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StolenDance

I'm an athiest. Convince me otherwise and it would be greatly appreciated

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There was some serious vitriol in this thread...I was looking for comfort. I wasn't asking to be convinced of any one single religion's dogma.

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I do have a question for Christians though. It seems that many (I would say the more rational) believe that the Creation story is not to be taken literally. If so, and original sin is simply a fable, doesn't that negate the whole reason for J.C. coming to Earth to be sacrificed?


 

I don't know; I'm open to suggestion

 

 

P.S. I'm guess I'm more of a "severe agnostic". Anyone who believes in the scientific method cannot be a true atheist. It can't be proven with 100% certainly that there no higher power beyond our understanding. And I personally find human self-awareness to be so mind-boggling that it causes me to pause

Yes, your absolutely right. Science can't prove a negative. Science can't prove that there *isn't* a G-d. And that fact is what some people desperately cling to.

But the scientific method requires EVIDENCE to prove or disprove a theory. You form a hypothesis, and research it. Currently, there is no scientific way to measure G-d. If you can give me some scientific evidence, I'll look at it. As it is, you have gotten the scientific method backwards.

 

And as to "raw deals," I am a huge proponent of the "Shit Happens" school of thought.

 

P.S. Oh, I'm a true atheist, baby. And you are blowing off a shitload of science. Do you not believe in any of it? Many (by no means all) scientists are atheists. But even the religious scientists believe in the scientific method. Do you think you understand scientific method better than thousands of scientists?

 

 

Simmer down bro; how was I blowing off science? 

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Serious vitriol? Please highlight that for me.  As I posted before, there has been some very interesting discourse generated here.  There is no 'comfort' to be had.  You will die.  I will die also.  Only members of The Hemlock Society can say when.  In as much as I often hate MY life I remain totally captivated by Life.

 

To the OP, please review all of your posts on this thread.  I may be totally wrong,but I sense an absence of sincerity. I am willing to be wrong.

 

Prepping my ass for a trip to the woodshed....

Edited by vanderk

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If any of you are interested in exploring the life of Jesus and discussing the creation story, why not take some books out of the library and read them?  There are thousands of books that have been written about theology and Christianity, and you could also attend a bible study group in a church.

 

I will tell you that not all Christians believe in original sin.  There are many denominations who don't.

There are many Christians who don't believe the Biblical story of creation:  you can understand science and embrace the Big Bang theory, and still be a Christian.

There are people who take the Bible literally, and others who believe that the stories are allegories and should be interpreted for the moral lesson.

 

You can't lump all Christians together.  Unfortunately for  middle-of-the-road Christians, the only ones who get publicity are the whack-job Fundamentalists.  They're out there picketing funerals and demeaning gay people, while the mainstream Christians are feeding the hungry, operating homeless shelters, visiting sick and elderly people who are alone, and providing a place for everything from AA meetings to ESL classes.

 

If you really want to know about Christianity, get off your lazy ass, go to a public library and read some books.  Or call a minister in a church in your town and ask if you can come and talk to him or her.  No one here has to justify their beliefs or explain them to you.

 

olga

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Thank you, Dear Olga.  A voice of Reason, as always.  Prickly subject, to be sure.  By any chance are you a Quaker?  Your's is a calming voice when the atmosphere gets clangy.  (Is that a proper adjective?).  Where is Indigo when most needed?  I'd love to hear her chime in on this topic.  Even if I (could) disagree with her.

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 I see it's value in comforting people. I would greatly appreciate that comfort. So do me a favor

 

and convince me!

Truth is generally safer and more useful than untruth.  So asking to be convinced of something because one would like to believe it, seems unsafe - a way of opening the door to one's capacity for delusion.  Better to seek the truth, whatever it is, comforting or not. 

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 I see it's value in comforting people. I would greatly appreciate that comfort. So do me a favor

 

and convince me!

Truth is generally safer and more useful than untruth.  So asking to be convinced of something because one would like to believe it, seems unsafe - a way of opening the door to one's capacity for delusion.  Better to seek the truth, whatever it is, comforting or not. 

 

That reminds me of a quote from the kite runner  . “Better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.” ― Khaled Hosseini,

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Vanderk, I'm not a Quaker, trust me.  You should see me pinging squirrels with my .22 when they overwhelm my bird feeders.

 

I go to a church that has a gay minister, so that should tell you something. :)

 

And yes, I would love to have Indigo here, commenting.

 

olga

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There was some serious vitriol in this thread...I was looking for comfort. I wasn't asking to be convinced of any one single religion's dogma.

You were asking for us to find you a dogma, even if it wasn't a specific one. And dogma isn't always comfortable.

 

And you blew off science by implying that adhering to the scientific method means you can't be an atheist. So I am assuming you don't really believe any science that is the result of an atheist's work. Since you said no true atheist could believe in the scientific method, right? That assertion doesn't even make sense, and pointlessly maligns atheists.

 

And then there's that niggling matter of trying to prove a negative.

 

I find comfort in the fact that in spite of enormous odds, I am alive and sentient in our enormous, spectacular universe.

 

Although I agree with others, the troll is strong in this one.

Edited by crtclms

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Atheism is generally defined as the lack of belief in god(s), not belief that there is no god.  "God" meaning a god with supernatural powers - if you define "God" as part of human experience or a human ideal, etc., then an atheist could believe in God. 

I prefer to call myself a nonbeliever.  I don't believe in anything supernatural.

Yes, the idea that this universe could create consciousness by means of physics - a kind of self-transcendence - is truly awesome. 

Edited by larkasaur

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Here's the idea that I'm best persuaded of, about the universe. 

That is, that the universe is a mathematical system - working according to laws of physics.

Many mathematical systems are possible.

But this particular mathematical system is "real" because it's capable of generating conscious beings - us.  We, being aware of the universe, make it real. 

The cosmologist Max Tegmark developed this idea in his book Our Mathematical Universe

I don't know if it's a comforting thought.  But I find it esthetically appealing.

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That seems a version of the anthropic principle:
The universe has to look pretty much as it does because in any other universe (with significantly different physical constants,there would be no beings able to do any looking. 

So if a being capable of looking is present, this sort of universe will be seen.  An inevitability.

(how many excessively transient or excessively stable universes there might be, we don't know: they are no part of our universe.)

No special purpose or hand required (but not ruled out, either.)

 

Chris

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Dear larkasaur;  I will have to search and read the Tegmark book.  As much as I've been a somewhat negative voice on this thread it has inspired me to start reading again.  I'll have to do some digging in the basement, but I'll start with a re-read of Goedel, Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.  AI before AI was cool.  Then a quick U-Turn to an essay by Raymond Smullyan "Is God a Taoist".  

 

And a shout-out to Olga:  I hope you're not wasting the tasty/dark squirrel meat!  A long-ago Christmas tradition.

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 I will have to search and read the Tegmark book.

There's a Wikipedia entry on the "Mathematical Universe Hypothesis":  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_universe_hypothesis

The MUH might allow for the possibility of a God - perhaps our universe is like a book written by a God, existing in a larger universe - where that God is also a mathematical structure. 

Edited by larkasaur

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If any of you are interested in exploring the life of Jesus and discussing the creation story, why not take some books out of the library and read them?  There are thousands of books that have been written about theology and Christianity, and you could also attend a bible study group in a church.

 

I will tell you that not all Christians believe in original sin.  There are many denominations who don't.

There are many Christians who don't believe the Biblical story of creation:  you can understand science and embrace the Big Bang theory, and still be a Christian.

There are people who take the Bible literally, and others who believe that the stories are allegories and should be interpreted for the moral lesson.

 

You can't lump all Christians together.  Unfortunately for  middle-of-the-road Christians, the only ones who get publicity are the whack-job Fundamentalists.  They're out there picketing funerals and demeaning gay people, while the mainstream Christians are feeding the hungry, operating homeless shelters, visiting sick and elderly people who are alone, and providing a place for everything from AA meetings to ESL classes.

 

If you really want to know about Christianity, get off your lazy ass, go to a public library and read some books.  Or call a minister in a church in your town and ask if you can come and talk to him or her.  No one here has to justify their beliefs or explain them to you.

 

olga

 

I spent 1-12th grade in Catholic school; I'm quite familiar with Christian theology thanks. And I'd say the majority of "mainstream" Christians still vote for the GOP (based of one or two ridiculous wedge issues), so their voting habits are

certainly NOT helping LGBT rights, the homeless, the hungry, the disenfranchised etc etc

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Atheism is generally defined as the lack of belief in god(s), not belief that there is no god.  "God" meaning a god with supernatural powers - if you define "God" as part of human experience or a human ideal, etc., then an atheist could believe in God. 

I prefer to call myself a nonbeliever.  I don't believe in anything supernatural.

Yes, the idea that this universe could create consciousness by means of physics - a kind of self-transcendence - is truly awesome. 

 

^This

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If any of you are interested in exploring the life of Jesus and discussing the creation story, why not take some books out of the library and read them?  There are thousands of books that have been written about theology and Christianity, and you could also attend a bible study group in a church.

 

I will tell you that not all Christians believe in original sin.  There are many denominations who don't.

There are many Christians who don't believe the Biblical story of creation:  you can understand science and embrace the Big Bang theory, and still be a Christian.

There are people who take the Bible literally, and others who believe that the stories are allegories and should be interpreted for the moral lesson.

 

You can't lump all Christians together.  Unfortunately for  middle-of-the-road Christians, the only ones who get publicity are the whack-job Fundamentalists.  They're out there picketing funerals and demeaning gay people, while the mainstream Christians are feeding the hungry, operating homeless shelters, visiting sick and elderly people who are alone, and providing a place for everything from AA meetings to ESL classes.

 

If you really want to know about Christianity, get off your lazy ass, go to a public library and read some books.  Or call a minister in a church in your town and ask if you can come and talk to him or her.  No one here has to justify their beliefs or explain them to you.

 

olga

 

I spent 1-12th grade in Catholic school; I'm quite familiar with Christian theology thanks. And I'd say the majority of "mainstream" Christians still vote for the GOP (based of one or two ridiculous wedge issues), so their voting habits are

certainly NOT helping LGBT rights, the homeless, the hungry, the disenfranchised etc etc

 

You're Catholic, not protestant. The dogma is completely different. And if you say that moderate Christians (hell, moderate Catholics) vote conservatively, I'd like to see a link that supports your claim. Which I do believe you pulled out of your ass.

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P.S. I thought my "a man of science can not be an atheist by the conventional definition"  comment was innocent enough; Richard Dawkins himself said something similar on his facebook page. I was trying to be conciliatory to the opposing side of the aisle.

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If any of you are interested in exploring the life of Jesus and discussing the creation story, why not take some books out of the library and read them?  There are thousands of books that have been written about theology and Christianity, and you could also attend a bible study group in a church.

 

I will tell you that not all Christians believe in original sin.  There are many denominations who don't.

There are many Christians who don't believe the Biblical story of creation:  you can understand science and embrace the Big Bang theory, and still be a Christian.

There are people who take the Bible literally, and others who believe that the stories are allegories and should be interpreted for the moral lesson.

 

You can't lump all Christians together.  Unfortunately for  middle-of-the-road Christians, the only ones who get publicity are the whack-job Fundamentalists.  They're out there picketing funerals and demeaning gay people, while the mainstream Christians are feeding the hungry, operating homeless shelters, visiting sick and elderly people who are alone, and providing a place for everything from AA meetings to ESL classes.

 

If you really want to know about Christianity, get off your lazy ass, go to a public library and read some books.  Or call a minister in a church in your town and ask if you can come and talk to him or her.  No one here has to justify their beliefs or explain them to you.

 

olga

 

I spent 1-12th grade in Catholic school; I'm quite familiar with Christian theology thanks. And I'd say the majority of "mainstream" Christians still vote for the GOP (based of one or two ridiculous wedge issues), so their voting habits are

certainly NOT helping LGBT rights, the homeless, the hungry, the disenfranchised etc etc

 

You're Catholic, not protestant. The dogma is completely different. And if you say that moderate Christians (hell, moderate Catholics) vote conservatively, I'd like to see a link that supports your claim. Which I do believe you pulled out of your ass.

 

 

I studied all Christian dogma rather thoroughly; wouldn't of graduated from that prep school otherise. Again, I wasn't looking for an argument. I was having an extremely unpleasant day, and wasn't thinking clearly when I made what I thought was a rather unassuming post...

 

P.S. 75% of [white] Evangelical Christians voted for Romney according to Pew

Edited by StolenDance

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If you really want to know about Christianity, get off your lazy ass, go to a public library and read some books. 

Many people say they were deconverted by reading and studying the Bible.  Some atheists know quite a lot about the Bible.  Although they tend to favor the shocking parts ;)  ilke biblical atrocities.

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If you really want to know about Christianity, get off your lazy ass, go to a public library and read some books. 

Many people say they were deconverted by reading and studying the Bible.  Some atheists know quite a lot about the Bible.  Although they tend to favor the shocking parts ;)  ilke biblical atrocities.

 

Where do you come up with this stuff?

 

I mean links?

Edited by confused

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Evangelical Christians, i.e. Fundamentalists, are fewer than mainline protestants and unaffiliated citizens. Fewer than 27% of the US population are Evangelicals. And Pew polls tend to be conservative.

 

And here's an article that says that children raised in non-religious households tend to be more moral and empathetic than people who practice a religion. Only a tiny percentage are in prison, much smaller than their representation in the US. And non-religious tend to support gay rights, and like causes, at a greater rate than the religious majority. You can't find comfort in that?

 

See how I provided those links? Perhaps you could also provide links for your sweeping generalizations.

 

I find I usually know more about Catholicism than most Catholics, by the by. Maybe it's because I taught Western Civ. But when I went to Sunday school with my Christian friends when I was a child, I knew more of and about the New Testament than they did. And I am of Jewish heritage, so the New Testament is not exactly embraced.

 

But to be an educated English speaker, you really need to be familiar with at least parts of the King James Bible. So hopefully your scary, icky (this is the vibe I am getting from you) Catholic school didn't focus only on Catholic dogma.

Oooh, prep school. I'm so impressed.

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Evangelical Christians, i.e. Fundamentalists, are fewer than mainline protestants and unaffiliated citizens. Fewer than 27% of the US population are Evangelicals. And Pew polls tend to be conservative.

 

And here's an article that says that children raised in non-religious households tend to be more moral and empathetic than people who practice a religion. Only a tiny percentage are in prison, much smaller than their representation in the US. And non-religious tend to support gay rights, and like causes, at a greater rate than the religious majority. You can't find comfort in that?

 

See how I provided those links? Perhaps you could also provide links for your sweeping generalizations.

 

I find I usually know more about Catholicism than most Catholics, by the by. Maybe it's because I taught Western Civ. But when I went to Sunday school with my Christian friends when I was a child, I knew more of and about the New Testament than they did. And I am of Jewish heritage, so the New Testament is not exactly embraced.

 

But to be an educated English speaker, you really need to be familiar with at least parts of the King James Bible. So hopefully your scary, icky (this is the vibe I am getting from you) Catholic school didn't focus only on Catholic dogma.

Oooh, prep school. I'm so impressed.

 

I'm not quite sure if you even know what we disagree on at this point...this is devolving

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I have had exposure primarily to mainstream Protestant churches.  The various sects (Methodist, Reformed, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Episcopal) do NOT embrace the same tenets as the Fundamentalists.  The Methodists and Episcopalians have female ministers and bishops.  All of the above churches have dialogs about social issues like abortion, gay & lesbian issues, women's rights, etc.

 

Every mainline Protestant church I have ever had contact with was involved with some sort of outreach.  Without asking questions or preaching at people, I have seen many churches feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, send money to 3rd world countries so the people there can buy a cow or a goat, or set up a school.  crtclms is absolutely right when she says that the Fundies are a small minority of Christians in America, but they are a VOCAL minority and yes, they have the ear of the Republican Party.

 

Here are some numbers:

The largest U.S. mainline churches are sometimes referred to as the "Seven Sisters of American Protestantism".[27] The term was apparently coined by William Hutchison.[28]

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