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Old 11-18-2013, 01:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by iohanan View Post
I gave an example of how impossible the Golden/Silver Rule (haha) wouldn't work. If there is a God, than the universe has a purpose, life has a porpuse. If there is no God, we are just peaces of particles. In this case, killing is not wrong in any case, killing is just changing the state of particles.
So you don't understand what empathy is?
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:58 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Originally Posted by iohanan View Post
1- All the theories defend a far away beggining, but still a beginning. If time, space, matter and energy started with the big bang, or right before it, than of course something outside it has to be the cause for it. I really think that defending a possibility of something like the universe without a reason just by pure accident is just an excuse for not to believe in God.

Quote:
2- If there is no God, there is no objective moral values and duties (Yes, WL Craig argument). To understand this clear, we would be just peaces of matter. So killing somebody wouldn't be wrong or evil, that would be just changing the state of matter.
3- By the way, Krauss is a grat physicist. That is all. He know nothing about logic, history, philosophy, etc.
So how do those who believe in God justify their actions of killing? Where is the difference there between moral values and duties and changing the state of matter? The results are still the same. Death.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by iohanan View Post
Yes, Christianity helped to create science, as John Lennox says.
When I was a youngster, the church taught me that Christianity is not fatalistic like eastern thinking, so we were free to "think god's thoughts after him" and discover his laws. I now know this to be a conceit. Christianity has been, in the main, hostile to science and reason. At best, very suspicious. The obvious reason: science requires falsifiable hypotheses and evidence, and encourages skepticism; in fact, doubt is what drives science. Nothing could be more antithetical to faith. The idea that the church came up with the idea of promoting science is nonsense. It may have supported science at times in its infancy when it felt it could control it, and individual Christians who were scientists or friendly disposed to science might have made the "thinking gods thoughts after him" rationalization as Kepler did to justify his scientific interests to his religious masters, but in the main, religion is terrified of science. The more literalist / conservative / fundamentalist the religious flavor, the more terrified.

Science has gotten out of hand now from the point of view of theism. It has reduced the "god of the gaps" and thus removed a huge superficially persuasive argument for god.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
When I was a youngster, the church taught me that Christianity is not fatalistic like eastern thinking, so we were free to "think god's thoughts after him" and discover his laws. I now know this to be a conceit. Christianity has been, in the main, hostile to science and reason. At best, very suspicious. The obvious reason: science requires falsifiable hypotheses and evidence, and encourages skepticism; in fact, doubt is what drives science. Nothing could be more antithetical to faith. The idea that the church came up with the idea of promoting science is nonsense. It may have supported science at times in its infancy when it felt it could control it, and individual Christians who were scientists or friendly disposed to science might have made the "thinking gods thoughts after him" rationalization as Kepler did to justify his scientific interests to his religious masters, but in the main, religion is terrified of science. The more literalist / conservative / fundamentalist the religious flavor, the more terrified.

Science has gotten out of hand now from the point of view of theism. It has reduced the "god of the gaps" and thus removed a huge superficially persuasive argument for god.
I tend to give history as much credit as science for undermining the basis of belief in the assertions of organized religion. The field of Biblical scholarship, starting with Dr. Albert Schweitzer and continuing on through the development of the Q concept and the works of scholars such as Bart Ehrman, have done an awful lot toward allowing us to understand the mentalities of the world of Jesus and the manner in which religious movements arose and either failed or gained purchase.

One of the greatest barriers to overcoming whatever religious indoctrination you received is how well established Christianity or Islam seems. Because those faiths have been around so long and have become such deeply ingrained institutions, the tendency is to assign them far more legitimacy than they merit in terms of having presented the facts in an accurate or relevant manner. Biblical scholarship gets past that established legitimacy and shows us that religions rise from the political and cultural environment of their places of origin. It shows us how one faith or one version of a faith can triumph over a rival version via making the right political connections or having the good fortune to found to have a practical application in a current political situation.

The best way to understand what Jesus was really about is to read Josephus and other Roman histories of the era. A very different view emerges when Jesus is placed in the context of Judean/Roman conflict.
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
One of the greatest barriers to overcoming whatever religious indoctrination you received is how well established Christianity or Islam seems. Because those faiths have been around so long and have become such deeply ingrained institutions, the tendency is to assign them far more legitimacy than they merit in terms of having presented the facts in an accurate or relevant manner.
Because religious institutions are so slow to change (or perhaps more accurately, change is so delayed compared to where the rest of society is), they also seem more hidebound and intransigent than they actually are. In point of fact, they do evolve and today's dogma / theology / eschatology, etc., is not what it was even a century ago, much less two millennia ago. Religious change is always a couple of generations behind the curve.

Sometimes you get little glimpses of this in a shorter time frame. For example the anti-abortion stance of evangelical Christianity did not exist prior to the 1970s. It is not based on the Bible or time-honored articles of faith; it is a very recent development, or as one writer put it, younger than the McDonald's Happy Meal:

The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal

So while I agree with you that it's hard to overcome how SEEMINGLY well-established the great faiths are, we must emphasize SEEMINGLY. The supposedly ancient faiths are not all that ancient as they claim to be in many respects; they are old only in their very core ideas but I suspect that, for instance, a second century Christian would scarcely recognize a twenty-first century church or its customs and observances.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post

So while I agree with you that it's hard to overcome how SEEMINGLY well-established the great faiths are, we must emphasize SEEMINGLY. The supposedly ancient faiths are not all that ancient as they claim to be in many respects; they are old only in their very core ideas but I suspect that, for instance, a second century Christian would scarcely recognize a twenty-first century church or its customs and observances.
The products may be changed, the ingredients altered from time to time, but it is the long established brand name which I had in mind. Going up against the church you have the same handicap you would be saddled with if tasked with trying to get everyone to believe that the Betty Crocker people have been poisoning Americans for decades. You have a rep, you get the benefit of the doubt, or in the case of the church, the benefit of rejecting doubt.

The American culture is all hardwired into Christianity in a manner which far outstrips the religious aspects. Who among us has not read, and probably seen multiple film/stage productions of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol?" (or performed in it in some high school production?) Christmas is the major holiday, coming with an entire season, and upon its economic vigor rest the hopes of most merchants. There is the Saint Patrick Day Parade, there is Halloween (the Eve of All Hallows)...or the evening before All Saints Day. When we are moved to take the name of a god in vain, we commonly turn "Jesus!" (or colorful variations) into an all purpose expletive. And even the Village People were singing about the Young Men's Christian Association. Nothing from that list is especially religious in nature, but it all flows from Christianity and is all well burned into the culture.

So beyond any changing doctrine, Christianity has enormous power as a trade mark. It is everywhere.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The products may be changed, the ingredients altered from time to time, but it is the long established brand name which I had in mind. Going up against the church you have the same handicap you would be saddled with if tasked with trying to get everyone to believe that the Betty Crocker people have been poisoning Americans for decades. You have a rep, you get the benefit of the doubt, or in the case of the church, the benefit of rejecting doubt.

The American culture is all hardwired into Christianity in a manner which far outstrips the religious aspects. Who among us has not read, and probably seen multiple film/stage productions of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol?" (or performed in it in some high school production?) Christmas is the major holiday, coming with an entire season, and upon its economic vigor rest the hopes of most merchants. There is the Saint Patrick Day Parade, there is Halloween (the Eve of All Hallows)...or the evening before All Saints Day. When we are moved to take the name of a god in vain, we commonly turn "Jesus!" (or colorful variations) into an all purpose expletive. And even the Village People were singing about the Young Men's Christian Association. Nothing from that list is especially religious in nature, but it all flows from Christianity and is all well burned into the culture.

So beyond any changing doctrine, Christianity has enormous power as a trade mark. It is everywhere.
I know just what you mean. As a Jew growing up in predominantly Christian neighborhoods, I remember Christian friends thinking my sisters and I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving. They didn't understand the difference between national and religious holidays. They thought they were one in the same.

When one of my school friends told me she was getting a new outfit for the holidays and I asked her what holiday she looked at me as if I were from another planet. She said "Easter, of course." I replied, "I'm Jewish, how would I know that?" She didn't get it. She thought everyone in America celebrated Christmas and Easter.

I have even heard people say that Chanukah is a variation or a Jewish version of Christmas. That's really a stretch.

Our culture is permeated by Christianity. Christians want it to be that way and that is not going to change.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,391 posts, read 3,738,875 times
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Originally Posted by iohanan View Post
Hi all atheists, what answer would you give to the following questions?

1- Why is there something rather than nothing (nothing being the non-existence of anything at all)?

2-If there is no God, is there good and evil, also called moral values? (No, there isn't) How could you come to the conclusion that helping is good and killing is bad?

3- If you believe that God is just a human idea and doesn't exist, than you have to consider that the moral values are also just human ideas and are not true in reality. If that is so, being you someone who was taught about the moral values since your childhood, how could you believe in your perspective of reality, once your own mind was built based in something that isn't actually true (moral values) by your own perspective?

Thanks!
1) That is a question that has been answered at some length by physicists. It is complicated one, which can really only be expressed with 100% accuracy via mathematics. But it basically comes down to the fact that "nothing" doesn't exist. Nothing isn't really nothing at all, but a zone of quantum fluctuations that spontaneously generate something out of nothing continuously. Something coming from nothing isn't just something that happened at the beginning of the universe. It something that is going on all around us, right now and all the time, at the subatomic level

2) Our morals don't come from God. Our morals come from the claims we humans make on each other. We are social animals. We need to coexist and cooperate for our own survival. We could never have come as far as we have had it not been for our capacity to do this. That is where morality really comes from.

3) Why are the values written down in some "holy" book more "real" than the ones we design ourselves? If I kill, does God reach down with a noose and hang me Himself? Of course not. God doesn't say, "This is MY law." People say, "This is God's law," and ask you top believe that on faith. And frankly, there's no evidence that religious people behave, on average, any better or worse than anyone else. If anything, they sometimes behave worse.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:30 PM
 
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I have even heard people say that Chanukah is a variation or a Jewish version of Christmas. That's really a stretch.
Hannukah was not a big celebration until christmas became a big celebration. Do you really want to explain to your kid that they'll only be getting presents on their birthday? Much easier to massage a celebration you have around the same time so they don't feel left out.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Ohio
19,910 posts, read 14,235,190 times
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Originally Posted by iohanan View Post
1- Why is there something rather than nothing (nothing being the non-existence of anything at all)?
Why is there nothing rather than something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iohanan View Post
2-If there is no God, is there good and evil, also called moral values? (No, there isn't) How could you come to the conclusion that helping is good and killing is bad?
Common sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iohanan View Post
3- If you believe that God is just a human idea and doesn't exist, than you have to consider that the moral values are also just human ideas and are not true in reality.
False logic.

Slavery is wrong. I came to that conclusion on my own, using my own intellect and drawing on life-experiences, logical reasoning, Cost-Benefit Analysis, and an host of other tools.

That makes any number of gods morally inferior to me, most notably the Yahweh/Jesus thing.

When you find a god who is morally superior to me, let me know.

Not holding my breath.....

Mircea
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