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Old 11-20-2013, 04:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie1946 View Post
It is pretty much a fool's errand for a believer to debate with a non-believer. A relationship with Jesus Christ as defined in scripture is a supernatural experience.
It is pretty much a fool's errand for a non-believer to debate with a believer. A relationship with Jesus Christ as defined in scripture is a delusional experience.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
As a former evangelical, I actually agree with this in the main. To this day I don't understand the point of liberal versions of Christianity or any other religion. It is too vague to have any appeal to me. I at least give credit to fundamentalists for attempting to actually follow the tenets of the faith from its alleged source. The problem for me was that the closer you get to the bare metal, so to speak, and don't hide behind what I regard as excessive metaphor and allegory and rationalizations, the more legalistic, superstitious, and out of touch with reality you get. There is no realm of spirit, at least as represented in scripture; and there is no tri-omni god as represented in scripture. It was my very dedication to what I thought was capital-T Truth that undid me.

When you gloat about some imagined comeuppance for unbelievers in one breath and then wish them a merry Christmas, it doesn't come off as particularly sincere.
Especially for those who never celebrated Christmas to begin with.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Colonial Girl View Post
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.
My parents did it and my sisters and I were okay with it. Our family observed traditional Chanukah and we enjoyed it. We never felt left out of anything. It is tradition for grandparents to give grandkids chocolate, oranges or a few coins on one of the eight days of Chanukah.

My sister never had a problem with this raising her kids nor did other friends and relatives who raised their kids within the Jewish faith. I don't feel that parents should be bullied into giving kids presents just because they may feel left out.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Ohio
19,946 posts, read 14,253,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iohanan View Post
Agreed. But if God exists, killing is really wrong. You can't say the same with atheism.
Yes, I can. Murder is wrong.

Murder is the taking of a life with malice aforethought, premeditated, planned, for personal profit, gain or benefit.

Killing is the taking of a life without premeditation. For example, you sneeze, cross the double-yellow and hit another vehicle killing a family of six. That is not murder.

Differentiating....

Mircea
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,311 posts, read 11,235,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iohanan View Post
Agreed. But if God exists, killing is really wrong. You can't say the same with atheism.
I guess I'm free to pile on, since you haven't responded to any of the challenges to this point yet. I will come at it from a slightly different perspective.

Try this syllogism on for size:

Major premise: God is the source of all morality. Whatever god orders is moral, and whatever god forbids is immoral.

Minor premise: The Bible accurately reports that there are many occasions when god ordered his chosen people to kill people, often in great numbers.

Conclusion: The killings ordered by god in the Old Testament were moral.


Is this consistent with your statement that "If God exists, killing is really wrong"?
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:34 AM
 
624 posts, read 902,898 times
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Quote:
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)?
Hello Iohanan,

Why is there a 'God' rather than no gods? How does 'God' explain anything about our existence?

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?
The Bible says that killing is not bad. In fact, the Bible encourages killing. For instance, it says that anyone working on a Saturday should be put to death. (Exodus 31:15). We know that such a command is immoral so our morals do not come from the Bible! It's not easy to explain to someone (who does not get it already) why killing is bad, but I can assure you that any inkling you have that tells you that killing is wrong is not coming from the Bible!


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. 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!
Moral ideas and behavior are part of human design. We have to evaluate our actions in light of the possible outcomes. But, as I said earlier, religion does not provide a better answer. Religious people do not follow everything the Bible says, but pick and chose the passages they like and reinterpret those they don't. Which proves that Bible is not a reliable moral guide even for Christians who consider it as such.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,685,445 times
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Quote:
But if God exists, killing is really wrong. You can't say the same with atheism.
Quite the opposite as I see it. Maybe it's just one point of view but I have always seen God as a justification of killing.

If people do not kill only because God has told them not to, and He certainly hasn't if one reads the bible, but let's say this is the case, then killing has nothing to do with morals. People are doing what a deity is telling them to do. Or what they perceive a deity is telling them to do. Or what someone, a clergyman, has told them a deity has told them to do. They are just obeying orders. No thought, no reasoning, no internal decision. God decreed it therefore they must not do it. No moral decision there, just obedience. Keeps the masses in line. Somewhat.

An atheist on the other hand, may come to the conclusion that killing is wrong out of a sense of fair play, right and wrong, ethics, wanting to do the right thing and other good choices. In other words it is more of a moral decision for the atheist than the theist who blindly follows, without thought or reason what he or she is being told do do.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:17 AM
 
1,474 posts, read 3,086,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
It is pretty much a fool's errand for a non-believer to debate with a believer. A relationship with Jesus Christ as defined in scripture is a delusional experience.
Thank you for making my point very clearly. I tend to find out that people can get nasty with their words very quickly over this subject. Why bother? I've never understood why any unbeliever even cares what another person believes and vice versa. Not discounting some evangelicals desiring to set up the kingdom themselves. Many of them fail to understand that Christians are not called to clean up the world. Efforts like the old "moral majority" have always failed and will always do so. Besides, Christian influence on politics and society writ large has been diminishing for decades. Depends on your point of view I suppose.

You use the word delusional and I gather in a vituperative sense, but even atheistic philosophers say that our existence is delusional at some level, ie. nothing is real. I find comfort in my "delusion" however.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:15 AM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,975,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie1946 View Post
Thank you for making my point very clearly. I tend to find out that people can get nasty with their words very quickly over this subject. Why bother? I've never understood why any unbeliever even cares what another person believes and vice versa. Not discounting some evangelicals desiring to set up the kingdom themselves. Many of them fail to understand that Christians are not called to clean up the world. Efforts like the old "moral majority" have always failed and will always do so. Besides, Christian influence on politics and society writ large has been diminishing for decades. Depends on your point of view I suppose.

You use the word delusional and I gather in a vituperative sense, but even atheistic philosophers say that our existence is delusional at some level, ie. nothing is real. I find comfort in my "delusion" however.
I don't care what fantasies or beliefs you have in your head, and keep there. The problem arises when you attempt to impose those fantasies on me, primarily through the passage of laws. I also find it totally unacceptable when you use these fantasies or beliefs to demonstrate your belief based hate upon any group of people. Why do your care whom another person loves, but christians in their belief based hatred have imposed this hate into law.

Many do see their task as cleaning up the world, ridding countries of their barbarian belief systems and replacing them with their special and often barbarian belief system, through missionaries.

I have an old lapel button from the era of the moral majority, that clearly states why this failed. "The Moral Majority is Neither"


Perhaps that is your perspective, but in many parts of the country, that is not the reality. NC just imposed religious hatred into the state constitution.

Based on your moniker, I'm going to guess that you and I are the same age (born in 1946), and if you went to public school, you were probably lead in prayer in school. What if you didn't believe in it then (I didn't) and what if the teacher tried to chastise you because you didn't bow your head and recite words that were meaningless and counter to reason. What if your homeroom teacher had a show of hands every Monday for those that went to church that week. Being an algebra teacher she also plotted graphs with the data, and singled your out specifically as the reason 100% was never achieved.

So yes, my position does lean toward being
vituperative as I find the actions of many so called christians to be contumelious to my rights and to be bluntly honest, to my intelligence. You (theists) really expect me to believe such nonsense?

Glad you find comfort in your delusion, just don't attempt to impose any of it on me in law, deed or word.

(*you - context, meaning theists in general, regardless of what they call their imaginary friend.)
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:46 AM
 
455 posts, read 764,181 times
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Quote:
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 - I think I understand where you're going with this. You're questioning how we explain where "stuff" came from? We don't know. Neither do you. Evidence dictates what I'm likely to believe, not the lack of it for the sake of conjecture. While it's fun to speculate, the general position among Atheists is to avoid basing a belief on the lack of evidence, which is why [proper] Atheists don't make arguments saying God "doesn't" exist (which would then require evidence to support the claim). They make arguments saying there is no evidence of his existence, therefore there is no reason to believe he does.

2 - The hypothetical existence of a sentient creator aside, it's pretty obvious that as a species, we wouldn't have gotten very far if we had not adapted a socially acceptable way to interact. It was simply in our best interests to co-exist relatively peacefully in groups so that we had a chance for survival. Whatever cultural or social moral tone this behavior has evolved to over time, and how it has happened, is really a question for Anthropology. I would be more comfortable utilizing the obvious evidence we have for the biological and social necessity of an evolved moral code, rather than attributing it as a gift from some divine creator we have zero evidence for.

3 - I'm not sure why you think Atheists don't believe in moral values. We just don't see any evidence for moral values being some external cosmic influence. Since there is no such evidence, therefore no reason to believe it over the obvious evidence of a biological/evolutionary prerogative.
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