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Old 08-19-2013, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,085,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadro1 View Post
Mordant,
For this conversation I define evil in the generally accepted sense. Murder, robbery, dishonesty, violence, etc.
By that definition, people of all faiths and non-faiths can have "victory over evil". I was having trouble last night finding a restaurant. An elderly Muslim went out of his way to lead me to someone who understood English and could direct me to the restaurant. That man happened to be the proprietor of a competing restaurant that I had been hesitant to approach earlier. Neither murdered, robbed, lied, or attacked me. I guess they had "victory" then, despite not knowing Jesus in the sense you speak of. I also did none of those things to them, despite having committed what some would identify as the "unpardonable sin" of denying Jesus after having known him. Imagine that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadro1 View Post
You are right in that there is angst concerning sin in the Christian life, but it is not quite as you describe. When I was born again, which as you obviously know, is what the apostle Paul was referring to in the passage you quoted, it was as if a window opened up im my soul. A window of connection with God. I knew God. I enjoyed knowing God. I liked being close to God. I disliked feeling separated from him when I sinned. Therefore I try to live as holy a life as possible to keep close to God. Is there angst? Yes. Does angst define my life? No. My fellowship and friendship with God does.
I can say that in my roughly 25 years as a Christian I preferred the familiarity of my relationship with my imaginary friend, too. This also motivated me to live as holy a life as possible to keep close to God -- or so I thought. In truth I was a good person anyway and just enjoyed being good because I was not a sociopath and it gave me a sense of purpose to be kind and generous to others. Nothing has changed in that regard; the only thing that has changed is the backstory I give to it.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:40 AM
 
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Very good post. The topical upshot being that the 'We need religion, true or not' evangelical package (incorporating 'civilization would collapse without it') is no longer a stumper for us, if it ever was.

The response has long been 'What can you do as a Christian that I can't do as an atheist?' It has the additional 'You say that don't behave well to get into heaven but because it is the right thing to do. That's what I do, too'.

And while there is some mileage in the argument that Christianity may urge some to be a bit more loving, giving, and kind than they might otherwise have been, it can have the reverse effect of making them less tolerant, more coercive and a pain in the butt, frankly, and the benefits do not outweigh the strongly logic and evidence -based conclusion that Christianity is not true and atheism is.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh
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When I was a Christian, I did (relatively minor) things that I considered to be wrong relatively frequently. Once my religious beliefs were gone, I become a much more moral person in that I found it easier to live according to what I believed was right.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
May I ask why do you say the individual's belief is 'nonsense'? Some do understand your position. From the looks of it for sure the twain shall never meet. Probably never meant to. One of our perplexing questions in human life. We'll perhaps know everything when we're dead. Maybe then we'll get the questions answered...;-)....
You will have to forgive the lateness of my reply. Your inability and/or unwillingness to correctly use the quote function meant I actually missed your question.

I call it nonsense because it is a claim that comes to us entirely unsubstantiated, entirely unverifiable, and goes contrary to all the things we actually do know to be true. There is simply no reason to lend it even a modicum of credence and it can be rejected on the face of it using as much evidence and argument as were employed to originally support it. That is to say: None.
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:25 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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If you had ultimate power over everything in the universe wouldn't you stop babies from being born with birth defects or disease or natural miscarriage? Does that make you more moral and righteous than God?
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EntropyGuardian View Post
If you had ultimate power over everything in the universe wouldn't you stop babies from being born with birth defects or disease or natural miscarriage? Does that make you more moral and righteous than God?
Yes, and yes.

Jesus himself said, "If you (humans), being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does your father in heaven know how to give good things to those who ask him."

There is no way around this; the minute god fails to take at least as good care of you as most humans protect, nurture and comfort their own children, god fails his own test.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Yes, and yes.

Jesus himself said, "If you (humans), being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does your father in heaven know how to give good things to those who ask him."

There is no way around this; the minute god fails to take at least as good care of you as most humans protect, nurture and comfort their own children, god fails his own test.
Shores up my theory that God is primarily a practical joker, something I first began to consider after reading Exodus. In Exodus 3: 21-24, Yahweh is instructing Moses on how to deal with Pharaoh. It states

Quote:
"As you go back to Egypt, see to it that you work all the signs I have placed in your power. But I will encourage him in his stubbornness and he will not let the people go."
And that is just what happens. Moses brings one plague after another down on Egypt, Pharaoh agrees to let the Hebrews go, but then each time Yahweh then "hardened Pharaoh's heart" and he changes his mind and won't let the Israelites go.

Yahweh is jerking everyone around in this deal. The Egyptian people suffer because Yahweh keeps deliberately frustrating the Hebrew freedom, hardening Pharaoh's heart so that an even more terrible plague will be required.

In that such behavior would be viewed as completely insane by human standards, it may only be understood as an exhibition of the Supreme Sense of Humor.

That is why we are so baffled by the seemingly random fortunes God visits upon humans, deserving or not, faithful or faithless. The victims of practical jokes never really understand or see the humor, and that is all of us, the victims of The Big Cosmic Joker.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:19 AM
 
19,950 posts, read 13,631,972 times
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I would honestly like to see an atheist explain how the universe came to be...if not for a cause/creator. I have yet to see that answered.
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:03 AM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,938,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
I would honestly like to see an atheist explain how the universe came to be...if not for a cause/creator. I have yet to see that answered.
I'd like to see anyone do it, religious or not. Our current lack of understanding of the mechanisms of the early universe isn't limited to just atheists.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,976 posts, read 18,573,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
I would honestly like to see an atheist explain how the universe came to be...if not for a cause/creator. I have yet to see that answered.


Perhaps the universe has always existed, or at least the material needed to construct it has always existed. The human understanding of time is linear because we are linear beings with beginnings (conception) and ends (death.) That time actually operates along this same linear path is an assumption not based on any evidence. Perhaps in cosmic terms, there are no such things as beginnings and ends and time is actually circular in nature.

Why is that any more or less probable than postulating that a creator has always existed? Is it any more perplexing to explain how a creator came into being than the universe coming into being?

It is difficult to believe that you have not been introduced to the above ideas before, so is it a matter of you "honestly" wanting to hear the explanation, or is it a matter of your being aware of this possibility but choosing to ignore it because it does not fit with your prevailing philosophy?
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