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how do religious people prove religion


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#106    Doug1o29

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:19 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 11 May 2013 - 12:45 AM, said:

What if I claimed to be an atheist, but believed in gods.  Would not another atheist have the Right to tell me that I'm not an atheist?
The question, to me, is how does an outsider tell who is a Christian and who isn't?  What is the criteria?  Are they sufficiently defined to allow a distinction to be made, and if not, can we really exclude anybody?

And who is it that determines the criteria?  What is an important point to one is not to another.

So I put it to you, PA:  what, other than the name, distinguishes a Christian from a non-Christian?

Would, at least most, other Christians agree with whatever answer you propose?

Can that definition/description serve to show an outsider who is/is not a Christian?

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Why is it, then, that only Christianity these days gets put in that category where all one needs do is claim to be Christian, and no one has a Right to say otherwise, regardless of what they actually preach or believe?
Apply those questions to any group you like.  But I suspect the reason that this gets applied to Christians is that it points up the hypocrisy in their constant harassment to get others to sit in their churches on Sunday mornings.

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I think a test like this may have been done (I recall reading about it).  The results were as expected, with no group coming up better or worse.
All that Integris Baptist test did is suggest that there is something more there to study.  It's a long way from there to a statement about god, if one is ever possible.


Let's suppose that some test like the one above showed that there really was a god.  What would that do to your beliefs/disbeliefs?  You just said that such tests aren't valid.  Would that one also be invalid?
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#107    Doug1o29

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:22 PM

View PostSpiritWriter, on 11 May 2013 - 07:03 PM, said:

Whoever thinks christians need to prove god need to get over themselves. If you want God to prove himself, ask him to.. it is not a Christians responsibility to Prove God to anyone but to keep on walking in faith. If you dont like that .. hey in my opinion YOU have a problem.
What Christians believe is their own affair, until they start trying to recruit others.  Then those others have a right to demand some evidence.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#108    Doug1o29

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:23 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 11 May 2013 - 04:02 PM, said:

Yes, God does seem a human invention; I doubt though that He is a tree.
God is not a tree.  But might god manifest as a tree?

I'm sort of a Druid, anyway, so I have no problem with someone who wants to see the divine in a tree.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#109    SpiritWriter

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:17 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 11 May 2013 - 08:22 PM, said:


What Christians believe is their own affair, until they start trying to recruit others.  Then those others have a right to demand some evidence.
Doug

Everyone has the right to do what they feel is best. If you are the one Demanding evidence you might want to relax. God reveals himself... it is intricate to you and what is alive in you. Christians that are spreading the word are led by the spirit of God to offer the gift of salvation. A Christian principle is also that if someone rejects the word that they are to shake the dust from thier feet and keep it moving. You can Demand what you wish.. but the proof is something that happens internally.. if you seek proof you need to go to the source.. not a bible thumping Christian..

The letter kills but The Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. -Jung

#110    Paranoid Android

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:47 AM

View PostDoug1o29, on 11 May 2013 - 08:19 PM, said:

The question, to me, is how does an outsider tell who is a Christian and who isn't?  What is the criteria?  Are they sufficiently defined to allow a distinction to be made, and if not, can we really exclude anybody?

And who is it that determines the criteria?  What is an important point to one is not to another.
I'd suggest reading the Bible to be a pretty good start.  There's plenty of information there about what a Christian is - Love God, Love your neighbour as yourself, love your enemies, Jesus is Lord and saviour, by grace you are saved through faith, faith without works is dead, religion that God accepts is to bring comfort to the poor in society, live righteous lives free from sin.  All of these have scriptural references, you need only ask and I can provide them.


View PostDoug1o29, on 11 May 2013 - 08:19 PM, said:

So I put it to you, PA:  what, other than the name, distinguishes a Christian from a non-Christian?

Would, at least most, other Christians agree with whatever answer you propose?

Can that definition/description serve to show an outsider who is/is not a Christian?
I believe it can.  The name "Christian" in recent times has, in my opinion, been abused to the point where it no longer means what it should mean.  It is not a vague and confusing term, it is specific and clear in its intentions.  Unfortunately it has been turned into something vague and confusing for no good reason.


View PostDoug1o29, on 11 May 2013 - 08:19 PM, said:

Apply those questions to any group you like.  But I suspect the reason that this gets applied to Christians is that it points up the hypocrisy in their constant harassment to get others to sit in their churches on Sunday mornings.

All that Integris Baptist test did is suggest that there is something more there to study.  It's a long way from there to a statement about god, if one is ever possible.


Let's suppose that some test like the one above showed that there really was a god.  What would that do to your beliefs/disbeliefs?  You just said that such tests aren't valid.  Would that one also be invalid?
Doug
It would be interesting if such a test ever did prove there was a creator.  I cannot foresee any such test where prayer is going to help a person being prayed for more often than someone not being prayed for, or that a person not being prayed for in the test might not be being prayed for anonymously by someone else, so I find it hard to answer your question.  If another type of test were devised to prove or disprove God that doesn't involve something such as prayer, then that test would have to be judged by its merits also.

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#111    Mr Walker

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:35 PM

The question is ill defined.

Many posters have given an answer. I particularly like the one that we prove our religion by living it and letting others observe the effects of religion on our life, on ourselves and on others.

There has also been debate about whether religion is based on evidence or faith. I would say that varies My wife is religious based entirely on faith. I am not "religious" (in a sense because religion grows from faith) but I know god, who offers the same evidences of his existence to me that everything in the real world does.

So some people BELIEVE in god. Others KNOW god. So religions spring from both belief and knowledge. But one cant "prove religion." It is like proving love. If you expereince it you know it exists and wah tit is like But for every pereon the expereince is differnt  Religions are just formal ways in which humans organise and group individual humans beliefs and experiences. It is like chosing a football team to follow.
One can prove tha treligion works for individuals and for groups using demographic statistics One canprove that some religions work better tha others for human beings Again using demographic statistics And after all that is what religion is all about; using a faith belief or knowledge to improve outcomes for individuals and for societies. It is why religons began and why they have proven so hardy and perrrenial. It is also why religions evolve change and adapt to suit people's changing needs.
Finally there is no need to prove religion or to prove god because inherenty faith, belief, and religion are not about proof. None is needed required or even helpful. For consistently about 90% of human beings, a spiritual element, usually morphing into some religious form, seems to be an essential prerequisite for a complete and happy life. And so, even today, across the world statistics show that less than 10% (often only about 5%) of human beings declare themselves as atheists.
In a way that is the best statistical proof for the success, and essential integration of religions and human spirituality, available. Some sources show a even lower percentage.

According to The World Factbook atheists were an estimated 2.01% of the world population in 2010.[10

A 2004 survey by the CIA in the World Factbook estimates about 12.5% of the world's population are non-religious, and about 2.4% are atheists.[21]

http://en.wikipedia....hics_of_atheism

There is a considerable difference between non religious and atheist. For example, I am non religious, but a theist and one who knows a powerful real and personal god..

Edited by Mr Walker, 12 May 2013 - 12:43 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#112    Frank Merton

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:58 PM

Why would God "manifest" as anything other than what He is?  It might be said for our ability to comprehend, but since that will be impossible anyway, He may as well remain the burning bush.


#113    Frank Merton

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:00 PM

If you self-define as a theist, then you cannot be non-religious.  You may not be a particular religion, but you are religious.


#114    Doug1o29

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:42 PM

View PostSpiritWriter, on 11 May 2013 - 09:17 PM, said:

if you seek proof you need to go to the source.. not a bible thumping Christian..
Touche'!

Actually, I am not seeking "proof."  The title of this thread is "how do religious people prove religion."  I conclude from what has been presented, so far, that they don't.

J. K. has studied his beliefs and has answered this question for himself.  I respect that.  He knows the limits of knowledge, but believes anyway.  His is truly a faith-based belief.  And that is what religion should be.  It should not depend on believing things that are physically impossible, or on pseudo-science.  Genuine science can't help with this question, so there is really no point in bringing science into it.  The best guide to truth is to let science handle the physical and religion handle the metaphysical.  And asking how religious people prove religion misunderstands both religion and proof.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#115    Doug1o29

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:03 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 12 May 2013 - 04:47 AM, said:

I'd suggest reading the Bible to be a pretty good start.  There's plenty of information there about what a Christian is - Love God, Love your neighbour as yourself, love your enemies, Jesus is Lord and saviour, by grace you are saved through faith, faith without works is dead, religion that God accepts is to bring comfort to the poor in society, live righteous lives free from sin.  All of these have scriptural references, you need only ask and I can provide them.
There are plenty of worthy ideas presented in the Bible.  But Peter carried a sword and cut off a man's ear, if we are to believe the story.  Were the Apostles Christians?

Quote

I believe it can.  The name "Christian" in recent times has, in my opinion, been abused to the point where it no longer means what it should mean.  It is not a vague and confusing term, it is specific and clear in its intentions.  Unfortunately it has been turned into something vague and confusing for no good reason.
It would be interesting to see a list of characteristics of Christians drawn from the Bible.  I'm sure this has been done, but I don't have a reference.

One example:  I occasionally see groups of people "praying" on a street corner as a demonstration of some "Christian" viewpoint - sort of a "Christian" protest.  But didn't Jesus say something about keeping your prayer private?  Doing it in a closet?  The people I'm thinking of wear the Christian uniform:  suits, ties, their Sunday-school best.  They think they're Christian, but there they are, making a big deal of how "sanctified" they are.  I don't see sanctity; I see hypocrisy.

Quote

It would be interesting if such a test ever did prove there was a creator.  I cannot foresee any such test where prayer is going to help a person being prayed for more often than someone not being prayed for, or that a person not being prayed for in the test might not be being prayed for anonymously by someone else, so I find it hard to answer your question.  If another type of test were devised to prove or disprove God that doesn't involve something such as prayer, then that test would have to be judged by its merits also.
I suspect you're right about such a test.  Somebody occasionally comes up with a test that shows that probability was soundly beaten.  They may have impressed themselves, but they forget that random chance will produce "significant" results a certain percentage of the time.  When these tests are repeated, the significance disappears.  And that's why people who understand the math aren't impressed by these tests.  A serious study would require hundreds, perhaps thousands of repetitions and nobody wants to put in that much work.

Imagine the howls of protest if some serious investigator applied for a grant to study the question.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#116    Doug1o29

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:21 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 12 May 2013 - 12:35 PM, said:

Many posters have given an answer. I particularly like the one that we prove our religion by living it and letting others observe the effects of religion on our life, on ourselves and on others.
That's a good definition, but it makes no distinction between theists and atheists.  Of course, atheism is a sort of religion.  It takes the assumption of Nothing and makes it a fact.  Logic can't do that because it can't operate on Nothing.  So atheism is reduced to the status of a religion.

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So some people BELIEVE in god. Others KNOW god.
Interesting distinction.  It probably makes sense within certain groups.  But among groups, it still leaves the outside observer unable to distinguish between them.

Quote

According to The World Factbook atheists were an estimated 2.01% of the world population in 2010.[10

A 2004 survey by the CIA in the World Factbook estimates about 12.5% of the world's population are non-religious, and about 2.4% are atheists.[21]
http://en.wikipedia....hics_of_atheism
I have noticed that if you add up all the percentages claimed by various religious groups (including atheists), you get a total well over 300%.  And do the actual percentages actually matter?
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#117    Frank Merton

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:23 PM

Yea that 2 percent atheists made my eyebrows go up.


#118    Doug1o29

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:26 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 12 May 2013 - 01:58 PM, said:

Why would God "manifest" as anything other than what He is?  It might be said for our ability to comprehend, but since that will be impossible anyway, He may as well remain the burning bush.
Then why did "He" manifest as a burning bush?  And your assumption that god has gender suggests that god has manifested to you in a particular manner.

I've heard it said that god is too big to fit in anybody's church.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#119    Doug1o29

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:28 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 12 May 2013 - 03:23 PM, said:

Yea that 2 percent atheists made my eyebrows go up.
I suspect there's more than a little cross-counting in those numbers.  Religion, especially among those who don't attend church, is a very difficult thing to nail down in a survey.  Change the survey a little and you get different numbers.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#120    Frank Merton

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:34 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 12 May 2013 - 03:26 PM, said:

Then why did "He" manifest as a burning bush?  And your assumption that god has gender suggests that god has manifested to you in a particular manner.

I've heard it said that god is too big to fit in anybody's church.
Doug
That's kinda what I was saying.  Would you prefer I refer to God as "It?"  The English grammar I was taught was to use the masculine pronoun when the object is personified but the sex is unknown, except ships which get the feminine pronoun.





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