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  • #115817
    r m
    Member

    G’day Zap,

    I concur. However I think that sometimes it’s okay to initiate dialogue between Theists and Atheists by asking ‘why do you believe?’. If people realize that our positions on many things are not absolutely justified beyond a shadow of a doubt than maybe we’ll all be a little more understanding of different positions.

    Blue Skies,

    Ryan

    #113229
    r m
    Member
    #113228
    r m
    Member

    Hi Sarah POP2,

    Intersting side bar to the God / god distinction: since the pledge of allegiance capitalizes the word ‘God’ it is fair to say that it’s a reference to Christianity. It follows that the pledge of allegiance is not referencing a generic ‘god’, as the supporters of keeping ‘under God’ have stated, but rather a specific allusion to the Christian God.

    Just a thought!

    Blue Skies,

    Ryan

    #113230
    r m
    Member

    Hi JJKIRK,

    Actually, Confucius stated, ‘Don’t do anything to anyone that you don’t want done to you’ (the ‘golden rule’ in the negative form) 500 years before Jesus was born. So the it’s in the Bible, but it is not original to it. This idea, in whatever form it manifests itself, is the foundation for ethics in humans, the product of a trial and error based accomodation man has made with man. If you would like to read other Confucian wisdom that may sound similar to things Jesus said (however it predates him) then you could pick up a copy of ‘The Analects’.

    Blue Skies,

    Ryan

    #53438
    r m
    Member

    Many reasons:

    1) The assertion “God exists” is making a positive claim about the existence of some thing. Thus, until viable proof is offered to support the proposition, it should be rejected.

    2) In order to offer viable proof, one has to establish what it is that is said to exist. The conceptions people have come up with to explain what it is they believe exists are inconsistent, incompatable and illogical. Furthermore, this “entity” would necessarily be outside the scope of definition within the human body of knowledge and understanding, so it makes no sense to say something that is unknowable to the human mind exists without it being pure, unwarranted speculation.

    3) When one examines the Jewish and Christian Testaments one finds them to be adaptations of earlier mythologies into the Jewish tradition. The metaphors are all very similar, and the stories (in some instances) are exactly the same. Jesus as a man was a political/religious rebel who rejected the norms of his time (nothing wrong with that, save for one was executed for it at that time). Jesus as deity described in the Gospels (written well after his execution), is just one of many individuals who follow the “hero’s journey”. One need only look at the mythologies of Egypt, Sumeria, Babylonia, Mesopotamia, and Greece to see Jesus predated by other hero’s whose exploits match perfectly with his.

    4) Faith is required. Faith is nothing more than one telling themselves they believe something until they have conditioned themselves to actually believe it (or it has been conditioned into them by someone else). This is a psychological boo boo easily identified when put into another context: one buys a lottery ticket, one tells themselves their ticket is the winning one until they believe they actually have the winning ticket. Think it would be a good idea for them to quit their job? Verily, I say unot you, one could convince themselves of anything if they were adamant about it, and, over time, they would genuinely believe it to be fact. However, that doesn’t make it so.

    5) Science has taken tremendous leaps in revealing our factual origins, provided us with an ever grwoing understanding of our world, and it shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Why replace that which can be tested and verified, with that which cannot?

    There’s more, but those should satisfice for now.

    Cheers,

    Dionysus

    #53325
    r m
    Member

    Anything deemed supernatural would be indescribable in natural terms. As human cognition is limited to that which is natural, anything supernatural would be beyond description or definition. Thus, if any entity is supernatural, one could not say anything about it without limiting it. Many theologians have realized this dilemma and have opted to only use negative descriptors (X is not Y, X is not Z, etcetera). However, many theists believe that a supernatural entity exists but is also immanent, personal, etcetera. So in order to alleviate the contradiction, the term supernatural has become unpopular.

    #51961
    r m
    Member

    Haha, no Jeanne, I haven’t been here in months! To answer the question, I really started posting here just to fill time when work was slow. It was either attempt intelligent theological discourse, or cyber with a 40 year old bald guy pretending to be a 22 year old female…. easy choice!

    That being said, I did have some good conversations here, although I did notice some interesting “internet mood swings” with certain people. In any case, work has been keeping me busy with projects and travel, so my online time is diminished to the point where any real debate is no longer feasible. I will try and pop in here and there, though, and maybe get over to AP as well!

    Take care all!

    #51955
    r m
    Member

    I mean, was Dionysus the first

    Yes, Jeanne, I am the alpha and omega! Hahahaha! : )

    #43123
    r m
    Member

    Hey John!

    I’ve been great, just busy! I miss our discussions as well, just don’t have much time for them at work anymore!

    Take it easy!

    #43115
    r m
    Member

    Yup. Hope everyone here has been well! : )

    #43122
    r m
    Member


    Chris Wrote:

    Maybe you all Atheists should to keep your faith strong and check out your commitment and ideals once a year.

    One day?!?! Geez bro, I do it everyday on the internet! Ha ha ha!!

    : )

    #37292
    r m
    Member

    For anyone who hasn’t seen this yet, it is an amusing look at our two candidates in the upcoming presidential election:

    http://www.extremefunnyhumor.com/fun_elections.htm

    John and Ryan, I think both of you will enjoy this…

    #37185
    r m
    Member

    But this is only understood by those who truly want to understand what the bible is trying to convey to it’s reader.

    Indeed. One should always read something with an open mind, void of any preconceived notions of what something is or isn’t. If one truly wants to understand the Bible (or any other text), they must be willing to dismiss any assumptions they have prior to starting. For the Christian and non-Christian alike, that means an open-mindedness to the possibility that their preconceptions are innaccurate.

    So, James, have you read the entire Bible?, and were you willing to admit any assumptions might have been wrong?

    The Bible quite clearly uses allegory to convey messages (Jesus spoke in parables, for example), so I’m always interested in what people consider metaphorical and what they consider literal, and why.

    Blue Skies,

    Ryan

    #37270
    r m
    Member

    Just an FYI, for those who have missed this passage:

    Jeremiah 10

    2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

    3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

    4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

    5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

    6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.

    7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.

    8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.

    #37470
    r m
    Member

    This is the Atheist Forum.

    What people consider God is their unconscious mind; the higher awareness we all have but sometimes find dificult to get in touch with. So, it seems when one is talking to God they are really talking to their subconscious selves. When you say your God loves me, you are saying you love me, which I appreciate! Me and my subconsicous (God) love you too!

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