Atheism debate

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
Big ned
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Big ned »

Yes, but if God exists and he has a specific guideline given for how a person can know this for himself, it is no longer subjective... you then have an experiment that you can test. Follow the direction precisely and see if you get the results promised.
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Tumult
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Tumult »

Big ned wrote:Yes, but if God exists and he has a specific guideline given for how a person can know this for himself, it is no longer subjective... you then have an experiment that you can test. Follow the direction precisely and see if you get the results promised.


That is one of the major problems. There is no objective agreement on how to follow the directions or even which specific version of which specific directions should be followed. People's experiences of God's "existance" are vastly different, some of them do not include written instructions that must be followed a specific way.
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Born_again
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Born_again »

Big ned, it sounds to me that you are struggling with the embarrassment of not being able to correct the brainwashing that you were subjected to as a child. If you were 14 years old I could forgive you that, but likely you are a grown man that has lived beyond his 20's. You have no logical excuse for perpetuating the brainwashing you suffered. Don't feel bad about it; 90+% of all atheists were forcibly brainwashed as children, and we don't feel shameful about it, as it was just another example of life's cruelties that caused it; it was beyond our control.
Do you know how you could really impress me with your Faithfulness? Leave religion and god out of your children's brains. Have Faith that they will make their own informed judgement once they have the faculties to do so. Is that an acceptable scenario for you, personally?
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hellomynameis
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by hellomynameis »

Big ned wrote:Yes, but if God exists and he has a specific guideline given for how a person can know this for himself, it is no longer subjective... you then have an experiment that you can test. Follow the direction precisely and see if you get the results promised.


It has been my understanding that studies proving positive results from prayer are almost exclusively validating the act of individuals praying for themselves, first person prayer. Whereas studies looking at results of individuals who are prayed for by strangers, lets call this 3rd person prayer, show zero results.

I understand that prayer is only one aspect of the guidelines/following/results experiment that you have posited so I offer (I do not want to attack your beliefs) another explanation.

Pastor Rick Warren summed it up best “A purpose driven life.” and I believe this can explain at least 75% of the Christian and/or spiritual experience. As a Christian you are given purpose, direction, structure, motivation and a close community that will support and empathize with you. Religion also offers explanations and tools for dealing with stress and loss. In short, religion sets you in a therapeutic environment.

The other 25% would be random chance and life interpreted by a Christian and/or spiritual cognitive bias.

As an ex-Christian – now agnostic, I am still aware of when things happen in my life that I would have previously thought were answered prayers and calls of God. I still have all the valuable lessons and skills that I learnt from Christianity.
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hellomynameis
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by hellomynameis »

Born_again wrote:...
Do you know how you could really impress me with your Faithfulness? Leave religion and god out of your children's brains. Have Faith that they will make their own informed judgement once they have the faculties to do so. Is that an acceptable scenario for you, personally?


I don't know about Big Ned but most Christians I know would, on the above criteria, not impress you (or I). The basic answer that I have heard to this question is that the gospel is the Truth and that it is the only path to salvation. What parent would deny their child something that is of more benefit than seat belts, school, healthcare, life, liberty and freedom combined?

If you don't know Jesus you are stone dead, drowning without even knowing the concept of swimming.


Well that is the sum up of an irl heart-to-heart that I had with about 4 different people (I still have many Christian friends) when they found out we were not planning to take our daughter(and any other future child) to church and enrolling her into a Christian school.
Last edited by hellomynameis on Sep 19th, 2008, 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Born_again
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Born_again »

I wonder if these people even reflect upon how life would have been so different for them had they been born in the Middle or Far East?
Damned shame that reincarnation is only a fallacy, eh! Can you remember that Twilight Zone episode where that religious and racial bigot turned into a Jew, and had Nazis chasing him all over the place? Very poignant.
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sobrohusfat
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by sobrohusfat »

I remember a conversation i was having about some scarry things that happened where the outcome would have to be accredited to Gods intervention or simply dismissed as a weird twist of complex coincidences and probability defying luck. A young man who was overhearing this said "yeah, my parents used to go to church, then things in their business got so bad they lost everything. Now they don't believe in God anymore."

Walking with God and going to church/organised religion are such different things - yes, oh so verry verry yes.

Strong, independent, smart people think they can set up for themselves a life of security/fun/excellence where there is no need for God. what a rippoff :wink:

As for the kids - the fact is each child is consigned to grow up with the weird ideas of their parents until such a time they decide to reject them, accept them blindly, or gladly embace them for their own lives. Sure its difficult to shed some of the negative influences we inherit from our formative years but some manage it. The day someone comes to me and tells me my kids will now only be allowed to be influenced by their weird ideas and no longer mine will be a terrible day. Its the day you'll see this otherwise peacefull man get mean.
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hellomynameis
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by hellomynameis »

sobrohusfat wrote:I remember a conversation i was having about some scarry things that happened where the outcome would have to be accredited to Gods intervention or simply dismissed as a weird twist of complex coincidences and probability defying luck. A young man who was overhearing this said "yeah, my parents used to go to church, then things in their business got so bad they lost everything. Now they don't believe in God anymore."


And yet there are jsut as many that believe in God for the same type of reasoning.

Walking with God and going to church/organised religion are such different things - yes, oh so verry verry yes.


Sure, I 100% agree with you but "Walking with God" is subject to the same potential explanations and write-offs. Moreover, the whole 'proof by experience' justification doesn't hold very much water when there is a highly diverse group of people "walking" with equally diverse and opposing Gods.

Strong, independent, smart people think they can set up for themselves a life of security/fun/excellence where there is no need for God. what a rippoff :wink:


They don't think they can they do. Other people set up that kind of lifestyle using Shiva as their cornerstone.

As for the kids - the fact is each child is consigned to grow up with the weird ideas of their parents until such a time they decide to reject them, accept them blindly, or gladly embace them for their own lives. Sure its difficult to shed some of the negative influences we inherit from our formative years but some manage it. The day someone comes to me and tells me my kids will now only be allowed to be influenced by their weird ideas and no longer mine will be a terrible day. Its the day you'll see this otherwise peacefull man get mean.


I also very much agree with you on this. If we are not going to force Christianity on our kids it will undoubtedly be something else. Of course a lot of people see religion as something corrosive (I don't think it is) and so then many of the other potential 'force'ables' seem harmless in comparison.
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Glacier
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Re: Atheism debate

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Big ned wrote:Yes, but if God exists and he has a specific guideline given for how a person can know this for himself, it is no longer subjective... you then have an experiment that you can test. Follow the direction precisely and see if you get the results promised.



sooo, what is the formula?? Please tell us.

EDIT: I mean no disrespect. I just think you need to explain what your saying.
Last edited by Glacier on Sep 19th, 2008, 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AlanH
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by AlanH »

recedingglacier wrote:
Big ned wrote:Yes, but if God exists and he has a specific guideline given for how a person can know this for himself, it is no longer subjective... you then have an experiment that you can test. Follow the direction precisely and see if you get the results promised.



sooo, what is the formula?? Please tell us.


It's not unlike the toothfairy calculation.
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Tumult
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Re: Atheism debate

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Hellomynameis wrote:It has been my understanding that studies proving positive results from prayer are almost
exclusively validating the act of individuals praying for themselves, first person prayer.


This is totally explained by the latest discoveries in brain science, where brain plasticity experiments show your thoughts not only change the physical structure of your brain but can change your body as well. The excercise I read about (just today) in "The Brain that Changes Itself" A must read!) had two groups excercising a finger. One group did actual excercises of 15 maximum contractions with 20 second rest while the other did the same but only imagined they were doing the contractions with 20 second rest. Both groups were also told to imagine someone yelling "Harder, Harder, Harder!" while they did it. The group that did actual excercises had a 30% increase in finger strength and the imagined excercise group had a 22% increase!
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hellomynameis
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by hellomynameis »

Tumult wrote:
Hellomynameis wrote:It has been my understanding that studies proving positive results from prayer are almost
exclusively validating the act of individuals praying for themselves, first person prayer.


This is totally explained by the latest discoveries in brain science, where brain plasticity experiments show your thoughts not only change the physical structure of your brain but can change your body as well. The excercise I read about (just today) in "The Brain that Changes Itself" A must read!) had two groups excercising a finger. One group did actual excercises of 15 maximum contractions with 20 second rest while the other did the same but only imagined they were doing the contractions with 20 second rest. Both groups were also told to imagine someone yelling "Harder, Harder, Harder!" while they did it. The group that did actual excercises had a 30% increase in finger strength and the imagined excercise group had a 22% increase!


Exactly, it is purpose driven.
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unclemarty
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by unclemarty »

Tumult wrote:This is totally explained by the latest discoveries...


Well thats a little final isn't it?
Ok Mr.Knowitall, you who insist everything has a totally tidy explanation, i suppose next you're going to tell me those little sticks i found with the funny little grey ball on the end that erupt into flame when struck against an abraisive surface don't have a supernatural origin?

I feel sorry for you. :smt113
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Born_again
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Born_again »

I little too snarky for my liking there unclemarty. What you could have mentioned is that sects of Buddhist monks have been changing their brain physiology for centuries. This is not a new phenomena. You should try listening to a monk's heartbeat rate once he has lowered it to 20-30 beats per minute! You will be freaked.
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Tumult
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Tumult »

unclemarty wrote:
Tumult wrote:This is totally explained by the latest discoveries...


Well thats a little final isn't it?
Ok Mr.Knowitall, you who insist everything has a totally tidy explanation, i suppose next you're going to tell me those little sticks i found with the funny little grey ball on the end that erupt into flame when struck against an abraisive surface don't have a supernatural origin?

I feel sorry for you. :smt113


Well, I did not insist that everything has a totally tidy explanation but perhaps using the word "totally" was slightly narrow. In my own understandings however I do not require any further explanation. If you like, it could be perceived that the discoveries in brain science that I indicated are actually how God interacts with personal healing....it's all perspective.
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it”
-Max Planck

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