Debate and Discussion

God: Yes or No?
Black_Kitty at 9:57AM, Aug. 10, 2006
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Mimarin
I don't see how that justifies god letting people be systematically exterminated according to their ethnicity, religous beliefs, and the like, if there was a christian sense god then he simply wouln't allow things like that to happen.

I'm Catholic so I'm all about the free will and such. The Holocaust happened due to various factors but most (if not all) of which are human choices.

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
thatreevesgirl at 10:19AM, Aug. 10, 2006
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Black Kitty
Mimarin
I don't see how that justifies god letting people be systematically exterminated according to their ethnicity, religous beliefs, and the like, if there was a christian sense god then he simply wouln't allow things like that to happen.

I'm Catholic so I'm all about the free will and such. The Holocaust happened due to various factors but most (if not all) of which are human choices.

I agree, good point Black Kitty. I think that most of us that believe in God, believe in the fact that free choice came with the package. I don't see a lot of non-human factors in bad things.

And just in general…I see that having to overcome obstacle and hardships makes people stronger. I don't think I'd like the world very much if it was one easy road of non-hardship, God or no God.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:14PM
LIZARD_B1TE at 11:07AM, Aug. 10, 2006
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The reason God created the earth and why it's so screwed up:
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:36PM
VegaX at 11:15AM, Aug. 10, 2006
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Black Kitty
The Holocaust happened due to various factors but most (if not all) of which are human choices.

So god doesn't exist VS He doesn't give a damn.
Either way, what is the point in spending any time on such a thing?

I could just as well pray to Elvis Presley. He is just as likely to answer me. :)
(Actually, isn't there a actuall church of Elvis somewhere? )

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:39PM
Black_Kitty at 11:42AM, Aug. 10, 2006
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I know I wasn't that clear earlier (posting at 5 AM does that) but it was sort of what I was alluding to in my previous post.

As thatreevesgirl said, free will is a complete package. Just as you are able to make good choices, you are also able to make bad ones. If God were to intervene on every bad choice you made but left you alone when you made good ones, then you don't really have free will.

Again, this is just a hypothetical possibility but this would be a good example of what I mean by the difference in the definition of a loving God. To many, a loving God would intervene on bad things and poor choices. He would have the veto vote in everything you do.

But what if to God, that's not really a loving act at all? What if He sees a higher value in protecting free will then He does from making sure we all make the right choices and the right choices only?

And there probably is a church of Elvis somewhere. I don't know of it but it wouldn't surprise me. ^^;;

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
Ronson at 2:15PM, Aug. 10, 2006
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Kennedy0
So why is it that he sends the ones that don't believe to hell? Isn't it his fault we don't believe? Seems a bit unfair to me.

Not to stick up for religion too much, but when Christianity began, it was believed that those who don't believe are just not granted “eternal life”. So if you believe and are good=heaven. If you believe and are bad = hell. If you don't believe = nothing.

Of course, just like God's split personality from the old to the new testament, the rules do keep changing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Black_Kitty at 4:50PM, Aug. 10, 2006
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Kennedy0
You're talking about the old testament. Which is very different from the new. Yet more proof that he doesn't exist. Honestly, you're only hurting your argument.

Both the New Testament and the Old Testament are part of the Bible. Not to be a jerk but you said “Bible” and not “New Testament.” :P

It doesn't really hurt my arguement, at least I don't think it does. I'm not the one who's arguing that God is all loving and so if He exists, He should do good things for humans.

Ronson
So why is it that he sends the ones that don't believe to hell? Isn't it his fault we don't believe? Seems a bit unfair to me.

Not to stick up for religion too much, but when Christianity began, it was believed that those who don't believe are just not granted “eternal life”. So if you believe and are good=heaven. If you believe and are bad = hell. If you don't believe = nothing.

Of course, just like God's split personality from the old to the new testament, the rules do keep changing.

You also have differing beliefs as to what hell is, what it means to go to heaven/hell, etc etc. Usually depends on which branch of Christianity you're sitting on and what personal beliefs you subscribe to.

For some, hell isn't so much as a place of fire and brimstone but a state upon which you are away from God. If God is the ultimate source of love and life, then to be away from that source could be considered to be in a state of hell.

To choose God isn't so much as to choose to worship some divine being in the sky but to choose love, life, and all the good things that God represents. So when it's time to make a decision and you choose to not be with God, then it is your choice to be in hell. Everyone has free will so ultimately, your moral and spiritual state is your responsibility. Where you head to, what you do, and the results of it all is yours.

This is also why when I was in high school, we weren't taught that only good little Christians go to heaven and everyone else goes to hell. Just because you don't believe in God doesn't necessarily mean you don't choose to do the things God represents.

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
Black_Kitty at 9:26PM, Aug. 10, 2006
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Kennedy0
Once again, you just quoted my point exactly. What I was saying was if they are one and the same, then why do the rules in each contradict each other? Example: The old testament says that any man with long hair is damned to hell as well as any woman with short hair. Why is this not so in the new? (Another interesting note is that most churches have paintings and windows of Jesus with long hair. Its bad enough he's depicted as white, though.)

Can you quote the passage please?

To be honest, I do not have a 100% sure answer as to why some things in the Old Testament do not apply to the New. Actually, you're going to have to quote a few examples of those contridictory rules because I can't think of any. But I didn't read the Bible from the beginning to end so it's not as if I know the Bible inside out.

One possible reason why most paintings of Jesus depict him as white is because the people who painted the paintings are Europeans who identify themselves as Christians and in turn identify Jesus as being like them. Him not actually being of European descent is not going to stop artists from depicting him as such.

Again, not to be nitpicky but I did not say that the New Testament and the Old Testament are the same. I said that they are both part of the Bible. That would be similar to me saying that The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers are part of Lord of the Rings. They are not the same but put together (and including Return of the King) they make up a body of work called Lord of the Rings.

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
Black_Kitty at 12:54AM, Aug. 11, 2006
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Kennedy0
Black Kitty
Can you quote the passage please?
Somewhere in 1 Corinthians 11. I don't really care enough to look it up.

Is it these two?

Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? (1 Corinthians 11: 14-15, NIV)

Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her (1 Corinthians 11: 14-15, KJV)

If so, neither of them talk about going to hell just because you're a guy and you have long hair. I actually got those from this site which presents an interesting possible explaination as to what purpose those two quotations mean and why long hair isn't a violation of some universal law of nature or a one way ticket to hell.

In the old, god would punish sinners by murdering their firstborn and “bashing their children's heads on the rocks”. Not only is it contradicted in the new, but also in Exodus when we see “eye for an eye” introduced. This is because each book was written by a different man and basically just reflected what they themselves thought should be law to all men.

The death of all firstborns and Exodus itself are both located in the Old Testament. A quick Google of bashing of children's head on rocks tells me that's Psalms 137 you're talking about, also located in the Old Testament. None of the examples you've mentioned are found in the New Testament.

Since you didn't specify, I can only assume that the death of all firstborns is a reference to the ten plagues of Egypt. The ten plagues of Egypt aren't laws but rather plagues God inflicted upon Egypt to convince the Pharoah to release the Israelites slaves. Neither is Psalms 137 since Psalms in general are basically religious songs or poems set to music.

Honestly, this is just one of many things that contradict in the bible. If you'd like a full list, I'm sure you can google it. It isn't exactly a big secret that the bible is full of holes. Its just something that makes christians uncomfortable to talk about, so you won't hear it in church or anything.

Aside from the fact that you didn't provide any New Testament examples…
While I do know how to use Google, it is not a habit of mine to Google for the other person I'm having a discussion with. This isn't a habit born out of discomfort but merely stubborness and practicality. Simply put: I'm not going to prove your point for you. :P

I haven't really gone to mass long enough to comment on what is and isn't said in church but I know I'm not uncomfortable talking about it. Being wrong or not knowing something isn't the end of the world for me.

Doesn't really change the argument. It still stands that if the majority of christians are right, and these two books must be taken literally, then the major problem is that they contradict.

I'm actually under the impression that a lot of Christians take the Bible metaphorically. I know I do and so do most of the people I know in my Catholic high school. Actually, I can't think of anyone I know of personally who takes the Bible literally. Nobody I know actually thinks the world was made in six literal days.

It does change the arguement though. The Old Testament and the New Testament aren't the same primarily because the focus isn't the same. For one thing, Jesus Christ isn't even in the Old Testament but is a major focus of the New Testament.

Again, I haven't read the Bible from the beginning to the end but based on what I have read, the Old Testament seems to have more of a historical and order-ish kind of feel. This was the time before Jesus and him dying on the cross for the sins of mankind. Him dying on the cross for our sins reconciles humanity with God. This and Jesus himself is a large focus of the New Testament.

If this is true, that would mean that prior to the New Testament, humanity wasn't reconciled with God and that getting into heaven was a bit more difficult. This difference in itself would distinguish the two Testaments apart.

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
VegaX at 7:27AM, Aug. 11, 2006
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As i said before, at the end of the day the bible is still man made. Not written by god.

The churches and temples? It doesnt matter how pretty they look, they are still man made.

Who tells us about god and religion in the first place? Not god that's for sure. In my case it was a school teacher.

God didn't create man. Man created god.(and Santa Clause)

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:39PM
VegaX at 8:26AM, Aug. 11, 2006
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Djanjo
Is that a bad thing?(Even about Santa Claus?)

Not a bad thing, as long as we understand that God/Santa aren't real.
But as it is people are fooling themselfs believing a story that we made up ourselfs.

This isn't the dark ages anymore, but people still believe in a invisable bearded guy up in the clouds.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:39PM
Black_Kitty at 12:03PM, Aug. 11, 2006
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Kennedy0
This is by far not the entire story. Plus, my wording may have been a bit harsh, but it doesn't really change the argument. Also, that site doesn't present any “reasoning” on why this exists. It only provides another part of the bible where this isn't so. Once again, this is the contradiction I'm talking about that calls the bible's validity into question. Remember that “digging yourself in deeper” I was talking about earlier? :lol:

Did you even read the site? :S Or for that matter, all the way through?

The bottomline for that site is that the passages in the Corinthians are not a law of any kind. The man was suggesting that when looking at passages in the Bible, it is worth looking at the context upon which it was written. In this case, the possibility was that it was Paul telling the early Christians to stop making a bad impression and do what the natives do. An equal possibility is that the use of the word “nature” might not necessarily refer to natural law or universial law.

Paul telling the early Christians to do what social convention says to do because he was concern about how the church appears to unbelievers and holy men having long hair are not two contridictory things.

It is becoming increasingly questionable to me if you know the Bible. The Bible, as a whole, is not a law book. The Criminal Code of Canada is a law book. The Bible isn't. Songs to God and accounts of events are not law.

I think you're missing the point here. I WASN'T talk about he new testament at all. That was kind of my point. Why is it that there are so many vile things in the old tastament and not the new. And I wasn't talking about any specific book because its happened more than once. It may not have been rocks in some cases and have been a river, but either way, innocent children did die by god's hand multiple times. The fact that you're so in the dark about this is another thing to take note of. These are the things the churches either ignore or cover up with some kind of rediculous explanation.

I'm going to be honest here, sometimes I don't even know what your point is. One moment I get the impression you're talking about contridictory laws in both books…next moment I get the impression you think both books are the same. I would also like to point out that considering I did point out a while ago about the destructive things God has done when you suggested that a loving God should help humans, I'm not so in the dark as you imagine myself to be.

Could it not be that the God in both Testaments are the same God? Could there not be a God that can be both full of wrath and full of love? If you and I have personalities, why is it such a stretch of the imagination that a divine being could be more then one dimensional?

On a side but slightly related note…the death of the firstborns was the final plague. Before, there were ten other “miracles” performed. While I was reading about it, it was also suggested that the Pharaoh may at first glance appear to be purposely denying the Israelites freedom (at times promising it until the plagues stop and then taking it back and sometimes punishing them) but that in actuality, it could be God hardening the Pharaoh's heart. In this case, God was trying to demonstrate to everyone that He is perfectly willing to use His powers to honour the Covenant. It must be shown that the freeing of the Israelites is not because the Pharaoh is such a great and nice guy but because God really does exists and He can do lots of powerful things.

I'm not trying to make God look good. I suppose God thought killing all firstborns would make demonstrate His existance and that He's not a genie: perfectly harmless and there to do the bidding of all who rubs Him the right way.

No, in fact the majority don't take the bible metaphorically. Espcially Catholics. This is why there's been so many a damn dispute in the Vatican about which version of the bible is “official” and whether or not dinosaurs can exist.

My experience as a Catholic and interacting with other Catholics suggest otherwise. Seriously, I went through the Catholic school system here in Canada from grade 1 to grade 13. There was never a single moment I can remember where the Bible was taught to be viewed literally instead of metaphorically.

A search on Roman Catholics on Wikipedia also seems to suggest a slightly different story:

The British bishops taught that the Bible must be approached with the understanding that it is “God’s word expressed in human language”, giving proper acknowledgement both to the word of God and its human dimensions.

This understanding of the Scriptures is opposed to a fundamentalist interpretation that “disregards the various human dimensions of the Scriptures, and thereby undervalues the gift of Scripture and the ‘divine condescension’ which gives us God’s word in human language.”

The Bible, they said, is not intended to give teaching on scientific or historical matters, but, as the Second Vatican Council's document Dei Verbum states, contains instead “the truth which God wished to be set down in the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation.” Thus, "the material found in (the opening eleven) chapters of Genesis could not simply be described as historical writing. Though they may contain some historical traces, the primary purpose was to provide religious teaching." A similar observation was made about the apocalyptic visions in the Book of Revelation, recalling those in the Book of Daniel.

I think you would have an arguement if I was a fundamentalist…but I'm not and I don't take the Bible literally.

At this point I can't even tell if you're arguing or not. Because this was my point exactly. Two completely different books, completely different rules, and completely different gods. So how accurate could this thing be? That was my original question.

That's because you keep assuming I was disagreeing with you. I never said the two books are the same. They make up one body of work but in itself, they are not the same.

As I suggested before, it could very well be one God with more then one dimension to His nature. As for rules, you're really going to have to put some on the table here. The only example you've brought up that's close enough is the notion of an eye for an eye which is a reference to the idea of a punishment fitting the crime.

Tying this into the main point of whether or not there is a god though. The bible was passed down through many scribes. Scribes would often misspell things and adlib, especially when translating from a completely different language. This one reason there are so many different versions of the bible. In some versions, there are entire passages added or left out. This is probably because some scribes had the urge to add in something that make their path to heaven easier or take something out that made them look bad. I know there's more to it than that. A lot of the dirtier newer stuff that I don't remember can be found in the book Misquoting Jesus.

All of this is not a guess, this is a fact and it is mentioned in thousands upon thousands of history books. But none of them are school books, I'm sure. So this doesn't disprove god, does it? But it definately makes me think there is more of an argument against his existence than for it. Because as I've stated before, we're talking about a giant invisible man, here. No offense to anyone, but its pretty difficult to rationally argue with someone who believes in this idea.

If this is a fact, then please cite it. I'm not trying to be aggressive but you're arguing that the Bible is not only poorly translated but purposely manipulated and that there are thousands of history books out there proving that.

As an aside, in case anyone's misunderstanding…I have never been interested in converting anyone and convincing people that God exist. What bothers me isn't people not believing in God or thinking God doesn't exist but people thinking that just because I'm Catholic, I'm stuck in the dark age, am kept in the dark or am incapable of thinking. Or equally worse, too afraid to think. It strikes me as really condescending.

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
MagickLorelai at 2:19PM, Aug. 11, 2006
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I'm a bit put off that some people are still arguing only as if the two “legitimate” options are “Christianity vs. Atheism”. Belief in a God, or Gods, is not limited to Christianity(Or any other monotheistic religion). I understand the points made against Christianity, but one would make a stronger point against the existance of any god if they took into account ALL gods.

That said, don't disregard a religion simply because it's been made to be ridiculous by first Christians(“Any god other than ours is obviously fake, hah hah!”) and later atheists(“God doesn't exist at all, belief in MULTIPLE gods is just ridiculous!”). That's insulting. :wink:

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
LIZARD_B1TE at 2:59PM, Aug. 11, 2006
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MagickLorelai
I'm a bit put off that some people are still arguing only as if the two “legitimate” options are “Christianity vs. Atheism”. Belief in a God, or Gods, is not limited to Christianity(Or any other monotheistic religion). I understand the points made against Christianity, but one would make a stronger point against the existance of any god if they took into account ALL gods.

That said, don't disregard a religion simply because it's been made to be ridiculous by first Christians(“Any god other than ours is obviously fake, hah hah!”) and later atheists(“God doesn't exist at all, belief in MULTIPLE gods is just ridiculous!”). That's insulting. :wink:

Well, the reason for this is because Christianity is largest religion in the world. I've mentioned Jews and Muslims before in my arguements. Actually, alot of my points have been ignored, which is why I joked around in a few of my previous posts. I believe mentioning that a great deal of religions have more or less the same rule about treating people the way you want to be treated.

Also, for school I have to do so and so hours of community service. I work on taking care of the church's property with one of the brothers. I remember him saying that when Jesus died, he went to Hell and freed all of the souls in it. This would've been a bit more helpful earlier, though.

Also, it's true that the bible was written by people and not God. But that doesn't automatically make it fake. Sure, they added in their own opinions, but really, all writers do that. It's not part of the bible, but Dante's Inferno is an example of this. Although I think that it's a good basic guideline for Hell, I don't think that it's actually what Hell looks like. Dante added in his own opinions about sin that I personally don't believe.

Like I've said before, Jesus is acknowledged as a historical figure, even in non-religious texts. So, either he really was a divine being beyond the comprehension of humans, or he was an incomprehensibly good con artist.

Personally, I'm amazed that I've let myself get so involved in this debate. I mean, some people take this topic way to seriously. Unless it puts you in immediate danger, why should you get so worked up if someone believes what you don't? I put a disclaimer on my comic, just to be safe, when someone complained about my “Atheist God” joke (a picture of God with and arrow through his head and a sword through his heart). I think they kind of missed the point of it, but… yeah, you see what I mean?

Come on, WHO CARES?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:36PM
VegaX at 4:10PM, Aug. 11, 2006
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LIZARD_B1TE
Come on, WHO CARES?
Oh come on, that kinda takes the fun out of ALL debates and discussions.
People talk and discuss because it is fun and entertaining.

A debate isn't a good debate if people doesn't get worked up. That's what makes it entertaining and fun.

Djanjo
Well isn't our belief in them what keeps us from doing wrongs? Ask yourself that question honestly if nothing you did really mattered what would stop you from doing it?
Just because I don't believe in god doesnt mean i have to run down the streets naked, killing people with an axe. ;)

Non-believers arn't crazed moral-less killers. In fact i'd be willing to bet that most mass-murderers are in fact religious people. Just look at the recent terror bombings.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:39PM
Black_Kitty at 5:35PM, Aug. 11, 2006
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Kennedy0
Yes, I did. And once again, are you even reading my posts? This was my exact point. Just because it isn't law doesn't mean it isn't in the bible. It may not be “illegal” to have long hair, but it certainly seems to be frowned upon. Which later doesn't seem to be the case. Its meaning doesn't really help anyone. Its the fact that it is in the bible in the first place that's being called into question. So any information you provide that suppliiments the passage won't help. It doesn't erase it from the bible.

You're taking things out of context. Do you know WHY it's frowned upon? Is it frowned upon because God doesn't like long haired men or because Paul thinks what the first Christians were doing is giving a bad impression to the unbelievers of that time?

There is a major difference between those two. They do not mean the same thing and not everything in the Bible weighs the same for that matter.

I do not argue that it isn't in the Bible. I'm arguing that you cannot just read the Bible word for word and not think about what it means or what point it's trying to get across.

Never said it was. Example: If it says in one book that god punishes the guilty through attacking their loved ones and in the next book it says “eye for an eye” and love thy neighbor, its a little fucked up, yeah? Of course this isn't a law! (Bolded so I don't have to say it twice.) It's just inconsistent.

I'm trying to think of an example that would fit the example you gave of God attacking the guilty's loved ones…and the only one I can think of is the Egypt one with the tenth plague. Which I kind of talked about earlier.

The reason why I keep asking for an example is because simply pulling things from the Bible without context is misleading. You could argue that it was cruel of God to flood the world and kill all those innocent people. Except if you read the story, you will know that God was angered by how wicked everyone was so He saves everyone who isn't and floods the rest.

Another food for thought is this: does God really have to play by the rules we play in?

If you don't understand, then what are you urguing? I have never once said that both books are the same. I have always sayed they where two completely different books and shouldn't even be in the same sentence. But when you said that they were two seperate books, you were only agreeing with me. Which I pointed out.

The reason why I had to point out that they were two separate books was because you said this:

Once again, you just quoted my point exactly. What I was saying was if they are one and the same, then why do the rules in each contradict each other? Example: The old testament says that any man with long hair is damned to hell as well as any woman with short hair. Why is this not so in the new?

Why are you asking me about the possibility of them being one and the same when both of us just agreed that they were not?

Very possible. But why contradict himself? Our flesh and blood parents do this, but that's because they are not flawless.

But it's not a contridiction. How is a God capable of anger and punishment a contridiction of a God that's capable of love?

I don't know anything about that nor when it happened. I am talking about Pope John Paul II. Anything the Catholics believed prior to that, I'm not really into. John Paul's teachins still stand today. (As everything a pope says is word of god. heh.)

I'm having a hard time believing that Pope John Paul II taught all Catholics to interpret the Bible in a literal sense. For one thing, it doesn't seem like something Pope John Paul II would do and for another, that would mean that the approach upon which the Catholic schools I've been to are contridictory to the teachings of the Church. It would also mean that everyone I met who is a Catholic is abnormal.

Uh… I did…. Read the book I mentioned as well as anything you could possibly look up on the bible. Its all there.

Ah, I missed that. ^^;; Sorry. I actually read that as a typo.
I'm not about to argue about a book I've never read because that would be silly.

However, what I am curious about is why the Bible bothers you if you feel it has inconsistent things when you believe that human error made it inconsistent to begin with.

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
MagickLorelai at 12:54AM, Aug. 12, 2006
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v.v For the record, there are many different kinds of Satanists, and the most modern version are mostly atheistic. At least, that's been my understanding.

But that's off topic.

Also for the record, I agree that the Bible is an elaborate storybook, maybe or maybe not based on real events. My belief is that anything in it that's “true” was exaggerated beyond normal scale.

The reason the Old Testament and the New Testament are different? The Old Testament was for the religion that Christianity branched from, and the New Testament was for Christianity. I find it ironic that most of the justification some Christians use for being intolerant is from the Old Testament, as opposed to the section that has the one they're supposed to be following in it.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
Duck at 10:40AM, Aug. 12, 2006
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As I've been looking through this, I've noticed one argument against the belief of god is the inconsistancies in the bible (which there are a lot of). Now, that really doesn't prove anything against the idea that there is a god, but only the flaws of Christianity.

The bible is full of holes and counter logic. And yes, old testament is a much more wraithful god than new. But that does not mean a god does or does not exsist. That just means man messed up interperting signs (if there were any).

The rules are written by man (wether made by man or not most likely could never be actually proven) so they are failable. They change like we do. And why it certainly doesn't help people who research their faith, it doesn't prove the nonexsistance of something.

The bible is a book, written by man, and tranlsated by man over thousands of years. Each time it's translated, it's altered even slightly. But the fact that a man made object changes, does not mean a god doesn't exsist.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
VegaX at 12:38PM, Aug. 12, 2006
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duck
does not mean a god doesn't exsist.

Frankly, I think it should be the other way around. People trying to prove that god actually exist.

Right now it's the other way around sadly. Without any kind of proof people just goes around believing in a “god” that never showed himself or made any sign of his existance. For some reason they believe he cares when we pray at dinner but then he doesn't give a damn if we would die in a terror attack.

Seems to me people are so afraid of the fact that this is it, this is the life we have, that they make up pretend buddies.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:39PM
VegaX at 1:41PM, Aug. 12, 2006
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MechaShiva
the burden of proof falls entirely on the believer that claims such or such god exists. It's not the atheist's job to prove God being unexistant.
Wise words indeed. :)

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:39PM
LIZARD_B1TE at 3:37PM, Aug. 12, 2006
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Is it just me, or is this a debate that involves tons of philosophy and theology, and yet has debaters with the stubborness of 3 year olds. You're not going to get your way! No one's going to change beliefs, because no one seems to be respecting anyone elses beliefs. Everyone's apologizing for wording things in certain ways, and yet, essentially, this is what the arguement is when it all comes down to it:

Atheist: God doesn't exist because bad things happen and people who believe in him are delusional.

Theist: God exists because I believe in him and you're all immoral.

Wow. What an amazing debate. Well, guys, guess what? Nothing's going to change! You all are actually proving eachother's points when you think about it…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:36PM
MagickLorelai at 10:53PM, Aug. 12, 2006
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Not true, Kennedy. There are a lot of problems that stemmed from certain religions, but not ALL of those problems can be blamed on religion. We would still have war over many things. There might still be issues with gay people, we don't know; yes, the main excuse used is the religious condemnation of being homosexual, but the problem is more that a lot of people still feel uneasy about the subject.

There would still be murderers, they would just have different reasons for it. Essentially, all of the reasons you listed, just used Religion as an excuse. Get rid of religion, and you would still have those problems, just under a new premise.
Your case that Religion is the root of all those problems can't possibly stand. Religion is just the excuse people USE for those behaviors. Some religions, anyway.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
VegaX at 11:00PM, Aug. 12, 2006
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LIZARD_B1TE
Well, guys, guess what? Nothing's going to change! You all are actually proving eachother's points when you think about it…

Now your just being boring. :wink:

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:39PM
Black_Kitty at 3:04AM, Aug. 13, 2006
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Kennedy0
My reason for not doing so? The bible is big. I only have one copy that I've kept since I was a kid and don't feel like digging it up and reading the damn thing. As much as I like reading, let's face it. The bible is dry as hell. (No pun intended.)

And I don't think I even have a full version of the Bible in this house. :P Yet, no offense, I don't have a problem being more specific. It's not as if I was flipping through the Bible while I was talking to you.

Seems to me people are so afraid of the fact that this is it, this is the life we have, that they make up pretend buddies.

According to my Classical studies prof…the Greeks used to believe that there is an afterlife but unless you're a great hero or someone special, it's usually going to be a crappy one. So they believe that the life they had then was the best they'll ever get. They also believe that the gods were often unfair, petty, and vengeful.

Belief doesn't necessarily equal to weakness or fear. If the Greeks were looking for comfort, they certainly were going at it the wrong way.

I cannot speak for all Christians but many Christians I know do not think of God as Mister Cuddles. Believing in God doesn't mean you don't have moral responsibilities or that you won't be left to deal with the decisions you make. It doesn't mean you get extra perks or that bad things won't happen to you. And most Christians will tell you that you can't hide from God nor can you cheat Him. You can cheat and lie to yourself but you might as well be an open book to God because He's going to read you like one.

This is all part of having free will. This is why as a Catholic, it doesn't bother me that God didn't strike some terrorist down or stopped a suicide bomber. Even terrorists and suicide bombers have free will and moral responsibilities. They made their choice.

This also extends to belief. If God were to interfere in ways that are undeniable…what choice do you have but to believe? Where is the free will in that?

I don't know how this is suppose to be comforting. I'm not suggesting that Christianity is horrific or full of fear and that everyone should quake in their boots. But how does believing in a God that is loving but capable of wrath, who expects you to take moral responsibility (no excuses,) who knows everything about you, but who you ultimately have no physical proof of His existance…a comfort to people who are too afraid of the facts of life?

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
MagickLorelai at 2:37PM, Aug. 13, 2006
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I know where you're coming from. People in high positions in religion have used the fear they create to get people to do things. This includes murder, wars, disowning children, intolerance, etc.

Hypothetical situation: A world with no religion.
Men would still want to kill each other. They'd just find another reason to. “This man is different and has biological traits that signify that he is more likely to attack us than other people. Thus, he should be stopped”.
There would still be war. “I want this land, someone else owns it, so I'll send people under me to seize it”.
Disowning children: “They're not up to society standards, thus I am ashamed of them”.
Homosexuality: “That idea makes me feel uneasy, so I'm going to shun them regardless”.

Religion, or certain ones anyway, put a blanket excuse over all of those that don't make the individual person the one to blame; they can hate and fear, without accepting that they are the ones that created that hate and fear(“God says you're wrong, I'm just following his will”). I agree that certain religious groups ARE responsible for doing many, many horrible, things. Crusades and genocides, stamping out the weak, inflating their egos and their bank accounts. I am aware of the world's history. I'm not arguing the case for Christianity, or Islam, or any religious group that uses their God as an excuse to do hurtful things.

There will always be conflict. Take away the element of religion, and humans would find another excuse to not accept the “blame” of being the one to hate someone else.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
Black_Kitty at 8:04PM, Aug. 13, 2006
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To suggest that if there was no religion in the world, the world would have less conflict is not only a simplistic viewpoint but it gives too much credit to everything.

It gives too much credit to people in general for suggesting they not only can't think for themselves but they're just poor victims of a big bad institution. It also gives too much credit to religion itself for suggesting that it actually has that much power over people. The Church has been opposed to many things (same sex marriage and the US led Iraq war for example,) but they happen anyway.

History and people in general are complex and to suggest that if we just take out one element then everything would be okay is just running into a hypothetical game with blinders on. You don't know if it really would have been better or that it would have helped. Considering the fact that non-religious people are just as capable of violence, bad deeds, cruelty, and unfairness, it's a big leap to assume that things would be better without religion.

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
Black_Kitty at 10:12PM, Aug. 13, 2006
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Kennedy0
Well, the crusades did happen. I didn't just pull that part of history out of my ass, you know. So I think you've just been proven wrong by hundreds of years of history.

No actually it didn't. Perhaps the Crusades didn't happen because people were timid little sheeps bullied into participating by the big and mean religion. Perhaps it happened because people wanted to go to war. Perhaps there wasn't just religious grounds but social, cultural and political motivations for going into war.

Just like how the current war in Iraq and acts of terrorisms occurring globally may appear on the surface to be religious acts of war but are in reality much more complex then that.

Honestly, I'm getting tired of repeating this, but…
I did not say that it would solve all problems in the world. Only a few. And when I said it, it was because someone actually implied that the world would break into complete chaos if people weren't religious.

I don't agree that the world would break into complete chaos without religion but I don't agree that it would solve even a few of the problems in the world either. I too am of the camp that people are very creative and can engage in various conflicts without religious reasons if they have to.

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
Black_Kitty at 12:37AM, Aug. 14, 2006
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Kennedy0
My point exactly. No religion, no problem. And the other reasons you gave were false. The crusades did not happen until the Papacy was in charge. Until then, everyone left Jerusalem completely alone. Problems still ensue today.

Except you neglected to mention that the Muslims were persecuting and abusing Christian pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem and that the Papacy's response was to the appeal for help against the Muslim armies advancing into territory of the Byzantine Empire. There were also prior wars over Jerusalem before the Crusades.

While some of the soldiers who participated in the Crusades were doing so for religious reasons, others participated for economical reasons.

You make it sound as if the rest of the world was peaceful until the Christians came along. Not only was Christianity around long before the Crusades but that hostilities were happening even before the appeal was made.

I agree. This is why I didn't list it as an example. The crusades and inquisitions, however, are purely religious. Money was not gained, it was actually wasted because of it. And when they succeeded in their purpose to force Catholicism, the skirmishes stopped completely. There was no other motive.

One of the things that happen to you when you're sentenced during the Spanish Inquisition is the confiscation of all your properties. In addition to the possible economic reasons for the Inquisition, there are possible political motivations as well.

Some people do this, yes. But you're trying to say that EVERYONE does it. That every crime commited in the name of god would've been commited either way. And as I said earlier, that's half right. But some of the examples I listed were listed for a reason. Because there was no other motive and no other purpose. Period. And if there is no other motive other than to spread religion, then it wouldn't have happened. If you're right, then how come these wars didn't start before people learned of Jerusalem's importance? How come it was left the hell alone until that exact moment? You're saying that they would've randomly woke up one day with no knowledge of what happened in Jerusalem a thousand years earlier and said, “Hey, do you guys wanna invade Jerusalem for no reason? I sure do!” That just flat out doesn't make any sense.

People knew of Jerusalem's importance long before the Crusades. And no, I am not saying people would have randomly woken up with the sudden urge to invade Jerusalem. I'm saying that if they wanted Jerusalem, the lack of a religious reason would not have stopped them from attempting to take it.

Furthermore, I'm also arguing that this is just a hypothetical game that neglects other factors of its time. You don't know if certain things wouldn't happen without religion. It's just simplistic a fantasy. Even IF the Crusades and the Inquisition occurred for purely and only religious reasons, this doesn't make this point any less valid. If you're going to pick and choose and decide what would make the world a better place, you might as well suggest that if Jerusalem didn't exist, then not only would the Crusades have never occurred, it would have greatly help the world.

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
MagickLorelai at 8:04AM, Aug. 14, 2006
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Okay, this has gone from an argument about whether or not God exists to whether or not the world would be a better place without Him/Her.

People have done great things because their religion motivates them to do it. Yes, religion has been the “cause”(meaning, what people use as reason) of many wars and genocides and other bigoted behavior. It's also been the root of many organizations trying to make the world a better place. Charities for children starving in less fortunate countries, sanctuary for those in need of help. There is great corruption in those who use religion for harmful purposes, but there is great compassion in followers who feel a sense of purpose.

Maybe people COULD find that sense of purpose and compassion without God, but people are, in general, better people when they find religion for the RIGHT reasons(from what I've observed). I'm not saying I'd like to see more people just blindly follow what they are told, but to think about ALL of the information given them. I don't care WHAT atheists believe(or don't believe, for that matter). The only beef I have with certain individuals is when they try to push on everyone else what they believe, which is EXACTLY what the Christian Church does!

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
Black_Kitty at 12:23PM, Aug. 14, 2006
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Who the hell are these “people”. Most people in the east didn't know Jerusalem and Christianity existed before… well, Christianity.

The same “people” you were referring to in: If you're right, then how come these wars didn't start before people learned of Jerusalem's importance?

This is especially significant to the point you're trying to make. (If you're arguing that the Crusades occurred due to the religious significance of Jerusalem that is.) You can't honestly be suggesting that it took centuries for Christians to clue in that Jerusalem has religious significance in their own religion (especially when they were making pilgrimages to there before the Crusades.)

Kennedy0
Sure you do. You take one cause of war out of the equation, there will be less wars. Once again, sure maybe some of the inquisitions would have happened. But not ALL of them. You keep making it sound like I'm saying that Christianity is the root of all evil, which is completely not true. I'm simply saying that you have the causes of war on one side and the effects on the other. Take out some causes and some effects go with it. It does not negate the entire history of things. Just parts of it.

You don't know if it will negate the entire history of things. That's why I said this is just a hypothetical game with blinders on. It ignores everything else that was going on around the issue.

You may not have said that Christianity is the root of all evil but you did suggest that if religion didn't exist, then it would lessen the amount of pain in the world. You took two historical events and point to them as proof that if religion didn't exist, then these events wouldn't have occurred and therefore the world would have less problems.

But this assumption doesn't take into account the good that religion has done for the world (as pointed out by MagickLorelai.) By your reasoning, if religion is the cause of many chartiable acts, then without religion the chartiable acts would not have occurred. It even goes beyond that. Would The Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost, or Shakespearen plays in general be written without religion?

It is equally possible that the world would have more conflicts without religion then with religion. It is also equally possible that an even bigger war then the Crusades or a more horrific prosecution then the Spanish Inquisition could have occurred. I'm not saying it's a definite certainty but the possibilities are equally out there.

Regardless of whether you think the Crusades and the Inquisition was started purely because of religion or not, my point still remains.

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM

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