Debate and Discussion

Proof of God?
DAJB at 9:52AM, Sept. 5, 2008
(online)
posts: 1,462
joined: 2-23-2007
StaceyMontgomery
This seems odd to me - when we talk about evolution, we get lots of posts from religious people insisting that there must be physical proof of God and his intervention over natural processes. Things can't just evolve, they insist, God must do it all personally!

But when we devote a thread to the idea of such proof, all the religious people say relax, don't worry about it, you don't need that kind of proof, take the Universe as you find it.
The difference, I think is that most debates here are not about faith per se, but about religious doctrine. The (many!) evolution threads, for example, are not really about whether there is a God but about whether the Bible should be taken literally. Despite the fact that science appears to suggest that many of the biblical stories have some basis in historical fact, there are plenty of Christian believers who are as willing as any atheist to accept that science has also effectively disproven many others (e.g. the Creation myth).

This is only logical. The Bible was written by human beings with their own agendas and edited over the centuries through to the Middle Ages by other human beings with their own agendas. Some religious groups will persist in maintaining that, despite this, it is the “Word of God” and therefore accurate in every respect. Others, on the other hand, accept that - in part - it is an attempt to make sense of things which, at the time it was written, were otherwise inexplicable. Science vs religious doctrine allows plenty of scope for debates about what constitutes “proof”.

This thread, on the other hand, is not about religious doctrine, but about whether God exists at all (i.e. faith). And science vs faith does not allow scope for debate about what constitutes proof because, by definition, faith is something you have in the absence of proof.

(Or don't, in my case!)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
Ronson at 10:33PM, Sept. 5, 2008
(online)
posts: 837
joined: 1-1-2006
The problem is that we're not using proof the same. Something that satisfies you as “proof” is not something that passes scientific muster. It has to satisfy everyone as proof and it has to be duplicatable. I still say that the very definition of God defies the possibility of proof, and so you are left with belief, which is completely based on your perspective.

OZONE SAID SOMETHING LIKE: NO ONE BELIEVES IN THE SAME GOD DOES NOT MEAN THAT ALL RELIGIONS ARE BUNK.

This is true. I merely meant to point out that it is a clue that they certainly could be. It's only a piece of evidence, which can be studied that supports my personal belief that religion is bunk. It isn't proof, and it isn't enough to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt.

TTYLER POINTED OUT THAT “MAIN POINTS OF THE BIBLE CAN BE PROVEN WITHOUT DOUBT” AND THAT ANCIENT JEWISH MARKINGS DOCUMENT WRITINGS TO GOD AND THAT TEXTS MORE ANCIENT THAN THE BIBLE REFER TO EVENTS RECORDED IN THE BIBLE … AND THAT THIS IS PROOF.

No. It's an assertion. It's evidence but not proof. It's also faulty logic.

If an older story is similar to a Bible story, it is vastly more likely that that older story was incorporated into the Bible. As we all know, the actual stories in the Bible were decided upon many centuries after many of the writings had been collected, and papal decree decided which ones were to be included and which ones weren't.

Looking at it as a nonbeliever, I see the Bible as a collection of stories that are somewhat historical (though I've heard the Jesus timeline doesn't work, but that's not my baliwick) and mostly derivitive of other works. Sometimes the god or gods involved were changed to God to make it more “coherent”. Plagiarism wasn't a crime when the Bible was cobbled together, so don't worry about that being a sin or anything. ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Sea_Cow at 11:44PM, Sept. 5, 2008
(offline)
posts: 2,687
joined: 4-5-2007
Ronson
The problem is that we're not using proof the same. Something that satisfies you as “proof” is not something that passes scientific muster. It has to satisfy everyone as proof and it has to be duplicatable. I still say that the very definition of God defies the possibility of proof, and so you are left with belief, which is completely based on your perspective.

OZONE SAID SOMETHING LIKE: NO ONE BELIEVES IN THE SAME GOD DOES NOT MEAN THAT ALL RELIGIONS ARE BUNK.

This is true. I merely meant to point out that it is a clue that they certainly could be. It's only a piece of evidence, which can be studied that supports my personal belief that religion is bunk. It isn't proof, and it isn't enough to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt.

TTYLER POINTED OUT THAT “MAIN POINTS OF THE BIBLE CAN BE PROVEN WITHOUT DOUBT” AND THAT ANCIENT JEWISH MARKINGS DOCUMENT WRITINGS TO GOD AND THAT TEXTS MORE ANCIENT THAN THE BIBLE REFER TO EVENTS RECORDED IN THE BIBLE … AND THAT THIS IS PROOF.

No. It's an assertion. It's evidence but not proof. It's also faulty logic.

If an older story is similar to a Bible story, it is vastly more likely that that older story was incorporated into the Bible. As we all know, the actual stories in the Bible were decided upon many centuries after many of the writings had been collected, and papal decree decided which ones were to be included and which ones weren't.

Looking at it as a nonbeliever, I see the Bible as a collection of stories that are somewhat historical (though I've heard the Jesus timeline doesn't work, but that's not my baliwick) and mostly derivitive of other works. Sometimes the god or gods involved were changed to God to make it more “coherent”. Plagiarism wasn't a crime when the Bible was cobbled together, so don't worry about that being a sin or anything. ;)

Ronson, the fact that you're such an atheist, but you write a comic about deities, is classic irony. I guess you don't have to have that “Oh no! I'm writing blasphemy!” feeling.
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:26PM
TheMidge28 at 8:01AM, Sept. 6, 2008
(online)
posts: 6,847
joined: 7-5-2007
@ Ronson, under a scientific paradigm, “god” is not able to be quantified in the classic scientific sense and in turn unable to be validated in that framework. But even then, any scientific inquiry is not without bias, i.e. observation involves perception as well as a cognitive process. That is, one does not make an observation passively, but is actively involved in distinguishing the thing being observed from surrounding sensory data. Therefore, observations depend on some underlying understanding of the way in which the world functions, and that understanding may influence what is perceived, noticed, or deemed worthy of consideration. More importantly, most scientific observation must be done within a theoretical context in order to be useful. For example, when one observes a measured increase in temperature, that observation is based on assumptions about the nature of temperature and measurement, as well as assumptions about how the thermometer that is used to measure the temperature functions. Such assumptions are necessary in order to obtain scientifically useful observations (such as, “the temperature increased by two degrees” ), but they make the observations dependent on these assumptions.
That is all to say that at root all scientific inquiry is based on presuppositions that must me given for any inquiry to begin.

The dispute here is more between presuppositions than actual proofs. Your paradigm and many others will never allow for the idea of a god to be validated within it.

I think this quote from the book of Romans from the New Testament exemplifies the idea of “god” as self evident not needing proof:


The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator who is forever praised. Amen.



For many people, there is not needed a proof that “god” exists because it is plain to them by the creation that is all around them and their very own existence.

But there was a question earlier to the why “god” hides. If there was a god why don't they show themselves and prove to everyone they exist? Its a good question, but I look at it like this… For the sake of discussion lets imagine that “god” does exists and they are a person. When I say person they have thoughts, feelings, motivations, i.e. personality. And as a person how would you react to someone questioning what you did? How would you respond to someone telling you what to do? How would you respond to someone who condescendingly denies what you have done and your worth? How would you respond to others saying you don't exist?

Seriously would you make any and every effort to prove yourself to them? I wouldn't. I'd say screw them. Not worth my time. Let them do whatever they want. I got other stuff to do. For me, its kind of like responding to a psycho slut ex-girlfriend, one who doesn't trust you, who cheats on you, one who doesn't value you or the relationship. But keeps popping up in your life to make your life miserable. I have been through that in my life and you have to sever everything with that person or it just drains the life out of you and just makes you sick.

I wonder if that's how god feels with some people?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
arteestx at 11:04AM, Sept. 6, 2008
(online)
posts: 285
joined: 6-1-2007
TheMidge28
But there was a question earlier to the why “god” hides. …. And as a person how would you react to someone questioning what you did? How would you respond to someone telling you what to do? How would you respond to someone who condescendingly denies what you have done and your worth? How would you respond to others saying you don't exist?

Seriously would you make any and every effort to prove yourself to them? I wouldn't. I'd say screw them. Not worth my time. Let them do whatever they want. I got other stuff to do. For me, its kind of like responding to a psycho slut ex-girlfriend, …. I wonder if that's how god feels with some people?
Imagine this same scenario, only the person being questioned is an absentee father who leaves a five-year-old at home and says, “call me if you need anything, otherwise I'm going to stay out of your way” and leaves, not to be seen again. And so people question why this guy is hiding, why isn't he around, why isn't he there for his child, why doesn't he provide guidance, why don't you exist for your child, what are you doing that's worthwhile for your child? I do imagine the guy would be defensive and not want to make an effort to respond or prove anything to anyone. But I also see this guy as someone who should be questioned.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
dueeast at 2:15PM, Sept. 6, 2008
(online)
posts: 1,093
joined: 5-6-2007
All of these types of questions have been asked and answered in the Bible, which ironically, so many people protest what's what about it. If you don't accept it, of course that's your right and choice and all that. However, that also throws out all the answers and wisdom and knowledge contained within it, too.

Romans 9: 14 - 23 (King James Version)

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,


arteestx
Imagine this same scenario, only the person being questioned is an absentee father who leaves a five-year-old at home and says, “call me if you need anything, otherwise I'm going to stay out of your way” and leaves, not to be seen again. And so people question why this guy is hiding, why isn't he around, why isn't he there for his child, why doesn't he provide guidance, why don't you exist for your child, what are you doing that's worthwhile for your child? I do imagine the guy would be defensive and not want to make an effort to respond or prove anything to anyone. But I also see this guy as someone who should be questioned.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
TheMidge28 at 3:50PM, Sept. 6, 2008
(online)
posts: 6,847
joined: 7-5-2007
arteestx
Imagine this same scenario, only the person being questioned is an absentee father who leaves a five-year-old at home and says, “call me if you need anything, otherwise I'm going to stay out of your way” and leaves, not to be seen again. And so people question why this guy is hiding, why isn't he around, why isn't he there for his child, why doesn't he provide guidance, why don't you exist for your child, what are you doing that's worthwhile for your child? I do imagine the guy would be defensive and not want to make an effort to respond or prove anything to anyone. But I also see this guy as someone who should be questioned.


really? an absentee father?
I guess that “footprints” poem would be lost on you. lol!
I kid. I can understand for some who have closed there heart to seeing what god has wrought that he would appear to be absent. But for others who believe and have seen his work around them and in there lives he is quite present.

Again it all boils down to shifting paradigms and points of view.

To quote another biblical text, I think the parable of prodigal son makes a lot of sense.

There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father give me the share of his property that will belong to me.’ So he divided the property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spend everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son, treat me like one of your hired hands.”' So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still a far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe–the best one–and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called on of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed you command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found. (Luke 15:11-3)


I know this text may be meaningless for many but it just seemed appropriate.
Its not that god has left town to spend the weekend in Vegas but the other way around. Many of us go our own way and desire to squandor what god has given us. But instead of realizing how good we had it or could have it we rather choose to do it on our own, rejecting all that god could offer us. What is especially interesting to note is how the father responds to his child's return.

He runs to him.

So again its not god hiding, but rather our refusal to acknowledge this god and be in its presence.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
arteestx at 8:05PM, Sept. 6, 2008
(online)
posts: 285
joined: 6-1-2007
dueeast
All of these types of questions have been asked and answered in the Bible, which ironically, so many people protest what's what about it. If you don't accept it, of course that's your right and choice and all that. However, that also throws out all the answers and wisdom and knowledge contained within it, too.
Just so you and everyone else knows, I've read the entire NT, 80% of the OT, used to teach Sunday School, and even read biblical studies of Borg, Crossan, Spong, etc. I'm no biblical scholar, but I am very familiar with the bible. I never have been, and still am not, angry at God for anything, He never let me down on any particular occasion, and I didn't go from a believer to atheist very quickly. I always had trouble with the parts of the bible that were ugly, unloving, contradictory, and illogical, and gradually over time my questions increased and it all made less sense.

But I ironically still consider myself Christian, in that I'm a follower of Christ; I believe Christ was a unique figure whose vision of love and forgiveness does have a transformative power. And while I have been fascinated with other religions, I find Jesus much more compelling (my being born in the U.S. to Christan parents is another huge influence, obviously), and His parables are brilliant and insightful. But I don't call myself Christian, simply because I don't believe in God, Jesus as the unique Son of God, miracles, etc.

And I don't believe that one cannot find wisdom and knowledge in the bible without accepting everything. Few things in life are “all or nothing” and this, to me, is definitely not. I can enjoy a scene or an actor in an otherwise lousy movie, I can find beauty in a work of art from a racist, and I can hear truth from someone I otherwise disagree with. You don't throw out all of Einstein's theories simply because he was wrong about quantum mechanics, and you don't throw out all of the bible because you don't believe 100%.

dueeast
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Yes, I'm familiar with this, and with God's answer to Job, and they are essentially “who are YOU to question ME?” answers. Which isn't an answer; or rather, it's an answer of defensiveness. If a child asked a parent a legitimate question, and the parent said, “who are you to ask me anything?” I'd call that a crappy parent, if not a bully.


Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
arteestx at 8:09PM, Sept. 6, 2008
(online)
posts: 285
joined: 6-1-2007

TheMidge28
I can understand for some who have closed there heart to seeing what god has wrought that he would appear to be absent. But for others who believe and have seen his work around them and in there lives he is quite present.
I think I can count on one hand the number of times my father missed something important in my life. He came to every concert, every ball game, every graduation, practically everything I've done. I didn't have to *believe* in him before he'd show up. His being an obvious and ever-present part of my life had nothing to do with my belief, my heart being open, the purity of my thoughts, or anything else. And my father is a mortal, finite, flawed human being.

But apparently I have to *believe* in order to see God. I have to open my heart before He will become obvious to me. My mortal, finite, flawed human father would never demand that of me, yet an all-knowing God of infinite love does?


TheMidge28
To quote another biblical text, I think the parable of prodigal son makes a lot of sense….
So again its not god hiding, but rather our refusal to acknowledge this god and be in its presence.
I *love* the story of the Prodigal Son, but that parable doesn't address this conundrum. God used to walk in gardens alongside humans. He used to turn people into pillars of salt. He used to appear as burning bushes. He used to make the sun stop in the middle of the sky. You can't refuse to acknowledge a god who floods the entire world or drowns the Pharaoh's army. That was not a God that hid. But God doesn't work like this anymore, He's not the same God today that He was back then. Why not?

I know the typical answer is Jesus changed everything. So why didn't God send a Jesus figure earlier? Why did He kick us out of the Garden, flood the world, tear down the tower of Babel, lead His people from slavery, defend His people from a variety of armies, etc. etc. over a few thousand years, why did He do all that before sending Jesus? Why did God change?

This isn't about my refusal to acknowledge a mysterious God. This is my bewilderment of a God that decided to become mysterious after physically being in the world.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
TheMidge28 at 9:07PM, Sept. 6, 2008
(online)
posts: 6,847
joined: 7-5-2007
arteestx
I think I can count on one hand the number of times my father missed something important in my life. He came to every concert, every ball game, every graduation, practically everything I've done. I didn't have to *believe* in him before he'd show up. His being an obvious and ever-present part of my life had nothing to do with my belief, my heart being open, the purity of my thoughts, or anything else. And my father is a mortal, finite, flawed human being.

But apparently I have to *believe* in order to see God. I have to open my heart before He will become obvious to me. My mortal, finite, flawed human father would never demand that of me, yet an all-knowing God of infinite love does?

I *love* the story of the Prodigal Son, but that parable doesn't address this conundrum. God used to walk in gardens alongside humans. He used to turn people into pillars of salt. He used to appear as burning bushes. He used to make the sun stop in the middle of the sky. You can't refuse to acknowledge a god who floods the entire world or drowns the Pharaoh's army. That was not a God that hid. But God doesn't work like this anymore, He's not the same God today that He was back then. Why not?

I know the typical answer is Jesus changed everything. So why didn't God send a Jesus figure earlier? Why did He kick us out of the Garden, flood the world, tear down the tower of Babel, lead His people from slavery, defend His people from a variety of armies, etc. etc. over a few thousand years, why did He do all that before sending Jesus? Why did God change?

This isn't about my refusal to acknowledge a mysterious God. This is my bewilderment of a God that decided to become mysterious after physically being in the world.

arteestx, the conundrum is not a conundrum to those who have experienced God. There is no question to those that know god whether they were in his presence in the Garden of Eden or walking down the sidewalk in New York City.

And “believing” as you call it is not some trick one must do to make god appear. God is. He is not some genie in a bottle that all you have to do is rub the lamp 3 times and he'll appear. Its a matter of the heart and spirit. earnestness. As mentioned in the quote from Romans, His existence is self evident. But some choose not to know him but rather lean on their own understanding and wisdom.

I have a friend, he's a hunter. Every fall and early winter he goes deer hunting. Has done it all his life. Loves hunting. He will go out to the woods and has this small perch he built high in one of the tallest trees. He will sit there for hours and hours… waiting. Waiting to catch the slightest glimpse of a deer. Some days he will sit there and never catch a glimpse of anything, not even a rabbit. But the next day he goes right back out there to those woods and sit in his perch and wait. If you ask me, I think its a waste of time. I hate the outdoors. But for my friend its the most enjoyable time for him even if he doesn't catch thing or even a glimpse of deer. What excitement he had 2 years ago when he caught himself a 16 point buck. He showed me all these photos and got the deer's head stuffed and mounted and has it hanging in his bathroom staring down at you while you take a crap. Creepiest thing, I tell ya. I never feel relaxed in that bathroom with that deer staring at me.

So the point?

Well, Every time we are in the car together driving somewhere my friend points out deer out in the some field or in the treeline or wherever. He gets so excited and goes, “There! There! look it there!” And I'm like staring where he's pointing and can't see a damn thing. He does this while he's driving! I'm like, keep your eyes on the damn road! But the thing is his eyes are so trained, so fixated, so developed for spotting deer that he can spot them a mile away. Me… I can't see a damn thing. Not once in the many car rides and with him pointing out deer have I seen what he has seen. I am not a hunter. I have no desire to be a hunter. I don't like deer that much. And I know for damn sure I can't sit on some perch for hours on end to wait for something that may or may not come. But my friend loves it. Its a part of him. He has never asked me to go hunting with him. I know why. He knows I wouldn't enjoy it. He knows I would talk a lot and would make too much noise. And it would ruin it for him.

God is in this world and he does still make appearances but its not all neon signs and fireworks and sparklers set off to announce when he is entering and exiting a building. And again I go back to what I said earlier, God is a person. He makes choices. He can change his mind. He can regret. And if doesn't want to go out to the club tonight with the boys because he would rather sit at home and watch Citizen Kane on AMC, well, that's his prerogative.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
Ronson at 9:19PM, Sept. 6, 2008
(online)
posts: 837
joined: 1-1-2006
Look, I don't want or need to stomp on anyone's beliefs. I just insist that there is no proof of God. Maybe it's because proof requires scientific assumptions, maybe it's because the various interpretations of God are careful to avoid anything that could be proven.

If you have “God in your heart”, that doesn't mean that he's there. If you want to view me as close-minded, you should examine your own beliefs and see if you aren't closing your mind to more rational explanations for the way things work.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
dueeast at 4:21PM, Sept. 7, 2008
(online)
posts: 1,093
joined: 5-6-2007
I'm sorry but that's extremely presumptuous. Even if I weren't a believer, I personally would never tell someone that “If you have ‘God in your heart,’ that doesn't mean that he's there.”

That is stomping on someone's beliefs. I'm not so much offended as amazed that you felt it necessary to suggest that. You seem to feel the need to assert your belief as fact while discounting others. That is what makes it difficult to have progress in these types of discussions.

I know I can't make anyone become a Christian, especially someone who is diametrically opposed to the concept of God, much less Christ. But too many people feel it is their mission to convert the believers to atheism, backed up by what they consider “proof” – or in this case “anti-proof” since the heart of this debate seems to be “you can't prove to me that God exists, therefore that's my basis why I think you shouldn't believe God exists.”

I doubt I would have any DD forum discussions about God if people didn't keep bringing it up. And in these discussions, I try to answer the questions presented in a logical manner based upon the available facts, my opinions and my experiences. But I have no illusions about tearing down anyone's atheist beliefs.

And quite frankly, if someone doesn't believe in God, why spend so much time and effort writing forum posts about Him. Why not live your life and do what satisfies you? But then, I keep hearing the circular argument about feeling threatened by various Judeo-Christian religions, which seems to fuel the desire to tear down – or at least “de-fang” religion. In the process, for those who choose to act and believe in that manner, they convert the concept of atheism into the religion of atheism and make it evangelical to convert others to that faith.

So now you see why I don't enter into these discussions too often, and most of the believers on DD seem to have learned that lesson, too. And that's why it's just those athiests creating and maintaining similarly themed threads.

In all seriousness, doesn't that get boring at some point? huh!?



Ronson
Look, I don't want or need to stomp on anyone's beliefs. I just insist that there is no proof of God. Maybe it's because proof requires scientific assumptions, maybe it's because the various interpretations of God are careful to avoid anything that could be proven.

If you have “God in your heart”, that doesn't mean that he's there. If you want to view me as close-minded, you should examine your own beliefs and see if you aren't closing your mind to more rational explanations for the way things work.


last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
TheMidge28 at 4:55PM, Sept. 7, 2008
(online)
posts: 6,847
joined: 7-5-2007
Ronson
Look, I don't want or need to stomp on anyone's beliefs. I just insist that there is no proof of God. Maybe it's because proof requires scientific assumptions, maybe it's because the various interpretations of God are careful to avoid anything that could be proven.

If you have “God in your heart”, that doesn't mean that he's there. If you want to view me as close-minded, you should examine your own beliefs and see if you aren't closing your mind to more rational explanations for the way things work.



point taken.
and that makes sense in a paradigm where the idea of a god is unable to be validated. I for one am not here to convert people to my beliefs just as dueeast has posted. But in both of our paradigms the idea of god is a given. Its a presupposition, as I posted earlier. If one doesn't share those presuppositions then any argument will be moot.

How about we debate the color blue?
How do you know that the color blue exists?

That sounds like a silly argument doesn't it. Why does it sound silly? Because we both share the same concept and presume that the other shares the same idea of blue. We assume the other has experienced the color blue and has had the same experience as the other has had. But ask a blind man what the color blue is or any color for that matter and they will have no understanding. Blue makes no sense to a blind man.

Maybe for you, Ronson, and maybe others god is like the color blue for a blind man.
The idea of god just makes no sense to you because you have never experienced this god people speak of.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
DAJB at 11:58PM, Sept. 7, 2008
(online)
posts: 1,462
joined: 2-23-2007
God is blue?
Dammit! I knew there was more to Doc Manhattan than meets the eye!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
arteestx at 7:29AM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 285
joined: 6-1-2007
TheMidge28
And “believing” as you call it is not some trick one must do to make god appear. God is. He is not some genie in a bottle that all you have to do is rub the lamp 3 times and he'll appear. Its a matter of the heart and spirit. earnestness. As mentioned in the quote from Romans, His existence is self evident. But some choose not to know him but rather lean on their own understanding and wisdom.
I never had to *make* my mortal, finite, flawed human father appear, and he's definitely no genie. Getting him to show up was never a trick of any sort, and it didn't rely on heart, spirit, earnestness, or personal wisdom. Seeing him didn't require any of these things. Experiencing him didn't require any of these things. His being a part of my life didn't require any heart or earnestness on my part. And he is a mortal, finite, flawed human. But an all-knowing God of infinite love does require these things?


TheMidge28
I have a friend, he's a hunter. …. And I know for damn sure I can't sit on some perch for hours on end to wait for something that may or may not come.
To compare God to a deer, a skittish creature that doesn't want to be seen, tries hard not to be seen, and that humans must put forth effort of days or weeks of waiting that may or may not ever be seen, I think, is a beautiful if not perfect comparison.


TheMidge28
How about we debate the color blue?
How do you know that the color blue exists?
Again, this is a perfect comparison. Blue is definied as part of the spectrum of light that has a wavelength of around 465 nm. This is scientifically measureable, quantifiable, and reproducable. We can assemble a group of people and show them various colors and then find statistical agreement on which color is blue. We can conduct studies to determine the effects of the color blue on people's shortterm behavior. We can even have a discussion about the color blue, esp in terms of what shade to paint a room, putting out dozens and dozens of color samples to determine which shade would look the best in different times of the day, which I have personally done. The existence and definition of blue is determinable, and the effects and opinions about blue are measurable and debatable.

What all of this research and studies canNOT do is describe an individual's personal experience. I cannot describe how blue looks to me, and I cannot guarantee that what I see as blue is the same as what you see. We can agree that the color of that wall over there that has a wavelenght of 465 nm is something we both call blue, but we cannot know whether your experience with blue is exactly like mine. We can study the effects of color on shortterm behavior, but we cannot determine what your personal experience with blue has been or should be.

So you're right, arguing about personal experience is pointless. But that doesn't mean the existence of blue cannot be scientifically determined, or that discussing blue is pointless (we have to agree on SOME color to paint the wall).


Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
bravo1102 at 12:03PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 3,326
joined: 1-21-2008
God is an expression of what my Comparitive religion teacher called “The Wholly Other) sacred and numinous.

One bottom line of Christian theology (and an interpretation of Medieval Islamic theology) is that God cannot be proven logically. You have faith or you don't. The theist says God doesn't need to be proven logically. She is there in your heart.

As Ronson said there may something there in your heart, but why does it have to be a deity?

Twice I lost my wallet and looked everywhere (really a very thorough search) I asked God for a little help and in the next five minutes I found my wallet in an obvious place where I had looked before. While reading this thread the electicity died and my computer blinked out.

Is that proof of God or did I not search for my wallet as well as I thought I did? Do I just have a faulty electric plug?

It depends on logic versus faith. To have faith one doesn't need logic or a quantifible entity called ”God"

For me I don't need a diety to be a good, compassionate person and to live up to the ideals of Jesus. Also I have trouble with a definition of a God that would want us to treat Her as a deity. If She is so perfect and all powerful and all knowing why does She need my faith and why does She care about the details of my sex life? Why did she make it so pleasureable if She doesn't want us doing it? Free Will?

For a moment let's take a look inside God's head: Oh yeah, this is really great, I created something where you can have the best experience of your life, but DON'T DO IT! Nope. Free will. And I watch everytime and I know what you're thinking. All the time. So DON'T DO IT! And there are all these imaginitive variations that are possible… well I am all-knowing so I knew about them when I made you, BUT DON'T DO THEM EITHER!

So God is all-knowing, all-loving and all-seeing, but it almost seems She's more concerned with what I eat and do with my genitalia than anything else.

And please the more archeology proves the Bible, the more it actually proves it wrong. (Read The unauthorized Version by Robin Lane Fox, it's a very even-handed examination of the Bible and how and why it was written and is it literal, mythological or allegorical.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
SpANG at 12:58PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 3,105
joined: 1-1-2006
dueeast
I'm sorry but that's extremely presumptuous. Even if I weren't a believer, I personally would never tell someone that “If you have ‘God in your heart,’ that doesn't mean that he's there.”

That is stomping on someone's beliefs. I'm not so much offended as amazed that you felt it necessary to suggest that. You seem to feel the need to assert your belief as fact while discounting others. That is what makes it difficult to have progress in these types of discussions.
Yeah Ronson! It's fine for you to say YOU don't have all the answers, but when you presume that people that believe in God don't have all the answers, you've gone TOO FAR!

I know I can't make anyone become a Christian, especially someone who is diametrically opposed to the concept of God, much less Christ. But too many people feel it is their mission to convert the believers to atheism, backed up by what they consider “proof” – or in this case “anti-proof” since the heart of this debate seems to be “you can't prove to me that God exists, therefore that's my basis why I think you shouldn't believe God exists.”
Yeah. Religious people don't push their faith on anyone! It' snot like there are some sort of… ‘missionaries’ or anything.


Sorry. I find it funny when people lambaste one group for doing the same thing their group does. ;)
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
dueeast at 1:06PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 1,093
joined: 5-6-2007
I've already gone quite a few rounds of discussions with you, so I'll keep this brief. :)

It is a quandry to me how you, who clearly don't believe in God, still must refer to Him in not only a mocking way but at the same time insist on referring to God as female. If that is what you believe, then we are not talking about the same God.

God throughout the texts of both the Hebrews and the Christians referred to Himself as male and never to the contrary. It is a shame that the only way that you can refer to God is to refer to Him, which you don't believe in except to mock, as something He is not. Isn't that some kind of convoluted philosophical double-negative?

bravo1102
God is an expression of what my Comparitive religion teacher called “The Wholly Other) sacred and numinous.

One bottom line of Christian theology (and an interpretation of Medieval Islamic theology) is that God cannot be proven logically. You have faith or you don't. The theist says God doesn't need to be proven logically. She is there in your heart.

As Ronson said there may something there in your heart, but why does it have to be a deity?

Twice I lost my wallet and looked everywhere (really a very thorough search) I asked God for a little help and in the next five minutes I found my wallet in an obvious place where I had looked before. While reading this thread the electicity died and my computer blinked out.

Is that proof of God or did I not search for my wallet as well as I thought I did? Do I just have a faulty electric plug?

It depends on logic versus faith. To have faith one doesn't need logic or a quantifible entity called ”God"

For me I don't need a diety to be a good, compassionate person and to live up to the ideals of Jesus. Also I have trouble with a definition of a God that would want us to treat Her as a deity. If She is so perfect and all powerful and all knowing why does She need my faith and why does She care about the details of my sex life? Why did she make it so pleasureable if She doesn't want us doing it? Free Will?

For a moment let's take a look inside God's head: Oh yeah, this is really great, I created something where you can have the best experience of your life, but DON'T DO IT! Nope. Free will. And I watch everytime and I know what you're thinking. All the time. So DON'T DO IT! And there are all these imaginitive variations that are possible… well I am all-knowing so I knew about them when I made you, BUT DON'T DO THEM EITHER!

So God is all-knowing, all-loving and all-seeing, but it almost seems She's more concerned with what I eat and do with my genitalia than anything else.

And please the more archeology proves the Bible, the more it actually proves it wrong. (Read The unauthorized Version by Robin Lane Fox, it's a very even-handed examination of the Bible and how and why it was written and is it literal, mythological or allegorical.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
dueeast at 1:10PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 1,093
joined: 5-6-2007
I think you know that's not what I was saying, Spang.

I don't presume to speak for “religious people” any more than you can speak for all atheists.

I can only speak for myself and what I believe and what I have experienced concerning my faith.

Even Jesus spoke against the religious hypocrites of his day.

SpANG
dueeast
I'm sorry but that's extremely presumptuous. Even if I weren't a believer, I personally would never tell someone that “If you have ‘God in your heart,’ that doesn't mean that he's there.”

That is stomping on someone's beliefs. I'm not so much offended as amazed that you felt it necessary to suggest that. You seem to feel the need to assert your belief as fact while discounting others. That is what makes it difficult to have progress in these types of discussions.
Yeah Ronson! It's fine for you to say YOU don't have all the answers, but when you presume that people that believe in God don't have all the answers, you've gone TOO FAR!



Yeah. Religious people don't push their faith on anyone! It' snot like there are some sort of… ‘missionaries’ or anything.


Sorry. I find it funny when people lambaste one group for doing the same thing their group does. ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
SpANG at 1:48PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 3,105
joined: 1-1-2006
dueeast
I think you know that's not what I was saying, Spang.

I don't presume to speak for “religious people” any more than you can speak for all atheists.

I can only speak for myself and what I believe and what I have experienced concerning my faith.

Even Jesus spoke against the religious hypocrites of his day.

Actually, I'm neither religious nor atheist, so I only speak for myself.

As far as the progression of this thread… Well, what did you expect, man? The title is “Proof of God” which flies in the face of any religion. There is no proof. There are only ‘feelings’. It's presumptuous for a person to believe that their ‘feelings’ are 100% fact. Just like it's presumptuous of an atheist to say with 100% certainty that there is no God.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
dueeast at 2:08PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 1,093
joined: 5-6-2007
Fair enough for the point of this discussion.

I apologize for my assumption about you being atheist.

Your statement is quite rational and I appreciate it. However, it also proves that having this very discussion about this particular topic is essentially a waste of time (which is kind of what it has turned out to be).

While I have enjoyed the opportunity to share some of my experiences, positions, feelings and opinions, I don't like getting caught up in circular arguments.

Are we at the point of locking this thread yet then?

SpANG
Actually, I'm neither religious nor atheist, so I only speak for myself.

As far as the progression of this thread… Well, what did you expect, man? The title is “Proof of God” which flies in the face of any religion. There is no proof. There are only ‘feelings’. It's presumptuous for a person to believe that their ‘feelings’ are 100% fact. Just like it's presumptuous of an atheist to say with 100% certainty that there is no God.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Hawk at 3:48PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 2,760
joined: 1-2-2006
dueeast
Are we at the point of locking this thread yet then?

We SHOULD be. Did anyone think they were going to prove/disprove God in this thread? Has two pages of arguing achieved either one of those ends? Or the numerous other threads?

Sometimes I feel like banning the topic of religion from the Debate and Discussion forums just because we can't prove either side and it always leads to the same circular arguments. But I'm not sure I could, just because religion ties into too many debate subjects (education, politics, war, etc.)

So I guess I'm not locking this one. If anyone runs across proof of God in the next while, post it here. Then we can tell all TV stations and newspapers that proof of God is in the Drunk Duck forums.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
StaceyMontgomery at 4:56PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(offline)
posts: 520
joined: 4-7-2007
Perhaps I am feeling overly sensitive today - I do have such days - but I rather feel mocked for starting this thread, and that seems like something that could have been skipped. I start threads that interest me - if they do not interest you, why read them or post in them at all? Surely the “debate and discussion” part of the forum is voluntary?

But I notice that mockery is a la mode these days. I look forward to it falling from grace yet again.

I started this thread because i was surprised at how often (in other threads) people seemed to insist that there was, in fact, the sort of proof in god that I had always understood to beyond all of our reach. In the course of this thread, many people have said lots of smart things (with only the usual ad hominems) and I have found it overall to be both enlightening and rather reassuring.

But then, I dont engage is debate to “convert people” (I find most people have a much better idea what they think about things than I do) but rather to check the validity of my own thinking. After all, from time to time, i have turned out to be compeletely wrong about things.

It is a wonderful experience, and not one to be missed.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
TheMidge28 at 5:49PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 6,847
joined: 7-5-2007
StaceyMontgomery
Perhaps I am feeling overly sensitive today - I do have such days - but I rather feel mocked for starting this thread, and that seems like something that could have been skipped. I start threads that interest me - if they do not interest you, why read them or post in them at all? Surely the “debate and discussion” part of the forum is voluntary?

But I notice that mockery is a la mode these days. I look forward to it falling from grace yet again.

I started this thread because i was surprised at how often (in other threads) people seemed to insist that there was, in fact, the sort of proof in god that I had always understood to beyond all of our reach. In the course of this thread, many people have said lots of smart things (with only the usual ad hominems) and I have found it overall to be both enlightening and rather reassuring.

But then, I don't engage is debate to “convert people” (I find most people have a much better idea what they think about things than I do) but rather to check the validity of my own thinking. After all, from time to time, i have turned out to be completely wrong about things.

It is a wonderful experience, and not one to be missed.



I can totally relate to this post. As John Stewart Mills states in On Liberty, and I am paraphrasing, “with out the freedom to debate in the social arena how can one know what truth is without testing it to be so?”

Dialogue from everyone and their variant experiences adds to my own. Although I am a theist I can appreciate the varied experiences of those who don't share my perspective. To quote another biblical text and in a way, it applies…

“As iron sharpens iron, let one man sharpen another.”

Although there is much importance of this text for Christians in the area of relationships in Christian religion it has much wisdom for everyone. Discussion and debate have a way of doing much in developing what one knows as truth. For many religious people, whatever their ideology, the mind is somewhat found wanting. For Christians even though the bible calls for people to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind", many seem to focus on the heart and leave there mind at the door or what someone tells them to know.

Although my experience, which is not based on feelings as some may have you believe, is the strongest decider to a person's paradigm. No man can objectively separate themselves and look upon them without bias, be it atheist or theist.
That's the struggle I believe is in this discussion.
arteestx
I never had to *make* my mortal, finite, flawed human father appear, and he's definitely no genie. Getting him to show up was never a trick of any sort, and it didn't rely on heart, spirit, earnestness, or personal wisdom. Seeing him didn't require any of these things. Experiencing him didn't require any of these things. His being a part of my life didn't require any heart or earnestness on my part. And he is a mortal, finite, flawed human. But an all-knowing God of infinite love does require these things?
That's because you and your dad are American. lol!
Actually its not so much God showing up, its you. God's there… waiting.
arteestx
To compare God to a deer, a skittish creature that doesn't want to be seen, tries hard not to be seen, and that humans must put forth effort of days or weeks of waiting that may or may not ever be seen, I think, is a beautiful if not perfect comparison.
Well, what if you were a deer and not the hunter?
How skittish would he be?
arteestx
Again, this is a perfect comparison. Blue is definied as part of the spectrum of light that has a wavelength of around 465 nm. This is scientifically measureable, quantifiable, and reproducable. We can assemble a group of people and show them various colors and then find statistical agreement on which color is blue. We can conduct studies to determine the effects of the color blue on people's shortterm behavior. We can even have a discussion about the color blue, esp in terms of what shade to paint a room, putting out dozens and dozens of color samples to determine which shade would look the best in different times of the day, which I have personally done. The existence and definition of blue is determinable, and the effects and opinions about blue are measurable and debatable.

What all of this research and studies canNOT do is describe an individual's personal experience. I cannot describe how blue looks to me, and I cannot guarantee that what I see as blue is the same as what you see. We can agree that the color of that wall over there that has a wavelenght of 465 nm is something we both call blue, but we cannot know whether your experience with blue is exactly like mine. We can study the effects of color on shortterm behavior, but we cannot determine what your personal experience with blue has been or should be.

So you're right, arguing about personal experience is pointless. But that doesn't mean the existence of blue cannot be scientifically determined, or that discussing blue is pointless (we have to agree on SOME color to paint the wall).



But can it be scientifically proven for a blind man?
Believe me, the blind man can be anybody, Atheist or Theist.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
dueeast at 7:28PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 1,093
joined: 5-6-2007
All I can say is that I am neither mocking you nor anyone nor any idea.

I've just slowly come to the realization that regardless of the intention at the beginning of this thread, we (the DD forum community) always end up having essentially a variation of the same debate…and to me, it's getting old. I doubt I'll participate much, if any more, in the “God” threads at this point…not because I don't believe I can support my position but because I don't see the good in perpetuating this type of circular discussion.

If the point of debate and discussion is to learn and perhaps even persuade, then on this topic, we all are failing most miserably, in my opinion. I see no one convincing anyone of anything. It's just the same people (myself included) seeming to dig in where we stand and fight/debate on. In general, we maintain civility, but we make no progress whatsoever. If you like debate for the sake of debate, I suppose that's one thing. I don't.

We all believe what we believe based on what we have experienced and consider to be fact and true. It just so happens that our experiences, like our opinions, differ. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, any more than there's anything wrong with holding different opinions. It's what we do with what we believe that ultimately matters. But that's yet another one of my opinions, so take it for what it's worth.

If what I wrote offended you, Stacey, I apologize. No offense was meant.

StaceyMontgomery
Perhaps I am feeling overly sensitive today - I do have such days - but I rather feel mocked for starting this thread, and that seems like something that could have been skipped. I start threads that interest me - if they do not interest you, why read them or post in them at all? Surely the “debate and discussion” part of the forum is voluntary?

But I notice that mockery is a la mode these days. I look forward to it falling from grace yet again.

I started this thread because i was surprised at how often (in other threads) people seemed to insist that there was, in fact, the sort of proof in god that I had always understood to beyond all of our reach. In the course of this thread, many people have said lots of smart things (with only the usual ad hominems) and I have found it overall to be both enlightening and rather reassuring.

But then, I dont engage is debate to “convert people” (I find most people have a much better idea what they think about things than I do) but rather to check the validity of my own thinking. After all, from time to time, i have turned out to be compeletely wrong about things.

It is a wonderful experience, and not one to be missed.


last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Ronson at 7:36PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 837
joined: 1-1-2006
dueeast
I'm sorry but that's extremely presumptuous. Even if I weren't a believer, I personally would never tell someone that “If you have ‘God in your heart,’ that doesn't mean that he's there.”

That is stomping on someone's beliefs. I'm not so much offended as amazed that you felt it necessary to suggest that. You seem to feel the need to assert your belief as fact while discounting others. That is what makes it difficult to have progress in these types of discussions.

I agree. Even the admission that a believer could be wrong is a nonstarter. Look at what I wrote. I did not say that “If you have ‘God in your heart’ you're wrong.” I just suggested that just because you feel something doesn't mean it's true.

That is a very real possibility. Just as the possibility that one of your religions is actually true and I'm completely wrong.

But even suggesting it has threatened your beliefs, whereas the opposite does not threaten mine. So who is close minded?

I know I can't make anyone become a Christian, especially someone who is diametrically opposed to the concept of God, much less Christ. But too many people feel it is their mission to convert the believers to atheism, backed up by what they consider “proof” – or in this case “anti-proof” since the heart of this debate seems to be “you can't prove to me that God exists, therefore that's my basis why I think you shouldn't believe God exists.”

I don't want to convert anyone. I just don't want people to take a very specific term - proof - and use it improperly. Proof has a meaning, and it isn't in your heart, it's in scientific evaluation and has to follow rules.

My argument is not that the lack of proof of God is why I don't believe in him, it's that I don't need to prove anything to not believe in him. I was challenged, not so long ago, to prove the nonexistence of God, which is backwards. If you want to debate on a rational level, those that believe have to supply the proof.

…but the things we believe (all of us) are not on a rational level. Not a believers, not an atheists, we're humans and our minds fill in the unknown with suspicions and theories. But if we try to limit the discussion to rational debate, there are few places where for those that believe to even start.

I doubt I would have any DD forum discussions about God if people didn't keep bringing it up. And in these discussions, I try to answer the questions presented in a logical manner based upon the available facts, my opinions and my experiences. But I have no illusions about tearing down anyone's atheist beliefs.

And quite frankly, if someone doesn't believe in God, why spend so much time and effort writing forum posts about Him. Why not live your life and do what satisfies you? But then, I keep hearing the circular argument about feeling threatened by various Judeo-Christian religions, which seems to fuel the desire to tear down – or at least “de-fang” religion. In the process, for those who choose to act and believe in that manner, they convert the concept of atheism into the religion of atheism and make it evangelical to convert others to that faith.

So now you see why I don't enter into these discussions too often, and most of the believers on DD seem to have learned that lesson, too. And that's why it's just those athiests creating and maintaining similarly themed threads.

In all seriousness, doesn't that get boring at some point? huh!?

I suppose this one certainly has. But I've had some very lively discussions on other boards that only helped me figure out what it was I do believe and it also helps me find those irrational bits of my belief system so I can analyze them and hopefully address them. In this way, I hope to grow as a person.

But I do feel bad for offending you by suggesting that you might be wrong. I am sorry.

It would never occur to me that that suggestion on its own could be offensive. I've not only been told I was wrong a lot in my life, I also have actually been wrong a lot in my life. Learning the truth over time is nothing but sheer enjoyment for me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Ronson at 7:41PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 837
joined: 1-1-2006
TheMidge28
Maybe for you, Ronson, and maybe others god is like the color blue for a blind man. The idea of god just makes no sense to you because you have never experienced this god people speak of.

I encounter this “I know and you don't” attitude from all believers eventually, and all I can say is “possibly.”

But that really isn't my point.

The point of “Proof” is that it can be examined by all involved. A blind scientist can still learn the math or analyze the facts that have been discovered. Proof is given when a theory is postulated and a result is found.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Ronson at 7:54PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 837
joined: 1-1-2006
dueeast
God throughout the texts of both the Hebrews and the Christians referred to Himself as male and never to the contrary. It is a shame that the only way that you can refer to God is to refer to Him, which you don't believe in except to mock, as something He is not. Isn't that some kind of convoluted philosophical double-negative?

The fact that the ancient writings refer to him as male couldn't have anything to do that only men who were raised in male dominated societies wrote it, could it? Nah.

There is no way for a nonbeliever to talk about God in a respectful way and still have a rational debate. Especially because religious trappings often protect themselves in calling things “blasphemy” if the wrong questions or ideas are posed.

From my point of view, I am stuck either nodding politely to things that are logically irrational, or pointing out the flaws and offending some. Can't you put yourself in the atheists' shoes? ;)

Oh, and Sea Cow mentioned this:
Ronson, the fact that you're such an atheist, but you write a comic about deities, is classic irony. I guess you don't have to have that “Oh no! I'm writing blasphemy!” feeling.

Not a coincidence or irony. I spent a young adulthood studying various mythologies and comparing them to my Catholic upbringing. I think I can owe that to the first steps I took towards coming to my present understanding of reality.

“The Gods of Arr-Kelaan” is very much written as my creation of classic mythology, mixed with humor and wrapped in a believable illusion that no atheist could prove wrong without a more vast understanding of the universe. The fact that it requires layers of exposition and the invention of things that go unseen by us mere Earthlings just proves that I have an inkling how organized religions work.

________

There must have been some sort of hiccup when I loaded this thread before because there were a lot of responses - most of which I just repeated in different words - that were especially wonderful.

I loved the analysis of blue, btw. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
arteestx at 7:58PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 285
joined: 6-1-2007
Hawk
Did anyone think they were going to prove/disprove God in this thread? Has two pages of arguing achieved either one of those ends? Or the numerous other threads?

Sometimes I feel like banning the topic of religion from the Debate and Discussion forums just because we can't prove either side and it always leads to the same circular arguments. But I'm not sure I could, just because religion ties into too many debate subjects (education, politics, war, etc.)

So I guess I'm not locking this one. If anyone runs across proof of God in the next while, post it here. Then we can tell all TV stations and newspapers that proof of God is in the Drunk Duck forums.
Good Lord, is THAT the only reason to discuss a topic? To prove someone wrong? So if someone's belief isn't completely destroyed then the discussion is a waste of time?

I discuss religion because I enjoy it. I enjoy grappling with the big questions, testing other people's understanding as they test mine so that, as Ronson said, I can grow as a human, to learn new ideas, to think about other points of view, to hear opinions that differ from mine, all in the hopes that some will bring up points I had never considered so that I can chew on it and learn and grow.

But I guess when skoolmunkee put out the news on Aug 20 that…

“If you don't like a forum thread, then just leave it alone, okay? There's been an increase in this lately and it makes the forum look like a negative place. If there's a thread in the forums that you think is silly, stupid, etc, don't go in to the thread and make a reply complaining about its existence. …Different people want different things out of the forums, and just because you think a thread is worthless doesn't mean that everyone else does too. No one really cares whether you think the thread is dumb or not, so why are you bothering to make a post telling everyone? So you can try and make someone else feel bad?”

But I guess that sort of tolerance doesn't apply to moderators, eh? Must be nice.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
arteestx at 8:16PM, Sept. 8, 2008
(online)
posts: 285
joined: 6-1-2007
TheMidge28
Actually its not so much God showing up, its you. God's there… waiting.
…Well, what if you were a deer and not the hunter? How skittish would he be?
I understand that when you look for God, you find Him. I get that. And I assume that the flipside of this is that if someone looks for God and can't find Him, then the fault must be with that person; they're not looking in the right place, they're not praying the right way, don't have their heart open, whatever. Because of course God is there and He would come to anyone who properly opens their heart *or does whatever it is that has to happen).

All I can tell you is that the logic of this statement makes no sense to me. If a five year old needs his father, will the father not show up because the kid didn't say or do the proper thing or will the father try to be there whether the kid opens his heart or not? Will the father understand that the child is doing the best he can and come no matter what condition the child's heart or mind is in?

I cannot imagine a loving father not being there for his child, and I cannot imagine blaming the child {“it's you”} for the father not showing up.

God used to turn people into pillars of salt. Now he doesn't.
God used to make the sun stop in the sky. Now he doesn't.
God used to physically walk beside humans. Now he doesn't.
God used to appear as a burning bush. Now at best he appears as a face in a tortilla.

You say God is there. I say God isn't there like He used to be. He changed His behavior, and the only answer to the question “why” is “who are YOU to ask HIM anything?” To me, that is a defensive answer not worthy of any God that actually might exist.


TheMidge28
But can it be scientifically proven for a blind man?
Believe me, the blind man can be anybody, Atheist or Theist.
You can set up a spectrograph so that it emits a sound. In that way, a blind person can hear what blue “sounds” like. Look, I think it'd be pretty easy to convince a blind man that even though he can't see, others can. And once you establish that, then giving the blind experiences with color is possible.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved