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Jesus Marty, your religious posts are SO monotonous and futile in any sort of debate, you ACTUALLY think one will read and respond to that overblown athiest propoganda, let alone read it? :lol:

But seriously. It really sucks playing devil's advocate all the time, doesn't it?
 

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Disturbing post, I feel sorry for you truly?and not because you do not believe.

These debates should not even take place. There will never be a winner. The answer will come for all of us when we close our eyes that last time.

...for the spirit of debate however

Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus & Buddhists (as well as others) share the EXACT same God. I have friends in all categories and we often talk of religion. We have slightly different ideas due to interpretations from teachers but in the end it?s all the same.

You may state,
"Why then do they kill each other over religion?
If there is this ever so powerful God that can do ANYTHING He wants, why does He let us suffer? "

My belief is that one thing CANNOT exist without the other.
What does that mean to me? Good & Evil. The Light & The Darkness .The energies of the Universe.

The "fear they invoke in their followers with theories such as Armageddon!"
see scientific articles such as Chaos Theory.

Evolution VS Creationism
In order for a God to craft man in his own image, He must plot a timeline to achieve perfection. Could He instantly make me like I am? I believe yes but I do not think I would have the comprehension, instincts or understanding, those are passed down through genes and parenting. (ie. Butterfly Effect). Evolution IS real.

You seem to enjoy carving up belief systems. You have read the Bible yes, but have YOU really read it?. Did you get the seven layers (for each realm) of control?
Did you go into it with an open mind or did you have a pre disposition?

I was baptized as a child but my folks werent church going people. I picked it up on my own. No one "brainwashed" me as you adore promoting.

I am most likely through with this thread. I do not venture into this section often (see "There will never be a winner" comment). Just chillin' on a Friday @ work.
 
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hey Revelation I was reading the part when you said one thing cannot exist without the other and I thought of an email I recieved a couple weeks ago. (sorry about the >'s)

Did God create Evil? This will make you think for a while. At a certain college there was a professor with a reputation for being tough on Christians. At the first class, every semester, he asked if anyone was a Christian and proceeded to degrade them and to mock their statement of faith. One semester, he asked the question and a young man raised his hand. The >professor asked, "Did God make everything young man?" He replied "Yes sir he did!" The professor responded, "IF God made everything, then he made evil" The student didn't have a response and the professor was happy to once again prove the Christian faith to be a myth. Then another man raised his hand and asked, "May I ask you something, sir?" "Yes, you may," responded the professor. The young man stood up and said, "Sir is there such a thing as cold?" "Of course there is what kind of a question is that? Haven't you ever been >cold?" The young man replied, "Actually, sir, cold doesn't exist. What we consider to be cold is really an absence of heat. Absolute zero is when there is absolutely no heat, but cold does not really exist. We have only created that term to describe how we feel when heat is not there." The young man continued, Sir, is there such a thing as dark?" Once again the professor responded, "Of course there is." And once again, the student replied, "Actually, sir, darkness does not exist. Darkness is really only the absence of light. Darkness is only a term developed to describe what happens when there is no light present." Finally, the young man asked, "Sir, is there such a thing as evil?" The professor responded, "Of course, we have rapes, murders and violence >everywhere in the world, those thing are evil." The student replied, "Actually, sir, evil does not exist. Evil is simply the absence of God. Evil is a term developed to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. It isn't like truth, or love which exist as virtues like heat or light. Evil is simply the state where God is not present, like cold without heat, or darkness without light." The professor had nothing to say.

is that kind of what you were talking about? I like to believe it :? .
 
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as did Martin (see explanation below), I have deleted my original response to this thread. It looked silly without the original post it was responding to. Also, this particular area is not something I feel comfortable discussing. I find it difficult to explain my stance with words available to me.
Though tempted, and though taken out of context - I will not edit the quotes Martin uses.

My final answer is in my next response, further below.
And I promise to stay out of this section from now on.

:shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've deleted my post.

I awoke that day is such a frenzy of fury that someone or something had to take the brunt of it. But the clouds have cleared and, while I believe what I said, I sometimes forget this is a mental health support forum and not a soap box for my rages.

But as people were kind enough to reply...

Atheist propoganda ? How can it be propoganda when atheism is a lack of something ? And why do people react so strangely to atheism ? Are they scared of their comfort blanket being whipped away ? Do atheists have any impact on your, or anyone elses life ?

SC - I couldn't disagree with you more entirely. What is this 'evidence' for a supreme being ? Just for starters, all I need is one single scrap. Just one little bit of evidence. I'm not talking about faith, you mentioned evidence. Contemporary evidence. However, if by 'evidence' you mean the incomplete understanding of how and why we are here, then fair enough. But when we lack an understanding about fundamental questions we make the staggering leap of judgement that it 'must' be a supreme being - just because we don't know yet ? Tell me (and I'm not being patronising here), do you still believe that lightening is Thor's thunderbolts ? Or earthquakes giants fighting underground ? Of course you don't....because you know otherwise, and thank 'god' for that, because otherwise if we had been happy and satisfied with that kind of ignorance then we'd all still be sitting in caves howling at the moon. And this 'evidence' you talk of, does it sit kindly with 3000 years of human investigation, thinking, judgement, science, geology, biology, chemistry....even if they are incomplete and sometimes baffling ?

So why, just because there are no certain answers, do you so readily jump to the conclusion that there is a god ? Why ? At the least, wouldn't it be sensible to suspend judgement ? Don't you think it is slightly suspiscious that when we don't know the answers to questions that scare or confuse us, we suddenly have 'god' to answer those questions ? Not even a little bit dodgy ?

As much as it scares and confuses people, evolution is a fact. Fact. Fact. Fact. Sure, there are holes in it, irregularities, but the evidence (since we are talking about evidence) is not just overwealming, it's totally irrefutable. And, before anyone says it, as much as the chrisitan scientists like to think, it is not compatible with the idea of a supreme being, at least in the biblical sense. No no no. I scream with laughter every time the religious apologists attempt to decieve us by saying that the biblical idea of creation is a metaphor or modern day darwanism !!! :oops: It's embarrassing. An embarrassing reluctance to admit that they are wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

I am fully open to the possibility that there is some supreme being 'behind' it all....because who's knows ? I don't believe it, because I see no reason for it and a trillion reasons not to, but it could be true. Just like it could be true that there is an invisible monster under my bed. But the monotheistic idea of an all loving (human concept) supreme being is a joke. Well, it would be if it wasn't funny.
 

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'Atheist propoganda ? How can it be propoganda when atheism is a lack of something ?'

I can't really understand this point. For a start, the word 'atheism' doesn't mean 'lack of something', it means one who isn't a theist, i.e. a believer in God (from the greek word Theos, meaning god). And just as Theism is a chosen belief that can be held zealously, atheism is equally a chosen belief.

And if you take this message board for example Martin, you will notice that the majority of zealous preaching and continuous barrage of opinion (which could be called propaganda) comes from your atheist camp and not the religious camp. I fully respect your chosen beliefs and I can tolerate your anger, but why you constantly need to vent it on this board where nobody really deserves to hear it is beyond me.

Go attack the evangelist churches who preach hatred towards homosexuals, or the Fundamentalist muslims who persecute women. But for the love of....you know who...stop trying to make enemies out of people who are just trying to feel better. If feeling better includes a safety blanket, who are you to take it away from them? Show people here the same respect for their opinions as you expect for yours. You never know, learning to be a bit more tolerant and less judgemental might make you feel better about yourself.

your friend,
Gav
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Gav, how's it going ?

Atheism is a lack of theism, you're right. A lack of faith. It is not a positive assertion, so whence does the propaganda come from ? Semantics, ahem.

Gav, you might as well ask me to go and sympathise and get touchy-feely with a paedophile...it's much the same in my mind. As you (might) know, I have personal reasons for my vitriol against religion, but not personal faith,so it's a physical and psychological impossibility. I couldn't care less what people believe in, in fact I'm probably a little jealous. However, I realise the folly of my rages, see above, and definately wouldn't encourage those who need their faith to discard it. On that I agree with you.

My rage against religion is blind (or at best - I'm squinting in a dark room), as is faith. But do keep reminding me and pulling me when I rage about it. It doesn't do anyone any good.

I'm in a better mood today anyway, as I just won ?10 on the quiz machine down the pub. (When I say 'won', of course I put it all back in again. Now if that isn't decieving yourself then I don't know what is!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Sc, hope you are feeling OK.

The "God" you are trying so hard not to believe in
First off, if I didn't love you so much I'd resent the implication that I'm desperately (because of my yawning spiritual void, my hatred of religion...etc etc etc) denying the existence of 'god' because of my personal views of religion. This is not true. I don't hate god, because I don't believe he/she/it/they exist. My problem is with (yes, I know...boring) organised dogmatic religion and the effects it has on the non-religious. I'm not 'trying hard' not to believe...I just don't, why won't people accept that ? Why ? Are you 'trying hard' not to believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, The Bogey Man ? You have has much 'faith' in them as I do in 'God', so why ask ? I tell you why- it's a typical 'religious' ruse (in the vaguest sense) but it might cause us to fall out so I'll keep it to myself. And secondly, by making that implication you are making the outrageous assumption that this 'god' actually exists and that I should believe it without a second thought. Why's that then ? You've never told me.

the bible was written by people for people - and is not and was never meant to be a literal account
Yes, that's what I hear. We aren't meant to take it literally, anymore. That's very convenient, wouldn't you agree ? Possibly just a little tiny bit suspicious that in recent times, when the nonsense (let it be whispered - horror) of the bible/koran/whatever in the face of unchained free thought has become apparent, we are suddenly not meant to take it literally ? Oh yes, it's just parables, metaphor now, the world isn't flat after all...sorry our mistake.....hmmm......OK. So, taking that on board, how are we to assume that it is the word of god ? What if Moses wasn't 'taken literally' when he came down from the mountain. Maybe it's all wrong. Maybe god actually said 'You SHALL lie down with thy neighbors wife'. Maybe all the psychopaths have got it right after all. Who's to know ? I tell you what, if I were a religious leader I'd just make it up, take a good look at it, and pick out the bits I like and forget the bits I don't. Oh, they've beat me to it. Where's the literal interpretation in that ?

can only be a human construct
Yes? Last time I looked I wasn't a crocodile or a tree (except in my saddest moments, a soggy old weeping willow), so what else do you expect of me ? You're human, I'm human, everything that anyone has ever said or done or thought or read was from another human. What else is there ?

You, me, this chair I am sitting in - all so precariously balanced between existing and not
Yes ? What are you saying ? It could be two things - either that you are astonished that we alive at all and can't think of any other reason than your supreme being made us, or you refuse to accept that we are just the product of non-random evolutionary mutations of primeval ooze (or rather, complex amino acids that we observe on, for instance, some comets and Titan, one of Saturn's moons) a planet that was created from the left overs of the formation of our sun - which in turn was created (as with all the other trillions of stars) in a natural process, which in turn was spewed forth from a universe created in a quantum vacuum ? Which is it ? Why can you not accept that the same science that powers the computer you are using to type on (very tangible), is the same science that points in completely the other direction from your supreme being ?

It simply isn't possible those things can be. Yet they are.
Again I ask - why ? Why is it more believable to think that it was a supreme being when the evidence to the contrary is all round you, however baffling it is - and it is baffling. Why do you so readily dismiss 3000 years of human thought...geology, chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, astronomy...?

Is my inability to explain, with simple words or numbers, "existence" part of my "proof." Of course it is. Does that make it any less valid? No
Sorry, you're wrong, it does make it invalid. If you can't explain it to me then how am I to make a judgment ? And sorry again, unless we both have undiscovered telepathic powers or you can write with runes, it's got to be words. I'm human, you're human. Should I accept anything as valid ? I'm not making a comparison (why do I always have to choose my words as carefully as I might choose moss covered rocks when crossing a river?) here, but should accept the ravings of a schizophrenic as valid ? David Koresh ? Osama ? My lampshade that tells me to set fire to kittens ? As Richard Dawkins said - 'Sure, let's keep an open mind, but not so open that our brains fall out'. You have a point of view, and so do I, that's all. That's what makes us human, and that's what make debate so worthwhile.

Hang on a minute...I almost missed it !!!! What you are really saying is that I'm either not intelligent enough to understand what you are trying to get across, or that because of my lack of spirituality I am unable to comprehend what you are saying in non-human terms. Perhaps you think it's both ?

I think I'll just fall back on the proof you yourself provide: how can something that does not exist cause Martin to react so strongly?
Once again, I resent the implication here. Please refer to my first paragraph. You are citing my anger as proof of god ? I wish I were so deserving of such lavish praise.

i am about as intelligent as a human critter can be
By who's standards ? Your own ? Does the proof of your intelligence, which I'm not denying, mean that everyone else, or rather, those that don't agree with you, are wrong ? And remember, Pride is a sin. Be warned !! :wink:

SC, you of all people should know that it is fear that drives us, in desperation, to come to conclusions that keep that fear in check. Fear, fear of not knowing, fear of death, life, the absurd pointlessnes of it all, fear of being alone in a pityless universe, fear of suffering, it drowns out all appeals to commonsense. Fear clouds everything. And that, I think, is where the problem lies, not in DP, war, hate, or 'miraculous' interventations. Without presuming to know for sure, I'd take a guess that your idea of a supreme being brings resolution to the fear, and your refusal to except anything else is what seems to you to be justification for this belief. Which must make me the most terrified man on earth, right ? Wrong. I accept it, embrace it in a way, like Camus's idea of the absurdity of existance. Once you realise that there are no 'reasons' why we are here, we're just here because we're here, that life is one great big cosmic accident (or not), then what is there to fear ? The habit of fear is worse than fear itself, you know it, I know it. But if we swallow the fear and accept that life is just what it is, life, then perhaps we can all get on with enjoying it or, at the very least, doing the best we can. It's a difficult trick to learn, unless you are lucky (and it is luck - because I'm not intelligent or strong enough to have made these choices on my own) to be like me and be born without any need to believe.

People can bang on about gods ultimate gift of 'free will' all they like. Chance is not on anyones side. Once again it's an excuse, an embarrassing excuse for suffering, an apology...nothing more, nothing less...surely the very last that the religious can get away with, and I'm ashamed on behalf of them. I myself cannot accept this view of god as all loving. I have a different notion of love, I'm sure you do to, and till the day I die I shall refuse to accept this idea of love in which children, for instance, are tortured. And, as is my wont, and, I think, my right as a (fairly) decent human being - I'll spit in the face of anyone who actively grovels to the majesty of that god. We'll let the Seraphim do that.

If you take a step back and look at the world, you'll see that it (and the universe in general) has exactly the properties we would expect if there were no order, no greater purpose, other than that which we create.

In the end we're all dust, just dust. And i'm eternally gratefull for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Rev - sorry, I missed your post..but thanks for replying.

I feel sorry for you truly
Please, don't feel sorry for my lack of faith. I'm so happy that I'm not cursed with it, honestly, believe me. Feel sorry, if you like, that I'm wracked with anxiety, depression, guilt, totally unrelated to faith. Or perhaps not - maybe that's where I'm going wrong eh ? :) On second thoughts, no, anxiety, depression and everything else seems to be shared equally between the religious and those of us who aren't. In fact, guilt seems to be an essential part of faith.

Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus & Buddhists (as well as others) share the EXACT same God.
No. What they share is a compromise. And where does this compromise come from ? From fear. A fear of their faith being exposed for what it is. It's inevitable that all the different faiths (or rather - the faithful) have within, perhaps, the last fifty years (and it is recent, you'd agree with that - yes?) all come together and 'agreed' (while secretly believing that they are right and everyone else is wrong) that while on the outside their beliefs are mutually exclusive, a brief interpretation of these different faiths come to the same conclusion. Not surprising really is it ? It's a herding instinct. People (and all life come to think of it - which makes us no different) herd together out of either habit, or.......yep, you guessed it - fear. Can't you see what has happened ? The religious of all denominations huddled together in a corner, shuddering under the weight of life without faith, and coming to a compromise (I think it's related to Stockholm syndrome) so as to keep their faith staggering along.

The religious texts ARE mutually exclusive, so the more thoughtful and more intelligent (and less zealous) have come to a compromise. And besides, why should we be so excited about this compromise ? (and I've heard it many, many, many times) It's a real brainer...oh yes. Be nice, love each other, don't do bad things, there is a god and everything is going to be alright when you die. Whoa !!!!!!! And we need all those religions to tell us that !!!!!! What a waste of paper. Have they had to spill the blood of millions to learn this lesson ?

If there is this ever so powerful God that can do ANYTHING He wants, why does He let us suffer? "
It's free will apparently....but hang on, you seem to think differently..

My belief is that one thing CANNOT exist without the other.
What does that mean to me? Good & Evil. The Light & The Darkness
So it's not free will then ? God created Good and Evil in equal measures ? Then why not call it something like 'Govil' and do away with both. Now I'm confused. But, hang on again....

The energies of the Universe.
.

Energies of the universe ? Eh ? Are you indulging in the latest (and very fashionable - it's what keeps the 'alternative' shops in business..'crystal energy and so on) spurious compromise, this mysterious so-called 'spiritual energy ? If so, you'll have to explain it to me, because as I understand it energy is (in physical terms) the capacity for doing work as measured by the capability of doing work (potential energy), or the conversion of this capability to motion (kinetic energy). Or in terms of radiation, energy has several forms -thermal, mechanical, nuclear and electric, etc. Mass is energy in solid form....so what are you alluding to ? It's not fair to use the word 'energy' if you're talking about something completely different, which you obviously are. It's intellectual kidnap and I demand it's return !! :lol:

Evolution IS real.
I agree...so.........?

You have read the Bible yes, but have YOU really read it?.
Oh yes. Have you? How about:

"(Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NAB) If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her"

Did you read that bit ? What a bummer ! Or perhaps:

"Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NLT. And suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you are attracted to her and want to marry her. If this happens, you may take her to your home, where she must shave her head, cut her fingernails, and change all her clothes"

Or maybe:

"(Isaiah 14:21 NAB)Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants."

I like this one myself (look away if you're pregnant):

"Numbers 31:17 (Moses) Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.?

In other words, women that might be pregnant, which clearly is abortion for the fetus. What the blazes ?

Yes yes, I know - we're meant to take it all in historical 'context' (see: compromise) and so forth. Funny that. Which bit's are we meant to take in context, and which are we to believe are the wishes of god ?

Did you go into it with an open mind or did you have a pre disposition?
Yet another implication. You're not asking a question, you're assuming to know the answer, aren't you ? So why bother asking ? I'm not going to ask you whether you read the bible with an open mind, I wouldn't dare.

I was baptized as a child but my folks weren't church going people. I picked it up on my own
Much like a disease eh ? We 'pick up' or 'catch' illnesses all the time. I can't ever remember anyone 'picking up' or 'catching' a cure. Oh well. So much for analogies.

Cheers,
Martin.
 

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Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus & Buddhists (as well as others) share the EXACT same God.
Rev, not trying to play the devil's advocate but...

I agree with the first three: Christians, Jews, and Muslims sharing the same god. Hindus, however have a pantheon of gods. I don't know the intricacies of that particular religion, so I suppose it's possible that Brahma may be considered the equivalent of the Christian/Jewish/Muslim god.

However, as a Buddhist/Atheist/Humanist, I take exception to the Buddha being classified as a god. Buddha, himself, admonished his followers to not make him into a god after his death.

The Buddhist church unfortunately saw fit for whatever reason to elevate him to god status. The Buddha was a great teacher who taught an excellent philosophy for living a good (even noble) life based on self discipline.

But, the Buddha was not a god. Even Buddha said he was not a god.

I find it so frustrating that the Buddhist church changed what was already perfect into something to fit their needs. Maybe there was a reason. Maybe the Buddhist philosophy would have disappeared from history without their intervention. Nonetheless, I think it's tragic what they have done.

Carole
 
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Martin.............

I should never have become involved in a thread about "God." I am completely lacking in the ability to explain my views using only words on a page. This is made even more challenging when what I was responding to - your original post, has been deleted.

You quote me several times, out of context, then challenge those quotes. Which, for the most part, relate to your original post, which we have already determined was deleted, etc.

In conclusion then: I believe the earth is a sphere. Or as nearly spherical as possible given certain gravitational realities. I have not one shred of proof to support this belief, beyond anecdotal evidence provided by others. Yet still, I believe. I have "faith" that the earth is a pretty little blue ball spinning around in space. It makes sense to me. That theory - and surely that's all it can be - fits what I know. It explains things like.........sunrise and sunset, for example. High and low tides makes sense then. The simple fact that I don't just float off into the great beyond can be explained with this theory.
But that's all it is. A theory. Based on my own observations and observations provided by others. Sure, I've seen the "photographs from outer space," if that's what they really are. Yet I've never actually been off the planet myself, so how can I be certain they aren't fakes? Surely a civilization capable of such conspiracy as the concept of a supreme being could come up with a few pretend pictures. The witnesses, these so called "astronauts" may just be payed players.

Maybe this is all there is? Maybe it's just earth, flat as a table, with nothing beyond. After all, any evidence to the contrary is indirect, at best.

And I swear, to GOD, I am out of this now
:shock:
 
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