1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    13 Sep '07 09:43
    I think sometimes Atheists don't realise that some of us Christians do actually know how potty Christian faith sounds. I was watching the sc-fi series Heroes recently and wondered what it would be like to be able to fly. However , it did occur to me that Christian talk about miracles , life after death , Holy Spirit is even more radical and far out. Some of us do know how incredible it sounds to be saying that the living eternal God of the universe is actually with us and I have to pinch myself sometimes!!!! It is nothing less than mindblowing and I do sympathise with Atheists who just find it too incredible to believe.

    I was struck watching Heroes how matter of fact some of the charactors seem to take their powers. They don't seem to freak out as much as they should. Maybe this is the value of Atheism to the Christian faith ---it reminds us that we should freak out.
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    13 Sep '07 10:06
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I think sometimes Atheists don't realise that some of us Christians do actually know how potty Christian faith sounds. I was watching the sc-fi series Heroes recently and wondered what it would be like to be able to fly. However , it did occur to me that Christian talk about miracles , life after death , Holy Spirit is even more radical and far out. So ...[text shortened]... this is the value of Atheism to the Christian faith ---it reminds us that we should freak out.
    Nice point of view.
    Believing most things in Christianity is a huge leap from everyday reality, that shouldn't make sense so easily.
    But the hugest is believing the words of a book written by men, that suffered so many alterations during the centuries by men, so many translations made by men, written in a way that is not direct in any way, that requires a lot of dubious interpretation by men.... Well for a book that should be holy, it's got a LOT of men intervention. Yet, you take the interpretations of a translated and altered book written so much time ago as absolute truth, with no margins for errors. Atheists remind you there should be no absolute truths.
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    13 Sep '07 10:111 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I think sometimes Atheists don't realise that some of us Christians do actually know how potty Christian faith sounds. I was watching the sc-fi series Heroes recently and wondered what it would be like to be able to fly. However , it did occur to me that Christian talk about miracles , life after death , Holy Spirit is even more radical and far out. So this is the value of Atheism to the Christian faith ---it reminds us that we should freak out.
    I kind of understand what you mean. Sadly what elludes many people is the reality is more fascinating than fiction. What is really happening in the universe is far more intriguing than science fiction.

    What the human mind can imagine doesn't approach the real unfolding of the history of God, mankind and the universe.

    But like you, when I hear some arguments, I do think that it is really incredible that I do believe the gospel. I never intended to. Somehow God had mercy on me and gave me the ability to believe. Yet not all at once but gradually a little by little.

    What do you think of the verse in Hebrews that says we disciples have "tasted of the powers of the age to come?" That's Hebrews 6:5.

    Yet it seems that knowledge is regulated by God's Spirit and life. There are yet greater things to know and experience which must wait for our maturity to develop, our love to bind us together, and our lives to be more transformed into Christ's image.

    The dimensions of Christ are as vast as the dimensions of the universe itself.
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    13 Sep '07 10:22
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Maybe this is the value of Atheism to the Christian faith ---it reminds us that we should freak out.
    Firstly I disagree with the general tendency for people to always look for a value in something just because they can do nothing about it. Why should atheism have a value to the Christian faith? That is certainly the implication you are making, that it must have some value and you have to find it.

    As for the whole weirdness factor, what is most weird and most telling when it comes to faith, is the strong tendency for religious people to make things up then believe what they have just made up. It is very rare for a Christian or other person of faith to simply admit they don't know something when first asked. They almost always have a ready answer to anything and only after a bit of careful questioning do you find out that they just made it up on the spur of the moment because they do not want to admit they do not know. The worst thing about it is it becomes rather like other forms of lying in that defending one made up answer leads to more and more preposterous inventions. What is amazing is that they truly appear to believe what they are making up!

    As for you knightmeister I have definitely noticed a tendency for you to accept unlikely things as fact simply because you believe they support your faith in some way even when they are certainly not required by your faith and even more importantly are not implied or proven by your beliefs. For example if your friend told you that he had been prayed for and healed you would believe it almost without question without doing any background checking etc. If he told you a nonreligious story you would be a lot more skeptical.
  5. Standard memberknightmeister
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    13 Sep '07 12:171 edit
    Originally posted by serigado
    Nice point of view.
    Believing most things in Christianity is a huge leap from everyday reality, that shouldn't make sense so easily.
    But the hugest is believing the words of a book written by men, that suffered so many alterations during the centuries by men, so many translations made by men, written in a way that is not direct in any way, that requires a ute truth, with no margins for errors. Atheists remind you there should be no absolute truths.
    Atheists remind you there should be no absolute truths....SERIGADO

    Is this a truth that you believe in absolutely?
  6. Standard memberknightmeister
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    13 Sep '07 12:22
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Firstly I disagree with the general tendency for people to always look for a value in something just because they can do nothing about it. Why should atheism have a value to the Christian faith? That is certainly the implication you are making, that it must have some value and you have to find it.

    As for the whole weirdness factor, what is most weird a ...[text shortened]... background checking etc. If he told you a nonreligious story you would be a lot more skeptical.
    For example if your friend told you that he had been prayed for and healed you would believe it almost without question without doing any background checking etcWHITEY


    You cannot possibly know this and you have no idea how inaccurate this is. If only you knew......

    Faith and skepticism are not mutually exclusive. Infact if one had no skepticism then faith would not be needed.
  7. Standard memberknightmeister
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    13 Sep '07 12:29
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Firstly I disagree with the general tendency for people to always look for a value in something just because they can do nothing about it. Why should atheism have a value to the Christian faith? That is certainly the implication you are making, that it must have some value and you have to find it.

    As for the whole weirdness factor, what is most weird a ...[text shortened]... background checking etc. If he told you a nonreligious story you would be a lot more skeptical.
    It is very rare for a Christian or other person of faith to simply admit they don't know something when first asked. WHITEY

    This is just a simple human tendency. We all like to think we have the answers and try and come up with solutions especially when we are being pressed or aggressively "interogated". Saying "I don't know" can be seen as weakness by atheists who are questioning Christians with a chip ontheir shoulder. It becomes a trap. Say you don't know and it's a sign that your faith is sand. Say you do know and ...well you get the idea.

    I assure you that there are many christians who share their doubts together in a warm , supportive environment. It's all about feeling that your doubts will be given a fair trial. Maybe you are asking the wrong questions...when did you conduct your extensive survey by the way?

    Personally there are loads of things that I only partially understand or find hard to communicate.
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    13 Sep '07 12:32
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    You cannot possibly know this and you have no idea how inaccurate this is. If only you knew......
    You made it quite clear in your cartwheel thread that you were willing to believe the story based on its content only and not based on the reliability of the source. You made statements along the lines of: "God does this all the time so it must be true."
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    13 Sep '07 12:34
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    ...when did you conduct your extensive survey by the way?
    Throughout my life.

    My main concern is that people appear to actually believe what they make up.
  10. Standard memberknightmeister
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    13 Sep '07 13:47
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    You made it quite clear in your cartwheel thread that you were willing to believe the story based on its content only and not based on the reliability of the source. You made statements along the lines of: "God does this all the time so it must be true."
    that you were willing to believe the story based on its content only and not based on the reliability of the source. WHITEY

    I considered the reliability of the source , the person who told it, my past experiences , the whole spectrum of my world view come into play infact. The story may turn out to false for all I know but that would not stop me from thinking such things are possible because I have known of them happening. Once you have seen the Berlin Wall fall down it's easier to believe when someone tells you the partition wall in Israel has come down.
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    13 Sep '07 13:56
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I considered the reliability of the source , the person who told it, my past experiences , the whole spectrum of my world view come into play infact. The story may turn out to false for all I know but that would not stop me from thinking such things are possible because I have known of them happening. Once you have seen the Berlin Wall fall down it's easier to believe when someone tells you the partition wall in Israel has come down.
    But as I pointed out in that thread the key to the story did not rely on the reliability of the person who told it to you but rather on the reliability of a suicidal woman that you have never met. Ordinary skepticism should have lead you to doubt the story or at least consider it to be unreliable whether or not such occurrences are relatively common. Instead you made the claim that the story could be considered evidence for such events taking place.
    If someone you know tells you that he heard from a suicidal woman that the partition wall in Israel has come down would you come to this forum and cite it as evidence that peace is likely in the middle east or would you check your facts first?
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
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    13 Sep '07 14:00
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Throughout my life.

    My main concern is that people appear to actually believe what they make up.
    Whoah there horsey! It's one thing to believe that someone's position is false or not true but it's another to then say that their position is dissingenuously held is it not? You imply that deep down I do not really believe what I believe and thus am being incongruent. Why is this? Are you not able to even grant the sincerity of belief and agree to differ or is it that you can't countenance the idea that someone might actually believe it for real?

    I have always accepted Atheism as a valid and solid position with which I happen to disagree but would still argue my side of the fence. I believe that what you believe seems convincing for you. You do not have to do me the same honour but I find it suspicious that you do not. It make me wonder how solid your atheism is if you feel the need to paint christians as self deluding saps making up their faith. It must make it so much easier for you to dismiss without really thinking about it. I suppose I can understand it , you may well have come across some sloppy thinking Christians who went to church because they liked the flowers and you think you can use that for the rest of your life to paint the rest of us with this brush. However , I still give you an absolute 100% guarantee that if you investigate Christ with any sincerity and seeking then you will stumble across something that you did not expect. You may or may not find him but you will definitely stub your toe along the way. Don't you ever wonder why so many people will testify to having experienced the presence of the living Christ in their lives?
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    13 Sep '07 15:34
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Atheists remind you there should be no absolute truths....SERIGADO

    Is this a truth that you believe in absolutely?
    😀
    Of course not. The only thing I'm sure is: I can't be sure of anything...

    hmm... almost reminds the Socrates saying... ehe
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
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    13 Sep '07 16:082 edits
    Originally posted by serigado
    😀
    Of course not. The only thing I'm sure is: I can't be sure of anything...

    hmm... almost reminds the Socrates saying... ehe
    The only thing I'm sure is: I can't be sure of anything SERIGADO

    Duh? Me thinks I spot a complete self contradiction??? Either you are absolutely sure about the above or you are not. If you are then your certainty (about uncertainty) cannot be absolute because it cannot contain the very thing which you are sure about (ie the uncertainty of everything) . You should have said something like....

    "The only thing I'm sure is: I can't be sure of virtually anything except for this one statement "

    OR " I can't be sure of most things except my own belief about the uncertainty of things"

    OR " Everything apart from this particular statement is uncertain , but this statement is certainly absolutely true. I am sure of this"

    Otherwise you are paradox territory. (Try looking up Goedle's incompleteness theorem for a bit more of this - he was a maths genuis who went potty thinking about proofs)
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    13 Sep '07 16:161 edit
    There are atheists of many stripes. The viewpoints of a strict “rationalist atheist” are likely to be quite different from, say, an Advaita Vedantist (non-dualist/monist). In terms of theism referring to a supernatural being, Kashmiri Shaivites are “atheist”—even though they use theistic symbolism, they are every bit as non-dualist/monists as the Vedantists.

    Bbarr, for example, would say on the one hand that he was an atheist, and on the other hand say something like “the divine ground is ineffable”. Obviously, he uses the word “divine” differently than a supernaturalist theist would.

    It can get really confusing when a Vedantist (or even a Buddhist!) uses the G-word, if one doesn’t have some idea how that word is used in their system. Words like spiritual and mystic suffer the same fate—though they are difficult to dispense with, if for no other reason than that the literature is rife with them. Confusion sets in because one paradigm understands the “mystical” experience to be something like the “conscious, pre-conceptual existential experience of being”—and the other understands it as an experience of the presence of God.* In the varied literature, the same term is used as linguistic sign for both. Context is not important only in scriptural exegesis!

    I tend to differentiate by using the term non-theist, realizing that may be overly pedantic.

    * I was remined of this when I read jaywill's post, as I think it was the point of the first discussion he and I ever had on here.
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