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how do religious people prove religion


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#61    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:55 PM

View PostJ. K., on 09 May 2013 - 02:30 PM, said:

I can accept that you don't believe the spiritual world exists.  Can you accept that it exists as a concept?
There is a spiritual world; I don't doubt that at all.  What I doubt are all the angels and demons and other manifestations of superstition, and I don't exactly deny them as doubt the accuracy of the reports.  When one sits quietly and observes one's own mind, one can see a spirit functioning.


#62    Rlyeh

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:01 PM

View Postdanielost, on 09 May 2013 - 11:06 AM, said:

No, water is not common few heavenly bodies in our system has water.  It is uncommon.
Common on earth. Besides a few planets and moons are known to have water in some form.


#63    Doug1o29

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:01 PM

View PostJ. K., on 09 May 2013 - 01:33 PM, said:

Christianity doesn't validate itself.  It is the actions of God that validate it.
You just said that it doesn't validate itself.

Quote

I realize that many people on UM do not believe that God exists.  However, Christians do believe it, and we see the evidence of Him working in our lives.
It is not about whether god exists or whether somebody believes god exists.  What matters to rational discussion is whether it can be SHOWN that god exists.  Without doing this, we cannot assume god.  Whether or not there is such a thing is a side issue.

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On the other hand, I have seen chains of action/reaction that lasted for years.  In 1982, I chose to read a specific book.  A series of events occurred. As a result, an event occurred in 1995 that has positively affected the lives of hundreds of people since that time.  I do realize that other UMers would view it as coincidence, but that's fine with me.
I used to see those "chains of action/reaction" everywhere I looked, too.  Then I realized that our lives are made up of astronomically huge numbers of random events and that at least a few will appear to follow an intelligent plan, whether they do or not.  So I see you worshipping the APPEARANCE of a divinity and not the real thing; essentially, you have set up your own false god to worship in preference to the real one.

What is the real one?  NATURE.  If God and the universe are the same thing, then god is everywhere you look.  God:  manifest as you.  God:  manifest as me.  God:  manifest as the tree in my back yard.  God:  manifest as NATURE itself.

To study the universe is to study God.  To use the most-rigorous tests to ferret out truth and demolish falsehood is an act of worship.
Doug

Edited by Doug1o29, 09 May 2013 - 03:26 PM.

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

#64    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:08 PM

Religious concepts like worship and glory and serving God and so on are human inventions, probably derived from ancient dominance/submission instincts.  No real God would be interested in such things; they would be worthless baubles.


#65    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:09 PM

View PostJ. K., on 09 May 2013 - 01:33 PM, said:

Bottom line observation:  in the same way that I am unfamiliar with tree diseases, non-Christians are unfamiliar with the way the spiritual world works.

There's a pretty big difference between those two though: plenty of evidence can be provided for the existence of tree diseases, not so much for a spiritual world.  I agree the spirit world exists as a concept, but I don't personally believe there is very good evidence to support it actually existing, let alone the idea that as Frank noted it exists with certain specifics like angels and demons and realms.  Unicorns and leprechauns and hobbits exist as concepts also, I'm not sure where you are going with that line of thinking.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
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#66    Doug1o29

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:22 PM

View Postjbondo, on 09 May 2013 - 02:48 PM, said:

Frankly, I am often met with opposition from people who seem to know the Bible better than me and I've been studying it for years with still plenty to learn. If you are a nonbeliever, how is it that you know scripture better than those who read and study it ever single day?
See Post #63.  The Bible is data.  It is there to read, to analyze.  It is there to learn from.  The Bible makes a lot of historical and physical mistakes, but it also contains a lot of historical and physical information that is true.  Those campsites listed in the story of the Exodus can almost all be identified as real places.  The few that can't be so identified simply don't provide enough information to permit that - how does one identify a campsite named "Campsite?"  I firmly believe that the crossing of the Red Sea actually took place.  I firmly believe that Jesus was crucified (Jesus of Lydda met his fate at the hands of a Roman crucifixion crew.).  The Bible garbled these stories, but the basics are still there to be discovered.

I cannot comment on "spiritual truth" because that is defined for each person for him or her self.  You can find it in a sunset, in a moonrise over the desert, in a stained glass window, in starlight on the plains.  Or in the Wall Street Journal or the pages of Playboy.  Spiritual truth is where one finds it.  One can find it in the Bible.  But one should not conclude that because one found spiritual truth in the Bible that other forms of truth will be found there as well.  Nor does it follow that because the Bible has some factual errors, that it doesn't also contain some factual truths.  In the end, it is a book and like any book contains both facts and mistakes.

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When a mind is already made up, praying for them is better than arguing with them.
Then I will pray for you.
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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

#67    danielost

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 04:12 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 09 May 2013 - 03:01 PM, said:

Common on earth. Besides a few planets and moons are known to have water in some form.

View PostRlyeh, on 09 May 2013 - 03:01 PM, said:

Common on earth. Besides a few planets and moons are known to have water in some form.


That would be mars and two ice moons and a bunch of comets.  As I said uncommon.

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I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other Mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
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#68    Setton

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 04:24 PM

View Postdanielost, on 09 May 2013 - 04:12 PM, said:

That would be mars and two ice moons and a bunch of comets.  As I said uncommon.

So water is common on Earth and uncommon elsewhere. How is this an argument for God's existence?

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I don't object to the concept of a deity but I'm baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.

#69    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 04:37 PM

Water has got to be one of the most common molecules in the universe -- it is made of the most common element, hydrogen, and oxygen, I think third or fourth or so.  I suspect they will find a lot of it under various surfaces; it is volatile so easily evaporates and is lost from atmospheres and surfaces.  Much of the outer solar system is ices of one sort or another, water ice probably being the most common.

The key is a temperature/pressure regime where water can be in a liquid state on the surface.


#70    J. K.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 04:52 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 09 May 2013 - 03:01 PM, said:

You just said that it doesn't validate itself.

Christianity doesn’t validate itself; God validates Christianity.  God is a supreme being; Christianity is a way of life.  One is not equivalent to the other.

View PostDoug1o29, on 09 May 2013 - 03:01 PM, said:

What is the real one?  NATURE.  If God and the universe are the same thing, then god is everywhere you look.  God:  manifest as you.  God:  manifest as me.  God:  manifest as the tree in my back yard.  God:  manifest as NATURE itself.

I would have to disagree with that concept.  In the particular version of Christianity that I practice, God is larger than the universe; He is not the universe itself.  I worship a supreme being, but I don’t worship His creation.

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 09 May 2013 - 03:09 PM, said:

There's a pretty big difference between those two though: plenty of evidence can be provided for the existence of tree diseases, not so much for a spiritual world.  I agree the spirit world exists as a concept, but I don't personally believe there is very good evidence to support it actually existing, let alone the idea that as Frank noted it exists with certain specifics like angels and demons and realms.  Unicorns and leprechauns and hobbits exist as concepts also, I'm not sure where you are going with that line of thinking.

It’s difficult to imagine an analogy which applicable to this situation.  What we observe in the physical world, be it tree disease or electricity, is experienced through our senses of sight, hearing, touching, smelling, or tasting.  However, God is experienced primarily in the spiritual world through a Christian’s “sense of spirit”.  What I see from some non-Christians (and I wish there were a better label that doesn’t sound condescending) is that the “spiritual sense” isn’t allowed to be discussed at all.  The problem is that it’s impossible to accurately discuss Christianity without considering the sense of spirit.

The best example I can come up with is the sense of sight.  Try explaining light to a blind person.  They can’t experience light themselves; they have to accept the word of others that it exists.  If a blind person insists that light can’t exist because they can’t experience it, then they won’t be able to discuss what we know as characteristics of light (color absorption, wave length, etc.).

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#71    Ashyne

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 04:56 PM

You should ask a psychiatrist how he proves a patient's hallucinations are not reality, since to the psychotic patient, what he sees/hears/experiences is very real, however it is subjective. The psychiatrist may not see what the psychotic person sees, and so diagnoses him with a mental disorder. Likewise, religious people tell atheists they have experienced godly miracles and otherworldly experiences of a holy nature, yet we atheists cannot believe it because such experiences to religious people are subjective. Should atheists follow the psychiatrist's way of diagnosing religious people with psychotic mental disorders?

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#72    Doug1o29

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:05 PM

View PostAshiene, on 09 May 2013 - 04:56 PM, said:

Should atheists follow the psychiatrist's way of diagnosing religious people with psychotic mental disorders?
That was actually done in the old Soviet Union.  While we can't say they were wrong, one should remember that the religious people so diagnosed were functional in society.  And that is another standard by which we can judge whether someone is psychotic or not.
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

#73    Doug1o29

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:14 PM

View PostJ. K., on 09 May 2013 - 04:52 PM, said:

Christianity doesn’t validate itself; God validates Christianity.
Then the supernatural remains nothing more than speculation.

Once again, it is not what really is, or what someone believes really is.  The only thing that counts in any physical topic is what can be SHOWN to be true.  And if one cannot show that there is a god, then for all practical purposes, there isn't one.

Quote

I would have to disagree with that concept.  In the particular version of Christianity that I practice, God is larger than the universe; He is not the universe itself.  I worship a supreme being, but I don’t worship His creation.
By definition, the universe is all that exists.  If there is a god, it is included under "all."
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

#74    J. K.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:44 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 09 May 2013 - 05:14 PM, said:

Then the supernatural remains nothing more than speculation.

Once again, it is not what really is, or what someone believes really is.  The only thing that counts in any physical topic is what can be SHOWN to be true.  And if one cannot show that there is a god, then for all practical purposes, there isn't one.

By definition, the universe is all that exists.  If there is a god, it is included under "all."
Doug


Both of your comments focus on the physical and disregard the spiritual.  It is impossible to discuss Christianity without considering the spiritual.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#75    Doug1o29

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:59 PM

View PostJ. K., on 09 May 2013 - 05:44 PM, said:

Both of your comments focus on the physical and disregard the spiritual.  It is impossible to discuss Christianity without considering the spiritual.
Because "the spiritual" is defined individually by each person for him/her self, there is nothing tangible to discuss.

An impartial observer only has what he can see.  If he observes that people who say they are Christians are kind, considerate and respectful of each other and others, then that is what he must assume they are.  But if he observes that they do things like scream hate slogans about gays, murder doctors at abortion clinics and abuse their tax exempt status, then that is what he must assume Christians believe in.

I see both extremes and a lot in the middle.  From that I must assume that Christians are not much different from anybody else and that their god bestows nothing special upon them.  It's as if there were no god there at all.  Christians are the best argument for atheism that anyone has come up with.
Doug

Edited by Doug1o29, 09 May 2013 - 06:00 PM.

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




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