that's ok, i'll forgive you. Then, they attacked my mother, while she wasn't there to defend herself. I was told, not only was I going to hell, but so was she, for being a bad mother and not making me go to church, they told me she was going to hell because of my actions and the way I feel.

To me this experience ruined anything that might have once been. When you step into a mans house, and insult him and his mother that's it. I was young back then, this will sound a little silly. As I teared up and wiped the tears off my face. I told them to "get the fuck out of my house". They pleaded with me, asking me not to kick them out. However I stood my ground. How dare you come into my house, and tell me i'm going to hell and so is my mother. My mother is NOT responsible for my feelings. Sure, as a minor then, she was responsible for my actions, but I never harmed them, and my feelings are my own. She should never have been spoken about badly behind her back, while she was at work, trying to pay bills, just like I was earlier that morning. I have been told, that's called a cult, however because of the terrible experience, I tend to steer clear of anyone that has anything to do with religion. No matter what anyone tells me, you cannot change my feelings, you will not change them, and you will not talk down to me like you know more just because I don't pray to some "god".

Holy shit, I really just typed all that. I didn't look away from my screen once.







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Lokorfi
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10-07-2015, 02:15 PM
#21642 (33)
@Tiny I'm glad that you stood up for your mom and told them to get out. You have my respect.

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None_At_All
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10-07-2015, 06:04 PM
#21660 (34)
(10-07-2015, 11:39 AM)Tiny Wrote: As I offered them all some water, I told them how I felt, and that I felt I needed to walk a different path. After that, things turned sour. I was told I was going to hell for not coming to church. Fine, ok whatever, that's how you feel. I would really not like you to say those things in the house I help pay for, but that's ok, i'll forgive you. Then, they attacked my mother, while she wasn't there to defend herself. I was told, not only was I going to hell, but so was she, for being a bad mother and not making me go to church, they told me she was going to hell because of my actions and the way I feel.

Jesus Christ.
Pun intended
I've thankfully never had any experiences like that one. Asshole Christians and atheists are really frustrating to me because they misrepresent both sides to a degree. As in, it's harder to argue in favor of either when people go around fucking over the reputation of both groups.

In reality, all he's doing is pushing the same buttons he always has, nothing has changed. The longer he spends here, the more invested he gets, the more he forgets which life is the real one.
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10-16-2015, 08:08 PM (This post was last modified: 10-17-2015, 12:56 PM by Red.)
#22701 (35)
>>21633
The physical functions of the brain (of which I am completely aware) are integral to this whole synthesis, so explaining it away doesn't really accomplish anything, these details are a priori.
You said here that "man naturally desires his benefit," but you also said that what benefits us does not always make us happy (eating our vegetables).
So a child that does not like broccoli cannot desire broccoli even though it will benefit him, he wants sweets.
Now, in that quote Aquinas uses "happiness" synonymously with "beatitude," which is a philosophically loaded term and doesn't include base desires.
But let's avoid simple semantics here, the terminology we use doesn't change the fact that every person has his ultimate good, after all, it existed before there were terms for it.
I wonder if it existed before people existed, or before anything existed.
With words we name nameless things, so that at times it may appear that a thing is instantiated by its word but this isn't so true.
Before the words, the thing was instantiated by something else (maybe the human mind), and before that something different still (the fundamental laws of the universe?).
At the end of the road (or beginning, as the case may be), we find that the thing was derivative of the single word, the single thing, which is called the logos, and, rather than being caused by physical things, causes all physical things in a transcendental sense.
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10-16-2015, 08:49 PM
#22713 (36)
I don't disbelieve in a God, although I don't believe in any doctrine I've found thus far. I'm agnostic all the way, by the modern sense of the term.
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11-08-2015, 12:05 AM
#25225 (37)
I'm somewhere between Agnostic and Atheist.

I don't know if there's a god but I don't really care. Perhaps I would care if I knew a fact, otherwise I doubt I'll change.

I rather not stress myself with such trivial questions that cannot be answered, I will simply live my life regardless of the possible answer.

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11-08-2015, 03:42 AM
#25249 (38)
I see myself somewhere between agnostic and atheist. I don't believe in god, but I don't rule his/her/their existent out either, mostly due to the 5-minute hypothesis. I naturally don't mind people actually believing in the existet of god/gods, because as Pascal said 'Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.'
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11-08-2015, 11:33 AM
#25326 (39)
My hardcore atheism started to fade when I sat down to read actual theology rather than rely on my personal description of what religion is/can be. I read through Monologian during my freshman year of high school and have just been content with taking an "I don't know and I don't care" attitude toward religion since.
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11-08-2015, 09:34 PM
#25397 (40)
Personally I feel that
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11-10-2015, 02:05 AM
#25577 (41)
My grandparents are religious, my mom would say she's religious (she's really not), but I'm definitely an atheist.

Although I had my neckbeard-y moments when I was in high school, I've come to realize the only reason we don't believe is because we really don't have time for it. She remembers to remind me to thank god whenever I score well on a test and the like, but it's hard to worship when every day's jam-packed with work or endless studying. On any given day, god is the last thing on either of our minds.

As far as religions themselves go however, they're fascinating to study. I like to look at different faiths (and how they're followed) as essential products of a culture and human nature. Everyone needs to live for someone else (myself included), and the myths and tales woven by a religion often serve as a reflection of the culture that gave them birth.

Oh, and on the issue of religious fundamentalism: Just like any other stupid cause, most of the legwork is done either by very, very stupid people, or unfortunate people who didn't know any better. It's the same as any American street gang: Uneducated kids with no future that fully expect to die by time they hit thirty. If only the world invested in education as much as it does in the military...

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11-11-2015, 06:58 PM (This post was last modified: 11-11-2015, 07:05 PM by Waifu.)
#27565 (42)
(11-08-2015, 03:42 AM)TheSimilier Wrote: I see myself somewhere between agnostic and atheist. I don't believe in god, but I don't rule his/her/their existent out either, mostly due to the 5-minute hypothesis. I naturally don't mind people actually believing in the existet of god/gods, because as Pascal said 'Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.'

As someone has said, Pascal's Wager is flawed in that it bases itself on a very specific set of standards.

See, if you do believe, you have to wager on a CHRISTIAN God that is in HUMAN image that is OMNISCIENT and BENEVOLENT and operates by a VERY SPECIFIC set of standards, that HEAVEN AND HELL are both real things and that there is indeed some sort of JUDGMENT.

If we're to use the analogy of a wager, Pascal's Wager is just as hazardous as it is to not believe at all. As a result, the more practical belief, with this equality, is to just not believe. At least for me.

Few quick reads;

Spoiler

  1. He assumed that if God exists then
    1a. humans are immortal (as a necessary condition for 1b)
    1b. God decides whether they are tortured eternally or happy eternally (one of them is enough to profit infinitely, though)
    1c. God bases his decision on whether they believe in him (if this is not the case, the wager does not work, because believing in God or believing in God because of the wager might cause infinite torture)
    1d. God bases his decision on whether they follow religious law (again, the wager does not work if God does not like people following religious law)
    1e. God is the Christian God and you have to believe in exactly the right doctrinal points and those are the points that Pascal was raised with (again, the wager does not work if God does not like people to follow a particular religious law)
  2. It is not true that you have nothing to lose if there is no afterlife and you have spent all your life following the instruction of the religion even though you would have preferred to do something else.
  3. He also assumed that he can rationally decide to believe.
Summary: The wager assumes that there is a positive probability for God rewarding a particular behaviour with eternal bliss and a zero probability for God punishing this very behaviour with denial of eternal bliss. There is no reason for this assumption.
If the probability for a reward is in fact zero, it does matter if you sacrifice all the life you have for a non-existing reward.
If the probability for God disliking the behavious is not zero, then you have to weigh more than one infinite expectance values.
Even if everything works fine, you would have to be able to believe or disbelieve just because you want to. (Like, say, an atheist who reads a study that believers have a better healing chance for a particular cancer and decides to become a believer as a therapy.)
It's logically fine if someone believes all the assumptions and then says that it is a good idea to believe. But this person believes in the first place, they do not believe because of the assumptions, they are just happy with their belief because of what they believe.

Spoiler

1. With a choice of many Gods, some of which make it clear that one cannot believe in more then one of them, one must pick which God to follow in order to get the best of rewards and avoid the worst of the punishments.
2. If God can see into people’s hearts, then will such a god be pleased by a believer who merely believes out of fear and greed?
3. Is it really, "no harm, no fowl?" I don’t think it is. Christopher Hitchens wrote a book a few years back called, “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.” As the title suggests, Hitchens claims that religion poisons everything. There is some merit to his claim and that is one of the strongest criticisms of Pascal’s Wager. Believing in religion does indeed cause great harm not only to the believer but also to the rest of society. This changes the whole dynamic of the wager.
4. This wager concerns itself with belief, but it doesn’t really address the issue of whether or not God is real, which god is real, or even how many gods are real. We could substitute God for any other imaginary construct and the argument would not be the least convincing to anyone. Let’s say that the issue is about whether or not Elvis is God. One either believes Elvis is God or you don’t. If you believe that Elvis is God (and he is) you get a big reward. If you don’t believe (and he is) you get a big punishment. If Elvis isn’t God then there is no harm in believing he is God so one might as well believe. Do you believe Elvis is God? Of course you don’t. Don’t you want the big reward and want to avoid the big punishment if you are wrong? "You might as well believe... because if we are wrong we will be tortured by Elvis for all eternity."
I have a little wager of my own. In my wager, God either exists or he doesn't and we either choose to believe or we don't. But does the God we choose to believe in have superior morality? First, If God does exist and does have superior morality, then by the logic of superior morality as best as we can understand it, it would be unjust for a just God to punish a just person. Therefore, the only criteria that God could use as grounds for entrance into Heaven would be living a moral and just life as best as we can.
The second possibility is if God exists but does not have superior morality. In this case, God could use any criteria at all as entrance to Heaven. Some possible criteria might be but are not limited too, wearing pink pockadot socks every other Thursday, praying in a certain direction at a certain time, believing that his son is your personal Lord and savior, or maybe it is watching Desperate Housewives. In any case, Socrates once told his student Crito that it was always better to receive an injustice than it was to do an injustice. With that same logic, it would be better to be a good person in hell than be an immoral person in heaven. So once more we are left to the conclusion that we ought to live a moral life to the best of our ability.
Lastly we have the third possibility. God doesn’t exist. If this is the case, Aristotle makes a very good argument that the best way to be happy is to be moral.
In all three cases, the best outcomes come when we live a moral life to the best of our ability. Therefore, as long as we do that, it really doesn’t matter if God exists, which god exists, how many gods exist, or if no gods at all exist. All that really matters is living a moral life with morality grounded in empathy and compassion for others.

Spoiler

Pascal's Wager Refuted

The argument (call it "PW") may be formulated as follows:
Quote:(a) If God exists, then whoever doesn't believe in him will end up being eternally tormented or at least annihilated. 
(b) If God exists, then whoever believes in him will gain eternal life. 
(c) If God doesn't exist, then whether or not people believe in him can't matter very much. 
(d) Hence [from (a)-(c)], nontheists are running a grave risk. At the very least, the expected utility of their belief situation is infinitely worse than that of theists. 
(e) But such people are able to self-induce theistic belief. 
(f) Therefore [from (d) & (e)], all nontheists ought to change their beliefs and become theists.
Here are some objections to PW:
1. It is possible to prove that God does not exist. [See the atheism section of the Secular Web.] Hence, premises (a) & (b) of PW are moot or irrelevant.
2. There is no good reason to believe PW's premise (a), and there are many theists who would deny it. Furthermore, if that premise were true, then that would provide a basis for the Argument from Nonbelief, which is a strong argument for God's nonexistence. Thus, the given premise is weak and conceptually problematic.
3. According to the Bible, more is required for salvation than mere belief in God. One also needs to believe in God's son (Mark 16:16; John 3:18,36, 8:21-25, 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; I John 5:12), repent (Luke 13:3,5), be born again (John 3:3), be born of the water and of the Spirit (John 3:5), believe everything in the gospel (Mark 16:16), eat the flesh of Jesus and drink his blood (John 6:53), be like a child (Mark 10:15), and do good deeds, esp. for needy people (Matt. 25:41-46; Rom. 2:5-10; John 5:28-29; James 2:14-26). Therefore, premise (b) of PW is not generally true, so far as the Bible is concerned. And, furthermore, apart from the Bible, there is no reason whatever to believe that premise. Thus, PW's premise (b) can reasonably be doubted.
4. Most people who believe in God devote significant time to prayer and church activities. Such people presumably also contribute money, perhaps a tithe (10% of their income). Without that belief, most of them would not do such things. In addition, many such people go through life with inhibitions on both thought and behavior. (Consider, for example, inhibitions regarding sexual practices, marriage & divorce, birth control, abortion, reading material, and association with other people.) In many cases, those inhibitions are quite extreme and may have great effects on one's life and the lives of others. In some communities, women are oppressed on the basis of theistic belief. Also, some theists have persecuted and even killed others (as in inquisitions, religious wars, attacks on homosexuals, abortionists, etc.) because of their belief that that is what God wants them to do. Furthermore, some people (e.g., clergymen) devote their entire lives to God. For these various reasons, even if God does not exist, it would indeed matter a great deal whether or not one believes in God, at least for most such believers. It follows that premise (c) of PW is false.
5. It may be that God does not exist and, instead, some other being rules the universe. That being may dislike intensely and may inflict infinite punishment on anyone who believes in God or who believes anything out of self-interest (as recommended in PW). But a person who comes to believe in God on the basis of PW would in that case be in "a heap of trouble," even though God does not exist. The expected utility of the theist's belief situation would be infinitely worse than that of the nontheist. It follows that premise (c) of PW is false.
6. To believe in God, one must believe propositions that are, from the standpoint of most nontheists, impossible (or at least very hard) to believe. For that reason, PW's premise (e) can be rejected.
7. Belief is not directly subject to the will. So, it is impossible (or at least very difficult) for nontheists to self-induce theistic belief. This also renders PW's premise (e) false.
For all of these reasons, PW ought to be rejected.

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11-11-2015, 07:21 PM
#27568 (43)
Well I am a god so ye there is your proof
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11-12-2015, 04:40 AM
#27653 (44)
>>27565
This was certainly a very interesting read and I'm most grateful that you went out of your way to make this well-written and in-depth post. It is most logical and I agree with pretty much all of it. I don't regret having used Pascals wager in my earlier statement tho, since it allowed me to enjoy this read. My thanks for giving me the opportunity to change my opinion on something I haven't spend many thoughts on thinking it through to the end.
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11-12-2015, 07:31 PM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2015, 07:31 PM by Waifu.)
#27846 (45)
(11-12-2015, 04:40 AM)TheSimilier Wrote: >>27565
This was certainly a very interesting read and I'm most grateful that you went out of your way to make this well-written and in-depth post. It is most logical and I agree with pretty much all of it. I don't regret having used Pascals wager in my earlier statement tho, since it allowed me to enjoy this read. My thanks for giving me the opportunity to change my opinion on something I haven't spend many thoughts on thinking it through to the end.

I'm glad I helped. I'm often presented with Pascal's Wager as a fearsome 'Trump Card' and, admittedly, it did have me stumped for quite a few months until ISIS began doing their shenanigans in the name of their one true God.

Some research later, and yes, I feel like my belief (or lack thereof) still strikes true considering the various flaws brought up by the wager.
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11-12-2015, 10:05 PM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2015, 10:09 PM by COUPLED WITH U.)
#27894 (46)
I hate religious discussion carried mainly by emotion. I just can't like it in any way. I hate emotional arguments for atheism, or for theism. I don't like this thread very much. Maybe some arguments that aren't on religion emotion can definitely be a factor for enjoyment. You can just nickpick things from everywhere it's so stupid, and that's what it comes down to with "debates" like these.
Uzinero and tn have a great outlook on things.

also i didn't read this entire thread but i think there was an interesting response :o



>>11859
>  
>  Time is our measurement and that's it.
>  
>  What exactly we're measuring is a foundation of our dimension and completely insane
>  to even explain, at least for me. Fact is, it just seems like something beyond our
>  comprehension and, without meaning any offense

Does religion mean any offense when it doesn't impose in any way?




>>20151
>  TL;DR: God is a bunch of bullshit, so is religion, don't be guided by false hope.

How do you know that everything you believe in right now is true anyway? How do you actually know anything? A lot of it is faith. Faith in what people tell you is true. think upon that
Also in the bible it states that marriage is between a man and a woman, not what relation you can't have roflmao kek rip there is no explicit condemnation of homosexuality in the bible


anyway, there are a lot of things that you have to find out and believe for yourself, as there isn't a correct way for anything. I live like this. As long as it's not harmful or imposing to anyone, i don't mind.
WHAT IS LABELED AS HARMFUL IS TO MY OWN DISCRETION, I DONT NEED ANY OF YOUR PUSSY SHIT

I HAVE MY OWN SET OF BELIEFS AND I KEEP THEM TO MYSELF UNLESS ASKED OR IS A PART OF THE DISCUSSION.

tell  me you don't believe in a god, tell me you do, don't try to shove your useless links and explanations on what you think backs your argument up to me. I'll make my own decisions

to discredit anyone who thinks they can fuck up my argument: Believe you want, I'm only stating that i dislike conflict stemming from religion
FUCK OFF IF YOU THINK THERE CAN'T BE CONFLICT WITHOut RELIGION. CONFLICT ARISES WHEN PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING

there is always the ever so slight possibility, of a world we can live in, coexisting with different beliefs. Not saying i'd like to live in that world or not, but ya you get it

believe what you want, not something someone wants you to believe

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11-12-2015, 10:52 PM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2015, 10:52 PM by Blood Lust.)
#27903 (47)
I do not believe there is a god and i do  believe there is a higher power however if there is enough proof that said god/higher being does exist than i am willing to believe it.
Agnostic is my religion
but i believe 0% of what the bible currently says
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11-13-2015, 11:06 AM
#27978 (48)
(11-12-2015, 10:05 PM)COUPLED WITH U Wrote: I hate religious discussion carried mainly by emotion. I just can't like it in any way. I hate emotional arguments for atheism, or for theism. I don't like this thread very much. Maybe some arguments that aren't on religion emotion can definitely be a factor for enjoyment. You can just nickpick things from everywhere it's so stupid, and that's what it comes down to with "debates" like these.
Uzinero and tn have a great outlook on things.

also i didn't read this entire thread but i think there was an interesting response :o



>>11859
>  
>  Time is our measurement and that's it.
>  
>  What exactly we're measuring is a foundation of our dimension and completely insane
>  to even explain, at least for me. Fact is, it just seems like something beyond our
>  comprehension and, without meaning any offense

Does religion mean any offense when it doesn't impose in any way?




>>20151
>  TL;DR: God is a bunch of bullshit, so is religion, don't be guided by false hope.

How do you know that everything you believe in right now is true anyway? How do you actually know anything? A lot of it is faith. Faith in what people tell you is true. think upon that
Also in the bible it states that marriage is between a man and a woman, not what relation you can't have roflmao kek rip there is no explicit condemnation of homosexuality in the bible


anyway, there are a lot of things that you have to find out and believe for yourself, as there isn't a correct way for anything. I live like this. As long as it's not harmful or imposing to anyone, i don't mind.
WHAT IS LABELED AS HARMFUL IS TO MY OWN DISCRETION, I DONT NEED ANY OF YOUR PUSSY SHIT

I HAVE MY OWN SET OF BELIEFS AND I KEEP THEM TO MYSELF UNLESS ASKED OR IS A PART OF THE DISCUSSION.

tell  me you don't believe in a god, tell me you do, don't try to shove your useless links and explanations on what you think backs your argument up to me. I'll make my own decisions

to discredit anyone who thinks they can fuck up my argument: Believe you want, I'm only stating that i dislike conflict stemming from religion
FUCK OFF IF YOU THINK THERE CAN'T BE CONFLICT WITHOut RELIGION. CONFLICT ARISES WHEN PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING

there is always the ever so slight possibility, of a world we can live in, coexisting with different beliefs. Not saying i'd like to live in that world or not, but ya you get it

believe what you want, not something someone wants you to believe

Yes, while we all have a right to our beliefs, this thread is made for those who want to discuss it.

If you don't want to, then I am unaware of what's forcing you to. You're saying that information is being forced down your throat, but this is your first post and you haven't been even acknowledged beforehand.

If anything, you're the very first person who displayed hostility/aggression on the subject, and I kindly ask you to nip that at the bud.
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11-13-2015, 11:29 AM
#27979 (49)
holy shit i was fucked up when i typed that LOL

??

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11-20-2015, 10:00 PM (This post was last modified: 11-21-2015, 02:47 PM by Saikou.)
#28858 (50)
(10-06-2015, 09:46 AM)Waifu Wrote:
(10-06-2015, 12:09 AM)Saikou Wrote:
(10-05-2015, 11:52 PM)Waifu Wrote: In the words of Fry, if God does exist, there can only be one proper response;

“I’d say: ‘Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you! How dare you create a world where there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’ That’s what I’d say.”

This quote is flawed; a quick read of Genesis 2 and 3 would explain why.

Feel free to explain how the current state of affairs of our world can be justified in any way shape or form under the rule of a presumably benevolent God.
Ultimately either God ignores us ( Apathy ), doesn't exist ( Fantasy ), or he torments us ( Malice ).

The Bible contradicts itself on multiple occasions, so as a source it can also be stated as flawed because, religious or not, discrepancies/inconsistencies must always  be met with scrutiny.

My point was that suffering came to the world through Adam and Eve's sin (and additionally our own, as not a day goes by without someone sinning).

A few helpful links:

http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-suffering.html
http://www.openbible.info/topics/suffering
http://www.new-life.net/growth/other-art...the-bible/

Should you present these contradictions, I would be pleased to refute your claims.

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