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Posted (edited)

Greetings. I am Norman. Please let us start a discussion about spirituality.

Who in here believes in God, and who does't? Bring it on folk! cool.gif Share your

thoughts:

Edited by Norman

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What are your beliefs on it Norman?

I personally an an Athiest, i don't believe in any god or religion. But that does not stop me admiring other peoples religions and beliefs.

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Posted (edited)

I too became an atheist just last week after a decade long stint as an agnostic. I am simply too much a scientist to be comfortable in having faith without corroborating evidence.

Having said that, I have no problem thinking of myself as a very spiritual person. I do not believe the human spirit has any need of gods, goddesses, or any sort of paranatural phenomena to exist.

Incidentally, is it just me or do I detect a bit of chest thumping in this thread? I take it you are looking for a 'spirited' debate? ;-)

Edited by aquatus1

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Like the previous two, I'm an atheist. Have been my entire life, though to kill the question before it starts I wasn't raised as such.

I'm still extremely...spiritual, for lack of a better word. My beliefs are quite odd, and in many cases not fully thought out. That's largely because I'm still working on them, changing them to fit new information.

Which isn't to say I'm an idiot, or don't know anything.

Feel free to give me a buzz Norman, either in this topic, PM me, or even go to my profile and grab any IM info I might have in there.

I always enjoy a nice discussion. grin2.gif

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Greetings Norman,

I'm a Christian and proud to be one.

Are you as well?

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wub.gif Oh I believe in our creator and I believe we are creators ourselves. Now who created the God you are talking about? That is the question. We all know we were created right? But who created our creator, maybe it was the aliens j/k wink2.gif The question I have to answer for myself is this...

Is there just one all powerful creator, the creator of it all. Who holds the secrets to all of these mysteries, and all of these questions in my mind. Or are the possibilites endless, literally. This I know to be true for me, I feel my best when I listen to my highest thought and acknowledge that others highest thoughts are nothing like mine. When we as a human race, all at once accept each other. Well that would be my idea of heaven on earth...

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Ok norman, give my some conclusive proof of the christian God.I was once a strong christian norman.But then I saw that people kill other people because of beliefs,What motivated bin laden? Words in a book written 2000 years ago, what motivated the crusades? words in a book written 2000 years. whats motivating bush? Idioism and the belief that Gods sending him messages, and I quote

"First god told me to strike at bin laden,Then the al queda and now saddam"-President Bush 2004.If theres a God out there norman who loves us all oh so much why does he tell us to hate and judge? I would be willing to take my chances betting he's not. Im not stating there is no "God" but far more likely It's a being of a higher consciouness. Not a figure of fantasy in a book. I think if the all knowing loving God as the bible portrays him is so real then why is he condemning people to hell.

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I...*dramatic pause*....am an athiest. This not a subject that is difficult to research tongue.gif

Student&Alive, I'm afraid asking for proof of the Christian God is pointless. There isn't any, and what's more (and slightly frightening), they don't seem to need any. Starting up another one of those debates is likely to just get the topic locked in short order. We had a very pleasant "what do you believe" thread a while ago, or some such thing....this might be a chance to let newer members give their input so long as it remains open, eh? tongue.gif

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Ok norman, give my some conclusive proof of the christian God.I was once a strong christian norman.But then I saw that people kill other people because of beliefs

I'm a recovering Catholic who has slowly been moving towards a very confused idea of faith, reality and spirituality that i don't pretend to understand fully (indeed i think if i ever do understand it fully, then i have made a mistake somewhere).

What motivated bin laden? Words in a book written 2000 years ago, what motivated the crusades? words in a book written 2000 years.

On a note of pure pedantry "bin Laden's book" is only about 1500 years old. It';s interesting that you mentioned the crusades as well, after all when Christianity was 1500 years old it did pretty much what extremeist muslims are doing now. For pretty much the same reasons...

I think if the all knowing loving God as the bible portrays him is so real then why is he condemning people to hell.

Ahhh but is he? Certainly the church says he does as do the books written by men but because men say these things, does it make them real?

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I'm afraid asking for proof of the Christian God is pointless. There isn't any, and what's more (and slightly frightening), they don't seem to need any.

The question is what do you define as proof. I have proof as to the existance of my gods but it is proof you would not accept as such. You would likely suggest that i was simply deluding myself if i told you that in times of great distress, I feel Laima's arm around my shoulder comforting me or that i was crazy because i hear her tell me it will be ok. You would like as not say that this is not proof.

To you it is not. To me it is all the proof i need.

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There will NEVER be any proof. There has never been any proof.

However, some will argue that the holy Bible is all the proof they need, and they will argue that the Church is witness to everything the bible says, and that's all they need.

Proof is not a book written by a bunch of kids 2000 years ago, not is it the spoken word of a power hungry organisation. And it is definately not a 'feeling' you get in your head.

I personally cannot accept these as proof.

But there will always be Religion. People need it to justify their lives because they cannot accept that we are animals, whos sole purpose on the earth is to have sex, bare children and die and rott away in the ground.

Why don't other animals have religion? Because they're not intelligent enough to delude themselves.

Why are there so many different religions, instead of just one? Because all evolutions of man are the same, they need religion to justify themselves, so they make up gods to worship.

Religion is murder. It is a cult. You blindly follow what some random dude says because he hears voices. Men kill for their gods when, wait, isn't that AGAINST their religion?

Hell, the very religion doesn't make sense. If something this big is gonna be made up, don't make it contradict itself with teachings on how bad it is to have sex and inbred, when the religion clearly states that every human being on earth is inbred from 2 humans who suddenly popped one day into existance.

*sigh* It's the most irrational, silly thing on the planet. But if you need it to get through your day, good for you.

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Posted (edited)

Alright. People are replying way too fast. I can't keep track of all comments.

I am also a christian. However, I do not believe that YOU are an atheist.

Because an atheist thinks there is no God.

Let me explain:

For you to claim that there is NO God, you'd have to know everything about

that particular subject. For example, if I said that there is NO gold in china,

I would have to know that there really is't gold in china. See? I would have

to search all of china for gold, so that I could believe that there is no gold in china.

However, if I say there is gold in china, all I have to do is look for one piece of

gold and that will assure me that there is indeed gold in china. Therefore, in the

same way, no one can say that there is no GOD, because you do not really know

if there is a God. And my friends there is a God and I can proove it. See, the Bible

says that God prooves Himself through His creation and wise thinking. Do you

really think that the human eye- so complex and so well designed, and all

the wonders of the universe, our brains our ability to love and hate, and

the starts and the oceans...

Can you truly say that there is no God? I think thats

a fair argument. However, humans believe in what they can see. Therefore, we

have to look at God as an entity which we cannot. Lets take the law of gravity

of example. For example, you're standing on top of a tall building, and you're

thinking of jumping off. Now, can you see gravity? NO. But it is still there.

Gravity can be tested... yes. So can God. If you die right now, for any reason,

I assure you that you will meet GOD. This is genuine proof. Yet there is another

way to experience GOD. If you become a christian, and trust in God with

all your heart, then you will KNOW God. It is written in our hearts as

a signature of a great masterpiece, that GOD created us. Not an explosion,

not gasses and chemicals, not the ocean. Think of it this way... Whitch is easier

to believe?.... That our intelligence came from nothing, or that our intelligence

came from a higher intelligence? I think I am intelligent enough to know

the right answer. There is a God, and there is an Evil force called Satan.

See, science is like a box that limits reality. Science can be prooven yes. But so can everything else outside of the box. Try to think outside of the box. Realize that there is more to what we can see. If there is a painting, how do you know that there is't a painter? How do you know that your car was made, and it did't just appear? How do you know that you did't come from nothing? See, if we came from nothing, then we are the product of nothing! Do you know what you get when you multiply any number with zero? ZERO! Nothing! If we came from nothing,

or a mere explosion, then we should not be here. How can you think that

there is no God?

Yes, you respect all religions... Sure. But there is only 1

major belief that is the truth. And that is christianity. God exists,

and you exist. You cannot deny it. But which is the right faith? The Bible.

Slow down for a minute and realize that atheists are simply confused.

edited Islam part... don't start a flame war please? read rules if in doubt

Edited by Kira

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Posted (edited)

i dont believe in god but i think there is good and bad forces witch we are faced with each choice and i think there is temptation everywhere in todays society. wink2.gif

we all need faith weather that in god or in your self.

if anyone has spoke to god or he or she has to you tell them to sort out the things related to religion ty.

Edited you didn't need three posts say all this... whistling2.gif

Edited by Kira

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Norman, you just said that all religions except christianity are false.

That is the single, silliest comment i have ever heard.

You sir, have proved my point.

And it's a contradiction too. How do you know there IS a god. You don't.

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You cannot deny it. But which is the right faith? The Bible.

Slow down for a minute and realize that atheists are simply confused.

I wouldn't call them confused. They just do not believe in the Christian God, or any other God or higher being. That is thier belief. They seem pretty darn sure of it, that doesn't sound confusing to me.

I do not believe in the Christian God, either. But I do understand that there are people out there, who believe a different way that I do, and I totally respect and accept that. And if it happens to be, that they don't believe in any higher power, so be it. I do not look down on others for thier belief or disbelief. Thats the wonderful thing about people, they are all so different! Yay!

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Norman:

But there is only 1

major belief that is the truth. And that is christianity

.

Ahhhh just to interject here you cannot prove that either way... and saying it is being entirely contradictory to what you started this thread for....

Greetings. I am Norman. Please let us start a discussion about spirituality.

Who in here believes in God, and who does't? Bring it on folk!  Share your

thoughts:

whistling2.gif

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Burnside, Seraphina, or any other atheist reading this define proof for me. What would be considered proof of the existence of god (or gods)?

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However, if I say there is gold in china, all I have to do is look for one piece of gold and that will assure me that there is indeed gold in china. Therefore, in the

same way, no one can say that there is no GOD, because you do not really know

if there is a God.

I don't know from gods, but I do know science and logic. You can look all you want for gold in China, you can say it's there as loudly as you want, but until such time as you actually find a nugget containing a significant percentage of the Au element (gold), you will not have empirical evidence of it, and therefore you will not have proof of it. You will have faith that it is there, but not proof. (This all assumes the geologic impossiblity of gold in China, of which I have no idea wether it is possible or not).

In other words, what you are attempting to do is what is called a Reduction Argument. It basically goes: Given A, B, C, then If A does not equal C, B must equal C. It is a logically correct argument, however (and this is the part that most overlook) the assumption is that both A and B are of equal standing. In other words, if C is Fruit, then Both A and B must be a type of fruit. If C is Book, both A and B must be a type of book. The only way that you can logically eliminate either A or B is if they both follow the exact same rules of structure and order.

So how does this relate to your example. Like this: Your examples assumes that your argument A (gold) is the equivalent of your argument B (God). If one can disprove the impossiblity of gold in China by the discovery of a single nugget of gold (which is true, and I am assuming you meant that you have metaphorically discovered such a thing), then one can disprove the impossibility of God by finding one single 'nugget' of God (also true). But this nugget of God MUST possess the same structure and order of the nugget of gold. It must be measurable, classifiable, and verifiable. They are not, however, and therefore you example is moot.

See, the Bible says that God prooves Himself through His creation and wise thinking. Do you really think that the human eye- so complex and so well designed, and all the wonders of the universe, our brains our ability to love and hate, and

the starts and the oceans...

This is another common argument referred to as Irreducible Complexity. Another popular example (asides from cars and paintings) is the pocketwatch example, where if you find a pocketwatch on the beach, you would assume that it was man-made, because it is too complex to have come about by sheer chance.

But this is another false argument because it makes a significantly incorrect assumption. Complexity is NOT the sign of natural intelligence. Read that again. Complexity is NOT the sign of natural intelligence; SIMPLICITY is the sign of natural intelligence.

I'll explain. Let's say you go down to the river shore. Look at all the pebbles on the bank and pick one up. Your assignment is to replicate this stone. To do this, you will have to measure all the imperfections, all the many dimensions, the different densities, all the color variations, everything that makes this pebble what it is. Why are there so many different factors? They are there because the pebble is a product of numerous accidents; the sheer result of a hundred different possibilities coming to pass exactly as they did. But let us say that you found a different pebble. This one is perfectly spherical. It is an even glossy black. It is of equal density throughout. Replicating this one is simple. Volume=Pi*Radius cubed. A note for color, another for density, and you're done.

Which of the two pebbles would you suspect of being natural, and which man-made?

Now, to the second fallacy in your argument. You belief that the eye is so darned perfect. Its design is such that there is a blind spot in the back. We can only see an incredibly narrow range of light, less than insects and other mammals. The nerves actually have to switch over sides before they get to the brain. I won't even get into all the flaws that eventually cause us to loose our sight. Well designed? No, I could have designed a better eye, and I'm not claiming that I made the universe and all creation.

However, humans believe in what they can see.

No. Some do, but some are very aware of the extreme limitations and biases that our senses have to work with. Ask any police officer who has had to write up witness accounts. People see the exact same event, but they hear different things, they feel different ways, and yes, they even see different events. This is why subjective evidence is not the same as imperical evidence. Humans are simply not trustworthy enough sources of data.

Gravity can be tested... yes. So can God. If you die right now, for any reason, I assure you that you will meet GOD. This is genuine proof.

Holy Cow! If we had been in the same room when you made this statement, I would have slowly backed away to the door!

That aside, you make the same mistake you did before. The theory of gravity has been tested, retested, independentaly verified, used for predictions, and meets every single pre-requisite for scientific methodology. You equate this to "If you die, you'll see God."? No, Proof is imperical data that is both repeatable and falsifiable. We have absolutely no way to confirm that a dead person has met God. This doesn't even meet the description of evidence, much less proof.

science is like a box that limits reality. Science can be prooven yes. But so can everything else outside of the box

You nailed it right on the head. Science indeed limits reality. It strips it clean of subjectivity, or emotional bias, of psychological dependence. It purifies data down to most imperical form possible. With this data, it then proceeds to understand the rules of reality. The data makes the rules, not us.

You make the claim that you respect all religions. I have my doubts. You do sound like you tolerate them, but it isn't the same thing. If all you do is hum happily to yourself "they're wrong, I'm right." you have not shown them any respect whatsover. In much the same way, you disrespect my belief in scientific methodology. You do so by using it without even a decent understanding of the arguments. To my mind, your idea of research is to read articles that you already know you will agree with, and repeat what you have read. I have my doubts as to wether you even understand your own arguments to any depth.

You could probably justly accuse me of not having respect for your beliefs. You might be correct, but you would be missing the point. I have full respect for those who arrive at their beliefs, whatever they may be, through a full understanding of all the data involve, both positive and negative. People who willingly research both sides and come to a conclusion based on what they know and what they beleive (and understand that the two are not the same), these people have my respect.

You...the arguments that you presented are facil and have been responded to decades ago. That you were unaware of the easily discovered arguments against these indicates that you are willingly to follow, but not study. I cannot respect a faith followed only due to academic laziness.

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Aquatus, can you be my god? w00t.gif

Kidding, but that was...amazing. I loved the counter. I'd add to it, but I'd probably just hurt your case. So all I'll do is agree with you completely.

Research things, Norman. Most of the points Aquatus made I learned way back in seventh grade.

Hopefully, you'll have learned them. Maybe you've even done what Aquatus said, taking the info you've read and putting it with your beliefs. However, I really don't think you understand that what you believe and what is fact are generally two different things.

If you'll recall my first post in this topic, I stated that my beliefs are still being defined. That's because I know, for a fact, I don't know anything. At very least not enough to to imperically outline a final set of beliefs.

So I work with what I've got, and trust in that nifty little animal instinct.

Sure, maybe I'm scary as all hell sometimes. Maybe I seem like a terrible person for what I feel is right and wrong, but hey...that's your problem.

And maybe, just maybe, people look down on you because of what you believe. Because it's illogical, silly, foolish...whatever.

I hope they don't, no one should have to put up with being put down.

Including myself, and my atheist "kin".

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I like the topic of logic, without getting into drawn out detail. Everyone has the chance to be everything, this is my logic. It may not be completely understood by you, reading this; However, when you know something it doesn't take proof, in my opinion anyway. The only time I need proof is when I don't understand something.

I already know; Therfore, I don't need the proof. So my question to the topic starter (Norman). Why are you searching for opinions from others truths? Judge not and be not judged, by the way GOD doesn't judge anyone! Life is not a competition, life is experience...

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However, when you know something it doesn't take proof, in my opinion anyway. The only time I need proof is when I don't understand something.

I already know; Therfore, I don't need the proof.

The simple fact of the matter, your opinion notwithstanding, is that any claim that you have to 'know' anything has to, by definition, be backed up by proof. If you do not have proof, then you do not 'know' it; you 'believe' it. What you choose to believe in is entirely up to you and nobody can say that you are wrong or right about it, but when you claim that you 'know', you have given others the right to demand how. This is little more than an exercise in semantics, but definitions are of extreme importance when in a debate. Belief and knowledge are not interchageable. They each have their own requirements, regardless of what your personal views on them might be.

If ever I could have been considered a follower of a religion, it would have been Buddhism. I'll tell you the story that convinced me it was worthy of my study, but (in true Buddhist fashion) I will let you figure out the lesson.

A young boy was walking in the mountains, when he happened to come across a fountain where three monks were bathing.  The boy watched them for a little while, then approached and asked one of them "Isn't that water cold?".

The monk looked at the young boy, then reached down for his bucket and emptied the pail over the young boy's head.

I would like to hear your thoughts.

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A young boy was walking in the mountains, when he happened to come across a fountain where three monks were bathing.  The boy watched them for a little while, then approached and asked one of them "Isn't that water cold?".

The monk looked at the young boy, then reached down for his bucket and emptied the pail over the young boy's head.

Buddhism is the only religion that has ever made sense to me. It's much more credible than, say, Christianity.

I like this story. I would hazard a guess to the lesson being you cannot ask for your answers in life, but rather must expirence life and discover your own answers.

Am i close?

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Thank you, finally someone else wants to hear my thoughts besides ( me again lol)

In my "logic"... Belief and knowledge ARE interchangable. I can go through life knowing that I don't have the power to change or I can go through life knowing I have the power to change. You see I don't really need any proof, because through my experiences I know my own truth. By claiming to know, I see where others would demand proof; However before they get their proof they first must know. In science, first you must experiment to find the proof, and scientific proofs change. Change is something that can be proven. Just as a seed changes into a million different things. First it knows whats its going to change into and then it becomes. In spirituality, first I know the proof and then I experience. The human language is a master in disguise and sometimes people get tangled in its weave.

Just to let you know It really IS all that simple, to me anyway and thanks for listening.

Oh my impression of the story...

Don't ask about something you already know

cause you never know what the outcome could be

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But there is only 1 major belief that is the truth. And that is christianity.

You are absolutely right Norman...just one, and only one true religion. The rest of them are all wrong and will spend eternity in hellfire for picking the false religions...

I am so glad you came along to set everyone straight, really. The fact that you are willing to be so resolute in the face of no supporting evidence shows how true your religion is…what bravery you have!

Don't worry about having respect or consideration for anyone else’s beliefs; since they are all false you have every right to tell them how wrong they are. Don't forget to throw in the hellfire and damnation, that will put them in their place. You have the upper hand in this argument, you have the one true god on your side, and don’t forget to tell all of the heathens that either!

Just remember Norman, no matter how much logic or critical thinking the atheists throw at you, just ignore it altogether. Logic doesn’t mean anything when you know you are a follower of the one true religion. Logic and critical thinking will just land these heathens in a lake of fire! You know what is best for these people; tell them what they should be doing in their own lives! It is going to be up to you to save these heathens, they obviously can’t think for themselves otherwise they would realize that you are right; that you know who the true god is…Since they can’t seem to think for themselves, the burden of their very souls lands on your shoulders Norman… It is a very heavy burden I am certain, but since you know the one true god, you can save all of these sinners!

Go Brother! Preach the WORD!

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Me_Again, I am having a bit of trouble deciding wether or not you are being serious. Your thoughts are scattered all over the place and don't really tie into each other very well.

When I am referring to logic, I am referring to a science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration, i.e. the science of the formal principles of reasoning ( I do believe that is the dictionary definition). In other words, it is a method by which the validity and credibility of an argument can be established, to say nothing of the fallacy.

You seem to use it to refer to your own personal philosophy. Please do not hijack scientific terminology used to define specific concepts.

I can go through life knowing that I don't have the power to change or I can go through life knowing I have the power to change. You see I don't really need any proof, because through my experiences I know my own truth.

This is refered to as a postulate. This is a statement of faith made without corroborating evidence and therefore inherently personal and externally unverifiable. In other words, truth and faith are perfectly valid as a belief system. Nobody can tell you that you are wrong, and likewise, nobody can tell you that you are right. Proof is not a requirement of a belief system.

By claiming to know, I see where others would demand proof; However before they get their proof they first must know. In science, first you must experiment to find the proof, and scientific proofs change.

I have trouble understanding this. Not because it is complex or simple, but because it doesn't make sense. Knowledge implies more than simply being aware of the end result. A person who knows and a person who guesses correctly can both be right about the end result, but only the person who knows is able to explain to you exactly why it will happen the way it happens. The reason they can do this is because they have evidence which indicates that this is the way it has happened before, and experience has shown that this is the way it will likely happen again. Imperical data, again, by definition, does not rely on anybody knowing or believing in it. It stands alone, and it measures the exact same way for anybody who chooses to test it. Interpretation of the measure may vary, but the measures remain the same.

You seem to be under the impression that you can freely interpret any scientific terminology and use it however you wish. I would advise against this. It will rapidly destroy your credibility. If you believe in something without any proof to back it up, that's faith. If you understand the working principles behind a phenomena, can replicate and predict this phenomena, that's knowledge. Don't confuse the two.

--I would hazard a guess to the lesson being you cannot ask for your answers in life, but rather must expirence life and discover your own answers.

--Don't ask about something you already know cause you never know what the outcome could be

Wow, two almost polar opposite answers.

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