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Old 05-16-2012, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Hunkering down atop Shasta
6,371 posts, read 5,769,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
.....
I have no problem with someone not believing in Christianity. And I have no problem with someone taking issue with a school board trying to teach a curriculum that is rooted in Christianity. What I don't understand is why someone has a problem with what someone believes. Stop trying to prove to me that God doesn't exist. And stop being so obnoxious about it (not necessarily you personally, but others). Just go on with your life and believe what you believe.
......
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
.......People reveal so much more about themselves than anything else in their arguments against Christianity. Why someone would care so much about what someone else believes is beyond me (and seriously, enough about the school boards. You all know that none of you give a damn about that and it isn't impacting your personal life in any way whatsoever).
.....
I just try and imagine mocking an atheist in the way atheists (like Ricky Gervais) mock Christians. Can't imagine ever doing that and can't imagine ever feeling any level of motivation to want to do that.
Actually it's very common for Christians to mock atheists. I'm surprised you haven't noticed.

Now here's the problem with Christianity, as seen from someone who believes in God but not Christianity (and it's the same as the problem with Islam, but not most of the other religions): evangelization and a primitive worldview.

Evangelization is commanded by the Jesus in the NT, so it is a duty of every Christian who believes in living the faith. One engages non-believers in an attempt to change their beliefs - to convert the heathen. This can be as obnoxious as coming knocking on their doors and trying to get invited in, or it can involve attempting to influence school curricula in favor of creationism, or even as extreme as school prayer during classes (usually in a Protestant format, as happened once to me by a chemistry teacher).

A primitive worldview means that our children who are taught to believe that evolution is untrue, that the world is 6,000 years old, that a caste system is the best social system due to being commanded by Hindu scriptures, that putting polytheists to the sword is mandatory, or that other elements of earlier beliefs based on scriptures are appropriate and beneficial for modern society. This cripples our competitiveness in a world where science and facts have become more and more important - we are already mocked in other firstworld nations for how fundamentalists have influenced our politics, which is often based on ancient scriptures (eg the attitude toward Israel, and the notion that we don't need to clean up the environment or "go green" because this world is about to get fixed by Jesus).

It's not just a matter of quietly believing in Christianity, but that it is being urged or mandated by believers onto rational modern people - that is the problem.

Last edited by Woof; 05-16-2012 at 02:02 PM..
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:55 PM
 
9,494 posts, read 7,253,335 times
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Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
For those who don't believe and whose reason for not believing is because there is no proof, what proof would you want? What would work for you?
I've said this before: if there were an unbiased and controlled test done which confirmed that prayers to God got answered, then that would be an indication that some kind of mysterious phenomenon was happening.

However, these tests have been done and unfortunately there were no such confirming results.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:18 PM
 
518 posts, read 1,331,063 times
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Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I've said this before: if there were an unbiased and controlled test done which confirmed that prayers to God got answered, then that would be an indication that some kind of mysterious phenomenon was happening.

However, these tests have been done and unfortunately there were no such confirming results.
I prayed to God that the Giants win the Super Bowl and they did. There, we have proof!

All kidding aside, prayer is not about asking for "things". When I pray, I thank God for all that I have in my life and I ask for guidance to follow his will. That is all. So your scientific experiment will be doomed for failure as God doesn't answer prayers in the way you are suggesting.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: London, UK
15,016 posts, read 6,791,230 times
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Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
I prayed to God that the Giants win the Super Bowl and they did. There, we have proof!

All kidding aside, prayer is not about asking for "things". When I pray, I thank God for all that I have in my life and I ask for guidance to follow his will. That is all. So your scientific experiment will be doomed for failure as God doesn't answer prayers in the way you are suggesting.
All I'm hearing is that your Theist beliefs have to be accepted as factually true on no evidence and any evidence that they are not true is to be explained away as 'well, maybe it works some other way'. The falsity of this kind of reasoning is so obvious that it is not surprising that the 'Faith trumps facts' argument has to be served up with some jokey stuff.

The line I take (since it is the only one not raised so far) is that it is pointless to talk about 'What proof do you want?' A historically coherent and factual Bible? Some practical stuff that doersn't have to be laughed off with praying for a team to win. Yes, something like Jesus rolling up and saying he was jewish and never slagged off the Pharisees - oh you wouldn't believe that...well, parting the Red sea then or at least flooding a city ...oh, you don't want to lay that at God's door?

The fact is that Theism has been too far discredited for there to be any way back. To ask me what proof I need is like asking what proof I'd need to believe the world was flat.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:57 PM
 
518 posts, read 1,331,063 times
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
All I'm hearing is that your Theist beliefs have to be accepted as factually true on no evidence and any evidence that they are not true is to be explained away as 'well, maybe it works some other way'. The falsity of this kind of reasoning is so obvious that it is not surprising that the 'Faith trumps facts' argument has to be served up with some jokey stuff.

The line I take (since it is the only one not raised so far) is that it is pointless to talk about 'What proof do you want?' A historically coherent and factual Bible? Some practical stuff that doersn't have to be laughed off with praying for a team to win. Yes, something like Jesus rolling up and saying he was jewish and never slagged off the Pharisees - oh you wouldn't believe that...well, parting the Red sea then or at least flooding a city ...oh, you don't want to lay that at God's door?

The fact is that Theism has been too far discredited for there to be any way back. To ask me what proof I need is like asking what proof I'd need to believe the world was flat.
Yes, the bold section is a requirement of Christianity. That seems to be something that is consistently not understood in this discussion. I don't need or want what an atheist says they would "require" in order to believe.

I have proof of God in my children, sunshine, the trees, the ocean, flowers, you, me, this discussion, etc etc. That is something an atheist will never understand. I see God everyday.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:08 PM
 
518 posts, read 1,331,063 times
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Originally Posted by Woof View Post
Actually it's very common for Christians to mock atheists. I'm surprised you haven't noticed.

Now here's the problem with Christianity, as seen from someone who believes in God but not Christianity (and it's the same as the problem with Islam, but not most of the other religions): evangelization and a primitive worldview.

Evangelization is commanded by the Jesus in the NT, so it is a duty of every Christian who believes in living the faith. One engages non-believers in an attempt to change their beliefs - to convert the heathen. This can be as obnoxious as coming knocking on their doors and trying to get invited in, or it can involve attempting to influence school curricula in favor of creationism, or even as extreme as school prayer during classes (usually in a Protestant format, as happened once to me by a chemistry teacher).

A primitive worldview means that our children who are taught to believe that evolution is untrue, that the world is 6,000 years old, that a caste system is the best social system due to being commanded by Hindu scriptures, that putting polytheists to the sword is mandatory, or that other elements of earlier beliefs based on scriptures are appropriate and beneficial for modern society. This cripples our competitiveness in a world where science and facts have become more and more important - we are already mocked in other firstworld nations for how fundamentalists have influenced our politics, which is often based on ancient scriptures (eg the attitude toward Israel, and the notion that we don't need to clean up the environment or "go green" because this world is about to get fixed by Jesus).

It's not just a matter of quietly believing in Christianity, but that it is being urged or mandated by believers onto rational modern people - that is the problem.
It's a very interesting point but I don't think what you are describing is happening. Which children are being taught evolution is untrue? I do not expect my kids to learn creationism in their public schools. I wasn't taught creationism in the public schools I attended. Where is our competitiveness being crippled? Let other first world nations mock us.

For the overwhelming majority of Christians, they do just that--they quietly believe in Christianity, even though the bible calls for them to do more than that.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:39 PM
 
9,494 posts, read 7,253,335 times
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Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
It's a very interesting point but I don't think what you are describing is happening. Which children are being taught evolution is untrue? I do not expect my kids to learn creationism in their public schools. I wasn't taught creationism in the public schools I attended. Where is our competitiveness being crippled? Let other first world nations mock us.

For the overwhelming majority of Christians, they do just that--they quietly believe in Christianity, even though the bible calls for them to do more than that.
As a Christian, what do you believe that atheists most likely don't believe that makes any practical difference in the real world? Do you think that if a person does not believe in Christ, then that person will be condemned to hell for eternity and should be treated as such in this life?

If you accept mainstream science, including the evolution and common descent of all life on earth, ape-to-human evolution, the big bang, etc., and you accept that everyone should be free to choose their religious belief or nonbelief according to their own conscience, then I probably don't have any significant point of dispute with you on these matters.

Last edited by BigCityDreamer; 05-16-2012 at 03:51 PM..
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:50 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,356 posts, read 3,152,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
I prayed to God that the Giants win the Super Bowl and they did. There, we have proof!

All kidding aside, prayer is not about asking for "things". When I pray, I thank God for all that I have in my life and I ask for guidance to follow his will. That is all. So your scientific experiment will be doomed for failure as God doesn't answer prayers in the way you are suggesting.
God doesn't answer prayers in the way the bible suggest, either.

But maybe if God talked back to me in a clear distinct voice when I prayed, or maybe if he came down and had face-to-face conversations with me, those would be pretty convincing pieces of evidence.

Instead, all of our interactions with God are indistinguishable from there being no interaction at all.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:52 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,356 posts, read 3,152,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
I have proof of God in my children, sunshine, the trees, the ocean, flowers, you, me, this discussion, etc etc. That is something an atheist will never understand. I see God everyday.
But how is that different then being gullible?
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Hunkering down atop Shasta
6,371 posts, read 5,769,148 times
Reputation: 4627
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
It's a very interesting point but I don't think what you are describing is happening. Which children are being taught evolution is untrue? I do not expect my kids to learn creationism in their public schools. I wasn't taught creationism in the public schools I attended. Where is our competitiveness being crippled? Let other first world nations mock us.

For the overwhelming majority of Christians, they do just that--they quietly believe in Christianity, even though the bible calls for them to do more than that.
Oh, it's all been cleaned up gradually since the Scopes Trial - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , but there are ongoing occasional attempts to present creationism in the schools as an alternative "scientific" hypothesis to explain the existence of the Universe with its complex laws of physics and also the development of humans.

Now it just so happens that I privately believe there is a God who created everything, but I also realize that needs to be a clean separation of science and religion in both the official realms of scientific exploration and in the teaching of science in the classroom. The two have had to become separated because it isn't helpful to "fill in the blanks" by saying (as perhaps Mary once said) that "God did it!"





So what I believe is simply my personal hypothesis, based on personal experiences with some scientific reasoning tossed into the mix.

Only fundamentalists seem to want to muddle their beliefs into school teachings and political persuasion, and only a minority of Christians are fundies - but in some areas their influence can be disproportionately large. That's why atheists and other unbelievers, and even moderate religious folks of several faiths, tend to attack them back with some vehemence at times. Sometimes that overreaches and gets into attacking God as if the fundamentalist god were the only belief about him.

(by the way, my personal definition of fundamentalism is the belief that a scripture - any scripture of any religion - is the perfect, inerrant word of God or gods, AND that the scripture is meant to be interpreted literally unless stated otherwise in the text).
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