1. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    12 Sep '11 08:25
    What would it take to pursuade you of the NON-EXISTANCE of your god?
  2. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    12 Sep '11 10:03
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    What would it take to pursuade you of the NON-EXISTANCE of your god?
    Funny question that, seeing most of 'em say that proof is all around us
  3. Joined
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    12 Sep '11 10:47
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    What would it take to pursuade you of the NON-EXISTANCE of your god?
    proving something doesn't exist is tricky

    can you for example prove that the flying spaghetti monster doesn't exist?
    granted, real science cannot work with "if something hasn't been proven not to exist, must exist". i agree that my position that god is real isn't backed up by anything more than faith and a vague historical figure in jesus, and i don't really mind.
  4. Standard memberRajk999
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    12 Sep '11 11:46
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    What would it take to pursuade you of the NON-EXISTANCE of your god?
    Why would you or anyone else for that matter want to 'pursuade'?
  5. Joined
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    12 Sep '11 12:35
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    proving something doesn't exist is tricky

    can you for example prove that the flying spaghetti monster doesn't exist?
    granted, real science cannot work with "if something hasn't been proven not to exist, must exist". i agree that my position that god is real isn't backed up by anything more than faith and a vague historical figure in jesus, and i don't really mind.
    As someone who believes that you should have evidence FOR a position before believing in it, rather than
    believing in anything simply because there is no evidence to disprove it, I am genuinely curious as to why
    you have a belief in god that you admit yourself you can't justify in terms of evidence?

    Why is it that you believe in the god of the bible without evidence rather than say the Jewish god, or the
    Muslims god, or even the pagan god Thor? or any other unfounded belief like new age mysticism or dowsing?

    How do you decide what things you have no evidence to believe in, to believe, and what not to believe?
  6. Joined
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    12 Sep '11 12:38
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Why would you or anyone else for that matter want to 'pursuade'?
    In answer to that I ask, "Do you think what someone believes matters?"

    The answer pretty much has to be yes, because people make decisions based on
    their beliefs and those decisions can and do effect other people including you.

    Which means the answer to the question is, "You might try to persuade people
    to change their beliefs if you think those beliefs to be wrong/unjustified and have
    a negative impact on them, those around them, and society as a whole."
  7. Standard memberRajk999
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    12 Sep '11 12:541 edit
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    In answer to that I ask, "Do you think what someone believes matters?"

    The answer pretty much has to be yes, because people make decisions based on
    their beliefs and those decisions can and do effect other people including you.

    Which means the answer to the question is, "You might try to persuade people
    to change their beliefs if you think those ...[text shortened]... unjustified and have
    a negative impact on them, those around them, and society as a whole."
    Someones beliefs as an atheist has no bearing on me. I think that beliefs are a personal matter and I respect your right to believe that there is no God. What you believe matters to you not me, and viceversa.

    Can you explain how a normal religious person impacts negatively on society? Please dont use exceptional cases of religious extremism to justify your conclusions.
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    12 Sep '11 13:17
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Someones beliefs as an atheist has no bearing on me. I think that beliefs are a personal matter and I respect your right to believe that there is no God. What you believe matters to you not me, and viceversa.

    Can you explain how a normal religious person impacts negatively on society? Please dont use exceptional cases of religious extremism to justify your conclusions.
    I can think of one case: In the US 43 percent of the people don't believe in evolution.
    This stubborn refusal to accept evidence based claims negatively effects the education of the young in many attempts by various factions to force in a court of law creationism to be taught side by side in a SCIENCE classroom.

    I don't see how that can be anything but negative, twisting the minds of young people who will certainly be effected by this kind of decision.

    If the subject of creationism is taught in some kind of religious setting, comparative religion or something, that is one thing. To be taught as if creationism or its cousin "Intelligent design" were on an equal footing scientifically digs at the very foundation of the scientific method.

    Another negative impact, again with the idea of the collision of science and religion, is the religions that refuse to allow medical treatment for children based on the idea that the parents god will cure the sick child. This has come up time and time again in the US and kids die from these kind of decisions.

    A kid gets a curable cancer for instance but the parents are in some denomination that won't allow medical treatment until it is too late.

    This just happened again a few months ago. It is an ongoing problem where the parents right to refuse medical treatment of their children runs right into society's view that the parents should give the kids the best treatment available and that kills many children because of the parents refusal to allow proper treatment.
  9. Joined
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    12 Sep '11 13:26
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    As someone who believes that you should have evidence FOR a position before believing in it, rather than
    believing in anything simply because there is no evidence to disprove it, I am genuinely curious as to why
    you have a belief in god that you admit yourself you can't justify in terms of evidence?

    Why is it that you believe in the god of the bibl ...[text shortened]... you decide what things you have no evidence to believe in, to believe, and what not to believe?
    faith.

    not that different than believing that in the end, goodness will prevail in the world. or that love is real. sure, i don't bet my life on either to be true. i will never propose a god-powered airplane. however the quality of my life improves if i believe in god. god comforts me.

    as far as why do i believe in jesus? christianity appeals to me. that is not to say that islam is without merit. it's just not suitable to me. it is just another version of the truth, just like judaism, budhism, etc are.
  10. Joined
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    12 Sep '11 13:46
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Someones beliefs as an atheist has no bearing on me. I think that beliefs are a personal matter and I respect your right to believe that there is no God. What you believe matters to you not me, and viceversa.

    Can you explain how a normal religious person impacts negatively on society? Please dont use exceptional cases of religious extremism to justify your conclusions.
    Sure...

    I am assuming that your referring to things like the KKK or 9:11 terrorists as extreme cases.
    I don't need to refer to such instances to justify my claims, but they do add weight to them.

    However...

    You say someone's beliefs as an atheist has no bearing on you.

    Skipping past, atheism isn't a belief system...

    If I for example, were in charge of the curriculum of your education system, that you or your
    children were attending.

    I could in that position include, or exclude, the teaching of things that contradict your religion.
    Many theists do indeed take exception to this, with the teaching of science in general, and
    evolution in particular, being hotly challenged by many theists.

    If I were in government I could make laws that impact on your lives in ways that might impact
    your religion and its practices.

    Now, not making judgements about the rightness or wrongness of those laws and policies, they
    do potentially effect you, and those around you, and shape the society you live in, so I think its
    reasonable to say that my beliefs would matter to you in this circumstance.


    Now of course the reverse could (and often is) true, where the head of a school board, or a politician
    is religious, sometimes highly so. And makes decisions that effect many people that are rooted in the
    religious positions they hold.

    Much (if not quite all) anti abortion and contraception legislation, and disastrous, abstinence only
    education programs are driven by religious beliefs in those promoting and enforcing their beliefs on
    others.


    Also, in line with a question I asked earlier (of someone else)....
    How do you decide which unsubstantiated things to believe in?

    There is no evidence For the existence of god, just like there is no evidence For the existence
    of fairies at the end of your garden.... However you believe in god, but not the fairies (I presume here that
    you don't believe in fairies, but if you do, substitute in something you don't believe in that has no evidence).
    You also believe that it is the Christian god (and probably a particular version of the Christian god) that is
    real and not some other monotheistic god, or any other unfounded religion.

    What's the point?

    If you are prepared to believe in something without proof, what is to stop you deciding that if you can believe
    one thing without evidence why not believe this other thing without evidence.

    Your judgement is now called into question.

    If you require evidence and reason to believe in something then you stand a much higher chance that the things
    you believe are objectively and demonstrably true.

    And if the evidence or arguments are shown to be wrong you can change what you believe to fit the new evidence
    meaning your world view tends to get better and more accurate over time, and if you believe things that don't
    work you can change them for things that do.

    If however you believe things without evidence on 'faith', and/or because some 'authority' says so. And they
    (as some beliefs inevitably will be) are wrong, how do you change them?

    You have already thrown out the only reliable or practical way of verifying what you believe against reality.

    Science is the embodiment of scepticism, rationality, reason and evidence through observation, and controlled
    experiment.

    It is the only proven way of testing and validating what we believe against the reality we live in.

    If you reject it and it's principles in one area, why would you value it in others?



    And yes, if you have lots of people saying the bible/Koran/ect is the only/best source of knowledge, and that
    everything in there is the word of god and some such, then ever so often you will get someone who actually
    believes it and goes and reads the thing, and starts doing some of the horrible things it tells you to do.

    The fact that most believers will filter out (never read) the crazier parts of their holy books, doesn't mean everyone
    will.

    You can use religion, pretty much any religion, and certainly Christianity, as a justification for war/terrorism/genocide/ect
    and many people have throughout history....

    You can't use secular Humanism (for example) to do the same.


    However, which ever side you happen to be on...

    You can't claim that other peoples beliefs have no effect on you or society.

    You make the choices and decisions in your life based on what you believe, Where those choices and decisions effect others
    and they effect you what those others believe matters.

    If you think those beliefs are wrong, or harmful, why would you not want to change them.
  11. Joined
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    12 Sep '11 14:00
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    faith.

    not that different than believing that in the end, goodness will prevail in the world. or that love is real. sure, i don't bet my life on either to be true. i will never propose a god-powered airplane. however the quality of my life improves if i believe in god. god comforts me.

    as far as why do i believe in jesus? christianity appeals to me. ...[text shortened]... suitable to me. it is just another version of the truth, just like judaism, budhism, etc are.
    hmm, several points....

    Love is a function of how the brain works. it is a measurable brain state/set of states, and can be verified to exist.
    Also it has an associated set of experiences that we have a name and label for.
    So it can certainly be said to Objectively exist.
    No faith required.

    As for goodness prevailing in the world... That requires faith, it may or may not happen, depending on how you define
    it, no idea if it actually will, would be nice if it did, bud don't hold your breath....
    (also define goodness, we may or may not all agree on what would qualify)

    There is a demonstrated benefit to belonging to a strong social group, like a church, that has a significant impact on
    quality of life and longevity. However the same effect applies regardless of the faith in question or if the social group
    is religious or not.
    Also it is comforting to feel yourself to be right, protected, and in the majority.
    This does not make your position right.

    I prefer my positions to be justifiably right, to believe in an uncomfortable truth, than to cling to a comforting lie.


    I think we disagree on the meaning and use of the word 'truth'.

    Where I use it I mean something that is an objectively verify-ably true reflection of reality.

    Under such a definition, all the different religions can't ALL be different 'versions' of the truth.


    You say you would never propose a god powered aeroplane (very wise), but many people reject vaccination (for example)
    for religious reasons (or because their religion has made them untrustful of science and medicine) and thus they don't get
    vaccinated, or get their kids vaccinated, and thus destroy the heard immunity needed for it to properly work.
    Having rejected one part of the scientific rationalist view point, it is so much easier to reject any other viewpoint you
    don't happen to like.
  12. Melbourne, Australia
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    12 Sep '11 14:29
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    What would it take to pursuade you of the NON-EXISTANCE of your god?
    When one recognises that no entity whatsoever,
    God, thought or thing, can neither be finally said
    to exist nor not to exist,
    such questions are meaningless
    and futile to pursue, or seek to pursuade.

    What is this inner awareness? Is it ours?
    Or is it "God's" ? Or is it both, or neither, yet....?

    These plays within Mind, so real, yet unreal, provide such delight.

    Think without definitely thinking, is it possible?
    Act without definitely acting, see if you can do it?
  13. Cape Town
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    12 Sep '11 14:43
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Can you explain how a normal religious person impacts negatively on society? Please dont use exceptional cases of religious extremism to justify your conclusions.
    The 'normal' religious person, if such a being exists, actively tries to indoctrinate their children in their beliefs, actively fights against critical thinking, and encourages religious extremism.

    Of course religious people also have positive impacts on society as a result of their religion. But for you to pretend there is no impact suggests the impact on your capacity to think has been extreme.
  14. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    13 Sep '11 07:49
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    proving something doesn't exist is tricky

    can you for example prove that the flying spaghetti monster doesn't exist?
    granted, real science cannot work with "if something hasn't been proven not to exist, must exist". i agree that my position that god is real isn't backed up by anything more than faith and a vague historical figure in jesus, and i don't really mind.
    ... but your belief must be based on something? Even if its a "gut feeling".

    I have posed a similar question to atheists - I'm interested in what it takes to change ones mind ... we arevery stubborn creatures aren't we?!?!

    This is not a theist-bashing thread!!! (Or at least I dont want it to become one)
  15. Joined
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    13 Sep '11 09:39
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    ... but your belief must be based on something? Even if its a "gut feeling".

    I have posed a similar question to atheists - I'm interested in what it takes to change ones mind ... we arevery stubborn creatures aren't we?!?!

    This is not a theist-bashing thread!!! (Or at least I dont want it to become one)
    it's ok, i have read some of your previous posts and i know you have no bad intentions. i enjoy discussing my faith with someone who doesn't resort to "you're stupid" or "you're a heretic that will burn in hell".


    i believe it takes a sort of optimism to believe in god. believing in a supreme benevolent being that will take care of you after you're dead. not go into oblivion after dying. someone who watches you and is hurt and you are hurt, hurt because he can't intervene, and is glad when you overcome obstacles.

    i don't think i would ever come to not believe in god. sometimes theists become atheists because something bad happens to them and blame god. and rather than deal with an uncaring god that "dared" to let the bad stuff happen to them, they stop believing in their existence altogether. i think that for me, to come to think that, my optimism has to die and i become coarse. i don't want to believe that. another reason for me that may never happen is because i believe god to be an observer, someone who doesn't get involved. all things that happen are consequences of human action or a random natural event. these are conditions of the game of life and we should play it to the best of our abilities.
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