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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » A social question to the other Hatrack atheists (Page 3)

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Author Topic: A social question to the other Hatrack atheists
Blayne Bradley
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I guess you've never heard of Humanism... It's kinda like Applied Atheism. Even has the added alliteritive appeal in it.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:

But agnosticism -- as defined as being "not really sure that there is or isn't a god" -- is not one of them. It's just indecisiveness.

Agnosticism defined in its much more typical and useful form, however, is not.
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TomDavidson
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It is worth noting that that form of agnosticism was specifically ruled out in favor of waffling back and forth, though, for the purposes of this conversation -- and not by me.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
I find other atheists pretty much as dreary as I find the rest of humanity.

Ok, so I have one thing in common with them.. just like I have one thing in common with fiscal conservatives, lesbians, bisexuals, and computer gamers.

When that topic is used up, all the things we don't have in common come out.

And honestly "I don't believe in god." "Me neither!" goes by pretty quickly.

SF/Fantasy geeks are much better to have one thing in common with. We can talk that stuff for hours.

Pix, I mentioned this to you once before, but we have every one of those things in common. [Smile]

And I agree, atheism seems low on the list of common beliefs that are likely to lead to an actual friendship.

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Dan_Frank
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Oh, I take it back. I guess I'm not a lesbian.
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El JT de Spang
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I personally don't understand how one can define theists as being 'sure' there's a god, and atheists as being 'not sure'. My a priori assumption is that the existence of any god worth believing in CANNOT be proven, by any reasonable standard of proof. By the same token, neither can the existence of any god of this type be DISproven, by that same standard.
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TomDavidson
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That's interesting to me, since I personally feel that one of the prerequisites of a god worth believing in is that its existence COULD be proven to some reasonable standard.
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Blayne Bradley
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Indeed, I'ld be grovy with gods who could physically manifest themselves and have epic battles with other gods.

On the other hand if God then Aliens and we'ld have to accept the existence monsters, cosmic horrors, ogres, trolls and Richard Simmons.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
I personally don't understand how one can define theists as being 'sure' there's a god, and atheists as being 'not sure'. My a priori assumption is that the existence of any god worth believing in CANNOT be proven, by any reasonable standard of proof. By the same token, neither can the existence of any god of this type be DISproven, by that same standard.

Yes but that's true of anything. And so the word "sure" is a term of convenience both in this conversation and in real life.
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El JT de Spang
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Actually, no. I was very specific with my word choice. The phrase 'by a reasonable standard of proof' deals with your objection pre-emptively.

quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
That's interesting to me, since I personally feel that one of the prerequisites of a god worth believing in is that its existence COULD be proven to some reasonable standard.

Which is why, if I'm not mistaken, you don't think there are any gods worth believing in, yes?
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Raymond Arnold
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Thought about doing this in its own thread, but it's pretty relevant here.

From what I can tell, there are existing humanist websites that attempt to promote "humanist art and culture," but none that do so in a very inspiring way. (Feel free to provide counter-examples if I just haven't looked hard enough)

I recently acquired "humanistculture.com," printed out some business cards, and am working on a splash page to have up before the Reason Rally this Saturday.

What I want is for there to be a central website that explains not just what humanism is, but does so in an evocative, inspiring way. And act as a hub for sharing art, music, community-building events, and in general help facilitate the sort of thing advocated in the "Atheism 2.0" TED talk.

That's a lot of work, and I'm not sure I'm qualified to do it. I'm not sure if my goal is to recruit people for my own project, or convince someone with an existing website (secularhumanism.org?) to do a massive rebranding, possibly bringing me on as collaborator.

In any case, here is the current mockup of my splash page. I'm not really happy with it yet (it has some obvious problems), but am looking for feedback.

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GinetteB
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Don't know if this is the right place to ask my question, but here it goes to all of you who know a lot about philosophy:

Can you map groups/religions to the following beliefs?:

1) God does not exist
2) God does exist, but God is not the creator of the universe, it's the other way around: Human beings created God.
3) There must be some God who created the universe, but God's existence is completely irrelevant to us, because we cannot know God and we cannot have any relationship with God
4) God exists and has made himself known via his prophets and his word.
5) God exists and we can have a personal relationship with him.

It would help me a lot if I knew which religion believes what.

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Orincoro
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[Roll Eyes]

I remember when we used to have this discussion a lot. I am not nostalgic.

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AchillesHeel
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I feel like I should apologize, not that anyone has ever showed the ability to control a discussion on the internet let alone here but this was not my intention.
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The Pixiest
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Dan: That's cuz you're awesome and if I weren't a charisma-less, agoraphobic misanthrope I'd say we should hang.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by GinetteB:
Don't know if this is the right place to ask my question, but here it goes to all of you who know a lot about philosophy:

Can you map groups/religions to the following beliefs?:

You can, but it wouldn't be particularly useful. Those categories aren't going to get at the actual differences within families of religions and you've left out non-monotheistic options altogether.

If you want to discuss it, feel free to make a new thread, since it really is outside even a loose interpretation of this one.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
Actually, no. I was very specific with my word choice. The phrase 'by a reasonable standard of proof' deals with your objection pre-emptively.

quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
That's interesting to me, since I personally feel that one of the prerequisites of a god worth believing in is that its existence COULD be proven to some reasonable standard.

Which is why, if I'm not mistaken, you don't think there are any gods worth believing in, yes?
And who is the arbiter of "reasonable standard of proof?" I've presented evidence for the truth of my religion that was compelling only to some. Atheists on this forum have presented their philosophies that were not compelling to me or to others. Others on this forum have suggested that their emotional convictions are as reasonable as any other claims.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I've presented evidence for the truth of my religion that was compelling only to some.
I'm actually curious: has that evidence been compelling to anyone not born a Jew, in your personal experience?

quote:
Atheists on this forum have presented their philosophies that were not compelling to me or to others. Others on this forum have suggested that their emotional convictions are as reasonable as any other claims.
Yeah, but those people are silly. A philosophy does not need to be compelling to be true. A proof, however, needs to be compelling to be believed.
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El JT de Spang
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Tom, you miss my question?

-----------

Armoth: there are pretty cut and dried standards of proof in both science and law.

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Armoth
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Tom: Yes. It has been very compelling to many Christians.

El JT: I'm a law student. Trust me. There are not. And any philosopher will tell you that even in Science, the standards are all based on a ton of assumptions.

I think that's what's really interesting about discussions about God. You can imagine a whole list of untrue assumptions and develop math and science that works according to those hard and fast rules - but the assumptions are a prerequisite.

People are so comfortable with the black and white rules of science that they presume that the black and white must extend to the origins of those systems - but they never do.

And law is almost never black and white.

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El JT de Spang
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The last person in the world I'd trust is a religious law student trying to convince me the notions of proof we use to send people to prison is NOT sufficient to prove the existence of god. If such proof could be produced, which of course it couldn't.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
The last person in the world I'd trust is a religious law student trying to convince me the notions of proof we use to send people to prison is NOT sufficient to prove the existence of god. If such proof could be produced, which of course it couldn't.

[Roll Eyes] Really? Less than the crazed lunatic? Also, the proofs we use to send people to jail would never be sufficient for proving God's existence/none existence unless we assume God either is unable to stop us from finding him that way, or allows it.

A God who either does not wish to found that way and is capable of maintaining that state of affairs, or by nature does not leave evidence that can be identified in that way won't be found. We are still basing it on assumptions, just as I assume the God I speak to and who speaks back is not actually a trickster God who is misusing me.

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El JT de Spang
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A god who carefully structures his existence in such a way as to leave no discernible impact on the world is functionally identical to a hallucination that compels a person to be nice to others, or whatever other religious beliefs you choose.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
A god who carefully structures his existence in such a way as to leave no discernible impact on the world is functionally identical to a hallucination that compels a person to be nice to others, or whatever other religious beliefs you choose.

No discernible impact that can be logically traced back to him even by unbelievers. There is a discernible impact of his existence those who are diligently seeking him can identify.
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GinetteB
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quote:
You can, but it wouldn't be particularly useful. Those categories aren't going to get at the actual differences within families of religions and you've left out non-monotheistic options altogether.

If you want to discuss it, feel free to make a new thread, since it really is outside even a loose interpretation of this one.

Urhm....to start with the last: Are you sure you know what the discussion in this thread is about?

Of course I am not interested in differences in families of religion, just don't get this 'exists/does not exist' thing here in this discussion, because it's completely irrelevant without a proper definition of 'existence'.

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Strider
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How do you define "existence" Ginette?
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TomDavidson
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JT: Yes to both. [Smile]

Armoth: I submit that if they found it compelling, they would not be Christians. Clearly they do NOT believe that the event as described happened exactly as described.

BB: I don't think Armoth would be able to identify the same discernable impacts you do. Does that mean he's not diligently seeking God?

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El JT de Spang
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
No discernible impact that can be logically traced back to him even by unbelievers. There is a discernible impact of his existence those who are diligently seeking him can identify.

I can see how you can massage the definition of 'discernable'. Perhaps a more accurate word would be 'tangible'. As 'believers' aren't in possession of any extra senses that 'unbelievers' don't also have, there is no evidence of god available to them outside the confines of their own mind. By your own admission, this could easily be the intention of god. But it doesn't change my point: that such a god is indistinguishable from a hallucination, to those outside the hallucination.

This doesn't make the presence of that god any less 'real' to those who experience it, of course. But it also does not, will not, cannot, meet any reasonable standard for proof. Which was my original point. The flip side to that, again, is that it is equally impossible to DISprove such a god. Which seems to me to be perfectly fair.

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MattP
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A hallucination isn't necessary. A biased interpretative framework suffices for many.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:


BB: I don't think Armoth would be able to identify the same discernable impacts you do. Does that mean he's not diligently seeking God?

Are you so sure they'd be so different for the two of us? In any case even if they were not, I do not limit God to what I have personally experienced. God is quite capable of communicating through myriad devices and means.
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GinetteB
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I don't think it's relevant how I define existence Strider. If you take the definition 'all that is' then you mean everything that at some point 'is' in this world. Which means it has to have a place in this world. So this definition implies that God does not exist. If you take the definition 'all we are aware of through our senses and that persists indepently without them' it also implies that God does not exist. So where can you find a definition of 'existence' that makes a discussion whether God exists or not meaningful? The point is, you have to make up a definition of 'existence' with room for things that 'are not' and that 'we cannot be aware of with our senses' and in doing so you make Gods 'existence' a possibility.
So my question is: give me a definition of 'existence' that makes God possible. And if you want my personal definition then I can only come up with this one:

God is existence.

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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by GinetteB:
quote:
You can, but it wouldn't be particularly useful. Those categories aren't going to get at the actual differences within families of religions and you've left out non-monotheistic options altogether.

If you want to discuss it, feel free to make a new thread, since it really is outside even a loose interpretation of this one.

Urhm....to start with the last: Are you sure you know what the discussion in this thread is about?

Of course I am not interested in differences in families of religion, just don't get this 'exists/does not exist' thing here in this discussion, because it's completely irrelevant without a proper definition of 'existence'.

The reason I brought it up is because it's a part of the proposition which creates the distinction between atheism and theism.

Take the proposition: "God exists." It can be either true or false. The definitions of both "God" and "exist" are important for determining whether you believe the proposition is true. But regardless of how you define the terms, the proposition is either true or false.

A theist is a person who believes the proposition is true. An atheist is a person who lacks the belief that the proposition is true. It doesn't matter whether the proposition is true as a point of fact. A person is defined as a theist or an atheist based upon if the person believes the proposition is true.

When it is claimed that it is impossible to know whether the proposition is true or false, that claim refers to whether it is possible to prove our beliefs. It is not, in itself, a belief in the proposition being true. It is a description of what is necessary for our beliefs to be true. I agree with Tom that it's silly to claim it is impossible to prove the proposition, and this is the topic the debate has shifted to.

But to rehash my point (which we can now all ignore as most have moved on), agnosticism is the claim that is impossible to prove either way the truth of the proposition. When people ask the question, "Do you believe in God?" They are asking whether you believe the proposition "God exists" is true. To say that you're an agnostic does not actually answer the question. Being an agnostic doesn't mean that you are undecided on what you believe, it's a claim that it's impossible to prove the proposition. The proposition being true and your belief in the truth of the proposition are two separate issues. It is entirely possible to believe in a proposition without believing it's possible to prove it true. You might even believe it's impossible to prove it true. In the case of the proposition "God exists," this person would be an agnostic theist. Likewise one can be an agnostic atheist.

The question was raised whether it is possible to simply be undecided in whether you believe the proposition is true. In other words, is "I don't know" a legitimate answer? There are people who go through life as believers, but come to have a "crisis in faith" where they are suddenly unsure whether they believe anymore. Likewise, there are nonbelievers who go through life and have an experience that makes them wonder whether there is a higher power. If you asked these people if they believe in God, it seems likely they would answer that they don't know. The objection contends that there should be a third category between atheist and theist that allows for these people--in other words, the binary division of atheist and theist is a false dichotomy on the spectrum of belief. I would answer that it is not a false dichotomy. It's entirely possible for people to "waffle" on their beliefs day-to-day, or even minute-by-minute. To say that a person is an atheist or a theist is descriptive of their current state. To say that someone is an atheist does not imply that he or she was always an atheist, nor does it entail that this person will always be an atheist. It is simply a description of whether, at the moment considered, they believe in the proposition.

But why not have a category for the undecided? Because to believe in the proposition requires a positive acceptance that the proposition is true. If you do not provide that acceptance of the proposition, you don't believe in it. This is why I say that if a person says "I don't know," ask them which God they believe in. If they say I don't know to any particular God, they don't believe in that God. To be a theist is to have a belief in the proposition being true. To be an atheist is to lack the belief that it is true. If you don't know if that God exists, then you lack the belief in the proposition that "God exists" is true.

Edit for clarity and to add: In short, to be a theist means you believe god exists. To be an atheist means you don't have that belief--a nonbeliever. It does NOT mean as a necessary condition that you believe that God doesn't exist. (Though there are certainly plenty of atheists who do.)

[ March 22, 2012, 09:07 PM: Message edited by: Vadon ]

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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by GinetteB:
Can you map groups/religions to the following beliefs?:

1) God does not exist
2) God does exist, but God is not the creator of the universe, it's the other way around: Human beings created God.
3) There must be some God who created the universe, but God's existence is completely irrelevant to us, because we cannot know God and we cannot have any relationship with God
4) God exists and has made himself known via his prophets and his word.
5) God exists and we can have a personal relationship with him.

It would help me a lot if I knew which religion believes what.

Edit: making new thread titled "Addressing Ginette's Answers." Hope we can solicit some direct input once you get the ball rolling! [Smile]

[ March 22, 2012, 09:16 PM: Message edited by: CT ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:


BB: I don't think Armoth would be able to identify the same discernable impacts you do. Does that mean he's not diligently seeking God?

Are you so sure they'd be so different for the two of us? In any case even if they were not, I do not limit God to what I have personally experienced. God is quite capable of communicating through myriad devices and means.
What happens when two alleged communications through these myriad devices to two different people result in exclusive and incompatible interpretations of a higher power between the two of them? Why do these 'discernable impacts,' no matter how genuinely sought, seem to correspond mostly only to what religion you were raised to believe in?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:


BB: I don't think Armoth would be able to identify the same discernable impacts you do. Does that mean he's not diligently seeking God?

Are you so sure they'd be so different for the two of us? In any case even if they were not, I do not limit God to what I have personally experienced. God is quite capable of communicating through myriad devices and means.
What happens when two alleged communications through these myriad devices to two different people result in exclusive and incompatible interpretations of a higher power between the two of them? Why do these 'discernable impacts,' no matter how genuinely sought, seem to correspond mostly only to what religion you were raised to believe in?
They don't. Anybody who converts to a different religion can tell you that. Anybody who truly worships truth, can tell you that. As to God's will for the individual, ultimately it is to give unto them according to their desires. We are all at different levels of preparedness for truth. All I need concern myself with is am I living according to the truth as I understand it, and am I ready for more. That answer sadly is no at times. But fortunately it is also yes at others.

Armoth and I absolutely have different conceptions of what God's will is concerning us. I cannot judge what God has and has not said to him, nor can he do so for me. What we can do is interact, exchange ideas and experiences, and serve each other. In those efforts some of the truth I have found will be communicated to him, and vice versa. I can't very well say "refraining from bacon is not God's will" since I genuinely believe at one time, that was God's instruction to those who believed in him. And God apparently hasn't given Armoth the memo to chow down, or me to forbear. Getting hung up on those particulars is silly though. Ultimately if understanding God is a mountain, and we all start at the base of it, we are going to be miles apart when we commence climbing, but ultimately as we draw near to the top, the space between us also decreases.

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dkw
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Vadim and Ginnette, are you the same person? Or perhaps using the same computer and forgetting who's logged in?

If your only concern is to define God and existence why ask about prophets and Word and personal relationship? And if you're not concerned about differences between religions why try to map which ones believe what?

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MattP
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quote:
They don't. Anybody who converts to a different religion can tell you that.
He did say "mostly."

So it's only coincidental that Utah is full of Mormons, Mexico of Catholics, and Norway of Lutherans?

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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
Vadim and Ginnette, are you the same person? Or perhaps using the same computer and forgetting who's logged in?

If your only concern is to define God and existence why ask about prophets and Word and personal relationship? And if you're not concerned about differences between religions why try to map which ones believe what?

I'm different from Ginette. The only reason I stepped back in was because I saw Ginette was wondering what the point of "Exist/Not Exist" in the discussion. I tried to clear it up since I think I was the one who brought it up. It's entirely possible I did more harm than good for the discussion.

And for (hopefully) clarity, the question I was trying to answer is whether being "agnostic" makes sense as a logical alternative to theist/atheist. I wasn't even trying to come close to asking about prophets, mapping religions, the word of God, or any particular faith. [Smile]

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Foust
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quote:
To be an atheist means you don't have that belief--a nonbeliever. It does NOT mean as a necessary condition that you believe that God doesn't exist.
I really do find this annoying. I consider my positive belief in the non-existence of God to be different in kind to someone's mere absence of belief. Why is it necessary to use the same word to describe both of us?

I put a lot of work to arrive at my answer; I consider the "absence of belief" people to be those who just stopped halfway. I'd rather not share a name with them.

quote:
Ultimately if understanding God is a mountain, and we all start at the base of it, we are going to be miles apart when we commence climbing, but ultimately as we draw near to the top, the space between us also decreases.
So what is the top, then? If someone says the top is X, and you say the top is Y, does that mean neither of you have reached the top?
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GinetteB
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Vadon: Mhy point is, that 'God exists' is not a valid proposition.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
They don't. Anybody who converts to a different religion can tell you that.
He did say "mostly."

So it's only coincidental that Utah is full of Mormons, Mexico of Catholics, and Norway of Lutherans?

I'm not sure what you are driving at. So many people won't go any further than to adhere to their culture's traditions regarding God, and not much further?

You've made what I'm sure you consider the important leap away from your society's mainstream belief in God. Your atheism may even be far more sophisticated and closer to the truth than some Utah Mormons, who are as I said above only going so far as to follow the traditions of their ancestors and society around them so as to fit in.

Do you think the majority of people attempt to live life completely outside the mold with which they were raised? Are self made millionaires very prominent as a total percentage of the population?

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Parkour
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If you are saying that a mormon and a jew are apart because they are on a path to a unifying peak, it implies that the peak is neither mormonism nor judaism. That is what is wrong with using the analogy to describe the situation. Either faith will disagree with where the peak is and who has to do the most walking, and both churches will be adamant about being the peak, essentially.
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El JT de Spang
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And it completely disregards all of the polytheistic religions, as well.

The fact of the matter is that the bulk of the world's believers believe their god is the 'true' one, and that god is also fundamentally incompatible with the god most other religions believe in. So, whether there is ONE true god, MANY true gods, or NO true gods, one thing we can be certain of is that most of the people (both theists and atheists) don't have great odds for their beliefs being the one true one.

Atheists aren't bothered by this because, even though they are one belief out of many, their belief is the ONLY one that is backed up by legitimate, tangible proof.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
If you are saying that a mormon and a jew are apart because they are on a path to a unifying peak, it implies that the peak is neither mormonism nor judaism. That is what is wrong with using the analogy to describe the situation. Either faith will disagree with where the peak is and who has to do the most walking, and both churches will be adamant about being the peak, essentially.

I disagree with this. As I've said many times before, I've met many people before who are not Jews and yet I believe they are members of my religion.

My understanding of what God demands of us is an honest pursuit of truth. For many, the truth is that the greatest meaning in life is a relationship with Him, and thus the expectation is that effort, to the extent of ability, should be poured into reaching that goal. But for those whose intellectually honest pursuits do not lead to my God or any God at all, I consider them members of my religion as well as the only real moral value I subscribe to is an honest pursuit of truth or truths and the effort one must invest to reach live up to those truths.

From what I know of Mormon belief - it seems that for those who do not believe during their lifetime, they are given the opportunity to believe again in a new world where things will have been made more clear to them. If this is true and it turns out that I spent my life incorrectly, then of course I'd be a fool not to change my beliefs in whatever new world comes into being. But at least I can say that I spent this life in the pursuit of truth and in living up to those truths.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
The last person in the world I'd trust is a religious law student trying to convince me the notions of proof we use to send people to prison is NOT sufficient to prove the existence of god. If such proof could be produced, which of course it couldn't.

El JT, I can't blame you for your rash judgments of me. I'd only urge you to see what you can learn from getting to know me better and see if your opinions change.

Wow. Never been characterized as a "religious law student" - weird images that conjures up.

Doesn't it seem interesting that we use different standards of proofs for different things? To send someone to prison or to make them liable to someone else? What that implies is that these systems are imperfect and that each system has a bit of risk of reaching the incorrect conclusion. And that our society is comfortable with different levels of risk considering what is at stake.

Also consider that we use a jury of our peers to convict. And it is known that the fate of a person will vary (possibly even greatly) depending on the composition of that jury. Which again should demonstrate that our legal system may try to find the truth, but that it would be ridiculous to say that we always reach the correct result.

To me, and to BB and to many other intelligent, rational theists, their faith has been proven to them beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
JT: Yes to both. [Smile]

Armoth: I submit that if they found it compelling, they would not be Christians. Clearly they do NOT believe that the event as described happened exactly as described.

BB: I don't think Armoth would be able to identify the same discernable impacts you do. Does that mean he's not diligently seeking God?

I disagree. Considering that Christians found their religion on Judaism, proving Judaism doesn't disprove Christianity.
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:


BB: I don't think Armoth would be able to identify the same discernable impacts you do. Does that mean he's not diligently seeking God?

Are you so sure they'd be so different for the two of us? In any case even if they were not, I do not limit God to what I have personally experienced. God is quite capable of communicating through myriad devices and means.
What happens when two alleged communications through these myriad devices to two different people result in exclusive and incompatible interpretations of a higher power between the two of them? Why do these 'discernable impacts,' no matter how genuinely sought, seem to correspond mostly only to what religion you were raised to believe in?
Making many assumptions but I'm sure BB and I overlap in many areas where we draw evidence for the existence of a higher power that creates and controls our lives. I'd assume that the evidence in which we overlap is also compelling to many other theists all over the world.

The evidence that God revealed Himself through a particular doctrine - that's probably where we disagree. Actually, BB probably agrees, to an extent with the evidence of revelation of Jewish doctrine, as will most Christians and Muslims - making around 2+ billion people believe that God, at least initially, revealed Himself to the world in through Jewish doctrine.

We just disagree about what happened next. Considering that I believe the evidence for "what happened next" is inferior to what happened first, I don't believe in Christianity and Islam. However, I'm open to being persuaded if someone wants to give me a reason to believe in the Koran, the NT or the Book of Mormon as an extension of the original evidence I have for the original revelation that we all believe in.

I'm also open to someone pointing out why the evidence I have for the original revelation is not compelling.

As for the point you raised about it being convenient that we believe in the religion we are born into - I can only say that I agree with you. Rocked my world when I realized that point in high school and I became severely uncomfortable with Judaism. And yet I also realized that the fact that the vast majority of ppl stay in the religion they were born into is just as much evidence that people are lazy truth-seekers as it is evidence that religion is silly.

So I resolved not to be a lazy-truth seeker. And I learned a lot about my religion. In the process, I realize that all the people I surrounded myself with and grew up with don't actually practice it - they practice ritual - and that was a terribly lonely discovery. But yea, that's where I'm at.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
They don't. Anybody who converts to a different religion can tell you that.
He did say "mostly."

So it's only coincidental that Utah is full of Mormons, Mexico of Catholics, and Norway of Lutherans?

As I said below this post, I believe that moral value can only be judged to the extent to which it is in a person's potential both to perceive and live up to truth.

So here are the possibilities:

1) Either 2 or all 3 of them are full of lazy truth-seekers and they are morally culpable.

or

2) It is not within their potential to reach the same truth that I have reached.

Personally, based on my understanding of my potential and my particular role in life - it doesn't matter to me whether it is 1 or 2. To the extent to which I get to know people well who are not in my religion, I meet people who I think fit into category 1, and people who I think fit into category 2. When I meet the latter, I love them and respect them and consider them as part of my religion even if they are not Jewish.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
If you are saying that a mormon and a jew are apart because they are on a path to a unifying peak, it implies that the peak is neither mormonism nor judaism. That is what is wrong with using the analogy to describe the situation. Either faith will disagree with where the peak is and who has to do the most walking, and both churches will be adamant about being the peak, essentially.

In my experience, most religions (even the "infallible" Catholics") believe that they are paths to the peak. Believing any religion to be a peak itself is a nasty trap people fall into.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
If you are saying that a mormon and a jew are apart because they are on a path to a unifying peak, it implies that the peak is neither mormonism nor judaism.

I'm comfortable not identifying the peak as Mormonism. I am also comfortable calling Mormonism a pathway up towards the peak. The religion instructs adherents to seek truth wherever they can find it, and so I look. The religion has also provided me with tools for discerning the truth, as well as a primer in some fundamental truths. The institution of Mormonism also provides opportunities for serving others. It's a fantastic package deal. So I adhere to it.
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